9831/Age of Darkness: Rao Ascendent

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Age of Darkness: Rao Ascendent
Date of Scene: 29 October 2019
Location: Metropolis Military Cemetery, Midvale, New Troy
Synopsis: The Heroes come to the last resting place of Superman to find answers, and after a pitched battle with villains, instead find only more questions! Where is Superman?
Cast of Characters: Superman, Zatanna Zatara, Nightwing, Wonder Woman, Thor, Dracula, Stardust, Lex Luthor, Shadowcat, Captain Britain, Nightingale, Shadow, Grail, Kaelyn Silverleaf, Samuel Morgan
Tinyplot: Age of Darkness

Superman has posed:
It was a day like any other. The sun was setting, the last rays of light of the day reflecting off the lake nearby giving the atmosphere a sombre feel. As the cool Autumn air sweeps through Metropolis, heralding winter not far off, the city was still reeling through a crime wave unlike any they had ever seen.

Many heroes, new and old, even heroes from the future, had been seen in the streets, doing their best to stave off chaos. However, even with all of their help, all of their heroism, the city was not the same since Superman has been gone.

There has been a plethora of suspicious activities that have occurred in the last few weeks, ever since the Man of Steel had been laid to rest. Strange events revealing that perhaps what was buried in the Metropolis Military Cemetery, located just outside the city, was not the Last Son of Krypton after all. So what was buried there then?

All records on the transfer of the body of Superman had mysteriously been "classified" at the highest levels of Government, sealed on the orders of the President. Who had even done the Coroner's report? The Metropolis Police Department had declared him deceased, the attending physician a Doctor Doris Zeul.

There were rumours floating in the ether of mad scientist experiments, genetic anomalies, clones and even a report from a Yakuza organized crime survivor, now deceased, of a mass "execution" by a Kryptonian cyborg super-soldier. How did the survivor know he was Kryptonian? He wore the Big Red "S".

There was even a persistent rumour from the underground, and reported on by a masked vigilante known as "The Shadow" - that Superman's body was being held somewhere else, even though the "paperwork" had the body here, in the cemetery. However, except for that little tidbit of information, all intelligence points back to this location. The place where the Government, Local Law Enforcement, and SHIELD all state is the burial place of Superman. The same place where Zatanna had placed a spell of protection on the remains entombed here. However, something sets off the magical trap she had set...and for some reason, didn't teleport the person disturbing the tomb to her secondary location. What could have caused that?

So why the secrets and lies? What was buried in this place of honor? What are YOU going to do...next.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
"Something is wrong."

The words come from Zatanna who is present at the Watchtower, far above the planet surface. She is in her more formal working costume of black slacks with a white bustier. A black tuxedo jacket rests nearby as she turns to look toward the Earth through one of the observation windows.

Her eyes flared white, glowing slightly. "Something is happening at the Memorial." She doesn't really spell out what Memorial. Being that they are on the Watchtower, there is only one that has been on their minds of late. "I can't see who it was and they were not teleported away. I'm going down." Already her hands are sketching small runic symbols in the air as she looks to Batman and any others that might be nearby on the Watchtower. "You are welcome to join me."

She focuses her magic as she speaks the spell which will focus the energy and runes. "Egassap ot eht lairomem."

A glowing blue white circle appeared, expanding outward to be large enough to walk through. She stepped into t and through to appear in Metropolis within sight of the Superman Memorial.

Nightwing has posed:
A simple nod was given from Batman to Zatanna. He'll go.

From the magical portal that Zee forms, there emerges a figure that is not, perhaps, looked upon with great favor when it comes to the vicinity of the grave of Superman.

However, despite any loathing or anger, the ominous dark shape of Batman would always be there to observe and watch over the powers of so called 'gods'. When they turn against the world, it is no small matter.

That figure of Batman, though it is a different man under the cowl these days, watches over Zatanna's progress, without comment, his mouth closed in a familiar cold press of lips. He remains to the side, amidst the lengthened shadows of the growing evening. His suit is a new upgrade, similar in styling to some older suits, but with newly armored limbs that add some eerie bulk. Is he capable of a second round with Superman? The suit suggests he might well be: or to exert justice on those that mess with matters beyond what they know.

Wonder Woman has posed:
Diana's invisible jet is powered by alien technology that allows it to take many forms, the form of which Diana herself commands it to. Generally... this is a jet. But today, it is not.

When Diana gets word of a situation at Superman's burial site, she emerges from the Justice League's Hall mounted atop an invisible motorcycle. With a red cloak wrapped around her shoulders whipping in the winds behind her, Diana controls the non-existent bike like one would any other, hands forward and gripped tightly around grips that aren't there to the naked eye.

She weaves in and out of traffic and even cheats here and there by causing the bike's roaring engine noises to turn into a bit louder and higher pitched screeching sound as she takes flight over clogged street ways.

She arrives at the cemetery sight within moments, pulling up on the perimeter of it and rolling the invisible motorcycle onto the grass, leaving indentations in the grass itself as the large tires roll across the greenery until she cuts the engine and dismounts the bike, adjusting her stare from right to left, she starts to walk toward Superman's grave site.

Thor has posed:
It's a roundabout method that got the Asgardian King involved. First, the New Gods on New Genesis were supposed to make an appearance, but with Apocalypse and Darkseid active lately, they've passed on that. Instead, they sent a messenger to Asgard to let them take care of it. And so it is that the God of Thunder finds himself once more in the cemetary where a friend was laid to rest. ...If, indeed, he was laid to rest. Still, the Thunderer must determine exactly what is going on here.

Thor arrives on his own, via the Bifrost, and the rainbow bridge deposits him here at the cemetary. He sees others converging, so he must be just in time. Well enough.

Dracula has posed:
Tonight a wolf's howl can be heard some distance away. To mourn the fallen hero? Hard to say. But within seconds a black wolf trots outside of the graveyard near Superman's grave. Word of the hero's death spread far and wide. Dracula has seen many such beings rise and fall. But this one seemed unkillable, much like himself, and he cannot help but feel drawn to the rumors which have proceeded his passing.

The wolf sits at the edge of the site, just far enough away to not be conspicuous.

Stardust has posed:
    There are disadvantages to having a horde of alien 'ghosts' living in your head. Stardust finds them most vexing - always telling her what to do, and rarely telling her what she thinks she needs to know. On the other hand there are advantages. That broad range of knowledge about things that are not generally part of the human experience can pay dividends, such as identifying alien fungal hordes that are invading the earth. On other times it merely provides background information you don't really know what to do with yet, such as when a long-dead Kryptonian voice in your head voices her suspicion of just how quickly the /kryptanynjriz/ - Stardust has since found out that the Batfam refer to this substance as /kryptonite/ seemed to affect Superman in that fateful battle.

    However this was all noise. Information Stardust had no idea what to do with... until Tim Drake asked her if she could help out with any of the leads he had. One of those leads was a mystery figure who had been seen at the memorial on several occasions, bearing a mysterious symbol. She... or rather that aforementioned dead Kryptonian, could indeed identify the symbol of Rao. Why would someone be wearing it? There are few living Kryptonians anywhere, let alone on Earth, and the description sure doesn't fit Supergirl. Some investigation seems to be in order

    So it is that Stardust is at the memorial, on stakeout duty. She is at the moment leaning against a tree, monitoring a couple of cameras she's planted in other trees scattered around the area via a smartphone. Hopefully the aforementioned mysterious figure will appear and she can see how that figure reacts to being addressed in Kryptonian, and whether said figure will answer any questions.

    Just in case it helps to draw his attention and prove some kind of bona fides, Stardust is currently wearing a hoodie which she has had printed up with a set of unusual symbols. One indeed matches the Rao symbol of the mystery man, and to anyone who can read Kryptonian glyphs, they will be able to read /Zet chao zil ju nahn tiv Rao I kyn/. It translates as 'Day and Night, all are the gift of Rao.' It's an ancient formulation, a saying of the old Church of Rao that was often spoken over the beds of the sick, a kind of half-prayer acknowledging that nothing is certain until Rao decides it. More recently it had become a more secular expression closely akin to the English saying 'God moves in mysterious ways'.

    It might be rather provocative, and is certainly somewhat random, but then so is Stardust.

Lex Luthor has posed:
Lex had connections everywhere. From his Empire, to the Light itself, there were strings he could pull to get a lot of things done. If he couldn't get it, he knew people who could, typically... but even with all his resources. Even with all the pawns being moved by both Lex and those opposed to his investigation, it was a shadow war stalemate, with Lex and his shadowy opponent squaring off in an information war all over the planet.

He had suspicions of who it was, of course... very few people had the clout and resources to actually stonewall the Man of Tomorrow. Especially with the sheer weight of manipulation he's been bringing to bear on the matter.

Lex has been trying to find /any/ confirmation that The Alien was dead. Lex would only believe it was dead if he saw the lifeless corpse.

Of course, he couldn't verify anything at the 'burial site' itself, with that teleport in place... and so Lex had tasked a satellite with keeping an eye on the tomb for any changes. Magic. It was never fun to deal with... but the satellite did pick up that the teleportation spell had failed for the first time. An event that had immediately been forwarded to Lex in his office.

