"Over the last six years, I've watched Engine City merge with Chase Chemical, and surrounding metropolitan neighbors to form Mega City in the southeastern United States. Chase Chemical is the largest privately owned chemical plant and lab facilities in the world with over one hundred and twenty thousand employees including it's own police forces and fire houses. The region was officially named 'Mega City' once the population hit the ten million mark. To think the nation's capital is less than five hours away and only home to a little more than six hundred and seventy thousand people. For all these people, at least two percent of the population is superhuman. I tried going the powerless vigilante route for a few years, but I can't compete with people who can knock over skyscrapers or run across water. Lately though... I've noticed a few dead superhumans showing up in my neighborhood as well as a staggering amount of missing persons reports. It's happening in the corner of Mega City called the Highlands that are up in the Appalachian Mountains. The more recent victims were twenty years old or younger.... I've come out of retirement to try and find out who's killing these kids. The only way I know how to protect them is to gather them. Train them. And maybe together we can figure out who's trying to kill others like them.
My name is John Blake, and I'm just a guy with a bow. For awhile the papers called me... Arrowcaster."
1.) No back-to-back posting.
2.) PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND SET-UPS!!
3.) Make sense. If we can't make heads or tails of your posts they're likely to get skipped over.
4.) Get permission before using another player's character in your posts if it involves changing the scene or making actions. Everybody will take beatings in this game in battle however, so don't get pissed if you get punched or blasted into a wall by the bad guys! Namely me controlling the badguys...
5.) Problems with the game or players should be sent directly to me through PM's. I don't want a bunch of bickering in the OOC.
6.) Abandoned characters will be used as NPC's or killed off within the context of the story.
7.) “I was waiting for [insert player/character] to make a move” is not how this game is played.
8.) There is no rule #8.
9.) My word is law.
10.) Obey the law.
11.) In the event that I'm offline for any period of time, the Co-GM @Shard will take control and HIS word will then be law.
When Arrowcaster first began to think about retiring from superheroics his first thought was to settle down and start a family. He always wanted a couple of kids. The on-again off-again romance with an old flame from high school never blossomed, likely due to Blake leading a double life and fighting crime when not working a day job. Dating in his later years never brought him face to face with a soul mate, and after years alone he became a little disconnected from society. He also loathed social media and its grip on the younger generations. Up until a few weeks ago, it had been years since Blake had put on his costume. It felt way too tight in areas, the old school hero didn’t weigh the same as he once did. When the elder hero realized there was a possible connection to all the missing persons reports in Highland and the recent string of murders he knew he had to take action. And he knew he couldn’t do it alone.
2:07 pm, EST…
The green clad bowman had repurposed the HQ of an old group of adversaries called the Techno-Sapiens for the group of young superhumans. There was plenty of room, and several of the older recruits chose to move into the HQ more permanently. Others however were still young enough to be in school and some even lived with their parents. This group was a bit more diverse than the brainwashed goons who once flooded the halls. Several of the recruits were still getting settled in and wandering around here and there.
Jacob Marlowe was one of those recruits and had more in common with the elder Arrowcaster than either of them realized. Alone in the world after his mother’s passing months earlier, Jacob also felt disconnected from the rest of the world. It was also painfully obvious he wasn’t superhuman like everyone else in the group. His powers came from the strange gauntlet that seemed to be fusing with the young man’s arm. “Like something out of a comic book…” Jacob thought while still in awe at the surreal situation he had got himself into. It had been several days since Blake gathered the members of this motley crew, everyone just checked in when they could and trained when they had time. Arrowcaster himself had even started to see the new HQ more like it was his home.
Jacob went into the kitchen to grab a drink when the elder hero came rushing into the dining area looking for volunteers. One of the recruits was in the middle of eating a sandwich and Jacob stepped into view as well.
“I need a couple recruits to test out the new training droids in the War Room… you two game?” Arrowcaster asked with some excitement in his grizzled voice.
2:19 pm, EST…
“I’ll save the scenery and holographics for later…. I finally reworked a couple… of THESE!!” Blake said with his voice getting louder. He pulled a sheet off of what looked like robotic gorillas.
“Anybody recognize these apes? They made up at least half the Techno Sapiens army. They’re pretty durable and I figure we can keep reworking them as we go. I’ve got at least three dozen of them stored a few levels below us along with some other scrap parts and tech I didn’t have a place for…” Arrowcaster continued.
Moments later Jacob made a fist with his gauntlet and concentrated to make the construct robotic arm he’d named ‘Big Blue’. He looked at the other recruit before the pair of robot simians went into attack mode and the two would-be-heroes got their game faces on.
“I really need to get these kids some better duds… they can’t fight crime in cheap t-shirts….” Arrowcaster thought looking on from the control room to the side of the larger War Room.
It would be a fair assumption to claim that Neoh's main focus revolved around the act of tailoring, and it would string along a sense of truth. However, that was not to say that the young hero found little joy in other activities. Among these, one could make out the ancient art of baking, mainly from the wondrous scent of Rocky Road brownies now baking in the oven. Was the boy a decent chef? No. Not at all. Those with the displeasure of having experienced his cooking would attest to this, without fault. However, baking was a chemistry in itself. The question then echoed the first. Was he a decent baker? Yes, decent was a sound description as anything beyond the fact would be adding layers of the fantastical onto this scenario. Where Neoh shone was predominantly in one area, which he was well known for. Even so, it would be a waste to discard a boy's pursuits of other endeavors.
"What an exhilarating spectacle..," came a soft whisper from the theatrical young man as he sat on his knees, watching the oven with great interest and anticipation. Indeed, Neoh was, if anything, a theatrical and dramatic youngster, by every sense of the term. Romance, drama, and bombastic displays were all fitting descriptions when pointing towards Neoh's repertoire. Ironic, then, that it was accompanied by a calm, relaxed and laid back demeanor, his voice a soft, and quiet tune others would consider relatively soothing.
