New StormStrike #52

Aurora stood behind her older sister as she heard what sound like a tank firing in the short distance away from them. She could see a flash of bright out of the corner of her eye to the left where the sound came from. She glanced over to see a cloud of black smoke. As she looked back at the back of Talia, Aurora could tell her sister was about to take off. She asked Talia, Whats the plan?
Talia said without a glance back at the younger sister, My plan is to ruin their day until Yuri can get in touch with whoever is in charge of this. Your plan is to try to survive while helping as many civilians as you can. Talia shot back a quick glance at Aurora over her shoulder. Move!
Aurora watched as Talia flew towards the approaching tank before she could say anything in a possible protest. Aurora quickly spun around when she heard a yell from behind her. Even though she could not understand Russian, Aurora could tell by the tone that the one who yelled was startled. She saw a female adult holding a male child close as three armed soldiers aimed their weapons at the two. Aurora extended her magnetism to yank the assault rifles from the soldiers. She then used her magnetism on the metal of their belts to left the soldiers up off the ground and hurl them away from the two. The female said something to Aurora that she did not understand but Aurora could tell the relieved look on her face that she was grateful. Aurora gave a nod before the two ran off. She turned to see Talia blasting the tank with a large amount of black matter from the side with enough force that flipped the tank over. When their eyes met, she gave Talia a smile but the elder sister just gave a stern frown. Aurora then noticed Talias gaze went behind her. Aurora turned as a soldier about twenty feet away aimed a rocket launcher at her. Aurora quickly used her magnetism to pull the rocket out of the launcher and crushed the launcher in the soldiers hands. She used the same method to shoot the soldier away as she did on the others. Aurora turned back to Talia expecting to see her sister with a look of approval for once. However, Aurora saw that Talia had already turned away and firing using her power upon another tank with enough force on the side to cause it to flip over twice. Aurora turned back to see seven soldiers had their weapons pointed at her and one shouting at her in Russian although she did not understand a single word.
Then Aurora heard it. The sudden sound of a rushing wind to her right. She said softly with a grin, This is not going to be good for you guys. She barely caught a glimpse of him but she knew all too well what was happening as the blur began disarming the soldiers then fighting them. The soldiers could not connect once as he was too fast for them. As the final one fell, the blur stopped moving. Hey, just in time like always.
Steven turned to her as the black jet lowered behind him. What the hell is going on here? And why are you fighting the Russian army?
Aurora looked over her shoulder as she replied, I think Talia can explain it better than She noticed her sister was looking towards her with a soldier just behind her with his rifle aimed. Aurora used her magnetism to swiftly pull the gun out of the soldiers hands.
Talia barely looked at the soldier when she heard the sound of a helicopter landing. She looked around to see the tanks began to stop and soldiers began to stand down. Talia looked back at the soldier and said in Russian, It seems someone just saved you. She walked over to helicopter as those who exited the jet were gathering near her sister. Talia looked at the male that exited. Again she spoke Russian. You know the rules, General.
My men are only standing down for a moment. You are lucky your superiors in the FSB asked me to extend this courtesy.
Talia looked around to notice the army was actually standing their ground and staying ready. She looked back at him. Why are you doing this?
We are seeking a criminal and murderer.
Talia said with a hint of a menacing tone, These are all metahumans. If there is someone who is a criminal here, Ill handle it.
So you will stand at my side on this one?
Talia shook her head. No. I will stand where I belong between you and these people. She took a step closer. Attacking everyone because of one person, I will not tolerate.
With your brother in America, I will not take your threats.
Talia gave a wicked smile. You make the same mistake everyone does. My brother and I keep each other in check. Were actually more dangerous when were apart. She changed her expression to a serious one. Now we can go back and forth on this all night. However, if you give me the name of the person involved and show me what proof you have, I can deliver the person. But you have two choices. Option A is you leave and let me do my job. Option B is we continue this with me and StormStrike over there embarrassing you then you limp away and I still do my damn job. Pick one. And I hope you go with B because Id like to see what all of them can do.
He looked around at the damage then asked, All of them?
