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Desolation

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Metal Man
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Desolation

Post by Metal Man » Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:59 am

He had walked a long time.

An endless walk. His ankles were covered in dirt, and his suit leaking precious fluids. His monitors for all his life signs had begun to fade. He had to warp home soon, or he would die; these were just the cold equations.

He walked through the Hyrule Battlefield, staring at all the great places of battles of old. All of his friends and foes lay here, in one way or another. Some vanished, and some suffered a fate worse than death, but here was where he remembered them all. The place that had brought them all together.

Yet as his suit's basic functions began to fail, he felt quite odd. His display had begun to short out, even though it was only supposed to overlay reality with targeting reticules. He saw, in the distance, others doing their battles. Though they had different shapes, he knew them well; he saw among them the last remnant of his old friends. There he was, just as he had remembered.

The Man of Steel began to feel out of breath. He clutched at the bullet-riddled throat of his. He listened to the hollow rattle it made, and remembered how many foes had ripped it out before. There he went to chuckle, only to stop when he felt the hideous burn. Odd, the warp back home didn't usually take THIS long to materialize...

He looked at his warp device. It said 1:33; a normal time. But then the next instant, his vision blurred, and it said... 99:99. He stopped cold, and stared again. Now it said 1:34. He must have been dreaming.

There he was, watching his friends battle it out, as it always had been. And right on time, the warp home appeared, right by the ruins of some ancient temple. He had doubted himself needlessly. He shook his head carefully, and then went to enter the warp.

As he did, his vision once again blurred...

He saw a snatch of brown. Shocked, he stopped just before entering the warp. Beyond the warp lay shelter, healing, and immortality; here he only would suffer death, if he stayed for long. But he would return, thanks to his lair. Still... the green grass of Hyrule Field was now brown... and pixellated.

He tapped the visor, and it regained its green hue. He stared at his right hand, and saw its inhuman perfection; then he looked in the reflection of his visor, and saw his perfectly unaged face, sans the occasional nice scar. After all, that showed how tough he was.

...Then he was compelled to take off the helmet, for it was now beginning to fail again. Without it, he could not breathe... he could not breathe without it either, not for more than an hour, but this time he felt a taste for the real air.

The helmet unscrewed easily enough. But what he saw lead him to gasp wordlessly and choke on his spit.

All around him was desert wasteland. Lon Lon Ranch was a dust bowl-destroyed wreck. And while the fighters in the distance were real, they were fighting amongst this post-nuclear wasteland... not a beautiful forest as he had seen.

Their leader... the other one he knew... suddenly neither were what he thought. In their place he saw one person he had thought was but a new battler... aged and worn by some conflict he could not remember. His old friend had changed... but was different in ways to suggest his memories had never been correct.

And the old temple... it was a part of a ruined, vast city, named 'N t n d l n d' or so the ruined sign said. Metal Man went to grab the sign, but all he caught was dust... dust which he destroyed, for his wonderful robotic right hand was actually a craven claw, wrought out of hideously gnarled metal.

He took a step back, and saw the helmet. What he had seen as a symbol of hope... was a gnarled visor of evil, representing a regime which had died eons ago. He could see skeletons of others who used the symbol... all of them dead long ago.

His boots had been walking up to knee height in this sand; unlike the others, he had not perceived it. Much less that his left arm had a broken chain trailing behind it. He lifted it up, and saw... the chain had once been attached to one of the more prominent structures among the wasted 'Ntn' land... He took a quick glance with his damaged eyes, and then...

He shed a silent tear.

At the center of the wasted town was a fountain of pure power. It still ran, but as he remembered it, the 'old temple' had great holy water. He had once tried to stay there as much as he could, to gain its powers.

He had succeeded, but he had gained the blood red corruptive powers of something hideous and terrible... a liquid which neither slaked one's thirst nor killed one. It burned to touch, and yet it ran throughout that blasted city, and around this wasteland.

His hand trembling, he did what he thought would come next--look at the reflection of his face. He slowly lifted the helmet up... and there he saw a mangled mess, with a nose worn down to nearly nothing. Hideously misshapen eye sockets barely held busted eyeballs, and twisted, angular fragments of teeth were all that remained in his mouth. His tongue could barely function.

