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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by PlatinumSkink
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Creep
Sheila Hopkins

Streets of Denver



… Swarm had followed her. She didn’t know his intentions, but surely, it was no good. Perhaps he had intended on attacking her after they came to a less public street. Fortunately, Creep had the tools to vanish forever, without which she was unsure what she would have done. Thunderbolt appeared… what had he been intending? To protect his investment? It must have been because of seeing Swarm following Creep that he came along. She hadn’t heard their conversation, and said conversation ended the moment they came past the corner. … Okay, then. Sheila simply resolved to keep this event in mind, and then keep going. At the very least, Swarm did not have a power that could see her.

Despite being invisible, Creep took a monstrous detour through town just in case someone unseen still followed her. There was only one place she could safely store the vials, and that was by the house she now lived. Sneaking in without alerting Viola, she hid them behind a couple books in the bookshelf. They’d be safe enough there for the moment, Viola never looked through these books. Sheila never informed Viola that she had come home, simply departing again. Her sister was way too busy with her current video-game to notice, headphones on and all that. With that, Creep departed through the streets of Denver once again.

On her walk, she had a lot to think about, besides watching for potential followers. She had isolated a group of people as the only ones she could imagine giving these two vials to; her own friends from her former life. She’d actually drag two of them into this hellish life? Could she do that to them? … If they wanted it, she decided. She would give them a refusable offer. If they wanted it, she could give it to them. She really needed allies, after all, and this was perhaps her one chance to earn one that was more than just temporary. Actual allies, who she was willing to put in danger, unlike Viola. … She grit her teeth, thinking of them one at a time.

Briefly appearing within her mind, there was the boy that had once been her boyfriend. It had been only for a very short period of time, they never really did anything other than go on numerous dates. … Was he an option?

Sheila thought back to her experiences with him…

@Old Amsterdam



She shook her head, discarding the line of thoughts and kept going. She headed towards the Rocker’s current base of operations, intent on seeing how they were currently doing. Depending on what condition she found them in, she had to prepare herself for what was to come. Creep would have to announce herself as their new leader, and with that… she’d just have to see how it’d go. She briefly thought of Visage, but Visage was her junior in the group, but perhaps it wouldn’t appear so for the Rockers. It was too early to tell. For now, she simply had to head to them, and see how the place looked.

Creep went to the hideout and headed in, still invisible as she scanned the current situation. To ensure she wasn’t taken by surprise by anything.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by LemonZest1337
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LemonZest1337 Fresh and Zesty

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A Cordial Conversation
Collab with @yoshua171 and @LemonZest1337.



Even from the bathroom Silvia was able to hear the hungry reporters still scrabbling for any bit of information that the PRT or Protectorate would provide. And it seemed that it wasn’t too much info given how long the noise persisted. Like a frightened cat Silvia krept out of the bathroom cubicle and peaked her head out of the bathroom. Seeing no immediate people she’d need to worry about she let out a brief sigh and walked out of the bathroom.

Silvia slowly made her way outside, and while there were still reporters looming around they were mostly packing up and headed out, their thirst for the next big scoop seemingly sated for now. Silvia then thought about what she would do for the rest of the day, and was honestly stumped. Rug had been fed and was mostly too lazy to walk despite being so young.

She decided to take to the air, crouching down before launching herself skyward, her wings powering her flight. It was always peaceful up in the sky, just birds and the occasional aircraft. Though this time she saw a massive alien squid monster. Knowing it was Outsider Silvia couldn’t help but be curious as to what he was doing.

Being the socially awkward dragon she was she couldn’t just fly down and ask him what he was doing, oh no she’d just have to follow him. Yes that was the logical way to deal with her curiosity.

Outsider on the other hand followed the ambulance taking G4M3R to the hospital. When it arrived he shifted back to his human form and helped check the man in. Once things were taken care of--which unfortunately coincided with his emotions fading back to their natural state--he exited the building, still in costume.

He took stock of the time he had left in the day since the main event on his mental itinerary had been effectively canceled. It turned out there wasn’t much else to be done. So he took a walk and eventually found himself in a less suburban park, where he took a seat on a bench and relaxed a bit. He found that he was feeling a bit tired and so rather than go home or walk more he just let his mind wander.

Silvia’s creeping seemed to go unnoticed by Outsider, Silvia was pleased by this. She had no idea how she would explain her decision to follow him around. She couldn’t place her finger on why she was so eager to follow him either, the two had hardly spoken. Silvia did recognise that Outsider was indeed good looking, but Silvia wasn’t enthralled by looks alone. Perhaps it was his abilities that were interesting? How he used them? Why he used them? Good heavens Silvia had so many questions for him now.

Snapping back to reality Silvia focused in on the now stationary Outsider. He looked like his head was closer to the clouds than Silvia’s, perhaps he was more distressed by the events with the rockers than he was letting on. Silvia had to talk to him now. But not to figure out things about him, now it was to check if he was alright.

Slowly descending Silvia made her way towards Outsider, avoiding trees and civilians. She landed on the grass behind Outsider, and for once her landing didn’t make a jarring clang. ”H-hello again!”

The corner of his lips twitching down, Outsider turned his head, caught a glimpse of something metallic and vaguely person shaped, before he turned further to get a better look at her. His eyebrows raised slightly, then he turned away, “Hey there Sylph,” he responded, his voice only several shades away from monotone. He sounded disinterested, but not in any personal way. Just like he’d acknowledged her and there was little else to say.

“What brings you here?” He asked, but there was no emotion in it. No curiosity, though the question implied such.

Silvia circled the bench and took a seat next to Outsider, shifting her tail so it would rest in a semi comfortable position while making sure her wings didn’t bump into him. ”I was just wondering how you were doing. I-uhh saw you sitting here looking a little distant. Wanted to check in on you.” She was careful not to let any info out that might make it obvious she’d followed him. Admittedly even leaving out the full truth made her stomach churn a little.

Glancing at her from the corner of his vision, he shrugged faintly and turned his gaze forwards again. As he stared into the trees of the quiet park he spoke, “I’m alright. I guess I’m...” he paused a moment, assessing the far away echoes of his feelings, “...a little weird about the other Minutemen. Or well...I guess they’re not Minutemen anymore.” His lips turned down slightly and there was the briefest moment of tension before he let out a sigh.

“I guess the Minutemen are done, actually. Can’t be a team on your own after all.” The words rang of sadness, but his tone sounded bored, disinterested even.

Silvia’s face dropped as Outsider spoke. Slowly her hand drifted onto Outsider’s shoulder leaving a soft chill on the area of contact. “I-I’m sorry to hear that… Being alone is never good…” Retracting her hand she shifted on the bench awkwardly. ”Maybe sometime in the future we could make a team together. Heh…” Silvia actually hoped she’d be able to at the very least work with Outsider every now and then, or that he got some other people to form a team with. She didn’t want to see Outsider sadden due to being alone, though at the moment he seemed to be handling it in some capacity. Acting detached might be his coping mechanism…

While most might tense at the strange effect of contact with Silvia, Jake didn’t seem to notice. He let her say her piece, but as she trailed off he remained silent for a time. His attention seemed set on the swaying of trees in the wind, and the faint echoes of conversation carried to them from afar as people went about their days. They got some looks, but the park was empty enough that they weren’t drawing too much attention.

