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sumowrestler
01-16-2012, 06:02 PM
Roach Headquarters-Bronx

A big burly man with gloves that have three metal spikes attached on each hand sits in the middle of even bigger guys all equipped with variety of melee weapons sits at the head of a long table and stares at the others in the room.

"OK, are we going to allow this new Nova character make a fool of our gang? We have enough troubles with these White Tigers beginning to encrouch on our new territory. This is our small part of the world and we will own it even if we have to claim it with the blood of our enemies."

One of the three boys that Nova thrashed walked up shaking.

"As much as I would like revenge I'm not sure if we have the power to do so. Hitting him was like hitting a brick wall. I think he is one of those muties that we seen on TV especially since he protected one that we were picking on."

"You forget one thing about those muties, they still bleed if you cut them unless they are made of rock and then we just need to find a bigger and sharper knife. This punk will learn to fear the Roaches. Everyone has a weakness and all we need to do is find his. We will rule this town with an iron fist and all will bow down to us asking that we don't destroy them."
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Back home Richard is finally getting to his homework even after the craziness that he saw on the TV and his very interesting discussion with his mother. Does being so different really scare people to the point of wanting to lock them up and treat them as criminals? Maybe the planets that this Nova Corps protect have gotten past this aspect of life if any support intelligent life.

Byrd Man
01-17-2012, 10:40 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png





Previously




Castle and I wrestled on the floor of the strip club's back room. Maroni laid on the ground, a hole in his right lung. I deliver a solid punch to Castle's shoulder, the one he injured in the fight with the Joker. Castle grunted in pain but kept on, landing a solid punch to my jaw. It knocks me back and allows him to get up on his feet. He started to go for his pistol but I recover and charge him, picking him off his feet and pinning him to the wall.

"You're crazy, Castle," I said with a growl.

"Coming from a man dressed as a bat?" He asked as he got a solid punch in on my ribcage. The punch sent me staggering back. "Maroni and his kind have ruined this city. They're responsible for hundreds of murders, and yet you want them to live?"

"It's not our place to say who lives and who dies," I said as I charged Castle. He blocked my right-handed karate chop, but missed the left jab to his cheek. "It's for the system to decide."

"The system?" He asked, swinging at me and missing. "The same system that let those animals get off for murdering my family? The system is a joke. It's broken."

"It can be fixed," I replied, side-stepping an uppercut and delivering a swift kick to Castle's left side. The blow sent him reeling back. "I believe this city can be saved."

"And you call me ****ing crazy," he said, pulling his knife. Castle swung with it, aiming for my stomach. I blocked with my gauntlets, sending sparks into the air as I parried. "At least I have the good sense to kill them. I'm not afraid like you."

"You think I'm afraid? You think I don't kill because it's too hard?" I asked, landing a blow to Castle's body armor clad chest. "I don't do it because it's too easy. I kill Maroni, and where does it end? It doesn't. Once you start you can never stop."

Castle swung up high, aiming his knife at my face. I grabbed my cape and tossed it up like a matador distracting a bull and causing his blow to go wide.

"That man you saved last night, the clown. He killed twenty cops. He deserves to die. How many more will he kill?""

"By your logic, you deserve to die. How many have you killed in your quest for revenge? How many more will you kill in the name of vengeance if I let you?"

"More," Castle said, swinging again with the knife. I blocked it, grabbed his wrist and quickly disarmed him. Castle reached forward, headbutting me and sending me off my feet. "This isn't revenge. This is punishment."

Still partially stunned from the headbutt, I slowly rose to my feet as Castle walked towards Maroni. He picked the man's pistol up off the ground and aimed it at me. Striking me twice in the chest. The blows knocked me back off my feet. The armor stopped the bullets, but it was more than enough to stun me. I looked up and saw Castle picking the wounded Maroni up off the floor and slamming him hard on to the desk. Tears ran down Maroni's face as Castle placed the barrel of the gun to his forehead.

"Please....please..."

"Castle," I said from the floor. "Don't...don't do this. You can...you can be better than him."

"That's where we're different," he said, pressing the trigger. Maroni screamed out as the bullet pushed through his forehead and blew out the back of his skull, covering the desk and Castle in blood. "I don't let my morals get in the way."

"You don't have any moral," I said, standing up on shaky legs.

Castle didn't hesitate, shooting me in the chest with three more shots from Maroni's pistol. I moved quickly, avoiding two of them, but the last one caught my shoulder and knocked me to the floor. Castle's heavy footfalls got closer until he stood over me.

"On that, we agree."

He spun the pistol around and came down on me, the butt of the gun striking me in the head and knocking me out.





Wayne Tower
4:26 PM

I groaned and pulled myself up out of bed. Alfred had parted the curtains while I was sleeping, letting light into my bedroom. The light let me get the first good look at myself since the events of the previous night. Dark bruises were plastered across my chest. From my pectorals down to my naval. My body armor stopped any serious damage, but the skin is still pretty tender. Alfred said that it'll be bruised and sore for at least another week. He also wrapped and bandaged by temples, covering the bruise and head wound from the butt of Castle's pistol.

The blow dazed me and knocked me out for a few seconds, long enough for him to make his escape. I managed to come to and escape before the police arrived. Before I left, I saw Sal Maroni and the giant hole in the back of his head. In the end, Castle got his revenge and I was powerless to stop it.

"Good morning," Alfred said as he entered the room, carrying a tray with bottled water, salve, and a sandwich. "Or perhaps I should say 'good afternoon'? I brought you some salve for your bruises and a club sandwich. I would have brought you some breakfast, but the window on that closed some time ago."

Alfred sat the tray on the bed. I took the bottle of water and opened it, drinking half of it in three long gulps. "Any WayneTech business on my plate today?" I asked after I placed the water back on the tray.

"Yes. You and Mister Fox have a conference call at five with the project head of the Wayne-Stark project out in Utah."

"Is it anything I couldn't be present for?" I asked, squatting and preparing for my calisthenics.

"Yes. It's an update on the project. Mister Stark was to be present, but apparently he's out in Colorado, decked out in that suit of his."

I made a mental note to investigate that further once I went down into the bunker. I took a deep breath and fell to the floor, landing on my hands and preforming quick push-ups.

"I have an idea on how to explain away the bruise on my head," I said between push-ups.

"A drunken scuffle with a man at one of Gotham's premier nightclubs? I agree. So much so that I took the liberty of calling an anonymous report in to that Gossip Gerty woman early this morning. It's all over her website. It'll be in all the scandal rags tomorrow morning."

"And you didn't-"

"I did not specify which club. Let the rumors and legend fly. Half the clubs in the city will swear that you were there that night, that the fight happened at their establishment."

"Good," I said, standing up with sweat covering my torso. "I get an alibi and they get more business. Sounds like a win-win to me. What would I do without you, Alfred?"

"Be locked up in an insane asylum," he said dryly. It wasn't a question, more like a statement.

I smirked and patted him on the back, padding across the room towards my wardrobe. A conference call doesn't require a full three-piece suit. Maybe shirt and tie, with a sweater vest and sport coat?

"One more thing, sir," Alfred said, holding up a slip of paper. "Earlier this morning, I serviced one of your dead drops. Captain Gordon wants to meet tonight. It concerns Mister Castle."

I turned to Alfred and nodded, walking back to take the paper.


Dutch Hill
11:40 PM


I watched Gordon from the roof of the house down the block from his own. He walked out the front door with a sack of trash, dumping in the trashcan on his curb before he walked down the sidewalk towards the park at the far end of the block. The way he walked, I could tell he left his service weapon at home.

If there was a safe spot in Gotham, Dutch Hill would be it. It gets its name from the original Dutch founders of the city. They made their first camp not far from Gordon's house, on top of a hill overlooking the bay. Even after the British came and wrestled control from the Dutch, the name has always stuck. It used to be its own independent town until the early 1900's, when it was incorporated into the city and became a suburb. The scum and mob bosses stick to their mansions and big houses out in East Bay and Bristol, but the middle class of Gotham have Dutch Hill to call home.

Gordon found a bench at the small park and sat, lighting up a cigarette. I watched Gordon for ten minutes from the rooftop. He was starting his third cigarette when I approached the park through the shadows and came to a stop beside the swing set.

"What do you have?"

"Information on Castle."

Gordon reached into his jacket and pulled out a few sheets of paper, adjusting his glasses to read the words written down.

"Little before four this morning, patrolmen were called to a warehouse down by the waterfront. Shots fired. They found two dead mob guards and a stockpile of cash. It was all laundered and untraceable."

"Maroni mentioned it last night when he was begging for his life."

"He say how much was in there?"

"Around ten million."

"Well, we found about five million."

"Maroni must have been wrong. Castle never stole. He always burnt the money."

"I thought the same thing until I got this email early today. I had the tech people trace the IP address to the Gotham Library. Man matching Castle's description used the computer the email was sent with. It was sent to my email, but addressed to both of us."

Gordon handed me the email and I read it.

"He did take it," I said as I looked up at Gordon. "He took it for funding."

"Yep. His own personal war on crime."

I took the email and placed it in my belt, turning away from Gordon.

"I should have stopped him. I'm sorry. I failed the city, and I failed him."

"We all failed Castle. You, me, the courts. He's out there now, going God knows where with God knows what. He'll be out there for as long as it takes to get himself killed. He's a reminded to you and me that, while we're making strides, we have a long way to go. You told me months ago that you hope to create a Gotham where Batman is no longer needed. I don't have those hopes. I just hope we can create a city where a man like Castle can never be allowed to exist."

"We're trying, Jim," I said, walking off. "A day at a time, we're making the city better. I promise you that."


Wayne Tower
6:14 AM

The sun was starting to come up and I sat in the bunker, in my chair. A normal night on patrol, nothing major besides the usual. My mask off, I reached into my belt and pulled out the email Gordon gave me, reading it again.



Hub City, Michigan
Two Weeks Later


Mickey C. ran through the back alley behind the whorehouse. He bolted as soon as the shooting started. The crazy bastard came in with two goddamn Uzis in his hands. He mowed down half the armed guards in two seconds. Mickey had a feeling this was coming. The pipeline they sent the Russian girls through was drying up. He knew old man Maroni was dead as a bag of hammers, but then they started hearing whispers about Boss Fredrico in Philly, then the Rossi Twins in St. Louis. Now, whoever was doing it was here in Hub.

Batman,
I send this email to you and the captain as a notice.
I'm leaving Gotham. With our conflicting ideologies, we would fight each other more than the enemy.


Mickey turned a corner and glanced back. His heart skipped a beat at what he saw. A pair of glowing green eyes watching him in the darkness. Night vision goggles, Uzis, who the **** was this guy?

The cash I stole from Maroni's stockpile is more than enough to fund my activities. It was money earned through evil deeds, and now it will be used to put the wicked to bed.


Mickey's took another corner and came face to face with a brick wall. Stopping, he turned around and saw the green eyes coming closer. Mickey reached for his piece and opened fire. Six shots rang out, all of them missing their target.

This message is my declaration of war. From this moment on, I start my war on those who feed off the innocent, those who make a living through the suffering of others.


The green eyes grew closer and Mickey backed against the brick wall. He tossed his revolver into the dark, hearing it clatter far away from the green-eyed attacker. He slid down against the wall and started to beg for mercy.

In certain extreme situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacy, it is necessary to act outside the law. To pursue natural justice. This is not vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive, it's an emotional response. No, not vengeance. Punishment.


The man stepped into the light of the lamp hung on the wall behind Mickey. Mickey was crying, he felt his bladder go as he saw the man's t-shirt and the two Desert Eagles in his hand.

Let it be known that Frank Castle is dead. He died with his family in Robinson Park. I have a new name, a new moniker.
Those who do evil to others - the killers, the rapists, psychos, sadists - they will come to know me well, they will cry and scream my name as they beg for mercy. They will whisper my name in hushed tones in back rooms and in meetings. They will call me...


http://i41.tinypic.com/oka9ts.jpg


The Punisher.

Carnage27
01-18-2012, 05:55 PM
Swinging Mjolnir, the God of Thunder took to the sky. The falling figure of Cerberus was tumbling through the sky to meet him. Gritting his teeth, Thor connected with a powerful blow to the beast's belly.

Lightning crackled across the sky and thunder roared all around. The dazed and smoking hellhound crashed back to earth, stumbling in front of the two champions.

"Hey, Shellhead!" I yell to the newcomer in the red and gold armor.

"Don't call me that, Jingoism-man," he responds at my nickname.

"Whatever," I respond, shaking off his insult. "Fire that canon at my shield after I throw it."

"Why would I do that?" he responds with a sarcastic laugh.

I toss my shield and shout, "Do it or I'll kick your ass!"

He aims and fires, driving my shield faster than it's ever gone before straight into the middle head of the dog of Hades. It hits with a sickening thud and returns to me, the fell beast completely knocked out. I turn back to the armored fighter.

"Yea...well...that was pretty good," he responds. "But you still couldn't kick my ass."

"I'd like to see how that'd turn out," I respond, turning back to Hades. "But I think we've got more important things to deal with."

Byrd Man
01-18-2012, 06:27 PM
He aims and fires, driving my shield faster than it's ever gone before straight into the middle head of the dog of Hades. It hits with a sickening thud and returns to me, the fell beast completely knocked out. I turn back to the armored fighter.

"Yea...well...that was pretty good," he responds. "But you still couldn't kick my ass."

"I'd like to see how that'd turn out," I respond, turning back to Hades. "But I think we've got more important things to deal with."

"Agreed," Thor said as he landed beside the two mortal men. "Hades, you have violated the peace of Midgard with your hellish abominations. Yield, or suffer the consequences. I will not ask again..."

"And you plan to stop me, Norseman?" Hades asked with a loud chuckle. "You and your two pet mortals plan to stop me...The Lord of the Underworld?! You have no idea of the power I hold..."

Hades squatted, the elderly form stretching and expanding. The old man's skin shredded, revealing the monster underneath.

http://i41.tinypic.com/2qa7kp1.jpg


"Now you gaze upon the true countenance of Hades. Face me and die."

"My new friends," Thor addressed the two mortal heroes at his side. "Hades cannot be taken lightly. If you have any reservations, retreat now. As for me..."

Thor tossed his hammer forward and charged towards Hades.

"The God of Thunder does not know defeat!"

Carnage27
01-19-2012, 01:38 PM
http://i41.tinypic.com/2qa7kp1.jpg


"Now you gaze upon the true countenance of Hades. Face me and die."

"My new friends," Thor addressed the two mortal heroes at his side. "Hades cannot be taken lightly. If you have any reservations, retreat now. As for me..."

Thor tossed his hammer forward and charged towards Hades.

"The God of Thunder does not know defeat!"

"I'll give it to the Game of Thrones reject, he's got spirit-HEY!" the iron man says as I rush towards Hades behind Thor. I don't know what's going on here, whether these really are gods or what. But I know one thing, I'm not letting another bad guy get away with what he's done. Hades is going down, and going down hard.

Thor goes high and slams his hammer into the face of Hades as I go low, driving an uppercut into the monster's stomach. He stumbles with a grunt, but regains his footing quickly and swats us away. Our third companion attempts to fire some beams at the lord of the Underworld, but he chuckles, "Foolish mortals. You stand no chance against me. Consider yourself lucky to die alongside Thor Odison at the hands of Hades at the onset of his ascencion!"

I toss my shield at him, which riccochetes of his face and returns to me, "I've never been one to die at the hands of would-be evil rulers."

"You are a fool, Captain America," he says, releasing a stream of fire from his hands that I deflect, hiding behind my shield. "And you will die, painfully."

I roll through the flames and score another hit with my shield. It's not hurting him, but I can tell it's making him mad. "Yea, well. I died once. Didn't stick. I don't think you'll be able to get the job done either."

This sends him into a rage, and his focus is directly on me, allowing my teammates an opening.

Byrd Man
01-19-2012, 03:27 PM
I toss my shield at him, which riccochetes of his face and returns to me, "I've never been one to die at the hands of would-be evil rulers."

"You are a fool, Captain America," he says, releasing a stream of fire from his hands that I deflect, hiding behind my shield. "And you will die, painfully."

I roll through the flames and score another hit with my shield. It's not hurting him, but I can tell it's making him mad. "Yea, well. I died once. Didn't stick. I don't think you'll be able to get the job done either."

This sends him into a rage, and his focus is directly on me, allowing my teammates an opening.

The raging Hades is almost upon Captain America when a bolt of lightning stuck the god in the chest. The blast sent Hades back into the air and he slammed into the ground as a mighty thunderclap tore through the sky. The snow that had been on the ground an hour before was being melted away as rain poured from the storm clouds above.

Thor slowly walked across the muddy field at the smoking form of Hades. He pointed Mjolnir at the Lord of the Underworld.

"You are out of your depth here on Midgard, Greek. You have been bested by its champions and the Son of Odin. Yield."

"NEVER!" The god roared, blasting a column of fire from his mouth. The fire struck Thor and sent him up into the air fire, engulfing his body.

"As for the Earth's champions," Hades grunted as he stood. He pulled a fiery onyx broadsword from the scabbard on his hip. "Let them taste my steel, and then burn in my realm forever..."

MST3K 4ever
01-19-2012, 08:55 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6215/6366402613_3f2c57eeb9_m.jpg

Oliver cuts off the game and heads to his terrace. He is nursing his bottled water as he watches the city lights twinkle.

Well good thing I didn't try to go the ball game it was rout. Kobe dropped 64 and Gasol chipped in with 28. They almost beat the Stallions by themselves. Oh well we're still sitting pretty for at least the 3 seed in the east.

He hears a car alarm going off down the street and shots being fired. Oliver quickly grabs his binoculars and looks in the direction of the commotion.

Only a few blocks over...looks like the Golden Dragons are out making life hell for everyone else. Well so much for calling it a night early I bet I canbeat them back to their hang-out.

Oliver goes back to his closet and activates his costume chamber and quickly changes into Green Arrow and zip-lines through the city.

Byrd Man
01-19-2012, 11:53 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png


Gotham Central
9:54 PM


Gordon was sitting at his desk when I came through the open window.

"Captain."

"Shut the window," he said without looking up from the paperwork on his desk. "It's cold outside. And it's Major now. Loeb's death bumped up the current chain of command. Jack Grogan is the commissioner now and I got a bump up to Major."

I closed the window and walked through Gordon's office while he continued to work. I walked up to the wall on the far left of the room and stared. He had mugshots of all the major players in the Four Families of Gotham strung up on piece of corkboard on the wall and arranged by family affiliation. On the Maroni side of the board, all the faces had red exes drawn across them in red marker. All the faces. For all intents and purposes, the Maroni Family was dead.

"Maroni has two sons, you know," Gordon said, finally looking up from his work. "Twins. Umberto and Pino. They're in Chicago right now working for Don Gambrella. They both got involved in an unauthorized hit on a made man in the Falcone Family and had to be exiled as punishment."

"Any chance they'll come back? Try and reclaim their father's rackets?"

"I would say no, but you never know. They'll have to fight to get it, though. It's been a week since Maroni was killed, and people are moving in. I don't know who is doing what yet."

"The Falcones are taking Maroni's drug territory and Union ties. Hammerhead laid claim to the prostitution ring Maroni had going, along with the strip club and pornography fronts. Billy Russo and the Gnucci Family are moving in to take the illegal gambling dens and poker joints Maroni owned and operated, as well as the protection racket one of his crews operated out of the airport and Bingham Beach."

"...Do I want to know how you know all that?"

"The heads of the three families met two days ago and divvied it all up peacefully. I had a recording device planted in the back room of Falcone's shipping business office. I can give you a copy of the audio and a written transcript."

"That'd be helpful. Not worth a damn in court, but it helps with intelligence."

"So why did you call for this meeting, Jim?"

"Something came for you this morning" he said, reaching into his desk. "It was addressed to Batman, care of Jim Gordon."Gordon pulled a enveloped package from the desk drawer and handed it to me. I let it sit in my palm, inspecting the envelope and the weight of the package. Batman is written on the front in a large, looping font. "Have you-"

"Scanned it? Yep. No bomb or anthrax."
I opened the top of the envelope and reached in, pulling out a smartphone with green casing.I turned it on, letting the phone boot up. The ringtone suddenly kicked on, blasting music through the room.

"BURN, BABY, BURN, DISCO INFERNO! BURN, BABY, BURN, BURN THAT MAMMA DOWN!"

The music kept on as the call, listed as blocked, continued to ring. I looked up at Jim, who nodded. I answered and put the phone to my ear.

"H-hello," a frightened male voice said on the other end of the line. "Y....you have to help me."

"Who are you? Did you send me the phone?"

"N-not this dumb cow that I...I'm talking through...but me, your secret admirer."

"Does he have you hostage? Where are you?"

"This one is sticking...to...my script. I'm sending you something....figure it out in an hour...or....he dies. Please help me!"

The phone beeped and I pulled it away from my ear, looking at the text on the screen:

He who hAs it dOesn't teLl it. He who tAkes it doesN't know It. He who kNows it doesn't wanT it. What is it?

"One hour," the man on the line said, his voice trembling with fright."...or he...he goes boom. Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's is afraid of the big, black bat?"

Carnage27
01-20-2012, 11:25 AM
"NEVER!" The god roared, blasting a column of fire from his mouth. The fire struck Thor and sent him up into the air fire, engulfing his body.

"As for the Earth's champions," Hades grunted as he stood. He pulled a fiery onyx broadsword from the scabbard on his hip. "Let them taste my steel, and then burn in my realm forever..."

As Hades levees a powerful blow my way, a red and gold blur flies by me, intercepting the large blade with a horrible crash. My third ally struggles under the might of the god of the underworld, even with all his mechanical might. "Any time you'd want to jump in would be great."

But I'm in motion before he even says anything. I slide under the sword and hop up, running as fast as I can towards Hades's leg. I spring myself off the ground and drive my shield into his knee with a devestating downward strike, causing him to break his hold with my teammate and lose his balance.

He flails wildly with the sword, striking my shield and sending me tumbling through the air. I land hard, and am pretty sure I have a few broken ribs. But there's no time to worry about that now. I push myself up, putting the pain in the back of my mind and prepare myself for Hades's next attack.

He smacks the armored warrior out of the air with the broad side of the swoard and charges towards me, smashing the blade down onto myshield, nearly breaking my arm, and driving me into the muddy ground.

MST3K 4ever
01-20-2012, 11:59 AM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg


Luthor walks among the rubble and battle-scared streets of Metropolis in his battle suit.

The suit chimes, "Meta-human and mutant activity detected."

Lex says, "Combat mode."

Various armaments deploy from the suit and heads up displays are in front of Lex.

He reads the displays and sees where the various activities are located. Lex activates his hover boots and flies over to various areas and begins blasting killing several metahumans and mutants. Then he sees the object of his scorn.

"Green Arrow," he says. He speeds towards him and says, "This time I'm ready are you?"

Arrow replies, "Come and get some Lex!"

Lex begins firing and says, "Oh no I want it all!"

Arrow fires a volley of arrows of various kinds and a shielding component deploys and Lex fires a cable at Arrow. The cable wraps around Arrow and electrocutes Green Arrow.

Lex sneers, "I told you I would win the war!"

Just then a booming voice from behind says, "How about you try that with me?"

Lex turns to see Superman hovering overhead. He fires the cable and it charges it. Superman is not affected. Lex tries various other armaments and none of them are effecting Superman.

Superman gets in closer and raises his fist. Lex says, "Waterloo."

Suddenly the Metropolis battle scene fades away along with Lex's battle-suit and he is now standing in a simulation chamber in workout clothes. Lex approaches his computer terminal mounted along the wall.

He asks, "Alexis, why didn't any of the weapons work against Superman?"

Alexis replies, "According to the database and other research Superman has no known human weaknesses."

Lex somewhat baffled asks,"Are you saying he's immortal?"

Alexis replies, "No Mr. Luthor, because he has no known human weaknesses that doesn't imply immortality."

Lex nods and says, "Of course you're right. Bottled Water."

A bottle of water is dispensed next to the terminal and Lex begins to drink it.

He stops drinking and says, "What is called for in this situation is thinking outside the box. The issue though is with his great powers and his streak of morality Superman could easily rally others to stand with him. Other metahumans or mutants or..."


Alexis chimes in, "People in suits of armor?"

Lex chuckles and says, "Well-played my dear. All-right then as of now all other section 14 projects with the exception of the building of the battle-suit are hereby suspended. From this moment forward priority #1 is the destruction of Superman."

Andy C.
01-20-2012, 12:27 PM
From the office of Dr. Barton Hamilton

Over the last week, it has been my duty to perform a series of psychiatric evaluations on an apprehended criminal responsible for the deaths of over forty people, to determine whether or not he is competent to stand trial. While I am reluctant to judge if this man technically falls into the legal definition of insanity, this has been a study into the workings of quite possibly the most thoroughly and fundamentally damaged minds I have ever seen.

Having no known real name, he calls himself "The Joker"-- in accordance with his clownish appearance, his skin apparently bleached bone white and his hair turned bright green. However, there is also a double-meaning in this alias: a reference, of course, to the Joker in a deck of playing cards, a symbol of uncertainty and chaos. The associations with both chaos and comedy, I believe, form not just the basis for his name, but possibly his entire identity.

Throughout my first interview with the Joker, he lived up to his name, telling me a zinger about an older man who walks into a bar and orders a beer.

"I just turned sixty years old today," says the old man. "Tell me, barkeep: do you think I'll live another forty, to make it a nice even hundred?" The bartender asked if he smoked, or drank, or chased younger women, to all of which the old man replied "No, I live clean and right." The bartender scoffs, then asks, "Then why the hell would you want to live another forty years?"

This joke, like many others he told me, served to frame his bizarre and antisocial view of the world, seemingly stemming from the event that altered his appearance. While he claims to have no memory of the event itself, it is clear that this trauma has left deep mental scars, culminating in a perspective that is utterly nihilistic.

The Joker seems to believe that existence, or at least the existence of civilization, is all a cruel, perpetual joke being played on the world; that in a world as pointless and horrible as the one he perceives, trying to uphold any sort of order or code of ethics is absurd, even laughable. When emphasizing this point, the Joker seemed particularly obsessed with two individuals: the newly promoted Major Jim Gordon, who led the raid that apprehended him, and the vigilante Batman, who he claims rescued him from the crazed gunman Frank Castle. These two, he says, are defined by the rules and the codes they champion, and that makes them hilarious to him.

Furthermore, the Joker seems to have no memory of anything that happened to him before roughly a year ago. He would tell long stories of his past, always contradicting with the version he had previously told, always laced with convincing lies. However, they all shared common bits and pieces: a baby crying, an audience that wouldn't laugh, someone putting a mask over his head, falling into some vat of chemicals (Note: my assistants searched through GCPD's records and found an incident involving a small-time criminal known as "The Red Hood" that was apparently killed by falling into a vat at the Ace Chemical Plant roughly a year ago; this could mean that the Joker had previous criminal history as this anonymous robber). I strongly believe that a more rigorous course of therapeutic sessions could unlock the secrets of this man's past, and show us what led him to becoming a mass murderer.

While it is clear that he is an extremely disturbed individual, I find it incredibly difficult to diagnose him; he simply does not fit traditional classifications of mental illness. He does not seem to suffer from any lack of awareness of the world around him, which negates hallucinations. He seems at all times completely aware of what he says and does, with a clear memory of everything that has happened to him since his transformation. While he does seem to have manic episodes (heightened especially when talking about other people's misfortune), there is no depressive state following it, ruling out bipolar disorder.

However, I believe that even though he is lucid and extremely intelligent, at the core of his being, the Joker suffers from severe delusions. His worldview, his determination to point out and laugh at the morals and beliefs of others, coupled with his lack of memory and apparent loss of identity, must stem from a sever psychosis, though possibly one that has not yet been identified.

It is of my opinion that the Joker is not competent to stand trial for his actions. I strongly recommend that he be taken to the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, and placed under the care of Dr. Jeremiah Arkham himself. The hospital's staff should be more than capable of determining the root of this man's illness, and then begin the process of treating him.


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



Rough waters chopped at the hull of the small police boat, acting as a ferry between the main islands of Gotham City and the small island up ahead. Against the dark skies, old gothic spires stood high, as well as the bell tower of a sprawling mansion. Among the exquisite masonry and old-fashioned architecture, however, were big blocky protrusions of the modern world: guard towers, with spotlights shining bright beams of light down onto the island.

Inside the boat, a dozen heavily-armed, grim-faced police officers cautiously eyed the man in restraints. Fitted with a straitjacket, a leather and steel half-mask covering his mouth, and strapped and chained to a hand-cart, the Joker grinned to himself.

"Are we there yet?" he asked for the thirteenth time since the ferry had set off.

The officers rolled their eyes, resisting the urge to shut him up by force. His poisoning spree inside of Gotham Central had left twenty of their fellow officers dead, and there wasn't a single man on the boat who wouldn't have simply shot him dead if they thought they could get away with it. The fact that they couldn't just struck the Joker as even funnier.

"Seriously, does anybody know any good sea shanties?" he asked, before starting to belt out, "Ohhhhhh, what do ya do with a drunken sailor, what do ya do with a drunken--"

"Shut your damn mouth, clown!" came a voice from the ship's bow. Into the cabin stepped a large, imposing black man, dressed in the uniform of Arkham Asylum security. His name-tag read A. CASH

"You think you can scare people on the island the way you did out in the world?" Cash barked at the Joker. "Think again. We deal with murderers, rapists, arsonists, and psychopaths every day of the week. We've seen the worst of the absolute worst, and we don't scare easy."

"You think you've seen the worst of the worst? Really?" the Joker asked, his smile growing wider as the boat finally reached the dock.

"Well," he said as they wheeled him off the boat, into the waiting hands of the orderlies, "Wait til they get a load of me."

Byrd Man
01-20-2012, 01:23 PM
He flails wildly with the sword, striking my shield and sending me tumbling through the air. I land hard, and am pretty sure I have a few broken ribs. But there's no time to worry about that now. I push myself up, putting the pain in the back of my mind and prepare myself for Hades's next attack.

He smacks the armored warrior out of the air with the broad side of the swoard and charges towards me, smashing the blade down onto myshield, nearly breaking my arm, and driving me into the muddy ground.

Like a bolt of lighting, Thor crashed down on Hades and reared back with Mjolnir, energy crackling off the hammer.

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Thunder and lightning crashed all around them as Hades was knocked back. The two gods traded blows inside the eye of the storm that was forming all around the two gods and two mortals.

Thor swung for Hades' chest, but was parried by the Lord of the Underworld's sword. Hades aimed low and struck Thor in the ribcage, slicing through his armor and breaking the skin. The God of Thunder grunted and pulled Mjolnir over his head, coming down hard and striking Hades on the shoulder. The blow sent him back stumbling. Thor was moving in for the final blow when Hades, reached down and grabbed a hand full of mud. He threw the mud right into Thor's eyes, blinding him temporarily. While the Son of Odin stumbled around, Hades crashed into him and sent him to the ground.

"Now, Thor," Hades said, raising his sword high. "Die!"

Hades started to bring the sword down, but stopped suddenly. His eyes grew wide and a shocked look came on his face just as the tip of a spear came out his chest.

"No," a beaten and bloodied Loki said from behind Hades, his hands holding the end of the spear. "You die!"

Hades coughed, blood the color of magma coming out of his mouth. He moaned, which quickly turned to screaming. In a bright light, the Lord of the Underworld combusted into a cloud of ash, cinders, and brimstone. The cloud began to swirl, Hades' screams coming from inside the cloud. It swirled downwards, sucking down the open hole in the ground. Once the cloud was swallowed up, the ground shook as the crack in the earth slowly closed.

"Thor," Loki said, dropping the spear and helping Thor up on to his feet. Loki helped him wipe the mud from his eyes, smiling at him once he could see. "Brother."

The two gods embraced each other warmly.

"It's been too long, Loki. Tell me, what are you doing here?"

"It was Hades," Loki said, touching the wounds on his face. "I was on Midgard and he captured me, forcing me to help him in his insane plot to bring Hel to this realm. He beat me and held me captive, asking me for spells and sorcery to open the pit to Hel. He held me in a house just on the other side of that field. I managed to escape during the fighting."

"I am glad that you were here, brother. Without your help-"

"I know, Thor. I know," Loki said with a warm smile.

"Pardon me for a moment."

Pattin his brother on the shoulder, Thor walked over to where the two mortals were standing and recovering from their wounds.

"The God of Thunder thanks you for your aide," he said with a nod. "Mortals you may be, but you fight like the champions and demigods of old. The Son of Odin is forever in your debt."

Carnage27
01-20-2012, 01:38 PM
"The God of Thunder thanks you for your aide," he said with a nod. "Mortals you may be, but you fight like the champions and demigods of old. The Son of Odin is forever in your debt."

Another man, apparently Thor's brother, kills Hades right in front of me. Not the solution I would have preferred in this situation, but effective none the less. He was a dangerous enemy, and I guess it's not a bad things he's now gone. I watch as the two brothers embrace, apparently having been seperated for quite a while.

"No problem. I might be taking you up on that debt soon." I respond, shaking Thor's hand. He's goa grip like a freaking gorilla. And I nod to Loki, "And thank you. We would have been in some real trouble without you."

"Think nothing of it, mortal," he bows slightly. "Any friend of my brother's is a friend of mine."

"Okay...do I really have to be the one to ask what the hell just happened here?" the armored fighter asks. "Iron Man, by the way. I mean...you guys can't really be Norse Gods, right? Because that would be crazy."

"You really don't know how to be grateful, do you?" I ask Iron Man.

"Not in the Stark blood, Cap," he responds. Stark. Tony Stark. Howard's son. This is Howard's son? Not bad in a fight, but Coulson was right. He's more of an ass than his father ever was.

Byrd Man
01-20-2012, 01:52 PM
"Okay...do I really have to be the one to ask what the hell just happened here?" the armored fighter asks. "Iron Man, by the way. I mean...you guys can't really be Norse Gods, right? Because that would be crazy."

"You really don't know how to be grateful, do you?" I ask Iron Man.

"Not in the Stark blood, Cap," he responds. Stark. Tony Stark. Howard's son. This is Howard's son? Not bad in a fight, but Coulson was right. He's more of an ass than his father ever was.

"'There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,'" Loki said with a smirk. "The man who wrote those words down? I told him something similar when we first met many years ago."

"What my brother means to say is that the realm of Midgard is still in its infancy compared to other places and peoples. There are still many ideas, many places, and many things you have yet to discover."

Lightning flashed in the sky above them, thunder rolled over the clouds.

"Was that you, Thor?"

"I believe a visitor will be upon us soon."

A bolt of lightning crashed on the ground in front of them, causing a loud thunderclap. A large man appeared before them, his eyes filled with dancing lightning.

"Norsemen," he spat with contempt. "I should have known. Which one of you was responsible?"

Thor turned to the two mortals and spoke under his breath while Loki stepped forward to talk.

"You would both do well to leave now. My brother and I can deal with Zeus and his wrath. If either of you wish to seek my aide, only reach out to Doctor Donald Blake. He resided in the land of Brooklyn in the Kingdom of New York. He knows how to contact me. Thank you, once again."

Carnage27
01-20-2012, 02:11 PM
"Norsemen," he spat with contempt. "I should have known. Which one of you was responsible?"

Thor turned to the two mortals and spoke under his breath while Loki stepped forward to talk.

"You would both do well to leave now. My brother and I can deal with Zeus and his wrath. If either of you wish to seek my aide, only reach out to Doctor Donald Blake. He resided in the land of Brooklyn in the Kingdom of New York. He knows how to contact me. Thank you, once again."

"You don't have to tell me twice, pal," Iron Man says. "One Greek God is good enough for me. Need a lift, Stevie-boy?"

I look at Thor and Loki, and the god of the skies standing in front of them. I want to help. But I don't know if I can take another fight like the last one. Not with my injuries. I nod to the two Norse dieties, "Be careful."

With that, Iron Man takes off, grabbing me under the arms and escaping, "You know, you're awfully heavy."

"Yea well, increased msucle mass and all that," I respond as he puts me down near the jet that brought me here, Coulson waiting outside. "Your dad helped with that."

"Yea, I know," Stark replies, opening his faceplate and revealing the face underneath, so similar to my friend's. "Pops bragged about you quite a lot. Always said you were one of his greatest creations."

"He was a good man," I say. "A good friend."

"Yea, well, I wouldn't go that far," he mutters under his breath before looking at Coulson, "Oh man, you're here!? The guy looking for jet parts. So you are government."

"Not exactly," the agent replies, deadpan. "I see you're still joy riding instead of doing something worthwhile."

"I believe I just stopped a Greek God from ripping apart Colorado while you babysat the minivan, thank you," he says through a sarcastic smile. "Listen, I dunno what you two and whoever you're working with are up to, but I'm not interested."

"Don't be a fool, Tony," I say, breaking up the spat between the two men. "There's something big going on. Government corruption, terrorist cells, more. We could use someone like you on the team."

"The government's already on my ass," he replies as his faceplate drops again. "I don't need another reason for them to audit me. God only knows what they'd find. So no thanks. I'll keep doing what I'm doing."

He's about to fly off, and I grab his arm, "You can't act like the lone gunslinger all you want, Stark. But what we just went through should open up your eyes. There are threats out there that one guy in a metal suit or a guy with a shield won't be able to take down by themselves. We're going to need a team when one of those comes knockin on our door."

"Sorry, I don't work too well with teams."

And with that, he shoves me off and rockets into the sky, leaving the two of us behind, and me shaking my head. How could that have turned out to be the offspring of Howard Stark? The man that was doing all he could to help his country and her allies.

I turn and follow Coulson onto the jet, ready to head back to New York and my original mission.

Carnage27
01-20-2012, 08:20 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png

I sit at the chess table in Central Park and begin setting up the pieces as he rolls up to his position, "Charles."

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"Hello, Erik," Charles Xavier says, straightening his pawns to the correct positions. "How are you?"

"You can dispense with the pleasantries," I respond, making the first move. We play on for a few minutes in silence before I break it by asking, "I can only assume you've come to change my mind out of attacking the humans. I'd hope you realize you can't do that. Or are you going to change it for me? It wouldn't be the first time you've done that."

I see a twinge of anger race across my old friend's face as he makes his initial parry to my move, "You know I would not be able to do that to you."

"Good, because at my signal, Mystique would be forced to fire upon you," I say calmly, continuing the game. "When are you going to give up this charade, Charles? Every day the humans come closer to passing a law that will shackle and shame our people. And you sit by their side like a pet dog ready to defend them."

"Your threats do nothing to help the situation," Charles responds coolly. "They're afraid, Erik. Attacking them isn't going to make them love us."

"Nothing will make them love us," I say for the millionth time to my friend. "It's almost fifty years since the civil rights movement and racism is still prevalent in this country. What happens when they give protection rights to beings vastly more powerful than them? You think they will coexist with us peacefully then? No. And what of them fearing us? We're the superior beings."

"You sound like a Nazi," he says countering my last move.

"The Nazis were ruled by blood lust and misguided religious ideals," I say, taking his bishop. "I'm ruled by evolution and nature. The superior evolutionary race has always gained dominance. If the humans are intent on keeping theirs, I have no qualms with taking it from them. Now, is there anything else you'd like to discuss, or shall I take your king and end this?"

He ponders the board for a while before looking at me, "Jean is beginning to lose control."

This breaks my concentration completely, and I'm sure Charles can tell. Jean Grey is by far the most powerful individual I have ever encountered. That much is certain. And Charles thought he could cage that power. I gather myself and say, "Well, it's no surprise. We both knew it would happen eventually."

"Eric, you and I both know that if her full fledged ability is released it could destroy the world," he says, not paying attention to my move. "I don't know how long I can keep her in check."

"Just like the humans and us," I say, making my final move and stand to leave. "Checkmate. Exhilarating game as always, Charles. I look forward to our next bout."

"As do I, Erik."

bkhedr
01-21-2012, 05:45 AM
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg




One month later:

The Gorgon stood at the very edge of the roof of a 22 story building, seemingly oblivious to the precipice at his feet, and watched.

On an opposite rooftop a cadre of ninja were engaging a hooded and caped figure. The figure, a would be hero, was a mere boy, no older than 16, and even from here the Gorgon could feel his fear, his terror. Like so many other young Americans who are blessed with power beyond mortal men, this boy sought to be a hero, to use his gifts to help others, but beating up a few muggers is one thing and defending oneself from the Hand is another matter entirely. Even if one does posess enhanced strength and agility.

This child was one of dozens whom the Gorgon and his ninja had targeted in recent weeks. In truth, they were targets of no consequence. But if Tomi's plan was to succeed he needed the Elders to believe that he was actively eliminating American metahumans and mutants. Hence the nightly forays into the city. The ninja had taken to calling them hunts but the Gorgon hardly found each night's events to be worthy of such a title. To him they were nothing more than a waste of time, theatre that needed to be played out while he waited for other seeds to bear fruit. The woman he now felt skulking in the darkness behind him gave him reason to believe that the time for waiting was at an end and he silently signalled the ninja to finish their task so that he could focus on the new arrival.

The caped boy had fought hard, despite his terror and lack of training, but the skirmish ended abruptly, brutally, when a ninja's katana pierced his heart. The boy instantly fell dead and the attacking ninja melted into the shadows leaving the corpse.

"Come out woman." he said, addressing the woman in the darkness without turning to face her "I know you're there."

"Most impressive Gorgon." Talia al Ghul said as she emerged from the darkness "I admit I thought I'd at least be able to watch you without being detected. Its no wonder you have earned my Father's attention."

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"So he has agreed." The Gorgon said flatly. It was a statement not a question.

"Yes" Talia nodded needlessly "He will meet with you."

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"You understand my Father is a firm believer in the value of proper precautions." Talia explained as she led the Gorgon past yet another set of heavy doors and grim looking guards.

"I understand." The Gorgon replied matter of factly. Understanding did not lessen the inconvenience of having to make his way to the wilds of Michigan state, through a non descript cave, then running a complex guantlet of security check points and elaboratly locked doors. By now the Gorgon reckoned that they were some 300 feet underground. Still the inconvenience and the time spent so far would be worth it if his host provided him with what he needed.

"Here we are" Talia said as two guards held a door open and they made their way into a large circular chamber with a domed ceiling. The chamber was empty save for a raised platform near the back that featured what appeared to be a throne flanked by two large amphorae with fires burning within. Thin trails of smoke rose from the flames and filled the subteranean air with a faint, but sweet smell that Tomi could not place.

All things considered the Gorgon was unimpressed and Talia, perhaps sensing this, sought to put him in the proper frame of mind before the meeting began

"You should consider yourself fortunate. Few outsiders have ever entered this chamber." She said "Fewer still are those who get to bring their weapons with them" she added as she eyed the crimson bladed sword tucked into his belt.

"You are fortunate you did not try to take it from me." The Gorgon growled without taking his eyes off the throne "And I will consider myself something other than agitated when he finally arri-"

He stopped mid sentence, stunned. The throne which he had been eyeing so intently was suddenly, inexplicably, occupied by the man he had been seeking an audience with.

http://www.darkknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/85450-10071-ras-al-ghul_super.jpg

"Ra's Al Ghul." He said with a slight, but respectful, bow of his head. If the smug satisfaction he felt rising off of Talia at the sight of his surprise bothered him, he did not show it. "I am the Gorgon."

"And you come here on your own and not as a representative of the Hand." Ra's Al Ghul said in response. "More, you come before me with a strange request indeed. Tell me Gorgon what would the Elders say if they knew you were here?"

The Gorgon remained silent and Al Ghul let out a low chuckle.

"It hardly matters." He said with a dismissive wave "I have allowed this meeting because our goals are not incompatible and because you may yet make a useful ally one day. But nothing in this world comes for free Gorgon and if you would have what you wish for you will have to do something for me first."

"Ask, and you shall have it." Tomi replied, bringing a hint of a smile to Ras Al Ghul's face

"There is a man, one such as you might consider him beneath your notice but that would be a mistake, who has caught my attention with his actions. I would know more about him." Ras al Ghul rose from his throne and began walking towards the Gorgon as he spoke "I would have you test his limits."

"Where is this man?" The Gorgon asked gruffly "Who is he?"

"You will find him in the decaying municipality called Gotham City" replied Ra's Al Ghul "He calls himself the Batman."

Batman
01-21-2012, 06:36 AM
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"EVERYONE CLEAR THE AREA RIGHT NOW!"

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You know, when I said I wanted to move to Metropolis to persue a career, this isn't exactly what I had in mind. Reigning yourself down through solid concrete and turning it into rubble is not nessecarily the type of skill set you want to write down on an application. But in all honestly, it was the best way to get the attention of the pedestrians that I could think of, given how much time I'm being spared before that creature - whatever it is - eventually lands in the middle of the freeway and crushes anything in it's path. Dozens of people with widened eyes and slackjawed expressions begin to pile out of their vehicles, choosing to run in the other direction rather than attempt to engage me. But a few stay behind, too shocked to even move. I'd have probably stopped to consider what sort of an impact seeing me like this for the first time is going to make on the people of Metropolis, but all of my concerns leave as I glance up at the skies, seeing what barrels down towards the streets.

Okay, Clark. This should be easy. You used to run quarterback for Smallville High. Moving a few cars away from the scene at supersonic speeds shouldn't be any different. Just think of them as a few balls heavier than you're used to.

Closing my eyes and taking a deep breath, I vault forward and watch the cityscape bleed into a bright blur as I grab the first vehicle and scoop it up over my head, rushing a mile towards the next intersection and letting it drop back on it's tires. Spinning around, I gain momentum and pass the scene even faster, grabbing two cars at once and placing them several miles away. My focus briefly turns to the people watching this strange phenomena happen, but I manage to speed away before anyone's given the chance to pull out their camera phones. The next few cars are gone in an instant, and after another pass, I finally feel like I've cleared enough of the area of any man, woman, and child to warrant allowing the creature to land.

There's just one person left by the time that it does. Which is me, and I suddenly feel myself regret remaining in the area as it hits the pavement, sending a large shockwave that hurls me up into the air. Luckily, my abilty to fly manages to slow my ascension and eventually stop me entirely. Good thing I've been practicing how to do this. Up until last year, all I could hope to do was leap tall buildings in a single bound. I've found that being able to defy the laws of physics entirely is a substantial upgrade.

"RAARGH!"

To my surprise, the creature leaps back into a stance before the dust can even settle. It sniffs the air and violently jerks it's head back and forth, probably looking for me. Or whatever the power source is that he's seeking. But what really catches my attention is when he starts to take it out on the remaining vacant cars, slamming his fists into the hood of an SUV and doubling over a minivan with ease. Good God, it's going beserk. If it carries on like this any longer, others could get seriously hurt. It's as if it can't control it's own levels of anger, like it's it's constantly running on pure adrenaline. Which could explain...

Of course. That's why it wants the power that the radioactivity produced. This thing is like a living battery. If it doesn't find a power supply soon, it's going to run out of steam. Which means that the only way to stop this ramage is to wear it down and keep it occupied. A task that enivitably falls to me, I'm certain, as it finally manages to catch a glimpse of me hovering in the skies.

"YOU! YOU DID THIS!"

In a feat of raw strength, it charges it's leap and pushes itself off of the ground, leaping at me like the launch of a missile. I fly forward and attempt to catch it, but it hits me too hard. We both go tumbling ahead, treading deeper into downtown Metropolis. It finally hits me across the face and attempts to claw at my head, but I grab it's wrist and slam my fist into it's jaw. A punch that hard should have slowed it down. All it did was make it angry. I take both boots and kick it off of me, sending it flying. What doesn't occur to me is where I'm going at this velocity, which is soon answered by what I come up against.

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Well. That definitely hurt.

"TEAR YOU APART! FEAST ON YOUR LUNGS!"

Ever the charmer, the creature comes at me from the distance in another charged leap. But even with the wind knocked out of me after being knocked through an entire floor of a building, I manage to dodge it's grab at my body and wrap my arms around it's waist.

"RAAARGH!"

"Nggh! Easy for you to say!"

Guiding us towards the nearby remnants of a construction site, I fly us both into the hard steel frame. It's chest hits the worst of it, causing a large dent in the otherwise solid metal. Yet it still flails about and tries to shake me off as if it were nothing. I've never faced anything this powerful in my life. Heck, I've never met anything more powerful than I am. This thing could easily double my endurance, maybe even my strength. Where could it have come from?

"You don't understand! The master! He needs the power as much as I!"

Even though we're still in the midst of a struggle, I can't help but raise an eyebrow at this. Not only is this the first real intelligible sentence that it's said to me since this fight began, but it's the first he's mentioned of any sort of "master". You mean to tell me that all of this chaos and destruction was caused by someone other than this thing?!

"Who are you talking about? Who's your master?"

"The master! He lives underground. Beneath the streets, the sewers. Beneath everything. He made me like this... and he controls my destiny!"

It knocks me off of itself and into an abandoned crane, just after I noticed that it's anger was clearly turning into an emotion resembling fear. It's not from me, I'm definitely certain, but it's for whoever he was talking about. This man underground that seems to be pulling it's strings. My immediate focus shifts from pulling myself out of the rubble to watching a wrecking ball fly at me, after being hurled by the creature itself. I thought it was an animal, but it's smart enough to know how to keep me at bay. And it said that it was made to be how it is. Could it have been a man? Is this the product of some sort of genetic tampering?

And if so, by whom?

"Htt!"

I catch the massive ball in mid-air and gently place it on the ground. But by the time I've looked back towards my sparring partner, he seems to have leaped away from the scene. Heading deeper into Metropolis, and more importantly, bringing itself closer to civilization. My hands close into a fist, as I silently begin to come up with a plan to bring this thing down.

Heaven help me if I fail.

bkhedr
01-21-2012, 11:06 AM
http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg



"So far so good right?" Whitney asks playfully, looking up at me as I stand behind her with my arms wrapped around her. We're standing alone on a upper floor balcony in Nefaria's mansion. A brief escape from the movers and shakers inside.

"Yeah." I reply with a smile. I'd like to be able to tell her how miserable I am for being here, how she owes me for making me come to the party, but to be honest I'm having a good time. Granted a big part, the main part, of that is her company.

"Good" she gives me a peck on the cheek "If you and I are going to work out, that is if you're really serious about us..."

"I am."

"Well then you've got to get used to my Dad's social gatherings, among other things."

"Hey I said it wasn't so bad." I say defensively.

She smiles and I'm struck yet again by how beautiful she is, how lucky I am to have found her. I'm about to tell her as much when a sudden burst of sound, light and heat floods my senses and blows us both off of our feet.

I hit the ground hard, thankful that my body is shielding Whitney's and we lay there, dazed and stunned for what feels like forever but is surely only a second or two.

My ears are ringing and my head already aches from where it hit the marble floor but I've got my wits about me enough to know that we just felt an explosion.

"Are you alright?" I ask as I cup Whitney's face in my hands.

She's just as stunned as I am and it takes a second before she nods in the affirmative. Its only then, after I'm reassured that she's unharmed, that I start to take in what's happening around us. Only then do I realize that the mansion is under attack. Only then does the fear start to set in.

I hug the floor, staying as low as I can and keeping Whitney down with me, as gunfire and screams fill the air around us. I’m terrified, paralyzed, but Whitney struggles against me and I instinctively give her room which she uses to climb to her feet.

"Whitney! Get down!" I say as I grab Whitney's arm. In my mind I'm strong, confident and commanding. The reality is that I'm anything but. The words barely make it out of my throat and when they do even I can't deny that their less a roar and more a whimper.

After such a feeble effort its no surprise that Whitney ignores my pleas. She pulls free from me and pushes the balcony doors open. I'm stunned and ashamed by how bold she is as she storms into the great hall calling out to her father. But she's barely crossed the threshold into the hall when a man in some kind of combat armor grabs her from behind.

I've only just registered the fact before another man rushes me and kicks me in the ribs. He wastes no time and hauls me to my fight then stands me up agains the wall next to Whitney. My only consolation is that his quick action has saved me from the embarrasment of cowering on the cold marble floor. I may play an action hero, but I've never been in a situation like this before and realizing that I'm a coward, is a sobering and dispointing thing, even while I'm in mortal danger.

In contrast, Whitney seems like a lion and while she says nothing she stares down the trooper who grabbed her like she's trying to bore through him with her eyes. I want to speak up, to tell her not to provoke them, but my throat is dry and my mouth won't work, so I turn away from her and take stock of what is happening around me instead.

The attack is seemingly already over and Nefaria's guards, at least the ones that I can see, lie unconcious or worse. In their place are at least two dozen men in combat armor with futuristic looking rifles at the ready.

"What is the meaning of this!" Nefaria's voice booms through the hall, making me jerk involuntarily and I seek the man out with my eyes and find him accosting one of the attackers.

"Answer me peasant!" The counts roars as he jabs the trooper in the chest with the head of his cane. There's no fear in him at all. Only supreme confidence mixed with anger. I steal a glance and Whitney and see the same look he has mirrorred in her eyes. I guess that's where she gets it, but right now my main concern is getting out of here alive and wondering if Nefaria's outburst is actually putting the final nail in our collective coffin.

My panicked thoughts are interrupted by a new voice, younger than Nefaria's.

"Come now Count." I turn my head in the direction of the new voice and see a man in all black armor step through the ruined main doors of the hall and approach Nefaria.

“Did you really think the Maggia families wouldn’t find out what you were doing?”

http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg

There's a collective shudder that ripples through the crowd as the new comer says those words. The Maggia! These guys are Maggia! Even Nefaria seems taken aback.

"You know what your problem is Nefaria?" The man in the black armor says as he walks up to Nefaria and violently grabs his chin and jaw in one hand to pull his face towards him "You never seemed to understand your own limitations."

Nefaria doesn't say anything. He doesn't need to. The rage burning in his eyes is clear for all to see.

"Tell me where it is Nefaria" The black clad man says menacingly as he leans in even closer. He's clearly not intimidated by the Count but Nefaria's not intimidated either, despite the lopsidedness of their respective positions and when he says something to the man under his breath I know its no pleasantry even before the man releases him roughly with a look of disgust.

"Stubborn to the last eh Lucio?" The man says as he scans the room. I feel his eyes upon me and flinch involuntarily before I realize that's he's already passed me by and now has his gaze fixed squarley on Whitney.

"Bring me the daughter." He commands and two of the armed goons immediately move to comply.

Whitney reacts by kicking one of them hard in the crotch and trying to reach for his weapon before she's restrained by his partner. I say her name out loud and reach out timidly but otherwise remain frozen by fear. But even this small show of resistance rubs the attackers the wrong way and I feel a jolt of pain, followed by disorientation before dropping to my knees at the feet of the trooper who butted me in the head with his rifle.

The world is spinning around me as I hear Whitney shout my name as they drag her across the hall towards the still stoic Nefaria.

As soon as she's close enough Whitney spits in the black clad man's armored visor. He responds instantly by backhanding her across the face hard.

Even at a distance and disoriented I can tell she's hurt by the way her head droops and its as if a switch is suddenly flipped inside me.

"Whitney!" I growl as I struggle to rise "You let her go you son of ahnn-"

I collapse, barely conscious, and taste blood in my mouth. I can hear Whitney call my name again and I just manage to glance up at her but she's cut off by the black clad man who grabs her roughly by the hair.

"My my, you are quite the firebrand and beautiful too." He says, taunting her "Shame you couldn't find yourself a better champion eh?"

Shame is right. I can't explain it but my fear is suddenly gone and in its place is anger at this man and shame at my own innefectiveness.

"Now are you going to tell me what I want to know?" The man says to Nefaria before turning back to Whitney "Or am I going to have to do something drastic to this beautiful face?"

"You wouldn't dare harm my daughter."

"Wouldn't I?"

What happens next is almost too horrible to stomach and at first my mind doesn't want to believe my eyes, but Whitney's gut wrenching scream of agony is impossible to ignore and I have to look away as she drops to the floor, her face literally melting before our eyes asthe crowd erupts in terror again.

Everything is a blur from there. I see Nefaria, hear him cursing and watch him struggle against the hands that restrain him. I see the black clad man laugh as he holsters the acid gun he hit Whitney in the face with. I watch with a breaking heart as she writhes in agony then stops moving and lies still, seemingly dead.

Then there's an explosion, from somewhere above me and I hear gunfire before I finally, mercifully, lose consciousness.

wiegeabo
01-21-2012, 09:27 PM
And I thought New York was dark.

Gotham is like a black hole.

I remember the New York nights of my childhood. How, ouside of Times Square, it felt like the city was nothing but darkness and shadows. And living in Hell's Kithcen didn't help the matter. But there was always life. Sounds of the city. Cars honking, dull roar of engines, shouts of people happy, angry, and scared. Everything that lets you know people are alive and active. No matter how bad the night might get.

Gotham isn't like that at all. It's quiet. Eerily so. There's still the occasional car, or shout, or scream. A sign that this isn't a ghost town. But, compared to home, Gotham is a dead landscape. Too scared to confront it's own shadows.

A perfect place for a killer to run.

No on here is going to put their necks on the line and tell anyone where a criminal like Biglia is hiding. Hide. That's a laugh. The man I'm looking for isn't hiding. He works for the people who own this city. He walks the streets with impunity. Fearing no one because they all fear him.

I don't fear him.

So it should be interesting to see what happens when he meets me.

The trick will be finding him. He may not be hiding, but in a city this size, it's not like he really has to. So I have to do the work and find himself myself.


I spend two hours 'touring' the city from above. In that time, I come across a half-dozen muggings and break up an attempted rape. And none of the scum I have a conversation with know anything about Biglia. Not too surprising. He runs in a nicer set of criminal circles. But it does give me the feeling that this long night was going to turn into a long trip.

Around 2 in the morning I get another chance to make some new friends. I can hear the crew of four whispering to each other a block away. I leap across the rooftops to cover the distance between us.

"Remember the plan," I hear one say. "Keep the car ready. We'll be through the security bars in two minutes. Thirty seconds for the door. Sixty seconds before the alarm goes off. So that's how long we have to grab all the jewels we can and get the hell out."

"I still think we can stick around longer. It'll take the cops five minutes to get off their asses."

"And we're gonna need that to get the hell away. Don't get greedy or stupid, and we'll be spending the next two years drinking on a beech with an island hottie or two sitting on our laps."

I wait on the roof across the street for the three to get out of the van and head around the back of the shop.

SLAM

"What the-?!"

I reach into the window from the roof of the van. I grab the driver by the back of his head and slam his face into the steering wheel a couple of times. He slumps over across the front seats.

That takes care of the getaway. Now for the others...


CLUNK CLUNK

I hear the sound of metal hitting the ground. I'm up on the roof above them before they're through the door. Can't make the crime stick if they aren't actually committing it. Once they're inside, that's when the real charges can stick to them. It also makes it much easier to keep them confined in an environment more conducive to a serious 'discussion'.

"Remember. Sixty seconds, then alarm. No longer. Ready?"

There are no sounds. So I assume they just nod, because a second later-

"Three-two-one-" CLICK!

The door creeks open and they're inside. I drop behind them silently.

I hear the faint clinking of jewels between the smashing of glass. All the noise virtually lights up the room around me, allowing me to see what's happening. I keep myself hidden behind a pillar while I listen beyond the clutter of noise, focusing on a very, very subtle hum. I trace my hand along the wall, following the sound, until I come across a panel. I smile, and pop the cover. Then I flip all the switches and the lights go out.

"Hey."

"What the-?"

Move! Mo-"

A clothesline takes one of the three down, as he flips over in the air and faceplants on the floor. The others shout, which gives me targets. I fling my billy-club, catching one on the head. He drops like a rock. I pull the cord, and the club flies back into my hand.

"Oh, **** me." I hear a sack full of jewels hit the ground. "It's the Batman!" Don't kill me!"

"Heh," I laugh, my voice filled with gravel. "The Batman is a myth." He jumps when my voice is next to his head.

"But the Devil is real..."

Byrd Man
01-22-2012, 02:23 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png




Previously



Gotham Central
9:54 PM


Gordon was sitting at his desk when I came through the open window.

"Captain."

"Shut the window," he said without looking up from the paperwork on his desk. "It's cold outside. And it's Major now. Loeb's death bumped up the current chain of command. Jack Grogan is the commissioner now and I got a bump up to Major."

I closed the window and walked through Gordon's office while he continued to work. I walked up to the wall on the far left of the room and stared. He had mugshots of all the major players in the Four Families of Gotham strung up on piece of corkboard on the wall and arranged by family affiliation. On the Maroni side of the board, all the faces had red exes drawn across them in red marker. All the faces. For all intents and purposes, the Maroni Family was dead.

"Maroni has two sons, you know," Gordon said, finally looking up from his work. "Twins. Umberto and Pino. They're in Chicago right now working for Don Gambrella. They both got involved in an unauthorized hit on a made man in the Falcone Family and had to be exiled as punishment."

"Any chance they'll come back? Try and reclaim their father's rackets?"

"I would say no, but you never know. They'll have to fight to get it, though. It's been a week since Maroni was killed, and people are moving in. I don't know who is doing what yet."

