Radioactive Roaches

Radioactive Roaches – Ew!
Emmiter: Babbage
Players: Flagbearer, Spectrum, Flora, Inquisitor, Daybreak, Liberty Belle, Dusk, Zeroman
July 27th, 2010

San Angeles — a lovely place indeed, a shining beacon of the very best that Supers can offer when they work together towards a common goal. Or so it is hailed in the tourist magazines, and for the most part this is the simple truth. Sangelinos live in the most modern city in the world, of course there's also the Undercity, but there's no tour guides for that, no journal write ups outside of the crime files of heroes and Law Enforcement.

Today is sunny, though the sun is setting, the warmth of the day lingering.
Of course that sort of thing can't be allowed to continue! The city is home to some eleven million souls, and that's only the city above. The city stretches one hundred and twenty miles from north to south and is miles wide — there's ALWAYS something going on. And here and now we have a crisis — the maglev bullet trains running from point to point are the very arteries for San Angeles, and in an occurance that is not supposed to happen two of them collided, the resulting explosion disabling one level of the track, and starting fires down below.

It's only several city blocks from Freedom Plaza, and as soon as word comes in that there was an accident, the Freedom Brigade sprung into action… of course, since they're still rebuilding their numbers after the incident that levelled their headquarters, there's only actually two active Brigadiers in the area right now.

The turning rotors of a helicopter chop through the air, the bright red, white and blue of the flag painted on the underneath of the black chopper towards the crash site. "Alright," the Flagbearer says in the back of the helicopter, unbuckling the straps holding in and standing up though bent over with the low ceiling, his voice loud to get over the roar of the engines, "Our primary objective is to get any survivors out, and secure the area in case anyone tries to take advantage of the situation."

Timo was at home, watching TV. A pretty ordinary evening, overall, until he saw the flash of the news report about the crash. A quick text-message sent to Derek, he then vanishes from his living room, reappearing by the crash as Spectrum. A glow surrounds him, shifting from one colour to the next, a force field protecting him in case he teleported into a fire. He takes just a moment then, a moment of shock at the destruction.

Heather was standing around Kennedy Station, waiting for her train when the announcements of the disaster began to arrive. The crowd milled in confusion, and she ducked behind a set of planters… and teleported home to change into costume. She then steps out of a rather spindly young oak tree near the scene of the disaster as Flora.

Inquisitor is just getting off work when he hears the crash report on the radio. Fortunately, he's not far from the shop, which is not far by motorcycle from the incident site. He quickly suits up and gets on the road, trying to balance speed with caution as best he can.

Crashes like this are tragic, no doubt, and Leigh's horrified to see the results of the collision on the news as she window-shops at a mall some distance from the actual event. But one cannot let tragedy stand in the way of opportunity. Leigh bites her lip and glances about, seeking a place to change, and finally races into the Gap, barrels into the nearest dressing room, apologizes to the occupant, slams the door to the -next- dressing room, and finally changes into her costume. The matter of her street clothes is solved by stuffing jeans, sneakers, and top (the one she got at Wet Seal that's just -too- cute for words) into her backpack and slinging it across her shoulders. She doesn't run out of the dressing room — she flies, narrowly missing a rack of sweaters and calling another apology as she zips out the door, leaving a trail of dazzled shoppers in her wake.

She's got the enthusiasm down. She may need to work on the secret identity thing.

Racing across the city, she's not the first to the party, but she pulls up in midair and observes with shock the reality of the crash. Smoke, fire, screams. She bites her lip again, nervous — her parents will kill her if they find out about this, but like Tobey MacGuire said, with great power comes great responsibility. She steels herself and dives down to try to help.

Moving to stand in the open side of the chopper, Liberty Belle dips her chin in a single, serious nod in response to Flagbearer's words. "Survivors out, area secure, roger." A quick wink is tossed at her superior as she braces one gloved hand against the opening, an upward tilt of her head encouraging blond hair out of her face. It is in the wake of a silent assessment of the situation below that she pushes out of the flag adorned chopper. "Last one down is a soup sandwich." The words are called back over her shoulder as a neat swan dive results in a pristinely executed bound from the top of a skyscrapper, to a flagpole, to chimney shoot and ends in a neat crouch atop a billboard alongside the maglev tracks. It is only once settled in place that she touches the communicator in her ear and notes in teasing tones, "You planning on joining me, Old Man?"

Derek is having dinner with his family in a posh restaurant downtown when the disaster occurs, and he's blissfully unaware…until he gets a frantic text from Timo. It takes him only a minute and a half to convince his parents he's come down with a migraine, and he slips quickly to the alley, vanishing from sight. He doesn't move at the speed of light, but eventually, a shadow near Spectrum's feet begins to morph and grow into a roughly teen-shaped form of darkness, before solidifying into Dusk.

Zeroman is getting ready to head home, back to the twilight world of the waterfront in between the Undercity and Upper. He'd been in the area delivering a message to a couple of the Los Avispa Boys that, well, he wasn't going to tolerate their kind of traffic in his neighborhood. The little chat had gone well, and he'd expended less than $20 worth of ammo. He's driving right past the area when the trains collide and he wheels the bike onto the sidewalk before vaulting off and sprinting to the crash site, running up the center of the road, vaulting over open car doors, to see if he can pull out any trapped survivors.

