5072/Germination: Float Down Here

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Germination: Float Down Here
Date of Scene: 31 July 2018
Location: Unknown
Cast of Characters: Iron Man, Stardust, Brick, Superman, Raijin, Hawkeye (Barton), Hulk, Storm, Spider-Woman (Drew), Crusader, Emma Frost, Robin (Wayne), Nuala Duvall
Tinyplot: Germination

Iron Man has posed:
The town at the coordinates is evacuated. It seems the big name hero teams are taken very seriously. It can be useful to have the weight of those groups, in making something easier. It does mean a lot of military help is also prepared to insert itself, which may not be positive.

Miles east of Mexico City's fringes sits the small town. A town in which the locals would have told you that there were many strange earthquakes over the past week, and large amounts of the fungus appearing out of seemingly nowhere. The town was already fairly deserted, due to those aspects. And now it stands empty. What lurks below it is difficult to know, but the maps of where the earthquakes were occurring for the previous week is available to the teams. It is a massive zone, miles across.

The superhero teams prepare in multiple sites, though a large field scarred with fights with the mushrooms is the current selected staging area, and an adjacent ranch as a suitable spot to set up for the titan's fungal experiment.

The Quinjet from the Avengers arrives first, and begins to quickly unload, thanks to Tony's various robotic and human helpers. He threw something together to try to ramp up the psychic signature of the fungus, but it's a bit of a 'this out of my ass' in style. Then again, it IS Tony's ass.

"Communications up and running now. Hi everyone," Tony speaks into the comm. "Who've we got here so far? Sound off."

Stardust has posed:
At the ranch, Stardust is running out of patience. Not that she ever had much, so nothing new there. Hovering above the site, she checks the position of the truck-mounted sonic cannons provided to the Titan's spec by Vasusena enterprises for the tenth time, and radios down a message to Raijin, suggesting the north-most truck angle out slightly more. The sonic cannons are frequency-shifting, broadcasting tightly focused subsonics, pointed out. The idea is that if the bad mushrooms try to attack, these will disrupt them ? and the shifting frequencies will make it harder for the fungus to adjust. Two more trucks stand by for repositioning as necessary.

    "Titans present, and awaiting the delivery of one big-ass mushroom stew," Stardust reports into the comms. "Should be arriving any moment. We have defenses set up, but it'll take a little time for the good mushrooms to merge to maximum size. Where are we on psi amplification?"

    Dropping groundwards, Stardust draws the longsword out from the sheath on her back - a wicked black ceramic blade, cold air wreathing it. She checks the cartridge is set in her toxin gun, and nods to Raijin as they await the boom.

Brick has posed:

Brick Marsten in his tougher-than-normal shielded spacesuit, standing in an airlock of Crusader's spaceship. He opens a half-meter diameter boom tube that reaches far too close to the sun, and with a piece of the ancient celestial Knowhere's eye material filling the near aperture. It's called slow glass, although it's not precisely the same thing that was written about a century earlier. It quickly charges, and begins radiating out the stored luminance, which is quickly piped into a guide that keeps it recharging itself until it can be deployed

In the Pacific Ocean, there is a thing known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,, and there is a fleet of small devices moving over the patch, sucking up plastic waste. There is also a fleet of small devices moving through several deltas where shipping is common and sediment has to be dredged. All of them are collecting the material into a tank in low earth orbit.

In the Watchtower, a section of the arboretum has been segregated off and small mushroom sprouts have been planted, and fed with electricity and fire. These are lovely, glimmering, gemlike mushrooms rather than the ugly gray death-shrooms that have infested the Earth.

And when the word is spoken, with a tremendous BOOOM! the sky opens over the target garden spot, and the dozens of smaller gemshrooms are dropped a subjective three feet to land in soil. A feed of material begins pouring from the orbital storage tanks through smaller boom tubes, and the radiant piece of slow glass begins releasing its energy, sonic guides push the small gem-shrooms together, and additional energy is available to speed the growth of the merged entity -- and of course, because it's vulnerable for a short time, there are psychic defenses to keep it from being overwhelmed and converted by the enemy, because the entire reason for bringing it is that it should rule the other oomycetans and make them STOP eating the Earth.

Superman has posed:
Kal appears in the sky above the staging area and settles down near Stark. He walks over toward the Avenger, his cape snapping in the stiff breeze.

"Superman is here," Kal says into the comms.

Raijin has posed:
Raijin arrives to the meeting point, literally RUNNING and making it to the spot within the hour. He takes a breath as he checks his sonic cannon, chilling next to Colette as he checks the equipment. Good, everything is in working order. He looks to Colette with a nod. "Remember, close range disturbance only. We don't want to mess up our own little project." he smiles then before he nods to her, hood going over his head as he kneels into a crouched position, eyes narrowed as he waits for the operation being a go.

Though he also checks his ammunition packs. Toxin ready in case he needs to make some speed runs. "Well, lets just hope Toadstool gets the job done."

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Oh my god, is that the Savior of the Internet?!" comes the voice of Hawkeye over comms.

There's a chuckle then, "Hawkeye checking in."

As Clint sounds off, he's studying an array of bows in the quinjet. "Alright, newbie," he says to one of them. "Time to properly break you in." He pulls a new looking compound bow from the rack and heads out of the jet, to a waiting motorcycle.

He mounts the bike. "So, what's the game plan, people?"

Hulk has posed:
In the back of the Avenjet, Bruce Banner is still himself, though he's wearing his nano-tech based jeans with his casual wear; seems the good Doctor has gotten tired of replacing ripped pants that don't have a chance in hell of stretch to accomodate the Hulk. He's currently doing last minute adjustments to some lab equipment... and an energy amplifier of his and Crusaders design is being taken out into the field by Tonies drones, "The 'friendly' variety of fungus doesn't last long, but it should be enough to take control of the other stalks. Just keep in mind they're much more fragile then the fungus army out there." Bruce Banner notes over his transceiver.

"I'll be monitoring things from here for now." Bruce continues as his equipment is setup, "the more data I have, the easier it will be long term to understanding these things."

Storm has posed:
    At the behest of Emma Frost, the X-Men maintained their stay at yesterday's resort in Mexico. Despite the lacking calm, which usually comes with an expensive vacation spot, the accommodations are enough to satisfy even Ororo at a time like this. She didn't sleep well enough because of everything running through her head right now. The bed, however, was extremely comfortable, nonetheless.

    Before plans were put into place, Ororo soaked her muscles in the hot tub in one of their suites. She allowed the stress and worry of the world melt from her shoulders for nearly an hour, and then she got back to business. Strategies were discussed and there is a better focus on approaching the fungal phenomenon. Like, no lightning - even during a stressful situation. A vision of the mushrooms growing yesterday lingers.

    But today is a new day. Ororo and Emma are riding in an all-black Hummer with 'X' designs in various places among the vehicle. They decide to leave the Blackbird in a discreet location this time around. Massive tires slow to a stop nearby the Quinjet as it gets unloaded. Just as the engine is turned off and both women step out the open doors, Ororo hears Tony's voice on a communicator on the center console.

    She leans inside the door, activating the unit, "The White Queen and Storm are present." Ororo releases the trigger of the unit and exits the vehicle, closing the door in the process. Briefly, she turns to Emma as they walk towards the others. "We really need to talk about your codename."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Back from the dead, Boss," comes the voice of Jessica Drew over the comm. She sounds a little worse for wear, but there is still a fire in the timbre of her tone. "And hell follows with me."

Brick has posed:
"I'll share Star Labs results with you when I get my thesis ready, Dr. Banner," Brick says on the comm. "I do intend to pick up a degree in xenobiology from this mess, I mean, I have a lot of catching up to do."

Crusader has posed:
Crusader himself was at the moment in The Watch Tower, after completing studies on the mushroom and sectioning off part of the Arbertium - he stayed within The Tower to moniteer the transport of the mushrooms as well as continue to feed the ones currently on board. He speaks into the comm "Crusader standing by and monitering Steve's growth and health and will join in once experiment is well underway" he makes very minor adjustments to the coordinates of the teleporters as needed to ensure new Steve's are getting the space needed to land with as little damage as possible if they really are fragile.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma, of course, is a woman of few words, and while she's willing to let Storm speak up for herself as far as introductions go, she's information that is probably best spread now, rather than later, while teams are forming up and figuring out attack plans.

