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The men in coats drew closer towards the crowd of nomads, pressing in ever so delicately. As they passed, a couple snippets of hushed conversation could be heard among the strangers, caught in bits and pieces by those surrounding them.

"I can see her, she's with someone."

"Yes, passing by that girl with the bat."

"Is it one of Them? I cannot tell."

"We'll need to kill him first. The girl will not pose a threat to us."

"Victory will come at a cost."

"No fear. We die in the light to cast our shadow."

One of the men cut into the crowd, not even caring as he brushed past the gray-haired nomad Ivory, intently focused on the small figure being escorted through the crowd. The exact small figure Claudette Adelson was searching for and spotted seconds too late...

---


Zun - Airport.


"Hey, what are those guys?" May heard her interviewed person ask. "They the local gestapo or somethin'?"

"Gestapo who what now?" Willie said nervously, glancing around the crowded area. May, a much more seasoned eye for these sort of things, couldn't help but spot the figures cloaked in unusually warm clothing milling about.

"Hmm, very sneaky, heaps of men in strange coats" May mused aloud. "I bet they're spies, maybe from some upstart Nomad Fighting Tourney looking to take down this one!"

"But they just cancelled it," Wally pointed out.

"Exactly, the plan worked!"

"What plan?"

Undeterred, May scribbled down notes rapidly in her notebook, just as the cloaked figure brushed past her too.

"Hey, what's the big idea pal?" May said irritably as the man paused in front of two people, one notably shorter then the other. "If you're looking to sabotage the big event, you already won ya chook!" Wally, expecting a confrontation, turned the camera on and pointed it at the figure, but he ignored her entirely, dropping his suitcase to reveal...

"No!"

"What the fuck!?"

"You Shadowed scum, I'll-!"

A piercing shriek filled the air as the cloaked man fired a gun into the taller man's chest, silencing the buzz of the crowd. The taller man stumbled but tackled the gunman in an attempt to disable him, but he fired twice more at point blank range sending him to the ground. The man looked up at the smaller figure, and with his dying breath uttered two words.

"Yasmina...run!"

The screaming started in earnest as the crowd scattered, with the confusion starting more then a few fights among the already riled up nomads. As the gunman turned to look at the girl whose bodyguard he gunned down, a pen struck him on the side of the head with enough force to send him flying across the room, bouncing back into May's outstretched hand.

"Fuck me dead, that just happened," May said, a mixture of fear and excitement in her tone. "Willy tell me you got that on film!"

"Is now really the time?!?"

The girl named Yasmina, overwhelmed, turn and ran away from the dead bodyguard and deeper into the crowd. All around the airport, the men in long coats disrobed to reveal shining black armor, producing not just pistols but rifles and sub-machine guns, opening fire in the direction of the fleeing girl, not caring who or what they hit, the muzzles of their guns flashing a violent crimson with every shot.





At last, the Blue Suns retreated, unable or unwilling to continue the fight against Taria and the motley band of mercenaries the Volus had employed. Smirking, she procured a rag from somewhere on her person and gave a quick polish to the muzzle of her M-95. "Ahh, just like old times. I love calling down the thunder," she mused before holstering the launcher on her back and taking a moment to check and collect her gear. Idly istening to the Volus' message to meet the team, Taria was distracted when her omni-communicator beeped upon receiving a message. Opening it promptly, she read the message quietly to herself.

"Lokea to (names), full disclosure, you girls kicked a lot of ass. I doubt that this group is made up entirely of trustworthy individuals, but both of you pulled through in my hour of need and done more to help me protect the kids. I feel our chances of survival may rise if we stick together, but it's just a friendly suggestion."

Huh. Well for one thing, it definitely meant the small humans were in fact children. Not sure how she felt about that, but they at least seemed combat capable, so she'd cross that bridge when she came to it. Looking over the assembled mercs, Taria caught the eye of an oddly green-skinned Asari, who sent a knowing smile her way before the other Asari, a sniper whom she assumed was perched somewhere away from the fight, started to shmooze up to her. Taria gave a sympathetic smile back. It would be good to have someone else who wasn't underage or kind of creepy watching her back, at the very least.