Straightening, Outsider got up from the bench. Looking back down at Sylph he forced the slightest of smiles onto his lips. It was faint and it only just touched his eyes, but it was better than nothing...not that she’d know. “Perhaps we can someday. For now it looks like I’m flying solo and you’re with the Protectorate.” He turned his eyes away, but before he left something occurred to him. How would she contact him if she wanted to discuss a team?

He looked back to her, “If you want to talk or meet up again, you can contact me on PHO, my user handle is Outsider.” He paused a moment, considering that there might be a handful of people with similar usernames, “Ah...my account is verified, so you’ll be able to tell which one is me.”

Silvia watched Outsider stand and smiled up at him as he didn’t seem against the idea of them working together. But he made the point that he was running solo and that Silvia was with the protectorate, but that wouldn’t get in the way of them being a team would it? And if it did they could at the very least be temporary partners right? Something to ask Inkscape or someone else high up later.

Silvia held in a sigh when Outsider brought up the PHO, she’d tried her best to avoid it. So many people so many words… Well at least she had a good reason for using it now. ”I’m called Steel Tempest…” Silvia rubbed her shoulder. ”I thought it sounded cool…” Silvia then stood up, stretching out her wings briefly. ”I do hope we end up working together. Flying solo can get lonely.”

He felt the echo of a laugh in his mind, but the emotion never built in his stomach, never overflowed, and so was never heard. Instead his lips quirked up faintly and a brief glimmer passed through his eyes. “I don’t let it bother me,” he said in response. He liked the username she’d chosen as well, but he wasn’t sure how important that was. “I like the name by the way. Good choice, I’d say,” he shrugged a bit and took a few steps forwards and away from her.

“Well...keep in touch. I’ve got some civvy business to take care of,” he forced a small smile onto his lips, then gave her a short two-finger salute, before his body became a blur of light before vanishing. In less than a second the air distorted and then pushed out in a gentle breeze as his Second Vessel appeared.

His hollow voice echoed out, even as emotion surged through him in a reassuring wave of sensation. “It was nice talking to you,” he commented, and this time it sounded genuine, like she’d heard him earlier. Turning from her, he began swimming through the air, accelerating rapidly into the air...and then into the distance. He would perhaps head to a secluded spot, just big enough for his form. Then transform and change out of sight.

Hidden 3 mos ago Post by yoshua171
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Chatterbox
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Accompanying Headhunter, Chatterbox oddly did not find himself wondering whether or not their captive would wake and once more become a threat. No, instead he was looking forwards to him waking up. He had the impression that what the boss did was more than just temporarily shortcircuiting powers. He couldn't put his finger on exactly what he did, even with more data than he'd had before, but he was fairly sure that the man wouldn't risk two parahuman assets and a valuable captive. It just wouldn't make sense.

Glancing to his teammate, Chatterbox let out a bitter laugh, before looking away. He'd asked himself that question once...and found out the answer. He'd never liked the result. "Much to my chagrin my power doesn't work ont he unconscious, though frankly I don't think we've anything to worry about from this particular parahuman."

He glanced at Xolotl and then away, following Headhunter. After a moment he clarified, "It wouldn't make sense for the Broker to risk losing three valuable assets at once. He has more forethought than that, don't you think?" He flashed a smile in Headhunter's direction, before he felt his phone go off. Casually he retrieved it and read the message. Chuckling to himself, he pocketed the device.

"That message is as good as confirmation for me. I do believe we can take this poor sod back to base and bind him good. When sleeping beauty wakes, I'll work some magic on him." His grin stayed and he seemed quite pleased with himself now as, absently, he tapped his pager. In a few minutes one of his fans would pick them up.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Eklispe
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Sofia Stien - The Hideout


Sofia was happy that the meeting finally ended and she was able to go home again. Feeling slightly drained from doing nothing but listening to people she didn't care about talk about things she didn't care about, Sofia intended to head directly back to the warehouse and did just that. The text to indicate they should go there didn't change her plans at all, simply informed her that they would probably have to start getting ready for another job. Hopefully it wasn't as bad as the last one... Surely nothing that had to do would be that bad. Sofia found herself musing over what their mission could be as she walked back to the hideout.

Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Gardevoiran
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Lethal Developments, Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

(Featuring yours truly, @Old Amsterdam, @Spiffy, and @Crusader Lord.)



Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by solokolos
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Collab between @ProPro, @Old Amsterdam, and @solokolos



James

6745 W Colfax. The address seemed very familar, but the specifics escaped James. Shrugging, he moved to the fridge. He passed the time as best as he could, grabbing a beer and watching a local news channel. Giving it about twenty minutes, he decided it was time to go. James crouched down. Preparing himself mentally, he focused on a gas station he had used a couple of times before. The image of the Diamond Shamrock's roof appeared clearly in his head, and he pushed against his power. The mental barrier was easy to overcome, and he was thrust into a world of nothing. Easy as two steps to the left, his shoes scraped against the roof of the gas station. Moving to the edge, he glanced around before teleporting to the ground, and beginning the short walk.

The Casa Bonita's tower was prevalent, and after a bit of considering James came to the conclusion that that was the reason the address stood out in his head. Curious. It was about a block's walk away, so he didn't even work up a sweat. Still, walking that far was unusual for him, his power had deprived him of that exercise in all honesty. Moving through the front entrance, payed the fee without thinking (despite some of the ill-gotten gains he lost during the plea deal he was still loaded), and got some Mexican food. It was quite the change of pace honestly, in a good way though. Once he was in the dining area, he glanced around. Despite the decor which bordered on gaudy in his opinion, no flashy superhero was visible. Sitting down alone at a two person table, he began eating. Furnace or no, the food was good.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by ProPro
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Open Attendance for Protectorate and Ward Aligned Heroes Processing the Rockers

@Old Amsterdam@Lugubrious@solokolos@yoshua171@BCTheEntity@LemonZest1337


What a mess. What a god damn fucking mess. Director Kens stormed through the halls of the PRT in a half-rage. The Rockers had made a monumentally stupid decision to attack the PRT fundraiser with every hero in the city in attendance, like they had the firepower to actually win such a skirmish. How they had ever ended up taking over the city of Boulder was a complete mystery. And sure, they had been summarily trounced by the heroes stationed on site, but the Denver Arts Center had suffered in the battle. Why, even if the event had been allowed to somehow continue and raise the funds, it still wouldn't have covered the property damages! At least since parahumans had become a public commonality property insurance had been completely restructured to accommodate these events, but still, there was the medical costs for Overlook, and that independent hero G4M3R would have to be treated on their own insurance since he had suffered injuries during the PRT's event...

The director arrived at his final destination, just outside the holding cells where Ceramix and Shatterpoint were being processed. Nearby were Inkscape, Protean, and Captain Morales directing the PRT staff in their duties. Noble was nowhere to be found, but the director didn't dwell on this. "Update me on the situation," he commented, keeping his tone even out of concern that if he didn't overcorrect, his fury would take hold and he'd go home with another dry, cracked throat.

"Neither have been putting up a fight since they've been contained," Inkscape began. "And Decoy has been able to identify them."

