Manhattan Under Siege Finale

Brief Title:
Siege Finito

Iron Man, Black Panther, Havok, Mockingbird, Ms. Marvel, Ares, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Night Raven, American Dream

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:

Midtown Manhattan

Hades returns, Heroes battle the Shadow Army

Social or Plot:


The sun rises on the city of Manhattan, casting long shadows and lending an eerie haze to the mayhem that has tormented it. The third day of the attack begins quietly. Some of the fires that had raged over the past few days have run their course, the citizens have mostly been evacuated or gone to ground, and the creatures of shadow have become more scarce. The attacks on the safe zones have faltered somewhat, so much so that some of the people within those shelters have started to culture some hints of hope, a few daring even to venture outside or beyond the security points.
Yet there is a palpable feel across the city, a feeling of potential, almost of energy held in check and only needing the trigger to release it.
In the safe haven at the base of the Chrysler building, things are no different. The aged building has seen better days, luckily its higher floors having escaped much of the damage from the attack, though the same cannot be said for the lower floors. It's served as a focal point for the city's resistance, a bastion against the dark creatures and their encroachment. The remaining National Guard forces within the city have set up a perimeter, the refugees within are resting, getting medical care, or working on solidifying some of the makeshift barriers that have been given to them to help the defense of the place as well as to give people just something to do.

At the moment, most of the Avengers are out there. Heavy hitters like Ms. Marvel are ensuring that buildings don't collapse and fires are put out. After all, surviving the attack isn't enough. The city has to be able to rebuild afterwards. Those without Carol or Thor's powers are out scowering the city in shifts, searching for survivors, keeping looters and worse from preying on the weak and helpless. That sort of thing. That's was American Dream's task for most of the evening. Right now, though, she's sucking down some cheap coffee after an hour of wartime shut eye.
"Thanks," she offers to the cute but ragged run barrista who set herself in charge of supplying coffee to those working.

Mockingbird hasn't been directly involved in much of the fighting, but she hasn't been idle. The blonde Avenger has been scouting the city on a fact-finding mission, and after being gone most of the day yesterday she returns. Mock is in costume, and packing a few additional accessories. Most notably, a NATO-issue assault rifle with under-barrel grenade launcher is slung casually over one shoulder. A very visible reminder that she's only human, after all. "Is that coffee?" she asks, following the smell.
From afar, Iron Man grins, nods, tries to decide what he's been up to..and perhaps much as is noted of what Carol's been up to. "Shadow attacks..yet they're obviously able to be hurt physically, right?"

Being able to take the sky and get back and forth across the city in seconds on her pegasus, Dani has not only led some aerial attacks on various areas that have been overrun with the demonic shadows, she has also been acting as messenger between the various safe haven outposts.
Currently though her and Brightwind are taking a break. She leans against the pegasus' flank as she and the stallion fortify themselves with a quick breakfast before going out and making themselves a target again.

Havok, leader of X-Factor rounds the block (2 blocks away from the skirmish area). He walks down the center of the roadway. On either side of him, when something emerges (or he thinks it does), he raises an arm, and with a FOOOOOOOOM releases a bolt of his plasma energy obliterating the small to medium sized targets.
Upon closer inspection, his new full body black costume has a few rips that reveal his skin beneath. Skin that has also suffered abrasion and bruise.
Havok continues walking at a steady, almost casual, pace toward the scene.

Landing in a flare of jetwash from his boots, Iron Man settles just outside the Chrysler Building, his armor covered in dirt and smudges of various sorts from his efforts to help secure buildings and put out fires much like Ms Marvel. Taking a moment to look around the Avenger turns to look back away from the building and into the heart of the city for a moment of silence before he turns back and walks into the building with the rather obvious goal of finding the others he knows are there. "Certainly smells like coffee." he says, a tone making it clear that he too could use some of the bitter stuff.

Through bouts of reality and alternate reality, Night Raven sees it all as one continuum through the chaos that has plagued the city. His current situation seems him walking down the street with paramedics, whom yesterday served as an enemy for a limited time. Though these paramedics are in the process of reclaiming the dead it would seem, venturing out further to retrieve the fallen as signs of hope appear figuratively on the horizon. Somewhere he's stumbled upon a personal defense weapon, FNP90, as his current personal choice of shadow fighting sidearm. Not that there has been as much of that lately. Rather he's walking beside a couple of paramedics in the retrieval business with his attention focused on whoever is beneath the white sheet.
"No, you're right Big Wing Wang could mean Gnawn Big Wig - Gnawn could be a play at gnaw on. So you're saying the boss meeting at Big Wing Wang could really be a play that one of the bosses might be taken out." Then he looks at the sheet for a little while and nods, "Yes, we should play this carefully when I meet that fellah over in Chinatown." There is more listening and nodding for the moment. "Sure, I'll grab you a cup then," he says to his deceased friend and makes his way to the coffee station as well, which seems to be the new super hero rally point near the Chrysler Building.

The Panther lurks high above the city streets. Crouched upon a ledge, he looks down at the scene as it comes together. He remains concealed and chooses not to reveal himself at this moment. Watching, waiting.

"Coffee." American Dream turns, holding out a cup to Mockingbird. "I'm going to go back out in a minute. This is like being in the eye of the hurricane. You can feel something's coming... something big." She wrinkles her nose. "Maybe..." And then Iron Man arrives. "Hello, sir." She offers the man in steel. "There's enough left if you would like a cup, too."

Mock accepts the coffee with gloved hands, her grateful smile brightening the otherwise smudged appearance. "Thanks, Shannon." she replies. Taking a sip, she offers casually. "I've learned something about our invaders during my recon. Two leaders... Gaius Marius, and Titus Flavius Vespasianus. One's a seven-headed eagle-thing and the other's something between a bear and a pig. They -can- be hurt, and likely even killed." Here, she looks to Tony and Ms. Marvel. "Something else, too. They're not here for us. We're just in the way of something much bigger. Haven't sorted that completely through yet, however."

Iron Man glances at the coffee, "One of these days I'll give up and make it so I can drink without opening up the helmet. Thanks for the offer, though, Shannon." Then he listens to Mockingbird's report and one can almost see the frown of thought on his face. "Sounds like we're going to need to get things settled here enough that we can concentrate on dealing with the leaders before that 'big' thing happens. I hate not knowing the end game, though, this run around and prop up buildings thing is far too much like playing catch-up."

Panther lurks from on high keeping watch. American Dream says she has a bad feeling about this and offerred coffee to Iron Man. Mock relayed intel about there being two leaders, Gaius Marius, and Titus Flavius Vespasianus, and described them. Iron Man then posed again just chatting mostly about hating having a bad feeling.'

After the past couple days of more fighting than sleeping Dani would like something a little stronger than coffee, but since none of that seems to be available she has to settle. Giving the stallion a pat on the flank she heads over to get a cup hearing the talk of the leaders "Gaius Marius? One of the big demons we took out yesterday was mentioning him." she glances over at Dream since she was at that encounter "Do you recall what he said?
Mirage pages: Phone, client blah blah blah, my exwife won't listen, blah blah blah. etc

Havok continues to walk toward the Chrysler Building, yet still nearly 2 blocks away. Another FOOOOM eradicates a shadowy creature emerging from an alleyway. His expression is that of annoyance. He's been here before, faced demons the last time when New York was overrun by Magik's pets. He didn't have fun then, and he's not having fun now.

Nearing the coffee group, Night Raven is stuck looking at American Dream as he approaches and waits for the present barista to get a cup of coffee for his traveling companion. His expression quizzical, yet mostly concealed by his ivory mask. When he finally takes the coffee, he side comments to the barista, "I guess I should be thankful for this run in, sort of helps me anchor to reality - or realize the boat has sailed. In my reality, Captain America wasn't so well endowed in the chest, and /his/ hair was well kept." Meaning short. Shaking his head as if that clears out the wiggles there, he ponders back towards the barista, "Now, did you see where John was off to."

The Panther does not stir. His body remains poised and resistant to the high winds of the city. He spies the blasting of Havok and mentally reviews the documentation on him and his team X-Factor. Glancing down, he looks to the going's on of his fellow Avengers (even though he himself is only reserve and has not announced his presence in the city). His head turns and utilizing his keen sense of hearing, attempts to listen in on the various conversations.
One thing that might be noted by Iron Man is the presence of Vibranium in the area (if IM is doing an active sweep); 15 floors up, across the street, ledge.

Distantly, some of those shadows that Havok blasted must not have been entirely alone. There's nothing overly obvious, but occasionally some of the vulture-like flying abominations land upon the rooftops around the Chrysler building, or hanging from the side of the buildings like some giant ominous-looking bats and looking down with faintly gleaming crimson eyes.
Yet more begin to show, flapping with great sweeps of their wings and one even lifts its beak to roar a ragged scream. It's enough to echo across the nearby city, bouncing along the walls into the valley between skyscrapers. And then, as if one, all of those batlike creatures take wing and fly upwards.