"The overmind, such as it is, is below ground. It's large. Not quite as large as the town. The mind of it, itself is smaller."

She exits with Storm and gives the other woman a look, "And just what do you suggest I use as a codename instead? Emma? Really." Though she imagines this isn't the last she's going to hear about this.

Stardust has posed:
"Titans to all parties," Stardust's voice bursts over the comms. "The fungus has landed. Repeat, we have mushroom. 'Steve' is in play. Gonna take a little time for them to gather themselves into one big mass, we expect the presence of these guys is gonna make the bad fungus to get a bit uppity. On your toes folks, it's about to get crazy. "

    While the smaller fungal shoots start to dig into their new home on the ranch and merge together, Stardust shoots skywards to watch the horizon for movement.

Iron Man has posed:
"Is our wonderful telepath around? White Queen, I think? I expect it's aware of us. I mean, I'd notice this many people on /my/ lawn. Do you have any news for us on that area?" Tony asks, then begins to rattle off orders and directions, efficiently. "Storm and White Queen, Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, scouting first up. Is the town as empty as it looks, or are we having fun with illusions?"

"Great, I read you Titans. I've got your amplifier; bringing it over in sections. It should expand to rest around a sizable stalk. I'm bringing that to you now. Special delivery," Tony replies. "Wait. 'Steve'?" he questions. "Cap will be so pleased. I look forward to telling him."

The watercolored fungus, by many names including 'Steve', has arrived through the variety of teleporting. Technically, it was in many parts, but when arriving, it draws the parts together, and blossoms rapidly, flourishing in the conditions given to it. It immediately lurches, though, attempting to slide towards the town, and the upper canopy bends as if painfully pulled. It is being called to, and loudly, and it seems to be moving to obey, even with the dampeners.

"I've got movement under the town," Tony says, distracted by that. "My scans suggest a kicked ant-hill situation. Watch yourselves."

Brick has posed:
"Its name is <gold gem floating triangle F#>," Brick Marsten says. "Not Steve."

He totally cheated and used Maire Boit's translator system to pronounce that name.

"Maire Boit is providing some shielding, but I won't be able to power any real defense. Mr. Stark, what's the status on ... Ah, good, amplifiers are here and deploying in place, but we need our psionts to provide a real transition defense, it's starting to go submissive. Come on, gold gem, you're the dominant here, stay strong buddy!"

Crusader has posed:
Crusader having been monitering the situation frowns deeply as he notices Steve's behavior. "Titans look alive, we need to amp up protection of consider growing it off site and teleporting it in." a pause as he hears Emma telepathic message

"Interesting" he muses and speaks into the comm, having been debriefed on code names & power sets "The Grey is affecting our boy Steve...One has an idea. A stupid idea, but an idea. White Queen - can you connect some of our Minds to Steve? Mabey we can provide some psychic support"

Stardust has posed:
"Raijin!" Stardust yells down. "Sonics, hit the town! See if you can disrupt the bad mushrooms, they're calling to it!" Then she's speaking into the comms again. "Kicked anthill confirmed. 'Steve' is getting antsy too. Big brain folks out there, can you see if you can disrupt the control signal coming from the town? We need to give 'Steve' a little more time to fight his corner."

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
After flicking some switches, Clint's bike's weels fold open and it begins to hover.

<< Okay, I am air capable here, anyone else? >> he says over comms. << Figure if nothing else I can play spotter and fire support. >>

He guides the bike off the ground picking up altitude and speed seeking a vantage point to check out the town.

Hulk has posed:
"We are not calling it Steve. Or whatever that was." Bruce declares with finality from down on the ground.

"I'm reading an increase in psionic activity in grid A1 through A3. I'm guessing that'll be the first wave." Bruce continues. "What's the plan here if this friendly variety of fungus fails? Drill down to the hive mind and kill it at the source?" Bruce asks.

Raijin has posed:
"On it!" Word from Stardust given, Raijin simply cracks his neck and ZOOMS off towards the town with sonic gun in hand, looking to find the perfect spot to affect as many as possible! Thus does he unleash the sonic cannon in his hand, which packs a helluva wallop, so hopefully it can at least disrupt their communications to each otehr and movements. Well, let's just hope that 'Steve' can get working fast.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma is happy enough to comply with Crusader's request. "I can do that. And provide some interference with the link it has." And so saying, she gets down to work doing exactly that. Well, starting with bolstering Steve."

"It would help knowing who is willing to be part of that." You know, because grabbign minds and forcing links isn't the nicest way to say hello to strangers. Not that she's above that.

Robin (Wayne) has posed:
     Robin took it upon himself to be in one of the technicals, ready to defend the Steve against the bad mushrooms! "I've got Steve's right flank." He comments, aiming a sonic canon on an impending stalk, and letting the big dog eat!

Superman has posed:
Kal waits with Stark for now, watching from the staging area as the heroes deploy their weapons. He eyes Steve curiously as it begins to come together and grow. When Tony's warning comes he crosses his arms and purses his lips. Waiting is always the hard part.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Scouting the city. I'm airbone--" Spider-Woman replies via the comm as she thwips out another web toward a rooftop, as she has been swinging between and clinging to walls to stay off the ground. But this time the web falls short of its intended target, and she swings on speculation, landing with a hard THUMP on her butt in an alleyway. "--ish." Undaunted, she fires off another web and away she swings, again.

Stardust has posed:
"Fire support is good, hoverbike guy," Stardust says into the comm. "Am also air capable, if you mean flying. If you mean generating air, we left her at home. Though come to think of it, if we need hot air... never mind. Too late Doctor Banner, we already named him 'Steve'. If 'Steve' fails, the plan is to blow a big hole in the ground, give you the world's biggest wedgie and throw you in after. Over."

Crusader has posed:
Crusader grunts "One volounteer himself if your mind can reach One" he says over the comms "If you can reach One's mind." he was in space so who knows if Emma could, but his experince with being a Hive Mind does help. "Hopefully you do, as one is monitering and sending additiona Steve's as needed" a pause "Mr.Banner, it name is Steve." and he leave it at that.

Iron Man has posed:
"I'm not ramping Steve Junior up to any amount if he's in /motion/," Tony replies quickly. "I did not make a giant fungus hat. Look, I hate to say this, but we don't have good targets for the sonics. Just ....sonic-blast Steve for now so he stops /walking/, would you?" Tony says, tone frustrated. He shrugs at Kal, and flies down to assist his drones manually. Iron Man is trying to set up the grid of amplification, but the mushroom is moving away. Of course that's frustrating. "As much fun as recalibrating constantly really is becoming."

"Oh, hey. Heads up," Tony comments, dryly. Avengers will certainly know that really carries a punch.

The town trembles. Those who were in outer space will get awful flashbacks of that encounter. The fungoid the size of a space-ship had a few qualities. The largest one? The enormous tentacle forms. It is something of a cross between the spore digestive mound and the creatures it creates, the squids. Huge branches of ooze, digestive mass, and small squidlings make up giant arms of the monster. And they erupt from the ground, on the same side as the good mushroom, arching out of the soil and dirt with disturbing writhes. There is no 'mushroom' top on this thing: it is a pulsing boil of mold, with arms that twist and reach out to devour.

Brick has posed:
"OK, Captain Mushroomica seems to be consolidating physically," Brick says. He monitors the growth, and adjusts the micro-boom-tube-driven influx of organic pre-warmed material from the orbiting tank, feeding more. The organic material is pulling in, and the ground seems to be being reinforced as fast as the gemStalk grows.

"Stick tight, buddy," Brick tells the stalk. Maire Boit *PINGS* asking it to pull together before it wanders.

Nuala Duvall has posed:
    Nuala stands in her 9 foot Shell suit, the helmet retracted to show her almost comically smaller head. She taps lightly across the scan, identifying the incoming mushrooms. "I'm currently identifying the largest masses of the Oomycetan," she announces over the comm. She sends the coordinates out to those who can receive it, and walks to the back of the Quinjet. "Warming up my plasma cannon, please don't get in the firing solution. Most of you will cease to exist if you do."

