(AN/ Hey folks I'm back after, work has been crazy at the moment, the heatwave is causing a lot of trouble. Anyway thank you for your patience, your messages of support, reviews, reblogs, faves and follows. So without further ado let's get cracking with this chapter...)
Chapter 46- Stupid Ideas
Alice could feel Judy's amethyst eyes burning into her, she didn't have to look at her mother in law to know she was on the receiving end of a judging glare. Alice was bothered by the fact that Judy was mad at her, she was, after all, the only mother figure she had, but the crisis erupting in Zootopia took priority over family strife.
Alice was sat at the main computer in the bunker's observation desk, quickly typing away to set up the legion program that Olivia had installed a few months before. Jason was busying himself, trying to help the two rabbits by preparing lunch for them and once the mission was under way, he'd watch from the Observation deck with them, wanting to know about the safety of his friends. Alice finished typing up another set of commands before sighing "Judy you have about three minutes until Jason returns from the kitchen so if you have anything to say, now would be the time."
Judy folded her arms and glared a little harder before answering "I'm mad at you, I'm mad at Luna and I'm mad at the others who joined you on your stupid idea."
"My stupid idea is the only reason we're having this conversation and the reasons you have heroes to protect this city." Alice replied, clicking the return key to activate the program then swivelling her chair so she could face Judy.
"That's great and all but that doesn't hide the fact that Luna and you put both your necks on the line, and for what? Revenge?" Judy accused "And don't go sugar coating saying 'It was for the mission' because we both know the main reasons you both did it; vengeance, Luna wanted to beat Andi for this Steve guy and you wanted to get back at Luna for lying to you."
"All true." Alice accepted "But I stand by the choices."
Judy was frustrated that Alice didn't even look remorseful, she thumped her right foot quickly on the floor then barked "You're about to be a mother for god's sake, you put your babies in danger!"
"I was perfectly safe as I explained during the meeting." Alice answered, remaining calm.
"Safe?" Judy scoffed "How about when you're hoo-man twin tried to stab you with a shuriken?"
"Her arm was severed before she could pull it from her belt, I had it under control." Alice answered "But please understand, I know what I did hurt the team and I'm sorry for making the situation worse but I wanted my kits home and to give Luna a taste of her own medicine but there's nothing that can change that now."
Judy let a stressed groan before walking over to Alice and taking hold of her paw and saying "You're lucky you're family, Alice. Me and Nick are both really angry at what you and Luna did but I need you to promise me something."
"Anything." Alice replied
"Don't do anything that stupid again, these kids need their Moms." Judy asked, putting her other paw on Alice's bump.
"I promise." Alice nodded, she waited a few seconds before asking "I'm still not off the hook am I?"
"Not by a long shot." Judy said sternly, flopping into the other swivel chair "So what do I need to do with this legion thing, you said we could use it to keep the citizens safe?"
"Over the years Olivia has built over three hundred variations of the Spitfire mech and they're all ready to use, we can pilot them from here." Alice explained, pressing a couple of keys and making a pair of joysticks appear at each workstation "Bella can handle most of the mechs but there are three other Doombot proof mechs, one spare for Olivia and the other two we can control. Just like a videogame."
"Wait, so we're going to help Ceartais and The Champions fight?" Judy enquired, sounding intimidated.
"I'll be fighting, I need you to be sweeping the city streets, helping citizens get somewhere safe." Alice corrected, activating her mech, a small holo screen appearing in front of her displaying the HUD of mech D006.
Judy did the same and took hold of her joysticks "It's been a while since I played a videogame, I used to play them all the time with the girls when they were little but this feels, well, a little scary." she said as mech D005 came online.
"Just imagine you're back on the beat but you're not a bunny, you're a robot and your primary objective is to make sure mammals don't die." Alice tried to empower.
"Worst pep talk ever." Judy grumbled at her daughter in law.
