Hidden 5 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Silly Forum Ghost

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| 2018
The night air was cool as the pair walked hand in hand idly along the foggy streets of the quiet Gotham neighbourhood. The semester was coming to a close and while the dorms were likely filled with partying college kids, Barbara thankfully lived further from campus, renting an apartment shared with a graduate student.

Taking their time, Barbara looked up at Dick, studying his face as her near-perfect memory recalled not the handsome young man beside her, but the cheeky young boy she first met. His baby blues were hidden behind a domino mask and a tousled mess of black hair.

Babs suddenly stifled a giggle that brought Dick’s attention and prying gaze towards the shorter redhead.

“What’s got you all giddy all of a sudden?” He asked, raising a brow as Barbara’s emerald eyes looked up towards Dick, locking with his own before she spoke.

“I still remember the first time I saw you.” She started, pausing momentarily as she looked around as if mockingly checking the empty streets for someone watching them, “Do you still have the tights?”

“If I did,” Dick began, holding up a finger on his free hand, “And I’m not saying that I do, I don’t know that they would still fit.”

“Puh-lease,” Babs retorted, “We both know Bruce had you in that outfit far longer than you ever should have been. It wasn’t just Gotham’s underbelly that were packing.”

“Oh, so you were checking me out?”

“Get over yourself, Grayson,” Babs spun around, jumping on top of the nearby pony wall as she walked backwards in front of him. “No one started checking you out until you stopped wearing the cape and uncovered your best asset.” She paused, tapping a finger to her chin before excitedly pointing at Dick again.

“Remember when you thought you’d be cooler as a freshman if everyone started calling you ‘Ric’?”

“What is this, the roast of Dick Grayson?” Dick asked, throwing his hands up as he feigned offense. Still despite his best efforts, Barbara noticed he couldn’t stop smiling. Her cheeks suddenly felt quite warm.

“Hey, stay out of the kitchen if you can’t handle the hea-” The wall had unexpectedly ended, causing Barbara to misstep. A firm hand suddenly appeared between her shoulder blades as another helped her back onto the sidewalk.

Graceful as ever, Gordon, She muttered to herself before looking up at the former Boy Wonder again, “I mean ‘Hello Megan’!” She pointed towards her hair, “This girl comes with a warning, you can’t be shocked when things get hot.”

“Pretty sure I just saved you.”

“I had it under control.” Barbara stated, crossing her arms defiantly as the pair came to a stop outside of a small brick covered townhouse. It was in an older part of Gotham, Edwardian architecture still covered in the original brick. Ivy had grown attached to the house, finding its way into every crevice and crack between the mortar and brick. But it had a distinct charm, Barbara and her roommate had both enjoyed the house over the past couple of years.

“So this is you?” Dick asked, full well knowing the answer. It was hardly his first time coming to the house. Though, Barbara did have to admit this might be his first time using the front door.

“This is me,” Babs replied, a small smirk appearing in the corners of her mouth as she unlocked the door before turning around and facing Dick again. As he leaned in for a kiss, Barbara held her lips just out of reach of his. The charged air seemed to radiate between them before the redhead pulled back. Her lips curled into a coy smile as she reached behind her and opened the door.

“Not tonight, Boy Wonder.” She teased, winking before blowing a kiss and scurrying inside with a giggle. Opening his mouth to protest, Dick didn’t have a chance to get a word out before the door shut.

Leaning on the other side, Barbara giggled to herself again before realizing how dark the house was. She was sure her roommate had said she was staying in tonight.

“Harls?” Babs called, “You can put the ice cream away, he was both a gentleman and a scholar.”

There was no response as Barbara bent down to remove her boots before tiptoeing further into the townhouse in case Harleen was asleep.

Maybe she did go out?

Before she could take a step further away from the door, there was a knock. Rolling her eyes, Barbara called back towards the aperture.

“Dick, please tell me you haven’t been standing out there this whole time?”

Turning around, Barbara opened the door. An audible gasp erupted from her mouth as she stumbled backwards.

“Dick? That’s a little rude given we barely know one another heehahahaHAHAHAheehahaHA!”

That haunting laugh was the last thing Barbara heard before the gunshot.

- -|◄ FIRST---
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Queen Arya
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Queen Arya Celestial Queen-in-Waiting

Member Seen 14 hrs ago

The Raven

"I was wondering when you'd grow tired."

"Of what?"

"Your little birdcage. You know, the one built by that other little birdy... damn shame you let a clown beat me to him."

"Shut it. I just need some air."

With a small shrug and a callous grin, the red-robed girl seemed to dissipate into a shadow in the shape of a raven before disappearing. Rachel let out a long sigh as she shook her head free of that girl's words. Her eyes drifted shut as she whispered soft words, taking a moment to calm the emotions that had flared in response to that thing's harsh words... and a reminder of the past. It wouldn't be long before she opened her eyes once more, taking a look around the dimly lit station that had been her home for so long. The cement walls were barren and lonely, but that was the life Rachel was forced to live. Anything worse and... well, there were certain luxuries you couldn't afford when you had a roommate in your own head.

Especially when that roommate was a demon that wanted to end the world.

With a light shrug, Rachel scooped up the pair of keys sitting in a little bowl near the safe house's main entrance. Then ensuring to adjust her bangs to cover the red jewel in the center of her forehead, and pulling the red hoodie close around her form, Rachel yanked open the heavy steel door. It was still a long few minutes of walking through dilapidated tunnel after dilapidated tunnel, a saddening standard for this part of Gotham. Reaching an arm out, Rachel danced her fingers along the wall of the tunnel and for the briefest of moments could've sworn she could feel the myriad of emotions of those who had once passed through these very tunnels. The girl yanked her hand back in shock, eyes widening lightly at the new experience. "Noisy, aren't they?" The familiar voice cut in from behind her, yet Rachel refused to even acknowledge the source as she mentally forced Red down.

Within ten minutes, Rachel was free of the labyrinth. She stood at the bottom of the stairs leading up from the abandoned tunnels to the surface, taking the time to collect herself. This part was always the worst, given the proximity of her exit to Arkham. She could feel every thought, every emotion ripping through the shattered minds of the inmates behind those walls. Though the worst, perhaps, were the ones who were coherent in their thoughts. Rachel shuddered at the memories of what she'd felt from those... animals, before shaking her head and lightly slapping her own cheeks. Control. She needed to control herself, she couldn't let their thoughts give Red any more food than she already had. So, with a final smack to her cheeks, Rachel refocused on the task at hand. She ran. Dashing up the stairs, she surged out onto the streets of Gotham like a bat out of hell. Then putting the Asylum to her back, Rachel continued to run down the sidewalk in the crisp air of Gotham's Night.

She didn't stop until the dark whispers, the screams, and the hunger from the Asylum finally left her mind. To say her mind had finally quieted was... a bit of an overstatement. The never-ending cacophony of emotions within Gotham never went away, but at least they stopped screaming in a desperate bloodlust. Rachel slowed to a casual walk, taking the time to turn her attention away from the inside of her mind and towards the world around her. Gotham may not have been the most beautiful of places, but it was certainly better than an abandoned subway station. No matter how homely Jason had made it for her. However, that thought was soon shoved down deep inside her psyche. It was dangerous, any memories of that boy.

The sacrifices we have to make. I can help you embrace those emotions, all you have to do...

Rachel bit back a harsh retort as the voice in her mind trailed off, letting her offer float upon the wind. Rachel knew how that statement, she'd heard it over and over and over again. All she had to do... was give in. To let the beast inside consume her, and invite forth the end of everything else.

No, she wouldn't be giving in.

Rachel slowly refocused herself as she turned automatically down another alleyway, making her way towards the same shelter she'd been frequenting as of late. It was a relatively small shelter, sitting comfortably on the ground floor of a residential building in Bristol, about three blocks away from the Asylum. It was, after all, Taco Night at the shelter. She'd be a damned fool to let her own fears keep her away from Tacos. Red be damned. Still, even as Rachel made her way down alleys and streets she knew entirely too well, she kept a wary eye on the shadows. Knowing that there were any number of threats that could be skulking on her path; Cultists, Lowlifes, or men dressed like bats.

Temple of Trigon, Gotham City

"Our Acolytes are in position, High Father." Came the youthful, energized voice from the shadows surrounding the central chambers. A smaller-framed figure, dressed in a deep crimson robe with his hood up to hide his features stepped quietly into the torchlight. Before him, standing before an altar painted in the mighty glory of their lord, stood the High Father. Dressed in matching robes to the young man reporting, the High Father was substantially larger and his station was marked by the staff her bore. The High Father turned slowly, speaking to the junior member as he did.

"They know their tasks?" He asked, voice booming with confidence and easy command.

"Yes, High Father, the messaging has been prepared and the Acolytes have their roles. The rituals will be brief, but a message will be sent."

"Good." Said the High Father, an ominous tone creeping into his voice as a sickening grin was visible under his features hood. "When she sees the calls, sees the love we have for her..." The man said as he raised his arms above his head as if offering something to a higher being. "Our lost little bird will know the truth. She will come home to us, and take us together into Salvation." The man said, even as the younger of the knelt down.

"Shall I give the order?"

"Yes. She has been away for far too long."
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Silly Forum Ghost

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| 2018
"Barbara! MOVE!"

Barbara barely registered that the gunshot came from behind her. Reflex and instinct took over as she shielded her eyes from the exploding splinters coming from the door frame where the shot impacted. The ice in her veins suddenly began to pump again as Barbara scrambled away from the door and down the hallway towards the door frame hiding Harleen.

Behind her, the door slammed open, nearly sheared from its hinges. Bone-chilling laughter echoed through the narrow corridor causing every hair on Barbara’s body to stand on end. Her eardrums felt like they were going to explode whilst the Joker responded to Harlen by firing several shots into the air. Amused hoots came from the twisted mouth, the scared visage curling up into the Joker’s signature grin, his teeth appearing even more yellowed under the diffused hallway lighting. Continuing forward, he danced through the shower of dust and debris, obviously toying with the pair of young women.

In all her time as Batgirl, Barbara had never faced the Joker. She had never seen him in person. Bruce had countless files, and the GCPD had enough mugshots to fill a yearbook, but being in front of the Pale Man of Gotham was an entirely new experience. The infamous Clown Prince of Crime truly deserved his reputation.

Ducking around the door frame, Barbara looked at Harleen. The older grad student had been completing her residency at Arkham. She had often spoken in length about the face-to-face time she had with some of the asylum’s more dangerous inmates. Her thesis had taken a particular interest in the Joker.

Apparently, the feeling was mutual.

Harleen was barely holding it together. The gun grasped between her hands was shaking as the Joker pranced down the hallway toward where the two girls were hidden. Poking her head around the corner, Harleen raised the gun again. The deafening sound of a shot rang out, followed by the clattering of metal along the antique hardwood flooring. Laughter briefly filled the space before the Joker called out through the din.

“Careful with that thing, you’ll shoot your eye out!”

A shriek came from Harleen as Barbara realized that the Joker had disarmed the other woman with a single expertly placed shot. The two girls locked eyes for a brief second before Barbara motioned silently with her eyes behind them towards the stairs. A single word was shared telepathically between them.