The Carnage — and it definitely needs an upper case C — is horrific. The bullet trains travel at speeds close to two hundred miles per hour. At those kind of speeds even a love tap is going to be catastrophic, and these two trains hit head on.
The entire track at the point of impact was torn asunder, flaming wreckage and debris essentially fragmentation bombs that cause further mayhem. And this before the track sections buckle, twist and one piece falls to crush a bus.
There are sections groaning and burning, the metal sagging, it won't be long until more falls. Good gravy what a mess! The road is on fire, as are several buildings, thick columns of smoke rise miles high already, and there are dozens of wounded. The noise and chaos is apalling.

A chuckle's audible over the communicator, unseen through the Flagbearer's all concealing mask. "Show off," he accuses affably, before pushing himself out after her; grabbing hold of a barely noticable seam along the sides of his bodysuit as he arrows through the air, he pulls out rippling flaps of fabric that form a glider wing in red and white stripes. It catches a thermal updraft from the fires burning below, and he starts to spiral downwards towards the disaster site, reporting over the radio, "Emergency services are en route, but it'll be a few min— oh, hell, this is gonna be a mess."

Spectrum stares around for a few moments, and then says to Dusk as he appears, "I don't even know where to start." Then, hearing the groaning of the track, says, "Oh, no, I do." He vanishes and reappears under one of the buckling sections, looking around frantically to see if there's any civilians that need help getting out.

Flora fights her way through the chaos until she reaches a severely injured civilian, kneels down next to him, and they both vanish to reappear next to a flower arrangement in an ER on the far side of San Angeles. She glances at the nearest doctor. "Magrail collision. Nearer hospitals will be full." And vanishes again, appearing out of a pitiful patch of grass close to the carnage. She then works her way towards the next severely injured civilian, determined to repeat the evacuations as quickly and as long as she can.

Inquisitor secures his bike a short distance from the site, since it's useless in the overcrowded mess that has developed around it. He pushes and sneaks his way around in a quick wide spiral into the center of the scene and begins aiding people trying to get out of the mangled trains. He sticks mostly to ambulatory people to get them out of the way so that trained first responders can get to the more severely injured, but occasionally finds that one or two need more help, and he cannot turn away.

Leigh doesn't know the first thing about rescuing people from crushed train wreckage, and it quickly becomes obvious to her that she's likely only going to hurt the seriously injured people worse. That's okay. There are plenty of people to help. The gleaming girl starts to pull the more lightly injured people from the debris — people who might have a broken bone or serious cut, but who aren't going to be injured worse by her intervention. She keeps an eye on the other heroes at first, hoping for exposure, but as she continues to work her attention becomes focused more on those who need her help, and less on her career aspirations.

Frowning at the scene, Liberty Belle shakes her head, blue eyes narrowing behind the gold domino mask. "If we'd had a few more weeks, we'd be able to call in air fire support." A little fire suppressant foam would do nicely right about now. Much like Spectrum, the groaning of the track attracts Liberty Belle's attention, red and white stripped thighs flexing to push her off her perch in a leap that lands her nearly pressed up against the costumed youth's side. "Need a hand, sweetness?"
The offer is coupled with the patriotically clad heroine reaching up to brace gloved hands against groaning girders. The sudden bracing action is met with a metal grind of protest before the descending girder is safely held aloft by Liberty Belle. "Moving with a sense of urgency would be aces my book."
It is into her communit that she murmurs a bit more quietly. "Got this girder secured for the time being, chief. It weighs more then an elephant though, so if we could get folks out with a quickness, I'd be delighted." Pausing a beat, she adds with what can only be termed a long suffering, albeit very quiet sigh, "Costumed civvies on my location, be advised."

Dusk steps on the nearest shadow and collapses from sight, reappearing as a shadowy mass near the wrecked bus. "This is very bad," he rasps, gliding into the burning wreckage itself. Moments later, an injured child appears from a pool of darkness several yards away — not quite safe, but safer now than before. The darkness slides over the pavement, back into the bus again.

Zeroman has to hesitate at times, moving over or through wreckage or derbis. The heat from the fires is terrific and he can feel his arm hairs singe slightly as he vaults through a sheet of flame to roll up on the other side, patting one section of his jacket that managed to catch. Someday I'm gonna be able to afford to fireproof this thing…he thinks as muscles surge, lifting a beam from a trapped passenger. "It's OK, sir, emergency services are on the way.." he says, kneeling by the gasping man, checking him out then pulling him further from the scene of the catastrophe. Then it's back into the flames and smoke, looking for more…

Time takes on an almost fugue state — the horror seen in strobe-like flashes: A woman cradling a child to her side, the child miraculously unharmed but the woman's boddy horribly burned on the other side from her son…a businessman staring incredulously at the severed hand he's holding, arterial blood spurting from the stump…a man in a trench coat weeping, smudged with soot as he wanders in a daze. Inside the bus come the groans and moans of the injured — and the dying.

