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Still no internet. Hopefully it’ll be resolved soon.

Lyger sat perched atop the satellite array just above the bridge of the Pelican Breeze. The large cargo ship which sat in the Crown Ridge harbor was a hive of activity. From his vantage point, he had seen Rabbit himself greet not only high ranking members of the Disciples, a ruthless street gang that had been growing in power on the West Side, but also Fedor Petrov, the second in command of the Russian mafia, the Bratva, which had been operating in relative silence within not only Crown Ridge, but also Lost Haven, Boston, New York and Baltimore. Rabbit and the men seemed to be in good spirits, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries, however, at the same time there was a palpable tension that permeated the air. These men did not trust one another, and they were all anxious to get this meeting over with. After a few minutes on the main deck, Rabbit lead the others down a set of stairs leading to another cargo area below deck, and out of Lyger's view.

Lyger moved from the satellite array to one of the large cranes that sat on the main deck of the cargo ship, surveying the layout of the ship itself, as well as the placement of men along the deck. He needed to get down to the lower deck, but he had to do it quietly. If he was spotted, the men guarding the ship would sound the alarm, and he would not only lose the element of surprise, but most likely he would lose Rabbit, and chances were, it would be a long, long time before he would be able to track the mobster down again.

From atop of the crane, Lyger continued to survey the landscape of the ship. There, he counted nearly two dozen armed men on the top deck. Six of whom were stationed on the forecastle, with the others scattered throughout the deck. Fortunately for him, the majority of the men were scattered about the ship's deck. At the moment, there were only two men standing near the stairwell which led below deck. Unfortunately, they were facing one another, making it impossible for him to slip undetected into the lower deck. Silently, Lyger moved from his position along the crane, and when he was directly above the two men guarding the stairwell to the lower deck, he struck. He dropped down just behind the men, and before they could react, he slammed their heads together, knocking both men unconscious. Then, he made use of a new device that Echo had manufactured for him. She called it a Zip Restraint, though, both agreed that the device needed a better name. The device could be attached to someone, and much like one of his grapple lines, once activated it would propel the subject skyward, and leave them dangling from whatever object it attached itself to. In this case, the girders of the crane which loomed overhead.

Nice job Ash. He thought to himself as he watched the two henchmen soar skyward and come to a rest dangling just below the crane. With the two men out of the way, he slipped down the stairs which led to the lower deck.

Rabbit and the others were gathered below deck. With them, were large crates of what Lyger could only guess were weapons or drugs, or possibly even both. Unfortunately, Lyger's source was a bit foggy on exactly what it was that was being exchanged at this particular meeting. Ultimately, what it was really didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was making sure that nothing in the crates made it off of the boat. As Lyger quietly descended the stairs, careful not to alert the others of his presence, he was able to see what he was up against.

Rabbit and the others stood in groups all facing one another. Had they trusted one another, and not had all their attention focused on what the others were doing, one of them may have spotted Lyger as he used a grapple line to ascend into the rafters.

“This better be worth my time, Rabbit. I'm busy man.” Fedor Petrov said in intentionally broken English. Although the Russian spoke perfect English, he found that sometimes playing to stereotypes worked to his advantage.

“Oh, I assure you it is.” Rabbit told the Russian, though it was clear that he was speaking to everyone in attendance.

“Prove it.” The Disciple interjected.

“Darius, have I ever let you down?” Rabbit replied.

“Don't let this be the first time.”

“Enough of this. What you bring us?” Fedor interjected. “We all very busy men, no?"

“What I bring you,” Rabbit responded, clearly annoyed and possibly insulted by the exchange, though he would never show it. “Is the next generation of high caliber urban weaponry.” He said as he motioned for one of his guards to open a crate. Once the crate was open, Rabbit took one of the weapons from it and began to show it off.

Lyger's eyes went wide as he saw the weapon that was pulled from the crate. The gun itself was slightly larger than an AK-47, and matte black. From where he was, he could see a digital display on the side, though he couldn't make out what it was for. The barrel of the gun was shorter than the typical assault rifle, and just a bit wider. The weapon itself was oddly familiar, and he knew exactly where he had seen it before, or at least a more primitive version– It looked to be the next generation of the weapons that the street gang The Demons had used in the assault on the Lost Haven University Fall Carnival some time back. Those weapons had proven to be devastatingly effective, and as much as he was loath to say it, had it not been for War-Pulse's intervention, the death toll would have been far worse. These weapons could not be allowed to leave the ship, and Lyger was determined to do whatever he it took to ensure that they did not.

