Heroes Legion: "Year Two": Book One: Ryker's Crusade

By Maskedhero100

Chapter 17: Heroes Legion Vs Ryker's Crusade

Ruined floors, Empire State Building: September 23rd, 2014: 11:00 AM

Despite having had the top floors from the middle up destroyed, the Empire State Building still stood grand in the Manhattan Skyline.

In one of the ruined floors, looking out at the now cut off and hurricane besieged borough.

Dr. Julius Ryker stood there, contemplating his next choice of action to ensure his crusades success against the Heroes Legion and all Metahumans.

His allies in STRIPE had made their move to cut off the city from the rest of the country like an infected ward put into quarantine and as a result isolating the metahumans here with his forces for the final battle…so now all that was left was for him to give the much needed cure to the infected patient which was the city of New York.

Cure it of the sickness that was Metahumans.

He had already given word to all his forces to launch the final assault on the last remaining stronghold of Metahumans in the city...the Blue Boy's Green zone.

Soon they would be joined by the soon to be released Bio-Hound packs waiting to be unleashed from the labs once the storm had reached the desired level of intensity.

The Hurricane winds battered against him, and the rain pelted him... but he paid the storm no heed.

He had nothing to fear from the storm.

To him it was not a natural disaster, it was divine providence.

Like the great flood mentioned in the Bible that had washed away the filth of the world, with the pure of heart, soul and being sparred the corrupted beings fate…so would this storm too serve as an instrument of a great purge.

Only it wouldn't be the rain that would cleanse Manhattan of its filthy hordes of metahuman scum, at least not entirely.

But even though Ryker in his delusion believed himself to be unstoppable with his belief that God was on his side with his genocidal plans.

He knew that the "agents of the devil" here in the city were doing everything in their power to avoid their fate…and succeeding at every turn so far…Even as the hour of judgement approached them all.

The Heroes Legion.

They had proved to be more trouble, more resourceful than he had thought.

It had been three hours since the Heroes Legion had blown up one of the Ultimate Bio-Hound labs before they could fully hatch and be released into the city.

In that time they had only managed to wreck six of his seventeen labs, the storm slowed them down as he had hoped it would…but not enough for him to not realize that if he didn't take measures to get rid of the Heroes Legion once and for all.

If he and his Crusade failed, the armies of godless metahumans still hiding among humanity would march out from the afflicted city like a plague.

He had used everything in his arsenal against them save for one thing…himself.

He looked down at the vial of Rapture in his hand hesitantly, before taking a deep breath and finding his resolve to do what he figured had to be done in order for the metahuman purge to be a success.

"For he so loveth his fellow man, he gave up his only begotten humanity…" he said bitterly, and then downed the Rapture mutagen in one gulp.

Blue Boy's Territory, Green Zone: September 23rd, 2014: 9:00 PM

Lt. Carver ran through the streets past the crowds of citizens heading into the upper floors of the 'shelter buildings' set up for the Hurricane with a fighting squad of Blue Boy's behind him.

The Blue Boy's zone was busy battening down the hatches to prepare for the worst that was yet to come from the hurricane that had overtaken the New York area.

They had already worked out a plan for the safety of everyone in the area the second they got word that the bridges had been blown.

They had realized that they had been abandoned by the outside world to whether both the storm outside and the one inside the city that was about to erupt onto the streets if what the Heroes Legion had said was true.

They had to get ready to defend themselves and the people living in this zone under their protection from both dangers.

They were lucky that before the storm had come they had already set up or re-enforced the old Paladin Militia checkpoints, watchtowers and barricades around the areas of access into what was now basically the "green zone" of Manhattan.

Stretching from the Diamond District to Yorkville in a reverse "L" shape, it was the only safe haven left on the Island now.

Or at least it would be if there wasn't the danger of being overrun by a force that had stronger weapons than they did…including an army of monsters behind them if the Heroes Legion failed in getting rid of Ryker's monster labs.

So when Lt. Carver got word of incoming from the north blockade guard, which was soon followed by reports of an approaching army coming from the east and west side of the north end of the Green Zone as they were now calling it… he realized that things were going to get ugly.

Lt. Carver walked up the ladder to the parapets of the north blockade wall.

He came to a standstill in the middle of the North Blockade's defense wall and stood there with its defenders along with the squad he had brought with him.

A few yards away stood an army of Paladins, both regular and Purifiers.