Two kids wearing gang colors help pull a woman from a burning building, just before a secondary explosion rips it apart — photolabs are good for chemicals, but chemicals like that don't react well to heat.

Time seems to compress as people focus on aiding the injured, there's so many, and then Emergency Services arrive and help, fire fighters spraying the worst blazes even as the heroes — Super and Norms alike — battle to save lives.
Who knows how much later it is — though the sun has set, it doesn't really matter with all the light from arcing electricty and fire, but something catches the eyes of Liberty Belle and Flora — the support pylon for the tracks is starting to shiver, and glow….a sickly green radiance at the base of it as the impervisteel starts to dissolve, and inside the pylon…movement. The hell?

Spectrum gives Liberty Belle a quick, if small, smile, and says, "Thanks." Then he's moving about, teleporting out of danger those small enough for him to do so, and helping pull out the ones he can't. Over the course of the rescues, he sort of fades into the background, one of many helping rescue people and just doing his best.

"Help! Oh— oh god, help—"

The frantic shouting comes from a young man dangling from the edge of the shattered tracks, possibly thrown from the train during the impact. He's hanging from one hand, his other fingers slipping… and then the Flagbearer slams into him in mid-glide, catching him around his waist with an impact that knocks the wind out of the poor guy. Down, down, and he lands at a running step before catching himself, shifting to unshoulder the civilian and get him on his feet. "Alright, sir, you alright? Get out of the area, head for the sirens, there should be ambulances there."

Flora's eyes go wide behind her mask. She takes a deep breath, not caring exactly what she's breathing, she just needs something sufficiently air-like to speak. Or yell. "The Pylon! Get everyone away from the pylon!!" She matches deeds to words, teleporting the bystanders closest to the pylon away from it. Though as the disaster damages more and more of the local foliage, it gets harder and harder for her to find a place to teleport back in to.

Inquisitor is in the middle of lifting a row of seats off a woman in one of the trains when he barely hears Flora's warning. When he frees her, the woman starts screaming, "But…my baby!!" and pointing back to the back of the car. Inquisitor groans inwardly and starts back…

Daybreak is swooping back and forth, carrying people out of the way when she hears the shout from Flora, and then the plaintive cry of the mother for her child. She flies to the car where Inquisitor is going after the baby. "He'll get your child, ma'am," she says, trying to sound reassuring as she reaches for the woman to haul her away like the rest, casting a concerned look after Inquisitor briefly as she flies away.

"Flagbearer, trouble at six O'clock." Keeping an eye on the dissolving pylon, Belle does her level best to keep the track aloft while Spectrum gets any injured out of the area of immediate danger. "The Impervisteel is dissolving and something is moving in there." Fortunately, Spectrum has done his part and moved on to another area, so Belle turns her attention to shoring up the rail as best she can to prevent further damage.
The moment the girder is safely settled, the red, white and blue clad woman is moving toward the aforementioned pylon with the intent of engaging the threat before more civilians can be endangered. "Engaging potential hostile," she advises via her communit. Mind you, she's not moving into physical contact range— a pointedly unwise act considering it is dissolving an Impervisteel pylon. She is, however, maneuvering herself into a position for her sonic attacks to avoid risking civilians and rescue personnel.
With the possibility of a few civilians still lingering in the vicinity of the pylon, Liberty Belle takes a deep breath and calls in RINGING tones (Pun intended) "ALL CIVILIAN PERSONNEL MOVE AWAY FROM THE PYLON!" And yes, the brightly clad Belle can definately make her voice carry. And then some.

As night falls and the fires continue, shadows aren't hard to find at all, and Dusk moves between them as quickly as he can, carrying as many survivors from the bus as he can manage to relative safety. When Flora calls out a warning about the pylon, he's just emerging with the last of the injured he can teleport. "Aw, crud," he croaks, collapsing back into the gloom and slithering in that direction.
Zeroman is drenched in sweat. Really, a jacket in July in San Angeles? WTF were you thinking, man? Still it protects him from the worst of the fires and sharp debris. He pulls people out, bumping into the occassional other super or emergency services person, handing off, going to help other move debris even though he's just a normal dude as far as strength goes. Still, he tries. Flora's cry causes his head to snap around and he reacts, springing away from the site, swinging on a cut power cable, then dropping to the ground again. "What th—?" he says. That stuff is.. invulnerable?

The warnings from Flora and Liberty Belle manage to get the bulk of the people away from the now visibly sagging pylon as the ultra-alloy twists the tracks above apart, dropping several hundred feet of the metal on the ground below. And then as Liberty Belle lands — the movement inside pauses, and then out of the darkness comes a seemingly endless swarm of glowing green…roaches. Roaches a small as pinky nails and as large as a clenched fist. Thousands. Tens of Thousands. Maybe hundreds of thousands of the filthy creatures, and all of them glowing green as they erupt out of the pylon and flow over the heroine in a horrid mass. She is not hurt — at least not physically. And then that massive — thing — a hideous carpet of mutated insects congeals into a pool of bugs easily twenty feet across, and the glow intensifies.
A lone roach skitters across Liberty Belle's cheek, and then drops to the ground to join its brethren when all is said and done, a moment of frozen tableau.

