(AN/ Hey folks it's Garouge/Crewefox here with another chapter of The Broken Mirror. I can't believe we're close to 100k views on this fic like the first 2 in the series, it's all thanks to you wonderful readers and the stellar dev team I work with. Thank you for you reviews, reblogs, comments, faves and follows on this fic. And I have to give a shout out to the Dev Team's very own Vanessa who wrote part of this chapter, so without further ado let's get cracking with this chapter...)
Chapter 44- The War at Home.
"Crap, crap, crappity-crap!" Rocket seethed, reading the multiple screens showing the status of the ship, all flashing red warning lights.
"What's wrong? I mean apart from the Doombots coming to rip us apart?" Esso joked nervously over the loud alarms echoing through the entire ship.
"That scrote Tazerface hit the ship's coolant controls, normally it wouldn't be a bad thing but the turd had to hit it while we were making an interdimensional jump, meaning the engine is using its full power with nothing to cool it, it's already caused the bottom three decks' electrics to overheat and catch fire." Rocket explained at very high speed, typing furiously, trying to find a solution.
"What deck are the rest of prisoners on?" Esso asked with worry, her eyes glancing to the screen and seeing the tracking dots of the five Doombots getting closer to the bridge.
"Deck six but if we don't get the engine cooled the entire ship will explode the moment we get to Zootopia. We've got eight minutes and thirty seven seconds until we get out the void but the switch from the interdimensional engine back to a standard one will be the final nail in the coffin, ka-freaking-boom!" Rocket relayed while typing before grinning "Ha! I knew it, these prison ships are all the same!"
"What is it?" Esso asked, getting increasingly more anxious.
"On deck five there's some water tanks for the shower block, there's an emergency release on each tank that can be redirected to the cooling system, it won't be enough to stop the fires already burning but it might be enough to stop the entire Cauldron exploding." Rocket answered, stepping away from the screen and getting his gun ready "I'll need to run for it."
"No, that's stupid, I'll go!" Esso volunteered herself, despite shaking slightly from nerves "You need to pilot this thing once we get to Zootopia."
Rocket hated to admit but the feline was right, he needed to stay on deck, he gave small growl of frustration before saying "Looks like you're stepping up, cat. Just get to the end of the hallway then use the stairs, get to deck five and look for a set of tanks about twelve feet high, once you get there radio me and I'll guide you on what to do the next."
"Ok, but first cover your ears." Esso said before taking a deep breath, the door to the bridge opened and five Doombots poured in. The lynx aimed her deadly scream at the automatons, the force was enough to launch one of their heads off while two others had their armoured chests ripped through and destroy their internal systems.
When Esso's scream faded due to lack of breath, Rocket uncovered his ears and sent a brace of headshots to the remaining Doombots, the stolen plasma pistol's shots melting through their mechanized skulls "A plasma pistol, ooh baby, I've been after one of these for a while." Rocket couldn't help but smile before composing himself and hurrying to the pilot's chair "Get going cat! I've got the bridge."
"Right." Esso replied quickly before sprinting out of the room, by her estimation she had seven minutes to save her life and the lives of everyone on The Cauldron.
"Rocket, Esso, what the hell's going on?! What's with all the alarms!?" Zoe snapped over the radio, screams could be heard over the line, most likely from Kurt.
"Tazerface destroyed the cooling system for the engine, I got to release the water tanks or we're all fucked!" Esso panted into the radio as she bolted down the corridor.
"What-" Zoe began to yell but was cut off by Rocket's voice on the same frequency.
"Esso can handle it!" The bounty hunter assured "You look after Nightcrawler, make sure he doesn't croak before we get out of the void."
"Be quick, Kurt's in agony." Zoe replied, her voice a muddle of empathy and anger.
