Hidden 2 yrs ago 9 mos ago Post by nitemare shape
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nitemare shape

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I am the Game Master, and this is my world.

This is the world of Earth in my universe, where I and my fellow Game Masters are the sole powers. This universe is ours to shape to our will, and those that defy us cease to exist.

In the center of this universe resides the planet known as Earth. Being the center of the universe, this blue world has a special significance to us Game Masters, and so many cosmic events shall involve or focus on this infinitesimal, yet important sphere. This is by design, not accident. Unfortunately for the planet, they know not of our existence, nor their importance in this universe. They simply exist in a world they think they control.

To most of the people on this world, everyday life does not involve aliens, supernatural battles, or cosmic conflicts. However, this is about to change, for my fellow Game Masters and I have chosen to ignite the spark in this planet as well as in other worlds. Soon heroes and villains alike, both powerful and powerless, will appear and the conflicts will begin.

Much mystery will be revealed by these noble and nefarious beings. The Lost City of Atlantis is hidden, much like we Game Masters are, however soon this ancient realm may be unearthed to the rest of the planet, to either the world's detriment or delight. Even the wondrous civilization of the Moon and beyond may choose to unveil themselves after millennia spent in hiding. Marvels both technological and magical await those who possess the fortitude to seek them out, however this would be their choice.
We Game Masters only interfere when times require it.

There is but one organization the Humans have already. This organization is called S.T.R.I.K.E., which stands for Super Terrestrial Review Inside Known Encounters, and it searches already for the unknown, yet known to us. These humans have already been preparing for the event that my fellow Game Masters and I will initiate, and soon they will be busy trying to catalogue and enlist the enhanced humans and non-humans in their organization.

Will these beings join with them or spurn their offer? Only time will tell.

The people of this world saw the unimaginable as the planet’s new protectors repelled a demon invasion. They watched in horror as the cosmic entity known as Umbraxis cut a swath of death and destruction across the Northeast United States, only to be thwarted by the efforts of several united heroes. Then they trembled with fear as the terrorist organization known only as Pax Metahumana threatened the entire human race by encompassing several US cities with domes that had the ability to transform those trapped within them and that would slowly overtake the entire world. Much to their relief, once again a loose alliance of heroes disrupted their plans and captured those responsible.

To the people of the world, the unusual has become common place. Super has become the new normal, and heroes have become more than costumed do-gooders, they have become a symbol of hope to some, and something to be feared by others.

However, with each day that passes, new threats arise. These new threats are like nothing that this world has ever faced.

Will the world’s new protectors be up to the task? Only time will tell.

Three months have passed…
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Hellis
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Hellis Cᴀɴɴɪʙᴀʟɪsᴛɪᴄ Yᴇᴛ Cʟᴀssʏ

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Some claim that the new population of super was a curse. others that is was the next step in human evolution. To one creature, it was a buffet. Across the country, for the past four months, men and women found the ability to lift things with their mind or hear thoughts. There was psychics of potential but not training all over western hemisphere and for the creature known as Parasite. This was like Christmas. He had gorged himself, leaving a train of drained out husks and mental patients in his wake. All the while his power swelled and swelled.

Tonight. He was going for his biggest target. The Esper Family. Beloved heroes of the 80's they retired to take care of their mentally gifted kids. They had been in the news all over the world during the eighties and done a ton of good in letting people understand that not all mentally gifted was to be feared. They had lunchboxes with their faces on. And they were really powerful.

So it was no wonder he met a forcefield unlike any of his other his prays had set up. He prodded it with his mind, looking for flaws. He heard running and saw the elderly husband stare out of the window at him. He looked back and smiled. He found the weakness he was looking for and like a artisan driving his chisel into a ice block, he expertly shaved off just enough enter inside. He was immediately hit with the force of a powerful mind. Like a serpent of pure mental malice, it snared him. He looked around, finding the eyes of a redheaded woman. Miss Esper stared him down, fiercely concentrated.

"You made a mistake coming here." The woman spoke. Her grip on the creature solidified and Parasite felt a stirring of respect for her abilities. Of course, she was already doomed. Staring at her, his eyes opened into two abyssal pits of cosmic radiance and seared into her mind in an instant. She screamed and tried to look away, even as her power faded. He held her gaze, steadily advancing on her. "G-get away!" Before the creature from beyond could reach her, a kinetic blast lifted him off his feet and tossed him across the yard. He landed and rolled to his feet. The man he had seen in the window earlier stood in full Mr Esper regalia. All blue and white and sleek. He was a bit to pudgy for it now though. He was sweating, clearly not keeping in the shape of his glory days.

With a snails pace, Parasite began to advance. This time, it redirected the massive mental blow with a idle flick of the wrist and lashed out with a blow of its own. Miss Esper stared in terror as he approached. Mr Esper stood up, standing between it and his wife. A wave of pure mental force rippled out and tossed the Parasite back a few meters. "I will end you creature." He said as his wife stirred and came to her senses. "Don't look it in the eyes. It's a parasite. It feeds of negative energy and mental energies like our powers." She said as she got up on shaky legs. Blood trickled down her nose, staining her lips red.

Nobody moved. The pair stared the creature down but pointedly avoided eyecontact. Then it moved. Well rather, its mental muscle flexed and it sent a wave of pure, malice driven psychokinetic energy towards the two. They shielded it, hands clasped together. Their mind working in perfect concerto. They split the wave and made it pass them by unharmed.The kinetic energy shattered windows and ripped up the floorboards where it cut like a highpressure water blade. They lashed out themselves, two expertly drills of mental focus. They hit him dead on, and they saw in horror how its presence was pure mental energies. Where they struck the body dissolved and reshaped. It had no physical presence, not really.

Noticing their unease and hesiation, it seized upon it. Lashing out with a tendril of telekinetic energy and ripping a hole in their in defenses. They staggered back, intent on regrouping. But the creatures surged forward, anger and hatred of unimaginable magnitude swamped their mind. Images of worlds not meant for humans flashed trough their mind as they screamed to drive it out from their mind. As they finally drove it back, they had backed into the house, and the creature stood just outside the window. They had not even realized either of them had moved. It was as if it had eaten that, removed it from their minds.

And still, they felt a swirl of negative emotions engulf them. Making it hard to concentrate. They lashed at it, with telekinetic and mental attacks both. Part of the wall flew off from the discharge as it met their offence with its own. And yet it advanced. It was like a tidal force of malignant twisted mental focus.

That's when a fourth mind lashed out and caught the creature unaware. The Esper Girl. The oldest of the siblings, was home. Her mental onslaught tore holes in the Parasites fabricated body. She was like a tempest, unhindered, untamed, powerfull and merciless. For a fleeting moment Parasite thought it had made a massive mistake. Even as it reshaped she tore off new parts, keeping it on the defensive. Her power was incredible. But it was unrefined. Didn't look for his core. And her guard was sloppy

"Get. Away. From. My. Parents." She bellowed and shrieked. Her parents shakily recovered as their pride and joy took the fight to the creature. Then, Parasite stopped retreating and lashed back out. It focused all its might on the gnat trying to hurt it, forming it into a spear of pure psychic energy and forced the girl to her knees. Sweat broke out on her forehead as she held up her mental shields.

"Lisa. Avoid its eyes!" Her father screamed. A fatal mistake as it turned out. For a brief second she glanced into its eyes. That was the last thing she did. Lisa Esper, Esper Girl. The Girl with Million Dollar Brain died 17 years old. Her mind melted away as it was not as powerful and set as her parents. They had experienced and conquered and lived trough many horrors as heroes. Lisa was new. And now her mind filled with the images of her family being torn limb by limb. Of strange gods devouring her from the inside. Of her going mad and killing her younger brothers. She broke, and with it her shields. And with the shield, every bone in her body. Snapping, one by one. Each scream was both physical and mental. It fed the beast. It swelled, feasting on such a powerful mind .Reaching a level of power it had not felt in thusands of years. All while her parents screamed and cried.

But the couple would not let their daughter die in vain. Mr and Miss Esper drew upon their anger. their anguish. Their sorrow and unleashed a torrent of mental attacks. They decimated the hallway but parasite allready had an in with them. A flaw to exploit. It imprinted upon them the voice and appearance of their daughter.

"NO DAD. I AM STILL INSIDE. PLEASE SAVE ME!" It screamed and Mr Esper stopped for a brief second. That delay in the couples sync cost them. A blade of psychic energy ripped their arms off at the wrist. Severing their clasped hands. Then as the two stumbled, no longer in sync. It smashed Mr against the wall and stared in to Miss Espers eyes once more. This time, there was no saving her. It ate her slowly. Once done, it did the same to Mr Esper. Then it sat and waited for the last two member of the family to come home. Once done its eyes drew to the small, scared out his wits mind hiding upstairs. Drew, their middle child, was hiding. He had been since Parasite arrived. It would do him no good.

--

An hour later, Thomas Esper arrived. He saw the shattered windows and immediately ran to find out what happened. "Mom!?" He yelled out as he pushed the door open. To his immediate relief he saw Amy, his mother, standing there surprised. "Hey Thomas! Home early!" She asked with a bright smile. Thomas nodded. "Hey Mom. Have you seen Lisa and Drew?"

"Lisa is off on a mission and Drew is upstairs." His mom said softly. "Oh. Can you look and see if I got something in my eye?" She said as he leaned over and and let him take a good look.

Thomas didn't scream. He was the weakest of the lot. He was 13 when his mind was eaten by the creature from beyond. As Parasite left, he would one day come to pay for this. America's heroes would never forget the day the Esper Family all died.

Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Dedonus
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Dedonus Kai su teknon;

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Aubrey Adkins
March (3 Months Before IC Starts)

It was Wednesday, the midpoint of the week, which meant that once class had ended on Wednesday, it would be downhill from there until the weekend. As I walked back to my apartment from class, I decided to check our mailbox. What I found there was mostly just the usual junk mail: reminders of events on campus, deals on food that you probably would not have bought anyways, and other similar generic mail. Sure, there were some bills, but I cannot believe that there is anyone who gets excited about paying bills. Something fun would be like getting a birthday card. But mine isn’t until May, so I don’t get my hopes up that high for finding something interesting in the mail.

The one piece of mail that felt out of place was this one black envelope. It also had a white rabbit logo on it, which was the symbol of the magazine company called Viera. What was more out of place was that it was addressed to me specifically. Since it was in fact late March, I safely assumed that this was some sort of ‘April Fool’s Day’ joke that my roommates had planned. For the past four years, we had this tradition that we would play some elaborate pranks on one another.

“Very funny, guys.” I announced to my roommates as I entered through our apartment’s front door. “But you do realize that it isn’t April 1st yet, right?”

Felecia, who was sitting on the couch while watching some television, turned her head towards our other roommate’s bedroom. “Ashley, you didn’t screw up the mailing, did you?”

“What are you talking about?” Ashley said as she stepped out from her bedroom, “I was going to sneak it into our mailbox.”

I held up the black envelope up in front of me, showing my roommate that I had what I thought was their April Fool’s prank. However, Ashley also had a second envelope in her hand.

“Wait, if that is the letter that you were going to give me.” I said as I gestured towards the envelope that Ashley was holding, “Then, what is this?”

As soon as the possibility that the letter that I held in my hand could actually be real entered my mind, I immediately released the envelope from my hand, just like if I had just realized that a plant I was holding in my hand was actually poison ivy. The envelope then floated down to the ground, where it landed a few feet from me.

Felecia picked herself off the couch, walked around that piece of furniture, and scooped up the envelope off the floor. After ripping open the envelope, she pulled out what appeared to be a stapled packet of papers. Once my roommate had skimmed through the several pages that had been contained within the envelope, Felecia pulled out a sheet of paper and a pen and placed them on the kitchen table.

“Aubrey, could you write your signature?” She suddenly asked me. I just shrugged, taking the pen into my hand. After I had placed my signature on that blank sheet of paper, Felecia placed the packet right next to it. On the page that she had placed on top, there was also a signature, which, when compared to the one that I had just written, was identical.

“I know how this looks, but I did NOT sign that, whatever it is.

“Either way, you’re now ‘Ms. May’. Congrats.” Felecia told me as she patted me on the back.

“What?” I asked, not quite sure what she was talking about. Felecia then handed the packet over to Ashley. Once the bound set of paper was in her hands, Ashley cleared her voice before she began reading the cover sheet.

“Dear Aubrey Adkins,” Ashley began, “Thank you for attending our emergency casting call on short notice. This was an unusual situation, as a vacancy appeared due to that Pax Metahumana threat last month”

“I was SO not at any kind of casting call or whatever it was.” I protested, although this did not stop my roommate from continuing reading the letter that was attached to the front page.

“After much debate and consideration, we are pleased to announce that you have been selected to fill this vacancy. Included with this letter is the contract that you signed when we last met and all the pertinent information for your centerfold photoshoot for this year’s May issue. We look forward to working with you and welcoming you into our family.”

“Is there a number in there that I can call? I’m going to straighten this whole mess out right now.” I demanded as I pulled my cell phone out from my back pocket.

“I might have seen a phone number. But I do remember seeing somewhere in that document where whoever signed it opted out of a clause that said that you’re under no obligation to pose in the nude.” Felecia remarked as she tried to recall what she had read when she skimmed through the document.

“Karma is such a bitch, isn’t it? We thought that Danielle was the one selling her body. Weren’t we wrong.” Ashley said as she skimmed through the packet for any telephone number that I could use to fix this little fiasco.

“Well, we all know that when God gives you lemons, you make lemonade.” Felecia added, “I guess this is what you do if he gave you melons.”

“YOU TWO ARE NOT HELPING!”
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Hellis
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Hellis Cᴀɴɴɪʙᴀʟɪsᴛɪᴄ Yᴇᴛ Cʟᴀssʏ

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"OLD PEOPLE KICK TO HARD"


"Get up!" She heard the voice the way you hear someone screaming underwater. Muddled, bubbly sounds that made little sense. Voices that swam in and out of her comprehension,a kaleidoscope of noise and dissonance. Her head hurt as she staggered back up to her feet.

"AGAIN!" The sharp voice of a elderly woman cracked like a whip across her aching mind and brought her back to clarity. She blinked away the sweat and the tears. Opposite of her stood her teacher and confidant. The elderly woman was all virey strength, and despite her advanced years nothing so much as hinted to weakness. How it was possible to be so powerfull so far into your years was beyond Kaya. Instead she focused on putting up a proper guard, squaring her shoulders and lifting her left knee up in the classical muy thai pose.

