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Current Fregoli delusion
3 yrs ago
Scifi Combat writers... where are you?
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3 yrs ago
Heh?

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"Well, I suppose we all have our fetishes."

Merse joked, but the mention of Margeret opened a can of worms. There was much he could reveal in regards to her and maybe more she could reveal about him. In Merse's archives, Margaret Iedeeren was listed under Class A-2. The rankings in which Merse categorized millions of individuals is developed by a continually updating algorithm weighing hundreds of measurables from as basic as physical attributes to more distinct details such as supernatural affiliations and the scope of influence. Margaret checked off many red flags but what the interrogators would find juicy lied within her buyer's persona.

Age: (A lady never tells her age)
Height: 5'8
Weight: 137
Affiliation: Allure Parliament

Undeniably shrewd and deceptively controlling, Margaret Nancy Ideereen was an individual capable of gaining cult followings wherever she decided to go. How much of this was a product of natural charisma and captivating eccentricity was up for debate. Her wardrobe was a reflection of her personality. The abundance of post-war womenswear popularized on numerous alternate earths showcased a proudness in her femininity and first-wave feminism doctrine. She was a go-getter. An individual who wanted a hand in everything and often would achieve just that...

***Precaution: Do not attempt to deal with her solo or without surveillance by any means.***


Merse recited the briefing without hesitation. His tone, confidence, and immediate compliance should have eliminated any doubt in its legitimacy. The information broker left out several key details, however.

Margaret’s mental prowess and her means of obtaining it was often a topic of debate between him and Fearis. Whereas Merse believed she obtained it via contractual means with a higher power, his partner pinned it towards natural aptitude. There was evidence that supported both theories but there was still much to uncover in regards to the politician. The enigma that was her existence did not exclude her from a lengthy psych profile, however. Her tendencies and thought process were well documented and handwritten by Merse himself.

Despite their differences and continuous bouts, there was a level of mutual respect among them. Often, Merse was able to know what she was thinking and vice versa. At this moment, there was no doubt in the information broker's mind that their thoughts were aligned. There was an understanding that they needed each other, not just for their own wellbeing but to maintain their assets. It would be very easy for them both to go down here. At the moment, protecting Margaret as much as he could without compromising his own position was imperative to the overall scheme.

"Based on all the questions you have, it's clear that you doubt her morals. I assure you, as bad as you think I am, in comparison you'd find her to be quite the angel. Just make sure you file down the horns that like to grow beneath her halo from time to time. Allure is a complex city. Some toughness is required to deal with the many factions and individuals like myself. She has it."
Something was wrong. She rose out of her seat.

A cold sweat developed over her expression. An aura of different sorts overran Magaret's body. She slid her fingertips on the oak desk beside her but couldn't feel the ridges. The numbness stretched her legs, inhibiting her ability to stand straight. Before she knew it, a thunderous jolt of pain shot from her temporal to the occipital lobe, directly affecting her ability to see. Her body dropped like a stone and for a brief moment, her figure trembled as if she were being electrocuted. This was no mere migraine. The studio staff scrambled to aid her, gingerly lifting her head, supporting it with a plush couch cushion.

"Ms.Iedereen, are you ok? Ms.Iedeeren!"

It took some time for her to respond. The abundance of strobe lights made it difficult for Margaret to adjust with her heightened sensitivity to light. Coming to her senses, only then did she realize what she had lost. It hit like a knife in her heart. Fearing the worst, Margaret attempted to contact The Nexus.

Blank...

Her throbbing brain functioned like a modem, frantically identifying traces of local neural oscillation, striking her with the cruel reality that her means of modulating them were disabled. As crushing as this was for her personal endeavors, this couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Allure. With Merse apprehended by authorities, her actions alone would shape their future.

“On second thought...” Margaret thought to herself how this could be beneficial to her. A hungover smile crept onto her face when she realized she could proceed without having to account for Merse’s antics.
"Tell me about Fortis."

The feline raised his brow at the inquiry. They were finally getting to the meat of things.

"I see your intelligence community is quite active" Merse snarked.

In all likelihood, the information broker wasn't the only Allure native interrogated. It wouldn't surprise him if somewhere EarthF67x hauled in quite the load of info on Allure's former residence, mostly through local sources. What Merse still had yet to account for, however, was the possibility of an EarthF67x spy.

He took in a large breath before he spoke. As much as the restraints of The Aldaré allowed for.

"There's a lot to know about Fortis. Where should I start..." His voice echoed across the room. Before he went on, he briefly paused, gauging the behavior of the vibrations on anything it had the potential to bounce off. He observed much due to his sensitive hearing and though an idea sprung into his mind, he checked himself.

