Event The Mask Slips

What is going on down there?

Rhetorical question. Gilgamesh had gone rogue and now everything would fall on his head. That was the punishment for breaking rank. If the plan were followed to a T, even if there were catastrophic failure, they could authentically say they'd tried their best with the tools they had. Instead, now, they'd never know whether the initial move would have worked. They could only deal in projections and models. It was Tijuana all over again.

Airborne. 200 knots. That's over 200 miles per hour. Changing trajectory, so not any kind of ballistic. T-03 has entered the game.

Monsoon was cool under pressure. He had to be. He'd been designed for it. No stress too much, no danger too imposing. He had aerial combat experience, but he wasn't much of a dogfighter. More of a light up the sky with reckless abandon type, fry everything around him. That was how he'd taken out the so-called People's Hummingbird back in '24. The Torres years were good years, despite what anyone had to say about them. And his race was far from run. This was his arena, where he thrived. He truly had no fear - or if he did, he was utterly desensitized to it, so that it might not even exist.

He'd dealt with AA before. Getting a missle shot at him was worse than a flying human. He'd shot it out of the sky. This would be no different.

Monsoon looked around, breathing deep. The bogey had vanished. Per orders, he'd begun gaining altitude, clouds coalescing around his form. But that had the potential to obscure his senses as well as the enemy's.

Then, the shriek. It sounded like feedback at first; Monsoon winced through the pain, face contorting into a brutal grimace. He instinctively lifted a hand up to the side of his temple, but didn't lose focus.

"Got a - problem here - YEARGH-!" he gasped, the air forced from his lungs as a formless shape crashed into him from down and to his left, forcing the wind from his lungs in a brutal aerial tackle. He spun head over heels downward, through the clouds - just as he did so, a thunderhead burst, a brilliant flash illuminating the sky.

When he forced his eyes open, he could see that he was nearly level with the tops of the tallest skyscrapers. Not good. Way too low.

Pain throbbed in his left arm - maybe a fracture - ? He couldn't tell and it didn't matter. What mattered was catching himself.

The poncho spread around him like a billowing cape as his figure righted itself, feet towards the ground, the horrifying tumble to his death averted. Mission control crackled in his ears. Would they even be able to hear him?

He tapped his headset, then realized there was a spiderweb crack through the supposedly shatterproof goggles. At least there wasn't glass in his eyes. The holoprojection of his surroundings flickered and faded out.

"Be advised. T-Computer's down," he muttered, tasting blood on the inside of his lips. He'd not been hit like that since boot camp. "Switching to manual."

With one aggressive pull, he yanked the headset off, blinking rainwater out of his eyes. They adjusted quickly. He was born for this.

He unclipped the ox mask too, letting it fall down the side of his breast. He could use that to speak if needed. The comm in his ear was still going, but the ringing hadn't subsided. It was all noise now. Mission control might as well have fallen away with the thermal gogs. It was just him and T-03. Nobody could hear him now.

"Let's dance."

Lightning coiled from hyperdense clouds forming at the tips of his fingers. Miniature storms roiled around him. The bogey wouldn't get a second shot.

He wasn't going by visual contact anymore. He was remotely viewing everything around him by aerial pressure. The moment something flew towards him, red light or no, he'd fire by instinct the moment it breached perimeter. 300 million volts of instant death. They were about to learn why he was a
Knocked out of the sky- in the very manner he'd intended to inflict upon his erstwhile target -the Dragon found himself propelled into the ground with great force. It was a fall that would likely have left an ordinary man dead, or at least badly injured, but thanks to his highly durable physiology, Damon was instead left none the worse for wear, save for the layer of mud that now coated most of his body and clothes. The disorientation of the impact faded quickly as well, and he wiped some of the grime off his face, just in time to get a good look at his attacker before they struck again.

The metahuman, which bore a striking resemblance to the common mantis, was garbed in the same torn hospital gown as the others- no boudt indicating they'd been the victims of some kind of depraved experiments before escaping- or perhaps being released -to wreak havoc on the city. Evidently they were far from in their right minds, but for the time being, the priority had to be stopping them, not offering them aid.

