"Two flyers in one day? They're getting way too common."
"It's worse," the commander informs them, "South Karlsland got hit with three at once. We're taking Lytee's express and sleeping there. You can sit out if you absolutely need to, but Freya's still recovering so we could use you as a comms relay."
"No, I'll come. I just reserve the right to complain about it."
The 42nd United Forces Witch Wing takes off and assembles into a perfect synchronized formation as Lytee charges her teleport power.
...This is not South Karlsland wilderness.
[note: halfway through this thread I created a unique account for Grendyne. Do not be alarmed by the change in account. -Rockeye]
If Copycat detects that he's the Siberian when Strider moves everyone in, she'll attack as soon as she's sure of it and everyone else should join in. Otherwise, she won't.
They appear in the target house, with a sound as the slight difference in air pressure equalizes. One of the capes points to where the suspect is.
She breathes in for a moment, making sure, and yep that's the Siberian. The place where the Siberian is, is now very much on fire, and filled with lasers for good measure.
The man they're firing on was lying in a bed in a bare room. It being the middle of the night here that makes some sense, but he has probably barely moved in days. There's no sign of the house's actual owners, which probably doesn't bode well for them.
As soon as the fire starts, the black and white striped projection appears. It grabs on to a blanket and renders it invulnerable, quickly smothering the flames nearest the human. The lasers from Legend curve around to strike from underneath, but the Siberian is already awkwardly bundling her creator in the impenetrable defense.
Someone annihilates everything beneath the targets; the Siberian probably can't charge them while falling. Attacks surround the targets, but they don't have time to wait for him to suffocate.
Copycat teleports directly to the master's still-exposed foot and touches it. Using deathtouch feels nasty and icky, but he should die instantly. She's not sure exactly what the deathtouch actually does, but it's worked on everything she's ever tried it on. Including Neuroi cores.
Legend calls in Strider to take them to the scene of the main battle. When they appear, there's no trace of what this place used to be. It's scarred and cratered and also currently a battlefield. The most visible feature is Crawler, who is being held in the air by Myrddin and anyone who can assist. He spits acid repeatedly, and the heroes keep their distance.
Copycat tries the deathtouch on Crawler, putting as much effort as she can into it.
And a voice calls out, carrying surprisingly well over the noise. "Copycat! I've got something here you'll want to see!"
Bonesaw is flanked by some of her creations and surrounded by what is unmistakably a Witch shield.
Priorities. Crawler is holding a huge chunk of their forces up. She ignores Bonesaw and her Witch for now, channeling Alexandria despite the relatively astronomical mana cost to fly close enough to tap him with the deathtouch. And Clockblocker's power, if that doesn't work.
Myrddin flies off to help stop all nearby fires, presumably to find or slow down Burnscar.
While Gren was busy with Crawler, the other newcomers noticed that half the heroes have been fighting the other half. They're fighting to kill, and the Nine are enjoying the distraction. Legend has been identifying the berserk allies and stunning them, and Usher's current protectee is of course immune, as is apparently Dispatch for some reason. But knocking out one's teammates is not a long-term winning strategy.
"Kill the shield and get out!" Legend blasts the Witch's shield, his laser fizzling against it. Then he rockets upward, having felt the effects of whatever's making the capes do this himself.
Copycat sends her copy of the Siberian through the shield and into the former Witch making it. Bonesaw has her, whoever she was is gone. Copysiberian attacks bonesaw too for good measure. She might be a bit too slow flying up after this.
And then the shield goes back up. "Ow!" comes Bonesaw's voice. Large chunks of both girls are missing where the Siberian deleted pieces, but they both seem alive. "Don't you want to know how I did it?"
The ex-Witch opens fire. At everyone, Copycat most definitely included. The shield blocked everything to some upper limit between Legend and the Siberian, and the blasts are proportionately strong.
And to make things worse, now it's nearly all the heroes in a mindless rage. Some of the fliers, Legend included, are high enough that they don't seem to be affected, but the vast majority are turning on each other. Gren can feel it too. Hatred of everyone she came with, anger and the desire to destroy...it's definitely a Master power doing this, but that hardly seems important.
When the rage builds up to a certain point, something snaps. Cranial's implant. She goes completely emotionless. Lack of disgust over blood and gore, and lack of morbid curiosity over how she made a Witch so obscenely powerful makes it a lot easier to have the Copysiberian systematically disassemble Bonesaw and her Witch.
It's a bit creepy to be so calm when all this is happening. Who here smells like an emotion manipulator? That way. She ignores the mounting pain of mana burn to teleport over to her and apply the deathtouch for the third time in less than two minutes.
And then she really does need to take a break, because ow. "Bonesaw down, new member the Master down. Is Dispatch available?"
Shatterbird and Mannequin are dead. Burnscar is dead or fled, no one knows which. Jack spent an awful long time dodging and killing before finally being cornered, and is now also dead. The new member was the last one.
Okay. So now it's a good time to drop out of combat mode and brace herself to come down from mana burn. Trying to heal herself would be... Counterproductive. She sits in the alley shaking for a while, grunting in pain. It's probably pretty incongruous to bystanders and passersby, if there are any.
There aren't, they cleared the area before calling in the artillery. If medical or parahuman healing would help, there's likely some of that available. Though this might not make the top of their priority list.
But once it starts to subside, Cranial's implant has shut itself down too, and she can feel proud that the Nine are now either One or None.
She radios in her perspective on the fight, then teleports home to Terra and has a couple of days off. After that, Cranial receives a message saying that her implant helped against the Nine and ten thousand dollars as a your-stuff-worked-in-live-fire-
Toy Soldier, how about that spacesuit?
Toy Soldier can definitely make her a space suit. Surviving in vacuum, radiation, sudden temperature changes...those are all easy enough. Cheaper than the brain implants unless she wants it to also be a weapon in its own right, and should be done in a couple weeks.
No, she just wants it to survive space. She is a weapon.
They make the transaction in costume, of course. For Toy Soldier this means a three-story powersuit; presumably the cape themself is in there somewhere.
Copycat is not the least bit intimidated. She helped against the Nine. Not that she's getting too proud of herself, but she probably made the difference between victory and defeat. She hovers at head height to hand over the briefcase of cash.
The space suit is pretty much exactly as advertised: a space suit. It gets handed when the money does.
Then she teleports to the moon - it's a stretch, but she has more than enough mana lately - and jumps around for a while and takes a video and publishes it on the internet and bags a few samples of interesting-seeming rocks and dust in case scientists might want them and teleports back to Earth Bet and resumes heroing.
(Mars and various other celestial bodies are apparently a bit too far, she tells inquiring parties.)
She now has her escape route in case of Neuroi. Success.
...You know what, she helped against one S-class threat. Are there any more that could use some Copysiberianing, and that she might have a good shot against?