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"If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet." - John F. Kennedy

G M (s): Master Bruce ♦ Lord Wraith ♦ G E N R E S: Superhero, Fandom T Y P E: Sandbox with linear and collaborative Arcs
T H E S T O R Y S O F A R:

As with most things, it all began with an attempt to grab untold power. In the case of World War II, while most believe that the largest conflict was driven by the maniacal desires of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime, the truth was carefully hidden by the world's governments in an attempt to control the outcome of the war. It was Johann Schmidt, better known as The Red Skull, that sought to control the fates of entire galaxies for himself, unwilling to remain limited to the confines of his own time. And with the once mythical Spear Of Destiny just a breath away from his grasp, thanks to the machinations of time-traveller and HYDRA loyalist Per Degaton, Schmidt almost succeeded in bending the universe to his will for all time.

But there came a force unlike any before it, united in their combined will to see freedom prevail over the Skull's threat of enacting eternal cruelty.

Led by Captain America, who was once the feeble patriot Steve Rogers, a group of costumed adventurers - with a roster bolstering such heroes as The Flash, The Sub-Mariner, Hourman, Black Marvel, Green Lantern and The Human Torch, among others - eventually defeated the fearsome might of HYDRA and sent The Red Skull fleeing across Europe. While a climactic battle between Rogers and Schmidt would see both men seemingly lose their lives over the arctic, the champions of virtue that Rogers had inspired eventually returned to the United States and formally began The Justice Society Of America. But the US government had other plans for these supposed "super-humans".

Under orders from President Roosevelt, the Strategic Science Reserve - later becoming the espionage organization S.H.I.E.L.D - would begin a series of lengthy and highly classified investigations into the members of the JSA. Discovering that some of their amazing powers were in fact real, with a number of them being acquired in either freak accidents or happenstance, then-incumbent President Truman ordered that these self-styled vigilantes be brought in for questioning and otherwise contained. Rather than face public scrutiny, as was threatened with a potential inquiry into their abilities and personal identities if they refused to comply, the Justice Society disbanded and their members forcibly retired.

For over seventy years afterward, the idea of individuals with superhuman abilities and powers were turned from a prospective source of hope into a horrifyingly effective fear-mongering campaign against the already disenfranchised. Thanks to the efforts of men like Senator Robert Kelly, the evangelical military general William Stryker, and the superhuman hunting organization A.R.G.U.S., paranoia against those with metahuman powers was specifically targeted towards mutants, a sub-set of genetically gifted youths that began to appear as part of a natural state of evolution in those born with the X gene. A few outwardly spoke on behalf of mutant rights, such as Professor Charles Xavier, but their efforts were ignored. And when the mutant terrorist group known as The Brotherhood began to attack humans as a result of worldwide bigotry towards their kind, the argument in favor of their existence was seen as being made irrelevant.

In modern times, mutants were relegated to either being hidden within highly secretive families, smuggled into the night by shadowy forces working in coercion with the world's governments, or given asylum on the isolated and hidden island of Genosha. Though conspiracy theorists allege that mutantkind will eventually rise up to try and usurp humans as the primary species, these claims were largely mocked by the media and outright forgotten by the time of another bombshell in the year 2017: the discovery that we are not alone in the universe, as revealed by the arrival of a particular individual in Metropolis.

But while vigilantes that would later become known as Superman, The Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and others began to operate in a similar fashion to the JSA before them, even banding together as a group called The Justice League, S.H.I.E.L.D. began to move pawns across their own chessboard within the world of anonymous metahuman heroics. Putting together a strike team under the codename of The Avengers Initiative, Colonel Nick Fury brought together the talents of genius billionaire philanthropist Tony Stark, the supremely powerful Thor Odinson, the highly unstable Bruce Banner, and the scientifically gifted husband and wife team of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne to fight the battles that "we never could". And with the discovery of the miraculously preserved Steve Rogers in the arctic, Fury would ensure that Captain America would take up leadership of The Avengers in a bid to establish them as Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

With superhumans becoming a permanent fixture in Earth's culture following The Man Of Steel's debut, the last five years have been quite transformative for society at large. While the efforts of these individuals have saved countless lives, many others have been inspired to fight against them as enemies. In the crosshairs of their escalating battles, humanity has begun to question whether superhumans have a right to operate with impunity - and who could possibly stop them if they should decide to turn against the rest of us.
I N T R O D U C T I O N:

Welcome fans of Marvel, DC and all comics alike. One Universe: Unlimited is a sandbox-based RP that seeks to merge and mix the lore of your favorite characters into one living cohesive world. The idea behind this RP is not to embody our favorite heroes to simply retell iconic stories, but to take these characters and create a shared Earth where iconic superheroes and villains can now co-inhabit. Infact, the goal of the RP is for players to take their favorite characters and re-imagine their histories to tell their own stories. We only ask that the soul of the character remains the same. Players will take the roles of either a hero, villain, or a character that walks both lines and tell stories either alone or in collaboration with other players in order to develop and grow the world.
C O M M U N I C A T I O N:

All official discussions and announcements will happen through the OOC.
R U L E S:

  • All players will be allotted two Character Concepts to be applied for at the player's discretion. This concept may be any character from a mainstream comic book. If applying as a 'Team Concept', a combination roster may be allowed at the scrutiny of the GM Team. Characters originally appearing in Manga or Anime are heavily discouraged because of their incompatibility with western superhero comics. We will judge all properties from outside of the main Marvel and DC Universes on a case-by-case basis provided they fit the themes and tones of the game, but the above limitations are definitive. No Image, Dark Horse, Dynamite or non-DC or Marvel related imprint characters are permitted. .
  • Players can compete for characters if an application for your desired character is posted ahead of yours and has not yet been accepted. To compete for a character, you have a twenty-four-hour window to state your intent to compete. The GM Team will then judge the two competing applications. .
  • In terms of character creation, you are free to overhaul and redesign any canon character from one of the aforementioned publishers. This means you can tell the story of the character how you believe it should be told. However, there is one major limitation, the heart and soul of the character must stay intact. The character should not be changed so much that they're unrecognizable. This means that Batman can't be a cold-blooded killer any more than Spider-Man can be a rich, well-off playboy. Every aspect of the character that isn't a key to their major identity is malleable, this can even include sex and abilities if so desired. .
  • Once accepted, player characters are claimed on a first-come, first-serve basis. If the parent character (i.e. Batman to Robin) hasn’t been claimed, the legacy is just as available. If another player comes along and asks about playing the parent, it’s requested that both players be as accommodating as possible to allow the other to express their vision. It is understandable that sometimes two visions will not mesh, and in this case, we will give the player who came first precedence. If a GM needs to step in as a mediator or an arbiter, we can arrange this in a group PM. .
  • The 'parent character' or 'acting parent characters' have a say in any further legacies being applied for. For instance, if you were playing Spider-Gwen, and another player applied as Ben Reilly, as the established 'parent' character, you are able to voice if the concept compliments your own, or if you would rather the character not be accepted. The GMs will take this into consideration before moving further ahead with any legacy application. .
  • Absolutely no 'OOC' chatter in the In Character Thread. If you have a question or anything to explain there is an Out Of Character Thread provided. You have no excuse to make an 'OOC' comment in the IC and if done it will be heavily frowned upon. If you require a more immediate answer, don't hesitate to directly ask the GM Team or relevant player through PM's. .
  • Writing expectations for this roleplay are at least two (2) well-developed paragraphs as a minimum per post. Three (3) to five (5) paragraph posts, however, would be awesome so long as you're not simply chewing the scenery. Proper spelling and grammar is also expected but small mistakes here and there are understandable. Blatant offenses will be called out. .
  • You are required to post at least once per character within a fourteen (14) day period. There will be a post-check-in, once per week performed by the GMs in order to ensure the IC is moving consistently. Extensions will be given in extenuating circumstances. Please recognize your limitations before joining the RP; if you are unable to post once every ten days, then it's highly likely that you do not have enough time to keep up with the RP. In the event that you do miss the deadline, your character will be listed as 'inactive'. After a further week of inactivity, your character will be expelled, and dealt with as necessary in the IC, whether killed or used as needed and then discarded. This whole process is simply easier if you just let the GM know if you're unable to keep up or simply have lost interest in the RP. If you find yourself in a plot with another player and they disappear, do your best to move on without them and quickly finish the arc to the best of your ability, or ask for the help of a GM. .
  • This is a Character-Driven RP, and as such you are encouraged and expected to take charge of your character's subplots and storylines. There will be a heavy emphasis on collaborative activities and team building as well. The GMs will be leading the RP in the traditional sense with a driving plot and will ensure the RP keeps moving; however, we do want to see you develop your characters and produce your own plots. What we don't want is to see you lock your character out of interaction and focus solely on your character and their 'world'. No one enjoys watching you play with yourself. It's always better to let someone else join in on the fun.
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Byrd Man
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Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

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Six Months Ago

“Welcome back to BBC World News. Our stop story tonight comes out of Africa, as the nation of Wakanda is now without a king. King T’Challa announced in a statement earlier today that he would step down from his duties as head of state. This comes amid weeks of protests that have rocked the tiny country. With more on this, we go live to Samira Chakrabarti reporting from neighboring Sudan.”

Little Mogadishu

“Mr. Wolde, my hot water heater isn't working again.”

Isaiah Wolde peered through the opening in the door at Mrs. Leul. The elderly Ethiopian woman stared up at him with a mixture of sadness and hopefulness in her eyes. Unable to do things like she once could, and with Mr. Leul long dead, the building superintendent was her own personal superhero. This was the third time in the past month that her pilot light had gone out. It was always a quick fix. If it were anyone else Isaiah would have just shown them how to reset it so he would no longer be bothered with a minor inconvenience. But he knew there was no way she could do it on her own. Besides that, he didn't mind too much. She reminded him of his own umakhulu, now long dead.

“Let me get my toolbox,” he said in Oromo. It was just one of many languages Isaiah knew fluently. That was a must to do his job. Almost any job in this neighborhood required everyone to know almost as many dialects and languages as a UN diplomat.

On any sort of map or realtor directory the Brooklyn neighborhood was called Mapleton. But the people of Brooklyn called the six square block area “Little Mogadishu.” African immigrants from all over the massive continent settled the neighborhood starting in the mid 20th century. Back then it was one of a small number of places on the American eastern seaboard Africans could find refuge among those with a similar background. And while it was truly a pan-African mix of nationalities, the higher than average concentration of Somalians gave it the nickname of Little Mogadishu.

Ten minutes later Isaiah walked out of 4C with Mrs. Leul singing his praises. She'd tried to pay for his services with Ethiopian sweetbread known as himbasha, but Isaiah politely declined. He patted his mid-section and said he was watching his waistline.

“Just let me know if you have any other problems, Mrs. Leul,” he said.

“You know I will,” she said as she closed the door behind her.

Isaiah’s smile disappeared when he saw the NYPD officer trudging up the stairs to the fourth floor landing.

“Can I help you, officer?” he asked.

The cop hiked his utility belt up a little higher on his stomach and eyed Isaiah. It was the same look of mild annoyance any police officer developed with enough time on the job. The look put Isaiah’s mind at ease. He wasn’t there for him. He knew that was mostly paranoia on his part. If they came for him they would need more than just some middle-aged constable to take him down. A whole SWAT team would have to bust down his door, and even then it would be a close run thing.

“I’m looking for 6C,” he said, his eyes flashing down to Isaiah’s toolbox. “You the super here?”

“Yes,” Isaiah said with a slight nod. “4E is around the stairwell corner. The Chinwe family.”

“That’s the one,” said the cop. He pulled out a notebook and pen as he got closer. Isaiah saw the nameplate just below his badge had MARTINEZ engraved on it. Martinez scribbled something in the notebook while he talked.

“What’s your name, sir?”

“Isaiah Wolde.”

“How long have you been superintendent here?”

“Five months.”

“Where were you before that?”

“I was the superintendent for an apartment on 63rd St,” he lied. “Does this have something to do with the Chinwes?”

“Just collecting details, sir,” Martinez replied in a border tone while he wrote.

Isaiah wasn’t worried about his lies catching up to him. If Martinez ran his name through a computer he would find a detailed paper trail on Isaiah Wolde dating back to the early 2000’s when he supposedly arrived from Ethiopia. Immigration documents, tax returns, employment history, even a marriage and divorce certificate somewhere along the way. It was all a complete fabrication from start to finish. Every now and then it paid to be close with a CIA agent.

“What can you tell me about the Chinwes?”

“Quiet,” Isaiah said with a shrug. “They keep to themselves for the most part. Grace is very nice, and Charlie is a good boy. Very bright.”

“When was the last time you saw Charlie?”

A slow realization dawned. That was the reason for Martinez’s visit.

“I don’t remember,” Isaiah said with a head shake. “Maybe last week."

“Okay, that’s all I got for you for now. I may have some follow ups if necessary.”

“You know how to find me,” Isaiah nodded.

Martinez thanked him for his time and headed towards 4E. Isaiah dawdled on the fourth floor and pretended to examine a light fixture while Martinez knocked on 4E and was let in by Grace Chinwe. When the door closed he slowly walked back towards 4E. Even through the thick walls he could easily hear the conversation between Grace and Officer Martinez.

“How long has it been since you last saw your son?”

“Early last week,” Grace said in an accent tinged with her Nigerian roots. “He stormed out the house and never came back. I filed a police report two days later and it’s taken this long–”

“Yes,” said Martinez. “I know. I’m sorry for the delay, we’re just backlogged with so many cases. I wish I could say your son is the only missing child in New York, but he's far from it. Why did Charlie storm out that day last week?”

“The last time we spoke,” she said. “We had a fight. I had received a phone call from his school. He hadn’t shown up in weeks. I asked him where was he going, what was he doing, and who with. We had a fight and he left. I said some terrible things as he walked out the door, things I am not proud of. And he hasn’t answered his phone.”

“Okay, I just need a description of the boy and I’ll put together an official BOLO–”

Isaiah stepped away from the door and started downstairs. Charlie Chinwe was fifteen, a seemingly bright young man. A few months ago Isaiah had paid him good money -- at least for a teenager -- to help him install new security motion lights around the building. He seemed to take to electrical work quickly and efficiently. In the two days he’d helped Isaiah had gotten to know the boy. He loved cars and working with his hands. He seemed to intuitively just know how things worked. He had almost gotten into a nice magnet school for science in Mid-Town, but his mother couldn't afford the tuition even after scholarship help.

His mother had fled Nigeria while pregnant with him. He was born and raised in this country, never knowing his father or family back home. He’d grown up on stories of Nigeria and raised on traditional values, but to him it may as well have been the moon. Why should he care about that country at all when it caused his mother to flee and birth him on foreign soil? It reminded Isaiah so much of himself at that age: Fearless, headstrong, and unsure if what he wanted in life.

And now he was somewhere out there all alone.

Isaiah entered the ground level apartment that served as his home. He put his toolbox down and walked towards the closet. He pushed the clothes on the rack aside and felt for the false bottom floor. If he was going to find Charlie, he’d need a more… durable set of clothes.

Red Hook, Brooklyn

Charlie Chinwe sat behind the wheel of the junky stolen car. It took him all of two minutes to break into the shitbox with a slim jim and hotwire it up. After that he cruised to the spot to pick up O and the other two. Charlie cruised to the entrance of the Terrace and put the car in park. That had been almost twelve hours ago. The four of them kept their eyes peeled on the comings and going of the high rise housing project. Charlie looked up into the rearview mirror. O sat in the back with an unlit cigarette in his mouth. O’s eyes never stopped watching and observing. TT in the front passenger seat stretched and yawned.

“Yo, O, can we get some food or something? I’m about to bug the fuck out out.”

“Go ahead,” said O. “But you gotta walk. I’m staying here.”

TT and Roc got out the car and started down the street. Charlie looked back up into the rearview mirror saw O looking at him. It wasn’t so much looking at him as it was looking into him. It unnerved Charlie slightly and how aged O’s eyes seemed to be. It was crazy how street life seemed to pass at a different speed. O was only two years older than him, but the boy seemed to be middle aged in the way he approached things. Wisdom, thought Charlie, earned after years of ripping and robbing on these streets.

“Why you staying, youngin'?” O asked.

Charlie shrugged. “It ain’t a stakeout if we go get something to eat in the middle of it, now is it?.”

O grinned, the cigarette still between his lips. When he spoke the tip of it bounced up and down.

“Well, what you seeing since you acting like some hardcore Semper Fi motherfucker?”

