”Jeez, can’t we go anywhere without trouble somehow finding us?”
Roxas asked with a quick facepalm. But there was nothing to be done about it except act."Nope, it's part of the job description when you’re a world-saving hero!"”Nothing but another opportunity to demonstrate excellence, Mister Roxas. Onwards!”
Karin said, making sure her grappling hook was secure on her bare arm.
For a ten-ton titan of a vehicle, Goldlewis’ hummer could really move once it got going, which came in handy now that time was of the essence. The bright lights and screens inside the otherwise dark, near-trapezoidal tunnel quickly became a holographic blur as the Patriot Mammoth picked up speed, slowly but steadily gaining on their targets. Up ahead, the Neuron officer on his motorcycle had been waylaid by the Filthwing aberrations, which despite appearances seemed capable of not just catching up to him but exceeding his bike’s impressive speed. Once ahead of them the monsters turned to shoot backward at the speeding policeman, forcing him to return fire with the bike’s mounted laser guns to avoid getting swarmed. He’d put on a dominating performance against them so far, but their firefight hat gave the semi and its monstrous revenue time to catch up. Add in crashed cars, automatic roadblocks, and other debris to the mix, and things got more complicated still.
“I’m too old for this shit!” Goldlewis roared over the clamor of the engine. At these speeds the simple act of not crashing into something took every bit of concentration he had, and in fact he did graze wrecks or the tunnel walls a couple times, but somehow he managed to not only keep everyone in one piece but also creep up on the action bit by bit. Of course, he knew the aberrations would notice eventually, and sure enough the demonic-looking fliers began to harry his hummer with arrows of malignant red energy. “Y’all better start doin’ somethin’, or we’re gonna be a smear on the damn pavement!”"You got it!"
Pit said, preparing to exit the vehicle. It took two tries to get the nearest door open, the first time it slammed back shut due to the pressure from the speed they were going at. The second time Pit gave the poor hummer's door a good kick and slipped out before it closed again, climbing up onto the roof.
The angel was confident that he could keep his footing, and his wings were tucked in close to his body to prevent them catching any wind that might knock him off. This kind of high speed battle, while not the norm for him, was something he had experience in. Plus he couldn't exactly fire his bow from inside anyway. The weapon came to his hand, a light arrow manifested, and soon enough Pit was shooting back at the flying menaces. Thanks to the maneuverability of the light arrows he didn't have to be entirely accurate when judging his aim while hurtling down the road - the glowing blue flickers of light curved toward their targets, slamming into the Filthwings both from their sides and straight on.
In response there was the wiring of electric motors as one or more of the windows were rolled down. First to pop their head out was a masked and suited Midna, unintentionally looking like some kind of bank robber, an aesthetic only added to when she started out by firing off a few ineffectual pistol shots. She took the goddess name in vain, and then leaned back into the car, after which a shadow hand extended out in its place, and into its grip one of the Amazonian initiates was summoned.
Gripped around the waist by the massive magical hand that acted somewhat as armor, the striker hoisted a spear of psionic energy over her shoulder, and then hurled it like a javelin, though the attack designed for futuristic battlefields flew straighter and truer than any physical projectile might have against the rushing tunnel air the Hummer was blasting through. For all its absurdity, the clever maneuver paid off, spearing one of the Filthwings through the abdomen. More than that, the impact drove it into the road beneath, sending it into a wild tumble along the road.
Meanwhile, a window on the opposite side of the hummer slid down to open. And then a very nervous Roxas quickly leaned part way out of the window and called Oathkeeper to his hand. Aiming wasn’t exactly easy, considering the high speed and low visibility of the tunnel. In fact Roxas wasn’t even sure this was a good idea. But Mr. Dickinson said they needed to do something, so Roxas had to try something at least. He pointed the Keyblade at the general direction of one of the demon things chasing the motorcycle, ”Firaga!”
and with that command, an explosive fireball launched from the weapon’s tip and flew forward.
Maybe shooting fire at a demonic creature might not have been the most tactically sound idea, but Blizzaga and Waterga would have created hazards that could cause a wreck, while Thundaga would have just showered their own vehicle in a series of indoor lightning strikes. Ergo, Firaga ironically seemed to be the least risky move here. Of course Roxas also had to quickly duck back into the window to avoid clipping against an oncoming obstruction, but otherwise he was still fine for the moment, ”Please tell me someone has a better idea?”
he said, not exactly thrilled with the thought of doing that again. Despite his trepidations, he managed to land the shot, thanks mostly to the aberration’s remarkably stable flight pattern. A plume of flame blossomed in midair against the monster and it careened off course. While it didn’t die, it would be forced to catch up with the heroes once more.
