End of the Prophet

OOC Date: January 24, 2014
IC Date: January 24th
Characters: Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Lois Lane, Melinda May, Tim Drake, Black Widow, Daimon Hellstrom, and Fred from Accounting

Middle of Nowhere - Wastelands - A'reen'ah
Flat and barren, this wasteland is devoid of anything but a semi-smooth path that may have once been a wide and glimmering boulevard. The ground is hard packed and a charcoal blackish-grey porous substanance, much like a recent lava flow.

Dotting the expanse of nothing, rubble is strewn. A marble column lies cracked and broken here. What might have been a large elegantly graceful balcony rests, shattered into a dozen pieces or more over there.

On a horizon, gentle rolling hills, green and alive, can be seen - the tease of life in this barren landscape.

Please note that any and all power-posed actions upon characters were previously verified with the players before posed by the GM.

Night has fallen, but only just so. The last rays of the sun hover against the horizon as the twin moons raise in their majesty to command a darkened sky. As the sun dips away, however, so does the warmth go with it as the desolate desert wastelands cool into a hanging chill.

Far to the north, farther than most have traveled yet, is where the main camp lies. The main encampment is alive with movement; Random tents dot the outskirts of what looks like a large hangar that could house something as large as the Bus with little difficulty and more room to spare. It has clearly faced its share of the harsher desert weather, though reinforcements have been made to the damaged sheeting. The massive bay doors are currently closed.

Tiki-like torches light the tents in random spots, giving enough illumination to be seen from a distance. There are perhaps twenty of the heretics visible that walk around on patrols, either armed with munitions or some kind of meta.

Natasha - that crimson hair of hers is hard to mistake - walks towards the guarded person-sized door inside the massive bay doors, accompanied by a taller man. Between them is the damsel Lois, her hands cuffed behind her back, guided towards the door by Natasha's hand on the chain between her wrists. Only moments go by before all three have disappeared inside.

Lois walks proudly between the guards. Her chin is held up, her shoulders back; the very picture of a defiant princess being held captive, secure in the knowledge that some knight will come to her rescue. Or else the evil dragon just beyond will make a false move and give her the moment she needs to run for it.

And the reporter is more than a little worse for wear. Her lip is split and swollen. There's a nasty bruise around that side of her mouth.

"Full stealth mode CAT." Robin says, and grins at the answering ping from his computer. Every since he faked a booty call from last night, he's been trailing a group of these red marked 'priests' through the desert. Only problem has been….holy slow walking people Batman. Perhaps tailing them from high altitude in a jet had been the wrong tatic. Ah well. They got there eventually. Robin watches the camp below on several view screens, zooming in the camera on Natasha and Lois.

"Lois Lane…in trouble. Talk about living up to the stereotype." Robin mutters, punching up an active scan. He mutters softly as the computer highlights all the potiential threats on the monitor. Thats a lot of red blips.

Natasha's off the grid, and Lois triggered her panic button. Normally, Fury would send in the Cavalry…but she's not available. Instead, he's sending in Clint. And hesitating at the edge of the desert himself. That phrase is still bothering him. The fire and the life. He's heard it. He's heard it somewhere, and it rings the sort of subconscious alarm bells that are enough to make a man want to be careful indeed. (( Hawkeye, be careful. I still can't remember full details, but…I know there's something dangerous about this guy. ))

Careful and Hawkeye two words that do not really go together often. For the moment though Clint is following that advice. He is creeping through the grwoing darkness in his dark colored uniform. As he nears the encampment he starts to looks for concentrations of the 'priests' that can be taken out with a well placed knockout gass arrow. He does not fire yet insteads he trys to get close enough to be able ot make a rush to the building just in case.

Robin could pick up the signatures of the placements of most of the people across the camp. Little over 20 bodies, small clusters by a few of the tents that have actual small fires as the chill starts to descend upon the area. Within the hangar itself, there are another ten. Three that just walked in, another three standing somewhere nearer to the middle. The other four placed at the edges that pace back and forth in a rough line.

The Priests and other follows are mostly dressed in simple clothing. Some robes, some more to what might be expected of hunters or old style 'commoners'. Simple. Very simple. Those posted as obvious guards wear armor that was likely taken from tactical gear and redone for their own use.

So far, no one seems to have been noticed.

And Lois walks, hands cuffed, between two guards. Natasha at her back. That split lip throbbing. She swallows, holding on to that hope that a rescue's coming while searching for a way to get herself out of this mess on her own. Somehow. Probably not.