Arrowcaster had come across the young hero when Neoh stood between, if he might add, lovely artwork, and theft. Where the boy was, in fact, quite the celebrity in Mega City, Arrowcaster had put little emphasis on the fact when Neoh revealed his identity. Indeed, it was an irrelevant fact, for the older hero. A wise man, with experience to lean against tended towards placing judgment on actions, rather than stature, and he would be right in doing so.
Turning his head towards Judah, a bright pair of black eyes met the hero. Neoh shifted his attention between magnificent brownies, and the expressed proposition of engaging in a far more rigorous activity. "Oh, Judah..," Neoh sighed, a melancholy expression making its way to his features. "Alas, my quest has planted me firmly by the oven, in wait of this most..," the boy paused, his large, obsidian eyes fixed on the pastries, "this beautiful display of culinary excellence." Inhaling a sharp breath, Neoh leaned to the side where he sat, on the polished, metal floor. "It has been an arduous journey, Judah, heed my tale..," Neoh exhaled, hugging a pair of small knees against his chest. "If failure slumbers at the horizon, there is no forgiveness to accompany such shame." With a gulp, Neoh tensed, shaking his head, "Forgive me, beloved brother in arms.., I will be forced to decline your offer of excitement." Placing a small, dainty hand at the cold, sleek floor, Neoh's obsidian glare met his fellow hero. "But in spirit, I will remain in your heart.., never.., forget." He finished, as Judah left with another hero close in tow.
Neoh was not going to fail these brownies. Not again. Not the sixth time. His honor had been laid across a cutting board, and an expressed love for chocolate could not be discarded in wake of this dramatic quest.
Felix was currently in his university's library, reading a book on the history of Mega City and a book on metahumans. While writing a paper on the impact of tomb raiders to archeology. His Atttention Defecit Disorder had been a part of ever since he was a child. It was useful as hell in combat, as his brain was wired for the fast paced action, but in civillian life he require at least three things to do at once else he started to get antsy.
He still had a lecture to attend at three o'clock, which was why he was still at the college. Some of the other students who worked for Arrowcaster might shirk their studies, but he wanted to actually pass his exams. Then again Count Hackula built a battle robot so she probably doesn't need to study.
Thinking back to last night he smiled. It wasn't a pleasent smile, more the grin of a cat that has caught a mouse. He was out on patrol alone, as Fire Fist, when he came across a group of thugs doing a drug deal in one of the warehouses on the docks. Adrenaline pumped through his veins as he dodged the bullets, using crates, barrels, even some of the thugs as cover. Once he got in close, it was a dance of death... sans the actual death for the most part. For kost, he simply broke their arms and legs. The ones who managed to hit him, even glancing blows, weren't so lucky. There where three of them, the first got lucky with a snapped neck. The second had his ribs shattered so he would internally bleed to death. The third was the last man standing so he could take his time. He used a pressure point to seal off his throat so he choked to death. Before leaving, he used small bursts of energy on his fingertips to burn his sign on the last guy's chest.
The small damp garage was lit only by the sparks fizzling into the dark air in the middle of the room. Anna looked more rat than bat as she crouched over her magnum opus, her welding tools filling the room with the noise of creation. Sadly that's all the noise the room was filled with, the small bungalow half paid for by her parents back in Germany used to be filled with the sounds of music, but after that old crone next door called the cops for a 'noise disturbance' Anna was condemned to work in silence.
She stood up, reaching her full height even if it was only 5 foot 4, admiring her creation with an undercurrent of anxiety. She sighed, walking over to the wall and placing her hand on the power switch, tracing her eyes along the wire that connected it to her creation. "It's gotta work this time..." She whispered to herself, pulling the lever down.
A low whirr filled the room and for a minute nothing happened. Then suddenly two lights shot out of the metal man's eyes and a metallic groan paired the movement of his head to face Anna. If there was ever a time to make a frankenstein 'it's alive' joke it was now, but Anna was too awestruck to notice. For a moment she was filled with hope, for a moment the robot seemed to move. But that was only for a moment, just as he tried to push himself up he fell back down and the room returned to the quiet, anxious atmosphere from before.
Anna sighed, passive aggressively tossing her welding equipment on the floor and storming through to the living room, placing a pair of headphones on her ears and angrily scrolling through social media.
After a while she calmed down - resigned to the fact she'd either have to keep trying or give up. She felt her stomach grumble, it had been a long night, she deserved comfort food if anything. Lazily moving through to the kitchen she didn't even bother to look up from her phone. She reached her arm out for the fridge, but rather than gripping a handle she felt herself grab leather. Her eyes shot up words in confusion before switching to awe as she watched her 'failed' creation ramble through her food. She removed her hand from the giant oversized jacket on the robot and tore off her headphones with a smile of disbelief.
Next door old lady Abernathy picked up the phone. That kraut next door was making a racket again and Abernathy had her knitting circle in the morning.
Present day Interacting with @Shard@Omega Man Anna finished the last touch on her dorm room. What originally resembled a high class hotel suite was now plastered in posters and fairy lights. In the corner of her room sat a small record player, because we're all allowed to be a little pretentious every now and then. A childhood photo of Anna and her parents sat on her desk. America was fun, and she loved all of the new experiences she had, but she still missed her parents and her hometown dearly. Anna looked over to Robostein and with a flick of her head he followed her out of the room, crouching and turning sideways to fit through the door.
She headed to the kitchen, that kid should've hopefully finished his baking by now the past few attempts smelled good, even if they were burnt. What was that kids name again? Nigel? Nero? Nathanial? Neoh? That was it. Anna made a mental note to just pair him with Keanu Reeves so as not to forget again.
"Hey fellas, how are we?" She asked, entering the kitchen. That other guy, Judah was in the room, they'd exchanged words once or twice, but only sparingly she put it down to him being just as awestruck by the whole concept of a superhero team as she was for the first while. Before she could really strike up a conversation Arrowcaster entered the room, wanting people to test his droids. That peaked Anna's interest, not the fighting, but the droids. She'd need to ask Arrowcaster later for a look at them.
