SUMMARY: A gigantic worm with two heads on each end uproots Harlem and tries to devour people! Heroes come to meet it head on, and a mysterious new villain is spotted in midst of the chaos.
LOCATION: Harlem Street Corner!
RATED: PG-13 for adult language.
After the big ol' robot scare earlier in the day, Harlem has been relatively quite. It's nearing nightfall now, and the kids are heading back into their homes, shepherded by their mothers; adolescents are leaving, heading out to clubs or just to hang out with their friends. Giant worms are ripping up the sidewalk and trying to eat people.
In the middle of Harlem, the street splits down the middle, suddenly opening as if an earthquake were splitting the pavement in two. From within, a gigantic worm with puuuuuuuny little beady eyes and a gigantic mouth rips out from the rubble. Its mouth is circular, and has teeth all along its inner edges; teeth that tighten when it closes its mouth, making them nightmarish to the say the least. It's approximately fifty yards long, and has the girth of a tank. It roars.
There is a brilliant sparkle in the sky, as if the sun, itself, were descending upon the heavens to land in New York City. That - or ... a woman, partially wrapped in brilliant white, riding a disc of light that surrounds each foot coming out of the heavens like some kind of holy angel.
As she nears, and the glare of the discs she rides lessens, one can see that there's an almost complacent, calm look about her feminine features as she nears the giant worm, and the terror it's caused amongst the masses.
Meanwhile, Hercules is walking down the street with his arm around the waist of a well-dressed (and well-endowed) blonde woman. They both come up short when the ground starts to shake, however, and when the worm bursts out of the ground the smile on Hercules' face...well, it doesn't drop, but it does change. It's more of a 'hot damn, adventure!' smile instead of a 'I'm gonna score' smile. "Alice," he said as he stepped forward to block the worm's path to the woman (just in case), "I think you'd better go home. I'll catch up with you when I'm done here. Promise."
The woman smiled, and kissed him on the cheek before giving a gusty sigh. "You'd better hurry!" And then she turned and did as asked. After all, it was HERCULES. He probably wrestles giant worms for fun!
Once he was sure his date was out of the way, Hercules turned and gave the worm his full attention. "Alright." He cracked his knuckles, and the 'pop' was loud enough to reverberate off the walls like a gunshot. "You just interrupted a date with a model. A MODEL! You. Are. Going. Down!" And then he charged.
That sound would belong to the epic Arse-Bike in all of its motorcyclian glory! The revving of the engine is followed by a distinct and epic yell from the redhead that's riding the cycle into the scene of the worm-infested crime!
"I'm a cowboy bay beeeee!" Don't ask why he's quoting Kid Rock. Just don't.
Arsenal has no qualms about hunching on the motorcycle as he heads in the general direction of where the worm issue is undoubtedly happening. It's not hard to follow the vibrations in the ground, that's for sure.
"I swear, I was beginning to think this city was gonna' get boring!" is tossed to anybody around who would like to listen or look at him in awestruckness!
The worm, being not too bright, attacks the first thing that looks like it might pose a problem: Hercules. Unfortunately for Hercules, the worm's size doesn't seem to impede its speed. He flicks its tail up and over its head, slamming it down in Hercules' general vicinity. Arsenal and Lumena, who can see this happening, might notice that on the other end of the worm is... another mouth. Oh, wonderful.
When Hercules charges, his arms were bent and held slightly to either side, shoulders hunched. When he saw the tail come down, however, he raised his hands and attempted to grab it and block the attack's momentum by pushing back. Hard. If successful he did his best to hold onto the creature's body while glancing at Arsenal (since he seems to be the closest). "I've got him! Quickly now, let him have it!"
He didn't really know the archer, but he was willing to assume he had something up to the task, as heroic archers often do. Hopefully Hercules' mastery of Pankration would serve him well in the meantime!