Before Damon could get to work on that, however, the mantis-man launched a follow-up attack, moving with speed that even the Dragon's superior reaction time had trouble clocking. Its mutated extremities struck with impossible force, powerful enough to penetrate even skin that bullets would break against.

Once more, the Juror was thrown back, but this time, he was ready to react. Maintaining his wits even in mid-air, he manipulated his own momentum to twist his body and alter his trajectory, ensuring he'd land precisely where he wanted. Namely, right up against a tree, which he kicked off of with force equal to the very strike he'd been hit with, rocketing back towards the deranged metahuman. The power in the maneuver was sufficient to fell the tree instantly, and the Dragon offered it a silent apology, before focusing his mind entirely on the task at hand.

Damon's aim was to tackle his foe into the ground, pinning him in the mud, before delivering a precise strike directly to the skull, using just two fingers. He had no name for this move, not yet, but its aim was to incapacitate the opponent instantly, and without doing lasting damage, holding back most of his prodigious strength to ensure he didn't shatter his foe's skull outright.

"Stay down," the Dragon implored his enemy, tone a mix of compassion and frustration. Under other circumstances, he'd have been almost happy to meet an opponent who could actually hurt him- the feeling of a cracked rib was so foreign now as to almost be a novel experience -but whatever these rogue metahumans' nature was, it was clear they were in pain, and adding to that suffering was the last thing he wanted to do.

Presuming he had the opportunity to do so, Damon would then press a finger to his earpiece and address Dispatch.

"Dealing with one of them here. Got 'em occupied for the time being. I'll keep you posted."

IN THE SCORCHED CLEARING, Gilgamesh and Cyclic were hard at work dealing with T-01. Two marbles struck the target directly; the first staggered him backwards with a cheek shot, the sound of crackling bone audible from a distance above the crumbling whisper of ashen trees. The second seemed to strike him directly in his chest, causing the third shot to go wide as he instinctually ducked to avoid it. While the first marble had seemingly glanced off of his face and careened somewhere deeper into the park, the second was perfectly visible in the impact hole it tore through the man's hospital robes; it began to glow a bright orange, then a brilliant white as it was superheated and melted into the man's flesh. His dislocated jaw, meanwhile, seemed to take on a glow of its own as the bone and muscle beneath was exposed from a compound fracture through the skin; the man's skeletal system seemed to be glowing, as well, his flesh sizzling into blackened charcoal as one hand moved to his face to snap the dislocation back into a less egregious position of discomfort.

Another pulse; another scorching wave that seemed to creep along the growing radius, invisible and entirely lethal. The grass wilted and combusted; the air seemed to shimmer with refracted light. The fourth and fifth marbles Gilgamesh fired-- if he chose to do so-- did not strike as perfect spheres; instead, they splattered along his body as partially-melted glass, hitting with soft thuds as T-01 began to stalk towards Gilgamesh. His hand outstretched--


-- and a roiling pulse of light detonated in front of the Juror, unleashing a bellowing wave of flame as the air underwent combustion before his very eyes. Like a concentrated cannon shot, the kinetic burst of sound energy would throw Gilgamesh back before the flames rushed forth to scorch his body... unless he were able to evade in time.

And then the man's hand clenched.


The combustion was knocked off-course, it seemed, by a sonic burst from Cyclic milliseconds before the gesture; the tree a few meters away from Gilgamesh erupted into splintering wood, shrapnel firing off towards the Juror as an explosion plumed smoke and billowing fire into the air. A rush of cinder and ash coated the region as scorched earth and dust alike was thrown into the area, blanketing the remnants of the gale in a purgatory of clouded smoke; Gilgamesh, Cyclic, and the target would hardly be able to see a few feet in front of them. The shockwave itself seemed to send the world into a state of disarray-- rattling the brain, blood trickling from the nose as the world around Gilgamesh swam.

A silhouette of T-01 was visible through the smoke. He was staggering-- hurt, but otherwise still alive, the efforts of the marbles striking his face and body enough to slow him down and give him pause. With frenzied eyes, he tried to pull at the seared bits of ammunition that'd melded into his flesh. The heat seemed to lessen, now, in the fog of war-- whether by choice or by result of disorientation.

