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Yes hello I am the interest.
Hello! Are you still accepting? If so, is there room for a Force Adept with a couple of obscure Force powers? Such as one who had studied Teleport and Fold Space? I would be totally willing to nerf their ability to use other types of Force abilities, or to go with a different idea if this one is not okay!
11:45 pm, January 1st 2026
Upper East Side, Gotham City NJ


The white-faced guards at the perimeter had been pretty amenable all things considered, Jason mused. They were under orders not to let anybody out, but had no problem letting people in, assuming they weren’t cops. At least, that’s what the last one had said before Turn Back had knocked his lights out. Though they did have a point, Turn Back was a pretty stupid name… Maybe he’d change it in this new world. But, in the here and now, he had business to attend to.

A patrol of gang goons coming down the alley towards a larger street. Turn Back knew there was a large group of survivors in that direction, he had just pointed them towards the hole he’d opened in the perimeter. He’d have to stop this patrol before they got much further, or they’d likely gun down the innocent folks for not ‘playing by the Angels rules’. This Angel gang was kind of fucked up.

Stepping out from behind a burning dumpster, Turn Back swung his cane lazily in a circle. “Come out to play, boys?” He asked the oncoming group of gang members, who slowed to a stop and leveled their weapons at him. Jason crouched slightly and pointed his cane at the leader. “We can do this Anime style where you come at me one at a time, or I can take you all on at once. Whatever you guys want.” He said with a grin in his voice. He already had a small charge of power built up, enough to quickly knock a few of these guys out, but he could also use their rush to build up a bigger charge as well.

Fortunately, the lot of them chose to bull-rush him. Like a wave crashing against a rock, each blow that fell on Turn Back simply stopped the moment it connected, the strength being sapped from their hits and added to a growing pool of energy inside the masked vigilante. With a snap of his wrist, Turn Back lashed out with his cane, a flash of purple energy being expelled at it connected with the nearest foe, sending him flying back down the alley. A few moments later, the process had been repeated a half-dozen times, each time ending with a gang member lying bruised and beaten on the dirty floor of the dingy alley. That would buy the survivors time to escape.

“Looks like this bitch has got some kind of meta-power,” said a graveled voice from the back of the group. Lounging against his bike was a man that looked to at least be in his fifties—an old roadhog in leathers with a long, white beard to match. The rest of the gang had halted in their tracks the moment he had first spoken, all turning to regard him with a sense of both fear and respect.

Pushing himself up off the ground, the old man rolled the kinks out of his shoulders while regarding the boy in front of him. Turn Back could clearly hear the name “Mammon” being muttered under their breath.

“This is the Angel’s turf, bitch,” he said calmly, raising his hand in the direction of his fellow bikers. What had at first appeared to simple tattoos were now glowing with a strange power along the length of his arm. “And it’ll be your fuckin’ grave—viribus.”

When that last word was spoken, it echoed unnaturally throughout the street, the other bikers immediately grasping their heads in what at first appeared to be pain. As they began to scream in an unholy chorus, however, Turn Back saw that their muscle-mass had greatly expanded, with their fists now glowing with a strange orchid light.

“Show that bitch what happens when you go up against the power of Mammon,” he said quietly.

Charging Turn Back again, the gang moved with a strange power behind their gait, closing the distance between them in but a second. As they struck at him with fist and chain, the orchid fire would lash out to further enhance their already superhuman blows with arcane fire.

“Huh.” Turn Back said, watching the strange glowing energies surround the previously defeated gang members. “That’s weird and cheating. I don’t like it.” He planted himself in a firm stance as the group advanced on him again, ready to teach them their second lesson of the night. “Come on again boys, I can do more than just punches and hits, I can—”

The quip was cut off by the first of the arcane-enhanced fists slamming into his gut. Though his power siphoned off the normal force of the blow, the heat and enhanced strength caught him off guard, the magical energy being completely unfamiliar to Turn Back. The vigilante staggered back, swinging his cane around quickly in an effort to ward off the rest of the attackers. He managed to connect with only the closest one, pushing him away only for another to step up and fill his space.

Turn Back backed away from the advancing crowd of goons, looking around at his surroundings to try and come up with a plan. “Well, this is unfortunate.” He said to himself, musing out loud. “It’s been awhile since I actually felt pain, so… You know, fuck you for that, asshole. Man, it would be super nice if I had some backup to count on or something…”

Mammon had once again returned to relaxing against his bike, though he now remained standing. As if possessed, the seemingly still unconscious bikers continued to swarm Turn Back without hesitation or any sort of visible emotion.

“Should’ve never come here, bitch,” said Mammon, lighting a cigarette. “Don’t even know how to deal with magic—ain’t much of a double-A, are you? These guys don’t feel pain right now, and they don’t know fear. You’re fucked.”

Indeed, even the man he had struck with his cane seemed to barely even notice outside of briefly being knocked back. None of the injuries he had inflicted on them earlier seemed to be slowing them down now, either.

Hssssss.

A small black projectile pierced the air, a straight line from the dark pollution hovering over the city. Just behind the line of attackers what appeared to be a cylinder bounced off the concrete with only the smallest of thumps, beginning to spin wildly with a low hiss. It took only seconds for the ones closest to the cylinder to stagger, then collapse. The ones in front of Turn Back soon succumbed as well, their command encompassing their sense to look for trouble.

CRASH.

And with the projectile came its owner. A comet of dark metal and glowing red eyes straightened out behind Mammon, the twisted metal remains of the biker’s precious ride stomped beneath the armored suit, the wolf’s visage in the helmet and stamped on the shoulders.

With little more than a glance to the hefty biker a glove hand slammed into his face, hissing emerging from the palm as the thick fingers dug in like steel clamps to lift him directly into the air. Even when magic sparked across Mammon’s fingers it seemed to skid across the armor, only earning a slight cock of its owner’s head before Grim looked forward once more. The free arm of the Iron Fang armor rose, another projectile shooting forward, that familiar hissing emerging to stop the back of the hoard from crushing their companions in a mad scramble to reach Turn Back.

When Mammon’s struggling kicks slowed and ultimately his grip around Grim’s wrist loosened, he dropped the biker carelessly to the ground without a second glance.

