Tuesday, January 15, 2019

MI-13: Part II

Our heroes are catching their breath after delivering several civilians to the emergency services when a call goes out on both Purple Shadow and Psylocke's radios: 

"This is Special Agent Peter Wisdom of MI-6 calling across all wavelengths. Command structure has been compromised and contact lost with the British Government. As the highest-ranking agent in the field, I am assuming command of all emergency services and agents until further notice. All forces are converge on the Houses of Parliament, that’s where we’ll make our stand."  

Up ahead, the heroes can see more Dark Elves blocking the road. Just beyond them, the way is clear through to Westminster Bridge Road, then through to Westminster. 

Gathering his power to clear the path ahead, the Arcanist fills the street with mystic light, pushing his body and mind to the limit. When the light fades, a couple of Dark Elves have been felled, but the remainder have closed and start to batter through his mystic shields. Using her telekinetic might, Psylocke lifts a vending machine and hurls it at her foes, though it swings wide, scattering cans of Tango around the street. Seeing the Dark Elves batter through the Arcanist's shield and bring the master of the mystic arts down, Purple Shadow charges into the fray to draw attention away from her teammate. Not to be outdone, the Sandman puts his nightstick to good use, felling an entire band of Dark Elves single-handed. 

One of the alien Kursed charges at Purple Shadow, knocking her back several meters, but she struggles to her feet, grumbling "I'll kill this motherfucker," before hurling herself at the monster. Sandman runs into trouble when Dark Elf blaster fire rakes him and his own return blows don't seem to do much. Under the continued battering, Sandman calls out to the rest of the team to get clear and prepares to sell his life for theirs. Seeing that the tide is well and truly turning against them, Psylocke levitates the Arcanist and sprints for the safety of the end of the street. Purple Shadow breaks away from the Kursed and also makes a run for it, but doesn't get far before Dark Elf fire brings her down. Sandman does his best to limp away but is quickly caught by the Kursed and beaten into unconsciousness. Desperate, Psylocke flings the Arcanist down the street and dives for cover herself; her respite is short-lived, as the Kursed sniffs her out and ends her plans of escape.

Thankfully for the Arcanist, part of his usual attire is a Ring of Featherfall and he drifts gracefully to the ground, awaking some time later with a red-white-and-blue-clad form looming over him. One of Britain's greatest heroes, Union Jack, greets Arcanist with an "Al'right cobber?" and gets to explaining that all of the wizard's erstwhile teammates were still alive, captured by the Alien invaders and being held for unknown reasons. Although still injured, the Arcanist agrees to do his best to help Union Jack rescue Sandman, Purple Shadow and Psylocke. The three heroes are caught in a strange, web-like, black crystal, being watched over by a Kursed and what seems to be a Dark Elf "officer", going about strange business. 
Wasting no time, the Arcanist summons his mighty blast of light, desperation pushing his power to new heights and the blast flattening the area and knocking all of the aliens flying. Muttering in an unknown language, the leader of the Dark Elves stands and walks over to the wounded Kursed, applying its hands to the monster. To the Arcanist's dismay, the touch seems to heal the monster, its woulds closing before their eyes. Seizing the opportunity, Sandman transforms into his sand-like form and slips from his bonds, re-solidifying to attempt to batter his friends free; Dark Elves see him and open fire, but shoot wide. Finding herself unable to break free of the crystal bonds on her own, Psylocke instead uses her telekinesis to fling a shopping trolley into a nearby group of Dark Elves, with devastating results. 

Seeing the less experienced heroes doing well, Union Jack charges headlong into the nearest Kursed, but is battered aside like a gnat. The Dark Elf leader is intent on keeping her prey in the trap and weaves a dark spell at Sandman, who buckles under the strain. Lifting a storm drain cover with her mind, Psylocke uses it to knock the Dark Elf leader cold and the crystal bonds melt away, freeing her and Purple Shadow, any relief is short-lived, though, as more Dark Elves come running into the area. Seeing that Union Jack is not having much success against the Kursed, the Arcanist adds his mystical might to the struggle, though the hulking brute shows little sign of slowing.

