1 Guest viewing this page
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Simple Unicycle
Avatar of Simple Unicycle

Simple Unicycle ?

Member Seen 1 day ago


8:41 PM; July 4th, 2018
The Royal Palace Hotel; New York City

I sat in my car, looking out at the entrance to the Royal Palace hotel. "Dave, I'm gonna need you to get me the guest list for the Royal Palace."

"Wait, what? What the hell happened to waiting until tomorrow?"

"Change of plans."

I heard him sigh through the other end of the line. "... Fuck it, fine. Want me to send the list to your phone?"

"Just look through it, see if you can find any people that are linked to organized crime. Preferably, see if you can find Nicky Francesco." My grip on the phone tightened as I said the name.

"Fine." I heard the telltale sound of a keyboard clicking as Dave typed away. After a moment, he said "Hey, y'know, since you're gonna start going by a cool name and shit, I should probably get one too, right?"

I sighed. I was just kidding about the name thing, really, but what the hell? Might as well humor him. "Alright, fine, you're Hacker."

"What? That's fucking lame. How about... How about Microchip? You can call me Micro for short."

"That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

"Screw you, Frank, I like it."

There really was no winning with him. "Fine, to hell with it, you're Microchip. Now, Micro, you find anything?"

"Well, as-yet-unnamed-vigilante-man, I did. We've got seven guys linked to Manfredi staying in the hotel. One of them is Francesco. Rooms are 211, 219, 305, 308, 607, 612, and 701. Francesco's in 219."

"Got it," I moved to hang up the phone, but was stopped by Dave telling me to wait. "What is it?"

"It's not gonna be easy. I think Manfredi's anticipating your arrival. I dug up the guard postings, and there's guards all over the place in there."

"Thanks for the heads up. That all?"

"Yeah, that's all. Be careful, Frank."

"Since when was I ever careful?" Before he has a chance to reply, I hang up. I get out of the car and head to the trunk, popping it open and pulling out my Glocks and four additional clips. Sticking the pistols into my shoulder holsters hidden beneath my jacket, I slam the trunk closed and head into the lobby.

Manfredi must be a fan of the classics, because as I enter the hotel I hear the sounds of some oldies song echoing through speakers set up near the ceiling on either side of the room. The receptionist gives me a bored look, simply watching me as I walk through the lobby and head into the elevator. I hit the button for the second floor, intent on paying my old 'friend' Nicky a visit.

The elevator door opens, revealing a long hallway leading down to another elevator. A cart, presumably for room service, sits at the other end of the hall, near Francesco's room. Eight guards, all in suits and carrying revolvers openly, stand throughout the room. Looks like Dave wasn't kidding. Without making eye contact, I continue on through down the hall, stopping at 219. Taking in a breath, I knock on the door.

"Who is it?" It's him on the other end of the door, obviously. He sounds out of breath, and a bit annoyed. I don't want to know what he was doing on the other side.

"Room service."

"The hell? I didn't order any room service."

"Compliments of Mr. Manfredi."

"Look, could you come back later? Kinda in the middle of something."

This was pissing me off. I should just kick in the door and shoot him until he doesn't even resemble a human being anymore. Just keep your cool, Frank. The guards could gun you down before you had a second to react if you did anything stupid.

"I insist, sir. I'll be in and out before you know it."

He sighs in defeat. Good. "... Fine, gimme a second." I hear him walk away, and as he approaches the door again hear the sound of a belt being buckled. He opens the door slightly to get a look at me, and freezes when he sees my face. Not wasting another second, I kick the door, sending him on his ass. I pull one of my Glocks out of my holsters, pull back the slide, and level it at his head...


As the sound of the gunshot fades I hear music, yet another oldie (do all these mobster types like doo-wop music?) and the screams of a woman, looking down at the corpse of her lover while frantically covering herself up with a blanket. I turn and walk out of the room while pulling my other pistol out of its holster, prepared to meet the guards head-on.

They all seem dumbfounded as they see me exiting the room, Francesco's blood on my face and two pistols in my hands. They recover quickly, pulling out their guns and firing, but I duck to the side and crouch behind the room service cart. They continue firing at me, and I fire over the cover at them. I do hear one of them shout in pain, but I don't hear any of them drop. That's when a stupid idea hits me...

Why don't I ride the cart?

Without thinking twice about it, I push the cart and hop onto it, firing at anything that moves. It's such a ridiculous, action movie kind of move that the guards are almost too dumbfounded to fire back... Almost. I take a hit to the shoulder, making me drop one of my Glocks, but I keep firing with the other one until there's nothing left to fire at.

As the dust settles, I get off the cart and walk back to pick up my other Glock, wincing as I roll my shoulder. Shit, wasn't a clean penetration. I'd have to hope Dave's basic medical knowledge extended to removing bullets. Reloading the empty pistol in my left hand, I head to the other room with one of Manfredi's mobsters, kicking in the door and finding the guy with earbuds in his ear, having been oblivious to the sounds of people getting murdered outside his room.

I tap his shoulder, and he turns around, looking confused. I raise the Glock and shoot him in the face, sending his brains all over the wall. Two down, five to go. I head out of the room and back to the elevator. I check the clip of the Glock I didn't reload; 9 shots, coupled with the seventeen in the full one. There will be anywhere from eight to ten guards on the next floor, and little to no cover.

I look up at the grate that opens up to the roof of the elevator. I push it off, hit the button to the third floor, then climb up onto the top of the elevator. Not a moment too soon, because as soon as the doors open, gunfire explodes and bullets strike the elevator wall. For once in my life, I made a smart move; how out of character of me.

I hear a few guards enter the elevator, guns at the ready. I aim the half empty Glock into the elevator and fire until the clip is empty. Peeking into it, I see that I managed to kill the four that had entered. Reloading the pistol, I drop down, guns at the ready.

Five more guards are in the hallway, firing at me as I duck and roll to narrowly avoid their shots. I come to halt on my knees, firing at them with detached, routine precision. I was getting used to this; I wasn't exactly a cowboy cop throughout my time on the force, in fact I had only had to use my gun three or four times in the eight years I had spent on it, but the surge of adrenaline one felt as they slaughtered their enemies without taking a scratch ('Well, most of the time,' I thought as I felt the throbbing from the bullet in my shoulder) was... Empowering.

Clearing out the other floors went the same as the last two; get in, shoot everyone who gets in my way, kick in a door and kill a mobster, move onto the next floor. This wasn't about revenge anymore. It wasn't about bringing them to justice. It was about punishment.

As I walked through the hallway of the seventh floor past the bloodstained corpses I had left in my wake, having executed the last poor bastard on my list, I heard a strained coughing sound of a wounded man to my left. I looked and saw a heavily injured guard, holding a hand against a wound in his shoulder. "W-who..." he began to choke out, "... Who are you?"

Dave had said I needed a kickass codename. So I gave the man one.

"You can call me..."
"The Punisher."

Without another word, I left the hotel, walking out to my car as the frightened receptionist (having no doubt heard the gunshots ringing throughout the building) watched on in terror, ducked behind her desk.

10:23 PM; July 4th, 2018
David Lieberman's House; New York City

The TV played a news report covering my antics at the Royal Palace. "This is Ben Urich reporting for ABC7, live from the Royal Palace hotel in downtown Manhattan where a gunfight broke out between a lone man and the hotel's security guards. The receptionist states that an Asian man in his late twenties entered the hotel and went into the elevator. Not long after, she heard gunshots. The firefight lasted for approximately fifteen minutes, and resulted in a bodycount of 41, counting multiple guests that were executed as well.

"All the guests killed were connected or rumored to be connected to the criminal underworld of New York City. The sole survivor of the security guards, who wishes to go unnamed, said that the perpetrator called himself 'the Punisher'. This points towards vigilantism as the perpetrator's motive, but the police have said they are not ruling out that it may have been a criminal hit.

"The NYPD urges anyone who may have information on 'the Punisher's' whereabouts to come forward. This has been Ben Urich speaking for ABC7. Back to you in the studio, Jim."
With that, Dave picked up the remote and turned the TV off, before focusing on cleaning my wound.

"Looks like you're famous. Let's hope to Christ the police can't come up with a decent composite sketch from the witnesses."

"They won't," I reply, hissing a bit as he cleans the wound with rubbing alcohol.

"Don't be a pussy..." he pauses. "... Punisher."

I was waiting for him to mention that. "You got your wish. I'm a bonafide superhero now." I chuckle slightly.

"Punisher though? That sounds really edgy."

"Fuck off. You're the one who named yourself after your dick, Micro."

"Oh, I'm sorry, did you just insult the man who's patching you up? Maybe you'd be fine with going to a hospital, where they ask questions."

"Fine, fine, I take it back."

"Well, at least you went with something that 'strikes fear into the hearts of criminals' or whatever it was."

"You got that right."

After that, things fell silent, Dave focusing on bandaging the wound. "Alright, you're in the clear Mr. Castle. Want a lollipop for being such a brave boy?"

"Oh, yes please Mr. Doctor sir." I sit up and throw on my shirt. The two of us laugh, Dave moving to get us a couple of beers from the kitchen.

When he comes back, he tosses one to me, plopping down in his recliner and popping his open. Taking a drink from it, he sighs. "Pretty fucking crazy though. Killed 41 dudes and you only took a bullet to the shoulder in the process. Death incarnate, you are."

"Something like that," I say, taking a drink from my own beer. "41 more for the guy downstairs."

He gives a snort of laughter. "Right, right, doing the devil's work for him and all that shit."

"I'm not gonna get preachy about it."

"Hey, maybe you should take the 'righteous warrior of god' approach. Spout off something about being the ultimate good striking down the wicked, that kinda shit."

"As if. I'm just gonna keep showing up and shooting the bad guys without saying anything. No need to be all bombastic about it."

"Yeah, yeah." He finishes his beer, sitting up and letting out a yawn. "I'm gonna hit the sack. Feel free to crash on the couch if you want."

I nod. "Will do, thanks." He heads off to his bedroom, shutting the lights off along the way, and I sprawl out across the couch. After a moment of tossing and turning to get comfortable, I close my eyes, and fall into a dreamless sleep.
9x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Sep
Avatar of Sep

Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

Member Seen 18 hrs ago



Iris hit the accept button on her phone as she raised it to her ear. “What’s up Barry?”

She could hear sirens and shouting the second she picked up, and concern flushed through her. “Iris, get to city hall. Now.”

A streak of red and yellow crossed the city as she headed for City Hall. The call Barry had placed ended mere seconds after he had told her to get to city hall, as such she suited up and was gone before Harrison Wells could even tell her that she should stay rather than run off on some half baked heroics. Her arm had yet to fully heal, damage to it could cause it to break again and then she’d have to start the whole healing process again, and while it didn’t take her long to heal it wasn’t exactly a pleasant process and there was no telling what kind of long term damage it could do to have her arm broken twice in two days.

She arrived at City Hall to find the area in chaos. Police had cordoned off the stairs up to the hall itself, from what she had gathered from her friend Linda Park from work there had been a murder in the hall, which was what Barry had been called away for the day before. Today the police were holding people back as members of S.W.A.T were disembarking from their vans, loading their weapons as they nervously eyed the hall. Thinking of her day job Iris quickly took her phone out of her pocket, snapped a photograph and then ran passed the cordons

As she entered the building she stopped for a second to get a read of the room, forensic equipment lay around the room. Everything was soaking wet and covered in water, as if the sprinkler system had went off. If it had why? More importantly who had turned it off? She did a quick scan of the bottom floor, nobody home. Moving upstairs to the second floor it was the same deal, it was as if the entire building was abandoned. Hearing a scream she ran to the top floor, bursting through the door of the mayor's office. That’s where she saw… him.

In one corner of the room lay the mayor along with what was likely a handful of aides as well as several police officers, while the man was standing over Barry and a blonde girl she didn’t recognise. Halfway up the man's arm, it changed to water which appeared to be streaming through the blonde girls nose and likely to her longs. Her face told the story of the pain she was going through, as her entire body shook in agony.

“TELL ME! Where is he?!”

It appeared that in his haste to find out where ‘he’ was, that the man hadn’t noticed her entrance. Still, she didn’t know what this guy could do so just running in and punching him could make things worse. “Why don’t you pick on someone more your own speed-” She regretted the pun, the second it came out of her mouth “-let the hostages go. We can talk about this, and find out what it is you’re needing.”

The blonde dropped to the floor as his arm pulled back and resolidified into an actual arm. The blonde started to cough and sputter as Barry caught her in his arms before cradling her, she felt her heart skip a beat as he watched him delicately brush her hair to the side. She shook her head, now wasn’t the time to be jealous of Barry being a kind human being.

“Why don’t you start with your name?”

He started to walk towards her. “Names Hydro-man, and what’s going on here is none of your business Little Lady.” He pushed his hands out, as a torrent of water came rushing towards her.

4x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Byrd Man
Avatar of Byrd Man

Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

Member Seen 9 hrs ago

Bel Air
7:00 AM

Detective Charlie Rembrandt slowly slid open the window of the study with his gloved hands. Ray stood behind him, watching while Epiphany sat on the ground, cross-legged with her eyes closed. Rembrandt pulled out a penknife and cut the screen so that he and Ray could climb through. He made it easily, but Ray needed a boost to fit through the opening.

“Can you feel anything?” Charlie asked once they were both in the study.

The study looked to Charlie like a movie version of a study. Expensive wooden floors, an even more expensive wooden desk, tall shelves crammed with books. Books that Rembrandt was sure had never been touched by their owner. He yielded to Ray, who looked sorely out of place in his Slayer t-shirt and jeans. Ray paced through the study, his eyes shut in concentration.

“There,” he said, pointing a pudgy finger towards a shelf of books. "It's distant, but I can feel something."

Charlie walked over, flexing his nitrate gloved fingers as he went. On the third shelf was a nondescript hardback book labelled “CHICAGO” He pulled it from the shelves, having to use two hands to offset the heftiness.

“It’s metal,” he said as he walked it towards the desk.

He dropped it on the surface of the desk. It made a solid thump. It looked like a hardcover book, but thick metal was where the pages should have been. A neat little keyhole was in the middle. Charlie reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a set of lockpicks and a rake.

“Hey,” said Ray. “Quick question: Why the fuck does a cop had a set of picks?”

“The short story is it’s none of your business.”

“And the long story?”

“Long story? It’s none of your fucking business.”

Charlie shucked off his sports coat and passed it to Ray before he started in on the lock with the pick and rake.


“... so she lifts up her dress, and she says, 'You’re Thor? Well, I’m tho thor I can hardly pith!'”

John looked between Jimmy the Saint and Henry Grigoriyan, neither man cracking so much as a smile. John scowled and took a long drag off his cigarette.

“What do you fucking American bastards know about comedy?”

“Jimmy,” said Grigoriyan. “Kill this man.”

“I don’t think so,” said John, putting both palms in the air. “And I think Jimmy knows he can’t kill me.”

“There’s something there,” said the Saint. “I felt it when he dropped his cloaking spell. It’s protective, but ill-defined. I can' tell how powerful it is.”

“I have people vested in my interest,” said John, flicking ashes on the kitchen’s marble counter. “Powerful people. It’s no so much as they care about my well-being, and more so that they are afraid to let me die. I know things.”

“You know who he is with?” asked Grigoriyan. “People who have changed the histories of entire nations. You fuck with them, then you are a dead man.”

“I know all about your lot,” John said with a look towards Jimmy. “But, his guild is a lot like of hardcore magi. It’s all bound by a bunch of rules. Like for instance, the contract you two signed. For all your powers, Jimmy, you still got to jump when Grigoriyan says to. He has power over you. You can't hurt him and you can't refuse him as long as he doesn't order you to kill yourself. Powerful, yes, but so fucking boring. I know all about how you and your kind do business.”

Constantine flashed a smile.

“That’s why I’ve come to bargain.”


Ray looked over his shoulder out the window. Epiphany was still on the ground, her back towards him, her hands raised and frozen in mid-signal. E. wasn’t like Constantine when it came to casting. She was above Ray, but still on the amateur side. The only reason Jimmy the Saint had yet to figure them out was because of John running interference.

“Got it,” Rembrandt said, the pop of the lockbox following.

Charlie lifted the top of the lockbox and he and Ray looked in. The only item inside was a folded piece of paper. Ray could feel power on the paper. It was slight, a simple protection charm for the unaware, but even he could disable it.

But then Rembrandt reached out with his gloved hands and picked it up.

“No,” Ray shouted.

The second Rembrandt’s fingers touched it, he shot back and collapsed to the floor. He could smell a bitter sulfur scent wafting off Rembrandt. The gloved hand that had touched the paper was glowing red. Ray cursed and quickly disarmed the protection spell. With the coast clear, he picked the paper up and bent down over Rembrandt.

“You okay.”

“Fuck,” Charlie said softly. “That was like getting tased in the face or some shit”

“Let’s hope that’s the worst of it,” said Ray. "If you start breaking out into boils then we're going to be in trouble."

Ray opened the paper up and scanned it. Behind him, Rembrandt stood on shaky legs and wiped sweat from his brow.

“Is it what we need?” asked Charlie.

“Yeah. Get your phone out and text John.”


“Armenian Hank here cancels his contract with the guild, and Jimmy scampers back to wherever the fuck it is the guild live. Wisconsin, maybe? I got a copper mate who would love to nick you, but it would be hard as hell since all the evidence is magic based. Anyway, Hank here goes back to using conventional means to run his grubby little drugs business. Old Bill will eventually catch him, but that’s the nature of things. Nothing gold can last, yeah?”

"In exchange?" Jimmy asked.

"I let the two of you walk away and in good health."

