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  • Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
    Results 16 to 19 of 19

    1. #16

      Capital Punishment End

      Know when to hold and know when to fold.

      If there was one thing Mask had learned from Coyote that would be it. The second was to never eat Mexican food cooked by a man from the Philippines. Both were good lessons but only one was particularly important at this moment and time.

      The bomb detonated high in the sky and Mask knew it was time to fly. White flak covered the sky and she fumbled around in her pockets until she finally pulled out a single crumbled old photo. It was of a door, plain and brown and nondescript, and that was about all she knew. The rest of her knowledge indicated that it was a safe house and that it might be located somewhere in South America but Coyote had never been one to waste time on the details.

      She concentrated on that picture, blocking out everything, the police sirens and the giant alligator beneath her. She stared until the picture became the world and it did. The door opened up, just a crack at first, before swinging wide open and revealing…

      Mask. She waved at herself, but on the other side there was no one, and the Mask tumbled to the ground where Chompy soon tore it up beneath his wicked awesome claws.

      And like that she was gone.

      It wasn’t magic, it was just a trick.

      ***

      Elsewhere, in Capitol Hill.

      Everyone was dead. Every person, snake, and magical hell beast. From the police to the secret service, but most definitely every single Representative and Senator was dead. The plan that had seemed full proof was actually flawed from the start. The root of the failure lay somewhere during highschool biology(and before that elementary biology) where Sheena had no doubt been asleep the entire time.

      Insects used their antennae to detect movement and to smell, among other things. Beyond that their perception of light was fairly retarded, in comparison to humans at least. Wasps in particular also see in heat patterns, rather than the finer details that might cause one to be distracted by a purely visual illusion.

      In short the Wasps not only didn't pay attention to Sheena's illusions, they didn't even know they were there in the first place.

      With their backs turned the people were caught unaware as the Wasps swarmed over them. The one hellhound that had been summoned to burn down an entire swarm was overwhelmed within seconds. Unable to feel pain or fear the Wasps, once lit on fire, were simply a vicious man-eating insect that also happened to burn everything around it. They piled on top of the dog until it collapsed to the ground and they severed its heads, one at a time.

      By the time the military arrived the entire place had been transformed into a slaughterhouse, not a single human life had escaped, mostly thanks to Sheena. Well that's not true, one man did. Later on someone would ask him why they had even listened to the crazy girl in the first place?

      Elijah didn't know.

    2. #17

      Re: The American Dream - Capitol Punishment

      Note: Ozma's most recent post was stricken by the topic judge, and therefore will not be mentioned or referenced.


      West of the Washington Navy Yard and at the southern end of Greenleaf Point, between the Potomac and the Anacostia, are the cluster of gable roofed old brick buildings that make up the Fort Lesley J. McNair. The old garrison, behind its iron bars and black gates, was home to the National Defense University, the offices and residence of the Army's vice chief of staff, the headquarters of the Military District of Washington, and the barracks of Company 'A' of the Third US Infantry Regiment. Variously known as the Old Guard, and the Escort to the President, they were the commander-in-chief's personal military companions. But for the time being, Lieutenant Colonel Bradbury of the Third Regiment was not escorting his President to safety.

      To the marines went that honor this day, and as for Colonel Bradbury, he found himself conducting an interview at the behest of Major General Daniels, the commanding officer of the MDW. They were in a small sparsely furnished room, sitting in standard assembly metal chairs, across from each other on opposite sides of the kind of folding table one might expect to see at a local garage sale. Two corporal guards were outside the door, waiting for his knock, for their signal to unlock it. A lieutenant stood behind Bradbury, a radio in hand, waiting to issue any orders in his Colonel's name, be they necessary.

      Bradbury was left wondering at the subject of his interrogation-sans-control. Her driver's license put her at twenty-seven years old this coming April, but he would be hard pressed to credit her at older than sixteen. And while trusting computer records as confirmation would have been foolish with this one, her passport also corroborated her age, and all of the water marks looked to be intact, and page after page of entry and exit stamps spoke to a definite trail through her past.

      She looked ridiculous in her pink vest and ruffled skirt, and she made a big production of always keeping her hands in view. Even when she took a sip from the water bottle in front of her, she made sure to grip it slowly in both palms, until she was finished.