“Armor piercing ammunition is a thing of the past. This beauty fires an exclusive plasma bolt that will burn through any armor, flesh, bone...whatever. Once this baby is through with you, there won't be enough left to identify you with dental records.” Rabbit boasted.

“How much?” Darius asked evenly.

“For the Deathbringer, a steal at two million. A piece.”

“That's a” Darius said before a momentary pause. “But if this thing does what you say, it might just be worth it.”
“That is scary name, but steep price with just your word. How about a demonstration?” Fedor added.

“You want a demonstration? I absolutely agree. Naturally, we can't do it here. I'm sure you understand.” Rabbit told the men. “We'll go to the pier, and then you'll have your demonstration. Then...then we can do business.”

From his hiding place, Lyger reached into a small pouch in his uniform and produced a small device, another of Echo's new toys. With little time to waste, Lyger pressed the activation switch on the device, and it emitted a quiet hum, and then went silent. The device released a localized electromagnetic pulse which fried all electronics within the target area, and within seconds, the ship went dark.
As darkness blanketed the ship, Lyger made his move. He lept from his hiding place and struck at Darius with a stiff roundhouse kick which connected to the big man's chin. A splash of blood and teeth flew from his mouth as the large man landed in a heap on the floor.
Then panic set in.

One of Rabbit's body guards reached for his gun and began shooting wildly in all directions. However, the bullets struck the metal hull of the ship and began to ricochet.

“Stop shooting you fucking moron!” Rabbit shrieked as a bullet struck one of Fedor's guards. However, the panicked bodyguard squeezed off several more shots before the words of his employer registered.

By then, it was too late.

One of the bullets struck the container which held the plasma bolts which gave the Deathbringer its devastating firepower. When the bullet hit the plasma rounds, an explosion rocked the cargo ship, causing it to list to one side, while also ripping through the hull. Once the hull was breached, water began to pour in from the gaping hole and began filling the ship.


Several minutes had passed since the explosion. While the explosion had caused the lower deck to fill with water, the ship itself was too large to sink to the bottom of the harbor. However, both the cargo and those on board the ship had been flushed out through the hole that was left in the side of the hull after the explosion.

Lyger reached the edge of the pier and tossed the unconscious body of Darius up onto dry land, before pulling himself up. After securing the thug to a near by lamp post, Lyger took a moment to consider what had just happened.

Rabbit was gone. So was Fedor Petrov.

While he was frustrated at his inability once again to put Rabbit behind bars, he had destroyed the weapons that he had been peddling. While it wasn't the victory that he had wanted, it was, nonetheless a victory. And he was reminded of something that Harry had once told him.

Sometimes it's the small victories that are important.
Welcome aboard Super Meteor

For Slipstream, the weeks following the downfall of the Hounds of Humanity seemed to move at a breakneck speed. First, the Iron Knight himself had practically showed up on her doorstep in Pacific Point with an offer to join the newly minted superhero team that had been formed following the battle in Lost Haven.

The Guardians.

Though she was new to the whole superhero thing, and she had reservations about her readiness to join such an exclusive club, she reluctantly accepted. She had no way to know what joining this team of elite heroes would mean for her future, but she agreed to join because she thought that maybe being around the likes of Arthur and the others, she might learn a thing or two, and eventually truly earn her place on the squad.

However, even the excitement her inclusion in this new team wasn’t enough to chase the memories of the horrors that she had seen while battling the Hounds of Humanity. The images of those executed in the killing rooms in the lower levels of the Hounds base just outside of Pacific Point were burnt into her memory. She could still smell the sickly copper smell of the blood that had pooled on the floor, and the faces of the terrified victims locked in cages awaiting their own executions was something that she would never be able to forget, no matter how hard she tried.

So like she had done before when things got to be too much, she ran. Up and down the California coast she went, stopping little crimes here and there, helping people when she could. She immersed herself in being a hero, trying to keep herself so occupied that the memories of what she saw maybe haunted her a little less.

But she was still new to this life. She was still raw. Which was probably why the Iron Knight had reached out to her about going to Upstate New York where she could get some training. Arthur had pitched it as “summer camp for supers,” where she would be able to learn combat skills as well as more about her powers, and what they can really do.