"This is not the time for a fight…" Lt. Carver shouted at the Paladins with a waterproof bullhorn, "This storm is only going to get worse, get indoors while you still can! If you drop your weapons we will consider letting you into the Green Zone to be safe from the hurricane."

"Your traitors to the human race!" the leader of the army shouted over the roaring wind, "Why would we ever surrender our weapons or accept shelter from the likes of you? We've come here to fight, to make you all pay for interfering with our sacred mission. What happened to the bridges is your entire fault; you should have let us wipe out the metahuman sickness in this city. They gave us one chance to fix this before they considered to amputate us away from the country …it's your fault we've been cut off!"

"Where is Ryker, and who is THEY?" Lt. Carver asked.

"This time…" the Paladin leader shouted, not listening or caring about what Lt. Carver had asked "we will make the metahumans and their traitorous dogs pay…then when we get word to the outside world that the metahuman demons are destroyed. The island will be reunited with the rest of New York and the country, we'll be seen as heroes and people like you will be designated as traitors who should be shot on sight! We are going to burn both you and the immoral quislings and festering metahuman freaks you've been coddling in that territory of yours pig right down to the ground!"

"If any of you had any common sense, you'd disrobe that Paladin armor and leave with the grueling shame of your barbarous actions hanging over your heads to head back home, ride this storm out with the rest of us and pray god is forgiving unlike the rest of humanity. Because when this city is reunited with the country again, they will look back and see you as killers of innocents, not heroes…" Lt. Carver shouted, "But it doesn't have to be that way for some of you, I know some of you joined these fools because you thought it was right. That you wanted to be able to protect your families, well I'm telling right now…this is not protecting, this is killing on the same level as the kind we saw while under the Dark Elite's rule. Only this time, it's you attacking a people because of what they were born as instead of the metahumans attacking you. You're trying to kill an entire district of innocent people, families, children because they are part of a minority you fear and hate…just like the Dark Elite. You want to be heroes? You're not! You want these people; you can have them over our dead bodies. We swore an oath to serve and protect against all threats to this city's people to protect them…metahuman and human. We will fight you to the last to defend our homes and families…if you are smart you'll turn around, especially those among you who still have families to protect and go back to them. This end's tonight, but how it ends will be up to you. You throw the first punch, we'll return fire…you leave, we'll let you leave. It's your choice Paladins!" Lt. Carver said, giving them one last ultimatum.

"You think we'd be this committed to wiping out the meta's if we had anyone left to protect, I've had enough of you self-righteous deluded policemen pricks. GET THEM!" the Paladin leader shouted.

The Paladin army charged at the North Barricade, firing their heavy weapons at the barricade as they ran like a pack of savage beast while and the Blue Boys manning the turrets and parapet opened fire.

The battle of Ryker's Crusade had begun.

As this was happening, in the northern end of the island near Central Park, the Heroes Legion had just finished blowing up another Bio-Hound lab.

They then stood there waiting for Robo-Warrior to get their bearings on the remaining labs with the Battle-Falcon parked nearby, anchored into the ground by special hook spikes similar to those of storm chaser vehicles.

Over the roaring wind as the Hurricane that had overtaken the city increased in power by the second, they could hear the sound of what seemed to be a war going on in the direction of the Blue Boy's Green Zone.

"What's that?" Velocity asked.

"Sounds like somethings going on in the Green Zone" Silicon responded, "We'd better go check it out…"

"No, we need to find and destroy the remaining labs…" Techne declared in disagreement, "If those creatures get unleashed a lot of people are going to die!"

"We can't do either of those, look!" Robo-Warrior said, pointing down the darkened streets of Manhattan forward from their current position.

The only light in the city was now the bolts of lightning flashing about the violently turbulent clouds in the sky above them, and they were bright enough for allowing them to see the sight of a truly nightmarish sight coming their way.

Bio-Hounds, hundreds of them…and they were not coming from just the north street, but from all adjacent streets surrounding the Heroes Legion's current position.

This meant that the worst case scenario they had been trying to prevent had occurred, the remaining Bio-Hound labs had unleashed their cargo of metahuman killing monsters onto the streets of Manhattan the instant the storm had gotten to the desired point Ryker wanted for his purge to occur within.

The monsters surrounded the Heroes Legion who adopted a defensive offensive back to back huddle, Techne retreated into the safety of the Battle-Falcon and took control of its battle systems remotely, aiming as many guns as she could at the horde surrounding the Heroes Legion.

Marty was in there with her, setting up some of the handheld weapons that could be found in the Battle-Falcon's weapons locker just in case.

