(2014-09-24) Planet Killer Cometh
Planet Killer Cometh
Summary: After several attempts at asteroid bombardment have been foiled by the Justice League's solar system sensor grid, Ming the Merciless of Mongo sends a single gigantic meteor cloaked in magic, bypassing the sensors. The League only discovers the asteroid literally minutes before it hits Earth's atmosphere. It's clutch time!
Date: 2014-09-24
Related: The Menace of Mongo
Scene Runner: Winsome
Social/Plot: Plot

Thanks to the Justice League, Earth now has a warning system in place that's solar system wide. Dangers to the planet can be identified from as far out as Pluto or as close as Earth orbit. All because, within the last several months, an unusual number of dangerous meteor showers have almost made it to Earth. Each has been stopped and it is suspected they are the advanced weapons of Ming the Merciless, ruler of the mobile war world of Mongo.

However, even the best warning system can be subverted. Especially when that warning system is technology based and the enemy has access to magic.

The warning sirens rang out, alerting the Justice League of danger. According to the readings, an asteroid roughly ten kilometers in diameter has just appeared out of nowhere and passed the moon. It is on a direct, collision course for Earth.

That's the same size as the rock that likely cause the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Immediately, the Moon Maiden sprang into action. She used zeta tube transports to move from Earth to the Watchtower and the Watchtower to the moon. Then she engaged her powers.

// Moon Maiden to all League members. // her voice speaks over the comm unit. //I've done the math. Based on my calculations I can slow down the asteroid but I can't stop it. If I max out the power output of my alchemical engine I can give you exactly three minutes and sixteen seconds before the asteroid touches Earth's atmosphere. I can't do more than that without blowing up the moon and possibly half the solar system. Starting now. Won't be able to communicate while I do it. Moon Maiden out. //

You have three minutes to get ready. The end of the world is coming. Mongo just threw a mountain at the Earth.

"JARVIS, activate emergency Omega protocols. Summon every League member, and alert SHIELD and all allies. Engage now." comes Power Woman's order. She doesn't wait, because there is no time. Instead, she disappears from class, blurring away between one moment and the next, as she rockets into the sky. "All League members, repeat, all League members, respond ASAP. I need status of forces and I need capabilities, and I need them yesterday, people. I don't know how the Hell that rock got here, but it CANNOT hit Earth." No matter what. Can't be stopped? That's not an option.

Is that a damsel in distress, I hear? responds a jovial, male voice on a broad-band frequency. A brilliant streak of purple-ish light flares against the black canvas of space dotted with stars; it traces an arc across the heavens - heading toward Moon Maiden.

It's okay, he adds a moment later. I've been monitoring transmissions about this thing for a while - Jack of Hearts. Or, Just-Jack. Jack works too. The figure finally comes to a relative stop not far from Moon Maiden, clad in a garish gold-and-purple armoured cuirass over a suit of midnight-blue chainmail. The right side of his face is Caucasian; the left… jet black, with a heart-tattoo over his left eye. A glowing nimbus of purple energy, flecked with roiling spots of black surrounds him.

Deal me in.

Meanwhile, at Stark Tower…

Tony, freshly showered, coiffed, dressed, and smelling like a million bucks is getting ready to hit the town. It's the kind of night where he may or may not end up with a 4AM "Conference Call" with a Ms. Bambi AND a Miss Heather. The message from Moon Maiden comes through, amplified and scrubbed by JARVIS through the penthouse sound system. Before the transmission is completed, the keys to the Bugati are dropped back on the dresser and he's already switching into a specialized compression suit that gives him an extra layer between himself and the exterior of any of the suits. "JARVIS - prep the Pegasus for launch, with maximum power and armament."

"Right Away, sir." is all the dry, British voiced AI replies with, and Tony enters his Armory.

Thirty Seven Seconds later, Tony is Zeta-Tubed to the Watchtower, and five seconds after that, is in space above Earth, his thrusters propelling him at 65k an hour towards the hurtling mountain.