The civilian takes off at a run, limping a bit as he recovers his breath but soon jogging evenly out of the danger zone, even as the words over the radio bring the Flagbearer's head up in the direction of the warning. The luminous swarm that boils up from below causes his eyes to widen beneath the mask, and he swears rather un-patriotic things over the comm before heading for the area at a dead run, reaching down to slide his fingers over his belt. A circular object's pulled from his belt as he moves, and he lobs the bomb into the midst of the tumbling swarm of insects, erupting into plumes of yellowish smoke that coil out through them - but, true to their nature, the cockroaches seem entirely unaffected by the gas!

"Clear the area," Flagbearer states curtly into the comm, "This is one hell of a biohazard."

A fog of yellow pollen flows off of Flora as she backs away from the swarm of roaches, mingling with the gas that Flagbearer attacked them with… and has as little effect. Flora reaches into a pouch at her waist, and takes out a zippo and flicks it alight, then tosses it into the cloud of pollen.

Inquisitor rescues the little tike, who remains oblivious to his peril as he explores the back of the train car, until he is scooped up by the massive gray and dark blue shape. The little bundle of joy immediately starts screaming until Inquisitor smiles at him and puts a finger to his lips. "Shhhh…everything will be fine. We're just getting out of the train now." So saying, he makes his way out to what's left of the front of the car…

The woman is dropped off well away from the carnage, and Daybreak wheels back to find the bugs covering the ground. "Oh, ew," she says, and then quickly looks up and around her guiltily. Heroes do not say 'Oh, ew'. Nonetheless, she's got a little brother. She knows well what focused sunlight will do to bugs — even nasty ones like these. She tries to think of something appropriately heroic to say (oh, ew indeed, Leigh, she berates herself internally), and finally gives up in favor of just letting loose beams of high-intensity laser-light from her hands, causing bugs on the ground to sizzle. And she stays well out of their grasp, hovering a good few feet off the ground.

No, Heroes say something like…..

"Aaaaaaaaaaaa-ewwwwwwwwwwwwww-ugh!" One cannot express exactly how skeeved Liberty Belle is at having been swarmed by the glowing green *gag* roaches. "Oh… God." And, powers or not, she gives a fully shudder, shakes gloved hands and actually dances away as the last of them join the greater mass. Okay, so it isn't her kryptonite, but…. "Ewwwwwww- /GAH/." Suffice to say she'll be having nightmares about /that/ for months and months to come. Yeah, she's moving a few more steps away, still giving that fully body shudder that denotes utter mortification. Okay, so there may be a moment of dry heaving that accompanies that shuddering, but I wouldn't call her on it. It is in the wake of that first and only little 'hiccup' of bile that she turns on the swarm and lets with loose with a blast of sonic energy that turns a fair number of the critters into goo. Course, while the swarm is hurt, it's still going strong.

Cue more instinctive shuddering on Liberty Belle's part.

Zeroman simply.. stares at the dissolving pillar and then rolls his shoulders. He draws both guns from his low-slung weapon-belts and starts to shoot into the roiling mass. "OK, now /that/ is just plain fucked up," he says under his breath, sweat running into his narrowed eyes as he tries to pick out the center of the mass. "This ain't doing squat.." he mutters. And he rips a large heacy-duty fire extinquisher from a firetruck and begins to spray the swarm with the icy foam, giving a quirked smile as they begin to die. "Next, we try this in my kitchen…"

The crowd — what little was left — stampedes away from the roach swarm, a few folks trampled as they run by Inquisitor and the baby. The combined efforts of the heroes and heroines seems to have some impact on the swarm, the foul thing noticably smaller…and then the roaches raise their antennae, thousands and thousands of them acting in frightful symmetry. Their collective antennae start to spark, energy rolling up and up and up over and over as if they were a hojillion organic Tesla coils — and then the entire mass ceases to glow as all that energy flows forward and into a coherent beam of hard radiation that fails utterly to hit Leigh as she glows and hovers out of their reach. The beam luckily doesn't hit anything else as it streaks into the heavens.
You paged Babbage with 'Ok, since we don't have HP code, I'll just tell you that is what I am doing. :) Are their rolls I need to make?'
The bugs then shimmer as they glow again.

Ah, there's some familiar faces, and a few unfamiliar ones as well! Still, familiar or not, the Flagbearer's glad to see them all. "We need to keep them together," his voice raises, pulling a metallic cylinder from his belt, "If they scatter, we'll never be able to get them all! If you've got any way of containing them…"

The cylinder snaps out into an Impervisteel staff, that he slams into the side of a half-crushed car beside him; using it as a prybar, one foot against the vehicle, he peels back the plastic siding enough that he can reach inside, tearing hoses off as he rips the gas tank out of the Honda.

Flora concentrates and the pollen around her changes scent, going from floral to bitter, oily, and all together nasty. The ignited pollen cloud earlier crisped a fair number of bugs, but perhaps the roaches have gotten wise to her. They all stay clear of the cloud around her now, little antenna twitching in what she thinks is mockery. She grinds her teeth, and works on expanding her pollen cloud in a line to the left and right of her, trying to establish a flank.