Charlie ran his hands along the steering wheel and exhaled slowly. He did his best to not let his voice crack as he spoke. “KT Crew works around the clock. Product comes in twice a day. When they bring the reup they also move the money out. The slingers look like punks, but the guys who are the couriers look like soldiers. Not the fuck-with-me types.”

“So, you being a ambitious stick-up boy like you is, how you gonna separate them fools from their product?”

“Fuck the drugs,” said Charlie. “Let the courier go in with the dope. We follow him as he leaves with the cash and hit him up then. Money splits easier and spends a whole lot quicker. They can always buy more dope and coke.”

“Okay, okay,” said O. “I see you. You out here watching and thinking. More than the other two knuckleheads. And when would you try to stick up the courier?”

“The late shift. Less police presence around when it gets to be about three or four AM and less people out in the Terrace. The courier won’t have much backup if shit goes bad.”

O chuckled and clapped his hands slowly in praise. Charlie lowered his head so O couldn’t see the smile on his face. For the first time in a long time he felt like he was being seen and valued. It felt like he had an honest to god father in his life for the first time. And Charlie was smart enough to realize how fucked up that sounded, but in this moment he was ready to go to war with O and his stickup crew.

“My nigga,’” O said proudly. “We gonna make a soldier out of you yet.”
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Hillan
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Hillan I'm a writer - Lying's what we do.

Member Seen 20 hrs ago


Issue #1.01
The Cage: Part 1

Three Months Ago

Apollo 26 research site, The Moon

The plains were cold and quiet as they always were, the sun was about to rise over the plains of the once proud sea of Mare Crisium, now it was nothing but empty desert. 40 miles away from the site of the last shuttle to make landfall on the surface - Apollo 26, emblazed proudly with the Lexcorp logo. Inside, the astronauts were working tirelessly trying to chart out the activity they had been seeing on their scanners for the past 5 months. The shuttle had been launched from the earth seven days ago and was now finally set up. Aboard was the proud crew serving under captain Prinshaw, a decorated spacefarer from Minnesota, famous for being the first nation-sponsored human to set foot on Mars three years ago. He didn't much care for diplomacy and politics anymore, though. That's why he took up a private contract with Luthor. Besides, Lionel made him a deal too good to pass up.

With him were several scientists and astronauts, the twelve of them combined had as many Ph.D.'s as a university and several of them had a military background. They were sent here to examine what's been happening on the moon's surface, as they had received readings that made just about no sense, meteor falls fourteen-hundred times higher than nominal readings from previous years as well as increased seismic activity far beyond the projected rates, Moonquakes with far higher intensity than normal. Something was happening on the moon, and while the rest of the world had been occupied with figuring out what was going on further out in the solar system with the knowledge of aliens revealed to humanity, Prinshaw and his crew were dedicated to making sure earth' closest neighbor stayed intact.

Prinshaw was working on some papers inside of his quarters when the biochemist McGaff walked in, tablet in hand.
"Yo, boss." He began and Prinshaw barely looked up from his papers.
"There's something on the scanner. Something weird. I was looking for reactions to the lunar flowers NASA planted last time they were here - y'know, ones that don't need water to grow? And they've seen massive development. Or at least they had till about four hours ago." This made Jake Prinshaw look up from his papers.
"Four hours ago?"
"Yeah. The 14 kilometers of flowerbeds are just gone. Torn out of the soil."

A notification sound dinged on his tablet and McGaff's eyes widened. "Uhhhh... You seeing that?" He asked and Prinshaw glanced at his computer before getting a shocked expression on his face.


He and McGaff made their way to the bridge of the docked station.
"Crew, this is Prinshaw speaking. We have to get the hell out of here. A Level 9 moonquake is coming out way. This station is only simulated to hold against a level 8. Everyone, move to bracing zones as we make preparations to evacuate." He announced over the P.A System. Everyone on the station scurried, orderly yet quickly. Everyone knew exactly what was important and what wasn't, packing and placing objects in safe containers that could hold even if the station was destroyed - if the station was destroyed the research would be retrieved by Lexcorp robots to ensure that their work wasn't lost.

Prinshaw made his way to the bracing zone, which was essentially a set of bunkers built to handle this sort of thing, which was when the third shocking revelation about the moonquakes occurred. The readings were abnormal even for a level 9 moonquake. There had only been four others recorded in the 60 years humans had kept a record of these things - but this one was completely different than any of them. They had all come from death within the moon, this one was only 10 or so meters within the crust of the soil, and it was getting more and more shallow.

"What the fuck" Prinshaw suggested, as the scanners now would pick up exactly where the quake was coming from, their eastern side, from the Harbinger Mountains. He opened up the camera feed and he could see a shape moving. This wasn't a moonquake exactly. It was an attack.
"Grims! Get me a visual at the western side, towards the mountains. X4 Cameras, gogo!" He shouted, Grims sprung into action, manning the tech station inside of the reinforced bunker, she rerouted the access from the main tech station above to this one, allowing them full access to the superior cameras on the particular side of the station.

"Holy mother of god" she exclaimed, hand in front of her face. Her colleagues all gathered around, Prinshaw already knew, and feared, what was on it, he only needed confirmation from everyone else's reaction. A Moonworm.

"How did we wake it up?" McGaff asked, and Prinshaw wasn't sure.
"Our scanners shouldn't have been able to piss it off right?" McGaff continued
Epkins, geologist chipped in. He spoke sternly, as he always did.

"The meteors may have angered it, meteors cause smaller moonquakes, 3's and 4's when they impact the lunar surface. With this kind of frequency, it's as if someone was poking at you with a needle while you're asleep."
"We've never even seen a moonworm of this size. Perhaps it's older or of higher status than the others..." McGaff spoke up.
"You think the worms have a queen?" Grims questioned, a little bit of surprise in her voice.

"Everyone, we execute protocol eleven-forty-five. God bless us all." Prinshaw commanded interrupting their talk, pressing the button to his side with his fingertip, revealing each of their spacesuits for them.

Being rational men and women of science, they all looked at each other and continued putting on their spacesuits. The station was doomed, and the bunker might sustain a single attack of the moonworm of this size, but they would each have to navigate with their tech suits to get to any of the other stations on the moon to survive. The chance of survival for any of them was low.

Grims continued watching the camera as the moonworm got closer, now coming into view. Its grotesque visage made her stomach churn, it was as twice the size of the space station, and three times as high, effectively two football fields coming at them. But, as she put on her helmet she noticed something else. The sun was creeping ever closer to them, rising behind them and shining light towards the path of the worm, and in that light, she saw a figure. Her eyes lit up with confusion

"Captain... You should see this." She spoke and Prinshaw glanced over, securing his fellow astronauts' gear.
"Is that-"
"Yeah... It's a person. On the moon... In a hoodie" Zooming in, the picture was hard to decipher much, except that it was a man with a hood pulled up over his face. And something was in his hand. The worm was rising from the lunar dust ready to attack the station, ten meters ahead of the station stood the man, staring it down, putting the object in his hand to his face.
"He- He's drinking coffee I think" Prinshaw was utterly shocked.

The worm jumped out of the dust and leaped at them and in an instant, the man formed a fist and leaped into the air, meeting the worm. An explosion of kinetic force rocked the station as dust blew up all around them and they all felt the quake, shaking the entire station. Nobody could tell what happened after it, except that the worm got a hole through half of its head, killing it instantly and the man had vanished, saving the station.

I'm trying to run away from my own feet
If I don't touch the ground
There's not a soul on earth that could track me down
Searching for respite from the coward that I've become
Why does running away
Feel so much like a cage?

Shortly thereafter

Smallville, Kansas.

"178 days I've been gone. Almost six months. I'm sorry for not visiting sooner." Clark spoke, wearing the same hoodie, the blackness had turned to gray, almost white from the dust and solar radiation. He stood at graves. It was a couple's grave he was standing in front of. One of them read.


Something about reading your own headstone never sits right. Perhaps it's a human instinct. Even though Clark could see every atom making up the stone, each imperfection in the carving, he still couldn't believe it. He focused back at the headstone not his own.
He couldn't read her name, his eyes welled up as his head hung low.

"I am so sorry. I thought I would feel better if I got to get out all of this anger. I've fought anything I could get my hands on. I thought if I got stronger, I would feel better knowing that I'd be strong enough to save you." He gritted his teeth and his fist was clenched, the ground cracking under his feet. Six months ago when he left earth he had to exert himself massively to fight one of the moonworms. Now, after all of the solar energy he absorbed while spending months in space, he could defeat their queen in a single hit. But this knowledge didn't make him feel better. It only made him feel worse.

"The world thinks I am dead. Perhaps it's better that way. I need time. To allow myself to feel anything but anger. It's not what you wanted, and I am truly sorry for letting you down again, my love. But I can't be the hero people need me to be. I can't shoulder that burden."
He hunched down and opened up a small metal box he took out of his pocket, in it he put his engagement ring and then jammed his hand deep into the earth leaving the case there. Covering up the hole he had made before he stood up. Looking once more at the gravestone in front of him, tears rolled down his face as the ground vanished below him as he ascended to the skies.


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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Sep
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Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

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At the entrance to the cave, there was an area of melted snow, he could see the heat from the steam emanating from the entrance. This meant that all his research had been successful, after three months on Midgard he had finally managed to track down the one being on Midgard who would be able to help him. Descending into the cave he felt the heat rise the deeper he went, the air became hot and dry. Any remaining humidity was burnt out of the air as he climbed lower and lower into the crust of the planet.

Occasionally the cave would open up into vast caverns, and vast magma rivers and falls could be seen for moments before his path continued deeper. As he came to the bottom of a spiralling staircase he could see an assembly of machines ahead. The second he caught a glimpse of the machinery a voice echoed throughout the cave.

"At long last, an agent of Asgard has been sent to hunt me down. The Odinson himself no less, on some level I suppose I should be honoured."

Looking around, Thor had to refrain from grabbing his ax. "Nay! I am no longer Odinson, for my name and title have been stripped. I am now Thor Freyrson. Free-person and self-declared defender of the nine realms." Thor entered the room, various moulds and tools lay scattered around the space. Half-finished constructions and in a far corner he could see rack upon rack of finished creations. Behind him, he heard the faint shuffle of footsteps. "I have come in need of your services. Like you, I have denied the All-Father, and now seek for a way to perfect my craft outwith his control."

Thor turned, behind him a very sceptical dwarve stood with some form of modified Midgard firearm aimed right at Thors' head. The Dwarve stuck his head to the side, looking past the sight directly at Thor who seemed unphased.

"You speak truth?"

"Aye. Screwbeard, Son of No-Ears. Exile from Nidavellir. I need your help."


People flooded out of the 'Viking Ship Museum' screaming. Out of the doors came the lumbering figures of draugr. Flesh rotten, clinging to bone and ligament. Skin burnt and crusted, and piercing blue eyes with no pupils. Mouths hung open as they made guttural noises, clambering down the steps with surprising speed. Some wore helmets and carried swords, others axes, bows and some had nothing but their hands. Guards from the museum tried to fight them off but were ill-equipped. Hands wrapped around throats, blades cut deep. Axes cleaved straight through muscle and flesh.

Police cars drew up. They didn't wait for authorisation from higher up, MP5s were drawn and once the shots were cleared they opened fire. The beasts recoiled slightly at the blows, however, all it seemed to do was anger them. The clouds in the sky began to darken and grey, gathering up as they billowed above the city. More and more draugr came pouring out of the museum, many more than had been exhibits within. A little girl screamed, restrained by her safety seat in the back of her parents' car. Both their corpses lying lifeless, as black and scarred hands reached through the window towards her. She closed her eyes as there was a mighty gust of wind, a crack of thunder and a flash. Opening her eyes there stood Thor, his torn cape billowing in the wind.

One of the beasts charged him, he ducked low and sent a punch straight through its gut, grabbing its spine and pulling it back out snapping it in two. Pulling his hand back out he was swarmed by a second, grabbing its wrist as it brought a sword down, a backhand across the face separated the head from the torso. The body fell lifeless. A third he grabbed by the back of the head and slammed against two more before he let it go. More and more came at him, swarming. He ducked and weaved, but eventually, their blows started to make contact. Left shin, right elbow, upper torso, back, shoulder blade. For every one he seemed to take out, there appeared two more.

Finally, a pile blocked Thor from view. "ENOUGH!"

Lightning shot up towards the sky, striking all the draugr surrounding Thor. The ones closest turned to ash, the farther ones away stumbled down to the ground. Dead or incapacitated, he wasn't entirely sure, but he didn't care.

Pointing to a draugr still at the top of the steps he raised his voice as the wind howled and the rain poured. "Tell me who is responsible for this! I would have words."
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Roman
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Roman King of Dirt

Member Seen 23 hrs ago


Aftermaths are rarely loud.

Crises themselves, the catalysing events, the worst-thing-that's-ever-happened-to-me's; these are cacophonic, discordant, deafening. They often involved the wrenching of metal, the crashing of concrete, blasts of gunpowder and gut-churning organic tearing and crunching and grinding. But the aftermaths - the minutes, hours, sometimes days afterwards - they were quiet. Dust settled, fires burnt out, rubble came to rest. And then, slowly but surely, the catastrophe that had first announced itself in a sudden roar rippled back out across the city in peels of tragedy.

The Batman crouched low on the building roof above an open window, out of which emanated the loudest aftermath he had ever heard, even through the torrential rain that soaked the city tonight. A little boy had been killed tonight, found dead after 3 weeks missing. The mother wailed below, hoarse and exhausted. The father was a shell, struck motionless by shock. One of Jim's boys was in the room with them, trying desperately to offer comfort that was neither wanted nor would be effective. Neither parent would ever be the same again; statistically, they'd be divorced within the year, neither able to cope with their grief. They'd have lowered life expectancy, higher rates of depression, and their standards of living would decline. Nothing Bruce could do would ease these inevitable outcome. But Batman could stop it from happening again.
Can you?
I must.
The radio in his cowl's ear chirruped as Jim Gordon made contact. Gordon had been first on scene after the body had been discovered, and Batman had watched from the rooftops as the lieutenant organised cordons, oversaw evidence collection, and arranged the body to be collected by the coroner. As the gurney was lifted into the coroner's van, Gordon tilted his head up ever-so-subtly, casting a careful eye across the roof-edge. He'd seen the fluttering of a cape, and that was enough.

"Batman. Body's arrived at the morgue. I've sent the team back out. Leslie can hold off processing for half an hour."
Batman launched a grapnel and swung into the night. The sobs got left behind; but the grief stayed.


Over the course of his half-decade career, Bruce never found that dealing with the dead ever got easier. Gotham's mismatched cabal of gangsters and psychopaths had left scores of bodies in their wake over the last five years, and undoubtedly for decades before that; Batman shouldered every life that was lost in his city, counting every single person that he failed to save. But the children...the children were always the hardest.

He and Jim stood silently beside the giant slab GCPD mortuary table, the body bag - the oh-too-small body bag - lying zipped up atop the metal. Dr. Leslie Thompkins lingered at the door, her eyes darting between the bag and the two men standing over it. Her mouth crinkled warmly at the edges where she pulled her lips into a smile that wasn't really a smile at all.
"I'm stepping out. Half an hour. Locking the morgue behind me." She said; Jim nodded solemnly as Leslie waved a key unenthusiastically. "Everyone knows I find children difficult. Loeb won't ask questions."
Batman didn't look up, didn't move; it was only when he heard the click-clack of the key in the lock that he unearthed a hand from beneath his cloak to unzip the body bag, in one long, steady movement.

The bag peeled open and suddenly it was unavoidable. Jim turned away, but Bruce's stony gaze somehow hardened further.
The throat was a mess; stained with blood yet to be cleaned off, scraps and tufts of feathers burst forth from puncture wounds that encircled the boy's neck. Batman took a sample of some of the cleaner feather debris to be identified once he returned to the cave; he was sure that later, Leslie would find splinters of the calamus within the wounds. Cause of death was uncertain. Exsanguination, or asphyxiation? Did he bleed out, struggling for breath through a hundred punctured holes? Or did he suffocate, while his heart relentlessly pumped blood up and out his throat?

"Jesus Christ..." Jim muttered from across the room. He was a seasoned cop, and like Bruce had seen far more morbid than the worst Gotham City had to offer. But children were always hard. "Stabbed with feathers...just when you think you've seen it all. You think this was Cobblepot?"
Batman shook his head in a micro-movement.
"Kids aren't Penguin's MO. Bad for business." Bruce produced a small torch from his gauntlet and carefully inspected the rest of the body. "He's been well-kept. Looked after."
Jim re-approached the body as Batman went over it with care.
"He's clean. New clothes. No signs of malnutrition. Hair cut recently - loose strands behind ears. Even makeup..." Batman trailed off. There was something bothering him about the body, something obvious that nevertheless eluded him.

