Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 27, 28, Epilogue)

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
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Re: Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 21)

Postby Arkrite » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:44 am

Well you'll be happy to know it's almost over. There's around seven chapters left.

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Re: Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 21)

Postby Horsenhero » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:21 pm

I will note for the record, it was a monumentally stoopud idea to disguise someone/something as Jeannie and not come clean with Rich. If Jeannie was just missing, he might be angry and grieving, but at least his allies wouldn't have broken his trust. People are far easier to reason with when they don't feel lied to.

I don't know why that is.

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Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 22)

Postby Arkrite » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:56 pm

22

“Hey, watch it-“ Richard started to step forward to catch Tesla when all at once the Atoms moved.

Vicky stretched an arm around to help her sister catch her balance, while stretching her body around to block Richard’s way. Max grew to eleven feet tall and stepped between Richard and Magni, turning his disapproving gaze to the newcomer.

“I have work to do,” Tesla said dismissively, deliberately not looking back as she made her way back towards the table at the center of the room. Despite the shortness of her response the tone of voice she used was one that surprised Richard; he’d never have expected to hear such bit back disgust in Tesla’s voice.

“Rich, I need you to calm down and come with me, okay?” Vicky asked calmly.

Richard frowned but bit back his comments as they walked away.

“How did you even get in here?” Max demanded. Unlike his sister, the eldest Atom didn’t bother trying to hide the disdain he felt towards the newest arrival to the family’s hidden base.

“I’m sorry, he insisted we come an-“ a woman’s voice said apologetically

“Nereid, we told you not to-“ Richard missed the rest of what Max had to say as Vicky turned back to him.

“Okay, first off the Tribe…”

“And Jeanie are friends, so they probably didn’t kidnap her,” Richard nodded.

“You remember?” Vicky asked hopefully.

“Curt told me.”

“Damn!” Vicky spat.

Richard looked back to the elevator, “What was that all about?”

“Magni hates you.”

“What?”

“Yeah, he keeps showing up trying to make you look bad whenever he gets the chance, not to mention some of the other things he’s done…” Vicky chewed on her lip.

“So what did I do to piss him off?”

“I don’t know but he’s the Norse god of strength.”

“So?”

Vicky cocked an eyebrow at him, “Well for starters you’re known as the strongest man on Earth.”

“The nickname bothers him?” Richard found that hard to believe.

“Because it’s true. And that means that the Norse god of strength is a wimp next to a 'puny mortal',” Vicky shook her head, “Or at least that’s the only way I can figure it. You hated talking about Magni. There was some serious bad blood between you.”

“Still is,” Richard grunted, glancing back at Magni once more, “Maybe I should go.”

“And find Jeanie? My sister wasn’t wrong, you don’t even know where to look.” Vicky pointed out.

Richard crossed his arms and glowered.

“Don’t give me that look. Truth is if you go rushing out there you’re not helping anybody and you know it,” Vicky said crossing her own arms, “You stick with us and we can end this invasion. Then we can all look for Jeanie.”

Richard wanted to argue but it was true. Being out there doing something might make him feel a bit better, but it wasn’t going to help anybody.

“Maybe… Magni would be the better choice,” Richard said.

“Uh, no,” Vicky’s response was instantaneous.

“I’m serious Vicky, I’ve been nothing but lucky so far. I’m not the Richard you knew, I’m not the hero of this world, I’m an out of work carpenter,” Richard nodded to where Magni was, “He was a superhero before I was, and he was pretty damn good one back in the day. He’s got that plus another five years of experience.”

Vicky looked at him strangely, “What is all this? You’re afraid of dying?”

“Yes, but I’m more afraid of letting you down! Eve-“ Richard’s words were cut off as Vicky placed a hand over his mouth.

“There’s the hero I remember,” Vicky smiled as she pulled her hand back, “I’m sorry Richard, I know this isn’t easy. I know you’re confused, and I know that these last couple hours have been hell. But the only thing you need to do is be yourself.”

“That won’t be enough.”

“And that’s why you have us. Magni can’t do this, Richard. A lot of things have happened, he isn’t… he’s not the man who can pull this off. You are. We don’t need a muscle head on an ego trip, we need somebody who puts others before themselves,” Vicky gave his shoulder a squeeze, “The whole world is counting on us. You can’t walk away from that, can you?”

Richard sighed, “Of course not.”

“Thatta boy.”

“I kind of want to though.” Richard mumbled, feeling more than a little ashamed.

“Yeah well,” Vicky grinned, “Me too. Come on, this is some seriously scary stuff!”

Richard gave her a little smile, “But… Is this really the best plan we have?”

Vicky shook her head, “God no, it’s just the only one we have left. There are spies everywhere, remember? Every other attempt we’ve made at shutting down the portal, or rallying a defense has been attacked and destroyed before we could even get started.”

“And they haven’t got to this one yet?”

“We’re hoping they don’t know about it yet. They blew up the Goodman building a while ago. Who knows maybe they think the Atoms went down with the ship. Either way it’s a small team, so we’ve got better chances of succeeding. And the best part? The only other person alive that isn’t here who knows about this place is Chase. There’s no way anybody can find us.” Vick said with a smile.

