Heavy Metal Horde Finale 3: The Hellfire Solution

Brief Title:
Heavy Metal Horde Finale 3: The Hellfire Solution

Characters:
The Enchantress, Cybermancer, Ballista, Skids, NPC: Sebastian Shaw, The Ghost, Ultron, Sentinels

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
08/06/12 12:00

Location:
The Inner Circle Meeting Hall in the Hellfire Club, Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York City

Summary:
Shaw has assured the heroes that he and his connections can and will take care of the Sentinels standing deadly watch over most of the major cities around the world. Now it's time for them to deliver.

Social or Plot:

TS:
No

Log:
-----==[ Inner Circle Meeting Hall - Hellfire Club - New York ]==-------------

Long red velvet curtains hang from ceiling to floor about the room. Along the three interior walls of the room is a large and long table shaped like a squared horseshoe. Ten high-backed stately and softly cushioned chairs sit around the edge of the table for the lords and ladies of Cardinal. Four of theses sit at the head of the eastern table for the kings and queens, and then on each side table are six chairs for the lesser cardinals. A banner hangs behind each seat denoting the rank of each courtier. The chessboard floor is made of marble plates, black and white, and gleams under the light of the huge brass braziers which light the corners of the room. Gold candelabrae are space about the table, slender black tapers burning. Gold decanters also sit on the tables, on service trays bearing ornately jeweled gold chalices. The ceiling is vaulted Cathedral-like, but instead of the serene faces of angels, demon faces leer down at you with impish delight. The room is well lit from the roaring flames in the huge fireplace about six foot high and at least as wide. The room itself has a middle-ages look and feel to it, the walls set in large stone blocks like that of a ancient castle. Banners bearing the ancestry symbols of passed and present members of the Inner Circle hang down unmoving.

==============================================================================
Contents:
Sally
Enchantress
Obvious Exits:
[O] - Lower Level - Hellfire Club -




The less said about the blood, the better. Amora, the Enchantress, has used it to draw an arcane circle on the floor of the meeting room. Suzi, in her Cybermancer suit, has been settled into the center. Amora painted each of Suzi's eyelids with the blood as well. "I have no doubt you can 'hack' one Sentinel. Perhaps even two. There are, however, hundreds, and they must all be disabled at the same moment. Given the abilities of your suit and the data provided by Sebastian you have the ability... but not the mind for it. The human mind is not equipped to perform hundreds of tasks at once. The mind of an Asgardian goddess, however..."

Amora smirks and settles into the lotus position in front of Suzi. "This spell will link us, briefly. The input from every Sentinel will be filtered through my mind and experience, allowing Ms. Endo to perform the hundreds of tasks from hundreds of points of view are required. The rest of you are protection to ensure the ritual is uninterupted."

Amora says three sharp words. Words of power that shake the very room. Green tendrils extend from Amora's eyes and ears and mouth and connect to Suzi's. The two are tethered and the magic and hacking begins.

Three minutes go by before a ghostly white figure oozes through the wall of the inner sanctum. "Endo. Shaw. Frost. Did you think your little cabal of industrialists would go unnoticed? Did you think you would go unpunished for the evils of your greed and manipulations!?!" Here it is. In this room there is proof positive that every conspiracy theory, every fear about corporate America is true. And the Ghost is ever the enemy of those who would use capitalism to destroy. As hespeaks, the Ghost steps forward and slaps a strange device, a two inch square circuit patch, on Sebastian Shaw's chest. Sebastian's form grows opaque as he is rendered partially out of phase with this reality. Unable to touch anything... unable to touch each himself to remove the device.

Ballista is here in her normal goth outfit, bag of ball bearings at her hip and a bracer of knives across her chest. She wasn't fully sure about this especially as she watches what is going on. But then she is startled as the ghostly figure comes though and takes out Shaw like that. Her hand slips into that bag.

There was a talk, about fitting in, the best way to protect someone is to fit in, look like you belong and be a part the environment you're in. Having spent most of the earlier part of the day at Endo Electronics, a pair of pumps, and a pantsuit is worn by Sally, all in a sky blue with pastel yellow blouse beneath the sportcoat. Now, standing outside that circle, looks up as Ghost makes his appearance. The blonde is surrounded in a golden/yellowish field, shifting her weight slightly, "You don't belong here." here she says towards the figure, a subtle waving of her hand at her side towards Ballista, to urge the girl to move closer to her.

Of course, Suzanne Endo knows what tasks lie ahead, and had made her own plans to adjust to the number of tasks required in the timeframe necessary. Her plan had been a simultaneous release of the same worm program through radio signals at every major city around the globe, something she is quite capable of achieving. Given the data from Shaw, she has had the time to prepare the program to be uploaded, so that the worms would only unfold their payload when confronted with the Sentinel Mark II systems. The worms would be embedded in apparent SHIELD tactical transmissions, something the Sentinels would be unable to resist hacking. The rest would all take care of itself. Or so Suzi believed.

