Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Sep
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Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

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Iris sat at the table. Fiddling with the old flip phone in her hands, she flinched as she heard a noise behind her and realised it was just Henry with a cup of coffee for her. She smiled kindly at him as he placed the mug in front of her. "Barry should be here any second now-"

She chuckled. "He's just running late." She interrupted. She knew the feeling, she was starting to turn into him with the amount of times she was late to things these days, not by any plan or design. Just no matter how fast she ran to solve problems there were always plenty of them to solve, even now she had to resist sending a text to the number that Superman had given her. Iris was confident in her resolve, she was the fastest woman alive. She had proven that. She had raced across the world and punched a cosmic being so hard that he had turned from an almost omnipotent being that had comfortably faced both her and Superman. Arguably two of the most powerful beings on the planet, hell she doubted that Wonder Woman would have made the fight any easier.

"How has he been recently? He's seemed... distant." She broke her reverie, she had other things to worry about. With the attack on City Hall, at the crime scene he had been investigating and the revelation that the Man in Yellow, Zoom. Actually existed. Her mind raced through thousands of variations, who could he be?

"Yeah well, you know Barry. Carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, he needs to learn that not even Superman could do that." Henry chuckled. "You've seen the news, written the articles. Not even he can do everything by himself, hell him and the Flash worked together to defeat that... what's the news calling him?"

"The Silver Surfer."

"Yeah that guy. I reckon the Flash ended it, apparently it's been released that a streak similar to the Flash was seen in Egypt, Spain and several states before an explosion resounded through the badlands. I have to admit,the idea that she can run that fast is pretty impressive." He sat down and sighed. "It makes me wonder what would have happened if she had been alive when Nora was killed, would she have helped?"

Iris placed a reassuring hand on Henrys. "I'm sure she would have done everything possible to stop the man in yellow."

Henry looked wistfully through to the sitting room, the same room in which she had been killed years ago. Iris had asked Barry before why Henry hadn't moved house, why he insisted on coming back to the house that had effectively ended his life. He had told her that Henry didn't want to let that moment define him, or the home or the good memories that the house held for him. Such as when he and Nora first got married, when Barry was born and his first steps. Iris had to respect that if nothing else.

"Yeah. I'm sure she would have, you any closer to figuring out who she is?"

Her heart skipped a beat. Why did Henry think that she'd be trying to figure out who the Flash was? "I uh, what? Why would I be doing that?"

"It'd be the scoop of the century, at least for Central City. The secret identity of the Flash. I'm sure it's somebody nobody would expect."

"Well that's probably the point, besides she does a lot for the city. I don't think it's right for us to try and take her identity and force it out there. She's probably trying to protect people close to her." Just before she got into even more awkward territory she heard the door open.

“Dad!” Iris couldn’t help but feel her heart lift as she heard her best friends voice, she wished she could have just sped over to him and started talking to him about what had happened however she needed to keep up with appearances. Henry had been throwing side glances at her when he thought she wasn’t looking, so he knew something was up. Likely just noticing that her movements were jerky and fluid, though she was still in some deal of pain. He could put that down to whatever he wanted to though, Iris wasn’t about to go revealing her secret to her best friends Dad. Her own dad didn’t even know, and he wasn’t going to know if she could ever help it.

She turned to look at her friend, and while it had taken less than a second for her spirits and hopes to lift from hearing his voice. Seeing him in the doorway holding the hand of the blonde she had saved, Patty Spivot. Taller than her, blue eyes in contrast to Iris’ own green.

Where were these feelings coming from? It scared her. Iris had never regarded Barry as more than a friend but now, she was faced with all these conflictions. Inner turmoil, as a voice in the back of her head screamed that it should be her holding his hand and in some way it all made perfect sense. While he had been committed to helping her stop crime, to working with her as the Flash he had seemed distant lately. Why hadn’t he told her that something was going on with him and Patty?

If the awkward moment seemed long to everyone else in the room, for Iris it was tenfold. Eventually she stood up and offered her hand to the woman, albeit reluctantly. “Hi, it’s nice to finally meet you. Iris West.”

The blonde smiled back. “Patty Spivot, I’ve heard lots about you.” Well, Iris kind of wished she could say the same. “We were just stopping by to say Henry, I’m sorry to interrupt.” Basically a nice way of saying ’This is a little awkward, we didn’t know you would be here.’

“No, no. It’s okay I’m just leaving anyway.” She turned and smiled at Henry, a thoughtful look stuck on his face. “Thanks for having me Henry.” The look shifted to the kind old smile she knew and loved, he was like an Uncle to her really, and yet she was having these feelings for Barry apparently. What did that make her? Patty shifted uncomfortably as Iris started to walk out, on her way past she didn’t look either of them in the eye until she heard Barry.

“I’ll see you out.” Iris saw him give Patty a kiss on the cheek in a mirror, her stomach churning as she continued to walk forcing Barry to power walk to meet her at the door. “Iris…”

She raised her hand. “Don’t-” she offered a smile. Fake. “-You don’t need to explain yourself to me I just, I just wish you told me sooner is all. It explains why you’ve missed a lot of our secret superhero meetings.” She chuckled, again fake.

Barry sighed. He knew he wasn’t going to get through to her on this. It’s not that she had made up her mind, which he probably thought she had on the issue. She was playing that she had, she didn’t want to talk about it as she wasn’t entirely sure what there was to talk about. “How are you, after, you know?”

“After nearly getting beaten to death by a being from another planet wanting to test me? Yeah I’m fine.” Her voice harsh, course. He recoiled as she snapped at him, but it wasn't him she was mad at. Was it? She was so focused on her speed and the rush it gave her, the struggles she had being normal and most recently the prophecy of whether or not she was supposed to be the Flash that she may have missed something that had been right in front of her nose all along. She sighed. “Where were you in all of this? I didn’t get a chance to try and contact you, but you could have pushed through to me.” She didn’t want to let the hurt show. It was easier said than done.

“Iris I-” A tear was forming in the corner of his eye and she merely blew out a waft of air.

She raised her hand to stop him. “Barry. I think it’s best if you focus on your life for a while. I need people I can count on, what I’m doing is dangerous and you’re distracted, and becoming a distraction. I will catch Zoom and find out if he’s the one who killed your mother, but I can’t do it with you by my side. I’m sorry Barry.” Before he could utter a syllable she was gone, tears streaming in the wind.

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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by HenryJonesJr
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The fire raging in the east wing can be seen through Digger Harkness's window. It's not the most subtle breakout attempt, he thinks. Usually it's just a guard dropping a key and a boomerang into his cell before some yard time, and then it's up to him to get out. Even the Tarantula is this obvious, leading Digger to believe this wasn't the person that was currently their benefactor breaking them out of Stryker's Island. Whoever it is, they want to put on a show.

Panicked guards run through their cellblock, trying to figure out how to move the prisoners safely. They have about as much of a chance at doing so as putting the fire out with a collective exhale. The men in this prison aren't going to let a chance to get out slip by.

The prison is about to become a bloodbath, if Harkness is a betting man.

"Looks like we're on our way out," Gargan laughes from he cell beside him. "Didn't think it was gonna be this quick. Tarantula must have gotten someone on the inside usually takes him a little longer when we come into a new market."

"Da," Sytsevich agrees. "Wonder vhat tha idea with tha fire is?"

"The idea is it's not the cartel,"Harkness responds calmly. "Someone else is here to get us out."

"How you figure that?" Gargan is unconvinced. "Tarantula knows we're loyal soldiers. He'll want us out."

"Sure he will," Harkness nods. "But he ain't the one who's here."

A hail of gunfire erupts in the cell block, and a wave of guards falls to the ground, dead. Precision shots, Harkness thinks. Highly trained men, at the very least. From out of the smoke that begins to billow in from the spreading fire, step a group of shock troopers. Not wholly different from what the Silk Cartel, save for the masks. Too high tech for even the resources of the Black Tarantula.

"Bout time you mooks showed up," Gargan growls. "Open this cage."

One of the men motions to the others further down the hallway and the entire cell block pops open, freeing the men held inside.

"Ah," Sytsevich strolls out and stretches out in the open space, "dat is much better."

"Come with us," the strike team leader motions for them to follow.

"Yea, I don't think I'm gonna be doing that," Digger leans against the outside wall of his cell. "Not until you fill me in on who you lot are."

"That's on a need to know basis."

Harkness chuckles, "Yea well, I'm gonna 'need to know' in order to go, follow?"

The strike team goes to point tasers at Captain Boomerang, who flicks his wrist from his hip. The homemade boomerang he had fashioned from the bed metal since the fire started ricocheted from taser to taser as he runs at the closest trooper. Before the man can react, Harkness has his fire arm pressed against the man's temple, "I don't care who you lot are. But I'm not going with you."

"Vhat are you doing!?" Aleksei yells at his longtime friend. "Who cares who zhey are? Zhey are getting us out of here."

"Yea, mate," Gargan smiles. "We work for the highest bidder. I say breaking us out of prison is all I need."

"Out organization wants to offer you the chance to get revenge against Spider-Woman," the leader says to the Enforcers. "To become as powerful as a superhero."

"Sounds good to me," Gargan nods.

"Da," Sytsevich agrees.

"I didn't get into this business to become a freak," Harkness responds. "You want to sign up for that? Fine. But I'm out."

The fire, beginning to stretch its grasping fingers into the cell block, alights the roof. Harkness pushes the guard he has hostage towards his friends as the building starts to give way. Rubble crashes down between Captain Boomerang and the others. He watches, through the flames, as they head off, and Harkness goes to find his own way out of the jail, leaving his time with the Enforcers behind.


I land on the roof of Ravencroft, the breadth of the fire consuming Stryker's Island prison spread out in front of me. It looks like hell on earth, if I'm being honest. Flames reach out from the barred windows of the prison, reaching for freedom as if they were prisoners themselves in the old, stone penitentiary. Even a few football fields away I can feel the intense heat. I'm not even going to try and get closer to that mess. I've see scores of guards and prisoners alike escaping the prison, meaning someone opened the cages. That's good. No matter what the people in there did, they don't deserve to burn to death.

What I am here to do is find Firefly, and put him down. He's not going to stop with Stryker's Island. He's a fanatic, and he's already started a massive blaze. He's going to do everything in his considerable power to keep it going. If he sets Ravencroft ablaze, I'm almost certain Max Dillon is going to get out, and that's no going to be great for anyone.

From the flames, I see the form of Firefly zoom into the night sky, the orange-red glow in the sky making him seem like a demon escaping from hell. He fires the flamethrower, creating a celebratory spiral of flame.

Well, here goes nothing.

"Hey, nutter-butter!" I yell at the pyromaniac. The flaming revels stop and Garfield Lynns floats above his masterwork, staring me down. For a few moments I think he won't even bother coming after me. Maybe all his talk of wanting to take out superhumans is nothing but talk. All he really wants is to set the biggest fire he can and watch it burn.

Those thoughts are banished when the bug-looking villain zooms towards me. I want to keep him away from the Institute, and closer to the parts of the island already burning. I'm sure the fire department is on the way, but who knows how long it's going to take them to get here. I can't let this guy go Carrie on anything else.

Taking a running start, I leap off the roof of the asylum, fire a webline to the edge of it, and use it to send myself like a bullet towards Firefly. He attempts to fire a stream of fire my way, but I change my trajectory by webbing myself towards the ground. As I rocket to the ground, I attach a webline to the hoverpack of my enemy. Yanking hard, I send him spinning back into the yard of the prison I now stand in.

"How dare you defile this holy moment, abomination," Firefly says through his voice modulator. "This will be the end of you."

"Oh spare me the sermon, Reverend," I roll my eyes under my mask. "Do you have any idea what you did here tonight? You let a lot of dangerous people out into the streets of New York. A lot of people are going to get hurt."

"A small price to pay to add soldiers into the holy war." He raises his hands in a pious fashion. "All the more people to try and stop you."

"Okay, Marshall Applewhite," I crack my knuckles. "Time to put you down. And this time I'm smashing all your stuff. You lost your toy privileges."

He takes off towards me, and I leap into the air, ready to strike.


The air, thick with silica particles floating as if the room lacked gravity, stings Otto Octavius's throat. He wanders the lab, inspecting the blown out equipment, paying little attention to the shocked Hammerhead sifting through the pile of sand that used to be his best friend. Miles Warren keeps muttering about how this isn't possible, but of course it is.

A power surge from the disabling of the New York City grid would have done this easily. Otto knew there would be one tonight, of course. He had hoped that the Flint Marko experiment was over by the time it happened. Flint is, well was, a good man. A bit simple, to be frank, but a good soldier. That's a hard thing to come by in this line of work. Plus, Otto would have liked to see what the Sandman would have looked like. All for the benefit of AIM, and all that.

Movement out of the corner of Octavius's eye draws his attention towards the center of the room, where Flint Marko had been mere minutes ago. The silica particles in the air swirls around them, making the pile bigger and bigger. As it grows, it begins shifting, morphing, almost as if it is alive. It stretches up, a skeletal face forming before disintegrating back into a nondescript pile. Skeletal, sandy arms reach out of the pile, and as they pull themselves up a torso forms and a head builds out of the shoulders. The face forms, revealing Flint Marko's likeness. His face contorts into a silent scream before his body falls apart, and the sand slips through a crack in a door.


Well, this fight is going about as poorly as it could. I can't get anywhere near the Firefly, and he's nearly blasted me three times with that damn flamethrower. At this point, my only chance is him running out of ammo. I don't know if the damn thing can run out of ammo, but it's about all I got. The only other shot I have is some law enforcement coming and giving me some backup.

"So what's the real deal, Firefly?" I ask him, flipping out of the range of his weapon. "Why do you really hate me? I never did anything to you."

He flies towards me, releasing a steady stream of napalm, "You did everything to me! You've corrupted the soul of the country I love! You've shattered our world, and it will only get worse! Look at the alien that has come to us! Punishment for the abomination humanity has become!"

Not surprising that the Silver Surfer will have set this guy off. Religious fanatics have always saw scientific happenings they can't explain as a higher power's show of strength. The Surfer legitimately told the other heroes that he was here to test them. Once that gets out, people are obviously gonna think he was sent by someone more powerful.

"I didn't bring that shiny bald bastard here!" I respond defensively. "I certainly don't want him around!"

"Then allow yourself to be purified to show God's messenger he is not needed, lest he render humanity unworthy!" he swoops in close to me, almost close enough for me to grab him.

Of course. He's a hot head. He has no self control. The more I anger him, the better chance I have to get up close and personal. Then I can at the very least disable that damn hover pack, giving me the upper hand in mobility.

"Nah, I think God's probably cool with the gal trying to help people on the reg," I smirk beneath the mask. "Last time I checked burning down buildings with people inside them is pretty high on the religious no-no list."

"You dare speak of things you don't understand, heathen!" his rage is palpable, even in the heat. He rushes at me again and attempts to grab me. My spider sense easily allows me to get out of the way and hop onto the back of the pyromaniac. I smash my hands through the back panel of the hover pack and rip a big handful of electronics out of it.

The pack fires the two of us into the air, and we begin to float over the river. It begins to shake violently, and quickly falls to pieces below me. Firefly and I tumble towards the water below. I wrap him in webbing before snagging the two of us on a webline to the shore. Once there, I assure he's secured with more webbing, and turn back to the fire. As the two of us watch, one of the cell blocks collapses, sending a torrent of embers floating into the air.

"I hope you're happy," I seethe at the villain. "And I hope they throw you in a hole for a long, long time."

I swing off and call Peter, "Pete, just want to let you know I'm okay. For now. I feel like New York's about to get a lot more dangerous."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Master Bruce
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Master Bruce Winged Freak

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Gotham City, The Narrows
Abandoned Factory
2:01 AM


Bringing her hand to her throbbing forehead, Jessica Jones finally regains consciousness after being under for nearly twenty minutes. My eyes are directed outside, between the cracks of light that shine between the wooden boards bolted against the windows, and I try and keep my distance as she recovers. Both in the event that her connection to Poison Ivy hasn't been completely severed and for the sheer fact that I'm not completely sure of how to approach this woman. We hadn't met before tonight, and it was under less than idealized circumstances. For all that she knows, I'm a wanted murderer. For all that I know, she's hiding a past that could indicate criminal misconduct. Worse for me, she possesses power that I can't even begin to comprehend. If she were willing to kill me, she could do it with very little effort. So as Jones manages to slowly push herself into a sitting stance, wincing from the series of welts and bruises that came as a result of a full fifteen minutes' worth of physical trauma that I was forced to inflict, I say nothing and allow her to get a feel for the room. There's no telling what she remembers, if anything.