"I'm trying!" Esso hollered, reaching the stairs and jumping down two steps at a time, the bridge was on deck seventeen, she needed to get down this staircase with haste. She then heard the familiar clunk of Doombot's footsteps lower down the staircase, she quickly looked through the gap and saw another trio of the killer robots marching up the stairs. Esso didn't even register that she was about to something borderline suicidal, she had already jumped down the middle of the staircase gap when she thought What the fuck am I doing!? During her jump down she sonic screamed at the bots, smashing them into the wall, she carried on falling before grabbing onto a railing a floor below the doombots. Esso hissed in pain, the sudden jolt hurt her arms but nothing was broken, she fought through it and clambered over the railing before continue to barrel down the staircase. She was short of breath and her muscles hurt but when saw the number 5 printed on a wall she let out a "Fuck yeah!" She reached the automatic door for the water storage deck, it opened as she stepped forward and was hit with a wave of muggy heat. "The electrics are already overheating." Esso wheezed, making her way inside and was sweating in an instant.
The lynx found it hard to run in the heat, she could barely handle a jog as she made her way to the central room of the deck, where two dozen water tanks we're spaced out, she walked over to the controls for the closest tank and got out her radio "Rocket, I'm at the tanks, what do I do?" She breathed heavily, feeling dizzy from the increasing temperature.
"Ok you'll need to open at least four tanks for this to work, if you can do more it'd be better." Rocket began "You'll see a blue dial, switch it so it's facing south."
Esso did as instructed before responding "Ok done, what's next?"
"You'll see a lever on the side of the tank, pull it down." Rocket continued.
Esso obeyed and pushed down hard on the lever, it was hard to budge but she managed it, she heard a few clicks inside the tank and then the sound of rushing water "Ok the first tank's empty, I'll get the others done!" Esso promised, despite feeling faint from the heat, she tore off her hoodie and t shirt, only leaving her vest on as she staggered over to the next tank hoping she wouldn't faint before she got the job done.
Jack screamed in agony as he was lifted up by his long ears, feeling like they were going to be torn off at any second but he still managed to grab his gun which Doom snatched away before ordering "Tell your men to stand down, rabbit!"
Jack Savage was scared and in pain but he wasn't about to give up "Shoot this tin can!" he bellowed.
Doom then turned to the soldiers and MCB agents in the room and threatened "You ingrates pull the trigger and Doom will pull this rabbit's head off."
Lylla, Aleks, Ray and Kiara all had their weapons drawn, ready to shoot but were held back by the threat and Doom could see they weren't going to shoot. They thought they had the villain in their crosshairs but now Doom was in control.
CRACK! A thunderous crack erupted in the clear blue sky over Zootopia, sending a shockwave that made everyone except Doom stumble slightly. The dictator knew exactly what the cause was and uttered with disbelief "No.", he dropped Jack Savage as the warm afternoon air dropped close to freezing and the sky began to form thick dark clouds with wisps of purple coursing through them "NO!" Doom yelled, leaping out of the window and flying towards the purple cloud.
"Sir!" Aleks gasped, running over to the floored Jack "Are you ok?"
"I'm fine, I'm fine." Jack winced, putting his paws to the roots of his long ears and pulling them back to see some blood, there were small tears but it wouldn't be lasting damage.
Ray Kamino looked out at the Purple Cloud and grimaced "By the looks of it Doom wasn't expecting that cloud to appear, but that means we could have another purple rain incident on our hands. Kiara, radio headquarters and get them to close off the airspace around the city."
"On it." Kiara obeyed, getting out her radio but stopped when she saw something coming out of the cloud "What the-?"
It was The Cauldron, the massive prison ship emerged from the cloud with bottom of the ship visibly smoking and small licks of flames coming from it. "It's The Cauldron!" Ray gritted his fangs, whoever is piloting that thing is trying to keep it in the air but it's on its last legs, that thing is going to crash!"
"Sir, what do we do?" Lylla asked anxiously, knowing her husband's double was somewhere on that ship.
Jack took a second to get over what he was seeing and the craziness of the situation before addressing every agent "Mobilize all agents and first responders, we have a potential disaster on our hands. Me, Mantlo and Rojek will be in a chopper and ready to go into that ship as soon as it hits the ground, there are innocent mammals on there and we'll need to evacuate them."
"You can ride in our chopper, I'll lead a rescue party into the Cauldron." Ray added, already rushing out of the room with his team and Lylla and Aleks following, Jack would follow soon as he gave the others orders.
