Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Liseran Thistle
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Liseran Thistle TanjiroIsBestBoy

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Phoenix had never seen a plane before, and it amazed him that such a wonder existed in this time. He stood in an empty airport lobby; Charlton sat wearily in a seat, seemingly tired of having to drive people back and forward between home and the airport. The night sky was blank, and heavily clouded as Phoenix laid a hand on the cool glass of the window. He had also never seen windows before, oddly enough, though as he stayed in the future longer he wondered why his tiny village never had any.

“Probably because glass was something I had specifically tried to create myself.” Dehxi spoke to him, quietly. Phoenix perked up a little, intrigued. He glanced at the tired butler slumped over his knees sitting exhausted in a lobby chair. He felt it was safe to speak, but only if he were quiet.

“Really?” He whispered.

“Yes. It was...a challenge I set upon myself.” Dehxi chuckled lightly. “Though, now that you and I are linked, I don’t doubt we could try for it ourselves.” The god said. The very idea excited Phoenix, he tapped his finger against the window, as if trying to get a feel for the material.

“That would be fun.” He said. “Maybe I could bring some of the glass back with me.” Phoenix couldn’t see the god, of course, but he could feel a shift in temperament.

“Young one...You don’t actually think that....”

Phoenix’s brow furrowed. “I know. I was just...I hoped that I could go back. But, I understand, it might not be-”

“Stop muttering, Mr. Phoenix. Please, it’s a little concerning now.” Charlton spoke up from his seat.

Phoenix jumped at his voice, and blushed slightly embarrassed. “S-sorry.” He said. “Is...is Eris back yet?”

“No. They’re not back yet. Roland is still...discussing stuff...with them.” Charlton sighed, and rolled his head back. Phoenix shuffled his feet awkwardly, looking away.

“Why don’t you check on him, Fexi. I am...worried for him.”

Phoenix cleared his throat, and breathed in deeply. “A...are you okay, Charlton?” Phoenix asked him, looking at him concerned. The butler glanced at him, almost surprised he had even spoke again.

“Um...yeah. I’m fine. I must look terrible right now, though.” He said, chuckling. “I just...I’m just a bit tired, you know?”

“From all of the driving?” Phoenix asked. He wasn’t exactly sure how cars functioned, but it looked like a lot of work to him.

“No, it’s not...Look, driving you guys around isn’t the problem at all.” Charlton spoke informally. It was odd hearing him speak casually, especially to someone he only just met like Phoenix. “It’s this...trip. Seattle. God, I never thought I’d even set foot in that city again.”

“Seattle is a safe place, no?” Phoenix said.

“It is, it’s just...I can’t really talk about it right now, Phoenix. It’s personal.”

“I am still worried...we will watch and see. Maybe he will feel better with time.” Dexhi spoke.

Phoenix let the issue drop, and decided to take a seat next to him. The two of them sat there, again, in silence just waiting for Eris to come back out with Roland. They had been gone for about fifteen minutes now. The plane hadn’t arrived, it was one of those late arrivals that Charlton hated so much. People milled about further along in the airport, but they were so far away, they might as well not be there at all. Phoenix tapped his finger gently across the soft, felt covering of the office chairs provided in the lobby. He wondered silently what Seattle would be like.

“It’s a big city, not like Provence at all.” Dexhi said. “[i]There are towers larger than any you will have ever seen, Phoenix.”[i]

That sounded wonderful to him. He wanted to say something, but Charlton was sitting next to him, and he already told him off for muttering.

“So...where exactly are you...from, Phoenix?” Charlton asked him. Phoenix didn’t jump this time from his voice.

“I am from an island. It’s gone now, though.” He said. He then thought about taking back what he said, from the horrified look Charlton gave him.

“Gone…? What do you mean?” He asked, hushed.

Phoenix gulped. “Well, I...my home was destroyed, a long time ago.”

Charlton shook his head. “I heard that part, it’s just-which island? I haven’t heard anything about that on the news, or anything.”

“That’s because it was before this time. A long time ago.” Phoenix reitirated.

“It was way before your time, Charlton.” Roland and Eris finally returned from wherever they were hiding. “I would explain, but we don’t have a lot of time. The plane’s supposed to be arriving any minute now.”

“Seattle is gonna be awhile, so let’s just sit for a bit.” Eris said. They slumped in the seat next to Phoenix, and Phoenix noticed they still wore that horrible costume.

“Perhaps they just like bright colors, Phoenix. Though...I wonder how one could possibly fit those colors into a proper Paradox uniform.” Dexhi laughed, lightly.

“What are planes like?” Phoenix asked them. Eris shrugged.

“Meh. They’re like...a bus, or a car. Except with lots of other people in them. And in the air.” They said. “Roland already told me about...whatever is going on with you. Time travel, huh?”

Phoenix balked. Roland, or rather Daraeya, must have told them. She was still keeping a hold of her identity though. Roland glared at him, which was enough to let Phoenix know he should keep quiet about the whole Daraeya/Roland thing. Charlton sat up straighter in his chair.

“You’re a time traveler?” He asked, astounded. Phoenix was somewhat familiar with this term since he joined Paradox. Crow, a friend of his at HQ, had used the phrase to refer to his situation. Phoenix just nodded, feeling slightly uncomfortable with all of the sudden attention.

“I guess that explains...just about everything. The weird accent, and odd clothes.” Eris said, and Phoenix felt insulted that they would call his clothing odd, when they were constantly dressed like...that.

“I take it you don’t like pastels, huh Phoenix?” Dexhi asked. Phoenix didn’t know what a “Pastel” was, but if Eris’ clothing was anything to go off of-

“The plane is here.” Roland announced, and the three of them got up to enter the terminal. Charlton stayed where he was seated, and Eris looked back at him, concerned.

“Charlton, are you sure you want to come?” They asked. Charlton breathed in deeply, and looked up at them.

“I...Yes. I have to, Eris.” He said, standing up. “I’d have to face him eventually, anyway.”

Eris held their hand out to him, and the two of them linked arms. Phoenix trailed behind, but Roland prodded him in the back. Or rather, Daraeya did. “We have to go now. Someone is following us.”

Phoenix fought the urge to ask who, and just walked briskly to the plane’s gang way.

…………………..

The plane ride was surprisingly calm. Phoenix garnered a few odd looks from the other passengers, but none were inherently malicious glares like the ones Roland/Daraeya kept shooting him from across the aisle. Eris and Charlton sat next to each other a seat behind him, and he couldn’t hear anything back there, so he assumed everything must be going fine. There were children on the plane, which surprised Phoenix as he thought putting kids of all people thousands of feet in the air was just about the worst idea ever, but none of them seemed over all scared. Except for maybe a few, the plane was an oddly serene place to be.

He laid his head back, minding the old woman next to him reading a fashion catalouge one of the stewards had provided. Soon, they took off, and Phoenix barely felt anything as the plane rose. With time, they reached the skies, and while Phoenix wasn’t graced with having a window seat, he could still see the night sky out of the window next to the old woman. She was snoring peacefully now, Phoenix noted. He himself began to feel a bit drowsy, even tired. He closed his eyes, maybe when he woke up, they’d already be in the magnificent city of Seattle, where towers were as tall as the clouds.

“Phoenix! Stay awake!” Dexhi’s voice was a distant memory in his ears. He could barely hear him at all. “It’s a trick! Someone is putting you to sleep! Xal, wake up already!” Hearing rolun, even if it was an offensive curse, jostled him awake but only a little. He looked around the plane, his vision blurred with sleep. He couldn’t hear anyone talking, not even in hushed tones. Roland lay, slumped forward in his seat, though every once in awhile, he would jolt and jerk every which way. Daraeya must be fighting whatever was lulling them all to sleep. A sharp, but quick pain, stabbed Phoenix behind his eyes, and suddenly he was able to think and see clearly.

The plane was alseep, no one moved or spoke. Phoenix could hear Eris and Charlton snoring quietly behind him. “What’s going on…?” He asked, quietly.

“It’s Dexarte. She’s found us. Or rather, she’s found me.” Dexhi said.

“Right you are, old friend!” A voice from the plane spoke. It held a deep, feminine baritone and she had an odd accent that Phoenix had never heard before. “So you’re Dexhi’s new host?”

“Who...who are you?” Phoenix asked. He stood up, slight fearful.

“Relax. I am a friend, not an enemy. Like your dear Dexhi.” She said.

Phoenix looked all around the plane, but he couldn’t see her. “Could you...show yourself? Please?” He asked. Dexarte chuckled.

“Of course. My apologies. I’m a little new to planes myself.” A snap of fingers could be heard, and suddenly she stood a few steps away from Phoenix in the aisle. She had dark skin, and cream colored dress with bows and moths littered on the hem. Her hair was gray, and it fell down her back in a poofy trail. She looked at him cheerfully with unusual gold eyes, rimmed with-

“You have Tala marks!” Phoenix said, and he felt a rush of remembrance of his home. His own sister had Tala marks all along her arms, she said they were for good luck and wealth.

“Ah, it feels nice for someone to recognize my marks as what they are!” Dexarte said, smiling. “Though, I did not come here to talk about Tala. I am here to help you.”

“She could have done it with a bit more tact…” Dexhi grumbled. Dexarte laughed.

“You always were a jumpy one, Dexhi.” She said. “I understand we’re looking for-”

“You wretch!” Roland, or rather, Daraeya was now awake. “You come hunting us down like lost dogs, and have the audacity to-!”

“Oh. It’s you, Daraeya.” Dexarte said, deflated. “I had not noticed you among the mortals.”

Daraeya was shocked silent for a minute, her mouth hanging open. “How-how dare you! I am the God of these Skies and you will-”

“So we’re looking for Tul, right?” Dexarte ignored Daraeya completely, and the latter seethed in her seat, angry.

“Yes. He is Darius Winter’s murderer.” Dexhi said. Dexarte looked down at her bare feet, saddened.

“So it is true then...he really is gone…” She said.

“You knew?” Phoenix asked. She nodded.

“I tracked your friend, Mindy Diasco, for answers on where to find you two. She...told me Darius had passed some time ago.”

“Yes, yes, it’s all well and sad, but what about the god that was residing in him? Who cares about the mortal-” Daraeya began, but Dexarte shot her an angry look.

“I cared for the mortal, Daraeya. Look, we both lost someone, so let us work together and catch their murderer.” She said. “Tul killed them, but...why?”

“Tul...he is a god...I have heard his name before.” Phoenix said.

“But of course you would. He was worshipped in temples on the island. The God of Nothing, remember?” Dexhi said.

“God of Nothing” did sound somewhat familiar to him. “Why would he do something like that? Aren’t you all...the same?” Phoenix asked.

“Humans kill other humans, don’t they?” Daraeya said, cynically.

“We are not so different, sometimes.” Dexarte spoke. Daraeya scoffed.

“I guess it’s not impossible for a God to...travel so far, so fast. He is thousands of miles away.”

Daraeya nodded. “Though he is God of Nothing, he is not without power. A God who owns nothing, owns everything.”

Seattle was not looking to be a promising place to visit.
…………………..

I’ve never been to seattle, but oh boy are we gearing up for something fun, huh? also, Phoenix is so close to dragging Eris into a department store.



if you hate kpop or league of legends then don't click on tonight's atmosphere, this song is literally all I've been listening to for about a week now, I'm sorry but not really.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Dedonus
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Dedonus Kai su teknon;

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Aubrey Adkins

Pacific Point, CA

I climbed the last story to reach the rooftop of the Children’s Hospital of Pacific Point. The staff of the hospital, who had invited me to make an appearance for one of their sick patients, requested that I enter via the roof. Otherwise, I would have caused a fiasco if I had waltzed through the front door. Some people probably would swarm me, wanting autographs or pictures, while others might be concerned that a superhero would be a magnet for supervillains. And let’s be honest here: I wouldn’t blow off the second group’s concerns, as trouble is usually not far away when people like me are around.

“Sorry about the delay. I had a few costume issues to sort out,” I apologized while I caught my breath, holding my hands on my hips. I actually made good time considering I came by foot, but I had to dash here from my apartment to do so. If I had not made the mistake of setting the Game Genie cube to make me look like a human-shaped Spider-Gwen rather than the current drider one, I would have gotten here way faster.

“You’re right on time, so don’t worry about it,” the staff members, who probably had organized this whole event, told me.

“And we weren’t expecting such an authentic looking costume, too!” a nurse, who had accompanied the staff member to the roof, complemented me. Since she was the only nurse waiting for me, I guess that she was assigned to the girl, whom I came to see. I can't really take all the credit for the costume. The Game Genie tech did all the magic.

“You have no idea how hard to keep this thing clean. I don’t know how anyone in my profession wears white.”

“Probably with a ton of bleach,” the nurse proposed.

“Shall we head inside?” the staff member asked while gesturing towards the door. Both I and the nurse nodded in agreement.

The first challenge of the day was to get this Spider-Gwen costume to work with my drider anatomy. The second challenge then presented itself on the roof: getting through the roof access door. However, the issue wasn’t what you’re probably thinking. My spider abdomen is actually quite malleable, so I could just squeeze it through the doorway. The issue was with my legs being wider than the door. I had to put my first two pairs of legs through the door first and pull myself through. Luckily the rest of the hospital had double doors throughout.

After winding through the hospital’s corridors, the nurse and staff member finally lead me to the room that housed the patient I came to see. Again, I had to wiggle my way through a door not built with a person like me in mind. But once I got through the door, I immediately saw the young girl’s eyes shine with excitement. She was quite young, maybe around eight years old. Her head was entirely bald, probably from the chemotherapy. In her arms, the girl clung tight to a Spider-Gwen plush doll.

“Look who came to see you, Molly,” the nurse told the young girl in one of those voices adults use when talking to young children. The nurse helped Molly sit up in her bed and slip into the slippers resting in front of the bed. The nurse then aided the girl in walking over towards me.

“This is the best day of my life!” Molly blurted out before she wrapped her arms around my waist, still holding tight to the Spider-Gwen plushie. This all just melted my heart, yet broke it at the same time. I could save the city from rampaging metahumans and insane terrorists, but I was powerless to do anything for this girl except as moral support.

Or could I? I have a healing factor. Would giving a blood transfusion potentially cure the cancer Molly had? But it couldn’t just as simple as it is in the comics. I bet the regular blood transfusion rules still apply. Also, would it be fair to all of the other children not only in this hospital, but also all across the country that this girl gets a miracle treatment and they wouldn’t? And what would the possible complications be? Would it even be worth it?

And even if I would try to donate as much blood to as many sick children as possible, I only have so much blood to give. Who would decide who would receive a dose and who would have to wait? That’s just a decision that I could never make without having some regrets for the children who die before I could donate any more blood. But does that mean I shouldn’t do it at all?

“Mommy, could I get a picture? Please!” Molly turned to her mom and dad, who were standing to the side.

“Is that alright with you?” Molly’s mother asked me as she pulled her cell phone.

“I don’t see why not,” I answered back. I then lowered myself, so the underside of my spider half was resting against the hospital floor right next to Molly. After I placed one arm over Molly’s shoulder while throwing up two fingers in a peace sign, her mom snapped a few pictures.

“Can Spider-Gwen make a swing for me? Can she, can she?”

“If you take it easy, I’ll allow it,” the nurse relented. Her parents nodded in agreement.

“Molly, could you stand by your mom while I make a swing for you?”

After Molly had stepped aside, I took a look at the ceiling: it looked stable enough to support a little girl. I then propped myself up on my second and third pairs of legs to elevate myself high enough to reach the ceiling. My hind pair of legs were tasked with drawing silk from the spinnerets on my spider abdomen, while my front legs conveyed this silk up to my hands, so I could adhere it to the ceiling. After a few minutes of work, I was able to make a swing out of a handful of web strands. To complete the swing, I wrapped a nonstick silk around the bottom half where Molly would be sitting and holding onto the swing.

The nurse then helped Molly over to the swing. Once she was sitting on the makeshift swing, I gently began to push her forward.

“So, what made you decide to be a superhero?” Molly asked me as she continued to swing. This question made me pause for a moment to think. This drastic change to my life had happened so fast that I never stopped to contemplate such a question.

“At first, I kind of was thrust into it. After I developed my powers, it was just the thing to do,” I began to answer Molly’s question. “But after a while, I realized that doing this job allowed me to be myself. While I was in costume, I didn’t need to hide who I was. I hate lying to my family and friends. It’s a break from the façade I have to wear all day long. Maybe someday I'll be able to be myself without hiding behind a mask, but until then, this will have to do.”

"Is it because you're afraid the bad guys might hurt you friends if they found out who you are?"

"There's that. But I'm also afraid what others will think if they knew what I really am."

"I'm sure there are plenty of people who wouldn't feel different of you. I don't!"

"I hope so."
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Mercinus3
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Mercinus3

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In

One Psionic Headache


Location: Pacific Point, CA

One Month Later…


While he did leave Gajana and Firefox in a condition that was of great concern, The Wanderer had pulled through it and had almost returned to normal. The mutant had kept a low profile since then as the revelation that he was from the future had made those who had heard him declare it skeptical of him as a person itself. While it didn’t concern him that people might not believe his word on his origin, but the view that he could be ‘insane’ was something that did. With that, he kept it from everyone else that he did come across and kept his presence unknown. This was despite the fact that he was one of the heroes in Pacific Point that helped with the enraged metahumans that had appeared out of nowhere in the city. While there had been a few questions about where one of the heroes, Voyager, had been a month ago, the news of her being in Lost Haven to fight the Hounds of Humanity was enough to answer them. But the news about him had been made, his disappearance also making the pages of the news, kept appearing in one form or another.

If I am declared a hero by the people my ancestors grouped with, then so be it.

The Wanderer had wandered the streets, trying to avoid the eyes of onlookers as he continued to nurse the almost-healed injuries from the month before. The time he took off was good for his recovery, the strength of his psionics returning to 100% afterwards. In fact, the mutant had noticed that there was a larger capacity within him than before and that reflected in the strength of his psionics. Not only he noticed it, but the control he had before the time jump had returned to him. Now he was able to control the full extent of his psionics with the right amount of power. With the Hounds of Humanity also being no more, his focus had turned away from them and slowly return to figuring out the calamity that was to happen that cause the apocalypse in his time. Meanwhile, he slowly began to work in the city helping those in need from the crimes that he thought were abhorrent to have in this society.

From the corner of his eyes, he sees a disturbance in a grocery shop in the street. Two men had began the proceedings of robbing the store, a gun in one guy’s hand and a baseball bat in another. Sighing, The Wanderer crossed the road towards the store, his eyes fixated on the two men. With the same confident strides as when he faced the metahumans, he walked into the store. After a few shouts and sounds of a scuffle, both the robbers were hurled out of the window. From inside, a voice calmly came out of the door. ”Call the police. I’ll keep them under wraps. Look after their weapons as the police will need them to send these guys down.” With that, he walked out and began walking towards the thrown men, slowly getting up in a daze.

“Useless idiots,” grumbled an unseen man overlooking the commotion in front of the store from the rooftop of the post office. “Can’t even bait the right muties out.” Grumbling, he heaved the massive silver case lying next to him onto its side and began punching in the password, allowing the crate to open with a hiss.

“The Hounds may be down,” the man said solemnly, taking a moment to admire his precious cargo. “But humanity is not going to fall to these abominations. No, not while I have anything to say about it.” Adjusting the black armband with the homemade logo, the man removed the long tube of a rocket launcher from the case; evidence from a Hounds armory that was misplaced by the Pacific Point police department before he was unceremoniously fired by said police department for “losing” evidence.

“I wanted the growing girl, or one of those animal freak shows,” the man mused, loading in a deadly payload and hoisting the whole setup onto his shoulder. “I guess this one will have to do.” Putting his eye to the viewpiece, he placed the back of Wanderer’s head right in the crosshairs, but was stymied when his view began to drift up and to the left from a sudden weight on the back end of the launcher.

“Wha….who the ...?” the man spluttered as his view began to dance back and forth. Turning his head around, he glanced up at the alien heroine Voyager, pushing the back end of the launcher back and forth with one finger playfully. Looking up, the alien caught the would-be killer’s gaze and smiled cheerily.

”I was wondering how long it would take you to notice,” Voyager said. ”I was not overly annoying, I hope.”

