(AN/ Hey folks it's Garouge/Crewefox here with another chapter of The Broken Mirror. I'm finally back after a week off for Comic con in Manchester and also I got injured at work so I had to write two thirds of this chapter with just one hand so that was fun. Anyway thanks for all the awesome messages and reviews. So without further ado let's get cracking with this chapter...)
Chapter 47- Murphy's law.
The infirmary was full to capacity. Luckily none of the Mammals rescued from the crashed Cauldron had any life threatening injuries, a few broken bones and some cuts and bruises was the extent of the damage. Dragoness was stood in front of Nightcrawler's bed, the mutant was still unconscious but he was stable, Beast had hooked him up to the vitals monitor and put in an IV to help rehydrate his old friend. "He looks like a stick, Doom mustn't have been feeding him well." Dragoness commented with sympathy, the mutant's chest was exposed and his ribs were very pronounced.
"Doom was feeding him through a tube, I've removed it but it'll take some time before he can eat properly again." Beast replied, applying dressings to the cuts on Nightcrawler.
"Hey can I ask something?" A voice queried from above the two, both looked up to see Zoe hanging upside down with her feet gripping the mesh of the air vent.
"Uh, yes." Beast said awkwardly, a little surprised by the bat's sudden appearance.
"Are all mutants blue?...oh wait I just realized how speciest that sounds." Zoe back peddled.
Beast gave a light chuckle before answering "No we're not all blue, there are a few of us but no. We come in many ethnicities, shapes, sizes and faiths just like mammals in this world."
Dragoness studied Zoe for a moment, taking note of the similar piercing placements and fur dyes on the flying fox's head that resembled the dyes in her own hair "So you're the Zootopia version of me?" she asked, finding the situation a tad spooky.
"And you're the inhuman version of me, nice to meetcha'." Zoe grinned, flapping down and perching on the end of the hospital bed.
"Fascinating, even though your larynxes are vastly different shapes your voices are identical." Beast marvelled.
"So even when I'm not inhuman, I can still fly." Dragoness spoke, extending her wings, with one being a prosthetic.
"Looks like you've been through some scrapes as well, soldier." Zoe sympathised, reaching out and touching the lightweight material of the artificial wing.
Dragoness noticed the wedding band on Zoe's finger and smiled sadly "Your Aleks, is he still around?"
"Foxy? Yeah he's around here somewhere." Zoe answered obliviously, taking more notice of how pretty her alternate self was than the tone of her voice.
"...I'm glad, you take care of him, ok?" Dragoness said, her voice growing sombre.
Zoe finally clicked, although the thought made her shudder, she began to ask "Wait is your Aleks..."
"Where's Nightcrawler!?" Ms Marvel yelled as she burst into the infirmary with Maiden and Jack beside her, their abrupt entrance shocking the occupants.
"Ms Marvel, please keep your voice down, these patients are trying to recover." Beast said critically.
"Look Beast, you need to wake Kurt up right now, we need him to stop Doom's plan!" Ms Marvel replied, still in a loud voice, she rushed over to the mutant's hospital bed.
"Say what now?" Dragoness reacted.
"Doom's planning to release something like terrigen mist on Zootopia, everyone in the city will get powers and Doom's going to enslave the most powerful. Nightcrawler is the only one who can get the power bomb out of the city." Ms Marvel explained at rapid speed.
"Plus there's a hundred of them Doombot things flying towards us as we speak." Jack added before hollering at the powered mammals "If any of you can fight, now is the time!" some of them grew frightened but a few rose to their feet, ready for anything.
"I'll head to the roof, I'm better out in the open." Dragoness said quickly before zipping out of the room with an energy rifle in her hands.
"We can't move Kurt even if we wanted to, his body is exhausted." Beast explained to the other heroes.
"Then we'll carry him," Maiden stated, rushing over to the drug cabinet and swiftly drawing up a clear fluid in a syringe "and I've got a little something to wake him up."
"You want to wake him up with adrenaline? You could put him into cardiac arrest with a wrong dose!" Beast fretted.
