Jan 21, 2019 6:51 PM
The Keres is dead
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There's a clear trail of destruction along the city, starting at a literal hole in the ground and moving towards where the over forty-five-feet-tall monster is. But even if that path is where there has been the most destruction - completely leveled buildings, melted rock and metal, a trail of ash and charred bodies - the monster clearly has reach, for a large radius around it is variously destroyed, too. Toppled buildings, people, dead or severely injured, fissures on the ground large enough to swallow trucks whole.

Several hundred feet behind the monster, much closer to the hole than to it, next to a mostly-toppled building and out of sight of anyone who might be looking but still at a place that has not been evacuated yet, an impossible three-dimensional structure manifests. It looks a lot like a hospital hallway. There's a woman with a very nice suit carrying a small unconscious girl in her arms. She doesn't step out of the hallway, and merely kneels to deposit the girl on the asphalt. She stands up, and the structure disappears, leaving no evidence of its short-lived existence other than the sleeping form, unhurt and unbothered, completely out of place in the hell that New York has become.

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She becomes bothered fairly quickly. It's not like this place is quiet.

This is- wrong? What... what is happening?

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The thing that's happening the most seems to be...

...this. It's happening a lot. It's really, really happening, really hard. It's far enough that it shouldn't be happening to her but it's still very much happening.

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Aaah!

She pulls at- something, instinctively, and a shadowy grey figure appears beside her to throw up an iridescent field between her and that thing. This is not quite comforting.

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The thing doesn't notice her. It proceeds away from her, and various other people - wearing capes and colourful costumes and masks - fight it, throwing things at it, shooting it with lasers and guns and what-have-you. It claps, and she can feel the vibration in her bones, and then it points at someone who was too close and a bit of lightning goes from the tip of its finger to that person and now they're dust.

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But she can see an echo or something, standing where they were. And if she reaches, she feels like she can grab it-

She does.

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- swirling through the void, much bigger than the Earth, than all the Earths, present in all of them at the same time, looking -

She gets a feel for the power the echo contains, an intuition. Enhanced speed, durability, stamina, endurance, strength, or a ranged set of attacks - but only one of those at a time.

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Attacks might draw attention. She doesn't want to draw attention. Stay down, stay low. At least until she can figure out what's happening.

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There aren't any people nearby, it seems like they're all either gone or dead or nearly so. The fight advances, and the monster's periodic attacks are all as devastating as or even more devastating than that clap. Most people stay well away from it, and those who stray too close will occasionally spontaneously melt, and leave echoes...

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...Collecting those is very tempting.

As the monster moves up, she follows, keeping the same safe distance between her and it.

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- two of them, communicating.

- PATH. -

- AGREEMENT. -

- POSSIBILITY. GOAL? -

- DISAGREEMENT. UNDERSTANDING. -

- AGREEMENT. -

- she's on the ground, as if she lost her balance. That was stronger than the previous vision. But she didn't grab for anyone now. It just happened. And the echo - there is/was another one of those echoes, inside that building over there, but it's disappearing - coalescing - attaching -

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There is too much going on and she understands very little of it.

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And there's some movement over there -

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Aaah- another pull and another shadow and this one blasts at the movement with lightning-

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- and is neatly blocked by a forcefield. Behind it there is a - person, gender indeterminate, probably human except it looks like their skin is completely white and their face is completely featureless. Kinda creepy. They're carrying a younger girl, who's clinging to them and crying. There's - definitely a shade, there, attached to the girl and through her to the white person.

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The girl seems uninjured, but given the amount of dirt on her clothes and the way some of them are ripped she probably got very lucky. The forcefield disappears and the white person walks towards the other girl.

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"What- what do you want?"

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That causes the little girl to notice her. The white person deposits the girl on the ground and winks out of existence. "Um."

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She watches guardedly, three shadowy figures tracking her gaze.

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She blinks at the figures. "You're a cape?"

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"I... don't know what that means."

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"You - have powers - but not a costume, I guess that means you're not a cape."

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"Costume. Like-" she gestures up the street at the ongoing fight.

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"Yeah. You've never seen capes?"

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"Hadn't heard them called that."

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