Team: (add your hero if he or she participated here.)
Villains: Warmonger, Mechanon.
Date: June 17, 2012.
At Sentinel Squadron's Citadel, the team received a request from the Warmonger for a linkup. Blaze set the frequency and a red portal formed in the command center. The team realized what was at stake. They gathered at the gate and, together, entered it.
The team materialized aboard an alien spaceship orbiting the earth in a geostationary orbit.Its technology -- if that is what it was -- was unlike anything any human (save Chivalry) had ever seen before. A large red-skinned alien turned his attention away from a large viewscreen to greet them. "So this is the second of the challengers," the Warmonger said. "Your reputation is formidable. You will need to be equal to it to survive."
" We will be better than what you have heard," Ultimate swore. "We will exceed your expectation."
"Boast if you must," the Warmonger answered. "Most soldiers do on the eve of battle. The day shall reveal whether they are justified." Satisfied, he turned to discussing the contest. "Heading for earth is a starship. My herald is aboard. Should it reach the planet, the devastation will be... considerable. Stop the herald, and you will have won the battle."
"I'm not one for a constant exchange of dialogue, but tell me something," Adversary, the team leader, wondered, confronting the cosmic giant. "What do you hope to gain outta this? Is your existence solely about combat and conquest?"
"All existence is about conflict. I am simply more cognizant of the fact." the Warmonger declared.
"You won't win pardner." the hot-tempered Taurus said, putting his arms to his side and clenching his fists.
" It is not me that you will need to defeat," the Warmonger explained. "Simply my herald... in this case, a gauntlet imbued with a fraction of my power."
"We gotta beat up a glove?" Buckingham Blur wondered.
The Warmonger nodded. "There are others who will attempt to seize the gauntlet. I advise that you do not allow this to happen. Are there any other questions, strategic or philosophical?"
"Just one," Taurus growled. "Why fight for a living? There are better things then fighting."
"You say that," the Warmonger noted. "And yet... you are here."
"Some folks ain't got a choice. He ain't doin' this as a job. It's who he is." Buckingham Blur explained.
"As to what I hope to gain... I have made a bargain, and I intend to carry out my side. I'm a neutral party in this... today. But your struggles will entertain me." he turned to Buckinhgam Blur. "And yes," he affirmed. "That is exactly who I am."
"A heartless monster with no soul." Taurus declared.
The Warmonger scoffed. "There is no such thing as a soul," he stated. "It's merely a poetic term for metaphysical energy. And poetry is for tombs."
Adversary looked at the distant view of the herald's star sphere, clear as crystal on the monitor even though it was currently beyond the orbit of Pluto. The Warmonger had a small craft ready to take them there. She turned to her team. "Sentinels," she said. "Unite as one... fight as one."
The craft takes the team to the outer edge of the solar system, where a large (25 mile diameter) spherical craft is heading toward earth. The monitor showed a number of smaller craft converging on it: Gadroon, Qularr, an Unidentified mechanoid design, and Q'Rellian.
"I'm not big on dealing with intergalactic threats, but this craft has to have some onboard weapons system," Adversary noted. "Let's man them and have someone take control of the craft while we take out the craft. Anyone here who can survive in the void can go out and better help us."
Kinstor took contrl of the pilot's station and battle was soon joined. Though not conversant with the controls, the ship's weapon systems seeed almost eager to please and the Qularr and the Gadroon were both easily discouraged by the initial volleys. However a swarm of the "mechanoid" ships veered away from the main craft and moved to intercept the heroes. Among this swarm was a very large robot.
"Mechanon Protocol 1" the robot declared in a burst transmission. "All organics will be destroyed in the name of our creator."
Ion, the team's powerful electric controller, teleported from ship to ship disabling them with ionized plasma bursts, while the rest of the team focused their attention on the robot. Ultimate and the robot duked it out, with Ultimate getting the worst of the exchange, however the team managed to finally destroy the Mechanon-enforcer. A swarm of drone robots docked with the ship and carved their way through the superstructure, only to be met, in brutal fashion, by Adversary.