Emma Frost has posed:
One volunteer was a good start. And given his experience (his? its?) she's happy enough to forge a link with Crusader, herself, and Steve, and begin bolstering 'their' pet shroom....s? They seem to be consolidating, which, from what she can tell is a good thing. And given it's Emma, the link she forges there is good, and solid - even if Crusader is on the edges of her limits for such a thing as this.

Raijin has posed:
Well, they just pissed it off. Raijin simply keeps pinging, attempting to use the smaller stuff before he realizes it isn't doing much, he speaks through coms. "anyone near the mounted cannons? cover your ears." and with the push of a button, the Sonic cannons that were mounted on those trucks earlier FIRE in a multidrectional manner, attempting to really light up the giant monsters that show up. "Ohhhh shit." Raijin says mostly to himself.

Yeah...the sonic cannons probably arn't going to be too much help here.

Robin (Wayne) has posed:
     "Ten-four." Robin comms to Tony, rushing a truck mounted canon over to the other side of Steve.

  He aims the sonic cannon to Steve and shoots the canon at the good shroom. It wasn't a full blast, hopefully enough to get Steve to stop for a good moment.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
<< 3.5 on the landing Sdubs >> Clint jokes to Jess before insisting to the Titans: << We're not calling it /Steve/ >> Clint insists. Then he rolls his eyes. "OR Captain Mushroomica! >>

Tony's dry warning has him on guard and he dekes the bike out of the way when the tentcles burst from the ground.

"Shit," he curses as he rights the bike, then he mutters into comm << Should have brought a bigger bow >>

He grabs a handfull of freeze arrows all the same, puts them to string and fires in one burst at the base of the closest tentacle.

<< Clearing your fireing line >> he reports back to Nuala. << But hey, don't these things eat energy? >>

Crusader has posed:
Crusader seems to in some ways dissappear - as if there was little to no difference between his own mind and Steve's, a result of being a collective himself. But he was able to communicate easily enough "One has merge with steve, shifting efforts to mental reinforcments and control" - how many minds made up Crusader's is hard for anyone to say - but he 'spoke' loudly ordering Steve to cease it's movement and while in some ways trying to act as mental TowerShield agaist orders from the enemy mushrooms. Regardless he was no longer monitering The Watch Towers sysems.

Stardust has posed:
"Big attack incoming!" Stardust yells over the comms. "We have cthulushroom bearing down on Steve. Plasma cannon Nuala? Is that a good idea right now? Actually screw that, anything's a good idea right now." She scoots through the air and pumps a couple of rounds from the toxin gun in the path of the oncoming tentacular horde in the hopes of slowing it down, gets in lower, freeze sword at the ready, and waits to start hewing anything getting too close. "Agreed, hoverbike guy. We are not calling it Captain Mushroomical. We are calling it Steve. We found it, we claim naming rights."

Robin (Wayne) has posed:
     As Robin keeps the sonic blasts going, he pops back on comms. "Holy shit, and you all call us immature. It doesn't matter what we call it as long as we all know what we are talking about. Now shut the hell up and get back on the objective, while I keep shooting Steve!!"

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Shit!" Spider-Woman has just caught a web on a rooftop, and is mid-swing when the building crumbles, leveled to make room for a parking lot. Filled with moldy ramen and tentacle porn. She makes another unexpected landing that, if Clint had seen, would probably have been rated 3.8 if only because there was a double bounce on the dismount.

"Tony?" She calls out on her comm, giving her healing factor a moment to stop overloading her. "I dunno what this looks like from where you're sitting, but I think God's garbage disposal just threw up down here."

Hulk has posed:
One moment, Bruce is monitoring psionic patterns.

The next, giant tentacles similiar to the ones he saw in space are popping out of the ground. One very nearby the quinjet... and Bruce let's out an exclaimed, "Not another one!" over the commlink as the sudden panic settles over him; the fear of death and the self preservation instinct kicking into full gear has him scooting out... only to double over in the Quinjet and slip to his knees.

The familiar sound of an angry growl can be heard over the commlink as Nuala sees and hears clothing rip from the enlarging Doctor Banner.

Nuala Duvall has posed:
    The arm of her suit starts to reorganize, of course Bruce is the only one who gets to see it as parts shift and the glove reorganizes into a long cylinder. She steps to the edge of the Quinjet's rear hatch, and a whirring noise emits from her suit.

"Bruce," she says, "Just so you know, this is going to be really hot."

    Her helmet clamps shut around her head, and she points the cannon out. A massive FWOOOMP explodes from the arm, baking the rear of the Quinjet in a heat that makes it feel like an oven for a split instant. The pulse of plasma streaks out of the Quinjet toward 'Steve'. "Time for breakfast, Steve." The baking heat of the the blast ignites the ground as it streaks out of her cannon, causing any vegetation near its path to instantly ignite. She turns, seeing Banner transform, and catches sight of the tendril that sprouts nearby. "We have hostiles on our location!" she announces.

Brick has posed:
"I will short-sheet your bed forever, Stardust," Brick threatens on the private Titans channel.

"I'm moving to defensive posture," Brick says on the general channel, and begins targeting and shooting the tentacular aggressors with cold-bomb missiles and that intriguing chemical that renders their structural glue fragile at warmer temperatures. They fire in multiple bursts, his ammo store depletes, and then a new, replenished cartridge appears and is slotted.

AND he's quite glad he moved out of the close position he was holding because that plasma would WRECK his own defensive weapons.

Superman has posed:
Kal watches as the mushroom erupts out of the ground. He flies overhead. "Do we have a coordinated attack plan or are we just beating on it?" Kal asks over the air. He takes a deep breath and unleashes a hurricane of crystallizing air into the center of the attacking shroom, careful to avoid any of the heroes who might be close.

Iron Man has posed:
Emma and Crusader connect to the gentle friendly mushroom's mind. It is being yelled at, very loudly, by a larger controller. It is timid about all of this, but wishes to assist and do what it is told. It is trying to move where it was asked to move, but the sonic blast by Robin has confused it, and it pauses. Then Nuala's massive blast finds Steve as well, and it surges, growing. Fruit gathers on it's giant canopy, colors of peach and soft orange. It's helping. Sort of?

"FINALLY," Tony says into the comms, latching his amplifiers on. He fires it up, and 'Steve' seems to continue to pause, and stop straining. Suddenly Emma and Crusader will find full access to help Steve, with the amplifier assisting them.

Things stop.

So does the massive tentacle creature coming out of the very ground under the town. There's a short window where the Oomycetan is static. And a very easy target. "If Steve /were/ here, he'd say 'language.' Not saying I miss him or anything, though. Hey, I only have like twenty more seconds of this before these amplifiers burn out. Scrambling to fix it for longer. Just sayin'. Hey Brick, come pitch in here," Tony clears his throat into the comm device. "Bit busy, Superman, can you coordinate for a bit?" Tony asks, tone cheerfully strained while he glides around with the helpful fungus, trying to keep the amplifiers running.

Stardust has posed:
"A little from column A, a little from column B, Supes," Stardust replies. "Oh, by the way, do you have a kid? Wait... not the time." She zooms up, sheathing her sword, and swoops in over the tentacle-filled pit. As she pumps toxin rounds into it with a pair of toxin pistols, she yells over the Titans comms "Brick! Boom tube! As much toxin as you can find, my line of sight!"

Superman has posed:
"Now's the time everyone, hit the shroom hard while it's not moving," Kal says into the comms. "Concentrate fire on the center mass."

Crusader has posed:
Crusader senses everything stopping. As well as hears the warning, he broadcast over the telepathic link as well as speaks over the comms "Those of you able, channel as much energy into steve as you can, be it Raigin lightening - or Superman's heat vision or just putting a ships engine near it. Best chance to give another player a super boost"

Raijin has posed:
Well, that thing is huge. As Superman speaks on comms, Raijin nods. "No need to tell us twice!" And Rayner tosses a few grenades of the toxin at the beast, whether or not it works against it, but as Crusader advises unleashing the energy as it were, Raijin smiles. "On it." and he POWER leaps into the air, extremely high into the air, and he draws in the lightning in the clouds, molding it into a single, powerful bolt, before unleashing a continuous charge into Steve! Feed that bad boy! He just struck it with an actual lightning bolt. Hey, as much energy as you can, right?