Turn Back had dived to the side as soon as the cylinder had begun to spin, rolling towards the dumpster as the hissing canister took out the apparently magically-enhanced goon. He stood up just in time to hear the crash of the armored figure dropping onto the bike and a second hiss from another canister. Turn Back pumped an arm into the air as he saw the armored wolf-like figure effortlessly neutralize Mammon.

“Alright, that’s some good backup!” He called before turning and jumping into the flaming dumpster fire. Upon contact, the flames died down and the dumpster cooled, all the energy from the heat transferring to Turn Back’s bank. He turned back towards the few remaining goons and pulled out a handful of rubber bands from his pocket. Charging each one up and firing them in turn, small fireballs blossomed on the chests of each thug as they advanced, pushing them back towards the hissing cylinders

Climbing back out of the dumpster, Turn Back slowly skirted the edge of the battlefield towards Grim and Mammon, keeping a charged rubber band trained on the nearest goons before turning his attention to the armored figure. “Right, thanks for the assist. So I guess magic is gonna be a problem for me here, that’s good to know. So, uh… We gonna stick around here or are you gonna whisk me away to the mansion?” He asked, dropping a subtle guess as to the identity of the armored figure in front of him. He couldn’t be quite sure yet, but there had been something familiar about the almost brutal efficiency with which Grim had dealt with the situation.

For his part, Grim merely tilted his head slightly once more. He studied Turn Back, taking in the young man - then abruptly jerked his gaze to the side as more screams rang out. Despite their brief interlude the city blocks were still being picked over by the Angels, a fact that the distant noises covering this side of the city could attest to.

A low rumble sounded out from Grim’s mask before he raised a hand, first tapping against his opposite arm before reaching out to grab onto Turn Back’s shoulder. For a moment the Gotham Hero could only study him, mask expressionless.

“Survivors first,” Was the simple, though seemingly reluctant answer that was finally given. Overhead a dark jet blazed passed, stopping to hover over them. Grim withdrew his hand from Turn Back’s shoulder -

Only to clamp those cold fingers over his mouth, that familiar hissing coming from the palm.

”You will survive, this time.”



8:30 am, January 2nd
Kasimir Castle Guest Room, Gotham City NJ


Jason awoke with a start on an unfamiliar mattress in an unfamiliar room. Rolling off the covers and landing in a crouching position on the floor, Jason fumbled in his pockets for his cane. Empty. Eyes darting around the room, Jason saw his stick, still extended, sitting on a nearby dresser. As he grabbed for it, Jason winced at a sudden stabbing pain in his left arm. Looking down, he saw the reason: His prosthetic arm hadn’t been removed before he’d been dumped here, he must have slept on it funny. That was going to be a bitch later on.

“God damn it Zoey…” He growled, folding his cane and slipping it into his pocket. Where did she get off, gassing and abducting him? He’d been there to help, damn it! So he didn’t know about this magic shit, hadn’t been expecting it, but he’d have been able to take care of it!

Grumbling as he stepped into his ratty shoes, Jason threw open the door of the outdated bedroom into a too-bright hallway. Raising a hand to shield his eyes, Jason grimaced as he approached what he assumed was part of the serving staff vacuuming a rug.

“Hey, uh… Hi. Dunno if Zoey let you guys know I was here or anything, but… I’m gonna need to talk to her. And if she doesn’t want to talk to me, I’m going to start wandering around yelling for her. … Sorry.”

With a confused and startled nod, the young man hurried down the hallway and disappeared around a corner as Jason began to pace the hall.

”Jason!” It didn’t take long for the woman to appear, turning a corner down the hall. The smile curving her painted lips was bright, relieved and excited. ”You’re - you’re up! And you’re really…” Zoey trailed off, only to offer a slight laugh and run a hand through her hair. She stepped forward, marveling at the man before her.

”Jaina… Jaina explained what she could. Uhm, your lizard - Emily? - is here. Since Jaina is still dealing with that awful business with the Angels.”

Jason had turned towards the voice, intending to launch into a tirade of expletives and demands for answers, but the words caught in his throat when he saw the face of his oldest frenemy. He hadn’t seen Zoey, really seen her in… Years. And this… Well, she wasn’t quite his Zoey, she was a little older for starters, but… It was her. Jason couldn’t keep a smile from creeping onto his face as he crossed his arms and shook his head.

“So close Zo’. Ellie is her name, but I don’t blame you for forgetting. I mean after all, I’ve been dead for what? Fifteen years? She… Well, I don’t really want to think about that, come to think of it.” He said, cutting himself off from the thought of what may have happened to the beloved pet of this universes version of himself.

“And yeah, I’m alive. Well, a version of me anyway. I dunno how much Jaina told you, but I’m not from here. Where I come from there’s no Gotham, no magic, no Atlantis or aliens. But there are superheros… Zoey, can we talk somewhere a little more secure than a freakin’ hallway? We’ve… Got some things to discuss about those Angels, I think.”

”My hallways are secure!” The billionaire immediately protested, but nonetheless she glanced around before finally sighing. ”But yes. I have a meeting room on the first floor that’s built for privacy. I can get someone to bring us food, fetch your Eliza…” She trailed off, but still gestured for Jason to follow. Zoey began to lead him through the large castle, retrieving her phone to tap away at it.

She kept glancing over her shoulder as though to make sure he was still really there.

It took a few minutes of navigating the expansive interior of Kasimir Castle, but soon Zoey was showing Jason into a room draped in dark slate, a meeting table occupying most of the space - though there was a bar of prominence to one side. Laid out on the table was already a tray of food, and beside it, Ellie - with a small bowl of mealworm, surprisingly.

Once inside, Zoey touched the flat panel to the side of the doorway which beeped once. The door seemed to shift and made a hollow noise as it sealed itself.

”This must be … so confusing for you. I mean, it’s confusing for me! You’ve been - you’ve been dead - and…” Zoey trailed off as she turned to look to her friend. Or … another version of her friend.

Jason raised an eyebrow at the impressive security, but seeing it really only helped to solidify his theory. Smiling at the sight of his fat and happy lizard, Jason made a beeline for the bar, stepping behind it to check the selection. Fully stocked, but who expected less of Zoey Kasimir? Grabbing a bottle of whiskey, Jason poured two shots and slid one towards Zoey.