At that point the other Filthwings really started to take notice. A flurry of crimson bolts flew the hummer’s way, and Goldlewis couldn’t evade them all. Despite its formidable appearance the vehicle wasn’t actually military-grade, and after just a few shots the windshield shattered violently, filling the inside with shards of glass. The veteran gritted his teeth as blood dribbled from fresh cuts on his face. “Damn it! They’re gonna pay!” He reached over and knocked on the lid of his coffin, causing it to slide open. “UMA! Give ‘em somethin’ to shoot with!” In reply the alien produced the hulking Skyfish minigun, which would take superhuman strength to wield, and certainly not within the confines of the hummer’s interior.”Ohhhhh, gimme gimme!”
Midna said as she made a grab for the massive gun with her shadowhand, wrapping it around the body of the gun and hoisting it up. She proceeded to shove open a door and shoved the minigun out of it, only to find actually firing it herself to be basically impossible, what with the open door being in the way and there being no way to lean out of it safely either.”No … No… ok someone over there grab it”
she instructed as she hauled the gun over the top of the hummer’s roof and then held it next to the other side of the car’s open windows. There someone could lean out of it, and fire it one handedly while relying on Midna’s supernatural strength to handle the recoil.
Karin, having been sat in the middle, was waiting for a moment to act. When the glass shattered she protected herself and then moved forward the passenger seat and moved with agility out the window and onto the hood of the car. With a back roll she steadied herself with a low crouch on the roof of the hummer. ”I’ve done battle on the wings of a biplane! This is nothing!”
She declared. Extended her arm forward, she fired off a grappling hook to one of the Filthwings. She retracted, the wind at it’s back as she pulled it in for a stabbing punch to that torso that pinned it to the hummer’s roof. Following up with a viscous elbow, she then slammed it up with her palm where it scattered into dust on the ceiling.
After loosing a few more arrows ahead of them Pit glanced at his fellow rooftop fighter. "Me too!"
The organizers for the Smash Bros. tourneys always loved getting creative with the stages.
Hopefully with Karin now being on the hummer it would attract some attention. Otherwise, she could get on the hood and defend from there. Luckily, the aberrations obliged. Two of the four archers currently shooting at the Patriot Mammoth flew toward her to attack in person. Wielding their deformed arms like clubs they aimed to clothesline the street fighter off the roof for a deadly encounter with the pavement, and she had less than two seconds to deal with one before the second joined the fun.
Before the first could reach her with its arms, she thrust her foot out to stop it dead in its tracks. She brought her other leg around and swiped it across the chest, slamming it into the path of its fellow before it could reach her. This would interrupt its focus but not stop all of its momentum. As it fell towards her she brought the back of her hand down atop its dome and struck her palm under its chin, sending it flying into the speedy roof tunnel above. Quickly she zipped back over to the first creature and slammed her back into it, knocking it into the hood of the humvee and then under the wheels, to the discomfort of those inside of it.
“The hell are ya doin’ with my gun!?” She heard Goldlewis holler at Midna down below. “Those kids can’t fire it like that! If Karin can’t hold it up top, put it back in the damn coffin!” With the driver’s attention diverted to something even more valuable than his car, he steadied the hummer as it continued to roar down the tunnel, filling it with a cacophonous echo. This made it an easier target for the aberrations, who pelted it with projectiles. One struck Goldlewis in the chest, inches from his heart. “Agh!” he growled. “UMA! Need a hand!”
In the middle back seat, the coffin began to shake. The lid lifted upward, and from within extended a spectral hand. Its translucent skin gleamed like cosmic nebulae on fingers much longer than a human’s. Then a second hand stretched outward. And a third. One by one ten hands appeared, borne on long arms of uncanny slenderness to reach out through the hummer’s windows. Five of them relieved Midna’s shadow-hand of the Skyfish minigun, then hoisted it up onto the roof for the other five to steady. With their staunch grip holding the minigun it could be aimed and fired like a turret.”That’s basically just the same as my idea!”
Midna complained, not at all put off by the weird spectral ghost thing, before she was forced to admit that while it was the same sort of idea, it was being done in a way that didn’t lopside the car.”Fine, have it your way!”
she declared, as she moved her shadow hand to grab the back of the hummer for support, and then pulled herself out the door instead.
There came an ”Eek!”
as the wind resistance hit her and she was pulled back, but she got a hold of the situation and, rather than flailing around behind the vehicle, pulled herself around in an arc to land on top of the vehicle.”I meant to do that!”
she insisted, arms folded with faked confidence, as dragon claws spiked down from her toes, gripping the roof and negating the lack of friction her maglev mod created. Then she reached forward, grabbed the handle at the back of the minigun with both hands and promptly let it rip.