With the Mechanon swarm disabled, there were no other ships in sight, Duck Vermillion, the synthetic hero known to her teammates as "Emma" scanned the craft and discovered some helpful docking bays (somewhat to the disappointment of those who wanted to fight their way inside); Duck pointed out to those who want to disable the herald's craft that there were no obvious engines to attack. The Squadron boarded the huge circular craft.
"Good Gods this place is huge," Ghost Helix said on first sight of the craft's interior.
The Squadron discovered an immense shaft heading into the heart of the craft. The huge corridor was decorated by the remains (and blood splatters) of numerous alien species who had fought in past wars on the craft: a testament to its builder. Duck decided to send a drone down the shaft to investigate, allowing the rest of the team to observe on a holographic display. Eight miles down the shaft, there was a small side passage. The main passage continued on for five miles, before ending at a large sealed door.
Quickly cobbling together her systems, Emma sent the drone down the side passage. It ends at a door, where alien script blurs and reforms into a message in English: "PRISON. DO NOT ENTER".
"Well...so...do we really want to enter?" Ultimate asks.
"I'm not sure I like being told what to do by an evil door," Ghost Helix declared.
As the team debated their next course of action. Duck sent the drone into the room; almost immediately a lou voice screamed "FREE ME!" and the Drone was sucked into a black hole in the center of the room. The prisoner was Xixxon, the Living Black Hole, who had attempted to betray the Warmonger billions of years ago and was now doomed to madness aboard the Warmonger's craft. This was, of course, a mystery to the Sentinels.
"What the hell was that!!!" Ultimate exclaimed.
"....I'm never going to see that drone again." Duck said, lowering her robotic head mournfully.
" I suppose that is what the sign is for." Ion stated.
Duck's second drone continued to monitor the end of the main hallway. In response to Xixxon's cry, the door opened and two alien troopers emerged. Ion, Adversary, and Ultimate recognized them. Breach troopers, belonging to the Squadron's arch enemy, General Zamion!
"What the...why the hell are they here!!!" Ultimate exclaimed. "I mean did they do this to the species that inhabited this ship?
"I doubt Zemion even knows that they're here or doesn't even care. He's more obsessed with finding that fragment of the Star Key." Adversary said. The Star Key was a major cosmic artifact that had been central to many of the Squadron's past adventures.
Adversary immediately moved into action, instructing the team to head down the corridor and engage the Breach. A long run was followed by a fierce, chaotic battle. The team manages to overwhelm the Breach and force their way into a huge spherical central chamber, but it was only a diversion. The breach commander stood on the dias of the control room, placing a gauntlet on his left hand."You're too late, fools!" the commander shouted. "With this gauntlet, nothing will stop my general from obtaining the Star Key!"
"Boss?" the mystic Virfortis asked. "What's the permitted level of force?"
"The permitted level will be inadequate, boy!" the commander declared. "Long live General Zamion!"
Adversary looked at her team "Fight as one. Helix and Kinstor, take positions and provide us some cover fire. You two, Emma. The rest of us will move in and face him head on."
After the barrage dented the commander's defenses, he glared at Adversary and screamed: "I've had enough. Fight as one? No, you shall bow as one!" The man raised the gauntlet above his head, as a mental compulsion washed over every member of the Sentinel Squadron. "Fall to your knees and swear loyalty to my general, now!" he commanded.
A tremendous telepathic attack emanated from the gauntlet, trying to force the Squadron to their knees. Ion's eyes glowed red as he gripped his perch with his tail and grabbed his head. Ghost Helix screamed -- he was hypersensitive to telepathy. Ultimate fell to the ground while Kinstor, further away from the attack, struggled to bring his rifle to bear. Blaze collapsed off the platform where he was situated and freefell to the floor. Adversary strained against the attack and nearly buckled, then her body began to be surrounded with a fiery golden aura. She was building up a resistance to the attack.
The commander focused the gauntlet's mental energies on Adversary, almost dropping her, but her heroic resistance will not allow her to bend her knees, and the team drew strength from it. Whether it was their leader's determined will, or sheer stubbornness, it was hard to say. "No!" the breach commander shouts, looking at the glove in disbelief.
Shaken, the team had their shot, and those who were able to unleashed a volley on the Commander. Adversary and Ultimate landed almost synchronous punches from opposite sides, their impact rattled the leviathan craft. The Breach Commander fell, the gauntlet toppling from his hand.
