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

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"Anything we should be wary of? If Toyman was willing to send drones and manned vehicles after your friends, it's almost certain that he won't be willing to go quietly."

"Let me see," I say, allowing my vision to 'zoom' towards the Stagg Enterprises building as we approach. "He's deployed another two wings of drones. One of them's circling the tower, the other's on an intercept course towards us."

With a grunt of effort, I build up enough concentrated heat to fire a few quick blasts of Heat Vision from my eyes. Where exactly this extra energy I'm feeling came from is a bit of a mystery to me, since barely a minute ago I felt I was on the verge of passing out. I chalk it up to new motivation-- a first kiss from a beautiful woman will do that to you.

One by one, the drones pop and fall out of the sky, and with a final burst, I fry the Stagg transmitter tower. Some poor crew of electricians is going to be spending some very long hours getting it back online, but it's a better option than letting Schott broadcast more signals to wreak havoc.

"I've taken them out, and disabled the transmitter," I tell Batman, "but I doubt that's all Toyman's got in store. There's so much electronic noise going on inside the building that I can't get a good look, but given the way he operates, I'm expecting Schott's got plenty of surprises in store. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if he's wired the whole building to blow. I don't expect a fight, but we should still watch our backs once we're inside."

I circle the building once, and with no drones in sight, Batman glides down and perches on the rooftop. Touching down, he approaches one of the terminals at the base of the transmitter tower, activating what appears to be a small on-board computer built into his suit, and plugs in.

"ACE," he says, I assume giving a voice command, "I'm going to need a full sweep of the building. Any anomalous power signatures, discrepancies in the floor plan, anything and everything that's different from the archived schematics."

"What are you doing?" I ask.

He smirks.

"You're not the only one who can see through walls," he says.

"And you're not worried that Schott might get into your own software while you're plugged into this network?" I say, arms crossed.

"I doubt he's up to the task," he answers, before unplugging from the terminal. "Scan is complete. I'm seeing what look like trip-wires at every major entrance and exit, likely connected to high explosives. Stairwells are blocked off, elevators converted into deadfall traps. The cubicles and server stacks have been re-arranged into labyrinths on each floor, wired to give off a lethal electrical discharge at a wrong turn."

"Hmph," I grunt. "I really don't feel like being electrocuted for a fourth time today."

"I'm also seeing several alterations in the ventilation system," he continues, ignoring my comment. "Made to pump certain rooms full of poisonous gas. I could go on, but you get the point. He's turned the whole building into a funhouse of death. Every route we'd take, there'd be something else ready to kill me, and I'm guessing wear you down until he can finish you off."

I nod, and then crack my knuckles. If I feel bad for the electricians who have to fix the transmitter tower, my heart really goes out to the construction crews who have to fix this.

"Then I suggest we make our own route," I say, jumping up into the air just enough to turn back down and dive through the concrete of the rooftop.

For a few seconds, there's nothing but thunderous crashing and blinding dust as I plow downward through floor after floor, until finally I reach the sub-level where Schott's been hiding.

The doors to his lair are inch-thick reinforced steel. They might as well be tissue paper as I pull them out of the frame. I hear Batman touch down on the ground behind me, having descended with a grappling hook, before we enter the darkened room, the only light coming from the intermittent blinking of masses of computer towers.

"It's over, Schott," I call out, looking for the lunatic hacker. "If you surrender now, we can--"

That's when I see it.

At the far end of the room, surrounded by a wall of blank monitors, is a figure, reclined in a chair, hunched to one side. The body is fat and bloated, the skin a sickly pale green palor. A cloud of flies buzzes around it, and I see traces of rat droppings on the floor, from where they had been gnawing at it before scattering when we came in. A virtual reality headset remains active, still blinking on a head that is slumped over. The closer we get, the more pungent the smell is.

"Great Scott," I whisper to myself.

Winslow Schott has been dead for weeks, maybe months.

Before I can ask the next question out loud, the wall of monitors behind him flicker to life. And I see the ghoulish marionette face I've come to loathe.







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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

Reed could hear it in the distance. The sound of Ben Grimm’s voice gravelly voice shouting his name. But why couldn’t he see anything? What was going on? His head was throbbing and there was a pain in his side. In the dark he could feel a cold substance sliding down his leg which he quickly deduced was blood. Why was he bleeding? The last thing he remembered was being knelt in front of Hector Hammond. What had happened since? He racked his brains to remember but drew a complete blank.

When the large piece of rubble that Richards was trapped beneath was lifted, it came flooding back to him. Hammond destroyed the Baxter Building with them in it. Sue had managed to put up a shield at the last second but it had only managed to mitigate the impact of the building crashing down to Earth. How long had he been out? He was about to ask Ben but a sore throat killed the words dead.

“He’s over here! Sue, Johnny, I’ve found him,” Ben called out as he reached down to lift Reed to his feet. “From the looks of it he’s been cut bad. We might need a medic over here!”

Reed shook his head, finally summoning the strength to use his voice.“I’m fine, Ben, it’s just a flesh wound. How are the others?”

“Sue and Johnny are alright. Luckily Wells was clear of the building with Guy before Hammond brought the whole thing crashing down. Whole city’s on lockdown ‘cause of the breakout at The Raft so nobody else got hurt, thankfully.”

The scientist nodded his head as he started to process his surroundings. There was rubble as far as the eye could see. The windows of the surrounding buildings had been shattered and a few parked cars had been crushed. In the space that the Baxter Building had once stood there was now a crater filled with rubble. The only home they’d known in this world was now destroyed – and so too were the few possessions the four of them had to their name.

Sue came hurtling over some rubble and threw her arms around her husband. Reed held her closely, coughing a little as he did so, and smiled as he noticed Johnny Storm appearing on the horizon also. They both looked a little worse for wear – though perhaps not as bad as he was – but their happiness at having found Reed seemed to have pushed their own wounds to the back of their minds.

“I thought we’d lost you there for a second.”

“Man, can you imagine that?” Johnny said with a smile. “Survived the end of the world, travelled across dimensions, but some creep with a head the size of a fridge drops a building on you and you kick the bucket? What a way to go that would have been.”

Reed let out a weak laugh. His lungs were filled with dust and god knows what else had been kicked up by an entire building collapsing with him inside of it. The rattling cough that pushed its way up through his throat saw to bring his laughter to an end. Perhaps the pain brought Richards back to reality some as their uninvited visitor suddenly came to mind.

“Where’s Hammond?”

“Don’t worry, Stretch, I found the ugly SOB trying to sneak away after the drop and put him down for good this time. He won’t be waking up again anytime soon – and when he does he’ll be in the infirmary at The Raft nursing more than a few broken bones, I’ll tell you that much.”

Each second Reed spent upright he felt his faculties returning to him. He remembered more clearly what had happened, down to the words Hammond had used, and the way his god-awful breath had smelled. But there was still something bothering him. There was still a piece of the puzzle missing.

“You ask me,” Johnny started with a smirk. “Hammond deserves more than a few broken bones. All that time Reed and Wells spent on rebuilding that timecraft? It’s going to take weeks to build that thing from scratch – maybe even months.”

The timecraft. Reed could feel his heart pounding in his throat as he remembered watching it crumple beneath the weight of the Baxter Building. Without a word, Richards pushed past his three teammates and began climbing up the rubble. His side screamed with pain as he lifted pieces of it aside, tossing them out of the way desperately, in search of the machine that would transport the four of them home.

One of Sue’s gentle hands grabbed his forearm and stopped him from lifting. “Reed, honey, what are you doing? You’re going to get hurt.”

There was concern in Sue’s eyes – but she had chosen the wrong target for it. Reed was fine. At least, he was as fine as one could be after having a building dropped on them. He looked to Ben and Johnny, who had similarly concerned looks on their faces, and then let out a defeated sigh. Het let a rock that was resting between his hands fall to the ground.

“Where is the timecraft?”

“What are you talking about?” Ben said with a chortle. “We were lucky enough to make it out with our lives, there was no way we were getting the craft out of there in one piece. It ate the big one, Stretch. That and just about everything else we owned.”

Perhaps Reed should have known better than to respond with despair but he couldn’t suppress it. He sunk to his knees, his head in his hands, muttering defeatedly to himself under his breath. They didn’t understand. Sue knelt beside him, trying to prize one of Reed’s hands away from his eyes, as she inspected the wound on his side.

“What’s wrong, Reed? Is it your cut? Do you need help?”

When Reed removed his hands from his eyes, there were tears around them. He shook his head gravely as he fought them back, trying several times over to speak but finding himself without voice. There was resignation in Johnny’s face, as if he had grasped the seriousness of the moment, but Ben and Sue were looking at him with oblivious expressions.

“Don’t you see? There is no rebuilding the craft. The only reason we were able to repair it in the first place was because it survived the initial journey in relatively good shape. Without the craft, without our Victor von Doom, there’s no way of rebuilding it. It’s gone. The timecraft is gone for good – and with it so too has any hope of us ever getting home. We’re stuck here. There’s no way back.”

Sue staggered backwards in shock. Reed watched as her face contorted into a canvass of sadness and disappointment. Johnny stood, hands balled into fists and teeth gritted, taking long, deep breaths designed to calm himself down. Most heartbreaking of all was the bemused smile on Ben’s face. Before he even opened his mouth, Reed knew what his old friend was going to say to him. The titter that left his lips as he spoke all but confirmed it.

