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Hidden 11 mos ago 3 mos ago
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Lord Wraith Presents...
S A N T A C E L I A

A S U P E R H U M A N S T O R Y

P R E M I S E:

It's kind of funny the stories we tell ourselves just to make it through another bitter day. We give each other hope despite the overwhelming odd always being stacked against us. We were always taught good would triumph over evil, the plucky hero would topple the evil empire and the knight in shining armor would show up one day to sweep the princess off her feet before riding off to their happily ever after.

But this hope, in many cases at least, is false.

Happy endings seem to be as much of a relic, an artifact of a long forgotten past, just like the knights which appear in the stories from before out time. Instead of allowing hope to encourage us to new heights, to explore new frontiers and to keep pushing on, we use hope as a shield. It merely protects us as we keep our overwhelming fear at bay. The fear we've allowed to rule over our lives. We work jobs that we hate, and that makes us sick because we're too afraid to take a chance on a job that would make us happy but comes with less pay. We constantly settle in our lives, too scared to take a risk or face rejection despite the possible outcome being one of the best moments we could ever have. And when we witness each other coming into harm, we don't try to stop it because we fear harm coming upon us.

For this reason, the crooks, thieves, thugs, and murderers prey on your fear. They savour its smell as they feed upon you and where there is fear they are quickly drawn to it. Their kind spreads faster than any known cancer as they corrupt every system they come up against, wearing it down and bringing it to its knees.

Such is the story of Santa Celia, a towering monument to progress, a city literally caught between moving forward and in the echoes of times gone by. A city that could easily be one of the most beautiful cities in all of America and yet, instead it lies infested and rotting. Helpless to stop the infection as it grows worse every day. The criminals run this city, they have their hands in every pocket, every industry, and every home. But change is coming, the winds are shifting, something new has come to town. Their reckoning will soon be upon them. Eventually, the people will push back as leaders rise up to guide them. Heroes will come forth to lead the revolution and evil will know what it means to feel fear as they are banished.

Perhaps it's because the world is changing, twenty years ago no one would have thought of putting on a mask and taking the law into their own hands and yet now, in this West Coast city that is exactly what has happened. People gifted with unique abilities have begun to emerge from within the crowds, people capable of changing the course of mankind. For no darkness can exist where the light shines, and the light will soon fall upon the city.

Criminals beware, your time is at an end.






SANTA CELIA IS GONE

-Junk
Hidden 11 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Leaf on the Wind

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R U L E S & R E G U L A T I O N S:

1. - I will try to work with any writer I can to ensure that you can create a character you truly want to portray and will enjoy playing in the IC. That said if I ask you to rework something, please do not just 'ghost' me. I am not a tyrant and am open to discussion within reason, together we can likely hash out a compromise. In terms of power levels for this RP, we're looking at something akin to 'strong street-level', for a comparable media look at Marvel's Netflix Series or the majority of characters from the tv series, Heroes. Our characters, while competent and powerful should still be able to be overwhelmed by regular humans.

2. - Please use the provided character sheet but feel free to modify the sheet's colors to suit your needs or your character's theme. Additionally, minor modifications may be made to the placement of the sheet's categories or their contents, however, please do not disregard the character sheet or submit one of your own design. I'd also appreciate it if only completed sheets were posted in the OOC. If you need feedback on an incomplete CS, I would prefer a private message or DM on Discord.

3. - Post when you can, don't make excuses for when you can't. I'd like us to have an open and honest line of communication as Player and GM and if you're not posting because you don't feel like it, I'd rather you tell me that than say you're 'busy' and keep me in anticipation of a post. I'll be keeping in touch and checking in weekly to touch base with anyone who hasn't posted but please be honest with me on the 'why'.

4. - Don't mistake actions and hostilities in the IC as OOC interactions. Drama, rivalry and resentment will happen in a well written IC due to differing character ideologies. This does not mean the writer has any personal beef with you merely that they're developing their character in the same way you are.

5. - The IC will contain mature themes but will not violate any of the Guild's fundamental rules. Therefore while mature language, drug use, and violence are all tolerated, sexually explicit scenes will not be. Writing substance such as 'Smut' is not tolerated in public forum and has no place in the IC.

O N G O I N G P L O T S:

This section will be used to keep players updated with any open, ongoing plots.

5.0 - HARD CAME THE RAIN: After the events of 'NO GOOD:' left the pair of thieves, Vinnie and Monty, foiled in their attempts and in the latter's case, crippled for life, the pair are seeking revenge. Somehow piecing together that their female assailant, Natalie Ellis, works at Freckles and that she might lead them to the Lizardman, Archie Anderson, Vinnie and Monty have pulled together their friends and allies in an effort to kidnap Natalie in order to draw Archie out.

Characters Involved:
Archie Anderson as portrayed by Junkmail
Natalie Ellis as portrayed by Silver Carrot

6.0 - FEEDERS: Somewhere hidden away, a pack of horrific creatures known only as ‘feeders’ have come to nest in Santa Celia. Their arrival brings about a series of unfortunate, gruesome, and outright bizarre happenings upon the people of the city, beginning with the apparent disappearance of a woman driving through Árido Valley. And many more will follow her if the pack is not soon dealt with. Created by SepticGentleman

Characters Involved:
TBD

7.0 - BE SOMEBODY: Coming SoonTM, a City Wide Event that invites all willing players to participate. The events of this plot will shake the very foundation of Santa Celia and set the course for the game. After the events of 'BE SOMEBODY', nothing will ever be the same.

Characters Involved:
TBD

C O M P L E T E D P L O T S:

This section will be used to summarize completed plots for new, ongoing and returning players.



Will be updated with complete synospsis at a later date, a full post catalogue can be found on the plot's opener.

A B O R T E D P L O T S:

This section contains summaries of plots that weren't able to be completed



Will be updated with complete synospsis at a later date, a full post catalogue can be found on the plot's opener.
Hidden 11 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Leaf on the Wind

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We'll never get free, lamb to the slaughter. What you gon' do when there's…
B L O O D I N T H E W A T E R



Time of Day: Night
Weather: Rain


“Shut her up!”

Rain poured down on the rooftops above the narrow alley as the overflow spilled over the rusted fire escapes that cast their long shadows on the ground below. Tightening his arm around the woman in question’s abdomen, Frankie ‘Beans’ Gomez placed his other hand over the woman’s mouth while Jorge turned back to the male he had firmly pinned against the stained concrete wall. His vice-like grip tightened around the man’s neck as hissed at the smaller male.

“I won’t repeat myself again, Cruz! Jewelry. Wallet. Keys.”

Hernando Cruz’s lips curled in disgust before letting loose a wad of spit that hit Jorge square in the face as the other man recoiled before turning around, a small popping sound echoing in the alley the pale moonlight reflected off a sliver of metal held tightly in his hand. Thrusting his arm forward, not even Beans could contain the woman’s scream as Cruz gasped in pain, his knees buckling beneath his weight as Jorge withdrew the knife from the other man’s ribcage.

“You were to make it look like a mugging!” Beans hissed as Jorge turned his head to shoot him a look that could have leveled a building.

“Plan changed.” He retorted. “Put her in the car.” Jorge motioned with his head, nodding towards the woman before turning back to Cruz’s body. “Alright, fucker, let's see how tough you really are-”

From behind him, Beans suddenly yelled out in pain as the woman bit down on his hand before lifting her knee as she drove her stiletto heel into his groin. Dropping to his knees winded, Jorge barely had time to duck before the woman pulled a revolver from her clutch. A gunshot rang out echoing through the alley as the bullet ricocheted off a nearby dumpster. Jorge froze as he watched the woman fire again before running, kicking off her heels as she did so.

Car horns echoed from the street, drowning out the sounds of vehicles braking hard as they came to a sudden stop, swerving to avoid the hysterical woman.

“Get her!” Jorge yelled, turning his back to Cruz only for the wounded man to suddenly take the opportunity to fight back. The muzzle of the pearl-handled Beretta found its way to Jorge’s lower back before Cruz pulled the trigger. Jorge barely had time to register the muzzle before the bullet ripped through his spine and lower intestine.

“Tell le Ángel de la Muerte that Hernando de la Cruz says ‘hello’.” He muttered as he stood, gripping his side before firing at Beans as the other man crawled into the driver’s seat of the parked car, revving the engine before peeling out into the traffic. Pulling a cellphone from the pocket of his blazer, Cruz ran a bloodied hand through his soaked hair as he held the cell to his ear, holding his tongue until he heard the line connect. Not waiting for the person on the other end to talk, Cruz began to talk immediately, an air of authority emanating emphasizing his grave tone.

“I need pick up, first and concession, Juárez Locos just tried to make a hit on me.” He paused listening to the person on the other end of the line. “No, send a crew, no one makes an attempt on my life and gets away with it.”

Seeding through traffic, the lime green Baracuda swerved in and out of its lane as Beans tried to put as much distance between himself and the alley where the failed hit had taken place. Looking in his rearview mirror repeatedly as he drove, Beans expected his view to be filled with the notorious black vehicles of the Azteca Cartel at any second.

Fumbling for his phone, Beans dialed a number only to look up as a horned blared prompting him to swerve back into his lane, dropping the phone on the floor of the passenger side.

“Hola, how’d it go?”

“We’re fucked hombré!” Beans screamed. “Jorge’s dead, totally wasted. Cruz is still kicking no doubt calling the armies of hell down on me. I need back up!”

“You fucked it up, you’re on your own. Don’t come here or I’ll kill you myself.” The voice on the other side replied as the line went dead. Letting out an anguished scream, Beans barely had time to process his next move as his rear windshield was suddenly permeated with gunfire.

Behind him, three black vehicles were quickly advancing as a man leaned out of the passenger side window and opened fire again. Ducking, Beans floored the gas pedal before suddenly the interior of his car was illuminated in red and blue.

“FUCK!”

Continued Here:

I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun, I must confess that I feel like a...
M O N S T E R



Time of Day: Dusk
Weather: Overcast


One Night Ago…

It could be said that no matter the species, the need to survive ties us together. If two people were placed in a room, it would only be a matter of time before the starvation caused them to turn on each other. Cannibalism is often looked at as one of the most heinous crimes, yet if one had to do it to survive would they surely not be given a free pass out of sympathy?

Or so one might assume. Truth be told, humanity rarely has sympathy for those who betray their unwritten laws. History is told by the victor and so those who are condemned are doomed to forever be the loser. Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Lonnie David Franklin, Jr., names that will forever be reviled and spat upon.

“Excuse me.” Came the voice of a woman as the man was disturbed from his thoughts, looking up as the woman held a yellow umbrella over her head.

“No, it’s my fault. I was lost in my thoughts.” The man replied, a sheepish grin crossing his face. The woman nodded as a smile crossed her own.

“I suppose with all this rain, taking a walk would be as good for the thoughts as a shower is.”

“That’s one way to look at it.” The man replied with a chuckle.

“You wouldn’t happen to know where the closest diner is?” The woman asked as the man opened his mouth to leave. “I flew in from the Philippines a week ago but I’m still not familiar with this part of the city, so if you happen to know any good restaurants, I’m starving and I’d very much appreciate the help.”

