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It was a bit of a rough landing, but they survived thanks to Anubis' control over sand. Vic leaps over the side and joins the fray with his comrades, the sandstorm not being that much of an issue for The Mantis' armour. It was thick enough and his cowl had lenses so he was able to move through it with relative ease.
He leaps in with the SHIELD agents, fighting the monsters, his super powers giving him a significant advantage. He was actually able to take down some of these creatures, and even more while alongside Anubis' Anubi. When the path was more clear, The Mantis takes up Anubis' side and listens as he calls out Osiria. However, the only answer to his call is the large temple doors opening slowly, a light from the inside now being seen.
[b “I think she wants us inside.”] Vic states the obvious, however, it was a sentence born from caution. If she wanted them in there, it was either a trap or she had some kind of advantage, and considering Vic didn't have any magic powers and [i he] could feel the energy radiating from the temple, it could just as easily be both of those things. Either or, Vic was prepared to go through Hell and back to stop Osiria and Osiris with Anubis.
Anubis growled, and soon he was under the lifeboat, holding it steady as he used the sands to slow down their descent. As soon as they had landed, he set the boat down and he let out a howl. But to the humans’ surprise, the response came in the form of sand taking the shape of his warriors, which looked like rotting versions of himself. “ATTACK!” He barked at the warriors, and immediately the large anubian figure began to swarm in on the enemy, taking them out when they had a chance. And as he turned to Vic, he smirked. “That’s one trick I save for these kind of moments.” He told them, then he hurried into the sandstorm, the sand not even making him flinch. “Osiria, I call you out! Face me or perish!” He shouted, holding an Egyptian sword and shield.
Vic watched in awe as the boy Anubis turned in to the God Anubis right in front of him. Truly having the power of the divine on their side assured their victory... But at the same time, Osiria was powered by Osiris. This truly was going to be a spectacle and Vic only hoped he could do his part and contribute. He had powers, Captain America level powers, but he wasn't a god or powered by one. That said, he could still be good back-up for Anubis, it wasn't [i just] going to be Osiria there, after all.
When Anubis reminded him that they mustn't tarry, Vic nods and then nods to the agents who stayed a safe distance back. They filed in to the lifeboats, back up to the helicarrier, and then they blasted off to the Temple of Osiris in no time. However, when they got there, they were greeted by a sight that sent chills down Vic's spine. There was a spiral of sand around the temple almost like a sand tornado was forming, and outside, the SHIELD agents that were just supposed to stand guard were engaged in combat, many dead or injured as they fought monsters and mummies armed with ancient weaponry.
They begin descending to the desert below once again, however, this time their lifeboat is struck by one of Osiris' minions, taking out one of the thrusters and sending their lifeboat spiralling towards the ground at neck-breaking speeds.
Anubis looked at him and sighed. As they talked, the helicarrier approached the destination, and as the time went on, the heroes prepared themselves to drop to the sandy dunes of Egypt, where the temple of Anubis was. “It has been many centuries...” he said without thinking. And he told Vic to follow him. As they approached the altar, the boy’s skin began to change, deteriorating slowly, revealing the black skin of his true form, and his head began to elongate to reveal the muzzle of a jackal. After several moments, the god turned to look at his companion. “We must hurry...the female has begun her attack.” Anubis spoke in a deep tone
It seemed like Nick Fury took what Anubis said and ran with it. He began barking orders and soon enough, the helicarrier was on its way to Egypt. During that time, Vic formally introduced himself to Anubis and told him what had happened at the warehouse and what he discovered after his fight. It was funny to him how fast things could move in such a short period of time and that he was finally a fully-fledged superhero.
A few hours later, they were in Egypt. They sent another team to surround the Temple of Osiris while they brought Vic and Anubis to the Temple of Anubis. It was in the middle of the desert, far from civilization, a fitting placement for the God of the Afterlife.
They descended to the desert on one of the lifeboats with a small team to accompany them. In front of them lay a massive temple erected for the God Anubis. Vic turns to look at his friend Anubis who it seemed was [i really] this god. [b “I guess you're going in. Do you want me to come?”]
The boy nodded, having a newfound strength to get up, and the way he stood showed he was confident. “We should do everything we can do to stop her from taking over the planet...” he told Vic. “Also, what happened while you I was in trouble...? Did you find out something?” He asked, looking at Vic’s bruises and the damage to his suit. “It looks like you fought some kind of shredder...” he said, examining the suit carefully, and he sighed. “If I am to defeat Osiria...I must visit the temple of Anubis to gain more strength before the battle...” he explained, and Ruhak came up to Vic and nudged his hand gently, meaning he trusted him.