"Trust me, I'm a doctor too." Maiden replied, pushing by Beast and plunging the syringe into Nightcrawler's IV cannula and hoping that he would open his eyes.
A few floors above the infirmary Dragoness emerged through the roof access door to find Rocket, Spiderman and Bullet, poised and ready for battle. The inhuman glided over to survey the situation, Doombots were moving like a swarm towards them, they were still about a mile and a half out. "It's a god damn shooting gallery." Rocket smarmed, getting his most powerful guns ready, he had laid them out all around him so he could pick another up as soon as he ran out of ammo.
"They're trying to overwhelm us, take advantage of us battling and snatch the powered mammals." Bullet deduced, sensing the mass of machines in the distance and never being more glad that she had brought back the alien guns from the other dimension.
"We have to wipe out as many as possible to make a clear way for Ms Marvel and Maiden to get Nightcrawler to the cemetery and stop the power bomb." Spiderman declared, he had been brought up to speed via the comm link.
"Why can't Mage just do his portal thing and grab the blue dude?" Rocket questioned.
"Spitfire sent him to distract Doom, at the moment Kodi's magic is one of the few things that can even slow Doctor Doom down." Bullet answered, her mind drifting to the wellbeing of her friends and most pressing; her wife.
"Ok but what about Danvers and the other Avengers, couldn't you've dropped them a call?" Rocket groused.
"Oh gee Rocket why didn't I think of that?" Dragoness answered back sarcastically "Of course SHIELD tried to assemble The Avengers but Iron Man's fighting the Mandarin, Captain Marvel is on a mission with Alpha Flight in space, Thor and She-Hulk are on a romantic trip on the other side of the galaxy, Black Panther is off the grid on a secret op and Doctor Strange and Ghost Rider are literally in hell trying to rescue an innocent wizard...so yeah we're on our own."
"Damn it." Rocket grunted but soon smiled with confidence "I just got Lylla back, ain't no way that bucket head is ruining this for me."
"And I'm not going to die until I patch things up with Robyn." Bullet promised herself, griping the two bladed energy pistols she had 'Borrowed' from the SHIELD armoury.
"Ok, Pete, let's see what you programmed this suit with." Spiderman said quietly, he had been reluctant to activate the 'Instant kill' mode that the previous Spiderman had installed into the suit's interface but he had no problem destroying Doombots "Activate Instant Kill mode!" he then extended his arms and let out to powerful balls of corrosive webs from his web shooters, both travelling as fast and as far as a sniper round, finding two Doombots and melting through their heads.
"Oh and first blood goes to Spidey, can't let a kid show me up." Dragoness smirked, levelling her kree rifle and began firing at the fast approaching hoard of Doombots.
"Party time, bitches!" Rocket cheered, using a custom xandarian missile launcher to fire a dozen missiles at the Doombots.
"Oo-de-lally!" Bullet cheered as she began to fire shot after shot, a Doombot swooped down at her trying to take he out with one hit but she twirled out of the way and fired at it's metal skull. Before it fell to the ground Bullet used the now headless Doombot as a launching pad and sprung into the air delivering a barrage of well placed shots to the machine's brethren.
Spiderman webbed up another bot and used him as a flail, spinning him in the air and sending it crashing into other bots while Dragoness took to the air and tried to take out as many as she could smashing through the windows but she could only stop a couple, the army of automatons was heading to the infirmary no matter how many bots the heroes took out.
The Doombots were following the unique energy signature of the rift powered mammals as they tore through the field office, all MCB agents had been ordered to stand down and let the heroes take care of the attackers. The Doombots had no concept of rage or confidence, they were just golems but with their programming Doctor Doom had gave them it showed a 94% chance of a successful mission. They were about to find this percentage was an overestimation.
Before they could break through the double doors of the infirmary a huge mass of roots and vines burst through and splintered the doors crushing a few of the Doombots against the wall. The source of the plants lead back to the hooves of a stag with a swollen eye "I won't let you take her again!" Harper boomed, as thick bark covered his body like armour.
