Falling Star [Open]

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Astra
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Falling Star [Open]

Post by Astra » Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:28 am

NORAD Headquarters
Peterson Air Force Base
Colorado Springs, Colorado
12 hours prior to indicated impact

"I think we need to escalate on R6."

The room was grim and silent, full of people who agreed with the statement, but didn't like having to agree with it. The unit in question - full designation C/2020 R6 - was merely one of many comets that had been spotted over the course of the year. Most were of little interest to anyone besides scientists, and plenty weren't of any interest to them, either. C/2020 R6 had become unfortunately interesting because it was moving very quickly, as far as comets were concerned - indeed, it had been discovered only at the beginning of the month, and was already visible with a backyard telescope, if one knew where to look and what to look for.

It was also headed, more or less, directly towards the Earth. When it had first been observed, the trajectory data had suggested that it would be one of those interesting public phenomena - visible to the naked eye on the right night, but harmless. The trajectory had shifted somewhat, though, influenced by unknown gravities or simply calculated in error in the first place. As of this morning, there was no doubt that R6 was headed directly for Earth itself.

"It's not that big. It ought to burn up in the atmosphere." There was an optimist in every group, it seemed, someone who hoped for the best - but NORAD wasn't there to hope for the best, NORAD was there to prepare for the worst.

"Where's it going to hit if it doesn't?"

"Houston."

Another one of those grim silences, as people considered the implications of that. Even if most of C/2020 R6 burned up in orbit, having a meteorite strike in the middle of a busy city was never a good sign. The danger from idiot drivers who stopped to gawk at it would probably be responsible for at least a few dozen deaths, and that was even if there was no impact damage at all.

"We'll have to evacuate."

"The mayor will love that." Sarcasm, the first line of defense against any invasion. The unfortunate fact was that 12 hours was hardly enough time to plan an evacuation of anything, much less a major city. 12 hours was hardly enough time to convince people they needed to evacuate, much less get them moving - and there would always be those who needed to pack absolutely everything, or who simply refused to believe that there was any problem at all, and insisted they would be just fine. Maybe they would - but organizations like NORAD existed because of the possibility that they wouldn't.

They should have had weeks to plan an evacuation - or at least days. The problem was that C/2020 R6 should have missed Earth entirely. All the predictions had indicated that it would - until two hours ago, when something had changed.

And now the clock was ticking.

Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base
Houston, Texas
26 minutes before indicated impact
.

"You really think this is going to work?"

"Oh, hell nah. I don't care how good we are - and we're good - but they're saying we'll have less than five seconds between that thing coming into range and it hitting the ground, and in that time someone's gotta get a bead on it and shoot it off the trajectory? Nah. Ain't gonna happen. It's a CYA maneuver."

"So they can claim they did their part when it hits, I suppose."

"Yeah. And we can't use anything big enough to do any real damage because it's right over a city, so we're sitting around with our thumbs up our asses."

"Great. Hey, how come they can't just get one of those superheroes to come punch it back into orbit or something?"

"You kidding? That'll be worse collateral than the fucking asteroid. Look, they're saying even worst case scenario, most of it's gonna burn up in orbit, maybe it'll flatten a few houses, and we know where it'll hit, so people are out of that area. We just shoot at it to make ourselves look good, then everyone goes home. Except maybe one or two people, but that's why people have insurance."

"Come on, heroes aren't that bad- Look, really. Come on, that Total Experience guy's all right."

"Hey, Jim, when you signed on, did you tell the recruiter you were a thirteen-year-old girl? 'Cause-"

"Ladies, cut the chatter. Clear to take off in five minutes."

Houston Airspace
7 seconds to impact
.

"Ho-lee shit that thing's moving fast. Clear to fire any time you think you've got a shot."

"Damn, that's a miss."

"Close one. Fuck."

"Swear I hit it."

"You did not."

"I thought I did. I don't know. I thought it moved a little."

"Too late. Good try."

"Didn't they say it was gonna be smaller?"

"Get clear. Impact in three - two - one-"

Midtown, Houston
Impact
Time indeterminate
.

In the beginning, there had been light.

For a time after that, the lights were small, and far away, and not so bright. At some point, the lights became closer, and carried a hint of something that had once been. There was belief - not belief in the right things, but belief nonetheless, and it called across the stars.

It summoned her, the prodigal daughter, and she came to the altar - not to kneel before it, but to accept its offerings, as was her due. Space turned to sky, and sky brought strangeness, things that flew towards her. She caught one coiling around it through her fall, and struck the ground beneath. The world broke, as it should - a crater of destruction, toppled buildings, several blocks in every direction reduced to rubble. Beyond that, tremors filled the city, windows shattering and car alarms adding their noise to the rising panic.

The lambent deity did not heed their cries. She stood, appearing as they did, these people that surrounded her impact site, her hand upon the missile that had been shot at her. She looked upward and cast it towards the skies, hurling it back from where it had come. The aircraft shattered in the sky, and she walked forward, her hand taking hold of the frame of what had once been a vehicle, twisting her body with the grace of a discus thrower and casting it, too, into the squadron of aircraft above, bringing one more down to earth.

One after another, they would fall as she had.
.

This is an open RP. A few things:

1. The "asteroid" was detected a while ago, people knew it was coming but assumed it was just an asteroid and wouldn't be a problem. So, it's something you can have some advance warning on if wanted, but it shouldn't be something that was expected to be a big issue.

2. Location is Houston, TX. A few blocks are completely flattened, there's some significant radiating damage outward.

3. One character per person. I don't care if they're good or evil, but you only get one.

4. I'd respectfully ask that you only join if you're interested and invested. Don't join just so you can say your guy was there. No one's gonna shame characters for not being here, we'll just assume they were busy with other stuff.

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Total Experience
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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Total Experience » Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:35 pm

HOUSTON, TEXAS

It turned out that tip from inside NORAD was legit!

They'd thought it was a comet, but when it changed course unexpectedly, someone within the org. wanted a super-hero on the scene, either for cleanup or peace of mind. TOTAL EXPERIENCE made the run across the country in just a few hours, enough to be in position at Houston when they enacted their plan to divert the meteor - if that was what it truly was. He'd already broken up an asteroid over Scarsdale (one of his prouder moments), but this was something else entirely. That much was confirmed when the ground shook and every window shattered - it'd impacted with far more force than any regular space rock.