“Confusing? Yeah, a fair bit, I guess.” Jason admitted, before tipping the shot glass back and slamming the booze inside. Grimacing at the sharp taste, he continued on. “Relieved to find you, Jaina, and, uh… ‘Tank’ here at least. He was not hard to find, let me tell you. Same alias here as it was back home. Oh, which reminds me!” He lied, the thought having not left his head since he woke up.

“What the hell was that last night? Like, backup is nice and all, but I don’t appreciate the gassing. And whoever put me to bed forgot to take off my arm, so I’ll be feeling that for a couple days now.”

”Girard was a hero in your world, too?” Zoey paused here, shot glass already empty. Her brows came together as she thought before shaking her head, looking up to meet Jason’s eyes. ”Well… Grim didn’t exactly say much when he dropped you off. Quiet, that one. Jaina gave me most of the information about you - erm, sorry about your arm. I didn’t think - well, I’m sure I can pay for a better replacement, anyway, so you can sleep with it.” She offered an apologetic smile.

Jason glared at Zoey, unconvinced. He poured another pair of shots and slid down a second shot glass to the redhead. “Yes, Girard is Tank in my world. Younger there, but we all are. You included. I’m assuming you don’t have the shadow powers though, so the armor is a nice touch. Also the wanton destruction of property when someone threatens something valuable to you, that was a refreshingly familiar sight. As for the arm…” Jason paused, glancing down at the prosthetic before taking his second shot. “I kind of doubt I was in the habit of accepting handouts in this world either, so thanks, but I’ll pass. I just want in, Zoey. Behind the curtain. No smokescreen.”

Zoey’s eyebrow began twitching.

”Okay, ignoring what you’re implying for two seconds - I had powers in your world? Are you fucking shitting me? Zoey huffed, and abruptly stepped up close to Jason - only to snag the bottle of vodka to drink directly. ”That’s such fucking bullshit, in one world I’m a hero and the other I’m the god damned bank…” Another swig, a roll of her shoulders, and another involuntary twitch.

Moving on... Yeah, I don’t have powers. And where the fuck would I get a set of power armor?! I think Grim straight up built his and there’s no way I can do that shit. Okay, look, yeah I’ve been providing the funds for superheroes for years but that’s pretty much all I can do!”

Jason vaulted the bar and closed the distance between himself and Zoey, his brow furrowing in frustration. “Don’t give me that bull, Kasimir! Of course you’ve been bankrolling the Justice Buddies, or whatever, someone would have to be blind not to know that, but there’s no way you’re not in on it! You were a hero in my universe and you couldn’t make a fire by rubbing your two brain cells together; and even I can see that you’re not a complete ditz in this one!”

”First of all, rude--”

“And another thing about that, quit playing dumb! You’re bad at it when you’re not actually a moron! I fought side by side with you and Girard and Emma for years! We were the only people left to fight! I know you, Zoey! I know how you move, how you fight, how you talk and stand and intimidate and I know that underneath that badass helmet there was a mess of red hair and a girl who wanted to save her friend from dying again!”

“And you’re not going to stop me by playing dumb! I’m not helpless, Zoey! I can fight, I’ve been doing it most of my life! I was stupid here, and that’s what got me killed, but now I’m not! Now I have powers! Now I know how to defend myself! So you can either let me in and keep an eye on me that way, or you can cut me loose. Your choice. Make it.”

A small flicker of movement, a flash of something dark in Zoey’s gaze as they were so close together was Jason’s only warning before there was suddenly a small, sharp blade skirting along his jaw - not aiming to kill, not even to maim, but it didn’t matter anyway. For a moment Zoey’s steel blue eyes merely studied the intact skin, the knife that had been up her sleeve resting in her palm.

Finally she heaved a heavy sigh and stepped back, using her free hand to rub her temple.

”For the record, you’re still stupid.”

“And you’re not. And I’ll be honest, that is very refreshing.”

Hello! I'm very interested in this idea, and thought I'd toss my hat into the ring for consideration! Please let me know what you think, and if I need to change anything about my character concept!




January 31, 6:45 PM
Archangel Shipping warehouse, Gotham City, New Jersey


The large bay door leading into the receiving area slid open, the rattling of sheet metal catching the attention of the gathered goons and bringing them to their feet. Hands went to weapons and eyes squinted at the sudden invasion of the light from the sunset before settling on the well-dressed manic figure sauntering into the warehouse.

"Hello boys!" Anarkee said cheerfully, nothing with a smile that her Angels recognized the boss and quickly put their weapons away. "I just flew back into town, and boy is that pilot's arms tired!" She said, holding up a hand and waving the disembodied forearms she held. A few nervous chuckles came from the gathered group in front of her. That was fine, this was just a satellite group. The main body of the Angels were back at the base, this is just where the bozos on the East Side debacle had been relocated. "Tough crowd, huh?" Anarkee mock-complained, tossing the arm to the floor and striding up to the nearest Angel.

"So where's Joey at?" She asked cheerfully, rocking back and forth on her heels. "I wanted to go over the New Years thing in person now that I'm back from my walkabout." The Angel swallowed hard, paling slightly. Good. Let them stew in their fuckup.

"I'm right here, Anarkee." A gruff-sounding voice said before his gruff-looking figure emerged from behind a pile of crates.

"Oh goody!" Anarkee said, all but skipping over to her purple-jacket-clad lieutenant. Let's head to your little office here, I'm sure you'll want to--"

"Nah, I think we'll discuss it out here, with the boys." Joey said, crossing his arms.

Anarkee's eyes narrowed. He could be running scared, not wanting to be alone with her. But the way he said that, and his posture... He was confident. Cocky, even. Interesting.