She had to admit, Neoh was nothing if not a thespian. His 'no thanks' was like a Shakespearean soliloquy, it was like being in the room with Laurence Olivier himself. "Yeah I'm afraid I might not be the best help there, and the big guy might do a bit more breaking than testing" She said, pointing with her thumb to Robostein as she spoke. "Plus, I'm eager to see if Oscar Wilde over here has mastered bakery yet" She joked, taking a seat on the kitchen worktop next to the oven. After Arrowcaster and company had left for the training room she took her opportunity to learn about her teammate. "So, Neoh. What's your story bro?"
With an obsidian gaze shifting its focus, if only for a moment, Neoh turned his attention to a new addition which had blessed their team, with her presence. Count Hackula, Neoh called her, with the extended title referring along the lines of 'Esteemed Techno Count Hackula, of Robovania.' It was, however, as one might agree, a far too extravagant title in terms of efficiency. The young hero would proceed to exchange such glamour for a simpler approach. Count Hackula sufficed, and none would complain, when spared Neoh's insistence on proclaiming the girl's entire handle, at every conceivable opportunity. A title he had conjured forth himself, one might add.
He leaned back against the otherwise cold, metallic floor, eyes darting back to those brownies in an attempt to maintain vigilance. He could not burn them again. Though, despite stakes reaching immense heights, Neoh did quite enjoy the comfort of a chilled floor against his pale, bare skin.
It might have been a surprise to see this young artist, the tailor, and fashion designer, in a pair of shorts along with a tank top hugging his scrawny frame. Indeed, flamboyant wear often made its way to Neoh's frame, but at times of comfort and relaxation, one would grow used to seeing this young hero in little more than shorts, and sleeveless shirts.
With a small smile revealing itself upon his features, Neoh offered a response to the girl, his face a cute addition, if there ever was one. None in their right mind, apart from maybe the boy's mother, would consider him handsome, a compliment reserved for those of chiseled chins, and strong chests. However, adorable, endearing, and perhaps even pretty might have sounded more accurate. It would not have been the first time he was mistaken for a girl, of the same age. "My story," the boy began, tapping his chin, before pulling his bare, scrawny legs closer to his body.
To be called Oscar Wilde was quite wholesome, in a way. A friendly approach, nicknames. The fiery hero who had presented the handle Fire Fist had managed to string together a play on words, for Neoh. Spectacles, from Spectral, which in turm elevated to Specs. It had, however, proceeded to earn laughter from the young fashion designer. It was nifty, something he could not deny. "How far back in the script shall we go?" Neoh considered his words, before eventually presenting a response. "Retaining some mystery will only add to the plot, would you not agree?" A faint grin bridged its way across his lips. "Let's start with a more recent chapter."
Beneath Neoh, a large, white sword manifested itself into existence. As if ghostly sand forming the shape, a dangerous weapon made itself known, glimmering in reflection of a large kitchen's lights. Opposing its apparent nature, however, the manifestation appeared entirely tangible, where Neoh used his creation as little more than a chair. It lifted him from the floor, pulling him to the boy's feet, before vanishing in a similarly spectacular instant. Onlookers would perhaps have considered the scene an awesome revelation. However, those who were more familiar with Neoh's shenanigans would immediately point at the core of this display. Laziness. "Though I can look back at a life of comfort and luxury, I shared the same fascination with heroics, as both peasant, and king," Neoh explained. "Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered, one might say, for that was something I could attest to." The theatrical boy continued, "by the tales of dragon slaying knights roaming our streets."
Turning to the oven, Neoh's eyes widened. It was time. "Ah! Pray for a victory fanfare!" An excited exclamation left the teenager's lips, a small hand pulling the oven hatch open, for that intoxicating scent to spread its wings, and fly across the kitchen. Slipping into a pair of oven mitts, Neoh freed his artwork from its warm confines, and carefully placed the large, black plate on the metallic surface.
An expression of absolute delight undoubtedly revealed anticipated results. The brownies were perfect. Sixth time's the charm.
Rick still hadn't decided whether he would live on the headquarters or with his parents. They knew about his heroics, even before Arrowcaster found him, after all he had no doubt they would put two and two together and figure out he was Roach Boy eventually and this way there would be no hurt feelings due to secrecy. They weren't too happy about the whole thing but also agreed it was probably one of the best ways for him to use his powers. On the other hand they were pretty okay with Rick's decision to join Arrowcaster's team especially after John explained why he formed it.
Not knowing what else to do he was simply exploring the base. Despite the fact labs still made a him a little uncomfortable he made sure to inspect what the Techno-Sapiens had in that aspect since he might have to use at one point. From what he could tell it was an impressive setup but that really shouldn't be a surprise.
However he was done there and after wandering aimlessly for a bit found himself in the kitchen. The place was honestly pretty crowded with what Arrowcaster and several of his team members as well as two robot gorilla's, for some reason,already there. Rick was about to move on when he noticed the brownies.
"I didn't know we had our own baker, best base ever!" He hoped it came across as the joke he meant it to be and didn't insult the guy who probably made the brownies judging by the fact that he was holding them. "I have to ask though what is with the gorillas?"
11:00 AM Ruth's alarm clock blared in the bathroom, as that was the only way to prevent her from setting it to snooze. With an elongated groan and a quick rub of her face, she found herself rolling over and untangling herself from the mess of sheets. Shooting to her feet, she made her way to the alarm clock, stubbing her toe on a cardboard box during the brief journey. She hissed, rearing her foot back to kick the case out of spite, before reading the FRAGILE warning on top. Glaring at the inanimate object, she sidestepped it and continued onward. Her apartment was a minefield, full of cardboard boxes that contained her life. She had moved into the complex two short years ago and was leaving by the end of the day to claim a room in Arrowcaster's HQ. A quick glance around, and the realization struck her. She was really doing this.