"The Falcones are taking Maroni's drug territory and Union ties. Hammerhead laid claim to the prostitution ring Maroni had going, along with the strip club and pornography fronts. Billy Russo and the Gnucci Family are moving in to take the illegal gambling dens and poker joints Maroni owned and operated, as well as the protection racket one of his crews operated out of the airport and Bingham Beach."

"...Do I want to know how you know all that?"

"The heads of the three families met two days ago and divvied it all up peacefully. I had a recording device planted in the back room of Falcone's shipping business office. I can give you a copy of the audio and a written transcript."

"That'd be helpful. Not worth a damn in court, but it helps with intelligence."

"So why did you call for this meeting, Jim?"

"Something came for you this morning" he said, reaching into his desk. "It was addressed to Batman, care of Jim Gordon."Gordon pulled a enveloped package from the desk drawer and handed it to me. I let it sit in my palm, inspecting the envelope and the weight of the package. Batman is written on the front in a large, looping font. "Have you-"

"Scanned it? Yep. No bomb or anthrax."
I opened the top of the envelope and reached in, pulling out a smartphone with green casing.I turned it on, letting the phone boot up. The ringtone suddenly kicked on, blasting music through the room.

"BURN, BABY, BURN, DISCO INFERNO! BURN, BABY, BURN, BURN THAT MAMMA DOWN!"

The music kept on as the call, listed as blocked, continued to ring. I looked up at Jim, who nodded. I answered and put the phone to my ear.

"H-hello," a frightened male voice said on the other end of the line. "Y....you have to help me."

"Who are you? Did you send me the phone?"

"N-not this dumb cow that I...I'm talking through...but me, your secret admirer."

"Does he have you hostage? Where are you?"

"This one is sticking...to...my script. I'm sending you something....figure it out in an hour...or....he dies. Please help me!"

The phone beeped and I pulled it away from my ear, looking at the text on the screen:

He who hAs it dOesn't teLl it. He who tAkes it doesN't know It. He who kNows it doesn't wanT it. What is it?

"One hour," the man on the line said, his voice trembling with fright."...or he...he goes boom. Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's is afraid of the big, black bat?"






The line went dead and I looked up at Gordon.

"What the hell did that mean?"

"It's a riddle," I said, handing Jim the phone. "Somebody out there is playing a game with someone's life. Can you trace the call?"

"Sure. I'll take it to the guys in Tech Services."

Gordon took the phone and hurried off. While he was gone, I paced around the room and digested the riddle.

He who hAs it dOesn't teLl it. He who tAkes it doesN't know It. He who kNows it doesn't wanT it. What is it?

Ten minutes later, Jim walked in with the phone in his hands.

"Whoever called us knew what they were doing. The number was routed and rerouted through a half dozen proxies up and down the east coast. We have no idea of where the call came from."

"That's what he wanted," I said, turning to look at Gordon. "Waste time for him while he watches."

"He's in the building?!" Jim said incredulously.

"No, but he cameras are," I said, walking across the room to a map of Gotham that Jim had hung on the wall. I looked around it and finally spotted the tiny pin. I yanked it out the map and held it up.

"A camera small enough to fit on the head of a pin. Wireless and connected to a router somewhere in the building. There's probably at least another dozen of these scattered inside the building."

"How did he get in here and do all of this?!"

"The same way I did when I planted my bugs," I said, placing the pin on the desk."The screening for civilians needs work."

"Duly noted. Now, what does that riddle mean?"

"'He who has it does not tell it. He who takes it doesn't know it. He who knows it doesn't want it.' Money. Counterfeit money. If you have counterfeit money, you don't tell anyone. If you take it, more often than not you have no idea it's fake. If you know it's fake, you don't want it. I think I know what the riddle involves. If he could have gotten inside Gotham Central, he could have easily passed through your firewalls and looked at your cases. The other week, wasn't there a case involving counterfeit money?"

"There was. Crowe and Davies took it and they've been working with the Secret Service on it."

"Give me everything you have on it. Try to hurry, Jim. We only have forty minutes left."

Fifteen minutes later, Jim and I are pouring over the case files on his desk. A man tried to pawn off a phoney $100 bill last week at a grocery store in Dutch Hill. He was arrested and questioned, he said he found the money on the sidewalk down the block from his house one morning on his way to work. The man's name is Joe Johnson. He's a 36 year old printer and copier repairman with two teenaged boys. The Secret Service and GCPD went through his personal background with a fine tooth comb. No ties to organized crime, no way he could have gotten his hands on the equipment to counterfeit money. There's another case related to the fake money. Two teenagers bought a dirt bike with cash a week before that. The cash turned out to be fake. When the owner of the bike shop came out to confront the boys the took off in a hurry on the bike. There's a bulletin notice out to look for the dirt bike, no clear description on the boys. That, combined with the other files, clicks it all together in my mind.

"I know the answer," I said. I picked the pin up and looked into the camera. "The money came from Joe Johnson's kids. They used some of the printers and copy machines he had laying around. The used the fake money to buy their dirt bike and then panicked when the manager tried to confront them. They hid the bike and destroyed the money ...but they didn't destroy it all. When they were moving the money, one of the fake hundreds got loose and landed out the sidewalk outside their house. The next morning, their father found it down the street and later tried to pay for groceries with it. He had no idea it was fake, and he had no idea it was his sons who printed up the money. Riddle solved."

"BURN, BABY, BURN, DISCO INFERNO! BURN, BABY, BURN, BURN THAT MAMMA DOWN!"

I picked the phone up and answered it.

"....He says....you can come get me."


Downtown

I stood in the shadows and watched as the bomb squad unhooked the C4 pack on the floor. The hostage had been tied to a chair just a few feet from the plastic explosive. There wasn't any booby traps or rigs on the hostage. Getting him to safety was as easy as cutting his bindings.

Gordon walked over towards me, lighting a cigarette.

"The bomb guys tell me the C4 had a wireless detonator. It could have been detonated from over a block away. The hostage didn't know who took him. He was walking home the other night when someone hit him on the back of his head. He woke up in the chair."

"How was he communicating with his captor?"

"A two-way device that only sends and receives texts. He said that his captor was watching him, said that he'd blow the C4 if h tried to escape."
I nodded, looking down at the phone that was in my hands. The emerald green cover. "He'll be back, Jim," I said, activating the phone. "This was a test. I passed. Right after the hostage called, he sent a text message to this phone."

I held the phone and let Jim see the message on the screen.

Well done. Our warm-up is complete. You're just as smart as advertised. I look forward to more of this. See you tomorrow night.

xoxo,

The Riddler

Carnage27
01-23-2012, 12:20 PM
Little Timmy Scott's mouth sits open as he stands on his tip toes to peer out of the window that overlooks one of America's greatest cities. He was on vacation with his dad, who looks down, "Take a good look, Timmy. This is the gateway to freedom. Where people from all over the world came to enjoy the American dream."

"It's just a city, dad," the boy chuckles.

"But it's not," the father says tenderly. "This is the best country in the world, son. We have freedoms and liberties that others don't. And for a lot of people, this was the entrance to those same freedoms. And these islands were a symbol to the freedoms we built as a people. Together, we are the people that make this country one. All of us as equal as the next man."

"Wow, guess I'm pretty lucky to live here!" Timmy says as he stares, now with amazement in his eyes, at the city before him, something seemingly changing right in front of him. His father puts his arm around him, proud to be sharing this moment with his son.

And that's when the Statue of Liberty lurched.

**********

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png


"You had your chance, America," I say, focusing my power on the gigantic metal structure in front of me. It shudders for a while before becoming detached from its island home and floats up towards me. Humans begin falling out the bottom like salt from a shaker, smashing into the ground below.

"This what I think of the 'liberty' you claim to preach, foster, and spread," I say to myself, yet to all of the country at the same time. "You are too complacent, too sure of your own superiority. Witness my power and despair. Witness it and realize we are the true force of power on this planet. Witness and despair."

With that I focus harder than I ever have before, gripping the statue with a force greater than I've ever used before. With a sickening squeal, the statue rips in half, sheared metal showering down into the water and onto the island below. One half drops to Liberty Island. the other I toss towards the city, smashing into a group of buidlings.

That's when the first round of helicopters show up. Military grade attack vehicles with missiles, machine guns, and other wonderfully destructive capabilities. Once they're in range, they let loose with their payloads, foolishly thinking it will have some sort of affect.

I easily catch their projectiles and send them back towards them, causing a series of explosions and a send a fiery rain to descend below.

The next sound I hear is a news helicopter, which I draw into me. The frightened reporter inside shakes at sudden nearness of me, but I ignore her and focus on the camera, "You brought this upon yourself, America. And now you have left me no choice. This act is a formal decliration of war from Homo Superior, mutants, on the scum that is humanity. You had your opportunity, and now your genetic proginy will take its place as the rulers of this planet."

Finished, I snap the helicopter's rotors off and allow it to plummet towards the water below, the reporter's screams being the last thing the viewing public hears.

sumowrestler
01-23-2012, 07:42 PM
Richard walks through the hallways catching a few comments here and there. Some are talking about these mutants and many believe they should be put in jail or some how controled. It seems that his mother wasn't the only one with that attitude. Is the government all about controling what it doesn't know or understand? What would happen if some of these mutants want to help socieity? There are probably many who just want to live as normal of a life as possible. Richard then comes across a new booth.

Join the White Tigers Kickboxing Club.
First six lessons are free.
Limited space so sign up quickly.


Richard walks up to the crowd and sees some big guys in their jump suits handing out flyers with one holding onto a clipboard. As Richard gets closer, he gets bumped into by a cute girl who has a distraught look on her face. Richard quickly realizes that it is Jennifer, the one he has had his eyes on for past few weeks.

"Hey Jennifer, what is wrong?"

"I was turned away. They said that I didn't have the right look or frame to do what they are willing to teach. Something about wrong bone or muscle structure. What is worse is when I walked away, I thought I felt a pinch on the butt."

"I'm sorry, some people don't realize what they are throwing away before they even open up the person. Let me walk with you to your first class."

"Thanks, Richard, you have always been a sweet guy to me."

Richard and Jennifer walk away close to each other which causes Richard to start to shake from being so close to her. She looks towards him and wraps her arm around thinking he is cold. He turns to face her and she smiles. They stare in each other's eyes until the bell rings. Then they start running down the hall with Richard heading into room 304 for math and Jennifer into 401 for science.

Carnage27
01-25-2012, 08:57 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

The flight home from Colorado is a contemplative one. So far I've run into another two potential allies in today's fight against evil, and I'm not any closer to having a true team. Stark is standoffish at best, and Thor...well, he said he'd help me. At least there's that. But even his promise of help I can't trust too much. He's a powerful god-like being. For all I know this Donald Blake won't be able to contact him when the time comes.

Coulson is quiet on the way back. I think he can tell the predicament we're in. The current climate is completely split on the super powered community, from what I've gathered. Some welcome us as heroes, others fear what we're capable of. Not many people like me are going to sign up for some crusade against a corrupt government agency.

We reach New York again in a few hours, and we head back to Fury's penthouse. There, I find him and Agent 13 watching a video of a man in a helmet.



" We are a force of nature. We are your destiny. We are your superiors. And if you do not give up this foolish registration act, I will personally show you the power of my people. You have one week, America. Choose your fate."




"Who's that?" I ask Fury. "Doesn't look like he's too friendly."

"He's not," Fury replies, switching off the TV. "But we have a week to worry about him. We need to get you out recruiting more. How did meeting Stark and Thor go?"

"You knew they'd be there?" I ask my old friend in amazement.

"I had a feeling," Fury responds. "Stark wouldn't pass up an opportunity to feel needed and Thor...well, I had heard whispers. How did it go?"

I don't ask what whispers he heard. Fury was always connected into the shadows during the war. If he heard something, that's probably where it came from, "Not great. Stark basically told me to shove it and Thor said he'd help me if I needed him."

"Good, at least we got one."

"Where am I headed now?"

"Boston."

**********

I look down at the address in my hand and back up to the building number before stepping out and paying the cab. I step through the door and follow the signs to the office I'm looking for.

Once there, the receptionist looks up at me and asks in a flirty tone, "May I help you, sir?"

"Yes, I was wondering if I could could speak to the doctor?" I reply with a smile.

"Sure let me check." After a quick and muffled phone conversation she says, "You can go in, sir."

I enter an office filled to the roof with books and a bookcase. There, sitting behind the desk is an older, distinguished woman. She turns to me, "How may I help you, young man?"

"I was wondering if I could talk to your about a friend of yours, Dr. Kapatelis."

Byrd Man
01-25-2012, 11:08 PM
A bolt of lightning crashed on the ground in front of them, causing a loud thunderclap. A large man appeared before them, his eyes filled with dancing lightning.

"Norsemen," he spat with contempt. "I should have known. Which one of you was responsible?"

Thor turned to the two mortals and spoke under his breath while Loki stepped forward to talk.


Thor and Loki turned to Zeus as the two mortals left.

"Zeus," Loki said, bowing. "A thousand apologies, Sky Father. Your brother's death was brought upon by himself."

"Of course the god of lies and tricks would say this," Zeus grunted. "But what does the Son of Odin have to say?"

"Loki speaks truth," Thor said, looking up at Zeus. "Your brother took Loki as a hostage and then created an opening to the Underworld. Monsters were running rampant across this kingdom. Loki intervened when Hades was preparing to administer a killing blow to me. Had Loki not stopped him, Hades would have killed me and been allowed to march across this land without resistance."

"No," Zeus stated. "Not my brother."

"Open your eyes! Hades was a bitter old fool, driven to madness by his exile from the Underworld!"

Zeus fixed the two Norsemen with a steely glance before he snarled, lightning surging from his hands. Zeus lunged towards them and Thor held Mjolnir up, ready to block Zeus' strike.

"No," a voice echoed around them. Zeus was suddenly suspended in mid-air. In a flash of light, Odin appeared between him and the two Norse gods. "This foolishness ends now."

"Unhand me," Zeus said, his eyes crackling with lightning. "You were behind this farce, you one-eyed bastard!"

"Watch your tongue, Zeus," Odin said coldly. "If you persist in your blasphemy, you will certainly watch it as I cut it from your mouth."

"You would not dare!"

"And why not? Your rash words would require rash action. Heed my words, Zeus, Midgard is not the place to settle this quarrel. I have heard the words of Thor Odinson and Loki Laufeyson. I urge you to take your grievance up with the Quintessence. If my ward is in the wrong for killing your brother, he will pay. The Inhumans and Apokoliptians ready for war. Another war across the cosmos, a war between Olympus and Asgard, is not called for. But know this: if it is war you seek, I will be glad to give it to you."

Odin glared at Zeus as he held the god suspended in the air. There was a tense silence in the field before Zeus finally nodded.

"Very well. I will take this to the Quintessence. But if Loki is found in the wrong, he will be punished by my hand..."

"That will be a decision for them to make," Odin said, releasing Zeus "Loki and I will be there shortly."

In a thunderclap and bolt of lightning, Zeus disappeared. Odin turned to Thor and Loki, surveying the two gods with his one eye.

"Heimdall bore witness to the events here today. He can testify that Loki's actions were justified, albeit a bit extreme. We will have words about this once we are home."

"Yes, Father," Loki said with a bowed head.

Odin shifted his sight to Thor, a slight smile came across his face.

"My son. It's been awhile."

"Thirty Midgardian years."

"It is good to see you here in the flesh, having reclaimed Mjolnir. Your time in this realm has seemed to have taught you humility, kindness, and compassion. I have heard of your deeds here since reclaiming your power."

"I help where I can," Thor said with a shrug. "With the dangers of this world, there is always more I can do."

"Well, you may need to stay here a bit longer. I will discuss your exile with the Quintessence. Hopefully, they will see the light."

"Not that my stay here would be bad. As I said, there is always more to do."

"But your place is in Asgard, my son," Odin said, placing a hand on Thor's shoulder. "It has always has been that way."

"As you wish, All-Father. We will discuss this later at another date."

"Very well. Come, Loki. Away with us."

Loki smirked and winked at Thor as he and Odin disappeared in a flash of light. Thor reached down and picked up Mjolnir, cracking his neck and taking to the skies to search for his lost helmet.

bkhedr
01-26-2012, 03:52 AM
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg



"You understand my Father is a firm believer in the value of proper precautions." Talia explained as she led the Gorgon past yet another set of heavy doors and grim looking guards.

"I understand." The Gorgon replied matter of factly. Understanding did not lessen the inconvenience of having to make his way to the wilds of Michigan state, through a non descript cave, then running a complex guantlet of security check points and elaboratly locked doors. By now the Gorgon reckoned that they were some 300 feet underground. Still the inconvenience and the time spent so far would be worth it if his host provided him with what he needed.

"Here we are" Talia said as two guards held a door open and they made their way into a large circular chamber with a domed ceiling. The chamber was empty save for a raised platform near the back that featured what appeared to be a throne flanked by two large amphorae with fires burning within. Thin trails of smoke rose from the flames and filled the subteranean air with a faint, but sweet smell that Tomi could not place.

All things considered the Gorgon was unimpressed and Talia, perhaps sensing this, sought to put him in the proper frame of mind before the meeting began

"You should consider yourself fortunate. Few outsiders have ever entered this chamber." She said "Fewer still are those who get to bring their weapons with them" she added as she eyed the crimson bladed sword tucked into his belt.

"You are fortunate you did not try to take it from me." The Gorgon growled without taking his eyes off the throne "And I will consider myself something other than agitated when he finally arri-"

He stopped mid sentence, stunned. The throne which he had been eyeing so intently was suddenly, inexplicably, occupied by the man he had been seeking an audience with.

http://www.darkknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/85450-10071-ras-al-ghul_super.jpg

"Ra's Al Ghul." He said with a slight, but respectful, bow of his head. If the smug satisfaction he felt rising off of Talia at the sight of his surprise bothered him, he did not show it. "I am the Gorgon."

"And you come here on your own and not as a representative of the Hand." Ra's Al Ghul said in response. "More, you come before me with a strange request indeed. Tell me Gorgon what would the Elders say if they knew you were here?"

The Gorgon remained silent and Al Ghul let out a low chuckle.

"It hardly matters." He said with a dismissive wave "I have allowed this meeting because our goals are not incompatible and because you may yet make a useful ally one day. But nothing in this world comes for free Gorgon and if you would have what you wish for you will have to do something for me first."

"Ask, and you shall have it." Tomi replied, bringing a hint of a smile to Ras Al Ghul's face

"There is a man, one such as you might consider him beneath your notice but that would be a mistake, who has caught my attention with his actions. I would know more about him." Ras al Ghul rose from his throne and began walking towards the Gorgon as he spoke "I would have you test his limits."

"Where is this man?" The Gorgon asked gruffly "Who is he?"


"You will find him in the decaying municipality called Gotham City" replied Ra's Al Ghul "He calls himself the Batman."


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Gotham City

The sun descends behind the city's gothic towers signalling the start of another long and dangerous night for Gotham's police. Policemen in Gotham understand that theirs is no normal city, that they have to deal with much more than most of their counterparts around the country. The realization hardens them, and more, it changes them. Some rise to the challenge and elevate themselves above the grime, seeking to the best cops they can be for a city that desperately needs them to be all that and more. Others bend their principles, choosing to become as dark as the alleys and backstreets they patrol and preying on those they should be protecting whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Tonight would be a black night in the GCPD's history, and it would make no distinction between good cops and bad cops. Tonight Gotham's protectors will be reduced to victims. Victims and bait.

It begins almost as soon as the last rays of light fade away. A patrolman walking his beat on the city's northern side suddenly feels the unforgiving bite of a garrotte slicing through his throat.

Several blocks aways a cruiser involved in a high speed chase has two front tires blow out simultaneously as two thrown knives puncture them. The cruiser skids uncontrollably for a moment before flipping end over end.

A bar near midtown frequented by Gotham's finest erupts in a fiery inferno. Those trying to escape the rapidly spreading flames find the exits barred from the outside.

And on and on it goes. The ninjas of the Hand move silently through the city, killing police wherever they find them. By the time the city's street lights ficker to life nearly a hundred police officers are dead, with more dying every minute. Police radio frenquencies are overcrowded with the calls coming in and as the GCPD declares a state of emergency the Gorgon watches. Watches and waits for the Batman to make his move.

bkhedr
01-26-2012, 05:19 AM
http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg


There's a collective shudder that ripples through the crowd as the new comer says those words. The Maggia! These guys are Maggia! Even Nefaria seems taken aback.

"You know what your problem is Nefaria?" The man in the black armor says as he walks up to Nefaria and violently grabs his chin and jaw in one hand to pull his face towards him "You never seemed to understand your own limitations."

Nefaria doesn't say anything. He doesn't need to. The rage burning in his eyes is clear for all to see.

"Tell me where it is Nefaria" The black clad man says menacingly as he leans in even closer. He's clearly not intimidated by the Count but Nefaria's not intimidated either, despite the lopsidedness of their respective positions and when he says something to the man under his breath I know its no pleasantry even before the man releases him roughly with a look of disgust.

"Stubborn to the last eh Lucio?" The man says as he scans the room. I feel his eyes upon me and flinch involuntarily before I realize that's he's already passed me by and now has his gaze fixed squarley on Whitney.

"Bring me the daughter." He commands and two of the armed goons immediately move to comply.

Whitney reacts by kicking one of them hard in the crotch and trying to reach for his weapon before she's restrained by his partner. I say her name out loud and reach out timidly but otherwise remain frozen by fear. But even this small show of resistance rubs the attackers the wrong way and I feel a jolt of pain, followed by disorientation before dropping to my knees at the feet of the trooper who butted me in the head with his rifle.

The world is spinning around me as I hear Whitney shout my name as they drag her across the hall towards the still stoic Nefaria.

As soon as she's close enough Whitney spits in the black clad man's armored visor. He responds instantly by backhanding her across the face hard.

Even at a distance and disoriented I can tell she's hurt by the way her head droops and its as if a switch is suddenly flipped inside me.

"Whitney!" I growl as I struggle to rise "You let her go you son of ahnn-"

I collapse, barely conscious, and taste blood in my mouth. I can hear Whitney call my name again and I just manage to glance up at her but she's cut off by the black clad man who grabs her roughly by the hair.

"My my, you are quite the firebrand and beautiful too." He says, taunting her "Shame you couldn't find yourself a better champion eh?"

Shame is right. I can't explain it but my fear is suddenly gone and in its place is anger at this man and shame at my own innefectiveness.

"Now are you going to tell me what I want to know?" The man says to Nefaria before turning back to Whitney "Or am I going to have to do something drastic to this beautiful face?"

"You wouldn't dare harm my daughter."

"Wouldn't I?"

What happens next is almost too horrible to stomach and at first my mind doesn't want to believe my eyes, but Whitney's gut wrenching scream of agony is impossible to ignore and I have to look away as she drops to the floor, her face literally melting before our eyes asthe crowd erupts in terror again.

Everything is a blur from there. I see Nefaria, hear him cursing and watch him struggle against the hands that restrain him. I see the black clad man laugh as he holsters the acid gun he hit Whitney in the face with. I watch with a breaking heart as she writhes in agony then stops moving and lies still, seemingly dead.

Then there's an explosion, from somewhere above me and I hear gunfire before I finally, mercifully, lose consciousness.

http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg

The world comes into focus in bits and pieces

"- positive he will survive the process."

A man in a white coat. A doctor? He's got his back to me and I can't see who he's speaking to.

"H-hey"

My throat is dry, cracked. They don't hear me. I feel weak, groggy, but I try to sit up.

"Aow!"

"My goodness he's awake!" The Doctor says as he turns towards me "Nurse!"

I see Nefaria when the Doctor moves. That's who he was talking to. The Count has his arms folded across his chest and he gives me a cold look before I pass out again.

****
"Wake up Simon"

"Nefaria?"

"Yes boy."

He's standing by my bedside. I'm in alot of discomfort but its not quite jarring pain and my head seems clearer than it was before.

"What happened? Where-"

"You are in one of my private medical facilities." He says, cutting me off "My personal medical staff are taking care of you as best they can but..."

He trails off and I follow his eyes and see if for the first time. My chest is wrapped in bandages soaked in blood. I look at him again, there must have been fear in my eyes because he put a hand on my shoulder and tried to look sympathetic.

"You were shot in the firefight, badly wounded. You'd have died if you were transferred to a regular hospital. You'd be dead now if not for my medical team."

Suddenly it all comes rushing back and I remember the party, the Maggia attack and-

"Whitney?"

He lowers his head and presses his eyes shut then shakes his head. Its like being hit by a ton of bricks.

"Oh god no..." my voice breaks and I have to swallow hard to fight back the urge to weep. "Not her...."

"I know Simon. I know." He says "But she's gone and we can't bring her back. Right now I'm more worried about you."

"Me?" I ask, startled "Aren't I going to recover?"

I already know what he's going to say, that's why I'm surprised when he offers an alternative.

"You can survive Simon." He says "There is a way, but you'll have to trust me."

I can't say I've ever trusted Nefaria. Hell I've never even liked him. But when you're lying in your deathbed, the woman you love already gone, you can be forgiven for finding a new perspective.

"Those animals who attacked me? Who did this to you and killed my beautiful daughter, they wanted a device my people have been developing a device which will change the world. They didn't get it thanks to my security team and now that very device might just save your life."

"Why couldn't it save Whitney?" I sound more bitter than I had intended and he puts his hand on my shoulder again

"The device is still experimental, and it won't work for anybody. My Whitney, her biology wasn't compatible with the energies at play. But my scientists have explained to me that yours most likely is and I will not see you die a pointless, wasteful death. Not when it can be avoided. But for the process to work you will need to be conscious and willing."

"Willing?"

"Yes my boy. The device will repair you, improve you on a cellular level but this no simple pill or injection. You will have to consciously allow the process to happen, to will your body to accept the repairs."

I give him a questioning look.

"It sounds...."

"Crazy? Yes I'm sure it does, but I assure you its true. That's why we couldn't begin until you were awake, now that you are we need your decision and quickly."

Silence hangs in the air as I contemplate Nefaria's words. The way I feel, the amount of machinery I'm hooked up to, the way the blood has soaked my bandages. Its not like I have a choice.

"Alright." I say "Let's do it."

"Good man." He says with a warm smile "I'll see you healthy then, unveil the device to the world so that everyone can see that my daughter did not die in vain. That she gave her life to change the world."

Nefaria nods to a Doctor at the far end of the room and he and several others approach my bed and begin taking readings and prepping me as the Count exits.

*****
"You didn't tell him about the risks?" One of Nefaria's lieutenants says as the Count joins him behind a one way glass panel from which the pair watch as orderlies adminster medication to Simon Williams.

"Nor do I intend to." The Count replies. There is no hint of sadness in his voice now. "That nobody would already be dead if he wasn't fortunate enough to be a match. If the process fails he dies and we lose nothing."

The lieutenant nods "And if the process works we'll be able to use samples collected from him to improve the process, make it work for us. Then we'll deal with the other families."

"Salvatore" The Count says using the liuetenant's name "When we are able to make the process work on anyone of our choosing we won't just be able to put the other families in their place. We'll be able to deal with anyone on the planet who stands in our way."

MST3K 4ever
01-26-2012, 08:29 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex sits at his desk studying various reports and footage of Superman in action.

Lex says, "Alexis I don't have any hard and fast facts about Superman. I need real-time scans and data about Superman."

Alexis replies, "Mr. Luthor. I have tapped into the local traffic cameras and I have begun. Scanning some video that you may find most interesting.

Footage of Superman's battle begin to fill the monitors and Lex smiles.

He asks, "Is there useful data from this footage?"

Alexis replies, "If it wasn't useful I wouldn't have told you about it."

Lex smiles and lights a cigar and fixes a drink.

He says, "My my things are looking up."

MST3K 4ever
01-26-2012, 08:37 PM
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Green Arrow begins to zip-line away from the Golden Dragons hide-out. Leaving them for the approaching police.

Ahh another night another gang on their way to lock-up. Wonder what's next on the docket? Armed Robbery? Drunk Driver? Indecent Exposure?

Just then he hears what sounds like a small invasion force striking the heart of Metropolis. He pulls out his binoculars and focuses in.

Or a trip to downtown Metropolis.

He zip-lines towards the battle Superman is waging.

Byrd Man
01-26-2012, 09:26 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png


Old Gotham
1:38 AM


I ran across a rooftop and leaped over the twelve foot gap between buildings, skidding across the gravel on the next roof. It's only been a few hours since the Riddler's hostage was rescued. In that time, the city has gone to hell.

"YAAAH!" A voice screamed from behind. I rolled and let a sharpened sword clang against the ground in the spot where my head had been only moments earlier.

I stood up and faced down my attacker. A ninja, clad in red. He let out another yell and then charged. His sword cut through the air. I blocked with my gauntlets, sending the attacker back on his heels. I charged and delivered a powerful roundhouse to the ninja's face. The attacker fell hard to the ground unconscious, his sword falling beside him.

I quickly turn around, spinning my cape. I let loose with a batarang and strike in the head, the man who was attempting to sneak up behind me while my attention was elsewhere. It's an old trick. A familiar trick.

I grabbed the fallen ninja by the neck and knocked him out with a swift blow to the head. I stood up and loomed over the two passed out men. The clothes, the moves, the methods. I know them.

These men and their comrades have been running rampant all over the city slaughtering police officers. All the information that's coming across the city has led me to one conclusion.

The Hand has come to Gotham City.


Then

"Know your enemy and know yourself," the blind man brandishing a stick said to us. "If you know both, you will never lose a battle."

It's going on three months since I came to Asia and sought out the tutelage of this man, the one they call Stick. He may be blind, but he more than makes up for his lack of sight with his abilities elsewhere. My journey here was not easy. I had to climb up a sheer rock face just to reach Stick's doorstep. It wasn't easy, but after my experiences with Ducard and Kraven, it wasn't hard.

"I say those words," Stick said, "because the enemies of the Chaste are the ones known as the Hand. They are very much like us, save for their primary motivation. The Chaste's purpose is enlightenment, the Hand's purpose is death and destruction. We strives for peace and harmony, where the Hand strive for nothing but profit.

"Master," the other pupil studying with me prefaces. He's blind just like Stick, but like Stick he isn't handicapped at all."Will we fight the Hand?"

"One day, Mister Murdock. The time for that will come. Remember that he who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. For now, we learn of our enemy. If we know him, and ourselves, we shall never lose."


Now
Downtown
2:00 AM

I glided across the rooftops with my cape, landing in the middle of four Hand warriors. They moved fast, but I was faster. I struck one in the neck with a karate chop, leaping through the air and clothes-lining another one with my arm. I landed and blocked a karate chop, grabbing the ninja's arm and twisting his wrist until his hand made a brutal pop.

Another warrior swung with a katana. It sliced into my body armor but barely broke the skin of my stomach. I kicked out, knocking the ninja's blade from his grasp. I grabbed the man by the neck and violently drove him face first into the roof. The two men I stunned at the beginning got up and rushed me. I dodged their blows and grabbed both by their necks, slamming their heads together and knocking them out.

I took one of the ones barely awake and held him up in the air.

"Why are you here?!" I roared. "Who are you working for?!"

"G...Gorgon...," the ninja said feebly before passing out. I dropped him and looked down at the rest of the unconscious and moaning men.

Gorgon...

"Sir," Alfred's voice chimed into my earpiece. "I just heard on the radio that these ninjas are amassing in Robinson Park."

"I'm on my way," I said as I turned away from the ninjas and ran towards the edge of the rooftop. I jumped off the ledge and activated my cape, gliding east towards Robinson Park.

sumowrestler
01-29-2012, 02:31 PM
At the Temple of Light, Jordan is left alone standing their looking down a long stone hallway. He looks closely wondering what kind of tests will be thrown at him.

"Ring, scan the hallway looking for anything that would be a trap or anything else out of the ordinary."

The ring shoots out a beam and before it gets more then a few inches, it disappears. This puzzles Jordan who puts out his arm with his ring hand as he takes a few steps foward. Not feeling anything unusual, he tries again.

"Ring, scan the hallway again."

This time absolutely nothing responds. Hal looks down at his ring and sees that it is pale and not even the computer seems to be working.

"Your first test, Lantern Jordan, is to see if you can survive without the use of your ring."

"I'll show you what I am made of with or without this ring. I was a pretty good fighter pilot without this ring and faced much scarier things then to be without power. My resolve and will is strong."

A few moments later, Jordan jumps a little as he hears a sound behind him. He looks around and sees a mouse scurrying across the brick floor. After a deep breath, he turns back around to face the hallway. Maybe he did get too used to having the ring's powers around.

sumowrestler
01-29-2012, 04:26 PM
After school was out, Richard started out like he usually did to practice his powers but on the way, he spots a Roach recruiting booth just off of school property. At the booth, there is a small line and he spots the back of a burnette woman with a nice shape. He immediately recognizes it as Jennifer and he quickly runs up to the line.

"OH hi Rich, I wasn't expecting to bump into you here. You have seem to vanish past few days right after school. I guess your parents have you pretty busy after school."

"Yeah, you could say that. I know you were rejected before school by that martial arts club but trust me, this group isn't for you."

An irritated Jennifer stares at her friend. She is tired of guys telling her what she can join and not join.

"How would you know what is good for me? Are you a mind reader or see the future? Are you one of these scary mutants that we've been seeing on TV? With everything going on, people need to start getting together to protect themselves."

Even a mad Jennifer is a cute Jennifer. Her soft brown eye brows pointed down towards her nose and the usually soft blue eyes are hard to ignore. In this case it is because they are trying to burn holes into Richard's own eyes. Then there are her thin lips that are often in a bright smile which helps Richard to get into a good mood no matter what is going on but now they are very tight and tense. The slightly pointed nose is even flared up a little and her fair skin has a reddness to it.

"Look, on the way home last week I saw some of this group try beat up a kid. I got my courage up and interrupted them before they could harm the kid too much. Luckily my sudden arrival startled them enough that they bolted."

OK, so I slightly changed the last part but revealing to her that I've got super powers would scare her even more. All of these reports of mutants is really freaking out the school and public in general.

"Have we ever needed these groups to feel safe? It is nice to do extra curricular activities to help people but to get together to protect us and maybe even bully those who are different? We have the police and our parents to protect us. I know, we think we don't need our parents from time to time but they still look out for our safety even if we think their rules are strangling us. Please, let us just walk away from this group. I'll protect you if we get into anything dangerous."

Richard reaches out with his hands slowly and Jennifer looks down at them. She then looks up at him with her more usual look and stares into his eyes once again but with a more trusting look. Then she smiles and instead of putting her hands in his, she wraps her arms around him and to his along with her own surprise, kisses him on the lips. Richard slowly wraps his arms around her and returns the kiss. After a few seconds, they pull apart and walk side by side with their hands together.

"Thank you for finally standing up for me and yourself. Sometimes all a woman wants is to know that the guy she has a huge crush on will be there to protect her if all possible. You are right that the police hopefully be able to take care of these mutants and even correct about our parents."

"To prove that I'm willing to protect you, I'll walk you home and maybe we can talk to your parents about the new groups in school and concerns we both have about these mutants."

Byrd Man
01-29-2012, 04:47 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png




Friday Harbor
Washington


The seaplane's pontoons touched down into the water as the plane coasted to a stop inside the harbor. The pilot taxied the plane across the water towards the docks. Two men were standing at the edge of the dock waiting for us. Once the plane came to a stop, the two men opened the doors to the plane and helped Sue and I out.

"Welcome to San Juan Island," one of the men said. He was tall and bald dressed in a suit and tie. "I'm Colonel David Farragut with the Washington State Police." He pointed towards his cohort, an elderly man in a khaki police uniform. "This is Pete Lawrence, San Juan County sheriff."

"I'm Doctor Reed Ricards," I said with a smile, shaking both their hands. "This is my wife and colleague, Doctor Susan Storm-Richards."

"Gentlemen," Sue said as she shook their hands.

"Where's the rest of your team, Doctor?" Sheriff Lawrence asked. "I thought there were four of you. The flame guy and the big rock fellow."

"They're on their way, Sheriff. We were dispatched first so we could assess any data from the incident."

"Speaking of that, could you take us to the scene?"

"Right this way," Farragut said. I reached back into the seaplane and grabbed the metallic briefcase laying on the seat. Sue and I followed the two men across the small town of Friday Harbor. Even though it was the afternoon, the four of us were the only people out and about.

"Everyone got spooked when it happened," Lawrence said. "Most folks took the ferry out to the mainland. Few people who stayed in town are hunkering down in their homes. Too afraid to go out."

The two men led us through the town towards a park. In the middle of the park was a giant blue tarp with yellow police tape surrounding it.

"Yesterday afternoon was when it showed up," Lawrence said as we walked closer. "It came out the harbor and stumbled through town until I stopped here. Hasn't moved since. Everyone got out of town real fast. I called the State Police."

"And that's when we called you," Farragut said. "Or at least somebody who could contact you."

Lawrence and Farragut cut the tape and pulled back the tarp. Standing in the middle of the park, frozen in place was a man. Or at least the form of a man, general shape. The figure was covered in a metallic coat, the features of its body obscured.

I placed the briefcase down on the ground and popped it open while Sue walked around the figure and observed it.

"You said this came out the harbor?" Sue asked. Sheriff Lawrence nodded as I pulled my scanner out the case and put my glasses on. "What do you think, Reed?"

"Looking at the metal, it looks like it's an alloy," I said, activating the scanner and running it over the figure. "I can see proper traces of Adamantium combined with another element, something I've never seen."

The scanner passed up by the figure's chest. I stopped there for a second and then went up to the head, then back to the chest.

"Sheriff, have there been any missing persons reports in the last week or so?"

"Not that I can think of...why?"

I turned away from the figure and looked at him.

"Whatever this is now, it was a human being. It was alive."

Carnage27
01-29-2012, 05:18 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

"How did you find out about her?" the professor asks concerned. "She's been so careful. We've been so careful."

I take a sip of the water she's provided for me and smile warmly, "The organization I represent has it's ways." I see her worried and shocked look and assure her, "Relax, I'm not here to threaten you or cause harm to you or your...friend. I'm not with the government and I'm not the bad guys. Ma'am, I'm trying to put a team together. A team that when the time comes can protect the country and the world from the greatest threats out there."

She studies me for a few moments. As far as she knows, I'm merely a goon sent by some shady organization to collect my target and take out the family that has housed her.

But after a few moments, she says, "Fine. I'll take you to meet her. And I hope you're telling the truth. Because if you're not, she'll rip you apart."

**********

"Wait here," she says in her living room. "I'll go get her."

I take a seat on the couch and wait. From the dossier that Fury provided me, I've learned my potential new teammate may not be the most trusting around men. I'll have to be on my toes in order not to offend or to anger her, especially if her estimated power-set is accurate.

After a few moments, I hear footfalls coming down the steps, and the professor comes into view, and behind her the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, dressed in warrior garb and brandishing a sword and a shield.

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj306/Carnage27/2132684-ww22.jpg

Her beauty disarms me, and in moments her sword is at my throat, "Speak, man. Speak and explain why you search for Diana of the Amazons."

Keyser Soze
01-29-2012, 07:03 PM
Green everywhere. Alec Holland doesn’t know where he is, but it’s somewhere hot, and humid, and ripe to burst with life. He can hear the calls of unknown tropical birds in the distance, but it’s the plants that he sees. Towering trees blot out the sky and cast him into relative darkness, with only shimmers of dazzling light letting him know it’s daylight out there somewhere. And in amidst them are hanging vines and branches that interlock tightly like a labyrinth before him. By all rights he should have to fight his way through this untamed wilderness to move forward. But as he walks through it, the rampant green seems to give way without protest. It’s almost as if it’s obeying his touch.

Why exactly he’s walking forward, he doesn’t know. In truth, he doesn’t know what exactly lies backwards, either. All he knows is that something lies ahead, something great and terrifying, and as much as his mind is screaming to turn and run, his body can’t help but be drawn to the source of whatever is calling for him. The air hangs thick all around him, his shirt sticking to his back with the sweat that’s running off him like water. He feels blades of grass caressing his bare feet. He’s lost track of how long he’s been walking, but somehow his unprotected soles don’t have so much of a scratch on them.

Up ahead, he can see the dense, suffocating undergrowth starting to disperse. There’s a clearing up ahead. Something tells him that he’ll find what he’s looking for here. He stops, looks hesitantly over his shoulder. No, he’s come too far to turn back now. He has no choice. Feeling his heart pounding against his chest, Alec steps out into the clearing.

At last, the sun hits him. For a moment, he’s blinded, having to shield his eyes. But as he grows accustomed to the light, he becomes aware of what stands in this clearing. A circle of massive trees, a lot older and thicker than even those he encountered on his journey. There’s something majestic and terrifying about these giants, something that makes him feel like standing amongst them is to be on hallowed ground. He approaches one hulking tower of a tree, as wide in diameter as a train carriage, and placed a trembling hand on its rough bark. He gazes at it, transfixed by the shapes worn into its surface by time. The fascination turns to terror when he realises what he is looking at: a giant face, seemingly engraved into the bark of the tree. No, not engraved into it. Growing out of it. The face is moving! It’s looking at him!

Alec wants to scream, but he can’t. It’s caught in his dry, parched throat, and all he can do was stare stupidly in open-mouthed horror. Then, the old tree speaks to him.

“Welcome home, Alec Holland.”

...

Alec woke with a start. The same dream again. Always the same dream. He rubbed a hand against his forehead. The sweat was real enough. He sat up in bed, running his hand across the synthetic fabric of the duvet, telling himself he was resting on a mattress, not grass, that he was in his home, in his bed, not in the green place. He was used to telling himself this. It was a ritual he’d been going through periodically since childhood.

“Alec! I’ve got breakfast ready!”

He smiled to himself. Linda, his lovely new wife. Hearing her voice was enough to cast the demons of sleep away for another day. Pushing himself out of bed and padding across the bedroom, he made his way through to the kitchen, where Linda was waiting.

“Now, if I’d told you a year ago you’d be in the kitchen cooking me breakfast, I bet you’d never have married me,” Alec said with a chuckle, giving his wife a kiss.

“Don’t count your blessings yet, Dr. Holland,” she replied, “You’re doing the washing-up after. Then you’ve got to do some weeding out in the lawn.”

As he sat down at the table, Alec looked over at Linda with confusion.

“Weeding? I did it barely a week ago.”

“Not good enough, it would seem,” Linda answered, “The weeds are pushing their way up through the concrete paving. And while we’re on the subject, the hedges are starting to look a little overgrown too.”

Alec didn’t say much as he ate his breakfast.

Once he was ready, Alec stepped outside. Linda was right. The weeds were back. The hedges were overgrown. It was like a collection of fingers reaching out from all around, all stretching out to grasp onto the house at the centre. A small fortress of brown and gray within a circle of green...

He laughed at himself. That recurring dream of his was still in his head. He turned towards the house, about to walk over to the shed to get some pesticide, and his smile quickly faltered. A creeping vine was starting to grow up his house’s side wall.

Welcome home, Alec Holland.

Welcome home.

trustyside-kick
01-29-2012, 10:06 PM
OOC: Previously (http://forums.superherohype.com/showpost.php?p=22311067&postcount=244)...
Black Bolt
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/karnakwarns1.jpg

"You suddenly have an issue with the King's plans, Karnak? I thought my husband and I had your full support."

"My loyalty is boundless, Medusa, however this is not about loyalty at all. This is about madness."

They had been at this for a half hour, though Black Bolt's intent is rather clear. His mind is made up and will remain so so he continues to rub Lockjaw's belly as his cousins aim to try to sway his decision. As always, though, his beautiful queen does well in speaking his thoughts.

"Dealing with madness quite literally."

"Exactly what I was thinking, Gorgon. If we are to go war with Apokolips, then so be it. I will be on the front line with you and the King and all of our great warriors; there need not be in any question about that. But I refuse to be on the battlefield with...him. Though knowing him he will not be literally getting his hands dirty."

"He's family, Karnak...surely I need not say more."

"Family that has tried to do more harm than good to his family."

A servant enters the royal chambers and walks up to Medusa, whispering something into her ear. All it takes is one turn of Black Bolt's head towards his wife's direction, and the second he sees the look in her eyes, he nods. The servant bows and then exits the royal chambers and Black Bolt stands up. Lockjaw rolls over, gets up as well, and follows his master as he and Medusa begin to walk towards the door. Still, Karnak and Gorgon try sway them.

"Who is to say that he will not try to use this as a chance at the throne once more?"

"Who is to say that he will not see the greater threat at hand--the annihilation of the Inhumans--and be that much more eager aid us?"

"And who is to say that I won't rip out his throat bef--"

"You will abide by your cousin and King's orders, Gorgon. You guard the royal family, Gorgon...all of us. Even..."

Before their eyes, lies the twisted brother of the King. He chuckles and smiles as he was able to hear some of which had just been said through the hall as two guards had escorted him to their location within the palace.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/maximus1.jpg

"...Maximus."

Maximus the Mad as some say. The incredibly twisted, genius brother of Black Bolt who has made a reputation for himself of trying to take the throne for himself. He also wields a most uncanny range of telepathic abilities. However it is the genius intellect and inventiveness that his elder brother wishes to make use of.

"Funny as I haven't missed that smug smile of yours."

"Enough. It is done. My husband has released you from your cell because we are more than aware of what you have hidden, Maximus."

"Ah, you are after some of my precious toys! How grand! So, brother, you do not wish to just make war with these Apokoliptians...you wish to make way with genocide! Something truly nasty. We are family after all."

Medusa grows impatient as Maximus continues to act so loosely about all of this, enjoying the pain coursing through Medusa and Black Bolt as every second wasted it another second with their son Ahura being in the hands of Kalibak the Cruel and Apokolips. Her hair starting to rise as though each one was an individual snake ready to strike, Maximus chuckles.

"Calm down, my Queen...had I not accepted the deal my brother offered me I would not be standing here, would I? So...once I reveal the location you will have the Council...free my true self?"

Karnak grits his teeth and it is Gorgon surprisingly that restrains him and Maximus chuckles. Black Bolt nods and gestures for Maximus to lead the way. Years ago, after Maximus' latest plot to overtake the throne, then Council decreed that there was only true way to rid themselves of 'Maximus the Mad' without killing him. There were plenty of times that they had wished to do so, but each time Blackagar had voted against it, overpowering the Council's desires on the matter.

He's family after all.

So what was done was that the Council had devised a way to dampen his telepathic abilities...rendering him as less of a threat. Things have been peaceful ever since then, and it took the Council quite some time to be swayed with Black Bolt's decision to free his brother. As Maximus leads some of the members of the Royal Family to a secret location, one might think that perhaps the reason that the Inhuman King spared his brother's life was not because they are family.

"And as promised I shall also overlook the calculations and calibrations the engineers came up with for moving the city. Cannot go off to war if we cannot fly the damn thing now can we?"

Entering a pass code, doors open up into what appeared be nothing more than one of the many craters of the surface of the moon. As the Royal Family walk down the steps they find themselves before towering marvels that shall surely guarantee them victory in this war.

"My goodness..."

"How...how did you--"

"Do you like it, my Queen and cousins? Brother? Lemme guess...much more than what you were expecting, eh? Isn't Maximus' toy chest simply amazing? Just give me a wee bit of time, and then we can get this good 'ol war on its way! Heehee."

bkhedr
01-30-2012, 05:30 AM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png






"Why are you here?!" I roared. "Who are you working for?!"



"G...Gorgon...," the ninja said feebly before passing out. I dropped him and looked down at the rest of the unconscious and moaning men.



Gorgon...



"Sir," Alfred's voice chimed into my earpiece. "I just heard on the radio that these ninjas are amassing in Robinson Park."



"I'm on my way," I said as I turned away from the ninjas and ran towards the edge of the rooftop. I jumped off the ledge and activated my cape, gliding east towards Robinson Park.





http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg

Robinson Park

While sirens and gunfire continued to echo through Gotham an eerie, unnatural, silence hung over the iconic park. So much so that an untrained observer would swear that the park was completely deserted. Such an observer would be wrong.

"Lord Gorgon-" A concealed hand ninja begins but the Gorgon silences him with a wave of his hand.

"I know. I can sense him." The Gorgon was looking into the darkness, focusing on a point just behind a jutting roof top gargoyle, draped in shadows, at the edge of the park.

The figure behind the gargoyle did not move, did nothing to give away the fact that it was anything more than an empty space in the night but the Gorgon knew he was looking at the so called Batman and he was sure the Batman was now looking back at him.

With that the Gorgon emerged confidently from his concealment to stand in a open area illuminated by a pair of aged street lamps. His sword remained sheathed and his hands were clasped behind his back. The Batman was obviously well trained, and he displayed impressive mental discipline, but now that Tomi had made contact his opponent was like an open book, and a fascinating one at that.

"I wasn't sure you would come." The Gorgon said aloud "After all I couldn't be certain that you'd even care about the lives of the city's police. I see now that there was no need for such concern."

As he spoke several crimson garbed ninja brandished a variety of weapons emerged from the shadows to form a loose semi circle behind him.

"Lets be on with it then. I intend to kill every, single, law enforcement officer in this city before the dawn." The Gorgon continued taking satisfaction in the images of friends and comrades that flashed through the Batman's mind as he spoke.

"Stop me if you can."

bkhedr
01-30-2012, 06:36 AM
http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg


The world comes into focus in bits and pieces

"- positive he will survive the process."

A man in a white coat. A doctor? He's got his back to me and I can't see who he's speaking to.

"H-hey"

My throat is dry, cracked. They don't hear me. I feel weak, groggy, but I try to sit up.

"Aow!"

"My goodness he's awake!" The Doctor says as he turns towards me "Nurse!"

I see Nefaria when the Doctor moves. That's who he was talking to. The Count has his arms folded across his chest and he gives me a cold look before I pass out again.

****
"Wake up Simon"

"Nefaria?"

"Yes boy."

He's standing by my bedside. I'm in alot of discomfort but its not quite jarring pain and my head seems clearer than it was before.

"What happened? Where-"

"You are in one of my private medical facilities." He says, cutting me off "My personal medical staff are taking care of you as best they can but..."

He trails off and I follow his eyes and see if for the first time. My chest is wrapped in bandages soaked in blood. I look at him again, there must have been fear in my eyes because he put a hand on my shoulder and tried to look sympathetic.

"You were shot in the firefight, badly wounded. You'd have died if you were transferred to a regular hospital. You'd be dead now if not for my medical team."

Suddenly it all comes rushing back and I remember the party, the Maggia attack and-

"Whitney?"

He lowers his head and presses his eyes shut then shakes his head. Its like being hit by a ton of bricks.

"Oh god no..." my voice breaks and I have to swallow hard to fight back the urge to weep. "Not her...."

"I know Simon. I know." He says "But she's gone and we can't bring her back. Right now I'm more worried about you."

"Me?" I ask, startled "Aren't I going to recover?"

I already know what he's going to say, that's why I'm surprised when he offers an alternative.

"You can survive Simon." He says "There is a way, but you'll have to trust me."

I can't say I've ever trusted Nefaria. Hell I've never even liked him. But when you're lying in your deathbed, the woman you love already gone, you can be forgiven for finding a new perspective.

"Those animals who attacked me? Who did this to you and killed my beautiful daughter, they wanted a device my people have been developing a device which will change the world. They didn't get it thanks to my security team and now that very device might just save your life."

"Why couldn't it save Whitney?" I sound more bitter than I had intended and he puts his hand on my shoulder again

"The device is still experimental, and it won't work for anybody. My Whitney, her biology wasn't compatible with the energies at play. But my scientists have explained to me that yours most likely is and I will not see you die a pointless, wasteful death. Not when it can be avoided. But for the process to work you will need to be conscious and willing."

"Willing?"

"Yes my boy. The device will repair you, improve you on a cellular level but this no simple pill or injection. You will have to consciously allow the process to happen, to will your body to accept the repairs."

I give him a questioning look.

"It sounds...."

"Crazy? Yes I'm sure it does, but I assure you its true. That's why we couldn't begin until you were awake, now that you are we need your decision and quickly."

Silence hangs in the air as I contemplate Nefaria's words. The way I feel, the amount of machinery I'm hooked up to, the way the blood has soaked my bandages. Its not like I have a choice.

"Alright." I say "Let's do it."

"Good man." He says with a warm smile "I'll see you healthy then, unveil the device to the world so that everyone can see that my daughter did not die in vain. That she gave her life to change the world."

Nefaria nods to a Doctor at the far end of the room and he and several others approach my bed and begin taking readings and prepping me as the Count exits.

*****
"You didn't tell him about the risks?" One of Nefaria's lieutenants says as the Count joins him behind a one way glass panel from which the pair watch as orderlies adminster medication to Simon Williams.

"Nor do I intend to." The Count replies. There is no hint of sadness in his voice now. "That nobody would already be dead if he wasn't fortunate enough to be a match. If the process fails he dies and we lose nothing."

The lieutenant nods "And if the process works we'll be able to use samples collected from him to improve the process, make it work for us. Then we'll deal with the other families."


"Salvatore" The Count says using the liuetenant's name "When we are able to make the process work on anyone of our choosing we won't just be able to put the other families in their place. We'll be able to deal with anyone on the planet who stands in our way."


http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg

I try to take in a deep long breath as instructed but my breathing is ragged, heavy, difficult and I start to feel faint when a mask is pressed against my face and I feel my strength returning as my blood oxygenates.

"Suh-sorry Doc" I say through the mask and the Doctor smiles wamly and nods

"Its ok Simon. We're almost ready."

I'm strapped to a metal bed in the center of a sterile looking lab with advanced medical equipment all around me, none of it more impressive or intimidating than the ray gun looking apparatus above me.

Doctors fill the room and on one end is a large glass panel with Nefaria and his assistant Salvatore on the other side.

"Is our boy alright Doctor Horton?" Nefaria asks, his voice coming in through speakers in the walls

The Doctor who put the mark on my face turns and gives Nefaria a thumbs up.

"He's fine Count. We're warming up the machinery now."

Nefaria seems to accept this and he doesn't answer but he stands rigidly and keeps a close eye on everything going on in the lab which now buzzes with activity.

"Fu-fine is a relative term Doctor." I say to Horton with a weak grin and he puts a hand on my shoulder.

"You'll be fine Simon." He says reassuringly "Better than fine."

I nod but say nothing. The truth is that I'm too weak to. The Doctors told me that the Maggia weapon that wounded me fired a nanotech bullet which is now eating through me one cell at a time. Sounds nasty. Feels worse. I have no reason to doubt that I'm anywhere but at death's door and that's terrifying enough that I've put myself completely in the hands of these strangers in the hopes that their experimental procedure really can save my life.

I look down at my chest, trying to see the wound that killed me, but its covered up by the red "W" emblazoned on my bare chest. I'm actually naked save for this "W" which I've been told is a conducter for whatever the ray above my head is going to hit me with. The Doctors didn't bother to fill me in on the technical jargon and I didn't care to hear it.

"We're ready Dr. Horton" a lab tech says and Horton turns to face me after checking some displays on a panel to my left.

"Ok Simon we're going to begin the process. It will happen quickly, but its going to hurt. The important thing is for you not to fight it. We'll help as much as we can but you need to stay conscious and let it happen."

I nod. They've told me all this before, stuff about how the "W" on my chest which they painstakingly plastered on last night is a conducter to facilitate the process but that I need to open up and let it happen. It still sounds ridiculous but Horton assures me that it will make sense as soon as we get started.

"Ready?" Horton asks with hand on a lever

I nod again and he looks at Nefaria, who also nods, before pulling the lever.

The apparatus above me lights up and starts to emit a narrow violet beam which hits the center of the W on my chest and flows outward from there. At first its painless, but as the beam widens and intensifies the pain comes, slightly at first, but enough that I have to grit my teeth.

"Let it happen" I hear Horton say and that's when I become aware that the beam seems to be washing over me rather than through me. I can literally feel the ions dancing across my skin, begging for entry. The sensation burns and there's an urge to move, to get away from the beam, but there's another urge as well, a stronger one. Its just like Horton said and shut my eyes tight and succumb to the urge, feeling the beam start to soak through me as I do so.

"Good. Good." Horton says "Increasing levels, stay strong Simon, keep soaking it in."

I hear him and try to nod but the pain is too great and its all I can do to keep taking it in. I focus on Whitney and the man who killed her, letting thoughts of revenge take my mind off the pain even as I start to feel my bones rattle and let out a scream of agony.

<>

"Nnn..AAARRRGGHHH!!!!"

"Looks like he might just survive." Salvatore said as he eyed a read out

"Its not important that he survives." Nefaria replied "What's important is that he gives us the genetic and biological information we need to perfect the process."

As far as the world is concerned Simon Williams died two weeks ago along with several other of Nefaria's guest and the Count's own daughter.

"Of course." Salvatore agreed "I'm just saying what if he does? I mean if the process works he's going to be..."

"When the process works Simon Williams will have provided me with the key to creating an army of superior humans totally subservient to me." Nefaria interrupted "If he survives he'll simply also be the first of them."

Byrd Man
01-30-2012, 01:36 PM
"I wasn't sure you would come." The Gorgon said aloud "After all I couldn't be certain that you'd even care about the lives of the city's police. I see now that there was no need for such concern."

As he spoke several crimson garbed ninja brandished a variety of weapons emerged from the shadows to form a loose semi circle behind him.

"Lets be on with it then. I intend to kill every, single, law enforcement officer in this city before the dawn." The Gorgon continued taking satisfaction in the images of friends and comrades that flashed through the Batman's mind as he spoke.

"Stop me if you can."


I jumped from my vantage point and glided down into the middle of the Hand ninjas. All told they're are six of them, not counting Gorgon. Two have sais, two with swords, and two with nunchucks.

The two with swords need to go first. I tossed a smoke bomb down. It's certainly not enough to distract them for any amount of time, but it gives me just enough of an edge. I launched myself forward feet first and drove my combat boots into the chest of one of the sword-wielding ninjas. His sternum crunched underneath my boot as I drove him down into the ground. I fell on top of the ninja, grabbing his sword from his limp hand. I quickly turned around with the sword in a defensive stance.

Three charged towards me, one with a pair of sais and two with nunchucks. I blocked both sais with the sword blade and cut through the chain holding the nunchucks together. The other ninja landed a solid blow to my head with his nunchucks. He came back in for another blow, but I struck fast and slapped him across the face with the dull end of the blade. He crumpled to the ground and I spin around, kicking his two dazed cohorts to the ground in one swift move.

The one with the sword came in, swinging hard and fast. I blocked and parried his blows with the katana, the sound of footsteps were behind me. I blocked another attack and then ducked, letting a sai sail over my head. I spun around and swung at the ninja lazily, he blocked by attack with his sais and locked the blade of my sword on the weapon's side guards. I gritted my teeth and spun the blade, knocking the katana free and spinning the ninja down on to the ground. With him recovering, I turned around just in time to parry another sword strike. I knocked the ninja's blade away and kicked hard, striking his with my boot and dislocating it. He crumpled to the ground and I turned to the other ninja, picking him up and knocking him unconscious with a solid punch.

I dropped the ninja as the smoke properly cleared. All six of Gorgon's men were scattered on the ground, either unconscious or disabled. Six seconds for all of his men to be down. I turned to the Gorgon and narrowed my eyes.

"No one else dies tonight."

Batman
01-30-2012, 10:18 PM
http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Banners/Superman.png

"Steve, slow down! Christ, traffic's already a nightmare as is. Put Troupe on the phone if you're not going to--- HEY!"

Narrowly avoiding being cut off in the middle of freeway traffic, Lois Lane proudly let a smirk slink across her lips as the unfortunate party honked their horn in protest. The flow of traffic was only beginning to increase by the minute as lines of cars hoped to get a chance to board the turnpike just beyond the scene of what people were already calling the most devastating act of destruction to happen to Metropolis since the Luthorcorp tram disaster of the 1970's. Having feverishly scribbled down everything that Lombard had told her in an adrenaline-fueled rant about what he had just witnessed, Lois was forced to scrap the front page of her notepad after making an error with one hand, and still properly steer with the other. Whatever had gotten him so riled up, it was big. National headline-level big, and it definitely involved the one man in Metropolis that she hadn't been able to track down in over six months. Rival newspapers had already been dubbing him ludicrous names like "The Metropolis Marvel", and "The Man of Steel", but only her nickname for him had actually stuck.

Because of that, Lois had felt a certain entitlement towards that coveted first interview. But if she didn't hurry up and make it all the way to the Star Labs facility across town, she was about to miss her chance for the second time. That was where all of this craziness started, where two colossal forces came to blows infront of a group of terrified highschoolers. Lois figured that if she made it before the final evacuation, she could get what she was looking for: the first proof positive statement indicating the indeniable proof of the existence of The Superman.

"Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Big, green sci-fi looking thing. Yeah. I heard you. What else did you say?"