The mouth was slightly ajar, and Bruce could see that something had been stuffed inside.
"Something in the oral cavity. I need a gag."
Jim turned to Leslie's laid out tools on the cabinet-top behind them and passed Bruce the reverse plier; carefully, Bruce eased open the jaw of the boy, muscles already stiffening. Inside was...
"Is that newspaper?" Jim asked, nearly a whisper. Batman didn't respond, just removed the scrunched-up scrap, cautious not to tear it. He moved away from the body, spreading out and flattening the paper on the worktop that lined the side of the room. As the scrap unfurled, Bruce's fist clenched and he set his jaw. Jim approached from behind, and looked over Batman's shoulder to the newspaper article that had been revealed; there was a sharp intake of breath, and then a few looks from the article to the body and back to the article, and then Jim said:
"My god. He's practically a double."

The article was old, even if the crinkled paper it had been printed on wasn't. Batman seethed internally. From the page, 8-year-old Bruce Wayne sobbed at the end of a paparazzi camera, the night of his parent's death. From the slab, a perfectly painted doppelganger rested dead and mutilated. The clothes were a match; the haircut was copied to the strand. The makeup emulated young Bruce's facial structure with contour and highlight. Bruce didn't want to know how he'd missed this; so many details of that night he'd obsessed over, for years and years to this very day. How could he be his own blind spot?

Wrapped in the article was a small item: a singular bullet casing. At a glance, it matched the calibre from the Wayne murders.
"That needs to go to forensic immediately, check for prints, DNA."
Batman picked up the casing and turned it over in his hand.
"Check cold cases. Archived evidence."
"You think the killer got these from the GCPD? It's all locked away. The department's dirty, but to dig this up..."
"Not ruling anything out. Not yet."
Batman turned away from the counter and moved toward the window, lingering only briefly at the body; now that he'd seen the article, the resemblance had turned the cadaver from tragic to ghoulish, and he felt unseated, askew.
He needed to leave.
There was something he needed to check.


Crime Alley was quiet tonight, save for the steady drip-drop of rainwater running through the gutters and the ever-present background of Gotham at night. The ground was slick with water, and there was a wet sheen that reflected the mixed moon-and-lamp-light; but there was something else that the light illuminated, something far more concerning.
Someone had redrawn the chalk outlines of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Batman un-melted from the shadows, spreading his own inky dark across the alleyway. He stood over the chalk etchings, unavoidably reliving the moment in his mind, each shot, each scream. He'd briefly surveyed the surrounding area when he'd arrived, but despite the freshness of the chalk - it had to be less than an hour old, drawn after the rain ended, it wouldn't have survived the downpour if done before - there was no evidence of anyone having been in the alley the entire night. Except for the chalk.

The fluttering of wings seized Batman's attention, zeroing in on the sound as he looked up sharply. Above him, from the rooftops; the beating of flight. Grapnel was already out and fired before it could end, and within seconds Bruce was above the alley atop the buildings, scanning furiously the skyline. Gotham stretched out before him, smoke and light spilling into the air, but the top of the city was as empty as the bottom. And then, a single caw, and more fluttering, and a magpie landed before him, spotlighted perfectly by the moon's light, reflecting ethereally on its monochrome coat. It tweaked its head, spying Batman in one beady eye; in its beak was a bead, brilliant white, that clattered on the stone as it was dropped by the bird and rolled its way to a stop at his boot, Batman stooping to pick it up. A pearl.

The magpie stared at Batman, eerily quiet. He started toward it, movement already futile; it was up and gone in a beating of wings before he could catch it, regardless of speed. In its place was a scrap of paper, scratched from being clutched in its talons but legible nonetheless:

Batman looked up at the bird, already a barely-visible speck in the night sky. Something inside him coiled in old, dredged-up turmoil. Whatever this was, in the pit of his stomach, he knew: it was going to get worse, before it got better.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Silly Forum Ghost

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

Location: Al-Doha, - Qurac
A H.I.V.E. Mind #1.01: What's the Buzz?

Interaction(s): None
Previously: None

"So..." The silence was broken by the youngest member of Team 7. Not a word had been spoken amongst them since the team had entered the Quraci port city of Al-Doha.

"...This is Qurac..." Caitlin's voice trailed off as her eyes darted back and forth across the open back of the truck. Looking beyond her teammates, she scanned the poverty-stricken streets on either side of what felt to be an ancient vehicle. Her attempt at an ice breaker had been barely audible over the engine that seemingly must have been operating since the military coup had initially taken power in the wake of the Second World War.

"Streets look almost empty without the enforcers I remember seeing on every corner." The response came from the opposite side of the truck bed.

"I definitely don't miss the sight of their AK-47s" Turning to the source of the voice, Caitlin realized it had been none other than Wintergreen who had added his own thoughts over the din of the engine. The neatly trimmed mustache that decorated his face emphasized his grin as a shared groan came from some of the other members of the team.

"Got another history lesson for us, gramps?" Eveyln dryly retorted from her seat in the back of the truck. She, and the team, full well knew that Wintergreen was about to launch into another one of his service stories. Though Evelyn would never admit it, the marksman often enjoyed Wintergreen's various stories and info dumps. It did, however, get exhausting hearing a story every time A.R.G.U.S. deployed the team. The Brit had seemingly been everywhere.

"Up until thirteen years ago, Qurac was ruled by a military dictatorship that had taken control after the British lost power over the country amidst the end of the Second World War." Wintergreen lectured, his smile growing wider with each word. "But in 20-"

"In 2009, the people revolted and overthrew their former dictator leading to the first democratically elected government in Qurac history." Interrupted the voice of Dr. Isherman. While Evelyn and Caitlin may not have heard all of Wintergreen's history lessons before, Ish had and he was more than certain that the silent man sitting across from him had not only heard every story but even served alongside Wintergreen through many of them, including this one.

Turning his attention away from the conversation, the man in question, Lieutenant Colonel Slade Wilson, looked at the woman sitting beside him. Angelica seemed oblivious to the conversation whilst sharpening one of the long blades she kept sheathed on her back. Despite her seemingly absent mind, Slade knew better than to assume she wasn't aware of her surroundings. Instead, he knew Angelica was more than likely entering a meditative state to better prepare herself for the mission ahead. Next to Wintergreen, there was no one else on the team that Slade would rather have watching his back.

"Having a President hasn't magically fixed anything," The voice came from beside Caitlin, catching Slade's attention. Turning his head, Slade listened as Kurt continued to speak.

"Quraci society is still heavily segregated between those who have and those who have-not. You can see a lot of influence from the caste system in its society and nearly seventy years under a dictatorship sure as hell didn't help anything."

"Especially not with Bialya." Slade added, bringing the conversation back to the reason why there were over seven thousand miles from home.

The relationship between Qurac and Bialya had been tense since the fall of the Ottoman Empire but things seem to take a particular turn after the Second World War when Sulieman's regime put Qurac under its dictatorship. The Bialyan Monarchy in particular had always desired the land which made up the neighbouring nation. As a coastal nation, Qurac had more influence over trade and imports than the Kingdom of Bialya desired. The two nations had remained locked in a cold war for over seventy years, though recent reports indicated that Bialya might be making the moves to ensure the two nations entered open warfare.

That's where they came in.

The seventh iteration of A.R.G.U.S.' International Operations Intervention and Response Spec-Ops Unit, or simply; Team 7. Reporting directly to Amanda Waller herself, Team 7 was overseen by Field Director Adeline Kane-Wilson. While taking orders from his ex-wife was hardly the dream job that Slade had in mind, it beat sitting behind a desk. The experiment that gave him his abilities also effectively ruined his career with the U.S. Military. Thankfully, Waller recognized their mistake and A.R.G.U.S. gained a new asset.

"I'm not complaining that we're here," Caitlin piped up again, "I just don't understand why send in a covert team when Iron Man could do a fly-by and quell the conflict?"

"Because," A smirk crossed Slade's face as the woman beside him broke her silence, "We get things done."

Angelica's words almost seemed to cut through the air, highlighting the tension between the team. It didn't help particularly when her words were followed by Slade nodding his agreement. While most of the world knew the names of the 'Avengers' or the 'Justice League', Team 7 was on a need-to-know basis. They didn't stand around to take photo-ops of getting kittens out of trees or do interviews with the local news. Unlike the 'superheroes' that people worshipped, Team 7 took care of problems before they happened.

There was no knowledge of their operations because as far as the world was concerned, they didn't exist.

"Simply put, the problems we deal with," Slade started, adding his own thoughts onto Angelica's, "Don't escape through a revolving door every month. When A.R.G.U.S. calls us, it's not to 'avenge' a problem." Holstering the pistol he was cleaning, Slade began to stand as the vehicle came to stop.

"It's to terminate it."

Slinging his bags over his shoulder, Slade exited the vehicle, quickly flanked by Angelica and Wintergreen. The rest of the team followed suit, with Caitlin being the last to exit the truck. The girl thanked their driver, her naivety never failing to surprise Slade. It was a good thing Fairchild was able to catch a tank round like it was a baseball, Slade wasn't sure she'd stay alive otherwise.

Due to the rising tensions with Bialya, the truck had only been able to take Team 7 so far. The border was still a few miles due west of their current position.

"It'd be best to wait until dark," Slade stated, "Rest here, check your gear. You know the drill."

"You realize they make double the rounds at night right?" Ish responded, "Even with the cover of darkness, that doesn't give us a whole lot of opportunity to get through."

"Wintergreen?" Motioning with his head for the other man to speak, Slade directed the team's attention towards their British comrade. Leaning back against the idle truck, Wintergreen chomped down on a fresh cigar. In one fluid movement, he cut the end and lit it, taking a few quick drags before exhaling a ring of smoke towards the team.

"Trust me lads, I've got one hell of a plan."

- -First Issue: What's the Buzz?----
Latest Issue: A Sticky Situation
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Mao Mao
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Mao Mao Sheriff of Pure Hearts (They/Them)

Member Seen 1 hr ago


Onboard the research vessel Axel Boeck, scientists from the University of Tromsø were preparing for another day of marine research on the icy waters of the Norwegian Sea. More specifically, they examined the recent warmth spike to see if the ecosystem structure had already been affected. Getting ready for another day of research was somewhat of a routine for the scientists. Lene Saugstad, a graduate from the same university sponsoring the voyage, was responsible for scanning the seabed with sonar. It was a tedious task that barely made use of her talents (and degree) obtained from university; still, it was essential to the overall research. But that meant she didn't have to dive into that cold water.

Lene stared at the computer monitors for a couple of hours from any out-of-the-ordinary readings. Then, she caught a glimpse of distinctive peaks in the middle of the predominantly flat seafloor. It was noteworthy considering that the sonar didn't pick anything else abnormal in its scans. But, of course, that meant a straightforward argument with the captain and other crewmates to rescan the area with the side-scan sonar. That lasted for a half-hour until the captain agreed to turn the vessel around for another scan. Finally, the towfish was prepared and cast out into the icy sea, where it descended for a bit until it reached one hundred meters above the seafloor.

Almost everyone gathered around Lene as images of the detailed seafloor began emerging on the monitors. Then, they all saw it: a torn-off plane wing lying on the seafloor. Further ahead was the entire plane, still in excellent condition despite being underwater for decades. Even the faded iron cross on one of the wings was still somewhat visible. But when the towfish reached the cockpit, it caught something unimaginable that defiled scientific reason. The entirety of the aircraft's front view had been completely frozen, preventing it from corroding in the seawater. And sitting in one of the cockpit seats was a man still gripping the control wheel and bearing a star on his chest.

That was when Lene knew that she had stumbled upon the discovery of the century.

Axel Boeck made contact with the Norwegian Coast Guard shortly after the remarkable find. Efforts to salve the sunken plane commenced once the United States Navy offered assistance in the salvage operation upon learning that there were remains onboard. It was challenging to prevent the details from appearing on the news. But the unexplained arrival of a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier No. 64 made the headlines of every news outlet on the planet. Millions watched the live feeds to see what emerged from the frigid sea at the end of the day. By the following day, the salvage crew was done with securing the aircraft for lift up from the seafloor. And after waiting an additional day for clean weather, the operation was ready to start.

Three marine cranes were utilized to ensure that the aircraft remained entirely in one piece. And to carefully place it, the helicarrier was going to be used as a landing pad. The lifting began at noon with routine inspections to ensure that the plane was stable. Finally, after four hours of intense uplifting, it emerged out of the sea with no concerns noted by the salvage crew. Shortly after the sun started going down on the horizon, efforts to place the aircraft on the helicarrier's flight deck started. Then suddenly, the wire rope holding onto the cockpit began failing before breaking from stress. The front broke away from the rest of the bomber as it smashed against the hard surface. No one on the deck was harmed by the incident.

It took a few minutes before someone from the salvage crew approached the cockpit to inspect its current state. But before examining it, the person noticed that the drop and the sunlight's warmth managed to thaw enough ice that the preserved human remains broke away from the cockpit itself. His hands were still frozen into the chair and the control wheel itself; however, it made it easier to extract the corpse without any more potential damage. Then, when they were about to leave to report on the situation, the crewmate saw something bizarre from the corner of their eye. That was when they saw the corpse's hand move for a brief second after being freed from the icy casket. Their exclaim caught everyone's attention.

The rest of the salvage crew ran over towards their crewmate, not realizing what they were about to witness. Then, soon after, a crowd formed around the bomber, eager to capture a glimpse of the frozen person. Many of them didn't know what to make of it and couldn't even comprehend such a feat. But then, Colonel Nicholas Fury—Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and founder of the Avengers—emerged from the crowd to confirm the rumors himself. He entered the cockpit and immediately was greeted by the sight of the frozen corpse. When Nick saw that star emblem, a faint smile appeared as he placed his hand on it—a thick layer of solid ice greeted him instead. And then said in a soft, delightful tone to avoid drawing any attention.

"Welcome home, Captain."

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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Byrd Man
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Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

Member Seen 8 hrs ago


Six Months Ago
Sterling, VA

“No running in the house, please,” Everett Ross shouted. His two kids ran past him in a blur of motion and ignored his command. Ross sighed and took a long sip from his coffee cup. They were never like this with their mother. He needed a shot or sixteen of caffeine more than ever today. He'd finally gotten home around three this morning after a long night at Langley writing a report. Now he was due back in at nine to go over that report with the Deputy Director of Intelligence.

Ross was mid sip when he felt his phone vibrating in his pocket. The caller ID showed it as a blocked number. Not unusual in the spook business. He tried his best to hush his children before giving up and walking into the next room.

“This is Ross.”

“Hello, Agent Ross.”

Ross knew the voice right away. Deep baritone with the accent. It had been a long time since they'd spoken. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

“I would ask how you got this number,” Ross said softly. “But I know you. I lost a lot of sleep over you last night, by the way. I had to write a sixteen page report on the updated political situation in Wakanda and neighboring nations.”

“I wish I’d known, but I suppose that comes with the territory as the United States' foremost expert in Wakandan affairs. You know I did what I did for my people and my family, but if I had been told beforehand it would have cost Everett K. Ross to lose a good night’s sleep, maybe I would have reconsidered.”

A silence lingered between the two men, Ross was about to speak before he had his own question answered.

“I’m calling because I need help. Your help.”

“What can I do for you?”

There was no hesitation on Ross' part. Time and time again he had helped and saved Ross when his back was against the wall. He wouldn't be alive today if not for this man.

“I will be arriving in New York City tonight. I need, what is it your people call it? A cover story? New papers and a new name.”

“A legend,” said Ross. He rubbed the bridge of his nose with his free hand. “You need a new identity.”

“Yes… I left Wakanda with people tracking me. Very dangerous people. I have lost them for the time being. But it is a temporary solution. In order to settle into America and hide I need to become someone else.”

Ross began to feel paranoid all of a sudden. He was worried about the security of the phone line. He knew better than most how easy phone calls were tracked, traced, and recorded.

“I’m on Wakandan technology.” He seemed to be reading Ross’ mind. “Not even the best spy equipment your country has can decrypt the signal.”

“Okay,” Ross said slowly. “When you get to New York go to the NYPD 26th Precinct. We have an asset who works there. He’ll have everything you need. Ask for Sergeant Tork.”