He dropped the helmet, it making a soft 'chuff' noise as it hit the sand. It did not break, nor did a dramatic music cue play. Nobody seemed to care; he was alone. Those in the distance did not seem to be bothered as he; they apparently had grown used to this reality...

The Man of Gnarled Steel twisted his right hand into a fist, thinking now of how much he hated this wasteland. It had STOLEN his wonderland from him, and now was all that there was. He swore with his twisted tongue that he would bring it all back, as he boldly strode into the town. He angrily smashed a broken door and shoved an abandoned cart sideways, before then crushing the skull of one of those who had the same vile symbol as he had on his chest.

But that did not change it. The death-creating power he still had... did not bring it back. He uselessly went to the well and blew it to smithereens... but the red liquid did not leave. It was here. Worse yet...

It was in him, too. A splinter from earlier hit his face; he wiped the wood away, and found but the same caustic concoction oozing out of the wound.

Even that tear had been made out of it; it had burned a hideous rut in his face. For one as he did not cry, ever...

The portal back remained the same. He recalled that his helmet had been off there; no wasteland or foul burn-water existed there. His very form shifted... as he was prone to do, ever since he had obtained a certain item.

The man picked out an old red book, labeled 'Polymorph Other.' It was worn at the edges, even though he had only read one chapter. The same one he used every time: 'Ability Adaptation.' It was right near the beginning, and explained how each dimension was different... and how an expert caster could warp other's form to either be right for said realm, or wrong for it.

In his arrogance, he had made it work on himself instead. He could never tell what change it made; he had just done it so much that the enchantment was integrated into his very helmet. It was easier that way.

There sat the cursed helmet in the sand, mocking his sense of convenience. He went to smash it, then stopped himself, realizing that was what it wanted him to do.

"No. I have been a tool for far too long. Destiny will not control me like this... it may control me, but I will not be an unwitting fool again."

The Man of Steel dropped the book in the sand. For the longest time it had been the reminder of the great battles in the past... but now it took on a new color, that of the red liquid. The curse! Yes... he could not tell whether it was his fault or the realm's, or maybe some of both, but this place...

It was the opposite of water. Preserving all it touched... and yet never sustaining it.

He could feel it now. He should be dead, but it kept him alive--a testament to its unnatural necormantic properties. His heart no longer beat in his chest, nor did his brain work, nor did his suit click--but the show had to go on, so he was still here.

He did not enjoy it any longer, however. The feeling of immortality had worn off; instead of infinite possibilities, he now foresaw more of the same: endless sand, endless red liquid, and the shedding of meaningless blood between him and those whom he had been fighting presuppositions of. His gnarled face and hideous deeds had made him unlikeable to all; but he had always wanted to be seen as good, so this was simply untenable.

Perhaps one of the others saw the glint. The old cyborg thing that had been in a perpetual haze about the old days. The one they said had been around forever and never noticed the disappearance of everything from his time, seeing fit to talk about it as if it had never left. Maybe, just maybe, they could make out his strange ritual, with how he dropped his helmet and spoke unearthly gibberish at it.

But it was as good as meaningless to them, for the old man had never made sense. And here he walked...

He walked to the warp, feeling it drain the red liquid and immortality. The power to annihilate worlds... to be seen as unstoppable.

He had drunk the potion of infinite power and felt its burn... and now no longer wanted its effects.

As he began to sink into the vortex to the world he had not hallucinated, he reached for his left arm, and pried out a final piece.

This had been the trigger to activate that effect whenever he went here. It was a blood red stone, in the shape of a fist.

He ripped it out of him, and with all his might, cast it at those distant fighters, hoping to perhaps kill one with the throw. Whoever they were were but strangers to him, and perhaps a death, temporary as it would be in this realm, might teach them of what he had missed.

Or maybe... as the others saw it... it would just be another useless rock, thrown for no reason, landing among that abandoned wasteland area nobody but the crazy old lunatic liked fighting in.

A wry grin returned to Metal Man's face, for he saw the rock had hit nothing... and yet... that was the greatest thing he had done here.

Failed, where failure was entirely voluntary.

