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I am either going to deeply regret this or only slightly regret this.

I'm interested.

Location and Time: Hub City, Illinois - 6:02 PM
Issue #3: Rust

Interaction(s): None

Stepping out of WWNN and onto the frigid streets of Hub City, I reach into my pockets to pluck a smoke in between my lips. Sparking my lighter and igniting the cigarette, I take a long drag and exhale the smoke with a heaving sigh. Ever since the transfer my work has felt more and more pointless. I once envisioned a career as a respected journalist who blew the lid off mob activities and corporate corruption in Chicago and the surrounding area, but now I'm stuck in the ass end of Illinois. No one here cares about corruption. This place is a nightmare, something out of my darkest thoughts: a world where everyone is either in on evil or willingly ignorant of it. The thought makes me sick to my stomach.

I flick the cigarette onto the sidewalk and hop into my car. I need a drive to think things over. Roscoe hasn't gotten back to me in the last few days so I've got nothing to do. Maybe I could see about patrolling the city, finding crimes in progress and foiling them. The way Hub City is, though, that wouldn't be too hard to do; can't take two steps without some local undesirable trying to rob you or kill you or rape you. If you're lucky, he'll try to do all three.

It only takes a couple of minutes of driving around slowly before I spy a young man holding a middle aged guy at gunpoint at the mouth of an alleyway. I park my car a block away and get out, not bothering to put on my mask. This is too small for me to need it. As I near the alley I hear the two of them speaking. "It's your money or your life, old man! I don't wanna kill you but I will!" the robber yells.

The other man snorts. "Please. You don't have the balls to shoot me." I almost laugh hearing that. This guy's either stupid as hell or confident as hell. Let's hope it's the latter.

"What did you just say to me you stupid fuck?" the kid shouts. I round the corner now, and see him pressing the barrel of the gun against the middle aged man's face.

"Didn't you hear him?" I say. The middle aged man's eyes glide towards me while the robber turns his whole body to face me. "He said you haven't got the balls."

"Who the fuck are you?" He levels the gun at me and I stare down the barrel. "I'll kill you too, man! Don't fuck with me!"

I catch a look in the old man's eyes that tell me he's about to do something stupid. I decide to back his play. "Come on, you pansy. I haven't got all night. Make it fast." I step forward slowly...

The old man makes his move, grabbing the robber's gun arm and yanking it upwards. He fires the gun, the shot piercing the quiet evening and flying high up into the clouds. I run forward and leap into a dropkick that lands square on the robber's chest. He and I fall to the ground in sync as the older man lets go of the robber's gun arm. His pistol goes flying down the alley and under a dumpster.

I grunt as I pick myself up, dusting myself off. I rub my hip with a wince, taking that awful landing into account. Maybe I should forgo dropkicks in the future. "Shit, that hurts..."

"Not as much as it hurt him," the old man chuckles, glancing at his would-be mugger as he rolls around on the ground in pain. He turns to me and extends a hand. "Aristotle Rodor. Friends call me Tot. Thanks for the help there, mister, uh..."

I take his hand and shake it firmly. "Sage. Victor Sage. Not a problem."

He gives a hum in agreement. Looking down at the robber who's still writhing about and groaning in pain, Rodor gives him a quick kick to the ribs and then begins to walk away. "Nice meeting you Vic, but I really ought to get going. Got a long walk ahead of me."

"Where are you heading, Rodor? I could probably give you a lift."

He stops and considers it. As if figuring "what the hell" he shrugs and nods. "Sure, if you're willing. I live outside of town, near the rail yard."

"Can't imagine living down there being very good for your sleep. All the noise and whatnot," I remark, gesturing for Rodor to follow me to my car.

"You get used to it."

I get into the driver's seat of my VW as Rodor hops into the passenger's seat. I pull another smoke out from my pack and light it up, taking a long drag. Rodor winces and rolls down his window. "Not a fan of smoking?" I ask, rolling mine down as well.

"Of course not. It kills, you know."

"As I've been told many times in my life."