"Ready!" She bellowed back and they were back on. Her opponent shot forth, breaking the muy thai stance suddenly to shoot for her legs. This caught Kaya by suprise and her kick went wide. She danced away, but a lighnting quick leg sweep kicked her leg from under her. She fell hard onto her side. She gritted her teeth as she landed and rolled to the side, avoiding a soccer kick aimed at her temple.

"Ready you are not child."

"That wasn't Muy Thai." Kaya said as she resumed the guard again.

"Correct. That was Burmese Bando. Did you know Thailand and Burma have a long history of claiming the others martial art is inferior? Like the Thai King who walked into burma and beat five masters. It is all jingoistic bullshit if you ask me." She said with a cheeky grin that made the old woman seem that much younger. Kaya could not let go of the fact that all this time, her teacher had a whole bag of tricks she hadn't showed her.

"But.. I never knew you trained other diciplines." Kaya said, sounding mock hurt. She lounged,leading with her right, trying to get her powerfull left hook lined up but the old lady weaved and moved like she was in her prime. Each punch missed or scored glancing blows, each time Kaya was tagged with a shin kick or a foot stomp.

"Girl. I taught you all you know. I didn't even teach you half of what I know." Her teacher smiled wryly as she checked the shin kick and and nearly took Kayas head off with a elbow strike. The woman, in a show of immense flexibility for her age, followed it up with a so called scorpion kick, a move that would make a ballet dancer cringe. That was Muy Thai however, and Kaya knew the tells well enough to roll away and getting a body shot in with a nasty low hook. Her teacher didn't so much as flinch, and instead drove the heel of her foot down onto inside of Kayas thigh. Forcing the younger woman to be momentarily flatfooted, she grabbed Kaya with both hands and drove her Knee right into her sturnum. Making her collapse.

Letting out a wheezing cough, Kaya sunk to her knees.

"Good hook. But you drop leg down and forget to pivot into it. That is a karate thing is it not?"

"Yes..." Kaya hissed as she got back up.

"No martial art is superior. Always discard what you cannot make work. I know the army taught you to fight dirty and effeciently. But the world changes constantly, you got to adapt or you is drawn down under the surface." She tossed a pair of gauntlets to Kaya. They reached all the way up to her elbows. Made of some sort of metal, yet decently lightweight. Before she could ask, Bak May picked up a unsharpened but none the less metal blade.

"Adapt" She said simply and took a stance that was startlingly similair to that of the old man and his freak daughter that almost killed Kaya months back. "Or Die."

Kaya gulped and set herself in a firm stance. "READY!"

---

Somwhere in the depth of china town.

"Seems like the Yakuza are moving more agressively." A young man spoke, eyes downcast. He was on one knee, and bowing to a handsome chinese man lounging on a chair adorned with jade spider. Hau Lang Koo was the undisputed leader of the Lost Haven contingent of the Jade Spiders. Everywhere their web spreads, his influence grew.

"They feel emboldened by the presence of their enforcers no doubt." The young man spoke as he barely stirred.

"What do we do." The young officer asked, not daring to look upon his leader.

"Is Eng back?" Hau asked as filed his nails.

"Yes. He arrived this morning from Hong Kong."

"If the Yakuza want a war. They have one. Send The Syndicate a message. Let them know that I will take care not to damage their operations. But that I cannot let agression go unanswered." As he said it he rose and a woman in red moved up to take his arm. Madam Zhau was his right hand. Where Eng was his attack dog, Zhau held mystical powers and entranced his followers. Imbuing the chosen ones with powers of their own.

"What of the vigilante? Still silent?" He asked without sparing his magician a glance. The woman didn't seem to mind his cold, buisness like demenour. She answered him as soon as he was finished talking.

"Yes. It seems our japanese enemies did manage to take her out of the picture somehow." Her voice was honey smooth and full of confidence. She somehow matched the young leader perfectly. Yang to his Ying. "I believe her to be alive. But for whatever reason, her trail is foggy. Even with a puddle worth of her very blood, my magic cannot grasp her identity or indeed if she is even alive." She sad it with some concern.

"Doesn't matter, the problem now is the Japanese. They grow bold with success. Time to make an example out of them." He said as they exited the inner chamber. Before long, they had a small honor guard following behind. Heavily armed, heavily tattoed men and women wearing enough weapons to make even the NRA nervous.

"Send Eng to their little casino down at the Japanese riverfront. Tell him I want blood. Lots of of it."

War was coming to Lost Havens streets.

Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Shard
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Shard 🐱

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New York City


Tapping his fingers against the table, Casper managed a soft sigh before his eyes drifted up to the other patrons in the local café. A cup of coffee laid before him, something to simply allow his presence in the locale without a cause for suspicion. With vampiric blood coursing through the young man’s body, it was safe to say that he could not meet his lips with the coffee cup if he intended to remain healthy for a prolonged amount of time. One could then ask what he’d do in a café to begin with, a rather reasonable question given his feeding habits and lack of social skills. Though, the answer would reside in his gaze. “The suit over there.” A voice echoed through Casper’s mind, one that could be described as cold and phantomlike. Of course, given the countless years accompanying the two, familiarity was a word which struck weakly in the face of truth. They had grown used to one another, to the point where one could not imagine life without the other. As fate would have it, life would not proceed without both of them present to move such towards a future. They have been linked together, both of them part of the same being. “Fat man, red tie, smirk.” The voice continued, a voice with the name of Raziel.

“What kind?” Casper responded quietly, his eyes drifting down to the coffee cup. Would the man notice Casper’s staring, the mission would turn to a rather difficult ordeal.

“Contractor, Soul Merchant.” Raziel informed, the voice calm and collected as the once pristine angel analyzed the demonic quarry. “He’s making a deal right now. How do you want to proceed, Cassy?”

“Makin’ a scene won’t get us anywhere.” The vampire responded, narrowing his eyes at the target once more. He was tricking a poor, unknowing soul into giving their very essence away in plain sight. He was good at this. “The trade won’t matter much, though. Once we kill him, the poor sod makin’ a deal with him will get her soul back.”

“Right. Let’s wait, then.” The fallen angel finished, returning to silence as the two sat waiting for the demon to move. He seemed to enjoy taking his time, buttering the victim up enough for the soul to taste its best. It was hard to say how many he had captured over the years, an impossible task. However, upon his death, these souls would be released. Their eternal torment would come to an end. At the very least, the ones still in his possession. Demons bartered in souls. It was the currency within the confines of Hell and the Underworld. Alongside Raziel’s trusty edge, Casper made his presence known within the Abyss in the past, treading into the pits of Hell itself in a desperate hunt. It was where he met Raziel, and together they freed themselves from the pits of eternal anguish.

“On the move.” Casper stood, placing one foot in front of the other on his way out of the café. “We can’t fight em’ out here in public. He’s gotta’ have a home, somewhere.”

“We’ll just have to keep following him.” Raziel responded, keeping his gaze fixed on the demon. Being able to see past his human disguise, Raziel could the demonic shape beneath. Being an angel, or a fallen one at the very least, Raziel’s abilities stretched beyond that of a mortal. He could see the world for what it actually was, and informed Casper of such truths. “On another note. Have you picked up on what they’ve started to call you?”

“They?” Casper shot back, his focus on their target as he spoke with the angelic being now sharing his very soul.

“The demons, the monsters. They call you Shade. Rather fitting, wouldn’t you say?” A soft chuckle echoed throughout Casper’s mind after Raziel’s words.

“Ya’ think?” Turning around the corner, Casper made sure to keep a reasonable distance between himself and the Soul Merchant.

“Of course. A vampire fighting his own kind, along with other beasts, walking between the worlds of light and darkness. A Shade.” Raziel explained, satisfied with his take on the name.

“If ya’ say so, Razzie.” Casper finished. The walk was a long one, and the demon was notably making his way further and further from populated areas. Indeed, at this point Casper and Raziel both knew that their target was heading towards another trade, one that needed to be made in secrecy. This would have to be with another Demon. “We can’t let him trade that soul away.”

“Be ready to fight more than one Demon, Cassy.”

“Good, I’m real’ fuckin’ hungry.” The vampire finished, keeping himself hidden from sight as they entered a long since abandoned construction site. An idea of grandeur once struck the image of this place, but as finances reached a single digit, the dream would fade, leaving nothing but a graveyard behind. As is the natural response, this area has since developed into a location for illegal trades.

“So bloodthirsty, Cas.” Raziel chuckled. “Nothing wrong in enjoying a meal while working, though.”

“See? Ya’ got the gist.” Casper replied, kneeling down behind a large stack of bricks after they entered a large warehouse. Another person was already standing there, waiting. She was dressed elegantly in a skin tight dress hugging her frame tightly. Any man would consider this woman a sight to behold, her beauty unmatched. A succubus.

“She’ll try to seduce you.” The angel warned.

“She’ll have better luck seducin’ a rock. If she was an Incubus, I’d be scared.” Incubus being the male counterpart to a seducing Succubus. It didn’t take long for the Demons to commence their meeting, pleasantries kept aside for the most efficient results. However, Casper was not in any hurry to let them finish this trade. Falling back to his roots as a stealthy assassin, Casper quickly moved from cover to cover, his vampiric speed of great help in the endeavor. Once he was close enough, the trusty sword he called both friend and weapon would appear in his hand, its blood red edge glowing with anticipation. Making his presence known for a split second, the vampire charged forth and shoved the blade through the Soul Merchant’s back, splitting his spine in the process. Mere moments later, his entire body would shrivel into a husk as every drop of blood was drained from his frame and into the sword which has struck.

Swiping Raziel’s edge across the air, the newly nourished vampire turned his gaze to the Succubus before him. Her grin didn’t show any sign of fear, but such was nothing one could expect from Demons. Fear did not grip them easily. “Well, well. This is interesting.” She spoke, her melodic voice lingering.

“Sorry to spoil the fun, darlin’.” Casper dusted his clothes off, pointing the blade at his new target.

“Oh, don’t be!” She responded. “I never liked him, much. You though? You’re cut from another cloth.”

“Drop the act, let’s get straight to the killin’.” Casper finished, charging forth. The original target had been destroyed, the souls in his possession now free. This was however a welcomed addition. Another Demon, another target.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by MelonHead
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MelonHead The Fighting Fruit

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Springtime is the time for Growth


It had been a busy time for Lekh. His first spring in America was not a quiet one. The Syndicate was a hive of activity bubbling under its calm exterior, with everything slowly returning to normality after the recent meta-human crisis opportunity for crime was writhe. Luckily he was not adverse to hard work. Because he was working double time. With every task he completed in the name of his new faction, climbing the ranks quickly after his vital role in the unfortunately unsuccessful kidnapping, he carried out two jobs to further his own aims. Stealing valuable items to fund his varied projects even as his privately hired researchers worked tirelessly over the blood sample he had stolen from Ms Desdemona. However, even outside of this not so secret and painfully secret activity respectively, he carved out a small but not insignificant part of the Syndicate for himself. It was not an obvious thing, nor an official one, but some of the Shroud’s membership in Lost Haven hesitated when deciding on who they would report a tid-bit to. Their loyalties were certainly to the Cowl, but for many he was little more than an idea, a figurehead of sorts. Silence was real, and he impressed many of them, scared some more, in the rest he invoked their ire. As was the way in the criminal world, some will always hate you, but Silence dealt with the more outspoken personally, and seemingly not so many were outspoken any more. All the while they drifted around him, spoke about him, listened to him. He made many of them far richer than they had been before, and when all else failed, money would often talk.

Silence was not a fool, and so he knew all too well that the Cowl would have become aware of some of his manoeuvrings. For most of spring however his activity was hardly unusual, in fact, in a dog-eat dog world like that of the Syndicate it was almost encouraged to take control of what one can. Most of the local bosses still maintained their mentalities from before their streets became a creeping and very illicit organisation. Kill or be killed, gather men and women and even children around you and have them prop you up above the rest, just high enough to keep your head out of the water, but not so high that it gets cut off. It was only as spring drew to a close and the days grew so long as to seem never ending that the activities of Silence had grown unusual. Even to someone as intelligent as the Cowl. It was almost as if he was siphoning off the man power from the lower levels of criminality in Lost Haven, exploiting their discontent and their own inability to rise naturally. If he was to be measured against the local bosses, Silence had stepped just a little above them all. He was peaking over a precipice that few before him had reached, but he chose to teeter there. If he had ill intentions, he had shown none save for that gathering of power. His men stepped to in order to fulfil the wishes of the higher ups just as quickly as they had before they began to question who they saw when they thought of the Cowl. But undeniably, as spring gave way to summer, Silence had carved out a faction of his own within the Syndicate in Lost Haven. The real question was what he wished to do with it.

Spirits in Summer


Present Day: Eden (Lost Haven)

“You do forgive me don’t you?”

“Of course, I have already said as much before, Brat.” The cold-faced criminal who had risen so quickly through the ranks forgave his blood easily, lapsing in and out of his native tongue as they were want to do in conversation.

“Because you know I do feel bad about ratting on you, you know?” His brother’s words were only slightly slurred, but for a Pole, that was no mean feat. The half bottle of vodka across the table between them in Adrian’s lavish office was obviously responsible for that. Adrian was apologizing again for what he told the Cowl when Lekh had first arrived, as he had almost every time the brothers had spoken in the last few months.

“Adrian, I would have done the same in your position, do you understand?” He lied, not for the first time.

“Yes, yes of course, anyway, tell me about this plan of yours.” Adrian always acquiesced a little too quickly, it gave his game away. He was not as drunk as he seemed, nor as innocent.

“I have already spoken to you about this, Brat, you must understand that I cannot afford to divulge too many of my secrets at one time.” He frowned apologetically. “Though I can tell you that I intend to make something of a move on certain, ‘aquatic’ holdings in the following weeks.” He lied of course, fully aware that his words would see their merry way back to Adrian’s supervisor, the very same woman who had introduced Lekh to the Syndicate just a few months ago. “Anyway, I am not here for business. I am here to drink with my brother and speak of old times, cliché as it may be.”

Now it was Adrian’s turn to frown, he did not like to think back to his time in Poland, growing up in Lekh’s shadow, the one with the talent for the family ‘gift.’ The good older brother, the heir as it was, and the talentless younger brother who abandoned his duties. He filled up a shot glass and drank it down, gritting his teeth and letting the familiar burn run its course.

The hour grew late, though it was not a club night fortunately. The Brothers had waxed political over current affairs, spoken of the ills that beset the homeland, and even talked of their Father a little. But now, it was time to go. Lekh pressed his hands atop the table to leave, as was his way he often chose to abruptly stand before making his goodbyes. As he did so, the sleeve of his fashionable jacket rode up, revealing his right hand fully for just a moment. Marked there was a red thumb print, though it was not obviously so it was still distinct and drew the eyes of his Brother.