Besides. I have a much bigger problem, as ACE was quick to alert me. The adrenaline shots are wearing off, and I'm starting to feel the toll that the earlier fight has taken on me. To tell the truth, it's bad - worse than I'd probably even be willing to admit. Broken ribs are a guarantee at this point, a growing sensitivity to light is already confirming the concussion, and I'm bleeding somewhere internally. If I were smart, I'd have left Jones where she lay and have Bruce Wayne checked into Elliot Memorial under the excuse of a car accident, or something sufficient enough to explain this. But I couldn't just leave the situation unattended. If Jones were to be back under Ivy's control, I'd have effectively left a mother and child to their doom. No matter what happens to me, I refuse to allow anyone else to die tonight.

Ontop of that, there's the matter of the police bulletin that Alfred's texted me about. As should have been expected, the conflict between Ivy and I resulted in some massive collateral damage. Half of a small neighborhood was torn apart due to the sheer physical strength of Jones' metahuman abilities. As I feel partly to blame for not being able to contain this, I've already made it a priority to pay for the damages. But the GCPD are en route, and Jones' unconsciousness cost just cost me a considerable amount of time. ACE is tracking their squad units as they advance onto the O'Neil Bridge. It'll only be a matter of minutes, and in my condition, I doubt that I'll be able to pull off the same type of close-range escape as I did the night that I first battled Deadshot.

Which means, as much as I hate to admit it, I may need some help.

"Cuntfucking son of a whore, my head.", Jones mutters to herself in pain, leaning forward. "Haven't felt like this since... Christ, since before the accident. What in the shit happened to---"

That's when she suddenly notices me standing off in the distance. Her eyes go wide and she nearly falls back at the sight of me, spooked out of her mind. I look over my shoulder and glare. But in truth, I can't help but feel a little relieved. It's good to know that the costume's intended effect can still work on someone of her capabilities.

"It's... you."

"Holy fuck, it's really you. You're actually real and not some asinine city-wide prank that the police made up to sell tabloids."

Under the cowl, my eyebrow raises.

"So that's what people think of me."


Still in a bit of a daze and in a tremendous amount of pain, at least for her, Jones slowly pulls herself up with a metal railing against a piece of long-since decommissioned machinery. I take a step away from the window and back into the shadows. All things considered, I should wait a moment before I leave just to be sure of whether or not Ivy's still in there. But the police are still closing in. I'm not used to being stuck between a rock and a hard place, but it seems I've found myself there.

"Try not to move too fast. I don't know how well you respond to head trauma, if you're even able to have that, but you took some considerable punishment."

She scoffs at the remark I made in regards to her power.

Probably something of a touchy subject. I honestly wouldn't know.

"If you consider a hangover to be head trauma, then I've gotten plenty of that. This isn't much worse. Just alot more... all over."

Stumbling ahead, trying to maintain her balance, she takes another look at me and stares, giving less of a fearful reaction and more of a perplexed, borderlining skeptical glare. One that I'm not entirely accustomed to.

"Something wrong?"

"Not at all. Infact, I just talked to another grown man dressed like a flying animal last week. We're total besties."

I narrow my eyes. I'd say it's hardly the time for sarcasm, but I also don't intend to dwell on it. She notices my belt and immediately begins thinking to herself. After a minute, I find myself growing frustrated with her staring and begin to walk in the opposite direction.

"Okay, fine. You don't have to be so sensitive about the outfit. I was just wondering what you carry in that thing."

Looking over my shoulder, I give another look.

"More to the point, I was wondering if you had something specific. Got any cigarettes on you?"

"I don't smoke."

She seems to be more taken aback by that than anything else.

"Jesus. No wonder you have problems."

Shaking my head, I continue on my path towards the other end of the building.

"We don't have time for this. What do you remember about what happened before?"

Jones rubs the back of her head, trying to think.

"Just... noise. Colors, really. Alot of reds and greens blurring into eachother. It was like everything was amplified to eleven. And there was a voice that I've never heard before..."

Suddenly, her face begins to lose it's color. She looks as if she's just triggered a rather traumatic memory.

"Fuck. Oh, fuck. Someone was in my head. No, that can't be. Christ, not again. This can't be happening again..."

I don't know what exactly she's referring to, but it could have something to do with those nine months that she went unaccounted for back in New York. ACE gives me another readout of the GCPD's current distance from the area. Minutes are possibly turning into seconds, depending on traffic and other variables. If I could stall them, somehow, I would. But the Batcycle isn't able to carry out a remote assault on it's own. Not to mention that it'd be torn to pieces if it did by an all-out escalation of gunfire.

"Jones. Focus. We have a situation."

Looking shell-shocked, she nevertheless looks back up at me and pushes whatever she's experiencing back into the recesses of her mind. I know that I'm risking alot in trusting this woman with what little I'm about to impart by itself, but I need her cooperation in order to ensure Zoe Lawton's safety. I can't trust the police to be able to attend to the child, but I'm also in no condition to protect her myself. Jones, however, possesses superhuman strength and inhuman durability. Not to mention flight, a fact of which I'm still trying to process.

"Long story short? Yes, you were taken under the control of a powerful metahuman. Calls herself Poison Ivy. I don't know where she is in Gotham, but she's a player in the underground drug trade. She attempted to use you to kill a young girl named Zoe Lawton."

Jones reacts to the name.

"Lawton... wait, the daughter of Michelle Torres?"

I give a nod, beginning to scale the wall ahead of me. If the GCPD swarm the area, they're likely to be looking for any sign that I was here. It'd be best for everyone if I made my exit sooner rather than later.

"You know her?"

"Not particularly, but I'm starting to remember. I was in the middle of trying to talk her out of leaving town. Her ex-husband is a contract killer. Some piece of shit called..."

"Floyd Lawton. I met him earlier tonight. As of a few minutes ago, he's in police custody."

Breathing a sigh of relief, Jones holds her palm to the front of her head, seemingly accepting the reality of the situation. It seems that she does at least care, despite my earlier reservations.

"Did I hurt anyone?"

"The girl? No. But her mother was rendered unconscious. Nothing serious, and an ambulance is on it's way. However..."

Just as I begin to speak, a set of loud sirens from the Gotham City Police suddenly echo out from all around us. Jones immediately makes her way to the windows and looks outside, looking somewhat panicked herself.

Dammit. We had even less time than I'd originally predicted.

"Shit. We need to go. We need to leave right now."

"I was going to say the same, but there's a bit of a complication."

She turns back to me, slightly insensed.

"You're not listening. I'm not like you and in the middle of waging some stupid vigilante crusade. I have a job and a personal life that I'd rather protect from the cops, and everything outside indicates that I'm a living weapon of mass fucking destruction."

I remain silent for a moment, just as the red and blue lights begin to bounce off of my face from outside of the building. While I was concerned with escaping the area for my own sake, Jones' status as a metahuman wasn't something that I'd previously considered. People like her are hunted regularly by government officials, and it'd undoubtedly take a very short amount of time under GCPD custody for an organization to take over. She could disappear overnight for something that wasn't even her fault.


"I'll make you a deal."

Jones narrows her eyes, unsure of what I'm about to say. I'm not even entirely convinced of what I have in mind myself, but it seems as though that despite my history with the police, I have far less to lose than anyone caught in the middle of this situation.

"Go and get the girl. Take her someplace safe, wait a few days, and ensure that she's reunited with her mother. The cops in this city are on the take and I don't trust them with her. Do this for me and..."

She raises an eyebrow.

"And what?"

I sigh to myself.

This is likely to go down as the most idiotic plan I've ever had.

"I'll cover your escape."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Simple Unicycle ?

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Town Square; Warpath, Texas


"Color me innarested, Mister Castle." Vig holstered his guns and walked clockwise around Castle, coming to face him in front. He extended a hand and hoped the fellow vigilante wasn’t too practiced in the art of the quickdraw if things went south. "But, tell you the honest truth? I ain’t exactly certain you’ll be ready for what you see here."

I took a look at the cowboy's hand, before extending my own and giving his a shake. As we parted, I quirked an eyebrow at what he said. I could handle a bunch of bandits or whatever was going on here. "Not entirely sure what you mean there. I've seen enough stuff that, at this point, nothing will surprise me. I can handle whatever shit's going on in this town."

I headed around to the back of my van, being sure to stay slow just in case the cowboy didn't like what I was doing. I opened up the back of my van, stepping inside and grabbing the duffel bag that held my arsenal. Jumping out of the van and closing it back up, I set the bag down on the desert floor and opened it up, pulling out my vest and a few guns. "Whoever's gonna try to show up on your doorstep... I think I got enough guns to make sure they stay as far away from it as possible."

"Exactly how much experience have you got tanglin' with... Let's call it 'supernatural' kindsa things? I know you rassled with that Spider Lady, but I mean... The really strange." The cowboy crossed his arms and his eyes flitted over my arsenal, sizing it up.

I quirked an eyebrow at his question. "... Back in New York City, I was a cop. There were a few stranger calls. Had to bust a cult one time operating out of an abandoned tenement building. Didn't seem like they were very... Connected with whatever they were worshiping though."

"Well..." The cowboy looked down at his boots for a moment, and then his eyes came up and connected with mine. "Suppose I best letcha' see for yerself." He turned on his heel and started making for the door a few blocks down. We passed an old Saloon that looked on its last legs and turned into the remains of what looked like an 18th century courtroom.

I thought it was another person in the back, for a second. But there was something deeply fucked up about him. No movement, the rise and fall of the chest. His eyes looked glassed over. The closer I got, the less real he became. His skin was covered in wood, like he was a lifesize doll.

"That..." The cowboy pointed to the wooden man. "Is what happened to the people here after the last fight to come to town."

It took a few blinks before I realized that what I was staring at wasn't some sick trick of the mind. "... What the hell?" was all I could choke out, as I slowly approached the doll... Or person. "What the hell did this? Or, a better question I probably should have asked: can you even kill something that can do this?

"The Dummy. You might've seen his body ridin' in." The cowboy tilted his hat back and went to the side of the room, pulling a tarp over the body. "Someone or somethin' gave that no good sonuvabitch powers, n' sent him here to kill me, and git something I don't even have."

The Dummy? There was a guy who used to go by that back in New York. We never managed to catch him. From what we could understand, he was a sort of mercenary, taking jobs for whoever paid highest, whether it be intimidation or hits. The hits were what gained him notoriety... I still have nightmares about the bodies.

The cowboy turned to face me, and he pulled the red bandana from around his mouth. His beard was patchy, hastily shaved after too many sleepless nights. Hell, it looked like mine.

"I've... Seen things. Monsters you can't even rightly well imagine. What's coming next? I don't know. What I do know is that this time I got a warning from on high. N' I gotta make it count." He swallowed hard. "For them."

"Don't worry. I'll help out however I can. We'll deal with whatever comes next and then look for the source." I paused, remembering his mention of the Dummy. "... That guy, the Dummy. What'd he look like? I might know him."

"Small feller. Real round cheeks, messed up smile, big 'ol eyes... His skin was like the others, but that wooden stuff drained right on outta' him when he passed." His voice caught on the last word, but he moved past it. "Tell you the truth, I don't remember it too great. Was a bit out of sorts when it happened."

Small guy. Round cheeks, weird smile, big eyes... Almost exactly what the witness reports of the Dummy were like. Difference is, he was, you know, human. "There was a guy like that back in New York. Human, though. Still, it might be the same guy. Could've gained some type of metagene through experimentation or... Something like that." I made a mental note to have Micro look into it.

"Yeah. Somethin'..." The Cowboy looked for a beat at the tarp, then tore his gaze away. He beckoned to me. "C'mon. Figure I should show you around. They call me Vigilante, by the by. Vig for short. But you can jes call me Greg if you like."

"Alright, sounds good. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Greg." Without another word, I followed after him.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Morden Man
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Morden Man

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Manhattan, New York

It had been easy enough for Johnny Storm to slip past Guy that morning. Try as he might to pretend otherwise, it was clear that the SHIELD agent was running on fumes. His journey to Central City with Reed was meant to be routine but they’d found themselves in the middle of an international incident. And from the looks of things Gardner had caught a bit of a beating while he was there. It was fair to stay that he was distracted – and that Johnny had been sneaking his way out of the house since long before he became the Human Torch.

The old Johnny Storm had made a living out of sneaking past his sister so he could take part in drag races against his friends. He’d always win – not because he was a better driver than any of his pals, but because he took chances that they would never dare to. Growing up, as far as Johnny was concerned, he was untouchable behind the wheel. God had taken both of his parents from him in a car accident. There was no way he could go that way too. It was impossible.

He was wrong, of course, and worse still, he was stupid. He was too young to remember the way he felt after his parents had died. If he had done, he’d never have taken his life into his own hands like that. He’d never have risked leaving Sue all alone. But now Johnny understood what loss felt like – and there was one loss that he felt more acutely than the rest.

Peter Parker.

It was missing Peter that lead him to sneak out that morning and take to the streets of Manhattan. Before leaving he’d thrown on some civilian clothes and an old hoodie with the Baxter Building crest on it over his Fantastic Four uniform. Thankfully, this world’s Johnny Storm had died before being catapulted to global fame so he was able to walk around without arousing suspicion.

The sounds and the smells took Johnny back. The street vendors were hollering at the top of their voices, tourists were monopolising the sidewalk, and beeping horns followed Johnny everywhere he went. In almost every way, this world seemed like his own – but it wasn’t. Every few minutes he reminded himself of that fact, as he had reminded Reed and Harrison Wells of it last night.

And yet here he was pounding the streets of Manhattan in search of the one person that might be able to help him. Peter knew what it was like to lose someone – he knew what it was like to feel like you could have done more – and he overcame it. He used that feeling as fuel and became a better man for it. So far all Johnny was doing was hurting himself and the people around him.

Perhaps if he spoke to him, Johnny could feel whole again. Perhaps he’d stop hurting Reed and Ben and Sue. Perhaps he could accept that maybe their world was gone.

Johnny winced as soon as he thought it and banished the thought from his mind. In the distance stood the Daily Bugle building. If Peter was to be found anywhere, it would be there. Johnny patiently made his way through the crowds of tourists stood outside of the building and entered it. There were men in suits making their way through a suspiciously corporate-looking lobby and past him. Sat at the front desk was a heavy-set black woman.

“Excuse me,” Johnny said as he leant towards the receptionist. “My name is Johnny Storm. I’m a friend of Peter Parker’s – he’s a photographer at the Daily Bugle. I was wondering whether you could tell him that I’m downstairs.”

One of the woman’s grey eyebrows cocked in confusion. “The what?”

“The Daily Bugle,” Johnny said with a sigh. “You know, it’s only the most-read newspaper in New York. Edited by a cigar-chomping shock-jock with hard-on for attacking Spider-Man every time a train pulls into Grand Central a few minutes late.”

The receptionist shook her head. “I think you have the wrong building, sir.”

“No, I’m definitely in the right place,” Johnny responded. “I’ve been here a thousand times before.”

The receptionist lent back in shock.

“Could you lower your voice, sir?”

Johnny let out a bemused laugh. “What the hell are you t-”

“Please, sir, that kind of language isn’t called for.”

Around the woman’s neck Johnny noticed a gaudy cross. A sideways glanced towards the inside of her desk revealed a picture of Jesus and several patron saints messily given pride of place. He rolled his eyes and tried his best to police his own tone, so as not to be accused of ‘raising his voice’ or using bad language again.

“Just get Peter on the phone, would you?” Johnny said with his fingers still pinched around the bridge of his nose. “Tell him that Johnny Storm is downstairs and that he has some very important information for him about Spider-Man.”

“Sir, I’ve already told you that I think you have the wrong p-”

The receptionist’s tone proved too much for Johnny this time and he reached over the desk towards the telephone.

“Oh, for god’s sake, I’ll do it myself if you’re going to be so goddamn anal about everything.”

As he did so the receptionist cried out and Johnny felt what felt like half a dozen hands wrapped around his arms and legs. He struggled against them wildly for a few seconds, the receiver of the telephone still in his hands, before finally realising he was overmatched. People stopped to watch as he was dragged from the building and sent heaving through its heavy front doors and onto the steps outside.

Johnny landed with a heavy thud and was sure that he felt one of his ribs break beneath him. Tourists grouped outside of the building flocked towards him but he shooed them away and climbed to his feet. There were a few small scrapes on his chin and along his hands where he had attempted to break his fall.

“Thanks for nothing,” he muttered in the direction of the retreating security guards. “You fricking jerks.”

He glanced down at the scrape on his hands with a sigh.

“What the hell are you doing, Johnny? The woman said there was no Daily Bugle. Maybe Pete works somewhere else on this world. Heck, maybe Parker Industries is actually a real thing here.”

For as long as Johnny had known him, Peter Parker had struggled to make ends meet. He was one of the smartest men that Johnny knew, Reed aside, but he just about managed to hold a job down at the Bugle – and sometimes did some tutoring for a high school on the side. “Parker Industries” was a pipe dream they’d discussed more times than Johnny could count. If a nerd like you can end up with a smokeshow like Mary-Jane Watson, anything is possible, Johnny would say to him.