Just then Jason walked back into the observation deck with a tray of food in his paws, the caracal just looked happy to be helping in any shape or form "Ok we've got two cheese salad sandwiches with extra mayo, two bags of potato chips for Alice, a bag of fried crickets for Chief Wilde and carrot cake muffins with two sodas as well." Jason listed, putting the tray on the work station between the two bunnies.
"Merci, Jason." Alice smiled sweetly at the boy "You're such a good kid, I hope these little ones grow up to be as nice as you."
Jason didn't answer but his bashful look spoke volumes.
Judy took a bite of her sandwich and asked with a full mouth "So if I'm going to be on the streets, where are you going to be?"
"At the weather control plant, that's where Arthur is trying to close the rift, I have to help out if Doom or his robots try to stop them." Alice asked, taking control of her mech and making it fly out of the bunker and north east towards her destination.
Arthur was cursing his bad luck as he looked up at the rift, the wisps of purple gas and small sparks of lighting emerging from it only added to his dread. Viv had figured out that the weather control plant bordering the rainforest district and savannah central was the closest point to the rift while not being airborne. The group consisting of Arthur, Viv, Wasp, Snowguard and Scarlet had made their way to the top of wall/plant while telling all worker to evacuate.
"Ok, that's everyone in the vicinity evacuated. I told them to get home and stay safe." Scarlet informed, making her way down the platform to join the others while some very frightened engineers made a break for the nearest exit.
"We need to spread ourselves out to protect Arthur and to be on the lookout for anyone trying to stop him." Viv commanded, pointing Snowguard and Wasp to their spots.
"While I try something that a magic bloody sword told me to do." Arthur grimaced, removing Excalibur from the magnet sheath on his back.
"Don't worry you can do this, we've got your back." Scarlet encouraged.
"Wow you can be nice when you want to be." Arthur joked awkwardly.
"Don't get used to it, it's only because we're facing death." Scarlet joked, before jogging off to her look out spot.
"We have faith in you Arthur, all you can do is your best." Viv said kindly before floating off to her designated spot.
Arthur gripped his sword tightly and took a few breaths, trying to clear his mind and communicate with the mysterious weapon. His fur and the blade shone with blue light as the sword began to vibrate in his paws "I need you to close the rift." He implored, the sword then began to pulse, slowly at first then picking up the pace. "Ok so something's happening." He gulped before aiming the weapon at the tear in the sky as the pulse and vibration got more and more intense; a stream of blue light shot out from the sword and struck the rift, the recoil from the strike nearly Arthur off of his feet. The rift then began to have blue light ripple through the clouds and even though it would take some time until it was completely shut everyone noticed the mass of the purple cloud becoming smaller albeit slowly.
"Holy crap, it's working." Wasp gasped.
"No sign of any Doombots yet." Snowguard said cautiously, she had transformed into a sea eagle for better eye sight.
Scarlet was about to share in Snowguard's cautious words but stopped when she looked up at the rift at a very funny looking cloud, it was small and blackish purple and descending towards the weather control plant "What the?" she mumbled, but then she spotted another one then another, until there were dozens of the things heading for them "Yo, we've got company, look up!"
Arthur had been so focused on controlling the sword that he hadn't noticed the small clouds approaching but when he saw the bright sets of eyes on each cloud he knew exactly what they were "Wraiths!" He yelled to the others but as soon as he did the hundred or so creatures heading right for him let a collective shriek that made him shudder.
"I thought these things feed on the rift!?" Snowguard asked, quickly transforming back into her human form and charging towards the centre of the platform where Arthur was standing.
"They do, but right now he's trying to take away their food supply." Wasp deduced, flying over and getting her blasters ready.
"Alice, ETA on your mech and the legion getting here? We've got enemies inbound." Scarlet asked through her comm, running to join the defensive ring around Arthur.
"Just left the bunker, should be there in three minutes." Alice answered, the line sounding a little more staticky than usual "Wait I've just spotted a pile up, mammals are still trapped in the cars, I'll be with you as soon as I get them safe!"
