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Avatar of Lord Wraith

Lord Wraith Modern Day Descartes

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 11:33


DC MARVEL DARK HORSE IDW IMAGE ARCHIE

G M: Lord Wraith C O - G M ( S ): TBD G E N R E: Fandom T Y P E: Sandbox with Collaborative Arcs

Ω S U M M A R Y:

P A S T:
Past events are storylines which occur before the year 2010. These stories can be set in the near past all the way back to ancient history.
T B D

P R E S E N T:
Present events are storylines which occur between the years of 2010, until 2020. Stories that are set within the modern world.
H U R T - 2013

W H I T E L I N E S - 2016

D A R K N E S S T H E R E, A N D N O T H I N G M O R E - 2017

F U T U R E:
Future events are storylines which occur after the year of 2020. These stories are set within a time period which has yet to happen in our world.
T B D

E L S E W O R L D:
Elseworld events are storylines which occur outside of the Prime Timeline of Absolute Comics. These stories display drastically different takes on familiar characters in a world which can vary greatly from that of the Prime.
T B D
7 Jan 2017 0:56
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Avatar of Byrd Man

Byrd Man Political Party Animal

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 5:08

Prologue:
Night of the Hunter

"The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun."
-- P.G. Wodehouse


Tennessee
Fourteen Months Ago


The bullet whizzed by Parker's head and exploded into the trunk of the tree. He ducked to the right as another bullet found itself lodged in the tree and rolled through the dark forest underbrush and slid behind the cover of a downed tree to catch his breath. It was a crisp mountain night and Parker had only a thin sport jacket over his turtleneck shirt. Steam curled from his mouth with each exhale.

"Parker," Mick McKiernan said in a sing song voice. Parker heard the sound of the hunting rifle's bolt action being worked.

Parker had a five shot revolver in his big right hand while his equally big left hand clutched an attache case crammed full with twenty, fifty, and hundred dollar bills. The gun held just one bullet. It along with a hunting knife in his jacket pocket was the only weapons he had. Meanwhile the case held over a quarter of a million dollars.

The money came from a bank in Memphis. Parker, McKiernan, and Joe Wilson robbed it and an armored car servicing the bank two days earlier before heading east into the Smoky Mountains to hide out. The little cabin Wilson set up for them to hide in turned out to be the stage of a great drama involving the three men.

Parker snapped back to reality when he heard movement nearby. He leaped over the log and raced through the night to the shelter of another tree. He thought he heard McKiernan say something, but it was too far off to be understood and Parker made it safely to the next tree without incident.

"C'mon, Parker," McKiernan shouted through the dark. "You just come on out with the money and we'll split it even and call it quits. Besides, it splits better two ways than it ever did three."

Parker ignored him as he looked out into the woods for any sign of movement from McKiernan. In the ensuing days after the robbery, Mick McKiernan showed his hand as something less than the stand up crook Parker and Wilson thought he was. In the run up to the robbery, Mick McKiernan had suppressed a strong addiction to crystal meth that both Parker and Wilson had missed when they let McKiernan in on the score.

There.

He saw something the size of a human moving in the dimness. It was no further than twenty yards away. Parker held out the revolver and aimed at the mass of shadow. He let out a breath and squeezed the trigger. Just as the shot was coming out the gun, the figure moved and the shot went wide right. Wood splintered and exploded just a few inches from McKiernan's face.

"Holy shit!" McKiernan screamed, and returned fire in Parker's direction.

He pressed his body to the tree and tried to get as small as possible -- no small feat for a lug like him -- as McKiernan fired five shots at where he thought Parker was. Parker let go of the revolver and let it fall at his feet. Without any ammo it was just a fancy club. He took out the hunting knife and formulated a plan.

McKiernan had double crossed Parker and Wilson less than a half hour earlier. He left the cabin and headed into the nearby town of Cosby. As the wheel man on the job, McKiernan had the least recognizable face among the three and went into town whenever they needed something. This time, after being gone an hour and buying crystal meth instead of groceries, he barged through the cabin door high as a kite and carrying a hunting rifle in his hands.

Joe Wilson was gunned down before he knew what was happening. Parker managed returned fire with his revolver and back McKiernan out the house in search for cover. In the time, Parker grabbed the attache case with their score in it. He climbed through the back window and ran through the forest with McKiernan hot on his trail.

Now could hear McKiernan getting closer. He was about ten yards out when Parker made his play. He swung the attache case around the corner of the tree and at McKiernan. Even in the dark and geeked out on crystal, he knew the thing flying in the air was the money and he dared not shoot it. Instead, he backed away from it and watched it fall near his feet. As his eyes was still following the money, Parker came around the tree with the knife blade in his right hand. Years ago, trapped in a crummy little theme park with a dozen men hunting him, he had to learn the hard way how to properly throw a knife so that it killed a man. The lesson stuck. Just like the knife was about to stick into McKiernan.

Mick McKiernan let out a gasp as the knife made contact with his face. He dropped the rifle almost at once and stumbled back through the underbrush. He tripped over something and fell down hard on to the ground. Parker slowly walked towards him, picking up the hunting rifle as he went to McKiernan's prone body. The knife was sticking out of where McKiernan's left eye should have been. Blood poured down his face. He was panting and the knife was wiggling as he tried to use his now dead eye. Close to death, but he was still alive.

"Parker...," he gasped. "Parker... please. Help me."

Parker didn't say a word. McKiernan let out a yell as Parker worked the bolt on the rifle and aimed it down at McKiernan's head. The gun kicked as Parker put him out of his misery.

Richard Stark's
Parker
In
White Lines
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7 Jan 2017 6:08 9 Jan 2017 8:18
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Avatar of GreenGrenade

GreenGrenade The Terror that Flaps in the Night

Member





Guest-starring @Nexus Prime as Commissioner James Gordon...


B R U C E W A Y N E ’ S J O U R N A L
A P R I L 3 0 T H, 2 0 1 3


All I hear is laughter and screams. Mirth and pain. They join together like two lovers’ hands, intertwining with the comfortable familiarity of time. I want to make them stop, to tell them to be quiet, but they’re persistent and unwavering, unwilling to leave me be. They pierce my mind with a clarity I don’t want – I can hear them as clearly as I can smell the tangy iron of blood, as clearly as I can see brick and steel plummeting to the streets below. Soon all that will be left is laughter and anarchy, the mark this diseased excuse for an Earth has left on me and mine.

I’m sorry, Father. I’m sorry, Mother. It’s taking me over. I can’t see past my own fears and doubts. I thought I could not fail you more than when I lost Tommy… but the events of the past six months are weighing heavily on me. Gotham is dying, and the world is not far behind. It’s plagued with scum, a cowardly lot that seemingly outnumbers the few good people left at every corner; no one is motivated out of anything but their own agendas, their own greed, their own lust or their own anger. Gotham reeks of terror and mistrust, of concealed chaos and corruption of the innocent. It fears the unknown. Alfred and Dick have tried telling me that it’s not my fault, and I’m desperate to believe them, but although my heart yearns for absolution, my mind knows better, and so the guilt stays, mingling with the laughter and the screams. Gotham is dying. And I fear that the Batman is, too.

I know that the mission must go on. I know that I have to keep fighting. But the laughter and the screams won’t leave me alone. I don’t know where they end and my reality begins.

I fear that someday soon, they’re all that will be left.



M A Y 2 N D, 2 0 1 3 T H E N A R R O W S G O T H A M C I T Y, N J


Gotham was quiet. It seemed that it always was these days, what spirit it had beaten out of it when the ground shook and its monuments crumbled, its people retreating into silence as they took time to mourn. But that wasn’t anything new. Ever since its establishment, it had been this way. Gotham was always mourning. This time, it just had a greater loss to grieve.

The crime scene was nestled between two run-down apartment blocks in the Narrows. The buildings were arranged in such a way that the alley was tucked into the shadows, away from prying eyes; it was the perfect place for a murder, covered by a pitch-black blanket in the night. The G.C.P.D. had cordoned off the area – yellow tape blocked the only entrance, police cruisers and officers stationed in front to usher away any curious passers-by. Remote area lighting was set up around the scene, CSI’s recording evidence in coveralls and masks.

Batman stood near the police barricade, hidden in darkness. Near him was Commissioner James Gordon. He still looked like the lieutenant the Bat had met twelve years ago, determined, ever the beacon of good amid the cesspool of corruption that was Gotham. He watched the crime scene from his spot near a cruiser, back straight; he carried himself with military-like discipline, unwilling to let himself slip on the job. But Batman could smell the cigarette smoke on his trench coat, stronger than usual, and the bags under his eyes told the same story: Jim was weary. But unlike most people – unlike Batman – he shouldered that weariness and the stress that came with it, and used it to fuel himself. If anything, Jim was more purposeful than ever.

“Jim,” said Batman.

Any other person would have jumped out of their skin, to be sneaked up on like that. But Jim had been at this for twelve years. He didn’t even turn to look.

“Batman.”

“What can you tell me?”

“Three vics,” Jim began. “No identification yet, but we're working on it. Medical examiner tells me this was a precision job, and judging from the way the bodies were left I'd say this was a professional hit. Multiple contusions from blunt force trauma and several lacerations to the heads and torsos. Each had their throat slit right along the jugular. Someone with serious skill killed these men, and they did it fast enough that no defensive markings were left; these guys didn't stand a chance.”

The commissioner finally turned slightly to glance back at Batman. “Whoever did this is definitely in your area of expertise, which is why I called you in. That, and one other thing.”

Jim stepped to the side to allow the vigilante room to peer at the back end of the alley, and gestured with his right hand towards the brick wall there. “I think someone left you a message.”

One of the victims had been crucified to the wall, pinned by metal stakes. His throat opened up in a bloody smile, his head hanging low, the blood seeping into his clothing. It dripped onto the ground in steady drops, pooling four feet below him. To his right was a calling card, no doubt left by the killer, drawn in their victims’ blood –

An owl’s head, shining in red, its bloody ink trickling down the wall.

The other two victims lay on the ground below it like nothing more than discarded dolls, thrown away by a bored child who got tired of toying with them.

The owl could have meant any number of things. One was Leland Owlsley. He was a stretch; although he was based relatively close to Gotham in New York City, the crimelord didn’t have any reason to expand his operations, least of all in a city as volatile as this. And to announce his presence so boldly, leaving a message for a vigilante that he most likely didn’t think of as anything more than a myth, didn’t fit his M.O.; he prided himself on his intelligence, and despite it, he often relied on his strength in combat – he didn’t showcase the skill required to kill these men so efficiently.

He was off the suspect list, for now.

The other potential culprits were so obscure that they bordered on near impossibility or myth. The White Owl had long been incarcerated, and the Court of Owls was nothing more than a nursery rhyme told to the children of Gotham and Blüdhaven to scare them into behaving. Their Talons were nothing more than words spun into nightmarish thoughts, and although thoughts could kill… it was never this gruesome.

“Pennywise,” said Batman, holding his fingers to the button activating his comm-link. “Are you seeing this?”

The lenses over his eyes were streaming the Batcave everything he saw.

“That I can, sir,” replied Alfred.

“I need you to look for anything that might be linked to this owl symbol. People, organisations – everything. Anyone that might be skilled enough to kill these men without a struggle. Send over what you find.”

“Of course, sir.”

Batman ducked beneath the yellow tape – “CRIME SCENE – DO NOT CROSS” – the crime scene investigators giving him a wide berth as he traversed the alley. He stopped in front of the bodies, taking in every detail. His cowl’s HUD fed him information; their approximate height and weight, the measurements of the lacerations that covered them, estimations made by programs he’d created to aid him in his investigations. The victims were tall, all above six feet; they had muscle to accompany their height, with little fat to it, looking to be around one hundred and ninety pounds in weight. Whoever killed them had to be fast and strong to leave them so defenceless – a common crook would have been faced with a challenge, the victims’ strength and number an advantage against one man with a knife.

The lacerations were long and deep. Exempting the throat cuts, they were about seven inches in length, some cutting through skin, flesh and muscle to the bone – those on the victims’ faces were smaller in comparison, little more than scratches. Weapon likely had a spear-point blade, noted Batman, Lacerations missed any vitals – purposeful. The killer wanted to cause pain. Toyed with them. Angles of the cuts suggest that they’re left-handed.

The victims’ skin broke where the contusions stained it, patches of blue amid drops of red. Blunt force likely exerted through fists. Tissue disruption indicates the use of brass knuckles. Hits were hard – the cause of death. Throats were slit post-mortem.

Jim said that the police were yet to identify the victims. It would take too long to wait for them to get a match, waste too much time – time that the killer could spend finding their next target. That was a risk Batman couldn’t take. Using the screen on his left gauntlet, he ran pictures of the victims through his own facial recognition software, containing data from the G.C.P.D., F.B.I., C.I.A., S.H.I.E.L.D. and Interpol. He got a match within seconds.

Happy Ackerman. Dutch Hancock. Koby Hillam. Small-time crooks turned big-time thugs, wanted for multiple counts of assault and battery, grand larceny and armed robbery. Their employer: Edward Nashton. The Riddler.

