Announcements: Initiative: Promoting Forum Roleplay » Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newcomers » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Train Poetry I » Joker » D&D Alignment Chart: How To Get A Theorem Named After You » Dungeon23 : Creative Challenge » Returning User - Is it dead? » Twelve Days of Christmas » Empty Skies » Does Mind Affect the World? » I have an announcement. » Iskjerne Ballad by dealing_with_it » Viking Music / Norse Songs - Germanic Paganism » Capitalism » Panspermia: a Case for Cordyceps » The Ethics on owning a Housepet » I just really had to share this plot idea. » Materialism » Satire & Comedy » Platonic numbers » No complaints (a little bit of rappin) » Any multi-player roleplay videogamers here? »

Players Wanted: OSR Armchair Warrior looking for Kin » Friday the 13th Fun, Anyone? » Writers Wanted! » Long term partner to play an older male wanted » DEAD! » Looking for new RP Buddy(s)! » Sands of Oblivion » Looking for Role Players to join an active universe » Looking for Empire of Cendalia Players » Seeking Roleplayers for The Isekai Wonderland Project » Hadean The Brave - Fresh Blood » Just a trophy of status - long term, story focus! » Kingdom come looking for roleplayers » The Last Dragon! » Roleplay Return for 1 x 1 » Players wanted for a science fiction adventure. » Players needed for Fantasy Romance reboot » One(1) male & Two(2) Female Roles OPEN <3 » Talmora: Kingdom of magic » Looking For A New Partner »

Hadean: The Brave

Atlas City

0 INK

a part of Hadean: The Brave, by Lord Saethos.

Our City will rebuild! No matter what happens to us, we will continue to be on the front line of innovation, science, industry, and heroism! Remember March 12th, and remember that in Atlas City, we're helping build a better future for everyone!

Lord Saethos holds sovereignty over Atlas City, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

6,696 readers have been here.

Setting

Atlas City, home to approximately 800'000 civilians, of which an estimated 1000-5000 are supers. Some have minor powers, not able to do much more than parlor tricks, others have abilities uniquely suited to the many careers and burgeoning industries in Atlas City, and some are destined for the greatness of heroism, or the infamy of Villainy.
Create a Character Here »

Atlas City

Our City will rebuild! No matter what happens to us, we will continue to be on the front line of innovation, science, industry, and heroism! Remember March 12th, and remember that in Atlas City, we're helping build a better future for everyone!

Minimap

Atlas City is a part of Hadean: The Brave.

20 Characters Here

Akiko Bong [147] "What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost."
Henry Stewart (Macroman) [129] Can't just be strong for your own sake. Not always.
Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) [121] "True heroes do what is necessary."
Sheri [119] drafted into service
Devon Metzger [118] "I guess you could say that I'm living on borrowed time. Then let's not waste it."
Sasha Belov [117] The undying demon of Russia, Sasha's dark past remains a mystery to all but a select few.
Liz Baker [88] The Alchemist
Vicki Vortex [83] "I'm not here to save the world, I'm here to rock out in its final encore."
Carnifex-04 "Scourge" [74] "All I need is PAIN!"
Klaus Zeit [70] Trapped in the past to find his future

Start Character Here »


Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Devon Metzger
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

"Terrible," came Akiko's response to Sheri once Devon had offered his services. "So I would let Freischütz take the wheel."

The corner of Akiko's mouth twitched but she resisted the urge to smile. She had been complaining to herself over the lack of simplicity in the cases she involved herself in but as her eyes anxiously swept over the empty cabin once more, she knew simplicity was far more dangerous than what was obviously complicated.

With a sigh, she trailed her gloved fingers over the dash. She had walked up when Sheri has asked about the driver and yet, he still hadn't returned. There was hardly any dust on the dash, perhaps some stains. A strong smell of smoke but it was hard to tell whether it was recent or just attached to the cabin. In her stomach were flutterings of nervousness as movement in her peripheral alerted her to potential bystanders.

"If we're gonna go, I suggest we do it quickly. Feels like too much of a good thing right now."