Talia nodded. All this was caused by myself and just one of them. When he glared at her, she continued, Yes, just me and my little sister. And my brother seems to adore her so if you hurt her, well Id hate to be you when he comes back. She looked around again at the remaining tanks and soldiers then returned her attention to the General. Wait. Who was murdered for the army to get involved?
The Secretary General of the United Nations was killed while she was in Moscow earlier tonight by a metahuman. And it is so close to the United Nations summit on metahuman activity taking place, you know. Since the only metahumans in Russia besides yourself and your brother are here, we want answers and they are here.
Talia gasped. But every meta here is low powered and they believe in keeping to themselves. And I doubt he or she would be able to get by security. But I will find out if anyone here was involved. The people here and I have a relationship and understanding. I think your troops would be better served protecting other high ranking officials.
He thought for a second. You have twenty-four hours to deliver or we will continue this. And Im only giving you this because of your reputation of being able to get things done.
Can you tell me anything about what happened and how?
Metahuman turned the Secretary General into some kind of crystal. Then shattered her into pieces. We dont know anything else yet.
Talia nodded. But as far as I know, nobody here could do that. She pulled out her phone and pressed a single button then put it to her ear. After a couple of rings, she got an answer. She spoke Romanian into the phone, Hi, Anastasia. I need to talk to Yuri. She paused then said, If you hear from him, tell him to call me. Ill try his other number though. And Ill talk to you later. She hung up the phone and made her way over to StormStrike. You guys need to work on your response time. You took too long.
Jai said, Look, we got here as fast as we could.
Talia responded, If that was the fastest, it was dismal and you need to practice to do better. But right now, we got much bigger things to deal with. I am trying to reach Yuri to get you guys official sanction to work on this one here. The United Nations Secretary General was killed tonight by a metahuman in Moscow. She felt her phone vibrate in her hand and she looked to see who was calling. Ill be right back. She turned as she answered the phone and began to walk away. She spoke in Russian. Yuri, did the U.N. Secretary General really get killed by a meta? She listened to the answer. Fine, since StormStrike is here, I want to use them on this.
Yuri answered back, Thats fine. Im working on recalling your brother as well.
Dont. Since this is a U.N. incident, his being that close to New York might be needed. Ill take care of it on this end. By the way, since the U.N. was involved, does that mean that Team Omega has been called in as well?
They have been scrambled to protect the next Secretary General since they are trained to deal with metahuman threats.
Talia asked, Are we sure its a metahuman? She took a quick pause to take a breath then said softer, It could be the Discord trying to discredit metahumans again.
I would not count it out as a possibility. I will see to giving StormStrike clearance while under your command, Agent Dark Force.
Talia thought how it has been a long time since Yuri referred to her by her agent call name. She knew he normally reserved it when the situation was very dire. Talia looked over where she made eye contact with Aurora who eyed her. Even if you cant get that clearance even if I know you will, you tell those in charge that I will still handle this with a member of the family.
Yuri was silent for a moment before he spoke. Speaking of the family, your brother is on the other line. I would guess he just got the news. Let me talk to him while I get that clearance for you.
Talia put her phone into her front pocket as she walked over the StormStrike. She said, Everyone, officially you have no official position in Russia. Yuri is working on that for this incident but in the meantime you all are to stick with me.
Jai asked, Do they know anything about who was responsible?
Talia shook her head. Only crystal formations were used. She looked around as people slowly emerged from where they hid. And all the metahumans here are very weak and I dont know any who can do this. She looked back at Jai. I guess you dont know Russian. After Jai shook her head, Talia looked at Aurora. I already know you dont. Talia noticed Drake stepped closer and she glared at him. Dont tell me. You speak Russian.
Drake laughed. Hell no. He said softly, During the time StormStrike was disbanded, I spent my time finding out what metahumans could do what. Sort of in hopes of putting together a new StormStrike. He looked at Jai. Before you returned. He looked back at Talia. There has been only one metahuman we were aware of that could create and control crystals.
Jai asked, Where can we find this meta?
Drake shook his head. I know she cant be responsible. As Jai opened her mouth about to speak, he cut her off. Shes been dead for years. Killed by the Metahunters as one of their earliest kills. And the irony of it all is that metahuman was a personal friend to Jason Hunters daughter.