General Zamion would be so diappointed.
The gauntlet began to thrash on the floor. "It's creeping me out!" Ultimate said.
It's only a disembodied gauntlet thrashing about possessed by evil. Nothing to be afraid of...." Emma said.
"Nobody touch it," Adversary instructed. Ion, seemingly recovered from the herald's telepathic onslaught, leapt down from the platform and observed it curiously.
Telepathic messages began to issue forth from the herald. It suddenly occurred to each of them how much good they'd be able to do if they just put it on...
"No-- nobody touch it!" Ghost Helix stammered. "It's sending a compulsion of some type. Psychic---"
What a silly idea, everyone thought. Gloves can't send out compulsions. Honest.
The team frantically began to debate how to dispose of the herald. Why should villains get all the cool toys? You deserve to treat yourself, the gauntlet continued to try to seduce them.
As the team fought the compulsions, Ion took Adversary's cape, covered it over the gauntlet and pulled it toward himself.
The team debated the wisdom of throwing the gauntlet into the black hole, but the issue was soon decided for them. Ion slowly stood with the cape in hand as his eyes flared a red glow, he droppes the cape showing the gauntlet on his left hand. "Fools.." he grinned, and a burst of electricity comes from him as he sprinted down the corridor he came from.
"...The IDIOT!!!" snarled Ultimate.
"I will blow this place up, get Ion and hold him in the ship," Kinstor said, probably not thinking through the logistics of blowing up a twenty-five kilometer craft constructed from a technology beyond even Albert Zerstoiten's understanding.
Adversary snapped "Dammit!" and immediately gave chase, knowing just how difficult it would be to catch Ion -- he was the most powerful member of the team even without the gauntlet.
"I want the record to state that the synthetic offered to carry the gauntlet and nobody took it up on the offer!" Emma protested, following.
Kinstor activated a tracker in Ion's comm and tried to link his location to the team, while Ghost Helix searched for the gauntlet with his psionic senses. Ion sent a massive wave of electricity down the corridor to fry his teammates. Ghost Helix managed to deflect the brunt of it with an impromptu force field --barely.
"Advie what should we do? I dont wantto have to hurt Ion." Ultimate said.
"Ultimate, if you don't hurt him, I'll have to," Blaze answered. "We take him down like any other villain, alive if we can.
"We just may have to," Adversary noted. "I've seen Ion like this before and everyone tried to talk him back to his senses. It won't work. Believe me. That's not Ion we're dealing with. That's the gauntlet and a side of Ion that hasn't been seen in two years now. I hate to sound harsh...but that ain't your friend."
The team pursued Ion to the edge of the craft. Whatever he had become seemed to enjoy the power he now possesed.
"It's over!" Ultimate declared. "I came to bring to the pain!"
"Shame..." Ion replied, turning to Ultimate. "Are you a religious man, Richard Price?" he asked.
"I want my friend back and i am willing to die to do it," Ultimate answered. Ion held up the gauntlet and another wave of mental attacks forced them to their knees.
"And I looked, and behold a pale horse..." Ion recited.
"Pale Man!" Adversary stepped from out of the shadows, her eyes burning with the fiery golden glow. "That is enough. Let them go!"
Ghost Helix attempted to tackle Ion and grab the gauntlet. Ion responded by using his momentum to roll him onto his back, tasering him with an electrical surger. "...and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him!"
"I said let them go! This ends now." Adversary insisted. "I once promised a friend that I wouldn't let this side of him ever resurface and endanger anyone's lives, even if I had to take his own. I made that vow to that friend. Don't make me have to fulfill."
Ion ignored the request and began to dismantle the team one by one. Ultimate grappled his teammate and wrestled him. Ion looked to Adversary even as Ultimate lifted him upward. "You're not talking to your beloved Ion, girl. I will take what ever means needs to have my vengence on your pitiful species!"
"Zane, the world saw you as a freak and a monster, but you showed them otherwise." Adversary said. "Now, you're just gonna take your revenge and prove them right?"