Of course, she agreed.

Though she couldn’t really spend too much time away from her life in Pacific Point, as she had events to plan and she had been booked to photograph several events in the PacPoint and Los Angeles areas, she did what people in her line of work do...she found a compromise. She would take advantage of her supersonic speed, and go to the farm first thing in the morning, and return home at night. It was almost like commuting to work each day...from three thousand miles away.

When Slipstream first arrived to the farm, which sat on about ten acres in Upstate New York and was located just off of a little traveled side road, she didn’t know what to expect. The farm itself was full of green fields and had a single story stone house which sat on the property, which was also dotted with various fruit trees. As she made her way to the house, she noticed that there was a wintershed attached to the house, and a greenhouse not far from that. As she made her way toward the house, she saw that there were well tended vegetable gardens around the side of the house, and just as she was thinking about how she wished that there was a place for a vegetable garden at her apartment in Pacific Point, something else made its presence known.

Making its way around the side of the house was a young goat, no larger than a medium sized dog. When Slipstream made eye contact with the animal, she smiled and waved at the young animal.

“Hi there.” She said suppressing a laugh.

However, the young goat just cocked its head as it stared at her, and then let out a shriek.

“BBBBAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” The goat bellowed as it lowered its head and charged her. Taken completely by surprise by the goats sudden advancement, she just stood there, thinking that it would back off. However, the goat did not, in fact, it picked up speed as it raced toward her.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Slipstream said to herself as she sidestepped the rampaging juvenile goat. Undeterred, the goat turned on her, and charged again, only to have Slipstream once again avoid its rush. “Hey, cut that out!” Slipstream said with a laugh as she again avoided the goat’s charge for a third time.

Leanna heard one of her kids agitate, and a girl’s voice, and came around the corner, a chicken under one arm that she had been carrying back to the coop after having escaped. She stood stock still when she saw the clear metahuman outfit. One sharp whistle and a call of “George, stop that,” and the little goat took off around her and back towards the pens. She gave him a boot as he passed. Her violet eyes gave the costume a once over, and she brushed black hair behind an ear with her free hand.

“Can I help you with something, Miss…?” The silent answer for a name hung on the end of a sentence, but Leanna sounded anything but polite. She set the chicken down, eyes never leaving the stranger.

“Slipstream.” She replied awkwardly. “Um...I think this is the right place, Iron Knight sent me for training….god, I’m not sure this is the right place, he said you’d be expecting me. I’m so sorry.” She trailed off as she was about ready to leave the ornery woman before she wore out her welcome.

“Oh that asshole,” Leanna rolled her eyes, put a hand on her hip, and plucked at her clothes. She was wearing overalls and a white tanktop, having planned only to be working all day.

“He probably meant to call and let me know and then got busy with whatever rich people get busy with. If you’re here for the program, however, you are definitely in the right place. I’ve got a couple of forms I need you to sign, especially now that you’ve seen me without my costume on at my house, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Come inside. You want tea or coffee? You eaten yet today?” Without giving the heroine a chance to respond, she turned a heel in her work boots and headed towards the closer back door, kicking a cardboard box she had been emptying out of the way of the second gate around the corner that kept the chickens in the yard.

“Got both,” she called behind her as she walked. “Plus eggs. No bacon, we don’t do that here, can’t stand the stuff, but we’ve got greens, potatoes, and a bit of leftover steak from last night I think.” Despite the ‘we’, it was clear that she was the only one here by the way she moved. Confident, owning every step she took on her own property, without worrying what another might think.

“Tea, thanks. Coffee makes me jittery.” Slipstream said shyly as her stomach let out a slight growl. “And yeah, I could definitely go for whatever you’ve got.” She finished as she followed the woman into the house.

The inside was, while not messy, also not tidy, as living on a farm required certain concessions to animals. Including the bear of an Irish wolfhound who barrelled up to the newcomer until her owner caught her round the chest and picked her up like she was a feather. “She’s fine, Smoky, she’s fine.” The dog got set down again and this time did the shy hello sniifs instead.

The back door had led into the kitchen, floored in echoing hardwood and full of a cozy atmosphere. The smell of fresh coffee hung in the air, put Leanna stepped lightly around a counter and gestured to the little round table with four chair in the dining area as she picked a steel kettle off of her stove and set about filling it with water. Once she had it on, she opened a drawer, fished out a manilla envelope, and slapped it on the table in front of her guest.

