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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Roman
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Roman Hyena.

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VII. Struggle

Matthew's conversation with Foggy had been brief, but full of both grief and forgiveness in equal measure. It was clear to Murdock that what he had previously assumed was an unshakable bond between the two friends had indeed been stirred by the initial impact and fallout as Kingpin's plans unfolded before the city; but despite lingering paranoia and conspiratorial whispers, Foggy still believed in Matt, and that was enough. There had been apologies from both sides, wordless explanations of thoughts and feelings, secrets implied and trust shared and rebuilt, and ultimately a reaffirmation of support, loyalty, and above all, faith. Faith was so important now; Matthew clung to his faith in the belief that he was on the right path, his faith that he would not allow himself to stumble and fall in the face of such terrible adversity. His faith that Wilson Fisk, Kingpin of New York, was simply a man, and would be felled as such.

They had decided between them - Nelson and Murdock, partners forever - that Foggy was not safe. It felt obvious and remained unspoken by either of them, but the implication was there: if Foggy stayed, he was a target. They had discussed options, each one feeling less desirable than the last, and Foggy had eventually accepted that he needed to leave the city, perhaps even the state, and to take Karen with him. One of his firm's major partners had a soft spot for Foggy, and an understanding of his relationship with Matthew; initially, the offer of a temporary leave of absence had been then rejected from pride and disbelief, but now seemed prudent to accept, thereby removing Foggy and Karen from danger's path. Matthew would miss them terribly, and worry about them constantly; but Foggy had soothed him and they had said goodbyes with warm, hopeful voices. Matthew would regret their absence. A small part of him felt suddenly un-tethered, as if another lifeline to his humanity had been severed.

The officer that had brought him his phone still had not returned, and Murdock smelt freshly burning tobacco and sugary coffee through the cracked window pane of his cell. The man in the cell at the end of the corridor had not stirred through all the commotion since Matthew's arrival, nor through his conversation; whatever had put him under had put him under deep. His heartbeat was slow and steady and did not flicker or falter. Matt sighed, still trying to ignore the stench that oozed from the man's still, prone form, and turned his attention back to his phone. He tapped the screen lightly with his thumbs, feeling the warmth of the display as it lit up in response through his fingertips. He wondered if Elektra would want to speak to him, if she had even seen the news.

"Command: Call Elektra."

His phone whirred silently as it connected the call, and vibrated as it began ringing. Matthew held his breath as he brought the phone to his ear. All other sounds ceased as he listened to the ringing and the ringing only, every new peel of the tone a renewal of his desire to speak to her, touch her, explain his behavior and apologize for the way he'd treated her, beg for forgiveness and understanding and repentance. The phone rang on.

There was a click and a tone and a gap in the air where everything paused - and then another click as the answering machine activated. Elektra's recorded voice came through muffled and ragged.

"Matt, if this is you, I've gone back to my father for a while. I'll call you. I need some time to...think about things. If this is anyone else...don't bother leaving a message."

Another click and then a dead tone. Matt let his hand fall to his side as he hung up.

When the officer returned some time later, having been sternly reminded by her section chief, she found his phone placed on the floor just beyond the bars of his cell, and Matthew himself asleep on his cot, back towards her, his suit jacket folded neatly on the floor, and his tinted glasses resting on top.


It was dark outside when Matthew was awoken. He couldn't see the light, or lack thereof, but he could feel the cooler, more crisp night air seeping into the building, and he heard the soft rustling and low coos of nesting pigeons on the roof above his cell. Beyond the holding cells the station was quiet, with only subtle ticking of clocks and dripping of loose taps and leaky pipes rhythmically breaking the silence for microseconds at a time, each tiny burst of sound exploding outwards along walls and surfaces to paint the world for Matthew as it went. A few yards down the corridor, through a electronic door with magnetic seals - the most advanced tech in the station, Matthew realized, noting how poorly equipped the Hell's Kitchen precinct really was for the rapidly evolving world beyond the New York borough - he could hear the low rumble of snores from the officer on the graveyard shift.

Matt sat up quietly and moved towards the bars, feeling the floor where he had left his phone some hours ago; nothing. He hadn't expected it to be there, but it would have been a useful surprise. Instead, he sat back on his cot, reaching out with his senses and paying attention to the building and the air. Something had stirred him from his sleep, though he could not place what - but the longer he listened, the more something felt off: the sounds felt oddly layered, and louder than they should be; the air currents were subtly wrong and illogical, pushing heat around in unanticipated patterns; the smells present were expected, but seemed muted and suppressed, like breathing through a cloth. Though his senses were clear, he felt somehow stifled, suppressed...

Suddenly the veil appeared to lift, and Matthew pushed himself forwards off the cot, ducking low and rolling left away from the back corner of his cell he had felt the movement from. It all rushed in immediately: the man's heartbeat, the heat of his body, the air pushing in and out from his ragged breathing, and that smell of cheap whiskey, hard drugs, and poor hygiene. It all swelled out of his assailant like some fetid aura and Matthew shook to his core at the thought that this ragged beast of a man had hidden from him so effectively.

The ragged man chuckled, low and filled with malice, and withdrew his arm from the vicious thrust that he had intended as a killing blow. He brought his hand up and Matthew now realized his weapon: a hypodermic needle. He pressed the plunger ever so slightly and cool liquid spilled from the tip. Matthew was hit with the pungent odor of liquid morphine - bitter and chemical - and it suddenly seemed all so obvious. Drugs were already part of the accusation. The media would lap up an overdose in prison. The assassin licked the droplet from the needle, and Matthew heard his heartbeat slow and felt his body-heat recede into his torso.

"You'll have to try harder than that." Matt threatened, and he got only a wheezy, humorless laugh in response as the ragged man straightened up.

He thrust forward again in one quick, clean motion, arm trailing behind before swinging forwards needle-first towards Matthew's neck; from his crouched position Matt rolled sideways once more and took a low sweep at the legs. The ragged man drew one up out of the way and hopped back on the other, landing gracefully. The arm with the needle hung low and limp; Matt noticed the other was strapped in tightly to his chest, moving little. Matt stood, the ragged man opposite, each waiting for the other to take the first move. The ragged man swayed slightly on the spot, lilting left to right and back again, his movements almost mesmeric. He bobbed for a few seconds - and then faked left before jabbing right with his free arm, grazing Matt's neck as he pulled backwards and duck under, spinning as he went and taking another low sweep, this time catching the ragged man's ankle and causing him to stumble into the back wall of the cell. The needle dropped as the ragged man used his free arm to catch himself, and Matthew quickly brought a foot down, snapping the tip and smashing the glass syringe. Morphine vapors exploded into the air and the ragged man swung back around.

"That was for the clean option." He snarled, lunging at Matthew again - only this time, Matthew pushed himself into it with one foot, raising the other to plant his shoe square in the ragged man's chest and impact what Matthew suspected was a weak arm. He was proven right as the ragged man gasped in shock and pain, pushed backwards to bounce against the wall. Matt grabbed the ragged man's free arm and wrenched him forwards again, putting the butt of his hand into the ragged man's back between his shoulder blades as he went; the ragged man slammed hard against the bars, his free arm stretching out between them into the corridor beyond, and Matt moved quickly, putting a knee in the bottom of the ragged man's spine before stepped to the side, grabbing his forearm from through the bars and pulling sharply in the wrong direction.

There was a snap and a squelch and Matt's head rang from the smell of blood and the scream of the ragged man in his ear. Matt stepped back as the ragged man slumped to the floor, snapped arm stuck outside the bars, blood dripping. Matt heard the snores of the night guard stop and snort as he woke to the scream; he didn't have much time. He knelt and roughly seized the ragged man's face in his hand.

"Where is Fisk? How did you hide from me?"

The ragged man chuckled through labored, wheezing breaths.

"He is hidden, as I hid from you. The Hand has you now. You struggle, like a rat, convulsing death spasms."

Matt punched him in the nose. He heard the night guard fumbling with his keys at the end of the corridor. "I don't care who you are, or how you hide. Where is he."

"You are a fool. Fisk did not hire The Hand. He asked for a blessing. We will find you. You will die. Make your peace, Matthew Murdock."
Matt heard a clicking from behind the ragged man's teeth and immediately realized what he was doing; he pushed his hand over his mouth, trying to wrench his jaw open and remove the capsule, but he was too slow - the ragged man had already bitten down and swallowed, and now he foamed from the back of his throat through Matt's fingers as the poison capsule took hold. The ragged man shuddered once, then lay still.

Matt swore. Behind him he heard the night guard finally opening the door to his office, grasping clumsily at the clasps of his holster; Matt stood, leaving the ragged man's corpse behind. The door to his cell was open, key still in the lock; he moved quietly to the end of the corridor, waiting for the guard to come around it. He did so in a hurry, not paying attention - Matt took him by surprise, sweeping his legs out while pushing him to the floor with his hand, a quick jab to the forehead putting the guard out cold. Matt took the baton from the guard's belt and left the station.

The night was deep and long; Fisk was out there, and he was scared, cowering behind this new cabal of assassins. Matt could smell the desperation; he would draw Kingpin out. He craned his neck towards the sky, and felt the sword of Damocles hanging perilously above the city. One way or another, this great struggle would end.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Bounce
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Southern France | September 14th, 1944

The intelligence on Baron Alrecht Krieger was more guess work than anything else.

At the start of the war, his name had never come up. The first mention had popped up in British field reports coming out in Libya in 1942. The SAS used a codename in case the intelligence was intercepted. They called him Hauptmann Nazi.

Who was he? No one had come up with a good answer for that question. Instead, the assumption that he was just another fanatical upstart among a sea of power brokers vying for Hitler’s favor seemed to carry the day.

Was he Schutzstaffel or Wehrmacht? Again, no one knew. Instead, the agents in the field seemed to be making assumptions. In one mention, he was described as being part of the Waffen-SS. The next listed him as a member of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt.

Whatever the case, the descriptions provided seemed to more aptly depict the heroics of Wonder Woman or Captain America. The summaries each contained narratives that described actions that few, if any, people could have pulled off. Let alone believed. Hence the nickname as Captain Nazi. As for what he was up to now? The Allies had been searching for information, but with Rommel in retreat and the emphasis on the European Front, the SAS had lost track of Krieger after 1943.

Then, a month ago, the French Resistance had picked up Albrecht’s trail. They’d reported that he was up in the Vosges Mountains, preparing to move north toward Berlin. If that was true, then that would have allowed Diana or Steve to tackle whatever threat that this so-called Captain Nazi posed to the Allies.

The intelligence turned out to be wrong.

Albrecht Krieger had gone south. A push from the German’s to try and make up for lost territory in the Cote d’Azure region.

Billy had a reputation for being faster than a locomotive. Krieger was faster. To this point, the Captain Marvel of the newspapers had gotten by through raw strength. When he faced a challenge, he overcame because he just overpowered whatever it was. A few of the GIs had taught him boxing, but it had been made out as a joke. Why would Captain Marvel need to know boxing? He could just flick a bad guy with his pinky finger and send him flying across the room.

Billy might have been stronger than Krieger. Who could say? The fact was, Billy couldn’t lay a finger on Captain Nazi. Instead, Krieger was literally beating Billy in the streets, as the last vestiges of the German Army rallied for a comeback against the Allied force that had been rolling over them for the last month.

Pile-driving the child-sized hero into the American tank, the German supersoldier rolled from off of the warped and twisted metal. Yanking the boy free of the wreckage, the man skipped the boy’s skull across the cobblestones like a skipping stone for the better part of a city block.

Billy’s torn and battered form just lay in the middle of the street.


A young medic scrambled out from the alleyways, sprinting under a spattering of machine gun fire until he was crouching down before the boy’s small body. “Shit,” the man swore, looking over Billy’s bruised form as he rolled the child over. Slapping the side of the boy’s face, the medic peered into the blue eyes as they fluttered open. “You okay?”

Billy gave a nod. He tried to take a deep breath, but stopped short as pain lanced through his side. Clutching at his ribs, the young Marvel pulled himself back to his feet. “Never better,” the boy managed, between clenched teeth. Then, with a sigh, started jogging back toward where Krieger was presently dismantling another tank unit with his bare hands.

Round two lasted about two-point-eight seconds. After which Billy, now stuffed inside the barrel of the tank’s main gun, came rolling down the street, stopping only when the bend in the road cause the barrel to jump the curb and smash into the front of what used to be a bakery.

“God... fuck!” the medic swore, at first diving out of the way and then sprinting over to where a pair of legs were sticking out of the barrel.

The acrid odor of bile rose up from the grease and soot encrusted child that was pulled from out of the wreckage. Lines of clean skin stood out on the boy’s face, carved out by the tears that had run down through the dirt. “I threw up,” Billy confessed, his hair disheveled and his eyes confused as he emerged discombobulated and off-balance.

Holding the boy by the shoulders, the medic sat him up. The medic’s grip tightened as Billy doubled over and heaved a second time. “I won’t tell anyone,” the soldier offered softly.

Rolling forward, Billy crawled on all fours away from the wreckage. Gulping in air, he winced as he pushed up to his feet. He staggered forward, before dropping back onto one knee. His shoulders bowed, he labored to catch his breath as the medic’s hand landed on his shoulder.

