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Welcome to Hell (AKA, the mind of an idiot)

Most Recent Posts

Location: Kobra Base, Everglades, Florida

Vincent was mid-stride when he felt the bolas begin to wrap around his ankles, tripping him as they shocked him, preventing him from catching himself. Are you serious, this again?! he thought, unable to do much else. He knew he was in trouble, this time. The last time he had been tangled up, the bolas had been attached to a steel plate he detached from his back. This time, they were wrapped directly around his ankles and he couldn’t remove those. Not painlessly, at least, nor would it be a simple matter of reattaching them.

Despite the pain of being shocked, he kept an eye on his opponents. Counting only the armed guards, there were roughly ten of them, four of which bore red armbands. Two of those had bola launchers, one was equipped with shockwave gauntlets, and the last had one of those foam guns he remembered from the bank heist. The guards were arranged in a loose semi-circle around him, their weapons trained in case Vincent managed to free himself. Normally, he wouldn’t be worried, but he found it difficult for him to focus enough to cover himself in his carbon armor. If they decided to open fire then and there, he was a goner.

Suddenly, his mind flashed back to the harbor. He could still feel the increasing weight on his chest, the helplessness of being pinned underneath his rampaging teammate, unable to do anything. And then…

It was dark in the closet. There was shouting, the sound of something breaking. Someone was looking for something, demanding the couple to give it to them. The voice sounded young. The couple said something. There was a stifled sob. Then a furious yell, joined by terrified screams cut short, the splatter of something wet, the sound of a pair of heavy objects hitting the ground…

Vincent slammed his fist on the ground and slowly pushed himself up, using the pain of his split knuckles to focus. The guards all took half a step back, nervous, while the blonde meta seemed to grin wider. ”Never…again…” the young hero growled as a small, black knife of carbon appeared in his hand. Reaching down, he sliced through the wire connecting the metal spheres of the bola and immediately felt the current fade as he let out a sigh of relief. Now able to focus on them, Vincent realized he could sense something familiar about the bolas…

“Fire!” came the order just as gunfire erupted all around Vincent. In the split second it took for the order to be given and the first shots to find their mark, the young hero’s body was covered in his signature carbon armor, protecting him. Then came a pair of bolas, but Vincent was prepared, this time. ”That’s not gonna work, anymore,” he said with a grin.

The moment they were within range, he reached out with his power, calling to the steel he sensed within the electrified spheres, and forced them to change course. The glove-wielder and the guard with the foam gun, taken by surprise, couldn’t react fast enough before they found themselves ensnared, crying out as they received the same treatment Vincent freed himself from. Now able to counter both the bullets and the bolas, he was free to turn his focus toward the bigger threats: the metas.

He glanced at the bald man floating in midair, then the blonde on the ground, who only seemed to grow more excited at the prospect of a fight. He had no idea about either man’s abilities, but every instinct seemed to tell him that the bald man was probably the bigger problem. Which meant he had to go down first.

Drawing from the air, Vincent layered more carbon on top of his arms and legs before he jumped toward the bald one. He called on his power to pull him through the air, giving him more height and speed, before he lashed out with a heavy right hook.
Damn, found this too late. I'll keep an eye on it in case a spot opens up down the line!

Location: Kobra Base, Everglades, Florida
Interactions: Nymph

Vincent arched an eyebrow at Daphne when she volunteered to jump into the fray with him. He had never pegged her for being a frontline fighter and he could tell from the look in her eyes that she didn't seem entirely comfortable with the idea, but he couldn't help but respect her for wanting to fight at his side, regardless. With a grin, he unfurled his wings and replied, "Hell, yeah, let's do this!"

With that, he shot straight up into the air as Daphne descended on the complex. He let himself rise above the treetops, his wings glinting in the sunlight as he drew the attention of the guards that weren't already focused on Daphne, before he dove toward the base. He could hear the rapport of gunfire, the snap of bullets flying past him as guards opened fire on him. Most of the shots missed, others pinged off of his wings, and others still ricocheted harmlessly off of his hardened skin. At the last moment before meeting the ground, Vincent reinforced his legs with carbon and flipped in the air. His feet dug furrows into the ground as he skid to a stop, but even during his landing, he didn't let the opportunity to do some damage pass him by as he stuck his carbon-hardened arm out, crashing it into the face of a guard as he passed by.

