An armoured figure, large and imposing, strode out into the middle of the busy road, ignoring the cars and trucks that swerved to avoid, shouting curses as they did. Casually, almost as if an after-thought the figure waved its hand toward the nearest vehicle that had skidded to a stop. Small projectiles flew from the gauntleted hand, scattering around the car. The following explosion sent it flaming into the crowd gathering to watch on the sidewalk. As the screams rose in volume, the rest of the traffic on Westminster Bridge came to a standstill.
The figure positioned itself in the centre of the street, its head staring toward the bridge, watching the traffic pile up. In a matter of minutes the entire roadway across the Thames had become congested, car horns vying with screaming pedestrians to be heard.
“Humans!” the figure said to itself, derision in its voice.
It raised, steel clad arms into the air as if in triumph. A second later the centre of the bridge exploded; a massive explosion rocked the structure, throwing concrete, tarmac and motorcars into the air. As the integrity of the bridge gave way it began collapsing into the Thames River, spilling people and vehicles alike into the dark, cold water. People, desperately trying to claw their way off the crumbling bridge, were bowled back by loose mortar and falling cars and plunged into the icy cold water below.
It was a small demonstration, thought the figure, but it was after all, only the start of the night. Turning from the chaos that was now Westminster Bridge it focused its attention on the surrounding buildings. Many Londoners, still foolishly curious about the noise and lights from outside, had gathered on the streets and at the windows to see what had happened. The figure spoke, its voice amplified somehow so it carried far and above the noise of the destruction.
“Humans of Britain, you people who voted to oppress mine, to oppress the next step in evolution. This is our response,” it said, “And this”, it added, gesturing to the Houses of Parliament “is what Homo Superior thinks of your registration law”.
Another explosion, louder and bigger than that on the bridge, erupted from the famous brown-bricked seat of government. People screamed as the buildings belched forth fire and noise from within. Brick and glass was sent spinning into the crowd, mowing them down in a hail of destruction.
As the once majestic buildings continued to groan and collapse an eerie silence settled over the area. The figure stomped through the strewn debris, itself completely unscathed from the falling debris. It stared around at the people groaning and trying to move on the ground. It ominously pointed its arms at the dazed and injured civilians, and callously shot them, spraying them with a hail of bullets. It raised its arms up to the buildings still firing, shattering glass and bodies alike with an almost contemptuous ease.
It spoke as it carried out its terrible work, “The United Kingdom’s ‘mutant registration laws’ will not be tolerated by my people. Homo Superior will not stand for it and I will not idly watch as our brethren are persecuted”.
It stared up at Big Ben, the glowing clock face still miraculously intact. “Brotherhood,” it called out, as if speaking to others, “Help me show these people the consequences of their bigotry”.
Seconds later one of the clock faces of the iconic timekeeper erupted outward, showering glass and roman numerals on the ground below. A figure fell toward the ground, and over the crash of glass on concrete, a maniacal laughter could be heard. As the figure plummeted closer to the ground the unnerving laughter turned into an ear-piercing screech.
As the screaming ascended in pitch and tone, the falling figure impossibly began slowing down, eventually just swooping across the ground, before alighting gently on its feet. The figure was a red headed male, dressed in a black turtleneck, dark jeans and black boots. He smiled at the nightmare scene surrounding him, his wild, green eyes reflecting the flames. He looked up at the damaged Big Ben. Another scream ripped from the man’s throat, the air in front of him rippling as the very molecules pulsed under the force of his sonic shout. The remaining three faces of Big Ben shattered and the man began laughing again, obviously taking delight in the destruction.
“Well done Banshee,” said the armoured figure, “But we need more. Where is your brother?”
Banshee smiled and pointed to the distance behind him where rows of armed soldiers were marching down a tree-lined street toward the pair. Banshee emitted another sonic scream, lifting him into the air and toward the law enforcers. The armoured figure did not move, knowing that the Cassidy brothers could handle this. The soldiers’ forward momentum faltered as they contemplated how to handle the man flying toward them. While they brought their weapons to bear, they failed to notice the branches of the nearby trees reach toward them, nor that the ground was swelling and cracking as roots reached for the surface. As the battalion officer raised his hand to signal their assault, the world around them went to hell.