Shaking the mixed emotions out of her head, she completed her journey to the bathroom and finished her mission by shutting off the alarm clock and turning on the shower. Stripping down, she stepped in and began the process of getting ready for University. An hour and a half later, and she was in the campus' East lecture hall, stepping into her first class of the day with a bright grin.
2:15 PM As soon as her class was dismissed, Ruth shuffled out of the large, square lecture room and into the hallway. Her fellow students were hunched over on the plain white walls, wherever there was space, waiting it out until their next session began. They yawned frequently and checked the time on their phones even more often. She swore that, if she looked close enough, she could see their hair greying from the stress. Feelings of boredom struck her just from looking at them. Making the split-second decision not to end up like those unfortunate souls, Ruth made a sharp turn towards the library. While her next lecture began in about forty-five minutes, she'd much rather be late than end up like those poor overachievers.
Upon arriving in the library, Ruth took in the subtle scent of worn books and the relaxing sounds of people hurriedly typing away at assignments that were due in the next half hour. In the silent rooms, people who wished for complete quietness were able to study in peace, but that was the opposite of what Ruth was seeking. Ignoring those spaces entirely, she strolled further into the surprisingly cozy building. She passed multiple familiar faces but wasn't interested in stopping for casual conversation. She wanted something new, something exciting.
Something with fiery red hair and a look on his face that screamed pleasure and murderous intent.
A delighted smile lit up Ruth's face for the first time in hours. She wasn't sure who this boy was, but he certainly looked interesting. With sharp features, and bright red eyes that sparkled like rubies beneath the yellow-ish lighting of the library. He had two books open before him, and he appeared to be writing a paper at the same time. He must've been under a time crunch.
Approaching, she took up the seat to the left of him, settling in with casual confidence. She wanted to know why he looked like a hunter who had just entrapped a grand stag. Perhaps it was none of her business, but that's what made it so fun! Leaning forward, she offered up a dazzling smile, her teeth looking incredibly white due to the shade of lipstick she was wearing.
"Hiya, I'm Ruth!" She glanced down at his paper, trying to see what he was working on. "Sorry to bug you, you seem...busy. I could be of service, though! I'm an English major, proofreading is my thing." Without waiting for him to reject or accept her offer, she continued. "Anyways, I just had to see what you were thinking about. This assignment must be pretty serious if it had you all focused like that."
Felix was broken out of his reminiscing by the arrival of Ruth. A momentary flicker of recognition was all that occurred seeing his sparring partner as Fire Fist. Magna was vicious in a fist fight, especially when in her big form. The cogs in his head were turning at lightspeed, thinking of how to mess with her.
"Oh, this is just a minor assignment. I tend to think better when multitasking." Felix explained, giving a mischievious smirk, "One of my friends told me about this woman who grew to fifty feet, completely shredding her clothes. I was wondering if it was due to a shift in density or possibly using some form of unknown molecule. Of course, he could be lying, I mean a fifty foot naked woman? Sounds like someone's horny dream."
Closing the book on metahumans, he got up to replace it with a book on the history of unarmed fighting in Europe. It was always good to see what the Americans had to say on the subject.
Natalia was at the kitchen with some of her hero peers. She couldn't believe it; one minute, she was just repeating in her head their cheerleading routine for the upcoming game and the next, she was hanging out in an HQ with a bunch of superpowered teens like her. Nat always thought she was the only one who's... special, someone out of the ordinary. Of course, she knew about other teens with powers around the world, but somehow seeing and talking to them in person was just out of this world.
The Asian girl nibbled on her sandwich while scrolling through her social media. She was trying so hard not to post any pictures regarding her being a...
A hero. Natalia smiled and giggled at herself. She's an honest to goodness heroine now, a person sworn to protect the innocent, to defeat evil, and to inspire people to feel hope. Out of any person out there that could be picked, Arrowcaster chose her to form an all-new superhero team to beat the bad guys and save the day. Nat swore that she'll do her best and give it her all since the day she mistook him for Robin Hood.
She would sometimes glance from her phone to look at her new friends. She watched the green-eyed teen named Neoh dramatically proclaim his love for his brownies and being just dramatical overall. She was so intrigued by him, partly because she couldn't understand most of what he's saying, but she's sure it's something profound.
Then Judah came into the kitchen. Natalia kept her composure, but she sighed dreamily on the inside. Oh, what a man he was. Apart from Arrowcaster, Nat was pretty sure Judah was the only normie -what she called people without superpowers- in their group, save for that weird gauntlet attached to his arm. But it still didn't subtract his hotness points for Natalia.
Just when the girl mustered the courage to talk to him, in came Arrowcaster who was finding volunteers. Natalia raised her hand. "I'm game!", she cheerfully said and walked with him along with Judah.
When they got to their destination, Arrowcaster proudly said something as he revealed what looked like somethings that came directly out of a Power Rangers episode. Nat inclined her head to the side as she listened to Arrowcaster's explanation before she got the message. Oh, he wanted her and Judah to fight these.
"I'll try to get a sense of how they move first so we can come up with a better plan. Be back in a sec," Natalia winked at Judah.
She ran straight towards the robots, flipping to gain momentum before somersaulting over them to land behind them. Now that she got their attention, she waved at Judah. The robots turned to her and attacked her while she splitted, rolled, flipped, and cartwheeled to evade them, all while giggling and laughing excitedly as she observed how fast they reacted and moved. @Omega Man
Ruth held back a groan, replacing it with an airy chuckle. While her suit was in the works, she had to wear men's plus size clothing so it wouldn't rip during her size shift. Unfortunately, not even a four-X could contain her at her largest. She knew she should've made Fire Fuckface promise not to tell anyone about their less than convenient sparring matches. Then again, she was sure he wouldn't have complied. She'd probably be blabbering about it if the situations were switched.