"Sure. He sa..." Well, that bit of intelligence gathering is interupted by the screaming. "Darn." She sets the cup down and sweeps the shield off of her back. "Something's happening. Sir, orders?" She turns to Iron Man, the most experienced hero currently on scene, and waits for the plan.

Mockingbird is sipping her coffee when the aerial creatures begin to swarm. Blue eyes glance upward as she finishes the sip, then she sets the cup down. "Crap." she mutters. "Well that's different." Casually slinging the FAL from her shoulder, Mock chambers a round and switches the safety off. "Just remember, folks, as far as they're concerned we're just ants in the way. Don't give 'em an excuse to step on us unless you're going to make it count." Stepping out for a better view, she adds. "The big bats are just grunts. Let's see what's got their attention."

Dani knows that sound (the FWOOMING) one and she spares a glance down the street to see Havok blasting at shadows. She turns back to Dream, as she begins to relay what the Emissary said,taking a sip of her coffee, wincing at the bitterness of it. It is forgotten in her hand though as the demon scream reverberates through the area. Her eyes widen as she looks up to see the multitude of flying demons swarm upwards.
Handing off her coffee to the startled barrista she runs to her pegasus and vaults onto his back.

"Well.." Iron Man starts to reply to Night Raven and then the noise starts outside and Shannon looks at him, he turns and as he starts out the door to get a better look at what's going on he activates all of the sensors in his suit to reach out and scan across the area. "Alright folks, looks like things are going to get moving again. Let's get some eyes on what's going on and get prepped for an assault. As Mockingbird says..let's not attract any undue attention while we try and figure out what's up..and were the real fight's at."

Havok spies the darkening around the Chrysler building rooftop. He sighs, mutters, "crap", and begins to pick up the pace. He's got 2 blocks to cover, and won't be doing it anytime soon. He's already exhausted from the days and nights preceding this one.

"Oh something is definitely happening," agrees Night Raven to the random female that said that, most likely one of his illusionary friends that must not be real as he can't identify who said 'something is happening.' "Too many jalepenos coupled with too many sweets, I think that's old age kicking in again. This is going to get rough." Good thing the iron suit guy is seemingly taking charge, so he lifts his weapon up and seems to be getting ready, "You betcha Tin-man, call us some shots, but if any of the shadows get too close, I'm not holding back."

Turning to look upward, the Panther spies the many new arrivals. He will wait for Iron Man's initiative before doing anything. Making sure not to disrupt an attack and discern what tactic they and he himself will use.

The calls continue to echo, ragged CAW-CAW-CAWs as those shadows climb up and up, starting to circle now around the Chrysler building, ducking and weaving around those old gargoyles that still stand sentinel upon the building. Yet they seem content to watch for now, uttering their guttural approximations of laughter as their nightmare wings sweep the air.
Yet then more noise is heard, coming from the northeast towards 44th street. A rumbling, heavy, powerful, as if the sound of a herd of elephants being rushed through the city's streets. It's only when they round the corner that their approach becomes apparent, large bestial creatures composed from nightmare, running on all fours like a ragged brigade of gigantic reptilian gorillas, and armored with chitinous plates.
There's no hesitation in their approach, no pause for posturing. They simple barrel around the corner and then rush forward charging towards the barricades that block the street and the building from the onslaught of the shadowy horde.

"... mmm." American Dream strains her eyes as the beasts come closer. Closer. The sounds of thunder shattering through the air. "Just like Master Barton always says. The bad guys love to bring in the heavy artillery after they soften you up." She plucks a transmitter off her belt and presses a button. A series of small, controlled explosions go off like popcorn along the street in front of the makeshift shelter. Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom.
Interesting fact about New York City. Its hollow. Beneath the streets there are basements, subway tunnels, sewers, maintanance tunnels, and all manner of crawlways. This particular section of street collapses inward, forming a trench about twenty feet across, fifteen feet deep, and a hundred feet long. Not big but hopefully large enough to slow down the big uglies.
"Something the National Guard boys and I worked up before I took my nap." Dream explains.

Bobbi watches the incoming stampede almost casually, probably because she knows she's not going to be -personally- stopping the onrushing beasts. Lips twitch into a wry smile when the explosives go off, and she offers simply. "Nice job, Shannon." All the same, she loads up her grenade launcher and she looks up. "Still begs the question, though... why here? And why now?"

Havok feels the rumbling and hears the chaos rounding the corner behind him. He looks back and spies the reptilian gorillas rushing in from behind. His eyes go wide and he breaks into a run toward the hero group. His voice carries a long 'ooooohhhh crrrraaaaappp' as he tries to escape.
he will be trampled, like all the vehicles in their stead, in the next round if he isn't scooped up by a shapely heroic figure.

Once outside Iron Man leaps into the air, rising high enough to get a better view of what's going on and give his various sensors a better view on what the situation is. He glances at the explosions that Sharon sets off and there's a nod, "Very well done Shannon, nice planning there." He pauses a beat and then continues, "Heads up folks, everythings on it's way to the Chrysler building itself, forces moving into the buildings around us and quite a fu..lot of targets coming in behind the heavies there." He turns then, watching to see if the hole in the avenue will slow the charge and then he sees Havoc and raises both hands, the repulsor beam ports in the palms glowing as he prepares to fire a shot to give the running man a bit more room in case it's needed...or incase he needs to stop the charge of the beasts behind him.

Meanwhile, high above the brewing battle and at the mid-level balcony of the Chrysler building, another ripple in reality slashes into being. The glowing rent in reality bleeds like a newly opened wound. It seeps and writhes, then through it emerges... not more creatures but instead simply the figure of a man, the man known as John Aaron.
Stepping forward he takes up a place at the edge of the balcony, looking down, frowning absently as his features shift mispleased. His hands curl around the railing as he leans against it, casting his gaze down and focusing now fully upon the combatants.

Watching the circling demons Dani pulls her bow from its harness across her back as she nudges Brightwind to turn. Being mounted she doesn't necessarily feel the vibrations but she can certainly here them thud, thud of the oncoming brutes. With an unspoken signal the pegasus breaks into a gallop toward the running Havok, Dani leaning over his neck and urging him to go faster with her knees. As much as she would like to she refrains from firing at the charging monsters behind Havok, she doesn't want to accidently hit him.
As she gets closer she holds out her arm so that when she passes she can grab him and pull him on before Brightwind flies upward into the air.

"Oh yeah, this isn't good," says Night Raven, putting a hand to his stomach, "Bad timing we used to say." Back when he was young maybe. Though following Iron Man's shooting at the heavies to buy the running man some time, and probably joining some of the National Guard. He moves across pavement towards the trench, to focus the PN90 in that direction to lay down some cover as well. Commenting to anyone near at hand, random soldier (redshirt) #5, "Seltzer water might do the trick," loud and over the shot of his weapons quick rapport.

The Panther notes the approach of the creatures, the fleeing of Havok, and the heroes snapping into action. He notes that Brunhilde (Brynhildr) would be proud of her compatriot's actions. Then assured that course of action will work, he reaches up and clicks his communicator button on his left ear and states quietly into the com where all the local Avengers may hear, "Iron Man, this is T'Challa. On your move." Indicating that he's ready to engage when Iron Man gives the word or indicated action.

The barreling thunder of those great beasts grows louder and louder. They seem to just keep coming for a time, a dozen of them, two, thirty... forty of them rounding that corner... more. When suddenly they seem to espy Havok they become incensed, charging with a wild abandon and howls that seem to shake the walls of the world. Heavy fists slam down upon concrete, the distance closes even as the monsters bound after the mutant.
And then their world explodes, the charges go up, the road /CRACKS!/
Concrete simply seems to fall into the earth in on itself, the ground curling downwards, some of the walls of the nearby buildings collapsing... all right behind Havok even as the pegasus swoops in.
The creatures tumble into the hole, it does serve to slow them, infuriate them, send them smashing downwards. Yet already they're climbing over each other, some of the creatures in the rear ranks leaping to the sides and grabbing handfuls of building to propel them around towards the defenses.
A few rounds start to pop-pop-pop upon the carapace of the closer creatures as they rise, their roars deafening.
Then around that corner behind the initial charge of the shock troops comes the gibbering horde of shadows, all rushing forward in their nightmarish surge even while they're joined with interspersed Possessed who wail piteously.

Mockingbird's gaze snaps around towards the balcony once John appears, either watching for him or just naturally drawn to that presence. "Heads up, people..." she begins. And that's when things go from crazy to just plain stupid. Giving a quick count of floors to that balcony, Bobbi turns to rush -into- the building. Forget the elevators, she sprints for the stairs. It's going to be a reeeeally long climb, and she knows it. Should've had more coffee.