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
When Nuala boards the Steve-train, Clint figures the battle is over, Fine, he's Steve," he says as he fires alternating cold and anti-fungal arrows into the stalk as it grinds to a halt.

<< Spider-Woman, you okay? >> he asks over comms as he repositions at Kal's order, to get ready to attack the centre of the fungus.

While he waits for an answer, he selects and fires anti-fungal arrows at the base of the stalk, to deliver their payload.

Hulk has posed:
"Puny Banner isn't here." Hulk growls out as he stands, the nano-tech jeans adjusting to the new size... and punctures the roof of the quinjet in the process. Then, there's a small scale explosion out of the Quinjet as the Hulk /jumps/ through the side... and into the nearest tentacle with a roar. "Hulk tired of fighting mushroom things. GO AWAY!" Hulk states, as he slams down into it with both hands like a battering ram. Immediate threats first as he grabs on, and starts to tear it apart from the outside.

Brick has posed:
Brick dumps energy into his invulnerability effect and slides down towards Iron Man, then to the side -- he's riding on some sort of gravity skates -- and begins grinning madly as he starts swapping in spares for the parts of the amplifier that are degrading.

"I love this design, Mr. Stark" he says as he goes at slow-speedster speeds. "The modular failure points, fast replacement, I should keep that in mind for my own gear."

If they can get the replacements and patch around the burned-out bits, they should be able to get another ten minutes worth out of this giant mushroom diadem of psychic boostfulness. If.

Maire Boit joins in the support for the psionts. Brick's zero-energy tank is now at "half".

Storm has posed:
    When the ground breaks apart and tentacles start to erupt from its surface, the dessert winds around Storm swirl and lift her with a thought. She rises high into the air, high enough to try to see the scope of the battlefield. Turning as 'Steve' is fueled with plasma, Storm takes note of the fungus on their, and then extends a hand into the air.

    "It's going to get really cold soon," Storm offers over the comms.

    Crystalline blue eyes milk over to a brilliant white as Storm activates her mastery over the weather. A familiar sight can be seen: clouds swirling with a focus, the temperature lowering steadily, and a *BOOM!* of thunder can be heard. After a couple minutes, snow begins to oddly fall from the heavens, gracing the warzone in Mexico with its cool presence. The winds begin to pick up as well. A blizzard is coming!

Emma Frost has posed:
The big overmind is confused. A thing Emma is most definitely pleased about. And, she has just the remedy to deal with that.. it's a trick computer hackers know intimately, but with Emma, it's pscionic - essentially, she's employing what she thinks should act as psychic scrambler - keeping the overmind from finding Steve's brainwave patterns and overtaking them. It does involve pulling on a few more minds from the collective gathered to keep Steve bolstered and strong while she's doing that... she tries for those who are at least open to the idea by a cursory 'feel' over the minds that she can reach. Those are the ones she uses - too much effort to force others unless they are in dire straights, and so far they aren't in dire straights.

"The overmind s confused" she tells everyone over the comms. "If you're going to strike, now might be the time. It can't tell why it can't reach Steve. That has it momentarily stuck." So to speak.

Iron Man has posed:
From a fancy looking hotel emerges a man. He's one that could probably be recognized as a singular Mr. Peck, for those that have seen the videos. He steps over a bit of rubble, walking swiftly between the buildings, and then breaks into a run. Whether he is fleeing the damage or something else, harder to tell. He slips around a giant tentacle. He isn't running away from the hero group, but more towards it, possibly for help.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"I'm all right," responds Jessica into the comm. She rubs her lower back, and down over her tailbone, which may or may not be fractured. "Nothin' hurt butt my pride." Only /she/ could appreciate that.

Then there's a man running at her, who looks vaguely familiar.

"Whoa, whoa, where's the fire?" She asks, stepping in front of him with her thwippy fingers outstretched. "Don't make me use this."

Nuala Duvall has posed:
    Nuala exits, her heavy suit clumping along the charred ground, puffing ash up form the residual of her attack. She turns back to see Hulk engaging the tentacles, and she looks back at Steve, deciding that what she has been doing is probably the most effective thing.

    She brings the cannon around again, letting loose another FWOOMP, FWOOOMP! The cannon blazes, the massive heat causing the end of the suit to glow a little. "It's working!" she says. "Steve's growth is accelerating!" She lets a third blast free, and the visor alerts an overheat. She stops, and her left wrist blaster opens up, releasing a smaller but equally hot blast of plasma, the smaller blasts rapidly plunging into the juvenile's hungry mass.

Robin (Wayne) has posed:
     Since he doesn't need to keep shooting Steve, Robin jumps back into the truck, moving to the other side and back out. Aiming for the Oomycetan and unleashing the sonic canon as much as possible, without destroying the canon of course.

Stardust has posed:
Stardust zooms at top speed back to the ranch, out of toxin rounds and after a refill. She lands by a stack of storage crates, tears one open and starts to pull out toxin rounds to reload. Then stops, shakes her head, grabs a crate in each hand, and rockets skywards, fading into a small dot. The dot arcs high, turns, and blasts groundwards, straight towards the pit of tentacles.


    Even Stardust isn't quite crazy enough to dive head-first all the way into the pit. Before she hits, she hurls the pair of crates as hard as she can into the deepest reaches of the exposed mycelial cavity, adding her own strength to the acceleration she'd gained from dive-bombing, and curves up and away again. Toxin away, she pulls out her freeze sword and swoops around to engage tentacles, hacking and then depressing the button to release a charge of liquid nitrogen deep into the fungal fibers.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
There's a snort from Hawkeye as the anti-fungal arrows land. << Butt, really?>> he says, laughing.

There's a frown for his arrows, he's really just pissing in the wind here.

<< Need a pick up?>> He glances over her way spotting the guy now too. << You and your new friend. >> He starts heading that way.

Iron Man has posed:
"You're swift at replacing these parts with that thing. Your power getting low? /That/ I can boost," Iron Man says to Brick, adjusting what he's doing on the fly. "Tag team me here, I'll get on that for you. Ten? Selling yourself short, kid. Thirteen minutes, if we--- let me adjust this." Tony falls into a quick technobabble at Brick, not subjecting others on the comm to it. Tunnel-vision indeed.

Steve is getting pretty immense, the footprint of it outgrowing the size of the ranch. Large fruit drop and roll, creating a new problem. James and the Giant Peach would be proud. It doesn't go anywhere, but continues to happily thrive on the energy, the large mushroom above it scattering light in patches of color, not blocking it as the Oomycetan did.

The Oomycetan itself shudders and fluxes under the bombardment, the tentacles starting to slowly withdraw. It is non-violent, the movement, though it is retracting... which happens to make it harder to get to, being underground.

"Help me get out of here," the man says to Jessica, hands lifted in a 'I give up' motion. "There's more of us in there," he says, turning to gesture back and upwards. And then a closer look at her. Something that may cause a chill. "Jessandra."

The toxin, freeze and toxic arrows and sonics (Raydin, Robin) are far more effective than they usually are. It helps when your target is paralyzed and can't cover itself in squidlings. The squidlings start to tumble off, particularly at Stardust's attack (they go FLYING! WHEE!), and sort of mill about in the streets of the town, having lost focus or drive in life.

Crusader has posed:
Crusader within Steve collective tries to help it along in his own ways. With the other badshrooms confused, he directs some of Steve cells to greadily take in as much organic matter as it can in addition to the energy. Going so far as to canabilze any bad-shrooms it may encounter if possible. But there was worry.

"Storm - Steve is very sensitve to earths enviroment - instead of blizzard cold, can you douse the area in rain? make it easier for us to freeze the badshrooms and keep Steve growing"

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica freezes when the man says her name. Well, not /her/ name, but the name she had given Paulie on their first encounter. She has her hand mid-way to touch her comm to reply to Clint, but she's frozen, and now trembling. Useless. There's something there that's touched a nerve, so to speak. Flashbacks of the night before. Flashbacks of death. Her body begins to spasm, and she winces visibly. She can't respond to him for a moment. She can't do anything.

Slowly and with great effort she touches the comm, responding to Clint, although it is more widely broadcast.

"Help..." comes her only plaintive plea.