With a purr the engine comes to life and I begin driving Rodor home.
<Snipped quote by Inkarnate>

I mean, at that point just make a Wick-like story where Hawkeye or someone like that is part of the Assassin's Guild and wants out and goes on a rampage to do that

Bro I told you that in confidence don't go leaking my secret plans
I recently found out John Wick have their own comics, sooooooooooo I have the opportunity for a OC of mine and incorporate the Continental in Gotham under the Justice League or operate in New York under the Avengers

Sorry guy, OCs aren't allowed in this roleplay.

You ok my dude?

I think he was just showing his love by repeatedly thanking, unthanking, then thanking it again.
At this point I have to wonder if Wraith eats, drinks, and shits BBCode.

Location and Time: Hub City, Illinois - Two Days Later, 6:17 PM

Interaction(s): None
Previously: Divide

I give the old drunk a sharp shove and he lands ass first on the pavement. "What the fuck, Sage?" Roscoe asks, standing up and rubbing his rear end with a wince.

"You know exactly what the fuck, Roscoe. You sent me after some teenage wannabe thugs squatting in a warehouse? The hell happened to that drug racket you were babbling on about?" I pick him up off the ground by the collar, sticking my face inches away from his. Smelling the stale whiskey on his breath is almost enough to make me want to drop him, but this way I can clearly show how pissed off I am.

"Come on, you gotta... Start small on this sorta thing. You can't go right into the big leagues. I was tryin' to... Test you?" His words are uncertain, phrased like a question. I shake my head and growl in frustration.

"You had no damn clue what was going on in that warehouse, did you?"

"I... Wouldn't say that."

"Oh, so you lied to my face, is that it?"

"I... Yeah, okay? I did. I used to sleep in that warehouse Vic, those damn punks drove me off. I wanted you to get rid of 'em, y'know? You have to have a little sympathy in your heart!" At that, I pinch my nose, sigh, and release my grip on Roscoe's collar. He falls to the floor again with a grunt.

"One of these days I'm gonna kill you, you damn old coot..." I pull out my pack of cigarettes, pluck one in between my lips, light it, and take a drag. I blow out a puff of smoke into Roscoe's face and he gags.

"Jesus, Vic," he coughs out. "Those things kill, y'know?"

"So does that cheap booze you drink." I take another drag. "There anything else you want me to take care of, Roscoe? Maybe some other hobo stole your cardboard box."

Roscoe gives a snort, but I can tell there's something he's thinking about. "... Maybe. I overheard some guys talking when they were leaving a restaurant. I was in the alley next to it, you know, just minding my own business..."

"Digging through the trash?"

Roscoe sneers but otherwise doesn't deign to respond. "And these two guys walk out. They looked normal enough, but I couldn't help but hear them talking about their plans for tonight. Something about hitting Al's. You know the place?" I hum in acknowledgment. An old convenience store on O'Neil Street, run by this old guy named Al. Strangely, he says it's short for William. "Though they could have been talking about their buddy Al's or something..."

"Well, I'll check it out anyway. If you're wrong, I guess I'll only have myself to blame for listening to you again." I pull out my wallet and hand Roscoe a twenty. "Don't spend it all in one place."

He snatches the money greedily, hugging it tightly to his chest. "Thanks, Vic. You're a pain in the ass but at least you pay good." Sticking the money in his back pocket, Roscoe walks out of the alley and around the corner.

"Feeling's mutual. Bastard..." I sigh, then leave the alley myself. I check my watch: only 6:26. Guess I'll be staking out Al's for the next couple of hours. Getting into my car, I start it up and begin the drive to O'Neil Street.

The stakeout was, to put it simply, boring as all hell. It took all my willpower to not drive off and find something else. Part of me knew that this was going to amount to nothing, but I held out anyway, hoping against hope that this would be the time his info was completely correct. The hours ticked by slowly, ever so slowly, each second seeming to last days...

11:19 PM. I finish off the fourth and last energy drink I had brought, but at this point it's starting to feel like I've built up a resistance to them. If anything, the music playing is doing more to keep me going than any sort of caffeine. This one's an old favorite I first heard back in high school, and I feel myself bob my head back and forth to the beat. At least I've got something to keep me entertained.