The sound of continuous gunfire and the increasingly manic cries of a woman who had little to no concept of recoil control or ammo preservation began to fill the air, along with a stream of lead. Despite the brain rattling and giving off the impression that she was rapidly going mad with (fire) power, the princess at least had the common sense to keep well away from the biker they were trying to aid.”Why must you two insist upon that ungainly gatling gun?”
Karin shouted from the roof.
If Midna could hear her over the roar of gunfire just a couple feet away also on the hummer’s roof, she gave no sign. Just a moment later, however, the minigun’s withering report gave way to a series of clicks. It was empty. Before the Twilight Princess could do much about it, the many arms of the UMA took the Skyfish away from her and into the coffin from whence it came. As it receded it gave both ladies up top as good a view of what lay directly ahead as their ride’s driver, much to his chagrin. Just a few hundred feet up and closing fast lay a row of emergency traffic blockers, but since they took the form of raised inclines the officer on his bike simply ramped off the top at high speed and hurtled through the air. “We’re in for it now, hold on tight!” Goldlewis yelled, and the next moment the ten-ton vehicle and all its passengers were airborne.
With the Palutena bow dispelled for now so that he could wrap both of his arms around the roof's metal bars, Pit did not cut an elegant figure as the hummer soared over the stretch of road. His joyful whoop at Goldlewis' action hero-style stunt soon turned to a noise of concern as the pavement came up to meet them again.
The hummer’s impact with the ground was tremendous. Those not currently wearing seatbelts received a powerful jerk and, if especially unlucky, a concussive collision with some other part of the interior as well. But the Patriot Mammoth, every bit as stout-hearted as the man who drove it, would not be so easily defeated. With a cry of defiance its engine got back into gear, accelerating the tremendous four-wheeler through the tunnel once again. Nerves afire from the jarring blow and heart pumping from excitement, Goldlewis wiped beads of perspiration from his brow with a shaky hand, thanking his lucky stars that nothing disastrous happened. “...Holy hell.”
Karin had anchored herself to the roof with her grapple hook, kneeled low. She grinned confidently as her golden ringlets blew in the wind.
Well before they caught up with the policeman, who’d been accosted by airborne aberrations again, disaster struck after all. A bassy horn resounded through the tunnel as the semitruck from before drew even with the heroes across the dividing line. It was crawling with enemies, whether inside the cab, in the trailer, or on top of the vehicle. Though wingless, some of these aberrations featured new mutations, including giant claws or crude facsimiles of sword and shield. In another moment the first few would make the jump, and the team’s ride would be boarded.
Karin eyed the semi-truck. Surely her allies were more than capable of defending the humvee itself. It was time to go on the offensive if they wanted to make progress in winning this battle. She fired a line across to the semi truck, and leapt forward. The line ensured her accuracy despite the speed of the moving vehicles. Along the way she knocked a leaping monster from its path, and landed with a roll on the semi truck. ”Kanzuki-Ryu!”
She shouted, taking a solid stance, emitting an intimidating aura that bordered on physical. She moved to the nearest aberration, snatched its wrist and twisted it, before shoulder checking it off the edge."I know I'm gonna regret this!"
said the Keyblade Wielder after recovering from getting jumbled around from the earlier impact. But he wasn't about to let one of his new friends go charging into a much larger group on her own.
With his own agility and momentum, Roxas sprang from his seat and - after worming his way past the front seat - launched himself through the now absent windshield. Thanks to flowmotion, he slammed onto an airborne aberration only to kick off of it and then again off of a second one before sliding and rolling to a stop onto the top of the semi truck."Finally, some breathing room!"
he remarked as he summoned both of his Keyblades and held them crossed in front of him to block an incoming claw attack. Then quickly slid into a circular Dual Counter slash with both blades. The wide circular swing was handy for keeping other enemies from getting in too close. Then he hooked the Keyblades' teeth around the aberration he'd just countered and sent it sprawling in Karin's direction - hoping she'd have a good punch or kick ready for it.
Karin kept a few enemies at bay with her kicks and blocking. The sprawling enemy, she caught by the arm with one hand mid-air. WIth seemingly no effort she elegantly twirled the minion into its fellows, flooring some of them. She back walked, wielding her flattened hands like akimbo blades. ”So you’ve seen fit to join me? If you are done complaining, I believe we can make quick work of them.”
