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 Dark Tunnel to be Traveled, con't, Confronting the Mole Man
14
posts
26
age
shapeshifting, strength, durabiity
married
played by:
Dave
SHIELD
(continued from zetaboards thread)

Alex's entreaty to the Moloids held the hope of a peaceful resolution, for one brief shining moment. Maybe. No more than that, though.
Their will was not their own, but that made their attack no less real. And for the second time today Ted found himself on the defensive against a tide of Moloids.

This time, though, there were no innocents to protect.

Even so, Ted didn't wade into the onrushing army. In part, that was to minimize the amount of harm he did to them, but mostly it was because they were a distraction from his real target: Giganto. So instead of meeting their rush, Ted leapt over it, wings springing from his back to stabilize him in flight. Warpath reached the giant first, evading a massive punch and delivering one in return, the sound of which echoed through the cavern like thunder. You hit 'im high... he thought grimly as his wings folded back and he quickly dropped altitude, just the tips extending to steer his descent towards the giant's knees. And I'll hit 'im low.

He hit Giganto just behind the kneecap with a lowered shoulder, propelled by his massive frame and the impetus of his dive. The impact was more muted than Warpath's punch, but the combined effect of the two strikes was more than dramatic enough; Giganto staggered backwards from the punch as Ted knocked one massive leg out from under him. With a little luck, Ted figured, unceremoniously knocking the giant on its ass before it so much as landed a punch would weaken the Moloids' morale.

Of course, the real enemy here wasn't the Moloids, but rather the Mole Man, who undoubtedly had other tricks up his sleeve. But Ted trusted Alex to have accounted for that in whatever planning he was doing. If X-Factor's leader wanted a tactical retreat after subduing Giganto and Friends, he was happy to oblige.
5
posts

age
played by:
X-Factor
In a competition between being 'scared' and being 'angry', Ellie had quickly gone from one to the other. She was her mother's daughter, a granddaughter of Magneto, and though she didn't know it yet, she had known that she was better than this gross, stinky Mole-Man. Her mom and dad had found them, and her Laura, and her brother and sister. Now they would be in trouble. She kicked another creature out of the way and ran towards her Auntie Wanda, hugging her around the knees. "Let's go, let's go!' she cried, smiling up at her Aunt. Ellie, in her youth, didn't understand what exactly her Auntie Wanda did, but she knew it was powerful. Auntie Wanda could make the flowers dance, she could make storybooks come alive -- Ellie had spent many lazy afternoons reading books with Auntie Wanda, though it wasn't just reading that they did, it was magic.

Lorna's entire posture changed the moment she saw her children disappear. Teddy took on his usual form again, and in that moment -- it became a different game altogether. Where Alex was hopeful, Lorna had a drastically vengeful streak that she had kept hidden. Where Alex had hoped to spare as many lives as possible. Lorna found she did not care, not when these were the people that had taken her Ellie, that had cast out Will, Holly and Marshall for being differentl She had no sympathy for them, no pity, no grace.

But she supposed this was where Alex had made her better. He said that it was because of her that he became a better man; the same was true for her. She could be unforgiving, she could be overly pragmatic, rationalising everything to the point of cool heartlessness. But Alex knew how to love, Alex knew how to love her, to a point of overflowing empathy, that Lorna was able to quash her instinct and wait.

She allowed them those minutes of grace, that precious time to get away if they could. And then as the army made their decision, Lorna made the air around them crackle with electromagnetic energy, her arms and feet crackled and sparked -- measured enough to shock and incapacitate and not kill (yet). As the boys headed for Gigantor, Polaris's main aim was the little man in his little gross jacket. And with the army swarming to protect their leader, it became evident that the only way to him, was through the army.

Getting through the swarms was easy, for all had fell in electric shock from the currents that passed through Lorna's body. "I know you said no killing," she called out to her husband, loudly, "but I'm running out of patients, Honey!" she said, as she put up a forcefield for two beastly dogs to run into.

From the corner of her eye, she thought she saw the Mole Man duck into a tunnel ahead of her. "Alex! To your left!!"
1
posts

age
played by:
NPC
"So you reject my terms! Fools! I sought peaceful compromise with you, but you choose rote violence? So be it! You will soon find that The Mole Man is not some lowly little freak for you to abuse at will!"

The Mole Man tightened his grip on his staff as his monsters surged forward to deal with his enemies. Moloids numbered in the hundreds, grabbing and swarming and clawing at the mutants. Individually, they were no trouble, but in these numbers, and in such close quarters? Even heroes such as these would have a difficult time.

Giganto himself was another matter entirely. The beast weathered Hulkling's and Warpath's attack with minimal discomfort, it's massive bulk compensating for the smaller opponents' precision and skill. With a roar that didn't sound unlike the grinding of boulders, it swung a massive, clawed limb at the smaller mutants, seeking to swat them away from him.

And it was in that moment that the Scarlet Witch teleported the children out of the underground lair, and Polaris stunned a nearby grouping of Moloids with an electromagnetic shock.

"NO!" The Mole Man shouted, gritting his teeth angrily as he beat a rapid retreat through the tunnels, his army of monsters allowing his escape.