Clambering up the stairs, the two women tried to put as much space as possible between them and the madman downstairs. Barbara moved to open her room before she was suddenly pulled by Harleen into hers.

No, Harls. What have you done?

Trying to formulate a new plan, Barbara fought against the panic bubbling up inside of her, watching as Harleen pulled a bat from her closet.

Just how many weapons did she have stashed in here?

"Where's my little harlequin?" The Joker’s voice echoed down the small hallway. It went quiet for a second before gunshots rang out, the walls and door of Harleen’s room exploding. The girls dropped to the floor and felt the bullets fly over their heads. Poking the gun into the entrance of Harleen’s room, the Joker seemingly hesitated for a moment, turning back into the hallway.

“Where, oh where, can Harley be?”

"Right here!” Harleen suddenly jumped from their cover, smashing the bat down on the Joker’s wrist as she disarmed him.

“Puddin'!" She added tauntingly, swinging the baseball bat around and straight into the Joker’s abdomen. The blow barely winded the Joker as he continued to laugh, taking a hold of the bat and tossing Harleen aside like a ragdoll.

The Joker was a dangerous opponent, he could trade blows with the likes of Bruce and Dick. But Barbara at least had the element of surprise on her hands as she landed a swift kick to the Joker’s jaw. Blood ran from the madman’s lip as his bloodshot eyes suddenly swivelled away from Harleen and onto Barbara.

What was once malicious laughter suddenly turned to a chilling chuckle.

The first blow nearly sent Barbara to the floor. Even with blocking it, she was caught off guard by its force of it. The next was so fast she barely had time to raise her other arm. The onslaught continued rapidly wearing down her defenses. Barbara could practically hear her body bruising.

A loud bang followed by a splatter of blood suddenly caused the Joker to falter in his assault. Barbara stumbled backwards, gasping for breath as she realized the blood wasn’t hers but instead had come from the Joker’s shoulder. Behind the clown was Harley, the Joker’s own gun in hand, still smoking. She stood there, trembling like a leaf, helpless to prevent what happened next.

The Joker spun around, snatching the gun from her hands and pulling the blonde-haired woman into his arms, seemingly unphased by the open wound. Squeezing her tightly, the Joker looked almost adoringly upon her. A single tear rolled down Harley’s face as he eyes widened, her mouth opening, but no words came out.

“There, there, it’s over now, Harley. I forgive you.”


"Shut up!" The gunshot was deafening. Searing pain suddenly shot through Barbara, only air came out of her mouth.

"Can't you see we're having a moment? You have yourself one rude roommate, Harley." The Joker's sneer echoed in Barbara's ears as though he was a world away. Her vision slowly faded to black as she helplessly watched the Joker disappear with Harleen. Her knees buckled beneath her as she fell to the wooden floor, slumping over to her side, hands clutched futilely attempting to stop the flow of blood as a warm pool formed around her.
Location: Seattle, - Washington, United States of America
Inside of Gotham's Walls #1.02: Coast to Coast
Interaction(s): None
Previously: "That haunting laugh..."

Waking with a start, Barbara clutched her hands to her side. Beads of cold sweat clung to her forehead as she struggled to separate nightmare from reality. The memories of that night continued to haunt her, even now, more than four years later.

Gotham hadn’t changed in the past two decades, let alone in the past four years. No matter how hard she had fought, how hard they all had fought, it felt like the city was determined to remain stagnant. It was rotten to the core. During Batman’s early years, Firefly unleashed a catastrophic fire across Burnley. The borough had gained the name ‘Burnside’ as a result and in light of the damage and destruction, had become the perfect candidate for the Mayor’s ‘Project Renewal’. A thinly disguised attempt to gentrify poorer neighbourhoods in Gotham.

It was working. Starting with the Gotham City University Campus, Burnley had slowly been updated, becoming a rival to even the Diamond District in Uptown Gotham. Now, Burnside was considered to be one of the trending neighbourhoods in Gotham, fast-growing in both population and new developments alike. Particularly in the younger demographic, lending increased enrollment at GCU.

But this was still Gotham, and with all that growth came the increase in crime, among other complications. The fire had revealed hidden passages built into many of Gotham’s oldest buildings and even similar construction in other builds from the turn of the decade. Passages that shed new light on several cold cases in the GCPD archives. To make matters worse, Burnside also had a serial killer on the loose, and one that had cultivated at least one copycat killer.

That’s what actually brought Barbara to Seattle.

Criminals from Gotham had moved West to carve out a share in a notably less competitive market. Among them was Eduardo Flamingo, a mob enforcer and specialist who was originally Barbara’s top suspect as Burnside’s own ‘Faceless Killer’. Among the underground and unsavoury sorts who employed the Flamingo, he was known as ‘the eater of faces’ due to his cannibalistic tendency to remove his victim's face and subsequently eat it. However, the killings continued even after Flamingo had gone west which made Barbara believe he might be a copycat himself.

Before spending time in Gotham, the Flamingo had a career in South America and a resume a mile long. Somewhere along the lines, however, Eduardo Flamingo’s behaviour showed a marked change. The hitman went from careful, methodical and cunning to impulsive, uninhibited and chaotic. They were dangerous traits, ones that Barbara was all too familiar with.

A shiver of dread crawled down her spine as a familiar pair of bloodshot eyes haunted her memory.

All evidence pointed to an invasive procedure, likely a lobotomy that caused the change in behaviour. It was who gave him the lobotomy that she needed to uncover, however, and for that, she was going to need an audience with him.

Or at least Batgirl was.

- -|◄ FIRST---

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Bounce
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Member Seen 9 hrs ago

“And The Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place” part III | ► | Post Theme

“First, you will know fear. Then, you will know pain. And then you will die.”

Pausing in the entryway, Sivana turned back.

The man and the boy locked eyes, neither looking away as an uncomfortable silence blanketed the room.

Finally,” Sivana uttered, at last breaking the ice.

Taking a step back inside, the man adopted a smug look as he spoke. “So, what I understand you to say is that the scepter is a real object – or, at least, it was.”

Looking away from the boy, the man broke the contest of wills – clearly believing his to be superior – as he paced for a moment, before he turned back to declare, “And, just as the legends detail, it was an object of true power.

Dudley looked from Sivana to Teth, as though waiting for the boy to tell the man that he was mistaken.

He didn’t.

Instead, the boy’s reaction was oddly stoic. In his eyes, he saw not some dude in a suit, but himself. The words being thrown out so arrogantly echoing his own from centuries before.

It was just that sentiment that Sivana seemed to capitalize on. “Power enough that you fear it!” the man asserted, stepping closer to the boy.

Teth said nothing. Because there was nothing he had to say that Sivana was going to want to hear.

Reaching into his jacket, Sivana produced a check, which he pushed into Dudley’s hands as if tipping the butler. As he made his way back to the entry, the man said “Thank you for your cooperation, but spare me your superstition, your majesty.

It was only after the door had closed behind him that Dudley seemed to remember how to speak. “My God, I have no idea what we’re talking about, but tell me you destroyed that thing,” the old man remarked.

Again, Teth said nothing.

Coming around, the old man sat across from the boy. “Who even made it?”

“I know only who gave it to me,” the boy answered, his eyes coming up to meet Dudley’s briefly, before he stood from the chair with a frustrated sigh.

“It doesn’t matter, Shazam would have...”

He stopped there.


The boy turned back, hesitating in an odd instance of uncertainty. Something the old man couldn’t recall seeing in the confident youth before.

“Five thousand years, you’d think I would have thought about this before now,” the boy remarked cryptically. His eyes moved around the room, before they found Dudley again as he confessed, “Now, I find I don’t think I ever asked the right questions.”

He and Shazam had never talked.

Their relationship had never been one of cordial interaction. He was the guardian of the Rock of Eternity and Teth was his champion.

The Wizard was the task master. And him? His was not to ask why, but merely to do or die.

Unfortunately, as he’d learned, Teth was bad at either. Which had always complicated the relationship with the Wizard.

“And now I can’t ask him.”

| The Rock of Eternity

“How’s your sanskrit?”

Dudley looked up.

He’d been here before, but each time it was like awakening from a bad dream. His knees and back no longer hurt. When he looked down at his hands, they were no longer pockmarked with age. His midsection was considerably less round, again the fit physique he’d boasted in his prime.

In his reflection, he saw every version of himself, as if shadows overlaid with shadows. A child. A teen. A young man. A hero.

The spectre of his age loomed behind him. A dark page in a book he didn’t want to turn to. A chapter he was afraid to read.

All his wants. The sum of all his fears.

His voice caught in his throat as he tried to speak. “You must be joking,” the man uttered, at last able to tear himself away from everything he was processing.

A book was thrown his way. Catching it, the man opened it to find a script he had never seen before. “What even is this?” he asked, looking over at the boy.

Or, more aptly, at Teth-Adam.

And all the many forms of Teth-Adam.

Like Dudley, one form stood out from the others. It was as unfamiliar as it was recognizable. The same boy, his head shaved. His body shackled, heavy chains weighing him down. Dried blood and scars marking out lines carved into his skin from a lash.

The Big Guy was there as well. Like with Dudley’s aged self, the massive demigod figure loomed over the boy like a menacing phantom – the embodiment of arrogance and pride.

Glancing back from where he was sorting through a stack of tomes, the duality of boy and man answered simply, “That’s aramaic.”

Might as well be Greek to him.

Tossing the book aside, Dudley ran a hand through his hair – and was shocked at the realization he had a full head of hair again.

“Are you looking for a clue about the scepter of Ra?” the man asked. “Why didn’t you just ask the doctor guy?”

“Whatever he thinks he knows, he’s wrong,” Teth, or the Teths, answered.

Dudley gave a shrug, glancing around the enigmatic structure. He’d never been able to make sense out of just what this was. A cave? A castle? A temple?

“...and, I hope it no longer exists,” he heard the Teths utter softly.

The red-garbed figure of the Captain Marvel of the late 70s turned to regard the strange figure. “You really are afraid, aren’t you?”

“I meant what I told the doctor,” the Teths offered simply, glancing through another book before finally looking up to add, “Every word.”

First you will know fear, then pain, then... something, something death. All that?”

Discarding the book he’d been reading, the blurred form of both child-slave and god-king moved toward another shelf containing scrolls and materials leftover from the Council of Wizards.

“You use the word death to describe a concept of finality - which you ascribe as mortality,” the Teths stated, as he – or they – began to sort through the materials. As he held out one scroll, he noted, “In part, those concepts give people comfort. People say that death is what gives life meaning. But there are some horrors that exist which defy those mental constructs that man has made for his own sanity.”

Folding the scroll in his hands, the odd pair of overlapping shadows seemed to be thinking aloud as he commented, “The Old Man would have destroyed the scepter of Ra. Unless he couldn’t.”

Dudley wasn’t sure that he followed.

Actually, scratch that. He was certain he didn’t follow. “Couldn’t? Or wouldn’t?”

The demigod and the slave each turned to give the man a wan smile. “I’m not the Old Man’s biggest fan, but in this I can say with certainty that he’d have blasted that thing to oblivion and back if he could have.”

“You’re saying this thing’s unbreakable?”