“What’s that, Bro? You don’t have a birthmark there, not that I can remember anyway.” Adrian looked at it bemused, and Silence bit back a curse, letting his sleeve fall down and calmly waving away the remark.

“Paint, I believe. I had cause to dabble in some impromptu art just last night, apparently I missed a stubborn spot.”

“Right.” Disbelief, but the importance of such a trifling thing hardly warranted further pressing of his older brother.

“Brother.” His voice was serious then, and he flittered into his native tongue for his parting remarks. “You should return to Poland, you should see her." Adrian’s eyes grew cold at Lekh's words, but he did not reply.

“Anyway, I will be off now. Until the next time we meet, Brother, do widzenia.”

Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Shard
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Shard 🐱

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New York City

Old Construction Site



Upon connecting with his quarry, Casper’s blade came in contact with steel rather than flesh, a long and slender sword conjured into being in the succubus’ firm grip. A previously wide grin grew ever brighter upon her lips as her fingers tightened around her weapon, sending the vampire flying back with a powerful swipe, a gust of wind following the movement. “Shade, am I correct?” She spoke calmly, a single step closer bringing her previously human appearance to that of her true shape. Those heel clad feet shifted into hooves, her body reaching a new layer of muscle and power as previously dainty hands now clenched into scaled fists powerful enough to mend stone into dust.

“Shit, you hit hard…” Casper clenched his teeth, struggling back to his feet as his back connected with the wall, leaving a crack upon impact. Though regenerating from the wound, he knew that even a vampire’s mending frame wouldn’t be able to stand against such an onslaught for long. “People really do call me Shade, huh? Fuck, that ain’t very creative.” The young man grinned softly, pressing Raziel’s tip against the ground as he stood, eventually raising the blade for another round.

“Wear your title with pride, vampire.” She continued, her feminine walk accompanying each step in an almost over exaggerated manner. She owned her frame, her seductive behavior seeping through like a flood of dominance. “You may call me Elizabette.”

“Oh, no. Casper, that’s a Blood Sister!” For the first time yet, Raziel’s voice raised itself one of alarmed stature. A genuine amount of danger making its way through Casper’s spine and into Raziel’s very being.

“Great…” The vampire spoke under his breath, a mumble dripping with sarcasm. Blood Sisters weren’t just any run of the mill Demons, not at all. They were an elite group of Succubi donning the mantle of Knights within the brimstone halls of Hell. Elizabett was no ordinary foe, and this could go either way.

“Casper, we should retreat. She’s not interested in merely killing you, she’ll want to enslave you. You’ll wish for death.” Raziel continued, trying to advise his stubborn friend and ally of the risk now glaring them in the face.

“Even if I tried to run, Razzie, she’ll catch up sooner or later. Only one way outta’ this.” The Hunter finished, clenching his teeth.

“Shall we continue, love?” Elizabette’s smirk resided as she raised her blade, swiping it across the air. Upon her movement, Casper witnessed her sword split and change shape within the fast motion, the blade releasing several interlocked links of razor sharp steel to form the hellish whip Succubi were so well known for. Trailing both ground and wall in a destructive path towards the vampire, Elizabette’s sword left a devastating mark upon each surface it touched.

Sliding beneath the whip’s bladed length, Casper jolted back to his feet in a furious charge, swinging his sword against the Demon’s frame once more. In response to his attack, Elizabette’s sword retracted in but an instant, blocking Casper’s strike a second time. Their weapons would continue to clash in a loud, spark filled dance of steel before the Demon finally connected a fist with the vampire’s stomach and sent him stumbling backwards. “Not quite there yet, sweetie.” She mocked thrusting her sword forth, the length extending. As if a snake, he blade launched itself in a straight line towards its foe. As would be the reaction of any man, Casper dodged to the side, avoiding the strike before attempting to even the distance between them once again.

“Don’t give her the upper hand, keep close to her.” Raziel commented, the heat of battle doing little in comparison to the enemy they were facing when adding a sense of urgency to his voice.

“Doin’ what I can, Razzie!” Casper shot back, hammering his blade down on the Demon’s own as it retracted to a defensive position, the two resuming their clash from before. Elizabette would proceed to attempt a surprise attack, unchaining her sword in close range to encircle her enemy.

“Keep your eyes open, boy.” Elizabette chuckled, her sword wrapping itself around Casper’s forearm in an agonizing embrace, tearing flesh from bone.

“Got em’ wide open, hun’!” Without a second thought, Casper severed his own hand from place, the pain only filling him with adrenaline. Speeding towards the Demon’s frame, a new hand would replace the old, regenerating into place as the severed appendage withered into nothing but dust. Having the element of surprise on his side, Casper deflected her next attack followed by a gruesome slash across her stomach. Screeching out in pain, Elizabette executed a punch which grazed the vampire’s side. Any less fortiutude would have forced Casper to the ground but with an iron will, he managed to keep his balance, fainting the Demon as he twirled to the side and severed the tendon in her leg.

“Not by the likes of you!” Gripping her blade with enough force to nearly shatter the hilt, she swiped the weapon towards her attacker, meeting Raziel’s edge which Casper rammed against her own weapon with a contesting amount of strength.

“You ain’t goin’ back to hell, a shame, really. Would want to send my regards to your Sisters!” Casper shot back. Raziel’s superior structure broke through the Blood Sister’s sword, breaking it apart with the various interlocking blades bending and creaking beneath the opposing weight. Continuing the swing, Casper lodged his sword deep in her shoulder but felt her fist sending him to the ground.

“I’m not done yet, wretch!” Launching herself forward, Elizabette would use her weight as he landed atop the vampire. She stretched her fingers out as she was about to grab hold of Casper’s head, crushing it beneath their strength. He was however not eager to allow such a measure to take place. With another swing of his sword, he severed the Succubus’ arm from place delivered a powerful punch to her face. The force of the strike sent her tumbling to the ground.

“Yeah, ya’ are.” Casper finished, rolling to the side as he jolted to his feet and ran Elizabette through with the full length of his weapon, Raziel’s blade carving its way through her chest. Despite this, the Demon had managed to grab Casper by the side, crushing both skin and bone as a parting gift before every last drop of blood was drained into the sword, regenerating the wound she had caused. “Fuckin’ hell…” In times like these, Casper was endlessly thankful that the mortal restriction of fatigue could not claim him in any other regard than sleep. It was what saved him in this fight.

“Are you well, Casper?”

“Worried?” The vampire chuckled softly, looking down at the utterly ruined attire he was wearing. “I loved this jacket.”

“You could have died, several times.” Raziel scolded, being the more reasonable one out of the two.

“I had it sorted.” Unsummoning the physical manifestation of Raziel, Casper started out of the warehouse, leaving the withered husk of a Blood Sister behind to eventually fade into dust.

“It required desperate measures.”

“How many more Bloodies are left?” Disregarding Raziel’s last statement, Casper slipped out of his ruined jacket, dropping it in a long since forgotten trashcan on his way out of the area.

“Seven.” Needless to say, Casper was no ally to the Blood Sisters. He had yet to get closely acquainted to them, having slain two out of a group of nine, but they both knew that in a near future, he’d get far closer to these Knights of Hell. “You had a lot of trouble with the ones you’ve faced so far. If you see the Matriarch, you run.”

“Let’s hope for the best, eh? She might be nice.”

Raziel could only sigh in response. Though quick to run his mouth, Casper was more careful than he let on…most of the time. Even he knew not to cross the Matriarch this soon, however.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Robeatics
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A home in Royal Park
Months ago


“Thomas? Come inside, sweetpea, dinner’s almost ready.”

Thomas continued rocking on the swing, searching the dark sky for stars. Hannah stood halfway out of the sliding door on the deck, her face shadowed by the lights inside. The night was chilly this time of year, but not so much that he needed anything more than a sweater. The lights of the city drowned out the horizon in dull white, stretching in all directions until giving way to the void above him. No stars tonight. He went inside.

Scott sat at the table in his work clothes, skimming through a puzzle book while Hannah finished dinner. He didn’t look away from his book when Thomas settled in next to him. “You’ve been spending a lot of time out there, Tommy. How about a telescope for your birthday?”

Thomas shrugged, plucking at a bit of thread on his place mat. “That sounds good.”

Maria scurried up from the couch and sat next to Thomas, kicking her legs in her chair. She perked up at the sound of the microwave beeping. “Mom, the corn’s done.”

“Yes, baby, I’m getting it.”

Maria leveled a smirk Thomas’s way. “You’re gonna get kidnapped if you stay outside too long.”

Thomas frowned at the table, picking at the place mat more fervently. “No I’m not. We have a fence and lights, stop being stupid.”

“I’m not being stupid, there’s a kid down our street who got kidnapped. He was on his porch and these guys came out of nowhere and grabbed him! Then they did stuff to him and gave him dog legs. Channel 10 was talking about it.”

Thomas snapped up. “Mom, Maria’s being weird!”

Scott finally dragged his attention away from his puzzles. “Kids, settle down. Nobody’s been kidnapped, Maria, this neighborhood’s one of the safest around.”

Hannah set the bowl of corn on the table. “Well, for this city anyway.”

Scott shifted in his seat, his brow furrowing. “Hannah, we’re barely even in the city. If some supervillain attacks the Whole Foods on the corner, then we’ll--”

“--please Scott, let’s not talk about that again. I’m sorry for bringing it up, I just--”

“--stop. It’s alright.” Scott offered his wife a tired smile, though it did not break the newfound tension. “Let’s just enjoy dinner, alright? Let’s pray.”

Maria seemed blissfully unaware of how tightly her parents linked hands, and eagerly led them in prayer. “Dear Lord, please bless these gifts…”

Lost Haven outskirts
Two months later


“Oh god, just don’t hurt us!”

GE-04 was getting tired of hearing the same thing from so many different faces. The humans could seem so dignified when she watched them from afar, toying with each other, asserting power through social subtleties that she couldn’t understand. But as soon as they saw how small they were, how easily they could be stripped of all power, every pretense crumbled away until all that was left was animalistic fear. That’s exactly what it was; a prey response. She’d wandered through the woods long enough to see it in every facet of Earth life: hawks eating mice, foxes eating rabbits, GE-04 ripping the doors off of people’s cars and mugging them.

The prey this time was a couple with three children in the back seat. It was night, the only time GE-04 dared to wander freely through the countryside. She’d felt a familiar pang in her stomach, saw familiar lights poking through the trees by the road, and promptly stepped right in the car’s path. It had screeched to a halt, she approached, and now she stood on the passenger’s side, glaring through the hole where the car door used to be.

The man continued to beg. “Please, my kids--j-just take whatever you want!”

“Food.” She intoned impatiently. Her eyes rolled down to a bag in one of the children’s hands. Familiar. She reached into the car and jabbed her finger in its direction, much to the shrieks of the children. “Quiet! Give me that.”

“M-my chips?”

GE-04 growled and pointed again, then snatched the offered bag. “Water,” she said.

At that point, the family glanced at each other in equal parts fear and confusion. The woman at the wheel timidly offered, “I h-have...my water bottle…” She gasped when GE-04 grabbed the metal bottle from the cupholder between the driver and passenger’s seats.

“Do you have more?” GE-04 asked, clutching her meal to her chest. “I need more.”

“Oh Christ. Laura, honey, get the bag from the gas station, it’s--okay, this is all we have. Please, p-please--”

GE-04 ripped the bag from the man’s hands and stepped back. “Go.” She didn’t bother to stay and watch the car screech away, now occupied with bringing her spoils back to her hiding spot.

It was an ugly little shed, leaning half against an old oak whose brown leaves kept it always shaded. GE-04 had to dip her head down to get through the creaky door, and was met with the same dusty bookshelf, bed frame and table she’d known for months. She’d organized a few little piles on the table, comprised of various leaves, rocks and food wrappers. They served as the only source of decoration, and she liked to stare at each rock and leaf and trace the veins and cracks of each with her fingers. She was getting better at handling the softness of the world around her, and didn’t crush as many rocks with a casual grip anymore.

She plopped down on the metal bed frame, which squealed in protest. She set the bag of mystery food aside and focused on the chips, which had already been opened. As she ate, she watched the leaves outside the door rustle with the wind, shrouded in comforting darkness. This was her life now, she supposed. Whatever it had intended to become, she would never know.

Yet her mind couldn’t help but wander. She wasn’t human, not like the humans that roamed the forest in their cars. Some humans were small. Tyler called them “children”, but she couldn’t discern their purpose beyond being small, noisy, and staunchly guarded by their “parents”. Well, their parents staunchly guarded them when faced with threats that couldn’t rip every last one of them apart without challenge.

She had yet to kill a human firsthand, but she and the humans knew she was capable. She’d attempted it on her first night of existence, but one human had been armed, the other lucky. The police she was unsure about, as she hadn’t stayed long enough to survey the damage she’d caused. She couldn’t bring herself to care about their fates; they made their choice when they saw what she was.

She prodded around the plastic bag, finished with her chips, and laid its contents out on the bed frame. A pouch of jerky she was sure to devour next, small bags of trail mix, more chips. She was getting tired of snack foods. The forest around her ugly little shack called to her, and beyond it, she could hear the faint cacophony of the city. The sounds themselves didn’t catch her ear, but the minds: whirring, panicking, droning on through their daily human processes. It would be deafening if not for the distance. She wondered if Tyler was out there somewhere, if he felt any more significant for giving someone like her some perception of the world she was forced into. Time had made her bitterness towards him less so. He was a human like the others, and she couldn’t much blame him for his cowardice.

But she wiped her thoughts away--focusing on them made the distant noise worse. She drank the stolen water, ate the stolen jerky, and tried to fall asleep in a shack that was not made for her. Maybe, years ago, it served a purpose to some human. Every nail they hammered into the wood perhaps sated little dreams, one by one, until those dreams were forgotten, the wood left to rot.

She traced a fingertip over a deep crag in the wall near her face. Maybe some human slept in the same spot she now lay. Where did they go? Maybe they would be happy to see her using the shed again. Maybe they wouldn’t panic and turn their minds to painful static, or run away, or shoot at her. She drifted to sleep, wondering after the things she’ll never know.

A home in Royal Park
Three months ago


“Please, honey, think this through! Where would we go?” Scott chased his wife through the halls of their well-styled home while she swung a suitcase wildly between rooms.

“Anywhere but here, Scott! You’ve seen the news lately, this is no place to raise children!”