When Anubis mentioned he had memories from centuries ago, and that the monsters were warriors of other Egyptian gods, for a second, Vic believed he might be Anubis but then shook it off... But things like this weren't all that strange. They had a Norse God in the Avengers, and Moon Knight was the avatar of Khonshu, the Egyptian God of the Moon and vengeance... Hell, he was dressed like a praying mantis!
“You might find this interesting.” Fury said, putting his phone in Vic's face. It was footage caught from a body-camera and it was of a woman in Egyptian looking armour over Anubis, pointing the sceptre at him. This was footage from the attack. The most interesting thing about the footage was the audio.
[b “Osiris and his avatar Osiria.”] Vic mumbled to himself. It did seem like Anubis was pivotal in this after all, and it had something to do with him dying by the sceptre and Egypt. [b “Is there a Temple of Osiris in Egypt?”]
Fury was already on it. “Yes, but its closed to the public.”
[b “That must be where they're going. They'll be expecting us. If part of the plan is to kill Anubis, its going to be a trap.”] He says and then looks at Anubis. [b “Do you think you'll be able to stop Osiris?”]
He sat up slightly, his body aching from the before mentioned loss of stamina. “Y-yeah...I remember fighting those...things...some of them were the warriors of Horus...others were Serket’s as well...” he said, still having some nostalgia from the days of old. “For some reason I remember centuries ago...during the age of the Egyptian gods...” he said, looking at vic with a slightly concerned smile.
Mad Jack had mannahed to get himself up, and used his spring to hop around towards the factory, preparing to add some tricks to his arsenal. “Oh Mantis...you haven’t seen the last of Mad Jack...not by a long shot!” He cackled, taking parts from some of the machines and using them to upgrade himself, and use magic due to the cursed land.
Time was of the essence, and he didn't have any to fart around trying to contact Anubis. He was with SHIELD, and right now he had a pretty easy way of contacting them. He pulls out Fury's phone and opens up a distress beacon. It didn't take long before some SHIELD agents showed up, pointed their weapons at him and demanded to know why he had the directors equipment. One of the agents looked a little worse for wear. [i Aw shit.]
It all made sense. SHIEILD had the sceptre and the bad guys were on their way to Egypt, but they needed the sceptre first. It wasn't exactly a funny situation, but Vic laughed for a moment.
“Whats so funny?” One of the agents asks.
[b “I know something SHIELD doesn't know. Including where to find them.”] Their guns train on him harder. [b “I'll spill, but I'll only tell Anubis! We have sort of a working relationship.”] He tells them, and with the prospect of learning more, they take The Mantis on to their cruiser and head back up to the helicarrier.
Before they go to the helicarrier, they cuffed Vic, and held on to his cowl for him. Like the other agent, Vic looked relatively beat up too. He had that fight earlier with the sorcerer where he got his broken nose, his fight with Mad-Jack left him with bruises under his suit. The suit itself had gashes, scrapes, and scuffs from the fight with his mechanical arch-nemesis. With his cowl off and the suit on, Anubis would have no trouble deducing that The Mantis and the concerned citizen were the same person.
They brought Vic through the helicarrier and he took stock of the damages they accrued here. Claw marks, bullet holes, plasma residue, and a ton of sand, it was clear that they were attacked. Before he's able to enter the medical bay, Fury stops him, and one of the agents gives him his phone back.
[b “Maybe password protect it next time. I gotta get me one of those.”]
“I didn't even notice this was gone... We could use someone like you.”
[b “Maybe I'll take you up on that once this is over and done with. For the moment, I really need to talk to Anubis. I don't know how, but he's at the centre of all this.”]
“I was beginning to think that once the ship got attacked by those Egyptian monsters. Mind filling me in?”
Vic nods at him. [b “You're welcome to sit in while I talk with Anubis. We're probably going to need your help anyways.”] And Fury nods at that, and they both go in to the medical bay which was packed to the brim with people injured during the attack. It was like a bomb had went off. They lead him to Anubis' bed, leaving Vic handcuffed still and they wake the young hero up.