11:20 PM. A beat up old hatchback pulls up to Al's. Two men step out, then slide on ski masks. Shit. Guess Roscoe was right after all. "Goddammit, of course it had to be during this one..." I kill the stereo. I wait until they head in, then turn the car off. I open the door and slide out. Time for some vigilante justice.

I stride slowly towards the store from across the street, peeking in through the windows. Between shelves of chips and other assorted snacks I can make out one of the men pulling a pistol on Al while the other heads around the counter to enter the register. Al, an older guy with balding gray hair and thick horn-rimmed glasses, simply rolls his eyes and sticks his hands in the air. Probably done this whole song and dance dozens of times in his life.

I pull the door open, a soft ding indicating my entrance to the robbers. The one with the gun spins around, setting his sights on me. Behind his mask, two blue eyes narrow at my own. "Who the hell are you?"

I raise my hands and put a slur into my voice, "Woah, like, take it easy, guy. I'm like, just here for a midnight snack, bro..." I slowly lower my hands and stare at him, squinting my eyes. Hopefully he underestimates me, thinks I'm some dumb stoner trying to get some snacks. "Yo, you guys are real, right? Did Jeff lace my shit?"

The gunman groans and steps forward, placing the barrel of his pistol against my head. "Back the fuck up, buddy. Turn around and leave, or I'm blowing your brains out all over the floor."

"Woah, easy, easy!" His elbow is locked as he points the gun at me. Bad idea. "I'll go, but like..." I make my move, grabbing his wrist with both hands and twisting the gun away. He shouts and fires, the bullet going wide and hitting a bag of Doritos which explodes, sending bits of nacho cheese chips and orange dust flying everywhere. Keeping my left hand on his wrist, I ram my right palm up into his elbow, a gnarly CR-CRACK! telling me all I need to know. Nasty break.

With a scream the gunman falls to the floor and his pistol disappears under the racks. I kick him in the chest, then sprint at the counter. Vaulting over it, I try to use the motion to kick the other robber in the chest. He manages to sidestep out of the way and I find myself landing on my back with a grunt. He raises a foot up to stomp on my face, but I roll away and right into Al. The old man falls on the floor with a shout of surprise.

I jump up onto my feet and catch a fist to the side of the head, sending me reeling back and right into the cash register. I steady myself, ducking under another wild punch before retaliating with a quick uppercut. His head snaps back from the force and I take the opportunity to tackle him, sending us both to the floor. As he struggles beneath my grasp, I raise my fist up and slam it hard onto his face once, twice, three times. Blood spurts from his nose and leaks out of his mask, and he groans before going limp underneath me.

I crawl off the second robber and look at Al, who has gotten up and is readjusting his glasses. "Thanks, I guess. But I was dealing with them. Didn't need you stepping in and messing shit up."

I shrug, glancing at him. "I was just in the area, figured I'd stop in and help like the good Samaritan I am. Not asking for thanks."

"Well you'll get none from me. Got a bullet in one of my racks. Gonna have to order a new one to replace it." He reaches for a phone and dials up 911. "Now get out of here, before the cops get here. I'll keep an eye on these two bozos."

"Don't have to tell me twice." With those words, I turn towards the door and make my leave.

Location and Time: Hub City, Illinois - New Years Eve, 11:34 PM
Issue #1: Divide

Interaction(s): None
Previously: None

The pulse pounding beat emanating from my stereo combined with the three energy drinks I had just chugged were enough to keep the adrenaline flowing through my blood. These back roads are empty, far away from everyone that's getting ready to watch the fireworks at Hubert Square. Part of me thinks that I could hit up the festivities when I'm done, but I have no time for those thoughts. Right now all I've got on my mind is a warehouse full of punks one of my contacts told me about. Some no-good gangsters squatting there, using it for drugs or weapons or whatever else I've got no clue, all my contact told me was that there was bad stuff going on there. I probably should take it with a grain of salt, after all Roscoe had a habit of hitting the sauce, but he's never steered me wrong before. This is much, much bigger than anything else he's brought me, though.