It felt a lot like everywhere else he went... the twisted form began to abate.

But he had nothing more for this realm; his rock and thoughts would remain a quixotic island, lost in the infinite sands.

The Man of Steel glanced at the place he had first landed; he could almost make out the outline in the grass--no, sand--that lay there...

...

He raised his right hand and shot it to pieces, with his last ounce of energy before collapsing into the portal.

He then vanished, leaving no trace...

...Except for the rock and the book, and the helmet, which he had damned to wander these endless sands forever.

The breeze flipped the pages of the book... highlighting a section just one page over from the last one Metal had glanced at.

There it lay... a way to undo the curse?

Ah... but such things would do him no use now. He had consigned himself to a fate he made, rather than one made by the arena. The book flipped again, as the page disintegrated.

The battlers in the distance would continue... oblivious.
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Post by Metal Man » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:48 pm

Time passed. The artifacts did not rot; preserved by the unreal atmosphere of the arena, they instead grew more powerful. An unearthly glow covered the area where they lay. The red energy began to coalesce around the hatred which had been left behind.

...

Back at Metal Man's home dimension, things were normal. The Metal Man entered through a roundish portal that opened for him. He looked at his metal hands--normal, vaguely humanoid ones. He remembered the twisted evil that the other realm had brought out in him for a moment, and shuddered.

It was then that he began to feel something... deeply wrong. It was a gut feeling, not one backed up by his devices. He began to search through his new helmet's GUI. He mimed typing with his fingers, quickly scanning several command-line prompts for information. Finding nothing, he went the next step and merged his systems with his base's computer.

After the initial rush caused by the increased intelligence available to him, he made a dimension-wide search. He was looking for an anomaly. Repeatedly, he had found and destroyed anomalies. The old organization he worked for had done the same. Perhaps had he not been forced into said organization from birth, he may have become one of their greatest members.

But he had tossed that away, preferring to duel in the endless desert of that ruined arena. He shook his head as his brain recalled the old memories, and dismissed the data streams related to those. No, now he was doing the job he did everywhere else--correcting disturbing holes in reality. Usually, these were caused by the very thing he had become in the Gunjin--an unstoppable being whom shattered reality to suit their purpose.

A part of him still yearned for that time when he stole precious artifacts and flew massive fortresses, but then he remembered: that had led to the most dangerous fight of his life. He had nearly been killed, and he would probably be killed for real if he tried it again. He then became angry that his memories were interfering and dismissed them yet again.

The data streams coalesced in front of his artificially enhanced vision. He had made a new helmet, this one taking inspiration from a purer, cleaner time--the early American Earth Space Program. It not only gave him a clearer view, but also did not have the capability to fully overlay the screen. He would never go back to those after what had happened.

His fingers itched. He felt something strange in the data he was processing. Every time, the equations made nonsensical answers. But every time that had happened before, it was because of his own shenanigans.

But he was here, and his time devices were off. What gave?

He looked further, and discovered something... unusual.

There was a signature in the arena galaxy, the one he had forbidden himself to return to. Its horrible effects on his mind and body were not to be repeated, or so he said.

Yet there was a signature of him, in there, right now.

He held his helmet with his right hand as he had a momentary flashback to that horrible experience, but then recovered from it. Clearly, someone or something was f#$%ing with his mind here. He couldn't be in two places at once, and no battler in the arena remained who could copy him that exactly.

He turned off the data link, and once again felt his capabilities turn to normal. Since this was not going to be a pretty job, he put away the simple Soviet TT33 revolver at his side. Indeed, he had a massive armory, and just glancing down that corridor was to tempt one to spend all day trying different weapons.

But these newest weapons made the rest look over-wrought and under-engineered. He had made these special, just in case something terrible like this happened. Or... to show any wannabe-him who the real Man of Steel was. He'd already had a bad experience against that Superman fellow, and wasn't going to let someone smash his guns like that again.

He put his hand on the palm-scanner. The metallic hand interlocked with the flat glass plate, transferring the DNA of Metal Man into it. The scanner accepted the data, and then it opened up, revealing... four items.