Setting

7 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Space Demon Knight Commandant Wolfram
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.25 INK

Richard sighed a little as Devon placed a hand on his shoulder, explaining his own view on his use of force multipliers to Henry. Although the chilly super hadn't at all intended to come off as aggressive on the subject, he reflected that maybe his defensiveness had been a bit much. It made him feel a tad awkward, might end up having to do some smoothing over later. After Devon left them to join up with the others, Richard turned back to face Henry, a soft, almost regretful look on his face. "I see what you mean Henry, but sometimes saving lives isn't straight forward. But let me make one thing clear to you: There are some lives out there I will not take, lives I will not end, even if it puts my life, or another life, in danger." His tone was serious, but not cold. There was something else to it.

"Not that I plan on letting any of you be in harm's way! It's just... Some lives you can't justify taking. Call it a standard, or a principle, or whatever, but it's one I'm willing to stake my life on. My own personal hill to die on if I have to."

He gave a little shrug and half smile. "Anyways, we can talk more about that stuff over pizza one day. Just don't want there to be some misconception about how I do things. Even if you still disagree with it." With that, Richard pulled his mask down over his face and took his sub-machine gun in hand. "It's a trucker warehouse anyways. The chances of actually getting into a fight here seem pretty low." He chuckled lightly as he hoped out of the back of the van and moved closer to Devon, who it seemed was about to take on the task of driver himself.

"Houndmaster, Shinigami, before either of you make any more plans... I call shotgun." He smirked under his mask. "Now, how can I be of assistance? Anybody know where the trucker is right now? Maybe we can do something to buy you some more time from him."


_________________________________________________________________________________________


Maxwell felt a mixture of senses hearing what Wolfram had to say about the Beast. While The Shape wasn't an expert on intergalactic culture and political affairs, he'd assumed something as substantial as a Demon Empire would at least know something about what happened here. After all, Wolfram had been sent to Earth, same as the Beast. And yet never had these two entities crossed paths with each other? Or at least not in a way Wolfram was conscious of.

The whole thing welled up the senses of dread in Maxwell... As well as excitement. Perhaps, more accurately, ambition.

"In that case then, you're well aware of the significance that this poses to both of us. Neither of us know anything about what attacked Atlas City. Yet we DO know it exists. That poses a fairly substantial threat both to Earth, but perhaps even your Empire. Of course, it may also present us with an opportunity. Difficult to say of course, but it certainly warrants more investigation I would say. So, if it's not too much to ask General, I would request you keep me informed of anything you may learn about this thing, rumors or legends included."

D'Artagnan's babbling produced a small smirk on Maxwell's face. A rather amusing child, but also surprisingly competent in some ways. Space Demons, it would seem, would make for some interesting allies to have indeed.

"In the meantime General, I wonder if there might be some ways you could avail yourself to me? I have a team in California right now, investigating some matters that have been interfering with my business. I know this is perhaps sudden, but I'm trying to speculate on options I may have to perhaps have you assist me. Either in this specific matter, or perhaps others. Is any of that something that would interest you?"

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Devon Metzger
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

"Yeah, I don't… think there's time for that." Sheri cut off talk of Devon coming in to drive the truck without sparing a single thought for the idea, casting a quick glance around the yard to try and spot the truck missing its driver.

Yeah, this place was way too crowded for that to work. And they really, really didn't have the time.

"Okay, Detective. Time for your crash course! Take the truck and rendezvous outside the gate. If he's around, Devon can take the wheel there." Sheri's braid bounced against her back as she started jogging toward the exit, her breaths coming light as she relayed an explanation to Akiko. "For now, use the key to start the engine and then put it in drive. It should move without you pressing the accelerator. Just use the wheel to steer it."

And try not to hit anything went unsaid but hopefully implied.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.25 INK

"I don't know where the driver is which would be a problem if we weren't trying to steal this baby," Shinigami said as she paused the video on her phone. "I mean it's still a problem but one for la-"

Shinigami locked onto a man that seemed to be staring in her direction. His eyes didn't meet hers however. The invisible detective held her breath as he scanned the truck and the cabin, looking past her in his searching. Seemingly satisfied, he kept walking, lost in the crowd very quickly.