Inquisitor climbs down very carefully, baby in tow, and looks about until he finds the little tyke's frantic mother, whom he has to distract from thanking him profusely so the paramedics can get them out of there and he can return to the action…and then he spots the bugs. Idly, he wonders if he can try to Confuse them, and decides it's as least worth a try, since he hasn't worked out a bug spray device for his new gear.
Inquisitor starts throwing reasonably throwable chunks of debris at the bugs in an effort to break them up, and maybe crush a few.
The effort to cloud the roachs' minds meets with absolutely no success — they aren't merely resistant to such things, they seem utterly mindless. The hurled debris meets with greater success.

Is it heroic to stick one's thumbs in one's ears, stick out one's tongue, and tell a swarm of bugs 'neener neener neener?' Leigh's almost certain that she saw Spider-Man do it on one of Corey's cartoons. She resists the urge, though. Maybe she can ask somebody else if it's permissible later. It is perhaps this ambivalence that causes her next shot to go wide, causing a stone or two to smoke, but doing absolutely nothing to the bugs. "Focus, L… uh… Daybreak," she mutters under her breath.

Contain them? Slanting a glance at Flagbearer, Liberty Belle does her best to contain another shudder before sweeping her gaze back toward the swarm of bugs. "Eeeew-ugh." She can't help it, it's really, really horrifying for her. "Containment in three," she pauses to shudder again. "Two." Nnnnngh-ewwww. "One." Clenching gloved hands, the sonic heroine draws in a deep breath, blue eyes narrowing behind her mask as she emits a sonic barrage akin to that which Exterminators use to rid a home of pests. Only in this instance, the little green glowy grues are being kept /in/. Course, it isn't going to effect the people fighting the bugs— unless they are secretly roaches that is.
Mind you, Belle's out of the fight damage-wise, her full attention required to maintain the invisible barrier of sound waves.
For the time being, at least, the nasties are nicely contained. On the downside? They still have that nasty energy weapon, so.

Zeroman sees what's going on here, narrowed eyes not leaving the swarm for a second except when they emit that blast of radiation. "Time to up the ante," he says, and tosses aside the fire extinquisher. He moves to the fire truck and hefts one of those big o2 tanks. His muscles obviously strain, but this is a desperate situation; with a definate I'm-going-to-feel-this-tomorrow OOOFF he tosses the large tank into the midst of the swarm.

PAABOOOOM!! flares the tank, sending a flare in to the air. The sonic barrier prevents the pressure wave from scattering the bugs, resulting in a /lot/ of crisped, then pulped, then crisped and pulped bugs. The swarm is noticably smaller once the flare dies away. "They really don't seem to like that at all," he yells out.

These are not exactly the smartest creatures on the planet — mutated or not, acting as a single entity or not, they're still, at the core, roaches. The mass of bugs writhes in what looks to be pain, hemmed in by the sonic barrier, assaulted by thrown debris, and noxious pollen and fire, and then the thrown O2 tank detonates on them. A thinking creature might well target the thing that hurt them the most, but they must still recall in a vague way their fear of the light — and once again that coherent beam of green radiation flows from them, their radiance channeled into a beam at the young heroine Daybreak once more. Her powers instinctively absorb quite a bit of the blast, but there's simply too much energy, she gets burned, and it HURTS.

"Just hold it a few seconds more, Belle…" As the radioactive light splits the air and slams into the airbourne young heroine, the Flagbearer swears under his breath; pausing to make sure she hasn't hit the ground, before he breaks into a record-breaking run, the punctured gas tank under his arm spilling its sharply scented contents over the pavement. The area's circled, and he tosses the tank into the midst of them once he's formed a full loop of the gas, dropping back a step before the staff's swept hard across the blacktop.

Metal meets stone, and a spark catches the gasoline, roaring into a rippling wall of fire that sweeps around the roach-swarm to contain them.

Flora concentrates and her line of pollen condenses to a cloud which she sends through the flames, some of it getting seared away taking some bugs with it. The reset begins to settle around the the bugs, and many of them roll on to their backs, legs twitching feebly then stopping. Between the actions of all the heroes, the swarm is down to a mere five feet across. Still far more glow-in-the-dark roaches than Flora wanted to see… ever!

Inquisitor continues to throw various crushing objects at the bugs until he runs out of bugs or objects.

A shriek of pain comes from Daybreak's throat. She's not used to burns — in general heat doesn't bother her in the least. There are plenty of other things that do, but heat… well, she's never experienced a burn before. It makes her want to turn tail and race away, but she'll be damned if she actually DOES something THAT stupid. There were an awful lot of people on that train. One of them could be an agent! So she bites back the cries, choking them down and firing vengeful blasts wildly down at the bugs, even if they're already getting toasted by the fire. They hurt her, darnit! And she's fairly sure they share a common ancestor with Robbie Butler, which is all the more reason to hate them.

"Releasing containment," Belle murmurs into her comm unit. With the glowing green roaches surrounded by fire courtsey of Flagbearer, she has the luxury of turning her attention back to the smooshing of bugs. The smooshing of bugs comes in the form of the red, white and blue clad female drawing in a deep breath before releasing a blast of sonic energy into the swarm. When it finally passes, there is a noticable reduction in the number of green glowy critters waiting to be smooshed. They are, however, by no means, completely gone. "We're going to need to pick up the pace before Daybreak gets toasted."
Long distance to Babbage: Flora snugs!