“Most of this,” she explained as she busied herself fixing a plate for the girl, “is standard government NDA. you don’t go public with anyone’s identities you may discover due to accident, like earlier, on the farm. You don’t talk about this place even to other heroes without clearance from STRIKE, although now I dunno how you’d get it. Maybe someone at the FBI is handling it now?” She paused. There had been a tremor in her voice for a second. She sniffed and continued.

“While here you follow my rules. Anything I say goes. If I say you’re out of line, you get back inside the lines or I kick your ass. Are you a minor?”

Slipstream listened to the woman go over the rules of the house even as the massive dog Smokey continued to press against her with her nose, making a loud sniffing sound. When Slipstream had agreed to do this, she had no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t this.

“Of course, I’d never reveal anyone’s secret identity.” She responded to the woman’s first rule. “No, not a minor.” She answered as she looked over the paperwork.


STRIKE, or whoever is in charge now that they’ve been wiped out?

What has she gotten herself into?

Leanna caught the slight hesitation in the girl’s voice and slammed her hand on the counter, accompanied by a string of expletives, then came around and sat down opposite Slipstream.

“I am sorry, hon, he didn’t tell you a damn thing about this place did he?” She shook her head, then continued. “My job here is to train heroes to be heroes. I took a bad hit a while back, but I wanted to at least help out, so I volunteered. The government, notably my former associates at STRIKE, helped me buy this farm and I went back to school for a while, but I’m mostly here to help you become better at your job. Usually I get a couple of heroes here at once, hence the ID protection issue.”

“Oh jeez, I got so upset I didn’t even introduce myself. My name’s Leanna Young, but most people in the biz call me Blacklight. I used to run with Icon and Iron Knight and a few others when they were up-and-comers. I’m pretty old, as far as news goes, I guess.”She held out a hand for a shake, and offered a conciliatory smile.

Slipstream was taken aback by the woman’s sudden change in tone, even as she met the woman’s offer for a handshake. It was true that apparently Iron Knight hadn’t really told her anything about where he was sending her, but she somehow knew that it wasn’t because he had been setting her up, it was most likely due to absent mindedness. Then, when Slipstream had been able to process the woman’s introduction, it hit her like a ton of bricks.

“You’re Blacklight?” She asked, then continued without taking a breath. “You were in Lost Haven when we fought the Hounds...You’re a badass!” she said, her sudden excitement was evidenced by her refusal, or more accurately, her inability to stop shaking her hand. “I’m Amanda, it’s sooo good to meet you.”

Leanna threw her head back with a throaty laugh. “Oh, hon, no, I am far from a badass at this point. That was my first action in five years, and if they hadn’t-” She caught herself.

“That’s the point here. You see all the famous guys, and how ‘cool’ they are on the media outlets, and you think that it’s all fun and games and looking good. And it is that. Sometimes.” She stood up, heading back to the kitchen. There was a pause, and then the slap of meat on a skillet and the sudden smell of frying steak.

“But that’s not all there is. There’s the times where it’s you and the people you may have never met, in the shit. People are screaming, and dying, and there’s nothing you can do yet because you’ve got[ to wait for the right moment. And it tears your heart apart. Or the times where you’ve got to make the decision between the bus or the train because you’ve only got enough time to save one. Those are the times that actually stick with you. Those are the times where you find out that being a hero means not freezing, not panicking, just doing what you can for as many people as you can and living with what happens after. That’s what I’m here to do. Help you deal with what will come later, and make sure you don’t freeze when civilians need you.”

She slid back around the counter and put a plate on top on the papers in front of Amanda. It was loaded with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, half a ribeye, and a mound of chopped carrots and mushrooms. She settled back to watch the girl, waited until she had picked up her fork and taken her first mouthful, and then grinned. “Also, I shouldn’t know your name is Amanda, hon. You’re gonna have to work that one off.”

Slipstream listened to Leanna speak as she took in her first mouthfull of food. It had been hours since she’d last eaten, and due to her quickened metabolism, she was starving. Everything that the older woman said made sense to her, that there is more to being a hero than going out and doing cool things. There was the guilt that you felt because of the ones you can’t save, it was a guilt that she was more than familiar with. It was a guilt that she felt every single time she looked into the mirror.