"Notify the ZPD, city hall, the fire service and hospitals, declare a major incident." Jack continued to instruct, he grabbed a pair of binoculars and looked across at the other building to see a stunned Beast and Regina looking at the cloud with amazement "Four agents go over there and retrieve Dr. McCoy and Regina Lowell." As a flurry of activity from his subordinates whirled around him he looked up at the cloud and whispered "Where are you, Little One? We need you."
"Ha ha! Esso you did it!" Rocket cheered as he brought The Cauldron through the rift, there was a lot turbulence and the alarms were still going off but the ship hadn't exploded. He saw the skyline of Savannah Central and chuckled "Kinda' looks like Xandar. Hey cat, this Zootropolis place doesn't look so bad." When no answer came over the radio, he asked again "Esso, do you hear me?" But still no answer.
"Do you think she's ok?" Zoe asked over the comms.
"I dunno', maybe coming through the rift messed with her radio." Rocket replied, hoping this was the case and that the lynx wasn't in trouble "How's Nightcrawler?"
"As soon as we got through the cloud he fainted but he's alive, that's the main thing." Zoe informed "Can't believe our plan worked, we're home."
"That's peachy and all but we still got to land this rust bucket and I've got get Tazerface and Nightcrawler back to my universe." Rocket reminded, before something came into his field of vision, floating above the skyscrapers of the city was an armoured figure garbed in a green cloak "Oh crap." Rocket mumbled, quickly preparing the ship's weapons but before he could fire a single shot at Doom, the tyrant raised one hand and fired a ball of green energy at the ship that struck one of propulsion units causing the ship to shake violently, Rocket responded by sending a volley of missiles at Doctor Doom which sent him hurtling to the streets below.
"Rocket what the hell just happened?!" Zoe shouted down the line.
"Doom happened, the ol' buckethead hit the ship with something, I can't keep us in the air. We're going to crash!" Rocket answered as he used all his skills to avoid the buildings and barely made it over the weather control plant wall to Sahara Square, if he had to crash land The Cauldron he'd have to avoid somewhere built up, he saw the beaches of Sahara square and guided the ship as best he could to the shoreline, as the ground got closer and closer he yelled across the ship's PA system "Brace for impact!"
It took Esso a few seconds to remember what had happened; she had managed to get the four tanks open before collapsing from the heat. She was awoken briefly by Rocket screaming "Brace for impact!" but the resulting crash had sent her flying into a tank and she hit her head, making her unconscious. "Rocket? You OK?" Esso asked, still disoriented from the crash, not realizing she didn't have her makeshift radio in her paw. She didn't get an answer. The feline's ears were still ringing and she had a splitting headache. She tried to look how bad she had hurt herself in what remained of the computer but she could barely see anything in the dim red emergency lights. "Rocket? Are you OK, I think we m-" Esso asked for the raccoon again but stopped as she felt water up to her knees.
This sensation almost immediately sobered her up and she started looking for its source. It didn't take her long to find out that the water was quickly pouring in from one of the cooling tanks. But her next epiphany nearly made her pass out again; One of the tanks had been dislodged in the crash and was blocking her only exit, and it was rapidly filling the small room with water.
"Rocket?! Are you here? I'm stuck on deck 5, I need your help." Esso spoke, trying to maintain her composure but the lack of an answer only solidified her panic.
She trudged around in the now thigh-deep water, trying to find another way out. She soon found out that there was no way out of here. Esso tried using her powers, but she could barely focus enough to activate them. The few panicked shouts she managed to produce crashed uselessly against the cooling tank. She looked around for her makeshift communicator, only to find parts of it floating.
"Rocket?! Zoe?! Please help! I'm trapped!" the lynx tried shouting for help but received no answer.
The water almost reached Esso's upper chest now and in her panicked state, she managed to trip over herself. She was underwater for less than a second, but even that was enough to trigger a flashback. She coughed up the water she had swallowed as the scenery around her seemed to change. She was no longer in the Cauldron. She was in a warehouse in the Rainforest district. The same warehouse she remembered from her nightmares for the last five years. Her panicked gasps became quicker as her eyes switched between showing her the Cauldron and the place she was lured to by the Drowned.