Extending one hand, the pair of Teth’s made a gesture that prompted a scroll to suddenly unfurl and fly up in front of the man.

As he looked at it, the text seemed to come alive and transform into something legible to him. As he started to read, Teth explained, “The Council of Wizards wielded power and dominion over the Earth. If Shazam couldn’t destroy it then whatever the scepter is, it’s not of this world.”

Dudley tried to comprehend what he was reading, then just shook his head. This was too foreign for him. He needed to come at this from a different angle.

“Who gave you the scepter?”

The pair of Teth’s didn’t answer.

That was telling in itself. “I’m starting to think we’re in more trouble than I can imagine,” Dudley uttered candidly.

For his part, Teth seemed to incline his head in agreement. “It’s always a friend who hates you the most,” the pair remarked coldly. Then, after a pause, said, “His name was Ahk-Ton.”

“He was your friend?”

“He was my priest,” the pair of Teths answered.

That caught Dudley by surprise, if only because he’d never thought of the boy as being particularly religious.

...excepting, of course, that historically he’d actually been worshipped as a god.

“An exceptionally long-lived one, but I didn’t see it at the time,” the Teths mused dryly. There was a profound sadness that connected the two, the slave and the god. “He played my ego like a finely tuned harp.”

Now it was Dudley’s turn to say nothing, because he had no idea what he could – what he should – have said.

The boy moved on, arriving at a table that he’d seemed to reserve for last. As he started flipping through a leather-bound tome, he seemed to struggle for the first time at Dudley had seen.

Peering around the shadow of the Big Guy, Dudley noted, “That doesn’t look like sanskrit.”

“It’s a form of Canaanite,” the Teths answered.

“Can you read it?”

“Once, maybe. I’m not sure I remember it,” the Teths answered cryptically.

It was the first time that the Old Man could recall the boy suggesting that there was a language he didn’t speak.

“This was the language of my tribe.”

The twin shadows reached out, two fingers gently touching the page as though in an effort to reach and touch a part of their past that had been forgotten.

Then the two looked up. An odd question formed as he asked, “Why did he know it?”

“Who?” Dudley asked, trying to follow. “The Wizard you spoke of?”

“This appears to have been a journal... diary of sorts,” the Teths remarked, flipping forward one page and then back two as he tried to decipher their meaning. “It’s the only thing I’ve found that might have a first-hand account of what happened at Kahndaq, but I can barely read this.”

“But you were at Kahndaq,” Dudley remarked.

“I wasn’t exactly thinking straight in those years,” the pair of shadows answered flatly. “And Shazam laid my ass out, so I was unconscious for whatever happened between him and Ahk-Ton.”
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Roman
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Roman King of Dirt

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

#1.01: Any Minute Meow...
Previously: None

Look now upon what remains of the once-powerful Falcone Empire: a shitty, back-alley drug dealer, fucked up on his own product, snoring on the floor of his one-bed apartment in the Narrows, too wasted to collect rent money. Kitrina nudged him with her foot and he groaned slightly. She sighed. Mario Falcone, her uncle, was at one time a powerful and feared man in Gotham, well-known as The Roman's chief enforcer, 6'5" and 4' wide, all muscle underneath an expensive suit, brutality wrapped in fancy silks and cashmere. Now he was a loser, terrorizing tenants for inflated rent payments in a backwater apartment block in the bad end of the Narrows, which was one big bad end already. It was all that remained of Carmine's legacy after the year of the Long Halloween, a year that saw the end of the mob era in Gotham, and the birth of a new, crazier, somehow even-more-violent era. Carmine had been killed. Her father, Alberto, had been locked up to rot in Arkham. And her aunt, Sofia, fled to Bludhaven, dropping off the face of the Earth in the process. This building was all Mario had been able to secure of the Falcone assets as the mafia disintegrated beneath the cops and the Bat.

Kitrina nudged Mario again, this time harder, and with the pointy end of her shoe. He woke with a start, growling and cradling his ribs. Drool leaked from the corner of his mouth.
"Not dead then, dear uncle." She spat at him, walking toward the door of the apartment.
"Shut the fuck up, brat." He spat back, picking himself up off the floor. "Do that again and you're gonna lose that leg."
"If you break my leg, who are you gonna send knocking on doors?"
"I pass 50 dropheads going to grab the fuckin' mail who could do what I ask better than you - and without that shitty sense of entitlement you're clingin' on to."
"You ain't stepped out this door in two weeks - fuck you know about grabbin' the mail?" Kitrina replied, pulling on shoes and taking her coat from off the back of the door.
"Fuck you, bitch. You're an ungrateful lil' stray." He lumbered to the kitchen, clumsily seizing a glass from the cupboard and filling it with water from the tap before draining it dry and filling it again, sipping slowly. "Where d'ya think you're goin?"

To his credit, Mario was on the money with the stray comment. Born the illegitimate daughter to the un-favourite son, Alberto Falcone didn't pass for much of a father, even before his turn to maniacal homicide as the so-called 'Holiday Killer'. Her mother, a woman who Kitrina knew was named 'Anna de Luca' but knew very little else, had been...'disappeared', at some point before getting the opportunity to offer Kitrina a passable upbringing. Passed around various nannies and au pairs, and neglected by everyone except Carmine, who doted on her the way only a devoted Italian grandfather could, she grew up unwanted and very aware of it. When Carmine was shot, and Alberto incarcerated, any goodwill remaining for her was summarily severed, and now she remained homed only by virtue of child benefit payments and a lie about her age. And because Mario could send her out on drug drops and rent collections while he dozed on the sofa (or the floor), drunk and doped up.

"To my job, Uncle Mario, if you even know what a job is."
"What fuckin' job you got? Pushin' favours?" He jabbed, sneering at her nastily. Kitrina just flipped the bird.
"Wayne Enterprises, if you must know. That outreach shit Wayne preaches on the billboards. Entry-level jobs guaranteed! If you keep a clean record..."
Mario launched forward from the kitchen, outrage streaked across his face.
"Wayne?! They're going to figure out we're frauding the fucking benefits you stupid cow!" He shouted, incensed. Kitrina recoiled just from the wave of body odour and the stink of his breath.
"No they're not," she said, forcefully enough to stop Mario in his tracks and make him retreat back to the sofa, "because I gave them faked papers. To Waynetech I'm 'Holly Robinson', and Holly hasn't got the fucking name 'Falcone' that might raise a few fuckin' eyebrows."
"Whatever." Mario said, in a tone that Kitrina had come to recognise was the closest thing he would ever get to praise.
She didn't say anything else; the conversation had already gone on long enough before Mario had even opened his mouth in the first place, and she didn't care to spend any extra effort - mentally or physically - entertaining his abuse. She left, crossing her fingers as she trotted down the stairs, hoping that he'd die before she got back.

Kitrina's job at Wayne Enterprises was stable, (proportionally) well-paid, offered numerous benefits, came with flexible working patterns, and provided welcoming, no-questions, judgement-free access to life coaching, healthcare support tools, and educational materials.

It was also mind-numbingly boring. For most of her shift, Kitrina moved numbers from one spreadsheet into another spreadsheet; occasionally, she got to look at the numbers and assess if there were any kind of significant pattern or grouping; and on her most exciting days, she might even be allowed to theorize - a word that here meant 'guess at, but in a way that used appropriate corporate buzzwords' - what the numbers meant.
Money going in all kinds of directions except into my pocket, is what they meant, she thought to herself bitterly. But she wasn't here for entertainment, nor was she here for the generous benefits package. She wasn't even here to gawk at big Bruce himself, when he sauntered in smelling of expensive cologne and cheap breakfast on his weekly PR puff, with bags under his eyes and a stare-through-you gaze no multi-billionaire city prince should rightfully sport. She was here for a score, something to put her back on the up-and-up - something to finally earn that piece of the empire she'd been denied by her idiot family (rest in piece, nonno) and the freaks on the street.

To that end she had initially tried to get around firewalls and passwords and other techy cybersec blockades she didn't really understand, digging for dirt to blackmail with; ideally a board member, someone who could bolster her paycheck and reduce her hours and, eventually, be buried (figuratively or literally, she didn't really mind) in pursuit of grander plans. Hell, maybe even Wayne himself - she wouldn't mind taking one of his 50-something rooms at the manor - and she was sure that butler could fix some mean cocktails. She knew it had been an ambitious goal - Wayne Enterprises were notoriously cagey about their data and it was well-known that they were, perhaps, one of the most serious corporations in America on the fronts of cyber-security - but brash arrogance had convinced her that surely it wasn't as hard as all that, and a suitable amount of clicking around would eventually yield some manner of result.

Well, far-in-excess of a suitable amount of clicking around had yielded flat nothing, except for a quizzical eyebrow from her pod lead when she'd asked a distinctly non-relevant question. Some lipstick and an extra-tight blouse had been needed the next day to smooth that particular bump over - and that, in turn, had opened the avenue to a different direction of assault, one Kitrina had heard be labelled 'social engineering' in her compliance courses during initiation, but that she preferred to think of as 'harmless flirting'.

Well, harmless to her, at least. Perhaps not-so-harmless to her pod lead's marriage.

"Hollywood!" He said, sidling up to her desk wearing a shirt with one-too-many buttons undone and cologne with one-too-many dabs done up. An irritating pet-name he'd developed for her, born from a witless remark about how '[she's] so gorgeous [she] should be in movies', but a necessary evil. She smiled, all teeth, nothing in the eyes.

"Hiya Tom!" She replied, schmoozing a bit, subtly leaning toward him in a way that wasn't outwardly noticeable, but gave the unconscious impression of gravitation. He sneaked a look down her blouse that he thought she didn't notice. She did. She pretended not to. It was all part of the game - and who did he think purposefully left the top button undone? "Board keepin' you busy, sweetheart?"

Tom nodded thoughtfully, in a way that he thought made him look noble. Of course he didn't answer to the board; he didn't answer to anyone who answered to the board; he didn't even answer to anybody who answered to those that answered to the board. But it made him feel good that 'Holly' thought he did, that she thought he could be that important. His dad never thought he'd be important. His wife never called him 'sweetheart'.

"As ever, Hollywood, as ever - you know what it's like." Kitrina's turn to nod. She didn't know what it was like. Neither did Tom. "But a bit of leeway, since we're nearing the end of peak, you know? Through the worst of it, and all that."

"For sure, Tommy. I seen how hard you been working. Keeping the team together single-handedly." She smiled, meeting his gaze. He broke eye contact first, because he was ashamed of his extra-marital fantasies, but not ashamed enough that he didn't steal a second glance at Kitrina's chest.

"Well, thank you for saying so, Holly. It's nice to know someone appreciates my hard work when they see it." Tom stood up, wheeling his chair back to his desk and he talked, and then returning to lean beside Holly's station, looming over her. "Anyway, what I wanted to say was I noticed how hard you've been working-" Kitrina stifled a laugh, masking it as a humbled clearing-of-the-throat, "and I thought I might show you how much I appreciate you - maybe by taking you out to dinner? Tonight? After work? Chez Vouz?"