"God," He whispered. "God, help me. I cannot... I cannot die--"

Cyclic seemed adamant on denying that hypothesis, it seemed.

The man's half-murmured words were cut off by another sonic blast. The burst seemed to cut through the smoke, dispelling it long enough for the armored Juror to look to Gilgamesh; a few dozen feet separated them both.


IN THE WORLD ABOVE, matters were escalating with similar amounts of bedlam. The buzz of the Incident Room in his ear continued through buzzing, glitched tones as Monsoon reached to take off his headset--

Do not remove your D-HUD at this time, Monsoon. Repeat, do NOT--

-- and let it fall to the world below. It plummeted hundreds of feet, picking up speed until it struck some taxi-cab on a street adjacent to the park-- shattering the windshield on impact, and rolling out onto the sidewalk.

The air around the skyscrapers was silent. He'd fallen away from the park in his loss of altitude, the momentum from the tackle sending him a good couple hundred feet off-course; through the rainstorm that was battering Midtown, he could hear the distant sound of sirens and blaring horns. Most prevalent of all, however, was the roiling cascade of thunder and rain--

-- and the deafening screech that bellowed from the heavens above.

The nature of T-03's abilities meant that their aerial movements were clearly telegraphed; with his mind cleared and his own ability ready to counter his enemy's advance, it was a simple waiting game. A silhouette broke through the mist-cover--


-- and subsequently plummeted as the electric bolt struck true, cutting off the screech into a warbling cry. The blur passed by Monsoon harmlessly, entering freefall-- until it slammed into the side of the Rockefeller Center a few dozen meters away, the distant shattering of windows and concrete audible even through the rainstorm.

A crash of thunder reverberated outward from Monsoon's body, utterly deafening. He'd taken the positive and the negative and pushed them outward, allowing the air to coalesce around the buzzing as it approached him and strike them from the sky. He'd kept his eyes closed for the flash.

Monsoon exhaled, watching the charred figure spiral into a nearby building. Just like that, the duel appeared to have come to an end. Under an ideal combat scenario, a Recon Specialist would confirm that his target was terminated. There were some metas with invulnerability, but if he had to risk a guess, he'd say this one only had heightened resilience coupled with their ability to fly. If anything.

This one had gone the way of the People's Hummingbird. More impressively, though, they'd managed to land a hit on him. He absentmindedly raised a hand to his ear, which was still ringing incessantly - he couldn't hear ground control's orders through the bud, so he plucked it out and ran his forefinger across his lobe. Predictably, it came away red. He put the comm in his pocket and took a deep breath.

He was dry. The rain was still falling over Midtown, and he'd been knocked far off course, out of the storm he'd made. It roiled on without him.

"It's not over yet," he said, resigned, and mostly to himself. The poncho was too warm. Angrily, he ripped the zipper from his collar down to his waist, and let the cape blow away in the wind. He needed air, and he needed to be able to move.

He always thought that, if he could let loose, he'd be faster than Scramjet. It'd really mess up the weather, though, using it to go that fast.

Taking a deep breath, he plunged forward, both fists outstretched, launched like a rocket by the sudden pressure differential -

- on his way toward Central Park, to make contact with the enemy, and ultimately - eventually - do to them what he'd done to T0-3.

His aim was getting better. Even with the roar of the wildfire he could faintly makeout the snapping sound of human bone. Five shots let off, with four making contact, before he'd have to 'reload'. His feet dug into the earth and he slid to a stop. One of the marbles had managed to get through T-01's defense. The molten glass revealing skin scorching bone beneath.

'I'm free to use that then' The mans approach was met with Gilgamesh's own steady retreat. "Cyclic, can you-"

His thoughts were cut short by the kinetic blast that sent him hurtling backwards. He twisted in mid-air, combative gymnastics training taking hold, positioning his legs to press against the tree behind him. For only a moment, before Gravity could catch up, he intended to launch himself back out. His field shifting into the L shape required for Absolute Speed. If he shifted his field in mid air than he could to use his Absolute Attack in the moments he flew past the villain to try and sever his left arm at the shoulder without staying in close proximity long enough for the mans temperature to do any real damage.