The man paused, as he raised a hand to his chin instinctively while thinking.

“Actually, I happen to know a nice little ethnic spot that might soothe your home-sickness.” The man said as he motioned for the woman to follow him. “How’d you end up in Santa Celia anyways?”
“Work, probably like anyone else. I was sent to negotiate a deal. But the negotiations haven’t gone well.” The woman replied. “Not at all, in fact, I’ve been stuck living out of a hotel and I can’t stand to be cooped up in that room any longer.”

“Yeah, can’t say that sounds fun at all.” The man responded as he stopped by an alley. “This way is quicker.” He said, motioning for the woman to follow him.

“Are you sure?” She asked.

“Oh for sure.” He insisted as the pair began to walk into the dark alley. Suddenly the man, knocked the umbrella from the woman’s hand, pinning a wrist against the wall as he struggled for the other arm.

“You smell so good.” He whispered in her ear, nibbling her earlobe softly before he began to maneuver one of her hands towards his groin.

“Not as good as you’ll taste.” The woman hissed back as her skin suddenly went grey, her eyes turning jet black as her jaw extended. Rows of needle-like teeth lined her mouth as the woman’s head extended forward on a snake-like neck. The man screamed, only for the noise to be silenced as his throat was torn clean open as the woman’s head retracted.

“Delicious.” She hissed as the man fell to his knees, hands grasping at the bleeding throat. Opening her mouth again, the woman’s tongue shot forward, slithering between the man’s hands and into the body. A sickening slurp could be heard from the sidewalk before the woman re-emerged, wiping her lips as she continued on her way, the hunger that had afflicted her, no longer an issue.

The following day…

Yellow tape surrounded the alleyway located in Central Santa Celia, the middle of the downtown no more than a block away from the Tír na nÓg. Police cruisers sat on either side of the mouth of the alley while the forensic team went to work. A small crowd had gathered to watch as yet another victim had been reported in this recent crime spree, his throat was ripped clean open, the body once again drained completely of blood. Amongst the crowd was none other than Riley Sheridan, a former C.S.I. to the S.C.P.D., currently a thorn in their side.
“Richards!” Riley’s voice called to the beat cop who had his back turned to the crowd. “I know you can hear me Richards, c’mon! Be a good sport, just like old times.” The officer’s ear twitched but otherwise, he refused to acknowledge Riley’s presence.

“DICKS!” Riley suddenly yelled at the top of his lungs as Richards’ ear flushed red and the officer turned around to face his heckler.

“What the damn hell do you want Sheridan?” He asked, patience clearly not one of his virtues.

“A look at the body would be nice, a full crime scene investigation would be even better,” Riley said, cracking a smile as he brushed a wet strand of hair back from his face while holding up his camera.

“And I want a pony,” Richards replied dryly. “You’re a civilian now. You’re not getting on the crime scene.”

“Well Dicks, don’t say I didn’t ask nicely,” Riley said as Richards turned to him.

“For the last damn time, stop callin-” The flash from Riley’s camera suddenly blinded Richards as the flash caught him off guard. Seeing stars, Richards didn’t notice Riley toss a drone over the yellow tape before slipping back into the crowd. Pulling out his phone, Riley flew the drone into the alley, hovering above the C.S.I.’s below. Zooming in on the lens, Riley could see the body. Like the others, the throat had been ripped out, so he felt safe to assume it was drained of blood. Based on looks alone, this seemed like a safe bet.

The male victim marked the fourth body in a week. This was the third male victim, however, the prior victim had been female. In that case, a man had witnessed the attack, even survived it based on the scars on his neck. But the experience had been too much for the witness who had been identified as Oliver Whittle. Despite being cleared by the hospital, he was not in a safe state of mind and the State ordered Oliver handed over to the Murdoch Mental Hospital.

The police were as convinced as ever that this serial killer was a human but Riley knew better. Whatever was attacking these people was in his book, the ancient journal he had gotten from Mayhew at the Grimoire, a large leather bond encyclopedia filled with hand-drawn images of various creatures and firsthand accounts beneath them.

Riley intended to get to the bottom of the mystery, even if no one was going to help him stop whatever manner of hellspawn was stalking the streets of Santa Celia.

Continued Here:

You better start running, when you hear the man coming, won't do you...
N O G O O D



Time of Day: Night
Weather: Rain


A wrapped hand burst through the glass pane as the shards flew to the floor below. Widening the hole, an arm reached through and unlocked the door before giving the handle a pull. The door slowly swung open as Andrew Smith stood in the doorway grinning like a fool while holding his ‘lock picking tools’.
“Look at that, ol’Drew actually did something right.” A loud smack echoed into the abandoned house as the man who spoke stepped around Andrew and began to wade through the flooded entrance way.

“Eh, he still ain’t worth much.” Came a second voice as he gave Drew a shove forward.

“Off ‘im then Monty” The first man replied with a cruel smile as Drew’s mouth opened only for the second man to put his hand in front of it and press a handgun to his ribcage. The shot echoed throughout the house as Drew dropped to the ground, blood splattering as the corpse collided with the tile floor beneath it. “This house better have something good, the last couple just had a couple flatscreens. They aren’t worth as much as they used to be.” The man paused, seemingly thinking before he spoke again.

“I blame Costco, how’s an honest criminal s’pposed to make a livin’ around here if the corporations are selling them cheaper than we can?”

“Oh and Walmart too.” Monty added beginning his own look around the house.

“Especially Walmart.” Agreed the first man as he walked up to a mantle. “Well lookey here!” He said using the butt of his gun to smash open a glass display case. “You think it’s real?” He asked lifting up a sword before drawing it from its scabbard.

“We can only hope. The others be makin’ out better than this. Where’s the gold? The cash stores? Ugh, people are too paranoid nowadays.” Monty muttered as he watched Vinnie climb the staircase to the upper level.

From the upper level of a house, Vinnie began to tear apart the master bedroom apart, crying out triumphantly as he pulled a painting off of the wall. Rummaging through a hidden safe,

“Hey Monty, we’re going to have trouble. Looks like a neighborhood watch out for a stroll, you didn’t waste all your rounds shooting those pigeons two blocks ago did you?” Monty called from downstairs.

“Always carry a spare clip!” Vinnie said with a smile as he pocketed a bundle of hundreds and came over to the window.

“You do realize you look ridiculous with that on your hip right?” Monty said as he checked his own clip and motioned to the sword that Vinnie had begun sporting on his hip.

“Hey, maybe we can try it out. It don’t need bullets.” Vinnie said, pulling the antique weapon out and giving it a spin.

“You’ll likely cut your own damn head off,” Monty said as he gave Vinnie a slap to the back of the head before the two headed back downstairs.

Continued Here:
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Hidden 11 mos ago Post by chukklehed
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chukklehed Sorcerer Supreme with a medium rootbeer

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I am sitting in the morning at the
𝒟𝒾𝓃𝑒𝓇 𝑜𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒞𝑜𝓇𝓃𝑒𝓇




Time of day: Night
Weather: Rain

Nicole glanced out the window of her store, watching the rain fall on the sidewalk outside. She paused in cleaning the table she was working on and cast her gaze over her shoulder, looking over the rest of the store. There were no customers inside, either in the small cafe area or the larger clothing store. The only other person in the building was Gabriel, working with one of the machines behind the bar.

"Gabe, go ahead and head out. I'll take care of cleanup. I don't think anybody else is coming in tonight. You can take tomorrow off too, if you want. I got a special order today, so I'll probably be working on that." Nicole smiled at her only employee. Gabriel nodded and set down his rag.
"I'll see you Friday then," he muttered, grabbing his bag and umbrella and heading out the door. Gabriel was always quiet when it was just the two of them, preferring to stay silent if nothing needed to be said. Nicole kept smiling as he left, only letting her expression drop when she was sure nobody could see. Heaving a sigh, she went back to cleaning the tables, not bothering to lock the door yet.



The shop was called The Woven Roast, a relatively small corner store on the Valley edge of Santa Celia. It was family owned, going back two generations, well liked by it's regulars and completely unknown to everybody else. Recently, it had gone through a rebranding, the Cafe side of the business taking a back seat to Nicole's specialty clothing store. With her power an open secret, Nicole wove special traits into her wares, creating scarves that warmed themselves when tied, or shirts that stayed cool in any weather. She even advertised for special orders, if somebody wanted something not on the shelf. The new direction had driven away some of the store's regulars, but with the money she was making now, Nicole could afford the loss of business. Her real target customers were the type that often needed maintenance on their outfits, so she could be sure she wouldn't be running out of money soon.
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Hidden 11 mos ago Post by JunkMail
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JunkMail Shitpost Supreme

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Archie

Sometime months ago...

She left quietly. It hurt worse.

Archie wishes she would have yelled. He wished she would’ve gotten in his face, shoved his chest, brought up things she knows he was trying to forget. He wanted her to say something—even if it's mean or sarcastic or biting, even if it made his hands shake from how much it upset him—just to let him know that they weren't as far gone as they were. No matter how much he willed her to speak, she didn’t say much at all. She called out goodbyes as she left and gave hellos as she entered, but it was more out of habit than anything else. She wasn’t saying hello or goodbye. Not really. He heard the sound of packaging tape more than her voice and felt her presence disappear bit by bit until there wasn’t much left at all.

Archie wakes up at 4 P.M. on a Thursday, his sleeping schedule too far off track to be fixed, and she is gone. He doesn't have to get up and check her room; doesn't have to see if her shoes are kicked off by the door; doesn't have to look and see if she has anything to come back for. He's still in his bed staring at the ceiling, trying to repair that gaping hole in his chest, and making approximately no progress.

Thinking about the way her hand squeezed his in pity— apologetic and so so wrong— evokes a wince every time he's feeling masochistic enough to relive it. There'd been nothing loud about the end of them, he muses.

Archie considers calling someone, anyone and begging for some company. He rolls over and goes back to sleep instead.



The beast jumped.

The evening had been luxuriously quiet for a while now. For the first time in a while, he hadn't felt the painful ringing or flashing lights that were so common in most of his more regular stomping grounds. In the distance he could hear the distinctly familiar scream of the police sirens, and the telltale hustle and bustle of the city that was ever present even at night, but he was distant. The sound of glass breaking, while not particularly loud, jumped out in the silence of the night. He placed the garbage bag that it had been investigating back into the bin. It was around holiday season, and whatever these people had been throwing out had smelt absolutely tantalizing. He had been scavenging for the past few days, since these meals didn't fight back and were easy to find. Archie turned his head in the direction the sound came from, baring his teeth as if he was daring the sound to disturb him again. When the silence returned, he excitedly returned its attention to the garbage.

The gunshot that followed sent a shiver down Archie's spine. He recognized that sound, and dropped to all fours to survey his surroundings. This wasn't the first time he had heard that sound, and it wouldn't be the first time he had been shot at. He didn't see anything, but he smelt blood. His long flicked out of his mouth, tasting the air as to give himself direction. The irony, metallic smell was in the same direction the gunshot and smashing sounds. The sounds had garnered his attention, but this got his interest.