The remaining teammates fired en masse at Ion, who cleverly interposed Ultimate between them. Ultimate was downed by the attacks, as Ion teleported away. "Now we shall Dance the Devils Dance..." he shouted as he teleported, taunting them.
"Ion! Just give us back the gauntlet already!" Emma protested. "I want ot go home and watch late night infomercials!"
Adversary assessed the situation and sighed. "Everyone...stand down." she instructed. "We're not leaving, but we're not going to fight him either. Just listen to me on this and don't question my order. Fall back."
As the team looked at their leader, Adversary stepped forth into the open. "Pale Man," she said. "Here I am." She tossed the Blade of Wrath to the floor and stood with her arms out. "You won't try to destroy us as a group, so I'm offering you something better. Come and destroy us individually, starting with me. Come take out the leader. The heart and soul of the group first. But I'll say this...your decision will clearly show whether the Ion we know is still within you somewhere or if all that remains is the Pale Man. So how about, huh? Come on and take out the Adversary, herself. I'm right here. Don't worry. None of the team will interfere. It'll be just you and me."
Then she shifted back into her Kendrea Lennox persona. "Come on. Do it."
Ion appeared and plunged his clawed hand into Kendrea's stomach, then raised his gauntleted hand to deliver the killing stroke, stariing back into her eyes-"My name is Death and the end is here..."
Adversary smiled, and delivered an uppercut that sent Ion hurling into the ceiling. "Your name is Ion and you're our friend...but I'm about to seriously beat the fuck outta you." she said as she shifted back into the Adversary.
Kinstor advanced with one of the energy weapons of the Breach and severed the arm containing the gauntlet. Adversary plunged her sword into Ion's chest as he tried one last desperate time to electrocute her. Ultimate, still groggy from their earlier battle, literally knocked Ion's head off his shoulders. The battle was over -- though Ion was an regenerator, and would get better over time.
Meanwhile, the starship was not idle, and the team saw it approaching earth. Remembering with horror the Warmonger's earlier warning about the devastation it would cause if it reached the planet, the team realized its time was up. Despite Emma's misgivings, Kinstor grabbed the severed gauntlet arm, raced down the passageway and hurled the gauntlet into the chamber.
"FREEME!" Xixxor's voice shouted again. "YES!" it added as it noticed the gauntlet tumbling in... only for the gauntlet to be crushed and destroyed before it reached the event horizon.
The Sentinel Squadron had won.
Utimate picked up Ion's limp body and head and carried them to the ship. "Let's move!" he shouted.
"Sentinels, unite and haul ass. Right now." Adversary ordered.
"This place might blow up any second." Kinstor added.
"Well," the Warmonger said, appearing behind them with his hands clasped behind his back. "Victory is yours. And my vessel does not come equipped with a self-destruct. The theater of war will remain as it has for billions of years. I will provide you with transport back to your Citadel. It will be faster."
"Well, that's convenient." Duck Vermillion said.
"The quicker you heal, the quicker you shall return to battle," the Warmonger stated. The Galaxar formed a portal with a glance. "Earth," he pronounced, "is spared my wrath for another week."
"We've had enough of you and your games. You've had your entertainment. We've won." Adversary rebuked him.
"Indeed. But this is far from over, Adversary. Let us hope the other challengers are as successful." Adversary stopped at the portal and glared at the cosmic titan.
"Other challengers? We're playing for the fate of our planet?" Duck Vermillion asked. "Why?"
"It's fun and games to him, Emma. That's why." Adversary answered.
"It is a microcosm of life. A test of your species' mettle." the Warmonger stated dispassionately.
"There are various species that call the planet home. To test one to determine the worth of it isn't right." Duck noted.
"I agree with you, Emma" Adversary said. "Thing is that he don't see things like that. Everything is a contest of conflict."
"I see things as they are, when stripped down to their fundamental nature. A dance of conflicting forces." the Warmonger stated.
"It is not a dance, sir. It's the struggle for a peaceful life." Emma said, and she walked through the portal, shaking her head.
"We need to get back to the base. Ion needs to be put in the medbay chamber. Let's move out, Sentinels." Adversary stated, and giving the cosmic entity one final glance, she led her team back to Earth, where she hoped to put Ion together -- body and soul -- together again.