Answering with a violent swear, the man swung Voyager off the end of the launcher, turning it towards her and slamming on the trigger, filled with glee at the prospect of taking this popular freak with him in a blaze of glory. Voyager lurched backwards as the rocket sprung from the weapon with a blaze, but the explosion did not come. Staring in disbelief, the man’s jaw dropped as he saw the rocket he fired suspended in a hazy purple energy field between both of Voyager’s hands.

”Ooh, it works!” Voyager said excitedly as the flaming tail of the rocket went out. ”You said it disarms if the tail goes out, right?”

“Yeah, it’s a safety feature, in case it flies into the sky and stuff like that,” Jordan Fletcher remarked on the other end of Voyager’s communicator, breezing through the specs of the would-be terrorist’s weapon.

”Then that means…” Voyager said, trailing off as she turned her attention back to the rocket. Clenching her fingers slightly, the rocket began to pucker and distort, crushing itself into a misshapen lump of metal. The terrorist mumbled nonsense words under his breath as Voyager released her grip and the busted rocket fell to the ground with a soft ‘plink’.

”Those things are dangerous, you know!” Voyager scolded the terrorist wannabe, dusting off her superhero suit, updated with silver garnish to match the purple. This was the final straw for the terrorist, and with a primal scream of rage, he tried to swing the launcher around to clobber her and promptly lost his balance and caught his heel on the edge of the roof. Feeling his life flash before his eyes, the terrorist felt himself topple over the side before what felt like a cloud of static caught him, slowing in midair. Looking around in a panic, he recognized the same purple haze that stopped the rocket now holding him like a cloud.

”Hey, that is dangerous too!” Voyager called out, poking over the edge with her hands out in front of her, concentration evident in her voice.

“PUT ME DOWN YOU MUTIE FREAK!!!!”

”Okay!”

The man screamed as the cloud suddenly gave way and he began falling, only to stop again as he landed face-first in a bush.

”Now you stay there and -unf- think about what you did!” Voyager called out, grunting as she picked up the rocket launcher, figuring out that best way to disable it was breaking off important looking chunks. ”Or...something like that. Just sit there!”

As the two men finally came to their senses, the mutant had reached them. Grabbing the pair of them, The Wanderer extended his arms. In one, violent motion, he whipped them towards each other. The resulting impact that the two men faced was enough to send them unconscious. Satisfied with the result, he threw the two men back towards the convenience store, the pair of them collapsing into a heap when they stopped.

Sensing that his job here was done, The Wanderer began to walk away from the scene. The only thing that stopped him was a yell from behind. He turned to where he thought he heard the sound from and managed to catch a glimpse of a man starting to fall from the top of the building to the bushes below. While there wasn’t much he could do for the fallen man, his steeled gaze focused on the person on the rooftop. While it had faded from view, the mutant’s psionic eye noticed a disturbance in the air above where the man had fallen into the bushes. It can’t be psionics, can it? he thought, wondering on the thought. While he knew he was still looking for the one called Voyager, the figure up on the rooftop didn’t act like a hero.

The only conclusion he had: a new threat had arrived and he had to deal with it.

In his mind, the thought of him facing a possible person with psionic potential had been realized when he watched them take something off of a tube that he recognized as a rocket launcher. With civilians around, he knew he had to act quickly before any damage could be done. He raised his right arm up into the air, his right hand in the direction of the figure on the rooftop.

”Don’t think I’d let you use that here, you bastard!” he called out to figure, his eyes steeling in preparation of what was to come next. Without much concentration, he allowed the purple flames of his psionics envelop his body. A moment later, a beam shot out of his raised hand, the beam surging towards the figure with speed right as his opponent looked up.

”...uh oh…”

Voyager barely had time to throw up a PsiBarrier in front of her eyes before the beam collided with her, producing an almighty bang and, oddly enough, a mauve cloud of dissipated entry. Thrown backwards by the blast but remaining upright, Voyager steeled herself and kicked off the ground into the air.

”I am made of tougher stuff then that!” she declared triumphantly. ”But if you seek to play the proverbial “hard ball”…!” Determined to stop what must be the ringleader of these bandits, Voyager tilted forward and flew right at her assailant, chucking PsiBlasts with each hand.

Just as I had feared, The Wanderer thought. While the dust kicked up from the impact had blinded his normal eye of its vision, the psionics the figure used was clear as day in the other eye. The purple mist created turbulence in the psionic energy throughout the area, the mist itself appearing as a lighter shade of purple in his psionic eye. This isn’t going to go down as easy as I thought.

With him now knowing that he was fighting someone else who was capable of using psionics, he knew he had to end this fight quickly. That would be a challenge, though, as it was apparent shortly afterwards that the figure was capable of flight using psychic energy. As they declared themselves to be tough, her voice betraying her gender, she began flying through the air towards him, firing balls of energy at him. With him watching what his opponent was doing, only one word escaped his lips in a mutter.

”Amateur…”

With his right hand now lowered, he raised his left to create a barrier. While he would normally cast a dome-shaped wall to protect himself, he created a concave wall. With that, the blasts of psionic energy from her would destroy themselves safely without harming any observers of the fight. But the destruction of the blasts also would act as a catalyst for what he planned next.

As the first of the blasts exploded safely against the barrier, The Wanderer clenched his left fist. The barrier seemed to have disappeared in a concussive wave of an explosion. The leftover remnants of the blasts’ explosion re-exploded and kicked up the dust and smoke forward back at the figure.

As she charged into the smoke, a declaration was said to her. ”Don’t get cocky! You have no idea on the full extent of psionics!” His voice sounded scarily close, despite appearing far away prior to the explosion. Before she knew what was happening, The Wanderer shot beside her, purple flames enveloping his entire body. As soon as the smoke formed, he engaged his aura and surged forward on his legs. His right hand clasped her right shoulder and his left grasping the uniform on her right hip. With his strength imbued with his enhanced psionics, he whipped his body around. He released his grip on her. The momentum of her flight with his added strength sent her flying towards the ground with force.

Once gravity had brought him back to the ground, The Wanderer’s body skidded along the tarmac on his left hand and knees as he watches for movement of his opponent. His right hand was poised ready to attack in case they tried to get back up.

Voyager wasn’t downed, mostly thanks to some well-timed Psibarriers and her inhuman physiology, but she was certainly rattled. Shaking her head to reorient herself, she leapt to her feet in one elegant, agile movement, wobbling slightly as she recovered from the body slam.

”Oof...well at least I am awake and alert now...if rather bruised.” Brushing her tentacle hair aside, she lowered into a fighting stance only to stop short at the sight of her opponent, more out of surprise then anything else.

In all honesty, The Wanderer had wanted the last attack to have worked and not wanted to resort to further violence. However, as soon as she got back onto her feet, he sighed. ”If only you had stayed down,” he muttered to himself. While his aura was still on, he summoned his trusted psionic weapon: his psionic blade. With the same sudden speed as before, he launched himself forward, the blade forming an arc to attack the mysterious figure.

”Hey, do we not know each other from somewhere?” Voyager pondered, just barely dodging the shimmering blade. ”Wait...yes, that strange dream! With the space dragon and the wolf!”

As he watched as the person he was fighting dodged his attacks, the sudden change in tactics from all out assault had puzzled him. If she said she was ‘made of tougher stuff’, then why is she all of a sudden dodging? he thought. If someone wanted to prove that they were tough, at least from his experience, they’d be going all out to prove that point. So why? Why change tactics all of a sudden.

As his attack missed, The Wanderer planted the blade into the tarmac, allowing him to skid in a near-circle to face her again. ”What’s the matter, figuring out that you’re biting off more than you can chew?” he barked, raising his right hand. In another change in tactic, he stopped using his psionic aura around him. If she’s not going to attack, then I can focus on other abilities. ”If you’re not going fight me, I’ll go on ahead and beat the living tar out of you. Then you’ll give me the answers to how you know about the Psionic Nexus, cooperatively or not.”

”The Psionic What?” Voyager asked, more then a little indignant. “The only Nexus I know about is the weird ribbon thingy from Star Trek Generations, and that was just a heaven-thingy, or something.”

As soon as she raised questions about the identity of the Psionic Nexus, The Wanderer had hesitated. She doesn’t know about it being the entity behind the psionic energy? First the dodging, now this? With her sudden referencing of something relating to a Nexus, he was beginning to question who this woman was. The conclusion in mind was either a very talkative bad guy, like The Officer, or someone who had caught his attention at the wrong place at the wrong time.

”I’m just trying to help and you are trying to interrogate me? That’s just...aaah!”

Without so much as a warning, Voyager charged forward and jumped at him, the Wanderer flinching at her sudden charge, getting ready to fight in close quarters when it came to it. A distraction technique aimed to lower my guard? his initial thoughts were. As he was ready to counter the move, he couldn’t hold his surprise when the woman had grappled him. Then, the all too familiar sounds of gunfire exploded in his ears from behind, Voyager wincing as the bullets bounced off the PsiBarrier protecting her arms and the Wanderer’s upper back.

“Mutie freaks!” the rocket launcher man screamed at the two of them, firing wildly with an undiscovered revolver, his face bleeding and raw from his fall into the bushes. “Scum-sucking parasites! Inhuman pieces of sh-”

”Watch your mouth!” Voyager cut off, her eyes turning a gleaming shade of solid violet, before firing off a PsiBeam. The angry radical yelped in pain as the beam annihilated the gun in his hand, seconds before he was body-slammed to the ground by one of the nearby officers.

“I’LL KILL YOU VOYAGER!!!” the man screamed as he was unceremoniously cuffed by the officer. “YOU AND THE REST OF YOUR FUCKING FREAK SHOW!!! THEY’LL BUILD STATUES OF ME FOR SAVING HUMANITY FROM YOUR KIND!!!”

”It will be nice when they do not show up anymore,” Voyager said with a sigh, still clinging around Wanderer’s neck.

The mutant’s head turned to see who was firing at them. He recognized the man was thrown off of the roof a moment earlier. In that split second, the pieces fit together. So he was the one who was about to use the rocket launcher and not her? This entire time, his assumptions of the woman, alien-like in appearance, was wrong.

Before he had a chance to think about teleporting and disabling the threat, the woman managed to destroy the revolver in hand. As the authorities took the man down, he paid very close attention to what the man was saying. His eyes widened when he learnt the identity of the woman that had her arms around his shoulders. All this time, I’ve been fighting Voyager? It wasn’t something that he was expecting, his search for her lasting a month since being told to find her. The Wanderer turned his attention back to Voyager.

”So…” she said, grinning sheepishly .”We were fighting, yes?”

A chuckle escaped his lips. ”We were fighting,” he replied. A moment later, the sound of the psionic blade disappeared as it vanished. ”But seeing as I now know who you are, I no longer need to.” Placing both hands underneath her arm, he removed her from around his shoulders and placed her on the ground. His eyes and body then turned to focus on the three men being led away by the police. ”I take it that those guys were former members of the Hounds?”

”It is hard to say,” Voyager said, dusting herself off. ”Probably just admirers. He is not the first guy I caught in the last month who screamed about muties.”

”To be honest, whether he’s an admirer or not, I wouldn’t blame him. With those Hound bastards using devices that changed regular metahumans into tough berserkers that rampaged through the city, I bet there will be a handful of people who think they are dangerous. Just glad that they were dealt with while you were fighting them in the other city.”

”Yeah, I wanted to stay and help but the Finger of God was definitely more of a priority,” Voyager mused, a bit of guilt in her voice as she took in the appearance of the Wanderer. Even a month after that vision his face had not faded from her memory. Whoever he was, he had to be important to whatever gave her that vision.

”So..uh...you mentioned something about a Nexus?”

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From the expansive icy tundra of the dead planet projected a mountainous structure, shaped like a finger thrust accusingly towards the infinite stars in the heavens. Trillions of tons of metal, a symbol of ultimate resistance in the face of overwhelming opposition. The Unstoppable, the salvation of the Supersols, the abandoned men and women of Earth. Millions of years of war had amounted to nothing in the face of the Supersols, when Humanity abandoned its Earthly cradle to the doomed orbit of a white dwarf. Placed here like the prisoners of a penal colony, the uncounted heroes of millions of wars in conquest of the stars were abandoned. Doomed on a dying world to fight among themselves and simply fade away into the obscurity of the infinity of time.

The Supersols, however, united under the banner of Full Stop Auan. The only escape from the inevitable was to change the totality of history, from the nucleating point of Man's obsession with Gods in human form. When it had become possible for man to create God in his own image they had doomed those very same heroes to a fate worse than death.

Auan dedicated ten thousand years of his life to the exact calculations of time travel, the logistics of keeping his people alive through the process, and making the world habitable for them. At the same time, conquering every corner of the Dead-Earth, utilizing every usable mineral to save his people. Any who stood against him, lost to their ennui or simply incapable of cooperating, he was forced to destroy. Those who united under his guiding force began to see him as a Saint, he wasn't simply the last Supersoldier made by Humanity, he was the savior of the Supersoldiers.

Every advancement that had made him superior to his predecessors was worthless in the face of his tenacity and fanatical obsession with success. The remaining years of his plan were dedicated to gathering every material resource from the Deadlands and the remaining planets of the Cradle System.

Finally, it had all come to a conclusion. Every second of his life spent on this project, and the final stages were in motion.

They had constructed two machines, The Unstoppable and The Immovable.

The Immovable was an absolutely massive Space Station, the size of a small moon in and of itself. It was a weapons platform, outfitted with every form of weapon from conventional ballistic to metaphysical. It was the ultimate shield disguised as the ultimate weapon, it could singlehandedly protect an entire planet by extending to its framework and wrapping around it like the fingers of a clenched fist. Such was its purpose, it allowed the Supersols of The Deadlands to protect their planet from all directions. Every direction could be fired upon with unending fury. As well, it gathered the scarce solar energy emitted from the White Dwarf and condensed it into energy packets that were channeled down to The Unstoppable.

The Unstoppable was much smaller, constructed of trillions of tons of machinery. Fueled by the condensed energy packets of the Immovable and every form of energy generation. Wind traps, hydroelectricity, nuclear fission and fusion, hydrocarbon fuels and even the scarce geothermal energy of the Deadlands. There could be no mistake, the calculations were precise to a single electron. The Unstoppable was a machine designed to violate Planck Measurements, tearing a hole in the fabric of reality to cast them backwards across time by pulling them out of the natural flow of time. In no small terms, it can barely be explained in their time, let alone in ours.

The Final battle of the Deadlands would also be the beginning of Auan's newest hardships.

-=-
Official Calendar Date Reformatted, New Date: Unstoppable Era, Year 1/UE-1
Location: Former North Pole, Deadlands


The stars were invisible behind the omnidirectional bombardment of the Unified Human Arms Platforms, trillions of guns locked onto the Immovable and blasted from all directions. Processes of science so complex that the very notion of explaining them is absurd under twentieth century logic were used as weapons. The very fabric of space condensed into material projectiles fired towards the omnidirectional defensive platform, the shifting plates of advanced supermaterials comprised of hyperdense matter intercepted the barrage. Every plate glistened with flickering unnatural energies as distorted reality itself was blasted at them, their shallow protection affording the planet below them the time necessary for their ultimate plan to unfold.

Trillions of outward facing batteries, millions per plate, fired outwards. Rays of refined atomic energy, nuclear missiles, ballistic weapons comprised of several tons of hyperdense metals, condensed reality bombs, and many others. Explosions the size of planets rocked the universe as conventional projectiles intercepted distorted reality bullets, incalculable volumes of radiation were released in massive fountains of desolation as rays of atomic energy erased thousands of UHAPs at a time. For the first time in a million years, the Deadlands surface was unblasted by cosmic radiation. Completely protected by the stalwart bulwark of the Immovable from the blasting radiation of the universe, as well as the incomprehensible weapons of transcendent Humanity.

On the surface of the Deadlands, Auan sat with his head in his hands. Watching as the one thousand seven hundred and twelve selected Supersols entombed themselves in stasis machines. Though he knew Humanity would come after him when the principles of time travel were manipulated, even on the small scale, he was hoping they would give him more time to save more of his people. So few would be able to return with him, and none of those who had been selected could survive for more than a day outside of stasis. They had been chosen not because they were as strong as Auan, or even as efficient. They were chosen because they could reproduce with modified humans, the one thousand seven hundred and twelve of them had been the ultimate goal. The other Supersols had knew they might be left behind, their inability to reproduce with modified humans was a damning trait.

But the guilt was unbearable. Even his mask could not hide the deep sorrow and unabashed guilt at leaving behind so many of his people. The gigantic man, clad in angelic golden armor, wept like a babe pulled from its mother's arms. There was no holding in, he fell to his knees clutching at his head and sobbing. Even this success was a bitter victory, millions of Supersols abandoned to a time that would no longer exist. Over the cacophonous machine noises his bitter crying could be heard echoing through the entire structure, vibrating the sensitive instruments and miles of piping. The Supersols on the Immovable, keyed into the transmission frequency of the Unstoppable, wept as well. Even as they wholesale slaughtered the enemies of their goal, they cried. Not for fear of death, not for fear of nonexistence, but sympathetic weeping.

Their Hero, their Savior, their Saint and their Champion wept, and so too did they.

His sorrow was theirs.

He pushed himself to his feet, tears streaming his face, and moved to the controls. A button was depressed and he spoke through his choking sobs. "Forgive me. I beg of you in the next life, forgive me and watch over me." His deep grumbling voice met their ears one and all, a universal sorrow felt across the entirety of the Supersols. Auan lifted his finger from the transmitter.

With the button released, he reached over and pulled a lever. An incalculable volume of energy was released in all directions, outwards and inwards. Reality tore apart and they were blasted back through time, the future of their world lost into the meaningless obscurity of distant future.

With an absolutely massive emission of energy straight upwards into space, blasting from the point of entry all the way to the Andromeda galaxy, they arrived on Earth in the absurd past. The North Pole was still a frozen wasteland, but the sky was blue and the sun was brightly shining upon the surface.

He had arrived, and in his sorrow he removed his armor from his body. Casting hundreds of pounds of incomprehensibly advanced materials to the floor in a heap, leaving his helmet on to conceal his face from the world. He absentmindedly pressed the button that would activate the geothermal power connection, the more lively molten core of the past would serve as a good sustainable fuel source.

The giant structure was exited by a long hallway, a pitch black tunnel to a door lined by dim red lights. His colossal form passed the hallway in moments and he pressed his bare hand against the touch pad, the outline of his fingers glowing for a moment and the door opened wide. Icy wind blasted down the hallway, his skin crawled in agony as the shocking temperature shift played across his body. The thin atmosphere, the bright lights, the lack of dense gasses in the air. Everything about this world was terrible to his natural environmental senses, in his suit he could deal with it but Auan willingly threw himself to the environment.

In his eyes, his failure was immeasurable.

Incalculable failure in the face of massive adversity and an adversary so powerful that the mistakes couldn't even be seen as his own. But millions of lives had depended on him for salvation, a few hundred wasn't a success.

Auan stepped into the wind blasted wasteland, collapsing to his knees and placing his hands on his upper thighs. Like a statue he sat there, self flagellating himself with the deadly cold.

Justice was all he could give them.
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Time: Afternoon - Day after leaving Salem
Location: Manhattan - NY


They had danced into the night, music, magic and mystery surrounded the celebrations of Salem’s coven of witches. Renewing the pact with The Land was sealed and completed by the efforts of the White Witch and The Ambassador. The Faerie Mistress finally coming to understand the freedom dancing in the wild with witches afforded. Fey joined them in celebration, acquainting themselves with the european Ambassador. The Sidhe, Guardians of Salem appeared in the revelry keeping The Ambassador’s company well after the sun rose. Salem’s hospitality saw to serving them comfortable beds and a full breakfast.

Well deserved. Odette thought a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth in her reflection, her eyes gazing out the window in the back of a black town car. Odette sat behind the driver with a signature Starbucks coffee cup in hand while Marie was beside her in the passenger side. They had left Salem later in the morning, sleeping in. After some discussion on their next move Marie insisted they travel to New York and their next step would be to speak with Puck directly - confront him for information on the former Summer Queen Mab. Some small part of Odette dreaded the thought of speaking to Puck. His surely smug attitude, puzzles and riddles that followed whatever form of help he wished to provide. The antagonism that brewed for her was largely one sided, Odette did not know what Puck truly thought of her.

