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10 Mar 2017 20:19
Current Studying to be a demigod
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Back home, Los Angeles

Zoë reclined on the couch in her apartment, waiting somewhat impatiently for her hair to finish drying. Normally she would bake it so, but with the dye, she had no idea what effect it might have. At least her head felt much lighter with how much she had taken off, leaving her with only a bob cut. Running her fingers along her scalp revealed that it was still damp, so she had so time to kill.

Everything was now in crates, save the couch and her kitchen essentials. Her complète baise in using Russian instead of French at the base, the result of her layering a cover on top of another cover and forgetting which to use, had scared her enough about her residency that she decided to move, though it would be difficult to get everything from the practise areas. Still, the 'boys' from the neighbourhood had been very kind to pack everything up for her neatly and quietly move it all to a storage unit. This was especially useful since she was fairly certain some sort of authority figure would show up to inspect the building after the quake.

Why she had been such an imbécile escaped her for now, but she would have to scrub Ms. Evgeniya Dunayevsky from existence before her very flimsy cover was blown, if it wasn't already. At least the earthquake had bought her some time, and she easily had enough money to purchase a new one. Perhaps I will stay Français this time. It would certainly be less enquiquinant et compliqué. At least I will not have to attend any more of those très ennuyeux gallery shows.

Her reverie was broken by a chiming from her work phone. She glanced at the number for the incoming text, noted it belonged to one of her more reliable brokers, and flipped it open to read it.

Tasker : Have gotten word. Job available. Fits your restrictions. Following normal protocol. Interested ?

Forge : Any details ?

Tasker : None yet. Only gave me the contact info for their email. Said they'd call you if accepted.

Forge : Alright, let them know it's okay to call.

Tasker : Will do. Expect a call in the next 24 hours.

Zoë smiled as she closed the phone and tossed it onto the couch next to her. Tasker had always been good about protecting her, and was one of the very few of the jobs people that had actually met her. He was also the one who had scouted her, back when she was robbing jewelry stores for spending cash, and brought her into the trés lucratif mercenary business. As a result, she tended to prioritise jobs coming through him more than most. And a call this soon means someone else wants to nip this mess in the bud, as well.

Feeling energetic, she hopped off of the couch and strode across to the sliding door that led to the outside. There were lookouts out there from the locals who would warn everyone if she came out, but at this point she didn't care too much. The locals were scared enough without knowing she was an actual villain, after a few failed muggings, so if they wanted to scatter she would let them. However, when the door rattled up on its poorly maintained track, her face fell. The warm breeze was not comforting in the face of Rebekkah Newman, her civilian agent for her art, standing there looking extremely irritated. Merde.

Rebekkah didn't even wait for her to invite her in, she just stormed through the doorway, violently pink hair flowing behind her like a battleflag above her denim jacket and pants that made Zoë
feel like she was in the nineties, lime green and pale pink tiger stripes. Mon Dieu, that is odieux. She desperately tried to keep her disgust from showing out of politeness as the girl whirled on her.

“So where the fuck were you? I know Russia is on a different time zone an' shit, but you've been here for months and this showing was fucking important.” Bekkah stood glaring at her, hands on hips.

Zoë almost had to choke down laughter, but managed to keep a straight face and dropped into the monotone, bored Russian accent she had been using. “Honestly, it is not like I have ever liked going to those, Rebekkah. You know I do not give two <shits> what those <jumped up, snotty, trust fund ignoramuses> think.”

“Yeah? Well, you better soon, girl. You're paintings aren't good enough to ignore potential clients when they show up. As it is I only managed to make two sales tonight, which is a fucking embarrassment in this industry.”

Zoë perked up a bit. “Oh? Which two?”

Rebekkah rolled her eyes. “So now you care. The landscape sunset, and the impressionist self portrait.”

It was Zoë's turn to roll her eyes. “Of course, you sold the two worst ones out of the whole set. Both of those are <boring pieces of excrement>.”

“I really wish you would speak English, you know? You do live in America now. Anyway, those 'worst ones' are generally what pays your rent, so I wouldn't complain too much if I were you. Are you done with the new set yet?”

“Nyet. Will be another week, at least, thanks to this last ground shake.”

“Oh God, right. Okay, well try to hurry. The boss wants fresh stuff, and he wants better numbers, or he might drop you.”

Zoë held in the snort of derision as she walked Rebekkah back out, amid a tidal wave of rapid-fire gossip. The girl may have been annoying, but she certainly knew the work. If only she realised that Zoë knew it as well, and saw through tricks like trying to intimidate her with threats of being dropped. She had seen the work of other artists in the stable, and it was good, some of it, but the Zeitgeist Art Agency would not have picked her up if they hadn't been impressed with her to begin with, 'fresh off the boat and full of hope' like so many others that showed up in this pigsty of a town.

Her mood thoroughly ruined, she closed up and flopped onto the couch, wondering how her agent hadn't noticed that everything in her home was packed. The girl was probably too égoïste to realise what it meant, she thought to herself. Sighing heavily, she sat back, slouching magnificently, and flipped through channels while awaiting a call, either from her movers, her identity forger, or this mysterious new employer.



Nicky looked up as the door opened, hair tumbling around her face. For the past few minutes she had managed to right the chair and sat leaned over head in her arms. They had kept her in here for days. She was pretty sure that was illegal, but she didn't really trust clocks and calendars any more, either, and only really kept track of it being day or night anymore, which was impossible in the windowless room. She was opening her mouth to start yelling again when she saw him walk through the door. Tall. Confident. Heroic. Everything she wanted to be. Well, without the costume, though it worked on him, she supposed.