The elevator door pinged as it slid open again, this time revealing a pair of soot covered, battered, burnt and bloody men who, in spite of it all, looked rather pleased with themselves. The one with the goatee dressed like a cross between a SWAT team member and a biker and was packing a glowing sword. The other had large mustache and carried a pristine looking shield with the Canadian flag painted on it.

In less than a second every gun in the place was leveled at them.

“Told you,” the mustached man said cheerfully.

“Yes, you’re very smart, and now how about we do something about not getting us shot?” The other man deadpanned.

Jack Wolf stepped forward packing a decidedly nasty looking rifle, “Who are you and how did you get here?”

“Jacky boy, is that you?” The man with the mustache asked, then smiled, “I haven’t seen you since you were, what, twelve? Fifteen?”

“I… wait… Uncle Harry?” Jack lowered his rifle, a bewildered expression crossing his face, “But you’d be eighty by now and you look younger than I do.”

“He’s immortal, Jack,” Andrea Atom said putting a hand on her son Max’s arm to assure him it was okay, “But that doesn’t explain how you found this place. It was made after your last visit.”

Harry smacked the shield in his hands, “It’s got a sixth sense about where I need to be. And once I found the door, well, my old password still worked.”

Jack looked over at Andrea, “We really need to update our security logins again.”

“So are they still going to shoot us?” the man with the goatee asked.

“Probably, but it wouldn’t be the first time for either of us today,” Harry grinned.

“What was my dog’s name?” Jack asked, watching Harry closely.

“Tippit, and it was my dog. He just liked you better than he liked me,” Harry noted with a wry grin.

Jack looked at Andrea, “I think it’s him.”

“Agreed. Stand down.” Andrea raised her hand, and the armed men in the room lowered their weapons, “What are you doing here?”

“Not entirely sure,” Harry said glancing at the shield, “One second.”

Richard watched as the man walked around the entire room, every eye in the place on him, doing a complete loop until he passed Richard. Then he stopped, turned around and walked past Richard again in the opposite direction before stopping again. He turned, looked Richard up and down then extended the shield in his direction before nodding.

“You’re going to need this, son,” Harry said, offering him the shield.

Richard laughed, “I don’t think it’d help. I’m about as tough as they come.”

“It’s indestructible. Go on, give it a try,” Harry said with a knowing smile.

Richard took the shield hesitantly, “Look, I don’t want to break it…”

Harry snorted, “Do you worst, I insist.”

Richard sighed, but every eye in the room was on him, waiting expectantly. He wanted to just give the shield back and be done with it but… He sighed again then carefully started pushing on either side of the shield intending to crumple it like a piece of paper, though hoping he’d catch it giving before he did too much damage to it.

To his surprise it didn’t budge. He shifted his grip and tried harder. Nothing.

“Go on, hit it,” Harry said, smiling widely.

Richard slide the shield onto his arm then slammed his fist into the front of it as hard as he could. A beautiful ringing note came off the shield, but the blow left no mark.

“Indestructible. Just give it back when you’re done with it,” Harry said, slapping him on the arm.

“When I’m done with it?” Richard asked.

Harry shrugged, “You’ll know.”

Richard looked at the shield again as Harry walked back towards Jack, “But… I’m not Canadian!”

“Nobody’s perfect, son” Harry said cheerfully over his shoulder, then turned his attention to Jack, “Now Jack, I’ve been telling Clay here you’ve got the best collection of guns around. We kind of lost ours when our helicopter was shot down and I was hoping you wouldn’t mind-“


“Well that was weird,” Vicky said, drawing Richard’s attention back to her, “That guy just shows up out of the blue, at our secret headquarters, to give you an indestructible shield?”

“You found that weird?” Richard said, “I thought your entire childhood was filled with that kind of stuff.”

“Okay so it was, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t weird,” she protested, “I’m just used to it.”

“If you’re used to it, then how is it weird?” Richard grinned.

“It’s weird that I’m used to it!”

Richard nodded, “Okay, that I understand.”

The room went silent as the light suddenly turned orange.

“The hell is-“ Richard’s words fell to the side as he saw his childhood nightmare standing in the middle of the room.

The armor was over eight feet tall, and made of an almost black material. Giant tubes ran from the back of the suit to the gauntlets, and the chest was emblazoned with a glowing symbol. But the sight that kept Richard’s attention was in the giant tube like helmet. The glowing orange skeletal face the glared at him with gleaming pinpricks for eyes.
Omega.

Richard wanted to run away, he wanted to scream, he wanted to charge the monster. He wanted to do anything but stand there staring horror as the most powerful monster in all of existence leveled a hand in his direction and fired a blast of orange light that blotted out the entire world.

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Re: Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 22)

Postby Horsenhero » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:50 pm

So much for not being discovered. Ah well, break his glass dome Rich.

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Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 23)

Postby Arkrite » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:36 am

23

When the light faded Richard was still standing. Unmoved, unhurt, he looked down expecting to see a gaping hole in his chest but found his still battered, but unbroken chest plate.

He looked back up just in time to catch a second blast to the face, painting the world orange. A second later he heard Magni scream, “Have at thee!” and a catastrophic crash, and suddenly he could see again.

There was now a gaping hole in the wall, which a blond haired woman threw herself out of screaming Magni’s name. Around the room most of the people had frozen in their spot, much like Richard had. The Atoms, however, were already moving.

“They know we’re here, activate the teleportation blockers,” Andrea ordered.

