Tired of a world that seems to be collapsing in front of your very eyes? Looking for somewhere to raise a family, feel the fruits of your labors, and where wrongdoers are punished for their misdeeds with justice?
Well, we've got a city that has all that any prospective citizens would want to offer. Publicly owned housing kept at state of the art maintenance, a talented and dedicated police force; several world-class universities to train the next generation's brightest; and a vast metropolitan work force to ensure a fulfilling occupation. Most importantly, thanks to our wholesome administrative staff and top-notch communication network, our community will welcome you with open arms.
"You are sheep led astray. DFederal is a lie...and the Wolves are closing in..."
- 1 The Combatants
- 2 Notes
- 3 Battle
- 3.1 Prologue: In DFederal...
- 3.2 Part I: Fuck You Kai Leng
- 3.3 Part II: I.C.E. Ruins Nico's Day
- 3.4 Part III: Nieder mit Dem Patriarchat
- 3.5 Part IV: Bring Me the Boy and Wipe Away the Debt
- 3.6 Part V: We Have A Mexican Showdown
- 3.7 Part VI: Co-Op Mode Unlocked
- 3.8 Part VII: The Boss Battle
- 3.9 Part VIII: Heroes Unite
- 3.10 Epilogue
- 3.11 Expert's Opinion
Cole MacGrath, the Hero of New Marais
Cole MacGrath was originally a simple bike messenger in Empire City tasked with delivering a device known as the Ray Sphere. Manipulated into activating the Ray Sphere, giving him his signature electric powers. Cole assists the citizens of Empire City, improving their lives and helping the city recover by defeating its new conduit slum lords like Alden Tate and Sasha. Due to propaganda, however, he gets memorialized as the Demon of Empire City and the root cause of the disaster that befalls it. He eventually comes into conflict with Kessler, a terrorist who is revealed to have been the cause of the Ray Sphere's explosion. After he defeats Kessler, Cole acts as the vigilante in Empire City before a powerful entity called The Beast destroys it.
He flees the Beast to New Marais, trying to find something to stop it. He is assisted by the ice conduit Lucy Kuo and the napalm conduit Nix, he tends to side with the lawful and moral Kuo at the expense of the chaotic and selfish Nix. Cole also frees New Marais from the wrath of Bartrand and the New Marais militia, before discovering the Beast was his old friend John White. After fully charging the Ray Field Inhibitor, his major weapon against the Beast, he activates it and wipes out about 90% of conduits, including himself, and those who have the conduit gene, paving the way for the DUP's rise, anti-conduit propaganda, and the events of Second Son. <tabber> |-|The Amp=
The Amp is a melee weapon designed by Cole's best friend, Zeke Dunbar. It's a two-pronged weapon that conducts Cole's powers through it. |-|Electrokinesis=
Cole's main power is electrokinesis, the creation and manipulation of electric fields. Thanks to physics, this means he also has magnetic powers. Cole is capable of creating blasts of electricity, explosions of electricity, levitating, creating shields, draining electrical items for power and health, and using a variety of electrical powers to increase his mobility.
I've used him before and he's been used in OZ; you've got the gist of it. If you'd like a full list, check here. |-| Cryokinesis =
Cole has access to cryokinesis, which manifests primarily as his other abilities but with ice instead of electricity. The cryokinetic abilities he has access include launching himself from icy platforms he forms, an ice version of most of his electric powers, and creating a shockwave composed of ice shards instead of electricity. |-| Ionic Abilities =
Cole's big powers are his Ionic Abilities. In order to access this, he needs to absorb ray field energy from a defeated foe or civilian. He will start with three charges.
- Ionic Storm: Cole uses an Ionic Charge instead of electricity from his surroundings to summon multiple lightning strikes.
- Ionic Vortex: Cole focuses an Ionic Charge in his hands and throws an electrically charged tornado.
- Ionic Freeze: Cole uses an Ionic Charge to launch a radial wave of ice. Human sized enemies are instantly frozen by this move.
|-|Misc. & X-Factors= Misc.
- Hero Complex: Cole is at heart a heroic person, willing to put himself in harm's way in order to protect those in danger. He also avoids killing if he can, and will try to stop others from committing crimes as well.
- Parkour: Cole is skilled in parkour which, when coupled with his powers, makes him a very mobile person when he needs to be.
- Creative: Cole has been able to create and manifest his sole power of electrokinesis into a variety of different powers. He was creative enough to use that talent and transfer it into his newly obtained ice powers, easily re-adapting his techniques to fit the new powerset.
- Raw Power & Versatility
Cole only has two powers, but the way he utilizes them ensures he can and has gone up against people way above his power level and come out on top. He can attack from virtually any range, from standard bolts of lightning to grenades and rockets, and his powers are truly devastating if they're unleashed. He's also got the powers to get him into whatever range he wants, from his electric tether to his ice launch.
Cole's a pretty normal guy. He's not exactly delivering rousing speeches or leading armies into battle, but he's also possesses an inherent heroic nature that makes him trustworthy while having a snark and sense of realism to not be grating.
Cole's a superhero- he won't attack civilians and tries to avoid killing his enemies if he can. That being said, Cole's destructive power also manifests itself so that Cole's willing to unleash it on anybody he deems a threat to himself or others with little hesitation.
Merrill, the Dalish Exile
Merrill is the former apprentice of Marethari, the keeper of the Sabrae clan of Dalish elves. After her friends Mahariel and Tamlen are corrupted by a tainted magical mirror, Merrill takes the mirror to study herself. She brings it with her to the Free Marches when the clan leaves Ferelden, where she eventually utilizes blood magic in an attempt to cleanse the mirror. Due to the tabboo around blood magic, Merrill is exiled from the clan and forced to take shelter with Hawke, who she joins as a companion.
While adventuring with Hawke, Merrill continues to study the mirror and trying to cleanse it. She requires a ceremonial dagger from the clan, and invokes an ancient ritual for it in exchange for performing a service, in this case slaying a Varterral. Years later, Merrill tries to consult the demon Audacity, but discovers Marethari as allowed it to possess her to protect Merrill. Merrill and Hawke kill the possessed Marethari, and the rest of the clan after they attack her. Left without a clan or the mirror, Merrill decides to join Hawke's side in helping the Circle fight for their freedom before leaving to protect the elves from the Mage-Templar war. <tabber> |-|Magic=
Merrill is a highly skilled mage, with talents in several different schools of magic. She is trained in the schools of Entropy, Primal, Arcane, Elemental, and Spirit. She can manipulate fire, ice, earth, and lightning in a variety of ways, as well as the Fade itself to create shields for herself or physically crush her enemies. She is also well-versed in hexes and curses, with spells that can put foes to sleep, ruin their chances of hitting a target, rending their minds, or dispel their magic.
Her most prominent talent are her Dalish Pariah spells, which combine her knowledge of blood magic with nature magic. Utilizing her life force as an additional source of mana, she can make it easier to cast other spells, manipulate the blood of her enemies to harm them, or manipulate the earth to strike out at her opponents or move her to safety.
She typically wields a staff to use with her magic, but it is not required. |-|Misc. & X-Factors= Misc.
- Focused: When it comes to things outside of her obsession or close allies, Merrill doesn't display either the wisdom or the interest to care about general societal norms. While she displays a significant amount of curiosity (explained below) and ability to learn about the world, she doesn't really desire to unless she can use it for another reason. This creates the illusion of innocence for those that don't know Merrill beyond the surface level.
- Wise: Despite the previously mentioned perception of innocence she tends to create, Merrill is not dumb. When it comes to matters of magic or combat, she is fully capable of thinking outside the box and devising real solutions to her problems. Her innocence also lends her a certain wisdom, with a way of looking at interactions with an emotional honesty more cynical people may not have or ignore.
- Inquisitive: Merrill is a very curious person, willing to sacrifice herself and put herself at risk if there's a chance she may learn something of significant enough value.
- Raw Power & Versatiltiy
Merrill has a wide variety of power and magic at her disposal, and she's willing to use all of them. She can overwhelm foes mentally, with the elements, or use their own bodies against them with blood magic, and her spells can chain together to cause some serious damage.
Merrill is charming and nice in her own way. She's incredibly friendly and trusting, and that in turn gives her the appearance of being dumber than she actually is. While she's willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, she often gets that same respect in return.
Despite her general demeanor, Merrill rarely holds back her most powerful spells from her opponents. She rarely relents against any opponent, and she's willing to go to lengths most mages wouldn't to achieve her goals or help her friends.
Astolfo, a Paladin of Charlemagne
Astolfo was one of twelve paladins of Charlemagne, and the cousin of the famous Roland. Upon Roland's entering a state of hysteria, Astolfo went on a quest to find a cure for his insanity. Astolfo had numerous adventures along the way, which included the subduing of a giant and the defeat of a supernaturally-regenerating bandit. When Astolfo arrived in Ethiopia, he met its emperor, who was plagued by a swarm of harpies that attacked him whenever he tried to eat. Astolfo scared off the harpies with his magical horn, and the grateful emperor directed him on how to find John the Apostle, who in turn explained to Astolfo how to return Roland's sanity.
Astolfo followed John's instructions and retrieved Roland's wits, which were sealed in a bottle, with the help of the prophet Elijah, and returned them to Roland, who came back to his senses. Freed of his madness, Roland accompanied Astolfo back to Paris, where they lead Charlemagne's forces in a defense against the invading Saracens. <tabber> |-|Carolingian Sword=
Like all Frankish paladins, Astolfo carries the weapon of a nobleman: the sword. His is an ordinary Carolingian sword, the most common kind in the early Medieval period. It is a double-edged steel blade, about ninety centimeters in length. |-|Lance=
Astolfo's most famous piece of equipment is his enchanted golden lance. It is outwardly a typical Carolingian lance, a winged spear about four meters in length. However, it is unique in the fact that even the slightest contact with the lance can send Astolfo's opponents flying backward, easily unhorsing anyone he strikes with it. It also possesses above-average durability, like most enchanted weapons from Medieval epics. |-|Horn of Astolfo=
I know it's a bad picture, but it's there and frankly what it looks like isn't the point.
Anyway, Astolfo is in possession of a magical horn that when blown, the resulting blast is so terrifyingly loud that it causes most men and beasts to flee in terror. |-|Tome=
Astolfo utilizes a magical tome that contains several spells that can break enchantments and remove the magical effects of items. |-|Hippogriff=
Lent to him by the knight Ruggiero, a hippogriff is a beast with the head of an eagle and the body of a horse. The hippogriff's front half is composed of talons, and it has wings. Although the hippogriff is not technically Astolfo's, it displays loyalty and obedience to Astolfo. |-|Misc. & X-Factors= Misc.
- Honorable: Astolfo, as a Paladin of Charlemagne, is an honorable warrior and knight. However, unlike other medieval warriors, Astolfo's sense of honor rarely gets in the way of practicality. He is willing to use trickery and magical means to accomplish his goals as long as they don't directly contradict his honor system.
- Loyalty: One of the values of Astolfo's honor is loyalty, where Astolfo is willing to go to the ends of the earth and back for his allies. He traveled all the way to the moon for the sake of his cousin Orlando.
- Belligerent: Compelled by his sense of honor, Astolfo is willing and eager to seek out fights if his duty calls upon it.
- Well-Traveled: Astolfo's adventures have taken to nearly every corner of the known world, as well as the moon. He has fought giants, immortal warriors, met saints, and been turned into a tree. Because of his experiences, Astolfo would be very difficult to surprise in terms of being shocked by an enemy's uniqueness.
- Raw Power & Versatility
Outside of his many magical items and his loyal hippogriff, Astolfo has no outstanding abilities himself.
Astolfo's generally a likeable character, with a heroic nature and willingness to help others that may lead others to join him.