He also did not look happy to be here, talking to her. Way to screw it up, Nicky. she chided her self. He spoke, asking her what she wanted. Well, that made sense, she had screamed about talking to him for, like, three hours. And now here he is, and your stupid brain is locking up. Speak, dork.

“Uhhh. Um. Well. See.” She paused, organising the chaos in her head for a moment. “I used to live in New York, until three months ago. And then the green stuff came, and now I can't sleep, or get tired, or get hurt at all. No haircuts. Nothin'. So.”

Don't fuck it up!

“I was wonderin' if maybe. Um. Y'know. You could teach me? Because I don't know what all this stuff with heroes is all about?”


“Oh, and if they're blaming me for that fuckin' bomb, tell them they can shove it, because I was telling Detorktive Douchenozzle the truth. I have no idea who those assclowns were, they spoke a buncha Chinese or some shit and had a super strong guy with them. Though they musta fucked it up, because the bomb went off before they even started walking away.”

Somewhere in Downtown Lost Haven

Around 20:00

Berenice was lost, alone, and confused. What had that being been, and where had David gone? She wasn't entirely certain she had liked him, but he had been the nicest of the larger humans that she had met. Still, she wasn't about to stick around to try and find him when there was some sort of monster running around in the Wally World. She had screamed at it and gotten away as fast as she could, and now she perched, miserable and alone, on the roof of a skyscraper, huddled amidst the pipes and air units with a few pigeons for company, wishing she was back in her nest with her toys. She hadn't even been able to take her bin, either!

The dawn woke her from a troubled sleep, warm sunlight glancing off of her brown plumage and swiftly making her overly warm. The sound of one of the air units failing to function properly brought her all the way awake, and she let her wings, which she had been using as a blanket of sorts, fall away and peered around. It didn't seem as though the pigeons roosted here, and there were no other creatures nearby. She stretched, wings and arms both extending in a wide arc above her, and a huge yawn left her mouth agape, showing the razor sharp teeth the light of day. She blinked lazily and waddled to the edge of the roof to look off the edge.

The sunlight was only touching the tops of the buildings so far, so she felt safely unobserved. Down below, there were still the big metal people-containers with the flashy lights. The kids had explained they helped people, so something must have happened somewhere, though she wasn't sure what. Sounds of banging and grinding drifted up from below, though, irritating her. Those sounds were not good like the little box she had had was, and the more she heard the less she liked. She rocked and leapt off the building into a dive, opened her wings, and soared away through the buildings.

She wasn't entirely certain what she was looking for, flying towards the rising sun, but that search was soon lost in her head as she marvelled, as always, at the sheer joy of flight. The wind whipping through her hair and feather, the very fine control she could get with just a twitch of muscle, the tininess of everything below and how the worries of her world just fell away. And then her stomach growled and she realised she hadn't eaten anything since lunch yesterday. The morning meal was the most important, according to the kids, so she veered off to a park. Her vision focused onto the trees as she swept lower, and soon she caught sight of something small and fuzzy moving around out in an open area. She dove, wind rushing past her, and at the last second braked with her wings, shot her talons forward, and snagged the unfortunate creature and slammed it into the ground. Between the impact and the talons, it was dead instantly.

After breakfast, Berenice glanced at herself. She was spattered in gore again, and the kids had managed to explain to her bathing and why being covered in blood and dirt was bad. Thankfully, she could hear a stream nearby, so she glided across the park and settled near its edge. Taking a moment to arrange her well-worn and stained shirt, she hopped into the water and began splashing about. She took the shirt off and scrubbed at it in the water with her hands, releasing a trail of redness into the stream, and once she was satisfied that it was free of blood, she tossed it over to the shore and worked on herself. Amy had said that she wasn't washing enough, so she took an extra long time scrubbing at her skin, and then her feathers. She even took the ends of her wings and ran her teeth over them, trying to get out anything sticking between them, but she wasn't entirely certain if it was effective or not.

Unbeknownst to her, because of the splashing, several things were happening around her. For one, an early morning jogger had stopped, shocked at the sight of her, snapped a picture, and then took off before Berenice could notice. There were also more seagulls and crows gathering in the area than usual, and even the trees and grass were starting to respond, growing an imperceptible bit faster. And most noticeable of all, even if it was only to a very select few people in the area, the leyline nearby was bending towards her and swelling, and distant threads of energy were reaching out to try and find her, somewhat like balls on a very slightly dipped sheet, if she was the centre of the dip.

Berenice knew about none of this. She hopped out of the stream and grabbed her shirt, but was distraught when it tore on the stick it had landed on. She glared at the stick for a moment, and then held up the shirt. It would get tangled in her wings, now, but Amy had been very firm that she must cover her chest for other people's sake. Berenice wasn't exactly certain why, but she could work with this. She tore two of the seams with her teeth, and then ripped the rest of the tear through the cloth so that it was one long strip, then carefully wrapped it around her breasts so that they were at least moderately covered. It was the best she would be able to do until she could find another shirt, and it was actually more comfortable this way.