Branches ripped into the soldiers from above, wood piercing flesh and branches choking the air from their lungs. The ground heaved beneath their feet as roots shot up from below, ensnaring and knocking them to the ground. In the chaos, gunshots began to ring out but bullets only found their fellows or the wood of the trees. And, as an angel of death, floating above the carnage smiled Banshee and, like his mythological namesake, gave those remaining their death wail. His sonic blast liquefied their senses. Blood poured from eyes and ears of those beneath their assailant, and others, who raised their hands to their ears in an effort to block out the noise, allowed the nightmare vegetation as easier kill. In a matter of minutes all that was left was a tangled patch of roots and broken bodies in camouflage. From the shadows of a side street, a man in a long dark trench coat, with red hair similar to his still laughing brother, nodded toward the armoured figure.
“Deal with any more like this Black Tom”, the figure said to the man.
It turned its attention back to Big Ben that, despite missing its clock faces, was still more or less intact. As the apparent leader of this attack watched, a ripple of green energy flashed in to being, surrounding the top of the tower. A noise sounded out, heard even above everything else. It started as a low groan, like rusted gears being pressed back into use after sitting idle too long. The suddenly, with a tortured shriek of tearing metal, the mechanical inner workings of the famous clock ripped through the walls of the building, as if torn from them by an giant, invisible hand. The mechanism floated in the air above the tower for a few seconds before gently descending to the ground. It came to rest on the street beside a young woman with striking green hair, tied back in a ponytail. Like Banshee, she wore dark clothes and boots, though her makeup was more colourful, green eye shadow complimenting her hair. She looked over toward the armoured figure and her lips curled into a sadistic smile.
With a casual gesture of her hand the large pile of metal cogs and wheels shot across the street, smashing through the building there, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Screams and shouts of horror filled the air, as the office block building began to collapse in on itself.
“Polaris,” acknowledged the figure. “Petra, bring this corrupt building to its knees!” it then commanded.
Another woman had appeared beside the green haired Polaris. She had long blonde hair, and was dressed similarly to the rest of this terrifying group. She held her hands out toward the still largely intact clock tower. Suddenly pillars of rock erupted from around the base and the whole building began to jerk from side to side. Spears of rock lanced through the brick walls jutting into and out of them. In a final upheaval the whole structure split apart, tumbling into the street.
The leader watched as the two women used their extraordinary powers to send metal and rock alike up into the air and out across the rooftops of London. Crashes and screams echoed to them from the distance, testaments to the success of their spreading damage. The Cassidy brothers were sill slaughtering anything that moved nearby. Surveying their work the armoured figure held up a gauntleted fist and once noticed, the super-powered servants ceased what they were doing.
It walked toward the rubble of the parliament houses and spoke again with an amplified voice, “Let this night serve as a lesson to the United Kingdom, and to any other country that seeks to control and persecute my people! We will not sit by quietly and suffer your futile attempts to control and subjugate us. This is your Armageddon humanity. I am your Armageddon”.
As the speech ended a helicopter appeared over the scene of destruction. Ropes spilled down from it and were grabbed by Polaris, Petra and Black Tom before pulling them upward. Banshee soared into the air hovering at a safe distance from the aircraft blades. Armageddon surveyed the work they had done here tonight. They had struck a devastating blow to this city, one that it would likely never recover from. It was exactly what was needed. Only something on this scale would get the result Armageddon wanted.
‘You’re cutting it fine’ said a woman’s voice with an English accent in Armageddon’s head.
“We can leave now Psylocke,” replied Armageddon, knowing the telepath would hear it clearly with her telepathic powers. Rising up to the helicopter on the last rope, the person known as Armageddon smiled. After this other governments would certainly think twice about passing anti-mutant laws. And if not the Brotherhood would ensure that any country that did, would suffer a similar fate to London.
“Come my brethren, it is time to leave. I think our message has been well and truly heard”.