"So this is how they wish to be? They think me some meager freak to push around? Just like everyone else! Pheh! I'll show them! I'll show them all!"

He made his way through the tunnels with purpose, knowing exactly what he was headed for. If they would have no compromise, if he would be shut out of the development of his children, then maybe it was time... maybe it was time for everything to come tumbling down.
22
posts
35
age
Float like a Peter, sting like a Piotr
Dating Sarah Vale
played by:
Nick
X-Factor
Teddy’s follow-up was textbook. A complementary strike that aimed to bring a larger opponent down while they were weakened. And it might have worked on anything smaller. But Giganto’s size alone guaranteed the titan would be much stronger and tougher than they were; they were powerful, yes, and a threat, but it was like being assaulted by a pair of hounds. You could get hurt, you could even get killed if you were careless, but at the end of the day, hounds aren’t attack dogs. Alex might not like it, but if they wanted to bring this thing down, they were going to have to do some serious damage to it. Jimmy slipped one knife from his belt, rolling away from the massive hand that swung at him, and prepared—

Through the battle, he heard the Mole Man’s shout. He picked up the man’s scent and detected the shift to incoherent fury. And behind the raging tide of animals that surged forward to bring X-Factor down, he sensed the man fleeing. But not out of fear. He was going somewhere with a purpose. Jimmy was loathe to leave in the middle of a pitched battle, particularly one where he might be needed, but…he was beginning to feel seriously uneasy about the whole thing. He tapped his communicator. “Ted, the ringleader’s leaving, but I don’t think retreat’s on his mind. I’m going after him.” This thing was big and tough, but Ted had wings, which alone ought to be enough to keep both the creature’s attention and himself safe.

Jimmy rushed at Giganto again, dodging another swing by the slow, ponderous creature, and scaling its leg once more. Up, past the ribs, shifting around to climb up the back and avoid grabbing hands. All the way up to the shoulder…where he turned and launched himself off of Giganto, silently vaulting over the mass of creatures below. In midair, James pulled his other knife, and he drove both of the blades lengthwise into the soles of his boots. Underground, animals relied less on their eyesight and more on their hearing, scent, and for many, the ability to feel vibrations. Well, James was fully capable of moving silently, and he’d spent plenty of time fighting moloids on the surface just before coming down, not to mention carrying Alex’s kids around afterward, so his scent was masked.

He landed on the cavern floor behind a tide of animals, the vibranium blades in his boots muffling both the sound and impact of his landing.

He scented the air. The Mole Man was the only human down here, which made it possible for James to pick out the man’s scent among the jumble of animals and other things in the tunnels. This way. Running on the vibranium blades was awkward and made him feel distinctly flat-footed, but the blades made him invisible to anything that hunted by vibration, and thanks to absorbing sound, his footfalls were as quiet as they would be if he were moving normally.

Jimmy silently barreled down the tunnels after the Mole Man. He had lost time using Giganto to avoid the mob of beasts, but with his speed, he doubted it would take him long to catch up to the scruffy little butterball.

Hopefully he’d get to the man before whatever was making him uneasy happened.
4
posts
34
age
Superheated Plasma Bursts
Married with Children... a lot of children
played by:
Heather
Havok
X-Factor
The Moloids and the Beasts swarmed on the orders of their master, and Havok, who had once been the slaved muscle of a cruel master didn't blame them. However, he was not going to stand here and be torn to pieces by critters too enslaved to refuse. Ellie was safe and Ted had dropped his Will disguise, so there was no one to protect who could not protect themselves. Which meant there was nothing holding Alex back except himself.

And, Havok unleashed was nothing to be trifled with.

"I know you said no killing," [Lorna] called out to her husband, loudly, "but I'm running out of patience, Honey!" she said, as she put up a forcefield for two beastly dogs to run into.

"Just keep making your way back to the tunnels!" Alex called back, "Volt, bring them down!"

"Gotcha, bossman!" Volt shouted, and he lit up the air with lightning. The Moloids were mushroom people, without hearts or guts, but they had a lot of water in them which conducted electricity like crazy. They fell in waves by the hundreds. "Don't worry, Alex!" Jonny said, with a smile, "Only stunned. Just long enough for us to get out."

"Let's move then!" Alex ordered, "we'll seal the tunnels behind us!"

But as his team launched into their attacks, to retreat back to the safety of the upper world, taking down moloids and beasties alike, the heavier hitters tackling Giganto, Havok, blasting away at the moloids to drive them back, missed the Mole Man's escape until Lorna called his attention to it.

"Alex! To your left!!"

"Hell," Alex muttered, knowing that the Mole Man was not going to be making a casual retreat to lick his wounds. "Warpath!"

But James was already on it, and Alex was right after him. He paused at the entry to the tunnels and said, "Polaris, get everyone out, now!"
14
posts
26
age
shapeshifting, strength, durabiity
married
played by:
Dave
SHIELD
Although Ted's training with SHIELD had been more focussed on spycraft than on warcraft, it hadn't ignored the latter by any means; between that and the combat training he'd received at Xavier's, he didn't have much difficulty keeping track of the battlefield even while most of his attention was on Giganto. So when Lorna and Volt took down the hordes of Moloids with a double-barreled electrical barrage, he noticed; more importantly, when the Mole Man ducked into a tunnel, he noticed.