"Keep the pressure up!" a guard yelled out as he opened fire, the bullets bouncing uselessly off of Vincent's armored skin. "If we can't put him down, we'll make sure he stays put!"

Vincent watched as guards began to gather, each one firing at him as they formed a curved firing line. He covered his entire body in his carbon armor, then further reinforced it by wrapping his wings around himself, the steel shaping itself to conform to his body like a suit of armor. "You really think you can keep me locked down with those peashooters?!" he yelled over the gunfire. He felt his armor tug at his body as he used his power to speed toward the guards, charging in a straight line with no effort to throw off their aim. He grabbed the face of the closest guard, the one who had ordered the others to pin him down, and threw him into another pair of guards. "It's gonna take something a hell of a lot bigger to keep me pinned!"

Despite being close enough for his powers to disable their guns, Vincent let the guards continue to fire at him while he took them down, one by one. It was a waste of concentration when they couldn't hurt him and he couldn't deny the thrill he got by showing his enemies how useless their weapons were against him. He had been holding the last guard by one of the shoulder straps of his bulletproof vest, steel-clad fist raised, when a green light drew his attention. He looked up to find a slow-moving, yet steadily growing sphere of green energy homing in on a group of guards accosted by a cloud of petals. Lowering his gaze, Vincent then noticed the woman performing some strange gesture with her hands. Putting two and two together, he realized the woman was responsible for the sphere of energy and as he tried to figure out how to help Daphne, an idea came to him.

The guard felt a flash of pain as Vincent delivered a quick, hardened headbutt to his forehead, knocking him out. The young hero dropped the guard unceremoniously on the ground and gathered all of the steel on his body into a sphere that hovered over his upturned right palm. He drew his arm back as the sphere stretched out, one end taking on the shape of a large spearpoint. He held his left arm out with his palm facing outward and took aim at the ball of energy, poking his tongue out as he focused. Once he was satisfied, he clenched his left hand into a fist and threw the spear, using his power to put as much oomph into the throw as he could. As the spear flew toward the energy sphere, he took off toward the metahuman responsible for it.

Sol climbed the last of the steps and found himself on the top floor of the lighthouse, just beneath the beacon. The floor lacked walls, affording whoever was stationed at the top an unobstructed, 360-degree view. The beacon above was supported by four legs attached to the outer wall of the lighthouse, accessible by a single ladder. There was a smattering of pirates on the top floor, all of whom had turned to look at Sol, whose gaze was locked on a single man, in particular.

He was shorter than Sol, quite a bit older, and thin, as if he hadn’t had regular meals in ages. A white beard, thick and unkempt, reached down his torso, stopping just short of his stomach. Other than his beard, the only hair he had was around the sides of his balding head, equally disheveled. As he turned, Sol saw that the old man’s eyes were gray and, while they looked tired, Sol could see that a defiant fire still burned in them. What truly drew his gaze, however, was the armor the old man wore. It was worn, rusted and had its fair share of dents and cracks, but despite that and the crudely-drawn scales drawn on the breastplate, Sol recognized not only the armor, but the tarnished medal pinned to the tattered crimson cloak around the old man’s shoulders: a bronze sun pinned to the cloak by a purple ribbon. That explains the scales I keep seeing everywhere, he thought.

The man squinted his eyes, which then widened in shock. “I don’t believe it…” he muttered in disbelief. He looked around as his men readied their weapons and quickly said, “Stand down, men! And leave us. You know not who this man is.”

“Oh, we know very well, captain,” one of the pirates growled. “He’s a Navy bastard who’s here to bring us all in! Sorry, cap, but there’s no way we’re gonna just roll over and let him bring us in!”

Before the old man could stop them, his men charged at a suspiciously relaxed Sol, who slowly walked toward them. With flashing steel, the battle was over faster than it began. To his assailants, it hardly looked like Sol moved, yet in a blink, they were on the ground, wounded and unconscious, but alive. Unbothered, Sol continued walking until he and the old man were standing within ten feet of each other. The Navy captain looked down at the old man and said, ”I never would have imagined I would find a Praetor of all people throwing in with pirates.”