"No worries, I'll leave a few of them for ya'." Scarlet grinned, getting out her baton and extending it.
"Tight formation team, don't let them get at Arthur!" Viv rallied as the storm of wraiths got closer and closer towards them, when she was sure her blast would hit she fired her energy beam from the gold covered gem on her forehead, disintegrating the wraith.
The swarm of wraiths reached fighting distance of the heroes and they launched themselves into action, Wasp was firing out shots from her wrist blasters at a rapid pace as she flew around Arthur, luckily her aim assistant program in her helmet was helping highlight any targets in her vision, the only problem it was taking four to six shots to down one wraith. Snowguard reached inside her soul and pulled forth the powers bestowed to her by the spirit of the north, her eyes shone bright as streams of light broke free from her palms, the borealis blast illuminated the platform with it's beautiful light but it was not taking out as many wraiths as she wanted.
"They keep coming." Viv said, sounding uncharacteristically flustered as she tried to push back the wraiths but she was having trouble matching their speed.
Scarlet was the one closest to Arthur and for the first fifteen seconds of the battle striking the wraiths with a mix of her fists and baton was working but as brought down her stick for an attack it passed straight through the wraith and clunked on the floor. Before Scarlet could react the wraith she had been attacking was destroyed by a gem lazer beam from Viv, she then quickly informed "They can change their density to suit them."
"So my attacks won't do squat!?" Scarlet snapped.
"Ok that's it!" Wasp yelled "Time to pull out the big guns!" She flew over to a large clearing where they stored chemical barrels in cages before pressing a button and growing to a sixty foot giant in the blink of an eye, she then started to use the much bigger blasters to destroy groups of wraiths swarming at Arthur. But one blast tore through a pack of the monsters and struck one of the cages containing the flammable chemicals and ignited instantly, the explosion shocking the heroes but the shrieks of the wraiths caught Scarlet's attention. The wraiths caught in the fireball of the explosion were instantly destroyed and their brethren shrieked louder and avoided like the plague "Fire! They hate fire!" Scarlet panted as the battle raged around her, an idea came alive in her mind and it was crazy enough to work "Wasp grab those barrels and pour them out in a circle around Arthur, these creeps hate fire!"
Wasp had heard the plan and processed the risks and replied while still blasting wraiths "If I light them up with my blaster you'll all be caught in the explosion! You need a small flame to light the fluid away from the barrels!"
Scarlet looked to the staff office where the engineers had been, she remembered when she rushed in the smell of cigarette smoke was quite heavy in the room "Just pour out the barrels, I'll grab a lighter." she shouted her reply as she bounded towards the portacabin office.
"Argh!" Arthur howled in pain, a trio of wraiths were slashing their smoky claws at him but he stood firm.
Snowguard reacted by hitting them with precision, the wisps of darkness dying in a wave of multicoloured lights "Hang on Arthur, Scarlet's plan is just crazy enough to work."
Scarlet burst through the door of the break room portacabin, her eyes darting around the very normal looking kitchen and seating area desperately searching for anything that could spark. Her vision locked on the kitchen counter and saw a deck of cigarettes with a lighter resting on top of it. She rushed over, scooped up the lighter and tested it to see if it worked, when she saw the flame she gasped "Oh thank god." before running back out the door.
However in the short time she had been gone the situation had grown more dire; Viv and Snowguard were trying and failing to keep the wraiths from attacking Arthur, the blue furred wolf wasn't budging but his face displayed his pain as he was clawed at over and over, above them Wasp had finished pouring the fuel out but her giant form was being swarmed by wraiths. They were going to lose this battle unless something changed drastically. Another idea then struck Scarlet's mind, a very stupid one, so stupid she even knew it was stupid. The hybrid bolted toward the centre of the platform, leaping into the battle, she found a flammable barrel to the side and stood in the pool of liquid that had poured from it. "Scarlet, what-" was all Snowguard managed to say before delivering another borealis blast to some wraiths.