As should be expected, Astolfo's sense of chivalry is the medieval kind- he would avoid hurting civilians if he could but he's not above utilizing tricks and going all out against an opponent in the middle of a battle.
Psycho Mantis, the Third Child
Psycho Mantis is the codename for a Russian-born soldier and potent psychic. Born to an abusive father and a mother who died in childbirth, Psycho Mantis discovered his powers upon reading his father's thoughts. Disillusioned by humanity, Mantis burned down his village and killed his father. He was then transported to Moscow where he soon became an ally to a comatose Volgin to aid in his quest for revenge against Snake. Mantis and Volgin allied themselves with XOF, but turned on the organization when the child soldier Eli's hatred for both outweighed Volgin's hatred. Mantis saved Eli from the Diamond Dogs and XOF multiple times, culminating in him preventing Eli from killing himself.
Psycho Mantis eventually joined the KGB, the FBI, and eventually FOXHOUND, a covert unit of special forces led by his old ally Eli, now Liquid Snake. FOXHOUND grew disillusioned with the government and staged a coup of Shadow MOses Island, with Psycho Mantis brainwashing soldiers that didn't support the revolt into working for them. Psycho Mantis died after a confrontation with the soldier Solid Snake, who resisted his mind control and killed Psycho Mantis. <tabber> |-|Telekinesis=
Psycho Mantis is capable of using telekinesis. He utilizes it to float, and to move objects as projectiles or barriers to protect himself. He seems capable of using his telekinesis to push or pull human beings, but not actually lift them up for long periods of time. |-|Telepathy=
Psycho Mantis is an incredibly powerful telepath, capable of reading the minds and memories of others with ease. He was able to read Solid Snake's mind and entire history within a matter of moments, and he could sense the feelings of an unconscious Venom Snake despite being in an airplane flying over the hospital he was in.
Psycho Mantis' telepathy is so powerful that he wears a gas mask in order to prevent the amount of what he hears from overwhelming him, as well as to protect his own mind from other telepaths. |-|Mind Control=
Psycho Mantis is capable of mind control, and it takes either an incredibly strong will or specific technological measures to keep him from doing so. Even beings with strong wills like Solid Snake are not completely immune, as Psycho Mantis could control his actions for a brief period during their fight. His mind control is even strong enough to control figures who are unconscious like Volgin or Meryl. |-|Illusion Control=
Part of Mantis' ability to control minds is his ability to create illusions for his target to struggle with. This includes altering Solid Snake's sense of balance by making the room appear to tilt, creating illusions of fiery explosions, and manipulating paintings around him to make them appear alive. |-|Optic Camo=
Psycho Mantis made use of optic camoflauge to make himself appear invisible. It bended light around the user to make them nearly invisible, although it was easy to get around with thermal vision and even with the unaided eye the user could be partially seen as a distorted shape. |-|Misc. & X-Factors= Misc.
- Nihilistic: Psycho Mantis has lived a life full of trauma and tragedy, making him cynical and violent towards others. He doesn't really adhere to any one cause for long, instead devoting his talents to those that allow him to kill the most people.
- Split Personality: Psycho Mantis has created an alternate personality within himself called "The Parasite", which serves as the primary part of his vicious streak. Although Psycho Mantis mostly caters to the Parasite's desire to kill and harm, he holds it back enough to prevent his powers from overwhelming him and letting him work alongside others.
- Drawn Towards Evil: As he can read minds, Psycho Mantis knows the intentions of others and is often drawn to work alongside those who have a strong desire to hurt others out of a sense of kinship.
- Skilled Strategist: Psycho Mantis is a skilled strategist, given multiple factors like his ability to read mind and his training under FOXHOUND. It was Psycho Mantis who conceived of the original plan to Decoy Octopus to impersonate the DARPA chief and trick Solid Snake into activating Metal Gear Rex.
- Raw Power & Versatility
Psycho Mantis' power doesn't necessarily come from overwhelming his foes with any of his powers, with his telekinesis being restricted to weaker attacks. Where he shines is his ability to infiltrate his opponent's mind and take advantage of that, where he halts a target's ability to function while whittling them down.
Psycho Mantis isn't really charismatic, but his telepathy and mind control allow him to take over the minds of weaker foes to the point that he doesn't need to be convincing. Granted, he's always been more of a follower than a individual, but he's still a useful ally to have and more importantly skilled at drawing himself to them.
Psycho Mantis is a cruel and psychotic killer, with no real pursuit of a cause and more just siding with whoever lets him hurt the most people. He's naturally drawn towards evil people as a result, and he often agrees to work with them because of it.
Kung Lao, the Last Descendant of the Great Kung Lao
Kung Lao is the descendant of master martial artist the Great Kung Lao, and a former shaolin monk trained by the White Lotus Society. Initially a pacifist, Kung Lao made a decision to live up to his ancestor's name and prove himself better to his cousin, Liu Kang. Kung Lao attempted to compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament after his rejection in favor of Liu Kang, and disguised himself as a guard to participate. He gives up his disguise when Scorpion is seeking a challenger, but is defeated by the undead ninja and forced to support his cousin.
Shang Tsung later invaded the Wu Shi Academy, leading to a great battle between the monks and Tsung's tarkatan horde. Kung Lao aided his cousin Liu Kang in the rescue of the shaolin monks, before attempting to rescue their old ally Kitana. They discover that Kitana's execution is in the same coliseum that Raiden and their allies are fighting, so the duo travel there. Kung Lao is finally allowed to compete in the tournament, where he bests Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, and Kintaro. In his boasting of his victory, Kung Lao was swiftly killed by Shao Kahn when the latter snuck up behind him and broke his neck. <tabber> |-|Razor-Brimmed Hat=
Kung Lao's sole weapon is his magical razor-brimmed hat. The hat's brim is an incredibly sharp blade, capable of sawing completely through human beings and metal if thrown at the right time and place. The hat appears to be magical, with the hat always teleporting or guiding itself back to Kung Lao if he throws it and it goes off course. Kung Lao also seems to have a level of control of it, shown by the hat's ability to act like a traditional thrown projectile or a buzzsaw if required, as well as changing its trajectory mid-air to a limited extent. The hat is incredibly durable, with the durability to completely stop and break a trap composed of three bronze axes his own size by trapping one of them with his hat.
The hat's teleportation ability also extends to Kung Lao, letting him teleport short distances in front or behind him. |-|Master Martial Artist=
Kung Lao is an exceptionally skilled warrior in hand-to-hand combat, second only to his own cousin Liu Kang in terms of pure martial arts talent of the Earthrelm warriors. Kung Lao's style of combat emphasizes mobility and speed, often utilizing his skill in conjunction with his hat to keep the fight at close-to-mid range. He's a highly mobile fighter, capable of easily outmoving larger opponents like Kintaro and Goro. |-|Misc. & X-Factors= Misc.
- Overconfident: Kung Lao is very confident in his own abilities, believing he is the best warrior to live up to his ancestor's name. While this rarely affects him in actual fights, his boastful nature and hot-headed temper has led to his downfall before.
- Inferiority Complex: Kung Lao has a bit of an inferiority complex, both because of his cousin Liu Kang being the favored warrior and an underlying desire to prove himself worthy of his name. Because of this, he has taken risks that weren't necessary simply to prove himself as an equal.
- Loyal: Kung Lao, for all his faults, is a loyal warrior to the White Lotus Society and to Earthrelm. After his defeat at the hands of Scorpion, he supported Liu Kang to victory without hesitation. Upon the discovery of his death, a past version of Kung Lao showed a willingness to question Raiden but not turn against him, showing his devotion to their cause.
- Superhuman Durability: While Mortal Khombat is notorious for its durability hijinks, Kung Lao still possesses a degree of superhuman durability that allows him to fight more powerful magical beings like Scorpion or Kintaro without getting snapped like a twig.
- Raw Power & Versatility
Kung Lao is restricted by his hat and his mastery of martial arts; while he's a very skilled fighter up close and personal with a bevy of tricks up his sleeve, he doesn't have much else to work with.
Kung Lao's a hot-head and a bit arrogant, but he's a good person at heart and wants to do what's right while proving himself. That personality could be grating, but usually not to a degree that he's impossible to work with and recognizably so.
Kung Lao isn't likely to use underhanded tactics like holding hostages or using civilians as human shields, but against actual opponents he'll hold absolutely nothing back.
Nightcrawler, an Astonishing X-Man
Nightcrawler, or Kurt Wagner, is a member of the mutant team of superheroes known as the X-Men. The son of the demon Azazel and the mutant supervillain Mystique, Nightcrawler was raised by a gypsy sorceress in a travelling circus. He had a happy childhood while in the circus, where he became their star acrobat, before it was bought and he was meant to be relegated to its freakshow. Wagner escaped the circus and went into hiding, until discovering that his foster brother had begun murdering children in fits of rage. Honoring a debt they had made as children, Kurt tried to stop Stefan before accidentally killing him in their fight. Angry villagers attempted to stop Kurt before being stopped by Charles Xavier, who offered Kurt a home in the X-Men.
Since joining the team, under the codename Nightcrawler, Kurt participated in several of their adventures as a core member of the team. These included the initial efforts to recruit new mutants after M-Day removed the powers of over 90% of the mutant population, uncovering the past of teammate Wolverine, and even temporarily leading the team when its leaders Cyclops and Storm were unable to. During the events regarding Hope Summers, Nightcrawler was killed trying to protect her when he teleported and the Sentinel Bastion placed his arm where Kurt reappeared, fatally injuring him. He used the last of his strength to teleport himself and Hope to Utopia, where he died surrounded by his fellow X-Men. <tabber> |-|Teleportation=
Nightcrawler's primary mutant ability is teleportation, where he disappears in a puff of purple smoke and re-appears with a quiet but distinctive sound of "BAMF", as well as the faint smell of brimstone. Nightcrawler's teleportation is primarily used to carry himself and his uniform, but he does possess the ability to others with him at the cost of exhausting both himself and others. He uses this both as a mobility asset and as an offensive tool by bringing opponents into multiple jumps to exhaust foes that do not possess superhuman endurance or natural resistance to teleportation.
When Nightcrawler teleports, he must consciously choose where he is to reappear. He maintains any momentum he had prior to teleporting, and re-appears with the inertia he had prior to the "jump". His teleportation will automatically displace liquids and gases, but not solids. It is less taxing to teleport north and south than east and west, and vertical jumps are more difficult due to the fight against the electromagnetic and gravitational field. The exact limit of his teleporting is unknown, but on the brink of death he was able to teleport himself and a passenger from Las Vegas to San Francisco, although whether this is a practical limit or a fatal effort that he knowingly undertook is unknown.
Due to all of these factors, Nightcrawler possesses an innate sense of spatial awareness that allows him to better predict and "judge" the environment he is about to enter to avoid serious injury. However, this also causes Nightcrawler to prefer to teleport within line of sight or into areas that he knows the layout of. |-|Swords=
Nightcrawler is an exceptional swordsman, arguably one of the best in the Marvel Universe when one takes into account his powers and skill. He is best trained in the school of fencing, although he has shown mastery with a variety including broadswords, cutlasses, and short swords. He can wield one-handed blades, two-handed blades, and can even utilize his tail to utilize three swords at once. For the sake of this match, Nightcrawler will begin with a pair of steel double-edged rapiers, each with a three-foot long blade. |-|Bamfs=
Nightcrawler often utilizes his half-brothers, known as Bamfs, to aid him. They appear similar to him and are much smaller, but can join alongside him to boost the range of his teleportation. Nightcrawler does not actually control them however, and they are free to ignore his commands if they choose (which is rare). They're mostly just little assholes that help out Nightcrawler teleport multiple people. |-|Mutant Physiology=
Nightcrawler has several miscellaneous biological powers that serve him in various useful capacities. The most obvious is his tail, which he controls at will and is strong enough to support his entire weight, as well as flexible enough to wield a sword. He also possesses night vision and an incredibly flexible skeleton that allows him to perform acrobatic feats that no normal human possibly could. His hands and feet are covered with suction-cup like discs that allow him to stick to most flat surfaces. Finally, his blue fur allows him to naturally camouflage in darker areas and within his teleportation clouds. |-|Misc. & X-Factors= Misc
- Acrobatic: Due both to his physiology and his training with the circus and X-Men, Nightcrawler is an exceptional acrobat.
