(AN/ Hey folks it's Garouge/Crewefox here with another chapter of The Broken Mirror. Thank you for all the reviews, reblogs, faves, follows and likes on the last update so without further ado. Let's get cracking with this chapter...)
Chapter 48- Cloud of Darkness
Lylla Mantlo had a reputation of being the most erratic driver in the Major Crimes Bureau, the otter was a speed demon who had be reprimanded by her superiors throughout her career for her lax understanding of traffic laws and property damage caused by her dangerous driving. But right now Lylla had a free pass to drive as crazy as she wanted and despite the dire situation facing Zootopia she was loving it "Damn I didn't think these trucks had this much power in them!" She smirked, turning a corner at high speed, nearly tipping the truck over.
"Damn it Mantlo, I told you to get us to Tundra Town quickly not to quickly to kill us!" Jack hissed, in the oversized passenger seat, gripping to the cushions for dear life.
"Oh come on Jack, the streets are never this empty, plus the city's at stake remember?" Lylla laughed off, increasing her speed.
"Ugh, why couldn't Rojek have driven?" Jack griped.
"Uh about that," Lylla branched awkwardly "he might have to make an arrest if we survive this."
"What do you mean?" Jack asked, still keeping his alert eyes on the road.
"You know that powered lynx, we think she might be responsible-" Lylla began to explain.
"Look out!" Jack shouted, pointing at abandoned car in the middle of the street.
Lylla swerved and avoided the car at the last second causing the occupants in the back of the truck to collectively yell in a disapproval. The small window between the driver's cab and back opened and frustrated Maiden snarled "What the hell, lady? We've got a sick mutant back here!"
"I'm sorry, ok, yeesh." Lylla dismissed, concentrating on driving again.
Maiden was able to squeeze through the gap and sat next to Jack "How far are we away from Tundra Town?"
"Another mile." Jack answered but suddenly his ears shot up, his sensitive rabbit ears picked up the sounds of jet engines approaching "There's something coming up behind us, sounds like a small aircraft."
"Of course." Maiden tutted, thinking this drive had been going way to easy "Ms Marvel we've got company!"
The polymorph had shrunk down to the size of a mouse and hopped onto Maiden's shoulder from the back "Doombots, great." Ms Marvel sighed "Can your arrows effect them?"
"My corrosive ones should do some damage plus I 'Borrowed' some of Andi's experimental arrowheads." Maiden assured, rolling down the window before saying to Lylla "Keep the truck steady."
"No promises." Lylla half joked as Maiden and Ms Marvel climbed out of the passenger window and onto the roof with the archer immediately firing a grapple arrow on to the roof so she would be magnetically tethered to the speeding vehicle.
Ms Marvel jumped off Maiden's shoulder and returned to her normal size, looking around the deserted streets and above them "I can hear them but I can't see them."
Maiden then quickly ran her gaze over the back alleys of the buildings they were passing by at high speed, for the brief moments where the alleys were in few she could see grey and green blurs following alongside them. Maiden then looked at the opposite side of the street and saw the same blurs in the alley "We've got three either side of us in the back alleys, trying to pincer us." Maiden said, drawing a corrosive arrow from her quiver.
"I'm not much good unless they get close." Ms Marvel replied, her eyes narrowing on the enemies.
"No problem you take of them if they get striking distance and I'll..." Maiden slowly responded, lining up her shot and letting her arrow fly at the perfect moment, the corrosive arrow burying itself in the side of a Doombot's head as it zipped by a dumpster "...pick them off from a distance."
"Nice." Ms Marvel couldn't help but smile at the skill of the shot, however the destruction of one of their kin prompted the other Doombots to halt the pincer strategy and go straight for the truck. Ms Marvel enlarged her fists as one zoomed right at her, she pounded it with a left hook and it slammed into a traffic light but quickly recovered was flying back at the truck.
Maiden sidestepped a vibration beam shot that left a clear dent in the roof before firing a corrosive arrow that only managed to the hit the arm of the bot that had fired the shot "Those vibration beams took out Spitfire's old mech, this truck's armour won't stand a chance if they keep hitting it with those beams." Maiden relayed, pulling out another arrow from her quiver.
"As if we weren't already against it. I always hated escort missions in videogames." Ms Marvel huffed doing a round house kick with a very stretched out and buffed up legs, cracking the visor of the Doombot's skull leaving it blind and sending it crashing into the ground "Four left to go!"
