[There are some glaring gaps here in Alpha-Woman's solo outing on the second floor. We mostly played that out over the phone instead of on the message boards, so I have no record of it now. The battle for the entryway was a long, difficult one for the heroes mainly because they seemed unable to win initiative through the whole thing.]
The Mountain Man now saw no reason for subtlety. He charged forward, swinging his hatchet around his head then brought it down like a rock fall on one of the mobsters.
The Daoist followed Mountain Man's lead, charging in behind him, while transforming into a warthog once more.
The Mountain Man and a warthog that had been the Daoist charged the gunmen, but the gunmen had the drop on them. One of them took aim at the warthog and shot, but the warthog was on him too fast and the bullet sailed out the front door. The other gunman up front waited for the Mountain Man to close with him and took a swipe with his rifle butt and landed a glancing blow.
Captain Liberty and Sewer Rat moved more slowly into the temple and were met by the two truncheon-wielding men in the side corridor. Capt. Liberty pushed his foe back, but Sewer Rat was not so fast and took a serious blow to his noggin that left him a bit dazed.
The Daoist threatened with his tusks, but failed to get around that gun. What the mobster did not realize was that the Daoist was merely herding him into the Mountain Man's hatchet. He kept up the work, giving them two choices, his tusks or his friend's blade. The Mountain Man was faster with his foe, getting off a good hit with the blunt end of his hatchet right on his foe's forehead and taking him down.
Capt. Liberty was still on the defensive, holding back blows instead of being able to land his own. Sewer Rat was not any better off.
And all the while, they heard gunshots from the rooms above them.
Alpha-Woman heard gunshots downstairs while she was upstairs fighting other mobsters.
The Mountain Man's body took on a rough appearance and actually seemed to become a moving mass of boulders and rocks roughly shaped like The Mountain Man. All the while the light shone off of the golden gorget the Mountain Man wore. He swung his axe at the next mobster behind his last opponent.
Captain Liberty kept pressing back these church-going villains and looked for something lying around to use as a weapon against them.
The gunshots ended upstairs at the same moment another mobster gripping a revolver in his hand came down the ladder behind the two mobsters Captain Liberty and Sewer Rat were fighting.
The Mountain Man could see more mobsters waiting in the chapel, but concentrated on dealing with the remaining two in front of him. He turned to strike the one being goaded towards him by a warthog, but before he could swing his axe he got a rifle butt to the stomach from the mobster in back who stepped forward to engage him. Though his outer body was like boulders, he felt like there would be a nasty bruise there when he changed back later.
The Daoist's opponent gave up on getting the barrel of his rifle between himself and the warthog that kept pressing up into close quarters, so the man simply turned his gun around and used it as a club. He brained the Daoist with a blow on the head that made the room spin a little. He recovered fast enough, though, to scrape his foe with a tusk.
Captain Liberty was still on the defensive, slapping that truncheon away from his attacker.
Sewer Rat was brained again with the truncheon of his foe and saw stars as he went down.
Captain Liberty saw his comrade go down next to him and realized he would have to fight much harder here. Unfortunately, his number of foes had now doubled and he was having even more trouble regaining the offensive.
The Mountain Man brought down his axe against his new foe, but his foe parried with his rifle. Inscrutable like the distant hills, he showed no sign of injury. He struck again with his hatchet.
Alpha-Woman, having eluded her combatants upstairs, changed into another outfit in the bedroom she had found and hoped it would allow her to move through the temple with less suspicion.
Hoping that a display of power might put some fear into their foes, the Daoist transformed from a warthog back into a slithering snake and lashed at the injured mobster.
The Daoist's transformation must have spooked the mobster he was fighting because the man screamed, danced around, turns his rifle around, and shot at the floor so quickly that he did not even come close to hitting.
The Mountain Man struck quickly with his hatchet, keeping his opponent off-balance but unharmed.
With Sewer Rat down and no one to watch his flank, Captain Liberty was quickly being overwhelmed as the three mobsters in front of him surged forward, clubs flailing. His legs were wobbling and the room was spinning, but he struggled to hold on so liberty could yet prevail.
In snake form, the Daoist curled around his opponent's feet and tripped him. The man's head hit the ground hard and he did not get back up.
The Mountain Man kept swinging his hatchet, driving his foe back.
Capt. Liberty kept swinging, but could not even tell if he was connecting or not. He just keeps fighting, because America would never give up.
The Mountain Man and the Daoist, doing better against their foes, pressed them back and entered the chapel proper.
Man Thing by Jim Cheung
19 hours ago