“But they’ll be able to track-“ A stunned looking technician stuttered.

“They already know we’re here! Do it!” Andrea snapped, turning back to focus on the machine.

“Vicky, guard duty. Jack, activate the building’s defenses,” Max ordered, “Harry, you’re with me guarding the hole, rest of you cover us and get ready to trade off.”

Richard swallowed, his mouth dry, his heart hammering in his chest. Omega had been there. Omega was here. And Omega was trying to kill him.

“Rich.”

Richard looked up, shaken out of his shocked state to see Tesla’s worried face looking up from the device she was working on.

“I’m not done yet! I need five minutes!”

Richard’s heart sank. There was no way he’d last five minutes. He could barely keep himself standing upright, all he wanted to do was curl up into a ball on the ground.

But as he looked at Tesla’s face he remembered what he’d read a long time ago. It didn’t matter if he was scared, people were counting on him. He had to keep moving forward.

He straightened his shoulders, and set his jaw. If he was going to die he was going out swinging. He’d make Omega fight for every last step and damn it he’d regret it. Damn it all, he’d drag them to hell with him if he had to!

“You’ve got three,” Richard yelled running to the hole in the wall.

“Rich!”

Richard paused to look back one last time.

Tesla offered him a frightened smile, “You aren’t alone!”

Richard gave her his own terrified smile and turned back to the hole. An explosion of fire blinded him, and a blue glowing hammer crashed into the wall to the right of his head. Outside standing on a nearby rooftop was Omega holding the crushed remains of Magni’s other hammer.

Magni was unmoving at Omega’s feet with the blond haired woman staring at him as if unable to comprehend what had just happened.

Richard watched as Omega turned disdainfully to level a hand at the woman, and suddenly he found himself moving. His right hand grabbed the handle of the hammer stuck in the wall and wrenched it free without any effort, then he leapt at Omega.

The entopic villain saw him coming and paused long enough to fire yet another blast of orange energy into Richard in midair. This time Richard didn’t even flinch. He just let the beam run off him like so much water, and brought the hammer across as hard as he could.

The blow numbed his arm, and sent Omega crashing along the roof. For a moment Richard smiled. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

But half way through crashing across the rooftop Omega slammed a hand down, stopped himself dead and stood up as though nothing had happened.

“We’ve been waiting for you.”

Richard glanced up at the sky, the source of the voice, and watched with dread as the sky shimmered and faded to reveal a small army of super villains and god knows what else. At the forefront was a man in a suit of power armor floating in the air next to a hexagonal ring, into which a red haired man had been brutally strapped to.

A series of floating metal orbs spun into the air circling around them.

The man strapped to the ring looked mostly dead, his clothing destroyed, and terrible wounds crisscrossing his body. If it hadn’t been for the occasional movements he’d have assumed that the man was dead.

“This is Menton a ‘powerful’ psychic without compare on this world,” The man in the power suit reveled in mocking the man, “But as you can see, he didn’t fare well against us. But now he has a glorious usage in Omega’s name!”

“He will be the man who killed the world’s greatest champion, live on all of your media feeds,” The man made a sweeping gesture, “The whole world will watch as you suffer and die… before they join you.”

The orbs shifted positions rapidly, likely trying to get better shots of everybody involved.

“You think I’m scared?” Richard asked through gritted teeth. He was terrified, but he wasn’t about to let them know that.

“No,” The man said after a long pause, “You’re far too stupid to know your own demise when you see it.”

Omega swept a hand through the air and the man in the power armored went silent immediately, “Terribly sorry, but my Lord’s patience has ended.”

The power armored man pointed at Richard, turned to Menton and yelled, “Kill him! Painfully! Slowly! I want to hear him scream!”

Richard raised the shield, and gripped the hammer in his hand, and then his head exploded in sheer agony. He staggered back a step and spat out a curse before he found the strength to stand up right. He staggered against as the assault increased and prepared to hurl the hammer at Menton. He didn’t want to hit the man, it’d probably kill him, but his options were pretty limited.

And then, before Richard could move to throw, Menton screamed.

“No, no, it’s not possible,” he mumbled frantically, “There’s too many. There’s too many!”

The man in the power armor looked back at Menton, “You’ve failed. You know the punishment for failure.”

“No,” Menton whimpered, “Please, it’s not possible. It’s not him! There are too many minds! He’s not alone!”

“I. Don’t. Care,” the man declared in an exasperated tone before pressing a button on his gauntlet.

Electricity rippled across the platform and through the man.

“And that,” The armored man declared, “Is why you do not fail Lord Omega.”

Richard watched in horror as the man screamed one last time and then went still, hanging lifelessly from the platform.

Gripping the hammer tighter he growled, “I don’t know who you are, but I’m going to peel you out of that tin can-“

“Yes, yes, heroic posturing,” He said before suddenly snapping a hand out to blast the roof before him, causing it to rain shrapnel in all directions, “You are boring me. I thought watching a psychic, which by the way was supposed to be your biggest weak point, destroy you would have been fun. And that was a disappointment. But you know what’ll be interesting? You alone against the generals of Omega’s armies.”

It was true, and Richard couldn’t argue that. Just him vs. an entire army of powerful villains led by Omega. It was the worst odds one could imagine. But the Atoms were counting on him. His friends were counting on him. The entire worlds was counting on him.