Ryder interjected, Nikki.
Drake asked Ryder, You know about her?
Ryder nodded. Ariel told me about it when I asked her about a necklace she always wears. But Ariel said she could never use her power to hurt someone.
Drake smirked. Look, kid, any power can be used in a deadly way if the person wants to. Like take for instance a person who could cause deserts to become rain forests, a person who could make the planet a paradise. Know who that person is? She almost dropped a mountain range on you as she wiped out a metropolitan city without blinking. Death count was never officially totaled to this day. He looked at Talia again. But the crystal creator has been dead for years and theres no record of another.
Taylor asked with uncertainty, A relative of the person maybe? She looked at Aurora. Her family has the same powers, right?
Aurora answered, Because both parents have the same powers. She looked at Steven. His father had his grandparents powers too. They were the first on record of that happening. She looked back at Taylor. So it would mean those powers were shared.
Drake nodded. Right. But there is another possibility. He looked at Taylor. It could be another one like her. Someone who used that damned drug.
Talia sighed. Were getting nowhere. You guys can continue flapping about whatever. She turned to walk away.
Jai ran to catch up to Talia. You think the person is here?
Without breaking her stride, she responded, No. Like that guy said, whoever used this power knows how to use it without even being seen. And to kill a high ranking person would mean the person wouldnt hide from the army he or she could easily defeat. Talia stopped in her tracks to look at Jai. Its just maybe someone here knows something. These are good people and if you dont believe me then you can go back to your group.
Jai was surprised at that reaction. You really seem to care for these people.
I dont care if you believe me or not.
Jai responded, I didnt say I didnt believe you. Its just when I think Ive got you pretty much figured out, you surprise me again.
What do you mean?
Jai gave a small shrug. Like with everyone happy about Travis not being dead, Id figure you would be as well. But you have been so distant about that. And since you went through almost the same thing, I would have thought youd be the most understanding about that. I dont get it.
Youre right. Talia began to walk away as she said, You dont get it and you never will. Talia walked up to a young one and she spoke in Russian. Vlady, as I was about to ask before, where is Viktor?
Hes dead, he answered with a tear.
In the attack?
He shook his head. He died over a week ago.
Talia put a hand on his shoulder gently. When he looked up at her, she said, Im sorry for the loss of your father. Listen, do you know any metahuman that can create crystals?
Thanks. Hey, will you be fine here? After he gave a short nod, Talia smiled. Ill keep an eye on you. She watched him walk away then turned to see Jai in front of her. What? Her tone was a sharp one.
You were comforting him, Jai said with a hint of disbelief.
I thought you couldnt speak Russian.
Jai shook her head. I cant. I can read body language though.
Talia glared at Jai. Lets see if you can figure this one out. Talia gave her the middle finger. I really hate it when people try to examine me so stop it. She looked around. Too bad Viktor is dead. She looked at Jai who gave her a blank expression. Viktor had an unusual power. He could find metahumans and know what power the person possessed. Thats how so many ended up here. When my brother and I found him, he was surprised he didnt detect us being so close. He said something blocked him seeing us.
Jai asked, Does your brother get along with those here too? Did he get along with this Viktor?
Talia let out a small laugh. He got along with him better than I did thats for sure. Viktor thought I was too much of a rebel as he put it. She changed her tone to a completely serious one. Viktor would have made finding this metahuman a little easier if the metahuman would have been in his range.
So since we cant have him help what is our next step?
Talia looked at Jai with disbelief. Youre actually asking me?
Jai nodded. I know it seems odd for me to follow your lead. However, I never been to Russia before and I dont know how things work around here. You do though.
Thats good that you know that. As the new leader of the team you may have to put your ego in check for whats best for the team. Talia thought for a second. Our next stop will be the scene of the crime. Maybe we can find something there. Talia noticed the look Jai gave her. What now?
Its just odd hearing you mention putting ego in check for whats best for the team is all. Ive just never thought of you like that before.
Talia frowned. What are you talking about? Ive done it many times around you. As they began walking back to the jet, Talia said, Like the first time we met. I had to stop myself from not joining my brother in that fight from the second it started. She looked at Jai slyly. Of course, I enjoyed that.