As annoyed as the Saint’s face was, Gregoriyan’s was positively livid. His face was already in the process of turning beet red.

“Fuck you,” he roared. “I do not care whose protection you are under, you do not come into this home and dictate to me. Jimmy, kill this bitch. Make his fucking body burn.”

John let out a sigh as Jimmy started to make hand signals. He was preparing to counter the spells, but the notification chirp on his phone caused him to break out in a big smile. He reached into his coat and pulled out the phone, reading the text message.

“James Phillip Smalley,” he said.

The Saint’s jaw dropped open, the spell he was in the process of casting forgotten.

“See, that's why I prefer my type of magic to yours,” said John. “Good ole stage magic has never let me down or bitten me in the arse. I can preform a sleight of hand trick with the best of them. While I was prattling away here with the two of you, three of my mates were busy on the other side of the house. Can you feel them, James?"

"Yes," Jimmy hissed. "Another goddamn cloaking spell."

"Not a good one, but good enough thanks to me keeping you occupied. Like I said, James, you’re bound by rules. That contract you signed with Hank here, it has your real name on it. That’s what gives him power of you. Well, James my boy, now I know your real name.”

Constantine began to trace something in the air with the smoke of his cigarette. Suddenly, Jimmy cried out in pain and gripped his left arm. He fell to his knees while Constantine stared at Gregoriyan.

“Names have power,” said John, a broad grin on his face. “Like making you feel immense pain, heart attack type pain without the actual heart attack. I wonder what I can do with your name, Hank. I'm sorry Haygaz Garo Gregoriyan. If you don't take my deal, then you're about to fucking find out.”
12x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by AndyC
Avatar of AndyC

AndyC Guardian of the Universe

Member Seen 20 hrs ago


"--panic in the streets of Midtown Metropolis, as dozens of--"

"--several severe injuries, but so far no actual loss of life has been--"

"--appear to be drones of some sort, though their exact nature--"

"--troops from the nearby Fort Hamilton are being mobilized to try and contain--"

"--reasons for attacking Superman are still unclear, but some are speculating this is--"
"And you saw where they went?" asked Lois Lane, grunting as she bore the weight of an injured police officer, whose name she'd gotten as Scott Laughlin. The young man in dark blue leaned on her for support as he hobbled on one good leg away from the smoking wreckage of his overturned squad car.

Clouds of dust still hung in the air, the ground littered with chunks of upturned asphalt and granules of shattered glass. Car alarms blared, echoing off the steel and concrete canyons of the Midtown district, various sirens trailing off in the distance. Over the noise, there was a dull boom every few seconds, like someone shooting off fireworks, or artillery.

"Yeah, they-- *nh!*" Officer Laughlin winced as he put too much weight on his crushed right foot, "three of four of them jumped him, then started dragging him down 23rd. Looked like they were trying to smash him into the side of Ellsworth General."

"The hospital?" Lois asked, taken aback. When Superman first arrived on the scene, and the first crop of 'super-villains' had started popping up to draw him out into a fight, many believed that the city would be ruined beyond repair, that people would flee in droves when faced with the threat of metahuman violence. But people are surprisingly good at adapting to new situations, and the citizens of Metropolis had quickly become accustomed to what to do in order to stay safe. It reminded Lois a lot of people out in the Midwest whose homes were in the heart of Tornado Alley-- get to the basement or the lower floors, stay away from any doors and windows, take cover near a structural support, and wait for the whole thing to blow over. Livewire, the Bulleteers, the Parasite, they were all frightening, but once Superman was on the scene, all you had to do was keep your head down and wait for the all-clear.

Still, not even a monster like the Atomic Skull was inhuman enough to attack a hospital.

"Was anyone hurt?" She asked.

"Don't think so," Laughlin answered as they started descending the staircase to the relative safety of a subway entrance. "Superman pulled himself up just enough so they just clipped the roof. Kicked up a big cloud of dust, and I lost them after that."

As Lois sat the officer down on a bench, she glanced back up to the sky, pursing her lips with concern. She was worried about all the people in harm's way, of course-- the further across town the fight went, the more people were potentially in danger. She was also worried about Clark-- he was unbelievably strong, sure, and so far he'd been able to take everything that had been thrown at him, but he'd never taken on this many opponents at once, and even if no single one of them had enough firepower to hurt him, over time they might be able to wear him down and overwhelm him.

In the immediate moment, though, she was concerned about what shape her moped was in. It was a cheesy-looking little thing, an aluminum frame covered in flimsy purple plastic that looked like it would fall apart if you looked at it the wrong way, but it had great battery-life and was surprisingly zippy for an electric motor. More importantly, when an impending disaster put traffic into a gridlock and froze up the subway system, it could still get her wherever the action was.

"Are you going to be all right?" she asked the Officer Laughlin, antsy to give chase to the story.

"Yeah," he answered with a grunt as he favored his foot. "I'll radio to dispatch, get them to send someone to pick me up."

"Mind giving me a quote, then?" she followed, pulling an old hand-held voice recorder from the pocket of her jacket. Now that no one in the immediate area was in danger, she could get to work.

"Yeah," he sneered. "Tell Superman he owes me a new squad car. And if he catches the guy who built those robots, then he owes me a beer and we'll call it even."

Lois thanked Laughlin, made a few notes into her recorder as the outline of her story began to form, then turned her attention upward as an annoying buzzing sound began to grow louder and closer. Swooping and strafing back and forth over the area, a small quad-copter, about the size of a dinner plate, flitted through the air like a hummingbird. Back up on the street, she knew that not too far away was Jimmy Olsen with his controller, flying his drone with all the enthusiastic abandon of a hyper-caffeinated twelve-year-old yet always finding just the right angle to aim the drone's small but powerful camera.
"I've got all the useful shots I can get from here, Miss Lane!" Jimmy called down the stairs to Lois. "Busted windows, a couple of flipped cars, some good-samaritan shots of folks getting each other to safety, the usual. Coming up on ten thousand hits on our newsfeed already, but we're gonna lose followers if we don't get some shots of the big guy himself!"

He'd gushed about the camera-drone for days after spending most of his life savings on it, and most of the technical jargon sailed right past Lois, but its big selling point was the new LexOS-enabled onboard wireless modem that allowed it to upload shots to the Planet's newsfeed instantly. Already hopelessly addicted to the stream of likes and follows from the general public, Jimmy made himself the Planet's de facto social-media expert, making sure they stayed ahead of the competition in whatever ways he could. Sometimes that meant drawing attention to Ron Troupe's thought-provoking editorials, or to Cat Grant's trendy fashion articles. Usually, these days, it meant pictures of Superman, and nobody in the world could get better pictures of Superman in action than Jimmy Olsen. Lois suspected that Clark did it on purpose, but what Jimmy didn't know wouldn't hurt him.

"I'm good here," Lois responded, hurrying back up the stairs to the street where Jimmy waited for her. "We're gonna need to get moving if we want to catch up to the action. And that starts with figuring out where they went."

"Already on that," Jimmy said with a smirk, glancing up to his camera drone. "I flew little Lucy up above rooftop level for a bit to see if I could track them. Right now they're on the Upper East Side, headed towards Longshore."

"He's trying to get them out of the city," Lois concluded, "take them out into Hob's Bay where he can destroy them over the River. That's not too far from here. C'mon!"

Grabbing the sleeve of Jimmy's shirt, Lois took off with the ginger-haired photographer in tow back towards the Daily Planet--more specifically, to the parking deck, where she hoped her ride hadn't been wrecked or stolen yet.

"You asked for me, Mister Luthor?"

Eve Tessmacher carefully stepped out onto the helipad, one of a dozen different landing pads, observation decks, and catwalks that adorned the upper floors of the LexCorp Tower. A marvel of modern engineering, a fully automated cardre of construction robots were able to assemble in just under a month what would have taken a human crew years. Dwarfing even the Burj Khalifa, the Tower itself was more or less a showpiece built around an enormous antenna array; just as impressive was the labyrinth of laboratories and server farms extending several dozen floors underground. And standing at the edge of the helipad, his wide-shouldered white coat making him look smaller than he actually was, was the man who made it all possible.

"Ah! Yes. Yes I did," said Lex Luthor with the pleasant pseudo-surprise of a restaurant diner whose meal arrived sooner than expected. "I was, ah, hoping we could chat for a minute while taking in the view, Miss Tessmacher."

Lex gestured for her to join him out on the edge, and reluctantly, Eve approached. She had worked as a personal assistant for prominent people in the past, and had watched Lex's press appearances in the past, so she knew more or less what to expect when she was offered the position-- a brilliant mind with no social skills who needed someone to do the 'front of the house' work for him. In the few months she'd worked for him, though, Eve noticed there was more than just the occasional awkward conversation or social faux pas. There was something truly, deeply....wrong with him. Behind the jovial presentations, the pick-up basketball games with the interns and spontaneous inter-department bowling tournaments that made LexCorp the "funnest place to work in America" for the past two years, she saw mood swings, repressed rage, and a lack of empathy for those around him. Lex knew the names of every one of the eight thousand people who worked in his building, but it was all just trivia to him, no actual connection to any of them. The quirky, eccentric young man that Us Weekly described as "adorkable" felt like a mask to Eve, and she wasn't sure she wanted to see what was behind it.

That was one reason she was hesitant to join her employer out on the edge of a helipad over three thousand feet in the air. The second reason was far simpler: she was terrified of heights.

"Oh, I don't know," she stammered as she inched closer, "heights like this, I just--"

Lex waved her words away as if she were speaking gibberish.

"Come now, there's no difference between your ability to keep from falling over three inches from a high drop as there is from three miles from it," he said with a chuckle. "C'mon, the view from up here is killer."

After a few more trepidacious moments, Miss Tessmacher stepped closer. Satisfied, Lex looked out over the Metropolis skyline, the whine of sirens and cannon-bursts of Superman's fists drifting up to meet them above the billowing clouds of dust and smoke.

"It's really something, isn't it?" he said with a sweeping gesture of his hand. "The one place where Man can look down on God."

Lex looked back at her, seemed to notice the discomfort on her face.

"Oh! Sorry, I guess I'm being a bit....melodramatic," he apologized. "Still, it's apropos. What else would you call an indestructible supreme being with a city full of dutiful worshippers?"

Another loud rumble echoed from down below.

"What do you think of him, Miss Tessmacher?"

"....of Superman?"

Lex nodded with a tight-lipped smile. The name seemed to irk him to no end, so Eve made a mental note to avoid using it. As Luthor gave her an appraising look, she chose her words very carefully.

"I.....think his intentions are good," she began, "....but I also think he doesn't know what he's doing. I think he's reckless and sloppy, and before it's all over, I think he's going to get a lot of people killed."

There was a long pause as Luthor considered her answer. She had heard those opinions made a thousand times in the past six months, either in the form of off-handed remarks from Lex himself or in long-winded diatribes from the talking heads on LexCorp-owned news outlets like GNN. Some of it she even believed herself, and Eve quietly hoped this was the answer Luthor wanted to hear.

"Ha!" Lex laughed suddenly, clapping his hands together. "I knew I liked you, Miss Tessmacher."

Internally, Eve sighed with relief. She wasn't keen on finding out what would happen if she upset him.

"Yes, yes, the common hypothesis is that the Superman is indeed a danger," he continued, suddenly changing his tone as if giving a lecture, "an existential threat to mankind itself, disguised as a humble crimefighter who just so happened to be out in front of the wave of Bat-Men and Spider-Women who popped up in his wake. But a hypothesis is no good until we can produce measurable results. If the hypothesis is that the Superman is dangerous, we must determine what he can actually do. And that means? Tests!"

Miss Tessmacher looked down at the chaos in the streets, and her blood ran cold.

"So.....so are you saying....that this is all some sort of test for S--....for him?"

Lex blinked a few times, as if processing her question, then his eyes widened.

"Oh! Oh, nononononono, this--haha-- isn't my doing," he said with a laugh. "Though I do recognize the hardware. Honestly, I'm surprised they're doing this out in the open. I mean, I thought an Operation like this was usually conducted in the North Woods."

Whatever the reference was that Lex was making, Eve didn't catch it. That was to be expected, though-- Mister Luthor liked to play little word games with himself, make allusions and references that he knew would go sailing over the heads of everyone else in the room. It was something he did to amuse himself, she thought, a subtle reminder that he was smarter than them.

"Then what do you mean by conducting tests?"

Lex put up a finger, again like a teacher who was just asked the question he'd been waiting to answer.

"Ah, well, Miss Tessmacher, I've decided that since this incident has provided us with an opportunity, why let it go to waste?" he said. "The exact extent of the creature's abilities have still yet to be determined, but the more data we collect, the more clear a picture we can make of it. We saw his strength put to the test when he held up the Science Spire while fighting the Bulleteers. His speed was tested when we observed him trying to apprehend Livewire. His durability? The Atomic Skull certainly pushed his limits on that."

"So.....what are we going to test now?"

Lex smiled, and put his hand on the small of her back.

"His ability to multi-task."

Eve felt his hand suddenly shove hard against her back, and she began to tumble forward.

It took a full three seconds before the surprise wore off enough for her to start screaming as the pavement below rushed up to meet her.

12x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Bounce
Avatar of Bounce


Member Seen 6 days ago

Nine seventeen, Oa standard time. Ch'p has taken the Sentinel to Scylla to follow up with a lead there. I'm returning to Sector Zero to follow a different line of inquiry. My name is Kai-ro. I carry a ring.

The child exited from out of the wormhole.

A momentary vertigo came over him, as the boy found himself propelled from the edge of space to the center of galactic traffic.

It was known as Sector Zero. It was home to a single planet. Oa, the world of the Guardians. A council composed of the last, lingering remnants of an ancient civilization that worked to guide the younger races before the Guardians took their leave of this plane of reality.

Nova Corps battlecruisers. Star Sapphire hospital ships. Interceptors, like the Sentinel buzzing like wasps. And a flurry of small, green figures who were just specks against the cosmic background. Heads of State and lowlife criminals came and went through the halls of justice that formed the intergalactic police headquarters that spanned some 5,000 sectors of space.

Navigating the traffic pattern, the Tibetan child descended down onto the emerald planet. Aside from the headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps, Oa was home to several major urban centers. Embassies. Hospitals. Housing for the families of the Lanterns stationed there, supplying the overarching bureaucracy that managed the internal affairs of such a far-reaching organization.

At the heart of which was a Slyggian from Sector 1418.

As the boy's green-shod feet padded inside of the massive galactic operations center, the boy found the Green Lantern's own Chief of Police standing at the center of a massive green construct that displayed information about the deployment of the Lanterns across the galaxy. Pausing a respectful distance away, the child brought one hand up, palm flat with the thumb toward his chest, as he gave a formal bow toward the Slyggian. "Clarissi Salaak," Kai-ro intoned, addressing the veteran Green Lantern by his title.

The Slyggian barely spared the small form a glance. "Hmph. Kai-ro."

The boy did a double take, an awkward gesture that shattered the usual composed air with which the monk carried himself with.

To the best of his recollection, this was the first time that the two were meeting. So, on the one hand, he was shocked that someone such as Salaak would even know who he was. Let alone his name.

However, the manner in which it had been said left a rather distinct tone that rapidly soured first impressions. Perhaps this was a bad time?

"Speak, human. What do you want of me?"

To business then. Shrugging off the earlier sentiment, the boy folded his arms in front of him as he answered, "We found a body on Omicron Ceti IV. A Graxian female wearing the uniform of a Green Lantern, but were unable to find a matching profile in the Book of Oa." Allowing that synopsis a moment to sink in, the boy continued, "I was hoping that you might..."

One of Slyggian's four hands came up in a dismissive gesture that matched the wearied grunt, silencing the boy. "That's because there is no missing Green Lantern," Salaak barked gruffly. The triangular head swiveled around, at last looking at the boy.

And the gaze was withering.

"Your evidence is clearly the product of a contaminated crime scene, or else your coroner is similarly incompetent," Salaak declared, the contempt now barely contained, before the four-armed alien at last turned away and resumed his work.

There is no anger, there is only peace. Drawing in a cleansing breath, the young monk breathed out slowly before he tried again. "With respect, Clarissi, if you would look at the..."

"Respect my time, human."

The boy clenched his jaw. His pulse quickened. There is no offense where none is taken. Another cleansing breath, and the boy tried to push down the raw emotion that was boiling in his veins.

His back now to the boy, the Slyggian said, "The Book of Oa contains all that we know. If the information you seek is not in the Book of Oa, then it does not exist."

A dead end, at least with respect to attempting to gather information this way. Kai-ro did have a back-up plan, and this meeting was clearly getting off on all the wrong feet. Another bow, and the boy prepared to take his leave.

As he started to turn away, he heard Salaak say, "You will cease this investigation at once."

The youth turned his head, and caught sight to the wicked side eye now aimed his way.

"The authorities on Omicron Ceti IV should be more than capable of handling so mundane an investigation... which is more than I could say for you or that H'lven."

The child made a fist before he'd even realized it. His heart was racing, as anger rose up from inside him. He paused, his mouth opening as he started to reply...

...and thought better of it.

Opening and closing his fist, the boy flattened his palm back out into the common Buddhist gesture and ran a quick prayer through his mind silently.

"Still here? Don't you have parking tickets to write?"

The vein on the side of the child's head was starting to throb. A false smile flickered, not at all matching the coldly smoldering hellfire behind his eyes. Craning back his head, the boy feigned his usual polite demeanor as he quipped, "I think I did see a patrol cruiser that was double parked outside."

Inclining his head toward the Slyggian, the boy offered his parting as he said, "Thank you, Cla..."