More to the point though, Taria listened diligently to the Volus' pitch and just as diligently agreed to the contract when he sent it over to her. A bit too eager? Perhaps, but if there was anyone she trusted in the galaxy more then anyone else, it was Venok, and if Venok trusted the volus to not screw her over, that was a solid second place on the trustworthiness scale.

Or maybe a third, going by the looks of his mangled second in command.

"Hm. You wouldn't happen to be affiliated with Eclipse, would you?" He said to the sultry sniper with mild venom in his voice. "I do so sincerely hope you aren't still affiliated with them..."

"She was plugging heads the entire time we were fighting, lay off her pal," Taria interjected. There was no trust involved in that statement though; the asari exuded a lot of things but very little of that was anything trustworthy. Still, she'd readily take her side against this pile of angry meat.

"In any case, I'm interested in seeing this headquarter of ours," Taria said to Saris directly before getting a thought and addressing the rest of the group. "And just to get this out of the way, the name's Taria Lucimus, and I am in fact a former C-SEC specialist. I'm not here to arrest anyone, and if you have a problem with C-SEC, rest assured that I also have a problem with C-SEC and I'm not gonna give you a hard time over it." Taria tilted her head slightly, as if to challenge anyone to respond in a friendly manner.

@Gentlemanvaultboy Your choice really, I'm open to leaving your NPC a mystery though, so feel free to message me. ^_^

Zun - Airport.

"...mmm, yes, I'll be sure to make note of that," May Armstrong said coolly. "Thank you for your deep thoughts on the subject." As soon as the muscular, shirtless nomad turned around and left, May ripped the paper off the notepad and crumpled it into a ball with one hand.

"Like hell I'm writing about that guy," Armstrong grumbled, chucking the paper ball into the trash can, her ki ability making it powerful enough to nearly knock the whole can over. "If I let that go on any longer he was gonna brag about the size of his 'ki'. Creepo."

"Plus he's barely even photogenic," Wally complained, fiddling with one of his lenses. "You'd think the way he talked himself up that he'd be good at, well, looking good! Waste of perfectly good memory."

"Amen to that," Armstrong said, grabbing onto Wally's arm to get a leg up and look over the crowd. Wally didn't even flinch as she clambered up; he could easily carry her if he wanted to, and at this point he was pretty used to her acrobatics.

"Hey, looks like there's some leggy chick in a leotard making a scene at the noodle shop, let's go check it out!"

"Hey!"

May and Wally both looked around at the intrusion, who turned out to be a tall guy with a disinterested expression, dressed rather plainly compared to the extravagant surroundings. May's eyes lit up at the sight of him. Clearly this was gonna be a guy with some secrets that were just begging for her to uncover them!

"Hey!" Wally responded in a friendly tone. "Something you need from us?"

"You a reporter?"

"Yes I am!" May said, almost a little too eagerly. Bouncing down from Wally's shoulder, she flipped open her notebook and pulled out a pen so fast it looked like she pulled them from thin air. "Not just ANY reporter though...the one and only May Armstrong, investigative Nomad reporter, and my trusted partner the vicious and terrifying WALLY KITE!"

"Hi!" Wally said, smiling warmly before he snapped a picture of the newcomer's face.

"I...gotta ask you somethin'," the newcomer said, distracted somewhat by the flash in his eyes. "I'm looking for a group calling themselves the Hellion Gang. You know anything about 'em?"

"Well, I know they're unoriginal," May mused. "I mean, Hellion? That's just a troublemaker. Might as well call themselves the Gang Gang."

"Actually, I think I heard of a Hellion Gang," Wally said. "They were suspected in that string of museum robberies in Norway, weren't they?"

"Ooh, you're right Wally!" May said, bounding up to the stranger and getting up in his face, a manic look in her eye. "So tell me...what do YOU know about this Hellion gang?"

Behind the trio some distance away, a small figure raised her head to look at the manic reporter and her large crocodile friend.

"Keep your head down," the taller figure said hurriedly. "We can't spend any more time here then we have to."

"I'm sorry," the small one said, her voice quivering in fear.

"You're going to be fine, princess," the tall one said soothingly. "Just keep moving, we'll get you to safety before you know it." The taller of the two scanned the upper floors briefly before hurrying her through the crowd of nomads. Seconds after they moved on, men in long coats, unusually warm considering the weather, strode up to the balconies, their hands gripping their matching suitcases tightly. Few would have noticed them approaching with the sea of colorfully clad nomads below, not even as more men in long coats on the ground floor worked their way towards where the small figure and her friend were making their escape...