American Dream barks orders to the members of National Guard present. "Form a sweeping parameter!" She shouts as she steps back, "Our job isn't to stop those things. Our job is to keep them from hurting civilians!" She turns and raises her voice, speaking over the noise. "Alright! Everyone listen up. If you aren't military, police, or a member of the Avengers we are clearing you out! The Guard and I will open a hole for you. You will move in an orderly fashion through the corridor, away from this building and this fight! Do not panic and help each other! The strong, fit, and well need to help carry the weak! Spread the word. We are moving out now!"
And that's just what she does. American Dream and the National Guard begin carving an exit for the civilians.

"T'Challa, good to have you with us. Seems like the bad guys are all trying to get /into/ the building..Think you can find out what they're looking for, or at least have a look and meet up with Mockingbird as well?" Iron Man replies over the Avengers comm, nodding as Havoc's swept out of the way and then he begins to lay into the charging beasts with repulsors first, his armor's targeting systems ensuring his shots avoid friendlies and continually focus not on destroying any one beast but simply breaking the charge and ensuring there's enough time for Shannon and others to get the civilians clear. Then, on loud speaker and Avenger comm: "Folks, this charge isn't even the whole of it, there's more in the buildings around us, we're going to need to watch for them until we can start to deal with that situation as well." He pauses, "Mockingbird, keep us up to date and meet up with Panther, let's not get spread too thin we can't support each other."

Mirage & Brightwind's approach is a welcome one. Havok spies and seizes the opportunity. Reaching upward, he takes the offered hand and leaps at the same time to assist and assure he doesn't pull Mirage from her mount.
Pulled onto the back of Brightwind, Havok wastes no time in lining up his next shot. When they gain some altitude, he intends to blast the reptilian gorillas from above.

The Panther will take note of the newcomer, Aaron. His eyes narrow and he will mentally start assembling the jigsaw puzzle that is this scene (he's smart like that).
On Iron Man's request, he states, "I'm on it." And will leap from his crouched position. Crossing the expanse, he will crash into a lower floor window, roll out, and move deeper into the building looking for his target.

It's been crazy. So crazy. Wolfsbane's kept that little gift from Spider-Man in her back pocket just in case, or rather tucked inside the neck of her costume, but there have been numerous times she's almost had to use it. Most of the way she's kept low and out of sight, but there have been inevitable times where avoiding the creatures couldn't be avoided. One mutant is like easy prey to them, but she's been faster than them as she moved toward midtown, where things seemed a lot more concentrated. Surely that was where she'd find her friend. Turns out she's found a lot more than that. All the same, Mirage might suddenly detect that sense of her being near as she leaps into the area by slamming together the heads of two shadow creatures trying to get closer to the building the civilians are in. Rahne's got a different look to her, too. And, chances are nobody expected her to be here.

As Ares looks on he remains silent, his expression grim from his perch atop the Chrysler building. He casts his gaze downwards, then shakes his head slightly. He straightens up, and then as if out of nowhere he's no longer alone.
A staggeringly beautiful young man with blonde hair appears next to him, shaking his head too as he says in a cheerful sing-song voice. "Ares."
To which the god of war glances aside and says levelly. "Hermes."

Good for him, he's not police, military or Avenger, Night Raven can pack up and leave through the corridor. He ceases fire and shoulders the PN90. "Good to know you have it under control Captain," he says to American Dream, loudly over any bullet shots. He produces two police issue semi-automatic pistols, "I'll find another corridor, thank you kindly for the offer." Not trusting the official official types, other than Avengers have it under control. Good thing they're focusing on gorilloids for the moment, he'll move towards a street not covered by the National Guard to make his way back out so the Avengers can deal with the situation, pistols reserved for anything that may try to stop or possess him - good thing though that they're going for the Chrysler Building.

With her team mate Havok safely behind her, Dani wastes no time in getting airborne and above the Demon Brutes, probably in one of those nick of time moments. The bow comes up, the string pulled back, and three of the flaming arrows manifest and are quickly fired into the rank of Gorilliod demons, (surpise Havok).
It's only after they are fired that she feels her friend close "Rahne!" she calls out and scans the scene below, contining to pepper the Brutes with arrows while she scans for sigthings of her best friend.

Mockingbird's voice comes over the comm, the woman panting as she runs up the stairs. There's an echo from the stairwell as she replies. "Just passing sixth floor... heading for Ares... what's going on out there?... please advise." A few moments of silence, then she adds. "Oh... anybody scan anything interesting... inside the building...?"

Crimson beams lance across the distance seperating the charge of the gorilloid shock troops, skewering and stabbing into the monsters of shadow. The Invincible Iron Man is able to cleave a line of enemies down, knocking them from the walls of the buildings, cutting out their grasp as some attempt to climb from the hole. Several dissipate, flickering out of existence in a flash of white fire. Yet still they come, though their charge is weakening.
The monsters get closer, and then the guardsmen open fire, rounds dance and flicker across the distance as tracer rounds light up the morning. Craters kick up around the creatures, bulletholes appearing in their carapaces.
When Dream calls out her orders, a seargent snaps a salute to her and calls out.
"Alright boys, you heard the lady, saddle up. Let's get these civvies moving. Time ta man up!"
More rounds flash and fire, plasma beams lance out, tearing up the front rank of the creatures. If only they left corpses behind those would at least serve to foul their charge.
Arrows slice through the air, another creature goes down in a tumble, its fading form smashing the remains of an SUV...
And then they're upon the barricades in that moment, half their number down and gone yet more than enough to smash through the flimsy defenses that remain.

Guards at the front leading the civilians out. Guards in the back covering their retreat. The group is large. An easy target, so American Dream splits them up. Five groups of one hundred or so each. At least five soldiers assigned to each. American Dream staying and coordinating. Getting them away from the fight. This safe haven turned out to be not so safe. She can only hope the next one is safer.

FWOOOM! FWOOOM! Can be heard, adding to the cacophony noise, as Havok, holding on tightly to Mirage's shoulder, sends energy blasts at the Creatures attempting to surround the building.

Constantly moving in his flight above the crowd and monsters, Shell Head continues to work to break and stave off the charge with repulsors and if it looks like they're not keeping ahead of things he'll ensure the area's clean and fire a plasma bolt into the onrushing charge. At the same time his sensors continue to probe the area and the Chrysler building itself as he works to keep on top of the tactical and strategic situation. On the comm: "Bobbi, Shannon's getting the civilians out, I've sent Panther in to join you and do a sweep of the building. We're keeping ahead of the charge here but the whole damned building's surrounded - I may have to up the damage output here shortly. Shannon, let me know when you get those civilians clear. " On the comm and loud speakers: "Just a few more minutes folks, we need to keep the area clear till the civilians get free. Just stop the charge, don't worry about killin' anything just perhaps as a side benefit."

"Dani!" Wolfsbane calls out with a wave, hers the only name spoken even though Havok's there on Brightwind's back, behind her. Those arrows are spotted as she pushes ahead, not yet sure just what she's going to do in this fight. But, she's found the one she was after and if nothing else, they're in the same fight together now. Reaching into the material at her neck, a small capsule is withdrawn and clenched in her left hand, then switched to her right as she ducks past a swinging arm here, tentacle there. "Get back!" She can see the gorilloid beasties on their way to breaking down the fortifications. "This thing had better help, Spider-Man, or I've just wasted what ye gave me," she says aloud, cracking the capsule an instant before she throws it at the monsters. 3...2...1...

A single man on the streets is no longer enough focus for the beasties. Thusly, Night Raven skirts the blow up streets near the South East, from which the gorilloids approached. Going that way, wavering shadows and serpent forms, larger still than some of the other creatures - these skittering abominations of tentacles and talons, some phasing in and out of view or reality even. As if in waiting for something - maybe holes or openings in the perimeter, which civilian corridors leaving the 'safe haven' could open up for them if they notice that. He left to the South-Southwest and is passing to nearly behind these lurking monsters waiting for second and subsequent waves after the gorillas. And no one knows of them yet that he is aware of.
Moral dilemma ensues, risk himself now, being clear to new safe zone as the barricades and the center of activity being the present hot zone for shadow forces ... or keep walking to on his own mission. Maybe Inez is back in that group, it eats at him and he can't walk away knowing there are other hordes of shadows waiting outside the perimeter like this. Outside the barricades and in his lone street, he pulls the PN90 back out and runs back towards the safe haven, opening up fire at the secondary group of shadows waiting for their openings - perhaps to draw there attention. He'll shout as loud as he can, "Not safe! Keep the civvies in the perimeter, they're waiting to pounce out here, need some assistance."