      “Where I'm most concerned is in the area of your expectations. What are you trying to accomplish in this meeting? Even if everything you've said, and shown us,” he gestured to the small LCD tablet in front of him, where images of the crocodile's rampage and the chaos at the White House had passed not long ago. “Even if it could be independently verified, we still have the fundamental problem of your trustworthiness. How can I know that I myself am not under an illusion right now? How can you expect us to trust that you are not manipulating us as well?”

      Sheena gave an almost bored stretched out shrug, but he could see the calculated openness behind it. “You can't, and I don't. But I'm not, and I wouldn't anyway.”

      “I'm going to need more than that, to even consider recommending to my superiors what you're proposing.”

      “I don't have much else to give. If you're unwilling to trust your own eyes, I don't think that there's anything I could show you that would change your mind.”

      “The problem is, you've already proven that all electronic and wireless systems are compromised. We don't know how you do it, we have no way to block it. Anything we see on a screen or hear through a speaker, that doesn't come through pure long or short waves, is suspect. We can't trust any message not to be tainted by your presence. And even then, there are your illusions to consider.”

      Her lime green eyes seemed to dilate slightly before relaxing again, “why don't you just get your friend in the private sector to help you?”

      She took stock of his flat expression, “the one spying on the District? Doesn't she work for you?”


      Elsewhere, Sheena's snake copy at the White House tightened its control on the still burning wall of fire. Giovanni was long gone, and it no longer served its purpose—and night blinding the inevitable military reinforcements would be counterproductive. It began to fizzle and shrink, but grew no dimmer. It was joined by the thunder that ripped through the south face of the Presidential Mansion, throwing glass and marble into the sky as it gutted the landmark. For the real explosion, the rapid expansion of gasses and increase in point pressure, there was nothing she could do—she had control only of fire. But at least the heat, she could draw away, pulling it out of the atmosphere before it could add to the damage, and drawing it into the compressed and shrinking heat of her own fire. When at last there was only a burning plum-sized ball, Sheena's copy opened her mouth and swallowed it, to keep it safe and in reserve until the future in which it was needed had come. And then with a quick illusion, thrown over reality like a masterwork of a painting, the destruction of the White House was gone and forgotten from the outside world, hidden behind an illusion of sustained normalcy.


      Inside of the former Oval Office, a scorched rabbit lay badly burned and twitching beneath a splintered fragment of the misnamed Wilson Desk, rapidly soaking in wet ash and dust as the overhead sprinklers drowned her in a downpour. The rabbit, formerly a copy of Sheena, had successfully drawn the heat of the blast away from the others, but the speed at which she had been forced to act had left little time for furniture and relics. And there had been nothing to do about the more bluntly physical components of the explosion. Many of the secret service agents she had previously saved were likely dead from their rapid ejection from the room.

      Things may have been different if her real self had been in the room instead, but that Sheena had her own tasks to fulfill, and it was too late now all the same. At least the rabbit that made up this copy of Sheena was durable to learn something from the tragedy. She had seen Coyote fight through hails of gunfire, escape Giovanni's stasis field, detonate exploding birds, and seemingly teleport through a door. And what she saw, heard, and experienced, held true as well for her real self.


      And away in the interview room, Sheena sat wondering to herself about her enemy's capabilities.

      Escape tricks, and teleportation—but only through the door. Was it a necessary component, or just showmanship? Corvidae...explosions...crocodylidae too, but that might be the other one. They had been in contact with each other during the period of her observation...and then there were the bullets, and how they had refused to strike him. Another escape trick, or something else?

      She cast an illusion at the secured network she had encountered earlier, the one whose internal documentation listed it as 'Occulus.'

      She sent a quick summary of what she had discovered, both of Coyote, and the Mask, through the one-way magical connection she had opened to the network. And then what she had observed of Giovanni and both his actions and inaction and new-found seeming willingness to oppose his former battlefield allies. She could let this one draw her own conclusions about where Rosso stood now.

      And one more thing, Sheena sent, as a direct message rather than a packet of data and images. I'm going to help the military coordinate their response using my abilities, she said. I'm just making a guess here, but if you could put in the good word for me, I would appreciate that.


      She continued to track Mask as best she could, following her through the crocodile's path of destruction. It was difficult to pin down their location for long: there were not enough traffic cameras in the area, and most of the smart phones were attached to people that were rapidly running away—or at least until they were far enough away from the crocodile for the passive illusions to take over and make them forget what they were running from. It was finally what little information she could glean from the Occulus grid—it was too alien to her for a good picture of how the probes really intercommunicated—that directed her digital copies to the crocodile's exact location in National Mall. With help from local satellites and an online map program, the parts of Sheena that existed in the local networks were able to extrapolate the crocodile's speed and likely destination, and send it back to her with regular updates until the Goshawk circling miles overhead could divert close enough to observe them directly.