“Kid..." the soldier began, pausing a moment before asking, “Why do you keep getting up?”

Reaching across his body, the young Baton gently eased the medic’s hand from his shoulder before slowing rising back to his feet. Catching his breath, Billy winced and wondered that same question silently to himself.

“Because someone fucking has to,” he said finally.


Present Day

Terrax the Pants-less was strong.

Stronger than Billy, that had become clear. In quick order, the fight on Toleria was starting to feel a lot like France. No, there were no warm, summer breezes. No French wine or cheese. But the curb-stomp ass-kickings were particularly beautiful this time of year.

Billy lashed out with a punch aimed at Terrax’s head, but his reach was too short. Terrax’s longer arm snapped in a block. Twisting in mid-air, Billy kicked the man’s arm aside.

Only to be grabbed by Terrax’s free hand and tossed aside like a discarded Kleenex.

For a moment, Billy felt as though he had been stuffed back inside that tank barrel, rolling down the street, as the world spun while he was thrown through the air. Twisting against the direction of the spin, Billy got his bearings as he halted his ascent in the air. Striking his gauntlets against each other, the boy triggered an explosion of energy as he thrust his arms out toward the ground below.

The impact of the blast sent shockwaves rippling through the planet, as liquefaction momentarily transformed the soil.

From out of the dust cloud, two hunks of rock sailed outward with supersonic speed and lethal precision, slamming into Billy’s small form to knock him from out of the sky. He only just begun to process what had even happened then, before he crashed down onto the scorched sands.

Rolling several times, the form of the young boy popped up to his feet. Kicking his head to one side, sand was slung from out of his head as he blinked through the grime clinging to his face and found himself peering up at the towering form of Terrax standing over him.


As the man stretched his hands out, Billy became aware of a tremor that was starting to grow into an earthquake.

A big earthquake.

A REALLY BIG earthquake.

Could Terrax really be intending to tear the planet apart? Billy didn’t know. But, he also wasn’t going to take any chances. Which meant, he needed to get Terrax off this planet. Like, now.

“Noted,” the boy said, pulling a hand back.

Then he snapped forward. There was another explosion of energy, before Terrax went flying through the air with enough force as to hopefully break orbit.

Could Terrax even survive out in space? Part of him hoped that he could.

Part of him really wouldn’t mind if he couldn’t.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Big Tuna

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♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ SEASON ONE: GODS AMONG MEN ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Location: Stagg Enterprises - Los Angeles, California
Season One #1.01: The Specimen

Interaction(s): None
The labs were bustling with activity as technician after technician made their way hurried from one work station to another. Their uniformed long, white coats concealed and protected the clothing underneath as the workers went about their jobs, handling various chemicals and other agents. From behind the glass, Simon Stagg smiled as he observed his employees hard at work.

"Have you managed to isolate the gene yet?" He asked as his chief engineer turned to face towards him.

"We've gotten close, the specimen is fascinating, where on Earth did you get it?"

"Not relevant, I'm here for your report, what can you tell me about?" Stagg asked as he motioned for the woman to follow him.

"The specimen is impressive, we've had no shortage of samples due to its self-reproductive nature. I'm not even sure if this is the original specimen based on the DNA patterns and if it is, it's very old, Sir. Near impossible to accurately date."

"Near impossible?" Stagg asked with a raised eyebrow. "So you'll be able to do it then?"

"Uh, yes I suppose, given the appropriate amount of time, we could eventually be able to determine an accurate date of origin." The scientist replied.

"What else can you tell me?" Stagg said, continuing his questioning as he pressed his security badge against an RFD reader.

"As you're well aware, the specimen has extraordinary mental potential, we've been able to contain it so far but some of the lead researchers have been complaining about voices. We may want to begin to consider additional precautions." The chief stated as they entered the lab. Looking through the large glass barrier, Stagg smiled as he gazed upon the sizeable specimen.

"Do what you need to bring me results. Contact me as soon as you isolate the genetic markers." Stagg ordered, folding his arms as continued to look forward, a wide smile slowly spreading across his face.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 8 days ago Post by Lord Wraith
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We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.

Location: Gotham Docks - Bleake Island, Gotham City
Welcome to the Masquerade #1.01: False Faces

Interaction(s): None
Previously: None

The beeping of the reversing truck echoed between the warehouses as it backed down the pier towards the awaiting idle vessel. Several of the ship’s crew stood on the stern of the small trawler, weapons firmly held at the ready as they watched the approaching vehicle slow to a stop.

Within the cab of the truck, the occupants did a last minute inspection of their firearms as the stout man in the back was the first to make a move to exit the vehicle. Taking hold of the door handle, he felt a firm hand take hold of his shoulder, causing him to pause before turning his head to look back at his associates.

“What?” He snapped, “Boss wants this over with.”

“Boss also insisted we wear these.” The other man replied as he extended an elephant mask towards the man.

“What the hell man?” The large man snapped before looking towards the remaining masks in the other man’s hands, “Give me the tiger one!”

“Boss specifically said you’re the elephant.” The driver interjected, “He was quite adamant that everyone wears their specified mask.” He added, reaching towards the tiger before putting it on.

“Fuckin’ fine then,” The first man snarled as he pulled on the mask. “Everyone happy now? ‘Tiny’ Pete’s a big, fat, fuckin’ elephant.”

Ecstatic.” The Tiger replied dryly as the Wolf and the Stork stifled a few chuckles beneath their masks. “Could we move along then?”

“Zat’s what I was trying to do in the first fuckin’ place.” Muttered the Elephant as he climbed out of the cabin and moved towards the rear of the truck and opened the cargo door. The dark interior of the vehicle was illuminated by the lights dotting the docks as the silver `Wayne` logo on each of the cases reflected the light along their metallic surfaces.

“Glad to see everyone took the time to put on their game faces.” A voice called from behind the Elephant-masked man as the Tiger turned his head towards the source.

“Still on time though, Mr. White.” The Tiger exclaimed, his tone friendly as he swung his arms open, motioning towards the shipment in the back of the truck with his weapon. “Straight from Wayne/Sionis’ R&D department, courtesy of the False Face Society.”

“Go check it out,” White ordered to the man on his right as he straightened his leather suit jacket. “Ensure we’re getting what we’re paying for, and hurry!” He called after the man in the white suit, “I ain’t got all damn night.”

Jumping from the aft of the trawler to the dock, the tall, dark-skinned man landed softly on the wooden planks before adjusting his large sunglasses as he walked towards the four masked men.

Holy fuck! The Stork muttered as he leaned towards the Wolf, “That’s the fuckin’ Tally Man, what’s he doing with Warren White?”

“Warren’s a shark and money talks, especially in a city like Gotham.” The Wolf replied in a hushed tone, “And the Tally Man always gets paid.”

“And don’t you clowns forget it,” The ‘Tally Man’ flatly stated as he approached the open truck. Motioning towards the cases, he spoke again, “Open them.”

“Easy with the accusations there, amigo. We don’t run with the Jokerz.” The Tiger retorted before nodding towards the Elephant. Obliging, the larger man pulled the first case forward, lifting it with a loud grunt.

“My sincerest apologies,” The Tally Man dryly replied as he looked towards the case, watching as the Elephant lifted the lid. Lining the padded interior were numerous vials of fentanyl, bound initially for hospitals all across the Eastern seaboard, it would now instead be distributed back on Gotham’s streets for profit.

“Twenty-nine more cases in the truck?”

The cowl had picked up every word as Terry remained crouched over the edge of the nearby warehouse, watching, listening and waiting for his moment to strike. He and Bruce had been watching Warren White’s activity for the past week. The former financer had begun making aggressive moves in Gotham’s underworld. This outing was his largest show of force yet, but Terry and Bruce were betting on it being his last.

“You get all that?” The Batman asked as he spoke through the communications channel open in his cowl.

“Every word.” Came Bruce’s gravelly reply. “Take them down.”

“On it,” Terry replied, tapping the center of the suit’s belt as the dark figure disappeared, camouflaging perfectly with its surroundings. Landing silently on the pier, the Batman approached the scene as the two groups were busy unloading the remainder of the truck’s contents.

“I’ll want you to ensure every case has what we were promised,” Warren White’s voice could be heard ordering over the din. Acknowledging the order, the Tally Man nodded, rolling his eyes beneath the thick sunglasses adorning his face. Opening a second case, he nodded his head before closing it and moving onto the next one.

“We should hurry this up,” The Tiger spoke up as he placed the container down in front of the man in the white suit. “This is night in fuckin’ Gotham after all.”

“Are you worried about the Bat?” White spoke up, a smug smile crossing his face. “He won’t be a problem, I left a present for him in the North End, sent some of my guys to Burnley to keep him off our back.”

“Actually,” A voice interjected from the shadows, “I gave them the rest of the night off.” The words were followed by something flying through the darkness as it struck Warren square in the chest. The air left the corrupt man’s lungs as his feet were lifted off the ground, bolas wrapping around him as he was restrained.

“It’s the fuckin’ Bat!”

“Batman’s here!”

“Look out, it’s the Bat!”

“Shoot him!”

Tapping his belt again, the Batman vanished before their eyes as they began to discharge their weapons in every direction. Sliding along the ground, Batman took ahold of the rifle closest to him, using it to hurl the Stork masked man into the air. Ripping the firearm free of his grasp, Batman spun around, driving the butt of the automatic weapon into the stomach of the Elephant.

Moving swiftly, Batman fired several batarangs from the wrist-mounted launcher on his suit. The projectiles flew through the air before hitting their marks as the Tiger was the first to cry out in pain. His gun clattered to the ground loudly as blood ran down either side of his impaled hand. Jumping up, the Batman delivered a sharp kick to the man’s head watching him fall to the ground.

Suddenly a hiss escaped from between Terry’s pursed lips as his right arm was struck with sudden pain. The Tally Man had gotten a lucky shot off, the bullet hitting Batman in the arm as his suit distributed the force of the blow over its surface, minimizing its impact. It hadn’t broken through the suit, but that did little to reduce the pain he was currently feeling.

The gun went off again, this time, however, Batman was ready as he evaded the Tally Man’s shots. Releasing a batarang from his hand, the weapon struck the Tally Man’s gun, knocking the firearm free of his grasp. His gaze followed the handgun into the air, the Tally Man turned his head at the last second, his vision filled by a closed fist as the Batman delivered a hard hook to the hitman. Dropping the man to the ground, Terry kicked the gun away as he surveyed the scene around him.

“Where’s the Wolf?” Wayne’s voice asked as Terry counted the felled men before him again. The old man was right, they were one short. Suddenly the truck’s engine roared to life as Terry spun around too late to react as the vehicle peeled off, heading back towards Old Gotham.

“Worry about him later,” Wayne growled in a tone that Terry knew was going to involve a lecture later. “Ensure White and the others are taken into custody, I’ll let Gordon know where he can pick them up.”

“Copy that, and the fentanyl?” Terry asked.

“I’ll make sure Gordon knows it’s accounted for as well.”

Next Issue: Growing Pains
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Hidden 2 mos ago 30 days ago Post by webboysurf
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Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia - Present Day, 12:31
Issue 1.03.1: Home of the Brave

Interaction(s): None

Steve folded his arms as he stood next to the large hole in the ground, dressed in jeans and a leather jacket to keep inconspicuous. Almost everyone had slowly trickled away as the funeral ended. But Rogers stayed. He had served with the man in that coffin for a few years. It was hard to accept that his only ally from World War II had finally passed away himself. Rogers was so caught up in his own thoughts that he was surprised when another voice came from behind him. ”You must be Steve? Steve Rogers?”

Rogers turned around, and standing before him was a man in a simple suit and tie. The man smiled, holding his hand out. If Steve hadn’t known any better, the man before him had the same smile as another one of his allies. The quizzical expression seemed to be too obvious. ”Sam Wilson. I believe you fought alongside my grandfather, Isaiah” Sam extended his hand for a shake.

Steve smiled brightly as he met the handshake, with Sam clearly wincing in pain as the super soldier’s grip was a bit strong. ”He was a brave soldier. It was an honor serving with him.”

”He was. I never got to meet him, but my father always told me stories about him. Told me stories of the Howling Commandos, a guy from New York who teamed up with a warrior woman and some space kid to take down the Nazis, and how my grandfather tried to live up to your legacy.”

Steve smiled at that, almost sighing as he did so. He never was one for attention or compliments, even after all this time. ”We were all just serving our country.”

Sam gave a nod at that. ”Amen to that. You know, you’re the reason I enlisted with the Air Force. Figured if some skinny kid from Brooklyn could be a hero, a kid from the streets of Harlem could make it.”

Rogers gave a smile, his hands moving to his hips as if about to give a lecture before he felt his phone begin vibrating. He raised up a finger as if to ask for a moment, and checked what everyone kept telling him was a smart phone. The caller ID showed that the call was from none other than Nick Fury himself. He sighed and raised the phone to his ear after waving goodbye to Wilson. ”What is it, sir?”

”I need you back at base by dawn. I’m sending you and Agent Carter to London to deal with a situation.”

”What about a break, sir?”

”Whatever you and Agent Carter do on your free time, Captain Rogers, is none of my business.” The smug grin of the colonel was apparent even over a phone call. Before Steve could muster up a response, the line went dead.

