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[h3 Truce or dare?]
[b “Huh, that worked last time.”] Vic says to himself when Mad Jack didn't go down. It seemed since Vic upped his game so did Jack, but perhaps that was why he considered the mechanical menace to be his arch-nemesis. He was a lot more prepared this time, but that was because he wasn't just a street level hero anymore. He had more tactics and an arsenal he could use, not even mentioning his super powers and fighting skills. His foe wasn't unbeatable, he just had to get tactical.
When the lights dimmed, Vic didn't have a problem seeing since he could see in the dark. But he couldn't see the shadow of Mad Jack, so he clicks the side of his helmet so he could see in to the infrared spectrum, seeing perfectly in the dark and through Jack's invisibility, but he doesn't make it obvious. He waits ever so patiently for Mad Jack's attack, and then performs a counterattack, striking the toy in the chest as he struck The Mantis. He flies backwards, rolls, and begins gathering the discarded disks, tossing them about hallway, spreading them around. He begins moving on the spot, as if to get ready for the next attack.
[b “Why are you even here, Jack? Don't you know you're just part of The Collector's toy? Help us get off this ship and then we can settle this, or else I'll be forced to dismantle you here and now in front of all the cameras!”]
The mad toy got a real jolt, but he didn’t fall like he did last time. “You really think that’ll stop me this time?” He said, removing the disks by having a wind up minion remove them, and soon he was bouncing around again, trying to crush his formidable adversary. And as true fight progressed, the lights dimmed, making it harder to see his shadow against the floor. “Try and catch me now!” He shouted with an invisible smirk, and he popped out of his box only long enough for one attack at a time.
It seemed Mad Jack had acquired several new abilities to add to his arsenal. If it wasn't for his new suit, he might've been overwhelmed. [i 'Thank you, Stark!'] Vic thought as he dodged the exploding fireballs. One of the explosions caught him and took him off his feet, but The Mantis rolls, still in the fight. It seemed the fight was finally coming to a close when Mad Jack proclaimed he had one last trick up his sleeve, and Vic braces himself.
However, again, Vic is surprised by Jack when he vanishes from sight. A sense of urgency flew over Vic, but quickly dissipated when he noticed Jack's shadow was still visible. How the hell did he get all of these abilities?
[b “Its over Jack!”] The Mantis shouts, jumping off to the side and throws a few disks in the direction of the shadow. They stick bottom side down to Jack's invisible box, and in a fluid motion, The Mantis presses something on his vambraces, the disks, light up, and send several powerful shocks through the box to Mad Jack.
The toy was very surprised. “Jeez, you’re stronger than last time!” He said, his box hitting the floor right side up. Soon he popped out of his box, a nasty smile on his face. “But I’ve got a couple more tricks left!” He said, and a ball of fire formed in his hand. “Let’s see how well you can play with fire!” He shouted, lobbing explosive fireballs at him, each detonating on impact. But once the mantis dodged enough of his attacks, Mad Jack growled in annoyance. “Time for my last trick!” He said, and he used the magic he had gained from the curse to render himself invisible. “Now let’s see you try to dogde me!” He said, but his shadow was still visible
[h3 Get tricky]
See, Vic had assumed that Mad Jack was sort of a sitting duck. He had an upper body, but his lower body was a box; it didn't make for a lot of mobility, which is why he assumed the maniac used his box as a nearly impregnable shield. However, when he retracted back in to his box and began bouncing like he was rubber, Vic had to admit he was surprised.
The new size of the box covered more ground s it meant Mad Jack had more range. Luckily for Vic the hallways were the size of streets, so he had enough time to jump out of the way, the pancake his opponent made being that of one of his minions. [b “I'll admit, that's a pretty good trick.”] The Mantis says, getting to his feet. He fights more of the bots while dodging Jack, but finally it seems one bogs him down enough for Jack to pounce on top of The Mantis.