"NO! Please! Rocket! Zoe! Vanessa! Please help me! Anyone! Fuck! Please *gasp* I need *gasp* to get out! Help!" Esso shrieked, but yet again no one was there to answer.
She flailed around in the water, her head sinking and surfacing as her mind could no longer tell reality from fiction. She spun around the control room, no the warehouse as hooded figures surrounded her.
"PLEASE! ANYONE!" Esso cried, knowing that she was all alone. She wondered if that was how she was going to die. After surviving the Drowned initiation five years ago, she was still going to end up drowning. She could appreciate the irony of the situation if she wasn't busy trying to stay afloat.
And then... there was nothing. Esso wasn't in the Cauldron's control room, nor was she in the warehouse. In fact, she had no idea where she was. It was just a void around her. Then she heard the voice.
"They won't come..." it spoke calmly.
Esso tried looking around for its source but couldn't find anything. It sounded somewhat familiar but in her current state she couldn't place it.
"They left you to die..." it declared again, this time with clear vitriol.
"Who- what are y-" Esso thought and then it hit her, "Fuli? No, there's no way, you're dead!"
"No..." it rang again, with the chilling calmness Fuli always had when she spoke, "I live on through my followers."
"That's impossible! I know you died, I saw the reports! This isn't real!" Esso screamed in her mind, she couldn't see Fuli, the lynx knew she was hallucinating
"Oh, but it is."Fuli spoke again. "I could hear you so clear, screaming for help. They all left you. They left you to die. They are weak! I know how strong you are, Esso."
"No! No! This can't be happening!" Esso thought aloud to herself.
"I can hear you, Esso." Fuli taunted "I can hear your panic. Why are you fighting it? You know what you have to do."
"What?! To drown? Ain't happening!"
"If you're weak like the rest of them you will! Only the strong survive! They all abandoned you! I would never abandon you! I always knew how strong you are! You survived through so much!"
Esso didn't know what to think or do. She didn't know where she was. Hell, she didn't know if she was dead or alive. All she knew was that she could hear Fuli and that the cheetah didn't want her to die. The lynx needed to get out of here but Fuli's voice was growing louder, and louder, and louder.
"They left you for dead!"
"They deserve to die!"
"Only the strong survive!"
"You are the Drowned!"
"You are strong right?"
"Do you want to live?"
"DO you want to live?"
"DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?!"
"DO YOU WANT TO LIVE!"
Esso couldn't take any more. She found herself completely submerged in the control room. Even though she was underwater, she let out the loudest sonic shriek of her life, "I WANT TO LIVE!"
The hull of the ship was ripped apart and water burst out onto the beach of the ruined beach Sahara Square, Esso was washed out onto the beach, the sound of police and ambulance sirens stirred her before she began coughing up all the water she had unwilling consumed before gasping for air. She was still in a daze, she saw buildings in the distance and the sound of screams and shouts around her but she didn't know if this was even real.
A duo of MCB agents emerged from a nearby car and ran towards the commotion where they saw a female lynx, drenched in water on her hands and knees, coughing and spluttering.
"Miss are you OK?" one of the agents, a male capybara asked but no noise left his mouth.
"Are you hurt?" the other agent, a female tanuki spoke, but again nothing could be heard.
They soon realized how quiet everything was. Even though they heard sirens and screams before them they couldn't hear anything. And then their ears began ringing so loud they both dropped to the ground, clutching their ears. The capybara saw that the lynx was now walking towards them but the ringing was so loud he could barely see anymore.
Esso stared past the agents at absolutely nothing. The agents were writhing in pain before her and then she barked "WEAK!", causing both of their skulls to implode with a sickening crack. She didn't even register the fact that she had just killed two MCB agents, she just walked aimlessly for about ten meters until falling to the ground with unconsciousness escaping her nightmare.
On the other side of the crashed ship, Rocket was still strapped into his seat, he groaned very loudly as realized the ship had landed on a tilt, the window was smashed open and he could see burning debris on the beach. Rocket reached for his radio and asked gruffly "Hey bat, you alive?"
"Yeah, barely, I'm going to unhook Kurt from these machines and get him out of here, then we need to get the other prisoners and Esso." Zoe replied, keeping her composure.