Training Facilities, Triskellion, Washington D.C. - Present Day, 12:00 Hrs

Another thud, only barely muffled by the padded ground of this particular training area, was met with a collected sigh. Tony Masters stood over the soldier, offering a hand to help him back onto his feet. As always, his tone remained monotone and borderline condescending. ”You need to keep your hands up and watch for holes in your defenses. You were fighting too aggressive. You owe ten sets.” The soldier sighed, and grumbled as he began walking away. Behavior that everyone knew at this point Masters wouldn’t accept. ”What was that, Private?”

The agent stopped in his tracks, his shoulders hunched forward as if in an attempt to repress the anger. But he quickly spun on his heels and marched back towards Masters. ”You think you’re hot shit, Masters? You seem real good at shooting your own people from fifty yards away or taking someone one on one. You think you can take us all on, Task Master?”

Tony turned his gaze towards the other SHIELD operatives that worked as Howling Commando auxiliary units. There were maybe fifteen present at the moment, and all of them were itching for a fight after five hours of nonstop drills and training. The inkling of a smile had upturned the corner of Master’s mouth. ”I can guarantee all of you will be on the floor or running scared in less than ten minutes.”

A few agents looked at each other with looks of concern, but the private who instigated the situation simply smiled. ”Alright boys, let’s-“ Before he could even finish his call to action, Masters delivered a decisive kick to the private’s left knee, and a sickening crack could be heard as a fracture formed. The other agents immediately sprung into action, but they were no match. Whenever they tried to punch or kick or grab at their trainer, he seemed to either dodge it or immediately counter. There was no holding back on Masters’ part. When he struck, he aimed to shatter and incapacitate those around him with brutal efficiency. The fight was over in a minute and a half, and fifteen agents lied on the ground with serious fractures and some internal bleeding.

Masters sauntered slowly towards the wall, pressing a button on the intercom to signal for a medical team to arrive. He turned around to face the other agents, leaning his back against the wall. The same private who instigated the fight grunted as he forced himself up on one elbow to look at Masters. He practically spat out his words towards his trainer. ”You’re nothing but a freak, Tony.”

With an unamused look, he simply watched as a few doctors arrived with gurneys to begin carrying out the agents. As the private was being led out, Tony stopped the doctors and finally responded. ”I may be a freak, but I’m still your Task Master, private. Enjoy scrubbing toilets with a broken leg.”
Next Chapter: DownFall
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Natty
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Natty Supervillain Enthusiast

Member Seen 7 hrs ago

Rory Regan moved swiftly through the winding corridors of the apartment building, his patchwork cloak billowing out behind him. Shadows moved along the walls after him, like lions hunting their prey. Ragman had been playing this game of cat and mouse for some time now, having noticed the might of Marcossa's magic chasing him a few floors prior. They had been slowly closing in as the vigilante made his ascent of the building, however, every time Ragman found himself losing his energy and needing to catch his breath, he simply focused, summoning one of the souls of his suit to take the burden for him. Nearing the roof though, he felt his powers waning, with his captured souls growing weak from being forced to work overtime. All he could do was hope that Magik was nearly done with whatever crazy scheme she had cooked up.

Sprinting up the last remaining steps of the stairwell, Ragman found himself emerging from the fire escape and entering the night's sky. Around him, the building's flames flickered against the Gotham skyline, casting a scarlet glow. It would be almost beautiful if it wasn't so deadly.

Finding himself standing in the centre of the roof, he turned to face the oncoming threat from the door, balling his hands into fists as he prepared for a fight. However, the shadows that had previously been chasing him were nowhere to be seen. What was even more worrying was that the door seemed to have been shut, locking him outside. Trapped.

A cold laugh rang out behind as an opulent male scent met his nose.


Turning, he found Master Belaric Marcosa standing before him; his hulking figure towering above the rag covered man. He smiled gleefully like a cannibal about to feast, the red of his jeweled incisors flashing into view. Before Ragman could even move, a clawed hand reached towards his furiously, grabbing at his suit. Rory cried out in pain as the claws dug into his chest, tempting to pierce the rags of his suit. The suit held strong, however, he found himself hoisted into the air by Marcosa's supernatural strength, his legs dangling wildly below him.

"I'm glad I finally caught up to you Regan." His voice was elegant and seductive, but inhuman in nature. Rory found himself wincing in pain as the man spoke his name, with Marcosa tightening his grip with his claws as he did so. "I couldn't have you disrupting my plans like that."

Marcosa raised his spare hand up, wiggling his claws before Rory in an act of intimidation. He wanted his victim to fear him. To beg for mercy. But Rory wasn't going to do that. Moving his legs, Ragman planted them onto his attacker's chest, and with every last bit of energy he had, he willed the souls within his suit to give him their strength. Reinvigorated with energy, he pulled back as far as he could, propelling himself away from Marcosa with a push of his feet. The sound of bones cracking and flesh being torn apart was all that could be heard as Ragman found himself moving away, viciously tearing Marcosa's arm from its socket, as blood and sprayed around them. He tumbled to the floor, the severed arm in his grasp, as the being before him roared out in pain.

"Holy shit... This is disgusting." Rory wheezed as he attempting to catch his breath, his eyes fixated on the gruesome mess before him.

Marcosa stumbled backwards in visible pain, giving Ragman the perfect chance to strike again. He jumped to his feet and charged forward, however a blast of energy knocked him back down, with Marcosa managing to regain his focus. Rory watched as, before his eyes, Marcosa's arm seemed to reappear back on his body, piece by piece.

Ragman moaned loudly in frustration.

"Oh, come on!"

As Master Marcosa's arm seemed to finish its restoration, he began to smile.

"Oh you'll have to do better than that to stop me Ragman. Thanks to the souls of every insolent whelp in this building, I'm unstoppable!"

"I can't believe you actually said vhat!"

The two turned their gaze's to the sky, as a glowing disc of yellow exploded into view, cutting through the sky. Atop it stood Magik, her obsidian staff in hand, her blonde hair flowing madly in the wind behind her. A crafty smile was painted across her face as she looked down on the two fighting on the rooftop. She stood tall and firm, her eyes alive in a fire of determination. This was the endgame.

"Because everything you've done here is about to come crashing down."

As the words left her mouth, she thrust her arms upwards violently, her eyes closing as she did so.

She breathed deeply, focussing.

And then, just like magic, the Gotham skyline found itself lighting up in an aurora of lights and energies. Yellow stepping discs, much like the one she was standing on, erupted into existence all around them, hovering over the rooves of the neighboring buildings, a meter or two off the ground. For a second, things remained silent, until the cries and shouting of people met their ears, as hoards of people began appearing from the discs. By the dozens, they fell from the portals to the rooftops below them, groaning in pain and shouting in bewilderment. There were all kinds of people here; men and women of all ages and ethnicities. One man found himself stark naked, crying out in disappointment as if he had just lost out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Another was a young boy, wearing an impromptu Supergirl costume, who upon seeing that he wasn't flying above the sky, began to cry his eyes out.

All of them had a different story. All of them from the very same apartment building. All of them victims of Master Belaric Marcosa.

Former victims anyway. And Marcosa was feeling the loss.

The monstrous man fell to his knees in pain, as the blood vessels across his face seemed to grow and pulsate.

"You... You fuckingbitch!" The flamboyant and seductive flair to his voice was gone now, replaced only with that of hatred.

He swiped his hand towards her in anger, a ball of flaming hellfire bursting from his palm as he did so. It rocketed towards Magik, prompting her to propel herself down to the side in order to avoid it. She fell through the air, her arm colliding abruptly against the bricks of the roof. Her body tumbled around as she landed, rolling down next to Ragman, who immediately made an effort to reach down in order to help her up.

"You may... may have stopped me from draining their souls, but i've still got enough power to obliverate the two of you fools."

He moved slowly towards the two as he spoke. He was different now; more enraged. His mane of hair a mess atop his head, his eyes two balls of glowing fire. He looked dangerous; like a caged animal that had just been set free. This was certainly not going to go well. The fall had hurt Illyana greatly. The cracking sound she had heard when she had landed told her that something was broken, which meant she wouldn't be great right now in a fight. And given the look of Ragman next to her, who seemed to be staggering in exhaustion, she could see that he wasn't in the best shape either.

And just to make matters worse, Marcosa rocketed another fireball in her direction. This time she was ready for it, however. She swung her Soul Staff in front of her, and as she did so, a shield of glowing astral energy appeared before her, shielding the two heroes from the blast.

"How are ve supposed to stop vhis guy?" Magik asked, trying her hardest to keep her shield up, as Marcosa swiped against it once more with another ball of hellfire.

"I... I have something." Rory coughed painfully as he clutched his chest. "And it seemed to work well when I used it on you. I just need an opening."

Realizing what he was referring to, she nodded. Gripping her staff, she took a deep breath, before dropping the shield. At once another fireball soared in their direction, but Magik didn't stop. She darted to the side, moving around the rim of the rooftop, drawing Marcosa's attention. And then, just as she reached the edge of the roof, she turned and waved her staff.


Her voice roared over the sound of fire, as thick bands of red energies shot out the end of her staff towards Marcosa. The attack took him by surprise, with the crimson bands entangling his arms and legs. They overwhelmed him immediately despite his strength, forcing his arms and legs apart like a Vitruvian Man. He growled in pain, shouting obscenities into the night's sky. The bands kept him still, however, allowing the green figure of the Ragman to approach his prey.

"I wish I had had something humorous to say, but this part is never funny."

Rory Regan stood before the demonic soul stealer, his frail ragged body dwarfed by him. But no different in size and strength was going to help Belaric Marcosa today. Outstretching his hand, Rory placed it firming against the man's chest. Belaric screamed in pain and agony, as he felt his soul being ripped from his body. The crimson bands vanished, leaving Belaric Marcosa's body to fall to the ground, an empty husk.

The Ragman looked down at his palm, as a brand new rag of fabric appeared, weaving itself into his suit.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 8 days ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Big Tuna

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We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.

Location: The Batcave - Wayne Estate, Bristol County
Welcome to the Masquerade #1.02: Growing Pains

Interaction(s): None
Previously: False Faces

“You’ve been doing this for far too long for me to have to babysit you, McGinnis.” Bruce growled, leaning heavily on his cane as he paced back and forth in front of the wall of monitors that made up the screen of the ‘Batcomputer’. A high pitched screech was followed by the leathery flapping of wings as the bats which occupied their namesake cave flew overhead, their slumber disturbed by the elder’s man’s volume.

“That was sloppy work tonight,” Bruce snapped as he continued to berate Terry. Every step the old man made was matched by the large dog beside him. Black as the night, Ace was more than enough to make even Gotham’s most seasoned crook second guess his next move. Clearing his throat, Wayne launched into another verbal lashing as Terry could do nothing but listen to his mentor tear him down.

“I can’t believe you allowed yourself to be shot. You should have never deactivated the cloak on your suit. It could have been a clean takedown, but you had to quip, you had to gloat.”

“The suit took the blow.” Terry protested by Bruce raised a single finger to silence him.

“That’s not the point McGinnis!” Bruce retorted, “Your brashness allowed one of the False Faces to get away, that’s another piece of trash back onto Gotham’s streets. Another gang banger free to continue to sell stolen drugs back to the junkies and dregs that line the back allies of this god forsaken city.”

“Bruce, I-”

“I’m not done yet, McGinnis!” The old man interjected silencing his younger protege again. “When I started this mission, this war, when it was me out there, I was alone. I had no one to rely on, there was no one was watching my back.” He stated before taking a breath and continuing. “I worry I’ve coddled you too much, made you too reliant upon my eyes and ears. You’re not prepared, you’ve not yet made the sacrifices it takes to be Batman.”

“I’ve done everything you asked and then some, that’s not fair!” McGinnis spat back as Wayne stood defiantly before him. Even leaning on his cane, the elderly man was eye level with Terry. In his prime, he would have been terrifying without the cowl let alone with the mask. It took everything Terry had not to blink as the pair stared each other down, Wayne’s gaze still able to make Terry’s skin crawl.

“Life isn’t fair, you know that.” Wayne retorted, the growl gaining more of an edge. “If it were, you’d still have a father.”

Silence fell over the cave, broken only by the bats overhead as the two men stood nearly nose to nose. Terry felt his first curl as his eyes looked down for a second, noticing Wayne’s white knuckles as his fingers threatened to crush the cane grasped beneath them.

“Terry, I-” Wayne began, his tone softening only for Terry to take a step back, tossing the Batsuit down on the nearby table.

“Should probably check the suit for damage, synaptics felt sluggish on the way home.”

“Circuits might not be making full contact, it would reduce the response time,” Wayne replied as he pulled up a chair. “You should get some rest, Ace and I will handle this,” Bruce added, nodding towards the sizeable Dane mix pacing the floor behind him.

“Uh thanks,” Terry replied, the pain of Bruce’s words still stinging as he rubbed the back his head, “Goodnight Mr. Wayne.”

“Goodnight, McGinnis.”

Next Issue: Meet Cute
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by DocTachyon
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DocTachyon Teenage Neenage Neetle Teetles

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

Issue 7.1

New York City, NY --- Outside the 105th Precinct

Last time, on the Adventures of The Indomitable Spider-Man...