Silently, he confirmed the real time feed that the tomb was open for approach... and he wasted no time in moving into the express elevator down to the warsuit assembly room. "Keep an eye on matters until I get back." Lex had ordered of Mercy and Hope as he disappeared from view.

Within minutes, a green and purple suit of power armor had flown across Metropolis, and landed nearby the tomb, just out of sight.
Going to one knee, Lex brought the full force of his warsuit sensor suite to bear on the area, scanning especially for The Aliens body. Any sign of it.

Shadowcat has posed:
Damn that Tim Drake. He had to go and ask Kitty Pryde if she'd phase into Superman's tomb to see what was in there. Of course Kitty had said no. However he'd had just enough to his insane conspiracy theory to make her wonder a bit.

Of course, that's how a good conspiracy theory works.

While not willing to go defile Superman's grave, Kitty had instead done as Kitty often does. She hacked a bunch of cameras to keep an eye on things, but so far had not been back to the cemetery since the day of the memorial.

Another trip to Gotham to try to help out her allies had ended earlier in the day with a second trip to South Channel Island, this time delivering ammunition to the beleaguered police who remained since Poison Ivy had taken over. After that was done, Kitty and Lockheed were in her car on the highway heading back to Westchester when the exit for the highway going to Metropolis caught her eye. "Let's go see if there are additional cameras we can get into," she tells Lockheed, the little dragon curled up in the seat beside her and just looking up silently in response.

And so Kitty's 2026 Toyota Avalon had covered the distance to Metropolis, and pulls up now outside of the cemetery. Kitty is still in her alternate Blackbird costume that she uses when assisting Batman's entourage in Gotham, having it covered with a long coat. She parks the car and pulls out her laptop, opening it up and beginning to scan the area wifi for other networks that might have cameras she hasn't gotten into yet. She also pulls up the cameras that she does have hacked to see if anything has been going on.

Captain Britain has posed:
While Metropolis was not part of Captain Britain's normal routine, he, like many other heroes, had been doing his part to ensure that it was protected after having lost such a man that he could only be referred to as 'super'. During his flight across the Metropolian skies, he noted activity down below. There were cars going this way and that, some pedestrians, the usual slice of life. He also noticed a red and yellow blur zipping through it. Whatever it was, it was covering much of the city in seconds.

But then something really caught his eye. A vertical rainbow power emanation coming from the high atmosphere, and perhaps beyond, was nothing to ignore. Changing course, he flew to investigate, only to see another green and pinkish figure doing much the same. But his interests were dominated by the Asgardian, as he landed nearby, offering a gloved hand, "you made quite the entrance, mate."

Nightingale has posed:
     It had been some weeks since the memorial for the Man of Steel, a hero which the young mutant would never come to know. Despite the winter's chill, Shannon bundles up and makes her way from home to pay respects once more to the fallen hero, with a few crimson carnations in hand, tied with a red, white, and blue striped ribbon about the stems. There had been some whisperings on happenings near the site, but nothing definitive that she herself had heard. Too, just as she was leaving the memorial, there had been the mysterious cloaked stranger with the symbol she had not recognized until further research revealed its origin and a bit of its meaning. That had simmered in the back of her mind since as she had gone about with her days, just living life the best she knew how.

     But it never hurt to pay respects. So it was that she took to the air from home, and made the flight towards the cemetery. It was not a location she would forget easily, so getting lost was not a problem. The flight was uneventful--but not so her arrival. It seemed there was more going on than she realized around the memorial site. She backwings to a somewhat graceful landing, holding fast to the carnations in her left hand, and approaching the site with caution.

Shadow has posed:
    On the outskirts of Metropolis, across the bay from Stryker's Island, a decrepit warehouse sits, abandoned and left to rot when its parent company suffered an economic setback, and no one else cared enough about its location to buy it up. Its logo, once proudly proclaiming it property of CADMUS Technologies in the stylish neon that was the fashion at the time, now lies fallow, succumbing to the elements one letter at a time.

     But The Shadow Knows better than most how appearances can deceive -- and when an earlier lead pointed her here, she arrived just in time to see a platoon of well-armed guards - as well as some decidedly involuntary companions - march into the building after an enlightening yet ominous discussion with a rather humorless woman.

    When almost thirty people are trying to crowd into a single entrance, it's entirely too easy to miscount an extra shadow, and people who are nervously thinking about what Natasha suspects are explosives embedded in their necks are easy enough to keep distracted.

    She keeps silent pace with the woman called 'Dr. Zeul' and the vial she carries. Not only is she almost certainly headed to the epicenter of this operation, if the Shadow's guesses are correct she must not be allowed to use the vial's contents, come what may.

    As the doors fall shut behind her, she takes a moment to breathe and center herself. Getting in had been easy. Getting out, without outside assistance... May be more difficult. But Oracle will have gotten the word out. And there is bound to be some part of this facility where she can get a message out...

Grail has posed:
Grail, to many she was no one. In a way she liked it that way. She had been roaming this world for the very reason of finding Kal-El, the Man of Steel...Superman. She had been setting people on finding out what happened to the man who was known as Superman. She had even been out in the wide Universe trying to gather forces for her own search of things related. It wasn't that she cared all that deeply about the man. She instead cared about what he knew. Her father had gone quiet. Darkseid had come to Earth and been beaten.

He was not dead. Nor was this Man of Steel. She knew it. Not just a feeling. The machinations of others had led her to believe that. So, she had set up insurance. A simple hyperspace transmitter in the hands of a man who liked money. Now it was going off.

So, finally a burst of sound not wholly unlike Thor's rainbow bridge opens up and a swirling portal of light and sound rips in time and space. Stepping from it, the daughter of Darkseid appears near to the others who have come to the call of the strangeness at the site of the dead hero. Her red eyes scanning the area as she walks on to solid Earth, her hands idly clasping behind her back.

Superman has posed:
The area around the Memorial was quiet. Too quiet. Until all the heroes and villains begin to arrive. Already the sun was disappearing, and the shadows were extending throughout the area. The central location of Superman's site, the statue and burial area, had had fresh turf laid down, so the green would be there covering where the Man of Steel was interred. It was a quiet, contemplative area, that had seen a lot of traffic in recent days, with cards, pictures, flowers, and trinkets littered throughout the area.

Somehow though, someone had just breeched Zatanna's defenses. It wasn't done subtley, but by brute force. One minute the spell was there, the next minute, it was gone. ALmost with a hint of malevolence...and familiarity. She had felt the power before.

As everyone begins to arrive, you can only see three figures at this time. There were two shadows near the statue. Hard to make out. There was a third floating above, and behind the statue. His face was obscurred by darkness. Was that a familiar "S" on his chest? A cape could be seen fluttering in the wind, away from the flyer's body, the heavy wind and cool breeze sending a chill through those susceptible to the cold. The temperature was around freezing, and damp, that cold that goes right through you...

...or was it the eerie feeling that everything was about to go wrong. A wave of dark magic billows out from the gravesight, affecting everyone nearby. Fear. Anger. Hate. Distrust. All negative emotions, you can feel it affect you unless you have an active defense against very powerful primordial dark magic. It makes you look to your left and right, and at all those arriving, and see red!

A cold, dark malevolence was there, sending this wave out to all within a few kilometers in radius! Suddenly, as darkness descends, two yellow eyes can be seen, a smaller, feminine form, staring off at you, her hands held hi! Her laughter can now be heard, inside your heads. "Away, heroes and villains, all! We only want the body! My Master desires it! Begone, or die, fighting each other!" There was a power to her voice, compelling you to fight each other.

To her left was a tall, robed man, with his hood up. Several people may have seen in recent days. On his dark, crimson robes was the symbol of Rao. The Priest of Rao was here as well, his fists clenched, ready, and an eerie feeling of anything metal on you or around you being drawn towards the Trio of graverobbers.

Kaelyn Silverleaf has posed:
She may or may not have been considered a hero, sometimes yes sometimes she's kind of an aid to heros, in that she makes magical things for the daring-do-gooders, or heals htem and whatnot. Anyhow, Kaelyn, the redhead artificer/mage is suddenly there, looking around a bit confused...

She taps her chin some and spins around some, taking the area in curiously before saying "Well I sure wasn't supposed to end up here...." She mutters. This is what she gets for trying new spells rather than tried and true ones. She then starts to notice the sheer number of big wigs around the place and she blinks, this may not be too terribly good and she rubs her forehead "Oh cheese'n Crackers." She mutters

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
While Zatanna was prepared and had her defenses up, this was something primal. Dark. Powerful. It hit her like a freight train, bringing the sorceress down to one knee on the grass. Her head was forward, hair falling around her and obscuring her face from view.

"Get. Out. Of. My. Head." It wasn't a spell. It was a warning as the power around her began to swell and grow. She took the primordal energy that lashed her and claimed it as her own, letting it swirl through her.

Then she rose, floating up into the air with her eyes glowing solid white as she began to murmur words that were not words, the sound growing and swelling as she looked for a target. Unfortunately, thanks to the spell, anyone might be that target.