Suddenly one of the Doombots broke formation and went to the back door of the truck, a move that did not go unnoticed by Maiden "Oh no you don't!" She shouted while trying to level an arrow against the machine but she was caught off guard by a Doombot that had landed on the roof and punched her into Ms Marvel, which sent both heroines tumbling.
The Doombot trying to breach the back tore off one of the doors and was about to scramble inside but it was grabbed by a pair of big burly blue arms "My patient is trying to rest!" Beast snarled before using his gifted strength to twist the bot's head off and kicked the rest of it onto the street.
"H-Hank..." Nightcrawler spoke weakly, he was laid out on a makeshift of blankets in the back of the truck.
"Keep down Kurt, we won't let them take you again!" Beast rallied, ripping off his tweed blazer and white shirt, exposing his extremely muscular physique before daintily taking off his glasses and placing them on an equipment shelf just another Doombot tried to force his way into the truck.
Maiden was struggling to her feet when she he heard the clanking steps of the Doombot approaching, she reacted fast and grabbed what she thought was a corrosive arrow from her quiver before jabbing it into the crease of i's armoured torso. It's only when she let go of the arrow and saw the colour of the shaft did she realized she had selected the wrong type, she had picked up sonic arrow. But when the arrowhead let out its super high pitched wail the Doombot just stopped moving, it was still as a statue. "What the-?" Maiden uttered. As the truck entered the tunnel leading to Tundra town, Maiden poked the bot slightly with her bow and the machine fell off the truck's roof and clattered onto the tunnel's road "The sonic arrows paralyze them if they hit their innards." she realized while Beast threw another defeated Doombot out the back of the truck.
"Argh! I hate these things!" Ms Marvel barked, grabbing the final Doombot with her embiggened hand and slamming it into the tunnel's ceiling and running it through the brick work, completely trashing it before tossing it aside like a broken toy.
The truck emerged from the tunnel and Maiden peeked inside the driver's cab to thankfully see Jack and Lylla unscathed "We took care of the bots, Uncle Jack can you hear any more nearby?" she asked, her fur getting snow it from the flurries that covered the chilled town.
"No, nothing close." Jack replied, overwhelmed by the craziness of the situation.
"The cemetery is a couple of miles out, we'll be there in-" Lylla started to talk but a massive explosion rumbled through the district and a mass of purple smoke began to rise from the direction they were heading in. The purple mist was struck by lightning coming from the massive rift in the sky and smaller wisps of purple smoke began to shoot out from it.
Ms Marvel looked at the wondrous but terrifying sight and gasped "We're too late."
Maiden growled in anger before saying "We're not done yet, we can still get the bomb's gas container out of Zootopia before the entire city in swallowed up by the purple cloud."
The legion of old Spitfire mechs controlled by Bella stood no chance against Doom, the dictator was swatting them like flies every time they got close and it didn't matter if the attack was physical or magical the mechs were easily bested.
Scarlet had finally healed after herself inflicted inferno and was hobbling over to the edge, hoping by some miracle that Arthur had survived the fall but she didn't need to. The beam from Excalibur shot forth once more confirming he was still alive, which triggered a tired laugh from the heroine who was now hurrying over to The Champions to check if they were ok.
Doom saw the beam hitting the rift and grunted "The wolf lives?" blasting another legion mech before gliding over to the edge.
"Knight isn't the wolf you should be concerned with." Mage spoke with confidence, rising over the edge with paws already glimmering with golden glowing glyphs ready to unleash spells.
"The Mage." Doom said flatly, remembering reading the file that Ronin had compiled on the canine "Strange's student and lover of Professor Bloom."
"That's me, Clara would love to be here to personally kick your ass but she's busy tearing your Doombots to shreds on the other side of the city." Mage sassed while Scarlet tended to the Champions below.
"Doom wonders how your lady love would react if Doom adorned your pelt as a cloak." Doom bristled.
"You want to skin me just to hide the fact that your magic armour isn't self repairing like it should." Mage teased, motioning to very obvious damage to Doom's helmet "Doctor Strange told me about that armour, it's supposed to be impregnable but looking at you now I'd say you were duped."
"Silence. Doom will kill you, then Knight and then Bloom. Doom will be the wolf's bane!" Doom bellowed, irked by the sorcerer.
"Wolf's bane?" Mage sniggered "Is that your idea of trash talk?"