And it was.

A defeated sigh slipped through Johnny’s lips and he considered his options. “There must be some way of getting in contact with him.”

High above him, Johnny heard the sound of a telecopter noisily passing by. He looked up at the logo of the TV channel printed on the side.

There was one thing, Johnny thought, as he mulled over the ramifications of the only course of action he could see before him. He undid his hoodie and threw it to the ground. Johnny’s fingers tugged at the first two buttons of his shirt clumsily before settling on tearing it open. The shirt fell to the ground and the buttons skittled along the pavement. By the time Johnny took down his trousers, people were watching on.

“Sorry, Sue,” Johnny muttered as he burst into flames.

There were murmurs of shock from the people around him and cameras flashing in his direction as Johnny took to the skies. Just feeling the wind whipping past his head as he climbed through the air and above New York’s towering buildings gave him a rush. The movements came naturally to him – the mask etched into his memory so deeply he could recall it in his sleep. Finally, once Johnny had come to a stop, he was stood proudly beside a flaming Spider-Man mask that burned brightly and proudly above all else.

“If you’re out there, Peter, now would be the time to make yourself known, because I’m going to be in for a whole world of trouble when I get back to the Baxter Building.”
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by HenryJonesJr
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"You didn't say it back!?" MJ's horrified screech comes over the phone causing me to wince and jerk my head away from it. As I put the phone back to my ear I can tell she hasn't stopped talking, "-even want this to workout? You can't let him say that and not say anything back. Are you crazy?"

"MJ," I shake my head and look for the words to say, "I'm not ready for that. Things are going well, I want them to continue. But I can't say anything I don't mean. Not when it's something like that."

I still haven't talked to Peter since he told me he loves me. I left the message telling him I was okay after the incident on Stryker's Island two days ago, but that's about it. I've ignored probably twelve calls from him. I know it's not exactly the right thing to do, but I need to figure out what the hell I'm actually going to say before we actually talk.

Being a teenager sucks sometimes.

"Well, you have to call him at some point," MJ tells me what I already know. "If you keep ignoring him it's only gonna get worse, and you're not gonna forgive yourself if you mess this up."

"Yea, yea," I respond, making it clear I'm in no rush to solve this problem. "Listen, I'll call you later. How about we grab some ice cream or something?"

"Fine. Call Peter."

After hanging up, I head to the living room where Dad is all but passed out. It's been a long day since the fire. The NYPD has managed to catch most of the convicts that escaped that night, but there are still a good number out there. It's been all hands on deck for the cops, and even Dad's been pulled off his superhuman duty to deal with it.

"Why don't you go to bed and get some actual sleep, father?" I plop down next to him on the couch and give him an admonishing look. "The scum of New York city can clearly do without you for a few hours. If someone really needs something, they'll call you."

He looks at me, the bags under his eyes pronounced, "You know I can't do that. Not with everything going on."

I roll my eyes at him, "Dad, you're not doing anyone any good playing zombie cop. Get some rest, and you're gonna do a lot more good."

"Fine," he grumbles. "But I don't have to like it."

As he gets up to leave, I call to him, "Kay! Love you! You're welcome!"

After a mumble from the hallway, I turn the TV on just to waste some time. Of course, what greets me is the exact opposite. Dad must have left the channel set to the news when he turned it off last, and a big old flaming recreation of my mask is currently hovering above the city of New York. Panicking, I check my phone for any sign of Firefly escaping custody, but nothing turns up. That's good, but the fact that some other fire-themed weirdo is calling me out is not.

"Hey, Dad! I'm headed to MJ's," I say, grabbing my pack with my suit. "I'll let you know when I'm headed home."


It doesn't take me long to reach Manhattan, and even though the giant symbol in the sky has begun to fade, I find its source.

Standing on a rooftop above the streets is a young man. Older than me, but not by more than ten to twelve years, at the most. His blond hair shines in the sunlight, the dwindling flames bouncing off the golden waves. His bright, blue eyes are striking, but a sadness and emptiness that fills them like a black hole resting inside.

Confusion contorts his face as he looks at me, and I can tell that even if he's only a bit older than me in years, his soul has seen some miles. A general air of tiredness and defeat rolls off of him like a thunderclap, and the sight of me seems to bring even more of it out of him.

If I didn't know any better, he is about to cry.

"Nice fireworks. The likeness is pretty uncanny. Listen," I sigh as I break the silence between us, "I've had about my fill of fire for one...lifetime after this past week. If you're here to fight, can we just skip to the part where I web you up and hand you over to the authorities. I'm not sure I've got all that much in me for a real fight right now."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Lord Wraith
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S T A R C I T Y, C A L I F O R N I A:

S A T U R D A Y, J U L Y 2 8T H, 2 0 1 8 - 0 9 : 0 1 a m | O W E N S T E A D A P A R T M E N T S, T H E G L A D E S

Materializing inside of June’s apartment, Amora tried to steady herself on the stained countertop as June fought to take her body back. Her will was forceful, but it wasn’t enough to overwhelm her host’s as she let out one last defeated scream before the straight blonde hair filtered into a tousled brunette leaving a rather anxious June panting heavily as she allowed her body to slide to the floor. But something had changed within June during Amora’s last takeover, Amora now only felt overwhelming desperation and fear as June looked down at the necklace around her neck, cradling it in her hands as she stared into the empty apartment. Fear overriding any of her remaining facilities as her mind was on the brink of snapping.

“You almost killed Thor.” Her voice was barely a whisper, but it did little to quell Amora as the Enchantress’ voice snapped back at June, screaming inside her head as June fell to the floor, clenching either side of her skull.

I would have killed Thor if you had not interfered! You insolent little brat, you are nothing, nothing! I am the greatest thing to ever happen to you and you could not let me have the one thing I desire most in life!

“No,” June said as she looked down at the necklace. “You are the worst thing that has ever happened to me.” She retorted as she took a hold of the necklace.

“If I had let you kill Thor, my life would have been over, it would have been ruined!” June hissed back in response.

“You may be able to take on Thor, but you can’t just kill him and get away with it. Someone will come looking for us, and they will keep coming until they find us. I can’t have that, I can’t live with all this death on my conscience!” Sobbing between words, June became more and more hysterical as she continued.

“I asked you to release Raimi from your control, and instead, you threw him out a window. I am so fuckin’ done with you, you stupid fuckin’ whore!” June screamed tightening her hand around the amulet as she pulled the necklace as hard she could waiting for the satisfaction of the chain snapping while the amulet sailed out of her hand and through the open window.

But nothing happened.

The necklace never left her hand, the chain was unwilling to break or even bend. Amora’s laughter echoed through June’s head as tears began to stream down her face.

I am surprised you had not tried that already, child. Did you really think you could get rid of me so easily?

“No, no-no-no!” June sobbed as she tried to futilely crawl away from Amora, the sorceress’ words following her no matter where she went. Taking hold of a chair, June pulled herself to her feet, running to the bathroom before slamming the door behind her. Reaching towards the mirror, June nearly ripped the door of the medicine cabinet clear off its hinge. Reaching inside, June pulled out the first bottle of pills she could find.

What are you doing now, child?

“Freeing myself from you,” June stated some defiance left in her as she slammed the mirrored door shut, watching it crack as Amora stared back at her, her face twisted into a scowl.

This will not go the way you think, child

“You’d say anything to save your own skin.” June snapped back as she popped the lid off the bottle, tilting it to her mouth. Pill after pill hit her tongue as June swallowed them all, a smile crossing her face as Amora’s screams rang in her ears. Suddenly there was silence as June let out a small smile, falling to the floor as her eyes rolled to the back of her head.

It was over.

M A R V I L L E, O K L A H O M A:

S U N D A Y, J U L Y 2 9T H, 2 0 1 8 - 1 2 : 0 1 p m | H O M E O F B L A K E D O N A L D S O N & B A R A B A R A N O R R I S

Watching as Barbara’s squad car left the driveway, Blake pulled himself out of bed, wincing as he walked towards the ensuite. Washing warm water over the wound seemed to do nothing as he looked in the mirror, tired eyes staring back as his body was more focused on healing than it was on resting. Walking back into the bedroom, Blake felt a draft as he looked up to see the window was open. Resting on the window sill was a raven as it carefully watched Blake move towards the bed, its black eyes unblinking.

“Did you save me?” Blake asked, taking a seat on the edge of the bed as he looked up at the bird as it continued to watch him. The familiar voice suddenly floated into his mind as Odin answered his question.

No, you have more friends than you know.

“More enemies than I know about too, seems your son’s memories aren’t all there,” Blake replied, the pain causing him to wince again as he waited for the Allfather’s response.

In time your memory will return. For the time being, you have a more pressing threat. It would seem the Enchantress cursed you, were you a mortal man that spell would have eaten through you hours ago. You need to come to me.

“Would it not be a lot easier for you to come to me?” Blake asked. He could feel Thor laughing as the raven’s gaze seemed to intensify while cocking its head before Odin replied.

I can not heal you there, you need to come to Raven’s Grove.

Blake stared at the raven, disbelief was clearly displayed on his features. He knew of Raven’s Grove, he hadn’t visited it since high school. To the local’s, it was nothing more than a secluded place to take your date after the home team won during homecoming.

Do not dally, boy. Come now.

Reluctantly rising from the bed, Blake pulled a pair of jeans on before quickly pulling a shirt over his head. Walking down the stairs, he made his way out the front door as he headed towards his motorcycle before remembering his injury as he looked around the driveway realizing the only other vehicle was Barbara’s truck.

“Amora had better not show up,” Blake muttered as he climbed into the cab and rolled the engine over.

The drive didn’t take long as Blake bypass Marville and took the country road around the town. Pulling off onto a dirt road, Blake slowed the truck down as the frame rocked back and forth as each wheel traveled down the bumpy road. On either side, thick pines blocked the high sun casting long eerie shadows that lent to a natural darkness as the truck’s automatic headlights illuminated the road ahead. Overhead a raven swooped down taking the next right as Blake followed the bird coming to a stop as the road came to an end.

Exiting the cab, Blake took in his surroundings. It had been the better part of a decade since he had last come to Raven’s Grove, he had still been dating Jane then, back before she left for New York. Still, this particular area was unfamiliar to Blake as he began to walk a narrow path that led through the thick overgrowth of evergreens. He could feel the beady eyes watching him as more and more of the soot coloured birds gathered in the branches until suddenly the trees gave way to a clearing.

In the middle of the clearing sat an older man, a large wide-brimmed hat across his head, a tattered coat covering his torso. He smiled towards Blake, his one eye twinkling as he took a drag on his long pipe held to his mouth by one hand while the other tightly held a walking stick in his lap. Behind him was a large tooth-shaped rock, protruding from the ground defiantly as it pointed towards the sky.

“This grove holds many secrets, my son,” The man said as he placed his cane on the ground, standing as he walked to greet Blake. “Can you feel it? The air is alive in the grove.”

It was true, the moment that Blake had stepped into the grove, the hairs on his arm had stood up. It was as though the air was humming, it reacted to him.

It reacted to his wound.

“This is a place of power,” Odin stated as he guided Blake towards the stone. “It is a bridge between the other realms and one of the last remnants of Asgard.”

“What happened to Asgard?” Blake asked as Odin placed a hand on the stone, a circle of white light engulfing his hand.

“That is an answer you already possess and in due time,” Odin answered, “It will be revealed to you. But until then, that is a story for another time.” He stated before turning to Blake, placing the orb of light on his shoulder as the pain was increased tenfold, Thor and Blake both crying out as the light slowly darkened, swirling energies of purple and green corrupting the orb until suddenly Odin pulled back, releasing the orb to the sky.

“The curse is lifted.” He huffed, leaning heavily on his cane as he lowered himself to the ground. “My strength is not what it used to be, I am afraid.” Odin lamented as he looked to Thor who had taken Blake’s place during the healing.

“Father, what of the Enchantress?” Thor asked as he moved his arm, the absence of both pain and injury coming as a relief to the God of Thunder.

“What of her, my son? Should she remain free, she will become a threat to all of Midgard.” Odin replied. “You are bound by duty to protect, Midgard as you are all the realms, you must face her again.”

“Her quarrel is with you, my King.” Thor replied, “If I am to quell her rage, I must know why.”

“If you must know, then I will show you,” Odin replied reaching forward as he placed his thumb beneath Thor’s eye and two fingers to his temple. Thor felt his eyes roll back as the grove faded from his vision and he was transported to a more familiar location.


“Amora of Vanheim, you are found to be guilty of committing fornication while honoring the oath of Idunn. By the laws of our forefathers and the treaties of the Vanir, I am forced to remove you from your tutelage, you will never tend to the garden of Idunn.” The voice of the Allfather echoed over throne home as a younger Amora stood before him, crying out in protest while the palace guards came to take her away. Standing beside his father’s throne, Thor watched as a woman hide her smile while Amora was dragged away.

“Brother,” Thor asked as he pointed towards the remaining woman. “Who is that?”

“Lorelei,” Loki answered raising his head from the tome he currently had his nose stuck in. “The accused’s sister.” He added for his brother’s clarification before turning the page and resuming his reading.

“If that is the accused’s sister, why does she not weep for her sister?” Thor asked as Loki let out a sigh, placing the tome down on his lap as he looked at Thor.

“Do you really need it spelled out for you, brother?” Loki asked. “They were both in line to be Idunn, but only a virgin can tend to the Maiden’s garden. I would imagine, she…” Loki paused for dramatic effect as he smiled wickedly. “Screwed her competition.”

“But why did the Allfather not see through her deception?” Thor asked as Loki shook his head in disbelief.

“You give the Allfather too much credit, he is old and these matters are but trivial to him. Beneath the Allfather, surely this could have been addressed by the Norns instead of dragging them here to the capital.” Loki scoffed. “Asgard needs a new ruler on its throne.”

“When I am King, it will have one,” Thor answered as Loki scowled behind him.

“Then, I do hope the sun smiles on Asgard before that day.” He muttered picking up his book, as he stood. “If you’ll excuse me, the palace has begun to bore me. I think now is a good time to stretch my legs.”

“Agreed,” Thor stated cheerily. “I think a trip to the Jotuns is in order, it’s been too long since my last fight.”

“More likely since your last fuck,” Loki whispered under his breath as Thor slapped him on the back.

“Will you not join me, brother. Perhaps put some of that knowledge of yours to use.”

“I think I will take a pass, I never really feel like I fit in when we go to Jötunheim,” Loki replied shrugging out of his brother’s grip.

“Your loss,” Thor replied as he swung Mjölnir around before suddenly being pulled into the air as he left Loki’s side, the younger prince sighing in relief as he took his own leave.

Exiting the golden palace, Loki followed the seemingly endless stairs and winding footpaths until he found himself in the royal gardens. Making his way to the large fountain, Loki took a seat on the edge of the flowing sapphire waters as he cracked open his book once again. Turning the page, Loki paused as he suddenly realized he was not alone. Soft sobbing was coming from the other side of the hedge as Loki jumped to his feet, snapping at the source of the noise.

“The royal gardens are not the place for your emotional drivel, wench. Pull yourself together or excuse yourself before I remove you.”

The sobbing was suddenly replaced with short breaths as Amora sheepishly stepped out from the hedge, turning her back to Loki as she began to leave.

“Wait!” Loki suddenly called, a smile crossing his face. “Is it true?” He asked, “Did the Steward really have you in every way he desired? Did you really let him put it in every hole all so he would ensure you, not your sister, would be the next Maiden Goddess?”

Amora paused, her crossed arms falling to her sides as Loki spoke, hands curling into fists as she suddenly spun around, swinging wildly as her fist collided with and then passed through Loki’s face as the visage in front of her dematerialized.

“I thought not,” Came the smug reply from behind her as Amora jumped, turning around to see Loki standing behind her. “So now what, you resign to your fate and go back to what, serving in the tavern?”

“Working on my parent’s farm.” Amora snapped back as she wiped a residual tear from her left eye. “What do you care, it was your father who passed judgment.”

“I do not always see eye to with my father,” Loki responded. “Besides, do you not want justice?”

“Of course, I want justice, my prince!” Amora exclaimed, “But I have no means of getting it.”

“I can give you those means.” Loki mused as he circled the woman, his eyes wide like a predator who had finally found its prey.

“There must be a catch,” Amora stated, crossing her arms as she looked at Loki. Returning her gaze, he smiled.

“I want to make a deal.” Loki replied, “I will make you into a powerful enchantress, one who will never have her life again ruined by a man, but you have to take an oath to never betray me.”

“We have an accord,” Amora said extending her hand as Loki pulled a knife from the back of his waist. The blade slicing through the air faster than the woman had a chance to react as it sliced the open on her hand. Blood spilled out of the fresh wound as Loki pulled back his own sleeve, revealing a scarred palm as he dragged the knife across his palm before pressing his wound to Amora’s.