“I have a stable job, we’re almost through the mortgage, and this neighborhood hasn’t been hit since--”

“--since D-Day, Scott! When goddamn demons came out of goddamn nowhere and killed two people on our block while masked freaks wrecked the city! Now more freaks are--are killing people in the streets!”

“Honey, please, think of Tommy and Maria. Moving states can have such an impact on them! You want them doing drugs or running off like their no-good--”

Hannah whipped around, holding a single finger up to silence Scott. “--no, Scott. We agreed we would never mention them. They’re out of Thomas and Maria’s lives now, do you want to give them another crisis to--oh!” She cut herself off upon seeing Thomas at the doorway to the foyer. She and Scott must have been yelling too loudly to hear the front door open. “H...how are you back from hockey, sweetpea?”

“Liam’s mom drove me home.” Thomas set his hockey bag and ice skates down, eyeing the luggage Hannah was carrying. If he’d heard the details of their argument, he hid his reaction well. “Are we going on a trip for my birthday?”

Hannah chewed on her lip, lost on how to respond. She looked to Scott, who quickly wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Well, we wanted it to be a surprise, but we’re going camping! Just packing for the cabin a little early.” He gave her a sideways squeeze.

“Oooh!” Thomas ran up and hugged Scott, then Hannah when she dropped her suitcase. “Thank you so much! I’ve been reading about the different animals we have in this area. I bet I can print out a checklist and see if we can find them!”

Hannah’s wide eyes quickly softened, for Thomas’ sake. “My little scientist. Just like your father.”

Scott’s hand moved from Hannah’s shoulder to her back, rubbing it in soothing circles. “Well, I like to see myself as more of an environmental engineer. Those scientists are all talk.” He teasingly tousled Thomas’ hair, then loosened his work tie. “Alright, Tommy, you should get started on your homework.” Judging by the look his wife gave him, their argument was far from over.
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by GamerXZ
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GamerXZ

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Lost Haven, Three Months Later...

After that night, the next few months seemed to just fly by so fast that it was actually a bit crazy. If there was one thing Evergreen had learned from that whole experience at the Iron Works was that although there were some truly brave, selfless heroes fighting the good fight...there was also a very heavy crime wave spreading throughout the city of Lost Haven. The powerful and amoral Fey, the corrupt kingpin Cowl, Gene Co...the list went on but it was clear who was making the good people suffer for their own selfish goals.

Needless to say, Gaia's Champion, and the Spirit herself, had their work cut out for them. Not only that, but it had become clear that not all the supposed "heroes" were the most...upstanding individuals, which only complicated matters even further.

Of course, there was a silver lining to all this. The pair's Herb and Medicine shop served as an excellent cover for them, despite the nagging feeling that said cover should've been blown ages ago due to the obvious connection to their superhero identity, and provided a steady source of income. It helped too that they hardly ever had to worry about being short on supplies since they could just grow their own. Also, there was no shortage of people with ailments that needed treating. Be it anything from insomnia, to skin diseases, even certain types of cancer, there was usually a treatment for it.

The success of their business was all the proof needed that there was more to being a hero than just going out and putting folks in the hospital. As such, they also started up a routine of going around to drop off large baskets of fruits, veggies, and what not, to the various homeless shelters around town. It wasn't much but it was something at the very least that showed the plant-manipulating hero hadn't forgotten them. In fact, why don't we check in on our hero right now?

Evergreen crept through the alleyways, wrapped from head to toe in a green leaf-like cloak as he approached the back door to one of the homeless shelters on one of his routine food runs. He set the massive basket down on the step, took a look around to make sure no one had seen anything, then knocked on the door several times in a row before stretching his arm out to grab the edge of a nearby roof and swing himself up towards it, chuckling all the while.

The door opened as one of the ladies in charge poked her head out, looking about curiously, "Hello? Is somebody there?" Glancing downwards, she gasped at the basket and all the ripe, fresh fruits and veggies. Attached to the pile was a bunch of roots in the shape of letters.

They spelled out two simple words: "From Evergreen."

The woman sighed yet smiled in gratitude as she scooped up the basket and looked around before calling out, "You know, not that we aren't grateful but this is your third delivery this week alone! We're still eating out of the ones you brought! Maybe ease up on these baskets for a while? Thank you!" With that, she closed the door, and Evergreen only chuckled from his hiding spot.

Suddenly, the sound of someone clearing their throat could be heard behind him, "Ahem?" Turning his head back, he spotted his partner Gaia there, floating before him, head tilted to the side with her tiny arms folded and looking rather impatient,"Jaden, as much as I know you love playing the good samaritan, shouldn't you be like getting the store open for business by now?"

Evergreen's entire face went pale white for a moment...before they turned and booked it. Gaia couldn't help but sigh and shake her head, "That's what I thought..." With that, she flew off after him.

Evergreen's entire genetic makeup was nothing like a human's. Their transformation had given them a body that was not bound by the normal laws of physics and was capable of altering itself in some truly astounding ways. One example could be seen right now as our hero altered the density of his body to make himself incredibly light and with a running start, he jumped and found himself soaring across the rooftops and streets, the people below appearing as little more than ants scuttling and going about their business.

Feeling themselves starting to float downwards, Evergreen landed on the roof of a particularly tall building and walked to the edge, putting a foot on it as they gazed downwards, their mind starting to wander, "...You know, when I was younger, I was always terrified of heights," He didn't need to turn to know that his partner was there, listening. "There was just something about that image of being so far above someone or something, without anyone there to support me, that made me feel all nauseous and stuff inside. I can remember being laughed at by the other kids when I refused to dive off the high diving board at the swimming pool..."

"Jaden?" Gaia floated over closer to him. Her partner wasn't someone who showed much angst about his problems but it was evident to those with a keen eye when something was bothering him.

"And now look," He gestured down to the street below them, "I could let myself drop off the edge of this, hit the ground with enough force to create a crater, and I could walk away without having felt a thing..." The plant warrior lifted his head, "To be able to feel fear is to be human...but overcoming fear is also part of being human...I...I want to keep believing that I'm human but..." He stared at one of his hands as it changed between different forms. A claw, a blade, a hammer, and then back to a clenched fist.

"When you have the power to bring civilization to its knees...I don't know, I guess that complicates things..." He turned his head to Gaia, "What do you think, Gaia? Do you ever...feel a bit disconnected from things?"

The pixie-like creature sighed as she took a place on his shoulder, "Jaden, you knows I'm not that good at understanding how humans work. Heck, I've known you for almost a year now and still I find things about your kind, and you by extension, that baffle me to no end..."

At seeing the somber look on his face, she figured she could at least make a token effort to try and comfort him, "But...I think I understand...when you see everything you devoted your life to vanishing before your eyes and there's nothing you can do about it except hope those responsible come to their senses on their own...it's kinda hard to care about many things."

She put a paw on his shoulder, "But...you're different. You're using what you been given to try and make a difference. That's what matters...that you TRY," The pixie looked out at the city before them, "Not sure if it'll actually mean anything in the long run...but doing something is better than nothing at all. Besides, the fact you're willing to ask yourself questions like that...I think that shows you're more "human" than you give yourself credit for."

"Gaia..." Her words touched his heart and made him smile. He snickered and pat her head, "You know...for someone who tries to put up a cold exterior, you're a real softy underneath..." With that, he took off.

Gaia did her best not to look embarrassed, "O-Oi! Don't go getting all mushy on me!" She flew after him.

Evergreen landed in an alleyway not far from his store and got to work on changing back. His form distorted and twisted, as if someone were molding clay, before compacting into a humanoid form. Clothing also formed on the creature as color started to filter in, giving the entity an appearance that resembled his original self down to the letter. His HUMAN self. The one he had before his transformation. Evergreen was Jaden once more.

He walked out of the alley, hands in his pockets, as he stopped and looked at himself in the window's reflection. "Hey there, old me..." He managed a small smile as he looked up at the store. It wasn't anything fancy. A billboard up top that was made up of splashes of brown and green with the words "Maxwell's Herbs And Medicine". The building was box-like, rectangular, made up of red concrete and brick with a small garden out front.

The young man bent down to inspect the flowers. There were daisies, sunflowers, and a number of others that actually gave the exterior of the building a little bit of flare. "Hey guys. Miss me?" In response, the flowers actually swayed about with no help from the wind. He chuckled, "Now, now. I was only gone an hour or two. Listen, I gotta get the shop open but I'll be out to water you later, I promise," He held out his hand, "Now, can I have my key please?"

One of the roses reached into the earth with its roots and brought up a small gold key which he took, "Thanks. Knew I could count on you." He went to unlock the door in time for Gaia to drift down behind him, "Ladies first." She rolled her eyes but went on in. Jaden walked in with her and flicked on the lights

Once inside, it was like entering an entirely different world. The ceiling was a soft shade of blue and the walls were a light green with vines and roots creeping
up the edges. Lamps hung from the ceiling and shone their light down on the tile floor and the rows of neatly organized aisles and shelvings which held all manner of herbs and bottles of medicine, tailored to treating all manner of ailments that affected humanity.

Jaden clapped his hands together, "Alright then! Let's have ourselves another good, productive d-" He was cut off by the sound of a phone ringing, "Huh?" He headed for the counter where the phone was ringing. He groaned as he saw whom the Called ID belonged to, "Ah geez..." He picked up the receiver, "Hello?"

"JADEN MAXWELL! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!" He winced and pulled the receiver away from his ear as the shrill voice of his Aunt reverberated through out the store. Gaia chuckled mockingly behind him, causing Jaden to glare, and her to quickly shut up. "I been trying to call you all week! Where were you?!"

Jaden had to resist the urge to sigh. He loved his Aunt to pieces but she could be such a worrywart at times, "Aunt Laura, I'm really sorry I haven't been calling you. It's just...work's kept me real busy lately, ok?"

"That is not an excuse, young man!" It was obvious Laura wasn't in the mood, "I don't care what kind of work you're up to! I am your Aunt, and you need to remember to take time out of your day and call your Uncle and I! I know you're a busy man but taking five minutes to say Hi is not a lot to ask! Do you understand me?!"

The young man massaged his temples, realizing he hadn't exactly been faithful lately to keeping in touch with his folks, "...You're right. I'm sorry I made you worry. I...I'll try to keep in touch with you guys more often," Before she could start again, he continued, "I know you want me to promise but...I can't. You two of all people know how busy my work can make me....of what it asks of me at times. It's so much to wrap my head around..."

His Aunt was quiet for a second. When she next spoke, it was after letting out a sigh, "I...I know, Jaden. Believe me, we both do. I'm sorry too about yelling like that. It's just...you're all we got left. There's not a day that goes by we don't think about you. Off in the wider world, trying to help people...I know you're gonna turn 20 in another month or two but...you're so young, taking on all that responsibility..."

"Hey...Aunt Laura..." He spoke to her comfortingly, "I'm going to be fine. I...I like to think I know what I'm doing out here. There's problems here, for sure...but I'm helping people. I'm making a difference," He was trying to cheer her up, "Besides, I've made some good friends here. They've really helped me out. I think this can work, I really do."

Another voice could be heard on the other end, likely his Uncle trying to comfort her, before Laura spoke again, "Alright...but remember to call us as often as you can, got that? Or even drop us a message on Facebook. Also, if it gets to be too much to handle at any point...well...we're right here waiting for you, got that?"

Jaden smiled warmly and he could feel his eye getting a bit watery, "I know...thanks Aunt Laura. Tell Uncle Adrian I'll talk to you guys soon. I promise."

"I will...and Jaden?" All was silent as he waited for what his aunt had to say, "We love you...and we're so proud of you. I'm sure wherever your parents are...they're just as happy for you. Take care now, ok?"

"...Thanks, Aunt Laura. I will, and I'll talk to you soon. See ya." With that, he hung up and collapsed back into his armchair with a sigh. After taking a few moments to compose himself, he heard the door open and the bell rattling. He stretched his arms above his head, "Well then...time to get to work, I suppose."

And so, another day had begun for the young man and his pixie friend...
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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Dedonus
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Dedonus Kai su teknon;

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Christopher Arthur III

At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a new exhibition was displaying some new (and some old) ancient artifacts that recent archaeological digs had recently discovered. Of course, these undertaking had some significant funding by the generosity of Christopher Arthur and his Knights Corp company. It Although the exhibit contained artifacts from around the world, the majority of showcased the cultures of the Mediterranean.

Chris circled through the exhibit area as he gauged the responses of the museum patrons. Most visitors seemed to be at least entertained by the new display of cultural artifacts. However, while moving about the crowd, he thought he saw someone in the crowd that he believed should not have been there. There was a red-haired woman standing in front of an Egyptian statue. A few months ago, Chris had started a casual relationship with a woman named Angela, otherwise known by her handle Archangel. However, after the Pax Metahumana crisis, Chris discovered that this Archangel was actually just an android. Something had destroyed all of her equipment, along with her own machine self. But at this very moment, Chris was looking at a woman who, at least from a distance, resembled this woman, if you could call her that.

Therefore, Chris started to approach the woman. He kept telling himself that this was impossible, since Archangel was destroyed, as confirmed by S.T.R.I.K.E. But he wondered why he had this uncanny feeling about this woman.

“Excuse me…” Chris began to say. The woman, once she heard him, turned to face him. When he saw her face, Chris knew that this was not Archangel. Even though she had a radiant head of red hair, this woman also possessed golden-brown eyes. Around her neck, she wore a necklace that had a ruby-colored gem attached to it. This was one of those moments when you thought you saw someone you knew but when you got close to them, you instantly realized that you were quite mistake.

“Pardon me. For a second I thought you were someone I knew.” Chris admitted as he was about to turn away to make the situation less awkward. However, the redhead spoke up before he could walk away.

“Don’t worry about it.” The woman gave Chris a smile. “I’m Maya, by the way. Maya Hoffman.”

“Well, then. If we’re introducing ourselves, I’m.” Chris, however, was not given a chance to finish his sentence, as Maya did it for him.

“You’re Christopher Arthur. Playboy billionaire and philanthropist. Your reputation precedes you.”

“I hope that’s a good reputation you heard about.”

“Well, that just depends on whom your talking to.” Maya gave Chris a coy smile. Then she turned back towards the statue that stood before them. “Egyptian art has always given me a nostalgic reminder of home.”

“I don’t want to sound like as racist or something.” Chris tried to a foot in his mouth as he talked, “But you don’t quite look like someone from that region of the world.