"Fortis, Fortaire. Whatever you knew it by, your perception of it greatly depended on two things; If you had wealth or more physical means of power. If you cared about neither of those things, chances were you at least found its culture amusing."

The interrogator had no immediate retorts. A sign to Merse that Fortis was indeed a huge point of discussion.

"Their means of governing the entire planet was through a rather small unit dubbed Parliament. Whereas more traditional governments are filled with career politicians, former activists, ex-military members, you wouldn't really see any of that. Their councils consisted of an odd cast of swordsmen, powerful sorcerers, anyone with some sort of power quirk really. It was interesting seeing this ragtag group of idealists attempt to work together. It was cute."

"Undoubtedly a suitable environment for your line of work. Egos clash and you consider yourself clever enough to go unnoticed, picking up the crumbs of greater beings. How banal." An image of Merse was projected against the chamber's wall, dressed in all black with a large sack slung over his shoulder. It moved in a pantomime of sneaking along when it was suddenly illuminated by a spotlight.

"Greater beings, huh? You clearly take my craft lightly but how great were they, who failed to defend the very society they formed to protect?" Merse clearly took offense to the remark and display.

"As the businessman I am, I took advantage of their dysfunctionality. Their general lack of involvement gave me the perfect environment to expand my financial ventures at the time. You call it crumbs but when you've been to as many places as I've been it accumulates to quite the feast."

Looking down, a sudden shift in body language gave him a look of disappointment, like he missed out on something.

"Nevertheless, All things come to an end. More frequent than ever I found myself having to defend my assets from otherworldly forces. The same forces I determined successfully undermined the government and used parliament as a figurehead for quite some time. Even before the government's great symbol of order, the architectural wonder that was the Fortress of Parliament was obliterated, the writing was on the wall. You didn't have to be as attentive as I to see that coming.

All their information, sorcery, different accounts of history, and scholarly entries on their findings in the universe, gone. At least that's what they believe. I know it was taken."

"And now I am to believe, with this tale you've told of your own resourcefulness, that you weren't the one to abscond with it all." The voice paused for a measured beat before continuing. "In any case, this isn't the focus of our interview. Much of our intelligence places you at the forefront of Allure's activities, acting more or less as its leader. Do you deny this?"

Their assessment wasn’t wrong. Moreso or less was a decent way at describing it but Merse wouldn't allow them to label him as the head of Allure. He had a good clue where that would lead to.

"I do wish I did make off it but yes, that isn't what you're interested in. To answer your question, yes and no."

By no means was this an easy question for Merse to answer. Though Margaret held an official title in Prime Minister, Merse's influence was second to none in Allure. Her ability to puppet the general populace was effective though one dimensional. Needless to say, she was the most popular figure in the city. Merse played chess from the shadows. Their power struggle was well documented over the years, but there were times where she found herself depending on the help of the information broker.

"Am I known to have a foot in almost anything that goes on in this city? Depending on who you ask, that might be true. Still wouldn't make me the leader of the city. I'm only interested in leading my business. If you want to speak to authority, contact the Prime Minister. Ms. Iedereen is quite an experienced diplomat."
The Aldaré constricted his neck. Merse clearly struck a nerve in the interrogator after stating his capture was voluntary. Still, his feline anatomy allowed him to find comfort on the accounts of uncanny flexibility. It would certainly take more than a neck choke and body restrictions to intimidate the likes of him. His demeanor remained consistent despite the measures taken against him.

Merse thought, how else could he have established a direct line of communication and end the conflict simultaneously? His capture was vital in all of this. What the information broker failed to account for was the bewildering arrival and equally destructive force of the beam ushering in the horde of space monstrosities. No one could have predicted that. No one in their right mind would invite such chaos. It was something he’d prefer to forget. Perhaps when this was over, if he made it out in one piece he’d do just that. Repress the memory altogether.

"...did you enjoy taking millions of lives with your arrival?"

The Allure resident took his time replying but when he did he spoke with the utmost conviction in his tone.

"You ask if I enjoy taking lives? Actually, you might be delighted to know the answer is no. Can I be described as a morally grey individual? Probably. Does this mean I'm a murderer? Absolutely not."

"Then can you account for those displaced by your arrival? There is no trace of them on this planet."

“That I have no definitive knowledge of. Though I suspect our arrival and their displacement is no coincidence.”

"Abandonment." The voice replied.