      “How can you see through so many pairs of eyes at once without going mad?”

      “The human brain is a remarkable instrument, capable of easily splicing many separate images into a single picture. Also, demon magic.”

      Sheena rubbed her eyes slowly and with both hands, to avoid any possibility of her movements being misconstrued as potentially threatening. And then, she continued.

      “I can see the crocodile and the woman in the mask directly now. I'm sending more of my rabbits for better ground coverage. I'll give you their positions now, to pass on to the Hundred-Thirteenth Wing and the rest of your regiment on their way from Fort Myers. And also to the five F-16Ds the Air National Guard already has in the air. They left Andrews Joint Base ten minutes ago, they should be able to strike soon. You can trust me or not, at your discretion. I'll keep passing on what I know either way. I won't be able to do much else though, your friends in the Navy are about to see to that.”

      A moment later a wincing shudder went through Sheena as a fine powder blanketed the District. It covered every square inch of land and property, but it was not a dust cloud that blotted out the sun, like Mount St. Helens to Skamania or Vesuvius to Pompeii. It went unseen, not because of her illusions this time, but because the very nature of the dust to reject the occult and the unseen hand of the supernatural left it out of phase with normal perception. A magician might know indirectly of its presence only by the curtain that it through over the sixth sense of their enchantment.

      But in Sheena's case, the experience was direct and highly unsettling, and the summoning seals engraved upon her back burned as the suppression field washed over them. Even inactive their presence was all too potent not to be affected; and for a moment she felt as though they might be seared off of her flesh and soul, before her Chronomancy powers finally kicked in. The very spell ultimately responsible for her lack of physical growth, and for keeping her alive, was essentially a bubble of time, near infinitely slowed and then inverted by ten seconds, constantly transmitting its effects backwards upon her. And because it did not truly exist yet, its presence could be felt only retroactively, leaving nothing for the suppression field to assault. Sheena gave a violent choke all the same, her breathing shallow and numb, her balance and equilibrium shot, until she had fully resynchronized with her personal space-time inversion field.

      “Do you need a medic?”

      Sheena shook her head as she pushed herself up from the floor. The table was too light to brace herself against it, so it was a longer process than she would have liked. She responded in full only after she had managed to finish picking herself back up, right her chair, sit down, and take another sip of her water.

      “No, thank you. I'm fine. It was a bit disorienting, but I'm fine.” She thought for a moment. “Well, it turns out you're in luck...sort of.”

      She did not think that she would be able to summon properly with the suppression field in place, and even controlling fire might be difficult. Her mirages were unaffected, but performing normal illusions from the ground would be difficult. The ones she had already created were still in place, fortunately, and her digital copies continued their work unrestricted, as magically enhanced computer code was a far sight from actual spell casting. Her familiars were a tangible part of her, and could be no more dispelled than she could, but even so, her Hawk was always well out of range, circling high above.

      And as far away as it was, the Goshawk that was her literal soul was free to bend perception and place for and against the man called Coyote, and all those around him. He was in the White House kitchens at one moment, but then in the next, the walls and ceilings had turned and ran from him. There were no longer boundaries or doors for him to see or smell, and for all that the building had not changed an inch around him, he could see none of it. When he looked around him, he saw only the open space that would have existed if there had never been a District of Columbia. The walls, and ceilings, and the window and doors of every building in the city were invisible to him, and he to them. He looked out and saw his enemies staring back at him, through walls that were seemingly no longer there.

      But unlike with Coyote, the walls had no grudge against Washington's citizens or defenders. The stone gave up its secrets to them freely, at once letting them see their enemy, but also to see where there were walls to obstruct and doors to let pass.
      Spikey Dokey: In Russia, when you become the admin of an internet forum, you do it until you die.
      Spikey Dokey: Wether you want to or not.
      AKA Clockwork, Original viper, Sariel, Grandleon

    3. #18
      Turbo Revvin Young Punk
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      Re: The American Dream - Capitol Punishment

      "Force field compromised by seventy percent." A robotic alto voice chimed in Giovanni's head as the faded blue light surrounding him roiled and hissed, trying to compensate for the explosion it just blunted. He pressed one of the buttons on his cuff and the field dissipated from his body, the wind kicked up and filled his nostrils with an acrid aroma of the destruction strewn about on the White House lawn.