“My mom’s from Libya, although she later moved to Egypt. My dad was an American archaeologist whose specialty was Egyptology. I never really saw him much because he was always busy with his work, but one thing I do remember is that he was dead scared of snakes. He definitely picked the wrong profession and region for that phobia.”

“Well, popular culture has not been too kind to our scaly friends. There’s the Bible, and Harry Potter, and Snakes on a Plane.”

“Snakes are not entirely bad. Like any wild animal, you just need to respect their space.”

From behind them, Minerva approached them, no doubt intending to remind Chris of some meeting or another that he would had otherwise missed. However, before she could say a word, the tablet that she held in her hands set off an alarm that was designed to warn her about the presence of a metahuman or anyone of unnatural origins. The ringing resounded through the exhibit area, drawing the attention of the other patrons. Although Minerva was quick enough to silence this alarm, the attention it created left Maya flushed in the face with embarrassment.

“Anything wrong?” Chris asked, knowing what that alarm meant.

“Just a false alarm. Nothing to worry about, except for that meeting with the board that is set to begin in ten minutes.” Minerva brushed off Chris’ concern as his assistant examined her tablet.

“Well then, I best be on my way. Due to my rude departure, will you please give my contact information to Mia here.”

“Maya.” She corrected Chris.

“Names are definitely not my strong suit, although being one vowel sound off is pretty good for me. I hope to see you later, Maya.”

After he gave a friendly wave goodbye, Chris then hurried out of the museum so that he would be at his meeting on time, leaving Minerva and Maya standing there in front of that Egyptian statue. Minerva gave the redhead a glare before handing over the contact information that Chris had requested. Before Minerva walked away, she only uttered a single sentence.

“I know what you are.”
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by LeeRoy
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LeeRoy LeeRoy Brightmane

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Might, The Mightiest of the Mighty.


It had been a few months since he'd been out of the hospital, he'd gotten his bill and was now a few thousand in debt. Healing a bit better than normal humans is nice, but medical treatment for those wounds still costs money. Regardless of how well they heal, and that was the big problem that he was dealing with. On top of that, he'd managed once again to fail to make any real difference in the grand scheme of things. The mutation bomb issue had been resolved by other heroes who were more efficient at dealing with it than he was, and he had only saved one guy's life.

Not saying that's a bad thing, at all, making a difference to one person is more than enough to be a hero. But looking like he does, acting like he does, and having the powers that he does. There was really only two options left in life for him. Become a hero, or become a sideshow freak. One of those was definitely not at all worth the humiliation, and the other was proving to be a hassle. If he could find other heroes, maybe grow some connections between himself and them, maybe he'd be able to be on the scene to help deal with issues.

Where were the heroes though?

Well, not owning a computer himself, Arthur decided that the city library would be the perfect location for him to start.

He found himself in the public library of an, admittedly, nicer area than he was living. After a little bit of research he was more than confident that he'd find a bit of work to do in Lost Haven. High volumes of organized crime was not something he would normally be happy about, but in this particular case he might be able to do more good. Maybe put a stop to a criminal organization or world invading alien fleet, or something along those lines.

He stood and walked towards the librarian desk clerk and handed her his library card, asking a couple questions. "How many pages am I allowed to print? Also, how long does it take to print?" She gave him a few curt answers, seeming to not wish to make direct eye contact with him. For a moment he had forgotten the strangeness of his appearance and had simply walked up to a woman who was wholly unprepared for otherworldly perfection.

It was probably more awkward for her than it was for him, he no longer objectified himself. He had been married, he had a wife and child. Though they thought him dead, and wouldn't believe him if he told them it was him.

After the awkward discourse, a few minutes to print out a map of Lost Haven, and a couple pages to practice his psuedo-ye-Olde talk, Might was ready to go.

Another hour or so later and he was home, packing a dufflebag with fresh clothes to last a few weeks and a train ticket from Manhattan to Maine.

It would take a while, but Might would be in Maine within the week.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by DearTrickster
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DearTrickster BINGO!

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banner credit to Hellis

---

Time: Summer - 3 Days Prior to the trip to New York City
Location: Paris, France


I don’t care if that is your prerogative, Captain. Continue the search or heaven forbid I ask Princess Lassantra to join your search parties.” The Ambassador spoke Common Fey, her impatience being made rather clear to Captain Esen, leader of her air sprite spies.

The form of Captain Esen was gray and rather transparent, his bright white eyes stared through the sigil projection. He had reported again coming up empty handed. He sent swathes of air sprites under his command to search Lost Haven top to bottom. The Ambassador was demanding the location of one known as Racheli Lorna Desdemona, the metahuman had all but disappeared when she had escaped The Ambassador months before.

Captain Esen felt the metahuman brought about a personal motivation for The Ambassador. Try as she might to claim that it is simply recovering loss of property. He wouldn’t dare voice his opinion to The Ambassador, she would force something much worse than Princess Lassantra upon him if he had.

Instead he replied, “Yes, My Lady. I will redouble our efforts. The likes of Racheli will not elude us forever. What of the others you encountered?

The Ambassador held back a biting remark. “I expect a new report within a few days of Racheli. Keep an eye on Gaia’s Champion, well out of sight please. She may as well have eyes in the back of her head. Show extreme caution for the witch as well, that was attached to… what was his name?

Esen supplied, “Joseph Mathers.

Thank you. That is all, Captain.

Captain Esen bowed deeply, the sigil dissolving at his leave.

Within the exceedingly posh Parisian apartment, natural daylight and refreshing aromas of blooming summer flowers flooded through the balcony doors. Tourism was in full swing for the city, the streets were packed with local traffic, tourist buses and cyclists. The Fey roaming the streets were in high spirit. The influx of vulnerable human tourists made for easy deal making, stealing valuables, and eating light or life force. It also gave the more harmless Fey a chance to prank someone new. It was a self sustaining chaos, while that would have The Ambassador content any other year. She paced in her barefeet.

Her light blue hair bobby pinned into a stylish updo. While she wore a pale peach sleeveless dress, a brown bow tied ribbon around her waist.

Bach and Vienna respectively were nowhere in sight. The pair of them had taken to avoiding Odette when Captain Esen had come to report. His reports as of late leaving her unpleasant to be around.

The text tone rang uniquely for Kendra pulling her attention to more mundane matters. Balancing her extraordinary life with her ordinary. Kendra was reminding her of their ballet company taking a trip to New York City in just a few short days. Agonizingly, Kendra begged Odette to ride in coach with her. A flight that was promising to be the worst time imaginable. She could easily afford to upgrade Kendra and herself to First Class, but her best friend simply insisted. Who was Odette to deny her whims?

Bach! We need to speak, now.” Odette switched to French and called for Bach not unkindly.

Bach, a tall Earth Elf begrudgingly poked his leafy head out of their library down the hallway following a path of polished hardwood floors, “Yes, My Lady?

Please inform our contacts in New York we will not be in the city on business. I do not wish to be disturbed on my trip. I am there for ballet and ballet only. I need to focus.

That is not a problem. Our contacts are minimal.” Bach replied stepping fully out from the library. His yellowish eyes settled on his human pact partner. “Give it time and be patient, My Lady.

It is as the Captain said.” Bach had shamelessly eavesdropped. “They cannot hide forever.

---


Time: Present
Location: Lincoln Center, New York City


The spring had been spent primarily in Paris. Odette worked tirelessly focusing on her performances, rehearsal and classes. Her days were filled with dizzying amounts of work not allowing herself to think of her failure during the kidnapping. She walked away arguably the one on top. She had earned a considerable amount of money from the job, learned of a deliriously good memory from the elusive Shroud Syndicate’s leader. Gained a competent, yet unlikely ally in the metahuman named Silence. He had allowed her to mark his soul, something she had planned to make use when the time came. She killed a witch.

And yet…

Racheli still got away in spite of her efforts. While it earned Odette a roof caved in ontop of her head. A few of the iron burns still lightly visible across her body.

Up on stage she danced away her worry allowing her mind to fill of her art. Rigidly she performed en pointe in shoes supplied by their hosts. Sweat beaded across her brow while she schooled her face to neutrality. In her ballet leotards the corps de ballet dancers watching her perform could clearly see the detailed tree tattoo on her back.

Floating seamlessly in a circle she finished the circle with a pirouette fluttering her arms across her body. She gently bent folding her legs beneath her bringing her short dance to an end. Soft approving claps from the american dancers while the principal dancer of the parisian company, Vincent Durand, called out his note to Odette. “Beautiful technique as always, Odette. Your face neutral but your body says otherwise. Try to conceal the apparent rage next time. If I can see it it means the audience will as well.”

A wave of whispers passed through the men and women some in agreement others disagreeing.

Odette smiled tightly her blue eyes icy. Graciously she nodded speaking fluently in English, “Thank you for the note Vincent.

Vincent turned to the american dancers explaining the technique while Odette exited the stage rejoining Kendra in the small group of soloists. Chewing the inside of her cheek, her eyes narrowed without truly meaning to her mind wandered back to memories still fresh as the day they occurred.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by MelonHead
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MelonHead The Fighting Fruit

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(Thanks to NMS for the banner!)
X23

The scorched plain was marked with an amber hue that gave the view before him a visage of hovering on the cusp of perpetual sunset. Long grass-like flora swayed in the breeze, their stems marked with lilac rings that caught the light in such a way as to make it seem as if the flowers had not succumbed to the lengthy drought. Yet they had, only the hardy straw-like plants survived beneath that amber sky, fed by the light of a dying star, a star which was hell bent on taking the planet and all life upon it with it into darkness.

But not before briefly housing an abomination in every sense of the word. Sakakt it was named, the thing which eats in the old tongue. The last of its kind, by his reckoning, but it had to end here. If left alone Sakakt showed a resilience and an ability to procreate in even the most unsuitable of locations, like it had found itself on this dry, gasping planet. That was why he had come, or been sent some might say. There was a creature on this planet that posed an unnatural and extra-terrestrial threat to what meagre life remained here, and if by some chance it or any of its spawn found itself transported to a livelier planet? Well, it would wipe out all that life, replacing it with its own malformed progeny. It was in destroying the last great infestation that his predecessor had lost her life, and vacated the position of Hunter. Now he adopted the mantle Hunter, and he had a Sakakt to hunt.

The Hunter abandoned the precipice on which he surveyed the vast emptiness around him. It had only taken him a few moments to spot what he was looking for, and spending any additional time to take in the breath-taking beauty of the view would have been a dereliction of duty. Below him, and perhaps half a mile north east, there was a small (from that distance) furrow in the grass. The lilac coloured tips had not waved in the breeze, but been crushed to the ground by something of size and weight. It could only be one thing that made that indent, a creature much larger than any that naturally made their home here on X23, the humble designation of a planet which had been the birthplace of a great empire almost a million years before.

The metallic carapace which surrounded him reacted to his movements, and with a burst of speed he first ran and then leapt, carrying himself high into the open air. It took him just four short seconds to fall to the ground below, hydraulics compensating with a tell-tale sound that immediately followed the steely thump of metal coming to a sudden stop. His helmeted head shot up and the HUD displayed information, most of it useless, which he chose to disregard as he once again pushed off the ground in that forceful fashion which saw him hit ridiculous speeds in only a few strides. It was these speeds, mastered by the technology of the Galactic Republic, which would carry the armoured Hunter towards his quarry.

He slowed at six hundred meters, stopped at five hundred, his bulky form none-the-less finding cover within the waving grasses as he began to stalk closer to the place where the creature lay. Briefly he engaged his interface and suddenly the dark blue and black figure he made blurred into its surroundings. He had activated some form of optical camouflage, for what good it would do. The creature he sought used other senses more prominently than its eyes, hopefully his armour would serve in fooling the rest. Beneath his armour, the grey face of Hunter had creased into something akin to a stern frown, his large eyes were fixed firmly forward and he engaged his own senses as best he could. Hearing, especially, amplified by the suit to pick up even the slightest of disturbances. Unfortunately the rushing of the wind seemed adverse to his purpose, blanketing out the quieter sounds he expected to hear should the Sakakt become aware of his presence.

Slowly, ever so slowly, he reached for the weapon holstered by magnetic locks on his back. It was a bulky looking thing, a rectangular object with handles that made it not look that dissimilar from a cumbersome rifle. Unfortunately as it left its place on its back it became far more visible, its own camouflage technology insufficient to conceal it when not contained on the mag-holster. It was an unfortunate consequence of carrying more powerful ordinance on mission. Still, Hunter was glad of it, clutched between his two gauntleted hands. It fired ballistic ammunition and explosive ordinance, and lots of it. An electric weapon, it could put exactly six hundred rounds down-range within two seconds if the user so desired, and he did. No matter that the magazine would be expended in that exact same time frame, and that he only carried two spares. Saturation of fire was key in bringing down a Sakakt, for reasons that would soon become apparent.

First though he had to reach it without alerting it to his presence. Hunter crept ever forward, his senses burning with a slight unease. It was not like him to second guess himself, but he found himself wondering if a creature as cunning as the Sakakt could have made such a basic mistake in attempting to hide itself. Of course, it was not necessarily aware of the advantages he had in spotting the indent it had created, but even a primitive could have identified its location if it happened upon the area it lay. Hunter was about as far from a primitive as one could stray, while still resorting to slaughter in order to resolve problems. So why was he so uneasy? It was simple, the Sakakt was capable of a low cunning, and it might very well be employing it. As was often the case with this iteration of Hunter, his almost supernatural intuition was dead on the money. Perhaps it was why he was the longest serving in almost nine Earth decades.

The wind dropped, and in that moment the sound of a careful, yet deliberate, footfall rang in his ears. The grass had been crushed underfoot by a great weight, and it was close, oh so close. He span, standing suddenly, abandoning stealth in favour of being able to hit his target, his camoflague melting away due to the quickness of the movement. It seemed as if he grew out of the undergrowth, rifle in hand, swinging around to meet that sound. The creature knew the game was up, it leapt, its gruesome form suddenly meeting the light of day. Bowed back sprouting tendril like appendages that whipped back and forth, sickly green flesh marked by decay, its hound-like face wrought back in a vicious snarl. Two of its six legs were outstretched, reaching for him, claws ready to tear him asunder. He fired, rounds saturating the air. Hundreds in milliseconds, so much fire, plunging into tough hide, tearing apart those lashing tentacles, brutalising the creature’s exposed chest. It fell upon him, and their collision was catastrophic. They tumbled and flew through the air, his weapon lost in the chaos, bouncing across the ground and back up for a good fifty yards. There was a neat furrow in the wavy grass marking their journey. Hunter struggled, claws were cutting into his armour, tendrils wrapping around his arms and legs, he launched blow after blow into the creature’s rib cage as they tumbled together.

