Stern knew better than to turn around. A tidal wave. Coming for New York. Right. This was not His work.
Stern stepped out onto the fire escape. A dusky haze overwhelmed his body which soon revealed the much larger form of Dark Angel. He rose into the air and streaked toward the shoreline and out over the ocean, flying until the tidal wave revealed itself to him.
Janet begins the quiet drive home. Traffic isn't too bad, and she makes decent time. She comes into the house, and finds it empty. She finds a note from Diana on the table. She is out shopping for the week. _That's all the better, Duststorm has some things to take care of._ She checks her watch. _I'd better check in on Sarah. Though I'm sure she can run the office better than I can_
A quick phone call later, and Janet's suspicions prove true. Sarah has everything under control. Janet goes back to her bedroom, and pulls out her costume. _I think I go for blue today. She slides one box back under the bed, and pulls out the other. _After what happened in Birmingham, I figured I should have another, besides..._ she smiles to herself _... a girl can't have too many outfits._
In a few moments she is flying down town, back towards Longe and Capital Realty. _I should pay a quick visit to James._ She knocks on the window. The man seems much less surprised this time. "James Capital, I am Duststorm." Once again, she sends a few papers flying, just for the effect. "I hope you have been able to find something."
"I thinks so." James begins, "Just let me grab the file."
Duststorm moves into the room, and the sounds of the radio in the background become audible.
"A volcanic eruption in the Atlantic has caused a sizable earth tremor. A twenty foot wave is heading directly towards Manhattan. Flee to higher ground. Flee to higher ground."
The realtor turns around, to find nothing but an open window, the curtains flapping in the breeze.
"Yes, Mrs. Kosowicz," Adrian said as he was showing a mother and her teenage child the radio system, "I can guarantee that your son is correctthese radio units will get smaller than they are now. And clearer. We've just started to scratch the surface of the technology. In fact, this model," he gestures to the slightly more expensive radio to the left, "is significantly better than the one you have in your home right now. Just listen to this quality..."
A flick of the switch and the radio hummed to life. "Atlantic has caused a sizable earth tremor. A twenty foot wave is heading directly towards Manhattan. Flee to higher ground. Flee to higher ground. We repeat, A volcanic eruption in the Atlantic has caused a sizable earth tremor. A twenty foot wave is heading directly towards Manhattan..."
It is less than a minute later when Adrian had hustled the worried looking woman and her son out the front door and locked it behind her, flipping the CLOSED sign over and locking the store. _I guess this DOESN'T ever stop. And the books are definitely not going to balance this month. On the plus side, my insurance is paid up._
_Now I just have to make sure I don't need it._
Union's silver form streaks up from the roof of Toomes Electronics too fast for the eye to follow, dropping with pinpoint accuracy into one of the subway's entrances in Long Island City, Queens. Not five minutes later Union is hovering over the spire of the Empire State Building, picking up police and emergency reports on his internal radio and aiming a slender metal tube skyward.
_I hope this works..._
And seconds later a giant blazing A appears over the Manhattan skyline, it's tail pointing towards the Empire State's spire. While he waits for the rest of the Avengers to respond, Union starts correlating data from the emergency reportswhere did it start, what's its ETA and how fast is it moving. He had no idea what they could do against such a threat, but if they could even limit the loss of life that would be something.
"What's going on here?," Connors asks a passing student.
"Dr. Connors, a tidal wave is heading for New York. Everyone is evacuating to higher ground." And with that the student goes back to the confusion in the halls.
His first impulse is to go to his wife and child and get them to safety, but he couldn't live with himself if he knew their safety was at the cost of thousands of New Yorker's lives. He picks up a phone to check on them, and when he gets no answer he realizes that they must already be evacuating. Even if he wanted to get them to safety now, he would have trouble locating them in the confusion.
Dr. Curt Connors speeds from the building and by the time he is out the front door, he is no longer Dr. Connors, but Delta V. He quickly spots the Avenger's signal and heads for the target location.
Rick can hardly believe his eyes, and he stares for a long moment at Beck's technological marvel. Then his ears pick out the muted sounds of disaster sirens, and he turns and walks off the set to where a pair of workers are listening to the tail end of the radio report on a small portable. Moments later Emerald emerges onto the roof of the building and spots the glowing letter over the Empire State Building.
Bethany stares at the radio, curses volubly, and undresses hastily. A few minutes later, she's flying at top speed toward the waterfront, trying to think of a way to block off the tunnels before they can be flooded. Before she gets there, the "A" blooms in the sky.
"Hell." She changes course, ruing the lost time when every moment might count.
"I hope *you* have a brilliant plan," she tells Union, coming to a dead halt in midair nearby.
Hurricane speed winds carry the blue clad heroine up above the skyline. Duststorm's eyes follow a blazing A down to the tip of the Empire State Building. _Good, things are probably already under control_
In a moment, she is hovering among the other Avengers. "So how do we stop a tidal wave?"
Emerald arrives just in time to hear Duststorm's question, joining the cluster of flying figures around the spire. "I was hoping one of you had a plan," Rick comments.
Union looks at the other heroes, "I don't know how good it is, but I have a plan. I've been using my armor's radio systems to confer with Police and Emergency services, including one Professor Hitachi of Empire State University. Given what I found out from him, here's the planAegis, you and Emerald get out to the wave. Hopefully Dark Angel is already on his way out there, because we need him for this too. You need to get the tsunami to bleed off kinetic energy and somehow disrupt its waveform. Emerald, you and Dark Angel need to throw force walls into its patheach impact will diminish the wave's force, if only slightlykind of like a breakwater, but on a VERY large scale. Do that often enough and it won't have enough energy to draw as much of the coastal waters into its crest."
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© 2000 Mark L. Chance et al