      "Sol, this is Apollo, I'm alright...continue tracking the Native." He received an exasperated response about how Coyote had simply disappeared when opening a door. He replied with insistence that the Native was still in the building and on a more morbid note to follow the blood trail.

      With a grunt and a lurch he picked himself up from the bed of glass shards, wood splinters and stone fragments and saw a blue haired woman doing the same a few yards away. Wasn't this broad trying to order me to do something? He scoffed and sauntered over to set her straight.

      "Let me make one thing abundantly clear to you." His finger pointed at her face, in a low, no-nonsense tone he continued. "Whenever I get blown out of the Oval Office by incendiary fucking birds anything you think might be important can wait." His finger then directed her attention to the smouldering hole they flew out of. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have go clean up someone else's mess." When Giovanni looked back to where he was pointing it seemed as though the walls just disappeared, leaving Coyote, his fire axe dripping with innocent blood, exposed to the masses. That's certainly...convenient.

      His force field returned with a hum and the jets in his boots and gloves roared as he shot towards the second floor, out of instinct he formed an X with his arms and crashed through a window, though the shards harmlessly clanked off his shield. Dashing through several rooms he caught up to the Native just as he was withdrawing the axe from someone's chest. Without a word his jet boots propelled Giovanni forward, he drew back his right fist and delivered a thundering punch to Coyote's sternum, the spikes on his gloves lodged themselves into the bone and miniature lightning bolts danced across the surface, hopping across the trickling blood. The force sent the Native through the door behind him, shattering the wood to splinters. Before he could collapse Giovanni delivered a left hook to the temple, his spike's electricity now finding its way into the skull. A right hook balanced Coyote precariously and a flat-footed kick to the gut sent him flying out a second story window.

      Rosso followed, flying through the broken window and delicately hovering over the sprawled figure before setting down beside him. He drew his black pistol and trained his targeting computer onto the head of Coyote. While the digital cross-hairs aligned he stared into the eyes of the Native. There was no fear, no remorse, just a look of sharp and pointed contempt. It wasn't just aimed at Giovanni but through him, to every inhabitant of the city he could see. It gave Giovanni a cold shiver, a beep and the targeting icon turning red helped him shake it off.

      "Dodge this." He delivered in a rasp as he squeezed the trigger and shot forth a bolt of plasma. It struck the bridge of Coyote's nose and expanded like acid, melting away the bonds between atoms that comprised his face until it the skull turned into a puddle of green ooze with a few stray strands of hair forming a black border around it.

      A heavy sigh of relief escaped his lips and he returned the pistol to its holster. He ordered Castor and Pollux teams to withdraw and return to the Pentagon, he would catch up shortly. After the troops departed he removed two lead rods from the pockets of his jacket, let them drop to the ground, leaned forward on the White House wall and vomited. Damn fusion engines. His mind wandered back to the access cards that were handed over to him just a few hours before the battle. The answers have to be there, this suit is killing me. For the moment, he would survive as he sidled over to the White House steps, following the black tire marks up to the abandoned motorcycle. With a heave he righted the vehicle, turned the ignition and sped off to Arlington County.

      9/11 Never Forget

    4. #19
      Mentis Node
      Guest

      Re: The American Dream - Capitol Punishment

      Lanus hated when a situation started to spiral out of her control. As the blue veil of Rosso's force field was ripped apart by the Apache's escape artistry, epinephrin flooded through the woman's body from her adrenal medulla until her heart was a frenzied thrum in her ears. The Blue Room was filled again with a flurried cloud of automatic weapons fire, but in response to the adrenaline surge the psychic’s perception of time dilated until even the bullets seemed to crawl through the air at a snail's pace. However despite this moment of clarity Dr. Scisco was perplexed at the stream of crows, until they exploded.

      Already she was having difficulty gathering the concentration necessary to use her powers, having opened herself earlier to the morass of nauseating human emotion that permeated the Hill in order to calm her assistant. And yet again she was forced to push her aide out of danger. A lesson was to be learned here, the magnate was sure. It was a relief to her then, that the thermal component was being handled by the schoolgirl. Splitting her attention, Lanus slowed the expansion of gases in her party's direction to well below hypersonic speeds, thereby neutralizing the already minimal shock wave while also sweeping Shelly to safety around to the other side of the Blue Room's entrance behind Derek.