Superman has posed:
Seeing the oomycetan starting to withdraw from the bombardment, Kal dives for one of the large tentacles. He takes a hold and starts to pull back up, trying to arrest, and even reverse, the thing's retreat.

Nuala Duvall has posed:
    Nuala continues to bombard Steve with what she can. Another FWOOMP comes from her cannon as the heat lowers a little. Maybe it was too far a push. The sides of the cannon expand, letting out a hiss of heat. She runs up, pressing the overheated weapon against Steve to give him a little more. She ejects one of the Talonts from the leg compartment of the suit, and powers it on, the energy pulsing through it and she presses it against Steve, giving everything she's got.

Stardust has posed:
"Guys?" Stardust is back on the comms. She never shuts up. "The little monster thingies are looking very lost right now. You psychic types maybe able to make a suggestion to Steve to call them to him? I suspect they'll listen to any loud voice with a sufficiently fungal accent right now. While bad 'shroom is reeling, Steve is the boss 'shroom."

    For her own part, Stardust tries to encourage the squidlings into Steve's loving embrace by a simple process of herding. Run away from my freezing cold sword, little squidlings! Keep out of the toxin shell blasts, little squidlings! When she finds herself close enough to the ranch, she stops herding and goes to grab a couple more crates of toxin for a second dive-bombing run.

Hulk has posed:
When the tentacles go underground, the Hulk roars... the frustrated sound being heard for miles as it withdraws out of his reach. Anyone paying attention can easily realize he's becoming psychotically enraged as he simply starts to slam down into the ground... cratering the ground over and over as he starts to simply /punch his way down/ to reach it. Dust and dirt kicks up in a large cloud... that grows bigger and bigger as he makes his way down into the ground; The only real indication the Hulk is still inside are the massive shockwaves from punching his way down to the big one.

"HULK FINISH YOU FOR GOOD!" The sound dampening helps on the commlink, engineered to withstand the Hulks anger... but it's still a bit staticy from how loud he is.

Raijin has posed:
Raijin hears the broadcast from Jessica Drew and he pauses. "Someone give her a hand!" Meanwhile, Raijin is using his super speed to get momentum going, then snag a tentacle, attempting to help drag that massive monster from leaving with all of his might. "little...busy..at the moment!" he says through his teeth as clearly, this thing is a bit out of his weight class, but he's trying hard nonetheless! then hulk talks.


Brick has posed:
Brick chugs from a can of something that looks like an energy drink but has no branding on the bottle; it has a pale blue glow that might make people nervous who've been in nuclear plants. (Power gauge to 3/4 full.) When he's done, he's swapped places with Tony and is now replacing the parts that remain in need of replacement... he says 'aye' at Tony's description of fine-tuning and power re-routing and optimization and the techno-babble begins growing dense enough to stun any squidling that might survive to wander into it.

"Maire Boit, please trigger the grid-planter to start going into the cavity under the town... we're going to need to shore things up with the contents of the L3 gravel bin."

Crusader has posed:
"Suggestion recieved. Directing output" Crusader says over the comms. And with that the collective calls to the squidlings, calling them to sacrifice themselves to Steve and aid in his growth. Fun-Blood for the FunGod!

"White Queen - if you feel things are stable enough psionicly, please disconnect One for now, and he will send forth...most of the extras" that have contiued to grow steadily on the ship. He wasn't going to give them all up just in case, but this seemed a good a time as any for the final psychic push Steve needs before he is an independent big-shroom!

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
<< On the way, >> Clint says as he bring the Skycycle down towards Jess and her new friend.

Leaping off as the trhing drops to ground level, he lands at a jog, bow coming up in the man's face.

"Step the hell back from the Avenger, buddy!" he orders sharply. Without taking his eyes off the man he asks Jess, "You okay?"

Iron Man has posed:
The tentacles don't hold it from escaping, they tear /off/, rather than hold back the mass. It does not have enough awareness, only the orders from Steve. Those orders are 'Relax! Make fruit!'. Which means it is just pulling back into itself, and doesn't notice that limbs are being torn off by heroes. It is smaller, due to losing the limbs, though. That is one way to make sure Steve stays dominant.

"Brick. You have this. I'm not leaving a teammate out there," Tony says to Brick, clapping the young Titan on the shoulder. His repulsors gun a bright blaze (extra food for Steve, alongside Nuala's continued offerings, as he heads directly into the ... dust... cloud... thing that Hulk has now made. He switches scan modes. "You're not alone, Jessica," Tony says into the comm. "Only I get to boss you around, not these goons. Kick that guy in the head if he opens his mouth."

Mr. Peck stares at Jessica and then looks at Clint. He steps back, but does open his mouth, to taunt them both. "You should run in fear. We can kill you with a word. Can't we, Jessandraaaaaa?"

Emma Frost has posed:
Stable enough or not, Crusader's suggestion has merit on the fact of a multi-directional attack.. that, and as it's observed, the shrooms can feed on the squidlings, making them more powerful..

"As you wish. Don't make me regret this," Emma tells Crusader, dropping him from her network of linked minds, leaving her to take his place in bolstering Steve and amplifying his 'voice' for their shrooms.

Hulk has posed:
Somewhere in that dust cloud, earthquakes start to resonate throughout the area as the Hulk just /keeps going/ punching his way down through the ground towards the big mushroom. Over time, the earthquakes get progressively bigger; a sure sign of the Hulks steadily rising anger as he gets stronger.

By now, the dust cloud is /massive/. It's brute force drilling, with all the consequences of that. By this point, the commlink on the Hulk is at minimal volume from the angry roars.

Superman has posed:
Kal moves from one tentacle to the next after the first one rips off, pruning the beast and tossing the huge oomycetan pieces aside. If all goes well, it will soon be a diminished thing, and without the means to lash out if Steve loses control.

Brick has posed:
"Got it, Mr. Stark," Brick says, barely noticing when he leaves. He finishes the amplification repair and upgrade, making Emma's job easier for the next 14.53 minutes, and then begins directing the placement of his teleport-grid-dots through the cavern under the town that was created by the devouring enemy. It'll take him five minutes or so to place them, and then, gravel, pure granite and quartzite and other non-organic materials, will begin to filter in through small gates, along with sand and other materials. Of course, should the Hulk reach the underground, they'll have to shield instead of booming, which will slow the repairs.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica's breath becomes ragged, and she rips off her mask, throwing it in the dust at her feet. Her eyes hold daggers for the man in front of her, and she fires off a blop of web directly at his face aiming to cover it and shut him up. "YOU. DON'T. CONTROL. ME." She rages as she stalks toward him, drawing a sword from a sheath on her belt, meant for squidlings and fungus. "I will /show/ you the meaning of DEATH." Slowly she begins taking control of her breath again, and trying to quell the spasms. "Are there, or aren't there, people in there who need help? I don't CARE whether we're with you or against you. THAT can be sorted out later."

Stardust has posed:
"Dinner time! Here, mushy mushy mushroom!" Stardust hovers over the oomycetan core, dropping toxin charge after toxin charge, launching them in at various angles to try to get the toxin as widely spread into the core as she can. "Eat up! Nice food for naughty mushrooms! Yum yum. Plenty to go round. It'll make you big and strong!" she lies.

    As the Hulk opens up more holes, Stardust skims through the air roughly following behind his path of destruction, dropping more of the toxin charges wherever there's an opening exposing mycelium beneath. "Candy! Come get your tasty fungus candy!"

    When she's out of toxin again, Stardust plows out of the dust cloud, coughs ostentatiously, and wipes dirt from her face. Over the comm: "Did someone call for help? Need another hand over there, or should I keep feeding this thing Bat-fungicide?"

Nuala Duvall has posed:
    Nuala glances over as Tony arrives. "Hi Stark," She says, "It looks like we might finally have a good way to solve this problem. "Next time, we should probably just drop the spores from orbit though, and Steve would have been big enough to fight by the time he landed.

    She retracts the cannon, and lets fire both wrist blasters, the plasma pummeling the new ally. "Though, I supposed this is more like human movies, right?"

Raijin has posed:
As he actually rips of a tentacle instead of stopping the beast with the others, Rayner curses under his breath before he answers the call. "I'm en route! Stardust, keep up the heat." and just like that, Raijin is off to help a teammate in danger, using his superspeed to attempt to reach Jessica Drew's location in record time.