Jai stopped to eye Talia who kept walking while motioning for the others to board the jet. Jai said softly, We really need a rematch. She continued to make her way to the jet.
Over the Pacific Ocean, the silence was suddenly interrupted with a large explosion of bright energy that sent shockwaves through the water below it. When the energy faded, a lone male figure hovered over the ocean in the wake. He took a slow deep breath. He still heard the words echo in his memories.
You wield great power and capable of doing great destruction. Im telling you this because one day you will use that power without mercy. Mercy is not in your blood. The world will suffer under your hand and they will learn to fear your name, Kalivus. Avenge me, my son.
Twenty minutes later, Talia led the members of StormStrike to a building surrounded by many military and police. She walked by the barricade without breaking her stride while many military moved to step in the way of the others. When she heard Jai call out to her, Talia looked back at them. She said in Russian to armed soldiers, They are with me. Let them pass.
After the soldiers let them by, Jai said as she walked up to Talia, You sure dont have to deal with identifying yourself.
Talia replied, Maybe one day you will be able to do that in America.
Jai read the name on the building. She asked as she kept her gaze on the sign. The Ritz-Carlton?
Talia looked around. It was probably picked because how close it is to most things. She looked at Jai. Like Red Square. Talia looked at her sister who looked skyward with a startled expression on her face. Talia looked up to see the top of the building at something jagged sticking outward. She said, Head up the normal way. Im taking the faster route because thats not looking good.
Jai said, I thought we were supposed to be taught how to work better together and you keep going off on your own.
Nobody said I had to work better with you guys only you guys work better together. Big difference in my eyes. She gave Jai a quick wicked grin before it gave way to a serious expression. Besides, were just here to find out who did it and getting to the top together isnt that important. Before Jai could say anything else, Talia took off and flew up to the top rapidly. When she reached the top, she realized that what she saw was a large crystal spike that bulged from the building like it was ran through by the spike. She flew into the building carefully to avoid the crystal but then she noticed it was throughout the suite at the top. She noticed some blood splatters everywhere in the room.
Talia reached to touch the crystal and she was surprised by the cold smooth feel it had. She walked into the next room which would have been the large open living room of the suite if it was not filled with large crystal columns. Talia noticed on the walls quite an amount more of blood stains but no bodies which she figured they were already removed.
She suddenly heard some raised voices outside the door. Some in Russian and the ones she recognized were in English. Talia knew the Russian voices were telling them to move away but she knew none they spoke to could understand them. She went to the door and opened it. As startled police turned to her, Talia informed them in their language, Let them through. They are with me. She motioned for them to enter the room.
At UC Berkeley, a lone student worked late in the Space Sciences lab at a computer terminal. While he listened to a MP3 player, he did not have it turned up too loud where he could not hear anything that happened in the lab. As he typed away, he heard a sound coming from behind him. He removed the earbuds from his ears as he turned to the instrument making the noise. He eyed it with wonderment as he slowly made his way to it. He listened to the sound that almost sound like a scraping noise. He jumped into the seat in front of the terminal and typed on the keyboard frantically. He looked at screen and a very startled expression came across his face. He reached for his phone and dialed a number quickly. When he got an answer, he said, Professor, you better get over here fast. We just got something. Listen. He put the phone closer to the terminals speaker.
Ten minutes later, he was joined by a female who seemed to not take the time to get fully made up. She said, I hope its not just another false alarm. The room had a couple of other students join since he made the call.
He said excitedly, Professor, so far nobody is reporting being there. I think this is it.
Lets not jump the gun just yet. We need to get confirmation. She looked around the room. Get confirmation of any kind of what were dealing with.
A female student who sat at another terminal nodded then turned in her seat. She typed in terminal. Whoa. If I am reading the distance from source right, something must be wrong. When everyone looked at her, she continued, It says the distance is roughly 825,000,000 miles. She looked at the professor. That would put it close to Saturn.