"For right now. Houndmaster's right. It's being watched so I'm out."

Ducking down, the detective recalled the Shinigami Gray lantern and slipped on the cap left on the passenger's seat. There was nothing she could do about the suit but a detective was easier to explain than a superhero. Following the Houndmaster's instructions, Akiko was up and running, steering her way out carefully.

Double checking the way out, she reached for her phone. Her eyes were locked on the screen for a few moments but it was enough to bump into another truck. She hissed. The phone dropped to the floor. It was a light tap, a small dent, but it was enough to attract the attention of a couple of people walking by. She could hear them trying to get her attention so she rolled down her window, flashing her badge from the Skull agency.

"Official detective business. Send a bill to my agency," she declared firmly as she rolled the window back up. There were grumbles and no need to explain that any bill they sent would be promptly declined. One of them walked off in a hurry though, no doubt to report the incident to a superior.

"Miiiight need that accelerator, just saying," Akiko noted into the comms as she resumed driving her way out, phone laying at her feet.

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Maeve Butler
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.25 INK

Well then, maybe it wasn't implied. Drivers were turning their attention toward the commandeered semi, a few beginning to move toward it no doubt intending to pull its illicit operator from the tractor.

"Just lock the doors and keep going." Sheri's voice was firm, but not urgent. "Trying not to hit anything else is gonna get a lot harder if you speed up."

This wasn't a disaster yet, they just needed to ignore a few irate truckers and get out of the gate. Hopefully there wouldn't be any other trucks checking out right now, and they could just-

The sound of a black boot hitting the cement echoed like a judge's gavel. The shadow of its owner seemed to fall across the entire yard, an inescapable mark that they were out of time. Sheri turned her head with what felt to her like agonizing slowness, eyes taking in the looming figure of the woman in the black suit, and the next thing she knew she was sprinting.

The bestial screams of the shapeshifter as that woman had torn the core from its roiling mass spurred Sheri onward as she flew across the field toward the stolen truck. "Forget what I just said! Use the fucking accelerator!"

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Albrecht von Richthofen
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.25 INK

Albert's entrance into the warehouse was not as grandiose as he had hoped, but he had little time to change his mind as he plummeted through the steel ceiling and slammed into the pavement hard enough to crack it. It wasn't his highest jump, but the reverberations through his legs were pleasant enough as he rose to his feet, sweeping his scarf behind his back.

"From the sky I arrive!" Albert boomed, grinning. "The Crimson Shield, here to stop your foul deeds! If what I suspect is true, you are all in real trouble! Tell me where the drugs are or..."

Albert paused, realizing he was intruding on a scene already unfolding. "Hey, wait, I didn't get here first?" Albert said, frowning and looking rather annoyed. "Pfah, what a bother."

Albert's fist snapped up, creating a wave of energy that intercepted the woman in black, striking her. "Mind if I cut in?" Albert smirked, trying to remember where he had seen the woman before.

Setting

12 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Lilian Anderbilt Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Carnifex-04 "Scourge" Character Portrait: Albrecht von Richthofen
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Richard winced at Sheri shouted through the earpiece. He'd heard some kind of loud thud from inside (maybe even felt the faintest rumble too from inside), and was at a loss for what was happening. Before he could ask what was happening, they could hear the loud honking of a semi truck, tires screeching, and a loud crashing sound as a part of a wall was collided with.

With Akiko in the driver's seat, and Sheri clambering into the cab beside her, Richard truly was baffled by what was-

Another crash, this time sending part of the building's roof collapsing and sending a VERY noticeable wave of force around the adjacent area. "Houndmaster, Shinigami? What... What's going on?"