“I thought it was illegal for the CIA to operate on American soil?”

“Your– do I still call you ‘Your Highness’?”

“Call me what you’d like.”

“Then buddy, you are in no position to lecture me on illegal intelligence ops.”

“I will see Sergeant Tork,” he said, ignoring Ross’ comment. “Thank you, Everett.”

“What do you want your new name to be?”

“I didn't realize I had a choice. I do not care about the last name, but Isaiah for the first. It means… salvation.”

“You got it,” said Ross. “... Be safe out there, Isaiah.”

The call ended and Ross tucked the phone back into his pocket.

“Okay kids,” he yelled through the house. “Get your shoes on and get to the car. We gotta go now now now!”

Little Mogadishu

Isaiah booted up the Kimoyo card and placed it on his kitchen counter. It took about twenty seconds for it to kick on and be ready to use. It was old tech, but at the end of the day it was still Wakandan and lightyears ahead of anything else its age.

He pulled out his flip phone and searched through the few contacts he had until he found Charlie Chinwe’s number. Using the card was able to trace the phone halfway across Brooklyn to Red Hook. Most tracing programs could only triangulate to the closest phone towers, but his program got it down to the exact block. According to a map of the area Charlie was moving fast in a car, heading east towards what looked like a group of housing projects. He pocketed the Kimyo card and checked his watch. A little after three in the morning. He had to move fast.

Red Hook, Brooklyn

Charlie pushed the junky car as fast as it could possibly go. It felt like the car was about to fall apart as he raced down the Brooklyn streets past eight miles per hour. TT sat in the passenger seat beside him with a Glock in his hands. In the backseat Roc had an honest to god AK-47 and O cradled a sawed-off shotgun in his hands. Black ski-masks disguised all their faces.

An SUV dawdled along at a slow pace. Inside that car were three armed men and over fifty thousand dollars in drug money. Their plan – O’s plan, really – was to separate those armed men from that money. Charlie held the gas pedal to the floor and took a deep breath as the car rammed in the back of the SUV. Both cars skidded sideways. Charlie steered into the skid and pulled on the car’s emergency brake, whipping the wheel so that they spun a 180 before stopping. Meanwhile the SUV spun off the street and smashed into a parked car before it pinballed to the other side of the street where it smashed against another parked car and came to a stop.

“Fuckin’ A,” TT said with a laugh. “The boy can drive.”

“Let’s go,” O barked.

The four started out the car when gunfire erupted from the SUV. Roc fell to the ground screaming while the other three would-be robbers hid behind the car. Charlie held on to the pistol O had given him while bullets peppered the car. A heavy stream of blood ran underneath the car towards a swear grate. Roc continued to moan on the other side of the car.

“We gotta move,” O commanded the two other boys. “We fucking stay here and we’re dead.”

O fired off a shotgun round over his head and began to move sideways along the car. TT followed his lead, but Charlie stayed frozen in place. He didn’t want to move anywhere, he didn’t want to fire his gun, he didn’t even want any of the money. He just wanted to be home, safe and secure with his mom. He prayed to god or whoever was above that he could get out of this safely and without going to jail.

Unbeknownst to Charlie...

He had someone up above looking out for him.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Simple Unicycle ?

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I S S U E # 1
I S S U E # 1


I should've realized something was wrong about four wrong turns ago, or perhaps when the paved road stopped and transitioned into dirt, but the man within me was too stubborn to come to the epiphany. As I step out of the woods and gaze upon the prairie before me, stretching out endlessly as far as the eye can see, it hits me that I am lost. I want to curse and shout at the realization, let off my steam on the rusted up tractor nearby maybe, but I take a moment to steady my breathing and remind myself that all things must pass. This misfortune, this anger at that misfortune, will pass too. And while the man may be stubborn and angry, the butterfly is content to make the best of this.

The track of dirt that one might call a road continues on for a few hundred feet ahead of me, ending at a white farmhouse that stands alone in the vast green sea. A coop sits in a fenced off area behind it, chickens and ducks milling about, pecking at the grass. As I approach the house, I notice a beat up Ford F-150, probably from the 70s or 80s, sitting parked out front. Up close now, I can see that the bumper is rusted and decorated with bumper stickers, all cracked and peeling away save for one in the center, pristine black on white: "John 3:16". I look away from the truck to the front porch which houses an old wooden swing bench and a wooden sign above the front door, proclaiming "As for this house, we will serve The Lord. - Joshua 24:15".

And underneath that sign stands an old man in a plaid shirt and faded blue jeans, toting a double barrel shotgun. Not aimed at me, not yet, but ready to be at a moment's notice.

The man sets his icy blue eyes on me, his gaze more suspicious than sinister. "You lookin' for somethin', son?" he asks.

"Just passing through, sir. Might be in need of directions," I say as I raise my hands in a placating manner.

He lowers the gun a bit and I lower my hands just a bit too. "That so? Where you from?"

"Hub City. Trying to find my way back."

He blinks in surprise at that, quirking an eyebrow at me. "You're far from home. What brought you out here so far?"


The man snorts at that. "Ha. Guess you might find it better out here than in the Hub," he says, before trading his two handed grip on the scattergun for one hand on the barrel, resting the stock on the ground as the other hand extends outwards. I walk up the porch steps and shake the man's hand. "The name's George. What's yours, son?"


He smiles at that. "Victor? Had a friend named Victor once. From Hub City, too. Good friend."


"With the Lord now. Passed a few years back." The smile on George's face grows wistful as he remembers his friend, his gaze setting past me and onto the bright blue sky, no doubt going through memories like an old photobook for a moment before coming back to Earth. He sets his eyes back on me. "Just finished up lunch. Looking for a meal, Victor?"

"I'd appreciate it, sir."

"Come on in then," he says, opening the door. We step through and into the foyer, a quaint little hallway leading to a staircase at the end, with a doorway on both sides leading into other parts of the house. Framed photos hang on the wall, dotting the room with memories of years past. Most of the photos are of George and a man, going as far back as young adulthood. The last photo with the other man is of him and George sitting on the swing bench out front, the man smiling contently at the camera while George sneaks a look at the man, love in his eyes.


George sets the gun down next to the door, carefully. "Sorry 'bout the gun. Get some no good sons of a gun out here sometimes, love to cause a ruckus. Usually that scares 'em off."

"Not a problem. Gotta defend your home somehow," I say. George grins at that.

"Right you are, son." He moves forward, but I stand in place, still looking at the last photo. "You good there?"

"That Victor?" I ask, gesturing to the framed picture. George turns to it, then back to me.

"Yep. There he is."

"... How long were the two of you together?"

George's face goes a bit pale at that. He sputters a bit at my bluntness, letting out a cough, before regaining his composure. "... In the eyes of the law, two years. In the eyes of the Lord, forty-seven."

"He looks like he was a wonderful man."

George's smile returns at that. "The most wonderful man I could have asked for." He turns back to the doorway, continuing on through it. "C'mon now," he calls to me, "Food must be gettin' cold."

We take a seat at the dining table in the kitchen and eat, chatting about nothing in particular. We jump around from subject to subject. Our pasts, our presents, our plans for the immediate and far future. Neither George or I have much to say on the last subject. Both he and I share the same commitment to just living in the now.

The topic shifts to my need for directions. "I gotta swing by Highwood tomorrow to pick up some farming supplies," he says, referring to the town just 50 miles south of Hub City. "You can stay the night and come with me in the morning, try and find a ride into the Hub. I'd take you myself but it's been decades since I last set foot there and I ain't too keen on heading back."

I give a nod at that. "I understand. I appreciate it a lot, George. Thank you."

He waves a hand dismissively at that. "Don't mention it. You'd do the same for me, I'd hope."

I give him a smile. "Of course."

We finish up our lunch after that. I handle the dishes while George heads out back to tend to his poultry. Gazing out of the window overlooking the kitchen sink, I can see George scattering grains for the chicken and ducks as they crowd around him in excitement. A smile makes its way on my face as I gaze past the scene to examine the rest of the yard. About fifteen yards away from the scene I spot a large oak tree, casting a blobby shadow against the grass. Under it rests a grave. I can barely make out the inscription from this far away.

Victor B. Waltson
Loving Husband
Romans 12:10
1949 - 2016

The man in me can't tell if his mood is lifted or soured upon seeing that, caught between joy for George and Victor's love for each other and sorrow at George's loss. I never knew Victor, but from what George has told me, he loved the man above all else. And while the man in me is conflicted, the butterfly that is dreaming of him is glad that they loved, once and forever. Finding peace and solace in another person, especially in a time when that love was deemed worthy of scorn and hatred, is a beautiful thing.

I finish the dishes up and head outside to join George. He shows me the ropes, letting me scatter a bit of grain for the chickens and ducks, before moving on to showing me how to clean their coop while they're distracted by their meal. We spend a few more hours together before heading back inside for a quiet dinner of pot roast and mashed potatoes before George turns in for the night. He shows me to the guest room before heading to his own room.

As I lay in the bed, red cotton blanket wrapped around me and a grandfather clock in the hallway slowly ticking away, I stare at the ceiling and contemplate how much might have changed in Hub City in the year I had been absent. Fermin's term wouldn't be up for another two years, so I'd at least still have my hands full with him. But my mind continues being drawn towards other things, other people, people I cared for rather than crusaded against.

Tot. The last we spoke was in February, before Shiva escorted me to Richard Dragon's cabin in the woods. He seemed worried for me, at least in his own way, which meant snarky comments about how I "shouldn't try out any mushrooms the strange hippie in the woods might offer you." At the time, I laughed; now, I might actually advise him to rethink that statement. If Dragon offered me any mushrooms, I would've taken part.

Sam. My boss, owner, founder, and CEO of Starrstruck Media Inc.. Last we spoke, he was hounding me for another article like the one I did covering Council Chairman Floyd's ties to the Chicago Outfit. "Drove our traffic up by fifteen percent, Vic!" he told me, all excited about it, but I convinced him to give me an extension of a month for the article. I was about to get documented proof of Mayor Fermin's ties to the Sinners, Hub City's answer to the Outfit, when Shiva ended my life. Hopefully, he'll be willing to increase the extension he gave me by another month, if we weren't counting the twelve I wasn't there for of course.



The clock ticks away.

The last time I spoke to Myra was two years ago now, just after my article on her brother for the Gazette was released. She called me to meet at a cafe in Hupert Square, said we needed to talk. I knew what about. When I got there, she had a window table all to herself, waiting for me. She looked absolutely stunning, as she usually did. Her long strawberry blonde hair was pulled tightly into a bun, as it usually was when she was working. It was gorgeous when she let it down. I loved to play with it. The gaze of her striking green eyes was set on the park across the street, watching the children as they played and laughed, a small smile on her face as she spectated.

Her smile shifted to a scowl when I announced my presence.

"Myra," I said, sliding into the chair across from her. I smirked at her glare. "Not really digging the vibes here. Feels like I need a beanie and an oiled up beard to be able to fit in. Maybe they'll settle for me starting up a tech com-"

"Don't. I'm not in the mood for your smartass shit, Vic." She pulled out her phone and unlocked it, before sliding it across the table to me. I picked it up; lo and behold, my very own article, my claim to fame. My smirk widened into a grin as I looked over my work. "What the fuck is this?"

"My own Kentucky Derby. Something that will lay the groundwork for all pieces of political journalism to come," I said, sliding the phone back and leaning back in my chair.

She didn't seem amused. "What it is is you dragging my brother's name through the mud like he's just some, some-"

"Some crooked politician, just like all the other no good bastards in City Hall. Just because he's your brother doesn't mean he's a good man."

"Don't you dare say that about him. My brother has done more for this city in the two months he's been mayor than you ever have, or ever will!"

"Right, right, really doing a great job at pocketing city funds, taking bribes, getting his mobster friends out of jail while he lets men like Hugo Wernher rot behi-"

"Oh, Wernher, again? That man murdered a cop, Vic!"

"Because that cop would've shot him and his wife if he didn't!"

"It's a miracle he didn't get the death sentence. You know I was the one who lobbied for that, right? Everyone wanted him sent back to Indiana so he could be put on death row there but because you were so insistent on it I pulled some strings to make sure the case remained in Illinois, and I-" she pauses, closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose as she groans in frustration. "... Vic. I love you, but I can't... I can't stay with a man who hates my brother the way you do."

"... Then don't," I said, before standing and walking away. In the reflection of the windowpane in the door, I saw her shocked expression, battling between surprise, anger, and sorrow at my response. Finally, she settled on a disgusted scowl, turning away. I walked out of the cafe and never looked back.

I never looked back.

The only woman I have ever loved. There had been others, before. I slept around a bit in college before I met her. A few women, a man here and there, but no one was like her. No one was able to keep me on my toes as much as she was. I threw that all away.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock...

The clock continues its countdown.

Tomorrow, I'll be returning to Hub City.

But tonight, I am content.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Bork Lazer
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Bork Lazer Chomping Time

Member Seen 1 hr ago

It’s supposed to be winter now .

The newscasters say it’s the coldest yet.

I can barely feel it.

Over a millennia has passed since the fall of Camelot, and yet, I still remain.

My hold of this world is growing more tenuous with each day.

My past and this present grow more muddled. The dreams never end.

Who is calling to me? Why are they calling me?

For what purpose do I still walk this lost land?



Afternoon supper for Justin consists of a two-day old fish and chip butty from some crappy tuck shop down near the Thames and a flat beer in a styrofoam cup. His back is leaned against the wall of a suffocatingly close alleyway with a crowd of others like him. Sheets of gray drizzle swayed down from the ceiling of clouds as he tucked himself near to the alley wall to avoid getting drenched. Everyone aside from him was huddled next to a tiny radio as if it was a religious idol.

Then, the voices came echoing in his mind again. First, it was a whisper so quiet that Justin might have mistook it for the wind. Then, it became relentless, pounding, a tirade of chaotic nonsense that he could barely decipher.

“ -Justin -”

“ Justin? - “

“ Justin, are you listening!?- “

“ No.” Justin dropped his cardboard bag and grabbed his head, going into a feral position as his name worked into the back of his skull like an errant moth. “Not again, not again, not again….”

“ - Win the game - “

“ - Finish it -“

“ - Letting it get away! -“

“ What more do you want from me? “ Justin replied hoarsely, lame in defeat. “ Haven’t I given enough blood for my charges yet?”

“ - A most dishonourable act by-“

“ - Keep the ball dribbling -“

“- It isn’t over till it’s over.”

“ The world has more deserving knights now.” Justin gave a bitter chuckle as he stared at his distorted reflection in the puddle. “I’m just an old relic of the past. ”

“ You -“

“ - Swore at -“

“ - The King of -“
With a frustrated scream, Justin grabbed the garbage bin next to him, toppling it over with a kick before grabbing the lid and tossing it haphazardly into a brick wall. The thin lid splintered on impact as jagged pieces sank into the crumbled brick wall, littering the pavement with metallic shards.

“ Arthur is dead! The Round Table is a pile of rotting wood! Stop pestering me with these ceaseless questions and just let me die! Just let me ….me….”

His vision returned from the haze of red that he found himself to see a crowd of frightened eyes at the other side of the alley. They had all distanced themselves away from him during his breakdown. Justin found the situation darkly amusing. Being an outcast amongst the dredges of society was a new low that he didn’t think he could have sunk to. He took a step forward to offer some explanation or an apology but his mouth made no noise. A half-sob wrecked his lungs before he grabbed his soggy lunch off the asphalt and ran out of the alley into London’s rain-weathered traffic.

And the voices continued speaking.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Silly Forum Ghost

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

Location: Quraci Border, - Bialya
A H.I.V.E. Mind #1.02: That Stings A Little

Interaction(s): None
Previously: What's the Buzz?

"The plan's being blasted to hell, Gramps!"

Wintergreen could barely hear Evelyn's strained voice as she cursed him through volley after volley of gunfire. Dust and sand flew every which way, disturbed and tossed about by the helicopter above the team. It circled around once again, positioning itself to take another pass. In front of Team 7, was what was left of a wall. Its crumbling concrete and exposed rebar were barely holding together and it was unlikely to take another round from the chopper's pair of six barrelled rotary machine guns.

"For a marksman, you've done surprisingly little to return fire." Angelica sniped from behind a nearby column.

"I don't exactly see your swords being overly helpful."

Slade rolled his eyes. It was bad enough they had been pinned down, it was only made worse with Angelica and Evelyn deciding that now was a good time to trade snide insults.