Nightwing has posed:
While Batman arrived with Zatanna's magic, his vehicle was en-route to meet him there. He disappears into the shadows, melting away, as a priority comes forward. There are heroes here to deal with the main brute force that may be necessary, but his own finesse is required in another location, though he won't be going far: just down. The sleek black vehicle doesn't even stop as it picks up Batman, and slides around the exterior of what may become a fight soon enough. This other arrival, picked up by the observant vigilante, will not go unnoticed.

On the Justice league communications, Batman says coldly, "I've noticed a tunneling entity of some kind."

Wonder Woman has posed:
There's really not a lot to talk about here, these people standing over Superman's grave sight make it pretty clear that their intentions are not to leave flowers, say nice words and then go across the street to Starbucks.

No, they're here for nefarious deeds. The kind that warrant harsh response and reaction.

So in one swift and easy motion, Diana pulls her shield and lasso from her harness and she lets her red cloak fall from her shoulders and whip away in the wind across the cemetery green-space. "You will be taking nothing from here." She willfully declares to them, knowing others are here to back her up, but also knowing that there's strange magicks at play...

They don't affect her, not in a way that would stop her.

So Diana raises her shield, and lunges toward the female figure who speaks of a master, she attempts to wrap her in the golden lasso that now shines bright and hot in her hand!

Dracula has posed:
The dark magic passes through the wolf. The creature is quite familiar with the feeling passing through his very bones and into his mind. With a growl he resists the urge to feed on the nearest person after quite the mental battle. But Dracula is not prone to being mind controlled, one of the benefits of being what he is, and with a shake he casts the urge off completely at last. The figures at Superman's tomb are now watched with GREAT interest.

Thor has posed:
First, Captain Britain comes to meet him. So similar to his friend Steve, but from the other end of the pond. "Hail and well met. Yes, the Bifrost was never made for subtlety. For battle, for effect, but not quiet."

Thor wears lots of metal, since he wears his Asgardian Armor on a regular basis. More than, that, though, he has the hammer Mjolnir fastened at his belt. He feels the tug of metal more on the armor than on the hammer itself, as Uru Metal is unusual to begin with. Still, the tugging does get the point across to the Thunderer, who can only smile at what they've literally just asked for.

So Thor twirls the hammer, and lets it fling at the being with the S on his chest. If he be worthy, he may catch it. More likely, he will not, and the magical hammer will leave a dent if it lands. Either way, it will return to his hand, even if it misses.

Then again, Thor's getting angry, and he doesn't even quite understad why he's feeling that way. He can't even think of where these negative feelings are coming from.

Stardust has posed:
    Stakeouts are all kinds of boring. This is Stardust's opinion, though others may disagree. You stand there leaning against a tree and nursing a bottle of mineral water for /hours/ staring at your camera feed waiting in the vain hope that your mark actually shows up. But of course they never do and you just wait with your mind slowing growing numb, watching the occasional mourner, a perching bird, foraging squirrel, rainbow bridge, teleporting Justice Leaguers, flying armored battlesuits, lost tourists...

    Wait, what?

    Stardust's attention perks and she pockets her phone, bumps herself off the tree she was leaning against and steps out from under the shelter of the tree to peer out from under her hood. Her head turns from side to side as she takes in who's standing where and what's going on around - just as all hell breaks lose.

    Stardust's first reaction when the wave of dark magic hits is to take a cautious step backwards and narrow her eyes. She's not immediately sure what's happening, so being suddenly suspicious makes perfect sense, right? Then things get weirder.

    Inside Stardust's mind reside the techno-sorcerous reconstruction of 967 alien minds that make up the 'parliament' of the Starstrider Complexus. In moments the unity of those many different consciousnesses starts to fall apart. Conflicting ideas struggle for dominance within the Complexus; for a few brief moments it retreats, its power dedicated to self-preservation. In the blink of an eye Stardust becomes a frozen point in time, her form a perfect human-shaped mirror. Then the consensus changes, as realization spreads through the minds that it is under some kind of attack.

    For a few more seconds, the Complexus overreacts, assuming control of the host body and manifesting the Starstrider entity. Stardust's body flares into sudden brilliance, her form surrounded by a solar plasma like a miniature sun in human shape, and she rises up into the air.

    This too only lasts a couple of seconds before some still cautious and suspicious approximation of sanity reasserts itself within the Complexus, and she reverts to her original form, still floating in the air. Apart from a strong sense of confusion, she's not really aware of either momentary transformation, but is left slightly confused, as she doesn't quite remember having taken off. She does however know that the Starstrider Complexus has been doing something weird. And that her head is filled with a cacophony of alien voices debating loudly amongst themselves, and none of them are explaining anything to her. Yet again! She glares at the three mysterious figures by the grave site, more on principle than anything else, especially as her thoughts are very much on what's going on inside her head. Is the enemy in front of her - or within? "Okay, what just happened?" she demands rather loudly to the universe in general.

Lex Luthor has posed:
"YOU DON'T GET TO TAKE IT!" Comes the roar of a synthetic voice from the warsuit in the background. The green and purple armor comes into plain sight now. He had a good read on the 'intruders'... and that one with the S probably has answers.

"THE BODY IS /MINE/!" Comes the rage filled voice again as Lex powered the thrusters and launched directly at the figure with the S on his chest. No one was going to take Lex Luthor's victory!

Once he had direct line of sight, both palms opened up, and the Kryptonian got full pulses of pure kryptonite radiation blasted at him as Lex went all in on the offensive.

Shadowcat has posed:
As the magic takes hold of Kitty Pryde and her emotions being to turn dark, what is transpiring within his longtime friend is immediately obvious to Lockheed. The small dragon doesn't seem to be suffering the same degree of effect, at least, but his empathic connection tells him exactly what is about to happen.

The dragon's paw hits the stud on his collar, the image inducer activating to give him the form of a large raven. He darts over to the door of the car, hitting the window down button at the same time that Kitty is starting to snarl and look towards him.

She pulls her mask up even as Lockheed launches himself, the wings that appear black and feathered flapping to guide him up and out of the window. Behind him, Kitty, now dressed fully as Blackbird, phases through the roof of her car, sword swinging out and just missing Lockheed. The nimble little flyer eludes the blade and climbs up just a little higher out of the reach of his best friend who is trying to kill him.

Nightingale has posed:
     Anger. Fear. Both emotions Shannon had encountered more than she ought to in the few months since she had begun to call the general area 'home'. They were enough to bring her momentarily to her knees, the carnations clenched in her hand. For several moments, all she could see was red. All she knew was anger. Raw, primal anger, with no direction whatsoever. Fear of failure, of being unable to help the ones she loved, the world she was born in and called 'home'.

     But whoever cast that spell, did not count on those very things being the ones to spur her to action. Somewhere, in the depths of her mind, she could hear words of those much wiser than herself whispered, at times when she'd needed them the most. "Yer mad. That's good. That's fuel for the furnace." Such had been spoken of anger in what was, for her, a dark moment. "But if you can't find a way to keep going, how many other people are going to die instead?" Another dark moment, another point of strength, two among many she draws upon now. With considerable effort, she pushes herself to her feet, forced to leave the carnations behind on the ground for now. She grits her teeth, a scowl etched into her youthful features, as she spreads her wings and takes to the sky, flying nearer to the memorial. She has no weapons, no metal upon her person, just her will, her heart, and her determination to somehow find a way to turn these darker emotions into fuel for something better.

     "Nice try."

Captain Britain has posed:
Although no wizard, warlock, or sorcerer, Captain Britain drew his powers from magical sources, especially interdimensional ones. It was one of the reasons he had come to America, especially Bludhaven, which had a hellmouth. Thankfully, he was also protected against most such things when fully suited up as he was now.

"Christ, everything's gone to hell." For a moment, he was looking around at the people in bewilderment, uncertain of where to start. With a heavy sigh, he said to himself, "this is going to be bad," and he sort of jumped and flew, trying to take a cheap shot at Thor, going for the chin, before continuing towards the green armoured individual, going for the waist in a rugby style tackle, all the while saying, "now everyone, just settle down!"

Grail has posed:
It seems that Grail has just arrived in time for all the madness to go down. She looks at the people standing over the grave and her hands come forward even as she feels something pulling slightly at her scythe. She then feels a hint of the tug at bits of her armor. Then the wave of hate, anger, distrust, and fear washes over...

...the daughter of Darkseid.

She sucks in a slow breath as a primal part of her actually shudders. Her head leaning back as she sucks in that breath, her eyes closed, and her teeth pushing together tightly. Slowly her head tilts down as the breath pushes out and her lips slowly curl up into a grin. She slowly opens her eyes and then she laughs. Openly, perhaps arrogantly, laughs out loud and loud is the key word. She seems pleased, to be taking a degree of pleasure in this entire situation.

Thor's angry attack and Lex Luthor's rage flying at the enemy. She turns her gaze from person to person, watching how they react and a part of her feels a sudden need to just stand there and watch the chaos of anger and hate. The storm swirls and her right foot rises and steps forward. Soon her left follows and she starts walking toward the group at Superman's grave.

