Join Date: Jul 2008
Captain Freedom tried his best to be a beacon of hope for the others as he led the charge against Death Mask and his followers. They were making their stand here at the Fortress, and somewhere hiding amongst the sea of villains was their primary adversary, Uriah. The demon had rallied together an army of criminals bestowed with super powers by the now deceased Dr. Nova.
Osprey and Starblast took to the air and rained fire down on their assailants. They responded in kind. Captain Freedom smashed his way through their ranks, anxious to reach Death Mask. Flanking the American hero were Crusader and Devastator. Also present were American Banner, Luminary, Hyde, Shard, and of course the president of the SDL, Captain Mysterious. The team had other members but not everyone could be stationed at the same place without leaving other areas at risk.
A wave of fire rushed forward, threatening to envelope the heroes in flames. A powerful gust of wind courteous of Captain Mysterious snuffed out the inferno, paving the way for Hyde and Shard to begin pounding away at the enemy's front lines. White Rhino and Hyde came together in a mighty clash as each of them struggled to overpower the other. One of the women in Uriah's army suddenly shifted into the form of a snarling gray wolf, right at the moment that it leaped upon American Banner, and ripped and tore at his flesh with its menacing white fangs.
Blood splattered on Captain Freedom's shield as it collided with the wolf's head. Devastator filled the creature fill of holes until he was certain the She-Beast was dead. Unfortunately they had been too slow to save American Banner. They couldn't stop to mourn their fallen friend. Log Chain charged towards Devastator in a fury. When his bullets failed to slow him down, Osprey and Starblast unleashed a brutal ranged attack that left the villain reeling. Shard quickly finished the job.
Earth Shaker and Prime Concern came to White Rhino's assistance, and Hyde couldn't hold them all off. In minutes the heroes were able to aid one more name to the list of good men that had died on this historically tragic day.
The SDL seemed to lack the firepower to stand up to powerhouses like White Rhino, Prime Concern, and Earth Shaker. They just seemed to plow right through the heroes' defenses. The battle wore on for several minutes, and had it not been for the SDL's amazing courage and resilience, they surely would have given up long ago. But Captain Mysterious refused to let Uriah achieve victory. They kept fighting, leading to losses on both sides of the battle. Incessant attacks from both the air and the ground caused Earth Shaker to collapse. Prime Concern walloped Shard, and Captain Freedom guarded him while he regained his footing. All of the remaining heroes were looked ragged, and most of their costumes were in tatters.
An orb of energy was launched into the sky and struck Starblast square in the chest. Osprey flew down to catch him but was intercepted by Uriah. The demon plunged his lightning-sword clean through the armored man's heart. Both heroes fell to their deaths.
There was a loss of morale on the ground. The SDL tried to ignore it, but it became increasingly clear that defeat was imminent. And when Uriah won, the Earth would be his for the taking.
As the demon landed, he was opposed on all sides by Captain Freedom, Shard, Devastator, and Crusader. Watching from the air were Luminary and Captain Mysterious. Devastator attacked first, with both machine guns going off simultaneously. A shield of energy formed between them, and then he turned his attention to Crusader. The young martial artist lunged at him in the hopes that he could take him by surprise. But Uriah had proved faster than he anticipated. Crusader leaped and before he could strike, he found himself suspended in the air. For a second he felt nothing, and then all at once pain was coursing through him. He looked down to see blood gushing out of his stomach. Uriah's lightning-sword had pierced all the way through.
Had it been anyone else, Devastator would have been agitated by the loss of an ally. But it was not just anybody. Nor was it simply a superhero named "Crusader", instead it was his friend, Danny Hackbusch. This time he was angry. He dropped his guns and rushed at Uriah with his knives in his hands. A blast of light energy from Luminary left Uriah blinded long enough for Devastator, Captain Freedom, and Shard to rush the demon.
One of Uriah's teeth was dislodged by Captain Freedom's shield, and Shard's fist cracked his jaw. Uriah responded by lashing out with his sword. The blade caught Shard in the leg.
Uriah struck Devastator in the shoulder with his palm, and the mercenary was suddenly lit on fire. Captain Mysterious cast a simple spell that extinguished the flames. Captain Freedom clobbered him with his shield, before getting zapped with an energy blast. He dropped his shield and would have to expose himself to another attack to retrieve it. Somehow he managed to stay in the fight, but then Death Mask entered the fray, forcing the hero to divide his attention between the two masterminds.
"You will never be Roger Stevens," Death Mask said grimly, before flooring him with a punch.
"Calvin!" called out Captain Mysterious as he landed beside him.
"I'm alright," Captain Freedom assured him.
"You have to go," Mysterious told him, not taking his eyes off Uriah and Death Mask.
"What are you talking about, Richard?"
"I'm talking about survival. I've got a few more tricks up my sleeve. I think I can keep them at bay a bit longer, but the rest of you have to get out here now."
"No chance, Richard. We don't leave men behind."
Devastator clubbed him on the back of the head, sending him into unconsciousness. Shard stood shocked. Captain Mysterious gave him a nod of appreciation. "Now go!" he said, "and don't look back. Don't come back until you have with you a way of ending this war forever."
Devastator threw Captain Freedom over his shoulder and prepared to retreat. Reluctantly, Shard and Luminary followed suit. Leaving Captain Mysterious to his death was a feeling none of them were comfortable with. It was a decision that would haunt them painfully.
Richard turned to face Uriah, with the expectation that he would not live through the encounter. The most he could hope for was that would provide his friends with the time they needed to escape.
"You kill him," Uriah said, "I'll find the others!"
Death Mask proceeded after them, but Richard had no plans of letting him succeed. He began to chant one of his most powerful spells, one that he had never intended to use. Bright red flames began to streak down from the sky like rain. The firestorm was burning away at everything. Richard crumbled to his knees before falling facedown on the concrete.
Uriah reached for the Rune of Teleportation in his tunic, and his eyes widened in surprise when he discovered it was gone. The flames brought pain to his entire body, and it took him a few more seconds to recover and put up a force field. When the firestorm was over, Captain Mysterious was clearly dead, but his friends seemed to have fled the battlefield. Death Mask appeared unscathed. In one hand was Captain Freedom's shield.
"You..." Uriah growled, "you took the Rune!"
Death Mask vanished. Uriah whirled around, but his wounds left him considerably weakened. He was unable to parry a sword thrust that went straight through his chest. Blood gurgled out of his mouth. Death Mask watched in silent celebration as his ally-turned-opponent lay dying.
Somehow, Uriah's lips seemed to curve in an evil grin. He muttered an inaudible phrase. Death Mask bent to one knee to listen to the demon's last words. "He'll kill you," Uriah managed to say.
"What?" asked Death Mask. "Who?"
But there was no answer. His yellow eyes glowed no more.