KRAKOOM The sound barrier shattered and Gilgamesh slid to a halt just in time to avoid the blast of flames that tore through his previous perch. He hadn't even thought to change the direction, he just felt the heat and reacted. Positioning himself 10 feet to the left of the tree. Cyclic knocked whatever follow-up was coming off course. Wooden Shrapnel froze against his Polarity Field. Cyclic didn't even have to say anything, the young juror was already on it.
He sprinted forwards, field shifting from passive to fully active. The air around his right hand thrummed with the sound of air molecules being shunted back into their base elements. He dropped into a baseball slide and swung his Absolute Attack against the man's knees. If they made contact he wouldn't feel anything; not initially anyway. His knees would simply cease to exist. Normally this would cause someone to bleed out within minutes but, if his skeleton was superheated than it should cauterize the wound enough to at least give them a bit more time.
As the slide momentum died down he shifted his weight to pop up into a stride. Another rehearsed movement that would look almost impossible but, played incredibly well to a camera.



Between the superheated wildfire, the brewing hurricane that was beginning to leak out along the coast, and the unrelenting ferocity of the threat designates each hero was facing, the situation was quickly spiraling out of control. The two-fingered strike to T-02 had thankfully, at least momentarily, incapacited the man-- woman? It was hard to tell, between the ash and androgyny of Dragon's opponent-- and left him with a moment to survey the target a bit closer. From the hips downward, their hospital gown was tattered and destroyed-- the bottom practically singed, whether that be from the surrounding hellfire or their abilities creating superheated friction. What was most obvious, however, was the mutated flesh; where there would be genitalia, there was only an odd patch of scarred flesh that could only be described as chitinous-- similar plating falling down the legs in a cascade, with pearlescent scales that glimmered with every passing flicker of the spreading fire. Rather than end in two feet, the legs appeared to terminate in something approaching a digitigrade stance... though, with the way they twitched, the limbs almost seemed to roll up on themselves, the odd feet flicking upwards to fold along the calves and tighten before gently relaxing back down.

The respite he'd have for examination, however, would quickly be over. In a flash, T-02's eyes snapped open-- bloodshot, tinged with red from the strike to the forehead with burst blood vessels. A hand moved forward with preternatural speed, aiming to claw at Damon's cheek and dig into flesh. More importantly, it sought to grab onto his neck-- and those legs rolled up once more, the crackling and hissing of ligaments and steam audible to the ear--


-- until the tension snapped like a rubber band, weaker in force than the prior blows, but enough to likely damage the internal organs of the Juror if he simply tanked the blow. Worse still, the legs rolled up once more to impart an immediate follow-up-- hands dropping to the ground to push T-02 away from Dragon, using the force of the kick as locomotion to skid them along the scorched earth.

"He said-- he said you'd come," They hissed, making their way up to their feet. Their eyes were widened with reckless terror, body in a low crouch. "... said this was my chance. Said I'd be the hero. What the FUCK IS HAPPENING TO ME?! WHY DID YOU DO THIS?!"

Hysterical ramblings, surely-- but nonetheless troubling. Then, with a bounding crack of sonic energy, the target took off-- shattering through a treeline and going towards the edge of the park. Escaping.

Monsoon's return to the battlefield was greeted with two observations; even with the cracked holographic overlay flickering in and out of existence, it was clear that the storm-- in his absence, and in his encounter-- had begun to spiral out of control. Wind speeds in the northern section of the park had reached just below 100 MPH. Worse still, it was growing-- the storm snaking out to go coastal, where it would predictably form a low-pressure storm front. Outflow aloft.

The key beginnings of a hurricane.

If he put his earpiece back in, the Red Room would already be talking.


Worse still, his return was met with a distant screech above the howling of the wind.

A screech that grew louder and louder with every passing moment.