Before she could say a word, he was standing up to replace his book. She watched him, curious. How did he know Fire Fist? In all honesty, she didn't care enough to investigate further. The thought was fleeting. Upon his return, she propped up her elbow on the table and cradled her chin with a cupped hand, giving him her full attention.
"Who knows if he was? Lying, that is. There are so many different metahumans out there nowadays. A fifty foot woman doesn't sound all that far-fetched." She dismissed it with a wave. "Did your friend say anything else about this woman?" A sly smirk, "That she was...I don't know, ridiculously attractive? Or ugly, that too."
Knowing what little she did about Fire Fist, he'd likely hold a grudge over his lost matches. They were nearly equal in skill, with him being slightly above her. It usually came down to her pinning him with sheer size and weight.
"Oh I heard she was quite attractive." Felix replied, giving another grin. It was amusing to mess with her, and she was definitely pretty when embarrassed. Plus her boobs were quite soft. "Though she wasn't probably nearly as beautiful as you. After all a fantasy of some lunatic is nothing compared the the bared truth of reality, as the abstract painting is no match for the sunrise after a storm."
As he flirted, his eyes flitted through the book. His hand twitching as the scent of Magna was making his battle instincts flare up. Penhand running on autopilot, he offered an apologetic smile to the woman opposite.
"Sorry, I suffer from ADD. If I'm not doing at least three things simultaneouly I get antsy."
Samuel arrived in front of the facility. It was a bit out of the way from the usual roads, but still easily accessible. He was in his 'hero' outfit, mask included, not sure if the old hero set him up and being cautious. He touched his earpiece. "Monday, I didn't see any patrols around the building. What about inside?" His always friendly robotic female voice responded. "It looks like the immediate area is clear, Sir. My scans also pick up some automated defences scattered around the building, but my scans are being blocked from seeing what's inside." Great, he thought. He was walking in blind...
He approached the building from the front door. A few steps from the door itself, scanners started scanning his body. Instinctively he reached for his sidearm and waited for what would happen next. A voice suddenly came from a speaker. "RECOGNISED: Skillshot." The doors then opened for him and revealed an empty hallway. Slowly, he got his hand away from his holster and proceeded. It seemed like the old man knew more about him than he initially thought...
The facility seemed pretty large from the outside, but it seemed it also had some underground areas as well, so it was definitely larger than the eye would make you believe.He tapped his earpiece again. "Monday, do you still have access to the hideout?" He said, which meant his own little base where Monday's main AI was located. "Yes Sir. It doesn't seem like the facility blocks most incoming or outgoing signals, just the attempts to scan the building." Well that was interesting. It also made sense if what the old man said was true. "Sir, my close range scanners picked up movement in the room to your right." Monday told him in his earpiece. "Are they armed?" "Doesn't seem so, Sir."
Samuel nodded to himself. He knocked on the door leading to the kitchen, before entering, his full 'hero' attire still on, including the handgun on his hip and the hunting rifle on his back. He noticed two people here who were around his age, if not even younger, along with a giant robot, and they were making... brownies? "Excuse me, I'm looking for Arrowcaster..." He asked through his mask and with a serious voice. Even though it has been a few weeks since he approached him, he was too curious to not see what the old man at least had to offer.
Feeling the heat of newly baked brownies against his pearly white teeth, Neoh exhaled a long, delighted sigh of joy which accompanied a taste comparable to heaven's gates, themselves. He had succeeded. It took six attempts, it required him to go above and beyond, and it warranted frustration in the purest of forms, but he had finally managed to best this most elusive nature of a brownie treat. "May poets write of this success, for victory has been achieved," Neoh's soft, melodic voice left the boy's lips, after he fell back towards the large table, at his side. He took another bite, and a third, his delighted glee finding no end in indulgence. In situations like these, he would have found himself grateful of the trait coursing through the young hero's body. A trait he was not aware of, not yet, at the very least. A trait, one might say, which would proceed to change Neoh's life entirely, once truth of its nature boiled to the surface. He could not gain in weight, nor could he achieve a muscular build, no, he could not change the most mundane of features other than a simple haircut. Locked in stasis, frozen in time, taken out of the equation entirely, Neoh was a mutant whose body maintained its current state and would proceed to do so for eons to come. A power many would seek to achieve, one villains of moral ambiguity would kill to seal within themselves. It was not a stretch to point at this peculiar boy and consider him a curious entity, indeed. However, it would be foolish to expect a smile, or an excited reaction to this most eventual realization. Neoh was an observer, placed in a world which would continue to grow, and move on without him. A brother, a mother, and friends would all find themselves in the rocky seas known as life's wondrous adventure, as Neoh remained on the shore, engaging in this development through a black-eyed gaze, and little more.
Considering the blissful expression blessing his features, however, other things had taken place within the boy's mind, a focus which remained fixed on the brownies now cooling on a metal plate. It was only when his attention was stolen, that Neoh turned his head to a new arrival. Odd, he had not been expecting this change in scenery, but Arrowcaster had not made it a habit to keep everyone notified of every single line written into the ever-growing chapter of their journey. "Mh?" A quiet sound slipped through a pair of slender, pale lips as obsidian orbs others had grown used to shifted their focus to this most unexpected change. "I believe many seek the legend," came a statement, accompanied by a slight, if toothy grin which bridged its way across Neoh's mouth. This man, he was armored, and armed, for that matter. Guns, tools of those without the spectacular. Loud things, obnoxious on the very best of days. It did not take a master in psychology to note a less than enthused manner emanating from the young hero upon taking note of these additions. "One would agree, that parting with weapons is only common courtesy, when stepping through the threshold of another's home, no?" The boy asked, tilting his head, eyes focused on this man, with zealous intent. Trust, it was a curious thing, indeed, something earned, rather than given. "Would you then indulge a young mind's curious nature, good sir?" Neoh continued, with a small, casual motion of his hands. This brought a large, ghostly, white sword into existence which caught his small, weightless frame with ease as he dropped onto its shape. With one leg over the other, Neoh took another bite of his brownie, that mischevious smirk lingering upon his pale face. "What brings a stranger to our stage? I have read the script and alas..," he took another bite, "your presence eludes me." Raising a finger, the boy continued, "that is not to say, that an unexpected entrance lacks welcome." Finishing the brownie, Neoh gently rubbed his hands together, before resting them on his lap, small, dainty fingers drumming against his thigh. "Enlighten me, warrior. Accompany firearms with linguistic delight," yet again, a grin blessed Neoh's lips, revealing that he enjoyed a cryptic conversation far more than any teenager had any right to. However, as he leaned forward upon that floating sword, he spoke once more, the boy's voice maintaining its theatrical nature. "Impress us with an audition and maybe..," a finger rose, yet again, its nail colored obsidian, to tap on the teen's chin, "perhaps..," he stated, "an audience with the esteemed Arrowcaster will find itself earned."