If anyone listens real close, they can faintly hear "Highway To Hell" by AC/DC as ghostly bleedover transmission from the suit.

Jean Grey was actually planning for a quiet night in, working on her psych homework when the call came out. Blinking in surprise, she quickly makes her way to the zeta tube, zipping up to the station pronto. Once there, she gets into a modified version of her suit… just pressurized to withstand actual space, with a nice bubble helmet and everything, and launches one of the Quinjets, radioing to Tony, "Hey, Stark… do you listen to anything /other/ than AC/DC?" She's keeping it light, because… well, someone has to, and you don't want to think about failure right now.

Moon Maiden doesn't return Jack's greetings. She doesn't do anything but float there, above the Blue Area of the Moon. Her eyes focus on the asteroid as she tethers it to the Earth's only natural satellite, using the moon as a break to slow the giant hunk of space rock down. Already, she's trembling. This is more than she's ever done before. More than even holding back a tidal wave.

Starfire had been flying in earth's atmosphere when she saw something zip past. Hey she hadn't been trying to race! Just out for a leisurely flight. Ok so she might be new to all this and fifn't know what was up but she wanted to find out. So up she flew into space to have a look see cuz anything that caused a commetion couldn't be good!

It won't last long. And tonight, the tides will be messed up something huge. Laurel just hopes she doesn't cause a tsunami by accident.

The alerts have sounded, and now they're out of time. "Tony, if you happen to have a few hundred repulsor-engine remote thruster units, now would be the time to deploy them. There's no way the Watchtower's tractor systems are going to be strong enough. It doesn't have a specific gravity high enough; it'd just drag the Watchtower out of orbit and hurl it into the atmosphere right behind it." Power Woman opines, as she surges out of the atmosphere and streaks towards the humungous single asteroid. As hopeless as it may be, she launches herself towards the thing without hesitation, ready to apply every erg of force she can muster, while trying to come up with a better plan.

//Hey — // Jack starts to say, only to fall quiet before making it any further into that particular protestation. Instead, he fires a blast of z-energy behind him and rockets toward the asteroid, coming to a relative stop much closer.

Luuucyyy! I'm hooome! he calls out - and extends his arms in front of him. Globes of writhing energy appear around his fists before sending a wide beam - as wide as he can manage (several miles) - outward that bathes the asteroid in its light.

He grimaces.

Ooookay. Big asteroid. Liiiittle big asteroid. Juuust a little. Uh… So. If anyone out there is listening, I'm running a scan of this glorified flying potato with my z-blasts. Scanalyzer is working - should have a datastream of its mineral content, blah, blah, blah, blah. Maybe even slow it down - ahh, gnnngh! Nope. Not happening. Transmitting data - whatever I can get.

He pauses briefly.

Could really go for a Gatorade right about now. Just saying.

"What's the matter, Red, don't care for the boys down under?" Tony asks, a slight chuckle in his voice, "I like a whole bunch of other kinds of music. Maybe not Bieber or One Direction or anything like that, but yeah."

Just a little light conversation while going almost half the speed of light. Within the helm, Tony's eyes flicker as he goes over telemetry and data from the the sensor net. "JARVIS, give me a compositional break down using the sensor net to analyze at three hundred sixty degrees. I need to know what I'm working with here so I can crack this son of a bitch up." he keys back up on the JL frequency, "PW, if I do this right - and I usually do - we won't have to worry about it getting anywhere near the watch tower."

AC/DC fades out behind Tony's voice, and Crystal Method comes on. Their cover of Magic Carpet Ride.

Jean Grey hmphs, "Oh please, I was thinking maybe some Daft Punk." She considers, "Tony, you want to do a coordinated strike? Because I don't think I was spec'd on the weapons this thing has." A pause, "Um, do we /have/ weapons on the Quinjets?"

Starfire surges forward as her hands glow with energy and she heads for the asteroid "Why not divert it instead, steer it away from earth rather then try to deflect or stop it?" sweeping around to the side of it to push as much as shew can.