The fourth floor. Peter stumbled into the hallway and yanked down the nearest alarm with a glout of webs. It shattered against the ground and the wiring sparked. There were two figures by the far end of the hall, vigil over the window he came in through. One was decked out in riot gear, complete with a clear plastic shield. The other levelled a gun at him.

“Stop right there, son. This ends, now.” The officer pumped the end of his weapon. Shotgun… Right? Peter shook his head. He pointed one hand forward.

“You’d think that… Wouldn’tcha?” Webbing snatched over the head of the shotgun as the officer squeezed the trigger and it blew up in his hands, shot metal and wood particulate stabbing into him.

“Argh! Collins! Take him!” The officer screamed. The Riot cop squared his shoulders and charged. Peter stumbled and slapped against the wall. Webs bounced off the shield and the officer kept coming, low to the ground, ready for drive Peter through the wall. He looked up.

Peter sprang up and his hand caught on the ceiling. The metal skeleton of the drop ceiling collapsed and panels dropped across the floor, lights shaking and swaying as the metal frame crashed around them and over the Riot cop’s armored body. Peter moved as the cop shoved the debris off, staggering to his feet. Peter’s temples throbbed. Little… More…

The cop brought his shield to bear and Peter kicked off the wall, driving his weight into the cop. He stumbled backwards and Peter dropped his shoulder, hitting him again. The plastic of the shield cracked.

“C’mon!” He shouted. He reached for a baton. He raised his shield up to catch another shoulder check. Mistake. Peter’s leg swept beneath the shield and the cop collapsed under the weight of his armor. Peter made for the window.

The glass broke across his body. Free.

The foliage had all blended together into one senseless mass as Peter’s body slammed against the ground. He vaguely registered the grass tickling the soles of his suit as he staggered to his feet, setting off in an uneven run for the tree line. Gunshots zipped out of the windows of the Station behind him, thudding soundlessly into the ground as he ran. The report of the shots rippled through his head, tiny explosions bursting in his eardrums.

“C’mon, Pete, you’re almost…” Another wave of nausea washed over him, bile in his gut jumping up like the plumes of dirt around him. Ugh… Escape now, quip later. He bounded forward and slipped on a patch of grass, his head hit the ground and sparks crackled across his vision. He groaned and pulled himself forward anyway. His fingers plowed into the earth and he pulled, dragging himself forward, trying to will his knees beneath him to make himself to stand.

What… Happened? Peter tasted yesterday’s cheese puffs at the back of his throat and gulped it back down as he stumbled into the cover of the treeline, lurching behind what looked like a messy brown blob of bark. The shots were quieting now, evidently they were looking for other ways to catch a spider. Peter turned his palms over and looked down -- the very fabric of the suit was vibrating, railing against the noise. It was like every element of his Spider-Sense was activating at once, he was aware of heartbeats and coffee scented breath and the thunderous beat pouring out of every orifice of the station.

He felt it as he took steady steps forward, niggling worms of his costumes wrapping around the between the fibers of his muscles, like the legs of burning ants, sequestering themselves down to the myofibril. The grass squished beneath his feet and he forced his eyes open, looking for a getaway.

The light of the moon scorched his retinas but he kept his eyelids open. He couldn’t tell whether there was rain clouding his vision or not, the sky had become like TV static, fizzling in and out of a vaguely blueshifted color. He tried to blink it from his eyes as he kept going, slowly starting to feel the crunch of asphalt beneath his feet. He looked down and the faded yellow line of the road winked back at him.

He shuddered as he sucked in another breath, sharp and violent against his lungs. His grip tightened around his duffle, he pulled the canvas fabric closer. Sirens began their wail in the distance, red and blue light bouncing off into the shattered static of the sky. He could feel the sound of it in his core, baying for his blood. His muscles protested with every step forward, screaming at every rise and every fall, as if his body weighed thousands of pounds. At least he had his web. The fluid of it was bulging in minute sacs along his forearms, warm against his flesh.

Just a few blocks, Pete… You got this…
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by webboysurf
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Member Seen 2 hrs ago

Mayfair, London, England, United Kingdom - Present Day, 10:13 Hours
Issue 1.03.2: DownFall

Interaction(s): None

Rogers looked up at the residential building as he stood on the street, dressed in casual clothing as he stuffed his hands in his pockets. He shook his head as he could still see the faint traces of a blood stain on the sidewalk next to him. ”The trajectory doesn’t seem to suggest foul play. Seems to line up with a small jump rather than a throw. Fury wouldn’t send us out here for the suicide of a politician, would he?”

A soothing voice came in over his communicator. ”Coroner’s report just came in. Seems like our victim was suffering from a heart attack before taking a tumble.”

”So he was dead before he hit the ground? Think it was just natural causes?”

Sharon rounded the corner and approached her ally, shrugging her shoulders. ”I don’t know. There were no traces of poison, no sign of forced entry, and no sign of a violent struggle other than the politician’s untimely spill. And, of course, no witnesses.”

Steve shook his head, sighing. ”What now?”

Sharon shrugged. ”We could grab lunch? I know a little place by the Thames.” Steve sighed and gave a curt nod, offering his elbow. Sharon gave a small smile as the two walked arm in arm down the road.

For the slightest of moments, a brief movement caught Steve’s eye. A figure on the rooftop across the street. But as soon as he actually attempted to focus on what he thought he saw, the figure was gone and Steve was forced along by Sharon, pushing deeper into the city. He gave a small smile as he laughed at his own imagination. There certainly couldn’t have been anything there... let alone something that large.

Fury’s Office, Triskellion, Washington D.C . - Present Day, 1549 Hrs

”You know how bad this looks, Agent Masters? You’re not making any friends here by putting my men in the medical wing.” Fury shook his head as he sat behind his desk, with Tony standing at attention in front of him.

”With all due respect, sir, I’m not here to make friends. Now, if you'll excuse me, Director Mace has ordered me to aid Agent Hill in dealing with the Trasnian crisis.”

With a flick of his hand, Masters was dismissed. The Colonel quickly tapped away at his keyboard, pulling up various holographic screens. He leaned back in his chair, sighing briefly. Next to each screen was an overlay, listing a series of agent names working on the situation. One screen discussed the mysterious deaths of British politicians, with Carter and Rogers being the only two agents listed next to it. The other screens showcased various issues around the world: the bloody conflict in Trasnia, a mutant attack at a high school, and the usual discussion of bat-vigilantes in Gotham. Just the usual.

The door to the office opened, and an older man in a suit sauntered in carrying a briefcase. Fury’s eyebrows raised slightly as he stared down Senator Rockwell. ”I don’t believe we have an appointment, Doug.”

Senator Rockwell flashed a smile to Colonel Fury. ”Don’t worry, Nick. I won’t be long.” He placed the briefcase on the desk, opened it, and slid a few files over towards Fury. The SHIELD officer flipped through the files, cringing slightly as he saw the large black stamp of approval from the Director of SHIELD on most of the documents.

Fury set the files down, shaking his head. ”I understand that you want to make sure America is protected from superhuman threats, Senator. But I’m afraid Steve Rogers died on a combat mission for the U.S. Army in 1945 and he is not working as a SHIELD operative. And while I’m more than happy to hand over the files you’re asking for, I am not going to give you access to blood samples. That violates our policies and your laws, Senator.”

Senator Rockwell gave a smug smirk as he picked up the files to pack up his briefcase. ”I know that you recovered Rogers, and the CIA has the photos of Captain Rogers in Rome months ago. You can’t hide him forever, Colonel Fury.” He snapped the briefcase close and straightened his tie, flashing a smile to the SHIELD colonel. ”The next person the Commission sends won’t take no for an answer, Nick. But I’m sure you know that.” With a simple wave, Senator Rockwell turned on his heels as a SHIELD agent stood in the doorway, waiting to escort the politician out of the building.
Next Chapter: The Stranger
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by ComradeMaxx
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ComradeMaxx Aesthetically Displeasing

Member Seen 4 hrs ago


Night | Queens Borough, New York City

The wind pounded into Scott's ears with a roar no lion could match as they shot across Brooklyn and into Queens. He jerked the steering wheel to the side to narrowly avoid a car turning into the street he was busy barreling down at dangerous speeds, ignoring every red light along the way. He could already practically hear the professor chiding him about such recklessness, but on this particular night, Scott wasn't all too concerned with following the rules of the road. Anger was cutting through his veins like a virus, seeping into his fingers and forcing them to clamp down on the wheel hard enough to make his knuckles go white.

Jean had been right. Putting the pedal to the metal had gotten them to the 105th precinct in just ten minutes' time. He let his foot loose off the gas at the sound of sirens- they weren't approaching, though; it actually appeared he was coming up on them from behind. The building melded into view as he rounded the corner, revealing a fleet of cop cars as they sped out of the station's garage in pursuit of their mutant attacker. The sight of it made Summers' stomach drop.

Only two nights ago a psychopath who just happened to be a mutant murdered a pair of New York's Finest. It didn't take a mind reader to feel the rage bubbling just beneath the surface of those officers as they raced after the culprit. There were no reports of casualties coming out of the precinct, at least not yet, but...that wouldn't matter. Not when a bunch of angry cops with guns got their hands on whoever did this.

"We'll get to 'em him, Scott." Jean placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder, snapping Summers back into the present.

He had a half a mind to give her the 'no mindreading' spiel again, but it felt like a waste of breath at this point. Instead, he let his hand fall down to the gear shifter and eased the gas back down, pushing past the precinct once the police cruisers had gone on their way. "We don't have a lot of time before they catch his trail. Do you think you can reach out to him? Find out which way he went?"

Jean gave a hesitant nod, falling back into her seat so she could concentrate. Her eyes slipped closed and her mind's eye opened in the same instant, revealing to her a hundred faces in her immediate vicinity. 'Face' wasn't an accurate term- not really. What she saw was more of an...imprint. A brief, surface-level imaging of a mind. It was easy to parse through them when they were like this, though it took a bit of strain to reach out for specific traits that might stand out.

'Mutant' was an easy one, letting all the faces that word didn't resonate with melt away. There was Scott right beside her, his image far more detailed than most. And there were a handful of others. A child hidden under a blanket with her cellphone, pretending to be asleep. An old man knocked out on his favorite chair. The police officers spreading out in front of her, though their connection to the word was...dark, to say the least. But she couldn't find their perpetrator.

She cycled through a few labels the criminal might give him or herself without any luck. Whoever they were, they didn't seem to affiliate themselves with the seedier parts of New York City's underbelly. It was possible they weren't any kind of thief, gangster or mobster- this might've been the first thing like this they'd ever done. Hell of a start to a career.

Jean furrowed her brow, glancing over at the precinct itself as they drove past it. She noticed a window was broken and glass had been shattered across the lawn. It was quite a fall. At that height, most ordinary people wouldn't have been able to stand back up, let alone escape the police. She zeroed in on a new word. 'Pain.'

"I've got him," Grey told Summers, raising her voice to be heard over the wind and the sirens. "Keep going straight, then hang a right." There was something...off about him. The imprint read like it was two different people, completely distinct from one another yet placed right on top of each other. One of the faces was recognizable as a person, but the other...The other felt horribly alien. Its very presence near her mind made her throat tighten and her eyes water. It was like nothing she'd ever felt before.

The convertible's driver was none the wiser to the nature of the thing they chased, however, and eagerly pressed on in the direction Jean had pointed him to. Scott's heart was pounding against his chest as he tore across the pavement light lightning, glancing over at his mirrors every other second to keep an eye out for the police that were so very near to them. Trees, houses and the night sky raced passed them on either side like a blur of green, browns and black. He slammed down hard on the break the moment they reached the intersection, skidding across the pavement to make the turn in record time. They were off to the races again without pause, soaring down the road with abandon.

Sure enough, though, his recklessness had proven fruitful: their prey's back had come into sight.

Whoever he was, he appeared to be wrapped up in some kind of costume. He was dressed head to toe in a skintight suit as black as midnight like you'd expect any thief at this hour to be- but then there was that big, ugly beetle symbol stretched all along his back, painted on in a blinding white. When juxtaposed on the field of black that was the rest of his suit, it sort of looked like a giant target.

"You see him, Jean?!" Cyclops roared, his fingers dancing across the rubber of the steering wheel with an equal measure of anxiety, excitement, and anger. "Let's slow him down!"

Jean blinked a few times to get the block splotches out of her eyes, nodding in agreement. She stuck her arms out the side of the car, keeping her palms held straight out and her digits as widely spread as possible. She focused fully on a bundle of objects sitting on the side of the street that they were rapidly approaching: a couple of garbage bins full to the brim with trash and a mailbox filled with much the same. She took in a deep, ragged breath, willing her mind to grasp each of the containers with an unseen hand. A silent scream fled through her parted lips as she strained to tear the mailbox's post from the dirt and lift the pair of surprisingly heavy bins from the ground, bringing them into the air and dragging them alongside as they approached the mutant from the back.

"Hey, pal, you got mail!" She shouted, heaving her arms forward and willing the objects to fling through the air toward the black-clad man's back.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Big Tuna

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We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.