Then, they stopped. Their momentum was spent but their fight was far from over. With a herculean effort, aided more than a little by the alien material grafted into his suit, Hunter kicked the creature off him and crawled backwards. He had a moment to take stock as it licked its wounds, and it had many. While the external shell of his armour was a ruin he had escaped unscathed. The Sakakt had not been so fortunate. His initial barrage had cut it open badly as it bled dark blood into the soil, to be greedily absorbed by the starved flora. It was not done though. Both of them knew that they had reached an impasse of sorts, only one would survive this encounter. Hunter drew his pistol as the thing sped toward him, zig zagging through grass which partially obscured its grotesque form. He fired twice to either side of the creature, firing metallic projectiles that stuck into the earth. Before it was upon him he unloaded the clip, firing every mag-round he had into its hide, activating the attraction. The magnetic projectiles clung to one another, threatening to yank the creature off its feet. It pushed on, growling and shrieking in pain.

“Ssaalor.”

Enough.

Hunter charged, glistening baton in hand, its edge alight with burning heat. There was no restriction on it, it burned as hotly as it could, so hot that it would not last. The candle that burns twice as hot burns half as long, but half would be enough.

Hunter set upon it. There was no clean piercing blow to its heart, he hacked it with reckless abandon. First its eye, then its leg, its tendrils, its back, its organs, its chest, its maw, its tongue. Blood and burned flesh spread across the field as it screamed and screeched, his dark blue armour grew saturated with black blood. Then, finally, there was a finishing blow. The Sakakt had been killed by Hunter.

“Shalas ossa sill saorplaas.”

This hunt is complete.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Fallenreaper
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Fallenreaper ღ~Lil' Emotional Cocktail~ღ

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Location: NYC, Grand Tier Restaurant
Time of Day: Evening (Some time before 6 pm)




The Grand Tier Restaurant.

A crowning and elegant jewel within New York City, located within the Metropolitan Opera House. The place was filled with activity while guests mingled and cheerfully put on airs to hide their dirty seasonal dealings, their figures casted in an almost halo like lighting made to create a warm and fanciful scene about them. The red carpet drifted across the whole of the room, covered by numerous place setting filled tables, until it reached the pure cream walls with dark mahogany trim. The main feature was no doubt the winding and overlapping staircase at the very center, leading from the entrance to the room hosting the event. It seemed to hold little distinction from any other black tie charity dinner.

This place was where the rich and popular came to coalesce within a single atmosphere. However, not everyone wanted to be there. Benjamin Reeves, the New York District Attorney’s son, would rather have his teeth pulled out one by one than be within a mile of the place. Unfortunately, thanks to his step-mother’s meddling, Daniel had made it very clear it wasn’t Benjamin’s choice. It was a bitter situation he was currently in now.

In a sour mood, Benjamin stood to the side of his assigned table. Casually his eyes skirted the rich theme meant to impress and show none of particular interest to begin a conversation with. Not that he expected most parents to take their teenage sons to such dull events, unlike his own. His thumb and forefinger twirled the wine glass stem in boredom then casually took a sip. The water felt refreshing against his parched throat but he had hoped for win, his mind needing something to make the situation he was within better.

Sadly, he was still underage by New York City law and forbidden anything stronger than non alcoholic drinks outside his own home. His feet started to bounce from the front to the heel, rocking back and forth a little bit. Benjamin listened to the jazz themed ambience of piano playing slowly in the background. It was the only thing he truly liked about this charity dinner as the piano player’s fingers danced along the keys with nearly flawless precision and heart. He gradually closed his eyes for a moment to let the music absorb his attention. The instrument’s notes seemed to glide across his very soul where it pulled and tug the strings, forcing his emotions to feel what the song wanted. Liveliness, calm and positive energy glided through his very core causing a faint smile to flicker to his lips.

It was a grand manipulation and escape to become lost in the music. It was a pity the experience was short lived when the weight of a hand rested upon his shoulder. Benjamin inhaled sharply and his gunsmoke hazel eyes snapped open, his head turned to face the man interrupting his peace. Daniel Reeves. A man who was biologically related but felt more like a stranger than blood to him, his vision picking out the identical traits connecting them on impulse every time.

They both were caucasian males, their hair dark blonde and curly despite them being styled in different ways. From Daniel’s facial features there was too many similarities for Benjamin to name until his attention came to rest upon the man’s eyes, the first difference striking Benjamin immediately. They were still the exact same color, but instead of irritation filling the very core, there was an air of arrogance and warning. The two sensations intertwined along Benjamin’s spine causing his mental hackles to rise and then gradually forced him to smooth them out. It wasn’t an easy task and one he loathed highly each time he was backed into a corner. On the outside, the boy barely flinched or displayed his reaction when he twisted in place. His arm reached back behind him to set his wineglass down upon the red cloth.

Daniel’s hand gently nudged Benjamin, the boy allowing it begrudgingly, toward the man patiently waiting nearby. Like many of Daniel’s associates, the teenage could easily tell the man was wealthy, serious and important enough that pretending to be a happy and perfect family was necessary for a hassle free future. He towering over both himself and Daniel, the boy guessed no taller than six foot five inches at highest. His skin dark and bald head shined from the room’s bright chandeliers which light chased nearly every shadow within the room away. They all had fled to the reflections in the towering glass windows overlooking the New York scene.

Upon nearing the man, he reached out a thick, mit like hand for Benjamin to shake. Immediately Daniel’s hand on his shoulder tightened in warning causing Benjamin to extend his own and quickly jerk a few times in a proper greeting. He retracted his hand shortly back to his side when the man started to speak. His voice was rich and gravelly, like he had pebbles in his throat each time he spoke.

“Hello Benjamin, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Billy Connors and a friend of your father’s,” the man began, his beady eyes seemed to size Benjamin up like a shark did a small fish, “Danny, he looks nearly identically to you I must say. It’s rather easy to see you raised him right.”

“Of course. I take good care of my boy here because he’s all I got.” Daniel lied through his teeth, continuing. “Benjamin, this is Billy Connors. He’s one of Gene Co's board members and a high school friend of mine.”

It took all of Benjamin’s will not to scoff at the word ‘raised’ when he corrected the man’s line of thinking.

“I like to think my mother was owed that pleasure, before she passed. My father,” He nearly choked on the word drawn from his mouth, “was busy ensuring we had a roof over our heads a little bit more.”

He was careful to keep the venom from his voice over being forced to state the blood tie they shared. The boy’s teeth grinded silently across his perfect dental work as Daniel’s fingers tense then released, falling back to the man’s side. The area where Daniel had latched on still crawled from the touch. He hated sensation it left as Benjamin rolled his shoulder, his face scrunched up and pulled a bit away from the man he wished he wasn’t related to. Concern crossed over Connor’s face, his expression a mixture of confusion and worry when he spoke. “Hurt yourself there, Ben?”

Benjamin fliched at the nickname but he didn’t say why. His arm raised to allow him to rub his shoulder joint and continue his bogus claim. Pausing to answer Daniel’s friend’s question, he smiled a falsely to hide his lie. “Yeah. I actually strained something while weight lifting this morning. Will you two excuse me, please?”

“Of course. It was nice meeting you.”

“Thank you.” Benjamin stated, not returning the gesture since he didn’t really feel the same. If anything, the man gave him the shivers and left him itching to get out of there quickly.

His polished leather shoes clipped along the carpet on his way to the restroom, moving past the spiraling stairway and moving bodies passing him by. His discomfort was gradually dissipating the farther he escaped, his figure turning a corner where he halted abruptly. He exhaled a breath of relief while leaning against the wall. It wouldn’t be long before his step-mother would be looking for him, his father having made use of him and could care less now, but she wouldn't be happy until he played the role of loving son to its fullest. At that point, he merely enjoyed the peace he had.

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Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Shard
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Shard 🐱

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New York


The creaking wood beneath Casper’s feet whined under his otherwise light weight, its age starting to show through years of use. Bubbling and contained machinations stretched across the wall, harboring experimental horrors within their watery confines, the tubes revealing ambitions of a crazed man’s desires made flesh. The disappearances had revealed themselves to result in the sight now cursing Casper’s eyes, the jaded expression meeting these creatures with little emotion, but rather a sense of duty. “Raziel.” His voice began, sounding less than phased by the tragedy. “Whaddya’ make of this?” The vampire continued, his focus lingering upon the malformed creatures within the glass containers, floating in their solitude.

Stitched together from various body parts, this was the attempt at a perfect lifeform, one which would borrow from various meta humans. It would state that every disappearance, every person mysteriously vanishing from their daily lives was a registered meta human. Of course, a hate crime was the first assumption but as the investigation continued, such would prove false. Meeting your end at the bottom of a forgotten cellar made laboratory was surely a fate equal to the dark, miserable blackness stretching across the corridor linking the containment area to the cells.

“These people match the data we were given.” The angelic voice responded. “They’re still alive, Casper.”

“If you call this life.” The Hunter returned, a soft frown making its way to his lips, the young man’s attention shifting to the various screens noting information of what lurked within the containers. “C’mon, let’s see what’s inside.” Casper finished as he continued into the darkness a set of stairs down. Flickering bulbs barely holding on were the lone source of light within the cellar, illuminating the tiled walls with what they could muster. From one mission to another, Casper’s involvement in the Paranormal and Meta Human Containment Agency worked towards an effective outcome as his hunt for demons was made easier and much more reliable. In turn, Casper acted as one of the elite agents working for the Agency to quietly and with lethal efficiency either terminating supernatural threats, or containing them. Demons would of course fall into this category.

The descent into what appeared to be a short throw from madness itself grew heavier. Casper’s crimson eyes traced the walls, seeing how blood smeared the cold tiles in a stream towards the deeper rooms. Cells had been torn open, malformed abominations donning the floor as if a morbid blanket. “A battle has taken place here.” Raziel noted, words brimming with truth.

“And there’s our guy.” Casper returned, kneeling down to turn one of the bodies over to its back. Doctor Sokolov, a man well known within the underground as a scientist and biologist. “Looks like his experiments went apeshit.” The vampire continued, ascending to his feet as he looked about, scanning the area for what he had come to obtain.

“On the desk.” Raziel informed, shifting Casper’s attention to the varies documents spread out across the wooden surface. It would appear that despite the massacre which had taken place, the desk had survived. Given the shattered furniture within the dungeon, it was clear that this was a desperate fight. The subjects had broken free and attacked whatever appeared in their field of vision. Their minds had been long since destroyed.

It had been stated that Sokolov was a paranoid man. He kept all of his research in physical form, documents, as to not get hacked. He was the only one with access to his work, and it could not be found in any digital form. While beneficial, in the end it didn’t seem to have helped him much. Gathering the various pages strewn about, Casper brought a finger to his ear. Unlike his last assignment, the vampire was dressed in a more professional attire this time around, along with a means of contact with HQ. “Got the package, gonna’ send a squad here to clean up? Looks like shit.”

“A squad will be dispatched by air. A helicopter will arrive shortly for extraction. Another mission awaits you, Casper.” A female voice returned. Samantha, Casper’s liaison back at base, the woman keeping him and Raziel updated in the face of assignments and missions throughout their progress. Complimenting her on the woman’s job would be an understatement as she had made a name for herself within the agency. A few years prior, Samantha retired from the field but was said to have been one of the best field agents available. It was a surprise to everyone to know how her magic behind a computer screen outshone her already impressive skills in combat.

“Ya’ can brief me.” The Hunter responded, stepping out of the old, decrepit forest cabin.

“You like puppies, I hear.” A soft chuckle echoed through his earpiece.

“Am I babysittin’, Sammy?” The words were nearly venomous, but luckily, the assignment was a far throw from what he originally thought.

“A werewolf has been very naughty. We need you to find that age old rivalry within your vampiric heart and hunt him down.” Despite being a tech savvy now, Samantha was quite blood thirsty. That would never leave her.

“Fun times. I’ve got it sorted.” The transmission ended. A few minutes would proceed to pass before Casper’s extraction arrived at his destination. Handing the documents to the agent on the helicopter, the vampire would be transported to his new assignment without pause. Such was the luxury of a civil service job but Casper knew what he had signed up for. Indeed, a lazy bum when he wasn’t working, Casper was known to put the job first while on the field. Seeing how the city was starting to stretch out before him, an additional number of minutes passed before New York City stood tall and mighty beneath the helicopter.

“We’ll keep you updated!” The agent spoke through the window as they opened the helicopter hatch. Along the ride, Casper had been informed of who he was hunting and why. A rogue wolf who had turned to the more savage side of his nature. This needed to be taken care of before others were involved and before it became a public issue. It needed to be resolved tonight. Taking a step forward, the vampire leaped out of the helicopter, a feat which would have led to the inevitable death of any normal individual. With an impressive amount of vampiric grace, Casper stabilized himself midair, twirling his body around before finally landing atop the roof of The Grand Tier Restaurant.

His target was in this area, now all he needed to do was wait. Leyla had a close eye on the wolf in question, and he was heading Casper’s way. All the vampire needed was a go from HQ before he could proceed with the mission, something he didn’t need to wait long before. This wolf was in a hurry. “Right below you, Casper.” Leyla spoke, highlighting the man now passing by the restaurant. “Take him out cleanly.”

“Raziel.” Casper spoke, the sword appearing in his hand before he leaped down the rooftop, an aerial execution maneuver. Given a werewolf’s acute senses however, Casper’s rapid approach was spotted, leaving a wound on the target’s back, but nothing which lead to neutralizing the target. With a load groan, the wolf picked up his pace and charged in the opposite direction, attempting to outrun the vampire. “Y’all just love makin’ shit difficult…” A heavy sigh escaped the vampire’s lips before he gave chase.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Dedonus
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Dedonus Kai su teknon;

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Aubrey Adkins
Pacific Point, California
April (2 Months Before IC Starts)


Although there is nothing mature described in this post, I have placed my post in a Google Doc just in case. A summary is listed below:

Before her centerfold photoshoot, Aubrey received the "Penelope" treatment from Athena (see Odyssey xviii.188). Athena also reported that she has not yet discovered who has signed Aubrey up for this "job". Aubrey also worried about what her parents would think of her since she has not told them what she was doing in Pacific Point (she just mentioned a job interview). Once her job was finished and after she was dropped off at the airport, Aubrey broke down into tears in the airport restroom, concerned about what she has been forced into doing.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by AWACS
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The Gang's All Here

Carmen - "Phoenix" | Hakeem - "Magnum" | Kevante - "Boss" | Sukaina - "Lightning" | Victor - "Tempo" | Liana - "Apex" | Laurent - "Drake" | Constance - "Jarhead"
Hudson Tactical Office - Hudson Valley, Upstate New York
One month prior to current events



Things were just starting to settle down after a while. Out in the beautiful valley known only as Hudson Valley, quite a few miles north of New York City, resided a modern office building, situated in the forests near the Hudson River. The building itself was large and modern, using the forest itself as cover and the architectural design to survive all kinds of stuff. A large parking lot and an underground garage had quite a few vehicles there, and at the front of the building had a massive sign that had the logo of Hudson Tactical, the owner of this large plot of land. It was quiet, and while there were quite a few vehicles that were parked there, there was barely any movement, except for a squirrel every now and then, and the wind of the trees. It was calm and quiet... away from everything, all in secret. A hidden drive that went through the forest went for at least a mile, that mile being watched with scrutiny from security cameras and sensors mounted on many different trees. The drive led to the parking lot, linking it to the outside world, on a small countryside road that led to the highway which led to New York City.

