Landfall

Crossroads wanted to run, to scream, to hide. He wanted to be anywhere but here. He wanted to tell his teammates to run, to scream, to hide. He wanted to tell his allies to run, to scream, to hide. He wanted to tell them it was hopeless, there was no path to victory, to say their goodbyes. He wanted to tell everyone to make their peace with the world since they were not long for it. Above all Crossroads didn’t want to wake up, to return to the battle field, to continue that endless fight. Death had come and Crossroads, who could see every path; saw they all lead to death.

It had come with the sunset, with the rolling waves of fog. It had rolled in off of the ocean appearing to all as a massive grey haze. The riots had started just before midnight in that fog enveloped city. A riot was a thing that was easy to deal with, most teams had at least one member that could stop one. A riot with meta individuals still wasn’t that bad, the team would take down the meta’s and then deal with the norms. A riot that includes all meta individuals in the city; even the hero teams. Well that is a different beast all together.

Crossroads was brought in three hours after midnight to find options. Behavior was affected within twenty minutes of exposure to the fog. Within an hour of exposure the victim’s personally would be altered beyond recognition. Basic filtration units would not stop the fog, he didn’t go down that path. Basic respirators would not stop the fog, he didn’t go down that path. Heroes that didn’t breathe would not stop the fog, he didn’t go down that path. Fully environmentally sealed suits would stop the fog, he chose that path. Heroes that were sufficiently hot would stop the fog, he chose that path. Heroes that didn’t interact with normal physics could stop the fog, he went down that path. Heroes that were impervious to change could stop the fog, he went down that path. Heroes that could control their own bodies perfectly could stop the fog, he went down that path. Fairies could stop the fog, he went down that path.

Nothing that penetrated to the fog’s center returned, Crossroads didn’t go down that path. From four in the morning till three hours after dawn thing went smoothly. The fog moved slowly allowing for full evacuations. The fairies made excellent scouts, allowing for the quick locating and retrieval of the victims around the peripheries. It wasn’t enough the fog was slowly expanding, the dead zone along with it. Crossroads could stop a hero that got too close to the dead zone before they disappeared, but he couldn’t find a way to see inside. He couldn’t see what would happen to him if he entered it. He couldn’t see what would happen if he entered it surrounded by five heroes. He couldn’t see what would happen to him if he went in surround by every hero immune to the fog. He could see what would happen to him if he went in surround by every hero in attendance, including the vulnerable ones.

Crossroads blacked out.

Crossroads wanted to run, to scream, to hide. He wanted to be anywhere but here. He wanted to tell his teammates to run, to scream, to hide. He wanted to tell his allies to run, to scream, to hide. He wanted to tell them it was hopeless, there was no path to victory, to say their goodbyes. He wanted to tell everyone to make their peace with the world since they were not long for it. Above all Crossroads didn’t want to wake up, to return to the battle field, to continue that endless fight. Death had come and Crossroads, who could see every path; saw they all lead to death.

Crossroads woke up.

The first thing he felt was the wetness, it’s source was initially unclear. Initially… he figured it out pretty quickly. It took a quick scramble to pull up the fabric of his mask and roll onto all fours, so he wouldn’t vomit all over himself. He closed his eyes panting; mistake he could still see the eyes staring back at him. A young girl in red, a sidekick probably handed him some watch and helped him to a chair. A phone was placed in front of him the readout read OVERWATCH.

“Can you tell me what you saw?”

Crossroads closed his eyes and tried to remember. It was still there in perfect clarity staring back at him. The eyes always starring, through time, through realities that never happened, through the fog. Crossroads emptied his stomach of all remaining acid and continued retching. He tried to force himself to speak but his muscles cramped, thousands of needles under his skin. The sidekick put an oxygen mask over his face, slowly oh so very slowly he regained control of his body. Muscle by muscle, burning needle by burning needle. The sidekick left him on the ground this time and held the phone next to his head.

“No”

“If you answer yes to this question will it be stopped?”

Crossroads looked down that road. The green hills had been turned to smooth glass, not a building could be seen. The ground radiated heat, it was stifling, it burned his lungs. This is where the city had once stood. He could tell by the shape of the coast line, even as the ocean boiled. Most importantly there wasn’t a trace of fog in the sky.

“Why would you do something like that?”

“Because it is killing my heroes.”

“Yes”

The response was immediate. Crossroads could see every hero react, as the evacuation order was given. Some did so without argument, some only gave a few symbolic words before caving, some had to be dragged off by their teammates. Crossroads needed no convincing to get into one of the transports. He watched the fog as they flew away, as they did so something changed. Above the fog was a darkness, just a smudge barely larger than a man. It moved to the center, the eye of the storm; but was careful not to touch it. Then it was gone in a flash; well not flash, flash doesn’t begin to describe it. It was gone in light along with the fog and the city it had consumed.

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