Shiva Dances

From the Story Arc: Three Days In December

Previous Story in the Arc: Dragon's Tooth by Bestial Boy (Tuesday, December 12, 2006)

Next Story in the Arc: Ice by Belladonna Aura (Wednesday, December 13, 2006)

(posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006)

Zach landed in the center of one of the outermost runways at Washington Dulles airport. The landing lights around him were unlit, and he could feel the breeze out here. It was almost peaceful, with the grass, open area, and the tarmac; save for the sirens in the distance. The whole airport was on lockdown; he hoped they really had been ablen to evacuate everyone. Collateral damage, except for property, was not an option.

He shook his head, clearing it, cracked his neck as he always did, and steeled himself for the fight ahead. This 'Weaponized' jerk was here for him; he wouldn't go anywhere to cause trouble, so as long as Zach didn't have to worry about civvies actually getting in the way and turning into hostages, it would just be the two of them. He'd been holding back a little when they were trading blows in the Pentagon parking lot; out here, he was free to ramp up fully and let loose.

He keyed the throat mike again. "Gremlin! What's your situation?"

"Am tearing up unauthorized copies, Commissar," came the gleeful reply. "And am making paper mache in Potomac."

"Second fight has moved to the Potomac River, Bestial Boy," came the voice of the dispatcher. "Fire and Rescue is already at the previous site, and we are moving to contain the area around Kremlin Gremlin. He seems to have the situation in hand."

Good, that was one less thing he had to worry about.

Weaponized impacted into the tarmac a few moments after Zach did; he didn't land smoothly, and was clearly winded. A little tired, you bastard? Good. I've never liked fair fights with bad guys. You always cheat.

"What, you think by shaking my buddies, you've got me?" Weaponized laughed. "You really are a moron." He glanced up at the orbiting robot cams and grinned. "And I bet your bitch is watching right now, too...about time she saw how a real man looks. Course as soon as I paste you, she'll be seeing me up close and personal. A lot. Or she will until I get tired of her, anyway." Without pretense, Weaponized kicked into the tarmac, hard; clouds of pulverized asphalt and concrete flew into the air, obscuring Zach's vision and forcing him to flinch. In a bare moment Weaponized was upon him, pounding blow up on blow against his chest. Zach twisted away, letting his right leg trail behind, taut. Weaponized, still carried forward with the momentum of his attack, tripped, skidding along the asphalt with his face. Zach whirled about and leapt at his downed opponent, bringing a savage knee down onto the murderer's back. Weaponized howled, flipping over to take another shot at Zach. Zach didn't relent, instead peppering Weaponized with open-handed and closed-fisted strikes to his head, face, neck, and midsection. After what had seemed like an eternity under such an onslaught, Weaponized managed to get a leg in between himself and Zach, kicking the big green man off of him.

Zach rolled with the kick, landing in a crouch. "Isn't so easy when your opponents fight back, is it?" Weaponized, bleeding from several cuts on his face and body, dragged himself up.

"Nothin' I like better than a good fight. Too bad this ain't one--" Weaponized hadn't lost one bit of his attitude. Looked like Zach was going to have to pound him into the ground like a tent peg. Weaponized rushed forward, trying to tackle Zach. Zach gripped him by the right arm, twisting the man around, using his own momentum. This guy might know a few tricks, but he knew nothing about aikido. Thanks, GrandMaster Te.... Zach angled his opponent's forearm between his bicep and elbow, and then pushed the meta's elbow in the wrong direction with all his might. There was a sickening snap as sinew and cartilage gave way; Weaponized shrieked, but still managed to wrap his free arm around Zach.

Blood and spittle flew into Zach's face. "If I'm goin', you're comin' along, bro--" Zach felt a building and immense heat at his side, where Weaponized's chest was pressed against Zach's midsection. The meta's clothing had begun to smolder and ignite, though Zach's own Kevlar and Nomex vest was standing up to the heat. What the--- A blinding moment of comprehension hit him. Oh SHIT! Zach twisted his body again, torquing from side to side in an effort to get away from the meta; Weaponized had him in an iron grip, using whatever strength he had left to hang tight to Zach. He tried kicking off against the ground, leaping into the air, trying to shake off his dogged aggressor. One way or another, he was going to keep this jerk from doing any more damage than he already had...

The TV coverage had gone to split-screen; Gremlin in the Potomac, beating down copies of the one that the TV people were calling "Mr. Xerox," Zach at the airport hammering Weaponized. The group in the lounge was remarkably silent; maybe others were cheering as if this was some kind of gladiatorial bout, but the comrades recognized this for the grim fight that it was. There were grunts and exclamations at particularly vicious dirty tricks or hard blows, but that was it.

Bella's gut was clenched, and her nails cutting into her palms. This was agonizing. She wanted to be there, healing Zach, disorienting his opponent, maybe even getting in a radiation-stun so Zach could knock him out. You never knew what kinds of surprises these guys had. They always seemed to have one more dirty trick in reserve.

The orbiting cameras caught every bit of dialogue too. Petrograd hissed when Weaponized called her a bitch and leered about what he was going to do to her; it didn't really register with her. What Weaponized said about her was of no consequence, and Zach was smart enough not to let things like that goad him into being stupid.

Then she saw it, at the same time that the others did. Zach got him. She knew it the instant before the microphones picked up the snap of a broken arm. Now there were cheers--

Until she heard what Weaponized snarled in the next moment. "If I'm goin', you're comin' along--"

Her heart stopped even as the cheering built. Involuntarily she reached out to the screen.

Which whited out in a blinding flash of light.

"---absolutely horrifying events here in D.C. today, Karen. Two unidentified metas, signified as Weaponized and 'Mr. Xerox' attacked Pentagon personnel. Two heroes arrived on the scene to control the situation, Coalition of Communist Crusaders for the Proletariat's Commissar Bestial Boy and Kremlin Gremlin. After engaging the rogue metahumans, Kremlin Gremlin was able to subdue his opponent. Tragically, Commissar Zachary "Bestial Boy" Marlowe was killed in the final confrontation between himself and the meta 'Weaponized', when a terrible blast rocked the runways at Washington Dulles International Airport. Longbow liaisons within the capitol have lent their best Psychometricists to determine the cause of the blast; initially, reports are coming in that the blast originated from a plasma bomb of some sort implanted within the last rogue meta. The concussive force combined with the overwhelming heat of the blast was enough to vitrify the crater left after the detonation. So far as can be established, both men were vaporized instantly. Only the most resilient of metahumans could have had a hope to survive such a blast. Today is a day of mourning for our entire nation---"

Seraphic Flame reached out quietly and turned off the broadcast.

((Bestial Boy/Zachary Marlowe’s player, Andrew Wein, despite much coaxing from me, has decided that he is no longer happy with playing CoX. Let me assure you that it is the game itself he is disappointed with, and not the players. He came to that decision in early October, and although I offered suggestions of other ways to retire BB, wanted Bestial Boy to go out in a public blaze of glory. I have been working on this arc since that time, and this swan song represents what he wanted and approved.

Please do not post in this topic. If you have a response or a reaction, do start a new thread.

Andy, we’re going to miss you.))