Currently held within Arkham Asylum.

“Pennywise. Anything?” Batman asked through his comm-link.

“I’m afraid not, sir. But you might want to beware of the Talon. Just look at how it’s left these gentlemen,” deadpanned Alfred.

Batman ducked under the tape once more, coming to stand next to Jim in the shadows. The more he ran the possibilities through his head, the more he was beginning to think that the killer was a new player. Who this new player was, he didn’t know – but the information he gathered from the crime scene should help push him in the right direction. The victims were scum, but the killer was even more so. Innocent or not, they didn’t deserve to die.

“The killer’s left-handed, likely a male,” said Batman. “He used a spear-point blade, probably a knife. All lacerations but their slit throat were made with the intent to hurt, not kill. Whoever he is, he’s skilled enough to toy with his victims.”

“Yeah,” Jim glanced up at the body pinned to the wall, the man's face permanently distorted in pain from the moment of death. "I get the distinct feeling this guy had motives other than simple murder; playing with his victims before finishing them off like some sick predator definitely fits in line with that. A killer with professional talent like this wouldn't have left us so many clues if he didn't want to, or enjoy it.”

Batman nodded, continuing. “The victims died from blunt force trauma. The killer hit hard, with technique. He used some form of brass knuckles. Slit their throats after their deaths.”

“Thanks. I appreciate you coming in on this, Batman. I'm swamped with other cases as it is, and I still have the mayor breathing down my neck about clean up operations in the lower districts...”

The older man stopped, stroking his moustache lightly as he studied Batman's crouched form. James Gordon had spent enough time around and with this particular vigilante to recognise that certain aspects were off; that something had changed ever since that incident with that clown creep last year. Batman could try and hide it behind his cape and cowl, put on a façade of indifference that was to be expected, and most people would buy. Most people thought the caped crusader was some sort of legend far beyond the understanding of mortal men. But Commissioner Gordon understood what Batman really was, and that even the so-called "Dark Knight" could be affected by horror and tragedy.

“And Barbara will be coming back from university soon, so I've got that to prepare for,” said Jim, changing the subject. “I know she loves being independent and self-reliant these days, but I'll be more than glad when she's home again. She's doing great, though. Really proud of her and the future she's making for herself. She still asks about you when we talk on the phone, you know, not that I can ever tell her much. I'm sure she'd want to hear how you're doing, though. Make sure her hero and saviour is as well off as she's been. If you want to give me something I can tell Barbara to put her at ease that you're doing alright, I'll be sure to let her know...”

“Tell her I’m fine, Jim. She has no need to worry about me.”

A giggle, somewhere in the far recesses of his mind. A pale face. An insane smile. They flashed across his vision, replacing Jim for just a split second – ushering a wince that caused the commissioner to frown.

The shadows grinned at him. “You’re lyyyyy-ing,” they sang.

“Right,” Jim said, dubious. “I’m sure she doesn’t.”

His doubt hung in the air, like a bad smell. After a few seconds, Batman broke the silence, turning away. “Take care of yourself, Jim.”

“You too, Batman.”

Batman withdrew his grapnel gun from his belt, aiming at the roof above him. He pulled the trigger, the wire shooting out with speed, its clawed end clasping onto the edge with an audible impact. Pulled taut, the gun worked to carry Batman up, whirring in the process. He climbed from the edge of the roof with ease, walking west to the corner where he’d parked the Batmobile. The night wasn’t coming to an end; not yet. He had someone he wanted to talk to first. The Riddler was about to get an unexpected visit.

A camera flashed on the neighbouring rooftop. It went unnoticed by Batman, its owner smiling in the evening gloom.

“Perfect.”
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8 Jan 2017 2:37 18 Jan 2017 22:51
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Avatar of Lord Wraith

Lord Wraith Modern Day Descartes

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 11:33

P R E S E N T


G O T H A M C I T Y

March 15th, 2017 - 6:02 PM | Park Row aka Crime Alley

Rain splattered against the face of Richard Grayson's helmet as he guided his motorcycle along the street of aging Victorian era townhouses. Among the buildings was one particularly impressive estate that had been converted into apartments during an early Wayne Industries' affordable housing project while Bruce's father, Thomas Wayne, was still alive. Bringing the motorcycle to a stop outside of the building, Dick dropped the kickstand, disengaging the engine as he felt Kori's arms relax before the two figures stood up from the small vehicle. A shiver ran down Dick's spine as he approached the house, Kori's body followed suit as it tensed up. Rain turned to small pellets of steam as it collided with her skin, her alien physiology already acting defensively. Gotham had numerous notorious locales among it, but none so notorious as Park Row. Better known to the people of Gotham as Crime Alley, Park Row was plagued with an ever present criminal element, and the Park Row Apartments were no different. Ever since the 1900's the building had been associated with several grim murders and even a couple of serial killers. These occurrences died down in wake of the conversion to apartments, but even still, a crawling sensation of darkness hung over the place as the influence of the penthouse tenant seeped into the building.

"Remember, he's a friend." Dick said as he began climbing the steps to the front door.

"Be that as it may, this place is still unnerving." Koriand'r replied, her arms crossing as a shiver traveled down her own spine.

"Well he is a demonologist." Dick replied, a small smirk crossing his face in an attempt the lighten the mood. "But if we're going to have any hope of finding Raven, then he's our best bet." A slight twinge of guilt found its way into Dick's chest as he spoke the words. When he left the Titans, several of his closest friends followed suit. Koriand'r departed Earth, and Raven took refuge in Azarath, no longer having the protection of her friends. Dick couldn't imagine what it'd be like to live one's life constantly on the run. He chose to live on the move, always looking forward, but Raven was trapped, constantly watching what was behind her. Her father needed her and she knew it, the Titans had managed to repel him once, but eventually Trigon was bound to return.

Entering the building, Dick buzzed apartment 909 and leaned back. Kori's chest heaved up and down, a feeling of anxiety wafting off of the normally calm and collected Princess. Koriand'r was normally not one for fear, as a young girl her freedom had been traded for peace on Tamaran. Living deserted on an isolated world, Koriand'r grew up learning to ignore fear to survive, but now the feeling of the true raw unknown was making her skin crawl.

The buzz of the door suddenly broke the silence as the pair shuffled inside. Walking through the main hallway, Kori couldn't help but admire the older craftsmanship in the building. Although there had been many renovations to turn the old estate into an apartment building, the antique styling had been kept in tact. Gothic finishes and dark colours chased away any remaining light from the windows as dim, aged bulbs flickered in the hallway adding to the already grim atmosphere. Pressing the call button for the elevator, Kori decided it was time to speak.

"You can't continue to blame yourself, Dick." A warm hand found its way to Dick's shoulder as he moved his eyes from the elevator doors to Kori's emerald gaze. "You made a choice, I made a choice, and so did Raven." The ding of the elevator caused the pair to break their gaze before stepping inside.

"But I also made Raven a promise," Dick stated, stepping forward. "We all did."

Continuing as he pressed the button for the penthouse, Dick's brow furrowed as his frustration became clear. "We were more than a team, we were a family, just like Bruce and Alfred are to me. If anything happened to either of them I'd be there in a heartbeat."

As the elevator began to move, Dick turned to face Kori once again. "But what really bothers me is in her time of need, we're the only ones here now. Her family abandoned her and I can't help but feel responsible for that."

"But we are here now." Kori interrupted. "Perhaps the others will come around, perhaps they won't. What matters is our actions from this point forward."

A sign of resignation escaped Dick's chest as he lowered his head before pushing back his long, dark hair. A deep breath entered the toned chest as it rose up before quickly collapsing with his exhale. His piercing blue eyes quickly met Kori's as he raised his head once again before stepping forward and embracing her.

"I really love you sometimes, you know that?" He said with a soft kiss on her forehead. "Now then," he said as the door opened. "We have to help our friend." Suddenly the elevator shook as the lights went out only for the power to return immediately afterwards as each fixture in the hallway illuminated in a slow series.

"Okay, I hate this place." Dick said with a soft chuckle as he led Kori forward, his hand firmly intertwined with her own. "I just hope it's not a waste of our time."
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8 Jan 2017 17:53 17 Jan 2017 15:10
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Avatar of Byrd Man

Byrd Man Political Party Animal

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 5:08


Part 1


"It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice."
-- Joseph Conrad


Then
Cambodia


The four men waded through the thick brush towards their destination. Five past three in the morning and it was still humid enough that the sweat stuck to their bodies. They were dressed in jungle camo with a stripped down field kit that consisted of an M16, a .45 sidearm, a radio, one day's worth of C-rations, anti-venom and malaria pills.

The leader of the soldiers stopped the group short just before they emerged from the brush. He activated his radio and held it close to his mouth.

"Big Duke to Eagle Eye," whispered Sergeant Frank Castle.

"Roger Big Duke,"the radio operator droned in the earwig stuffed into Castle's ear.

"Fire Team Delta has reached the boundaries of our orders. Ready and awaiting further orders"

The line buzzed with static. Castle knew what was going on on the other side of that line. A captain was running an order up to a colonel, who ran it up to a general in Saigon, sitting in a plush office with a CIA man whispering in his ear. They weren't supposed to be in Cambodia. The official line stateside was that the United States would never go into a neutral country during this war; but everybody in 'Nam knew what was really going on. The parameters of the mission had changed, the communists were running men and guns through Cambodia. Covert special forces action and overt carpet bombing from the Air Force had threatened to turn what started out as a "police action" into a two-country war. The more the United States struggled, the more it got stuck in the quicksand that was Southeast Asia.

"Big Duke, you are approved to move forward with mission as ordered. Eagle Eye out."

Castle cut off his radio and looked at the three men in the dark. Even though at twenty-one he was the youngest member of the fire team, he was their unquestionable leader who led them through many questionable missions.

"Let's move."

*****


Boston
Now


Castle came to on the third floor landing of an apartment stairwell. He looked around and tried to clear the cobwebs from his head. The side effect of his "condition" was that time had a bad habit of running together. One moment he was in 1985, drowning a mobster in a toilet in a memory so real and vibrant he could smell the piss in the bathroom and feel the water splashing on his wrist, the next moment he was thirty years in the future and back in the present. It was the thing inside him's fault. He could feel it stir every time he relived a violent memory, especially one that was painful to Frank. It lived to torture him. A prisoner forced to witness his worst memories with crystal clarity for the rest of eternity. Punishment for the Punisher.

Frank continued up the stairs to the apartment's fifth floor. The thing inside him became restless the closer he got to the door at the end of the hall. The trail that led him to the city was leading here. Castle was unsure of why he had been called to Boston, but it made sense the day he arrived and saw the newspaper headline screaming murder, the fifth victim of the brutal serial killer the papers dubbed Bunker Hill Butcher. The nickname because he dumped his victims near the war monument after hacking them to bits.

The entity inside Frank champed at the bit and actively sought to get out when Frank stepped forward and phased through the door. Now that he was a dead man, things like locks and doors weren't a problem. The moment he set foot inside the apartment he knew this is where the Butcher was killing his victims. Images flashed through his mind, screaming mouths and severed limbs and blood spatter.

The apartment was perfectly empty and pristine, no trace of the carnage that had taken place inside its walls. What was inside of him had the power to knew exactly who did this, but neglected to let Frank in on it. He felt a pull towards a bureau resting against the far wall. He opened the top drawer and found a series of utility bills made out to a Mr. Tom O'Malley. He saw a vision of a fat man with thick glasses paying cash to someone somewhere to get the electric bill put in a name that wasn't his.

"Kill pad," Castle said softly to himself.

Whoever Tom O'Malley was, that wasn't his real name this wasn't where he lived. This was how it worked. The thing in him thrashed and pointed him in the right direction to find the person responsible for the deaths of five people. While the Spectre like to torture him, they had a lot in common. Together they would make sure this serial killer faced the punishment he so sorely deserved.

*****


Then
Camboia


"Chó chết tiệt American," groaned the tiny Vietnamese man.

He lay flat on his back, desperately trying to keep his intestines from spilling out of the gaping wound on his abdomen. Smoke and screams filled the air. The burning huts illuminated the night.

Fuck you too, Papa San," Frank said as he stood above the dying man. "How far into Cambodia does the supply line run? Understand me, fucker? Làm thế nào đến nay vào Cambodia hiện nó đi?"

"Fuck you," the man said in heavily accented English. "Understand word, motherfucker?"

Scowling, Frank put two more shots into the man's stomach. He groaned loudly and spat up blood. Not dead yet, but in immense pain. Frank kicked dirt on him before turning around to check the progress of his team.

They were working their way through the huts, killing anyone they found before gathering the guns and ordinance they found inside. So far they were coming up empty and Frank was getting antsy.

"No joy, Sarge," one of the men reported. "We can't find a goddamn thing. No guns outside of the one that fucker with the belly wound had. No ordinance and not even traces that they were smuggling Horse or any of that other shit they like to run in from Cambodia."