Her hand raises as she walks and points at the yellow eyed girl, "Is this your doing? A big part of me wishes to take you..." She nods her head, "...and break you. You awaken in me something my father would applaud." She laughs a little, "Something that always seems to be swirling about...and you know what?" She licks her lips, "I hate it...and I love it..." She whips the scythe out and flicks it free. Then the bright glow of her eyes bursts free. A pair of beams that fly through the air, going left and then right, turning in mid-air multiple times till finally they reach their target...but before they hit that yellow eyed woman they arc straight down and slam into the ground at her feet before she laughs more.

Grail is moving, not at full speed, running straight at the woman with scythe out, "YOu don't get off that easy!" She laughs more!

Kaelyn Silverleaf has posed:
Kae blinks and shakes her head, a ring and a bracelet glowing blue slightly before fading as she fights off whatever dark magics was trying to affect her...

Kae pauses some and bangs her palm into the side of her head lightly and frowns "That was nasty." She mutters and frowns now looking around,and seeing the mayhem starting towell start up.. Thor attacking someone, LexLuthor in Power armor. Zatanna breaking out a giant spell and so on and so on. Kae then frowns,dead-panning "-sweet- cheese and crackers!" She says, adding an exclamation to her previous statement.

Kae reaches into her jacket pocket and pulls out a wooden rod, a wand maybe? Or something like it,the runes on it starting to glow slightly as the red-head holds it...

Her eyes then fall on Wonder Woman.... "OK, where do you folks want me?!?" She calls out, not really used to fighting front line criminals all, but the woman is capable.

Superman has posed:
As the opponent's square up, the "witch" that cast the spell moves into the light from behind the shadows. A green outfit, with matching green hat, reveals her to be the Enchantress. Her eyes were glowing yellow though. This was not June Moone but something else. Something...darker. Malevolent. Zatanna can feel the power in that energy she was holding...it was enough to destroy half a city. And it was growing, feeding off of the negative energy building within the area as hero fought hero and villain fought hero. This would not end well, as the corrupting influence of the primordial evil begins to take its toll on her goodness.

The Enchantress grins. Her arms stay above her head, but her lips are moving - and not making a sound.

The priest's eyes spot Colette and her robes, as well as the Kryptonian, and he spouts words that can barely be heard to everyone present...in Kryptonian. "Surrender...or be prepared to meet Rao personally!" His hands seem to have a strange, "melding" affect, like the air around them was "bending". He begins to float above the ground, as the spell doesn't affect him, but it was obvious he wasn't in his right mind, spouting platitudes and prayers to Rao.

As Diana lunges at the Enchantress, the woman barely has time to react. Diana is a lot faster than she is, certainly. Then, Grail gets involved! The beams strike at the Enchantress's feet, all happening at the same time!

However, she has a protector...the dark robed Priest beside her. His hood falls as he reacts with instincts, revealing the young, teenaged face of a man from the future. A Cosmic youth.

Using his right hand, the Priest stops Diana where she was. With his left hand, the Priest stops Grail where she was using the magical metal in their bodies, their armor, weapons and the shield to slow them bith...but not stop them completely. They were far too powerful. It did give the Enchantress a split second though, as the lasso just touches her for a moment, and Grail's "omega beams" help distract her and weaken her spell just for a moment, perhaps enough time for a powerful spellcaster to recover for a second or two?

Then, the Enchantress sends a wave of energy back at Diana, trying to force her away, however, weakened by the touch of the lasso and its magic. That was revealed as a weakness to Olympian magic.

Something else was interfering with her spell...looking quickly at where the interference was coming from, the Enchantress notices it was Captain Britain...thankfully, he attacks Thor, then Lex, all heavy hitters. She also sees Ninja Kitty, but ignores her and her little...dragon.

As Thor's hammer is hurled, and speeds towards the "Superman", he does, indeed try and catch it, moving at incredible speeds. However, when he does catch it, he cannot hold it. It seems to take him on a short journey, before he releases it with an angry cry. This leaves him wide open for the next attack, from Luthor himself.

"Arrrrgggghhhhh!" Lex's target is struck in the back by both beams, and it is obvious from the superhuman roar that would shatter windows for a block and hurt eardrums that it was agony. The being crashes into the Earth, and rolls a few feet, smoldering from the burns. Then, he gets to one knee, shaking his head, and the visage of the creature was revealed. It was half-cyborg, with a red eye that turns and looks at Lex with absolute hate in the human part of its face. Cyborg Superman.

Shannon shrugs off the affects with effort as does Kaelyn. This would be a distraction, but everyone is deep into battle to notice. It gave her an opening, if she chose to use it.

Meanwhile, the being that was moving, slowly, underground was getting closer to her destination. Dick Grayson and the Shadow notice this, as does Dracula.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Seeing a figure nearby, Zatanna focuses there as the glow around her increases. The energy swirls, becoming visible now. Darkness that is inky and dangerous that is illuminated by the glow around the woman. The white glow expands, adding to the swirling mists around her form. Her fingers dance in the air, glowing white symbols drawn away into the dark mist. Then she says a single word "Lepsid!" A pulse of power as she tries to rid the area of that malignancy even as she responds to the call from her teammate on the radio.

A turn of her head, a focus on a place that is further away with the Batman in pursuit. <I see it. One moment, Batman.> she says into the air, the voice meant for their communicators. Then she reaches up a hand. "Htrae yawa." And with that, the ground should be disappear near where Batman is investigating, revealing what was beneath.

Nightwing has posed:
The sleek black vehicle, a Batmobile of a modern, silent engine, moves to intercept the burrower detected. The car spins out in an arc as explosives are shot downwards into the ground in a quickly arranged trap. The car revs, dodging a group of cars parked on that side of the facility.

The anticipation of what Zatanna was going to do was wrong: the Bat thought she was going to do a different assist, but this will also work out. Because those explosives FALL into the opening gap of earth, tumbling inside instead of sending down hard shocks.

Meanwhile, Batman was exiting his vehicle, flung gracefully (Overly gracefully for Batman, if we're being honest, it's more a Nightwing move) to flip around and come down hard at the site: perhaps on a tunneler.

Wonder Woman has posed:
The lasso swirls past the Enchantress' face and fails to ensnare the woman, the enemy, the danger to the preservation of Superman's peaceful rest. Its the magic that catches the lunging Wonder Woman that freezes her in place after slowing her lunge and its the sudden return onslaught of a kinetic blast that causes Diana to react by raising her shield up!

The rounded and gilded shield is hoisted and Diana moves to duck beneath and behind it as the shockwave of power rolls across her form and spreads out further behind her now. It does push her back, but not a significant amount, though it does yield some extra moments from her countering wrath to-come.

From behind her shield, Diana speaks into an open communication from the Justice League's systems. <"Disable the robed one! Magic users counter their defenses!">

With her lasso returned to her hip, Diana draws a long javelin from her back now and once more she rushes forward, but this time in anticipation of being stopped as she had been before. Except this time she throws the javelin at the one in the hooded robe who'd seemingly cast an immobilization effect on her! While her shield-bashing lunge is aimed at Enchantress again!

Samuel Morgan has posed:
    Anger. Rage. Old friends from the days not too long past.

    Someone had thought, finally, of the technopath they had on call when it became clear that something was going wrong at the military cemetery of New Troy. Yanked from the school and shuffled into a car, Sam Morgan wasn't given any explanations, just a short bit that his presence was 'required', and since such things were part of his parole, there was no struggle when he went. Last time it was quite benign. This time? This time not so much. That becomes obvious when the agents in the car with him openly start double checking their firearms. They're near the cemetery when the wave of malevolence hits. Bean disappears into the red mist. Techno isn't able to spring to the front.

    Unfortunately for the agents, they had insisted on not bringing Bear.

    They make the first move, hatred of their guest/prisoner overcoming the veneer of cordiality.

    The car swerves into a bollard at the entrance to the cemetery, flashes of light and muffled blasts betraying shots being fired inside. A window shatters.

    Five seconds later, Scorpio emerges, instantly recognisable to the Xavierites as Bean. Good old Bean... ehmm... Bean with an agent's pistol and a look on his face that promises grim death to the first to get in his way. A powerful null-field is broadcast, a twenty meter radius dead zone for all electronics and devices, centered on the teenager.

Thor has posed:
Thor was getting irrationally angry for reasons that are not clear to him. But what he does know is that a being that should've been an ally punched him in the face. "Who are you to challenge the god of Thunder!?"

And now Thor turns his full attention to captain Britain, and twirls his hammer, as if he means to throw it...

But instead, it's a fakeout, and he moves to zap the everloving arrogance out of this foolish mortal who dares strike a god!

Not stopping there, after the lightning bolt, he closes to melee, and means to hit Captain Britain into orbit, or at least through a random number of buildings.

Lex Luthor has posed:
If Cyborg Superman could see Lex's face, he'd see that hate reflected back at him. A pretender trying to take his place? Something is off here...

Lex doesn't have any time to ponder that train of thought though, as Captain Britain suddenly tackles him. Luckily for him, the shield holds fast, given it isn't any sort of serious blow.

"I do NOT require your assistance, fool." The synthetic voice of the person inside that armor barks just before he activates his chest projector directly at Captain Britains face. A gigantic repulsor blast powerful enough to send tanks flying is charged and fired.

Dracula has posed:
Dracula senses many things but does nothing to react to them. He is certain that those present have the training and resources necessary to handle it. He also trusts that Lex can hold his own. The wolf simply watches.