He remembered Tesla’s last words. He wasn’t alone. They were with him in spirit. The whole world was watching. And they were counting on him.

He wouldn’t back down now.

“I’m not alone,” Richard yelled, slamming the hammer into the shield he wore, creating a loud bell like chime cutting loud and clear through the destruction and the smoke.

And then all hell broke loose.

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Re: Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 23)

Postby Horsenhero » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:57 pm

This might be a good time for Force Ops and the other resistance fighters to show up...just sayin'.

Heck, oodles of heroes could show up as support and Rich would still get his Big Damn Hero moment.

I get the feeling though, that Rich is gonna out superman Superman. Go get 'em Rich!

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Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 24)

Postby Arkrite » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:44 am

24

Bravado.

That had been all it was.

But when the ringing of the shield cut through the air a strange thing happened. Behind him, in the air came a blast of brilliant blue light. Richard didn’t look back, he couldn’t risk it, but whatever it was had been the catalyst for what happened next.

The nearby buildings all but exploded as super heroes, bullets, rockets, rays and even office furniture flew from them and at the villains floating over Richard’s head. The effect on Omega’s generals filled Richard with hope.

They obviously weren’t used to working as a team, with a few of them setting up shields or force fields for themselves and not for others, plus a few cases of friendly fire and midair collisions sent them into disarray.

A large dragon-like man had the misfortune of running into another flying general, then catching a desk in the wing, sending him spiraling into Richard’s reach. The hammer caught it in the ribs and sent the lizard creature careening through the air towards the ground a few blocks away.

All around the building he was on he was now seeing superheroes, robots, a few ninjas, armed soldiers, cops, and he swore he even saw a firefighter carrying a glowing fireaxe.

On one building Champion was stretched out like a slingshot while two street thugs loaded him up with another heavy looking desk.
Elite was throwing exploding discs at anything in range, while the Piper and Sonic unleashed a wave of deafening sound into the generals.

The Beekeeper let lose volley after volley of energy ‘stings’ in the faces of as many of Omega’s forces as possible while Firewall was working out the angles of how to fly through as many foes as possible because it seemed her energy body was very disruptive to organic material. This left them vulnerable to Archer’s accurately aimed arrows and Dovetail’s expertly delivered strikes with a metal staff.

Mr. Magnificent was busy shouting out challenges to go along with the powerful blows he was dishing out. “Thought you Terminus fools were supposed to be tough! The Magnificent One’s baby mamma is tougher than you!”


A streak of lightning blasting past Richard was the only indication that Bolt, a speedster with electrical powers, had gone by. In two quick flashes Magni and the blonde woman both disappeared leaving the roof open for a series of fireballs launched from the flying form of the witch known as Seven.


<That’s our last trick,> A telepathic message came to Richard from whom he could only assume was the still unseen Chase Atom, <Make it count Rich! These guys are going to tear us apart!>


He couldn’t disagree. As much as that attack had thrown the Generals into disarray, it had done little damage to them. In fact more of them had been hurt worse by their own teammates during their initial response to it.

And within seconds they were turning to face their opposition. Richard swore. Of course they were tough. Omega wouldn’t need weak generals, he had the drones for that kind of thing.

But they’d obviously never had Mister Ross as an instructor. They’d taken their eyes off of him.

Richard twitched his legs and leapt into the air, his hammer crashing down left and right as fast as he could swing. A robot’s head was crushed, the power armored man had a new giant dent in his chest piece, an entire flying platform carrying a few generals went spinning out of control, and the smashed a living skeleton into the ground even as it attempted to cast a spell at him.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw the shadows suddenly ripple up from the group to grab at the skeletal general, and drag it down out of sight. Dark haunting eyes winked at him from the depths of that darkness.

In the span of a few seconds he’d hurt Omega’s generals badly. But Omega hadn’t been idle either. With a casual wave of his hand he decimated an entire skyscraper with orange energy, sending all the brave men and women in it crashing to the ground. Another wave burned a young woman who was in mid-flight to collide with the Lord of Entropy, until all that was left was a fluttering burnt cape.

A man made of grey rock slammed down next to him, bringing both fists down on the glass dome of Omega’s armor. Omega didn’t flinch; he simply backhanded the man, shattering him into gravel. Another blast took another two fliers out of the sky as they made a run at one of Omega’s generals.

In the midst of all that bullets, energy blasts, and all other sorts of projectiles rained down upon him, only for it to roll off the skeletal invader like rain off a duck’s back.

Finally, as Richard landed, he saw Omega turn his attention back to the building the Atoms had been hiding in and start to raise his fist once more. Richard saw now what the light had been, as the Stylized Atom symbol that the family used was now being projected as a hologram, ten stories high and spinning slowly for the entire city to see.

Richard flung himself in between the building and Omega, once again catching an orange blast of energy across the chest. And again nothing happened. Richard’s own attack had more of an effect, as he brought the hammer down on Omega’s shoulder, causing the creature to stagger off balance.

“Looks like that trick doesn’t work on me,” Richard said with a sneer.

Omega didn’t bother to respond, he simply swung a giant metal gauntlet at Richard’s head. Richard lifted the red and white shield and braced as hard as he could. The blow sent out the same bell like ringing noise, except this time it Richard’s entire arm went completely numb, and he slid ten feet to the right.

