Take Back The Night

From the Story Arc: Battle Stations!

Previous Story in the Arc: Falling Forward by Communard (Monday, April 10, 2006)

Next Story in the Arc: On Home Ground by Mojiotok (Tuesday, April 11, 2006)

(posted Monday, April 10, 2006)

The sounds of battle...sound and vibrations...were all around them. The walls, the very bedrock on which the basement was built, were vibrating. It did not sound as if the external teams were managing anything other than distraction. Well, that would have to be enough; tie up enough of the enemy resources with distraction and it is nearly as effective as a victory.

"Miss Waitron?" F3L-1X hissed, "Team status on the HQ?"

His external speaker played her reply. "The back door team has been beaten back to the ally. The front door team has penetrated. The roof team is holding off all opposition."

Mojiotok turned to face Felix, his tone curt. "Relay these commands. Roof team: assist at the back door. We must secure that entrance, lest it become exit for fascists. Front team, continue on and clear first floor. Assistance is on its way. What's the sewer team's status?"

Before Felix could answer, the sounds of someone--some group--making a stealthy penetration at the back of the basement where the septic and sewer accesses were made all of them whirl, weapons and fists raised to loose hell on whatever enemy had flanked them.

Vampires? It was a natural point for them to come up through, if they knew the accesses were there, and the sewer team had made it terribly clear that the sewers were harboring an enormous number of Warwolves and Vampires.

Instead of Dark Magic and Mental Blasts however---the sound of someone---singing?

"Que tuhuelce paralla legria cosabuena, A la tuhuelpa legria macarena Eeeh, macarena!"

Whatever it was...it wasn't Council. No Vampire would sing the Macarena. And even Moj knew The Macarena.

"What in Lenin's tomb...?"

"I thought about singing The Internationale," said Victoria Victrix, emerging from the dark doorway of the sewer access room, "But the Council might think of that too. Only thing I could think of to tell you we were on your side so you didn't paste us as we came out was something...um...inappropriate."

Behind her, Red Djinni rolled his eyes. Communard, shirtless, pushed them both aside. "Sewer team successful, Commissar Mojiotok," he said, smugly.

Moj shook his head. Americanskis. Still, it had worked. "Here is what will happen. Communard, your team and my own will take the first floor; your people to the back to assist with the alley way team. Roof team will shortly be with them. We shall take the front. Zach," he said, glancing at Bestial Boy. "Your team will head for the second floor. Fight your way to the command and control room; expect heavy resistance." Zach nodded, a smile creeping over his face. "Comrade Untermensch, the third floor is yours for the taking. Any questions?" The team leaders assembled around him had none. Mojiotok gestured for the android Felix to come over. "Contact Waitron. We are retaking the headquarters."

Whatever Bella and Waitron had arranged, comm-wise, Booster Max was grateful for it. He had asked for and gotten a secure, scrambled channel for the force on the other side of the Skyway tunnel. Some bizarre hero called "Blue-42" had shown a shockingly good grasp of strategy, even if he did couch it in football terms. He had coordinated what had been a mass of uncoordinated and pissed-off independents into a real fighting force. Fortunately--although he was by no means as obsessed about football as Jason Collier was--Booster knew enough to speak the guy's lingo.

"Awesome! Here's the play; you guys get your offensive line to push them back past the goal line. We'll be waiting behind the uprights for a linebacker blitz, recover the fumble, and score! What do you think, coach?"

"I think you better set up the Gatorade bath. It's a Hail Mary, but they'll never see it coming."

"Righteous! This is for the season, coach! Let's do it, aaaand break!"

Booster signaled to Paladin. "All right. You powered up and ready to go?" This was going to take every possible erg of energy Titian Paladin's gauntlets could supply, but...the end result would be a literal sweep of the tunnel. What would come out on the other side would be a tangled mass of vehicles and Council, and if Blue-42, his group and the PCPD and Longbow on the other side could hit hard enough and fast enough, it would be Miller Time.

"Ready, sir," Paladin said, with a formal salute.

"The rest of you come in behind him to clean up any stragglers," Booster ordered. "Pal's gonna have to take down all of the force fields he's got on us to power this punch, so be ready."

Righteous Might took Sister Hecate back up on his massive shoulder. Gaia's Soldier and Crashin' Byrne took their places immediately in front of Paladin, to provide a little protection; he would be making himself a big target by doing this. Black Light took up a position flanking Paladin, and Booster took the same position opposite. Sister Hecate shrouded them all in protective power from the Spirit Realm. Booster looked over at Pal.

"Hit it."

With the three Kheldians out of the picture, the situation at Galaxy City was not looking bright. FraustFyre was holding the entrance, but just barely. Doc Danger, Blue Velocity and Black Orchid backed her, but she was beginning to tire badly. They were all beginning to tire badly. The police had suffered massive losses as well, with scores of SWAT and duty officers injured, even killed.

In fact, Fraustfyre's flames began to waver, and Blue was feeling as if his fists and feet were made out of lead, and not in a good way. Doc Danger had lost his hat, a sure sign that things were going badly.

And then--

There was a distant roaring sound, as if it was coming from the other end of the tunnel.

It was coming from the other end of the tunnel. It was shouting. Angry shouting. It sounded like--like one of those maddened torchlit mobs out of an old horror--

Council soldiers came streaming out of the tunnel in a panic, straight into their hands. From somewhere, all of them, heroes and police alike, found a sudden burst of strength. The Council henchmen, too busy looking over their shoulders to pay any attention, went down like wheat in front of a harvester.

When it was all over, every Council soldier was in custody, and all of their automated companions were nothing more than piles of angry-headed torsos and dissassembled limbs.

And that was when the source of the angry roaring came out of the tunnel, blinking at the light.

It was a maddened, torchlit mob.

Well, not maddened now...but it was a barely-coordinated mob of shiny new heroes from Galaxy City, bearing anything they could pick up. Battered, bruised, bloody--but there had been more than enough of them to pull off a "Zulu Dawn" style overwhelming charge at the Council from the Galaxy City side of the tunnel.

They gazed at the sunlight, at the defeated ranks of the Council, and broke into a cheer.

Finally, a massive dreadlocked figure pushed his way to the front and faced them. "All right you bums!" Back Alley Brawler shouted. "Bizness as usual! Back to work! Hellions ain't takin' no vacations!"

As the mob dissolved and the stream began reversing back the way it came, Brawler turned around, gave Blue a two-fingered salute, and then started herding his charges to where they belonged.

Blue got on the comm.

"Waitron, GC secured," he said.

"Waitron, we have Skyway," came the voice of Booster Max at nearly the same time.

"Leave the lockdown to the SWAT teams," came the immediate order. "IP needs your help."