In the darkened common room, a knock is heard at the door. The shadows from around the room begin to stir as at the center, a naked, feminine form rises as if from an unsatisfactory nap. "Yeah? What is it?"
The door opens, as Trick the Trap Master steps inside. "Um... these are just shadows from the lights being off, right? I kinda don't want to step on any of you..."
Nyx took her humanoid form, still with purple skin, and smiled. Teasingly she kept herself nude but lacking overt sexual attributes, as if she were in a skin tight suit. Trick predictably looked away, shielding his eyes and blushing heavily. "So, come to socialize, or does the mad scientist have some use for my fine self?"
"Well, to be honest, I wanted to ask about something that came up with Solaris. I heard someone talking about Solar Girl."
In an instant, Nyx's demeanor changed. She suddenly looked very sullen and moved back, covering her chest. "I... don't really know where to start. I mean, to tell someone like her...why do you want to know, anyway?"
"Well...I really don't know much about you, and she seems important. I mean... I looked up your article online, but that was just fan-sourced. Someone said you were like the shadow of a powerful sorceress who was cleaved away by a magic sword when she died...So I am guessing that is entirely garbage?"
Nyx looked very annoyed for a moment. "Those people don't know anything about me, and I want to keep it that way. Even as a hero, I have a right to privacy and they shouldn't go prying or spinning up those tall tales."
Trick recoiled slightly. "Dang... good thing I didn't mention the slash fics... Well, if you don't want to tell me, that is your choice and I will respect it. Just, well, despite ironically being such a open flirt and well, exhibitionist personality... You are still pretty much the most mysterious member of the team. And that is really ironic, considering you talk about 300 percent more than Mimic does."
Nyx paused and looked down. Frankly, anything like this was rather uncharacteristic of her, but it was clear that Trick had touched a nerve. "It is kind of a personal story...Well, it doesn't start out that way I guess."
Trick stepped forward. "Well, it should be a personal story. I want to know you as a person."
Nyx's eyes went wide, even in her extremely inhuman slime form, upon hearing the term 'person'.
"Okay. You earned at least the prologue. Sit down for a while, I am not really used to story time."
Trick looked around at any of the furniture. "Um, I re-iterate, the room is pretty dark so I wont be sitting on part of you, right?"
Nyx semi-liquid face morphed into a very exaggerated frown several times larger than a normal humans. "Trick, as much as I like to tease you, my body is completely amorphous, no single part is any different from any other, be it resemble a brain, a butt or a va..."
"I get it, I get it!" Trick was blushing so hard his new metal mask was heating up.
Nyx swirled her body into a singular large mass, sort of thematically kneeling, as she began to speak.
"Well, my story ironically enough does not begin with me. The time was the middle of the 1970s. An enemy from long ago was about to make a frightening return..."
On the coast of Japan, something begins to stir, as a massive meteor rains down. Strangely...it carrys very little mass. The hit from an object of that size and speed should have created massive destructive impact, instead it lands with only causing a huge spray of water and choppy seas. Almost as if it were hollow or full of liquid.
Hours pass, as steam rises in thick blankets of fog around the huge structure. Despite its size, it was so light that the nearby cliff face is un damaged aside from being soaked.
The media surrounds the rock in trucks and boats, watching the super heated material slowly cool and flake away. But soon enough, SDF soldiers clear them away...Something has been detected.
On the nearby cliff, a woman with long, white messy hair stands, overlooking. Her belly swollen and pregnant. With her one good eye, she watched as the rock slowly crumbled, inch by inch. Was it shaking?
"Hiro, are you seeing this? Its moving like something alive is in there."
A distance away, in a lab somewhere, a man with glasses watches over numerous computer screens. "Unbelievable. The kind of control over its own mass. Not only is something alive in there, I would bet yen that it's intelligent."
The woman stood for a while... before getting bored and taking off her simple wooden sandles, sitting with her legs dangling over the cliff edge. "Well whatever it is it's taking its sweet ass time. Think the containment team will have this covered?"
"Yes. In fact, I said that many times. I would prefer if you were not there in your current state, Jubei."
Jubei put a hand on her belly, but smiled and laughed back. "Are you kidding me? This is nothing. This is a child of mine we are talking about. I could give birth in the middle of a fight and he would probably back me up."
Hiro looked frankly annoyed, despite Jubei not being able to see, but she was familiar enough to predict it.
Jubei continued to laugh. "Calm down, lover. If it makes you feel any better, I'll come right back the second something heavy starts happening alright?"