For now though, they were back in the concrete jungle of a major city. As they passed through traffic Odette saw all manner of creatures in the gutter, milling about in the large crowds of downtown Manhattan. She wondered if Marie could see them as clearly now as she could. She had already changed so much with the addition of finding Mind, in truth Odette had warmed to the witch a little. Streaks of boldness, imposing an equal standing. In Salem she did well to cut to the bone of their partnership and ultimately forced Odette to change. Something that was growing to become a rarity. Others influencing her as she worked to influence them.

Not that she would ever admit to it.

It was clear they shared at least some common threads, they both grew stronger in the face of a challenge. She knew she would have to work harder to challenge Marie while they were equal, by the end of their quest Marie would assume all her true power as Gwyneth, she would stand head and shoulders above The Ambassador in power. Gwyneth represented a valuable asset, all the work she did now would surely pay off.

A small and very green jealous sliver of The Ambassador seethed at Gwyneth’s faery ancestry. Odette only dreamed of having that kind of personal connection with the Fey on such a high level. It was not to say she did not have a deep connection with the Fey through Bach but to be born of noble faerie family… She looked to Bach his gaze meeting hers. He offered a smile and she returned it. It certainly would have made things easier but she was not where she was without adversity.

The trip through Manhattan saw them arrive to Central Park. Stepping out the back of the town car Odette was dressed impeccably well for the summer heat. Sitting atop her head she wore a straw brimmed hat, her curled blue hair framing her rounded facial features. Perched on her nose was a pair of neutral brown Dolce square sunglasses with a light brown ombre shade. Her makeup was expertly applied - a light bronzer and a warm coloured blush appropriately offsetting her pale skin giving her a sunkissed glow. Her dress was ivory white, with a small collar while it covered her shoulders. On her wrists was a gold watch and on the other was an antique styled pearl bracelet. Her thin purse strap over her shoulder carrying everything she could ever need.

Before she stepped out she said to Marie, “Call me when you want to leave, I am expecting a call from Mandate today to pick her up. Until later, mon partenaire.” With a sly smile she waved stepping away from the car and walking into the park her white heels clacking against the pavement.

Massive as Central Park was it also provided some poetic return in Odette’s mind, reuniting with Mandate here. It was far easier to find a private spot to open a door. Something began to intensely heat the side of her leg where her purse sat, popping it open her arm disappeared up to her elbow patting around looking for the source of the heat scooping up a handful of fluorite crystals they glowed with a warm pink, clutching the crystals in her palm she closed her eyes. Her mind immediately connected with Mara’s, the goblin accompanying Mandate. She instantly knew of her whereabouts, the glow changed colour from pink to a mint green. The Ambassador walked along to the reservoir passing swathes of tourists and locals.

Stopping close to the banks she held her right hand out, speaking words of power she began her incantation for an illusion.

"Voyez ce que je souhaite que vous voyiez, baissez la lumière, fermez les yeux, ignorez la réalité telle que je la vois Ne vois que ce que je te souhaite de voir.


Blue mist pooled in the palm of her hand, spilling over the webbing of her fingers to the ground. Forming up from the pool of mist were small pale blue butterflies taking flight, finding the closest people. They fluttered through the air with purpose landing against the back of heads - pressing into foreheads. Visibly making the targets shutter - their eyes glossing over.

Tipping her hand the pooled mist spilled to the ground surrounding The Ambassador in a perfect circle spinning outward affecting the larger area around her. A safe area to act as she pleased and cast openly in broad daylight. With the spell complete, she blew across the crystals igniting them once again. It was time to bring Mandate back to her.
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Christopher Arthur III

Lost Haven, Maine

“That should be the final touch,” Chris concluded as he wiped his hands on a towel. The invention that sat before him did not look special at all on the surface: just a chair like you would find at the dentist or a hair salon. But, like most prototypes, what it lacked in flashy looks, it compensated with functionality. Chris had seen some strange things in the last few months. Well, they were stranger things than he was used to. And considering he has fought demons, gods, maniacal scientists, and human supremacist terrorists, that is saying a lot.

Before the Hounds of Humanity had launched their crusade against metahumans and supernaturals alike, Chris had found his sister depowered and without any memory of every having metahuman abilities. When Chris learned that the metahuman who had crashed the charity event back in Pacific Point had suffered from a similar condition, he initially thought it was just a coincidence. But after Chris discovered that the Game Genie had no priors before he had launched his invasion of Pacific Point, he knew that something was up.

Chris immediately looked into these weird occurrences. At first, he could not figure any common ties between the three individuals, other than their memories had been changed. But eventually Chris found a lead when he had stumbled upon a paper written by one of the geniuses, Zaine Black by name, that S.T.R.I.K.E. had swooped up while they were still around. According to Black’s theory on Multiversity, everything in a particular reality vibrated at a frequency unique to that universe. Obviously such a phenomenon occurred only at the submolecular level and as a result could not be observed by the naked eye. Following Black’s hypothesis, Chris detected different vibration frequencies in all three individuals. Concluding that this might be what was causing their symptoms, Chris decided to try to come up with something that would reverse the affects. Since Chris believed that trying to reverse everything at once would be a too drastic procedure and would carry too many risks, he decided to start out small and try to restore only their original memories.

“I guess I should give this thing a quick spin,” Veronica said. However, Chris gave her a disapproving, blank stare while holding his hand over the controls.

“You’re not getting anywhere near this until we know it works,” Chris asserted.

“And how are you going to do that? The government isn’t going to let you use those two villains as guinea pigs,” Veronica told her older half-brother.

“That’s why I have this little toy,” Chris mentioned as he rolled in his swivel chair over to a nearby monitor. “With some luck, this will pin point anyone whose frequencies don’t match our realities’ natural vibration.”

The trick to this machine was that it produced vibrations identical to those native to their reality. Just like when a single individual plays out of tune in an orchestra, anyone with a different vibration frequency would stick out like a sore thumb in a sea of uniformity.

“And what if they won’t come willingly, if you find anyone at all?”

“I can be particularly persuasive.”



“I can’t believe Kyle would dump me like that!” Sammy bawled in tears into Kelly’s shoulder. Taylor, Jeanette, and Darren had already been fitted with their new, authentic superhero uniforms, courtesy of Mr. Giuseppe, when Kelly received the call from Sammy. Lucky for Sammy, all Kelly had to do was create a warp portal to Sammy’s position and pick her up.

“It’ll be alright,” Kelly tried to console her friend. Normally, Kelly would have followed up on her threat to Kyle about breaking Sammy’s heart. Sure, Kelly never explicitly voiced such a threat, but she was sure Kyle understood what would happen if he had screwed up trying to let Sammy down easily. But in this case, Kelly knew that something was off with Sammy and there was nothing Kyle could do that would have prevented the current outcome. She considered tossing an amusing illusion at him, but she decided against it.

“But we had everything planned! I even have my dress!” Sammy continued to complain despite Kelly’s attempts to calm her down.

“I don’t want to interrupt, but I think we have company,” Jeanette mentioned after she had spotted something approaching them at a fast speed. A familiar suit of armor, at least to Kelly and Sammy, landed on the rooftop where the five metahumans had camped out while Kelly was trying to calm Sammy.

“Wow. I don’t even my gadgets to know that there’s something wrong with this picture.”

“NOT HIM, TOO!” Sammy exclaimed in tears.

“You guys might want to come with me.”
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by LeeRoy
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Two hours, two entire hours passed as Auan knelt to his waist in snow. His naked body blistered and beaten by the cold and buried now to his neck in freshly lain ice. His joints ached, his hands blistered and cracked, his entire body shivered and the striped skin of his body blended into a bright and painful red. The pain rocked him as he stood, totally toppling over into the packed snow and pushing it aside with the force of his fall.

His fingers grasped at loose snow and scraped through it like a hand through water. It took him several minutes to recover and finally stand up, shaky as he was, he wobbled and hobbled towards the entrance or The Unstoppable. His thunderous footfalls echoing as each laborious step brought him forward six or seven feet at a time.

A trail of water evaporating behind him as he entered the heated building, the native radiation increasing the ambient heat to a tolerable level and dissipating the water to a thin fog. A trail of gas followed behind his body, like a body stepping out from a hot shower into a cold room.

The discomfort of his self inflicted punishment slowly fading away with each step, he groaned as the cold tightened muscles loosened up in the sweltering hallway. His skin faded back to the porcelain white and slate gray stripes, the red dissipating into freckles before disappearing entirely.

He knelt down and picked his armor up as a single heap into his arms, carrying it to the nearby desk and setting it down carefully. The small cracks in his fingers closing shut as he pulled his hand away from the desk, bringing his palm to his helmet and pressing the base of it.

With a mechanical hiss it popped open and his hair flowed loose, drifting upwards in its nigh on weightlessness. The black strands of crystalline chains of carbon and silicon drifted in wild disarray as he lifted the helmet straight up and off. Taking a deep breath of the environmentally controlled antechamber.

Not even a day had passed, his angular face was still drawing thin lines of years down his cheeks. The gold irises of his eyes glistened through a screen of yet fallen tears, he looked across the antechamber and swept his gaze across the hundreds of faces and sealed chambers. Their content expressions gave him a subtle relief from his internal turmoil. So long as he was alive, they were safe.

His nudity was unobserved, these systems only allowed them to hear his thoughts as he directed them to them. Only the small voice caster let them interact with the world around them. They had no words, only silent mumbling of disquiet at the loss of their brothers and sisters. Discontent at their stasis in this time of crisis, where they still feel like they should be boots on the ground and actively seeking out solutions.

The proximity alarm raised, flashing all the way through the spectrum of light through Infrared to Ultraviolet in a rapid cycling of colors and noncolors. Auan jerked around, crossing the room in a heartbeat and snatched up his suit. In a flash he'd rearmored and sealed his suit to his body with a mechanical hiss.

Like a scene from a science fiction film, he reached into thin air and view screens came up around him. Omnidirectional viewports gave him a 720 degree view of the sky, in the distance several small aircraft were approaching at supersonic speed. Blistering through the air leaving behind frigid contrails of water vapor, they traced an impressive line through the air.

Earth must have gone through a few cycles, they were primitive but not unimpressive. Or perhaps his assumptions about the past have been incorrect.

As they blistered through the air, Auan opened up the vertical pathway and a powered lift rocketed him up to the top of the Unstoppable. In the suit, he breathed easy again, the frigid air leaving him untouched as it blew against his armored body. Flecks of snow caught in the crevices and joints, melting quickly to the residual warmth of the inside.

The jets screamed towards him and Auan blasted upwards with his plasma pulses, bright blue and purple strands of energy pushed him into the sky and he slammed bodily into the nearest jet. The difference in weight caused the jet to fall out of its clean bombing run, five of the other jets breaking away to get to a safe engagement distance as the seventh aileron rolled to get behind the falling jet.

Ballistics pinged off of his armor and punched holes into the fuselage of the hapless jet fighter he had mounted. The pilot, despite his fear, aimed his sidearm straight upwards to the goliath overhead, and opened fire. Small holes punched through the glass and ice cold air sucked into the cockpit, the tiny bullets ricocheted from him and harmlessly fell back to the ground.

Auan, in this time, struggled to keep his grip as he dug his armored fingers into the fuselage and finally caught himself a solid hold. The bullets thumping against him made a grating and annoying metallic sound, his face twisted and he frowned. These primitives were frustrating and tiresome, if this was their best method of self defense they would not survive very long.

The cockpit was ripped wholesale from the fuselage, thrown straight down to the ground near the Unstoppable. The parachute wearing pilot barely managing to escape in the moment. The remainder of the jet itself slammed into the face of the gigantic machine, but Auan was nowhere to be seen. The jets scrambled away, completely having lost sight of the bogey.

Figure eights of contrails began to paint the sky as they systematically searched for the skies for the gigantic gold bogey. The cloud of smoke suddenly broke apart and it emerged at subsonic speed, chased by a line of blistering hot plasma that exploded the air into pressure waves of differential heat changes. Auan held a gigantic electrified claymore over his head like an angel striking down from heaven upon the black stealth jets.

The first two were caught totally off guard, having flown to the pillar of jet fuel smoke. The jets were bisected completely at the point of connection of the cockpit, the engines dropped in arcs into the wall of the megastructure, exploding in the same way and the cockpits blew apart and the pilots dropped to the ground safely with their chutes deploying before they hit the ground.

Auan slammed to side of the building and clung with one hand and propping himself up with one foot and letting the giant claymore dangle in his free hand. His entire torso hung away from the wall and his eyes tracked the jets as they fled into the distance to regroup and rethink their strategy. Hopefully they would have the illusion that there were many bogeys and the obliteration was because of the confusion. Three jets had fallen and their pilots were fleeing on foot, attempting to follow the trails in the sky.

Auan dissipated the blade into nothingness and released his grip on the wall, dropping down to the ground in an explosive impact. Snow hills were blasted away from the point of impact and the slowest of the runners was buried in snow. The others drew their firearms and unloaded, one only managed a few rounds before his gun ran out. The other unloaded a full eighteen shots, standing his ground as the golden goliath pulled the buried man from the mound.

It was amusing how persistent he struggled against the hand almost the size of his entire upper body. The fingers interlaced under his arms and over his shoulder but he still attempted to stab between the plates in the armor, even though the painful twinge of his arm suddenly stopping ran through him with every attempt. Auan gave him a quick impersonal shake and the man dropped his knife in the moment, groaning in discomfort as his head began to spin.

The other two fell backwards, panic finally outstripping their training and survival instincts. Feet of snow that had slowed their every step and forced them to trudge was pushed aside effortlessly by this gold clad behemoth of a man. He threw the man gently to his comrades and stood there. Looming and menacing as a grotesque but statuesque figure of human figure but demonic presence and angellic visage. Its gold body shined in the perpetual daylight gleam of the north pole.

"What do you want from us!?"
"Oh god, oh god please no."
"Leave me alone!"

They spoke his language, this seemed to make no sense from a logistical point of view. Somewhere along the line a universal language must have been established, evidently the root of this language was this very same one. They used some words that were unfamiliar to him in their pronunciation, but his mind pieced it together. "I offer you sanctuary. Please, listen." He materialized three small machines, each visually similar to a gas mask without the goggles. "The air within is unsafe, and the radiation inhospitable for you. These will let you enter unharmed."

The three cautiously reached out and grabbed the masks, pulling them onto their faces and taking slow breaths through the limited system. The masks extended an energetic barrier around them as soon as they had sealed to their faces, they panicked for a moment but relaxed when no harm had come to them.

Auan spoke as gently as he could, despite his loud and predatory growl of a voice."Come, let us speak within." The goliath turned around and beat a smooth path through the snow towards the entrance of the building, it would become evident to the survivors that Auan had systematically crashed them as close to the entrance as possible.

The three looked at eachother before following him inside.
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Maddy Fen Ming
Pacific Point International Airport
One Month Later




Maddy Fen Ming's move to Pacific Point had been eventful to say the least. Actually eventful may have been a poor choice of words. Moving to a new city thanks to your prodigious scientific achievements was eventful. At this point, Maddy's life was just plain weird, and if getting caught in a biker gang shootout and taking a bullet to the ribcage hadn't convinced her that her life was weird, her newfound ability to grow and shrink certainly had.

Superpowers didn't make things any easier of course, considering she made this discovery at the same time that a violent anti-superhero terrorist group started destroying cities from orbit. Aleks and Terra had been super supportive and helpful of course, but despite her first stint as a superhero going well enough, Maddy still felt so wound up she would have spun right into the ground.

Her lab at the Silver River Institute being connected to the aforementioned terrorists, ultimately, was both the final straw and the perfect excuse to get away. Her and nearly everyone she knew there, including Aleks and Terra, loudly quit in protest, and Maddy used the following month of unemployment to de-stress, hang out with her friends, catch up on some shows and her own art commissions, and of course spending a week or two in Hong Kong to reorient and spend some time with her family. The end result was that a different girl stepped off the plane in Pacific Point International Airport then the one that boarded a few weeks earlier, standing a little taller, looking a little healthier, and feeling like she had rekindled that spark of optimism she carried into Pacific Point when she first arrived here.

In short, Maddy felt good. And at this point the only thing she had to worry about was losing her luggage again.

"...I swear if its been diverted to Lost Haven again I'm going to flip," Maddy grumbled into her phone, tapping her foot impatiently.

"The ability of airports to lose luggage is legendary," Lee Ming said on the other end of the call. "Your mother still hasn't forgiven EVA Air for sending her suits to the Middle East. What does she like to say again? 'It takes a special brand of incompetence to mistake Afghanistan for Taiwan'."

"Yeah that definitely sounds like mum," Maddy laughed, pushing her glasses back up her nose and spotting a familiar polka-dotted suitcase. "Oh good, they didn't lose it after all. I'm amazed."

"Astounded even."

"Mmm, quite," Maddy said seriously before breaking out into laughter along with her dad before yanking the suitcase off of the belt. "Alright, I better get going, my ride should be here by now. Give my best to mum and Ian."

"Will do. Good to see you again, sweetheart. Keep it touch!"

"I will, dad. Zài jiàn!"

"Zài jiàn!"

Stowing her phone in her pocket again, Maddy extended the handle on her bag and rolled past the security checkpoint into the lobby. The crowd waiting at this point was a proper crowd, with quite a few people holding signs for returning family members or off-duty soldiers coming home. With a mixture of amusement and annoyance, Maddy easily spotted a familiar face holding up a similar sign: "CLOD".

"I thought you were joking about that," Maddy said as Terra Vespa grinned mischievously at her. "Thanks for telling the entire airport I'm a clod."

"Well, you came over didn't you?" Terra argued, still grinning as she held open the door for her.

Maddy blinked before shrugging her shoulders. "Got me there. Don't think that gets you out of owing me a Jumbo Burger though."

"I was thinking I'd get you a regular one and you can go tiny instead," Terra said in a quiet, conspiratorial tone.

"You're hilarious," Maddy said, rolling her eyes as she stashed her suitcase in the trunk of the car.

"I try," Terra said, piling into the car with her friend. "Speaking of which, I think I found a place where we could work now that Silver River kicked the can, if you're interested. You remember that SPARK thing they announced a while ago?"
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by DaBomb
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DaBomb Der Meme Konig

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Lady Luck's Arrival to Lost Haven

Robert D. Sherman Airport
Late at Night

Cassandra walks through the airport building, picking up her single travel bag and slinging it over her shoulder. Staring at her phone, she looks through her selection of songs and picks a smooth jazz song, letting out a sigh of relief not only in her clearly superior music choice but because she hated being stuck in one spot for too long and a flight from St Louis to Lost Haven? That's a long flight and being able to finally walk was just simply divine.

Walking out the doors, she manages to hail down a taxi and soon enough she's being driven through the streets of new haven, her eyes gazed out the window as she takes in her surroundings, her soon to be home. Immediately, she notices the place is a lot cleaner than her own home... but now that she thinks about it, most cities have a clean part, she'd have to see this place's slums first...

The sudden shiver that ran down her spine reminded her that this New Haven, or Maine for that extension was certainly a lot colder than her old home. It probably would have been smart for her to buy a lot more heavier clothes before coming here, but that would require thinking ahead and she just wasn't too good at that.

Her thoughts were quickly interrupted by the taxi driver informing that she has arrived at the hotel. Quickly thanking him, she hands the man money and leaves the car, again shivering from the frigid air. Looking around, she quickly noticed men standing against a wall in an ally way, she almost moved toward them, but decided that maybe her first day to a new city wouldn't be a great day to get high off her ass. But on other side, she really wanted something to help her fall asleep. She finds herself walking to the man, offering him a smile. "You got Xanax?" She asks, plainly. "Forty dollars a pill." The man responds, causing Cassandra to quickly scoff. "Forty? Yeah, fuck that." The woman quickly pulls a card from her pocket and places a card on his chest, causing him to seize up and began to spasm on the ground in pain. After a quick pat down, she found herself a bag of xanny richer.

Frowning, she soon walks into the hotel, the bag already been stuffed into one of her coat pockets. She smiles at the woman behind the counter and after an exchange is handed a set of keys. Heading up the stairs and opening her door, she quickly drops her bag to the ground then walks over to her bed, taking a pill, swallowing it, then flopping onto her bed, soon fast asleep.