The reptile followed his tongue to a two story house. The scent of blood was strong now, putting him on edge and sharpening his focus. Even from the street he could hear the movements of people in the house- the creaking of the floorboards upstairs under their weight. Archie turned his attention to what was in front of him- the door was wide open. He stalked forwards, squeezing through the door and coming almost immediately upon the source of the smell he had tracked to get here. A man laid unmoving on the floor. Archie sank down to his haunches and rested his hand on the man's body. It was still warm, but he didn't hear a heartbeat or feel any telltale signs of the living. The man's life had only just been extinguished. He dragged his claws over the man's body, slipping his fingers under his arm, and flipping the man over. His clothing was stained with blood, with a dark red spot on his torso. A gunshot wound. So this was where this sound had come from.

“You do realize you look ridiculous with that on your hip right?”

“Hey, maybe we can try it out. It don’t need bullets.”

“You’ll likely cut your own damn head off,”

Archie's head snapped up. Voices, and the rhythmic steps of their owners coming down the stairs. He stood to his full height and stepped over the body to face his company. He flicked his tongue out, and smelt the air. Two men that smelt of sweat and blood. He could smell others approaching from down the street. He cast his eyes to the body, then to the stairwell, and then to the house around him. He felt a sense of responsibility and clarity wash over him. This wasn't the street, and those there were coming didn't smell like blood and death. He couldn't risk them getting hurt, and they didn't need to see the corpse at the doorway. He needed to scare them off, deal with the intruders, and get out.

He breathed in air, and felt the muscles of his body shake as he allowed himself to let go. His body flexed as he released a primordial, inhuman roar that tore though the house and pierced the silence of the night.

"What the fuck was that?"

"Why dont you go check it out, samurai Jack!"

Vinnie, who was in front of Monty, was suddenly kicked down the last three steps by his accomplice. He fell down the stairs and cast a glare in Monty's direction. He began to mutter something about 'no honor among thieves', but froze. The instinctual sirens in his mind were going off, and he felt that something very, very wrong. He very slowly lifted his head to look in front of him, but couldn't see much- he had dropped his flashlight when Monty kicked him. He could hear a deep rumbling sound, though. Like a dog growling, but deeper. He followed his ears, turning his head towards the doorway, and two glowing eyes shown in the darkness of the house.

"Ah fuck."
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Hidden 11 mos ago 11 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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Silver Carrot Spectrumized

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Natalie 'Nelly' Ellis



Walking home from a late shift at the fast food restaurant where she worked, Natalie had heard the gunshots, but ignored them, and carried on walking. She was trusting in habit to pull her away from having to make the choice, for the hundredth time. People were getting hurt, and Natalie had the power to stop them from getting hurt. But she'd been a vigilante before. She'd hunted down criminals before. And...vowing never to use her powers on bad guys again was honestly the best way she could protect people. The people around Natalie needed protecting, but in her mind, they needed protecting from Natalie.

She was unsafe. She was dangerous. When she let her emotions get the better of her, or when she convinced herself it was for the right reasons, and that she was a Hero, all she was really doing was brutally ripping people apart. People who may have made bad choices or done evil things, but wouldn't be around to pay for them. But who did ultimately pay for them? Their friends. Their parents and siblings and partners and maybe even children. And for what? Justice? No. Natalie had come to the realization that she did it out of vengeance, and anger, and frustration. Criminals were the ones who'd kidnapped her, killed her boyfriend and given her this...this horrible power. But it was more than that. She killed criminals because of the resentment that she felt towards life for making her a criminal in the first place. That wasn't fair. She was being a hypocrite. Everybody was better off now that she was practically in hiding.

What Natalie could not just ignore was the otherworldly roar that then ripped through the night's ambiance. That wasn't a dog, or a wolf. It might have been a bear? But there was something about it that made even Natalie's hair instinctively stand on end. The creature that made that sound must be something far, far bigger and more dangerous than anything Natalie had heard round these parts. She turned on her heel and went to go check it out. She was not scared of the source of the noise. It wasn't as if it would have a particularly easy or pleasant time trying to get the best of her. The only thing she was afraid of or cautious of as she got closer, was herself. The source of that roar may be a ferocious beast, but Natalie? She was a monster.

When Natalie finally reached the scene, there was a lot to process. She saw the outline of the creature in the darkness. It was bipedal, had reptilian skin and ten feet tall, and Natalie, for the first time, felt a pang of genuine fear, and an instinctual desire to run, but she steeled herself to it, and walked closer. Now she could see the man, with a sword, looking absolutely terrified. And there was a body on the floor. Did the beast kill it? No. She was now close enough to see that it was a small wound, such as a gunshot or a stab wound. Maybe from that sword? Was this really a simple case of this beast attacking people, or was there more at play here that meets the eye?

"Hey!" Natalie called out to both of them as she got closer. They'd see a rather skinny and frail looking woman in what was without a doubt a fast food restaurant uniform under a knee-length grey winter coat. It was not exactly the most imposing figure, yet even as she spoke in a delicate voice completely devoid of either confidence or authority, she didn't seem to be scared of either of them. "What the hell's going on here? I...don't know and I'm still not sure I wanna know..."

@Lord Wraith@JunkMail
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Hidden 11 mos ago 11 mos ago Post by The Bork Lazer
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The Bork Lazer Chomping Time

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Moses Muller




“ So, how’s it coming along, Muller?”

“ Nearly there,” Mo murmured, chewing his tongue whilst his concentrated brow sweated beads of perspiration that slid down his forehead and onto his rubber-gas mask. He stopped depressing the plunger, bringing his coat of red gloss to a halt for a second to peel off the newspaper he’d overlaid onto the wall to protect the dried sections. He then set it down before reaching for a smaller can of ocean blue, spinning it in his hand, before The rhythm of the thin hissing colours and the peppy music conjoined with one another to form a melody that few could truly experience. The faint licks of misty paint in the humid night winds of Saint Celia obscured his vision just for a moment, powdery hues of red, yellow and light brown like a kaleidoscope. He was in his element. In these moments, he could finally forget about who he was and focus on the present.

“ Just - ”

A splash of forest green.

“ A little more….”

A little bit of orange-red for that finish…...

“ There.”

Mo released his pressure off the plunger slowly before setting the can down beside him on the newspaper floor. He tore off his gas-mask and took in the spectacle of his creation. An simple rustic red, white and green tableau of a guy cooking pizza out of a wood oven, coloured smoke pouring out the bricked chimney like an old steam train. It was relatively simplistic, although, it wasn’t a simple piece of hodge-podge graffiti or some tribalistic toilet art painted in some obscure urban back-alley. He’d spent the majority of last night, sacrificing a pile of ideas to the bin before he finally found a diamond in the rough. He pulled off the paint-splattered gloves, careful to not stain his own hoodie before he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around slowly, unsure of what to expect, only to meet the wafting smell of melting mozzarella and the cherubic dimpled smile of Alfonso Rhombus.

The eponymous owner of Rhombus’s, the oldest pizza parlor in Santa Celia, was standing right in front of him, looking at him with a kindly full-toothed grin. He was approaching his twilight years soon, judging by the balding grey roots growing out of the side of his head and the aged lines that sagged his cheeks. Yet, there was a kind of imperceptible energy to him, an indomitable spirit that pushed back against the clock like a seaside cliff. He was holding a pizza out towards him, gesturing toward the restaurant. Most likely offering him dinner. Mo began to subconsciously reach for his wallet, stopping as Rhombus shook his head and spoke.

“ Nah, consider it on the house. Besides, what you’re just done is payment enough. Now, you can have a taste of my art. ” He motioned towards one of the empty wooden chair situated outside the entrance. “ Sit down. Eat.”

“ I - “ Moses was in the beginnings of a polite refusal before his stomach growled. He looked down at the pizza and eyed it. The crust was cooked to a crusty light brown perfection and rolling towards the center of cheesy goodness was a spiral of red sauce interspersed with toppings of prosciutto, roasted green bell peppers and sliced olives. With a beleaguered sign, he sat down with Rhombus, grabbing a slice for himself and chewing on it slowly, Immediately, he could feel the hearty tones of the prosciutto followed by the spice of the peppers and the salty pang of olives. He made an internal note in his mind to come back here again because this was the best pizza that he’d managed to eat in years. He quickly devoured a slice before going for another, much to the amusement of Rhombus.

“ Beautiful,” Rhombus was appraising his work slowly with his eyes. “ In hindsight, I guess I should have paid you more.”

Mo swallowed a bite, grabbing a paper towel to wipe the sauce off his chin momentarily before continuing.

“ Not about the money,” Mo grunted, finishing off his slice and reaching slowly for another one, “ About the art. ”

They stayed silent for a while, bathing in the splendor and night-life of Santa Celia. Rhombus’s restaurant was located right in the south corner of a busy traffic junction, taxis, cars, buses and motorcycles all moving past each other like glowing schools of fish. Rhombus didn’t take a slice, giving a mysterious look towards him that was bordering on paternalistic. He had his fingers wringed together.

“ I’ve also heard about some murmurs on the streets. Some of the gangs….they ain’t too pleased about a guy like you. I mean, I saw some of the stuff that you tagged. It needed to be done but you’re attracting some unsavory people, get what I’m saying?”

Rhombus stopped at his last question, letting Mo process the words or possibly having a chance to reply to his comment. Mo was unconcerned, letting no visible expression escape him as he continued to chew and eat the pizza, non-plussed. “ If you’re not careful, your art over there, “ Rhombus pointed towards the now-dried mural, several onlookers taking a picture of it as if to make a point “ - could endanger you. Heck, your art could even kill you. I know that you’re - Is something wrong, Muller?”

Mo suddenly reacted as if Rhombus had slapped him when he said the last sentence, eyes suddenly glazed over in memory. Mo’s knuckles were gripping the sides of his chair, knuckles white and his face ashen. He blinked several times before realising what he was doing and then, shied away from Rhombus’s face in embarrassment. “ N-no,” He stuttered quietly, with a dry lisp before licking his lips.

“ Can I get the rest of this to go?”

There was a pause before Mo heard the noise of a chair leg scratching against the concrete. There was the pat of a warm hand against his shoulder and the strong scent of the pizza travelled away, although it left a pungent aroma on the tabletop. As soon as the doorbell jingled, Mo collapsed into his chair and bristled, looking upwards at the night sky whilst simultaneously fumbling for his I-Pod.

Your art could kill you.

He began to remember that night, even though he tried not to. His right hand began to spasm, in the phantom throes of holding a brush. A hand that shaped and borned a life that was never meant to be. The power to create life from nothing and yet, powerless to return it back from nothing. The red and yellow hotness of the pizza were beginning to crackle like a bon-fire in his mouth. The unrelenting, pounding yelling and screaming of the dead souls that festered in his head for months began to rise up again before he quashed them like they were persistent pests. Each breathe sharpened the world around him with increasing clarity as he shakily inserted the ear-buds into his ears and tried to forget everything. He was putting all of that behind him and was starting a life afresh. As a street artist. Not a god-damn Aritistonancer.

The palm of his right hand still burned in regret.