Another flash of light pours forth from Lumena, who suddenly has a shining spear of radiant sunlight in her hand, and she pitches it straight at the 'second' mouth, letting the sun-hot weapon of pure light pitch straight into the worm's head. But she isn't down yet. She jumps off the 'discs', which plummet down to the earth as she now rides a single ray of light, sliding down it in strange-surrealistic fashion, like one might be drawn or emulated sliding down a rainbow while standing.
The 'fallen' discs begin to grow beneath her silently willed command, becoming a huge, arcing glowing wall. A 'shield' if you will. One that will take the 'worm' a few tries to get past, and a barrier that acts as the start of a 'cage' to entrap the creature, and protect innocents from the battle that is going to take place.
"Already two steps ahead, my man." Arsenal actually has to let go of the bike's handles as he rolls up onto his knees and then into a slightly crouched position on the moving vehicle. Out of epic nowhere comes a bow, followed by the lining up of an arrow into the string. "This one's gonna' be a real shocker." As the bike starts to veer off to the side, Arsenal puts a curve on his aim and lets the arrow fly!
It curves in an arc that's too stylish for words and comes speeding down towards the first mouth of the giant worm beast. Clearly aimed to go inside. The arrow itself happened to have a stylized arrowhead which will be quite shocking should it strike true. Lady and Gents? The Taser Arrow.
Oh, by the way. Once the arrow is shot, Arsenal is dropping back down onto the bike to stop it from crashing. Cuz that would suck.
Hercules' catch is successful, of course. He's FRIGGIN' HERCULES. This worm ain't got shit on the Nemean Lion, bitches. As Lumena slices and dices with her light-spear, and begins to construct her shield-cage for the beast, Arsenal's arrow curves just right, entering one of the worm's mouths.
It may not have been the best of plans. As the taser arrow shocks the worm, it enters into an incredibly violent spasm, shaking, whipping, and otherwise sundering anything in its path. Unlike its previous attack, these are uncoordinated whips and flicks of its humongous body, enough to toss even Hercules about something fierce.
From above, a young voice asks, "You folks need a hand?" Arms crossed over his chest, wearing jeans and a black t-shirt with a recognizable red 'S' on his chest, and a cocky smile on his face, is Superboy.
The torrentual rivets and thrusts of the room as it undulates in pain spasms causes the wall of light to shatter; a rookie mistake, or perhaps the limits of Lumena's powers? She says nothing, yet, in greeting to Superboy, or answer in his request to lend aid.
This time, however, she merely opens up her arms, and it's as if a hailstream of sunbeams were to suddenly become shards, and fall with terrible speed towards the earth. She hovers above, on new 'discs' upon her feet, as the immense spears of light move about the worms sides, not piercing its hide, but rather 'around' it's flesh on either side. She begins weaving her hands in complex patterns, and slowly, but certainly, a 'net' begins to form. Still, it will take her time to do something -this- complex, and with this much light.
Help would be nice.
Somehow Hercules managed to maintain his grip on the beast, his fingers digging into its flabby flesh as it waved him about. "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" This almost reminded him of that time that he and Thor got drunk and threw rocks at the Midgard Serpent. Almost. He eventually was able to recover enough to plant his feet on the creature's body, pull back with one hand, and give it a mighty punch. Only then did he allow himself to drop to the ground, and though he landed flat on his back he didn't even seem winded.
"Ah, it's Super..." Wait, a little young. "...boy?" Yes, that's it. "The more the merrier!" he said boisterously as he rose to his feet.
Arsenal has made a big circle and is coming back towards the worm with the same smirk on his lips that he always has when doing battle with giant creatures that seem quite intent on making with the doom and the death and the destruction. "Finally! Some bigger guns!" Yes, he just had to make a weapon reference to Superboy. No offense, Hercules.
"Do us a favor and throw this thing to New Mexico?" Arsenal isn't reaching for any more weapons at this point, figuring that somebody with that 'S' on their shirt will be more than capable of putting this thing down.
Lumena's net is starting to take its hold on the worm, and Hercules' amazingly well-placed punch has certainly knocked it for a loop. It still thrashes and writhes violently, but in the end, it's being held down. Barely.