Lady Luck Prepares a Heist

Shitty Rundown Hotel
The Next Morning

Cassandra absent mindedly tapped her arm, her gaze glued to the screen of her laptop. She’s been doing some research since she had woken up about… three hours ago? A quick glance at the clock confirmed her thoughts, her eyes moving back to the screen to continue her apparent three hour work. She almost considered taking another Xanax, but she wanted to have a clear enough head for this.

Apparently, the city of Lost Haven is still under degree of martial law from the massive terrorist attack that happened months ago, so her planned target in the city might not be so good of an idea. Which is why she had chosen another city that was… decently close. Rockland, a small city that wasn’t too far from the one she was in now. Her van should have finally arrived by boat, so she wouldn’t have an enormous taxi fee getting there. She wants to spend as little as she can, after all. And showing up the a heist in a taxi seemed… a bit silly.

From what she’s read, there’s a local bank in Rockland as well as a jewelry store. While she’s loved to go for the bank, she didn’t have a crew yet and she didn’t want to start building up too much heat quite yet, so a quiet job would have to do. She had a few things coming to mind, but she couldn’t plan anything further until she saw the damned place. Shutting her laptop, she grabbed her keys and left the room. It was a quick walk to the port and she’d be on the road soon enough.

Lady Luck Robs a Jewelry Store

Rockland, Outside Tiffany's Jewelry Store
A Couple Hours Later.


From what she’s seen so far, the place was very basic. A single security guard and a half dozen employees, they most likely had a panic button somewhere so this job would have to be done very fast to remain silent. Yeah, she’d need one card for this one, hopefully it wouldn’t take her long to find it. Putting the car back in drive, she drove to the back of the store and quickly put on her temporary costume. A cloak and hijab. Thank America for religious freedom.

“Please sir, I must use your bathroom, I-I swear I will purchase something!” Walking into the store would cause panic and with the windows leading outside, they’d see her coming a mile away. She had to make sure she had the element of surprise. And in this case, it was the bathroom. “M-Ma’am, i’m sorry but it’s not open to th- “PLEASE SIR, I NEED IT!” She practically screams, making quite the show. “F-Fine, but please be quick, M-Ma’am. It’s through this door here.” “Thank you sooooo much!” She blesses the man, running off to the bathroom and quickly shutting the door behind her.

“Nope. Nope. Nope. Wrong Card. Queen, but not a diamond. Nope. Nope. Nope…” Cassandra sat on the toilet seat, going card after card, trying to find the Queen of Diamonds. This would be a lot easier if it wasn’t for the fact that every time she dismissed a card it reappeared. Damn RNG bullsh- OH, HEY! She got it! Putting some magic into the card, it quickly disappears with bit of a static shock and seconds later the form of a women begins to appear in the bathroom.

The women was a fairly tall, but slender and wore loose fitting robes. She was obviously of asian descent and had a head that was shaved bald except for a single ponytail from the back of her head. The woman quickly placed her fist against her palm and gave a deep bow to her summoner, before opening her eyes to take in her environment

And then the person that summoned her.

“Why am I in a bathroom, Luck? And are you wearing…. A Hijab?” The monk asks, a very confused expression on her face. “I’ve found the light of allah, it there a problem with that, Mohlin?” She replies, crossing her arms around her chest. “N-No, In fact I find it wonderful that you’ve found something other than stealing to devote yourself to, religion is a wonderful thing t- Oh… was that a jest?” She asks, her suspicion being confirmed upon the sight of Cassandra’s shit eating grin. “Yeah, I was just using this so the cameras wouldn’t get a good look at my face. We’re about to do a job and we’re in a bathroom of the place we’re going to do it. So, are you ready to hear the plan?”
“So, I saw two cameras on opposite sides of the walls, you can leave those to me. I’m going to need you to wipe up the employees before they can hit the panic button and save the security guard for last, I should be able to take care of him before he pulls out the gun or calls for back up.” The monk nods, her finger lightly scratching her chin in thought. “Can you give me a basic description of the interior and maybe where the employees were? From the sound of it, i’m going to have to act very quickly.” Cassandra pauses for a moment, backing up in thought. “There is a counter to our left when we walk out the door, with two people behind. I think a panic button is there, if they have one at all. Then there’s one person that walks around to see if everything’s alright, then there’s the security guard by the front door. And that’s it, unless there’s anyone I haven’t seen.” The monk merely nods.

It didn’t take long for the bathroom door to explode into splinters, the monk flying through the air with a leaping kick. Before anyone could react she had already hit the ground and lept toward the duo behind the counter. She grabbed the man behind the head and threw his head back, his face loudly slamming against the counter, knocking him out instantly. One foot lands on the ground and she pivots on her heel, swinging her other leg and slamming it against the women behind the counter, knocking her out as well.

Meanwhile, Lady Luck now in her uniform instead of traditional muslim garb, nonchalantly rushes out of the bathroom, two daggers in each hand. One goes into the camera on the left side of the wall, the other goes on the right side. And that last one goes right into the hand of the guard as he was reaching for his gun. She rushes toward the screaming man, who was busy screaming about his dagger impaled hand. A quick punch to the throat quieted him followed by a swift sweep of the legs, causing him to loudly slam against the ground. A stomp to the head turned the lights off for good. Looking up, she found that the remaining employee already slumped against the wall, the monk standing over him. “Now comes the easy part, go ahead and close the shutters, I'll take the display case.”

The pair of women walk out the back door Lady Luck having a duffle bag over her shoulder. “Thanks for the help, Mohlin, I'll see you later then.” The thief offers a smile as she opens the door to the va and throws the duffle bag on the passenger seat. “I doubt I have much of a choice, Cassandra.” The monk states matter of factly, a hint of a grin on her lips. “You always were my favorite one to speak too.” Cassandra snaps her fingers, causing the monk to turn into a beam of light then disappear. With a happy sigh, Lady Luck turns the keys and drives away from the store, heading back to Lost Haven.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by DearTrickster
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DearTrickster

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Time: Afternoon - Day after leaving Salem
Location: Central Park/Adirondack Park- NY

Deep within Adirondack Park, at the edges of a forest glade that had not seen much disturbance for many years, a small and withered spruce tree's trunk seemed to fly apart with a mighty crack. With dust and splinters sprayed backwards into the forest, the tree fell into the glade. Birds would have fled the area on hurried wings if they hadn't fled already.

"Yes! Nailed it!" Mandate cheered, enthusiastically squeezing her hand into a fist and pulverizing the stone she'd been about to throw. A polite clap came from Mara behind her as she shook the fragments off of her hand, bending down to scoop up another stone from the impressive pile she'd made.

She'd been launching stones into the forest for an hour now, attempting to hit trees at the edge of the sunny glade they'd chosen to wait within. It was just something to do to pass the time until the portal came, but it made Mandate happy to test her sloppy marksmanship against the defenseless flora.

Tilting her head back, Mandate stared up into the lazy afternoon sun. It was clear in the sky above them, not yet dipping into the evening, and no longer obscured by the dense trees in the clearing they'd chosen for their wait. The rock tumbled idly in her hand as her thoughts reached back to her dear companion. She liked to think that feeling could reach the Ambassador somehow, perhaps riding the sunlight that glinted off of her freshly-cleaned mercury surface, but she knew it was unlikely.

It didn't matter, though, did it? "When are they gonna get here, miss Mara?" she called back, head tilted for her cyclopean eye to catch the goblin's expression. The little woman in question had sat very clear from Mandate's escapades, but watched with a tired smile. A strange little pocket watch sat open in her lap, beside the remnants of an improvised lunch.

"Won't be long now, Mandate. You'll know when it comes."

"I know I'll know." Mandate whined, impatient despite her amusing distraction. The rock disappeared from her hand, faster than the average speed of her throw would suggest; it was a curious property of her strength, from what she could tell by observing others that were 'strong'- by their own measure, anyway. Maybe there was more that could be learned from it.

The golem frowned at the echoing crack of it impacting a distant tree, as none of the spruces at the edge of the glade shattered. Huffing, she bent down for another projectile. Maybe I'll hit a pine next.

All she could do was wait restlessly, and hopefully release some of her anticipatory energy with some reckless destruction.

Inside the width of a minute little stones inside Mara’s pocket began to glow warming against the goblin’s leg, signalling The Ambassador’s call.

A handful of minutes passed and slowly forming from the ground up near Mara a sliver of light seemingly split the air before them. Forming from within the light, slowly a familiar door began to form, rosy wood panelling followed by bright golden hinges - light escaping through the seams around the frame. Finishing off with a polished golden knob. It twisted and swung inward, appearing in the door frame was none other than The Ambassador herself. She stepped through past the threshold leaving it open behind her.

Bonjour, Mara.” She greeted the goblin, turning knowingly to Mandate nearby she genuinely had a big smile for the mercurial golem removing her sunglasses and placing them on the brim of her hat. “Mandate, my friend.” Eyes crinkling, moving to close the space between them.

Mandate was frozen in place, the stone clenched in her hand in preparation to throw as the door had arisen from the earth, her singular eye fixated upon it. And then, just as she had been anticipating, out from the door came her dearest friend. Though the separation had only lasted a few days, the golem felt her nonexistent heart swell, the knot of nervous anticipation giving way to joy. Finally!

It hadn’t even been that long, she knew. Perhaps she was a bit dependent.

”Miss Ambassador!” she all but chirped, her harmonic voice high with delight as she tossed the stone gently over her shoulder, into the distant trees. She didn’t wait for the ambassador to reach her; rather, the construct came bounding up towards the ambassador herself, delighted and eager. Her arms spread wide as she stooped down, mindful of her power as she invited her friend into a hug.

”Hello!” she announced belatedly, joyful and fidgeting with anticipation. She’d missed hugging her friend, but she didn’t want to accidentally squeeze her too hard. Soft things were so fragile. So, she patiently waited for her hug. Then she would squeeze!

Odette’s smile grew wider as she hopped a little to wrap her arms around Mandate’s head, “Bonjour my friend. I have missed you.” She said, sweetly. “I have so much to tell you, I have been rather busy the past few days. I am so pleased we could reunite.

Squeezing what she could against the hard surface that Mandate was, no give but Odette hoped a little pressure could be felt in her affection. “You were always in my thoughts.

Mandate giggled delightedly, pleased with the Ambassador’s hug and kind words. With a moment’s thought, her massive arms were around the human, one of them lowering to wrap under her legs as the golem straightened to her full height. She took the ambassador with her, seated neatly upon her arm and supported by a gentle hand on her back. ”I missed you too, miss Ambassador! You were in mine all the time!” she replied giddily before her thoughts interrupted her moment. Oh, right, her self-imposed task. For a moment, Mandate visibly sank, shoulders hunching and her ‘v’ of a smiling mouth inverting.

”I didn’t really find what I needed.” she confessed, admittedly pouting more than anything. It was hard to be truly sad with the ambassador on her arm. And that was right, the ambassador! Perking up a bit more, the golem gave her friend a small squeeze and delighted in the feeling of her, careful though she was. Alive and well, and as happy to embrace her as ever.

”But it’s okay! I’m really glad you’ve got something to tell me, because it means you did, right?” she continued, sincere and curious as her wide singular eye looked down upon her companion. Her smile had returned quickly, as it often did in the ambassador’s presence.

Odette nodded, one hand bracing on Mandate’s shoulder - at ease. “Perhaps I can help find what you need when you are ready to. You do me a service by being my vigilant protector.” She said with a level of seriousness, watching Mandate’s body language. “It would not be a favour but a gesture of goodwill.

Only when you are ready to.” She promised.

While the pair spoke, Bach watched on as well, leaning on the door frame of the portal. His face neutral as he watched, he looked to Mara then back.

He spoke in Common Fey, addressing her, “Nothing at all, huh? No rock left unturned, no cavern left unexplored. Really, I am not surprised.

How are you, Mara?

Mara watched the ongoing reunion with a lazy air from the ground beside the door. Mandate had returned to squeezing the ambassador in a hug, cooing about the ambassador’s pleasant sentiment. Apparently, the promise from the human meant a lot to the massive golem and seemed to reinvigorate her. That seemed strange to the goblin, with how powerful Mandate herself was, but someone with greater potency would probably be a better help than her.

Sighing, Mara’s eyes drifted to Bach, seemingly massive from behind her large glasses. The Common Fey tongue flowed easily from her as she looked her fellow fey up and down. He remained as… Well, Bach, as ever. ”Nothing. It’s a large world, Bach. Hard to find what you’re looking for, sometimes.” the fey dialect flowed more easily from her than human dialects, and she found sophistication a bit easier within their own tongue.

She did not bother naming what Mandate had been searching for; that was between the two of them. Talking was better than sitting in silence, though. ”I’m well. The woodland isn’t my dwelling of choice, but I can manage.”

Avoiding the humans sprinkled throughout the Park had been harder than thriving in it, certainly. Mandate was self-sufficient, in that she required nothing at all from the environment anyway. That left Mara with only some minor concerns, and she wouldn’t have considered herself a proper goblin if she couldn’t scrounge and scavenge.

”It’ll be good to get back to Paris.” she confessed wistfully, leaning back against the door.

I imagine so for you. We certainly won’t trouble you for your chaperoning services again very soon. I understand dealing with the intellectual equivalent of a toddler is a burden. Believe me, I know.” He flashed a grin at the goblin. “At any rate, you’ll be paid well for your services as always.

He pushed off from the frame going through the portal leaving them to their reunion, not waiting for Mara’s reply either.

Mara, perturbed, had simply returned Bach’s smile with an awkward, toothy smile of her own as she watched him retreat through the portal, feeling somewhat insulted by proxy. The implications of her fellow fey’s words were plainly obvious, but had he also meant what she believed he meant? Mara glanced nervously towards the ambassador, puffing out a sigh and adjusting her glasses.

She busied herself with sitting up and organizing her pack, and decided not to think about it. Bach’s business was none of her own, and the ambassador’s business was only hers for as long as she was compensated by the sly human. It was better to just not think about it, wasn’t it?

Mandate, humming happily, turned her dimly glowing eye towards the portal as she caught Bach’s movement. ”I’m really excited to hear about what you’ve been up to, but where are we going now, miss Ambassador? I’m ready for whatever you need!” Home would be ideal, but adventure by the ambassador’s side had been exciting every time.

… Although, ”Will I be breaking anything for you? That’s a lot nicer than trying to search through a park that’s- uh- really huge!”

Odette tapped her chin in thought, grinning, “One can certainly hope, my dear. For now, we are returning to Central Park, New York. Where we first met to be precise.” She patted Mandate’s arm, signalling her time to return to her feet. Gracefully sliding off her arm and adjusting her dress.

She beckoned for her to follow, heading to the portal. “Very productive. Met with the White Witch, we travelled to her childhood home meeting her parents and learning her true identity. We found one Gwyneth’s items there, learning of the strange pact her parents had with Gwyneth herself. It’s truly fascinating Mandate, we have learned so much. Then we moved onto Salem meeting with the witch covens there gaining more clues on the former Summer Court Queen Mab.” She named them off, proudly noting the accomplishments. “I convinced the White Witch, Marie, to trust me. I want you to be kind to her, Mandate. For me.” She asked, turning on her heel in the doorway reaching for Mandate’s hand.

Marie no longer needs to be intimidated.

”Oooh. It sounds delightful, Miss Ambassador!” Mandate breathed wondrously, curious about the delightful adventures she had seemingly missed in her own fruitless pursuit. Miss Ambassador was, indeed, as productive as she’d ever been! She’d have to ask for more detail later, although definitely not from that jerk Bach.

Following sedately after the ambassador, the golem hummed as she thought aloud about the request. She’d do it for the ambassador anyway, of course, but would she like it? ”Hmmm. Well, I didn’t dislike miss Marie when we met! She seemed nice, and I’d like to know more about her and her magic and this miss Gwyneth… Of course, I’ll do it, miss Ambassador!” she affirmed, reaching out.

Her silvery hand slowly and gently engulfed the human’s own. ”For you!” she added, giggling.

She smiled nodding. “Oh merci, Mandate. Gwyneth… is an increasing mystery to both of us. The more we learn the more questions we ask.” She said with a hum stepping through the portal arriving at the other side holding the door open for Mandate to squeeze through. “One thing is for sure is her connection to the former faerie Queen Mab. Whom I fully intend to meet with, we believe she is a powerful ally that can only be found in the forbidden kingdom of Tir na nOg.

Odette glanced to Mara seeing the goblin, no doubt hearing what she had said she raised a finger to her lips, “Plans that will remain only those present to know. Can I count on your ability to keep a secret Mara? Keeping my secrets in particular.

Mara didn’t even blink under the combined gazes of the ambassador and her golem friend. What was one more secret to a pile? Smiling tiredly, the goblin raised a spindly finger to her lips, standing up from her seat against the door. “Consider ‘em kept. All I heard was the wind, y’see.” she promised slyly, burying the awkward feeling that Bach’s words had left. Yes, she was good at keeping her mouth very shut.

Giggling, Mandate squeezed the ambassador’s hand. ”A forbidden kingdom? I like breaking rules that should be broken!” she noted happily, recalling the event in which she had punched a great construct of stone until it was a great pile of debris. ”You’re good at figuring things out, miss Ambassador. I’m sure she won’t be a mystery for too long.”

Bach added, “Remember we can always match the price for information and double it, Mara.” He nodded, unnecessary addition to their understanding but a reminder couldn’t hurt as far as he was concerned. No faerie in Paris could deny the Ambassador’s resources. “Yes the forbidden kingdom of Tir na nOg, where our gods and ancestors dwell. Only the most privileged and highest ranks of nobility may enter. It will be a first in a long time for mortal humans to enter.

Mandate gasped delightedly as the little goblin gave an awkward nod to her fellow fey, noting the twitch of a grimace. Perhaps Mara didn’t like her word being called into question? Well, more importantly, ”Congratulations then, miss Ambassador!” It was a given to her that the human would be able to enter. How couldn’t she, with her resources and wit? Then, yet another important thought struck the golem. Cupping her own chin with her free hand, the construct hummed. ”Has there ever been a golem whose entered?” she wondered.

The question caught Odette, she really never heard of a golem entering Tir na nOg. Letting out a giggle herself, hiding it behind a hand, “No, not that I can remember. You will be a first as you have always been.

Odette was pleased, allies at her back and a plan. Whatever Puck conjured stood no chance.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Liseran Thistle
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Liseran Thistle TanjiroIsBestBoy

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The Seattle Airport was sleepy and filled with a depressive air. Eris stretched their arms in the air, groaning at a crick in their back. They rubbed their neck, agitated. They had slept on the plane, though they don’t remember being sleepy when they first got on the plane. They turned to Phoenix, who seemed to be just muttering to himself. “Let’s not keep the other’s waiting.” They said, grabbing his arm, and pulling him along. Roland and Charlton had walked along to go and get something eat, Roland seemingly being more awake then the rest of them.

Phoenix walked beside Eris, though a bit awkward. Neither of them talked for a few seconds before Eris bumped his arm lightly.“Hey loosen up, will ya? I’m not gonna bite you or anything.” They chuckled. Phoenix looked at them confused at first, but it soon cleared and he laughed along with them.

“I am sorry. I am not...used to most of this, yet.” He gestured vaguely at the airport around them. There weren’t a whole lot of people milling about, the staff seemed to be more or less not actively working, or haven’t even arrived yet. It was a slow day for flights.

“Don’t worry about it.” They shrugged. “I’ve never really been to Seattle either, so...it’ll be a experience for both of us!” They smiled, and Phoenix nodded confidently.

Phoenix cocked his head to the side, with a far off look in his eyes, and Eris looked away. He sure does space out a lot.
They walked on further, and Phoenix laughed to himself a few times, slightly worrying Eris a bit. They decided not to question it, not knowing if he had some kind of condition or something. It’d be pretty rude to just comment on it, and it’s just laughter anyway. Eris spotted Roland and Charlton walking back together with what looked like food, and Eris felt grateful for their sudden appearance. They ate, and headed out of the airport. Eris walked faster, to stand beside Charlton, and patted him sympathetically on the arm.
…………………

“Do you still remember where he lives?” Eris asked him quietly. Charlton just nodded, as he hailed a cab.