Dusk is not unaware of the battle taking place with the radioactive bugs, but he's had his hands full with the injured and dying up until now. Some of the victims were simply too heavy for him to easily teleport through the darkness, and so he's had to physically drag them from the bus wreckage. At last, he's done all he can, handing a middle-aged man with massive head trauma off to the EMTs. A moment later, his form is reduced to a shadow, flying up into the air over the flaming barrier. Fortunately, flames create plenty of shadows themselves, and he gathers these together in a sweeping gesture, until there's a large blob of gloominess in front of him. He smashes this down upon the roach swarm with more force than his insubstantial form would suggest possible. Unfortunately, it doesn't do a lot of damage, as the swarm is a little scattered right now.

Zeroman takes up the large fire extinquisher he was using before and he moves around on the rubble, the debris seeming to pose no hinderance to him, and he runs up a narrow girder, not even using his hands for balance, to aim the extinquisher into the middle of the swarm and not touch the flame barrier at all. FOOOOOSH! No damage to the fire wall, and several more are destroyed by the freezing foam.

Blasted, burnt, battered by darkness and ultrasonic might, AND sprayed with foam and zotted with lasers — the swarm is definitely not having a good day. Still, it is not yet down for the count, and channels their glow into a (much weaker) pulse of coherent radiation, this time, no doubt much to Daybreak's delight — the target isn't her! Fortunately for Flagbearer the bolt passes over his shoulder…then fails completely. The swarm mills…and then flows closer together, only about two feet wide now, it is clearly on its last (few hundred) legs.

As a pulse of coherent radiation slices through the air towards him, the Flagbearer ducks to one side and out of the way, twisting at the waist to look up to the injured heroine that just took fire, judging in a quick glance how injured she looks. As she's still up and fighting, he just raises his voice over the cacophany of crackling flames and chittering insects, calling out, "Keep it up! They're contained, just keep winnowing down their numbers and we'll be done with this before you can say Roach Motel!"

Spectrum has been teleporting around, helping get people out of the danger area. Now, though, he notices the fighting. Appearing near the fire he says, "Hey, those things cause the crash?" He doesn't wait for a response though, snapping his fingers and causing an explosion of light in the middle of the roaches. It looks kind of like a flashbomb, but it seems to have a physical aspect, as it tears into some of the roaches, though there's still a few left.

Flora concentrates, sending a new wave of insecticidal pollen over the bugs. They end up dusted with a light coat of yellow and roll over their little legs convulsing, then growing still. She sends an extra few dustings over the insects to be sure, and relaxes when not so much as an antennae twitches.

With the destruction of the swarm the assembled heros and heroines have the ability to focus on helping the people hurt by the bullet train collision, and the subsequent super battle. By the time all is said and done the sun is rising once more, and with the help of the authorities and emergency services, not to mention numerous civilian volunteers, off duty police, firemen, and paramedics — hell, even some women's and religious groups show up to help! Sangelinos have a strong sense of community it would seem, it is the worst it seems that brings out the best in people.

With the insect menace dealt with, Liberty Belle exhales a sigh of relief, gloved hands raising to push blond hair off her face. It as she drops her arms that she flashes a smile to the nearby citizen heroes, her gaze sweeping over the area before glancing back at each in turn. "Excellent work, all of you. You've our thanks." Mind you, she is mentally noting exhibited powers and unique details, but that is simply her nature. It is as she glances at Flagbearer that she suggests. "We might want to get a sample of one of those insects, Chief. See what the lab techs can tell us about thier origin. For that matter, we should also collect data samples on the melted pylon and get some photos of the scene." And why is she saying all this to Flagbearer? Well, he is the man with the gadgets.

Zeroman works as hard as he can once the bugs are dealt with: moving rubble, aiding search teams, bandaging the wounded.. Finally, though, he has to take an extended break, sit down, and accept some coffee and doughnuts back with the rescue workers and the temporary shelters that have sprung up.

Leigh is in pain and quite angry. Darned bugs! She fires a couple more blasts at their corpses, ostensibly to make sure there weren't any left alive, in truth because she's peeved. Realizing, after a moment, that she's firing upon dead bugs and Liberty Belle wants to take samples, she looks up and around, eyes cagey before she explains, "I thought one of them was moving." An obvious lie, but really, given the red on her face, can she be blamed?

Well, yes, probably, but even so.

"I would assume that it was… it looked like they melted their way through the pylon, that's probably what shattered the tracks," the Flagbearer calls back up to Spectrum, watching the burning remnants of the radioactive swarm for a few moments before concluding that he doesn't see any more moving. He brings a hand up towards the firemen as the trucks roar up, calling out, "Kill the fire! Good work, everyone, very well done… and hell no, I'm not going to touch them, Belle. Nobody should, until we get a biohazard team in here to collect this mess."

He turns his masked visage up towards Daybreak, asking audibly, "You all right there, miss?"