"Found a buncha farm equipment," one of the other men said from across the small encampment. "Hoes, rakes, soil. Looks like this may have been one of them work camps. We're just a half klick from a rice paddy."

Frank looked down at the Vietnamese man. He was still now, color draining from his face while his blood ran into the dirt. There was nothing for them to find here. The men that had died were innocent and now all that they owned and worked for was being destroyed by the hated Americans. Those were the perfect conditions that made more VC.

Frank looked over at his radio man. "Carlton, call it in to Eagle Eye. Radio the coordinates to the camp and give them the green light to go ahead with the airstrike."

"Sir? I thought this was--"

"An enemy encampment?" Frank said, cutting him off. "You bet your ass it was, and once they drop those bombs, there'll be nothing left of this place but a crater. Nobody will be able to say otherwise. Understood?"

The men nodded. Frank stepped away and walked out towards the edge of the camp while the bombing was called in. In the dark, he dropped his facade and let his teeth chatter and let the smile slip on his face. Thousands of miles away from home, surrounded by death and madness and destruction. This horrible place that was destined to be the rock upon which American exceptionalism would break...

He was in heaven.

And he wished that it would never end.
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8 Jan 2017 20:01 10 Jan 2017 12:12
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Sep Admiral EvilScottishGuy

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 11:14

P A S T


K E Y S T O N E C I T Y

October 12th, 1939 - 6:02 PM | The Home of Jay and Joan Garrick


"Jay, I'm not so sure about any of this..." Jay turned around to face Joan. She was still as stunning as the day he had met her, and while he would have thought it not possible she worried for him even more now than she had before they had married. She had stuck by him after the accident that had first given him his powers, and then as he struggled to come to grips with who he was, and what he was going to do with his life she had been there. He was truly lucky to have her here, by his side through all of this.

As he stood before her in a red shirt, blue pants and a modified version of his fathers helmet from the Great War he understood that despite the power that he had been given. One day he would need to think of her, and leave this life behind. He walked over to her, reaching out and holding her hands as he faced her. "Joan, the worlds at a precipice and I have power. I can't sit back and do nothing, people are dying. If I have power I need to use it-"

"It's dangerous Jay."

Jay just shrugged, as he let go of her hands directing them both at his chest. "I'm the fastest thing on the planet, faster than a bullet. I'll be fine. I'm the Flash."

"You know, I hate that newspaper for giving you that name."

"What would you have called me?"

She put her arms around him. "My husband."

P O L A N D

October 13th, 1939 - 7:25 AM | The Eastern Front


Jay ducked behind a building as an explosion went off. So far the journey had went just about as well as expected in that he had gotten to this small town, with a name he couldn't read, just ahead of the Nazi advance. He had heard tales of the war from his father, the long gruelling days in the trenches. The sound of war and battle. This wasn't war, this was decimation. Small pockets of Polish resistance fired back at the superior forces of the Nazi push. Everyone else saw the chaos, though for him he saw everything with clarity. His mind processing sights, sounds and smells faster than anybody else present. To him time moved slowly and it gave him the chance to get a feel for his surroundings.

As the smell of charred flesh met his nostrils, he had to resist the urge to throw up. This wasn't what he was here for, he had been given this speed for a reason. To do that he had to run. He pushed himself off, he felt the lightning flowing through him. The raw electricity and power, that he still didn't fully understand. Jumping over items in his path, straight to the eastern edge of town where the motley Polish soldiers were trying to mount a defense that would give the people in the town enough time to escape, he passed people running the opposite direction and couldn't help but notice the look of sheer panic on their faces. He saw the spark in their eyes that was him rushing by. He didn't take the time to look at the invading forces as he reached the edge of town, instead he grabbed someone around the waist. There was a brief moment where he had stopped and he could hear the man begin to protest, but before he could get anything out Jay had a hold of him and he was running again.

He ran down the road carrying the soldier till he reached the next town, letting go off him and then running back. One by one he grabbed them. As the invaders came closer and closer, he had cleared more and more people. It was not amiss to him though, that the invaders were getting closer. He had to push himself faster, no-one would be left behind. He had made a small impact on Keystone since the accident, though today he was making a real difference. He stopped at the group of confused people, dropping off the last individual. Smiling at the group, probably out of shock more than anything, the soldiers who weren't throwing up aimed and fired at him. The bullets may have seemed like they were moving quickly, but to him it was but a crawl. He dodged out of the way of the bullets, until the soldiers expended their rounds. Knowing that anything he might say would be lost on them, due to a language barrier. He merely raised his arm, and gave them a tip of the metal hat.

Without a word, he turned around and took off. Creating a gush of air in his wake as he cut through it. It was an exhilerating feeling, and he'd never get fed up of it. The scientist in him told him that at these speeds his body should be starting to pull itself apart. Though for whatever reason it held firm, and he pushed himself onwards. After all, if he didn't help these people? Who would?

BEGINNING:
F L A S H


W O R L D A T W A R
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Byrd Man Political Party Animal

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Part I:
A Day at the Races


Tampa, Florida

Parker leaned against the railing and watched the horses race from their starting gate. The bleachers at the racetrack were half filled. It was a weekday afternoon, those at the track were either among the professional idlers or the professional gamblers. Parker found himself somewhere in between.

Over a year had passed since the job in Tennessee and he was beginning to run low on spending money. Parker always took a percentage of each job and put it away as part of his ever growing nest egg. What he didn't put away he spent like there was no tomorrow on hotels, clothes, booze, and women. During jobs Parker was a monk when it came to pleasure. Between jobs he lived like a hedonist. And hedonism wasn't cheap.

The lush life was beginning to wear on him. He was a tool, a machine, something built to strongarm and rob. He was wasted in a life of sun and sand. He was worried if he spent too much more time living like this he'd lose his edge. He needed to be out there in the streets, on the hunt and looking for the next score. In Parker's line of work, there was always some right that needed to be wronged.

The nag with the six on its side finished the race first to a mixed reception to the crowd. Parker looked at his ticket and flashed a slight grin. He'd just won eight hundred bucks. Not bad for a race during the middle of the day. He got his payout and decided to call it a day there. The win at the end help stop a losing streak on the earlier races and made Parker come out two hundred dollars ahead on the day.

He took his car across the bay into St. Petersburg where he was staying. There were a lot of good targets in the area. The racetrack could be hit for a good take, along with at least a dozen other banks and check cashing places. But Parker would never act on the impulse. He pulled jobs across the country but never in Florida. Florida was where he went to play and not work. For Parker, there could be no overlap between the two. Overlap led to sloppiness.

It seemed the universe was out to make a fool out of Parker because as soon as he got to his hotel, Handy McKay was waiting for him in the lobby. He hadn't laid eyes on McKay in a few years, but he looked the same. He was tall, though not as tall as Parker, and with a smoothed shaved head. His dark brown skin was offset by a white bowling shirt and khaki slacks.

"Mr. Anson?" Handy asked with raised eyebrows.

"How can I help you?"

"I wonder if you'd like to grab lunch so we can discuss an exciting new business opportunity."

--

They had lunch at a diner in Ybor City. Parker had a pulled pork Cuban sandwich while Handy went with rice and beans with chicken. They spent most of the meal catching up, talking about scuttlebutt they heard among those in the Life -- always Life with a captital L -- and what Parker had been doing in his time off from the Life.

"Heard about the mess in Tennessee," Handy said as he chewed on a toothpick.

"It was a mess, alright, but it's in the past. Let's talk about the future, Handy."

McKay's eyes flashed and he suppressed a grin. He took the toothpick out and put it on his empty plate.

"Always ready to get to business?"

"It's been long enough," said Parker. "I'm ready to get back to it."

"We'll see how anxious you are when we you hear what I have."

Parker arched his eyebrow at the comment. Handy knew that Parker was peculiar about the jobs he took. He knew above all, Parker never took a job he judged to be a loser. In his book, a loser was either a job that high chance or failure or one that didn't pay enough. The less complications and the bigger payday the better for him.

"What's wrong with it?"

"The location," McKay said with a smirk. "It's in Gotham."

On instinct, Parker looked down at the long, winding scar on the back of his left hand. A memento from one of his last trip's to Gotham, given to him by the city's favorite flying rodent. After that, Parker added another rule to his list: Never do a job in Gotham, especially at night.

"No."

"I knew you'd say that," said McKay. "But let me at least explain the job to you, and how much you stand to make."

Parker shrugged and McKay started talking. When he was finished, Parker asked questions and laid out ground rules. By the time they were through, Parker was convinced. He kicked the blonde he was sleeping with out of his bed, checked out of his hotel, and booked a flight to Gotham that night.
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Lucian Erudite Heretic

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Champion Of The Gods





The Rock of Eternity. 1938




Billy Batson was terrified. He'd been trotting gaily down Deacon Avenue, when suddenly there came a terrible boom, and a flash of light, and now he was in this... castle, was it? He couldn't tell, but he was sure he didn't know of any place like this in Fawcett City. He was in a great, lengthy torchlit hallway. Some ways ahead, statues lined either side of the hallway's walls and it thinned out. He could hear thunder outside the building, but inside it was quiet as the grave, aside from the crackling of several torches on the wall. Billy stepped forward gingerly, scanning the stone walls for a door of some sort. So far, he hadn't seen any. Creeping down the hallway at a tentative pace, he headed toward the place where the hall thinned. It seemed right, and he could make out a light at the end of the tunnel.

As he entered the hallway, his cautious tip-toeing gave way to an awed stumble as he took in the statues on either side of him. To his left, seven statues, terrible to behold sneered down at him, their monstrous visages causing a chill to run up his spine. To his right, however, six heroic and godly figures stood proud and tall, some smiling benevolently, and one even winking cleverly down at him. What was this place, to have such unusual and exotic decorations? Without warning, the extensively long hallway began to contract, shortening from about two-thousand feet to somewhere between twenty and thirty from end-to-end. The change happened so suddenly and swiftly that Billy didn't have time to feel nauseous, instead he just gaped, wide-eyed at the room on the other side of the hall, which was now much more in focus than it had been before. The room was massive and round, with a domed ceiling so large and high up that Billy couldn't even guess how big it was. The middle of the room was taken up by what looked like a miniature (but still enormous) mountain, above which a thundercloud hovered, occasionally zapping the peak of the mountain with lightning. Billy stepped into the room, eyes wide, attempting to take in the scale of it all.

"Gosh. Is this a new high-tech museum or did I fall over and hit my head?" Billy pondered aloud as he walked further into the huge chamber.

"Neither, William Batson. You are in the Sanctuary of the Rock of Eternity. The font of the power of the Gods, source of strength for their chosen champion."

The booming voice seemed to come from everywhere at once, reverberating and echoing throughout the cavernous chamber, but Billy could see its point of origin, though he could've sworn nothing had been there before. Situated halfway between the entrance to the hall he'd come from, and the mountain in the center of the room, was a large and ancient looking throne of stone, gilded in golden lightning-bolts and heroic imagery. An old man sat on the throne, white haired and long-bearded, and robed elegantly with a high collared cape to round out his deep purple ensemble. A golden bolt of lightning stood out on the chest of the man's robes. In some remote part of his mind, Billy thought of Merlin from King Arthur.

"Uhm... You know my name, sir?" Billy asked, speaking up to cover the distance between them, though that was apparently unnecessary, given the old man had heard his quiet mumbling earlier. The hair on the back of his neck was standing up now.

"I know many things, William. Forgive me for keeping you at a disadvantage, I am the Wizard Shazam."

As the Wizard spoke that final word, the storm-cloud above the mountain in the center of the room rumbled violently, spewing lightning in several directions, striking the walls of the room in great, bright arcs. The Wizard turned one hand toward the ceiling, and suddenly the lightning from the cloud redirected itself into the old man's open palm. Billy was worried for the man's safety for a moment, but was too awestruck to hold the thought for long, and the Wizard clearly wasn't harmed. After a few moments of the brief demonstration, the rumbling subsided and the old man lowered his hand back to the arm of the throne.

"Golly! You're like a living Tesla Coil!" Billy exclaimed.

"No, William. I offer much more than a brief light show. You are here for a reason. You have been chosen to receive the power of the gods. Should you accept this responsibility, you will become a force for justice and righteousness, a champion of magic, Earth's mightiest mortal."

"Err, mister Shazam, sir? I'm just a kid from Fawcett city. There's nothing special about me. You must have the wrong guy, I- I can't be-" Billy stammered in disbelief, but the Wizard didn't let him finish the thought,


"The Gods do not make mistakes, William. You have been chosen because, despite the adversity you have faced living without family in a hard city, your heart remains good and pure. You are a hero within, what I offer is the power to become that hero on the outside as well." The Wizard rested his chin on his right fist casually, as if this conversation were rather ordinary, but Billy felt like he had wandered into a dream or a fairy-tale. Stuff like this just didn't happen. Did it?

"This world will need you in the coming years. Do you accept, William? Will you be my force for good? Will you become the Champion of the Gods?" The Wizard asked, leaning forward in the stone throne and peering at the boy intently.