Jubei sat for several more hours, the sun sailing across the sky as she boredly watched the containment crews set up their perimeter. After a while, the pregnant samurai lay back and started to snooze as the afternoon approached.
Suddenly, there was a rumbling, as the object's shaking increased dramatically! Jubei was stirred, as the rocks began to crumble all around her. Not even having time to put her sandles back on, she dashed away as the cliff behind her crumbled to pieces!
"Oh, shit... I think this counts as something heavy. Returning to base, Hiro, can you hear me?"
Hiro nearly chucked his coffee upon seeing what was going on. "Get out of there...Jubei? Jubei!" As the line went unexpectedly dead, Hiro raced out of the control room, deeper into what would one day be the base of Zonerider, to a secret chamber that he rarely used...
Huge chunks of the rock peeled and flaked away, like an egg cracking. All at once a massive...Thing! Emerged, not quite a hand a body or just a tentacle, some matter of pseudopod. Its fleshy mass changing shape and color rapidly. As the strange body more or less poured itself out of the stone egg, many arms extending out to clutch the sides and as far as the rocks of shore to steady itself. The containment team moved back, a hair away from going into full retreat as the massive creature rose to stand taller than a skyscraper.
Slowly its body continued to morph, forming into something that could by a mad man be considered vaguely human. One leg stepped out, followed by two more. The many arms merged into only 6 massive ones. The top tapered off and began shaping into not one head, but three. Each face looking in a different direction but joined as if sharing the same skull. The gigantic three bodied monster stood as Jubei looked on in horrified awe.
"I...RETURN! So long ago Hercules presumed that throwing me to the stars would be my end. but many consumed worlds hence, I have grown strong enough To come back. Gerion is no more. I have evolved to a god! I am Proteus!"
Proteus looked around using all three heads. The SDF all around it were in awe, but singularly, as it strode forward on its massive legs, shaking the ground with every step, It singled out Jubei. The pregnant samurai stood feeling a bit out of her depth as the massive monster looked down at her. From somewhere on its hand nearest her, a tentical stretched out, snaking its way down to just in front of Jubei, as a face stretched its way out.
The face scanned her up and down, before giving a rather terifying grin. "How this world has changed. Tell me woman, where am I, who are you, and where might I find the warrior known as Hercules?"
Jubei quickly put her snarker mode back on and responded. "Well, I am the great, and beautiful if i might add, samurai known as Yagyu Jubei...Where you are is in my face, somewhere you should really get out of. And hell if I know where Hercules is, I am not her nanny. I already got a son on the way and I don't need more stress dealing with a monster hunter."
Proteus looked slightly surprised by her bold comment, before the head broke out laughing. So much so in fact that all three of the main bodies massive heads bellowed out an earth shaking laugh.
"Samurai...Foolish samurai, you have no concept of who you speak to, do you? I am the invincible being known in ancient times as Gerion. But after Hercules humiliatingly threw me into space, I have spent many decades jumping from planet to planet, testing my mettle against their bravest warriors and sharpest science and magics, until I had absorbed them all. Now I am akin to a god, I am Proteus!"
Jubei scoffed. "You already said who you are, big fellow. If you forgot your own introduction, I can guess none of those giant heads of yours have much brains."
Proteus tiny tentacle face just smiled slyly at this. "I like your wit. I think it shall be a part of me now!" Suddenly a huge wave of membrane burst from its mouth, coating over Jubei like a skin tight seal. "Just relax and let the absorbtion do its work. Soon you will be part of my beautiful form, and you won't have any stress about raising that child you mentioned..."
From within, a flash of light, as a sword slashed through the membrane and cleaved the head in two! The broken tentacle fell to the ground and dissolved away, as Proteus looked down, greatly annoyed. "Ahg! what kind of sword is that?"
Jubei threw the last of the membrane off herself, standing in a combat stance with her sword at the ready. "I bet you think I have a joke to shake off the whole trying to eat me thing you just did, but right now I'm really pissed, nobody endangers my kid, got it?"
Proteus held up one massive hand, as a storm of tentacles extended out from the palm, attempting to spear Jubei, but she dodged with near superhuman speed, blocking and slashing each one that came near as she backed up, hacking away at the massive body mass as it came ever closer.
In seconds, the tentacles resumed their attack anew, even faster as secondary pseudopods sprouted from the first wave, sending even more at her! Jubei attempted to take them all on but a few slipped through her defenses, one slashing at her cheek, one spearing her in the arm, and one slashing her leg, causing her to fall to one knee. "Agh! Crap, damn it!" Still the remarkable swordswoman persisted, redoubling her efforts and slashing away at every attack that approached. Taking several more hits, she finally cut away the last of the attacking pseudopods, bloodied but still in one piece.