Captain Morales handed Kens a docket, which he quickly began flipping through. His rage immediately subsided as the details had become clear to him. "Jesus Christ..." he muttered. "They're fucking kids."

Inkscape nodded in acknowledgement, while Protean shrugged. Morales offered a differing opinion. "Age aside, once you're pointing a gun at someone, taking hostages, and threatening lives, you've left your childhood behind."

Kens waved him off. "You've been a soldier too long, lost sight of what's important. We as a society, we failed these kids. If we hadn't, they wouldn't have turned out this way."

Nobody tried to fight the director on this point as he leafed through the details one more time, then glanced back into the one-way viewing glass of the two separate cells. Ceramix had taken to angrily punching the metal walls, frustration clear on his large, meaty face. Shatterpoint though, he was sitting on the mattress provided in his cell, legs crossed, counting the vertical lines in the mattress fibers and visibly shaking.

"Brock Jacks. Seventeen years old, his birthday is next month." Kens sighed. "This is his third offense. Combine that with his hostage tactic today, and there's not a jury or judge in this country that'll go soft on him. He's headed for the Birdcage for certain. Nothing we can do about it."

"Not to discredit your feelings director, but the punk deserves it," Protean commented. "He almost killed a lot of people today, and almost made good on his promise to kill his own people. That's just..." He trailed off, unable to finish the thought.

"Your input is... Acknowledged, Protean." The director didn't feel like fighting this time, and went back to checking the second profile they had dug up. He then focused on Shatterpoint in the cell. "Dexter Quintana. Fifteen years old, diagnosed with acute-to-moderate autism. First strike was busting Brock out of prison transport. This is his second. Maybe we can-"

"You're joking?" Morales cut in. "You want to show mercy to an enemy that's hospitalized two heroes today alone?"

Protean grit his teeth and leaned back, preparing for the tongue lashing that was sure to come. He didn't want any part of it. Inkscape merely stood by observing quietly. A nerve twitched in Kens' forehead as he shot a glance over to Morales. "How do you want to figure he triggered, Captain? The Boulder records indicate Shatterpoint has been active for nearly two years. Now you tell me, how do you think a thirteen year old kid with autism was treated? We have his hospital record right here! That boy was beaten so hard he had four cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and a severe concussion! Three months! Three months before the first appearance of Shatterpoint! Now do you think for one god damn second that he'd have done any of this if he had a supporting environment that helped his disability?!"

Kens had tossed the docket on the floor at the captain's feet. Protean started to inch away slowly, but the director got in the way to stop him.

"Rehabilitation is an avenue we should consider, yes," Inkscape jumped in to prevent the scene from escalating further. "But how do you recommend we go about it?"

Kens turned back to Ink. "Conversion. Integrate him in, issue mandatory therapy, and rebrand him. Of course, we'll need to reach out to his parents."

"Excuse me, sir," Morales spoke up again. "Are you suggesting that we recruit Mr. Quintana into the Wards program?"

Kens sighed deeply. "I am."







Returning back to the Icehouse wasn't a long trip, despite the day having moved on to a busier time of day. Quite the opposite, in fact. It had seemed as though the Rocker's little disturbance at the hero fund raiser had gathered a great deal of attention, lessening traffic in their own section of town. The little things in life, right? Once they got back to base though, it was a whole other story. There were some boons to working out of a large bar, but there were some downsides too. Today's downside being the early day business crowd, the daydrinkers with nothing better to do with their time. It made meeting for business... Frustrating, since it couldn't be done in the main barroom proper. They would have to ascend to the upper level lofts where their private rooms had been setup, or head into the basement chambers. Of course since that's where the meeting room had been setup, along with the other illicit supplies the Broker had fashioned for the Jacks, no doubt that's where the instructions promised would have been left.

Xolotl remained unconscious the entire trip thanks to the concussion the Jacks had given him. Thankfully, to be sure. As he was it would have been easy to explain to passers by that he had simply had too much to drink too early, but if he had awoken and made a scene, well... Best not to dwell on consequences that never came up. He was easily secured in the basement, where the Jacks had found a normal manila envelope sitting on the briefing table, as per usual when the Broker had an assignment for them.

Each of the Jacks arrived in their own way. Chatterbox, Headhunter, Thunderbolt, and Whimsy... But one seemed conspicuously absent. Heartless was not present. Perhaps he was luring about in his shadow form? But such behavior was unusual for him, so it felt unlikely. Why was he missing? Regardless, the answer came as soon as someone had decided it was time to check the mission orders.

Esteemed employees,

One of your number will not be present during the reading of this mission briefing. No alarm is necessary, I have simply deemed that Heartless would be best deployed with another of my business ventures. In order to make up to you, I have hired on a new replacement who should make their presence known shortly after your own arrival. They have already been provided their own set of keys and fully briefed on the nature of your group. Enclosed is a photograph of the one you should be expecting, subsequently known as Alloy.

You likely have questions as to my social tactics in the meeting. Rest assured my favorite employees, the one who presented himself today is also in my employ, my doppelganger if you will, a volunteer who takes public risks deemed inappropriate for myself. Should you meet this man on the streets, provide no indication you recognize him, for he is a ghost, and as far as government documentation is concerned he does not exist.

Onto more relevant and pressing concerns, I thank each of you for setting up this meeting with Denver's underworld. I have gained a great deal, and shall only gain more as the investment continues to accrue interest. I indeed have another task for The Jacks to tackle. However, this task will not take place for another fifteen days, providing you each ample time in preparation. Until this day passes I ask that you maintain communication in the event that critical information regarding Patriarch's Community comes up, so that we might capitalize on such an opportunity.

Regarding your task in fifteen days, I must state that it is imperative you each maintain as strong public relations as is possible, given your respective backgrounds. This means not engaging in law enforcement whenever possible, and leaving injuries to a minimum when conflict is impossible. The importance of this instruction cannot be overstated. Your task, in fifteen days, relies upon not being despised by the public, for there is guaranteed to be a Class-A villain attack on Denver International Airport on that day, most likely around the noon hour. The Protectorate will not be able to mobilize quickly enough to engage this threat, and the airport provides vital transportation my network relies upon. Naturally you shall require public support for this engagement, and the Protectorate shall be incapable of bringing their full might against the Jacks in the event you are public heroes.

Burn after reading,
Broker.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Old Amsterdam
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Old Amsterdam The Drunken Creator

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Jason



Jason was the last to enter and he quickly went downstairs to ignore the patrons of the bar. At least getting here had been simple enough.

Their instructions were.... Interesting, to say the least. Basically play low and be the not so bad guys. He could get behind this without hesitation.

"Well, this is.... Interesting." he said to the others. "New member and all that. I can increase my presence on PHO and start interfering in crimes. Take the money from them and turn them over and shit, I guess?"





Lillian left Collin after a little while of Mario Kart, feeling conflicted about everything. Ira was leaving, there was a supposed mole, there were some weird things on her mind... But who was she supposed to talk to about anything? Alessa already took too much on her shoulders and talking about this stuff with her therapist just felt weird.

"Decoy? I don't know if you can hear me without my communicator down here but....I need someone to talk to and I don't know who to go to." she murmured into the air.