"Had I known, would I still have said yes? I honestly can't say for sure. I suppose I would, I think I've made a difference."




"Then step forward, William Batson. Raise your hands to the heavens, and call my name!" The Wizard said, the storm cloud above him rumbled in anticipation of the transference of power to come.

Billy did as he was told, the whole thing felt like a ritual, a ceremony, everything had a place and a purpose, including him. He didn't want to ruin it. He took one step forward,

S

For the Wisdom of Solomon

Another step forward, the hair on his head and the back of his neck was stiff, standing on end. A chill ran down his spine,

H

For the strength of Hercules

He raised his hand, and so did the Wizard, the thunder roared in excitement, the room shook at it's foundations now

A

For the stamina of Atlas

Though the room shook, Billy couldn't feel it. His feet weren't touching the floor. The air crackled with lightning, electricity all around him. He was too terrified to speak the name, though he knew he had to.

Z

For the power of Zeus

The Wizard was saying something, but Billy couldn't hear him over the deafening crash of the thunder, and the crackling and popping of the lightning. The room had visibly darkened, the torches on the walls grew dim. Billy realized faintly that the Wizard was chanting something, not talking. He knew he had to say the word, but he was too astounded by the spectacle of it all to make his mouth move.

A

For the courage of Achiles

The Wizard was looking at him, waiting for him. The Gods themselves were waiting for him to say the word. Abruptly, his mouth opened wide and he threw back his head to shout the word, though his throat felt dry.

M

For the speed of Mercury



Shazam! The boy called, and his voice echoed throughout the chamber, magically amplified to carry over the roar of thunder and the zapping of lightning.

The electricity that had been crackling around him now moved through him, into him. It was changing him, he realized distantly. The gooseflesh on his arms receded, and a new strength and confidence flowed through him, along with a new understanding of the spell the Wizard had just cast, the bond they now shared. The rumbling quieted, and it seemed to Billy that his body had soaked up all of the ambient power in the room, as well as much of the power in the Wizard himself. As he looked to the old man, the Wizard slumped back down into his throne, and nearly toppled forward.

Billy was there in an instant, however, and he caught the old man. He wasn't shocked by the swiftness of his movements, he knew he had Mercury to thank for them. He understood so much now.

"Are you alright, Shazam?" He asked the Wizard, his voice now considerably deeper than it had been, the voice of a young man, just in his prime, rather than that of a boy of nine. This too, he took in without surprise, because now he understood.

"That name belongs to you now, William. Let it be your shield against prying eyes, and ears with ill-intent. None should know your true identity but those you trust most deeply. The world at large cannot know of The Rock of Eternity either. We have enemies beyond counting, and should the sanctity of this place be destroyed, your powers would fall with it." The Wizard sounded weak, and truly old now, but he put a bony hand on Billy's (now quite broad) shoulder, "Stay here for awhile, William. Learn your new abilities, become accustomed to your body, but don't take too long. The world stands on the brink, and you will be needed soon. When you are ready, you will know where to go. Now, I must rest..." The Wizard trailed off and collapsed back into his throne, snoring loudly and rather comically.



The Skies Above London. September 7. 1940




The Earth's Mightiest Mortal floated alone high above the city, and though his vision was mostly obstructed by clouds, he could hear the engines of the bombers, and the scurrying of the soon-to-be defenders below, readying themselves for the coming storm. Oh, there would be a storm alright, and he, not the planes, would be bringing the thunder.

"By the Power of Zeus, and the Speed of Mercury." He whispered in quiet deference to the deities whose aid he would most need in the coming battle. As the first of the bombers came into view, the skies gradually grew dark as the mighty Shazam focused his many magical blessings, and at the first roar of thunder, he flew forward toward the oncoming planes as if shot from a cannon. The fighters swarmed in response, apparently taking note of him, but in the skies he was far more maneuverable, zipping through their defensive lines, taking a bullet here or there, but not enough to cause him any true harm. That would require larger ordinance, he knew from his training with the Wizard. The civilians below, however, didn't have the Endurance of Atlas. He knew he wouldn't be able to stop all of the bombs from falling on the city. Still, if he could save even one innocent life...

He reached the nearest bomber (the fighters had to disengage or risk shooting down their own now) and alighted menacingly on the plane just outside the cockpit. The pilot inside stared up at him, wide-eyed, and reached for a holstered pistol at his hip. Shazam shot his arm through the glass of the cockpit and grabbed the man's arm, pulling it easily away from the firearm and pinning it above his head. Pausing for a moment to search the inner pool of knowledge granted by Solomon's wisdom, Shazam looked briefly for the translation of the words get a parachute and jump. Though he never intended to kill the man, the obvious threat of the mystical titan spurred the pilot into action.

"Holen Sie sich einen Fallschirm und springt!" Shazam shouted at the man in perfect German. The man did as he was told, and soon the others followed. The bomber had to be disposed of before it could do any damage. Shazam took flight again, zipping around gracefully to the underside of the aircraft, and arcing it upwards further into the sky. As soon as he was high enough that he was sure the explosions wouldn't harm the city below, he called down the lightning.

"Shazam!" He roared to the heavens, and the boom of mystical thunder echoed in answer, as the lightning of the gods shot down to meet him. The bolt was interrupted by the plane he was holding, and the explosives within detonated all at once in a massive fiery explosion in the sky. He managed to clear the blast radius- barely- before any of the fire could reach him. He looked back to the encroaching wave of enemy aircraft, and his heart sunk just a little. The bombs were already falling, and he couldn't stop the destruction. Nevertheless, had had no choice but to fight on.

"One at a time." He muttered under his breath, then shot toward the next bomber.

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Hexaflexagon Alive?

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Part 1

"Porque la paga del pecado es muerte"
~ Romans 6:23


Mexico, Undisclosed Location


Nestled under the shadow of Nevado de Toluca just eighty kilometers due west of Mexico City lies a town. This town does not appear on any map and any GPS will not be able to route to it. Here resting upon soil enriched by the very fires of the Earth, atop a plateau nearly one hundred and eighty two meters tall, the elite and powerful do business. Away from the roar of the city, the prying eyes of journalists and rivals things revert to an almost simpler time. A time where success was only prohibited only by your own ambitions.

The walls of this invisible town are high, sculpted from red tinged clay cracked from general wear. Juxtaposed against sagging battlements and embrasures meant for cannon were very modern guards armed with high-caliber rifles and tactical gear watching over the landscape below. A simple dirt road snaked its way up and through the main gates where it morphed into finely carved cobble streets. Despite the shining lamp posts whose electricity was drawn from the geothermal currents beneath them and finely crafted western architecture out of a Renaissance villa, the town was much like any other mountain town. There were farmers, shepherds, weavers, and drunks, children frolicked and played in the streets. Many of these simple people had family or they themselves worked in the building which required all the additional accoutrements as it may be.

The building known simply as Un Hotel stood at the apex of the conically rising town. Built far back and away from the clay walls and surrounded by gardens and terraces which commanded a magnificent view from any vantage point that could've been desired. Despite or maybe because of its fine grace and beauty there was something. A certain clinical stateliness pervaded the premise. It was not a house of pleasure or relaxation. It was a house of business, desolate splendor refined to a point. That elite spas and saunas were barely touched, the picturesque mirror-like water of the Olympic pool remained undisturbed and untouched. The only active portion seemed to be the conference rooms and the bar were drinks were poured with a heavy hand.

It was here as twilight faded into night without notice that two men sat on the eastern terrace drinking pulques. Or at least one of them was, the other was sipping at his water splashed with lime as he was still on the job. They listened as the sounds of the nightly activities of the town floated their way up to them. The mariachi band played at the open window of the local cantina: eight violins, two trumpets, and a guitarrón. The whimsical splash of music mixed with the interlaced spurts of laughter and merriment. Harold 'Happy' Hogan pushed the glass bottle of pulques towards Tony Stark who poured himself another drinking watching his friend and bodyguard intently.

"So that went well." Hogan prompted.

What 'went well' was a deal hashed out with the Policía Federal to sell them so new equipment. A non-lethal pulsed energy projectile used to incapacitate targets and bring them in without having to pump them full of bullets.

"I guess,"

"Mhm?"

"It's just," Tony started "There was no fun in it. They didn't try to haggle or ask for a lower price. They just saw the demonstration and ordered a thousand. No resistance at all."

Hogan cocked an eyebrow upwards at Tony. "Isn't that more of a testament towards your engineering than anything else. I mean the quality speaks for itself. Saved our ass more than enough times in the Suits."

“Doesn’t mean things can’t be fun.”

They fell back into a comfortable silence intermittently broken by the sound of Happy swishing around the ice in his glass. Tony gazed downward at the pool as it reflected the dark sky. Here far away from the city it spilled outward like a broken geode, a thousand different stars and galaxies. There light scattered and bled away into the shifting reflecting darkness of the pool. The sounds of the town below muted as the band played a softer ballad with only a lone mournful trumpet filling the air. The reverie was broken as the sound of Tony's phone vibrating snapped the pair of men back to attention.

He fished the phone out of his five thousand dollar designer suit pants and looked down. He looked at Happy. "It's your ex-wife."

"Tell her I said hi."

Tony shook his head as he sat up legs quaking slightly from the pulques. "It's real strange that you two on such amicable turns. Most of my exes want to see me dead."

"It's called being an adult Tony. You should try it sometime."

Tony's response was to flip Hogan the finger and keep on walking. He fished a pair of seemingly innocuous sunglasses from his jacket pocket and placed them upon his face. Pressing a small button on the left hand side there was a flash and soon he saw the executive suite of Stark Tower, Virginia "Pepper" Potts standing in front of him arms crossed even as the heat of the night never left him.

Most would of been surprised of the hologram of Tony appearing out of nothing. For Pepper it was just another evening. "How'd it go?"

"Excellent of course. Our lawyer types just need to talk to their lawyer types and bing, bam, boom we are in business."

"That's good to hear. I was almost worried that you'd find a way to mess it all up again."

Tony pantomimed getting shot in the heart. "And when do I ever mess things up?"

Pepper sighed. "Tony,"

"But-"

"Tony."

"How was I supposed to know the President of Finland was allergic to peanuts!"

"Because I put it in the report. That you promised to read."

"Tastefully moving the topic of conversation along, how's it going?" Tony ask as Hogan in the 'real world' watched him precariously navigate the perimeter of the pool.

"Well productions at....."

Tony rolled his eyes as he listened to Pepper begin to list off the business statistics of Stark Enterprises.

"Pepper. Pepper. Pepper!" Tony began finally getting her to taper off her tangent. "I don't need to know how the company is doing. It has my name on it, of course it is doing well. I'm asking how you are doing."

"In that case," Pepper began. "I work for an incompetent man-child, I work twenty out of twenty four hours a day, I caught a grey hair this morning. So really everything is going swimmingly."

"Sounds like an average day," Tony quipped. "How's 'Project R' going?"

At the mention of this she actually managed to smile. "I mean the new suit is fantastic and who ever would've thought doing your other job would be just as easy as doing the first."

"Love you too."

"Goodnight Mister Stark."

"See you Ms. Potts."

Tony tucked the VR glasses away and made his way back over to the opposite side of the pool where Happy was still sitting. Tony slumped back into the chair the wooden creaking in protest as he did. He finished the last of the pulques in his glass in one go before he regarded Happy. "She says she wants you dead."

"Hardy har har," Happy stated, pushing himself upward before turning towards the spotless glass doors that lead back into the hotel proper. "It's getting late and we have an early start tomorrow. Might as well hit the sack."

"Yeah you go ahead. I need to get more sleeping aid before I call it." He replied, gesturing towards the empty bottle of pulques. Harold shook his head but left without a comment, knowing that arguing with Tony especially when he had a few drinks in him wouldn't get him anywhere.

After indulging himself in the warm air and buzz of the alcohol pulsing through his veins, Tony stood up and made his way inside. Crossing the threshold a chill ran down his spine, temperature regulated constantly at precisely fifteen point fifteen degrees celsius. He walked down lonesome marble hallways,painfully aware of the mechanical whirr of the cameras that followed his every move. There seemed to be no actual security in the Un Hotel only the cameras.

He still didn't know his room number eight something something but he did know every twist and turn which lead him to the lounge and more importantly the bar.and none the more important. He navigated his way through the array of tables and chairs towards the bar where he shifted his way atop of a bar stool. He ordered a paloma from the bar and idly began sketching plans for a new reactor that he was currently tampering with.

Amidst the encouragement of the cocktail and the particular issues of doing advance level physics on a small square of paper with a shitty hotel pen, he didn't notice the sound of heels tapping across the floor as they approached him. He didn't notice the distinctive sound of swishing fabric. He didn't notice until she cleared her throat behind him. A career as a superhero made it so that Tony wasn't easily surprised. He put down his pen and slowly turned over his shoulder towards the sound.

Ink black hair fell to about her waist without a strand falling out of line. A simple black dress that halted slightly above the knees. Maybe ten no twenty years younger than him and most of the other stragglers left in the bar she still managed to command the room with a level of cool confidence. She was beautiful definitely but in the type of beauty that reminded Tony of some art piece in a museum, everything about her stated feel free to look but don’t touch.