Stardust has posed:
    Stardust bobs unsteadily in the air, grimacing. She clutches her palms to the sides of her head as if it might help to keep the noise of the voices in her head at bay. One voice rises above the cacophony, fighting to be heard, screaming something to her about the priest of Rao. There's too much noise, and she can't really make out the translation of his Kryptonian words she's being given. Not knowing what else to do, she falls back on one of the phrases she'd prepared in advance for this meeting. Voice cracking with the discomfort of the internal struggle, she calls out to him, "Radushium, nahm rraop rov?" - priest, who are you? The words were meant to be asked in quiet, friendly interrogation, not bellowed painfully, like some challenge to his authority.

    The consensus of the parliament sways, and once more Stardust flares into the Starstrider form, a humanoid sun so like Rao's own form. A blasphemy, or a sign from above? She drifts higher into the air, arms outstretched and coronae of plasma swirling about her hands, then as suddenly the plasma fades and she drops from the sky to her knees.

    Stardust cries out, clutching her head again,and yells to the sky, in English "Stop it! STOP! Leave me alone! Get out of my head! I didn't..." She stops suddenly, and her head lowers, eyes aglow finding the priest. She speaks with a voice that isn't her own, in perfect but distinctly archaic Kryptonian. "Kaipadh tov guhglio kriju wei tov dovrrosho. Vojed nahm julem!" - 'The brightest ambitions can make the darkest shadows. This is a mistake!'

    The glow in her eyes fades. The distrust between the voices of the complexus starts to fade and order is slowly being restored. The entity within her reverts to safety mode as it fights the fading influence, and again Stardust's form becomes the perfect mirror of frozen time kneeling in the grass, limned faintly with plumes of light red-shifting and blue-shifting on either side of her. Protect the host.

Shadowcat has posed:
Though Lockheed could easily avoid Kitty, flying faster than she could ever catch up even with her air walking ability, he doesn't. The dragon disguised as a raven dives back towards her, narrowly avoiding the swing of her sword as she cries out with the strength she tries to put in the blow to strike Lockheed down.

He whirls back, Kitty jumping up to try to a spinning kick that he darts under, the young woman landing on the roof of the car. He darts back again, and she slices with her sword. Anyone seeing this battle taking place in the parking lot would see the sword hit the raven, knocking the bird from the sky, causing it to crash into the ground.

About then, the magic affecting her begins to lift, thanks to Zatanna. Blackbird shakes her head as the red she was seeing clears. "What the...?" she murmurs. She looks and sees the raven lying there on the pavement. Kitty leaps off her car and darts to his side, dropping to her knees. "Lockheed?" she says. The raven sits up, sensing she's back to normal. She runs her fingers over him through the hologram. "Thank you God," she says, finding he isn't hurt. He's taken blows from super-strength villains and is far tougher than he appears.

Kitty looks around, and spots the Batmobile. << Batman, this is Blackbird. I'm on site at the cemetery. Not sure what's going on, but coming to assist," she says after switching to comms he would pick up. She gets up, waving to Lockheed, who launches into the air, following her as she sprints over to assist the Dark Knight.

Captain Britain has posed:
Captain Britain's tackle of the suited up Luthor was not a serious blow, nor was it intended to be one. There was a method to his madness. With so many acting irrationally, he took it upon himself to focus two of the bigger looking threats against one another, as he initiated with Thor, only to head straight for the armoured man.

Anticipating a hammer to be thrown his way, Brian was fortunate that Thor instead sent a bolt of lightning his way, just as he was standing next to a human lightning rod. "This had better work," he said under his breath, as he ducked down and rolled to the side, letting the gigantic repulsor blast follow through towards another large blonde target.

Nightingale has posed:
     There wasn't much time to act. Shannon knew she had to do something, and fast. The young mutant wings her way into the air, higher and higher, till she is nearly out of sight to those locked in battle well below. For a moment, it seems perhaps as if she is beating a hasty retreat. But, those who knew her, knew this was not the case.

     Luckily, not many here knew her. Certainly not her intended target, anyways.

     Pulling her wings in tightly, she dives headfirst towards the Enchantress, picking up speed and momentum with every passing second, till she's nearing her top flight speed of around 75 mph. She hoped and prayed that the moment of distraction would last long enough for her to complete this maneuver. At the last possible second, she snaps her wings outwards, slowing down just enough for a split second to bring her feet to bear, aiming squarely for the Enchantress' chest.

     Please, dear god, please let this work, she prayed silently, in the instant before her feet were due to connect with their target.

Shadow has posed:
    The facility staff's orders were clear: In the event that the secrecy of the facility is compromised, an immediate burn order goes into effect -- blow the tunnel, wipe every local drive, destroy anything that can't be taken along, and leave no evidence that would embarass CADMUS, no matter how expensive it will be to replace. Superman's crypt has been under 24/7 remote surveillance for that exact purpose - to have as much forewarning as possible.

    ... Which means that Corporal Fredricks is going to have a difficult time explaining, at some point in the future, how precisely he saw 'nothing worth mentioning' on the monitoring screens. For now, though, he remains blissfully unaware of his future predicaments as he sags in his comfortable chair, a vaguely blank look on his face as he stares disinterestedly at the brawl going on on the viewscreen.

    And in the shadows a bit further behind him, a pair of much more aware eyes study the chaos and considers the implications. For now, she can keep the alarm suppressed by clouding one man's mind, but sooner or later someone else is going to come in, and then matters will start escalating quickly no matter what she does.

Grail has posed:
A glance over at Diana as they are slowed by the power of this so called priest, "Princess..." She calls out, "Be prepoared..." And then she looks forward as she stomps forward, leaning into the power like a person walking into the wind of a hurricane. Her fists clenched, her feet forcing and she grins at this so called 'Priest'. She shakes her head, "Poor choice..." And then she considers a moment before she shrugs and her eyes light up again. Twin beams of energy fly forward in a perfectly straight line right for him, only turning at the very last moment to go right for his left shoulder. The force concussive, powerful but not as destructive as normal, "Lucky I want you alive..."

Kaelyn Silverleaf has posed:
Kae tilts her head and nods a bit at the mention of taking down their defenses, especially of the magic users, she's also seeing folk act outside their normal temperments... Kae frowns a bit and closes her eyes, reaching out with her senses and trying to 'view' the magics causing a number of the heros to start to go astray.

Kae's good at a few things, analyzing and constructing spells and magic, and also deconstructing them. She sets her self to doing just the latter, starting to try and pull the magics affecting the hero apart, bit by bit. "This could take a while." She mutters, and moves to a more secluded place, trying to put her will to good work and again sets to trying to disable or tear apart the enchantments making everyone fight each other.

Superman has posed:
Everything was happening so fast now, as the end game was getting nearer. With Zatanna dispelling the dark enchantment, the air seems to clear, and get a bit brighter now as everyone's heads begin to clear. The Enchantress growls, but was under siege so she couldn't react right away as the Daughter of Darkseid and an Amazonian Princess was on top of her!

The teamwork of Zatanna and Dick Grayson reveals a woman, clad in brown leathers, attempting to get to the tomb underground. Well, underground no longer. The look of surprise on her face as she and the tomb was revealed was priceless. The former Teen Titan, Terra struggles to recover, before the explosives first shock her, stun her, and then she is knocked unconscious by a flying Batman. One down.

Wonder Woman and Grail's power was unmistakable. The stress on the Priest of Rao's face was obvious, as he struggles to hold two Daxamite level (in his estimation) powerhouses. The sweat was beading on his forehead, and the distraction of the battle going on around them allows the javelin thrown by Diana to slip through his defenses.

Hearing Colette's words, the Priest is distracted for that moment...and it costs him. With a flinch, he tries to deflect the javelin so it is a glancing blow, thrown by an expert. Then, the eyebeams from Grail, striking him with enough force to stagger him.

The flash of pain in his face, makes him drop his hold on the two enemies he was holding in his magnetic grip, releasing them.

The Priest uses his right hand to hold his side for a moment and then his hand comes away with blood on it, from the strikes. That was when Kaelyn could feel something...the pain gave her an opening. The magik, ancient, boiling, primordial, dark - using her skills, she starts to pull it apart. Bit by bit. Rokk Krinn's eyes cloud over, and the evil magik starts to fade. The only thing keeping him on his feet is his willpower at this point. "Where? Where am I...?" Kaelyn's magic worked!

In the meantime, Lex Luthor, Thor and Captain Britain were having a discussion about the finer points of striking a Thunder God or a Man of Tomorrow, as Bean arrives ready for action! Thankfully, the magical hate spell was fading slowly from everyone's mind, including Samuel's.

The Enchantress was in trouble. Her mind controlled puppet was wounded...and now, he was fighting her control. Crying out in frustration, all of her attention was on the Amazon and the Apokoliptian. Not on Shannon. The impact was significant, and with only a minimal spell of protection up, meant for Diana or Grail, that strike against her chest was enough to knock the Enchantress back against the statue of Superman with a resounding, "CRACK!" She was still conscious, but barely. Falling to her knees, the Enchantress begins to mutter to herself.