Not that he could do much about it just then, admittedly, as the giant creature swung an oversized clawed fist in his direction. He leaned backwards to avoid most of the swing, blocking the remainder with both massive armored forearms, but even the fraction of the blow that connected was enough to send him flying through the air as Giganto regained his feet.

Which was no great concern; flying through the air was routine for him. His wings flared wide by reflex, catching the stale cavern air in their curved membranes and stabilizing his tumbling roll as he located the fleeing villain. Now that Ellie was safe, neutralizing the Mole Man was their top priority; ridiculous as he was, his access to ancient tech made him an unpredictable threat. And Jimmy clearly had the same idea. "Sounds good," he replied as Warpath launched himself from the giant's shoulder, "I'll finish off our dance partner. And Jimmy: make it fast; I don't know what this maniac's got up his sleeve, but it could be really bad."

Admittedly, finishing off Giganto was easier said than done. His sheer size made avoiding his blows difficult; staying on his feet took most of his attention. Of course, by the same token, Giganto's size made it impossible for the giant to avoid Ted's blows; each swipe of his claws tore rents in the creature's body, but it made little difference. Unlike a human opponent or even a Sentinel, the creature didn't seem to have weak spots... no vital organs, no nerve clusters, no pressure points. For that matter, Giganto didn't precisely have flesh or blood, either, and the gouges left behind by Ted's strikes didn't seem to slow the creature down.

On the plus side, as long as Giganto was occupied with Ted, it wasn't threatening anyone else. And Alex and Jimmy were already pursuing the primary target. So things were mostly under control.

He hoped.

"Polaris, get everyone out, now!"

"I'm right on your tail, Polaris... I'll keep the big boy busy until everyone else is clear!"

22
posts
35
age
Float like a Peter, sting like a Piotr
Dating Sarah Vale
played by:
Nick
X-Factor
“Warpath!”

James stopped himself, glancing back. Ears picks up Alex’s approach, the command he turned to bark out to Lorna. In one smooth motion, the Apache hopped and pulled the blade out of the soles of his boots, keeping them in his hands. No sense trying to play for stealth if he wasn’t alone, after all. Still, having Alex along was worth it. James was precise, powerful, and capable of a lot of destruction very quickly, but Alex was nearly in a league of his own as far as destructive force was concerned. If it came down to a handful of seconds to destroy something extensive, the blonde would do much better than James himself could.

So he waited for Alex to close the distance and matched his pace, scenting the Mole Man carefully, eyes probing even this darkness, ears catching every echoing noise and hunting for any telltale discrepancies. “He had a decent head start, but even so I didn’t expect him to get that far ahead of us. Figured he’d have a heart attack running that much, he’s in better shape than he looks,” he commented as they ran.
5
posts

age
played by:
X-Factor
"Alright the rest of you! You Havok!" She yelled out, as Alex and Jimmy took a left. "Come on people, hit and run! We're getting out now!!"

Gigantor was still toying with things, and Lorna was fast running out of patience. Teddy was good and fine, and not much was going to hurt him, but they were fast racing against time, especially if she was the only thing holding this under-ground stucture from falling around them. Volt neutralised most of the moloids, and Lorna caught his attention once more.

"Hulkling!" Polaris shouted, just as metal fragments detatched from the cavernous walls -- bits of iron and steel and whatever else had come from the ground upon which they stood. She glowed a luminous green, her eyes even refracting a bit of that crazed glow, as the metal swirled around her, around them, forming with a clank and a hiss into a gigantic, sharpened blade. To distract the monster, Lorna threw a bolder at him, affording her, Ted, and Volt a few moments of relief.

With a wave of her hand, the blade flew towards Teddy. "I'd go for the rehab option, but I'm thinking godzilla didn't have the same allowance for clemency," she said to them. Her vision switched to view the scene's polarity and its accompanying life pulses, and she nailed down a weak spot in his neck with an educated guess. "Aim for his neck right under the chin. Volt, give our man the distraction he needs. We've only got a few minutes more..."

Around them, the cavern shook suddenly, the fighting and the forces that raged under ground altering the structure of the place. Lorna looked upwards, and through the magnetic pulses, felt the levels of dirt, rock and soil shift. If they took any more time, they'd bring the roof down on themselves, and likely create a sinkhole in Mutant Town. "We don't have much time," she told her colleagues, as bright green lines linked metal piece to metal piece, all around them. "I feel steel, fragments of it in the ground under us, and I'll use it to seal up the tunnel, the moment Havok and Warpath come back -- We'll try to do it bit by bit, but we're close to those above ground feeling the tremors if we take any more time..."

Beyond them Gigantor roared, tossing the boulder aside. Lorna grimaced as the boulder crashed against the cavern wall. "Well boys? What say I hold the roof up, and you guys get rid of this asshat?"

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