Even before her first actual encounter with him, she had been chasing leads for over a year, around the time of that first sighting. Yet despite her tenacity, it ended up being Steve Lombard and Ron Troupe - a sports writer and an editorial columnist - that ended up seeing this all occur at the same time. She could strangle them both for their innate ability to both be in the right place at the right time.

"Seriously, enough with the overexaggeration. There's no way that it - wait, really? Okay, fine. We live in a city where a man can fly, there's always room for... oh, nevermind. I'll be there in fifteen, alright? Just stay put and try not to scare any of the eyewitnesses off with your bullsh..."

*FWOOM!*

"Eep!"

Seeing a thick cloud of smoke arise from the middle of the freeway ahead, and watching as several cars went flying into the air, Lois immediately spun the wheel and stepped on the brake as hard as she could. The car spun, violently thrusting her against the side of the door, before coming to a complete halt admist panicking trafficers and a series of minor crashes. Several more loud booms errupted from the point of origin, prompting the notoriously thickheaded Lois to do the unthinkable and force the side door open, storming out of the car and peering ahead to what was causing this latest disaster.

And instantaneously, her eyes met with the very creature that Lombard had clearly described over the phone. With no Superman in sight to keep it at bay. Lois nearly dropped her phone in fright, opting to instead keep it levelled to her ear as she stared back at it, bug-eyed.

"Steve? I-I'll call you back."

The creature growled.

"Oh, sweet child o'mine..."

Oblivious to the happenings around him, lowly janitor Rudy Jones was lost in a nostalgic tune from his youth as he pushed a damp mop across the floor of the Stark Industries production plant in Metropolis. He wasn't nessecarily too satisfied with his position, but he figured that as long as he was still working after the judge had put him on parole for grand theft, anything that came his way was a job worth keeping. Pushing his cart of cleaning supplies ahead after finishing up the last of the halls, Jones slid his access card into the authorization slot for the next room and promptly removed it, casually continuing to enjoy the music booming out of his iPod as the automatic doors unlocked.

"Oh, sweet love of..."

What caught Rudy's attention first was the abundant amount of sunlight that hit his eyes. This was particularly strange, given that he was heading into the storage facility warehouse for all of the spare pieces of equipment used for the labs - a room without any windows. But what sealed the deal that something was off was when he glanced ahead, refusing to believe what his eyes were seeing as he slowly approached what looked to be a gigantic crater in the north wall. Promptly pulling the buds out of his ears and letting his mouth fall agape, Jones was almost too overtaken with shock to notice the individual coming towards him from behind, carrying a large piece of machineary over his head as if it were nothing.

"Excuse me,"

Jones spun around and paused, seeing the man in red and blue stroll past him, arms raised high to carry the generator that had been taken from the other side of the room. His eyes widened, Rudy couldn't even bring himself to turn back around as Superman headed back towards the entrance that he himself had made.

"Thanks. Wouldn't have wanted to drop this on you by mistake."

Without another word, Superman ascended into the skies with the generator in tow, leaving the speechless janitor to simply stand in place, unable to comprehend what had just happened before it was over.

Finally, after several minutes of silence, Jones simply rubbed the back of his head.

"I gotta find a better job than this."

Carnage27
01-30-2012, 10:38 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

I tell her everything. All the political happenings, the threat that face the country and the world, along with those that now face the metahuman community, "Someday there's going to be a threat that none of us can stop alone. And when that day comes we're going to need a team. We're all going to have to learn to work together."

She considers what I've been saying. For the welcome she gave me, I'm surprised at how well she's done that. After a few moments of contemplative silence, she says, "Your words are powerful, and you speak them with such conviction, Steven Rogers. And I sense no deception from you. But I will not be swayed by words alone. I require an example of your strength to see whether or not I can consider you an ally on the field of battle."

**********

I wander through the forest Diana told me to meet her in for some sort of mission, now in my fully gear and out of my street clothes. I have to wonder what this mission is. She barely said anything about it. Just gave me coordinates and a time to be here.

And then I hear the hum of something approaching through the air at a very high speed. I manage to roll out of the way as an object slams into the ground where I was just standing. As the dust settles, I'm amazed to see who's standing in front of me.

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f393/trishdmc/Wonder_Woman.jpg

"Hello, Captain," Diana of Themyscira says with a smile. "Let us see if you are ready to take the field of battle with an Amazon."

Before I can respond she rushes me with incredible speed, slamming into me and sending me through a tree, "Come now, Captain. I'm sure you can do better than that."

I get to one knee and look at her, "Why would I fight you? I thought we were on the same side."

She speeds towards me, lifting off and driving me through a series of weak trees. I manage to twist myself out of her grasp and drive my feet into her chest, angling her towards the ground. She slams into it, creating a scar along the soft earth.

"And I thought I told you I needed to see how you fought in order to give you my support," she smiles and comes after me again, pounding her fists into my shield, driving my feet into the dirt and moving me several feet back.

Fury's notes weren't wrong. She's powerful. Possibly even as powerful as Thor. Maybe more-so. And if she's intent on seeing what I'm made of, I won't disappoint her.

She goes for another slam towards my shield, and I spin out of the way then drive my knee into her and strike down with my bare arm on her back, spinning her to the ground. She laughs, "Good, good. But why hold back?"

She drives an uppercut into me, sending me flying above the treeline. As I head back towards the earth, I'm grabbed by her lasso, slowing my decent, but not so much that it doesn't hurt, "Come now, Steven. You can do more than this. Just because you want me as an ally doesn't mean you shouldn't give your all. Or is it because I'm a woman?"

She whips the lasso off and spins me towards her, setting me up for another strike. But I anticipate it and move quickly to drive the edge of my shield into her side, and then bring the flat part up into her face in an uppercut. She falls into the mud and wipes a small speck of blood from the corner of her mouth with a smile, "That's more like it."

Her lasso whips out again towards me, but I toss my shield, deflecting it away, and closing the gap between us quickly. The two of us trade punches and dodges, before I manage to catch her arm and sweep out her leg, and I end up on top of her with my shield at her throat, staring intensely at her, "Good enough for you?"

She throws me off, and stands, "I've seen all I need, yes."

I pick up my shield and look at her, "And? Are you going to join my team?"

"I have not decided yet," She responds, beginning to hover over me. "You held back. On Themyscira you would have been punished for such compassion during training. You show skill and power, but I have not seen the leadership or drive I was hoping for. So I cannot answer that question."

Without another word, she takes off into the skies, and I head back to the jet.

There, I find Coulson waiting for me, "How'd it go?"

"Hard to say," I respond walking past him and into the aircraft. "Either I'm gonna kill her, or I'm falling in love with her."

Byrd Man
01-30-2012, 11:05 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png




Previously






Friday Harbor

Washington

The seaplane's pontoons touched down into the water as the plane coasted to a stop inside the harbor. The pilot taxied the plane across the water towards the docks. Two men were standing at the edge of the dock waiting for us. Once the plane came to a stop, the two men opened the doors to the plane and helped Sue and I out.

"Welcome to San Juan Island," one of the men said. He was tall and bald dressed in a suit and tie. "I'm Colonel David Farragut with the Washington State Police." He pointed towards his cohort, an elderly man in a khaki police uniform. "This is Pete Lawrence, San Juan County sheriff."

"I'm Doctor Reed Ricards," I said with a smile, shaking both their hands. "This is my wife and colleague, Doctor Susan Storm-Richards."

"Gentlemen," Sue said as she shook their hands.

"Where's the rest of your team, Doctor?" Sheriff Lawrence asked. "I thought there were four of you. The flame guy and the big rock fellow."

"They're on their way, Sheriff. We were dispatched first so we could assess any data from the incident."

"Speaking of that, could you take us to the scene?"

"Right this way," Farragut said. I reached back into the seaplane and grabbed the metallic briefcase laying on the seat. Sue and I followed the two men across the small town of Friday Harbor. Even though it was the afternoon, the four of us were the only people out and about.

"Everyone got spooked when it happened," Lawrence said. "Most folks took the ferry out to the mainland. Few people who stayed in town are hunkering down in their homes. Too afraid to go out."

The two men led us through the town towards a park. In the middle of the park was a giant blue tarp with yellow police tape surrounding it.

"Yesterday afternoon was when it showed up," Lawrence said as we walked closer. "It came out the harbor and stumbled through town until I stopped here. Hasn't moved since. Everyone got out of town real fast. I called the State Police."

"And that's when we called you," Farragut said. "Or at least somebody who could contact you."

Lawrence and Farragut cut the tape and pulled back the tarp. Standing in the middle of the park, frozen in place was a man. Or at least the form of a man, general shape. The figure was covered in a metallic coat, the features of its body obscured.

I placed the briefcase down on the ground and popped it open while Sue walked around the figure and observed it.

"You said this came out the harbor?" Sue asked. Sheriff Lawrence nodded as I pulled my scanner out the case and put my glasses on. "What do you think, Reed?"

"Looking at the metal, it looks like it's an alloy," I said, activating the scanner and running it over the figure. "I can see proper traces of Adamantium combined with another element, something I've never seen."

The scanner passed up by the figure's chest. I stopped there for a second and then went up to the head, then back to the chest.

"Sheriff, have there been any missing persons reports in the last week or so?"

"Not that I can think of...why?"

I turned away from the figure and looked at him.

"Whatever this is now, it was a human being. It was alive."







Friday Harbor

Washington

Lightning flashed off in the distance, thunder rolled across the sky a few seconds later.

"Looks like a storm's coming," Ben mumbles as he looked up into the sky.

The four of us were gathered around the frozen metal man with the Sheriff Lawrence, Colonel Farragut was off collecting missing person reports. I had my laptop out with the scanner plugged in and reading the results.

"If the weather is a problem," Lawrence said, "we can set up shop at the sheriff's office."

"Johnny, can you do me a favor?" I asked, disconnecting the scanner from the laptop. "There should be a radiation trail starting from the statue. Follow it for me and see where it ends."

"That doesn't involve me bursting into flames of being awesome, so it's not in my job description. Also, it's boring."

"Well, if you want to look through and analyze this data feel free to."

"Eww, even more boring. So, just take this scanner thing and follow the trail?"

"It works like a Geiger counter. Just follow the clicks."

I handed the scanner to him and watched as he looked it over.

"This gives me cancer, I'm suing you."

"If it actually does feel free to sue away."

Johnny trudged off as Farragut came up with a collection of files and folders. "A year's worth of missing persons reports from the San Juan Islands, Island County, and Whatcom County."

I took the files from the Colonel and hand half of them to Sue. We start to look through them as thunder rolls over head. After a few minutes, I started to notice something familiar.

"Sue, do you notice a pattern in these reports?"

"All men."

"All men, but they can be broken down into two categories. Half are men who are relatively intelligent, doctors and lawyers and a scientist. The other half are all tall and strong. Former or current athletes."

I put the files aside and stood up, pointing at the statue.

"One half had strong minds," I said, pointing at where the human brain is inside the liquid. "The other half had strong bodies and strong hearts," I pointed towards the heart.

"All these men," she said, holding up the files. "Kidnapped."

"Kidnapped and experimented on and turned into that." I pointed a thumb back at the statue.
Just then, Johnny came up with the scanner. "Radiation trail ran out at the harbor."

"We need to get in touch with General Lumpkin. We need to follow that signal."



50 Miles North
Saturna Island
British Columbia


The doctor popped on his latex gloves and walked to the cooler on his workbench. He popped open the cooler and looked down through the vapor of dry ice. Inside was a human brain, wrapped in protective gauze and resting on the dry ice.

He gingerly picked the brain up and walked across the lab to the table. The naked body was strapped to the table, the top of the head removed. He had experimented with dozens of combinations of real and artificial intelligence, and his last failure had shown him the way. This seemed to be the only way it worked. Combine a human brain and organs with his synthetic body and the perfect android could be created.

He placed the brain inside the skull and closed it. The skull popped as the airtight seal was set. The doctor heard a hum from the android's body. A moment later, its eyes opened.

"Where am I?" The android asked, its voice metallic sounding and monotone.

"Home," the doctor said with a large smile.

"Who are you?"

http://i42.tinypic.com/19731t.jpg

"I am your creator. Please, call me Father."

Andy C.
01-31-2012, 02:26 AM
(OOC: Skipping ahead a few days, so assume the Superman fight has finished to move things along)

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/The-Amazing-Spider-Man-3D-Logo-Marc-Webb.jpg


Great Power
Part I


The world around me is a mass of blurs, a deep blackness, like swimming through liquid smoke. Lights and colors fade into the edges of my vision, but never take form. When they do come, it's accompanied by waves of nausea and pain. I feel like I'm on fire, but I can't do anything about it.

Eventually, however, it dulls away, and I plunge back into the darkness, tumbling end over end for what seems like forever.

In the back of my mind, I see brief images. An experiment gone wrong. A monster attacking my friends. A man in a red cape. A spider, biting the back of my hand. Then pain and sickness overtakes me.

Am I dead? I think to myself, too scared to ask it out loud. Because if so, this is going to get old really fast....

Eventually, the colors and lights start to fade in again, without the burning or the urge to vomit. I become aware of my actual physical body, particularly the dull sting of harsh fluorescent lighting against my eyelids.....

.....and I open my eyes.

"Whuh......where am I?" I ask, before actually looking around to answer my own question. "Oh. Right. The hospital."

I'm lying in a hospital bed, an IV strapped to my arm and my feet poking out from under the thin blanket. Aunt May is watching The Price Is Right on the TV in the corner--or at least, she was, until she heard my voice and practically jumped off of the couch.

"Peter, you're awake!" she exclaims. "We were so worried.....oh, thank Heaven you're okay..."

"Peter?" I hear Uncle Ben's voice from out in the hall before he all but charges into the room. When he sees I'm awake, he gives a big beaming smile. "Hey, there he is! I knew you'd pull through, Pete."

"Pull through? What's--" I try to sit up, but I'm caught against something. Looking down, I see I've actually been strapped to the bed. "Ummm.....Uncle Ben? Aunt May? What's....what's with the straps?"

Aunt May's smile fades a bit.

"Peter, dear, you've been having seizures," she says. "Violent ones; you actually broke an orderly's arm when they tried to give you a sedative."

"They said you were having an acute allergic reaction," Uncle Ben says. "I've never seen anything like that. They were worried you might not live through the night when they brought you in, but we made it here as quickly as we could. Haven't left since."

"Well, I guess I just needed a good night's sleep," I say with a weak laugh.

"Peter....you were comatose for nearly a week," Aunt May says.

"What?!"

"I know, Peter, it's a lot to take in," Uncle Ben says, trying to calm me down. "How much do you remember from before you blacked out?"

"Hmmm...." I think. "We were at STAR Labs, watching the morphogenetic field tests by Doctor Connors and Professor Hamilton. Then there was.....I dunno, some kind of....creature, I guess? It busted through the wall like it was nothing, trying to get at the device. Then some red-and-blue blur--I want to say it was a man in a cape--started fighting it, and we all ran for shelter, and......and that's pretty much all I remember. Wait, what about everyone else? Where's Harry? Where's Gwen?!"

"They're all fine," Aunt May says. "Everyone made it to the shelters in time, and they've all gone back to school. Well, after they were quarantined for a day to check for 'unusual side effects.'"

"All expenses paid by OsCorp," Uncle Ben says, a skeptical tone in his voice. "They're paying for your medical bills, too, along with counseling for traumatized students and everything else. Norman Osborn himself came down to visit you; said it was because you were a friend of his son's. Personally, though....."

I raise an eyebrow.

"What, is something wrong?"

"No, I just think he's putting on an act, to make sure we and the other families don't sue him for organizing that field trip," he says. "He just struck me as the kind of man who only does an act of good to cover his own tail, that's all."

"Don't worry about that now, Peter dear," Aunt May says, patting my arm. "I'm going to go tell the orderlies that you're awake. In the meantime, you just get some rest."

I actually laugh without meaning to.

"I just spent a week completely unconscious," I say. "The last thing I need is more rest. Besides, I feel fine!"

In fact, I feel better than fine. I feel great. I've got so much energy, I feel like I could pop. All of my senses seem sharper, too. My vision was always foggy without my glasses; now I feel like everything's in top-dollar HD. I just feel so jazzed and so aware of everything around me, I just want to jump onto the ceiling and dance.

I don't just feel great--I feel amazing.

Aunt May leaves the room, and Uncle Ben walks over to a bag sitting by my bed.

"If you really are better, then hopefully we can get you home in a day or so once they've given you a clean bill of health," he says, unzipping the bag. "In the meantime, I've brought you something that should help pass the time a little better than chatting with a pair of old fogies like us."

He reaches into the bed, and pulls out my salvation....

"My laptop!" I shout with joy. "Oh, man, if I've been under for a week, I've got some serious catching up to do. Gotta keep grinding my Death Knight in WoW, gotta get back up to speed with Cracked and the Onion and io9, gotta get on Skype and talk with Gwen and Harry.....oh, man, the forums! The GM is going to kill me for being inactive this long!"

Uncle Ben chuckles as I open up my laptop and wait impatiently for it to power up. Fortunately, the restraints have enough slack in them that I can operate the keyboard.

Coma or no coma, I'm gonna be in real trouble if I don't post.

MST3K 4ever
02-01-2012, 02:48 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6215/6366402613_3f2c57eeb9_m.jpg

Green Arrow arrives in downtown Metropolis. He has heard reports of Superman being invovled in this battle with a creature of some kind.

Okay no sign of Superman or the creature if he needs help I'll pitch in where I can, but for now if there is one thing I've learned in chaos there is opportunity. Crooks understand that lesson very well

He scans the city and sees a LexTech store being looted by 3 people.

On one hand I should let them get away with what they can. Lex has the place insured for an obscene amount and will probably get more money from the insurance company than he would off of the sale of that crap.

Arrow shakes his head.

No I've got a calling to fulfill and I've got to live up to it. Even if it is for Lex.

Green Arrow fires an arrow an zips down to the store and sees the 3 getting more stuff.

He says, "Was Santa not that nice to you guys this year?"

The three turn and one opens fire as Arrow rolls out of the way. Arrow quickly gets back to his feet and fires an arrow implaing the gunman's hand to the gun.

"AHHHHH!" The gunman yells.

Arrow then leaps into the store and knocks the gunman out. He turns to the other 2 and says, "NEXT!"

One comes at him with a knife which Arrow sidesteps and delivers a blow to the back of his head rendering the would be assailant out cold.

Arrow says to the other, "Tell me you got enough brains to give up."

The crook drops several L-Phones and begins to run out of the store.

Arrow says, "I guess not." Arrow then fires an arrow that warps up the crook

Just then he hears The Metropolis PD coming down the street.

Arrow says, "I think they can handle it from here."

He fires an arrow and ziplines to the top of a building and begins to look around for more trouble.

MST3K 4ever
02-01-2012, 03:41 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex watches the news coverage of the damage to Metropolis and also keeping one eye on the bio readings of Superman.

Absolutely staggering. Such power in one man just mind-numbing and unique.

Lex says, "Alexis would you suspect Superman is human?"

Alexis replies, "Based upon my analysis there is a 0% chance of Superman being human."

Lex smiles and says, "That's what I thought as well."

Lex extinguishes his cigar and says, "Alexis get me an LNN chopper and a news crew. It's time for me to grimly survey the damage as only as I can, and also begin working up the claims damages for the insurance companies."

Alexis replies, "At once Mr. Luthor."

Lex puts on his white trench coat and heads to the roof.

Byrd Man
02-01-2012, 09:01 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png




Previously



Friday Harbor
Washington

Lightning flashed off in the distance, thunder rolled across the sky a few seconds later.

"Looks like a storm's coming," Ben mumbles as he looked up into the sky.

The four of us were gathered around the frozen metal man with the Sheriff Lawrence, Colonel Farragut was off collecting missing person reports. I had my laptop out with the scanner plugged in and reading the results.

"If the weather is a problem," Lawrence said, "we can set up shop at the sheriff's office."

"Johnny, can you do me a favor?" I asked, disconnecting the scanner from the laptop. "There should be a radiation trail starting from the statue. Follow it for me and see where it ends."

"That doesn't involve me bursting into flames of being awesome, so it's not in my job description. Also, it's boring."

"Well, if you want to look through and analyze this data feel free to."

"Eww, even more boring. So, just take this scanner thing and follow the trail?"

"It works like a Geiger counter. Just follow the clicks."

I handed the scanner to him and watched as he looked it over.

"This gives me cancer, I'm suing you."

"If it actually does feel free to sue away."

Johnny trudged off as Farragut came up with a collection of files and folders. "A year's worth of missing persons reports from the San Juan Islands, Island County, and Whatcom County."

I took the files from the Colonel and hand half of them to Sue. We start to look through them as thunder rolls over head. After a few minutes, I started to notice something familiar.

"Sue, do you notice a pattern in these reports?"

"All men."

"All men, but they can be broken down into two categories. Half are men who are relatively intelligent, doctors and lawyers and a scientist. The other half are all tall and strong. Former or current athletes."

I put the files aside and stood up, pointing at the statue.

"One half had strong minds," I said, pointing at where the human brain is inside the liquid. "The other half had strong bodies and strong hearts," I pointed towards the heart.

"All these men," she said, holding up the files. "Kidnapped."

"Kidnapped and experimented on and turned into that." I pointed a thumb back at the statue.
Just then, Johnny came up with the scanner. "Radiation trail ran out at the harbor."

"We need to get in touch with General Lumpkin. We need to follow that signal."




San Juan Islands
Washington

The Blackhawk helicopter cruised above Waldron Island. I was in the back of the chopper with Sue, Johnny, and a half dozen Army men. The soldiers and Blackhawk were courtesy of General Lumpkin calling in favors at a nearby military base. Ben's weight proved to be a problem, he pushed pass the internal cargo limit on the chopper. We came up with a solution.

"When this is over, I'm kicking all your asses." Ben grumbled on the radio. Johnny laughed and leaned out the side of the helicopter. Ben was tied up and hanging from the Blackhawk. He was too heavy to be inside the chopper, but he was under the requirements for outside cargo.

The chopper headed north, following the radiation signature of the experiment that wound up in Friday Harbor. Dark clouds were rolling in off the ocean as we pushed past Waldron Island. Lightning flashed off in the distance and thunder rolled across the sky.

"A heads up, Doctor Richards," the pilot said into his headset mic. "We're a few miles away from the Canadian border. I'm not sure if we have jurisdiction to cross into Canada."

"I'll find out."

I switched on my FF commlink and reached out to Lumpkin in New York.

"Lumpy, this is Von Braun."

"What have you got for me, Von Braun?" The general's gruff voice replied.

"We're almost into Canada. Do we have permission to follow the signal across the border?"

"You do. I reached out to them and a small ship from the Royal Canadian Navy is headed your way."

"Good to know."

"One more thing, Richards. I want you to switch the rest of the team on to hear this next part."

"What's wrong, sir?"

"It's about something I found shortly after you all headed west. It's about a project DARPA ran out of that part of the country about ten years ago. It involves a doctor T.O. Morrow."




10 Miles North
Saturna Island
British Columbia


T.O. Morrow was hurrying through his lab, preparing the android for the test trial. People were coming, people who would take the android from him. All the time and energy he had spent, he would not let that happen. The android was laying on the table in stand by mode.

"Up," he commanded.

"Yes, Father," the android replied as it sat up and climbed off the table.

"You know your mission, what you need to do?'

"Yes, Father."

"Go. Make me proud."

A powerful wind began to circulate through the lab as the android levitated. Morrow was slightly knocked back, but managed to right himself before he could fall. Morrow basked in the glory of his creation.

http://i44.tinypic.com/15iaz2u.jpg

As the android, codenamed RT0024, tore out the lab in a mighty gust of wind, Morrow had tears of joy in his eyes.

Carnage27
02-01-2012, 09:12 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png

I sit in my meditation room, still in my full gear, my helmet discarded onto the floor as I flop into a chair. I've just torn apart the Statue of Liberty and killed countless civilians and military men. And none of the X-Men showed up to even try to stop me. None of the world's so called super heroes did either.

But why? I didn't stay long past my attack, but Charles has always been so quick to send his band of children after me. But nothing this time.

"Curious."

A knock at the door behind me draws my attention to Mystique entering the chamber, "You wanted me to find you when the talking heads started their banter."

"Thank you, my dear," I wave her away. "That is all."

As she leaves, I turn on the viewing screen in my private chamber and begin watching what the pundits.

"If you're just joining us, this is Gordon Godfrey and I'm joined by Reverend William Stryker on the Glorious Godfrey show," Gordon says with a slimy smile. "Of course our topic tonight is the blatant terrorist actions and declaration of war by Magneto."

"Gordon," the Reverend starts. I know this one. His anti-mutant rhetoric has been polluting the Earth for years now, and he has a devoted following. "I've been warning America about these hell-spawned mutants for years now. And now we've get a man who can move buildings with his mind running around unchecked. Today's attack is God's way of highlighting our failure to eradicate these sons and daughters of Satan from our presence. We need to act quickly, and the government needs to pass the Registration Act. It's the first step to getting these dangerous individuals off the streets and away from good, American, God-fearing families."

"I agree," Gordon agrees. "But I don't know if we should stop at mutants, Reverend. Where were the other so called 'super heroes' today? Why didn't they help to stop Magneto? Is that a sign they side with him? Or is it that when push comes to shove they aren't ready to defend us with their lives? Either way, I think it's obvious we can't trust them."

"Yes, Gordon. I truly believe these super powered individuals are what the bible calls the Anti-Christ. Someone we'll follow and worship to the gates of hell."

"Well, let's hope that isn't the case," Godfrey says. "We'll now send it back to the main news desk for continuing coverage on today's tragic terrorist attack."

I turn the screen off and head out where my lieutenants are waiting for me, "My friends, today was merely the first step. The humans will push back, but they still underestimate our strength. I'm off to pay a visit to Reverend Stryker. It's been far too long since I've been to church."

bkhedr
02-02-2012, 04:01 AM
I jumped from my vantage point and glided down into the middle of the Hand ninjas. All told they're are six of them, not counting Gorgon. Two have sais, two with swords, and two with nunchucks.

The two with swords need to go first. I tossed a smoke bomb down. It's certainly not enough to distract them for any amount of time, but it gives me just enough of an edge. I launched myself forward feet first and drove my combat boots into the chest of one of the sword-wielding ninjas. His sternum crunched underneath my boot as I drove him down into the ground. I fell on top of the ninja, grabbing his sword from his limp hand. I quickly turned around with the sword in a defensive stance.

Three charged towards me, one with a pair of sais and two with nunchucks. I blocked both sais with the sword blade and cut through the chain holding the nunchucks together. The other ninja landed a solid blow to my head with his nunchucks. He came back in for another blow, but I struck fast and slapped him across the face with the dull end of the blade. He crumpled to the ground and I spin around, kicking his two dazed cohorts to the ground in one swift move.

The one with the sword came in, swinging hard and fast. I blocked and parried his blows with the katana, the sound of footsteps were behind me. I blocked another attack and then ducked, letting a sai sail over my head. I spun around and swung at the ninja lazily, he blocked by attack with his sais and locked the blade of my sword on the weapon's side guards. I gritted my teeth and spun the blade, knocking the katana free and spinning the ninja down on to the ground. With him recovering, I turned around just in time to parry another sword strike. I knocked the ninja's blade away and kicked hard, striking his with my boot and dislocating it. He crumpled to the ground and I turned to the other ninja, picking him up and knocking him unconscious with a solid punch.

I dropped the ninja as the smoke properly cleared. All six of Gorgon's men were scattered on the ground, either unconscious or disabled. Six seconds for all of his men to be down. I turned to the Gorgon and narrowed my eyes.

"No one else dies tonight."


http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg


"Such confidence" The Gorgon sneered. He was moving before he finished speaking the words.

Batman moved to counter the Gorgon's attack but he wasn't fast enough an open palm strike to the jaw snapped his head back. Batman moved smoothly, fluidly, rolling with the blow to lessen its effect and acting to counter but the Gorgon was faster than he was and he could read his every thought. This allowed him to keep pressing and follow the palm strike with a series of blows that staggered the Batman and left the Gorgon grinning. Unlike his skirmish with Captain America the Gorgon had no reason to hold back here. No reason to appear to have met a suitable match for abilities in this opponent.

He dodged an attempted kick and jumped back, putting distance betwen them, then crossed his arms.

"You're well trained" he said "But you won't last long like this."

He was standing near a fallen Hand ninja and he kicked the ninja's weapon so that it rolled over to his opponent with a series of loud clanks that echoed through the otherwise empty park.

"Arm yourself"

Byrd Man
02-02-2012, 10:01 PM
Batman moved to counter the Gorgon's attack but he wasn't fast enough an open palm strike to the jaw snapped his head back. Batman moved smoothly, fluidly, rolling with the blow to lessen its effect and acting to counter but the Gorgon was faster than he was and he could read his every thought. This allowed him to keep pressing and follow the palm strike with a series of blows that staggered the Batman and left the Gorgon grinning. Unlike his skirmish with Captain America the Gorgon had no reason to hold back here. No reason to appear to have met a suitable match for abilities in this opponent.

He dodged an attempted kick and jumped back, putting distance betwen them, then crossed his arms.

"You're well trained" he said "But you won't last long like this."

He was standing near a fallen Hand ninja and he kicked the ninja's weapon so that it rolled over to his opponent with a series of loud clanks that echoed through the otherwise empty park.

"Arm yourself"


I kicked the sword up and caught it by the hilt. The metal blade sang as I sliced the sword through the air.

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/8981/rpg5.png

"Is this the Hand's idea of compassion or hubris? You have learned well from you masters, but so have I."

I tossed the sword to the ground and readied myself.

"The Chaste don't need weapons to defeat the Hand, they do a good job of it on their own. I know you, Gorgon. I know how you and your kind work. You give me a sword as a sign that you are superior to me. The truth is, you're a coward. Like the rest of the Hand."

Like that, Gorgon was upon me. His lightning fast blows whizzed all around me. His rage had taken a toll on his accuracy. I dodged a fist aimed for my heart, a foot intended to break my spine, but ended up clipped by a punch to the jaw. I felt a tooth come loose and break off in my mouth. Gorgon moved in for the kill, I grabbed his wrist and used his momentum to knock him off the balance. While he stumbled ahead, I took my palms and drove them into his temples, sending white-hot pain coursing through his head and disorienting him. With a slightly dazed Gorgon to face, I landed a solid blow to the man's left ribs.

Carnage27
02-02-2012, 11:00 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

"I should have been here," I say, surveying the damage that the mutant man known as Magneto heaped upon New York while I was out on a spy mission for Fury. While I was out tracking Kobra's movements, this madman destroyed the Statue of Liberty and killed up to a thousand people. The final tally still hasn't been discovered. "I could have helped to stop this."

The innocents are bad, but what the government might do in response is even worse. Rounding up the mutant population of the country, putting them in camps, or worse. It reminds me of how the Japanese were treated in my time. It was sickening then, it's even worse now. I would have figured that after almost seventy years we would know better.

Apparently I was wrong.

"If you were here, you'd probably be dead like the others," Agent 13 says, coming out onto the balcony. "Magneto can control metal. Your shield would have been used against you."

"I would have figured something out," I respond, folding my arms.

"And then Kobra would be moving without us knowing where," she says, attempting to make my last mission more important than it actually was. I gathered some whispers about Kobra's movements in the US, but nothing of consequence.

"Yea, well, that's not gonna matter much when the government starts putting the people that can help us into prison camps for no reason," I respond with angst.

"You can't put every single problem in this country on your shoulders," she says, looking at me sternly. "You can't save everyone."

"No, I can't. But I sure as hell am going to try. This world is broken. And I'll be damned if I don't do anything about it."

"How'd you like to start?" Fury asks, announcing his presence.

"You're back," I nod to him. He said he was going on some sort of mission of his own, but he wouldn't tell me what. Fury has always been secretive, but even more so since we've been reunited. It's like he's purposely keeping me out of the loop. "How was the mission?"

"Successful."

"That's it, colonel?" I say, stepping up towards him. "Come on, Nick. You can't keep me out of the loop like this. You want me to run your super powered kid's club then I can't be in the dark here. Work with me, buddy."

Fury nods, "I know. And this last mission I had proves that. But there's no time now. I'm sending you to Star City. Something important has come up."

"And what's that?"

"A potential recruit is in trouble," he responds. "I wasn't planning on going after her just yet, she's not really ready. But we need to move before they get her."

"Who's they?" I ask, annoyed.

"Checkmate. Lord's got himself an executive order to start rounding up so called dangerous metahumans. And he's using it."

Byrd Man
02-02-2012, 11:59 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png




Previously





San Juan Islands
Washington

The Blackhawk helicopter cruised above Waldron Island. I was in the back of the chopper with Sue, Johnny, and a half dozen Army men. The soldiers and Blackhawk were courtesy of General Lumpkin calling in favors at a nearby military base. Ben's weight proved to be a problem, he pushed pass the internal cargo limit on the chopper. We came up with a solution.

"When this is over, I'm kicking all your asses." Ben grumbled on the radio. Johnny laughed and leaned out the side of the helicopter. Ben was tied up and hanging from the Blackhawk. He was too heavy to be inside the chopper, but he was under the requirements for outside cargo.

The chopper headed north, following the radiation signature of the experiment that wound up in Friday Harbor. Dark clouds were rolling in off the ocean as we pushed past Waldron Island. Lightning flashed off in the distance and thunder rolled across the sky.

"A heads up, Doctor Richards," the pilot said into his headset mic. "We're a few miles away from the Canadian border. I'm not sure if we have jurisdiction to cross into Canada."

"I'll find out."

I switched on my FF commlink and reached out to Lumpkin in New York.

"Lumpy, this is Von Braun."

"What have you got for me, Von Braun?" The general's gruff voice replied.

"We're almost into Canada. Do we have permission to follow the signal across the border?"

"You do. I reached out to them and a small ship from the Royal Canadian Navy is headed your way."

"Good to know."

"One more thing, Richards. I want you to switch the rest of the team on to hear this next part."

"What's wrong, sir?"

"It's about something I found shortly after you all headed west. It's about a project DARPA ran out of that part of the country about ten years ago. It involves a doctor T.O. Morrow."




Pacific Ocean
5 Miles South of Saturna Island

"Are you sure, General?" I asked from inside the Blackhawk. Sue and Johnny were crowded around me while a half dozen soldiers looked on. Ben was hanging from the chopper, being towed.

"Certain of it, Doctor. I'm looking at it right here in front of me. I'm sending all the files to your device. If they can help, use them."

I reached into my pocket and pulled out my commlink. Equal parts bluetooth and smart phone, all our commlinks have the ability to send and receive texts and files. I hit the button on the face of the phone and watched as all the information flashed by on the small screen.

"In the spring of '02, DARPA commissioned two scientists, Doctors T.O. Morrow and Will Magnus, to head up their Project Steel Soldier. The idea was to create expendable AI soldiers to battle terrorists. Morrow and Magnus worked out of a facility on Fox Island in Puget Sound. Six years went by without tangible results so Morrow offered a radical solution."

"He wanted to use living test subjects," Sue said from beside me.

"Yes. His original proposal involved extracting gray matter and organs from the recently deceased. His idea was that the organs and brain tissue would give a sense of realness to the AI and kick it on. He and Magnus argued over Morrow's methods and Magnus left the project. Eight years after it started, DARPA killed the project. Morrow soon after a nervous breakdown and was committed. He was released from a Seattle insane asylum a year and a half ago and hasn't been seen since."

"What makes you sure this is the guy, though?"

"Because of the material used in building the robots," I said, looking down at the data on the commlink. "An alloy of Adamantium and some mystery metal codenamed 'Pinball.' The people behind the project didn't know what it was. How in the world did Morrow get his hands on it?"

"We're not sure. I have a feeling he had a cache of it stored somewhere safely just before the project went under."

"But why kidnap and kill living guys? Why not use stiffs?"

"Because," Johnny said. "He's a crazy guy. There's no way he can get into a hospital to get fresh organs. Organs are embalmed and removed before they're buried."

Sue and I stared at Johnny and there was silence from Ben and General Lumpkin.

"What?"

"Nothing," Sue said with a smirk. "Just basking in the awesomeness of Johnny Storm."

"Well, duh."

"Hold on," the pilot said from the front. "We've got some wind coming in. May be bumpy."

The rocky land of Satruna Island was just a few miles north when the Blackhawk began to shake, slowly at first before it started shaking stronger.

"Something's wrong," the pilot said as he gripped the control yoke tightly. The chopper began to shake wildly.

"We got incoming!" Ben shouted into the comm. A red blur whizzed by the helicopter as the Blackhawk began to spin.

"Wind's too strong!" The pilot shouted. "It's hurricane level! I can't hold on."

We began to go into a tailspin, the world turning into a dizzying blur.

"Let me go, Reed!" Ben yelled. "My weight's causing us to go down faster! Buy some more time! I'll survive."

Trying to see straight, I stretched out and hit a button on the other side of the chopper. Ben's harness detached and the Blackhawk shot up into the air, spinning faster and faster as the wind roared through the helicopter. The rocky ground of Saturna Island was looming closer.

"Brace for impact!" The pilot shouted out.

"No!" Sue shouted out, thrusting her arm forward. Suddenly, an electric buzz filled the air.

WHAM!

We were all sent into the air as the helicopter slammed into the earth. The helicopter bounced skidded across the ground before coming to a stop. I picked myself up off the floor and looked around as everyone tried to recover.

"Everyone okay?" Sue asked, her nose bleeding. "I thought my force field would take all the impact, I guess it didn't."

"I think my leg is broken," the pilot groaned from the front. "Other than that, I'm fine."

Johnny and I and two of the soldiers help the pilot out the wreck. The Blackhawk is ruined, but everyone isn't majorly hurt. Lightning tore across the sky as a light drizzle began to fall from the sky. I looked around the small island and activated the commlink.

"Ben where are you?"

"Right here," he grumbled from behind. I turned to see Ben walking up, the frayed harness strapped to his chest. "Everyone okay?"

"The pilot has a broke leg. Everyone else has minor scraps and bruises. How are you?"

"Ain't nothing getting through this thick hide."

"What was that in the sky?"

"I don't know, Reed, but whatever it was i wasn't playing around."

The soldiers grouped up with us as Sue and Johnny came over.

"Major Grimm," the sergeant of the group said. "Any orders?"

"Somebody stay with the pilot. The rest of us are gonna follow Doctor Richards' lead."

"We need to pick back up on the radiation trail and see where this leads us."

I pulled out my scanner and listened to the ticks. The rhythm began to suddenly pick up until it was one singular bleep.

"Something's coming..."

Wind blew in and the rain began to pour down as a red blur flew overhead and landed in front of us.

http://i44.tinypic.com/az7yo1.jpg

"Official notice: You are trespassing. Programing indicates trespassers must be punished. Prepare to be punished."

"...and there it is."

Batman
02-03-2012, 12:41 AM
http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Banners/Superman.png

Too late. It's already in Metropolis.

By the time that I've made it to the skies above Metropolis Plaza, I can already see the trail of destruction that the creature's left in it's wake. For such an unusually large frame, it moves incredibly fast - and luckily for me, it doesn't know how to cover it's tracks very well. Despite knowing that I should check to make sure that nobody's been hurt, I push ahead and fly into the city, cutting through the clouds as fast as I possibly can. I knew that I took a risk by taking that detour, but if my theory is correct and this thing can actually help end the creature's tirade, it will have been worth the seconds set aside. Wherever it's come from, it's obviously not used to the conditions of civilization. I almost find myself begin to pity it's lack of rational understanding, but the people it's putting in danger come first. Whether it's a victim of someone else's cruelty or not, I have to bring it down.

Scoping out the streets, I notice that the trail ends somewhere between 3rd street and Metropolis Square. But there's no indication of destruction in the immediate area. Based on the struggle before, I know that it can leap a great distance. Which means that it's either disappeared, or it's leaped somewhere into the Eastern boroughs of the city. There's an easier method I can use to locate it, though I haven't quite put this to use in order to pinpoint anything other than a common mugger...

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG-13.png

I listen in for any unusual sounds. Beyond the screams and the dozens of sirens, be it a squad car or a fleet of ambulances. It's easy to forget that before today, no one had ever seen anything as bizarre as a twelve foot, green-skinned humanoid monster leaping through the streets and smashing through solid concrete like it were paper. The closest it had ever come were fleeting glimpses of, well - a man in a red cape defying the laws of physics.

Finally, a breakthrough comes in from the Northeast.

"Out of my way!"

"I'm not *in* your way!"

That doesn't sound good. More than doubling my flightspeed from before as I follow the sequence of noises that led me to the creature, I'm taken aback when I suddenly begin to realize that the second voice was familiar. A woman that I've encountered before, someone's voice that I must have recently heard. But who could possibly...

No time for that. It's not important. What's important is following that trail of sounds. Wouldn't want to keep the mystery woman waiting.

"Ohgodohgodohgodohgod!"

The hardest thing that Lois Lane had ever done in her life was turn the other way. As the daughter of one of the military's top officials, she and her younger sister had been taught to always stare adversity down whenever it set itself in the way of their path. It was that kind of stubborn mentality that had given her so much - a degree in journalism, the respect of her peers, and her date to the prom, notably - and yet taken so many opportunities away. Yet despite it all, she had never been given a reason to abandon that principal, no matter what the risk entailed.

That was until she came face to face with whatever the hell was chasing her down the freeway. She had an idea of where it had come from, sure, but her resources had all but told her that Superman had wrestled it far away from this side of town. So to imagine kicking Steve Lombard in the face if she survived this was not beyond the realm of possibility, as she hurriedly scurried up a series of abandoned cars to escape the rampaging monster's wrath.

"RAAARGH!"

Without so much as any sort of effort, the creature swiped at the first car with one hand and sent it flying into the air. Lois's head stared back as the unmanned vehicle launched directly towards her. Dropping to her knees, she pressed herself against the car she was currently on and narrowly avoided being decapitated by the stray car, watching it as it tumbled into traffic just beyond the scene with disasterous results.

"This cannot be happening..."

To her horror, she realized that the car she was on was beginning to rise. With a panicked turn, her eyes met the creature's once again, watching it's long claws dig deep into the car's metal hood and sink through, securing a grip on the vehicle so strong that very nearly rocked Lois off of it like she were nothing. Seeing the creature grunt as it lifted the front of the vehicle into a tilt, Lois immediately grabbed hold of the nearest crease in the car door's window and held as tightly as she could to avoid falling.

"Wait, don't do this! Please!"

It was too late. Despite her protest, the creature hurled the car high into the air with Lois on it, who screamed the entire way up into the high skies of Metropolis' skyline. Letting go of the car, partly out of the crippling fear that overcame her, and partly due to the simple fact that she was convinced of certain death, she allowed herself to break from it and plunge downwards through the air. Moments of her life flashed before her eyes, as her body spun, directly bringing her into the sight of the oncoming streets that were still several hundred feet below. This was it. Perry White would finally get his chance to print that obituary he'd probably been secretly dreaming of for months.

Then by some miracle, it all came to a sudden stop.

Having closed her eyes to prepare herself for the worst, Lois only felt the hair that had been flowing suddenly fall upon her face. Still shaking from the trauma of freefall, she hesitantly opened them back up to see if it was some cruel joke on nature's part. But it wasn't. Instead, greeting her with the deepest of blue eyes, she looked upon the face of her savior.

"..."

"Don't worry. You're safe now, Miss Lane."

She looks at me like she's seen a ghost, still reeling from what's happened. But even in her stunned silence, she manages a nod to tell me that she understands, as we gently descend from the skies and touch down on a nearby rooftop. I don't let her down immediately, allowing her to catch her breath, but she eventually reaches up to touch my arm and lets herself down. At first, she doesn't let go. But her shock of near death is soon replaced by the shock of seeing me in person, again, as she breaks away and steps back with widened eyes.

"Oh my god, it's you! You're... you're here!"

I'm unsure of what to say, at first. It was only when I approached the overpass that the creature was in the midst of destroying that I saw him toss Miss Lane into the air. It all happened so fast, and I was barely able to part with the generator, but I luckily managed to follow her as she rose and catch her as she fell. If I had only been a few seconds late, we wouldn't be speaking right now. A fact that I decide to keep to myself, as she tries to avoid hyperventilating from the immediate stress.

"M'aam, are you alright? Do you need medical attention?"

"I... I..."

She vehemently shakes her head, working herself through it. I try and hide a smile as she points off towards the city.

"No, god no, I'll be fine! Just get that... whatever it was!"

With a nod, I look to the skies and take off, channeling a course for the freeway.

But even as I prepare myself to take this thing on, I manage to hear something that makes me chuckle.

"OhgodIjustsawSupermanohmygod..."

The smile fades as I watch several other cars scatter through the skies. I even have to roll and avoid one, catching myself from losing any of the momentum that I build trying to approach. The creature's still at it, despite nearly killing an innocent woman in it's mindless rage, and I feel myself close a fist as I touch down on the concrete below. Before it can advance any further, I set off another beam of heat ray vision and catch it on the back of it's neck. It turns, snarling, and realizes my prescence.

"You again?! But you should be dead! Why do you continue to oppress me?!"

"As long as you try to hurt these people..."

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG4-13.png

"I'll always be here."

It launches itself at me, but this time, I'm ready for what's about to come. Catching it by it's wrists, I launch my forehead hard into it's jaw and watch it succumb to the pain. As it tries to recover, we both ascend into the air, guided again by my control of velocity. It struggles, but I don't allow it to break free, applying more pressure than before. I have to admit, even when we were fighting earlier, I was holding myself back. Call it an instinctual habit, but years of trying to conceal my own strength has become second nature. It's only today that I've began to realize that sometimes, these gifts I've been given are a nessecary evil.

Besides, I was getting tired of this a long time ago.

"I'll feed on your corpse! I'll rip your flesh from your bones! Your head will be a trophy for the master!"

"Lovely. But I've got a better idea. You said that you wanted a great supply of power, didn't you?"

This seems to catch it's attention, as it momentarily stops struggling. I take the opportunity to guide us both all the way to the rooftop that I set the Stark Industries generator on and let it go, dropping it onto the pavement. It turns to face me, but I simply float above it and point to the generator.

"Well, there it is. As much energy as you can handle. Have at it."

It turns and stares, before looking at me.

"Power?"

I nod.

It immediately rushes to the generator and slams it's fist into the shell, breaking it's way in and connecting itself to the quantities of energy that Stark had built into it. I look up at the sun, remembering the creature's aversion to sunlight, and grow more confident as the creature feeds on the electricity and energy supply inside. The creature starts to grow in size, and I can honestly claim it even began to laugh.

Then it begins to realize what's really happening.

"That's the trouble with solar powered generators, isn't it?"

I land on the rooftop behind it as it begins to cry out in immense pain, too attached to the battery inside to let go, even despite realizing what I've done. I point towards the sun in the skies, gleaming brightly above the both of us.

"On a day like this, there's no limit to it's supply. But you have a limit, don't you?"

It stares back at me with desperation, it's whole body beginning to glow brightly from the inside.

I was right. However it's physiology works, it can't store large quantities of a foreign energy. Even with the radiation at STAR Labs, it was a low dosage and in limited supply. It knew that from the start, and infact, that's probably what drove it to crash the demonstration in the first place. An abundance of energy in a controlled dosage. What it doesn't have is the capacity for a continous stream of solar radiation, and that was exactly what a generator that Stark Industries had recently perfected had to offer.

"TOO MUCH POWER! THERE'S TOO MUCH! I CAN'T TAKE IT!"

Despite wanting it to learn it's lesson, I can't allow whatever's happening to kill it. So despite my reservations, I rush in and wrap my arms around it's waist.

"Let go of it! Damn it, let go! It's killing you!"

"THE POWER! I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT!"

It knocks me off and continues to feed, even though it's beginning to die from it's core.

Deciding that the generator has to be destroyed if the creature can't willingly seperate itself, I fire a precision blast of heat vision at the shell and melt through, penetrating the engine. Sparks begin to fly and a fire breaks out of the machine's remnants, but it's enough to send the creature flying on it's back. The generator finally succumbs to a small explosion and is rendered a pile of rubble, as I rush to the creature's side.

"Power... needed... power..."

I contemplate holding it down so that it doesn't escape, but it looks too weakened to even move.

"Who have you been doing all of this for? Who is your master?"

"The master..."

It looks up at me. And for the first time, I see a gentleness in it's eyes.

"I am... The Humanite. I was created by the master underground. Where he leads the other monsters."

"Who does?"

With a glimmer of fear, it stares out.

"The Mole Man."

Finally, it falls into unconsciousness.

I simply stand back up and stare, wondering what this could mean.

The Mole Man?

bkhedr
02-04-2012, 04:20 AM
I kicked the sword up and caught it by the hilt. The metal blade sang as I sliced the sword through the air.

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/8981/rpg5.png

"Is this the Hand's idea of compassion or hubris? You have learned well from you masters, but so have I."

I tossed the sword to the ground and readied myself.

"The Chaste don't need weapons to defeat the Hand, they do a good job of it on their own. I know you, Gorgon. I know how you and your kind work. You give me a sword as a sign that you are superior to me. The truth is, you're a coward. Like the rest of the Hand."

Like that, Gorgon was upon me. His lightning fast blows whizzed all around me. His rage had taken a toll on his accuracy. I dodged a fist aimed for my heart, a foot intended to break my spine, but ended up clipped by a punch to the jaw. I felt a tooth come loose and break off in my mouth. Gorgon moved in for the kill, I grabbed his wrist and used his momentum to knock him off the balance. While he stumbled ahead, I took my palms and drove them into his temples, sending white-hot pain coursing through his head and disorienting him. With a slightly dazed Gorgon to face, I landed a solid blow to the man's left ribs.

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg

The Gorgon felt his ribs break, then winced and took a half step back before countering with a kick of his own which the Batman narrowly avoided.

"You assume too much Batman." The Gorgon said as he lunged towards his foe with a leaping knee strike that found his chin. "You think I'm just some Lord of the Hand that you can fight on even terms? I am worth a thousand hand warriors. A million."

His opponent answered with a two punch combination. The first struck the Gorgon in the center of the chest but the second was parried. For a few seconds the combatants traded blows with neither able to acquire an advantage, but the Batman was slowing down and the Gorgon's wounds healed instantly. Already his broken rips had stitched themselves back together and he used this to surprise Batman by spinning in a way that would have been impossible had he been hindered by such an injury, and elbowing his foe in the temple.

The Batman staggered only slightly and responded quickly with strikes of his own, but fewer and fewer of these were finding their mark and the Gorgon was merciless in his response to each blow.

"Understand this Batman. Despite your training, in spite of your determination: you are not my equal." The Gorgon declared as he pressed his advantage.

"Even if you were. Even if our skills made us equals." He added as Batman kicked him hard in the knee and he powered through the blow and delivered a solid kidney punch "You would still not be able to match my strength. My speed."

In that instant the Gorgon shifted tactics so as to force Batman into a test of strength that he could not win. The two combatants locked arms for a brief instant and the Gorgon could see through the Batman's thoughts that he knew what was coming and was shifting his weight to avoid it, but all the training in the world can only account for so much against an opponent who is stronger, faster and can read one's thoughts.

The Gorgon overpowered the Batman before he could adjustand headbutted him hard, dazing them both but doing far more damage to the Batman, particularly as he did not possess his opponent's healing factor.

The momentarily dazed hero was lifted off his feet by the throat and the Gorgon slammed him hard into the concrete on his side. The Batman let out a shout of pain as he hit the ground. To his credit he had still managed to shift his weight so as to lessen the effect of the blow. It was the only reason his collarbone hadn't shattered as the Gorgon had intended.

"The Chaste" The Gorgon spat the words as he brought a knee down on Batman's stomach "Are nothing more than a nuisance, a relic who interference will soon be at an end."

The Gorgon then slammed his forearm into the still prone Batman's throat and pressed down, cutting off his air supply.

"You should have kept the sword." He said with a wicked grin

bkhedr
02-04-2012, 05:22 AM
http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg


I try to take in a deep long breath as instructed but my breathing is ragged, heavy, difficult and I start to feel faint when a mask is pressed against my face and I feel my strength returning as my blood oxygenates.

"Suh-sorry Doc" I say through the mask and the Doctor smiles wamly and nods

"Its ok Simon. We're almost ready."

I'm strapped to a metal bed in the center of a sterile looking lab with advanced medical equipment all around me, none of it more impressive or intimidating than the ray gun looking apparatus above me.

Doctors fill the room and on one end is a large glass panel with Nefaria and his assistant Salvatore on the other side.

"Is our boy alright Doctor Horton?" Nefaria asks, his voice coming in through speakers in the walls

The Doctor who put the mark on my face turns and gives Nefaria a thumbs up.

"He's fine Count. We're warming up the machinery now."

Nefaria seems to accept this and he doesn't answer but he stands rigidly and keeps a close eye on everything going on in the lab which now buzzes with activity.

"Fu-fine is a relative term Doctor." I say to Horton with a weak grin and he puts a hand on my shoulder.

"You'll be fine Simon." He says reassuringly "Better than fine."

I nod but say nothing. The truth is that I'm too weak to. The Doctors told me that the Maggia weapon that wounded me fired a nanotech bullet which is now eating through me one cell at a time. Sounds nasty. Feels worse. I have no reason to doubt that I'm anywhere but at death's door and that's terrifying enough that I've put myself completely in the hands of these strangers in the hopes that their experimental procedure really can save my life.

I look down at my chest, trying to see the wound that killed me, but its covered up by the red "W" emblazoned on my bare chest. I'm actually naked save for this "W" which I've been told is a conducter for whatever the ray above my head is going to hit me with. The Doctors didn't bother to fill me in on the technical jargon and I didn't care to hear it.

"We're ready Dr. Horton" a lab tech says and Horton turns to face me after checking some displays on a panel to my left.

"Ok Simon we're going to begin the process. It will happen quickly, but its going to hurt. The important thing is for you not to fight it. We'll help as much as we can but you need to stay conscious and let it happen."

I nod. They've told me all this before, stuff about how the "W" on my chest which they painstakingly plastered on last night is a conducter to facilitate the process but that I need to open up and let it happen. It still sounds ridiculous but Horton assures me that it will make sense as soon as we get started.

"Ready?" Horton asks with hand on a lever

I nod again and he looks at Nefaria, who also nods, before pulling the lever.

The apparatus above me lights up and starts to emit a narrow violet beam which hits the center of the W on my chest and flows outward from there. At first its painless, but as the beam widens and intensifies the pain comes, slightly at first, but enough that I have to grit my teeth.

"Let it happen" I hear Horton say and that's when I become aware that the beam seems to be washing over me rather than through me. I can literally feel the ions dancing across my skin, begging for entry. The sensation burns and there's an urge to move, to get away from the beam, but there's another urge as well, a stronger one. Its just like Horton said and shut my eyes tight and succumb to the urge, feeling the beam start to soak through me as I do so.

"Good. Good." Horton says "Increasing levels, stay strong Simon, keep soaking it in."

I hear him and try to nod but the pain is too great and its all I can do to keep taking it in. I focus on Whitney and the man who killed her, letting thoughts of revenge take my mind off the pain even as I start to feel my bones rattle and let out a scream of agony.

<>

"Nnn..AAARRRGGHHH!!!!"

"Looks like he might just survive." Salvatore said as he eyed a read out

"Its not important that he survives." Nefaria replied "What's important is that he gives us the genetic and biological information we need to perfect the process."

As far as the world is concerned Simon Williams died two weeks ago along with several other of Nefaria's guest and the Count's own daughter.

"Of course." Salvatore agreed "I'm just saying what if he does? I mean if the process works he's going to be..."

"When the process works Simon Williams will have provided me with the key to creating an army of superior humans totally subservient to me." Nefaria interrupted "If he survives he'll simply also be the first of them."




http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg

I lean into the mirror on the wall and stare into my own eyes. My pupils and irises, with their familiar dark brown color, are gone and what stare back at me in the mirror are two solid orbs of pure red with barely visible white particles floating inside them.

"I'm afraid the change in your eyes appears to be permanent." Doctor Horton says from behind me. "But at least you can dye your hair."

I smile reflexively and run my hand through my now gray hair.

"I actually kind of like the hair Doc." My eye brows, even the hair on my bare chest, has turned gray, but a cosmetic change in my eyes and hair doesn't bother me. How could it? I'm alive after all and from what I've been told and how I felt yesterday, I shouldn't be.

"Hey thanks Doctor Horton." I say as I turn to face the Doctor and extend an open hand.

He steps forward and shakes my hand

"Y'know for everything."

"You're most welcome Simon." Horton replies "Hell I should be thanking you, afterall it was something in your physiology that made you a viable candidate for the experiment and your strength of will that allowed it to succeed."

He grins and adds "Of course I'm still planning on taking all the credit."

That gets us both laughing and I give him a slap on the back before retrieving a black t-shirt from the back of a chair on my right.

"You got it Doc" I say before I pull the shirt over my head. "Now the way I figure it I still have to thank the Count, then its time I get back to my life. I imagine the police probably want to talk to me about what happened and poor Avery, that's my agent, well he's probably having the world's biggest panic attack by now."

I hadn't thought about my career, my life, much in the last couple of days, mostly because I thought they had come to an end, but now I was anxious to get back to the world and put this nightmare behind me. Call me overconfident but I figure it will take more than red eyes and gray hair to keep Simon Williams off the big screen.

Maybe Horton disagrees because his head down for a brief moment then looks up again and opens his mouth, as if to say something, but he's interrupted by Nefaria entering the room.

"Simon my boy." The Count says as he approaches me with a warm smile "Its good to see you up and about."

"Count" I grin "I was just telling Doc Horton that I feel great."

I never did like Count Nefaria but he saved my life when he didn't have to and I'm not too big to admit that I was wrong about him.

"I'm sure you do my boy, I'm sure you do" The Count gives Horton a sideways glance while keeping his attention on me "But I'm afraid you can't leave yet."

"Why not?" I ask, raising an eyebrow.

"Why because what we've done is more than save your life Simon. The process didn't just change your hair and eyes either. It changed you, made you something better than human.

I'm taken aback by Nefaria's words and I shoot Horton a look. The Doctor nods seriously.

"You gotta be kidding me!" I declare before focusing my gaze on Nefaria. I'm not mad or anything, just a little stunned.

"Are you trying to tell me that you've given me super powers?"

Horton is about to speak up but Nefaria beats him to it

"Yes Simon that is exactly what we're telling you and now that have told you we intend to train you in the use of your new abilities."

"What so I can save the world?"

"Not at all my boy." Nefaria replies. His demeanor has suddenly changed from warm and friendly into something far more serious "I want you to avenge my daughter's death."

Byrd Man
02-04-2012, 12:54 PM
"The Chaste" The Gorgon spat the words as he brought a knee down on Batman's stomach "Are nothing more than a nuisance, a relic who interference will soon be at an end."

The Gorgon then slammed his forearm into the still prone Batman's throat and pressed down, cutting off his air supply.

"You should have kept the sword." He said with a wicked grin


"You're a better warrior," I rasped out, "Stronger and faster..."

I fought against Gorgon's powerful grip and managed to lay my hand on his arm.

"But I'm smarter..."

I activated my glove, sending thousands of volts out the insulated fingertips and shocking Gorgon. I rolled out from under him as he convulsed and shook from the electricity.

wiegeabo
02-04-2012, 03:00 PM
CLUNK CLUNK

I hear the sound of metal hitting the ground. I'm up on the roof above them before they're through the door. Can't make the crime stick if they aren't actually committing it. Once they're inside, that's when the real charges can stick to them. It also makes it much easier to keep them confined in an environment more conducive to a serious 'discussion'.

"Remember. Sixty seconds, then alarm. No longer. Ready?"

There are no sounds. So I assume they just nod, because a second later-

"Three-two-one-" CLICK!

The door creeks open and they're inside. I drop behind them silently.

I hear the faint clinking of jewels between the smashing of glass. All the noise virtually lights up the room around me, allowing me to see what's happening. I keep myself hidden behind a pillar while I listen beyond the clutter of noise, focusing on a very, very subtle hum. I trace my hand along the wall, following the sound, until I come across a panel. I smile, and pop the cover. Then I flip all the switches and the lights go out.

"Hey."

"What the-?"

Move! Mo-"

A clothesline takes one of the three down, as he flips over in the air and faceplants on the floor. The others shout, which gives me targets. I fling my billy-club, catching one on the head. He drops like a rock. I pull the cord, and the club flies back into my hand.

"Oh, **** me." I hear a sack full of jewels hit the ground. "It's the Batman!" Don't kill me!"

"Heh," I laugh, my voice filled with gravel. "The Batman is a myth." He jumps when my voice is next to his head.

"But the Devil is real..."


"So you don't know anything about Biglia?"

"No man. i already told you, I've never heard of the guy."

I press my boot down harder, letting more weight smash his hand into the floor. "Your bones are close to breaking. i can hear them creaking. Biglia may not be a top man in Gotham, but he's connected, and he's known. No one knows where hi is, but everyone knows him."

SNAP

"Ahhhhhhh!!!"

"Memory back yet?" I tilt my head at the sounds. "The cops are a few blocks away. The condition they find you depends on your answer."