Having successfully had herself a bath, and eaten, she was feeling rather accomplished so early in the day. She had completely forgotten why she had been upset. But staying on the ground would be dangerous, so she fluttered up to a low hanging branch and commenced with one of her favourite activities in the woods: Watching. Meanwhile, it was just past six in the morning, and she was about to be very surprised at exactly how many people lived near this park in East Lost Haven.
Little Tokyo, Lost Haven

The police cruiser stopped a few dozen yards from Nicole, at the edge of the rubble that had been strewn over the street. The spotlight on the side had focused on the remains of the restaurant, but she was still washed over by the flashing blue and red from the light bar on the top. As the two officers of the peace exited the vehicle, guns drawn, another cruiser pulled up next to the first, and the angle it stopped at left her illuminated by the headlights. She briefly considered playing possum, but that had the chance of getting her in more trouble, so she opted instead for relaxing as much as she could in her little cage and waiting for someone to notice her. She kind of wished she cut bleed, enough to at least make her look injured.

As more first responders began showing up, combing through the wreckage, they found the dead Chinese guy first, and there was a whole lot of activity suddenly. An interminably long time later (perhaps two minutes), one of the EMTs arriving on scene caught sight of her. The woman rushed over with a shout, and Nicole was now the centre of attention. The lady knelt down next to her head, staring at the bars for a second, though Nicky couldn't tell if she was analysing the situation for injuries or she was simply dumbfounded by the girl's situation. Either way, it passed quickly, and she turned to Nicky herself.

“Miss, can you hear me?” There was a bit of worry in the woman's voice, she thought, though it was mostly stoic professionalism. Might appreciate that more if I was actually in dire need.

“Yeah, yeah, I can hear you fine.” That got a facial response. She looked surprised.

“Miss, are you hurt? I can't see any blood. I'm going to check for a concussion, okay?”

“Whatever. I'm fine, just get me out of here.”

The woman looked taken aback, but recovered quickly. A flashlight was shone into Nicky's eyes, which she had to fight the urge to roll. As the light was pulled away, she saw a firefighter coming up with some sort of saw. “Oh, dude! Kick ass! Cut me out of this thing!”

Seven minutes later, two firefighters pulled the last bar away from her waist and she was free. They gripped her carefully to pull her up, but she shrugged them off and stood up herself. The medic, whose name she had learned was Tina as the lady had talked with her throughout the cutting process (or at least tried to. That thing was loud), had ceased looking surprised a few minutes ago. Now, what looked to be a detective was walking over, and Nicky was struck by how absolutely clichéd the man looked. Long brown overcoat, fluttering in the breeze of these wee hours. Fedora. Pencil and pad held out as he talked to her. But this conversation was definitely not going to go the way he wanted.

“Okay, miss, can I get your name?” He looked at her as his pen touched the paper.

“Nope.” She crossed her arms.

“I'm sorry?”

Nicky snorted. “Yeah, probably. Look,” she gestured at the ruined building. “I was on the roof. There were some assholes speaking some crazy Asian language who came out of the building and then it blew up. End of statement.”

The detective stared hard at her. It made her itch. “You were on the roof.”


“Can I ask what you were doing up there?”

Nicky sighed. “Scavenging for pigeon nests. What do you think?”

The man's voice went cold as he responded. “Miss, I think you had best drop the attitude and answer my questions truthfully.”

She glared at him. Her only temporary ally Tina had already walked away to the ambulance. Alone again. “Look, man, I was trying to find a place to camp out the night, okay? I seriously do not know who those guys were.”

“Camping out? Are you homeless?”

Ohhhhhh shit. “Uhhh. No? I like exploring and I was out too late to make it home before morning.” Nicole rubbed the back of her head and tried to meet the detective's eyes. She failed. And it was obvious from the way the man was scribbling away in his stupid notebook that he hadn't bought it.

“Hmmm. Look, Miss, what's your name?” The man was almost scowling now.

Nicky decided on brazen-ness and mock sighed, “Elizabeth Maxwell.”

Did his eyes just narrow? “Alright, Miss Maxwell, until we can understand exactly what has transpired here tonight, I am afraid I am going to have to place you under arrest under suspicion of committing this act of terrorism.”


She stared out at the rubble strewn street from the back seat of the patrol car as the emergency crews kept at their work. It'd been nearly an hour since the bomb had gone off, and now Nicole's entire plan had been completely thrown into shambles. She had been so careful about avoiding police and anyone else who might take her in and try to 'fix' her life. What no one was likely to understand was that her old life was over. Everyone was dead, and now she would never join them, so she was left to try and stop evil like that from ever happening again, no matter the cost.

The earthquake, when it came, was so sudden that she had little time to even understand what was happening. One minute, she was idly twisting her wrists in the handcuffs, trying to figure out if she could pry them open or not, wondering at how uncomfortable the damn things were. The next minute the whole cruiser was shaking like a bouncy castle, and there was a horrible grinding noise coming from everywhere. For a second, she thought she was being buried in rubble again, back to the Worst Day, and a scream bubbled forth unbidden from her throat.

It took her several minutes to realise that someone was shouting over her own continuing scream before she managed to stop. She had, in her terror, curled up on the back seat of the cruiser, hard plastic thing that it was, into the tightest ball she possibly could, arms still locked behind her by the cuffs. The words spoken to her started to finally filter through, and she recognised Tina the EMT's voice through the haze. “Hey! You're okay! It's over now! HEY!”

“Buhhh.” Nicky looked up. Concern was clearly all over the medic's face. “'m okay. Not hurt.”

Relief was evident. “Good. We're going to be really busy now, but I've told the detective to go ahead and take you, okay? I put in my recommendation that you still need to get some x-rays, but he said you were fine and they'd do it later.” The lady reached into a pocket, pulling out a card and pen, scribbling something on it, and then put in in Nicky's front pocket on her vest. “If they refuse any sort of medical treatment, or you just need a friend, call me, okay? I don't know where your family is, but you've obviously been through something awful. If I can't come myself, I'll find someone else who can help.”