Narrowing his eyes, he added, ”Especially one with your straight-as-an-arrow reputation, Praetor Servius.”

During the height of Nychthemeron rule, praetors would sometimes oversee cohorts of Legion soldiers, acting as interim prefects in times when said prefect was otherwise unable to perform their duties. Most of the time, however, prefects were civil servants, usually presiding over courtroom proceedings as a judge. It was a rank given to older Legion officers who still wished to serve the Empire rather than retire.

“I’m honored that you remember me, after so much time has passed. To explain, desperate circumstances make for strange bedfellows…Your Highness,” Servius replied, meeting Sol’s inscrutable gaze, despite breaking out in a cold sweat. “For instance, while I am overjoyed that our prince still lives, I never would have thought you’d join the very people that brought our Empire to ruin. I had thought Astrum’s son would have more pride than–”

Sol’s eyes briefly flashed orange, but it was enough for Servius to bite his tongue. ”Desperate circumstances,” Sol echoed.

The praetor cleared his throat and said, “A-anyway, Your Highness…Truly, I’m beyond relieved you still live and that you still have your health. In fact, you’ve come at a perfect time!” Servius grinned and stepped toward Sol as he continued, “We could use your help, Your Excellence. You see, everyone here has been wronged by the World Government in some way, shape, or form. We’ve gathered together to exact revenge and Green Isle is just the start! We won’t let anyone stop us until we’ve received justice! And if you joined us, the Empire could even be reborn! We’ve even joined forces with someone who would lend us his forces for when we finally march on Marie Geoise! I have to pay him monthly to retain his crew, but with his power, a new Nychthemeron is just on the horizon!”

Sol was quiet for a moment. In theory, Sol should be overjoyed that he had found someone else that had survived that night, that he should be eager to help rebuild his old home. He took a deep breath…then replied, ”No.”

“Y-Your Highness…?”

”I’ve never had any intention of rebuilding the Empire,” he quietly said, steadily meeting Servius’ shocked gaze. ”The Government targeted us because we had grown too powerful and we weren’t under their control. If the Empire should be rebuilt, we would be crushed before we could even get the palace restored. Thoroughly. A newborn Empire would never be safe until the Government is gone.”

He walked past the shocked praetor and looked out to the sea. ”The only thing I desire is revenge, so your offer is admittedly appealing. But not against the Marines or even the World Government as a whole. Even I, one who has just as much, if not more, reason to hate them as you, understand that there are good people in both groups, people I would rather not have to fight and kill if I can help it.”

His lieutenant’s face flashed in his mind before he continued, ”Instead, I have eyes only for the heads of this hydra: the Five Elder Stars, themselves. And I have no intention of involving anyone else. Unlike you.” He turned to face Servius and asked, ”From the sound of it, you intend on killing all who stand in your way. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that would include those who would undoubtedly rise against you in defense of their homes.”

Servius was silent for a long time. Long enough for Sol to know he had hit the nail on the head. He sighed and turned to face his former countryman. ”Surrender quietly, Praetor Servius,” he quietly suggested. ”It pains me to have to do this, especially since my father would often tell me about how well you served the Empire, but I can’t afford to risk anyone asking questions. If you come quietly, and with the dignity of a Legion officer, I can promise you lenient treatment.”

Servius looked to the ceiling and sighed, long and deep. ”I appreciate this kindness, Your Highness,” he quietly said, his voice tight with emotion. He then met Sol’s eyes once more and continued, ”But I can’t do that. I was once a high-ranking government official of a dead empire, one who would love nothing more than to see Marie Geoise burn. Should they find that out, your commanders would never risk the chance of me building a resistance from behind bars.” He gestured to his unconscious men and added, ”I was able to gather these men just by sailing from island to island. Could you imagine what I could do with an entire prison, full of people just like these?”