Two of them were guns. Long-barreled, short-bodied deals. They were abnormally shaped, as if made for mere target shooting. But they were no target shooters. The eight-bullet magnum-like arrangement in the body put that myth to rest. Inside each chamber of the gun was a radioactively glowing orange bullet.

The orange bullets were composed of a super-volatile liquid and propellant, which would turn to plasma when struck. At the moment they were hit by the gun's firing pin, they would rocket out at the speed of sound, surrounded by plasma. On hit, they would then douse the target in molten plasma, then set it on fire. Anything hit by the initial impact would also have a nice crater thrown in it.

Perfect for removing the armor off of targets, Metal thought. After all, the target claimed to be him; it would need to be properly de-shelled.

Of course, there was the matter of those other two objects. The weird, dumbbell-shaped things that were under-slung and had twin prongs. Those were another story.

In the many years of fighting Vampires, Dragon Saiyans, Jedi, and Crazed Holograms, Metal had found that few melee weapons matched his style. Axes were too slow, but swords were too precise; hammers were too heavy and clubs too weak. His fists could transform, but this also made him appear to be some inhumane butcher.

While these little devices were far from subtle, the elegant ribbons of orange energy they could project would prove otherwise. Capable of sustaining thin ribbons of said energy for 5 seconds, these projectors could be used to slice and dice, or shield and protect. Even better, they could engulf whatever they stabbed in horribly caustic orange plasma. Metal Man would no longer have to worry about crazed fools punching his face in--they'd have to punch through solid burning plasma to even scratch his visor.

Metal raised his hands to the weapons; they automatically unhinged from his wrists and grabbed a pistol and plasma projector each. They then stored the projectors into a sneakily located part of Metal's arms. The guns... well, they looked a lot better in their hip holsters, so he put them there.

The 6'4" Metal Man wore his silver armor with pride. It displayed a bright, backlit badge over his heart. The badge had an image of a pocketwatch being crushed by an angry fist. The Time Cops had this pocketwatch for their logo--the fact he still lived despite wearing such a blasphemous badge served to indicate how arrogant this man actually was.

However, even he winced at the vision of that cruel miser of indestructible pain he had once become.

The Man of Steel approached the portal, then set in the fated coordinates. It clicked and opened a portal, and... ...the portal was blocked by red energy.

The Metal Man tapped the energy--it did not give. He put his hands on his hips, and stared in annoyance. You go so far to try and bring me back in, then you don't let me in? You suck!

Of course, the Man of Steel had broken into realms before. To do so, he removed the Plasma Projectors. He flipped 'em upwards and turned on the prongs. Orange energy flowed between them.

He then made an almost artful stance, lifting his arms up and very carefully making a circle--he drew it with both projectors. One projector covered each side. Now an orange ring covered the red.

The man smirked at what he had made, then put away the projectors. He then got into a fighting stance, and... wound up his right arm. He then made a simple swing.

PUMF

On the other side, the desert energies had been at work all this time. Years had passed; the oblivious battlers saw nothing, and had simply assumed Metal Man had finally died. He looked like some wrinkled miser over here, anyway.

Suddenly, an orange ring appeared in the surface of reality, and a slightly bent-inward dome-shaped chunk of reality flew out. Metal Man then strode on in, as if he had just busted some sort of manhole cover.

He looked, and for the first time, saw the desert through his visor. He recalled it correctly now--a barren wasteland. He felt no nostalgia for it either--it was dead, and it had died terribly. He was only here to get rid of this annoying blip on the radar. When he was done, he could even put that weird chunk of reality he punched back where it belonged.

He mimed a single button press with his right hand. There, a targeting reticule popped up over his right eye. The reticule scanned for would-be lifesigns. He panned through the entire desert with it, searching.

As he thought, it was a barren wasteland. All except for one thing--that damned well of pestilence was still flowing, and the acrid town that sat around it continued to never rot. Metal Man walked in to the town quietly, following his scan.

He then walked up to the well, and saw his reflection. It looked normal, until it suddenly transformed into that hideous mockery of himself!

He recoiled, but then saw that he was still normal. Still, the lifesign seemed to be right there in the fountain. The Man of Steel drew a pistol, then another, pointing both at the fountain. His visor locked on to the target, and his hands robotically adjusted to fit the parameters. Metal Man's usually placid face assumed a teeth-baring grimace, as he leered at the pool of preservative.