"This will work." Scarlet said with a confident tone, despite feeling extreme doubt over this plan. She kept her smile as she flicked the lighter and brought forth it's small flame, she dropped it and felt a torrent of fear hit her as she watched it get ever closer to the chemical puddle she was stood in. In a chain reaction the flame hit the fuel, igniting all the fluid encircled around them, Scarlet suppressed a cry as the flames danced on her feet but then the trail of fire hit the steel drum behind her and exploded engulfing the hero in fire and imbedding multiple metal shards in her back. The shouts of terror and concern from the other heroes could not be heard by the cacophony of the wraiths shrieking and the screams of pain from Scarlet. The heroine emerged like a devil from the pits of hell as she leapt at the wraiths attacking Arthur, each of her strikes hit with deadly accuracy but with each punch and kick that reduced the creatures to nothing Scarlet screamed louder and louder with pain. Her new suit was protecting the majority of her body from the burns but the fire had quickly devoured her mask and hood and was making its way through her face; her fur had already been singed away, her skin had been charred black with cracks of red when the flesh had torn and every nerve ending was electrified with agony. And despite her feet and fists being aflame as well she kept on fighting. The ring of fire around Arthur was working, the wraiths were avoiding it, all that was left were the dregs trapped by the inferno that the fighting fireball was taking out with ferocity. "How has she not collapsed?!" Viv asked out of sheer disbelief, flying over to Wasp to help get rid of the swarm covering her.
But there was no answer, only Scarlet's screams and the wraith's shrieks, Arthur was finally free of attack, he could focus all his energy on using Excalibur to close the rift. He daren't look at Scarlet, lest he stop his task and help his comrade, his mission was too important. The rift needed to be closed and there was still a ways to go.
The missiles exploded on the villain, the explosion sending a shockwave through the graveyard but as the smoke settled Doom stood unfazed, only his cloak was burnt and tattered. Doom waved his hand and his green cloak magically repaired itself "What else have you got, Little mouse?" he coaxed.
"Fuck." Spitfire whispered, she knew this would be a tough fight but she had underestimated how powerful he truly was, Spitfire tried to gather her courage as the self proclaimed horseman walked towards her but she would not give up, she activated her electro gauntlets and used his own words against him in a war cry "Come and see, you bastard!"
Doom was about to charge, his pictured in his mind plunging his fist through the chest armour of the mech pulling out it's rodent pilot and crushing her in an instant but a sound other than an explosion halted the fight. The shriek of hundreds reached the ears of the combatants, Doom got out of his fighting stance and bellowed "WHAT!?" before flying off towards the weather control plant near the rift.
"I'm on his tail!" Mage volunteered, already levitating.
"Mage, hold!" Spitfire commanded "Doom's just left that power bomb thing, undefended. We need to deactivate it before he comes back." Mage descended back to the ground and put his cards back.
Brawn was struggling to his feet, wincing from the pain of being knocked through so many tombstones while asking "W-what about the t-team there?"
"Alice has a legion of mechs already heading there and we'll back them up once we've defused this bomb." Spitfire informed, using her boosters to quickly get over to Roar who was groaning on the floor.
"Doom...he just kicked my ass..." Roar panted with utter shock, getting to his feet with the help of Spitfire.
"And he ate my missiles like it was brunch." Spitfire empathised.
"That strength, only Kiara has been able to beat me physically before...we're in trouble, aren't we?" Roar asked, sounding shaken.
"We still have a mission to complete, let's ask Iron Heart what she's found out?" Spitfire tried to offer some hope, as herself, Roar, Mage and Brawn entered the mausoleum.
"Riri, be honest with us, what's our situation?" Brawn asked gently, the right edge of his lips dripping with green blood.
"Doctor Doom is a genius, that's our situation." Riri let out a heavy sigh, looking at the bomb with equal wonder and terror "This bomb is locked down tighter than nuclear launch codes, it's can't be hacked, even by our tech. If we try to move it, the pressure sensors will activate the power bomb early and Doom's put runes around the payload to prevent any magic spells transporting it out of this tomb."