No time to doubt him though. I'm here. I pull my VW up to the warehouse, killing the stereo and grabbing the ski mask off the dashboard. Sliding it on and opening the car door, I step out and approach the side door of the warehouse. I open it slightly and peek in, gazing around and trying to gauge what's going on in here. Just dusty old boxes as far as the eye can see until... There. A group of men sitting around a table. Only a single light pierces the darkness of the warehouse, but from what little I can see I'm positive these are mobsters or some such. I can feel the cold dam of detachment that's been holding back my anxiousness begin to strain, begging to let loose. I haven't been this nervous since my first fist fight. I need to hit something, someone.

I keep a hold on my jacket tighter. No, give it a minute. Walk forward, announce your presence, give them a chance to surrender. Like a hero would. You're a hero, Sage, not some crazy vigilante. Continuing to hold back the building tension within myself with a snarl, I step forward into the single light so the thugs can see me. They continue sitting there until I see the motions of one nudging his buddy. Quickly, they all scramble from their seats and stare at me with apprehension. For a moment I wonder why I thought this would be smart as now one of them was definitely gonna shoot me. He spoke, "Y-yo, what do you want, man?! This is our t-turf!" The voice belonged to a teenager, and was that specific tone that indicated you were terrified yet still trying to be fearless.

Hearing his words, the growing tension within me died out slowly. I pieced it together; these weren't badass mobsters, these were kids playing at being a gang. My suspicions about this info had been right, and I was stupid enough to follow through anyway. Now I was facing down a couple scared kids trying to be cool. "Don't want anything. I came to the wrong place. I'll leave." I raise my hands as I speak, trying to appearing non-threatening.

One of the other boys steps forward. "Bullshit! You're probably here to take our place over. Well we won't let you! Me and the boys are gonna fuck you up," he says, voice steady and confident unlike his comrade. In a quieter voice I hear him whisper to his friends, "Just like we always talked about. Rush him on three."

The kid definitely has a future in politics, as his taunts toward me seem to bolster the confidence of his gang. They all grab nearby wooden bats and two-by-fours, probably never actually used as weapons before, and begin to take menacing steps towards me. Four in all. I can take them.

Quietly, I hear their leader count up from one...



I step back as one of the kids rushes ahead of the rest and swings his bat at me, missing by scant inches. I throw a jab at him, catching him in the side of the neck. He drops his weapon and grabs his throat, letting out a gasp. I pick up the bat and raise it above my head, swinging it hard into his head. The wooden piece of sports equipment knocks him clean to the floor and sends me stumbling forward from the sudden stop against his head. A two-by-four finds its way into my gut and I stumble backwards, accidentally dodging a baseball bat that would have caught me in the side of the head.

I drop my bat to the floor, barely keeping my footing after the attack. With a yell the leader swings his bat at me, but I manage to raise an arm and block it. I feel pain shooting up the limb from the hit and give a slight hiss. Doesn't matter. I grab the bat and yank it from him, sending him stumbling forward and right into a left hook to the jaw. He falls to the ground and I kick him in the head, knocking him out.

The other two probably would have surrendered at the sight of me standing over their unconscious leader if they weren't about as high off adrenaline as I was. They both run forward together, one swinging his bat at my head while the other swings his two-by-four at my side. I use my bat to block the first hit while repositioning myself in an attempt to avoid the second. I manage to block one attack but the other manages to catch me in the ribs. The wind knocked out of me, I stumble back and barely have time to recover enough for another dodge as a bat swings right past my face.

I reel away and create distance between myself and my opponents. Looking around, I spot an empty, sturdy crate that looks just small enough for me to lift. Tossing my bat at the two punks, I manage to nail one in the chest and knock him back before I sprint for the box. The other comes running after me, readying his two-by-four as I lift the box up over my head. Barely stepping out of the way of a wild swing, I slam the crate down onto his head and send him to the floor with a grunt. To be safe, I give him a quick kick in the side.

The last one is steadying himself by the time I return to him, gripping his head and mumbling incoherently. I pick up the discarded bat and ready it, before giving a sharp whistle. He turns his head towards me and I swing, snapping his head back and sending him back to the floor. A bit worried, I kneel down and check his pulse; still alive. Good. Don't need to kill anyone.