"Alright. We can talk out here." Anarkee said, leaning back against a crate. Joey opened his mouth and took a breath, but Anarkee sprang forward against and cut him off. "First of all JoJo my boy, you can tell me exactly what the fuck went wrong with my 'New Year, New Recruit' initiative. I know you emailed me but I'm just not seeing why you got run out of the East Side like a bunch of two-bit gangbangers instead of the goddamn Angels of Anarchy founding chapter." Joey began to interject, but Anarchy wheeled around to the gathered group and kept talking. "We were ready for Grim. We were ready for Watchdog. We were ready for other gangs. We were ready for wannabe heroes. We were ready for the damn cops! And yet, you guys got your asses handed to you buy a dude in a motorcycle helmet and a guy with a stick?! WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!" She boomed, whirling back around to snarl at Joey.

"I-it wasn't just that, the helmet guy had guns!" Some unfortunate voice from the crowd behind her called. Anarkee twitched slightly before jumping forward in a flash and grabbing the gun off Joey's belt, turning and firing in the vague direction of the voice. One of the Angels screamed and went down, clutching his shoulder.

"YOU HAVE GUNS TOO! And Stick-Boy had a stick!" She retorted, tossing the gun behind her and hearing it clatter before Joey fumbled to pick it up. "Besides that, you all know what the plan was! No matter what, you stick around and fight to the end, make it clear that section of the city is ours and we will die for every inch they take! Instead, you turned and ran like scared sheep!" Anarkee practically spat the term, seething in rage before hearing Joey clear his throat behind her. She turned to direct her ire towards him...

And found herself staring down the barrel of his gun.

"Yeah... See we was thinkin' about that." Joey said, a sly grin on his face. "None of us really wants to die over the East Side, y'know? Figure we gots a big ol' warehouse here, full o' guns and gas and cash, why don't we just... Y'know, take it? Ain't much standing in our way aside from you... And now here y'are."

Anarkee regarded her presumably former lieutenant coldly, not even paying attention to the gun. Her calculating gaze tracked his movements, the positions of the other Angels, the boxes, the vents, everything. "Oh come now Joey..." She said softly, pasting a small smile on her pale white face. "Haven't I been good to you? I gave you a family here. A place you can indulge your psychotic tendencies. A nice purple jacket. I didn't ask much, did I? Only one thing." She stepped forward, directly under the oh-so-obvious vent. It almost pleased her when Joey shouted the order and she heard the hissing of gas as the heavier-than-air mist descended on her.

Anarkee took a deep breath, taking a moment to consider her options now tat she was obscured from view. She knew that smell, the color, the way the mist swirled together. After a moment, Anarkee stepped out of the cloud, grinning viciously. The gasping from the Angels behind her sent a shiver of satisfaction through her, but her attention was entirely focused on Joey now.

"Good mix, Mister J. Double dose of Fear with a shot of Apathy. Trying to make me beg and plead, squeal like a pig, is that it? Oh, what a waste. Not many would have known how to come up with that combination. But you don't scare me. And I don't need gas to make you all piss yourselves in fear of me." With those last words Anarkee tapped into her latent power. The fear was there, clouding the hearts of every Angel in the building. A simple task to just dial that up to eleven. She nearly barked a harsh laugh as she heard whimpering from the crowd and saw a damp spot grow on the front of Joey's pants.

"Now then. Give me the gun. And the jacket. And I'll give you some free advice." A cold smile was all it took now. Joey, entirely intimidated, stepped towards her and handed her the gun, which she tossed on top of a pile of crates. The jacket was next, being slung over her shoulder to hang on to until she found someone worthy of it. Anarkee closed the gap now, pressing the palm of her hand against Joey's chest.

He was trembling like a child, scared of the monster in his closet.

"Dont. Piss off. The Archangel." Anarkee hissed, loudly enough for the crowd to hear before she dug her clawed gloves forwards, ripping into Joey's chest. A moment later it was done, and Anarkee whirled on her traitorous subordinates.

"Line up!" She barked, watching as they fell into place like well-trained dogs. "Now then... Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe..."

-------------------------------


By the time she was finished there were barely a half-dozen of the Angels left, all of whom were sent packing to spread the word about what had happened here. Anarkee stood in the middle of the carnage, smiling to herself as she took in the bloody tableau she had created. Hal, her second-in-command stood by her side.

"I'll get a cleaning crew in here by the weekend, come Monday you won't even know anything happened here."

"Make sure to leave the door unlocked."

"Of course, word spreads and the rest of the Angels could use a reminder as to who they work for. No cops though, and I'll keep word from spreading to Grim's people. Don't need that snout in our business right now."

"Good. And find out who Motorcycle Guy and Stick-Boy are. I want them. Either in purple jackets or their heads on plates, I don't care."

"Already on it. Speaking of plates, Ray's should be ready with your order in about ten minutes, you should have just enough time to get down there.

"Oh Hal, you know me so well!" Anarkee said, striding towards the door.

"A bit too well at times I suspect."

"Love you too, now fuck off and do your job!"


1:00 AM, January 2nd, 2026
Gotham City Police Department


Jason was bored.

He paced in Jasper's office for a few long moments, listening to the bustling noises out in the main office. The police commissioner had stepped out to deal with the massive crime wave hitting the city, which Jason had been relieved to find out was not the norm for this new universe. Apparently it wasn't a turf war between rival gangs, as he'd originally assumed, but some kind of fucked up recruitment ceremony for an anarchist group. Known for their violent and chaotic tendencies, and their pale-faced crazy leader who Jason had a very bad nagging feeling about, the Angels currently had the upper east side of the city in a stranglehold.

Jason made up his mind.

Digging into his backpack, Jason pulled out his bandanna and tied it around his jaw before digging back into his pack and pulling out a small acrylic tank. He set it gently on the desk and peered inside, waving at the wide reptilian eyes and the concerned-but-perpetually-smiling face of his pretty little leopard gecko, Ellie. "I'll be back soon, kiddo." He said softly, scribbling a note for Jaina. "But don't worry; we're safe now." With the note asking she take care of the lizard until he got back, Turn Back slipped to the window and climbed out onto the fire escape.

Clambering over the railing, Jason leapt into the darkness, grinning as he felt the wind rushing past his face as he fell. A moment later the pavement met his feet, and Turn Back inhaled sharply as the impact rushed into his body, the energy being absorbed and distributed throughout him with no actual injury. Taking off down the alley, Turn Back laughed sharply as he began to let loose. He'd spent so long in Umbra's shadow hiding and being quiet, it was phenominal to actually use his abilities. Reabsorbing his spent energy with each stride, Turn Back could keep up a sprinting pace nearly indefinitely, which would place him in the upper east side in less than a quarter hour...