Meanwhile, far above... Hermes' sing song voice is light as he looks down at the carnage from above, standing next to Ares. He shakes his head and tells the other god, "This is kind of amusing,"
The beautiful blonde god turns to look at Ares, flashing perfect teeth. "But you know why I'm here. Zeus is unhappy. One of those apparently possessed a lil chippy he's been after for some time now."
Ares responds without moving. "I was unaware of that aspect. You know I am unable to halt this."
Hermes waves a hand and walks around the balcony, gesturing expansively as he looks over his shoulder towards Ares. "Yes yes, not your dominion. This is getting old Ares. What do you have to say for yourself though? I'm a messenger after all." He looks away.
There's a faint power surge from above, something that might register if only for a moment on someone's sensors such as say Iron Man. A heavy short-spear appears in the God of War's hand as without hesitation, with no hint of fear his features contort into a growl of rage and the weapon flashes forwards /IMPALING/ Hermes against the wall.

The evacuation is going like clockwork, and in the direction away from the charge of the shock troops there seems to initially be no contact with shadow forces. But then the voice of Night Raven rings out, and the soldiers as well as American Dream can see illusory flickers of creatures now moving, leaping from the buildings, dropping to the street as they attempt to charge towards Night Raven and cut him off. The intel he's provided most likely going to cost him dearly.
At the fortifications, the giant creatures roar, trumpeting their calls angrily as giant fists lift and lower, slamming heavily into the barricades. Some of the makeshift walls begin to give way, even as the firepower is poured on. It seems like for each one that is smashed and dissipated two more strive to take its place.
And that is the moment when Rahne's object is hurled into the fray.
There's a heavy sound almost like a /THWOMP!/ as the web cannister explodes, thick compressed tendrils of web fluid spreading with a burst of grey, splattering all over the creatures, all over the walls between the two buildings, all over the back ranks. Suddenly the charge of those shock troops is blunted, suddenly they're unable to draw back their great arms and strike at the barricades. And suddenly it's a giant turkey shoot.

More of the flaming arrows fly from Dani's bow. She has been constantly barraging the Demons with her psychic arrows, shot three at a time. Some has has been directing to one single target and other times she sends them to multiple targets, depending on what is needed to take the creature down. With the large creatures trapped in the webbing it becomes much easier.

"Roger, Dream. This is Marvel, inbound down Forty-second. I have your position and situation. Keep them moving, that's an order! I will get them through. Tango unit, clear the docks and tell them to bring in the ferries!" Comes the cry over the Avengers comms.

Moments later, the very street vibrates as another shockwave of thunder crashes, this time moving in only one direction, right down arguably the widest street corridor in the entire city. Windows already compromised by cracks and holes from the fighting shatter under the force, as a golden-glowing form streaks in above the civilians and their National Guard and Avenger escorts.

But that glowing form carries something /massive/ beneath her, as she streaks in, slamming a crudely-assembled collection of eight massive double-decker tour buses, welded together with I-beams and strung with huge crane cables, a harness resting over Ms. Marvel's form like an oxen's yoke.

"Light it up!" the Avengers Chairwoman shouts aloud, and huge streaks of brilliant photonic energy streak from her outstretched, gloved hands, slamming down the sidewalks on either side of the street, tearing moats in front of the buildings already identified as compromised along the escape route. Building-fronts are blasted shut, as she shouts, "Move, move! Everyone load up now! We are pulling out! Go!"
[OOC] Ms. Marvel makes a big splash, but won't be here long, folks. Just here to get your civilians out.

"Ms. Marvel, you are my HERO!" American Dream shouts. She turns to the Guard captain who has been by her side, helping to coordinate the evacuation. "Change of plans. Everyone gets on those busses now! Move move move!" Outside, the two hundred or so civilians and guardsmen who were walking into the shadowmen kill zone begin filing onto the buses as quickly as possible. The three hundred civilians who hadn't gone through the exit corridor begin moving. National Guardsmen take up positions around the civilians, shooting at anything that threatens the evacuation.
With that under control, American Dream runs out and attempts to grab hold of Night Raven. "Back inside, friend." She calls out. "Let them shadows eat each other. We're needed with the main group."

FOOOOOOOOOOOOM comes another attack from Havok as he takes another shot from behind Mirage. He does what he can to take out the assaulting force, if not one at a time.

High above the chaos, the impaled god twitches, writhing in agony as the flaming red spear twists in his innards. From behind Hermes, Ares leans close and growls low. "I know it was you, Hermes. You who told Hades of Alexander." The words are severe, grim, and then with a yank he snatches the spear back. The Herald of the Gods falls down on the balcony of the Chrsyler building, his innards strewn behind him.
And even as he lies there bleeding, a small shadow creature appears beside Ares, lifting its raspy voice and asking, "Is he ready?"
"Yes," Ares says, "He's ready."
With the arrival of Carol and the quick action of Shannon, Tony can concentrate on simply shutting down the approach of the demons, shadows and all the other nasties until the Civilians can get clear. Repulsors fire, plasma bolts shot off at key points to splash with huge cracking flashes of bright light and heat against the web tangled foes. Gaining altitude the Invicible Iron Man gains an angle on the new threats to the civilians escape and he splits his targets, his suit's targeting sensors helping him to continually fire, attack, and corral as many as six of the bad guys at once.

With the appearance of Ms. Marvel and her makeshift convoy of buses, Dani changes targets. Giving Havok a warning, she nudges Brightwind with a knee that send him into a dive toward any creatures that may decide to try to attack the civilians while they are getting on the buses. Pullling up Brightwind strafes above the demons as the psychic arrows fly from her bow. She's going to have some explaining to do to her team after this is all over.
Wolfsbane can't help herself. Letting out a whoop when the webbing helps the odds of the ones defending against the charging monsters, the wolfen mutant draws back to keep out of the line of fire as the more heavy hitters take their shots. She remains on the move, cutting in with a slash here and there, working to keep from allowing herself to be boxed in. A distraction can be useful, though even more useful is the escape Ms. Marvel has just provided many of the civilians. She's quite unaware of what's happening above with Ares and Hermes, just doing her best to avoid being severely hurt.

Finding nothing of interest, the Panther emerges from the Chrysler building onto a ledge. He relays over the com to his fellow Avengers, "There is nothing inside to pose as an objective. Likely the location itself or to destroy the opposition; of which we are clearly not allowing."
His dark eyes peer downward at the gathering and notes the commands of Ms Marvel. His next move will be to search for those that may have been left behind.

Even with the arrival of Ms. Marvel and American Dream coming out through the chaos - both from shadows and from foaming heroic energy fiery thingies, Night Raven is swamped by the shadows that converge on him. He sinks in a hail of automatic rapport as the darkness folds over him. Somewhere between American Dream doing dreamy things and Ms. Marvel lighting up the street, there is a break in the darkenss as he falls to the pavement so that American Dream can get to him. His suit smoldering, holes revealing the ugliness of years of scarring on his body, his ivory mask still in tack. The eyes flutter a moment as she gets to him, "Did we win Capt?" His eyes close, can't even tell if he's breathing, the open a moment later, "And ..." cough "I ain't judging ..." cough cough, "Gender reassignment is cool ... I read the ... *cough cough* Wendy Carlos interview *cough* in Playboy ..." Eyes close, lights out. Need a medical examiner maybe.

The giant bus structure and the Impressive Ms. Marvel cut clean through the sky, landing and getting the evac underway. At first the civilians are awed, taken aback, but then again this is New York, and New Yorkers are, if nothing else, damned practical when it comes to their lives. They start to load up, yet their eyes flicker up to the menacing shadow creatures that circle ominously above. Some of them cry out, cawing aloud in nightmarish voices, then others begin to drop from the sky, diving to the attack.
The giant brutes trapped at the fortifications bellow their anger, their impotent fury as they strain against the webbing. The tendrils begin to snap at points, giving in to the superior strength of the monsters, but it is not enough to save them. The firepower is poured on, Havok's plasma leaving a blazing trail across their bodies as it moves from one monster... to the next, they explode in flashes of white fire that set some of the webbing alight. Then more weapons systems engage, slashing through the air from the Invincible Iron Man, hammering what remains of the shock troops. There's a blaze of light, a tremendous amount of dust kicked into the sky as the two heroes coordinate fire... and when it clears the initial charge of the enemy is broken. Not a single gorilloid remains, and the rear ranks of the smaller creatures seem thrown into confusion.
Yet it is not enough to save Night Raven. When he turns to hold off the shadow kill teams, they focus on him. Their hatred palpable as they drop from the walls, from the roofs of the neighboring buildings. Some flicker as they move like a heat shimmer, and others lash out with tentacles composed of shadow. His weapons bark and bark, rounds firing as they slam over and over into their targets, many of the shadows go down.
Not enough.
They overun the man, his position, he disappears amongst them and is lost.