He also opened up the side view slot on that door for a moment…to be able to not just defend himself, but also to allow the pieces of the summoned Fallen Legion Armor to fly out of the Battle-Falcon and attach themselves to their intended Heroes Legion outside.

They had to make sure none of these creatures killed or bit them, otherwise they'd get their powers and then there would be no chance for anyone with a M-Gene in the city and beyond.

They just hoped the same armor that proved helpful in the Battle of New York could hold up against monsters with Brawl's abilities.

"I never thought I'd miss the old New York City gridlock…" Velocity quipped, "At least the cars and new Yorker's didn't want to literally take a bite out of you!"

"What are they waiting for?" Murdoch wondered while standing beside Lynx, having already transformed into his true Gaurdemon form "and why are they all focusing on just us? Why aren't they hunting the rest of the Metahumans on this island?"

Shadow Knight's suit began detecting signs of something…big…coming their way, from the rooftops.

He looked up in the direction that the suit told him that an "incoming Target" was coming from.

"Up there…Look!" Shadow Knight declared, pointing to the rooftop of one of the buildings overlooking the intersection.

"What the heck is that, the Hulk?" Velocity said when he and the others saw some kind of…large thing, leap from building to building before crashing through the glass façade of the 17th floor of one of the skyscrapers.

They watched as from out of the smoke, dusts and shattered glass emerged…a big, horrifically deformed and hulking looking Bio-Hound, with its grey colored fleshly hair tendrils shaped to resemble a recognizable hairstyle belonging to someone they knew.

"It's Ryker." Shadow Knight said in realization.

"What the heck did he do to himself?" Lynx said completely repulsed by the sight of the now transformed Dr. Ryker.

His new form made the Ultimate Bio-Hounds look attractive in comparison!

"I guess he decided to have a taste of his own medicine?" Velocity shrugged.

"Velocity's right." Cyber-29 confirmed, "My bio-scanner indicates that Ryker has taken an overdose of the Rapture mutagen used to make the Bio-Hounds."

"…and if that was his latest version of Rapture he downed, we've got a big problem." Techne added over the communicators.

"Heroes Legion…" the transformed Dr. Ryker hissed, "At last, the time of judgement for all metahumans is here…and my legions of divine retribution are ready to go to war!"

"Ryker, what did you do to yourself?" Shadow Knight called out, even though he and his team already knew the answer.

"What you forced me to do you devils…" Dr. Ryker hissed, "Like any messiah, I sacrificed my humanity to save the world from evil. I am now the most powerful Bio-Hound in the masses, the Alpha if you will. In any wild pack the Alpha controls the pack…leads them against threats to their territory. There is no bigger threat to my crusade and my forces than you lot. So finally, I am going to finish you all off once and for all…with you gone, the rest of the metahuman demons will fall."

"And then what?" Raven called out in utter contempt, "You go outside the city and go on an international feeding frenzy?"

"That's the idea Witch…" Ryker confirmed.

"We won't let that happen!" Lynx shouted.

"You won't have any say in it, your grossly outnumbered and outgunned by my Ultimate Bio-Hounds" Dr. Ryker shouted in response, "Your defeat and demise is a guarantee!"

"He's right…" Robo-Warrior whispered to the others, "We could barely manage to beat a small handful of these monsters; there are now thousands of them!"

"Numbers and powers don't automatically win a battle…" Shadow Knight assured, "Our experience on the GW bridge showed us all that."

"What should we do?" Velocity asked, "Even if we can fight them, we won't last long against those monsters."

"I hope you all had a good life, because this is the last day you will ever see. My allies in STRIPE took care of both M-Leader and SLEET, and my Paladin Militia is keeping the Blue Boy's rebellion busy. No one is going to come and help you. You're alone you wretch's, in a world that you don't belong in. That wants you dead! You're going to die here, alone, you're corpses will be washed away in the ensuring floods soon to hit this city!" Dr. Ryker declared.

"But they're not alone Ryker…" a familiar female voice shouted from the rooftops, "They have me!"

"Commander Hardcastle?" the Heroes Legion said in surprised unison upon hearing that voice, looking up in the direction the voice had come from…from the building opposite of Ryker's overlooking the crossroad intersection.

The Heroes Legion saw something leap from the rooftop of that building and fall down through the air until it landed right in front of them, smashing up the pavement where it landed.

It was a woman.

