The tide begins to turn!
Unfortunately, the Executioner seems more annoyed than hurt at the moment. "GRAAAH!" snarls Skurge.
Delta V bides his time, waiting for the right moment to act. He sees Ravdna knock the Enchantress down, and his moment seems chosen. He speeds forward in a blur, running towards the Enchantress. On his way their, he grabs the cape off the back of a nearby warrior so fast that the man felt only a breeze at his back. He darts in and out of the crowd, waiting for the Enchantress to pick herself up from the floor. As soon as she begins to rise, Delta V rockets towards her and circles her with dizzying speed, attempting to wrap her up in the cape and immobilize her.
Connors find it easy to act before Amora has time to fully rise from the stone floor. In a blur of motion, he snatches a cape, jerking that particular warrior off his feet in the process, and reaches Amora's position in the blink of an eye. Amora cries out as Delta V catches her in the cape, racing about her in a tight circle, bundling her up like a hastily wrapped present.
But then, with a feline growl, Amora shreds the cape with her fingers as easily as a child tears paper. It seems that even those Asgardians not called warriors possess superhuman strength.
"Think fast, speedster," Amora hisses. "For ye hath not much more time left to think at all!"
Meanwhile, at the center of the conflict, like the eye of a hurricane, Thor and Captain America stand separated by only a few feet. Thor looks increasingly bewildered, agitated, while Cap looks on, unsure what move to make. Then, from behind, Cap is grappled by three Asgardians. One each grabs his arms, trying to pin Cap's mighty limbs behind him, while the third wraps a meaty forearm across Cap's throat from behind.
"Nay!" Thor bellows, extending his right hand to which his hammer flies immediately. *Oh, man* thinks the Captain, *this is either really good or really bad!*
"Thou curs!" He aims the hammer at Captain America.
"The mighty Thor shall no longer be anyone's bootlick!" Lightning, hot and glaringly bright, crackles from the hammer to strike the three Asgardians trying to pull Cap to the floor. Every hair on Cap's body stands on end, but he remains untouched as, with a thunderous BOOM!, the elemental bolts send all three Asgardians flying like leaves before the wind.
When the spots clear from Cap's eyes, Thor is standing an arm's length away, one hand extended. "Come, lad. Let us show Loki and his lackeys what happens to those what mock the Thunderer."
_Gee, suddenly I feel unneeded..._ *Great teamwork!* Aegis thinks "out loud" to the rest of the group, not sure if the understandably distracted Ravdna is still keeping everyone in touch. She's got to admire the way their new companion is diving into the thick of things.
Unwilling to give up her target, she takes aim at the God of Mischief yet again, hoping if nothing else to keep him suitably distractedin her peripheral vision there is a noticeable lack of Thor wiping the floor with Cap, and that seems like a good sign.
Aegis's force bolt again proves ineffective against Loki's formidable magical force field. The Trickster simply laughs as the energy blast is deflected.
Delta V backs away from the Enchantress, subtly positioning himself between her and Loki. "Perhaps if I can trick her into firing a magical bolt at Loki, it will have more luck in breaking his force field than my friends did.'
With an elegant gesture, a gout of flame bursts from Amora's hand towards the speedster, but Delta V has more than enough time to zig zag out of harm's way. The crimson tongues of fire lick ineffectually at Loki's force field, having no more success than did Aegis's force blast.
Looking quickly around amid the chaos Emerald glances to where Delta Vee is confronting Enchantress. The large hand that caught Ravnda becomes an armored gauntlet, closes into a fist, and rockets towards the sorceress. Rick allows himself a moment to be amazed at the battle, then dodges up towards the ceiling.
Suddenly, good fortune smiles on the heroes. Distracted by Delta V, Amora is completely unprepared for the huge, emerald gauntlet that slams into her from the right flank. Amora staggers before hitting the floor to roll to an undignified stop against the legs of several brawlers, two of whom topple onto the Enchantress.
"YEAH!!!" the shout erupts from Cap, and he lifts several feet off the groud, a grin splitting his young face. "Way to go, Red!"
"Red?" Thor puzzles. "Thy manner is most strange."
Bobbing down to eye level with Thor ( his feet still way off the ground ), Cap clasps the thunder god's outstretched hand. "And let's show 'em what happens to anyone who messes with the USA!"
"Aye, lad. Whatever that meaneth."
With that, Cap wheels high above the chaos and surveys the scene, trying to target someone for a divebombing. He keeps an eye on Darkangel and Union's attempt to remove Skurge and is ready to clobber the Executioner if he manages to break their entanglements on him.
"Graaah, yourself, you Neanderthal!" Union yells over the din, his heart pounding with excitement and adrenaline, "It's time for your flying lesson!" *Ready Darkangel? Let's get this guy out of here,* With that Union forces Asgard's electromagnetic fields to bear him upward with his best possible speed while hauling Skurge's leg upward with the all the force his mechanically- augmented body possesses.
As he moved upward, a casual flick of Union's head sent his abandoned broadsword flying off the floor into the recesses of the roof like a weapon wielded by an angry ghost, glowing with Saint Elmo's fire to shatter one of the large windows among the buttresses. KRAAASH! and glass rains down.
*OK, DA, There's our target. Let's get him out of the fight before he can hurt anyone...*
Darkangel has no time to think over his surprise at Union's timely assistance. A telepathic *OK partner* serves as his signal to the armored man, and Dark uses his own ample muscle to send the Asgardian hurtling toward their window target.
Together, Union and Dark Angel are easily able to lift even the massive Skurge, who must weigh over 500 pounds, into the air. Then, like cracking a whip, the Executioner is flung free from Union's electric wire and Angel's darkforce lariat, hurtling upwards to THWACK! forcefully into the thick granite arch just slightly to the side of the smashed window.
"Drat! Sliced it! Still, I think we're under par, Dark Angel." Union's mechanically altered voice conceals much, but not all, of Adrian's excitement...*It's Working! We're actually beating these guys!*
Then, in the next instant, Skurge is plummeting headfirst to smash into the floor, taking down a couple of brawlers with him. Amazingly, the giant Asgardian is still conscious, but he is struggling to stand, shaking his head, trying to push through a haze of pain.
*It's hard to think that I'm actually not surprised that this guy is still standing...* Union moves in a precise blur, flying over the crowd some twenty feet outside the stunned executioners possible range. His electrical wire snaps forward and back with a whip like crack, a yard from Skurge's head, "OK, Skurge, let's finish this..."
*Ok, he's set up, now to send it into an impossible arc over his head with the magnetic fields and let the charge rattle his synapses.*
Seeing Loki's malevolent magics begin to manifest Ravdna uses her spear to pole vault over the God of Mischief. Once over Loki she is poises herself to swing Gungnir into the dark god's side.
Ravdna, displaying impressive agility, succeeds in her flanking move, swinging her spear with all her might, only to be sorely disappointed when Loki's force field again proves more than a match for any of the heroes' attacks thus far. Again, Loki's cruel, mocking laugh cuts the air.
"The time hath come for thee to be alone!" Loki cackles at Ravdna. "Sealed alive in a grim tomb of stone!"
The floor under Ravdna heaves and buckles, and then, in the blink of an eye, the brave Valkyrie is solidly, completely encased in a magically formed column of granite!
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© 1999 Mark L. Chance et al