-------------------------------------------


The place was practically a series of fires by the time Turn Back arrived. Sprinting onto the scene, he stopped by one of the tipped over garbage fires and knelt beside it, pulling off his right glove and placing his hand inside the smouldering ashes. He grinned as he felt the heat rising from the flames before it was suddenly snuffed out, every bit of heat being drawn into Turn Back. Now, with a decent charge of energy built up, he felt ready to dive in. It took only a moment of searching before the barely-costumed vigilante found a group of Angels. He could head shouting and gunshots nearby, he'd have to check that out in a moment. But for now, he could deal with these bozos, who seemed to be standing guard to make sure nobody tried to run away from the carnage.

Pulling a rubber band from his pocket, Turn Back slipped it around his finger and pulled it back, aiming the improvised projectile at the nearest thug. A burst of orange energy and the band was charged with energy, and he sent the band flying. It struck with a harsh popping noise, a burst of flame erupting on the Angel's shoulder. His screaming alerted the others, who turned and saw Turn Back pull his cane out of his other pocket, flicking his wrist and extending the tool to its full length. A blast of purple energy now, and the cane was charged with kinetic energy. Rushing in, TB didn't even bother dodging the flying fists and lead pipes coming his way, his attackers finding themselves ineffectual and oddly weakened against their new foe.

CRACK

One of the thugs fell to the pavement, the fight knocked out of him as the enhanced blow nearly snapped his neck. Turn Back grinned. This was going to be easy


9:00 AM, January 22nd, 2026
[AR]Cade apartment, Coast City California


"Ding ding Miss Beadle!" A bright and cheery voice shouted, shocking Jessie out of her slumber. Glaring up blearily, the exhausted inventor picked out the floating form of the bright pink drone she called Amy.

"... Nu, g'way."

"Sorry Miss Beadle, but we all know how you get when we let you sleep in all day! Farnsworth is finishing up cleaning the lab, Hermes is ordering supplies to replenish stock, and Stabby is complaining about the radiator! Oh yeah, and you have an email from the guy with the bow!"

Jessie shot upright and rubbed her eyes before reaching for her lazily discarded clothes. "Start with that last one!"

After going through the email a couple times, and having Amy google where the fuck Primm was, Jessie bolted out of bed, yelling for her delivery drones to get ready.

---------------------------------------


11:30 am, January 22nd, 2026
Rooptop terrace of [AR]Cade, Coast City, California


Jessie slid her goggles down over her eyes, the HUD lighting up and highlighting every point of interest around her. Her three delivery drones, Amy strapped to the carrying case for the bow, a marker pointing in the direction of Primm, plus her other more mundane alerts. Phil and Rodriguez were attaching themselves to the case, and Leigh was setting herself up at the point to scout the road ahead and plan logistics, which meant that Jessie was just in for the ride. The long, 10 hour ride. She could have made it in less than half the time, but the drones wouldn't be able to keep up, and she wasn't about to carry that bow herself for almost five hours.

Lightning Bug stepped onto her hoverboard, shifting her weight slightly and turning to her robitic crew, catching the attention of the simple AIs. "Right guys, we have a fairly short haul ahead of us today, which is why I'm coming with. I want to be able to deliver this to our client and head back. Once we do the drop off though, we're parting ways. I may stay behind and sleep at the hotel, or I might zip back here ahead of you. If I do, you all know the drill. I don't mind a little nonsense on your way back, but don't cause too much trouble. And I'll be keeping Amy with me, in case I need to get in touch with anyone. Speaking of, Amy can you reply to that email and I'll dictate?"

A cheerful chirp answered Jessie's question, and she began to speak again. "I'm glad you're impressed!" She dictated while swiveling in place and floating upwards. With a wave of her hand she motioned her drones to start following, and the strange convoy began to take to the skies. "I do try to live up to my email address, and I suppose the bow's pretty cool as well. Winky emoji. I'm glad the Buster passed your test, I just threw it together in a few hours! If you have any problems with them getting past the code, I'm sure I can whip up something better.

"I'm having one of my assistants compile the notes on the bow now, I should have it ready for download by the time I deliver the bow itself. In way of a brief introduction though, allow me to introduce the MARAUDER Plasma-Caster. Based on a highly classified US experimental weapons project, the Caster is capable of firing devastating bolts of live plasma incredibly accurately over long distances. Because magnets. And plasma. I can answer your questions about it later. It charges using a bit of alien tech I've been experimenting with, but the rest of it is all mundane Earth technology, not even any magitech! (I mainly did it that way to prove a point, that regular tech is just as good as alien or enhanced.).

"I can meet you at your hotel tonight for the dropoff, probably around 9:30 to 10. I prefer rooftops as dead-drops, but regardless of where you'd like to make the handoff, security won't be a concern. I can make it look like we were never there. Thanks so much for everything you do, it's always hella fun when I see you streaming!"


With that message sent, Jessie could focus on the task ahead. Using Amy as a relay, the technopath could begin making connections in the distant city, using her time to find where Leo was staying, getting access to security footage, door codes, police radio bands, everything she could think of to help keep them under the radar. And anything to keep her busy during this trip so she didn't have to listen to the incessant bickering of Phil and Rodriguez until Leigh snapped at the both of them...


1:15 AM, January 7th, 2026
Coast City, California


Jessie scribbled over another half-baked design idea, groaning in frustration as she tossed her empty Chinese takeout container towards the trash can. A clatter and rattling sound indicated that she had not 'swooshed' it. Whatever. Farnsworth would get it. As if on cue, a mechanical motor sound filled the space as her robotic butler-that-totally-wasn't-a-repurposed-Roomba got to work finagling her trash into the can from the floor. Sighing to herself and shaking her head, Jessie turned to her computer. The inspiration just wasn't coming, she couldn't form any new ideas! She needed some space, maybe someone was streaming...

No Little Lightning Bolt.

Nothing new on HeroWatch

VigilanTwitch was... Oh shit, shut down. Well, she'd have to look into that more later.