Once more, T-03 slammed itself into Monsoon-- this time, locking arms around the Juror, and this time gaining altitude as a sonic screech propelled them both higher into the air. Claws slashed along the front of Monsoon's outfit; the sound of the scream was overwhelming, enough to rattle his brain and leave him partially deaf in one ear. And that was next to him. Up close, it was clear the target was some sort of male-- body mutated, hospital gown torn at the front to show open arms and tranluscent webbing along the bottom of the tricep to meet with the ribcage. His teeth were razors; his eyes were fully reflective and a deep brown-black throughout, nose curled not unlike a bat's.

Gilgamesh's encounter with T-01 had reached a similar fever pitch. Rebounding with the use of his abilities and taking off towards the superheated target, the low slide helped him avoid a blast outright from the man's palm-- a ball of light cradled in curled fingers until a beam of fire and heat scorched through the air where his midsection once was, the very oxygen in the air burning as the heat along Gilgamesh's left cheek nearly scalded him. Time almost seemed to slow as the pair looked at each other-- T-01, down to Gilgamesh, and Gilgamesh up to T-01, the man's face frozen in a rictus of incredible hatred.

What followed that frozen snapshot in time was the sound of mulched meat as Gilgamesh's polarity field ripped molecule from molecule, gore pushed up around the Juror's form and scorched instantly in the open air. Where there was once limb, there simply wasn't-- Gilgamesh's hypothesis confirmed true as the man's body seemed to scar over itself near-instantly, the remnants of bone and muscle that had managed to survive the strike simply falling away as skin was cauterized over.

He fell back with widened eyes-- landing upon the stumps of his joints. His other hand, having already prepped a similar blast to the first, reached out-- a similarly lethal blow, like Gilgamesh's own, and aimed at the Juror as his slide continued along the ground, kicking up dust and ash and meat. The ball flashed-- fingers opened--


-- and the shot went wide, palm thrown upwards to release a blast that even Monsoon could see cut through the clouds in a flash not unlike the detonation of a nuclear missile. Cyclic stood above the man's forcefully-kneeling body, a conductive spike driven into his back to impale him to the ground-- the metal already superheating within seconds of touching the man's body. It extended, a blinking red light emitting bright pulses from the top.

Cyclic's voice would blare over the comms not a moment later.

This has all clearly gotten quite out of hand, Damon thought, with a note of hysteria. He'd been so focused on the fight in front of him that he'd neglected to even register the degree to which conditions around him had deteriorated. Monsoon had lost control of the storm he'd summoned- evidently the seasoned hero still lacked discipline -and the raging inferno had yet to be quelled even by the torrential downpour. If anything, Monsoon had made things worse, with the winds he'd conjured turning the wildfire into a literal firestorm.

But there was no time for the Dragon to do anything about any of that- not until he dealt with the insectoid adversary before him.

The thing had reached out in an attempt to tear his face open, but its claws would meet resistance against the Juror's nearly unbreakable skin. While sharp enough to draw a few beads of blood, they'd begin to splinter and crack before going any deeper. That didn't mean it didn't hurt, though. Damon clenched his jaw, fighting to maintain his grip on the rogue metahuman as it struggled to escape. That wasn't to be, though. With his enhanced reaction speeds, the Dragon was able to see the next strike coming, and make the split-second calculation that informed him he'd be better off not attempting to roll with the blow. A cracked rib or two was nothing- he'd heal, and come back stronger. But a punctured lung would be much more difficult to recover from. Especially since conventional medical equipment would struggle to penetrate his skin and perform any necessary surgery.

Pulling back from the mantis-like meta, Damon raised his arms in a defensive stance, absorbing the brunt of the blow without sustaining significant damage. It was the second blow he should have been concerned about, though, as it drove him back several feet, heels kicking up a small storm of mud as he went. And just like that, the rogue meta took off- though not before delivering a deranged monologue that confirmed the Dragon's suspicions that there was more to this than he'd been told.

If he wanted answers, though, he'd have to do better than letting this thing escape. Unfortunately, Damon knew full-well that he wasn't going to be fast enough to catch up with T-02 on foot. His speed outmatched any ordinary human, but the enemy had a distinct biological advantage, thanks to its strange anatomy. The only way the Dragon would be able to catch up involved slowing the target down.