"You thought you'd make fun of me with that reflection, did you? Well... make fun of THIS."

The Metal Man crushed both triggers all the way back. His guns responded by firing one plasma bolt after another. Each hit the pool, exploding and setting it on fire. The elaborate little middle spire of the thing flew to pieces, and the resevoir lost its walls. Red fluid spilled everywhere as an unearthly hissing filled the dead wasteland. The exploding fountain shined brightly and could be seen in the reflection of Metal's suit as he reduced it to rubble.

After the sixteen-bullet salute, the well was no more. It still burbled red fluid, but no longer did it pool it. Instead the acrid blood sank into the sands, denying it the chance to make a reflection like that again.

Metal sighed, then reloaded his guns. It was a simple manuever--both his hands bent inhumanly backwards, so their palms were now on the outside of his arms. They'd go back until the guns connected to twin tubes that generated plasma bullets and then stuck them into the guns. A second or two more was then used to spin the chambers and fill each one. After this the guns flipped back into position.

The smoke cleared from the destruction... but to Metal's disappointment, the signal was not gone. He walked to the broken well, grinding the blood-water into the dirt. Then he looked down. The sun reflected off his visor, giving him an unearthly glare.

...The reflection was still there, mocking him.

He did what any reasonable person would do: step back and ignore it. Then he shook his head (inside his suit)... and went to delete the false positive from his data. It was just an annoying trick--nothing of substance.

He had almost finished opening all the overrides and preparing to rip the data point out by hand, when the water began to bubble. He paused his actions and warily raised his guns at the bubbles.

The ground began to shake; Metal adjusted his stance. Then... then...

IT appeared, ripping from the blood-red water like a mutated dolphin.

Before Metal Man stood... METAL MAN.

"..."

The other Metal Man floated in the air, clutching a twisted axe and an equally twisted smile. Though only its left wrist and helmet were real, Metal's sensors indicated that it was, in fact, alive. If you could call its state of eternal undeath that.

Metal Man stood there, pulling the hammers back on both his pistols. He gritted his teeth again, and spoke in a low growl.

"What you are is not me. You were an abstraction I made to defeat others here. But I do not need to cheat anymore. Sink back into that pool and stop aping my locator beacon and I might consider not blowing your dumb helmet to bits!"

The being laughed at Metal Man, then spoke back in a crooning, horrible metal screech-voice. "But of course... you can't beat me... no one can kill me... you aren't me... you're just a part of me! You will come back to me, and then the battles will never eeeeend! Your new tools are just another failed attempt to be different... but don't worry... I'll accept them like all your other ideas!"

Metal Man had a bit of cold sweat there, for it was true--he had tried to change in the past, but none of them had stuck. Only THAT THING seemed to be a constant. Still, he stuck to his guns, and pointed them continually.

"Your weird words and bad ideas aren't going to get you what you want. You won't win this time. But fine! You want to die... then DIE!"

Metal Man once again pulled the trigger...

And the scene is blinded by a massive flash of light.
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Post by Metal Man » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:53 pm

The blinding light ended, as the grim phantom Man floated there. The new hole in its shoulder did not bother it. Instead, it raised its left arm in mock Roman salute to the less dead Metal Man.

"What does not kill you... only corrupts you furtherrrrr...."

A horrid hum filled the area, and Metal Man's view became distorted. The Phantom Man's left arm glowed... the mockery of a Time Device activated, ripping pieces from the destroyed town. In short order, it fired a blood red beam of this shrapnel.

The pieces tore at Metal Man as he hastily shielded his visor with both his arms. The rocks and stones had become acidic--they were burning holes into his armor and weapons. He backed away as the Phantom Man floated there, laughing.

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha... you claim to be me, but you know that is only a mistake. The only way to defeat me is to become me... and if you do that, you will have lost anyway. Give in! You are nothing without me!"

The Metal Man recoiled to the pain. Unlike the Phantom Man, he was not an indestructible demon. His armor's sensors showed that this magically powered punishment would rip him apart in short order. And there was little he could do about it...