"Uplink stable?" Robin asks, eyeing the monitor. "Affirmative." a disembodied computerized female voice answers. "Go time. Watch my back CAT, and keep the movements on the ground piped into into my wrist comp. Scan for any active communication frequeinces and begin decryption protocols." the man says outloud, as he unbelts himself and flips a few switches on the consol in front of him. When CAT the computer repeats the affirmative, he flips one last switch, and then drops out of the bottom of the plane, freefalling into the darkness above the camp.

Seconds before impact, and quieter than the breeze, Robin's cape flares out and stiffens, slowing his fall as he glides and touches down on the apex of the warehouse.

Which is when May checks in. « Okay, » Fury says very quietly. « The Cavalry's on her way in. Remember they have civilian hostages. » He doesn't care how many of the cultists end up cooling on the ground when this is over, but kidnap victims? That's another matter. And then… « Identify that incoming? » He's too far away to see Robin himself, although he does pull out a set of field glasses. Which is one lens too many, but they're easier to carry than a field scope.

Hawkeye has better sight then the average mperson and manages to catch the movement of the cape and then whispers back over the com, "Unknown cape." he then, "Sneaking in. I will back his play if he makes one." He creeps closer to the camp he body language betrays his desire to run in arrows flying but he controls that for now, "Tell agent May she better hurry up or she will miss the party." He says over the comm.

Out in the Wastelands, not far from the lonely compound, a single vertical slash of fire appears in the air above the lifeless ground. Like a burning wound in space, the slash widens and a lone figure emerges from it; he pauses — garbed in dark trousers and boots, and boasting an inverted pentagram in the center of his bare chest — and casts his gaze upward into the sky. He mutters something to himself, then stretches forth his right out to the side as a shining, barbed and asymmetrical trident flashes into his grasp.

"It's not every day," he murmurs to himself with a smirk. "That I get to step out of Hell into… Hell." He sniffs the air and shrugs. "It's near…" he murmurs a moment later. "Whatever 'it' is. I can feel it." He frowns and stands his trident upright, and intones something in a dark tone of voice.

"By the Sightless Eyes of the Nameless Seer — show me this… oh, whatever! Who talks like that?" He grunts and starts walking forward - from many meters away from the compound. "Something draws me near," he remarks. "Show me. The Black Halo commands it - whoever that is."

The Cavalry approaches from the direction opposite the caped person's arrival, setting the quinjet down faster than a helicopter could handle and more smoothly than an elevator. Then she's out of the vehicle as fast as the hatch can open and headed for the encampment at a dead run. There are pistols in their holsters on her legs, but she's also carrying what look like a weighted length of black chain and a billy club. "ETA, thirty seconds," is all she quietly adds to the comm channel in reply to Hawkeye's comment. The first perimeter sentry she passes barely slows her down as she clocks him with the billy club on her way past and doesn't wait to watch whether or not he falls down. "Make that fifteen."

And Robin's got points for style! He isn't noticed. Yet.

Natasha and Lois disappear into the Warehouse- though whatever happens in there is anyone's guess. As they pass safely through the threshold, the two guards on the outside stand fast.

Amongst those on the ground, there are kidnapped people amongst the priests and heretics that are mingling with them. Almost impossible to tell them apart. On the eastern-most edge of the compound, there is a group of five that have been bound with rope and thrown into small cages.

Sentry down, that at least gives a small cone of open space of infiltration on May's side. Knocked clean out, he doesn't get a chance to rise an alarm.

You know, it's entirely possible that Natasha infiltrated the Prophet's group before she got her and so the nearly broken jaw could have just been for show? Lois sure hopes so, but she won't blow the Agent's cover, assuming that's what it is. So, she takes a good look around, feet scuffling against the dirt as she nears the doorway, trying to press back closer to Natasha.

There is a faint bit of static on the SHIELD frequency, and then Robin's voice cuts into the line. «You all sound so serious.» he jokes over the comm, stretching out on the roof to peer over the edge and stay out of sight as much as possible. «Nice encryption by the way. This is Robin. I'm on the roof of the warehouse. I'll have eyes inside in just a moment. Mind having your troopers sound off, Director, so my system can mark them as friendlies?"

Robin peeks over the edge just in time to see Lois and Natasha go inside. He slips back, and starts scanning the warehouse roof for any holes in the metal, already pulling the snake camera from his belt.

« We see you. » Fury's got two choices at this point. Lock the kid up…or just give in and hire him. He'll probably ask Natasha's opinion. Later. Resigned, « Sound off. Let's not have any friendly fire here. And are those cages on the east side there? » He's still staying a bit away, scanning the encampment with his field glass(es).