With a chuckle, he added, “Besides. I am an old man. I have no intention of spending my last, precious few years in a prison.” He slowly drew his sword and held it at the ready, facing Sol. “I spent my youth on the battlefield. Despite how I look now, I was once a proud legionnaire. ‘Come quietly’ and ‘surrender’ are not in my vocabulary.” He slowly exhaled and steadied his shaking grip. “I admit…In my desire for vengeance, I had lost sight of myself. I was willing to sacrifice innocent lives, so long as I could achieve my goals…Not only that, but I joined forces with a pirate far more ruthless than I, one that would not let me simply run away while I owed him money.”

He met Sol’s gaze, his own unwavering. “I have faith in your plan. If anyone can bring our home justice, with the least amount of bloodshed, it is you. So, please…do me this kindness, Sol Luminos, Crown Prince of the Nychthemeron Empire, last of his line…and let this old soldier end his story in service of the empire he loves from the bottom of his heart, just as his father and grandfather did before him.”

Sol felt a lump form in his throat. He was more than willing to let the old man escape, but he could tell from the look in the praetor’s eyes that he would truly rather die than spend the last of his days in hiding, that there was no way Sol could convince him otherwise. ”Very well,” Sol said after clearing his throat. He lowered his stance, the tip of his sword aimed at the old man’s chest. ”In honor of your loyal service to the Nychthemeron Empire, Praetor Servius, I will grant your wish with the power of our homeland.”

Servius smiled, tears brimming in his eyes. “Thank you, my prince,” he quietly replied. He breathed deeply to center himself, then charged.

The old praetor moved with speed uncommon for a man his age. His form was perfect, his eyes clear and focused, just like the soldier he claimed to be. However, while he may have been a force to be reckoned with back in his prime, he could not fight the ravages of age. He watched as Sol moved, so much faster than Servius could even when he was young. The young prince sidestepped the old soldier’s vertical strike and drove his sword through the praetor’s chest, the old armor doing nothing to protect him. ”Way of Lumen: Somber Twilight.”

Servius let out a quiet sigh. Even throughout his long years, he had rarely ever seen this technique employed and never thought he would be on the receiving end. Just as the rumors he remembered had said, he felt no pain, just an encroaching sense of tiredness. Servius dropped his sword and pulled Sol close, embracing him. “Thank you…Your Highness…” he wheezed as Sol returned the embrace with his free arm. Several moments passed before he said, “B…B-Bacchus…Island…”

The prince’s brow furrowed. He remembered how much his father loved the wine from there, but that was all he could recall about the island. ”What about it?” he asked.

It took Servius several moments to reply as his breathing slowed and it became harder to speak. “That…pirate I mentioned…He’s there…You…h-have to…stop…him…Help those…peo…ple…” As his vision faded, he couldn’t help but smile. Standing before him were not only the family he had lost to time and the Navy’s invasion, but two others stood amongst them: A tall man with short, blonde hair, amber-colored eyes, and an easy smile stood next to a shorter woman, her black hair cascading down her back and over her shoulders, her deep blue eyes glittering as she smiled welcomingly at Servius. “E…Emperor…Aurum…Lady Dawn…Your son…grew up…well…..”

Twenty minutes later, Lieutenant Nelson rushed to the top floor, breathing heavily. “Of course…You’re up here…Couldn’t have been…the ground floor…Oh, nooo…” she panted, doubled over as Marines began to rush onto the floor. She looked up at Sol to find him staring out at the sea, missing his officer’s coat. She looked around and found it on the ground, stained in blood and covering someone’s body. “Who’s–”

”Tell the men we’re leaving as soon as reinforcements come,” Sol interrupted. He turned toward his Lieutenant and added, ”Call ahead to the ship and have them make preparations. We’re sailing to Bacchus Island.”

By the time they reached the ship, the fighting had already broken out. Bodies of enemy pirates lay scattered along the harbor on the way to the ship and large, clay footprints dotted the ground here and there. Luna rounded the last corner and saw that Aquila stood at the stern of the ship, rifle against her shoulder as she fired shot after shot at the encroaching pirates and golems, putting each one of the former down with a well-placed shot, though her attempts were fruitless against the latter. Rufus ran up and down the line of fighters, restocking their ammunition while he gave orders, and though she couldn’t see him, Luna knew Galen was below deck, tending to the wounded. Meanwhile, as the rest of the crew fired into the approaching enemies, the ship had drifted away from where it had been docked, making it more difficult to be boarded. However, Luna could see that the golems had begun merging at the edge of the dock, their bodies combining to create a bridge reaching out toward the ship.