Ariel walked out of her bathroom wrapped in a plush white robe, her hair still wet as she toweled it. The sound in the room came from her television that was on cooking show. She walked into the kitchen area of her apartment and opened the door to the refrigerator. At the moment she heard the host of the show say how easy the dish would be to make without much mess or effort to which Ariel replied sarcastically, Yeah, right. She reached in and withdrew a glass of cold water. As she closed the door, her phone rang. After she reached for the phone, Ariel looked at the name on the caller ID and answered it. What do you need, Dad?
Jason voice answered through the phone. I am just reminding you about our meeting tomorrow with the Stallworth Agency to help with Hunter Enterprises P.R.
I still cant believe you convinced me to be part of that. Ariel could tell that her father must have been smoking one of his cigars as she heard him take a puff even though he tried to cover it up by moving the phone away.
Jason responded, Do I need to remind you? You are the future of the company and even though you dont want to be an executive yet, it will be good to get your face in the public eye once in a while. Make you the likeable person that people of your generation will look forward to taking over the company from me. He let out a very slight laugh almost under his breath. From me. You know the villain face of the company.
Ariel took a deep breath then exhaled in a way to show her disinterest. Okay, fine. Ill be there on time. Ariel hung up the phone then reached for the remote to change the channel. She stopped on All-News Network to see Cameron Barnes reporting about the death in Russia.
Heather walked out of the kitchen of the White House as she had a hard time sleeping. She ate out of small fruit cup as she walked. She had to walk pass her fathers room and she noticed a light on. She looked in to see him sitting in bed reading. Heather said playfully, You should be asleep.
He looked up at her and smiled. So should you. As he was about to say something the phone next to his bed rang. Hello. As his daughter just stood in the doorway, he listened to the phone intently. Did I just hear you right? He waited a moment then said, Get the joint chiefs gathered and while youre at it also tell Kurt Wade to join us.
After he hung up the phone, Heather asked, News about U.N. Secretary General?
He shook his head. No but bigger.
Thirty minutes later, Vice-President Whitmore walked into the Oval Office and looked around the room at the four in uniform which were three generals and one admiral, Kurt, Lacey and President Gordon. He asked, Is this for real?
One of the generals replied, The signal was first picked up by some student at UC Berkeley. Weve been monitoring it since and can confirm it.
Kurt sighed. I cant believe this.
President Gordon said, We may need Storm more than ever before which is why I asked for you to be here.
Whitmore asked, Any chance this thing will avoid us?
The general replied, It does not seem like it. Berkeley picked it up when it was near Saturns orbital path. Since then its gotten closer.
How close?
The general said, Its in orbit above our planet already. It wasted no time getting here from out there. And sitting up there now and the size of it is massive.
Kurt asked, How are you planning on addressing this one, Mister President? There are going to be people who will see it up there.
Lacey said, You may as well tell the truth at this point. Too many will know whats going on. As everyone looked at her with a startled expression, she said, I may be here because Kurt asked me to join this meeting as the new public relations director of StormStrike but I know the press and you wont be able to keep this quiet too long.
As the military members grunted and smirked, President Gordon coughed then said, Thats pretty bold but I like it. That is the way to go, Miss Harper. That way I can tell the people to remain calm. He looked at the military in the room. And put the armed forces on alert just in case. As the generals and admiral began to leave the room, he said to Kurt, This is really not a good time for this.
Kurt nodded. I dont envy you one bit. He stood up. Ill work on getting StormStrike prepared for whatever this is.
Good but we need all of them.
President Gordon nodded. All of them. You tell Blake we cant have him on the sideline for something this big if this gets violent. We have an alien ship above our planet and we cant have one of our best players on the bench.
Kurt nodded then motioned for Lacey to follow him as he left the room.
Lacey stopped to turn. She said, President Gordon, by the way, your daughter is an excellent student in one of my classes at Lincoln Academy. After he gave her a small grin and nod, she turned back to head out.
As they were walking out, Kurt asked her softly, What made you say that?
Lacey replied almost in a whisper, It seemed like he could use some normal good news at the moment. She gave a small grin as they walked out.
About five hundred miles above the Earth, an ominous large black craft stood motionless.
The U.N. Secretary General murder investigation continues.
The mysterious Kalivus begins his assault.
An alien ship is above the planet.
A new era begins

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