Damn it, absolutely nobody was on--

Ding

Jessie turned back to her computer, checking the email alert that had just come through. 'Arsenal is now streaming' The alert said, and Jessie swiftly clicked the link. He was sort of an anti-hero type, but he wasn't too bad for Jessie's money. And besides, she was bored! She stared at the information on the screen as the stream started up, watching messages roll into chat. She squinted at the images on the screen, her lips tightening. She knew that ATM... What the hell, he was in Coast City!

Transfixed to the screen, Jessie watched the anti-hero draw on the thief and take him out swiftly, giggling at the use of the net arrow. Did he design and build all these himself? If so, the man had some talent. She was about to donate and send him a 'Welcome to Coast City' message before she heard the sirens. Scrolling back up the screen, Jessie growled at the whistleblower. Damn buzzkill was probably the same guy who got VigilanTwitch shut down too... Making a mental note to doxx him later, Jessie quickly sent off a larger donation and signed off.

She had an idea.

8:45 PM, January 21st, 2026
[AR]cade secret lab, Coast City, California


Jessie flicked on her microphone again, snapping her fingers to sync the audio with the security footage she was recording in the lab. Since her inspiration earlier in the month, she had halted all work on new VR programs, relying on the myriad of popular games to run the store for her while she worked tirelessly on her newest design. She had spent more nights crashing at the upstairs apartment with Beka than actually going home to her nice big mansion. But that was all about to be worth it. Jessie traced her fingers over the sleek gunmetal paint of the device, grinning madly. She may have gotten away with the aesthetics, considering she wasn't even sure if it'd work this time. But that was just how she worked! Settling her green goggles over her eyes and slipping her gloves on, Jessie hefted the curved bow and turned towards her firing range.

The MARAUDER project had been a subject of vague interest to her for a few years, ever since she stumbled upon references to it while researching plasma-based technology. Basically, it was a hairbrained scheme that somehow got government funding that nobody expected to work... That did work. And then was immediately classified. But there was still some information out there. It used toroids made of plasma spun at high speeds using magnets to accelerate more plasma through the rings of the toroids and create something called 'hypervelocity projectiles'. She'd begun her initial designs while still trying to break into the government databases and get more current information, and when she had finally done that she threw out all the new info in favor of her own designs and theories.

Jessie tugged on the carbon nanofibre cable that connected each end of the bow, watching the purplish-whitish veins along its surface light up. A high-pitched whine kicked in as the vents opened to collect oxygen from the surrounding air. She'd have to fix the noise issue later. Once filled, the vents sent the gathered oxygen to the plasma compression chambers, a series of miniaturized generators located along the limbs. Those chambers would heat up using power drawn from a built-in Ectoan energy crystal, heating to 174,500 degrees Kelvin, ionizing the oxygen and generating plasma. From there, electromagnets would begin to activate, spinning and shaping the plasma in the limb chambers, creating the donut-shaped plasma toroids. The vents would activate again, drawing more oxygen into a pair of chambers at the very tips of the limbs, generating more plasma, which would soon be propelled at unfathomable speeds by passing through the highly magnetized plasma rings contained in the other compression chambers.

Jessie blinked. Her shoulder was sore. She glanced over, realizing she had drawn the bow back fully now. It was ready to go, judging from the glowing veins and the gentle vibrations. She'd gotten so caught up in the technical specifications, she wasn't really sure how long she'd been standing there with the bow drawn.

Clearing her throat, Jessie turned to the floating microphone that had followed her to the firing range and began to speak. "Right! So! This is practical test one of the MARAUDER plasma-caster! Proof of concept tests have been good so far, everything works in isolated conditions. But this is the first test where we put everything together!" Jessie turned back towards the target ten yards away before pausing. "I should probably have rigged a remote system for testing this. But fuck it, right?! Firing in three... Two... One..."

FWOOM

Jessie was grateful for the automatic dimmers she'd built into her goggles, because that could have blinded her. As the dust settled and the smoke cleared, Jessie was uncharacteristically at a loss for words. The simple target she had set up, a stack of leftover pizza boxes, was just... Gone. Not even a trace of it left. No smoking pile of ash, no debris, not even a scorch mark. Jessie immediately figured that was the reason labs used oxygen plasma for cleaning work, it really does destroy all organic matter.

The moment of silence was broken by a whoop of exultation as Jessie lifted the bow above her head and jumped in place. She had done it! She had built a miniaturized MARAUDER weapon using nothing but earth technology and a single alien power crystal, in the style of an idolized livestreaming star!

The rest of the night was spent documenting the successful test, finishing details in the blueprints, excitedly radioing up to Beka, and finalizing her Whistleblower-Buster program. Finally content with her days work, nearing midnight now, Jessie sent an email to Arsenal via the personal email server she had managed to dig up on him thanks to her computer relations skills

To:Leo$@bingfreeserver.com

From: GirlGeniusJ355@ihavemyownemailservice.pizza

Subject: A gift from me to you!

Body: I saw you were in Coast City a few weeks ago, and I wanted to put together a 'welcome to town' present! Unfortunately, it took longer than I thought, but San Diego isn't too far! See the attached images to check out your new gift! Also the WB-B attachment should help stream snipers fuck off from now on.

Regards!

A genius fan.

PS: If you want your gift just email me back, I'm sure we can figure out a pickup spot.
2:30 AM. Janurary 1st. 2019
Millenium City (Wait, where is that?)


Jason Graves dragged the massive cable across the expanse of the long-abandoned theatre before settling it into place by the exposed electrical main. That would have been easier if Tank had been here to help, but the big guy was… Well, better to not think about it. Better to not think about any of them. Jason and Ditch were the only ones left, and they had long since realized they had no chance of standing up to Umbra and his army. The undefined being of darkness had swept across the city nearly a year before, and form there had expanded to the rest of the world. Now everything was under an eternal pall of midnight, and anyone who resisted was either killed, or enthralled.The last remaining pair of free heroes knew they were next. They needed to get out. Their world was a lost cause.

Jason snapped himself out of his memories and brought himself back to the task at hand. Reaching into his backpack, he pulled out a bundle of wire connectors from beside the plastic carrier swaddled in old clothes. “Sorry Ellie.” He murmured, turning to the electrical main. “Give me a few minutes, and we’ll be out of here and you’ll be safe.” Turning away from his backpack, Jason set to work hooking up the huge cable to the electrical grid.