Location: Gotham State University - Founder’s Island, Gotham City
Welcome to the Masquerade #1.03: Meet Cute

Interaction(s): None
Previously: Growing Pains

Chatter could be heard across the open campus space as it echoed between the buildings that enclosed it on all side. Words filled with gossip, weekend plans and the latest accomplishments of the Gotham Knights were all nearly indiscernible from one another as they rang out within the ever growing din.

A groan escaped from between the lips of Terry McGinnis as he lowered his head onto his crossed arms. The cold surface of the metal table was soothing against his tired eyes, the same eyes which now protested in agony as the sun continued to rise high above the Gotham skyline. For a brief moment, Terry had been able to forget about the Gotham State University student body that all around him hurried every which way. But the noise had brought him back to reality as Terry raised his head to watch the other students move between classes as they passed through the quadrangle.

Slumping back in his chair, Terry let his head fall backwards, squinting as the sun threatened to blind him. A disgruntled groan emerged from his loosely slung jaw as his personal pity party was interrupted by a familiar voice.

“You look like shit, Terry.”

“Good morning to you too, Max.” Terry replied before lifting his head as he corrected his posture. Smiling in response, Max flicked a straightened strand of bright pink hair out of her face before taking a seat across from Terry. For as long as Terry had known Max, she had always coloured her hair in the same shade, and it worked for her. The bright bubblegum presenting her with an eye-catching contrast between her hair, her warm, amber eyes and her rich, umber complexion.

Placing her bag down on the table, Max turned and smiled towards a nearby redheaded girl, who Terry only know noticed seemed to be waiting for an invitation. Before he could make the motion, Max eagerly waved her over, gesturing for the girl to take the seat directly beside her.

“Terry,” Max began gesturing to the girl beside her, “This is Carrie,” Max smiled before nodding back towards Terry. “Carrie, this is Terry, he and I have been friends since sophomore year.” She stated before quickly correcting herself, “Highschool sophmore year, not-”

“I follow,” Carrie replied with a smile towards Max as she adjusted the green frames on her almost comically large, oval glasses. “Be a little weird to introduce a friend from last semester like that.”

“Max is a little weird.” Terry smiled before realizing Max was shooting him daggers across the table. “Er, until you get to know her that is-” Max’s look only intensified as Terry scrambled to correct course only to thankfully be rescued as he felt an arm wrap around his neck.

“Hey, Babe,” Dana smiled as Terry turned to look at her. His eyes slightly widened as Dana’s nose crinkled while she looked down at him. “Terry, I don’t mean to be rude but-” Dana paused, lowering her voice to a hushed tone before continuing. “You look like shit this morning.”

“So I’ve heard.” Terry replied dryly as Max put a hand over her mouth, stifling her laughter while Dana took a seat.

“Mr. Wayne has you working all hours of the night, does the man not sleep?”

“I’m sure he does,” Terry replied solemnly before a smirk crept into the corner of his mouth, “‘Cept it’s while I’m at school.”

“Terry, that’s horrible.” Dana stated, her bottom lip sticking out in the slightest of pouts giving away her obvious dissatisfaction. “We’re young, and we’re fun, I can’t have my boyfriend falling asleep between every class and at every party.”

“Remember when he fell asleep with a drink in his hand?” Max interjected with a smile. “Spilled all over his lap, never seen Terry move that quickly.”

“Not my finest moment.” Terry muttered as Dana put a hand to his cheek.

“Forget about it, ask for this weekend off.” Dana pleaded, now emphasizing her bottom lip. “Everyone else is entitled to time off, why aren’t you?” She asked, “Besides,” She paused, leaning forward as her lips brushed against Terry’s ear. “I’ll make it worth your while.”

“Uh, guys? Right here!” Max exclaimed from across the table, waving her arms at the pair while Carrie looked down, the freckles dotting her face disappearing beneath a flush of crimson.

“I don’t think we’ve been introduced yet,” Carrie suddenly spoke up as she stood and extended a hand towards Dana, “I’m Carrie, Carrie Kelly.”

“Dana Tan, Terry’s girlfriend.” Dana replied, her tone almost icy as Terry looked up at her curiously. Drawing her hand back, Dana brushed a few strands of her dark hair behind the nearest ear as she waved a hand towards Terry not-so-subtly instructing him to move so she could sit on his lap.

“How’d you two meet?” Dana asked motioning between Terry and Carrie as Carrie’s face suddenly went red again. A small cough from Max broke the awkward silence, as Dana turned her eyes towards the other woman.

“I introduced them this morning,” Came Max’s voice as Dana turned her head towards her, “Carrie and I have been hanging out for a while now, so I thought it was time to introduce her to my friends.” She continued, reaching towards Carrie as she took hold of her hand and gave it an affectionate squeeze.

“Oh, you two-,” It was Dana’s turn to blush as flustered words tumbled out of her mouth, “I didn’t realize, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s cool,” Carrie replied. “Max already told me I’m her first.” She added, adjusting the lime coloured glasses again. “This was hardly the most awkward introduction I’ve had.” Carrie stated, allowing herself a small giggle as Max smiled.

“I’m happy for you,” Terry nodded towards Max, wrapping an arm around Dana’s waist, “Both of you,” He nodded towards Carrie with a smile. “Any friend of Max’s is a friend of ours.”

“Thanks,” Carrie replied before glancing at her cellphone as she looked at the time. “Sorry guys, I’ve got to run, but it was a pleasure to finally meet both of you.” She added, placing a quick peck on Max’s cheek, Carrie stood before disappearing into the throng of students that filled the quad.

“I like her,” Dana stated as Terry scoffed. “What?” She asked, her tone indignant as she turned towards Terry who held up in his hands disarmingly.

“Don’t mind him,” Max replied waving a hand towards Terry, “And thank you, Dana, I appreciate it.”

“The Dean’s Office does not reflect the wishes of the student body!” A voice suddenly roared over the din of the quad. Turning to look, Terry’s eyes were drawn to a figure who had climbed atop a central table, megaphone in hand as he shouted over the numerous conversations that filled the open space.

“Your school is managed by bureaucrats and magnates running back alley deals with your tuition. The highest bidder controls future, dictating who will receive their degree! It is sickening!” He was working himself into a frenzy now, “Education should not be a privilege held by gatekeepers, it should be a right to all!” The young man roared, his volume only growing as people stopped to listen.

“Who is that?” Terry muttered as he and Dana both turned to look at Max. Returning her gaze with an exasperated look, Max let out a reluctant sigh as she answered.

“His name is Lonnie Machin, big proponent of the old ‘anti-establishmentism.’ He’s all over all of the school’s boards under the alias ‘Moneyspider.’” She stated, raising her hand as she put air quotes around the alias. “But he’s harmless.”

“Good,” Terry replied in a low tone as Max smiled, acknowledging their shared secret. “Shit!” He suddenly exclaimed noticing the time. “I’m late for bio!”

Springing up, Terry hurriedly helped Dana to her feet before planting a quick kiss on her lips and scooping up his belongings.

“We’re still on for tonight right?” Dana asked pressing a perfectly manicured nail against his chest.

“You bet,” He replied before waving quickly towards Max, “Catch you around.”

“Will do, McGinnis,” Max called as Terry pushed his way through Machin’s listeners. “Ten bucks says he falls asleep in class,” Max muttered to Dana as the petite young woman spun around on her the heel of her ankle boot.

“Twenty and you’re on.”

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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Star Lord
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Star Lord Legendary Outlaw

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Velinsky, Trasnia
Present Day

Issue #2.02

Wonder Woman looked from a distance at a police station occupied by the militants. The station was being raided for weapons and gears to use against any possible threats. She saw that the surviving police officers were being rounded up. It was clear that the militants were going to execute them. They were armed to the teeth with assault rifles and wearing tactical gear taken from the officers. One of the militants was patrolling for any signs of possible threats. The young soldier was clearly annoyed that he was forced to patrol basically nothing. He knew that nobody was going to stupid enough to attack armed men. Then, he turned around and saw Wonder Woman in front of him.

Inside the courtyard of the station, the remaining police officer was found and dragged towards the others. Three militants with rifles lined up and aimed towards the officers. Before they could open fire, the young soldier on watch cried out for help while two shots rang out. Everyone in the station rushed outside and pointed their weapons at the entrance. There was silence for a brief moment as the soldiers were nervous. Suddenly, a truck flew through the doors and landed in the courtyard. Wonder Woman flew towards the three men and cut them down with ease.

Wonder Woman hid behind the truck while the soldiers open fire at her. She pulled out her shield and flew towards one of the windows. Inside the station, the soldier turned towards her and fired their rifles again. She used her shield to bash one of the soldiers and stabbed him with the sword. The remaining soldiers started to fall back to the commissioner's office. Wonder Woman followed them and was immediately noticed one of the militants managed to find a shotgun. She protected herself from the bullets and threw her shield towards the wall, which bounced and hit the soldier reloading. It was a technique that she learned from watching Captain America during her time with him.

The other militants barred themselves in the office and prepared themselves to face off against Wonder Woman. However, they didn't expect her to kick down the door so quickly. She used one of the soldiers to throw at one of the men while using her shield to block the bullets. Then, she threw it towards another soldier and pulled out her sword. The sword managed to cut off the arm of the third militant. He let out a blood-curdling scream before she decapitated him. The two remaining soldiers looked in horror as their comrade was brutality taken out and surrendered.

"You are a monster!" one of the soldiers shouted at Wonder Woman in Trasnian.

"Says the man planning on killing innocent cops." Wonder Woman replied with coldness in her voice while throwing her lasso on the other soldier.

"Where is Petrovich?"

"He has set up shop in The Old Fox, a pub nearby the square." the soldier answered.

Wonder Woman thanked him before knocking both of them out and went back to the courtyard. She freed the officers and told them about the S.H.I.E.L.D. and World Veterans Federation camp near the border. The officers went on their way towards the site while Wonder Woman flew towards the square. Eventually, she found both the pub and square to be filled with Petrovich's men. It seemed that her presence has them running away with their tails between their legs. But, she spotted something truly incredible. Iron Man was still alive and being taken to the pub as a hostage.

The Old Fox // Velinsky

"Iron Man is secure and in place, sir."

"Thank you, brother." Yuri Petrovich smiled and placed his hand on the soldier's shoulder. "Tell the others to finish packing up. We may have lost the battle, but not the war. We will live to fight another day."

Petrovich watched as the soldier joined the others in clearing up. Admittedly, he hated leaving empty-handed and losing so many men and equipment thanks to Wonder Woman. He grabbed a bottle and started drinking while he entered one of the empty rooms to think. Unfortunately, it seemed that someone was already occupying the space.

"Nice pep talk. Let's hope that your men don't straight up abandon you after this mess." Aladdin smirked and finished drinking from a shiny cup provided by the pub. It was clear that Petrovich wasn't in the mood to deal with his bullshit.

"What do you want now?" Petrovich said irritated towards him.

"I just wanna warn you that she's close by an-"

"She's here?!" Petrovich shouted in surprise and went towards the door; however, the door handle vanished. He turned towards Aladdin and growled, "What's the meaning of this!"

"You are overreacting, friend." Aladdin explained his action. "Remember our little agreement? Well, it's time to listen to honor it and follow my advice: let me handle her. You take your posse, leave town, and hide at our meeting spot. It will take a while, but I will uphold my end of the deal. Got it?"

Petrovich sighed and drank the bottle dry. "Fine, I will listen. Just don't forget to uphold your part of the deal or you're fucked."

"Don't worry, I will be there." Aladdin smiled and snapped the door handle back into existence. Petrovich left the room and told the men to pack up faster while he started to help them out.

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by HenryJonesJr
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The Milano hung over the dead planet as the two men sat and caught their breath. Whatever those creatures were below, they were not indigenous to the planet. Thor would have remembered them. No, they had been left here in case he or any of the other Asgardians came looking for a weapon to oppose their enemies. What was even more frightening was the fact that meant their enemy knew more than just Ragnarok. They knew of the ancient caches, and possibly more of the Asgardian's weapons. That was a terrifying thought. If they were to find the most powerful of them, there would be no one that could stop them.

"So I take it there was no treasure down there?" Quill grumbled after moments of silence. Thor knew the man was annoyed. He had promised Peter riches, and he had failed to deliver. If he continued to do so, Thor assumed Quill would sell him to the highest bidder. There had to be people out for their heads, and if Thor's enemy had the kind of resources he seemed to, it was bound to be substantial.

"Aye," Thor shook his head in disappointment. "Whoever killed my people seems to be a step ahead of us yet again. Not only did they clear out the cache of Asgard, they left us that charming trap."

"What the hell were those things?" Peter asked with disgust in his voice.

Thor didn't lie, "I do not know. Not for sure."

It had shaken Thor to the bone that he knew not what his foe had tried to kill him with. Thor had been to every corner of the cosmos, yet had never come across the insectoid creatures that had ambushed him. Were they some horrible creations of whoever was trying to kill him? Or were the beasts some sort of monsters that his enemy had found in the deepest part of the shadows of the universe?

Quill chuckled, "Thought you knew everything."

"So did I," Thor admitted.

He didn't want to betray how nervous he was to Quill. If he was going to get anywhere, he needed the ship, and he didn't want to have to take it from Peter. Thor's normal disdain for spending too much time with mortals seemed to be washing away, much to his chagrin.