What the hell? “Sure. Whatever.” Nicky sat up, stoic and stony-faced, and stared off through the front windscreen. Tina stared at her for a moment, sighed, and closed the door. Almost immediately after, the detective climbed into the car, and they were off in antagonistic silence.

LHPD Central Station


I hate my life, Nicky thought to herself as she sat on the rough metal bench of the holding cell, back against the cold concrete bricks of the rear wall. She stared out through the bars into the nerve centre of the Lost Haven police department, currently in a panic as they tried to coordinate recovery efforts across the entire city. Apparently that hadn't just been a localised earthquake like she had thought. Uniforms were racing back and forth, and dispatchers were literally sweating. It looked like the entire force was here, though they must have had other precincts. She idly wondered exactly what had happened, since even the walls here showed a few signs of damage, and the power flickered intermittently.

She was brought out of her own mind by a rough shove on her shoulder and a growling voice that she hadn't heard, but had apparently been talking to her for a while. “Hey, you listening, bitch? I said that's my spot!”

The holding cell was full of troublemakers, but this one, specifically, had eyed her from the moment she had been unceremoniously pushed through the cell door. The woman was huge, covered in tattoos and more than a bit homely. Scars on her face said she was probably a fighter, maybe a boxer. And she had apparently taken exception to Nicky's presence. Two smaller women who looked, if anything, nastier than their boss stood behind her. The rest of the cell's population, perhaps a dozen or so, looked on with something like hunger, waiting for the beating to commence. Nicky sighed.

“I sat here. Obviously, it's my spot.” She crossed her arms, staring up at the frankly mountainous woman. She might've been intimidated before she was cursed, but now it was almost funny.

“What'd you say, bitch?” Nicky saw her fist bunch up. Not a talker, then. She let herself fall as the swing came, letting the woman's fist slam into the wall instead of her face. Rotating on her hip, she lashed out with both feet as hard as she could and caught the woman in the thighs, shoving her back into her cohorts. One of whom pulled a knife from some hidden spot and rushed at her. Nicky was tempted to grab it, but decided to concentrate on the big one. She sat back up, gathered her feet under her, and launched herself at the fighter as she recovered her balance. She vaguely felt the pressure of the knife as it bit into her side, but she knew it didn't do anything and ignored it.

Within seconds she had ridden the woman back to the ground, knees on her chest, and was attempting, with gusto, to beat the back of her head through the concrete floor. She could hear cheers from the onlookers and shouts from the officers outside, but it all fell away as she lost herself, once again, in the fight. Several points of pressure impact hit her back, probably the knife again, but all of her focus was on taking down this bitch that had tried to punch her.

It took three officers to haul her off the woman as they poured into the cell. She grinned in grim satisfaction as she noted that her other two opponents were on the ground twitching, and the big one wasn't moving much except to try and cover her head from an opponent no longer attacking her. But her view was quickly cut off as she was dragged out of the holding area and brought into an interrogation room. The officers chained her new set of cuffs they placed on her to the table, and backed out warily, muttering to themselves. It took Nicole a minute to figure out why.

Several wires were dangling from her clothes, like some sort of weird silly string. Tasers she thought. That's why those other two were twitching. Ha! Those don't work on me either, huh? Now she knew why the officers had been worried about her. She glared at the one-way window, more angry than before. “They started it!” she shouted, hauling at the cuffs uselessly. She might be tough, but she wasn't all that strong. “I was just defending myself!” There was no response.

SHIT. Now they know I'm a meta, too. Sonofabitch. Think, Nicole! What the hell should you do? She rolled her eyes at herself. Break out and run for it, obviously. Duh. They were probably contacting some sort of containment unit for freaks like her. Oh shit, what if they think I'm a fuckin' villain!? She needed to handle this now. And there was only one name she knew off the top of her head.

"Hey, HEY! SHITHEADS! I know you can hear me, motherfuckers! Get me Icon! I'm only gonna talk to a hero! You shits don't know your assholes from your fucking elbows!" She thrashed violently, managing only to tip over the chair she had been sat at, leaving her dangling from the cuffs and sprawled along the floor. The fighting spirit hadn't left her yet, and she was seeing red, now. How had life gotten this unfair? "ICON! I WANNA TALK TO THAT FUCKER!"
“Ah.” Yen nodded sagely. “These 'walruses' must be mighty, indeed, to allow you to develop to the point where you are competing in tournaments. I would be glad to get in some practise with a fellow-” She stopped, suddenly, at the sound of nearby explosions, and the screams from the crowd. She could hear the sounds of gunfire, as well, but she could sense nothing. “Listen, something is happening.”

She reached out gently and placed a hand on Calvin's shoulder, while turning her head about to try and triangulate the sounds. Some of them sounded quite close, and there were a lot of people in trouble. Several ki-users in the arenas had also suddenly switched targets. “I need you to tell me what is happening, and guide me to the opponents. They have masked their ki somehow and I cannot sense them at all.” A smile spread across her face, trying to reassure herself and him. “Instead of practise sparring, we will fight as a team, yes?”
Yen would be for Strongest Beast in All Japan. She would be completely useless against most robotic threats.
Yen smiled kindly. “Yes, I was born without functioning eyes. Please don't wave your hand like that, though, it gets very annoying.” She brushed her hands down her legs, trying to look demure despite the circumstances. She knew her clothes were well worn and she was probably embarrassing her family right now, but she had just got out of one tournament to fly to this one, and there was nowhere on either of these continents to get good clothes. “You are correct, of course, I am a Nomad, as well. I had the misfortune of arriving late, however, and missed registration by a few hours. I did not get a chance to observe the preliminaries or the first round, nor even the hubbub out side.” She nudged the man lying prone in front of her, who was still very much unconscious, and frowned. “So far, the only chance to exercise I have gotten were these two pigs, and it was barely worth moving for.”