- Multilingual: Nightcrawler is fluent in German (his native tongue), English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Russian.
- Skilled Hand-to-Hand Combatant: With his powers and acrobatic skills, Nightcrawler is a difficult foe to face in hand-to-hand combat. He keeps up with tricky foes like Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Mystique without difficulty, and can wipe out crowds of regular people by himself if need be.
- Amiable: Nightcrawler is generally a very likeable person, humorous and friendly with any of those who aren't his direct enemies while also possessing a sage-like wisdom and kindness that endears him to the older, more cynical members of his team. Nightcrawler has become so well-beloved by his peers that upon his death, the warring factions of the X-Men were willing to put aside their anger to attend his funeral.
- Devout Catholic: Nightcrawler is a devout Catholic, and this belief system guides many of the actions that he chooses to undergo. He even temporarily abandoned the X-Men to become an ordained priest, and upon his death entered into Heaven.
- Raw Power & Versatility
Nightcrawler can teleport, he has swords, and he can punch people - there's not much Nightcrawler can do, although his usage of his powers and skills have led him to being one of the most capable members of the team.
While never serving as the "leader" of the X-Men except in a filler role, Nightcrawler was a valued member of the team and one of its most beloved members. He could easily get along with jokesters like Spider-Man or Iceman while keeping a serious facade with Wolverine or Cyclops. Combined with his jovial nature and heroic ideals, Nightcrawler is a very likeable person.
Nightcrawler rarely kills while in the field, but he has made exceptions in the instance of demons or aliens that threaten humanity as a whole. Generally though, he doesn't try to kill and prefers to subdue/pacify.
Kayneth Archibald, the Ninth Patriarch of the El-Melloi Family
Kayneth Archibald is a high-ranking magus of the Mage's Association and the Master of Lancer in the Holy Grail War. Kayneth initially had the advantage, with his powerful Servant and a wealth of resources both monetary and magical at his disposal. He utilized these to press the offensive during the early stages of the war, up until he faced off against Kiritsugu Emiya. Overconfident due to Kiritsugu's seeming lack of magical power, Kayneth's plans were demolished when his fortress was destroyed by Kiritsugu in a planned explosion. He was forced to retreat briefly, left with nothing but his Servant, his wife, and his Volumem Hydragon.
Kayneth hunted down Kiritsugu to the Eizbern Mansion, where he attempted to kill the assassin personally. Initially with the upper hand of surprise, Kayneth was consistently stopped by Kiritsugu outsmarting the magus. Kiritsugu eventually shot Kayneth with one of his Origin Bullets, which destroyed his magical circuits and prevented him from using magic ever again. Kayneth killed Risei Kotomine to steal his Command Seals, but Kiritsugu kidnapped his wife. Kayneth ordered his Servant to kill himself in exchange for a magical vow that Kiritsugu would never harm Kayneth or his wife. Kayneth is then shot by Kiritsugu's assistant, and executed by his Servant. <tabber> |-|Volumen Hydrargyrum=
Kayneth's most potent Mystic Code; it is an autonomous mass of mercury that acts both as an offensive and defensive weapon. He used it to survive the collapse of the hotel he had formed a base in, as well as to singlehandedly siege Einsbern mansion. It is a amourphous fluid, that can form and attack with blades small and strong enough to rival beams of high-pressure water, and can tear apart entire rooms through consecutive hits. It can also be set into several modes, from a track-and-kill mode to an automatic defense of Kayneth. |-|Magecraft=
Kayneth is an incredibly potent mage, with the magical energy reserves and the academic knowledge to practice several forms of magic. Such skills include necromancy, summoning, healing magic, alchemy, and spiritual evocation. He primarily uses such talents defensively, from creating bounded fields that prevent nomagical beings from entering his created battlefield to setting up a magical fortress that included portals to alternate dimensions, undead guards, and other magical traps. |-|Misc. & X-Factors= Misc.
- Arcane Knowledge: As previously said, Kayneth has a plethora of knowledge when it comes to the academic usage and history of magic. Because of this, it would be difficult to truly surprise Kayneth in terms of presenting a new type of threat to him.
- Superiority Complex: For all his talent and skill, Kayneth is an incredibly arrogant man, often to a reckless degree. He underestimates Kiritsugu on multiple occasions because of his more powerful magical ability, and because of that rarely exercised that power to its fullest potential. When he finally realizes a threat, he often lets his anger blind him to a reckless degree as well.
- Short-Tempered: Kayneth's fuse is pretty short, which combined with his previously mentioned superiority complex makes him prone to reckless decisions if he's annoyed or angered enough.
- Raw Power & Versatility
The Volumen Hydrargyrum is a powerful tool at Kayneth's disposal, and if he's keeping his cool he uses it to its fullest potential. Additionally, his magical abilities allow him to theoretically dominate a battlefield, assuming he has the time to set it up.
Kayneth's an eloquent and stoic figure, so as long as he keeps his cool he's capable of being a convincing figure. However, his short temper and superiority complex often exposes itself fairly early, so maintaining alliances might be more difficult.
Kayneth's very cruel to those under his subordination like Waver or to his opponents like Kiritsugu. When he commits himself to an enemy, he displays an incredible degree of anger and hatred towards them to a single-minded degree. However, outside of that he's really not much more violent than the average asshole.
Nico Di Angelo, the Son of Hades
Nico di Angelo is the half-blood son of Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld, and Italian-American immigrant Maria di Angelo. Born in the 1940's, Nico's birth was the breaking of a pact between Hades and his brothers to never bare anymore children, which led to Zeus killing Maria with a lightning bolt. To spare his children, Hades trapped Nico and his sister Bianca in the Lotus Hotel for eighty years. Nico and Bianca eventually left, where she joined the Hunters of Artemis and Nico joined Camp Half-Blood. After her death on a quest with Percy Jackson, Nico was revealed to be Hades' son and he left Camp Half-Blood. Nico eventually forgave Percy after talking with the spirit of Bianca, and became a valuable ally to the demigod in their mission to defeat the Titan Kronos.
After the Second Titanomachy, Nico tries to resurrect Bianca but instead chooses to save Hazel Levesque, his half-sister. Nico takes her to the west coat of Camp Jupiter, the Roman version of Camp Half-Blood. Discovering that the Doors of Death are open, Nico attempts to close them from the Underworld only to get dragged into Tartarus and captured by Gaea's monsters. He escapes with the help of the seven demigods on a quest, and helps their cause by shadow traveling himself and the Athena Parthenos from Europe to the United States, where he uses the statue as a peace offering to prevent the Greek and Roman camps from killing each other. <tabber> |-|Sword=
Nico wields a sword forged from Stygian Iron, a black Falcata sword about three feet long. The sword possesses a unique ability in that unlike Celestial Bronze or Imperial Gold, it can harm mortals as well as mythical beings. The sword, as it is forged in Stygian Iron in the River Styx, can also only be wielded by a child of Hades like Nico. Nico is an excellent swordsman, able of keeping up with demigods like Percy or Thalia that have spent much more time fighting than he has and impressing even the children of Ares with his skill in battle. |-|Necromancy=
Nico's most utilized ability is his necromancy. As a child of Hades, Nico is capable of summoning sentient skeletons and ordering them to do as he wishes. This extends to being able to summon an entire army of skeletons, doing so at the expense of increasing stamina drainage. He can also physically interact with ghosts, sense when someone dies or is about to die, the summoning and controlling of bones, commit summoning rituals for the dead, banish the undead to the Underworld, and control undead to a limited to extent. He can also enter a "death trance", where he ingests a seed of Persephone's pomegranates and can essentially becomes dead for a day by not using oxygen and only sustaining himself on the seeds. Nico carries a ring on him that he can utilize to "prepare" the dead in the event he needs to summon them. His most powerful necromancy ability is the power to change a living person into a ghost and exile them into the Underworld, but the effort from doing so immediately knocked him unconscious and, without the intervention of a magical healer, could've killed him. |-|Geokinesis=
Nico can control the earth - levitating rocks and making them deadly, black, and extremely sharp. Nico can open fissures in the earth that can swallow up creatures and trap them in the Underworld. He can cause earth tremors so powerful, they can shatter the pillars of a mountain fortress. |-|Shadow Manipulation=
I hate the Percy Jackson fandom.
Anyway, Nico has the ability to manipulate shadows, which he mostly uses to travel from place to place. He can also utilize shadows to form a magical shield, to cloak himself in darkness for stealth, surround his opponents in total darkness to blind them, and somehow heal minor injuries with shadows. |-|Misc. & X-Factors= Misc.
- Aura of Death: Nico naturally radiates an aura of unease, fear, and death from his mere presence. Monsters initially back away from him from fear, and he kills the grass beneath his feet if he lets it get out of control. Even powerful demigods like that are his friends like Percy and Jason Grace, a child of Poseidon and Zeus respectively, end up recoiling from his presence out of fear at first.
- Superhuman Physicality: As a demigod, Nico possesses heightened reflexes, strength, durability, and agility compared to normal humans.
- Indomintable Will: Nico has been through some shit. The best way to explain it is that when Reyna, a demigod who can absorb the pain of others to boost her own power via physical contact, was able to become temporarily invulnerable and fight toe to toe with the Greek Giant Orion. Nico has had to live through the death of both his mother and sister, live with the fact that the latter's death was partially his crush's fault, live in the Labyrinth, live in Tartarus, survive a week under the death trance, and navigate living between the Greek and Roman camps of demigods, in addition to the regular run-of-the-mill demigod activities.
- Grudges: Nico's fatal flaw is that he can hold a grudge to a dangerous degree. Although he has gotten in under control, examples include refusing to accept Percy's help upon his capture by Titans, holding a grudge against Percy's girlfriend for being his girlfriend for years, and knowing that Luke Castellan was invulnerable due to bathing in the River Styx but not telling Percy for a whole summer.
- Multilingual: Nico speaks fluent Italian, English, and Ancient Greek.
- Dyslexia: Nico can read Ancient Greek fluently because his brain is hard-wired for it, which in turn makes reading modern languages difficult.
- Raw Power & Versatility
Nico's got a lot of raw power under his sleeve, from summoning leagues of undead to moving around the battlefield and outright destroying it with his earthly powers. He's well-trained and skilled in his powers usage, often manifesting them in unique ways such as summoning a zombie butler or talking to the dead. However, his greater powers often exhaust him, and thus he rarely pushes himself to his greatest limits without reason.
Nico is a very reserved and quiet individual, and he's plagued with enough self-doubt that he isn't an inspiring figure. While he can impose fear into others, he often does so without realizing and he tries to blend into the background instead of play the hero.
Nico's a lot more violent and willing to break the rules compared to the average demigod, but ultimately he follows many of their rules. He's ferocious against monsters and other evil entities, but he avoids trying to kill civilians or his fellow heroes when he can.
- For voting, rank warriors from last to first to determine if they will win under the conditions imposed under the Situation tab.
- All votes must contain proper grammar and spelling.
- All votes must clearly express a winner/if there is a tie. Don't beat around the bush, people.