...Except dodge.

The Metal Man leaped to the side, and the Phantom Man went to move his arm to hit him again. Metal Man was too quick however, and shot him right in the Time Device. Sparks flew from the Phantom Man as orange energy burned his left arm.

"What, fie! You know damaging me is useless. I only become stronger!"

The Phantom man lowered to the ground, as red liquid leaked from his wounds. He then rabidly leapt at Metal Man, lunging for his visor.

Metal Man whipped out his plasma projectors and crossed them into an 'X'; the beams of energy made a solid wall that exploded when the Phantom Man hit it. The Phantom Man's visor shattered, while Metal Man's only cracked. The Phantom Man's twisted face smirked. Then he went to talk some more

Metal Man stabbed his right plasma projector directly into that THING'S gnarly metal teeth.

A hideous smell of ozone filled the air, as an orange glow covered the entire head of the Phantom Man. He made a soulless growl as the plasma ripped through his mouth and burnt his wicked mustache off. His helmet crackled violently as one of his eyes burst, revealing it was nothing more than a bag of the vile red fluid.

Metal Man himself yelled some, as the red fluid burned through his armor and got at some of his flesh. He had to withdraw his arm earlier than he would have liked, for all the fluid threatened to completely melt off his right arm.

Metal Man backed away, gasping for breath. The Phantom Man stood there, steaming. Yet his burnt tongue did nothing but laugh at the torment. "Whayt day yew zink yew ar doiyng? Yew cayn't styap mey! Ay aym they Meytal Mayn! Heyh heyh heyh hah hayh hayh!"

He coughed up a bunch of the fluid and spit it at Metal Man, causing the Metal Man's visor to crack some more. Metal Man backed away a bit, disgusted. Then he raised both his pistols, and aimed for the thing's chest.

The thing responded by raising his left hand and energizing it. Metal Man fired furiously, but even after emptying both clips, he could not destroy the thing's glowing hand. Worse yet, the Phantom Man's hand had retained all his bullets. The Phantom Man then slammed his fist into the ground, hurling the bullets in all directions--one of them smashing a small piece out of Metal Man's visor, and another nicking his ankle. Metal Man limped backwards as the omnipotent Phantom Man continued closing in on him.

"Rellay, yew thanyk thayt werked? Yew ARE mey... juyst een deneyial. Ey weyll mayke eet cleeyr..."

The Phantom Man summoned an unholy guitar from thin air. Without a word, he began playing an ominous chord. Metal Man flinched, knowing the sort of insane damage that thing could do. Yet his guns were out of bullets for the moment, and he couldn't plasma slash that thing out of existence...

...So he began flipping switches inside his suit, while the Phantom Man tuned his infernal instrument of death.
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Post by Vapor » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:14 am

What is happening here? Is this topic just a you vs. you?

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Post by Fairlight Excalibur » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:12 am

^You got me excited; I thought someone was going to help him smash his clone.

I am in too many topics already, otherwise I would.

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Post by Metal Man » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:49 am

More or less just me vs. me. While I'm sure many people would also want to destroy the evil clone, it would perhaps be a bit too early for that.

Later on in it though, those who wish to help finish it off are welcome. Just that right now I'm trying to establish the non-cheater Metal Man. :p
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Post by Metal Man » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:03 pm

The infernal strumming shook the wasteland, as the one-eyed abomination took a ghastly breath.

o/` I aym they vewy bezt theyr eveyr waysz `\o
o/` Yew cayn't coympayr tooy mey `\o
o/` They Meytal viyll neyvah diyh `\o
o/` Onley yew aynd yer steypid guynz! `\o
o/` Diey, moyther#$%%yer diey! `\o
o/` Diey, moyther#$%%yer diey! `\o
o/` Diey, moyther#$%%yer diey! `\o
o/` Yeyr onley gewd foyr fertiylizer `\o
o/` Yew werythlezz huyman!!! `\o

The hideous, atonal metal-rap ripped at Metal Man's very soul with its sheer horribleness. The Man of Steel clenched his fists, as the atonal waves wreaked havok on his internal systems. He could feel the hateful gaze of the Phantom Man's glazed-over eye, and hear every guitar lick, trying to burn his very soul. For a moment, he felt like he would be incinerated...