Luna moved to rush in, but stopped when she felt Josiah’s hand on her shoulder. She looked back and saw that not only did Josiah follow her, but at least six other rebels had joined her. “We’ve got enough gypsum between us to keep a handle on most of those golems. We’ll distract them while you get to your ship and get out of here. Don’t worry about us, don’t worry about the island, we’ll–”

“Oh, come on,” Luna grumbled. ”You guys aren’t gonna throw your lives away so I can run off. I’m done hiding and since they’ve already got wanted posters of me out there, there’s no point in it, anyway.” She took the jar Josiah had in his hand and crushed it between her hands, soaking them in the mixture. Her nose wrinkled at the scent, but she ignored it as she added, ”Besides, there’s no way in hell I’ll let someone like this Sam Clay guy keep ruining this place. I can tell this used to be a beautiful island and I want it to be one, again.”

Josiah looked at Luna for a long few moments, then let out a sigh. “By the look in your eyes, I guess there’s no talking you out of it, huh?” He then gave her a smile and added, “Alright, then. I’ll be honored to fight by your side, my Princess.”

With that, the small band charged at the pirates and golems. Caught between the gunfire from the ship on one side and the approaching enemies from the other, the Clayfist pirates were slow to react, but the golems didn’t have that problem. One swung its arm at Luna, who ducked out of the way and countered with a straight punch to the golem’s knee. The gypsum-covered fist sank into the golem, causing it to fall over as its leg crumbled, but Luna didn’t stick around to make sure it stayed down, knowing she would only be wasting time.

A few of Clay’s pirates turned to face her, a pair of rifles leveled at her. The guns went off with a roar and Luna, letting instinct and reflex take over, sidestepped the shots at the last moment. Before they could get another shot off, Luna’s hands closed over their faces as she leapt at them. Using her momentum and body weight, she drove the pair to the ground, the back of their heads cracking against the hard ground. Continuing to use her momentum to her advantage, she brought her legs over her head, using the pirates’ faces as a foundation, and launched into a dive kick. The man felt something in his chest crack as Luna’s feet crashed into him before he was sent flying into the railing that ran along the port.

The princess took a moment to breathe and glanced around. Josiah and his men were holding their own, but the golems were gradually advancing toward them as their stock of gypsum started to run low. She turned her attention back toward her crew and felt her eyes widen as a golem trudged along the bridge, now within arm’s reach, its soft body effortlessly eating the rounds shot at it. She was moving before she knew it, the familiar tingling sensation of her electro springing to life, almost unbidden.

Luna closed the distance quickly, weaving between enemies as she pushed herself to move faster, her desperation to get to her crew urging her to ignore the pirates and golems she ran past. She felt a splash of pain every time a sword or bullet grazed past her, but all that mattered to her was to make sure no one else died because of her.

The golem had just stepped onto the deck of her ship by the time she reached the bridge. She watched as it raised a misshapen fist, but not at any of her friends. Instead, it was aiming straight down, as if it intended to punch straight through the deck. ”Oh, no you don’t, you lumpy bastard!” she yelled as she sprinted, then leapt, at the golem.

She lashed out with a devastating right cross, but to no effect. Her fist, the gypsum mixture having dried, sank harmlessly into the golem, nearly up to her elbow. She grabbed her forearm and tried to pull herself free, but she was stuck fast, her feet sinking into the golem’s back as she tried to leverage herself out. Luna watched as the golem’s fist swelled and tried again, then again to get free. Are you kidding me? she thought as time seemed to slow. This is how it ends? Everything I’ve been through, everything I’ve lost, everyone I’ve lost, and I’m about to drown, stuck to a gods damned mudclod?!

Sol’s face as she remembered him flashed through her mind and she felt her fuse reignite as the golem’s fist came down.