She'd almost been able to forget the charity event from earlier between all this and the movie cuddling with Alessa. Her cheeks turned a slight pink at the thought before she registered the voices of several heroes and the Director? Curiosity took hold and she walked closer, following the conversation. She hadn't realized she was so close to the holding cells in her wandering.

She finished the text message she'd be typing up idly.

Hey, Alessa, can we meet? I'm feeling a little down and bit distracted. I think I'm.... Yeah, I'm by the cells. Something's up.

But that the Rocker leadership was just kids? That was more than "something is up" and she was nervous. She felt even worse about Shatterpoint's crying now, and his current situation. At least neither of them were causing problems, right? But to be sent to the Birdcage as a teenager..... That was crazy!

And then the bombshell dropped. Make him a Ward? Her brow furrowed as she restarted her feet, coming into view of the adults with an air of determination.

"We owe him it." She had spoken without preamble, flushing as she realized she was butting in. She cleared her throat nervously before continuing. "Sorry, I was walking and overheard a lot and I wasn't thinking. But he deserves a chance, right? It's not his fault he went bad and it's not like he actually killed someone right? He was just doing what he thought he had to do, I think. I... Don't want him to cry like that again..." She drifted off, looking at her feet. "Please? I know it's the right thing to do."
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Chatterbox
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Arriving with the rest, Chatterbox took to reading the document once they'd taken care to bind Xolotl, he'd take care of the enthralling the man later. Let him...stew for a time. Looking things over he was initially slightly put off and confused, but as he considered the possibilities he warmed to the idea.

Then Thunderbolt spoke up. A small grin formed on his lips as he turned to the man, hooking his thumbs into his pockets. "Well, that sounds like a good start, but really I think we could do even better than that," His gaze passed over those present and his grin grew into something more malevolent. There was a devious glint in his eyes, "Using my...extensive network of thralls I think we can get to crimes before the Protectorate or authorities do. We can stop them...publicly, then leave. Even better, I can spread my influence as we do." He chuckled, "In fact, I'll have a whole new setup for it. We can stage crimes and catch those in progress, and then stop them cold. Occasionally we can steal or hurt maybe just a little too much. Can't let the negative view get too low. We need fear and respect or adoration in equal measures I think."

He put a hand on Thunderbolt's shoulder, metting his eyes, "What do ya say we do this as a team, rather than individually?"

Whether the others consented or not was of no consequence to him. He was going to do it anyways and he was going to have just the most fun doing it.
Evelyn Chambers – Tulpa


Having returned home with her parents to eat and have a bit of off time, Evelyn decided she wanted to head back to base. Feeling better after the meal, she said farewell to her mom and dad, getting much needed hugs, before she departed. There was a lot on her mind. Why had the Rockers attacked such a well defended event? It didn't make any sense. Was Ceramix really that stupid? Was Shatterpoint?

Finding a small alcove nearby she shed her outer clothes, revealing her costume. She put her civvies in her backpack and then, briefly, manifested her projection. It was much larger than her, but more in the space it filled, rather than its own size. It had long spindly limbs, and a lot of them. Its back was covered in spines. She grabbed onto its back and held on tight, positioning her feet as it casually climbed into the wall of the alley and began hoisting her up with it. After a few brief moments they were on the roof. With a shudder, she willed it to return to its inert state.

Hugging herself she closed her eyes, for though she was reassured by its departure, the presence of her tulpa still bothered her to a degree. It wasn't as bad as it had been, but she had to take a moment to calm her beating heart. While she took that time she willed her projection in the direction of HQ. It took about three seconds for it to arrive. Once it had she spread it out into a wide web-like network of hyper thin strands of silver light. It swept through the building, scanning materials and any capes present—she tried to avoid Collin's room, but still she got a read on him. Confused that she hadn't gotten hit with a headache, she tilted her head.

She even staggered back a bit. What the hell? She either got blank space or a headache from the nullification field, but she'd...scanned him? Her brow screwing up in a frown, Evelyn tried to grasp at what that might mean.

Had Ira maybe found a way to stabilize his power with her tinkertech? She should check in with him, but more important, she needed to check in with the higher ups about the two villains in holding.

"Hmm, Captain Morales, Inkscape, Protean, Decoy, Sylph, Tiger Lily, Messiah, Epsilon, Sonar, Shatterpoint, aand Ceramix," she counted them on her fingers, putting her thumb down as she hit eleven. It was a good amount to work with. Probably more than enough. She hadn't expected to get access to Sylph or Sonar.

First, she formulated what she wanted. Something fast, but that wouldn't jostle her around or garner the city's attention too much. Maneuverable.

She gave it the traits of gas and rubber and stone. It would be sturdy and flexible, but far lighter than it ought to be. It would draw on energy faintly with Messiah's power, transmutating it into high precision blasts of Wind with mechanics from Protean and a focus from Shatterpoint and Sylph. She crafted it with wings and frills. It would wrap around her like a suit or Epsilon's jetpack, giving her a tail, wings and frills coming from her back. For fun she had its base color scheme match her costume. It would move silently, using a combination of Sonar's power and Messiah's to absorb the vibration energy and have that fuel other part of its power. Its form could vary somewhat, shifting to help it fly. She gave it a bit from Decoy, mixing the focus ot the tinker power with Protean's, giving it—and her—something like a cloaking field. She even worked Epsilon's trump powers into there. She didn't want to end up having to deal with the incredible G-forces of moving as fast as she planned to go.

Everything formulated, she opened her eyes. A whole minute and thirty had passed. Laughing a bit to herself she took a breath and manifested her projection. It appeared in the air, wrapping parts of itself around her shoulders, waist, and torso like a living climbing harness. When she felt sufficiently secured she got a running start and found that her footsteps made no sound.

It was working!

The deciding moment came when she jumped off the roof. The tulpa's body unfurled into wings and frills, catching the natural wind, but she kept falling. A look of panic briefly crossed her face before—rather suddenly—it angled off and soared upwards. She squeeled and laughed, the panic turning into excitement. This felt great!

The projection turned and headed towards HQ with her in its embrace. It accelerated rapidly, but strangely she wasn't being buffetted by the wind or struck by bugs, dust, or other detritus. She closed her eyes, finally finding enough trust in her power to focus on its innerworkings for a moment.

"Huh," she exclaimed thoughtfully. Apparently it was redirecting the non-air material around her and elsewhere as a natural extension of its prime function: Defending her. Interesting.

Minutes passed and she soon noticed that she had an bird's eye view of PRT Headquarters. Smiling, her face still a bit flushed and her hair wild from the flight, she directed her projection to land right at the doors, but to avoid any collisions. It did so swiftly and easily, dust and air pushing out as she set foot on the ground. Her heart still beating fast, she focused and her projection vanished, dispersing into silver light.

A smile on her face, she entered the building, greeting some of the office workers and civilians as she did. That had really done wonders for her mood. Still, to business! Casting out with her senses, Evelyn located the two villains and—as she did—noticed that some of the members of the Protectorate were also in that area. 'Score~' She thought happily. She loved seeing them, almost regardless of the situation.

Making her way through HQ she soon heard voices carrying through the hall and to her ears. She tilted her head and continued her approach, noticing Lillian as she did.

She raised her hand, opening her mouth to form a greeting just as Director Kens responsed to Captain Morales.