As their eyes met she gave a small smile and offered a hand.

“Whitney Frost, I have an offer we’d like to make you Mr. Stark.”


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Sep Admiral EvilScottishGuy

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P R E S E N T


C E N T R A L C I T Y

March 11th, 2017 - 12:35 PM | The Central City National History Museum


My mother often told me that life was movement, at every single moment everything was in flux and moving forward. Part of me just wishes that others would move on as well..."

Barry slid and ducked under the fist that was raised in his path, sliding along the floor before coming up and skidding to a halt looking at his foes. Trajectory paced back and forth. He knew of her predicament, much like Jesse Quick her super speed was the result of a drug. The main issue was that it had an effect on her psyche, and without another drug her body needed some form of constant motion. Barry still remembered when she made her debut, and had originally sought to be a hero until her psyche began to change. Now she was a shadow of the hero Barry knew she could be, there was something narcotic about the rush of the Speedforce flowing through your veins. He had always hypothesised that as her connection was synthetic that her brain had reacted to that rush a different way to the way he, Wally or even Jay had. Which could explain why Jesse stopped taking the drug.

His other opponent was much more of a mystery, he called himself Speed Demon. Small time crook turned big when he gained super speed, Barry wasn't entirely sure that he was connected to the Speedforce in any way shape or form though that made him no less dangerous. The fact they had teamed up was the worrying part, on their own they didn't prove much of a threat to him. Though together, they stood a chance.

"You know, I appreciate your interest in history, though I'm afraid you can't take the exhibits home." It wasn't the first Museum raid Barry had attended, and it wouldn't be the last. It always surprised him though.

This wasn't a fight with the Rogues, who had strangely disappeared of late, as instead of a retort both the Speedsters turned to him and charge. To a normal human being they would appear as a blur, though he was no regular human being. He picked up on the slight differences in technique, variations in their speeds. Speed Demon was the slower of the two, though he had a runners physique. He was trained, whereas Trajectory the faster of the two was sloppy. He took in everything in the room, his mind processing it all at once thanks to the effects that the speedforce had on his cognitive abilities.

He took off, the lightning flowing through him and leaving a trail behind himself as he charged towards his opponents. He had already formulated a plan to take down his opponents, now all he had to do was execute it perfectly. If history served itself well, something would go wrong and he'd have to improvise but he had a good feeling about this one. As he approached the two of them, he dodged to the right. Concentrating, he leaned down and grabbed the decorative carpet that lay on the walkway his foes were running on. Turning, he twisted it up he watched as his opponents footing was knocked off balance. They fell, skidding down the corridor. Trajectory landed on her stomach, whereas Speed Demon managed to perform a roll and recover himself. Landing on his feet. He must not have felt up for a fight after that, as he turned and bolted for the main exit.

At this point he was the priority, Trajectory was down and she was sloppy. She tended to cause mayhem rather than outright kill, Speed Demon was a bit more of a wild card. He took off, though on his way he grabbed some of the protective ropes for an exhibit and tied it around Trajectorys wrists and ankles. It wouldn't hold her for long, though the hope was that it would hold her long enough for him to deal with Speed Demon and return for her. As he ran out the exit he was met with rain, blobs of water appeared almost stationary in the air before him as they dropped towards the ground. Skidding he turned to the left before picking up speed, creating a wake in the water that lay in the road as he did so. He passed the police cars, long droning sirens as they headed towards the museum. The officers barely able to comprehend that one of the suspects just sped past them.

Lightning coursed through him as he gained on Speed Demon, he was fast by regular standards but no match for the Fastest Man Alive (Not that he was really sure if that title belonged to him, or his ex-sidekick Wally West). He cut to the left down a narrow alleyway in order to cut Speed Demon off. As a metallic fence appeared in his vision he kicked off to the left. His speed dropping only slightly as his feet made contact with one of the walls, running along it in a perpinducular fashion as he passed the obstacle and he returned to the ground. He still remembered when he first gained these abilities, he could barely run through traffic let alone navigate alleyways or run along walls. Part of him however felt empty without Wally beside him, part of him yearned to continue to teach people about the Speedforce. Though who was there to train?

Shaking himself out of his reverie (After all, a split second was a long time to someone travelling at super speed). He stopped in the middle of the street, arms crossed as he saw Speed Demon coming towards him. People at either side of the street paused to look on at him. Though he focused on his opponent, he had learned early on that he shouldn't let himself become distracted. "Going somewhere?" Speed Demon pulled back, though he failed to take into account the effects of travelling at super speed on a wet surface. Loosing his footing he slipped and slid down the road. Barry turned and followed him, chasing him as he tried to stand up Barry planted on squarely at the bottom of his jaw in an uppercut knocking the villain out. Pleased with himself he slung the unconcious speedster over his shoulder and then ran back to the museum.

On arrival he threw Speed Demon (harmlessly, albeit a little unceremoniously, into the back of a CCPD van). He then turned to one of the officers. "You should wait here, Trajectory is still inside and she's probably regained conciousness by now. I'll go-"

"Don't worry about it Flash." Barry turned to look at the source of the voice, the mysterious man in the yellow suit that had been seen around Central City stood at the top of the steps. "While you were busy with one adversary, Professor Zoom took care of the other."

With that, the mysterious man turned and ran. There was no mistaking it, he had tapped into the Speedforce. Barry was about to go after him when his earpiece began to beep, he was already late for an appointment. Discovering who this Professor Zoom was, was going to have to wait. He turned to the Officer who had been standing there perplexed at the whole exchange. "I'll leave this in your capable hands, gotta run!" He hated it when he got interupted.

BEGINNING:
F L A S H


O N Y O U R M A R K S. . .
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EDIT: Site's being a shithead, accidentally posted my post before it was done. Will edit it back in when it is.
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Part II:
Economic Darwinism


"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."
-- Ayn Rand


Gotham City

Parker drove through Gotham City while Handy McKay rode shotgun. The car was a rental, checked out at the airport under one of the many false aliases Parker used. He used a different name to check into the hotel down the block from the rental car place. Parker used the room safe to store the five grand he'd flown in with. The money would be used to buy a quick getaway if the job went sour.

They cruised through downtown Gotham until traffic came to a stop. Handy lit up a cigarette and cracked the window to let the smoke filter out. Parker looked around at the tall buildings. It was just like he remembered from all those years ago. He and three other guys tried to pull a night time raid on a downtown bank not far from the spot they currently sitting at. They had just blown the safe and were heading out the skylight when he showed up.

The Batman hadn't turned out to be the great big monster a lot of crooks said he was, but he was sure as hell something more than a guy wearing a cape. He broke Parker's left hand in two places and permanently scarred it with some razor sharp knife thing he had thrown at Parker. Parker had been the only one of the four to get away, but he had to make his escape empty-handed. Short on cash, he had had to do some quick muggings on the street to get enough dough to pay for fixing his hand and getting out of town. Parker had left town with his tail between his legs and hadn't been back since.

"Traffic's moving," Handy said with a nod towards the moving cars.

They headed north and hit the expressway out of town towards the wealthier side of town. Parker and Handy cruised slowly through the posh suburbs. Hunter's Creek was just a scant fifty blocks away from Narrows, but it may as well have been on another planet. There was no trace of the old junkies on the corner, doing the dope fiend lean as they shot up and fried what little brains they had left. No sign of the hookers who walked the streets, selling their bodies to feed themselves and their children. No dilapidated buildings with its copper piping and electrical wiring ripped out by money hungry fiends looking for a quick payday.

Parker always felt uneasy surrounded by these big lawns and big houses shining in the early morning light. He wore fancy clothes and stayed at five-star hotels, but in his heart he was just plain old white trash from the city, something that would never change. The people out here were tantamount to American royalty with their fleets of cars, jets, and boats. His destination, the mansion decked out in the Spanish colonial style, loomed on the hill above it all. Guys like Parker and Handy were called criminals for no other reason than the types of crime they committed. Parker stole money and jewels, the guys who owned the houses out here stole elections and peddled Democracy to any third world country with finite natural resources to exploit. They robbed pension plans and left retiring employees penniless. Society condemned guys like Parker, saying they were the problem with America, all the while the people out here overthrew governments to avoid paying fifty cents on the dollar for exports. The only difference between what Parker and Handy did and what the businessmen out here did was that their work had been deemed too big to fail by the government.

Parker and Handy were stopped outside the big manor by an armed guard. The rental car idled outside a big iron gate while the man gave him the stinkeye and double checked their identification. They were led inside the gate before being led into the big house by another guard. Parker wasn't too impressed by the large courtyard and expansive corridors. The place was small by House of Windsor standards. The guard showed them into an office somewhere on the third floor and left him alone.

Handy took a seat while Parker walked up to a wall that looked as if it were a shrine to the home's owner. Three different photos of Thomas Segel shaking hands with the last three US Presidents, one of him in New York ringing the stock exchange bell, a cover of a financial magazine with a younger looking Segel on the cover. Photos of family accompanied the ones of achievement, but Segel was always in the middle of whatever was going on. That didn't surprise Parker. A man like that had to be center of attention in everything he did. For guys like Thomas Segel, if you weren't first you might as well have been last.

"Gentlemen."

Thomas Segel came through the door with a large smile and a soft hand out and raised for a handshake. "I have to say you gentlemen come highly recommended. Parker, especially. Have a seat."

Parker took a seat next to Handy and looked at Segel from behind his desk. It was dark, made of some wood that probably cost one hundred bucks a square inch.

"Mr. McKay told you the details, Parker?"

"He did."

"Good," Segel said with a grin. "But I'm afraid there's been a slight change."

Segel filled them in. After the Bat's arrival, the criminal order in Gotham had been thrown out of whack. The mob guys running the show got their asses handed to them by the Bat and their entire organization blew away like a house of cards on a windy day. The whole scene was like the wild west now, independent operators working shoulder to shoulder with the freaks in costumes and makeup.

Jefferson Skeevers was one of those independent operators. Overnight, Skeevers had set up a drug-dealing empire that included almost the entire city and over half the surrounding county. Based out of the Finger Housing Projects, Skeevers operation cleared at least twenty million dollars a year.

"And I want it," Segel said with a humorless smile. "See, I work in the import-export business--"

"Drug dealer," said Parker. "You're a drug dealer."

"I supply many things, Mr. Parker. I have contacts in the Middle East and South America who can provide the finest product, but I don't own any of the market share. Skeevers has the market cornered with an inferior product. What I need is an aggressive takeover of the market."

"You sound like you're in the boardroom," said Handy. "All due respect, cut the shit and get to it."

"Skeevers keeps his stash -- both drugs and money -- inside the Finger Homes. I'm going to pay you gentlemen to steal them from him along with something else. Skeevers himself."

"Kidnapping?" Parker asked. "I don't do kidnapping."

"It's basically another theft -- stealing someone from their everyday life. And, Ffr what I'm paying you most certainly will," Segel said with his arms spread. "Money's not an issue. I need to have all three taken to send a message. Money, product, and the man with the connections. That's when I step in and fill the void with my own product."

"Why us?" Handy asked. "You got an army of muscle at your disposal."

"I need it to look like an outside job. If one of my guys gets caught then it ends up coming back to me."

"You know I like to rob banks," Parker said. "Because when you rob a bank, the president of Wells Fargo doesn't put a bounty on your head. You rob from criminals they take it personal and don't stop taking it personal until your dead."

"Like the syndicate in New York?" Segel asked with an arched eyebrow. "I've done my homework on you, Parker. "

"Outfit," Parker said tightly. "They call themselves the Outfit."

"Whatever they call themselves, there are still people who would like to know what your pretty little face looks like."

The plastic surgery scars had long ago healed, but Parker was on his second face after pissing off a lot of made men from New York City. that was a long time ago now, but guys in the Outfit always had long memories. Parker squeezed his fist so hard the knuckles were turning white. Handy looked at Parker before looking at Segel.

"You're an asshole," Handy said without blinking.

Segel let out a laugh at that.

"I'm a businessman, Mr. McKay. And a damn good one. Find a weakness and exploit it. It's the law of the jungle as well as the boardroom. You will be paid well, rest assured, but also know that the price of failure -- for you especially, Parker -- is going to be high. So what do you say?"

Parker had a violent fantasy of reaching over the desk and snapping Segel's neck with his barehands. He was unarmed, as was Handy. In twenty seconds guards would be kicking in the door. They'd never get out the mansion alive.

"We'll start on it tonight," Parker said through gritted teeth.
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A C T I : T H E R O O T O F A L L E V I L


G O T H A M C I T Y

March 17th, 2017 - 5:44 AM | The Garden of Eden

When visiting Gotham Park, one could be forgiven for presuming that the sprawling wood and greenlands were all it had to offer. Venture deeper into its turf, and one might find the curiously tucked-away tourist hotspot of Gotham Zoo. But whilst on the surface the park did indeed boast idyllic scenery and public attractions (as well as an ideal stomping ground for thieves), the most noteworthy point of interest would require visitors to venture deeper still... To dig down, way beneath the grass and dirt, and into strange new territory: a garden, lush and bountiful, hidden deep beneath the city.