Truckers began to flee the building, on foot or in truck, as fast as they possibly could, with the building being partially emptied out in a matter of mere seconds. Not long after they'd started fleeing, a wall exploded and something flew from it and towards the sparse dirt parking lot that surrounded the building, churning up bits of gravel, powdery dust, and some dead weeds and brush. After a few moments of moving back, the object immediately stopped after letting out a boom of energy behind it.

Albert stood in place, arms up in an 'x' shape in front of him, to block whatever it was that sent him out of the building. For someone who'd just gone through a wall, he maintained an impressive stance.

In spite of this, the towering shape that emerged from the hole in the wall struck a much more ominous, destructive figure.

It didn't take the White Death long to realize who they were facing down, even though he hadn't faced her directly himself. He'd heard enough from the group.

Richard pulled the charging handle of the MP5.

"Time to slay us a dragon." He spoke over the earpiece to his comrades, before turning to face Maeve herself.

"BRING IT ON!"

A hail of gunfire rang out at the imposing woman, as the White Death fired barely controlled bursts at the now fast approaching tower. Freischütz opened up as well, starting with cryo shots, which while they connected with their target, failed to slow her.

Before Richard could move away, she'd charged directly at him, clasping onto the chest portion of his armor, lifting him into the air, and smashing him into the side of the van.

Once more, the air evaporated from his body, and he felt the world fall from behind him. Somewhat literally. The van tipped onto it's side, with Richard laying on the side that was now pointed to the sky.

Kill her.

He was going to kill her.

Richard had had double his fill of body breaking attempts. Now he was REALLY going to put this dragon down. He rolled off the roof onto the ground as the other heroes scrambled to prepare a counter attack.


Henry had crawled out of the van, his own blaster in hand now, hoping it'd be enough for a non-lethal solution with this monster. But looking at her, he'd start to have some doubts.

Devon, using his own newer abilities, had put more distance between himself and Maeve, teleporting around and taking pot shots that managed to find their target, but still not take her out.

Sheri had hopped out of the cab of the truck as seven of herself joined her, scattering around the yard to distract and obstruct Maeve's range as Sheri herself took shots with her Walther. Maeve was fast, dodging most of the hits, but having a few connect.

She slowed, stumbled forward just a slight bit before catching herself, but continued her daunting march towards the truck now.

The heroes had found the drugs, and now so had she.

There was a sound like the crack of thunder as the ground in front of Maeve exploded, and a deep hole opened up within it. Turning around, she saw Richard standing by the open rear doors of the van.

In his hands he held the weapon with the name 'HRUNTING' etched upon it.

The Monster Slayer.

Setting

12 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Lilian Anderbilt Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Carnifex-04 "Scourge" Character Portrait: Albrecht von Richthofen
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Sepokku
As the Californian sun beat down on Lilian's back she found herself fighting to stay awake; the gently swaying motion of Scourge's shoulders that his wide stride created undoubtedly wasn't helping. She stifled a yawn with her hand, slumping forward so that her stomach pressed against the back of Scourge's head. She briefly wondered if staying up late had been the correct choice for this mission.

As she slumped against Scourge, her barely open eyes observing the ground they were walking on, she found the answer to her question; a long line of Argentine ants quickly making their way towards something. In a swift and fluid motion, she kicked her legs up and soared into a backflip, landing neatly on the ground with her hands in the air. Bending down, she put her hand onto the line of ants and absorbed several of them into her biomass. Tiny nerves branched out from her hand and connected to the ant's brain, allowing her access to the quarter-million or so neurons that it contained.

"Oh... They found it. Scourge, we found it."

Allowing herself a moment to rejoice, she held her cupped hands up to the sky in religious reverence, "True balance..." When the moment had passed she took out her phone and sent a message to the fake ant Queens that had been planted in the past twenty-four hours. After the orders had been relayed, she placed her hand in the path of the ants, their biomass being absorbed as they marched over it. Her free hand touched the ground opposite the other and it began to sprout creatures similar to the ones she absorbed but modified for her needs.