She slowed, and then stopped. Lillian cut in and confusion flashed across Evelyn's face—she wasn't wearing her mask anymore.

"Please? I know it's the right thing to do."

Her breath caught in her throat, but still she managed to get one word out and that single word—more than anything else she could have said—was filled with such hurt, outrage, disgust, and confusion that it rang almost violently through the hall.

"What?"


There was a question there, but it was rhetorical. Anyone looking at her could tell from her body language, and the look on her face. Eyebrows creased, lips pursed. Anger, disgust, outrage.

Betrayal.

Silver light flashed through the room...then vanished.

Her hands were balled tightly into fists, nails digging into her palms viciously. Her jaw was clenched, teeth grinding faintly. Her throat and chest felt tight and hot as the emotions raged through her. She didn't look like someone who had just been insulted or someone who had misunderstood something and overreacted.

She looked like she was ready for a fight.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Crusader Lord
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Mina Kreiger (Alloy)





The sound of the door to the Jacks' lair would likely be easily heard by the others, alongside the clanging of keys, before the sound of it closing and locking again came shortly after. The sound of shoes coming down the steps then began, albeit with a potentially higher weight behind them than the normal. Sometimes the steps taken nearly sounded like a "thunk" sound of some sort. But before reaching the bottom a voice finally rang out-

"Eh? I guess you all are down here now, accordin' to Broker. Saw ya walk through the bar, but i was getting somethin' to drink before i came down."

-....rather casually, actually, in both tone and manner.

As Mina got near the bottom of the stairs, into the view of others, her appearance was...potentially normal, or potentially odd. For the Jacks, perhaps the former was the case. It was firstly obvious what she was drinking something...wait was that a virgin Bloody Mary she was sipping in her hand? Second thing to potentially hit was the fact she was dressed in baggy, black sweat pants (sewn pockets having been obviously modded onto them sometime prior) and a light gray exercise top. Though aside from her brown hair color stuck into a ponytail, most of her face seemed to be covered in shiny metal. In fact, even though her right hand was in a pocket it was easy to see her left hand looked like entirely like metal as well. Only her hair and the top left part of her face, including her icy blue left eye, seemed to be normal.

Glancing around at the assembled members of the Jacks, Mina gave them a general, casual wave after taking her right hand out of her pocket. It too shone like it was made of metal, but was swiftly put back into the pocket it had been in prior before more could be seen. After taking another sip of her oddly non-alcoholic drink, she seemed to decide to speak up again.

"I'm the newbie, just call me Alloy. I like pizza and cute girls, got enough experience on the streets and such, and hell if i thought about what else i'd say right now because its been a hella' long day."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Eklispe
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Sofia Stien - The Hideout


Sofia was a bit happy to find out that they were planning on doin something less... murder-y. Even if they were only doing it for other nefarious deeds, it made her feel better in the short term. She had snagged a carton of chocolate milk from the refrigerator and was slowly drinking it via straw as the group talked about the letter. It was kind of sad Heartloss was gone. It seemed people kept leaving the Jacks. Sofia hoped Thunderbird wouldn't leave her too. As that thought came to a close someone else strolled in. They matched the information in the letter, both in appearance and in name. Sofia glanced at her drink, surprised that it wasn't something for alocholy, given her lax attitude. Sofia stared at Allo's mask interested in the design. The only noise she made to accompany her gaze was the occasional slurp of chocolate milk going up the straw.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by BCTheEntity
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Alessa Heather: PRT HQ

The film, Alessa found, was a good time all told, and she left on patrol feeling much better than she had, moreso even than she already was. That lasted just a little while, as at no point did she note even an inkling of criminal activity. Who’d be silly enough to commit a crime, after all, after a huge event like the fundraiser was attacked? Everyone would be on high alert.

And so she returned to the HQ again, this time for good, or so she imagined. She couldn’t think of anything that might call her away again... and this time around, she had Lillian calling her to her side again. Or at least a text message from her: Hey, Alessa, can we meet? I'm feeling a little down and bit distracted. I think I'm.... Yeah, I'm by the cells. Something's up. And frankly, what could Alessa do but go to her new girlfriend? Lillian needed somebody to talk to, Alessa wasn’t doing anything right then.

The whole situation got a bit more complicated as she approached. She caught, from a corner or so away, the tail end of Director Kens yelling about Shatterpoint, and how he’d never have started acting as Shatterpoint if his disability were managed properly; next, as she turned, she overheard Lillian suggesting... from the sound of things, it seemed like she was actually advocating for Shatterpoint, in a sense? But why, what was the context... from the snippets she caught, “he deserves a chance”, “just doing what he thought he had to”, “the right thing to do”, it almost sounded like she was-

"What?"


That one word had Alessa running the rest of the way to the cells and to the scene proper. On the one hand, the director, along with Inkscape, Protean, and Morales were stood just by Ceramix and Shatterpoint’s cells; then there was Lillian, standing just nearby, having apparently overheard their conversation; and then… Evelyn.

Alessa didn’t think she’d ever seen an angrier person in her life. Or, for that matter, the sort of bright flash of light she’d expect from her own powers, not Lyn’s. Somebody was going to get hurt if she didn’t intervene, she could feel it.

‘Er, before I say anything else, I think we should all just take a moment to relax,’ Alessa uttered, stepping deftly between Evelyn and Lillian, just as a barrier. She doubted Lillian or really anyone else needed her there, but given what Lyn could do with her powers, well... better to be safe than sorry. ‘I’m not entirely sure what we’re getting upset about, but it seems like it has something to do with Shatterpoint. I think as far as he goes, if he’s not been totally reprehensible, it might be worth giving him another chance? As far as I’m aware, he’s dealt out some injury, but no death...’ She left her sentence hanging, wanting to gauge everybody’s reactions before saying anything else, and definitely not wanting to upset anybody unduly.



Raymond Haywood: The Cruise Room

Frankly, moving Xolotl into the basement was a simple enough task. He remained unconscious for... well, far longer than Raymond would have expected him to. Actually, he was becoming mildly concerned at just how long the man had remained out for; it made transporting and restraining him simple, but brought to mind concerns about long-term brain damage, and he certainly wouldn’t have been worth taking all that way if he were a vegetable.

That, however, was an issue for later. More pertinently, they were switching out team members again: Heartless had been reassigned, and in his place, they were getting somebody called Alloy, along with a mission in just over a fortnight’s time intended to boost their credibility as a “good” faction: an A-Class villain attack, in a public place, that they would thwart in order to further the Broker’s interests and render themselves heroes in the eyes of the public. Only mildly byzantine intentions, then, though the note did tell Raymond something important: the Broker had access to long-term precognition, through some means or another, or else had very reliable informants. Perhaps that was to be expected, but then not everybody did.

Thunderbolt’s response was immediate - seek out crimes to stop, take the money, and turn the criminals over to authorities. Chatterbox’s idea only expanded upon this, reaching crimes before the Protectorate or local law enforcement whilst setting up his enthrallment in those within the area, and even setting up their own crime scenes specifically to thwart those crimes personally. Crafty bastard, wasn’t he? Exactly the sort of Thinker who’d normally be in a leadership position... and only now did it occur to Raymond that maybe he’d skipped being the field leader for precisely the same reason the true leader remained anonymous, in order to deflect attention from himself in case a tactical strike was performed. Hrm.