It was a curiosity, no doubt, that such a verdant sanctum could exist down in the depths of Gotham, however it seemed to be dutifully cared for, as though some devout and green-fingered agent had spent his every hour maintaining the underground paradise. Indeed, closer inspection would reveal that the plants down there had everything they needed to survive: water flooded into a large pool, presumably from the river above; a natural warmth emanated from every wall, near-sweltering in its clime; strange, organic pods hung from the high ceiling, filled with some foreign ooze that glowed bright with bioluminescence and cast a pallid green hue over the entire habitat. And, of course, the flora did benefit from the tender nurture of one such caretaker. For it was here, in her Garden of Eden, that Poison Ivy made her home.

She sprawled idly over a giant leaf, cushioned pleasantly amongst the green. She was quite the ethereal sight to behold, seeming entirely neither human nor plant, and instead occupying an uneasy middleground: her skin tinged with green, and sprouting botanic vestments styled to fit her decidedly humanoid frame, whilst her hair curled up like prize-winning roses. Her emerald eyes seemed fixed upon something up high, affixed to the roof of the garden; though there was no degree of intensity to her gaze. Rather, her lips seemed to curl ever-so-slightly in cold amusement, as she looked upon the human silhouette that seemed to float within one of the glowing, alien pods. A wave of her hand in its general direction caused it to burst.

The contents of the vessel spilled downwards; a male human form amongst a thick, sap-like liquid emptying themselves onto the padded floor. With a weary groan, the man seemed to stir from whatever amniotic slumber the fluids had enabled. As he brought himself to his feet, Poison Ivy barely moved an inch, her soft gaze continuing to linger upon him as she watched his dawning confusion take hold. He looked around, seeming both alarmed and amazed by the environment he'd awoken to. But his expression switched swiftly as his eyes fell upon the plant-woman. Raw and terror washed over his paling features, as the memories of how he'd found himself here rushed back into his skull. Memories of her.

Poison Ivy chuckled.

"Well, fancy seeing you here," she quipped, moving slowly from her seat to approach the trembling man. His very core urged him to flee; run; find some hideaway or escape route; but his legs found themselves rooted, frozen in part by fear and in part by the mesmerising aura his captor seemed to exude. He somehow found the focus to blurt out a panicked plea.

"Wh-what do you want from me, demon?" he demanded, though not with any sense of imposition. So weak was his tone, that it barely earned more than a wry grin in response from Poison Ivy.

"Oh, come now, Mr. Fairchild," she cooed; her words sweet like nectar but her tone dripping with venom. "We have been very clear in our simple request: stop murdering us!", she spat, rage so clear in her last words that every tree in the garden seemed to shiver at the sound of her voice. Mr. Fairchild was similarly shaken.

"But we -- we haven't murdered anyone!" he yelled, pleading his innocence with a degree of sincerity. Poison Ivy rolled her eyes, seeming to have neither patience nor empathy for the man's situation.

"Oh, you poor, ignorant fool," she snarled, hate in her eyes as she brought herself nose-to-nose with her victim. "The Monteverde, you worm." As she spat the words into the man's face, he seemed to be flooded with realisation; as though some great epiphany had taken hold, and suddenly his predicament made sense. As the wheels of his brain began to piece the information together, and the implications made themselves clear, Mr. Fairchild seemed once again to become gravely concerned.

"That was you?" he asked, in apparent disbelief. "Those crazy letters? The destruction of our HQ in Peru? I-it was all you?" Poison Ivy seemed unmoved by his realisation, as if inconvenienced by the glacial pace he was taking to catch up. "Look," he said, glancing around the garden. "You like plants, I-I get it. Really, I do," he said, doing a poor job of feigning sincerity. "But... Come on! You can't murder trees! You don't have to do this, I-I'll call off the work out there! They'll be out by lunchtime! But you gotta let me go..." he pleaded. "This is madness!"

"Too little, too late," came her cold reply. "Too much blood stains your hands."

"No, please!" he begged. "We didn't kill anyone! No man has died for our work in Monteverde!" Sweat dripped from his forehead, from both the humidity of the room and the fear that ran through his veins and vibrated in his bones; the kind of fear man only feels when they look directly into the eyes of someone who is about to kill them. And Poison Ivy's eyes did not blink.

"Then, I suppose it's time we did something about that," she finally retorted; her voice equal parts smug and icy, before she adopted a warmer tone and seemed to call out into the foliage; like a mother, calling to her child. "Georgia, my dear..."

A gargantuan pink blossom, easily the centrepiece of the room, seemed to shudder at the mention of its name, flowering on command and opening its petals. It would have been a beautiful display; one of awe and wonder, were it not for teeth that lined the inside of the plant's concealed mouth. Rows upon rows of razor-like blades, circling down into a waiting maw of blackness, from which, as it would happen, several tough vines burst forth, grappling Mr. Fairchild by the limbs and dragging the screaming man towards its bottomless pit of a mouth. As the petals once again closed, sealing the businessman inside, his gargled wailing become pained and tortured, before falling silent.

Poison Ivy sauntered over to the great beast of a bud, stroking her hand delicately along one of the behemoths that were its rosy petals. She looked at the giant plant lovingly, addressing it like only a mother could:

"Now, Georgia, what have I told you about chewing your food?"

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[Apologies : the site is being weird and double-posted.]
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Part II


La Araña Discoteca
El Paso, Texas
1995


"The fuck are you supposed to be?"

The bouncer outside the nightclub didn't have time to get his answer. A powerful fist struck him in the face and drove him to the ground. The man looked up, his sunglasses astray, and right into the blade of a butterfly knife. The clubgoers standing outside watched on in shock.

"Carlos Fring," Frank Castle said, placing the blade of the knife under the bouncer's eye.

"Fuck off!" The large man yelled.

"Wrong answer," Frank said as he quickly raked the blade up the bouncer's face. The bystanders recoiled and horror and began to scatter.

"Ahhh!" The bouncer screamed. He held his bloody face with both hands. "He's in the back office!"

Frank flicked the blade back into its handles and slid the knife back into the holster strapped to his thigh. He stepped over the bleeding bouncer and into the club, a sawed-off shotgun hidden under his coat.

Strobe lights flashed and heavy, techo music blasted out the club's speakers. Frank navigated through the jumping and bumping throng of people towards the club's back offices. He saw plenty of club kids high on coke. Even after its 80's heyday, the shit was still a plague across the country. The new stuff coming across the border from Juarez was courtesy of the Mexican cartel and their leader.

A few hundred feet away from Frank, Carlos Fring sat at the desk in the club's backroom. He had his pants around his ankles and a woman's face buried into his crotch. While Carlos "relaxed", twin brothers Rob and Roy James were busy at a folding table in front of the desk. They were counting and weighing the half dozen bricks of cocaine and marijuana that were stacked on the table.

"This all?" Roy asked. "This ain't shit."

"Times are tough," Carlos said as he titled his head back and closed his eyes. "In a few more weeks we will have a full shipment. Relax. For now, get your people to...," Carlos lost his train of thought as the woman between his legs rolled her tongue. "... Just, business as usual. Smaller supply, cut it more."

On the main dance floor, Frank started to climb up a flight of stairs when a pair of powerful hands grabbed him by the shoulders. He was spun around and brought face to face with a large, Latino man in a dark suit. He tried to shout over the music, but couldn't be heard. While he was shouting, Frank leveled his shotgun at the man's stomach. The gun kicked in his hands and knocked the man back, but the sound of the music masked the sound of the blast. The dying man tumbled down the stairs and came to a stop on the bottom step. One gyrating young girl saw the dead body and screamed before running towards the exit.

Frank turned around and quickly climbed the steps. Another guard was waiting at the top of the stairwell. Before the man could react, Frank brought the butt of the shotgun up into his face. He drove the cartilage from the man's nose into his brain. The guard collapsed to the ground, spasming from the brain injury as he died.

Frank calmly walked down the hall leading towards the backroom. He was almost there when a black man jumped out at Frank and knocked his shotgun from his hands. The man drove Frank into the corridor's wall and slammed up against him. The guard pummeled Frank with blows to the face. Frank shook off the blows and headbutted the man in the face. The man stumbled backwards and Frank whipped out his knife, flicking it open as the guard charged. Frank took a glancing blow to the shoulder, but managed to drive the blade of his knife into the side of the man's neck. He cried out and fell to his side. Frank loomed over him, his face bloody and bruised, and kicked the hilt of the knife further into the man's neck. He went to scream, but blood bubbled out of his mouth and ran out on the floor.

Frank picked up his shotgun and kicked in the office door. Rob and Roy James looked up just in time to be hit with a shotgun blast. The twin brothers fell to the ground, their heads and chests covered in blood and buckshot. Carlos cried out in pain from behind the desk. The sudden shock of the gun had caused the woman between his legs to bite down.

"Crazy bitch!" Carlos yelled. He rolled back and the woman underneath the desk popped up, blood and chunks of flesh coated her mouth. "You bit it off! ¡Oh, Dios. Me voy a morir! Maldita perra."

"Go," Frank growled, looking at the woman. She scurried off and Frank walked over to Carlos. The Cartel member was holding on to his bloody crotch and moaning. Frank looked down at the bloody member laying on the floor. "I guess it's true what they say about men with little feet... I had planned to shoot you, but I think this is worse."

Frank kneed Fring in his crotch. "¡Dios mío," the man howled in pain and sobbed. Frank grabbed him by his shoulders and looked him in the eyes.

"Now that I have your attention, you're going to deliver a message to Don Eladio..."

Boston
Now


Frank came to at a bus stop. It was the middle of the night and he was alone, thankfully. His clothing -- no tactical gear with white skulls on it anymore -- was adequate to battle the cold, though the cold hadn't been a problem for him since his return. He didn't really need things like shelter or food, he just stuck with them mostly out of habit. Habit made him felt human. It was an odd thing, trying to be human. Frank had always thought he willfully gave his humanity up thirty years ago when his family died. But now that he was something other than human he saw how wrong he had been and how much he clung to things like simple ritual.

He rose off the bench and started down towards an all night diner. He had been dreaming of a past life, but the Spectre was fully awake. He'd spent the past night roaming the streets of Boston in search for the Bunker Hill Butcher. Five women had died at the man's hands. Frank knew it was a man, a short balding man with thick glasses, and that he had a kill pad in Charlestown. But that was all he knew.

After a cup of coffee -- the ritual continued -- Frank walked through the streets and let the Spectre guide him. They passed through downtown and he got on the T train to the outer parts of the city. It was late enough that he was just one of a few people riding the T. There was a woman at the other end of the car from him. Frank flashed on her life and saw she was a prostitute -- formerly a high class call girl but now sunken low and hooked on drugs -- he also knew something she didn't.

His stop was coming up so he stood up and walked to the end of the car to where the woman was. She started to get nervous. Frank saw the fear in her eyes. He was an old man, but he didn't look like a harmless old man. He held his hands up palm out so he could see he wasn't a threat.

"Go to the doctor," he said as the doors opened. "You've got HIV. The next customer you sleep with will get the virus. You don't want that on your conscience." Frank's eyes glowed green. "And if you don't stop hooking, I'll find you and make you stop."

She was out the door in a hurry, cursing in Spanish. Frank followed behind slowly, following the whispers and suggestions from the Spectre. It led him ten blocks into Dorchester. He came to a stop in front of a townhouse with a fenced in yard. Frank passed through the fence and up the stairs and through the front door. It was a family home, Frank saw that the second he stepped in and saw the toys in the living room. Photos of kids and parents were tacked on the walls. The dad of the family was the man he'd seen in his vision.

Frank levitated and floated up through the ceiling to the house's second floor. There he was, sleeping soundly in bed next to a woman. More scenes flashed through his head: The man kidnapping a woman on the street, her fighting back, a gun, rope, a hammer and knives. He wondered if the woman beside him knew exactly what it was her husband did for fun. If she knew, how could she stand to sleep beside him?

Chis O'Keefe.

That was the name the Spectre fed him. It would be easy to kill him now. Jerk him from the bed and strangle the life out of him. But no. He needed to watch and wait. The world had to know what Chris O'Keefe was, what type of monster lurked under his skin. After he told the world what he was, Frank would kill him.
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The Amazing Spider-Man
Peter Benjamin Parker | Mary Jane Watson-Parker
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!" ~Percy Shelley

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City had a sizable collection of Egyptian artifacts in its North-Eastern wing. All one needed to do was take an immediate right from the Great Hall entrance on the 1st floor and you would be surrounded by the works of the people of the Nile. However, this night was special because the Department of Egyptian Art was able to obtain a special temporary exhibit to augment their already extensive collection. In Gallery 136, where the temporary exhibits would normally go, guests could now view a exhibit displaying artifacts that archaeologists have dated to the reign of Ramesses II. And the centerpiece of this display was an uncanny ring. And this night was the exhibits grand opening.