Transformed into a man of SUPREME METAL, Experience peered at her from a distance, looking past the widespread devastation to get a bead on the enemy from a hidden vantage point. Humanoid - and aggressive! This was either an alien visitor who looked human, or a metahuman who'd gotten sick of sunbathing on the sun itself. Either way, she'd need to be stopped before she took apart the rest of Houston, and then maybe the world.

But where was Total Experience? In that moment, he appeared to have vanished entirely. The Silver Sentinel was nowhere to be found.

"Good grief. This must destruction...you sure are evil. I have no reason to go easy on you."

His voice appeared to come from everywhere at once! That was TOTAL VENTRILOQUISM, or the power to throw his voice. With his nanomachine form, he could be as loud as he wanted, making his echoing words seem to come from anywhere - pinning down his location would be nigh impossible, and moreso for someone with enhanced senses. And all the while he crept closer...

"And no reason to worry about hurting you either!"

With those words, the ground beneath Astra's feet would erupt, an enormous silver hand rocketing outwards with fingers splayed to wrap around her leg and drag her down into a TOTAL UPPERCUT!

He had tunneled through the ground while masking the noise with his voice!

But that wasn't all. Rather than relinquish his grip on the invader, he'd go for more hits, pulling her closer while using his free hand to initiate a hurricane of high-powered blows wherever he could land a hit. A flurry of flashing punches, a tornado of terror - a muscle-machine powered blitz!

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Azra
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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Azra » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:18 pm

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Quiver
SOS Co-Leader
IRPD Officer
image.jpeg
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Elektra arived on the scene to late of course, people didn't want to call heroes into this and now there was so much destruction. She'd never been to a war zone, she liked to not say how old she was but you didn't have to live a century to see war let alone more than a century. Her efforts never took her directly to such however which was what this level of destruction looked parallel to. As if a bomb had gone off.

Smoke billowed high into the air looking to pass over the cloud of dust, the almost fog like effects of ruin.

As hard as it was knowing maybe they could have done something if told she couldn't fault them though. The current setting of heroes she did feel was absorbed in petty debates and infighting. More snapping at eachother because they didn't get things there way El felt. It didn't matter what was said or done just how it compared to what someone else wanted. She didn't know if she would work with MAXIMUM MAN again, even if Frontline wasn't gunning for them those bridges were likely burned. Jaeger didn't want to help anyone be ready for the worst it seemed just be grumpy on his mountain top. Why come to the heroes and metahumans when they couldn't even come to eachother?

Still as a leader of SOS she had to try. It'd go both to Prodigy and Aegis, open to many channels should authorities or heroes wish to hear. "Any available heroes please head to Houston help at least clear the area of survivors. I see a suspect in the wreckage, probably should stay clear if Commet people sounds above your weight class." With that she went to her phone to reach out to IRPD.

"Where are we on this."

"Aliens don't apply to Miranda rights. We'd of course prefer are officers didn't kill but space is just a foreign threat out of our jurisdiction."

Right so didn't have to restrain herself any more then she herself wanted, which was good given she wasn't sure this was even something she could handle. She might level a building but not a city block when it came to her own attack potential. She was a hero though and stopping things like this was in the job description. She had to trust that others would help clear the area and that she could later. For now the ruins of a corner of the city meant the concern of destruction from her own actions could rest easy.

She started with three arrows, fingers running along the runes to make the arrows heavy but the draw come easy. The air cracks as the arrows are set loose each of them having the yield to make buildings collapse and all that damage potential was put into the sharp points looking to dive deep into the body. She saw Total Experience coming up as the arrows had been notched back so she sought to steady her aim. It was a alien body so who knew if "ribs and below" involved any organ. She trusted though that these shots wouldn't get in the way of TE's moves. Especially when they came so swiftly the distance almost didn't matter. Mach speeds while on the usually lower end in El's case crossed the space swifter then most could handle.

She didn't expect to miss but should she a ruined building being more ruined wasn't an issue. Funny she thought, even now she couldn't turn off that concern of what would she hit. "I'd love an explanation for this if you got one." Elektra liked to quip she'd admit the fact. Here though she couldn't find it in herself, to much collateral without a cause. She didn't see a criminal or a villain, but a threat to put down, permanently if necessary.


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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Daystar » Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:08 pm

DROPPING ROCKS
"--sources now say impact is likely unavoidable--

"--will strike Houston, the fourth most-populous city in--"

"--missile strikes have been authorized, but are not expected to succ--"

The broadcaster was cut off midsentence, as the student who'd been flipping through channels, trying to find one not covering the impending meteor impact in Texas, turned the TV off in disgust. As he did, Alexandra Russell finally looked up from her laptop, becoming aware again of the environment around her. She was sitting in a lounge area, idly sipping an iced coffee and trying to finish an assignment hours before it was due. Sometimes, though, there were things more important than schoolwork.

I'm so failing Doctor Marlo's class.

Closing her laptop, Alex gave a longing look at her coffee before putting it down and pulling off her sweater. She had taken to wearing her armor underneath her regular clothes ever since she'd had to waste time changing into it before she could respond to the attack in Topeka. It was a little uncomfortable, but not as bad as it might have been for someone else, since she didn't get hot or cold thanks to her powers. That was also how she got away with wearing sweaters while it was still in the mid-seventies outside.

Once again, nobody paid Daystar much mind as she exited the building in full costume, and immediately took off into the air. It was a common enough occurrence at Millennium City University. Luckily, Alex had an almost entirely full 'tank,' as she hadn't had much cause to use her powers for anything more intensive than heating up her food when it got cold in the last few days. The flight from Millennium City to Houston wasn't much longer than from MC to Topeka had been- for a commercial flight, about three and a half hours, but for Alex, far less than that.

Figuring out how fast to fly had been a challenge at first. When trying to test her limits, she'd broken the sound barrier a dozen times over, but going that fast had depleted her charge faster than she could abide, when she'd need almost all her energy to try and stop the meteor's impact at her destination. In theory, she could go even faster than that, but nothing had ever given her cause to attempt it before.