"Nineteen," he belted out between gritted teeth as beads of sweat began to form on his brow. He was laying upon a bench, using all his human might to fight gravity, pushing the heavily weighted bar off of his chest and into the air as far as his arms could reach. All the while, he couldn't help but consider how easy this would be if he flipped the switch. If he's just let the beast within take over, he could do this with one hand, perhaps even one finger. He wasn't ready to totally surrender his humanity, yet, though. As the Gargoyle, things seemed much easier, no doubt about that, but there was a certain rush that came with it. A particular excitement born from the presence of aggression and violence. That feeling, it didn't feel like it belonged to Zane. It felt like it was coming from somewhere else and it continued to make his cautious about his other half.
"Twenty!" Zane pushed the bar all the way up and racked it, feeling a small send of pride as he sat up. He grabbed a nearby towel that he had set aside and dabbed his forehead, drying it of the evidence speaking toward his exasperation. Donning a shirt with cut off sleeves and some basketball shorts, the young man stood up and stretched his arms out. There were two large bulged on his back that moved along with his shoulder blades. The skin around them constantly felt strained, like a sunburn that wouldn't go away. Beneath them, they hid the wings of his other form. Every time he called upon them, the skin would split and his demonic limbs would sprout out in all their glory. When it was time to recall the form, they'd retract and new skin would form other them, encasing the appendages within his back. Luckily, the bulges weren't grotesquely obvious. As it was, he simply looked like he spend more time in the gym working on his rhomboids than any other muscles.
He gave himself a look in the mirrored wall and tried to accept the image of the person staring back at him. As he gazed upon himself he couldn't help but wonder which version was the mask; this face or the other's. He tossed the soiled towel at his reflection, forcing himself to snap out of his focus. The best thing to keep his mind of of it lately was to stay active, stay busy, be around people and keep the brain occupied.
As he left the gym, his senses picked up something magnificent. It smelled sweet... and fresh... and divine... His mouth began to water. Following his nose, he eventually sound himself in the kitchen looking at some slightly familiar faces. The team was a work in progress and he hadn't felt like he's truly imprinted on any of them yet, or vice versa, but they were all interesting in their own way.
"You're killing me," he said finally to the group. "Here I am trying to pump myself up for the next throw down and you guys are over here with ambrosia trying to fuck up all my hard work." Zane let a smirk escape his lips as his eyes wandered the room. They soon fell on a relative stranger, though, who seemed well armed. Zane's eyes emitted a muted glow in reaction to the sight. Fight or flight. Zane had both options, literally, but usually opted for the former. "Someone want to tell me who this is?"
Rick agreed with the baker that the kid with guns was strange, but it wasn't like no one else in their group used potentially lethal weapons. When the baker somehow summoned a sword out of nowhere no doubt to show off that the newcomer wasn't the only one with weapons he felt he was being hypocritical. Sure, swords didn't have the range of guns but they were just as deadly, especially if you could sneak them in where ever you went. He hoped that that it wasn't intended to be hostile but it could be easily taken that way, and it was better to be safe than sorry the comment about an audition made him even more worried that it was a challenge. He would have to ask later how that happened though, as the tech or whatever might be useful for quickly summoning costumes and gadgets as well as weapons.
Before he could say anything another newcomer entered the kitchen and also didn't seem to happy with the guns though this guy at least stayed quiet about it. " All right, no need to attack him immediately after all it not like your sword can't kill someone. I will just run over and get Arrowcaster and he can sort this out."
Without waiting for a reaction Rick rushed out the kitchen and still somewhat unfamiliar with the base almost run into a wall. His reflexes allowed him to stop just in time and he resumed his trek to where he thought he could find Arrowcaster, running noticeably slower than when he stormed out of the kitchen.
With a raise of his brow, a soft, barely audible sigh managed to escape its way through Neoh's small, pale lips. This was likely the least entertaining, and most certainly the least interesting development which could have transpired. A pair of large, black eyes maintained a locked state of focus on Rick as the hero left, a less than amused expression making itself known upon the young, theatrical boy's features. "Well..," Neoh began, reaching for another brownie. They were quite heavenly, something most would be prepared to agree with. "Maintaining how this scene has been utterly misinterpreted in lieu of simply offering you the prize you sought," the young hero spoke, biting into his second brownie. "Do enjoy your stay, arm yourself against disappointment, but alas..," another sigh managed its way past a pair of slender lips, this time far more audible, "our exchange has been thwarted by an expertly placed strike, hemorrhaging the act of mystery."
Neoh allowed the blade beneath him to vanish, as a pair of small, bare feet met the metallic foundation below. He was, indeed, disappointed, for there was an aim towards joyful mischief, with this newcomer. Alas, it would forever surpass the theatrical teenager how his behavior, and how their exchange, had in any way warranted worry from Rick, but Neoh could not read the lines of another actor. No, he had no written the script, and neither had another. Life, one could say, had a pen of its own, and scribbled across parchment with furious intent. As for Neoh, however, his interest in participating with this development grew thin.