Hawkeye speaks up over the radio and says, "This is Hawkeye." He then adds with a grin, "Nice to have another bird around." He moves forward to the edge of the compound. "Ready to go." He nocks a gas arrow.

Daimon Hellstrom's mouth pinches at the side into an expression of intrigue the closer he gets to the compound. "Funny," he mutters to himself. "Doesn't LOOK like 'Demons 'R Us'… maybe it's franchised out?" Fire burns mutedly in his eyes and he narrows his gaze at the area, this time following heat-signatures.

"Guests," he murmurs. "It isn't even Halloween. Is it? Maybe they sell cookies. Oh well…" He lets go of the trident and it disappears entirely, then as he strides forward, his form becomes… increasingly insubstantial until there is little more than a shadow remaining.

He stops near the door when he reaches it, and glances back over his shoulder. "Let me see…" he murmurs to himself, smirking. "'Room-service?' 'Hello, have you considered undead-insurance?' 'Sorry, but your house is on fire?' Nah…"

Instead, he just reaches for the door, muttering a small incantation of passage.

"Cavalry. Stay out of my way." Yup, the Cavalry is making friends as quickly as usual. She reaches the next layer of sentries and with flick of her wrist sets the black chain whirling just long enough to send the tangerine-sized weight at the end shooting out at the head of the nearest individual. She COULD have brought the weapon with a blade on the end, but opted for something marginally less lethal. The chain then wraps itself around her right arm as she wades into the next sentry's personal space, aiming a billy club-backed elbow at this person's throat. "Hawkeye, you taking the cages?"

Considering the hell of a beating the hangar has gotten, they haven't gotten around to fully patching the sheeting across the roof. It would be easy to find a place to slip a small camera in. What he would see inside, however, is something else entirely.

There are old markings that are strewn across the floor across the concrete, written in the blood of the failed. While people claim to have witnessed those going into 'the light' and leaving here, the facts are so far from it. Bits of flesh of burned bodies is strewn lazily around. Such a horrible housekeeper. Smears of blood where bodies were smashed or thrown around is evident as well. Think: Really bloodied sacrificial sentiments. Messy death. If any look -behind- the large hangar, there is a mass grave of the failed bodies that have been thrown out. At the moment, its been 'controlled' out of the minds of his followers by the Prophet. They don't realize it is there.

Also: Meet Fred from Accounting. The portly man is dressed in a draped crimson robe and stands on a mock dias, seated in high backed chair. On either side of him are two women in scant-dress. Think: Slave Leia, but in black velvet, and the same sheer 'skirt'. Both are gorgeous, but have hidden talents.

Natasha can be seen escorting Lois further in, and she leans forward as the other leans back, grinning wickedly. She whispers something into her ear. Only moments before trying to shove the Damsel to her knees in front of the portly man. If she tries to resist, she'll receive a swift kick in the ass to arrest the same result. And no, she's not trying to be gentle. If she's still only 'playing the part', she's fully into her role. Of course, Fury would know she hasn't checked in since she said she was 'meeting with the Prophet'.

Given that the two metas covering the door are more Physical intuned, Daimon isn't noticed. Yet.

And two more sentries down for May; who STILL doesn't give them time to even raise proper alarm. Goodnight!

Okay. Natasha is seriously starting to freak Lois out, here. She's supposed to be on HER side, right? The whisper has the tough defiant cant of her body slipping away as teh damsel in distress grows a bit more in evidence. Resolutely, Lois tries to cling to her pride, and her feet, but at the boot to the ass the reporter stumbles forward, trips on her feet or her skirts or a bit of body and falls to her knees in front of the dias. Heart hammering in her chest, Lois lifts her gaze to the Prophet and blinks. This guy? This putz? Cue Danger Magnet.

"Seriously? The Prophet's an overweight balding geek with a Star Wars fetish?" Let it never be said that Lois Lane makes anyone's life easier.

«Can your comms receive visual? This isn't a warehouse. It's a goddamned slaughterhouse. I've got multiple corpses, ritual markings, one boss man in robes, two gotham hookers, and the perp escorting Lois Lane. Ready to make an entrance when your 'calvary' gives the game away.» Robin says over the comm, looking through his snake camera into the warehouse. One can almost hear the fignerquotes he makes at the name 'Calvary'.

Robin pulls a small bottle from his belt, and then proceeds to spray a thick foam in the shape of a bat all around himself. Batmanning 101: It's all about the entrance. «Ready to rock.»