Mockingbird bursts out onto the balcony just in time to see the disemboweled body of Hermes slide off of the bloody spear. She's streaked with sweat from the brisk run up the stairs and holding her rifle at the ready. Rather than dashing out onto the balcony, however, Bobbi watches the conversation between Ares and the shadowy figure. And somehow, she knows better than to interrupt or even to draw attention to herself at first. Besides, she's still sorting out what this all might mean.

Seeing the result, Havok states to Mirage, "Sweep around, let's check for more targets.". In this, he maintains his hold at Mirage's waist so he doesn't get flung off the Pegasus. His eyes remain sharp, yet he's showing significant wear and tear. He's exhausted.

"Hold the line!" Ms. Marvel shouts commandingly. "Guardsmen, rifles high! We have incoming." Then over her Avengers comms, she calls out, hand to her ear, "Iron Man, Mavok, train all of your energy fire on me. Repeat, on /me/, /now/. I need a recharge, I can't flag getting these people out." Even as she gives commands, she is adding her own golden photonic fury to the hailstorm of counterfire against the shadow creatures.

Assuming both men can be counted upon to do as asked, Ms. Marvel holds position, pinned in place by repulsors from one direction and a white hot stream of searing plasma from another. Arms raised, eyes flashing gold, the Avengers Chairwoman holds in spite of the pain, her glow intensifying to almost blinding degrees.

"Strap in, people! We are out! Tango unit, get those ferries docked ASAFP! Civilians inbound!" Ms. Marvel calls out, and she shoots off into the sky with a grunt of effort, the harness bucking against her body as she lifts off and takes with her the crudely-arrayed busses and their precious human cargo. She trusts her teammates and allies to get the job done. She came in to do exactly what it's her job to do: bring backup and aid when things start trying to fall apart. And just that soon, she is gone back the way she came, headed towards Battery Park and the southernmost docks on Manhattan Island.

Some battles are about saving hundreds. Some? About saving just one person. American Dream reaches Night Raven just as the shadows swarm. Both woman and man are buried under the dark forms. American Dream struggles, one arm wrapped around Night Raven's waist. The other holding her shield, using it to batter and thrash, as a blunt and crude instrument to slam her foes out of the way. To open up enough space for her to stagger back with Night Raven. Adreneline and dedication allowing her to ignore how her costume and body are sliced open here and there, blood flowing, every step of the way.

Upon that balcony above the carnage, Ares turns away from the crumpled form of Hermes, even as the small hunched over shadow creature shifts to glower in Mockingbird's direction. It makes a small chuff of sound then waddles towards the crumpled form of the fallen god.
Ares lifts his chin as he espies Mockingbird. He's still holding the blood-covered spear and sets it down with a click upon the ground. He meets her gaze levelly and says simply, "Barbara."
The next instant the shadow creature snaps, "Charming." Then it seems to dissipate as it reaches for Hermes, flowing forward like the wispy shadow that is and inundating the fallen god's body.

"You got it, Carol." Tony says, then a moment later, "Shannon, I'm incoming, stay low." With that Iron Man's boots flare with fire, the plume of exhaust stretching out longer than he is tall as he quite literally rockets towards where American Dream and the Night Raven are embattled. Arms held off to the side, the entire time of his flight he keeps Ms Marvel pinned with the full output of his repulsors until the very last second. Arms going wide, his forcefield flicks on - strengthening his armor to amazing levels of strength and protection a moment before he slams into the crowd that's attacking Shannon and Raven both with his trajectory aimed to hopefully clear her and the man she's rescuing before he bowls into the monsters like the red and gold missle he's become at a frighten speed, given the short distance travelled.

Pretty much limp, somehow his arms makes it up and around American Dream's waste as Night Raven is pulled from the shadows thanks to his present compatriots adrenaline induced fight for survival. Out of the darkness of his mind, his eyes reopen, starring down at pavement, or American Dream's legs, exposed partially from holes from which spills her blood. "Its a good look ... I ... admit ...." and he is silent. So silent that even though he's not quite dead or in a state of mostly dead, depending on references, it'll take a coroner to make the judgement call. That last weapon he had, swat issue most likely, falls and clatters to the street as the heroic woman in the red, white, and blue battles to save them.

After getting Havok in place so he can blast away at Ms. Marvel's request. Brightwind banks around the area so its riders can locate and find any other areas of Demonic resistance. And look, there is some, piling on Dream and Raven. Once more, and probably not for the last time, the bow comes up and glowy, flamy arrows fly into the demon horde piling on the two.

Seeking the new target, Ms Marvel, Havok releases Mirage (hoping to hold tightly enough with his legs). "Um? Okay?" is stated almost as a question, but he figures Ms Marvel knows best. He then twists his torso in such a way he's able to bring both hands together so that he may project the energy demands Ms Marvel desires. Another FOOOOOOOOOOOOOM is heard as the energy is released. The result, Ms Marvel and her general area are struck with massive amounts of fiery plasma.

In spite of her best efforts, Rahne's only so fast and there are still a LOT of shadow monsters around. A few surround her and she's unable to slip free, growling in pain as they slash back and forth at each other. Arms darken with blood and four or five pile on. She disappears for a moment or two, then a wolf comes charging out through a smaller opening, running away from the creatures. A few seconds later the animal's shape flows back into that of Wolfsbane, panting with the exertion, wounded.

The Panther scours the building seeking those who may have become wayward. He wants to ensure the public's safety. So he uses all of his senses as he darts through the many levels of the super structure.

Blasts of energy blaze across the sky as the diving forms of those shadowy avians fall from the sky, some no longer under their own power as Ms. Marvel's blasts strike home. A group of them land atop one of the buses, roaring and slamming their beaks into the superstructure, cackling the while... only to have their cackles contorted into screams when Iron Man's and Havok's blasts slice through them to charge Carol. It's enough to give her the window she needs, to give her the moments it takes to get SUPER BUS off the ground and into the air. A few of the shadows on the ground rush forward, as if trying to leap onto it... missing.
Around the American Dream the shadows encroach angrily. They are not eager for her to steal their prey, for her to deny them. Yet she is a blur of motion. There's a loud /WHAM!/ and then a /BONG!/ as her shield slams into them, several flicker and fade as her strikes connect with the fierce strength given her perhaps by desperation.
A voice near the fortifications yells, "Get her some supportin' fire, those two just saved our asses!" The seargent gestures and then there's a flurry of gunfire, sending some of those kill team shadows sprawling. Dani's arrows lance out and each time they strike a shadow goes tumbling only to flicker out of existence.
Yet it's the coup de grace of the Iron Missile as he hurtles himself into the crowd, smashing what would be bone and muscle if these creatures were flesh. Yet they still break just the same. For a moment he has them clear, has the situation under control.
Then that's when several black energy beams burst from the surrounding buildings, firing, then turning as they try to coalesce on the Iron Avenger.

Mockingbird keeps her rifle lowered, chest heaving as she catches her breath. She doesn't interfere with the fallen god or even the wispy shadow that flows over to seep into Hermes' body. "Ares." she replies simply. There's an expectant look on her face as she returns his gaze, game-face on. And she asks the question. "Are you finished?"

All her heroes. Iron Man. Mirage. The National Guard. Together they open the window American Dream needs to yank herself and Night Raven back behind the barracades. Out of the line of attack. She sets the man down and then sinks down herself. She wants to sleep. To rest. To pass out. SOOOO bad she can taste it. Like blood in her mouth. Oh, wait. It is blood in her mouth. She spits it out and then slaps Night Raven across the face. "Come on." She checks his pulse. Finds... nothing. "Dammit! COME ON!" CPR begins. Tilt the head back. Check the airway. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Chest compressions. Alternating between. "No one gets left behind." American Dream growls.

Dani lets out a cry of pain, but it isn't her pain she is feeling, it is the pain of Rahne as she is attacked by more of the demons. Whipping her head around she searches for Rahne below and sees her wolf form burst through a knot of Demon. Nudging Havok behind her she gestures to the fleeing wolf-girl before firing at the demons that dared assault her bestie.

Body already broken, chest compressions only break Night Raven more. Yet through all her work, the mingling of blood, sweat, broken scar tissue, there is an exhaling of scraggly breath, barely audible but she detects it, unlike any paramedic who would easily right it off as DOA. There is the faintest of breathing, most likely thanks to her efforts. Its hard to safe if it was just a breath or if there were words in that gargle. But if one watches his chest, its there, barely noticeable to most eyes, a very slow rising of his chest. His eyes remain closed, but even if she pauses to look, some of his wounds may already be in the process of closing on his nwo exposed, and quite ugly, flesh.