‘Good plan,’ he muttered, eyeing Chatterbox discreetly. Not for long, though - the sound of thudding footsteps made themselves known, and the eponymous Alloy finally unveiled herself, complete with mocktail. She certainly had the looks to match her name, seeming to be essentially made entirely of metal save her hair and one arm, though her outfit was ruthlessly casual. He hoped she wouldn’t be so at ease in the midst of their next assignment.

‘Jack Selser, field leader of the Jacks,’ he murmured, raising his voice just loud enough to carry to the woman who’d just come down to meet them. ‘I hope your combat experience matches the ease with which you carry yourself. We had another member who got too relaxed. Then they got captured.’ His mind flitted to the former member Love Craft for a time, and he ground his teeth at the thought of how much the PRT might know about him and the rest of the team as a result. It wouldn’t be a problem for Raymond if he’d moved on by now, but... to ease his mind, he went to grab a glass of water. Nothing he could do about it now, and if Drake’s plan went off without a hitch, their perceptions might be good enough that it wouldn’t matter either way.
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Open Attendance for Protectorate and Ward Aligned Heroes Processing the Rockers

@Old Amsterdam@yoshua171@BCTheEntity


Director Kens and the three assembled heroes turned to face Lillian as she offered her own input as to the situation, each one apparently taken aback. They hadn't expected someone else to be showing up, much less offering their own input. Normally this would be the sort of situation that Kens would say was nothing the young girl need worry about, but truth be told he felt elated his motives were vindicated by one of the Wards. After all, they should be comfortable as well with the situation, should they not? Otherwise it could create a problematic situat-

"What?"


Just like that all eyes were on Evelyn. The pure, undiluted fury in her gaze was unmistakable. The director's sharp, eagle-like features braced themselves for an instant, an old reflex from his military service, before softening again when conscience thought caught up to the situation. This was one of his precious Wards, the kids he couldn't let suffer.

The heroes had entirely different reactions in mind. Whilst Protean slunk back against the one-way viewing glass cell wall, his left arm already a goop of raw protein liquid, but not yet reshaping, Captain Morales and Inkscape took a far more action-oriented stance. The captain had a hand on two pistols and switched the safeties off. Everyone knew them to be containment foam pistols, but the threat of intent was quite clear. Meanwhile Inkscape held up a single tentacle-arm as if to gesture to relax. She's expressed an interest in her own ideals above orders in the field before. If this truly crosses the line for her...

"Down, Morales. Evelyn, you've wandered into a situation you don't entirely understand. Why don't you relax and listen before jumping the gun?" the octo-man suggested, his voice firm and even, but cautious. He clearly understood the ramifications of Evelyn's power if she were to go on a rampage.

Then Alessa made her presence known, further attempting to diffuse the situation. As she spoke, Captain Morales headed the command of his C.O., relaxing his stance and removing his grip from the pistols at his side. Still, he never took his eyes off of Evelyn. She showed herself to be a clear and present threat. His lifetime of training, his experiences, simply would not allow him to ignore this. Not right now.

"This has gotten out of hand entirely. The matter would best be discussed behind closed doors, so as not to make a scene. Any who wish to join me may do so. Conference room three, please." Director Kens breathed out a sigh of relief as Evelyn appeared to be backing down, at least for the moment. Whether or not she chose to follow and participate in the discussion, well, was another matter entirely. Regardless, the director led Protean, Morales, and Inkscape, along with whoever else chose to come, until they entered the room in question.

Kens straightened his tie, taking a seat at the head of the table, then dropped the two dossiers onto the center of the table. "Decoy?" he inquired aloud. Despite not having pressed any sort of button or activating any communication device, a familiar hologram of the portly, overweight Japanese man appeared nearby.

"Yes Director Kens?" the hologram answered.

"Have you compiled the data regarding the young Mr. Quintana, at least enough to project it in this conference room?"

Before he received a verbal answer, the deed was done. A holographic display of Dexter Quintana, both in costume as Shatterpoint and in civilian clothes, appeared in the center of the table for all to view. A brief bio hung in the air nearby, ready for any to read, at least in cliffnotes. It covered a great many details, including his date of birth as July 7th, age of 15, born in Jacksonville. It went on to include his diagnosis of moderate autism, as well as the Boulder hospital record detailing the extent of the injuries he received from a beating at his middle school. Highlighted beneath was the police arrest report: Three fellow students, and one teacher.

"As you can see here, Mr. Quintana has had an unfair go at life. I'd bet my life that his trigger event was caused by the abuse of his fellow students and teacher. The first appearance of Shatterpoint occurred six days after his release from the hospital. Instead of understanding and nurturing for his disability, he was met with ridicule and violence. Can any one of you tell me that you'd react any differently in that situation? It's too late for Mr. Jacks, but Mr, Quintana can have another chance. He's still young enough to be re-educated, and once he's free of the influence of his boss I'd be surprised if it weren't a positive influence." The director gave pause to read the room, then sighed. "That's why I want to induct Mr. Quintana into the Wards. It's the best chance he has to turn his life around. The process is complicated, of course. He has to consent, his parents have to consent, pass various psychological evaluations, the Youth Guard will need to be involved... And of course, the Wards will be interacting with him daily. Therefore, we would need to be able to ensure everyone can work together."

Protean nodded in understanding, clearly entirely on board with the idea. He didn't need to say anything. Inkscape also approved. "He needs to finish processing first, of course, and go through interrogation with Decoy's lie detection software, but I do belief this to be the best course of action."

Captain Morales said nothing. He merely sat at attention in his most professional stance, ensuring to keep Evelyn in the corner of his eyesight at all times, though one couldn't tell with his helmet and mask on.







[Feel free to continue discussions amongst yourselves, no further GM events will occur unless requested or until the next timeskip.]
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Old Amsterdam
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Jason



Jason nodded to CB's suggestion, glancing at the new member.

"Yeah, that's a solid idea. Two birds with one stone, that way. I can patrol on the downtime, get some exercise in, and continue being active on PHO. Heartless was the main guy for that but....I stayed active enough." Jason seemed excited as he moved to offer his hand to Alloy. "And, well, welcome. I'd ask that you give us some description of what you can do so we can remain an effective team?"





Lillian looked on in concern as Ev erupted, there really was no other words for that, and the senior heroes reacted. Alessa had showed up at some point, at least, and Lillian quietly slipped in next to her, warily watching the events transpire as her muscles felt like they were being strummed like guitar strings.

She covered the right side of her face with Alessa's shoulder and took a deep breath. She smelled the faint smokey scent of wood and fire mixed with lemons, an odd combination indeed, and her nerves calmed slightly. She knew this smell, she knew this touch. It was as much Alessa as her voice, and it helped her to center herself in the situation at current. With a little spring in her step Lillian followed the adults, casually intertwining her fingers with Alessa's, as she read through the file being projected. He wasn't much older than her and his past was difficult.