"Look at that line." Peter complained to Mary Jane when he saw the mass of bodies congesting the entrance to the Egyptian art section of the museum.

"We can always come back tomorrow." MJ toyed with her husband, who had been so excited to finally see this exhibit. Much like a midnight showing of a blockbuster at a movie theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art had scheduled this grand opening at a special time after the regular visiting hours were over. Therefore, only a limited number of people were allowed to visit this event.

Peter and MJ were able to attend because of some strings MJ pulled in her acting circle. While Peter was a scientific genius, he still had a soft spot for history, too. Mary Jane fully understood that Peter was going to provide an 'extended' tour, where he would tell her some tidbits of random facts that the museum displays did not show. She already guessed that Peter already knew where there were even a mistake or two.

"No, no. Patience is a virtue. So I can wait just a little longer." Peter defended himself as the line for the temporary exhibit slowly inched forward. "Plus, we can pass the time with some fun facts!"

"Alright, Mr. Encyclopedia." MJ teased her husband. "What useless information do you have for me today?"

"Before that ring was discovered, our only evidence of the Israelites being in Egypt was the Book of Exodus. While we do not have any text that ties that ring to that period, the hieroglyphics mentioned something about controlling locusts and scholars have speculated that it might be a response to the 8th Plague of Egypt."

"So, that ring controls insects?" MJ asked.

"Of course not. That's just what the ancient Egyptians believed."

After several minutes had passed, the couple finally reached the entrance to the Egyptian section of the museum. And after a few more, they were just feet away from the exhibit. Unfortunately, Peter felt his spider-sense buzz in his head. He knew that something was about to happen, but he did not know what.

"I'll be right back. Need to visit the restroom." Peter informed his wife. He tapped the side of his head as he alerted MJ. The two developed a secret signal that allowed Peter to tell MJ that his spider-sense was going off without giving Peter's secret identity away to any bystanders.

Peter pushed against the flow of the crowd in order to reach the restrooms, which were conveniently located right next to the temporary exhibit. His usual 'Parker Luck' must not have been sleeping on the job, since there was no one present in the bathroom. Therefore, Peter was able to change into his Spider-Man costume without being interrupted. But when he heard a gunshot echoing outside.

Now in his Spider-Man persona, Peter leaped up onto the ceiling and quickly crawled out of the restroom in this fashion so that he could hopefully move around undetected. At the entrance of the Egyptian art section of the museum, two armed men guarding the exit. These two Middle-Eastern men wore suits, which probably allowed them to blend into the crowd before the trouble started. Their attention was focused on watching the exit so that the police or the museum security guards could not get a jump on them. But they did not expect a certain friendly neighborhood superhero. Sneaking up from behind them, Peter snagged these two men with his web fluid. He incapacitated them by wrapping them up and taking away their weapons. Peter then placed a finger over his lips, signalling to the civilians nearest to him to remain silent so that they would not blow his cover.

After waving those civilians at the exit to run to safety, Peter crawled towards the temporary exhibit. He saw two more men, who were dressed and armed just like the first two, collecting valuables from the museum patrons. A third man was preparing to break open the glass that housed the ancient Egyptian ring. When he saw that they were trying to steal MJ's wedding ring, Peter knew it was time to act. He would have made some quip about diamonds was a girl's best friend and that stealing one from a woman would not help win brownie points. However, since he knew the gravity of the situation, Peter needed to move quickly to make sure no bystanders get hurt.

Swinging on a webline, Peter first kicked the man who was taking his wife's wedding band. In swift movement, Peter knocked the robber off his feet, took away his firearm, and tying him up with his web fluid. As a result of this attack, his wife's ring was flung into the air. Peter dove for it and snatched the ring out of the air. This maneuver positioned Peter to launch an attack against the next robber. As he took out the second man, Peter dropped the ring into the broken display case for safekeeping. And he did the same thing against the third man.

After he had checked to make sure there were no more hostiles, Peter retrieved MJ's ring from the glass case and returned it to her.

"I believe this belongs to you." Peter dramatically presented the ring to his wife. Once she had slipped the ring back on her finger, Peter leapt up into the air and swung out of that section of the museum so that Peter could change back into his civilian clothes and circle back to meet up with Mary Jane. But as he fled from the scene, Peter made a mental note to see Ben Urich to get some information on who these robbers were. They could not have been just your average Joe thieves.
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10 Jan 2017 22:18
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Sep Admiral EvilScottishGuy

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 11:14

P A S T - P A R T O F T H E W O R L D A T W A R S T O R Y


P O R T S M O U T H E N G L A N D

August 24th, 1940 - 11:39PM | A Small Pub in Portsmouth


Jay sat in a quiet bar, the room full of smoke and old men sitting drinking beer. Some of them had initially been wary of the American that sat in their midst, a winged helmet sitting on the bar in front of him and wearing a red shirt with a lightning bolt on the front in contrast to his blue 'trousers' as they called them. He sat sipping a pint of beer, not that the alcohol had much of an effect on him ever since the accident though it did have a nice psychodelic effect in calming his nerves. He tended to stay in these towns in the south of England, technically he could easily run home though it was a long and tiring journey so he tried to do so sparingly. Joan understood what he was trying to do, and while France had surrendered two months prior there was still a lot of death and killing going on. A lot of work for the fastest man alive to do.

That said he had been hearing rumours of late, of other powered individuals acting out against the invading forces. He hadn't met any of them yet but then maybe that was a blessing, he feared the day that they had to be in one place together. As that would indicate facing a foe far stronger than anything he had faced to date so far. Just when he considered retiring from the night he heared the droning sound of an air raid siren. After the French had signed the treaty the Nazi strategists had turned to bombing the United Kingdom, he had first noticed it when running across the channel and saw the Luftwaffe bombing a supply convoy heading out of the country. That was just the start, since then he had a hard time dividing his attention.

Every life saved was a treasure, and each lost was a vacuum that would never be filled. He couldn't be in two places at once and the hardest part of what he was doing was deciding what lives had to be saved. As people ran out of the pub, no doubt to head to their shelters. Jay just looked up to the bartender, placing a handful of coins on the counter. "Keep the change, gotta run." With that he picked up his helmet, spinning it between his two hands before placing it on top of his head. Standing up he felt the power surge through him, as he ran out of the door, taking a sharp turn he headed towards the harbour where he could look out towards the ocean. The cloud cover was heavy, but he could faintly see the planes as they moved from one cloud to another.

Then he heard it, the faint whistling sound.

The bombs were dropping. Now, evacuating an entirely populated town was simply out of the question, and he had no way to take down the planes so that left him one option. Running to the nearest house he passed from room to room. Empty. With little hesitation he ran out, and straight into the next. Empty. He kept repeating, the high pitched whistle of the bombs getting louder and louder, by this point the searchlights had been turned skyward in a bid to try and spot the planes for the anti-aircraft batteries. Of course to everyone else these were quick actions. To him they were slow. As he approached another building he came across a family hiding under a table, likely one of the families who couldn't afford or were yet to build a shelter. He made several stops, carrying them all to the edge of town. In minutes, which to him seemed like hours, the first bomb struck. Decimating a street as the explosive tore a hole in the ground sending debris flying.

That's when he noticed something odd on his second pass through the town someone running towards a building, he could see the bomb falling towards the roof. No-one would go back with a bomb so close. Not unless there was someone inside the building. He took off, his limbs feeling electric as every part of him moved in sync. Entering the house he tore through the bottom floor, his wake pulling lighter items in the room out of their place. Next he turned his attention upstairs where he found a mother and her three children huddled together in the corner of a bedroom. Swearing to himself he ran over and pulled one of the children into his arms, running the child out of the house and down to the end of the street outside the blast radius. Running back he looked up as the explosive neared the roof. Pushing himself on harder, he tore into the building. Grabbed a second child. Turned, and literally had to fight against the drag he had created to keep his speed up towards the end of the street. Barely stopping he dropped off the second child, then the third. As he ran into the building for the mother the explosive made contact with the roof.

The combination of substances in the bomb gave him a split second, which was all he needed. Grabbing her he picked her up and ran down the street dropping her off with her children.

Stopping, there was a look of confusion upon all their faces and only the mother spoke out. "What the..?" Then her face turned to horror as she looked up the street at the bomb impacting their house. Her husband standing outside. Her voice burned itself into his very brain "Walterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" The last letter of the name seemingly dragging on, as Jay figured out what was going on. He turned as he ran down the street towards him, the explosion had already went off. Scattering pieces of house outwards, while being followed by a raging inferno. Lightning flew out behind him as he raced down the street, he was going to make it. He just had a little bit further to-

Then he noticed the shards of glass. They said that you were lucky if the explosion killed you, as it was quick. Near painless so long as you were caught in the middle of the blast. He reached out with his hand, though it was too late. He grabbed the man by the soulder, and twisted his own body around to shield the man. He felt the impact on his back from the heat, to the debris. Stifling the urge to scream, his wounds would heal after all. He turned his attention to the man in his arms and his heart stopped. Blood covered the mans face, centred on his left eye where the glass had impacted before shattering even further.

He just knelt there for a moment, he couldn't see it himself but the lightning coursed through him as his anger boiled and became concentrated. He sparked slightly, lowering the mans body to the ground he took off.

This time he had been too slow.

Never again.
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11 Jan 2017 2:46
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Dblade26

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 5:50

The Immortal Iron Fist
Orson Randall



Marseilles, France
June 1940,
...I don't know what day it is.


It was a gray day, or maybe they just all felt like gray days then, like I was trapped in a fog. Either way I stumbled into a dockside opium den bone-chilled and clammy like I'd just run a mile through the freezing rain and with a pounding in my head worse than any gongfu pummeling I'd ever taken. The pounding feeling was an old friend by now, the sort of friend that'd ask a man for his very last dollar right after he'd been evicted from his house and tossed into a pile of garbage. Sometimes it sounded like the shells that exploded down on us in the trenches, sometimes it was the drums of K'un-L'un summoning their sacred serpent to devour me, the only constant was the one way I could get it to stop. That's why I was there.

This particular opium den, it was big converted warehouse by the docks, all western grime and shabbiness with a veneer of the Far East crusted over it like the scabby wound it was. Red paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling bathed the place in blood-colored light that flickered off of flaking wall-paintings of glitzy four-toed lung dragons that looked offended to be there and white cranes that wanted to fly somewhere else. The floor had intermittent vomit stains across it from when some poor bastard going through the sweat cure hadn't been able to hold out. I was sure if Lei-Kung the Thunderer could've seen the place he would have wept in shame.

But that didn't matter. Here I wasn't The Immortal Iron Fist, Living Weapon of K'un-L'un and slayer of Shou-Lao the Undying. Hell, I wasn't even Sargent Randall, War Hero. Here I was just Orson the opium addict, and there was only one dragon I cared about.

I let an East Asian-looking immigrant worker take me by the arm and lead me further in, sit me on a divan in my own private little portion of hell I'd reserved thanks to the kinda money that comes from a few decades of adventuring. I couldn't bear to look him in the face, afraid I'd see too much resemblance to the people I'd left behind, or maybe just afraid that he'd fail to hide the disgust behind his eyes. Soon enough it was time for the ritual, the ancient Chinese secret that would free me from my icy pain and the constant pounding behind my eyes.

The serving-man brought my sacred implements on a tray: the needles, the lamp and of course a well-seasoned pipe. A little pill-worth of chandu was all that I could afford, but with the war on even France's holdings in Indochina weren't enough to keep it cheap. I needled the bowl of chandu until it boiled into a thick goop like the shelled-out mud-pit that had swallowed up Private Jean-Claude.

I stopped to shake the memory away, rolled the toffee-like goop into a little pill, jammed it down into my pipe and settled the bowl in on the lamp to heat it.

When the pill started bubbling like Jean Claude's screams I knew it was time to suck in the smoke. It was warm and sweet as a lover's kiss and just as ethereal. It banished the cold and the pounding finally faded as I stretched out on the divan letting my memories vaporize with the opium. The only time I could sleep anymore was with the smoke in my lungs and as I nodded off I thought I heard someone putting a record on and let the words swirl around in my mind

J'attandrai...le jour et la nuit...J'attandrai toujours ton retour...

A decent song, but anyone who might have been waiting for me had died or left a long time ago. All of my friends...even the kid, Wendell, he was gone...and so many of them dead in those trenches...
Funny, normally my memories would have left me alone by now, but I could almost hear the whistle of a bomb.

Hélas plus rien, plus rien me vient.



The pounding was back worse than ever and what was even more annoying was that I was almost sure I was dead. After all, the Yu-ti, sorceror overlord of K'un-L'un, wouldn't be visiting me otherwise. Not even in spectral ghostly form, floating before me and wagging a jade-gloved finger under my nose.

"You were raised to die better than this. The world is being swallowed up by a storm of chaos as atrocity after atrocity is comitted and yet you lie there blown to pieces and wallowing in vice and self-pity?"

I tried to shut my eyes but it turns out that don't help much when you're dead and hallucinating at the same time so instead I grunted at him and mumbled excuses.