Suddenly and violently, the ship rocket to one side, spilling Thor out of his seat. Alarms blared through the Milano, warning of another imminent attack.

"What the hell!?" Quill cursed as he threw the ship into a roll. "I thought we were the only ones out here."

"It must be our enemy," Thor seethed. He had walked straight into a trap, and was now going to die for it. He cursed his own desperation for revenge. "I sprung the trap, and they are here to finish the job."

The Milano danced around the fire from its opponent, and Quill shook his head, "It's just one ship. A small Thanagarian attack skiff. Couldn't have destroyed your planet, but they're sure trying to kill us."

"How did they find us?" Thor was perplexed.

"Well, we got a price on our heads the size of the galaxy. They probably followed us from Knowhere," Quill shrugged sheepishly. "Was gonna tell you, but we were too busy playing like Ripley down there."

"Ripley? I do not understand," Thor shook his head.

"That's the part that you focused on in my sentence!?" Quill grumbled loudly as he threw the Milano into another roll. "We need to get out of here, but they have us cut off from the Knowhere jump point."

"Is there another available?"

"Yea, but I don't know where it goes!" Quill responded in a panic, as the ship indicated their shields were beginning to fail.

"Tis better than being destroyed in the void of space!" Thor protested. "Take the jump!"

"Fine, but if we end up getting eaten by space cannibals, it's your fault."

Their craft screamed towards the jump point as their pursuer did the same, firing incessantly in order to bring them down. As they were mere meters away from the jump, their shields failed and a shot ripped through the Milano's wing, sending them into a spin. They hit the jump backwards, allowing the pair to see their assailant enter as well.

When they came out the other side, they found themselves in the thick atmosphere of the planet. The sudden pull of gravity contributed to the already prominent spinning of the ship, causing Thor to be pinned to the bulkhead of the ship. He watched as Quill was thrown around like a ragdoll, still strapped to his pilot's chair. As the front of the ship spun, Thor could see their attacker had also been thrown off course. It two was spinning uncontrollably towards the planet below.

He could hear the ground approaching, even if he couldn't see it. Before he knew it, a huge crunch roared through his ears, and the world went dark.


Dim light began to filter in through Peter Quill's eyelids, and a steady dripping sound was all he heard. He tentatively opened his eyes, and realized only one of them would do so. He found himself hanging upside down, the dripping sound being blood from his head dripping to the metal below. Carefully, he unhooked himself from the seat, flipped himself over, and dropped down to solid ground.

The damage to the ship was bad. That much was clear. The cockpit had been crumpled, one of the wings was holding on by a thread, and he was sure he smelled a burnt out engine capacitor. None of that was good. But what was even worse was the fact that he had absolutely no idea where he was.

"Computer," he called out to the ship's AI, "where are we?"

"-zzzzzbljkbnhj-" was the computer's only answer.

"Great," Quill grumbled to himself. "I hope you're happy. You told me I could blame you. So I'm blamin' you."

Peter turned to look where he had last seen Thor, but instead found the other man to be gone. Quill cursed under his breath. Thor hadn't been strapped into a seat when they crashed. He could have been thrown half way across the planet when they were going down. If that was the case not only was Peter gonna lose out on that bounty, but he was probably gonna die here on some uncharted planet to boot.

Before he could curse Thor again, something ripped through the hull of the Milano. An electrified mace passed through the metal like butter, and behind it came a fierce, armored woman with wings like a bird of prey. She slammed into Quill, and pinned him down to the roof of the Milano, "Where is the Asgardian!"

"Okay, first, does the Wicked Witch know you're missing?" Quill managed to get out through her forearm on his throat.

"Do you want me to close your other eye up too?" she snarled at him, the mask covering half her face accentuated her ferocity. Thanagarians were famous across the galaxy as warriors. He had never fought one, but Quill knew he'd lose, and that was something he rarely admitted. "Where is he?"

"I dunno!" he protested. "You were the one trying to kill us."

"Yea, the two of you," she sneered. "At least I'll be able to collect one bounty."

She raised the mace over her head, and as she did he yelled out, "Wait! Waitwaitwait. You need to get off this rock, same as me."

"And I can do that on my own," she stated matter-of-factly.

"Not if whoever trapped us here kills you!"

With that her grip on him loosened, just a little. Not enough for him to escape, but he could certainly breath easier.

"What do you mean?"

"Come on, you're smart," he looked at her sideways. "Who positions a jump straight into an atmosphere? It was a trap. Who knows what for, or set by who, but it's a trap. Whoever set it is gonna come for us. Or just you if you kill me. Either way, they're gonna come. Maybe they already got Thor."

With that, she got off of him, and helped him up, "That make sense. If you're thinking about killing me, know two things. First, you won't. Second, I will bash you head in until I get to whatever the molecule you call a brain. Understood?"

"Loud and clear," he shrugged and looked her up and down. She certainly was in the shape to kick his ass. Everything about her yelled "toned". In another life, one where she didn't want to kill him and turn his corpse in for a ridiculous amount of money, he would absolutely get turned down by her at a bar. "I'm Star-Lord, by the way."

"There is absolutely no chance in the universe I'm gonna call you that," she looked at him with disdain.

"Why does everyone keep saying that," he mumbled under his breath. "Then I'm Peter. Peter Quill."

"You can call me Hawk. Just Hawk," the Thanagarian growled at him. "Let's get moving. Scavenge what you can from the ship. We'll need all we can."


The sound of a crackling fire was the first thing Thor heard when he regained consciousness. His entire body hurt, but he seemed no worse for wear. Being an Asgardian certainly had its benefits, even lacking Mjolnir as he did. That crash would have killed a mortal, easily.

He found himself in a cave, warm, humid air clinging to him. The dim light of the fire revealed a jungle habitat outside. On a spit above the fire was the leg of some creature roasting. Thor had to admit he was surprised. He didn't take Quill for one that could hunt his own food. But he was thankful. He snatched a handful of the meat and ate greedily.

"That's not very regal of you," a rumbling, deep voice said from deeper into the cave. "I know for a fact you weren't raised to eat in such a way."

Thor could not believe what he was hearing. It was a voice he figure he would never hear again.

"It cannot be," Thor said through the food in his mouth. "It simply cannot be."

"It is, Odinson," the other man said as he stepped into the firelight.

"Is it so strange that more than the Odinson survived the destruction of Asgard?"

Thor said nothing. He sprung to his feet, ignoring all pain he may have been feeling. He embraced Heimdall with all the strength he could muster, tears flowing from his eyes, "My friend. I never thought I'd see you again."

"Aye," Heimdall said warmly. "Yet I always saw you. I have seen all our people that survived the doom of Ragnarok."

"There are more?" hope truly filled Thor's voice for the first time since the ordeal had begun.

Heimdall nodded, "But there will not be for long. Our enemy gathers strength. They move to snuff us out. And after that, they will move to all that call themselves gods."

"Heimdall, who are they?" Thor pleaded for information.

"I know not, Thunderer," he shook his head. "Whoever they are, they can cloud their presence from my eye. But I know what they seek."

"What is that?"

"The Destroyer," Heimdall answered grimly.

"No," Thor gasped. The Destroyer was a weapon of old, something Odin's father Bor had designed to fight back the dark things of the universe. Thor knew no weapon that was more powerful. But his father had told him it had been dismantled. "It no longer exists."

"It does," Heimdall assured him.

"Then we must find it first," Thor had his goal.

"That will be quite difficult," the guardian of the bifrost shook his head. "We're trapped here. And not just because we don't have a ship."

"What do you mean?" Thor asked.

"You'll see shortly," Heimdall motioned outside.

The two of them stepped out into the jungle, and Heimdall pointed to the sky. Suddenly, the sky lit up in a blaze like one of the mortals' view screens. On it, a yellow, square, smiling face greeted them. It talked in a rumble, "Ladies and gentlemen, it's midnight, and you know what that means! It's time to check in on the day's highlights!"

The screen cut out to scenes of violence. Groups of people slaughtered one another in the jungle, and in clearings. Thor had never seen anything like it. It went on and on, but it focused on a large, grey humanoid creature dressed in gladiatorial gear. He tore through his opponents like hot steel through snow.

"Look at Draaga go!" the voice of the yellow skinned being boomed over the violence. "No one can stop my champion! Mongul celebrates Draaga, the champion of of...WARWORLD!"

With that, he disappeared and the night sky took over once more.

"This is no normal planet, Odinson," Heimdall explained. "In order to escape we need to find wherever this Mongul is. So far, I have been unable to do so."

"Good news, my friend," Thor smiled and clapped his hand against his friend's shoulder. "The God of Thunder is here. And I have a friend. It's time we find him, and band together. This Draaga. He'll know where to find Mongul."
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Hillan
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Hillan The Real Dinoman

Member Seen 15 hrs ago

Location: Central City - Present Day
Post #1.04: Blur

Interaction(s): None
Previously: Guiding S.T.A.R

The Night Of the Explosion

A jewelry store was being robbed by a man wearing a pair of sunglasses and a black suit. Well, black was hardly the word to describe it, because even black isn't quite dark enough. It was made in a totally non reflective matter, while still looking like a regular casual business suit. He wore leather gloves, his hair was slicked back and he carried a handgun with a silencer in his hand. He didn't cause much of a ruckus, in fact, he even waited in line to talk to the cashier, the gun inside of his inner pocket. He knew that today, the alarms wouldn't work. His contact had assured him of such a thing, and that man was never wrong about these kinds of things. It was his turn to face the teller, he was the last customer as the store was closing for the day and now, it was just him and the teller in the store. With a soft smile, he spoke, softly and elegantly.

"I'm planning to propose to a certain special someone.. And well, I can't quite make up my mind. Would you be a darling and pack everything up for me to go?" He smiled wider, as the gun was lifted from his pocket, resting calmly on the counter, facing the teller, whom at first thought he was joking, then saw the gun and swallowed hard, trying to remain her cool.

"Please, with some semblance of speed." He told her and the cashier quickly began clearing out the displays and putting them into a discrete black bag. "Y-You're caught on all the cameras, sir.. You do know that you'll never get away, right?"

"I'm willing to take that chance, darling." he spoke softly, leaving a small bundle of 100 dollar bills on the counter. "A tip, if you will." As he took the bag and walked out into the open street, just as the sky opened and the Arc Reactor exploded. The material he had coated his suit and glasses with came off of him and hit him right back, sending him flying through the store window, knocked unconscious, where the woman yelled as she was on the phone with the police. The man would later be arrested and put in Iron heights prison in Central City.

"When I recharged my batteries by stealing the lightning bolt destined for another - for my enemy, I didn't quite get it right. It didn't give me my powers back. It gave me his. It changed me from being a runaway train nobody and nothing could hold, to simply faster than a speeding bullet. I guess that's how you can tell that my perception has warped over all these years. But it doesn't matter how fast I am, not for now. What matters is that I run. So I run. All the time, I've understood the conditions for my survival, and if there's one thing Eobard Thawne knows, it's survival." Thawne spoke into the voice recording to Gideon, adding to to his audio logs. The red blur, donning the suit he had arrived in this time in, he had vibrated it's colors to look red, the same red that drove him as mad as a bull once upon a time.

It had only been a couple weeks since he woke up, but he knew what to do. He hadn't wasted any time running more tests than the people at S.T.A.R would absolutely required, and once he could convince Dr.Wells that he was fit to leave, he did so. Seemingly with a new lease on life, at least to the Doctor. Whom, for the record, Thawne was not quite convinced that Dr.Wells wasn't a younger version of himself. Sure, he couldn't find a time vault, nor could Gideon locate another instance of her operating system in the current timeline, but that was hardly conclusive evidence.

The Doctor knew things. He cared too deeply about 'Eddie', so interested in Thawne changing the world, using his powers for good. It was a sense of nostalgia, but it truly made the time traveler uncomfortable. Which isn't exactly a feeling he's accustomed to. Thawne had spent the last couple weeks saving people, as fast as he could. Car crashes, muggings, houses on fire. He ran up the side of a building, quickly saving a woman whom was falling down the stairs, over the railing. He caught her and ran her down to the bottom floor before she could even react.

"That makes 89, Gideon."

"Very impressive, Professor Thawne. A number that dwarves that of your predecessor. I believe Mr. Allen had only saved 5 people by this point in his career."

"Was there any doubt that I'd be better at this than Allen?" The speedster said with a smug grin as the blur tore through Central City's downtown, back to Eddie Thawne's rundown apartment which Thawne was quickly tidying and arming to be a proper place of living, not a crack den. He arrived in his living room and dismantled from the suit, vibrating out of it and putting the suit back in the ring he wore on his finger. Turning on the TV, the news were all showing footage of the most recent sightings of the
'Central City Comet'
'The Red Blur'
'The Streak'

Thawne rolled his eyes. He hated all of those names, at least now that they applied to him. He'd taunt the other with them once in a while. But it wasn't the time for his new alter-ego to be dubbed. Not yet. He barely had time to grab something to eat, four extra large pizzas with a side of chicken curry and big belly burger would sate him for a time, but he knew full well that soon his metabolism would be too powerful for food. He'd need chemical sustenance. That would mean interacting more with the savages at S.T.A.R. He shrugged and finished the last slice of the pizza as his phone buzzed.