« Not these comms, but I would appreciate if you would record everything. And ideally squirt it somewhere else in case the recording device gets smashed. » As competent as Robin is, there's no way he *doesn't* have a recording device on him. « Okay. I trust you…take this guy down, but be careful. I don't think he's mundane. » Fire and the life. Why is that niggling at him?

Hawkeye nods and as he receives the go sign, he heads into the compund. He sends a trio of gas arrows over to the cages to knock out hte guards and hostages alike, a nice nap to keep them safe and out of the way fro the moment. He then looks to the tw ogoon at the door, "Hello gents, ready to play?" He taunts trying to draw them towards him and away from the door to give May a clear line in.

There's nothing like a good illusion, and thus-hidden Daimon Hellstrom also makes his way inside the warehouse. The size of it catches him by surprise and he stands within, just blinking. Spotting the other figures as they head further in, the half-human Demon Lord follows in silence, keeping some distance back and avoiding coming too close to anyone else inside.

The game is afoot, he thinks with a smile.

Melinda May keeps mowing her way through toward the charnel hangar, letting anyone that doesn't to raise a hand against her just flee while the rest get boots or elbows or billy club or that chain whip flying at them for their efforts. She meets up with Hawkeye just in time to give the goons guarding the hangar entrance a challenging stare to go along with the archer's invitation. The black chain whip starts whirring as she sets it spinning faster. Let's play.

"Show your reverence in the presence of the Prophet!" The voice booms inside the hangar, reverberating around as if it came from all directions. Fred stands, stepping down the two step dias, the women stepping only a single step behind him, remaining at his flanks.

Without any gesture or obvious effort, Lois is lifted in the air, suspended a good two feet off the ground. Though while the Prophet is staring at Lois, in pure silence, as if looking into her very soul, his attention is jerked towards where Daimon sneaks around. "How dare you interfere with this sacred ritual!" Every time he speaks, it booms around the hangar, harsh and threatening. Daimon, is thrown like a ragdoll to the side, aiming for the sheeted wall of tin.

Natasha stands there, behind Lois and to the side with her arms crossed. While the ritual itself doesn't bother her, she looks sharply at what draws the Prophet's attention. With Daimon out of the way, she starts to head towards the door, only to find the guards missing, as they both took off after Hawkeye. "We have company!"

And the alarm is raised.

If there was any good time to call 'All hell breaking loose', now is the time. The two guards are physically strengthened, Brutal 'gladiator' types. And these two are Hawkeye and May's opponents. As soon as Natasha calls for the alarm, one of the women by Fred makes a single gesture and something that sounds like a tornado siren flares around the grounds.

As soon as that sound blares, the people in the camp separate. The five in the cages don't move, of course, but those that are willingly here to 'Meet the Prophet' duck for cover into the tents, 4-5 of them, leaving a good 5 left. These, head towards the Hangar at full clip to where Natasha stands in the doorway.

Who's side is she on anyway?

Lois gasps as she's hefted from the ground, her body shaking now, her eyes wide. She tries to struggle, tries to wiggle away, but she's held fast even as the Prophet looks at someone she's can't- Great Ceasar's Ghost! What the hell is happening?

Here comes the boom. A small part of the warehouse roof explodes, leaving a perfect cutout of a bat, as Robin falls through to the ground below. He tosses a pair of knock-out gass pellets towards the dias before landing on the warehouse floor in the perfect cape puddle.

« Okay. Keep our mind on the main target…and if somebody could grab Ms. Lane and put her in cover, it would be appreciated. » Lane's competent, but she does NOT have the sort of training the SHIELD agents do. Fury's drifting closer. Why, yes, his fingers ARE itching.

Hawkeye decides to test out just how augmented the two gards are, he sends a arrow towards the kneecap of one of them. It is not a fancy trick arrow just one with a nice sharp hunting tip. He then changes his grip on the bow to use as a staff as the guards close to hand to hand range.

Daimon curses.

In Demon-Tongue.

There is a flash of deep, dark purple energy around him as he is unceremoniously flung at the wall — like tongues of inky fire coursing over his flesh. The soulfire coalesces instantly into the trident he had held earlier and rips a flame-wreathed tear in the fabric of space just before Daimon hits the wall.

He disappears through the portal to reappear in a similar fashion (and just as undignified) through another, several meters back from where he had been standing. When the inky soulfire abates, Daimon is left crouching on the ground — half-naked, his hair, hands, pentagram and trident all burning. He spits the Prophet with a baleful stare and raises his voice. "Okay, Hef, hold onto your bunnies! Do you have ANY idea who you're dealin' with?"

Daimon sneers, and stabs his trident down into the ground, causing a stream of soulfire — the terror of a thousand nightmares — to arc forward in the Prophet's direction.

