[Sometime after Baxter Legion #38.]

The Last Stand of the Fatal Five

Tellus stares uncomprehendingly at the flat lifeless monitors in front of him. A mechanical voice is trying to tell him something, but it has no soul, and has become jabbering meaningless *annoying* noise. He's much more interested in the stories of the visiting Tenzil Kem, reclining with his back to the jabbering machine, who had come to the headquarters to reminisce with old friends, only to discover that they had all gone away on a mission to the Dominator throne-world, leaving only Tellus and Quislet (who knows where he had gotten off to…) to 'mind the store,' whatever that meant.

Aware that the Bismollan dignitary would probably enjoy the sight of familiar faces, Tellus has surreptitiously sent a signal to the Legion Academy, and Tenzil's face lights up as the head instructors, Chuck Taine and Luornu Duorgu, formerly the Legionnaires Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel, enter the room. Behind them, Tellus' bewildering teammate Quislet swoops in, making a 'boop - boop' noise that appears to be less attempt at communication and more involuntary vocalization. Perhaps it is his species equivalent of whistling, or singing, Tellus ponders.

The humanoids express various degrees of pleasure, apparently sincere, to be re-united, and Tellus watches with interest as the noises behind him change in pitch. He is puzzled that all three have abandoned their socialization ritual to stare at him, and is embarrassed by the thought that he must be staring and making them uncomfortable, but when they dash past him pointing at the monitors, he realizes that the strange noise is that of an alarm klaxon.

He turns to see a two-dimensional image, which means less than nothing to his eye-structure, and quickly adjusts a control to resolve the image into a three-dimensional holoprojection, which makes more sense to him. Blurry streaks of color now resolve into a quintet of brightly colored supervillains, which he recognizes from their basic shape and color as the dreaded 'Fatal Five.'

And, according to the shape of the buildings behind them, they are right outside, which is probably what the machine was trying to tell him! A sudden shudder in the building only confirms that analysis, and Tellus hears his tiny teammate loudly say, "Oh goody! A fight!" before streaking for the exit. He sees the visiting former Legionnaires turn their inscrutable flat faces to each other and give each other expressions that even he can recognize as unenthusiastic, before turning and running for the exit as well. His lips flubber in resignation as he sends out a signal to the distant Legionnaires conveying the severity of the situation, although he is unsure how long it will take them to receive this information, or whether or not they will be in a position to do anything to assist.

Rising gracefully into the air, a powerful instinctive swish of his flukes accomplishes exactly nothing, but makes him feel like he is swimming towards the fray as his Flight Ring carries him perversely towards danger, instead of, more sensibly, away from it.

Outside, he can see that the colossal Validus is pounding his three-fingered fists against the side of the structure, causing it to shake with each blow, while the Emerald Empress floats high the air, her strange living contruct thing sending an SP vehicle crashing to the ground. Tellus flexes his mind and softens the impact of the vehicle, hoping to spare the men inside any further harm from their sudden change in flight status, and he can see his fellow Legionnaires, current and former, sweeping towards the Fatal Five with a surprising show of confidence. Or is it resignation? So hard to tell with humanoids, without reading their minds.

Tharok is laughing maniacally in a mechanically augmented voice, so that all can hear him clearly. Indeed, he's perhaps a bit overly loud and enthusiastic, Tellus thinks uncharitably, and sounds like he is trying too hard to impress people. A streak of energy lances out from his bionic arm and even as Quislet swerves and dodges, the energy bolt swerves in time and smashes into the tiny ship, which is slammed into the ground with enough force to leave a small smoldering black crater. Tellus has no time to ponder the fate of his diminutive teammate, as the villain Mano has leapt towards him, screaming something incomprehensible. Halting the villain in mid-air with his telekinesis, Tellus reflects upon the words. Something about, "Gonna fry me some fish." Nonsense, really. Wasn't there something about his hands? He leaves the villain floating helplessly in midair, ranting and flailing about, while he tries to remember what it was that Mano does that makes him 'Fatal.'

Bouncing Boy has gotten the attention of Validus, accelerating to top velocity, and slamming first into the creatures face, then rebounding into the headquarters, and then back into it's face, at least a dozen times in the space of several seconds, little more than a blur of blue. Validus staggers back, flailing about, before a lucky blow sends the rotund Legionnaire hurtling into the distance.

Lu winces to see Chuck take such a powerful blow, but trusts that he'll bounce back. That's what he does, after all. The Persuader, on the other hand, has braced himself and she recognizes from her own martial arts training that he's about to leap. Instead of preparing to dodge to the side, she concentrates and allows him to send the Atomic Axe hurtling down towards her skull as she dodges *to both sides,* splitting effortlessly into her two selves as the Atomic Axe thunders down into the ground between her. As Nyeun Chun Ti's arms reverberated with the powerful impact, he saw a woman in an orange suit dive low and felt a sharp impact against the back of his leg, while a woman in purple leapt high and delivered a thunderous kick to his helmeted forehead. As he flew backwards, he lashed out with the Axe, seeing that the purple woman could not get clear in time, only to see her vanish completely an instant before he would have cut her in half. As his head slammed into the ferrocrete, he saw only one woman, again wearing a purple and orange costume, and realized that she had reabsorbed her other self before he managed to show her a new way to split herself into parts. At the moment of impact, he was stunned for a tiny fraction of a second, and his grip faltered. Another kick, and his axe was knocked from his grasp, and he heard the Carggite shout, "Tenz, present for ya."