Still, within a mere few seconds of exiting Millennium City's airspace, Alex heard the telltale boom of her breaking the sound barrier, followed by another not long after. Once she'd oriented herself in the direction of Texas, she didn't have to think too hard about flying- other than to avoid the odd plane in her general vicinity. Instead, most of her mind was consumed with figuring out how to actually stop the comet from making impact.

As with most problems, the first solution that came to mind was hitting it really hard. Daystar didn't really doubt her own ability to bust the rock into pieces, but that wouldn't necessarily help. The same went for trying to slice it up with her energy beams. That would just spread the damage out a bit, causing dozens of smaller impact sites rather than one big one. Unless she could vaporize it outright- but that would take a tremendous amount of energy, maybe more than Alex even had within her. Had Kelly been on hand, she might have asked for her to come along, and act as an external battery, but there'd been no time to pick her up- and if Alex doubled back now to ask, they wouldn't be able to make it before impact.

More and more, it seemed like there was only one viable option- catching the damn thing. Stopping its forward motion, and chucking it back into space. Much easier said than done. At a guess, it would be the heaviest thing Alex had ever tried to manipulate, by several orders of magnitude. Her strength was something else she'd never really been able to test the upper limits of, mostly because there was no way to do so without hurting anyone or causing a ton of property damage. This sort of trial by fire was... less than ideal.

After about a half-hour of flight, Alex could see Houston. Her vision was enhanced as well as her other physical attributes, for much the same reason a bird of prey needed incredibly sharp eyesight- to see things below it. Looking up, she could also see the comet, and the fighter jets that had been deployed to destroy it. They'd failed, which meant Alex had to succeed.

As she approached, Daystar began to cut her speed somewhat, to make sure she didn't simply shoot past the thing. Once she was close enough, she began to feel the heat radiating off of it, as the sheer speed of the comet made the oxygen inside the atmosphere combust. To someone else, it might have been enough to burn them alive, but to Alex it was just a mild tingle on her skin. Fortunately, her clothes didn't burn off either, for whatever reason. Just another quirk of her powers.

Repositioning herself 'beneath' the comet, Alex didn't simply wait for it to slam into her- she flew right into it. Pushing up against the comet felt to Daystar what pushing against a wall might have felt like to someone else. Or pushing against the Earth itself, in an attempt to stop its motion around the sun. It was heavy enough that it felt like it was rooted in place, despite being moving incredibly fast. Putting her entire body into it, Alex grimaced, her muscles already beginning to ache from the strain.

The one difference between pushing against a wall and against the comet was that the wall didn't push back. The rock did. Every part of Daystar's body began to silently scream, and she wanted to join them, but even that would have used a bit of her strength, and she needed every ounce of it. Unable to even look away, she couldn't tell how close they were to impact. Alex's vision began to swim, but she didn't waver. And finally, finally, she felt the comet begin to give, to slow down just a bit.

Then her arms gave out. There was a great impact, as the comet hit her head-on. Then an even greater impact, and then everything went black.


O-O-O-O-O



When consciousness returned, Alex was back on the ground. She knew that before she even opened her eyes. Gravity was a distinct sensation, as was the lack of it. Like proprioception, the 'sixth sense' that allowed humans to innately understand where every part of their body was without looking, she could tell whether or not she was in the air instinctively. Slowly, she opened her eyes, entire body feeling like a gigantic bruise. Looking up, she saw the sky, a cloud overhead with a massive hole torn through its center where the comet had come through.

The comet--

The feeling in Daystar's gut was less one of sinking and more one of plummeting. She looked around, already aware what she was going to see. Every instinct in her body told her not to look, but she ignored them. In her immediate vicinity was nothing, just a crater deep in the ground, at the center of which was her, and her alone.

Already sick to her stomach, Alex extended her senses outward, using her enhanced sense of hearing to listen to the crowd that had gathered around the crater, and those who had survived. The impact had killed many, but the shockwave it had sent out had killed many more, even collapsing entire buildings with the inhabitants inside. As she sat in the center of the crater, Daystar listened to them scream, and cry, and plead for help. My arm, one of them despaired to no one, what happened to my arm?

The Solar Sentinel was outwardly unharmed. Even her costume was still intact, somehow. There was pain, but not nearly as much as there should have been, after something like that. It wasn't fair. Why had she, the one who'd failed to stop the impact, survived? Why her and not them? Alex could hear a child crying, repeating a name over and over. Her mother, her sister, her teacher, her friend? Why had Daystar survived, and not them?

That question, Alex couldn't answer. It was a quirk of fate that she'd been the one to receive incredible power, and they had not. But there was another question on her mind: why had any of this happened at all? That, she knew the answer to. She had no name for the person responsible, not yet. But she knew that someone was, from the screams of those survivors who now fled in terror from her.

Pushing herself off the ground, Daystar rose into the air. And as she did, she began to glow, excess energy pouring out from her skin, in the form of not just light, but heat as well. At a distance, an observer might have mistaken her for a miniature supernova. She'd expended an incredibly amount of energy, given everything she had, trying to stop the comet. But right now, Alex didn't feel drained- she felt as strong as she ever had. Why, she didn't know yet. But at that moment, she had no cause to question her good fortune.

In that moment, there was only one thing on Daystar's mind. Death. The deaths of those she'd failed to save, and the imminent death of the one responsible.

As she rose into the air, Alex saw that other heroes had already arrived, too late to save the day. She wouldn't begrudge their presence- unless they tried to stop her from doing what was necessary. Their moral codes weren't important. What mattered was that the woman who'd decided to get her kicks from dropping rocks into innocent people die. After she'd been tortured to the brink of death, Daystar had come to a new understanding of the world. Not one of heroes and villains, but one of monsters and those who killed them.

Whoever the woman who'd caused all this death was, she was one of the monsters. And Alex was going to be the one to kill her.

It only took a moment for Daystar to lay eyes on her target. In a different circumstance, she might have delivered a one-liner before her attack, but this was no place for that kind of behavior. All that mattered was getting the job done. No jokes, no quips, and no holding back.