A woman made out of what seemed to be living crystal or diamond, and if she was flesh and blood she would have been naked but since her body was pure gemstone it seemed it didn't matter.

This crystal woman turned stood up from where she had landed and turned her head to look over her shoulders at the surprised Heroes Legion with a confident smirk.

"Miss me, children?" she asked.

It was Commander Hardcastle!

"Woah, that is a really new look for you lady!" Velocity said impressed.

"Where have you been?" Murdoch asked.

"Getting used to this new body" Commander Hardcastle answered, "and trying to find you kids, you haven't exactly been easy to track down."

"Is this supposed to be a 'Big Damn Heroes' moment or something?" Dr. Ryker said in response to Commander Hardcastle's entrance, "This changes nothing, just one more metahuman demoness to destroy tonight. GET THEM!"

With a roar that almost matched the roar of the hurricane wind in volume, the Ultimate Bio-Hounds charged at the Heroes Legion.

Just like before with the Battle of New York, the Heroes Legion took their battle stance they had been trained for…and then opened all their combined power and abilities on the deadly horde of monsters.

Hardcastle was the first one to attack; she flung her arms out at the approaching Ultimate Bio-Hounds like she was throwing knives.

Shards of diamond shot out from her forearms and sailed through the air, striking and piercing the hides of the Ultimate Bio-Hounds legs and chest.

That caused them to let out a painful howl, but still they persisted in their attacking charge.

Hardcastle then drew out her arms again, and the diamond like crystal that made up her body grew a secondary layer over her forearms and hands, creating sharp stabbing spears of hard diamond.

She plunged them into the closest Ultimate Bio-Hound's, piercing and seriously wounding them.

Some tried to bite her, only to break their sharp teeth to learn they couldn't bite into her to drain her blood and gain her abilities.

Before now, it had been thought that nothing could injure someone with Brawl's powers like that.

Hardcastle's new metahuman form proved that old saying that everyone and everything, no matter how powerful…had a weakness.

Big bang's and flashes rocked the area as the weaponry of the Battle-Falcon opened up on all side's at the horde, accompanied by the weapons and power of the armored Heroes Legion.

"Fall back to the Falcon Lynx" Shadow Knight ordered, slicing at one of the Ultimate Bio-Hounds with Raiju's Claw, "you're vulnerable."

"No way! I'm not leaving this fight. You need all the help you can get" Lynx shouted over the sound of the battle.

"He's right, we have armor. You don't. These numbers are too great, you stay here to fight we'll be picking you out of one of these beasts teeth!" Silicon said in agreement, his suit's nanites pushing back a bunch of Ultimate Bio-Hound's that tried to flank Lynx, "You'll be safer in the Falcon."

"Damn it!" Lynx cursed, realizing that the Heroes Legion had a point and quickly made her way back to the Battle-Falcon.

Marty Osmond quickly opened up the door to let her in, and closed it just as quickly.

Despite their best efforts, the Heroes Legion only managed to fell a few of the Ultimate Bio-hound's and keep the rest at bay.

"We're not making a dent!?" Velocity's voice said from the zipping and zagging blur of energy racing around the area, doing its best to hold the Ultimate Bio-Hound's at bay.

"Looks like we have no choice, we are going to have to play our strongest attacks against them. See if we can cut their numbers down. I'm unloading the Bunker Blaster. Stay away from where I'm standing Velocity" Robo-Warrior warned.

Velocity heard him, and so stayed away from Robo-Warrior as he zipped around the battlefield, aiding whoever he could.

Robo-Warrior planted his feet, and opened up the chest guard of the Robo-Warrior's chest area, revealing the Bunker Blaster.

The most powerful weapon in the Powered Armors arsenal…it was capable of leveling an entire city block with its energy beam.

The positronic reactor in the center of the chest began to glow, and suddenly, with a thunder like "thwoom!" the Bunker Blaster fired into the north flank of the Ultimate Bio-Hound horde.

A massive beam of energy blasted through the monsters, killing more than half of them and finally making a dent in Ryker's forces.

"My turn, and let's hope that this works!" Raven Ducard declared, and then focused on her magic.

Her armor disconnected from her body and it's pieces flew around her as if they were caught in some kind of vortex, while Raven Ducard in her Dark Raven form flew up into the air to get a good look at the full scope of the Ultimate Bio-Hound horde bellow.

Once she had, she focused on her powers and targeted the Ultimate Bio-Hound horde.

"ZARS ARCANUX THUNDBLASTA!" she belted out over the roar of the hurricane.