Then Leanna’s last words registered between bites of ribeye.

“Wait, what?”

“Oh, yes. You slipped up bad and told me your real name. You’ll note that that’s not even required on those forms you’ve still got to fill out.” Leanna sat back, looking like a cat that had thoroughly trapped her prey and was now just toying with it. “So, Amanda, what powers make you a heroine?”

“Oh…” Amanda said as Leanna called her out on her slip up. She hadn’t meant to give Leanna her real name, it just happened once the woman had introduced herself. Maybe she had been caught up by the woman’s sudden hospitality, she wasn’t sure. The only thing she was sure about was that it wouldn’t happen again.

“What powers make me a heroine?” Amanda repeated thoughtfully, then she sat silent for several moments as she thought about her answer.

Finally she answered.

“I’m not a heroine. I’m just someone who was given this power, this speed...I’m just someone trying to make a difference.”

The grin spread wider. “Damn, girl. I was asking what powers you have. So you’re a Speedy Gonzales, then? That explains why you ate a full dinner for breakfast. Alright, young lady, in that case you can help me around the farm today, since you have disturbed my schedule anyway. Fill out your forms, and then I need all the eggs out of the coop, Gwenyth and Shelly milked, and the tomatoes out of the garden and the early peaches out of my peach tree. And before you run off, I need you to know that if any of my animals are hurt, or a single leaf is torn off of my plants, I will run you right up into the upper atmosphere and see how long you can hold your breath before I have to get you back, got it? Any questions about how to do those things?”

Slipstream sat at the table slack-jawed as Leanna gave her the list of chores that had to be done after she had filled out the proper forms, as well as the repercussions that she’d face if she screwed it up in the least.

“Um...yeah.” She replied as she wolfed down the last of her food.

“All of it.”
stuff coming soon
Thought I was gonna have a post up tonight and then I forgot to email the stuff I did during work today

Hey, it happens. No worries, lol

The Next Morning

Scott and Alexa had spent a restless night keeping watch over Seline and Sophie. The girls had been terrified of what this man, Etoile would do to them should he find him, and they were convinced that no matter where they went, they would never be able to get out of his reach. Although both Scott and Alexa were more than confident that they could handle this monster and his minions, they took extra precautions in order to assure the sisters that they were safe. Scott had offered to stay awake and keep watch in order to ensure that no harm would come to the girls. Though he honestly believed that the danger had passed, at least momentarily, he was happy to do whatever he could in order to give the two sisters peace of mind. Alexa had agreed with this line of thought, and offered to take the second watch.
And as they had expected, the rest of the night had been uneventful.
Alexa sat on the lush couch in the living room of the hotel suite, looking out the big picture window that overlooked the city. She watched as the sun rose over Paris, the Eiffel Tower casting a long shadow in its wake. She was somewhat mesmerized by the view, and was slightly startled when Scott appeared next to her, offering her a cup of coffee.

“Morning.” He said to her with a boyish grin.

“Morning.” She repeated as she took the coffee from him, then taking a long sip from the cup. After a moment she looked back to Scott and asked, “So, what do we do now?”

“I don't know. We have to do something. We can't just send them on their way, Etoile will find them, and we know what will happen then.” Scott said darkly.

“Right.” Alexa said with a pause. “Well, we have another problem.”

“What's that?” Scott asked.

“I'm starving, and we have no food.” Alexa said with a smirk.

“Yeah, that's a problem.” Scott agreed jokingly. “Why don't I run to the bakery and get some pastries for breakfast, then we can figure out our next move.” Scott said slightly more serious.

“Yeah, that's a good idea.” Alexa concurred.

“Yeah, I'll be back in a little bit. Stay out of trouble.” Scott said. He then bent down and kissed Alexa on the top of her head, before retreating back into the bedroom to gather his wallet and keys, and then left the hotel suite.


Twenty Minutes Later...

The smell of coffee wafted throughout the spacious suite, filling ever corner with its delightful aroma. The pleasant odor was enough to stir Seline and Sophie from their restless slumbers and draw them to the kitchen, where they found Alexa brewing a fresh pot. Sophie entered the kitchen first, with her older sister following close behind. Sophie approached the counter where Alexa stood and reached for a box of danishes, and when she realized it was empty tossed it aside.

“Morning.” Alexa said to the girls as she poured them each a cup of coffee. “I don't know how you like it, sugar's in the cabinet over the stove, creamer's in the fridge.”

