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Coil's Betrayal

Concurrent:

Skirmish in Boston

Next:

Incident at Arcadia High

Battle against Echidna
Conflict:


Date:

June 20, 2011[1]

Place:

Brockton Bay

Outcome:
Combatants
Damage Sustained/Casualties
  • Trickster (captured)
  • Full fatalities otherwise
The Battle against Echidna marks the battle between the assembled forces of the Protectorate, as well as The Undersiders, and Echidna and her clones.

PreludeEdit

In 2009, the Simurgh attacked Madison, Wisconsin; in addition to necessitating the quarantine of the city, by drawing on the technology of Professor Haywire, she brought a building containing a gaming team that would eventually become the Travelers from Earth Aleph into Earth Bet.[2] In their attempts to sustain themselves, the Travelers acquired powers by drinking from Cauldron vials, but their main priority soon became helping Noelle, whose lower body grew increasingly monstrous after drinking only half of a vial.[3] Eventually, the Travelers were hired by Coil, who promised to find a cure for her, and they began to claim territory in Brockton Bay.[4]

The Travelers remained in Coil's employment as his plans developed, with Noelle placed in confinement in his base. The kidnapping of Dinah Alcott had long been a point of contention between Coil and his other employees, the Undersiders; as his plans came to fruition, Coil betrayed the Undersiders, almost killing Skitter.[5] Skitter survived the trap set for her, however, and eventually killed him. In his final act of spite, however, Coil released Noelle, now focused on getting revenge upon the Undersiders, from her vault.[6]

Noelle's absence was soon noticed as the Undersiders returned to Coil's base. Ballistic explained the nature of her high-rated Master powers to them, before they left and encountered Miss Militia at a damaged building, who informed them that Vista had been kidnapped.[7] They negotiated with the PRT, who kept Noelle as an A-Class threat despite Tattletale's efforts to persuade them. However, they did agree to work with the Undersiders and brought in Eidolon, Chevalier, Myrddin, and other Protectorate capes and Wards.[8] After a brief strategy meeting and communication with Noelle herself, the capes moved out and began to act.[9]

BattleEdit

The battle had two stages, the first when Noelle was considered an A-Class threat. The Undersiders and Chicago Wards were sent together to warn Ballistic and Parian and also retrieve Scrub, on Tattletale's request. On their way, however, the two groups encountered three of Noelle's clones of Vista, though without Noelle herself present.[9] The three Vistas were eventually defeated, but not before two of the Wards, Raymancer and Wanton, were taken out of the battle by one of the clones. Meanwhile, Dragon's armband reported that Eidolon had found Noelle and was planning to engage her one-on-one; the Undersiders and remaining Chicago Wards, Tecton and Grace, decided to ignore Eidolon's command to stay away and located them. Through her bugs, Skitter overheard him talking to her, mentioning Cauldron.[10]

Noelle and Eidolon began to fight one-on-one, while the Undersiders and Wards dealt with the clones. Observing Noelle, Skitter realized that she was keeping the capes she was cloning inside herself[11] Tecton managed to trap Noelle, allowing them to attack her directly, but her clones continued to be a problem, and the heroes sustained some injuries. The Travelers arrived to help; after Noelle accused them of betraying her, Trickster sided with her.[12]

Trickster removed main threats including Eidolon and the other Travelers from the battle, while sending Grue, Regent, and Skitter to Noelle to be absorbed.[12] Noelle (dubbed Echidna by the PRT) eventually negotiated with Eidolon to let her capture the three remaining Undersiders without challenge, in exchange for her cooperation afterwards. Fighting for control over her own body, Echidna reached Coil's base and began to engage Tattletale and Bitch.[13]

While Tattletale fended off clones of the other Undersiders, heroes from the Protectorate arrived, and Shatterbird, now free, began to use her power. Bitch sent her dogs to Echidna to be absorbed, trapping her as she grew, while Weld, who was immune, rescued the absorbed capes from inside Echidna. The heroes and Undersiders retreated, and built-in mechanisms within Coil's base caused it to explode, buying them time as Echidna was buried under the wreckage. Echidna's threat level was upgraded to S-Class, and other assets were called in.[14]

While the PRT attempted to secure the base with containment foam, Skitter talked with Weld and Miss Militia about her killing Calvert, as well as about Eidolon's involvement with Cauldron. Skitter (healed by the Ward Scapegoat) had Imp take Grue home. Responding to the newly-increased threat level, the reinforcements, including the rest of the Triumvirate, arrived; Tattletale tested them and determined that all three of the Triumvirate knew about Cauldron.[15] The Undersiders join up with the Chicago Wards, and Tattletale requests to see the Travelers and reveals that she invited Faultline’s Crew.

Myrddin was killed, along with several other capes in the belly of Echidna and ensuing fight.

AftermathEdit

Eidolon's clone had effectively discredited the Triumvirate, revealing their association with, as well as the very existence of, Cauldron. Contessa continued to silence people who were present at this event and spoke out about this for some time afterward. Case 53s broke away from the Protectorate as a result of this revelation, forming their own group, the Irregulars, while suspicion grew within the Protectorate itself about the loyalties of Cauldron capes. Heroes such as Pretender and Legend resigned from their positions, the latter being replaced by Chevalier as leader of the Protectorate. This damage persisted for years.

ReferencesEdit