- The warrior with the most points will win. 8th place gets 1 point, 7th gets 2 points, etc.
- Rankings that are a tie will demote to the lower number. For example, a tie for the 8th/7th rank will count as 1 point for each warrior.
- I will declare votes as full or none - the style of battle does not reflect well into half votes. A full vote will have at least three sentences for why a warrior ranks where they do.
- These requirements are abstract; I reserve the right to count or discount votes depending on their individual merit.
- My rebuttal policy is as follows; the initial rebuttal will reduce a vote to half, and a particularly outstanding rebuttal will reduce it to nothing. The first counter-argument, if adequate, will raise the vote back to full value. Going forward from there, all rebuttals and counter-arguments will only affect a vote if I believe it does so adequately.
- I will also no longer accept rebuttals one hour before voting is scheduled to close, to ensure that this policy may not be abused.
- Voting closes May 6th, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST. The period for vote rebuttals will close at 11:00 PM EST.
All nine combatants have been deemed Persona Non Grata in DFederal, expelled from their districts and to be immediately captured for redistricting or executed if found resisting. A single contestant will be pardoned, but only after the capture or death of the other participants. All citizens of DFederal have been notified not to engage with or assist the contestants at the consequence of a monetary fine and being put on a DFederal watch list.
Each participant can make alliances with other participants, obtain weapons not listed above, or seek assistance from outside citizens. However, note that specific citizens that each participant may know in their respective canons should not be considered as a part of the fight. The administrative staff of users will interfere only in the following ways; to ensure that the participants cannot actually escape, and to ensure they will end up fighting at least one other combatant or the authorities sent after them (with preference to the former). The authorities will consist primarily of generic DFederal police officers, which will progressively become more powerful as the fight drags on. The combatants will receive a ten minute "head-start" notification before the authorities are ordered to mobilize and hunt them down.
The conditions for victory are simple: Be the last warrior alive and free. The participants know the face and name of the others, but nothing else. Do not treat this as a fight to the death, as survival is the ultimate objective. Contestants will be informed via public broadcasting if and when one of the others has been eliminated. All warriors that currently live in DFederal will begin in their home districts, which includes the following:
- Cole MacGrath - Sewers
- Kayneth Archibald - Blue Collar District
- Astolfo - White Collar District
The rest, as undocumented citizens, will begin in the Blue Collar District.
There is no requirement to leave or stay within one's beginning district, but they are also aware that the starting location is known by the authorities hunting them.
The structure of DFederal is a circular city, with the sewers being underneath the entire city. There are five divisions of DFederal excluding the sewers, with the slums being the smallest in the center and the 1%er community being the outer, largest ring. Going outward from the slums, the Blue Collar District is first followed by the White Collar District, followed by the Wealthy District and then the 1%er. As the communities go outward, the size of the area and the presence of security gets proportionally larger. Below is a map.
I would like to thank the following individuals:
- Leolab, who I consistently copy. I have done so once again in the following ways; copied the entire Cole MacGrath tabber, general formatting, and his map of DFederal.
- Laquerias, who was a good adviser when it came to Astolfo.
- Beast, who served as a general adviser about whether warriors would or would not be fair to include.
Some warriors come from certain timelines. Here are the specific timelines:
- Cole MacGrath - Good Cole, inFAMOUS 2
- Merrill - Sided with the Mages, Dragon Age 2
- Astolfo - The Orlando Furioso
- Russia - Metal Gear Solid
- Kung Lao - Mortal Kombat 9
- Nightcrawler - Earth-616
- Kayneth Archibald - Fate/Zero
- Nico di Angelo - Between the events of The Heroes of Olympus and The Trials of Apollo
Prologue: In DFederal...
“Alright class, remember to do the Constantine and Darhk readings before your discussions, and we will pick up with Summoning the Undead next class. My office hours have been cancelled today - please reach out to me over email if you have questions.”
Kayneth Archibald rubs his temples as his class leaves the room. Once a master magus and the most renowned voice in magical academia; reduced to teaching GE credits to overeager freshmen and seniors who can’t manage a schedule. One of the former approaches his desk, a young blond woman in her late teens. “Professor Archibald, I was wondering if I could-”
“Did you not just listen to me, Mrs. Chase? Office hours have been cancelled. If we have this problem again, I will deduct your grade even further.”
Before Annabeth can continue her protests, Kayneth puts up a firm palm for silence. He grabs his pack, and leaves the room. Annabeth frowns and marches out into the hallway after him.
She looks around, trying to find her professor, when a melodic voice calls out to her. “What’s the matter, Annie? Upset you don’t get to be perfect anymore?”
Annabeth turns and scowls at the blue-coated young man before her, a cocky smile upon his face beneath a pair of glasses. “Consider it a flaw, Saruhiko.”
As they walk outside to the campus of Eastern University, Kayneth Archibald takes his train to the Blue Collar district. The sunny sky and lush green public parks of the Wealthy District gives way to the darker, congested urban jungle where the magus was forced to live.
Kayneth lays his head down and looks pensively out the window. As the subway rolls to a halt, he nods at the young man in the green hoodie before getting off at his stop. After a short walk, Kayneth buzzes into his building. As he passes through the lobby, a man covered in green scales barges past him.
“Jones, when are you going to get around to fixing my shower?”
“When I can Blondie. You’re not the only person that lives here.”
“Don’t forget who you work for, Croc.”
At that, Killer Croc turns around and lets out a snarl. Kayneth yelps, resulting in a chuckle to escape from the mutated supervillain. The magus quickly hides in his home- a three room apartment, with a decent sized kitchen, a bathroom, and his bedroom.
He collects his mail, tossing aside bills and spam mail before settling on the final message. Trapped in a silver and red envelope, the paper states only a few brief lines. As his eyes wander down the page, Kayneth's disinterested scowl turns into an elated grin.
“A battle royale...At last!”
Kayneth triumphantly stands and crushes the paper in his fist. “This is my chance! I shall restore myself back to a position I truly deserve.” The magus walks into his bedroom, pulling out the flask which contains his Mystic Code. “One of these warriors is even a child! My victory is guaranteed.”
He looks out the window at the outward limits of the city, where he could glimpse the grand mansions of the 1 Percent district. He could practically taste the splendor and prestige he once took for granted. Rereading the names on the list of his opponents, he recognized one from the list of Heroic Spirits he'd learned of in preparation for the Grail War.
"I will find you first. Ire: Sanctio."
Across the city, Astolfo strolls through the White Collar district. His horn hangs at his side loosely, and his lance upon his back. The paladin approaches a large two story house, checking the letter once over to ensure the address was correct.
He knocks on the door, and out steps his cousin Roland. “Cousin, how are you! It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen you.” The two men briefly hug, with Astolfo giving a slightly concerned look over Roland’s figure.
“Indeed. I rarely get to travel up to this part of town, but who am to deny Charlemagne an audience?”
Astolfo solemnly nods as they walk into Charlemagne’s home, where their king sits in deep conversation with a man in a bright red cape. “How is it you haven’t managed to get to the White Collar district yet?”
“Some bad luck I’m afraid. My entry application put me downtown and I haven’t gotten updates since. I’ve heard rumors of one who could help, but…” Roland shrugs, and the pair sit at the table.
“I thought you had another bout.”
“Firstly, that was not me. You are the fifth person to have confused the two of us today.” Roland hangs his head in frustration. “Even if it were, the results aren’t in yet. I doubt they’ll be done anytime soon, so I would be stuck either way.”
Charlemagne’s booming voice interrupts the two cousins, and he puts his hand over the shoulder of the man beside him.
“Ho friends! My good man Richard here was just regaling me with his own tales in the Holy Lands. Quite a good time, these Crusades it seemed.”
The band of warriors laugh, with Astolfo pouring a healthy serving of ale into his tankard. Astolfo glances around the table, before walking over to a window. The paladin sighs in wonder at the hustle and bustle of the city outside.
“It’s really something else, isn’t it?”
Astolfo turns to see Richard walk over to him. Astolfo begins to bow, only for Richard to laugh and wave the gesture aside. “Although I appreciate the gesture, there’s no point for grandstanding. My title doesn’t have quite the impact it used to.”
The king looks out the window to watch, before turning to the paladin. “Quite different, isn’t it? And to think - this is just the middle. Average." Richard says, with emphasis on the final word." Imagine what I feel like, just a single district above you.”
Astolfo slips into a scowl, but forces his smile back into place as Richard turns back to him. “I’m sure you live a good life indeed, your majesty. Although, one would be blessed with any of our lives.”
“Only those that lack ambition would say that, dear Astolfo.”
The knight stomachs his pride, before walking back to the table. He grabs his abandoned scabbard, and begins his good-byes. “I wish you all a good evening, but I must bid farewell. Adiu, my friends.”
The other noblemen wave as they continue their feast, and Astolfo walks out. He bumps into a blond girl, who grunts in surprise. “I just left the office to deliver this to you. Perfect timing, buddy.”
Annabeth hands him an envelope before walking away. Astolfo reads the battle notice, and lets out a laugh. He whistles, where his loyal hippogriff lets out a screech as it lands beside him.
Mounting the beast, Astolfo flies into the city with a war cry. Battle awaits.
Beneath the flying knight - in fact, beneath all of DFederal - Cole MacGrath finishes climbing down the ladder of a manhole. He lets out a cough as the scent of the sewer fully engulfs him, before taking a careful step over one of the many puddles of water and sludge as he walks towards his home.
Cole pulls out his cellphone to check his emails. “Figures.” He says, reading the latest reply to his failed job application. “‘Regret to inform you’ my ass.”
The Conduit groans in frustration and punches the wall beside him, denting the pipe. A gruff voice echoes from within, a heavy drawl of anger. “You have any idea who lives here, punk?”
Cole hurries to the end of the tunnel as a gigantic man in sunglasses steps out of his own crawl space. “Yeah you keep running pal. Come back ‘round here and I’ll open up a fresh can of whoop-ass just for you!”
“If you could do that, you wouldn’t be down here Duke!”
Cole chuckles to himself as he arrives at his own space. Outside, as usual, Diarmuid sits with his two spears and a small fire outside of his humble shack. “How fares the job hunt, sir MacGrath?”
“It’s going, D. It’s goin’.”
The Irish warrior chuckles lightheartedly and gestures to the rare spot of dry land. “Take a seat then, Cole. My fire has not much, but it is warm and I’ve a skin of water to share.”
Cole shrugs and nods. “Keep your water, D. I’ve got something for myself.” He walks into his apartment, opening the cooler that doubled as a coffee table to grab two beers. He walks out and pops the caps, handing one to Diarmuid and keeping another for himself.
“Any luck getting out of here on your end?”
Before the Fianna could respond, a black orb opens up in front of them and a small girl teleports in front of them. “Is this the residence of Cole MacGrath?” Parcel says, frowning as she lifts the tails of her jacket out of the sludge.
“Yeah, that’s me.” Cole responds, with Diarmuid’s typical grin twisting into a frown. The two men rise as Parcel holds out a thin piece of paper. He groans as he grabs it and reads, while Diarmuid looks at the small child before him with disbelief.
“Child, you were the one who got second in the Juuni Taisen yes?”
“Technically I tied, but yes.”
“‘Tis a shame, it was not a victory." Diarmuid says, his frown replaced once again with a mirthful grin. "I thank you for the mercy you gave to me towards its conclusion. The humiliation of my defeat was unbecoming, to say the least.”
“...Don’t mention it.” Parcel looks at Cole as he reads his newest battle notice. “The instructions are on there. Good luck.”
She disappears without a good-bye, leaving the two men alone. Diarmuid looks at his friend and leans on his spear. “So, what’s the news?”
“Oh you’ve gotta be kidding me. Another one.” Cole crumples the paper and walks into his apartment. When he reemerges, the Amp is slung across his back along with a small backpack.