“I’ve lost all my pride. I’ve been to paradise. And out the other side. With no one to guide me. Torn apart by a fiery will inside. I won’t hurt you. I won’t hurt you. I won’t hurt you. I won’t hurt you………”
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Hidden 11 mos ago 11 mos ago Post by JunkMail
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Archie


"This was nice," she says abruptly, almost like she's forcing herself to say it. "This... dinner. It was nice talking to you."

'I missed talking to you' is what he thinks, but like always he doesn't say what he means. "You, too," he responds. "Goodnight."

"'Night."

He dropped her off and drove home. Now, here he was, half an hour and half a handle later. The ceiling swirled lazily above him, and out of the corner of his eyes he could see the walls flowing like waves on the ocean. And like the ocean, he felt his moroseness flow out with the tide. It should be easy for him to go to sleep, having handled the last of their business. He tosses and turns; shuffles around like a dog that can't quite get comfortable. He considers calling her, and so he does. It rings once, twice, three times, and then goes to voicemail. Hearing the emotionless tone of her voice sinks under his skin and rests there.

In the end, he decides to just stare up at the ceiling. Archie's glad that one of them can sleep.

It gets somewhat easier every day, is the thing. But as much as Archie tries to suppress the rising thoughts of 'we could be' and 'I should be mending' they won't leave him alone. He would make some progress, drag himself out of bed, and human for the day, but it always felt draining. As if something was still very wrong. He still couldn't sleep.

It was always easier for him to fall asleep when they were touching, somehow, even if it was her toes barely brushing his ankles. Archie's never thought about how much he needs physical intimacy, but after she walked out, his sudden loneliness made it more and more apparent. Sometimes he feels like he might need a warm body beside his to fall asleep, as a reassurance of sorts. He's not sure why he needs that; not sure why sometimes he wakes up and feels scared when there isn't someone next to him. Along the way, Archie realized how tormenting it is to be alone.

He has to buy a new journal two weeks after they signed the divorce documents. He begins writing and then rips them out to trashes the pages he writes on. None of it is on any particular subject, but he's not fooling anyone, especially not himself. They're all about her and sometimes himself and what happened to his beautiful little boy and where they went wrong and how he has to fix it and how he's an idiot and regrets so much of what happened and if it turns out okay which it has to and—

Weeks pass. Things are okay.

He goes in her room again. Writing his name in the dust gathered atop the dresser seems like the best idea in the world, so he does. He also manages to inhale quite a bit of dust in the process.

He's a man deprived of someone who made him feel more than he has in his lifetime. The saying goes that it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but he finds himself bitter at the situation. He hates how unkind fate had been.

He stays in the room for a while. It still feels like there's a ghost here, so just in case there is, he writes 'I miss you' in the dust, too. Maybe the hypothetical ghost will pass it on. To him, to her, both. Maybe, somehow, it will make him better.




Vinnie didnt reply to Natalie. He remained as silent as the dead, as if he didnt even hear her. He could not breath. He could barely even think. He simply held his stance, and did not move an inch as a growing sense of dread overtook his whole body. His eyes remained locked on glowing white orbs that bored daggers into his very soul. It watched from the shadows, remaining to its dark confines, no moonlight could touch its thick hide and it. Mist steamed before its mouth and a light growl tickled its throat, but only to come out in silence. In life, when a predator is near, there is dreadful quiet despite how the surroundings teem with nervous energy as if alive and watching. Even Monty, who had descended and was standing on the foot of the stairwell behind Vinnie, had fallen still. The hairs on their arms rose in alarm, and the whole setting felt like it was full of static. As if it had come off of a large playground slide and couldn't pat its hair back down.

"What the hell's going on here? I...don't know and I'm still not sure I wanna know..."

Then suddenly, as if a switch had been flipped by Natalie's statement, the air turned malevolent. It was heavy, charged, alive, and now it wanted to hurt them. Monty reacted first, raising his handgun and firing haphazardly in the direction of eyes in the dark. Vinnie, having been too focused on the predator, had not seen his friend and was surprised by the gunshots directly behind him. Vinnie did not movie from his prone position on the ground, instead throwing his hands on his ears trying in vain to shield them from the sound of the shots. The monster launched forward, releasing that same inhuman battle cry from before and moving faster than it had any right to ever move. It grabbed Monty's entire torso with one hand and, using it's momentum, turned into a swinging motion throwing the man through the guardrail of the stairs and then driving him straight down into and through the floor. The reptile released Monty, moving quickly on all fours to finish the job, only to hesitate from driving his six inch claws through the downed man's chest. He remembered that he had an audience.

Archie cast his eyes upwards, finally getting a good look at Natalie's lithe form. Suddenly his vision buzzed and his own voice screamed that she was undeserving in his head. He looked back down at the only semi-conscious but still breathing form of Monty, and then to Natalie again as his own voice faded from his thoughts. He shook his head, immediately ignoring the strange happening and grabbed the incapacitated man by the leg. Archie pulled Monty out of the small crater in the floorboards he had created using Monty's body, and a steely predatory look returned to Archie's features. With one swift movement, the giant drove a huge scaled fist into Monty's knee, driving his fist and the crook's joint through the floorboards. The sound of muscle and bone being pulverized was sickening, like the combination of the crack of a baseball being struck and a watermelon being smashed. Monty, who was already in shock, convulsed momentarily, but did not regain consciousness. Monty would never walk again.

The beast rose to stand on its hind legs once again, dropping Monty's mangled leg and with its claws picked three crumpled nine millimeter bullets out from the scales of its neck. It shook itself in a trembling fashion out of discomfort. He tasted the air, and he could smell blood- the corpse's, Monty's, and a trace amount of his own as the scales of his neck were thinner than other areas. The sound of whimpering caught his attention and he looked to the shaking but prone form of Vinnie, who had not move. He was curled up facing the floor with his hands over his ears. He was muttering something, but Archie either wasn't paying attention or didn't seem to care.

As his battle trance faded, Archie turned his gaze once again to Natalie and backed further into the bowels of the building, hiding his huge form in the darker shadows cast by the walls of the house. He was leaving Vinnie to her, to harm, evaluate, call the police, whatever. His own voice in his head was just too interesting to pass up, and so he kept his gaze on Natalie- who no doubt could see his glowing white eyes on her as if daring her to do something.

And somewhere in his heart of hearts, he was.


@Silver Carrot
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Hidden 11 mos ago Post by baraquiel
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baraquiel just sad, is all

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Ember


The Murray Mansion. It was the fruit of all the hard work, struggles, and sacrifices of the family that lived in this house. An imposing gate The letter "M" as the family's symbol was emblazoned on it's imposing gate with a fascinating water fountain on the center of its front yard. The whole house itself was painted pearly white, to showcase the family's status in the city of Santa Celia. The mansion consisted of rooms more than two hands can count.

Yet there were only two rooms that Ember Murray, the sole daughter of the Murray household liked: her own bedroom and the music lounge. The music lounge had many instruments a musician would ever dream of. It had glass doors that open up to the family's huge backyard filled with flowers and lush greenery. With a simple white dress, Ember sat beside the black grand piano at the room's center. She softly touched the piano keys and began to play a musical piece titled "Stroll" from the Studio Ghibli film "My Neighbor Totoro". She closed her eyes, her long black/brown hair flowing from the breeze that came from the open door, and letting the melody take control of her hands. If only life was like this, filled with relaxing memories that bring out the best in people, filling countless hearts with kindness and compassion towards others.

Alas, life doesn't always end up that way. Her mind was infiltrated by the memories of her childhood. She would remember the way her father looked down on her, as if she became a monster right before his very eyes. His compassionate smiles turned into disgusted scowls once he found out she became one of the very people he loathed, and it was the day she discovered she had superpowers. He would always look at her disapprovingly as if she will do something to disgrace the Murray family, as if she is the disgrace. It came to the point where he would not, could not, even look at her anymore, like she's nothing to him now. Ember grew up crying every night as she was too young to understand why her father did not love her anymore. Young Ember did everything she can for her father to be proud of her and to acknowledge her as her precious daughter. But it was too late: for Samson Murray, the respectable and honorable mayor of Santa Celia, he does not have a daughter anymore.

Ember pressed a wrong note and the room was filled with the sound of her crying, her tears falling down on the piano keys. She taught herself to be strong but all these years were very, very hard for the young lady.

"Ember?"

She looked up to see her younger brother Aiden standing in the doorway, dressed in his Power Rangers pajamas and clutching his stuffed elephant. Sleepy as he was, he ran to his sister's side and hugged her. Ember was surprised at first, but returned the embrace as well. Words cannot express how thankful she was to have a little brother as special and loving as he is.

Aiden broke from the embrace and looked up at his sister. "What's wrong? Why did you stop playing?"

Ember smiled, wiping away her tears. "N-Nothing, Aiden. I just... remembered a real sad movie. Spoiler alert: the dog dies", she said. For some reason Ember still doesn't know, their parents gave them names that are connected to fire in some ways.

The little boy's eyes widen. "Oh no! How could they do that to an adorable animal? How horrible", he said sadly.

"Oh don't be sad bunso, at least he'll go to dog heaven. There, he'll get lots of head pats and belly rubs", Ember said reassuringly.

"That's good to hear ate." Aiden paused for a few minutes, continuously looking back and forth to Ember and the piano. Ember laughed when she realized what he meant, and she continued to pay the music where she left off. Aiden smiled brightly, and he jumped and danced around the room holding his stuffed elephant while his sister played the tune, laughing and smiling.

Unbeknownst to them, their mother Mirabella was quietly watching them from the doorway. She shed a tear just looking at her daughter being so sad like that, and cracked a serene smile upon seeing her two children being happy again. She admitted that she was too weak, that she let her daughter go through all those things at a young age, that she was powerless to stop Ember's heart from being broken.

But this time, Mirabella Murray will not let that happen again.

later that night...

"No Ma, I won't take too long I promise. I just arrived at the store".

Even after the sun has set, Santa Celia was as alive as ever. Lots of people were still here despite the rainy weather. Shops, malls, and other stores were open for business for the families that went out to spend time together for the evening. Couples holding hands, businessmen talking to someone on their phones, a group of friends laughing together, it's just a typical rainy evening for a citizen of Santa Celia.

That night, Ember was wearing a white tank top under a black jacket, black jogger pants, and white sneakers. She was at La Musa, the city's only music store. It's like every musician's playground and every musical instrument you can think of can be bought here. However, she wasn't alone. Aside from the other people buying at the store, she was accompanied by her two bodyguards. It sucked as it made everyone look at her, but it's the price of being the mayor's daughter.

"Okay sweetie. It's just... Aiden's birthday is a week from now. You can buy his gift even this weekend. Does it really have to be now?"

"I just wanted to get some fresh air, even with these guys", she glanced at her bodyguards. Really, do they have to look at everyone suspiciously? "Besides, we're not finished planning his surprise birthday yet right? That way, I won't worry about forgetting to buy his gift since it's the first thing I did. See, everyone's happy!"

Ember can hear her mother laugh on the other line. "Alright, if you say so. Just be careful okay? I just heard on the news that a police chase is currently happening. Love you to bits, sweetie!".