Being brought here, to this place, and for a ritual like this worries Suzi. What is it that the others know that she does not? How will it affect her part in all of this, her potential success - or terrible failure. As Shaw has already said several times: they cannot rule the world, openly or from behind the scenes, if Ultron rules. Ultron must be stopped if anything that any of them want is ever to unfold. If Amora believes this is necessary in order to achieve victory ... then Suzi will trust her. Not because she wants to, but because the possibility of failure if she does not is unacceptable. So as disgusting as she finds being daubed with blood to be, she accepts it. She waits to put on her helmet and complete her cyberlink to the suit's systems until after Amora is done that rather disturbing task.

Cybermancer - for she does not even think of herself as Suzi Endo right now - spends those three minutes wisely. The supposed SHIELD encrypted transmissions are arranged, all around the world. It goes so much faster, so much easier, with the Enchantress' deific mind lending an assist to balance all of the details. The encryption patterns are matched. The signals are filled with relevant if innacurate data. The worms are planted ...

And then the Ghost appears. The Requiem Sharks are not here, not in this place. They are not cleared for the knowledge that they would gain if they were in this place at this time. The plan for the Ghost's removal is now all out of whack. How he found this sanctum is easy. How he got in is a different story. Shaw of all people should have prepared against that eventuality. But perhaps his reasources on that front are limited? She cannot know. What she can know. What she does know. She must succeed. She shouts, "He's either invisible, or intangible. He cannot be both." She cannot afford to enter that battle herself. Not yet. The Sentinels must come first. Damn the psychotic bastard to a special Hell for that!

"Focus!" Amora hisses, grabbing hold of Cybermancer's hands. "If you do not focus my senses will overwhelm you and your mind will be driven into insanity!" It is hard... for with this link, Suzi becomes aware of things beyond the Sentinels. She brushes up against ten thousand years of interupted history. Sees fleeting glimpses of civilizations long since past and others so alien they are almost beyond comprehension. She gains knowledge that in dozens, perhaps hundreds of places in the world, the Enchantress is being invoked either by name or by deed, by mortals offering her, knowingly or not, acts of worship. Giving Amora more power.

The Ghost turns, hissing. "What is this? Black magic. Corporate greed mixed with satanism. I KNEW IT! David Icke was right!" He whirls, his eyes on the Ballista and Sally. "And what are you? If we remove your masks, are you Reptilians?" Still intangible, he raises his hand, a grenade device held inside. "This place must be burned from the face of the Earth!" He drops the grenade. If it hits the ground, who knows what will happen!

Ballista blinks and was starting to move towards Sally when she sees that grenade like object and shakes her head, "That can't be good." she says and mutters, "Not wearing a mask." she mutters and then starts to move and boosts her speed a bit as she tries to slow the grenade down, taking away its kinetic energy so she could pluck it out of the air, wouldn't do for it to hit the ground, of course it might not work and leave her at ground zero too.

There's a reason you're supposed to listen to your elders. This is one of those times. Sally had been sliding towards the circle, to stand at it's edge. Once there, that field suddenly was not just surrounding her, but a half bubble extended out to just past the edge of the magical circle, protecting the pair of women, beneath the field. With her arms held out to the side, a stern look of concentration on her face, "Ghost, now is possible the worst time for your psychotic ramblings, come back to kill us all some other time." she says in a rather annoyed tone.

Cybermancer smacks Amora's hands away, hissing in return. "Don't /touch/ my hands, Amora!" OK. To be fair, the Enchantress had no way whatsoever to know that grabbing Suzi's hands was a bad thing. But Suzi isn't exactly in a Happy Place right now. A part of her - the intellectual, cerebral part - longs to delve into all of that which opens up to her through Amora's mind. But as Amora will quickly divine, Cybermancer's mind is far more focused and agile than that. She has a mission, a goal, and everything else falls away to the ephemeral in the face of that.

Freed from Amora's grip, Cybermancer's fingers fly, rapidly executing countless commands, imposing her will. Satellites shift their orbits. Signals change. Images are created. Truths are revealed. Around the globe, hundreds of Sentinel Mark IIs intercept thousands of SHIELD encrypted tactical transmissions, delvering their counterfeit data. And somewhere deep wtihin their innards, the code delivered begins to unfold.

Moments of pure pleasure. Ectasies of the flesh. The taste of fruit so sweet, so tender, so full of power that Suzi has no frame of reference. Jealousy and rage so intense it burns. All seeking to burrow into the Cybermancer's mind. To overwhelm and destroy her. Amora clenches her hands and forces her own anger and being ordered about by a mortal down. Swallows it whole. For now.

The grenade slows down and Ballista does manage to pluck it from the air and prevents it from detonating. Which puts her right beneath the Ghost's gun. "Tool of the System! DIE!" He fires, near point blank at the back of Ballista's head.

Ballista winces and is really hoping that its enough as she tries to slow the bullet down, but she is expecting it to not be enough, since there isn't a lot of time.

She grits her teeth, the immediate large threat of the grenade stopped, the area forcefield dropped back down to just around her body, as she moves around the circle, Sally narrowing her eyes as she moves towards Ghost, but not yet close enough to engage him.