I look around at the unconscious teenagers, shaking my head. What a damn idiot I was for believing that old drunk. The most he ever gets me is gangs like this, so expecting him to come through on a tip about an actual mob racket? Too good to be true. With a sigh, I drop the bat to the floor and leave the warehouse behind. Best not to call the cops on these little punks, they'll probably get in enough trouble with their parents as is.

Taking off the ski mask and tossing it onto the dashboard, I wince as the adrenaline finally begins to die down and my wounds come back to haunt me. Definitely gonna be some bruises. If I'm unlucky enough I might have cracked a rib or something. Guess I'll find out in the morning. I start up the VW and drive away from the warehouse.

I drive myself to Hubert Square, parking my car and approaching the gathering crowd that's waiting there and chanting the countdown. I look down at my watch. Just in time, only a few seconds until New Years. Smiling slightly to myself, I join in, "Five! Four! Three! Two! One!"

Happy New Year.

C H A R L E S V I C T O R S Z A S Z J O U R N A L I S T H U B C I T Y , I L L I N O I S W W N N ( H U B C I T Y B R A N C H )
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:

"When other guys go on a quest to find their place in life, they get into something like meditation or yoga or designer drugs. Me? I move to a city I've never been to before and go around town kicking teeth in."

Vic Sage wasn't a nice man. Hotheaded, stubborn as hell, and with a tendency to ruffle the wrong people's feathers. His unbridled ambition managed to land him a job working at the Chicago branch of Worldwide News Network, a small news network (ironic, considering the name) that had slowly been opening new branches in major cities in the East Coast and Midwest since 1998. Over the course of a year, he managed to work his way up from penning articles for their website to achieving a position as one of their newscasters. His career as a newscaster was rather short-lived, however; on the night of his first broadcast, he went off script and began to slam various businesses that backed the network, accusing them of having ties to organized crime on live television.

His superiors had their sponsors breathing down their necks, but the general public had loved it. The video of Vic's live rant had gone semi-viral and he attained minor celebrity in his hometown. They couldn't just fire him, so the best course of action was to send him somewhere where he wouldn't be a problem. That place was Hub City, home to the oldest (and most underfunded) branch of Worldwide News Network with the lowest ratings. No one would care about his rantings and ravings because no one watched it there.

Vic, for his part, has managed to take the move in stride. Besides, Chicago had been a little too quiet for him lately. He needs a new stomping ground if he wants to get serious about this vigilante thing, and Hub City might be just the place to start. Maybe someday he can actually do something about those corrupt corporate mobsters.

C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S:

I know that the last time I played the Question I only wrote two posts then dropped off the face of the planet. Part of me regrets not sticking around longer than I did, while another part of me doesn't; disappearing for three months gave me time to sort myself out and get my ideas straight. I had been in these games for months on end and didn't have time to really breathe and think about what I wanted to do. After a few months rest, I'm getting that arpee itch again after being away so long (reading the first issue of The Deaths of Vic Sage certainly helped too), and I'm back and ready to reclaim my title as "The One Guy Who Really Likes The Question And Always Plays Him In Those Comic Games".

Regarding the story of this latest attempt, I want to tell something resembling an origin story. This Vic hasn't yet donned his trademark no-face mask and trenchcoat, but is rather testing the waters by going out in a ski mask at night to beat up petty crooks and other such types. He's less targeting specific organizations and more trying to find his way as a powerless vigilante in a world increasingly populated by metahuman heroes. I have a vague outline going in but want to keep it loose for maximum flexibility; to put it basically, by the end of this season I want to see him in costume and tackling bigger threats.

When it comes to stylistic influences I actually have way less than I did for other characters in the past; this probably helps as they were all style, no real substance in my opinion. The most I can say is that I've been replaying Hotline Miami 1 and 2 a lot lately, so the included soundtracks for my post will contain a lot of music by artists featured in those games and other artists in the genre.

C H A R A C T E R N O T E S:

Vic's Mixtape

S A M P L E P O S T:

P O S T C A T A L O G:

Complete sheet with sample post is up.
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