“Aw crap,” Richard muttered, forcing his numb arm to raise the shield back into position.

He should have just kept his big mouth shut and let Omega figure that one out himself. Now he was going to have to go toe to toe with the orange juggernaut, and the pins-and-needles sensation in his arm made it clear how bad of an idea that was. This guy hit harder than the Alpha Centurion did, and nothing Richard had done so far had done more than put a small dent in his armor.

All at once the horrific noise of the portal started again, and from the corner of his eyes he could see ships and Omega drones pouring through. Now that Omega’s sneak attack had failed there was no reason for them not to call in the troops to crush the resistance.

A series of large laser beams, bulbs of light, and missiles ripped from the city below into the enemies coming through the portal above, cutting them down in droves.

“Not this time! We’re ready for you! Freedom City is ready for you!” He heard Curt’s defiant yell like he was right next to him, in spite of being nowhere to be seen.

He saw a few people flinch. Apparently he wasn’t the only person who'd heard it.

He ducked to the side as Omega swung a devastating right, and brought up the hammer as hard as he could into Omega’s midsection. Omega careened into the air for a moment before his suit suddenly fired rockets from various hidden panels and sent him hurtling like a rocket right back into Richard.

They exploded down into the building they’d been fighting on, fists and hammer still swinging. Richard drove Omega off of him with a heavy blow to the side as they hit the streets below. He forced himself to his feet and tried to shrug off the aching pain in his ribs as he readied himself for the next attack.

Omega was already on his feet again, walking towards him like the outcome was inevitable.

It probably was.

Richard shook his head to clear it. He didn’t need to beat Omega, he just needed to buy time. He’d bought a minute or two on the rooftop while they were lording over him. Now he just needed to stay alive long enough for Tesla to finish her device.

He jumped forward, smacked Omega in the arm with a hammer and retreated before the counter attack could take his head off. He gave up accuracy and power to avoid being hit in turn. After all, he only needed to keep Omega’s attention.

The plan wasn’t very good to begin with. Richard got a series of attacks in that did little more than slightly alter the shape of Omega’s breastplate, while Omega landed a couple of blows that would have killed him if he hadn’t put the shield in the way. Even as it was the few hits that got through were hurting him bad enough to regret even considering the plan.

Then Omega changed tactics. Instead of chasing Richard he simply stopped, and started picking targets in the air above them, killing anybody who happened to catch his eye with a blast of energy. Richard swore, and barreled back in and brought the hammer down as hard as he could, crunching a pauldron. Omega took the blow and slammed a fist into Richard hard enough to make him see stars.

The hammer slipped out of his hands as he slammed into a building, and he barely brought the shield across in time to take the brunt of Omega’s renewed assault. A heavy blow drove him to the ground. He felt this arm and shoulder ache with every blow, and the ground beneath him shattered and broke.

Richard lashed out with a foot, catching Omega in the knee and the groin, but the assault continued unabated. Omega seemed intent on not letting him get his feet back under him.

He had just enough time to wonder if this was how he was going to die when he saw a huge fat man go running into the building behind Omega. Not through the door, but into a corner of the building then ran along the wall demolishing it. It took him a second to recognize Sloth, his attention was focus much more on not dying. A few seconds later he had demolished the wall, glanced fearfully at Omega who was still ignoring him, then rushed inside of the building where a series of low crashing noises.

From beside the building the woman in the red jumpsuit with the pink hair appeared, blowing a bubble from her chewing gum while she pulled an entire bazooka out of her purse. She snapped her gum loudly and fired the bazooka. Instead of the expected rocket powered roar, it simply made a popping noise much like her gum, and a pink disk was fired silently to smack into Omega’s back.

Omega didn’t even seem to notice, content to try to crave Richard’s head in.

The girl waved cheerfully then ran back down an alley while stuffing the bazooka in the much too small purse.

A second later a series of crossbow bolts smacked into Omega’s domed helmet, covering it in foam while a blast of fire caught him from the other side enveloping his upper body in green flame, and debris came flying through the air to shatter harmlessly on his side.

It was a distraction, all set up so that Sandstone in her sand form, could slip in, pick Richard off the ground, and slide him off to the side.

“Now!” Sandstone screamed.

The building that had been behind Omega let loose another horrifying cracking noise, then collapsed towards the Lord of the terminus, burying him under tons of concrete.

Richard fought his way free of Sandstone’s grasp and put himself down into a three point stance. He knew how this was going to go.

“Get out of here!” He yelled.

“We-“

“Run, damn you!” Richard screamed. They didn’t have to die here, this wasn’t their fight.

That building landing on him might have annoyed Omega, but it didn’t hurt him. And it couldn’t hold him. The Lord of the Terminus exploded from the debris, furious and unharmed, only to catch a full force tackle from Richard. They crashed into the street, and Richard slammed the shield into Omega’s helmet once, twice, three times until the translucent covering started to show cracks.

He caught a blow to the ribs for his effort and crashed through the wall of a nearby building. He coughed and wheezed as he got back to his feet, tasting iron. He hoped he’d just bit his tongue, he didn’t like the other options.

As he limped back towards the street he saw Omega waiting for him. The unstoppable menace was still being attacked on all sides, but was content to ignore it. The flames, arrows, and stones did nothing to him. He walked forward slowly and Richard braced himself for the next attack.