“Another freaking royale. You’d think whoever organizes these things could actually be original…”
Cole chugs the rest of his beer, and sprints towards the nearest exit. Diarmuid waves at his friend and raises his own bottle.
Cfp watches over eight monitors from his office, sipping from a glass of water. His assistant walks into his office, handing him a stack of papers. “Here is the latest batch of housing reports.” Annabeth says, getting only a tense grunt in response.
“Really glad I could help, boss.”
The user just grunts in response. Realizing her presence, he finally looks up and puts them to the side. “I assume our newest welcomes have been given their entry test.”
“Now, that just leaves-”
As if planned, a small black orb opens and Parcel appears. “That was the last delivery.”
Cfp smiles, and gestures towards the door. “Thank you, go with my assistant and she’ll write up your payment.” The two girls start to leave, before Cfp raises his hand. “Quick question - is it bad? Like how bad is his place?”
Parcel gives a noncommittal shrug, and they leave. The user chuckles and looks back at the monitor. He pulls up a separate tab on his computer, where a timer is counting down with one minute left.
Annabeth walks in. “Who do you want rounding them up first?”
Cfp smiles as he watches the clock tick down, barely paying attention.
“Oh…” Cfp looks down at a spreadsheet, tracing his finger along its names. “Eenie, meenie, minie, moe.” He points at a name on the sheet. “I choose them.”
“How thorough of you.”
She leaves to draft the notices, leaving Cfp to watch the monitors alone.
Cole climbs out of a manhole, quickly checking over his shoulders before launching himself onto a nearby roof.
Kayneth leisurely strolls out of his apartment, a large silver blob trailing behind him.
Astolfo flies over the tall buildings, his lance in hand as the hippogriff scans for targets below.
Merrill exits the small shack where she lives with the rest of her friends, before burying herself in the earth and leaving a trail of dirt in her place.
Nightcrawler gets off the bus and looks around, swords at his side, before disappearing into a cloud of brimstone and smoke.
Kung Lao starts to bounce up and down in anticipation, before letting out an excited cry and sprinting towards a fight.
Nico di Angelo barely edges into frame from the shadows, his pale face and sunken eyes darting back and forth before slinking back out.
Psycho Mantis hovers in the air for a brief second, turning his head towards the various citizens traveling to and fro through DFederal.
Cfp leans back into his chair and puts his feet onto the desk.
“Let the games begin.”
Part I: Fuck You Kai Leng
As he climbs out of a manhole, a rejuvenated Kai Leng raises his head as the citywide speakers blare to life. The traumas of the last time he heard them flashes into his mind, causing him to shake his head in a mix of fear and anger. He stands still, crossing his arms in impatience, as a voice speaks out.
"Attention all patrons of DFederal; the following individuals have been declared Persona Non Grata. Any person found to have been willingly assisting them will be put on an official watch list and dealt with accordingly. Do not interfere. You have been warned."
Kai Leng gives a dismissive grunt as a list of names are read aloud. I have more important things to do..., he thinks as he approaches one of the borders between districts. Suddenly, a sharp pain pierces his mind. Bringing his hand to his temples, Kai Leng draws his sword.
"Who's there? Come out and I might let you live!"
Psycho Mantis floats down from above, his face an enigma beneath the gas mask he wore. The psychic tips his head to the side quizingly, and Kai Leng's pain increases even further.
"Now what have we here?" He purrs, his voice nearly indecipherable due to his mask and his thick Russian accent. "Looks like you were on the way to your own little fight."
The cyborg huddles down to his knees, before immediately stopping. He stands back up, his eyes peeled back and his mind gone.
"Why don't you come with me first?"
Slowing his sprint to a halt, Kung Lao looks around for any sign of his would-be opponents. It was cowardly, the way they would hide and burrow away instead of facing him in true combat.
"Is there no one here who would face me?"
A laser blast flying past his head answers his challenge. The crowds all disperse as Psycho Mantis and his thrall, a cyborg wielding a sword, appear before Kung Lao. The monk grunts in approval, and raises his fist in satisfaction. "Ah, finally! Prepare to face the might of the Shaolin, Psycho Mantis!"
The monk begins to walk forward, only for his opponent to levitate up and his minion to draw his blade. "Face me yourself, fool."
"Something tells me that would not be wise." The psychic replies, peering into his mind for something to use. "Besides, it would not be a challenge for the descendant of the Great Kung Lao to best us both, would it?"
Kung Lao grits his teeth, and beneath his mask Psycho Mantis grins. "Or perhaps you were the wrong one to send? Your cousin would make quick work of this pathetic boy."
Lao nods in determination, raising his hand as a challenge to Kai Leng. The cyborg raises his own palm, firing off another attack from his palm blaster. Kung Lao teleports forward, letting the projectile fly behind him and into a nearby wall before breaking into a dash.
Using the momentum of his burst of speed, Kung Lao tosses his razor-brimmed hat at Kai Leng. The ninja deflects with his sword, but overcommitts and the blade follows the hat as it spins to the side. Kung Lao breaks the distance and slams his fist into Kai Leng's jaw. The cyborg grunts in pain, blood and teeth falling out of his mouth, before a quick knee to the groin has him doubling over.
Kung Lao's hat reappears on his head, and he follows up by tossing it behind his foe as he rolls backwards. The cyborg's sword clumsily passes over where Kung Lao once was, and Kai Leng clumsily attempts to course correct. Holding the sword out in front of him, Kai Leng flashes a devious smile and prepares to attack again.
The hat boomerangs into Kai Leng's head, slashing across his neck and drawing more blood. The ninja doubles forward, only to receive a swift kick from Kung Lao. He falls backwards, stunned and bruised.
Seeing his opportunity, Kung Lao tosses his hat into the ground. The saw spins as Kung Lao grabs his fallen opponent by the legs. Kai Leng looks in fear and starts to scream in terror, resisting to no avail.
Kung Lao drags his victim through the hat, sawing Kai Leng in half right down the middle.
"Is that the best you have, Mantis?" Kung Lao says, raising the two halves of the cyborg in victory. The spy merely crosses his arm, and quickly raises his hands.
Two nearby trash cans levitate, and fling themselves at the monk. He easily knocks them aside with two kicks, before dashing forward. He tosses his hat, which Psycho Mantis stops with his telekinesis.
"Not that easy, pal." Kung Lao says, slamming his fist into Psycho Mantis' chest with a palm strike. Much to his shock, his hand passes right through. The image of Psycho Mantis looks down, and a laugh begins to echo as it disappears.
"You really thought it would be that easy against me, the Master of psychokinesis!"
Steel scrapes over concrete as Kai Leng's sword floats into the air. It quickly charges forward, piercing into the monk's back. Kung Lao gasps in shock and pain as the sword cleanly penetrates him. Psycho Mantis deactivates his octo camo, before pulling the blade out with his telekinesis. The floating blade quickly thrusts itself into the monk again, and he falls to his knees.
Psycho Mantis looks at his victim, a hint of disappointment in his voice. "I sense much shame, and anger in you. We may have worked well together, in another time." He shrugs, before causing the blade to slash across the monk's throat.
The soldier looks around, noticing the sound of police sirens beginning to approach. As the announcer states that Kung Lao has been eliminated, Psycho Mantis hears the whispers of another mind near him.
This one full of self-hatred and envy. A perfect choice. he thinks to himself, reactivating his camo and floats towards the city's inner layers.
Part II: I.C.E. Ruins Nico's Day
A young man emerges from the shadows of an alley, a black sword at his side. Nico di Angelo huffs in a breath of air, looking over his shoulder at the squad of police chasing him. He quickly thrusts out his hand, and the ground behind him splits apart as he shifts to create a gap. Several of the DFPD officers stop, only for one to vault over the chasm before it gets too large. He pulls out a gun, aiming it at Nico.
"This is Officer K of the DFPD! Nico di Angelo, you are to turn yourself in immediately."
Nico scoffs, turning the ring on his right hand. Suddenly, three skeletons begin to rise out of the ground. Two draw small short swords as the third levels its own flintlock pistol. K groans as he fires, putting one down as the other two converge on him.
The demigod looks around, but puts aside the idea of shadow travelling again. He probably didn't have the energy for it, and he was already lost anyway. I have to get away from these people. he thinks to himself, only for a piercing cry to break his train of thought.
From the sky, Astolfo flies down upon his hippogriff. He raises his lance at Nico, aiming for the boy's chest. Nico raises his sword and attempts to parry the thrust, only to be launched backward by its magic. As he flies backwards, he thanks the gods for such magical intervention as Astolfo's hippogriff slashes its claws where he just was.
"You use foul magic, child. I would stay my blade, but your crimes cannot be forgiven." Astolfo says, the hippogriff landing and prowling forward. Nico groans in exasperation, pointing the edge of his sword forward.
Nico opens up the ground beneath the hippogriff, causing it to flap its wings to regain footing. The demigod sprints forward, leaping off the ground and tackling Astolfo off of his mount. The paladin recoils as a feeling of despair briefly overtakes him just Nico brings his sword to Astolfo's throat. Noticing the ruffle of wings, Nico turns around and swings it in a horizontal arc. The blade cuts the hippogriff, who recoils back at its touch.
With his opponent momentarily distracted, Astolfo shoves the boy off of him and draws his sword. He takes a quick swing, which Nico barely parries in time. Astolfo pushes ahead, towering over Nico as he swings his sword over and over again. The boy put up a better fight than expected, as his own silver sword is blocked at every strike.
Seeing his chance, Nico deflects another wild swing from Astolfo and feints a swing to the left. As Astolfo lowers his blade to block, Nico sweeps his leg underneath Astolfo's. Nico thrusts into Astolfo's hip, barely penetrating the chainmail but sending the paladin backwards in instinct.
Suddenly a wall of mercury blocks the two apart, with Astolfo on one side and Nico on the other. "Who dares to interrupt our fight?" The paladin snarls, turning his sword to the new fighter.
"This is nothing. A barbarian and a child - little match for me." Kayneth taunts as he strolls forward. Astolfo's hippogriff soars over the barrier that Kayneth's mystic code erected, screeching as to protect its master.
"Well, I'll let you handle the supervillain. See you 'round." Nico says as he disappears into the shadows. Astolfo mounts his hippogriff to flee, but collides into an invisible barrier of magic.
"While you two were scuffling in the dirt, I employed a bounded field. You're not going anywhere, rider." Kayneth pushes his hand forward. "Scalp." Several tendrils of mercury fling forward. Astolfo and his hippogriff barely avoid them as they fly forward, Astolfo aiming his sword at Kayneth's heart. He quietly looks down at the tome in his lap, muttering an incantation in a desperate attempt to stop the magic before him.
"Fervor, mei sanguis."
The Mystic Code instantly recoils back towards Kayneth, before reforming into several spiked columns in front of him. Unable to slow down, Astolfo and the hippogriff slam into the barrier at full speed. Astolfo is thrown from his beast, and Kayneth smiles behind the barrier. "Scalp".
Tendrils of mercury fling themselves forward, slashing both the hippogriff and Astolfo into ribbons. "I can't believe you fell for that. Such a simple trap, Astolfo..." Kayneth muses, looking at the bleeding paladin on the ground.
"I have no use wasting my time on you." The magus continues, looking at a piece of black fabric that had been sliced from Nico's own shirt. "But, I must play by their rules. Such a shame." Kayneth says, his voice dripping with malicious sarcasm.
Part III: Nieder mit Dem Patriarchat
In a small hovel, Merrill bows her head in reverence at the woman before her. The white-haired women before her finishes her final touches, and presents her with a gift. "Thank you, Asha'Bellanar." Merrill breathlessly states as she humbly accepts a broken shard of glass.