"I'll look for Esso you just worry about Nightcraw-Oh fuck!" Rocket started to reply but then saw that Tazerface was missing, he looked out onto the beach and saw a pair of footprints leading away from the bridge.
"What is it?" Zoe asked back quickly.
"Tazerface is gone! I'm going after him!" Rocket answered, he unstrapped himself from his seat, grabbed his plasma pistol and hopped out the broken window onto the sand. The smoke from the burning ship made it hard to see but Rocket hastily followed the boot prints to a large piece of debris that looked like one of the ship's exhausts, he was about to dart around the corner of it and fire off a plasma shot at his bounty but was jumped on from above. Tazerface tackled the much smaller raccoon and wrestled the gun of him before kicking the Guardian in the gut a few times
"You little bastard!" Tazerface cursed at the ring tailed hero, leveling his gun at Rocket's head.
Rocket saw the finger on the trigger, he was too winded to move, this was it. He braced himself for the plasma blast but instead the pop of gunfire rang out and Tazerface's forehead suddenly had a hole in it, he hit the sand a second later leaving Rocket on edge and wondering who had fired the shot.
Through the billowing smoke and sand a mammal came into focus, Rocket struggled to his feet but could only manage to kneel as he squinted his eyes, trying to get a better a look at the person who had saved his life. Then his jaw dropped, he didn't register the carnage around him, the loud sirens of cop cars and fire trucks were not reaching his ears, all he could hear was her footsteps. Lylla Mantlo had her sidearm in her paws, aimed at Rocket but only as a warning, her face stoic as she forced herself not to give into temptation and throw her arms around Rocket.
Rocket was crying, he didn't care how he looked, he couldn't help it. He looked up at Lylla and instantly though I died. Tazerface shot me, I'm dead and Lylla's come to collect me...I'm ok with this. The hero then gave a smile of pure joy as he choked on his tears "Hey, Lady."
Lylla froze, he had called her the pet name that 'Her Rocket' used to call her and in an instant the stoic façade crumbled, she lowered her gun with her paws trembling and knees weak. She managed to walk over to him and stroke the fur of his cheek before sniffing through her tears "Hey, Handsome."
Rocket leaned into Lylla's paw and inhaled her scent that was just like her remembered "So this is the afterlife, huh? I pictured more little dudes with pitchforks." he couldn't help but joke.
"Rocket, you're not dead." Lylla half laughed/half cried "I'm...I'm not 'Your' Lylla and you're not 'My' Rocket."
It took Rocket a second to process this and quickly concluded with a whimper "Fucking multiverse."
"You lost 'Me' and I lost 'You'...but..." Lylla cried, hating that reality was getting in the way of her fantasy.
Rocket stood up quickly, cupped Lylla's face and kissed her. The otter was shocked at first but didn't resist, she wanted his lips on hers, she switched gears and became more dominant with the kiss, pulling Rocket close and getting lost in the moment despite the fire and destruction around them. They finally pulled back from one another and Lylla mumbled "...but I don't care."
"Agent Mantlo?" A critical voice asked.
Lylla turned to her left to see Jack Savage and Aleks along with dozens of firefighters and paramedics swarming behind them to the wreckage. Rocket looked over at the silver fox and the striped buck bunny and whispered "You know these bozos?"
Jack got a good look at Rocket and gasped "Rick!?" His paw clutched to his chest, he had seen Rick Mantlo's body in the morgue years previous and been one of the pallbearers at his funeral, yet the raccoon was stood before him.
"Who the hell is Rick?" Rocket asked gruffly, annoyed that his reunion was being interrupted.
Robyn wasted no time running back to the lab, only to find everyone still arguing over Kion quitting the team and the rest of the fallout from the last twenty four hours. She had to shout at the top of her lungs to get everyone's attention but as soon as she explained what she had seen in the mirror everyone mobilized. Within thirty minutes Ceartais, The Champions plus Clara, Arthur and Jason were stood in the Latvarian church in Brooklyn, suited and geared up for action. All the crates of equipment that they had brought with them were ready to go through the portal there was only one problem they had to wait for Dragoness to retrieve 'Andi' from Bellevue hospital and to say the wait was tense was an understatement.