"Enough of this prattle!" Doom snapped, zooming forward at great speed but was knocked out of the air by a borealis blast from below, he landed with a thud atop the break room portacabin.
"He talks way too much." Snowguard hissed, her nose was bleeding and right cheek was bruised from her hit from Doom.
"Magic power team up time?" Mage smiled at Snowguard as he floated down to the platform.
"I guess." Snowguard replied, keeping her eyes on Doom who was slowly getting up.
Mage glanced over to Scarlet had managed to awaken Viv and Wasp and they were hobbling over to him "Arthur's alive, get down to him and protect the limey. Me and Amka will keep Doom busy." he instructed.
"But what about the power bomb?" Wasp winced in pain.
"We're going to get Nightcrawler to teleport to a different dimension before it explodes, as soon as the rift is closed get Arthur to safety." Mage added, getting out his trick cards.
"Right." Viv sounded, as she picked up Scarlet and flew over the edge and down towards the surface.
"Look sharp, he's up." Snowguard caught Mage's attention, Doom had risen and promptly jumped off the portacabin and was marching towards the heroes.
Mage through an entrapment card at Doom's feet, the demonic creature in the card emerged and tried to drag Doom into the enchanted prison but Doom reacted with a single powerful punch that made the huge demon yelp and retreated within the card "Well that's never happened before." Mage chuckled nervously.
"Your spells are mere parlour tricks compared to the might of Doom!" the villain boomed, waving his hand and making a dozen daggers appear and zip straight towards the heroes but Snowguard disintegrated them all with a blast of her mystical energy from the palm of her hand.
Doom then swiftly sent a wave of sub zero ice aimed at the two but Mage countered with a fire spell in the shape of a Dragon that melted the ice and shot towards Doom who dived for cover behind a metal storage crate.
Snowguard was about to ascend into the air and start an aerial barrage but a thundering boom from across the city caught her attention, the gargantuan plume of purple smoke rising from Tundra town only meant one thing "The bomb was triggered!?" she shrieked in alarm.
"Oh crap." Mage mumbled, his stomach sinking.
"Ha! Doom's plan has come to fruition, all of Zootopia's powered mammals shall be enslaved for the good of Latvaria!" Doom cheered triumphantly but there was one loose thread "Doom will butcher the two of you then crush Knight beneath my heel before he closes the rift."
"Over my dead body!" Mage yelled, charging up a powerful lightning spell.
"Oh Mage, that's the idea." Doom coaxed, his fists glowing with green curse magic.
Maiden had started a timer in the HUD of her domino mask soon after the power bomb was triggered; three minutes and eighteen seconds had past since the purple cloud had been reignited and wisps of power infected mists were shooting out across the city trying to find hosts. Ms Marvel had quickly noticed that the wisps were avoiding her, Beast and Nightcrawler most likely due to their already altered DNA. Maiden, Jack and Lylla were secure in the driver's cab of the truck with the windows rolled up, thankfully the wisps could not pass through physical barriers. "How many mammals do you think have got hit by these things?" Lylla questioned, her mind drawn to Rocket back in the Meadowlands.
"If they're obeying the mandatory curfew, hopefully not a lot. But we still have cops and other emergency workers on the streets." Maiden replied, keeping focused on her surroundings, the graveyard wasn't far now, less than a minute away.
"Looks like the Powered Mammal Division is going to be a lot busier." Jack grimaced, noticing the purple sky was giving the snow of Tundra town an eerie violet glow.
Maiden knocked on the roof of the driver's cab and yelled to the heroine still on the roof "Ms Marvel, you and Beast be ready to get Kurt into the cemetery."
"On it. Don't get out of the truck until we take care of the bomb." Ms Marvel replied with a shout.
The truck came to screeching halt as they arrived at the cemetery, nearly sending Ms Marvel flying off the roof. Lylla would've apologised if it weren't for the hellscape she was seeing; the graveyard was practically destroyed, most of the headstones were toppled, the surrounding walls had crumbled and all across the snowy ground was littered with the corpses of Doombots with the pire of purple smoke rising from a wrecked mausoleum adding to the hellish scene "Holy shit." the otter muttered.
Before another word was spoken, Ms Marvel had jumped off the roof and Beast had burst out of the back of the truck, carrying the semi conscious Nightcrawler. Ms Marvel was battle ready and expecting to be jumped by a Doombot at any second but as she entered the battleground her big brown eyes caught sight of Spitfire and Iron Heart taking out the last remaining stragglers of the Doombot squadron but there was the notable absence of Roar and Brawn, she skipped the hellos and asked with a shout "Where are the boys?"