Holly smiled, this time in a sympathetic manner that immediately deflated Tom. There was a sense of relief between them - they both knew Tom couldn't afford Chez Vouz - but ultimately this rejection had been Holly's endgame from the start. In an act of peace-making, she stood and hugged Tom, carefully swiping his Tech Lead privilege-level ID as she did so.
"Oh Tom, that's very kind of you - and I'd love to spend a bit more time outside of work getting to know you - but tonight's not great. I gotta work late, and then my gran-mama needs me home. Rain-check me - drinks next weekend maybe?"

Tom put on his best brave smile and nodded, but didn't say anything else before slinking away, walking awkwardly to hide his semi-chub.

The rest of the working day passed by mercifully quickly; numbers were crunched, figures were punched, and Kitrina shadowed a few meetings, sitting quietly in the corner scanning faces, body language, seeing who was looking back. Eventually, the clock rolled around to 5PM, and screens started switching off and laptops went into bags and Kitrina started her performance, dutifully opening several worksheets and a database and noting down specific figures. A few differently-coloured pens, some circling, a couple lines drawn connecting this number to that - whatever she was working on looked important, and no one wanted to question her lest they get lasso'd by a plea for help. Tom, for his part, did check in, but it was less to see if Kitrina needed help and more to see if that dinner offer had any better success as an invite to the bar. No, it didn't, and oh by the way have you seen my access pass? No, she hadn't, and she was sure it would turn up. Never mind, eh? Monday's problem. Polite chuckle. Tom left.

And then the floor was empty. A soft whir came from around the corner where the Friday janitor was buffing the floors, but he didn't take the Friday janitor job for its social benefits, so he and Kitrina both understood to leave the other alone. She wasn't spending long here anyway; she waved coyly to the janitor as she passed, heading toward the toilets - but then doubled back on herself, ducking toward the elevator, riding it down to the lowest level.

Waynetech Research & Development.

Practically a blacksite.

She better find something down here, or she was royally screwed.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Sep
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Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

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GM Post

A burnt child dreads the fire... Was a Human Idiom, he had gleamed it from the minds of those who held him here. Subject to tests, torture, and experimentation. He dreaded the fire, for he knew it would spread from his world to this one. It was coming, it was only a matter of time, and yet these people. This military organization... ARGUS would not listen. He had to find a way to get his message out, he had learned of these 'Superheroes' that protected this world, many of those who 'questioned' him had strong feelings on the subject.

One of them would help him, he was sure of it.

LEXCORP Facility // Gotham City Outskirts

Everything was calm and quiet in the facility, the nightshift worked quietly to ensure that the production of the newest Lex-devices was on track as per the bosses orders, deeper down in the facility rested the command and control center for all the Lex-Corp satellites in geosynchronous orbit over the United States of America, Samwell Anders had his feet up at the desk, watching the latest episode of Game of Goblets on his phone. The night shift was always boring. Nobody around, and very little activity to monitor.

There was a brief spike, for a time, but that quickly died off as the hours got later and more and more people went to bed. A faint hissing started to bug him, he put his feet down as it increased in pitch and volume. He began to frantically search for it as it started to become deafening. The last thing he felt was the heat as the explosion tore through him. The entire facility shook as explosions rocked the facility. Nobody nearby was asleep now.

STAR Labs Deep Space Labs // Ivy Town

The information coming in about the upcoming asteroid event was fascinating. The issue was that the data coming through was far too, detailed. They couldn't allow anything to spoil their plans, they had been far too long in the making. Nobody looked twice at him as he walked down the corridors, a fat, aging, and balding janitor. Pushing his cart along. He kept eying screens whenever he could, gleaming whatever information he could. They couldn't wait anymore, everything was going to come undone.

Without any pomp or ceremony, he pulled a tablet out of his trolley, and a couple of keystrokes in the bolts on several of the satellite dishes around the facility came crashing to the ground. Deeper within the facility circuitry fried, and fires started. Alarms blared throughout the facility, though every security protocol in the building failed as doors slammed shut and locked trapping everyone within the building.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by King Kindred
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King Kindred

Member Seen 11 days ago


Seraph sat atop the Daily Planet globe donning his costume and overlooking the city. To be more precise he was overlistening to the city. He was using his super hearing to search for any signs of crime or distress in the bustling city. He worked through most of the normal noise, but it was surprisingly quiet today as even the criminals were taking a day of mourning. He sighed, almost giving up for the day when he heard a "silent" alarm being triggered at the Metropolis City Bank.

"Finally. I thought I'd have to travel the country searching for something." Seraph stood up carefully as not to accidentally push the giant globe with his strength. With that thought still in mind he ascended into the air with the grace of a woodland fairy and once he was high enough he turned on his boosters going from fairy to a rocket sending a sonic boom reverberating throughout the city.

Meanwhile at the Bank

Seraph's sonic boom even met the ears of the occupants of the bank, including the fiery redhead currently robbing it.

"I know that sound. It's that insufferable Super Brat." Volcana said unable to hide the anxiety in her voice. She expected all members of the Super family to be out of town. She didn't need this on top of all that she was already dealing with. "Alright, who pressed the alarm? I'm already having a bad day and you just made it worse and a bad day for me is a terrible day for all of you." She waited a few seconds for someone to confess eyeing the each employee to see which one was the most nervous. "No one wants to own up to it? Alright. Eenie, meenie, minnie, you."

Volcana pointed to a young ginger teller who almost reminded her of younger self. Before she lost control of her life. She didn't know if she truly believed she was the one or if she simply targeted her for the aforementioned reason. Whatever the case the end result was the same. She pulled her hand back and flung it forward sending a powerful stream of flames that would reduce her to ashes. That is if her flames had actually hit her.

They were instead intercepted by the one and only SERAPH. He stood in the path of flames taking them head on, his suit being retardant to this level of flame and heat.

"You could've killed her, Claire." Seraph said sternly in a tone that surprised even Volcana.

"Don't you think I know that? And the name's Volcana. You and your Super family know that. Stop treating me like I'm not a threat."

"This isn't like you. Stealing, sure. But you've never been so desperate as to hurt an innocent civilian. Everyone, get out of here. She won't stop you."

There was silence as everyone was too scared to move after almost witnessing a live human BBQ.


That did it. The patrons and employees of the bank started scurrying to the door to the annoyance of Volcano who felt like she wasn't being taken seriously at all and she was going to prove that was a vital mistake.

"I said stop treating me like I'm not a threat!" Volcana erupted and drew both of her hands back to scorch them all before they could exit. She shouldn't have broadcasted her thoughts and plan so much around someone who could process things and move faster than even the average human genius could think. Before she was even able to fully thrust her hands forward Seraph was there with his hands wrapped firmly around her wrists.

"That's enough, Claire! I won't let you hurt anyone here, not even yourself. Stand. Down."

Once the last of the hostages were out of the building Claire dropped to the floor with tears in her eyes. The ones that managed to drop were met with the fate of evaporation as they touched her cheeks.

Seraph knew something was wrong with her, but this was unexpected. He never saw her cry before. He never saw her so vulnerable before. What would Clark do here? He didn't have to think hard about it and crouched down to meet her. He wasn't this giant wall or obstacle in front of her. He was someone here to help another person in need. Kieran placed his hand on her chin and gently lifted her up to see that she was dealing with a friend and not an enemy. She could hear his question before it could even escape his lips and answered him before he could ask it.

"It's Ugly. I need your help."
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Queen Arya
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Queen Arya Celestial Queen-in-Waiting

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The Raven

The night must've been a particularly violent one for Gotham, Rachel found herself musing quietly as she ducked down yet another decrepit alleyway. As she grew closer and closer to the blessed oasis of the night that could only be provided by free tacos, her mind was continually assaulted with the same emotions and surface thoughts. Fear, pain, anger, and then... silence. She knew what those emotions meant, she'd felt them all before too many times in this cursed city. Somewhere nearby, people were losing their lives. Snuffed out by the cruelty that ran in the city's veins, likely more innate to the way Gotham operated than anything else in this damnable place. A long sigh left her lips as she shook her head, eyes closed for the briefest of moments. A couple more streets, that was all she needed to make and then she could forget about all this tragedy for a little bit. Well, not really, but she'd be able to push it to the back of her mind at the very least.

"Sure about all that?" Came the specter's voice again, earning itself an ancient gesture using only Rachel's middle finger by way of a response.

"Seems pretty endemic to this place. I could silence it all, you know." The voice said again, causing Rachel to pause her walk.

Closing her eyes, she dove deep into her subconscious. Reaching out for that serenity she'd longed learned to hold deep within herself, to form a cage for the monster currently haunting her every step. As she did, Red threw a variety of inappropriate curses and threats her way amidst a series of demands to not be locked away. Yet, after only a few minutes, Rachel's mind was quiet once more. The technique was useful but temporary. Often times more of a hassle to perform than the temporary respite it provided from Red's constant attempts to seduce her into a more demonic way of seeing things. Giving a little shrug, Rachel then turned her attention to the path ahead to finish off her trip to the shelter. As she approached, not even five minutes later, Rachel immediately knew that something was horrifically wrong. The typical line out front was missing, and the door sat closed. The volunteers who usually were outside with a smile on their features, welcoming any into the building, were missing. Slowly, Rachel made her way closer as another key detail registered with her.

The Silence.

In a swift move, Rachel yanked open the front door and stepped into the shelter. As the heavy door slammed itself shut behind her, Rachel froze in place with eyes wide in horror. "W-what..." Rachel stammered out, taking a step back as she looked about the cafeteria-styled central lounge. Yet, instead of the typical bustle of hungry people tucking into their free food... only chaos filled the room. The scent of blood and death reeked all about, with bodies littering the floor and tables. Sitting amidst drawn-out circles and makeshift alters, the killings were clearly part of some twisted ritual. Rachel slowly pieced together that the thoughts and emotions from before were those of the homeless and volunteers who now lay lifeless on the floor. In a fraction of a second, the girl found herself bent over as she lost her lunch from the pure horror of the scene before her. Somehow, the girl found herself being drawn further into the cafeteria, eyes still wide in horror.

Then she froze, staring at the stage that sat at the far end of the shelter. Where typically volunteers would get up to make announcements, or use a projector to play some film. Yet, it was now covered in those same crimson paints. The ritualistic markings were... horrifyingly familiar to Rachel. Even as her gaze fell on the image in the center of the altar, she already knew exactly who had caused all this chaos. The Cult of Trigon. This fact was only further cemented by the picture of herself sitting in the center of the altar, with inscriptions dedicating these sacrifices to 'The Raven', hoping to bring her back home, to their embrace. The room about her seemed to shutter, as her mind filled once more with vicious noise. The remnants of those who had been slaughtered here, and the meddling of a certain being within her own mind. "Beautiful. They did this for you, Rachel." Came that very voice, even as Rachel's breaths became more ragged, and tears welled up in her eyes. Panic settled in over the girl's mind, enveloping her even as Red slowly strode about to sit calmly atop a corpse draped over the edge of a table.

"They want us to come home, you know, to fulfill our duty." Red whispered a deviant grin upon her features as Rachel's tortured gaze drifted towards her. "All this... tragic loss of life, 'tis meant to be a gift. Their pain feeds us and gives us strength. Their fear breaks our chains. Their rage unbinds the power deep within us, so we might... become more." Red said softly, that grin turning steadily more demonic even as Rachel noticed a figure approaching from behind the main altar. A man wearing the robes of the cult, and brandishing a bloodied dagger as he approached. He spoke, but words did not reach Rachel's ears, anger flooded through her very being... and too late did she realize the mistake she'd made.