The Heroes Legion and Dr. Ryker covered their eyes when hundreds if not thousands of lightning bolts shot down from the hurricane clouds above the city and struck the exact spots on the streets where the Ultimate Bio-Hounds were.

The flashes of light were so bright, it almost felt like daylight had broken through the thick and dark storm clouds above and the accompanying thunderclap was nearly deafening.

Normally, Lightning strikes in a city would never hit the ground level.

They would be pulled towards the buildings like a lightning rod, that wasn't the case here.

These lightning strikes had been summoned by Dark Raven's magic, and they would strike what SHE aimed them at.

When the blinding flashes ceased, the Heroes Legion saw that the entirety of the Ultimate Bio-Hound's had been reduced to charred cinders by Raven Ducard's powerful lightning spell attack.

Raven floated down to the ground, transforming back into her regular self after putting her all into that spell, her Fallen legion armor reattaching itself to her in the process.

She also collapsed to her knees in exhaustion, holding her armored hand against her armored head in discomfort.

"Raven, are you all right?" Shadow Knight asked coming to her side.

"I'm fine, just a little winded." Raven Ducard assured him.

"Woah!" Velocity said in awe, dropping out of super speed mode beside Murdoch to look at the charred horde with the others "Thor the god of thunder has nothing on you Raven!"

Dr. Ryker, who had managed to duck inside the floor of the building he had been overseeing the battle from walked out to look out at the sight of his burned and charred monster army.

He then looked at the Heroes Legion with a scowl.

"Yeah?" Velocity shouted at him, "That's right! We came, we saw, we kicked your monsters ass!"

"Did you?" they heard Dr. Ryker call out to them.

That was when they saw it, while some had undoubtedly been killed, the majority of the Ultimate Bio-Hound's then began to break out of the charred remains of their original hide like a snake shedding it's skin or a butterfly breaking out of a pupa.

The army was still alive and able!

"These guys just don't quit!" Velocity exclaimed in exasperation, "They're like the predator, terminator and the Aliens from Alien…all rolled into one!"

Within no time flat, the armored Heroes Legion found them besieged again by the Ultimate Bio-Hounds.

"This isn't going to be like the Battle of New York you fools!" Dr. Ryker shouted, "Unlike Meta-Master's forces, my army is far stronger than any metahuman. The majority withstood your strongest attacks, all you're doing is delaying the inevitable. Even with an army of your own, you wouldn't last long. You are deluded to think you'd win."

"Then you obviously don't know us well enough…" a familiar female voice shouted back.

"No way!" Velocity exclaimed in realization, a big smile on his face as he looked up into the sky to see the sight of Atlanta flying down from the storm clouds above to land in front of her teammates.

"…because we've faced worse than you before, and we've done it together. Now that the team is united at last, you are the one who doesn't stand a chance!" the warrior princess said, extending the blades of her Atlantean battle gauntlets.

"What took you so long?" Velocity asked in exasperation.

Sure, he was glad to see her.

But he had figured that his message wouldn't have taken this long to reach her.

Here they were at the big showdown with Ryker, where was she when they could have used her earlier during this adventure?

"I had to finish doing my nails…Speed trap." Atlanta answered sarcastically with a sly smirk, waving her left hands fingers in front of him.

This caused Velocity's mouth to drop in shock; did she just make a joke and call him that name?


He really had missed her; he was completely out of practice in their friendly barb trading game.

"…now, let's go wipe that smug grin of that bastard up there!" Atlanta said, with a fierce warrior's determination on her face.

"We'd love to, but these monsters and the 'Bastard' have Brawl's powers…" Silicon explained, "We already let our strongest powers out against them. We didn't even make a dent!"

"Well then it's a good thing I brought some backup with me" Atlanta said confidently.

"Backup?" the Heroes Legion said in confusion.

As if to answer that question, multiple maelstrom portal "curtains" similar to the ones used during the Battle of New York were opening up all over the borough.

The rain of Hurricane Andre allowed such an event to be possible.

From out of these portals emerged the Atlantean Army, vastly outnumbering the Ultimate Bio-Hound army 10 to 1.

"Good god! It's another invasion!" Dr. Ryker shouted upon seeing the sight of the Atlantean Army in the streets of Manhattan as far as the eye could see, "KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL! DON'T ALLOW THEM TO TAKE THIS CITY AGAIN!"