"Enough." The edge to his voice was more than enough to still whatever retort that Angelica was preparing. They were foreign agents breaking countless treaties just by stepping foot in Bialya, let alone the predicament they now found themselves in. A.R.G.U.S. and more certainly, the United States, would disown every one of them if they were caught.

That wasn't an option.

Outright killing the Bialyan militants also wasn't an option. In the best-case scenario, Bialya would blame it on a terrorist attack, worst case they'd claim it was a Quraci attack and push towards open warfare. Instead, they needed to find a way to cripple the chopper without killing those inside.

"Wintergreen, Crawford, Lance and Daniels, I need all four of you to return fire. Make it look good, but don't hit the chopper." Slade instructed, readying his own weapon before motioning to the remaining two.

"Ish, I need you to overcharge your gravity sheath."

"If I do that, the suit will have to discharge the energy, it'll basically create an-" Ish paused, his eyes suddenly lighting up. Muttering aloud in a rushed breathe, he counted on a few fingers before looking back at Slade.

"I'll just need a moment."

Nodding, the super-soldier turned to the last member of his squad.

"When I give the signal, I need you to throw Ish at the helicopter. How's your fastball?"

Furrowing her eyebrows, Caitlin's eyes widened before darting from the helicopter to Isherwood and back to Slade. She had only been along for a handful of missions, her roles usually weren't combat heavy. If the team needed an obstacle moved or a door opened, that's where Caitlin came in. As she understood it, her presence was no more than a way of strong-arming her father into cooperating with A.R.G.U.S.

"Fairchild!" Slade's tone snapped Caitlin back into the moment. She hurriedly nodded before responding.

"I can do it, Sir!"


"Ready when she is, boss." Came David's reply. Gunfire echoed into the night sky as the rest of the team began firing. Above them, the helicopter was on a direct approach, its miniguns firing already, exploding more sand into the night sky.

"Do it." Slade ordered as Caitlin suddenly grew in size. What was once a waif-like girl barely coming up to the chest of the six-foot-four hardened soldier, was now replaced by an Amazonian woman standing nearly a head taller than Slade.

"One fastball special coming right up." As the words left her mouth, so too did Isherwood fly through the air. The helicopter's rotors made first contact with the gravity sheath. A hexagonal pattern blast of orange light filled the sky. Falling against the chopping, subsequent blasts of light filled the sky as the blades repeatedly struck the sheath.

"C'mon, Ish-" The words were barely out of Slade's mouth before a blinding pulse of energy washed over the team. The shockwave knocking each of them to the ground.

- -First Issue: What's the Buzz?---
Next Issue: A Sticky Situation-
Latest Issue: A Sticky Situation
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Sep
Avatar of Sep

Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

Member Seen 17 hrs ago



"Aye. Screwbeard, Son of No-Ears. Exile from Nidavellir. I need your help."

The Dwarf raised one of his great big bushy eyebrows as the Thunder-God announced the reason for his visit. His stance relaxed somewhat, however, he was still one edge and cautious. "Truly? What can I do for the son of Odin-"

"I am no longer the Son of Odin, I am Freyjason."

"It doesn't matter who you get along with, or who cast you out boy. It doesn't change who sired you. The question stands, what can I do for the Odinson?"

A grimace crossed Thors face, and as it did the slightest smirk from the Dwarf, then his shoulders relaxing slightly. That is when Thor realised it was just another test. These were games of politics, the kind which Loki excelled. Sadly Loki was not at his side now to help him navigate politics.

Thor looked down at his hands, raising them slightly palm up. Electricity crackled between his fingers as he did so, Screwbeard recoiled slightly but Thor ensured to keep his focus on his hands. A solemn look upon his face. "I am aware of my potential, as the God of Thunder. I have tapped into my abilities in the past, both with and without Mjolnir by my side." Thor lowered his hands and looked towards the dwarf, a look of pleading upon his face.

"Since I was cast out, and Mjolnir stripped from me I feel as if my abilities have been diminished. I am aware it is likely all in my head and yet-" Thor sighed heavily. "-I need your help. I need a way to channel my abilities. I need a weapon."

Screwbeard eyed Thor suspiciously. "Aye? Is that so? And what, tell me, is my incentive for doing this task?"

Thor puffed out his chest slightly. "I will return you to your home, free. On my word as God of Thunder you will no longer be an outcast."

Screwbeard smirked. "It's a start."



Lightning shot up towards the sky, striking all the draugr surrounding Thor. The ones closest turned to ash, the farther ones away stumbled down to the ground. Dead or incapacitated, he wasn't entirely sure, but he didn't care.

Pointing to a draugr still at the top of the steps he raised his voice as the wind howled and the rain poured. "Tell me who is responsible for this! I would have words."

The Draugr turned its head back up the steps and raised a withered hand towards one who walked lazily out of the museum. He almost seemed bored with the situation, by now Thor could hear the sounds of more sirens approaching. SWAT Teams, police and ambulance. All rushing to the unfolding scene of chaos. Thor stepped out from among the carcasses of the fallen draugr, some of their remains smoking slightly from the power of the blast. This one looked different from the others. Its flesh was less withered, merely rotting. Eyes while the stare was distant, some spark of humanity lingered.

This was no mere conjuration, but a spirit back from Hel.

Thundered cracked and boomed in the sky. "State thy purpose, villain." The Helspawn offered no response as it continued to walk lazily straight towards Thor. "I told you, to state your business." Thor raised his hand towards the undead, but in a surprising burst of speed, his foe closed the distance, grabbing Thor's wrist and lifting him off the ground. Thors wrist felt as if it was caught in a vice, an experience he was not altogether familiar with.

"He is risen."

Thor used his other hand to try and pry the beasts' grip from around his wrist. When that was unsuccessful he started to lay in blows with his free hand into its stomach. "He is risen, and sails once more. For the home that has not seen his like since ages past." The beasts second hand clenched around Thors throat.

Thunder boomed overhead as nearby windows shook with each blow Thor placed on the beast's torso, and yet it still did not release its grip. Lightning started to flash across his left fist, his heart pounding in his ear.


The corner of his vision began to fade, rage filled his veins as they flashed blue with electric current. His blows continuing to land when suddenly:


The sky suddenly broke a bolt of lightning lancing down from the sky, striking Thor's arm and coursing through his body into his fist as it made contact. The beast's grip went loose as it was sent flying through two nearby walls, jumping after him Thor fought to catch his breath. Reaching down, his body still sparking with electric current, Thor grabbed his aggressor by the throat in a fitting turn of events. "Enough games Villain, who is your master and what does he seek?"

What little light remained from the beasts eyes started to fade. "One you have faced before Odinson, and when he returns home. He shall teach you the meaning of pain." Before Thor could get another word in edge ways the beasts head lopped to the side, eyes vacant. Letting it drop it turned to ash and dust. Thor exclaimed in frustration, kicking a pebble that when assisted by God Strength and lightning went careering through a nearby wall.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Martian
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Martian Possibly a mage

Member Seen 18 days ago

Reprise of Destruction

1.01: Waking from a Dream

The cold wind of the Tibetan mountainside cut across Bruce Banner’s face. Even with wearing many layers, Bruce was still inundated with the cold. But fighting the bitter winds finally proved of use as Bruce spotted his destination. At the apex of the mountain laid a field of green. Standing in the middle of this spring like environment was a large monastery.

As Bruce stepped off the snow and onto the grass, he suddenly felt a lot warmer. He also felt more at peace emotionally, having finally reached his destination. He had been told that this was the one place in the world where he could find peace from the Hulk. So Bruce entered the monastery, looking to find some old master who would be able to help him.

But as Bruce walked through the empty hallways he began to wonder where the monks were. But as he came into the center chamber of the monastery, he found someone meditating in the middle of the room. But it was no ancient master, but a rather a familiar demon: the Hulk.

“No, this can’t be right,” muttered Bruce, “This was supposed to be a calming place, where I would find peace.”

The Hulk opened his eyes before saying, “Peace is found here. The peace and calm of sitting in a simmering rage.”

“Peace in rage? What are you talking about?” asked an incredulous Bruce.

“The peace of accepting everything about yourself is what you seek,” the Hulk explained, “Even the things lurking in the abyss at the bottom of your soul.”

“Accept it? You’re a monster! You destroyed my whole life,” shouted Bruce.

“You have not seen true monsters. If you oppose yourself, then you will be consumed by those within,” stated the Hulk as he began to rip his chest open.

Bruce gasped and took a step back as the Hulk revealed the organs and bones that lay beneath his flesh. But the horror didn’t stop there as something began to move around the organs. Bruce couldn’t make out what it was until it popped its head out from between the Hulk’s ribs.

It was a small yellow creature that looked somewhat like the Hulk. With a maw of pointy teeth, it smiled at Bruce. The creature then started to grow, as its body ripped itself out of the Hulk. Within a minute, the body of the Hulk lay on the floor, torn apart by the growth of the creature. Standing next to the assorted parts of the Hulk was the creature, now nine feet tall, and muscled like the Hulk.

“What are you going to do tasty Banner?” chuckled the creature as it licked its lips, “Run from the monsters within?”

And Bruce did run, sprinting out of the monastery. Behind him, Bruce could hear the breathing of the creature as it chased him. By the time that Bruce got outside and onto the grass, he was breathing heavily, from a mix of exertion and the thin air up here in the mountains.

“You got to be faster than that,” laughed the creature, “I mean, I could just reach out and grab you.”

Bruce responded by pumping his legs faster than he had ever done before. But as he did so, he didn’t realize how close he was to the edge of the mountain. In a moment of uncertainty, Bruce glanced back at the creature, seeing that he was only two feet behind him. But as he did so, Bruce lost his footing and tumbled forward. Without proper footing, Bruce slid right off the rock and began to plummet down the mountain.

“Fuck!” shouted Bruce loudly as he rapidly approached the base of the mountain.

Only to strike a metal floor instead. With a groan, Bruce picked himself off the floor of his quarters assigned at this S.H.I.E.L.D facility. As he did so, he realized that he had hit the floor hard enough to make his nose bleed. As he got back on his bed and grabbed a tissue off the night stand, Bruce saw the door to his quarters swing open, revealing his friend Rick Jones.

“Bruce, are you alright?” asked Rick, “I heard you swear and then there was a loud bang. The big guy isn’t coming out is he?”

“No, it was just a dream. A really vivid dream,” stated Bruce, “So why are you even here?” Bruce glanced at the clock on the wall, “Shouldn’t you be at your shift in the cyber-security department?”

“Well, when you missed breakfast, something you never do, I figured that I should check on you,” explained Rick, “Plus it’s OK if I’m a little late.”

“But you’re a little late a lot. You are still only a junior agent, so your place here is not secure,” responded Bruce as he got to his feet.

“But I’m the Hulk’s best friend. Surely that counts for something,” laughed Rick.

“I don’t think the Hulk has any friends,” muttered Bruce, before speaking louder, “Anyway I’ll see if I can get any food. They do usually make too much bacon.”

“Well then I won’t stop you,” replied Rick, “Just let me know if you are ever off. I know it’s a lot easier dealing with me than Fury.”

Bruce just nodded as he left his room, Rick following behind him. Even though Bruce was in his pajamas still, he didn’t really care. People at this facility already gossiped about him being the Hulk, so his choice of clothing wasn’t a big issue.

After Rick went down a separate hallway, Bruce turned to the cafeteria, only to see fellow scientist Dr. Walter Langkowski waiting outside the doors.

“Bruce, it’s about time you showed up. Also why are you in pajamas?” questioned Walter, “Actually forget I asked. I have something urgent to talk about.”

“Then why didn’t you just come to my room?” asked Bruce.

“Because I don’t like the idea of waking up the Hulk instead of you Banner,” stated Walter, “Plus I know you never miss a meal, given how the gamma radiation affected your appetite.”

“Alright, alright. What’s this urgent issue?” questioned Bruce.

“It’s happened. A gamma explosion large enough to show up on our sensors,” said Bruce grimly.

“Are you absolutely sure?” asked a more awake Bruce, “We only had hearsay evidence that others were experimenting with gamma radiation experiments.”

“Well it happened. We have multiple sensor sites reporting it. And it’s fresh, only happening in the last hour,” said Walter, “So they’re sending us out to investigate.”

“Great, send in the radiation monster to another radiation site,” grumbled Bruce, “So where are we headed?”

“California, so you better pack some sunscreen,” stated Walter, “Personally us Canadians burn like crazy.”

Bruce was still in a little shock at the idea that anyone would want to replicate the accident that made the Hulk. But if they were successful, then the Hulk himself might be required. As Bruce was not liking the idea of letting the Hulk out, he swore that he could hear the Hulk laughing at him.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Roman
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Roman King of Dirt

Member Seen 23 hrs ago


Only the wan green of the console screens illuminated the dingy room, throwing a sickly glow across Edward Nashton's face as he pushed back his slick and unkempt hair and replaced his glasses before diving back into the mainframe, his typing rapid and feverish as he approached his goal. He was close, oh-so-close, but something eluded him, some final key to the puzzle, an infinitesimal but paramount element that was the otherwise-missing glue to hold all the framework together. He'd worked for months, years even, at first in theory, but now putting it all together in practice, making it real, making it tangible; he felt giddy, frantic, but also frustrated. He'd never stumbled like this before, never hit this kind of roadblock. He wasn't used to his mind being bested.

"What has a bed, but never sleeps?" Came a voice from the far side of the room, as Eddie was suddenly blinded by bulbs sparking into life overhead; Deidre Vance, his research associate, strode across and raised the blinds that covered the university lab's windows, further flash-banging him with the early-morning sun cresting over Gotham's skyline. Eddie looked out over the university campus and saw students slowly beginning to trickle in, ready to start a new day of academia, and realised he'd worked overnight once again. He turned to Deidre, who looked at him with a mix of amusement and exasperation, and chuckled as he removed his glasses to rub his eyes that were undoubtedly bloodshot.

"A river, Dee." He answered, and she smiled and shook her head, shoving a paper cup of faculty-lounge coffee into his chest as she walked past him to look at the consoles he had plugged himself into for the last nine hours.
"EENH." She said, imitating the harsh noise of a gameshow buzzer, "I'm sorry, the answer we were looking for was 'Professor Edward Nashton'. Better luck next time!"
Eddie threw a hand to his forehead in mock tragedy as she chuckled watching him in the reflection of the screen, and then he took a greedy slurp of the coffee, letting the scalding and bitter drink splash into his empty stomach.
"God, I'm starving." He said, mostly to himself, but Deidre nodded her head and gestured to the counter top by the door. She'd brought breakfast - a few pastries from the cafeteria - and next to those, a fresh shirt and change of tie. Eddie dutifully ate and changed while Deidre typed away, finishing a few lines of code she'd interrupted Eddie working on and then saving before shutting the console down.

"You can't keep doing this Eddie, you're running yourself ragged." She said, that well-practiced tone of voice, not unlike a mother scolding her child, creeping back in to her words. "Besides, it's too cold this time of year to sleep alone..." the mother-tone was completely gone with this addition, and Eddie smirked, raising his eyebrows at Deidre. He moved to peck her cheek, which she made a big show of graciously permitting.
"It'll be worth it, Dee." He said, moving back towards the pastries. "We're so close! You've seen the code. I just need to figure out the final piece."
"Well, Eddie, maybe it would be easier to work things out with 8 hours of rest powering that massive melon, instead of..." Deidre picked up assorted discarded junk food from the floor under the desk. "Funyuns and Mr. Pibb? Really Eddie? I pity your students."
Eddie patted his stomach, which groaned seemingly on cue as soda, onion rings, pastry and coffee coagulated in his gut. "I pity my intestinal tract more." He joked, and Dee just groaned, binning the trash and moving to sip her own coffee.

The two sat in silence, with only the soft whirring of the computer servers backdropping their quiet contemplation of caffeine.
"Anyway," Deidre said with a start, jolting Eddie who'd nearly began napping over the rim of his cup, "it's not your students that'll be suffering today." She put on a wry smile, watching the over-worked cogs in Edward's head kick back into gear as he turned over dates, agendas, appointments in his head.
"No, no! Not today! Surely not today! Next week!"
"Today, Eddie." Deidre said with inarguable finality, weary but amused. "He's coming today."


The air still smelled of petrichor as Bruce Wayne stepped out from the car, door held open dutifully by Alfred, who picked lint from Bruce's collar with one hand as he closed the door with the other. Bruce smoothed himself down, shaking away enduring memories of the night before. Foundation had done wonders to hide the bags under his eyes, but what lingered behind his eyes was harder to conceal.