Unerringly Lilian's new creations marched towards the hydrocarbon chain that made up the Trigger Drug; anger and aggression caused their antennae to twitch. Half of the ants had their abdomens swollen with hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, the other half had their jaws loaded up with Poneratoxin. After only a few minutes, millions of ants were emerging from beneath Los Angeles, undergoing the transformation Lilian had prepared for them. The swarm of ants poured towards the Drug, attacking every human in their way.

Right outside the city, entire colonies of fire ants began crawling out of their homes, flapping their wings to remind themselves of the motion. Almost all of these ants had lost their wings long ago, but after minor tampering with their food supply, the wings had returned. Instinctually each ant prepared for flight, its target being a warehouse in the city. A deafening noise started up as the insects took off. Modified as they were, the cloud of ants would reach their destination in record time.

Instead of tampering with the last group of Argentine ants, Lilian simply absorbed their biomass. Using the excess organics, she changed her form into a bear-like creature with six eyes scattered from her snout to her neck. Its voice rasped out, "Come Scourge. Let's go complete our mission."

Setting

0 Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Things were going to hell fast.

Akiko groaned. The accident had caught her off guard so she hadn't been able to change her physical state, leading her to suffer as she tried to regain her bearings. Fighting was going on and as much as she wanted to join, Shinigami was on a mission. She had to remind herself of it, reassuring herself that they were heroes and were capable of handling themselves.

With the need for secrecy gone, Shinigami transformed into her Gray form and slipped into the back where the cargo was. As she approached however, there was a violent buzzing in the air and a flurry of activity on her objective. There were ants all over the crate and Akiko had the sinking feeling the noise outside wasn't going to help the situation either.

"Well that wants in the plan," she sighed as she switched to her Witchfire form. "Looks like we'll have to improvise."

She then proceeded to set the cargo on fire.

Setting

8 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

"Where the hell was that thing buried?" Henry inquired of Richard, cursing his blaster's current ineffectiveness. "Either way hope it works...if not..." Henry muttered, hoping it wouldn't come to him having trade punches with the dragon. In the chance that he did, he flipped his blaster open, just in case...

Setting

7 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Lilian Anderbilt Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

The sky was deafened by the roar of buzzing insects. Fire blanketed the area with the stench of burning chemicals, smoke rising up toward Heaven itself while all around her tiny red-haired girls scurried like rats, taking pot shots that didn’t so much as blemish her skin but left her latest suit in tatters. The ground shattered in front of her, causing her to stop mid-stride as she made her way toward the truck and the drugs that would soon be lost within.

This was becoming annoying.

Maeve turned toward the source of the latest interruption - the man in the black armor, holding a new toy with its barrel leveled at her chest.

As if it would protect him.

The ground cracked beneath her feet as she lunged to the right, her hand gripping one of the flitting little red haired girls by the face. The man’s gun shifted quickly to track her as soon as his hands caught up with his mind. A burst of concrete and sediment followed her ascension as Maeve leapt into the air, still holding the girl, and as the hero’s gun tracked her upward he found himself staring down the sights at his ally’s back, flying toward him.

He rolled to the side, just in time as Maeve came crashing down in the next instant, the red haired girl exploding in static as Maeve’s boots made her into a landing pad. She spun on the ball of her foot as she rose back to full height, her shoulders flexing to break the chunks of ice building on her back from the gas masked hero’s cryo rounds. Viscous black liquid oozed between cracks in the ice, though Maeve didn’t seem to notice as she advanced on her current target.

The man’s gun exploded in his hands, and Maeve took a step back as its payload impacted the side of her chest, black ichor splattering the ground and the side of her face and sending her right arm flying off into the ether. Maeve paused for the barest of moments, dull eyes gazing at the black armored hero silently, almost as if stunned.

And then she smiled.

There wasn’t time to get off a second shot. In the next instant Maeve’s hand gripped his chest plate and he was lifted into the air, coming back down to Earth hard as she slammed him once, twice into the ground before sending him hurtling through the air. Maeve was after him like a bullet, grabbing another of the red-haired women on her way and reaching him before he hit the ground again. She swung her latest captive down at him like a blunt instrument, cutting his flight short as this girl burst into static like the last one.