Shutting off the constructs, Salaak just walked away from the boy.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

"Gweilo," the boy uttered softly, the Chinese curse leaving his lips before he could even stop himself.

Robot Emotional Underground was a club on the historic Pi-1A2 beachfront avenue on Scylla.

The discordant beats trickled out through the doors, the bright lights and clientele making it clear that this was a game for the young. The club branded their logo on the wristbands that they used. The same logo that had been on the band around Jane Doe's wrist.

The bouncer at the door was a Bolovaxian and had the mouth to prove it. "Lost, rodent?"

"Yeah, I can't seem to find my bacon," the H'lven quipped, even as he smoothly flipped his credentials into the air for porcine creature to see. "Why don't you get out of my way before I take it out of your hide."

Holding up his hands, the Bolovaxian simply stepped aside.

Descending into the disco from hell, Ch'p found himself trying to squeeze through a crowd of party-goers each trying to talk above the music, that was in turn played at a volume so to be heard over the sound of the people in the club. The kind of volume where the bass seemed to trigger a shockwave in your body, a migraine in your head, and a pit in your soul for the fact that the idiots gyrating to the musical genius of DJ Snakefist were the future of the galaxy.

Also, the bartender and the bouncer had the same lack of tact.

"Please, god, tell me you're not tonight's stripper."

Levitating over the bar, the H'lven cut the young man a cold glare before surveying the club. Three floors that he could see. The second level seemingly just a balcony overlooking the main floor. The third was glassed in. Private rooms. "Water, with lemon," Ch'p ordered, at last giving his attention to the bar man.

"You're kidding, right?"

"If that's too difficult, plain water will be fine."

"Yeah, okay. You want that in a thimble?" the college aged boy muttered, grabbing a glass, dropping in a wedge of lemon and decanting a splash of water over it. Sliding that across the bar, he gave her another skeptical look as he asked, "Can I help you officer?"

Landing on the bar top, the H'lven took a sip of water before he replied. "You worked here long?"

"About a year I guess."

A green construct depicting an artistic recreation of their Jane Doe flashed up in the air. "Ever see a girl like that come in here?"

The young man glanced at the photograph for a moment before giving a shake of his head. "Looks like about a hundred girls that come in here to me."

Nodding, Ch'p dismissed the construct with a casual wave of his hand.

"Excuse me, officer, is there some problem?"

From the nasal sound of the voice, he knew even before turning around that the person addressing him was a Muscarian. That would be the club manager. Owner possibly. When he had turned around, he found what he was expecting to see and an entourage of Daxamites dressed in the same black attire as the Bolovaxian he'd dressed down earlier.

There was a lot of money going into a nightclub for the twenty-something wild crowd.

"Officer Ch'p, Green Lantern Corps," the H'lven said, introducing himself formally as his credentials flashed in the air. "I'm investigating the murder of a young woman who had been a customer here the night that she died. You're monitoring the club. Do you have recordings that go back a year?"

The statement as to monitoring the club hadn't been a question.

"There's no security recordings," the Muscarian countered snidely. "And unless you have a warrant, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

"Funny. That's a Spektor-35J surveillance unit," Ch'p noted, tipping his head in the general direction of a small half-globe shape on the wall.

"You must be mistaken," the Muscarian reiterated, as the Daxamites moved to either side of the security officer. "And I'm sure you have better places to be, Green Lantern Ch'p."

Civil. But enough to raise the hairs on the back of his tail.

"At the moment," Ch'p conceded, levitating himself back into the air as he prepared to take his leave. Leveling a cold gaze down to the Muscarian, he added, "But only for the moment."
9x Like Like 1x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Morden Man
Avatar of Morden Man

Morden Man

Member Seen 3 days ago

Interrogation Room Five, Pegasus Helicarrier

The Fantastic Four’s stay on the Pegasus had got off to an inauspicious start. Once Reed’s timecraft had been loaded onboard, Gardner had ushered them onto the helicarrier with an alarming haste. Reed had hoped for an audience with Gardner but was told in no uncertain terms that it would have to wait until after the four of them underwent a barrage of tests carried out by SHIELD scientists.

Once the process of scanning and prodding was completed they were shown to their quarters.Though quarters might have been putting it fairly generously. They were glorified cells that had been given a few home comforts so as to make them seem otherwise. Ben’s proved to be particularly unsufficient.

One by one the Fantastic Four were lead out of their quarters into a nearby interrogation room for questioning. Reed had gone first, followed by Sue, and then Johnny, leaving only Ben Grimm to be quizzed. He wasn’t sure what answers he could provided that Reed didn’t have but he was keen to get the whole thing over and done with.

He had been waiting in the interrogation for fifteen minutes before Gardner appeared through its doors. In his hand was the last bite of a salt beef bagel so greasy that it had soaked through the wrapping. He scarfed it down, rolled the greasy paper into a ball and shoved it in his pocket, and then took a seat opposite Ben.

“Sorry about the wait, Ben. Allow me to reintroduce myself – my name is Guy Gardner, I’m acting chief of the Pegasus.”

Gardner thrust his hand over the table towards Grimm. There was still grease on his fingers. Guy spotted it at the last moment, wiping it on the leg of his pants, and offered Ben his hand again.

Ben reluctantly shook it. “Yeah, yeah, believe it or not but we’ve met before.”

“I think I’d remember a mug like yours,” Agent Gardner said with a good-natured wink.

“Heh, charming.”

“Now we’re going to need to run a couple of quick verbal tests on you, if you don’t mind. It might seem tedious but it’s basic procedure for when you metahuman types show up unannounced. Helps us test cognitive function or something like that.”

“Alright, well let’s get it over with,” Ben sighed. “I’m starting to get pins and needles over here.”

“Repeat after me: a system of cells interlinked, within cells interlinked, within cells interlinked, within one stem.”

The Thing narrowed his eyes as if he failed to see the point of the exercise. The scientists had already stuck them with more prods and electrodes than he’d ever seen before. As if sensing his reluctance, Guy gave him an encouraging look that convinced Grimm to repeat the strange phrase.

“A system of of cells interlinked, within cells interlinked, within cells in-”

A slight titter left Guy’s lips after the first repetition and by the second he had burst out laughing. He slammed his hand against the table obnoxiously as his laughter carried around the interrogation room. Opposite him Ben sat perplexed.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t keep it in,” Gardner said as he pointed his thumb towards the two-way glass. “I’m guessing you guys don’t have Blade Runner where you’re from? Man, you’re really missing out. Gosling is something else in that film.”

With a deceptive quickness, Grimm stood up out of his seat.

“You’re a real piece of work, Gardner.”

There was real anger in his eyes. His boulder-like hands were balled into fists. Gardner signalled to his colleagues behind the two-way glass to stay where they were and then stood up from his seat. There was zero sign of fear in his green eyes as he went nose to nose with Ben.

He pushed one of his fingers into his chest and summoned up a voice that was brooked no argument. “Sit your scaly hide down, Grimm.”

An awkward silence followed where it seemed like neither man was willing to give ground. Yancy Street and Baltimore were locked in a battle of wills for the ages. After thirty seconds or so, Ben reached for the fallen chair behind him and sat back down.

A smug smile appeared on Gardner’s face as he returned to his seat victorious.

His self-satisfaction didn’t last long. When he looked up he noticed that Grimm’s head was resting in his hands. The ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing let out a deep breath that almost seemed to hurt him to release.

“While you’re joking around, my world is burning to cinders. You ever think about that? You and all your ring-slinging pals are dead where I come from, Guy. Darkseid gutted the four of you like pigs and then came for every man, woman and child on Earth afterwards. And all of the metahumans put together weren’t enough to stop him.”

The anger that Ben flashed earlier had been exactly that. A flash. Beneath it there was something more profound. Johnny may have turned to rage to deal with what they had been through but it was insufficient for Ben – no matter how much he wished otherwise.

“I spoke to Reed for four hours this morning,” Guy said solemnly. “I know all about what happened to your world, Ben. Reed told me about what happened in New York and Latveria. I know everything. Don’t think for a second that I don’t understand what’s at stake here.”

Ben threw his hands in the air in exasperation. “Then why the hell are we having this conversation?”

Suddenly the cocksure Guy Gardner grew nervous.

“Let’s just say there are a couple of mitigating factors that make your arrival in our world a little problematic.”

Ben spotted a single bead of sweat roll down Agent Gardner’s forehead. What could make a man that had stood toe-to-toe in a confined space with a metahuman capable of out-slugging the Hulk nervous? Had he let something slip that he wasn’t supposed to? Grimm could feel some thinly-disguised truth hiding beneath the surface.

One he could find out if he was willing to scratch for it because it was one that Gardner seemed to want to tell.

“What’s a matter, Carrot Top?” Ben said as he returned the smug smile he’d received from Guy earlier on. “Cat’s got your tongue all of a sudden?”

The SHIELD agent gave a conflicted look towards the two-way glass and then whispered under his breath. “God, Fury is going to fucking kill me for this.”

It wasn’t Gardner’s news to break. He wasn’t sure that anyone should ever have to break it to anyone – he wasn’t sure whether anyone ever had done before. Trying to find the right words was like groping around an alley littered with syringes in the dark. There was no right to say it.

“You’re dead, Ben.”

“What?” Grimm said as he let out a bemused laugh. “What the hell are you talking about?”

Gardner’s steely look assured Ben he wasn’t joking around this time.

“You never made it back from the first flight,” Guy sighed. “The cosmic rays tore your ship apart before the four of you had any idea what had hit you – and SHIELD swept the whole damn thing under the rug.”
14x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Sep
Avatar of Sep

Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

Member Seen 18 hrs ago



Iris moved to the side, as a torrent of water rushed past. “Little slow there buddy-” She dodged to the right as another torrent of water came at her. “-I guess you haven’t heard. I’m the fastest woman alive.” She ran straight at him, down along the side of the water being pushed forth from his arms. She stopped just on front of him and let loose a volley of punches towards him, as she punched it was as if punching water. His body took the blows, her hands sinking into where his flesh should be before pulling them back out. She tried the head, legs, chest, stomach. Nothing gave ground.

Hydro-man waved his arms and a massive wave of water pushed Iris backwards and into a nearby wall, while pushing everyone else up against the walls. She winced slightly as she sat back up. She stood up again and ran at him again, her punches going straight through him again, Iris couldn’t gain ground against him. “You may be fast, but you can’t lay a finger on me.” Time seemed to slow as Iris reconsidered things, she couldn’t beat Hydro-man head on. Iris ran over to the blonde, lifting her from Barry's arms and then out of the building. Looking around she saw a nearby ambulance with a gurney sitting out, she lowered the blonde into the gurney before turning back to the hall.

He had barely moved an inch since she had ran the blonde out, next she grabbed Barry. She sighed, she was really upset that she had gained super speed and not super strength. She dumped Barry just at the door to City Hall, as she got back into the room Hydro was moving towards the mayor and the rest of the prisoners who remained there. She couldn’t let him hurt them anymore. Iris thought back to the day before, she used her speed to create a funnel of air to remove the oxygen from a room putting out a fire.

Surely she could also create a funnel of air towards a target.

Spinning her arms she sent out a wave of air that pushed Hydro against a back wall, when he hit it his body splattered and water went all over the room. Iris slowly started to walk over to him. “Give it up, what are you after? This is over.”

He reformed and grimaced at her. “I ain’t here for you little lady, and this ain’t over.” He ran to the window and jumped, Iris couldn’t even believe it. Even with her superspeed she took time to process what he had done, and by the time she made her way over to the window he was gone.

“Well that’s just great.”
7x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Byrd Man
Avatar of Byrd Man

Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

Member Seen 9 hrs ago


8:20 PM

Charlie Rembrandt took a deep breath and closed his eyes. It was some kind of hallucination he'd just seen, it had to be. All the time spent ignoring sleep had finally caught up with him. He opened them again, slowly this time. He found that it didn't work The man was still standing across the street, leering at him. Charlie knew the lean, acne-marked face well. It had been on the cover of every LA paper during the summer of ‘85. As a boot, Charlie had been part of the taskforce to hunt the man who was hunting people for sport, the man who held a city of millions captive with his crimes.

The face of Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, was one Charlie would never forget.

And he kept staring at Charlie, that lopsided grin on his face. It was like he was in on some joke that Charlie wasn’t. And he looked the same has he did back in ‘85, hadn’t aged a day. Despite the fact that he was supposed to be dead for some years now. Charlie started towards him, ignoring people passing by on the Hollywood street. They were certainly ignoring the sight of the serial killer among them. Ramirez stood there, hands in his jean pockets and a bloodstained AC/DC shirt on his torso.

Charlie crossed the street. Ramirez continued to stare and smirk, even as he got closer and closer. Charlie was five feet away from him when he stopped. Not because of anything Ramirez did, but what came down the street. A maniac dressed in all black and a hood was running down the busy street with a hatchet above his head, screaming in German. Charlie watched him go, the only one there who even bothered to look up at the sound of the man's screams. He started to pull his sidearm out when the man disappeared.

And then he appeared again, this time further down the street and running back towards Charlie, still screaming and still waving the hatchet. He got to the spot he'd been at before when he disappeared, reappearing once more at the other end of the street and running back.

“What the fuck is going on?”


East L.A.
9:44 PM

The landlady banging on the door woke John out of his sound sleep.

Señor Constantine, el mago. Es la policía.

“Bloody hell,” John murmured, picking himself up off the bare mattress that lay directly on the floor.

He shuffled across the floor dressed only in his skivvies. Mrs. Sanchez was waiting for him at the door. Along with Charlie Rembrandt.

“We need to talk,” Rembrandt said as he pushed his way through past John.

He shut the door on Mrs. Sanchez and turned to look at John with wide eyes.

“I’m seeing things… things I don’t understand. The sky is green, I’m seeing… I’m seeing fucking ghosts. I saw Richard Ramirez hanging around Hollywood for fuck’s sake!”

John walked to his pack of cigarettes and struck one up. He offered the pack to Rembrandt, who eagerly lit up. He had complained about the taste a few days ago, but now he was steadily puffing away.

“What the fuck is going on, John?! You’re the expert in all this.”

“Suppose I am,” said John. He plopped back down on the mattress. “Ghosts and all that proper shite doesn’t work like you think it does. It’s all based on belief and psychic trauma. If you leave a big enough footprint, people remember you after you’ve gone. What you saw wasn’t the Night Stalker, but a psychic impression of him. It’s a copy that shuffles around, but it can’t hurt you or do anything at all but act on a loop.”

“Like the fucker I saw running down Hollywood with an axe? Just on an endless loop.”

“Oh, you saw Krazy Klaus?” John asked with a smile. “He was some bloke from the 20’s or 30’s who snapped and killed his whole family with a hatchet. There’s a ghost Bronco that goes up and down the 405, existing simply because millions of people watched it on live telly. It’s nothing to do with unfinished business or revenge of any of that that, it’s everything to do with the power of memory. That green bollocks in the sky? That’s the collective psychic residue of Los Angeles. Think of it like emotional smog.”

“But why now?” asked Rembrandt. “I’ve been living in this city all my life. Why am I seeing it now?”

“That contract,” said John. “The one you shouldn’t have touched, the one Ray warned you not to touch. It was an enchanted item, Charles. Powerful magic, simple but powerful. It seems that when you touched, it gave you far more than a shock.”

Rembrandt’s eyes looked down at his hand. He scowled and walked towards the window of Constantine’s apartment. Outside, the emerald sky churned on above. He could see creatures, hellish things that looked like featherless and skinless vultures, soaring in the thermals of the night.

“It pulled back the curtain, Squire. Opened your third eye and all that jazz. You’ve got the Sight, Charlie.”

He looked to his right when he saw John standing beside him, a wide grin on his face.

“Welcome to my world.”

15x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Enarr
Avatar of Enarr


Member Seen 1 mo ago

The Weapon X Facility, Canada
The Summer of 2018

Patient Ten, like the VIN number on a minivan, was the present designation of the unconscious husk that had previously belonged to a Canadian wild man known as Logan, previously known as James Howlett. A man, a monster, and something of a patriot. Even in this non-living undeath in which he was legally something between a vegetable and a paper shredder, he served his country. Yes, he would serve Weapon X and therefore the Canadian people well.

He bobbed a foot beneath the surface of a vaguely chartreuse fluid that tickled the surgeons skin, even as their hands emerged from the solution, swallowed by the best latex that block ops money could buy (which was really good latex). His back was slit open, like a duffel bag full of bones, negligible amounts of fat and an enviable amount of muscle. The bath he was taking had been very carefully crafted with enough gold to prevent Patient Ten from healing during the operation, while not being enough to saturate his body and kill him forever, theoretically at least. Due to the scarcity of Homo Abominus Americana, only five were confirmed to exist, they had little data to work with. So the surgeons essentially kept him inside a fish tank that had a vacuum on one end, sucking the solution out, and a faucet on the other, alternating between dispensing the gold solution and something more akin to saline.

"Nice work," Professor Cornelius, the project's primary overseer commented as one of the workers brought over a case resembling the world's first hurricane resistant toolbox. Unlatching it, they pulled out handheld tools that looked like a cross between a pastry chef's pipettes and semi-automatic weaponry, with each operator holding a magazine that contained half a dozen refills, each refill roughly being the size of a nine volt. Cornelius recalled that while it was no small feat to acquire this much adamantium in the first place, it had been a true pain in the ass to engineer a method of storing it so that it could be dispensed with the same convenience and accuracy as a 3D pen. Ironically, it actually was more cost efficient to hire and train starving artists to produce the various special features than it would have been to design an actual 3D printer that could dispense adamantium.