“Not that I would expect compassion from an alien planet but you all seem to be abandoning these innocent refuges. This beam you mockingly project into my forehead, it's the first I've seen of it. Whatever plot these creatures are conjuring, that seems to be the source and yet you watch. Several of my scientists are probably looking into it, so even if you do nothing, I'm sure they'll have a solution."
"No relation whatsoever. Figured he was an agent of yours. What a shame he fell into that pit I created. Probably could have made a solid watch, no? On a more serious note, ever since Allure arrived, I've been assaulted nonstop with not even a moment in-between for a cat nap. Usually, I wouldn't mind. I'd chalk it up to my lifestyle and profession but there's just one thing. I have no idea who any of these individuals hellbent on killing me are. Perhaps this planet is in dire need of a scapegoat. I could see how that would calm the public down for sure. Give them something to hate, perhaps even serve as propaganda to inspire the next generation."

Interrupting his rant, the display in front of Merse shifted into a humongous gold watch, which oddly enough, remained comically dressed in the same attire that shamed all things dapper. Not short after, it morphed into several versions of Merse and his numerous assailants he encountered all throughout this disastrous day. He rolled his eyes. A montage of arguably his worst day was not something he wanted to see, nevermind having it literally dangled over him.

“Rubbing it in my face I see.” A deep sigh left his mouth.

"Listen, I don't want to be perceived as the fall guy. I don't even want to be seen as a foe. I do have quite explaining to do, that is undeniable, but— I'd rather extend my services in good faith for the sake of, I don't know, having all of us survive this ordeal. Please, feel free to inquire about anything you believe can get us out of the bind we're all clearly in."

All of the projections of Merse amalgamated into a large bust of the felinoid’s head with “BOBO” stamped across its forehead.

It was clear, his words weren’t getting through. Perhaps the examiner figured he could rile Merse up, making his case, confirming the idea that he was a threat. Whereas any half drawn together argument could probably deem Merse dangerous, it was rare to ever see him visibly enraged. If that was the strategy, it was bound to fail, though he was slightly irritated at the pace things currently went at.

As much as the information broker desired to control the narrative, all Merse could do was timely pitch his points. The severity of Earthf67x's crisis meant some of his statements could be taken in extremity but at the same time, opened up an avenue for his survival. All he had to do was play off of the terror of the situation and prove himself to be a greater asset than foe. Insight of the Val'gara Invasion, Merse was very low on the totem pole. Even without knowing the planet's history, this was obvious. It made sense, but part of Merse felt that his interrogator didn’t care. Not that Merse would know, but he should have considered the potential of encountering individuals who were directly affected by Allure’s tragic move. He should have accounted for thousands of people like Tartalo, but Merse naively figured there was no way he could be so unlucky in those regards. He was wrong.

The voice filled the room, seeming to come from every direction. "Such lofty notions. Let me correct you, because you seem to be operating under the assumption that guilt is a prerequisite for your detainment. You are a hostile force participating in an invasion."

Before responding, Merse stretched a bit, slouching some to ease the tension to get comfortable. He did this almost mockingly so.

“Is that why I allowed myself to be captured?”

"A grave miscalculation." The response hung in the gelid air.
Merse's fur stood on end, briefly taking on a rubbery nature in response to the excessive jolts taxing his body. To some degree, he insulated the shocks, showing a level of resourcefulness that justified Tartalo's suspicion and overall precaution. Not only was Merse not dead but his most valuable weapon, his mouth, was strategically curbed for the time being.

For once, the information broker knew little of what he was dealing with, elevating the stakes to immeasurable heights. The fine line he walked, if all for the sake of reasonable doubt, was bold, even for his standards. Despite the lack of incriminating evidence, Merse had many reasons to question his fate. Morality often called into question whether it is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one. Having been on this planet for less than a day, it was evident, outsiders were the recipients of no such empathy. Earthf67x's relationship with aliens was not a great one. The information broker's disastrous actions only added fuel to the fire, validating such apathy, perpetuating their xenophobia for generations to come.

Knowing all of this, Merse weighed his options, calculating scenarios at a computing pace. He did this until he could no longer play possum. After the third jolt, it was clear. The jig was up.

"We'll begin with your name."

Merse's fur returned to its normal texture. The lethargic expression on his face was the most life he had shown up until this point. His slitted eyes widened, reflecting the tiniest of light as any cat's pair would. Without moving his eyes, the broker's pupils managed a detailed scan of the area. This was done without mustering any source of power whatsoever. The slightest action very well could be seen as a threat and Merse was cautious in his own right.

In any government, the complexity of federal criminal law, codified in several thousand sections of written code establishes a virtually infinite variety of circumstances that might trigger an investigation. Even at the interrogation stage, it was difficult for Merse to know, in advance, just what particular set of statements could incriminate himself. He knew his words would be twisted but he decided to respond regardless, citing no real alternative.