Alex crossed the distance in the blink of an eye. An uninitiated observer might have mistaken it for teleportation, but in reality it was merely extreme speed. One moment, Daystar was hovering over the crater, radiating enough power to toast bread in an instant, and incinerate it an instant later. The next, she was hovering a few inches off the ground, next to where the metal man and the monster stood. Seconds later, there were a series of thunderous sonic booms in her wake, shattering the few intact panes of glass in the vicinity.

Silent, Daystar summoned her strength, and threw one punch. It contained enough power that, if it hit an ordinary human, they wouldn't have merely been thrown backwards, they would have been instantly liquefied. It was the kind of punch that would have left Alex exhausted afterwards, under normal circumstances. But at that moment, she felt like she could throw a dozen more without breaking a sweat.

In a way, it was a cruel irony. She'd lacked the strength to stop the comet before it hit, but now that it had, she felt powerful enough to lift it one-handed. The reasons for that could be interrogated another time, though. At that moment, only one thing mattered: ending the threat, by whatever means necessary.

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Astra
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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Astra » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:27 pm

Murmurs, from the earth. Indistinct words, vocal tremors, cast about from everywhere and nowhere as Total Experience drew closer to the impact zone. The woman's form paused, as if listening, though she made no response to the words other than to pause and hear them. While she did so, in a moment of sudden interference, the ground beneath her erupted - releasing not a plume of smoke but a man of metal. His hand closed around her leg, and his fist impacted on her abdomen with what should have been bone-shattering force - but neither one of them needed to be too concerned about shattering bones. He was as durable as titanium, and she was adamant. The sound of the strike crashed through the hollowed-out crater, echoing back from the edges with a memory of its ferocity. For him, it would not be like striking a woman at all, but a wall.

She looked at him then, and he could notice in that moment that there was something about her features that was still yet unresolved - nothing that would be too glaringly obvious, but something about the texture of the hair or the length of her eyelashes or the line of her cheekbones, as if an artist were just now putting on the finishing touches. There was a shift to the moment as well, a moment where one eye displayed a hint of gold, a moment where her skin displayed a tint of silver - both vanishing after a moment, as if discarded. The silver tint was entirely reminiscent of Total Experience's own, and the golden eye hearkened to another - Elektra.

Her arrows pierced the moment, landing in the space between blows. As quickly as the three arrows were moving, they imparted quite a bit of force - and unlike some that Elektra had fought in the past, the woman from the stars was not particularly large, nor particularly heavy - nor particularly anchored in any manner. The arrows struck, but rather than burying themselves in her body they impacted, the composite shafts snapping into splinters as they struck her. Despite breaking, the arrows nonetheless succeeded in transferring quite a large amount of force that sent the newcomer hurtling backwards - and Total Experience with her if he hadn't let go.

For an arrow at mach speeds, it was enough force to fling her across the crater and beyond, until her body met a building that was still standing. She crashed into it, and the building toppled, an inevitable collapse that seemed to happen in slow motion as the entire thing came down on top of her, burying her in the rubble. There was a stillness, a moment of silence, and then the rubble shifted like so much loose gravel as she simply walked out of it.

She did not hurry. Her steps were measured, unconcerned, simple movements to get from one place to another, with no rush indicated anywhere. This was the moment Daystar would see when she returned to consciousness, the astral deity walking down into the crater where she had been formed. Not knowing exactly what had happened while she'd been out, the girl was quick to contribute a strike of her own in an attempt to neutralize her opponent - and the punch connected easily, as the star deity made no attempt to evade it. As had happened before with the arrows, the force of the punch sent her through the air, into another building on the periphery, this one already half destroyed from the shockwave of the initial impact.

She went through the wall, pieces of it raining down where she had passed as she left a hole behind and passed through into the street beyond. Perhaps she would have continued into the next building, except after what seemed to be a moment of consideration, she touched the toes of one foot down onto the street, the asphalt rippling and breaking along a line as she skidded to a full stop and lowered herself the rest of the way to stand.

Unlike the empty crater, this area hadn't finished evacuating - it had evidently been the source of some of the voices that Daystar had been hearing earlier, as she came to. There was an uncertain moment where half of the people there were waiting with bated breath, and the other half were shouting - some in anger, some in fear. She did not mind their terror - she was divine. Gods were meant to be feared.

The anger, for some, resolved into determination. After all, if the heroes who had assembled could do their part, why couldn't other people? This was their home that she had threatened, and some of them had already suffered injuries or losses. A man, enraged, rushed at her from the side, his head lowered to ram into her shoulder. He rebounded, dazed, as another came in towards her, his fist connecting with her nose with the audible crack of breaking bone - not cartilage. He had only a moment to deal with the pain in his hand before she retaliated, punching back - but with the same amount of force that she had learned from the likes of Total Experience and Daystar - a completely overwhelming amount for an average man to bear. Her fist went through his abdomen, the remnants of his body striking the wall across the street. She turned to the dazed man, half-standing with his hands on his knees, no doubt already concussed. Her fist crushed through his skull, pounding him down into the pavement.

She shook her hand slightly, dislodging viscera and fragments of bone. Another bystander had caught her attention, a woman, kneeling on the cracked pavement with her hands clasped, praying to a god, any god, anyone who could offer her a way out of all of this.The brilliant one walked closer, and rested her hand atop the woman's head, remnants of blood sticky in her hair: a lasting benediction. She searched the many stars for a voice, and the words to speak with it, language adapting unto her just as physical form had moments earlier. The starborn withdrew her hand a moment later, returning it to her side.

"Believe in Me."

It was the only matter of importance, after all. She turned away, and began to walk slowly down the street, once more towards the emptiness.
.

Hey guys - I wanted to slide this post in just because the first few posts changed up a lot of stuff when I was selling effects, so I didn't want people joining later to assume the situation was the same. However, if those of you who have already gotten a post in during that first round could wait a day or two so that others can have a chance to intro without it getting really busy really fast, I'd appreciate that. I won't be asking this of you again, just sort of for a round one setup thing.

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Azra
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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Azra » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:49 pm

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Quiver
SOS Co-Leader
IRPD Officer


Elektra trusted Total Experience would weather the collapse rather fine. Though it still bothered her, she made a conscious effort to try and not overly endanger anyone or anything. She expected an arrow to puncture or shatter the arrows were even in part designed for that. For the arrow to withstand the output but puncture not be overly destructive. A broadhead was more for that, arrows like those used against the spire in a different reality. These arrows hit though broke and tossed the space woman aside. A building in ruin brought down by the force, and yet she stood all the same.