"Heh. Not a problem." Superboy cracks his knuckles, and then shoots down at the worm with a cocky smirk, fists pulled back and ready to knock this thing right back into the Earth's core.
It's a shame, really, that the worm picks that moment to turn one of its heads, open its mouth, and swallow Superboy whole. Gulp.
As the light-net begins to take hold, Lumena finally speaks, her voice is clear, crisp, concise and - well, chilled. It would seem she's addressing the worm.
"I have no quarrel with you, creature. We do not seek to harm you. Only to protect others from you. And return you home." She pauses, here, moving, fearlessly, within sight of the super-tiny beady eyes, "Let the earth-child go. Else, the Light shall rend your flesh."
She begins to close her fingers, directing the 'net' of light to enclose, entrap the beast soundly, now that Hercules has at least temporarily put it into submission.
Hercules frowns. Hey, it just ate a fellow hero. Not. Cool. He then decides there's only one thing to do: pummel the thing senseless so Superboy can get free! Hercules glances around, sees a streetlight within grabbing distance, and rips the metal pole out of the ground with one hand as if it were a tuft of grass. "Beast!" he booms as he raises the lightpole over his head. "On my name as the Lion of Olympus, this ends here!" And then he brings the pole crashing down towards one of the creature's heads. Hopefully it's swallowed Kon-El enough that he doesn't get hit too.
Hercules then paused to look at Lumena, confusion writ clear on his face. "We don't?"
The Arsenal Bike, which sounds ever so better than Arse-Bike, comes to a screeching halt at the sight at which has just happened. The rider of the bike just kind of continues to stare for a moment. "I don't know what the hell she's talkin' about, but I'm officially in the business of kickin' your ass." That's all Arsenal has to say as he yanks out a normal arrow, stabs it into a small powder package on his side and lines up a next shot.
"Hey Sorbo! Are you as 'sick' of this thing as I am?" With more puns thrown into the air, Arsenal releases on the arrow to fling the packet carrying arrow off towards the Superboy Swallowing Mouth. The stuff inside? Designed to forcibly help with regurgitation. Works on humans. No idea if it works on giant creatures that got canceled from the USA Network over a decade ago.
Sorry, the special sound effects budget is low this month. Hercules smashes the light post on the worm's head with a resolute smack, and this causes the mouth to open again, which allows the arrow to slip right into it. It's only courtesy of Lumena's control of the worm with her light-net that its sudden, immediate thrashing doesn't result in Arsenal's untimely demise and Hercules' impromptu trip to Conneticut. After a few moments of thrashing like a wild, thrashy thing, the opposite mouth flushes out, vomiting copious amounts of green, brown, and purple -- yes, purple -- spew.
Somewhere in there is Superboy, who goes skipping along the asphalt like a flicks stone over a lake's surface. He tumbles, rolls, and smacks into a wall, sinking the bricks in a good three or four inches; the ones that don't outright fall, anyway. He lifts his head and says, very matter of factly: "Dammit, I feel like shit." Badum. Ching.
"Do all earthlings attempt to destroy, immediately, what they do not understand?" Asks Lumena, now, quietly, turning the entirety of her white-eyes, solely white, brilliantly so, to Hercules, and Arsenal. "Will you destroy me, now?" She asks, softly.
She looks to the worm, "Return home. Do not come to the surface again, and threaten life, here. You do not belong," she tells it, still hovering above it's beady eyes. She pushes her arms downwards, and the 'net', the strings of light begin to gradually force/nudge, the worm down.
"Well, you did come out of...ah, never mind." No sense in picking a fight yet. Maybe later! "My sympathies for this creature are remarkably low," Hercules said simply, though he /did/ sling the light pole over one shoulder instead of pressing the attack. "Nor do I believe it's capable of reason. But, I'm willing to play things your way!" He was, after all, not unsympathetic to the plight of various (sentient) strange creature. It was kind of a strange thing to hear from Hercules' lips though.
"And if it should refuse..." Well, that's why he was keeping the light pole.