He throws his hands up, and the force of the box causes Vic's feet to dent the floor. He strains a little from the impact, but holds the box up up over his head. [b “You're not the only one with a few new tricks!”] He exclaims and tosses the box in to a wall before taking his signature Seven Star Mantis stance.
The robotic Mad Jack’s head flopped around like a bobble head for a second, and when he got his bearings, he chuckled. “I’ve got a new trick up my sleeve that’s just for you pal!” He shouted, and he immediately retracted into his box, but what happened next surprised Vic. The box began to bounce and was coming towards him, trying to turn him into a hero pancake. “Let’s see you survive being squished flat!” The deranged toy shouted, trying to land on top of vic. But every few minutes, he’d pop back out and toss out more robotic kremlings, but would immediately go back to trying to squish vic
Vic sneers when Mad Jack reaches in to his would be toy box and pulls out what appears to be robotic bi pedal crocodiles. It seemed like since The Mantis got an upgrade so did his adversary. However, this would end just like last time, Vic on the winning side!
He dodges between the laser blasts and robo-crocs, his already incredible strength enhanced to new heights by his new suit. His fist sheared through the robots like paper, only helped by the blades on his forearms that acted like the ones on an actual mantis' forelegs. His kicks glided through them like a hot knife through butter. Vic was astounded by his strength.
When he had to take a second, he used the robo-crocs as shields, letting Mad Jack do some of the work for him as well, his lasers blasting them in to pieces. With a spin and a more blunt kick, he sends one of the robo-crocs flying back at Mad Jack's face.
Mad Jack smirked, and he went into his box then popped back out, and he was holding a robotic kremling, and he tossed it out, along with a few others. “Sic em!” He shouted, and the wind up toys immediately ran after the two, but Vanessa was quick and shot their wind up keys from their backs, but they kept coming. “Good luck!” He said, and he started rapid firing lasers at them, which was a new trick, as he only used to fire a beam in continuation. “All I can tell you is that you’re in my playground now pal!” He shouted with a maniacal laugh
[h3 Shocking revelations]
Looking at the giant killer jack-in-the-box, Vic could see that something was different from last time. It didn't have to do with the size of his box, but something else as well. Did he upgrade himself? It really didn't matter at the moment. If Vic and Vanessa wanted to get out of here, they would need to get rid of Mad Jack.
[b “How did you even survive?”] Vic asks the murderous machine. If he remembered correctly, when Vic fought him last time, he fried Jack and that should've been the end of him. Vic would've never expected to come face to face with Mad Jack again, let alone in space. [b “Either or, another healthy dose of lightning will put you down!”] Vic remarks to inconspicuously let Vanessa know Jack's weakness and to take a shot. If all didn't go according to plan, Vic had some tricks up his sleeve. After being blind sided the first time, he vowed to never let that happen to him again.
Mad Jack had been waiting to taste sweet revenge on the very person who had shut him down only a while ago. The box shuddered a few moments, then the box popped open, revealing a newly upgraded Mad Jack. “Well well we’ll! If it isn’t Mantis!” The towering toy said with a chuckle. He seemed different, and looked a bit different as well. “I’ve been lookin’ forward to seein’ ya again!” He said, knowing that things were going to be different as there weren’t any electrical wires anywhere to shock him. But the one thing he didn’t know is that Mantis’ new companion had shock rounds
[H3 Madness returns]
There were lots of hallways for them to speed down, but this ship was ginormous. It was probably the same size of New York! Maybe even bigger! Either or, they had a lot of ground to cover, and they hadn't run in to anymore of The Collector's hired help. That made it a little more difficult on them, but it was fortunate that there was some labels to the endless doorways so they didn't end up circling around a single place for too long. Ironically, unlike them, something else was going to come from circle.
They turn a corner in one of the massive hallways and stop immediately when something is siting in the middle of it. But it wasn't just anything. This was something Vic has seen before, back on Earth, one of the things that brought him where he is today. A box. Bigger than before.
[b “Mad Jack.”] The Mantis says.