"Hmph. That'd make one of us, if you did," he mutters darkly.

Melinda May throws her chain whip like a bolo after one of the two bruisers chasing Hawkeye then turns her attention to Natasha, raising the billy club like a shield. "Get clear." If the red-haired assassin doesn't move, May will do her damnedest to MAKE her move, hopefully causing as little damage as possible in the process. Cognitive recalibration?

As Robin drops in, the gas unfortunately knocks out the two unsuspecting women at the Prophet's back. .. Crap. They fall into a puddle of their own against the stairs of the dias, though there is a forced 'bubble' around the Prophet himself. Lois just happens to be close enough to be included. He sneers at the two downed women. "Useless!"

One of them is lit on fire and thrown like a human grenade at Robin. Lois is kept hovering in midair for the moment.
The burly guard (Think The Rock) that faces Hawkeye charges forward, and takes the arrow to his thigh. This only angers, and where he takes a full blow to the side of his head with Hawkeye's bow, the big brute is aiming at trying to tackle Hawkeye and try to overpower him with pure strength. He's a brute!

The second, Lets say 'Disel', is laid the smack down on and faceplants in the dirt rather unceremoniously. May really isn't having ANY issues is she?

Of course: May, meet your new opponent. Natasha. Widow squares against May, "Your in my way. You won't harm the Prophet." Two martial artists, where May has more style mastery and Natasha has more time in service. THAT, is the fight everyone wants, right? Have at it! Natasha launches at May, holding absolutely nothing back as she moves to aim to disarm her.

Inside: Daimon is met with a toothy grin from the plump Accountant. "Do YOU have ANY idea WHO YOU are DEALING WITH?!" With every word the voice grows louder until it booms even outside the hangar. He holds out his arms and the entire hanger blows apart with little effort, sending shrapnel of tin, aluminum and whatever else they patchworked it with into the immediate area, leaving open a slab of the ritualistic bloody mess and the still hovering Lois visible to all.

"I. Am. THE PHOENIX!" Behind him, and much, much larger than Robin's little symbol in the ceiling of the blown apart warehouse, is a large burning firebird with its wings outstretched. It could be seen for MILES. Any close by the slab could feel the instant insane heat from such a creature. Though it in itself is only a fire manifestation. The real Phoenix Force?

Meet Fred from Accounting.

Lois takes this moment to scream and twist in her bonds further. Because apparrently, five years in a world without a hero to come to her rescue at every little screech is STILL not enough to have her kick the habit of Scream and a Hero will Save You. She flails with her feet. Maybe she can kick Fred, sir.

Robin throws himself sideways as the flaming body is thrown his direction. He rolls once, then twice, and then brings his cape up as the body, and then the warehouse all explode at the same time. Good thing his cape is heat shielded. Standard issue for the Bat-family. Holy flaming birds, Batman! Did he really make that joke twice? Robin takes off in a dead sprint, trying to make himself hard to hit and moving to flank the firey accountant, and try and find someway to save the intrepid reporter.

Just Too Late. Yeah. That feeling. Fury drops the field glasses, which rock against his chest (because, like any sane guy, he uses the neck strap!). Now he knows why Natasha is fighting May. The orders come from him rapidly. « Cavalry, deal with Widow, try not to do too much damage. Robin, get Lois Lane. Lethal force *authorized* on the main target. » At which point, Fury pulls out his own gun and starts to move closer. If he'd brought a sniper rifle…but he didn't. Still, the Phoenix's attention is entirely on whoever…THAT guy is who pissed him off. Just has to get in range…and hope he hasn't been seen. Hope, hope, hope. That's all they have right now, because if this doesn't go off JUST right they're all going to end up mind controlled.

Hawkeye lets the man grab him takes the bruiising to his ribs to get the bruiser in close. Once the bruiser has the bear hug locked in. Barton digs his fingers into the nerve cluster hear where the the shoulders connects to the neck. Bigger might help with a lot of things but nerves are nerve. GGranted Clint does not have the same style with a nerve pinch that Spock ould but he can still get the job done. If the bruiser goes down he will head towards the building, ready to try and take down the Phoenix, thankfully he is not sure what exactly that means.

Daimon spits.

"Phoenix, huh?" he remarks with a venomous tone; as he speaks his form starts to shift — fingernails become talons, teeth become fangs, and his ears elongate to points like knives. "Gonna have to do better than BURN, baby." He glances to either side of himself, still crouching on the ground with his trident sticking prongs-first into the floor, and cocks an eyebrow at the other party-crashers within view. Who're they? Hmph. Doesn't matter. Yet.