Zun - Bar.

In the corner of the bar, far from the action where the cowboy was turning the thugs crossing him into mincemeat, a quiet little woman, entirely unassuming, nursed her own expensive cocktail, her head hanging low over her drink as she cautiously observed what was going on. As the last of the gang members scurried off and the large Russian fellow congratulated the cowboy on his feat, the woman looked up, revealing a sinister little smile and a flash of blue reptilian eyes.

Oh the fun she was going to have with these two...
I did the thing!

Commander Aamra Tulez



”Commander, will you not be joining us? Conversations with the Committee are never quite pleasant in my experience and can be stressful. It is best to do something enjoyable afterwards, is it not? In any case, a distraction should be a nice change of ones pace and it is to honor your follow Marauder after all.”

Aamra stared as the crystalline doctor pulled up a chair expectantly, taking pause at the gesture. She'd never really been offered a seat at the games before. Granted she never really asked as she found her meditations more enjoyable then any base pleasures that came from gambling, but moreso then ever she felt as though she should make inroads to the rest of the crew, if only a little bit to maintain her integrity as an officer of the Council. Plus, it was to honor the fallen, and while she planned to honor the sacrifice of Anderson in the style of her faith on her own downtime, there was no harm in doing the same in what would have been his method of remembering those who had past.

”Did those facts properly convince you or should I tempt you by offering my sandwich as collateral?”

...and by the waters, those sandwiches sounded heavenly right about now, and she hadn't eaten since falling into her combat fervor against the pirates.

"Very well...I will partake in this," Aamra stated, sounding more like she was volunteering for a dangerous assignment then joining a poker game (which, if rumors were to be believed, WERE dangerous if some of these people were involved). Taking her seat next to the doctor, she winced as cigar smoke floated towards her. She was going to be respectful of Anderson's memory, Aamra decided, but she wasn't going to touch those things. Filthy habit.

"It seems rather straightforward," Aamra commented, rooting around for some spending cash before spotting the Captain with the girl sitting next to him. "Erm..."

"Welcome to the Marauders, kid... Teach her how to play fast, because the name of the game is Texas Hold'em, and no you don't need to know anything about Texas to play." the Captain ordered the crew in regards to the child. "Not only does the winner get the pot, but they also don't have to do their share of Anderson's chores."

Aamra frowned slightly. She had already divided up Anderson's duties among the crew, as per the proper protocol, but she decided to hold her tongue, since she didn't want to come off as insensitive. Duty and busywork was just a great coping mechanism for her, though those concerns were secondary compared to the girl being here.

"So, Cap. We, uh, babysitting now? Or...trafficking? I mean, I guess I'm okay if you all are. I just didn't think..."

Aamra fixed the pilot with a stony gaze in response to the suggestion that they were committing crimes. "We are doing neither in regards to this girl, Josk," she said promptly. "If you are so deeply curious, I will gladly detail to you the situation when the time is more appropriate." She may have been warming up to them, but Aamra was absolutely not okay with their avant-garde attitude towards criminal acts. Not yet, at least. Aamra took the opportunity to glance at her hand as she lectured the pilot as well; a King and a two. She assumed that was something tolerable to hold onto, at the very least.









--9:54 AM, June 26th, 20XX--
--Zamindawar International Airport, Empire of Zun--


As the heat rises in force and the summer of 20XX kicks into high gear, excitement is in the air for all those connected to the mystical and ancient Nomadic community. For in late June comes the true test of skill and fighting spirit for all fighters who call themselves Nomads; the World Warriors tournament!

Hosted by the World Martial Arts Federation come rain or shine, this prestigious event draws Nomads from all corners of the world to partake in its pageantry, and while many do not have the prestige (or the cash) to participate themselves, many arrive anyway just to see the pure fighting prowess on display, to meet with friends and rivals and test themselves in the shadow of the WMAF's spectacle, or perhaps simply for their own reasons that coincide with this exhibition of the greatest fighters in the world.

Thus as the nomads and spectators alike arrive at Zamindawar International Airport, baking under a Zunist sun, the atmosphere is absolutely electric as dozens of excited fighters and onlookers await the following day's events. For the 20XX World Warriors Tournament in the heart of the Republic of Zun...


