Somewhere deep below ground, Sheriff Bigsby suffered, alone and in the dark. He was pretty sure he'd had a mild to moderate heart attack, but fortunately he kept his pills on hand. After taking a break to calm down, he started up again, stumbling through the dimly-lit corridor towards his goal, the whole time, muttering to himself over and over again:

"That's right, I still have that...I still have that..."

Finally, he reached the light at the end of the tunnel. And basked in said light was a golden monstrosity...something that a guy like him had no business having access to, really. But in this world, the impossible has become increasingly possible. Even low-level scumbags could feasibly attain previously unthinkable levels of power, even if said power was superficial at best.

He climbed aboard the large mobile machine (it appeared to be a landship of some kind, armed with big autocannons and such) and squeezed his fat self into the pilot's seat. He was sweating profusely and breathing heavily at this point. His chest felt like it was being crushed by a herd of rhinos. He was definitely knocking on death's door. But he didn't care. That vagrant and his merry band of misfit bastards was going to pay.

Seconds later, the beast roared to life, and the cavern collapsed all around.

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{BGM: "Can't Escape, Fight!"}

Crim kept his cool. He liked to play it cool and suave in situations like this because it gave the impression that he was in control and that everything had gone off just as planned. Plus, there were ladies around. He also had a strange itch all of a sudden. Actually it was more of a burning sensation, oddly familiar. Almost a throbbing, really. Coming from his right hand. He ventured a quick glance down towards the offending appendage and noted that the True Heaven Cross was acting up again. That's when he noticed that the one lady was actually really pissed off and was trying her best to project her anger upon him. It was almost like a tangible force, invading his personal space like some unwanted pet. Maybe a bird or a flying pumpkin of some kind. He pictured a hilarious flying pumpkin and chuckled at the thought. Meanwhile, all the wackos that had gathered were fast becoming impatient. Probably due to all the rage and violence that hung fresh in the air. Or maybe they ate some bad egg salad.

"But it's not like there's even any such thing as good egg salad, right?" Crim said as though his preceding inner monologue had been part of an ongoing conversation of which everyone else present had been a part of. Which, of course, solicited little more than confusion all around.

Saori seemed particularly miffed, her pleasant greeting having apparently been ignored. She crossed her arms and muttered some key phrases in her native tongue. If Crim even understood a single word of that crazy moon language, he might have been offended. Or, more likely, he'd take it as some kind of compliment, or possibly as an invitation for some lighthearted flirting. Then again, seeing as he was mainly fixated on the bigger picture (which didn't happen often), he probably wouldn't have done anything differently. After all, it wasn't every day that things just came together so perfectly without any rhyme or reason to it - well, none that he could see. Not that he cared either way. The here and now was all that mattered.

With that, it was high time he made his amazing proclamation.

He grinned wide. "You guys are late! But it's okay! I forgive you, my mighty crew! Now go and bring me that horizon!" He pointed dramatically to nothing and everything all at once off in the distance. And just as he did so, a huge flaming explosion erupted from the ground several yards behind him, sending smoldering debris and dust flying every which way.

Crim didn't even flinch. He just continued to stand there with that grin on his face, pointing towards the unreachable place where land and sky met and became one.

<><><><><><><><><><>

Hours later, on the other side of the country in Tallahassee, Florida, a middle-aged refrigerator repair man named Clarence Q. Digsby lounged in his comfortable old La-Z-Boy recliner as he knocked back a cold Coors and surfed the airwaves on his shiny new Samsung LED HDTV. Of course, much to his dismay, there was nothing good on. And that's about when he figured he might as well just watch the news, so he turned it to FOX, his news station of choice (the only real news as far as he was concerned).

What he saw nearly made him fall out of his chair. It was like a scene from one of those over-the-top big-budget action movies, but it wasn't a movie, it was real. He knew it was real because of the photograph currently being displayed in the corner of the screen, superimposed over the carnage. It was his cousin, Millard Bigsby.

"What the fuck...?"

His cousin, on national news?

What the fuck indeed.

Apparently, old Millard had gone and gotten himself arrested. Also, it seemed that his entire town had been destroyed by a roving band of outlaw meta-humans. The typically blond and chesty female reporter went on to explain that the meta-humans were still at large, and had made their escape in an "illegal military-grade land vehicle equipped with heavy artillery".

The video began its loop again as the anchorwoman continued to speak. The footage was shaky and grainy, but it clearly showed numerous psychopaths going up against a massive gold-colored land ship of some kind. It was a lot bigger than any tank he'd ever seen, and it had guns to match. But the people fighting it didn't even appear to be the least bit fazed by the monstrosity, and in fact managed to stop the thing in its tracks in short order by means of...well, Clarence really had no idea how. He thought he saw a wee little foreign girl cut into it with a sword, but it was all a blur. He also thought he saw a strange goggled shadow doing something weird around the flank of the ship, but again...blurry. Same goes for the red-haired guy leaping and flipping around on top of a nearby building, seemingly trading blows with what appeared to be a buxom female Satan.

There were also others present, but the camera never managed to get a remotely good angle on any of them.

After barely a minute, the video abruptly cut out (it looked like someone might have actually attacked the camera person from behind) and the loop started anew.

Clarence dropped his beer and held his mouth agape. He had no idea what he was doing. No idea what was going on. No idea what the goddamn world was coming to.