Proteus looked slightly surprised...Before rearing back with one massive fist, to attack with its full body mass.
Jubei's eye went wide, she sprang up, ignoring the pain in her leg, preparing to dodge when...
She fell right back to her knees, clutching her belly. "Damn it... not here... not now!"
Proteus laughed mockingly as its massive fist swung at her like a meteor!
Jubei looked down at her belly, smiling bitterly. "Heh, well, guess you inherited my sense of humor, kid." She closed her eye as it approached.
Proteus entire body was thrown reeling back by a massive explosive burst! It steadied itself on an extra pair of legs, only for a huge swarm of missiles to smack into it, the incredible ammount of explosives actually forcing the titanic monster back into the sea, its face visibly annoyed and pained as it grunted with the effort to withstand the onslaught.
Jubei looked up to see the colossal monster pushed back. she knew at once what had happened, turning her head to see a huge mech suit designed vaguely after a samurai walk into view. "Took you long enough, lover."
Hiro Tanaka, armed with the powerful Dai-Shogun mech armor stood large and powerful, having arrived just in time to rescue Jubei from the overwhelming force. As Proteus stood back to his colossal height, Hiro drew the armor's huge sword, the weapon glowing with energy as he held his own unwavering fighting stance, the shoulder armor opened up to reveal even more missiles ready to fire...
Proteus looked down at the comparatively puny armor, noticing that the SDF forces were marshalling along the coastline behind him. In one massive sweep, Proteus turned as one body and started to walk away from Japan. "I have no time for this. My revenge on Hercules takes precedance!"
In moments, the huge but surprisingly fast figure vanished into the sea. Leaving the Dai-Shogun to sheath its sword, standing triumphantly in the setting sun.
Jubei spoiled the moment. "I'm in labor right now, you jackass! Get me to a hospital already!"
It would be a day and a half before the monster was sighted again. Reports came in slowly of Deepone settlements on the ocean floor ravaged, as the monster simply walked its way through the dark abyss. Faster than any terrestrial water craft, it was little time before it was crossing the coast of Indochina. In a mere three days, it resurfaced on the east coast of India.
Rising from the ocean like a monolithic beast, blocking out the sun. People ran in terror as the colossal monster stomped its way onto shore. "I am coming for you Hercules!"
A giant foot came down, crushing several houses as the civilians fled in terror. Seeing them run, a vicious thought crossed Proteus mind. "I will lure her out by endangering her precious human charges. For this I will need to fight on a more personal scale...
No sooner did he speak, as huge amounts of flesh bullets began raining down from its main body, each splatting into the ground with significant force. As they did, the flesh bullets slowly formed into semi human globs, and rapidly saught out the closest humans to engage and battle. In mere seconds people fleeing for their lives were being run down in the streets! Dragged into the choking bio mass, stabbed and gouged. The massive monster saw its children's cruelty, and thought it was good...
Long before an international hero team would be common place, there were few heroes able to assist...Well, few, except for one team that operated under no one's oversight...
A massive broadsword cleaved through 20 monsters at a time. A massive, black and gold armored mech suit stood with a blood red cape flowing behind. "Prepare yourselves for hell. Crusader has arrived!"
A truly massive amount of the blobs took heed of the newcomer, as they shot at him all at once. Only to be blown out of the air by a massive number of explosive blasts! There, atop a nearby roof, a long tattered cape flowed in the wind as a man in a wide brim hat and sack cloth mask stood.
"Great evil calls for the intervention of the Scarecrow!"
A huge hoard of monsters dog-piled together, forming a larger force, only for it to be struck and blown apart by lightning before it could even fully form. The lightning form surged through a crowd, cutting and electrifying the monsters that were still chasing civilians, before pushing the rest back with one massive electric explosion. "You would all be lost without the might of the Silver Shinobi!"
Scarecrow teleported down in a puff of smoke. "Put a tart in it, Raijin. This fight isn't over yet."
Right on cue, the very displeased Proteus raised one skyscraper sized leg to stomp on the three.
"Any chance your apprentice will get here soon, Straw brain?"
Scarecrow didn't bother to move, looking as cross as ever. "I said put a tart in it, tin head! We might be the only ones who can stop this thing!"