"Try-try the Griffen."

"Griffen?"

"B-Bar. On 40th. Runs a racket on them or something."

I press down, hearing more bones snap. "Was that so hard?"

With the sirens only a block away, I quickly run out and leap on a fire escape. I'm on the roof by the time the squad car pulls to a stop. I hear a set of footsteps hit the ground after the doors open. I start running across the roof-

SLORSHSLORSH

and instantly stop at the faint sound.

Impossible

Then I hear the sound of two bodies slumping to the ground.

I run back to the jewelry shop as fast as my legs can take me. I sense two people standing in the street, and fling my billy clubs at them.

One takes a club to the back of the head and drops to the ground, his weapon clanging in the street. The other ducks. But by the time he's standing, I've landed and planted the side of my head in his throat, disarming him as well. As he doubles over and chokes, I quickly spin.

I block a blow from the first man, who's now up into a fighting stance. We parry a couple of strikes until I suddenly mix things up and land a straight jab to his face. Then hit him with the haymaker my father taught me. There's a reason Jack Murdock almost handed Ted Grant his first KO.

With the first man down, I strike behind me, catching the second man's face with a kick. He drops just like his partner.

The fight's over in only seconds. And once it is, I hear the soft noise of blood pouring from a wound, and the last gurgling gasps of the living. The heartbeats of the two officers stop. Pointless as it is, I check their necks for a pulse. And feel the slick stickiness of blood on my gloves. Their throats were slashed. They didn't have a chance.

I head to the sound where the first attacker's weapon landed. I could tell from the noise it was some kind of sword. But when I grab the handle, I drop it instantly. I know that shape.

The Hand?! Here, in Gotham?

Then the silence of Gotham, this lifeless city, is suddenly broken. The streets, all of them, filling with the sounds of sirens...

Andy C.
02-05-2012, 12:50 AM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/jokerlogo.jpg


Correctional Officer Aaron Cash was a man who took himself very seriously. He had grown up in a neighborhood where law and order were practically nonexistent, he detested the path of gang violence and drug abuse that so many of his childhood friends had taken, and dedicated his life to law enforcement. The fact that he was now employed as a security officer at the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, and not a detective like he had planned, may have stung his ambition a bit, but it did nothing to lessen the pride he took in his work.

Arkham was home to hundreds of people, suffering from all manner of mental illnesses that rendered them harmful to either themselves or the general public. Depending on the severity of their disorders, patients ranged from relatively normal functioning people whose symptoms could be dealt with via medication and diligent surveillance, to stark raving psychotics that were physically tied down to keep them from mauling anyone in their reach.

Cash prided himself in the job he did in keeping the peace in such a volatile environment, restraining unruly and violent patients, preventing attempted escapes, and doing everything in his power to keep the troubled souls on the island from hurting themselves or anyone else. While he was by no means the head of the asylum's security detail--that would be Warden Quincy Sharpe--he was well-respected and considered a leader by his fellow correctional officers.

"I asked for a six o'clock wake-up call!" shouted a voice from one of the solitary confinement cells in the maximum security wing as he approached, flanked by two orderlies and a hand-cart. "And where's my continental breakfast? See if I come here again!"

Despite some of the unsavory rumors he had heard about other guards and even the doctors themselves, Cash had never once abused an inmate. However, the man in the cell had made him seriously consider it on more than one occasion.

"And while we're at it," the voice ranted on as Cash approached the cell, "You really need to hire a new interior decorator--the decor here is just painfully drab! And I want a new outfit, too. After all...."

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/crazy_joker_by_freddykruger88-d4ht2p3.png

"....the color simply doesn't do a thing for me."

"You know the drill, Joker," Cash said with a snarl as he drew a taser from his holster. "On your feet, and keep your mouth shut."

"Bah, you call this room service?" the clown sneered, before pulling himself to his feet. Cash gave him a cold stare, before the two orderlies stepped into the cell and began nervously strapping the killer to the cart.

The Joker had come to Arkham only a few days ago, and already he had been more trouble than he was worth. While he hadn't directly hurt anyone, three of the orderlies assigned to him had suffered acute panic attacks after being lulled into extended conversations with him; one of them then cut open his own wrists by the end of the day. His first assigned psychiatrist, Dr. Alyce Sinner, was now on suicide watch after two sessions.

Rumor had begun to spread that the madman had some kind of mutant abilities, that he had a mind-altering powers that could drive people crazy. But Cash had been watching the Joker closely and knew better.

The Joker was extremely intelligent, extremely observant, and more than willing to push exactly the right buttons to utterly break a person. Right now, however, the clown had just settled for getting on his nerves.

"It's time for another session," Cash said gruffly, before the orderlies began wheeling the Joker from his cell through the penitentiary, past rows upon rows of violent psychopaths, out into the grounds between the island's three main facilities, and finally up the hill toward the old Arkham Mansion.

"Interesting change of scenery," the Joker remarked. "Why's--"

"I said 'mouth shut, clown," Cash barked, and the Joker clammed up, a mocking expression of sarcastic fear across his face.

Once they checked in at the front door of the Mansion, they took the Joker through a long corridor with high vaulted ceilings, the second floor of the large central hall a series of balconies that overlooked the first. Finally, they arrived at their destination: a sparsely decorated office. By the desk stood a thin, grim-faced man.

"You've been causing an awful lot of trouble in such a short time," he addressed the Joker. "Just a few short decades ago, such behavior would have been an immediate call for you to be lobotomized, or otherwise had your brain turned into a vegetable. However, I believe we can treat you without having to resort to such barbaric measures, even if it means I will have to conduct your therapy personally."

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/JeremiahArkham.png

"I am Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, chief of medicine and head doctor of the asylum. Now, Joker.....let's talk...."

Byrd Man
02-05-2012, 02:02 AM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png




Previously





Pacific Ocean
5 Miles South of Saturna Island

"Are you sure, General?" I asked from inside the Blackhawk. Sue and Johnny were crowded around me while a half dozen soldiers looked on. Ben was hanging from the chopper, being towed.

"Certain of it, Doctor. I'm looking at it right here in front of me. I'm sending all the files to your device. If they can help, use them."

I reached into my pocket and pulled out my commlink. Equal parts bluetooth and smart phone, all our commlinks have the ability to send and receive texts and files. I hit the button on the face of the phone and watched as all the information flashed by on the small screen.

"In the spring of '02, DARPA commissioned two scientists, Doctors T.O. Morrow and Will Magnus, to head up their Project Steel Soldier. The idea was to create expendable AI soldiers to battle terrorists. Morrow and Magnus worked out of a facility on Fox Island in Puget Sound. Six years went by without tangible results so Morrow offered a radical solution."

"He wanted to use living test subjects," Sue said from beside me.

"Yes. His original proposal involved extracting gray matter and organs from the recently deceased. His idea was that the organs and brain tissue would give a sense of realness to the AI and kick it on. He and Magnus argued over Morrow's methods and Magnus left the project. Eight years after it started, DARPA killed the project. Morrow soon after a nervous breakdown and was committed. He was released from a Seattle insane asylum a year and a half ago and hasn't been seen since."

"What makes you sure this is the guy, though?"

"Because of the material used in building the robots," I said, looking down at the data on the commlink. "An alloy of Adamantium and some mystery metal codenamed 'Pinball.' The people behind the project didn't know what it was. How in the world did Morrow get his hands on it?"

"We're not sure. I have a feeling he had a cache of it stored somewhere safely just before the project went under."

"But why kidnap and kill living guys? Why not use stiffs?"

"Because," Johnny said. "He's a crazy guy. There's no way he can get into a hospital to get fresh organs. Organs are embalmed and removed before they're buried."

Sue and I stared at Johnny and there was silence from Ben and General Lumpkin.

"What?"

"Nothing," Sue said with a smirk. "Just basking in the awesomeness of Johnny Storm."

"Well, duh."

"Hold on," the pilot said from the front. "We've got some wind coming in. May be bumpy."

The rocky land of Satruna Island was just a few miles north when the Blackhawk began to shake, slowly at first before it started shaking stronger.

"Something's wrong," the pilot said as he gripped the control yoke tightly. The chopper began to shake wildly.

"We got incoming!" Ben shouted into the comm. A red blur whizzed by the helicopter as the Blackhawk began to spin.

"Wind's too strong!" The pilot shouted. "It's hurricane level! I can't hold on."

We began to go into a tailspin, the world turning into a dizzying blur.

"Let me go, Reed!" Ben yelled. "My weight's causing us to go down faster! Buy some more time! I'll survive."

Trying to see straight, I stretched out and hit a button on the other side of the chopper. Ben's harness detached and the Blackhawk shot up into the air, spinning faster and faster as the wind roared through the helicopter. The rocky ground of Saturna Island was looming closer.

"Brace for impact!" The pilot shouted out.

"No!" Sue shouted out, thrusting her arm forward. Suddenly, an electric buzz filled the air.

WHAM!

We were all sent into the air as the helicopter slammed into the earth. The helicopter bounced skidded across the ground before coming to a stop. I picked myself up off the floor and looked around as everyone tried to recover.

"Everyone okay?" Sue asked, her nose bleeding. "I thought my force field would take all the impact, I guess it didn't."

"I think my leg is broken," the pilot groaned from the front. "Other than that, I'm fine."

Johnny and I and two of the soldiers help the pilot out the wreck. The Blackhawk is ruined, but everyone isn't majorly hurt. Lightning tore across the sky as a light drizzle began to fall from the sky. I looked around the small island and activated the commlink.

"Ben where are you?"

"Right here," he grumbled from behind. I turned to see Ben walking up, the frayed harness strapped to his chest. "Everyone okay?"

"The pilot has a broke leg. Everyone else has minor scraps and bruises. How are you?"

"Ain't nothing getting through this thick hide."

"What was that in the sky?"

"I don't know, Reed, but whatever it was i wasn't playing around."

The soldiers grouped up with us as Sue and Johnny came over.

"Major Grimm," the sergeant of the group said. "Any orders?"

"Somebody stay with the pilot. The rest of us are gonna follow Doctor Richards' lead."

"We need to pick back up on the radiation trail and see where this leads us."

I pulled out my scanner and listened to the ticks. The rhythm began to suddenly pick up until it was one singular bleep.

"Something's coming..."

Wind blew in and the rain began to pour down as a red blur flew overhead and landed in front of us.

http://i44.tinypic.com/az7yo1.jpg

"Official notice: You are trespassing. Programing indicates trespassers must be punished. Prepare to be punished."

"...and there it is."



Saturna Island
British Columbia

The android's arms become red blurs, sending a powerful gale through the area. Everyone was sent into the air - myself, the soldiers, Sue, Johnny, even Ben. I held on to the downed Blackhawk as I flew past it. The force kept stretching me, my fingers elongating as my body flew backwards. Sue blew by and I reached out, grabbing her with my left hand.

"Hold on, Sue!"

"I'm trying!"

I stretched my fingers and wrapped them tightly around her wrist to secure her.

"We have to get him to stop!" Ben yelled over the roaring wind. His rocky fingers were embedded into the ground while the rest of his body flapped in the air.

"I got it!" Johnny yelled from behind. "Flame on!"

The fireball that was Johnny Storm rushed passed us, his flames flickering against the robot's gusts. He yelled and shot out a swirl of flames, only to have the fire pushed back into his face.

"I can't get a shot in!"

"Let go, kid. He can't blow that wind everywhere. Turn around and outflank him!"

Johnny twisted around and shot past us, his fiery contrails following him as he passed. Johnny took to the air and the android shifted its aim, the wind pinning us down passed and we all fell to the ground. Johnny climbed higher into the air and the android followed, taking off into the sky after him.

"Everyone okay?" I asked, retracting my elongated limbs and standing up. I reached out and helped Sue on her feet.

"Hair's a little messy, but that's about it."

"We're fine," one of the soldiers, a sergeant, said.

"Good. We need to split up. Three of the soldiers stay with Major Grimm and help the Human Torch out. The other three are with the Invisible Woman and I."

"What's the plan, Reed?

"You take on the robot while the rest of us go after Morrow. There's a facility a little ways from us, I spotted it when we were in the air."

"So I get the death robot while you get the egghead? Sounds like one of your plans."

"He's not a death robot. Just a...disgruntled one. Look out!"

Johnny and the android passed over head, both of them trading attacks of flames and wind.

"I could use a little help!" Johnny shouted as he went straight up into the air.

"You heard the man. Three of you with me. Sergeant, you and two of your men go with Doctor Richards."

"Yes, sir," the sergeant said with a nod. Sue and the three soldiers turned to me and I turned away from them.

"Let's go."


*****


T.O. Morrow watched on the monitors as the party split up, half of them heading towards the laboratory. He recognized Reed Richards as soon as he crawled out the wreckage of the helicopter. The boy scientist who was dubbed the world's smartest man by the media and other scientists. What made him so great? All he had done was turn him and his friends into a bunch of freaks. Morrow had created life! Life that was currently besting the Fantastic Four.

Richards thought taking him down would stop the android, but he was mistaken. The android would not stop defending his home and his father. But the android wasn't Morrow's only defense. Morrow turned away from the monitors and hurried to the back of his lab. The weapon was resting in the same spot it had been since he moved in. He used it only as back up. Truth was he had only used it a few times since creating it.

Morrow picked the rifle up and activated it, the charged particles came to life and caused the weapon to hum and vibrate in Morrow's grip. Morrow turned off the safety and aimed the weapon into the air. A burst of powerful electricity shot out the barrel and blasted a hole in the roof of the lab. It had been years since it had been fired, but it still perfectly. With the rifle in his hands, Morrow turned and hurried towards the front of the lab. He had guest coming, and Morrow was now ready to be a gracious host.

Carnage27
02-06-2012, 08:43 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png

"So you think people will rally to you?" Reverend Stryker's doctor asks from the seat across from him on the private plane. The reverend had been ill ever since the accident that claimed the life of his family. The doctor was there for his mental health more than physical though. His employer was prone to breakdowns and fits of rage, and he was here to keep him level.

"I'm sure of it," the reverend smiles. "The flock knows evil when they see it. And they will rally to us when the time is right, and they will help us strike down these monsters to hell."

Suddenly, the side of the plane rips open and Stryker's guards are sucked out into the high altitude.

**********

I float into the private plane and close the hole up from behind me, "Hello, Reverend. How are you? I saw your interview earlier. I must say it was a very rousing plea to the cornfed hicks of America."

"I have nothing to say to you, demon." the preacher seeths. "If you are here to kill me, kill me. And watch as the masses rise up as I'm martyred. They will wash your evil from God's creation."

"Your insane rambling aside, you're partially right," I smile at him. "You do have the easily swayed's ear. But I'm not here to kill you. Oh no, quite the opposite. I'm here to tell you I am going to let you live. I'm going to let you live to watch as I crush any human resistance to the mutant uprising. And after I've killed your last general, I'll come for you. Only then will you die."

Before he can say anything, I look back at his doctor, "And I hope you keep him alive until then. If not, I'll be coming for you."

I open up the side of the plane again, leaving and closing the hole back up, allowing the

Andy C.
02-06-2012, 11:39 PM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/spideylogo.png

Great Power
Part II

"Heya, Pete!" Harry says as we meet up in the school courtyard before class. "I see you're not dead after all; Flash and Kong owe me five bucks."

"Well, I'm certainly glad to know that my being in a coma for a week netted you almost enough money to buy a hamburger," I say, rolling my eyes. "It almost makes it worth it somehow."

Sarcasm aside, it feels great just to get up and walk around. After I regained consciousness, the staff at Metropolis General kept me under observation for a couple more days just to make sure I wouldn't lapse or start having seizures again. And believe you me, unnamed second-person-object that I'm narrating to, it was torture. Not in the sense that they did anything to me, but just in the sense that having to lie in bed all day when I felt like I could get up and sprint a marathon was agonizingly boring.

Now that I'm out, I've got a spring in my step that just doesn't seem to go away. I haven't felt this good in........jeez, ever, I think.

"Anyway, you haven't really missed a whole lot," Harry says. "Liz and I split up, but that's about--."

"You what?!" I blurt out, stopping dead in my tracks.

Oh my God, oh my God, ohmygodohmygodohmygod, this is a game-changer, people; I've been painfully crushing on Liz Allan since sixth grade, but never had the nerve to ask her out, what with me being a snivelling cowardly nerd and all. Harry worked up the guts that I couldn't, and for the last few months I'd been forced to watch them get all cozy with each other. And while that sucked, it was at the same time weirdly satisfying to know that she was no longer an option, in the sense that knowing the game is over means knowing you can't keep losing.

But if she's single again.......

Maybe it's all of this new-found energy and confidence talking, but.....I think I might take a shot at Liz this time. Actually? I know I will. Things are gonna be different now, things are gonna start going my way!

"Yeah, she dumped me for Flash," Harry adds. "His dad got him a new car for his birthday, and that was pretty much all the excuse she needed to ditch me. Via text."

"Oh. Ouch," I say, both in sympathy for my friend and dejection that my dream girl is now in the vile clutches of Flash Thompson. "Still, I mean, you don't seem too upset by it. You okay?"

"Eh, easy come, easy go," Harry shrugs. "They'll be through with each other by the end of the month, tops. Besides, I've actually been thinking about asking out Sally Avril for a while now."

Inwardly I cringe at that thought. Sally's just as bad as Flash, only minus the Y Chromosome and adding just enough brain cells to be particularly vicious. And given that her favorite prey is geeks like me, I shudder to think of the idea of her and Harry together.

"Well, let's not get too hasty jumping right back into the dating pool," I say, trying not to flat-out say 'please don't go out with the horrible snotty cheerleader who's going to make my life suck,' "I can tell you right now, from sixteen years of experience, that a bachelor's life isn't the end of the world. I mean, even if you--"

As I'm talking, a cold chill runs up my spine, ending in an electric tingling in my brain. The whole world seems to slow to a crawl, like someone edited in a bad overplayed bullet-time effect into my everyday life. My senses, already clearer and sharper than I could ever remember them being, go even more intense--I could individually count every hair on Harry's head if I wanted to, or listen to what Glory Grant and Kenny 'Kong' McFarlane are saying on the other side of the courtyard.

More urgently, though, I want to know what's causing the sensation of rushing displaced air behind me, like an object is hurtling towards me fast.....

I turn and see a figure sailing through the air towards me: a girl with bright blue eyes obscured by thick-framed glasses, her straw-blonde hair blown back by motion, a beaming smile on her face, arms outstretched and reaching for me.....

"PETER!" Gwen exclaims as the world returns back to normal motion, and she crashes headlong into me with a running-jumping-sneak-attack-hug.

"*oof!*" I grunt instinctively, before realizing I caught her with virtually no effort at all, like she was suddenly light as a feather. I have upper-body strength now?! When did that happen?! "Hey, Gwen, good to see you too."

"You have no idea how boring it's been around here while you were gone," she says, her arms still wrapped around my shoulders. "I really missed you."

"Really?" I ask, an eyebrow raised. "I mean, we talked online, like, every night once I woke up."

"True, but, still...." Gwen says, "it's better to have you in person."

"Heh, yeah, I guess, um....." I stammer, becoming aware of how long we've been hugging. And the fact that I actually kinda like it....

"*ahem*," Harry interrupts. "So, Pete, now that you're back, I'm kind of in dire need of help with my homework--a whole week trying to do College Prep Algebra on my own hasn't exactly helped out my GPA, so....."

"Right, um, yeah, I'll get on that," I say, finally letting go of hugging Gwen and seeing that she's blushing bright red. "So, umm, I don't really have any plans after school. You wanna go over your assignments then?"

"Works for me," Harry shrugs noncommittally. "Anyway, I gotta head to class. Later, Pete."

"I need to get up to the biology lab, too," Gwen says. "So....um, yeah, heh. Welcome back and stuff."

"Yeah, heh," I stammer awkwardly. "I'll, uh, I'll see you at lunch."

As we break and head to our classes, I've gotta say that, weirdness involving gastrointestinal butterflies with Gwen aside, I feel awesome. Like a whole different Peter Parker came back from the hospital, and now I'm gonna take this school by storm. No more being a wallflower, no more being a dweeb, it's time to seize the day!

"Hey, Puny Parker!" I hear Flash Thompson yell, cracking his knuckles. "C'mere, so me and Kong can give you your official welcome-back present!"

........forget seizing the day; I can't even keep the brain-dead jocks from seizing me.





ONE SCHOOL DAY LATER.........




Y'know, it's probably not a good thing to miss a whole week of school, come back, and then miss the first two periods on your first day back. Unfortunately, I couldn't really help that, since I spent said periods stuck inside my locker.

It's a little roomier than I remember it being.

Class was pretty much the same I remember, with the 'new and improved Peter Parker' getting overlooked and ignored just as much as the old one. The bus ride home was no treat, either, since nobody would let me sit by them and I was forced to stand in the aisle.

Once I'm home, I plunk my backpack down on my bed, check my Facebook, check my Twitter, check 4Chan, check YouTube, check The Awesomer, check Cracked, check io9, check my fanfic forums, and check my email, before knocking out my homework in short order, before remembering I have to go help Harry with his.

I head downstairs, and hear Uncle Ben and Aunt May in the next room.

"....and after all that, they send me out the door with hardly a 'thanks for your time,'" I hear Uncle Ben muttering. "Said they don't need so many workers now that the plant's being automated by those Lexcorp robots, and I just happened to be the closest to retirement...."

"Don't worry, Ben," Aunt May comforts him, "You'll find something else, with your experience. And until then, we can just....take what we need out of our Paris fund?"

"Aw, May, I can't do that," he groans. "We've been saving for that since the day we got married."

"Only a bit, until we get back on our feet, I promise," she says. "Just enough so Peter doesn't have to worry....."

There's a long pause before Uncle Ben sighs.

"Okay, just until I find another job," he says. "Pete doesn't need to know about this."

Feeling a pang of guilt, I quietly climb back up the stairs, then come down again, making a little noise so they know I'm coming.

"Hey Aunt May, Uncle Ben," I wave, like I haven't seen them all day. "I'm, um, I'm heading over to Harry's for a little bit, to help him with his homework."

"Well, be back in time for dinner, Peter dear," Aunt May says, barely disguising the worry on her face.

"Will do. Love you guys."

"...love you too, Pete," Uncle Ben says, not able to cover up how tired and.....afraid, he looks.

I head out the door and start walking down the sidewalk towards the nearest bus stop. Harry lives in a swanky penthouse with his dad on the other side of town, so the ride's probably going to take a while.

While I walk down the street, I can't help but worry over what I'd heard my aunt and uncle saying. Uncle Ben's still got pension checks coming from his time in the Army, but they're hardly enough to cover all of the bills we've got. He needed that job down at the plant, and now that it's gone.....what are we going to do?

Maybe I can start bringing in money somehow, but how? I mean, there's not a whole lot that I'm good at that I can make a living doing, at least not without another solid decade of school, and--

*SKREEEEEEEEEEEECH!!!!!*

As soon as the sound of tires screeching on asphalt reach my ears, I get that cold chill up my spine, the tingling in my brain, and the world slows to a snail's pace again. I become acutely aware of everything around me, the cracks in the pavement, the faint smell of car exhaust.....

....the fact that I was so lost in my own thoughts that I didn't realize I walked out into the middle of the road when the light was red........

I turn and see an SUV bearing down on me, the driver slamming onto the brakes far too late to stop in time. He's too close, and athletics was never exactly my strong suit. I look in the driver's eyes, and see pure terror and guilt all over his face. I'm dead, and we both know it.

I can't think of anything.....so I just let instinct take over and do whatever comes natural when you're about to get creamed by a car......








........and suddenly, I'm upside-down, watching the SUV pass underneath me, tires screeching and squealing before the driver presses down on the accelerator and drives away, not even checking to see if I'm okay.

Jerk.

As I look at the inverted upside-down world, my panic-addled brain tries to make sense of what happened. I'm about to become street pizza, and then I'm suddenly looking down on what had to have been the scene of the accident.

Did I.....die? Am I having some kind of out-of-body experience? What's going on?!

Soon, the panic recedes, and I realize I haven't been separated from my body at all. I am, in fact, hanging upside-down from a street light.

"What's.....just.....what?!" I sputter.

What's really crazy, is I'm not even clutching onto the light pole for dear life; my palms are pressed flat against the metal pole and just seem to.....stick there. Nervously I pull one hand free, and can make out little dots along my hands. Little hairs of some kind......

Eventually I realize I should probably climb down before people see me and start asking questions I can't answer. It's then that I see just how far up I am. God, I must have jumped, like, twenty feet straight up!

Climbing down (which is, for some reason, so easy you'd think the light pole had handles all over it), I look around to see if anyone's looking, then run as fast as I can to the bus stop.

I have no idea what the hell just happened. And the rational part of me tells me that running away like an idiot won't help. But I need to get away to just clear my head, collect my thoughts, and un-freak myself out. Doing someone else's homework ought to do the trick.

Earlier this morning, I felt like a whole new Peter Parker had come out of that hospital. I may have been more right than I thought......

MST3K 4ever
02-07-2012, 12:40 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6215/6366402613_3f2c57eeb9_m.jpg

Arrow finishes zip-lining to the top of a roof top and catches his breath.

So far I've managed to stop 3 attempted lootings, 2 car-jackings and one mugging, and still no sign of Superman or the supposed monster. All that being said I'm glad that I've been able to help hold the line here.

He stares out into the city and sees the LNN copter approaching.

Somehow I don't think Lex is going to take kindly to my being in the area.

Arrow dives behind a Maintenance shack and waits for the chopper to pass over.

Might be time to take off, but I think I'll wait here just to make sure everything is okay.

MST3K 4ever
02-07-2012, 12:55 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Snapper Carr, lead anchor of LNN's News Tonight, says, "And we are now going to a live shot of the damage in downtown Metropolis with our owner and CEO Lex Luthor on an LNN Chopper. Mr. Luthor what can you tell us about the current state of affairs in the downtown area?"

Luthor replies, "Snapper it is just pure and unbridled carnage here. The damage is extensive, many people injured, and the police doing everything they can to maintain some sense of order."

Snapper asks, "Mr. Luthor what could you say is the most important thing you are seeing right now?"

Luthor replies, "The emergency workers trying to do their jobs. If I could stress if you are thinking of coming to the downtown area just out of curiosity please don't. The congestion and confusion in this area is bad enough I am certain that the emergency workers and police department would appreciate your help in this matter."

Snapper says, "Absolutely Mr. Luthor. I was wondering any sign of Superman in the area?"

Luthor replies, "Not at this time Snapper."

Snapper asks, "Mr. Luthor anything else you would care to add?"

Luthor replies, "Yes Snapper. I own many of the buildings in the area and one of them is the Luthor Plaza. I do hereby authorize the building to be open to the public and for use as a temporary shelter, and command center for the emergency workers and police department. I will be landing there momentarily to oversee the opening myself, and anyone who works there is to be there within the hour to assist in anyway they can."

Snapper says, "A most generous offering by one of our most revered citizens Mr. Lex Luthor. Thank you Mr. Luthor for your time and generosity at this difficult time."

Luthor replies, "Just trying to help Snapper thank you. This is Lex Luthor signing off."

The Chopper lands and Lex gets out and begins opening the Plaza up. Within minutes people come into the lobby and fire/rescue/police department begin taking over the various conference rooms.

Byrd Man
02-07-2012, 10:57 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png




Previously




Saturna Island
British Columbia

The android's arms become red blurs, sending a powerful gale through the area. Everyone was sent into the air - myself, the soldiers, Sue, Johnny, even Ben. I held on to the downed Blackhawk as I flew past it. The force kept stretching me, my fingers elongating as my body flew backwards. Sue blew by and I reached out, grabbing her with my left hand.

"Hold on, Sue!"

"I'm trying!"

I stretched my fingers and wrapped them tightly around her wrist to secure her.

"We have to get him to stop!" Ben yelled over the roaring wind. His rocky fingers were embedded into the ground while the rest of his body flapped in the air.

"I got it!" Johnny yelled from behind. "Flame on!"

The fireball that was Johnny Storm rushed passed us, his flames flickering against the robot's gusts. He yelled and shot out a swirl of flames, only to have the fire pushed back into his face.

"I can't get a shot in!"

"Let go, kid. He can't blow that wind everywhere. Turn around and outflank him!"

Johnny twisted around and shot past us, his fiery contrails following him as he passed. Johnny took to the air and the android shifted its aim, the wind pinning us down passed and we all fell to the ground. Johnny climbed higher into the air and the android followed, taking off into the sky after him.

"Everyone okay?" I asked, retracting my elongated limbs and standing up. I reached out and helped Sue on her feet.

"Hair's a little messy, but that's about it."

"We're fine," one of the soldiers, a sergeant, said.

"Good. We need to split up. Three of the soldiers stay with Major Grimm and help the Human Torch out. The other three are with the Invisible Woman and I."

"What's the plan, Reed?

"You take on the robot while the rest of us go after Morrow. There's a facility a little ways from us, I spotted it when we were in the air."

"So I get the death robot while you get the egghead? Sounds like one of your plans."

"He's not a death robot. Just a...disgruntled one. Look out!"

Johnny and the android passed over head, both of them trading attacks of flames and wind.

"I could use a little help!" Johnny shouted as he went straight up into the air.

"You heard the man. Three of you with me. Sergeant, you and two of your men go with Doctor Richards."

"Yes, sir," the sergeant said with a nod. Sue and the three soldiers turned to me and I turned away from them.

"Let's go."


*****


T.O. Morrow watched on the monitors as the party split up, half of them heading towards the laboratory. He recognized Reed Richards as soon as he crawled out the wreckage of the helicopter. The boy scientist who was dubbed the world's smartest man by the media and other scientists. What made him so great? All he had done was turn him and his friends into a bunch of freaks. Morrow had created life! Life that was currently besting the Fantastic Four.

Richards thought taking him down would stop the android, but he was mistaken. The android would not stop defending his home and his father. But the android wasn't Morrow's only defense. Morrow turned away from the monitors and hurried to the back of his lab. The weapon was resting in the same spot it had been since he moved in. He used it only as back up. Truth was he had only used it a few times since creating it.

Morrow picked the rifle up and activated it, the charged particles came to life and caused the weapon to hum and vibrate in Morrow's grip. Morrow turned off the safety and aimed the weapon into the air. A burst of powerful electricity shot out the barrel and blasted a hole in the roof of the lab. It had been years since it had been fired, but it still perfectly. With the rifle in his hands, Morrow turned and hurried towards the front of the lab. He had guest coming, and Morrow was now ready to be a gracious host.






Saturna Island
British Columbia

Lightning crashed on the rocky island, thunder rumbled, and rain poured down from the dark storm clouds above. Johnny Storm was flying above the island, a trail of steam and smoke followed him as the rain pounded on his fiery body. Behind him, the red android was gaining ground.

"I could use some help!" He shouted into his communicator.

"I'm working on it," Ben Grimm grunted on the line.

Grimm was on the ground, flanked by three soldiers as they watched the two figures fly overhead. Grimm stomped towards a pile of rocks and picked up a boulder the size of a Yugo.

"Stand back," he told the soldiers as he hoisted the rock on his shoulder. "Been awhile since I done the shot put. Not since college."

The men stepped back and Ben began to spin himself around with the boulder on his shoulder. He let out a grunt and tossed the rock into the sky. The boulder sailed through the rain and struck the android in its chest.
"Got 'em!"

The robot spun in the air and twirled towards the ground. The android crashed into the ground and was already beginning to pick itself up with the rocky fist of the Thing knocked it off its feet again. The soldiers behind Ben opened fire, only to watch their bullets bounce off the android's steel frame.

"Hold yer fire!" He growled. The android was already back on its feet and Ben charged, swinging at the robot. The android ducked his blows and squatted, launching the Thing into the air with a powerful blast of wind. Ben yelled as he somersaulted through the air and landed in the mud. The soldiers opened fire again, only for their bullets to ricochet.

"LOOK OUT BELOW!" The Human Torch cried out as he swooped in low and tackled the android. The two tumbled across the ground. Johnny ended up on top of the robot and let loose with a fiery blast from his hands, only for it to die out as the android shot out a gust of wind. With its other hand, the robot punched the Torch in the jaw and knocked him down.

"Warning," the android said suddenly, standing up and hovering above the ground. "Laboratory in danger."

With that, the robot shot up into the sky and flew off into the distance.

"What was that all about?" Johnny asked as he stood, his body still aflame.

"I say we need to follow him, kid," Ben said as he wiped mud off his chest. "He's going after Reed and Sue."


****


I stood outside Morrow's compound, a metal building about the size of a football field, with Sue and the soldiers. The door leading in was sealed.

"We could shoot it off," the sergeant suggested.

"You can't," I said, elongating my arm and stretching it down to the bottom of the door. "It's electronically sealed by a magnetic lock...and it's flush with the ground. I can't slip my hand through it."

I retracted my arm and pulled out my scanner. Maybe a little bit of Whovian magic could do it. I fooled with the scanner's settings until it emitted a high pitch noise. I shoved it against the lock and smiled as sparks flew out the lock, popping the door open.

"Let's go."

I led the five of us into the building. It was dimly lit and spartan, concrete floors and sheet metal walls.

"Get your weapons ready," the sergeant told his two troops. I turned and looked at the assault rifles.

"Shoot to wound if you can."

"With all due respect, Doctor," the sergeant said, "this man has killed way too many people. He's dangerous."

"He's insane. Mentally unstable. He needs help, not a bullet."

"Alright," the sergeant said, turning to his men, "shoot to wound."

We walked through the dim light of the building, passing computer monitors with data on it. I stopped at one of the monitors and looked over the information.

"My God," I said under my breath, shocked and appalled by what I was seeing. "All these experiments...most of them were still alive."

"Reed," Sue said, touching my shoulder. "Come on. We have to go."

I tore myself away form the monitor and nodded. The five of us walked down the corridor towards the lab. "Spread out," the sergeant said to his two troops as we entered the lab. There was a slab with leather straps attached to it, electronic equipment was rigged up around it.

"This is it," I said, pulling out my scanner. "This is where the experiments were done."

I bent down over a stain, running my scanner across it. "Human blood."

FSSHOOM!

Bright light flashed across the room as a ball of lightning crackled through the air, striking the sergeant in the chest. The sergeant went up in a ball of fire, his ashes crumbling to the floor.

"Get down!" I yelled, grabbing Sue around the waist with one arm while I grabbed the two remaining soldiers with my other, elongated arm. I pushed the four of us down behind the slab.

"You like my gun, Doctor Richards?" A voice from across the room asked. "It's a charged particle gun. I made it myself."

"Impressive, Morrow. How about you slide it over here and let me take a closer look at it?"

"Cute, but no. I know this works, but I think another project of mine needs a field test."

Suddenly, the metal roof crashed open and the android hovered in the air above us.

"Intruders detected," the android said, its hand held out.

"Excellent. Be a good boy and take care of them for daddy, will you?"

sumowrestler
02-09-2012, 01:52 PM
Jordan takes a deep breath as he stares down the hallway. Nothing looked too dangerous or out of the ordinary but his limited time as a Lantern has taught him that looks can be very decieving. As he takes a few steps, he notices a hissing sound on both sides. He looks up and sees vents close to the ceiling. Hal immediately covers his face with his arm and coughs a little. He noticed that whatever was coming out of the vents wasn't affecting him that bad. All it done was made it slightly harder to breathe but more of a cloud that is hard to see through. Knowing that his goal was somewhere down the hall, Hal stepped into the cloud and then heard something like stones moving. A couple of steps later, he leaves the cloud only to be facing two stone warriors with clubs and swords in their hands.

OK, how am I going to get past Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb? This would be so much eaiser if I had my ring but the challenges is to see if I can do well without it. Kilowog probably should incorporate some of this into his training but he is in such a hurry to get out Corp members who can use the ring.

The one on his right swings the club toward Jordan who barely ducks and almost falls onto the ground but catches himself with his hands. The other one swings its sword at Hal who sort of leaps towards the direction of the second warrior and over the sword. Then the two soldiers return back to ready positions blocking the hallway. Hal then stands back up and takes in a deep breath trying to do something he rarely does, plan.

Maybe I should have brought Ollie. He is usually the better thinker then I am but I doubt my host would have allowed a non-ring wielder onto the ship let alone in the Temple of Light. OK, now what to do? They are faster then they look and clueless on what is powering or guiding them. Are they there to kill me or simply keep me from going past? They aren't coming at me at the present moment so maybe they are proximately activated as Oliver would say. It doesn't look like there are anything for me to use as weapons unless I somehow use them against each other.

Jordan then charges the two warriors who bring down their weapons. When they do this, he turns sideways with his left calf muscle being caught making him stumble past the two warriors. Not stopping to look at his leg, he continues down the hallway limping. He then steps on a block that drops half an inch activating arrows coming out of the walls. This made him stumble along with his pain leg not paying too much attention to the arrows. By luck more then anything else, the worst he got was an arrow into the right shoulder. Very slowly he pulls it out and sees blood dripping from the tip. He then hears foot steps behind him as he sees the two stone warriors following him.

I just hope those arrows weren't coated with anything. It looks it is a race now to see who gets to the end of this hallway. I'm still not sure if those things are there to kill me or just stop me but at this point it matters very little. Even if they set off the arrow trap, assuming there are arrows still, they probably just break on contact.

bkhedr
02-10-2012, 02:35 AM
"You're a better warrior," I rasped out, "Stronger and faster..."

I fought against Gorgon's powerful grip and managed to lay my hand on his arm.

"But I'm smarter..."

I activated my glove, sending thousands of volts out the insulated fingertips and shocking Gorgon. I rolled out from under him as he convulsed and shook from the electricity.


http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg


The current ceased coursing through the Gorgon's body and he coughed, then sucked in a lungful of air before picking himself up.

"Very good Batman." The Gorgon said as he pushed his head first to the right, then to the left, cracking his neck in the process "Very impressive"

"But you can't beat me, which means you can't stop my men."

The Gorgon grinned as he thought of the dozen or so of Gotham's finest who had met their demise since the fight began.

"And you're running out of time."

With that the Gorgon shifted into a fighting stance, once more ready to continue the skirmish. Batman did the same but before the two could do more than size each other up the Gorgon stopped and straightened, apparently listening to a voice in his ear piece that Batman could not hear.

"I'm afraid I will have to cut our dance short Batman" The Gorgon muttered, clearly displeased. He raised an open palm and a ninja whom Batman could just make out in the shadows, nodded silently and melted into the darkness. "The man who sent me here has seen all he needs to see for now."

bkhedr
02-10-2012, 03:01 AM
http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg


I lean into the mirror on the wall and stare into my own eyes. My pupils and irises, with their familiar dark brown color, are gone and what stare back at me in the mirror are two solid orbs of pure red with barely visible white particles floating inside them.

"I'm afraid the change in your eyes appears to be permanent." Doctor Horton says from behind me. "But at least you can dye your hair."

I smile reflexively and run my hand through my now gray hair.

"I actually kind of like the hair Doc." My eye brows, even the hair on my bare chest, has turned gray, but a cosmetic change in my eyes and hair doesn't bother me. How could it? I'm alive after all and from what I've been told and how I felt yesterday, I shouldn't be.

"Hey thanks Doctor Horton." I say as I turn to face the Doctor and extend an open hand.

He steps forward and shakes my hand

"Y'know for everything."

"You're most welcome Simon." Horton replies "Hell I should be thanking you, afterall it was something in your physiology that made you a viable candidate for the experiment and your strength of will that allowed it to succeed."

He grins and adds "Of course I'm still planning on taking all the credit."

That gets us both laughing and I give him a slap on the back before retrieving a black t-shirt from the back of a chair on my right.

"You got it Doc" I say before I pull the shirt over my head. "Now the way I figure it I still have to thank the Count, then its time I get back to my life. I imagine the police probably want to talk to me about what happened and poor Avery, that's my agent, well he's probably having the world's biggest panic attack by now."

I hadn't thought about my career, my life, much in the last couple of days, mostly because I thought they had come to an end, but now I was anxious to get back to the world and put this nightmare behind me. Call me overconfident but I figure it will take more than red eyes and gray hair to keep Simon Williams off the big screen.

Maybe Horton disagrees because his head down for a brief moment then looks up again and opens his mouth, as if to say something, but he's interrupted by Nefaria entering the room.

"Simon my boy." The Count says as he approaches me with a warm smile "Its good to see you up and about."

"Count" I grin "I was just telling Doc Horton that I feel great."

I never did like Count Nefaria but he saved my life when he didn't have to and I'm not too big to admit that I was wrong about him.

"I'm sure you do my boy, I'm sure you do" The Count gives Horton a sideways glance while keeping his attention on me "But I'm afraid you can't leave yet."

"Why not?" I ask, raising an eyebrow.

"Why because what we've done is more than save your life Simon. The process didn't just change your hair and eyes either. It changed you, made you something better than human.

I'm taken aback by Nefaria's words and I shoot Horton a look. The Doctor nods seriously.

"You gotta be kidding me!" I declare before focusing my gaze on Nefaria. I'm not mad or anything, just a little stunned.

"Are you trying to tell me that you've given me super powers?"

Horton is about to speak up but Nefaria beats him to it

"Yes Simon that is exactly what we're telling you and now that have told you we intend to train you in the use of your new abilities."

"What so I can save the world?"

"Not at all my boy." Nefaria replies. His demeanor has suddenly changed from warm and friendly into something far more serious "I want you to avenge my daughter's death."



http://s14.postimage.org/xi1c9e38f/wonder_man.jpg


One week later:

I'm standing on a launch platform of an advanced airship with elements Nefaria's private militia armed to the teeth and standing on either side of me. Nervous doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3186/3060069122_cb93845771.jpg

"You'll be fine Sir." One of the men on my right says. Nefaria's men don't have rank insignia or anything but its pretty obvious he's one of the men in charge of the operation

"Just remember the plan." He adds with a pat on my back.

I force a smile and nod at him before he walks away and my smile fades.

Remember the plan he says. Easy for him to say. The plan doesn't call for him to be some kind of superman. Doctor Horton said not to worry, I can still hear him telling me how I'm more powerful than even he had thought possible; that I most likely can't be hurt at all. All the tests and training sessions we had over the last week seem to confirm that, but those were rehearsals and now that I'm on the cusp of the real thing its scaring the hell out of me.

An electronic warning beeps twice, indicating that we're over our objective and making me jump slightly. On either side of me no nonsense militia men strap themselves to ropes by which they will rappel to the target and engage. Their just regular men, no powers, no special abilities, and their obvious toughness and confidence in their prowess shames me a little.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, visualing Whitney for strength.

A tap on my shoulder demands my attention.

"Ready Sir?" The soldier I spoke to earlier asks, flashing a questioning thumbs up gesture.

"Yeah" I nod at him and focus as I had been taught, channeling the energies that now make up my body and supercharging my form with them. It starts as a tingle deep inside me that flows out and I feel myself shift and hear a now familiar buzzing sound like the hiss of excess energy floating in the air around a powerful generator.

"Let's do this thing"

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/1504/917008-wonderman_super.gif

Carnage27
02-10-2012, 12:23 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png


I look out over Star City from a rooftop, marveling at the beauty of the coastal metropolis. California has always been a nice place, and this city is cleaner and sweeter smelling than New York. But really, that's not hard to do. The years haven't been overly nice to New York.

But I'm not here for sight seeing, I'm here to do my job and save an innocent metahuman from being imprisoned for no other reason than existing. I open my line of communication to Fury, "I'm here and geared up. Any movement on the streets?"

"None yet," he replies. "But they're there. I know they are."

Just as he says that, two helicopters zoom across the city, heading for some unknown destination. And below, an cadre of trucks rolls towards the same direction. I take off after them and say, "Nevermind, contact made. They're headed for their target. Awfully big show of force here for one person."

"Well, it may be two, but choppers and trucks means they aren't messing around. They want this capture over quickly and without much collateral damage."

Traversing the rooftops of this residential part of the city, I quickly locate the area where Checkmate has surrounded to apprehend their target. The streets have been cleared and it seems like the people in the apartment building have been cleared out as well, save for whoever they're going after.

I silently drop of one roof to a lower one behind a pair of Checkmate agents, listening in, "Yea, they say it's some girl and an old man. Dunno why we have so men."

"The old man used to be one hell of a fighter, from what the boss told me. But we'll take him-*herk*"

I cut the agent off by slamming my shield into his helmet and knocking him out. The other goes for his radio, but I quickly deliver a punch across his jaw, sending him into unconsciousness with his friend.

"Fury, I have confirmation that there are two targets, I'm heading into the-" I'm cut off by the sound of gunfire in the apartment building where the metahumans live. "Shots fired, I'm heading in. Stealth is going out the window."

"Okay, patching you into their frequencies."

I run towards one of the helicopters, which is between the gap of my building and the target building. I leap toward it's landing stantions and grap one using it to build momentum, and I fling myself through a fourth story window of the apartment building. As I do I hear the Checkmate radio chatter, "It's Captain America! Repeat, we have a sighting of Cap. New number one target!"

I smile and rush to the stairs of the building, hoping that they'll turn their attention to me, allowing the others to escape. But the next thing I hear over their comm tells me differently, "We have the girl successfully tranqed. We're taking her to the roof."

Sighing, I sprint begin a sprint up the stairs, bowling over anyone in my way. At one point, two groups are above and below me, and the group above throws a flashbang my direction. I roll underneath it, shielding my eyes, and it goes off, blinding those below me.

Reaching the group above, I disarm the first one of his tranq gun, and slam the butt of it under his chin, the with a wide sweep trip his teammates with it. not wasting time, I rush forward, hoping I can reach the top in time.

But I don't. By the time I reach it, I can see the helicopter is already too far away to attempt a chase. I go for a communication to Fury, but something slams into the concrete by my feet. I look down to see an arrow sticking there, and quickly realize it's beeping. I jump out of the way at the last second before it explodes, sending a cloud of dust into the air.

I bring my shield up to deflect another volley, and hear the sounds of my former teammate's voice, "So now you're working to keep these dangerous people free, Cap? Quite the 180!"

http://i1140.photobucket.com/albums/n580/EduWolf/Ultimate_comics-Hawkeye.jpg

"They're not dangerous, Barton!" I respond. "They're just trying to live their lives, and Checkmate has no right to detain them!"

"On the contrary, we've been given emergency protocol. You saw what that Magneto bastard did! We can do what we want! And we're stopping you and your freaky friends."

Barton's gone too far down the rabbit hole. I had started to win them over before I left, but now Lord's grabbed an even tighter hold on their minds. That much is sure. Barton would never attack me like this.

Another explosive arrow warrants a dodge, "You don't mean that, Clint. And I'm not going to fight you. You're a good person. You're being manipulated by Lord. Wake up!"

"He's not the only one you're fighting," says a voice from the shadows behind me as my legs are swept out from under me.

http://i911.photobucket.com/albums/ac316/SmilingSweetly1/BlackWidow.jpg

"I've seen your moves as a teammate," Black Widow says. "Now I'd like to see them as an enemy."

Byrd Man
02-10-2012, 09:10 PM
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg


The current ceased coursing through the Gorgon's body and he coughed, then sucked in a lungful of air before picking himself up.

"Very good Batman." The Gorgon said as he pushed his head first to the right, then to the left, cracking his neck in the process "Very impressive"

"But you can't beat me, which means you can't stop my men."

The Gorgon grinned as he thought of the dozen or so of Gotham's finest who had met their demise since the fight began.

"And you're running out of time."

With that the Gorgon shifted into a fighting stance, once more ready to continue the skirmish. Batman did the same but before the two could do more than size each other up the Gorgon stopped and straightened, apparently listening to a voice in his ear piece that Batman could not hear.

"I'm afraid I will have to cut our dance short Batman" The Gorgon muttered, clearly displeased. He raised an open palm and a ninja whom Batman could just make out in the shadows, nodded silently and melted into the darkness. "The man who sent me here has seen all he needs to see for now."



I chased after the shadow, only to find darkness where the Gorgon had disappeared.

"Voice control, activate. Activate lenses."

I ran through the night vision, spectral imaging, and thermographic filters on my lenses only to find...nothing. The Gorgon, whoever he is or was, is gone.

But something's not right. That earpiece he reached for. Someone was giving him orders. He relented when he could have overcome me easily in hand to hand combat all because of the person on the other end of that earpiece. The mercy tells me it's not any member of the Hand. So, Gorgon...who were you working for? What were you after?

"Sir," Alfred said into my own earpiece. "Reports are that the Hand are retreating. They're disappearing as quickly as they appeared."

"How many casualties?"

"It's high, sir. Nearly a hundred wounded GCPD officers, over a quarter of them are dead."

At least twenty-five dead officers. Those numbers, coupled with the deaths from Joker's poisoning scare pushes it past fifty sworn police officers dead in the past two weeks.

Fifty officers dead. Why? For what purpose? There's no purpose to it. In the year and a half I've been Batman, it seems as if the city's getting worse.

"BURN, BABY, BURN!" The phone in my belt belted out. "DISCO INFERNO! BURN, BABY, BURN, BURN THAT MAMMA DOWN!"

I pulled the phone out and answered it, listening to the terrified voice on the other end of the line, this one a woman's voice.

"He...he says you have to get back to Gotham Central..."

"Why?" I growl into the line. "If he wants to beat me, let him face me and not use human hostages!"

"...That's....no fun. He...he likes to watch you dance like a puppet. He has an easy one for you. Look...at the numbers on my face and you won't see thirteen any place."

"A clock."

"Correct. Watch the clock...Get back to Gotham Central in twenty minutes or...or...or he blows me up. Please, help me!"

"I will," I said, hanging up and racing through the park, ignoring my nagging injuries and hurrying as fast as I could to Gotham Central.

Byrd Man
02-11-2012, 12:14 AM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png




Previously




Saturna Island
British Columbia

Lightning crashed on the rocky island, thunder rumbled, and rain poured down from the dark storm clouds above. Johnny Storm was flying above the island, a trail of steam and smoke followed him as the rain pounded on his fiery body. Behind him, the red android was gaining ground.

"I could use some help!" He shouted into his communicator.

"I'm working on it," Ben Grimm grunted on the line.

Grimm was on the ground, flanked by three soldiers as they watched the two figures fly overhead. Grimm stomped towards a pile of rocks and picked up a boulder the size of a Yugo.

"Stand back," he told the soldiers as he hoisted the rock on his shoulder. "Been awhile since I done the shot put. Not since college."

The men stepped back and Ben began to spin himself around with the boulder on his shoulder. He let out a grunt and tossed the rock into the sky. The boulder sailed through the rain and struck the android in its chest.
"Got 'em!"

The robot spun in the air and twirled towards the ground. The android crashed into the ground and was already beginning to pick itself up with the rocky fist of the Thing knocked it off its feet again. The soldiers behind Ben opened fire, only to watch their bullets bounce off the android's steel frame.

"Hold yer fire!" He growled. The android was already back on its feet and Ben charged, swinging at the robot. The android ducked his blows and squatted, launching the Thing into the air with a powerful blast of wind. Ben yelled as he somersaulted through the air and landed in the mud. The soldiers opened fire again, only for their bullets to ricochet.

"LOOK OUT BELOW!" The Human Torch cried out as he swooped in low and tackled the android. The two tumbled across the ground. Johnny ended up on top of the robot and let loose with a fiery blast from his hands, only for it to die out as the android shot out a gust of wind. With its other hand, the robot punched the Torch in the jaw and knocked him down.

"Warning," the android said suddenly, standing up and hovering above the ground. "Laboratory in danger."

With that, the robot shot up into the sky and flew off into the distance.

"What was that all about?" Johnny asked as he stood, his body still aflame.

"I say we need to follow him, kid," Ben said as he wiped mud off his chest. "He's going after Reed and Sue."


****


I stood outside Morrow's compound, a metal building about the size of a football field, with Sue and the soldiers. The door leading in was sealed.

"We could shoot it off," the sergeant suggested.

"You can't," I said, elongating my arm and stretching it down to the bottom of the door. "It's electronically sealed by a magnetic lock...and it's flush with the ground. I can't slip my hand through it."

I retracted my arm and pulled out my scanner. Maybe a little bit of Whovian magic could do it. I fooled with the scanner's settings until it emitted a high pitch noise. I shoved it against the lock and smiled as sparks flew out the lock, popping the door open.

"Let's go."

I led the five of us into the building. It was dimly lit and spartan, concrete floors and sheet metal walls.

"Get your weapons ready," the sergeant told his two troops. I turned and looked at the assault rifles.

"Shoot to wound if you can."

"With all due respect, Doctor," the sergeant said, "this man has killed way too many people. He's dangerous."

"He's insane. Mentally unstable. He needs help, not a bullet."

"Alright," the sergeant said, turning to his men, "shoot to wound."

We walked through the dim light of the building, passing computer monitors with data on it. I stopped at one of the monitors and looked over the information.

"My God," I said under my breath, shocked and appalled by what I was seeing. "All these experiments...most of them were still alive."

"Reed," Sue said, touching my shoulder. "Come on. We have to go."

I tore myself away form the monitor and nodded. The five of us walked down the corridor towards the lab. "Spread out," the sergeant said to his two troops as we entered the lab. There was a slab with leather straps attached to it, electronic equipment was rigged up around it.

"This is it," I said, pulling out my scanner. "This is where the experiments were done."

I bent down over a stain, running my scanner across it. "Human blood."

FSSHOOM!

Bright light flashed across the room as a ball of lightning crackled through the air, striking the sergeant in the chest. The sergeant went up in a ball of fire, his ashes crumbling to the floor.

"Get down!" I yelled, grabbing Sue around the waist with one arm while I grabbed the two remaining soldiers with my other, elongated arm. I pushed the four of us down behind the slab.

"You like my gun, Doctor Richards?" A voice from across the room asked. "It's a charged particle gun. I made it myself."

"Impressive, Morrow. How about you slide it over here and let me take a closer look at it?"

"Cute, but no. I know this works, but I think another project of mine needs a field test."

Suddenly, the metal roof crashed open and the android hovered in the air above us.

"Intruders detected," the android said, its hand held out.

"Excellent. Be a good boy and take care of them for daddy, will you?"


The android prepared another blast of wind from his hands, only to have it blocked. All around him was a thin, shimmering bubble. Sue held her hand out.

"Tough to get that wind going when there's no oxygen."

The android suddenly fell to its knees, holding its throat. That's when something clicked in my head. A human brain, a heart, complex circulatory system.

"Stop!" I yelled at Sue. "It needs the oxygen. You're killing it!"

"It's a robot, Reed."

"With human organs! It needs oxygen to live. You cut off the air supply, you kill it."

Sue let her hand down, the force field around the android disappeared. The robot collapsed to the floor, panting for air.

FSSHOOM!

Morrow's particle gun crackled through the air, flying just above my head. I pushed the soldiers down behind cover.

"Take care of the robot, I'll take care of Morrow," I told Sue as I stretched the top half of my body towards Morrow. He fired off three quick rounds and I dodged them, twisting and contorting my body counter counter clockwise to avoid the charged energy blasts.

"Leave me alone, Richards," Morrow growled. "Let me do my experiments in peace!"

"You're insane, Morrow. You've killed at least a dozen men in the name of your twisted experiments."

I stretched my arm out and wrapped it around Morrow's wrist, attempting to disarm him. I barred my teeth and tried to wrestle the weapon from his hands. We struggled against each other. Just then, a gust blew in from behind me and knocked Morrow and I to the ground. My legs quickly snapped back into place after I fell.

"Intruder," the android announced as it hovered above me. Outside, the lightning and thunder raged as rain poured in. "Prepare to be dispatched."

"No!" I shouted. "Think! For one moment, used that brain Morrow gave you and think! Your bones and muscles are fake, but your brain is real. Your heart is real."

"Father orders you to be disposed of."

"Like he disposed of your brothers?" I asked, my eyebrow arching.

"Quiet, Richards," Morrow roared, reaching for the rifle. His hand slammed up against an invisible bubble.

"I don't think so," Sue said from behind.

"It's true, he is your father," I said, turning to the android. "He's not your master."

"He created me. He tells me what to do."

"No. You tell yourself what to do."

"Finish him!" Morrow roared loudly. "KILL HIM! I COMMAND YOU! YOU ARE MINE! I TELL YOU WHAT TO DO!"

"He says your his thing," I said, reaching for the communicator on my hip. "But I say different. You are not artificial intelligence. Even now, I can see it in your eyes as the cogs inside you head turn. Synapses firing for the first time. I wish I could remember my first conscious thought. How is it? What's it like?"

"You speak of brothers," the robot says carefully, the metallic edge in his voice softened. "Speak more of that."

I held the communicator up for him to see. "Let me show you."

I hit the communicator and watched as a hologram floated in the air. All the files, pictures, and videos of Morrow's robotic experiments flashed by.

"All those bodies, all that hardware he dumped into the garbage because he had no use for it."

The hologram stopped on a picture of the metallic man in Friday Harbor, the one we were originally called here for.

"He was alive," I told the android. "As soon as he got half a thought he ran and swam away from Morrow as fast as he could. The problem was, Morrow stopped him. There was a fail safe in his body, probably like yours. Morrow activates it and your heart explodes."

I shut down the communicator and placed it back on my hip.

"Now think before you make your next choice. That's right, think. You may have a human brain and organs, but you're not truly alive yet. No, body parts don't make you alive, neither does a soul. What gives you life, real, honest life is one simple thing: choice. The power to choose. Free will. Do you want to be a thing, controlled by Morrow and easily disposed of when he's grown tired of you, or do you want to live? The choice is yours."

I watched the android as it stood still, its hand frozenin place. After a few long minutes, it put its hand down.

"If he intruders...calmly leave the island, no harm will come to them."

"No!" Yelled Morrow. He reached for his weapon and broke through Sue's bubble, her attention focused on the android weakened the force field.

"Go to hell, Richards," Morrow yelled as he held the particle weapon up. In all the confusion, I didn't notice the static electricity in the air, or the stout smell of Ozone.

KRAKOOOM!

A lightning bolt ripped through the metal roof and struck Morrow. The blast knocked me Sue, and the android back. Static electricity crackled across my body as I stood up on shaky legs, helping Sue up. Morrow was laying flat on the floor, smoke rolling off his body as he looked up into the hole in the roof wide-eyed.

"Morrow," I said as I walked to him. Hard rain was pouring in from the open hole. I bent down and looked him over. His eyes were unfocused and dilated. "Morrow..."

"The time will come," he said dreamily, his voice far off and distant. "The warrior will bring his horde to the gates, the Grim Reaper will ride on a wave of willpower, and the Second Child will scorch the skies with fire. His herald will ride across the lands and the Last Son will break the Earth in two. It will come to pass that His shadow will fall upon the Earth. And hell will follow close behind."

"What does that mean?" I asked as I reached out and shook Morrow. His eyes stayed unfocused and glazed, his whole body limp. "What does that mean?!"

"Stretcho," Ben said on the line. "Torch and I are on the way to your twenty. We just saw a hellacious lightning bolt. It's screwing with our signal. Everyone okay?"

"Everyone but Morrow. I think he's catatonic."

"Well, Lumpkin contacted me and he's sending some people to the island. Secure the android if you can. The eggheads want to examine it."

I looked over at the android. He was with Sue and the two soldiers, talking to them. "Right. Mister Fantastic out."

I cut the line and motioned for the android to come to me. He walked over and looked down at Morrow.

"Scans reveal that his neural activity is zero. His vital systems are healthy, but his brain is dead."

"Right," I said, pulling out my scanner and running it across Morrow. "He flat lined right after the bolt of lightning. It's like it shorted his brain out."

I didn't say anything about Morrow's cryptic words. Instead I pocketed my scanner and turned to the android.

"The government wants to study you," I said softly to make sure it was out of earshot from Sue and the soldiers. "We've been given orders to detain you. Something tells me you wouldn't like that."

"You would be correct. But there is a 82.4% chance you will disobey that order."

"You would be correct on that. All that I said back there? It's true. Morrow made you, but he didn't make you in his image. You know what he was, what he did wrong. You have a new mind and a blank slate. I would love to scan you and run tests, but only if you want me to."

"You say that I have life? I believe I would like to do some living."

"Then go. I'll be watching, waiting. If you ever need me or need my help, look me up. Doctor Reed Richards, the Baxter Building in New York."

The android held his hand out and I took it, shaking it.

"Morrow never named me...but I was part of his project Red Tornado. like that name."

"Red Tornado it is. Well, Red Tornado, you know what you have to do. Make it look good."

The android nodded and pulled away from me, holding his hands up and shooting a powerful blast through the building. I fell to the ground and looked up as he shot into the air through the hole in the roof. Sue and the soldiers scrambled around, but I just sat there on the ground and watched as he faded out of sight.

"God speed, Red Tornado." I said under my breath. "Whatever you're looking for, I hope you find it."

Carnage27
02-11-2012, 06:04 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

I'm forced to back up, not allowing myself to get into close range with my two ex teammates. "I'm not going to fight you two."