The operaters practically had to rip every muscle and nerve off of the patient's bones in order to access each nook and cranny of his skeleton. Even so, the process was not flawless. Only the outside of his bones could consistently be coated with adamantium, given that accessing the totality of the crevices would require breaking them before repairing them, sewing the nerves back into place and painting the exterior with more metal. They had a dozen highly coordinated men physically touching the body, each overlapping uncomfortably closely with the others.

Accidents happened. Once exposed to the gold/wash solution, the adamantium would solidify within seconds. One of the dispenser triggers got stuck adding a needle-like spike onto the back of the patient's right elbow. Foolishly, the responsible surgeon attempted to amend the error by batting it back and forth. Rather than smoothing the process away, he curled into the shape of a coiling snake. At that, the man was told that he was going home.

It was hard for the others to maintain their focus as the sudden bellowing of twin gunshots shook the operating room. The remaining eleven were all too aware what would happen should they falter or make some kind of flamboyant error of their own. So they didn't. It was simply outside the scope of the project to properly clean up all of the little things in the remaining hours, so many of their many indiscretions were covered over. It was a mad dash, trying to stitch the body back together after candy coating his bones with vibranium, implanting a couple doo-hickeys here and there while still finishing in time to feel relatively confident that the gold hadn't bleached the colony of vampiric symbiotic microorganisms in his flesh.

Seeing the progress, Doctor Abraham Cornelius licked his teeth and jumped for joy. After all, no one was watching him. After a moment of excitement, keeping his balled fists at shoulder level like he was holding a pair of dumbbells, he pursed his lips and dug his cell phone out of his pocket.

Carol looked at him bemused. She remembered what it was like when Cornelius had taken her cell phone. Just about everybody in the facility had lost theirs once they'd begun work at Weapon X. In fact, Cornelius was the only one that Carol knew to have a cell phone. The company was reasonably concerned about security leaks on social media and wikileaks, or any number of other communication channels available through the interwebs. They lived in the compound. None of them were paid at the moment--not in dollars, anyhow.

Weapon X had an internal currency that could be used at the commissary. But they'd all been lured in by the lucrative promises available once they were released to go back to their homes. 'Til then, she wouldn't know what her little sister's prom dress would look like, or if Season Two of Netflix's X-O Manowar stood up to the hype.

"Professor," Cornelius squealed. "We're almost done. They're winding it up, right now. We'll fish the patient out of the bath in a matter of minutes and we can begin the Boss Rush at the top of the hour."

"The top of the hour," Carol crooned. "Shouldn't we let him heal up, first?"

"My dear, that's the point of having a donor with an advanced healing rate. We just need to let him dry off long enough for his motor to heat back up and he won't need any time to be back in top shape. Slitting this guy's throat is like slapping a cube of Jell-O © with the backside of a spoon," the doctor giggled. "The best part is that his consciousness is actually stored within that colony of vampiric microorganisms. He's basically braindead, the colony just keeps rebuilding that part of his body for kicks, I guess," he said puffing up his chest and trying to sound confident. "Look at that, Carol: They're yanking him out now."

Carol trotted forward to see the job they'd done on Patient Ten. Cornelius observed as well, at a distance. His attention was not entirely devoted to the Patient's form. He was looking at something equally gelatinous that he'd very much enjoy slapping with the back of a spoon.
4x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Master Bruce
Avatar of Master Bruce

Master Bruce Winged Freak

Member Seen 1 mo ago

Gotham City, Unity Square
The Narrows
7:58 PM

"Take a good look at this image. I want you all to remember it as you go home tonight, perhaps thinking to yourselves that this is an exaggeration not meant to be taken seriously. That the individual this image represents is somehow a 'myth' created by either myself or the members of the Gotham City Police Department to deter criminal activity. I can personally promise you that it isn't. He is very real, and he's the reason you're all here tonight."

With Selina leaning into my shoulder, trying to stifle a laugh, I stare up from amongst the crowd at the crude painting that was drafted of what the public perceives me to be. It's as much an exaggerated piece of fiction as anything else that has tried to depict him, to be sure, but it's one that is brought up perhaps the most frequently. The image first appeared on the front page of the Gotham Gazette two weeks after I took out a smuggling ring led under the orders of Selina's father, Carmine 'The Roman' Falcone, operating out of the East End docks. That was the first night that I utilized the persona that the papers would eventually label The Batman, and I never imagined that news would spread as wide as it did about a winged vigilante terrorizing criminals across the city.

I had hoped, honestly, to be perceived as nothing more than the myth that Harvey's trying to dissuade at this very moment. But with the metahuman outing after the Metropolis Superman's arrival, it wasn't long before the public started to take notice of any potential superhuman figures among them in their paranoia of a growing phenomena. Thugs that I had beaten into submission talked, and in contrast to my beliefs, the police took their claims seriously. Given that my methods are intentionally meant to ensure my enemies believe that I am something out of a nightmare, the train of logic isn't hard to follow from there. They believe me to be a metahuman aswell. I made the mistake of poor timing in choosing my initial strike against the crime families, which is exactly why I need this rally to reinforce the idea that The Batman is something to be feared instead of championed. Because with all metahumans, there seems to be a growing division: Those against and those in favor.

"I'm sorry, it's just... this is so ridiculous.", Selina whispers, trying to contain herself. "They actually believe he has fangs. I mean, the claws and giant wings I could at least buy. And even the fur's even a bit arguable. But fangs?!"

I smirk, playing into her jovial outlook.

"Well, you've never seen him. For all we know, he does have those."

"Oh, stop."

Harvey indicates the mural and stares back at the audience. Admittedly, he's getting alot of them more worked up than I thought. He's actually pulling his weight for this, playing the part of dutiful public servant.

"When I was elected as your District Attorney, I made a promise to the people of Gotham that I would rid this city of the corruption that the five families represent. We all knew the names of these individuals, and yet no one was willing to act against them. It became my personal responsibility to see them brought to justice, no matter the cost. But this? This is something my office was never expecting to have to contend with. A man who takes the law into his own hands, night after night, without any regard for the law. A man that both you and your children live in fear of!"

Dent takes the microphone from the podium and begins walking along the perimeter of the stage, trying to engage the audience on a more intimate level as they cheer on his every word. I'll admit, were I not someone whose opinion could be considered heavily biased at best, even I would be calling for The Batman's head.

"Since January of this year, reports have flooded my campaign headquarters of sightings. Firsthand accounts of this man's brutality. Ordinary citizens, even if they were acting in the interest of criminal misconduct, being put into traction by an individual who openly defies civility every time that he puts on that cape! This is a man who not only poses a danger to us all, but someone who refuses to be held accountable. This is a land of laws, and Gotham is no different! Your police and politicians are meant to be the ones to enact order, not the dangerously unstable who hide themselves behind masks!"

Pointing to a random individual from the crowd, Harvey holds out the microphone.

"You, sir! Allow me to pose you an honest question! Were you left trapped in an alleyway with a gang of muggers, unable to defend yourself or your family, would you want the police to intervene and arrest the perpetrators? Would you feel safer knowing that they were off the streets, unable to harm anyone else? Or would you prefer that they be beaten half to death by a man who believes he gets to decide what punishment befits the crime?!"

"THE POLICE!", the man yells back, drawing further applause.

"Exactly. The police. Not a man whose very identity is hidden from us, who takes upon the moniker of The Batman to ensure his own personal freedom at the cost of everyone else! These criminals that he assaults, do you know where they end up after he's done with them? Back on the streets! More aggressive than before, and looking for revenge! Batman only breeds further hostility, and in these troubling times, how is that what's needed for Gotham? For our city? For your city!"

I look around at the crowd as they each start vigorously clapping in solidarity. In truth, Harvey's being a bit overdramatic, selling them on a reality where I only cause retaliation. On the contrary, I've made my enemies too afraid to go out at night. Some have left town altogether, while others have pleaded to stay locked up in jail. Despite a number of setbacks that could've hindered these results, my mission is so far a success.

But the public doesn't need to know that, or the fact that if Harvey were able to speak his mind on these issues, he'd likely be championing The Batman as a much-needed shot in the arm against men like Falcone and Sal Maroni.

Then again, Harvey's always been good about keeping a private face seperate from his public one. It's why he and I have gotten along so well, over the years, despite what relatively little he actually knows about me.

"Right, because the police are so trustworthy in this town..."

I glance over at Selina as she shrugs.

"Hey, someone had to say it."

"And I'm sure the crowd would love to hear it, Selina."

She rolls her eyes.

"You don't have to be condescending."

I smile as Dent proceeds back to the podium.

"I stand in alignment with you, Gotham. For too long, The Batman has been allowed to operate without jurisdiction and without a system of checks and balances. His methods may be an effective band-aid for the problems we face at hand, but they're only going to make things worse if he continues to remain unchecked! That is why I am using this opportunity to petition Commissioner Loeb and the Gotham City Police Department, in conjunction with my office and the office of Mayor Thorne, to authorize a task force designed to reign in The Batman once and for all! With the swift arrest of this dangerous criminal, we will finally be looking at a brighter tomorrow! My campaign ran on the promise that you can believe in Harvey Dent. And that promise extends to my policies, so when I say believe in this, you can take me at my word! Gotham City doesn't want a vigilante running rampant! Our city doesn't need The Batman!"

With a round of thunderous applause, Harvey nods to his campaign organizers so that they can take the stage from him, indicating the event's activities and refreshments. All sponsored by an anonymous donor, of course, given that I've yet to gain a seat on the board of directors for Waynetech. An unfortunate reality that I hope to change with Dent's help in exchange for giving him the money do this, among other favors he's begrudgingly come to me for.

In addition to helping me create an enemy for the public to latch onto, Harvey's office has needed a new target to distract people from his momentary inability to touch individuals like The Penguin, who revel in leaving him looking ineffectual. I want Batman to act as a cover for something that's completely out of his control until we can both make definite progress in shutting the five families down for good.

"Thank god that's over.", Selina says, breathing a sigh of relief. "Now that the boring politics are out of the way, maybe we can grab a drink and make the night a little more interesting. Care to take me up on that, Wayne?"

Laughing at the offer, I indicate Harvey as he steps off of the podium.

"I think he would find it more than a little rude if we skipped out this early. But go ahead if you want to. I'm sure Alfred would be willing to drive you to a bar."

"Oh, no you don't. You're not ditching me that easily. If there's anything I hate, it's drinking alone. And if you're going to spoil my fun, why I should let you have any?"

Shaking my head, I glance back at Harvey as he extends a hand to me.

"Thanks again for doing this, Bruce. You don't know how much it's gonna mean to my staff. They've been on my ass to do something about this guy for months, and I didn't know where else to turn."

I shake his hand, brushing off the comment.

"No need, Harvey. Anything I can do to contribute to the excitement of hunting criminals without actually putting myself in their crosshairs is a genuine pleasure."

"You've got my vote, Harv!", Selina interjects, faking enthusiasm.

"Oh, wait. You already ran for office, didn't you? It was so hard to tell, given how hard you were trying up there."

I'd wince at that if I didn't know how well Selina and Harvey knew eachother. If memory serves, they actually used to date back in college. She enrolled in his senior year, right after I left the country. And judging from the way Harvey used to talk about her, she made quite the impression. It's the only reason I was willing to give someone so closely associated with Carmine Falcone a chance. And so far, she hasn't disappointed me. Underneath the snark, Selina seems to be one of the only genuinely good people left in Gotham.

"If you weren't the daughter of the city's worst crimelord, I'd have you served for that.", Harvey quips back.

"And come on, Selina. You know as well as I do that you've gotta work the crowd sometimes. This is all just for show, just like anything in politics.

"Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.", Selina contends.

"Still, don't you think it's a bit much? The big canvas, the fear mongering? You're just giving this masked idiot the attention he's probably craving."

"Even if that is the case, it's a small price to pay for civility. I say let him have the publicity, as long as the GCPD has him in cuffs by the end of the month."

"So you're really deadset against this guy, then?", I ask.

"You know, I thought it was all an act, hating Batman as passionately as you seem to."

Harvey shrugs.

"Well I mean, hate is a strong word, Bruce. I can't exactly deny that he's going after the type of people that could stand to have a few bones broken. But there are two sides to everything. Am I weeping over the victims he puts into the hospital? No, but I'm not gonna say that I'd love to go and shake the man's hand for what he's doing, either."

Having just shook mine, the irony isn't lost on me in that statement.

"Fair enough, counselor."

Selina leaves my side and playfully cozies up to Dent.

"So, now that you've dazzled the crowd with your Anti-Bat speech, care to take me up on an offer the infinitely boring Mr. Wayne just declined?"

Harvey looks back at me with an amused look. "Do I even want to know?"

"You really don't."

Selina shoots me a glare. I shrug.

"Hey, someone had to say it."

Harvey pulls out his phone.

"If you're asking me to engage in your crippling alcoholism, I'll have you know that there's a lady expecting me back before dawn. Which reminds me, I owe her a call..."

Just as Selina whispers something into his ear, inciting a laugh between the two of them over some private joke, I start to speak up - only to notice something out of place out of the corner of my eye.

In the reflection of the back casing of Harvey's phone, something's revealed from the top of the overlooking roof that lies on the building just adjacent from the site of the rally. A figure, watching over the scene.

Immediately, I look back and narrow my eyes, scanning the darkness - only to recognize the outline of a weapon I've stared down the barrel of many times before. A high-caliber sniper rifle.

My eyes widened, I immediately move to warn Harvey and Selina.



The crowd screams and pandemoneum immediately sets in, with everyone running in opposite directions. I hear the bullet richochet off of something in the distance, but Harvey immediately falls back, with a perfect line of blood spraying the air beside his head. Before he can hit the pavement, I dive forward and catch him, preventing his head from hitting the pavement. At first, my heart races thinking that it's a contact wound, or a headshot. But I think the bullet only grazed him. My suspicions are confirmed upon examination.


Selina rushes to his side.

"Oh my god! Bruce, is he alright?! Is he dead?!"

"No.", I reply sternly, grabbing her hand.

"Stay with him. I need to get the paramedics here before he bleeds out."


"Selina! He needs somebody to stay. You're as much his friend as he is mine. Can I trust you to do this?"

Her expression turning from scared to intense determination, she rips herself from my grasp and grabs Harvey's hand.

"Come on, Dent, you're not done with us! Don't you dare pass out on me!"

I stand up and immediately race for the car, parked just beyond the venue. Whoever the shooter was, I didn't see them as I got back up. But they're very unlikely not to still be in the area given that they took the shot from the rooftops. I don't know why someone would be out to try and assassinate Harvey in full view of a crowd of pedestrians, but at the moment, I'm not exactly in the mood to care about motives. The man who did this needs to be stopped right now.

Alfred gets out of the car as I approach.

"I heard the shot from here. What happened?!"

I practically rip open the backseat door and climb inside.

"Dent's been hit and he needs medical attention. Make sure that he gets it."

"Certainly, lad. But what about you?"

Hitting a hidden button from behind the driver's seat, I click open and remove a panel drawer hiding a specific set of gear for such an emergency. Harvey may have just rallied the public against him, but if there's anyone who can make sure his assassin doesn't escape custody, it's certainly not going to be Bruce Wayne.

"I'll be preoccupied."

Gotham City, The Rooftops
The Narrows
8:07 PM

The assassin leaps ahead to the next roof and rolls as he lands, his uncanny agility keeping him a step ahead from plummeting to the streets. Reloading the cartridges of his weapon right away, he tosses the rifle over his shoulder and runs straight ahead. The police, he surmised, won't arrive for another two minutes at most. If they even care enough to get to Dent's position in time, given the amount of dirty cops known to work in this district. That gives him enough of a window to get to his getaway van a few blocks ahead and disappear without a trace.

Only one thing vexes him as he catches himself just barely beginning to run out of breath: Why wasn't it a killshot? He had set it up perfectly, and he'd timed pulling the trigger to whenever Dent entered directly into his line of sight. It didn't make any sense, especially coming off of his own personal track record of kills. The District Attorney should've been on his way to the morgue, not the hospital.


Realizing that this meant the already dubious contract with his employer was now null and void, the assassin wanted to take a moment and kick the concrete below his boots out of frustration. He knew what failure meant, and it was far too steep of a price for him to pay. Now he'd have to think of an alternative to make things right, or ensure that Dent didn't make it to the hospital alive. And there was bound to be complications in pursuing the latter option.

Pulling out his own phone, the assassin held it to his ear as he continued running.

"I didn't get the shot! He's still in the clear! But I'm gonna..."

Before he could finish his sentence, the assassin was caught off guard as his phone was knocked out of his hand by a razor-sharp projectile that lodged itself into the back of his knuckle. The assassin fell hard on his own shoulder against the gravel, grasping the now bleeding hand as he yanked the projectile from it.

The shape of a Bat. The assassin immediately knew what that meant.

"Oh, hell."

Hearing leather whip against the wind as he stood to his feet, the assassin couldn't even see the attack coming as The Batman sent a hard flying knee to the side of his jaw. Slamming against the scaffolding of the roof, the masked would-be killer Harvey Dent leapt to his feet and raised his hands, revealing a pair of wrist-mounted devices that looked not too dissimilar from the type of hidden automatic weapons that military vehicles employed, modified in size to fit atop armored gauntlets. Batman growled as he dove forward, tackling the man before he could get a proper shot off.


The sound was deafening against Batman's ears at such close range, as he writhed in pain upon both men collapsing. By the time that he was able to get back up, the vigilante felt a hard kick slam into his chest, knocking him backwards into a stumble. Hearing the warning click of a gun's hammer be pulled back, The Batman recovered just long enough to find himself on the other end of the second wrist-mounted weapon.