Mage eyed the runes and hated that Riri was right, he just grimaced "Oh shit."
"So we can't deactivate it, we can't move it and Mage can't use his sling ring to whoosh this thing into another dimension." Spitfire summed up, inside the mech she was puling at the fur atop her head. "Mage, go after Doom, your magic might keep him at bay, he was heading for the weather control plant."
"On it." Mage obeyed, rushing out of the mausoleum and soaring into the sky.
There was a spell of silence over the remaining heroes for more than a few moments until Brawn said in a nervous tone "I've got an idea."
"You do?" Spitfire asked, sounding surprised and grateful.
"Who's leading the team at the infirmary?" Brawn asked back, pulling out his broken ear piece that was smashed during the fight.
"Ms Marvel." Spitfire replied quickly.
"Patch me through to her comms, now!" Brawn implored.
What Esso was first aware of the voices around her, they sounded familiar and didn't cause alarm but soon enough memories started trickling back to her; the control deck, the water tanks, then...Fuli. The lynx bolted up in bed and was immediately embraced by a few sets of paws "Easy there, Cat." Rocket's voice lulled.
"You don't want to do yourself anymore damage." Zoe eased, the soldier now freshly showered and in a clean set of combat fatigues.
"What, where the hell..." Esso breathed heavily, until her eyes finally assessed her surroundings, she was in a very spartan hospital room with barely any equipment or comforts, only an IV infusion pump and an vitals monitor.
"Esso, we're home, we're in Zootopia, they found you outside the prison ship, fainted." Zoe explained, easing the lynx back down onto her pillows.
"You're the hero of the hour Cat, enjoy it." Rocket grinned with pride, sitting on the edge of her hospital bed.
"I can't..." Esso began her sentence but was stopped by a complete mind block, the last thing she remembered was reaching the heavily humid deck where the water was stored on The Cauldron.
"The bookie of pudding cups turned saviour, I've never been more glad to be proved wrong." Sirius spoke from the bed end.
Esso focused on the figure who had just spoke, she saw a she-wolf with a golden fur colour and that spoke with a recognisable Brooklyn accent but the canine was dressed in a very bizarre outfit "Clara?" Esso asked.
"They call me Sirius, now." the heroine declared.
Esso felt sore and tired but despite her pain she let out a snigger, that turned into a snort that evolved into a belly laugh "Sirius? Seriously? You look like a nerd's wet dream, where did you get that costume? A failing sex shop?"
"Oh come on, I like my super suit." Sirius replied, this was the first time her uniform had been critiqued.
"You look like a superhero's domanatrix, seriously how much boobs and ass do you need to show?" Esso laughed her question with Rocket and Zoe trying their best to contain their own giggles.
"I'm body confident." Sirius stated "And my boyfriend likes my outfit."
"I'm sure he does, I bet he's got a constant hard on seeing you in that." Esso teased but then her face turned serious "Wait your boyfriend? You found him?"
Sirius was glad to move away from being ridiculed and confirmed "I found him and Team Ceartais plus a whole other version of New York."
"But we're home now? We're really back in Zootopia?" Esso asked, looking around her.
"We're in the infirmary wing of the MCB field office in the Meadowlands." Zoe clarified "All the other kidnapped mammals are here to for protection."
"Protection from who?" Esso questioned, fixing her hospital gown.
"Well you know how we crashed the ship? Well Doom ain't happy about it and we're betting he's going to send a whole battalion of Doom bots to take you all back." Rocket explained, getting off the bed and picking up his huge lazer rifle he had resting beside a chair.
"You're joking?" Esso asked glibly.
"I'm afraid not, we've got some Ceartais members and two of The Champions to help but we're going to need everyone to fight if they come knocking." Zoe replied "Including you."
"Ok...this is a lot to process." Esso groaned and took a moment "Fine I'll fight but who the hell are The Champions?"