“Where's Scott?” Seline asked after taking a drink of her coffee.

“He went to get breakfast. He should be back soon.” Alexa told him.

“Good, I'm starving.” Sophie chimed in as she loaded her coffee with more sugar than Alexa had ever seen anyone put into anything...ever.

“Hey, slow down there. You're one sugar cube away from a foot amputation.” Alexa joked before taking a sip from her second coffee of the morning.

No sooner had Sophie taken a sip of her sugary concoction and there was a knock on the door. Alexa stepped away from the counter and made her way to the suite's front door. Sophie and Seline both looked uneasy, but Alexa smiled to reassure them.

“Scott must have forgot his key.” She said with a smirk as she opened the door. However, much to her surprise, it was not Scott who greeted her on the other side of the door. Instead it was a man that she had not seen before, a man with sharp features and a slight beard. The man looked completely normal save for his eyes, which were almost otherworldly. Large silver eyes with a thin black line which encircled where his pupils should have been. Alexa wasn't able to say anything before the man and his thugs forced their way into the hotel suite and backed her and the girls into a corner.

“Prends les.” He said as he motioned to his minions to take the girls.

“Back off.” Alexa ordered the men as a small current of electricity began to bounce between her fingers. She didn't know anything about the Etoile or his men, and she really didn't care. She and Scott had taken it upon themselves to protect the sisters, and that was exactly what Alexa planned to do. However, as she was preparing to strike, she heard the sounds of little feet running down the hallway of the hotel, and she remembered where she was. She knew that this hotel was full of vacationers and she was suddenly aware of the cost of a public confrontation with these monsters. She knew that these men did not care who got hurt, so long as they got what they wanted. So she relented.

“It'll be okay.” She whispered to Sophie and Seline. Wherever Etoile was taking them, he would be taking her as well, and she knew that the girls would be safer if she was with them.


Scott returned to the suite as promised with a box of fresh pastries from a small bakery just down the street that he had seen while he had been exploring the city on his own. When he slid his key card into the lock and opened the door, he was surprised by how quiet it was.

“Babe?” He called as he stepped inside the suite, and as he had suspected, it was empty. He first went back into the kitchen and placed the box of baked goods down on the counter, which is when he noticed the practically full cup of coffee sitting there, nearly untouched. Something was wrong, that much was clear, but what had happened was a mystery.

Then, his phone began to ring. He pulled the phone out of his pocket and looked at the caller ID. When he saw that it was Alexa calling, a wave of relief washed over him.

“Hey Babe, where'd you go?” Scott asked as he answered the phone.

“Hello 'Babe.'” A stranger's voice, a man's voice replied.

“Etoile.” Scott replied, his tone growing darker. “If you-”

“You will bring me what I want, or I will kill them all. Then I will come for you.” Etoile cut him off.

“If you've hurt them...” Scott began.

“I assure you, they are fine. For now. However, that may change at any moment, depending on you.”

“Let me talk to Alexa, I want to know that she's alright.” Scott ordered.

“You're in no position to be making demands. Bring me the Divinity Shard, and they might make it out of this alive.” Etoile told him. “5350 Rue de Saint-Simon. If you do not bring me what I want, I will kill them all. Beginning with your Alexa.”

“Etoile-” Scott began before being cut off again.

“You have two hours. Do not be late.” Etoile said before ending the call.

Scott stood alone in the hotel suite staring at the phone in his hand, unable to believe what had just happened. He blamed himself for the predicament that he found himself in.

I never should have left them. He thought to himself as he put the phone back in his pocket and began to make his way into the bedroom. He knew Alexa, and was sure that she was more than capable of handling Etoile on her own. However, he also knew that she must have had her reasons for allowing herself to be taken. It must have been the only way. In the bedroom, Scott went into the closet and began going through his bags, until he came to the one that he was looking for, a simple nondescript black suitcase. However, when he opened it, there was nothing ordinary about the contents. The familiar blue and silver uniform of Icon.

“I guess there are perks to flying on a private jet after all.” He said to himself as he took the uniform from the case.


Etoile had made a grave mistake. He had underestimated Scott and Alexa. His overconfidence had caused him to tell Scott exactly where to find him, and when he will be there. However, Scott was not going to wait the two hours that Etoile had given him, he was going to go to the address now. And unfortunately for Etoile, it wouldn't be just some random American tourist who showed up on his doorstep, but one of the most recognizable people on the planet.