Ceartais were scattered around the church and The Champions were left wondering how to mend the bond between the teams. "Ok so this is the most awkward I felt in a long time." Iron Heart commented, fully armoured and ready to go at any second.
"Yeah that whole thing in the lab was horrible." Snowguard sighed.
"And it's partly my fault." Wasp lamented.
"Nadia, stop that." Ms Marvel comforted, taking hold of her friend's hand "You made a mistake, you owned up to it and our team dealt with it. Now we just got to help them."
"But how? I mean the mammals are a mess right now." Brawn said, looking at the Zootopian heroes spread through the church.
"Maybe this is something we can't fix." Spiderman commented.
"Way to be a downer, web head." Ms Marvel grumbled at her second in command.
"I'm serious, Big M. We're superheroes, we can help with natural disasters, we can stop super villains and we rescue people. But we're not therapists. We can't use powers or technology to fix relationships." Spiderman explained his reasoning.
"Miles is correct, emotional wounds are harder to heal than flesh and blood ones. Only Ceartais can help themselves." Viv agreed, her voice full of sympathy.
"Well I don't think it'll be fixed before Dragoness gets here." Iron Heart said "And by what Scarlet saw in the mirror, we need a team to tackle this mess, not heroes on their own."
Near the vestibule Kion and Bullet were stood chatting quietly, the gunslinger was spraying her white spray on her stripes since they were going back to Zootopia while saying "I just don't get why you want to leave."
"When you become a parent, you'll understand." Kion replied, clearly tired of this line of questioning.
"I am a parent." Bullet stated, tucking her white spray can away "I'm Aaron's mother."
"Not yet you're not." Kion said in a matter of fact way.
"Ok so not until Christmas week but he already calls me and Robyn Mom and I love him." Bullet responded, kind of hurt by Kion's words.
"I'm not talking about adoption papers." Kion answered "And I'm not doubting you love Aaron but you and Robyn aren't parents yet. When you watch them grow, when you look after them when their sick, when you second guess every decision you make for the sake of your kid, then you'll get the idea. Right now you're excited about being a parent, just like I was when Mufasa was born but then comes the fear."
"Fear?" Bullet questioned.
"The first time I went on patrol after Jasiri gave birth I was terrified. I've got bulletproof skin and super strength but I was scared I was going to die, I'd never felt that before." Kion confessed, his eyes looking sullen.
Bullet detected Kion's depressed tone and guessed "You still feel that way? Don't you?"
"Every damn time I transform into Roar. Don't get me wrong I do like being a hero but over the years it's become less and less important to me. The only reason I joined Ceartais was to save Kiara but then we had to stop The Drowned, then we had to save Alice from Karasushiro...there was always a crisis or a case the team would be working on and I'd feel guilty for even thinking of leaving." Kion elaborated "I just want a normal life, I want to work in Jasiri's convenience store and I want to be a Dad who doesn't have to worry if he's going to get home alive to his son."
"That's why you were so mad at Luna, because of Jasiri and Mufasa? What am I saying? The reason I was mad with her was because of Aaron." Bullet criticised herself.
"Yes I'm mad at Luna but that doesn't mean I don't love her, yeah I probably should've handled things better but I meant what I said, it'll be a very long time before I trust her again." Kion said, sounding regretful.
"So to punish her, you're quitting?" Bullet asked, scrunching her nose up "No offence but it seems like you're quitting before you can be fired, it's a bit childish."
Kion shrugged and replied "Maybe it is childish, but I don't care anymore. When we get back to Zootopia and save the mammals on The Cauldron that's it, no more Roar. But what about you? How are you going to fix things with you and the squirt?"
Bullet smelled and felt Scarlet's presence across the room and sighed "I have no idea, I knew this would happen if I went along with Alice's plan but I did it anyway."
By a pile of wrecked pews on the other side of the church, Scarlet, Spitfire, Sirius, Mage and Arthur were chatting with an anxious looking Jason stood beside his guardian. "So let's go over the plan again." Spitfire said despite being emotionally fried.
"We step through the portal, I use a sling ring portal to get Jason and Alice to the bunker where they'll be safe." Mage replied, keeping a level head despite the inescapable fact that the team was fractured.