The female nodded to the mantis’ words, and she switched her ammunition to a shock round, which should be able to scramble the robots’ circuitry. “I set my ammunition to shock rounds, it should help with their programming.” She told Vic, and she got ready. “This place is more disorienting than Brinstar...” she said, and she sighed as they made their way through the maze, but what they found next was one that Vic thought he had dealt with long ago. A large scratched up box was sitting in the middle of the floor of a room, and it was the box of Mad Jack, but it seemed to have gotten bigger.
Vic watches as the suit begins to move about Vanessa's body and create the Embryo suit. It seemed similar to the nano tech of his suit but more refined. When it was finally done forming around her, The Mantis nods at her. Like she had said, they needed to get off this ship, but they would have to stop it first. It seemed Vanessa might know a bit more about alien tech than he did, or he'd have to learn fast.
He leads them out of the large cargo area and in to a large, long corridor that splits off multiple times in to different corridors that look the exact same. Vic lets out a heavy sigh. [b “This place is a maze!”] They just had to find the bridge which would take them a bit unless they oriented themselves. Or found some kind of map or schematic. However, those thoughts are put to bed when a sound comes over some kind of PA system.
“Ahhh, I see you have escaped my collection, and even found yourself a partner. You truly are resourceful. However, I can't have such impudence on my own ship, either return to your pods or I'll be forced to have you put back in pieces.” Vic doesn't respond, he looks directly at one of the cameras, raises his hand and sticks up his middle finger at it. A laugh resounds over the PA system. “So be it... Seize them, I'm allowing the use of deadly force.” And the PA system clicks off. Now they really needed to get out of here.
[b “I have an idea, but we need to find the engine room.”] He says. And to do that, he would need one of the guards to be conscious.
She looked at him, and the multicolored pack on her back began to cover her body, creating her power suit. “My name is Vanessa, but I go by Embryo.” She said to him, and her one arm became some kind of cannon. “I’m ready when you are.” She said, looking at him as he took them out, and she came out of hiding, and she got her cannon ready. “So what now?” She asked, the green face shield making it only possible to see the outline of her face. “I say we hurry and find a way off this tub.” She said to him, and she looked at her new companion.
Catching the woman from almost falling out of the pod, he steadies her before taking his hands off of her. She looked human for the most part, but her outfit looked alien to him, not something he's seen on Earth before. His own outfit might look a little alien because of the praying mantis motif, but the nano plating could be identified ask Stark made upon inspection.
[b “Not surprising. I had that experience as well.”] He told her, but he hadn't been knocked out due to his suits fancy re-breather. The plating around his mouth shifts back out of the way and the visor around his eyes go more transparent. He was showing her his face to let her know he was human. [b “The names Vic, but I'm mostly known as 'The Mantis'. Do you happen to have a name, or do you prefer 'Embryo'?”] He points at the dilapidated pod she was just in. He was assuming this woman had to have some kind of special abilities to be collected, so he wasn't going to have to carry the team in order for them to escape.
Suddenly, there was a small whirring sound and the sound of pressurized air. Vic quickly turns to look at the door on the far side of the large room. The small red light above it turns green indicating someone was opening it. He quickly grabs the girl, and hides them both behind some of the large cargo. He glances out from behind the cover to see two bipedal guards in high-tech armour looking stepping in, no doubt to take The Mantis and Embryo's pods to be displayed. He turns to look at the woman and places a finger over his lips with a silent 'shh', his visor growing dark again, and the plating moving back around his mouth.
The Mantis leaps over his cover just as they are distracted by the empty pods. He lands on one of them, taking them out instantly, before rising up, his fists pounding the guards body as he rose in rapid succession until he got to the head, which he finished with a palm thrust, putting that guard down as well. He picks up one of their plasma rifles and tosses it to Embryo. [b “Do you use guns?”] He asks. He didn't, he relied on his fists mostly, and some times melee weapons or gadgets. [b “We need to stop this ship so we can escape. Its still in motion.”] And he assumed moving t the speed of light or faster. If they wanted to get off the ship, they'd need to stop it or they'd be vaporized.
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