Coming over the hill on the country road was a black Jeep Cherokee, driven by none other than Carmen Chavana herself. Sitting by her side was Hakeem Ansari, her new partner. Both of them were wearing comfortable leather jackets, the not-so-shiny but very tough kind, concealing their shoulder holsters that held their gear and .45 ACP-chambered handguns. While Hakeem wore jeans, Carmen wore black carpenter pants, as she preferred them to just about anything else. Making a sharp right into the hidden dirt path through the forest, the hardy Cherokee seamlessly and quickly drove into the forest, to disappear from the road behind it.

"Man, it feels so nice to be back... man... feels like forever since I last been here." Carmen said with a refreshed sigh, having her windows rolled down as the Jeep rocked back and forth from the fast bumps in the path. "Man... never knew I was gonna miss this place so much."

"You Americans take your environment for granted." Hakeem said, looking all around. "I've never seen so many trees... places like this are incredibly rare in Syria and Iraq... I don't think Egypt has any."

"Well you better take it all in while you can, we won't be around for long." Carmen said. "We'll be doing a whole lot of our work in the hood."

"Yeah, I saw it... man what a huge place." Hakeem chuckled. "It's amazing."

"You'll get used to it, and you'll start hating it." Carmen chuckled. "Just watch. In a few months, you're gonna owe me fifty bucks."

Hakeem looked to Carmen. "Oh really now? You Americans are incredibly arrogant as well." He said with a joking grin.

"You say that like it's a bad thing." Carmen smirked. "I call it confidence."

"Pfft. Call it whatever you like. I'm not gonna owe you anything."

"We'll see about that." Carmen looked ahead. "Oh, here we are."

The parking lot itself was made out of dirt, and there were quite a few vehicles already parked there. Carmen parked near the entrance before unbuckling her seatbelt and exiting the vehicle. Shutting the door behind her, she walked up to the building, and buzzed herself inside.


Meanwhile, in a large modern boardroom with a massive window in the back, and huge flatscreen TV in the front, Kevante stood at the front of the table, wearing a suit. Sitting at the table was Sukaina, Victor, Liana, Laurent and Constance, all of whom were the original members of Hudson Tactical when it recently started. While Sukaina was typing away at her laptop, everyone else was sitting around the oval table, paying attention to what Kevante had to say. They were all wearing various dark-colored shirts and jackets, some of them with the Hudson Tactical logo on them, others with their codename on them. Either way, it was one hell of a gang.

"I brought you all here to address an important issue." Kevante said, putting his hands together and rubbing them a little. "While are no short in resources of any kind, we're just kind of low on manpower, and as a result, we can't bring in as much contracts as we'd like." Kevante said.

"Yes, that is a problem jefe..." Victor said, his spanish accent revealing itself with his deep voice. "... but how does that concern us?"

"I think it's mainly the fact that all of you have a stake in the company and are de facto CEOs, so you all pretty much have somewhat of a say of how I go about solving this problem." Kevante explained.

"Oh." Victor said, pleasantly surprised. "Okay."

"But yeah, we're low on manpower, and we're going to have to recruit some more skilled individuals who could help us bring in some more contracts, and what I'm gonna need you to do is to refer this company to any trusted associate you have. Whether it would be fellow squadmates from your unit..." Kevante said, gesturing to Constance. "... or trusted members of your gang..." Kevante said as he looked to Victor. "... or even trusted associates that have done contracts with you." Kevante said, eyeing Liana. "Either way, the work here we do is dirty, but we're doing the dirty work for the good guys. So while I do want tough motherfuckers that know how to shoot straight, I wanna make sure that they aren't hellbent on raping or murdering innocent folks or shooting those that we are doing our contracts for. Do I make myself clear?"

Everyone nodded slowly.

"Now, I have another thing I'd like to address. Carmen is on her way here, and she should be here any min-"

The door slammed open, Carmen making a loud entrance into the boardroom. She walked in with Hakeem at her side, and after both of them stood there with hands on their hips, Carmen looked to everyone.

"I'm back, fucknuggets~! Didja miss me?" Carmen called out happily.

Kevante stood there, stunned for a second before continuing. "Oh, uh... Constance, Laurent, this is Carmen, the founder of this group. Both her and I share equal power in this thing so you are to follow all of her orders as if they were mine. Understood?"

Both Laurent and Constance nodded slowly.

Carmen smiled to the both of them. "Hey guys, welcome to the team, it's really nice to have you here, and I really mean it. I already went over both of your personnel records, and I am really happy to have you both with us on the team." Carmen nodded to them, "I'll talk with you guys later, but for now I got some important shit to discuss." She then turned to everyone else. "Everyone, this is my new partner Hakeem. This guy has the ability to create telekinetic bursts and shit. We won't test it in here as he might break something incredibly expensive if he did, but his power is awesome and we fucked up a shit ton of terrorists by working together." Carmen explained. "And now that I'm back, we're gonna be busting ass for like the next few weeks, and we're gonna be forking in a shit ton of cash." She said. "I'll discuss operations with you all later... and..." She looked to Kevante. "What were you talking about before I barged in?"

"We were talking about how we should go about recruiting more people into Hudson Tactical."

"Oh yeah, right." She turned to the others. "Yeah, we really, really need to bring in some more operatives for this, and I can't stress this enough. Now that we can do the shit we normally do, but now with more cash and without legal issues, we can actually make a difference and earn ourselves shit tones of cash. So yeah. In short, while I'm back, Kevante's still in charge of shit around here, and we're expanding the fuck out of this bitch. And also please take it easy on Hakeem. He's new to this whole American Experience so don't pick on him."

"So was I. He has nothing to worry about." Laurent's deep French accent spoke.

Kevante looked to Carmen. "Before you go, I want to address one final thing." He said. "Since we're expanding, we're going to have to purge a whole lot our nominal data. From now on, we're going to be using our codenames while on-duty. We'll be having another discussion on that later during the transition process. I'll have Sukaina make new IDs for you all in the process as well." Kevante explained. "That's all for now. You're all free to go."

Carmen gave a knowing smile to Hakeem. "C'mon, hermano. I'm gonna show you the ropes around here."

Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by AWACS
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Routine Raids 'n Shit

Carmen - "Phoenix" | Hakeem - "Magnum"
Small Commerce District, Suburbs, New York City
Present Day



Night was falling down on the city. In this part of town, it was relatively quiet, and traffic volume was quite low. The shops were starting to close down for the night, and things were quieting down on this side of town. OPEN! signs were shutting off, and the store owners were turning over the signs to 'closed'. Lights were shutting off one by one, and the suburb was soon going to sleep.

Parked at a dark intersection at the side of the street was a familiar black Jeep Cherokee, and inside it were our two familiar heroes, Carmen and Hakeem, Carmen in the driver seat and Hakeem in the passenger seat, riding shotgun. Both of them were chilling out in the dark, with all of the lights inside of the vehicle turned off, and with the streetlamp right above them casting a shadow in the vehicle, they were practically shadows at that point. They were both wearing their standard attire, with Hakeem wearing his brown leather jacket, blue jeans, grey Hudson Tactical shirt and shoulder holster... and Carmen wearing her black leather jacket, black carpenter pants, grey Hudson Tactical shirt and shoulder holster. While their shoulder holsters carried their .45 ACP chambered handguns (Para Ordnance Black Ops for Hakeem and FN FNX-45 Tactical for Carmen respectively), their shoulder holsters also carried concealed radios. This was their street attire, when they were just performing small odd jobs. And their mission? Just a small intimidation one, nothing too serious. As they waited in the Jeep, a song played softly, not too loud to be heard from outside the vehicle, but not too quiet to where they both couldn't hear the lyrics.

In the past month, Carmen and Kevante got Hakeem up to speed as to how things work in Hudson Tactical, as well as the basic stuff regarding how America works as well. While he did go through some culture shock during his brief time training with the others, he soon got used to it, and after refreshing his skills, he has come through as a very formidable fighter, and a pretty decent team player. Over time, Hakeem was well-recieved by everyone in Hudson Tactical, even including Constance, who was a little racist against Arabs (due to her extended service in Iraq and Afghanistan). After a few minor contracts, both Carmen and Hakeem were getting used to the mercenary life, and while Hudson Tactical didn't make that much of a profit, it's a thing that happens with starter businesses. One day, they'll get their break. Hopefully.

"What time is it?" Hakeem asked, leaning up against the headrest of the seat.

"It's almost 11. Our client said our targets typically arrive here on this day of the week, at 11:15 at this exact store." Carmen said, pointing to a small storefront across the street, which was a store that sold kitchen and cooking related wares. "Bored?"

"Not to sound like a complete bitch or anything, but yeah, I'm bored."

Carmen sighed. "Yeah, me too." She said. "Better than Syria though."

"Far better." Hakeem chuckled. "Sitting around in the desert, just waiting for some fucking truck to come around and drive over a mine or something... I never will miss fighting in Syria." Hakeem sighed. "Except for that one time you blasted 16 jihadis in the head in just a few seconds. Regardless of how you explained your superpower, I still can't believe that was real." Hakeem recalled fondly.

"Hermano, you need to stop bringing that up." Carmen chuckled. "You were a good shot too, man! Besides, I'd hate to steal the thunder of the brave men and women who captured the... uh... complex. They did a good job too."

Hakeem shot Carmen a look of disapproval. "You're being too humble." He said, deadpan. "You need to stop downplaying how awesome you are, it is incredibly annoying."

Carmen rolled her eyes. "Magnum, hermano, I just don't like taking all of the credit for work other people have done too. Makes me feel guilty as all hell."

Hakeem sighed. "Fine, I'll stop talking about it." After a few seconds, Hakeem's slight frown turned into a sly grin. "Once you stop quoting DMX." Hakeem snickered quietly.

Carmen playfully hit Hakeem on the shoulder. "Yo, watch your tongue, hermano! Even if I stop quoting him, I'll be quoting Nas and 50 Cent instead, and you'll hate that even more!" Carmen grinned evilly.

Hakeem put his hands up, mocking fake terror. "Oh no! Not Nas or 50 cent! Anything but them!"

Carmen looked ahead. "Sshh... I think I see our targets." She said, looking out the window. "Get the dashcam ready." She said, to which Hakeem quickly set up the dashcam and zoomed in at the store ahead of them. While Carmen took a closer look, she piped down the volume on the song currently playing.

Inside the store in front of them, the lights were still on, and two men wearing suit jackets and dark clothing entered, having just exited what appeared to be a grey unmarked Dodge Charger cruiser. They continued to walk through the store, walking up to the cash counter. The woman who was behind the register, an older woman with red hair and an apron on, looked visibly upset and scared of their presence. The three of them were discussing something, and things appeared to be going south fast.

"I guess that's our cue." Carmen said before speaking into her Bluetooth headset. "Lightning, we spotted our target, we're moving in for the intercept. Standby for further updates." She said into her headset before unbuckling her seat belt and hopping out from the SUV, Hakeem following suit, both of them closing the doors nearly simultaneously. "Let's have a little fun." Carmen stretched a little, Hakeem cracking his knuckles as they walked confidently across the street.




"I told you, we haven't made much of a profit! If I pay you the money now, I will be put further down the hole and I'll be put out of business!" The old woman behind the register begged the two larger gentlemen in front of her. "I'll be able to pay you in full next week, I swear!"

The taller man, a blonde, stepped up. "Yeah, but you know how the deal goes. I don't give a shit if it puts you out of business, you either pay on time or you pay the fucking price!" His thick New Yorker accent came double with his swears. "Am I gonna have to beat a bitch? Shatter all of this shit? Huh?"

And then the sound of a a door opening and the ringing of the door chimes rang through the store, bringing brief silence to the blonde man. Both the blonde, the brunette and the old woman turned to the door, seeing both Hakeem and Carmen casually enter the store. They appeared to be incredibly calm, almost as if they had no idea what was going on there. As they casually walked and browsed the store, Blonde spoke to them in a hostile manner.

"Hey, assholes, this store's fucking closed. Why don't you two get lost?" The blonde asked, waving towards the door aggressively.

Carmen looked to Blonde. "Hm? Oh, I thought this store was open, the lights were on and there were people here." She shrugged. "I gotta get something real quick before I head out, if you don't mind." Carmen said, looking at the cookbooks up on a bookshelf. Almost immediately, she picked one that she found suitable, plucking a large hardcover cookbook from the shelf before quickly inspecting it. "How much is this? I'm actually interested on what this has to offer."

"Yo, fucking beaner! I told you to get the fuck out of the store!" The blonde pointed at the door. "Now!"

"Oh, a racist now? I guess that's bonus points then." Carmen muttered to herself. She turned to Hakeem, giving him a soft nod, to which Hakeem nodded back. While Carmen spoke to the two men in suit jackets and ties, Hakeem was pulling down the shades and blinds for the doors and windows that looked into the store, closing off outside eyes, ensuring no witnesses. "Well, yeah... I may be loitering around this store, but it can't be worse than extorting money from local businesses with threats of property destruction and violence." Carmen asked with a soft shrug. "Can it?"

The blonde looked a little bewildered. "Huh? How the fuck..."

"When you push people around for a while, either they're gonna push back, or someone else will do it for them." Carmen said simply. "I'm not gonna tell you jack shit about how I know all of this, but what I will tell you is that this shit really needs to stop." Carmen said calmly, standing in front of both the blonde and brunette. "So, what I'll say is this. You're going to return all of the money to you extorted it from, with interest." Carmen said. "Or I'll do it for you. With force."