The hero Quiver knew she'd find forces genuinely beyond her scope of abilities but here she now was. It was a reality that was a bit hard to swallow. Another hero comes in, a fierce punch and another demolished building and the woman was fine. This was the kind of threat Elektra knew she couldn't be struck by. In a brief moment of being clutched by TE changes were seen, a hint of gold a hint of silver what they meant to though escaped the eagle eyed officer. What didn't though was the sight of the living comet heading towards people.

Aegis was put to use, teleporting the archer to that street, quick as the blonde was here she couldn't chance it. A flash of light and pop of air and she was beside the individual with blood in their hair. A woman in fear of a man who was paste along a wall and in awe of who had done it. A hand goes back to Aegis though, plugging in coordinates to teleport her to safety away from all of this. Her efforts coming up might end up being dedicated to just doing that trying to get close to civilians who couldn't make a run for it and get them to safety.

The other two heroes here had a better shot in this fight if she had to switch to evac duty then she wouldn't mind. However something was said by the comet, said to a victim who had just been whisped away. Words had meaning though and the archer figured that such lines might be an insight of why someone did this. It even fit a sort of common reasoning, the pursuit of being looked up to and believed in. To be admired and feared, so Elektra would look to exploit this.

"They'd believe in you more if you didn't kill them but rather surpassed those who attacked you. Those they currently do." A simple line but pivotal. Focus on the heroes, avoid further murder. This wasn't really a fight Elektra figured she could survive, but she'd long sense concluded she'd risk herself so civilians didn't end up like the spatter on the wall. Maybe they had failed that one and those lost in the impact but the marksman didn't want to continue failing them at any rate.


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Deus Mortis
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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Deus Mortis » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:10 am



Mission: Assist in the Houston evacuation.
Intel Level: Low.
Response Level (Expected): Emergency Responders, National Guard.
Expected Hostiles: 0.
Unit(s) Deployed: Ray Greene.
Hot-zone: Houston, Texas.
Date: █/██/2020.
Time: ██ : ██ hrs.
Initial Equipment Deployed:
P226 (Concealed Carry), Ka-Bar Knife,
Switchblade, Taser, Pepper Spray,
Type IIIA Body Armor (Concealable Variant),
x3 Concussion Grenades,
x2 Flares, x1 Gas Mask
Notepad, x1 Pens,
Carbon Stake (Pen),
Sunglasses, Brown Satchel.


It was just like last time. Something otherworldly was rocketing towards Earth, and like last time, no one had been ready.

The news came in just twelve hours ago, too short a time for any effective evacuation to be made. It was going to take the National Guard hours to form up before they could begin evacuating civilians. Emergency responders didn’t have the numbers to stretch to every part of the city. The stubborn would remain, too set in their beliefs that this was going to be nothing but a minor disturbance.

Ray Greene shouldn’t have been here. Thirteen hours ago he was in Galveston purchasing some weaponry from a “private vendor”. Most of it was legal, Assurance-made in fact, though sold in circles around the country to muddy any trails attached to them. If he got disarmed during an illegal op, the last thing he needed was that name attached to him. It was about an hour away from Galveston that he heard the news.

But that wouldn’t have been enough to drag him here. Ray didn’t feel any particular drive to help those people. He was more than content enough in driving the hell away from Houston and letting whatever responders the city had take care of the before and after. After the last star fell from the sky, a plethora of heroes showed up to take care of it. Even Samson had shown up. A comet about to hit Houston was going to attract more than enough heroes to deal with the aftermath. But...

...he owed it to a friend.

Ricky Delgado. Ray met the guy when he was out on an op in Afghanistan. Ricky wasn’t a member of some Spec Ops team like Ray and his guys were, but he was a good enough man for Ray to like and he proved that he was an even better friend. The two kept in touch after their paths split. Ray stayed in the Army until retirement, Ricky was more than happy on leaving the moment his first contract was over. He became a cop in Houston after that. When Ray heard about the comet set to hit Houston, it only felt right to call his friend to see how he was doing. Ray asking if he could help was just second-nature.

Always look after your own.

”Holy shit…”

Ricky stared at the sky in utter shock as he and Greene both saw fighter jets engaging the comet. In stark contrast, Greene’s expression was still. He stared less on the fighter jets and more on the comet itself, knowing full-well that by now, there was not a damn thing those jets were going to be able to do. The only thing on his mind was the same thing on many others in Houston: the impact.

It started with a light.

Sunglasses protected against the minute glare. It took seven seconds for the radio in the patrol car to come to life with panicked chatter.

”ALL UNITS, ALL UNITS, 10-33 MIDTOWN! I REPEAT, IMPACT IS DOWNTOWN!”

Ricky looked over to Greene who only nodded in response. A silence affirmation was all the officer needed to send them speeding down the road, sirens blaring all the while.

That wasn’t some comet…

Shattered metal pelted the city below as the jets above engaged in a fight too one-sided for Greene’s liking. He knew they had no chance of stopping the comet. What he hadn’t been ready for was that “comet” to completely destroy them in return.

”Is that a...a supervillain?”

Greene didn’t give the man any immediate reply as his eyes scanned the environment. Trained eyes took note of the situation within seconds, starting first with the first responders. Total Experience engaged the fallen woman in CQC while an unseen marksman pelted her with a trio of arrows. Each attack on Astra was accompanied by a shattering of the sound barrier, a warning of the sheer ferocity of the fight.

Greene’s eyes shifted over the other side of the disaster. The battlefield was far from empty as civilians stood scattered around, some bunched up, others cautiously alone. Another laid unmoving on the ground below.

Shit.

”We got a dead civvie, call it in. Whatever you do-” Greene stopped himself dead-center as he noticed Ricky start to get out of the car. A hand grabbed onto the officer’s shoulder, keeping him in his seat. ”-not try and engage that woman. Let the metas handle her.”