[b “Remember me? Its your pal, The Mantis.”] Vic says with a small grin. His identity wasn't an issue for the moment, this whole other ordeal took precedence over it. [b “Whoever these people who are after the sceptre are on their way to Egypt. I think you're somehow at the centre of all of this, I don't know how or why, but you are. And you could be the key to stopping these fiends. Did you learn anything during the attack?”] Any and all information was helpful.
Anubis groaned, slowly standing, but immediately collapsed back onto one knee,breathing heavily. “I...I’m fine...but...she has the scepter...” he said before he passed out again, having spent what little energy he had left to stand up. Immediately the survivors took the young hero to the medical bay, trying to get him to wake up.
Mad Jack’s broken body fell with a hefty thud on the ground by a broken carousel that was part of the toy cemetery that the toy company frequently dumped toys that didn’t work, but little did any of them know that the very spot they chose was cursed, able to bring toys to life, but at the cost of making them dangerous and killer toys. After the Mantis had left, a dark energy swirled around the hulking Mad Jack, as if deciding if he was worthy of power. Soon enough, the dark energy began to seep in between the cracks in his metal torso, infusing itself with his parts and making him start to power up. His massive springs creaked and groaned as he used his arms to push himself up, that way his box was sitting with the openin pointing upward.
A crescent kick here, a reverse mantis strike there, and his foes were incapacitated. He was holding one of the baseballs bats that he had grabbed before knocking the last guy out, and snaps it in half with his hands. Now that this whole ordeal was over and done with and the power was on, The Mantis takes a quick look around, finding computers that looked like they had been used. They were older, no doubt used by this evil group because it made less of a paper trail.
He booted one up and began skimming through the files it had. It was eerily clean, so that means these people probably got ride of the information somehow... Which would be a problem if he wasn't carrying around a super spy's phone. He plugs it in to the computer and immediately all the files that had been removed were tracked and brought back. He looked at the most recent files, going through what he could about the plans, but it seemed those were still far and in between on here. These people made sure to make a minimal amount of noise doing anything, even their plans. Saying that though, once he opened up some more information, he quickly learned that they had a private jet and they were going to be headed to Egypt... This whole Egyptian thing was very prominent, and he couldn't look at Anubis' involvement being a mere coincidence. It had something to do with him.
He was about to leave when another small detail caught his notice. It was a file from the Twilight Toy company which read 'Toy cemetery'. Although he didn't have all the time in the world, Vic curiously opened it up. [b “Interesting.”] Vic says as he reads the information.
Before he left, using his super strength, The Mantis made sure to drag Mad Jack out in to the toy cemetery out of respect for being his first big villain. Soon he departed back for the city. He had to track down Anubis! Luckily with Fury's cellphone still on his person, he had Anubis' contact information.
Once Anubis had expunged the helicarrier of these cheap imitations of Egyptian monsters and collapsed, there was a soft clapping noise coming from one of the halls. Soon enough, the figure exposed themselves to be the cloaked sorcerer.
[+red “Good job, Anubis. I knew you could do it at the cost of your stamina. And that's all I needed to get [i this]!”] They held out the sceptre to show Anubis. [+red “I suppose since I'm going to kill you I can reveal to you who I am.”] They say and they pull away the cloak.
Before Anubis is a woman with a dark complexion, dark hair in dreadlocks, and golden and black Egyptian armour. [+red “I am Osiria, avatar of Osiris! The [i true] God of the Afterlife. And now to complete His plan, you will perish!”] She levels the sceptre towards Anubis' face, the end glowing with deadly magic. However, before she pulls the metaphorical trigger, a bullet ricochets off the wall near her head.
SHIELD survivors were on their way, and they were eager to helps Anubis. Osiria curses under her breath and makes a run for it, jumping out of the ship and disappearing in to the night sky.
“Are you okay, Anubis?” One of the agents asks, as two of them attempt to bring him to his feet.
Anubis finally got serious, dropping his shirt and the symbols on his shoulders began to glow, meaning he had reached his limit in his human form. “ENOUGH!” He bellowed, the sand sweeping through every hallway, corridor, and even outside, shredding the monsters into ash, but when he finally had finished, he collapsed, all his energy spent from his limit. And before he could do anything, he passed out. Soon the survivors came to find Anubis unconscious on the floor in the hallway, breathing shallowly from expending almost all his energy to stop the assault.
The factory was a mess, unconscious thugs and other lowlifes were strewn about the entire factory, but the sorcerer was nowhere to be found. But the one thing that needed done was to put Jack in a cemetary, since he belonged with the dead.
