Now Yesterday Characters: All of the good people of New York City, present and future. That means you! Setting: Downtown Manhattan, New Year's Eve Content: Butt-whoopin'. Summary: It's New Years Eve in the Big Apple! Of course something's going to go wrong.
T Plus 129 years, 364 days, 23 hours, 55 minutes "I have watched," the doctor said, not out loud but projected into the receptive minds of his followers, "centuries long degradation of this world." The transmitter box on his shoulders wavered, side to side, as if he shook his head while the image of his face on the screen frowned. "I could have saved it from itself so long ago, if anyone had merely listened. Instead I was subject, I, Arnim Zola, to the Skull, to HYDRA, to AIM, ME, your CREATOR, who was so much better suited to realizing perfection...!" He paused, the image of his snarling face flickering in his passion. All of his creatures peered up at him adoringly, as it should have been all along, before everything had to go so badly. "Now I will be the saviour..." he continued quietly, the expressions of a thousand fabricated men, eyes trained on him, went unchanged. Behind him, a tenuously hanging fibre lamp sparked, then crashed to the floor before Zola felt the tremor. Distracted from his declaration, he turned, looking up to the leaking ceiling and listening as the world began to end. "We are out of time," he said out loud. "Quickly, ready the machine."
T Minus ten...nine...eight... "Seven! Six! Five!" The crowd in Times Square shrieked every number, all turned and pressing bodily closer to the stage to watch the year come to it's official close. Others layered the deafening sound with noisemakers, yells of frustration at each other or the year being put to rest, drunken song and slurs. "Four! Three! Two!" However 2011 had treated the individuals gathered to bid it goodbye and greet the coming year, it was the greatest hope that 2012 would be better, starting with tonight, with the cute guy spotted across the crowd or the bottle of excellent vintage waiting to be popped open or a really good tune, starting with that great, big, shining ball dropping from the sky. "One!"
The ball burst. A seam ripped down the middle of the narrow north face of One Times Square, bulging in the middle and cracking the building into precise halves, all still held aloft by the queer glow emitting from the pit. For a beat, the crowd went quiet for a great intake of breath, trying to make sense of he phenomenon. Then they got louder, impossibly, deafeningly louder, unable to comprehend and given instead to terror. For what, they didn't know the details until dust began to shake loose, rubble from the edges of the torn landmark, then a massive, gleaming foot stepped forward out of the sudden portal. What it led was easily as tall as the building itself, shaped like an uncomfortable approximation of a man, climbing into their midst and crushing anything its foot fell upon.
"Do you hear me, my darling?" Zola whispered in its ear. "Destroy everything."
Marching behind the horror came a clone army, blank-eyed and indistinguishable from each other, raising their weapons at the ready to fire indiscriminately and given no pause by threat of harm or death. Those weren't familiar concepts, and if they were they would be much less feared than their powerful creator. "Extinguish every living thing," Zola whispered.