She was being assailed by firearms from all sides, but didn’t seem to care. Her foot rose off the ground, poised to slam down onto the White Death’s chest only to freeze mid-air as she suddenly seemed locked into hyper slow-motion. The White Death used the opportunity to roll out of the way, sprinting around her back toward where Hrunting had fallen. A loud crack announced the end of the Maeve's temporal displacement as her foot left a sizeable new pothole in the center of the street.

Setting

8 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Lilian Anderbilt Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.25 INK

#, as written by Sepokku
The ants swarming the crate began to burn as fire enveloped the crate. Yet they continued to march, straight into the flames for the success of their hive. Half of the ants burned and died uneventfully, but the other half popped and exploded as the hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide they were carrying underwent a chemical reaction. The result was threefold: First, it generated even more heat. Second, it created benzoquinone which sublimated due to the heat and turned into something akin to chlorine gas. Finally, the water it created boiled into steam which quenched the flames and turned the back of the truck into a sauna. With single minded determination the ants continued to march into the back of the truck, dying less than a minute after.

Lilian loped forward in her Shifter form, as her two cuttlefish eyes widened, creating a 360-degree view of her surroundings. Maeve was fully engaged in combat, her hulking form impossible to mistake as bullets rang off it. The pair of Mantis Shrimp eyes began to articulate, one taking in light from deep ultraviolet while the other scanned the far red range. The last two eyes, a human eye and a bluebottle butterfly eye, were oriented toward her target.

By now the sky was darkened by the mass of billions of genetically modified fire ants. The large cloud of males all followed the Fake Queen towards their target. Lilian’s tongue lolled out of her bear mouth as the swarm cast a huge shadow across the battlefield. Letting out a chirp so high-pitched that human ears couldn’t hear it, Lilian relayed orders to the Fire Ant Queen.

Her six eyes had identified the biggest threat to Maeve; a large caliber rifle that had just blown her arm off. The rifle had the word ‘Hrunting’ etched onto it. Lilian’s bear snout turned up as she snorted, “You’re no Hero, and that’s not Grendel’s Mother.” As such, the Fire Ants' new target was whoever held the rifle. The flying Queen dove straight for the gun and her swarm followed. Thousands of ants landed on the rifle, even going so far as to crawl inside the barrel and chamber. Not far from the gun, someone was scrambling for it. The Queen shook her wings and spread a pheromone over the gun to signal it should be defended. Hastily the Queen darted to the man and landed on the middle of his back. The fire ants that weren't on the gun alighted on the same target as their Queen and began to bite at every inch of the man’s suit, including the eye covers of his mask. Hopefully, the maneuver would buy Maeve more time to instill fear.

Despite being modified and directed by the only Queen left in their colony, many of the ants simply attacked the first person they saw. Lilian was no exception and by the time she reached the truck she had at least a hundred ants futilely trying to bite through her fur. Smoke, steam, and benzoquinone gas roiled out of the back of the truck, through a hole the ants had chewed through the plastic seal on the loading door. ‘Someone started a fire and set off the ants, but who?’

Moving flesh away from the heel of her left hand and wrist, Lilian exposed the device that sat snugly between her radius and ulna. A reddish purple light shot out of the device and severed the locks on the loading door. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door just enough to squeeze past it and then closed it behind her. The ants on her started to die and the gas and smoke immediately started to burn her six eyes, but there was nothing for it at the moment. Even through the noxious air she could make out the charred boxes, and ignoring all else she ran over to them. Her thick fur provided some insulation but even so, the gas and boiling hot steam was starting to burn her skin and cause it to necrotize. With haste she tore the top off the nearest box and searched for the most viable samples.

A lethal dose of inhaled benzoquinone was just under three hundred milligrams. The average human inhaled about five hundred milliliters of air in a single breath. Accounting for the smoke and steam in the air, Lilian presumed two inhalations of the air in the truck would be lethal. She continued to hold her breath as she swiftly found the ten vials she needed.