"Move and you're paste, freak."

Immediately diving down, Batman slammed his shoulder into the man's arm and kicked hard into his leg, causing him to drop to one knee. The assassin was quick to counter, however, spinning off of his other leg and using the momentum to slice into Batman's side with a hidden blade. Despite his heavily armored costume, the vigilante still had plenty of exposed areas to hit. He grasped the area in pain as blood began to seep out of it, realizing that the gunman had managed to hit one of them. Distracted, Batman looked up to see a fist clock him directly in the face, knocking him to the ground.

By the time Batman looked back up, his attacker was perched onto a higher section of the roof and brandishing a much more lethal weapon. Unintimidated, Batman rose to his feet and allowed his cape to drape over him, hiding his wound.

"Gotta admit, I didn't even think you were real until just now.", the assassin mocked. "And wow, that is dedication to a theme. You get that suit custom made, or is there an online store?"

Batman prepared three batarangs behind his back.

"Who are you? Why did you try and murder Dent?"

"Because I was paid to, genius. That's what I do."

"The name's Deadshot. And if you so much as move an inch this time, I'm gonna blow half the roof away along with you."
12x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Bounce
Avatar of Bounce


Member Seen 6 days ago


All Green Lanterns had a set of quarters requisitioned for their use on Oa.

They all came back here, eventually.

Kai-ro stood in the doorway of his. Only the second time that he'd ever set foot inside of them. A stranger in his own home.

When he had been a hopeful selected by his ring, he had stayed in the familiar surroundings of a communal barracks with the other hopefuls. Now, as a fully commissioned agent of the Corps, Kai-ro was housed apart. His apartment was close to Ch'p, though the H'lven was actually married with children.

Originally, Ch'p's family had stayed on H'lven though, like so many others, they had become displaced with the war. At least they had Oa. Unlike many of the H'lven refugees now trying to find a place for themselves in a larger galaxy that seemed so aloof, so apathetic to the ongoing civil war in Sector 1014.

Passing through the interior of the small, one bedroom studio, the young Tibetan opened up the windows to help alleviate the layer of dust that had settled through disuse. The place felt empty, even though it was furnished. Generic, functional accent pieces that gave it the character and charm of a futuristic Ikea showroom.

Stepping into the bedroom, the boy was presented with a stuffed toy that lay on its side atop the bed. The creature was meant to represent a creature popular on H'lven, most closely resembling the wyvern of Earth's mythology.

It had been a gift to him from Ch'p's children, part of a housewarming they'd thrown him when he'd been inducted into the Green Lantern Corps and made partner to Ch'p.

The perks of which apparently included becoming extended family to a group of space chipmunks.

Picking up the stuffed wyvern, the Tibetan child hugged it to his chest as he spun around and fell back atop the bed. Something about the conversation with Salaak continued to eat at him, though he was hard-pressed to try and identify just why the Slyggian's attitude had bothered him the way that it had. It shouldn't have. Kai-ro had dealt with all manner of ill-tempered or rude people before. Their attitudes and emotions had no control over how he reacted in kind.

So why did Salaak's snide manner so easily set his blood on fire?

Turning onto his side, the young Tibetan was confronted with the reality of his own loneliness. If Ch'p were here, he would be over at their familial residence. They'd probably have dinner together, like they usually did. It was why Kai-ro never came home, because this wasn't what he thought of as home on Oa.

He could go see Ch'p's family, except...

The child's hands tightened as he gripped down on the stuffed animal. Sitting up, on the edge of the bed, the wyvern still held to his chest, the youth consciously tapped into the communication network through the ring.

A green construct, resembling a H'lven Green Lantern appeared in the room a minute later.

"Wait, wait, wait... Salaak said what?"

The Sentinel lingered in orbit of Scylla. Ch'p and Aya were hitting dead end after dead end. The authorities on the world below were sticklers for due process. Without a warrant, Ch'p wasn't getting anything. And he meant anything. Even the public filings for the purchase of the building. The Scylla authorities had access to all that information, and more. They just didn't play nicely with outside agencies.

Green Lantern Ch'p, I may have identified a media post of note.

Holding up one paw, the H'lven motioned for the green light hologram of the human boy to hold that thought. "Show me what you got, Aya."

"I take it things are progressing more smoothly on your end?"

H'lven's expressed a great deal of non-verbal communication through their tails. The way in which Ch'p's flattened out gave him the answer to his question even before Ch'p spoke. "The local authorities here are tossing up one road block after another," the H'lven remarked, reaching forward as he started pulling up a few other files. "This is interesting though. Aya found the public posting of the real estate transaction from when the club was apparently purchased... and Nova Financial is listed as the lien holder."

The holographic kid's eyes moved to the side for a moment, then looked back. "So... they took out a loan? What's unusual about that?"

"Back in the day, when Salaak and I were running around Sector 1418 doing counter drug ops, Nova Financial was a name that kept coming up," the H'lven recalled aloud.

"Wait, you and... Salaak?"

The chipmunk gave an odd sound that might have been part-grunt, part-laugh. "Who'd you think was my partner when I was a poozer?"

"I dunno... I just thought you were, I dunno, like, born old or something."


Comments like those made it hard not to think of Kai-ro like he did his own kids. "No, back in the day it was me, Salaak, Kilowog, Abin Sur..."

"You knew Abin Sur?" Kai-ro blurted aloud, interrupting him. Had Ch'p never mentioned it before? Well, actually, why would it have ever come up? So, no. He probably hadn't.

"Wait, Salaak knew Abin Sur?"

The H'lven's tail sagged slightly. "We all knew Abin Sur," Ch'p recalled, his voice dropping to little more than a whisper. Perking back up, the diminutive Green Lantern seemed to square his shoulders again as he smiled and offered, "We all wanted to be Abin Sur..."

A different Corps.

A different Ch'p. A younger Ch'p. An absolute idiot who didn't appreciate how young he'd been. Until one morning he'd woken up, looked himself in the mirror, and realized that he wasn't young anymore. And wondered where the time had gone.

And good friends. Some no longer with them. Others who were, but who had chosen to stand apart from whatever former friendships they might have once had.

Clarissi Salaak was one such name that came to mind there. It was the main reason why Ch'p had sent Kai-ro in his place to talk with his former partner. He should have known better.

No one wearing the ring of Abin Sur was going to get so much as the god damn time of day from Salaak.

Maybe that was an error on his part. Maybe he should have gone himself, except he hadn't spoken to Salaak in ten years. And wasn't really looking for a reason to change that now.

No, Ch'p had learned how to navigate the Corps by going around Salaak. It was something he hadn't wanted to teach his new partner, and so he'd sent Kai-ro to do the right thing. Not the thing that Ch'p would have done.

So now they'd just do it Ch'p's way. And Salaak could suck a...

"Ancient history. Before you were born," the H'lven offered dismissively, rousing himself from his own brooding. A change of subject was in order, before he started getting nostalgic. Nostalgia never ended with anything more than bitterness. At least in Ch'p's experience. "What are you doing for dinner tonight?"

"I dunno... I'll probably just go over to Biscuit Baron's."

The fast food joint? The H'lven tail twitched in a faintly amused wag. Now he definitely sounded like Ch'p's own kids. "Nah, kid. Head over to the house," Ch'p remarked, something wistfully. When was the last time that he'd been by there himself? A homecooked meal. Helping the boy with that new math that made absolutely no sense. Or arguing with the girl about why she wasn't going out of the house dressed like that.

Good times. "Tell the old lady I love her and I'll be home soon."

"You're staying out there?"

"This Nova Financial connection makes me curious," the H'lven noted, shutting down the monitor and turning his full attention to the hologram of the Tibetan child that he'd been paying only scant attention. "I'm going to sit on the place and see if anything comes up," the veteran Green Lantern said.

As for Salaak's decree that they stop investigating this murder and go write some parking tickets...

The H'lven's tail flicked dangerously behind him. Yeah, he definitely wasn't speaking to Salaak. It wasn't a situation that was going to end well. For anyone.

"Oh... okay."

The dejected tone immediately brought to mind conversations over subspace with his son. Another half-grunt, half-laugh. "Hey, kid, when you talk to Kilowog, ask him about that little maneuver at Tyegin," Ch'p noted simply.

The boy seemed to brighten up at the proffered bit. A distraction. A mission of his very own. "Oh, okay!"

It made for a good note to end the conversation on. "Night kid."

"Goodnight, Ch'p."

The green light hologram of the Tibetan youth faded out of view. Through his ring, Ch'p felt the connection between the two slip away, until the H'lven was left alone in the center of the Interceptor.

"Aya, pull up the files from..." the grizzled veteran began, pausing as tried to recall what the designation was that he'd filed the report under. "Two-eight-seven-nine-beta. The vice sting on Xabas. I want to look back through the case notes on Nova Financial."

The files you are requesting are archived. The archival data requires a level five clearance to access.

The tail flicked again. "Level five? There's no such clearance level."

Level five denotes information in the Book of Oa available only to the Guardians and the Clarissi of the Green Lantern Corps.

So Salaak had restricted all of the old case files? The H'lven's tail bristled, flattening out much as it had earlier. Drawing in a deep breath, Ch'p let go a heavy sigh. "Of course he has," the rodent uttered bitterly.
10x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Morden Man
Avatar of Morden Man

Morden Man

Member Seen 3 days ago

Guest Quarters, Pegasus Helicarrier

With their interviews concluded the Fantastic Four had finally been afforded the luxury of shared quarters. It was for all intents and purposes a small apartment. If not for the gruel-dispensing machine in the kitchen, Johnny might have been fooled into thinking they were in New York.

He laid on his back on the couch and watched on while Ben paced around the living room. He had been seething ever since he returned from his interview with Gardner. For the most part Johnny’s had gone off without a hitch and the ginger SHIELD agent had been fairly accommodating. He’d even brought Johnny a root beer when he asked for one.

Ben’s seemed to have gone slightly worse.

“It’s not right, Suzie,” Grimm said for what felt like the fortieth time.

Sue nodded her head understandingly from beside Reed at the kitchen table. “I know it’s not right, Ben, but you have to calm down.”

“They covered the whole damn thing up like it never happened. Can you believe that? It’s like we never even existed.”

Johnny rolled his eyes. Was he meant to care that some other world’s Fantastic Four had bit the bullet before having their lives turned over by cosmic rays? He’d watched his whole world torn apart by Darkseid, seen friends die at his hands, why would he think the four of them were immune from death? They was nothing special about them.

They could die just like anyone else. Perhaps they should have died there with the rest of their world instead of stranding themselves here.

“They weren’t us,” he said to Ben dispassionately.

“They might as well have been,” Grimm fired back. “What if it had been the four of us? You think our SHIELD would have dealt with it any differently? Cos if you do I’ve got some magic beans to sell you, Matchstick.”

Johnny bristled from the couch. Once upon a time he would have taken a comment like that in his stride. The past month had changed that. He could feel his temper rising – and his temperature rising with it – but a calming look from his sister Sue helped him check it.

Reed had stayed curiously silent throughout the conversation. Had he known already? There was no way someone of Reed’s intellect couldn’t have figured it out. He’d spent the best part of a week hobnobbing around with Doom and he hadn’t asked that question? It was hard to believe.

As he so often did in times of need, Ben looked to Reed for answers.

“Say something, Stretch.”

Reed’s sigh betrayed his indecision on the subject. Normally the Fantastic Four could rely on their fearless leader to provide moral clarity in these moments but the truth of the matter was that they had never been in a moment like this before.

It was uncharted territory – but not the kind that they had built their career on discovering.

“At the risk of sounding detached: Johnny is right. We have to remember that this is not our world, Ben. We don’t know what lead to SHIELD’s decision. If Victor von Doom is on the side of the angels in this world, who knows what else is different? Who knows what perils SHIELD has to face on a daily basis? That doesn’t quite excuse covering up four deaths to avoid a public relations headache but I don't think we can afford to rush to judgement here.”

Ben’s struggled to hide his revulsion at Reed’s facilitation.

“I think all that time spent with Doom in Latveria has rubbed off on you,” Ben said with a disapproving shake of the head. “Because there’s no way the Big Brain that I knew would be alright with this kinda thing. But then again, the Big Brain I knew would never have got us stranded here in the first place.”

At that, Reed, Ben and Johnny erupted into a wholly avoidable argument. The three of them were talk over one another so loudly that they could barely hear one another, let alone themselves. Sue tried to interject to calm the situation down but they paid her no attention.

A second time Sue tried to prise the men apart but found herself again treated like a spare part. This time it was Sue’s temper that frayed. She had finally had enough of being treated like she existed in Reed, Ben and Johnny’s stratosphere. Two large hard-light structures in the shape of giant hands pulled the men apart and pushed them to separate ends of the apartment.

“Enough,” Sue shouted. “I have tried to allow the three of you the time and space to deal with your grief in your own way but the bickering and the snide comments have to stop. We’re meant to be a team.”

Guilty looks adorned the men’s faces.

Reed nodded acceptingly, as if Sue had revealed some truth that he already understood on some level, while Ben scratched his head nervously like a child that had been caught in the middle of some misdeed.

Johnny approached his sister slowly and offered her his arm. “You’re right, Sue, we’re a team.”

She took it and nestled her head in her brother’s chest. She saw Ben and Reed walking over to them and slowly felt their arms wrapping around Johnny and herself in a group hug.

“No, we’re more than that,” Reed said tenderly. “We’re family, Johnny.”

It was a rare moment of affection between the four of them. Since Darkseid there hadn’t been the time to appreciate one another quite like this. Perhaps on some level hearing that their counterparts from this world had perished had affected them more than any of them cared to admit.

Perhaps they were just all in need of a hug.

Out of the corner of Johnny’s eye he spotted a tear rolling down Ben’s cheek. “Are you crying?”

“What?” Ben said as he drew away from the hug defensively. “No, I’ve just got something in my eye, you little rat.”

Sue punched her brother in the arm. She was about to complain about his ruining the moment when the four of them were almost knocked off of their feet by the Pegasus lurching without warning. After a second or two of listing the Pegasus corrected course.

Ben looked at Reed vacantly. “What was that?”

Before the scientist had a chance to answer there was another great blast. This time the Pegasus’ alarm system began to blare. The Fantastic Four’s quarters went into lockdown and metal coverings lowered over its windows and doors. Outside they could hear the sound of SHIELD agents running through the corridors.

Johnny called to his sister as he pointed at the coverings. “Can’t you go through those or something, Sue?

Invisible, Johnny, not intangible,” Sue said, almost distraught with belief that her brother still didn’t understand her powers after all these years. “The clue’s in the name.

Johnny fake-laughed obnoxiously and then gestured to his sister and Ben to stand back. Without a shout of his trademark catchphrase, Storm burst into flames. His breathing became laboured as he tried to channel his bottled-up rage to feed his flames.

He was on the cusp of unloading on the coverings when they rose at the last second.

“Whoa, whoa!” Guy Gardner held two peace signs up to Johnny as he entered the room. “Easy there, Pyro-Boy, I’m the one that gets to decide whether or not you end up in Area-51 with the rest of the intergalactic refugees. You don’t want to piss me off.“

He looked around the room. The furniture had been scattered about by the Pegasus being thrown off course.

“I like what you’ve done with the place.”

The blaring alarms and SHIELD agents sprinting around behind him didn’t seem to phase Gardner at all. He was every bit as sure of himself now as he had been facing down Ben Grimm in the interrogation room. Were it not for the alarms it would have been hard to tell the Pegasus was under attack.

Reed placed a panicked hand on Guy’s shoulder to shake the nonchalance out of him. “What’s going on, Gardner?”

“Ah, yeah,” Gardner said as if he had genuinely forgotten. “We seem to have a bit of a situation on our hands.”

Reed’s voice was firmer this time – more direct.

“What kind of situation?”

Guy laughed the laugh of a man recounting a story he felt a great sense of pride in that knew he wasn’t meant to. It was clear as the laugh left his lips that he understood that the blame for what was happening lay solely at his feet.

“The kind that involves an angry sea god wanting to tear you in half for sleeping with his cousin and not calling her back.”

He pulled a tablet out of his back pocket and pulled up some CCTV footage from the outside of the Pegasus.

Wrapped around one of its engines was a huge purple tentacle reaching from the depths of the sea beneath it. SHIELD agents were peppering the tentacle with bullets to no effect. Most worrying of all were the two figures walking patiently up the tentacle.

It was Namor the Submariner – King of Atlantis – and Namora.

“Where is he?!” Namor screamed until he was purple with rage. “Where is Guy Gardner?”

The Atlantean smacked his hands together and a wave of force flew towards the camera. It shorted out and the screen turned to static. He looked up from it at the Fantastic Four sheepishly. “So what do you say? You help me out with this one and I’ll put in a good word with Nick?”
11x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by HenryJonesJr
Avatar of HenryJonesJr


Member Seen 22 days ago

After getting ready for the day, I creep downstairs, and hear the TV as dad watches the news. I can tell whatever he's watching is affecting him. I can hear the grunts and groans that are normally reserved for Met or Jet games. Man we are fans of really, really terrible sports teams. Why couldn't we have been born into the Yankees/Giants side of things? Maybe someone has a time machine and I can fix that down the line.

I slip up to the opening by the living room and listen into the broadcast.

"This is Ben Urich reporting for ABC7, live from the Royal Palace hotel in downtown Manhattan where a gunfight broke out between a lone man and the hotel's security guards. The receptionist states that an Asian man in his late twenties entered the hotel and went into the elevator. Not long after, she heard gunshots. The firefight lasted for approximately fifteen minutes, and resulted in a bodycount of 41, counting multiple guests that were executed as well.