"The deal is done.” He said, smiling as he shook her hand.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Morden Man
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"Nice fireworks. The likeness is pretty uncanny. Listen," I sigh as I break the silence between us, "I've had about my fill of fire for one...lifetime after this past week. If you're here to fight, can we just skip to the part where I web you up and hand you over to the authorities. I'm not sure I've got all that much in me for a real fight right now."
Manhattan, New York

Johnny's heart had sunk in his chest when he spotted her swinging towards him. The mask was the same but the similarities ended there. Whoever was beneath this cowl was almost certainly not Peter Parker – in fact, it was pretty clear that whoever was beneath it was a woman. From the way she moved and the sound of her voice, she was young too. College student? No, maybe younger still, Johnny thought as he remembered that Peter had started as a high school student.

"I'm not here for a fight," Johnny said with a heavy sigh. "Why do these things always have to start with a fight?"

Storm glanced over his shoulder at the waning Spider-Man symbol he had created and then exhaled through his nose. He didn't even know where to begin to explain. He wasn't even sure that he should – but he was screwed no matter what happened, or at least he would be once Maria Hill got her hands on him, so he figured there was no point holding back.

Johnny scanned the woman's costume as he tried to deduce her name. "Let me guess, you must be Arachne or Silk or something?"

Before she had a chance to answer him, Johnny slunk down to the edge of the ledge of the building he was stood on. His legs dangled over the side and he laid back, fingers locked behind his head as a makeshift cushion.

"Whoever you are, you're definitely not the guy that I was looking for – but if you're wearing that mask, I guess you're the closest thing this world has to him. So you might as well take a seat."

The young woman didn't budge.

"Go ahead," Johnny gestured nonchalantly at the space on the roof beside him. "Do I look like a radioactive spider? I'm not going to bite, kid."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by HenryJonesJr
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"Go ahead," Johnny gestured nonchalantly at the space on the roof beside him. "Do I look like a radioactive spider? I'm not going to bite, kid."

Well, this is certainly unexpected. Usually when someone draws your flaming face in the sky they're calling you out. At the very least it's a warning. It's usually not a sad dude going through what seems to be some serious shit wanting to chat. While he doesn't seem like an outward thread, it doesn't mean I should completely put my guard down. There's always a chance he's trying to lull me into a false sense of security, and will strike the minute I let my guard down.

Still, he does have some serious wounded puppy dog vibes going on here.

"Okay," I sigh and put my face in my hand to collect my thoughts. "One, I am, like, so glad you don't want to fight. I'm so freaking beat from the other night. I don't know if you watch the news, well, clearly you don't because you don't know who I am. Spider-Woman, by the way. But I fought a crazy pyromaniac who burned down a prison and let a bunch of convicts escape. I am running on some superhero fumes right now."

Taking a few careful steps to the edge of the building, I take a seat next to him, but with enough of a space to ensure my spider sense will give ample warning if he tries to pull something. He's definitely got a screw loose, considering he thought he was leaving a symbol for some guy. Some guy from...did he say another world? Or that I was the closest in this world.

And...wait...radioactive spider? He knows I got my powers from a spider bite? Sure it wasn't radioactive, but close enough. There is something seriously, seriously off about this guy.

I put down my hood and look over at him as he stares up into the sky. There's a thoughtfulness behind all the despair and loneliness, like a lost poet in a foreign land. Against my better judgment, I'm starting to feel sorry for him. I probably won't even react when he burns my face off or something.

"So...uh...what's your deal?" is about all I can think to ask. It's about as eloquent as a jackhammer in a glass factory, but it's all I got. "Clearly you thought someone else was showing up to see your light show. As far as I know I'm the only one who wears a mask like that, but I've only been on the job a few months."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by DocTachyon
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DocTachyon Teenage Neenage Neetle Teetles

Member Seen 7 days ago

”The Ranchero of Miracle Mesa” - Riders on the Storm: Part Three

“The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.”


Warpath, Texas; Two Days Later

Vigilante could see them coming in the distance. Seemed like this was a recurring theme, danger heralded by a big ol’ dust cloud rising the distance. He could almost laugh about it. But all he could do was set his jaw and tighten up his grip on the lever-action of his rifle, setting it to his shoulder.

He’d spent the last few days shoring up the defenses with Frank Castle’s kit,and thanks to him they were really cookin’ with gas. Across the town they’d lain out wooden boxes filled with molotovs and a little nitroglycerin for that extra kick when he or Frank shot one. Then there were the traps; a few tree springs from rotted out second floor balconies, and three or four punji stick holes with thin covers of sand. Using Frank’s arsenal they’d lined up a few grenade bouquets and tripwires, not to mention a handful of makeshift landmines. But the thing they were prouder of than a pup with his first flea was The Saloon; they’d rigged it to blow. If they could lure whatever was coming up on the horizon into the ol’ Crossroads, the sons of bitches’d be scattered from Hell to breakfast.

But that relied on the pair of them not gettin’ killed first. The cloud in the distance was just about bigger than any Vig had ever seen, and he couldn’t even resolve whatever was making it. Whatever it was, the closer it got the more the Spirit set to squirming in his mind like a worm in hot ashes. It wasn’t united anymore, it was like he could feel the mass of lost souls rioting in his mind. Blaze had warned him for a reason. Maybe The Rider didn’t like coming out against these punks. Whatever the case, Vig just had to hope that a dose of frontier justice would be enough to put them down.

As the cloud advanced on the northmost wall, Vig set his sights on the first of the traps they’d set. They’d rigged up as much explosive as they could hide in spots around each of the four walls. Whichever way the enemy tried to come in from, Vig could take a shot at the explosives and blow a nice chunk of their raidin’ party apart. While Vig sat up on the wall, Frank lie in wait in the town. Hopefully they wouldn’t realize they had two opponents before it was too late.

He was starting to make them, now.There were six… No, a dozen… Two dozen… Three… God, there were more and more spilling out of the dust cloud. Black riders with ethereal wisps of darkness whipping off of them and into the howling wind. They rode on Shrine Horses and Clydesdales that had the same inky black smoke trailing off of them. They had all kinds of armament slung off their horses -- repeater rifles, revolvers, sticks of dynamite. It was like they leapt out of Hell and into a perversion of a Clint Eastwood movie.

”And no one disrespects Mr. Eastwood in my town, no sir.” Vig mumbled to himself. He put his cheek to the gunsight and sighted up on the bulge in the sands. They hadn’t opened up on him yet; maybe they couldn’t see the form of a prone cowboy against the twisted metal of the wall. Just a little closer now…

The man body of their force moved over the hidden explosive. Vig’s rifle cracked in his hands and rolled off the wall as an explosion rippled through the countryside. Vig shot a glance skyward and his hat was near blown away by the shockwave, he could feel his eardrums rattling in his head. A plume of fire towered way up into the heavens, and he could hear the baying of wounded horses. Through the sublest of cracks in the wall he could see the injured were fading away into dust. Whatever stuff of spirit had composed them, it was all boiling away. But the rest?

Aside from the chunk he’d blown out of the column, the others seemed fit to be tied. Bullets started plinking off the armor of the wall, and Vig could barely hear the report of their guns over the ringing in his ears.

”Frank! We got incomin’! Seventy-five or a hunnred’ mean sonsofbitches! Git to cover!” Vig sprinted as fast as his legs would carry him, sliding around the mines they’d placed and ultimately diving behind a collection of water-filled barrels. He grabbed his shotgun off his back and pumped the forend. The ‘Bounty Hunters’ were about to get deader than a doornail.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Eddie Brock
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Eddie Brock

Member Seen 1 yr ago

APRIL 1945

Isabel Maru had often been called a "fanatic," and she wore the epithet with a great deal of pride. For what in this life was more virtuous than total, unyielding dedication to a cause? Frankly, Dr. Maru felt as though the Third Reich could use a little more fanaticism of late. She had watched with horror as the weak-willed abandoned the cause: the traitors, Göring and Himmler, and hundreds more like them. They lacked the fortitude to fight -- and die, if necessary -- for Germany. She would not fail where they had. No, the woman known around the world as Doctor Poison would continue her work until all of Germany's enemies were destroyed or she was.

To that end, Doctor Poison had taken it upon herself to carry out this plan. The time had come to strike at the heart of the Allies, to break their will to fight. She had loaded up the German super bomber with her latest and most devastating formula yet: an airborne neurotoxin that would deliver painful death in minutes. With her current payload, she could decimate Washington, New York, and Philadelphia... for a start. A return trip to London and Paris would all but ensure that the Western Allies would be crippled, buying Germany valuable time to deal with the Soviets encroaching on Berlin.

In fact, the only thing Doctor Poison hadn't accounted for was her stowaway. He had infiltrated her secret facility in the dead of night and hitched a ride on the super bomber by holding onto one of the plane's landing gears. At that moment, as Dr. Maru retracted the wheels in preparation for her transatlantic flight, the stowaway silently climbed up into the belly of the bomber. He tiptoed carefully through the rows of skull-and-crossbones marked canisters, edging his way towards the cockpit. His approach would have gone unnoticed if Doctor Poison hadn't caught a glimpse of his red, white, and blue costume reflected on the inside of the bomber's windshield.

Spinning in the captain's chair, Doctor Poison drew a Luger from her belt and fired an errant shot at the intruder. "Captain America," she announced, her voice garbled and distorted behind the unique gas mask she always wore, "How fitting that you should be here at the end of your empire."

Captain America stepped through the open doorway to the cockpit, his shield raised to protect his body. His eyes hardened as he replied, "Seems to me it's not my empire that's ending but yours. The Red Skull is dead, your Führer cowers in a bunker, and Berlin will soon fall." He took another step forward, moving slowly as to anticipate his opponent's next move. "It's over, Doctor. You can't win."

"Perhaps not," she conceded, "But you can still lose!" With a sneer, she rattled off three more quick shots from her pistol. All three plinked against the American's shield; the third hit at such an angle that the crushed slug deflected back at Dr. Maru, clipping her in the shoulder. Shouting, she dropped her Luger and fell back against the throttle.

Captain America lunged forward to seize the moment when he was suddenly thrown back. Dr. Maru had landed in such a way as to send the bomber into a sudden, pitched turn. The world went sideways as the Captain lost his grip on his shield and flew into a console. His shield clattered against the floor of the cockpit and slid between the two of them.

Still dazed, Doctor Poison reached back and attempted to right the throttle. The horizon leveled out behind her, and she bent to retrieve her fallen pistol. No sooner did she have it in hand than Captain America, having also recovered, was bearing down on her. She fired again but only managed to punch a hole through the glass of the windshield; the cockpit then filled with the whistle of rushing air.

The Captain was close enough to attempt a proper disarm. Grabbing the body of the gun with his left hand, he delivered a sharp cross to the Doctor's gas mask with his right. In any normal situation, Steve Rogers would be horrified at the thought of hitting a woman, but for this woman he'd make an exception. Countless others had suffered and died as a result of Dr. Maru's cruelty. But no more. It ended here.

Wrenching the Luger from Maru's grasp, Captain America threw it aside and reared back for a disabling blow. But the Doctor, ever resourceful, yanked hard on the control throttle and sent the bomber climbing skyward. Captain America fell back, slamming through the door to the cockpit as his shield followed him; he had to twist his body to avoid being on the receiving end of it for a change. It bounced off the poison canisters behind him, evidently dislodging a nozzle or two judging by the familiar hiss of escaping gas.

As the dangling American clung to the doorway, Doctor Poison climbed back into the captain's chair and began hitting toggles for the bomber's bay. The hydraulic doors opened, creating a deafening roar and a violent air current that threatened to suck Captain America right out of the plane. She would not allow him to stop her this time. Not again. Not when the Third Reich needed her most. She grabbed the throttle and twisted the plane this way and that, hoping to jar the interloper loose once and for all.

Despite Captain America's best attempts, his fingers just couldn't find enough purchase on the doorway. As his grasp slipped, he felt himself falling... though, thankfully, his fall was broken by his trusty shield, wedged between two poison canisters. Momentarily winded, the Captain clung to the edges of his shield as he willed his body back inside the plane. Spotting one of the hydraulic struts for the bomber bay doors, he gave it a good kick. The mechanism failed, and the doors closed partially, lessening the vacuum inside the bay. Retrieving his shield, Captain America began climbing his way back up towards the cockpit.

The air inside the cockpit was growing thin, and Doctor Poison eventually leveled the plane out. She was way off her intended heading, but she would make up the time when the American was dealt with. As she turned to check on her nemesis, Dr. Maru let out a gasp when she saw him standing behind her, shield raised for an overhead strike. She rolled out of the way, and the shield crashed through the central console, showering her with sparks. The plane lurched forward, and she slammed her head on the underside of the console. Dr. Maru's world went black.

Captain America steadied himself as the super bomber tipped over into a nosedive. The damage to the central console was irreparable, and he knew there was no other way to gain control. Worse, a small fire had started inside the electronics, and they had only moments before the leaking gas in the bay ignited. Grabbing Dr. Maru's unconscious body, the Captain held out his shield as he charged and dove for the half-open bomber bay doors.

* * *

Beneath the afternoon sun, the Amazons gathered on the training field for their midday drills. Clad in leather and leaning on their spears, the warrior women popped to attention at the arrival of their commander, Phillipus. The hardened general stood almost a full head taller than her fellow Themyscirans and bore a jagged scar down the left side of her face: a "memento" from the last Spartan captain foolish enough to challenge the Amazons in the open field, so many lifetimes ago. Themyscira's healers had made frequent offers to remove the scar, and Phillipus had just as repeatedly rebuffed them, cherishing the mark and the respect it commanded. There is no room in a warrior's heart for vanity, she had once said.

Phillipus crossed the face of the formation, her gaze set on the horizon. "Today, you will separate into groups of three," she announced. "Each of you will practice fending off the other two." The commander came to a stop and turned to face her soldiers. Her eyes scanned the formation, seeking any sign of disorder: a missing spear, a messy uniform, a foot out of line. As usual, she found none. The Amazons were nothing if not disciplined. She took a step to continue before something did catch her eye: a vacant space. Narrowing her eyes, Phillipus called out, "Diana?" No response. More forcefully, she repeated, "Diana?" At this, even the trained warriors could not help but look around; a few even dared to whisper amongst themselves. "Who has seen Diana today?" the exasperated general asked loudly.

At that very moment, the Princess of Themyscira rode on the northern coast of the island. Her mother, Queen Hippolyta, would not be pleased to learn that her daughter had skipped out on her drills, but Diana put that out of mind. How often could one be expected to drill, anyway? Already, Diana was one of the fiercest warriors of all her sisters; another day playing at fighting was not likely to change that. Besides, the Amazons had guarded Doom's Doorway -- the rift between this world and the one below -- for centuries now with nary an incursion to show for it. At what point did vigilance sink to the level of paranoia? It seemed to Diana that the talents of the Themyscirans might be better served elsewhere.

Of course, such a suggestion was not likely to go over well with her sisters. Since the time she was a girl, Diana had been told of the evils and corruption of Man's World. "They have forsaken the gods," her mother explained. "There's nothing left in their hearts but anger, lust, and greed." Diana could not believe that, though. If they had truly been corrupted, could they not also be saved? Diana worried she would never know. It was forbidden for an Amazon to leave the island, and those few who did were never allowed to return. To satisfy her curiosity would mean forsaking her birthright, and even the bold princess could not yet bring herself to that.

Thus, in lieu of traveling to the world beyond Themyscira's borders, Diana had her rides. She had already explored every inch of the island ten times over, but the coasts -- with their wind-hewn cliffs and shimmering shores -- never lost their appeal. Here, the princess could be alone with her thoughts. She could look out over the waters and imagine the possibilities of what lay beyond. The endless horizon spoke of adventures yet to be found, stories yet to be told. It spoke of change. And though she did not yet know it: here, on this day, change had come for Themyscira. As Diana stared across the ocean, lost in her own mind, the Fates conspired to answer her questions about Man's World in a most dramatic fashion.

In a sudden burst of light, the sky gave birth to a new star: one altogether more violent and temporary than the sun which hung above. From this light came distant figures, unidentifiable shapes tumbling to the earth. Diana watched, dumbstruck, as the figures twisted and fell. As they splashed down in the ocean surrounding the island, Diana put her heels to her horse and charged down the cliffs towards the coast. More debris rained from above, creating a cascade of splashes. When at last she reached the beach, Diana reared up on her mount and jumped from the saddle. At that moment, something washed ashore. Diana's eyes widened as she realized what it was: a Man. The Princess of Themyscira rushed to his side and lay a tentative hand on his chest.