"Why not? Can't take someone on your own level?" Black Widow taunts as she rolls towards me, attempting to get behind my guard. I lash out with my shield, knocking her off balance.

Hawkeye works his way behind me and drives his fist into my kidney, sending stars into my eyes. But I manage to spin out of the way of a second punch, and bring my elbow up into his chin, sending him to the ground, "That's more like it, Captain. And look, our friends have arrived."

I look up to find a large group of Checkmate agents surrounding me. My two teammates stand and join them, "Give it up Captain. We don't want to have to put you down."

Looking around the area, I realize there's no out here. They've got me, and it makes more sense to give up and fight another day than to die here on this rooftop.

Tossing down my shield I look at Barton, "Fine, you win. I'll come with you. I've been waiting to meet up with Maxwell Lord again."

But as a group of agents move in to apprehend me, a gruff yell comes from another end of the roof, and a black blur begins ripping through the agents, and even clocks Black Widow with a haymaker. I know that berserker rage, and my suspicions are confirmed when the blur jumps towards the men restraining me.

http://i414.photobucket.com/albums/pp228/messiahsjedi/DC%20Comics%20Universe/DC%20Universe%20Heroes/Wildcat.jpg


I roll through the men, and grab my shield, tossing it at an agent that was ready to fire into Wildcat's back. It returns to me, and I uppercut another armed man into two others.

"You look good, Steve," Ted Grant says as the two of us go back to back.

"You too. And you weren't even frozen for a few decades." I respond as Hawkeye comes towards me, I duck a punch and throw my shoulder into him, spin, and strike him in the back with my shield, stunning him momentarily. I turn back to see Wildcat holding Black Widow over the roof by the throat.

"WHERE IS SHE!?" he yells angrily. "WHERE DID YOU TAKE HER!?"

Black Widow makes a few gargling noises and I run over to my old friend, "Put her down, Ted. It's not her fault. Just put her down."

"They took her, Steve," he growls. "They took Dinah. I was supposed to look after her. I promised I would. And the bastards took her for no reason."

"I know, but it's not her fault," I say, placing my hand on his shoulder. "Put her down and we'll take care of the bastard behind this. I promise."

I can see the anger and desperation in Ted's face. I don't know who Dinah is, but she's obviously important to him. Important enough to murder Natasha. And If Ted gets in that kind of mode, he's dangerous, even to himself sometimes.

But he tosses her back onto the roof, "Fine. Let's go. I want to do this now."

I activate my beacon, and Coulson comes to pick us up in a chopper.

**********

BOOM

The wall of Nick Fury's headquarters in New York blows open, and through the gaping hole pours a stream of Checkmate agents. Fury and Agent 13 fire weapons into them, but are quickly overrun.

As the dust settles, Maxwell Lord strolls confidently into the room and smiles at the Colonel, "Nick Fury...you really had me on edge for a while there. Stealing Captain America from out from under me, stacking my agency with moles. You really are as good as advertised. But as I told you all those years ago...I'm better."

"You're scum, Lord."

"That may be so," he smiles slyly. "But I'll also be the scum that wipes out the metahuman community in one fell swoop while you rot in one of my cells."

As he turns to leave, he places his hand on Rick Flag's shoulder, "Wait here. Rogers will be back."

wiegeabo
02-12-2012, 07:32 PM
"So you don't know anything about Biglia?"

"No man. i already told you, I've never heard of the guy."

I press my boot down harder, letting more weight smash his hand into the floor. "Your bones are close to breaking. i can hear them creaking. Biglia may not be a top man in Gotham, but he's connected, and he's known. No one knows where hi is, but everyone knows him."

SNAP

"Ahhhhhhh!!!"

"Memory back yet?" I tilt my head at the sounds. "The cops are a few blocks away. The condition they find you depends on your answer."

"Try-try the Griffen."

"Griffen?"

"B-Bar. On 40th. Runs a racket on them or something."

I press down, hearing more bones snap. "Was that so hard?"

With the sirens only a block away, I quickly run out and leap on a fire escape. I'm on the roof by the time the squad car pulls to a stop. I hear a set of footsteps hit the ground after the doors open. I start running across the roof-

SLORSHSLORSH

and instantly stop at the faint sound.

Impossible

Then I hear the sound of two bodies slumping to the ground.

I run back to the jewelry shop as fast as my legs can take me. I sense two people standing in the street, and fling my billy clubs at them.

One takes a club to the back of the head and drops to the ground, his weapon clanging in the street. The other ducks. But by the time he's standing, I've landed and planted the side of my head in his throat, disarming him as well. As he doubles over and chokes, I quickly spin.

I block a blow from the first man, who's now up into a fighting stance. We parry a couple of strikes until I suddenly mix things up and land a straight jab to his face. Then hit him with the haymaker my father taught me. There's a reason Jack Murdock almost handed Ted Grant his first KO.

With the first man down, I strike behind me, catching the second man's face with a kick. He drops just like his partner.

The fight's over in only seconds. And once it is, I hear the soft noise of blood pouring from a wound, and the last gurgling gasps of the living. The heartbeats of the two officers stop. Pointless as it is, I check their necks for a pulse. And feel the slick stickiness of blood on my gloves. Their throats were slashed. They didn't have a chance.

I head to the sound where the first attacker's weapon landed. I could tell from the noise it was some kind of sword. But when I grab the handle, I drop it instantly. I know that shape.

The Hand?! Here, in Gotham?

Then the silence of Gotham, this lifeless city, is suddenly broken. The streets, all of them, filling with the sounds of sirens...

My footsteps rapidly crunch on the road as I build up speed and leap into the air. I drive my boot into the back of one of the Hand. I use the Hand's body as a platform to spring forward over the swinging sword of one of his two partners.

I throw both of my billy-clubs when my feet touch down. I continue with my roll, listening for the impact sounds. I hear one, but not the other. Stopping my momentum, I spin to face the one left standing. We trade a fury of quick blows and strikes. But I know all the moves he's going to make before he can make them. The Hand trains their people not to telegraph their actions. But know amount of training can prevent the sound of tendons and muscles flexing.

I drive my palm into his chin, stunning him. It gives me the moment I need to strike his neck. He's passed out on the ground in a second. But even a head's up like superhearing can't give one superspeed. I'm attacked from behind by the ninja I had put on the ground.

I'm stunned myself, and take a half dozen more hits before I regain my senses, shift my weight, and drive my heal into his groin. When in doubt, go for the balls.

Twenty seconds later, I'm standing over three unconscious bodies, both billy clubs in my hands again.

And the sirens continue...

But that's not the sound I'm hearing now. Not the sound I'm focused on. Because, after fighting a dozen Hand assassins, for the first time I hear swords clashing. And that's where I go...

MST3K 4ever
02-12-2012, 08:58 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Luthor begins milling around various conference rooms seeing that everything is running smoothly. Occasionaly interjecting how best certain resources can be used, and tellng the various commanders whatever they need to contact him and he will speak to the politcians personally to smooth their path.

Just then Snapper Carr calls Lex on his cell-phone and says, "Mr. Luthor we are going to be coming to you in a few moments live to get a feel of what is going on."

Lex smirks and says, "Of course Snapper by all means. Just doing what I can to help."

Snapper then says, "All-right sir we're coming to you in 5,4,3,2,....Ladies and Gentlemen I have on the line once again Lex Luthor live at Luthor Towers. Mr. Luthor can you give us a sense of how things are running there?"

Lex replies, "Well Snapper watching the men and women here working together to try and get things under control as been nothing short of inspirational. Words cannot do justice to the teamwork that I am seeing on display here right now. Metropolis is in very good hands right now."

Snapper asks, "Any idea when various public utilities will be back in service sir?"

Lex replies, "If I had to guess I would say 12 hours at the latest. That is only my guess of course and that is assuming there are no other hold-ups."

Snapper says, "Mr. Luthor I am being informed that Norman Osborn is on one of our lines and he would like to speak with you."

It takes every fiber of Lex's self-control to keep from lashing out as he says, "Of course patch him through. Good evening Norman."

Osborn replies, "Good evening Lex. I would just like to say that everyone around the country and the world watching tonight is just shaken to their core over what is happening in Metropolis. However seeing how you and the other fine men and women are pulling together is just bringing us all a small level of comfort.'

Lex says, "Why thank you Norman I'm merely a servant of the people."

Osborn says, "As am I Lex and it is in that spirit of cooperation that I am calling. I hear that there are various food and medical supplies needed in Metropolis at this time. I have assigned a fleet of Oscorp jets to fly into Metropolis to carry these supplies that are so need at this time."

Lex almost gritting his teeth says, "Why thank you so very much Norman. I will instruct a fleet of LexCorp trucks to meet your planes at the airport within the hour so we can begin distributing them."

Osborn says, "Wonderful Lex just so you know I am on my way there with the supplies and to help where I can as well."

Lex says, "How gracious of you Norman."

Snapper interjects, "Excuse me Gentlemen but I have to say seeing two such rivals at times coming together at a time like this gives us all such hope and comfort."

Before Lex can respond Norman says, "Snapper it's all about the people."

Lex says, "Absolutely Norman. Couldn't have said it better myself. Now if you gentlemen will excuse me I need to get those trucks enroute to the airport. See you there Norman."

Lex hangs up and after he makes arrangements for the trucks he calls Mercy and says, "Limo out front NOW!"

Lex then calls Hal Gartner the LNN producer in charge of the broadcast and says, "Gartner! What the hell is Norman Osborn doing on my network? Who authorized it?"

Gartner says, "He called us and I was going to dump him but Carr pushed for it and so did his co-anchor Lynne Meade."

Lex almost snarling says, "I am not going to have Norman Osborn showing me up on MY NETWORK! This is Carr's way of flexing his muscle over trying to get a new deal! Gartner when this is over if Carr's desk is not out of the building then yours will be! GOT IT!"

Gartner replies, "Yes Mr....."

Lex hangs up the phone and gets in the Limo and heads to the airport.

Batman
02-12-2012, 11:27 PM
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"Somebody get me Lois Lane right now!"

Perry White's cellphone hit the wood of the conference room desk, barely catching the attention of the scattering field reporters, editors, columnists and photographers that were circulating back and forth through the news floor. Not since the shooting of Reagan on the steps of the Hilton in Washington had Perry seen anything like this in his days in the field - respected professionals and amatuers alike, tripping over eachother to get the definitive word on what people were describing as everything from the next natural disaster to the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. Superman, who had apparently always existed despite a citywide consensus to the contrary, had just helped tear half of Metropolis apart while battling something from a science fiction novel. And the only shred of credible information to tell him that this wasn't someone's idea of an internet hoax had just fallen into his lap.

"Mr. White, you had her barred from the premesis after we found that wiretap on your private line."

White shot his secretary an agitated glare. Lois Lane was trouble, that he was sure of. But so were the best reporters. And given what just arrived in his overpriced phone's latest text message, he was more than willing to make amends. Even if it meant sacrificing any shred of his personal privacy to do it.

The message? Superman. You want him? I met him.

"That was a week ago! And besides, I don't seem to recall anyone enforcing that little notice when she barged into my office this morning!"

Perry's eyes shot to the right of the room as Ron Troupe, one of the only actual staff assigned to this particular story, came rushing into the room looking as if he were out of breath.

"Talk to me, Troupe."

"Well, for starters, you were right. My source inside LNN just informed me that Luthor's people are already on damage control. They're downplaying it and spreading the focus on the emergency crews, but I think even the big man himself knows what everyone's really talking about."

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Perry calmly sat down to assess the papers that Troupe was handing out. "Typical, but I suppose this isn't the first time Luthor's spun a story to suite his business. What else?"

"I tried to get as many eyewitness accounts as I could from the STAR Labs security staff, but the main priority was evacuation. Besides, by the time it was all said and done, the place was crawling with feds. I could have tried to sneak back in, but they had the entire perimeter secured in seconds."

"Federal agents? Why in god's name would they want to be apart of this?"

Troupe shrugged. "It's the feds, Perry. Need-to-know basis. I heard whispers about the creature Superman was fighting, but that's it. You know, I really think that there's something more to this than..."

"Chief! Chief, you've gotta see this!"

Both men turned around to witness 17-year-old Jimmy Olsen nearly trip over a deskchair left in the middle of the aisle, clutching his camera to his chest like it were an infant. Catching himself from the fall and politely excusing himself between two irritated staff members, Olsen rushed into the conference room to an awaiting news editor who had never given him so much as a second glance.

"Look, son, I've told you time and time again. If you want to keep working for this paper, you've got to give me more than birds in the park and women on the street."

"But Chief,"

"Now if you didn't happen to notice, I was in the middle of a very important meeting whenever you barged in, so if you'd kindly exit the way you came and give me something credible, I'd be very appreciative."

Frustrated, Olsen turned the camera on and placed it on the table, sliding it over to Perry. Gesturing to it, Olsen bit the bottom of his lip as Perry begrudgingly decided to give it a look. At first, White didn't seem to understand what he was seeing. He squinted, then held the camera back, as if trying to put the picture in focus.

Then it hit him.

Eyes widened, the seasoned editor-in-chief of The Daily Planet stared blankly at the beaming photographer. For the first time that anyone could remember, Perry White was rendered speechless.

"So? What do you think?"

Handing the camera to Troupe, Perry placed his hands together in contemplation.

"We've got him."

Troupe stared back, confused.

"Sir?"

"Look at the camera."

Even Troupe, a veteran newsman of ten years, couldn't believe his eyes.

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/Comics/vincentyangrydk4.jpg

"We're officially the only paper in the world to have a picture of Superman."

Andy C.
02-13-2012, 12:06 AM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/jokerlogo.jpg



"Two friends decide they want to see the world," the Joker said, starting yet another bad anecdote. "They travel together for years, before splitting up and visiting different nations on their own."

Dr. Jeremiah Arkham scrawled notes with his stylus into his PDA, carefully studying not just what the killer was saying, but the way he said it, looking for any clue as to the thoughts behind those sickly yellow eyes.

"Years later, they find each other's contact information and catch up over the phone," the madman continued. "It turned out one of them had spent the last three years in the Bahamas, and the other spent the last three years in North Korea."

Just outside, Officers Aaron Cash and Lyle Bolton waited tensely, tasers and pepper spray at the ready in case the clown made a move. The Joker paid them no mind, however, continuing his story.

"The second man asked the first, 'So what's it like, spending every day in a tropical paradise?' To which he replied, 'Oh, it's awful. The sites get so tedious after a while, the locals are snippy and try to rip you off, and the tourists are absolutely dreadful. I've got half a mind to pack up and leave this very minute.'

"Then the first man asked the second, 'So what's it like, living under a brutal paranoid totalitarian police state?' To which the second man replied, 'Oh, well.......I can't complain."

The Joker snickered to himself, while Arkham scowled, seemingly unable to find the reasoning behind this tangent. This session had gone on for over an hour already, and every time they had seemed to make any progress towards divining the origins of the man's illness, the Joker would instead branch off, change the subject, deflect the questions back on Arkham, or simply tell another one of his foul, offensive jokes.

"Hrm," Arkham muttered, practically a growl. The Joker grinned, a gleam in his eye.

"Getting on your nerves, isn't it?" he asked.

"So you admit to deliberately wasting my time," he said, annoyed. "Perhaps you would like to tell me why."

The Joker's smile soured.

"You're asking the wrong question," he said.

Arkham raised an eyebrow.

"Then should I ask why you killed over forty people during your outburst?"

"Still asking the wrong question," he snarled.

"Why did you betray Salvatore Maroni attempt to take over his criminal synicate?"

"Still the wrong question," he hissed.

"Why--"

"WRONG! QUESTION!!!!"

The door to Dr. Arkham's office flew open, and Cash and Bolton were there, tasers at the ready to incapacitate the patient, but the Joker's wild-eyed snarling quickly faded back into an amused grin.

"Why, why, why," he said in a mocking tone. "A family gets into a car crash, and the only survivor is the father. He watches his wife and his little girl die in front of him, and he asks 'Why?' A preacher spends his whole life following his faith, spreading the Good Word, and then is diagnosed with an inoperable tumor. He's given months to live, and he asks 'Why?' A concert pianist slips and falls down the stairs, breaking her hand in the fall. She can never play again, and she asks 'Why?' Bad things happen to good people, innocents suffer and die, all of the good TV shows barely last a season while executive-approved garbage is kept on the air for years! And at the sight of all this, people keep asking the wrong question."

"......'why?' " Arkham humored him.

"That's the one," Joker smiled. "The single most fundamental question, the thing that drives civilization and humanity itself, looking for the Big Answer behind it all. People spend their whole lives looking for the 'why' of the world, afraid to face the fact that there isn't one. We're programmed, at our very basic level, to look for an answer that isn't there. It's horrible, and it's cruel, and when you think about it...........it's pretty funny."

The Joker began to giggle to himself again.

"I see," Arkham said, writing more notes into his PDA. "And your actions are an expression, then, of this worldview? Surely, though, even if there is no grand cosmic purpose, there are those who can find a purpose for themselves in life."

"Pffft!" Joker scoffed. "Like who? Gordon, maybe?"

"The arresting officer that apprehended you," Arkham remarked. "Interesting that you should bring him up first. Yes, let's talk about Gordon. Don't you think that his devotion to upholding the law and preventing crime invalidates your point?"

"Ha! Gordon's just as much of a criminal as me," he laughed. "All of his 'law and order,' the society he upholds, is just an overgrown mob in different outfits."

"How so?"

"Let's say, f'rinstance, that I was dealing drugs," Joker said. "Chemicals and substances that alter a person's state of mind, that these people willingly pay for because they want that kind of thrill. Now, because this is frowned upon by the State, Gordon and his boys in blue costumes can kick down my door, drag me out of my home, and throw me in a cage for years. If I resist arrest, they'll beat me with clubs, spray corrosive liquid in my eyes, or even shoot me dead on the spot."

"Well, of course," Arkham said, "You were committing a crime."

"I was doing something that bigger and meaner people said not to do," he responded. "But let's say, instead, that the State is supporting something that I think is evil and wrong--a war, let's say. I decide I'm not going to let my own hard-earned money go towards something I think is evil, so acting on my conscience and my morals, I refuse to pay my taxes. The State doesn't like that, so Gordon and his boys in blue costumes kick down my door, and throw me in a cage, and if I resist, they'll shoot me dead."

"The choices of the government may not always be popular, but surely you must realize that society--"

"Society," the Joker interrupted, "is just a nice word for the act of Jim Gordon putting a gun to your head and saying, 'Do what I say, or I'll kill you.' The fact that he's being lauded as a hero, and I'm locked up here as a monster, and the Batman's being hunted as a dangerous vigilante, just means that the most entrenched crime bosses don't like competition."

Dr. Arkham shifted, visibly uncomfortable from this line of thinking.

"You mentioned the Batman," he changed the subject. "In fact, during your initial psychiatric evaluation, you told no less than twelve different accounts of how your skin was scarred white, and all of them involved an encounter with the Batman--"

"You're about to ask 'why' again, aren't you?" the Joker eyed him suspiciously.

Arkham stopped himself in mid-sentence, and the Joker smiled.

"It's okay, this one actually does have an answer," he said. "Why the obsession with Batman? The man who brutalizes and terrorizes his fellow man, and claims it's to protect people? The man who's so totally devoted to his ideals that he's willing to dress up like a big flying rat and not see anything wrong with it? The man who refused to let the Enforcers or Maroni or even me die, even though we're all murdering scum? Why can't I stop thinking about that man?"

Joker's smile grew wider than ever, his yellow eyes sparkling.

"It's simple," he said. "He's the funniest thing I've ever seen."

"I believe that is enough for this session," Dr. Arkham said, putting his PDA away. "I should let you know, your prognosis is not good. You are clearly lost in your nihilistic delusions and mania, and will likely need extreme measures to be treated. At the moment, I am leaning towards intensive electroconvulsive therapy."

"You wouldn't do that," the Joker said quietly.

"Oh, wouldn't I?"

"No," the clown asserted himself. "First of all, because that's meant for treating severe depression and catatonia, not delusions. Secondly, because you're trying to establish dominance, trying to scare me into cooperation with the threat of frying my brain. But those aren't the real reasons you won't turn me into a vegetable."

"And what is?" Arkham asked.

"Your ego," the Joker said simply. "You strike me as the kind of guy who takes an awful lot of pride in his work, and is frustrated by the fact that it never gets noticed. In the back of your mind, you worry the only reason that you run this place is because it's the family business. You want recognition for your own brilliance, and what better way to bring notoriety to Arkham Asylum, and Dr. Jeremiah Arkham in particular, by cracking the mystery behind the worst serial killer Gotham has had in decades? That's why you won't risk turning my brain to mush; I'm your golden ticket."

Arkham virtually squirmed, before shouting to the guards.

"Get him out of here!" he barked angrily. "Tomorrow I want him prepped for a session with Dr. Crane. We'll see how much of a laugh he thinks we are after that."

Cash and Bolton grabbed the Joker, who didn't even bother resisting, and roughly strapped him onto the car to wheel him back to his cell.

"Don't you worry, Dr. Arkham!" the Joker called out as they started to pull him away from the office. "You and me, we're going to make this place famous!"

Byrd Man
02-13-2012, 08:59 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png



The Baxter Building
Manhattan, New York

"The time will come. The warrior will bring his horde to the gates, the Grim Reaper will ride on a wave of willpower, and the Second Child will scorch the skies with fire. His herald will ride across the lands and the Last Son will break the Earth in two. It will come to pass that His shadow will fall upon the Earth. And hell will follow close behind."

Five days since the incident and the words Morrow spoke kept haunting me. What did they mean? Another layer added to the mystery is the fact that he was brain dead when he spoke them.

I have those words, along with nearly two dozen other equations, on a dry erase board that runs the length of my work lab. I was soldering together parts on a motherboard when Sue came in

"Reed?"

"Hold on a second," I said, taking the motherboard and sliding it into a communications device on my workbench. "I think I've established contact with a sub-dimension. They're beings of thought and verbally communicate in a one-syllable, rhyming language. I think just from listening to it I've been able to master it."

I activated the array and watched the hologram of a cloud of energy appear before me.

"Hi wi bi mi si ci fi vi," the hologram said. I looked back at Sue and cleared my throat.

"He we ve se be me ye de be ze."

"Zo ro to go mo jo ro ro," the cloud said as the hologram flicked and disappeared.

"What was that about?" Sue asked, coming up from behind me.

"It asked who I was and I replied, saying who I was and that I only wished to speak to their leaders as an envoy of peace. It then said it would discuss the matter with their council and report back to me with their answer."

"All that from just a few syllables?"

"They're a highly evolved species, dear. They don't drag their feet when it comes to words. Although, I could be wrong. I was speaking a lower form of the dialect, not as refined as the language of the upper class. I should be able to improve upon it by the next time they reach out. They speak quickly, but think carefully and cautiously. They could deliberate my proposal for a hundred years or more."

"Well while you wait we can focus on other matters."

"What else is there? I forwarded my psychological profile of Victor Von Doom to the Pentagon, gave the Treasury my algorithm to help balance the budget, sent the CDC those vaccines to combat the flu outbreak in Louisiana, and agreed I would look into the origins of that super man in Metropolis. I thought that was all of my scheduled projects for the day?"

"This actually came in about ten minutes ago. General Lumpkin and NASA want to discuss an incident with us."

"Lumpkin and NASA? Sounds intriguing," I said with a smirk, holding my arm out for Sue to take. "Shall we?"

Sue took my arm and we began to walk out the lab. I stopped and stretched my arm back towards the workbench, grabbing the pot of coffee resting on the table.

"Before we go, would you like to try some of my coffee/tea blend? I made it earlier today. It's part Arabic roast, part green tea, and part Methylamine."

"Methylamine?! As in the stuff that's in crystal meth?"

"Only in purer forms of crystal meth. Besides, it's only twenty percent Methylamine..."


*****

"Doctors," the man on the flat screen said. He was middle aged and dressed in an Air Force dress uniform, two stars on his shoulders. On the screen to his right was a bald headed man in a white dress shirt and black tie.

"Good afternoon, General Lumpkin. When are you coming back to New York?"

"Soon as my bosses in the Pentagon let me Mrs. Richards. Do you two know Doctor Jeffery from NASA?"

"Yes. We briefly worked together when Sue and I liaised with NASA."

"Well, Doctor Jeffery, how about you start us off?"

"Thank you, General. I have a few images for you to see."

The screen showing Jeffery changed, a satellite image of space was shown in his place.

"This was taken three days ago by the Hubble. It's a section of space that includes the Puppis Constellation. A star designated HD 69830 is part of the constellation. You can see HD 69830's system and four bodies inside the system."

"That's not right, though," I said with a scowl. "HD 69830 only has three planets orbiting it."

"That's the mystery," Jeffery said "This planet that mysteriously showed up, not actually a planet since it appears to be about the size of Titan, seems to be moving without any sense of orbit. Watch."

Snapshots from the Hubble flashed by, showing the celestial body as it moves through the system and ignoring all laws of physics.

"At one point, it passes by HD 69830C without affecting its orbit."

"A moon floating in space, oblivious to physics...So, what's the plan then?"

"Gather your team and get to Florida," Lumpkin said. "You're heading into space."

Carnage27
02-13-2012, 09:47 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

After transferring back to our jet, I sit in the back with my old friend. He pushes his mask back over his head, and the streak of grey that paints his hair is striking to me. Ted was always the youngest of us. The hardest drinker and the first to fight. But even though he looks 30-40 years younger than he should be, the man looks tired and worn out.

"So who is she?" I ask him.

"Dinah Lance," he mutters. "Daughter of one of my old teammates from the Justice Society and a police officer. I promised the two of them I'd watch out for her after they passed."

"I see you took up the chivalrous mantle with me gone," I chuckle and pat him on the shoulder.

"We've been working together since she's been old enough for patrol," he laughs. "Too much of her parents in her I guess."

"Well this world needs someone out there, that's for sure," I say, looking away from him and out the window.

"Does it though?" Ted shoots back. "They don't trust us, Steve. You have to see that. They think we're freaks here to take over not to help. For almost two decades after the war we played the super hero game. And as time went on they seemed to trust us less and less. So we gave up. I went into the boxing ring again, Jay went home, and Alan went on to be a media mogul...and then a government patsy. Sometimes, I wish I was gone like our old team."

"He's under Lord's control, Ted," I say in a calming voice. "Don't take it out on him. And don't take it out on yourself."

"Funerals start to do that when you've buried as many as I have. You begin to imagine your own big sleep. You were gone, Steve. You didn't have to bury friend after friend and look into their family's eyes when you haven't aged at all."

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj306/Carnage27/tedgrant.png

He's right. I saw the memorial in Washington. I saw the dates of death of all the people I fought with in the great conflict. I wasn't there for any of them, and here I am, good as new. I look at Ted without a word to say.

"Whatever," he growls. "My point is people don't want heroes anymore. And after tonight, I don't know if I'm going to bother after getting Dinah out of those bastard's clutches. The people aren't going to appreciate what we do anymore. They aren't the people you remember from the forties, Steve."

I shake my head, "You're wrong. It's not that people don't want us or believe in us. It's that they've been conditioned not to. All they need is a reason to believe. A reason to bring them back into the light."

He laughs out loud, the old boisterous laugh from the old days, "You always were the one to whip out the inspirational words at the right time, Rogers. I think you're an idealist fool, but hell, you've proved me wrong before."

"New York in an hour, Cap," Coulson calls from the cockpit.

I nod up to him and turn back to Grant, "We'll get back to New York, and Fury will have a plan. We'll get her back, Ted. I promise."

wiegeabo
02-14-2012, 10:38 PM
After a half dozen fights, the pattern becomes clear. The Hand are targeting the police. It's a horrifying thought, and not one I'm keen on letting continue. Which means there's one place I should be.

Gotham Central Police Department.

It stands to reason it would be a prime target. And the Hand wouldn't fear being outnumbered there. In fact, they'd welcome the challenge. But seeing as how most officers would be on the street answering man-down calls it means the place my be empty...

...and possibly a blood bath.

Finding the GCPD isn't a problem. A superhero, especially a blind one, tends to 'look' over the maps of the city streets he'll be in. And I know I just need to head twenty blocks north, and a half dozen east. I'll be there in no time.

***

I'm too late.

I can smell the blood and gunfire.

And I can sense the figure on the roof behind me.

In a fluid motion, I spin, throwing my billy club as I run at the person undoubtedly responsible for this...

Byrd Man
02-14-2012, 11:05 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png


Gotham Central
2:02 AM

I landed on the roof of Gotham Central with a thump. It took five minutes to cross town to get here. I had another five minutes to get down to Gordon's office before the Riddler claims another victim. I walked towards the door, stopping short at the whistling noise. Something in the air.


In a fluid motion, I spin, throwing my billy club as I run at the person undoubtedly responsible for this...

I ducked, letting the club clatter harmlessly to the ground before I stood upright to face my attacker head on. Even in the dark shadows, I could see the red. Another Hand ninja. I side stepped and countered the attacker's blow with a palm to the chest, driving the heel of my hand into his chest.

wiegeabo
02-14-2012, 11:09 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png


Gotham Central
2:02 AM

I landed on the roof of Gotham Central with a thump. It took five minutes to cross town to get here. I had another five minutes to get down to Gordon's office before the Riddler claims another victim. I walked towards the door, stopping short at the whistling noise. Something in the air.



I ducked, letting the club clatter harmlessly to the ground before I stood upright to face my attacker head on. Even in the dark shadows, I could see the red. Another Hand ninja. I side stepped and countered the attacker's blow with a palm to the chest, driving the heel of my hand into his chest.





This one is fast. And deathly silent. I've taken a strike to the chest before I realize it. This isn't just another Hand assassin. I was right.

This is the leader.

I hear the wind snap as his fist comes at me. I bring my second club up, deflecting the strike, stepping inside, and quickly bring the bottom of that fist down against his face.

Andy C.
02-14-2012, 11:11 PM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/spideylogo.png



Great Power
Part III



"And once you convert the equation to vertex form, you should be able to factor the rest of the problem from there," I say, scribbling the formula down on a piece of scratch paper. "Easy as the ratio of a Euclidean circle's circumference to diameter."

"Easy as what?" Harry says, obviously lost.

"*sigh*.....'Easy as Pi,'" I explain. "It's a math joke."

"I'll remember that one if I ever go into stand-up," Harry rolls his eyes. "I'm sure that'll have 'em rolling in the aisles."

"C'mon, Harry, you know this," I plead. "It's the same method we've used for the last five problems. I'm sorry if it's tedious, but--"

"Never apologize, Mr. Parker," I hear Harry's dad say as he enters the den, "Especially when the problem isn't yours. Good to see you're well again."

"Oh, um, hi, Mr. Osborn, I'm, uh, just helping Harry with his homework," I say, stumbling over my words and trying not to make it too plain that Harry's dad gives me the creeps. "And, um, yeah, it's good to be back from the hospital. I feel like a million bucks!"

Osborn gives a slight chuckle.

"A million bucks," he says. "Well, if you keep to your studies, once you're my age a million bucks will be pocket change."

"Well, I don't know about all that, but--"

"Modesty doesn't suit men of intelligence, Peter," Mr. Osborn says. "But a strong work ethic does, and I'm glad to see you've got that."

His tone sours just a little bit when he glances over at Harry.

"I'd suggest you pay more attention, son," he chides. "You could learn an awful lot from someone like Peter."

Harry bristles, and his dad leaves the den.

"Screw this," he growls, slamming his textbook shut. "I'm gonna make a burger run."

"But we're not done!" I protest. "Your homework--"

"Can wait til we get back," he says, putting on his jacket. "In the meantime, I need a change of scenery."


A few minutes later, we're heading down the sidewalk towards the nearest fast food joint. Harry plows on ahead through the crowd, stewing in frustration, while I try to keep up.

"Jeez, Harry, slow down!" I say, bobbing and weaving around other pedestrians with way more ease than I've ever managed before. "What was all that about?"

"I don't wanna talk about it," he says flatly.

"Look, you can't let him get to you when--"

"Don't. Want. To talk. About it."

"Okay, okay, fine," I back off.

I've never really asked that much about Harry's home life, but from what I can understand, it's.....not warm. His mom passed away when he was younger, and his dad is always away on business, and apparently there's a ton of baggage between them.

While we're walking, a car pulls up alongside the curb, a shiny black new Mustang. The window rolls down, and inside are Flash Thompson and Liz Allan.

"Hey, Harry," Flash says, before practically snorting at me. "Hey, geek."

"Flash," he remarks coolly. "Liz."

Liz gives us a guilty smile.

"Hi guys," she waves.

"Hey, listen," Flash says. "Friday night, there's a big UCWF Tough-Man contest at Madison Square Garden. A bunch of the guys are going if you're down for it."

Harry stares at him, his upper lip curling just a little bit.

"Look, I get it if you're still mad at me, bro," the jock says with a shrug. "I'll pay for your ticket if you want, to make up for, y'know..."

"I'll buy my own ticket, thanks," Harry says. "See you there."

Flash doesn't see the cold look in Harry's eyes, and turns to Liz with a satisfied grin.

"See? I told you he'd be cool with it, babe," he says, rolling up the window.

Harry watches the Mustang drive off, with his now-ex-girlfriend and my ever-constant dream girl in the passenger's seat.

"Yeesh, that was--"

"Another thing I don't wanna talk about," Harry cuts me off before he starts walking again. "So, Pete, Friday night. You up for some testosterone-laden steroid injected mayhem?"

"I dunno, I guess," I shrug. "Uncle Ben always says I don't get out of the house enough."

"Cool," he says, and that's pretty much all either of us say on our way to get some greasy fast food.

Liz likes Flash, obviously, but what's he got that I don't? I mean, other than a disproportionate trade of muscle mass for brain matter.

It's gotta be that new car. And that means money.

And money's something I don't have. Uncle Ben and Aunt May can't even pay their bills without dipping into their dream-vacation savings. So any chance of me wooing ladies in a shiny new ride is pretty much out of the question.

Heck, I'm going to have to ask Harry to pay for my burger tonight, since I don't even have any money to my name.

Then I think about what I did on the way to Harry's--I jumped clear over an oncoming SUV, vaulted nearly twenty feet straight up, then clung to a metal pole like it was made of velcro.

I don't know what that was, or how it happened, but maybe.......


........just maybe.........



......I can find a way to get a few bucks off of it.

Byrd Man
02-14-2012, 11:12 PM
This one is fast. And deathly silent. I've taken a strike to the chest before I realize it. This isn't just another Hand assassin. I was right.

This is the leader.

I hear the wind snap as his fist comes at me. I bring my second club up, deflecting the strike, stepping inside, and quickly bring the bottom of that fist down against his face.

The blow from the ninja sent me down. I began to fall, but grabbed him by the shoulder as I do, and used our momentum to springboard off him and propel myself back up onto my feet. I quickly tossed out four batarangs, only to have them easily deflected away with his club. There's something in those moves. Graceful, yet familiar.

I went back on the offensive, swishing my cape into the air to blind him as I go in for a blow to the kidneys.

wiegeabo
02-14-2012, 11:18 PM
The blow from the ninja sends me down. I begin to fall, but grab him by the shoulder as I do, using our momentum to springboard off him and propel myself back up onto my feet. I quickly toss out four batarangs, only to have them easily deflected away with his club. There's something in those moves. Graceful, yet familiar.

I go back on the offensive, swishing my cape into the air to blind him as I go in for a blow to the kidneys.


I shake off the effects of having a pair of boots planted against me. A small part of my mind wonders on the odd shapes of the shuriken he threw at me. I only got to sense them for an instant with each deflection, but they didn't...feel normal.

Of course, I can't really worry about that at the moment. A swishing sound fills my ears. Not like a Hand to wear a cape, but it has been years since I last tangled with them. I push through the cape, using my arm to wrap up his, giving me the opening to land a couple of club strikes against his body.

And suddenly, he puts his boot against mine, stopping my forward momentum while he deftly slides away.

Why do I know that move...?

Byrd Man
02-14-2012, 11:25 PM
And suddenly, he puts his boot against mine, stopping my forward momentum while he deftly slides away.

Why do I know that move...?

I stepped back from my opponent, trying to size him up. The way he moves, those fluid attacks and solid counters, I've seen it before...I've faced it before.

It's his turn to go on the offensive now. He charged towards me, the billy club whipping though his hands so fast it becomes a blur. Just feet from me, he leaped in the air and somersaulted over me. That's when I knew. I feinted with my left leg, he went for a block and allowed me to land a blow to his stomach with my right leg. I pulled my blow slightly, striking him but not doing as much damage as it could. He stumbled back and I stood in a defensive pose.

"That may have worked on me back then, but not anymore...Matt."

wiegeabo
02-14-2012, 11:30 PM
I stepped back from my opponent, trying to size him up. The way he moves, those fluid attacks and solid counters, I've seen it before...I've faced it before.

It's his turn to go on the offensive now. He charged towards me, the billy club whipping though his hands so fast it becomes a blur. Just feet from me, he leaped in the air and somersaulted over me. That's when I knew. I feinted with my left leg, he went for a block and allowed me to land a blow to his stomach with my right leg. I pulled my blow slightly, striking him but not doing as much damage as it could. He stumbled back and I stood in a defensive pose.

The kick to my chest does almost nothing, and I ready to quickly fling my club at him. Time to end-


"That may have worked on me back then, but not anymore...Matt."-this?

What the-?

A rush of sounds and smells flood back through history in my mind. The move finally clicks.

"If your opponent cannot move, he cannot attack."

Stick...

"...Bruce?!"

Byrd Man
02-14-2012, 11:34 PM
"If your opponent cannot move, he cannot attack."

Stick...

"...Bruce?!"

"What are you doing here, Matt?" I asked, reaching into my belt for a defense. "Are you with the Hand now?! Are you the one Gorgon was talking to?!"

wiegeabo
02-14-2012, 11:38 PM
"What are you doing here, Matt?" I asked, reaching into my belt for a defense. "Are you with the Hand now?! Are you the one Gorgon was talking to?!"

"Me? Hand? I came here to stop them from killing the cops. And stop you, apparently...or not?"

I can't believe this. Nothing makes sense right now. And this is after a night of fighting cop-killing super ninjas.

"I barely recognized the moves. Or the voice. Are you...masking your smell?"

I shake my head.

"What the hell is this, Bruce?"

Byrd Man
02-14-2012, 11:43 PM
"Me? Hand? I came here to stop them from killing the cops. And stop you, apparently...or not?"

I can't believe this. Nothing makes sense right now. And this is after a night of fighting cop-killing super ninjas.

"I barely recognized the moves. Or the voice. Are you...masking your smell?"

I shake my head.

"What the hell is this, Bruce?"

"I'm defending my city, Matt, like I always said I would. The voice, the smell, they're all part of who I am now. I'm no longer just Bruce Wayne, I'm the thing that scares criminals back into their ratholes, I'm the ghost story they tell when they're afraid of pulling a heist. I'm that doubt that creeps into every criminals mind before they do a bad thing. I'm the boogeyman. I'm everywhere, but nowhere."

I stepped out of the shadows, even though I knew it was pointless with a blind man.

"I'm Batman."

wiegeabo
02-14-2012, 11:47 PM
"I'm defending my city, Matt, like I always said I would. The voice, the smell, they're all part of who I am now. I'm no longer just Bruce Wayne, I'm the thing that scares criminals back into their ratholes, I'm the ghost story they tell when they're afraid of pulling a heist. I'm that doubt that creeps into every criminals mind before they do a bad thing. I'm the boogeyman. I'm everywhere, but nowhere."

I stepped out of the shadows, even though I knew it was pointless with a blind man.

"I'm Batman."

I take a small step back without meaning to.

"Heh. Practice that speech much?"

I walk over to where I know I threw my first club, shaking my head the whole time. I extend the club in my hand as I get close and tap it on the ground. The wave of sound briefly illuminates everything for me, including my club.

I bend down and pick it up. Then turn back to Bruce and tap the ground again. The sound gives me an image of his body.

And suddenly the humor is gone.

"Good lord, Bruce. I thought The Batman was a myth."

Byrd Man
02-14-2012, 11:51 PM
And suddenly the humor is gone.

"Good lord, Bruce. I thought The Batman was a myth."

"He's real. I'm real. But I like it as a myth. Myths can't be shot, or stabbed, or beaten."

I looked down at the clock on my belt. Two minutes left to get to Gordon's office.

"I have to go, Matt. People are in danger and there's a psychopath out there who's drawn me into his sick games. If I don't play along, people will die."

wiegeabo
02-14-2012, 11:54 PM
"He's real. I'm real. But I like it as a myth. Myths can't be shot, or stabbed, or beaten."

I looked down at the clock on my belt. Two minutes left to get to Gordon's office.

"I have to go, Matt. People are in danger and there's a psychopath out there who's drawn me into his sick games. If I don't play along, people will die."


"Let me help Bruce. I've been running across this city trying to stop the Hand. Let me keep helping."

"Think of me as the Devil on your shoulder."

Byrd Man
02-14-2012, 11:56 PM
"Let me help Bruce. I've been running across this city trying to stop the Hand. Let me keep helping."

"Think of me as the Devil on your shoulder."

"A second set of eyes in always appreciated," I said with a nod. "I just hope you're good with riddles."

wiegeabo
02-15-2012, 12:00 AM
"My one weakness."

I put my clubs in their place on my belt.

"How about you do the thinking and I do the punching? And then you can pay me back when this is all over."

MST3K 4ever
02-15-2012, 12:25 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex has been at the Metropolis Airport for the past two hours walking around and watching Oscorp Relief supplies being loaded into LexCorp trucks. Ever aware that there are several media outlets in attendance he keeps up a pleasant exterior. On the inside though he is wishing for the opportunity to get Norman Osborn alone in a parking lot and pummel him with a tire-iron until his arms are too numb to even move.

Norman approaches Lex with several media members following him and says, "Lex nice to see you here as well."

The two men shake hands and Lex says, "Just doing my part to help out."

They smile for the cameras and through partially closed lips Lex says, "You got me good on this one Norman, but you know what they say about paybacks."

Norman thru partially closed lips says, "Not even if your best day and my worst day were the same day."

The two men share a fake laugh for the cameras just as Lex's L-Phone rings.

He excuses himself and sees that it's Dr. Hamilton calling. Lex shakes his head dreading what Emil is about to tell him.

And the hits just keep on coming.

Lex says, "Emil unless the lab has burned to the ground or you came up with a way to make cats breath under water I'm not in the mood for this phone call."

Hamilton replies, "Sorry to be calling you at this time sir, but I think you should know Dr. Banner has done it!"

Lex asks, "Done what?"

Hamilton replies, "The Nucleic Tide issue with the Gammatron sir. Dr. Banner has fixed it!"

Lex is almost stunned silent but manages to get out, "How?"

Hamilton says, "He created a stabilizing compound that still keeps the chemical variants within the prescribed parameters and doesn't disturb the chemical matrix but also enhances the gamma field as well. I'll send you a copy of the latest test to your L-Pad right now sir."

Lex's L-pad chimes and he quickly scans the report. He is smiling like the cat who swallowed the canary and the goldfish.

He asks, "Can this be replicated?"

Emil replies, "Absolutely. In fact he has run the test five times and each time it gets better and better results than before."

Lex says, "Emil this news is just incredible! Staggering! Tell Banner I want a report on my desk by 9am."

Emil replies, "Sir he is so excited he is already preparing a power point presentation. Give him another hour and it'll be ready tonight when you get back."

Lex says, "I knew hiring Banner would pay off! Tell Banner to be in front of my office with his power point ready to go in 1 hour!"

Emil says, "Yes sir Mr. Luthor."

Lex hangs up his phone and is practically beaming.

That socially awkward pipsqueak did it! He really did it! He is about to surpass all of that hype and I'm the one who will reap a glorious harvest.

Lex rejoins Norman and the gathered media and says, "Sorry about that. LexCorp business that demanded my attention. Let's get some more pictures shall we!"

Lex puts in an arm around Osborn and the Media begin snapping photos and shooting video of the two men.

Norman asks in a whisper, "So was that your board of directors getting ready to sell out to me?"

Lex lets out a belly laugh.

Lex replies in a whisper, "No. Dr. Hamilton telling me about the chemical issue with the Gammatron."

Norman makes a smirk and says, "That 5 billion dollar turkey. Did he admit that LexCorp can't do it and you're ready to sell the contract to me?"

Lex says, "No Banner did it. He fixed it! It will work!"

Norman is stunned and forgets that there are cameras there and yells, "WHAT? HOW?"

Lex says, "Remember the cameras Norman."

Norman says to the cameras, "That's it go! Move on!"

Norman recomposes himself and asks, "How?"

Lex says, "He created a chemical compound to act as a stabilizing element."

Lex shows Norman the test results and Osborn is stunned silent all he can say shaking his head, "It's it's not...not possible...he..."

Lex says, "It is possible and my scientist did it! You should've offered him that extra day of vacation when you had the chance. I still think that's what put me over the top."

Osborn looks at Luthor and says, "This isn't over Lex! If it takes all of eternity you will bow before me one day."

Lex says, "Not a chance in hell. Once the Gammatron goes online that will be the death knell for Oscorp. "

Osborn glares at Lex and gets out his cell-phone and says, "Edward gas up the jet we're leaving....I don't care...gas up now! I want us in the air in 10 minutes!"

Once he hangs up Lex asks, "Are you sure you won't stay for breakfast?"

Osborn says, "Go to hell Lex!"

He storms off and Lex re-emerges to the gathered media.

He says, "Sorry about that Norman just found out that the Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls. He's taking it hard. Now if you will excuse me I need to get back to LexCorp's main offices..."

Lex motions and someone approaches him and Lex says, "This is Mr. Kenney my Vice President of Logistics. He'll be taking over for the remainder of the operation. Matthew it's all yours and I know things are in good hands. Thank you all very much."

Lex is practically sprinting to his Limo. He hops in and says smiling, "To the Towers Mercy! NOW!"

Byrd Man
02-15-2012, 04:16 PM
"My one weakness."

I put my clubs in their place on my belt.

"How about you do the thinking and I do the punching? And then you can pay me back when this is all over."


"It's a deal."

Two minutes later, we were inside Gordon's office while he paced across the hardwood floor.

"This is crazy," he muttered under his voice. "We've got officers out there, man of them good men, bleeding out and clinging to life. We're forced to play some game while whoever this Riddle is watches and gets off on it!"

Gordon looked up into the corners of his office. "You hear me, you son of a *****?!"

"Major," I said, putting my hand on Gordon's shoulder. "Jim. As bad as those men out there are, their fate is outside our hands. But there's somebody else out there that needs us now. We can save them."

He nodded, slumping his shoulders. "You're right," he said, walking towards his desk and pulling a pack of cigarettes from the drawer. Gordon's eyes darted to the smart phone laying on the desk.

"I thought you quit smoking?" I asked as he lit up. He shrugged his shoulders and took a long drag off the cigarette. "Today's been one of those days. So, do you and your assistant here have any ideas on how to stop him?"

I almost smiled at the word 'assistant.' Instead, I looked back at Matt, who was leaning against the wall beside the open window.

"Here's out there, he's watching. He'll call."

"BURN, BABY, BURN!" The phone sang out from Gordon's desk "DISCO INFERNO! BURN, BABY, BURN, BURN THAT MAMMA DOWN!"

I picked it up and answered it, putting it on speakerphone.

"You've got a friend," the hostage said in her frightened voice as she read off the Riddler''s message. "I like a fellow with a p...p...penchant for red leather. How about you give him...my number when you're done."

"Better yet, give me your address and he'll be sure to give you a visit."

"As..much as that...would make my day, no. I only have...eyes for you, Bats...you're my sweetheart. Here comes...the next clue. This is where it gets tricky...you've got two hours to solve it...or she goes sky high..."

The line went dead. The hang up was followed by a text message in that green font.

A KowBoy rides into town on friday, stays three days aNd leaves on friday. how does he do it?

I repeated the riddle out loud, for Matt's sake, before I placed the phone back down on the desk.

"We have an hour and fifty nine minutes to solve the riddle, and the crime behind it."

Carnage27
02-15-2012, 09:39 PM
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As we approach out building, we already know there's something wrong. Smoke pours from the top of the building, and it's obvious it's been attack, "So much for Lord not knowing where we are. Come on, let's get up there. If I know Fury, he fought them tooth and nail."

We enter the apartment, me first, followed by Ted and Coulson with his firearm drawn. Once inside, the place is still smoking, but no longer on fire. And the floor is littered with dead Checkmate agents, "Well, they're not here, but you're right. Fury fought his way into capture."

"You're damn right he did," a familiar voice says from the corner of the room. I turn to find Rick Flag leaning against the wall, "Old man is as good as he was when I first met him."

My group tenses up, obviously ready for an attack, "So are you here to stop us, Flag? You gonna black bag us like you and Lord did to an innocent girl?"

"She isn't the only one," he responds. "Lord snatched up a bunch of them. And no, I'm not here to stop you. Well, Lord thinks I am, but what he thinks isn't always what happens, even if that's what he believes."

"So you finally woke up?" I ask with a smile.

"Not too long after you left, Sasha decided to leave too," he says. "And Lord had her imprisoned on that damn helicarrier. And it didn't stop there. The man's gone on a war path. I think he started to realize he was losing control, so he put some insane plan into effect. Alan woke up too and tried to stop him and ended up in lockdown as well. Lord even took his ring."

"This guy sounds like a peach," Ted chuckles.

"What's his plan, Flag?" I ask, ignoring Wildcat.

"I think he's got Kobra attacking the US in force. An invasion, not just some simple terrorist plot," Flag says grimly. "He's been funding them for years. He thinks he controls them, but I'd bet a lot of money they're playing him."

"I'd take that bet," I respond. "Where are they going to attack and when?"

"I don't know," he shrugs. "But there's something else about this attack, Cap. He's doing it to draw out the big players in the super hero community. He knows they'll rush to save the day, and when they do he's gonna wipe them out."

"Then we don't have much time."

"We're getting Dinah," Ted affirms. 'We don't know where or when this attack is coming. But we know where Dinah is. And Alan. We free them and we go on from there."

I ponder what he has to say before responding. I promised we would get her back. I can't deny that. And we could use the opportunity to infiltrate Checkmate and find where this attack is coming.

"He's right," I nod. "Flag, we're going to break into Checkmate. Hope you're up for that. Coulson, prepare the plane. Wheels off the ground in an hour. We're headed to Washington."

Byrd Man
02-15-2012, 10:19 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png







The Baxter Building
Manhattan, New York

"The time will come. The warrior will bring his horde to the gates, the Grim Reaper will ride on a wave of willpower, and the Second Child will scorch the skies with fire. His herald will ride across the lands and the Last Son will break the Earth in two. It will come to pass that His shadow will fall upon the Earth. And hell will follow close behind."

Five days since the incident and the words Morrow spoke kept haunting me. What did they mean? Another layer added to the mystery is the fact that he was brain dead when he spoke them.

I have those words, along with nearly two dozen other equations, on a dry erase board that runs the length of my work lab. I was soldering together parts on a motherboard when Sue came in

"Reed?"

"Hold on a second," I said, taking the motherboard and sliding it into a communications device on my workbench. "I think I've established contact with a sub-dimension. They're beings of thought and verbally communicate in a one-syllable, rhyming language. I think just from listening to it I've been able to master it."

I activated the array and watched the hologram of a cloud of energy appear before me.

"Hi wi bi mi si ci fi vi," the hologram said. I looked back at Sue and cleared my throat.

"He we ve se be me ye de be ze."

"Zo ro to go mo jo ro ro," the cloud said as the hologram flicked and disappeared.

"What was that about?" Sue asked, coming up from behind me.

"It asked who I was and I replied, saying who I was and that I only wished to speak to their leaders as an envoy of peace. It then said it would discuss the matter with their council and report back to me with their answer."

"All that from just a few syllables?"

"They're a highly evolved species, dear. They don't drag their feet when it comes to words. Although, I could be wrong. I was speaking a lower form of the dialect, not as refined as the language of the upper class. I should be able to improve upon it by the next time they reach out. They speak quickly, but think carefully and cautiously. They could deliberate my proposal for a hundred years or more."

"Well while you wait we can focus on other matters."

"What else is there? I forwarded my psychological profile of Victor Von Doom to the Pentagon, gave the Treasury my algorithm to help balance the budget, sent the CDC those vaccines to combat the flu outbreak in Louisiana, and agreed I would look into the origins of that super man in Metropolis. I thought that was all of my scheduled projects for the day?"

"This actually came in about ten minutes ago. General Lumpkin and NASA want to discuss an incident with us."

"Lumpkin and NASA? Sounds intriguing," I said with a smirk, holding my arm out for Sue to take. "Shall we?"

Sue took my arm and we began to walk out the lab. I stopped and stretched my arm back towards the workbench, grabbing the pot of coffee resting on the table.

"Before we go, would you like to try some of my coffee/tea blend? I made it earlier today. It's part Arabic roast, part green tea, and part Methylamine."

"Methylamine?! As in the stuff that's in crystal meth?"

"Only in purer forms of crystal meth. Besides, it's only twenty percent Methylamine..."


*****

"Doctors," the man on the flat screen said. He was middle aged and dressed in an Air Force dress uniform, two stars on his shoulders. On the screen to his right was a bald headed man in a white dress shirt and black tie.

"Good afternoon, General Lumpkin. When are you coming back to New York?"

"Soon as my bosses in the Pentagon let me Mrs. Richards. Do you two know Doctor Jeffery from NASA?"

"Yes. We briefly worked together when Sue and I liaised with NASA."

"Well, Doctor Jeffery, how about you start us off?"

"Thank you, General. I have a few images for you to see."

The screen showing Jeffery changed, a satellite image of space was shown in his place.

"This was taken three days ago by the Hubble. It's a section of space that includes the Puppis Constellation. A star designated HD 69830 is part of the constellation. You can see HD 69830's system and four bodies inside the system."

"That's not right, though," I said with a scowl. "HD 69830 only has three planets orbiting it."

"That's the mystery," Jeffery said "This planet that mysteriously showed up, not actually a planet since it appears to be about the size of Titan, seems to be moving without any sense of orbit. Watch."

Snapshots from the Hubble flashed by, showing the celestial body as it moves through the system and ignoring all laws of physics.

"At one point, it passes by HD 69830C without affecting its orbit."

"A moon floating in space, oblivious to physics...So, what's the plan then?"

"Gather your team and get to Florida," Lumpkin said. "You're heading into space."







Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral, Florida

"FF1 to Mission Control," Ben said from the pilot seat. "Are we greenlit?"
"Roger that, FF1. God speed."

We were all dressed in space suits, inside the customized space shuttle designated FF1. It's decked out with a full life support system, an artificial gravity compensator, and my new and improved warp drive. The addition of a warp drive and extra fuel takes means the FF1 doesn't need to hitch a ride on a rocket up into space, we can go up on our own power.

"Here we go," Ben said as he pushed the thrusters forward. The ship rolled down the runway, picking up speed until it was airborne. Ben pulled back on the control yoke (made extra durable for his hands) and the ship climbed up into the sky. Twenty minutes later, we punched into the Thermosphere and past the international space station. The dazzling lights of the stars glittered on the dark side of the planet.

"Lady, gentleman, and Johnny, welcome to space."

"Back to space," Johnny said from the co-pilot seat. "Don't forget we've been here before. Pray to God we don't all end up looking like Boulder Brains over here..."

"Johnny!"

"Naah, he's right. He's being a little jerk about it, but he's right."

Ben turned away from the window and looked at me.

"You mess this up again and we get cooked, Stretcho, I won't hesitate to murderlize ya."

"I..uhhh," I stuttered and stumbled. "It'll work."

"Good. I'm activating the artificial gravity. Get to work on getting the warp drive ready."

I detached from my seat and walked through the ship towards my station. The console has data flashing by on it. Info from the scanners, indicators, and communication arrays. The station is also where the FTL drive is booted up and activated.

"We'll do a test jump. From here to the moon. That's normally a three day journey, but we'll be there in the blink of an eye."

I ran the numbersand calculations and then placed them into the navigation computer.

"Alright...FTL drive is booted up and ready."

"FF1 to Mission Control, we're preparing our first jump."

"Roger that FF1. Just a heads up, the farther you get from Earth the longer the delay between broadcasts...you're looking at a ten second delay when you get to the moon."

"Roger that. Reed, initiate warp on my mark...Now!"

I activated the engines and felt a dizzying feeling wash over my body for just a moment before it stopped. I looked to the front of the shuttle. The carter scarred face of the moon was glowing in the window, big and beautiful.

"FF1 to Mission Control, that's a positive first warp test."

I smiled and slightly pumped my fist as Sue touched my shoulder. Ben turned around and nodded at me.

"Roger that, FF1. Begin setting up your position to leap to HD 69830. Once you're in warp, you'll be out of range to us until you come back. In case of alien contact, do not forget the data package you have stored in the shuttle. God be with you, Mission Control out."

Ben navigated the shuttle into position orbiting around the moon while I set the two fixed points into the warp drive.

"Just a heads up for everyone not int the know, HD 69830 is 41 light years away from Earth."

"Please, please don't tell me it's gonna take that long to get there. I can't go that long without the ladies."

"It should take us about two hours to get there. I would say that's making great time, relatively speaking. Pun intended."

Sue chuckled while Ben and Johnny stared at me oblivious.

"Science joke. Don't worry about it."

"Just punch the button when I tell you to, Egghead. NOW!"

I activated the drive and all the stars in space went fuzzy and unfocused, blinking out of sight. The emptiness of space was pitch black as we cruised through it at over a hundred times faster than the speed of light.

The HD 69830 System
143 Minutes Later

The stars and planets of the galaxy popped back into focus as the ship came out of warp speed. The shuttle cut through the void of space and passed by HD 69830 C, the third and last planetary body in the star system.

"This is just..."

"I know," I said, stretching my neck to look out the port side window at the passing planet. "You wanted to be in the history book, Ben, well welcome to it. The first manned space flight outside the Solar System piloted my Major Benjamin Grimm."

"If'n only my dear old Aunt Petunia could see my now..."

Sue reached out and grabbed my hand. I stretched my neck back and smiled at her. I reached in for a kiss. Our lips started to brush together when...

"Look out!" Johnny screamed out. Sue and I turned and looked as Ben gripped the yoke and shot away from an encroaching shadow.

"What the hell is that?!"

"It's the object from the telescope. The roving moon."

I stretched my neck forward, elongating my eyes to get a better look. Ben circled around to get a better look.

"That's no moon," I said.


http://i39.tinypic.com/2jal2u0.jpg

"That's a weapon!"

I was cut short as an alarm echoed through the ship. A warning klaxon.

"They've got a lock on us!"

Suddenly, the surface of the orb opened up, laser blasts firing out into space. Ben hit the thrusters and attempted evasive maneuvers. I held on as the shuttle spun through space. The ship shook and a whistling sound filled the cabin.

"We've got a breach!"

"We're losing air pressure and oxygen. At this rate, we'll be out of air in five minutes."

"Left rear engines are shot."

"Everyone hold on." Ben said as he navigated the shuttle towards the orb. "We're gonna have to put it down on the planet. Reed, send out an SOS."

"Alright," I said as the shuttle shook and bounced. I activated the communications and began to broadcast. "Mission Control of FF1, we have been hit by an enemy. The roving celestial body is a weapon, I repeat it is is a weapon. It shot us down and we are going down. You won't receive this message until fifteen years from now, but you know what happened. This is Doctor Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four...goodbye."

"Reed!" Sue shouted, grabbing hold of my shoulder and wrapping her arms around me as the surface of the orb rushed up to meet us.

MST3K 4ever
02-17-2012, 12:22 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Banner finishes explaining his findings and his work concerning the chemistry issue with the Gammatron to Lex.

Lex nods thoughtfully and studies the last slide closely as Banner desperately tries to keep his emotions and anxiety in check.

Come on Lex this is the part where you either commend me or condemn me. What are you waiting for?

Lex stands up and says, "Incredible Banner. Absolutely incredible!"

Banner now looks noticeably relieved.

Lex walks over to the last slide and says, "I would've never thought of re-enforcing the Nucleic tides the way you did. Just incredible! Oh my."

Banner says, "Thank you sir. I'm thinking in 6 weeks after trials and testing we should be ready to reveal this to the Government liaisons."

Lex is almost offended as he says, "6 weeks?!?! Banner are you insane I want this thing ready to go in two days."

Banner is stunned as he says, "Two days sir? Mr. Luthor with all due respect sir Gamma Radiation is not something one enters lightly. I mean yes we made a major breakthrough tonight, but this is still far from a done deal. There is still a lot of work and testing that we have to do for safety reasons and logistics and all other kinds of variables."

Lex says sternly, "Banner I have two logistics that I obey money and results. Your experiment is costing this company lots of money and I expect results for the money I spend. Also your results will generate lots of money for this company."

He lights a cigar and says, "You are on the threshold of greatness and glory beyond your wildest dreams Dr. Banner. Now is not the time of timidity, but time to be bold and to take leaps forward."

Banner gathers his thoughts.