So vast is the strength of the Woman of Steel that the asteroid shudders, slowing down further. Pieces of it break off, floating into space around Power Woman as she pushes, hard. She just bought the Earth another twenty-seven seconds of life.

Blood trickles from Moon Maiden's nostrils as, down below, her alchemical engine whines and is pushed to the limit. The moon actually slips about one one hundreth of an inch out of orbit, dragged along by the asteroid.

Nearly half that thing is vibranium! Jack transmits in alarm to anyone who might be listening, and he momentarily shuts off his energy beams just as Starfire draws closer. The two-toned skinned man grins broadly, and lifts an arm - knowing full well it might go unnoticed (even being a bright purple star in the sky). When the asteroid starts to shift some more, he blinks and fires another z-blast at it. A steady force of kinetic energy this time.

This won't hold, he calls out over the radio-waves. Someone deal me an idea - any idea.

Tony gets the data from JARVIS, confirms it, and keys up the JL frequency again.

"Okay kids, this is what we got. We're looking at a rock that's forty percent vibranium that's distributed throughout nickel, carbon, gold, and the usual remnants of star stuff. I've got a rough geological map of the beast, and I have the means to break it up. I'm not sure what we're going to have left over with the denser components so we're probably gonna have to play some World Cup goalie action to keep the bigger bits from getting through."

"JARVIS, prep the cluster missile pods and micro-jerichos, and give me a strafing profile. I want to either find a tunnel or make one in. The only way we can pull this off is to tenderize the outside, and then get inside and pull a Harry Stamper. Hopefully I don't get a day named for me after we're done."

"Tony! Before you start tearing this thing apart … answer me something. With the repulsor repeaters, could you wrap this whole thing in one energy field? Maintain cohesion for eighty-five seconds?" Power Woman inquires. With that much vibranium, attempting concussive maintenance on this asteroid is not going to go well for anyone concerned. "If we could pull that off, it should be enough for the hyper generator. The power cell won't keep it in hyper for long. But even two seconds would be enough to take it well beyond Earth." Meanwhile? Power Woman keeps pushing, pouring on the power, the strength, the determination. She'll never be able to stop it, not even with all the help. But every bit she pushes is longer they have to pull this off. Right?

Jean frowns, hearing the chatter, then opens a mental link for all those present… which might be a bit disconcerting for some people, » Hello everyone, Marvel Girl here. Don't worry, I'm not reading your minds… think of this as a faster-than-light communication relay. « With that, she pauses, and then relays out the information discovered so far about the asteroid and the possible energy field to wrap this sucker up tight to everyone, following up with, » I'm not familiar with all of your capabilities, but I think we have what it takes to eliminate this threat. «

Starfire nods with a smile to Jack before she startles at hearing Jean in her head , asuddenly shoving at the asteroid with her enerrgy «Why stop it or deflect it? Wouldn't stering it off it's course so it doesn't collide work just as well?» her eyes glowing in the darkness of space. She knew Jack and Jean were here that meant this was Ming's? Mongo's? doing! Growing angry and determined «An asteroid this large would take countless lives with it upon impact and cause long lasting catastrophic ecological damage, Ming would have little if anything to rule or enslave»

// I'm reaching… the end… of my… limits. Any… further… and the engine… will… explode. // Moon Maiden says through League comms. And then? The asteroid won't matter anymore. Nor will most o the inner planets. // There's… another… person up here… with us… he's projecting… some sort… of energy field… if… he… if it can… conduct… hyperspace… maybe… with… a big… solar… energy… push… like a flare? I…. // And the Moon Maiden passes out, falling down to the Blue Area of the moon below.

Meanwhile, ten kilometers of asteroid marches on towards Earth. A rock the size of Mount Everest seeking to destroy the planet.

« Just so everyone's clear: It will take almost as much energy to try to redirect this meteor at this range far enough out that it would miss the Earth, the moon, and our satellites, as it would to stop it cold. And we can't stop it cold. » Power Woman responds using Marvel Girl's telepathic network established amongst those who have responded. She doesn't know what all of them can do. But she can draw conclusions from observable facts: they're all trying to help, so, time to enlist everyone in a concerted effort, instead of independently.