Doing his best to ignore the near-hurricane-speed winds whipping at him, Damon kept his eyes fixed on the target as he retrieved a roll of quarters from his pocket. Most Jurors brought more gear into the field than a bit of spare change, but the Dragon had never felt like he needed any of that equipment. The coins, however, were good for more than just bus fare. He'd demonstrated not too long ago that it was possible to disable a man with a single well-placed coin launched at his back- with the benefit of super-strength, of course. But he'd pulled that shot, intentionally aiming to disable nonlethally. This would be different.

Damon wasn't aiming to kill this poor soul. Even if they'd had the green light for lethal force, he would have hesitated to do so. But he was now past the point where he could justify holding back from inflicting serious bodily harm. So instead of launching a single coin at T-02, the Dragon hurled a whole handful- improvised buckshot. His intent was to strike the fleeing metahuman's legs, with enough force to do serious damage, and force him to stop in his tracks. Given the wind, and the poor visibility, it was likely most of the coins would miss the mark- but all it'd take was one to strike true, and the target would surely be sent sprawling, unable to run any further.

"This is Dragon. Believe I've disabled a target. Anybody available for retrieval? I've got lives to save."
Wait. What am I doing?

The euphoria was passing now, as the winds whipped around him. Monsoon pumped the brakes and ascended slightly, blinking rainwater out of his eyes. He hadn't flown like this since he was a teenager, and that had caused a Code Venice in his hometown. It felt good - no, great to use his powers to their fullest - but he needed ground control to function, or he'd be grounded permanently. The one ear was still ringing, but the other -

Gingerly, he replaced the bud, which screamed at him; no, screamed for him to limit wind speed, like a prayer -


Tackled through the air again, and this time hoisted upward, he let out a cry of pain as claws scraped across his chest. He felt himself go limp for a moment and knew that his power wasn't generating any lift - he was being carried into the sky by this screeching banshee-thing, which deafened him completely.

He screamed back in its face and unleashed a thunderbolt on them both - kicking off against it at the last second so that it'd be fried in front of him as he fell away. But that lightning would have to go somewhere after - down onto Cyclic's lightning rod. If Monsoon could hear the shot being called, they'd have called it a one-in-a-million move. Instead, it'd amount to little more than dumb luck that the superbolt he was summoning had a lightning rod down there that would naturally draw his focus toward it. Even if he didn't consciously aim the bolt, his unconscious mind would coalesce atmions around that point - skewering both T-03 and T-01 with one deafening strike.

He rolled onto a rooftop, probably dislocating his shoulder. Thank MIRA for the tracker in his uniform that would let them pick him up after.

FURTHER AND FURTHER ABOVE GILGAMESH'S MANEUVER, MONSOON WAS CARRIED HEAVENWARD. T-03's scream was answered in kind by the Juror; the target's face, warped as it was into an almost batlike visage of scarring and discolored flesh, still carried the stink of burnt flesh and hair as smoke wafted off of its burnt body. Faraday scarring traveled along its left cheek-- a burn. Fresh. They seemed angry-- overtaken by bloodlust-- but that hardly mattered, now.


To distant onlookers, there would be the simple flash of lightning in the storm-laden sky above central park-- a single bolt, followed by the thunderclap. To Monsoon-- and, by extension, Gilgamesh-- the sound was synonymous with the strike, and the world was cast into a deafening ring as hundreds of millions of volts were funneled in one end of a body, out the other, and down to the lightning rod below-- grounding itself from hand to earth within milliseconds of its creation. T-03's body was wracked with spasms as it went into freefall, disappearing into the cloud cover below; T-01's body, meanwhile, was left a mangled and electrified mess, the charge shooting through his core. The lightning rod glowed red-hot from the surrounding heat-- the target's body seemed to glow from within, and then--


The deafening roar of blood in the ears. A flash of light as T-01's body suddenly wasn't, its crippled form unmade in the flash of superheated flesh coming undone at the scenes. He not only died-- he exploded, not unlike a bomb. Remaining bits of muscle, bone, and flesh were thrown like shrapnel and white-hot napalm, a sizzling heat wave baking any unfortunate souls caught too close. Which, unfortunately, happened to be Cyclic-- and while his suit protected him from the worst of the debris, the frontal blast of pure thermal energy turned his suit into a veritable oven. With a blast of failing thrusters-- the internal circuitry of his armor nearly melted-- Cyclic launched himself back towards the since-cooled pond, landing in it with a sharp hiss.