“You’re kidding, right? You must be kidding. You built that thing while Superman was breaking down the door to the Latverian throne room, Stretch. There’s no way that you can’t do it again. I don’t wanna hear all this ‘there’s no way back’ talk. You hear me? You’re Reed Richards. You can do anything. You don’t need that bum Doom around holding your hands. Wells will help you again and … give it a month, maybe two, and we’ll be on our way home.”

Reed wanted to be able to tell Ben all those things were true, that his faith in him would be repaid, but he knew better than that. Though the timecraft had been completed in Doom’s throne room, it was built on years of Victor’s work – and buoyed by his knowledge of the dark side of the arcane arts. They were trapped in this world for good. No matter what Ben wanted to think.

“Ben, you don’t understand, there’s n-”

“I said I don’t wanna hear it,” Ben growled as he grabbed Reed by the collar. “You’re going to get us home, Stretch, because you always get us home. That big brain of yours always comes through in the end. We’re going to see all of our friends again. Johnny’s gonna see Peter and I’m gonna see Alicia and the boys on Yancy St-”

Ben’s voice faltered slightly before giving out to a full on sob. Johnny’s anger seemed to wane, his hands unballing as he climbed over the rubble and placed a supportive hand on Ben’s back. Had he not cried a hundred times for their lost world already, he might have joined him in sobbing. Instead he stayed stoic.

“Easy there, big fella. If Reed says it can’t be done, it can’t be d-”

Acting on instinct, Ben unthinkingly struck out at Johnny and sent him hurtling down the rubble. His eyes widened with shock as he realised what had happened and went skipping down after him.

“Jeez, kid, I didn’t mean it, I swear I didn’t mean it.”

Johnny dabbed at his bloody nose with his sleeve and let out a pained sigh. He accepted Ben’s hand and climbed to his feet, brushing himself down of dirt, and then throwing his arms around Ben’s shoulders with a supportive smile. Relief washed over the Thing’s scarred face as he gratefully received the hug.

“Whatever happens, we’re always going to have one another, Ben.”

Sue’s fingers knotted between Reed’s and the two held hands. He could see the shock in her fiance’s eyes. Though she had been in favour of staying to help this Earth defeat Galactus, the plan had always been to return home eventually and save their friends, but now the plan was gone. Their world was gone for good – but that didn’t mean they couldn’t save this one.

“Johnny’s right. This might not be our world but there are billions of people on this planet that need our help. We honour the people we lost, the world we lost, by protecting them from evil just as readily as we would protect our world from it.”

The shock started to melt from Sue’s face and a familiar phrase came to mind. “With great power comes great responsibility.”

On the horizon a sudden explosion lit up the New York skyline. It had come from the direction of The Raft. With Hammond secured and the craft destroyed, the Fantastic Four had almost forgotten that the breakout was still ongoing – and that New York, as ever, needed their help.

“Heh, looks like there’s still some ‘responsibilities’ that need taking care of over at The Raft. What do you say, Matchstick? You in?”

Johnny nodded, hands balling into fists once more, as he prepared to ignite. His trademark catchphrase was on the tip of his tongue but he stalled at the last moment. Even now Johnny noticed there were traces of guilt burrowed away in Ben’s wounded gaze. He knew the best way to put it to bed. He cleared his throat and erupted into a maelstrom of flames with a cathartic shout that echoed through the Manhattan streets.

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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by HenryJonesJr
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Wonder Woman rushes the Surfer, who doesn't even move as she closes the gap at lightning speed. I've seen what she can do, the fact that the Surfer merely looks at her with a detached, dispassionate gaze chills me to the core. I know this guy isn't human, but is he even alive? Is he a person? Or is he some construct sent by this Darkseid to take stock of our world like a drone with consciousness. I've seen The Day the Earth Stood Still. These kind of guys are nothing to mess with. If we don't stop him, no one will.

The other hero leaps at the extraterrestrial invader, and I can already see the gambit isn't going to work. Almost like everyone else is moving in slow motion, the Silver Surfer moves out of the way and drives his palm into Wonder Woman's chest, sending her flying back towards me. I fire a few weblines behind me as I get out of the way, creating a net that catches Wonder Woman, ensuring a soft landing.

"Okay, Metal Mario," I crack my knuckles and roll my neck, "that was rude. Time to teach you some manners."

He readies himself for an attack, but instead I just start firing shots of webbing his way. A few strike home, and he looks up at me, confusion and annoyance in his face.

"Ah, so you do have emotions," I smile under the mask. "That's the look most people give me. No one understands me."


"He-Man?" I ask with fake excitement in my voice.

That does it. The Surfer has had enough with me, and charges me. He throws powerful punch after powerful punch my way. Spider sense keeps me from getting clobbered by them, but barely. Still, I managed to piss the Surfer off enough for him to come after me. That's what I wanted. Get him off his game. If I can keep his attention on me, and keep from getting killed in the process, maybe Wonder Woman can get some hits in.

After I dodge one of the strikes, I manage to web his hand to the ground as I flip over it. As I land, I wind up and deliver a punch to his chin. His head wobbles a bit, but I feel like I just broke every bone in my hand.

"Son of a bitch!" I shake my hand out as the Surfer frees himself and grabs me by the throat.

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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by mickilennial
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mickilennial is trying to survive

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New York City, New York
Issue #2 Unseen Enemies

Brave, but stupid.

Bekka gritted her teeth as she looked forward as Spider-Woman's neck laid in the Silver Surfer's grasp. Even if she was one of Earth's finest metahumans Bekka knew that all it took would be a little force for Darkseid's herald to end her life.

The red-haired New Genesisian launched herself forward from the webbing she had crashed into, looking to exert all of her forward momentum into a strike that would make the silver-toned god drop the teenager and force his attention to concentrate on her and her alone – or at least as long as she could. Bekka had experienced Darkseid's cruelty firsthand and if it was anybody's burden to bear to combat him it would be her. If she failed, who would be there to pick up the pieces? Superman? The Flash? She wasn't sure about people she had never met and had only heard secondhand information about. All she knew was she had to give everything to make sure Earth didn't become a second New Genesis.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Simple Unicycle ?

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Time Is An Illusion
The Inner Workings of A Twisted Mind


I don't know where I am. Maybe I'm not supposed to know. It's familiar yet foreign. A strange comfort, and a known danger all at once. It feels wrong, yet right.

"It's almost time."

I can... Feel something, controlling my every move. Using my thirst for retribution to kill callously, without remorse, without purpose. I didn't like its attitude, and the fact that it hijacked my body was another mark against it.

"Don't worry anymore."

I kill with purpose. I do, honestly. At least... I think. I'm not too sure anymore. Good, bad, black, white, it all blends together into one mushy grey mess after a while. Maybe I'm not as good as I like to think I am... Maybe I'm only a step above the people who kill for pleasure, or profit.

"Stop fighting."

Snap out of it, Frank! Now's not the time to doubt yourself. The easiest way to fail is to give up before you even start trying, and Ling Chu didn't raise a quitter! You gotta find a way to fix this, maybe... Maybe... God, I don't know what I can do...


... It sounds like Maria, calling to me. I don't want to listen, I try my hardest to block it out, cover my ears, shake my head, I even try singing Yankee fucking Doodle just to get it to stop... But still, it sounds clear as day.

"It's over, Frank. Just relax."

I can see her. Blonde hair framing her delicate face. A small smile and blue eyes pleading with me. She reaches out a hand, stroking my face, then opens her mouth to speak...

"Come home."

But it's not her. It's a soulless reflection of what she was, trying to seduce me into giving into this beast's demands. I won't let it use me to cause chaos and destruction. I'm a hero, much as the rest say I'm not. And I know evil when I see it. But while I know it's not her, I can't help but hurt, knowing I'm about to push my wife away for good.

With a heavy heart, I reply, "You know I can't. But I wish that I could."

Her smile becomes melancholic. Tears prick at my eyes. She reaches her thumb up to brush them away. "I wish you could, too."

I lean into her touch, but her hand falls away. I watch silently as she walks away into the pitch black. I'm alone. Nothing to keep me company but my own thoughts. The darkness and silence washes over me like a wave of guilt washes over a remorseful killer.

But I can feel it peeling away. Revealing the light... And a cacophony of gunfire. Just my luck, I suppose.

I guess it's time to see what's waiting for me on the other side.

I step out of the darkness and into the light.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Hound55
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Hound55 Create-A-Hero RPG GM, Blue Bringer of BWAHAHA!

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“You’re rebuilding his mind? How do you mean?” Marlene looked honestly perplexed.

“I mean it quite literally, my dear. Due to events in his past, my employer and your friend has a mind which is in a somewhat precarious state.”

DuChamp looked at the butler sternly. “How often?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“This has happened before. You don’t seem bothered enough by the fact this is happening, and you seem to feel comfortable that you know what you’re doing.”

Samuels glared at the Frenchman, as if considering whether he should give any kind of answer.

“Tell him.” Grunted Spector, anxious for all of the boring harping on this topic to be over.

“Yes. More than a handful of times.”