Before they had a chance to dodge, a rune symbol appeared in the sky, creating a colossal disk shaped shield!
"Except that chap."
Proteus was knocked back with tremendous force, actually causing the titan to stumble, even as his extra legs caught him, throwing it back into the sea with a titanic splash!
"The true wizard is here."
Out of a runic portal stepped a man clad in armor peppered with runes that seemed to predate both Celtic and Slavic. A man with an unmistakable mystic theme, as three colored runes floating in the air orbited around him.
"Rupert Kojack. Late as often. Now that our firepower is here, let's roast this wanker!"
Scarecrow vanished, appearing high on a nearby building and raining explosive spell bullets down on the slowly recovering giant.
Crusader charged headlong, jets in the back of his armor firing up as he took to the air, cleving his gigantic sword across the giant's face with enough force to stagger it momentarily. "The lion of justice strikes! Deus Vult!"
Proteus had been fighting a long time, and the last he remembered getting hit like this was Hercules herself. This thought buzzed through the gigantus' mind as lightning crackled all around him. The Silver Shinobi running up the colossus body like it was nothing, leaving trailing lightning in the wake of his super speed, before digging his blade into the giant's skin. The small katana barely penetrated the outer layer, but the shinobi kept running, moving fast as lightning, as the giants many arms tried to swat him. Each miss being compounded by a lightning strike, as the shinobi dashed all over the beast's massive frame.
"Gra! First a samurai and now ninja. You know other planets I have eaten have wuxia of their own!"
With the beast distracted, the Rune knight, Rupert Kojack, fired the three rune stones he carried, they bottle-capped into the gigantus's knee, exploding with tremendous force and tearing a chunk out of it.
With an inhuman screech, it fell forward, landing on the injured knee. Scarecrow was quick to capitalize, his cloak forming into a dark drill as he smashed directly into the leg...Then right through it!
This one did some damage. The leg was finally torn free of the shape-shifting beast.
"Excellent Strike Crow! Now Raijin, Judas, capitalize!"
Kojack quickly formed his magic runes around the gigantic monster, not even having to move from his spot as he bound the injured gigantus in place.
"You think your feeble magics will hold me, human? When I lived, beings of power you could not dream of walked the earth freely!"
"Then you should have broken free, instead of wasting time gloating."
Proteus' face(or was it faces?) looked preplexed, as Crusader rocketed back down, driving his blade clean into the frontmost head's skull! The force was so great it tore clean through Proteus head, leaving the other two heads flopping at an odd angle.
Just as Crusader hit the ground right before the massive beast, he looked up to see the Silver Shinobi standing atop a building, focusing a huge amount of electrical energy into one point, before forming it around his fist. Just as Proteus began to break free, he made an incredible leap, striking true right in the monster's chest.
The monsters chest imploded from the obscenely powerful strike, throwing it back with incredible force! Lightning trailed from the wound as the force of the strike threw the Silver Shinobi back, crashing through one of the top floor windows of the building.
Crashing back partway in the ocean once more, the many limbed beast finally stopped moving, shaking the earth with its fall.
Scarecrow appeared next to Kojack.
"Well, what do you know, the tinhead actually managed to ice the wanker. Guess every dog has his day."
"You know I get the whole thing of you guys needing immediately distinct personality traits...But does anyone like have to draw a short straw to be the asshole on a team?"
All present heads turned to see a man in a garish clown costume standing between the three heroes. Scarecrow took exception. "And just who the bloody hell are you? And what are you doing here?"
"Foreshadowing mostly, and Psyklown...Wait wait, I had that in reverse order."
Psyklown looked between the three. "Wow, one English, one Portuguese, one Japanese and one German. You guys are a hair away from an anime convention."
Scarecrow spoke up. "And what the hell is anime?"
"Hmm. Bout 72, give it ten years or so. and you'll see."
Kojack questioned. "Alright um...Psyklown, this place is dangerous, are you here to help?"
"Well, sort of... just here to say you guys have backup on the way. But don't get too cozy, you may not like who you get. Oh, by the way, that guy is back."
Everyone turned as they heard a huge amount of water displacing. The massive monstrosity raising back into the air as the weight of the ocean water sloshed off his huge form. The colossal, cracked dent in his chest suddenly popped back into place with a explosive sound of pressure, looking good as new. "Now gentlemen... where were we?"
Scarecrow turned back only to see Psyklown had vanished. "Oh, spotted dick! What the hell was the point of him even coming here!?"
Crusader raised his sword before him. "Hold fast, fellows. Hold faith that we noble knights of justice will prevail and..."