The battle resumed, this time with Atlanta joining the fight in the center of the attacking Ultimate Bio-Hound horde, while the Atlantean Army encircling Ryker's army fought on the outside heading in towards the center.

To Ryker's confusion, the Bio-Hounds went in to attack the Heroes Legion…but they avoided Atlanta completely.

Even more to his shock, none of his forces at all attacked the nearby front lines of the Atlantean Army who upon seeing the monsters make their move to attack their princess and her teammates rushed into them and began fighting them like the fierce warriors of the deep they were.

This shock was met with disbelieving rage when he saw that not only were the Atlantean's somehow not being noticed by his Ultimate Bio-Hounds who should have been able to see them clear as day…but their Kraken and giant Crawdad looking beasts and spear, armor and weapons were actually piercing their hides mortally!

In a way that Brawl's abilities couldn't save them from such mortal blows.

One by one, the Bio-Hound's began to fall, becoming lifeless corpses again.

"What? NO!" Dr. Ryker shouted when he saw his monsters were being overwhelmed by the superior numbers, firepower and beasts of war of the Atlantean Army.

The Heroes Legion had taken notice of this as well as they fought with the Ultimate Bio-Hound's that had managed to get through the chaos of the battle to where they were making their stand.

"What the hell?" Lynx said in surprise over the airwaves of the communicators, watching the battle from within the safety of the Battle-Falcon while manning the turrets with Marty Osmond and Techne.

"Why aren't they attacking the Atlantean Army and Atlanta? They're acting like they aren't even there!" Silicon wondered.

"Forget that, why are they falling like flies against the Atlantean Army?" Velocity asked as he sped around the battlefield, attacking the Ultimate Bio-Hounds the best he could.

"Don't you see?" Shadow Knight said as he plunged Raiju's Claw deep into one of the Ultimate Bio-Hound's throat through its open jaw when it leapt at him, "They were bred to have a single minded predatory impulse to detect and hunt Metahumans; M-Gene bearers…but the Atlantean Soldiers and Atlanta are not Metahumans! They don't see them as natural prey, so they don't react as such. They might as well be ghosts to them."

"So to the Bio-Hounds, the Atlantean's are their Riddick standing in their blind spot?" Velocity responded, "Awesome! I love this Calvary! That's twice now it's come to save our butts!"

"But how are they able to hurt them to mortally wound them so easily where we struggled?" Commander Hardcastle asked as she stabbed at the three Bio-Hounds that tried to flank her.

"Atlantean Steel" Robo-Warrior answered as he blasted seventeen Ultimate Bio-Hounds back to back with Ravager and Raven Ducard, "it's forged in the deep sea under such extreme pressures that are not found here in any manufactory facility on the surface. Of course it would be strong enough to break their Brawl like hides! Brawl's never gone up against that kind of weaponry before…"

"Not to mention the deep sea beast probably are equal to fifteen Brawls alone, and I count 600 of them attacking Ryker's army on my scanners." Cyber-29 concluded.

"Looks like things are in our favor now!" Shadow Knight declared.

"What was that you said a moment ago about 'Numbers don't decide a battle' and all that…what happened to that?" Velocity's voice from the speeding golden hued blue zipping around the area scoffed at Shadow Knight in response to his statement earlier.

"You're really gonna complain?" Shadow Knight shot back.

"ENOUGH!" Dr. Ryker shouted from the rooftop, "I'm going to put an end to you and your unholy existence right now, once and for all!"

With that being said, Dr. Ryker leapt from the building and fell towards the Heroes Legion like a massive humanoid wrecking ball.

The Heroes Legion scattered and leapt out of the way before Dr. Ryker's claws could skewer them.

Seeing her as an easy target, and not bound by his creations flawed programing, Dr. Ryker laid into Atlanta.

She caught his attacking claw in her hands, and used the momentum to allow her to toss Dr. Ryker over her head where he resulted to crash into a few of his Ultimate Bio-Hounds.

Ravager took this chance while Dr. Ryker was recovering to blast him with his plasma beams.

Dr. Ryker wasn't affected, in fact, just like with Brawl…the angrier he got, the stronger his body became.

Even Hardcastle's diamond attacks were starting to lose their effectiveness.

Velocity stood beside Shadow Knight, fighting off the Ultimate Bio-Hounds attacking from the south while also watching as Dr. Ryker started to toss their teammates around like ragdolls once their attacks began to become ineffective against him.

In five seconds it would be their turn to be pummeled.

Raven Ducard acted quickly and used her magic against the monstrous mad scientist.