Speaking off the savages. Cisco was calling. Thawne cleared his throat and forced a upbeat smile. Time to be Eddie.
"Yo man! How are you doing? Haven't heard from you in a hot second. You doing aight?"

"Hi dude! I'm just chilling, eating some pizza, watching some Netflix. I'm doing good. What's up?"

"Dope work with all those rescues, man! I know it was you. Had to be. So, if you don't mind playing some more hero, Me and Dr. Wells think we've got a situation over here.. There's been a breakout at Ironheights.. Someone tore the roof off one of the cell blocks... From the inside."

".. With a tornado?" Thawne asked, opening up a hologram on Gideon where the news article clearly showed that The Flash's first super villain outing was against Clyde Martin, the brother of the late Weather Wizard, who's powers it was the Wizard would base his tech on. Clyde was still presumed dead since the night of the explosion.
"What, no?! It's like, a handprint on the inside of the ceiling, the parts that are still there, anyway. It looks crazy! We're going over there, come meet us and we'll talk more."
Cisco insisted and hung up after Thawne responded with a 'uhuh'.

This wasn't good. This was not the plan. The Present is changing.

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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by webboysurf
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Hotel, London, England, United Kingdom - Present Day, 01:32 Hours
Issue 1.03.3: The Stranger

Interaction(s): None

The sound of pounding rain and roaring thunder was in some way reassuring to Steve as he had drifted off to sleep. The stereotype of London being a rainy, depressing looking place seemed to reign true starting in the afternoon, ending the plans Steve and Sharon had to tour and instead forced them back to the hotel to await further orders. Needless to say, it was surprising that a particularly loud wave of thunder woke Steve from his deep slumber.

He sighed and checked the time. It was about half past one in the morning, so it was far too late to check in next door with Sharon. So he found himself standing in his SHIELD issued undershirt next to the window of his hotel room, drawing the curtains away to stare out at the stormy night. He raised an eyebrow, a strike of lightning forcing him to squint for a moment. When his eyes readjusted after but a moment, Steve’s heart skipped a beat at the shock of seeing a lone figure on the rooftop across the street. The figure was just standing there, watching Steve through the window. Steve backed away slowly, still seeing the figure watching him, as he blindly fumbled for his sidearm to hook onto the belt of his jeans. He also clutched at a small metal bracelet, snapping it onto his wrist. With a clenching of his fist, his shield instinctively shot through the closet door as Steve began rushing towards the window. He was able to lift the shield just in time for him to place it in front of him as he powered his way through the window, glass spraying out onto the alley below as Steve’s leap took him across the gap and onto the roof of the slightly smaller building next door. He tucked his shoulder for a roll and slid along the ground, his eyes raising to meet the figure before him.

Standing on the roof opposite Cap was a hairy beast standing nearly seven feet tall, wearing the torn star-spangled suit that Steve had worn years earlier. The beast had a snout-like mouth, and its eyes glowed red. The best growled at Cap and leaped with superhuman strength and speed. Steve raised his shield to try and block the swipes of its claws, yet even the super soldier was just a fraction of a second too slow as the beast was able to scratch at Steve’s arm just enough to tear his flesh and draw blood. The pain was intense, and Cap was able to sneak in a swift kick to the beast’s knee. A loud snap signaled that it had broken easily, but the crunching sound afterwards was the thing of nightmares. The beast’s leg began to fix itself automatically, throwing Cap off his game for just a moment. The beast swung its arm into the side of Rogers, its claws ripping through Steve’s armor and flinging him to the side. The shield slid across the rooftop, but Steve flew just over the ledge of the roof. He was able to barely catch his fingers along the rooftop’s edge.

Steve strained as he began to lift himself up to continue the fight, but the beast was looming over him almost immediately. It bent down, snarling as it seemed to be lunging its head forward to bite at Steve. Steve did the only thing he could: he let go of the roof and clutched his left hand into a fist. His shield locked into place just in time for Cap to place the shield between himself and the car on the street below. The car’s roof crumbled as the shield and Cap’s body impacted from the fall. He groaned, his eyes rising up to the rooftop. The figure loomed for a moment, before disappearing after a flash of lightning. In his last moment of consciousness, Cap slowly lowered his head back down and closed his eyes, the sound of the car alarm blaring and the pounding rain being the last sounds he heard that night.
Next Chapter: Cross of Iron
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Hidden 1 mo ago 8 days ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Big Tuna

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We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.

Location: Old Gotham - Bleake Island, Gotham City
Welcome to the Masquerade #1.04: Down the Rabbit Hole

Interaction(s): None
Previously: Meet Cute

The small room was dark save for the inconsistent lighting of one dim lamp hung directly in the center of the ceiling. The loosely fitted bulb buzzed loudly as it threatened to short at any second. Brief flashes of bright light cut through the darkness illuminating a lone figure in a wolf mask sitting restrained in an old wooden chair. Around the man’s mouth was a tightly pulled gag while a blindfold had been used to restrict his vision. Both the man’s shoes and his socks had been removed which left his bare feet to sitting in the shallow pool of water currently situated beneath his chair.

An unexpected noise echoed through the room as the latch on the door clicked loudly causing the startling the bound man. Struggling against his restraints, the man’s futile efforts were interrupted by the scraping creaks of the door’s hinges as it was swung open. The slapping of several hard heeled shoes against the cement floor echoed from the hallway and into the room. Amidst the sound of the heavy footsteps came the squeaking of four wheels as a heavy cart was pushed into the tight space.

“Right this way, Mr. Tetch,” A deep voice instructed as the first pair of footsteps entered the room. The sound of the cart stopped somewhere in front of the bound man as the footsteps echoed one last time before they too ceased to be heard within the confines of the room.

“Can we get some light in here?” Demanded a strange sounding voice, the identity of the speaker unfamiliar to the man in the chair. There was an accent to the stranger’s words, obnoxious yet melodic, like something out of a children’s cartoon.

“Whatever you need, Mr. Tetch.” Came a smooth baritone reply. The bound Wolf recognized the second voice immediately as his employer.

The Black Mask himself.


“What’d you say?” Black Mask asked, shoving his hands into the pockets of his finely tailored suit.

“It’s Doctor,” Jervis replied, “Not Mister.”

“My apologies then, Doctor.” Black Mask replied, his voice lacking any form of sincerity as a leather gloved hand adjusted the ebony skull-like mask which came to the notorious crime lord his namesake.

“Did you need anything?” He repeated, the voice unhindered nor was it filtered as the mask’s jaw remained hauntingly still while he spoke.

“I just need to ensure my payment is in order, is everything properly arranged?” Tetch asked as the Black Mask reached into the pocket of his pinstripe jacket and held out a square photograph towards the smaller man.

Raising his chin to get a look at the photo, Tetch took it from Black Mask’s hand as his face twitched with a disinterested look.

“She’s older than I requested.” He grumbled as a finger traced the girl’s golden hair before he tucked inside his lapelled jacket. “But she’ll do, I suppose.”

“Good,” Black Mask replied as he approached the Wolf, removing the blindfold and the mask as the Wolf looked towards his employer.

“You cost me a lot of money,” Black Mask stated, his tone full of disdain as he continued.

“Thankfully the sale of your daughter to Mr. Tetch here goes a long way to repaying that debt,” Pulling a cigar from within his jacket, the Black Mask forced it between the teeth of his mask before cutting the end off and lighting it. Taking a long drag on the thick Cuban, he blew a ring of smoke towards the Wolf before speaking.

“And your wife has, well agreed to dance at the Alibi to pay the remainder of the debt.” Black Mask chuckled darkly. “‘Course I did have to give your body to science as part of my deal with Mr. Tetch.”

“Enough monologuing, Mr. Mask” Tetch called as he nodded towards the two burly men who had been flanking him this entire time. “Brothers, if you please, release our friend here.”

“I’ll let you off this time, Tetch” Black Mask growled as he stepped back from the restrained man and took a position against the wall alongside the door. “But if you ever interrupt me again, it’s a bullet.”

“But where would you be without me?” Tetch retorted towards Black Mask before holding up a mask as he carefully examined it.

“On his knees please, Tweeds.” The doctor ordered as the two men picked the wolf up from his chair before pressing a foot against either calf as he was lowered towards the ground, his head now eye level with Tetch himself.

Removing the wolf mask from his victim’s face, Tetch tossed it aside before firmly placing a small silver band atop the man’s brow. His wide eyes protested, but there was nothing he could do as one of the Tweed brothers wrapped a large hand over the base of his skull and held him steady.

And then suddenly, the fear was gone.

Tetch smiled in satisfaction as the man’s body relaxed the moment the mask was activated. Behind him, Black Mask took several steps forward as he peered towards his former employee watching the effects of Tetch’s device.

“Remove his gag, please.” Tetch stated as the other brother ripped it off of the Wolf’s face. Walking over to his cart, Tetch picked up a similar band, placing it atop of his own head before flipping a switch on the equipment in front of him.

“Please state your name.” Tetch ordered as the man replied promptly.

“Richard J. Cunningham.”

“And your wife’s name?” Tetch asked as Black Mask crossed his arms in satisfaction.

“Lori Beth Cunningham.”

“And your daughter’s name please?” Tetch replied.

“Chelsea Alice Cunningham.” Richard stated without any sign of reluctance.

“What happened last night Mr. Cunningham?” Tetch inquired as Black Mask took several steps towards Richard, studying his facial expressions as he replied willingly again.

“The deal went South when the Batman appeared. I hid behind the truck and waited for my opportunity to escape while the others fought back. They lost, and I escaped while the Bat was distracted.”

“So you’re a damn coward!” Black Mask snarled, but Richard didn’t respond causing the crime lord to lash out. Delivering a firm blow to the man’s stomach, Black Mask watched in astonishment as Richard barely reacted, not even audibly acknowledging that he had been struck.

“What’s the limits of your device?” Black Mask inquired as he turned back towards Tetch.

“He’ll do whatever I ask him to.” Tetch stated as Black Mask marched forward and lifted the circlet from the small man’s head before fitting it over his own.

“Pick up those pliers!” The crime lord ordered, pointing Richard towards the nearby tool. Complying, the other man picked up the pliers and held them at the ready as Black Mask spoke again.

“Rip out a tooth.”

Without a moment of hesitation, Richard opened the pliers before using them to take hold of one of his front teeth. Clamping the pliers closed, he tugged them downwards as a subtle wince of pain appeared in the corner of his eyes, blood spilling out over his lips as the tooth fell to the floor.

“This is fuckin’ great, Tetch!” Black Mask exclaimed. Banging on the door to the room, the Crime Lord watched it open as two people wearing masks modelled after his own answered.

“The doctor held up his part of the deal, get him the girl and send him on his merry way.” Black Mask ordered before turning back towards Cunningham.

“I have my own fun to attend to.”

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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Star Lord
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Star Lord Legendary Outlaw

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Velinsky, Trasnia
Present Day

Issue #2.03

The militants had sped up the moving process with some of them starting to leave the town. It was clear that they were retreating; however, there was enough firepower to repel any threat to them. Wonder Woman, still on the rooftop, stealthily went around the square until she saw Petrovich leaving the pub. A white car was awaiting him while the driver was smoking and talking to a soldier. He threw the cigarette away once he saw Petrovich walking towards him and entered the car. There were still too many men for Diana to capture him. She couldn't do anything to get to him without alerting every man in the area; but, she decided to attack anyway.

Wonder Woman landed on the hood of the car hard enough to damage it beyond use. The soldiers quickly surrounded her with guns pointed at her while Petrovich nearly fell to the ground in surprise. She got off the hood and drew her sword intended for a bloody fight. Yet, Petrovich told his men to stand down to prevent further bloodshed. His men, at first, were confused until they were told again to lower their guard. "We already lost so many men thanks to her," Petrovich said in disgust towards Wonder Woman.

"Your men were killing civilians and officers," Diana responded while she was slowly pulling her sword away. "You will answer for your crimes, including Iron Man's death."

"While I might have committed crimes today, murdering Iron Man wasn't one of them," Petrovich answered.

"What do you mean? There was footage of-"

"His armor seems to be strong enough to withstand the missile but not the person inside. He's still unconscious if you want to free him." Petrovich explained and saw that she remained skeptical. He got closer to her and pointed at the Lasso of Truth. "If you don't believe me, then use it on me, and I will tell you where we put him."

Wonder Woman hesitated to tie the lasso on his wrist because she was suspicious of him. Yet, she followed through with his suggestion and asked him about the current whereabouts of Iron Man. Petrovich calmly compelled with the lasso and answered her question, "I ordered my men to place him in the pub. Now, how about we make a deal."

"No deal, Petrovich. You might not have killed Iron Man, but you are under arrest for unspeakable crimes." Wonder Woman interpreted him and grabbed his hand, which caused his men to draw their weapons at her. She looked at them and added, "You will be wasting your bullets."

Petrovich tried to resist arrest, but seemly gave up and accepted his fate. "Men, it's alright. Surrender now, and we will live another day to fight for the liberation of our home," he said towards his men with no emotion to his voice. Now, she was even more suspicious of his motive; yet, she effectively ended the civil war with his arrest. While she was dragging him inside the pub, his men were confused about their leader's sudden surrounded and began dropping their guns.