And that was when Roxas had an idea, "Here we go,"
he said as he suddenly spun around and aimed the tip of Oathkeeper at Karin, "Light!"
and with that command, a thin beam of light shot out at Karin, but it didn’t harm her. Instead she became cloaked in an aura of white light, much like what Roxas usually did with his own Keyblades. For the next few moments, Karin's attacks would be empowered by Roxas's Light.
With that, they went to town on the mutants. Their attacks circled around one another almost like they'd choreographed it. Karin's fists and kicks plus Roxas's keyblades created what looked like a glowing whirlwind of strikes atop the semi truck. Then - at the end of it - both Seekers jumped up and made one last attack. Karin brought her fist into a downward punch aimed at the truck's roof. Her cloak of Light expelled into a shockwave that launched the surrounding mutants upward into Roxas's followup. He began to zip and dart around between them all, looking like a ray of light bouncing off mirrors. Then he landed with a flourish that revealed he'd been slicing and dicing so quickly that the mutants were only now beginning to feel the attacks catching up to them.”Kanzuki-Ryu hikari no ichigeki uki kagami!”
Karin announced the long winded name of the special move on the spot with a finishing flourish.
As street fighter and keyblade master leapt into the fray, some of that fray came the other way, mutants leaping from their truck and onto the roof of the hummer. Atop that stood Midna, shadow hand having held fast to the car and prevented her from being tossed off of it. It was, however, also the only thing keeping her on it, which made for something of an awkward situation combat stance wise.
Add to that the rushing air that would sweep her summons off the roof before they got their own foot holds, and she was both on her own and gimped fighting style wise. Good thing she’d been diversifying using all those fusions.
The practically a mutant herself at this point princess retaliated to the border leaps by blasting sand out of portals to get it in their eyes and throw off their jumps, causing more than one to miss it and fall.
Those that made it found themselves contending with Midna wielding a (literal) fire ax. ”No free rides!”
she yelled at the first, to make the jump, puppeting herself forwards via the shadow hand limb and bringing the ax down in an overhead chop.
The mutant, close to twice her size, raised an armored claw and caught the telegraph blow in it, only for its entire being to burst into flames from contact with the volcano fragment. They shrieked like a boiling lobster as the inferno engulfed them. As fire ragged before her, the princess let one hand go from her ax and used it to claw at the burning mutant, bright purple talons flaring at her fingertips expertly slashing through muscles and nerves on the arm restraining her weapon, forcing the grip loosen and let her blade free.
She pulled herself back using her shadow hand, leaving the mutant to burn, and then jerkily lunged herself towards another, and then another, the biological weapons of the mutants making them unable to properly parry her fire spreading blade, while her dragon claws meant she could follow up the first blow with something better than the ax’s mediocre slashing damage.
As she did this, her motor mouth really got running, generally to the tune of ”Ahahahah Burn, Buuuuuurn!”
as her inherited quirks ran wild while the princess focused her brainpower on keeping both her and the other people still with the car alive and kicking."I never knew you were such a pyromaniac, Midna!"
came Pit's voice from some feet away on the roof's other end. Then, after a slight delay, "Um, should we be worried about that?"
He'd swapped to the Upperdash Arm, catching a mutant leaping over with an uppercut that sent it bouncing off of the tunnel's ceiling and down onto the pavement. Hanger-ons that managed to get through the sand blasts were pummeled with the colorful weapon as Pit battered their heads and arms until they fell, left somewhere on the road as the car sped onward. And of course the enemies that hauled themselves onto the roof and chose to contend with Pit rather than the impish firebug suffered the Arm's back-dash shot, slamming them up into the air. Pit followed up by firing a disc and launching them away."Heh, bullseye!"
he crowed, turning to shoot another disc at the next.
Between the heroes’ own boarding party wreaking havoc atop the rampaging semitruck and the pair soundly punishing any who actually managed to make it to the hummer, the aberrant attackers dropped like flies. Though stronger and tougher than the average human, not to mention more vicious, the Seekers were a lot
stronger and tougher on average, not to mention more skilled. Sand scoured them, fists floored them, keyblades carved them, and light discs dismantled them. It didn’t take much to use the aberrations’ own murderous savagery against them and send the corrupt combatants flying from the vehicles’ rooftops to the roadway below.
As chaos unfolded on the semitruck and it racked up damage, however, its already-erratic driving grew even more unstable. The massive vehicle veered from side to side, grinding against the highway’s divider in a shower of sparks and shrapnel. Up ahead lay a pileup of wrecked and otherwise abandoned cars, which for the runaway hauler meant almost certain destruction. “Get your asses back over here!” Goldlewis hollered, drawing their attention to the obstruction ahead if it hadn’t been already. Roxas and Karin had mere moments to finish their tag-team scramble with a daring getaway.”Let’s get outta here!”