"Did I say us? Oh, I meant ME." Red growled out, surging forward to meld into Rachel. The last thing that the girl heard before everything faded black was a single, whispered promise. "I'll take care of him for you."

When Rachel finally managed to claw her way back to the surface, she was standing on the altar now, her jeans stained a deep red. The broken form of the cultist lay before her, and the midnight-black shadow of her soul self slowly edged its way back into her form. She staggered back, shaking her head at the chaos before her. "W-what did you do..." She whispered, yet heard no response from Red. Her body shaking, she slowly turned from the scene and made a mad dash for the exit. She needed to leave, to get away. As she dashed out of the building, Rachel spotted the nearby assembly of news trucks already recording the building... and her. In the distance, she heard police sirens growing closer and closer.

I have to get away... I... this can't be happening again. The girl thought quietly to herself, old memories slowly resurfacing from the last time she had encountered the cult.

And of the hero who saved her before, yet wouldn't be able to save her this time.

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Bonnie
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Robinson Park, Gotham
Ivy’s Greenhouse

Dr. Pamela Isley, or as she was better known, Poison Ivy, had been alone with her plants for a while now, her last stint in Arkham was in the past - and she was looking forward - or trying to. It just happened to be, well, boring, to live in her partial garden. She raised her arms above her head, fingers interlocking as she stretched, humming a melody to the evening, and the sprawling life around her.

Vines, spread across the floor, flowing and flowering - knots and roots intertwined into a carpet of viridian. The woman walked daintily across it, moving her arms in time to her song.

She gracefully took to the branch of a tree which spilled in through an open window, climbing out and into the night - the cold air felt like kisses on her skin and she almost smiled. As she moved near silently across the canopy, she heard voices from below. Usually, people at this time of the night kept far away from the pavilion, but this man was bold.

In his hand was a blade, the shine flickering in the moonlight as he held it in the direction of a woman on her own. Older, tired - probably on her way home from a night shift and having to deal with this. Ivy continued to observe, quietly.

“Come on, just give me your purse,” he said, his steps and movements were anxious. That made him dangerous.

She fidgeted and raised her hands, “look I don’t have anything for you - I have no money,” she pleaded.

“Just give,” breathed the mugger, drawing nearer, “me your purse, your phone.” His voice had gotten low, he’d found his composure enough to bring their distance to inches.


No sooner had he cleared the distance, than he was up in the air - suspended by his left foot - gripped and constricted by a vine. The knife dropped blade first, dropping into the graveled path.

“You’re on the wrong side of the park,” purred Ivy as she moved down from the tree - in the dark and obscurity it appeared that she floated down. “You want to mug someone, you do it on the other side-”

“Hey!” said the woman “th-thanks,” she interrupted - Ivy turned to face her - eyes transfixed to her as she clutched her crocodile purse close to her chest.

“You’re on the wrong side too. I suggest you start running,” Ivy warned. She took her advice.

Still hanging upside down from his foot, the mugger protested - curses and inflammatory language.

“You kiss your mother with that mouth?” Ivy asked, moving closer towards him. She smirked. It was a constant battle - her desire to stay out of Arkham. She was already on thin ice enough. But this... This criminal was like a fly that had landed in her web. The vine tightened around his ankle and he yelped. “You stepped on my flowers,” she said.

Ivy didn’t want to kill the man, only warn him, teach him a lesson - make him think twice about his actions in the future.


Her train of thought immediately derailed as soon as she heard it - the explosion. Even from her spot, she could see as the flames roared up into the sky, smoke billowing out and covering the moon. “Oh, now that’s interesting,” she said absent-mindedly to herself, completely forgetting the man in the vine. “LEXCORP,” Ivy said. She wanted to see them burn more than she wanted to punish a simple wannabe-criminal. Besides, didn’t this town have Baby Bats and Kittens for that?

She crouched down to pick up the blade. It was a pocket-knife, stupid really. She felt the tip of the blade with her fingers and chuckled.

“I guess it’s your lucky day,” she sang out, placing it just out of reach of him, before heading out towards the source of the explosion - in no real hurry, and in her own world.

If he was smart enough, he’d figure it out himself.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Sep
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Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

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"Because you present a challenge."

His voice quaked as he spoke through clenched fists and teeth.
"A challenge?"
Four Years Ago

The fire in the corner of the room crackled comfortably, the light flickering across the room casting shadows as the light twisted and played. Clark sat in his chair, the television was on but he wasn't really seeing it. Instead, he was staring off into space, the newscaster was going on and on about some form of meteor event that was destined for later this year.

Several explosions simultaneously went off, he couldn't tell exactly where they were but it would be easy to pinpoint and narrow in on them. They were definitely in the United States, by instinct he looked towards his suit hidden in the barn, but then he saw Jon sitting in the corner, his books spread out before him. Some form of essay based on the heroics of the Justice Society of America during World War 2. Clark's heart jumped all the way from down in his chest and lept up to his throat. Shaking off the notion.

No matter what was going on in the world it wasn't more important than what he had right here. Jon represented the future of the Kryptonian race, as the first Kryptonian-Human hybrid (without any Cadmus interference), but more importantly as Lois' son. Jon represented Clark's one remaining link to Lois. He couldn't risk that, and couldn't put Jon through losing a parent all over again. He had just gotten to a place where he seemed to be doing well in school, he had friends and was even going to go out for baseball. In the distance, there was another rumble, and this time Jon looked up.

"What's that noise?"

Clark zoned back into what was going on, his voice hollow. "An explosion, somewhere in the direction of Metropolis I would imagine."

"You should-"

"It'll be fine Jon. Connor and Kieran are more than capable of dealing with whatever it is."

"But people could need your help, you never-"

"We're not discussing this Jon. I'm staying here." Clark stood up and walked out of the room, turning before he left the room. "Finish your homework."

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Hound55
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Hound55 Create-A-Hero RPG GM, Blue Bringer of BWAHAHA!

Member Seen 28 min ago

It was quiet outside the gates of the estate. They'd agreed to wait and meet here.

Unassuming gates, not the colossal metal elaborate monstrosities like those that this man had in their last world, their home world, but a solid wooden gate with a fairly long road to the house deeper within.

Without the extreme wealth for heavy security in this world, he'd instead chosen to blend in and attempt anonymity in a reclusive lifestyle. There were worse ideas. It seemed very quiet out in this country setting. Tranquil, even. The kind of trappings you'd come to expect from a man who had long wearied of the very nature and offerings of Western civilization. A man who had been taught of alternative lifestyles. A man who walked another path. Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

Eve stepped out from the shadows. Allen touched down after his flight.

They'd needed to meet, for support. The task at hand was to be an incredibly difficult one.

After all, how would you investigate... how would you accuse... the smartest man in the world?

How would you hope to mask your intentions from the most perceptive man in the world?

"Do you think he knows we're here?" Eve broke the silence.

"Ohhh yeah." Came the reply from the nuclear-augmented, most powerful man of their old world.

"Do you think he knows why?"

Allen sighed. "He's certainly smart enough to ask himself 'Why?' and if he does that, he's also smart enough to figure it out for himself pretty quick."

"And how do you think he would handle that? When he figures it out?"

"I don't think it makes much sense speculating on what the smartest man in the world would do."

And with that Allen Adam shifted his molecules to phase through the wall, and Eve disappeared into the shade of the gate, emerging on the other side from Adam's own shadow.

They walked down the long road to the little cottage in the distance.

O F G O D S A N D M O R T A L S . . . A N D T H O S E W H O

Johnny Mann walked down the streets of New Carthage, his hands deep in his pockets in contemplation of everything that came to pass.

The Greek gods. He'd been dragged into their machinations.

And even worse, his patron's parallel.

This never would have happened back home. From what Johnny could tell the gods were generally constants across all dimensions, able to pierce interdimensional veils. Sure, their glamour often changed in between, but these were beings of such age and power they weren't generally want to change their general forms and habits often. Sure, Odin, Zeus, there were deities who would from time to time change their appearance and mix amongst the mortals, but this was something else.

He failed to recognise the forms that Aphrodite and Hephaestus generally took on this world. And it almost escalated as terribly as you could reasonably expect.

As it happened he had wondered if this problem was the work of Mars. He had long been trying to get Johnny to lose favour with the gods. But this was different. He'd failed to recognise ALL parties.

This was the danger of ignorance. In the game with stakes such as these, he was incredibly fortunate it hasn't resulted in anyone's death or disfigurement.

Then he stopped as an idea occurred to him.

The mistaken identities. Clearly neither form was Mars taking another form; that was not his style. But could his presence here overall - in this new world, where the gods take unfamiliar form - be the work of Mars. Re-establishing a more favourable battleground to crush his foe?

That sounded a lot more like the god of war he knew, whatever appearance he now took. Disturbingly so, in fact.

But would a god uproot ten mortals just to get to a single one?

The answer was obvious and a chill ran up his spine at the realization.

Allen Adam and Eve Eden were met at the door by Tabu Singh, who greeted them warmly and allowed the pair in and offered them a beverage. Allen accepted the offer for a glass of water out of a sense of etiquette and common courtesy on the guest's part. Eve declined.

From that, and her body language in the manner in which she declined, Peter Cannon divined she was here for 'business' and had no intention of allowing common-shared history to intervene in her current purpose, as he watched on from the monitor in his private room from within the depths of the house. He saw a willingness to bypass the collegial for brass tacks.

Peter smiled, a new curiosity to resolve, as he left his quarters to greet his guest.

"It's a pleasure to find you here!" He greeted the pair, without deception.

"Captain Atom, Nightshade!" He announced them both. "I say these names, of course, only out of common courtesy and for your own comfort. My companion Tabu here is as aware of your other names, as I am." His voice brimming with honesty, and perhaps an earnestness.

Eve furrowed her brow. Was Adam right, did he already suspect the nature of their presence? Was this an effort to throw them off balance? A threat? An upfront honest admission of their knowledge to further solidify trust?

"I don't think it makes much sense speculating on what the smartest man in the world would do."
She remembered, and tried her best to control her facial expressions.

Peter Cannon looked at Eve like he saw through her and chuckled. There was no smirk. It was like someone had just told a wry, polite joke in company. And this enraged her further, enough to make her cheeks go flush, but she regained enough composure to not say anything.

They were sitting across the room from a man who could manipulate almost any situation in virtually any way he wished. A Bobby Fischer of the human condition, and if everything SHE knew about reading people in her experience as a crimefighter and hero was true, he hadn't been attempting to manipulate the situation at all and found amusement in the realisation that she was looking so deeply into his very first statement. Presumably, her insecurities echoed, he believed they weren't even worthy of his efforts in that regard. She felt naked, exposed.

Peter opened his mouth to say something reassuring, to ease the tension and soothe the situation "It's qu--"

When Captain Atom, overly defensive of Eve and her feelings, blurted out the crux of their purpose for being here. "So, did you bring us to this world?"

Peter Cannon straightened up his posture in surprise. Eve looked across at Allen Adam aghast.