But Omega stopped his approach suddenly and cocked his head down and to the right. The response from outside was immediate, all of the people who’d been attacking him stopped. Richard could only assume that they were afraid Omega had turned his attention to one of them. It’d have been enough to send Richard running for the hills.

Omega, however, seemed to be ignoring the world around him. He remained perfectly still for almost a minute then turned and looked directly at the building the Atoms were in.

“Aw crap,” He spat, trying to sprint forward.

Omega lifted into the air as the rockets appeared from their hidden compartments on his armor, ignoring Richard’s charge.

A streak of red and white caught Omega in the back, slicing through the nozzle of one of the bigger rockets, just under the strange pink disc, and crushing another. He spun wildly, trying to bring himself back under control as Richard followed the same ballistic trajectory of the shield he’d just thrown, crashing into Omega.

“Bye bye!” Came a cheery voice from below.

“Gimmick, no!” Sandstone yelled.

The pink disc stuck to Omega’s back suddenly sprouted it’s own rocket engine and in an instant the world spun around them wildly as the two titans grappled with each other. An instant later Richard could hear all of the rockets on Omega’s suit kick on at full power sending them even more out of control and blazing a zigzagging line through the air.

Punch after punched rained down on either side and the last thing Richard recalled before a heavy blow caught him in the side of the head was the brilliant glow of the Atom symbol as they slammed through it and into the roof of the Atom’s secret headquarters.

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Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 25)

Postby Arkrite » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:51 am

25

“Richard.”

Richard’s head swam. The headache was worse than ever. He could barely see.

Around him the green grass, blue sky, even the tree flickered wildly from colour into black and white and back again.

“T-Toni?” he gasped, pushing himself up from the ground.

He felt drunk. This wasn’t where he was supposed to be. Something had been happening, something important.

“Richard, you need to remember,” Toni’s voice insisted in his ear.

“What?” he slurred as the world seemed to shift into static and back again, sending him sprawling back to the ground, “What am I’m supposed to remember?”

“Richard, you need to-“

A pair of large hands grabbed him by the collar and lifted him into the air, violently, and he suddenly found himself staring into a panicked and enraged face.

“WAKE UP!” Richard Dunn screamed in his face.

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Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 26)

Postby Arkrite » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:02 pm

26

Richard lurched violently, trying to wrench himself from the floor. His right arm was broken, and his legs wouldn’t move properly. He knew they were still there, they hurt too much not to be.

Panic was racing through him, and he didn’t bother to slow down, he forced himself up anyways, managing to find his knees as he looked at the world around him. His ears rang, and the world seemed to want to keep moving even after he stopped turning his head.

Another concussion, he thought clinically in spite of the fact that his heart was about to explode out of his chest.

He recognized the room. He’d been there only a few minutes before with Vicky, but it looked different now. The lights were flickering on and off leaving only red emergency lighting on. The wall and the ceiling both had giant holes in them, through which orange light seemed to glow.

The soldiers and cops were either gone, or laying wounded along the outside of the room, and bullet holes riddled the walls. Vicky was all over one side of the room, stretched to her maximum and littering the floor like a fallen ribbon. Max was laying nearby, on his back. A woman Richard didn’t recognize was crying over him.

Directly in the center of the room was Doctor Andrea Atom, firing a heavy looking gun which looked as though it should have belonged in an old sci-fi movie. She fired a searing beam of energy into Omega, who towered over her, and her daughter Tesla, who never looked up from the device she was working on.

Omega stretched out a hand and blast of energy caught Andrea in the chest, sending her toppling over the side of the table to crash to the ground, smoke rising from her darkened jumpsuit.

She should have been dead, Richard thought curiously as he struggled to make his legs work, that blast should have disintegrated her like it had done to so many others. It occurred to him slowly that the Atoms had wanted Omega in this room, maybe they’d come up with some way to counter his abilities.

His lazy thoughts were shattered as he watched Omega walk up behind the frantically working Tesla, and reached out with a giant gauntlet to crush her skull.

His legs weren’t working, his arm couldn’t bare his weight, but all he could think about was how he needed to move. How more than anything he needed to get between Omega and Tesla.

And then he did.

Flying a clean foot over the ground he came to stop in front of Omega and caught the tyrant’s outstretched right hand with his own left hand, and laced his fingers through Omega’s and squeezed.

“World’s… strongest… man…” Richard wheezed with a grin as Omega’s gauntlet crumpled and twisted out of shape.

For the first time since their fight had started Omega seemed surprised by this turn of events, and paused to look at his damaged hand.

“Tes, do it now!” He yelled, slamming his own head into Omega’s dome, causing the spider web pattern to grow, “Do it and run!”

Omega slammed his free fist into Richard’s side twice, and had he not been floating he’d have fallen to the ground. Instead when Omega’s third blow went for his face he simply lowered his head and caught it on the forehead as much as he could manage. The horrific shriek of metal bending out of place almost made up for the stars, disorientation, and searing pain that suddenly assaulted him.

As he peered thought he stars he thought he managed to see Omega’s free gauntlet crushed out of shape and locked into a fist. It gave him some little pleasure to know that he’d managed to break the monster’s hands before it had killed him.

“Tesla!” he wheezed.