"All the guests killed were connected or rumored to be connected to the criminal underworld of New York City. The sole survivor of the security guards, who wishes to go unnamed, said that the perpetrator called himself 'the Punisher'. This points towards vigilantism as the perpetrator's motive, but the police have said they are not ruling out that it may have been a criminal hit.

"The NYPD urges anyone who may have information on 'the Punisher's' whereabouts to come forward. This has been Ben Urich speaking for ABC7. Back to you in the studio, Jim."

So the guy who's been killing Manfredi's men isn't from a rival gang. At least, he certainly isn't making it seem that way. Could be on purpose of course. A smokescreen to mask what is really going on. That could send the cops on a wild goose chase that would allow them to continue to destabilize the existing criminal power structure in New York. Or maybe he is just a lunatic vigilante leaving a river of bodies in his wake.

"Well you failed to tell me about that," I say as I come around the corner, my arms crossed. Instantly I know he's embarrassed, "It's not like I wouldn't of found out, Dad. This guy sounds like a maniac. Please tell me you're not planning on taking this guy out."

His eye raises, "Not me personally. No. But my unit will. This is what I talk about when I say all it takes is a few bad weeks, Gwen. Spider-Woman may not be dangerous to the common man, but what about this guy? What about the Batman? What about the thrill killers who are only in it to clear a grudge? The people who don't care who gets in their way as long as their target dies as well? We can't let these people multiply. A statement needs to be made. And we'll make it by putting the Punisher away for good."

My eyes instinctively roll. I don't know what Dad is thinking Major Crimes and him can do to stop a guy like this, but I know when someone is inherently dangerous. If the news is to be believed, he's a rabid dog let off the leash. You don't want to put someone like that in a cage. Who knows what they'll do if you're in their way.

"Fine, Dad," I shake my head, knowing he won't relent. "Just please, be careful. I don't need to see your face up on the news."

He stands and puts his hands on my shoulders before pulling me close, "Don't worry, baby. I'm not going anywhere."

That's right, I think. Because I'm going to catch the Punisher first.


Royal Palace Hotel

My shadow falls over a window blasted out by the rampage of the Punisher. Glass this high up would be strong. Possibly ballistics grade. The fact that it broke means Punisher really is using the best-of-the-best level stuff. He's dangerous, to say the least. Who knows how many people dead in this attack are innocent. Whether they're adjacent to Manfredi's operation or not, people don't deserve to die if they're criminals.

At least that's not for us to decide.

I slip through the broken window and slink across the ceiling of the crime scene. My eyes go wide as I see the torrents of blood that cover the hotel room massacre. The bodies are long gone, but the remnants make things clear enough. The mass amount of death that happened in this room is unlike anything I've ever seen. After the news report, I thought of the Punisher as a monster. He might have a good reason to do what he does, but a monster none the less. But now that I see this, that label isn't all that correct. The Punisher isn't a monster.

He's a machine.

The shots he fired are pinpoint. Looks like he barely missed. Barely. But there are a few bullets embedded into the walls and the ceiling, shot in the direction of the victims. I manage to match the shattered bullets I pick out of the drywall to some casings on the ground. Dad's guys were not as thorough as they should have been. I'd bring that up to him, but that'd probably blow my cover.

The bullets roll around in my hand, and I'm surprised what I see. Handgun rounds, and small caliber. I would have expected, considering the amount of death this guy dolled out I would have figured he had an AR-15 at the very least. But no, just handguns. Handguns and scary, scary accuracy. This guy is the Terminator. He's Jason Vorhees with a pistol. The worst part of all this is if he had broken in here and captured his target, the guy would be in prison right now, more than likely. Instead, I'm gonna take the Punisher down.

I press a button on my webshooter and hear the phone ringing in my ears. When a voice answers on the other side, I say, "Pete? You got plans for tomorrow?"

"Gwen," he grumbles on the other end of the line, "it's like midnight. What the hell is going on?"

"I may or may not be combing through the Punisher's latest massacre," a nervous chuckle escapes me.

"Gwen, are you crazy?" he clearly shoots up in bed and is fully alert. "Isn't that place crawling with cops?"

"Not at this time," I say. "Probably someone at the door. That's about it."

"Fine," he sighs. "What do you need me for?"

"We need to do some ballistics research at Oscorp," I say as I pocket the bullets. "And I may or may not need you to hack into my Dad's police computer."

"Gwen, if I go to jail, you're paying my bail," Peter says as he hangs up.

"Joke's on him," I laugh as I swing back into the New York Night. "I don't have any money!"


Parker Residence
The Next Day

I lounge on the floor, as Peter toils over my dad's work computer. He "left" it at home today, and I "managed" to find it too late for him to come home and get it. He's got his computer at the office, which he'll use today. Plus, I need to know where the bullet we reconstructed at Oscorp today originated. It's pretty nice that we work in a super science lab run by our friend's dad. No one asks us too many questions when we do some...side projects.

Taking a deep breath, I soak in the Parker house air. You know when you get a whiff of the smell of a place that, no matter how old you get, or how long you've been away from them, you get a flood of perfectly clear memories rushing back to you? That's me with the Parker house. Aunt May has always kept an impeccably clean home, and it's always smelled faintly of pine and chocolate chip cookies. Even since the death of her husband, the house is spotless.

So many of my memories I've had in this house. Peter and I reading comic books and watching cartoons on Saturday mornings. Sitting down to dinner with Peter, May, and Ben so many times. Sitting in this very bedroom and telling Peter about my super powers. All of it in this house. So many of them are good, happy memories. But recently things have been weird here. I'm sure it's part of the normal mourning period, but I'd love to see happy days here again.

At the desk, Peter works away on the computer, which he's already put a thumb drive into. He told me it's what he uses to make sure no one at Oscorp knows when he's doing super hero-related things. The kid is honestly incredible. People are usually geniuses in, like, one specific situation. Meanwhile Pete is over here with engineering, biology, computer science, and chemistry down pat. He may not believe it now, wishing he could be like me, but he's going to do great things on his own.

"Done," he says and whips the thumb drive out of my dad's computer.

I recoil in surprise, "What do you mean 'done'?"

"I just copied the entirety of the NYPD database...and no one will ever know," a mischievous smile spreads across his face. He really can be incredible sometimes. "So now we match the bullet up with the last known owner of the gun. Then we at least have a lead."

I plant a kiss on Peter's cheek, and he goes beet red, "Parker, you are a lifesaver."

Of course, right at that moment, May Parker comes in with a tray of cookies. She smiles broadly at the site of my arm around Pete, and I curse my luck. This will get back to my dad and MJ's aunt, which means both of them will be on my case about the Peter situation sooner rather than later.

"I thought you kids would like some snacks," she puts the tray down. "Sorry for barging in!"

"Not a problem, Aunt May," I smile and give her a big hug. "How are you doing?"

"Oh fine, fine dear," she smiles sweetly. "Peter and I are coming along. It won't be the same as it was, but we'll live every day remembering the kind of man Ben was. I do hope you and the others keep coming over. It does me good to see you kids more often."

I nod to her, "I'll make it a point of bringing MJ and Harry next time. I'm sure they'd love to see you."

"I'll make my famous meatloaf on that night," she says and heads back out of the room. The meatloaf is actually one of the few things Aunt May cooks that isn't good. She makes it almost every time the four of us came for dinner, but none of us have ever had the heart to tell her. Uncle Ben himself didn't like it either. I remember him telling us one time when we had a sleepover. He always made sure to give us a little extra ice cream the nights she made it.

He really was the best.

"I found a name," Peter taps me on the shoulder, as he continued to work as Aunt May came in. "Emil Greco. Arms dealer in the city. Believed to be employed by the Kingpin, but nothing to back that up. Has a shop in the Bronx. Looks like that might be where the Punisher got his guns."

"Well then, looks like I've got someone to visit," I crack my knuckles.
11x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Lord Wraith
Avatar of Lord Wraith

Lord Wraith Silly Forum Ghost

Member Seen 6 hrs ago

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

M O N D A Y, J U L Y 2 N D, 2 0 1 8 - 1 0 : 0 9 a m | D O N A L D S O N F A R M

The engine roared between Thor’s legs as he pulled the clutch in, quickly tapping his foot upwards before releasing it with a powerful rev of the engine, repeating the process as the rotations roared higher and higher until the motorcycle had reached its maximum output.

His lust for battle was powerful, nearly as powerful as his lust for the maiden, Barbara but there were other feelings gnawing at Thor’s chest, ones that weren’t coming from his thoughts or memories but ones that came from within his body, emotions belonging to Blake. Thor’s mind was suddenly bombarded with memories of Barbara, Erik, and Marcy as Blake’s feelings pushed through, purging the body of the god’s arrogance until finally, Blake was rightfully back at the helm.

Knowing both Barbara and his parents were in danger had made reawoken Blake, igniting an overwhelming, yet familiar feeling, one he hadn’t felt since Thor punched Creel in the face with a lightning bolt.


He could barely remember the last thirty-six or so hours of his life. How he came to be in the possession, let alone know how to ride a motorcycle was beyond him. The face of an older man haunted him, the last thing he remembered before losing consciousness, flashes of Barbara’s naked body, writhing beneath him frequented the fragmented memory as he tried to piece everything together. The only thing clear was that Creel was still at large and had taken Barbara towards his parent’s farm.

Banking the vehicle hard to the right, the rear wheel of the motorcycle threatened to slide out from under Blake. Sharply turning, he left the smooth county road behind, exchanging it for the rough, gravel laneway of the Donaldson Farm.

Blake’s mind raced with thoughts of Barbara and his parents as each scenario conjured from the darkest corners of his mind were worse than the one that had come prior. Fear and rage were his driving motivators now, any and all bravado had melted away, leaving only raw emotion as the dark clouds above opened to invite the rest of the world to share in Blake’s misery.

Dismounting from the bike, a flurry of feathered wings caught his attention, as Blake barely brought the motorcycle to a stop, the kickstand dragging across the gravel. Stones flew through the air as the brakes locked the wheels into a still position, the momentum suddenly leaving the vehicle as it rocked one last time before coming to rest.

The feathered wings belonged to a lone raven that had landed to Blake’s right, atop the white picket fence that enclosed his parents’ front yard. Turning its head, the bird fixed one of its dark, beady eyes on Blake, seemingly looking at him directly before the voice of an elderly man suddenly found its way into his head.

You’re unfocused, you can not do battle like this, my son.

“I am not your son!” He snapped as the raven turned its head. Blake raised a hand to meet his temple as he rubbed two fingers in a circular motion against his throbbing head. He would have given just about anything for a glass of water and two ibuprofen pills at this particular moment.

You command the storm, and yet you still find it plausible to deny your true self.

A second raven landed on the handlebars of the motorcycle, catching Blake off guard as he took a step backward before waving a hand dismissively towards the creature.

“You talk like someone not from around here.” Blake muttered towards the pair of birds, barely realizing he was doing so. “Obviously you haven’t lived in Tornado Alley before, weather like this is normal for Marville. It ain’t uncommon for a storm to blow up out of nowhere.”

That’s because we are not of this realm, my son.

“Stop calling me that!” Blake screamed, his words echoing over the fields as the spooked ravens took flight. Soaked hair hung over his face as Blake was left alone in the rain to survey his parent’s property.

The door had been smashed in, the glass stained with faint traces of blood. Blonde and silver hair was caught on the edges, apparently, Creel had negated to even open the door after smashing it, instead of moving his mostly invulnerable body through the splintered remains, dragging his victims along for the right. Signs of a struggle all pointed towards the barn, but even Blake knew the signs of a trap.

Turning back to the house, Blake pried the door open as he entered. The antique dining room table was on its side, a leg hanging out the window of the front nook. The living room was completely torn apart, the coffee table somehow merged with the screen of the television while the rafters were now holding his father’s recliner. On the floor was a rifle, dropped mid-loading as the ammunition was spilled all around it.

The weapon had been passed down from generation to generation, his grandfather swearing it had been used during the Civil War, while his father had told Blake that it had first seen service during the Second World War, alongside the legendary Captain America. Either way, Blake had seen his father clean the weapon every Sunday evening for as long as he could remember and was assured it was in working order.

Loading the weapon, Blake moved back outside, lifting the weapon as he slowly approached the barn. The barrel barely remained straight as Blake’s hands shook despite the rest of his body remaining stiff with fear. Poking the butt of the weapon through the crack of the door, Blake slowly opened the barn, a loud creak echoing with each inch as he slowly made his way inside.

Muffled cries caught his attention as Blake looked up to see three bodies suspended from the hayloft railing as feet flailed about, tears streaming from Barbara’s eyes as Blake lowered the weapon.

A sharp blow was delivered to the back of his head and suddenly his world went black.
10x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Bounce
Avatar of Bounce


Member Seen 6 days ago

...he was seated at a café.

It was a strange experience, as though peering through eyes that were not his own. He was holding a cup of something, struck by the fact that his skin was a violet hue. And then wondering why he'd think that was strange.

Someone was laughing. As he glanced across the table, Salaak seemed to be enjoying a joke told by Ch'p. Except, neither looked the same. They were clearly Salaak and Ch'p, but... younger. Ch'p was bright eyed and bushy tailed in a way quite unlike the H'lven that he knew.

The H'lven that he knew now? Did that even make sense?

This was Xabas. They were on a sting. Set-up in a café outside the dust house that another Green Lantern had worked her way inside of. They were supposed to be waiting for the signal to go in and make the arrest.

Kilowog and a Xudarian were on the other side of the street, pretending to argue sports at the newsstand.

Suddenly, the sound of glass shattering overhead heralded the ejection of a dusthead from inside the drug house. The trio at the table were caught speechless, as sounds of laser fire echoed from inside the building. The ejected dusthead slammed down against a parked tram, setting out an alarm that sounded up and down the alleys.

That wasn't the signal they'd discussed. But it was the signal now.

"Go! Go! Go!"

Their outward appearances changed, as all five converged on the door to the house. Black and white and green displayed prominently as Kilowog hit the door like a tank to open the way...

"Mary Jane's Last Dance" [ Part VIII ] [ See You Again ]

The boy awoke to find a family of chipmunks nesting on top of him.

It was disorienting at first. Like, was it all just a dream? Or not? He stared at his hand. So small. So pink. So alien. It was as though he didn't recognize himself and it made him question just who he was.

Who was he supposed to be?

"You off to find Kilowog, dear?"

The boy blinked the sleep away from his eyes, lowering his hand away from his face to find a matriarchal chipmunk who was wearing a red and white check patterned apron staring patiently at him, even while she was standing on top of his chest. Kai-ro's restlessness had apparently roused the H'lven family.

Family. It was a concept that the Tibetan boy was still trying to come to an understanding of. As happened in Tibet, Kai-ro was presented to the monastery as an orphan for the monks to raise. It was entirely possible that his parents were alive, and just couldn't afford to take care of him. Or else didn't want him. Or maybe he was legitimately an orphan.

He didn't know, he just knew that growing up in a monastery was not at all akin to having a family. A reality that he'd never so much as thought about until he'd found himself spending time with Ch'p's family.

And wistfully wondering how things could have been different. "Yes'm," the boy said, sitting up carefully as the trio of H'lven's scampered around the proverbial Gulliver. "You have to get up early if you want to catch Kilowog before he starts training," the boy added.

"Oh, well that is a shame. I was going to make us all breakfast."

That proclamation stopped Kai-ro even as he was starting to get up.

"Well... not that early, I guess."

He was going to grow old down here.

Wrapped in a scrap of wool cloth, the small H'lven Lantern was perched atop a windowsill on a building that was across from Robot Emotional Underground. He'd been on the stake-out overnight, feeling each hour sap away at his bones. His back ached. His knees were killing him. And he had some arthritis in his left elbow that was really setting his nerves on fire.

Why didn't he remember stake-outs being this miserable?

The answer, because they hadn't been. Twenty years ago, he'd have been playing fizzbin with Salaak. Cheating at cards just to annoy the Slyggian shark. Bastard knew the rules so well, he could run the tables on just about everyone by card counting.

Strange. At the time, they'd only gotten on each other's nerves. Now, the memory of those same arguments brought the ghost of a smile to the H'lven's face.

Movement. Lights overhead directed Ch'p's eyes upward, tracking where a descending shuttle seemed to be ferrying a delivery to the back of the club. "Showtime," the H'lven muttered under his breath. A green construct depicting a pair of macrobinoculars formed in front of the rodent's face.

The Daxamites, Tweedledee and Tweedledumbass, were offloading containers of some sort. Ch'p's mind was already working to try and devise a plan to get a peek inside of one of those.

A shadow moving along the ground alerted him to another presence. Judging by the shadow, a big presence at that. Adjusting the binoculars, the H'lven shifted his gaze around where the unloading was taking place.

The color was what stood out to him most.

His fur bristled. His eyes squinting as he leaned forward, the disbelief evaporating as recognition set in. "What the..."

This changed everything.

Discarding the wool scrap, the H'lven leapt up into the air. This stake-out had just gotten hot. Uncomfortably hot. Ch'p didn't know where Abin Sur was. Heaven. Paradise. Maybe frolicking in the Elysian Fields, or whatever it was that Ungarans believed in, but he really could have used the back-up right about now.

For the first time in more than a decade, he wished that Salaak was with him.

Skyrocketing up into the atmosphere, Ch'p moved like a chipmunk with a purpose. Raising his ring up toward his head, the H'lven said, "Aya, fire up the eng..."

3,600 Sectors.

7,200 Lanterns just for regular patrols. Then there was the administrative overhead, the Honor Guard, dispatchers, SWAT... and just one Slyggian to try and pull it all together with any semblance of order.