She tried zeroing her face on Calvin. “You say you were beaten by a man with missiles? That seems...” Her frown deepened. “That seems very wrong. Where you eliminated fairly, or by some dishonourable trick?” Her fingers tightened into a fist. “Martial arts may have had to adapt to modern times, but to bring such things into the sacred battle grounds of the ring! I should very much like to meet this man.”

Her head cocked to one side. “You were in the fights, though. This means you are good enough to survive the preliminaries. You must be proud, that is a very good accomplishment, especially given what I can sense running around here. What styles do you use?”

Yen noticed the ki-user enter the room and sit right next to her, eating what smelled like some sort of awful deep-fried “meat” that was so common everywhere in the world. Meat on a stick of various and probably-best-if-unquestioned sources was far too ubiquitous for her tastes. It did not help that she had been on a Buddhist diet for most of her life, only eating seafood when she could sneak it past her master. She sniffed as another person behind her sat as well. There were entirely far too many people in this place, and it was beginning to throw her senses off, even as well honed as they were.

Deciding to be polite, she tried English first and introduce herself. “Hello, sir. My name is Yen. Are you by my luck a fighter here for the contest?” She almost forgot herself, and rotated her head so that she at least faced him, although she could do nothing about her eyes staying still.

Character you have created: Alice Rackham

Alias: Captain Ally “Black Bonnet” Rackham

Speech Color: Not determined yet.

Character Alignment: WTL (She's not overtly evil, anyway)
Identity: Glorying in infamy!

Character Personality: Alice is, in almost every way, larger than life, and loves living to the fullest and in the moment. When she's not off raiding, she enjoys tinkering with anything and everything near by, especially at her workshop. She enjoys both modern and classical music, tending to swing between ballroom waltzes and heavy metal when the mood strikes her. She is utterly fearless, and enjoys hardship and difficult adversaries, sensing adventure in the opportunity.

Alice treats her crew like a bunch of favoured nephews and nieces, and insists that, while not infringing on their freedoms outside of shipboard duty, that they stay healthy. "Just because we're pirates doesn't mean we have to act like we're in the Seventeenth Century, you jackanapes," as she has been recorded saying. She believes fiercely in freedom, well and beyond what modern democracies espouse and hewing much closer to general anarchy, though onboard the Revenge, she maintains absolute authority, even if she doesn't exercise it unless she has to. That said, traitors and mutineers are dealt with harshly. And while she is okay with kidnapping, the slave trade is a thorn in her side, and any other modern pirates who try to take slaves in her territory risk being summarily executed. It is this "freelance privateering", added to the fact that much of her raiding is done to military and/or foreign targets, that has led to a sudden lack of resources to fight her in local governments in the Caribbean.

She, unfortunately, also suffering from bipolar disorder, and from what psychologists will say, some form of severe psychosis and delusional behaviour. While not true entirely, she is very much ungrounded from reality much of the time, as evidenced by her career alone. Thankfully, despite her isolation as a captain, necessarily separated emotionally from her crew, her 'delusions' keep her company and give her guidance. She considers herself a sort of priestess, as well as a protector, of the ocean, and will viciously punish those who abuse the sea.

Uniform/costume: Alice wears full pirate captain regalia, with a wide brimmed hat clipped up on the right side and several long black-dyed peacock feathers running off the black fabric. Her coat is bloody red, hangs down to her thighs, and she wears black pants under it, tucked into the classic knee-high fold-over boots. Her torso is crossed over by two bandoleers carrying custom-made flintlock pistols, and a wide leather belt carries two more pairs of those and her pair of cutlasses. She wears her hair in a loose cloud under her hat, though on occasion she will, in a nod to Blackbeard, braid it down and tie slow-burn fuses into it.

Origin Info/Details: Alice was born into a well-to-do middle class family in Galveston, Texas. The eldest of three children, she grew up knowing very little of her family history, until in high school she was required to read Treasure Island for a book report. She was utterly enraptured by the pirating lifestyle, and swiftly became obsessed. She researched tirelessly, and when she came across the stories of “Calico Jack” Rackham, and noticed the similar surname, she began digging into her own family history, where she made a surprising discovery.

Not only was she directly descended from Rackham and Anne Bonny's child, but several other bloodlines had tied into hers over the last several centuries. Through exhaustive digging through records that had long been buried, she found that she was also the descendant of some of the most illustrious pirates who ever lived. Evidence became solid for her family ties to Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Bartholomew Roberts, Jean Lafitte, Captain William Kidd, James Avery, Sir Henry Morgan, “Black” Sam Bellamy, and John Taylor. The sheer unlikelihood of this union of trees seemed impossible, but she managed to confirm it multiple times through responsible sources. Her high school project for her senior history class was this entire documentation.

Just before she graduated, her parents managed to win a lottery prize at a whopping three hundred and eighty-five million dollars. Immediately after her graduation, the entire family, inspired by her findings, decided to move to a private residence just outside Nassau, in the Caribbean. This was, however, unfortunate. During a family outing that Alice herself was unable to attend due to illness, the family was kidnapped and killed. Legends about her state this, along with her fever, is was caused her to snap, and become Black Bonnet.