"...has been cancelled."

"WHAT?"

"The Annual Tournament has been cancelled," the attractive spokeswoman for the WMAF repeated to a very angry crowd of Nomads, who had just arrived to confirm their participation in the tournament. "We apologize for any inconvenience to our participants, but circumstances beyond our control have forced our hand."

This did little to soothe the irritation of the gathered nomads, already cranky from being in a crowded airport on one of the warmest days of the year. Spotting a few flashes of ki abilities from the more disgruntled members, she hastily repeated an apology and turned to make a retreat, only to come face to face with a microphone.

"May Armstrong, Investigative Nomad!" the scrawny brown-haired girl holding the microphone shouted in a thick Aussie accent. "Can I ask some questions about this sudden cancellation of the tournament?"

"No comment!" the spokeswoman said, attempting to brush her aside, but Armstrong stayed persistent.

"There hasn't been a cancellation since the Warsaw incident in 1999," the investigative nomad declared. "What's going on behind the scenes that you're not telling us? Is there another pee tape?"

"I said no comment! Now scram!" This time the spokeswoman was more forceful and shoved May completely aside before strutting off at a breakneck speed. Annoyed, May turned her attention to the Mythic crocodile man standing nearby, holding a video camera to his eye.

"That was rude of her," the croc-man said, focusing his camera on the spokeswoman's retreat. "Least she didn't insult us like the last WMAF guy did."

"Yeah Wally, she didn't," May pondered, retrieving a notepad from her pocket and jotting down some shorthand. "If the WMAF can't make the time to verbally assassinate someone, that usually means things are serious."

"You don't think it could have anything to do with those rumors about a coup, do you?" Wally Kite the crocodile man said nervously. "We're not that kind of investigators, and I don't think I could stomach a warzone." He gulped nervously.

"No worries Wally, nothing's stopped us so far and nothing will!" May announced triumphantly, doing little to dissuade the larger man's fears. "Now let's snoop around and see if we can get some comments from the other nomads around here. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of juicy scoops we can get from this lot!"

As the two reporters worked their way through an angry gathering of martial artists, some distance away a lone, unassuming figure walked hurriedly towards the gate to the next flight, a smaller figure keeping her head down and following closely behind...



-and-
Like a Bunch of Other People





"This is not going to work."

"This is TOTALLY going to work," Reisen insisted, her indignation causing the wind on the rooftop to stir. "You rob banks for a living, how are you getting cold feet on a heist?"

"I'm not good at sneaky ambushes, everything I do gives off light," Fullbright complained. "Why can't we just have Amorphous drop a blob in the roadway and cut them off?" She jerked a thumb at the good doctor, sitting nearby with a grumpy expression and fiddling around with one of his blobs like it was silly putty. Monsterk4t, who was holding up a pair of binoculars to his face-mask in a position where his "eyes" would not have been able to see through them, gave a few shrill tweets in response.

"Exactly, and if Darrow reroutes after a botched heist they're not going to slip up again," Reisen said, giving the mute DJ supervillain a slight smile. "It's not like you two won't be helping, we WILL need to fight them off. Maybe through a slaughterhouse like in the game or something."

"...game?" Fullbright repeated. "Reisen please don't tell me you got this idea from a video game or something..."

"Er..."

"Here they come!" the robotic ninja Typhoon announced, suddenly springing to life from his meditative stance. "Ready your blades!"

Reisen and Fullbright put their gripes aside and dove into cover as the caravan turned around the corner and down the side street, a pair of Humvees leading a few trucks down the alley.

"My source has told me it's the blue triangle with the goods in it, friends," Dr. Amorphous reminded them. "Those fools will pay for what they did to me..."

"I see it," Reisen said, putting a hand to her headset. "It's coming up...steady...steady...NOW!"

The convoy's peaceful trundle through the backalley was interrupted by the sound of scrunching metal as a bulldozer burst from a locked warehouse gate. The Humvees barely slammed on their breaks before the loaded slammed into the side of the truck with the goods, lifting it into the air and carrying it right on through, the four-armed tarantula girl laughing maniacally the entire time.