"Government types interested in you… THAT, I get — but what the Hells' the Phoenix Force doin' in a CHIMP like you? And those powers you're toyin' with?"

He stands up.

"That's MY domain, Hef. I think." He frowns briefly at himself, down and to the left, in doubt. A second later, he lifts his arms and inky-black fire POURS down upon him seemingly from nowhere. He channels the soulfire into his trident again, and points it directly at 'Fred'.

Then he unleashes hell.

More or less.

There's a reason why May arrived with the chain whip and a billy club. If someone takes them away from her, she really won't care all that much. But, they're not taking them away from her without a fight. "No, you're in MY way." She charges to meet Natasha halfway, letting the red-haired assassin go after the billy club or even the pistols, her now-free hand aims to slam the shorter woman in the sternum. Hopefully that'll knock the wind out of her for a moment.

This time, Robin is actually left alone. Somewhat. That massive firebird shrinks to the rough size of an F-18 and divebombs in all its firey fury after him. It screeches as it goes, wings outstretched and dangerous. If it hits, it is basic fire damage, as that is all the manifestation is.

Fred-Phoenix opens his arms and bellows out a laugh. "None of you are worthy! YOU ALL SHALL DIE!" The second woman that was gassed behind him is lit on fire- this one is thrown squarely at a high arc for Fury. Yes- One-eye, he sees you!

Hawkeye's brute growls as the nerves are pinched. He holds the bearhug, trying to force him to the ground. It takes a few moments longer than normal people, but he does eventually succumb and falls limp and away from Clint- joining 'Disel' facefirst in the sand and dirt.

Moments after Natasha is struck in the chest and stumbling back a step, Fred turns his attention on May for that brief second. "Now now, no playing with my pets!" May is gripped and thrown across the slab- aimed to collide with Lois and be sent across to the other side. Maybe towards Robin. But that depends on which way he might be flailing with the firebird.

Natasha coughs, taking that moment as May is ripped away to catch her breath. "Bitch." She snarls, though it isn't her that she goes after. Oh no, her attention falls upon Hawkeye. She charges after her partner, coming in to try and bring a flying knee to head if he isn't paying attention.

Though as Daimon addresses him directly, and now that Lois isn't dangling between them, Prophet smiles broadly. Full of venom of his own. "And who gave the gay halftwit a pointy toy? Didn't you know the other end goes in your ass, boy?" Though as he unleases that torrent of his own power, Fred holds out his hand, channeling his own cosmic fire to make a rather bright collision of powers between them. The dark and bright fires garble together, pushing and shoving against each other as they battle for purchase.

However, Fred's attention is focused on Daimon this time around.

Kick kick flail yank skriek! Lois's squeak of a cry cuts off as she cringes, bracing to be hit by a May fly. (power pose away May and/or Tim!)

Robin is sprinting, trying to come up with something that will penetrate the shield, and then ding! Lightbulb moment. A king is only as strong as the floor he's standing on. Robin reaches into his belt and then leaps, spins, and throws a Robin disc into the dias upon which Fred stands. It beeps, once, twice, and then explodes.

And then an F-18 of firey painful death is swooping towards him, and the man "oh shit!'s" for a moment, and then zigs when he should have zagged and takes a reporter and the cavalry to the chest. At least he avoided the flaming bird. The three of them land in a pile of limbs, in the pile of limbs. At least Robin was kind enough to break the ladies fall.

And…the Phoenix throws a flaming woman at him. Fury's…pissed. Yup, pissed. He does manage to dodge, but he pretty much dodges out of his trenchcoat. Which takes full force of flaming woman. Hopefully, he has another. As he rolls to his feet, he pops off a shot at Fred. It's probably just about within range to maybe do something, but there's no sense being stealthy at this point. Especially as Robin's now…that is NOT what he meant by extracting Lois!

Hawkeye sees the Widow coming form him he does not want to fight his partner so he does not, he does not even dodge the incoming knee, he grits his teeth and rolls with the impact so he merely gets his bell rung from it insted of knocked out, he does have one trick up his sleeve as he is pushed back from the impact with Natasha's knee he takes an arrow from his quiver and thorws it hunder her where she will most likely land. It is hte dreaded adhesive arrow, the ground becomes goved wit ha bowerful adheasive in the attemtp to trap the Widow like a spider on fly paper. He takes a moment to gather his senses, brusied ribs nad a low grade concussion all in a days work then he starts moving towards the shed again intent on getting in a killshot. Fred is too dangerous to capture.

Soulfire vs Cosmic-Fire.