Standing up amidst the crowd, tossing demon and shadow bodies out of the way, Iron Man gets to his feet and doesn't have to glance around to note that Shannon and Night Raven are clear. It's that moment taken to take stock that nearly ends up leaving him in a position to get hit by all of those black bolts of energy flinging at him at once. There's a muttered, "Shit," and the Iron Man rockets skyward in a sudden leap that's knocked just slightly off trajectory as one of the beams catches a glancing blow on his foot and sends him careening into the Chrysler building at speed.

Wolfsbane glances over a shoulder as the pursuit of the things continues. It's been a while since she's been in something anywhere close to this serious, this real. Turning even as a few arrows from above pick off a beast or two, she glances up then engages another with a snarl, claws tearing into each other. This was what she asked for, to at least fight with her best friend nearby. A yelp follows, leading to her fleeing into an alley nearby, one arm dangling like it's been hurt more, favoring a leg with a limp.

Taking hold of Mirage, now with both hands, Havok will need to hold off on blasting for a while so that he himself can recharge. He sighs and would really like to go to sleep now.

High above the madness of the battle below, the God of War looks across the way towards Mockingbird and shakes his head slightly. "I am afraid not quite." As he says this he looks towards the fallen form of Hermes.
The fallen form of Hermes that gets up, pushing itself fully to its feet and dusting off its hands despite the gore and ichor. Shadowy flickers of power curls and flash as the being is suddenly engulfed in a flash of white flame, its features melting and contorting until what is left is a curious amalgam of what was once Hermes and is now a being of much severe feature and dark countenance. Still shadows inhabit his eyes and he says simply. "Let us get this over with."
To which he plants a hand upon the railing and drops down off of the balcony... and starts to fall to the ground below.

The Panther emerges again around the 4th floor, confident that there are no bystanders left in the building. He looks around to assess the situation and to choose his next action.

Those kill teams are disorganized, sent scattering by all of the fire that came there way. They retreat quickly, trying to form back up as they take cover in the shells and shattered remains of the buildings around them, though some are still flattened by the powerful shockwave of Iron Man's departure. From the buildings themselves dark beams continue to try and focus upon Iron Man, tracking upwards higher and higher but they do not find their mark.
As for poor Rahne, she has had the misfortune of having caught the attention of one of those groups of demons, pursuing her into that alleyway. They do not hesitate, do not pause at all even when they take fire from above. Dani's arrow slices through the throat of a bipedal eel, causing it to gurgle a faint moment before it fades. Several others bracket the young mutant and _leap_.

Those kill teams are disorganized, sent scattering by all of the fire that came there way. They retreat quickly, trying to form back up as they take cover in the shells and shattered remains of the buildings around them, though some are still flattened by the powerful shockwave of Iron Man's departure. From the buildings themselves dark beams continue to try and focus upon Iron Man, tracking upwards higher and higher but they do not find their mark.
As for poor Rahne, she has had the misfortune of having caught the attention of one of those groups of demons, pursuing her into that alleyway. They do not hesitate, do not pause at all even when they take fire from above. Dani's arrow slices through the throat of a bipedal eel, causing it to gurgle a faint moment before it fades. Several others bracket the young mutant and _leap_.
The heroes had their moment of respite, however. Though it may not have seemed as such. Whatever force drives these shadow creatures has grasped hold again, sending the second wave of that charge forward. Countless numbers of shadows leap upon the fortifications, climbing over one another as they seek to get past, some even digging claws into the foundation of the building's walls and circumventing the defenses that way.

Bobbi purses her lips at Ares' reply, then she shifts her gaze over to Hermes when the fallen god gets up. She shields her eyes from the bright flash, blinking to clear them for a moment. And as the reborn, darker god drops over the railing she stepping up briskly. Gaze flashing back to Ares, she asks simply. "What the hell just happened? And who -was- that?"

"Tempted to let them get past us..." American Dream mutters. "Don't even know if their enemy is our enemy." She inhales deeply and checks on Night Raven one last time. He's alive. Barely. Its all she can do now. She pats him on the shoulder. "Stay strong, soldier." Then she gets up and staggers towards the entrance, ready for another round. Or trying to be, anyway.
Iron Man just kept going through the corner of the building, though he's nice enough to leave through a window as opposed to the wall he went in though. Apparently not any worse for wear from the single shot that tagged him, he circles the building and picks up speed - scanning as he goes. "Kill teams in the buildings are grouping up, now we know they'er there..still more moving into the buildings, time to pull out the stops folks. Fall back towards the building again, if needs be, don't let yourselves get flanked and watch /out/ for those snipers with those black ray guns." He pauses, then dives right into another mass of the attackers at the fortifications..aiming to simply push them off the walls by sheer kinetic force, "I can't believe I just said /ray gun/."

Ares turns to meet Mockingbird's gaze as he answers her with a single word.
And that's the moment when the newly reborn god hits the ground right on top of the fortifications. An abrupt shockwave EXPLODES outwards with a soul-crushing /KWABOOOM!/
The barricades go flying, the walls of the buildings around him explode inwards leaving a visible crater. But what is more those soldiers who had been holding the line only have a single bare moment to scream as their bodies explode from the inside and then burn when the wave of heat slashes over them.
Amongst the debris still falling, and amongst the dust now settling, Hades stands up.

Brightwind lets on a loud whinny of challenge as Dani's anger at seeing Rahne attacked is transferred through thier mental bond. The pegasus is a flash of white as he dives down. Hopefully Havok is holding on tight because she didn't warn him this time. Hooves hit the ground and Brightwind dashes forward rearing upwards and bringing his front hooves down on one of the demons that surround Rahne. Dani meanwhile swings her bow and brings slams it down on another demons head.
It all looks nice and heroically impressive unti the shockwave hits them and they are knocked aside like a ragdoll.

It was a strain, but Havok didn't fall off. He was prepared with both arms around instead of just one.
Having landed with Mirage, Havok does his best to stay awake. The adrenaline has long since lost it's effectiveness as he slides off the Pegasus and attempts to muster enough to blast a demon. Instead of blasting, however, the shockwave strikes and Havok is knocked to the street in a long rolling skid.

That's the problem with being on the ground fighting for the better part of a full day. Eventually you get tired and slow, even when you're already fast to begin with. Rahne snarls again at the monsters, lashing out blindly as the shadow beings close in on her much thicker than before, then they're upon her again. It's double, maybe triple the amount previously, a writhing mass of darkness with Wolfsbane at the center of it. She helped up to now, especially with that capsule Spider-Man gave her, but Dani might sense it before she sees it. Something can be felt through their bond as the Valkyrie leads her steed into the fight, an intense feeling of despair that surges at one point. Then comes the shockwave that runs through the area. When the creatures atop the wolfen mutant rise and part again their ranks have increased by one. Wolfsbane steps out with them, possessed. Eyes are a solid black and shadows dance around her, darkening her appearance. Without a word, both hands extend toward Brightwind and bursts of black energy fire in that direction.

The Panther leaps out and off the building. There are many targets to engage, he engages them. Vibranium claws slash, feet smash, and the fight is on.

American Dream crouches down and throws up her shield. Trying to put as much of herself behind it as possible. The unique, vibration absorbing properties of that indestructible shield is all that saves her from being turned into jelly. She winces as the heat roars around her, holding her ground... and even then, her arms feel like they have been pounded into jelly. Like taking a hit from the darned Hulk!

The creatures at the barricades are gone, the shadows all dissipated, back to the dead. Still debris settles, around the dark silhouette of the being now known as Hades. That second charge blunted, their kill teams reforming, the heroes have a brief glimmer of momentary safety around the base of the Chrysler building. The army is held in check for the moment though across the way...
The kill team assaulting the former New Mutant is too much for her even as that weakened /ZORCH/ of plasma destroys one of their number, several others fall with arrows imbedded in them. Yet they are too much for her, and they round on the other mutants once she has fallen to their sway.

Mockingbird rolls her eyes, exhaling a long, tired sigh as she watches the God of Death hit the ground. Pursing her lips, she watches as more soldiers die and then she rounds on Ares. The rifle is just something to gesture with at this point as she starts yelling at him. "Would you DO something already, goddammit! Haven't enough people DIED in this stupid, Olympian chess-game?" The blonde mortal stalks towards the God of War without fear. "I know we're just ants to the likes of you, but how about you take your disagreements someplace else? Like, say, Siberia?"