Flora grins at Leigh, "Better safe than sorry. I hope whoever takes samples uses air tight, escape proof containers." Then she sighs. "Someone… Someone should also follow the tunnel down. See if there are more down there, or signs of where they came from." She doesn't seem as tired as the others, but really doesn't want to be the one to go down there. Really.

Inquisitor aids the survivors for as long as he feels he is needed. Not having any lead sample containers with him, he doesn't really think Flagbearer needs any help picking up pieces of radioactive roaches.

"I really hate bugs," Dusk mutters, as he lands near Spectrum and re-solidifies. "Why isn't the city ever overrun by something less gross, like puppies or fuzzy kittens?" The first pale rays of dawn cause him to frown. "I better get going. I'm supposed to be in bed with a migraine. I'll grab some pics first though, if you wanna…ya know, later."

Spectrum looks to the corpses of the roaches and then up to Daybreak, giving a grin. "Yeah, sure." Then he looks to the tunnel and volunteers right away after Flora's words, "I can go in. I can teleport out fast if I need to, as long as there's no cave-in behind me." He nods quickly then to Dusk, though.

Flora grimaces and admits to Spectrum. "I can teleport out even if there is a cave-in behind. But we don't have any way of communicating with the world outside if something takes us both out. An organized team could handle it better." She gives him a smile, "I'm Flora by the way." Not really a well known heroine, her first appearance was during the quake. Since then she's mainly targeted crimes against nature.

"Mmmm." Yes, someone needs to check it out. Spectrum, however, is obviously a minor and Liberty Belle is very not comfortable with the thought of sending him down there. "We'll need a special team to check that out," she affords. "Lord only knows if there is a nest down there and we don't want to risk exposing you to an unknown form of radiation when we don't have to." Which is a very polite way of keeping that particular situation from occuring without drawing the age card.

Zeroman walks back over to the other heroes a bit later, fortified with coffee, and puts hands in his pockets as he looks at the hole. "I could go down; my only power is to see in the dark, but hey," he says. "Radiation? Jacket ain't keeping that out. You think this is a random thing, or someone's first strike? Anyone reputable taking responsibility, yet?"

Dusk rolls his eyes at Liberty Belle's words. "You guys stay here and discuss it in committee," he rasps, as he steps into a shadow near the tunnel entrance. And vanishes.

Daybreak blinks. Flagbearer is talking to her? She practically falls out of the sky, though really not — she just looks a little shocked behind her bright yellow domino mask. "I'm… I'm fine," she says bravely, for all that there's a radiation burn covering half her face. She's SO going to need to work on her make-up before she can go out in public again.

After the paramedics assure him that they have more volunteers than they needand force him to drink some orange juice and have a donutInquisitor joins the discussion. "I'm not really a team guy," Inquisitor admits. "But there is strength in numbers."

At the assurance that she's in good shape, the Flagbearer offers the luminous heroine a thumb's-up, noting, "You may want to hit the ambulance, miss, just to be sure there's no lasting affects to whatever that beam was."

"I have to agree with Flora and Liberty Belle," the Flagbearer observes then as he turns to walk along over towards the other heroes, snapping the impervisteel cylinder of his collapsed staff back onto his belt as he walks, "Until we have some properly equipped— " Then the shadowy hero vanishes into the tunnel, and he pauses, one hand half-raised, "— ah, hell."

Spectrum nods a little to Liberty Belle, a flash of disappointment obvious but he's not going to go arguing with a member of the Freedom Brigade. He does add to Flora then with a flash of a smile, "I'm Spectrum." He's been around for a few months now, so people may have heard of him, but the costume is different than his previous appearances. Then Dusk goes in and he blinks, "Oh, man…"

Dusk steps out of Flagbearer's shadow, rasping, "There's a smaller tunnel that seems to go straight through the superalloy plates, all the way to the Undercity. Looks like the bugs burrowed up through some pretty high-tech junction boxes that're right under the pylon. Didn't see any more bugs though."

Liberty Belle sighs, her head giving a faint shake at Dusk's disregarding them. "I really wish people would listen." Glancing over at Spectrum, she offers a wry smile that takes in Flora and, after a moment, Daybreak. "Liberty Belle and Flagbearer, Freedom Brigade," is offered politely. When Dusk reappears, however, her eyes narrow a hint of annoyance entering her tone. "Had it occured to you that you have exposed yourself to dangerous radiation?"

"Damn kids.." Zeroman says, though he looks not so much older than them in this light. He shakes his head, then looks over his shoulder as Dusk reappears, and thinks. "Lots of people dump their unwanted crap down there; they could be someone's failed experiment, then, or they've just been snacking on the wrong stuff. Sounds like they might be following electricity, or a certain combination of alloys."

Flora says something in Greek that's probably a curse by the tone. At least, goats seem to be mentioned. She then takes a deep breath, lets it out again, and says casually, "Thanks. Didn't you say something about how you were supposed to be home with a Migraine?"