After several agonizing minutes of work, Jason straightened up and slung his backpack over his shoulder again. “Okay Ditch!” He called out into the next room. “We’re hooked up, get ready to go!”

No answer.

Jason paused for a moment before swearing under his breath. Ditch could get caught up in her work, but with how paranoid the both of them had become, would she really ignore him right now? He reached down to his neck and tugged up the purple handkerchief that was always tied there, concealing his lower face. Turn Back, the energy vampire reached behind himself and touched the exposed wiring, feeling the spark leap to his fingers as he drained off some excess power.

Stepping forward, the powered-up vigilante siphoned his new energy into his legs, brilliant blue sparks arcing as the grounded themselves and causing his form to leap forward in a burst of unnatural speed. In a matter of seconds he was through the door and beelining for the machine by the far wall, blazing past the shadowed figures that had just finished choking the life out of his last ally.

“Get him!” The red-skinned demonic woman called, pointing as he went past. Jason just managed to avoid her swinging claws, knowing from experience that that was the only thing that could bypass his powers.

“Don’t you move, any of you!” Turn Back yelled, glaring at the trio. The demoness snarled at him, causing regret to fill his heart. The hulking brute of a man to her left glanced at her before sneering at TB. The shadowy Reaper simply chuckled harshly.

“I mean it.” Jason continued. “You don’t need to catch me. You know the collars won’t work anyway, that’s why Umbra wants me dead. But that doesn’t matter. I’m leaving. I’m never coming back. He’s won, with all of you. Just… For old times sake, let me go…”

The trio almost seemed taken aback by this. “Ditch did say the same thing…” Reaper whispered, earning a sharp look from Demoness.

“‘Sides, if that thing’s ready to go” Rumbled Tank, glaring critically at Turn Back. “I don’t think we’re quick enough to stop him.” This earned another scornful gaze from Demoness.

Turn Back raised his hand, earning the glares and suspicion from all three of his former allies. “Whoa whoa, take it easy. I just wanted to say they’re right. You’re smart, Dee. You can take this deal. Besides… I just wanted to get you talking.” He said with a grin before his upraised hand connected with the exposed leads. Electricity surged through Jason’s body and the machine in turn, the shitty Tesla coils arcing and providing a barrier that the dark trio couldn’t cross. Lights flared and popped, and from what Ditch had explained, Jason knew what was happening. He was draining the power from the whole city. Cycling it through the machine which matched his biometric signature. It was a door and he was the key. Siphoning energy from everywhere around…

Including Umbra’s control collars.

Jason knew he had only a moment left before this machine either blew up and took them all with it, or it actually goddamn worked and ripped him away from his own world. He looked out through the arcing spears of light and grinned at the astonished and freed faces of his friends and family. Girard. Zoey. And Emma…

“You know how he works now! You have the advantage! You can do it!” He cried, before…

Light.

Then Darkness.

Then nothing.

8:00 PM, January 1st, 2026
Upper East Side, Gotham City, New Jersey


Then chaos.

Streets full of people and light and color, things Jason hadn’t seen in almost a year. He could almost have cried with joy, but something was wrong. There was a pall over the crowd, a sense of dread. Following the gazed of some nearby groups, Jason’s eyes were drawn to a TV set in a store window. A white-faced, multicolor-haired woman was speaking. Spouting things, some nonsense about the animal nature of Man and the need to express yourself?

And then she got started talking about the rules of ‘the game’. How there’d only be a certain number of winners. The survivors. The ones who gave in to instinct. And the rest were sheep and cattle to be slaughtered.

To their credit, the people on the streets resisted the commands the TV lady was giving. But then the gang showed up and started beating compliance into people. Turn Back had taken action at that point, beating the snot out of the anarchists and leading some people to safety. But He had no idea how big this problem was, and he knew he’d have other problems very soon.

So that was how Jason found himself breaking into a closed down public library, busting open the electrical panel, and using his body as a conduit for the second time that night to power the router, computer, and eventually the printer. He needed to get information. Where he was, what this world was about, any familiar events or faces… And he’d found them. Now he just had to contact them...

--------------------------------------------------


11:15 PM. January 1st. 2026
Gotham City Police Department

Jason stared at the double doors of the police station with intensity. He'd never liked the cop shops back home, and this strange new city didn't fill him with confidence. But... If Jaina was in charge here, how bad could it be? Walking up the granite steps, Jason pushed open the doors and stepped inside.

Immediately, Jason was bombarded by the sounds of chaos. Phones ringing off their hooks, people talking over each other, rushed footsteps and calls for assistance. They were likely busy tonight, what with the fucking battle royale taking place across the city. But he only needed one person. Snaking through the crowd, Jason made his way towards the Comissioners office before being stopped by the suspicious gaze of an older cop sitting at the desk out front.

"Uh, hey there." Jason said lamely. "I need to see Commissioner Jasper?"

A loud guffaw immediately emerged from the officer, the thick bristles of his moustache moving with the air.

"Skipping a few levels there, lad," The man chuckled. "Ah, I needed that... listen, unless someone's been murdered right outside the station you ain't seeing anyone, least of all the Commissioner. Or did you not see the news?" A large, meaty hand was waved towards a small television set nestled in the top right of the room, no doubt for those waiting. Splayed across the screen was images of destruction and anarchy, a very obvious sign of who was at work tonight.

"Come back tomorrow. Or in a week from now. And get ready to see a detective instead." The officer chuckled again, looking down at what was directly in front of him. "Hehe, the commissioner..."

Jason's temper flared, this was exactly why he hated the police. He'd hoped Jaina would have been able to change things, but some things are just too ingrained... "Yeah, I have seen the news actually." Jason said, lowering his voice and leaning down over the desk. "I kinda just came from over there, and I didn't see many of your boys out there. I need to talk to Jaina Jasper. You need to tell her I'm here. Tell her..." Jason paused for a split second, wondering what could convince his old flame to come out and see him face to face. "Tell her I'm an old friend of Jason Graves. I need to talk to her about his murder. She'll want to see me."