“Sacre bleu…” Jean Paul muttered to himself.

“But this was the first time that he’s been surrounded by… friends.” Samuels still wasn’t sure the pair could be trusted. “Which Mr Grant has assured me, that you are Mr Duchamp.”

“How exactly have you been ‘rebuilding his mind’?” Asked Marlene, trying to get back to the initial point.

“My employer, and your friend, has had complications arise before in his life. Due to these issues, he entrusted myself - and in case anything happened to myself, Nedda - with the ‘passcode’ and a set of instructions for how to re-construct his mind if ever he experiences another break.”

“My word, what kind of host have I been?” Grant quickly rose to his feet and beamed a warm smile to Marlene and Jean Paul. “Would anyone care for drinks? We cover most domestics and imported. Jean Paul, I’ve taken special note of some of your suggestions over the year, and was able to procure a rare Cheval Blanc ‘47 Saint Emilion…”

“Tha-- that’s over a hundred and thirty thousand dollars a bottle!?”

“Well, generally priced thereabouts, yes. I must say, I got into a bidding war with Tony Stark over it at a charity auction a few years ago. It came to three hunder and eighty five thousand, and I’m not sure if he was really thirsting for the bottle or just didn’t want to get beaten over it. A Ms Potts seemed to take issue with his excess and distracted him, took his eyes away from the prize. Fortunately, Samuels and Nedda don’t put up quite so much of a fight.” He winked at his butler, who nodded in return. “And I wanted to ensure I had that bottle for when I was finally ready to tell all to my best friend, and ask him something so important.”

Jean Paul’s heart skipped a beat as his first thought about his secret may involve his sexuality, before he composed himself and waited to see what he had to say.

“I need you, my oldest friend… to fly for me.”


“Come with me.”


“It’s alright, Samuels. I think we’re well beyond that. You too, Marlene.”

Steven led the group through hallways, until he got to an old metal junker elevator. They piled in and Samuels pulled the lever, and with the loud clanking cacophony of the elevator it took the group down, down, down...

“In recent years, I’ve found that I have my own shortcomings which need to be addressed. These issues brought me to a crossroad.”

Down, down, down…

The pair of friends looked on with curiosity.

“As I’ve worked wonders in the stockmarket I’ve found an incontrovertible fact. Most people who work the market view it as an immutable fact; this world is comprised of winners, and losers. The hunters and the hunted. Almost to a man all of my peers view it as such. If you work the stock exchange in any capacity it’s impossible to argue. But I came to a different conclusion than most.”

Down, down, down… into a subterranean concreted area that looked too big to be a bunker, but too cosy to call a hanger.

He turned to his friends and smiled.

“I find the predatory devouring of innocents to be intolerable.” Grant held his arms out, gesturing to the entire structure as if it explained what they were looking at.

Jean Paul raised his eyebrow, perplexed by where this was going. Samuels opened the elevator door with a clank, and Steven led them through.

“Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’ve engaged in this myself. Early on, before I knew exactly what I was doing. When I was looking at investments as numbers on a screen ticker. It doesn’t take much experience in this industry, however, to realize that it’s easy for a man to lose sight of the fact that these numbers have greater consequences. Human consequences.”

“Marc, I’m not sure I follow what you’re trying to tell us.” Marlene said.

“Steven.” He corrected. “But that’s ok. Because Marc and I happen to agree on this point. It’s why he’s let up enough to let me properly explain our newest paradigm.”

“They don’t understand what the Hell you’re talking about… use english, you smarmy--” Marc suddenly growled to himself, with desperate desire that his friends properly understood.

“I apologize profusely. I chose a two-pronged approach, first; I changed my business practices and ensured that proper due diligence was taken to cause minimal harm, whilst still hitting windows to ensure these efforts maintained sustainability and long term profitability… but second; we launched the concept design and procurement requirements for the Moon Knight project launch.”

“Moon Knight?”

“Uh, yes. I believe you saw the armour and accoutrement before…” he said, pointing to a glass case where the white and silver suit from the previous night was displayed on a mannequin.

“As I said, Spector and I both agree on this issue. Innocent people are getting hurt in this world, and such a thing is intolerable. We formed a partnership, with the intention of utilizing my funding, and his… special skills and will power, to create something which can attempt to curtail this preying on the innocent in criminal and social situations. Whilst, I continue to have my impact on the business community, and where possible the political…”


“Chicago has a long, strong history with public corruption. Along with its high violent crime statistics, it makes Chicago an almost unique case.”

“Almost unique?”

“Well…” Steven offered a knowing smirk, “I’ll just say I’m not surprised that it was in Gotham, of all cities, where someone obviously has decided to form the same conclusion and bankroll the Batman. My advice, from someone who does well reading market trends, would be to watch Hub City like a hawk. Another protector will stand up soon from over there, mark my words. But what form they take, well, that’ll be the question...”

“You really think that’s what’s happening in Gotham?” DuChamp asked.

“I may not know exactly how to go about what I’m doing, but I know my idea being put into action when I see it.” Grant glibly replied.

“And you expect me to, what? Fly into battle with you and be some kind of french sidekick? Fly into battle with you on our own trademark hang gliders? Marc, you’re being crazy. You didn’t come up with this when you had another ‘break’ did you?”

“Hang gliders? Ha! No. Yes, my friend. I agree with you, that would be crazy. See, what I had in mind, was for you to fly… that!”

Steven pointed to a massive awkward-looking monstrosity of a helicopter.

“Can-- can that thing even fly?”

Steven smiled, knowing if nothing else he’d piqued his interest.

“Tops out at 220mph. With a ceiling of 10,000 feet and an unencumbered range of 1,000mph, if you strip down the cannons and--”

“I know what unencumbered means. How? How does it even fly, I can’t believe this can even stay in the air...”

“The back-end swivels up and the main rotor’s on that. Underneath it has three repulsor-based engines…” He turned and winked at DuChamp. “The wine wasn’t the only thing Stark has ever lost out to me…” Before turning and continuing to walk around the helicopter. “Which help get the thing to altitude as it swivels. Has stabilizers here and on the other side… designed to hold up even under harsh Chicago winds…”

“Even if this can stay in the air, there’s no way this thing won’t immediately be traced back to you. Stark engines? Top of the line expensive technology? Someone out there designed this and they’re going to know exactly who you are when we take to the air in this...”

“The man who designed this is… no longer with us. I paid an exorbitant amount of money for a top level foreign designer who was in his twilight years. He had no family and I came into all copies of the design when he died. As for the construction… this has been getting built for quite some time. Small orders of parts here and there intermingled with other purchases over the years. Incidentally, we have enough spare parts to make about 6 more if we want… or do minor repairs for years.”

Grant walked around behind DuChamp and flicked his hat off of his head and caught it. “This thing has been killing people, Jean Paul, a lot of people. And hurting many more. Tonight is the last night of the full moon, and maybe the last night of this insanity. We could try this out and see how it works. Think about how many more it might kill tonight. That could be on us. That could be on you. If we can do something about that and we don’t… is that the kind of Jean Paul DuChamp you want to see in the mirror tomorrow? In ten years? In twenty?”

He gave the Frenchman’s pilot cap a faux polish and sat it on his head at a jaunty angle. “Or do we want to be the kind of people who stop it?”

Jean Paul thought about this. There were few opportunities for him to fly regularly. What else was he going to do, buy himself a chopper and sell flying lessons to rich assholes? For a man who grew up on the adrenaline of combat, and with the intention of making a positive impact on the world for France, it didn’t seem particularly enticing.

“As for your safety, the cockpit glass is made of a firm multiplex that’s around three times the thickness of your standard--”


“Really?” Grant beamed, almost surprised he didn’t have to continue his sales pitch.

“Okay. I’ll fly around a lunatic with an incomplete mind to inevitably get himself shot in the face by some gangbang-air or urban domestic terrorist… I guess I’ve ridden this crazy train this far, might as well see where it stops.”

“...I also have to see how in the world this monstruosite stays in the air.”

"Samuels, the Cheval Blanc ‘47..!"

🌑 🌒 🌓 🌔 🌕 🌖 🌗 🌘 🌑

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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Byrd Man
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Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

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I lean into her touch, but her hand falls away. I watch silently as she walks away into the pitch black. I'm alone. Nothing to keep me company but my own thoughts. The darkness and silence washes over me like a wave of guilt washes over a remorseful killer.

But I can feel it peeling away. Revealing the light... And a cacophony of gunfire. Just my luck, I suppose.

I guess it's time to see what's waiting for me on the other side.

I step out of the darkness and into the light.

John knew he fucked up by conjuring the Saint of Killers. It really was like dropping a bomb on a housefly. All around the garage was carnage. Every single gangbanger on Raul Garcia's payroll was dead, as was Lieutenant Milford and his crew. John felt a pang of guilt as he saw Seward's body on the ground. He was the only one that seemed to be not be into it fully like the other deputies.

"'We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be,'" John said as he passed by his body.

The Saint of Killers approached the demon and the man he had under his control. John could see the blue aura fading. Whatever it was the Asian man was doing, it seemed to be working. The demon began to look a little worryingly as he commanded the heavily armed man to shoot at the Saint of Killers.