Kitty arrives to see Batman standing over the unconscious young woman known as Terra. Looking to where the crypt used to be, the two of them could (and Dracula) tell that there was a second tunnel. Another one not created by Terra. This one had metal walls. Although semi-collapsed, it led straight towards the nearby Groundskeeper's building.

Inside the collapsed crypt was the coffin that was the same one the heroes had escorted during the funeral. The symbol of the House of El emblazoned on the top of the coffin. It looked untouched, as far as they could tell from the edge of the hole around the statue created by Zatanna's magic.

Through it all, one being was still standing after Thor and Lex's attack. Peering at the crypt using his vision powers, the Cyborg Superman growls, assesses the state of affairs in the battle, and decides discretion is the better part of valor and is gone in a flash of red, blue, and yellow. "This isn't over Luthor. I will have my revenge." Gone.

SO far, at Cadmus's Top Secret facility, no one had noticed what was happening at the Cemetery. Yet.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
With the dark urges gone, Zatanna settles back onto the ground. As she lands, her eyes go back to normal and the swirling energies just dissipate into the ether. She keeps the swell of power though, trying to focus it around Enchantress. Her intent, to keep her from teleporting away but she had to use a lot of power to dispel the rage spell and isn't sure she will be able to do so. "Kcolb reh epacse."

Nightwing has posed:
Batman twists as he lands, dropping smoothly to check the status of the woman he'd just slammed his boot into. She's knocked out. He's nearly invisible in the hole in the ground, in the mix of explosives, smoke and grit as he rises to stand over Terra.

A dart down the initial opening gives him an immediate scope of the coffin as well as the extra tunnel. He switches comms efficiently to answer the other person on the Bat-frequencies, Blackbird. He sends his speech into the JLA as well: << Tunnel here leading out. Check the coffin, Blackbird. My initial scans are showing flaws; it doesn't seem like him. >> That's a Batman-style 'invitation', before he's already disappeared into the metal tunnel system, keeping a close eye on his own mapping equipment, stealthy and swift in the dark as he adapts his vision. Having the latest and absolute greatest of the Bat toys is extremely useful.

The metallic tunnel ahead, previously protected, contains the silent, stealthy Bat, now. Best way to see where this goes?

To go and take a look.

Wonder Woman has posed:
Diana's javelin wasn't meant to be a killing throw, it was meant to be a disabling throw. She'd aimed it for the robed one's right shoulder, though if it does impact with him it will sink inside of him and it will do significant damage to his arm and upper body... such as an enemy deserves.

The assistance from Grail is certainly noticed and definitely welcomed, but Diana sweeps right on past as she sees the other working to help with Enchantress. Diana's lunge hadn't been for Enchantress after all...

It had been for Thor.

Diana lands beside the God of Thunder and what he comes to find next is the golden lasso of Truth wrapping around him! She has one question for him after she ensnares him with the length of godly rope!

"Who are you?" She shouts it! She waits for his answer... and then the Princess motions to their enemies.

"Now show them!" She adds to him in another shout before she draws the lasso back, unwrapping the Asgardian King and breaking the remaining whispers of the mind-grip they had upon him!

Thor has posed:
Thor sees clearly, and, "I am Thor Odinson, protector of the 9 realms, King of Asgard, God of Thunder!" Because the lasso compels a truthful answer to any question. Pause, "Sorry, Captain." That to Britain.

Now show them? Okay! Because now he comes in against Enchantress directly. "There is one of Asgard that goes by that name. She's quite a trial as well..."

And then Mjolnir is powering through what's left of her shield and aiming to send her to sleepy time land. Thor actually checks swing just enough, as he does not wish to take any lives, and a wizard with no spells up is something that requires a checked swing.

Samuel Morgan has posed:
    The rage fades. The anger... does not. But now Techno can focus on the issue at hand, and channel his anger towards more productive means than just a random brawl with... hang on...

    As realization dawns, that he is in the presence of most of the heroes he knows, and quite a few he doesn't, the cold reality returns. A familiar weight in his right hand turns out a be a pistol, and a quick memory rewind reveals where it comes from. He looks over his shoulder and winces, looking at the knocked out agents in the crashed car.

    When they wake up, there's going to be questions. And next time they take him somewhere, there's going to be handcuffs for sure.

    Rather than be standing there when they do, and given that he's now loose with practically no oversight, Techno heads for the hole in the ground, figuring that if someone in that fancy a car is interested in it, there has to be something good at the bottom. Shannon's flying dropkick is noted, and he grins a smile. Atta girl.

    <<One for you.>> a quick message from his phone to hers as he safes the pistol, tucks it in a pocket and descends into the hole Batman made earlier, doing it with almost the same amount of style and grace. Just in time to see the Dark Knight rush off down a tunnel. If that's where he's going, that's where the action is. Onwards!

    Techno isn't quite as stealthy as Batman, but he's trying. And for the sake of sanity, he's keeping watch with all his senses, including the ones few others have, no longer maintaining the null-zone.

Dracula has posed:
The wolf is satisfied that his fellow Light member is not in any need of assistance. Not that he could provide any without blowing his cover. As the battle rages on he can appreciate the tenacity and conviction of those engaged. But the sentiment is short lived and he is eager to see what lies beneath the earth.. he will wait where he is.

Stardust has posed:
    Normality is restored and the mirror form falls from Stardust. As a somewhat sheepish Starstrider Complexus tries to quickly explain the events of the last few moments to her, she gets to her feet, and then into the air, finally able to act coherently.

    Stardust floats through the air towards the priest, grim determination etched on her face. She's still not sure what just happened but she wants answers. As she approaches, her fists flare up with dancing plasmas - far from the full body solar flare of the Starstrider form, but an echo of that power breaking through under the influence of the emotions gripping her. She looks down on him and breathes deeply, bringing her emotions under control, and the plasma flare fades again.

     "Radushium, nahm rraop rov?" Stardust repeats. Priest who are you,' the question she came here to ask in the first place. When all is confusion, stick to what you know, what you prepared. This time it is not bellowed angrily like a challenge but spoken with a studied precision. Her well-trained voice projects the words powerfully, slightly amplified by her powers, amplified more by sheer force of will... but if there is a hint of imperiousness about it, there's also something distinctly kindly about it. After all, he looks as confused as she feels.

Shadow has posed:
    Two pairs of eyes - one glazed, one alert - observe the Caped Crusader making his way down the access tunnel. The Shadow nods to herself. Her task here is at an end - once Batman reaches the perimeter, alarms will go out and she will be needed elsewhere to ensure nothing important is destroyed. But first, one last precaution...

    Fredricks barely has time to twitch as the full weight of the Shadow's will settles down on his mind, smothering his thoughts.

See nothing. Hear nothing. Forget the self-destruct code.

    Her work done, the Shadow makes her way to Doctor Zuel's lab. There's one more threat to disarm before the League arrives or this will all be for nothing...

Lex Luthor has posed:
The spell fades, and with it Luthor's interest in continuing the fight once the Cyborg Superman leaves. The warsuit was prepared for Kryptonian senses... how did this entity know it was him?

A question for another time.

Mentally, he tasked a satellite with tracking the Cyborg Superman, a quick burst transmission into the LexCorp satellite network has the surveillance technology up there starting on that. Meanwhile, Lex had other matters to attend to. These others are of little consequence.... the body may or may not actually be his, but Lex isn't a fool; those around him aren't going to let him take that body... and he had more subtle means of accomplishing his goals.

For now, that tunnel was more of an interest... and Lex hovered his way over to it to go inside, sensor suite tuned to keep an eye on his surroundings as he went in.

Shadowcat has posed:
Kitty nods to Batman as she joins him in the hole. << On it, >> she replies to him as she air walks to get up out of the whole while Lockheed flies overhead in his raven guise, watching Samuel approach the hole. Blackbird emerges from it just about the time he's going down. She gapes, not having spotted him before. But then he's jumping down into the hole and heading off after Batman. << Teen following you is a friendly, >> she sends to Batman over the comms.

She wants to go deal with that, but knows she has a task to do. Blackbird goes to the Batmobile, saying, "Blackbird, voice recognition alpha-9-tango-2-8-2-zebra." A little red light scans across her eyeball and the door opens up.

She grabs some equipment from inside the famed car and then heads down into Superman's tomb. Lighting up a small penlight, she turns on a scanner she hooks on her belt, and takes a probe from it. And then she just leans forward, slowly, head going through the coffin enough to see inside, illuminating the inside with the light. After a moment she reaches the other hand holding the probe inside and starts taking readings.

Grail has posed:
And then it is all over. The Cyborg leaves, the woman is knocked out, this priest appears confused and likely not in control of his own faculties. Worse, she knows for a fact that what is in the ground is on the body of Superman. She slides away her scythe and then growls. Her foot grinds across the ground, leaving a mark before she just shakes her head, "I tire of these GAMES!" Her voice raises sharply and then she looks bakc, "That body is not your Superman's. It is with the dark skinned large woman OR at least she knwos of it. Some of yours are already aware."

She shakes her head, "What was even the point?" She then gestures and a boom tube opens up, "This is tiring. Pointless."