"Merse Granstrum, Information Broker, at your service. What business do we have here today, operative?"

This game of verbal chess had finally begun.
In --- 5 mos ago Forum: Test Forum
Name: Jag
Full Name: Demarco "Jaguar" Lucas
Age: 39
Height: 6'9
Weight: 358 lbs
Race: Human

Jag is an enormous man whose size was only second to his pursuit of control. Built like a brick, he carried a reputation that painted him as superhuman. The rosette-like patterns on his skin from vitiligo were probably his most famous feature, and it only added to his intimidating mystique. When he was younger, he often put his Rühl like physique on display as an enforcer for Trey Eleven Vice, an infamous gang known for clashing with the Red Syndicate in the 2020s before their leader, Hans, mysteriously went missing.

Since then, Jag has made name for himself as one of the most brutal crime lords in the northeast. When it came to vice, he had his foot in it all: drugs, human trafficking, arms dealing, money laundering. He accumulated a fortune of wealth from it and was not afraid to flaunt it with his large collection of chains, watches, grills, and even gold plated weaponry. Arrogant, but calculated was his motto. He often roped his adversaries into his very hands by playing off their impatience and intense hatred of him.

Jag was battle tested and ready for confrontation at a moments notice. He has been beaten, stabbed, shot, jailed, tortured, you name it. He wore his large collection of scars like a general's medals, with his proudest being his severed left hand. His solution to losing this part of himself left him far from handicapped, however. Instead of leaning towards regular prosthetics he managed to fortify his arm with technology, going through experiment after experiment until it was a classified superweapon.

Jag gained the ability to mold his gold plated arm into several weapons with its base form being a dangerous set Tekko-Kagi Claws. Other forms allowed him to fire bullets from his finger like a pistol. From his palms, he could let off shots like a machine gun and a shotgun. His arm could even go as far as becoming a full-blown flamethrower.
Sarge listened for a whimper when his heavyset partner pounced on their target. He heard nothing.

Sweat applied a sleeper hold on the feline but the coldness of Merse's body caused him to question if he was even alive. He was limp and lifeless. Despite that, not for one second did the operative consider relinquishing his grip. Intelligence briefings informed him in great detail of the information broker's unpredictable and cunning nature. Sweat needed no reminder of how small the margin for error was when dealing with alien threats. It was practically embroidered into his mind. Merse was not given a single inch to maneuver, not even to breathe.

New Roswell teleported the group shortly after. The room they were in was shrouded in darkness aside from where they stood. Apollo Amon's request was fulfilled. The mission went without a hitch, with the only annoyance being the abundance of cat hair clinging to their uniforms. The annoying fibers were bound to show up in random places well after their mission was done. Sarge dry spat at the sensation of hair being at the tip of his tongue. Perhaps it was only in his mind but it irritated him, nevertheless. Shortly after, he began shouting orders.

"Strap him up!"

Eager to finish, Sweat ragdolled Merse's body and full nelson slammed him onto a reclining platform. Dex promptly secured the suspect on the modernized torture rack but concern over their mission status plagued his mind. Dex thought about the repercussions for not bringing their target back alive. Knowing his unit inside and out, Sarge was keen to Dex's thoughts. If anything, Sarge's unchanging demeanor should have been enough to reassure him but he spoke anyway.

"We have film of what he's capable of. He's playing games!" he barked.

Once the information broker was restrained, what little light the room had was cut. As quickly as the lights went, the unit that transported Merse followed. Only the distant clanging of approaching footsteps warned the black cat of what was coming. That was assuming he was even alive to hear those footsteps.

He was.
@Liaison The movies? probably not. But Disney owns marvel now, and their comics just don't sell like they use to.


Comics, in general, do not sell "like they use to." Any attempt at correlating sales and Disney's "agenda" since ownership is unreliable. Especially since every comic was failing in the 90s for marvel besides Spiderman and the X-Men.
I'm not quite sure why we're talking about star wars in a thread about expanding horizons, as there are plenty of better places to do that.

However...

The primary reason why Disney star wars/Disney Marvel/etc is doing poorly is because of the movement to make politically correct media. It's fine to have minority/female characters, but they work too hard at trying to make them perfect and flawless (AKA, the biggest writing sin ever). Rey is a hard core mary sue. Anikin had to actually learn how to use the force, and Rey just beats someone who was personally taught by luke with zero training. She also just "finds" Luke's lightsaber in a random pub. Not "A" lightsaber, LUKES lightsaber! Anyway, I could rant about this for hours, but other people have done this for me, in less time.


Disney Marvel is not doing poorly by any means.

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