"You want take any of us!" Regina yelled, albeit still terrified. The tall mare holding out her hooves and producing a powerful torrent of water that collided with a Doombot.
One Doombot managed to scramble through and tried to grab a Sugar Glider with a broken leg, cowering in his hospital bed but stopped in its tracks, it turned around suddenly and began attacking it's fellow bots "I never saw the appeal of puppets before but this is freaking awesome." Zoe grinned, hanging upside down from a light fitting while using technomancer powers.
More started to pile through the doorway, as a brace of Doombots tried to grab a semi conscious zebra from her bed but a sphere of yellow light surrounded the bed just as they reached out, the light severing their arms. Vanessa emerged from behind the bed, her eyes glowing yellow "We won't be prisoners again." she growled.
"I'm not saying something cheesy..." Esso groaned, walking up towards not caring that her bare butt could be seen in the hospital gown, she then began to let out screams at regular intervals, aiming the sonic screeches at the machines, the vibrations tearing through their metal and destroying their circuitry.
"And you were critiquing how I looked?" Sirius cackled, floating in the air and firing energy blasts rapidly at the Doombots.
"How long do we have to keep this up!?" Vanessa shouted over Esso's sonic screams, making more light shields to protect the vulnerable mammals unable to fight.
"Until they're all dead and Maiden and Ms Marvel are clear of the building!" Sirius shouted back, blasting another bot before mumbling "Their plan better work." Sirius liked having powers but for everyone else in this infirmary had been through hell since they had their powers forced upon them, and now Doom was planning to create an entire city of mammals with powers it made her think of the despair that was on the horizon. Sirius was going to save her friends then she was going to fight at the other heroes' side and kick Doom's ass.
On the roof of the MCB field office a laugh could be heard "You want some, you bastards?!" Rocket laughed manically as he zipped through the sky with his jetpack recovered from the Cauldron's lock up. He was wielding a lazer handgun and the plasma pistol he got from Tazerface, taking out every Doombot in sight.
"Guys, I hear a truck starting up in the garage, it's them, they're making their move to the cemetery!" Bullet informed, ducking and weaving to avoid getting hit by a Doombotengaging her.
"Make sure not one Doombot gets on that truck!" Dragoness stated, swooping and shooting.
The sound of the large parking lot gates opening put the heroes on high alert, the screech of tires and revs of an engine was then heard before a black armoured MCB van tore out onto the street and towards Tundra Town. Some Doombots took notice and gave chase but the others had it covered, most were brought down with gun fire but Spiderman wrapped two up in webs before delivering a destructive dose of his venom blast, frying their circuits. As the truck turned the corner, he whispered "You got this girls, you can do it."
Scarlet's stupid idea had worked. Her fiery form had managed to keep the wraiths off of Arthur and given the three Champions fighting alongside them enough momentum to get them to overcome the hoard of shadow creatures. The wraiths that remained were keeping their distance from Arthur for the time being or had gone back to the massive tear in the sky to feast upon its energy. Arthur was still standing strong as a sentinel, Excalibur in his paws and still aiming the massive beam of blue light at the rift, slowly but surely closing it "How's Scarlet holding up?" he couldn't help but ask, the smell singed fur and burning flesh was making his skin crawl.
"Uh, ok I think." Wasp struggled to answer, the Russian heroine had returned to her normal size and was stepping closer to Scarlet, who was hunched over and making odd wheezing noises. Her suit appeared undamaged but her feet and paws were charred black and bleeding with not a single strand of her fur to be seen.
Viv did a quick scan and relayed "Her heart and brain function are normal and her nanomachines are busy repairing the damage."
Snowguard took a few cautious steps forward and asked carefully "Scarlet, you alright?"