Where the lightning rod and T-01 had once stood was now only a crater.

T-03, unseen by any Juror, plummeted from their skyward position to the streets below-- skimming the side of a residential building and leaving a skid-mark of blood and body-matter down a few feet of its face before tumbling and slamming into the middle of the street with a wet, crackling smack of meat upon pavement. The corpse struck a few hundred feet away from the police barricade-- miraculously missing any passersby that'd been loitering with phones, and just narrowly avoiding an ambulance that'd been en-route to the park.

DRAGON, MEANWHILE, WAS FACED WITH A CHOICE. Pursue, or act-- and with a spray of coins sent at the velocity of bullets, the intent was clear. While a few struck trees and surrounding shrubbery, the rest were surprisingly on-mark-- and all it took was one to chip a chunk of the plate-like chitin that guarded the target's legs, tripping them up and sending them sprawling in a super-sped collision. Their body turned over itself and slammed into the dirt, spraying up an impact ditch as T-02's body quite literally skipped along the ground like a stone-- disappearing with a crack through the smoke.

Unfortunately, at the border of the park proper, the maneuver came with consequences.

T-02's velocity carried them beyond the scope of Central Park, their direction and loss of control meaning they'd essentially been turned into a hurtling projectile-- flying out of the mists and skidding along the street. The body was travelling too fast for any onlookers to react accordingly-- there was merely the sound of rushing air, a horrifying sound of split-open corpses, and a spray of blood and viscera as T-02's body struck into a civilian at the speed of a train, splattering the impacted body along the ground and wall.

There was a delayed reaction, perhaps; the shock of a living body simply disappearing, and formless gore taking its place. The gathered crowd of onlookers turned their heads, phones, and eyes; a moment later, somebody screamed. Police rushed towards the sight of T-02's body-- disabled, but intact-- and hardly knew what to do with it. There was a tangle of limbs and skin, like two human bodies had been twisted together.

Screams. Jeers. Remarks of horror, hushed and loud, as first-responders attempted to make sense of the carnage.




Gilgamesh and Dragon would feel the roaring storm around them-- without end, and without mercy. Nothing they could do except help evacuate any remaining civilian presence from the incident site and surrounding area. Cyclic pulled himself from the pond, slowly-- armor creaking from compromised internals. Grunts of pain echoing softly from the metal helm. No Jurors lost; the deed was done. The perps were neutralized. Victory.


Pyrrhic victory.


Blood and bits splattered across his suit and body. The superheated plasma sizzling against his skin as he wiped it away. The downside of his most lethal ability was it leaving him exposed afterwards. The field needed time to spread back across his body leaving him vulnerable to a follow up attack. Gilgamesh knew he wouldn't be able to avoid the eruption of flame that was coming his way. He moved anyway.

The next few moments were a blur. There was the eruption of flame, sent off course by Cyclic, and then there was the eruption of T-01. Monsoon's lightning strike was powerful but, not that powerful. The explosion ripped through the area turning everything around it into superheated shrapnel. Gilgamesh didn't have time to move.

When the dust settled there was nothing left of T-01. A few feet away a dome of hovering woodchips, smoldering bone, blood drops, and rain stood still. He had been so close that the sheer amount of debris formed an immovable barricade. His ears rang and his chest hurt. This was finally over. The first thing he did was shoot his PA a message. Delay social push. Performance was inadequate. Then he rushed over to the water to get Cyclic.

Monsoon's monsoon was raging overhead as the Juror helped his coworker from the river. "This is Gilgamesh, Cyclic secured, moving to finish evacuations."