Though if Iron Man is also en route, the more the merrier! and the easier this will hopefully go with experience playing the part.

Crusader has posed:
Crusader back in his own body stands up. He speaks over the comms "One is making one final delivery of mushrooms to merge with Steve. We have continued to grow extra Steve's on board, many have reach about the size of a small child to large adult. Sending a large them directly into Big-Steve's area for merger and finaly growth surge"

This would be the final bit of growth Crusader can provide here before joining the fight more directly. He sets up the teleportors and luckily thanks to the various equipments on field and eyes on the ground he locates Steve coordinates. "The Steveningly has officly begun"
    And with a push of some buttons dozens of Steve's are dropped off around Big-steve. These steves move towards Big-Steve giving him a final growth burst. That out of the way Crusader takes a freeze sword and has himself teleported down into Mexico to join the fight proper.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Whatever that name did to Jessica gets a deep frown from Clint, even as he keeps his eyes and arrow trained on Mr. Peck. "You heard the lady, start talking."

He tilts the bow downwards. "Or you'll be telling people you used to be a creepy guy in Mexico before you took an arrow to he knee."

Iron Man has posed:
"A big part of this was taking out a counter-attack," Tony answers. "And having enough of us to protect 'Steve'," Tony clarifies. We weren't sure this would work at all."

Jessica's goop flies at Mr. Peck. And passes THROUGH HIS HEAD. Mr. Peck innocently stares at them for a few long beats, while the real Mr. Peck slides right on up to Steve next to Brick. "Hi," Mr. Peck says to Brick, with a nasty psychic bolt at the kid, before reaching both hands to caress Steve's side.

The Oomycetan abruptly attempts to consume Hulk. Tentacles bolt out at the relaxed heroes, to squeeze, lash, throw, beat them senseless, or any of the above.

"Move!" Iron Man yelps at Nuala, blasting at her, intending to grab her and physically get her out of the way of a flipping tentacle that was severed, but still active.

Steve... starts to collapse. Watercolor spores start to fall, a snowy depth of loss in the disintegration.

Hulk has posed:
The angry roaring down below seems to abruptly stop over the comm network. Hulk gets grabbed easily, not expecting the mushroom to actually come up to grab him again... and when he realizes he's being pulled /down/ to the big fungus entity, he stops fighting for the moment and growls as he is brought down to it. "Hulk gonna have fun now." Is that angry, sadistic amusement in his tone?

Brick has posed:
TREASON! Brick's invulnerability is primarily to physical destruction, but also to energy of all forms, so being psi-bolted is not as mind-melting as it would be to some people. He has a blinding moment of migraine but then he doesn't fall unconscious, just drifts back as if he's been defeated, and Maire Boit gives an angry *PING* at the attack.

This "Peck" person is messing with EVERYTHING. He's trying to MURDER the planet. Brick's response is to pull a machete from behind his back, and to move at high speed at Peck. The machete is coated in liquid nitrogen as it begins to arc through where Peck is standing.

Nuala Duvall has posed:
    Nuala tuns to see the incoming tentacle too late, but fotunately, Tony's gab yanks the lage suit ove and she lands olling on the gound, and back to he feet. He suit changes tools, and the feezing spay comes out of the left am. She spays it at one of the close tentacles, and he suit sends an alet acoss he viso. "Steve is in dange!"
    She e-engages the plasma cannon, extending the ight am of he suit, and uses it as a hamme to slam into the offending tentacle. The whi of the cannon stats to wind back up. "Eveybody get back fom the blast!" she announces as she pepaes to fie anothe jolt to help Steve.

Stardust has posed:
"Got it Rainman," Colette calls over the comms. "Go kick ass, I'm off for more juice to get this mushroom stewed." She swoops up and back to the ranch for another refil of toxin, only to witness her team mate being attacked, and realizing that things are not going as planned back at Steve Central.

    "STEVE IS UNDER ATTACK!" Stardust bellows over the comm. "Need support back at base, FAST. Rainy, Supes, anyone speedy!"

    Having fired all her rounds and lacking any useful way of long range attack beyong throwing her shoe at Mr. Peck, Stardust decides the next best option is to throw herself at Mr. Peck. Circling wide around the ranch, she comes down low to the ground and blasts onwards as fast as she can, her freeze sword held out like a lance. If the timing is right for this, Mr. Peck may get skewered by one Titan and slashed by another at the same time. Apparently these Titans mean business.

Raijin has posed:
Raijin listens to the comms as he hears that Steve is in danger, so, he sees Mr. Peck right as he comes around the corner, using his super speed to make everything look like it's in Super Slow motion. Things go through him? Is he even actually there? Looks like it. Either way, Raijin attempts to surge lightning directly at Mr. Peck!

"Defend Steve!" he calls out, attempting to wallop Mr. Peck with raw energy.

Crusader has posed:
"By Juthuum" Crusader was NOT happy. He heard the alert. There was so much happening in this battlefield. Physically, mentally, globably. The battle was not over, not yet

Crusader soars towards the other. But his path would be slightly delayed. Freeze Sword out he slices and dices through tendril after tendril. And even plows the blade into the ground and along it to freeze patch of The Badshroom.

Crusader speaks over the comms "All may not be lost. We can possibly revive Steve. Or have the remaining shrooms merge into a new steve. Many mushrooms give off spore when they die, so we may even grow NEW Steve's. White Frost - try and get the other Steve's to merge." he tells her. He didn't have to tell Stardust what to do she was already getting shroom juice. But he does suggest "Stardust, if your going to hit Steve with energy, hit the ground as well" and off goes another few tendrills.

Superman has posed:
Kal catches Stardust's comms but sees Raijin has Mr. Peck in hand. Instead Kal rockets upwards towards the higher reaches of the atmosphere. "Clear the town," Kal calls into the comms. "Hulk... Get ready to smash!"

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica facepalms shakily. "GOD I HATE TELEPATHS." She looks over at Clint. "I guess you meant an arrow /through/ the knee, too." She sheathes the sword and turns to him. "He said there were others in there. Assuming that we demolish this thing..." She nods to the dust cloud around the not-flying spaghetti monster. "Then they're either going to be demolished, too, or they're gonna be broken free and flee. Unless they don't because they were a giant LIE FROM A FREAKING TELEPATH." She sighs. God, she HATES telepaths.

Iron Man has posed:
Tony reacts to Kal's orders. "Avengers, assemble /outside/ of the blast zone of Superman and Hulk. Stay on the tentacles. ....uh. You know what I mean. Wait. People?" Tony runs a scan. "There are zero people, Spider-Woman, on my scan, but one hell of a lot of squid-things in there. Fall back! ...except Hulk. Hulk Smash."

Mr. Peck is hit from multiple directions. He clings to Steve as he collapses, pressing his hands tightly and urgently to the large mushroom as he gurgles, horribly injured by the attacks that are slicing him apart as the lance of Colette strikes and Brick's sword finds his upper shoulder and back. Lightning crackles and makes him lurch, the extra energy channeling into Steve.

Mr. Peck almost has it. ALMOST has power over Steve. The astral link is nearly complete. He has to stay alive just a little longer. Then he can die, without torment. Then he will be free of all of the things making him do all of the things he doesn't want to....

Emma Frost has posed:
All Peck needs is.. well, he's not going to get it. Because pissed Emma is pissed. And there's enough ambient psionic energy about to level one mother of a blast of psionic lightning at the man. And frankly, Emma doesn't care if he survives it. You want to be a Gate conduit to the Astral plane for the big bad? You get what you get.

Emma gathers energy, and lets loose.

Crusader has posed:
Crusader WAS heading to the site, but at the warning refocuses his efforts on slicing through more tendrills. One knocks him away into another tendrill. He quickly stabs his sword into freezing the tendril and breaking free. A moment to speak into the comms "A big bunch of Squidlings? At the last battlefield, the squidlings were protecting a meta human of sorts. If someone has the ability to check and perhaps save whoever the Badshrooms have captured, it may aid us." a suggestion only as he concentrates on weakening the mass further and staying out of range

Storm has posed:
    Psionic lightning and Mother Nature's lightning belt meets Peck.