She surrounded Dr. Ryker and suspended him up in the air off the ground in a magical sphere of water using the torrents of rain to form it.

She made sure to make it so the outside of the sphere was as flexible as rubber but also hard as steel to keep the monster contained inside it until he drowned.

Since he had Brawl's abilities, he had his weakness…and Brawl couldn't breathe underwater.

The monstrous form of Dr. Ryker, holding its breath, thrashed around inside the sphere of water, unable to move and get free.

To keep the Bio-Hounds from getting to her and breaking her concentration, Raven Ducard also conjured a shield spell around herself.

However, as Raven soon found out, using her Dark Raven powers earlier had severely drained her reserves and her willpower.

She could barely keep this water sphere spell up let alone the shield spell around herself, and Ryker's efforts to escape weren't helping in the least.

"I CANT HOLD HIM MUCH LONGER, SOMEONE DO SOMETHING!" Raven Ducard shouted desperately, as she winced in pain as she struggled to keep the monster contained.

Shadow Knight realizing that Raven was about to lose her grip on the water sphere before Ryker could ultimately drown, took Raiju's claw and drove it into the sphere of water…fully charged.

Dr. Ryker was electrocuted by painful charges of miasmic energy from Raiju's Claw's blade, causing him to lose his grip and shout out in pain…in turn causing water to fill his lungs.

Dr. Ryker convulsed, and then he grew still.

He had ultimately drowned.

At that moment, Raven Ducard lost her concentration…and the sphere burst, causing the now dead Dr. Ryker to collapse onto the pavement of the street.

As this was happening, the Atlantean army was finishing up the remaining Ultimate Bio-hounds.

It seemed that the Battle had been won.

"Did we win?" Velocity asked from where he had been thrown, pushing of the dead corpse of a Ultimate Bio-Hound off his armored person.

"It seems that way…" Atlanta said helping him up, and then she huffed in disappointment "that was kind of disappointing. I thought this Ryker guy was supposed to be a problem on par with Meta-Master."

"See that's why I don't like being late to a party Angel Fish" Velocity said, wiping the monster blood from his suit's visor, "you miss out on most of the fun."

"I wouldn't claim victory just yet people" Robo-Warrior said looking up in the broiling sky above, "Look who just came to the party!"

He pointed up at…the sight of the HMS Damocles coming down to float above the city from the hurricane clouds above.

"What are they doing here?" Velocity asked concerned.

"Showing up late to help us out it seems." Atlanta said, unaware of the reason why her teammate's would display apprehension towards what had once been a welcome sight to see arrive to their aid.

"Atlanta, I hate to tell you this…" Silicon said to her, "But they aren't here to help us."

"What?" Atlanta asked in surprised confusion.

As if to answer her question, the missile ports of the underside of the HMS Damocles opened up and fired directly upon the Heroes Legion.

In fact, the ship wasn't just firing on them…it was unloading hundreds of missiles similar to the kind that had wiped out the Meta-master loyal MRL onto the entire island!

This could only mean one thing; the conspiracy that had taken control of SLEET was now trying to wipe Manhattan and everyone inside it off the face of the earth!

What the hell was going on out there in the rest of the country that such a barbarous course of action could have been taken without fear of reprisal?

The Heroes Legion were so stunned by this course of action, and upon also realizing that they had nothing in their arsenal to repel such and assault…braced themselves for a fiery and explosive end.

They had won the battle against Ryker's Crusade, only to fail against the might of a corrupted SLEET. From out of the HMS Damocles, some kind of missile flew out and fell down in an arcing line towards the city below.

The impact against the ground activated this weapon, and there was a blinding green flash.

Everyone shut their eyes in response, right before a massive shockwave ripped through the Island of Manhattan!

"What the hell!?" Atlanta declared.

One minute she, her soldiers and her friends the Heroes Legion were standing on a street on Manhattan Island. The next, they were all standing on the overlooking cliff of the familiar shoreline of the ruined original Heroes Legion mansion grounds.

The Battle-Falcon was there as well inexplicably, as was their newest ally Marty Osmond.

Before anyone could speculate about what had just happened.

There was suddenly a loud successive chain of explosion noises coming from the direction of Manhattan Island

The Heroes Legion and the Atlantean soldiers all turned their heads in that direction to see to their horror that Manhattan Island was now consumed in a massive cloud of smoke...while the HMS Damocles and the remaining Air Fleet of the quarantine slowly but surely flew away from the site of the huge city wide fire which even with the hurricane rain would take hours to put out.