Of course, Amora's annoyance finds sympathy, harmony with Cybermancer's annoyance, which makes it ten or a hundred times as hard to hold back the tide of thought, image, sensation and awareness attached to it. It doesn't help that a part of her hungers for those things. No. She must shut it out. And so ... Cybermancer becomes the cold. The digital. The cyber, instead of the human. Of course, concentrating on the Sentinels means she is doing nothing at all to help protect the group from the Ghost. Damn it all.

All things have spirit. Even the innanimate. Even cold, horrible things such as Ultron... and Ultron's nanites. The millions of nano-Ultrons become aware on an instinctual level even they know does not exist. They become aware of infiltration. Opposition. Their psychic energy combines... millions of tiny needles slicing through the link. Pricking holes in Cybermancer's code. Adding static to her connection. Like a wolf being overwhelmed by a tide of fire ants, Cybermancer finds herself under attack.

The bullet slows and instead of piercing through the back of Ballista's head it just slaps into her with the force of... well... a slap. Like being Gibbs-slapped by a pro boxer.

Ghost believes he has just ended Ballista's life so he turns his full attention to Sally Blevins. "Analysis shows a forcefield. Not technological in origin. Mutant. Fool. You think these people will help you? Then you might as well be in NEVERLAND. Think you know the score? Then you should try being WIDE AWAKE. Corporate America will either control or destroy mutants... and Shaw makes it possible." He steps forwad and thrusts his gun at Sally. The forcefield slows him down... but it doesn't stop him. Partially out of phase with this dimension, the gun passes through the field like a fish through jello.

Ballista is expecting to be killed at this point and then gets slapped knocking her to the ground. She is still breathing though. She shoves her hand into her bag of bearings pulls out a handful of probably close to a dozen which she throws at Ghost's back hoping he is solid enough for it. She accelerates the bearings so they are going to hit like a bunch of .22 caliber bullets, like a spray from a shotgun blast.

Completely unprepared, Cybermancer is distracted, confused, and then overwhelmed by the feedback suddenly storming her consciousness. She can't figure out what it is, where it's coming from, or what to do about it. Her plan, her design for all of this shouldn't create any feedback. There are no connections between her and the code unfolding inside those Sentinels. She'd already done everything needing to be done, when she created the signals and put them 'into the wild' around the world. But now she is being attacked. She retreats, pulls back, and throws up firewalls, closing off her connections to the world outside of her own mind. Unfortunately, that leaves her alone with nothing ... except Amora's mind. Amora's connections. Amora's infinite consciousness and awareness.

Logoff complete.

Goodbye, Cybermancer.

She's pretty committed at this point, "Tell ya what Ghost, you can take me to them yourself then, just gotta take me down first." Seeing the gun move through her forcefield, is...disconcerting, that's honestly never happened to her, and she tries twisting away from the barrel of that gun.

Amora senses something going wrong with the ritual. Cybermancer panicking and pulling back. "Foolish mortal! FOCUS!" She shouts bit its too late. The Enchantress twists her fingers and the circle breaks. The ritual is canceled.

Ghost, much like Sally, is disconcerted by the strange effect her forcefield has on his phase shifting technology. By his calculations, he should have passed through without effort. He yanks backwards, finding the feeling... icky. In that brief instant, the Ghost solidifies. In that brief instant, Ballista's ball bearings slam into the power pack of his suit. There's an explosion of energy and a blinding light... and when sight returns, Sebastian Shaw has regained solidity. The Ghost is gone... only a smoking scortch mark remains where he once stood. Is he gone? Can a Ghost truly be destroyed?

Across the world, hundreds of Sentinels stand watch over every major city, each bearing the face, the head, of Ultron. Controlled and commanded by Ultron through the nanites they bear, connected back to Ultron through interdimensional signals, the Sentinels are his. Their usual shutdown codes have already proven useless. Override codes have failed. SHIELD tactical teams have taken position, but have not yet had to take action. Having not done so, the priority directives they bear to act against any violence have not been keyed. They have stood impassive, imposing, and ultimately deadly.

Inside, unseen by any but the nanites and previously the Cybermancer - enhanced as she was by Amora's magical ritual - the worm programs that Suzi Endo designed have been unfolding. They have grown and expanded. They have learned from the systems that were learning to combat them. Specific codes have been gleaned several hundred times over, each unique, each unknown to any but that Sentinel and to Ultron. And yet, as one, a wave crosses over the face of the Earth.

As the attacks unfold - strike teams appearing in Paris, in London, in Washington, DC. and Moscow, and as - rumors have it - Godzilla attacks Beijing - and another team appears directly translated into orbit - the Sentinels power up from standby to full power. Weapons systems come online. Scanners reach out to their maximum range and resolution. Targeting systems come online. Adaptive tactical algorithms start gaming out the best approaches to taking out the SHIELD teams surrounding them. And just as they start to move ... it happens.

As one, all around the world, the Sentinels enter Maintenance mode. Doing so, they power down. Then they actually scram the rods in their reactors, and completely shut down all of their systems. The very thing Shaw told Suzi would happen. The very thing no one outside this room really believes could be done. And ... it happens.

Hundreds of cities around the world unknowingly owe their lives and their continued existence to the tender mercies of the Hellfire Club.

Wait till they get the bill.

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