As if the Chessire Cat conversing with Alice, only to have a third party putting a wrench in between their dramatical approach was, as one might have possibly been able to imagine, a frustrating outcome. "Help yourself to some brownies, if a desire to wash away disappointment suits your fancy," Neoh extended his hand, dainty fingers wrapping their way around a cold, silver handle before pulling open the fridge from whence he produced a bright, pink drink with a large 'M' printed upon the aluminum surface. Monster Energy, which he had grown adequately addicted to. A cold, icy foundation caressed the boy's hand as he proceeded to close the door and started towards the kitchen's exit. "Refrain from shooting Arrowcaster, and all that," Neoh commented, in passing, as he was padding away. "But if you do, for the love of God..," the boy stopped, turning his obsidian gaze towards their new guest, "make it entertaining." It would proceed to be his final words, before Neoh made himself scarce, leaving the kitchen, and his groupmates behind. He had errands to attend, and however the scenario now left behind developed, it was a story for another time, a story he could read later, and certainly, something which would require some heaving editing, for future reference.
Flirty, she appreciated it. It kept her from getting bored, at the very least. She just wondered why he wasn't making eye contact, looking at the book instead. As if he could read her mind, he apologized and eplained his situation. She felt a bit sympathetic, not that she'd let him know that. She didn't want him thinking she pitied him.
Glancing down, Ruth took in the way his free hand twitched on the table, a small smile tugging at her lips. "I can see that." She paused, trying to think of something else to say. A glance at the clock, and she realized her next class was in about twenty-five minutes. "So, what's your major?"
"I study history, mostly as a defence really." Felix said, his eyes misting over in thought, "My family has many enemies, many of whom declared blood feuds. I figured I'd turn it into a degree seeing as I spent so much time on it. Honestly after I get my PHD I plan to work in a dojo. Enough about boring old me, what brings you here?" As he flicked through the book, he pulled another sheet out his bag and started making notes. Yeah, his father hadn't bloody warned him until the faerie attack. Blasted idiot hadn't realised his grandfather was telling the truth as he had barely any fae blood in him.
Ruth blinked, unsure of how to respond to that. He had gotten so serious, so fast. Then, just like that, he had pulled a complete one-eighty. She really wasn't sure if she wanted to know more about these blood feuds of his. Maybe it was best that he had changed the subject. "I, uh, study English, like I said. I want to be an English teacher one day." English had been her second best subject in school, science being her first. Despite this, she favored the former topic.
Felix was about to reply when the library door was slammed open. A vision of pure anger framed in aura that promised death after intense torture. He barely managed to dodge a strike from a kendo sword. Oh, now he remembered her. Jenny... or was it Jill? He knew it began with a J... her sister was a great lay.
"Ah, Jessica," Felix guessed, adopting a defensive stance, "So nice to see you again."
Clearly this was the wrong thing to say as she screamed and charged at him. "MY NAME IS KATE, YOU ASSHOLE!!!"
For a moment, Ruth merely sat in shock as a woman with a strange looking sword began charging at her new friend. It appeared as though he had scorned this poor girl. And he didn't even have the common courtesy to call her by the correct name! She couldn't let him die, though. As entertaining as it would be to watch him fight unarmed against a woman with a sword.
Popping up from her chair, she stood directly in the path of the woman, crossing her arms over her face and focusing on strengthening the front of her body. She could feel the tightness in her forearms and chest, her skin thickening rapidly to defend against the presumed attack. "Kate, stop! Is this really what you want to go to prison for?"
The girl looked at Ruth in confusion, then to Felix. "This wouldn't kill him otherwise Lady Tit-" she was silenced by Felix punching her in the stomach. It only seemed wind her slightly
"Sorry, family buisiness. Talk to you later!" Felix grinned, leading the girl out the library. As soon as they were away from the library, the glamour surrounding Kate faded revealing her skin to be night blue, and her ears were like knives. The blade was revealed to be a bronze longsword of gaelic design. He knew he shouldn't have tried dating an Unseelie, but they were just so hot.
Ruth stared off after Felix and Kate, awkwardly uncrossing her arms and letting her powers fade. She waited a few seconds, then hurried off after him. Upon leaving the building, what she saw had her giggling. This was way more fun than making it to class on time! The woman was blue, with pointed ears that made her seem like an elf.
"Well, what do we have here?"
Felix was between a rock and a hard place. The winter elf would kill him if he didn't use his powers, but then he'd reveal himself as Fire Fist. He liked his privacy, though admittedly he did enjoy life more. The man stopped, and turned back to face Kim. His eyes glowed red with power, as coil like brands appeared on his arms. He punched forward, and an explosion of energy sent the fae flying back. Again he moved into a stance, but this was the more agressive stance of bakuken.
"Shall we dance, Maiden of Winter?"
Kate slid into an offensive stance, her sword at a slant in front of her body. She'd deal with the girl later, for now, she had to complete her task. Felix's fighting style was deadly, she knew that, but she'd been alive and training far longer than him. Rushing forward, she kept her sword close to her body until the last second as a defensive measure. Then, swinging up, she brought her sword down in a long arc towards his torso.
Ruth watched the fight, unflinching. She was more than slightly pissed that Fire Fist had fooled her. He could manage, surely. She'd step in if things got intense.
To some the sword strike might have been fast, impossible to dodge, but Felix had fought against swordsmen of similar levels since he was thirteen. He had the scars to prove it. He stepped in to her guard, using an elbow strike on her swordhand and chaining it into a palm strike to her jaw. The resounding crack on the impact implied he had broken one of her bones.
"Suppose I can't convince you to return to the Winter Court? I don't enjoy killing women."
Killing? What the hell? Ruth wasn't about to let this girl die, Kate had previously said she wasn't going to kill him. She understood roughing up the occasional criminal, but killing was taking it to an extreme. So, while the girl was still in shock over her broken jawbone and struggling to speak with blood pouring out of her mouth, Ruth rushed in from behind and struck her in the back of the head with a hardened fist.