"Do not fret, child. I have always helped the People.." Flemeth muses, turning her back to the elf. "When they remember to help me."
The witch mischievously raises her eyebrow, causing Merrill to gulp back her fear. Merrill gave her farewells, before departing the witch's hut. She looks into the miniature eluvian in her hand, where the blue-furred face of one of her opponents appears. Merrill looks up to see a faint blue arrow of mist rise from the ground.
"This is much more convenient than a string."
"Mein gott, this is bothersome."
In a cloud of brimstone and smoke, Nightcrawler appears out of thin air beside a cell tower. He wraps his tail around the structure, while his two feet cling to its side. Spinning himself around, he groans in frustration. Where is everyone?
A light thwip reaches his ears, and he unsheathes his sword to point it behind him. His guard raised, Nightcrawler turns around, only to let out a laugh and put the blade away.
"Now, is that anyway to greet me Blue?"
"Mister Parker! What a surprise to see you!" The two old friends shake hands as Kurt sheathes his sword. "I don't suppose you're here to help then?"
"Meh, I might be able to fit you in between my hectic schedule. I've got a knitting class that I have to get to, y'know."
Suddenly, a giant boulder slams between the two. Nightcrawler teleports to the ground, while Spider-Man leaps off the surface and lands beside him. Before them, Merrill twirls her staff and lets out another blast of magic. "Na abelas."
"Did you get that one?"
Nightcrawler shrugs, before drawing his sword. "Don't suppose you'd be willing to take time out of your very busy schedule?"
Spider-Man laughs as he assumes a fighting stance. "Oh, I think I could manage to squeeze you in. Besides, everyone gets one."
Nightcrawler disappears in a puff of smoke while Spider-Man launches himself forward, aiming a shot of webbing at Merrill. She lights the material on fire, before barely dodging a punch from Spider-Man. She casts a mind blast, sending him reeling, before turning around to block a sword swing from Nightcrawler.
"I don't suppose we could settle this amicably, mein fraulein?"
Merrill just grunts and shoves Nightcrawler away, manipulating the earth to shoot vines and thorns around her. He slashes at the foliage, before teleporting back to safety.
The two combatants and Spider-Man look at each other in a face off, waiting for one of the others to make a move. Suddenly a wall of mercury surrounds all three of them. A blond man in blue approaches, clearing his throat.
"You, trespasser. Who are you to interefere in our combat?"
Spider-Man innocently brings his hands to his chest. "Oh, just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. How can I help?"
"I am Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi, ninth-"
"Oh, so we're using our fake names. I'm Webhead McGee."
Nightcrawler leans on his sword in amusement. "Aye, and I am the Dread Pirate Bluetail. At your service, mein freund."
Merrill giggles at the jokes, causing Kayneth to yell in anger. "How dare you insult me! Do you have any idea who I am?"
"Did the jokes not give you a hint?" Nightcrawler retorts, showing off with his swords. He looks at Merrill, nodding almost imperceptibly at her. She looks between the two men, and shrugs. "Oh yes, that is a clever plan."
"Well, it's not since you said something about it."
Merrill launches two fireballs at Kayneth, who raises his Volumem Hydrargyrum in a solid shield. The two magical projectiles fizzle out against the metal, before Merrill launches a series of magical bolts from her staff.
"I hate it when we do this." Spider-Man complains as Nightcrawler appears behind him, before teleporting them both. The superheroes reappear above Kayneth, with Nightcrawler going back to the ground. Spider-Man shoots two webs into the ground and slings himself forward, smashing into Kayneth. He stumbles back, before his Mystic Code lashes out at Spider-Man in defense. The vigilante flips over some attacks, before Kurt teleports both of them to safety.
"You dare to strike me? I didn't become part of this ridiculous fight just to end up beating a child in spandex!"
"Yeah, well fighting a grown up Draco Malfoy wasn't how I wanted to spend my afternoon either." Spider-Man launches several webs at Kayneth, where the Volume Hydrargyrum blocks the attacks. "We need to get rid of that thing."
"I can take care of that." Merrill says, dispelling the magic. Kayneth watches in surprise as his Mystic Code temporarily collapses into a puddle, only to look up to see two fists swinging for him. Nightcrawler and Spider-Man both lay into Kayneth with a flurry of kicks and punches, who collapses under the attack.
Nightcrawler and Spider-Man look up to see a ma aiming a pistol at them. Nightcrawler teleports his allies away from the scene, leaving only Kayneth to deal with the officer.
"By authority of the DFPD, I have been hired to bring you in."
Kayneth sluggishly rises as his Mystic Code returns, lashing out with his back still turned to the officer. "Do you think I would even think to hand myself in? How dare you! Scalp!"
The tendrils lash out, launching themselves at the officer. Kayneth smiles smugly, only to whimper in despair as he hears a familiar voice. "Time Alter, Doubel Accel."
Kiritsugu flips over each tentacle, before shooting his Thompson Contender. Reacting on instinct, Kayneth raises the Hydrargyrum's defenses. Realizing it one second too late, Kayneth remembers the power of the gun and screams as it tears through his stomach.
Collapsing into a pile of blood and mercury, Kayneth falls down with broken breathes. Kiritsugu effortlessly reloads the Contender before looking at the still-breathing Kayneth. He wordlessly fires the pistol into Kayneth's face, killing him again.
Nightcrawler, Merrill, and Spider-Man all reemerge from the fight, taking shelter in what appeared to be an abandoned restaurant. The three all cautiously look at each other, unsure what to do next. Nightcrawler breaks the silence, attempting to strike a casual pose.
"Merrill is your name, right? That's what the paper said."
Merrill nods. "And you're Nightcrawler? Under other circumstances, I'd like to meet you. But..."
Nightcrawler wraps his tail around Merrill's staff and yanks it away. "Let's not be too hasty about this. We've got, what, three others to worry about?"
The elf mulls it over, before nodding and lowering her hands. "I don't see why not. Besides, we don't have to kill each other. It'll be nice to make some friends in the city."
Smiling in spite of himself, Nightcrawler offers his hand to Merrill. "I believe that makes us allies, Merrill."
Spider-Man smirks and walks towards the door. "You two kids have fun. Don't stay out too late."
"You're not going to help, Peter?"
"'Fraid not. I don't like playing cosmic puppet as much as the next guy, but these guys are dangerous. Even Cap and Tony don't try to mess with 'em."
The thought of that makes Kurt shudder. "In that case, auf wiedershen."
Left alone, Nightcrawler decides to take first watch as night begins to fall. Merrill cautiously places magical barriers around her, before drifting off to sleep.
Part IV: Bring Me the Boy and Wipe Away the Debt
Cole wandered around the edges of the Blue Collar, easily hiding himself in the nightlife crowd as people returned home from work or took to the streets. He'd been in enough matches for everyone to have an idea of what he could do, so they all turned their eyes as if none the wiser. It was a welcome change of pace from New Marais or Empire City, even if it meant living in a sewer.
"Spare change, sir?"
Cole looks down to see a young man, no more than sixteen or seventeen, raising a cup in hand. "Please, anything can help." Gaara said, his eyes pleading with the Conduit. Cole rolls his eye, but fishes out a couple coins and tosses them in.
The Conduit kept walking, before finally finding what he was looking for; Jordi's Place. He walks inside, and breathes in the electricity as the numerous cameras, television screens, and various other electrical appliances hummed in his presence.
"You really know how to make an entrance, pal."
Cole turns to see the store's owner, Jordi Chin, standing in the shadows. His white suit did little to hide the criminal's mischievous air, with a crooked smile that didn't reach his eyes and a head of shaggy black hair.
"What can I say, Jordi? How's the school been?"
"Meh, it's here and there. But that's not why you're here."
Cole shakes his head, and Jordi pulls out a cellphone. He hands it to Cole, who shoves it in his pocket. "You'll owe me for this one, Sparky. I had to pull a couple strings to get that made."
"How does it work?"
"That phone is tapped into the entire district's surveillance system. And no, I don't know how it works. Point is, those cameras are now trained on each of the fighters you're up against. If they get out of range, another camera finds 'em."
"Got it, Jordi. How did you even get this?"
"I know a guy." Jordi says, putting his back to Cole. "And now, I know you to. Remember that."
Cole walks outside of the store, swiping through the feeds. A headache begins to form, and he rubs his temple in frustration. He spots the youngest one, Nico, and a pang of guilt entered his mind. Shame about this kid. Maybe if I keep an eye on him, I can still get him second...
His mind made up, Cole puts the phone away and begins walking towards Nico.
Nightcrawler is awoken with a start, swinging his tail in a defensive manner. Merrill catches it, and he teleports out of her grasp.
"It's okay, Kurt. It's just me."
Blinking his eyes, he observes his new companion. Merrill had her staff loosely in her hand, and a shard of glass in her other. He finally noticed the sound that had awoken her; police sirens.
"Gott in Heimel."
"Oh, I've never heard that before. What language is that? I've only ever heard the common-"
Nightcrawler grabs her hand, smiling and looking in her eye. "Merrill, we need to leave. Are you ready?"
The two disappear in a cloud of brimstone, reappearing on the roof. Merrill takes a deep breath, unused to the nature of Nightcrawler's teleportation, and rubs her head in pain. She looks at her eluvian, which shows the face of the masked man, Psycho Mantis.
"Can I see that?" Nightcrawler asked, and Merrill handed him the mirror. Rapidly, Psycho Mantis' face shifted to the boy's. A black mist rises from the ground and heads into the city; away from the police sirens.
"Can you see the arrows, Kurt?"
He nods, and the two begin to follow it.
That couldn't have gone better.
Psycho Mantis smiles beneath his mask from the balcony of an apartment. The owner had been incredibly nice - once he was convinced to be, that is - to let Mantis stay. Even if his religious rambling made for an annoying experience, Azrael had been easy to subdue with his broken mind.
Stopping his musing on the subject, Psycho Mantis watches as Nico di Angelo scrounges through a meal. The boy's angst and fear was practically a beacon for Psycho Mantis. From a peek into his mind, he'd also make an ideal target to take out sooner rather than later.
Locating the others wasn't hard once he knew what to look for. Holding the police back just long enough to get the duo moving; subtly putting it in Cole and Nightcrawler's minds to target Nico next; and none of them the wiser for it. He simply had to wait for someone to get there, and he could get them all to kill each other.
The girl will have to be eliminated first. She had resisted his telepathic suggestion with surprising ease, but he could feel the cracks were there. He would have to wait until everyone was together first, but until then all he could do was wait.
Nico glances over his shoulders as he takes the last sip of a can of soda. He could swear he felt eyes in the back of his head, but he put it aside. Rubbing his ring in spite of himself, Nico finished his meal and reached for plastic water bottle he had stolen. He uses his sword to poke a hole in it, pouring it out in a slow but steady stream. After several minutes of shoving it in various corners and nooks, Nico finally angles it correctly with the morning sun. A small rainbow forms, but just large enough to work.
"Oh Iris, goddess of the rainbow, accept my offering." Nico tosses in a gold drachma into the rainbow. "Percy Jackson."
In the mist, a boy with black hair appears in the Iris message, sleeping. Nico rolls his eyes, before speaking loudly "Percy! Get up!"
With a start, the demigod rolls up and looks in shock at Nico. He hastily covers his chest with his blanket. "Nico, it's like seven in the morning. What are you-"
"There's no time to explain. Where are you?"
Before Nico can answer, he hears a faint pop in the air. He instinctively turns, his sword drawn, as Nightcrawler and Merrill teleport behind him. He begins to rise, and looks quickly over his shoulder. A man jumps off from a rooftop and crashes through the Iris message, dissipating it apart. Cole instinctively launches a bolt of lightning at the duo, who teleport out of the way.