      By that point the wall of gas reached her position. Though lacking the punch of a propagating wave, the mass of air possessed well over sufficient force to lift her with its passing and heave her at an opposing wall. She struck lightly as most of the impact was absorbed in a psychokinetic blanket that sprung about the careening woman at the last moment. Lanus slumped, dizzied in the aftermath of the cacophony.

      When she had gathered her senses the native had left and Giovanni had just wrapped up his lecture. Lanus was in no mood to tolerate the man's gumption in this situation. She was just about to pin the man to a wall, spinning room or no, when a tone from her earpiece--indicating an urgent update from the Occulus--distracted her.

      Gritting her teeth in irritation, she drew a device from her left pants pocket and secured it around her ear also hooking it in to the earpiece. The gadget looked to be an overgrown Bluetooth with a single screen overlaying the nearest eye. With a momentary flicker, feeds from the Occulus cycled before the left side of her vision. It took only a moment for her to realize the source was not originating from the Occulus given the perspectives were incongruent with the units' established positions.

      Who the FUCK is infiltrating my network?!

      The thought sparked an inferno of rage that battled her self control even as she assimilated the presented images. It was only the helpful intentions of the overture that allowed Lanus to settle down by the end and consider the hacker's request. Nevertheless a humorless frown marked the pretty girl's features; if she was going to pull strings for this person the psychic had to know who she was dealing with. The current emotional climate was a hindrance to that end. She closed her eyes and concentrated.

      Fuck. This. Town's. Bitching.

      Like some ancient goddess of weather, Scisco cast out her will upon the storm of terror swathing DC and pacified it. The blanket of fear, which had prevented the civilians from composing rational thought, ebbed and dissipated leaving only a surreal determination to distance oneself from danger. The seething tides of humanity slowed into an orderly flow to the outside of the FBI and emergency responders' cordon.

      Lanus allowed herself a moment to massage a temple and enjoy the relative calm before casting her mind's gaze out across the district. At first the presence was hidden, playing to the edge of the metahuman's awareness, but for whatever reason, perhaps out of a spirit of openness or unaware of Lanus' sensitivity in this respect, she felt it. It was a constellation of consciousness distributed in discrete modules across the city. Some manifested materially while others were subtle fluctuations across the electrical grid and still others couldn't be described in concrete terms. After a few seconds of wonderment and observation Lanus noted a hub in the activity located at Fort Lesley and a familiar spark near to her location.

      The young capitalist strode into the ruin of the Oval Office heedless of the unceasing shower of fire suppressant water raining from the ceiling; the two security agents and a disheveled and nervous Shelly followed her into the room with much caution. Her sense of the life force led Lanus to one of the many random piles of detritus which she gingerly lifted aside with a twitch of her mind. Beneath a soaked and pitifully burned rabbit huddled, to which the young woman quirked a brow before leaning down to lift into her arms. It was only as the wet fur clung about her hands that Lanus took notice of the artificial downpour. With an irritated upwards jerk of her head the water swept away in curtain until it was pressed to the walls; even the moisture drenching fur, skin and cloth was expunged.

      Cradling the Leporid so that she could look into its languid eyes, Lanus gave it warm, if slightly crooked smile.

      “Sure, I can put in a good word for you, but it'll cost ya,” she beamed. Still holding the rabbit, the mogul turned to face her baffled employees. “Shelly, get General Daniels on the line, please.” The Chinese-American nodded and opened the secure briefcase from the MELV she had been carrying. Within--in addition to a laptop that looked sturdy enough to survive tactical nuke--was a comm suite, which the assistant began to working on hurriedly. In the meantime Lanus refocused on the screen at her eye, directing the device with particular eye movements to display the Occulus views that beheld the Mask and her reptilian ally.

      “As it happens,” she said in aside to the rabbit, “I was just about to call him anyway.” She watched intently as the calamitous pair continued on their rampaging path while simultaneously giving commands to the Occulus that greatly increased the unit density around the target.

      “Boss?” asked Mercutio timidly, “what's with the bunny?”

      “I'm fairly certain this is our schoolgirl, sort of.”

      “Sort of?” echoed Derek.