Mockingbird pauses in her rant at Ares to key her comm mic. "Mockingbird to Avengers. The new combatant who dropped down from the Chrysler Building is Hades. Repeat, Hades. God of Death. Do NOT engage. Repeat, do NOT engage."
Well, Iron Man had been expecting resistance on his missle like arrival at the barricade. He'd not expected an explosion, however, and nothing on the scale of what happens when Hades lands there. So the man in the red and gold armor gets thrown out of control with a curse and he plows into the ground level of the building across the way from the Chrysler at something over a hundred miles an hour. Dirt, brick, smoke and dust billow out behind the Avenger as he dissapears into the bowels of the building.

As Dani and her pegasus steed starts to get up from being sent flying by the shockwave she looks around to locate her friend only to en engulfed in the black energy that is shot at her. A look of horror crosses her face that her friend has been taken over by the enemy. She falls to her hands and knees as the black energy flows around her.

"Roger..." American Dream says into her comm. She struggles to her feet. "YOU!" She cries out to the figure standing in front of her. "HADES, GOD OF THE DEAD! YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!" She forces herself forward, one step at a time. "Those men had families! They had children and lives and jobs and loved ones and mothers and YOU slaughtered them! I am giving you to the count of three to LEAVE this plane of existence or we will reign HELL down upon you."
She growls. "ONE!"

Ares weathers the anger of Mockingbird, meeting her gaze unflinchingly. When she rails at him he gives a small nod at some of her words, then says simply. "Very well,"
As easy as that he turns and plants a hand upon the railing as well. He vaults over the side of the balcony and drops off of the side of the building. He lands in a half-crouch behind Hades, though the impact of his landing is much less eventful.

Havok remains motionless on the ground. He could probably use CPR from one, or several of the following (maybe take turns): Mockingbird, Mirage, American Dream or Ms Marvel. Be sure to use tongue.
He's just unconscious, having happy dreams.

The Panther leaps into action, he has the Panther God on his side and fears not any form of death. Bounding on all fours, he will close the distance between himself and hades to strike.

Betrayal of a best friend! It's true, even if it's caused by the dark forces that have taken Wolfsbane over. For the moment, she continues directing those despair-laden beams Dani's way, unrelenting in the attack.
There's a crackle on the Avenger comm radio, and Tony's voice comes across it. "Roger that, Avengers hold off. Bobbi, sit-rep...I'm going to be a moment getting out of the subway."

Hades stands there wreathed in shadows and some form of magical flame that gleams black and red. He looks around calmly and with a gesture it suddenly becomes much... much harder to approach him, the local gravity increasing severely as if the weight of the world would fall upon one's shoulders.
Having done that he looks around, almost seeming mispleased as he lifts a hand. "Marius."
Instantly, bursting into reality a giant creature seemingly composed of the shadowy form of a seven-headed eagle with writhing tentacles up and down its spine appears. It bows its head and says simply, "Master." Yet standing beside it is the image of a beautiful blonde woman, perfectly form and clearly possessed by the shadow creatures.
"You have misbehaved. Who is this?"
"Zeus' plaything, master."
"Ah, very good. Have the army hold."
Marius' many heads writhe back and forth, then haltingly it agrees, "Y-yes, master."
And suddenly the army is no longer advancing. The minds of those possessed are released, their awareness returning to them as the spirits holding them manifest once again yet make no effort to attack.

Mockingbird sighs as Ares bails on her as well, leaving the blonde Avenger waaaay up on the balcony. There's no WAY the very mortal woman is following him over the balcony, and she really doesn't want to take the stairs, either. "I'm about halfway up the Chrysler Building, Tony. Ares has just engaged as well, so we'll see how this goes down." She pauses, then adds. "Interesting. Looks like Ares is calling off the army. Remember, we are just in the way right now. Fewer people will die if we can get the hell -out- of the way." And in the back of her mind, she wonders if the elevators are still working. "Any chance of me getting a lift down, once you're clear?"

"Umm.... two?" American Dream says as the gravity increase enough that she is driven to her knees. "Ow." She draws back her shield to throw.. not because it will work but because, well, someone has to do something... and then it all seems to stop. Huh.

Suddenly the possession comes to an end and Wolfsbane sees her hands pointed toward the fallen Mirage, the black energy bursting forth no more. She's aware of what just happened, fuzzy face turning ashen. "DANI!" she cries out, knowing exactly what she'd been doing, what almost happened. Again, "Dani!" as she rushes forward, still with a limp, lifting the Cheyenne over her shoulder as she starts to get the woman away from the center of the trouble now that an opportunity's there. Alex is also reached, grabbed with an arm under the shoulder, unceremoniously dragged along.

Ares stands behind and slightly to the side of Hades, not engaging as it were, he simply seems at the ready as if to observe what passes. He looks around at the carnage, features still unreadable. He looks back to the God of Death interrogating his general.

There's a rumble, and Iron Man comes flying out from the hole that American Dream opened up earlier in the street, rockets at his feet flaring as he soars skyward, doing a slow spin as he angles towards where Mockingbird is, "One red and gold elevator on the way." There's a bit of a falter in his flight as he just clips the edges of Hades' gravity manipulation, but he lands a moment later next to Bobbi and slips an arm around her waist.
Sandman has disconnected.

Trembling hard on hand and knees, Dani struggles to fight off the effects of the black energy. It was easy the first time she has hit in a previous battle, but mental and physical exhaustion makes it so much harder. When the black energy stops, she falls foward, still conscious, but stunned. She doesn't move when Rahne picks her up and carries her off, just hangs from her shoulder. Brightwind follows behind Rahne, his own head hanging in exhaustion.

Hades looks at the woman, getting a wicked smirk upon his features as he steps forward to caress her cheek. He hmms to himself, then shakes his head. "Well, let's see what we can do with her."
But before that can happen, from the clear sky comes a single bolt of lightning. It cracks into the earth, shattering the pavement and in its place now stands an older man in white with weather-worn yet handsome features. Lightning dances around his hands and his expression is most dour.
"Enough of this!"
"Brother, release the woman."

Mockingbird casually settles against the red and gold armor, keeping her gaze scanning and weapon at the ready. Things may look to have calmed down for now, but she knows better than to take anything for granted at this point. While the assault rifle and grenade launcher won't hold a candle to the firepower in Iron Man's suit, you just never can tell when that extra little bit could be needed. "Thanks." she replies, then settles a moment later and adds. "Ready. And stay clear of the -children- playing in the street, will 'ya?" She gestures with the rifle, pointing generally towards Ares, Zeus, and Hades.

"HEY!" American Dream struggles to her feet while the Charlton Heston and Christopher Walken argue turf and hot blondes. "HEY!" She stomps up to the giant god men. This? This is just starting to piss her off. "HEY!" She says again, this time louder.
"LOOK! This... whatever the heck it was? It is OVER. Clearly. The two of you sort this out on your own time." She points to Hades. "You! Whatever it is you did here? People DIED! Good people! Innocent people! Even bad people but none of them deserved to be torn apart by shadows. Bring them back, Lord of the Dead. NOW!" Then she whirls on Ares. "And YOU! You're an Avenger and you let this all just happen? All we got was some vague warning. You should have given us specifics. You should have fought at our side. I never thought the god of war would be a COWARD who wouldn't honor the oaths he swore to stand by his brothers and sisters in battle. And do NOT give me that 'you won't understand because you aren't a god' line. Thor and Sif are both gods and they would have stood by us is Odin himself was smiting people in the street. HONOR IS HONOR." And finally? Finally, Zeus gets his turn. "AND YOU! You have a WIFE! The mother of your children! Have you no shame, sir?"

That one arm is still pretty bad, but the shoulder's decent enough for Rahne to keep Dani there while she drags Alex with the good arm, stopping a couple times to shift Dani in place as she hazards a glance back once, then again to see just what's going on behind them. "Dani, please wake up.." she says, almost pleading, waiting for some spark to return through their link. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." It's slow going, not much use if things turn to hell again, but she's trying. Finally she has to stop and sit on a curb, shifting Dani to rest next to her, Alex mostly just in the street and on his side amid some rubble as she makes an effort to rub some feeling back into her left arm with a grimace. "Brightwind..? Are ye okay?" She's talking to a pegasus now, as if it's going to pull a Mr. Ed and respond. Oh, there's some shouting over /that/ way now. Uh oh.

With Mockingbird settled against one side, an armored arm around her and resting on her far hip, Tony takes to the sky again and begins a slow descent towards the ground a good fair distance from where the gods are having the temper tantrum, he glances over at Bobbi, "Seems to me they all need a timeout." Then as he settles to the street he looks over at Shannon as she calls the gods out on the carpet and is...speechless, impressed, but speechless.