    From high above the battle, Ororo can be seen with her arms extending and multiple clouds letting loose focused lightning strikes. She is not pissed like the others, but she wants the chaos to end and helps in any way she can.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Preach it, sister," Clint says of telepaths.

He's glancing towards the building, reaching for another arrow when the warning comes through.

"That would have been a bad day," he says breathing a sigh of relief. He nods to the Skycycle, "Get on, we'll get the hell out of here while the big boys do their thing."

Clint double-times for the bike, eyes on the stalk and any tentacles headed their way.

A short ride later they're clear and back at the remains of the Quinjet. "Thanks for taking Avengers Uber, be sure to rate me five stars," he quips as he gets off the bike, reaching for his arrows again as tentcles head inbound...

Brick has posed:
*PING* ping PING PING PING ... Maire Boit detaches from her usual place hidden inside Brick's armor, and floats over Peck. Her box-shaped body is surrounded by a huge crackling sphere of Kirby Dots, and Brick is transfixed by the same energy, his eyes leaking the same energy into the world.

The Source is the origin of life, the place where it begins and returns, the thirty-seventh-dimensional transcendence that upholds the power of New Genesis and Apokalips. And Maire Boit connects Peck's mind to the Source. IT will judge, whether to keep the spirit of this man and make it into a part of the WALL or recycle it, or even have whatever mercy is involved in letting him experience the horrible things being done to his body.

Brick is watching the giant figures and the tiny figures that make up the Source Wall. He doesn't see anything here. He'll be unhappy that he missed it.

Stardust has posed:
Superheroes aren't supposed to kill. Killing's what the villains do. No, superheroes catch the villain, put them in Arkham asylum, and then catch them again a week later, right?

Well maybe, not when they're trying to basically destroy the planet. Not to mention undoing weeks of hard work. Some of us travelled half way across the damn galaxy for this mushroom, Mr. Peck. You are not going to have it.

    While Emma lets rip on the psychic plane and Brick lets rip with the Source, Stardust follows suit on the physical one. Literally lets rip. Her ceramic blade, already skewering the psychic, tears upwards with a good couple of tons of force. Whether psychic blast, the judgement of New Genesis, or a particularly nasty ceramic blade enters the brain first is anyone's guess.

Hulk has posed:
There's only growling by the time Superman has called for coordination. Seems the Jade Giant isn't too interested in bothering with such things... and by the time the Hulk is in the giant fungus things home chamber, Hulk has run out of patience as it is. With one massive shrug of his arms and shoulders, he breaks free of the tentacle grabbing him... and drops down down onto the gigantic one.

As he lands, the Hulk starts to wail on him. All fifteen feet of the Hulk start to smash their way into and through it as it churns awfully around him.

None of it matters. What matters is SMASHING IT UNTIL IT DIES!

"HULK SMASH!" the Hulk roars, psychotically, as he proceeds to beat the ever loving fungus out of the hive mind, drilling right down into it the same way he drilling his way through the ground.

Brick has posed:
And gravel continues to pour in, filling the empty spaces first, because that system is still running...

Nuala Duvall has posed:
    Nuala's cannon glows, and she calls over to Tony. "You might want to get back," she says. "Even in your suit, this will be very hot." She waits a moment, and then a FWOOMP is released again to super charge Steve. FWOOMP! FWOOMP! FWOOMP! FWOOMP!

    The area heats to a blistering 700 degrees for those who are not even in the firing solution, but once the firing ceases, the natural air currents quickly carry the hot air away, and Nuala's suit hisses and an alert flashes across her screen.

WARNING: System drain, discontinue Primary Plasma Cannon. She falls to one knee, the suit going into emergency reserve mode as it tries to catch up from the extreme power output.

Iron Man has posed:
Tony makes a quick choice, and opts to dive in to help the heavyweights. He's still at full power, and has some /big/ blasts to unload; he begins his barrage from the air. He heads along the edges of the town, trusting the others with Mr. Peck and Steve. He's well out of Nuala's danger area.

For an instant, Mr. Peck's mind reaches out to Emma's. As the lightning fries his eyeballs and streaks his consciousness with pain, it is also ripping open mental wounds that someone else made deep in his psyche. With that last little press he presses an image to her, and all those in her mind link. There is something beyond Peck. Something beyond fungus. It is ever so angry. It is RIGHT THERE.

It will rip everything that makes you you out of your head and tie it in a bow. It will turn to jelly all positive memories and leave a husk of depression and loss. It will -----

Lightning strikes. Ceramic blade to spinal chord. Nuala's nuke, that goes THROUGH him to Steve and--- the lights go out for Peck and the warning he started to convey.

Steve is sad and hurt, but establishes itself again, trying. Steve just wanted to relax and make fruit, guys. The Oomycetan stops moving, for just a moment; they are of similar size, with the amplifiers not at full bore anymore....

Superman has posed:
Kal arcs around, the wind rushing around him stops as there is no more air. He finishes his arc and blurs, accelerating straight down toward the oomycetan. He never goes this fast in atmosphere. Too much force, too many complications.

But today the sonic booms blend together into a continuous, growing roar as he descends toward his target. The air can't move out of the way fast enough, creating a compression dome ahead of Kal dense enough that it appears solid. It grows thicker and wider as he drops, leaving an ever widening condensation trail behind that towers into the stratosphere.

Emma Frost has posed:
It shouldn't niggle.. really, it shouldn't... but Emma touched that mind on the astral plane. She *saw* what the overmind did. She *felt* what the overmind did. And for a time, while she touched that poor ravaged memory of a brain.. Emma knew to the core of her being what had been done to it and heard its plaintive whimpers and screams through every fibre and cell of her being - phsyical and otherwise.

So when Peck let loose with that last primal blast of a curse? It wasn't just words for Emma. It was... something more. And despite herself, she shivers. There's an unnrest she can't seem to shake. Not even when she can feel the area is clear, that there are no more Pecks around to surprise them. Not even when they manage to ruin the Oomy.

And while the others celebrate, Emma withdraws. Even for herself, Emma withdraws.

Crusader has posed:
Crusader having been opened to sending his mind as needed saw the image and shuddered. He didn't like it, didn't like it one bit. But he couldn't think about that now. There was a job to be done. Crusader takes out one of the freeze guns he stored away, and set it to overload.

As he flies off he drops it into one of the many holes left by the rising tendrills and drops it in. The gun beeps and groans in protest before finally exploding. The energy out put was nothing compared to it's freezing potential, as it simutaniouse freezes a massive portion of the BadShrooms and shatter it! Crusader does the same with his freeze sword freezing and shattering another section...before taking off towards the ranch - cause Superman dive bomb looks like it is going to hurt.

Brick has posed:
Naire Boit is connected to the Source, which is so terrible, so utterly alien, so incomprehensible to human minds that there are only a handful of entities who can begin to "see" it -- and she's aware of Darkseid and Thanos, the twin chins of anti-life, and has spoken with Metron who is so obsessed with learning everything that is to be learned that he could confuse and stymie Galactus. She notes that there is a thing that hates life that tortured Peck, and releases fromn the Source, as Peck has gone to whatever truth he went to. Some day, perhaps his tiny face will be found on the Source Wall. Perhaps not.

Brick shakes his head as he returns to coherent thought and Maire Boit tucks herself away in his chest armor.

"What just happened?"

Gravel rushes into vast empty places. There SHOULD be enough. If not, there'll be a need to activate another materials scavenger network.

Stardust has posed:
Stardust kicks the remains of what used to be Mr. Peck off her sword and yells out over the comm, "Crusader! If there are any more little Steves stashed away, now's the time! Raijin, lighting at Steve, now! Robin, cycle the frequences and hit that bad shroom with all the sonics we've got, full power!

    Stardust drops her swords, and puts her hands to Steve. Beneath her palms, things start to get hot. It's a thing that Stardust can do. It's not that great on the power stakes, not as useful as Raijin or Crusader's lighting has been, but it feeds the mushrooms. Stardust can melt metal if she doesn't mind getting a little bored.

    What Stardust doesn't know is that if she's a very, very good Stardust, then one day she might be allowed to be a Starstrider. The voices in her head have neglected to tell her what that actually means. They don't like the idea of giving a raw amateur like her the full scope of the Starstrider's ability to manipulate matter and energy. They give her a nice little taste of things like being able to melt metal if she's patient enough. They can do a lot more. One time, when the Starstrider complexus inside her got momentarily confused, she burst into a corona of solar plasma, but dismissed that as an illusion.