"Well I'm glad Fangs is having fun," Fullbright remarked. "Let's go guys, after that bulldozer!"

A sudden burst of wind scattered the armed guards trying to dismount from the trucks as the villains descended on the convoy. Reisen stayed airborne throwing guards left and right as Typhoon flipped and spun his way through the crowd below her, landing killing blows on the guard Reisen flung with perfect precision. Amorphous' blobs went to work swallowing up the boots and guns of his hated enemies as MonsterK4t launched an acoustic blast that flipped one of the Humvee's over.

"Let's move team!" Fullbright shouted, manifesting a sword and shield of light and hewing her way through the goons. "Time to get our payday!" Reisen stifled a laugh as the villains fought their way through and chased after the runaway Fangs. MonsterK4t was still flipping cars with his sonic blasts when his friends were pushing through, and as he brought up the rear, he couldn't help but pause at the sight of the cubes scattered along the ground. Figuring they must have been in the truck that just got bulldozed, the mute villain stepped back as the strange cubes began to glow...




"See Caliber makes me think that you use guns," Terra commented, slurping the last bit of milkshake out of her cup before tossing it in the nearby trashcan.

"It's synonymous with stature too, Ter," Maddy Fen Ming insisted. "Not a common synonym admittedly but it's appropriate for something that's both big AND small."

"Still better then Valencium," Aleks said, finishing off their own milkshake as the trio meandered down the street. "I at least know what a Caliber is."

"Oh come on, I panicked and it was the first thing I thought of!" Maddy whined jokingly. "Superhero names are hard to come up with."

"Only cause you're too smart for your own good," Terra observed. "Seriously, that's a good name for your alter ego, but it needs something punchy, like...the incredible Caliber!" Maddy grinned and said nothing, trying to hide her reddening cheeks by taking a drink of her shake.

"I'm not THAT incredible, Ter..."

"Hey, I think it's pretty amazing you can do all that size change stuff," Aleks said. "I just hope I get to see you in action like Terra did."

And right at that moment, the barrier that the group crossed in front of exploded, and a cargo truck being carried by a bulldozer careened through, the driver cackling madly. Aleks took one look at the crazy procession and chucked the rest of their shake into the trash as well.

"Well, me and my big mouth."

"Come on Aleks, let's see where that bulldozer went," Terra piped up, grabbing her friend by the arm and tugging them along behind her. "You want to change and meet us there, Mads?"

"Er, sure, sounds good."

Moments later, Caliber emerged from the nearby alley and chased after the rampaging machine. She didn't have long to run however, and found the vehicle smashed halfway through a road divider, its wheels lifted off the ground and its engine smoking badly.

"Hey, it's a superhero! The Incredible Caliber!" Terra shouted excitedly from the nearby bush next to Aleks. Rolling her eyes, Caliber crossed over and yanked the door open, jumping back with a yelp as a giant hairy lady with four arms tumbled out.

"Whoooah..." Fangs said woozily. "That was wicked fun!"

Caliber crossed her arms impatiently. "Can I ask what you think you're doing, er, fuzzy woman?"

"She's helping us, of course."

Caliber turned around and had to restrain another yelp as a whole band of villains surrounded her threateningly, weapons and powers on display.

"That truck right there is our haul," the ringleader said, pointing a blade made of light at her. "A corrupted corporate treasure to be better serving the people."

"And REVENGE!" cried a deranged looking scientist.

"So I suggest you back down before we beat worse then the barbarians in Civilization 6," a woman floating on the air demanded of her.

"Hey, I know that reference!" the bush shouted before someone punched them.

"It is four versus one, tomodachi," a robotic ninja stated. "It is best if you stand down."

"I'm a lot more dangerous then I look," Caliber said, cracking a smile and preparing to change size. Before she could grow, however, a sixth team member ran up to the group, a character wearing some sort of electronic DJ headgear resembling a cat, who unleashed a series of beeps and whistles.

"Huh...what about a genie, Monsterk4t?" the ringleader said. "Wait...genie..."

"Uh, guys," the fuzzy woman suddenly spoke up. "What are all these cubes doing?"

All of them turned to look at the truck, which at this point had caught fire, its cargo of strange rainbow colored cubes spilling onto the ground, all vibrating and glowing brighter by the second.

"...wait, I remember something like that from the news," the girl floating in the air said. "Something about..."