...But his right hand continued flicking the switches anyway, despite being slowed by the vile dirge of bile. Soon, the system was set to strike. Since the Phantom Man was like Metal Man, he paused to think up some more abominable lyrics at the exact time.

This was it--failure would mean death by Heavy Metal overture, and he wasn't going to let that happen.

Metal Man held out his gun in his right hand, and a plasma projector in his left. The targeting device on his visor then lowered over his right eye and began glowing a blistering red color. This was not lost on the Phantom Man, who reacted by quickly strumming a chord. The incoming sound attack rattled Metal Man, but did not stop him.

Metal Man made a pose, with his gun pointed sideways, his projector pointed sideways in the other direction, and his visor-targeting system forming the top of the triangular formation. Without a word, he fired all three in unison.

The plasma bullet arced inwards, along with the plasma projection, and the laser. The three became a swirling three-pronged fanblade. The blade was edged with red-hot laser energy. Its surface was of plasma, and at the center was the bullet itself.

It hit with a resounding 'THWOOOSH', and covered the Phantom Man in electrical jolts, orange plasma, and the center part exploded when it hit him. The lasers also burned an outline into him. His guitar was hopelessly wrecked; and to make matters worse, the remaining energy spun the Phantom Man around comedically in the air and pushed him back.

Metal Man gave the Phantom Man no pause; he fired two more, and the Phantom Man's guitar was soon utterly blown to pieces. Bits fo the thing rained about, as the Phantom Man spun crazily into a building. When he hit the building, he exploded once more--this time, his entire body, since he had been made into one HUGE plasma bullet by the sheer amount of plasma projected onto him. The once-tall building then collapsed atop him with a noise so loud, it drowned out his cursing and hissing noises.

Metal Man fell to his knees, sparking. That attack had taken a lot out of him. Unlike the Phantom Man, he had a limited amount of capacity for violence, and such a startling amount of power left him temporarily unable to move. Had he missed, he would have surely died...

Yet the destruction was not complete. The Phantom Man made a mockery of this show, as he broke free from the 10-story building's wreckage, and then floated back towards Metal Man. Sure, his left arm had been blown off, but he just made an indestructible incorporeal copy to replace it. That blast had also shaved off the top of his helmet and his right foot, but he did the same with them. He licked his lips as he saw Metal Man at his knees.

"Wellyh wellyh wellyh. Yer thoyght thay wouly' kell me? Yew stewpid dumbayce! I aym ze Meytal Mayn! I DEW NOYT DIEY EVEYRH! I juyst bekom... STRENYGER!"

The Phantom Man raised his left hand. The energy from his device created a small, localized hole in gravity. Soon, it was orbited by sharp pieces of shrapnel... ten of them. He then aimed them at Metal Man.

"Seey whayt ye mayk mey dew? Ha ha ha ha! YEW STUYPID GRUYNT!"

Without much fanfare, he chucked each piece in a row. They smashed into Metal Man with the sound a car crash makes, and threw him backwards into a wall. He was pinned in short order, not to mention horribly wounded. His blood ran freely as the shrapnel gruesomely smashed his face, joints, and stomach. The Phantom Man had no emotion but insane laughter at this; he lowered his left hand and then began ripping a hole further in reality.

"Buyt EEM noyt DONE wit yew! Yew broyk my toyngue! So I'm goynna suymmon soym FUYN thiyngz tew keel yew wit NOWY buyddeh!"

The portal began to suck in all the trademarks of this Phantom Man. A coca-cola machine; a stargate; a diagonal elevator; a crazed robot's own right arm; a piece of the SUN; and even some quite smelly collection of the Joker's energy!

"Nowy, yew weell leayrn WHY I eym THE BESTESTY BESTYEST EVERYH!"

Metal Man had no response; he had been knocked out cold. His systems beeped furious at him, as they began to lose power. The multiple cuts to the key power lines had left him defenseless. But the Phantom Man didn't seem to care... he treated the half-dead corpse the same as any opponent.

For to him, life had no meaning... only unending undeath.
Super Smash Quest: Fighting evil since 2002.

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