Almost negligently, and with a gesture of utter contempt is it Ares that backhands American Dream? No, he looks at her with what could perhaps be a neutral gaze, carefully held in check. Is it Hades, the God of Death that lashes out at the young patriot? No, his gaze falls heavily on her with bemusement.
It's Zeus who roars and with that backhand strikes out at the poor girl, sending her flying and hurtling through the air. Even before she lands he turns to look back at his brother and his son. He glares angrily at the two, then he does not address Hades, instead he addresses the God of War.
"You are mine. Your oaths hold. Do as I bid you."
There's a gesture to the ground as he throws a gleaming bone scepter. It hits the concrete at Ares' feet skittering across the way.
Hades looks to the scepter, eyes widening. He moves to reach out, looking to grasp it, to take it. Yet somehow seems forbidden.
Ares doesn't even look at it as he says levelly. "You know I am bound. I will do as you say, but the oaths placed must be released."

Woosh! She flies through the air with the greatest of ease. American Dream tucks and rolls, which means she hits the wall just hard enough for her to slide down and then sit there. "ow." She mutters. Then she stays there for a moment, stunned.

The pegasus sniffs at Rahne then his mistress. "Oh gawds." Dani mutters as a hand comes up to push the pegasus' nose away. She struggles and manages to sit up for a moment before leaning heavily on the wolfgirl. Blinking toward where the gods are battling vocally. Her vision slightly blurry after all she has been through the last few days, her brain trying to come up with what happened between the time she went down to now.

With some serendipidy Iron Man and Mockingbird landed somewhat close to the direction that American Dream went flying and as soon as Tony's sure that Bobbi's settled down he takes a leaping sort of half bound over to where she's rolled up against the wall and looks down at her as he half kneels next to her and look her over, "You alright, Shannon? Ok to move? Helluva speech there."

Wolfsbane briefly touches Brightwind's snout, then wraps arms around Dani. Through that bond comes regret, remorse, sorrow and all the things that accompany those emotions, but also an underlying sense of support amid her fear. Seeing Zeus just swat American Dream aside leads her to speak up, whether she can be heard or not. "Stop this, please! All o' it! Look a' ye! Ye've made me turn on muh closest friend an' hurt her! Just..just go away! Ye've done enough already! Leave us alone!"

"If you end this foolish charade, then yes. I release you!" Zeus' voice is loud, echoing, ominous as he looks at the woman still 'held' in Hades' clutches. He shakes his head and frowns slashing a hand to the side, "After all I have done for you. This."
Ares reaches down and accepts the scepter, holding it in one hand. He looks across the way, around him, then back towards his father.
The scepter in his hand, the ceremony completed, there's no flash of power, no hint of the transition. Simply when Ares holds the scepter he turns...
And all of the shadows are gone, their wispy forms disappearing in between the seconds from one moment to the next. The woman falls to her knees and begins sobbing horribly. Hades' new body disappears around him, sluicing off his shadowy form and falling to the ground in a disgusting pile of viscera.
Zeus' voice lifts and he says sharply, "Finish him and have done."

"No." Shannon begins struggling. It isn't easy. She's exhausted and bruised beyond belief and there might be sprains. Not to mention the blood loss from a dozen cuts. She struggles to her feet. "No. I am not okay. Those men were under my command and they died for this... game. One of them has the power to bring them back. I don't care which one but I will pound their heads until one of them does."

While Tony looks after the stunned Shannon, Bobbi turns towards the squabbling gods. She's not brash enough to call anybody out, but the blonde Avenger watches with utter contempt on her face at the exchange between Zeus and Ares. Slowly approaching, she moves to stand, of all places, near to Ares' side. Still holding the assault rifle.
Iron Man helps Shannon to her feet, reaching one hand to support her and then of all things he moves to walk with her in a return approach towards where the gods , the two remaining there, stand. Moving slowly and helping Shannon only as much as is nessecary Iron Man approaches Ares and Zeus and says quite simply, "Games or not, gods live and die by the beliefs of their followers. This whole contemptably laughable scene is going to take a pretty good chunk out of anyone's belief in the two of you as anything other than spoiled overpowered children that are in need of a spanking."

Reassuring Rahne both mentally and verbally that she's okay, it's okay and they're okay. Dani puts an arm around her shoulder and gives her a squeeze "Now help me up. I have a feeling we aren't done yet." she then struggles to her feet hopefully with the assistance of Rahne, as well as by grapping the stirup on Brightwind's saddle and pulling herself up.

Ares holds the scepter, then looks towards American Dream. For a time there might be a glimmer of something, some form of recognition, or even regret. But then his brow furrows. He looks down, then back up and tells Zeus levelly. "No,"
The God of War steps forward and gives the symbol of authority to the shadowy soul of Hades and as soon as the object of power touches the God of Death's hand he springs forth into reality, solidly Hades, solidly himself.
Zeus reaches out with one hand, frowning severely. "What have you done!"
He asks this of Ares, but it is Hades who answers. "The balance is restored brother, hah! I go now to rebuild my realm. Do not rest too easy on your throne." His words drip amusement and acid... then begins to fade.
Zeus glares angrily at Ares, then steps forward and takes the young woman by the hand. "Come, Esme." Then the pair of them flicker out of being.
All it leaves is Ares there amongst the heroes and the wreckage.

"Alex is still oot," Rahne says to Dani, grimacing as she makes her way back to a standing position with the Cheyenne. About that time the final moment comes and the worst...seems over? "Is it done?" she asks, voice full of uncertainty as she wavers slightly in place, still favoring the injured arm and leg. They'll heal just fine, but the physical wounds aren't all she's suffering from.

Mockingbird lowers her rifle and exhales a low sigh when Zeus and Hades depart, leaving her staring at Ares directly. For a few moments she remains silent, then she nods as if understanding what just went down. Not that she looks terribly happy about it, however. "I don't approve of your methods in this, John. Not at all." she offers. And then she turns to stalk off, looking for the nearest wounded to help.

Iron Man takes a moment in outward silence as he puts the Avengers relief forces into full swing, the Stark Foundation also begins to ramp up to help the city recover from the attack at the call from their founder, and then Zeus departs and he listens to Bobbi and then looks to Ares. "This was poorly done, and I'll be damned if I care -why- you did it. You don't put innocents at stake for any reason...pending a vote you're suspended from any and all Avengers operations and resources. Carol and Cap may override me, unless or until that point Ares you're on suspension."

For once Dani is glad her feeling of the situation is wrong. She doesn't think she had it in her to take on a god at the point of exhaustion she is. She catches Rahne's eye and gestures to Havok "You grab his feet." Dani meanwhile grabs his hands and between the two of them get their downed team mate across Brightwind's back. That done, she climbs up and pulls Rahne up behind her.
Brightwind is to tired to fly with the burden of three, so as Dani turns him away from the others he canters away and lets the Avenger's deal with thier own.

Turning away from Mockingbird, Ares looks first to Iron Man, then towards American Dream. He tells them levelly, "I surrender myself to your judgement." He cants his head to the side as he watches them, no hint to his thoughts visible in his manner. He extends his hands towards them wrists up as he says levelly. "I accept responsibility for what has passed here and will abide by your internment. The lives that have been lost were lost due to my inaction. Do as you would."

American Dream stares at Ares for a moment. A good, long moment. "No." She says, at last. "You want me to arrest you? Take you to jail? Want to make yourself feel better by submitting to justice? We both know that will last until you decide you've suffered enough or you think you're needed elsewhere. You want to make ammends? Find the souls of those brave men and women and bring them back to their loved ones. Until, then? Get the hell off my plane of existence. It makes me sick just knowing trash like you exists here." She turns on her heel and begins to limp away. "There's an actual hero inside who needs my help. I'm done with you."

Slinging the assault rifle over her back, Bobbi starts helping to treat the wounded. Sparing Ares a glance, she asks softly. "That's it? That's all you have to say?" Shaking her head slowly, then, she looks over at Dream and adds. "I have to agree with Shannon here, John. That's too damned easy for you. And until the Avengers decide what to do with you, you'll have to speak for yourself. I'm finished with you.

"You're a god, Ares, I've had enough of trying to contain them. This is our planet, our home, and the Avengers will always stand to defend it from all threats. You want to do something, to make amends? You do as Shannon said, you put this world and it's people above the whims of your extra planar games and dieties. Until I can see some proof of that happening, that that is really what you want as opposed to time slumming it with us /mortals/, you will not have a place here on Earth much less with the Avengers." Iron Man's tone is level, calm, and spoken with all the skill and ability a man of his stature has. Then he too turns his back on the god of war and begins to coordinate the arriving emergency services.

"If I had done as she wished, then it would have been an acceptance of that role." Ares looks to Iron Man, then towards the departing women of the Avengers. He isn't exactly expressing remorse, but then again he is far from exultant. "And the result would have been unpleasant for all. Though I do acknowledge that their deaths are on my hands."
Then, calmly, levelly. Ares looks straight at Iron Man. There's a subtle blaze of red deep in John Aaron's eyes as he says simply, "But then that is war."

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