Somehow hearing him from way down there, Proteus cut in. "What part of eaten entire worlds did you not grasp? Plenty of those planets had their own holy knights or mystic warriors or avengers of justice, and I just ate them too. So where were their almighty gods to defend them?"
Crusader paused. "Yes, well... my god is better than theirs."
At this Scarecrow scoffed. "Phh! Papist."
Both Kojack and Crusader looked not amused at Scarecrow.
Proteus just looked a bit confused. "Um, your ninja friend barely even slowed me down, are you really not taking this seriously right now? I mean sure I can't just make a grandiose boast about ending you in an instant, but even if you could hurt me I would have crushed you long before you did any significant damage."
At this Kojack smiled. "Oh really, big fellow. You think Raijin's attack was our biggest gun?"
No sooner had the wizard spoken, than Crusader rocketed forward, swinging his massive blade with such force it tore a huge chunk from Proteus chest!
"My armor is a one of the kind creation of the highest order! No weapon on earth can match its holy might!"
Zooming rapidly around the monster as it tried to swat him from the air, he began cleaving through its flesh and lopping entire fingers off as the massive hands tried to clap him.
Scarecrow readied his guns, but a rain of blobs flew from Proteus, forming into another army of monsters. "Oh hell, this shit again!"
As they approached, Kojack formed runic symbols along the ground, causing beams of energy to shoot straight up, cleaving through the monsters that approached him. "Agh, he is trying to separate us so he only has to deal with one at a time!"
At that very moment, the top of the tall building exploded in a huge burst of electricity, as Raijin stood back up, positively glowing with power as lightning surged all around him. As the power grew more and more, tearing up the building around him, he began screaming with rage!
"Wait, what is going on? Is he ok?"
Scarecrow got behind the rune wall and continued firing at the monsters. "You ninny! Much like our magic is information and requires acute mental fortitude, he is drawing upon the human spirit's ki energy. Which requires considerable physical and spiritual training and focus. Drawing that much power from within is straining, not unlike a large burst of anaerobic exercise."
"Wait, if you can do most of what I can just by reading on it, why do you all keep me around?"
Under his mask, scarecrow gave a half smile. "Well, we like your company, Rupert. Which is frankly more than I can say for these two wankers."
At that moment, Crusader managed to keep the giant at bay, dodging his many arms by inches and slashing away with his might sword, till finally a lucky clap trapped the armored lion of justice.
"Grr! Just a metal fly making life difficult, well now you get swatted!"
The gigantus squeezed, only to find the armor was surprisingly well built. He could hear it creak and buckle, but it would not break, keeping the wearer safe inside.
The momentary distraction was all that Raijin needed, as he collected all the ambient energy around his body, by now his eyes glowing white from the huge amount of energy his body was outputting.
"Sheesh, I think your friend is passing the mother of all stones."
In an explosion of power, Raijin shot through the air! Before Proteus even knew what was happening, the lightning ninja slashed his arms appart, grabing Judas, before making a huge electrical slice that diagonally bisected the giant's entire body! Raijin sailed easily through the quickly forming gap in its torso.
"Demon of Lightning!"
Proteus' head floated in the air for a few seconds, the slashes through his entire body happening so rapidly gravity did not seem to catch up, his vision bisecting as the slices reached his eyes before...
The super heated air all throughout the giants body expanded in a gigantic explosion of thunder, completely blowing Proteus' upper body apart!
"And Hell Follows!"
With chunks of flesh raining down all around, Raijin nearly crash landed in the ocean, before Crusader managed to get the armor working again, and caught them both in mid air, flying back to a rough landing on the beech. "Damnation! My suit is damaged. I don't think it will take much more abuse like that!" Just as the suit fell to its knees and opened, revealing Judas mane of brown hair.
Raijin took a few steps before falling face first in the sand, his power completely expended from such an attack.
"Well, rest easy friend, it appears your bolt of divine judgement finally sent that monster to hell."
Meanwhile, as Scarecrow and Kojack continued dusting off the hoard of monsters charging at them.
Kojack formed an energy disk around two runes, throwing them to slice easily through a line each. "I worry sometimes, a fairy wanted my power for his own. I worry what would happen if one ever took the rune stone."
Scarecrow easily teleported around the battle field, appearing just long enough to get a shot off or slash with his cape before disappearing once more. "Well if you ever feel like dying, give the rune to someone you trust! You don't even use it properly, and you can just walk through these things like nothing, imagine what its real power could do to humans!"