~DO IT!~ The demon screamed. ~Kill him!~

"Wouldn't do any good," John said as he stumbled slightly. The ritual to summon the saint was beginning to take its toll on him. "The Saint of Killers is death incarnate. You'd have an easier time killing the tides or the sun."

The Saint of Killers aimed his big guns at the demon and opened fire. The magic bullets passed through the smoke, though they created a spark that began a flame that consumed the demon's incorporeal body. He screamed and cursed Constantine's name as he went up in flames. A giant flash of light filled the garage as he disappeared. Just like that, it was all silent.

Until the Saint aimed his guns at the Asian man.

"Last man standing," said the Saint. "But not for long."

"Nein," John shouted in German. He said a name in the harsh tongue. The Saint froze in his spot, the guns trained on the man. John shuffled towards the two of them and looked over the Asian amn with an aprasing look.

"Names have power," he said to the man. "And even the unholy angel of death has a real name. And that gives me power. You're a curious one, you know? You don't look like one of Garica's guys, and you sure as fuck aren't rolling with the white power boys bleeding out on the ground. So, what's your story, squire? Who the fuck are you?"
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Simple Unicycle ?

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A mostly destroyed autoshop; Lynwood, California


"Names have power," he said to the man. "And even the unholy angel of death has a real name. And that gives me power. You're a curious one, you know? You don't look like one of Garica's guys, and you sure as fuck aren't rolling with the white power boys bleeding out on the ground. So, what's your story, squire? Who the fuck are you?"

I blinked my eyes a few times to adjust to the bright light, looking around. The autoshop was in shambles, Garcia and his boys were all dead. Before me was the blond man in the ratty trenchcoat, alongside a cowboy who had his sixgun trained on me. I figured I wouldn't be seeing many cowboys after Warpath. Guess they were more in style here than there, surprisingly.

The blond man spoke with a British accent, and I quirked an eyebrow as I slowly raised my hands to show the cowboy I wasn't a threat. "Isn't it obvious? I'm the pizza guy. Took me a bit long to get here though, looks like these guys get their order free." I paused to chuckle. The Brit didn't seem amused, or at least not amused enough to laugh with me.

I sighed, looking between the man and the cowboy who was starting to look less human and more otherworldly by the second. "Not sure if the name means anything to you unless you've been catching yourself up with the news, but I'm Frank Castle, the Punisher. I've been traveling the country, delivering vigilante justice. I ran into a drug den in Fredericksburg Texas, the trail led me here, to Garcia. I'm guessing that's him?" I pointed towards what remained of the suited Hispanic man. The Brit nodded in confirmation.

I paused, recollecting what had just happened, and how I managed to lose my sense for what seemed like hours. "Judging by what just happened to me, and the way your, uh, friend here looks... I'm guessing there's something of the supernatural sort going on. Before you ask how I can tell, because I know you will, I've got a buddy in Warpath who had a bit of a demon problem a few days back. I wouldn't be able to tell you just what exactly is going on, but I know it's not of this world as it were."

Now that I had finished up my little spiel, I nodded to the Brit, cracking a wry grin. "And what'd your name be? Sam Spade?"
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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by DocTachyon
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DocTachyon Teenage Neenage Neetle Teetles

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”The Ranchero of Miracle Mesa” - Glitter And Gold: Part Five

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


Warpath, Texas

It wasn’t like the other times. Wasn’t nothing that posed a threat to Warpath like that… Like that thing. Vigilante was hesitant to even call it a man. For all the wrath of The Dummy and the number of The Bounty Hunters, wasn’t nothing that coulda stopped Black Star this side of the Mississippi. His power, his speed. He coulda turned Vigilante’s bones to powder by looking at him funny. Vigilante could feel the pain in his heart, watching The Spirit get thrashed. Black Star put ‘im through walls like they were made of cardboard. Everything fell away from him, then. The Theater all melted away into the background, n’ he was dimly aware of something behind him, tellin’ him to wrest control. Wasn’t no sense in fighting that thing anymore than there was in fightin’ Black Star himself. All he could do was what he’d always done. What his Pop had always done. Offer his hand and try to help.

It was something different, sharing his body. Wasn’t much like they were fighting, one man over another, wrestling n’ trying to decide what would happen next. They battled together, moved as one unit. Vigilante felt himself joined with the souls that made up The Spirit. He felt their anguish and their pain, pouring into him and putting strength behind each of his blows and the crackling power behind his words. It was closer than any kinda teamwork Vigilante could've hoped to describe. His thoughts all faded away until there was nothing left but his Enemy and his Mission. Fight Black Star. Save Warpath. Save The World. Just black and white morality, a cowboy and his gun, er, lariat.

He could feel himself standing over Black Star now, vision tunneled, burning hands quavering. Looking down at his body, the subtle rise and fall of his chest betraying the monster’s life. Burns crisscrossing up and down his costume, asking for more. Itching to stretch his lariat around Black Star’s neck and pull. He imagined his hands around Black Star’s neck, boiling the flesh away, staring into the depths of his blackened soul and extinguishing it. Then his vision started to pull back.

His breath was hot against his clothes, hotter n’ the Texas heat or the fire that raged in his belly. He could taste the smoke in the air, but maybe that was on account of his head being aflame. Warpath burned around him. They were little fires, nothing the stiff breeze wouldn’t take care of, but he could hear the crackling, waiting to turn into an inferno. But most of all, he saw the alien kid stood before him. His armor was cracked all over the shop, spider webbing up and down his form. He was meek in stature, now that Vig got a good, quiet look at him. Vigilante drew himself up. He could hear every click of his spinal cord as he drew himself to his full height, looking upon the kid.


The kid’s voice felt a million miles away, something out of a dream. He was floating now, reaching for something to say in a cosmic ether that reached off and beyond into a great nothing. He could faintly make out the kid arguing to himself in the background, but all he could focus on was the pitch-white skull coalescing before his eyes.

Gregory Saunders.” Its words seemed to shake the frame of the world around him, giving a sketchy distorsion to the darkness.

Spirit. He greeted it. He no longer saw the creature from his dreams. No, instead it was a bleached white skull like any of the cow skulls he’d seen out in the untangled desert before. A crackling black fire cooked in either of its empty eye sockets. It stared intently.

You want to run.” It said the last word like it was poison. Flaming spittle dribbled down the bone. It sizzled away into nothing.

What in tarnation gives you that idea? Come Hell or high water, I’m here for these people. You know that. Vigilante tried to square his shoulders and step forward to the skull, but he found his movement locked, as if all control of his body had been stolen.

Fool. You so obstinately refuse to ‘abandon’ these people that you bury your head in the sand. The Surfer must be fought. But you will hide here.“ The skull said. Every word felt like a stake being driven through his body, restraining him, pushing him further from control.

What’s left for them? Huh? You expect me to leave good folks to rot? Vigilante shouted back. He willed himself to move, contorting every muscle in his body. He’d give that thing a piece of his mind.

This is bigger than us. It’s bigger than them! You cannot comprehend the enormity of this threat. The force that fuels that man carries behind it a path of carnage and bloodshed spanning eons. Incalculable death. Suffering. It will come here. And everything will end.

There’s others! There’s always gonna be others! The Flash! Superman! Warpath hasn’t got anybody but me! Vigilante could feel what felt like tears streaming down his cheeks. His muscles burned. His vision was starting to leave him, like he was being pushed down into some lower place, stifled before overwhelming force.

You so obstinately refuse to ‘abandon’ these people that you damn the world entire. You sit here with you head in the sand, letting the sinners and the devils come to you. You act as if a hero of God, bearing your burden to ‘protect’ them. Yet all the killers have only ever come for you. Warpath sits on the brink and you, its ‘sole protector’ threaten to push it over with every passing day.” The skull screaming now, swallowing Vigilante’s vision up into a cloud of black fire, hiding everything from him but his pain. He saw images boil up and pop out of existence as quickly as they’d come. It was him, destroying a limousine thirty miles out of town. It was him, fighting Bounty Hunters through the streets of Gotham, The Batman at his side. Him, holding a man with a scar on a three-fingered hand out of a New York highrise, with Jonah Hex right behind him. Dueling Black Star in the middle of nowhere, shoulder to shoulder with The Soldiers. What could’ve been. What should have been.

God… Vigilante’s voice felt small in his throat. As soon as he opened his lips, fire poured into him, probing his insides and burning him alive. He could not scream. Every muscle in his body felt like it was made of jello. He pushed himself up, muscles threatening to burst. He forced his lips open, God… Forgive me…

Vigilante beheld the skull before him, as it stared blankly down its nose at him. Vigilante forced his fist into the sky; it felt like he was trying to shove it through a cart of bricks. [color=#f92a0e]”[i]We do this... “[/color] He hacked out a cough. His skin was starting to melt away, obscuring his vision. Together. Only… Only way…

The Spirit cackled. “Do you expect forgiveness? Redemption?

No. Vigilante straightened up. He pushed the pain to one side, and set his jaw, and furrowed his brow. Sight up on target. Aim true. Vengeance.

”Right, so I'll...I'll explain on the way, but how fast can that fancy motorcycle-from-hell of yours move? 'Cause if we want to get to the Surfer, we're gonna need to head up to New York and I left my running shoes at home.”

And then he was home again, the kid before him.