"Roar and Brawn are in one of the mausoleums still standing, they have no protection from the bomb, our suits block out the mist." Iron Heart shouted back, the sound of the purple cloud whipping up was like a tornado "We got them in just before the bomb went off!"
Beast jogged towards Spitfire with Kurt in tow "Where's the bomb?" he asked loudly.
Spitfire pointed at the towering pyre of purple mist rising up into the sky, being struck by violet forks of lightning from the rift over and over "In the middle of that." she answered with dread.
"Oh my stars and garters..." Beast uttered.
"Hank l-let me down...I must stop Doom..." Nightcrawler implored.
"Kurt, you could die! Yes you could teleport the bomb out of here but there's no guarantee you have the energy to come back!" Beast fretted, easing Nightcralwer onto his feet.
"I will not a-allow Doom to enslave this city, the X Men help everyone, mutant or not. Just like the Professor taught us." Nightcrawler steeled himself, his yellow eyes focusing on the cloud in front of him.
"You...You best come back. Ororo has something to tell you." Beast said, fighting back his tears.
"Ororo." Nightcrawler repeated, envisioning his love's beautiful face gave him strength as he walked towards the ginormous plume while reciting a prayer in his native German "Gegrüßetseist du, Maria, voll der Gnade, der Herr istmit dir. Du bistgebenedeitunter den Frauen, und gebenedeitist die..." but as he passed into the purple cloud his voice was drowned out by the whirling wind that formed the mass of mist.
"Oh my gosh." Ms Marvel breathed, wishing with all her heart that this plan worked and Kurt would emerge unscathed.
"Come on, Nightcrawler." Iron Heart willed.
The loud popping sound could be heard over the wind and suddenly the pyre of purple clouds began to fade, the wisps disintegrated to nothing and howling winds stopped. As the sky over Tundra Town returned to its usual grey and overcast Spitfire cheered "He did it, he did it!"
"But where is he?" Iron Heart freaked.
"Kurt...old friend." Beast bowed his head and slumped his shoulders.
Roar and Brawn poked their heads out of a nearby tomb with the giant lion asking "Is it over?"
Ms Marvel was hit with a wave of sadness, she had idolized the X Men as a child, Nightcrawler was a legend to her, she had his action figure and wrote fanfiction about him. She turned to them ans mumbled "Yeah...but Nightcrawler, he-"
A puff of blackish purple smoke appeared ten feet in the air before Kurt's limp body fell from it and landed in the snow "Oww..." he groaned.
"Kurt!" Beast beamed, bounding over to his fellow mutant and sitting him up.
"I don't think I'll be able to teleport for a while." Nightcrawler panted.
From the entrance, Maiden, Jack and Lylla were jogging over with Ms Marvel instantly asking "Maiden, how long was the bomb active?"
"Four minutes, fifty eight seconds...but the damage could've been a lot worse." Maiden revealed, kneeling beside Nightcrawler and checking his pulse.
"How many mammals do you think the cloud hit?" Brawn asked with a worried tone.
"Dozens maybe hundreds." Jack answered regretfully.
"One problem at a time." Spitfire advised before pointing up at the rift on the other side of Zootopia "That's still a pain in our collective arse."
Wasp was the first to notice the sky returning to it's normal colour "Uh guys, I think Nightcrawler did it!" she yipped, she had been zipping around trying to avoid being hit by wisps for the last five minutes.
Scarlet looked over and saw the ginormous plume beginning to fade "Holy crap it worked!" she grinned, the wisps had passed by her and Arthur, most likely due to them already been affected by the cloud six months prior.
Viv who had been keeping a close eye on the battle on the weather control plant above them relayed "I think Doctor Doom has noticed as well." Doom's angry shouts could be heard even over the massive explosions of magic spells being cast.
Arthur was panting with sweat, partly from the heat of Sahara square and partly from the strain on his body from controlling the sword for so long, the rift was nearly closed, it was about a tenth of its original size now "The sword's telling me it's nearly done!" Arthur informed before going back to panting in a very canine manner.
Scarlet watched above her to see that Snowguard had transformed into a giant eagle that was swooping down at Doom while Mage threw all the binding spells he could at dooms, tethers of golden magical energy stopping him from soaring down and destroying Arthur "I don't know how long they can hold him, they keep on attacking but he just gets back up!"