With a heave, the Man shot awake, startling Diana, and unfastened the leather strap beneath his helmet. As it fell away, he looked to her, the blue of his eyes not unlike her own...

* * *


Diana gazed across the briefing room, taking stock of the man she once knew. One thing was clear: the Steven Rogers sitting there was not the same fresh-faced boy that had washed up on Themyscira's shores all those many years ago. Besides the crop of hair now adorning his face and chin -- making him look quite Spartan, Diana noted -- there was a weariness in his eyes, a tension in his body. She had to remind herself that while Steven was not like other men, he was still mortal; as the wind carves a canyon, so too had time begun to leave its mark on him. She would do well to remember that the same fate awaited her. The Amazons were immortal... but Diana was no longer an Amazon. She had made her choice, and one day, she would face a reckoning for it.

Hunched over the back of a chair, Sam Wilson asked, "So, are we just gonna breeze past the fact that these two obviously know each other?" Diana and Steve shared a glance.

"There'll be time for reunions and old war stories later," Director Fury replied, officially curtailing the conversation. He stood at the head of the room with a datapad in his hands. "Here's where we're at with the Liberators," he announced, changing gears. With a flick of his wrist, he brought up satellite imagery from Qurac on the main viewing screen. "After taking Al-Doha, they seized this factory just a few klicks north of the capital. The Taliban was using it for weapons manufacturing, and as you can see..." The Director tapped the datapad, and the images updated to show a heat map of the facility. On the left was an image postmarked from a month ago, showing relatively low activity; on the right was an image from just days ago, practically glowing with energy. "... the Liberators have reopened shop."

"What's their game?" chirped Barton from the back of the room. "They're 'Liberators,' right? Well, seems to me that Qurac is pretty damn liberated right about now. What else do they want?"

Fury raised an eyebrow. "Put simply? Retribution. There's bad blood all over the region, and with the way Qurac's been treated of late... they've got scores to settle."

"Including with us," Captain Rogers was quick to point out.

"Which is why we're not gonna let it get to that point," Fury replied. He turned back to the viewing screen and pulled up a larger map of the region. "You all will be inserted on the south side of the capital. Since relocating to the factory, the Liberators have left Al-Doha lightly guarded. You will make your way north, neutralizing any resistance you encounter en route to the factory. Once inside, the mission is simple: Subdue al-Rahman and seize all weapons in development. Clear?"

The group collectively nodded.

"Alright, then let's load up."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Master Bruce
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Master Bruce Winged Freak

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Gotham City, Precinct 27
Captain Gordon's Office
2:10 AM

"So I see. That certainly switches things into a more interesting perspective. And you've been watching them for how long?"

Agent Edward Nashton clasped his hand against his chin as he stared down at Jim Gordon's wall of leads connected to the ongoing Batman case that the department had been trying to crack for months. And though it consisted largely of copies made from the official documents strung together by connective wires, everything had made it to this wall for Nashton's convenience. He had made sure to commandere the Captain's office as his own, much to Gordon's chagrin, for as long as he remained in Gotham. Which as he had just revealed to Gordon would be indefinitely. That part of what he had told the unwitting head of this district of the GCPD was the unmitigated truth - that his stay extended far beyond The Batman's arrest and capture, which seemed possible to be happening within the hour.

"Days, sir. We've been tailing Skeevers and Zucco since late Thursday. They've been taking meetings with Thomas Blake, the current figurehead of the Moxons."

"Yes, I know. El Gato, the ringleader. Which is highly interesting, given that both are Capo Italiana and wouldn't ordinarily be caught dead within Moxon territory."

What was more important is what Nashton had failed to mention. There was more to the Five Families than what anyone in public office had previously suspected, including the fact that out of the titular five, one faction remained entirely anonymous. This glaring omission seemed to have been lost on most who had ever dug into the case, but Nashton had been quick to catch on. In truth, capturing Batman had become a secondary priority to him ever since, as that seemed to be a mystery worth solving. The true riddle that the Agent wanted to have a hand in solving was who the fifth arm of the biggest crime syndicate in Gotham actually was, and why nobody seemed to be interested in pressing any of the made men currently incarcerated in Blackgate Penitentiary.

"What about Agent Riley's contact within The Royal Flush Gang? Have they been keeping a regular contact going, or should I be looking for a replacement for poor Peyton?"

The voice on the other end of Nashonton's earpiece cleared his throat.

"As of earlier this evening, everything's stable. Riley didn't seem to learn much, but it seems as though that the reason is that there isn't much to tell. The Royal Flushes operate on something of a randomized schedule, and their leader's gone radio silent over the last month. The Red Hood, I think they call him."

Nashton massaged his brow, annoyed by the tedious need to educate his subordinate.

"I am well aware of The Red Hood, Agent Brown. Gotham's first mytical masked lunatic, spawned from an archiac time period in the city's history. He, or rather they, have been operating under a series of interchangable faces hidden beneath variations of the same disguise since the early 1950's. The radio silence does not surprise me. It's entirely possible that the current Red Hood has yet to be chosen by the gang leaders who run the outfit. Once one of them has outlived their usefulness, they're generally done away with."

"That's just it, sir. Riley's contact claims that this current Red Hood is said to be the same that's been running the gang since it's transition into The Royal Flush Gang, which happened years ago. He's even gone as far to rechristen himself as King, with his direct lieutenants being named off of playing cards. There's an Ace, a Jack, a Queen, and the associated numbers. It's like they're trying to become a damn cult."

Nashton raised an eyebrow.

"A deck of cards theme. But no wildcards among the deck. Interesting. An intentional miscalculation, or something more?"

"With all due respect, sir. The entire outfit is a series of wildcards. They're the single most unpredictable part of your puzzle, and I don't like it. Riley doesn't either. She's requested to have her contact pulled out."

Nashton rolled his eyes.

"Don't be such cowards. Tell Riley that her contact is to remain. If need be, have her grab another and take the operative's place. We cannot afford to lose the insight, especially if what they claim about what exactly they did to Gotham's previous prominent masked vigilante is true. I need to know the validity of that claim, as I suspect the man once known as 'The Great Crusader' lived through the ordeal. And that he traded in his ski-mask for a cape and cowl."

Brown sighed.

"Yes, sir. I'll relay the message to Peyton and keep tabs on Skeevers and Zucco. Is there anything else?"

There had been a multitude of interviews, of course, on the very subject of a fifth family. But at every turn, the police were stonewalled. The men in questioning refused to even speak of a fifth. Some even swore that there was no fifth family entirely, and that it was all a smokescreen to make Carmine Falcone's allegiances with the other cartels seem more legitimate. Which was very doubtful, as Falcone was already thriving. In his head, Nashton rattled off the names of the possible organizations with mob connections that could be filling the proverbial slot, but none of them seemed worthy of the others' attention or respect. Of the known factions, between Falcone's Syndicate, Maroni's Capo Italiana, Oswald Cobblepot's Red Triangle, and The Moxon Family, only Cobblepot seemed to be in an active stage of recruitment. And according to Nashton's own intel, the candidates were... extreme. Far beyond any simple gang of hoodlums looking to make their mark in organized crime.

The Penguin was planning something big, and Nashton began to wonder to himself. Was it to overthrow the remaining families and establish himself as the man in charge above Falcone, or was there a possible connection - nay, even an alliance - with this mysterious fifth entity. It would have to be someone of considerable influence, which hardly fit with the suspect factions. The Bertinelli Family was considered mid-level, with the patriarch having slummed his way away with no speciality trade. He dealt in everything from guns to cocaine, but none of it was of the quality expected from a major distributor. The Grissoms were long since done after the passing of the elder Carl Grissom, having met his grisly end inside a penthouse suite with six slugs embedded into his chest. No one knew who'd offed him, but there were rumors that it was Grissom's own number one. He'd skipped town since and was a non-entity. And as for The Triad, despite rumblings that they were looking to stake a claim in Gotham, they were not actively seeking to move in as of yet. SHIELD intel had revealed that they were off vying to establish a presence in New York, but had otherwise remained native.

Which left only The Royal Flush Gang, who would never get into bed with Falcone, along with the lesser gangs. An assortment of losers from the likes of Irishwoman Erin McKellen, small-timer Sid The Squid, amputee Lefty Knox, and Robert 'Bob The Goon' Goodman. But something about that seemed entirely off to Nashton, who mentally recounted everything that he had learned. There was a missing puzzle piece amidst the scattered remnants of Gotham's criminal underworld. And the first rule in puzzle solving within the context of Nashton's trade was that a missing piece was often the one overlooked.

An even more scarce, less obvious faction? Frustratingly, Edward didn't know. All that he knew was that once this Batman business was taken care of once and for all, he could shift all of his resources towards narrowing down the identity of the elusive fifth. While Gordon and his inner-circle played cat and mouse with a freak in a costume, Nashton felt confident that by remaining here, he was doing the real work that was needed. And with the reveal of the fifth entity, Edward would have all of the dominoes in place. From there it would be a simple matter of toppling them over to reveal the fractured inner-workings of the crime families and snuff them out in one fail swoop.

"No, nothing more. I'll leave you to your stakeout. As always, keep me updated on the secure channel. I don't want any of this leaking to Gordon or the other precincts. They're in way over their head, and I intend to prove that all it takes to remove these potential trouble sources is an intellect such as mine."

Nashton paused, mid-thought.

"Oh, and Arthur. How is the family?"

Arthur Brown started to speak, but immediately sounded flustered. It brought a smile to Nashton's face. He knew that the move from California to Gotham had been something of a strain on his marriage, with their infant daughter having to be raised in a poorly upkept apartment somewhere on the outskirts of town. Though he wouldn't admit any malicious intent, there was something in making Agent Brown as uncomfortable as humanly possible that gave Nashton a certain thrill. Like he was Edward's own personal laboratory mouse. Loyal to a fault, and always suffering for it.

"Sorry, didn't catch that last part. Echo Team out."

More than pleased with himself, Nashton turned back to the series of police sketches, criminal profiles, list of suspects, and grainy, out-of-focus photographs taken of The Batman over the six month stretch that his reign of momentary terror had produced. Nashton looked them up and down, and found himself chuckling.

"You'll have to forgive me, my caped friend. But in a month's time, I just can't picture you being more than a cliffnote in Gotham's otherwise miserable history. A grown man out to extend his own livelihood by living out every night as if it were Halloween. It's so ludicrous that it reminds me of an old riddle. What does one find themselves always find themselves racing against, yet always catches up with them?"

Nashton reached into Gordon's desk, which he had picked the lock of, and produced a large glass bottle, beginning to pour himself a glass of scotch. The view of Gotham from this desk was beginning to feel alot more comfortable, Nashton thought to himself. It was such a shame to be wasted on a cop as inept as Captain Gordon.

"The answer is time. And oh, how I look forward to watching your's run out."

Gotham City, The Narrows
West District
2:10 AM

"Alright, you know your primary target. Let's get this done as quickly as possible. I want a routine sweep of the entire area. Teams of two per each building. The homes, we're gonna ask permission to check. Stress the situation, if need be. We don't have the warrants to search."

Outfitted in a bulletproof vest, Jim Gordon held up a megaphone to address the series of SWAT and tactical officers that awaited on him to give the order to move out. Despite the heavy rain, the Captain was confident that if he and his men played this right, there wouldn't be a need for a Batman Task Force anytime soon. Jim practically couldn't wait to see the look on Nashton's arrogant face when he laid the cuffs on the bastard himself and hauled him off into a holding cell like any other criminal. This was going to make up for what he had done. With Batman and Lawton in custody by his order, Gordon could come clean about his deception and make enough off a case to get off with a light suspension, at worst. If there was anything he hated, it was being made to remain dishonest.

"Montoya! Get a barricade up and running between this road here and the junction at 57th and Palance Street! I want a five block perimeter going in all directions! No one leaves the area without my say-so, you understand?"

The momentary static on Gordon's radio eventually passed, as Sergeant Montoya replied.

"Copy that, Captain. Okay, people! You heard the man!"

Content with his order, Gordon signaled for the rest to move out. Enthusiastically, SWAT moved past him in single file order and fanned out across the area, looking for even a hint of pointed ears to put into their own crosshairs. The Captain had stressed that they wanted Batman alive, but some on the force figured that if push came to shove, there was no reason not to say that they'd been provoked.

Handing the megaphone to Lieutenant Tork, who was wearing a GCPD issue rain poncho over his regular suit. Tork placed the megaphone into the open trunk of his own squad car and produced a tactical pistol, making sure to check to make sure that the clip inside was fully loaded before shutting the trunk door.

"By all means, Jim, don't hesitate. We can hardly stand this holding of the tongue you're doing."

Gordon narrowed his eyes at the neighborhood ahead of him.

"Your sass is noted, Tork. I know you've got every reason to believe the opposite, but this is it. I've just got a feeling that we've finally got the son of a bitch."

Tork shook his head, grabbing a bulletproof vest for himself as an oncoming officer passed them out, throwing it over his head and beginning to clip it in place.

"Maybe. Or maybe this'll turn out to be another wild goose chase. He's given us the slip under worse situations. And remember, The Bat's not the only target we're after, here. The whole reason we were called was because there was a mention of metahuman activity. You do remember that, right?"

Gordon was barely paying attention as he continued to scan each building and each rooftop for a sign, any sign, of that caped sillhouette that he'd only managed to capture a select few faraway glimpses of in the past.

"Of course. Certainly."

Tork gave him a look, but made sure to keep it to himself. After all, it was better that he indicated his skepticism behind the Captain's back than infront of him.

"So I guess it's you and me performing the sweep, Jim? Or did you want to be a pussy and stay behind?"

Cocking a loaded shotgun in his hands, the Captain looked over to his Lieutenant and smirked.

"It's like you don't know me at all, Frank. Standard procedure. We go in, comb the area, we get out and move onto the next. You cover my six, I cover your's."

York smirked back.

"Right. Like this is my first rodeo. Let's---"


Gordon's eyes widened as each individual member of SWAT found themselves knocked back by the force of a powerful, firey explosion that had decimated an entire building. The once-stood structure in question had been an old factory that specialized in making light fixtures. Oddly enough, according to reports from the technicians working at the Gotham City Power Grid, that particular location had shown spikes of electrical activity just before a momentary power outage had wracked half of Gotham. Shielding his face from the oncoming soot as a wave of it came flying at him, Gordon raised his gun and kept it tracked on the area as others recovered.

"Fall back! Fall back! I repeat, fall back! We need to regroup and take a headcount! I want to be sure that no casualties were taken in the middle of that!"

"There weren't."

To Gordon's utter surprise, a figure stepped forward from the blast. Tork was on the ground, barely conscious, but caught a glimpse of the silhouette too. And immediately, he trained his gun on the man standing just ahead of the rubble of an explosion that he'd probably caused.

Gordon's mouth went agape as he found himself unable to pull the trigger, staring down the blight of six months of his career dead in the eyes. It was the first time that he'd laid eyes on the man in full, and despite wanting to tell himself otherwise, his enemy certainly looked every bit as intimidating as the criminals he'd beaten to a pulp had led Gordon to believe.

"That was just a warning for the rest of your men. In the event that they started getting ideas. Call them off, or I start blowing up others."

Gordon finally raised his shotgun and angrily spat the soot coating his teeth.

"Don't you goddamn move! You're bluffing!"

The figure narrowed his eyes.

"I doubt that's a chance you're willing to take. Your department doesn't seem to know what I'm capable of anymore. You wanted me, Gordon?"

"Here I am."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Morden Man
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Morden Man

Member Seen 3 days ago

"So...uh...what's your deal?" is about all I can think to ask. It's about as eloquent as a jackhammer in a glass factory, but it's all I got. "Clearly you thought someone else was showing up to see your light show. As far as I know I'm the only one who wears a mask like that, but I've only been on the job a few months."
Manhattan, New York

"Right, right, Spider-Woman, of course," Johnny muttered admonishingly to himself. "Sorry, it's been a rough couple of ... well, months."

Peter's screams rang through Johnny's ears as clearly as they had that day in New York. He felt tears forming in the corner of his eyes but gritted his teeth determinedly and fought them back. He had come here in the hope that speaking to Peter might help him put an end to the wallowing and the anger – not to start blubbing in front of a teenaged girl.

"My name is Johnny Storm. I'm from another world – another Earth, not like Mars or Jupiter or anything corny like that. On my world the guy who wears that mask, Spider-Man, is a friend of mine. Or at least he was a friend of mine."

As if hearing his own words back, Johnny's face scrunched up in discomfort. It sounded bizarre, like the ramblings of an escaped mental patient or some soon-to-be mass shooter's stream of consciousness, but he didn't know how else to explain it. If Reed were here, he'd know exactly what to say to make this whole thing make sense – but Reed wouldn't ever be here, he wasn't stupid enough to be.

So Johnny was on his own.