This is not what Daimon had planned for himself, today. Some bondage and domination in the little piece of Hell he found here? Sure, why not! Some 'soul-searching' afterward, for his identity? Yeah, kinda necessary. But this? Head to head with a Phoenix-imbued pretender with a beer-gut?

Nope. Never saw that coming.

Daimon grits his teeth, struggling to maintain the full force of his powers (at least the powers he remembers he has) against the Prophet. Despite his best efforts, it is mere seconds before cosmic flames consume him — and he knows it. Still, it was a nice life, wasn't it? Hmph. Can't remember, anyway.

Then someone drops a helpful explosion under the Prophet's feet.

I could KISS whoever did that! Daimon exults, and uses the last of his energy to force a tear in space just beneath his feet, a mere instant before he is turned to ash. The demon-lord 'falls' through the ground, and appears in the air just above where the Prophet had been standing, the second after the stage blew up.

"The pointy end goes in the OTHER man!" he snarls at the red-robed Prophet — and then he stabs straight down at him.

"Wha—" May is grabbed by an unseen force and flung through the air. If that weren't dignified enough, she bodily slams into the reporter woman, and before she's able to recover from THAT, she and Lane slam into yet ANOTHER person. And now she's at least a little glad that none of the children she'd been ferrying around before ending up here ended up here as well. Giving her head one abrupt shake, she shoves at both Robin and Lois. "Get the hell off…" BOOM. There's really nowhere she can go to take cover from that explosion and it was way closer than she was prepared to deal with. ouch.

Natasha is fully intent on fighting Hawkeye. Intent on killing him if she can. Such is mind control. She goes to land after landing that knee and .. her foot.. is… She tugs on it for a second, looking down and seeing that she is … STUCK. Seriously?! "FUCK!" She makes quick work of her laces, but it takes her a second, jerking her leg out of her boot to take off again after Hawkeye.

The Prophet holds that massive power struggle against Daimon. Considering the demonic man is somewhat holding his own straight force against Fred, there might be some cause for worry if anyone else was in their right mind. Fury's shot falls short, forcibly slowed by his power before it got to him, making it fall harmlessly on the ground.

The firebird turns midair, banking around to come in on a straight arc down on the dogpile of Robin and the women.

And then… Something unbelievable happens.


Fred cries out in anger as his footing is blown from him. The bird disappears seconds before it would have crashed directly into Robin and his companions, the stream of cosmic fire shutting off as if someone closed the valve. For a very split second, there is lucidity as he stares wide eyed and confused at Daimon.

"But… I'm just an accountant…"

As soon as Daimon lances the portly man there is a shriek that comes from all around that could wake the dead. Those still left alive and under the Phoenix's control drop to their knees- Natasha included, right before she would have gotten to Hawkeye. They all cry out in unison as the control is forcibly ripped away and each one of them falls over, unconcious. Nat included.

Fred is speared to what is left of the dias and for a moment after that shriek dies out, there is nothing but silence. Only for a moment.

Above the slab of a battleground the Phoenix bird erupts again in full manifestation as it screeches out into the deadened night, but it is clear it cannot hold its form. Whoever summoned it here may have thought better of it, or perhaps it just can't handle the planet? Either way, it is torn apart, scattered away in a harsh explosion of power that blows out all fire and lights nearby.

In the end: Everything is silent. The captives on the east end are in stunned silence, but those left alive, including Widow, are unconcious, face first in the dirt. Everything is dark. Everything is silence.

Goodbye, Fred.

"You're laying on me, Anna May Wong," quips Lois, hands still bound. And then boom and shriek and chaos. The reporter squeaks a squeal and buries her face into the nearest person's shoulder to try to hide from it all.

"Ummm…Lois?….that isn't my shoudler….." Robin groans out after being pushed at, divebombed, and exploded upon. Not a bad nights work, and less than a dozen bruises. Batman would only be mildly displeased with his performance. Robin moves to try and get himself free from underneath the two woman and stands up, quickly making sure nothing execept his pride might be broken. «Everyone all right?» he asks over the comm, loud enough to be heard by those nearby him as well.

Lois Lane isn't sure she wants to know what she just pressed her face into.

« Sound off. » Fury, picking himself up. Trenchcoat, dead loss. And far too many deaths here, but it's been dealt with. « I want everyone accounted for and to regroup here. » Here being where he's moving to, a bit away from the charnel house. Shame the perfectly good hangar got blown up.

Hawkeye walks into the building finally and smiles, "If anyone says our princess is in another castle i will shoot them. He still has an arrow ready in the bow, another one of the simple pointy kind. «Everyone looks alive Boss.»