"Yes Ma, I will Ma. Love ya to bits too! Tell Aiden I love him too", she said before hanging up the phone. She looked back at her bodyguards and coughed to get their attention. In a hushed tone, she talked to them. "I don't know 'bout you guys but nothing bad's gonna happen here. Name one criminal who's ever interested in stealing from a music shop". The two men looked at each other and nodded at Ember, getting her message. They walked around the store, one finding interest at a display of guitars while the other found a vinyl collection of Madonna.

Sighing contentedly, Ember continued to search the display for the perfect gift. Aiden was always asking their mom for his own violin, and what he wants, Ember will get.

Soon, Ember and the two bodyguards walked out of the store, her happily smiling as she looked at her gift for her little brother. One of the guys contacted the driver to come pick them up when they can all hear the screeching of tires somewhere. People were alerted of the noise and hurriedly crossed the street. All that's left was a teddy bear on the middle of the road. A child let go of his mother's hand and ran towards his bear only for a car suddenly coming into view. At its back were the blue and red lights of police cars. Maybe this was the chase Ma was talking about, she thought to herself.

Ember looked back in front of her to see a child getting the teddy bear he dropped. His mother desperately called out for his name. At the rate of how fast the cars were approaching, no normal human can ever save the poor kid.

Good thing Ember was not.

Acting quickly, she elongated her arms and stretched them to grab the kid, swiftly pulling him from danger just as the cars sped through the streets. They were gone as fast as they came. A silence came over the streets as they saw Ember holding the boy in her arms. The mother hurriedly ran across the street to embrace her son, who was in shock as he realized he was about to die back there. Crying, the mother looked up at Ember and said thanks. Ember reassuringly rubbed her shoulder and patted the kid's head. Then she stood up and gave the bodyguards her gift for Aiden. "Bring these at home. And tell Ma I'll be late for dinner tonight."

"B-But Ms. Ember, what are you gonna do?", one of the bodyguards asked, watching as she takes off her jacket and tosses it at him. Ember only replied with a smug before outstretching her hand to the pole, swaying her way towards the police cars Spiderman-style.
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Hidden 11 mos ago 11 mos ago Post by Mao Mao
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For the first time in a while, Nathan felt energized for sleeping on a comfortable bus seat. It's rare that he slept somewhere other than either a park bench or under a bridge. Originally, he was in Palm Springs before things became complicated with the local homeless population and the police. It didn't end in bloodshed, but Nathan knew that it was better to leave unnoticed. With a few dollars spent, he boarded a bus that was heading for the city of Santa Celia. He had never been to it before. Based on the brochure, it sounded like a better place than Los Angeles or Long Beach.

Eventually, the bus stopped at the bus station and Nathan watched as people were getting out of the bus. He wanted to feel the softness of the seat one time before getting off. After a few seconds, he got up and walked off of the bus. For the station, he watched the bus leaving towards its next destination while it was raining. Immediately, Nathan pulled up his hood to cover his head and protect his alien friend, Ink. The both of them had been to a lot in the last year especially in Chicago. Now, it was time to rest for once. Ink's head appeared beside Nathan's head, looking around at it's surroundings.

"We are here?" Ink asked.

"Yeah, we are here. A chance to start anew, I hope." Nathan answered.

The two friends talked for a bit about random stuff while Nathan was looking for a comfortable place to rest. There wasn't anything to do during the night besides scouting out their new home. They had noticed a lot of fancy vehicles on the road, meaning that Santa Celia has its fair share of the rich. Nathan thought of going back to the robbery business if things got desperate. For now, they kept on walking for a while longer until they heard police sirens. Then, he heard gunshots. It got Ink's attention for sure as he peeked outsides of the hood before quickly going back in.

Suddenly, a lime green car sped down the road while being chased by three black vehicles. Four police cars were behind them in the hopes of stopping them. Nathan was caught off guard by the chase because he had never seen something like this before in person. Even known he has been at several cities, police chases weren't usually this crazy. Then, a person from one of the black vehicles fired his pistol at the tires of the green car. The guy managed to shoot one of the tires off of the green car, causing the driver to lose control. Then, he crashed into a light pole.

It seemed that the driver was dead until he got out of the car. He exited out of his car and began running away from both the police and the three mysterious vehicles. Nathan watched as the man kicked open the back door of an apartment and entered inside. The residents of that apartment unit were now in danger as the three vehicles halted nearby the ruined green car. One by one, heavy armed men exited out of the vehicles and made their way towards the apartment. Meanwhile, some of the officers attempted to stop the armed men, but they were met with gunfire. One officer was immediately killed and three more were wounded. It gave them a reason to not pursue anymore, leaving the residents at risk of getting hurt or worse.

"Cowards." Ink said, referring to the officers.

"Thankfully, we aren't cowards." Nathan responded. "Let's go and make sure that nobody else dies."



Once inside the apartment, Frankie Gomez shut the back door to the building and ran towards the front entrance. However, the police were setting up a barricade that surrounded the apartment. With no options left on the table, he started to climb up the stairs in the hopes of finding a good hiding spot. He heard the back door being kicked out of its hinges and knew that the Azteca Cartel were near. By the time that he got to the second floor, he heard someone ordering their people to check every single room in the building. The next thing that he knew was that the residents were fleeing to their rooms.

Unfortunately for Wyatt Brown, he was too slow and Gomez managed to enter the room. He was suckapunched before he could react to the stranger in his home. Gomez entered the small kitchen and grabbed a knife from the counter in the hopes of using it as a weapon. Then, he tried to look for his before realizing that it was still in the car and began to panic.

"SHIT! What am I going to do now?!"

Then, he saw Brown struggling to get off of the floor and processed to grab the collar of his shirt. He held the knife against his neck and said, "Give your phone or you will be sorry!"

Brown reached for his pockets and handed him his cell phone. Gomez grabbed the phone and threw him against the half wall. All he had to do now was call somebody that gives a damn about him and ask for a lift. It was a long shot, but it was better than dying in some apartment. While he was dialing a number, he turned to see that the resident was trying to flee. But, he kicked him in the chest and grabbed him with one hand. Gomez looked at his eyes and said, "If you try to escape, you will die. If you attempt to yell for help, you will die. And if you open that door, we will die. Got it?"

Brown nodded. "Good." Gomez said happily before throwing him into the bathroom. He placed the phone on the coffee table as it was calling someone. In the meantime, he looked for things to barricade the door.


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Hidden 11 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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Natalie Ellis



Natalie felt the tension explode the moment she opened her stupid mouth, and now one of the two men, had started shooting at the giant lizard. She was close enough to see the man on the ground clearly now. He had definitely been shot, so one of these humans was a murderer. Everything new she saw just gave rise to more and more questions. She didn't dare get closer. As strong as she was, bullets would still kill her. The man wouldn't even have to be close to her to end her life. That was infinitely scarier to her than the reptilian. She knew that it would usually be the other way around, but Natalie was anything but usual.

She watched the reptile attack this armed gunman, and the moment he was disarmed, she started to approach the house, and entered the porch. Not a moment too late, either, as she saw the reptile about to kill its prey. "Wait!" she cried out, immediately feeling incredibly stupid. Luckily the reptile stopped, but now it was staring at her. Even now, what she felt wasn't fear, and no fear was showing on her face. Sure, she looked nervous, and sheepish, but her reaction was incredibly understated for how a small young woman should have reacted. The creature shook its head, then picked up the gunman's leg and pulverized it. Natalie winced and looked horrified as she turned away, but again, there was no screaming. Why was this woman behaving so...unorthodox?

The creature looked to the other human, then to her, and backed off. It was almost as if it was telling her to deal with him. She could see its eyes still watching her with what she assumed was curiosity. It was almost as if it was intelligent. Maybe it was. Maybe that lizard was one of the 'superpowered individuals' that had started to crop up in recent years. It was that same trend that cased to shady technology companies conspiring with mob bosses to artificially create superpowered individuals. 'Project Lion'. It was because of this that Natalie both resented Supers, and felt a kinship to them. Oops. She'd just caught herself thinking of Supers as other people again. Deal with it, Nellie. You're a Super now.

Natalie crouched down besides the guy with the sword, and with all the genuine warmth and friendliness of the fast food restaurant employee she was, she tried to talk to him. "Are you alright? Can you tell me what exactly happened here, or do you need some time to calm down? I'll call the police in the meantime."

This snapped the swordsman out of his stupor, and he lunged at Nat as he tried to draw his sword. Before Archie could react to this in any way, and before Natalie could stop herself, Archie would see this skinny, frail-looking woman grab the guy by the neck, lift him off his feet and pin him against the wall. With her other hand, she wrenched his sword out of his grip with a loud pop as she'd snatched it with such force, she'd dislocated his wrist. Her hand squeezed the sword until it snapped clean in two, blood running down the broken blade as this woman had cut her hand on the sharp edge of the sword. She raised her bloody hand in a fist to punch her prisoner. Archie would notice her eyes. They were wide, suddenly terrified, and seemed to be staring miles away, through the man, and the wall..

Before she could land that blow, sanity came back into her eyes, which began to tear up as she let the man go. Just as he was about to bolt, she delivered a swift finger poke to the back of his head and he collapsed, unconscious but alive. She wiped her tears away with her sleeve. This is why getting involved was a bad idea. This is why trying to be a hero was a bad idea. She'd almost killed somebody again. When would she ever learn to always, always keep her head down.

She then remembered her bleeding palm, and the pain it felt. As she winced and sucked air through her teeth, she also remembered she was being watched. She looked back at the reptile, and gave it an incredibly lame little wave. "Hey...Um, should we call the police, or get out of here, or...?"

@JunkMail
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Archie



Something in Archie recognized the look of fear in Natalie's eyes as she remembered what she was capable of. It was sobering, if anything. His mind didn't process that she was far stronger than others of similar statue, instead he grew a healthy respect for the woman of whom he had deemed undeserving of his wrath. He tasted her blood in the air, and it tasted wrong. There was something very off about it, compared to Monty and the corpse. His vision remained on Nelly until she dropped the weapon, and then finally addressed him.

"Hey...Um, should we call the police, or get out of here, or...?"

Archie began moving as if to step closer to her, but he stopped. He suddenly felt very sick, and he reeled away from Natalie with a low wine. He clutched his chest, a clawed hand trying uselessly to stop the cramping. Fearful, and in pain, Archie turned heel and ran, smashing through the glass of the back door and running through the fence (leaving a car sized hole in his wake). Now well out of sight, Archie desperately sprinted in the direction of a familiar alleyway. He didn't know why he had chosen this direction, he couldn't remember, but it was something. Perhaps he could outrun this phantom pain that was growing in his chest.