Nightingale has posed:
     With the resounding, almost sickening /crack/ of flesh and bone against the statue of Superman as the Enchantress is sent to test the truth of what happens when a thing in motion meets an immovable object, Shannon just smiles to herself. Her smile widens just a little bit when she witnesses Thor's follow-up with Mjolnir; he really hadn't been joking on their last meeting here, at this very memorial, when he told her that there would be other times. She just had not counted on the privelege of fighting alongside him not once, but twice. But there are mere seconds for her to swoop back upwards now, the winged teen reaching into the worn, rune-bedecked, brown leather pouch kept perpetually tied to her belt. She fishes about for a moment, coming out with a Bluetooth earpiece, which she fits into her left ear. She taps it, her phone, and calls into it. She had seen two teammates below in the fray, one of which she hoped she stood the best chance of reaching quickly.

     "TECHNO! Nightingale here. REPORT!"

     She crosses her fingers, hovering a short distance above the fray, above and somewhat behind the whole thing. Right now, all she can do is keep an eye out for her teammates, and prepare to tend the wounded if need be.

     Techno's dive into the tunnel has her smiling, and she has just a moment to check her phone for messages. It makes her smile grimly as she speaks into the little headset. "Go get 'em, Techno. Keep me posted."

Captain Britain has posed:
As Captain Britain rolls along the grass, he is greeted to the sight of the massive lightning bolt striking the armour, sizzling about it, and playing haywire with so many of its systems. Meanwhile, the gigantic repulsor blast sailed through the air, triggered nanoseconds before Thor's trademark lightning bolt to end all lightning bolts struck, from the suit to land squarely at the chest of the Asgardian God.

From his position on the still damp grass, the hair on the back of his head stood up under the mask, all that static electricity getting through the air and permeating the area. "Damn, I hope the man inside is still alive." Electronics, no matter how advanced, weren't designed to withstand those kinds of energies.

Though as he got up, the cloud that had been over many in the area seemed to wash away, helped by Diana's lasso around Thor. "Don't apologise to me. What about him?" He said as Thor regained his senses, and looked on with concern at the smoking suit. With little care, he removed the helmeted piece, "don't worry, help's on the way."

Kaelyn Silverleaf has posed:
Kae tilts her head,eyes opening as she looks out from behind the treeshe took cover behind... "OOokay, wellforonce it worked." She mutters, and grins a bit,the woman spinning that ebony rod of hers and heading toward the grave...

As Kae gets closer she looks around and asks curiously "Anything elseI can do?" To no one really in particular as shelooks down at the hole in the ground, and a tunnel? She now looks toward Thor and tilt sher head, contemplating jumping into the hole or helping Thor.. "Ummmm Yeah, Sooo I'm not normally a front-line type in this kinda deal..."She says and rubs at the back of her neck now...

Kae looks around again, and then shrugs and starts trying towalk down into the crypt,kind of as though she were walking down a flight of stairs, though there doesn't appear to be such... At least at Kae's current pace she's pretty quiet.

Superman has posed:
As Zatanna casts her spell, and the Enchantress is too woozy to fight, she slips into a state of mad silence, as Zatanna cuts off her escape. Her yellow eyes fade, into her normal green eyes. The anger is palatable, as Zee holds her there. Kitty's exploration reveals anomolies indeed. The body looks like Superman. It even wears his costume.

However, if Kitty, Zatanna, Kaelyn, Lex, Batman, or anyone else with mutant, mystical, technological, or supernatural ways to scan to a deep level, will get a few anomolies that, upon further study, especially working together, reveal that this is not Kal El of Krypton. It is an incredibly sophisticated replica. Now who would have the ability to do that? Kitty comes up with the answers with Batman's tech.

As Diana helps Thor out, and the fight settles down between Lex, Thor and Captain Britain, others also arrive. You can hear the sirens in the distance, coming closer by the minute! Law Enforcement. This would be quite a mess to have to deal with!

The Witch sees it coming, and has a second to go, "Damn..." Thor's impact into the Enchantress sends her out, and with a shriek of pain, is now unconscious. Dracula sees all this from a distance, staying out of sight.

The Priest of Rao sits on the ground, holding his side. The glancing blow by the javelin was enough to cut him, but not kill, as was the eye beams from Grail. Looking up at Colette, the young man tries to smile, but it comes out a grimace.

"Hi. I understood your dialect of Kryptonian. Nice accent." Rokk offers a hand. "I'm...Rokk Krinn. Of the Legion of Super Heroes. Nice to meet you." Rokk notices Shannon, and says, "You remind me of another woman I know, a friend. Quite a punch." Lastly, Rokk's eyes find Kaelyn, and he whsipers, "Thank you." Then he taps his forehead, before wincing in pain once more.

Elsewhere, Amanda Waller walks into the surveillance room, and looks at the monitors in shock. The Shadow's mind "fogging" had been working up until that point. When she sees Batman walking down the tunnel, and at the opening of the tunnel, Samuel then Luthor, she shouts, "Shut it all down! Code Scorched! We need to get out of here now!"

Amanda Waller hits the "Big Red Button" <TM>, setting off the alarm, and collapsing the tunnel. Luthor with his sensors, Samuel with his senses, and Batman's instincts can feel it coming, the sound of charges setting. Then, she heads to the lab where Dr. Zuel was with the patient. "Let's go Doctor. Beta site. Now." The look on Giganta's face was unmistakeable. "With the subject. We need to go before HE (meaning Batman) gets here."
Strangely, Batman was already gone, like a shadow of a shadow.

Wonder Woman has posed:
From across the cemetery the tread of invisible tires come to life across the soft grass and begin to leave a trail of thrown mud, dirty and blades of grass behind it as it zips toward its owner. When it arrives, Diana merely walks along beside it after it slows down to match her pace.

Her walking pace leads her toward the robed one who she'd thrown the javelin it and what he'll see, is the golden lasso from the Amazonian dropping down onto the grass beside him, uncoiling at Diana's hip and thigh. Her eyes are down upon him.

"I have questions for you." She states, staring down at the man she'd injured with the lasso while she picks her javelin up out of the soft earth and mounts it onto the side of the invisible motorcycle, knowing precisely where the appropriate place to do so, even with it in that state of being completely out of sight.

Samuel Morgan has posed:
    Now is really a bad time for a phone call. Straining his eyes and senses, Techno continues down the tunnel, sending a message back to Shannon's phone. <<Comm silence. Infiltrating>> After all, he doesn't want to tip off that he's.. in the... ah crap...

    It's like a surge of malevolence washes towards him, a technological signal designed only to kill, to destroy. He knows it very well. Someone has just hit the remote detonation on a lot of explosives... and he's standing in the middle.

    "RUN!" Techno calls it at the top of his voice into the tunnel, knowing very well that Batman is ahead of him, and someone is behind. Someone with a /lot/ of technology. "It's rigged to blow!"

    Wasting no further time, the teenager turns and starts to follow his own advice, sending shutdown signals to all the charges he can detect. But it's fifty meters to the exit, and his reach doesn't go that far. His gestures to Lex are clear and to the point. Run if you don't want to be blown up.

Thor has posed:
Thor stows Mjolnir...with Diana at work with the lasso, his own interrogation skills are not necessary...when it comes to truth, none do it better than Diana. And then he looks around to make sure everyone else is in reasonable health.

"I have information of my own I must impart, but it can wait till this is done." And then Thor will wait for the rest to finish up.

Stardust has posed:
    "Oh, you speak English," Stardust says to Rokk, visibly relaxing. She takes his offered hand, and indeed offers a hand getting him to his feet if he's up to it. "That's a relief, because I've only been learning a Kryptonian for a few days, and my teacher died centuries ago so I probably sound all 'thee' and 'thou'. I was gonna try Interlac next, I'm much better at that. But English is a lot easier. Well, unless you speak French, but that's probably asking too much. Um. Oh, I'm Stardust. Hi! Do you need medical attention? I've got a basic first aid kit on me..." she glances back over to the tree to check her backpack is still leaning against it. "Or uh, medical facilities just across the bay at Titans Tower, I guess." She's definitely back to her normal chatty self.

    Thor's arrival gets a nod from Stardust, but no more formal greeting. She hasn't seen him since the Darkseid battle afterparty, and still blames him for the epic Asgardian mead hangover, though mostly for her own amusement. Diana's arrival elicits a broad beaming grin though, and she tells her "Get in line! I saw him first."

    No threats of a lasso - no lasso - Stardust turns back to Rokk all good cop and asks "So... what the hell happened there? Who were those guys and why do they want Superman's body?" She suddenly looks awkward, and shifts from foot to foot. "Also I got to ask. Is he really dead? I mean as I heard it he was hit by a relatively small missile and from what I've been told /kryptanynjriz/... uh Kryptonite... just doesn't break down cellular immunities that fast. He should have been very weakened but not... that much, surely? So what the hell is going on here?"

Lex Luthor has posed:
The collapse was alerted on his eyesight, and he had mere moments to get to one knee and collapse himself into as small a profile as he could manage, before bringing his left gauntlet up and activating the force shield above his head.

The others would have to fend for themselves... but Lex was simply going to let his gauntlet shield handle the collapse, and simply batter his way back in.