The newly-arrived Dark Elves start to fire towards Purple Shadow, but she decides she's had enough of being a victim today thank you very much and hurls herself headlong into their ranks, bringing down the entire squad with a combination of her fists and mysterious, deadly aura. Inspired by the heroics of Union Jack, Sandman leaps at the Kursed and swings his nightstick, taking the monster by surprise. The last of the Dark Elves are quickly mopped up when the Arcanist turns his attentions to them, throwing a firetruck with his mystic arts and flattening them. Now on its own, the Kursed turns to flee, Union Jack and Sandman rain blows as it runs, but fail to slow it. Psylocke places herself in the path of the charging Kursed, but is battered aside like a ragdoll. 

Finally, the heroes approach Westminster Bridge; battered, bruised and barely on their feet, even the pathetic sight that greets them comes as a relief. Gathered on the far side of the bridge is a harlequin set of police, military and armed civilians looking out from makeshift barricades. As they approach, a slim, rakish man in a suit walks out to meet Union Jack and shakes his hand warmly. The newcomer introduces himself as Pete Wisdom, an agent of MI-6 and the highest-ranking person present. He reports that the portals seem to be closing and that the Avenger, Thor has been victorious against the alien leader. The remaining alien forces are converging on the Houses of Parliament, hoping to knock out the defenders and seize the seat of Government. If they succeed, London, and the United Kingdom, will be lost. The line is here, the heroes must not let it be crossed. 

The super-powered members of the defending forces line up on the bridge, including Union Jack and Pete Wisdom, awaiting the oncoming charge. Union Jack is the first to break the line, shouting "Watch my six" over his shoulder as he hefts his weapon and runs towards the first wave. Utilising the last of the fading portals, a group of Dark Elves teleport across much of the length on the bridge and ambush Purple Shadow, gravely injuring her before the fight even truly begins. Pete Wisdom runs in to help Purple Shadow, and between his psychic knives and her deadly aura, short work is made of the alien interlopers. Following an idea that has worked previously, the Arcanist hefts a car with his mystical might, hurling it at the nearest Kursed, but he misjudges the distance and creates a nice barrier for the Kursed to weather fire from behind. Psylocke fares a little better, with her mentally-thrown Vespa eliminating an entire team of Dark Elves when it explodes.

In retaliation, the Dark Elf leader slings a spell at Pete Wisdom, stunning him temporarily. Always eager to prove his arcane might, The Arcanist unleashes his powerful blast of mystic light, blowing most of the Dark Elf forces clear of the bridge in one mighty spell. Seeing the Kursed pick up the car in front of him in preparation of throwing it, Psylocke uses her telekinesis to keep it pinned in place, protecting her teammates. Pete Wisdom charges into the next Kursed, sinking his psychic knives deep into the monster's hide. Seeing her most dangerous creation threatened, the Dark Elf Wizard turns her attention to Psylocke. Not wanting to lose any ground, Union Jack charges forward into the embattled Kursed, shouting over his shoulder as he goes for Purple Shadow and Sadnman to back up Wisdom; Purple Shadow complies, but seems less capable of hurting then monster than Widsom is. 

Sandman is unsure as to how helpful his nightstick and gas gun will be, but sprays a bloody melee in the hopes of doing some good, knocking out both the Dark Elf Wizard and Union Jack. The hulking Kursed batters Purple Shadow into unconsciousness, but Pete Wisdom shields her from further injury. Demonstrating why he's Britain's greatest hero, Union Jack defeats the Dark Elf Wizard in single combat, trussing her up for later collection. Lifting a ruined Police Divisional Van floating down the Thames with his magic, The Arcanist swings it like a cricket bat, knocking a Kursed for "6", far downstream. As the last few Dark Elves are mopped up by Union Jack, Sandman and Pete Wisdom team-up and defeat the final Kursed. 

As the fight ends, the true toll that the battle has taken becomes evident, with swathes of London in flames and many injured or dead. The heroes are taken to medical care to have their wounds salved and get the all-clear. After things have died down, Pete Wisdom approaches Arcanist, Sandman, Purple Shadow and Psylocke, offering them a role in the newly-founded MI-13, a branch of the Ministry of Intelligence intended to deal with "Superheroic" Threats, with Wisdom as the intended head. As existing MI Agents, Purple Shadow and Psylocke have little choice in the matter, but Sandman agrees reluctantly, despite confidentially informing Wisdom that he's no longer physically up to the job. The Arcanist states that he'll have to check with The Ancient One to see if he can be released from his duties, and is shocked when Wisdom responds that he will clear it with the Sorcerer Supreme himself. 

What amazing adventures await our heroes in the future? Only time will tell! Join us next time for another tale told in the mighty Marvel manner!