”Oh, by the way… My name’s Jaime. Jaime Reyes. I’m from El Paso.”

Vigilante tried to swallow, but he found his form could not. He extended a hand.

”Greg. Greg Saunders… And this is Warpath.”

He turned to face the bike. It was like he was reaching out with his mind to something living and breathing. It responded to his touch, seeming to shiver at it. He could sense its saddlebags, crammed full of guns and munitions. He could feel the horsepower of the engine in his chest, pistons driving home to his core.

”... And I get the sense that we can get goin’ pretty got-dang fast.”

New York City, New York --- The Raft Prison Island

It takes commercial airliners six hours to get from El Paso to New York City. The humming engine between Vigilante’s legs had taken them there in a half hour. They screamed through the streets, exploding storefronts with sonic booms as they sped for The Raft. Jaime had locked himself around Vigilante with a series of alien-metal contraptions locked around his body. The boy blasted all of his suit’s engines full speed to get them the extra boost they needed to get there in time. Blue and red flame intermingled in the scorching trail they left across the pavement, heading for the Raft.

Vigilante had spent the ride explaining the situation in Warpath to Jaime, if the poor feller could hear him over the roar of the wind. He figured it was his way of explaining to him that he was, under no circumstances, to enter this fight. He was hurt plum bad enough already, n’ the only reason he came along was to give ‘em the gas they needed to reach The Raft before the Surfer could skedaddle, or send out another round of goons. The kid was just supposed to get off n’ muster whatever military of SHIELD response he could. This was to be a fight between Vigilante and his enemy. No sense for that kid to waste his life n’ get hisself killed.

Y’know. They all gave you a name. Every previous holder.

Yes. I was El Diablo. The Ghost Rider. Others.

I’ve got one. The Spirit of the Gun.

They were close now, seconds away. Vigilante saw The Raft before him now, rising up out of the bay like a great plateau out of nothing. Vigilante took his lariat in his hands and started to spin it, whipping up huge, street spanning circles, preparing for his first blow. He pulled back on the handlebars and the thrust from Jaime’s jets thrust the pair into the air, high over the New York Bay, screaming straight down for the deck of The Raft.

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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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"Another trap. Can't say that I'm surprised.", Superman laments. "Listen, I've faced his machines before. Even if Winslow Schott was dead this entire time, he was a brilliant inventor and is definitely not to be underestimated. Stay on your guard."

Producing a few batarangs, I watch Superman's back as he begins his approach to the corpse. No telling what that less than subtle threat could've entailed, given that it seems that we're fighting a machine rather than a man. The marionette seems to watch him as he gets closer, giving off more than a threatening demeanor. I grip the batarangs even tighter, scanning the room for any possible traps that await us. Schott didn't leave anything to chance, as our respective sweep of the area confirmed. Whatever he once was, the so-called Toyman was clearly one thing when alive - paranoid beyond measure.

"Wasn't planning to let it down."

I calibrate my cowl to allow Ace to scan for any potential threats. But before he can reach Schott, I hear something moving above us and glance towards the ceiling. To my surprise, a set of steel doors thrust over it and cover the gigantic multi-level hole that Superman made through the building, effectively cutting off our only visible means of escape. Leaving nothing to chance, Clark immediately tries to fly up and smash his way through the thick shell casing that's now covering the walls. Only to be met with an unseen hand swiping him away, taking us both completely off guard.


Flying backwards, revealing the room to be much more spacious than it originally appeared, the red and blue clad visage of Toyman's sworn enemy disappears into the darkness as something large descends upon him. Switching my lenses to their night-vision mode, I take off in a sprint forward as the picture becomes a bit clearer. The Man of Steel is being attacked by... Men of Steel, for lack of a better description. Two gigantic automatons that are being wirelessly controlled by Toyman's ghostly A.I.






Superman gets to his feet quickly, his eyes glowing with that same red that I encountered in Grant Park, and blasts a massive energy beam from his eyes into the first robotic behemoth. While an impressive display of power, it seems to have little effect on the machine, who promptly smashes him into the floor as the other prepares some sort of beam of it's own. It would seem that in his battles with Clark previously, the A.I. learned some of his tricks and attempted to duplicate them through his work. Which in itself indicates that the program is far more advanced than anything I've ever come across, given it was able to carry out the engineering genius of a dead man.

Need to intervene before this gets any worse. Reaching into my belt, I grab a couple of grenades and dive forward. But before I can get within a suitable distance to launch them and give Superman the distraction he needs, a glass wall descends from the ceiling and entraps me within a section of the room. Toyman's A.I. reflects off of the glass, casting itself down onto me with an ominous gaze.





Grabbing another batarang, I smash it into the glass as hard as I can to try and break myself free. Doesn't work, much less even make a scratch. Too thick to be able to cut through. And if I try and use the grenades to bypass this, the space is too narrow to say that I won't be torn in half by shrapnel. Ace is already scanning for a backdoor to override Schott's automated commands, but the program keeps rewriting itself. Any breach isn't likely to occur remotely, which means that I'd have to break into the mainframe myself. Smashing my fist into the glass, I spot the terminal that will likely grant me access. Were it not for the glass separating me from it's location, I'd be just within reach.





My ears perk up as a low hum begins to echo across the limited space that I've been given. Sounds like an electronic device, unsurprisingly, but the source of it is lower to the ground than I would have expected. Turning my eyes toward the far wall, I see a small series of panels slide open as something races out of each of them. Readying a few batarangs in each hand, my eyes widen as I finally catch a glimpse of what they are. They're... remote control cars. Not unlike the very models you would find in the actual toy store of the Sprang Avenue Mall. Either he's mocking me, which is entirely possible, or there's something more to these than meets the eye.





Taking a step back as they race towards me, I notice that a couple of the cars in the back collide with one another. For a second, nothing happens. But Ace warns me of a proximity alert within seconds, indicating that both cars are armed with explosives. Throwing my cape infront of me to avoid being ripped to shreds, the impact of the resulting explosion knocks me back and slams me into the glass.

Hitting the floor, my vision blurs for a moment and my ears begin ringing. But I'm still made aware of the fact that those were only two cars wired to blow - of eight. And the other six are approaching, fast. Forcing myself back up, I tap the side of my cowl to calibrate Ace's tracker to the cars. Toyman's A.I. will have to wait.

"Ace. Give me a weak point. Look for any wires to safely disconnect."

The cars become green and overcast by a grid, with schematics unfolding infront of my eyes. Seems as though there is a wire that could do the job, but it's on the undertow of each car. Can't risk picking them up, as it would seem that they're rigged to explode upon direct contact. Have to think of another way to solve this.

Looking at the metal that slid over the walls, I glance back at the cars, noticing that they're made of a metallic material aswell, likely in an effort to act as an effective casing. The cars begin encircling me as I reach into the back of my belt, pulling out a small electromagnet that would normally be utilized in jamming firearms. Toyman seems to react as I adjust the polarity.





I glare up at the generated image with a considerable measure of contempt.

"You're not the only one with toys."

Tossing the electromagnet onto the wall, of which it easily sticks, I prepare six batarangs for each car and watch as they're both turned onto their sides and dragged backwards by the pull of the device. I can feel sweat sliding down my forehead as I take a moment to aim for each wire and leap forward. If the cars hit the wall before I can hit them, they'll blow. I have to hit the wires with the utmost of precision. This is going to require one hell of a miracle to pull off.

Fortunately, I don't believe in miracles.

Closing my eyes, I let loose all six batarangs all at once and toss them with as much confidence as possible. Time slows to a crawl as they fly towards the red wire attached to each car's explosive. Any number of variables could render this an entirely futile gesture. There are blue and yellow wires that likely trigger the bombs strung closely together with the red. My aim could always be off, of course, and there's also the possibility that I threw the batarangs too hard, slicing the wires themselves but embedding into the cars instead of severing them, also triggering certain death.

Yet to my astonishment, whenever I land, each car goes from green to gray. Ace gives me the news. They're inactive, with each batarang having severed the correct line. Staring at the cars as their wheels stop, having been deactivated entirely, I notice that the furthest was only half an inch away from hitting the wall and setting off what would've likely been a chain explosion. My heart stops for a moment, almost unable to accept my luck as I breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Too close. It's all that could possibly be said. That was entirely too close.

Your turn, Superman. End this insanity once and for all.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Morden Man
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Morden Man

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The Raft, New York

The Surfer’s head turned towards the screeching motorbike. It moved at what felt like a snail’s crawl to the herald. They scream coming from its rider echoed around the prison. The lariat the rider was twirling latched around the Surfer’s arm and his passenger pointed an arm that had morphed into a cannon of some sort. Still the Surfer did not flinch. He waited until Reyes let a blast loose from his cannon to make his move.


With a wave of the Surfer’s hand he sent Jaime’s blast towards Spider-Woman. The other dragged the Vigilante with such a strength that it swung the rider and his vehicle. Reyes went flying clean from its back, crashing into one of The Raft’s remaining walls, whilst Vigilante was sent crashing into Wonder-Woman, bike and all. Still it seemed as if the Silver Surfer wasn't leaving first gear or approaching breaking a sweat.