In the center of a myriad of windows boasting information about the known universe, the Clarissi stood in the eye of the storm. He would not permit the chaos of the wider cosmos to permeate or take root here. Here, there would be order. Precision.

"Where's that report on Tamaran?" Salaak barked curtly, even as he was perusing the latest long-range survey of the Vega System. The Spider Guild was on the move again. He was almost certain of...

He was out of breath.

Staggered, one of the Slyggian's four arms reached back to his chest. It was tight. So tight that he couldn't breathe. A sharp pain pieced his ring finger, radiating outward until it seemed to consume all of him in a burning pain that was not physical as much as it was ephemeral.

As much as it was emotional.

He dropped to a knee, staggered and unsteady as two arms fumbled for a chair that wasn't there. He'd always been conscious of the connection. It was a bond forged by two rings united in wills for more decades than some of these Green Lanterns today had even been alive.

A connection he hadn't thought about now in...

The connection was gone now. Broken. Severed.
"Oh, no."
10x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Enarr
Avatar of Enarr


Member Seen 1 mo ago

The Weapon X Facility, Canada
The Summer of 2018

Cornelius strokes the bottom of his chin, wishing oh so fervently that he could instead be stroking the bottom of Ms. Carol Hines bottom. Like a wolf scoping out a sheep, he stays at the back of the pack while he scrunches his nose and licks his canines taking it all in, all while talking on the phone.

"Patient Ten is rousing, Professor Thorton," he commented, trotting his gaze to the diligent pair of geeks taking turns with the remote control pad. Cornelius lent them his disdain for a brief moment, choking on the notion of the pus he was sure had rocketed his way out of their volcanic pizza faces, before stingily reclaiming his disdain for later use.

"Alright, everybody: Look Out," one of them called out.

A mere moment later, their chimera sat straight up, sloshing a liter of the gold/saline solution onto the floor up to ten feet away before rolling out of the operating tank. A hybrid being consisting of flesh, bone, dread, surrender and adamantium stood naked on the work floor, shining bright like electrum against the sterile white background. They watched as his sagging, raisin-esque skin, inflamed and erroneous swung around his body like a performer on a trapeze, tightening up ever so slowly. It was like watching a speed drawing video, as the flesh tightened itself around the metal underpinnings, shriveling into place.

The dweebs at the controls made him walk forward, or at least they tried to do so. The Patient was staggering and sputtering, hardly managing a pivot, much less a pounce. So they took it easy, allowing him to idle. As impressed as they all were with themselves, as grand a job as they all had done, they still knew not to take the beast lightly. Patient Ten had been reduced to a dog on a leash. Or perhaps it was more like having the mighty wolf Fenris in a muzzle made of moose jerkey.

The dweebs couldn't control his steps precisely even if they had wanted to. The technology they used to strut him around didn't control individual muscles, that level of control was inoperable for a single human and would require miraculous coordination amongst a team of master-class mavens. Instead, their grip on the Patient's actions was rooted in controlling brain chemistry.

Looking at the patient's face, you'll readily observe that it's a challenge to look him in the eye. That would be because of the giant metal helmet surrounding the vertical-most portion of his skull. This prevents the patient from hearing or seeing any inputs that The Weapon X Company of North America decides should be censored. This way he can't be triggered into any ill-advised attempts to reassert any sort of vector on his destiny. The contraption also has dozens of points where electrodes reach from the helmet and make contact directly with The Patient's brain, sharpening or dulling his attention toward various stimuli while auditory and visual suggestions are broadcast to him, through the headset, like a television network maintained for an audience of one.

The Patient stood, slouching with his fists in front of him, thoroughly blinded to everyone around him. Easy there the tickles in his skull seemed to tell him. We wouldn't want to see you hurt yourself. The word self triggered a synapse, the firing of which was deflected, counteracted by a sniper-shot of an electron chain supplied by the headset. The engineers were ten patients deep into developing Weapon X, and they had learned that it wasn't helpful for their investments to be too preoccupied with themselves. Self was one of hundreds of concepts rendered off limits by the cranial cagemaster.

Carol Hines didn't see the Weapon's brains wrestling against it's restraints. She only saw the string of slobber slithering off of his lip and down his scraggly chin. But as the saliva traced his Adam's apple, she realized that the body was recovering astonishingly quickly. Ironically, he looked more intimidating buck-naked with his plentiful hair and well-defined muscles than he did as a disintegrating science experiment. Then again, being half-dead is always a great excuse for looking like a caricature of yourself.

So thirsty, the brain begs, goaded on by a nation of microorganisms, while staring into the buffet of defenseless employees who observed their handiwork with equal measures of wonder and a wanton sort of sorry. All he needed was a quick bite and he'd be back in top condition.

Carol stepped away from the panting Patient himself, and strutted over to the dweebs who'd held Cornelius' disdain not even two minutes before. She got a good look at the control pad, knowing that there was no way she'd be allowed to touch it without all three of them being terminated. Even so, the one holding the contraption was evidently feeling rather suave, so he let her see the interface. A small screen flashed a textualized blast of The Patient's stream of consciousness, with a screen displaying his own ocular perspective, a joystick, about twelve basic buttons and a qwerty keyboard.

Cornelius grumbled and made his way over to his assistant's side, before glancing at the user interface itself. He read the stream of consciousness and began to think. Hmm..

"You know, boys, it might do us some good to have the Patient clean up the mess that that incompetent surgeon made a few hours ago," he said, pointing to the man-door that the dead man had marched to his doom through. A minute later, the onlookers looked on, crowding around the user interface as the operator punched in an order: Drink up, sport. As though he anticipated things to go wrong immediately, the operator smashed the keys to follow the message with "Only this one that's already dead, though. For now, at least."

Watching through the camera, none of the Weapon X-ers said a word. Not one word as their former brother in arms was reduced to a convenient source of sustenance for their Patient. Even the guards who could be infrequently seen on the monitor, could be seen infrequently but dependably cowering.
7x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Bounce
Avatar of Bounce


Member Seen 6 days ago

"Mary Jane's Last Dance" [ Part IX ] [ One Day ]

A heavy, Bolovaxian hand slapped the table.

It was possible that the entire restaurant shook with the force of Kilowog's gesture, the porcine Lantern laughing hoarsely as he regaled Kai-ro with the story of Tyegin. It had been another vice sting, which his partner had spent months preparing for. But B'Shi had gotten sick right before the crucial phase of their investigation, and so Kilowog had gone undercover -- in drag -- in order to finish the assignment.

Which turned out to merely be the start to a series of unfortunate events. That apparently took several hours for the Bolovaxian to properly recount, as the offer to buy Kilowog a cup of coffee was going into its second hour.

Ch'p had been right. Kilowog had seemed as though he was going to decline the invitation, until Kai-ro had brought up Tyegin. Even as he listened to the Bolovaxian weave his tale about the vice sting, it made the boy aware of just how much Green Lantern history that he was oblivious to.

He knew that Ch'p and Salaak had been partners once, a pairing that seemed impossible to try and imagine now. Kilowog had been partnered with B'Shi... so, who had Abin Sur been partnered with?

"Ah... brings back memories," the large Bolovaxian declared, still chuckling as he loomed over the cramped cafeteria table where the two were situated. Relaxed back, the boy's former drill sergeant finally asked, "So what's this about, really? Ch'p didn't send you halfway around the universe just to hear me talk about the ol' glory days."

The boy was fidgeting with his ring. For some reason, it felt hot. Like it was burning him, except... it wasn't? It was really strange. Not to mention distracting. Purposely folding his hands down in his lap so that it was out of sight, the boy looked up at the Bolovaxian as he said, "We're working a homicide from Omicron Ceti IV, but we're having a hard time identifying the victim."

The laughter subsided, through the Bolovaxian's jowls were still quivering. A sight, then a grunt, as Kilowog seemed to internalize the statement and grow serious. His voice was low as he rumbled, "So why come to me?"

The boy's eyes cast down to the table, then off to the side. He wasn't really sure how to answer that question in any way that wouldn't make him sound crazy. When he looked up, he finally said, "We think she might be someone you trained."

"But you checked the..." the grizzled drill sergeant began, as though preparing to launch into a lesson on one of his recruits. Except, Kai-ro had been one of recruits. And he realized that he knew better. "You did. And then what?"

"I tried to speak with the Clarissi except..."

"Yeah," Kilowog growled, burying his face in the meaty palm of a large hand. "That probably went just like I'd think it would," the porcine soldier remarked flatly, lowering his hand and drawing in a deep breath. "So Ch'p sent you to me. An' fed you that tidbit about Tyegin because he knew that'd get my attention."

Kai-ro's eyes diverted right, then looked back at Kilowog with a smile that did nothing to remove how utterly guilty he looked right now.

"Crafty lil' bastard," the Bolovaxian huffed. Even his whisper seemed to roll like thunder. When he slapped his hand back down on the table, Kai-ro jumped at the boom it delivered. It was a miracle of Maltusian construction that the table was still in one piece. "Right. What you got, then?"

Kai-ro swallowed nervously, though he wasn't really all that certain why he was nervous.

...well, other than the fact that he was crammed into a cafeteria booth across from a Bolovaxian about four times his size. Who'd been his drill sergeant.

Kai-ro was very much of the belief that Kilowog could end him just by sneezing.

Still fidgeting with the ring, the boy flexed his fingers to try and take his mind off the itching and irritation that seemed to keep biting at him from the underside of the ring. Was it possible to be allergic to these? He'd even tried changing which finger it was on, and it was still like wearing a ring of thorns for some reason...

The green construct leapt into existence between the two. The same artistic rendition of a living Jane Doe that Ch'p had used on Scylla. Aya had rendered the image using the data from Doctor von Buron's analysis.

The Bolovaxian leaned in as he studied the image. His brow furrowed, through the recognition was clear behind his eyes. "Luna?" Kilowog uttered, as though testing whether the name sound correct or not. "No, Laura?"

For his part, Kai-ro just blinked.

To be totally honest, he was really not sure where this was going. And, as a result, he'd just assumed this whole go ask Kilowog what the Book of Oa says doesn't exist thing was going to be a bust.

Now it wasn't. And the implications of that fact left Kai-ro very uncertain as to what he should do next. Other than call Ch'p as soon as possible.

Ch'p would know what to do. Ch'p always knew what to do. It didn't always go as planned, but that wasn't because his partner was making it up as he went...

...he totally made this up as he went. But how did he do it? Kai-ro couldn't figure that part out. And he'd tried. "So you do know her?" the boy asked, mostly because he hadn't known what else to say.

Kilowog seemed lost in thought. He did a double-take at the question, as though having forgotten that Kai-ro was still there. "Yeah, I know her. Graxian, but... my memory isn't what it used to be," the aged veteran remarked candidly, letting go a heavy sigh as he sagged back into the booth. "She was the Green Lantern of Sector..."

He paused there, his eyes seeming to search a bit, before they focused back on Kai-ro.

"2814," the boy realized, finishing the Bolovaxian's sentence for him.

An uncomfortable silence fell over the table.

"I ain't gonna claim to know what you boys have gotten yourselves into. But you might tell Ch'p that I said... think twice about where you're going with this one."

Maybe it was malfunctioning?

Still fidgeting with his ring, the small Green Lantern exited from out of cafeteria. He was more confused now than when he'd first woken up on Oa with a ring on his finger, wearing a black-and-green leotard.

How was it possible for someone to have been Green Lantern and there not be any record in the Book of Oa? At all?

And why couldn't he get a connection with either Aya or Ch'p? Even if the H'lven was maintaining radio silence because of the stake-out, Kai-ro still should have been able to reach Aya in orbit of Scylla.

Was there a place he could take his ring for a check-up? Was that even a thing?

Kai-ro felt like he should know the answer to these questions. He really was a poozer, wasn't he?

"Come away, O human child."

So far as he knew, Kai-ro was the only human in the Green Lantern Corps. So how was it that everybody seemed to automatically know what his species was? And why was that a substitute for his name?

The boy turned, then did a double take when he realized who was addressing him.

"To the water and the wild, with a fairy hand-in-hand..." the bald, scarred Guardian uttered, in the same softly melodic voice. She was Kai-ro's same height, looking him calmly in the eye as he stood there, open mouthed, in awe of the fact that there was a Guardian literally in arm's reach.

A Guardian in arm's reach, who was speaking to him.

Immediately, Kai-ro bowed toward the ancient alien, holding the pose so that his head was focused firmly on the ground at his feet. "M... my Guardian."

Seriously, what was he even supposed to call these people? They were basically gods.

"Do you know the poet William Butler Yeats of your homeworld?"

"Uhhh..." the boy uttered, shifting uncomfortably under the Guardian's attention. "How... how do you know so much about Earth?" he finally asked, blurting the question aloud before he'd even really thought about it.

"I am the director of our Science Division. I know many things about many worlds," the woman's voice answered cryptically. The hem of her red robe came into Kai-ro's field of vision, as a voice commanded him. "Look up, child."

The boy fidgeted. Was this a test? Was there any right answer in this situation? "I mean no disrespect your... your Guardianship."

Guardianship? Where, even, had he gotten that from? Let alone said it?

"Look up."

That popped the child firmly upright, rigidly at attention like this was the second day of Sergeant Kilowog's training.

"Better," the scarred Guardian uttered approvingly. "I cannot have a Green Lantern looking down all the time. You would be forever running into things."

Kai-ro just flashed a nervous smile.

Was this conversation over now? This conversation should really be over now.

"What brings Green Lantern 2814.2 to Oa?" the woman asked, seemingly happy to continue this... whatever this was. Glancing off in the direction that the boy had been headed, the woman paused a moment before adding, "Or should I ask what takes you from us?"

"I'm, uh, just eager to get back to my partner, m'am," the boy uttered shyly, then seemed to stop and wonder if he'd said that right. "Miss? My lady?"

Seriously, how were you supposed to talk to these people? And why wasn't that part of the training?

"And where is Green Lantern 2814.1?" the Guardian asked in turn.

"Scylla, your... uh"

"Ah, Scylla," the Guardian uttered, as though fondly recalling a memory of yesteryear. With a faint nod of approval, she added, You travel some distance then." Reaching out with her left hand, the woman took hold of the boy's ring hand and cradled his hand in the palm of her hand.

The itching sensation in his ring finger stopped.

"Have you been charging your ring regularly, as you're supposed to?" the Guardian asked curiously.

Kai-ro's eyes immediately diverted to the right.

Still holding firm to his hand, the woman became more pointed as she asked, "When was the last time that you charged your ring?"

The boy's eyes flickered back the woman for a moment, then diverted away again as he stammered, "Uh, well, you see... what happened was..."

Squeezing his hand, the woman released him as she said, "Go to the Central Battery. Re-charge. Whatever awaits you on Scylla has time enough for that."

An opportunity to make a break for it.

Kai-ro took it. Eagerly. Bowing, he scooted away. Bowed a second time. And took off in a dead sprint for the Central Battery.

The blue-skinned Guardian watched the child as he fled from her presence.

Glancing down, the woman looked as she opened her right hand. A Green Lantern power ring sat in the center of her palm. A single drop of H'lven blood spider-webbed across the lines of her hand.

Closing her fist, the same indigo eyes looked up to fix upon the child's retreating back as she finished the poem.

"...from a world more full of weeping than you can understand."

The scarred Guardian featured at the center of one of the monitors overhead. A second recorded Kai-ro breathless as he stumbled into the Central Battery.

In the shadows, the Slyggian sat. And watched. And wondered... how had it all come to this?

8x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by AndyC
Avatar of AndyC

AndyC Guardian of the Universe

Member Seen 20 hrs ago


"The bridge was that way, Miss Lane!" Jimmy shouted, holding onto Lois's waist for dear life as they darted back and forth on her moped through the gridlock of stopped and abandoned cars clogging up the streets of the Upper East Side.

"I know where I'm going, Jimmy!" she shouted back, wincing as a bug splatted against her forehead. For a moment, she found herself wishing she'd taken the extra time to go inside to get her helmet and goggles. Then, another thunderous boom let her know she was close, and she couldn't hold back an eager smile.

She had originally come to Metropolis to cover big-city corruption, graft in the private and public sectors, overlap between prominent citizens and organized crime. It was dangerous work, sure, but it involved careful navigation of complex social machinery. While she was proud of being able to blow the lid on Mayor Glenmorgan without getting herself shot in the face, it was a far cry from her globetrotting years embedded with the troops, interviewing terrorist leaders, or dodging bullets in a civil war.

Now, though, there were explosions overhead. There was debris scattered over the ground, and shrapnel flying through the air. There was panic, danger, and chaos all around, and somewhere in all this mess was the truth, waiting to be dug up.

Lois Lane had never felt more at home.

"Hang on, I think we--" Jimmy began to speak up again, before being cut off by the sound of breaking glass above them. Erupting from one of the upper floors of an office building on the corner of Cameron and Simonson was a tangle of red and chrome. Lois skidded to a halt, the moped fish-tailing to one side, and Jimmy began fumbling for the controls to his drone.

Two of the attacker robots were trying to wrest control of Superman, who managed to swat one away long enough to grab the other by its leg. Swinging it overhead like a man splitting wood with an axe, he flung the robot down to an empty patch of pavement as hard as he could, the leg snapping off in his hands, the rest of the drone shattering into pieces.

As the other robot charged towards him, Superman took the severed leg and hurled it like a javelin, impaling the mechanical monster through its torso. The resulting explosion sent the caped hero tumbling to the ground, stopping a few yards short of Lois and Jimmy.

"....holy crap," Jimmy whispered to himself.