Dusk rolls his eyes again. "I'm a shadow. I don't even know if radiation can affect shadows. Do you? Besides, I wasn't exposing myself — I've got a costume." And with that, he once more solidifies into a teenager in a tight-fitting costume, obviously not radiation-proof. "And yeah, I should go and let you grown-ups have all the fun of poking around a dark tunnel. See ya." He doesn't bother offering his codename, apparently a lot less friendly than his brighter friend. Instead, he steps again on Flagbearer's shadow and vanishes.

Shadow guy. Shudder. Leigh has never been a fan of the dark, and so she doesn't offer up a note that light is a form of radiation and, like, TOTALLY hurts shadows. Not that she'd demonstrate this — it just seems pretty obvious to her. She returns Liberty Belle's smile, though, and says, "Daybreak. New at this." Unless you count the adventures of Sunny-Bunny back in Minneapolis. She prefers to brush those under the rug, herself.

Spectrum looks to Dusk as he vanishes and then says to the others, "That was Dusk." He doesn't add much more than that, though, still a bit surprised it seems. He looks back up to the others, though, at the continuing introductions.

"I'd say there's better ways to find out if it does than…" Aaaaand he's gone, and the Flagbearer shakes his head slowly after the departure of the shadowy teenager, "…kids. He's going to get himself hurt if he keeps this up." There's not anger there, just regret and concern as he gazes at his shadow for a few moments, then turns back to regard Spectrum, suggesting, "You may want to have a talk to your friend about endangering himself unnecessarily, if you have any sway with him, son."

"Yes, you are potentially exposing everyone you come into contact with." Shaking her head as Dusk vanishes, Belle slants a glance at Flagbearer. "Egos. Seriously, when did I say /anything/ concerning his age? Hopefully we're not going to have a bigger problem on our hands. We should alert the local authorities to a possible contamination spread. In the meantime," glancing at the other heroes, she adds. "Would all be willing to help us contain the area until a Hazmat team can clear the contamination risk?" Daybreak's greeting brings a smile back to Belle's lips and a dip of her chin in greeting. "It's great to meet you Daybreak, you did a terrific job." Dusk. The codename is noted and Spectrum is regarded once more. "If there is a radiation danger, Spectrum, can you get ahold of Dusk?" Hopefully, /hopefully/ that won't be the case.

Zeroman looks up. "Zeroman," he says, quirking a smile. "Mainly because I have zero in the way of powers." He nods to Belle, biting back a yawn - he doesn't have super-endurance, either - "Sure," he says.

"I'll help," Inquisitor says, offering nothing more.

Flora nods, "I'll stay in the area until the radiation risk is clear. If it isn't, I have a place I can isolate myself." She stretches a little, turning towards the rising sun. She's not eaten or drunk anything. For that matter, she's not sat down, and doesn't seem to sweat.

Derek blends into the crowd on the outskirts of the disaster area, snapping dozens of photos, like dozens of other photojournalists on the scene. Nothing unsual about him, nope, not at all. Except his age. And the fact he may or may not be slightly more radioactive than the others. At least he isn't glowing.

Daybreak simply beams — both figuratively and literally. Although her face still aches from the radiation blast, the compliment has her grinning sunnily, and the glow that she emits is kicked up a notch — spilling refracted sunlight into the surrounding area. Dusk is surely lucky he's not here to be shined upon.

Spectrum nods seriously to Flagbearer and says, "Yeah, I'll try." Not that he wouldn't have dived in himself if not for the two saying it was a bad idea. He nods again to Liberty Belle and says, "Sure I'll stay as long as I can help. And I can contact him, yeah."

"Thank you, Inquisitor, Flora… Zeroman, Daybreak, Spectrum," the Flagbearer is careful to name all of them individually, giving each a slight but expressive nod, "The Brigade appreciates your assistance, and I'm sure the city does as well. If it wasn't for all of you, there might've been a lot more injured and killed today…"

The hero pauses, bringing a hand up to the side of his head. Then he sighs a long-suffering sigh, "…and now I have to fill out paperwork. Yes, Agent Gideon, I hear you. Yes, the situation is under control. The biohazard has been contained, we're waiting on hazmat teams to retrieve the remains…"

"As an aside," Belle notes in equally pleasant tones. "If you have not already, I sincerely recommend that you register for training to protect yourselves in the event of a required court appearance." Pausing a beat, she slants a glance at Spectrum and affords him a wink. "Or consider doing so once you've turned eighteen. I realize that it might sound overbearing, but it truly is for our own protection." Of course, Liberty Belle is a badge carrying member of the Freedom Brigade and believes firmly in people protecting themselves to the letter of the law. Slanting a glance over to Flagbearer, she can't help but exhale a rueful laugh. "The not so fun part of the job, I am afraid."

Every time he somehow slips past the barricades to take closer photos — especially of the group of costumed heroes — Derek is confronted by a policeman or rescue worker, who shoos him back to safety. And yet, he keeps reappearing (almost mysteriously) within the danger zone. He's either the world's most dedicated photographer, or he has a death wish. Possibly both.

Flora stretches at the feel of sunlight … both natural and refracted from Daybreak. She remains silent during the spiel for registration, a faint, bitter smile quirking her lips. "Paperwork is not something I envy you." She sighs with relief as the biohazard team arrives, and scans the heroes.

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