The group of assembled heroes seemed to be piecing together their bearings. One by one they staggered to their feet. The sneers on their faces were the only answer that the Surfer needed. He was overcome with contempt at their selfishness. He could feel them, the life-forms of this planet, toiling away in misery in despair because of avarice. These so-called ‘heroes’ would protect a world built on greed? On suffering? No, the Surfer thought as he gritted his teeth, only Darkseid could deliver this world from evil.

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

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Multiplayer Event 2


Iris blazed past Wonder Woman, Spider-Woman and the Surfer on her way into the raft. No doubt they would wonder what she was doing, but she had other possibilities. At the end of the day there were three of them, and one Surfer. Possibly more heroes would show up, depending on whether or not they had been tested like she had. That didn’t change that there was one Silver Surfer. The issue laid within the prison itself. There were escaped convicts throughout the facility, causing all kinds of trouble and ran the risk of making their way into the city.

There were also the fires to consider, it risked both life to the guards and the convicts themselves. So from their perspective, the prison was lit up by her trail as she ran between buildings, fires going out whenever she approached. It was far harder in reality. There was no way that in her current state that she would have been able to carry people and move them around. The ideal solution would have been to obviously move the guards to safety and the prisoners back into their cells. After Iris had done this with a couple of individuals however she knew that this wasn’t going to happen. Instead sought out a room full of equipment. Picking up a dozen handcuffs, and began the slow process of cuffing everyone.

As Iris turned out of the storage room, the first corridor she went down had five convicts rushing one scared looking guard. Speeding down the hallway she grabbed the firsts left arm, slapping on the cuff and then attaching it to the bars of a cell. The second got stuck to the first, the third to a pipe, fourth to another cell door and the fifth to the fourth. She stopped right in front of the guard, flashed him a smile and then ran off again. From her count, it took her five minutes and forty five seconds to secure two hundred and fifty seven prisoners as well as fifty guards. There were also ten fires to deal with, and twenty five major injuries. Those were the hardest, she had basic first aid understanding but some of the injuries were beyond her. She made an effort to move guards closer to the seriously wounded, so that there was definitely someone to help.


Iris heard the voice of the surfer over the chaos of the prisons. Despite the alarms blaring, there was a crash and a couple of explosions and Iris nodded her head. It was time to act. She sped through the hallways of the prison, out of the main door and into the courtyard. She ran straight for the Surfers back, jumping into the air and spinning her whole body into a left hand punch. Still trying to avoid the use of her right while it takes time to heal. She rolled into the punch, coming into a standing position. She gave a meek smile to Spider-Woman as she was picking herself up, before standing looking at the Surfer.

“Don’t let the burns on the burns on the new uniform fool you Surfer. I’ve put you in your place once and trust me, I’m not in the mood so I’ll do it again with extreme prejudice.”

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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Byrd Man
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Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

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I sighed, looking between the man and the cowboy who was starting to look less human and more otherworldly by the second. "Not sure if the name means anything to you unless you've been catching yourself up with the news, but I'm Frank Castle, the Punisher. I've been traveling the country, delivering vigilante justice. I ran into a drug den in Fredericksburg Texas, the trail led me here, to Garcia. I'm guessing that's him?" I pointed towards what remained of the suited Hispanic man. The Brit nodded in confirmation.

I paused, recollecting what had just happened, and how I managed to lose my sense for what seemed like hours. "Judging by what just happened to me, and the way your, uh, friend here looks... I'm guessing there's something of the supernatural sort going on. Before you ask how I can tell, because I know you will, I've got a buddy in Warpath who had a bit of a demon problem a few days back. I wouldn't be able to tell you just what exactly is going on, but I know it's not of this world as it were."

Now that I had finished up my little spiel, I nodded to the Brit, cracking a wry grin. "And what'd your name be? Sam Spade?"

"Names have power, remember?" John said with a grin. He was in the process of lighting up a fresh cigarette, his first in nearly two hours. It felt so good to feel the fire in his lung, to blow smoke from his nostrils. There was nothing like smoking to make one feel alive. "But you can call me Sam Spade if it makes you feel better."

John snapped his fingers and the Saint disappeared in a flash of bright light. Now it was just the two of them amidst all the death and destruction.

"It's funny," he said as he reached into his jacket pocket. "You don't look like any of those nutters who wear capes. But I want to thank you for your help."

When John pulled his hand out of his jacket, it was empty. He waved it in the air and a tarot card appeared in the palm of his hands. He passed the card to Castle. It was a picture of a king sitting on a throne, a sword in hand. The words JUSTICE were at the bottom of the card. Scribbled across the card's face in red marker was the name and address of Martin Hidalgo.

"That's the man who made me come here today. He did so by threatening my friends and family. You'll find he's an even bigger fish than Garcia, the undisputed kingpin of Los Angeles."

John made eye contact with Castle before smirking.

"Long live the king, right?"
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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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“Don’t let the burns on the burns on the new uniform fool you Surfer. I’ve put you in your place once and trust me, I’m not in the mood so I’ll do it again with extreme prejudice.”

The Raft, New York

The Surfer regained his balance and looked towards the Flash. With the help of Superman, it had been Iris West that had “defeated” the Surfer the first time around. It had all been a ploy, of course, to test the limits of this world’s champions and to deliver the Surfer into the eager, waiting hands of SHIELD – had the Surfer not pulled his punches in their first fight this second challenge would never have happened.

And yet despite the Surfer’s best instincts, even his implacability seemed to falter as he looked towards the Flash. It wasn’t so much that his defeat at her hands had humbled him, but that the blow she had struck him with had managed to hurt him where nothing else had. She was a threat. One that needed to be eliminated.


With a burst of light, the Surfer had clamped onto the Flash by the wrist of her right hand. He was moving so quickly that the other heroes had barely grasped what was happening. He squeezed the wrist, bending it at will, as Iris screamed out in pain – but the Surfer was not done there. He placed a hand onto the Flash’s head and used the power cosmic to reach deep into her mind. The painful memories she was repressing were brought forth and deployed like weapons. Each a searing knife into her brain.


Iris crumpled in pain, her body exhausted from the mental assault that the Surfer had forced her to endure. The attack reached a sudden stop and the herald and costumed superhero began to move at a speed the others could comprehend. The Flash hung limply in the Surfer’s grasp. He spotted the others making a dash towards him and flung Iris’ weakened body in their direction and prepared once more for the melee.

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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by mickilennial
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mickilennial is trying to survive

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New York City, New York
Issue #2 Unseen Enemies

Surfer's attack on the Raft had attracted the attention of several others. It was a happening that Bekka regretted as the Surfer blocked her advanced by flinging one of the newcomers at her, his vehicle along with him. It was fast, but Bekka was trained in a collosseum alongside other gods, giving everything they had to impress Highfather. Speed was one of the things Bekka needed to be razor sharp to prevail as champion on over a dozen bouts; besting even her brother, Scott, on several occasions. Speed would be no issue above the walls of "The Raft".

The New Genesisian pressed her feet into the metal underneath her feet and launched herself upward, barely avoiding collision with the skull-faced creature that the Surfer had thrown at her.

By the time she centered herself in the air, the Surfer had charged another hero and rendered her unconscious as he flung her at the others. Such power was not one Darkseid had wielded when he purged New Genesis of all intelligent life; to think the tyrant had gathered power on such a scale was terrifying and for a second Bekka hesitated as she wondered how the surfer could be defeated. But Bekka couldn't afford the time to strategize in the current situation she was in. She had to act. With the twirl of the blade in her hand she charged downward with all of her might. She had to buy the other heroes time and even though she didn't know how to fight Darkseid's herald she wouldn't yield.

“What value does this planet have to Darkseid?!” She uttered as she attacked the Surfer.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by HenryJonesJr
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Catching the Flash out of midair, I'm knocked back onto the deck of the Raft.

This isn't going to work if we all take turns going after the Surfer. We may all have just met each other, but we need to work as a team if we're gonna have any chance. Don't know how that's going to work with the biker with a flaming skull for a head and blue Iron Man, but hey, we're going to have to try.

Wonder Woman doesn't change her strategy up. She charge the Surfer, brandishing her sword for a death strike. The fact that none of us have come even close to doing anything to the Silver Surfer, I feel like there's no way that's going to work. At least not when the Surfer's attention is squared completely on her.

Which means I have to do something.

I slide around to flank the servant of Darkseid, and notice a metal crate leftover from a supply drop at the raft in my peripheral vision. I fire two weblines at it, start to spin, and throw it like an Olympic discuss thrower at the back of the Surfer's board. Hopefully it finds its way home and throws him off balance and give Wonder Woman an opening.

I look at the skull guy and the blue guy, "Feel free to jump in any time!"
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Supermaxx
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Supermaxx dumbass

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Cowboys And Aliens: Issue #5

New York City, New York

Jaime Reyes found himself flying through a wall of solid concrete for what felt like the fifth time today. It shattered on contact with his armored body, sending him tumbling through it to the other side, where he was promptly buried in a pile of rubble, stone and rebar. He remained unmoving for several seconds, still reeling from what had just happened. He hadn't even had time to process it. He and the Spirit had descended on the Silver Surfer in a ball of flaming plasma and hellfire, moving so fast that the world around Jaime had looked like little more than sheets of color flying passed his head. Then he was...here. On the ground, his body screaming out in protest once more as his wounds reopened and blood leaked down his face inside of his mask.