Okay Bruce if there is one thing that is Lex's Achilles Heel it is his sense of vanity and pride. Time to play that card.

Banner says, "Well Mr. Luthor I am thinking Big Picture. I am thinking how this will impact LexCorp long term. There a billion things that could go wrong and I want to run the tests and simulations to minimize those factors. Think about this sir..."

Banner approaches the window and looks at the Skyline and says, "Imagine a crowd of investors, Government Officials, Business Contemporaries and the news media looking on as the Gammatron is turned on and promptly shorts out. Shorting out because of something we had not foreseen but could've had a we approached this even semi-cautiously. LexCorp would be dragged through the mud and worst of all Norman Osborn would gloat from now until doomsday."

Banner turns back to Lex who is glaring at him.

Lex says in almost a growl, "I see what you are trying to do Dr. Banner."

This is the part where Mercy breaks through the door and shoves me out of the window.

He takes a long drag of his cigar and lets out a hardy belly laugh, "Well played to you sir! Very well played indeed."

Banner is once again relieved and Lex approaches him and says, "Tell you what Doctor I'll meet you halfway on this one."

Lex takes a drag and says, "I'll give you three weeks. After that I expect us to be ready to go no excuses."

Banner nods and says, "All-right that could work."

Lex says, "It better! Two conditions: 1) I expect to see results every other day at the least. 2) Say goodbye to the outside world. You are now a fixture in the LexCorp labs I want you in there 24/7."

Lex goes over to his desk and activates a touch-screen he then says, "You have a suite booked here at the Towers and the dining hall has been notified your meals are free for the next three weeks."

Banner says, "Fair enough sir I wouldn't have it any other way."

Lex says, "Very well Dr. Banner. May I say this is the first time I've ever seen you with any true fire and passion about something since you've been here." He nods and says, "It suits you well."

Lex presses a button on his desk and says, "Miss Graves please come in."

In a matter of moments Mercy enters and Lex says, "Take Dr. Banner to his apartment. He is to get some clothes and a shaving kit together then bring him back here he's got work to do."

Mercy motions for Banner to follow her and Lex says, "I'm counting on you Dr. Banner this is the greatest gamble in LexCorp's history. If you screw this up you won't live long enough to regret it."

Banner looks back and says, "Just keep the Nobel Prize committee on speed dial, because this company is about to have 2 Nobel Prize winners on site."

As Banner and Mercy leaves Banner is starting to feel the weight of all this.

What am I thinking talking to him like that???? I must be insane! Oh well time to deliver the goods. I hope.

wiegeabo
02-17-2012, 08:32 PM
"It's a deal."

Two minutes later, we were inside Gordon's office while he paced across the hardwood floor.

"This is crazy," he muttered under his voice. "We've got officers out there, man of them good men, bleeding out and clinging to life. We're forced to play some game while whoever this Riddle is watches and gets off on it!"

Gordon looked up into the corners of his office. "You hear me, you son of a *****?!"

"Major," I said, putting my hand on Gordon's shoulder. "Jim. As bad as those men out there are, their fate is outside our hands. But there's somebody else out there that needs us now. We can save them."

He nodded, slumping his shoulders. "You're right," he said, walking towards his desk and pulling a pack of cigarettes from the drawer. Gordon's eyes darted to the smart phone laying on the desk.

"I thought you quit smoking?" I asked as he lit up. He shrugged his shoulders and took a long drag off the cigarette. "Today's been one of those days. So, do you and your assistant here have any ideas on how to stop him?"

I almost smiled at the word 'assistant.' Instead, I looked back at Matt, who was leaning against the wall beside the open window.

"Here's out there, he's watching. He'll call."

"BURN, BABY, BURN!" The phone sang out from Gordon's desk "DISCO INFERNO! BURN, BABY, BURN, BURN THAT MAMMA DOWN!"

I picked it up and answered it, putting it on speakerphone.

"You've got a friend," the hostage said in her frightened voice as she read off the Riddler''s message. "I like a fellow with a p...p...penchant for red leather. How about you give him...my number when you're done."

"Better yet, give me your address and he'll be sure to give you a visit."

"As..much as that...would make my day, no. I only have...eyes for you, Bats...you're my sweetheart. Here comes...the next clue. This is where it gets tricky...you've got two hours to solve it...or she goes sky high..."

The line went dead. The hang up was followed by a text message in that green font.

A KowBoy rides into town on friday, stays three days aNd leaves on friday. how does he do it?

I repeated the riddle out loud, for Matt's sake, before I placed the phone back down on the desk.

"We have an hour and fifty nine minutes to solve the riddle, and the crime behind it."

I hide a smile at hearing the riddle, but make sure the others don't see it. This one's a kid's game. I guess Bruce didn't hear it growing up.

Which doesn't really surprise me, now that I think about it.

"The horse's name is Friday. Does that mean anything to you two?"

Byrd Man
02-17-2012, 10:24 PM
I hide a smile at hearing the riddle, but make sure the others don't see it. This one's a kid's game. I guess Bruce didn't hear it growing up.

Which doesn't really surprise me, now that I think about it.

"The horse's name is Friday. Does that mean anything to you two?"

"All crimes from this past Friday," I told Jim. "Somewhere in there is what we need."

Ten minutes later Jim and I scanned through all the police incident reports from Friday. All told, nearly a hundred different incidents.

"What exactly are we looking for?"

"Felonies. Serious crimes. Assaults, robberies, murders."

"We've got three murders, six agg assaults, and seven armed robberies."

"Are all the murders unsolved?"

"Umm, no, actually. Two were dunkers, one was a domestic shooting and the other was a bar stabbing with a dozen eyewitnesses. There's one whodunit, though."

Gordon brought it up on his computer screen and I scanned over it, reading out loud for Matt's sake.

"26 year old black male was murdered outside the Adams Homes at 3 am this morning. No witnesses, no suspects, no leads..."

I looked up and turned to Daredevil.

"This is it. I can feel it. This is the one he wants us to solve."

wiegeabo
02-17-2012, 10:30 PM
I pretend to look over the files. No need for Bruce's friend to know about my condition.

Of course, just because I can't see the files doesn't mean I can't read them. I run my fingers across the text as if I'm scanning it with my eyes. When I'm actually feeling the faint ink impressions through my gloves and reading it like Braille.

"How can you be so sure? Nothing much standing out about this. Black man killed in the street, and no witnesses? Happens all the time. Why this one?"

Byrd Man
02-17-2012, 10:37 PM
I pretend to look over the files. No need for Bruce's friend to know about my condition.

Of course, just because I can't see the files doesn't mean I can't read them. I run my fingers across the text as if I'm scanning it with my eyes. When I'm actually feeling the faint ink impressions through my gloves and reading it like Braille.

"How can you be so sure? Nothing much standing out about this. Black man killed in the street, and no witnesses? Happens all the time. Why this one?"

"It's how he was killed."

"Coroner found the cause of death. He bled to death after someone removed his liver and one of his lungs."

"The cuts imply it was surgically. They didn't bother to stitch him back up afterwards. The way he fell on the street, he was trying to make it back home."

wiegeabo
02-17-2012, 10:42 PM
"It's how he was killed."

"Coroner found the cause of death. He bled to death after someone removed his liver and one of his lungs."

"The cuts imply it was surgically. They didn't bother to stitch him back up afterwards. The way he fell on the street, he was trying to make it back home."


"Good lord. How did he even...?"

This is...beyond brutal. New York is bad. But what kind of freaks does Bruce have to deal with in Gotham?

"What's the next step?"

Byrd Man
02-17-2012, 10:51 PM
"Good lord. How did he even...?"

This is...beyond brutal. New York is bad. But what kind of freaks does Bruce have to deal with in Gotham?

"What's the next step?"

I walked over to Gordon's corkboard and found the pinhead camera stuck to it.

"We go on the road and we give him a show."


*****

Matt and I walked around the sidewalk where the young man, William Jones, was found earlier this morning. The crime scene tape is long gone and the body is at a neighborhood funeral home. The camera pin was attached to my lapel, giving the Riddler his show. Gordon is en route in his unmarked car.

"He died here considering the rate of blood loss, he had to be operated on within four of five blocks of this spot. Although, if he was given some sort of coagulant the radius could expand up to ten blocks. All the blood was washed away this morning, but..."

I activated the UV lenses in my cowl, illuminating the crime scene in an eerie glow. The traces of blood were a bright white on the sidewalk, leading back down the street.

"I can see the bloodtrail...and I also have your nose if the trail goes cold. It may be faint, but can you still smell the blood? The lingering smell of the latex gloves the killer most certainly wore?"

Carnage27
02-17-2012, 10:54 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

Washington DC

"Where the hell is everyone?" Ted asks as we walk along the National Mall. "It's like a ghost town."

He's right. We've barely seen anyone since leaving the airport. And there's been less and less people as we've moved further and further into the capitol. It's not right. This place is usually packed with people and tourists. But it's like they've all disappeared.

"I don't like this, Cap," Flag says, drawing his gun.

"I feel the same way," I respond, searching the area for anything that could be out of the ordinary. "Think this was Lord?"

"Possibly," Flag shrugs. "Could be something else though."

"Or it could be that a threat of an attack has been made on Capitol Hill," Coulson says, looking at his phone. "You seriously need one of these."

"Kobra," I mutter under my breath. "So it's going to happen here. Tonight."

And that's when the first bomb goes off. A massive explosion rocks the night sky, followed by others. Too many too count. The sight is startling, shocking, and saddening, but I quickly pull myself together as the sound of helicopters mixes with a already massive destruction.

"If Lord was looking for an attack to draw the metahumans out, he's certainly got one!" I say. "Coulson, Flag. Get to Checkmate and release the others. We're going to need all the help we can get. Ted, you're with me."

"What are we doing?"

"We're finding Kobra's leader," I respond with conviction. "If we cut off the head of the snake, the rest will die. Then we take care of Maxwell Lord."

**********

Los Angeles

"Sir," Jarvis, Tony Stark's personal AI unit says, his voice echoing through the cavernous garage. "There's something on the news I believe you better take a look at."

"Throw it up on the main screen," the Invincible Iron Man says.

A large, holographic screen appears in the middle of the room, and the scenes of the Washington DC attack play with a terrified and shocked sounding newsreporter in the background, "As you can see the devastation is widespread. Countless bombs have gone off across the city and somehow the military has seemingly been caught off guard even though there has been advanced warning. Kobra forces have landed in the city and are continuing- Wait. Wait. Is that? Yes it is! Captain America has just rushed into the fray! He's engaged the Kobra terrorists."

Stark watches as Captain America dissects through a group of terrorists like a hot knife through butter.

"Jarvis, it's time to suit up."

**********

New York

Dr. Donald Blake wastes no time getting to his roof after seeing the news. He taps his walking stick twice on the tarmac, and a bolt of lightening crashes down on him.

**********

Boston

Diana of the Amazons finishes putting on her equipment, fastening her sword to her belt, before kneeling and saying a prayer to the god requesting their protection in the coming battle.

**********

Washington

I slam my shield into the jaw of a Kobra strikeforce member, shattering it in the process. I roll under the gunfire of another disarm him, and then use his gun to fire into another group, sending them into retreat, "Just like old times, huh Wildcat?"

"Yea, but the weapons were a lot slower back in the day, buddy," he responds, snapping a Kobra member's rifle in half, proceeding to beat the man with both pieces.

"Come on, the leader must be the way they're retreating towards," I say, reloading the machine gun I've picked up. "Let's go find the bastard."

***********

"Captain America is here sir," The Thinker says to Maxwell Lord. "The others will no doubt be on their way."

"Good," Lord smiles. "Get it ready for launch."

wiegeabo
02-17-2012, 11:00 PM
I walked over to Gordon's corkboard and found the pinhead camera stuck to it.

"We go on the road and we give him a show."


*****

Matt and I walked around the sidewalk where the young man, William Jones, was found earlier this morning. The crime scene tape is long gone and the body is at a neighborhood funeral home. The camera pin was attached to my lapel, giving the Riddler his show. Gordon is en route in his unmarked car.

"He died here considering the rate of blood loss, he had to be operated on within four of five blocks of this spot. Although, if he was given some sort of coagulant the radius could expand up to ten blocks. All the blood was washed away this morning, but..."

I activated the UV lenses in my cowl, illuminating the crime scene in an eerie glow. The traces of blood were a bright white on the sidewalk, leading back down the street.

"I can see the bloodtrail...and I also have your nose if the trail goes cold. It may be faint, but can you still smell the blood? The lingering smell of the latex gloves the killer most certainly wore?"




I'm already walking down the street while Bruce is talking. The sickly hint of iron in the air. Even a Gotham rain can't completely clean it's streets.

I motion for Bruce to follow.

You'd think filtering out all the other smells of a city would be hard. But there's something unique about blood. It stands out. And for this smell to survive this long...it was a lot of blood.

After several blocks, the level of scent in the air jumps.

"We're close." I point. "What's over there?""

Byrd Man
02-17-2012, 11:10 PM
I'm already walking down the street while Bruce is talking. The sickly hint of iron in the air. Even a Gotham rain can't completely clean it's streets.

I motion for Bruce to follow.

You'd think filtering out all the other smells of a city would be hard. But there's something unique about blood. It stands out. And for this smell to survive this long...it was a lot of blood.

After several blocks, the level of scent in the air jumps.

"We're close." I point. "What's over there?""

I looked across the street at the single story building nestled between two apartments. I read the sign out front to Matt.

"Causey Animal Center. Doctor Greg Causey. A vet's office."

I looked across the street, the drops of blood were the brightest here. The most concentrated. I activated the keypad in my gauntlet, typing a message to Alfred.

Cant talk. Need you to look up as much info as possible about Dr. Greg Causey, a westside vet. Also, one of other thing..."

I typed out the rest of my message and sent it to Alfred, closing the keypad.

"Forty-five minutes left. Let's go inside and see what we find."

wiegeabo
02-17-2012, 11:16 PM
I looked across the street at the single story building nestled between two apartments. I read the sign out front to Matt.

"Causey Animal Center. Doctor Greg Causey. A vet's office."

I looked across the street, the drops of blood were the brightest here. The most concentrated. I activated the keypad in my gauntlet, typing a message to Alfred.

Cant talk. Need you to look up as much info as possible about Dr. Greg Causey, a westside vet. Also, one of other thing..."

I typed out the rest of my message and sent it to Alfred, closing the keypad.

"Forty-five minutes left. Let's go inside and see what we find."

Bruce and I approach silently. The scent just continues to grow, nearly to the point of being overwhelming. I have to push the bile back down my throat ad remind myself I've been around worse.

Get a grip, Matt. Dial it back. Focus.

The scent becomes bearable. So I concentrate on my other senses.

I shoot Bruce an old signal that Stick taught us for situations where stealth was essential.

Quiet. Seems clear.

Byrd Man
02-17-2012, 11:29 PM
Bruce and I approach silently. The scent just continues to grow, nearly to the point of being overwhelming. I have to push the bile back down my throat ad remind myself I've been around worse.

Get a grip, Matt. Dial it back. Focus.

The scent becomes bearable. So I concentrate on my other senses.

I shoot Bruce an old signal that Stick taught us for situations where stealth was essential.

Quiet. Seems clear.

I activated the thermal lenses and looked through the walls of the office. Then I quietly tapped my fingers against my thigh, sending out a message to Matt in Morse code. H-E-A-T. S-I-G-N-A-T-U-R-E-S. 3. D-O-G. C-A-T. H-U-M-A-N. Y-O-U. G-O. R-O-O-F. I. G-O. D-O-O-R.

wiegeabo
02-17-2012, 11:43 PM
I activated the thermal lenses and looked through the walls of the office. Then I quietly tapped my fingers against my thigh, sending out a message to Matt in Morse code. H-E-A-T. S-I-G-N-A-T-U-R-E-S. 3. D-O-G. C-A-T. H-U-M-A-N. Y-O-U. G-O. R-O-O-F. I. G-O. D-O-O-R.

I nod at Bruce and pull out a club. I run over to the side of the building and down the hallway. I jump, planting my foot against the wall of the neighboring building, and pushing off of that to grab the roof of the vet's office.

I flip myself up onto the roof silently. Believe me when I say I can be silent.

As I make my way across, I can hear the rapid breathing of the animals below me. I can also hear the longer breaths of a person.

I slap my club against my thigh hard enough to produce a dull thud. But it's enough to light up what's around me.

A skylight.

Anytime you're ready, Bruce...

Byrd Man
02-17-2012, 11:56 PM
I nod at Bruce and pull out a club. I run over to the side of the building and down the hallway. I jump, planting my foot against the wall of the neighboring building, and pushing off of that to grab the roof of the vet's office.

I flip myself up onto the roof silently. Believe me when I say I can be silent.

As I make my way across, I can hear the rapid breathing of the animals below me. I can also hear the longer breaths of a person.

I slap my club against my thigh hard enough to produce a dull thud. But it's enough to light up what's around me.

A skylight.

Anytime you're ready, Bruce...

My boot struck the door, knocking it off its frame. A batarang was out and at the ready as I came through the door. A skinny, middle aged man stood inside the clinic, wearing a blood stained shirt, a gun in his hands.

BLAM!

A bullet whizzed through the air, rippling through the air just inches from my head. That was when the skylight broke.

wiegeabo
02-18-2012, 12:06 AM
My boot struck the door, knocking it off its frame. A batarang was out and at the ready as I came through the door. A skinny, middle aged man stood inside the clinic, wearing a blood stained shirt, a gun in his hands.

BLAM!

A bullet whizzed through the air, rippling through the air just inches from my head. That was when the skylight broke.


ZIIIIIP

CRASH

I pull the cable from my clubs as I break through the glass to the floor.

The falling glass gives me plenty of sound to work with, and confuses our target. I land in a crouch-

BLAM!

-and the bullet goes flying over my head.

Ignoring the ringing pain in my ears, I knock the gun from his arm and wrap his wrists up with my club line, tying his arms together. I kick out his leg and plant him on the ground, pressing my knee into his chest.

"If you want to ask him some questions, I think he'll listen." I give him a jab with my knee.

"Won't you?"

Byrd Man
02-18-2012, 12:24 AM
ZIIIIIP

CRASH

I pull the cable from my clubs as I break through the glass to the floor.

The falling glass gives me plenty of sound to work with, and confuses our target. I land in a crouch-

BLAM!

-and the bullet goes flying over my head.

Ignoring the ringing pain in my ears, I knock the gun from his arm and wrap his wrists up with my club line, tying his arms together. I kick out his leg and plant him on the ground, pressing my knee into his chest.

"If you want to ask him some questions, I think he'll listen." I give him a jab with my knee.

"Won't you?"

My HUD beeped, displaying lines of information across lenses.

"All I need is one question."

I bent down and looked the man over.

"Doctor Causey. You killed William Jones. You killed him and harvested his organs for the mob, the Gnucci Family specifically. You nearly lost your license two years ago for operating on mob gunshot victims. They protected you and your practice, but for a cost. All the evidence we need is right here in this office. CSI will be able to find the blood in your office and trace it back to him. The coagulants you have in your cabinet will match the ones inside his body. So, the only thing saving you from death row is one simple question: Who helped you?"

"...Johnny Becks," Causey whispered. "He brought the guys here. We needed fresh bodies. If they were dead longer than a half hour, they started being worthless."

I pulled the pin from my lapel and stared into the camera.

"Riddle solved."

"BURN, BABY, BURN! DISCO INFERNO! BURN, BABY, BURN, BURN THAT MAMMA DOWN!"

I answered the phone.

"He...he says where you can come get me. He says you know how to find me. The first clue that's...that's always been there...you got...twenty minutes to find me or...No! He..he says he's gonna blow me up help!"

The line went dead and I slid it back into my belt, I took the pin camera and looked into it before snapping it in two.

"Gordon's on the way," I told Matt. "He'll take care of Causey, but we're going after the Riddler. And here's how..."

wiegeabo
02-18-2012, 01:34 AM
My HUD beeped, displaying lines of information across lenses.

"All I need is one question."

I bent down and looked the man over.

"Doctor Causey. You killed William Jones. You killed him and harvested his organs for the mob, the Gnucci Family specifically. You nearly lost your license two years ago for operating on mob gunshot victims. They protected you and your practice, but for a cost. All the evidence we need is right here in this office. CSI will be able to find the blood in your office and trace it back to him. The coagulants you have in your cabinet will match the ones inside his body. So, the only thing saving you from death row is one simple question: Who helped you?"

"...Johnny Becks," Causey whispered. "He brought the guys here. We needed fresh bodies. If they were dead longer than a half hour, they started being worthless."

I pulled the pin from my lapel and stared into the camera.

"Riddle solved."

"BURN, BABY, BURN! DISCO INFERNO! BURN, BABY, BURN, BURN THAT MAMMA DOWN!"

I answered the phone.

"He...he says where you can come get me. He says you know how to find me. The first clue that's...that's always been there...you got...twenty minutes to find me or...No! He..he says he's gonna blow me up help!"

The line went dead and I slid it back into my belt, I took the pin camera and looked into it before snapping it in two.

"Gordon's on the way," I told Matt. "He'll take care of Causey, but we're going after the Riddler. And here's how..."


I follow Bruce's directions, but even if I had gotten lost, I could have smelled the chemicals five blocks away.

The Burning Disco.

Abandoned for years, rundown. The perfect place criminals just love. But I'm not here for a criminal.

I hear the muffled sobs while I pick my way through the debris on the club's floor. I take a step, but the floor gives way too much-

clickclick

I backflip on instinct as the sound of a dozen whooshes of air come at me. The knives just miss as I plant my body on the floor.

The muffled screams are loud now, but I ignore them.

"Shhhh!" I command when I stand back up. She ignores me and continues to sob.

"Shut up!" I hate shouting that, but I need to hear. Luckily, she complies.

I walk towards her again, even more carefully. But I only get a few steps before the screams start again.

"I said shut-" I feel the pinpricks on my skin, even through the costume.

Lasers.

clickclick

I roll forward, expecting to have triggered another round of blades, or even worse. But that's not what I hear. Instead, I hear what can only be the sound of a half dozen...pendulums swinging through the air?

Except they're not pendulums. Their containers. And when they three pairs slam together, the chemicals inside mix, and ignite in the air.

The trio of explosions nearly deafen me. And the sudden heat and smoke threaten to take my breath away. But I push through, focusing on the now frantic screams of the poor woman put into this death trap.

I crawl my way to her as the place burns around us. Once I get to her, I twist my club's handle, and a blade pops out.

"I'll have you out in a second."

But she emphatically mumbles "Mmm...Mmm!"

"No?"

"Mmm...hmm!"

I reach up to her face and pull off the tape. "You're wired, aren't you?"

"Yes! Oh god, help me!"

***

The Disco Inferno explodes as the fire finally reaches an old gas main. The night sky lights up with heat and flame, letting everyone know that Gotham will go another night without knowing peace and quiet.

Outside of the former club, I cover the hostage's body with my own, protecting her from the falling debris. I ignore the hot pain on my back, knowing my skin is just overreacting and my suit will protect me.

"Thank you. Thank you..." is all she says, repeating the phrase over and over as she holds onto me tightly.

"It's ok now. The police will be here soon."

I let her sob with relief and say a silent prayer of thanks. I don't think I'll tell her that I couldn't see which was the green wire...

Byrd Man
02-18-2012, 01:35 AM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png

Gotham National Bank
3:49 AM


BOOM!

The semtex placed on the bank doors goes off, knocking the heavy doors off their frames. The four masked robbers trot into the lobby with submachine guns.

"Now, be quick about this, boys," the man running the show said from the bank entrance.

http://i522.photobucket.com/albums/w341/ArkhamRPG/Riddler/772912-riddler23.jpg

"The cops are elsewhere, but let's not dilly dally."

The four men began to approach the vault, one of them carrying another package of Semtex. The skylight crashed open and I fell through, landing in the middle of the men and making short work of them.

"No," the Riddler said as I stepped over the unconscious bodies and approached him. "You...the hostage."

"I got lucky," I said, pulling out the phone. "I had help. As we speak, they're taking care of the hostage. You, though, you're the main reason I'm here. Despite what you said, this wasn't about a test of wits. You sent me on a wild goose chase so you could rob this bank. Despite you boasts and flaunting, you're just a common criminal. And worse?"

I held up the phone and displayed the two riddles.

He who hAs it dOesn't teLl it. He who tAkes it doesN't know It. He who kNows it doesn't wanT it. What is it?

A KowBoy rides into town on friday, stays three days aNd leaves on friday. how does he do it?

I switched over and showed all the capital letters from the riddles.

NOLANTI

KBNA

I pressed another button, letting the letters rearrange themselves.

NATIONAL BANK

"You're a predictable and boring criminal. You gave yourself away and I barely broke a sweat. Game over."

"No!"

Riddler suddenly turns and starts to run. I toss a batarang from the hip, tripping Riddler up and knocking him to the ground. I loomed over him and picked him up.

"You're going to jail."

Byrd Man
02-18-2012, 02:54 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png






Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral, Florida

"FF1 to Mission Control," Ben said from the pilot seat. "Are we greenlit?"
"Roger that, FF1. God speed."

We were all dressed in space suits, inside the customized space shuttle designated FF1. It's decked out with a full life support system, an artificial gravity compensator, and my new and improved warp drive. The addition of a warp drive and extra fuel takes means the FF1 doesn't need to hitch a ride on a rocket up into space, we can go up on our own power.

"Here we go," Ben said as he pushed the thrusters forward. The ship rolled down the runway, picking up speed until it was airborne. Ben pulled back on the control yoke (made extra durable for his hands) and the ship climbed up into the sky. Twenty minutes later, we punched into the Thermosphere and past the international space station. The dazzling lights of the stars glittered on the dark side of the planet.

"Lady, gentleman, and Johnny, welcome to space."

"Back to space," Johnny said from the co-pilot seat. "Don't forget we've been here before. Pray to God we don't all end up looking like Boulder Brains over here..."

"Johnny!"

"Naah, he's right. He's being a little jerk about it, but he's right."

Ben turned away from the window and looked at me.

"You mess this up again and we get cooked, Stretcho, I won't hesitate to murderlize ya."

"I..uhhh," I stuttered and stumbled. "It'll work."

"Good. I'm activating the artificial gravity. Get to work on getting the warp drive ready."

I detached from my seat and walked through the ship towards my station. The console has data flashing by on it. Info from the scanners, indicators, and communication arrays. The station is also where the FTL drive is booted up and activated.

"We'll do a test jump. From here to the moon. That's normally a three day journey, but we'll be there in the blink of an eye."

I ran the numbersand calculations and then placed them into the navigation computer.

"Alright...FTL drive is booted up and ready."

"FF1 to Mission Control, we're preparing our first jump."

"Roger that FF1. Just a heads up, the farther you get from Earth the longer the delay between broadcasts...you're looking at a ten second delay when you get to the moon."

"Roger that. Reed, initiate warp on my mark...Now!"

I activated the engines and felt a dizzying feeling wash over my body for just a moment before it stopped. I looked to the front of the shuttle. The carter scarred face of the moon was glowing in the window, big and beautiful.

"FF1 to Mission Control, that's a positive first warp test."

I smiled and slightly pumped my fist as Sue touched my shoulder. Ben turned around and nodded at me.

"Roger that, FF1. Begin setting up your position to leap to HD 69830. Once you're in warp, you'll be out of range to us until you come back. In case of alien contact, do not forget the data package you have stored in the shuttle. God be with you, Mission Control out."

Ben navigated the shuttle into position orbiting around the moon while I set the two fixed points into the warp drive.

"Just a heads up for everyone not int the know, HD 69830 is 41 light years away from Earth."

"Please, please don't tell me it's gonna take that long to get there. I can't go that long without the ladies."

"It should take us about two hours to get there. I would say that's making great time, relatively speaking. Pun intended."

Sue chuckled while Ben and Johnny stared at me oblivious.

"Science joke. Don't worry about it."

"Just punch the button when I tell you to, Egghead. NOW!"

I activated the drive and all the stars in space went fuzzy and unfocused, blinking out of sight. The emptiness of space was pitch black as we cruised through it at over a hundred times faster than the speed of light.

The HD 69830 System
143 Minutes Later

The stars and planets of the galaxy popped back into focus as the ship came out of warp speed. The shuttle cut through the void of space and passed by HD 69830 C, the third and last planetary body in the star system.

"This is just..."

"I know," I said, stretching my neck to look out the port side window at the passing planet. "You wanted to be in the history book, Ben, well welcome to it. The first manned space flight outside the Solar System piloted my Major Benjamin Grimm."

"If'n only my dear old Aunt Petunia could see my now..."

Sue reached out and grabbed my hand. I stretched my neck back and smiled at her. I reached in for a kiss. Our lips started to brush together when...

"Look out!" Johnny screamed out. Sue and I turned and looked as Ben gripped the yoke and shot away from an encroaching shadow.

"What the hell is that?!"

"It's the object from the telescope. The roving moon."

I stretched my neck forward, elongating my eyes to get a better look. Ben circled around to get a better look.

"That's no moon," I said.


http://i39.tinypic.com/2jal2u0.jpg

"That's a weapon!"

I was cut short as an alarm echoed through the ship. A warning klaxon.

"They've got a lock on us!"

Suddenly, the surface of the orb opened up, laser blasts firing out into space. Ben hit the thrusters and attempted evasive maneuvers. I held on as the shuttle spun through space. The ship shook and a whistling sound filled the cabin.

"We've got a breach!"

"We're losing air pressure and oxygen. At this rate, we'll be out of air in five minutes."

"Left rear engines are shot."

"Everyone hold on." Ben said as he navigated the shuttle towards the orb. "We're gonna have to put it down on the planet. Reed, send out an SOS."

"Alright," I said as the shuttle shook and bounced. I activated the communications and began to broadcast. "Mission Control of FF1, we have been hit by an enemy. The roving celestial body is a weapon, I repeat it is is a weapon. It shot us down and we are going down. You won't receive this message until fifteen years from now, but you know what happened. This is Doctor Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four...goodbye."

"Reed!" Sue shouted, grabbing hold of my shoulder and wrapping her arms around me as the surface of the orb rushed up to meet us.



I came to groggy and with unfocused sight. Far, far away I could hear voices.

"-king up."

My eyelids fluttered open and I looked around. I was inside a dark room with nothing on the floors or ceilings. Sue, Johnny, and Ben were all strapped on three sides of the wall. I was on the fourth wall. Bonds of pure energy were wrapped around my wrist and ankles.

"Don't try it, Reed," Ben said. "These damn things tighten and shock ya as soon as ya move. Absorb ya kinetic energy and use it against ya."

"Fascinating....so, where are we? How did we get here?"

"Don't ask me. I woke up just a few minutes ago."

"Being strapped into these things is what woke we up. Johnny?"

"I remember being drug out the wreckage of our ship. I didn't come to good until we got here. I heard voices and I kept hearing a name over and over again."

"What was it?"

"It was-"

Johnny was stopped short as a door opens inside the dark room. Light flooded in, blinding all of us. A figure walked into the room. Even though my eyes were half-blinded, I could tell the form and shape was alien.

"Prisoners," the man said, his voice slightly hissing as he spoke. A larger figure stepped into the room behind him as my eyes adjusted to the light. "Behold his presence, the most glorious and rightful king of Warworld..."

http://i40.tinypic.com/20ti7pg.jpg

"God-King Mongul. All glory be to him and his name."

"Silence, whelp," Mongul said to the alien beside him, a short and hunched over green man dressed in tattered robes. "I would speak to these prisoners alone."

The alien bowed and slinked out the room, leaving us alone with Mongul.

"I want you to know that we come in peace."

"Good," he said with a nod. "The fools who come in the name of peace are always the easiest to destroy and conquer. The name of my planet is Warworld, and you talk of peace? My people found information in the wreckage of your ship. All the information of your homeworld. This Earth. You appear to be a weak and cowardly people, save you four. But, you are still nowhere near as worthy to mentioned in the same breath as Mongul."

Mongul walked towards Sue and eyed her up and down.

"It's a shame this female is not worthy to carry my seed. She may not be my queen, but I can get my uses out of her."

He walked forward and placed his hand on Sue's cheek.

"You shall be Mongul's concubine."

"Get your hands off my wife!" I roared, flailing my arms against my energy bonds. The electricity coursed through my body, but it was just a distant afterthought compared to the white-hot rage that was bubbling out of me.

Mongul chortled, but was suddenly knocked back as an invisible force field smacked into his face and knocked him to the ground.

"You should have listened to the man," Sue said coldly. Mongul stood up, his eyes wide and filled with anger.

"You dare embarrass the god-king Mongul?!" He screamed as he stood back up. "I'll snap your neck for this!"

"You do that," she said calmly, "I'll put an invisible air bubble inside you neck. You kill me, but you suffocate."

Mongul stood in place, unsure of how to act. After several seconds, he turned around and marched out the room.

"READY THEM FOR THE ARENA!" He yelled from down the hallway. "AND SET A COURSE FOR EARTH! I WILL MAKE THEM WATCH AS I DESTROY THEIR HOMEWORLD, AND THEN I WILL WATCH AS THEY DIE FOR MY AMUSEMENT."

Byrd Man
02-18-2012, 05:48 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png


Wayne Tower
4:15 AM

I slipped my mask off as Matt and I entered the bunker underneath Wayne Tower.

"This space is a hundred feet underground with only two entrances, both of them only accessible with a special card, keycode, and voice imprint."

I sat down at the computer while Matt took a "look" with his cane.

"Gordon's taking care of Riddler. He'll be in a holding cell until they move him to county. Or they may ship him out to Arkham. Despite his intelligence, he's obviously unstable."

I spun the chair around and looked my old friend over.

"Are you hurt? I have someone who can patch you up."

I wince, suddenly remembering the collarbone that Gorgon damaged.

"Alfred?" I asked, pressing the comm on my belt.

"Yes, sir?" His voice came out of the computer speakers.

"Did I wake you?"

"Not at all. I routinely only sleep two hours a night, as per your routine."

"I hate to be a bother-"

"But you will be anyway..."

"Could you come down to the bunker? I'm in need of some help."

"On my way..."

sumowrestler
02-18-2012, 06:13 PM
Jordan hobbles slowly down the corridor trying to get to left side hoping to use the wall to support his weight. Before he could get too far, he hears a clack and instantly his feet are stuck. The sudden change of movement had him to fall forward catching himself on the floor with his hands wincing in pain from the contact. Slowly he is able to right himself and to his surprise, the manacles around his ankle gave him enough support to balance himself.

"Great, now I can't move unless I find a way to pry open my new ankle bracelets. At least I don't have to worry about those two stone warriors."

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

Jordan hears the sound behind him being almost certain that he was wrong. The two stone soldiers were coming up behind him. He then starts hearing what sounds like grinding.

"I won't give up. I'll get out of this some how but not sure how yet. My will is stronger then any of these traps."

SCREECH! SCREECH! SCREECH!

The sounds seem to be coming from both his left and right side and it seems that the walls are slowly moving in towards him. Fear starts to creep inside Hal's mind but to refocus, he starts to recite the Green Lantern Oath.

"In Brightest Days, in Blackest Night"

Another sound, more like a small rumbling, catches his attention as it appears that the ceiling in front of him starts coming down to block his way even if he could get from ankle cuffs.

"No Evil shall escape my sight"

The sounds behind him get louder as the two stone warriors move closer.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Jordan puts more air and will power behind his words.

"Let those who worship Evil's might"

The ring starts to glow very slowly. The wall in front of him is over 3\4 the way down to the floor as well as the left and right wall are a couple of feet away from him. Jordan closes his eyes as he feels wind coming in from behind him as two stone weapons are swinging towards his direction. With what he believes to be his last breaths, he shouts the last line of the oath.

"BEWARE MY POWER...GREEN LANTERN'S LIGHT!"

At that moment, his ring shines brighter then it ever has as green energy encompasses him in a bubble that expands outwards smashing the walls on his right and left as well as vaporizing the two stone warriors who were just a couple of inches from striking him in the back plus the wall in front that was just a hair's breadth from sealing the tunnel. After the dust settles, Jordan opens his eyes to see the alien floating in front of him.

"Very good, Hal Jordan of the Green Lantern Corps. Indeed you are worthy to wield the light of Willpower for it was by your willpower that you overcame these obstacles of your mind."

A very surprised and shocked Jordan looked down at his left leg and noticed the cut was gone as well as the pain in his right shoulder from the arrow. The only thing that was real is the distance he traveled down the hallway. On the other side of the alien was a large circular room with a podium in the middle with a large book sitting on it.

"You mean everything I went through was all in my head? Are you saying that my ring worked all this time and I could have blasted everything I saw if it was real? Was this really just a sick joke you played with my head?"

"It was indeed all in your head but it was not meant to be what you call a 'sick joke'. If you ended up succumbing to the mental pain and acceptance of your death, then you would have actually died for your spirit would have been crushed and the drive to live would have went with it. You accepted everything that happens to you there for it affected you as if it was real. Instead of giving into the Light of Yellow Fear, you overcame it with your desire to live and fight even at certain doom. If I understand your training on Oa, you are taught more of the basics of the ring use and physical survival but lack the mental teachings and practices of overcoming some of the greatest fears. However, fear like will power, is apart of the Emotional Spectrum and should be understood and respected instead of ignored like your so called Guardians have tried to do. Each of the Lights can kill you if you let it control you beyond reason. Now it is time for your reward and a better understanding of the forces that you will soon meet in one form or another."

Hezolya then leads Jordan to Inner Circle of the temple. He looks around at the giant statues of seven creatures made of what looks like marble with symbols beneath each one. Six of the seven glow in varying degrees. Starting on his back left is a bull looking statue with the symbol and statue glowing red with tiny red veins running through it. Then going clockwise is a snake creature with orange veins giving the glow to it and on the symbol below. The snake and orange light is immediate to his left. After the orange snake and left front of Jordan is a giant bug creature with a gaping mouth that looks ready to eat anyone who gets too close. This statue is glowing very brightly with the cracks being almost as wide as a finger’s breadth. Its corresponding symbol is also glowing with the same intensity. In front of Jordan is what looks like a whale. On the whale and below the statue Jordan immediately recognizes the symbol of his Corps. As he gets closer, the statue brightens with the same green light as his ring. Off to his right is a strange two headed bird with wings spread out in its full glory. Jordan’s ring brightens even more as he turns toward the strange bird. He also starts getting a headache which he gives credit to everything going on including the mental battle he had to endure. The blue symbol does seem to react to his ring just as the green symbol did. Jordan continued his tour of the statues as he walks in front of a strange squid with very small cracks in it with little light glowing from them. The symbol was also barely showing any color. Lastly, he comes to what looks like a boney mix of a dragon and possibly a T-Rex. This one seemed to be the second brightest glowing of the statues unless he was directly in front of the two headed blue bird. The cracks did seem to be a quarter of an inch wide all along the structure.

“Come, Hal Jordan of Earth, it is time for me to tell you the history of the first War of Light. As you can tell, some of the entities are getting closer to being released which means there are those who are experiencing strong attachment to those emotions. It is also possible that there are a rare few who are actively seeking the power of the Emotional Spectrum but unlikely.”

Hezolya guides Jordan back around to the center and up to the podium holding the Book of Light. He walks up and peers at the book. At first the markings are foreign to him and then he blinks his eyes. In the millisecond that it took him to blink, the markings transform into English words.

“This is the Book of Light. It has the ability to change its script to match whatever the reader is used to. You are able to read it in your native language at the same time as I am able to read it in my own. Ready your mind as we will experience and read the Book of Light.”

Batman
02-21-2012, 02:47 AM
http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Banners/Superman.png

Okay, I admit it. Maybe I wasn't thinking this through.

I mean, I always knew that it was going to come down to the moment that I'd have to put myself out there. And to be honest, I really thought was ready for it. Ma and Pa always told me that when the day came to pass and the dice were set to roll, it would always be up to me to figure out how I move ahead from there. Which isn't to say that I would always make the right decisions automatically - infact, I was flat out told to fully expect a few missteps along the way. And yet when the day finally comes, and I find myself staring down something inevitable that I've dreaded for years, I don't really know how to react. I feel like I should be afraid. Frightened beyond relief, ready to just leave and never turn back to acknowledge what I'd done or how much I've risked to get to this point. But you know something? I'm... not afraid. Not because I want to be brave or save face, however ridiculous that sounds, but because it just feels natural. Like I've always been prepared for it to come.

I think I'm going to do it.

I think I'm going to get the job.

"Mr. Kent?"

Breaking my concentration, I look up at the receptionist and acknowledge my name. She holds up my resume and indicates the offices beyond the front desk. "You're going to see Dr. Kellerman for the interview. Do you have any questions that you'd like to ask us before you go in?"

Shaking my head no, she hands me the resume and I walk past, giving her a nod and smile.

I know that it's a long shot. The job calls for someone a little more qualified, even if it's just an assistant's position. My work experience has been fairly limited at best, unless you count two and a half years working the register at the Smallville Farmer's Market, so I have no sense of entitlement when it comes to getting the job. But after living in Metropolis for as long as I have, I've started to realize that maybe it isn't so good for me to keep going from occupation to occupation just to be able to make my monthly rent. It worked fine when I was sixteen, back when I was still living on the farm. But my landlord is hardly as forgiving as Johnathan Kent.

Besides, I'm starting to really get tired to waking up to leaks in the ceiling. Even if I can seal them up with a blast of heat vision.

"So, I guess we're onto the big question. What makes you think you're qualified for the job?"

I place my hands together and think about the question. I can tell that Dr. Kellerman giving a skeptical eye towards this, probably thinking that I'm only doing it as a courtesy, but truth be told, I am taking this very seriously. I want to answer it right, but I also don't want to lie. The offices are only about five blocks from my apartment, the pay is great for what it is, and I'm very keen on a strict daytime shift. Reminds me of my days bailing hay and tending the livestock. Early to rise, and all of that.

What I don't want is something that I have to cheat to excell at. The day I left Smallville, I was asked a question by Lana Lang that gave me enough pause to carry it with me to the city. "Clark,", she began, without a hint of irony. "I know what you can do. The extraordinary things that none of us could even dream about, you're going to be taking that with you. You could be anything you ever wanted. You could be a scientist. A professional athlete. A cop. A doctor. Why are you so determined to make it in the small businesses? Why not try for something a little more on your level?"

And the truth is, because it is my level. Clark Kent is my level. Superman, or whatever it's meant to be called, would be so much easier to bring to the table when it comes to the path my life has taken. Lana was right, if I wanted to, I could do anything. Be anything. But then I wouldn't really be making anyone else's life any better than it is. I might cure cancer, sure. But what about everyone else? People that genuinely thrive and work hard to get to where they're at, or try to work towards where they should be. What kind of person would I be if I just let everything that would stop someone else fall to the wayside - just because I'm different?

I look Dr. Kellerman in the eye and try to remember that.

"To be honest, sir, I want this. I know that I'm not really your ideal candidate, but I know I'm dependable enough to become that. I can promise you that I'd never miss a day of work, I'd never be a nuiscence, and I'd never look to cause trouble. I just want to do the best job I can do."

He considers my plight, and looks over the resume again, giving particular notice to my lack of experience. At first, I want to be optimistic about it and say that maybe he'll just be willing to look past it and accept what I'm offering. But even I can't ignore it when I hear his pulse accellerate, indicating that he's about to lie. And whenever someone's about to lie during an interview, it's never for the right reason.

"Well, son, I'd love to have you aboard. We really need this position filled immediately. And I promise, we will take you into consideration for it. Are you availible to call during the afternoon?"

Even though I can already tell where this is going, and the fact that I'm not going to get that call, I give a nod.

"Great. Great, we'll be in touch."

I don't frown. I don't try to look disappointed. I simply shake his hand, thank him for his time, and leave.

Cross that one off the list. Guess I'm going to need another Classifieds.

"What in the..."

I can hardly believe my eyes as I stare blankly ahead, fixated on the biggest headline on the stands. It's not the headline itself that catches my attention, though that certainly didn't go without notice. It's what I find directly under it that gets me to stop and look, just as I finish making my purchase of all the local papers. The Star, the Journal, Daily Bugle, Gotham Gazette, anything that might help me broaden my horizons. But I forget about all of them the minute that I see the latest edition of The Daily Planet, staring back at me like it's a taunt. I almost want to drop everything and run, but my better sense of judgement just tells me to grab an issue and put it on the counter, face side down.

They got a picture. They actually got a picture of Superman. I can hardly believe my eyes, as I look over at the other copies and use my microscopic vision to scan through most of the headlining article. It details my fight with that creature that I left to the police, the one that tried to seize the radiation supply at STAR Labs. That much I expected, and it was a big part of why I had a second's hesitation in leaping into action that day. This, though. This all but makes me wish I had never even put the uniform on in the first place.

"The Planet, too? Alright, that'll be a buck fifty."

I'm so lost on the image of... well, myself... that I nearly don't acknowledge the man.

"Huh? Oh, right. Sorry, I was... I was lost for a moment."

Making sure not to give the vender direct eye contact, I take the paper and continue on my way. Then stop a few steps ahead, tuck my purchases under my arm, and pull up the hood of my jacket over my face. This is... this changes everything. My face is out there, now. Me, in that costume, is going to be all over the news in the next few hours if it hasn't already been appearing all over the networks. Ma was right to be worried, I don't know why I never thought to wear a mask. I just figured that I'd be so fast that I'd never be caught like this.

But now everyone can see me.

I hurry home and lock the door behind me, dumping everything onto the couch and proceeding to pace the living room floor for the next ten minutes.

This is bad. This is very bad. They know my face. At any moment, they could spot me on the streets and arrest me for what I've been doing. Not that I find protecting people to be particularly illegal, but try telling them that. People will want to know everything about me. Who I am, where I came from, where I was raised, everything. And they'll want to know about Ma. I can't let it lead back to her, even if they do find me after this. She's done so much for me, and I can't let her life become a circus all because of me. Pa wouldn't want that.

I need to think. I need some time to go away. Be by myself somewhere.

In a second's time, I've changed out of my street clothes and into the uniform, stepping out onto my balcony. Then with little more than a cautious breath of fresh air, I leap out into the skies... and keep going.

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG5-18.png

Up, up, and away.

Carnage27
02-21-2012, 09:07 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png

"Erik," Mystique says, rousing me from slumber. "Erik, there's been an attack on Washington."

I sit up instantly, turning on the television. I see the death and destruction, but seeing the attack is by a terrorist cell surprises me. "This is a large attack. I didn't think Kobra had this kind of resources. Their leader is bold."

"It's said he's a metahuman."

"If he is, it means the government crackdown will become even more intense," I say, rubbing my chin. "It may even lead to all out war."

"That's what we wanted, isn't it?"

"We wanted it on our terms, my dear," I respond, standing and putting on my armor and helmet. "This is concocted. A plan by the anti-mutant powers that be. I'm sure of it. We need to be prepared. Repercussions could come at any-"

BAM

An explosion rocks the ground above my bunker, and I sense large signatures outside, "We're under attack."

I rush up the stairs and out into our compound, and am almost stepped on by a gigantic foot. I place a force field around myself, causing the attacking creature to turn and look at me, and for the first time in a long time, I feel fear.

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj306/Carnage27/Sentinel_Marvel_Vs.jpg

Byrd Man
02-21-2012, 10:18 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png





Previously




I came to groggy and with unfocused sight. Far, far away I could hear voices.

"-king up."

My eyelids fluttered open and I looked around. I was inside a dark room with nothing on the floors or ceilings. Sue, Johnny, and Ben were all strapped on three sides of the wall. I was on the fourth wall. Bonds of pure energy were wrapped around my wrist and ankles.

"Don't try it, Reed," Ben said. "These damn things tighten and shock ya as soon as ya move. Absorb ya kinetic energy and use it against ya."

"Fascinating....so, where are we? How did we get here?"

"Don't ask me. I woke up just a few minutes ago."

"Being strapped into these things is what woke we up. Johnny?"

"I remember being drug out the wreckage of our ship. I didn't come to good until we got here. I heard voices and I kept hearing a name over and over again."

"What was it?"

"It was-"

Johnny was stopped short as a door opens inside the dark room. Light flooded in, blinding all of us. A figure walked into the room. Even though my eyes were half-blinded, I could tell the form and shape was alien.

"Prisoners," the man said, his voice slightly hissing as he spoke. A larger figure stepped into the room behind him as my eyes adjusted to the light. "Behold his presence, the most glorious and rightful king of Warworld..."

http://i40.tinypic.com/20ti7pg.jpg

"God-King Mongul. All glory be to him and his name."

"Silence, whelp," Mongul said to the alien beside him, a short and hunched over green man dressed in tattered robes. "I would speak to these prisoners alone."

The alien bowed and slinked out the room, leaving us alone with Mongul.

"I want you to know that we come in peace."

"Good," he said with a nod. "The fools who come in the name of peace are always the easiest to destroy and conquer. The name of my planet is Warworld, and you talk of peace? My people found information in the wreckage of your ship. All the information of your homeworld. This Earth. You appear to be a weak and cowardly people, save you four. But, you are still nowhere near as worthy to mentioned in the same breath as Mongul."

Mongul walked towards Sue and eyed her up and down.

"It's a shame this female is not worthy to carry my seed. She may not be my queen, but I can get my uses out of her."

He walked forward and placed his hand on Sue's cheek.

"You shall be Mongul's concubine."

"Get your hands off my wife!" I roared, flailing my arms against my energy bonds. The electricity coursed through my body, but it was just a distant afterthought compared to the white-hot rage that was bubbling out of me.

Mongul chortled, but was suddenly knocked back as an invisible force field smacked into his face and knocked him to the ground.

"You should have listened to the man," Sue said coldly. Mongul stood up, his eyes wide and filled with anger.

"You dare embarrass the god-king Mongul?!" He screamed as he stood back up. "I'll snap your neck for this!"

"You do that," she said calmly, "I'll put an invisible air bubble inside you neck. You kill me, but you suffocate."

Mongul stood in place, unsure of how to act. After several seconds, he turned around and marched out the room.

"READY THEM FOR THE ARENA!" He yelled from down the hallway. "AND SET A COURSE FOR EARTH! I WILL MAKE THEM WATCH AS I DESTROY THEIR HOMEWORLD, AND THEN I WILL WATCH AS THEY DIE FOR MY AMUSEMENT."


OOC: Changing from 1st person to 3rd.


A platoon of Mongul's heavily armed guards led the Four down the corridors of the prison. The reptilian alien who was at Mongul's side earlier led them.

"What is this place?" Reed asked the alien. "Earlier, you said this is Warworld, but it's not a real planet. The surface appears to be made of synthetic materials and there are weapons implanted in the ground like trees."

"Silence," the alien hissed. "It is not your place to ask questions."

"I'm a scientist, all I do is ask questions."

"If you must know, Warworld will be the heart of the God-King Mongul's glorious empire. He, the second of his name, will reclaim his birthright from the usurpers."

"Usurpers," Sue asked.

"The wicked men and women who murdered Mongul, God-King of the glorious Mongul empire and the first in his name, as he slept. They forced God-King Mongul, the second of his name, to flee from his homeworld as a child. He was raised on Warworld with the empire's finest warriors and those who are deemed worthy to fight in his honor."

"How exactly are ya deemed worthy?"

The alien turned to the Four and smirked. "The arena."

As they navigated down the long corridor, the sound of crowd noise began to fill the air. The sound of feet pounding shake the whole corridor as they are led out through a long tunnel and into the arena...

http://i42.tinypic.com/igeubs.jpg


The crowd roared its approval, as well as its contempt for the Four as they were led to the middle of the arena. Sitting high above monitoring the festivities was Mongul, a pleased smirk on his face. He stood from his chair and a hush fell on the crowd.

"Who comes before Mongul?" His voice boomed through the arena.

"My lord," the reptilian said, bowing as he spoke. "These four prisoners were found guilty of crimes against Warworld, among them is their feeble attempt to invade our planet. They are spies, warriors, and cowards..."

"We came in peace," Reed spat out.

"Silence!" The alien hissed, jabbing Reed in the side. "You are cowards, liars, and unworthy to even grace the God-King's presence."

"Bite me, snake-boy," Johnny said with a roll of his eyes. "Get this crap over with."

Two of the guards grabbed Johnny while a third struck him in the stomach, dropping him to his knees in pain.

"What has the God-King declared?" Mongul asked, a sadistic grin plastered on his face.

"That these four be sentenced to die in the arena."

A roar went through the crowd as the spectators rose to their feet and cheered the verdict. Mongul let the cries go on for several minutes before he raised his hand, a sudden and eerie hush fell on the arena.

"That is not all. As a further punishment, the God-King has declared that the homeworld of these four will suffer the same fate as their champions. While we watch them die inside the arena, they will watch as Warworld tears their home apart."

Mongul sat back down on his throne and pressed a button on the arm console. The roof of the arena slid open, revealing a night sky filled with stars. He pressed another button and opened up a communications line.

"Jump," he said. The entire planet experienced a brief flutter of vertigo before the stars in the sky all blinked out of view. "Let's hope you four survive long enough to see you planet die. I would hate to cause all that destruction without properly tormenting you. Now, BEGIN!"

The crowd cheered loudly as the guards released the Four from their bounds and hurried out the arena floor, the reptilian just behind them and running for dear life. A gate shuddered open and a dozen alien soldiers marched out, melee weapons in their hands. Their leader snorted and roared loudly, much to the crowd's approval.

"This is the best they have for me?!" He yelled.

http://i42.tinypic.com/a2esz8.jpg

"Bolphunga the Unrelenting will barely break a sweat killing you!"

With that, Bolphunga and his men charged towards the Four.

trustyside-kick
02-22-2012, 02:40 PM
OOC: Previously (http://forums.superherohype.com/showpost.php?p=22401701&postcount=286)...
Black Bolt

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/maximustoys1.jpg

"And you all thought that my madness was going to be the end of me...why it is going to be what saves our glorious race! Brother and brother, working together! Who would have thought? All these years I longed to usurp you Blackagar when...the thrill that we find ourselves in at this very moment is like no other! And to think...you are actually going along with one of my initial plans. Because in the end, I needed your voice after all to power these beautiful concoctions."

Maximus looks out at the black emptiness that is space with a smile of glee upon his face. He spreads his arms wide, as though he was out there right now taking it all in...basking in the feeling of greatness he feels. Soaking in it. The Chorus Sentries, as Maximus calls them, truly are glorious and as he knew they are operating at 100% efficiency. The raw and powerful quasi-sonic powers of his elder brother as their energy source, stored within their batteries, they are one of his most prized inventions. Second only to the very vessel that the Royal Family is now flying through space through, with the beloved city Attilan flying as well.

"Plans?"

"Cosmic Conquest!"

"We are at war with Apokolips, not the entirety of the cosmos, Maximus. We are not conquerors. So know your place, as it is still being the Prince of the Inhumans, and await further orders from your brother: the King."

"...Yes...my Queen."

Maximus bows to Medusa, in an almost mocking way, and slithers over to his brother whom sits in his chair. This is no ordinary chair, mind you, for the device that encompasses the head of the King is the most precious of Inhuman technologies ever concocted in the history of their people. With the control panel at each arm rest, Black Bolt can dampen or modify the main weapon of the warship: a large cannon that harnesses his quasi-sonic scream.

"You understand me, brother. Once the galaxy sees the true strength of our race...for their own protection they would put up arms against us. Once they see Apokolips in the aftermath as being nothing more than a dead rock with its fire burnt out...you shall see. But one cannot take another course of action. This is the only way. To safely get Ahura back and ensure that these mongrels do not try again..."

Looking back over to Medusa, who raises her brow in curiosity, Maximus the Mad simply smiles and as he makes the last few adjustments to the device encasing his elder brother's head.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/676729-maximus_and_blackagar.jpg

"It would seem that someone is expecting us, cousins!"

"An incoming transmission...from who?"

"Sister, perhaps we should not advance until the reception is clear."

"Noted, Crystal. Halt the warship and the rest of our forces."

As Gorgon's call grabbed everyone's attention, immediately the screen to the warship flips to a frequency, receiving a transmission. At first there is some static and the words coming through are jumbled and unclear. But seconds later, the image of Orion of New Genesis appears, and his expression is of a most angered one.

"Good King Blackbolt, none can understand your grievances better than us on New Genesis...but I am more than aware of what High Father and the Quintessence decreed. You must redirect your aircraft and forces back to--my goodness...you brought Attilan with you?!"

"So the blind fool can see."

"Fool?!"

"Yes, a fool for you continue to play lapdog to the Quintessence because your precious 'father' is in league with them and blind because you cannot see as they could that this is our only course of action. We will reclaim my nephew. Too long has my brother remained silent!"

"You would call me a fool, Medusa, when you let the king's brother back into your family with open arms after all the troubles he has brought?!"

"Desperate times call for desperate measures sometimes, Orion."

Disappointed, Orion looks at Blackagar Boltagon who sits silently on his chair. As they trade glances, he wishes to inspire some sort of sense into the Inhuman King...but rather than sense, Orion sees something he is much too familiar with, for it has plagued him his entire life: rage. Rage, pain, agony, and distraught. With one simply gesture, Blackbolt raises his hand, and signals Orion to begone. Before the adopted son of Highfather contemplates on heeding Blackagar's wishes, he utters one last sentence.

"Should your foolish endeavors fail...you will have endangered us all, Good King. Reach your senses before it is too late...else we be enemies."

"The only foolish act is not ours, but your should you choose to act on your word, Orion."

The warship is silent. Medusa is somewhat surprised she let Maximus do as much as he had just done, but then the thoughts of Ahura overwhelm her. Smiling with glee at the silence, Maximus looks over at the others, as Crystal, Triton, Karnak, and Gorgon too choose to remain silent. He then looks to his brother Blackbolt, who shows a flicker of...uncertainty as Orion remains on the screen, rather than leave them be as he was told to do.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/676730-maximus_and_blackagar_2.jpg

Growing frustrated, by trying not to show it to Orion or any of the members of the Royal Family, Maximus mouths out the words 'say the word' once more to the Inhuman King. But his brother is not giving him his attention as his eyes remained locked with Orion's on the screen. Agitated Maximus walks up to the command center, points up at the screen towards Orion's face and looks at his brother.

"The days of the Stoic Inhuman are gone! Now rises the Age where we shall get our respect! Now comes the tides of War to sweep across the blighted world of Apokolips! Or will it be another time, when perhaps dear Crystal, or Karnak, or Triton or even...your beautiful Queen gets snatched up by the Apokoliptian brutes?! WHEN WILL BE THE TIME, THAT THESE WRETCHED CREATURES OF THE COSMOS FACE JUSTICE, BROTHER?!"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/bbwhisper1.jpg

"What was that, brother?! I DON'T THINK ORION HEARD YOU!"

Turning off the dampener on the mechanism encircling Black Bolt's head, he speaks the same word in the same amount of volume, for all to hear.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/bbwhisper2.jpg

His whisper can shatter mountains...and right now, up in space from the warship vessel ingeniously constructed by Maximus the Mad, it had just struck the surface of Apokolips.

Andy C.
02-22-2012, 07:32 PM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/jokerlogo.jpg



"Do you know why people laugh?" Doctor Jonathan Crane asked casually, looking over his shoulder at the pale figure strapped to the table.

The Joker, unable to move his arms and legs despite his considerable strength--the guards quickly learned to use heavy steel chains to keep him down after he snapped off on orderly's fingers--eyed Crane curiously, studying the wiry doctor as he carefully filled a syringe.

"Again with the 'whys'?" he asked, annoyed.

"Oh, I don't mean the philosophical why," Crane responded. "You've already said quite a bit on that line of thinking. I'm speaking purely of the biological function of it, the practical purpose that our species evolved with the impulse to have such a reaction."

The Joker raised an eyebrow.

"People laugh as a response to fear," Crane said, a gleam in his eye. "Back when we were still hairless primates, we needed a loud and simple way to communicate with each other, especially in situations involving uncertain or unexpected developments. If we encountered something we didn't know about or didn't expect, we would need to quickly let the other hairless primates know whether something was a threat. Laughter, then, emerged as a sort of all-clear signal, to tell the other primates in the area that the unexpected was no actual threat. It's a relieving of the physical tension necessary for survival. In short, it is a secondary response to the initial reaction of fear."

Crane strolled around the table, casually toying with the syringe in his hand.

"That's why the jokes at which we laugh the most are usually the darkest, or at least he most surprising," he said. "We don't laugh because bad things are happening; we laugh because bad things aren't happening to us."

"Interesting theory, doc," the Joker mused. "But what about those of us who laugh when bad things are happening to us?"

"Escape from reality, most likely," Crane waved the question away. "Laughing is often also coupled with the release of biochemicals which alter one's state of mind."

"So if a guy has a reality so awful that he wants to get away from it, he could just keep laughing until his brain drugs itself and makes him crazy?" he asked with a giggle. "Golly, I'd hate to see what happens to a fella that's been through that."

Dr. Crane snorted.