Sirius began to explain but her words didn't reach Esso, the lynx's attention was fixed on the window into the hallway where a female otter and a male silver fox were looking directly. They were both in suits making Esso think they were MCB agents, they were speaking to one another but the feline couldn't read their lips but it was the way they were looking her that made her concerned. Esso had a checkered past when it came to the law and had been interrogated as a suspect multiple times and the way the otter and the fox were looking at her was the same look every cop had given her when they were about to charge her with a crime. But for the life of her, Esso had no idea what crime she had commited.
On the same floor, in the armoury, Jack Savage was showing Maiden and Ms Marvel some of the weapons they had recovered from the condos Doom has acquired. "Can any of these weapons help fight Doom's robots?" Jack asked, motioning to some of the high tech looking guns.
"Weapons aren't really my thing, but I'm sure Bullet and Rocket can make use of these." Ms Marvel replied.
Jack's ears went droopy at the mention of his daughter before mumbling "Once we sort out this mess, it's going to be tense in the family for a while."
Maiden shared a guilty look and responded with a sullen "Sorry Uncle Jack, I'm the reason this all happened."
"Luna, hush." Jack soothed "I'm sure the last thing you need is yet another lecture, just now you're still family and I love you."
Maiden couldn't help but hug the striped bunny, it was welcome to hear words of comfort instead of criticism but she had to add "But I've made things weird between you, Skye and Bullet."
"Bullet made her own decisions, she has to answer for them...I agree with Skye but I can see why Bullet did it. I'm stuck between a rock and hard place on this one." Jack confided.
Ms Marvel felt awkward in the midst of this conversation and was about to back out of the armoury to let the two mammals talk in peace but stopped when she saw a quiver among the weapons "Wait is that Andi's?" she asked, pointing at the quiver.
Maiden went over and recognised the green leather design, it was like her old one but only bigger, she crouched down and picked it up "Oh Luna." she sighed, picturing the bruised face of her alternate self she had said goodbye to in the church.
"She must've had a stash here for when she assassinated those mammals." Jack figured.
"Can you use those arrows?" Ms Marvel queried.
"They're a little big but the experimental arrow heads can be mounted onto my arrows." Maiden replied, inspecting the quiver to find explosive, corrosive, cryo, sonic and EMP arrows but there was one type of arrow she didn't recognise. It's tail was dark blue, she pulled it from the quiver and saw a blue vial within the modified arrowhead "Night howler?" she gasped.
"Damn, she had that as weapon?" Jack grunted.
"One of those arrows caused the death of SHIELD agents and the villain they were escorting to prison, they tore each other apart." Ms Marvel recalled the fate of Crossbones.
Suddenly Maiden and Ms Marvel's comms buzzed into life with Bullet's voice "Guys, Spiderman's spotted Doombots through the lenses in his mask, they're about three miles out."
"How many?" Maiden asked with urgency.
"He said he's not sure but at least a hundred." Bullet answered "We best get ready to fight."
"You and Spidey stick on the roof, Rocket will join you. Me, Big M, Zoe and that lynx girl will protect the infirmary." Maiden ordered before hurrying out the door with Ms Marvel and Jack following her.
The three were headed to Esso's room when Ms Marvel's comm buzzed again "Ms Marvel, are you there!?" Brawn asked with force.
"Brawn, I'm a little busy, we've got a hundred Doom Bots heading our way." Ms Marvel answered, slightly irked as she jogged down the hall with Maiden and Jack.
"Well you're going to have to fight through them to get to us." Brawn responded.
"What the heck are you talking about?" Ms Marvel asked with a snap.
"We need Nightcrawler in this cemetery ASAP, or Zootopia is going to be hell on earth!"
(AN/ DUN DUN DUN! What did you guys think? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Review! Next time on TBM; The fight at the rift takes a terrifying turn, the infirmary become a battleground and one member of the team makes the entire situation a lot worse. The Next chapter will be coming the 7th of August because I'll be going to Manchester Comic con all this weekend so I'll have no time to write. So please review and c ya soon...)