"God, my head..." He groaned quietly, shoving away the heavy debris that covered him. The Surfer...he'd just deflected their attacks like it was nothing, hadn't he? The Spirit of Vengeance that Reyes had been hoping could match the likes of Superman had been tossed aside like a bag of rocks, used like a projectile against Wonder Woman. Even his own blast had been smacked away and redirected toward-

"Shit, shit- Spider-Girl!" The last thing he remembered seeing was a ball of hot plasma flying right for New York's resident superhero. He'd seen what that kind of thing could do to a human being before. If that hit her... "Please don't be dead." He rasped, his head on a swivel as he tried to find that white-and-black clad insect. "God damn it, I did not come up here to kill a superhero."

Thankfully she was quicker than she looked, and she managed to flip right out of the way without being turned into a pile of human gore and slag.

He was such an idiot. A total, complete, unredeemable idiot. How he could he have thought this was a good idea? How could he have possibly considered that he could stand up against the same guy that took The Flash and Superman to task? Vigilante was right. He was just a kid. He should've...he should've ran the moment they got here, and let the real heroes deal with the Surfer-

The Surfer. He was looming in the center of it all, his unblinking eyes direct right toward Jaime. They stared into his soul with an alien intensity, as if the thing could see right inside of him. And then...and then it spoke.

It spoke his name. Jaime Reyes, the sixteen year old that felt impossibly out of his depth, was called out by the conqueror by name. "W-what?" He froze where he lay, enraptured by the brief words the alien shared about him.

It said he was the most intriguing of all. It spoke of potential he never knew he had. Despite the fact that the woman that caught a plane and the man that dragged himself out of the depths of hell were but a few feet away, the Silver Surfer had said those words about Jaime.

Little Jaime Reyes, the boy that couldn't pass a Physics test to save his life. Jaime Reyes, the accidental murderer. Jaime Reyes, the child that had failed to beat a crippled man in a wheelchair. He was the one that held the alien's attention. It...it didn't make any sense. It clashed with every thought that had plagued Reyes's mind as he rode with Vigilante to confront the herald of Darkseid. And now it contradicted his own belief in his worthlessness.

It was a moment as captivating as it was terrifying.

And it was fleeting, too, as the Surfer turned to address the entire crowd of costumed and caped heroes that had come here to put the alien down once and for all. It cried out about the suffering of the world and the power Darkseid had to save them with such conviction and authority that Reyes almost believed it.

His attention was torn away by a sound like a roaring wind turbine coming up from behind them. A blur of red and yellow burst forth from the prison's entrance, coming to a halt in all of her wounded, heroic glory. Even with the new costume it was impossible to mistake the fastest woman alive for anyone else; the moment she had struck down the Silver Surfer had been broadcast across the world for everyone to see. Reyes had never expected to be present when those two clashed for a second time, and he found his heart pounding through his chest as he looked at the heroine, hope shining through the bleak shadow that their would-be destroyer cast around it.

"...Kick his sorry ass, Flash!" Were all the words he could get out before she started moving.

The two opponents became a blur of movement and thunderous noise as they kicked up a hurricane of wind around them, bits of dust flying in every direction. Even with the enhanced senses offered by the Scarab, Jaime had no idea what happened in that brief millisecond. He thought for that brief, tiny time frame that perhaps the Flash was winning-

Right up until he heard her bloodcurdling scream echo across the floating prison's courtyard. When the dust cleared and the blurs came to a stop, the Surfer was the only one left standing. He held the Flash's limp, unconscious form in his hand; there wasn't a scratch on him, and that same, uncaring look was plastered across his face.

One of the strongest heroes on the planet- half of the team that had taken down the Surfer the first time- was knocked out in the span of a blink, and she'd done no noticeable damage. It tossed the Flash aside like yesterday's trash, only for the Spider to catch her and set her down away from the action. All the hope Jaime felt building up in his chest was thrust into the sea and drowned in that split second, leaving him with nothing but a throbbing emptiness and a sense of overhanging dread. There goes their biggest gun.

"Give me all the juice you've got, Kha!"

Despite the fact that all of his instincts screamed to run, Jaime found himself shooting forward. It was almost like his legs moved of their own accord. Whether it was the wordless demand of the Scarab that drove him, the demand for assistance from the Spider or some kind of subconscious bravery, he couldn't know; all he knew was that he was moving very quickly toward the being that had knocked down the Flash with little effort. Wonder Woman was already descending on it, and Vigilante would hopefully be joining her in a moment. That left Jaime with an opening to try something he never had before.

He slapped both of his arms together, willing them to combine as they had when he formed the shield. As he had guessed, that same transformation worked with other weapons, too- including his plasma cannons. When stuck together, the barrels changed and morphed into one, much more menacing tool. The power that radiated from the massive piece of artillery was like nothing else Reyes had ever felt. He dug his feet deep into the ground to anchor himself in place, willing the cannon to power up.

"See if you can't keep him still!" Jaime called out. He waited for the weapon to ignite, watching intently to make sure he had an opening. He didn't want to blast Wonder Woman right in the chest, and now he knew that the Surfer could redirect his shots if he knew they were coming. If they could pin the guy down, maybe...maybe there was a chance...

"HEY, YOU BALD BASTARD!" Reyes roared, his finger itching to pull the trigger. "GET THE FUCK OFF MY PLANET!"
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by AndyC
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AndyC Guardian of the Universe

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"I don't understand this, Schott," I say, grappling with the one of Toyman's robots. "How are you doing this? Uploading a human consciousness into an artificial intelligence...it shouldn't be possible!"

Heat Vision doesn't seem to be working on these things, as the beams reflect off of a gleaming, almost transparent surface-- Schott must have coated them in some sort artificial diamond. These upgrade robots, far more powerful than the ones that attacked me when the Toyman debuted, must have cost a fortune.




One of the drones gets behind me, hooking my arms. A second slams a fist into my gut, and I double over, fighting the urge to vomit.






"Luthor?" I say, wrenching my right arm free--and tearing the drone's arm off in the process. "So he's behind this?"

Lex Luthor has been fomenting public opinion against me ever since I arrived, with his own books and public appearances, and through funding the media company he owns, the Galaxy News Network, which hires that clown G. Gordon Godfrey. I've always known he's had it out for me, but I never imagined he'd take it this far. After all, LexCorp primarily deals with things like telecommunications, data storage, home electronics, that sort of thing. What does he stand to benefit from spending what must be hundreds of millions of dollars on some sort of false-flag terrorist attacks?





My world? Could he mean.....


The ship. The one Ma and Pa found me in all those years ago. We'd always assumed the government confiscated it, hid it in an underground bunker somewhere, in some classified SHIELD facility or something. If Lex Luthor was able to get his hands on it, though.....well, that would explain how LexCorp hardware is so much more advanced than his competitors.













"That's what this is all about?!" I say with a grunt as I smash my knee into the head of one of the drones. "Creating a phony super-villain, attacking the city dozens of times, killing people and endangering God knows how many, just so Lex Luthor can sell some merchandise?!"

The awful, digitized voice of the Toyman lets out a cackle that rattles my eardrums.











Another drone cracks a fist across my jaw. I stagger backwards, then charge in retaliation, tackling it to the ground and pummeling it with rapid-fire punches before two more drag me off of it.









I break free from the drones' grip, grab the back of their heads in each hand, and smash them together. With a burst of sparks and shrapnel, they collapse to the ground.

That takes care of his toy soldiers. It looks like Batman's dealt with his threats, too.

"It's over, Toyman," I say, dusting myself off, "Whatever this 'intelligence' is, we'll make sure Luthor never gets the chance to wake it up. After we're done taking you apart."



The ghastly marionette face of the Toyman puppet disappears from the wall of monitors, followed by flashing images of various Gotham City landmarks.




The images of Gotham are replaced by other images. Pictures of a map, first, showing the distance between two points on the Eastern Seaboard.....

...then a picture of a sign. MOUNTAIN VIEW BASE. WAYNE, NEW JERSEY.

.....then images of a military base. Hum-Vees, men in uniform. Radar towers. Antennae.

Flashing alarm lights.

A large, flat concrete slab on the ground, slowly sliding away to reveal a huge circular hole in the ground.






Blueprints flash across the screen again.

Diagrams of a missile. Of a high-end nuclear warhead.

Then back to flashing images of Gotham City.

"Oh my God," I say, the color draining from my face. "You can't--"






The image switches back to the concrete slab and the hole in the ground, before something erupts from the hole--the underground silo-- in a flash of bright orange flame and white smoke.

"NO!" I shout, rushing towards the monitors, tempted to smash them to bits in my panic and rage. I hold myself back at the last split-second, and I turn to Batman.

"See if you can shut him down from here," I say, practically barking out orders. "I'm going to see if I can't redirect that missile, at least get it out over the ocean instead of the city."

"And if you can't get away before it goes off?"

"Tell Lois Lane--.....well, I think she already knows," I say, before I take off, shooting up through the hole I'd made in the Stagg Enteprises building and into the night sky, on a collision course with the missile now heading towards the city.

I'd really rather not think about what happens if I can't redirect the warhead, or if I can't get away in time. But I've got no other choice.