Mad Jack went down, his thunderous fall deafening Vic for a moment as he catches his breath. Never in his life has he fought something like that, but he figured he would have to get used to it. There was still an evil Sorcerer out there, after all, and figured whatever they had planned was probably more dangerous than this trap.
His hearing came back pretty quickly, and just as it did, it seemed all the doors in the warehouse burst open. Thugs armed with a range of weapons from police batons to fire arms surrounded The Mantis, circling him like hungry sharks would their prey. He stands still for a moment, taking a centring breath. Quite the predicament he was in now. He only had one shot to get out of here intact, any misstep and he'd get shot and he was pretty sure he wasn't bulletproof. He simply stood there for a moment, not making any sudden movements to draw attention and attack. Like an actual mantis, he waited for his prey to move first.
It came in the form of one of the men beginning to speak. Barely a word got out and he sprung, leaping overhead, gunfire and shouting filling up warehouse. The Mantis break their circle, keeping one person in front of him at all times, discouraging gunfire as it would most likely hit one of their allies. He gets in to motion quickly, street level thugs like these being his specialty. The game went from hard to easy mode for him.
Once out of his room, it looked like the Helicarrier went through actual hell. Bodies were everywhere, there was screaming, gun fire, and the sounds of those savage beasts. As Anubis came upon one of these winged golden horrors, he was able to take it down swiftly perhaps like he did in the past, but something seemed different thing time.
The creature he had taken down ended up indeed belonging to Horus, but it wasn't as strong, and it seemed... Simply [i different and wrong]. However, as he remembered these things, when the one disappeared, instead of turning to fog after being defeated like in his memory, it turned to ash. As he presses on and annihilates more of these beasts, he finds the same occurrence, and finds more varieties of monsters, not just simply those of Horus. Something truly evil was at work here and he had to stop it!
The oversized jack-in-the-box made a weird sound before his circuitry overloaded and blew out, eventually catching his outer cloth shell on fire . And with a final creak of the metal, the hulking spring loaded monstrosity fell to the floor with a thud, shaking the entire factory. Meaning that the oversized Mad Jack was down for the count, but that was just a distraction, and soon a large group of armed goons surged from the nearby door, and hurried to surround the hero, each one holding a different weapon than the others
Anubis immediately tensed up, as did Ruhak, but his room was locked down tightly, making him unable to get out normally. But he wasn’t normal, so he used the sand covering his floor to crack open the door, and what he saw triggered an ancient memory of fighting the bird warriors of Horus. But he smirked, grabbing his container of sand and he immediately uncorked it, and jumped into the fray, taking out the warriors left and right without a problem
It seemed Vic was trying in vain to beat his adversary in combat. Sure he may have superhuman abilities and tons of martial arts and fighting experience to draw on, but Mad Jack had his nearly impenetrable box and abilities to keep him at bay, making it difficult for The Mantis to do anything. He wasn't going to give up just yet though, where there was will there was a way! Vic just had to be cleverer from here on out.
And opportunity finally presented itself! Once Mad Jack began throwing his destructive devices at The Mantis, it kept him on the defensive. He dodged, weaved, and bounded out of the way of the toys as they exploded in the places he used to be, one of the explosions even knocking him off his feet. However, once it seemed Mad Jack had run out of his terrible toys, Vic caught a glimpse of some old wires that must've been blown open now resting in the puddle of a recently exploded water main. This gave him an idea!
The Mantis leaps in the direction of the power box, rolls, and picks up a piece of debris. He tosses it in the air, a little in Mad Jack's direction, but mostly for a brief second as a distraction. The Mantis rolls again and to his feet, his hand on lever, and he yanks it down, switching the power back on! This was going to be a [i shocking] experience for the mechanical maniac.
After being reprimanded and brought back to the ship, Nick Fury left Anubis to 'think about what he did' in his room, promising more punishment the day after as other things needed his attention. For the time being, the new SHIELD recruit was left to his own devices but he wasn't allowed to leave the ship or his room for that matter, under any circumstances.
This might prove to a difficult endeavour, especially considering the lights on the ship winked out for a second, before turning back on along with the blinking red emergency lights. A began wailing soon after, signalling an emergency.
“There's been a breach in the side of the ship! Enemy bogies are inbound! We-” Static reigned over the sound systems before going quiet. Winged monsters that seemed to be made of gold and silver ran through the hall, attacking and killing everyone in their path.
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