Icon soared through the skies above Paris toward the address that Etoile had given him. It didn't take him long to find where Etoile had been hiding. It was an upscale art gallery inside a large windowless brick building. The sign that hung from the doorway read Galerie de Lumière. Icon circled above the building for several moments, in order to get an idea of what he was walking into. Although both he and Alexa were more than capable of taking care of themselves, Seline and Sophie were both in real danger. As he flew above the building he closed his eyes and concentrated. He tapped into his ability to use echolocation, an ability that his little sister Jenny had dubbed his “Radar Sense” to locate just where the girls are being held.

He almost immediately had a hit.

Within the building he was able to pinpoint a large spacious area. There were numerous objects in the cavernous room, and he could sense that there were several objects inside huddled together, which were different than some of the other objects. They gave off a different frequency than the other, harder objects which Icon had assumed were works of art, sculptures and statues and the like. These objects were organic, and they seemed to move slightly.

They were human.

“Got you.” Icon said to himself with a grin as he altered his course, quickly descending toward the building.

Inside the art gallery, Alexa found herself bound to a chair in the corner of a large open room. Both Sophie and Seline were there with her, bound in a similar fashion while the criminal Etoile and his men stood guard. The walls of the building were covered with some of the finest art outside of The Louvre. There were a number of paintings that she had recognized, though, there was something odd about them. Many of the paintings had been thought lost to history. She immediately recognized famous works such as “Man with a Pipe” and “The Just Judges,” however, they were mixed in with a number less famous pieces.

However, Alexa was less concerned with the paintings than she was with getting out of the predicament she had found herself in. As Etoile conversed with his thugs, Alexa was working on getting out of her bonds. While her captors were not looking, Alexa had been using a small, barely noticeable electrical discharge to “cut” away at the rope bound her. It was a tedious process, however, it was her best option at the moment to ensure the safety of the sisters. She just needed a bit of patience, and with any luck, a bit of a distraction and she would be able to get free and get the girls to safety.

She didn't have to wait long.

Suddenly, there was a loud crash, and an explosion of brick and mortar that filled the room with dust and debris. There was an almost otherworldly silence in the room as the shock of the sudden impact, and as the dust began to settle, the familiar form of a blue and silver clad hero stood amongst the destruction.

“You boys really screwed up, you know that?” Alexa taunted as she freed herself from her bindings.

The room then exploded in red and green flashes of light as Etoile and his men sent deadly mystical energies toward Icon. The streams of magical energy hit Icon square in the chest, neck, and torso. However, much to the surprise of Etoile and the others, the mystical bombardment had little effect on the hero.

“Ouch.” Icon said as he brushed off the assault and continued toward the men.

Now free from her restraints, Alexa walked up behind one of Etoile's men, who was distracted by the sight of Icon approaching him. He was so distracted, that he never detected Alexa making her way toward him. The man was so startled by her sudden appearance, that he jumped and let out an audible cry when she put her hand on his shoulder. When Alexa touched the man, she released an electrical discharge that stunned the man, knocking him to his knees. Then a second jolt of electricity rendered the man unconscious.

“Stay down, Jackass.” She said as she stepped away from the man, and went over to release Seline and Sophie from their bonds.

Etoile took a step back as he saw Icon continue to advance on him, and with a wave of his hand, a strange white light engulfed his two remaining henchmen. The two men then began to writhe in pain as their bodies began to twist and writhe, the sounds of bones breaking and joints popping filled the room as the men began to grow in size, their bodies taking on new, monstrous forms. Etoile's men had been transformed from two unassuming men to a pair of massive gargoyle like beings. Large, stone-like wings grew from their backs. Their faces were twisted and deformed, until they wore a dragon-like visage with gaping maws full of razor sharp teeth.

”Well, that's new.” Icon said shaking his head in disbelief. He then launched himself at the first of the creatures, connecting to its jaw with his fist.