"Maybe I was tired of lookin' for the right death. Maybe I was tired of holding back your so-called storm by myself, Tired of killing. Besides, not much I can do about it now."

My one-time lord and master made to smack me for my insolence, two-fingered across the forehead the way I'd always hated as a kid. Somehow I still felt it, which seemed hardly fair to a dead man. "The throne of the honorable rests upon a mountain of bodies and its frame has been made of many bones, Orson Randall. You can choose to die here, but if there is even one scrap left of the Weapon you once were inside you, you know what you must do."

The preachy old bastard left me alone then, but the smug way he said that last part like he knew I'd never do it nagged at me, made me want to prove him wrong.

So I turned inwards, deep inwards to that pounding inside me and for the first time in a long time I remembered what it really was that caused it.

It wasn't the shells against the trenches, it wasn't the war drums of K'un-L'un...

...It was a beating heart. A heart a million miles away, but closer than the one dying in my chest...

...and I reached for it.

Golden fire burned everything away. The drugs, the pain, the wounds, the uncertainty. As I looked around the blasted remains of the opium den at the mangled bodies and the blood all that remained in my mind was this:

I am the Immortal Iron Fist

I am a Living Weapon

and I am going to war.
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11 Jan 2017 7:15
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Hillan Lord and Savior

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 11:43

P R E S E N T - D I V I D E D W E F A L L




DEAD MAN'S WISH

March 10th, 2017 - 4:08 AM | RUSSIA


The roar of the crowd overshadowed everything else, the echo of their cheers bounced off of the concrete walls, far drowning out the sound of the rain pelting like bullets against the tin roof, some rain made it's way through the rough and fell on the well lit rundown boxing ring in the middle, the water began pooling in some of the dentures in the ring. In the middle of the ring stood the crimson clad hero, the rain pelted onto his head, bouncing off of the rim of the Gray trucker cap, he carried one quiver, hanging from his waist, six arrows in it. He held the his bow in his right hand, a bottle of beer in the left. In front of him stood two men bigger than himself, at least a foot taller than the former boy-archer and twice as wide.

Harper shrugged, taking another sip of his beer, as the crowd began shouting something in Russian, then chanting it. He assumed it meant something along the lines of 'Let's go' or 'Fight', as the two men in front of him advanced, moving towards him in a semi-circle. "Sure you really wanna do this, boys?" He asked, as the man on his right charged him, throwing out a right hook, Roy took a step backwards to dodge, a knee came his way, sending him into the steel net on the side of the cage. "I guess you do!" The man who kicked him shouted something in Russian to the other, whom then echoed it into the vastness of the arena, the crowd going bonkers.

Roy held his ribs with his right hand as the man on the right, catching sight of the spider-tattoo under his left eye as the light from the spotlights hit him just right, charged at him. Spider-Guy lifted his leg, about to pin Roy against the cage with a kick. Harper pushed himself to the side, rolling against the wall 180 degrees, using the momentum of his dodge to kick up, his leg colliding with the man's face, making Spider-Dude stumble backwards. The crowd letting out a "Ooooh"

Roy took another sip of his beer, before making a disgusted grimace. Russian beer was disgusting, even more so when it was room-temperature. It tasted like piss, and judging by this place.. Well, he thought it best not to think of anymore. Spider dude charged him again, Roy slapped him in the face with his bow, hunching down, he swooped his legs, only to look up to the other man - his short mohawk reminded Roy of a character from a video game he used to play as a kid. His train of thought was cut short by the Mohawk-Man's knee colliding with his face, knocking off his mask, sending him skidding on the floor. ".. Not the face, man." He cried, the bottle of beer rolling next to him, he crawled up, his cap falling off his head as he did. Mohawk-Bro was gonna crush him under his foot, but Roy shot back up onto his feet, grabbing the bottle on his way, smashing it against the man's skull glass shattered everywhere, while the man was dazed, the Red archer kicked him in the chest, making him stumble backwards, pulling two arrows on his bowstring, aiming the bow horizontally, squinting and sticking out his tongue slightly in the corner of his mouth. He let the arrows fly, whistling through the air before they piercing the man in one shoulder each, prompting the Russian fighter to cry out in pain.

Spider-Person looked at his ally being impaled with the arrows and laughed, shouting a few words - incomprehensible to Roy, and then attacked Roy, running at him, Roy was about to pull another arrow, when he was met with a headbutt, Roy stumbled backwards, when the man's follow up came, the righ thook was stopped by Roy's bow stabbing him in the chest. The Spider hunched over, holding his chest. "Yeah, well, that's what you get!" Roy taunted, wiping blood from his busted lip, taking his eyes off the man for a moment - long enough for him to produce a knife from his combat boot, the knife slashed Harper over the chest, Roy's eyes widened as he let out a cry of anger, punching the man in the face, giving some distance between the two, he pulled another arrow and fired it.

Missing, the arrow whizzed narrowly passed the Spider guy's face, gracing his cheek. The Russian touched his bleeding face and let out a laugh, twirling his knife in his hand. "Stand still! All three of you!" He shouted, drawing another arrow, this time, the Spider guy froze as the bowstring was released, missing him again, now the entire crowd was laughing at Roy's failure. Roy pulled his hat over his face, as if to hide his face.

A loud sound was heard from above, and soon a loud crash was heard on the arena, as the spotlight form above had fallen down on the man fighting the archer, knocking him out, severed by the two arrows. As only one of the three combatants still stood up, the crowd's laughter died out, leaving only dead silence. Great. They're gonna come shoot me now. He though, Mobster guys came up to the ring, opening the gate on the side, dragging the two knocked out fighters out of it. Another came towards Roy, whom had his hand on his quiver. The serious face of the mobster cracked into a smile as he patted Roy on the shoulder, before he began laughing, raising Roy's arm into the air in victory and the crowd began cheering.

"I need a drink.." Roy mumbled as he smirked, holding his bow over his head.
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12 Jan 2017 12:49 12 Jan 2017 12:56
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Lucian Erudite Heretic

Member Seen 20 Jan 2017 11:33

P A S T - P A R T O F T H E W O R L D A T W A R S T O R Y



T H U N D E R A N D L I G H T N I N G
L O N D O N E N G L A N D

September 7th, 1940 - 10:55M | A City on Fire


Though the sun had set, the clouded sky wasn’t dark. It burned with the reflections of the fires in the city below. At the moment, things were calm, relatively speaking, but the tension in the air was palpable. One did not need the wisdom of Solomon to know that the Germans would return for another run. Billy Batson had the wisdom of Solomon though, and he was currently using it to access historical accounts of battles and warfare that might assist him in determining where the next assault might come from.

So far, he hadn’t gleaned anything useful. He wasn’t sure that Solomon actually had any knowledge pertaining to aerial superiority or the weaknesses of the german Heinkel 111 bomber. He was contemplating the limits of this particular facet of his powers as he assisted in putting out fires where he could, and moving rubble to free trapped people. The civilians and authorities were wary of him at first, several military officials had initially trained firearms on him, but once he had made his intentions clear, people seemed to relax, and several people he had never seen before insisted that they had been saved by another like him quite recently, though he didn’t know of any others like himself. He was too busy to question anyone about this phenomena, but he certainly made note of it.

He alighted on the roof of a (mostly) intact building, and took a moment to survey the surrounding area. There was a large tenement building which had been toppled by the concussion of one of the german bombs. There was a lot of noise in the city, even now, and it was hard to isolate sounds, but he thought it unlikely that the building had been safely evacuated. He took flight, and as he neared the building, he increased his speed, sure now of what he thought he heard before. Several voices, a family, perhaps more than one, were calling for help or groaning in pain. This wasn’t the first situation like this he had found. He was confident it wouldn’t be the last.

He rocketed toward the building from the sky, concerned now that the fire would spread and burn the people alive. As he approached, flying above and parallel to a street intersecting with the one the building was on, he heard a rush of air, and the crackle of electricity from below him. He looked down, barely making out a red and blue streak moving swiftly in the same direction as him. The thing, whatever it was, also seemed to be producing a trail of lightning behind it, and moving quite a bit faster than himself, he noted.

Billy was stunned. Faster than Mercury? What was that? The electrified blur shifted direction suddenly, pausing just long enough for Billy to make out that it was a man. At least, it appeared to be, but it certainly didn’t move like anyone he had ever met. The man shot off toward the flames, and started running circles around them. Billy didn’t have time for introductions, and this gale-force-made-man seemed to be helping, so he instead focused on the task at hand. As he reached the building, he began to move the rubble, dislodging the smaller pieces with ease, until he came to a large slab, the culprit behind the civilians predicament. He gripped the slab in both hands and heaved, floating into the air and keeping the giant stone above his head.

“Better hurry, folks!” He said to the dumbfounded families who stood staring up at him in awe. He noticed that some of them were wounded, and likely couldn’t walk. He had shifted the rubble in so much that he couldn’t drop the slab without dropping the entire building on them now though. For a moment, he panicked, then he looked over at the man-shaped lightning bolt putting out the fires,

“Hey, they can’t all walk, and I can’t let go. Can you help, mister?” He called to the man, then cursed himself inwardly. Mister? You can’t talk like a kid anymore!




It was another day, another bombing. Part of him wondered when the time would come that Britain or the United States turned around and went ‘No, that’s enough’. The time was coming, that he knew. Though it wasn’t coming fast enough for him. Jay sped through the city, by this point people knew what the sirens meant. The call to shelter, the sound of bombs. He had been nipping between cities for the past month, living as close to the coast as possible and trying to predict the destinations of any planes that flew overhead.

His sole mission was to warn the people who could make a difference, dim the lights and man the guns. Once that was done, it became a job of evacuation. Jay grabbed people, moving them to the underground. Shifted debris out of paths of the emergency services and in general did as much as quickly as possible before the bombs came anywhere near the city. By the time he could hear the bombers approaching he was standing atop a building overlooking part of the city. Obviously not everyone was evacuated, it was a massive city after all. Instead he tried to predict where the Germans might strike, he’d find out soon enough how good his predictive skills were.

As he heard the first bomb drop there was a break in the clouds, Jay caught sight of the bombers and was off in a flash speeding towards the target of the bombings. Jumping over obstacles and running around fire engines and ambulances. He spent the better part of half an hour rushing people to hospitals, and putting out fires. As the bombing let up he paused for a brief moment, looking for the next source of flames he turned and ran as fast as he could. He ignored the stench of flesh, the taste of smoke. Approaching a fire near a building he began to run around it in a circle, a new trick he had recently learnt. That if he run around a fire fast enough, the ensuing vortex would starve the fire of it’s oxygen putting it out.

Faster than running back and forth with buckets.

He didn’t even notice the flying man - dressed in a similar outfit - land nearby until he spoke up, and Jay had to take a moment to get around the fact that he was holding a significant chunk of building above his head. Jay couldn’t really judge however, I mean he was able to run faster than anything he had ever seen on the planet. With no real prompt necessary Jay ran underneath the slab of concrete, grabbed someone and then ran towards the nearest hospital. Then back again, grabbed another and back to the hospital. He saw everything going past him, while to anyone watching the exchange he would have just been a blur grabbing people and then disappearing before returning for another.

As he returned to the building once cleared he gave the man a tap on the shoulder, before running back out from below the concrete. “You can drop that now, buildings clear.”

Billy watched the man zip in and out of the building, and in less than a minute, the man gave him the go-ahead to drop the slab, and the rest of the building with it. When the dust settled, he got a chance to look at the man finally. The lightning bolt…

“Do you know the Wizard? He didn’t tell me there were others.” Billy said, raising an eyebrow in curiosity before putting one hand forward, “You can call me Shazam. What’s your name?”

Jay clasped the man's hand, and shook it. A considerably larger hand, with more muscle than he had ever seen. It didn’t seem really possible, what was happening to the world? “Names Jay Garrick-” What was weirder than the name was the mention of a Wizard. Was it some kind of alias? That would make sense.

“Also I don’t know this Wizard fella’, he some kinda scientist responsible for-” Jay gestured to ‘Shazams’ entire body “-Well… that?”

Billy was taken slightly aback by Jay’s response, but he quickly corrected the look of confusion on his face, and smiled,

“Scientist? Uhm, yeah. Something like that. Maybe I’ll explain later. For now, I think we were pretty effective working together on this one, Jay. Let’s keep it up, wadda ya’ say?” Billy was more than curious as to how this man could do what he could and not be mystically empowered, but he figured he’d ask the Wizard when he returned to the Rock of Eternity.

“Well, try and keep up. We’ll speak after.” With that Jay turned and sped off in the direction of another building, part of him liked the idea of someone else like him. Another part couldn’t help but be suspicious that someone else just so happened to turn up also using the symbol of lightning where he happened to be.

Billy did try to keep up, but after a few hours of working with Jay, it became apparent that he would need to leave the speed to him, and stick to the heavy lifting. Regardless, their alliance proved a successful venture, and stories of the Thunder and Lightning duo would be told in years to come by many British survivors, and lucky German pilots.
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