The blonde looked to the brunette before laughing. "BAHAHAHAHHahahaahh! Do you have a deathwish, fucking pipsqueak? Do you even know who you are talking to?"

"Yes, I do." Carmen said, not changing in her demeanor. "I'm talking to two tarados that are corrupt detectives of the NYPD who go by the names of Detective Barnes and Detective Spooner, who have took major shits on their badge in the name of a little extra cash. I know the NYPD doesn't pay too well, but seriously guys? There's better options than running a fucking racket around here."

The blonde, Barnes, laughed a bit more. "What the fuck are you gonna do? We're still armed, sweetheart, and I can have you and your little towelhead of a friend locked up for threatening an officer and trespassing, after we're done fucking up your pretty fuckin' faces!"

Hakeem looked to the two officers before looking to the old shopkeeper. "Go to the backroom. We can handle things from here. Hurry!" He whispered to her, and the shopkeeper replied, running to the backroom and locking herself inside. He then stood behind the two detectives, cracking his knuckles.

Carmen sighed. "Alrighty then. So it looks like we'll have to do this the hard way." She said, feigning a disappointed tone. It was at this point she entered reflex mode. She squinted her eyes a little, and everything went slow to the point where everyting and everyone looked nearly still. Her eyes darted around the store, searching for items, objects and other such things to use as weapons. She then studied the men before her. They were both tall as hell, and they appeared to be tough... under their standard 'detective' suits, that is. Spooner appeared to be reaching for what looked like a gun under his shoulder holster, and Barnes was preparing a punch. Ha... too easy. Carmen thought, smiling just a little.

And then, in a split second, from the point of view of everyone else, Barnes threw his punch with a raging shout. However, his fist was not met by the flesh of Carmen's face, but the stiff hardcover book that was held up to block his blow. Before Barnes could scream in pain, Carmen slammed the book against Barnes' hand before kicking him in the stomach, sending him a few meters down the store and onto his ass. As Spooner drew his gun, before he could aim it at Carmen, she knocked it out of his hands by swinging the cookbook fast at his arms, knocking it out of his hands, and leaving it to fall onto the ground and slide towards the cooking pans. Immediately after Spooner was disarmed, Carmen jabbed him in the stomach with the corner of the book to knock the wind out of him. As he doubled down from the attack, she slammed the book against the back of his head as hard as she could, knocking him down flat against the ground, leaving him in some serious pain.

"Gahh... fucking hell!" Barnes groaned in pain, trying to stand back up. "Fucking cunt..." He grunted, and as he stood up, he drew his Glock from his shoulder holster, and attempted to point it at Carmen, who was unflinchingly and casually walking towards him. Before he could pull the trigger, a soft bassy BOOOOMMMMM!!! sounded and a small wave of invisible force knocked his hand up, throwing the gun from his hand and into the air. Before he could react, the gun fell perfectly into Carmen's right hand, and she aimed it straight at his head. All within a second. Barnes couldn't believe his eyes, he was up against Supers!

Carmen had a deadpan look on her face as she pointed the Glock straight at the detective's forehead. As she held Barnes at gunpoint, Hakeem slowly walked over to Spooner, who was crawling to the gun underneath the pots and pans. As Hakeem passed, Carmen gave a thankful nod and smile to him before looking back to Barnes.

Spooner, on the other hand, was slowly crawling to the gun ahead of him, trying to be silent so the other two couldn't hear him, unaware of the fact that Hakeem was walking towards him. He grunted, reaching out for the weapon ahead of him before finally getting a grip of it. As soon as he did, Hakeem used his powers of telekinetic bursts to fling a handheld skillet towards him, which he swipes in midair and immediately slams the hard and heavy side down against Spooner's hand.

"GAHHHH!!!" Spooner cried out in pain as his hand was nearly shattered from being smashed in between the polymer handgun and a cast skillet with a heavy steel bottom. "AAUUGHHH!!" He continued to scream, his hand busted. As he screamed, Hakeem gently lifted the gun away from his injured hand and pointed it at the wounded detective below him.

Carmen smiled a little, hearing all of that before speaking to Barnes. "You should've listened to me." She said simply. "It seems as if this fucking pipsqueak beaner was a little more than your scrawny white ass could handle. Am I wrong?"

Barnes looked at her angrily. "Fuck. You." He clenched is teeth in rage. "You have no idea what you are doing. You're a dead woman, and you know it."

Carmen chuckled. "You sack of shit, you have no connections to anyone that could actually hurt me. I've done my homework on both of you bitch-ass cracker-jack fucks. The people that you've made deals with? Oh yeah. They've been raided and arrested by the FBI last week. You're fucked, pendejo."

Barnes chuckled maniacally. "So what are you gonna do? Kill me?"

"No." Carmen simply said. "I'm better than that. While I won't take your life, I sure as hell will destroy it." She said, her tone becoming a little more threatening as she stepped closer to him, slowly. "Starting with your savings account, all being slowly drained to the point where you're out. And then your credit score will drop because your card's just as empty... and then your nice shiny Corvette will be repo'd because you couldn't make your payments on it, and your house will then be foreclosed because you couldn't pay your mortgage on time. All of your possessions will slowly be liquidated. Your career as a detective's already over, having fed your chief your crimes of racketeering... and after all of that, you will have nothing but the clothes on your fucking back." Carmen said, lowering her gun as she stepped closer. "And you will have no future, your past has been smeared and destroyed, and you'll be spending the rest of your fucking days being raped in prison and homeless on the streets. And by then... you would've wished that I put a fucking bullet in your dumbass brain!" She shouted, and as soon as she did, she pushed the barrel of the Glock into Barnes' head and pulled the trigger.

Barnes clenched, until... Click! The Glock dry-fired. It was empty. Carmen smirked, stepping back and handing the empty gun to him, having it unloaded as she made her terrifying speech of how she could make a man's life crumble before their very eyes.

"So... what will it be, asshole?" She asked simply. "The easy way? Or the hard way?"

Barnes slowly took his gun before looking at it. He was utterly terrified of her. He looked back to her and nodded slowly. "Th-the easy way." He said, quivering.

"Good choice." Carmen said with a soft smile. "This store's fucking closed. Why don't you two get lost?" She asked, indicating the exit behind her.

Barnes trembled before nodding, running over to Spooner and lifting him up to his feet. As he did, Hakeem handed him Spooner's unloaded handgun, holstering it before running out the store and driving away in their Dodge Charger. Once they were gone, Hakeem walked over to Carmen.

"Are you really going to do all of these things to him if he doesn't follow through?" Hakeem asked Carmen as he put the skillet back up.

Carmen nodded. "Hell yeah! After what that motherfucker did to those poor people, he fucking deserves it! Fucking coward!"

Hakeem looked a little bothered by that. "But... didn't you do the same thing back then?"

"Yeah but I didn't beat anyone up, and my guns were never loaded! Besides, I targeted people my own size and assholes that deserved it, not innocent old women! Besides, those two pendejos were fucking cops!" Carmen sighed. "Seriously, fuck those guys." She said before walking up to the backroom door, knocking it. "Hey... uh... miss? You're free to come out now, I don't think you'll be seeing those assholes anytime soon."

Soon enough, the old woman walked out from the backroom, and once she saw the two, she smiled. "I saw it all on camera!" She said gratefully. "You two really put the whoopin' on 'em! How could I ever thank you?" She asked.

"Well, you should really thank Mr. Gerard down the street. He's the one who made the call, and he's the one paying us." Carmen said. "The only repayment I want from you is to delete the security camera footage of us, and to have this cookbook for free." She said, holding up the cookbook. "Because... what we just did right now would probably earn us both a life sentence, so... yeah." She chuckled.

The older shopkeeper grinned. "My lips are sealed." She said with a knowing nod. "And keep that book too, it's all of my favorite recipes."

Carmen sighed with a little relief. "Thanks, ma'am." She said before pulling out a business card. "If those two pendejos ever bother you again, call this number again, okay? This one was free on Mr. Gerard... we kind of do this thing for a living and we're paid by the job. Don't worry, it's not a stupid protection racket or anything." She said with a soft chuckle. "You have a nice night, okay? Catch you later."

"You too, thank you!"

After Carmen and Hakeem walked out of the store, Carmen gave a soft sigh. "Whew, that was fun. C'mon, let's go collect our contract."

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VATROU The Barron

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”Such a good day” Barron said as he stood on his balcony wearing just his underwear. The awning overhead filtered out the harmful rays of the sun allowing Vampires and those sensitive to it’s light able to enjoy the warmth it provides. The glass he held swooshed about when he lifted it to his lips cooling him off during his little sunbathing session as beads of sweat fell to the floor; Carol walked outside to join her Husband who laid upon a lounge chair wrapping her arms around him pecking his cheek with a kiss.

”Ooh. Sexy time already Babe?” Barron chuckled while Carol stood with a smile. “There’s much to do darling. Our men are currently making advances into New York, and more of Vegas’ Politicians have been dancing around the idea of accepting our, campaign funds and a few are already in our pockets.”

As she shifted to his side he gave a whack at her backside before pulling her into his lap. "Is that new eyeliner? It’s making me stir, I feel a second coming arising down there.”

Carol coyly smiled.”Maybe if you can spot the other changes there will be sexy time.”

"I know every curve of your face, I’ll break out the bubbly.”

The Morning sun continued to rise in the sky heralding the Midday heat. As Barron stepped into his closet and picked out a simple grey suit and matching tie. Carol lingered on top of the sheets a while longer as Barron blew her a kiss to start his day. A woman who has apparently been standing outside Barron’s penthouse for a while began to bark his Itinerary meetings canceled, important upcoming dates, and most importantly they’re progress on expanding into New York, and the Rogue Werewolf laying low therein with a fat pile of Barron’s money.

“The rogue Wolf in New York, is a Arcadian Jones. Parents loved Greece named him after a city, which must have been lovely to grow up as a first name with. Parents these days, ooh. Hunters lost sight of the Male Alpha, but his feeding grounds suggest he may be holed up in a nearby park.” The woman said coming down from her sarcastic tone as Barron entered an elevator.

”Heard worse first names, but yeah. They should have focused on educating that brain of his, cause stupidity doesn’t save you from a brutal death.”

Barron said as the elevator pinged and opened unto a parking garage where he meandered into his car. ”Time to crash the Big Apple. Set up a flight, and make an appointment to visit Lost Haven thereafter. It’s time I payed our competition a visit.” Barron said as he reached into his mini fridge grasping at air. ”And my Car is out of booze, seriously. Why do I pay people for these things,” Barron snapped his fingers and his Aide stepped forward. ”Get someone to fill this, Lawless Heaven, Some Jack, anything. So long as it’s good and strong.” As minutes passed and booze was brought down, Barron with drink in hand started down the highway towards the Airport. Drunkenness was a state harder to obtain for a Vampire thankfully. In his old world, Drunk Driving wasn’t a thing, since Cars were nearly nonexistent due to fuel and rusted parts. But this world frowned upon driving under the influence and due to his Vampiric blood Alcohol had a diminished effect on him, though that just needed even more drinking.

”Any news on our Wolf? I’m kinda hoping they’ll leave something for me by the time I get there.”

“Doubtful Sir. There does seem a fair number of Hunters are the capable sort,” She said as her fingers through her phone getting updates on the current situation. “We should arrive by the time they catch him I presume.”

”Shame. At least I’ll have time to tour New York before my next flight, see how the regional headquarters is coming along.”
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Joytex
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Joytex Patron Saint of Procrastination

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X-RAY

“What do we want?”
“End to vigilantism!”
“When do we want it?”
“Now!!!”
“Companies like I-Tech think they can use CCTV to invade our privacy, super-vigilantes think because they have powers it gives them the right to police us. They're unaccountable and we didn't elect any of them!!!”
“No!!!”

Dean added his now hoarse voice to the crowd's chanting responses. The downpour of rain had matted his unruly mop of hair down to his forehead and drenched his tattered hoodie through to the skin but none of that registered to the post-graduate student. He gripped his wooden sign ever tighter, shouting along with the protestors and focused on the words delivered through the megaphone...or rather on the girl that was delivering them. The I-Tech HQ buildings loomed above them, a name synonymous with dystopian surveillance and rumoured meta-research.

An hour later he and Ellie were sat shivering in a small coffee shop attempting to warm up over a pair of hot-chocolates.

“I thought it went well.” Dean exclaimed, trying to lead off with a positive, his smile admittedly feeling a little forced. This had been their lowest attended protest to date, it felt more and more like the corporation and the capes were winning.

“Bloody weather.” Ellie muttered between sips. Like a lot of bombastic people Dean found Ellie to flip between either hyper enthusiasm or extreme pessimism at the drop of a hat. “We need to do something more than just...protest all the time.” Her frustration was taken out on the fortunately quite durable mug. “I-Tech don't care, everytime the capes beat up some space-squid people think it's acceptable for them to police us.”

“We've started the petition?” Dean offered, setting down his cup. “We can send that straight to the government, they'll have to at least look at it. People are behind us.” He'd joined the New-Word human rights group before he'd met Ellie, though admittedly she had become a big incentive for his dedication to the group. It seemed like a better use of his gap-year than just travelling the world and getting hammered, plus he felt it was really time he put his liberal beliefs into practise.

“Sod the petition.” Ellie spat dejectedly followed by a pout. Dean gave a sigh of resignation and slumped back into his seat.

“Alright then, what do you think we should do?” He asked. Ellie paused for a moment considering something, hesitation was not very characteristic of her. Suddenly she looked up at him, brown eyes shining, then turned to rummage through her bag. Uh-oh, Dean felt he had a sixth sense for when a girl was about to get him into trouble, though lacked the ability to avoid it. This 'date' had an ulterior motive.

“Radiology right?” Ellie asked while flicking through a folder of papers she'd produced from her rucksack.

“Huh?”

“The doctorate your doing, it's in radiology?”

“Yeeeaahh.” Dean answered hesitantly. “It's imaging technology we use it for medical-”

“They're up to something new.” Ellie cut him off. “I don't know what, we're blind when it comes to inside information. But they've been hiring left and right, whole loads of people across different fields and one such position...” She slid a printed sheet of paper across the small table to him.

“Intern in radiology, for work with ultrasound and x-ray technologies.” Dean read the title of the job advert aloud.

“If we have someone on the inside then we can really hit them, do an expose to the press, show people what they're up too,building mass CCTV networks, funding super-vigilantes.” Well wasn't that just convenient. Looking up Dean saw the clear pleading in her face, she was desperate. Are you just using me? He really couldn't tell. “What do you say? We can bring down I-Tech together.”

Shit.
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