"Remind me once more, Alfred?" Bruce asked, and if there was even a hint of exasperation at what would be the fifth repetition this morning, you couldn't tell from Alfred's stone-faced demeanour.
"The Wayne Foundation has been funding Professor Nashton's research efforts for some time, sir, through the 'City of Progress' grant program that you set up a few years ago. Unfortunately, while I don't doubt the good professor has been working tirelessly, Wayne Enterprises' board members are becoming somewhat antsy at his dearth of practical output."
Bruce looked up at the university buildings. "And I'm here to check on what he's been doing with money the board believes belongs in their pockets?"
Again, if Alfred found amusement in Bruce's wit, he didn't show it. "Quite, sir. Better Bruce Wayne, philanthropist and CEO of Wayne Enterprises, than some board stooge already paid off to shut him down."
Bruce double-took at Alfred's candour; he was rarely this vocally critical of the Enterprises boardroom. "You believe Professor Nashton does good work?"
"I do, sir. He is the finest mind in the city, perhaps the country; and he has afforded himself his position through keen intellect and a work ethic that rivals those in present company. He is the kind of man Gotham needs to help lead the city into a bright future. I am loathe to think that those work-shy lackadaisicals would shut down his projects for what amounts to pocket change to them."
Alfred cleared his throat, and this time, he allowed a flash of ignominy to cross his face. Bruce waved away the incoming apology.
"I trust your judgement, Alfred. And you're right, when it comes to the board. But there are deeper things wrong with this city."
Alfred nodded solemnly. "I saw your report. Ghastly business. Let us hope that the good lieutenant can keep the more concerning details from the press."
"Gordon is doing all he can; only he and Leslie know the true details around the body. Still, though - someone in the GCPD is connected."
"One thing at a time, Master Bruce." Alfred advised, opening the driver-side door and taking a seat, a copy of the morning's Gotham Gazette and a filled thermos ready and waiting on the passenger seat. Chauffer was one of the many roles Alfred was a seasoned professional at.

Bruce looked towards the main campus gates, and the central research building beyond. He rolled his shoulders, and slipped on the mask.


"-and so you see, Mr Wayne, the idea is not for us to develop an artificial intelligence - instead, to allow an artificial intelligence the space to develop itself!" Nashton concluded, having talked excitedly about his work from the university reception all the way up past his office and into his main research laboratory. Bruce stood in the doorway as Edward hurriedly set to booting up the mainframe, eager to show his investor his life's work. Bruce was impressed; from what Nashton had explained, and what he could see of the server capacity, this was a massive project, in a near-experimental field, that the professor seemed to have been making un-impeded strides in for months. There was some real weight to what Nashton sought to accomplish; however, there were equally heavy concerns.

"What about the risk of losing control? True AI has only ever been discussed in theoretic - once it's online, there's no way to control what it might be capable of." Bruce asked, and Eddie nodded carefully.
"Of course, there is always inherent risk in all forms of progress; but we do what we can to mitigate - without compromising. Is an artificial intelligence any more dangerous than an organic one? Under the right conditions, either can be as destructive as the other. Living in Gotham, Mr. Wayne, has taught me that lesson well enough."
Bruce cocked an eyebrow, but chose not to comment. There was some validity in Edward's argument. "Please, Professor, Bruce is fine - how have you worked to mitigate the risks?"
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Bruce. As impressive as the network is, it remains - since its conception - a closed circuit. There is no, nor has there ever been, an existing connection to the wider university network - nor Gotham's, nor the world. We drip-feed information in through manual upload, directly to the server. Together with basic guidance code, we simply create an environment in which a developing mind takes the right...direction. Like raising a child."
Bruce extended a hand, which Eddie eagerly shook. "Well, I must say I'm impressed, professor. And you can rest easy that Wayne Enterprises is confident that the grant money is going towards true breakthroughs. It'll certainly ease the minds of the board to know you're on the cusp of release."

Eddie's grip loosened slightly and he cleared his throat. "Yes, yes, on the cusp indeed..." he trailed off, and Bruce gave him a quizzical look.
"Hit a roadblock, professor?"
"Not so much a block as a minor stumble, Mr. Way- Bruce. It's close to completion, close enough to see it, but there's one missing piece of the puzzle, something eluding me. It's smart - so smart - but it still 'thinks' like a computer."
"How do you mean, Edward?" Bruce pressed, keen to help if he could offer advice.
"How to explain...computers think vertically. Logically. If x, then y, resulting in z. You can tell it to solve an infinite amount of calculations, but it can only do it with the right amount of starting data, and then extrapolating it out to logical conclusions and solutions. But a computer doesn't have any imagination, and if you ask it to make 2 and 2 into 5, it can't do it, because the logic doesn't work."

Bruce took a moment of thought.
"When I was a boy, Alfred used to distract me with riddles. I got good at solving them, so they weren't much of a distraction at all, and so the riddles had to get harder. And then, one day, Alfred told me a riddle I couldn't solve. It pestered me for days, buzzing around my head. I lost sleep over that riddle."
Edward's face lit up, his own adoration of puzzles and brain-benders plain as day. "Do share, Bruce."
"Two men walk into a restaurant. They are seated at the same table, order the same dish, and are served at the same time. After they both take their first bite, one man leaves the restaurant and kills himself. Why?"
Edward's previously elated face crumpled under the weight of disappointment that he could not offer an answer to Bruce's riddle. "Why?"
Bruce smiled his own wry smile. "Years previous, both men had been marooned on a deserted island. Starving, the second man had managed to provide food, and told the other it was swordfish he'd speared from the sea. Having ordered swordfish at the restaurant, the first man realised he'd never tasted swordfish before, and that what he'd eaten on the island had instead been the flesh of his son who had died in the accident that had marooned them. Consumed by grief and guilt, he killed himself."
Eddie raised his own eyebrow. "That's rather dark, Mr. Wayne."
"I was a rather dark child for a time, Professor Nashton. The riddle distracted me well. The lesson I learnt - if an answer doesn't present itself from the given information, you may have to invent your own. Lateral thinking is a skill as important as any other - thinking around the problem. Perhaps there's a way to teach it to your digital mind."

Edward turned to look at the mainframe console, sleep-deprived gears working on overtime as he turned the ideas over in his mind.
"Food for thought, regardless." Bruce said, dismissing the conversation. "Riddles are fun, but I'll leave the truly difficult problems to great minds like yours." He clapped a hand to Eddie's shoulder, taking his arm in a handshake again. "But tell me - when you unveil your great accomplishment - what will be its name?"
Edward smiled the biggest smile he'd give that day, and answered proudly: "The Encrypted Network Intelligence Grid and Mainframe Archive."
Bruce chuckled. "Clever, Eddie." He looked at the console screen, glowing softly green, awaiting input. "Very clever."
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Hound55
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Hound55 Create-A-Hero RPG GM, Blue Bringer of BWAHAHA!

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The emerald hue seemed to stifle the very air. The box would get to a lesser criminal, but Kanjar Ro was beyond that. He’d had run ins with the corps all across the universe – word was he was a dictator of his own home world, he just preferred the life that came with his “business” which took him across the stars. He’d been separated from his sceptre, his side-arm, the Gamma Gong his freighter had been carrying, and any recognisable weaponry on his person. Still, this was a major offender who was well versed in numerous forms of unarmed combat – Dhor Nam Ju, a flipping, aerial martial arts which took advantage of the lesser gravity of the planet of its origin, as well as the compound eyes possessed by most of its regional proponents.

Green bracelets anchored his wrists to the table and his ankles to the floor.

He’d been detained in this new reality for interminable hours, but he was familiar with Green Lanterns techniques and tricks. They were held by rule and regulation of pale blue imps from their homeworld of Oa, so there was only so much they could do. Even with all of the power bestowed upon them by virtue of their accursed green rings.

He’d bought and paid for many of them in the past. This was nothing new. Probably just some new swinging dick trying to establish his “superiority”, before they negotiated a pay-off. That was how this kind of thing generally worked. He just had to wait until this loser got tired of making whatever point he thought he was proving to himself and was ready to talk.

A door to the box opened and the big swinging dick floated in from above.

Of course. From above. The psychology. Mind games. Oooo-ooo, big man in charge.

Kanjar Ro lifted his head off of the table, barely able to take the bored expression off of his face.

“Let me guess. This is the point where you tell me that I’m entitled to an advocate of justice in accordance to Guardians of the Universe regulations, to ensure fair treatment and adequate jurisprudence, but in order for things to all go smoother we can keep this casual… a simple talk. So that you can hear ‘MY SIDE’ of things and get a better understanding of the situation without the mess of—”

The Green Lantern glared at him with a barely amused smirk and said nothing.

Kanjar Ro was mildly put off by the expression on his face. Something was… Something was off about this situation. Was he coming across as overly familiar? Suddenly his wrists felt heavy. The emerald hue seemed… thicker.

“Alright, maybe that was a little too ‘folksy’ on my part. Getting a bit… Wait—is it getting hot in here? This is all—”

Still the Green Lantern kept smirking away. From Kanjar Ro’s count he still hadn’t stopped hovering, to lower himself to set a single foot down in the Box.

Kanjar Ro reached onto the table for the cup of water. The only thing he’d been left with in here. It was more than warm, the air was so thick he felt he could almost drown in it. He was swallowing the air more than breathing it. He grabbed the cup and raised it to his lips, only for the cup to disappear entirely, and the water fall.

But he never spilled a drop. Suddenly the humidity spiked even more and the water evaporated in the air, leaving him no more quenched than the fine mist which quickly dissipated in the career criminal’s face.

“You have had many run-ins with the Green Lantern corps before, have you not, Kanjar Ro? Do I seem like a regular Corpsman to you?”

“Wait… you can’t do-- Look I can deal? I’ve always dealt in the past. We can work something—”

The perspiration on his head went from beading to running down his angular face. None of this was right, sure they had the power… but there were rules. He started to panic. His compound eyes darting around the room.

“Feels like the walls are creeping in around you, doesn’t it, Dictator of Dhor? That’s because they are.”

Kanjar Ro began to gasp, the air—the air just kept getting thicker. His perspiration ran more. He felt like he was drowning.

“You seem to have this mistaken notion that you’re here to negotiate. To make a deal. Some kind of meagre pay-off from a local Ring-Rattler who’ll send a career criminal like you on your way to INFECT another corner of this galaxy with your presence once more.”

Kanjar Ro found himself floating off balance, he was turned upside down, the sweat began to run back up to the point of his helmet.

“I am here to dissuade you of this notion.” A cup materialised and caught the drippings as they fell from Kanjar Ro’s head.

“You are not a legitimate businessman. Negotiation requires you to have some form of pittance that I’d be willing to barter for with you.”

Kanjar Ro gasped. The cup upturned and poured down his gullet. A green gag covered his face, he couldn’t breathe!

“You are NOT out there. You are in here. With me. And in here I control reality. I AM reality. I am NOT some common Green Lantern who you pay-off with a trinket or a cut to look the other way.” His words seemed to reverberate and come from the very walls themselves, echoing through the thickness of the air. From everywhere, all at once.

Kanjar Ro started to thrash, he couldn’t breathe! This can’t be happening! There are rules! They’re supposed to have rules!

“Who was the Green Lantern who detained you and enforced Regulation 772.5, when you were running weapons near Scylla?”

What?!? Kanjar Ro could barely believe what he was hearing?

“Who diverted you! A Green Lantern attempted to by-pass the agreements you’d made with the Green Lanterns of sectors 1,295 and 2,374! What Green Lantern arrested you!”

Suddenly the hard light gag was removed just enough for air to escape. Kanjar Ro seized the moment of salvation, he didn’t try to exploit it to foolishly gulp air, he threw out the one name which might change this situation. The name which might let breathing continue to be a regular occurrence.

*Glug*-DAN! Something Jordan!”

Hmm. Hal Jordan. Green Lantern of 2,814. The name fit and made sense. “Jor-Dan” was an uncommon and awkward phonetic pronunciation for a Dhorian as well. Not something he would have said out of pure desperation, just to say anything to save his own skin. This was good. He had a name. The troublemaker. The one who would have to be brought in line. To understand just how the universe works.

The hard light construction dissipated and dropped Kanjar Ro to the floor.

He was free! Well no, he was still here. In the Box. But he could breathe again. For now. What was it this maniac wanted. Torture? This was way out of line for any Green Lantern corpsman. Even the dirtiest that he’d run into. And he’d known quite a few in his business…

But now, what to do with this one..? Kill him? Well, he was just common vermin. He’d killed dozens just like him for less before. But this one had some value… He feared their will now. He knew their capabilities, and he sensed it in the Dhorian. An informant who truly feared the Will of the Green Lantern corps, and had his inner-knowledge of the workings of his own criminal element? That had value.

“I am not some common Green Lantern who you can pay-off, Kanjar Ro.”

The Box started to dematerialize.

“Just as the farmer does not negotiate with the kloxiyan for milk.”

The world around them restored once more.

“I am Thaal Sinestro, and I OWN you entire…”


Hal soared through space towards the pale green dot.

The green dot wasn't an actual location, not Oa, nor Mogo, nor any real place, but a beacon produced by the internal intelligence of the ring's navigation control. Far beyond any earthly GPS system, once a Green Lantern communicated with the ring a desire for a location it would plot a course, using beacons such as these, which would set a clear course free of debris allowing the Lantern the possibility for near light speed travel. Well, technically, beyond light speed travel... but weird things happened to your perception when you messed around with things like that. The beacon would move and adjust in accordance with the Lantern's speed in order to ensure a clear path free of collisions. Then, upon reaching the beacon, a new pale green dot would light up to continue the plotted course.

As such, most Green Lanterns spent most of their time on patrol "chasing the pale green dot".

Hal communicated with his ring a desire to call a fellow Green Lantern to break the tedium.

"Contact Green Lantern of Sector 674 - Kilowog."

"That name does not correspond with the current Green Lantern of Sector 674, would you still like to contact the Green Lantern of 674 anyway?"

Hal sighed, remembering why the communications problem existed. Kilowog had been removed from the field, and whilst Hal still was used to that being the Bolovaxian's home sector, it was technically no longer his role.

"No. That was my fault. Not Sector 674. Disregard. Contact Oan Drill Sergent - Kilowog."

Somehow, beyond Hal's understanding of physics and communications, a real time hologram of the Bolovaxian appeared, which Hal positioned to his left with a mental command - keeping his view clear for chasing the pale green dot.

"Kilowog! How you going, you old Poozer?!"

"I told you before Jordan, if you can't use the word in context, don't use it at all." The weary Bolovaxian replied.

"Right, right..." Hal said, having Kilowog's instruction wash over him undeterred once again. He still had never once used it correctly, apparently, and was no more sure of correct context than the first time he heard it. "What have you been doing with yourself?"

"Nothing different than the last time you called me. Enjoying a brief moment of solace before I have to educate the next bunch of preppy brats, and getting pestered from calls from an old former preppy brat. Let me guess, bored again?"

"How did you guess?"

"Because you only contact me when you're bored. And generally with little regard for what I might be doing with my own time when you do..."

Up ahead, Hal could see a strange aura, approaching slightly closer than the upcoing marker. Hal communicated with his ring and determined it was radiation. Curiously, gamma radiation. He commanded his ring to further investigate and it determined that it was the result of a leak, from a Dhorian Freightrunner vehicle moving away at some not insignificant speed. It was already at least one sector over, possibly two. Hal plotted a new course in pursuit.

"Well, I'm not bored anymore..."

"And why's that?"

"Seems I might have just found myself a smuggler or contraband dealer of some kind. Following his radiation trail now."

"Yeah? What makes you so sure it's not just an old starship, leaving your ion trail?"

"Didn't say anything about an ion trail, Kilowog. What I'm following is Gamma..."

"Gamma? Need special clearance to transport anything Ga--"

"Yeah, I know. And the kind of jalopy I'm looking at after getting a schematic approximation read from the ion trail? No way it has papers. Only thing is, it's a couple sectors over already... Now the way it's gushing ion, it's almost certain to set down at the rest stop in 2,374..."

"Ah Hell Jordan, you're not planning on pissing in somebody else's pond are you..." There was no question in his voice. They both already knew exactly what he was doing.

"He's leaking Gamma all through my sector, Kilowog. I've got probable cause..."

"Yeah, I know, alright. I guess you should go after him. Take care though. I'll let you clear your channel for local backup comms."

"Sure thing. I'll give him Hell for you." The hologram of the large Bolovaxian disappeared.

