Helmet comms begin to stutter into life as the zoom passes under the Western Wall and the clones are once again back in Mega City One, even if they are stuck in a run-away zoom, with a nuclear device, and facing down the latest military droids that money can buy.
Crate after crate on this zoom bursts open with Hammersteins, Spider Droids and Blackblood war machines, and shot after shot from the Judges lawgivers ring out and the explosions in this enclosed space cause their helmet visors to flash black to protect their vision.
Finally they dispatch the last war droid, and jettison the last attached carriage, and face an empty engine compartment.
Judge Bethesda puts a hand to his head as something buzzes on the psionic plane, moments before the physical blast of displaced air momentarily staggers the clones, and at the end of the carriage, a man appears.
The force of his appearance has buckled the walls and floor around the man, and the air seems to shimmer, as a force field his extruded to enclose the bomb. The man, standing about 1.7m, wrapped in a black billowing cloak, his face uncovered, but though the judges helmet surveillance, is concealed by some cloaking technology.
Judge Liefield steps forward " Alain DeBotan, you are under arrest for crimes against the city, the murder of 1000 citizens, the death of thirty judges on the Atlantic Wall, and anything else we can find to accuse you with"
“Don’t make me laugh. You cannot touch me, let alone arrest me. You know me by touch and my reach, you may have foiled my attack by sea, but I will rain death on this city. This is only the beginning, a feint within a feint…”
At this point something distracts, DeBotan and although he is silent, it’s obvious he is talking to somebody, and that somebody isn’t happy with him, and it would be fair to assume, that DeBotan may just be a pawn in someone else’s game.
And then he’s back in the room… “Today you die, Judges…”
And with another sonic clap of air filling a void, he is gone.
Von Simian leaps forward to the bomb, but it becomes clear that he has no way of breaching the force field. Turning their attention to the Zoom controls, whatever has locked down the bomb, is also locking down the train.
Ten minutes from Penn & Teller station, and eleven minutes from the largest nuclear explosion within MC1, since the Atomic Wars.
With no way off the zoom, no way of disarming the bomb, Bethesda closes his eyes and begins to concentrate, his nose bleeds as he screams, and the bomb, and its force field shimmer, and wink out of existence – Bethesda has attempted to teleport the bomb out of the city, but his gut tells him that he hasn’t been successful.
Somewhere above them is a bomb, and its about to blow.
Five minutes later, at 06:55 on the 13th of July 2113, an explosion, a mile under city bottom of Sector 13, opens up a crater 2km across, which swallows up twenty city blocks and two million citizens. Justice Central emergency services step up their response and are on the scene in minutes. The devastation is total, by 07:30, contracts are assigned to various international organisations and the robotic re-building of Sector 33 begins.
Even as the the city is being shaken by the latest terror attack, and the news of the explosion at the cursed Earth Iso Block, the clone Judges step out from Penn & Teller station in sector 88, the roads and meg ways out of the city are full of traffic, everything on wheels has come to a standstill.
Reports from Traffic control indicate that they have lost control of the computerised traffic systems.
A panicked voice breaks in over the comms – the same virus that has attacked road traffic, has also infected Space Traffic Control.
Even as the comms crackle out, the first ball of fire falls from the sky. Space craft without control, were falling from the sky, shuttles, cargo craft, private passenger ships, were dropping like stones, and where they fell on the city, they were destroying whole blocks.
And then the first of the cruise liners in geo stationary orbit above the city fell. Three of the six ships of the White Star Line were unable to break free from MC1 computer controls fell to earth. Liners the size of city blocks themselves, screamed through the atmosphere, breaking up as they fell, one into the Black Atlantic, another against the Western Wall, causing a three kilometre breach, the third landed in the middle of Sector 88.
That nuclear blast of half an hour ago, and the two million that died, were the lucky ones that morning.
By the time the last of the star ships had crashed to earth, another four million citizens across the city had lost their lives.
Chaos ruled the streets. All of the resources of the Justice Department were concentrating on cleaning up this mess. All the heavy lifting power of H-Wagons were in use, the Pat Wagons were rushing the injured to whichever medical facility was available, every judge that survived the initial onslaught, were pulling citizens from the flames and the rubble.
For a moment the city held it’s breath.
And with the judges backs turned, the citizens were the first to react.