As he rounded the corner into the alleyway a grunt slipped out of Archie's lips as his legs went out from underneath him. Quite suddenly, his torso felt much, much heavier than his legs were capable of supporting. He managed to keep his arm up, but it was an almost unbearable strain. Christ, he'd never felt this weak in his entire life. He pressed with all his might against the floor with his other clawed hand, barely able to keep himself from collapsing onto the floor. Suddenly his mind was alight with coherent thought-

My name is Archie Malcom Anderson. I am a thirty-four year old recently divorced man. I am in a lot of pain and I am very afraid. I am probably going to die alone. I will probably ne-

Archie had to stop thinking after that because he lost the ability to think properly. Sweet merciful Jesus it felt like swarms of tiny things were attacking him, crawling up his leg and tearing at his flesh. The beast collapsed entirely, thrashing desperately but the feeling of its very organs tearing themselves apart blocked out literally everything in his mind except for pain. Archie twisted and shrieked, his muscles tensing uselessly before the tendons and muscles his arms dislocated. There was pain, lesser than that from his chest but nonetheless excruciating, shot up his arms before he found himself unable to move his fingers, his toes). Tears openly rolled down Archie's face as the pupils of his eyes tore and reshaped itself, rendering him blind. Next were the tips of his claws and toes. He felt them fall off, clean the fuck off, then the feeling of his skull rotting away burned at his ear cavities. His feet began to rip open at his Achilles tendon tore from the back of his knees, and he found himself paralyzed, unable to move even his face with the weight of his own rapidly receding mass. Archie had a fleeting moment of clarity and clamped his newly formed lips shut before he would attract any more attention, and whimpered through his tightly pressed lips.

Archie began to go somewhat numb. He was, quite simply, enduring more pain than he had ever expected to receive in his entire life, and it was more than his brain knew how to understand. He could hear someone screaming through their lips and he was fairly certain it was him. There was agony unlike anything he had ever felt, from every open, vulnerable spot. The screams were calling for Mom and begging for relief and then for God to just snap his neck then and there and end it. Archie didn't want to live anymore. He shook, his body jerked and ripped from side to side as the different pieces of exposed flesh and scales ripped and ashed away. His whole body was burning and stabbing with pain, and with now total blindness, all he could rely on was his hearing (there were sounds of the cars, the people, the heartbeat of the city) and his sense of touch. The latter was useless, as all he felt at the moment was mind splitting pain-but he did notice the absence of his own weight. He felt the wetness of his own blood seep against his skin, dripping onto the cold asphalt of the street in the alley.

Then there was the clammy, chill (not cold-this was something unnerving on a psychological level) as his body began rapidly returning to its human state. It wasn't painful-it was most definitely good for him-but nonetheless, the itchy, scratchy feeling one gets as a wound stitches itself back together began to dance along his entire body. All the tiny nicks and scratches to the horrid breaks and lacerations were suddenly alight with itchiness, a most uncomfortable sensation gripped his eye sockets, scrotum, ears, fingers, and toes. Slowly, the pain began to recede and his vision returned. Archie felt...fragile. He'd thought of himself as strong, before... before all of this. His own body had torn him apart so easily, as it always did. Archie was trembling and groaned as he stood up using a dumpster as aid, not yet ready to force himself to stand on his own weight. His brain was panicking, phantom pain flickering between his ears, his eyes, and his dick, his mind desperately telling himself that he was still a heartbeat or two away from death, but his body insisting that it was just fine. He finally stood up on his own, taking a few deep breaths to steady himself. He balled up his hands into fists and gave his legs a casual shake, one at a time, to help mask some of the rampant trembling.

His bare form leaned against the wall of the alley, and with renewed lungs he sucked in breath. He cleared the tears from his eyes, and he leaned against the dumpster, groaning as he strained against it, slowly moving it just enough to pull a change of clothes he had hidden behind it. He had learned from trial and error that the beast inside him liked this spot. In the back of the alley there was a rather large manhole that provided access to a nest of sorts. He dressed himself, and sighed heavily. He wouldn't sleep tonight. Not after that.

He needed coffee, and a new pair of pants. He knew just the place.

The trek to The Woven Roast had taken the better part of an hour, because he was on foot and needed to stop by his apartment for his wallet. He would need to get the pants he had been wearing in his most recent transformation fixed and Taylor, as she liked to be called, was the only person he had ever met that was capable of performing what couldn't be described as anything other than miracles on his clothing. As he arrived, he could see the familiar blonde cleaning tables absentmindedly though the storefront windows. There didn't seem to be anyone else in the store, so he initially though that it was closed. He looked to his wrist to check the time, only to remember he wasn't wearing his watch. He also didn't have his phone on him- he had left both at the apartment. He groaned and figured that if he was going to be a pain, he might as well get it over with. He had learned well enough that dragging it out never helped.

He winced, and leaned forward to knock lightly on the door. He surprised himself when the door gently opened against the pressure, but rebalanced himself quickly. He peeked his head in tentatively, hoping to not get in trouble. As of late he has been a regular to both of her businesses, so she should recognize him.

"Taylor? Are you open? It's Archie. I have another special order for you..."

@Silver Carrot@Chukklehed
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Aquila
Journey Into Night, Track 1



Two Months Ago in Boston:

The empty barroom was lit up by the flickering lights of flat screen televisions that had been mounted on the walls in between peeling strips of lead paint. Jones pulled slowly at the fading cigarette held between his cracked lips. He wasn't paying attention to the news as he rested his ancient bones against the countertop. Not really, not completely. He already knew the score. A smile grew beneath his greying beard. Three points for the good guys.

He wished Sarah had been there. He would've told her how proud he was. He would've offered her a beer, even if it was only ten o'clock. She'd earned it.

"This is Melissa Williams, NBC Boston, bringing you the news that matter. The vigilante known only as the Night Bird has struck again. The bodies of Herman O'Sullivan, close friend to notorious gangster Whitey Bulger, and several of his associates were discovered earlier this morning in Roxbury."

"We're live with Mark Thompson, who's on the scene at the Redmont Towers. Mark, What can you tell us?"

"Well, Melissa, construction workers arriving to work this morning discovered a grisly scene. Several bodies were found scattered across the construction site. One individual was later identified by the police as Herman O'Sullivan using dental records. According to Deputy Chief John Wilson, BFD, it appears that all five victims fell from approximately the 45th floor of the still incomplete building."

"And how does all of this relate to the Night Bird?"

"Well, Melissa, BPD, reports that a handwritten note was found tied to O'Sullivan's body."

"What did it say?"

"You can't fly from justice."

"Disturbing. Thanks, Mark."

"No problem, Melisa."

"O'Sullivan was a decisive figure in the community. Noted for his recent engagement in a number of charitable organizations, his string of successful businesses, and persistent accusations that he maintains ties to organized crime. The 2005 investigation into his finances ultimately resulted in no charges being filed, and the district attorney himself reported that he was satisfied that O'Sullivan was a legitimate businessman."

"Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross has reiterated that vigilantism will not be tolerated in Boston and is asking for anyone with information on the Night Bird to come forward. A reward of $1,000,000 has been offered for any information leading to the arrest of the Night Bird."





Presently, The Hills, Santa Celia:

Bird of Prey

Albert, Al to his friends, sat atop an overturned metal barrel on the rooftop of decrepit three story building that had once been a small tailor's shop. The Hills, crumbling as they were, surrounded him. It was a diverse neighborhood as the civilians, the white ones that is, liked to say. It was the slums, the ghetto, the rarely forgotten but mostly ignored part of town that hadn't been gentrified by a horde of invading hipsters yet. It was a capitalist’s dream, and it was the one place where one could still purchase weed at a reasonable price, where crack was king, and cocaine was reserved for passing through stock brokers and crooked politicians. The streets were covered with trash, and broken glass. Blocks, entire blocks of buildings stood empty, and a sense of resigned decline had settled like a choking fog over the district. Al didn't mind, it was home. And business, business was good.

Downtown Santa Celia might be salvageable. With some work, it could even be saved. But, the Hills? The Hills, well, they were fucked. Al knew it. The civilians knew it. All the gangs knew it. And for once, even the cops seemed to know it. They still rolled through the block, sure, but they didn't get out of their cars. Not even the ambulances or fire trucks would go into the Hills without an escort of armed guards. It was the Wild West as far as the Mayor of Santa Celia was concerned. Al liked it that way. He'd never liked it when civilians or cops got hurt, it was bad for business. The game was the game, but there had to be rules.

Looking up from his smart phone, Al had just enough time to see Big Mike go flying past him in a flurry of motion. Jim Boy stood up next to him, reaching for his peace. He was slow, too slow Al knew, and Al watched with his mouth agape as a figure dove from the skies, slamming into Jim Boy with a loud smack. As Jim Boy fell, a wet sound rang out. Looking down, Al saw that his head was lolled to one side at an impossible angle. Al screamed. He screamed until he felt the air leaving him as a heavy fist smashed into his stomach, sending an unappetizing mix of half-digested onions rings and cheeseburger onto the rooftop.

Al felt his feet leave the ground, and then he realized he was airborne. The pyramid of broken TVs that the gang had accumulated as part of some ritualistic hubris broke his fall. Buried beneath the shattered glass, it seemed to Al that the whole world had stopped in its tracks. Lying in a bed of cheap Chinese plastic, Japanese glass, and torn wiring, Al couldn't hear anything but his own heavy breathing. Slowly, sound returned, and he groaned. He brought a hand to his head and came away with blood. Fumbling for his gun, Al tried to stand, only to collapse under his own weight. He craned his head around, trying to catch a glimpse of his assailant.

For the first time in years, Al prayed, he muttered the only prayer he could remember, clutching desperately at the rosary he wore around his neck more out of habit, than outright belief. The same rosary that his Tia had given him almost a decade ago. Great, magnificent wings unfurled in front of him as the figure gracefully landed without so much as a sound. "An angel-" He hoarsely began, gasping painfully with each panicked syllable.

"You wish, scumbag," came the furious reply. A woman, the voice was feminine. Measured, and full of anger.

Al tried to focus his eyes through the blood. He saw a mask. A tattered mess of clothing. A terrible visage of fury. Recognition dawned on him. His fear grew. He was dealing with a villain, like the monsters he had heard about. The Pale Man, the Skeleton, the cloaked figure who butchered all that crossed his path, and the bright colored girl that followed him...or it.

"Look, I'm sorry, I didn't know the Skeleton was here. I thought it was fine. I didn't know any better. Just let me go, you can have all my product, just let me go," Al begged, coughing up blood.

"Who?"

"The Pale Man. The Skeleton. Your boss."

"Sorry chump, I'm not with any outfit. I'm strictly an independent contractor."

"Wait...you're not with the Skeleton, then why are you here? Why are you doing this?"

"I'm justice."

"Lady, you're crazy," Al muttered, his eyes wide with fear.

"They always say that," the woman said with a low laugh, pulling Al to his feet by the collar of his shirt. "I'll give you a chance, one chance."

"Wh-what?"

"If you survive the fall, then you are free to go."

"No- Wait!" He shouted, trying to grab her arms, trying to grab onto anything. But it was too late. Al sailed through the air, like a jet powered bag of potatoes. Tumbling over the edge of the rooftop, he could only scream. He screamed the entire way down to the ground. Flashes of his life passing in front of his eyes. Regrets, so many regrets.

Al hit the pavement hard and light, blinding light enveloped him. He felt his legs shatter as his feet impacted the pavement, bones moving in directions they were not supposed to, buckling upwards in a sickening wave towards his knees. He screamed, he screamed like he had never screamed before. Rolling fitfully on the red pavement, he pushed himself away from Big Mike’s broken form. The large man was breathing, barely, his right side reduced to a mess of bone and blood. Three stories, three fucking stories, she'd thrown them off of a fucking three-story building.