Kojack paused. "I don't have to imagine, I think that is why it was sealed away to begin with. And that was only one of the ancient weapons. Another text spoke of the sword Gram trapped within a tree root, guarded by a dragon and a wall of fire. I hope some day to translate where it lays."
"It's always a sword stuck in a stone, or a tree, or a fat guy. The ancients who invented all this magic stuff had the imagination of a bunch of..."
"Let me guess, a bunch of wankers?"
Scarecrows eyes narrowed. "Don't get smug, Rupert."
All at once, a huge explosion appeared in the center of the monsters' numbers, wiping out nearly two thirds of them in an instant! As the flash died down, out of the light stepped a young woman, who stood rather confidently. "Ta-da. And you said I was not ready to join the fight, master."
Scarecrow stopped where he was to shout at her. "Apprentice!? What are you doing out here! I told...Gah, can't you even listen? Egh, teenagers."
"Well, I've been thinking. Since you have this whole gothic horror theme going on. You are the scarecrow of Romney Marsh after all...Or the devil, they don't seem to be able to decide. Well, how about you start calling me the Dark Witch." She struck a pose and winked as she spoke.
"Girl, your name is mud, if you dont get back to the manor and out of danger this instant!"
"Oh, shut it, master, you aren't even my dad, and you said I'm stronger than you. So I don't see why you get to tell me what to do. I only came to help you guys out anyway."
Kojack chuckled. "Welcome to the joys of raising a teenager, appropriate you get compared to the devil 'cos you are in for some hell."
"Kojack, either help or stay out of this!"
As they had a relatable bicker over the unruliness of teens with the power of a god...Proteus' legs began moving, as flesh and bone began reforming above his waist. The three remaining able bodied heroes turned in shock as they saw the gruesome regeneration.
"A sizable problem so many planets' warriors seem to have is a lack of learning from their mistakes. If destroying a large chunk of my body did not stop me the first three times, what makes you think it will the next time?" As he snapped a jaw and skull back into place, crossing three sets of arms in a large grin.
Kojack stepped forward, holding out the rune stone, as a pillar of light formed around it, morphing into a runic stone staff. "Alright then I will be the next to..."
All eyes turned to Scarecrow who looked positively livid.
"Is that really how you want to do this? Each of us just gets angry, steps forward and says how bloody fresh we are, then expends all your bloody power in one overly flashy attack and pass out while this gigantic fucking wanker just regenerates again and again? For God's bloody bollocks' sakes! We're superheroes, we do not bang our heads against a wall like this!"
Dark Witch and Kojack just looked wide eyed. Dark Witch raised one hand and snapped her fingers. "Well you are right there, master. Lets end this in one blow!"
Suddenly the sky darkened. A circle of magic symbols the size of an ocean liner end to end appeared slowly forming over Proteus. As the giant tried the obvious approach of moving out of the way, it found itself barred by huge pillars of lightning forming a cage!
"Prepare for my Midnight Sun spell, you three faced freak!"
Only for Scarecrow to suddenly throw his cape over her, it mystically wrapped around her body, restraining her and negating her power, causing the spell to cancel.
"Damn it girl, can't you listen! That is too far in the other direction! Not only would you vaporize us you would turn India into an archipelago!"
Kojack stepped back. "Well, then again, the other option we really have is to run, because I don't think either of us have big enough guns..."
As Proteus finally stepped completely from the ocean, towering directly over the three heroes. Scarecrow still struggling to keep his destructive apprentice under wraps.
"Oh, black pudding!"
All around the world, the reverberations began to be felt, as safe distance news crews covered the slowly shifting battle.
In Israel, as a street gang fell to their knees, beaten up by a young man with a guitar on his back. He helped their would-be victim to his feet, showing momentary concern for a bruise over his right eye, but brushing it off as nothing. Before both looked with concern to a nearby TV screen, seeing the terrifying news report...
In Egypt, a colony of Ophidian slaves, kept by the infamous villainous syndicate of the Poison Lords, were being moved, hearing news reports of the fierce battle over a radio. In fear and desperation, one Ophidian mother placed her egg on a conical hat and set the makeshift raft down stream, just before the slave drivers caught and began beating her, dragging her back into line...
In Germany, the great Von Richtoffen suited up for combat, the country's defenses preparing for the worst. For a moment, he looked at a set of blueprints left on his workshop, showing a diagram of a human brain, monogrammed with a stylized F. Only for the German hero to brush the plans away in disgust, unwilling to work with the life's work of a collaborator...