      “Sort of,” Lanus confirmed before cutting off further questioning with a curt wave of her hand; the Occulus gave her only a second's warning of the Navy's counterattack. With the majority of the Occulus' resources directed downwards at the city from the units' lofty positions 50 to 200 meters above ground level, only a few of the periphery units peering outwards in case of elements entering the operational area from the outside caught the blurring movement of the shells. When the barrage hit, the psychic recoiled, but--unlike her employees--not in response to the thundering sonic booms. Though the technology was not directed at her particular brand of power the field put a squeeze on her mind. The feeling as a whole was indescribable as a physical sensation aside from... unpleasant. It was almost emotional in nature, oppressive. Extended as her mind was across the city, stress mounted on her body as the field attempted to force her awareness back to the mundane confines of her anatomy. A portion of the sclera of her right eye reddened as capillaries burst. Slapping a hand in sympathy over the eye in response to the spike of pain, Lanus' consciousness retreated until it encompassed only Capitol Hill the immediate surrounding environs. She could take this much without further harm to her body.

      "Dr. Scisco... are you alright?" Shelly was looking up from the comm with blatant concern with Mercutio and Derek mirroring her. Lanus took a moment to compose herself before dropping her hand. "Oh my God! Your ey--"

      "I'm fine, Shelly. The General?"

      "He's on the line." She gave Shelly the signal to link her into the communique.

      “Hello, General, what an unfortunate day you must be having,” the young executive's voice betrayed none of her earlier discomfiture, and she promised herself she would give no impression to the General that the Navy's attack had affected her.

      “Dr. Scisco, what are you doing in DC?” the General asked sharply.

      “Attempting to alleviate some of your headache, hopefully” she quipped brightly. The man harrumphed loudly in disbelief.

      “How so?”

      “First off, let me get something out of the way. I believe you have a young schoolgirl on your base of incredible power and questionable credentials. She's been helpful to me so far so I'll vouch for her.” Lanus smiled down at the bunny, “She seems like good people. Also,” she cut him off before he could interject, “based on the chatter you seemed to have taken command of the evacuation and containment efforts now that the President has vacated the district,” Daniels remained silent, his skepticism palpable. “If you would, have your men keep their distance from the crocodile and its master, about 200 meters should be enough.” She glanced over at the laptop screen that Shelly was helpfully holding for her to see. “In about thirty seconds.” She began typing in commands and passwords on the proffered computer, rapidly accessing and manipulating a control interface.

      The sound of the General quickly calling in the orders drifted distantly from the line. A slight tremor of concern was in his voice when he responded to the magnate, “What are you going to do?”

      “I'm going to wipe them off the face of the Earth. Oh, and warn your guys not to look.”

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Approximately 1300 kilometers above the Earth's surface and nearing 11°23'03” from directly above DC was the final shuttle launched from Nevada just before Lanus and her party arrived in DC. It was aligned so that its ventral side faced towards the Earth; its thrusters at the rear were silent as it drifted in free-fall awaiting the next delta-v in twenty-one minutes. At the moment, however, a part of the hull was open allowing the aperture of Module-7 to just barely peek out of the shuttles streamlined profile.

      Module-7 was a weapon, a high powered directed energy weapon. It had several parts ancillary to its function, such as a series of targeting lasers of a much lower power to analyze diffraction behaviors and back-scatter if the weapon were to be fired through a medium such as an atmosphere. But the main function of Module-7 was to direct a one micron pulse of forty-three Terawatts per square decimeter of coherent x-rays onto a target. The optical cavity was completely reflective until a signal changed the material of the emission port to be entirely transparent to x-rays. The gain medium was a metamaterial that circulated a series of coherent Sagan Waves until reaching a critical threshold where the material underwent a shift in structure that forced the energy of the Wave to be emitted rapidly as photons. And to cool the entire system a Bose-Einstein condensate was formed at key thermal sinks. Even so, the Module could only be fired once every six hours and required about twenty minutes of prep time.

      In the two seconds leading up to Module-7 being fired, it emitted a broad spectrum of coherent electromagnetic radiation across the crocodile such that the interaction with the atmosphere could be calibrated. Eighty percent of the Occulus was directed to gathering data for this purpose. Then two lines of command code appeared on Lanus' laptop.

      >firing solution found within 0.001% error margin
      >executing

      For one millionth of a second, a .27 square meter on the crocodile's back was brighter than the Sun and a lance of incandescent light connected that point to the heavens as even that small amount of back-scatter ionized the atmosphere. And then it exploded, expelling plasma in an upward cone with the force of about twenty-seven and a half tons of TNT.
      Last edited by Mentis Node; 12-17-2011 at 07:48 AM.
       

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