“Eris...you realize he’s not going to be happy to see me.” Charlton spoke. Eris sighed, gravely.

“Yeah, I know. But he’s got ties, Charlton. If there was anyone who could help us, he could.” Eris said. “And besides. If he has anything to say to you, he would’ve said it years ago.”

Roland cleared his throat, and gestured toward the taxi waiting for them all. “Let’s get going then, if you don’t mind? We have a lead to catch.”

Eris shook their head at his blunt attitude, but got on nonetheless, squeezing in between charlton and Phoenix. Roland sat up front with the driver, seeing as there was no more space in the back. The drive to Pickington was short, and Eris didn’t know to be relieved by that or to scream. The driver wasn’t allowed to drive onto the premises of the mansion grounds, so Eris and crew had to walk the long walk up Eric Garland’s driveway. The house, Eris had noted before even stepping out, was a multi millionaire’s pad. Eris had never seen Eric Garland, and they had never known he was a rich, business man before Charlton told them a few years ago. That was when he had first told them about the divorce, or rather, Charlton running away in the middle of the night.

“So Garland knows the guy we’re looking for?” Roland asked, studying the mansion with a bored look on his face. Eris wondered if anything ever phased him.

“Yeah. Garland has eyes everywhere. He’s...kind of like my mom.” Eris said. “Mindy says she’s started some kind of rebellion against supers. If there was anyone who’d back her up in a heartbeat, it’s him.”

Phoenix gawked at the giant house. “Is it a temple? Like a place of...worship?” He asked, taking it all in.

Charlton sighed. “No, it’s just a house.” He said. “Let’s get this over with.” He walked right up to the big, front doors, and rang the doorbell. After awhile, Eris almost thought no one would answer, but then a short man in a nicely pressed suit, and slicked back blonde hair opened the door. He squinted annoyed at Charlton, but then his face fell when he realized who was at the door.

“You.” Eric’s voice held absolute menace. Roland pushed Charlton out of the way, and Eris couldn’t even be mad at him, seeing how Charlton stood frozen in place with a look one could only describe as extreme, inward pain.

“I’m Roland Moore, with the Jersey Police Department. We're here to ask you a few questions.” He said. Eric looked at Roland, and scoffed. He took in Eris standing next to Charlton, whose eyes were completely downcast. He didn’t even bother to spare Phoenix a glance.

“Oh. I see.” Was all Eric said. He shook his head patronizingly at all of them, and opened the door wider. Eric walked into his house, and talked to his guests, not bothering to address them at all. “So what, you come back after 15 years with two boy toys, one who doesn’t even look old enough to be out of highschool no less, and some runaway super freak?” He flicked a cigarette out of his coat pocket, and Roland gawked at him.

“Excuse me?” He asked, completely offended. Phoenix was feeling as if he didn’t very much like what Eric was saying, and Dexhi was growing restless just being around this man.

Eric chuckled, “Oh I’m sorry, ‘Officer’. Continue on with your cover story. Something about a murder?”

“It’s not a cover story.” Eris said, staring Eric in the eye. Eric rolled his eyes, and puffed on his cigarette.

“Right. Just like you being one of those Super freaks isn’t just a cover for running away? You’re all just a bunch of runaways, huh?” He asked. He pointed a lazy finger at Phoenix. “Come on, tell me. What’s your story, Tanto? Are you a runaway, or a liar like ‘Officer Moore?’”

“Sir, that’s enough. Someone’s dead, and you know who did it. So start talking.” Roland spoke, his voice tight with impatience.

Eric just took another drag, and let out a trail of smoke. “I don’t care.” He said simply. “If he knew them than they’re probably better off dead.”

Eris and Charlton stood in stunned silence at his carelessness and lack of empathy. Roland seemed close to snapping at him. But then a wave of calm washed over the room, and all eyes were trained on Phoenix as he spoke.

“You shouldn’t speak like that. I know you’re mad, but please consider. A man is dead, and you can help us catch his killer.” He said. Eris blinked at him, surprised he was speaking so clearly now, like someone was talking through him. “You don’t have to trust Charlton, but you can at least trust me when I say the man who died left before his time, and that that is a grave injustice. He’s left behind a remarkable scar on the world just by leaving it, so please if you know anything, tell us.”

Eric studied him closely, before closing his eyes. He sighed, and dragged a hand across his face. “Alright. Fine. I will play along, just this once. But I will talk to only you. No one else.” Eric hissed. Phoenix nodded.

Roland objected to this idea. “No, that’s-”

“Only him, or no one else. I’ll make you leave my house, and you won’t be back. You want information so much, you can talk to my lawyer instead of me, do I make myself clear, Mr.Moore?” Eric asked. Roland bit the inside of his lip, stubbornly before giving in.

“Fine! But he has to ask my questions.”

Eric shrugged. “Fine by me. Come on, Tanto. Let’s get this meeting over with.” Eric walked them down a long corridor to what was essentially his office. Eris stayed put by Charlton’s side, but Phoenix followed Eric Garland inside of the small space. The small, well groomed man glared at him, as he entered.
Eris looked after him, feeling sorry for not vouching to talk to Eric. Phoenix walked in the office room seemingly alone, but not really. As the doors closed, all Phoenix could hear were the voices of two Gods coaching him on what to say.

One as angry as a storm.

The other as calm as the sea.
…………………………………………..

Yeah I know this is really short, but i had to cut it short because im kind of working on multiple things, so i guess i just couldn’t make it too long.



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Hidden 12 mos ago Post by nitemare shape
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Canal Saint-Martin Neighborhood, Northeastern Paris

As they usually do in the summer, the residents of the neighborhood of Canal Saint-Martin came out in droves to the banks of the canal to partake in all that the scenic area. Some people chose to picnic along the banks, enjoying a meal as they looked out over the waters. Street musicians strummed their guitars all along the streets which were dotted with cafes and boutiques, all of which were packed with customers. Residents and tourists alike walked along the iron footbridges which crisscrossed the canal, while others chose to ride up and down the waterways by boat.

Etoile made his way through the district flanked by two of his followers. The neighborhood had a vibe that radiated youthful energy, and Etoile hated it with a passion. The truth was, there was little that the Fae thug did not hate. He felt that the hierarchy of the Fae world was stagnant and weak. They hid from the human mongrels, allowing the humans to rule over the earth, relegating the Fae and other supernatural beings to a lesser existence. They hid in the shadows, living their lives as something less than what they were. Less than Fae, even less than human. The so-called Hounds of Humanity had shown the Fae and other supernatural beings just how weak they had become, becoming more of a threat to the supernatural underworld than they had seen in centuries. They had actually done him a great service. For decades, Etoile had preached about the virtue of Fae dominance. He had championed the cause of war. War with the humans, and later, the metahumans. However, his calls to action had been largely ignored by those in control, even the one Fae who he thought would have been sympathetic to his cause, The Ambassador herself.

“Stupide chienne.” He mumbled under his breath as he weaved through the crowded streets, not bothering to conceal his presence from the mongrels that infested the city like a plague of vermin.

Although the humans and by extension, those supernatural beings who refused to do what must be done disgusted him, he was so very close to having in his possession and item that would grant him the power he needed to assure his place in history. The artifact was an item of immense power, which, if the legends were to be believed, would grant the one who wielded it the power of a god. Though he had been looking for the artifact for decades, he had never had any real leads on its whereabouts, until now. Ironically, the shard of the Divinity, as it was called by historians and scholars, had been right under his nose all of this time. It wasn’t locked away in some heavily guarded vault in a museum, or under lock and key in a government facility. It was in the private art collection of Jacob Cadieux, a well known art collector, and if rumors were to be believed, a notorious gangster.

This fact made procuring the shard problematic. Or it could have been. Fortunately, Etoile had the best thief in all of France in his employ. For the human woman, snatching the shard from Cadieux’s chubby little fingers would not be a problem.

Or it shouldn’t have been.

However, despite the knowledge of what would happen to her and everyone that she had ever cared about should she not come to him with the shard at the predetermined place and time, she never showed up. Etoile did not know if the woman had failed to get his item, or if she had succeeded and decided to keep it for herself. In truth, he did not care. She had failed him, one way or another and that failure would prove to be costly. Seline would have to be made an example of, which was actually quite a pity, as he had genuinely liked her, at least as much as he could allow himself to like a human.

Quel gâchis Etoile said as he saw the home that Seline shared with several family members.

***


Just like most days, Sophie Cantrell sat lone in her room with her nose in a book. Although the it was had been a beautiful day, even with the sun setting, it was beginning to look the night would be just as pleasant, she had no interest in doing the things that most girls her age were doing on evenings like tonight. She did not want to go out and run around the canal chasing after boys or looking for cheap thrills. She had much better things to do. She had grand adventures to set out on, where she would meet interesting folks from all corners of the globe. There was great romance, heroes, villains, and even gut wrenching terror for her to experience.

All within the pages of her stories.

Within these stories she could become anything that she wanted. She could be a warrior princess battling evil hordes that threaten her land. Or she could be a treasure hunter setting out on the adventure of a lifetime trying to find a rare historical artifact, fighting against criminals and time itself trying to save the future of mankind. She could be a super hero, fighting the good fight. She could live any life that she wanted, and for even just a little while, she didn’t have to live her own life. While she was visiting these far away lands, she was never hungry, and she never had too look for alternate routes home to avoid certain people that tended to take great joy in making her life as miserable as possible.

As Sophie began to get engrossed in a tale of mythic heroes setting out on a journey to confront the evil that threatened to consume their world, the sound of breaking glass and surprised shrieks pulled her back into the here and now. Startled by the sudden disturbance, Sophie got up from the small desk that she had been sitting at and went over to her bedroom door. Sensing that something was not quite right, she cautiously opened the door and slipped out into the hallway. Silently, she crept down the hallway. When she reached the stairs, she began to make her way downstairs, then she suddenly stopped. She saw three men and woman that she did not know in the living room. Laying lifeless in the far corner was her cousin Tanya, and her aunt Nicole was cowering on the couch, begging for her life.

“Où est Seline? “ One of the men demanded. He was tall and lanky, with short dark hair. The man had a strange charisma about him which caused Sophie to be oddly drawn to him. She took another step down the stairs toward her family when her uncle Raul charged the man, however the man brought his arm our an upward, almost like a gunslinger in the old American West, pointing his fingers at her uncle, when the room suddenly exploded in a red and green flash. The next thing she knew, her uncle was laying on the floor, and her aunt was screaming. Then there was another brilliant flash of colored light and her aunt fell silent.

Sophie began back up the stairs toward her room, but she was stopped by a firm hand on her shoulder. She spun to look at her attacker with wild-eyed fear. However, as she looked on her sister who held a finger up to her mouth indicating to be quiet relief washed over her. Seline beckoned for Sophie to follow her back up the stairs. Seline led her younger sister back up the stairs and down the hallway toward her bedroom, which was directly across the hall from Sophie’s room. Once inside, Seline ushered Sophie over to the window and motioned for her to climb out the window and down the large tree that stood in the front yard. Once Sophie had climbed down the tree, Seline followed her, then grabbed her by the arm and rushed down the street, not looking back until they reached the Gare de l’Est, where they boarded a train and got as far away from their house and the intruders who had destroyed their lives as possible.

***


The sun had begun to set on Paris as Scott walked the streets along the Seine. The streets were filled with couples, both young and young at heart who couldn’t pass up the purely magical scenery. As he observed the various couples before him, Alexa’s absence became all the more noticeable. Her negotiations for Winstone International had taken longer than she had anticipated, and she refused to let him just stay at the hotel. She had urged him to take advantage of the trip and explore the city without her, though she did suggest that he keep an eye out for a nice bistro for a late night bite to eat.

He had done as she had suggested, he had gone for a walk and saw a number of tourist attractions, many that he hoped to revisit with Alexa by his side. He went to the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. From there he visited the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. He had even taken in a ghost tour in the famous Paris Catacombs. Now, he was just taking a stroll along the river before returning to the hotel to wait for Alexa to get back from her business meetings, then he’d take her to the bistro that he had found.

As he walked along the river, he suddenly could hear panicked voices somewhere in the crowd.

“Qu'est-ce que tu as fait?! Qui étaient ces gens?” a young female voice asked. There was something about the way that she spoke that shook him. Maybe it was the raw emotion in the girl’s voice, the anger…the fear. Scott scanned the crowd, and then after several moments he found them. Two young women stood out among the crowd. He didn’t know what they had been through, but he could see that they needed help. So he cautiously approached them, being careful not to startle or otherwise shake them more than they already were.

“Est-ce que tu vas bien?” Scott asked in his best French. The two women looked at him blankly as he spoke to them. Their discomfort at his approach was easily seen as they sized him up, trying to see if he was a threat. Then, the older of the two women’s eyes grew to the size of saucers as she looked past Scott, to something, or someone behind them.

“Etoile.” The woman said. “Nous devons partir. À présent.” She said as she turned to go in the opposite direction. Then she turned back to Scott.

“Come. Now.” She said, compelling him to follow them.
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Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Alternax
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Lights flashed all around David, turning into a stream of bright colors enveloping around him, forming a tunnel that seemed to stretch out into infinity. Down either side all he could see were those colors, stretching out forever, with no door or light at the end like he would have expected from a movie. He started to wander down one end, but stopped as what appeared to be pictures started to swim down the ‘walls’ and ‘ceiling’.

As they came closer they started moving, or rather, he could start to make out movement; each one was different, with many of them showing people and places he couldn’t recognize. David moved to touch one, and it expanded, creating a whole new reality around him. The rainbow tunnel from moments ago gave way to a scene in a forest.

Hundreds of odd looking trees had fallen around him, the forest stretched out further, but all around him were crumbled branches and trees snapped at various points. At the center there were two figures, it was a man wearing some kind of animal skin over his body, and another that seemed like…

“Me?” David said aloud, and then shook his head.

“No, it can’t be…”

He wished that the Earth, the one responsible for these odd dreams, and his powers, would bother explaining things at some point. But his attention snapped back to the fight in front as the animal man brandished some kind of axe, and the other Terra threw an arm to his side; a long beam of light extended outwards, shifting itself into a blade of its own, connected to the other Terra at the hand.

Just as David found himself interested, a new scene washed away the one in front of him. The vast forest from before gave way to a barren field of snow, with nothing in sight but distant glaciers and the sun. A bright light suddenly appeared in the sky, shooting downwards in an explosion of energy, blowing at the snow and ice, so much so that it threatened to bury him. He turned and broke out into a sprint, but never stood a chance, the giant wave of snow and ice overshadowed him by miles, quickly crashing down around him.

-----


Location: Lost Haven, Candlelight Trails Suburb
Time: 3:00am

A pitch black world embraced him, he started to feel himself panic, his breath quickened, and sweat coated his body. Then his eyes adjusted, his fear and confusion evaporated as he slowly came to his senses; he was back in his bedroom.

Just a nightmare huh?

Although the dream had left him, in its place was a persistent nagging feeling, a subtle, anxious feeling, telling him to walk a certain direction; it wanted him to go far away from Lost Haven, somewhere to the North. After taking a moment to gather his breath he moved to leave the bed, taking care to gently move the blanket off, but it was pointless.

“David?” A voice beside him asked, it was a little hoarse and tired sounding, and for good reason. Looking towards the clock on the nightstand it was obvious.

3:00 am

“Where are you going?” He looked to face Cecily, her hair was a mess and most of it covered her face, she only moved the bare minimum out of the way to talk to him.

“Just going to walk around.” David mumbled back, he really wasn’t sure what kind of lie he could or should tell at this hour, and he was too tired to put effort into it. A quick fly to the North Pole and back should be no problem for Terra Firma. Cecilia looked like she was going to stop him, but David waved her off.

“Nightmare, I’ll just walk it off.” He whispered, and it seems it was enough. Either that or she was too tired to pursue it too. David thought of other excuses for a few moments, he knew this wouldn’t hold up later, but he had to shelf that for now.

He quietly closed the door to the bedroom as he left, and gently peaked into Madison’s room to check on her. Her bed was a mess, the blanket had nearly fallen off, and she had managed to spin herself almost 180 degrees, David took a moment to at least put her blanket back on properly before leaving.

-----


Before David left he thought it would be quick, but he had never traveled intercontinental like this, so he felt it was taking a little too long, and then remembered his control over Earth. It moves like an extension of his limbs, from giant fists and whips to, well, bigger fists. It also occurred to him that he wasn’t very creative, but his constructs always moved a different speed compared to him, sometimes faster, sometimes slower.

So he hovered closer to the ground, and drew up stone from several dozen feet below the ground on the side of a road. He maneuvered his hands, forming curves and cutting at angles, giving shape to what he thought he wanted. David knew the trip to the North was no stroll, as he had found for himself, so he felt he’d need something thick, maybe even a little aerodynamic, and so he had decided to fashion a sort of ‘homemade’ surfboard.

Instead of ‘willing’ himself into the air, he used his power over the Earth to move his ‘board’, carrying his body with it. Together they rose up and down occasionally, he almost fell off several times before he decided to just connect the board to his feet with a sort of crudely made clamp, with this David had managed to master it, or at least feign mastery, and flew off.

-----


The frozen wind blew at him furiously as he flew against it, despite the fact that it was cold it didn’t bother him like normal, and he was grateful to that as he got the feeling he’d be here for a while; making a liar out of him once more. He briefly thought of going back to the house to say goodbye, or leave a proper note, but that thought banished itself as quickly as it came. A research boat holding position a few dozen feet away from the nearest icecap waved him down, and he obliged.

“I remember you from the news, you’re one of those heroes that stopped the Hounds!” The man shouted as he gestured to a TV on the side of the boat.

David nodded in response, and the man continued.

“Well I don’t know how you knew about this, it only happened just moments ago, but that giant thing came out of the sky, and then we were told to back off by the military. Their jets showed up and then this guy came out and completely destroyed them!”

David looked to his side, he could definitely see what the man was talking about, like as if someone decided to make Mt. Everest into a factory, and crashed it right into the ice. It was way too big to be human, but there was no way it could be alien, those didn’t exist.

“I’m going to have a look, you guys should back further off.”

The man nodded and ran back into the boat cabin, and then David rose higher into the air, flying closer to that machine. The remains of the destroyed jets littered the outside of the structure.

Am I really qualified for this?.

Hidden 12 mos ago Post by LeeRoy
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And


Location: North Pole
Time: High Noon

Inside of the colossal building the giant led the three men deeper and deeper, answering their questions about why he had led them in, why he had spared them instead of destroying them with their planes. With their curious minds satiated, Auan began asking them questions. What their purpose was, why they lived under the rule of others, what their dreams and aspirations were.

They were hesitant, skeptical of course, but Auan was patient and talked kindly despite his overwhelming display of force and presence. By the end of the first hallway and entrance into the next major room, they had begun to even laugh a bit at his statements. He’d made them so comfortable in his presence that they’d begun to take the entire situation lightly. When Auan and the three soldiers finally reached the central room he turned around to them and presented the towers of stasis pods, the lights behind the giant figures cast shadows upwards on the ceiling with a collage of shadow forms lying in an inward spiral. “My brothers and sisters. The reason I am here. They cannot live in this time, trusted with their lives I am saddled with a heavy burden.”

As he spoke, his accent gradually shifted to match theirs. They were all of UK descent, they spoke with a Belfast or Northern Irish accent. Something like Liam Neeson with the voice of James Earl Jones, it made them more comfortable as the pronunciation of their own language was no longer butchered by literally billions of years of distant alterations. “Now the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Their hopes, dreams. Mine now, and I cannot risk disappointing.” He dropped down to one knee and offered his right hand to them, pulling his giant gauntlet off to bare his striped slate grey human skin. A gesture of humanity, to prove that despite their differences he was still human. “I want not for war, though I must save my people. I offer an alternative.”

He raised his left hand and presented the forms of the giant warriors from the future. “I cannot make you as strong, but I can make you like them.” The three men looked at eachother with confusion and disbelief. The most brave of the three took a step forward and put his hand on the giant palm of the gold clad figure.

“I’ve always dreamed of being a Hero, I joined the military to serve and protect. Not to wage war.” The other two nodded and stepped forward, placing their hands on top of their companion’s Auan’s happiness couldn’t be conveyed in just a few words.