"I thought you'd find this sort of discussion rather stimulating," he said. "After all, you seem to have a penchant for dark comedy, and the study of phobias and fear is my area of expertise. So the two related reactions may give us something in common. I understand that you are also something of a rather brilliant chemist, as am I. That's two things we have in common."

"I count three," the Joker said.

"How so?"

"Why do you think Dr. Arkham had me sent to you?" the Joker asked. "I'm not here because of severe panic attacks or anxiety or crippling phobias. So why would he send me to the fear doctor?"

Crane smirked.

"Because I'm the single best doctor this hospital has, and he knows it," he said proudly.

"No," Joker said with a grin. "He sent me to you because he's scared of you. Because you're a prototypical Hollywood mad doctor, and he likes having you around to threaten the unruly patients with. You keep the pests from ruining his crop of good little crazies. You're his scarecrow."

Doctor Crane's smirk turned into a scowl, which made the Joker smile even wider.

"So that's three things we've got in common, Scarecrow," he said. "We're the terrible monsters that Arkham doesn't like to think about. He's hoping you scare me into being more cooperative, and he's hoping I get under your skin and into your head so badly that you crack and aren't a threat to his position anymore. But both of us make the good doctor pee his pants just a little when he thinks about us."

"Perhaps you're onto something there," Crane said, dabbing a cotton ball soaked in alcohol onto the Joker's wrist to sterilize it. "Maybe we'll make a game of it: see who cracks first, you or me. I'll go first."

With that, Dr. Crane stuck the syringe into the Joker's wrist, pumping his veins full of a dark red substance.

Minutes later, the corridors or Arkham Asylum resounded with blood-curdling howls. Those who heard it couldn't be sure if what they heard was laughing or screaming.

Carnage27
02-22-2012, 09:26 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

An explosion rocks a building in front of us, and rubble rains down into the street. I slide behind the fallen concrete for cover. Bullets bounce and ricochet off the concrete, and I look over at Wildcat, "Honestly, do we ever get a chance at a quiet night!? I'd like to finish a book every now and then!"

"Hell yea!" Wildcat says, firing one of the guns he picked up into the crowd of Kobra soldiers firing at us. "Although a beer would be better!"

"I can't get drunk, remember?" I respond with a laugh. "You ready?"

"Let's do it!"

We roll out from behind the rubble, each taking one side, and he fires indiscriminately into the terrorists. I toss my shield as one of them gets ready to toss a grenade in our direction, causing him to drop it. The group scatters as the blast goes off, throwing them through the air.

Turning the corner, I immediately push Ted back and raise my shield. A blue beam of energy smashes into it, taking me off my feet and driving me into the asphalt. Whatever shot at me powers up for another shot, and I roll into a building for some cover. But the beam cuts right through it, almost bringing the place down on top of my head.

Jumping through a window and across the street, I put my back to the building and look for Ted. He gives me a look, and shakes a grenade in his hand. I nod, and he tosses it before running across the street.

"That weapon seem incredibly familiar, huh?"

He's not wrong. The blue energy is incredibly similar to weapons we saw from HYDRA in the war. With those weapons Red Skull and HYDRA almost conquered the world. If Kobra somehow came across them, I don't know if we'll be able to win here tonight.

I look around the corner, and another bolt fires from the stationary gun. But I get a look at the building it's protecting. It's covered by Kobra's flags, "That's where Kobra is."

"Yea, but how are we going to get around that damn gun?"

And then a barrage of missiles flies down the street, striking the gun, and disabling it before it can fire another shot. I turn from it and see a surprising sight hovering above the street.

http://i1206.photobucket.com/albums/bb455/bdluevano/iron-man.gif


"I thought you aren't a team player," I smirk at Tony Stark.

"Yea well I couldn't let you get all the-"

BAM

Another blue bolt strikes Iron Man knocking him out of the air and through the fifth floor of a building down the street. I turn to see a rolling tank coming down the street, "Oh that's not good."

But as the tank comes closer, a bolt of lightening slams down onto it, and a streak slams into its side, ripping it in half. Out of the wreckage steps Diana of the Amazons, and from the sky drops Thor Odison. My entire team is here. The ones who I recruited have come to aid me in my time of need. Iron Man exits the building and meets us in the middle of the street.

"Captain! Iron warrior! Thor Odinson is honored to take the field of battle with you once more!" Thor booms with an anxious smile on his face. "And with an Amazon no less! I hope your ability matches your beauty!"

"Asgardians," Diana mutters. "You'll see what I have to offer."

"I sure hope so," Tony says half under his breath, half so everyone can hear him, which draws a look from Diana which would knock a normal man over.

"It is a shame all that oppose us are these mere humans," Thor laments.

Which is exactly when the large, floating battleship lights up in the night sky. The helicarrier. Lord's secret weapon and floating metahuman prison. Small aircraft and what seem to be flying agents pour from it and into the air to wrest back control of the capital.

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj306/Carnage27/515111-helicarrier03_super.jpg

This is what Lord wanted. A show of Checkmate's might to bring down the terrorists and metahumans alike. And then he'd continue on, rounding up the rest of the mutants for god knows what.

"You just had to say something, didn't ya, Renaissance Fair?" Ted asks Thor.

"Lord's up there," I say. "Here's the plan. Thor, Iron Man you keep the helicarrier busy. Who knows what kind of weaponry it's got, so be careful. Ted, Diana, take care of the ground. Deal with any Kobra or Checkmate agents that attempt to bring you down."

"I shall bring it crashing to Earth!" Thor bellows, tossing his hammer into the air, dragging him with it.

"What will you be doing?" Diana asks.

"I'm going in there and taking out Kobra," I say, securing my shield and walking towards the base. "And then I'm going to take down Maxwell Lord."

wiegeabo
02-22-2012, 09:56 PM
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Wayne Tower
4:15 AM

I slipped my mask off as Matt and I entered the bunker underneath Wayne Tower.

"This space is a hundred feet underground with only two entrances, both of them only accessible with a special card, keycode, and voice imprint."

I sat down at the computer while Matt took a "look" with his cane.

"Gordon's taking care of Riddler. He'll be in a holding cell until they move him to county. Or they may ship him out to Arkham. Despite his intelligence, he's obviously unstable."

I spun the chair around and looked my old friend over.

"Are you hurt? I have someone who can patch you up."

I wince, suddenly remembering the collarbone that Gorgon damaged.

"Alfred?" I asked, pressing the comm on my belt.

"Yes, sir?" His voice came out of the computer speakers.

"Did I wake you?"

"Not at all. I routinely only sleep two hours a night, as per your routine."

"I hate to be a bother-"

"But you will be anyway..."

"Could you come down to the bunker? I'm in need of some help."

"On my way..."





"Alfred? Alfred...? Wait, you're butler? He helps you? I'm not sure if I should be surprised or not."

I roll my shoulders and stretch out my back. "I'm fine. Been hurt a lot worse than this over the years. Nothing a couple of aspirin won't fix up. And maybe a shot and a beer."

I pull my mask off and let the cool air wash over my head. "I'll take it for granted he can be trusted. Unless you think he'd rather not know. Keeping secrets isn't much fun."

Byrd Man
02-22-2012, 10:08 PM
"Alfred? Alfred...? Wait, you're butler? He helps you? I'm not sure if I should be surprised or not."

I roll my shoulders and stretch out my back. "I'm fine. Been hurt a lot worse than this over the years. Nothing a couple of aspirin won't fix up. And maybe a shot and a beer."

I pull my mask off and let the cool air wash over my head. "I'll take it for granted he can be trusted. Unless you think he'd rather not know. Keeping secrets isn't much fun."

"He can be trusted. Even if he couldn't, who would believe a blind man as a masked vigilante? I just saw it myself, and I'm having a hard time believing it."

The elevator leading into the bunker dinged and the doors slid open. Alfred stepped out with a tray of medical supplies and tea.


****


"There we go," Alfred said as he put the finishing touches on the bandages wrapped around my collarbone. "I would say something about you staying off your feet for a few days, but I know it would fall upon deaf ears. Is that all you require, sir?"

"For now."

"Well, I am going back to bed. Don't call unless you and Mister Murdock are dead."

"You probably would like that, wouldn't you."

"Inheriting your billions of dollars and being able to sleep at night...no, I should say I wouldn't like that at all. Good night, sir. Good night, Mister Murdock."

I chuckled and said goodbye to Alfred as he walked back on to the elevator and disappeared inside.

"So," I said, turning to Matt. "I thought you were from New York? What brings you to Gotham?"

wiegeabo
02-22-2012, 10:51 PM
"He can be trusted. Even if he couldn't, who would believe a blind man as a masked vigilante? I just saw it myself, and I'm having a hard time believing it."

The elevator leading into the bunker dinged and the doors slid open. Alfred stepped out with a tray of medical supplies and tea.


****


"There we go," Alfred said as he put the finishing touches on the bandages wrapped around my collarbone. "I would say something about you staying off your feet for a few days, but I know it would fall upon deaf ears. Is that all you require, sir?"

"For now."

"Well, I am going back to bed. Don't call unless you and Mister Murdock are dead."

"You probably would like that, wouldn't you."

"Inheriting your billions of dollars and being able to sleep at night...no, I should say I wouldn't like that at all. Good night, sir. Good night, Mister Murdock."

I chuckled and said goodbye to Alfred as he walked back on to the elevator and disappeared inside.

"So," I said, turning to Matt. "I thought you were from New York? What brings you to Gotham?"

I sip the tea. Earl Grey. Not my favorite, but beggars can't be choosers. And it's still better than the poison Foggy tries to give me.

"A case of mine when south. He was innocent, but was convicted anyway." I can sense Bruce giving me a look. "I can tell when they're innocent."

"Anyway, it we didn't just lose the case. The judge did everything but come out and declare he was working with the DA. So I...'questioned' him about it at his home the next night. Turns out he threw the case to get his wife's gambling debt wiped clean. By a citizen of you're fair city named Biglia. Heard of him by and chance?"

Byrd Man
02-22-2012, 11:00 PM
I sip the tea. Earl Grey. Not my favorite, but beggars can't be choosers. And it's still better than the poison Foggy tries to give me.

"A case of mine when south. He was innocent, but was convicted anyway." I can sense Bruce giving me a look. "I can tell when they're innocent."

"Anyway, it we didn't just lose the case. The judge did everything but come out and declare he was working with the DA. So I...'questioned' him about it at his home the next night. Turns out he threw the case to get his wife's gambling debt wiped clean. By a citizen of you're fair city named Biglia. Heard of him by and chance?"

"It rings a bell. Let me see what I have on him..."

I sat down in front of the computer and went to work. Within a minutes, the organizational chart of all of Gotham's Four Families was displayed on the screen.

"Bigglia is a low-level associate of the Flacones. He runs a sports book and loanshark business for him. Bigglia has a varied criminal history. Multiple charges of assault and battery, extortion, racketeering, and one spousal abuse charge. He was apparently dabbling in business with the Maronis, but he actually managed to be one of the few Maroni associates to avoid Frank Castle's rampage."

Matt shot me a look.

"Long story, I'll tell you later. But Bigglia runs his rackets out of a bar in the Bowery, that's normally Maroni territory, but the Flacones are moving in with Salvatore Maroni dead. Anything else you need to know?"

wiegeabo
02-22-2012, 11:14 PM
"It rings a bell. Let me see what I have on him..."

I sat down in front of the computer and went to work. Within a minutes, the organizational chart of all of Gotham's Four Families was displayed on the screen.

"Bigglia is a low-level associate of the Flacones. He runs a sports book and loanshark business for him. Bigglia has a varied criminal history. Multiple charges of assault and battery, extortion, racketeering, and one spousal abuse charge. He was apparently dabbling in business with the Maronis, but he actually managed to be one of the few Maroni associates to avoid Frank Castle's rampage."

Matt shot me a look.

"Long story, I'll tell you later. But Bigglia runs his rackets out of a bar in the Bowery, that's normally Maroni territory, but the Flacones are moving in with Salvatore Maroni dead. Anything else you need to know?"

Amidst keystrokes and computer noises, Bruce has the information in no time.

"Yeah, where can I get one of these? And will it do Braille? It took me the better part of two days just to find out some of that. And that includes putting a hurt on a number of Gotham's disreputables."

"You feel up to going out again? I don't like the idea of this guy being out there another day. And I like less the idea of my client spending another day in prison that he doesn't have to."

Byrd Man
02-22-2012, 11:15 PM
Amidst keystrokes and computer noises, Bruce has the information in no time.

"Yeah, where can I get one of these? And will it do Braille? It took me the better part of two days just to find out some of that. And that includes putting a hurt on a number of Gotham's disreputables."

"You feel up to going out again? I don't like the idea of this guy being out there another day. And I like less the idea of my client spending another day in prison that he doesn't have to."

I stood up and slid my mask back on.

"I owe you one. Let's go."

wiegeabo
02-22-2012, 11:22 PM
Bruce stops his car after a quick and fast drive through Gotham's streets. I take a moment to regain the senses I still have.

"Ok, now I'm sort of glad I couldn't see the world whip by us. Although, I bet this car's a sight to see."

We get out and Bruce points out the bar.

"How about we do it the other way around this time. I'll go the front door, you take the back, we'll meet in the middle."

Byrd Man
02-22-2012, 11:26 PM
Bruce stops his car after a quick and fast drive through Gotham's streets. I take a moment to regain the senses I still have.

"Ok, now I'm sort of glad I couldn't see the world whip by us. Although, I bet this car's a sight to see."

We get out and Bruce points out the bar.

"How about we do it the other way around this time. I'll go the front door, you take the back, we'll meet in the middle."

"Agreed. The bar should be closed. Last call was at three, but that never stops men like Bigglia. I wouldn't be surprised if there's still a dozen people inside."

I pulled a grapnel shooter out from my belt and shot it into the air. It caught on a building and launched me into the air. I landed behind the bar and kicked in the heavy wood back door as I heard the front door crash under Matt's boot.

Andy C.
02-23-2012, 05:43 PM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/spideylogo.png



Gym class is never fun.

Gym class is especially not fun when you're the school's resident super-geek and you have the same class period as the all-star quarterback.

And gym class is especially not fun when you're the school's resident super-geek and you have the same class period as the all-star quarterback, and apparently everyone thinks you accidentally broke the bench-press machine.

"Nice going, Parker," Flash scowls. "Whatever you did, you've probably wrecked the machine!"

"What are you talking about?" I say, absent-mindedly lifting the bar up and down. "I didn't do anything."

"Take a look, freakshow," he says, pointing to the stack of weights I'm lifting.

I stop when I see that I haven't been lifting the usual two plates I can manage. I've been lifting the whole stack, well over five hundred pounds, like it was nothing.

"Um....I, uh....." I sputter. "I must have gotten the pulleys tangled up somehow. Or something."

"What's going on?" Rand Roberts comes over to see what Flash is griping about.

"Puny Parker here screwed up the bench-press machine, and now he's making it look like he can bench 500 pounds," Flash explains.

"Heh, maybe he really can," Rand jokes.

"Huh-huh, yeah, Puny Parker benching 500," laughs Kenny 'King Kong' McFarlane.

"Get outta there, geek," Flash practically yanks me out from the bench. "If Parker can lift that much, then I can too."

Everyone has a laugh at my expense, and then Flash tries to lift the bar.

"Hnnnnnnnnnngh!
he grunts, straining to lift the bar, but it barely even budges.

He tries again, and still gets nothing. A third time, straining so hard his veins start to bulge, but still nothing.

Now, I'm not the one that the jocks are laughing at.

"Funny trick, Parker," Rand says, slapping me on the back. "How'd you do it?"

I just shrug, deciding it probably isn't the best idea to admit that there isn't any trick at all.

"Old family secret," I say simply, before going over to one of the other machines, making sure I've only got two or three plates stacked up, and then making a big show out of straining to lift them. For the rest of the period, Flash just stares daggers at me.


Once gym class is over and I'm changing back into my regular clothes after a quick shower, Flash corners me in the locker room.

"Cute, Parker," he snarls. "Really cute."

"You noticed? Thanks; I've been working out," I say, enjoying the smoke and sizzle from delivering a wicked burn.

"You know what I meant," he says, even angrier. "That little stunt you pulled with the weight machine. You made me look stupid in front of everybody."

"You're acting like that's hard to do," I fire back.

"Nobody makes me look stupid, Parker!" he growls, violent intent in his eyes.

"Yeah, normally you're able to do that all by yourself," I say with a derisive snort.

"That's it, Parker, you're dead!" Flash yells, grabbing me by the collar and shoving me against my locker.

Normally I just lie down and take it whenever Flash starts ragging on me. I mean, what else could I do? He's the big bad football star, and I'm built like a stick figure made from K'Nex. It's not like I could ever actually defend myself.

Now, though? Now I'm strong. Really strong. That spider-bite at STAR Labs changed me; I'm stronger and faster than this idiot could ever be. I can jump two or three stories in the air, I can react to danger the instant it happens, and I can lift a quarter of a ton without breaking a sweat.

I am sick of being weak.

I am sick of being picked on because I'm different, because I'm smart.

I am sick of being forced to watch other people get what I want because they're richer and better-looking.

And I am so freaking sick of Flash Thompson.

I grab his hands and pry them off of me, then shove him hard. He goes tumbling back, and I'm practically itching for him to get back up....

....only, he doesn't.

"Aaaaaaaaagh!" Flash groans in pain, clutching his shoulder. "My arm! ****ing Parker broke my arm!"




.......oh, crap. Now I'm in trouble.

MST3K 4ever
02-23-2012, 06:40 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex is sitting at his desk when his phone rings reading over Banner's latest report. He sees on the caller-ID that it's General Thaddus "Thunderbolt" Ross calling.

Oh this should be a fun conversation. I guess hoping for a bomb threat would be too much to ask for at this point.

Lex turns on the charm and says, "General Ross so nice to hear from you sir."

Ross barks, "Cut the crap Luthor! I'm calling to find out if the liaison official from SHIELD has arrived yet."

Lex replies, "Yes they have and I've sent them on down to see Dr. Banner. I assume you've read the latest reports."

Ross says, "Yeah I read it. I still can't believe that you're going to have this thing up and ready in a matter of days and not months or years. Which is one reason I signed off on sending a liaison from SHIELD on this one as much as I hate dealing with Fury that arrogant blowhard."

Lex replies, "I have no idea who reminds me of that."

Ross says, "Listen to me Lex and listen good if you or Banner screw this thing up in anyway shape or form I swear I will call my friends at the IRS and have you audited all the way back to the stone age! And Banner I will call in every favor in the book and use every connection to see to it he is hauled before every Senate Committee on the planet and crucified!"

Lex says, "Shall I put you down for being here when we test the Gammatron?"

Ross says, "Oh yes! It's no secret Lex I was never in favor of you getting the Gammatron project! That being said I hate seeing taxpayers time and money wasted. I expect to see something incredible! Not just a couple of lab rats or frogs glow in the dark."

Lex says, "Fear not General I assure you it will be like nothing you've ever seen. You won't be disappointed."

Ross says, "If I am disappointed you will learn why they call me Thunderbolt!"

Ross hangs up and Mercy enters the office.

She says, "Mr. Henshaw of logistics is here to see you sir with an order from Dr. Banner."

Lex says, "Show him in."

Mercy lets him and she leaves the room.

Henshaw says, "Here sir it's a request for two lab rats for Dr. Banner's experiment. You said you wanted anything with Banner's name on it."

Lex takes the paper and barely looks at it and says, "Yes I did thank you Mr. Henshaw I will take care of this personally. I'll make sure Banner gets his lab rats. That will be all."

Henshaw leaves and Lex lights a cigar and then uses it to burn the paper.

He says, "I have no idea what happened to your request form Bruce. I sent it on down the line. It must've gotten lost in the company mail. Looks like you're going to have to step up on this one."

Lex watches the paper burn in the trash can and smiles.

MST3K 4ever
02-23-2012, 07:53 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

Bruce reads the memo on his L-Pad that a SHIELD liaison is on their way to assist and monitor his progress. He is less than impressed.

He says, "Terrific!"

Slamming his L-Pad down and he begins storming around the lab. He says, "I've made more progress in the last ten days than I did in the first two years on this project and now I'm gonna some 3rd rate pencil pusher from SHIELD who doesn't know a test-tube from a microscope slide watching my every move!"

Just then he hears a woman say, "After five years together at Berkley I like to believe you know me better than that. "

Bruce stops cold in his tracks and says, "Betty."

He turns and sees Dr. Betty Ross standing in the doorway.

Bruce says, "I'm sorry Betty I'm under a lot of pressure and I've been working at a pace that is almost inhuman and...."

She smiles and approaches and says, "It's all right Bruce. How have you been the past five years?"

Bruce says, "Fine just fine busy but fine. Do you want some coffee? How have you been?"

Betty replies, "Coffee sounds good. I'm now working for SHIELD as the Science Liaison Officer. Nick Fury likes having a Ross who will listen to reason and ask questions before advocating bombing a country back to the Stone Age."

Bruce making the coffee says, "So last I heard you were engaged to Major Talbot how did that go?"

Betty replies, "We broke up about three years ago."

Bruce bringing her the coffee says, "I'm sorry to hear that."

Betty taking the coffee says, "Don't be. He's a jerk and a two-faced user. My dad and I realized that he was using me to get to my dad and using my dad to further his career. He tried to pull an end-around on my dad, but dad was ready for him and nailed him. Dad didn't court-martial him or anything like that. He didn't even get mad, but he did have his Top-Secret clearance revoked."

Bruce says, "Ouch."

Betty replies, "Yeah if that happens when you're on my dad's team it's pretty much the kiss of death, but he used a couple of connections and got on with the NSA. In fact he's going to be here to watch the test. Dad is now on the Joint Chiefs and I can assure you he'll be here representing the White House."

Bruce rolls his eyes and says, "Great it'll be like a bizzare version of 'This is your life Bruce Banner.' So what brings you here surely SHIELD could've sent any science team member."

Betty replies, "Yes but none of them know you like me. And when it comes to something like this Nick doesn't want to leave anything to chance."

Bruce asks, "So have you read my work so far on this?"

Betty replies, "Yes I have and frankly I'm really frightened."

Bruce replies, "Frightened?"

Betty says, "Yes Bruce frightened."

Bruce says, "Explain."

Betty says, "Bruce up until your breakthrough the Gammatron was deader than Oscorp's answer to the L-Phone, and then suddenly you make a breakthrough which leads to another and then another and before the scientific community knows it your answering questions about Gamma radiation that we haven't even begun to think of asking much less answering. You are just going so fast with your research that I'm afraid something somewhere is going to happen and you're gonna get hurt. Not your career but you personally. Whether it's an unfriendly country trying to nab you or Lex's ego writing a check you can't cash."

Bruce says pacing around, "I know I've thought of all those things, but Betty we are on the threshold of a new chapter in Gamma Tech that we will not ever see again in this decade if I don't keep going. I don't care about Lex's ego I'll let him have all the credit he wants. I just want to see what's next. Being locked up in here trust me no one is going to nab me. Besides they won't try to nab me until they see if everythng works. After that it's open season on me."

He wryly smiles and Betty shakes her head and says, "Same old Bruce missing the big picture as usual."

Bruce motions for her to follow him and says, "Come on I'm almost ready to run another test."

Betty follows Bruce while taking one last look at his report.

Hope you know what you're doing Bruce.

Batman
02-24-2012, 11:02 AM
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Be honest with yourself, bub.

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What the hell are you still doin' here?

A month had already passed since the first time Logan had fought alongside the X-Men. That same night was when he swore that he'd never put on that uniform again. In a play that none of them saw coming, The Brotherhood had played them all for fools and helped to spearhead a movement against mutantkind - one so agressive that it had forced Professor Xavier to focus the team's efforts towards the school and the education of it's students. The movement had gotten the children talking, and none of them seemed to be worrying any less today. Logan had watched the eventual decline of outward talk subside into whispers, as people like Scott Summers and Jean Grey tried to calm the fires by organizing extracurricular activities.

Today, that happened to take the shape of a schoolyard basketball tournament. Everyone was gathered around the blacktop behind the mansion, with students and teachers both eagerly cheering on the many competitors. Logan was the only noticeable abscence, as he watched from afar, swigging back a beer under the shade of cover while the others basked in the intense sunlight. Occassionally, he would see Ororo Munroe trying to wave him over to join in.

His answer was another swig, wondering to himself what kind of a half-assed moron would organize a sports tournament in a school full of superpowered kids. One of them was already accosted for using superspeed, while one with rock-like skin was forced to sit out for the sake of fairness. Even though he wouldn't admit it, Logan could tell that as he smiled to the students from the sidelines, Xavier was at a loss on how to truly move the school - and especially the team - forward. It was downright pitiful to watch.

Yet with all of his cynicism, Logan's time was mostly spent thinking about the same thing that had rattled his mind since they returned from their fight with The Brotherhood. In his quieter moments, he visualized his hands around Sabretooth's throat, ripping away at the grinning bastard's skin as he openly mocked him, refusing to tell him what he knew about a past that remained a mystery. Even as a fantasy, it shook Logan to his core, seeing blood that was never there on claws that hadn't unsheathed in a month. He told himself that he had never been the animal, but when he was fighting The Brotherhood? He felt his own nature betray him.

And god, did he want that feeling back.

"I thought you might need another."

Logan's eyebrow rose as he saw Beast walk up behind him, a freshly cold beer in hand.

"What're you talkin' about, I don't..."

Holding up the bottle, Logan quickly inspected it, noticing it was light.

"Huh. So you're right."

Accepting the beer, Logan popped the top and immediately began drinking it down, as Beast sat next to him. "I remember when I was their age, you know. Young, brash, and full of life. I still recall the day that I first discovered how to create my own particle analyzer. The other kids would often mock me for it, how I'd never join them to play. But I could feel that I was onto something, and sure enough, that analyzer won me first prize at the science fair."

Giving McCoy a perplexed gaze, Logan stared off from the apparent attempt at conversation.

"Yeah, well. We can't all be dweebs."

"My point, Logan, is that it has become increasingly obvious that you don't wish to be here with the rest of us. You simply wish to be here. A roof over your head, and all of that. When I made that particle analyzer, I ignored the wishes of my kin and pursued my own interests."

"You sayin' I gotta leave?"

Shaking his head, Beast held a firm grasp of a kindhearted tone, despite the percieved insintuations. "Not at all. I don't wish to emplore any judgement. I trust Charles to allow you to stay under whatever reasoning he might have. I simply wish to understand. If you're so determined to be on your own, why torture yourself with glimpses of a life you could be having?"

At first, Logan was ready to tell the good doctor to piss off. But he realized that McCoy wasn't nessecarily wrong. Here he was, spending his time at a mansion with several hundred square feet of grounds and over three hundred rooms, and the best he could think to do was watch a basketball tournament from afar.

The best guess he had was that it made him feel normal. It distracted him from the taunting laughter of Sabretooth that constantly barraged his waking dreams. But if he had to be a little antisocial to still hold his ground and still feel like himself, too, then so be it.

"Eh. No better spot to drink beer."

Beast smirked. "Of course. How impolite of me to suspect you had a softer side."

Summers momentarily stepped away from the crowd.

"Hank! Think you could you give us a hand? We need a referree, and J'onn doesn't understand the game."

Logan ignored Summers' blatant attempt at giving him the cold shoulder upon approach. He and "Cyclops" had been at odds for weeks, mostly because of the fact that his girlfriend was starting to become sensitive about the way that Logan conducted himself around her. The way he figured it, it wasn't his fault that she was probably getting bent out of shape about having all sorts of unsavory thoughts about Logan instead of Summers.

That indicated a lack of something on his part.

"Tell them I'll be along shortly, Scott. Perhaps the parameters of double-dribbling simply weren't a factor in Martian law."

Chuckling at his own joke, McCoy retreated into the mansion, leaving Logan and Summers to awkwardly tolerate eachother's prescence. Rubbing the back of his head, Scott eventually looked away and muttered an acknowledgement.

"Logan."

Similarly refusing to look the man in the eye, Logan simply took another swig.

"Four-eyes."

Realizing that this was going to go nowhere, Scott readily departed back to the crowd and rejoined the other teachers. Logan's response to the uncomfortable encounter?

*BRRRP*

Byrd Man
02-25-2012, 12:10 AM
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Previously





OOC: Changing from 1st person to 3rd.


A platoon of Mongul's heavily armed guards led the Four down the corridors of the prison. The reptilian alien who was at Mongul's side earlier led them.

"What is this place?" Reed asked the alien. "Earlier, you said this is Warworld, but it's not a real planet. The surface appears to be made of synthetic materials and there are weapons implanted in the ground like trees."

"Silence," the alien hissed. "It is not your place to ask questions."

"I'm a scientist, all I do is ask questions."

"If you must know, Warworld will be the heart of the God-King Mongul's glorious empire. He, the second of his name, will reclaim his birthright from the usurpers."

"Usurpers," Sue asked.

"The wicked men and women who murdered Mongul, God-King of the glorious Mongul empire and the first in his name, as he slept. They forced God-King Mongul, the second of his name, to flee from his homeworld as a child. He was raised on Warworld with the empire's finest warriors and those who are deemed worthy to fight in his honor."

"How exactly are ya deemed worthy?"

The alien turned to the Four and smirked. "The arena."

As they navigated down the long corridor, the sound of crowd noise began to fill the air. The sound of feet pounding shake the whole corridor as they are led out through a long tunnel and into the arena...

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The crowd roared its approval, as well as its contempt for the Four as they were led to the middle of the arena. Sitting high above monitoring the festivities was Mongul, a pleased smirk on his face. He stood from his chair and a hush fell on the crowd.

"Who comes before Mongul?" His voice boomed through the arena.

"My lord," the reptilian said, bowing as he spoke. "These four prisoners were found guilty of crimes against Warworld, among them is their feeble attempt to invade our planet. They are spies, warriors, and cowards..."

"We came in peace," Reed spat out.

"Silence!" The alien hissed, jabbing Reed in the side. "You are cowards, liars, and unworthy to even grace the God-King's presence."

"Bite me, snake-boy," Johnny said with a roll of his eyes. "Get this crap over with."

Two of the guards grabbed Johnny while a third struck him in the stomach, dropping him to his knees in pain.

"What has the God-King declared?" Mongul asked, a sadistic grin plastered on his face.

"That these four be sentenced to die in the arena."

A roar went through the crowd as the spectators rose to their feet and cheered the verdict. Mongul let the cries go on for several minutes before he raised his hand, a sudden and eerie hush fell on the arena.

"That is not all. As a further punishment, the God-King has declared that the homeworld of these four will suffer the same fate as their champions. While we watch them die inside the arena, they will watch as Warworld tears their home apart."

Mongul sat back down on his throne and pressed a button on the arm console. The roof of the arena slid open, revealing a night sky filled with stars. He pressed another button and opened up a communications line.

"Jump," he said. The entire planet experienced a brief flutter of vertigo before the stars in the sky all blinked out of view. "Let's hope you four survive long enough to see you planet die. I would hate to cause all that destruction without properly tormenting you. Now, BEGIN!"

The crowd cheered loudly as the guards released the Four from their bounds and hurried out the arena floor, the reptilian just behind them and running for dear life. A gate shuddered open and a dozen alien soldiers marched out, melee weapons in their hands. Their leader snorted and roared loudly, much to the crowd's approval.

"This is the best they have for me?!" He yelled.

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"Bolphunga the Unrelenting will barely break a sweat killing you!"

With that, Bolphunga and his men charged towards the Four.





The Thing swung wildly at the alien soldiers grouped around him and knocked away four with one swipe of his arm. The Human Torch was in the air, aflame and blasting the warriors with columns of fire from his hands.

Reed waited for two sword wielding soldiers to charge him before he struck. He contorted and twisted his body to avoid their blades. He shifted both his hands into the shape of sledgehammers and struck the two aliens in the head with his hardened fists.

Sue raced through the arena on a disc made of invisible constructs. She whipped past a soldier with her arm out and clotheslined the warrior. Another alien stepped in front of her oncoming path, a laser rifle in his hands. He fired wildly and Sue shot her hands up, creating an invisible barrier in which the laser bolts harmlessly bounced away. She hardened the barrier and turned her sights on her attacker. Sue charged on her disc towards him and knocked him out cold as the invisible barrier drove him into the air.

Bolphunga the Unrelenting growled as he pounced on Ben, his sword cutting through the air. Ben thrust his arm out and sparks flew off his rocky skin as Bolphunga's sword raked across his skin. Ben pushed him back and swung for his chest, barely missing the alien warrior as Bolphunga stepped back. Bolphunga swung again and Ben blocked with his rocky forearm, knocking him back slightly.

"You will die," Bolphunga screamed as he recovered and swung for Ben's head. "Bolphunga the Unrelenting does not--"

He was cut short as Ben's rock-hard fist slammed into his face and knocked him into the air. Bolphunga crashed in the arena stands and rolled to a stop on top of an audience member.

"Bolphunga the Unrelenting does not relent...," he said dazed and confused.

From his throne, Mongul watched as the Four took out the rest of Mongul's men with ease. He scowled and pressed a button on his armrest.

"Report," he said into the commlink mounted on his chair.

"We are preparing to enter Earth's system, my king," the engineer on the other end reported.

"Start to prepare the weapons."

Cheers and boos echoed through the arena as Johnny took out the last alien soldier with a fiery blast. He flew up into the air and winked as he passed by Mongul.

"That the best you got, dude?!"Mongul stood and eyed the regrouping Fantastic Four with contempt. Sudden silence fell upon the arena.

"RELEASE THE MONSTER OF THE BADOON!"

The entire arena burst into thunderous cheers. Mongul sat back down and smirked at the Four. The floor of the arena began to shake and tremble. The Four stood in the center of the arena and looked around for their next challenge.

"That don't sound good."

"Master of the obvious, this guy is."

"Whatever it is," Sue said in a reassuring tone. "We can beat it. Right, Reed?"

Suddenly, the entrance into the arena shattered. Stone and steel flew through the air as the creature ripped through the gate and pranced around the arena.


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"We can beat it," Reed said as the beast towered over them. It roared loudly, shaking the entire arena with just the sound of its voice.

"We can beat it, maybe."

Carnage27
02-25-2012, 11:47 PM
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I push the doors to Kobra's base open, and am immediately set upon by three of the leader's elite guard. Armed with swords, they swarm me like a pack of deadly hornets. One slices down towards me, and I slide out of the way, kicking him in the hip and knocking him off balance. But before I can capitalize on his predicament, another slices at my hip.

Catching his wrist, I twist it, breaking it quickly. The third charges towards me, and I spike my shield into the ground. It bounces of the ground, and ricochets up into the advancing guard's face, knocking him out cold. The one in my hand drops to the ground in pain, and I turn to face the last one.

But I turn to find him retreating back into the shadows, "Impressive, Captain. Your skills have not deteriorated since your freezing."

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"Kobra," I say, readying myself for his attack. The information I've seen on him says he's deceptively fast for someone his size. "This is some attack. Too bad you're playing as someone's pawn."

Kobra merely laughs as the two of us begin to circle one another, "Oh, you mean Maxwell Lord's little plan to rid the world of metahumans? Come now, Captain. You really didn't think I would have fallen for that? I played my part well enough, took his funding and my master and I used it well."

Master? What is he-

But I don't have time to process that. Kobra lives up to his reputation. He catches me off guard, sliding towards me, spinning out of the way of a clumsy punch from me and drives his elbow into my chin, dazing me. He follows it up with a spinning kick to the small of my back, sending me face first into the hard, tiled floor.

He kicks me in the ribs, lifting me off the floor and sending me sliding away from him, "No, the metahuman population will not be wiped out in the future. Only those that oppose us and the new order."

"Funny thing about new orders," I say, getting to my hands and knees. "They usually fall out from under you the minute you think you've won."

I heave my shield low and flat against the floor, taking Kobra's feet out from under him, and push myself up into a sprint. By the time I reach Kobra, he's almost to his feet, and I drive my knee into his jaw, sending him stumbling backwards, retreating.

"Well done, Rogers, well done," he smiles, wiping blood from the corner of his mouth. "But you must know how impossible your fight is. Even if I'm killed, another will take my place."

We get ready for another salvo, before an explosion rocks the building we're in, igniting the place and sending flaming rubble falling towards us. I back flip out of the way of a burning cross beam, and look up to find Kobra doing the same.

**********

Outside, Iron Man barrel rolls out of the way of a blast of energy from the Helicarrier. As he straightens out his flight path, he notices a new group of signals showing up on his heads up display.

Flying towards Thor, who bats a bolt back towards the large craft, he says, "Thor, new group of bogies coming in hot!"

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**********

"Sir!" Thinker says from one of the control panels of the Helicarrier. "A new group of combatants. They seem to be mechanical drones."

"Relax," Maxwell Lord says with a smile. "This is all part of the plan."

bkhedr
02-26-2012, 09:25 AM
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One week later:

I'm standing on a launch platform of an advanced airship with elements Nefaria's private militia armed to the teeth and standing on either side of me. Nervous doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.

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"You'll be fine Sir." One of the men on my right says. Nefaria's men don't have rank insignia or anything but its pretty obvious he's one of the men in charge of the operation

"Just remember the plan." He adds with a pat on my back.

I force a smile and nod at him before he walks away and my smile fades.

Remember the plan he says. Easy for him to say. The plan doesn't call for him to be some kind of superman. Doctor Horton said not to worry, I can still hear him telling me how I'm more powerful than even he had thought possible; that I most likely can't be hurt at all. All the tests and training sessions we had over the last week seem to confirm that, but those were rehearsals and now that I'm on the cusp of the real thing its scaring the hell out of me.

An electronic warning beeps twice, indicating that we're over our objective and making me jump slightly. On either side of me no nonsense militia men strap themselves to ropes by which they will rappel to the target and engage. Their just regular men, no powers, no special abilities, and their obvious toughness and confidence in their prowess shames me a little.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, visualing Whitney for strength.

A tap on my shoulder demands my attention.

"Ready Sir?" The soldier I spoke to earlier asks, flashing a questioning thumbs up gesture.

"Yeah" I nod at him and focus as I had been taught, channeling the energies that now make up my body and supercharging my form with them. It starts as a tingle deep inside me that flows out and I feel myself shift and hear a now familiar buzzing sound like the hiss of excess energy floating in the air around a powerful generator.

"Let's do this thing"

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"YEEEEEHAAAAHH!!!"

The shout of joy is inappropriate, but I can't help myself. Horton said I'd be fast, strong, tough, but I never imagined it would be like this. I don't even have to strain myself to lift a piece of machinery the size of a small car over my head and hurl it a group of gunmen who are hunkered down behind another similar piece.

"Who else wants some?!" I roar excitedly as I turn to face a guard brandishing a large shoulder mounted weapon.

The guard fires but the plasma his gun emits just washes over my chest. It doesn't even tickle.

I let out a laugh and launch myself towards him with a simple lunge that instantly closes the distance between us.

"You Maggia scum don't get it do you?" I say as I wrench his weapon from him and snap it in half. "You can't hurt me anymore."

I backhand the stunned guard away from me and raise both hands in a sweeping motion in a wide arc in front of me as I loose two concentrated beams of energy that punch through everything in their path. The Maggia troops hit the deck as their barricades and cover disintegrate.

"This is for Whitney!!" I bellow, enjoying the rush of power, and bringing both fists down hard on the ground.

The reinforced steel floor plates split where I make impact and a wave of force rolls up towards my fores knocking them around and causing even more damage to the facility.

"Come on!!" I shout with a grin

bkhedr
02-26-2012, 09:59 AM
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The current ceased coursing through the Gorgon's body and he coughed, then sucked in a lungful of air before picking himself up.

"Very good Batman." The Gorgon said as he pushed his head first to the right, then to the left, cracking his neck in the process "Very impressive"

"But you can't beat me, which means you can't stop my men."

The Gorgon grinned as he thought of the dozen or so of Gotham's finest who had met their demise since the fight began.

"And you're running out of time."

With that the Gorgon shifted into a fighting stance, once more ready to continue the skirmish. Batman did the same but before the two could do more than size each other up the Gorgon stopped and straightened, apparently listening to a voice in his ear piece that Batman could not hear.

"I'm afraid I will have to cut our dance short Batman" The Gorgon muttered, clearly displeased. He raised an open palm and a ninja whom Batman could just make out in the shadows, nodded silently and melted into the darkness. "The man who sent me here has seen all he needs to see for now."



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"Beautiful" The Gorgon uttered under his breath as he followed Ra's Al Ghul into the ancient chamber housing one of Al Ghul's many lazarus pits.

"That it is Lord Gorgon." Al Ghul said as he folded his arms across his chest.

The chamber was bare save for the two men and the pit and the Gorgon wasted no time unfastening his kimono and letting it drop off of his shoulders so that he was undressed from the waste up save for the crimson mask that covered his eyes and his black gauntlets.

"Are you sure about this?" Ra's Al Ghul asked, eying the Grass Cutter sheathed on the Gorgon's hip as he took his first step towards the pit "That blade will definitely kill you but its properties are such that you can't be sure that the pit will be effective."

"It doesn't matter." The Gorgon replied flatly "If I am to have the power I need, the knowledge I must have, then this is the only way to proceed, and if I do not survive, then I am unworthy in any case."

"Hmm." Ras al ghul rubbed his chin "You'll understand then why I have to ask this again before you..."

"I will not tell you the Batman's true identity ancient one." The Gorgon replied, cutting him off. "I have already given you plenty of information on him and that was not part of our deal and I may yet need to barter that information in the days to come."

"Ever the cautious one eh Gorgon?"

"Ever the prepared one Lord Ghul" The Gorgon replied and with that he waded into the Lazarus pit, not stopping until he was waste deep in the very center of the glowing pool.

The Gorgon unsheathed the Grass Cutter and swung the blade around so that it pointed to his heart. Many men had tried to kill the Gorgon in his life, none had succeeded. In truth he was not sure if he could be killed, but death was a necessary part of his plan and if any weapon could do it the god slaying blade would be it.

"I am coming Master." The Gorgon said, calling out to the Beast whom the Hand had served for centuries "Hear your servant."

The Gorgon then plunged the Grass Cutter through his heart and felt the pain, the agony, of his life blood slipping away. He gasped for air, couldn't take any in and felt satisfaction wash over him as he fell face first, dead in the pool which immediately began to boil and smoke around him.

sumowrestler
02-26-2012, 04:15 PM
As Hezolya and Jordan touch the Book of Light, a bright white light animates from it blinding Jordan. Then the light clears and his vision returns seeing the book but with his physical eyes and the ones inside his mind. While his physical eyes read over the text, the words play out in his mind. He sees aliens that are completely unfamiliar to him. There are warships and ring bearers all fighting against each other. Dead bodies and destruction are everywhere. The seven lights are flying across the pages of time and space. Seven ring bearers, one from each color, are in a group facing each other. They seem to be no ordinary ring bearers with the power output they are doing. Everything around them for what looks like several miles is oblierated would it be planets, moons, or ships. The fighting continues for what seems like several hours in real time. Then there seems to be a very familiar group of Green Lanterns start beating the other colors and associated ships. These Lanterns didn't have rings but gauntlets instead. None seem to notice that the dead Lanterns and crews started to get back up. Instead of being in their previous uniform, they now were in a black uniform and kept their very dead look. These black uniform soldiers started attacking everyone in sight adding to the chaos for many of the alive Lanterns and crew had to stop and look at their fallen comrades who are now fighting them. This hesitation usually costed them their lives and in turn becoming another Black Lantern. Then an indescribable voice appeared in Jordan's mind. His face just went pale and felt like his life was draining from him.

"Life has had its time in this realm. It is nothing but chaos. Non-existance is peace and order. It is time for darkness to reign once again. All will fall before the power of Nekron and Mistress Death."

The appearance of a giant skeleton with a scythe and what seems to be a woman dressed in a heavy robe gets everyone's attention except for the Black Lanterns who continue to kill and convert whoever they come into contact with. Everyone who was left alive decided to stop fighting each other and fell back. The seven entity hosts stayed but decided to fight against the Black Lanterns. Once they realized that when they united their powers especially with green, the Black Lanterns were defeated. Nekron saw the seven entity hosts and if a skeleton could smile, he did. He went straight for them and had his scythe almost close enough to cut all seven down. Before he did, a bright flash appeared and a giant fire bird was there in front of the being. The scythe went through the bird which screamed and looked like it was cut in half as it started to fall over. Nekron started to float past the bird creature and head towards the seven hosts again but noticed that most of his servants were vaporized. The Seven were ready this time to face Nekron and somehow knew they were outmatched. Even though they were outmatched, they all blasted Nekron with all they had. The blast slowed down Nekron but not stop him. He then swung his scythe again and the Seven barely backed up to be missed. Behind Nekron came a voice which was smooth and calming to Jordan.

"Rebirth isn't that easily defeated, Nekron. I, the Phoenix, am rebirth but not like your twisted version of corrupted flesh. Life will continue as it is the natural process. This universe isn't ready to be destroyed yet even though many of the creatures help it along with their fighting and wars."

Nekron turns around and sees a woman in flames instead of the bird that he thought he cut in half. He tries to look for Mistress Death and does not find her. It mattered not to him for emotions aren't in him for all he knows is what is and what was.

"All things die and become mine or Mistress Death. You are the one that makes things out of balance. Life must end and it will end NOW."

"Life must and will exist, Nekron. Birth and growth are natural parts of this existance. It is true that death has its place but it isn't the only thing. Mistress Death understands this which is why she left you. Sometimes death has to come for something new to be born or created. The War of Light has caused much death which gave you the power to be able to enter this realm. The wielders lacked wisdom in the use of their Lights. However, that doesn't mean that it is time for you to come and reclaim what you think is yours."

Nekron turns and now sees a guy who is mostly white with some black outlines on his uniform.

"Do not try to intimidate me, Trespasser. It is you, most of all, that I want to be rid of. At least the Phoenix dies even for a brief moment."

"It is not intimidation but the truth. This universe has billions of more years to exist before it is destroyed and something else replaces it. The Cosmic Powers will let you know when that times comes and until then you need to remember your place."

"I know my place, Trespasser. It is you who do not know yours. This universe was at peace and empty before you came to populate it with the exception of the Cosmic Powers. They knew better then to try to create more life or I would have destroyed them."

"No, Nekron, you lack the power to do such a thing. Now it is time for you to return to your realm and let this universe take its natural course. Leave in the peace that you been talking about."

"NEVER!"

"Then you leave us no choice but force you back and close the portal behind you. Mistress Death will become more powerful then you from this time on."

Nekron rushes towards the White Entity with scythe ready to come down. Before he could get close, he is blasted from both sides, a rainbow spectrum on his left that merged inches before impact and a fire laced light from his right. To Nekron's surprise, the two beams hurt him.

"OK everyone, get into a triangular position with Phoenix at one corner and the Seven at the other with me at the top."

Phoenix and the Seven did as instructed. Nekron turned around slowly in a circle trying to figure out who to remove first. Before he could decide three beams all hit him at the same time. The scythe dropped from his hand and floated away a few inches as Nekron put his arms up. A mind shattering scream almost overcame Jordan as Nekron vanished in a bright white light. Then the scene return to the three groups with each looking very drained.

"Phoenix, will you clean up the mess that was left behind? Your fire should be able to purify the bodies and area. I'll have a chat with the Seven about their roles in this mess that they help create."

Phoenix was very tired and all she did was to nod in acknowledgement of the request. The Phoenix form went through out the sector burning away the floating dead bodies and the taint of the Black Light. The White Entity floats towards the Seven who look like they could pass out.

"Butcher, Ophidan, Parallax, Ion, Adara, Proselyte, and Predator, it is time to rest and recharge. The beings who have used you and your lights have caused massive destruction and death which helped bring in Nekron and Misstress Death. My own presence endangers the universe as well since I'm connected to all living things. We all must return to our slumber and let the Comic Powers decide over the lights you each represent. We must trust them to know what is best and to place overseers over you seven while I return to my resting place."

The scene then changes to the council of Cosmic Powers with what looks like six gems encrusted in the ceiling above them. For whatever the reason, Jordan has troubles understanding the languages being used. He is then thrown back away from the book by an energy discharge.

"That recording is too powerful for anyone that lacks Power Cosmic or a similar power level. Since I and my race are protectors of the Temple of LIght, we are allowed to hear and witness the proceedings. The meeting decided that six of the seven Lights would be sealed away with thier respective entities while the Maltusians would gain permanent use of the Green Light. These Maltusians became your Guardians of Oa. My own race was also involved in the War of Light but was only concern in perserving life. This is why the few of us who remained were chosen to be the Priests of Light. Ion had the option of staying free and existing in whatever your Guardians created but chose to sleep with its fellow entities until recently. THIS is your true history as a bearer of light. Now it is time for you to return to your homeworld."

Jordan simply nods at Hezolya as he struggles to keep his balance. The memory of what he saw was quickly fading into the back of his mind. At the mention of Earth, he realizes that he probably been gone for a very long time. He then looks around the room trying to figure out the best way to leave. Hezolya smiles at his desire to leave and dedication to his planet. She raises a hand and points at the ceiling. It dissolves and Jordan flies through it back into space. After readjusting himself, he gates as close to Earth's system and comes out the other side. As he enters Earth's atmosphere, the ring detects the battle in Washington, DC which Jordan decided to go and investigate.

wiegeabo
02-26-2012, 09:33 PM
"Agreed. The bar should be closed. Last call was at three, but that never stops men like Bigglia. I wouldn't be surprised if there's still a dozen people inside."

I pulled a grapnel shooter out from my belt and shot it into the air. It caught on a building and launched me into the air. I landed behind the bar and kicked in the heavy wood back door as I heard the front door crash under Matt's boot.

That smell and noise from dozens of bodies means I can't waste time or fool around. Not that I was planning on it anyway. Because if they're in the bar, then their friends of Biglia...or at least not friends of mine.

So I decide to announce myself by kicking in the door. The lock breaks, and it swings wide, knocking down the guard standing behind it.

From that moment on, it's fast and furious.

http://i39.tinypic.com/egogee.jpg

http://i43.tinypic.com/mr605s.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/s0wj87.jpg

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The action moves so quickly, but I've been trained to follow every moment and stay one step ahead of what's happening around me.

At least until backup arrives...

Byrd Man
02-26-2012, 11:18 PM
I jumped into the fray right behind Matt only to find...

That smell and noise from dozens of bodies means I can't waste time or fool around. Not that I was planning on it anyway. Because if they're in the bar, then their friends of Biglia...or at least not friends of mine.

So I decide to announce myself by kicking in the door. The lock breaks, and it swings wide, knocking down the guard standing behind it.

From that moment on, it's fast and furious.

The action moves so quickly, but I've been trained to follow every moment and stay one step ahead of what's happening around me.

At least until backup arrives...

He's more than capable to handle it on his own. I helped anyway, taking on two men armed with pistols. A quick toss from my batarang knocked the guns from their hands. I leaped into the air and drove my boots into them, striking them each with a boot to the chest. I knocked them to the ground and finished them off with a blow to the face. I scanned the room and saw our mark, headed towards the exit.

"Bigglia's making a break for the door," I yelled to Matt over the chaos. Another thug rushed me. I jumped into the air and knocked him to the ground with a spinning roundhouse.

MST3K 4ever
02-27-2012, 03:22 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex is pacing in his office trying to regin in his anxiety as much as possible. To those who enter in the office he is the picture of composure and relaxation. Once they leave though he is pacing again and very pensive.

Where are they? Those forms should've been here days ago! I am mere hours away from the defining moment in my company and if I don't have those forms in hand when Banner starts I am in serious jeopardy!

Just then Lex's phone buzzes and Lex sits down quickly and again composes himself.

He answers very calmly, "Yes?"

His secretary Miss Grant says, "Mr. Luthor Miss Grace is here with a gentleman delivering certified forms."

Lex says, "Send them in Miss Grant."

He releases the button and lets out a huge sigh of relief. Lex then picks up the newspaper on his desk and looks as though he were reading it the whole time.

Mercy and the Courier approach the desk. The courier says holds out a clipboard and says, "Mr. Luthor I am Mr. Wallington and here are your final documents. If you will just sign and intial where indicated."

Lex very clamly says, "Of course."

Lex takes care of the forms and the courier leaves. He looks at the forms in the envelope and smiles.

Mercy says, "I take it you've gotten some good news."

Lex replies, "That is an understatement Mercy."

He shows her the papers and says, "These papers my dear Mercy are my safety net. Lloyd's of London will ensure just about anything these days including Gammatron experiments."

Lex puts the forms in his desk and locks his desk.

He says, "You can almost make the case that Banner is worth more dead to me than alive. Not that I am pulling for a disaster but better to be safe than sorry. What better way to make sure you're going to win than stacking the deck. in your favor."

She nods and says, "Of course Mr. Luthor."

Lex smiles at Mercy and asks, "Shall we greet our guests in the testing wing my dear?"

Mercy nods and the two make their way to the testing wing.

MST3K 4ever
02-27-2012, 03:51 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

Banner watches as daybreaks over the Metropolis skyline while he is trying to tie a tie.

All-right Bruce just remember keep the terms simple, tell them what it can do, the positives and the cost. The presentation and scientific aspects take care of themselves. Just keep cool and let the science speak for it self.

He turns to the mirror and smiles, but the smile quickly turns to a frown and frustration when he realizes he has forgotten to put on a shirt.

Way to go Einstein!

Bruce shakes his head and just smiles. There is a knock at the door and Bruce says, "Come in."

Betty enters the room and says, "Hey good morning."

Bruce turns to Betty and says, "If this is an omen of things to come I think I may have some issues today."

Betty says, "Let me help."

She pulls out a dress-shirt and says, "It looks like someone is a little nervous."

Bruce replies taking the shirt, "Just a little. It's not everyday one has the chance to open a new door in the world of Science."

Betty says, "True, but remember win lose or draw you've already proven a lot of people wrong. This is just taking it to another level and besides these people want to see you succeed."

Bruce asks putting on his shirt, "How do you figure?"

She replies, "Well Lex because this will make him a lot of money, and everyone else because they want to spend money that isn't theres."

Bruce smiles and says, "Yeah I can buy that one."

Betty says moving closer to Bruce, "I've been with you long enough and seen enough test results to be convinced that this thing is going to something incredible for humanity. Bruce this is your defining moment. Seize it and make it yours."

Bruce says, "Thanks Betty."

They start to move closer just there is a knock at the door.

Bruce says, "I should..."

Betty nods

Bruce opens the door and standing there is Mercy who says, "Dr. Banner Mr. Luthor has sent me. It's time."

Bruce says, "Okay then."

He turns to Betty and who says, "I'll see you down there. I'll be in the gallery. Good Luck."

Bruce nods and says, "Thanks Betty. When I get done with this can we continue our umm...ummm"

Betty smiles and says "We'll see."

Bruce says, "Fair enough."

Bruce and Mercy leave for the testing wing.

Andy C.
02-27-2012, 07:44 PM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/spideylogo.png


Great Power
Part V



The good news? I didn't break Flash Thompson's arm.

The bad news? I did dislocate his shoulder.

The school's suspended both of us for two weeks for fighting; the fact that no actual punches were thrown is pretty much the only thing saving me from expulsion--that, and the fact that if they threw me out, they'd also have to expel the school's bright shining athletic star for starting it.

And what's more? The Thompsons are lawyering up and suing. They want us to pay for all of Flash's hospital bills, plus damages and mental duress. Give me a break. The Thompsons aren't super-rich, but they pull in an awful lot more than Uncle Ben did even before he lost his job.

"We're going to have to settle," Uncle Ben sighs wearily at the dinner table. "Just.....pay them whatever they'll accept so we can keep it out of court."

"It isn't fair," Aunt May says indignantly. "Especially since it was that boy's fault more than Peter's."

"I know, May, I know," says Uncle Ben. "But the truth is we really can't afford a good lawyer. And I don't think we could even cover court costs, even if we won."

Aunt May sighs, and looks sadly over at the ceramic jar sitting on top of the china cabinet.

"I guess Paris will have to wait a little while longer," she says.

I sit at the table, staring down at my bowl of chicken and dumplings, not saying a word, barely even looking up from my dinner. Once I'm finished, I wash my dishes and head straight to my room. I breeze through my homework, even though it doesn't matter since I won't be able to turn it in, what with being suspended and all, then open up my laptop.

Practically on autopilot, I skim through my usual forums and message boards, looking for interesting threads or replies, before opening up Skype. Thankfully, I see Gwen's on--after everything that went on today, I could really stand to hear a friendly voice.

She doesn't answer when I call her, though. Figuring she's upset about me fighting in school, I go back to perusing io9, before she calls me back.

"Hi, Peter," she says, her image on the screen shaking as she adjusts her webcam. "Sorry about the wait; I was talking to Barbara."

"Who's Barbara?"

"Oh, right, I guess you didn't really know her," Gwen says. "Barbara Gordon, a friend of mine from junior high, before they moved away. Her dad and my dad used to be partners."

"Oh yeah," I say, barely recalling her. "The one with the red ponytail?"

"That's her; I saw she was online and thought it'd be nice to get back in touch," she says. "It's a shame she lives in Gotham City; you'd really like her."

"Maybe," I shrug, not really knowing enough to judge.

"Anyway, um, I heard about what happened between you and Flash," she says. "Everyone's saying you broke his arm. What happened?"

"I didn't break his arm, it's just....dislocated," I say, both annoyed and ashamed. "He was pushing me around after gym class, and I pushed back, and he tripped and fell and hit his shoulder on the bench."

That's the story everyone sort of came up with to explain how a scrawny little weakling like me managed to shove the all-star QB to the ground so hard it popped his arm out of the socket. And hey, who am I to go against popular opinion?

"Oh my God," Gwen gasps. "And you're okay?"

"Physically, yeah," I say. "I can't imagine this is going to do any favors for my popularity, though--I mean, the Mustangs had a chance of making the state playoffs this year, and now their star player is injured thanks to me. And my grades are going to slide because of my suspension. And Flash's parents are suing us."

"Oh, wow, that's....that's awful, Peter," Gwen says, the look on her face and the tone of her voice a mixture of sympathy and helplessness. "I guess your aunt and uncle are pretty upset with you?"

"Honestly, no," I say. "Like, if they were mad at me, I could at least deal with that by being indignant with them. But the way they look at me, they're just.......disappointed. And that hurts a lot more."

"Well, just, y'know, remember that it's going to be okay," she says, trying to reassure me but honestly not doing a very good job of it. "You'll think of something. And, hey, if you need someone to talk to....."

"Thanks," I say. She smiles, and I can't help but smile back.

"Pete?" Uncle Ben calls from downstairs. "Lights out in five minutes. You're grounded, starting tonight."

"Right," I answer, before saying to Gwen, "Ugh, I gotta get going. Still have to call Harry and tell him I'm not going to be able to make it to the big rasslin' show on Friday night."

Gwen rolls her eyes at the notion that Harry and I would actually pay money to see such grotesque idiot-male spectacle, then nods.

"Okay, well, good night, Peter," she says. "And remember, like I said, it's going to be okay."

"Yeah, all right," I say. "Yeah, all right. G'night."

With that, I close out the conversation, and then send an IM to Harry letting him know that I'm no good for Friday.

That's ok, he responds. It's just Amateur Night anyway.

Amateur night? I write back.

Yeah, Harry writes. Any random guy can show up to challenge one of their professionals, and you get a whole bunch of money if you win, like twenty-five grand. Which nobody ever wins since the professionals just clobber whoever signs up. Kinda pointless, really.

Hmmmm......

Twenty-five grand does sound pretty good, and could really end some of the Parker family's money troubles. Not to mention I'd probably have a good bit left over for myself, maybe get some new clothes, something flashy, something that could really get Liz Allan's attention.



Y'know, I might just show up on Friday night after all......

Byrd Man
02-28-2012, 06:03 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png





Previously





The Thing swung wildly at the alien soldiers grouped around him and knocked away four with one swipe of his arm. The Human Torch was in the air, aflame and blasting the warriors with columns of fire from his hands.

Reed waited for two sword wielding soldiers to charge him before he struck. He contorted and twisted his body to avoid their blades. He shifted both his hands into the shape of sledgehammers and struck the two aliens in the head with his hardened fists.

Sue raced through the arena on a disc made of invisible constructs. She whipped past a soldier with her arm out and clotheslined the warrior. Another alien stepped in front of her oncoming path, a laser rifle in his hands. He fired wildly and Sue shot her hands up, creating an invisible barrier in which the laser bolts harmlessly bounced away. She hardened the barrier and turned her sights on her attacker. Sue charged on her disc towards him and knocked him out cold as the invisible barrier drove him into the air.

Bolphunga the Unrelenting growled as he pounced on Ben, his sword cutting through the air. Ben thrust his arm out and sparks flew off his rocky skin as Bolphunga's sword raked across his skin. Ben pushed him back and swung for his chest, barely missing the alien warrior as Bolphunga stepped back. Bolphunga swung again and Ben blocked with his rocky forearm, knocking him back slightly.

