Although the Council originally gave Ang and Santae 24 hours to make their announcement, it actually goes a couple of days longer. Still, Ang’s full intent is to make sure everyone knows before the debate because what she sees happening is adding a new seat to the Council — liaison to Powers or something like it. Most of the seats are running unopposed, but there are two being challenged: Mayor (Santae v. Ida) and Expedition (Ang v. Eric). If Ang’s intention comes to pass, the seat for Mayor will be the only opposed seat, most likely.
Prior to the announcement of active Powers, Ang makes a point to speak to each of the known actives in the community and requests their permission to, if it becomes necessary, name names. Maddy, Elana, and Nat all give their consent. The announcement is set for the dinner hour.
As dinner progresses, a late autumn thunderstorm rolls in. It’s not exactly normal, but not entirely unheard of either. It’s a severe one with significant lightning. Ang waits until just before dessert to make the announcement (sans names) and, as expected, it’s a bombshell to the community at large so there is a swell of noisy chatter. Ang calls upon skills long unused and speaks to the community of how we voted at one point to take in people like <insert name="true">, a prior villainous Power. We had to grow and change, to become bigger personally to be able to survive — and she calls upon the community about the need to once more do some growing. She apologizes personally for Destruction Day, taking responsibility for what went wrong — it is something that though the group has each apologized for their part in over the past years (maybe not Langston, but the rest of us), no one has taken responsibility for the whole. In this, Ang steps forward, and she tells them that she is going to continue to step forward and take responsibility for protecting Refuge Point just as this team of Guardians always has because with the activation of some Powers within our community comes the awareness that it’s probably happening to others OUTSIDE our community too. And this could prove to be a significant threat. There was much applause to this, lead by none other than Ida.
And the announcement was conveniently timely because as the group is applauding, there is a sudden extremely loud ROAR!!!! from somewhere outside. The watches on the roof come pelting down to make sure we heard (we did!) and the community starts a mad scramble. Ang (and Langston?) heads for the rooftop to see what she can see with some others, Nat and Melody (and Langston?) begin attempting to herd the rest of our people deeper into the building to a sheltered location. Our friends from the motorcycle group race ahead of the danger to try to warn us, and they agree (somewhat reluctantly) to stay and fight.
Once Ang gets a bead on exactly who/what is out there, she tells us — Spirit Queen, aka Gigantor. You gotta be kidding us — an effing T-REX???? Langston knows the mechanism for SQ’s shift is likely not just a shift but a dimensional trading of places, but he has no idea on how to force her to shift back. The working theory is that she perhaps was near the river and got hit by lightning. While Melody attempts animal telepathy out in the rain, trying to contact the monster, Maddy hauls butt outside to try to build a T-Rex trap (wth her powers once again active through Sandra) and Ang rallies the rooftop gunners. Natalie races through the group to locate Elana and brings her to the rooftop, telling Ang that if lightning is what caused SQ to shift the first time, MAYBE Elana can corral lightning and force Gigantor to shift back. It’s a Hail Mary, but can we at least TRY to save SQ’s life? Ang agrees but if Gigantor comes within a certain range, it’s all over but for the guns blazing.
Melody has no luck communicating with Gigantor. He stomps on past her. Langston realizes that because SQ has not shifted like this since D-Day, Gigantor is probably being infected with nanobots even as we speak and he asks Maddy if she can communicate with the nanobots. She is going to try (with a Sandra-assist), but her main goal is to lure the T-Rex into a trap, which she does manage to do! Elana focuses on the storm and she starts to rise right into it. When Natalie tries to stop the levitation, Elana makes her let go — she has to do this. The others nearby on the roof see her rise up and disappear into the thunderheads above us. After a short time, Elana can be seen descending near Gigantor, who is doing his best to get free of Maddy’s traps. Elana does indeed conduit the lightning blast at Gigantor, who disappears amid Maddy’s rubble even as Elana plummets from the sky unconscious. Melody instinctively races forward to try to block that fall — and she does, though at predictably great cost to herself (because 20-foot fall on top of another person = damage on both sides of that equation).
The situation is over and contained. Elana is half-conscious; Maddy moves to help her get out of the trap, and she otherwise seems mostly unharmed. She is sequestered in the same place the refugees were originally held pending decision to let them stay. Melody is hurt (broken bone?) but stable, and Elana has significant internal injuries — a number of which are related to the lightning being channeled through her. She requires immediate surgery, which Dr. Nona and Natalie conduct — Nat feels a little guilty for allowing surgery versus attempting to heal her, but Langston and Nona both verbally swat her for that one.
The mood of the community following this event is fairly positive, and so far there has been no conspiracy theory rumored among them (that maybe the Powers set up this oh-so-convenient attack right when it was being announced that some Powers were active). That may still come. Before everyone wakes the following morning, Ang has helped Phoebe (Spirit Queen) get out of the community with no one the wiser.
Elections are still coming. Halloween approaches. And there is much to consider as the days march toward winter.