Alice was always a bright child, but following her inheritance, she made massive leaps forward as she feverishly studied mechanical engineering and materials science, ostensibly for college, but she soon figured out that she didn't even need to attend. She managed to actually test out of her entire Bachelor's of Applied Science, and then disappeared for quite some time. The only evidence she was still alive was a steady draining of the interests on her fortune, carefully managed by a hired advisor.

Almost three years to the day of her family's murder, her ship set sail out of Tortuga, raiding and pillaging. She only took volunteer crew, but as it turned out there were many in the Caribbean who were romanced by the idea and grandeur of her ship and by the thought of escaping poverty and the rule of law. Now, Black Bonnet Rackham sails throughout the Caribbean, sowing terror and taking plunder wherever she wishes, seemingly completely unfazed by the multiple attempts of multinational navies to try and bring her in or sink her, and basking in the adoration of those who see her career as a sort of 'reality escape', living a dream most thought long dead: the free pirate.

Hero Type: Grey Matter and (maybe) Supernatural/Mystic

Power Level: Street(on land), world(at sea)

The Tortuga's Revenge, her pride and love: The Revenge is designed like the old ships of the line, a two hundred foot long, three masted battleship with two gun decks of twenty-five-a-side and more armaments on the main deck. The whole of it is made of teak, in classic style, though the masts, main deck, hull, and keel are all also impregnated with a special hardening compound of Alice's design that makes them impervious to all but the very largest of naval guns, and even then she takes minimal damage. The material is also lined with a magnesium-foam compounds that reduces her necessary weight by tons The sails and rigging, as well, are made of Dyneema- and asbestos-woven fabric, so as to be tough and fireproof. Other modifications are as follows:
  • Swivel guns: These are small, rail mounted cannons on the rear and fore decks, capable of rotating to cover about a one hundred degree arc. Paired on the sides of each deck, for eight in total, these little bastards carry a surprising wallop, modified as they are to fire a variety of modern and older ammunition, from HEAT rounds to grapeshot, and require no powder. They can also be switched out for miniguns, as the need arises.
  • Deck mortars: A set of twin mortar cannons sit on the rear deck, and are comparable to modern gun howitzers, though they can angle to almost seventy degrees when necessary. These fire 120mm shells of varying loads.
  • Main Cannons: The terror of the modern high seas. Aesthetically made to look like Golden Age of Sail ship guns, these heavy guns are actually several different types of modified artillery pieces. The lowest deck has a set of rail cannons, GA Blitzers, which are capable of firing a sabot round at Mach 5. The second deck has larger versions of the deck mortars, essentially howitzers, which fire anything from HE shells up to tactical nuclear shells, though Alice would never authorise such an ammunition(it ruins the booty). The main deck guns, which are only rolled out on special occasions, are the most unique of the Revenge's arsenal. These are actually smaller than the swivels, though not by much, but they do not fire conventional ammunition. Experimental shells filled with cryo-explosives, Dragon's breath shot, ionizing rods that will generate lightning bolts, and gas rounds that can knock out a whole cruise ship in a few minutes; these are reserved for the main deck guns.
  • Torpedo Tubes: Four on the bow of the ship.

Aside from the armaments, the Revenge also has other wonders, such as a hydrofoil generator/engine combo below the waterline, capable of powering the whole of the ship and pushing her max speed up to 40 knots(46mph/74kph). The engine consumes no fuel itself, an important feature to Alice. The quarters for all the crew resemble modern barracks rooms, though far more comfortable and home-y as they have decorated. The galley resembles that of a modern cruise ship, though it maintains the aesthetic for the furniture, all dark teak and cast iron. She also, of course, has modern medical facilities, and a brig capable of holding even minor metahumans. As a special touch, Alice has managed to procure a device that renders the Revenge invisible to thermal imaging, sonar, and satellite tracking, essentially a ghost ship in the modern age.

Super Inventor – Aside from the ship itself, Alice has numerous other creations to her credit.
Nanoweave Fibre: Alice's clothes, and all the ropes and sails of the Tortuga's Revenge, are made from her own custom blend of Dyneema and nano-weave carbon/asbestos fibre, rendering them almost completely immune to cuts, tears, punctures, and fire. Her entire crew is outfitted in the same. This special weave, while extremely durable, bends and folds as easily as cotton.
Mono-line Blades: Alice's cutlasses are sharp on their own, and made out of a special alloy that is nigh-unbreakable, but their true strength lies in the microedge they have, narrowing down to almost a single molecule wide, rendering them capable of cutting through almost every conceivable material. The crew carry knives of the same edging, allowing them to maintain the ship despite it's toughness.
The Pistols: While the eight pistols on her seem to be flintlocks, and even look that way when firing, this is purely aesthetic, much like the rest of her possessions. The actually contain tiny electro-magnetic catapults, and fire her pistol shot at super sonic velocities. The shot itself is similar to her basic cannon shot for the ship, rounded cones of tungsten-carbide, capable of penetrating most standard body armour with little difficulty.
Gripping Boots: The soles of her boots are enhanced to grip onto any surface through a combination of magnetism and molecular bonding hairs and pads, inspired by geckos and other climbing animals.

The Workshop: This is a sprawling, 12,000 square foot complex in a hidden cove on the island of Tortuga, the entrance to which is disguised as a blank rock through the use of a hologram projection. This dock hold all the materials for repair the Revenge, manufacturing the specialty ammunition, housing the crew, and dumping booty from raids.