"No kidding," Lois agreed.

Lois always felt a bit of dissonance when she saw him. Her head knew, knew for a fact that Superman was Clark Kent-- hell, she was the one who gave him the 'Superman' name-- but her gut could never quite gel with the idea that the man who could bend steel with his bare hands and the sweet but hopeless goof from the office were one and the same. Honestly, she didn't blame Jimmy for not being able to put two and two together. Intellectually, all you had to do was ask Kent to take off his glasses and the whole jig would be up.

But seeing Superman in action, was just....unreal. It was like watching a force of nature in human form, an immovable mountain, an unstoppable hurricane, a bolt of lightning, all packed into a 6'2" frame in a T-shirt and jeans.

Picking himself up, Superman dusted off his T-shirt, which had gotten ripped and tattered during the fray-- exposing a physique that, Lois had to admit, was nothing short of spectacular. As more of the killer robots loomed in the skies above, ready to swoop down on him, the Man of Steel clenched his jaw, balled up his fists in a stance like a prize-fighter....

....then turned back to Lois like he'd just noticed her, and winked.

A second later, he leapt back into the action, throwing fists that hit like bunker-busters and shrugging off blasts that could shear through a skyscraper.

"....Jimmy?" Lois asked.


".....tell me you got a shot of that."



"I got it, I got it!"

"Good, because that was....*whew!*" Lois had to take a moment to compose herself. Had she lived in the South, she might have been accused of 'catching the vapors.'

"Uploading the pictures to the Planet now," he said, his confidence returning. "It's front-page material for sure. Should we keep going?"

"There's still a story to finish, isn't there?" said Lois, climbing back on her moped and revving the electric engine. "Then we keep going."

The spectacle and the danger was intense and exciting....in a few ways, if Lois was being completely honest. But there was more to this than just an army of killer robots. Someone had to have built those things, and someone had to be controlling them.

She was starting to think that even after Superman's work had finished here, Lois Lane's job was only just beginning.

Mission Command Center
Peterson Air Force Base
Colorado Spring, CO

"Glad you could make it, Doctor," General Calvin Swanwick greeted the man being marched into the command center by armed guards, as rows of monitors and satellite displays showed the chaos on the East Coast. "Now that you're here, maybe you wouldn't mind telling us what the hell is going on."

Doctor John Henry Irons gave him a cold glare. "I was hoping you could tell me."

"Those are your drones tearing up Downtown Metropolis, Doctor," the General cut to the chase.

"My drones, yes," Dr. Irons nodded, "that you and your superiors commissioned as a failsafe in the event that Superman or other metahumans became hostile and needed to be apprehended. I don't recall seeing anything in the news about Superman doing something worth calling in a mass air-strike."

"Those drones," Swanwick stated, his poker-face unchanged, "you coded their behavior patterns, wrote their programming....and, I presume, included a killswitch command if necessary."

Dr. Irons considered the statement, trying to get a read on the General's expression, before a wave of realization came over him.

"My God," he said, "you're not in control of them, are you? That....that shouldn't be possible. Who's--"

"Can you disable them, Doctor Irons?" Swanwick demanded.

Irons' gaze darted from the rows of computer consoles, to the technicians and crew futilely attempting to regain control of the situation, to the monitors showing Superman being dragged across the concrete facade of a building, and finally back to Swanwick.

"....yes," he answered. "As long as I can get a signal sent to the rogue units, then yes, I can disable them."

"Good," the General said, his curt tone masking a wave of relief, "Then get to it. Gorman! Get this man up to speed, then get him to a work station."

"Sir, yes sir!" responded Lieutenant Gus Gorman from Cyber Security as he hopped up from his own terminal. "This way, Doctor Irons."
John Henry looked at the room full of soldiers and specialists, men and women who had spent years training to protect their country from all manner of threats, and the looks on their faces told him they were all out of their depth on this. He had to admit, he wasn't entirely sure he could succeed where they were faltering, but he had to try.

"Just for the sake of curiosity," he asked Gorman, "How are my babies doing out there?"

"Well, when the line was commissioned, based on what Superman could do three months ago, the estimates were that a squad of five would be able to incapacitate him in under ninety seconds," Gorman answered. "It's been nearly six minutes, and he's taken out twenty-two of them."

Irons winced a bit. His company had never been in the business of weapons manufacturing; Steelworks had primarily developed cybernetic prosthetics, robots for assembly-line work, exo-skeletons for construction or rescue operations. He'd always found the military's drone programs to be....questionable, ethically speaking. But when the Superman arrived on the scene and serious questions about his potential status as a threat to national security were raised, he had to admit he preferred the idea of sending unmanned units into a potential conflict rather than flesh-and-blood soldiers. Drones, after all, could be replaced.

Still, they were the most involved, the most advanced-- and by far the most expensive-- pieces of equipment to come out of Steelworks. Seeing his finest work being smashed apart wasn't easy to watch, even if their expendability was the point.

"Oof, make that twenty-three" Gorman corrected himself as the monitors showed Superman pull a drone's arm off and swing the limb at its head like a baseball bat.

Arriving at the work station, John Henry sat down and opened the control program. Unsuprisingly, he was locked out just like everyone else, no response to any of his commands. Fortunately, he had included a backdoor into the controls-- complete administrative access only he could obtain in the event that his conscience ever outweighed his sense of patriotic duty.

"All right," he said to himself as he keyed in his credentials, "Let's put a stop to this before someone gets--"

His screen went black.

"....what the hell....."

A few seconds later, every screen in the mission command room went black as well.

"Irons!" Swanwick snarled. "What did you do?!"

"....that....wasn't me...." Irons answered as he attempted to get the computer to respond.

As he typed commands in vain, a message appeared on every screen.


John Henry froze solid as he read it.


B U T Y O U D O N ' T P L A Y W I T H T H E M

T H A T ' S N O F U N

Pictures began flashing across the rows of monitors.

The combat robots in Metropolis.

Aerial drones in the Middle East.

Satellites in high orbit.

ICBMs sitting in their silos.





The images of military hardware cut away, and in their place was the image of a crude wooden marionette.


15x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Bounce
Avatar of Bounce


Member Seen 6 days ago

Fourteen oh-nine, Oa Standard Time. Still no contact with Ch'p or Aya in orbit in Scylla. I'm departing Oa en route back to Sector 2814. My name is Kai-ro. I carry a ring.

"Mary Jane's Last Dance" [ Epilogue ] [ Breathe ]

The green light enveloped his body.

Permeated his being in a way that he didn't understand, and probably couldn't fathom. As the world of Oa fell away, the boy existed alone in the vastness of space. He felt neither its cold nor its heat. He was not out of breath, even in the vacuum in which he now lingered.

It was beautiful in a way he had never even imagined. As a child, he had looked up from the grounds of the temple and viewed the stars in the night's sky never imagining how plentiful they were. Or how bright.

Or that he could be its guardian.

Extending his arms out, the child closed his eyes. Tilting his head back, he succumbed to the complete and total freedom even as the vertigo tip-toed at the edge of his sanity, his sense of time or location, as he allowed the ring to orient him toward the area of the unending darkness.

Somewhere across that sea of stars was a place called Sector 2814.

A pulse of emerald light and Kai-ro was suddenly propelled through the heavens. Opening his eyes, the light of all the stars he could not see as a boy on Earth streamed past him now.

He'd never asked to be Green Lantern, yet never did he want anything more. This moment. This freedom. This...

Something was wrong.

He barely had time to realize the pit forming in his stomach before the green light flickered. In an instant, in the blink of an eye, Kai-ro lost control. Endless darkness, punctuated by distant points of light, tumbling around in a disorienting array as the boy spun wildly through space, caught in the inertia of a momentum he no longer controlled.

The child tried to muster his willpower, before he slipped into the cold embrace of unconsciousness...

...he was back on Xabas.

Kilowog had just taken down the door. The Xudarian and Ch'p were vying to be the first ones through, but he got there first.

Jumping up into the air, Abin Sur cleared the steps leading up to the door. Even as the green construct of a Zim & Axion .370 OM-P materialized in his hand, the Ungaran planed out so that he slid through the foyer like a running baseman sliding to home plate.

Two quick trigger pulls sent green pulses sailing straight through the interior, catching where the drug czars and mafioso wannabes were going for their guns. Some were going to shoot and run. Some were going to try to make a stand.

Kicking up from the floor, he heard Salaak's voice shout out, "GREEN LANTERNS! EVERYBODY DOWN!"

A large fist connected with the side of Abin Sur's head. It dazed him, staggering him, right before Ch'p came out of nowhere. A rabid gerbal of doom atop a pale green horse.

A pale horse that just bodychecked the dusthead right through the drywall.

Recovering, the Ungaran fell in line behind Kilowog. The Bolovaxian clearing house was plowing straight into the line of fire with a green barricade.

So imagine the surprise when a rocket-propelled ion charge slammed into Kilowog's barrier, taking the Bolovaxian back a step.

Shots were coming from all around them.

This wasn't a drug house. It was a god damn shooting barrel. And they were the fish.

Dropping to a knee, Abin Sur took cover behind a bannister. Ch'p was giving them some air support. The Xudarian was down. "Shit," he swore loudly, realizing that his team was coming apart. "Shit," he repeated again.

This hadn't been in the plan.

Why hadn't they planned for this? Glancing around, the Ungaran timed his movements carefully. Breaking into a spring, he ducked and dove behind where Salaak had found some cover. Not much of a firing position. But, right now, they were outnumbered to shit. "YOU SAID THIS WAS A DUST HOUSE, NOT AN ARMORY!" Abin Sur roared, shouting to be heard over the seemingly endless din of laser fire.

The look on the Slyggian's face shocked the Ungaran.

It was the first time that he'd ever seen Salaak speechless. "NONE OF THESE WEAPONS WERE HERE TWO DAYS AGO," the Slyggian shouted back.

The Ungaran's eyes connected with the Slyggian. They'd both arrived at the same conclusion.

...provided that they got out of here alive, what did that suspicion bode for the Corps?

He awoke with a start.

A shiver sending his whole body into a seizure, as cold leeched into his bones.

No, cold wasn't leeching in. His body warmth was leaving his body, pulled away by the unending depths of space. Pulling himself into a fetal ball, the young Tibetan boy tried to huddle for warmth. Hugging his knees to his chest as he spun in a slow orbit through nothing. Greenish-yellow frost lingering in the space around him gave evidence that he'd thrown up sometime between spinning out of control, blacking out, and waking up to find himself here.

His hand was trembling as he brought it up. A green light status indicator was slow to materialized, flickering as though it were unstable.

Power level 0.017%

The construct faltered, blinked out of existence as confusion and fear started to take their toll. No, he'd just re-charged it. He'd just stood in the Central Power Battery. He'd just recited the oath.

It wasn't fair.

This... this wasn't how it was supposed to be.

Drawing in a deep breath, the boy's cleansing meditation was interrupted by the painful spasm that wracked his body. The shivering began again. Uncontrolled. He just gripped his knees and hugged them against his chest, gritting his teeth against the cold.

Drifting through space.


...the monks had presented him with another tray of toys and objects.

They wanted him to pick one, so that they could discern who he was. Or, rather, who he'd been. Except, it didn't work. Time and time again, from one age to the next, they brought the child different objects. Different toys. He didn't pick any of them.

Instead, the toddler that they had named Kai-ro shuffled over to where the elder monk was seated, dropped a W-sit posture at the man's feet, and pulled on the jade ring that he was wearing.

Hypothermia had set in.

"Gotta admit, it's a great view."

He was no longer cold, even though layer of frost had started to appear across the child's face and arms, as what little bit of green energy there was left to shield him against the vacuum of space was fading paper thin.

He was drifting in view of a stellar nursery. From here, it looked like a Monet watercolor, except painted with fire instead of watercolors.

He was hallucinating. In some detached, distant part of his mind, he knew that Ch'p wasn't really here. He was just really glad not to be alone anymore. "H-hey, C-Ch'p-p?"

He struggled to whisper. Swallowing repeatedly in vain to try and wet his palette, his throat dry and raw. He was no longer wracked by shivers, through his muscles didn't seem to work the way that they were supposed to.

"Yeah, kid?"

"D-do y-y-you th-ink we... we c-could g-g-go ba-ck t-to th..."

"That place on Asteroid Blue Heaven you like?"

The young Tibetan tried to respond, but the affirmation just came out as a gurgling sound. He tried, but he was having a hard time swallowing.

"Yeah, kid. We can go back there tomorrow."

He was dying.

The realization seemed to arrive with a seizure. His conscious mind striking back against a body that was out of time. It's willpower slipping away as both fear and hope eroded until there was only the reality of his own mortality. He was shaking, but it was not the shiver of the cold or the meek trembling before fear... it was anger. He was quivering with rage at a body that was quitting, when he wanted to fight on.


When had that become the name of god? Like, the voice of Charlton Heston in a 1960s Biblical feature, only instead of Charlton Heston the role of god would be played by a 2 foot tall chipmunk.

Tears sprang from his eyes, running down his face as the child struggled in vain and refused to see the vanity in it. "I don't wanna die, Ch'p!"

Except, Ch'p wasn't there. Kai-ro was drifting, alone. "Ch'p... I don't wanna die."

The green light surrounding his body flickered.


"Please, I don't wanna...

The boy's eyes opened. They were no longer green. They were brown.

The finger on his right hand twitched, as the ring started to pull away.

Ultimate Comics Presents
A Bounce Production
"Mary Jane's Last Dance"

11x Like Like
Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Sep
Avatar of Sep

Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

Member Seen 18 hrs ago



There are 1000 nanoseconds in one second, and even to her sometimes they seem slow. There was still a lot Iris couldn’t understand about her powers, and it scared her. As she stood outside city hall amid all the other reporters, behind the police cordon. This time she had her camera with her, snapping photos of the hall and the police presence around it. She could see Barry speaking to her father near the steps, the blonde girl she had saved was already being whisked away by an Ambulance. She’d have to find out who she was, she went through a hell of a lot today and could maybe do with another friend. Especially being that she must be some form of new transfer, as as far as Iris could recall Barry had never introduced her.

She shook her head as everything returned to it’s normal pace, she’d have to be careful. Her abilities let her help people but the last thing she wanted was to speed up and never be able to slow down again. Iris felt someone else elbow her ribs as they tried to push past, some reporter from the Daily Planet. What they didn’t have enough fun claiming Superman that they had to chase after other heroes now too? Getting her head back into a zone Iris realised that someone must be walking towards them, and true enough Mayor Broome was walking over to where the press had gathered themselves. Sticking her elbow out she kept the Planet reporter firmly behind her.

As he got closer the shouting started.

“...Is this connected to the murder that happened here yesterday…”

“...who assaulted you…”

“...what kind of powers does this individual have…”

“...is it true The Flash saved you…”

“...what’s Central Cities official stance on the Flash…”

How the Mayor would be able to identify anything in the din, Iris didn’t know. She had superspeed and could process information faster and even she struggled to hear each individual question. Letting her camera hang low near her waist on it’s strap she now had her pad and pen in her hand. She was really waiting for LexCorp, Stark or even Kord to come up with a tablet that was easy to use while reporting, or at the very least a stylus that wrote like an actual pen and didn’t make her handwriting look like that of a five year old. The Mayor raised his hands, signalling for everyone to stop talking so that he was actually able release his statement.

“The C.C.P.D are running under the assumption that this individual, who has identified himself as Hydro-man, likely has ties to the murder that occured here yesterday. The name of the victim was Alex Raymond, and anyone who has potential information on this case or knowledge of Hydro-man is urged to contact C.C.P.D on the metahuman hotline. Contact details can be found throughout the city, and online.” One perk of superspeed, during these speeches it was a lot easier to write everything down.

“In terms of the Flash. I can confirm that the masked Hero-” She looked up at that, pausing. Not many people regarded the masks appearing all over the world as Heroes, most were often regarded as vigilantes. “-Did make an appearance, before saving me and the other hostages of Hydro-man. She quite possibly saved C.C.P.Ds own Patty Spivots life. We owe her a debt of gratitude not just for saving lives today, but for all the small acts of kindness she has been performing all over the city. If she’s listening to this now, I just want to say thank you Flash. Everything you do for us is appreciated, I’ll make sure you go down in the history books and feel free to stop by my office anytime. My door is always open for Central Cities hero.” With that he turned and walked away, all around her reporters shouted more questions in a futile attempt to draw even more information out of the Mayor.

She had been accepted though, the Bat hadn’t. A lot of people had reservations about Superman, Spider-Woman was considered a menace, Wonder Woman people were on the fence with but here she was mere months after her debut appearance and the mayor had called her Central Cities Hero. Turns out she was going to prove Zoom wrong after all. She took her phone out of her pocket as it started to vibrate, a text from Barry.

[ Meet me at Jitters. Got a lot to talk about. ]

Iris was surprised when she looked over to where he had been talking to her father earlier that he was gone. He must have slipped away while she was paying attention to the mayor.

[ Damn right, got to speak to Dad first. Be there soon ] As she finished sending the reply she switched to contacts and hit her Dads number.

“Hey Iris, what’s up?”

“Hi Dad, I’m over by the cordone, meet you at the car?”

“Sure thing.” She turned around and started heading over to the collection of police cars. Brushing past an older man she recoiled her hand as she felt some form of static shock. Turning to apologise he had his back to her and was walking away. Shrugging it off she decided to push on, it was time to squeeze her source within C.C.P.D for as much information as possible. There was a story here, but more than Iris West reporter for Central City News needed information, the Flash needed information on her latest foe.
7x Like Like
↑ Top
1 Guest viewing this page
© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet