Galose retracted his weapons back into his armor. “I am sorry for your plight. I wish to help you on all fronts. But we must stop Maniac first.”
“How will he destroy the planet?” Anubis asked.
“Maniac is what we call a Genocider. He’s cruel and ruthless. First he will take great pleasure toying with your people, killing them like a malicious child with insects. When that bores him, he will make his way to the core of your world and trigger a chain reaction. The officials of my world have declared Maniac unfit for reprogramming. He is to be destroyed.”
“I’d call that compelling enough. We’re going to have to stop Maniac. He’s now the highest on our list of threats.” Sandstorm said. “Show us the way, Marshall Galose.”
“Just Galose is fine. I can transport all of us if you’ll put a hand on my armor.”
“Oh great; more long distance teleportation. Can’t tell you how much I love doing that.” Atomizer grumbled.
“You will find my form of transport without the disorienting side effects.”
They all put a hand on Galose with reservations on trust and vanished from the building rooftop. Commander Larratus watched the whole thing from back near the rooftop doorway.
“If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.” He grumbled as he turned back inside. He stomped his way down the stairs to return to his office.
As he reached the door leading to his floor, someone grabbed him from behind and put a dark hand over his mouth. Larratus struggled and shook off his attacker, turning and putting his back to a wall. Everyone thought the Deformer was dead, killed by Electrode back in the beginning of the conflict. The same time Larratus realized that Deformer was very alive, he realized he had no mouth to say anything about it. Deformer had used his power to mold living flesh and sealed the Commander’s lips together. Commander Larratus pushed his way through the stairwell door, looking for a way to defend himself. Deformer, almost as fast as Electrode, darted in and shoved the man over a desk. Commander H.P. Larratus lay on the floor unconscious, and lucky he could still breathe through his nose.
Deformer calmly walked away from Larratus and went through another door. As he came around a corner he met with a secretary who started to scream at the sight of him. She only managed half the sound of the first syllable before Deformer crushed her face in. He left her a quivering heap on the floor. He decided to perform a high speed search for his true target and found the Vagabond sitting quietly in a cell.
“Took you long enough.” Vagabond said with a smile.
Deformer cocked his featureless head sideways and made no sound.
“I know you were seriously damaged. Geez, get a sense of humor. Now let me out of here. We have a lot of work to do.”
In his search, Deformer killed four guards and took the keys from one of their bodies. He released Vagabond from the inhibitors that held his cosmic energy powers in check.
“Release me.” The voice of Professor Zombie came from another cell. “I too have much work to do.”
Vagabond looked in on the Professor. “So, you aren’t a total vegetable after all. I heard the Nyhtwulf creature warped your brain.”
“Merely incapacitated me for a short time. I’m far more than what you see, Mr. Vagabond. Now, if you please, we can all be out of here.”
“I’ll let you out, but after that our business together is concluded. You’ll be on your own, Professor. My partner and I have other plans.”
“That suits me fine.”
The City of Galveston, Texas lay in ruins beyond anything the heroes had seen so far. It looked like the Tank armor, the Hearse, and three other artifacts all teamed up on the poor town. Blast marks at the scene were over a hundred feet wide. Cars were crushed like soda cans. Buildings were knocked into each other worse than in old Japanese monster movies. They couldn’t see a single structure that wasn’t broken or burning from where they stood.
Atomizer stood in a stupor, trying to form thoughts to words. It took him several seconds. “Just how big did you say Maniac was?”
“40 feet by your measurements.” Galose responded. “He was built to deal with large scale threats and high troop numbers. Sadly, he wasn’t expected to become a high scale threat.”
“We have to do something here.” Redeagle said. “There may be survivors.”
“I agree.” Sandstorm said as looked at a broken ambulance.
“I am picking up life signs, but we must move quickly. Maniac is walking toward the next town as we stand here.”
They split into partnered teams; Anubis with Nightfall, Blacktide with Nyhtwulf, Atomizer with Redeagle, and Electrode with Sandstorm, while agreeing to meet back in a common area after they saved as many people as they could.
“I am picking up radio communications that suggests more help is coming as well as military.” Galose said. “We can take long enough for them to arrive and still help many.”
No time was wasted in seeking out the wounded and trapped. Anubis, Redeagle and Nyhtwulf had the gift of being able to sense life nearby. Electrode could feel the electric impulses in living bodies while Galose had advanced technology. Blacktide removed threats like fallen power lines and leaking vehicles by disintegrating them. For people trapped under tons of debris, Nyhtwulf phased through and brought them out. Anubis and Nightfall found a group of children trapped in a preschool with their teachers. Anubis pushed an entire side of the building up and out of the way so Nightfall could lead them to safety. Redeagle used his strength in similar form to allow Atomizer to reach the injured and pull them from danger. In the short time until flashing lights could be seen and the first fire engine arrived, they had already rescued over a hundred victims.