« We've done all we can to slow this thing down. Iron Man, I need you to help … Jack ?? … here, to spread and maintain that energy field. Work it out. Marvel Girl, can you and our glowing orange friend here help Iron Man spread the repeaters, or anything else he needs? I'll get the hyperspace engine. » Power Woman can fly the fastest, and she knows where it is and how to make it work. So she's elected.

« Everybody, go! »

The Kryptonian pushes off from the asteroid and streaks around it, aiming for the Watchtower.

"Recognized: Power Woman, Jay-El Zero-Three." intones over the League comms, as the systems of the Watchtower recognize her and open the sealed launch bay doors. Incoming!

Tony started crunching the numbers the minute Jean spoke in his head and put everyone together, it took only seconds, but in this situation every one of them count. "I have solution!" he calls out both in his mind and on the comms. "Annnd we've lost Moon Maiden. Alright, here we go!" he says/thinks, and gets to where the asteroid is. Being an inventor is fun, being a futurist is neat, but being Tony Stark is cool as all hell, especially at times like this:

From pods on his shoulders and vambraces on his forearms, micro sized ordinance begins flying off him like fireflies, easily a couple of hundred of them. The begin to take a geometric pattern that surrounds the asteroid. Then they fire on full, and their fields overlap, essentially creating a repulsor field the shape of a d20 surrounding the asteroid, "Jack, amp that field up and sling it towards the sun. Power Woman, give it a nudge as well. We got this."

Marvel Girl puts the Quinjet on autopilot, focusing her concentration on the mental link, since there's a fair amount of distance involved. She smiles faintly, though, » Tony, need me for anything aside from being the switchboard? « Granted, she does have her telekinesis, but that wouldn't do much good against something like /this/.

«Telepathy?» Jack asks, foregoing the typical radoi/z-transmission and just thinking, thanks to Jean Grey. «Ooh, shiny! There's a kiss of sunlight on a cloudy day - Anyone tell you you have a beautiful touch? Erm, mental-touch. Hmm? Oh, right. Sling. I can do that.»

Jack shifts nature of his z-blasts on the molecular level to something with less 'blast' and more 'push' - or 'swing' to it. Sweat beads on his brow and the light he emits reaches near-blinding levels. «Ah… this isn't 'good'» he projects with a mild infusion of worry to flavour his thoughts. «I push any harder and I'll blow it - maybe. Nudge now. Please. Jesus, what a stone to pass!»

He frowns.

«Forget I thought that.»

Starfire nods sweeping around the asteroid to coordinate with the others as she summons a large ball of ebergy in her hands «You want energy like a solar flare? Just tell me where! Solar energy is what I'm good at» the nergy ball kept growing and growing between her hands as it grew brighter.

The asteroid barely budges. This is ten kilometers of rock, much of it energy absorbing vibranium. It continues on path towards Earth. Less than two minutes, now, until it touches the atmosphere.

« You can pour out energy? » Power Woman responds, hearing Starfire's thoughts. Hooray for Marvel Girl's telepathic switchboard. « Alright. Go catch some rays, get the right angle, and pour all the energy you can into the purple glowing guy for all you're worth. Jack, keep that field as amped up as you can for as long as you can. I'm almost there. »

"Thirty eight seconds? Well, that means I have time for a latte, then."

"JARVIS, let's go to work!" he calls out, and the two working in tandem, start the calculations. Astrodynamics is just another version of applied physics, and he does that like bored housewives do Sodoku puzzles. He has thirty eight seconds, but between him and JARVIS, it only takes twenty two and another five for a microburst transmission to load it into the quinjets flight computer.

"Okay, it's loaded, prefetched, and error checked. It's gonna bounce to the exact distance it is from earth now only on the other side. It'll miss the planet entirely and keep going."