"A game genie?!"

"Tawagoto!"

"TAKE COVER!!!"

Everyone ran for cover as the truck exploded in a fireball, a fireball that erupted into a rain of multicolored pixels and cubes. Soon a mob of pixelated bad guys began marching out of the rainbow fireball, with additional enemies bursting to life as the cubes thrown into the air hit the ground.

"It's Game Genie cubes!" Fullbright shouted over the din. "Darrow was trying to make their own Game Genie cubes!"

"Why couldn't it have been gold or something like that?" Reisen griped.

"No time to argue, we gotta fight our way out of here!"

"Hey, but aren't you supposed to be arrested or something?" Caliber interrupted the villain conversation. Before she got an answer, laser blasts raked the ground near her as a group of giant robot wasps flew into view. Moving quickly, Caliber grew a couple stories and swatted the robots out of the air, catching one and scattering the other two.

"Yeesh," Fangs said, wrestling with a couple of Hammer Bros nearby. "I'm glad we didn't have to fight HER." Tensing her back muscles, fangs lifted up the two koopas and performed a suplex, pix-elating both of them.

"This is preferable, for these beings are truly worthy of my skills!" Typhoon cried out, slicing through a couple goons from the Ninja Gaiden games. Fullbright rolled her eyes before spotting a tossed sawblade fly towards her, just barely deflecting it with a beam of light.

"I'm gonna floss my teeth... with your face!" Fullbright turned to spot a bunch of shirtless lunatics in white masks charging out of the fire in all directions. The concise villain group soon found themselves scattered and separated, and the pixelated mob was harder to fight through then the corporate goons by a long shot.

Reisen flew through the streets, blasting away at goombas and robots before feeling something catch her behind the legs, falling to the ground, she soon found herself surrounded by viking-looking soldiers in blue cloaks and leather helmets.

"No flying away for you, Imperial scum!" one of the soldiers said.

"Skyrim belongs to the Nords!"

"Oh this is a treat," Reisen grumbled, blowing back the soldiers and flying back to her feet again. "Time to send you back to Sovvernguard or wherever you nuts like to g-"

"DIIIIIIEEEEE!"

Reisen turned around in time to see a giant of a man raising an axe over her head. Bracing for a hopeless dodge, the man suddenly roared in pain as a sword slashed across his chest and he collapsed to the ground. Reisen glanced at her savior, a swordswoman with an equally blue hairdo.

"This doesn't look like Ylisse at all," Lucina remarked, brandishing her blade at the Stormcloak soldiers. "Seems like you could still use a hand, though."

"Yeah, save my butt there princess," Reisen said, floating into the air again. "Want to wake your blade on these goons with me?"

"Gladly!"

Meanwhile, Caliber was exchanging blows with a Metal Gear at her giant size and had just downed one when something hit her in the head like a lead-lined fist. Just barely staying on her feet, she easily spotted a German Panzer IV tank trundling along the road, more realistic then the other pixelated monsters but just as fictional.

"Surrender, dummkopf!" came a comedic accented voice from within. "Stupid Amerikana and their fancy size changing technology!" Before Caliber could protest that she wasn't American at all, another shell rocketed past her from the opposite direction, exploding the German tank into a shower of pixelated flames. Caliber turned her head and spotted a T-34 roll up and come to a stop next to her.

"Tada!" came a voice from inside as Terra popped out of the top of the tank, inexplicably sporting a Russian military uniform. "Hey Caliber! I think that there must be some World War 2 shooters programmed into those cubes. Check what we found!"

"We?"

At that, the front hatch opened up and Aleks stuck their head out, sadly lacking the same uniform as Terra. "I think it's probably from Company of Heroes 2, actually," Aleks commented. "Since every shooter is about the Western Front and the Americans nowadays."

"You sh-houldn't be in there!" Caliber stammered at them. "You could get hurt!"

"Hey, I can handle this just fine. Not going to stand by and let you have all the fun!" And with a wink, Terra descended back into the tank, which trundled off to find more Nazis to run over. Feeling it was pointless to argue, Caliber turned back to the fight with the Metal Gears, only for something massive and heavy to swing right into her, smashing her into the nearby building. Catching her breath, Caliber realized the heavy thing was in fact a massive anchor, being swung by a familiar figure in a diving suit just as big as she was.