She found herself distracted as she started focusing on the smells. There was a tangy, almost pungent smell of paint and what she could only call wet. Almost rubbery... And that must've been Inkscape. The distinct smell of gunpowder almost overriding the strong punch of alcohol that swirled within it. Two smells that we're almost acrid, disgusting, and.... Coming from Morales? But he didn't - why would - that didn't make sense? She shook her head slightly, dismissing that confusion, when she settled on the harsh smell of cigarettes. Her nose crinkled at the poor attempt at covering it up with cologne. That would be the Director and she frowned at the realization. Smoking was bad! It's not like they had a healer of any kind out here to fix whatever cancer he got.

This was the heroes? Drinking and smoking? It left her feeling... Less. Like a part of her had been betrayed by her idols. She almost didn't want to smell Protean and Noble and whatever vice they were trying to hide. Wait, Protean was here? But he just smelled..... Like guy? She didn't know how to describe it, it was like he was almost without a scent, or that it was just so mild that she couldn't actually pick up on it. A product of his power?

She focused on the campfire and lemons smell again. At least Alessa smelled as pretty as she looked.

"He deserves better." Her words were simple in response to the Director and that foul mix of smells. She didn't say anymore, her eyes on the projection, as she waited for everyone else to say their piece.

Hopefully Decoy had heard her request earlier....
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A Rocky Road

A collab between @solokolos, @PlatinumSkink, and guided by @Old Amsterdam




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Lethal Developments, Part 3: Never Gonna Give You Up-



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"Man this place smells likes shit!" Madison exclaimed as she walked into a pub catching a few looks from the patrons. She casually ignored the glares and hopped onto a bar stool, she was delighted to find that it was one of the floor fitted stools that had the spinning tops. She took a few moments to spin around a couple of times giggling all the while, after a couple of second the bartender let out a sigh. "Is there something I can do for you lady?" The rather gruff looking man said with a slightly irritated tone.

"Yes there is! I need one drink please! The cheaper the better!" The bartender cave a reluctant nod and went about getting a beer. While he did this Madison fished around in her pockets, making sure her kitchen knife didn't slide out of its little holster. She then emptied the contents of her pocket onto the bar and started digging, mumbling to herself as she did. "Oh how did that get there, cheeky little guy." She said as she slipped what seemed to be a spider that'd had it's legs removed. "Ok so that's one dollar, two, three..." Madison's voice trailed off as she continued pulling notes and a coin or two out of this mess of lint that used to be in her pocket. After piling up some money she gathered up the remaining fluff and strings, shoving them pack into her pocket with the legless spider.

She gathered up her money up while smiling at the bartender. He slid her the drink, "that'll be five dollars." Maddy went to hand the bartender the money when a gentleman sat down on the stool next to her. "Put that one on my tab would ya chief." The bartender simply nodded and went off to serve someone else. Maddy tilted her head at the gentleman as she slowly slid her cash back into her pocket. The man wasn't that bad looking if she were being honest, though he still wasn't the kind of meat that got her excited, though he did look like a screamer so there was that. Madison decided she might humor this guy for a little bit, free drinks were always nice."What brings a pretty thing like yourself here?"

Maddy took a moment to drink. Her face contorted at the taste, she then leaned forward a little and whispered. "Not this piss water that's for sure." Maddy then took another swig, her face screwing up again. "Oh so what then? You come here looking for a good time?" Maddy's eyes lit up and she nodded furiously. "Well then. I might be able to help ya." Maddy gasped in excitement. "Awesome!" Maddy shot up from her chair leaving the half empty beer on the bar.

The gentleman grinned and got off his stool. "You're a keen one! C'mon lets take this somewhere a little private." The gentleman gestured towards the door waiting for Madison to start walking first before following her out of the bar. "Just around here, can't been seen having fun in public. That'd get us in trouble." Maddy nodded. "Too true. The name's M-" Before she could finish the man raised his hand. "Don't you worry about names. We're not getting married or anything. Just having a little fun." Maddy covered her mouth and nodded. "Ok no names."

Maddy followed the gentleman around into a alleyway, and as far as alleys went this one didn't smell that bad. In fact the stench was a little endearing. "So, where do we start?" the gentleman asked, getting in real close and gently sliding a hand behind Madison's head. "The stomach." The gentleman tilted his head slightly puzzled by Maddy's response. "The stoma-c-c-" Looking down the gentleman found a large kitchen knife had been crammed part way into his stomach. Before he could even react Madison had pushed him back, making him stagger and fall into his back. Blood already staining his shirt. "What the f---" Madison delivered a quick kick to the mans head silencing him, while still keeping him conscious. "What? Isn't this what you meant by FUN?" Maddy plunged the knife into the mans calf as she said the word 'fun', drawing a damp yelp from the man blood already making it hard for him for him to vocalize.

"Aww I thought you were gunna be a screamer... How disappointing..." With another forceful kick to the head the man was out cold. With a sigh Madison took her bag off and shifted into her breaker form, her body turning to a black mist. She made sure to limit the range of her miasma to half a foot around her body. She then turned an arm into a whip like tendril that she coiled around the mans throat, with a quick jerk she snapped the mans neck and lifted him off the ground. She then dumped the corpse into a nearby dumpster and picked up her bag, shifting out of her breaker form as she slid the bag onto her back. "Man that was boring. I gotta find a better way to have fun... Mooks just cut it anymore..." Madison groaned and headed off further down the alleyway. Humming as she went.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Lugubrious
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A few pats of a paper napkin around the lips and Elliot was good to go. “Delicious, delicious carbohydrates,” he declared under his breath as he pushed open the diner door and waltzed out into the city air. Where to now, he wondered? Without bothering to answer the self-administered question he started to walk. Half the fun of large cities, he felt, was wandering around until something caught his eye. After this morning's events he felt rather disinclined to encounter any trouble, so the less reputable parts of town wouldn't do, but anywhere else would be just fine. With an dispassionate look on his face and his hands in his pockets he meandered between the Denver streets, focused solely on putting one foot in front of the other, another faceless figment of the everyday crowd.

In the course of his aimless trek Elliot found himself sequestered in a corner of Quaestor's Emporium, a multi-level bookstore whose prodigious carpet, carved wood, and filigree marked its faithful appeal to an earlier era. Sitting in a comfortable albeit reduced-price armchair by a low screen displaying a fireplace, flipping through a book on advanced barbecue techniques that captured his attention, made Elliot feel somewhat like a refined gentleman enjoying some free time in his mansion's study. The idea that he might get his life in order to that degree amused him, but his concentration lay mostly upon the incredibly in-depth methods outlined in the book. From detailing beginners' mistakes and their remedies to explaining the vastly different meats that could result from subtle variations in seasoning and grill position, the author truly knew his stuff. The portly man's visage on the front, wearing a big smile and bearing a giant slab of roast on a skewer, belied the unfathomable complexity of his subject. 'Never judge a book by its cover' was the adage, and Elliot knew all too well both how widely that principle applied and how widely people ignored it.

Despite thinking about that for a moment, Elliot did not allow any piteous musings to ruin his time with the volume, and by the time he replaced it on its shelf his mind raced with possibilities. Assumedly the HQ had a kitchen of some sort, but would the staff let a Ward try out recipes of his own? To even reach that point, he would need to get enough money together to buy ingredients. One thing he knew for certain: were his indomitable mastery to apply itself to the realm of cuisine and result in some heavenly morsel, the fruit of his labors would be for him alone. Who, after all, would help him plant the wheat?