Roxas said to Karin as he knocked back an incoming mutant with his Keyblade. He didn’t need to be told twice and made a break for the edge of the truck. Leaping back to the Hummer was surprisingly easier than it was to leap to the truck. After all, this jump was going toward something coming in Roxas’s direction rather than something actively speeding away from him. Karin followed suit, pulling herself back to the humvee with her grappling hook.
Midna meanwhile snatched a single spirit of a fallen crab claw mutant from the air, and then deposited herself back inside the car. Once there swiftly strapped herself back in, really rather glad to be secured once more, suddenly finding an appreciation for seat belts that she had not had when they started this trip.
A second later the heedless semitruck careened into the pileup, and against the odds its sheer weight and momentum allowed it to plow through, albeit at a steep cost. The gut-wrenching sound of crushed metal rent the air as the terrific impact not just pancaked the aberrant driver but also pulverized the truck’s cabin into an unrecognizable flaming mess. Completely out of control and made worse by the weight of its trailer, the truck smashed into and tipped over the highway divider, rolling into the heroes’ lane as a twenty-ton, seventy-foot harbinger of devastation, its reinforced steel crumpled like tinfoil. Up ahead, the policeman had only the briefest window in which to react. He went low, grinding his motorcycle near-horizontal along the road at high speed. Sparks flew as he slid beneath the tumbling semi with nary an inch of clearance, but he made it, and a moment later rose up again to roar down the tunnel and out into the night.
In their massive hummer Seekers had no such luxury. Goldlewis hammered the emergency brakes as he swerved sideways, and as his vehicle screeched to a halt he stepped from the still-moving vehicle, coffin in hand. Hell itself thundered toward him, but this veteran had stared death in the eye before.
Goldlewis Dickinson planted his feet. As he gripped his coffin, his enormous muscles flex, and veins popped out all along his arms, neck and face. “DOWN THEEEEEEEE-!” He began to swing; his eyes went wide, the pupils shrunken to dots, and his mouth opened wider than should physically be possible. Sheer power rippled off him, blowing his own glasses to smithereens. As the semitruck’s bulk descended towards him and his friends, eager to squash the proud few upon whose shoulders the weight of the world rested, his fist -and his coffin- rose up.
Might met metal in a single, incredible blow. Dented by its force, the truck’s trailer bounced into the air, soaring over the hummer to crash down and roll to a stop behind it.
A few moments later and Minda peaked her head out of the shadows, glanced back at the crushed trailer behind them and then, in a shocked and slightly awed tone commenced that ”Well that was ridiculously impressive”"Way more than impressive, that was awesome!"
Pit corrected, having been rounding the hummer at the time. He had actually been thrown from the roof, the only thing able to dislodge him had been the sharp braking, but besides some ruffled hair and feathers he looked to be alright. Once he'd gotten back to his feet he'd swapped the Upperdash Arm for his Guardian Orbitars, but they floated around unneeded in thanks to Goldlewis.
In front of the Seekers, Goldlewis fell to his knees, panting. Steam rose from his skin, and blood trickled from his face, yet in all his years he didn’t know if he’d ever felt quite so alive. After a moment he rose, staggering back toward the car. “This ain’t over yet,” he barked hoarsely. “Let’s hustle.””Are you fit to drive like that?”
Midna asked, as she mentally checked around her pocket dimension, and then made a little ”Ah!”
as she found what she was looking for. She opened a little portal and pulled out one little hand sanitizer like bottle of orange goo which, having had a chance to read the label since she got it, she now knew was A. called Light Jelly, and B. was a healing potion of sorts.
A bit like Chu Jelly even.
This she offered to the man while saying ”Either way, here, for the bleeding”
and then after a few more moments added ”And also thanks, for, well, saving us all”
“Heh,” Goldlewis huffed, accepting the medicine. Midna, at least, could have hidden in a shadow somewhere. “Nothin’ to it.”
Roxas looked around at Karin and Pit, ”Are… you two… okay?”
he asked them through his heavy breaths. That had just been one heck of an experience for all of them. In fact Roxas had had to dive off the Hummer before it even stopped because the force of the bumpiness would have thrown him off completely if he hadn’t.”Of course.”
Karin replied, flipping her ringlets. ”A car accident could never destroy me. I was more concerned about all of you.”
The angel flashed Roxas the sign for victory, two fingers held up forming the V. "I'm okay!"
he said, equally glad to see the flashy fighters not too worse for wear. "But we've got more to go!"
Following the former Secretary of Defense's lead he clambered back to perch on the Mammoth's roof, foregoing the interior entirely this time in preparation for battle.