"Then I and all other team members who can fly will go to The Cauldron and see if we can stop it from crashing." Sirius spoke, the she-wolf was in full costume and ready for her mission.
"What's the likelihood of it still being airborne?" Scarlet asked fretfully.
"I'm not sure, the time difference between the dimensions is vast, so what you saw in the mirror could still be happening as we speak." Sirius answered, wishing she could give a more comforting answer.
"Scarlet, your role, state it." Spitfire prompted.
"Me and the others will work with emergency services to help evacuate or rescue people from the possible crash site." Scarlet answered.
"What do we do if the robots attack?" Jason asked meekly.
"Don't worry Jason, you and Alice will be safe in our bunker." Mage assured the caracal.
"And if the Doombots do come, we can take them." Arthur said with rare confidence.
Spitfire was quiet for a moment looking over at Alice and Maiden, who were quietly chatting on the steps of the altar, both of them looked upset and frustrated but they were talking and that was a start. The engineer looked at this and then said to the mammals around her "Look I know things between the team aren't the best right now but we've got to put that to the back of our minds for this mission, those mammals need saving, after that we can save the team. So look out for one another and try to trust each other."
Scarlet subconsciously stroked her wedding ring upon hearing the word 'Trust', she knew if she looked at Bullet right now she'd probably get upset again and that wouldn't help anybody.
Scarlet was brought of her thoughts by the sound of the church doors opening and the stomping boots of SHIELD operatives marching in, all armed to the teeth. "Looks like the guest of honour has arrived." the hybrid grunted.
The group of heroes saw the tips of Dragoness' wings first then as the SHIELD operatives spread out among the church the inhuman came into view with her prisoner in tow. The handcuffed Dr. Luna Wilde did not walk with the swagger or bravado of her other self, the woman obediently walked beside Dragoness and was very aware of all the guns aimed at her. She was wearing a plain grey hoodie and sweatpants, her long red hair was tied up in a ponytail and she still had two black eyes and bandages on her nose from when Maiden broke it the night previous. The heroes stood in amazement at the transformation of this once feared foe."Dr. Wilde these are the heroes I told you about, they need your handprint and a blood sample to get back home." Dragoness spoke gently to the trembling mutant.
"She's saying things, horrible things, I can see her!" Luna rambled, looking down at her feet out of fear.
Maiden knew her human counterpart was hallucinating and how traumatic it could feel, the vixen acted on impulse and walked over to the woman and took hold of her bound hands "It'll get better Luna, I promise, it won't be easy and it'll take a long time but it'll get better." she comforted.
"You...she doesn't like you." Luna reacted, but she still kept hold of the archer's paws.
"Yeah I don't like her either but you can't let her win." Maiden urged "Luna you know who I am, right?"
"Kind of, Agent Nightfall-Rojek explained it to me." Luna answered, her voice shaky.
"I want you to know that I have the same problem you do, I have the same mental illness but you can make it better." Maiden willed, growing tearful "Promise me something, ok? I want you to work with your doctors, take your meds and play your violin, that way you will be still be Luna Wilde."
"I promise." Luna agreed, giving a comforting squeeze Maiden's paws.
"Um, guys I hate to be a douche but we're kinda' against the clock here." Mage spoke up, pointing to the rift controls in the altar.
"Then let's get moving." Ms Marvel rallied, begrudgingly carrying the stasis box with Ronin's arm floating inside.
Dragoness spread her wings slightly and sighed "It's first time going to another dimension, let's see what you heroes make a big fuss about."
"You're coming with us?" Bullet asked, a little shocked.
"My mission is to get those mammals off that ship and stop Doom, once that's done I'm on desk duty for the rest of my career. Time for one last hurrah." Dragoness replied, snapping her fingers and being passed an energy rifle by one of her subordinates.
Scarlet dared to look at Bullet's face and felt a twinge of angst, she beat it down and said sternly "Let's go home."
(AN/ DUN DUN DUN! Esso killed! The Cauldron Crashed! Where is Doctor Doom!? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE review, next time on TBM; Reunions galore! Alice and Olivia call a truce and Zootopia is besieged by darkness. Please review and C YA SOON...)