Once inside The Old Fox pub, Petrovich pointed to the room that Iron Man was being kept. To ensure that he won't escape, Wonder Woman grabbed his head and smashed it against the counter. Then, she grabbed a bar stool and ripped off one of its metal legs and bent it around his leg and the railing beneath the counter. Now with him secured, Diana was able to focus on rescuing Iron Man. She approached the door and slowly opened it to get a peek of the room. It was when she saw the familiar red iron leg and quickly opened the door. Iron Man was genuinely alive after all.

Wonder Woman rushed over towards him and untied him from the chair; but, he wasn't moving or responding whatsoever. That was when she decided to take off the mask piece of his helmet to see if he was breathing or not. But, she was met with a dummy instead of a real person. The reveal caught her off guard that she dropped the mask piece to the ground. Both she and the lasso were tricked for the first time in a long time. And with that, she planned on confronting Petrovich about it before taking him to the nearest cell. When she turned around, however, Diana was met with a wall of television screens.

At first, there was nothing on the screens besides static until one of them showed footage of Diana beheading a soldier from earlier in the day. Then, the monitors started to show more footage of her killing person after person. She didn't understand how someone could have managed to film her without notice, and why would someone do it. Suddenly, she heard a voice behind her.

"It's always amazing watching you in action primarily how easy you make decapitating someone. Of course, you are Wonder Woman! You make lifting cars look as easy as a pushup."

"Who are you?!" Wonder Woman drew out her sword and pointed at the person.

"Woah! Chill out, Diana! I was just complimenting on your technique. I mean, who taught you to do that? I bet that it was your father since nobody else would have-"

"Last chance, who are you?"

"Alright, then. Keep your secrets." the person put their hands up and walked closer towards Wonder Woman. "Even know I have a surname, I'd prefer if you call me Aladdin. It's the type of nickname that you usually never forget."
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Inkarnate
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Inkarnate A Clichéd Tsundere™

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Location: LexCorp HQ, Metropolis - Present
Prologue #0.05: Alien Angel

“--but I’m late? Yes, I’m aware. There is nothing in this world that I have not already calculated. Don’t worry about it. And please, call me Lex.”

The architect of Metropolis. The self-made billionaire that made a new Silicon Valley out of his own sheer will. The reigning critic of Tony Stark and other like-minded billionaire savants. The leader of the scientific world.

Alexander “Lex” Luthor was a man of many reputations, some positive and others… less positive.

These were all things Mercy Graves, Lex’s newest personal assistant, knew. But Mercy wasn’t in the business of caring about what other people thought of Lex Luthor. From the moment he accepted her into his fold she knew that his empathy for the plight of the everyday citizen was genuine and behind all of the ego there was a man who was only starting his journey to save the world. It was that exact reason that Lex had tasked her with mitigating the financial funds necessary to alleviate those hurt by an incident in the poorer part of Metropolis while he dealt with important, more critical business. He didn’t ask for his name to be involved, only that the medical bills of those in need were taken care of out of pocket.

“Are you sure, sir?”

“What a preposterous question. Of course I am. I never second guess myself, Mercy.” He smiled. “And neither should you.”

Mercy nodded. “By the way, your appointment with the Daily Planet is waiting in your office as you requested.”

“Of course he is.”

Lex Luthor looked over to the direction of his office with a patient smile.

His appointment with the Daily Planet’s veteran reporter was an interesting thing. A reporter was renowned as the one who brought down the biggest threats to the public’s interest. He was manipulative, intelligent, and clever. But he was an old dog who put too much stock in traditional orthodox reporting. People cared more about twitter than “proper journalists” these days and well, Lex had agreed to do this interview merely to flex his own ego; to let him stir in his seat in his office, waiting for Lex to arrive so he could get this banal, almost-worthless puff piece over with. But that wouldn't happen until the reporter realized one little thing.

He was on Lex Luthor’s time; and there was nothing he could say or do about it to change that very imperial fact.

After sending Mercy on his way, Lex straightened his suit and made for his office.

“Welcome to LexCorp, Mr. Corben. Shall we start this interview?”
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Ceta de Cloyes
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Ceta de Cloyes Catalystic

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M O N - E L , M I K E M A T H E W S

Location: Stellar Orbit, Sol System - Present Day
Familiar #1.01: Solus

Interaction(s): None
Previously: Mon-El of Daxam

By it’s twentieth turn around the brightly gleaming star, the ship finally obtained enough heat to begin the thawing process. Slowly long dormant systems came back online, lime colored lights flashing on the control panel, and a little hologram of the star system displaying itself in midair as a course was drawn from just inside the first planet towards the third. The only passenger still slept, heedless of the change. His eyebrows were drawn together in discomfort and his muscles were cold and stiff as ice.

Once the nose of the darkly lit ship was pointed at the tiny blue dot in the distance, the engines flared to life. In the blink of an eye it was gone, hurtling at speed towards its destination. A faint trail of green dust followed them, pieces of kryptonite had long been welded by intense heat and frozen by extreme cold to the outer panels of the ship, having switched so quickly from one to the other that there hadn’t been a chance of it falling off. Until now. Warmed by it’s extended recharge at the yellow sun, flakes and grains of neon sand sprinkled behind it’s path.

All too soon the ship was bearing down on a cloudy blue planet, designated in GLC coordinates as 2814.36 C, and a translation into what might have been an old Kryptonian dialect that was... less than comprehensible. To a Daxamite anyway.

When the first flames began to catch upon breaching the atmosphere, the ship tilted in such a way that the wind flowed through the meshed fins of the ship just so, creating enough drag to slow the descent in short order. With a quick flourish, the ship spun and skipped across the ocean, landing like a hydrophobic bug perched between the waves. Now out of the sky, and the thawing well underway, the ship turned towards land and trekked atop the water at a leisurely speed towards land.

For a moment at least.

Something launched into the cooly glowing engines of pod, an unusual signal of some kind blocking all attempts at automatic correction. By trying to compensate, the autopilot began speeding up, no longer sliding along waves but skipping harshly across them as a speedboat would until finally it shot to far into the air, reactivating flight settings even as the engines began to overheat and made worrying screeching noises like torn metal. With a jarring Boom! the ship nose dived at speed straight into the New England coastline, flames spewing across the deserted sand beaches and the sound of shattering glass echoing in the wind.

Power in the pod went out the moment it connected with the ground, and slowly, blearily, the passenger opened his heavy eyelids, only half-thawed and beginning to shiver.

”Mon-El? Can you hear me? I appear to be blind… Mon-El?”

He tried to respond, to wake up, he really did. Something felt wrong, but he couldn’t quite remember… he was stuck in that haze. It was like his brain was still half frozen too. Maybe it was.

But oh that light, that glorious light. Through lidded eyes Mon-El saw a yellow star in the blue skies above him, and it’s rays felt like nothing he’d ever known before. It was blessedly warm, but maybe that was relative, because he still felt so cold. The shivers worsened before they got better, with each shallow breath of admittedly lukewarm air, he felt just a little bit better.

He should probably stop staring directly at the star.

But not yet.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Simple Unicycle 🅱️ruh

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City Streets
New York City, New York

After our fight with the werewolf, the two of them led me to a panel van a block away from the subway. We got in, with Drake driving us away from the scene. I looked at the two of them from my seat in the back, careful not to make a peep. My enhanced hearing picked up on them whispering.

"I still think this is a bad idea," Drake mumbled.

"Shut it. Quincy wants to talk to this guy, so we're taking him to the base," Helsing replied.

"I swear, if Quincy offers him a spot on the team..." Despite myself, I let out a laugh. Drake skidded the van to a halt, turning to glare at me. "What's so funny?"

"Sorry, I just... Couldn't help but hear you two talkin'... Bahahaha!" I pulled myself together, grinning at him. "Say he did offer me a spot on your little team... What in the hell makes you think I'd say yes?"

"You were eavesdropping on us?" Helsing started glaring at me as well.

"I didn't mean to, but yeah, I kinda was. Enhanced hearing and all that." Shaking his head, Drake went back to driving. Seeing as the whole 'no talking' thing was out the window now, I decided to keep going. "So how far are we from that base of yours?"

The two were silent. I snapped my fingers, and Drake, gritting his teeth, replied, "Not very far."

"So does that mean a few blocks, a few miles...?"

"It means not. Very. Far."

"Alright man, no need to get your panties in a twist." I leaned back in my seat, grinning.

"Rachel, shoot him please."

"Wait, hold your hors-" *BANG!* "SON OF A BITCH!"

The van continued driving into the night.

Fifteen Minutes Later
Bo's Arcade

We pulled up to this rickety old building, the faded sign reading "Bo's Arcade." I looked it up and down, almost disbelieving. "You guys seriously set up shop in a rundown arcade? That's the stupidest idea ever." Drake glared at me, but didn't bother to come up with a response. Helsing simply ignored me and walked in through the front door, Drake and I following after her.

"Quincy, we're back," Helsing called out while I looked around. Inside was definitely a different story from outside. Looked like they actually kept the place in good condition, facade aside. Having taken everything in, my eyes set themselves on the man in the wheelchair that had just rolled out. Despite myself, I gave a snort.

Wheelchair guy, Quincy I'm guessing, raised an eyebrow. "What's so funny, Eric?"

"I'm sorry, just..." I looked at the three of them, grinning. "We got a hotheaded pretty boy, a gruff and tough bitch, and they're led by a cripple. You're an original bunch." I heard Drake's heartbeat and breathing pick up just a little bit, indication that he's getting pissed off...

And then I heard the old man laugh, the sound defusing the situation before Drake and I could go at each others' throats. "Yes, I suppose we're a colorful cast of characters. But that isn't why I called you here."

"Why did you, then? Gonna invite me to join your little crew?"

"Nothing of the sort. My name is Quincy Harker, and I called you here about your brother, Deacon Frost."

My cocky grin fell, giving way to a scowl at the mention of brother dearest. "... What do you know about him?"

"Just what my contacts tell me. He's making a big name for himself among other supernaturals in this city. And he's also sticking his nose where it doesn't belong."

"What's that s'posed to mean?"

"Have you heard of La Magra, Eric?" He smiled at my clueless expression. "I thought not. La Magra is, to put it simply, the God of Blood, to which all vampires devote themselves... Or at least the most ravenous ones."

"So my brother's gettin' religious, so what?"

"It's not just that. He's looking to bring La Magra to the human world, in order to take its power."

I let out a chuckle despite the gravity of the situation. "Christ, what kinda shitty horror movie did I get myself into..."

Harker continued on, ignoring my remark. "He believes that he can defeat La Magra and take its power so he can rule over all supernatural."

"That kinda power, you'd think he'd spring for world domination instead."

"Exactly. I called you here to see if you knew why he would do something like this instead of attempting to enslave all mankind."

Despite my smartass remarks, I knew exactly why. I recalled what Deacon had said on the roof...

"You fool. I'm not going to rule them. I'm going to keep them in line. Once one has absolute power, no one would dare to question their authority. And those that do? They can be snuffed out."

"What-*wheeze*-would you do-*cough*-with all that p-*gasp*-power, huh?"

"I would be content, living out the rest of my days knowing the balance is kept between supernatural and human."

After a moment's hesitation, I replied to Harker: "I fought him last night... He kicked my ass, but before he did that, he said something about keeping the balance between humans and supernaturals, and how with absolute power you can snuff out anyone who gets out of line."

"... So he wants to segregate humans and supernaturals? Noble ambitions, but less than noble methods."

"Yeah, somethin' like that."

The conversation trailed off, silence hanging in the air for a few moments. Then, Harker spoke. "... I want you to help us with this."

Myself, Drake, and Helsing stared at him in confusion... Before both Drake and I started laughing our asses off.

"You think I'd want to hang around with that preppy dandy?"
"You think I'd want to hang around with that cocky jackass?"

Drake and I began to argue then, the tension between the two of us finally mounting and exploding. The argument slowly devolved from creative insults to petty name calling in no time flat. Helsing looked amused, while Harker scowled. The old man slammed a hand onto the arm of his wheelchair, interrupting us. "ENOUGH! I don't care what quarrel you have with each other, we need to destroy La Magra before Deacon can attempt to take its power."

"You said it yourself, old man. Deacon's got good intentions, even if he is an asshole. Let him do his thing, I'll kick his ass when the time comes anyway."

"That's what you don't understand, Eric. Have you heard the term 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'?"

"What, you teachin' philosophy now?"

"If your brother gets hold of even a drop of La Magra's power, the Blood God's twisted nature would corrupt him completely. He wouldn't care about his plan. He would only care about wiping out humanity and keeping a select few as cattle."

"Then I'll kick his ass before he gets a hold of it."

"Eric. I am simply requesting your help with this."

"Oh, don't give me that lo-"


Harker's gaze bored into my soul. I don't know what it was, but the look he gave me... It made me realize that there was much more at stake here than just my sibling rivalry with Deacon. After a moment of staring at each other, I finally averted my gaze and sighed. "... When do we start?"

Harker smiled. "Meet us back here on Friday night, at eight o'clock."

"You got it. Now..." I turned my attention to Drake and Helsing, my trademark grin returning. "How 'bout that ride home?"
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