Nearby, a young boy was running down a long road, fleeing from the destroyed city in a panic. Not clearly seeing where he was going, he tripped over a rock, only to be caught and helped to his feet by a man in a simple army private uniform.
"Wow there little friend, watch where you're going in such a hurry."
The boy was nearly in shock. "Monster...Monster, the heroes can't stop it!"
The soldier just smiled, patting the boy on the head. "Now now, little fella, put on a brave face and go find your family. You have my promise everything will be A-O-K. Run along, now."
The boy tried his best to give a brave face and nodded, thanking the soldier before he kept running.
The soldier, simply smiled and kept walking towards the fight...As rocks around him began to levitate into the air and crumble to dust. "Sides, I wouldn't want to teach a kid violence."
Back at the fight, the remaining heroes were backed into a corner, as Proteus simply laughed mockingly at them and...
"Wait wait wait wait!"
Trick walked out in front of the heroes, everyone looking at him awkwardly.
"Okay, I kind of get where all this is leading to, even though you don't even appear to be here yet. So I guess the fight is all relevant, but seriously what was all that with the rocker in Israel, the snake people, the cyborg monster plans in Germany? I mean even by the standards of this story how did you even know about that, and what does it have to do with all this?"
"Um, well...It's called World building. Besides, it will all be important later."
Trick just shrugged his shoulders and walked off, allowing the flashback to continue.
"All I wanted after all these years, all these planets devoured, was my revenge on Hercules! Now I will devour you and this wretched world for wasting my time!"
As Proteus reared back to smash them with his fists. Suddenly the soldier was standing right beside the two.
"Hay fellas, what's going on?"
Both looked at him, even the Dark Witch from in her bindings squeaking. "Adam!?"
"Yep, the one and only. So, is this big feller the one that's been causing all the trouble? Eh, kinda stupid question, I guess. You guys clear on out and check for any civilians still okay. I can handle the rest of this."
Scarecrow and Kojack quickly fled, regrouping with their downed teammates, only to find the monster horde had regrouped. Scarecrow readied his guns for them...
Proteus looked down at the now lone soldier. "Okay, this is new, a lone human of military class standing against me. What is this, the world's most grandiose death wish?"
The soldier stood near attention, as with conviction he recited three lines.
"Name, Adam Marcus Power. Rank, Private. Serial number 31365894. That's how a good soldier introduces himself to the enemy."
Proteus looked bemused. "Well, this has been an odd and interesting day, so finding an ordinary opponent is actually nearly mundane. Tell you what, since you don't look like you can give me any trouble, I will grant you a prestigious honor. A soldier's death, on your feet!"
Proteus raised one fist, morphing it by pouring a huge amount of biomass into the structure, focusing more and more and more weight and hardening it stronger than stone, stronger than steel, till a solid diamond hard arm was made, he reared back, and threw a punch with such force the huge amount of displaced air knocked two nearby buildings over. "I will send you out with style, Adam Power!"
The second it hit his body, Adam did not move an inch, but the fist split, right down the middle as if it were made of styrofoam hitting a sharp knife. The bulldozing speed of the punch carrying it nearly half way down the arm before Proteus could stop! His arm split nearly all the way in half just like that. With one move, Adam made an amateur karate chop directly in front of him, sending a cutting wave that slashed right through the rest of the arm, still going as it sliced out Proteus' shoulder with an impossibly clean cut, taking another of his arms off right with it, the destroyed appendage falling to the ground with a gigantic dusty crash!
Proteus eyes widened as he realized just what had happened. "Oh. I hate this planet."
With an immense explosion, Proteus entire massive body was thrown straight up, tossed like a feather! Before he could retaliate, Adam flew up with even greater force, piercing through Proteus with such speed, his stomach exploded outward! In an instant, Adam was all around him at once, hammering him with supersonic punches so fast his bodymass had nowhere to go from the force, still crumpling for a few seconds after Adam stopped, leaving him just floating, a crumpled blob of flesh on the edge of space.
Adam hung floating for just a few moments, as Proteus desperately tried to regain his bearings. All his eyes focused into one as he stared at Adam. And he realized something.
"I see it...Every cell in his body, like a star about to explode. His power...It is only because...Brightest before it is snuffed away."
Adam grabbed Proteus by one twisted, barely remaining arm, he reared back, aiming straight up, and with a spin, tossed the massive monster out of Earth's atmosphere into space!
Sailing rapidly through the dark void, Proteus began to reform. Clearly incredibly angry. He began musing to himself.