With glee in his voice he stood up and sheathed the gauntlet back on his hand. “Together you, The Companions! Companions of Supersol, first of your kind. You will be the example of peace and strength to those who attend my labors!” His voice echoed and boomed throughout the complex as he shouted, followed by laughter and its deep rumbling through the metal workways.

The joy slipped immediately, Auan’s ears quirked and the alarm sounded once again and the cameras showed that something had already arrived at his doorstep. Holograms orbited him and images of an intrusive figure emerged. “Get down behind the machinery, Companions!” He screamed to them, warning them before rocketing off towards the doorway. Each colossal step rumbling the floor as the three soldiers backed off into the corners of the room.

-----


David released the board from his control and left it a few feet away from the machine, amidst the remains of the jets, he took note that they all were destroyed right in front of the machine; it reminded him of ancient tribal warnings. To his relief there were no skulls in sight, which might mean the pilots were alive, might.

The door to the giant machine was open, he had no idea if that was meant as a trap for him, or simple carelessness, so he made the extra effort to keep his ears open, and continued to keep that attitude with him as he ventured inside. The air inside was a stark contrast to the frigid winds outside, it was hotter than any summer in Florida, and the air was wrong. It was heavier somehow, and it smelt terrible.

What the hell am I stepping in to?

The walls of the corridor were clean, but it wasn’t smooth like a building would normally be. There were pipes chugging something throughout the interior, and there were several other vague parts exposed to him, shaking in their own way. It felt like he was walking inside a car engine, or the hallway of a battleship, but it was a little bigger than that. Normally, the Terra Firma body felt a little too big, going through doorways was a hassle, but here it felt fine, normal even. Which could very much be a bad thing.

He pressed his hand to the walls, usually he could vaguely feel elements like Iron, steel or limestone in construction and in streets, but the materials here felt too far removed. He couldn’t recognize them at all. David continued on, he had no idea where he was in relation to anything or anyone important, so he just continued, aimlessly walking left and right, left and right. Until he found a giant room.

Some kind of cylinders, or pods, ran miles up and down from the ceiling, and even across from where he was, making him feel like he was definitely in some sci-fi movie; the shadows casted over the idle machinery was intimidating enough, but the room itself seemed sterile and creepy.

David moved closer to one of the pods at his level, it was covered in condensation so he rubbed a hand over it, carrying the extra moisture with it, and inside…

”What the hell?” David shouted out, as he stumbled backwards.

Human, he looked human!

David ran to wipe off some more pods, unsure of what he’d find, but he found the same each time. Human, and another human, they were all human; not only that, but some of them were huge, a few of them were well over 12 feet tall, which was impossible. He looked to examine them for injuries, anything, and he noticed something. Their bodies were different, altered maybe, like monsters in human form, they were statues of muscle and flesh. Some were small with razor like features, others were massive figures.

What had he stumbled into?

-----


The hallways rumbled beneath his feet, the circular alert cameras around him showed him a massive figure of starlight in human form, a beacon of light shimmering in the outline of man. Auan’s heart trembled for a moment, too similar to Transcendant humanity in appearance. Like something had forced humanity into the vague semblance of its future self, but with all of the imperfections of its time. Not pure radiance, but a sort of natural appearance.

He’d heard of something like this, a creature in the distant future. They called it the Ghost of the Deadlands, it was a magical beast of shimmering natural energy. Some said that it was the Earth’s anger at being abandoned by its greatest children, some believed it was the Earth itself. Auan was not superstitious, and so he steeled his heart and barreled into the next pod chamber. It had come in through another entrance and into another separate pod room, where those less immediately human of his brothers and sisters was stored.

They knew the humans of the past would have a hard time accepting people like them, so they willfully chose to separate themselves into different chambers. He barreled through the door and his hand alighted with electricity, arcing from his fingertips down to the floor and to the nearest metal objects. “Be gone from my home, my people!” His voice, like a lion’s snarl, it echoed and would feel like someone rattling your ribcage.

David felt the man’s words vibrating through the floor, and this had nothing to do with his power. Was this just how strong the man was?

In a single moment he unleashed the fury of lightning upon the intruder, throwing his arms out like whips and casting the electricity off in one single motion. The arc of lightning struck out at the figure of energy as soon as his eyes met Auan’s mask, were it not for the mask Auan would have looked visibly shaken by the intrusion of someone so dangerously similar to the enemies of his time.

David stumbled back a couple steps as the lighting slammed into his chest, whoever this was certainly wasn’t kidding around, a blast like this would have killed a human. He moved an arm to intercept the lightning stream, carrying it in an arm, before tossing it off to the side, breaking off the flow of energy, throwing off a shower of tiny, harmless sparks into the air and onto the floor.

“Your home? So this behemoth is yours, what the hell is this?”

--

It had cast aside the lightning as if it were nothing to him, this being was nothing to play around with. As his arms reset into their resting defensive posture he was asked if this was his property. It wasn’t alien, at least, it spoke the language of this time. “Yes, my home. Yet traveled a great breadth of time to reach this place. These are my people, my charges of protection. You have entered my domain without permission.” His left hand gestured to the pods near Terra and then returned to his side, flickering now with a blue fizzle of plasma. “We can resolve this peaceably. I want not of violence.” He raised the hand and directed his fingers towards Terra Firma. ”Should you remain, I would remove you.”

David held out a hand of his own, palm facing out, gesturing for him to stop. “We don’t have to fight, I didn’t come here to tear up your home. You said you traveled a great distance of time? As ridiculous as that is, I do know you traveled here somehow. But why?” David placed his arm back down, and continued. ”But be warned, if this does come to blows, I’m fairly strong.”

”In my time, your world is destroyed. This culture propagates destruction, timeless and immortal. So long as its effects do not reach your leaders.” He paused and shifted the shape of his hand to more directly point a finger accusingly towards Terra Firma, “Trillions of worlds, billions of stars. If your time had not happened, many worlds would still be habitable.” Auan turned and drew the floating hologram from his immediate right, shifting its shape with his mind.

It contorted into a sphere and took on the vague semblance of Earth in this time, albeit with slight differences. It began to spin rapidly and the continents shook and moved, machinery consumed the planet entirely before it became a grizzly wasteland of dry deserts and blistering sun. Machines and sand were the way of the world and suddenly it changed with humanity’s exodus from its own world. The machine buildings took flight off of the world and left behind a dead world, blistering heat and dry cracked earth.

It spun faster yet, the world dried up. Its oceans boiled away and life became impossible.

More time passed and a colossal asteroid struck the planet, a water asteroid that flooded the Earth with new water. Humanity brought alien life from the stars to this world that had readily available oxygen and they flourished immediately. A new species rose up on the red stained planet, they built a small civilization and once more machines began to grow.

Humanity returned now, subjugated them like cattle and altered their genetic code. They saw humans as overlords and gods down to their very DNA. The world was abandoned once again, nature taking its course as the new species evolved and went extinct one after the other. The world was always red now as the sun approached, the temperature rose and life died off once again.

The oceans boiled, and the planet was suddenly upheaved by a cosmic power. Drawing it away from its dying star to protect it. It was returned to orbit once the star had died, but the damage was too great. All life ceased to be except for a single incredibly adaptive species of extremophile that could eat any mineral to survive, and cannibalized to keep its species strong.

There the giant spaceships of humanity returned for the last time, dumping the Supersols onto this dead Earth. The rotation stopped abruptly here as the construction of the structure they were in was beginning.

“In our time, we saved Humanity, born prisoners of its faults, created to protect. Then abandoned like a plaything.” His voice was somber, choked up and sorrowful. ”Did everything that could be done to save as many as one man can.”

”Your future, my past, is grim.” His voice was low and almost a whisper as he spoke those words.

David winced several times over the course of the show, although it would only be perceived through slight nods, and the tightening of his fists. Time travel, an absurd concept that experts in the field loudly and proudly dismissed, was now being presented as fact by this man, and David was half inclined to believe him.

That hologram, or whatever it was, could be faked, and he hoped it was; because if it was real, it would mean that humanity had taken the wrong path in its future. But those people in the pods, they looked human enough, and he was even being won over by the man’s aggressive behavior breaking way to a sad self underneath.

”You showed up suddenly, and without warning, that’s why we’re here.” David gestured to himself, then off to the side to represent the recent battle outside.

”But this time, this era on Earth, did not cause your future, and I know I speak the definitive truth. Because even now, there are hundreds of heroes, known and unknown, all fighting for a better tomorrow. Even unpowered humans of today have a role to contribute, we pave the way for the next generation, we care and teach the young so that we can avoid a future like this!”

David answered the man’s own seemingly sorrowful words with his own heartfelt ones. He wasn’t just shouting, or talking blindly, he truly believed in what he was saying. Because he could not, can not, believe for one second that humanity would become warmongering.

”Personally subjugated five star systems of Humans who had stricken away from Humanity. Had decided to walk their own path. Tried be better than the Humans who destroyed so gainfully.” The hologram dropped, he didn’t wish to recreate these images. Something about the way his hands dropped to his side and his gaze turned away from Terra spoke volumes.

Terra might have even been able to read that Auan was bleeding with regret. ”We watched them become decadent, hedonistic.” The hologram flickered for a moment, demonic figures nearly five times the size of Auan were bearing down on him and his men. ”They sought power from dark magic. They sought power from aliens. It is inherently Human to want more, but when we try to be better.”

The image of Humans cast upon artificial metal frames, their skin stretched over mechanical bodies in a grizzly parody of the Human form.”We wind up so much worse.”

”We had seen many paths. We’ve been alive longer than your entire species has had culture. Fought more wars in our lifetime than Humanity has in its entire history.” The giant head turned towards the shimmering giant in the same room. Two goliath figures, one cast in gold and the other cast in light.
”You think you’re the only one who has studied history? I’ve seen it too, I’ve seen humanity war with itself for centuries, and the one thing I’ve noticed. We always get better, we develop as a society, we evolve each other. Medicine, science, culture. Humanity just needs time, it will get better, and it will never become as grim as you say it will.”

”We had to come back, to change the course of Humanity. To stop Humanity from destroying itself, its world, and every other species in the universe.”

He took a few slow and measured steps towards Terra Firma, speaking icy cold for a single moment.”I have to change Humanity itself.”

”And what does that mean, what exactly are you planning?” David asked, unshaken by the man’s intimidation.

”Humanity is limited in choice, restrained by social contracts of physical power being insufficient to match political power. This absolute fact dictates the course of the next four billion five million one hundred forty eight thousand six hundred and twenty two years. I give Humanity the choice, evolution by their own wills, or by the wills of faceless masters.”

”Faceless masters? What do you mean?”

”From our time we sought solutions, our enemy so vast that victory was unattainable. We concluded that history must be altered, by Humanity’s liberation from faceless masters. Great leaders will rise from elevated masses, and all will be right. Uncontrollable variables must be introduced in greater numbers, the few that exist are not enough.”

”There exist, already, a great number of powerful people in the masses. Especially after the Pax Humana event, if you plan a repeat of such an event, I’ll have to stop you.”

”You’ve traveled here with a deep conviction, I’m hoping to change your mind with words, but I’ve also seen, that words alone are not enough sometimes.” This time David took his own slow, impactful approach, one step at a time.

"You won't be convinced," Auan took a couple steps to the right, opening up another doorway to a long hallway leading out to the snowy hellscape of the Northern Pole. "Sorry it must come to this, do not want to make enemies." The regret was tangible in his voice, "At the very least, may I have your name? The real one, no honorifics or titles."

”Any name I give you could be ‘real’.” David replied, but he could hear a palpable sorrow in the man’s voice, and it touched him again.

”Call me…. David.” He finally answered after a short pause, and although he had already said it, he began to carry some small amount of regret.

"I see. It was a pleasure meeting you, David. I am Auan Six-Five-Nine-Four. It is a sad state we find ourselves in."

”I wish I could have dissuaded you with words. But I’ll teach you just how good humanity can be, even if I have to beat it into your skull.” David had felt sorrow, even disappointment, that this had turned sour, that he had ended up in another superpowered brawl.

Just what kind of example is he, what would his family think?

Those were the kind of thoughts that floated through his head. But he had it up to his limit, people these days were so obstinate, so quick to violence, maybe he should be too; like Pantheon, the Hounds, even Icon didn’t spare a second to talk. He could never hope to be an international symbol of hope or peace, but he can damn well try to be a good example to his family, should they ever find out. Auan at least gave words a chance and explained his situation, but they were too opposed against each other, words could not settle this.

The hallway behind the golden goliath opened all of its doors in sequence, an electrical signal running down its corridors as the cold wind blew through towards the room. ”Let us not do this here, we should let them rest.” He turned towards the door and began walking, his fingers typing as he moved. He was sending a program to the automated systems for the conversion of the first companions.

Auan trusted his back to the warrior from the past, turning completely away from him as he made his way outside. David followed Auan outside, right to where he had come in, where the remains of the jets lay, and he took this moment of peace for one last question.

”I don’t mind taking the fight away from your people, but what of my people, the men that flew these machines?”

A small jolt of disquieting nerves ran up his spine, that electrical tinge of surprise and fear you feel when something goes wrong. For a single moment, Auan’s voice revealed this but tapered back to his natural cool and calm tone.”They are safe with me now. They are the reason we came back, the first to receive our gift.” Each second felt agonizingly longer than the previous, every step bringing him closer to the inevitable fight between David and Auan. Time began to slow, that adrenaline slow that comes from a dangerous situation.

His feet finally stopped clanging on metal and crunched into several feet of snow, the sudden echoing metallic ring halting and bringing his senses to a sharp knife’s edge. Auan moved several steps into the snow, bulling over foot after foot of hardened powder snow. When he’d put ten paces between himself and David, he turned to face the spirit of Earth, man to man.

”What is this, ‘gift’, and are they with you willingly?” David asked, Auan put distance between them, so David started jogging to his side, like he was going to flank Auan; but would stay parallel to him for a time. Other than lightning, he had no idea as to what Auan’s powers were, and speed is a good thing to check for.

”Our gift?” Auan’s voice deepened and steam began to seep from the thinnest points of his armor as his body began to heat up. ”The power of choice.” Like a rocket in the shape of a man, jets of flame erupted from Auan’s back and shifted through the color spectrum until they burned a bright cosmic blue. The flames turned to plasma and in a single instant he crossed the gap between them, lowering his arms to the waist level to grab hold of Terra Firma’s hips and lift him into the air.

Auan was fast, but so was David, at least to a point, and threw his fist upwards into an uppercut in an attempt to stop his grab. ”Choice, what do you mean?” The blow winged the helmet on the side, sharply turning the head of the golden warrior before the full weight slammed into Terra. Instead of lifting up on Terra, his direction was changed and the pair were blasted off to the side.

As he tried to push Terra Firma into the ground, quickly altering his original plan to something immediately more convenient. ”The ability to choose their fate!” His body shifted its enormous plates of metal and muscle to angle the entire conflict into the Earth where he would attempt to go for a mount. To put his entire bulk on top of Terra so maybe he might beat some sense into him.

”What makes you think they haven’t already?”

David saw what Auan was trying to do, but Auan had already managed a firm grip on his body. Thanks to those jets on his armor Auan was probably faster, but stronger?

Let’s see about that.

David slammed his fists into Auan’s head, palms first, although he tried to dial it back, he didn’t try too hard. A man that could rip planes in half was definitely no weakling.

The future warrior always did his best to conceal his weakness with ferocity. Close quarters unarmed combat was not his specialty, engaging Terra Firma like this was to put him on the backfoot for an immediate advantage rather than fight to his total advantage. It might even surprise Terra Firma that every single one of Auan’s physical attributes was significantly inferior to that of himself, Auan was just a profoundly experienced fighter.

Auan’s body buckled beneath the downwards blow to the head, his head wound up shoved straight into the lower part of Terra’s chest but his grip was slackened to drop down to Terra’s knees. With a tremendous pull upwards and two steps forward he went to topple Terra to the ground by lifting his legs straight from under him..

Had David actually trained in combat, his reflexes might be able to take advantage of his powers, as it was Auan had his way and flung David like a pancake onto his back. But he didn’t take it lying down, so to speak, and used his flight power to start moving, taking Auan along for the ride.

As the two spun in a deathroll of superhuman giants, blasting snow aside like a hurricane of pure white, Auan held firm at the waist of Terra and attempted to claw up towards the midriff. Jets of plasma and energy fall off intermingling in a spiral of crackling power. ”There is no choice in a future that is already set!” His right hand slipped and dragged behind them, Auan gripped tightly with his left hand and tried to reach up to grip with his right. ”If I am here, then this future remains unchanged! Their fates were predetermined by my existence!”

”I don’t believe a word of what you’re saying, the future is always changing! If what you said was true, then that just means we all have to work a little harder, and even if it takes a few generations!”

David saw that Auan was losing his grip, and decided to use this to his advantage. Right now he was facing the sun, staring straight at it, if he were still a normal human he might be annoyed at the glare, but right now it evoked another feeling. He remembered once using the light of the sun to blind others, although it was small scale then, David felt that this was a good time to upscale that attack. His body reached out, channeling sunlight, and his body reacted by glowing brighter and brighter, until it outshined any other nearby lights, the sun included, all to ensure Auan couldn’t see.

He called for the tiny bit of Earth he had left near Auan’s craft, while trying to aim them towards somewhere with actual land; he couldn’t do anything with this Ice right now, and no point trying to feel up new powers. If Auan wanted to climb him so bad then he would help him, David grabbed Auan’s loosened hand up, and then clamped his arms tight around Auan’s body this time. The light began to recede as David drove the both of them down into the ice, Auan head first.

The pair smashed into the ice and Auan's head was buried deeply in the packed snow and hardened frost. Shattering like glass the shrill cracking noise filled their immediate proximity, muffled by the soft snow and mist that had been blown up by the impact. Terra had his back and his legs were underneath Auan's armpits, so the golden giant slung his hip up and over to smash the being in the face with his lower back and buttocks. It was inglorious, but when you're a warrior you must use every part of your body to your advantage.

This would be David’s first true fight with another superhuman, so he had no way to gauge how well or poorly the fight was going, and he wanted to make sure he hadn’t over done it. So he loosened his grip to check on Auan, the man’s lower body lulled forwards slightly, then suddenly crashed into his face.

[i]Seriously? An attack like this?[/color]

David thought as he tumbled backwards from surprise, as well as the attack itself, providing Auan with an opening. The future warrior quickly dismounted in a spiral of plasma trails, blasting both behind and underneath himself to reposition further away from David, breaking free from immediate face to face melee to put himself into the advantageous position once again.

Once he reached a solid hundred and fifty feet away he would materialize a giant hammer from the ice in the air around him. Unlike in advantageous locales, the only materials around were ice and snow. With his mind he compacted the snow to a steel hard bludgeon, literally vibrating with it's instability.

”We have seen how the world ends, we cannot risk the future you have seen. Whatever the cost we will ensure that time never comes to pass!” He raised his hands high with the hammer held aloft, sparks of electricity coursing through the frozen bludgeon. ”I don't wish to wage war, I don't want to be the enemy! I offer the world the choice to determine its own destiny, rather than be subject to the fate predetermined by politicians in high towers, untouchable by normal men!”

His voice was a scream, booming and with each syllable vibrating the air between them. ”I didn't have the choice, born into the doomed Universe! A slave!” Brandishing his greathammer towards Terra as his opponent rose to face him. ”But I will die a liberator.”

”That time will never pass, and if you’re so adamant about it we can work together for that better tomorrow!” David raised his hand up into the air, not to stop, but to grab, though not necessarily at Auan, but at his hammer. Usually his powers are tied to feelings, the urge for quick and powerful strikes birthed lightning, the need to stand firm awakened his power over the ground, and even then his feelings resonated with those powers. Here, he felt nothing, even as he tried to reach out with everything, he felt nothing. Disappointment and worry filled his mind momentarily, before he shifted back to the fight.

”There doesn’t have to be a war, and nobody has to die for it! You come from a dark future, but it can be bright, we just have to guide the next generation, that’s our duty, as adults!” David’s own voice echoed throughout the icey plain. Auan was certainly stubborn in his belief, but his beliefs were inherently wrong, ideas brought about in a timeline so far removed from his present had no place judging the people of today, and he was going to show him that.