«Ah, the… voice of optimism!» Jack grates out from between his teeth. «Had… forgotten what that sounded…like. OK, Orange - gonna take some o' that lovin' now, right? Keep it steady - too much an' I'll blow. *ahem* I mean literally. This stuff's hard to control.»

With that, the garishly-clad man starts drawing in extra energy from Starfire, and soon enough the man himself becomes a dark spot in the centre of a purple light. The brighter he glows, the more tense he 'sounds' (given these are projected thoughts).

The beam from one hand fades as Jack angles his arm away, to point it at the hyperspace engine, and in moments he is linked to both it, and the asteroid. Pulses of purple z-energy run along his arms and down the beams aimed at the monstrous asteroid.

«Alright… target data. LOVE target data. Hey Stark - love the red 'n gold. It works - ahh, oh boy.» He tries to think something else, but whatever words might have been projected are lost in a haze of white: pain. In the middle of it all, Marvel Girl might hear one thing:


Starfire giggles «I always absorb it!» she wasn't wearing muchadter all but least she had a top and a bottom on, all the essentials were covered ;)Flying around to line herself up with Jack she fires off her energy ball into a steady stream at the purple glowing man, pouring nearly everything she has into her hands as even her eyes flicker. She knew she needed to keep a bit for herself to keep her flight but this was coming dangerously close to that tenuous line of just barely enough and not quite enough. These were her friends out here and innocent people on the planet below. «For Freedom! For Friends!» she thinks, giving herself the determination and motivation she needed to pour her nearly everything she had into this.

Marvel Girl focuses her thoughts, spending one part of her mind to keep the link open, and another part trying to suppress the pain that Jack of Hearts is feeling right now. » NOW! « She picks up on Jack's thought, and makes sure that it gets through to everyone as she keeps the Quinjet on autopilot.

Starfire's energy pours into Jack. Jack's energy pours into the Iron Man's network. The hyperspace engine gets switched on and the asteroid vanishes. It reappears on the other side of the Earth with the same amount of momentum and the same energy. It will continue along and eventually leave the solar system.

The Earth has been saved. Thanks to the Justice League (and friends!)

Of course, evil never rests. And while the Justice League and their sensor system were busy dealing with this asteroid? No one noticed the small craft landing on the other side of the world…

But that's a story for another time.

« Alright! Let's stop blasting poor Jack. Iron Man, talk to JARVIS. Get the sensors back up, and let's try to figure out how this thing got here without any early warning. Marvel Girl, good job. Maybe you can go college Jack, he looks a bit the worse for wear. I'll go get the quinjet so we can get it repaired. Anyone who's interested, there'll be coffee, tea, milk, and lots of high-calorie yummies on the Watchtower in twenty minutes. » Power Woman sends, as she streaks off after the half-wrecked quinjet and the asteroid. A huge mass of vibranium is pretty darned valuable. Worth keeping track of, after all. Bet the Wakandans would be happy to take it off the solar system's hands.

For that matter, so would Tony.

"JARVIS, reboot the sensornet and get the data from approximately two hours before the asteroid appeared on. I want to know how it got to where it is so quick. Also, keep track of that asteroid. It's got a suit with my name on it inside it. Send it to the penthouse and the watchtower."

Then Power Woman mentions coffee, tea, milk, and lots of high calorie yummies.

"I don't need a coffee klatch, I need a double 21 year old McClaren with two rocks. A few of 'em."

Oh well, at least there's a stash on the Watchtower.


Jack of Hearts is still glowing. A lot. He hangs there in the blackness of space, his eyes clenched shut, his arms in an X-shape over his chest, and hands balled into fists - surrounded by z-energy that continues to bleed off of him despites his efforts to keep it under control.

«Little help here… Don't have a deathwish - well. Not today. Stark? Marvel Girl? Anyone…? Uhh…»

Energy continues to build, despite his attempts to release it in a controlled manner. The worry in his mind becomes blatantly obvious, even after he stops trying to speak.