Besides, it's like Lois said-- bumps and scratches and certain death all come with the job.
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Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Hound55
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Hound55 Create-A-Hero RPG GM, Blue Bringer of BWAHAHA!

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A bitter twilight Chicago wind.

An active police presence.

A drifter’s anxiety.

The transformation.


Marlene came in over the secure channel. The helicopter’s radio had police scanner’s but Spector was yet to make a complete list of police codes, and the “Animal Control” coding they’d been using was obscure and perhaps not the best way of labelling a murderous beast which was normally a man.

“News has just put it on now. He’s running through Lincoln Park now. Am I still coming through cleanly?”

“Clear as a bell, Marlene.” Moon Knight replied.

“Lincoln Park? ETA Eight minutes.”

“Eight minutes?”

“Yes, it shouldn’t take long for me to swing it around and land this bi--”

“What’s the wind like?”

Jean Paul tapped a dial. “Northwest 12 and a half knots, why?”

Jean Paul DuChamp turned to find Spector kicking a rope ladder out the portal entrance. Before sliding open the side door and holding it from closing.

“Stay close and circle ‘round!” Moon Knight yelled over the rushing open air. He threw his French friend a salute with his free hand. And received one in kind before throwing himself from the chopper.

“What’s happening up there?” Marlene asked.

“He just threw himself out of my helicopter at skyscraper altitude. I’m trying to tell if he’s an imbecile or insane.”

“Marc. Marc! Steven?! What are you doing!”

The Moon Knight spread his glider cape billowing out and caught a huge gust of swift Chicago wind, sending him soaring, before he restricted his cape and gained greater control of his glide.

“I’m riding the winds. Every minute could mean more lives.”

“Are you alright? Jean Paul said that you were--”

“He’s fine, Marlene. He actually regained some altitude for a while there. I can confirm that he’s not being an imbecile…”

“I can hear you, Frenchie. We’re all on the same channel.”

“I know.”

For a few seconds he pulled all of his cape to his sides and torpedoed down towards the ground again. With his arms close to his body he pulled crescent darts from their place and ensured he was gripping them comfortably between fingers for quick use before regaining control of his glider cape. Spreading it wide to slow his descent.

“Good news is, I have darts prepared. Bad news is, I can’t glide and throw at the same time.”


“So with the wolf in the park this time, I think I’m going to have little option besides close quarters combat. The environment isn’t as favourable. It’s also a Hell of a lot stronger than I am.”

“Do you think you can beat it?”

“I’m gonna have to.”

“Marc?” Marlene asked, more pleading for reason to come than with any real question.

“I handled him last time. I just don’t have the same advantages this time.” Moon Knight seemed to be trying to convince himself.

“Marc?” She was firmer this time.

“Yeah. He’s stronger but he’s an unthinking animal. No strategy or tactics. I have weaponry. I’ll probably beat it, but I’ll be thinking on the fly.” He answered honestly. Too honestly. There was little comfort in his words.

One hundred feet. He spied the werewolf just ahead, an easy target with a local news network’s helicopter shining a spotlight on it as it ran through the park.

“Marlene, he will be fine. I’ve fought with many of the Western world’s finest soldiers and Marc is one of the best.”

Fifty feet.

Marc spread the cape wide once more and in a swooping arc, barely missed the ground and rose up again, where he quickly dropped the cape and somersaulted. Launching both crescent darts deep into it’s back. The werewolf arched it’s back in a howl of pain, only for the Moon Knight to drop both boots into it’s head and kick off, launching back into a second somersault, before landing in a three-point stance several metres away.

Marc reached for fresh crescent darts. He scanned the werewolf’s face for signs of recognition in its eyes. Whether it would be from the wolf or the human trapped within.

All he saw was a primal rage.

He flung a dart and the werewolf raised its arm and took it in the forearm as it charged. It flinched sharply in discomfort but never stopped rushing. He threw more darts but still it came. His hand dropped to the holster for his truncheon and he thrust it between the beast’s jaws and delivered as hard a right as he could muster into its throat.

There was no give. It was like punching a steel girder covered in a dog pelt.

It thrashed with a claw and tore a sizeable hole through his cape. Moon Knight changed tack and threw his torn cape over the werewolf and tried to strangle it.

This was a huge mistake. It amounted something not-too-dissimilar from trying to fight a honey badger in a sack. In close quarters teeth and claw thrashed everywhere. Carbonadium armour was scratched and in places rended. Out of desperation he regathered the truncheon and fired a grapple line around a distant tree trunk, buying him a little space.

But he wouldn’t be able to make too many more mistakes like that again. He pulled more crescent darts and hurled them into the beast’s chest and limbs. These and the truncheon seemed to have the most effect. Range was his friend.

The Moon Knight was starting to tire, muscles burning, but under the weight of silver the werewolf was starting to slow.

The werewolf made yet another limping charge, and the Moon Knight faced him down. Clubbing it with his silver truncheon multiple times, and then hurling even more crescent darts into its back. The werewolf turned and used it’s full weight to just lean on him and knock him off his feet. Out of desperation Moon Knight grabbed one of its back legs, to prevent it from dropping on him and mauling him with those front claws and thrashing teeth and that’s when he saw it.

A big bare patch in its fur on one of its hind legs. And the serial number etched in luminous green ink.

Black vans roared into the park. Too many for the wolf unless they planned to cart it out in sections.

Grant sensed the werewolf itself may have also been in need of its own brand of vengeance. Who would fight for the beast? Three nights a month it would be something that would bring terror and wreak havoc, but what of the man within?

Grant fought the beasts, without and within. Spector just wanted to beat this creature down for the innocents claimed and then take it to any in the black vans as well. Grant quelled it with a query: “How many lives have we taken?”

Spector fell sullen and quiet. He loathed when Grant would do this. Manipulate with guilt. But all the while it worked. After all, how could one so want for Vengeance deny the empathy others must feel for it?

He rolled over onto the haunch, breaking the wolf’s leg with a whimper.

“Frenchie, emergency Evac!”

A hand swept inside of his cape and he drew crescent darts. With a sharp snap of the wrist he flung them into the black vans tires. He clubbed the werewolf into unconsciousness and threw it over his shoulder.

Men with firearms ran from the vans in their direction. Spector and Grant looked to the sky. Reaching out for the final grasp at the month’s full moon.

They caught its lifeline. the Moon Knight grabbed the ladder. Hooked an arm and a leg through and then took flight. The wind caught his cape and billowed out. Guns fired, but couldn’t find the pair behind the immense white target.

He felt the werewolf’s chest heaving through his shoulder’s armour plating. It’d live. It wouldn’t like what came next as he’d have to extract the crescent darts. But it would live.

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Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by DocTachyon
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DocTachyon Teenage Neenage Neetle Teetles

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”The Ranchero of Miracle Mesa” - Glitter And Gold: Part Six

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


New York City, New York --- The Raft Prison Island

”Kid!” Jaime was all Vigilante could think about as he was blasted off of his bike, flying past Wonder Woman and smashing through a six inch concrete wall. Pain was everywhere, but already he could feel the presence of the Spirit, hellfire stitching together the fractures in his bones as if they’d never been there at all. Vigilante hauled himself out of the rubble and looked side to side to survey the damage.

It was like a thing outta some wartime comic book. Wonder Woman was launchin’ through the air like a regular Captain America, n’ the Spider-Lady snatching the fastest woman alive outta’ the air. The Surfer hung in the sky like a malevolent God, waiting to pass his judgement. But then there was Jaime, clawing his way out of the rubble, one piece at a time. He was supposed to have gotten clean outta’ there after the jump. He should’ve-could’ve…. He was here now, and that meant protecting him.

Vigilante’s bike lay sandwiched in a pile of twisted metal and concrete, he rushed for it, shoving aside the huge slab of stone like a kid’s toy. He jammed his hand into the saddle bags and produced two pistols, blazing black with hellfire. Jaime was on his feet now, recombobulating his hands into some kinda fuckoff giant laser. He was gonna fire on The Surfer.

The Surfer was… God, he hadn’t even had a moment to think about the measure of his power. He’d smacked him n’ Jaime aside like they were children gettin’ too rowdy in the playpen. An alien superweapon n’ an agent of what might as well have been the devil himself, knocked over like a row of dominoes.

I ain’t much given to askin’ for help… But how do we stop him?

There was a silence in his head as Vigilante righted his bike.

I do not know… What do you always say? Shoot it until it stops moving?

”I can do that.” Vigilante said aloud. He mounted his bike and the engine roared, he screamed off into the distance, making long circles of The Raft. He took his pistol in one hand and lariat in the other.

”Hey ugly! You and me r’ gonna mix!” Vigilante shouted, gunning the throttle, pushing the engines as hard as he could go and keeping his turns tight around the arena. Hopefully he’d be too fast to get tagged -- n’ too distracting for the Surfer to even think about touching Jaime.

”See if you can't keep him still!”

”You heard the kid! Let’s get ‘im tied!” Vigilante took aim with his pistol, and black bullets coated in fire started pinging off his metal exterior. Maybe they weren’t doin much to hurt him, but hopefully the distraction’d pay off. He threw his lariat high into the sky, looping it around the Surfer’s ankle and tugging with everything he had.
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