”You have a choice now, you can help the humanity of today, or you can keep fighting it like you have been all morning!” David could feel something else, a passion flowing through his body like a geyser. He firmly believed Auan was wrong, his way of operating was wrong, and although he himself had no right to be talking about the future, he had no intention of losing.

Fire, genuine flames and embers exploded in plumes off his body, coalescing all across his body, then spiraling down towards his fists and arms. The ice under him hissed violently as it steamed a boiled underneath him, causing him to sink down to his thighs , but it didn’t bother him in the slightest as he bent slightly, and launched into the air.

As Auan dropped from his ascent, no longer maintaining centripetal motion or upwards ascension, he drifted strangely lightly down towards the ground. Before he could speak again, David had blasted from the ground in a column of fire and fury. The two met mid air in a collision of ice and fire as Auan swung the bulk of his hammer straight towards Terra Firma’s head. Instead of it serving as a proper weapon it simply exploded into shards of rapidly melting ice in the radiant mutual heat of the impact.

What shards that didn’t escape landed on David and sizzled away into nothing as he continued to barrel through, and flew into another grapple with Auan. Instead of grabbing him, David opted to one good hit, he clasped both his hands together over his head, and slammed down.

The surprise of his weapons failure was in no small part due to the atmospheric differences of their times. The temperature of Earth had decreased so much that the ice and snow sheets were comprised of much denser elements. He hadn't noticed the compositional difference until the moment of failure, where his entire guard was dropped and the energy being smashed both fists into the crown of his helmet.

With a single rapid motion he was plowed into the ground again, his slow descent becoming a quick one in zero seconds flat. His left foot and right knee hit the ground and both of his hands followed quickly. As he rose to his feet he spoke. ”I am not immortal, despite my great age. I cannot ensure that they will guide themselves by my teachings! I can pass on my words but the powers that be are tenaciously evil. Within three generations they will alter my words, within five they will forget my face. Falsehoods and twisted lies of my deeds will be fabricated and spread as truth.”

His body crackled with plasma emissions, blue lights gliding weightlessly across a golden body. Illuminating the darkened crevices for the moments they intersected. ”Then they will tesr power from the people. Ignorant of the lies. Illusion ot choice will reign supreme once more!”

He stretched his arms out and placed his legs at shoulder width, broadening his body to the maximum space that it can accommodate. Lines of electrical emissions crackled to the ground and expanded in geometric patterns across the uneven snow. ”This is the only choice!”

”The people aren’t as powerless or ignorant as you seem to think! Everyday someone gets powers of some kind, and the world changes in that instant! Because of superhumans organizations like STRIKE and SPARK exist, even the government is working together with them. Sure, there are those with dark intent, but those are dealt with in time. This era isn’t the same one you read about in your time, everyday the powerless become the powered, and in time we can all affect the world!”

Auan was taking this moment to prepare something, so David would too; miles beneath the ice they stood on was the ocean floor, so he reached down for it, pulling at it. He felt the intense resistance from the water, the absolute depth, even the distance, and it was coming, slowly but surely.

Like the blast of a naval broadside, shockwaves erupted from behind Auan in a half moon expanding out over two hundred feet. His hands whipped forward to the full extension, directing both open palms towards David, firing a beam of concentrated psychic plasma towards David, exploding the packed ice, mountains of snow and frost flew in all directions except towards the ray.

It ripped the air apart and sweltered like the surface of the sun, blistering the air around them from a frigid cold to a superheated atmosphere of sublimated water, having completely skipped the liquid phase and jumped to the gaseous phase.

Auan's power was never in question, but even though he wasn't trying to kill Terra Firma, he was trying to beat the message into the head of a very powerful being.

David braced his arms in front of him as the energy collided into his body, he tried to resist it but was thrown backwards by the blast. The sheer force behind it proved too much to stand against, even what remained of the snow around them had no choice but to move; he managed to recover enough to stand on one knee, and braced himself like that. If their superheated battle, turned literal, continued as is, the very environment around them, known for its subzero temperatures, would cease to be, and so he resolved to move their fight.

Right now the ice beneath the two of them was melting, swiftly transforming their part of the frozen plains into a cavern, and that was perfect. That piece of the ocean floor he had called for was finally close enough, and he began forming it into a fist even while it flew underwater; the time to change the stage had finally come. David’s slab had been holding position high above in the sky, and now it came racing back down at Auan’s backside. While his underwater ram closed in on him from underneath, shattering what little ice remained, and slamming full force into Auan’s front.

Like two speeding trains they collided with Auan. Taking his front and his back simultaneously and sandwiching him between them with an explosion of rubble as he enveloped himself in a psychic barrier at the last minute. The much larger plate sent him plowing through the smaller block of stone, flying through the air at high speeds in a reverse freefall of chaotic energy. He had not seen this coming both literally and metaphorically, the plasma had blocked it from his view and there was no way to see a continental plate being slammed into you coming.

As he careened like a ragdoll in a ball, Auan tried to stabilise himself by shooting out jets of plasma from his body. He managed to stop himself from spinning but there was nothing he could do about the speed he'd built except slow himself down gradually. This was unfortunate as Terra Firma was not yet finished with him.

As the undersea ram punched it’s way up through the ice, hitting Auan, David reached out to it again. A tentacle like appendage shot out at his hand, merging with it, dragging him into the air at a near blinding speed; the arm twisted, and whipped forward suddenly, throwing David at Auan. He used flight to guide his body as he got closer, grabbed one of Auan’s legs, and flung the both of them into a spin; letting go of Auan after a couple seconds, sending him flying out of the North Pole.

Like a supersonic missile being intercepted by another, faster, missile he was grabbed from the air as his barrier faded away. His legs were grappled below the knee and he was dragon thrown over Greenland, accelerating more and more from the force of it. He spun like a frisbee with jets of plasma coming from his hands and feet, his vision blurring into a circle of grey and blue and brown and green.

The golden goliath gritted his teeth and squinted hard, his nose scrunched and his nostrils closed themselves. David was a formidable opponent, far beyond Auan in physical ability and supernatural abilities as well. Even his psychic might wasn't enough to compensate for the difference in ability. He braced himself by pulling his knees up to his stomach and folded his arms over his chest.

This wasn't over quite yet.

They were moving fast now, faster than David was used to, but he wanted to get Auan away from the Ice, and it seemed he had gotten his wish as they had transitioned over an ocean now. Saving the environment was fine and all, but this might have been a bad move on his part as he wasn't accustomed to fighting only in the air, and being several feet into the air put that much more difference between the Earth and him.

Nonetheless he had to keep going, so David closed in and slammed his fist straight into Auan's crossed arms. It wasn't exactly a decisive hit, but Auan wasn't outwardly evil, so maybe now, after all that, the fight could end. Logic told him to fight hard and fast to win,, but fighting wasn't his first goal, and he wanted to give talking another chance.

”Forcefully changing humanity isn’t the solution, it isn’t too late. You can be a force for good!”

Before being blasted to the ground by a powerful blow he was caught and pulled close to David, opening his eyes back up once again he heard David shouting over the rushing wind. Still yet, David did not grasp the truth of the matter. Even though he was clearly intelligent he was blindly optimistic towards the future of humanity, despite the truth being held before him. ”It is not Humanity who must learn, it is the very nature of leadership to become corrupt! To keep leaders in check you must have power!” Immediately exploiting David’s moment of patience he threw a straight blast punch into David’s face and broke free from his grip.

Jets of plasma erupted from his left hand side and he spun in the air, taking David’s back with a two footed drop kick strengthened by his subsonic body’s force. Sending David flying ahead of himself he pumped as much power as he could into lightening his own body weight with his psychic prowess and jets of plasma. A sonic cone formed and broke around him as he managed to push himself supersonic, plowing his shoulders into David’s back as he was recovering from the initial blow. ”I have to give them the power they need! People of this time failed! History dictates that the strongest being became a pawn of the government, a stooge, a patsy! Betraying all superpowered beings, betraying humanity, and betraying the very concept of fairness and all that is good!” Auan screamed, his voice barely reaching over the scream of his supersonic jets of plasma.

David grunted from Auan’s sucker kick, and again when he was tackled from behind. His body flew the way Auan wanted for a few moments before he turned himself mid-air, and tried to counter with his own punch.

”Impossible, who could possible betray everyone?”

A contrail of electric blue accelerating rapidly across the sky, breaching into upper sonic speeds. Breaking mach two he reached up and grabbed under David’s left armpit to get a better hold on him. ”Several million years have passed, only a scarce record exists! We could not find who betrayed Humanity, but when I find the greatest of this time I will know!” Electric chains flickered across his golden armor, trickling down and glistening off into the tail of plasma of this two man comet. ”It cannot be done it alone, I am but one man!” He blasted a jet of energy from his left hand side to begin an aileron roll, like a crocodile performing a mid air death roll.

It was clear, Auan was much faster than he was, but thinking only one attribute would win a battle was foolish. Still, these dizzying speeds were nothing to scoff at, he needed to shake out of it soon. So David used his other arm and tried to deliver several successive gut punches.

”No one hero is the ‘greatest’, we’re all doing our best, and if your records are so scarcely intact I’m even less inclined to believe this story!”

”There is no possibility that the records are faulty, only incomplete!”

Giants exchanged fists midair, tumbling at supersonic speed and before they had even noticed they crossed over Canada. Leaving behind a trail of flattened trees and gouged out Earth.

The two gigantic bodies hurtled towards a city in the north eastern region of Continental United States. Like a blur they would soon crash down near the University, finally with the two bodies coming to a halt, suddenly crashing to Earth. Terra Firma was standing, Auan's body was half buried up to the waist. Legs and rear smoking and glowing slightly from the friction generated heat of the midair battle.

Even the traffic had come to a halt, the two had crashed in the middle of an intersection. No horns honked, nobody yelled.

And all was still.
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Hidden 12 mos ago Post by VATROU
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VATROU The Barron

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Dr. Lions


In Fringe Science


Seeing Dr. Matthew Lions for the first one would say that he was unimpressive in person, quiet, scrawny and disjointed. But he was the foremost expert Poseidon Energies had on metallurgy and engineering and if anyone could figure out alien metals and their composition it was him, with the alien marketplace in Milwaukee of all places brought along with it an incredible influx of weapons, materials and technology and from Mrs. Patton a special package cubes of a strange metal if you could call something like it metal. Everything hit a fever pitch once STRIKE fell it wasn’t exactly clear when Poseidon discovered Milwaukee’s alien blackmarket but villains knew it existed to some degree and obviously some of their scientists used this boon of technology early to advance their careers.

As his research into the newfound alien alloy progressed he discovered it more pure than anything man has created pure and imperfect, alloys that were never meant to exist fused against all known laws of physics. The rumbling and growling disturbed the other assistants as they worked alongside him watching him drink a nutrition paste. “Yes, note that as of twenty one hundred hours each imperfect cube has varying degrees of composition. Despite their atoms fused at a level I’ve never seen they are far from strong, a few show potential to surpass the strongest metals I’ve worked with; more testing required.”

Next to the cubes lay an environmental suit. Seemingly perfecting the technological limitations of the Bulwark of Aegis. It’s power source was already sent to Pacific Point for research; discovering it held an internal power battery that could charge off waves of electricity. Keeping the battery small yet giving the output a high yield, it was a personal shield, a air filter and oxygen tank. “Without a tried and true method to deliver wireless power on the scale this suit was designed for alterations must be made to ensure there’s a large enough power source.” Tossing a crumpled tube towards the trash Dr. Lions grabbed his recorder as he shifted over to another workstation and reviewed the work there.

“Dr. Lions, salvaging from the other environmental suit we managed to procure a heater unit.” Watching the Dr pause, the assistant continued. “Hour 5 minute 41. You asked for cold weather insulation.”

“Ah.” Rewinding his recorder he listened silently to it. “-- Alien climates will undoubtedly vary as seen in the sheer versatility these suits are capable of. Mrs Patton wants an armor for all situations. Immense cold and heat resistance will be necessity--” Slipping his recorder back into his chest pocket he spoke. “Yes, continue then.” Dr. Lions held his jaw cupping his fingers around his pointed jawline as he shuffled around drawing notes and schematics up as he went.

His aide sighed in relief compiling more notes on the nature of all the unusual materials they could discover hampered by their own technologies and making slow headway with the alien scanners. He and all the others working could feel inadequacy before the revelation of technology light years beyond what they could conceptualize, even Dr. Lions struggled working long hours merely figuring out what seemed to be basic functions. A Prothean environmental suit would form the basis of the new armor design using its technology and adapted to fit a human, clearly bipedal creatures were a rarity given the adaptability the suits provided.

Dr. Lions didn’t put too much thought into the possibility of what these aliens might appear like, his work already kept his mind busy and there were others more suited for such a task. All that mattered were these were incredibly easy to modify. “Twenty One hundred hours fifty five minutes, integrated the kinetic adapting shielding; power source will be difficult to replicate in a short time frame. The extras will need to be used up cutting into our stock for research, approval has already came down from Mrs. Patton.”

Ripping open a nutritional packet. “The Board voiced their concern but I have permission to go through with it and Dr. Martel seems confident he can fully manufacture the alien power source. I’ve worked with him before, perhaps he can.” Slurping down a slimy gel he collects his thoughts. “Whatever happens, aliens, metas, possibly even the unknown I’ll be fine studying it.” With a pause as he looks at all those working under him. “Even if I fall I can shoulder that burden.”
Hidden 12 mos ago Post by Athinar
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Athinar Big Stupid. Veteran from Oldguild.

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@Alternax@LeeRoy

Location: Lost Haven
Time: 12:15 PM

Angel woke to the sound of klaxons, immediately awake as his automated information gathering system, (in place all over Lost Haven, and maintained by SHERLOCK,) tripped, giving a dozen different air proximity alerts, impact alerts, and traffic delay notifications. Jacking into the Panopticon, the subsystem of his computer that held most of the observational data his system got from the city, he quickly scanned every camera, every alarm, every phone video feed, until he locked onto what the problem was. Apparently, that hippie made of energy, "Terra Firma," (pretentious Latin? Really?) was fighting some armored man, having buried him in the ground, up to his waist. Angel was about to disregard the entire thing, and have Sherlock keep an eye on it, to see if the fight came too close to his mechanic shop hideout, when he thought about something.

The ATD was his pride and joy. An agile beast of machinery, enough to fight the titan of power that was War-Pulse, and damaging enough to destroy any contemporary hardware. However, it lacked a crucial edge in Meta fights, especially on the level of Icon and War-Pulse, or that metal girl he fought that one time. His only reliable way of dealing any damage, the Hellbeast, either burnt up his power, effectively halving his combat efficiency, or didn't pack enough of a punch to actually hurt the powerhouses. Angel would bet good money on the chance that this man, in his shiny armor, had something that would boost his ATD's abilities to whole new levels.

He just had to steal it from him, before the heroes locked him away.




Flinging the garage door open, Angel walked out into the street, eyeing the neighborhood warily. There didn't seem to be anyone watching the store, even with the state of semi-martial law, and after three checks, he felt comfortable enough to leave his new home. Walking swiftly to the scene of the battle, hood up, Angel grimaced as he passed fleeing civilians and frantic police officers, bumping into a couple, but not once slowing down. He got halfway down the block, before Sherlock interrupted him. "Not to doubt your judgement, Angel, but shouldn't you have at least brought your suit? These two seem to be quite powerful."

Waving off his AI friend's concern, Angel scratched his cheek, muttering a curse as a fleeing civilian knocked him against the wall. "I'm wearing a vest under this jacket. I'll be fine. I don't plan on joining the fight, anyways." The pregnant pause after he said that was enough to convey Sherlock's disapproval. Scoffing, Angel rounded the corner to University Square, approaching the battle from the side, yet staying a healthy distance away. "Disregarding the argument about heroics, (we'll save that for another day,) Terra Firma, the hippie, has it in hand. Look, the man is half-buried in the ground. Terra Firma has him on the ropes."

Angel grins, looking at the nearest security camera. "All we need to do is grab anything we can after the fight. It's a win-win." Sitting down on a bench, apparently unworried, Angel watched the fight unfold, observing the fight from all angles, through the various security cameras around University Square.
Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Afro Samurai
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Afro Samurai Like a Raisin in the Sun

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The Tempest of the Normal

Amim House



”I believe it is time…”
“Time for what?” Pantheon laid atop the all-too-small Queen size bed which prevailed as the only clean item amid a sea of clothes: dirty, ripped, or more pertinent, ones which no longer fit.
”Time to get a job. I cannot stand to hear your. . . our mother’s daily reminders further.”

Hassan gave himself a good whollop. Regret was immediate.

“Don’t talk about her, shithead.”
”You persist physical violence knowing it hurts us both? We have been together how long?”
“Few months.”
”Are you sure I am the one who is, as you put it, ‘a shithead’?”
“Well… you can shut up, how about that?”

And Pantheon did. Hassan returned to his drawing: a poor rendition of certain people from the invasion of Sherman Square: Hex, Alchemyst, Icon, and a few others, all grouped together and waving, their four-fingered hands waving and each smiling at one another. He heard a door open, had to be Shati. A sly grin grew on Hassan face,

Presently in a teal hoodie which Rahna bought him, some black jeans (Rahna again), and some special ordered black Converse (hey, Rahna, thanks!) Hassan jumped up and scurried out his door to meet Shati at the top of the stairs. He leaned on the railing beside him and wiggled his eyebrows,

“Sooooooo?”

Shati, now a bit taller and mere days before her 16th birthday, stonewalled her elder cousin’s plea. She gave a glance to him from her phone, AirPods still sunk into her ears. A sigh, and then she shouted for Bibi, but Bibi had already left. Hassan did a jig.

“Fine. Fine, fine. FINE! But I swear if I die I’m coming back to haunt you and him. Also, could you not tell Michael you’re going to beat his ass if he doesn’t take me to prom?”

“Wasn’t me, it was--”

“Pantheon, yeah, whatever dude. Just cut it out, yeah?” Shati pattered her feet down the stairs, knee high socks and red and white Jordan Air Max rounding out her outfit of choice. Hassan towed behind and snatched the car keys from their hook next to the kitchen and the two hustled outside. 7:30? School at 8:15? Can do. Hassan hopped in the driver’s seat, Shati in the passenger’s.

“And this time make sure you use the blinkers, thanks.”

“Titi, who’s the one driving?”

Silence.

“Exxxaacctlyyyy.” Hassan mocked,

“You just started driving last week, dummy! Who was the one who taught you how to drive, huh?” she pulled back ebon silky hair and leaned an ear close to Hassan,

Silence.

“Exaaaaaaccctlyyyy.” Shati returned,

“Well, being a superhero is tough business, alright? Taking down a terrorist organization is a pretty big deal, you know.”

“Last I checked those guys are still around. Big bad superhero can’t do his job right, and he can’t drive. Maybe I shouldn’t have been jealous of you after all.”

“...Just.. put your seatbelt on.” Shati gave a smile as she clicked herself in. Hassan started the vehicle and the two were off.

Hassan drummed his fingers along the steering wheel while they rolled along in silence for the first few minutes of the ride. Silence wasn’t his favorite, and so he moved to break it first,

“Speaking of prom, any ideas? Need a good color scheme. Yellow and green?”

“You know I don’t like yellow,”

“That kind of hurts, you know.”

“No, blue and… something else.”

“Ohhh,” Hassan nudged her as she scrolled through her phone, “you and Michael gonna match? Huh? Huh?!”

Shati huffed and pushed his arm away best she could.

“No. Everyone does that.” a stop sign, Shati’s phone rang,

“Hello? Hey, Rahna! Yeah, yeah, okay. Alright, I’ll tell him.” she hung up and turned to Hassan,
“Rahna said she had to speak to you after you dropped me off. Something about a uh… an interview?”

Oh. Hassan felt morning’s renewal leave him; it may have been the lack of leg room in the Camry. No, it was definitely numinous.

“Did you ask her with who?”

“She didn’t say. Just said to meet her after. Oh, and this time could you not forget to pick me up after soccer?”

“Sure, Titi.” Hassan had zoned out, and had nearly rear-ended a soccer mom’s van at the entrance of the high school,

“Hassan! Pay attention!” Hassan slammed the breaks and though he didn’t jerk forward too much, Shati did. One of Pantheon’s massive hands pressed against Shati’s chest, nearly pushing her into the seat.