"Nautilus!?" Kaliber asked.

"BEWARE THE DEPTHS!!!"

"Yep, definitely Nautilus."

Dodging under the second anchor blow with some creative shrinking, she was about to prepare for her next counter attack when the giant sea monster suddenly lurched as something flew out of the sky and slammed into him, knocking him into the building just as hard as he had flung Caliber into one. Nautilus recovered and attempted to counterattack, but the newcomer charged her eyebeams in response.

"Not this time, crazy anchor man!"

Voyager fired her Psi-Beam right into the center of the monster's visor, causing it to roar in pain before it exploded into a shower of pixelated debris. The space alien heroine pumped her fist in celebration and made to fly off.

"It's Nautilus, by the way," Caliber found herself saying.

"Hm?"

"Oh, the crazy anchor man. He's named Nautilus."

"Oooh, I think I get it, thanks!" Voyager pondered the giant superheroine for a moment. "Hey, wait a moment, I know you! You are the lady who can change sizes! You fought that strange rock robot!"

"Er, yeah, that's me. Caliber."

"A pleasure to meet you, Caliber!" Voyager said cheerily. "Here to help clean up the pixel monsters too?"

"Well, I was in the area..."

And so the two heroes went to work, fighting their way back towards the explosion and getting rid of the pixelated monsters, at least the ones attacking the city again. By the time the pair of them started working the police had arrived in force, and the rest of the fighting was fairly easy. Caliber handled the big guns while Voyager kept things clear of the small monsters. Soon enough, the mini-crisis was over and the scene had finally calmed down.

"A job well done!" Voyager said proudly, dusting off her uniform. "We should do this again sometime, have a proper team-up. Are you local too, Caliber?"

"Sorta, yeah," the now normal-sized caliber said, feeling a little shy in Voyager's presence. "I'm just glad to help any way I can, really."

"Me too!" Voyager said cheerily. "It was nice to work with you, Miss Caliber!" The size-changing heroine meekly smiled, which vanished as a news camera went off nearby.

"Ugh, do they have to...?"

Voyager shrugged. "You get used to it, sometimes."

Before they could respond, a piercing shriek erupted from the crowd as one of the white-masked men sprang forward, a grenade in each hand.

"Drop-kick your babies!" the psycho shrieked. "I AM IMMORTAL!" The words barely left his mouth before a blast knocked him backwards and out of harms way, before he exploded into pixelated goo.

"Lucky me I brought my shotgun," Jordan Fletcher shouted over the crowd, cocking the gun and stowing it on her back. "I heard about what happened and hurried over. Someone told me Darrow was involved, so I wanted to be sure."

"Well, I'm glad you came," Caliber said, looking noticeably paler. "I don't want to know if those grenades were real or not."

"This was still fun, though!" Voyager announced. "I do hope we can do this again sometime!"

"And hopefully for a long time afterwards!" Jordan said with a laugh.

"Haha, yeah," Caliber said, spotting Terra and Aleks waving at her from nearby. Terra still had the officers hat on. "Hopefully for a long time."

Voyager offered a handshake to the size-changing heroine, who accepted it. The cameras went wild.




"Oh I so do enjoy a happy ending!"

Sitting in Maddy's loft apartment, watching the scene unfold on her fancy TV Screen, Primetime leaned back on the sofa and unfolding his arms. Snapping his fingers, the TV set turned off on its own and the strange tv host alien leapt to his feet straightening his tie. Finding it satisfactory, he leaned over to scratch Maddy's cat Kaiser behind the ears, who either didn't notice or didn't care about the smiling alien creature in his owner's house.

"Course you were a bit late on the anniversary, but I suppose better late then never, eh?" Primetime snickered. "Ah, well. I'm sure if you would talk back, you wouldn't stop meowing about how wonderful all of these people and characters are, and how grateful you are to be a part of this. So chatty!"

Swirling his hand around a bit, he produced a shot glass, already filled with liquor. Walking over to the glass walls of the loft looking over the city, he raised a glass to the world outside.

"Here's to you, friends. Five incredible years, and many more to go!"
And there we go. I wrote thinking someone from the crew would peer pressure Aamra into joining in, so go ahead and hop on that. :P
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