"We have a lead that suggested your involvement, however it's from a less than completely reliable source. A villain we fought today. So we thought the best way to follow it up, was directly, in person. So, is this something you could have done?"

"Oh yes. Probably. It is a plan I even considered once."

"Ye-- Yes?!?" Exclaimed Eve, stunned the direct approach could be half as effective as it seemed to prove.

"Yes. When I was considering the R.E.M.M.C theory and potential solutions, I briefly considered it. But following logical progression I swiftly disregarded interdimensional relocation as an option, so had no cause to look into the potential methodology for doing so. So what I mean is, it's theoretically possible... evidently..." He gestured to all around them. "But I never followed through on figuring out the logistics for how it could be possible, because it was not a fix."

"R.E.M.M.C?" Captain Atom queried.

"Do you two not ever read any of the papers pertaining to what you choose to do for a living?" Peter once again seemed stunned.

"Perhaps we missed one." Eve replied flatly. "Enlighten us."

"'Reactive Escalation of Malevolence in Metahuman Communities.' In other words, there's the theory that so called 'heroic' intervention in societies where metahuman power exists, only results in esca--"

Peter paused and considered the audience he was talking to. "In the stakes being raised, in terms of potential damage and harm to the society at length."

"Oh what a pile of crap..." Eve blurted out in response.

"Actually, there's a lot of data and scientific evidence that supports it."

Eve scoffed, but Allen pressed on "If that's the case then why do you do it?"

"I don't generally. I usually don't intervene unless the stakes are at an impermissable level. And generally Tabu has to convince me that even that is the case."

"So you read this report, and decided that you shouldn't be-- interfering in the concerns of man?" Captain Atom asked, with no little concern.

"The paper had little to do with it. I'd long viewed it as a truism. It's roots steeped in the Eastern philosophy I was educated in. But that's not the part of the question you're interested in. You think I'm arrogant. That I put myself above the rest of humanity. Let me quell your concerns. I don't believe myself to be above the little people."

"Little people?"

"A joke." And now the smirk came. And the coldness that came with it. His wit held none of the warmth that you would usually associate with good humour. In stark contrast from that of someone like the Blue Beetle.

"But the paper merely presented me with data which long supported what I'd already treated as true. I checked it myself to ensure that it wasn't merely confirmation bias - the classic trap of the closed mind. However, whilst some of it was exagerrated in plaes to support the premise, the exagerration was unnecesary in the first place. The figures bear out the premise, and the testing methods ring true."

"Well, if all of that is right. And not just academic... meandering." Captain Atom started, "Then why didn't you?"

"Why didn't I what?"

"Transport us all here. Why did you stop looking into how to do that?"

"It never got that far. I told you before, I never looked into the logistics behind interdimensional teleportation, because the logic behind it doesn't bear out."

Blank expressions on the two heroic crimefighters told Peter Cannon that he was expected to explain why that was the case.

"Alright, broad strokes. Our presence DOES lead to escalation by malevolent forces - you may choose to call them 'villains' or 'supercriminals', whatever term suits."

"However our absence causes a vaccuum, which is unable to be filled by any alternative in general society to date. It's a self-sustaining system. And we'd been in it too long. A snowball long left rolling down a hill, building mass and momentum. Without our presence NOW those malevolent forces would consume society - the world as we know it. So whilst the society we were in WOULD have likely mostly been better without our intervening presence in the first place, it had now gone on too far and our absence would almost certainly now make things far worse."

They continued to stare. Although there was nothing left to explain.

"I suppose if you're looking for an analogy, we're not entirely dissimilar from an immune system and the reliance and overuse of antibiotics... but for society and the world at large."

"What the f--?" Eve cut herself off before cursing the man off in his own home. "You think we're penicillin?"

"I think that our overintervention leads to a human society incapable of resolving and preventing its own issues and problems. Yes."

"When we stopped the Ghost, are you saying that was wrong! How about when you fought Eric Gore and his super apes! Or Peacemaker's stand against--!"

"Is this what you came here for? A case by case ethics lesson on the slippery slope of intervention against past foes?"

"No." Allen interjected, stopping the conflict from escalating further and becoming perhaps ironic in the process. "No. We're here because some villain cursed out the Thunderbolt, as he left this world. A villain with the power to travel between dimensional spaces."

"Qwsp." The Thunderbolt flatly stated whilst musing. Eve and Allen snaped to quickly look at each other, in telling shock before turning to face Peter Cannon.

"Oh don't look at me like that. You played your hand, you said 'a villain we fought today', he's all over the news cycle..."

"Then how does he know you?" Eve asked, between gritted teeth. She was getting tired of all of this.

"As far as I'm aware he doesn't. I haven't really shown myself since we came here in any major way. Th--"

"Then how?" Interjected Captain Atom.

"As I was about to say... You do realise I'm not the only 'Thunderbolt' in this world? Don't you?"

"There is?" Allen replied, somewhat shocked.

"Well, yes. I've looked into the history of this earth since we came here, and assumed you'd both done likewise. Assuming this world and our own would have a singular shared history - in a wider spanning multiverse, no less, as we ourselves now have evidence of - would be sheer folly. Surely you both realised that and did the same?"

"Then what have we missed? Who is this strange new Thunderbolt, another Peter Cannon?"

"No. In this case, he was some kind of djinn, genie, or energy based lifeform. Discovered by a young man and utilised for the... well, incredibly small-minded, use of fighting crime."

"Other Thunderbolt..?" Captain Atom considered this news, musing aloud.

"Another Vic Sage?" Ted Kord thought to himself as he guided the Bug in the direction of the disturbance. "I can barely believe there was one out there like him, let alone another."

He'd received notification of an alarm being triggered at STAR Labs Deep Space observation site, in Ivy Town and had decided to check it out before heading home.

"Maybe that's why he's dead. The universe took him out because it couldn't stand for two of that particular brand of crazy."

He didn't genuinely believe Vic to be crazy. Not really. Just, had tendencies that made him "questionable" in social settings.

As Ted began to lower the bug to cable-length, a flicker on a display monitor alerted him to the presence of another. Ted used his line to drop down to the grounds outside of the main building, just as he heard shouting come from within the building. He stood aghast as the rising flames reflected in the lenses of his mask.

"You tend to the fires, the civilians... I'll go find the one who tripped the security alarm that brought us here." Came the voice from the one his display monitor had warned him about. Christopher Smith. The Peacemaker.

Ted nodded in agreement. It seemed the most suitable use of each of their abilities. Peacemaker drew his sidearm, killed his jetpack, and strode towards the facility in search of the one who'd disturbed their peace. Ted rode the line back into the Bug. He prepared the extinguishing foam and fire hoses, and guided the Bug to where he'd heard the scared shouting earlier.

This was going to ruffle some feathers lately, the security and fire doors were meant to compartmentalise and section off the building for a reason, but Ted was damned if he was going to let anyone die just over a little property damage. He blew a hole in a wall, to give the people a place to flee the flames from and watched as a fireball jumped to feed on the new oxygen he'd just allowed into the building. He met the challenge with the extinguishing foam and beat the fire back.

Scientists rushed out of the newest exit now that it was safe, and a singular blue figure made it's way in, his BB Gun drawn, calling out to any and all stragglers to get out of the building.

For all the property damage that Ted had caused with his Bug, he began to wonder about Peacemaker's point of entry. From knowing him over the years he'd found him to be less than subtle. There was probably a smouldering crater, and a small pile of shell casings.

And then as if to affirm his fears he heard a burst of semi-automatic gunfire and a grizzled scream of rage. And then eerie silence. Ted gave pause, listening on for more signs of his colleague.

After a few beats when he found there was none. His eyes widened and he pushed on in the direction he last heard the cacophony come from. He burst through a set of blast doors and found himself in a long corridor, leading to a balding, overweight janitor mopping the floor absently in this eerie silence.

In the middle of chaos. Fires, gunfire, screaming, terrified staff... a janitor mopping a linoleum floor. It was surreal.

Beyond the plausible.

"Hey!" Ted called out, raising his BB gun.

The janitor continued to mop the floor behind him, as he backed away around the corner at the end of the long corridor.

"HEY! STOP!" Ted ran to the man, calling out as the man slowly vanishing around the corner. His eyes looked up to meet Ted's, with a vacant glare and expressionless face, just before he disappeared from sight.

"I said stop!" Only the mophead was still visible now. Back and forward. Then... nothing.

Ted finally got to the end of the corridor and...

Nothing. An empty hallway. With a mop lying abandoned on the floor by the corner.

"But... how--? How'd that old fat guy move so fast?" Ted wondered to himself aloud. He turned around to check the other end of the long hallway and saw Peacemaker lying prone. Slowly, groggily, coming to his senses. Ted saw something which chilled him to his bones.

Fear. There was fear on the face of the Peacemaker. A terror like he'd never seen before.

A man who'd devoted himself to preventing war, who'd come face to face with the true horrifying darkness of the worst of men's souls... and this was something else. Something new.

"What happened..? What did you see?"
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Mao Mao
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Mao Mao Sheriff of Pure Hearts (They/Them)

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Waylon Jones gradually emerged from the water, scanning the area to ensure it was safe to head for the shore. He was, after all, still a wanted man. And there was no doubt that Waylon had arrived at his destination, that cursed city known to many as Gotham. Already he was regretting being here upon seeing the city skyline and breathing in the smog. Regretting that he left the boy all alone across the country because a single voicemail shook up the croc. "Found you, cocodrilo." That damn voice was unnerving as ever. And it still proceeded with such strength to make Waylon frantically surveil the area for the second time. He thought that, for a moment, he had been discovered; but soon relaxed when it became evident he was alone. Waylon began to breathe a soft sigh of relief and then angrily punched a nearby tree from letting his emotions get the better of him. A faint yelp escaped his mouth as he examined his hand, seeing that the knuckles were slightly more bruised.

Waylon then saw a lone payphone in a small, seemingly vacant parking area and thought of that kid again. It was admittedly meaningless to fret given that, for one, Roy Harper was a grown adult and more than capable of being independent. And even with all of that talent and knowledge, the red-haired kid was a reckless, wannabe hero willing to risk his health to do the right thing. But that aspiration reminded Waylon of himself before the world tore it up. So in his own way, remaining with the kid was his way of protecting it for as long as possible. But, of course, no one knew that. Upon getting closer to the payphone, Waylon noticed an olive green lone station wagon long abandoned by its owner.

But rather than inspect it, Waylon went over to the payphone and inserted a quarter. Then, he dialed the number carefully to avoid making a mistake and accidentally breaking the keypad with his massive fingers. There was a moment of silence followed by ringing before going directly to the automatic voice message system. Waylon groaned, even knowing that Roy often never answered unknown numbers. Plus, he still didn't record a voice message despite being constantly reminded to do so. But there wasn't much time to be irritated as a long beep tone caught his attention. Waylon knew what he needed to say, but it was never easy for him to convey his thoughts into words.