"Get behind me kid. We'll get you out of here."
Part V: We Have A Mexican Showdown
The four warriors face each other down, waiting for one of them to make a move. Nico acts first, raising multiple skeletons out of the earth. Their grey and white hands claw at the surface as they rise, and the first stumbles out with a dagger in hand. It lunges at Nightcrawler, who easily swats the attack aside and slashes at it with his sword. The skeleton collapses in half, still rattling its teeth.
Merrill quickly dispels the remaining skeletons, who stop growing as Nico's magic is halted. He yelps in surprise, giving Merrill a chance to launch a bolt of spirit magic at him. Cole leaps in front of Nico and raises an electric shield. The bolt dissipates in the field, and Nico launches a crescent shape blade of shadow at Merrill. She surrounds herself in stone, and the shadow breaks away upon contact.
"I don't need your help, old man."
Cole grabs Nico by the collar, and creates a pillar of ice beneath their feet. He leaps into the air, bringing Nico with him, and tosses a shock grenade behind him. Nightcrawler grabs Merrill and teleports them both above their quarry, tackling Cole and sending all four onto a nearby roof. Merrill is the first up, steadying herself with her staff. A splitting pain hits her head, causing her to scream in pain and lean onto the ground.
Nico stands up next, slamming his foot into the ground and causing several black shards to rise from the ground. He hesitates for the briefest moment, and a raspy voice enters his mind. "Strike her down. Finish this."
Psycho Mantis floats up to the roof, followed by a knight in red armor. He reaches out again, sending Merrill to the ground and trying to take over Nico's mind. The boy grabs his head and screams as he and his rocks fall down. "Interesting..."
The psychopath forces his control over Nico, only for the demigod to rise and launch the stones at Mantis. "You dare to resist me?!" He yells, halting the stones inches from himself. The two stand off as the others slowly rise, realizing their threat. Cole and Nightcrawler nod at each other, and attack Mantis as one. Azrael steps in the way, swinging his wrist blade at Cole while launching a blast of flame at Nightcrawler.
Cole narrowly dodges the blade as Nightcrawler teleports away, before grabbing the Amp off of his back and swinging it at Azrael. The weapon slams into Azrael's face, sending him recoiling back. Cole follows up with several bolts of lighting, frying the vigilante. As he struggles to stand, Nightcrawler teleports above him and slams down with a kick to the face, knocking Azrael out.
Merrill rises up and summons several pillars of ice to rise in front of her, forcing Psycho Mantis back. The four warriors face down Psycho Mantis, who stands alone. He growls in anger, before floating up and away from them. "If you won't fight each other for me, I will kill you all myself!" He gestures at Azrael, who's collapsed body rises against its will. The sleeping man draws a fiery sword, while Psycho Mantis heads towards the roof's edge.
Interrupting them, the blare of a siren stops all five warriors in their tracks.
"This is a Category 5 threat. All residents return to your homes - conflict is likely to occur."
The combatants see an army in the street below them. A hodgepodge of soldiers wielding an equally unique arsenal of weapons stands at casual attention. One steps forward, an alien that shocked all of them. His blue armor stood out among the various others, as did his facial scars and the hefty hand cannon of a pistol by his side. "I am Lieutenant Garrus Vakarian of the DFPD! You will surrender, or face the consequences."
Unsure what to do, Merrill, Cole, Nighcrawler, and Nico all look at each other in concern. They all knew they didn't have to kill each other, after all. A chilling laughter broke the silence, as Psycho Mantis floats down in front of the army. "You have amazing timing, commander."
"I don't do this for you, Mantis. Now show me your-"
Garrus' voice goes silent, as he and the army before them lower their weapons. Psycho Mantis' laugh pierces into the four others' souls as he forces his way into their mind. The ground shakes as the army, once collected to finally round up the fugitives, marshalls under Psycho Mantis' control. Garrus himself aims his pistol at the roof, silent.
"You are all nothing before me! I will kill you, and then take this whole city for myself!"
Cole looks at the others, before creating an arc of lightning in his hand. "Yeah, not gonna happen."
Part VI: Co-Op Mode Unlocked
The Conduit leaps into action, flinging himself into the air on a pillar of ice before slamming into the ground with a Thunder Drop. He launches several of the soldiers back, before they start to open fire on Cole. He quickly raises an electric shield to absorb the projectiles. He glances up at the others. "A little help would be great."
To answer his call, Nico groans with effort and raises his hands into the air. Waves of skeletons rise out of the ground, charging to attack the army before them. As a row of bullets and lasers try to cut them down, more break through and reduce the fight to a brutal melee.
Nightcrawler teleports Merrill and Nico to Cole's side, before drawing his swords. A bullet whizzes by his head, causing all four to duck. The four look up to see a sniper on the rooftop, preparing to fire again. Nightcrawler teleports up to greet him, swinging his swords down. Deadshot abandons his rifle as he tumbles out of the way, opening fire with his wrist guns. The mutant teleports out of the way, behind the mercenary, only to receive an elbow to the gut.
"You're not the first freak with teleporting I've taken down, punk."
Deadshot turns and lets out another burst of gunfire at Nightcrawler, who barely dodges it. Suddenly, two small hands grab Deadshot's foot. "What the hell..." A bamf cackles wildly at him as it teleports them both into the air. Deadshot freefalls towards the ground, where Nightcrawler quickly teleports above with his sword aimed at Deadshot's chest.
Back on the ground, Nico summons more waves of skeletons as Cole and Merrill take down rows of cops. Cole ducks under one wielding a laser sword before slamming the Amp into her gut. She convulses and launches backward, knocked out, while one of her comrades swings a chainsaw bayonet at the distracted Conduit. He rolls out of the wave as Merril traps the soldier in a telekinetic prison, crushing him with magic.
She then focuses on a crowd of reinforcements, and dips into her blood magic. The army of soldiers collapse onto their knees, wretching blood and falling into heaps. She summons a storm of fireballs above them, burning all that managed to survive the onslaught. Nico looks in shock at the mage, who innocently shrugs before continuing to fight.
Psycho Mantis growls in frustration as his new minions crumple like paper. He reaches out to Azrael, who leaps down from the roof and swings his fiery sword at Cole. The Conduit blocks with the Amp, launching him back with a shockwave. Mantis reaches out, looking for any mind weak enough to swing to his side.
Cole raises a shield, just as Nightcrawler teleports beside him with Deadshot. Nightcrawler slams the hilt of his sword into Deadshot's face, breaking the helmet and knocking him unconscious. Azrael approaches Cole and Nightcrawler, Garrus by his side.
"Blue, you want the pyro or the super cop?"
Nightcrawler looks the two over, before raising his sword at Azrael. "I'll take that one." He teleports forward, swinging his swords at Azrael, as Cole launches a lightning bolt at Garrus. The Turian rolls to the side, firing three shots right at Cole's torso. Cole leaps up and hovers in the air to avoid them, before launching a rocket at Garrus. He leaps back, caught in the explosion, and gets flung into a car. He weakly stands, before Cole tackles him down and locks him into place with a lightning arc.
As the skeletons leave the rest of DFederal's finest beaten, they start to surround Psycho Mantis. Nico stands among them, his sword drawn, as Psycho Mantis floats with his arms crossed. "I'm ending this, Mantis." The ex-soldier just laughed, uncrossing his arms and launching another telepathic attack at Nico. The demigod shakes his head, looking up to see his skeletons replaced with clones of Psycho Mantis.
"You're outnumbered, boy."
Nico gulps back his fear, unintentionally radiating in a deathly feeling of terror. Psycho Mantis recoils on instinct, and his illusion temporarily slips to reveal the skeletons silently awaiting Nico's command. The demigod grits his teeth, and the illusion shatters completely. As he prepares to give the final order, the ground shakes beneath them with a sickening thud.
Nightcrawler parries a final stab from Azrael and trips him with his tail, plunging his blades into the warrior's shoulders to pin him down. "Tell me that's you, mein freund?"
The demigod shakes his head, a shadow plunging the morning street into darkness. They all look up to see a large lizard bearing down upon them, quaking in legitimate terror as Godzilla roars at them.
Cole groans as he claps his hands together and stretches. "He's got a kaiju. Because of course he does."
Psycho Mantis floats up to its shoulder as it leans down to make room for him, smirking underneath his mask.
Part VII: The Boss Battle
Nightcrawler grabs Nico and teleports him to the roof as Cole and Merrill unleash a barrage of attacks at the kaiju. She blasts lightning, fire, spirit magic, ice, and whatever spells she has at her disposal as Cole begins to glow with a purple aura. Nico's army of skeletons charge at Godzilla, only for to get stomped under foot with each step it takes.
"I'm getting tired Cole. Hurry up!"
Finishing up gathering ionic energy, Cole flings his arms out as a crack of lightning pierces the battlefield. A gigantic bolt of electricity emerges from the sky, slamming into Godzilla. Everyone briefly covers their eyes as Godzilla absorbs the impact of Cole's Ionic Storm, pure white light erupting from the explosion. As the smoke settles and they readjust, Godzilla stands only slightly weak and glowing blue. It opens its maw, and an orb of blue energy begins to form.
"That can't be good."
Cole launches an electric tether to a nearby rooftop as Nightcrawler teleports Merrill to safety, narrowly getting out of range of Godzilla's attack. The kaiju unleashes its' atomic breath at full power, reducing the street of DFederal into cinders and burning the broken skeletons and dead cops into ash. Windows shatter, cars explode, and the sewage pipes explode beneath the ground into piles of steam. One such pipe launches a homeless child into the air, incinerating him in an instant.
The four warriors look at the devastation unleashed in total awe as Godzilla gathers its strength. It lets out a victorious roar, much to Psycho Mantis' frustration. "Attack them, you dumb beast!"
Godzilla swings a claw down, and the four barely dodge it in time as Nightcrawler teleports them away. "Can we do anything to stop that?"
Cole shakes his head, weakly launching a couple more lightning bolts. "I just hit it with the biggest lightning blast in the history of lightning, and that damn lizard is still kicking!" Nico raises his hand, knuckles pale in determination.
"I've got something. Cole, Merrill, we need a distraction."
The two oblige, launching blasts of magic and energy at the kaiju. Psycho Mantis lets out a laugh as Godzilla shrugs the attacks off and slams its tail into the building. Cole launches himself off of a pillar of ice to flee while Merrill burrows her way underground, both fleeing to safety.
"You have nothing! Absolutely nothing!"
Psycho Mantis feels a hand on his shoulder, and turns around to see Nico plunging his sword into Godzilla's skin for a handhold. Nightcrawler teleports away, leaving the two alone. Psycho Mantis chuckles as he observes the child. "Do you really think that blade will be enough to slay me and my masterful control of this beast!"
Nico wordlessly lifts his hand, and magical energy pours out of him. Psycho Mantis' laughing quickly recedes as he feels himself floating down. Looking over his body, Mantis screams in terror at his pale, intangible body floats towards the ground. Nico, visibly exhausted, speaks with a frighteningly low voice. "I, son of Hades, banish you to the Underworld."
Psycho Mantis' screams echo as the earth splits open and the wailing of the souls of the damn penetrate the air. Mantis' voice soon joins them as he floats into the crack, and it closes with a resounding, final thud.
(Cut the music please.)
Part VIII: Heroes Unite
Nico closes his eyes and collapses, falling off of Godzilla. Nightcrawler quickly teleports them both to the ground, laying the boy on the ground. As Merrill and Cole walk over to them, , Kurt puts a finger to Nico's pulse. The three surround the young boy, who lays silent. "He's alive, but barely."