Madness, or...: The legends that have already cropped up around Black Bonnet Rackham commonly say that her parents death cracked her brain so badly that she's completely mad. To be certain, her crew regularly hears and sees her talking with things that they cannot perceive. But that may not be all there is to this tale, either.
According to Alice herself, her ship and home regularly host eight spirits, whom she can name and describe fairly well. Those who have heard these names and descriptions assume she did research some time in her past, and her broken mind has conjured them to help her stay somewhat balanced. But sailors are a superstitious lot, and many have begun to believe that maybe, just maybe, she really can see gods. After all, all sorts of other strange things have happened in the world, why not this?
The 'deities' who Alice hosts are:
  • Calypso, the piratical goddess of the sea (who hates her representation in un-named movies as some sort of lovesick mortal). She claims the title of 'chief' deity, and tend to treat Alice like a daughter.
  • Namaka, a fierce and domineering Hawaiian lady, with water pooling at her feet.
  • Takehaya Susanoo-no-Mikoto, a Japanese man who occasionally shows up with his wife, and always during storms.
  • Sedna, a large Inuit woman missing her fingers.
  • Ægir and Rán, a huge giant and his mermaid goddess wife, who always appear together and love showing up to parties.
  • Samudra, an Indian woman who is temperamental, but typically calm when boarding with Alice.
  • Agwé, a black man who is always grinning at her, and refers to himself as her King, unless the Calypso is around.
  • Chalciuhtlicue, a gorgeous Aztec woman who is always holding a babe on each hip, one boy and one girl.

Alice refers to these spirits as her friends, often in familiar terms, and sometimes even rudely. She especially likes cursing at them during storms, though she reports that this really only makes them laugh. Even those people who claim to be able to see or otherwise interact with spirits and other supernatural beings deny seeing them near her, though she replies to these denunciations by proclaiming them “not worth the Sea's time”. It remains to be seen whether she is mad or some sort of priestess.

Skills: (Because these really don't count as powers
Navigation, Captaincy, and Seamanship: Alice seems to have an inborn knack for all things relating to piloting a ship. She can read the waves and avoid even the worst swells, can smell a storm before it's even visible on the horizon, can plot courses that shave hours off her travel time, knows every single inch of her ship from bow to stern, and can even read her crew's mood before they know it themselves. She is a commanding presence wherever she goes

Linguistics: Alice can fluently speak Haitian French, Creole, Spanish, and English

Combat: Alice has taught herself, through instructional videos, practise, and sparring, all forms of pirate combat; Cutlass and pistol, knife, boarding pike, artillery combat, naval tactics, acrobatics, nad most modern naval small arms combat.

Engineering: Alice has a dual BAS in Mechanical Engineering and Physics, with all the skills that entails, though her genius adds considerably to this.

Height: 6'1”
Weight: 180 lbs
Strength Level: Above average, but not by much
Speed/Reaction Timing Level: John Woo film hero level(about twice normal human)
Endurance at MAXIMUM Effort: 3 hours, because she's used to the hardships of the sea.
Agility: Above Average, but still human
Intelligence: Very genius
Fighting Skill: Experienced/Trained

Resources: Extreme; aside from her inherited fortune (most of which was dumped into the ship), she has her financial advisor managing stocks, bonds, and several Cayman and Swiss bank accounts. These are cunningly manipulated so that international authorities can't freeze them. And there's plunder, as well.

Weaknesses: Aside from her armoured clothing, she is a normal human being, and can be killed or wounded as easily as any other.

She is, even if not quite as mad as some fear, extremely delusional, and any attempt to bring her back to modern sensibilities is doomed to failure.

Following with her delusions, Alice has a flashpan temper when it comes to her ship, or her crew, and is fiercely protective of both.

She has a severe peanut allergy.

Pirate Information:
Insignia: Alice's flag is black, with white crossed cutlasses. A white skull looks to the side in profile, at a speared heart dripping blood into a cup.

Code: Alice's Code is as follows:
  • I: The Captain shall receive three shares of any retrieved value. The Quartermaster and Doctor shall each receive two shares. The Cook shall receive one and one half share. All regular crew shall receive one share. Provisional Crew shall receive one half share.
  • II: No crew member shall engage in any form of slavery. If a crew member of any rank should so engage, The Captain shall deem a fitting punishment.
  • III: Any crew member, having been assured the availability of willing mates, who is found to have engaged in rape, shall be keelhauled.
  • IV: Any crew member who is found to have aided in the capture or death of any of their Brethren, shall be tied to the mast and left to the depredations of those Brethren who remain.
  • V: All complaints, no matter how small, will be listened to. Those crew members who cannot find a satisfactory solution to their complaint shall be put ashore at the nearest safe port and sworn to secrecy on pain of death.
  • VI: No crew member shall engage in any activity which may divide the crew. Friendly boxing and gambling is allowed, but all complaints against the results must be settled fairly by an Officer.
  • VII: Those who deem fit to poison the ocean with things other than what belong in it shall be given to the next storm.

Supporting Characters (Does your character have a significant other? A mother? Friend? Who are they, what do they have to do with your character?):
While her family may be dead, there are multitudes of people who interact with Alice on a daily basis, even aside from her Gods.

Do you know how to post pictures on RPG boards?:

Other: I will make NPC sheets for the spirits when and if the story makes it seem necessary.
Robits is alright. Yen is going to be confused af.