He twisted, attempting to flip to his feet, only to see that laughable Bismollan catch the Atomic Axe by the handle and grin an impossibly toothy grin. "Noooooooooo!" he shouted, stumbling forward as the Senator took an improbably large bite out of the back of the Atomic Axe, and by the time he crossed the three paces that separated him, only a meter-length chunk of the haft remained, which Tenzil Kem flipped to him with a belch, turning away to look at the Emerald Empress. Holding the useless lump of metal that was all that remained of the most important thing in his life, as if from a great distance, Nyeun Chun Ti heard someone saying, "and for dessert, I'm thinking… something *green.*"

Luornu looked up to see Tellus floating above the battlefield, and about five meters away, the deadly Mano was making an apparently futile attempt to 'swim' through the air towards the Hyrkrain telekinetic. "Just don't let him touch you, Tellus." she said instinctively, not entirely sure whether Tellus had any experience with the Fatal Five. Tellus' calm voice came back over the ring, sounding, if anything, perplexed, "Why would I do that?"

The Emerald Empress had spent a long moment snickering behind her hand at the so-called Legionnaires that had shown up to face them, just enough time for things to go dramatically wrong. She looked to Tharok to see him rolling around on the ground, punching himself with his own robotic arm, and realized that the annoying little energy creature must have infested his mechanical systems somehow, and turned them against him. Mano was useless, which was hardly a surprise, since that was his default state, and the Persuader was sitting on his knees in the middle of the plaza, holding a small steel rod and, apparently, crying. It was beyond pathetic, and as she looked around, she could see the monstrous form of Validus stomping off into the distance at a dead run, and if she wasn't very much mistaken, that hruff, hruff sounds meant he was *laughing.*

She turned to see that insufferable nobody Tenzil Kem staring at her with a funny look in his eye. The nerve of the man, to look at *her* as if she was some common trollop, or one of his idiotic 'fans.' But then she realized that it wasn't *her,* he was looking at, and with that cold realization, the Emerald Eye suddenly ducked behind her, nestling itself under her cloak, as if it could conceal itself in the small of her back. Her hand went to rest on the surface of the terrified Eye, attempting to convey some sense of reassurance, and she looked Tenzil Kem in the face and said, "Oh hell no."

Enveloping Sarya, the Senator-at-Liberty from Bismoll saw a flare of green energy, and the Eye peeked out from behind its mistress, first on her left side, then from her right, as if attempting to anticipate with direction Tenzil would come from in this fatal game of keep-away. As he lunged forward, it seemed that the Empress fell backwards warping and stretching into some freakish distorted parody of herself as the emerald wormhole collapsed around her. He drew his hand back just in time as the portal slammed shut, his hand feeling strangely tingly and elongated, from its brief exposure to the space-warping energies.

He looked around to see the situation, apparently, in hand, and was blasted from his feet by a sudden explosion of displaced air as Wildfire, Mon-El, Ultra Boy and Dawnstar entered the atmosphere with enough velocity to cause the air to shimmer around them with the heat of their passage.

"We got 'em!" Jo Nah shouted with enthusiasm, hauling the convulsing Tharok up by his mechanical arm, only to step back in surprise as the robotic limb dissolved into a sticky paste in his grip, depositing the Fatal Five's leader unceremoniously back on the ground as the tiny Legionnaire named Quislet seeped forth and flitted around the cyborg's pale face in a strange little victory dance that involved its traditional 'boop boop' noise.

"I apologize for summoning you away from your mission, my friends," Tellus said in a calm telepathic voice, "I appear to have over-reacted…"

Wildfire looked around, seeing the crippled cyborg still twitching as his ravaged internal systems attempted to repair the damage inflicted by the little energy-being, the helpless and now upside-down Mano, spinning in midair and, from the sound of it, noisily retching into his helmet, and the despondent Persuader. "Wait, what about…" he began as the plaza suddenly shook with the sound of enormous footfalls. Energy crackled around his fists and Mon-El's eyes glowed with the power of a red sun as a blue missile flew past them, ricocheting off of six buildings in less than a second at several times the speed of sound. They could just barely hear a whine that sounded almost like words, "Aaaannnnyyyyttiiiimmmeeennnnoooowwwguuuuyyysssssss…!" In hard pursuit of the bouncing blue projectile, Validus came thundering into the plaza, and right back out the other side, utterly ignoring the Legionnaires, making a strange 'hruff, hruff' noise that sounded suspiciously like childish laughter.

Lu blinked once and shrugged, "I guess we could help Chuck now." she said.