Scarlet turned to face to Snowguard but the hybrid could not see the Champion, because her eyeballs had burst from the intense heat. She could not talk because her tongue had shrivelled to a small black lump that resembled charcoal. Her skin had begun to repair itself, but the exposed muscles and heavily burned skin just added to the horror of the sight. Snowguard staggered back in fright before keeling over and throwing up, Wasp hurried over to hold back her friend's hair and sooth the youngest member of the team.
"Despite her appearance, Scarlet is still in control and her brain was undamaged so she has not gone 'Savage'." Viv explained, unfazed by the gruesome sight before prompting "Scarlet if you can hear us, please give us a sign."
Scarlet wheezed and spluttered before slowly raising her right paw and flipping Viv the bird with a partly skeletal finger just as her left eyeball began to reform.
"Yeah, that's Robyn in there." Wasp laughed uncomfortably as Snowguard continued to vomit.
"Extraordinary." A deep voice said from out of nowhere, everyone (Bar Scarlet) shot their view right to see Doctor Doom standing ten feet away, his arms folded across his chest looking directly at the regenerating Scarlet "A healing factor not born from mutation but by nanites, Doom may have to dissect this runt for research."
Viv rarely swore, and when she did she was usually quoting someone else but right now as the overwhelming sense dread filled her mind she muttered "Fuck."
"You're supposed to be at the cemetery." Arthur panicked, still holding Excalibur steady.
"Your allies at the graveyard were disappointing in combat but at least their distracted for the time being by the power bomb, they'll never deactivate it though, it will go off." Doom replied, remaining still.
"Power bomb?" Wasp uttered before realising "You're trying to create another purple rain incident, giving mammals super powers?"
"Correct Ms Van Dyne, you are sharp as your step mother. Although the original Wasp never looked so pathetically scared, your step mother is a true warrior, you sully the title of 'Wasp'." Doom taunted.
"The only way the powers can be spread are with the rift," Snowguard panted, wiping away the excess vomit from her mouth "so why are you just standing there and not stopping us?"
"Because that wolf is inadvertently speeding up the bomb being triggered." Doom chuckled, pointing at Arthur.
"I'm what!?" Arthur gasped.
"The bomb will trigger once the rift is at its peak energy level, normally it would happen naturally over a few hours but as you foolishly try to close it you're only concentrating all the rift energy into a smaller area. Once the rift is at its maximum energy output the bomb will explode and cover the skies of Zootopia, delivering powers to thousands of mammals and Doom will take the best for Latvaria's army." Doom explained, taking joy in the growing worry he could see on the hero's faces before adding "Once that bomb goes off, Doom will squish your heads like grapes."
"We won't let you do this!" Snowguard gritted her teeth, her body beginning to glow with the colours of the aurora borealis.
"Champions charge!" Viv boomed, making her body phase and zooming towards Doom, her attention was to take hold of his airway and make him lose consciousness through lack of oxygen but Doom reacted fast and sent a wave of green magical energy that hit Viv even in her phased state, she was knocked back into a storage shed before crashing to the floor leaving a synthezoid shaped dent in the shed. Wasp reduced her size and tried to get into his tech armour, hoping to sabotage it's inner working but as soon as she attempted to enter one of the creases of the armour she was blocked by a dark red glyph that threw her from the armour, her small form slamming into a discarded coffee mug shattering it.
Snowguard fired off a trio of borealis blasts that all hit Doom square in the chest, he grunted and groaned in pain as he was pushed back. "Magic works on him." Arthur realised as Snowguard powered up for more blasts but was stopped when Doom rushed forward and simply flicked her in the face, it looked like it shouldn't do any damage but with Doom's superior strength Snowguard was instantly floored and whining in pain.
Doom then laughed darkly as the still healing Scarlet rose to her feet and began throwing punches wildly in every directions, her eyes had not fully reformed yet but her tongue had "Come here you asshole!" she slurred, with blood and saliva dripping from her mouth, her lips were still growing back.
"Such tenacity, she's in so much agony but she fights on, Doom envies her resolve." The tyrant spoke directly towards Arthur, the wolf's eyes were locked on the villain but he daren't move, he had close this rift but he was racking his brain on how to do it quicker before the power bomb affected the entire city.