Marvel Girl takes control of the Quinjet, arrowing in on Jack's location, » It's okay, I'm right here to pick you up. Is there any way we can vent that excess energy? If you don't know, I'm willing to bet Iron Man would. « With that, she opens the airlock for the cargo bay, dropping the Quinjet over Jack of Hearts nice and neat before punching it hard for the Watchtower.

Starfire thinks puzzledly «Who is McClaren? and why would you want rocks with someone?» Then gets an idea «Can someone tell me what energy Jack produces? I can absorb radiation and solar energies» Flying at top speed after the Quinjet.

"Oh yeah. I forgot, every can still hear my thoughts. Good thing I didn't watch that JLo featuring Iggy Azaela video before I got up here." he flies over towards Jack, and says "The top layer of my armor absorbs and dissipates most radiation, which is why I used it for a space-worthy chassis. Hit me with it and I can vent it." he says, so that all can hear him, "Oh, and McClaren is a scotch. Rocks are ice cubes. I'll be happy to demonstrate on the Watchtower. We haven't been introduced by the way."

"Or, yeah, she can absorb it. Hope it doesn't change her though..I like that orange."

Power Woman has no idea what kinds of energy Jack generates, so she can't help with that. « Yummy baked goods. C'mon, guys. » Kara teases. She trusts the team to take care of the energy problem. She scoops up the half-wrecked quinjet and flies back to the Watchtower. "JARVIS, can you prep the zeta-beam transporter, please? Redirect for Luna Villa. I need to check on Moon Maiden, because she's not responding."

«Not… going to have… much choice… in a moment,» Jack manages to 'say', then he opens one eye to first look at Starfire, then the other to look at Iron Man. By now, his face looks almost entirely black - barring some portion of his cheek, brow and ear. The z-field around him warps as he opens his arms and he points each one at the two heroes either side of him.

«This might… sting a little…»

And he releases twin-torrents of purple-and-white light, flecked with black, in two different directions, the greater portion of it going to Starfire. Moments before his entire visage becomes the one colour, the 'normal' fair complexion of his right side slowly starts to return, as the black is drawn away like ink from a page (in reverse). He lets one thought slip amid the barrage of energy.


Starfire still looks puzzled at Iron Man but flies over to Jack and puts her hand on his own as she too began to glow purple "Mmm oh that's the stuff" rolling her head back.

"Certainly, madam." JARVIS says, and reprograms the z-tube for a trip to the Lunar Villa.

Meanwhile, Tony takes on the Z-Energy from Jack, while Starfire takes the other part of it. It's a strain on the systems, but certainly nothing the armor can't handle. Actually, it comes out a little better as the radiation has given the armor a swirly black and purple color to it. Tony looks over at Starfire as she takes the energy, and then looks around and says, "I'll have what she's having."

Eventually (well, in a matter of seconds - thirty-nine, give or take), the excess z-energy winks out, leaving Jack of Hearts floating in a decidedly muted nimbus of light, looking thoroughly exhausted. He stretches his body, arching his back as far as he can, and extends his arms out to either side in an almost-yawnlike gesture.

Hoy! he exclaims over the radio-waves (and z-waves still emanating from him). He lets out a sigh.

Now all I can think of is a cigarette and some scotch! …Thank you. I mean it.

High Earth Orbit — Solar System
Outside of 100,000 miles from the surface of the Earth, she looks like a large blue green marble hanging softly within the starry background. Quite breathtaking and peaceful, one could stare at the Earth and not know the troubles upon her surface, only know the beauty of this sight. The only natural satellite that orbits the Earth, Luna/The Moon orbits around one hundred to three hundred thousand miles away depending on its current orbit position, but is much closer than any of the other heavenly bodies. Also within this field of vision the Sun is quite detectable in all it's rage and glory.

  • Obvious Exits:
    • [DN] - Western Hemisphere — Low Eart
    • [M] - Landing Area — Earth's Moon
    • [UP] - Inner Planets — Solar System
    • [WT] - Watchtower Station — High Ear
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