Melinda May finally shoves her way free of both Lois and Robin and scrambles gracelessly to her feet. This officially sucked. She takes a moment to try and stretch out one shoulder (that's gonna be a giant bruise tomorrow), then reaches a hand out to help whomever to their feet as well. "In one piece, Fury. So is Lane." Wow, she just sounds so CHEERFUL about it, too.

Daimon wakes up, groaning in pain and discomfort, and tries to wipe his brow with the back of his hand. He wonders idly why he cannot seem to move his arm in that direction. Squinting directly ahead, he blinks his eyes twice, and focuses on his trident. Hmm. It was bigger last time I saw it, he muses.

And closer. Wait, where am I?!.

Then he realises that his trident is where it should be — sticking up out of a corpse that looks like a fat Hugh Hefner — while HE (Daimon) is hanging from a collection of twisted metal beams high above in the warehouse's ceiling.

"No one…" he groan (to no one in particular — especially since he doesn't really know these people), "No one look at me…Ugh, this is awkward."

Lois blushes as Robin scrambles out from under her, but she's not capable of getting to her feet with anything like grace. May having to all but yank her up by an elbow. Handcuffed with hands behind back sucks for balance to a civie. The tight grin she gives to may, none the less, holds gratitude.

"At this point, I'd love to be in another fucking castle. Can someone get these handcuffs off me? And maybe tell Agent Romanov she didn't need to damn near break my jaw to keep cover?" Lois mouths off once she's on her feet. Her words are slightly muffled from the fact that her jaw and bruised, swollen, and split lower lip HURT.

Robin taps a button on his wrist, and the Redjet drops the adaptive camaflauge from where it hovers over the scene. «It's been fun, boys and girls.» he quips over the comm, pulling his grapple gun from his belt and turning to fire it at the jet. A specialized magnet grabs the hook, and Robin pauses just long enough to give Lois and Melinda a dazzling smile before he zips into the air and flips onto the wing of the jet.

Romanoff is still facefirst in dirt. Over there. With one boot still standing upright stuck in Hawkeye's goo.

Hawkeye grins to Lois, "Raise your hands above your head, I will shoot them off." he gives her a cocky grin and waits just long enouy to see if she will do it before producing a handcuff key, "If they are standard handcuffs this should work, if not i might actualy have ot shoot them off.

Melinda May starts to roll her eyes at Clint's antics, but that puts Daimon in her line of sight. She hadn't been paying that much attention while everything was happening, but now…

Daimon manages to free one arm from the twisted beam holding him against the ceiling, and rubs his wrist — just as the beam gives way! The half-naked man (no longer sporting his 'flame on' thing) falls to the ground with a yelp, hitting the floor with a loud crash some feet away from what used to be the stage. The fall doesn't particularly injure him — a fact that has him blinking in mild surprise — and he rises out of the comical indentation he left behind.

Ignoring everyone else in the room he walks toward the corpse, gesturing with his hand which causes the trident to rip itself with a stomach-churning SQUELCH out of Fred's body, and float Sith-style to Daimon's outstretched hand.

"Should've worn protection, whoever-you-were," he mutters.

Dazzling smile, has the Disney Princess smiling and almost blushing despite herself. And then Lois snorts at Clint, half turning to in order to display for him the fact that she's cuffed behind her back.

"A keywould be great," she quips before crash-Damion! She squeaks again then looks visibly ill at the squelch. "Oh god," she almost prays.

Hawkeye unlocks Lois's cuffs then over the comms, «Helicarrier the is Agent Barton, we have some prisoner to take in ot custody and some hostages ot return to their homes, send us a couple of transports.» He hten walsk over to Natasha nad cheeks ot make sure she is breathing and stable, he looks over oat hte boot and smiles, "Good thing that will disolve in an hour or two the Widow would kill me if I ruined her favorite pair of boots."

"CAT, trace that signal and see if you can't get a fix on this 'helicarrier'." Robin says, as he slides into the cockpit of his jet. "It's past time I made sure the Joker is still on ice." When the computer beeps its confirmation, Robin smirks, and banks the jet off into the night sky. Seconds later, the adaptive camoflauge kicks back in, and the Redjet seems to melt out of sight.

Daimon's footsteps carry him up off the ground, by just a few feet, and over the ruined stage. He levitates there like a brooding vulture over the corpse of Fred the Accountant, and slowly sinks to the floor. Everything else — everyONE else — is ignored still. Why would they matter to him?

"Someone's messing with forces," he murmurs to himself. "Many forces. So."

He sighs.

"Who's been a bad boy?"

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