Doom lifted Scarlet by the scruff of the neck, the hybrid began to thrash wildly and screamed "Fight me properly you tin head jack-off!"
Doom ignored the insult and continued to speak to Arthur "Doom discarded you, thought you were useless but you are connected to the rifts and have the ability to manipulate their energies, how?"
"I don't know." Arthur answered honestly.
"Hmm, you're telling the truth." Doom mused, still holding onto Scarlet who was trying to wriggle free "Doom had intended to tear off this animal's limbs one by one until you told me the truth but seeing as you're being truthful." the armoured sorcerer tossed Scarlet like a ragdoll over his shoulder and over the edge of the railing, she managed to grab on but she couldn't pull herself up. She was too weak from her injuries and she was losing her grip.
"Robyn!" Arthur barked, before acting on impulse. He aimed the sword swiftly at Doom while still firing out the energy beam, Doom didn't expect the sudden movement and was struck right in the face by the beam, sending him flying a hundred feet back tearing through machinery and portacabins before Arthur dropped the sword and the beam died. Arthur darted over to Scarlet while yelling "Don't you dare let go, you've got a wife and son waiting for you!".
Scarlet was positive she wasn't going to let go, she just wasn't sure if her weakened muscles and bones in her arm wouldn't tear off and send the rest of her body plunging hundreds of feet below into Sahara square. Scarlet had never tested if she could heal after such a fall and she didn't want to try, luckily a pair of arms grabbed her by the shoulders and lifted her back onto the metal platform. Her blue had regenerated just in time to see an terrified Arthur pulling her up "Thanks Knight." she smiled weakly.
"D-don't mention it." Arthur wheezed.
"Did you beat Doom?" Scarlet panted, her skin on her face finally restored and the fur started to grow back.
"I don't think so, probably just knocked him for six, c'mon we've got get Viv and the others on their feet." Arthur admitted, helping Scarlet stand up.
"Right...no...no,no,no!" Scarlet suddenly started crying manically looking at her left paw.
"What, what's wrong?" Arthur flapped.
"My wedding ring! It melted!" Scarlet wept, holding up her paw to show a messy lump of gold on her still regenerating finger, she slid it off with a snarl of pain and blubbered "I left my engagement ring in a jewellery box at home but I always take this with me, now it's ruined...Hannah."
Arthur sympathised but said rapidly "Scarlet, I'm sorry about your ring and your relationship troubles but we have to focu-" the wolf was cut off by being dragged away and pulled into the air by Doom.
"Knight!" Scarlet crowed, still too weak to super jump and help.
Doom looked different than he did twenty seconds before, his green robe was damaged and half of his helmet was gone, torn away by the blast from Excalibur leaving the a half exposed face of a man in his fifties with gritted teeth and murder in his exposed expression "Doom's armour was forged in the most mystical forges across the universe and tempered in the fires of hell, nothing can stop it repairing itself. Apart from your sword. Doom underestimated you, but no longer. Goodbye Arthur Knight." Doom then threw Arthur over the side of the weather control plant with Scarlet screaming after him.
Arthur was screaming at the top of his lungs as the ground got closer and closer, he had avoided death so many times but this seemed like the end to him, he stopped screaming and thought of home. Of his family and of a pretty lioness he held in his heart. He body shivered as the cold wind wrapped around him, any second he expected to feel a sudden surge of pain and then nothing. But nothing came, the wind stopped buffeting against him and the feeling of falling was gone "Am I...am I dead?" he asked aloud, peeking one eye open to see he was floating six feet off the ground.
"You better not be." A familiar cocky voice said to him.
Arthur looked up to see Mage hovering above him "Oh am I glad to see you!" he exclaimed as he floated gently to the ground with the help of Mage's spell "Doom's up there, he's knocked out the whole team but magic seems to hurt him!"
"Good, at least the bastard has a weakness." Mage said, still sounding unsure about his chances "You focus on closing the rift from down here, me and the legion of mechs will keep him busy and get the others to safety."