“Shit! You alright?” the hand dropped, Shati coughed violently and unbuckled herself before jolting out of the vehicle and into the school. Hassan was left sitting there, alone.

”It doesn’t matter how hard you try, she will always hate you. They all do.”

“We’re not doing this right now.”

A cold climbed Hassan’s spine; he could envision Pantheon’s smug grin crawling around his mind. There was no time to waste, he had to go see Rahna about this ‘interview.’

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Hidden 12 mos ago 12 mos ago Post by Eventua
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Eventua

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Detroit, Downtown, abandoned construction site
11:48pm, July 6th


The young man sneered, the cold evening breeze having stung his eyes a little. He reached up with thin, dusty fingers to wipe it away, but winced as a trace of the ruins lingered behind. Only the glow of a small trash fire illuminated the area around him, the disorientation making the shadows in the peripheral all the worst.

In theory he should have grown used to them over these last few days, but in practice it was painfully difficult.

This place was not his home after all, but it was his residence for now. A blasted ruin of human failing, an image of an image, a shell within a shell. Twenty stories worth of what-could-have-been, collapsed by debt to the point where only those judged could hope to stay, away from the eyes of any who would hurt them.

Mansa, can you hear them? whispered the spider, Here, in the darkness. Your hiding place has been disturbed.

"I told you not to call me that-"

One cannot deny one's truth. Your hands hold the balance of ruin and prosperity. You are the Mansa, you mus-.


His stomach grumbling caught the spider off-guard, "Finally," and turned his attention to more immediate matters. He reached into the bag he had with him, pulling out a small peanut bar. Its aging orange wrapper was pristine by comparison to even the air surrounding it. It wasn't much, but after the first couple of bites he tried to chew more slowly, to linger on it. The sweetness of the chocolate, the saltiness on his tongue.

As he chewed, focusing his mind on every aspect of its texture, its colour, even things as inane as the history of the brand or the specific ingredients. Anything to get away from the ramblings of that damn spider.

Or the past. Or the future...

"...or the present."

He sniffed, the peanut catching in his throat a little as his body quivered, the taunting demons ever just out of reach, lingering in the darkness. He felt the pain begin to leave his body, running down the sides of his face, the quivering changing to jolts, the unfinished candy falling from his fingers as he lent his face into his knees.

But hope would not vanish forever, as a small piece of paper drifted on the wind, and found its way to the edge of the light...
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Hidden 12 mos ago Post by Indy Cooper
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Indy Cooper Deity-in-training

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Banner credit to Nitemare Shape. Thanks Boss!


Detroit, MI

15:00, July seventh


It had been a slog, really, but as Zoë spun in her office chair to take in the sights of the floor below, she found the results to be quite pleasing. Following the raids on HoH storehouses and weapons manufacturing, even giving Ares their murderous ten per cent of recovered plus fees, she had made out with tens of millions of dollars in military hardware, manufacturing equipment, and raw silver, plus access to a huge amount of financial records. A lot of it had ended up being dead, already seized by various governments by the time she had looked at it, but enough had come through that, on top of her savings from her gallery sales, she was very comfortable.

The office was now well furnished. The old brick walls were covered by rich oak panelling, with a fireplace directly behind her desk, which was of deeply darkened mahogany and almost as big as a car. Even darker woods had gone into the flooring, done in a swirling marbled pattern with lighter woods as accenting. Around the walls were various paintings she had found from other artists, either subtly unsettling or just off somehow. She liked the effect it had on visitors. Off to her left had been added a door, and a whole additional section of the building. From the office door only her own domicile was accessible, but the lower floor entered into a sort of barracks area, though far more comfortable than that word suggested. The zoning commissioner had had several dirty secrets and had been exceptionally open to her keeping them secret in exchange for building whatever the hell she wanted on the premises, no questions asked.

Down below, several rows of brightly lit and warmly decorated cubicles were arranged, with several people working just now. This was, after all, the American headquarters for Einherjar Globale Entwicklungsgesellschaft, and needed to look properly office-y. The large recreational area with bean bags and drafting boards made it look like a hip new company, and at least two employees were dedicated to solely building an online social media presence. The place was an architectural design company, but also development and planning, focusing on low-income, low-expense projects. She'd been forced to actually hire a couple of architects and engineers anyway, so she had put them to good use designing the lower floors of the building.

Below the office, the first basement held various necessities, such as the parking garage, security office, IT dept, and supply rooms. Also on that level was a secret elevator which went down into the true heart of her operations. The sub-basement held several interrogation chambers, an armoury, several training areas including her personal one, a design lab, and another set of dormitories. These housed any agents she had hired who didn't have access to their own facilities, and the whole level had a separate entrance over on the pier. Satellite facilities were planned around the city, but funding wasn't infinite and she didn't have the manpower for them yet anyway.

A knock on her office door caused her to swing around and adjust her tee shirt to look a little neater. A raven-haired girl poked her head around the corner and said, “Miss Richter? You're three o' clock is here.”

Zoë nodded, and using her 'Natalie' accent said, “Show them in, please, Sonya”

The girl shook her head. “No, Miss Richter. Your other three o' clock.”

“Oh!” Zoë clapped her hands and stood up. “Fantastic, Sonya! Let's go down and see them then, shall we?”

While everyone else tended to wear business professional, even though she only demanded barely business casual, Zoë tended towards wearing old and comfy jeans spattered in paint, old concert tees, and her combat boots, as if she was stuck in the eighties when she hadn't even been born then. At this point the dye had washed from her hair, leaving it her natural dark auburn. She walked with a skip in her step alongside Sonya, a recent recruited meta with mild teleportation abilities and an eidetic memory. Sonya always dressed the same, Black jacket over white blouse with a knee-length pencil skirt of pumps, both black. She was one of the few who actually lived in the building so far, and was fanatically devoted to Zoë's plans for the city.

They made their way through Zoë's living quarters, consisting of a suite of two bedrooms, a dining area attached to the kitchen, an art room, and her water closet. The hall between the bedrooms dead-ended, unless you could pass the biometric scan, knew the password, and had registered DNA for a pinprick. She usually just phased through the door when alone, but that wouldn't work with Sonya in tow, so she spoke the password, which opened the panel on the wall for everything else. When closed all of this was pretty much undetectable except to careful UV scans that revealed electrical components. As she finished the scans and submitted her blood for analysis, Sonya muttered something behind her.

“What was that, Sonya?”

“Oh, sorry, ma'am. Trying to figure out the work schedule for tomorrow so there's no overlaps.”

“Ah. Very good.”

The elevator door hidden in the wall opened and they stepped smartly through. This elevator only went to the sub-basement, and like the interrogation rooms and her training area, had no fire suppression systems, something Sonya was acutely aware of. Once before in the last month, during a bad case where a potential recruit had tried to take the place for himself, Zoë had let Sonya know to teleport and had then incinerated the little bastards. Honestly, what was he thinking bringing rats to a firefight? Sonya's powers were particularly good at being a safety system, pulling out her own people while Zoë lit up the enemy, or 'porting the enemy to one of the locked interrogation rooms for further analysis if they hadn't prompted violence. Which was where they were heading now.

Zoë strode into the room, hands in her pockets, grinning wolfishly at the fat amn chained to the folding chair in the room. He quivered in hat looked like his evening wear, which would make sense considering where he would've been grabbed from. She spoke in rapid Russian as she sat don.

<Greetings, thief! Didn't think we'd catch up to you, did you?>

He responded in English. “I don't speak Commie!”

Zoë continued in Russian, as Sonya handed her a file and she flipped through it. <Oh, Pyotr, no no no. That won't do. You are Pyotr Eleni Poroskyavet, do not lie. We have been tracking you for several months now.>

The man visibly paled as she set down a photo, one of a younger him in a Russian military uniform. He spoke shakily in Russian, <I...I haven't been that man in a long time. Who are you people?>

Zoë sat back, crossing her arms. The tingle of her power told her he was seeing her as something else, but she didn't know what.

<Come now, Pyotr. You took of with several very important documents and quite a lot of funding from the Motherland. Who do you think we are?>

He was growing more terrified as he replied, <Oh god, you're Black Squad FSB! Please, don't kill me!>

<No, we won't kill you, Pyotr. We want to, or at least I do, and I'm in command here. But someone higher up wants you alive. Apparently you're useful to operations here.> She paused to allow him the moan that escaped his lips. <So here's what's going to happen. You will go back to your life. You will act as though nothing has changed. You will do whatever we ask, whenever we ask, because to do otherwise means I get my way. Know that we are watching, Pyotr, and we will know if you attempt to alert anyone to our presence. You will be escorted back the same way you came in.>

She didn't give him a chance to respond, just stood up and walked out of the room, Sonya trailing behind her. She gave it a few moments, to be out of hearing range of the door, even though the room was sound-proofed, and then burst out laughing. Even Sonya cracked a smile.

“Oh, merde it was hard to keep a straight face! He looked like he was going to crap himself at any moment!”

“Yes, Miss Forge, it was quite funny. But you have another event today. And you still have to get that email to the client in Paris.”

”Ahhh, no rest for the wicked.”
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Hidden 12 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Liseran Thistle
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Liseran Thistle TanjiroIsBestBoy

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Mindy stood outside of the Snowflake youth center. The small, squat building was more likened to an advanced YMCA than a place holding geniuses from all over. No one was outside in the parking lot, it was mid-afternoon so she assumed the staff had left to get lunch. She didn’t see any of her colleagues in the round bay windows in the front, though the secretary was still there typing away on the computer. Mindy took a deep breath, steadying the glasses on her face, and took a few steps into the building. The air conditioned air hit her first, and then the familiar smell of the cleaning solution used for mopping the floor. Darius used to hate the smell, she thought. The front room was decorated with dark, ombre flowers and pictures of Darius sat everywhere they seemed to have found space. Somehow, this was worse than the terrible festival in Provence. The secretary had noticed her walking in, and simultaneously connected the dots.

“Ms.Diasco, you’re back from Jersey.” She said, simply. She was a short, stocky woman with curled brown hair held together in a neat bun. Her plain, pressed white shirt and khaki pants were hidden behind a large circular desk that encased her. The desk help even more pictures of Darius, yet Mindy could feel her eyes blocking them from her peripheral vision. The woman, whose name was Caroline as was written on the nametag pinned to her collar, stared at her with a confused look. “Um....well would you like the keys to your lab? It’s been cleaned for you while you were gone. Free of charge, of course.” She said, Mindy could see her avoiding her eyes. The glasses hid most of the changes, but not all it seemed.

“Yes. That will be all, thank you.” Mindy said. Caroline nodded, reached under her desk, and handed her the keys to lab 808. Once the keys were in the palm of her hand, she turned and sped down the long, white corridor. Mindy had been wrong when she guessed that everyone was out for lunch, there was a seminar being held in one of the smaller classrooms. Snowflake always had a confusing layout, at least to Mindy. Darius always complained about that too, she thought smiling. Her eyes began to burn with the familiar need for tears, but Mindy already knew that none would come. Two metal elevator doors stood before her, she didn’t know she had even made it to the end of the hallway. They slid open, and two excited students, GT kids on a tour of the place probably, stepped out. They stopped talking when they noticed who it was that stood in front of them. One tall, and with a tangled mess of blonde hair smiled at her, warmly. Mindy returned it, though weakly.

The other one, short and freckled with a black and old fashioned shaved bowl cut shuffled his feet. The two boys looked ecstatic to see her, and Mindy just knew she would hate being alone with either of them so they could bombard her with questions about her theories and latest breakthroughs in biochemistry. However, she relented and stepped in the elevator anyway.

“You’re Mindy Diasco, right? Oh my god, can I just say that I’m a huge fan!” The blonde one squealed. “It’s so hard to find others who accept the neurosis theory on single cell embryos. You have no idea how many times I get laughed out the room whenever I bring it up.” Mindy laughed, though this time it felt genuine.

“Oh I’m sure I know what you mean.” She said. “It took me a awhile to gather enough evidence for it, and even I got a few strange looks when I first proposed the idea.”

“What even is that? I’m confused.” Said the other boy.

“I apologize, I’m Theodore Grannity, and this is Meln.” Theodore patted his friend on the back.

“Meln?” Mindy said.

“It’s an old york name. My families weird, and traditional.” Meln said, looking down at his feet. The two of them wore dark, navy blazers with a special patch ironed onto their front breast pocket, so Mindy assumed they had to have come from some private school. The elevator dinged, and the doors opened.

“This is my stop. I guess I’ll see you two around.” She said.

“Uh, probably not. We’re just students at Manafort, so it’s a field trip kind of deal.” Theodore explained.

“The center is open to all. Stop by anytime you want.” Mindy said. “It doesn’t have to be my center, but if you’re ever interested-”

“Wait.” Meln stepped out of the elevator, Theodore close behind. “Um...can I ask? What...happened to your eyes?” Mindy balked, and put a hand to her cheek, only to find her fingers come away stained blue.

“Jesus.” Theodore breathed, horrified. “Are you okay, Miss?” He asked, putting a hand on her shoulder. She shook it off, holding in the shudders that threatened to rack her body.

“I-I’m fine. It’s just….it’s a problem I can handle, don’t worry.” She said, wiping the inky blue tears on her cardigan sleeve.

“Are you sure you’re not sick or something? It could be serious.” Meln spoke, worried.

Mindy nodded. “I’m sure. It’s just something that’s been happening to me for awhile now. I’m certain it’s nothing radioactive are acidic in nature, I may have harbored some kind of genetic mutation in me and never realized it until now.” She said.

“Genetic…? Like, a super? You think you may have had late power syndrome, or something?” Meln said.

“Yes. though it doesn’t seem to be a major change like flight, thank goodness.” She chuckled. “Just odd, blue tears.”
Meln stood there silently, assessing something in his head; it was out of his mouth before Mindy could talk him down completely.

“Do you think I could come with you, and examine this...uh...mutation of yours?” He asked. Mindy shook her head.

“No. It’s not exactly that big of a project-”

“People are disappearing, miss. People who had powers and people who supported them, that’s why I…” Meln whispered, scared. “Also, I know you aren’t too keen on grievances, but I’m grieving alongside you. Darius Winters was someone my family knew well, and I feel I have to...repay him somehow. You’re like his daughter, so it just seems right of me to try to help you this way.”

“Meln…” Theodore looked worried for his friend. “That’s sweet but maybe she doesn’t want-”

Mindy looked around the corridor, and noticed that there was no one else with them. This floor was strangely empty. “Not here, Meln. We’ll continue talking in my lab.” She said, eyeing a camera situated at the end of the hall. If Georgia wasn’t, safe than what made her think the Youth center was? They walked to 808, and Mindy locked the door behind them. The lab was cluttered with huge equipment, and beakers of medicine and chemicals. Mindy’s heeled boots clacked against the tiled floor as she made her way over to the last place she had been when she was in this lab. The antidote still sat there, it’s prototype at least. “I think I may need help. And I don’t have a whole lot of options here at home.” She said.

Theodore walked up next to her. “Help huh? Well, I don’t know what I could possibly offer, I mean you’re the genius among us, Diasco.” he said. He eyed the strange, blue antidote on the counter. Meln was looking at the various equipment in the room, enthralled. “I can only guess that this has something to do with your current situation?” Theodore said, pointing at the antidote. MIndy shook her head.

“No, actually. I didn’t...take any drug or chemical that made me this way. That’s why I proposed it was a genetic mutation of some kind, because this didn’t begin to manifest until after I had made...this antidote.” She gulped. “I fear if I am to be honest with you, I should tell you everything. Though it’s not a happy tale.” She sat down, and Meln and Theodore followed suit, taking a seat on two swivel stools. Mindy then recounted the story of Soundria, and her friend Eris Goodoire. How Eris’ parents had used the drug as a means of torture and punishment, and the end result of it being Surround Sound. “It’s a terrifying power if you really think about it. On the surface it sounds like a pleasant, and wonderful gift. To create that which you see in your mind when you hear your favorite song. But it’s a dangerous power, and I fear it is too late to reverse the effects it has had on Eris.” Mindy said.

“Eris isn’t a villain is she-” Meln asked.

“They. And no, Eris isn’t a villain. They’ve become a small town hero in Jersey. That’s why I left in the first place, to give them an antidote, to fix my mistake. But they’re...strangely happy. They’re content with Surround Sound, and they seem to have somewhat control over it now.” She shook her head. “But now things have gotten to deep. Darius is dead, and some super killed him off. When Darius died, I was wrought with grief, and while I still am saddened by his death I have to focus on this.” She stood up, facing them both. “I believe he was hiding something from me, about me. Like, maybe he knew all along that I had this power.”

“What makes you say that?” Theodore asked. “He put you through tests or something?”

“No. I’ve gotten these suspicions from an unlikely source, the detective investigating Darius’ murder.” She walked over to a filing cabinet and pulled out relatively secretive information she had hidden from sight. “He told me that Darius was connected with Paradox, you two are familiar with their agency?” She asked.

“I know a little about the Paradox Agency, but I thought they were like...a myth. An agency of supers who help people with impossible problems? Sounds like a fairytale.” Theodore said.

Meln nodded. “Yeah, No super nowadays would think to show their face around Georgia, and even before illegal Hero duties was...uncommon. It could get you in a lot of trouble if you went around saving people with heat vision and flight, you know.”

“Yes, well. Darius had no powers, that I am sure of. Paradox is a very real Agency. I had the pleasure of meeting their leader herself.” Mindy frowned at the memory. “The detective said that while digging through Darius’ things, he found messages between him and a Paradox Agent. Someone called ‘Bobi Adolow’”. She spread the files out, and laid them out for the three of them to look at together. “These are blueprints for something Darius had been working on a long time ago. I can’t even comprehend what they are but-”

“Holy shit…” Theodore looked awed. He then fist pumped the air, excited. “This is a huge score, Diasco! You don’t know what you have here? It’s prints for a fully functional robotic core unit. I’ve only read about these in journals, but this is incredible to actually see prints of it.”

“Core unit?” Meln asked, confused.

Theodore nodded. “Yes, it’s a new innovation in the prosthesis field. The idea is basically to implant a metal energy core in the amputees back, and with a few adjustments done to the actual prosthesis, they will be able to have a functional arm that works just as well as any other arm.” He explained. “It’s never been tested before, not even on animals. But if Darius built a core-”

“Or rather, he implanted one inside of someone, than that would explain who Bobi Adolow is.” Mindy conceded. “Still doesn’t explain my problem though.”

“Perhaps it’s a side effect? You could’ve been living near a core, and it’s affected you in some way?” Theodore just shrugged. “I have no clue, actually.”

“I don’t think those two things are connected. I think we have to dig deeper. What do you say to us experimenting with those...tears of yours.” Meln proposed.

Mindy nodded. “We can work on that, yes. But there are...more pressing matters at hand. This Bobi Adolow person...knows who Darius is. They probably knew him years before I did. We have to find them.”

“What? Why?” Meln asked.

“I’m working alongside the detective. He’s asked me to help him find this...person. He and Eris have gone in search of one person, and now I have to find this person.” She said. “This is going to take a long time. So if you intend to help me, prepare to stay for the long term.”

“Yeah, sure. We can visit the lab like you said. Manafort is a few miles away from here, so the trip won’t be too long away…” Theodore calculated. He pointed at the glasses on her face. “What about those weird marks around your eyes? I hope those are just hennah tattoos.” He smirked.

Mindy smiled, tired. “Unfortunately, these are another beast all together. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it though.” She said. “I will explain at a later date. For now, let’s focus our attention on finding this Bobi Adolow person.”

“How are we supposed to do that?” Meln asked.

Mindy just tapped the side of her left eye, cryptically. “I have a way, don’t worry.” she said. Looks like she would need Dexarte’s help sooner than she realized.
………………………….

another short post, but meh the story is advancing and now you guys know more. also, be prepared because another character sheet may be coming, and this time for the very person mentioned above, Bobi Adolow. I am happy to say that it is now officially time we have a character who is a long term member of Paradox, and not just a newbie like Eris or Phoenix.



I’ve been binging this particular anime, so if you like mafia’s and shit, 91 Days is a perfect show to binge, and i haven’t skipped this opening yet.

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