"Excalibur please, I need you to close it quicker, my friends could get hurt!" Arthur begged the sword.
Viv quickly scanned Arthur and saw that the energy level in both the sword and the eurasian wolf was rising rapidly "Arthur, brace yourself." she cautioned.
"For wha-ARRRGH!" Arthur began to ask but was halted by his own scream, his fur and eyes suddenly glowed brighter with electric blue as energy coursed though his body. The beam from Excalibur stopped for a moment and a sphere of concentrated cosmic energy formed at the tip of the blade, growing larger and larger. Arthur let the sword guide his actions as he pulled the sword back before swiping at the air, letting the sphere go free. It flew like a rocket towards the rift and when it collided with the phenomenon there was an almighty rumble of thunder and a bright light that lit up the entire sky. A shockwave of air buffeted through the city, whipping up the sand around Arthur and the heroines, the wolf's glow faded and saw that the rift was gone, replaced with a clear blue Californian sky.
Everyone had a smile on their face for a second before a bellow of "FILTHY PEASANTS!" could be heard approaching; Doom had broke free of Mage and Snowguard's control and was zooming towards the team on the sand at high speed. Doom would kill Knight first, he would plunge his hands into the wolf's chest and tear through his ribcage and pull out his heart but the tyrant never got the chance before he could reach the ground a sling ring portal had formed around Scarlet and company's feet, dropping them to a new location. Doom crashed onto the sand just as the portal closed. Doom let a scream of rage escape his lips before looking back up at where he had escaped Mage and Snowguard only to find another sling ring portal closing. "You haven't won yet!" Doom snarled, rising to his feet.
Across in Tundra Town, a sling ring portal opened and Scarlet, Wasp and Arthur fell into a pile of snow while Viv floated down to the ground with poise. "I'll never get used to Kodi having magic." Scarlet moaned, picking herself up.
"Hey!" A happy cheer from Ms Marvel was heard before she wrapped her stretchy arms around the newly arrived heroes in a hug
"Oh man, did we win?" Scarlet asked, quickly hugging Ms Marvel back before going over to her fellow Ceartais members, who were gathered around Kurt who was now wrapped in blankets retrieved from the MCB truck.
"The rift is closed and the bomb is gone, it's over." Roar confirmed.
"Doom is still out there, this is far from over." Spitfire corrected before realising "Wait's where's Mage and Snowguard?"
"Probably still fighting Doom at the plant." Wasp answered.
"We need to get over there, I'll get my Mom and Alice to redirect all mechs there." Maiden said before speaking into her comm "Maiden to Bunker, do you copy?"
It was a few seconds before a flustered Judy replied over the channel "Oh hey, sweetie."
"Mom can you put Alice on the line? We have new orders for the legion." Maiden prompted, walking away from the main group of heroes so she could hear her step mother clearly and away from the other heroes chatting.
"Can you ask Bella? Alice is, uh, kinda' busy right now." Judy fibbed.
"Busy, where is she?" Maiden asked, knowing something wasn't right, she always knew when Judy was concealing something.
"The bathroom, she's pregnant, she's got babies pressing on her bladder twenty four seven." Judy replied way too quickly but then Alice's voice crying out in pain destroyed the lie.
"Was that Alice?!" Maiden gasped.
"Um, she's constipated." Judy lied unconvincingly.
"Mom you're scaring me, what's going on?" Maiden fretted, walking further and further into the snowy graveyard.
"Ok don't freak out," Judy caved in "but Alice has gone into labour."
"What..." Maiden said, her mouth becoming very dry and amber eyes bulging with shock.
"Don't worry I've got her into the bunker's med bay, I've helped deliver kits before, so this will be just like riding a bicycle." Judy tried to alleviate her eldest girl's worries.
"I...I'll be right there, just tell Alice I'm on my-" Maiden never got to finish her sentence, a massive force lifted her up by her throat and slammed her into the snowy ground, winding her and causing her to drop her bow that when she was met by the battle scarred face of Doctor Doom.
Doom wasn't choking her, just holding her down. He wanted to kill everyone who killed his plan nice and slowly and then he would gather up the powered mammals once more and return to his universe. He grit his teeth and seethed "You've not bested Doom yet!"
(AN/ No spoilers for next week. Please review. C ya Soon)