"Very well. I simply must consume more worlds! Grow even stronger! When I return, it will not be to face Hercules as equals, but to crush the entire earth between my fingers! Yes, this is only the beginning of a new chapter. Proteus shall be the greatest, strongest and...My, I am moving much faster than last time. There should not be any gravity assisting me yet. And is it getting...Hot?"
An eye formed on his back, only to instantly shrink first with horror, then bitter resignation.
"Oh, Fuck you Helios!"
Adam looked up, shielding his eyes as he saw into the sun. "And poof, problem solved."
The other heroes gathered around Adam, giving congratulations, or in Scarecrow's case, a backhanded compliment. "Thanks for coming in late and making us all look bad, ye Yank wanker."
Dark Witch was livid at being tied up. "I am not a little girl anymore, master! Stop treating me like some doll you can mess with!" As she opened an astral gate and left in a huff. The others looking at him strangely.
Kojack however decided to break the tension. "Hey, after a huge victory, in fact we may have even saved the whole world... Who is up for a team photo?"
Off far to the side, in a pile of monster corpses, one of the blobs began to stir, slowly it crept its way out and scurried away, hiding away from prying eyes...
*end of flashback!*
Nyx's eyes were misty, it was clear that the heavy and emotional memories were not yet over.
"If...If you could just give me.... Well..."
Trick, however, was absolutely excited. "Okay Like I said, I think I see where this is going. That last surviving blob of the shape shifter, that was..."
Nyx gave a weak smile and nodded. "Something Soly and I bonded over, neither of us are much like our fathers."
She paused, wiping the tears from her eyes. "I'm sorry, It gets a lot deeper from here, Just give me time, I promise I will tell the rest when I can."
Trick looked disappointed for a moment, but seeing how emotional his usually flirty and playful teammate was getting, he smiled and nodded. "Take as much time as you need, Nicole."
Nyx smiled a bit more genuine. "Hay, Xanatos. Thank you for asking." As Trick left the room, shutting the door.
Just outside, he smiled, feeling quite accomplished. He had gotten to know another teammate, made a new friend, and he absolutely could not wait to find out more of the story, and just what happened to Solar Girl. Idly, he mused about the hero team from the 70s...
Far away, in England. Ryu, the Silver Shinobi, lit two incense candles, placing them on the stand of a small shrine he had placed in his quarters. Atop the shrine was a Photo of Raijin, along with many other shinobi wearing similar garb to him, and one white skinned and red eyed woman at the forefront of the picture. Ryu clasped his hands, knelt, and offered respectful prayers to the shrine. As next to the photo, sat the rune stone...
Not far away, the Inquisitor made his way through an old church catacomb, passing in front of a glass chamber that housed a suit of black armor. He knelt before a huge wooden cross, a look of stern determination on his face as he meditated in afternoon prayer. For a second, his eyes strayed to a picture he kept at his podium, one of the hero team, Crusader, Raijin, Sacrecrow, Adam, and Rupert. The Inquisitor's old and grizzled face twisted into a look of bitter regret and sadness, as a single tear fell from his eye...
In an unknown place, but in the same country. The Scarecrow sat in the darkness. A clipping of a popular horror anime was left in the frame of a mirror, as next to it sat the same picture. He looked at it, un moving for a time, before turning to address someone. "Apprentice, come. I must tell you of your predecessor...In hopes that you do not make her same mistakes." As he spoke, into the light walked the young woman he had rescued from Puck...
To be continued...
In America, in the cold afternoon of a sleepy Alabama town, Birth home of one of the world's greatest heroes. A lone woman stood at one of the in numerable statues dedicated to the late and great Adam Power. Quietly, she placed flowers in the lonely lot.
"Oh grandfather...I am so sorry I couldn't fulfill your legacy."
For several moments she stood in silence, letting the wind blow all around her, ruffling her trench coat as she silently conversed with the monument. She did not even respond to the world until she heard the approaching footsteps of many people.
She turned to notice that a dozen men with guns had surrounded her. Silently, before she could raise her hands or say a word, they all raised their weapons and opened fire, shredding her trench coat in a massive volley!
"Hah! Run from that bitch, we finally put down Jessica Romero!"
As the men's leader turned to leave, he heard armor clanking against the brick ground.
"Jessica died long ago, the moment your boss violated my mind."
Turning in horror, all the men witnessed as a woman in armor, glowing red fists alight, stood before them, her eyes glowed with red energy and anger.
"All that is left is Rampage!"