On cue a dozen or so Spitfire mechs flew up to weather control plant above them. Arthur landed safely on the ground but said with urgency "But if I keep on making the rift smaller the energy will be concentrated and that power bomb will go off."
"Brawn's come up with a plan to get rid of the bomb, trust him. Just close the purple cloud, we'll keep Doom off your back." Mage instructed before flying off to join the fight above.
Arthur sighed and thought of the sword, with a flash of light Excalibur appeared in his paw, glowing and ready to go. Arthur looked up at the massive tear in the sky once more and decided to trust in the heroes, he held up Excalibur and the beam of blue light shot forth towards the rift making it smaller yet more powerful.
"Ok I've got three ZPD units evacuating the old folks homes in the Rainforest district and my mech is helping the homeless in the area get to shelter." Judy informed, looking at the trio of holo screens in front of her. Two for commanding her ZPD officers and one the HUD for her Spitfire mech. Even though she had been apprehensive at first, she had picked up the skill rather quickly.
"I've got the victims of the car crash to the hospital, now I've got help Scarlet and her team." Alice huffed, she was sweating and munching on the snacks Jason provided while piloting her mech.
"Damn it, Clawhauser get officers over to Tapir street, we've got some idiots trying to loot the electronics store. Get them to safety first, then arrest them." Judy ordered into her radio.
"Um..." Jason sounded, looking at the floor of the observation deck and noticing something was off.
"Ok Jack and Lylla are driving the truck to the cemetery they've got Maiden, Beast and Ms Marvel protecting Kurt, Bella can you send a few mechs to shadow them?" Alice asked while reading the map with Maiden's tracker blipping on the big screen.
"Understood, Yurei. Redirecting three of the legion as an escort." Bella replied through the speakers.
"Uh, Chief Wilde, Alice..." Jason spoke a little louder but wasn't noticed.
"No, I need these homeless mammals somewhere safe put them in the ZPD offices if you have to, I'm not leaving them out here!" Judy spoke through her mech to a stuck up stoat officer.
"Guys!" Jason had to yell to get the bunnies to notice.
Alice knew Jason well enough now to know he wasn't the type of child to shout for no reason, she turned to him and asked calmly "Oui?"
"Did you just pee yourself?" Jason asked looking at the puddle on the floor under Alice's chair.
Both Judy and Alice took a sharp breath, each doe equally shocked as Alice asked in a shaky voice "Did my waters just break?"
"I...yeah, I think so." Judy gawped.
"No, it's too early, they're not due for another week." Alice rambled, taking her headset off and pulling on her ears with worry.
"It happens, I think me and my litter mates were a week early too." Judy tried to put a happy note on it to ease her daughter in-law's worries.
"Worse timing ever, kids." Alice breathed before wincing in pain.
"Are you having your babies now!?" Jason panicked.
"Y-yeah it looks that way." Alice hissed through the contraction before ordering "Bella take control of all mechs, stick to mission parameters and if you need further orders ask Spitfire."
"Affirmative, Yurei. Should I inform Maiden that you have gone into labour?" Bella asked back.
"No, don't tell any of the team. They have a mission to complete, these babies won't have a city to grow up in if this plan fails." Alice replied firmly, being helped out of her chair by Judy and Jason "Judy get me to the med bay, I'm going to need your help."
"Don't worry, I'm here, I'm not going anywhere." Judy soothed, guiding Alice out the door and down the stairs "I've helped with plenty of births, just never in a super hero secret base."
As she was helped down the steps she couldn't help but think of Luna, she had always envisioned her wife by her side when she gave birth, like a normal couple. But they weren't a normal couple, they were super heroes and the super villains didn't stop for babies being born.
(AN/ DUN DUN DUN! Alice is in labour! Doom is too op for the team! Will Jack get the truck to the cemetery? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Review! Next time on TBM; It's a good old fashioned Robot and Car chase! Spitfire rallies the troops and Maiden gets pushed to her limit. Please Review and C YA SOON!)