"Look, this isn't going to make much sense and I'm not sure that I'd even believe it if I hadn't lived through it all, but ... my Earth was attacked, conquered by something far worse than anything any of us had ever encountered before, and my family and I were the only ones that made it out. We tried to escape through time but something went wrong and we ended up being shunted across worlds."

There was no judgement in Spider-Woman's eyes. At least, if she was judging Johnny she was doing a reasonably good job of pretending otherwise. Either that or her mark was better at disguising her features than Peter's had been.

Johnny shook his head as he realised he regretted having even opened his mouth. "I guess I've just been struggling with it all – and I thought seeing old webhead again might help me figure out how the hell I'm supposed to deal with all of this."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Sep
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Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

Member Seen 16 hrs ago




Iris sat on the treadmill looking at the hastily scratched out note left by Wells.

Gone to New York for a couple of days to help a friend. If you need be, Baxter Building.

It was as cryptic as possible. Also the Baxter Building? It had been uninhabited since the mission that sent that Richards guy into space hadn't it? It didn't matter either way. With her leaving Barry in the dust, and Wells gone her list of people she could talk about with what she was going through was becoming increasingly shorter. Her phone buzzed in her pocket, looking at the screen she sighed as she saw it was her boss from over at CCN. Throwing it onto the treadmill she ran her fingers over the buttons of her other phone, one she had bought only recently for the sole purpose of ensuring that she kept her identity a secret.

On the screen was the one name she had on the phone highlighted. Superman. It felt weird to have Superman as a saved contact on her phone, but surely he would understand some of what she was going through? He seemed to have so much of it together, and while the news seemed to favour him less than it did her well... she put that down to her working for the main news distributer within Central City. She sighed putting the phone down. There was someone else she could go to, who could maybe understand what she was going through and that was Jay Garrick, but should she trust him yet? It seemed a little too convenient that she got into a fight with a metahuman and then another Speedster just happened to show up willing to train her. Especially when there was the prophecy hanging over her head that as soon as Zoom figured out how to ‘fix’ who the Flash was supposed to be then she was going to end up dead.

She sighed as her phone started to buzz again, reaching over she picked it up. “What’s up Pete?” She took a breath, clearing herself and calming herself. Pete didn’t know what was going on with her, and he didn’t need to know.

“Iris, I need you to get a bag packed and get yourself over to New York as soon as possible. Use whatever means you need, I’ll have a hotel reservation ready by the time you get there-” She started laughing, doubtful. “-What’s so funny?” Damn it Iris, hold it together. You’re starting to crack.

“Sorry it’s just something I saw. What’s the Story?”

At this point she leant her head to the side to hold her phone between her head and shoulder while her hands grasped her notepad and pen. Writing things down as Pete was talking to her. “Central City Museum is sending the Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond to New York for some exhibition they have on the middle-east. With all the crime that’s going on there Editorial wants you to go do a piece on the exhibition, the diamond and what security is going to be like. We may have had that extraterrestrial being fighting Superman and Flash but it has its own host of crazy going on right now.”

She ‘Ah-huh’d her way through the conversation until Pete stopped talking, which was probably her cue to say something back. “I’ll head right over there. Thanks Pete, I needed to get away.”

“I don’t do this for you Iris-” His voice stern, before warming up again. “-You’re welcome though Iris. Don’t think all your hard work recently hasn’t been noticed, I know it’s not easy. Stick in there, it’ll get easier.”

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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by HenryJonesJr
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Member Seen 22 days ago

"Look, this isn't going to make much sense and I'm not sure that I'd even believe it if I hadn't lived through it all, but ... my Earth was attacked, conquered by something far worse than anything any of us had ever encountered before, and my family and I were the only ones that made it out. We tried to escape through time but something went wrong and we ended up being shunted across worlds."

There was no judgement in Spider-Woman's eyes. At least, if she was judging Johnny she was doing a reasonably good job of pretending otherwise. Either that or her mark was better at disguising her features than Peter's had been.

Johnny shook his head as he realised he regretted having even opened his mouth. "I guess I've just been struggling with it all – and I thought seeing old webhead again might help me figure out how the hell I'm supposed to deal with all of this."

I take everything Johnny says in, and internalize it. Either he's a certified loon, and I need to call Dr. Kafka, or this guy has seen some serious shit. Considering he has super fire powers of some sort, and looks like he's about to lose his sanity, I'm inclined to believe him. Again, could all be a long con for some Spider-Woman barbecue, but damn it I believe this guy.

Interdimensional travel in an attempt to escape some ultimate evil. I almost wish Peter was here to talk to him. He'd be geeky out like crazy. Granted, maybe not the best reaction to the dimension hopping refugee from a doomed world, but Pete wouldn't be able to contain his excitement at the scientific possibilities. Hell, I'm curious myself. Luckily, I have better social awareness than my boyfriend.

At least until someone tells me they love me, at the very least.

There's no imagining what this man has been through. From the sounds of it, he saw his world literally end. The trauma something like that can deal out is immeasurable.

I rub the back of my neck and shrug, "Listen, Johnny, I'm clearly not who you were hoping to find today. But I do like to consider myself a friendly, neighborhood Spider-Woman. And you're in my neighborhood now. Christ I sound like Mister Rogers."

My hand slaps promptly into my forehead.

Before continuing, I shuffle a little closer in a friendly gesture, and pat him on the shoulder, "So if you want to chat, let's chat. Your Spider-Man, he sounds like a great guy. What's his name?"
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Silly Forum Ghost

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

M A R V I L L E, O K L A H O M A:

S U N D A Y, J U L Y 2 9T H, 2 0 1 8 - 1 2 : 2 4 p m | S H E R I F F ' S O F F I C E

Fingers pounded against the keyboard as an annoyed Barbara sat at her desk, punching in various search terms as she tried to find more information about Marville’s newest ‘hero’. The lack of media in the small town meant that Thor had received significantly less coverage than his peers, and in fact had less opportunity for exposure due to the town’s relatively low crime rate.

When Barbara had graduated college she had wanted to go to one of the Nation’s great cities; New York, Metropolis, or even Gotham would have been preferable to the sleepy town of Marville. But Blake had wanted to ensure he could help his parents on their farm between hours at his practice. Given his background and experiences, even Barbara could admit they were better off move to a rural community.

And so, Barbara had relented, giving up her dreams of being a big city cop and allowed herself to uprooted and moved to the little town of Marville.

Which led her to where she was today, in the day of fiber optic, still fighting with the office’s digital lines to play a video snagged from a cell phone. Blake’s erratic and irregular behavior had started the day that Creel had attacked the town’s bank and while Barbara had originally been willing to chalk his behavior up to a form of post-traumatic stress, she had only noticed him acting further and further out of character as time went on.

Which led her to realize that Creel wasn’t the only person to surface in Marville that day. Thor had also appeared for the first time and in fact, to date, every time Thor had appeared, Blake was nearby. The incident at the bank was the first of such coincidences, but then it dawned on Barbara that Creel had come after her to lure Thor out, at first she dismissed it as a misguided scheme due her being at the scene when Thor had first appeared. But Barbara could not ignore the fact that when Blake and Creel went outside to fight, Thor had also appeared. The latest event to arouse her suspicions, of course, was the incident at the McNally’s farm. Blake had responded to a call from the Sheriff and Thor showed up when things went South.

Grainy photos and footage from the scene had shown Thor fighting the woman in green, but nothing had shown Blake anywhere near the scene. Taking into account further that Thor sported the same haircut as Blake as well as having recently grown a beard very much like his…

OH. MY. GOD!” Barbara suddenly blurted out as her coworkers stopped to stare at her before she waved a hand dismissively.

“Sorry, was just reading about the incident in Central City. Don’t mind me!” She apologized with a fake smile before closing the tabs on her screen and staring into her reflection in the monitor.

Blake was Thor.

Looking down at the transit pass that Blake, or was it now Thor, had asked her to look into, Barbara realized there was more to it than he had told her. She knew when Blake was lying, so there was no doubt in her mind that meant the girl this pass belonged to was in danger, but it also meant that Blake was intending to go there to pick a fight with the woman had put him out of commission for the last twenty-four hours.

And that scared Barbara.

Perhaps this is what it was like for Blake anytime she had to respond to an armed situation, waiting to get the call that she had been shot. It was certainly a role reversal that Barbara was not ready for.

Picking up the flimsy cardboard pass, Barbara held it between two fingers, staring at it intently as she tried to decide what to do. If Blake really could help this woman, she wasn’t only disappointing the love of her life, but also ignoring the oath she swore when she became an officer of the law by not helping him. But at the same time, she had found Blake in the worst shape of his life after Thor’s last fight with the woman in green, how could she knowingly send him to face her?

Her mind wandered as she sat at her computer, contemplating what her best course of action was. Her logic was sound, it even explained all the weird weather around their house and why it seemed to fluctuate as much as Blake’s mood had recently. Thinking back to the first night she had met Blake, Barbara couldn’t help but smile as she gave her head a shake. Perhaps she was overthinking it, but she had said she’d kiss the first man to make it rain and Blake had been the one standing by her when the sky obliged. Had he always been Thor and only the emergence of others like him spurned him into acting on it? Was he even the mythical Thor or just a metahuman with a complex? Barbara had so many questions and yet she wasn’t sure she wanted the answers.

Placing the card down in front of her, Barbara clicked several icons on her screen as she navigated to the appropriate database before entering the information off of the transit card. As she figured, it didn’t contain any specific customer information and she would have called it a quits right there if the payment information didn’t catch her eye. The cardholder had paid with credit, which meant that Barbara could at the very least track down the original owner of the card.

With another handful of mouse clicks, Barbara found herself staring into a less than flattering picture of a woman’s driver’s license.

“June Moon.” Barbara muttered scanning the readout on the screen. Cross-referencing what she found with the Star City Police Department, Barbara couldn’t find any evidence of Miss Moon being reported missing, let alone Miss Moon having any family in Star City. A quick scan of her social media accounts told her that June was a loner. Hitting print, Barbara spun around in her chair to grab the warm piece of paper off of the printer, quickly folding it before tucking it into the back pocket of her pants.

Pausing, Barbara’s eyes went to the phone as she contemplated calling the Star City Police Department and instead of giving them the heads up about June and the so-called Enchantress. But her mind kept going back to the wound on Blake’s shoulder, and if the Enchantress had done that Thor, what could she do to regular officers.

No, it had to be Thor to go.

And Barbara didn’t like it one bit.

° ° ° °

“But Amora forgot her word.” Odin’s voice broke through the vision as Thor was brought back to the present. The smell of the palace gardens replaced by pine as Thor’s eyes adjusted to the darker surroundings. The old man leaned forward, resting on his walking stick

“She turned her back on your brother to wage war against me and in retaliation, she was thrown out of Asgard.” Odin paused, speaking again a sadness filling his voice. “But not before Loki found her.”

“What did he do?” Thor asked leaning forward.

“He cursed her, transforming her something he could keep on him at all times.” Odin stated. “A remainder.”

“She was wearing a necklace when we fought.” Thor remembered. “It was a large emerald seated in what could have been a pendant.”

“Your brother was rather fond of an emerald amulet, he used to keep it wrapped around his wrist. Said it helped him to focus.” Odin reminisced, “If the necklace is present, Amora has possessed a host. You must remove the necklace from the host to stop her.”

“And if the necklace cannot be removed?”

“Then you must kill the host.” Odin replied as Thor transformed back into Blake, the weight of the situation making him uneasy as he turned to leave. He shook his head, before turning to look at Odin one last time, his brow furrowed as he spoke.

“I’ll find another way.” Blake replied as he climbed into the truck. Watching the young man leave, Odin turned as he looked to his left, his outstretched hand petting the nearby raven on its the head before looking to the sky as he spoke.

“I am so tired, my love. The sleep beckons, but our son is not yet ready. Much to learn he still has.”

° ° ° °

Opening the door, Blake was taken aback by the appetizing aroma that hit his nostrils as the smell of his favourite food wafted through the house. Walking in, he turned to see Barbara standing by the island, her arms crossed over an apron that didn’t even cover the shorts she had changed into. Blake’s gaze followed her bare legs to a tapping foot that implied impatience as she stared at him. Her lips were twisted into a wickedly mischievous grin as her disarming doe eyes looked to the truck that he had just parked.

“I had better not find a scratch on it, Mr. Donaldson.”

“Just mud,” He replied, hand on his heart. “Scout’s honor!”

“You were never a Boy Scout.” Barbara retorted. “Your parents didn’t let you out of their sight your entire childhood, both you and they told me as such numerous times.”

“Honorary Scout’s honor?” Blake replied with a shrug as he reached into the fridge, pulling out a Strongbow, lifting the tab as the drink opened with a satisfying hiss.

“What’s all this?” He asked motioning to the spread Barbara had somehow found the time to prepare despite barely being off work for an hour.

“I just know you’ve been having a hard time lately, and I thought I’d surprise you.” Barbara answered. "Kind of like how you surprised me by not being home in bed.” She added as Blake felt her eyes turn to him.

“I was feeling pretty cooped up in here, so I thought I’d go stretch my legs, get some fresh air. Feeling much better now too.” Blake explained in half-truths as Barbara nodded along while kneading the dough in front of her.

“Why don’t you wash up, I’m about to put this pie in the oven and the grill should be heated up so supper won’t be long now.” She stated, leaning back to kiss Blake on his way by. He paused to place his lips against hers, she felt him press down harder as she turned into him. Playing along, Barbara lifted both hands to his face and clapped flour onto his growing beard and cheeks, an incriminating giggle causing Blake to open his eyes. Stifled a chuckle of his own, Blake gave Barbara a playful pat on the ass, moving past her as he went to wash up, wiping the back of his hands against his lightly dusted face.

Barbara’s drastic change in mood was startling, to say the least, she hadn’t done anything like this in a long time. Which could only mean two things, she had very bad news, or she wanted something very badly.

And Blake could only assume it was the former after he had requested that Barbara looked into the transit pass.

The sound of sizzling meat echoed from the back deck as Barbara placed the pair of thick steaks on to the grill before shutting the lid. Blake could feel his mouth salivating as the smell wafted through the house, coupling with the earlier aromas that had already been present.

Coming downstairs, Blake took a seat at the table as Barbara hung up her apron before walking over and sliding onto his lap as she poked the shoulder that had hours ago been a mess of burnt flesh.

“How’d this heal so quickly?” She asked as Blake began to get the impression he was being interrogated.

“Guess the wound wasn’t as deep as it had felt. Applied some peroxide to clean it up and it sort of took the dead skin off, turned out it was only a surface wound.” Blake lied as he raked his brain for anything that sounded believable.

“Huh.” Came Barbara’s response as she decided to let it go. There had to be a reason Blake wasn’t telling her the full truth, and for the time being, she decided it would be best not to press the matter. But she could tell by Blake’s look that he knew she didn’t believe her and that was all she wanted to make clear to him. At the very least, she might be able to guilt him into telling her.

“Got to flip the steaks.” Barbara stated as she shot up and moved to the deck as Blake shook his head in disbelief. She was definitely acting oddly, he just couldn’t figure out why. That said, he wasn’t about to complain as Barbara slid a plate weighed down with a medium rare Porthouse in front of him. Grilled asparagus accompanied the large cut of meat as a loaded baked potato sat to the side, steam caring their welcoming scent right into Blake’s nostrils.

If you do not marry this woman, I will.

Blake did his best to not laugh at Thor’s comment as Barbara joined him at the table, placing a freshly baked apple pie at the far end to cool while they ate their main course.

“This is incredible, Barbie.” Blake said as he wiped his mouth. “You’ve truly outdone yourself.”

“My pleasure, Babe.” Came her reply as she grinned proudly like a cat with a canary. “Oh, I got that information you wanted earlier.” She added, pulling out the print off from her desk.

“The girl’s name is June Moon, early twenties, struggling graphic artist. Looks like she resides in the Glades.” Barbara added mentioning Star City’s notorious impoverished neighborhood. She continued to talk as Blake scanned the paper while chewing a mouth full of steak.

“There’s unfortunately not enough evidence to warrant a BOLO or a missing persons report. I’m afraid my hands are tied here.” She said as Blake looked at her. “What’d you want to do?”

“Maybe I’ll try to reach out to her, looks like a phone number here.” Blake answered pointing to the paper before pushing it away from his plate. “But for the time being, I plan on spending the night with my beautiful girlfriend and enjoying this delicious meal.”

“I hope you save room for dessert.” Barbara replied innocently as Blake nodded towards the pie at the end of the table.

“Trust me, there’s no way I’m letting a fresh pie go to waste.”

“I was thinking of something a little different in your mouth.” She replied as Blake paused, looking at Barbara as he put down his fork.

“Oh no you don’t, you know as well as I do that steak sucks reheated.” She chided as Blake laughed.

“You make a fair point, but the pie can wait.”