Hal surged on, chasing the pale green dot.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by webboysurf
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webboysurf Live, Laugh, Love

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Location: Adrian's Home in Avalon Heights - Bludhaven
Take Me Out #1.02: So if You're Lonely

Interaction(s): None
Previously: I'm Just a Shot

The smell of bacon permeated the air, and lulled Adrian from his deep sleep. He cracked his eyes open as he shifted slightly, the leather couch sticking to his exposed arms and legs as he did so. He reached down to the ground, fumbling for his phone before pulling it up. He was blinded for a moment, before his eyes readjusted enough for him to see the time.

6:08 am

Adrian sighed. His entire body was rebelling against his discipline, begging for just even 5 more measly minutes. But Adrian's will was stronger, and he threw his legs over the side of the couch so he could quickly slide on his pants from the day before. He slowly shuffled through the living room and past the stairs going up. There weren't the usual sounds of shuffling feet upstairs, which meant the kids must still be asleep. Adrian called out as he passed, "Kids! Come down for breakfast, or Uncle Alan and I will eat it all!"

Adrian finally shuffled around the corner, into the kitchen. Doris was busy over a pan full of eggs, wearing an apron over her suit. Adrian lingered in the entryway. Doris didn't bother turning her head. "The kids aren't feeling well this morning, I think they caught something at school. I couldn't get them in with Doctor Kelly until this afternoon."

Adrian gave a nod, moving around the island in the center of the kitchen and making his way to the Keurig. He quickly slotted in a cup and fetched a mug from the cabinet, turning the machine on. "Did you get a call from the mechanic yet?"

Doris shook her head, taking the pan off the heat and divvying up the scrambled eggs between a few plates. "No, I'll give them a call before I hop on my 7:30. I'm sure Alan won't mind taking you to work."

Adrian nodded, but felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He checked the screen, and immediately accepted the call. "Agent Flores, it's Chase. What can I do for you?"

The voice on the other end was gruff and tired, but didn't linger or slur its words from exhaustion. "Good Morning… I heard you were the one who was nearly mugged by Scarapelli's two lieutenants. We're waking them up and going to begin the interrogations soon, you should probably swing by when you can."

Adrian furrowed his brow as he walked into the adjacent dining room, where Alan Welles was busy looking over case files while sipping on his coffee. Alan turned his gaze towards Adrian, raising an inquisitive eyebrow. "I'm not as mobile today, one of our cars are in the shop. Besides, we can't exactly interfere in the active investigation. I'm the DA, not a Bludhaven detective."

"Word has come down that Scarapelli's bond hearing is first on the docket after lunch. If we're going to keep Scarapelli off the streets, we need proof that he is a substantial threat. The man is 78 years old. The only way we can guarantee he's a serious enough threat is if we get one of the two men he sent after you last night to confess that the orders came from the top."

Adrian sighed as Doris walked into the dining room, setting down two plates full of food on the table. Adrian leaned in to kiss his wife on the cheek, but she turned her head away. Alan quickly turned his eyes back to his files and stared at them like his life depended on it. Adrian just cleared his throat and sat down in front of his breakfast. "Still doesn't explain why you need me there, Agent."

Flores seemed to anticipate Adrian's comment, responding quickly. "You know this case better than any of the detectives here, and you know what you need to make sure Scarapelli stays locked up until the trial. If this guy gets out, he's going to be touching down in Madripoor in 24 hours and this entire case is a bust."

After a brief pause, Adrian responded. "Alright, I'll be in within the hour."

He hung up the phone just as Doris was walking in to drop off his finished coffee. Adrian gave her a nod as she slipped back into the kitchen. Alan finished his cup of coffee. "I take it I'm opening up the office this morning?"

Adrian nodded, speaking in between quick bites of food. "I’m gonna need you to drop me off at the station downtown. They moved up Scarapelli's bond hearing."

Alan sighed, sliding some unopened files across the table. "You might need these, then. It's what we already have on dumb and dumber from last night. I haven't had time to sit down and take notes on these yet. But I made sure to pull everything I had together for when we got to the office."

Adrian gave a nod towards the documents, finished wolfing down his food, and made his way upstairs for a quick shower and change. He paused at the top of the stairs, looking to his right. He hadn’t seen the kids in just about a day now. But they were sick, and Adrian didn’t have time for that. He quickly went left, to the master bedroom.

Drew Chase, a girl of only six years in age, was woken early by her father’s yelling. She huddled up under her covers, trying to stifle her coughing and sniffing. She felt awful, and recognized the heavy footsteps of her father coming up the stairs. She wanted nothing more than for her father to come in and hug her and comfort her, like he used to. But her spirits fell as she heard the master bedroom door close.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Mao Mao
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Mao Mao Sheriff of Pure Hearts (They/Them)

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The first thing Steven Rogers heard as his eyes slowly opened was the blast of trumpets and saxes from the radio nearby the bed. He realized instantly that he wasn't on the German bomber anymore, feeling a sense of relief for being rescued. His combat uniform was replaced by a casual striped shirt, dark olive-drab cotton pants, and brown para boots. But his shield and M1911 pistol were nowhere to be seen in the room. Steven was vigilant about his surroundings even though it was obviously a hospital room since he didn't know if the medical staff was treating him as a patient or a prisoner of war. Then, the door gradually opened to reveal a nurse carrying a wooden clipboard with papers on it.

The nurse greeted her patient with a friendly smile while glancing at the clipboard. "Good morning, Steven. It's good to see you awake."

"Where am I?" Steven asked, rather abnormally blunt in a rude tone.

And yet, the nurse didn't seem to mind the impoliteness—in fact, she appeared to be sympathetic to her patient. "You're at the Bellevue Hospital in New York City, captain."

Steven took a long hard look around the hospital room, noting that there was nothing out of the ordinary. He then noticed that the time on the clock was four o'clock in the afternoon. And judging by the fact that the sun wasn't anywhere near the horizon meant that something was off. But that wasn't all he noticed. Steven also realized that he couldn't hear traffic noise, which was incredibly bizarre in a heavily populated city like New York City. Furthermore, the music from the radio appeared to be deliberately loud, so it would've been hard to listen for traffic. Evidently, he was being lied to by the nurse; however, he didn't know if she was knowingly involved or not. So he asked the same question again.

"Where am I?"

The nurse's smile quickly turned into a frown as she placed the clipboard against her chest. "I don't understand, captain."

"You might not, but I know for a fact that we aren't in New York City—no traffic noise is a dead giveaway." Steven got up from the bed and slowly approached the nurse. "So, I will ask again, and please be truthful: Where am I?"

Abruptly, two armed men with batons came into the room to contain the escalating situation. However, it was clear that they weren't hospital security nor part of the United States Army by their uniforms. The nurse was displeased with their arrival as she tried to kick them out of the room. But when they refused to leave, the nurse turned toward Steven and attempted to ease tensions. "Captain Rogers, please sit down, and I will do my best to explain everything to you."

"I am afraid I can't do that, ma'am." Steven sincerely said in an apologetic tone, staring directly at the armed men. He knew that it would be an easy fight even without his shield. But he didn't want to hurt them for doing their jobs. So as the song was coming to a climactic ending, Steven turned and ran for the window—ready to dive headfirst into whatever was waiting for him outside. Everyone was surprised that the captain did that stunt without hesitation. The nurse ran towards the broken window, concerned about his well-being but was astonished to see him kneeling on the hood of a taxi cab. The driver was obviously upset about the damage to his vehicle, but the captain was dazed and confused about his surroundings to notice.

Steven then ran northward without even noticing the angry taxi driver. He didn't know where to go nor had a plan besides running as far away as possible. Even know the streets remained the same, much of the city had changed entirely since his last visit. Thirty minutes of running had led him to Times Square, where it looked like something out of the pages of Amazing Stories. The moving pictures on the walls of skyscrapers, overbearing lights coming from every direction, and that stranger humming noise beneath his feet caused the overwhelmed captain to drop to his knees. But before a crowd could've formed around him, unmarked black vehicles surrounded his position as individuals got out and began blocking access to the area.

A lone man exited the vehicle and cautiously approached Steven Rogers to not frighten him. But he detected the stranger and already was planning on running again if it wasn't for his senses overloading. The man, wearing a full-length black leather trench coat, put his hand on the captain's shoulder in an attempt to comfort him. "At ease, soldier. You're safe with me here."

There wasn't much Steven could've done to prevent it from happening in his current state. So instead, he asked in a distressed tone. "Who are you?"

"Colonel Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD. You would have known us as the Special Scientific Reserve." Since waking up in that hospital room, Steven breathed a heavy sigh of relief upon hearing that SSR was still active even if it had undergone a sudden name change. He slowly got up from the ground and turned to Colonel Fury, ready to ask the same question from earlier—wanting answers this time around without the lies and deception.

"Where am I?"

"You're still in New York City, more specifically Times Square—though a lot has changed since your last visit." Nick looked around at the skyscrapers and billboards before gazing at the captain. "We had hoped to slowly break it down for you with our performance back at the hospital. But you were too smart to be tricked like that."

"Break what down, sir?" Steven asked.

Nick didn't honestly know how to say the following words, but there was no other way than to be blunt. "You have been asleep for seventy-seven years."

"Seventy-seven years..." Steven shook his head and nearly chuckled at the thought. It was too outlandish for him to believe. "No, there's no way. How the hell am I alive then?"

Nick shrugged his shoulders. "To be frank, we genuinely don't know. There's a working theory that Dr. Erskine's formula and frigid seawater prevented you from aging. But you would have to ask the eggheads for more info."

Honestly, Steven wasn't exactly in the mindset to learn how he defiled death, nor did he still believe that he had been frozen for about eighty years. So, he moved on to one important question left to ask. "And the war... did we win?"

"Fuck yeah, we did." Nick smirked and then extended his hand out to the captain. "And your efforts against the Nazis and HYDRA are still heavily appreciated."

"Respectfully, sir, it wasn't just me." Steven stated while accepting the hand to shake it. But then he abruptly stopped as the memories of his teammates resurfaced all at once. Margaret, Gabriel, Jim, William, Aleksey, Timothy, Robert, and... Bucky Barnes. Then, his thoughts were on his parents and friends. All of them were presumed dead, given how long he had been unconscious. It alone made him wish that he was having a horrible nightmare, but it was real.

"What is it, captain?" Nick asked, genuinely concerned about Steven. He then realized that they were talking in the middle of a very popular tourist attraction. It wasn't ideal to speak openly about someone's past out in public, especially when secrets were involved. "I can bring you somewhere more... remote to process your emotions if you want."

Steven shared a faint smile with the colonel and accepted his offer without any doubt. "That sounds good to me, sir."

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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Silverstein
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Silverstein Salt-Free Wolf

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Klarion the Witch Boy

Location: Salem woods, the devil's oak.
Interaction: none
Issue #1: The boy who sought chaos
notable mentions: The cult of blood(Massachusetts chapter)

Witching Hour
Definition of the witching hour
1: the time late at night when the powers of a witch, magician, etc., are believed to be strongest

Somewhere in the thick secluded woods of Salem, right beneath the infamous hanging tree; A forgotten and sickening tradition takes place in the shade of the night's fog and darkness.

"Brothers, sisters, we are gathered here today as witnesses and at the same time represent our lord's hammer towards the wicked. What stands before you is a group of people that reeks of foul magic, They have committed a blasphemous act of using witchcraft in our state which is punishable by death and damnation, What says you, brethren? what's god's punishment towards these disgusting heathens!!?" A charismatic prophet exclaimed, facing and demanding an answer from the frantic crowd in front of him. His face was all red, His teeth seething with rage, and His eyes filled with malice, and was ready to deliver these sacrificial lambs as offering to their 'god'.

"Burn them, Burn them, Burn them!" The crowd repeatedly chanted in unison, empowering his cause.

He smirks at the obvious yet inhumane response from his audience; All of them are wearing red cloaks and their faces are concealed by assorted hideous masks. They are the judge, the jury, and the executioner of this ritual and pretty much a cult in every sense of the word.

"The people have spoken! May God strike you dead for your wicked deeds." said the man clad in a red tunic. His torch flickers with cinders, spewing sparks of flames in the wind, matching his venomous words from every accusation he speaks to the so-called 'witches' held captive, gagged, and tied in front of him.

The victims plead their muffled cry of innocence (which they are) only to be drowned by the chant of burning them at the stake.

Right before the hay was lit with fire beneath their feet. A boisterous laugh was heard from the masses, abruptly interrupting the ceremony.

"Man, how cliche can you get? human sacrifices at midnight, with matching cult outfits like a bunch of cosplayers? Ughh.. that's so out of date.." one of the cultists heckled, sounding like a pre-adolescent teen.

Klarion boldly removes his glamor charm and reveals his true self and his cat.

Many have gasped knowing there's an imposter amongst themselves. Their eyes are all set on the witch boy.

"You dare mock us, intruder?" The head of the cult snarled, addressing the slender lad that dare interrupt this sacred ritual.

"As much as I love prolonged this dull cult activity of yours, let us cut to the chase why I'm here, shall we? I'm here for your denononecronomicon"


"Demonomicon, Demonomicon.. I know what I said Teekl" The witch boy throws a hissy fit at his cat correcting him.

"How arrogant of you to come here knowing you're outnumbered, witch. Tie him up and add him to the sacrifices" He commanded his followers.

Without any hesitation, The religious mob did as they were told and closed in on the Witch boy from all sides. Armed with pitchforks and torches, ready to pounce at their cornered prey like a pack of hungry wolves.

"Alright, I'll play.. Te Ipsum Occidere" Klarion smirked and simply spoke these words with a clear voice and conviction so that everyone can hear.

An invocation that alters the mind and perception. It's basically the Latin word for "Kill yourself".

The charm takes effect.

His words become their actions.

Hysteria poisoned their mind and involuntarily started attacking one other. Their weapons were drawn out only to shed blood amongst their ranks.
They become their own worst enemy, redirecting their anger toward themselves, and began murdering and eviscerating each other until nothing was left standing.

"Wow, you guys suck, you don't have protection against the most basic mind control spell, I guess witch-hunters are not built as they use to these days" Klarion laughs his ass off at the mutiny that he has caused.

"You'll pay for this, you brat!" unaffected by the witch boy's charm, The cult leader musters up his courage and draws his musket, pointing it at Klarion.

Before the priest could even pull the trigger, Klarion shoots an eldritch blast that pierces a fatal wound in his chest that brought him down to his knees.

Klarion grins and makes a finger bang gesture, blowing the imaginary smoke out his index finger.

The petulant boy then levitates toward the stage and confronts the fallen cult leader.

"Great party you old geezer, Now give me what I want.." Klarion demanded in his usual bratty tone.

"It's not here, you foul abomination of magic. You think this is a joke? Our god, and his high priest will have your head for soiling the cult of blood. you can't escape what's coming! -- may your rotten c- AGGGHHH"

"Ughh, shut up already with your lectures." Klarion rolls his eye, and snaps his fingers, putting a gagging curse on the dying priest. The cultist's mouth burst out and vomits a chunk ton of various insects that soon crawls and feast on his decaying flesh.

"Well, this has been a waste of time. These losers didn't have the book" Klarion sighed.

"Come now, Teekl.. I've got school early in the morning"


The boy and his cat left and dissipate into the night's fog; Leaving the mess and entrails of countless bodies they made in this area.

The victims were left there stranded and tied up and has to witness the entire massacre of this cult.

They were petrified and confused by the mysterious pale boy's senseless killings and at the same time relieved that they didn't get burned alive by their captors.

This has been one crazy night for them, and that's one hell of an understatement.
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Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Natty
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Member Seen 1 mo ago


The bus rocked from side to side as it meandered down the highway. It was still early, will only flashes of sunlight managing to peak over the tops of hills and through the trees. Outside of Jackson, the rest of the bus only contained a small number of people, none of whom he paid much attention to. Instead he sat in silence, head against the glasses of the window, feeling every vibration and bump in the road as a result. His earbuds played the same chill music into his ears that he'd been playing for the entirety of his journey. He was almost numb to it now, yet he couldn't pause or stop at the risk of remembering the sounds he'd been trying so hard to forget.

And then, just before Jackson could close his eyes once to doze off, the flashes of light grew brighter, as the treeline vanished and the sun began to fully emerge from behind the curve of the earth. In that moment Jackson got his first look at the ocean.

It seemed to spread onwards, infinitely. The deep blue was speckled with shades of orange and red as the sunlight hit it. It seemed to breathe, with the surface rising and falling with rythmic ease. It wasn't long before Jackson found himself copying it, as if on instinct. Watching the waves gave him a calm he hadn't experienced for some time. It felt familar.