Cole turns as loud steps interrupt them. As Godzilla wanders off, no longer under Psycho Mantis' control, Garrus limps over to them. He holsters his pistol and puts his hand up in surrender. He calmly walks over to the trio, placing a pair of hand-cuffs on the dying Nico's wrists. "And then there were three."
The Turian grabs Nico's body and places him gently in his cruiser. Garrus crosses his arms and looks at the remaining three. Cole breaks the silence first. "Is he gonna be okay?"
"By my calculations, he'll probably die." Garrus explains. "We could get him in a car and drive him to a nearby healer's to stop the damage. The guild can surely cough up someone that can fix him."
"Why don't you do that then?"
Garrus awkwardly starts to back away. "If it were up to me I would. But we've all got strict orders from up top. I can't let you out of my sight until someone..." Garrus trails off, and the three remaining combatants grimly wait for the answer they all know is coming.
Silence hangs in the air, no one sure what to do. Garrus silently gets into the driver's seat of his car, giving the three the space they need. He bitterly slams his fist into the dash, cursing the users who ran these stupid games.
Merrill draws her staff and assumes a fighting stance. She sends a small bolt of spirit magic at Nightcrawler, more as a courtesy than anything else. Cole and Kurt leap back in surprise as Merrill prepares another spell. She summons pillars of ice in front of her, clearing out the space for a final fight.
"Mythal'enaste. I hate to do this." She mutters, throwing a fireball at Cole. He launches himself on a pillar of ice before chucking lightning bolts at Merrill. She counters with lightning of her own, stopping the blast in its tracks, and follows up with tossing a large boulder at Cole. He dodges, and Merrill turns to see Nightcrawler teleport in front of her.
"Don't hold back, eh fraulin?" He says with a smile as he grabs her staff with his tale, kicking and using her as a springboard to flip to safety. She briefly stumbles before throwing a blast of icy magic at Nightcrawler. "I won't lethallin!" The spell collides into Nightcrawler, who briefly freezes in place before he can teleport to safety.
Merrill turns as Cole launches several ice crystals at her, hastily throwing up a barrier in defense. He launches a rocket at her as well as several cluster grenades, trapping her in a field of electricity. She burrows under the ground and escapes the cage, only to be hit by a single, precise bolt of electricity. Merrill gasps in pain as Cole follows up with a stream of quick bolts, each sending her back in pain.
Nightcrawler teleports behind her and sweeps her off her feet, and she lands with a thud. He wraps his tail around her leg and teleports her over to Cole. She casts a telekinetic blast from her mind, sending both men recoiling as she stands up again. Merrill summons a forest of earthy roots and vines from her feet, trapping Cole in place. Nightcrawler jumps and lunges forward.
"Not this time, Merrill!" He easily jumps and dodges around the vines attempting to catch him, before tackling Merrill to the ground. Nightcrawler grabs her by the shoulders, and begins a series of teleports around the area. He kicks, punches, and throws Merrill, never relenting as he exhausts her. Merrill barely sees the mutant in the haze of purple smoke, and the effects of interdimensional travel rip her apart.
Kurt lands with a final push to send Merrill in front of the now-free Cole, and she collapses at his feet. The Conduit creates an arc around her hands and feet, trapping her in place. Between ragged breathes, Merrill pouts at a grinning Nightcrawler. "No fair, I got tired."
Cole and Kurt laugh in spite of themselves, before awkwardly looking at each other. Nightcrawler assumes a fighting stance as Cole draws the Amp. "Best man wins, Blue." He throws his hand out, launching a shockwave at Kurt. The mutant teleports to safety, desperately looking for a weapon. He quickly retrieves his swords and attacks Cole, who raises the Amp in defense.
Nightcrawler teleports behind him, slashing at Cole's legs. The Conduit winces as the blade stings against his ankle, launching himself to safety on a pillar of ice. Nightcrawler pursues, slamming his fist into Cole's stomach mid-air. He lets out a grunt as he slams into a wall, while Nightcrawler teleports to give him a chance to breathe.
"Stay down, Sparky."
Cole looks around, grabbing a nearby lamppost. "I can do this all day Blue."
He drains the electricity from the utility, restoring his energy and healing the various cuts and burns he'd earned through the day. Nightcrawler lets out a grunt, both impressed and annoyed, as Cole charges forward with a stream of lightning blasts. The mutant barely dodges them with a quick teleport before Cole is on him again, swinging the Amp. This time Kurt plays defense as he deflects the weapon, only to heave as Cole tosses a shock grenade at his feet.
In the blast, Nightcrawler is flung backwards. He groans, only to feel a foot firmly plant itself on his chest. He looks at Cole, who shoves the Amp around Kurt's neck. "I think this means I win this one, Kurt." The mutant laughs, raising his hands in mock surrender. His tail whips forward, only for Cole to catch it in his grip. Cole sends a volt through it, shocking Kurt once again.
A horn blares as soon as Nightcrawler says this, signalling the end of the fight. The screeching of tires follows immediately, as Garrus' cruiser blares its own siren and he blasts off to the nearest hospital. Cole looks at Nightcrawler and offers his hand, bringing the mutant up to his feet.
"Welcome to the city, pal."
Cfp watches from his laptop as Kurt's screen goes black, and Cole's is the only one still lit. Annabeth strolls into his office, chucking an empty coffee to-go cup at his head. "You never told me Nico was one of them!" She draws her knife and shoves it in his face. The user barely bats an eye as he deactivates the computer.
"Can you draft the new housing notices? I'll contact housing to create space for the new arrivals, but I need you to write up the moving notices for Astolfo and Kayneth."
Annabeth screams in anger and tries to shove it closer, only for a strange force to hold her in place. Cfp's hand is slightly raised, and his casual frown slips cracks into a firm scowl of anger. Even beneath the domino mask, she could feel his eyes glaring at her.
"Please don't make me ask again, Mrs. Chase."
She reluctantly sheathes her knife and leaves the office, throwing Cfp the finger on the way out. He wordlessly grabs his cell phone, placing a call. "Governor, it's been done. I've done my part, and your boy is out of the sewers. God bless the U.S. of A."
In his new house in the Slums district, Cole plops down on the couch and cracks open a bottle of beer. As he pulls the recliner and turns on his television, a door bell interrupts his moment of peace. Groaning, he stands up and walks to the door. Opening it, he allows himself a smile as Diarmuid, Merrill, Nightcrawler, and Nico all let themselves in.
"Congratulations lethallin!" Merrill says as she hugs Cole, and the rest walk in. Nightcrawler and Diarmuid reveal a large cask between them, setting it down on a table. The small group barely fit in Cole's apartment, but they paid little mind as they sat around the table.
"This is beer from one of the finest breweries in Germany." Kurt says, tapping the keg and handing Cole a mug. Diarmuid raises his own in victory. "Hear hear, to the man who got out of the sewer!"
Cole laughs as they salute. "It ain't much, but it sure smells better." He turns to his former opponents. "I'm a little bit jealous. I won, but how is it you all got into better houses than me?"
Before anyone can answer, the doorbell rings again. Seeing the surprise on their faces, Cole stands up and approaches the door. He opens it, to see a young man in a maroon shirt and yellow domino mask.
"Who the hell are you?"
Cfp waves to the others before answering. "There's no need to worry about that. I'm just here on behalf of your country, to thank you for your service."
At that, Merrill pipes up in the back. "That reminds me, Mister...what's your name again? Anyway, I was just wondering how I happen to be from "The United Kingdom"? I've never even heard of that country in Thedas, and I-"
The user quietly groans, gesturing for Cole to come with him outside. The Conduit obliges, closing the door behind him. Cfp laughs as he runs a hand through his black and grey hair. "I'm thankful you didn't end up friends with Kayneth. If I have to explain that nonsense one more time..."
Cole coughs, and crosses his arm. Cfp realizes he's blabbering and quickly straightens himself out. "Anyway, I'm here for two reasons. The first is simple; I'm aware you're currently unemployed. I've got two choices for you."
With two pieces of paper, Cole reads them over as Cfp continues. "The first is simple - Ice-T Puppy Incorporated uses a rotating security staff of group warriors. However, after some recent debacles, I've decided to offer you one of our permanent positions as my private security. You'd answer directly to myself, my assistant Annabeth, or my company's head of security Clint Barton. Ask Nico or Kurt about either of them; they'll vouch for their character."
"And the second?"
"Yes...that one's a bit weirder. I had to pull some strings, but co-king Beast has expressed a willingess to let you help with a pet project of his. You'd have to ask him personally for it though - he won't even tell me what it's about." Cfp pulls out a photo of a man in all white. "He said contact this guy if you're interested."
Cole lights up, shaking the user's hand. "Gee, thanks for the boost. I really needed this." Cfp smirks and begins to walk away. "Don't thank me yet- I didn't say the second thing yet."
Cole watches in confusion as Cfp snaps his fingers, as a parade of people come out onto the street. A band begins to play America the Beautiful, while several men in red fire bazookas into the air as fireworks. The crowd starts to chant as Cole and the others watch in wonder.
"USA! USA! USA!"
Cfp laughs to himself and watches the chaos unfold. "Once again, Cole - congratulations. You've made it."
For full explanation, see the rankings.
- 8th Place: China, Kung Lao, 9 points
Kung Lao's ferocity as a fighter was matched only by his overconfidence and his lacking in options outside of his fists. In a normal fight that may have been suffice, but in the situation presented Kung Lao ended up biting off far more than he could chew.
- 7th Place: France, Astolfo, 19 points
Astolfo's magical items and his hippogriff mount ensured that he would present a strong fight against any of the warriors he ended up competing with, but he lacks guile and suffers from Kung Lao's problem of actively seeking out fights. His weapons weren't enough to serve as an overwhelming strength for that to be an adequate strategy, and he falls next because of it.
- 6th Place: Japan, Kayneth Archibald, 26 points
Kayneth's mystic code had the potential to be one of the single most powerful forces in this battle, but he was the worst warrior to wield it. His arrogance led him into situations where he underestimated a cast of warriors he really shouldn't have, resulting in him falling victim to himself more than anything else.
- 5th Place: Russia, Psycho Mantis, 38 points
Psycho Mantis is in the right place, but frankly there was a concern that his abilities would be overestimated. Mantis' powers are most effective when he gets the chance to play a long-term game and take control of the situation, but without the ability to do so Mantis didn't have the power to win.
- 4th Place: Italy, Nico di Angelo, 46 points
Nico is much more impressive on paper than in practice, considering the considerable restraint his powers place on him and, in turn, he places on himself. He's in the top tier because he can defend himself against threats and won't get drawn into fights he can't survive, but this is the point where surviving isn't enough and he has to actually try to win.
- 3rd Place: United Kingdom, Merrill, 52 points
Merrill may have been underestimated in this match. She has the most versatile power set of anybody involved in this match, and she's got the power to back that versatility up. The only flaw she's got in her camp is her lack of proper mobility powers or healing capabilities, making her a glass cannon that the others could exploit.
- 2nd Place: Germany, Nightcrawler, 61 points
Nightcrawler earns the runner-up position not in spite of his lackluster powers but because of them. Nightcrawler was simply the hardest person to actually hit, allowing him to fight against any of the other combatants and emerge unscathed until the final fight. However, by this point, his lack of any offensive options besides his own fists made him unable to secure the win.
- 1st Place, United States of America, Cole MacGrath, 69 points
Cole MacGrath won World War Royale, thanks in part to the raw power and the options he did have at his disposal. In terms of pound for pound power, Cole's electrokinesis was unrivaled, and was further bolstered by his ability to draw on the city as his entire battery. He could compete with the more mobile warriors thanks to his grab-bag of mobility based powers, while he had the perfect personality to ensure he could make and break alliances on a whim. Cole ultimately proved to be the strongest, the fastest, and the deadliest warrior.