“The pie can wait.”

° ° ° °

Barbara gasped as Blake laid her out on the bed, his mouth moving down her neck as her shorts were pulled off her ankles, her legs braced against his shoulders. A firm hand pulled her panties aside as she moaned, her thighs wrapping around the head between them. Her hands clenched the sheets as the sound of Blake’s belt hitting the floor causing her to quiver with excitement.

“Oh my god! Yes, fuck yes! She cried as Blake grabbed her hips, picking her up off the bed, lifting her body parallel with his. Their mouths frantically meeting as lips, tongues, and teeth intertwined. Placing a thumb to Blake’s mouth as she cradled his chin, Barbara managed to speak.

“Handcuffs, get my handcuffs.”

Laying back on the bed, Blake watched Barbara, her back arched as he struggled against the cuffs to touch her body, the denial of his touch fully enhancing the experience. She suddenly collapsed, panting as she laid her face against his chest, her skin glistening with fresh perspiration.

“So,” Blake asked with a grin as Barbara lifted her head. “Round two?”

Barbara smiled seductively back at him, biting her bottom lip as she undid the handcuffs freeing Blake.

Satisfied moans echoed through the house as Blake sprung into action.

° ° ° °

Feigning sleep, she lay still on the bed despite the movement beside her.

Keeping her eyes closed and her breathing shallow, Barbara felt Blake rise from the bed. She knew exactly where he was heading as she laid there, listening to him quietly dress before exiting the room. Sitting up in the bed, Barbara held the sheet over her bare bosom as she placed her feet on the cold hardwood floor beneath the bed.

Walking to the window, Barbara watched as Blake climbed onto his motorcycle, a single strike to the bike’s kickstart turning the engine over as it roared to life. The headlamp illuminated the laneway as Blake made himself comfortable in the saddle. Barbara felt like there was a pit in her stomach as she watched Blake lift his feet to the pegs before twisting the throttle. A sad smile came to Barbara’s lips as she watched him ride away, her worst fears confirmed as she quietly spoke.

“Go get ‘em... Thor.”

S T A R C I T Y, C A L I F O R N I A:

M O N D A Y, J U L Y 3 0T H, 2 0 1 8 - 1 0 : 0 8 p m | T H E G L A D E S

The city had an entirely different feel than the town of Marville, even at this time of night, it was alive and vibrant. The town would have been asleep by now but the city seemed to be just coming alive as the crowded sidewalks were filled with the city’s youth lining up for the various bars and clubs. Watching as the light turned from red to green, Blake rolled the throttle on the motorcycle as he guided the back around the corner, following the signs towards the Glades.

There was a noticeable difference in the city the further Blake traveled along this stretch. The flashing billboards and energetic lights were replaced with trashy neon and aged signs with faded words. The club goers replaced with the impoverished, sitting on the sidewalk trying to find a vein to inject their next hit into.

Gunning the bike, Blake changed lanes on the wide road before taking the next left as he followed the route up a hill before coming across the Owenstead Apartment building. Even from the road, he could see the police tape over the fifth-floor window, the same floor that according to the print out from Barbara, June lived on.

Bringing the motorcycle to a stop, Blake dropped the kickstand as he disengaged the engine. Pocketing the keys as he dismounted, Blake walked towards the front of the building, opening the door and holding it as an elderly woman with a small cart pushed her way wordlessly by.

Entering into the lobby, Blake scanned the intercom for ‘Moon’ before entering the appropriate four digits as he buzzed her apartment. The line rang until it timed out, a click letting Blake know that no one had answered on the other end as he walked up to the door. Preparing to pull on it using Thor’s strength to break the lock, Blake found himself rather unsurprised to learn that the lock was already broken meaning he was free to enter.

Taking the elevator to the fifth floor, Blake departed as the doors open while he searched for June’s apartment. Following the signs that led down the carpeted hallways, Blake paused to verify the number as he stared at the bronze ‘520’. Knocking heavily, he placed an ear to the door as he listened for any sound of movement inside. Hearing nothing but the howling wind coming through the broken window, Blake knocked again.

This time, a slight cough echoed back from within the apartment. It grew louder until eventually, Blake heard the girl vomit through the paper thin walls as he twisted the doorknob, pushing his shoulder into the door as both the lock and security chain gave way.

Throwing the bathroom door open, Blake paused as June looked up at him, a single word coming from her mouth as she wiped her chin.

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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by AndyC
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AndyC Guardian of the Universe

Member Seen 17 hrs ago

"Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the Godfrey Edition, the only reliable source for the unvarnished truth in a world gone mad. I am, as always, your humble host, the inimitable G. Gordon Godfrey, and I am absolutely delighted to be talking to tonight's guest. A man who needs no introduction, but I simply couldn't resist giving him one anyway!

"My guest tonight is none other than the CEO of LexCorp, which as of this January is the largest and most profitable tech, communications, and media company in the entire world. He's the developer of LexOS, the fastest and most powerful computer operating system by several country miles, not to mention his extremely successful line of L-Pad, LexBook, and L-ephone devices. And when he's not creating hardware and software that makes the competition look a good century behind, he's also one of the most forward-thinking socio-political activists out there, an outspoken critic of the 'super-hero' culture that's turned our society on its head, and the author of several books including his latest bestseller, Fire to the People. He also happens to be a very good friend of the show.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Lex Luthor. Welcome to the show, Lex!"


"Pleasure as always, Gordon! And, ah, thanks for the kind words."

"Oh, I meant every syllable of them. So, you've made some statements on social media suggesting that the recent trend of metahumans cooperating independently is something to watch closely. However, you've also written that the interactions between Superman and the Flash were, and I quote, 'nothing short of Juvenal,' with an A. Now, I know nobody's perfect, but surely the great and powerful Lex Luthor checks his own spelling before making public statements, yes?"

"Oh, haha! Nothing gets past you, Gordon! No, that was just a little wordplay, Juvenal was-- ah, well, you caught the reference, so you know who he was."

"It pays to read more than whatever's trending on your phones, ladies and gentlemen. So, am I to understand, then, that you're skeptical of the idea of the various super-people joining forces?"

"In the immediate moment? No, I'm, hah, I'm rather glad they kept the world from being destroyed. After all, it's where I keep all my stuff, heh......erm.....but I think the real concern is going to be what happens in a generation or so. Looking at the Greek gods, they joined together and saved the world from Chronos and the Titans at the beginning of the world, but then what? Centuries of looking down on Man from on high, raping women and hurling down thunderbolts at a whim, visiting cruel and eternal torments on lesser beings for daring to step out of their place. To the Greeks, the greatest sin of all wasn't greed or wrath or lust, it was hubris. Pride. The idea of thinking you could be as good as the fickle, capricious Gods who had power over you."

"Well, those were all myths, fairy tales, surely."

"Were they, Gordon? I mean, who's to say the metahuman phenomenon is a new thing? There have been stories of miracle workers, Messiahs, angels and demons, Gods and Devils, ever since Man could tell stories at all. And now we find out about Superman, and the Flash, and Spider-Woman, now we find out there are genetic mutants in our population who can do impossible things. Who's to say how far back it actually goes? I realize it sounds ridiculous, but hey, with aliens and mutants and bat-men about, what exactly is off-limits anymore?"

"So if I'm following, you think the metahumans will eventually rule over humanity, setting up their own Olympus?"

"'Eventually?' Gordon, it's already happening. By small degrees, baby steps maybe, but they're acting and interacting with complete disregard for our own authorities. Superman and the Flash may have been a one-time thing, but they left a team of SHIELD operatives eating dust. And not only are they not letting themselves be policed by mere mortals, but they don't seem particularly interested in policing each other. When it comes to keeping the more dangerous vigilantes in line, Superman isn't striking out, he hasn't even stepped up to Bat."

"That's a good point-- I mean, where has Superman been during the mass shootings perpetrated by a crazed gunman in New York? Put on a costume and call yourself 'The Punisher,' and suddenly everyone else with a cape and a gimmick is willing to look the other way. Where was Superman when Harvey Dent was nearly assassinated by--"

"To get back to my main point, it's clear that while an actual metahuman society and hierarchy doesn't exist yet, there is every reason to expect it will. Multiple ones, in fact, I'd wager, each with their own standards and rules and social norms. But all of them with a common theme: they are not us, and they won't stand for being treated like us. At least, not until someone trades a bright red cape for a golden bough."

"Interesting. So what about--"
















--said cut to commercial, you fucking incompetent--.....erm, ladies and gentlemen, we'll be right--"
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Supermaxx
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Supermaxx dumbass

Member Seen 7 hrs ago

The Blue Beetle stars in...The Runaway: Issue #10
Previous Issue

El Paso, Texas?

From atop the Fall carnival's Ferris Wheel Jaime could see the ocean world of O'erlanii burning. Fire so black it consumed the sun raged within the tumultuous sea, the inferno's tide crashing against the big wheel's weathered frame. Metal sang it's protests at the testing of it's mettle, though through some act of God it managed to hold.

Terrified people cried out in confusion and horror, their gaze cast toward the sky as it bled crimson tears. Many of them remained in their cabins, though others had been dislodged and thrown out into the burning ocean. A few clung to the frame of the Ferris Wheel, screaming for help that could never arrive.

Reyes gripped the sides of his capsule, holding on for dear life as it swayed and bucked. "Holy shit, holy shit-" Nothing made sense. His mind was a mess of frayed nerves and fog, refusing to answer Jaime's pleas for answers as to where he was and what was happening. As far as he was aware, this was his existence: he had lived within this death cage hanging over a sea of shrieking pyre for the entirety of his life.

Something impacted against the opposite side of the pod, causing it to swing and creak. Reyes spun around, his gaze snapping to a pair of eerily familiar yet all-together alien eyes.

A harsh, yellowish glow radiated from those unflinching orbs, like rays of sunlight filtering through a window. There was an undeniable hatred burning behind them- a near lustful desire to see Jaime gutted and his blood spilled into the sea. Those eyes sat upon a body shaped like that of a giant man, though it was covered head to toe in a living suit of armor. He thought he recognized it's insectoid, blueish and black surface, yet he knew he had never seen such a thing before.

It reached a clawed hand into the enclosed cabin, smashing through the glass to grasp at Reyes. The fingers managed to pierce his jacket and tear it from his back, bu he slipped away, pressing his back up against the other side of the tiny pod. He glanced back over his shoulder at the raging storm below, and then to the monster before him. To die shredded within that thing's maw, or to be cooked alive while his lungs fill with salt water- a damning choice, but one he made without even thinking.

Jaime Reyes leapt into the water, his armor slamming into place over his fragile fresh as he submerged himself within the depths. A ruined city of octopean statues sat sinking into the sand, with buildings carved out of intersecting parallel lines and perfectly spherical triangles. Beaked aliens with three legs and six, tentacled arms swam away from Reyes in terror, their impossible screams echoing in his head like the roar of a mistuned piano.

Drawing forth his many tentacled arms, Reyes's sound cannons were given shape. He turned those terrible weapons on the A'askvarii, the intense, thunderous noise enough to turn their muscle into itself. Bones exploded within their bodies and eyeballs popped like balloons.

From their horrid carcasses came streams of cancerous flesh given unlife. Those malformed crimson tears that had infested the aliens's bloated bodies came screaming at Jaime through the water, taking on phantoms of their previous forms in their rush to devour him.

And in his fury the Beetle destroyed each and every one.



Someone had shoved a bag over Paco's head the moment he exited the portal. He landed in something cold and fluffy: snow, he assumed; but he hadn't been able to so much as open his eyes before he felt the sack cloth shoved over his head and everything was forcibly made dark.

"If you vant to keep your feet, you vill keep walking." A thick, guttural voice commanded from behind Paco. He felt a rubbery palm push up against his back, forcing him to stumble forward. It was enough incentive for him to pick up the pace.

He'd noticed the air tasted artificial inside. Almost sterile, even.

Brenda let out a near silent huff of defiance from beside Paco. He couldn't see her, but it wasn't hard for him to imagine that she still stood tall despite the circumstances.

Their captor must've caught the sound, because it was soon followed by a meaty whack, and a wince from the girl. "Defiant to the fery end, eh? Ha. So very schtupid. And yet so very...Amerikan." There was something strange about his voice. It was a throaty, almost...stuffy sound, like his mouth was full of mucus. It made Paco feel ill just listening to that wet, sticky noise he called 'speaking.'

"I'm Hispanic, asshole." She hissed back. Paco smiled underneath the hood, though he said nothing to back up her.

"You vill be dead if you don't schupt up."

The trio descended down several sloped corridors and a few flights of stairs, twisting and turning through a labyrinth of cold hallways. They had to stop at three doors, Paco noted, as their German taskmaster unlocked each with something that sounded like a mechanical keypad. It took approximately twelve minutes for them to reach the bottom of wherever they were meant to go, each of those minutes spent in agonizing silence, save for the sound of that wretched creature's sickly breathing.

Then, all at once, they came to a stop. Paco felt the heavy chains on his arms drop to the floor, followed by the sound of a pair of boots clicking against steel. The sound grew softer as it gained distance until the closing of a door silenced it completely.

An intercom buzzed and spat static, muddling the words of a quiet voice on the other end. It took a moment for the static to subside and the voice to become intelligible. "Take off the bags, please." A man rasped in something of a weak, half mumble. Paco reached up with slow, unsteady hands to pluck it from his brow.

More darkness waited him, even blacker than the last. 'What...Where are we?' He wondered, reaching out into the darkness to find some kind of anchor. He didn't like being stuck in what felt like a wall-less void. His hand brushed up against something that quickly smacked it away without a modicum of restraint.

Ah, Brenda.

An electronic click sounded behind them, causing Paco to spin around just as a television screen came alive. It offered enough light for him to make out that they were in a relatively small room, with one door behind them and another to their immediate right. Brenda went to check to see if she could open it while Paco turned his full attention to the screen.

An image appeared first- an image of an artifact, not unlike a giant bug made of ceramics. It was some kind of Egyptian statue. It took a moment's thought, but he recognized it as the vessel that had infected Jaime in the museum's security camera footage.

Just as he thought of it, the image changed, showing a grainy still from that same incident. Jaime, his body having succumbed to the parasite, was turning upon the crowd. Even thinking about what happened made Paco feel nauseous.

The intercom buzzed again. "I call it Iuvenis Parainsectum," the voice breathed into the microphone in a slow, methodical tone, "a rough translation would be 'Parasite-Insect' Beta, or junior. But we just call it blue for short." He chuckled, the noise like nails clawing through a nasal canal.

"Where the hell's Jaime?" Brenda shouted, her gaze whipping around the room's ceiling in search of a camera. She found none, though the look on her face told Paco that she was sure the two of them were being watched. Closely. "What've you done to him?"

Another long, drawn out laugh came through the static. "He's quite alright...for now." He paused, letting that vague warning hang in the palpable silence for several moments before he continued. "If you would like to see him, I'll need you to promise to behave. Do I have your word?"

Before Del Vecchio could say anything to potentially screw this up, Paco jumped in. "Yes!" He shouted, far too enthusiastically for the girl glaring in his direction. He ignored her. "We just want to make sure he's alright."

The door to their right popped open. Beyond it lay a sterile, tiled room, with many banks of servers lining each wall. A number of workshop tables and strange, almost sci-fi machines were set up in the center in such a way that they formed a clear path to the sheer wall of glass on the other side of the room. Brenda moved passed Paco without hesitation; she didn't do more than flinch at the sight of the familiar figure stood there.

Warp, cloaked in living darkness, stood sentinel beside a most unassuming man.

He was frail and horribly thin, to the point of showing clear signs anorexia and muscle atrophy. His head was completely blank, save for a single liver spot dominating the front top of his forehead. What drew Paco's eye, however, was the wheelchair he occupied. Two legs, twisted and useless, lay out on supports; his upper limbs were similarly positioned on the chair's armrests. It didn't look like they'd seen use in at least a decade, perhaps even more.

"Hello Brenda, Paco." He gave the ever slightest nod of his head toward each, his neck shaking uncontrollably as if the action was the most difficult thing in the world for the aging gentleman. "My name is Doctor Caulder..." With a look, the doctor seemingly ordered the monstrosity beside him to take hold of the wheelchair and turn him about to face a console set directly against the glass. He placed a single, weathered digit underneath one of many switches on the board. "You want to see your friend, yes?"

"Yes." Brenda muttered reluctantly. "We...we do."