He didn't turn away and began to sit there staring, mesmerised.

Jackson probably would've sat there staring indefinitely if it hadn't been for the sound of movement around him, as fellow passengers began to rise from their seats, and reach into the luggace racks above their heads. Emerging from his own world, the teenager looked around the vehicle, moving one hand to lower and earbud from his head. It was significantly lighter now, with a brief check of his cracked phone screen telling him that it was now around 7:30am.

Releasing a smile from his lips, he skipped to a more upbeat song, before reapplying his earbud, and joining the rest of the passengers in rising to their feet. Reaching up for his bag, his eyes moved out of the bus's window once more, barely in time to catch the approaching town's welcome sign.

Amnesty Bay.

🐟 🐟 🐟

As Jackson began to make his way down the boardwalk, duffle bag under his arm, a screaming group of seagulls signaled his arrival overhead. Amnesty Bay was beautiful in the morning light. The town had begun with a small harbour, next to where the bus had dropped Jackson off, filled with a collection of colourful fishing boats that bobbed around excitedly as if itching to set sail. The beach began right after the closest dock to the rest of the town, with it spanning a good couple of hundreds of metres, sitting just below the boardwalk. Despite its age, the boardwalk itself seemed extremely well maintained, with the railings a nice eggshell white and void of any obvious marks or chippings.

At the far end of the beach, and directly ahead of him, the headland rose dramatically, wrapping around the bay. Atop the hillside, sat a lighthouse, with its tower of white and red looking down on the small town below as if protecting it from danger.

Jackson moved his phone up out of his pocket as he admired it, swiping his fingers across the screen before opening up the camera and capturing the scene. He certainly didn't have views like that back in New Mexico.

Given the beautiful day that it was starting to become, it was already bustling, with townsfolk and tourists alike looking down at the sea or heading towards the beast.

Jackson garnered a few glances as he walked. Most seemed cheerful and friendly, although others looked on with suspicion. He scoffed, shaking his head. Given he was the only person of colour he'd seen since arriving, he was fairly certain he knew what those looks were for.

Turning his attention away from the sea, at last, he admired the small town itself. There were a series of gift shops, with grand displays of beach toys and postcards in their open-air displays, to various cafes and bars. One of the more central builds was a grand diner, just like the ones you'd see in movies. Jackson smiled at the sight, it filling him with the nostalgia of a time he never lived.

Another raise of his phone. Another photo.

Deciding to leave trying the place for later, he raised his hand briefly to stop a couple passing by.

"Sorry guys." He said offering them a smile, as he looked down at his phone to read aloud a message. "Any chance you could point me towards an... Arthur Curry?"
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Simple Unicycle ?

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I S S U E # 2
I S S U E # 2

. . . L I K E A B E E
. . . L I K E A B E E

My eyes shoot open at the sound of an engine revving up outside and headlights beaming in through the window, illuminating the room. Blearily, I sit up in bed and take a glance at the clock on the wall: 4:43 AM. I get out of bed and stumble over to the window, setting a hand on the windowsill to lean on, before setting my gaze outside. What I see is a black pickup truck parked a few yards away from the house, four men climbing out of it with guns in hand. Two have hunting rifles, one carries a double barrel shotgun, and the fourth carries a revolver. The one with the shotgun takes the lead, stopping a few feet away from the front porch and shouting, "WALTSON! COME ON OUT YOU OLD FUCK!"

I tighten my grip on the windowsill at that. Something tells me they're not here for a nice early morning visit.

I pull my clothes on as quickly as I can and throw myself through the bedroom door, nearly crashing right into George who's still in a pair of long johns. The old man steadies me with a pair of hands on my shoulders, then looks me in the eyes. His expression is stony and grim but I can see the fear behind his eyes. "Vic, go back to bed. I'll handle this," he says.

I shake my head. "No. I'm going out there."

He scowls at that. "I've dealt with these little fools before. They'll go running as soon as I head out there with my gun."

"Have they brought guns before?" I ask. George freezes at that.

"... No."

"All four of them are packing heat. I don't think they're playing this time," I say, casting my gaze down the stairs before turning back to George. "Stay here. I can handle this."

"Neither of us should go out there. Let's call the cops and stay inside, they won't try coming in."

"You really think that? And you're so sure the cops will be able to make it in time? You live, what, an hour away from the nearest town? I don't think our friends," I gesture downstairs, "are inclined to sit outside waiting for us to come out for an hour. They'll break in eventually."

George looks unsure at that. I shake his hands off me and start to walk downstairs. "Victor," he calls after me. I stop halfway down the stairs and glance over my shoulder at him and watch as his expression goes through a range of emotions before settling on resolution. He gives a grim nod and follows after me. We continue down the stairs, stopping at the front door where George grabs his shotgun while I stand ready to open the door.

"I'll head out first. If you hear me shout, then you come out," I say, my grip on the doorknob tightening.

He nods grimly. "... Don't get killed." I nod, then open the door and step out.

The headlights nearly blind me. I raise a hand to shield my eyes, slowly lowering it as my eyes adjust to the brightness. I can see the four men more clearly: they look a bit younger than me, early 20s at most, all white with shaved heads, bulky builds and leather jackets. Skinheads, it seems like. These the "no good sons of a gun" that George talked about?

The leader looks me over and laughs, looking over his shoulder at his buddies. "Ha, look, the old man's got a new boy toy," he says and they all chuckle. He turns back to me. "Was planning on just putting down one homo today but I guess two is a pleasant surprise."

"You might want to reevaluate your expectations," I say, walking forward with a glare.

He raises the shotgun and points it right at me. "Back off! I'll blow you away, motherfucker!"

I continue my stride, stopping just an inch from the barrel leveled at my heart.

"Will you?"

The man within me is filled with rage, ready to bubble over and let it out in a violent explosion. Break their knees. Crack their skulls. Bust their noses. He has no fear of death, he's faced these odds before and every time he's come out on top. For once, the butterfly is in agreement with the man's assessment, but he holds no rage. These men have accumulated bad karma their whole lives and now the butterfly is ready to inflict it on them. Make them pay for their crimes.

Right now, it feels less like a butterfly and more like a bee.

I grab the shotgun by the barrel and divert its aim into the ground. He fires, the shot blowing apart the turf, and I swing an open palm into his nose once, twice, three times. His grip on the gun goes loose and I pry it from his hands, swinging the stock of the gun into his head and knocking him out cold where he stands. The man hasn't even hit the ground before I swiftly jump over him and send the shotgun flying at one of the riflemen, the weapon nailing him in the face and sending him to the ground.

I pivot into a side kick aimed at the second rifleman's chin, snapping his head back and giving me an opportunity to grapple him and throw him at the only man still standing, the one with the revolver who's taking aim at me. A shot fires from the revolver, the bullet whizzing right past my head, but he doesn't get a chance to fire again as his friend crashes into him. They both groan in a heap as they attempt to untangle themselves and stand.

The first rifleman is standing again, his nose twisted and bloodied. He snarls at me, baring his chipped and bloody teeth, while raising his rifle. I crouch down and dart forward, zigging and zagging so he can't maintain a bead on me. The gun goes off anyways, a bullet clipping my shoulder, but the adrenaline flowing through me keeps me from feeling it. I spring forward and upward the last few feet, sending an uppercut into his throat. He gets sent stumbling back and onto his ass, gasping for a breath. A quick stomp on his face and he goes silent.

I twist back around. The gunslinger and the other rifleman are standing now, rifleman missing his gun but gunslinger with revolver in hand. I pick up the rifle at my feet and quickly set my sights on the gunslinger, firing; the shot tears through his calf and he falls to the ground, screaming in pain. I twist the gun in my hand around to use it as a club as I sprint at the final man, who stands with readied fists and terrified eyes. Once close, I swing, and he brings up his forearms to block the hit. The force of the impact staggers him but he remains standing, so I duck into a sweeping kick and knock him onto the ground. One hand holds him down by the shoulder while the other brings the butt of the rifle down onto his face. And then I do it again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.





I toss the rifle away, forcing myself to stop.

His features are distorted, twisted in ways they shouldn't be. Nose folded against left cheek, eyes swollen shut, lips split open, gashes and welts all over the rest of the face. His fair skin isn't even recognizable as skin anymore, more just one giant black and blue bruise. He gurgles up a glob of blood and broken teeth as he tries to breathe. I turn him onto his side and a spew of vomit, saliva and blood spills out of his mouth. Then he can breathe again.

I stand up, my whole body shuddering as I take in deep breaths. The man's bloodlust is crying out for more, more, but the butterfly must contain him, tell him that they have gone far enough. This has been enough to ensure the man will never hurt anyone again. There's no need to kill him.

No need to kill him.

No need to kill.

No need...



I snap back around to see George standing there, shotgun in hand. He examines the scene on his front lawn with wide eyes, taking in the carnage I had dealt onto these men. Blood has splattered onto the grass which still blows softly in the breeze, unaffected by the battle that had just occurred. George brings his eyes to mine and I can see the fear in them.

"How the hell did you..." his voice trails off but I already know the question he's asking.

I don't answer. Instead, I start walking towards the truck. I open the driver's door, about to get in when- "Victor!" A hand on my shoulder. I twist around, snarling, seeing George's worried face quickly morph into shock.

The man is in control right now with all his feral, violent tendencies. He holds no love for anything, no care, no tenderness. All he knows, all he is, is pain. But the butterfly is greater than him, and it exerts its power over him, sending him away for the time to take over with its bliss. I let the tension leave my shoulders and give a sigh. I look at George with a soft gaze. "... I'm sorry. I can't stay any longer. Have to go before the cops get here."


"I need to get to Hub City as soon as possible. I'm needed there. I can't spend all day talking to the cops and then keep making court appearances for the next few months." I turn back around and climb into the truck.


I turn to him. George looks at me with a conflicted expression. Fear. Concern. Apprehension. Finally, his expression morphs into a smile, not too sure of itself but standing on that uneasy ground confidently anyways. "... Godspeed. And take care," he says. I give him the slightest upturn of my lips and a nod, before I close the door and take hold of the steering wheel. George backs up as I back out of his yard and onto the dirt road, heading back through the way I entered this serene little field he calls a home.

I gaze into the rearview mirror and see George standing, watching me. I can't make out his expression from this far away. Can't imagine what it could be either.

I set my eyes back onto the road, intent on reaching Hub City.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Hound55
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Hound55 Create-A-Hero RPG GM, Blue Bringer of BWAHAHA!

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Mr Tawky Tawny stood in a bored-looking repose, his martini glass in hand, regaling the small assembly of lawyers at the Pro Bono Privato over his latest success. The air rich with well oiled teak, mahogany and fine imported liquor, with sporadic plumes of cigar smoke.

"...and then the judge was so taken with the boldness and obscure knowledge of the law which I demonstrated in making the motion to dismiss, he was left with no valid alternative but to dismiss the case."

A smattering of polite amusement from those in attendance.

"Really? In a murder trial?"

Mr Tawny seemed quite taken aback by the very question.

"Uhh... yes. The prosecution could offer no reasonable means to strike and--"

A well dressed man, presumably the maitre-domo, walked over with quick pace and prim poise.

"Sir, we've just checked your card and can find no mention of you amongst our members list."

"Well, that makes sense. You see I'm just a guest here today, I was invited in by an existing member, whilst I consider whether it meets my standards to become a member myself." Tawky Tawny explained reasonably.

"Sure, that's fine, sir. And what was the name of the member?"

"Well, I mean it could be anyone. We're all friends here..." The group slowly dispersed from around the well dressed tiger.

"Well, work acquaintances. WELL RESPECTED work acquaintances, and--"

"I see... Yes, well sir, if you weren't signed in as a guest of an existing memb--"

"Now look here! I'm in fine standing with the American Bar Association--"

"I should certainly hope so, sir. After all this is a Lawyer's Club..."

"Why, you think I'm just some common ambulance chaser, don't you?! I'll have you know I've been out of the the Public Defender's office for quite a while now--"

"Uh-huh. How long?"


"...Two weeks."

"Two weeks?! Alright, sir, I think we've heard enough now--"

"Alright, one and a half weeks! But we've set up our new offices and we'll be--"

"Sir, you don't want to be making a scene. Well, anymore of a scene than a belligerent tiger in a suit complaining that he can't sneak in without proper invitation already is. I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to leave."

The dispersed crowd started to gather again, unable to sweat, Mr Tawny began to pant to do away with the excessive heat from the pressure of the situation.

"I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to leave."

"I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to leave."

"No wait! This isn't right! This can all be fixed!"

"I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to leave."


"I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to leave."

Mr Tawny awoke with a start that threw him from his cheap factory seconds swivel-office chair. Detective Chimp hovered over above him repeating the same sentence over and over.

"I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to leave."

"I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to leave."

"I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to leave."

"Why do you keep saying that!?!" Tawky Tawny yelled, his head feeling like it was going to explode from waking suddenly.

"Just screwing with your dreams..." The Chimp Detective chattered out a laugh, and swiftly roller skated away.

"Damnedable simian!" He called out after him. "And I don't care if you were right when you said about Sherlock Holmes playing the violin! I'm damned near positive he didn't wear roller skates!

Bobo poked his head back around the door frame. "Are you sure..? Are you going to read the complete works of Arthur Conan Doyle to tell me I'm wrong?"

Mr Tawny considered the challenge. "They have it on audiobook, right?"

Bobo's eyebrows raised at the laziness of the tiger.

"No, you know what. I saw those movies with Robert Downey Junior in them. I remember now. Never wore roller skates."

"Are you suuuuuuuuure..?"

"Yes, I'm certain! I saw them both... all... three of them. Wait, were there two or three? I remember he was dressed up as a chair in one. I mean that was pretty out there... Did he wear roller skates? I know he didn't wear roller BLADES because it was a period piece, but did he? Oh my god, am I about to lose a bet over whether Sherlock Holmes wore roller skates?" He second, third and fourth-guessed himself.

"Are you suuuuuuuuure..?" Detective Chimp repeated, smirk well and truly covering his face, as he was now well and truly in the tiger's head.

The tiger grabbed his head, frustrated and had more than his fill with this conversation. "Look... just... leave me alone for a few minutes, and don't leave rubber skidmarks around on the new... ish, linoleum covered floor. Don't you have work to do?"

The smile dropped from Bobo's face and he deadpanned. "I'm a paid permanent Private Investigator for a so-called legal office. If you don't have a caseload, I don't have anything to do. Or do you expect me to go out and find you work now?"

Tawky Tawny cupped his head in his paws, here it comes again.

"I suppose you expect me to go downstairs, slap on a sandwich board and walk up and down the street with my tail between my legs, begging people to use your legal services..."

"Alright. I did that once. It was a mistake to have you do that. I admit it. What more do you want from me?"

"The restoration of my dignity for a start... Or is this how you see all of us other animals? A real eye-opener that was--!"

"I said, 'I'm sorry', what more do you want from me?"

"You're not sorry you made me do it, you're sorry because you didn't realise its frowned on in your profession for legal offices to advertise in such a 'shameless' fashion, and because it reflected poorly on you!"

"Yes, like I said. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I foisted the idea upon you and I shouldn't have done it." He replied, once more evading the point.

"You're unbelievable!" Bobo skated off again.

Detective Chimp skated sullenly - as much as a chimpanzee can roller skate sullenly - to the front counter where Mary was sitting.

"Please don't upset Tawky Tawny, Mr Chimp. He's been under a lot of pressure lately trying to find us more work."

Detective Chimp was about to scoff at the notion of "Poor Mister Tawny" being the one looking for work and unleash another tirade, when he was silenced by the deeply saddened expression on her innocent face. He was instantly warmed to a smile.

"Sure, Miss Mary. For you. And please, it's 'Detective' Chimp."

"Oh, I'm sorry. You have told me that before. 'Detective' Chimp." She apologised, her previously sad face warming into a smile as well.

"That's quite alright. You know, when you say it, it doesn't seem like you're trying to rob me of any respect in the first place. You're one of the few people I might just let call me that."

Mary's smile grew into a wide beam.

"But yeah-- obviously, if you can. Umm... 'Detective' Chimp. If you wouldn't mind."

"Absolutely... And what can we do for you, sir?" Mary said, greeting a new person that neither of them had ever met before. A short man in a green tweed suit.

"My name is Oswald Loomis, and I'm here to see the lawyer. I trust he's in?"

"I do believe I have a case for him..."
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