Kate's lights went out, and she fell to the floor without much pomp. After kicking the girl's sword away from her body, Ruth stared up at Fire Fist, disappointment clear on her face. "S'pose I'll have to miss my next lecture to take her back to the HQ. Can't trust you not to murder her."
Without another word, Ruth slung the woman's body over her shoulder and began planning out the quickest and most secretive route to her vehicle in her head. She quickly jogged off, not wanting to listen to another word out of Fire Fist's mouth.
It was a hot summer day, but not enough so to warrant a pair of shorts, and a t-shirt for prolonged displays. Indeed, it had been a decent passing of time with successful brownies, and a shorter visit at school. A downside to stretching the same teacher across two successive lessons came into view with clear intent, once sickness took hold. It was a sudden shift, indeed, but allergies were elusive demons, without fault. Like shaded warriors, they struck with deadly blades, leaving wounds which proceeded to trickle blood. Shrimp was the culprit, with its seaside poison to a woman previously healthy enough to disregard the creature. Alas, this was the nature of sudden allergies. The nature of human anatomy.
Slipping into his pants, and the white jacket he was ever so known for, Neoh stretched a slender body with the delighted groan of a straightened back escaping his lips. Thoughts would proceed to envelope his new teammates, most of whom maintained a certain level of mystery, which added a layer of intrigue to the scene.
There were few heroes Neoh had been unable to share an exchange with, and where discomfort took center stage. Indeed, from the top of his head, a mysterious hero Neoh recalled made his way to the boy's mind. Fire Fist, was it? To the point, yes, leaving little to the imagination. There was a fiery aura of zeal burning within the older teenager, and though there had been a distinct fissure of vacant interaction between the two, Neoh had been able to deduce notable key quirks.
The blazing hero likely had a story beneath that helmet adorning his head, but nothing Neoh had been able to decipher, yet. Clearly, Fire Fist was a lone wolf, as one said. This was in opposition to those Neoh had grown to know in a more active manner. Among them was Ruth, a fun loving young woman whom Neoh shared the stage with, as if an old friend, two actors reading from the same script in a fluid manner without pause, or error. Yes, they had enjoyed time spent watching Disney movies together, while singing along to audio scores, and clutching at pearls in response to Mufasa's death.
As for the others, Neoh had conversed with Titan within the frame of a reasonable conversation, but there was more to exhume within their relationship. Of course, none could view Titan without shifting focus to Natalia. An endearing girl, to be sure, someone infatuated by the boy who had confiscated her heart and soul, by virtue of poetic existence.
As for Neoh, he enjoyed viewing those of a more exotic disposition. This would point towards Man Bat, the beastly creature which managed to draw images within the young fashion designer's mind. Images, that is, which he would be somewhat in opposition of sharing. They were quite passionate.
With his behind firmly planted on a sword freed from gravity, glimmering like the very light of heaven, Neoh paved a path through their home with headphones allowing for music to coat his ears. There was something about the Latin American sound which wrapped itself around him like a rope, pulling the boy into a sensual love for the genre. Such passion, and heartfelt tunes surpassed only by intoxicating voices draped itself across the scenario like rain beneath a blazing sun. Soothing, and yet ever so warm.
It was only when Neoh left the building that he extended his arms in a stretch, with a loud yawn making itself known. Sunbathing, a pursuit of bliss, indeed. With his angelic sword vanishing in a burst of light particles, the boy laid himself down on a large field of grass, before allowing his obisidan gaze to close. Few things could elevate this spectacle. Pure relaxation and joy, with the taste of brownies still lingering within Neoh's mouth. Perfection had a printed screen, and with eyes lazily closed, Neoh could make it out perfectly.
Miles Dapper had honed his skills when it came to being as silent as he wanted, most of the time. But such skills were needed if he wanted to pick on Neoh, for most of the time his twin had grown accustomed to his teasing and could usually catch the trick before it began. Milly waited a few long minutes, just enough to give Neoh, hopefully, enough time to start to doze off, if that was his goal.
The twin strode up right next to Neoh's head, a handful of freshly pulled grass clippings just waiting to strike. "You're laying on the grass, while wearing white?!" the twin asked, laughing as he slowly released the grass clippings, watching as they gently fell onto his brother's face.
Miles Dapper was never one to joke around strangers, acquaintances, or really even friends for that manner. Most knew him as the more well-behaved and calm of the two. But when it was just him and Neoh, anything was fair game. Neoh was his rock, his twin was the only thing Miles really knew as they grew up. Their mother was never around, nor did she seem to make an attempt hardly at all to be a part of their lives. Their father, screw that guy. Then there was the butler; Miles never really talked to him either.
Neoh was the sole figure in their world that Miles cared about. It had never really been talked about, but Miles often took up the mantle of the "older brother", at least that's how he saw himself to Neoh. Watching over his twin while on their vigilante work, making sure he had everything he needed for his hobbies; keeping him up to date on their schoolwork and just all around being there for Neoh. It would be harder for most to find a bond stronger than that of the twin vigilante brothers.
Unfortunately for Rick his plan to find Arrowcaster and hopefully stop the fight before it even started was ruined by one simple factor, he didn't know the HQ well enough to find his way. His running speed would have helped make up for his lack of navigation if it wasn't for the fact that this was the third time he ended up in the hallway to the kitchen.
Due to bad timing he missed Neoh leaving though the lack of any sounds associated with a fight at least told him that he hadn't totally failed yet. If it wasn't for the risk of someone getting seriously hurt without good reason he would have given up. Instead he only stopped to catch his breath before taking of again.
Eventually he found himself in a part of the HQ he didn't know and on the right path to the War Room even if only was because it was just about the hallway he hadn't been yet. He opened the door and after staring in awe at the acrobatic girl fighting the robot gorilla's for just a bit too long looked across the room for Arrowcaster.