There was a pause then, the edges of the moustache tilting downwards as the man lifted his head. For a long moment he just stared at Jason, looking him over. After a moment he sighed, leaning back in his chair and rubbing at his forehead.

"I know that case. It's been closed for years." The officer lifted his head, looking over the man in front of him with a more critical eye. "... You said you came from the Upper East Side, where all this is happening, though? Look, lad, maybe I can get a detective to talk to you but there are people being killed by that maniac right now. You gotta think, compared to that whatever you have can wait, can't it?"

Jason had tuned out the officer halfway through his diatribe. He didn't want to talk to a detective, that wouldn't do anybody any good. He had done everything he could out in the riot on his way out, but there was only so much even he could do. But if he could get some help, connect with the people in the universe who were his friends, maybe he could do something then...

"Listen to me." He said softly, setting down his backpack on the desk and tipping it over. He gently removed a plastic carrier with a small lizard inside before digging around in the pockets of an old pair of jeans. "You say that case was closed? 'Solved' because the guys who did it got what was coming to them, right?" There it was. Jason pulled out his wallet and grabbed the printout of his own obituary, complete with a photo and set them both on the desk in front of the glorified secretary, opening the wallet to show off his ID.

"Tell me what the hell happens to a murder case when the victim shows back up alive?"

"It sounds like a case of fraud."

"Commissioner!" The man behind the front desk sat up straight, nervously pulling at his moustache.

Approaching from the side came the quick gait of the highest cop in the city, the short-haired blonde's uniform impeccably pressed even in this trying time, hands clasped behind her back, gaze sharp. Even when she stopped, putting her appraising eye on Jason all that met him was a wall of impassiveness.

Except for a brief flicker of something in her green eyes.

"Commissioner Jaina Jasper. You're looking for me, I presume?"

Jason's icey blue eyes met Jasper's gaze, and a flicker of a smile crossed his face. It was all he could do to keep from throwing himself at her, but he had to remember. She didn't know him. Not this version of him. And he didn't know this version of her. But hopefully, given enough time...

"Yes Commissioner Jasper, I am. I apologize for the intrusion, but I thought you might be interested in what I have to say about Jason Graves, given your history with the case. Was I right, or would you like to cuff me?" He asked playfully, chancing a wink at the older woman.

The Commissioner's face remained impassive, though after a long moment there was the slightest quirk at the edge of her lips - bittersweet though it was.

"Commissioner, should I...?" The front desk cop trailed off as the woman shook her head, abruptly turning her back.

"I can spare a few minutes, Carter. You, come with me."

"Yes, thank you so much for your help Carter!" Jason said in a sing-son voice as he grabbed his things and followed behind Jasper.

It didn't take long to move to the office overlooking the pit of officers almost climbing over themselves in the chaos that Anarkee was causing in the Upper East Side. The office itself was a stark contrast to the put together Commissioner, papers on the floor and absolutely covering her desk, a large map of Gotham on it and drawn on with frantic scribbles. The heavy door closed behind Jason as they entered, a click of some sort of lock sounding out.

Jaina circled behind her desk, sitting and gesturing to the pair of plush chairs before her on the opposite side. "Forgive the lack of formalities, but I am in the middle of a crisis currently. So, you are...?" She trailed off purposefully, though her sharp eyes took him in, no doubt already predicting his answer.

Jason took in the office, noting with mild amusement what would look to anyone else like the ravings of a madwoman. "Yeah, you never did clean up your free weights either." He mused and a sly smile, sinking into a chair across the desk from Jaina. He paused for a moment, the exhaustion of his... Day? Week? No, year. The exhaustion of the past year catching up to him. "Oof..."

"I am who I said I am. Jason Graves." He said with a shrug and a smile. He leaned forward and laid the printed obituary on Jasper's desk. "Just... Not this one. I come from somewhere else. Some alternate dimension or world or universe or whatever. One where I was the only survivor. Everyone else was gone. You were gone. I was alone. I built a machine which took me... Here, I guess? Dropped me in the middle of a riot. I fought my way out. I found this place."

Jason paused, scanning Jaina's face for any hint of emotion. "... I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm not him. I'm sorry I kind of lied to get in here. I just don't know what else to do. I don't want to be alone anymore."

Silence descended in the office.

Jaina, elbows on the desk and leaning against her folded hands, just examined Jason. Taking in every detail about him. Every little mannerism, every familiar detail, even just the voice she hadn't heard in years. Finally a deep sigh exited her lips, raising a hand to rub at her forehead.

"If you had shown up six years ago I would've thought you insane. As it is in the current day..." She shrugged slightly. "I still can't take you on your word. I'm sure at least some of my officers are out there pissing themselves thinking you're some ploy of Anarkee's-" Here she paused, casting a sharp gaze at Jason before continuing. more thoughtfully. After a moment she opened her desk, retrieving a small plastic container holding a swab.

"I'm sure you wouldn't mind proving who you are?" Jaina commented, holding out the container.

Jason shrugged again, reaching out for the container. "Hell, I don't blame you. I sound like a goddamn crazy person. All I have is my word, and some DNA." He said with a grin before swabbing the inside of his cheeck and dropping the swab back into the container and setting it on the desk.

"... Oh, and also my lizard Ellie, but she's understandably not up for visitors right now."

"As for 'Anarkee', if that's that crazy white-faced bitch on the TV, fuck all that bullshit. Shit's crazy, Jai." He said with a chuckle, leaning back in his chair.

"I'm aware," Was the short response as Jaina retrieved the swab. Rather than get up to bring it to the labs the Commissioner pulled out a drawer on her desk. Nestled inside was a laptop which she flipped open, still inside. A small touch of a hidden trigger had a compartment near the touch pad opening, and the swab was promptly deposited.

Being friends with Gotham's resident vigilante had perks, not that anyone would know.

"So, Mister Graves..." Before she could even finish a sentence the computer was already pinging a confirmed match. Odd. Jaina's eyes darted down, taking in the results. One match, one familial match, and with them two pictures displayed with names prominently above.

A sharp inhale echoed in the room as Jaina looked from one pair of blue eyes into the other, identical in every way - right down to their DNA.

"... Jason..."

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