Omega drew back his fist and then the world around them turned grey. Omega seemed indifferent to the change, but when he tried to swing his fist his arm wouldn’t move.

Richard looked at the strange grey bubble they were locked in and noticed that Omega’s elbow had touched the inside of it, and had stuck in place. And the bubble slowly expanded, covering more and more of Omega in grey.

The Lord of the Terminus looked far from worried as he watched the effect slowly, “This changes nothing. You will all be destroyed.”

“Maybe,” Said Tesla Atom as she stepped forward to place a hand on Richard’s shoulder, “But they’ll have time to be ready for you.”

Omega said nothing more as the grey engulfed him.

“Tes, you have to get out of her-“

“Shh,” Tesla hushed him sadly, “There wasn’t time Richard. I couldn’t get out, and besides I couldn’t leave my family behind.”

She smiled at him, but the tears that were rolling down her face told a different tale.

“What happens now?” Richard asked as he watched the grey bubble continued to grow from the outside in. In another few moments it would touch the hand that was stuck in Omega’s frozen grip.

“The bubble fills, and we’re locked outside of time for,” Tesla hesitated, “It was supposed to be forever, but it wasn’t ready. We bought years. Maybe decades. Then he’ll be free again.”

Richard forced a smile, “And so will we.”

She smiled back at him and then leaned against him.

Outside the bubble he watched as the Beekeeper flew through the hole in the wall, carrying Chase Atom. The two of them hit the ground running, banging on the outside of the bubble. On the inside it seemed to lock things in place, but on the outside it seemed like an impenetrable barrier.

The Beekeeper frantically fired a blast at the bubble, then pounded with a fist some more. Frantically the Beekeeper reached up and wrenched off their helmet to reveal…

“Jeanie?”

He couldn’t understand what she was saying. Her mouth was moving too much, and between the crying and sobbing she could have been saying anything. He didn’t have to hear what she was saying. The tears, the look on her face, they told him everything he needed to know.

It broke his heart as he watched her claw at the bubble. There’d be no happy reunion for them.

“I love you,” He said smiling at her as the grey swallowed him whole.

But it had all been worth it.

Jeanie would live.

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Albright Institute: Memini (Interlude - Fallen Heroes)

Postby Arkrite » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:05 pm

Interlude – Fallen Heroes

Jeanie and Chase watched as the grey swallowed the Atoms, and Richard as well as Omega then disappear as though none of them had ever been there at all.

And the only people around to witness the beginning of the defeat for the Terminus invasion were the young man and woman whose families had sacrificed themselves to ensure it.

They held each other, crying and tried not to think of how much colder the world had become now that they’d been orphaned from the only families they’d ever known.

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Re: Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 24, 25, 26, Interlud

Postby Shock » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:34 pm

Well that was unexpected

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Re: Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 24, 25, 26, Interlud

Postby Horsenhero » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:23 pm

That was tres cool.

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Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 27)

Postby Arkrite » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:29 pm

27

He hadn’t expected to open his eyes again, or that when he did the first thing he’d see was anything other than Omega’s fist coming at his face.

Instead he stood in the middle of a field in what looked to be the summer. It was hard to tell because everything was a shade of grey.

“Richard.”

Richard turned slowly. By the tree were two figures. Both in grey.

Toni, still smiling sadly beckoned him over. The other figure stood unmoving, like a statue. He found it creepy to see himself in the faux Centurion costume, but seeing himself standing by Toni and staring at him made the whole effect worse.

“Toni, what’s going on?”

“Richard, you need to remember.”

Richard wanted to scream, “Can’t you say anything else?!”

Toni closed her eyes and bowed her head and she shook it. No.

“What was I supposed to remember? It’s over, Toni! I stopped him but,” Richard shook his head, “I don’t remember. I don’t remember anything!”

Toni looked up and him with pleading eyes, “Richard, you need to remember.”

“Remember what?” Richard pleaded, “I don’t understand, Toni. I just don’t understand!”

He saw movement out of the corner of his eyes and turned to see that the grey world was falling apart. Grass, the earth, even the clouds appeared to be blowing away as though they were were made up of tiny sand particles caught in the gusts of a driving wind.

Everything from miles around was blowing away leaving nothing but an empty grey void.

“Richard.”

He turned to look back at Toni and to his horror he saw that she’d already been half blown away herself.

“Toni!” He reached out to touch her, his arms the only thing left in colour in the entire world, but it was too late, there was nothing left for his hands to hold.

And then the ground beneath him faded and he fell in the darkness.

“You need to remember.”

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Albright Institute: Memini (Chapter 28)

Postby Arkrite » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:31 pm

28

Richard let out a yell and thrashed in the darkness. He felt the ground beneath his back give and he tumbled unceremoniously onto the floor.

He scrambled for a moment trying to figure out what was going on. He’d been fighting Omega, then he’d been in a crumbling world with Toni, and…

“Damn it all, where are the lights?” Richard swore.

Lights suddenly flickered to life around the room, revealing solid metal walls, metal chairs, and even a metal table. It was his old room in the Albright Institute. He looked around slowly, and got to his feet. The place looked just the way he remembered it, except that the bed had been destroyed.

He’d just done that himself.