Just outside Lost Haven

Midafternoon, the same day as the Walmart adventure

The old man stood on a hill overlooking the city of Lost Haven, Maine. He had teleported himself here from Augusta, and it had taken a bit out of him, even with the help of the gnarled staff in which he stored most of his gathered energy. Thankfully, this area seemed to run rife with the stuff, and the staff, a heavy, two metre length of ash wood, fairly dripped with responding magic. The sword at his side, currently covered by a simple illusion as a fanny pack, vibrated. Something is either terribly wrong or terribly right here, the old man thought to himself as he stroked a long, salt and pepper beard.

Piercing, steel-coloured eyes swept over the city, picking out points where concentrations of magic seemed to clot like scabs over wounds, still throbbing with natural energy as the place recovered from a significant incursion of some sort. The same thing, though more concentrated and far more raw and fresh, had been in New York when he passed through there. New York had been impossible to examine in detail, though, due to the obvious presences of werewolf territory and vampiric influence. Nothing here was nearly as established, though the city also stank with the presence of metahumans and corruption.

The man painted an odd picture as he stood. Wind whipped around the area as a sea breeze hit the hill, but it barely rippled the heavy leather coat he wore. This was due to both the many enchantments layered into the leather, and the steel plates sewn in to armour the thing, also enchanted to make them lighter. His clothes all looked hand-stitched, because they were, and he was not the best tailor. He obviously thought of practicality before any sort of style. Even though he looked homeless, his presence carried echoes of well-established authority and a taste of agelessness. Unfortunately, his straight-backed and rigid posture was more from determination and willpower more than through strength of body. Anyone looking closely at him could see that age was taking its toll rather heavily on him.

Sighing heavily, he turned his gaze out to the west side, near the coast, where a much fresher scar seemed to be radiating. The same flavour of energy that he was looking for, though very violent in nature. Finally found you, boy, he thought to himself as his face settled into an expression somewhere between a frown and a grimace. And you are in much more trouble than you think, if that is what it looks like. Nodding to himself as if in affirmation to a question no one asked, he strode off along the edges of the suburbs, angling around the city towards the scar.

A sea cave, somewhere on the coast of Maine

that night

Green eyes snapped open as the earthquake shot through the stone around him. His coming to consciousness was with alarm. A familiar presence was somewhere close, one which boded ill for him. And now his mind fogged with the arrival of something else, large and powerful and not magical in nature. But he had no time to ponder before his entire being was wracked with pain. His left side felt as if it was dipped in molten metal. He looked down slowly, gritting his teeth, and saw that magic, metal, and flesh had been fused together to create a whole thing where he had destroyed himself.

The memories came back slowly. He had created something, knew he had been successful, but he couldn't recall what it had been. Looking at the damage it had wrought upon him, it must not have been happy, but this was unacceptable. He would have to show his creation who its master was, and possibly destroy it for its gall at attacking him. A voice from the darkness woke him from his anger.

“Master is awake!” The voice was weedy, like something sneaking through the grass.

“Ah,” he said, and paused. His voice echoed oddly, and his face felt stiff. How much damage had the thing done? “Abaristus, you yet live.”

“Yes, Master! I have been very busy, very busy indeed, rebuilding you.” His familiar slunk out of the shadows and into the firelight he was bathed in. Abaristus was his first creation, more a golem that the familiar inhabited. It resembled a hairless, oversized weasel, nearly three feet long, with a monkey's tail, bat wings, and larger than normal forelimbs complete with opposable thumbs. It bowed and scraped towards him, though the treacherous thing still had an evil glint in its eyes. He couldn't fathom why it had saved him, really. His death would have ended the contract binding it to him and released it back to its native plane.

“Have you, now.” He attempted to sit up, but the pain was far too unbearable and he fell back with a hiss. “What all has been done? And how long has it been?”

“Master, much had to be done. Over the past moon, I have painstakingly, hmm, rebuilt your left arm and leg, to the trunk. Several organs have been replaced, and much of the ribs.” It paused, hemming and hawing in hesitation. “And my face,” the man prompted.

“Yes, master. The skull, the eye, the jaw, the throat. All had to be reworked. I, hmm. Hmmm. I did what I could.”

“No matter. How long until I am fit to move myself again?”

The familiar glanced over its shoulder, almost as if they were in hiding. “Ahhh, at least, hmm, another moon. The nerves, you see. Hmmm. They require some work yet.”

He glared at the thing with a sidelong glance. It was wringing its hand, fearful. And he knew why. “What,” the mage growled, “has happened to the lab? Why am I in this stinking hole?”

There was much hemming again. Abaristus was trying to avoid agitating him. “Tell me. There is not much I can do now.”

“Ahhhh. The, ah, accident, hmmm. It destroyed your lab. And much of the cliff. Hmmmm. I managed to drag you from the waves, yes. No books, no potions. I have had to feed off of the lines, hmmm, to aoid any suspicion. The work is, hmmm. Slow, yes. Very slow.”

“And you aven't taken many pains to avoid mine. To be expected. You are a nasty and base thing. Stay this useful, however, and mayhaps we will see about an upgrade once I recover.” Abaristus bowed and scraped and thanked him. He closed his eyes, exhausted from even this simple conversation. Thankfully, the creature was, while clever, incredibly greedy, and thus easy to manipulate into less treacherous mindsets.

This situation was delicate. Aside from the not-zero chance that his familiar simply 'failed' to save his life, he knew there was probably little time before the old Salamander came to find him, and both his familiar and whatever it was he had created were so much a violation of his terms of apprenticeship that he had no doubt the old man would kill him, given a chance. Well, we'll just have to make sure he doesn't get one. With that smug thought, he drifted back into unconsciousness, despite the pain of Abaristus's tugging at something on his scalp.
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