Arsenal pulls back on his own attacking for the next moment, considering that if the others are pressing it... he shouldn't be doing it either. "If this talking to the giant worm thing actually works, I'm gonna' have to get your phone number. Because I have something back home that may need the same kind of touch." The red-clad vigilante just watches from atop the Arsenal Bike, paying close attention, while still being ready to draw and fling at a moment's notice.
At the sudden cessation of an assault, the worm seems to go still. It pauses, for a long and silent moment... and then it starts to thrash again, waving its heads like it's about to eat everybody. For the moment, Lumena's net is keeping it barely in check, but she could use some super strong help.
Superboy, picking himself up from the rubble, starts to wipe himself off. "UGH. This stuff's not gonna come out," he complains, glancing over at the thrashing worm. "Hell's its problem, anyway?" He takes flight, but instead of punching it, he sits on it, trying to help with the attempt to keep it from destroying everything in sight.
"I regret, creature, we could not come to some accord." She /sounds/ regretful, too. It's then, that the 'net' becomes something more. More like light-fashioned razor wire. If the creature is not sentient in the least, and cannot even be herded - she cannot let it persist to endanger, threaten, destroy lives.
And, her skills with light manipulation are nothing short of amazing, rivaling - or, better, the most intense laser weaponry on the planet. Maybe, off of it as well. The 'poor' worm is about to be sliced, diced, and made into chopped liver.
Hercules frowned. "Well, looks like that was a...bust? I think that's the right word." He hefted the light pole as if it were a javelin, tossed it once in his grip to get a better balance, and then adopted a wide-legged stance. Then he took a half step forward, and with a form that would shame an Olympic athlete he let the light pole fly right at the creature's 'face' with...well...Herculean strength. "Not unexpected, however."
Arsenal raises an eyebrow at the creature and frowns. Something's off. Why would it stop for a moment like that? Most crazed creatures would just continue thrashing until there is nothing left to thrash! Hrm. Arsenal pulls his hood back a bit more, reveal his stylish red hair and catches something glowing out the corner of his eye. "Huh?"
Arsenal looks up and off towards a nearby rooftop. Standing atop it is a young man, it looks like. Something glows in his hands. Something red. "... Hey uh, guys?" Arsenal says, frowning but reaching for something on his belt at the same time. "I think I know why Wormy McVomitsalot ain't listenin' to us." Arsenal flicks out a retractable boomerang, that's red in color and looks nothing like a bat in the least. Ahem. Eyes narrow and the boomerang is flung with an expert wrist behind it right off towards that gemstone. If homedude gets hit too? Bonus.
The worm is lucky. Superboy's sitting on it has it thrashing, and that's the only thing that saves it from the potentially lethal javelin that Hercules' throw has made of the light post.
That is to say: the light post hits Superboy instead. /OW/.
As Lumena begins to cut into the worm's flesh, Arsenal's boomerang flicks through the air, straight at a figure standing atop a rooftop, holding a red gemstone. The boomerang nails it, and the gemstone goes flying, falling to the ground. Immediately, the young man, dressed in a red suit, sneers, and lifts his hands up above him, clapping once. A puff of smoke rises around him, and he vanishes from sight.
As for the worm? It slowly begins to diminish in size, still in pain from Lumena's laser-net, but not thrashing in uncontrolled anger.
As the worm calms, diminishes in size, Lumena casts the net away; the shards of light dissipate into the air, returning to their more natural state. "Return," says Lumena, calmly. "I am sorry, for your pain, creature. Return. Go home, and find solace where you will."
Oddly, the light-woman wrapped in white sounds, pained, and saddened as these words are spoken. But, much of the fight has gone out of her.
Whooooops. "Uhm... all right there?" Hercules asked once he saw that his throw had gone dramatically off-mark. Well, that was embarrassing! Luckily it was somebody related to Superman, or that probably would have been a much worse gaffe. When Arsenal spoke up, however, he quickly swiveled his head in that direction. "A sorcerer! I see." He wasn't too fond of magic. It seemed too much like a shortcut to him, and more importantly it always ALWAYS seemed to screw him over somehow.