Icon laid into the first creature, hitting it with a series of punishing punches that knocked the beast down to a knee. However, before he could hit it with a finishing blow, the second creature was on him, wrapping him up in its massive arms and squeezing with everything that it had. Icon grabbed the monster's wrists and began pulling them apart, in an effort to get free from its grasp. Just as he was about to pull himself free, the other creature pounced. It struck at Icon with its blade-like claws and gnashing teeth. The sudden attack kept the hero off balance, forcing him back. However, Icon rebounded, hitting the attacking monstrosity with a hard right hand which glowed with a blue-green energy that crackled when it connected with the side of the beast's head. A second such strike rocked the beast, sending it again to its knees. Then Icon clasped his hands together and struck the beast again, hitting the beast with the back of his fist with a powerful ax-handle strike which fell the beast. As the beast lay still, it began to transform again, this time back into the form of a human.

Icon didn't have time to revel in this small victory, as the second beast charged him, grabbing him by the throat and driving him through a support beam. Without relenting on its grip, the beast then ran through the gallery at a full sprint and threw Icon through the wall. The hero landed in a pile of bricks on the concrete sidewalk outside of the building. The sudden emergence of the hero, as well as the gargoyle-like monster that had attacked him sent the numerous residents and tourists alike, scattering away from the scene of the disturbance.

Icon immediately got to his feet, and almost as fast, he again left them, as he drove his shoulder hard into the beast's midsection, sending it crashing back into the gallery. Icon moved around the creature at a great rate of speed, peppering the beast with a vast array of punches and blows which staggered the creature.

“Cela ne fera pas, cela ne fera pas du tout.” Etoile said to himself as his monster minion fell, crashing to the floor. It had barely begun to return to its human form when Etoile made a circular motion with his right hand, opening a portal in which he stepped through, before closing it again.


Several minutes had passed before the Parisian police force had arrived on the scene of the disturbance and quickly set out to secure the scene. An officer was taking a statement from Alexa, who was telling the officer everything that he needed to know, when Icon approached them.

“Excuse me.” Icon said to the officer. “Miss Winstone, I just wanted to make sure you were alright. I'm sure that this must have been...quite the ordeal.”

Alexa just laughed.

“Listen Big Guy, living in Lost Haven, this is just a Tuesday.” She told him.

“I guess you're right. Well, have a good day, miss. Icon said before taking to the skies, leaving the bystanders in awe as he flew out of sight.


Scott and Alexa stood in front of the Le Grande Peninsula Hotel with Sophie and Seline as they said their goodbyes. The two sisters had expressed their gratitude for everything that Scott and Alexa had done for them, as well as remorse that they would never be able to repay the debt. Alexa and Scott had dismissed that talk as nonsense, and let the girls know that they would gladly do it again.

“If you ever need anything, you know how to reach us.” Alexa told Seline.

“Anything at all.” Scott reiterated.

“We should probably get going. We have a lot to do.” Seline said. “We still have to bury our family.” She said with a deep sadness that hadn't been there before, almost as if the weight of what had happened, and how their lives had been changed was finally just hitting them. Seline leaned into Scott and gave him a long hug, and then embraced Alexa.

Sophie then followed suit. After they said their goodbyes, Sophie and Seline left Scott and Alexa standing there in front of the hotel as they walked away down the street, until finally, they had disappeared from view completely. Scott and Alexa just stood there for several more moments in silence, looking in the general direction that their new friends had gone, until Scott finally broke the silence.

“You think they're going to be okay?” He asked.

“Yeah, I think so. They're strong, I think they'll be just fine.” Alexa answered.

“You're paying for the funerals, aren't you?”

“Yep.” Alexa confirmed. “And Scott...”

“Yes?” He answered.

“If you ever call me 'Miss' again, I'm gonna kick your ass.” She said with a hint of laughter in her voice.

“I understand, miss.” He replied with a teasing laugh of his own.

“That's enough out of you. We should get upstairs, you have a lot of packing to do. We leave for Skopelos first thing.”

Alright guys, knock it off.

Ded, I see what you're saying, but she clearly wasn't using that bit of the folklore in the post, and where this is more or less a PG-13ish setting, I wouldn't expect that to be a part of it.

Trix, I'm sorry that you were made to feel uncomfortable to the point of having to change the post.

Let's have some common sense guys, I don't want to see something like this happen again, either here or in the Discord.
<Snipped quote by Dedonus>

Odette isn't gonna have sex with a satyr you-you weirdo...!

Are any of us really surprised by the way this conversation went, and who it came from? I know I'm not...
spiderverse makes me wish i made a more regular cape. it was so fucking good.

It’s never too late 🤪
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