Back into the early afternoon sun. A haphazard series of twists and turns through the avenues came next, with Elliot eyeing a number of stores but not deigning to enter. Without much of anything burning a hole in his pocket, he felt better than usual about stone-facedly walking past the homeless, but even still the sight weighed on his conscience. Who really needed help? Who would try to hurt or steal from him? Who would squander charity on drugs or alcohol? Who would tell the truth? Who were there because of their own wrongdoing, because of honest mistakes, because of another's neglect or misdeed? What could he really do to help? Legitimate concerns, but regardless of legitimacy, Elliot did not want to see people so miserable.

So he tried to make sure he didn't see them.

That couldn't stop him thinking, of course. Once being a superhero fails, I really should find a soup kitchen or something that'll actually help people. Hopefully they'll let me sample my own wares—once I'm out of the Wards, I'm as out of a livelihood as any of their clients. Not a hero, not a villain. Just a nobody. All because the ignorant morons fail to recognize my genius. “Ugh.” He glanced from side to side. Don't you people think less of me. My life is suffering, too.

Another couple of hours passed before Elliot grew too thoroughly bored with the city. “Back to the gilded cage I fly,” he muttered as he oriented himself back toward HQ. Hopefully he would encounter nobody but security on his way to his room. Seeing one of the girls' faces scrunch up with disgust as he passed by, together with the smog inhaled during his wanderings, might make him puke.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by BCTheEntity
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Alessa Heather: PRT HQ

Alessa fondled Lillian's hair for a moment as she leant on her shoulder and inhaled - these were a normal relationship thing to do, wasn't it? Yeah, probably, though she didn't have much experience in the matter. Plus, she knew Lillian's enhanced senses were a thing, so maybe that'd help. Regardless, Alessa nodded and obediently followed Director Kens and the other Protectorate heroes to the conference room, her hand intertwined with Lillian's along the way. He was right; to have a fight about whatever this situation was in a public area would just be unprofessional as anything. And as far as her input went, well, she was the leader of the Wards at the moment, whether or not she was very good at it. She had to wonder about that, given how Margrave had seemingly vanished, right?

But, well, she could make a difference here, she considered as she took a seat. And from what she was reading - moderate autism, hospital records indicating injuries from his fellows that he was lucky to survive, oh dear God, she didn't know specifically what effects autism had on a person but if they contributed to Shatterpoint's wailing earlier... oh God, that must have been hell for him-

She caught herself hyperventilating slightly, and forced herself to breath in and out very slowly. No wonder he'd turned to villainy, then, if he'd been subjected to all that abuse even after Triggering. She honestly wondered if she wouldn't do the same, under those conditions - just as Kens had stated. Well, she wouldn't normally, of course not. But then she didn't have autism. For her part, she'd not had any other choice but to become a hero, since most of her family had died after all. By contrast, Shatterpoint- Dexter- seemed to have had no other choice than to become a villain. Surely having everyone around you be an enemy, or at least seeming like it, was worse by far than just losing one's loved ones, right? And that just got her angry. They saw something different, and they attacked it, even when they should have known better. No wonder, no wonder, no wonder.

Lillian's statement basically confirmed what Alessa was already thinking. 'I think we should make him a Ward,' she agreed, nodding even as she tried to quell her outrage at his circumstances. 'It seems like he's never been given a fair chance in his whole life. Even Ceramix turned out to be willing to kill others, regardless of if it was for Dexter himself or not. How can you ask a person to do good things if they've never been given the chance or the exposure to something like that?' she asked, beginning to gesticulate in tandem with her words. 'How can you tell somebody they're terrible, when you're not the one who's treated like a monster, who's- who gets fucking beaten for something they can't control? How is- that isn't-!' She breathed in, then out again. Breath in, breath out. When had she stood up and starting pacing, again?

'It's not fair to tell a person they're irredeemable when nobody's willing to try in the first place,' she concluded, sitting back down and gritting her teeth with her frustration. She honestly hoped Evelyn would see her argument here, because if not, well... there was going to be an argument otherwise.
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Evelyn Chambers – Tulpa


Her eyes darted between the heroes and on some level she registered their reactions, their sudden wariness, the worry, the tension, and perhaps the smallest hint of fear.

Her idols...opposing her, no, opposing what was right. Putting away the bad guys, the evil in the world. Protecting people from them. Making sure they didn't have a chance to hurt anyone again. How did they not see it??

Interrupting her consideration of how to handle this revelation, Alessa arrived...getting between her and Lillian.

Her thoughts snagged on something, a trauma, ugly and painful. Guilt. She wouldn't hurt Lillian...even if she was furious. Her power had done it once, she wouldn't let it happen again. The fact that Alessa was protecting the younger girl, as if she was going to hurt their teammate. As if she was some--

Alessa's words struck her and a hot flash of rage rolled through her, it felt like her vision went red for a moment, just a flash. She clenched her hands into fists, digging nails into flesh, the tension in her jaw apparent. She exhaled, but it came out in two strangled words, hurt, affronted, disappointed, "You too?" She turned her back to 'Messiah,' what a traitor. How dare she.

As Inkscape spoke she honed in on him. Already, through her mind went permutations of the powers in her grasp. Materials cinched together like puzzle pieces, concepts fitting into place.

Silver light began drifting down from the ceiling, becoming the silhouette of something long and many limbed.

The Director's words interrupted her and a surge of outrage flared then rapidly cooled, warping into something less, but more twisted. She gripped the cloth of her shirt at the bottom, then her leg, clawing at herself even as she exhaled. The silver silhouette 'relaxed' into something vague, more like a cloud of indistinct light, and then vanished.

She swallowed, her head...clearer, but...but it didn't feel right. Her emotions were tangled, chaotic. She stumbled, even while the others entered the conferance room. She managed to follow, but appeared faintly disoriented.

Still she didn't sit down with the others, even despite feeling suddenly shaky, as if her stance maybe weren't so strong and righteous, as if her beliefs maybe weren't quite so valid...maybe because everyone clearly did not agree with her. She stood as far from the others as she could while still being in the room.

Something in her didn't want anything to do with them in that moment, but she couldn't leave either. She felt too strongly about this...too strongly. She felt her frown deepen. She'd been frowning? Was she really so disconnected that she hadn't realized what her face was doing?

Crossing her arms she hugged herself as if cold and found that she was shaking. Adrenaline maybe?

Director Kens kept going on about the situation about Shatte—no...about 'Quintana,' the boy behind the mask. Around their ages, abused, bullied...driven to this. She saw the path that could lead someone to the actions she'd witnessed and read reports about, but...it didn't connect.

Just because there was a justification, a reason, that Shatterpoint had done what he'd done didn't make it right, okay, or excusable.

She swallowed, shuffling her feet, then made a decision. Yet, when she spoke up, there wasn't much conviction in her voice and she couldn't meet anyone's eyes.

"If you induct him into the Wards, I'm not working with him and if you intend to make me, you can consider this a resignation." She fell silent, averting her gaze so she stared sidelong at a wall, trying not to look at anyone.

The 'shadow' of her power occasionally blipped out from the ceiling, its form expanded in an unseen shroud between floors, looming over and around the conference room. It wasn't a conscious manipulation or an attempt at escalation or intimidation, but it was there.
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