Herc's expression darkened. "I wonder what he hoped to gain from this?"
"Who knows." Arsenal shrugged and caught his boomerang on the return trip, as he slid off and away from his bike, heading over to grab the gemstone that has clattered to the ground. "But this may be our only clue." The boomerang is tucked away and the gemstone is scooped up and tossed back and forth between the carefully awesome palms of Arsenal. "Magic is lame. But I'll see what I can find out about this and whomever our mystery magician is..." It has to be magic, right? Nothing else could be creating random worms... could it?
The worm rapidly shrinks, vanishing to from whence it came with astounding alacrity now that the magics making it a monster have been broken.
Superboy got up and rubbed his chest, glancing over at Hercules. "Did you have to throw it /that hard?/" He flies over, landing near the others. "Where'd the worm go?" He was busy getting street-lighted, after all. "What happened?"
Slowly, the white-wrapped woman, who seems to effortlessly wield light as if it were her weapon and at her mere command descends upon her light-disc to the earth, where it shimmers, and fades from existence.
"It has returned to from where it came," she answers, quietly. She looks - well, curious. "Though, there is no knowledge I have in my memory that would account for the rapid deterioration of it's size," she admits, sounding perplexed.
"Well, I was trying to kill it," said Hercules as he glanced at the pole. "There was some wizard over there," he explained while pointing in the direction Arsenal's boomerang had come from. "It seems he was using that," and he pointed at the shiny gewgaw that Arsenal was holding, "to control the beast. Hopefully he won't be able to summon it again now that it's been taken from him."
"Normally? I'd smash this damn thing." Arsenal says, shrugging his shoulders and tossing the stone around still. "But somethin' tells me... like the cloud of smoke dude made when he pulled a Gone Til November... that we ain't seen the last of him. So this might actually come in handy." Arsenal offers another shrug, before looking around at the rest of the heroes that assisted him in taking down giant worms of doom. "Geez. I hope that thing doesn't follow me home. I did kinda' save his life..." His eyes peek back at the ground to make sure there's no little worms around there.
Superboy listens to the two men, and then nods. "Okay." Then he looks around. "Hey, where'd the hot light-babe go to?" Annnnnnnd his priorities shift.
"I don't know, but I'd like to get back to my date while the night's still young," Hercules replied. Then he turned his attention to Arsenal. "If you'd like, I'd be willing to hold on to that for you." He ain't afraid of no worms. "If not, well, I'll be keeping an eye out for that man in the red suit." And with that, he turned to go. "I have my sources, after all."
His mind briefly wandered back to the last time he'd visited his 'sources'. 'Clotho! Lachesis! Atropos! How are my favorite Fates today?' ...yeah, that hadn't gone well. Maybe he'd have to consider something else.
"I'll hold onto it. If anybody has a good chance of figuring out what this is... it's me." Or, rather, the people he's going to take it to. Because he's always figuring about taking things to people and then claiming the credit. It comes with the territory of being an ex-sidekick. "We should probably jet too, bro." Arsenal says, shoving the gemstone into one of his pouches and making his way to the Arsenal Bike. "Before cops show up and expect us to clean up this mess." Arsenal smirks. "And you? You need a shower. Pronto."
"Oy, I know," Superboy says with a scrunch of his nose. "Try having super-sense-of-smell. Ugh." He shudders a little, glancing down where Hercules went. "So who was that guy, anyway?" Oh for Christ's sake.
Arsenal climbs on his bike and smirks. "Just look up Kevin Sorbo on the Internet. That'll tell you everything you need to know about our massively powered man-friend." Arsenal's smirk fades as he spins the motorcycle around to something more easy to ride away on. A road that's not all broken up. "To Infinity And Away!" Oh lord. Vrrrrroooom. Just vroooom.
Superboy blinks. "Infinity? On a bike? Ja, /right/." He glances up, and leaves a dust cloud in his wake.