"umm... Hey, kid. Wanna let you know that I made it to Gotham safe and sound. Well, more like the outskirts, but it still looks like the same old cesspool if you are curious. Oh, don't bother calling this number back. Using a pay phone until I find myself one of those prepaid phones without getting spotted. But that's easier said than done because y'know... I'm me." Waylon chucked softly and then went silent for a rather long second. He took a deep breath and cursed himself for being such an idiot. The fact he let his self-esteem get the better of him would've been pathetic enough if it wasn't the-. "So yeah, it might be a while before you hear from me again. Hope you're doing well in Star City and not causing too much trouble."

Suddenly, a loud boom echoed across the parking area, causing the birds to flee from the trees. Waylon stopped talking to look for the source of the noise, only to see flames rising above the trees. He realized that an explosion had occurred somewhere nearby. Too curious for his own good, Waylon wanted to have a quick peek at the massive blaze before resting in the sewers. But first, he needed to wrap up his message. "Shit, listen, I gotta go. Will try to contact you soon. Bye for now, kid." Waylon ended the call and then put the telephone back into place gently. He made his way toward the explosion, making sure to use the darkness as cover for any onlookers. Only home for a few, and something's already blown up.

Waylon couldn't help but laugh.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Supermaxx
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Supermaxx dumbass

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ISSUE #1: Legacy

Queensland Park Metropolis

Conner Kent gave the strap around the loveseat a quick tug to make sure it was secure. Satisfied it was snugly in place, he kicked up the dolly with an exaggerated huff. The furniture was barely heavier than a baseball, truth be told, but he had to make a show of it for Tana's grandmother.

Kailani Moon was a short, grey-haired woman with eyes sharper than a hunting knife and little patience for bullshit. She was one of the first people in his life that only knew him as Conner, and keeping it that way had proven...arduous. Prior to his move to Metropolis, 'Conner' was just what his friends called him when they weren't wearing tights. He was a full-time superhero- he didn't have time for the mild-mannered life. Clark had insisted on it, however.

“We live among humanity, Kon-El. Not above it.”

Conner wheeled the dolly down the truck's ramp and up the stairs to Kailani's new apartment. For the last month and a half the old woman had been staying in a sketchy hotel in Suicide Slums while she negotiated the lease with her new landlord. The five decades before that were spent in Hawai'i with her late husband, a man Conner only knew by reputation and the several hundred framed photos he would be unpacking over the weekend. How a man that looked that happy could spend over fifty years with a woman as filled with piss and vinegar as nana the world would never know.

"If you scratch my hardwood floor I'll have your balls in a vice, Kent," Kailani called from the kitchen. She was busy unpacking enough silverware to feed a small army. He had to wonder what it was all for. From what Tana told him no one in her family had met for dinner at nana's in half her lifetime- and it wasn't just the distance from Metropolis to Honolulu that kept them apart.

Sighing, he lowered the love seat to the living room floor in front of the fireplace- just the spot she'd pointed him to earlier. "I wouldn't dream of it, Mrs. Moon.”

“Misses? God be good I didn’t spend a decade of my life earning a PhD to be called misses.”

He closed his eyes tight and took a slow, deliberate breath. ‘Patience, Conner. Don’t go losing your cool the first time you’re around her without Tana to watch your back.’

“I apologize, doctor-“

“Oh Jesus Christ.” Kaliani barked out a disbelieving laugh as she shuffled out of the kitchen, leaning against the doorframe to keep from falling over mid-laughing fit. “I can’t tell if you have the patience of a saint or if you’re just a pussy. I’m ribbing you, darling. Don’t take this old kook so seriously.”

He could feel his face turning dark red as he stood there, mouth half-open and stuttering for a response. Staring down Vandal hadn’t made him a fraction as nervous as this.

“Right,” he finally responded, running a hand through his hair. “You were testing me.”

“Damned right I was.” She grinned, stepping back into the kitchen long enough to retrieve a pair of steaming coffee mugs.

She pushed one into his hands and took a seat in the chair he’d just set down, ushering him to take the couch. Conner did so after a moment’s hesitation. He took a short sip of his coffee and grimaced.

“You have any creamer?”

Kaliani mirrored his grimace. “So you really are a pussy. No, that shit is vile. There’s sugar in a pot on the counter and milk in the refrigerator.”

Conner rolled his eyes as he moved to make the drink actually digestible. “So I take it I failed your test, then?”

“Oh, absolutely. Don’t feel bad about it, though; most people do. No one looks at a sweet old grandma and expects her to have a fucking spine. It throws people off, makes them easier to wrangle.”

“Is that what you got your degree in? People wrangling?” Conner asked, sitting back down.

“That’s an apt description of politics, I’d say.”

“Oh, so that’s where you got all the bullshit.”

“So the dog can bark!” Nana Moon smiled wryly. “Yes, I’ve met plenty of bulls who think they run the ranch just because they shit the hardest and we’re born with a cock between their legs. But my days of working with legislators is long behind me, I’m afraid. These days I’m a glorified Wikipedia search in heels, only they pay me and give me a fancy title like ‘advisor,’ ‘analyst’ or ‘expert.’”

Conner leaned back into the couch, raising an eyebrow. “You do TV interviews, don’t you? Tana’s shown me some of them.”

“Oh, God.” She groaned. “Unfortunately so. Being a talking head pays better than actually working for a living these days. I actually have a debate lined up with one of President Luthor’s goons on Godfrey’s network later today. We’re going to ‘discuss’ Luthor’s policy on the meta-human population. On today of all days!”

Today was the fourth anniversary of the disbanding of the Justice League. Conner felt the weight of that day on his shoulders every day- but it was never heavier than today. He tried to not let the anger show on his face, nodding to show Moon he was still listening.

“It’ll be a damned massacre. I can’t fathom why Luthor’s team would take me on if they’ll done an ounce of research. I’ve been studying meta-humans like you since the president was still pissing his diapers.”

Conner’s face twitched. Had he heard that right? Did she misspeak? He shifted uncomfortably in place, gripping his mug a little harder. “Oh yeah?” He asked as casually as possible.

Kaliani leapt from her loveseat with an athleticism fit for a woman half her age. "Ha, I knew it!" She jammed a finger toward Conner, her smile twisting with a triumphant glee, as if she'd won a game that he didn't even know they were playing. "You've got to work on your poker face, boy. You couldn't have been more obvious if you tried." She cackled.

Confusion and panic warred in his chest as Conner tried to clamp down on his emotions. He had no idea what the hell had given him away. "I'm really not sure what you're talking about," he laughed, failing to keep his nervousness from leaking out of every pore in his body.

Playing dumb didn't do anything to alleviate Moon's jubilant mood. She was practically dancing around the living room, coffee threatening to spill from her mug with every jolt and jump. She was supercharged, now, talking faster than her mouth could keep up. "You really did put quite a lot of work into your alter ego. Most people just forge a birth certificate and an I.D and call it a day. But fabricating a relationship with a former Daily Planet journalist? Getting yourself retroactively enrolled in three different schools? And a C.V as long as my arm- you almost got me."

His heart fell into his stomach. All that work he'd put into covering his tracks and it had already been undone by the first person that went looking. Kent let his anger and disappointment show in his falling posture and deepening frown. "Sounds like you did your research. What tipped you off?"

The old woman shrugged playfully. "I've been around a long time. Made a lot of friends that owe a lot of favors. None of your graduating class knew a Conner Kent, your social media accounts were all bought and edited within the last year and one of your old jobs is an ARGUS front. I'm guessing they helped you set all this up?"

Conner put his head in his hands. "A little, yeah. They told me it was bulletproof."

"ARGUS couldn't bulletproof a fucking kevlar vest if they had three trillion dollars and twenty years to do it." Kaliani said after she finished blowing a raspberry. "It doesn't help that you fly around in your tighty-whities with your whole, actual face showing. I'm honestly impressed nobody's taken a shot at 'Conner Kent' yet."

"Nobody ever goes looking," Conner admitted with a shrug. "Why would an indestructible alien choose to live as a normal person?"

Kaliani finally finished her victory lap and returned to her seat, still positively beaming. "Does Tana know?" She asked, and Conner responded with a hesitant nod. She continued: "She must've found it out for herself, too. I'm not half so good at this sort of thing as that girl. My darling baby practically lives and breathes this spy-detective shit."

"Yeah." He scoffed. "When I finally got around to telling her my big secret she just flicked me on the nose and told me 'I know.'" The two shared a laugh together and the tension finally drained from Conner's stomach. They spent the next half an hour talking about everything: her move from Hawai'i, his choice to take up the Superman mantle, and Conner and Tana's relationship. It didn't take long for Kaliani to interrogate Conner about when they were getting married and giving her great grand children. It was almost strange to hear a woman so...unorthodox as her ask about something so ordinary. There was a lot more to the old, cranky woman than Conner first assumed. Now he understood why Tana liked her so much, and insisted Conner spend time with her.

Just as Kent was standing up to continue unpacking the moving truck he heard something in the distance. He turned his head toward it, his eyes glazing over as he searched through layer after layer of buildings, roads and people for the source of the thunderous noise. An explosion. There was trouble.

"I gotta-" He started, but Kaliani had already waved him off.

"Go, already! If you stop to give me the 'this is a job for' speech I'll spit in your eye."
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by HenryJonesJr
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Member Seen 29 days ago


Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

The drone of the jet’s engines rumbles in my right ear, the one that just won’t pop, no matter how hard I try. I try my best to ignore it by reading the medical journal I brought with me, but all I’m doing is absentmindedly staring at the words on the page and not absorbing anything worth a damn. Not that I’d really be able to do any studying. Not at a time like this.

A face across the aisle turns to look at me. It’s the middle aged creeper I noticed slip off his wedding ring when I walked by after my last trip to the restroom. One of those finance assholes who thinks The Wolf of Wall Street is something to aspire to, not the morality tale it really is. Probably thinks he has a chance at the mile high club with the sweet college student. He has a better chance of flying after I toss him out an emergency exit like I’d preferred to do.

I take out my EarPods and ask, “Can I help you?”

He smiles, so proud of himself that I gave him the time of day, “Just wondering if you’ve ever been to London before, love?”

“Can’t say that I have,” I roll my eyes at the “love”.

“We’ll, if you could use a guide, I’d be more than happy to show you around town,” he smiles even wider, like a tiger who thinks he’s got a kill in front of him.

“Well, how would your wife feel about that?” I raise my eyebrow.

“I-uh-what are you talking abou-“

“My dad was a sleight of hand magician,” my smile is as condescending as I can manage. “You were as clumsy as an elephant in roller skates.”

He mumbles something that sounded an awful lot like “witch”, and I chuckle to myself and go back to my journal.

“Well done,” the older woman sitting next to me leans over with a warm smile. She’s giving off real grandma energy, and while I’d normally prefer not to talk to anyone on a plane, I respect it.

“Thanks, can’t stand that kind of guy. At least you probably didn’t have to deal with his kind back in the day, right?”

“On the contrary, there were probably more of him,” she sighed and cleans her glasses with her shirt. “And we couldn’t tell them off like you just did without being called some names.”

I give her a sympathetic look, “I get it, sister.”

She chuckles, “I couldn’t help but overhear that your father is a magician? Did you hear about what happened to that famous one from Vegas? Zoltan or something? Horrible, horrible business isn’t it. Had your father told you about that?”

“Yea,” my smile disappears very quickly. “Yea I heard about that.”

