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Worm
Extermination 8.4
D9to7w1

Art by Every3rdStroke

Date posted 13 March 2012
Link Extermination 8.4
Chapter guide
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Extermination 8.3
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Extermination 8.5
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Extermination 8.4 is the fifth chapter of Extermination. Problems with getting Scion's help. Leviathan breakout, death of major villains. Skitter starts Bug Tracking. A mysterious electromagnetic pulse; Armsmaster mano-o-mano against a trolling Endbringer.

PlotEdit

With Leviathan frozen in place for an unknown duration, the capes construct restraints around him using Kaiser's metal. Armsmaster rigs another set of Bakuda's explosives to detonate when Leviathan begins moving and Kid Win teleports in his alternator cannon to aim at a gap through the metal.

Skitter makes her way to the area Armsmaster designated for her to watch over, feeling useless in the face of this unstoppable threat. She decides that she needs to stop dwelling on a way to directly damage the Endbringer and focus primarily on keeping herself alive. She finds a carport that is mostly intact that serves as good place to keep her bugs sheltered and notices that, as it was on the night of the fight against Lung and Oni Lee, her power has a longer range than usual.

Thinking about how her Armor had been designed with the idea that she would be surrounded by bugs a lot of the time, Skitter forms several separate swarms of bugs to act as decoys and in a moment of inspiration, she has them condense down to form human shapes. She observes Eidolon flying around the coast freezing the water, apparently a dangerous strategy against Leviathan and one that has backfired in the past. The capes are now merely trying to stall in the hope of Scion arriving, since if the golden man even has any human contact they don't give him directions to Endbringer attacks.

The armband alerts Skitter to Leviathan's awakening by announcing the deaths of Manpower and Aegis. Leviathan comes into her view as he takes down Fenja and Menja, killing Fenja. After knocking Kid Win out of the sky, Leviathan emerges onto the street Skitter is hiding on, with Kaiser's upper body in his claw. Skitter is confused by this, as the armband had given no notice of Kaiser's death and glances down to see that her armband is broken. Leviathan lashes out with water around the carport and a wave moving towards her forces Skitter to flee. It hits her legs and causes her to fall onto her damaged arm. She takes a long time to pull herself together in the face of the extreme pain this causes and when she is able to stand again sees Armsmaster dueling with Leviathan.

Armsmaster dual-wields halberds against Leviathan, one of the type he used when fighting the Undersiders at the fundraiser and one that Skitter does not recognise, with a 'static blur' around the point. The new halberd is able to cut through Leviathan deeper than other attacks used against him so far in the fight and Armsmaster has already managed to inflict six significant wounds against the Endbringer. Armsmaster talks to Leviathan, despite his confidence that the Endbringer does not understand him, explaining that he has collected footage from all the fights against Leviathan and used it with his combat program to let him predict every move Leviathan makes. He also reveals that his new halberd is nano-technology which is capable of cutting through anything by way of severing molecular bonds. With high temperature flames and another new component that appears to function comparably to Clockblocker's power, Armsmaster is able counteract any attacks Leviathan makes and prevent any retreats.

Armsmaster continues to land hits without any successful retaliation from Leviathan and the Endbringer eventually ceases moving, even starting to back away as Armsmaster advances. He ponders on the possibility that this is a delay to wait for the next tidal wave, but with information from Dragon he determines that the fight will be over before the next wave arrives. Armsmaster goes on a relentless offensive, attacking constantly until Leviathan collapses onto the street. Despite heavy damage to its forearms the Endbringer is still able to pick itself up and brings forward a huge flood of water from underground, shattering the storm sewers beneath the street. Armsmaster freezes the wall of water and climbs over it, but as he lunges for Leviathan again the Endbringer finally stops its acting, moving faster than it had before and catching the blade in its claw. Armsmaster fails to dislodge the halberd and is caught by the tips of the claw. Leviathan proceeds to use its free claw to rip Armsmaster's arm off before leaving him in the water and heading west, showing none of the weakness it had been doing when Armsmaster was seemingly winning.

Skitter rushes to Armsmasters side, with him expressing surprise that she is alive as the destruction of her armband seemingly triggered the system to assume she was dead. She retrieves his arm with the armband and halberd from the water and uses the armband to relay that Armsmaster is down and Leviathan is heading west. Using bugs that she has embedded within the wounds on Leviathan she is able to notice him change directions and communicates this to the armband too. A response from the armband declares Leviathan is likely targeting one of the shelters, promises incoming medical assistance and asks if the person who gave the information is able to track Leviathan. After confirmation from Skitter that she can track Leviathan within a few blocks but she cannot chase him herself, the reply from the armband states that a flier will be directed to her and she will provide the eyes on the Endbringer that the capes need.

Major EventsEdit

  • Armsmaster duels Leviathan and fails.
  • Skitter collects Armsmaster's new Halberd

TriviaEdit

  • This is the second time[1] that Taylor creates Swarm clones or silhouettes, a trick she learned from Grue.
  • Taylor observes her power has an extended range during this event, as it continually does in times of crisis.

CharactersEdit

The UndersidersEdit

The ProtectorateEdit

The GuildEdit

The WardsEdit

New WaveEdit

Empire Eighty-EightEdit

TravelersEdit

RoguesEdit

The EndbringersEdit

ReferencesEdit