Jim Boy lay nearby, his neck still impossibly twisted, his dead eyes staring accusingly at Al. Al didn't care. He was alive. He wept, dragging himself out of the alley, leaving Big Mike behind. He was going to live.

He was done.

Al was going to retire.

He'd had enough.


Sir Skeleton and Laser Girl
Pearl's Girl, Track 1


Elsewhere in Santa Celia:

Play Me

Sir Skeleton looked on with his grim features. A skull ground down to perfectly polished white bone shone malevolently beneath his prodigious top hat. His empty eye sockets, haunting nothingness, all that remained of his eyes, gazed unmoved at the sight in front of him. The fingers and teeth that lay scattered across the floor did not seem to bother him. Laser Girl was not sure how she knew, but she knew he was deeply unhappy with the present situation. She could almost feel the anger; the cold, inhuman anger that emanated from the shrouded figure.

With a roll of his visible vertebrae, he turned towards Laser Girl, and she carefully returned his gaze. She had quickly learned to respect and mostly fear her new companion. She'd seen what he could do. The unbidden, unwelcome memories that followed sent a shiver down her spine, and she nervously adjusted the futuristic visor she wore to contain the laser beams she commanded with her eyes.

You summoned me. What is it?

She heard his deep voice in her mind, it felt strange, foreign, as if someone was whispering in her mind and all around her all at once...but she was getting used to it. Beyond simple gestures, it was how the skeletal figure chose to communicate. He said that he didn't have the necessary organic parts to speak any more. And she believed him. He was nothing more than a walking pile of bones dressed in a three piece suit, and an ancient tattered coat the color of midnight. No skin, no muscles, no organs, just perfectly preserved bones cast in a shade of brilliant white.

"Nothing, nothing. Everything's fine," Laser girl replied halfheartedly, feeling suddenly ill. She turned towards the handcuffed figure, who was presently leaking blood onto the carpeted floor. "Well, there's a small problem, boss. A minor hangup, really. He says he doesn't know the password, he says he doesn't know the way in. Boris asked him. Repeatedly. Even used some motivational techniques. But well, he still says he doesn't know."

Laser Girl could have sworn she heard a laugh, a deep unsettling laugh echoing through her skull.

Leave us. I will parley with our friend.

Shrugging her shoulders, Laser Girl practically skipped out of the room, slamming the door shut behind her. The screaming began soon after. She frowned. She wasn't huge on torture. Still, bad guys were bad guys. Doing some good, did not absolve them. No gods, no masters, as Sir Skeleton always said. Pulling her headphones over her ears, she turned up the volume, drowning out the screams, and desperate, mewls for mercy that traveled through the thin walls.

She wondered if Sir Skeleton would let her take the night off. She had so many parties to go to. So many old friends to see.

The night was young, and she had ecstasy to spare.
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Hidden 11 mos ago 11 mos ago Post by chukklehed
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chukklehed Sorcerer Supreme with a medium rootbeer

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Nicole




Nicole plastered a smile over her face as she heard the door open behind her, standing up and turning around to greet what must be her last customer of the day. Her smile brightened again as she recognized Archie, sheepishly standing in her doorway.

"Archie! Back again? I was just about to close up shop, but it's not like I have anywhere to be. Come on in, I'll make some coffee and we can talk." Nicole tossed the rag she was using over the counter, curving it a little in midair to make sure it landed in the sink, and crossed behind the bar herself to start up her coffee making machinery. "Let me guess, you need another set of clothes? I swear, the way you go through them you'd have to be ruining them every night. If you told me what you were doing with them I could make them to last, you know?"

She glanced up at Archie with a pointed look as the tools of her trade whirred to life, as if trying to see into his head. Soon enough she dropped her gaze back to her task, dragging two clean mugs from the dish drawer. She picked two of the largest she had, since she figured it was going to be a long night, and Archie didn't seem like he was planning on calling it a night himself.

@JunkMail
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JunkMail Shitpost Supreme

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Archie



"It's good to see you too, Taylor."

As he strode into the shop Archie placed his damaged clothing on a table by a sewing machine. He sighed, turning around to take a seat. As he sat down, he watched her toss her rag into the sink, muttering "Three pointer." under his breath as she effortlessly made the shot. For being so short, the girl had game.

"Taylor, you know me well." He said, smiling at her foresight of his ruined clothing. The grin fell quickly as soon as she reminded him that he still hadn't told her why he needed new clothing so often. When she picked up two large mugs, he knew that he was going to be in for another conversation. He wasn't complaining, really! He loved talking with Taylor, she was a sweet girl and extremely successful in her own right. Talking to people like her made him feel like maybe the world wasn't so hopeless after all, but he knew that she had him right where she wanted him. They were alone, she had left off on a suggesting that he expand on his mysterious nature, and he didn't have much in the way of getting out of this.

Deep down in Archie, he didn't want her to know for the wrong reasons. Yes, of course he was a dangerous individual and telling Taylor that would make her scared of him and potentially ruin one of the few regular and positive human interaction outlets he has left. While that reasoning was present, and extremely valid, Archie was hesitant to open up more so because he was afraid of getting too close to her. Archie comes in contact with a lot of bodies, and handshakes, and smiles, and laughter, and friendly moments. But a friend is something different. There’s usually a moment where it comes into focus. Sometimes it's been a smile that he didn’t expect and didn’t know he needed. A pat on the back, and invitation, a secret. Then there it is- he'd have a friend.

But, Archie is an alcoholic, with a failed marriage, and a dead son. Even now he had a flask strapped to his hip. He had an apartment with rooms that he hadn't stepped in for weeks now because the feeling of failure weighs down on him like the world on Atlas' shoulders. Taylor wouldn't want to see that part of him, not even he wanted to see that part of him. Despite his brain telling him that it was wrong and selfish to let her in and that she'd eventually be too disgusted with him to bear his presence, his heart yearned for the acceptance that it hadn't had in a long time. So despite his better judgement he opened his big, fat, stupid mouth.

"If you want to know, I'll tell you." He said, finally caving. He leaned over the table and rested his head in his hands. "I, um, I have a condition." He said. "Sometimes my body changes. I- I become a monster. I try to control it, keep it away from people, but it's huge and angry. I don't know when it started, but it's there and-" he continued, motioning to his shredded clothing, "It makes a mess. Of everything. It's hurt people, Taylor."

He rubs his forehead and looks away from Nicole, refusing to meet her eyes. "I try to cope but... it's not exactly something you can visit a therapist about, y'know?"

He fell quiet, not sure how to continue his rant. He didn't want to give her the details, unless she asked. She was the first person he'd told about his affliction, and his stomach was doing flips in anxiety- anticipating some kind of rejection.


@chukklehed
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Hidden 11 mos ago Post by chukklehed
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chukklehed Sorcerer Supreme with a medium rootbeer

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Nicole




Nicole silently walked back around the counter, balancing two steaming mugs in her hands as well as a small pitcher of cream and another with sugar. She carefully placed her burden on the table, pushing one of the mugs at Archie, then lowered herself into the chair opposite, studying him carefully.

"Do you mean like metaphorically? You have an anger problem and... holy shit, you're being literal aren't you?" Nicole stared at Archie dumbfounded for a moment, then slumped backward in her chair. "I mean, I knew people with powers were showing up, but I didn't expect someone to actually show up on my doorstep."

Nicole stared atArchie for a long moment, then came to a decision of her own.
"I suppose since you told me your secret, it's only fair that I show you mine." she closed her eyes and reached out to the work table behind her, finding what she was looking for sitting just inside her range. She pulled at. The torn piece of clothing, feeling the frayed edges and broken seams. The entire article floated off the table and into her hands, the threads twitching like snakes as they sought to rejoin the breaks.

"I know it isn't the same," she said leaving the cloth to settle again as she returned her attention to Archie, "My power doesn't change who I am when I use it, I never hurt people without meaning to. I cant say I understand how you feel. Still, I hope that knowing there's someone else who isn't completely normal will help you somehow." Nicole smiled at Archie, a rare, actual smile, "I want to help if I can. Don't worry about the clothes, I'll take care of them, and if you ever need to talk, I'll be around."
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Hillan The Real Dinoman

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In the minds of
C R O S S R O A D



AWAKENING
Location Doctor Faust's Manor - Outskirts of the city
Part 1.

10:18 P.M| Two weeks ago.


The night was quiet in the outer rim of Santa Celia within eyesight of the Tlaloc Falls, the sound hum of the stream could be heard in the distance as the dark manor looked as abandoned and horror movie-esque as ever. Doctor's Faust's home had been seemingly abandoned for the better part of two years, ever since Estelle Faust, the Doctor's daughter and assistant was killed and Dr. Faust lost his funding for his experimental clinic. William Faust had lost everything and had thus chosen a life of exile. He hadn't been seen in the public and he hadn't attended any of the usual outing he would've been spotted at. He had been working tirelessly in the lab in the basement of the manor, barely eating and rarely sleeping.

But now, there was purpose to his madness, four months ago, in the summer heat of July, he had left the house for the first time, heading down towards the river outside of town, the forest was peaceful to him, it made him calm. Estelle had always invested they'd take walks here, and he had never had the guts to walk it on his own since her passing. But that night he came across the loud cracking of thunder from a steel barrel as a brave detective was murdered. He came running and the sound of his footsteps and yelling scared the gunmen away.

Now, it was four months later and the victim he had stumbled upon, as if a sign from the lord above, was resting in the only bedroom that wasn't covered in dust. He had been in a coma ever since that night, but thanks to the Doctor's intervention and a life force that the doctor had never seen during surgery, the policeman had survived - well, most of him had.

He opened his eyes, slowly, groggily. Everything was blurry, his head was pounding, oh god, the headache. He felt like a million hornets were buzzing inside of his skull. He didn't recognize where he was. In fact, he didn't even know who he was. He couldn't move his body, he couldn't speak - he didn't know how. A alarm went off from the clock and he heard something, the patter of feet on the wooden floor. Everything went dark again.


7:45 P.M| Today


His eyes opened again, still with the insufferable headache, but now, he was able to move again, he sat up and moved his legs, trying to stand up. Once he did, he lost his balance and fell to the ground immediately, pulling down the glass that was on the table next to him as he went down, the glass breaking upon impact, shattering and he could relate to the glass as it broke into a million pieces. It was mesmerizing how the glass broke apart with the loud bang upon impact.

He felt the cold metal against his skin and the burning sensation as the projectile emerged from the chamber, the pain of it breaking his skin and then nothing. Darkness. He was alone in the darkness. And yet, somewhere from the deep, a voice whispered a command.

Stand He heard the voice both in his memory and in the present, as he laid there on the cold wooden floor, watching the small shards of glass spread across the floor.