Las Vegas
Two Weeks Ago

I sit in my father’s manager’s office, numb to the world. It was just yesterday I was woken up by a phone call from the Las Vegas PD telling me my father was missing and presumed dead. I jumped on a flight, and now I’m here. Of course, the story is already all over the news. TMZ was here almost immediately, and managed to get a picture of the dressing room he disappeared from. The blood and the occult symbols were already being plastered across every corner of the internet.

Brian Smith, my dad’s manager, looks worse than I do at this point. Probably didn’t sleep at all. I did, but mostly because I think I’m so numb to all this.

“So he didn’t tell you anything? That he was involved with anyone weird? Or being threatened by someone?” His hands are shaking as he picks the coffee cup up to his lips. “No stalkers or anything?”

“Not that he told me,” I shrug. “Was acting normally the last time we talked a few days ago. I take it you don’t know anything?”

He puts the cup down and puts his face in his hands, “Nothing.”

His one hand opens a drawer on his desk and slides an envelope over to me, “But he did give me this the morning before it happened. I didn’t think anything of it.”

The envelope has nothing on it but my name written in my dad’s handwriting. I open it to find an 8.5x11 piece of paper with just a few words written on it.

“Well?” Brian asks.

“All it says is ‘John Constantine. London.’ Any clue?”

“No,” he shakes his head. “But I can buy you a plane ticket.”
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Sep
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Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

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Waller swirled her drink around in her glass, eyeing the suit of armor in the far corner of the room. Eight feet off complex systems, fully enclosed helmet. She couldn't understand how the occupant was supposed to see, but then apparently that was all part of the control. "So the President informs me that your guest, is ready for his first job." She lifted the glass to her lips, allowing the bitter and cool liquid run down to swirl around her mouth before swallowing it.

The Professor pushed his glasses up his face and leaned back in his chair. "I have made significant progress thanks to the President's involvement. His workings and mine have blended together rather well."

"I have to say, I am rather skeptical of this, should you lose control-"

"I could almost guarantee that I will have far more control over my asset, than you over yours. Yours follow you because they fear you. My assets follow because that is what it is made to do."

"My assets-" The Professor waved his hand dismissively.

"I don't really care about your assets. ARGUS is antiquated and inadequate for the task at hand. My assets and I, we are the future." He chuckled slightly as he turned several technical diagrams back into Waller's view. "Cadmus only ever really produced one asset worth noting, and it is currently flying around in a red cape having been adopted by Superman. Not exactly the asset you wanted, was it?

Waller felt her grip tighten on the glass before she once again regained control of herself. "Certain failures are to be expected, it is why we have contingencies."

"A wager then, you go first. Whoever brings Superman to the President, wins."

Clark closed Jons door with a sigh, bidding him goodnight as he did so. Near enough as soon as the door had closed, he was gone. Out the building, and beneath the starry skies. Sat on top of the local water tower, he used to come here with Lana Lang back during his high school days. They spent many nights here through all the high points of their lives, and the lowest. They came here after their graduation, Clark returned here when his parents died.

He came here when the JSA disbanded, after the Atlantis Invasion. He proposed to Lois at the top of this tower, he had come here when she died. Clark sighed. He had believed that dissolving the Justice League had been the right thing to do, Bruce and Diana had agreed and they had gone their separate ways.

Things always seemed to get worse.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Sep
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Sep Migs Mayfield - Core

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GM Post

LEXCORP Facility // Gotham City Outskirts

They ran out of the facility, their silhouettes cast in the backdrop of the flames and the buildings. Their physical abilities seemed to not match their appearances, making jumps and flips that their bodies, fat and muscle distribution would deny. Under one of their arms was a briefcase-carrying what little data they had elected to keep before they had destroyed the facility.

STAR Labs Deep Space Labs // Ivy Town

The fat janitor tidied up as the facility burned before he realized it was time that he should be running away. Around the time he saw the blue spandex-wearing 'hero' that the people of this world idealized. He pulled a communicator out of his jacket, and his form shifted to his true one. There was a moment of panic as the man in the shiny helmet blocked his path, he passed straight through him phasing through.

Once he was on the other side, he turned with his fist colliding the side of his face, before he then dropped through the floor.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Queen Arya
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Queen Arya Celestial Queen-in-Waiting

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The Raven

Her breath ran ragged as she ran, ducking down random side alleys or turning abruptly along various streets. Rachel did not have any particular destination in mind, simply that she needed to get away from the scene of... whatever that had been. She had to distance herself from the chaos, from the scene and the cameras that were no doubt spreading the horror all across Gotham. From the direction of the shelter, she could hear the sirens of the police as they no doubt investigated the slaughter. She knew that they would be finding that cursed shrine soon enough and that there would doubtless be a search for her. Rachel swallowed nervously as she ducked down yet another nameless dark alleyway. If the cult was back, then Rachel knew that getting arrested would only feed into their desires. She had to get back to her bunker, to lay low and soon. A dark part of her mind worried that one of the Bat's... friends might even come after her. A thought that scared her to her core.

With her goal in mind, Rachel found herself slowing down in the cool air of the night. As she emerged into the light of another street, she turned her attention all about to try to figure out where she'd ended up. The good news was that she was only a few blocks away from the shelter. Which meant... it wouldn't be terribly long before she managed to make it home. The bad news came shortly after that, as she turned her attention towards a display nearby with a few televisions, all showing the local news. To her horror, Rachel saw the image her herself from the shrine displayed fully on the screen. Moments later, a video of herself vaguely running from the shelter. They already had their suspect. Rachel swallowed uneasily as she turned to look around herself, thankful that there were not any others nearby to start pointing fingers in her direction.

"Already blaming us, and it's only been a few minutes. You sure these humans are worth saving? We could show them how the scene would've looked if it had been us."

"Fuck. Off." Rachel answered her spirit, closing her eyes for a moment to recall the best way back toward her safe haven. She knew a couple of alleyways that typically only had homeless people living in them, so... probably her best bet. With a soft swear, Rachel dove back down the alleyway she'd emerged from. Instead of running this time, she set in at a brisk walk. Better to save her energy for running later. No doubt, with her luck, something would go wrong and she'd wind up having to run or fight. Which, given Red's particular activeness tonight, she wasn't keen on the second of the two options. With a long breath sucked into her lungs, Rachel let her mind stretch out around herself, feeling the intentions of all those around her. Hopefully, it'd give her a bit of warning if somebody came for her.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Roman
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Roman King of Dirt

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

#1.02: Meow or never
Previously: #1.01

With a soft, completely non-ominous ding, the lift came to a gentle halt, and the doors in front of her slid open without fanfare. Stretched out beyond the elevator shaft lay Waynetech R&D, and for all that Kitrina was aware of what kind of research was done down here, the department existed without any kind of aplomb or grandeur. It was just...sterile. White tile and fluorescent lighting, lots of glass walls and computer stations. The lift opened into a pseudo-lobby, the only ways out of which were either back up the elevator, or through a large set of sliding doors that required specific access to open. Access that Kitrina really hoped Tom had, or she really would have to take that rain-check visit to the bar.

The moment of truth was very much anti-climactic; rather than any grand entrance or klaxons blaring, she simply swiped Tom's ID card over the reader on the wall, which flashed a green light and beeped a very soft beep, and then the sliding doors gently parted, letting Kitrina pass through them before gently sliding shut once more. She was almost disappointed; grand larceny, she felt, should happen with more fanfare.

Instead, she stepped deeper into the room, releasing a breath she hadn't realized she was holding. It was quiet, and the warehouse-like space stretched away in front of her, concrete pillars dotting the landscape, interspersed with workbenches, computer desks, and occasional racks of steel shelving, with drawers that Kitrina supposed were electromagnetically sealed. The odd filing cabinet was the final touch, dist accumulating atop their flat surfaces and in the grooves, indicating a long-passed migration to digital-only records, which was Kitrina's first planned port of call. She chose a desk at random, pocketing Tom's ID and checking the time. She needed to be quick, and clean, and quiet. In and out.

The computer whirred to life as she wiggled the mouse, the on-standby monitor lighting up quickly. Locked, obviously, she had anticipated this, but that's what the irrelevant, eyebrow-raising question that started the whole shebang came into play; she typed "SYSADMIN OVERRIDE" into the user field on the login screen, and suppressed a smug giggle when she hit enter and a small reader-drive, with the perfect, finger-shaped print-scanner, popped out of the front of the PC unit.

Kitrina rummaged in her bag and retrieved a latex glove, some moisturizing spray, and a well-prepared sellotape print sample she'd collected while dutifully tidying up the mugs left scattered after an inter-departmental standup meeting with key members of the board, that she'd had to dress up extra nice and play extra coy for, in order to extract the login overrides of the Lead Research Strategy Administrator. Thanks, Marty. I hope your resume is up to snuff.

The computer booted a sparse, minimal database display, and Kit suddenly found herself bored just from glancing at the blinking, matrix-green, ASCII-esque format. There were project labels and codename listed one after the other, with nothing to distinguish what each was or what it pertained to or even who was involved; just a long list of context-less words, each provided with a date, some initials, and a status indicator. She scrolled mindlessly for a couple minutes, the database whirring past glazed eyes; she began to envision what a legitimate data-entry career at Wayne Enterprises might look like, and how long she might last until the inevitable suicide, when suddenly a break in the monotony drew her attention. Project KASHA; initials redacted. Date redacted. Status redacted. She scrolled down until the project was highlighted, and hit enter. Rather than specs, a description, or even a simple 'access denied' alert, she instead got what seemed to be some manner of personal note.

Received request for closure of this project. All records and specs have been purged from database as instructed, but I am leaving this addendum for posterity and audit purposes.

Personal note: [REDACTED] said black ops contract for this one fell through when I asked. But that doesn't explain why Mr. [REDACTED] came down here personally to discontinue it. It was requested all project-related work be destroyed, but we made some accomplishments here. Final prototype has been secured and locked up in 34F-A. It'll never see the light of day, but that doesn't mean we can't be proud of what we can achieve down here. A shame to erase all evidence.

Okay, you got me curious, Kit thought, and closed the note and the database down before switching off the computer and running through racking in search of 34F-A. Whatever Project KASHA was, it seemed like it was exactly what she'd been looking for - something meaty, something that implicated the company, and most serendipitous of all, something that appeared to involve old Brucey-boy himself. She almost skipped along the rows, skimming her fingers across labeled shelves and locked drawers until finally, she found herself at 34F-A, and staring at an unassuming steel drawer, with a single keyhole to the side of the handle. 'Secured', huh? Must have different definitions...she mused, as a single bobby pin and some deft finger-work picked the lock pin-by-pin, until she elicited an oh-so-satisfying *click*, and the drawer pulled smoothly open to reveal an unremarkable, black, heavy-set attache case.

The moment felt somewhat anticlimactic. She had no better leads, and no real time to scrounge one up regardless, so here it was: practical but boring, the briefcase forbidden by God. Or Bruce Wayne at least, and in Gotham there wasn't much of a difference. She grasped the handle firmly in one hand and lifted, expecting resistance - some kind of fancy magnetic lock, or wire-bolt security. There was none; the case simply came out of the drawer.

And then the klaxons went off.
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