”But-”

”But nothing. That woman just walked out of a building falling on her. We do not have the firepower to take her out.” Greene turned the car’s sirens off and unlocked the door beside him. ”Keep the sirens off, reduce any attention to yourself. The best thing you can do is act as a scout for any units close by. Tell them to back the hell off.”

Without another word, he got out of the car and would have taken a step towards the impact site if it weren’t for Ricky.

”Wait, Ray, where are you going?!”

”Me? I’m going to go get those civvies out of there.”

Greene closed the door and absent-mindedly trailed over his concealed holster. A part of him wanted to just draw his sidearm and keep it with him, a small bit of comfort that he wasn’t completely defenseless in this situation, but he knew better than that. A gun in his hands was about as useful as a garden hose against a brick wall. He was better off having two hands free.

Seeing as Astra was walking down an empty street, he took the opportunity to run towards the greatest cluster of civilians. Before he got very far, the air ahead shimmered slightly and the unseen marksman from earlier was revealed, a sight Greene couldn’t say was all too surprising to see.

Elektra.

One of the few archers Greene knew that could shoot faster than sound. The second member of the Society he’d meet by chance. For a moment, he was expecting to see the rest of the SOS to show up and start engaging Astra. The thought was brief however as his mind snapped back to the matter at hand.

Got to help evac these people.

Greene had no idea what the hell Elektra was talking about and he wasn’t too keen on finding out. He instead neared a pair of civilians and whistled over to get their attention.

”Hey, you two! Get out of here already! You’re going to get killed if you stay here like a damn idiot.” The two bystanders took a hesitant step back before running off down the street away from the impact site, leaving Greene with two less people he had to yell to get out of here. There were however a few more civilians who were idly staring at him.

”YOU THINK THAT DOESN’T APPLY TO YOU TOO? MOVE!”

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Solorion
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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Solorion » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:07 am

DOVERTON, MONTANA
THIRTY SECONDS BEFORE C/2020 R6 IMPACT.
"I SHALL NOT FALL INTO THE COMET'S EMBRACE."

He had been reading when the news was delivered to him.

There was a small plot of dirt behind his mother's house where the flowers bloomed; when he was a child, he loved coming back here. The plants tilted themselves towards his presence if he stayed long enough, basking their petals and leaves in the effusive light that came from his body as if entranced by the very notion of existence. His mother had told him that they did this for a very particular reason.

All living things gravitate towards that which gives them life, she had told him.

Just as the flowers look to your light, so too shall humanity.

It was a comforting thought, to have a friend in nature after all else had been forsaken. The trees would never abandon him, nor the plants and grass that dotted the earth-- mankind, of course, was far different. They'd hated him, at Topeka. Despised him. The masses screamed and jeered at him, accusing him of crimes he had never committed. Angry-- he remembered being angry. Enraged.

Let them think of me as a monster. I'll give them cause.

It had felt righteous, burning that monument of hatred to the ground. He cared not that he was a hypocrite-- justification came easily. He had been gifted by the stars. Every act he took was righteous, every decision justified by the mere power he held within his body and mind. The Solorion Man was not draconian, nor was he merciless-- but he was far from merciful, and ruthlessness came with the responsibility put upon his shoulders and his alone. How could he expect anyone to understand? He was in direct communion with the absolute-- the very sun that hung above the sky, and the stars which glittered in the night.

His plight was to be faced alone.

Not long after he had settled upon the earth and opened a small book to read, his phone whirred within his pocket. The headline upon the home screen told him everything he needed to know.



ASTEROID STRIKES HOUSTON - CASUALTY FIGURES UNKNOWN - EPICENTER EVACUATED
SUPERHEROES FIGHT ENTITY FROM THE STARS


The Solorion Man stood, slowly, and moved to exit the garden plot. Aerial takeoff often shattered the ground-- he did not want to dishevel his mother's work. She appeared to him moments later-- his mother, his own light and guiding star-- to lay a hand upon his chest as he unlatched the gate. He looked down at her, and she looked up at him. There was a dry expression upon her face-- one of grim conviction.

"You can't go, Adam."

The Solorion Man restrained himself from rolling his eyes. His mother had raised him to show respect, after all. Instead, he huffed, looking past her and simply stepping beside the woman to brush past her. A hand touched her shoulder, for a moment, and lifted.

"You always say that." He stated, looking up at the sky. No planes were in the surrounding airspace, from what he could see-- if he took off now and went to the upper edges of the atmosphere, he could make it to Texas within a minute, or less--

"I mean it, this time." Her voice wavered, slightly, but the motherly constitution remained ever-present. "I'm scared. This is the first time I've felt scared--"

"You always say that," Solorion repeated, eyes reflecting a lustrous disdain as his gaze tore from the sky to settle upon the woman who kept him from it. "I've heard enough. You keep telling me that I'm not ready. You lied." He crossed his arms, then. "You saw what I did at Topeka. Against the misled. They could barely touch me."

"Is that why you ran, then?" His mother stated, a once-bereft tone taking on the exasperation his own voice embodied. "I saw the news. You were brave, Adam, but you fled. I know you. You were scared." Her accusation was not unfounded-- when he left, there was fear that stung his heart. He had, after all, been moved by a teenager. That didn't entirely lend itself to the ego of an all-powerful messiah.

"This was exactly what you had done to me when Surgath arrived. The heroes of the earth rose up, they fought, and you made me stay here. I was ready then, and I'm ready now." He clenched his fists as he spoke, dull wisps of crimson and orange falling from the covered palms as he looked back up to the sky. Solorion readied himself, knees bending slightly as he prepared to leave-- only to have a hand grab at his wrist, a final plea from the woman who had raised him.

"Adam." She whispered to him-- voice removed of its fear and uncertainty, replaced with staunch conviction-- and kissed him upon the cheek, stepping away to release his hand.

"You do not need to be invulnerable." She paused, at that, shouldering the blanket she had wrapped around herself when she'd left the house. "You only need to get up more than they can keep you down."

It was inevitable, after all, that he would fall. She knew that. He knew that, but the thought of outlasting defeat was defiant in his mind nonetheless.

"You are destined for great things." The mantra was invoked, and his eyes were bathed in blinding red. He looked to the sky, his own convictions reaffirmed, and shattered the earth below as his body disappeared into the sky. The clouds around his body departed, and the air cried out in a crackling shockwave.