Caulder flicked the switch, and the lights beyond the glass came on.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Master Bruce
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Master Bruce Winged Freak

Member Seen 1 mo ago

Gotham City, The Narrows
West District
2:15 AM


I didn't have the luxury of time to think this through. The smoke and fire of the blast builds around me as at least two dozen members of GCPD SWAT encircle the area. There's a police helicopter with a spotlight trained right on my every move, flying it's way into view from across the Pier. Captain James Gordon of Gotham's Precinct 27 and his partner have loaded weapons trained on my head and chest, respectively. They're buying into my bluff, it seems, because no one's went in for the arrest yet. But it's only a matter of time before they realize that the only reason I blew up the factory was to distract them from something else - specifically, to buy Jessica Jones enough time to escape the area unseen, with the girl under her protection. The success of their escape relies entirely on the fact that I have to keep this entire Precinct in the thralls of misdirection. And in order to do that, I'm going to have to put up one hell of a fight.

Injured, outnumbered, and at a disadvantage. Odds that I'm far from unfamiliar with, but odds that don't tend to favor the bold all the same. And if there's one thing I've been accused of throughout my life, it's boldness. As it stands, I have no choice. Gotham's Police Department is infested with rats that take on the form of corrupt thugs and guns for hire looking to earn favor and a paycheck from Salvatore Maroni. I put a bullet in the mobster's knee just a few days ago, and I can already tell that some here want to dish out a bit of payback. I can't say this isn't their chance, but I'm definitely not giving it to them if I can help it.

I've avoided direct conflict with the GCPD in the past because I wanted to take the time to root out the bad from the good. Figure out which cops were on the take, and which were being kept silent through Maroni's enforcers. They're as much apart of the disease that ravages Gotham as the man who holds their leash, but as much as I despise the entire lot of them, I'd be remiss to not at least acknowledge the possibility that there are some genuinely good men and women that I'm going to have to fight my way through.

"You're under arrest! Put down your weapons and surrender! Get on your knees and put your hands behind your head!"

Might aswell not waste any time in doing it.


The first three are blinded whenever I throw my cape up through the flames, sending a small wave of fire hurtling their way. That distraction is nessescary for what I do next, because at the same time, I've produced several gas pellets that go flying directly for Gordon and his partner. Both men double over and immediately begin choking, giving me at least some leeway to move. I choose my next target with precision and remove a batarang from my belt, vaulting over his back as he prepares to fire his gun and tossing the weapon at another member of SWAT just as they prepare to do the same. The first misses his shot, the other has their gun knocked clean away. Taking the officer I just somersaulted over by the back of the collar of his vest into both hands, I toss his body into the air and slam him with my shoulder, directing him towards a group of five that advance on me.

Keep calm, Bruce. Focus on keeping yourself alive and distanced from the rest. Give yourself plenty of breathing room. You were trained to fight even larger crowds than this, and a concussion mixed with a few broken ribs isn't going to stop you. They want you to go down for trying to do the right thing. They want you to stop trying to help the disenfranchised of this city, just to keep the very long line of suffering and favoritism to men who kill, steal, rape, and intimidate their way to power. You're a soldier whose mission is to prevent that from ever happening again. And you know damn well why it can't. Three individuals, two shots, one survivor. Let that rattle through your brain as you keep going. Let it give you strength. Let it remind you of who you are.

"I've got the shot! I've got the shot! Move outta the way, dammit!"

The cocky SWAT leader steps forward in a measured pace with an automatic rifle as I begin to tear into his men. One gets an elbow bashed into the faceplace of their helmet, shattering it and giving me enough time to dodge the next one as he tries to subdue me with the hilt of his shotgun. He doesn't want to fire because he'll hit his partner, it's too close range. Their leader doesn't share the same concern, as I hear the gun click just seconds before it's too late. Grabbing one of my attackers and strong-arming him with one hand, I take the other and perform a hard roundhouse kick that sends him flying out of the way. Maneuvering so that the one in my grip is facing forward, blocking the SWAT leader's shot, I knee him in the back to send him to the ground and between us even further.


As he fires off one round, the buckshot grazes the side of the kevlar helmet protecting the officer and only manages to rip through parts of my cape as I dive forward. Throwing out another kick outwards to perform a sweep, I de-stabilize the man's footing and grab his weapon, using it to strike him across the face. I then bash him in the knee for good measure, causing him to cry out in pain as he crumples to the ground.


A strike to the back of my head. Were it not for the cowl's protective lining, I'd have very likely dropped. Nevertheless, I find myself stumbling forward without any room to perform a counter attack. Allowing myself to fall, I push myself backwards and lean up into a momentum-based propulsion attack so that both of my boots end up smashing hard into the woman's stomach before she can take her shot. She goes flying into the side of one of the nearby vans, prompting another few of her fellow officers to try and swarm me before I can get back to my feet.

Trying to fight off the daze that threatens to come over me as the head trauma tries to worsen the concussion, I nevertheless pull out The Utility Gun with it's setting pre-switched to it's taser mode. Three lines connected to darts spring out of the barrel, jutting themselves into three officers. I pull the trigger and watch as they're each forced to the ground after their bodies are rendered numb and spastic by a combined 800 volts. The others left standing begin to file next to eachother in formation for a group shooting. At this point, they're not so much willing to arrest me as execute me. I immediately leap to my feet and pop off the spring-loaded blades of my gauntlets, slicing into their hands and forcing them to drop their weapons.

"Batman! Stand down! I repeat, stand down!"

One of Gordon's trusted officers, I believe her name is Montoya, rushes me with a loaded pistol. She shows considerably more restraint than her subordinates, not wanting to fire but making it clear that she will if she has to.

"We're not here to kill you, we just have to bring you in! Why are you provoking them?!"

"Because, Sergeant..."

Using her hesitation against her, I vault forward and leap up, sending a hard jab into her wrist. Her loaded hand goes flying in the opposite direction, giving me room to send a hard right hook across her face. She falls on her back and doesn't hesitate any longer, pointing the gun and pulling the trigger. But my momentary attack gave me just the room I needed to avoid it, instead hearing the grunt of another officer as Montoya's shot hits them squarely in the vest. Were they not protected, I'd have taken the bullet myself. Just because we're at odds doesn't mean that I'm a complete monster. I don't believe in collateral damage, so I'm not going to them kill eachother, even by accident.

"They provoked me a long time ago."

Throwing my leg backwards, I kick Montoya in the face hard enough to send her back to the ground, knocked completely unconscious. ACE is feeding me the vitals of every opponent I come up against, and according to the readout from my cowl, her threat status just went from red to yellow. Non-hostile. It's enough to make me breathe a sigh of relief, before another shot grazes my shoulder and knocks me back. I hit a wooden fence and shatter it, landing on the front lawn of some unwitting civilian who's likely hiding inside. I'd say it's a smart tactic, at this point. The area's getting too hot for anyone to go running.


I hear the coughing of the one who shot me.


"Have the right... to remain... silent."

Narrowing my eyes, I toss out a batarang. He fires again, but not soon enough keep the batarang from piercing his hand and forcing him to drop his weapon aswell. The bullet pierces the ground beside me, just inches from my head. Angered, he rips the batarang out of his hand and ignores the pain of his bloodied palm, thrusting himself forward as I stand up to send a hard left hook across the exposed area of my chin. The impact is enough to knock me back down, though far from enough to knock me out. Gordon holds back a smile, standing over me with raised fists. I already know from records that he's recieved military training, so it wouldn't befit me to underestimate him.

"Been waiting six months to do that."

Rather than attempt another batarang, I push myself back up and immediately rush Gordon with a tackle that sends both of us through the other portion of the wooden fence. He hits the pavement, hard, and I strike him in the face with a closed fist. To be perfectly honest, Gordon is one of the few police in Gotham whose loyalties I have yet to understand. From the outside looking in, he seems to oppose the corruption that Maroni and the Five Families represent. His promotion to Captain of Precinct 27 was politically motivated, with few buying Commissioner Loeb's line that he felt Gordon was a hero. At the same time, this man has relentlessly led the hunt for me since I first struck out against the mob as The Batman. He wants me out of comission just as much as anyone else, if not more.

"Hope it was worth it."

I punch him again, this time in a methodical tilt, so that the damage isn't too serious. He's more winded than hurt, but isn't rendered out of action, either. Grabbing me by the throat, he uses his leg to toss me over him and send me crashing into the passenger side window of a parked car. Before I know what's hit me, he grabs me by the back of the head and slams my face against the hood. Forcing one of my arms against my back, he attempts the standard arrest. I grit my teeth, enraged. He actually is alot faster and much stronger than I initially gave him credit for, but he's not getting the satisfaction that he so desperately wants. Not tonight, and not while I'm still breathing.

"Stop this! You're going down for this insanity sooner or later, goddamn you!"

"Maybe you're right."

Ripping myself from his grip, I push myself off of the car and slam into him with the reinforced kevlar plate attached to the back of my head. Then, with a one hundred and eight degree spin, I go in for a more direct punch to Gordon's face and give it every ounce of strength that I have. The sickening crunch of his nose can be heard as blood flies from his nostrils.

"But I'm not stopping now. Not for you."

He's sent falling back to the ground, his glasses falling off of his head as he clutches his face. I drive a hard stomp into his forehead and knock him unconscious aswell, through bluntly forcing his skull against the concrete. ACE tells me that he's fine, but it's enough to give me pause. Any harder than that and I would've given him alot worse than a concussion. Got to keep that in mind. I'm losing control of the punishment I dish out. And if I don't reel it in soon, things are only going to get alot more violent. The shine of a flashlight interrupts my field of vision, prompting me to rely on instinct for the next attack.

"Over here! Charlie, clear the line of fire! He's taken out the Captain! I repeat, he's---"

What happens over the next few moments is a bit of a blur. I can't consciously recollect it or even stop myself from attacking. But by the time I've regained clarity of my senses, I'm in the middle of a fist fight between three plainclothes officers, two SWAT, and Gordon's Lieutenant, all of whom are trying desperately to wrestle me to the ground. I remain firm in my stance, pushing back against them, throwing out haymakers, uppercuts, and jabs to the throat wherever I can. Some of them fall back or fall down. Others fight even harder. A few nail me across the face, some get me in the chest.

The concussion's taking it's toll. Only possible explanation for why I'm losing track of things. My mind reels as I act completely on instinct, going in to break a few arms and kick the legs out from other officers in a sea of uniformed bodies that threatens to overwhelm me. And all that I can do is hope that Jones made it to Zoe Lawton and got her out of here in time. I'd check to make sure, but there's no possible way to divide my attention from the police. The minute I do, I'm done. So I keep fighting. A primal yell even erupts from the pit of my chest, at one point.

And in the distance, I see...

My mother and father. Their faces replacing that of the officers looking to take me down.

Normally I'd recoil in horror. Double back and try to get myself into a clearer headspace. Try and isolate this grotesque hallucination brought about by the years of trauma that I've lived with. But right now, I'm in the middle of a vicious battle that could mean my freedom or even my life. These men have tried to kill me, and they represent everything wrong with this city. The truth is, for the first time since I was eight years old...

I don't give a damn about what my parents would've thought of this.

Finally breaking through the crowd of officers that now line the streets around me, each falling after another increasingly vicious blow, with either a broken bone or fractured jawline to show for it, I see the oncoming officers as they raise their weapons to me. The perverse nature of each of them looking as though they're a collection of my mother and father, each holding a gun out to shoot me down, is far from lost on me. It only fuels my rage even further as the helicopter's spotlight hits me.


I'm prepared to take their gunfire. The armor should hold for at least a few rounds, as long as I keep my face protected. But by the time they go to pull the triggers, a very unexpected sound begins to verbreate throughout the area. The sound of the police barricades being smashed and various officers fleeing in terror.

In their confusion, the officers ahead fail to notice as a foreign light source closes in on them from the rear, with a familiar engine revving to life. An unmanned vehicle, which power slides and slams into some of them. My eyes go wide as I immediately recognize it.

It's... The Batcycle?

I stare ahead, confused as my own vehicle makes it's way to me and stops a mere few inches from where I stand. On it's own, through some type of automatic control. This shouldn't be possible.

"Ace?", I ask aloud. "I didn't authorize that."

To my surprise, The Batcycle then responds to me.

And not in any way that Lucius Fox would have programmed.

"I'm sorry, I... don't know who Ace is. But you're in trouble and very clearly need the help. I figured this would be a better sell to you than offering a ride in a hacked Lexus, or something."

The voice is distorted, electronically manipulated to hide the individual's identity. I only start to question it as I climb atop the Batcycle and attempt to take control of it myself, which to my relief, is something that's relinquished back to me willingly the second that I've assumed position. Though, I notice a curious symbol has appeared on the dashboard screen in the place of my usual HUD.

Someone's hacked into private my server. Even more impossibly, or perhaps even impressively, they've initiated an auto-pilot function within The Batcycle that I wasn't even aware existed. Both facts of which give me an immediate and considerable cause for concern. My server and the connections that keep The Batcycle linked to the Waynetech satellites are supposed to be invulnerable to cyber-attacks and outside intervention. It's how they were encypted from the start.

Who in the hell could be capable of bypassing the system?

"Whoever you are..."

"We can exhange pleasantries another time. Let's just say that I'm something of a fan. And I'm one of the few to recognize that Gotham needs you."

"You can call me Oracle. Now for the love of God, drive."
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Sep
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Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

Member Seen 16 hrs ago

Ⅎ ⅂ ∀ S H ⊥ H Ǝ




All he had ever wanted to be, was a hero. Eobard Thawne, Zoom. The fastest man alive. He was born the youngest child of two, his brother always gained preferential treatment. He was the favourite, while his parents treated Eobard differently. They doted on his brother but they treated him as if something was wrong with him. Always spoke softly around him, never gave him what he wanted. His brother continually embarrassed him, interrupted his studies and abused him. Yet in their parents eyes he could do no wrong. Eobard had always hated him.

Eobard had been born an only child to two loving parents. They had doted upon him like you wouldn't believe, his parents told him that he had once had an older brother but when his brother was all but a baby he had perished in an accident. It had led his parents to essentially give him everything he ever wanted. Throughout his childhood in their eyes he could possibly do no wrong. It was a lonely childhood without any siblings, but it was easy.

He went to the finest University in the state, which is where he would discover his destiny. The Flash, saviour of Central City and the world on occasion. There was an entire movie about the time Superman, Thor and Flash teamed up for the very first time in order to combat the Silver Surfer. He devoted his time to the study of the Speedforce, the force that allowed the Flash to travel at great speeds. A forbidden practice, but one he practiced all the same. Nobody understood, that this was his way to achieve his destiny. He would become the fastest man alive, and then he would become the hero that would save the world. He would become more famous than the Flash himself, for the world had gone dark since the Golden Age of Superheroes. He would bring it back, and be the best hero that there had ever been.

Eobard joined the Flash Museum, looking to appoint a Professor he fancied himself the world's leading expert on the Flash. He was up against another though, a Professor Drake. When Drake made the discovery of the Cosmic Treadmill first Eobard was ecstatic, maybe there was another like minded individual in the world afterall. Someone who recognised that the world needed speedsters, and that together they could give him the power so he could achieve that. Instead the profesor pushed him away, had him fired. His life was ruined.

When he started there was little competition from a Professor Drake, a man who idolised the Flash but knew virtually nothing. It was a short period of time before Eobard became the resident Professor, firing Drake for being the incompetent fool that he was. Spouting theories that the Flash wasn't a man but actually a God, foolish. Eobard become known as Professor Zoom for his knowledge on all things Speedster, but there was one silver lining to the incompetence of Professor Drake. It got him in an interview with a reporter called Rose, and that's when he fell in love.

She was stunning, Green Eyes, Jet Black hair. Intelligent and funny, everything he had ever sought in a romantic partner. He was too late, for she was engaged to another.

She was stunning, Green Eyes, Jet Black hair. Intelligent and funny, everything he had ever sought in a romantic partner. Her fiancé had recently gone missing and he sought to comfort her through these difficult times. He cared for her and looked after her, but when she realised that he sought more than friendship she pushed him away, told him that she was still hoping that her fiancé would come back.

She was stunning, Green Eyes, Jet Black hair. Intelligent and funny, everything he had ever sought in a romantic partner. She had never dated for a long period of time, her boyfriends had always left her or befallen tragic accidents. He was there for her, and he wasn't scared. They grew closer until one day he tried to kiss her. She slapped him, told him that she didn't feel that way about him. After all he had done for her, all he had been for her. She had pushed him away.

He never loved. His work was his life, his love and his obsession. He put every day, every second into trying to learn as much about the Speedforce as he possibly could. He wanted to discover how the greatest Flash of them all, the Flash of the Golden Age who he had discovered to be an individual called Barry Allen, had gained his speed. He put all his work into it, distancing his parents, distancing himself from the world. Till one day his parents arrived with a councilor, telling him that they were having the Flash Museum closed, having his research pulled while he underwent mental health examinations.

Eobard hadn't spoken to his parents in over a year when a freak weather incident killed both them and the local councilor.

As he took a walk to clear his head, collect his thoughts. As he paced the halls of the museum there was a blinding flash and then an explosion, as his world was about to change. His destiny had arrived.

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