Techno? The man in power armor hovers over him as he tries to go back, with Lex continuing on into the facility about to be scorched.

Lex was going to get answers, Waller be damned.

Dracula has posed:
The wolf watches Lex go underground and then retreats. Not that anyone seemed to be watching of course. Some time later a swarm of bats flies overhead and gathers atop a tree.

Shadowcat has posed:
Blackbird checks the readout of the scanner as data bounces back and forth to the Batcomputer. Genetic anomalies, filler sequences, small, but there. Biology is not Kitty's finest subject but then genetics is enough of a topic of interest to the mutant she can follow along even if she's not capable of performing this level of work herself.

The Batcomputer compares the anomalies to its files, finding another of Batman's cases where that same genetic sequence was used to get around problems cloning another unusual genome. When she sees the name of those Batman determined to be behind the previous case, her eyes go wide.

She pulls her phased hand back out of the coffin, stowing the probe. "Looks like I owe Red Robin an apology," she says to herself. The data is there on the Batcomputer, where Batman can decide who to disseminate it to from there.

Kitty turns back then, moving off to check on the students whose presence caught her by surprise. Hell, everyone's presence caught her by surprise today. She spots Samuel rushing to get out of the hole, and she does the same, and phasing with trained instincts at the first sign of danger. The raven-shape that is Lockheed at present flies about close overhead, ready to assist her. As she sees Samuel moving away from the situation, she lets him go rather than let on her identity. Though her thoughts go to her phone in her pocket. She may have to have a talk with the young man.

Kaelyn Silverleaf has posed:
Kae turns and looks at the person who was helped by her breaking that hold on him and she smiles and waves, then more hell breaks loose as she's inpsecting the casket? "Ummm..." She sans and taps her chin some "Sooo gotta talk to folks I think in the future..." She mutters then starts trying to get back out of the grave, before she tilts her head to the left and then to the righ tagain, and watches others leave and now she watches what's going on with Rokk and Shannon? Kae really has no clue what's going on really...

Kae then shrugs and wanders up near Diana and others before flatly asking "Sooo just what's going on?"

Nightingale has posed:
     Shannon backwings to a landing next to the fallen priest of Rao. Surely this was the mysterious one she had witnessed by the memorial the last she had been here, on the day of the service. Whatever had been controlling him, seemed to have been dispelled, with the combined efforts of Thor and herself bringing down the Enchantress. Right now, all she saw was a wounded man. Foolish it might be, but she couldn't ignore it.

     Kneeling next to Rokk, she smiles softly, and extends her hand. "My name's Shannon. I think I saw you here before, and the symbol you wore, if that was you?" She gestures briefly towards the wounds to his side. "Will you allow me to help you?"

     Diana's approach is noted, the young healer in training peering up at her with glacier blue eyes. Her wings ruffle lightly behind her, and she inclines her head, offering a smile of greeting to Diana. The questioning, she knew was necessary, but she does hold up one hand. "I know you have to do what you have to do, but please let me heal this man's wounds first?" A smile in kind is offered to Colette and Thor, and a nod of respect in particular to the Asgardian king.

     The rather forbidding stance taken by Diana next to Rokk has her drawing her brows together, and she looks torn for a moment. She had it within her to heal this man, yet something told her it would have to be another day. "Please," she murmurs, glancing between the two. "At least see he is cared for, if I will not be permitted to help?"

     She rises to her feet and steps back, with a rueful smile to Rokk. "Hopefully, if we ever meet again, it will be on a happier day. If not, then I wish you well."

Wonder Woman has posed:
Diana is securing the injured individual in the robe who'd cast the spell. Men like him are dangerous and have to be kept in a specific sort of custody. In this moment, she's going to take him back to the Hall herself... aboard the not-so-there-but-definitely-is-there motorcycle.

Her eyes go to Shannon then as she approaches and Diana has to shake her head. "No, but thank you. This man is in no danger of death or demise. He is in the custody of the Justice League now." She states in her heavily accented voice.

"He will be cared for--" She glances to him then as she essentially has him wrapped and tied-up like a prisoner in the Old West might with her lasso. "Because we are good people."

With that said, Diana moves to prepare to leave, placing the man onto the back of the bike where it, whatever shape it truly is in, seems to accommodate another rider atop it as she moves to remount the bike herself.

Thor has posed:
Thor pauses people for a moment, "Hold. I have information I have not yet imparted. Superman was kidnapped, and experiments went wrong, which led to something terrible. Superman was possessed, before his fall, by Yuga Khan. We think, we're not completely sure. He is the father of Darkseid, and even worse, if that's possible. Long ago, in the history of Asgard, he once did battle with Bor and Odin both, in my grandfather's time. They fended him off, but the battle was heavy with casualties, and Valhalla was filled."

"The people of New Genesis have retreated from Midgard, as they fear another move by Darkseid, possibly to oppose his father, but they expect him to move in force. Also, they wish neutrality in this matter, so they will not be making any moves." Obviously, even though Thor has a king's responsibility, neutrality doesn't sit right with this particular king of Asgard, hence his direct presence.

Samuel Morgan has posed:
    The sound of the charges going off in such an enclosed space are deafening as tons of earth shift, first outwards, and then back into the cavities left by the explosives. Dust, debris, bits of pulverised rock, they all come rushing out of the collapsing tunnel in a rushing cloud that envelops Techno and rushes out of the hole like a geyser.

    Seconds pass, and then the teen crawls out of the hole, even as earth is still falling back down to the ground. He's ashen grey from head to toe, coughing as he emerges, drawing enough breath for a string of invective in ever more creative and colorful German.

    But even as he's emerging, he's sending a message to that /other/ phone he sensed nearby. <<Hey. I think we need to talk about something, don't you?>>. This time, he reaches for the bluetooth earbud and checks to make sure it's still active, holding it in front of him rather than risking grinding all that dirt and sharp bits of rock into his ear. "So... long story... things blew up. Might wanna head back without me. Gonna have some explaining to do."

    Not the least of which is going to be to those agents he assaulted. Ah man... The dirt by the hole is good dirt. He's just... gonna lay there for a while. Close enough to hear Thor's expansion of the tactical situation. Ah crap again... "It never rains, it thunders..."

Dracula has posed:
The bats are perched, hanging upside down on the larger branches of the tree, looking down upon the graveyard. Dracula can sense through scores of beings now.

Stardust has posed:
    Stardust will apparently have to wait for a full answer to her questions, as Diana's not so much doing good cop or bad cop but boss cop. Diana can be sure that Stardust will be visiting for answers though.

    Which leaves Thor's revelation, and raised eyebrows. This is something she'll have to discuss with those voices in her head soon, but for now... "If Darkseid's back, we'll just have to kick him out again. I'm up for kicking him in the nuts again, last time was a blast."

Grail has posed:
A shake of her head and Grail spits on the ground, "You Earthlings continue to surprise me. Not necessarily all in good ways. You aren't the most powerful things around. You continue to be lucky." She nods her head and then looks back at Thor as he speaks up. She stares at him for a long moment and then states, "Last I checked, my father was not on Apokolips." She states, "Darkseid is missing..." She stares before looking ahead at the portal and frowning, "Be aware a darkness is coming that even my father would fear..." SHe looks back at Thor directly, staring him, "Something enough that even the Lantern Corps is worried."

She then steps up a step and nods her head, "All the more reason for me to do what I need to do..." She points back at Thor, "Find your Superman. I will return when he awakens and I will have my answer one way or another." She then looks ahead, "And I will find my own answers if I have to rip a planet apart to do it..." She glances at Colette and then laughs one good laugh before walking through the portal and is gone.

Superman has posed:
The explosives go off further down the tunnel, sealing it off. Everyone escapes out of the tunnel, without injuries to Lex or Samuels, thanks to Samuel's quick thinking, and Lex's armor. That was a scorched earth policy, that was for sure.

As the tunnel did not go right to the base, it only led to access areas, by the time Lex or anyone else got to the actual base, well, it was no longer there.

Rokk Krinn looks up at the Amazon Princess, and he grimaces, remembering her battle prowess on the field. "Of course Wonder Woman. Anything I can answer, I will freely tell you. I seem to have shaken off that spell I was under thanks to you, the large woman over there..." Rokk points to Grail, "...and the other one." Kaelyn as she approaches as well. He then looks at Thor and Grail, but doesn't comment. He had faced Darkseid in the future...what could be worse?

"Thank you Colette. For everything. Your help was amazing. Not sure if I need medical help..." That was shock. "Um. What happened. Not sure? I was in the Legion Cruiser...heading to the past for a mission to save the future...and then blackness? Then, I woke up here. With a spear wound and eye blast holes." Rokk winces again, staying on the ground for now. "I do know two names, they are swimming in here...Cadmus and Argus. Does that mean anything?"

"Hi Shannon, yes, if you can heal. That's quite a gift." Rokk says to the winged woman but watches as Diana steps in the way to prevent the healing. "Looks like I am going to be questioned further. Understood. I'd do the same. I will see you again I am sure, Shannon."

What the heroes discovered today, what Kitty found in the crypt and what the Shadow was doing right now, perhaps with Lex's help...may lead them to the final location where they were keeping the Last Son of Krypton!