To Houston, he went.


Image



To Houston, he arrived.

He had lost his jacket somewhere over Oklahoma, leaving him in the casual wear he had donned to read out in the garden; he only had a grey t-shirt and black cargo pants, along with hiking boots he wore while camping with his family in the summer months. A shame-- he really did like this particular pair of shoes, and they were a gift from his father. The thought of disintegrating them against the likes of alien vermin was disappointing.

Justified xenophobia would come in due time-- first, there was a dire need for humanitarian efforts. The cries of onlookers and injured casualties were a song that swept throughout the leveled blocks of Houston's evacuated radius, and it was only a matter of deciding which string to pluck first. His ears-- and, subsequently, his eyes-- were drawn to a nearly-collapsed building at the far circumference of the impact zone. The sound of echoing cracks from disheveled pillars was cause enough to quickly bound towards the wreckage; where he was once levitating turned into empty air in the breadth of a second, a harsh thunderclap announcing his departure. It was a balancing act to keep his clothes from outright tearing due to the sudden acceleration-- thankfully, the clothes he wore were all purposefully knit with high-strength fiber, by hand, at the behest of his own mother. He'd worked many hours to pay for the kevlar threads woven into his wardrobe.

The cries came from the second floor, and Solorion shattered the window with a backhand from his right, leaving the glass to clatter upon the dust-laden floor. A concrete pillar lay horizontally across the floor, where it wedged two unfortunate office workers against the ground. The Solorion Man approached, calmly, looking down at them as they looked up at him.

"T-thank God-- p-please, you have to-- h-help-- he's unconscious--" One man spoke, looking to the monist that lay trapped beside him; blood fell from his skull, hands outstretched at odd angles. Solorion furrowed his brow, and silently bent down. Effortlessly, the concrete pillar was lifted, held up by a single arm that-- admittedly, while somewhat tested in its strength-- was largely unflexed. The man who was still conscious looked up at him for a moment, as if somewhat held in a state of disbelief.

Solorion responded with a nod of his head to the right, eyebrows raising. "Go?" He asked, as if the man before him was somehow debating the prospect of throwing himself back under the pillar-- but the man assented, and he crawled out from beneath the pillar.

"Don't forget your friend."

He would have dragged the unconscious body out himself, but he did not want to risk injuring the man even more-- especially with his own level of strength. The one that was awake dragged the other one out, and when they were both clear of the pillar, Solorion let go of the concrete and stepped back. It fell with a dull smack against the ground, and he looked to the two monists he had rescued.

"I-- I can walk-- try and get t-to-- others. And-- thank you. Thank you, I--"

Another thunderclap-- the man's ears rang, and Solorion was naught but a blur that left where he had entered. A second passed, and with a rush of air that accompanied a near-instantaneous cessation of momentum, he was standing before a group of unarmed monists that were relatively unscathed. Dust clattered within the air, and he stared at the pair for a moment, his own presence provoking a scream from the one closest to him.

He would have evacuated them himself, but-- at his own arrival, they began to run, towards the man that had just been yelling at them and following the evacuation path all other sane monists were following. In times like these, it was best to leave matters of engagement to the Four-Star-Blessed. That, or the very brave unpowered few.

The Solorion Man gave a curt two-finger salute to the emergency services attendant, and once more became a blur, taking off to the skies to find the being that had touched down to senselessly murder and destroy. He was no stranger to violence, but this... this was without means to an end. It was directionless.

Whichever path hostilities took, he intended for it to be truncated.

He laid eyes upon the disgusting abomination moments after he had taken to the air, spotting her through the cloud of dust and smoke that layered itself thick throughout the impact site. Another moment, and he appeared with a thundercrack in the air above the unnamed thing. Fitting, that it should look like a woman. Fitting, that it should commit theft and approximate itself, failingly, to that which was most pure.

He intended to get its attention.

"FALSE PROPHET." Solorion's voice boomed, his own eyes glowing with scarlet fury-- no longer present with pupil or cornea, only a sea of red and orange, like miniature stars that burned within narrowed sockets.

"YOU'VE COME TO MY EARTH WITH AGONY IN YOUR WAKE. I INTEND TO REMOVE YOU."

The Solorion Man was not one to mince words. In case the moronic insect in front of him were to conflate his words, he ended his declaration with a simple command.

"DIE."

Twin ribbons of crimson-bound hatred erupted from his eyes, the superheated strands of roping plasma ejected in helix-driven spirals as they shot towards their target. The air around the plasma beams ignited-- where the cast-off strands of superheated material fell, they would burn, singing through the earth. Both arcs from each eye were concentrated directly upon the woman as she walked, and where she went, they would follow.

And if he had his way, she would be scorched from the earth.

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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Total Experience » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:04 am

BOOM!

The electrifying onslaught of blows hammered away at the Living Comet, each but a taste of the justice he intended to deliver to the invader. In fact, it wasn't so often he thought of himself as bringing justice; he usually considered that kind of thinking too headstrong, too arrogant. But when it came to flattening a couple of city blocks, a good beat-down was more than deserved. If he was one of the only ones around with the strength to follow through, he owed it to the people of Houston to get her under control.

That said...

She's weathering my hits without so much as flinching! What is this power - ?

Something flickered in his awareness; it was the distinct sound of a bowstring being drawn. That had to be none other than Quiver of the SOS, a welcome ally in this duel. But even as she drew back on her weapon, Total Experience noticed something else - a change that overcame the very body of the enemy he fought. It was something that reminded him of the woman he'd battled on the train, a subtle adoption of both his traits and Quiver's.

Could she be an ability mimic of some sort?

No further questions!

Quiver unleashed her barrage of arrows, complementing the Total Typhoon of blows, and a new arrival - Daystar - followed up with an atmospheric punch that launched the Living Comet far away. Attentive to his surroundings, Experience had already relinquished the invader before the projectiles could slam into her; he now stood somewhat apart from the others in the original crater, shifting his shoulder to shake off the last remains of rubble from his tunneling maneuver.

"Good hit. Stay alert!" he said to Daystar, regarding her with a smile and slight nod. Why were all the new heroes so young?

Now wasn't the time to think about that. He had a job to do.