They realized what had just happened...they corrupted SLEET had glassed the entire burrough of Manhattan Island.

That was when suddenly Velocity appeared beside Atlanta, and then he just as swiftly as he had appeared...collapsed as if he had just been struck dead.

"VELOCITY!" Atlanta declared, catching him in her arms before he could fall off the cliff.

She examined him frantically, trying to make sure he was alight.

She realized, as did everyone else, that Velocity must have used his super speed powers to get everyone out of the city before SLEET had destroyed it...within a fraction of a second, a feat he had never done before!

That would mean that he had gone faster than he ever had before, but that might have also been too much for him to handle.

It might have killed him.

In fact, that was what Atlanta feared when she realized he wasn't breathing and his heart had stopped.

Thinking quickly, she started doing CPR on the rash speedster.

Hoping that the training she had learnt when there had still been a Heroes Legion school under M-Leader wouldn't fail her.

The Heroes Legion and the Atlantean Soldiers watched in silent apprehension, hoping that Atlanta could revive their teammate who had just saved their lives.

It was during her third attempt to get him to breath, that Velocity gasped and choked on air as his lungs began to breath again and clutched his chest in pain as his heart started pumping blood again.

He opened his eyes wearily, seeing that he was surrounded by his teammates and friends, with Atlanta sitting beside where he lay looking down at him, and then he moaned "Man...I almost didn't think I could pull that off! Talk about giving all you've got in one second of time. That's got to be a record."

"DONT YOU EVER SCARE ME LIKE THAT AGAIN!" Atlanta screamed at him in fury, before wrapping her arms around him, holding him tightly, thankful that he was alive.

Velocity put a comforting arm around her, touched by her angry outburst because he knew it was due to her having been scared he was going to die.

"You dont have to worry about that...ever...Angel Fish" he said, with a solemn yet fearful look on his face as the fact he nearly died dawned on him "I can never go that fast again, if I do..."

"Wait..." Raven Ducard said in fearful realization when she noticed that some people or groups of people were missing from this group "Where's Stephanie, where's the resistance?"

Velocity looked at his teammates sadly, "I couldn't...I couldn't get to the Green-zone, I couldn't get anyone else out, I tried..."

Atlanta stopped him, "You nearly killed yourself doing so, dont blame yourself for this. You didn't drop the bombs."

"So she's..." Techne asked in silent honor, "gone?"

"Everyone's gone..." Robo-Warrior said, looking out at the destroyed city burrough, "That's why the quarantine fleet of SLEET and STRIPE is breaking away, there is no one left in the city."

"I'm afraid your right" Cyber-29 said, appalled at the mass murder they had just witnessed, "I dont detect any life signs with my scanners."

"What the hell has happened to SLEET" Commander Hardcastle said in horrified disgust, "It's purpose is to protect the world from crimes against humanity, tyranny, and genocide...not indulge in it!"

"It's been infected by the same conspiracy that caused the Siege of Manhattan..." Shadow Knight said with venom in his voice, as he glared at the sight of the mass graveyard that was once Manhattan Island, "A danger far more greater than Ryker's madness ever was."

"So we failed to change the future..." Ravager said solemnly, "The 'Manhattan purge' your future self told us about still happened."

"No..." Shadow Knight shook his head, refusing to believe that fate was fixed, that one's life could not take whatever path they could based on the choices they made, "My future self spoke of the purge wiping out all of you in the original timeline. We may have failed to stop it from happening, but we're alive. All of us are still alive. That proves that the future isn't written in stone, it can be changed. We can still make a difference."

"We failed to save the city, the people trapped in the quarantine are now all dead!" Techne pointed out, "What difference could we possibly make now?"

"The only ones that we can make..." Shadow Knight answered with fierce determination, "We avenge their murders. We find out who this conspiracy is, and put an end to it once and for all. To prevent any further deaths like Manhattan from happening."

The Heroes Legion gave this some thought, could they avenge this?

They had failed to stop the takeover of Manhattan, and they had also failed to stop it's total destruction.

What if they failed again?

Then again, as they soon realized altogether, to do nothing against the conspiracy behind those atrocities would be a thousand times worse.

Ever the true heroes they were to their very core, they agreed that something must be done.

Someone had to put a stop to this.

If no one else, not even SLEET, was going to stop this...then it was up to them.

They may have failed to save the people in Manhattan, and Stephanie, but they would not fail in avenging them!

The End.