He glanced down and saw he wasn’t wearing any kind of costume. Just a pair long shorts and a t-shirt that he usually wore to bed. He stalked across the room, glancing at the calendar, then to the closet where a scrap book sat looking as though somebody hadn’t quite put it back properly.

This was five years ago. He still had that trip with Telsa Atom coming up in a few weeks.

He scratched his head.

It didn’t make sense. Why was he in the past? Why wasn’t he in the future?

Was it all just a dream?

He started running through what had just happened in his mind. He’d woken up… he’d woken up… somewhere… Vicky was there… and…

“Richard,” he felt a chill go down his spine as the voice seemed to drift all around him, “You need to remember.”

He felt panic building in him. She hadn’t been asking him to remember his past, she’d been asking him to remember what had been happening. And it was slipping. It was like a fading dream, he could remember parts, themes, but the details were slipping.

He spun frantically looking around, until his eyes centered on his table. He ran forward, smashing a chair like it was made of play-doh to get to it and drove a fingernail into the top of the table.

He blinked away tears as he tried to remember what had happened. There was so much that had happened, he had so many opportunities to fix things, but there wasn’t enough time. He couldn’t remember enough details. Every time he tried to focus on writing more memories faded away.

He frantically scratched everything, anything he could think of into the table as he cried, until he found he didn’t remember why he was at the table, or why he was crying. He just knew he’d forgotten something.

And that knowledge broke his heart. So he sat there on the floor and cried.

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Albright Institute: Memini (Epilogue)

Postby Arkrite » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:32 pm

Epilogue

Doctor Daphne Halperstein all but ran up the stairs. It was the middle of the night, her red hair was a giant mess, and she hadn’t found the time to do more than pull a terrycloth robe over her pajamas when the emergency had been signaled.

Most of the students were still asleep, they hadn’t been woken by the alarm that Doctor Reese had set off. It was only set to alert the staff.

She’d found Richard Dunn sitting in the living room, crying over a glass of hot chocolate while his little sister tried frantically to calm him down.

The strangest part had been him telling her that he didn’t know why he was crying, just that he couldn’t stop.

Doctor Noah Spence was waiting for her at the third floor, guarding the door to Richard’s room.

“What’s going on?” Sean asked, rubbing sleep from his eyes.

Daphne paused, distracted by the fact that Sean was covered in sweat. The analytical part of her mind started sending up alarms. Sean the fire powered teen shouldn't have an adverse reaction to anything but the most intense heats.

“S-“

“Richard had an accident, that’s all,” Doctor Spence said, calmly cutting off Daphne, “Broke some furniture.”

“Uh-huh,” Sean said, giving him a suspicious look then shrugged indifferently turning to head back in his room, “Whatever. I’m going back to bed. Love the bathrobe Doc. Tres chic.”

Daphne looked over at Noah, and he waved her over.

“What’s going on?”

“Inside,” He said simply, opening the door after they were sure nobody else was peaking, then closing it behind them.

He pulled out a small device and pressed a button, “Okay, Curt shouldn’t be able to hear us.”

“What’s going on?” Daphne asked again, “Richard’s beside himself downstairs.”

Noah rubbed the back of his neck, “Curt heard some noise in Richard’s room, he woke up Jeanie to check on him, they found this and called us…”

Daphne looked at the destruction around the room. The solid metal bedframe they’d built for Richard had been shattered in half, one of the chairs had been crushed into the ground, and another looked like he’d hurled it into the wall, where it stuck. The table was sitting on it’s side facing away from her.

Doctor Leslie Reece, the last member of the team that looked out for the kids who stayed at their facility, was there with a disturbed look on her face.

“We have to move up the field trip,” Doctor Reese said coolly, “Until we can get them all out of the building we’ll have to lock this away in a lab. And we’ll have to find a reason to keep Jenna away for a little while.”

“What’s going on?”

Doctor Reese looked up at Daphne then waved her over.

Daphne walked slowly over until she stood at Doctor Reese’s side, and looked down to where the doctor was pointing. On the table was what looked like the writings of a madman, carved into the hardened metal as though it was clay. The words ran together at time and at other times it made no sense at all.

She read a couple of the clearer ones as she quickly scanned the table with her eyes.

Flower crippled by daisies.
Adam’s death because of shock.
Sean’s nightmare kindled by embers.
The Rules: follow the red star, don’t look back, don’t make deals, don’t stop.

She skipped the rest as her eyes were drawn to an area near the bottom where the words July 8, 2012, 1313 Pandora 6:00 PM had been carved in and circled. It almost looked as though everything written had worked its way out from there. But the frightening part was the giant Omega symbol that hard been carved into the table as large as possible with the words beneath it stating “He is coming”.

“My god,” Daphne’s jaw dropped, “Richard did this?”

“He doesn’t appear to remember it,” Doctor Reese said crossing her arms.

“What do we do?” Noah asked.

“Nobody can know about this. We cover it up and move it into the labs, we lock it up, and then we invite Mister Albright here to see it,” Doctor Reese looked at her coworkers, “You cannot speak to anybody about this. If word of this gets out the damage to the Institute will be beyond repair.”

Noah hissed, “Damn it. She’s right. If people saw this… It’s be throwing gasoline onto the fire. Most people already think that the kids are working for the Terminus somehow,”

Doctor Reese looked back at them, “Are we sure he’s not?”

Silence filled the room.


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