Closing the gap in time to strike the Living Comet again would prove difficult...he'd need to use another special ability, particularly of his rain of punches had produced little in terms of results.

Total Experience produced none other than an American quarter from one of his pockets, flicking it up between his fingers as casually as a magician might twist it around his knuckles. A small spark of electricity traveled between the silver coin and his gleaming finger, and then, it was suspended in front of the metal nail, held in place by unknowably powerful electromagnetic forces.

By the time the dust had cleared from the damaged building, Astra had already gone to work on two other civilians who had recklessly charged towards her. Or was that bravery? Commendable as it might have been under other circumstances, she dispatched them with too much speed for T.E. to intervene. It was gut-wrenching, watching her take them apart, as though they'd never been there...just two more people that deserved justice. But as he raised his hand to fire the 25 cent railgun, something gave him pause.

The way she attended to the other kneeling civilian; the strange, very weird way she placed her hands on her head...

...and then walked away.

He held up a fist, glancing at both Daystar and Quiver. Quiver as already gone, so he looked at Daystar.

"Hold on. Something strange is going on...that invader took my silver muscle and Quiver's golden eye...and the military fired on her first, before we knew what it was, in an effort to divert her flight path. Then she killed those two men when they jumped her, but spared the woman. I think, whatever she is, she's learning, or reacting to us, in a way we can't quite fathom...!"

His eyes narrowed.

What is the mystery of the Living Comet? And how can it be stopped?
Image
"We have to get in her way, but attacking directly, I think, is somehow influencing its actions!" he continued, starting over towards Quiver. Soon enough he was standing by her, behind Astra as she moved away from them all.

"We need to interrupt her...or distract her, before she kills again. Every time she gets attacked, she reacts, copying what was done."

Though he trusted the others to pay heed to his words, but the man who shot at her from the sky did not.

Total Experience clenched his fist.

I'd know those lasers anywhere.

Things had just gone from complicated to crossover special. It was none other than the Mad Prophet of Topeka, Kansas, here to rain his wrath down on someone he apparently considered the competition!

Old Kansas glass-jaw had gone down without much of a fight, if you consider retreating going down. He'd caught T.E.'s punch, which was testament to his strength, but he'd had the good sense to turn tail and get out when the numbers weren't in his favor. But what was he doing here? All this talk of false prophets had a good old fashioned religious flavor to it, and when you combined that with the power to level cities, people tended to get hurt. What an extravagant display!

"We'll nab him later. Focus on her. She's the most dangerous right now," he said, taking aim with his gun hand.

"Stand back! I'm about to test my theory!"

This power - so destructive - it had to be used sparingly. He'd launched a bit of metal at a bank robber before, but that had just been with a fraction of energy behind it. Even then, it'd almost completely taken the man out, which was how T.E. obtained his mysterious and dangerous glasses that could open portals on reflective surfaces. Even though it'd potentially saved someone's life, unleashing the power of magnetism was nothing to be taken lightly.

This was no time for caution.

At the end of his index finger, the coin trembled...

...he breathed out, and let his thumb press down against the top of his finger...

...and then, the coin shot with extreme power straight towards the Living Comet!

The TOTAL RAILGUN returns, this time in full force!

BANG!

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Re: Falling Star [Open]

Post by Daystar » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:55 pm

UNLIKELY ALLIES
Disappointed that her blow hadn't been sufficient to take the Manufactured Deity out, Alex watched her fly through a skyscraper with her telescopic vision, observing as she righted herself before impact. But before she could pursue Astra, Total Experience began speaking. Part of Daystar wanted to ignore him, and charge after Astra alone. But if what he was saying was true, there'd be little point in doing so. All the strength in the world wouldn't matter if it just made her opponent stronger.

On top of everything else, another would-be god descended from the heavens. The cherry on top of the shit sundae this day had turned into. Nevertheless, the Chrome Champion was right about him, too. He'd need to be dealt with eventually, but so long as he was interested in ending the threat of the Comet Queen, they were allies.

"I have an idea," Alex said shortly. She wasn't exactly in the mood for idle chatter. Without further ado, she took off into the air, surveying the impact zone from above. This time she was seeking out something specific. An unconventional weapon, for her unorthodox strategy. If attacking head-on wasn't an option, Daystar would need to find an alternate solution to the problem. Easier said than done for a 'flying artillery' cape such as herself. None of the built-in versatility of a tech genius like Terminus, or a magnetokinetic like Total Experience.

Locating what she'd been looking for, Daystar swooped down, not to strike, but to scoop up a steel girder, something that had likely been exposed by the comet's impact. It would have made a moderately effective improvised weapon, under different circumstances. Certainly lifting it up was as easy for Alex as hefting a baseball bat might have been. But that was little different from simply using her fists. Instead, she hoisted the metal beam over one shoulder, and rose back up into the air.

Channeling some of her excess power into her hands, Alex began to heat the beam up. Specifically, to two thousand, seven hundred and fifty degrees fahrenheit, the melting point of stainless steel. Attaining that level of heat felt easier than it should have been. But Daystar still wasn't ready to question her unexpected power-up. It felt a little like a scene in a Looney Tunes cartoon, where a character ran off a cliff, hovered in the air for a moment, and only fell when they realized where they were. If she actually observed the source of this power, it felt as if it would disappear without warning.

Rather than directly melt the beam in her hands, Daystar stopped just short of the right temperature, before hurling the steel girder like a spear, directly at Astra. Thanks to her strength, it would fly much like one, despite its lack of an aerodynamic shape. Then, calling on her enhanced speed, Alex would take aim at the beam, moments before it would make impact, and fire a precise beam of heat at it, hot enough to liquefy the already superheated metal. Thus, when it made impact, it would not be in the form of solid steel, but molten metal, carried by its momentum directly into Astra's face.

Unfortunately, without the ability to manipulate energy in the opposite direction, Alex wouldn't be able to cool off the metal, to make it instantly harden around the Comet Queen. But a gallon of super-hot molten metal to the face would still hurt like a motherfucker, not to mention potentially even burn through her skin, or get in her eyes. Unlikely to be a killing blow, but it would at least surprise her, even slow her down, so the other heroes could deliver a follow-up.

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