    While Stardust didn't see what Emma saw, Starstrider does. And it decides, right now, to pump more energy into Steve that Stardust could possibly have managed before.

Stardust, however, is oblvious to that fact. She's just trying to give Steve a little boost.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Clint was all Uber jokes one minute and on his knees the next.

So much anger... what was that thing...

Stunned by both what he saw...felt(?)... he stays there staring at the ground. It's all he can do to mumur absently. "I hate telepaths."

Superman's aerial assault goes unnoticed for now. It's mental BSOD time.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Climbing off the Skybike, Jessica pauses to remove her gloves and place a hand on Clint's head, her dusty mask still in her other hand. "I know. Don't let it...don't let it break you," she offers quietly. "And thank you. Thank you for getting me out of there..."

She looks heavenward, watching what can only be Superman incoming. A slow smile plays across her lips, hesitantly. The first time she's smiled since the night before. "Look. Up there in the sky," she suggests softly.

"That's...not gonna end well for the Moldy Spaghetti Monster..."

Crusader has posed:
No sooner than Crusader heard the call, than he answer it "One is on his way" and he picks up the pace, reaching the ranch within moments. He saw Nuala suit on the ground, the energy reserved exhasuted, the dead man, and Stardust trying to revitalize Steve.

It was the final all or nothing.

Crusader lands and says into the comms "Fair warning - this might just cook you" he hasn't been able to unleash his energies in days - the badshrooms fed off it. But he it was time to feed Steve.
    Crusader arms dance with lightning as he gather everything he can and ZAPS steve and the ground around him with over 1 million volts of energy...upwards to even 2 Megavolts. It was all he had to give in a single lightening blast as he falls over, still as a statue.

Iron Man has posed:
Hulk is in the center of the beast, crushing with an intensity of a hurricane. He is chewing it up from the inside. The attacks to the deep core from the additional heavyweights rip the fungal monster (aka. Moldy Spaghetti Monster) to shreds, while it is stuck and unable to react. It cannot eat them with the orders from the other fungoid, it cannot murder. It takes the smashing from Hulk, the assaults from Crusader, the impacts from Iron Man's kinetic impact beams, the total extreme destruction from the heavens from Superman.

Steve stabilizes, with the assistance and energy. It is healing. The holes in the mushroom top don't repair, but the creature does stand tall and resilient. It will make fruit. And indeed, it does. The fungal entity makes fruit for them all, while the Oomycetan, in the background, falters
    ...and collapses into death.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Clint blinks, looking up when Jessica touches him. There were other people? It wasn't just him and that /Thing/. It seemed too good to be true. Then it all came rushing back, the Avengers, SHIELD, what they were doing here, Skye...

It takes Clint a moment to make sense of the words she says, "No problem," Clint says dully. "Avengers... do it for me... something..."

He gives his head a shake and then climbs slowly to his feet. He looks skyward blinking in the light.

"Ramen to that," Clint remarks idly as the Oomycetan collapses.

At least his quipping survived the mental beating he took even if he's not one-hundred percent.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Woosh." Jessica reacts nearly speechlessly to the blast and devastation of the impact on the Spaghetti Monster, and shakes her head. But Clint's quip makes her snicker.

"It's all you can do. Let the others hold you up when you need it. 'Cause they may need the same from you at some point." She smiles softly and looks back toward the settling dust that was the town. "On the upside, I bet you could get some property here CHEAP and build a nice little ranch. Raise squidlings, grow mushrooms..."

Hulk has posed:
And the Hulk just keeps going. And Going.

And going.


"HULK SMASH!" Is declared in between roars as the massive Green Goliath just keeps on smashing the dead corpse, splattering dead fungus onto the walls and around as he continues to create earthquakes from the force of his fists. Soon, he's met with rock again as he's pummeled his way all the way through the thing... and a new dust cloud starts to form as he's going through solid rock again.

It's only at this point that the Hulk stops, and stands up. His massive bulk hunching forward slightly as he SLAMS into the side of the corpse one more time, and stands there. "Hulk tired of mushroom things." The Hulk states simply with a growl, his green eyes looking around for more outlets for his anger.

Nuala Duvall has posed:
    Nuala's helmet retracts, and she looks up at Steve. Despite the position of her suit, inside she is hardly winded. "Steve is good," she announces over the comm. The suit starts to power back up, and she stands back to her feet. "We have a thriving 'Steve'," she says, reaching out to touch the friendly mushroom. This job doesn't have a lot of moments, but here's one of them, and it gives a slight smile on the corner of her mouth.

Brick has posed:
"Titans, we'll need to meet for debrief tomorrow," Brick says, as he directs additional material gathering ... there's an alluvial gravel patch off-shore of a certain shipping nexus that can stand to be thinned, since it's been building up due to mining...

"Good work, buddy."

He picks up a piece of "fruit" and scans it to see if it'll kill him if he eats it. Or worse, if it'll take over his body or something.

Crusader has posed:
Crusader seems to have dissappeared in a sense. The caped hero, having used up all his energy, became a still like statue. But as the dust settled...Crusader was gone and was replaced with a 'stranger' - his human form Bjorn, smaller, more compact and easier to regain energy in. He appeared as a large man in dirt covered jean overalls who was sleeping! Victory Nap! As if a battle didn't just occure around him. Or was it a Victory Nightmare? Who can say as he snoozed away.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma's links drop. Most of them fast. Fast enough that they don't get but the edges of Peck's dire warnings of what the Oomycetan will do to her. Clint, however, as the most willing of minds, doesn't fare so well. His is the last to be released. The one hers has formed the most connections with, short of Crusader who, although no longer in the link when Peck showed her what the Oomy intended... still received images due to the residual nature of the link she had had with him.

Ah, telepaths.. there's a good reason they're nearly universally hated.

Emma withdraws. She's done her deeds, her job is done. Peck dead, the Oomycetan dealt with, Emma just turns and walks from the battlefield, heading back to where she and Storm arrived. Dazed by the looks of things. And that's where Storm (or anyone else) will find her: back at the vehicle they arrived in. Waiting. Waiting to go home again.

Stardust has posed:
    Steve does what Steve is supposed to do. He fruits, peacefully. If anyone makes a 'fruits of victory' pun, let it be stricken from the record.

    Stardust looks up into the fungal canopy in wonder, and steps away. She looks back towards the town, where the Oomycetan collapses in on itself and dies. She stares down at her hands, looking a little frazzled and a lot puzzled. Then she turns into a mirrored statue, momentarily suspended from the normal flow of time, while the Starstrider Complexus does a small amount of tweaking and editing her memories, removing certain things she's observed that may raise too many suspicions. The frozen mirror of time drops and she's back, unaware of the fourteen seconds of reality that she just lost.

    "Brick. You okay?" Stardust asks her equally frazzled looking teammate. "Nuala." She turns and grins to the Nova agent, then flashes her a wink. "Told ya. TOTALLY worth it. "

    Stardust flips her comm on. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have reached peak 'shroom. Congratulations everyone, victory is ours. If there is anyone in need of an evac or medical attention, please call out and someone will come pick you up. Steve says 'hi' and has some fruit for us. Rather a lot of fruit. I say fruit, but obviously it's some kind of fungus thing. Does anyone have a lake of butter, fourteen tons of garlic and a frying pan the size of New Mexico?"

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Clint nods tiredly. "Two for one and one for all?" he frowns and head tilts... "You know what I mean."

He surveys the terrain with a 'Heh' for the ranch idea. "Lets get the team the heck out of here, or you know when we find enough duct tape to put the plane back togther."

Brick has posed:
"It has no taste whatsoever. Steve is a Tofu Shroom," Brick notes.

Superman has posed:
Kal stands up slowly inside the impact crater. Dust, debris and oomycetan bits rain down all around. He watches as Hulk smashes through the dead creature into the rock. He nods in agreement with the Hulk. "Me, too," he says.

Kal rises slowly out of the pit. "Great work, everyone," he says soberly over the comms. "It is an honour to fight beside you. The whole planet owes you a huge debt." Then he lifts of into the sky and is gone.