"Stand please." The doctor asked, as he was hunched down over the larger man, helping him up. He saw the doctor's tired face, the dark bags under his eyes and his pale skin. Despite the decrepit appearance, the man had an everlasting kindness that almost radiated from his face. "C'mon, up you go." William told him as Joseph grunted.
".. My head.. Hurts." He mumbled, holding his forehead.
"You should be so lucky that it hurts, detective." The doctor said with a small scoff, Joseph could not understand his amusement. They moved towards the bed, where Joseph sat down.

"Now, tell me. What's your name?" He asked and Joseph shook his head.
"We've done this before, detective. What is your name?" He repeated the question, this time with a sterner tone than before.

"Joe... My name is Joseph." The wounded man mumbled out, holding his head still.

"Excellent, Joseph. Now, tell me what you are." The doctor said, patting him on the shoulder, his eyes were looking at the dark metal hand and matching servos in his shoulder, elbows, ankles and knees as well as his spine.

"I.. I am alive."

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Hidden 11 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Mao Mao
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Mao Mao Sheriff of Pure Hearts

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Four police officers were assigned to keep an eye on the back door of the apartment building. The body of the fallen officer was dragged away while the officers took the injured to paramedics. Now, they watched and waited until one of the cartel members starts to open fire at them. A few minutes passed with no response for the cartel members. There were reports that some of the residents managed to escape before the Azteca took over. Suddenly, the nearby generator explored and power in the area went out.

Then, all of them heard something crashing onto the hood of Officer Brown's cruiser. Brown immediately reached for his flashlight, turned it on, and shined it at the cruiser. It revealed that the hood was completely crushed and rendered it useless; however, the culprit was nowhere to be seen. Before Officer Brown could report the strange incident, gunshots erupted followed by screaming. He shined the flashlight at the apartment and watched as parts of an assault rifle flew towards them.

"What the fuck." was the only thing that Brown could have said after experiencing all of that in a minute.



"¡Alejarse de mí!" One of the armed men recoiled after watching his friends getting cut down in seconds in an instant. A blooded cell phone on the ground lit up the area enough that he got a clear look at the creature. To him, it was something straight out of a horror film. He freaked out naturally and screamed his last words, "¡VOLVER!"

His life ended in a single snap as Inque quickly grabbed the man's neck and squeezed it with ease. By the time that he dropped the lifeless body, they heard shouting from the upper levels wondering what was happening below them. Not knowing that their lives were about to end in the darkness by an unknown force. It was satisfying for them to see the fear coming from criminals, especially for the two armed men. Their first kill was a quick surprise attack on a confused armed individual. They bled out while the second guy started to fight in the dark in the hopes of hitting something. Now, he was dead.

Inque turned towards the stairs as they heard someone coming down to investigate and hid. The man had his pistol to the side while holding to a flashlight. He made it down the stairs and saw the blood on the ground. Then, he saw the bodies and froze in place; but, he was silenced before he could react. A punch to the gut followed by the snapping of his neck. They processed up the stair and kept on going until they were on the final floor. On that floor, he saw that four doors had been kicked open. Inque immediately entered the first room that he spotted and saw another armed man waving a rifle around.

It was too dark for him to see, but he kept on searching for the owner of the crashed green car. He turned towards the direction of the living room and shouted at the girl, "Hey, throw me something to light up the room! I need to be sure that you aren't lying after all!"

Inque noticed the girl was visibly shaking in fear of dying on the living room floor. They felt sorry for the girl and wanted to comfort them, but it would have made things worse. But, they saw one of those fake LED candles on the coffee table and grabbed it. The armed man was starting to get impatient and demanded the girl to hurry up with the request. He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around to see blackness before seeing the candle. It turned on to reveal themselves and waited for the man's reaction before saying maliciously, "Here you go, amigo."



While the officers waited for the SWAT team to arrive, bystanders and members of the media arrived at the block to watch the situation unfold live. It has been calmed since the gunshots that occurred only a few minutes ago that caused a person that lived in the apartment to faint. Now, the officers were trying to reestablish power to the block. According to the officers guarding the back, it seemed that something purposefully destroyed the generator, but they dismissed the idea that a member of Azteca shot it. Officer Brown described that someone or something strong enough used a manhole to destroy it. Then, it landed on his cruiser and crushed the hood with such simplicity before entering the apartment.

Suddenly, gunshots ensued, followed by screaming in terror and horror. Everyone watched in suspense as people begun to wonder who was stopping them. On the top floor, a cartel member opened a window on the top floor and tried to wave at the officers for help. He pleaded the officers to help him for the "monster" before being dragged back into the apartment. By now, the officers were too scared to enter the building based on Officer Brown's statement for earlier. Meanwhile, everybody was starting to freaking out and started to wonder if the police was going to do something.


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Hillan The Real Dinoman

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In the minds of
C R O S S R O A D



AWAKENING
Location Doctor Faust's Manor - Outskirts of the city
Part 2.

9:06 Today


Taking with the doctor, standing up and reading all felt like completely new sensations, like he had never experienced anything before. He felt like a newborn baby in the sense that every sensation was new. Ever experience was a new one. Every little tension and tinge in his body was fresh. He felt like he had woken up in someone else's body, on that wasn't his own. Like he was dreaming while being asleep at the wheel. Yet, it wasn't just unpleasant, even if his head was still throbbing and it felt like his head was the new home for a colony of pissed off wasps. His right hand felt normal, he could feel things he grabbed even though he could clearly see the mechanical part of his body. He was flabbergasted at the prospect that he hadn't just knocked on death's door. He had been kicked through it and down the stairs to the dark and damp basement of oblivion.

Doctor Faust explained to him that he hadn't had a close death experience. He had been dead, for more than an hour. Faust had explained to him what he had done to save his life. The nanites and the mechanical parts. The buzzing he felt in his brain was the nanites repairing his cells, essentially piecing them together like the world's most complex puzzle. His brain was fragmented and repairing the parts of the brain that were dying due to the whole being dead part with new cells.

"That sounds impossible, Doc. I couldn't have been dead. Science can't bring people back from being dead that long."

"It wasn't just science that saved you, boy. It was something more. A miracle. I'm not a man of faith, but it wasn't just my nanites and augmentation prosthetics that has you sitting here in front of me. I was desperate to not give up on you, even though you had no signs of life during my procedure. Yet, your pulse came back as I was piecing you back together. It was quite the challenge to stop the blood from leaking out of you as I had opened your skull, I must say. The doctor admitted, his voice sounded uncertain but at the same time intrigued. It was clear that while Doctor Faust might've been the most intelligent man Joseph had ever met, even he didn't have the answer as to why Joseph was back in the realm of the living.

"Fact that you are alive, talking and able to move at all at this point is astonishing. The nanites are working very fast at restoring your motor functions, though, they cannot restore your brain completely to the condition it was before the trauma. That's where the processors I implanted into you becomes handy. As Faust explained, Joseph felt his long scar reaching through the back of his head, from his temple on the left side all the way back of his head where he felt the big circular scar from the gunshot.

" I have computers in my brain?"

"And your hand, shoulders, arms, legs and spine. Everywhere I put the motors to replace the organic tissue that was too damaged to be repaired. I was worried about power consumption, I couldn't very well implant batteries into you, but they're feeding off of your natural bioenergy. Which, for the record, you have the highest amounts of I've ever observed. I've seen the biology of many people with extraordinary abilities, but none of them had levels as high as yours. Were you powered before your injury, Detective?

"You're asking me if I had super powers? I was a cop. Not a hero."

And you'll never be one the whisper from deep within his head mused, and his head hurt even more. He flinched from pain and held his head with his left hand.

"You need rest, Mr.Dark. I'll run diagnostics on you tomorrow and we'll do further testing. I'd like to see if we can teach you to walk, read and write tomorrow. The doctor said, as he nodded to the sandwich and glass of water he had brought with him previously to the room that was sitting on Joseph's bedside table.

"I an quite hungry.. I guess I haven't eaten anything in 4 months." He said with a soft smile, the first time in almost half a year.

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Hidden 11 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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Natalie Ellis



Natalie got back to her apartment very quickly after that incident. After the reptile had run off, Natalie was torn between chasing it, or actually calling the police. She chose the latter option. She'd had enough of heroics today. Sure, it went well this time, and two people are alive who would otherwise be dead, but Natalie had come very, very close to killing again. This incident had just affirmed in her mind that ever getting involved was a bad idea, and from now on, she must never give in to her curiosity. She didn't want to get her bleeding hand treated at a hospital either. Not only could she not afford it, but in a hospital environment, Natalie was at risk of her powers being discovered. She'd just treat it herself, with the first aid kit in the apartment's kitchen. Luckily Ellara was at work at this time, so her housemate wouldn't ask her any awkward questions as she bandaged her own hand. It was tricky, but she managed it. With that done, Natalie took off her coat, which had a bloodstained sleeve, and made a mental note to clean it properly later. For the meantime, she hid it in her room.

Natalie's room, in contrast to Ellara's, was tidy and organised, if very bare. There was a bed, a closet, a large bedside cabinet, and a chest of drawers, as well as a desk, and her keyboard. Natalie got changed out of her work uniform, reapplied her makeup to mask her tired, frayed and haggard face and make her look less than ten years older than she really was. After that, she changed into some black boots with a slight heel, light denim jeans, and a Gray woolly sweater. As comfortable as she's going to get while also looking like a stylish young girl who gives a crap. Now what should she do? She didn't get paid today for this week, and grocery day was always the day after payday, so they were out of coffee for now. As much as Natalie just wanted to chill out for the rest of the day and jam a little on the keyboard, or draw, she needed some caffeine right now. She grabbed her keys and headed back out.



Natalie entered the cafe, and nodded at Nicole before quietly muttering a 'hello' and smiling weakly. She said nothing else as she sat down. The usual. Natalie was always, a quiet, strange girl. The strangest thing was if Nicole ever tried to talk about something that had nothing to do with Natalie, she'd relax and hold a normal, rather pleasant conversation. Today, though, Nicole seemed focused on a rather tall gentleman who Natalie didn't know, yet she had noticed the way he'd looked at her, and then desperately tried to scramble through her memory to try to find whether or not she knew him. He wasn't involved with Project Lion, or a member of her old gang. They were all dead. So who was he? She set this question aside and returned her attention to Nicole. She subconsciously lowered her bandaged hand and covered it with the other, suggesting she didn't want to talk about it.

"Could I get a double espresso, please?" she asked pleasantly.

@JunkMail@chukklehed
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Hidden 11 mos ago Post by chukklehed
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chukklehed Sorcerer Supreme with a medium rootbeer

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Nicole




Nicole gave Archie one last smile and patted his arm before moving back to the counter. Normally she would have closed up already by now, and she briefly considered doing that anyway, but she decided she was in a generous mood and wouldn't be running the shop tomorrow either way, so she could stay up another few hours. She busied herself at the espresso machine, keeping an eye on Archie to make sure he was still okay, then turned her smile to her other customer. She had seen the other girl in the cafe before, but had never really interacted with her that much. She was quiet, keeping to herself and barely saying anything. Still, today seemed to be a day for firsts, so Nicole decided to try and start a conversation.

"It's a little late for everybody to be drinking so much caffeine. Is there something going on tonight everyone needs to stay up for?"

Inwardly, Nicole wondered how she had gotten this far in life with such lousy social skills.
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