She grit her teeth as a spark of electricity jumped from her shoulder. She felt her desperation, her irritation, her rage build. ”Fuck that!” she roared. Her electro roared to life with her defiance, her body sparking like an active thunderhead. She let go of her forearm and slammed her left fist into the golem’s body. ”Marcus didn’t sacrifice himself so I could die here and I sure as hell couldn’t look my parents in the eye if I went out like this! Not before I’ve found Sol! Not before I could stop him from marching to his death!!”

The golem’s fist suddenly slowed, then stopped altogether, inches shy from the deck of the ship. Its mushy body began to harden and crack as its color dulled. With another defiant roar, Luna spread her arms and legs, blasting the golem apart from the inside, rendering it to little more than dust and clay rubble. She stood in place, catching her breath as her electro calmed down, though it continued to spark around her arms and shoulders. She then turned, facing the battle which had stopped when they noticed Luna’s lightshow. She cracked her knuckles and growled, ”Who’s next?”

Meanwhile, in the previous governor’s mansion, Sam Clay stood in the study, peering at the sea from one of the floor-to-ceiling windows that adorned the wall. He was a man of average height, with shoulder-length, dull red hair, similar in color to the clay he controls, small, dark brown eyes and a rather thin build. A red cloak with gold trim, taken from the old governor’s closet, rested on his shoulders, covering his otherwise bare torso. Though he couldn’t physically see what was going on at the dock, he chuckled and crossed his arms. “Well, well,” he mused in his raspy voice. “How interesting. I guess it really is that half-Mink on those wanted posters, huh?”

He placed his hand against the window, steadying himself as a wave of weariness washed over him, accompanied by a dull headache. He thought for a few moments, then smirked. “Alright,” he muttered. “Let’s make things a bit easier on myself, then…”

The remaining golems turned around and began to trudge away from the docks. The Clay pirates watched them, shocked and confused, then glanced back at Luna, still wreathed in electricity, before following suit, most of them grateful for the excuse to run away. It was only when the last pirate was out of sight did Luna relax. No longer fueled by her anger and adrenaline, Luna swayed on her feet, only to be caught by Rufus. “Easy there, Captain,” he muttered as he helped her sit down.

”Thanks,” she muttered. With a chuckle, she added, ”I haven’t had to use Electro like that in a long time. Wore me out more than I expected.”

Rufus chuckled, then regarded Josiah and his men as they picked themselves back up. “We’ll let your new friends on board, then we’ll talk about what to do next after you’ve rested up and had your wounds looked after.” He waited for Luna’s reply, but when none was forthcoming, he looked down to find her fast asleep. With a chuckle, he walked down the clay bridge to greet their new allies.

Location: Mosquito Hell (I wanna go home...)
Interactions: The Team

Vincent stood behind the treeline along with his comrades, out of sight as they observed the complex. He would have believed it to be a simple water treatment plant if it weren't for the armed guards patrolling the perimeter. He found himself wondering if it had been built by Kobra, themselves, or if they had "repurposed" it from the people who had worked there. Then, he decided it didn't matter. Kobra was there, now, obviously up to no good, and he was more than eager to start knocking heads together.

His thoughts drifted back to the dreadlocked stranger. He hadn't been given a chance to question the man before Stormcaller dropped from the sky, seemingly knocking him out. At least until he turned into a puff of smoke and skedaddled back to the treatment plant. He wondered about the man, who he was and what he was doing there, but Vincent decided he'd cross that bridge when he came to it.

As the rest of his team continued to observe the plant, Vincent began to pace back and forth, much like a caged tiger, eager to break out and sow chaos. He was starting to get impatient, yet he continued to do his best to stay on his leash, at least for the time being. At one point, he had to stifle a laugh when he watched Zach make a guard slip. Before long, he leaned against a tree and started fiddling with a small piece of iron, using it to form random shapes. "Just let me go out there and start cracking some skulls," he eventually suggested. "I'll make enough noise for the rest of you to slip inside. I can handle whatever they throw at me and we all know I'm useless when it comes to sneaking around, anyway."
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