"You will die," Bolphunga screamed as he recovered and swung for Ben's head. "Bolphunga the Unrelenting does not--"

He was cut short as Ben's rock-hard fist slammed into his face and knocked him into the air. Bolphunga crashed in the arena stands and rolled to a stop on top of an audience member.

"Bolphunga the Unrelenting does not relent...," he said dazed and confused.

From his throne, Mongul watched as the Four took out the rest of Mongul's men with ease. He scowled and pressed a button on his armrest.

"Report," he said into the commlink mounted on his chair.

"We are preparing to enter Earth's system, my king," the engineer on the other end reported.

"Start to prepare the weapons."

Cheers and boos echoed through the arena as Johnny took out the last alien soldier with a fiery blast. He flew up into the air and winked as he passed by Mongul.

"That the best you got, dude?!"Mongul stood and eyed the regrouping Fantastic Four with contempt. Sudden silence fell upon the arena.

"RELEASE THE MONSTER OF THE BADOON!"

The entire arena burst into thunderous cheers. Mongul sat back down and smirked at the Four. The floor of the arena began to shake and tremble. The Four stood in the center of the arena and looked around for their next challenge.

"That don't sound good."

"Master of the obvious, this guy is."

"Whatever it is," Sue said in a reassuring tone. "We can beat it. Right, Reed?"

Suddenly, the entrance into the arena shattered. Stone and steel flew through the air as the creature ripped through the gate and pranced around the arena.


http://i39.tinypic.com/es5fev.jpg

"We can beat it," Reed said as the beast towered over them. It roared loudly, shaking the entire arena with just the sound of its voice.

"We can beat it, maybe."


The Monster of the Badoon trampled through the arena floor while Reed rode on top of the beast's head, his arms elongated and wrapped around the monster's jaws. As it ran, the other members of the Fantastic chased after it. Ben on foot, Johnny and Sue in the air. Johnny was aflame and Sue flew on a disc of invisible energy.

The Monster of the Badoon snapped its jaws open and shut and shook its head vigorously. Reed held on for dear life before he was finally sent flying into the air.

"Ahhh!" Reed yelled as he tumbled through the air and crashed into the arena stands. A group of Mongul's alien warriors grabbed a hold of Reed and tossed him back into the arena. He fell on the ground and stood up just in time to see the Badoon charging towards him.

"Look out, Stretcho!" Ben yelled. He stepped in front of Reed and held his arms out as the Badoon lowered its head to strike.

WHAM!!!

The force of the two meeting kicked dust into the air. By the time the dust had cleared, Ben was imbedded shin deep in the ground, straining as he held the Badoon's head up over his head.

"I. Could. Do. With. Some. Help," he said through gritted teeth. The ground beneath the Badoon began to shake as it and Ben began to float above the arena floor. They went higher and higher into the air.

"Ben," Sue said from the ground, blood dripping from her nose. "Get ready to fall."

The force field holding Ben and the Badoon in the air suddenly disappeared. Ben and the monster began to fall towards the ground. Reed stretched his body out and contorted into the shape of a trapeze. Ben's rocky frame bounced off Reed and hit the ground with no relative damage while the Monster of the Badoon...

WHAM!!!

The impact of the beast slamming into the arena floor shook the whole building, sending a spiderweb crack racing across the ground. The monster stood up and began to stumble around the arena floor dazed.

"Ben," Reed said as he stretched his body across the arena, his arms and legs holding on to the arena walls. "Slingshot time!"

Ben nodded and ran into Reed and grabbed him, stretching him back until his elastic frame became taunt. Ben let go of Reed and flew into the air like a rocky cannonball aimed right at the Badoon.

KRAK!!!

A solid slam echoed through the entire arena as Ben leveled the beast with a powerful right hook. The force of the blow knocked the monster to the ground. It was unconscious before its head hit the ground.

A cheer came from the crowd as Ben landed. The Monster of the Badoon had been defeated with just one blow. As hostile as they had started out, the hordes of Mongul rained praise and adulation down on the Four.

"Silence!" Mongul roared from on high. The crowd suddenly became still as he, their god-kid, stood and looked down at the Four. "You whelps come to Mongul's world and defeat his men and beasts? This is an insult to the god-king Mongul and all that he stands for."

Suddenly, a feeling of dizziness and vertigo washed over everyone in the arena. From the open roof, the blue marble of Earth could be seen.

"We have arrived, whelps. In mere minutes, your planet will be destroyed."

Mongul jumped from his throne and fell to the arena floor. He landed with a thump and stood before the Four.

"But not before Mongul will have the pleasure of breaking each and every bone in all your bodies. Tell Mongul, who dies first?"

"Nobody dies," Reed said as the Four began to charge towards Mongul. "Ben, do you happen to have the time?"

"Just so happens to be my favorite time," Ben said with a smirk.

http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/560438-ff03.jpg

"It's clobberin' time!"

Carnage27
02-29-2012, 09:09 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png

An energy beam slams into the magnetic barrier I've put up to protect Mystique and I from the machines that have discovered and attacked our home base. Mystique fires with an automatic rifle into them, but we've already lost Blockbuster and Pyro, and I fear we'll lose more soon.

"We aren't going to last long this way," she says as she continues to fire. She's right. Her weapon does very little against the heavily armored enemies, and we've already lost so many.

I concentrate hard on one of them as it turns to fire on me with it's hands. Easily, I twist them off and begin beating the machine with them until it's nothing more than scrap metal littering the ground.

Another attempts to flank me, but a powerful energy beam rips through it, and I see a familiar face smiling at me from behind it.

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj306/Carnage27/184px-Doctor_Light_007.jpg

Arthur Light runs over towards me and takes up a defensive position with us, "Where did they come from, Erik?"

"I don't know Arthur," I respond, driving one of the arms through another robot. "But we're going to find out. And we're going to save our friends. I will not fail them."

Dr. Light and I finish off the remaining machines, and we realize we're the only ones left. My entire Brotherhood has been captured by these things, and I have no way of finding them.

"Damn the humans," I spit. "Damn them all."

"Erik," Mystique says from behind me. "We never knew they had this kind of technology. Not even close. This isn't good for our people."

"I know, I know," I nod to her. And then it hits me. I'm easily one of the most high profile mutants in the world. And the other is Charles Xavier. And his school.

"I know we've had a trying night, but we need to move. I doubt we were the only targets tonight, and I'll be damned if I let more mutants get captured."

MST3K 4ever
02-29-2012, 09:57 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

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Following a very persuasive Power-Point Presentation concerning the Gammatron Bruce is leading a question and answer session in the operating theater of the LexCorp Testing Facility. While the question and answer session is going well there is one question that everyone has on their mind.

General Ross finally stands up and says, "All-right Banner we've seen all the diagrams and test results and all of that mumbo-jumbo it's time to get down to brass tacts! When are we going to see a live test?"

Banner looks nervously over his shoulder and sees a bare stage with the exception of the Gammatron.

Lex says taking center stage, "If I may Dr. Banner I think now would be a good time for all of us to take a break it's been a long morning and there is a lot of information to process."

Lex motions towards the doors and says, "There is some refreshments out in the hallway. Let's take about a 15 minute break and then we'll come back in here and go from there. Thank you all."

As the the room is clearing out Lex pulls Banner aside and asks, "What are you waiting for? Why aren't you running a test right now?"

Bruce replies, "Sir I put in the order for lab rats but they aren't here?"

He shows Lex the order and Lex reads over it.

Lex says, "I'll be back" He goes off to the side and calls his office phone and acts as though he is talking to requisitions.

Lex comes back acting most confused. He says, "Bruce I don't know how to tell you this but they never got your order form."

Banner is visibly shaken and says in angered whisper, "But I sent that form in weeks ago! How did this happen?"

Lex says, "My guess is it got lost in the mail. It happens from time to time in a company this size."

Banner says, "What am I going to do now? These people are expecting to see a live test in less than 10 minutes!"

Lex replies, "Well in times such as these it falls upon each of us to rise to the occasion."

Banner asks, "Are you suggesting that I test it on on a human being?"

Lex says, "Not just any human being Bruce but the one who did the work to get us to this point."

Banner shakes his head and says, "Are you insane? We haven't tested this on a human being who knows what it'll do to me!"

Lex says, "Oh come now Doctor. In every scientist's career there comes a moment when they must put aside their fears and doubts and do what is best for all. I can run the controls very easily."

Banner says, "Mr. Luthor this is something no one has ever done."

Lex says, "True but if you do this your name will be mentioned among the true pioneers of science. Einstein, Oppenheimer, Salk, Carver, Fryman, and then you."

Banner shakes his head again, "Sir there has to be another way. Tell them were not ready or something."

Lex almost ready to throttle Banner says, "Absolutely not! We told them we'd be ready and today is the day."

Lex recomposes himself and says, "The only other option is to show everyone how you were making progress at such a rapid pace until SHIELD got involved and that ruined everything."

Bruce takes a step and looks to see Betty walk in the room while talking to a couple of other scientists.

Lex approaches and says, "She would lose her nice cushy job at SHIELD, be blamed for the entire Gammatron test not being run, and that would certainly anger a lot of powerful people meaning indictments of some kind, not even her father would be able to save her from doing 25 to life in Blackgate one of the worst in the country. You can prevent this though Bruce."

Bruce looks at Lex and says, "You made sure that the request got lost so it would have to be tested on a human, and now your blackmailing me to make sure it happens."

Lex smiles a smile of great evil and says with a lot of taunting in his voice, "Prove it. What will it be Bruce the one you love or you? Not a lot of time to decide."

Bruce says, "There is no choice. I'm willing to bet you already have something set-up ready to go."

Lex says, "I never was one but I firmly believe in the Boy Scout Motto of 'Be Prepared.' It has served me well over these years."

Lex calls Mercy on his phone and says, "Escort Dr. Banner to the backstage area to get changed and tell the boys to start setting up."

Mercy arrives in seconds and motions for Banner to follow her.

Bruce says before he leaves, "Somehow someway I will see to it that you pay for this one Lex. I swear it consider this my resignation."

Lex says, "Big talk from someone about to get with several RADS of Gamma Radiation let's see if you can back it up Science Boy."

He motions for Mercy to take him away.

Lex turns to the gathering crowd and says, "Ladies and Gentlemen if you will all take your seats. The live test will begin in the next 10 minutes."

wiegeabo
03-02-2012, 11:25 PM
I jumped into the fray right behind Matt only to find...



He's more than capable to handle it on his own. I helped anyway, taking on two men armed with pistols. A quick toss from my batarang knocked the guns from their hands. I leaped into the air and drove my boots into them, striking them each with a boot to the chest. I knocked them to the ground and finished them off with a blow to the face. I scanned the room and saw our mark, headed towards the exit.

"Bigglia's making a break for the door," I yelled to Matt over the chaos. Another thug rushed me. I jumped into the air and knocked him to the ground with a spinning roundhouse.


I home in on the footsteps. I'll let him handle any stragglers. I only want one man.

"Biglia!"

His footsteps slow. He's actually turning to look. I use the opportunity to throw my club and catch him in the face. He hits the ground and tries crawling away.

It doesn't stop him, but it puts him on the ground, trying to crawl away. I sloly walk forward. Somewhere during the fight, alcohol was spilled, a flame dropped. I can feel the heat. This must look rather impressive.

http://i40.tinypic.com/nxtk6t.jpg

I hope it impresses Biglia.

I pick up my club and walk over to him. "Tsk, tsk. I heard you were a big man. And yet it only took two of us to get through all your friends."

"What do you want?" he mumbles.

"Right to the point. Fair enough. You killed a man in New York a month ago. It was pinned on an innocent man, who you set up by getting the judge to throw the case."

"How do know it was me?"

"How do I know? New York is my city. I know everything that happens there."

"Heh. Yeah, right. Sure. You know it all."

I pull him up to me from his shirt collar. "What does that mean?"

"It means I didn't do it for kicks, Red. Facone sent me for that Kingpin of yours."

"The Kingpin is a myth..." And so was the Batman. "What are you talking about?"

"Falcone had me set that kid up because the Kingpin promised him a favor. And having the Kingpin owe you one is like having gold in the bank. He's the one you should be looking for."

"What are you telling me this?"

"Because Falcone and the Kingpin will protect me. Plus, I wouldn't mind you getting killed going after them. And there's not one thing you can do about it."

I look over towards Bruce, then back to Biglia. "You know, there's something I learned a long time ago." I reach into my belt and pull out a device.

"Never get a confession without recording it."

Biglia just laughs. "Like that'll ever stick in court."

"Who said anything about court?" The laughing stops.

"What if this were to wind up in Falcone's mailbox tomorrow?" I glance at Bruce again. "I assume you know the way?"

Byrd Man
03-03-2012, 12:47 AM
I pick up my club and walk over to him. "Tsk, tsk. I heard you were a big man. And yet it only took two of us to get through all your friends."

"What do you want?" he mumbles.

"Right to the point. Fair enough. You killed a man in New York a month ago. It was pinned on an innocent man, who you set up by getting the judge to throw the case."

"How do know it was me?"

"How do I know? New York is my city. I know everything that happens there."

"Heh. Yeah, right. Sure. You know it all."

I pull him up to me from his shirt collar. "What does that mean?"

"It means I didn't do it for kicks, Red. Facone sent me for that Kingpin of yours."

"The Kingpin is a myth..." And so was the Batman. "What are you talking about?"

"Falcone had me set that kid up because the Kingpin promised him a favor. And having the Kingpin owe you one is like having gold in the bank. He's the one you should be looking for."

"What are you telling me this?"

"Because Falcone and the Kingpin will protect me. Plus, I wouldn't mind you getting killed going after them. And there's not one thing you can do about it."

I look over towards Bruce, then back to Biglia. "You know, there's something I learned a long time ago." I reach into my belt and pull out a device.

"Never get a confession without recording it."

Biglia just laughs. "Like that'll ever stick in court."

"Who said anything about court?" The laughing stops.

"What if this were to wind up in Falcone's mailbox tomorrow?" I glance at Bruce again. "I assume you know the way?"

"I do," I said, glaring at Biglia with my arms crossed.


45 Minutes Later
Gotham Central


Matt and I were hidden in the shadows as the stairwell door opened and Gordon walked across the roof.

"Biglia sang like a canary," he said after lighting up a cigarette. He took a long drag on the cigarette before he slowly exhaled, the smoke curling out his mouth.

"I put in a call to a friend of mine at the NYPD. He's a captain in their Major Case Squad. New York and the Gotham DA offices will start extradition on Bigglia. This time tomorrow, he should be in a holding cell at the Tombs in Manhattan."

Byrd Man
03-04-2012, 11:43 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png





Previously





The Monster of the Badoon trampled through the arena floor while Reed rode on top of the beast's head, his arms elongated and wrapped around the monster's jaws. As it ran, the other members of the Fantastic chased after it. Ben on foot, Johnny and Sue in the air. Johnny was aflame and Sue flew on a disc of invisible energy.

The Monster of the Badoon snapped its jaws open and shut and shook its head vigorously. Reed held on for dear life before he was finally sent flying into the air.

"Ahhh!" Reed yelled as he tumbled through the air and crashed into the arena stands. A group of Mongul's alien warriors grabbed a hold of Reed and tossed him back into the arena. He fell on the ground and stood up just in time to see the Badoon charging towards him.

"Look out, Stretcho!" Ben yelled. He stepped in front of Reed and held his arms out as the Badoon lowered its head to strike.

WHAM!!!

The force of the two meeting kicked dust into the air. By the time the dust had cleared, Ben was imbedded shin deep in the ground, straining as he held the Badoon's head up over his head.

"I. Could. Do. With. Some. Help," he said through gritted teeth. The ground beneath the Badoon began to shake as it and Ben began to float above the arena floor. They went higher and higher into the air.

"Ben," Sue said from the ground, blood dripping from her nose. "Get ready to fall."

The force field holding Ben and the Badoon in the air suddenly disappeared. Ben and the monster began to fall towards the ground. Reed stretched his body out and contorted into the shape of a trapeze. Ben's rocky frame bounced off Reed and hit the ground with no relative damage while the Monster of the Badoon...

WHAM!!!

The impact of the beast slamming into the arena floor shook the whole building, sending a spiderweb crack racing across the ground. The monster stood up and began to stumble around the arena floor dazed.

"Ben," Reed said as he stretched his body across the arena, his arms and legs holding on to the arena walls. "Slingshot time!"

Ben nodded and ran into Reed and grabbed him, stretching him back until his elastic frame became taunt. Ben let go of Reed and flew into the air like a rocky cannonball aimed right at the Badoon.

KRAK!!!

A solid slam echoed through the entire arena as Ben leveled the beast with a powerful right hook. The force of the blow knocked the monster to the ground. It was unconscious before its head hit the ground.

A cheer came from the crowd as Ben landed. The Monster of the Badoon had been defeated with just one blow. As hostile as they had started out, the hordes of Mongul rained praise and adulation down on the Four.

"Silence!" Mongul roared from on high. The crowd suddenly became still as he, their god-kid, stood and looked down at the Four. "You whelps come to Mongul's world and defeat his men and beasts? This is an insult to the god-king Mongul and all that he stands for."

Suddenly, a feeling of dizziness and vertigo washed over everyone in the arena. From the open roof, the blue marble of Earth could be seen.

"We have arrived, whelps. In mere minutes, your planet will be destroyed."

Mongul jumped from his throne and fell to the arena floor. He landed with a thump and stood before the Four.

"But not before Mongul will have the pleasure of breaking each and every bone in all your bodies. Tell Mongul, who dies first?"

"Nobody dies," Reed said as the Four began to charge towards Mongul. "Ben, do you happen to have the time?"

"Just so happens to be my favorite time," Ben said with a smirk.

http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/560438-ff03.jpg

"It's clobberin' time!"


Mongul roared and struck Ben in the chest with his fist, sending the Thing flying into the air. Reed rushed in and quickly wrapped his body around Mongul's, constricting his form to limit Mongul's movement. The conqueror growled and thrust his chest forward. A beam of energy surged from Mongul's chest and blasted Reed off the alien warlord's body. Reed fell to the ground, dazed and still elongated.

"Give me a challenge!"

"Hot stuff coming through," Johnny said as he slammed into Mongul, knocking the alien king down. Johnny streaked over head, blasting Mongul with fireballs.

"Face me," Mongul yelled, shrugging off fireballs. "Face to face like a true warrior. Not as some craven!"

"How about you make me, big guy!" Johnny countered, shooting a massive column of fire from his hands and aiming it at Mongul. The warlord gritted his teeth and fired a stream of energy from his chest plate. The energy struck Johnny's flames and began to push it back towards him.

The Human Torch scowled and started to concentrate on keeping Mongul's energy back. The alien king laughed as his laser blast struck Johnny and sent him spiraling to the ground. In just a few seconds, three quarters of the Fantastic Four were on the ground and injured.

"Is this the best Earth's champions have to offer?!" Mongul screamed as he lifted Reed's head and stared into his glazed over eyes. "I am not impressed."

"Let me change that!" Sue said as she struck Mongul with a forcefield construct. Mongul shrugged the blow off and laughed.

"Hahaha! You are a woman. And not even an imposing one at that. What can you hope to do?! Face me if you-"

Mongul was cut short, the oxygen in his throat suddenly cut off. He clawed at his throat and gurgled.

"For starters," Sue said, her hand out and curled into a ball. "I can create a tiny, invisible bubble inside your throat and expand it, and expand it until you suffocate."
Mongul's eyes went white and unfocused. He took one hand off his throat and patted his eyes.

"I can turn your retinas invisible and make you blind. I can teach you to never attack my brother, husband, and friend again. I can show you that trying to destroy the Earth was one of your many mistakes. And the last thing I can do?"

With a wave of her hand, Sue sent an invisible construct aimed for Mongul's legs. The master or Warworld fell to his knees, blind and gasping for air.

"I can take Mongul, the god-king, ruler of Warworld and second of his name and I can turn him into the blind, choking little worm that he actually is...and I can make him beg me for mercy. That's what I can do."

"Me-," Mongul started to choke out. "Merc-"

Suddenly, a bolt of energy sizzled by Sue's head, a shot from a member of Mongul's royal guard. The blast caused her to lose her concentration and freed Mongul from his invisible bonds. He coughed and retched, falling to his side as oxygen flowed back into his lungs.

"That was impressive," Reed said as he slid up beside Sue, now back to his original shape and length. Ben and Johnny both came up behind him.

"Not too boastful was it?"

"Nah, Susie."

"You kidding, sis? That was badass?"

"If I can be honest, I'm a bit turned on right now."

"Ew. Thanks for that mental image."

"Kill them!" Mongul screamed from his knees, directing his guards and the people inside the arena to the Four. "TEAR THEM APART PIECE BY PIECE WHILE I DESTROY THEIR PLANET."

The Four looked up as the stands of the arena began to shake and buckle, the thousands of warriors that had packed the seats were now coming over the wall and charging towards the Four.

"Stretcho, plan?"

"I propose we initiate the Fabian Strategy. It's a successful military tactic utilized by military leaders from Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, the man the move was named after, to George Washington."

"Perfect. Now, what is the Fabian Strategy?"

"Head-on battles and assaults are abandoned in favor of a war of attrition and misdirection, wherein--"

"ENGLISH!"

"Simply put: RUN!"

With that, the Four turned and ran across the arena floor with Mongul's horde of thousands giving chase.

MST3K 4ever
03-05-2012, 07:27 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Luthor waits for a moment as everyone begins to settle back into their seats.

He says, "Thank you all for your patience it's been a long time coming, but I am glad to announce that we are now ready to begin with the live test of the Gammatron."

Lex flicks a couple of switches on the control panel and the monitors begin to show the vitals signs, thermographic scans, and the X-Ray scans of Dr. Banner.

Lex says, "As you can tell we are not running this test on a lab animal and that is due to a techincal glitch. Besides this device will be used on human beings not animals."

Lex presses a button and the curtains open revealing Bruce strapped down to an operating table with several electrodes stuck to him.

Everyone in the room is stunned to see Banner strapped down.

Betty asks while rushing up to Luthor, "Lex what the hell are you doing?"

Lex replies, "Dr. Ross as Dr. Banner as noted several times in his reports we are on the threshold of a new chapter in Gamma Radiation research. It's only fitting he is the one to cross over that threshold."

She says, "You have no clue what will happen to him!"

Lex replies, "We are taking every precaution to ensure his safety. Now if you will calm down and have a seat we will begin."

General Ross takes his daughter by the shoulders and leads her back to her seat. As he does he looks back at Lex with a great deal of concern mixed with contempt.

Betty whispers to her father, "Dad that thing could kill him! We gotta stop him!"

Ross replies, "I would if I could Betty. I admit Banner and I don't see eye to eye on anything, but if he dies in there when I'm through with Lex he'll be begging for the electric chair."

Lex cuts on the intercom and says, "Move the Gammatron into place."

Doctors Hamilton and Sterns enter the operating theater and position the Gammatron above Banner's head.

Hamilton says, "I'm sorry Bruce. I am so sorry for this."

Banner replies, "Not your fault Emil. I don't hold you responsible just make sure if I die two things happen. 1) Luthor pays for this somehow and 2) Make up something profound and deep for my last words."

Emil says, "Count on both of those things my friend."

He steps away and Sterns in gives Banner two hand-holds.

Sterns says, "These are going to run several hundred currents of electricity through your body to stimulate your adrenaline glands so the Gamma radiation can..."

Banner nods and says, "I know I know Sam. Do me a favor though?"

Sam says, "Name it."

Banner replies, "Tell Betty I really enjoyed seeing her again and I wish it had worked out between us."

Sam says with a wink, "You got it. Hope you're not offened but I'm not gonna shake hands with you."

Bruce smiles and the two doctors leave the operating theater and enter the gallery area and take their seats behind the control panel in another room.

Sterns says, "All systems online and functioning in normal limits."

Hamilton says, "All-right. Let's him with the Gamma Rays."

Hamilton flicks on his intercom and says to Bruce, "Okay Bruce get ready to go green as it were in 3,2,1."

Hamilton flicks two switches and turns two dials and says, "Gamma Rays released."

The head of the Gammatron ball begins to glow green and Sterns says, "Vitals all elevated but within normal limits you may increase at your discretion Emil."

Emil replies, "Nice and easy don't want to give him an overdose."

Lex flicks on the intercom and asks, "How are you doing Banner?"

Bruce replies, "On the whole I'd rather be in Philladelphia."

Emil says cutting his intercom, "Stand by Bruce get ready for the electrical current starting you off at 50 volts and we'll increase from there. If your theory is right the Gamma Rays should help enough so that you'll be able to take greater charges as we go on."

Bruce replies, "Understood."

Emil says, "3,2,1 Charges opening."

He opens up the electrical current and Banner begins to shake and everyone watches the biological readings. There are some head nods and looks of being impressed. The Rosses though are concerned.

Lex says, "As you all can see what would floor a normal person Dr. Banner is taking in stride."

Bruce says, "Easy for you to say Luthor!"

After a few moments of gradual increase Lex crosses over to Emil in the control room.

Lex says, "All-right Emil let's really turn it up."

Emil says, "Not so fast sir we have to wait for stability in his vitals so we can monitor his progress."

Lex says in a low growl, "Turn it up or I will!"

Emil says, "Sir we can't..."

Lex grabs the dial and says, "We can!"

He turns the knob up to 2 notches below maximmum.

Banner buckles in agony and screams as he does he shifts enough in his restraints that his head collides with the Gammatron, "AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!"

There is a great deal of concern now in the gallery area as an alarm begins to echo.

Banner buckles again and again.

Lex says, "Emil!"

Hamilton says, "When he buckled he made direct contact with the Gammatron! With all of the electricity flowing through him it created a feedback loop and shorted out the Gamma Containment Matrix in the Gammatron! It's cracked in a matter of seconds it'll breakdown and then....."

Lex says to his phone, "Seal off the operating theater! Radiation Protocols!"

Several lead sheets slide over the glass and Lex says to the gallery, "There's been an accident a power surge in the power grid let out too much electricity. We are perfectly safe in here."

Betty asks, "What about Bruce?"

Lex says, "We won't know anything until the containment team is in done in there. They're on their way now!"

Emil enters the room and says, "I'm cutting on the operating theater monitors we have to know what happened."

Emil flicks a couple of switches and on the monitors the image of a badly burned Bruce Banner fills the screens. People are murmuring some trying to look away others just shaking their heads.

Betty buries her head in her father's chest, and General Ross glares at Luthor. If he could he would kill Lex where he was standing.

The containment team enters the O-R and The Lead Tech says, "Most of the Gamma Radiation was absorbed by Dr. Banner there are negligible readings I'm calling off the protocols."

Lex says, "Very well have Dr. Banner's body taken to the hospital wing. Have burn units alerted."

The tech replies, "Acknowledged."

Sterns breaks into the room and says, "I don't believe this look at the monitors."

To everyone's stunned amazment Dr. Banner's body had begun to heal itself. Virtually almost no signs of the earlier burns were present.

Sterns cuts on the bio-readings and says, "Everything within normal limits. It's a true miracle!"

Luthor says in the intercom, "Cancel the burn units. Have him placed in isolation extreme protocols I'm on my way."

Luthor places a call to security and then looks at those standing in the room.

Luthor says, "If you all will excuse me I'll release a statement within the hour. Thank you all for coming. If you have any questions or comments e-mail them to me."

Just then armed security arrives and Lex says, "My associates will show you out. Sterns, Hamilton..."

He gives a smirk to the Rosses and says, "General Ross and his lovely daughter please follow me."

They all leave together.

Batman
03-05-2012, 11:16 PM
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/9941/wolverineatxm.png

What the hell is goin' on out there?

Three minutes after departing into the mansion to resume the rest of his afternoon indoors - and more importantly, isolated - Logan began to notice a strange rumbling in the ground. At first, it was miniscule, as if a minor earthquake was passing through the area. But as the seconds passed, the vibrations slowly increased in potency, so much so that Logan could even feel it in his chest. If that weren't enough, the cheering outside for the basketball tournament had suddenly turned into shrill screams, easily mistaken for the children at play. Finally absolving himself of the budding curiosity, Logan crossed the empty corridor of the upper floors and casually took a look outside, muttering under his breath about how he hoped this wasn't another of the Professor's half-assed training exercises gone awry. Yet despite all that went through his mind as a possible explaination, nothing could have prepared him for what he saw on the other side of the glass.

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/8457/rpg7.png

"Holy..."

No sooner did the words escape his lips did Logan see the giant steel foot of the first machine slam firmly down onto the mansion's grounds, sending a powerful shockwave that shattered the window infront of him. Falling back with fresh cuts and open gashes, Logan immediately pulled himself off of the floor in shock, gradually managing to stand back up on legs weakened from the force.

Well. That certainly ain't somethin' you see everyday.

Hearing the screams from the group below, remembering that the tournament had still been in play whenever those things came up out of nowhere, Logan pushed aside any physical pain and confusion in order to regain his sense of place. The teachers were still downstairs, so they'd be able to handle getting the kids to safety. All he had to worry about was fighting off whatever the hell was here to attack them.

*SNIKT*

Claws unsheathed, he vaulted for the window and leapt out from the broken glass, plummeting two stories and landing safely on the lawn with a roll. By the time he managed to look up, he realized that he had just landed in the middle of a frenzy from all sides. Summers, in his usual bravado, was already fighting off a few of the machines by removing his glasses for a periodical optic blast in between shouting commands. McCoy was growling and leaping in every direction to fend off the machine's attacks. Many of the kids were screaming and running for the mansion. Lightning shot out from the fingertips of Ororo Munroe.

It was absolute chaos. The kind that Logan felt he was more than used to, though he wasn't certain as to why. Nevertheless, he hurriedly ran up to join the rest of the X-Men as they calculated a plan of action.

"Hank, direct their fire away from the school! Kitty, get the Professor to the lower floors! Jean, can you dismantle them?!"

Jean Grey felt beads of sweat roll down her face as she tried to mentally tap into the machines' programming to stop them in their tracks. Yet they continued to attack. "I'm trying, Scott! I can't make contact! Something's wrong!"

Logan sneered, realizing that they were getting nowhere with talk.

"Screw this..."

Leaping at the first, he slashed his claws into the metal of the first one's leg and savagely tore his way in, swiping at any wires that he could find. But the attack proved entirely futile, as the machine realized what he was doing and instantaneously defended itself, kicking Logan back with little more than a slide of it's heel. Violently tumbling back, he felt his shoulder pop under the brutal impact onto the ground.

"ARGH!"

"Professor? Professor, no! Stop!"

Managing to look up at what Summers was yelling about, Logan's eyes went wide as one of the machines reached down and singled out Charles Xavier before Kitty could get him to safety. Knocking back the girl as she tried desperately to reach him, the machine picked up the Professor and carried him into the air, opening it's massive chest shell and placing him inside. Enraged, Summers tore off his glasses and fired at full blast, seemingly affecting the machine... but barely.

"Jean, get out of here! Get the kids to safety in the bunker!"

"But I..."

"Don't argue! They're the priority! No matter what, you need to keep them safe!"

"RRRGH!"

All eyes fell on Hank McCoy, as his valiant struggle came to a sudden end, similarly plucked from the ground just as Xavier was. Logan grit his teeth, popping his shoulder back into place and letting out a howl of rage. He didn't know where these things had come from and he didn't care. They weren't getting away with Hank and the Professor.

"Logan, go with Storm and activate the primary defenses!"

But he wasn't listening. Despite whatever lack of logic the attack had to back it, Logan was already running towards the other machines, determined to drive his claws through them one limb at a time. Watching as the brute disobeyed his command, Scott clenched his fists together.

"No! Dammit, Logan!"

"Kurt! Kurt, where are you?!"

*BAMF!*

Behind Jean, the blue-skinned elf known as Nightcrawler appeared out of thin air. "I am here, Ms. Grey! Vhat do you need?"

"Listen, there's no time! Grab any of the extra students that you can and teleport them to the lower levels of the mansion! They'll be safe there!"

Nodding with haste, Kurt teleported away, reappearing as blue clouds all over the field and taking hold of fleeing students as they ran aimlessly from the fight.

"Storm! Damn you, let her go!"

Jean turned to see Storm rendered unconcious and taken by the machines aswell, ripped from the ground and placed inside the very prison that held Beast and Xavier. Trying his best to avert any more potential snatching, Scott focused the intensity of his blasts to the point that it nearly knocked one of the machines back. But in time, even he was unable to avoid their clutches, watching in horror as the metal hand wrapped around his body and clutched tightly.

"SCOTT! OH GOD, NO!"

Trying with every fiber of her being to use her mental capacity to subdue the machines, her eyes began to glow with a yellow energy and the ground began to bend beneath her. Just as her power seemed to reach it's maximum output, her focus was shifted as Logan plummeted from the skies, slamming down onto the grass after being tossed aside by one of the machines. Even though she had barely known the man, and frankly didn't like much of what she had encountered, Jean felt compelled to rush to his side as his body showed freshly inflicted, severe burns.

"Logan! Logan, please wake up! They took Scott! They've taken everyone! We have to stop them!"

Barely conscious, Logan's dazed demeanor faded as he grabbed Jean by both arms, ignoring the excruciating pain from the burns even as they healed.

"Jean! You can move people with your mind, right?!"

Jean looked at him, momentarily perplexed.

"What are you..."

"Just trust me on this, darlin'. Hurl me at that thing like a cannonball."

Too overcome with a combination of emotions to stop and question the logic of this, Jean stepped back and closed her eyes, slowly beginning to levitate Logan into the air. Unaccustomed to the sensation, Logan's eyes widened as he was thrown directly at the machines at an incredible speed. Holding his claws out, he yelled out a primal scream and hoped the insane attack would work.

Unfortunately... it wouldn't.

http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/8457/rpg7.png

sumowrestler
03-07-2012, 01:00 PM
As Jordan floats above Washington DC watching what looks like chaos, his ring notifies him of something in space. Being torn between what was happening in DC and whatever is going on in space, he decides to head up higher into the atmosphere to see what his ring was picking up. Once he got up high enough, the ring did a basic scan of the floating object that is now orbiting Earth. By the looks of it, the thing is on a possible collision with Earth. Knowing that he could be over his head with this thing, he decided to call for back up.

"Oa, this is Hal Jordan of Earth. We have what looks like a planet or moon heading our way. I'm sending to you now what my ring got."

After a few moments of silence, an image of Salaak appears over the ring.

"Lantern Jordan, according to the Book of Oa, the object that is over your planet is called War World. It has been owned by two despots both going by the name of Mongul with one being the father and the other being the son. The planet is closer to a giant super battleship then anything else. If it is in your area, it may mean that your world is in serious trouble."

"Then what about sending some help here? I'm not certain how many of Earth's heroes have space capability and definitely want to keep it off planet as much as possible."

"The Guardians are watching something else that could require our intervention as well and it would require almost every Lantern we have who isn't occupied."

"Come on Salaak, what can be something that big which would require majority of the GLC? Can't you spare at least two or three Lanterns to assist?"

"Trust me, Lantern Jordan, when I say what the Guardians are monitoring could have galactic effects for centuries to come depending on the outcome. That is why most of the GLC will be on stand by. The best I can suggest is your neighbor Lanterns in sectors 2813 and 2815. Anyone else would be dealing with the possible fall out of the other situation."

"Fine, see if I call on you guys for help again. Hopefully you are right that Arisia and Tomar-Re are available. If this thing is as big and bad as you lead me to believe, you might have one less GL and planet to be concern about."

Batman
03-07-2012, 02:31 PM
http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Banners/Superman.png

An hour of drifting my way through Earth's orbit, and I was ready to return home. I still wasn't sure of how to handle what's happening, or how I was ever going to be able to be Clark Kent without running the risk of someone recognizing me as Superman, but the problem was best solved with a more proactive measure than flying away from my troubles. Pa always told me that the best way to tackle life's pitfalls was to do it face first - admittedly, I just never thought I'd be coming across a situation that took his advice so literally.

Nevertheless, I buried my conflict deep and began a swandive towards the atmosphere. I hadn't traveled out of Earth's orbit very many times, so I was still surprised to realize I could feel the tingling sensation of intense fire and pressure lick around my body, as the world beneath me grew increasingly larger. It wasn't long before gravity took it's hold - or lackthereof - and gave me back the control of flight. I was almost ready to charter a path back to Metropolis in order to contemplate my next move, but that's when it happened. I heard something. A tiny, nearly insignificant noise, yet louder than anything I could hear from seventy miles above the ground.

A cry for help.

Focusing all of my senses on the source, my eyes wandered farther and farther away from the path to Metropolis as I listened. Until I finally pinpointed the frequency of the screams all the way over to Istanbul, Turkey. My microscopic vision illuminated the area like a map, showing me that there was a fire spreading throughout the floors of a metropolitan building. The cries were coming from a terrified family still trapped on the top floor.

Metropolis would have to wait. My help was needed. Coursing a flightpath to the destination of the fire, I zeroed in on the building and increased my velocity to Mach 5. It took me twenty seven seconds to reach the skyline, and less than three to find the fire itself. I didn't have a plan, nor was my mind particularly eager to come up with one. I felt myself acting purely on instinct, putting only one fact at the forefront of my consciousness - there were people in danger and they needed to be rescued.

So with nothing to go on, I handled the situation in the most obvious fashion. Using the force of the velocity, I forced my way through the roof of the skyscraper and immediately put myself between the family and the fire. They weren't even given the time to react, as the flame hit me head-on. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and did only what naturally occurred.

The result left the fire blown directly out of the floor itself, forced through the windows so hard that the flames and smoke dissipated upon immediate contact with the oxygen outside. Content with the path made out of the building, I turned to the family and offered my hand. With a smile, of course.

"<Forgive me for the intrusion. I thought you could use a hand.>"

Unable to comprehend who or what I even was, the father of the three children that he and his wife were shielding grabbed hold of my arm and quickly instructed the others to do the same. The littlest one wrapped herself around my leg, as I prepared to evacuate them. "<Everyone hold tight, this might get bumpy!>"

I don't even remember what happened next, but thankfully, it didn't harm the family. Because as I speak, we're just now landing on the curb outside of the ruins, as firefighters stop to stare at the sight they're witnessing. I allow the family a moment alone as they embrace eachother with thankful prayers and sobs, turning my attention to the onlookers. I give them a thumbs up, indicating the family's safety as the medical team rushes towards us.

"<Here they are. Try to treat them delicately, they've just suffered through a terrible ordeal.>"

Before anyone can say a word of thanks or protest, I take off again and ascend towards the skies, leaving them to pick up the pieces. It wasn't that I was worried about whether they'd understand my dialect, because I'm fluent in more than a few languages, but I just knew that there'd be alot of questions. And in my current state of affairs, I don't think I'm properly equipped to answer them right now.

Maybe soon. Eventually. But for now, I...

I...

http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/6447/1088487warworld.jpg

What on earth happened to the moon?!

Byrd Man
03-07-2012, 05:47 PM
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/9980/ffbyrd.png





Previously




Mongul roared and struck Ben in the chest with his fist, sending the Thing flying into the air. Reed rushed in and quickly wrapped his body around Mongul's, constricting his form to limit Mongul's movement. The conqueror growled and thrust his chest forward. A beam of energy surged from Mongul's chest and blasted Reed off the alien warlord's body. Reed fell to the ground, dazed and still elongated.

"Give me a challenge!"

"Hot stuff coming through," Johnny said as he slammed into Mongul, knocking the alien king down. Johnny streaked over head, blasting Mongul with fireballs.

"Face me," Mongul yelled, shrugging off fireballs. "Face to face like a true warrior. Not as some craven!"

"How about you make me, big guy!" Johnny countered, shooting a massive column of fire from his hands and aiming it at Mongul. The warlord gritted his teeth and fired a stream of energy from his chest plate. The energy struck Johnny's flames and began to push it back towards him.

The Human Torch scowled and started to concentrate on keeping Mongul's energy back. The alien king laughed as his laser blast struck Johnny and sent him spiraling to the ground. In just a few seconds, three quarters of the Fantastic Four were on the ground and injured.

"Is this the best Earth's champions have to offer?!" Mongul screamed as he lifted Reed's head and stared into his glazed over eyes. "I am not impressed."

"Let me change that!" Sue said as she struck Mongul with a forcefield construct. Mongul shrugged the blow off and laughed.

"Hahaha! You are a woman. And not even an imposing one at that. What can you hope to do?! Face me if you-"

Mongul was cut short, the oxygen in his throat suddenly cut off. He clawed at his throat and gurgled.

"For starters," Sue said, her hand out and curled into a ball. "I can create a tiny, invisible bubble inside your throat and expand it, and expand it until you suffocate."
Mongul's eyes went white and unfocused. He took one hand off his throat and patted his eyes.

"I can turn your retinas invisible and make you blind. I can teach you to never attack my brother, husband, and friend again. I can show you that trying to destroy the Earth was one of your many mistakes. And the last thing I can do?"

With a wave of her hand, Sue sent an invisible construct aimed for Mongul's legs. The master or Warworld fell to his knees, blind and gasping for air.

"I can take Mongul, the god-king, ruler of Warworld and second of his name and I can turn him into the blind, choking little worm that he actually is...and I can make him beg me for mercy. That's what I can do."

"Me-," Mongul started to choke out. "Merc-"

Suddenly, a bolt of energy sizzled by Sue's head, a shot from a member of Mongul's royal guard. The blast caused her to lose her concentration and freed Mongul from his invisible bonds. He coughed and retched, falling to his side as oxygen flowed back into his lungs.

"That was impressive," Reed said as he slid up beside Sue, now back to his original shape and length. Ben and Johnny both came up behind him.

"Not too boastful was it?"

"Nah, Susie."

"You kidding, sis? That was badass?"

"If I can be honest, I'm a bit turned on right now."

"Ew. Thanks for that mental image."

"Kill them!" Mongul screamed from his knees, directing his guards and the people inside the arena to the Four. "TEAR THEM APART PIECE BY PIECE WHILE I DESTROY THEIR PLANET."

The Four looked up as the stands of the arena began to shake and buckle, the thousands of warriors that had packed the seats were now coming over the wall and charging towards the Four.

"Stretcho, plan?"

"I propose we initiate the Fabian Strategy. It's a successful military tactic utilized by military leaders from Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, the man the move was named after, to George Washington."

"Perfect. Now, what is the Fabian Strategy?"

"Head-on battles and assaults are abandoned in favor of a war of attrition and misdirection, wherein--"

"ENGLISH!"

"Simply put: RUN!"

With that, the Four turned and ran across the arena floor with Mongul's horde of thousands giving chase.


"Keep moving," Reed shouted over the din. The Four ran down a narrow stone corridor, Mongul's warriors nipping at their heels.

"We can't run forever, Reed. Do you have a plan?"

"Yes, I do."

From behind them, a small insect-like leaped into the air and crawled across Ben's rocky back.

"Ya little jerk," Ben growled, grabbing the alien and tossing it behind him as he ran.

"We need to get back to Mongul's throne. He has controls on his throne. We can stop the attack on Earth. Johnny, how about some cover?"

"You got it, dude. Flame on!"
While the others ran, Johnny turned and faced the advancing mob. "What has two thumbs and a core temperature of three hundred degrees?" Johnny asked, thrusting his thumbs forward and shooting out columns of flames. The fire licked the wall of the corridor, herding the alien warriors back. "This guy!"


While they recovered, Johnny took off and caught up with the others as they exited out of the hallway and came out back inside the arena floor. Alien soldiers were still chasing after them. Nearly two hundred of Mongul's soldiers, all of them well armed and ready to fight, closed ranks around the four.

"Can you reach Mongul's throne from here, Reed?"

"I can stretch to reach it. I just need to divert their attention."

Before Ben could respond, he looked up as a shadow fell on the arena from above. A blue blur fell from the sky, kicking up dust as it moves across the arena floor.

"You wanted a distraction, buddy?" Ben asked as the dust started to settle.

http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t84/SupermanRPG/Superman-4.jpg

"Well, there it is."

Batman
03-07-2012, 06:39 PM
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This is no moon. And it's definitely not a space station.

Never one to approach with caution, I allow myself to drift aimlessly towards the mysterious construct. The laws of space and anti-gravity do the rest, bringing me closer to what - on Earth -appeared to be some sort of oddly-put together mechanized version of Earth's moon. But upon closer inspection, I can hardly believe my eyes. I'm not sure that it's even possible, but it's... an entirely new planet? My eyes widen as I begin to inspect it, focusing my senses on the sentient life within the atmosphere. It's a planet, alright. I can quite literally see the oxygen shift around me as I depart from open space and float downwards. The gravitational pull is so similar to Earth's, it might aswell be identical.

But how did this come to be? It's so strange to even imagine. An entirely new planet, roosting itself right between Earth and it's moon. And having appeared out of nowhere! My mind races as I begin to fly down, quickly focusing my attention on the planet's central point of life. Some sort of alien hybrid of a solid structure that looks not unlike a Roman gladiator's area. Is it possible that - whatever race dwells on this planet - could also be able to communicate with me? With the people of Earth, no less? Maybe I can talk to someone and get to the bottom of this.

So many possibilities. I never would have thought this could happen.

Flying into the open arena as a loud foreign chant of thousands errupts, I scan the area as I descend. I've never seen anything like this before - dozens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of living beings that I've never encountered in my life. That no one on Earth has ever even imagined existed. What are they chanting for? This is so...

Wait. Those people down there. They can't possibly be what they look like.

Humans? On this planet?

Specifically, four individuals that look remarkably like them. Even through x-ray vision, they share the same physical characteristics. Human skin, muscle tissue, bones, internal organs - everything. The only exceptions being the leader of the group, who internally differentiates from his external physique, and the big, orange rock-like creature that...

Great Scott, I know who those people are!

I fly closer to them and finally land, just as the four come running towards me. With what looks to be unwanted company chasing after them. What in heaven's name is going on around here?!

"Dr. Richards? Reed Richards? Of The Fantastic Four?", I ask, doing little to hide the confusion in my voice. "What are the four of you doing here?"

Byrd Man
03-07-2012, 06:52 PM
"Dr. Richards? Reed Richards? Of The Fantastic Four?", I ask, doing little to hide the confusion in my voice. "What are the four of you doing here?"

"Running for our lives!" Reed shouted as the Four ran past him.

"Who was that?"

"That was Superman," Reed said calmly before he came to a sliding stop, halting the rest of the group. "Wait," he said, elongating his neck and stretching it towards Superman.

"Superman," Reed said cautiously, looking him over. "According to the DoD, you're an alien menace."

Before Superman could reply, one of Mongul's soldiers charged towards them. Reed stretched his arm out, striking the alien in the face and knocking him to the ground.

"Yeah," Ben growled from behind. "Cause the government never makes mistakes."

"Times of desperation can make strange bedfellows. Here's the situation: it appears--"

"Before he makes a short story long...We crashed landed here, big yellow guy named Mongul is hellbent on killing us and destroying Earth. Big Brain here needs help to stop him. You in or out?"

Batman
03-07-2012, 08:15 PM
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Before Superman could reply, one of Mongul's soldiers charged towards them. Reed stretched his arm out, striking the alien in the face and knocking him to the ground.

"Yeah," Ben growled from behind. "Cause the government never makes mistakes."

"Times of desperation can make strange bedfellows. Here's the situation: it appears--"

"Before he makes a short story long...We crashed landed here, big yellow guy named Mongul is hellbent on killing us and destroying Earth. Big Brain here needs help to stop him. You in or out?"

Destroying Earth?!

Through all of the confusion, it's that part of their explaination that sticks out to me the most. Before I can get a word in edgewise, I hear massive footsteps begin to bank down on the arena floor. The five of us turn, greeted by an army of green-skinned, armor plated giants that look like something out of a movie I'd have watched back at the Drive-In in Smallville. They immediately growl and leap at us, fists raised and clearly prepared for a heavy strike. And suddenly, I don't care all too much about how or why Dr. Richards and his team are on this planet. They clearly want off, and I wouldn't much blame them for it.

The three snarling creatures come barrelling down, but I stop their attack and let loose with a concentrated blast of heat vision. Then follow it with an unconcentrated blast that's nearly as powerful as the ones I used against that creature that attacked Metropolis. The Humanite, I think it called itself. If these beasts aren't as durable as it was, then they're in a world of pain. I watch as all three creatures fall back, their skin steaming.

My eyes roll over with red heat and I levitate off of the ground, as a clear warning to the other aliens. As long as I'm here, The Fantastic Four aren't about to be harmed. And Earth is definitely not going to be destroyed.

"We'll discuss the 'alien menace' business later, Doctor. Our first priority lies with stopping whatever this... what did you call him? Mongul?"

The rock-creature - once the pilot of that spacecraft that helped transform the four, if I remember correctly - cracks his knuckles and stares down the aliens. "That's what the big man called himself. Pretty fittin', if ya ask me."

"Right. Obviously, we have to stop whatever he's planning for Earth. I won't let him succeed."

I look over my shoulder at Richards.

"You have my help for as long as you need it."

Byrd Man
03-07-2012, 08:51 PM
My eyes roll over with red heat and I levitate off of the ground, as a clear warning to the other aliens. As long as I'm here, The Fantastic Four aren't about to be harmed. And Earth is definitely not going to be destroyed.

"We'll discuss the 'alien menace' business later, Doctor. Our first priority lies with stopping whatever this... what did you call him? Mongul?"

The rock-creature - once the pilot of that spacecraft that helped transform the four, if I remember correctly - cracks his knuckles and stares down the aliens. "That's what the big man called himself. Pretty fittin', if ya ask me."

"Right. Obviously, we have to stop whatever he's planning for Earth. I won't let him succeed."

I look over my shoulder at Richards.

"You have my help for as long as you need it."

"Good!" Reed said with a smile. Superman and the Four began to fight their way through the warriors.

From his throne, Mongul watched Superman with fascination. The way he moved, the way he fought. Unlike those other whelps, this one seemed like a challenging foe who would not stoop to trickery like the woman had.

"My lord," a voice hissed on the throne's commlink. "Weapons are ready and aimed at Earth. You may give the order when ready."

"Good," Mongul said, standing and stretching his back. "Fire at will," he said, leaping from his throne and jumping into the fray.

While Superman and the Four fought, Reed suddenly stopped as he felt the ground below them rumble.

"Oh, no," he said. "The weapons are preparing to fire! We only have a few moments!"

Scenarios and situations raced through Reed's brain so fast he could barely keep up with them.

"I've got it," he shouted excitedly, clothes-lining an alien warrior with an elongated arm. "Superman, I need you to toss Susan into the sky!"

"Pardon me?"

"If you can toss Susan into the sky, she'll break out of Warworld's small gravity field and be able to encase the entire planet in a forcefield, blocking the planet's laser cannons from striking the Earth. After she blocks the lasers, she can create a bubble and navigate it back down to the planet."

"A forcefield that size? I don't know if I can."

"Yes, you can," Reed said, turning his head away from the fight and looking at Sue. "I believe in you. Superman, can you?"

Before Superman could speak, Mongul tore through the mob and tackled him. "Finally, an Earthling worth a fight! Face me, if you dare!"

The two disappeared in the throng of warriors and Ben turned to Reed.

"Plan B?"

"Ben can make the throw. Johnny, cover us."

"Yes, sir, General Richards," Johnny said with a roll of his eyes. He shot out a ring of fire around the Four.

"I believe in you," Reed said, embracing Sue.

"I'll be falling pretty fast."

"I'll be there to catch you. Like always."

The two shared a quick kiss before Sue was picked up by Ben.

"Alright, Susie. Here we go."

Ben reared back and tossed Sue into the air. She soared through the arena and out into the sky, disappearing from sight as the entire planet began to shake.

Batman
03-08-2012, 10:09 AM
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The hulking brute that calls himself Mongul collides into me harder than anything I've ever felt. I've noticed that I'm running afoul of alot of those types, lately. Yet with this one, I find it harder to strike back because every time I try to defend myself, he finds a way to throw a new obstacle into the middle of battle. First it was the crowd of aliens, feverishly charging at Dr. Richards and his crew and ignoring us as we traded blows. Then the alien decides that it's not enough, and forces the both of us through a solid wall of the arena. Laughing all the way through the catacombs, he hits me again and again and makes sure that I stay at a disadvantage. And to be honest, it's starting to hurt. Only when he encapsulates my skull in his palm does it become clear that he doesn't just want this fight - he's been eagerly waiting for it.

"Hah! You have no idea how long this day has been coming, challenger!"

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One punch, and he's already the strongest being I've ever had to face. I feel myself collide with countless barriers, falling through room after room of this gladiator's dungeon. A pair of alien bystanders go running as I tumble through the final wall and smash into an open chest of weaponry. My uniform's already showing signs of tear. I feel a strange sensation overcome me, as I try and stand. Is this what it feels like to be winded?

"For millenia, I have watched warriors from all across this galaxy step forth to challenge my greatness! Yet none have so quickly dropped out of the skies as you!"

Mongul bursts his way through the wall entirely, grabbing me with both hands across the waist and lifting me off of the ground. I try to fight off his grip, but he simply grins back at any attempts I make and brushes them off, slamming his forehead into my chest. It's enough to leave me keeled over, as he drops me onto the ground and kicks me across the floors.

"You can defy gravity! Your strength is great, I can tell! You expell heat from your eyes! You are truly a unique specimen, challenger... but even so, I shall conquer you and the pathetic animals you've come to aid!"

He likes to talk. I get the feeling that it's because he's used to putting on a show for the aliens out there, still cheering for the deaths of Dr. Richards and his team. I can't fail them just because of this despot's arrogance. I have to fight back, somehow. I have to overcome his strength before he's allowed to destroy them - and potentially, Earth.

"For now, though, I shall take great pleasure in testing just how powerful you really are!"

He goes in for another punch. This is my chance. Pushing myself off of the ground, I catch his punch with my forearm, and counter with a hard shot across his jaw. The ground quakes beneath us from the impact, as he stumbles backward and leaves me to press on. Flying into him with both fists, I barrage him with a series of punches that he doesn't see coming. I don't give him the chance to.

"That, among other things, is the biggest mistake you've made today!"

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I finish off with a strike so powerful that it sends him through the wall and back into the arena. He falls flat on his back, both surprised and dazed from the power of my attacks. I leap through the hole in the wall and slam my knee into his face, combining both fists and bringing them down onto his head.

"AGGH!"

He stumbles again, but this time, he's not so out of it that he can't strike back. His pleasure quickly turns into raw fury, pummeling me with calculated strikes that send me crashing all across the arena. Through the scattered sand, he leaps through and slams down onto the ground with a powerful manuever that tosses me into the air.

"Impressive, manbeast! But know that on Warworld, there is only room for one God! One supreme ruler to all that lives! And that is Mongul!"

I expect him to follow up on his attack by the time that I land, but something happens. His attention shifts over from me to the skies, seeing what The Fantastic Four have planned for his doomsday device against Earth. The anger is guided away from me, as he snarls towards the remaining three of the group.

"You! You will not interfere! Your world will die today!"

That's it. I've had enough of this monster. It's time that he learned what it means to contend with the people of Earth.

Picking up speed, I fly up behind him and lock my arms under his, forcing him into a hold that he tries desperately to escape. "You would dare?! Release me at once!"

We both ascend at a rapid pace, heading towards the skies.

"Release yourself, Mongul! This is what happens when you threaten an entire planet of people..."

Mongul still tries to overcome, but it's too late. We break the atmosphere of Warworld and hit open space, where I hold him without any form of oxygen. ...I get angry!

He flails around, trying not to give in, but it's too futile a gesture. Even alien despots need to breathe. Before long, he eventually passes out, allowing me to fly us both back into Warworld without a fight.

That should give Richards enough time to save the world.

Byrd Man
03-08-2012, 12:40 PM
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"Alright, Susie. Here we go."

Ben reared back and tossed Sue into the air. She soared through the arena and out into the sky, disappearing from sight as the entire planet began to shake.



Sue rocketed upwards into the air. Warworld was fading behind her and the air was getting thin. She took a deep breath and held it in as she punched through the planet's thin atmosphere and entered space. Her momentum hurled her through space in the direction towards Earth.

Sue spun and looked down at Warworld. The entire planet was glowing, hundreds of thousands of laser cannons fully charged and ready to fire. Out the corner of her eye, Sue saw Superman and Mongul whip by her and go back down to the planet. As she continued to rocket away from the planet, Sue closed her eyes and held her hands out.

The entire atmosphere around Warworld began to shimmer, then it disappeared. Sue scowled, eye still shut, and focused as hard as she could. The atmosphere shimmered as an invisible forcefield wrapped itself around the planet.

The planet's cannons opened fire, striking the forcefield with all the might Warworld could muster. Sue gritted her teeth and concentrated harder, blood leaking out her nose and floating away in the zero gravity void. The forcefield bucked and strained, but it held. With a thrust of her hand, Sue sent all the fire back to the weapons, All across the planet's surface, the laser cannons were hit with their own blasts and ruptured. Sue let go of her forcefield and looked down at the smokey and crater marked surface of the planet.

She had done it. Still holding her breath, she tried to form a protective bubble to carry her back. The bubble flickered around her before disappearing. She tried again, only for it to disappear. The act of saving the Earth had weakened her, she couldn't create any more constructs. And what was worse, she was still drifting farther and farther away from Warworld, and her breath was about to give out.

Batman
03-08-2012, 02:37 PM
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We return to the center of the arena just as Mongul's energy canons activate and begin firing. It's a tense few seconds, as the remaining four of us are left standing as panicked aliens begin to flee from the crowd. For a moment, I consider the ramifications of what could possibly happen if this fails. I'm not sure what I - moreover, what any of us could possibly do with Earth destroyed. But after we stare at the skies for a few moments and dreadfully wait for the next phase to pass, none of us have to worry anymore. The forcefield held and directed the shots back at the canons. Explosions ravage the far distance of Warworld. But Earth is absolutely unharmed.

She did it. The woman on Richards' team deflected the blasts just in time. We saved Earth. No, they saved Earth. It was The Fantastic Four's efforts that ultimately won the day. I was just lucky to be able to pitch in. I smile to myself as the three men of the group - who've obviously experienced more than their fair share of adventure for the day - trade victorious cheers for the occasion.

Then comes the moment that none of us prepared for. Half a minute passes, and the woman hasn't returned from Warworld's atmosphere. We all trade perplexed expressions, particularly Dr. Richards, whose plan just saved our world. But the grim thought that it might have also just doomed one of his own suddenly crosses my mind, as the three begin to panic.

"Wh... Where is she, Reed? Wouldn't she be back by now?"

"Yeah, stretch. I figured Susie'd come floatin' in on one'a those fancy invisi-discs she's always conjurin'."

Richards doesn't seem to have any answer for them, as his face goes white staring back up at the stars.

"Reed? Dude, say something! What's happened to my sister?!"

The Thing walks up and begins shaking Richards by the shoulders.

"Snap outta it, Reed! You're the go-to guy for this stuff! Is Susie gonna be okay or what?!"

I decide to use my microscopic vision to answer the question still lingering on their minds. But what I find whenever I scan the skies and pinpoint the Invisible Woman's location doesn't fill me with optimism. Worse, it looks to be a dire circumstance.

"Oh, no..."

"What? Whaddya see up there?"

"She's fallen unconscious. Her body's being pulled out of the stratosphere. If someone doesn't catch her, she's going to head right into open space."

The youngest member of the team visibly panics.

"Sue! Oh, god, no! She's not gonna die! Not on my watch! FLAME O-...!"

"Can it, flamebrain! Open fire ain't gonna do much in space! You go up there, you're gonna end up just like Susie! Supes, you got any..."

By the time they turn back to me, I'm already gone, ascending at a rapid pace towards the atmosphere. A few seconds pass before I've finally reached the limit of the skies. Warworld's ultra-thin atmosphere is barely breatheable in of itself, so I can't imagine how long she was holding her breath before she passed out. My answer soon comes to me, as I come across her floating body heading out into the darkness.

Increasing my speed, I fly just past her and catch her before she drifts too far off. Her hair floats in my face, obstructing my vision, but falls flat once we descend into the orbit of Warworld. I catch her in my arms and wrap a fold of my cape around her so that she doesn't freeze or burn to death.

In seconds, we're high above the arena. My x-ray vision scans her internal organs, telling me if she's alright or not. Just as we begin a final descent, her eyes flutter open from unconciousness and she looks around. I give her a reassuring smile.

"Easy, miss. I've got you."

"You've got me..."

She looks over and notices we're several hundred feet in the air. Her eyes widen as she clutches to me, hard.

"Who's got you?!"

I chuckle as we finally touch down to meet the other three.

"Sis!"

"What'd I tell ya, kid? I knew it was all gonna work out."

Letting her down as Reed finally snaps back to his senses and joins us, I turn to him.

"She'll be alright. I checked her vital organs on the way down, and they're all perfectly fine. Though I'd definitely advise against trying that stunt again for the rest of the day."

Byrd Man
03-08-2012, 02:53 PM
"What'd I tell ya, kid? I knew it was all gonna work out."

Letting her down as Reed finally snaps back to his senses and joins us, I turn to him.

"She'll be alright. I checked her vital organs on the way down, and they're all perfectly fine. Though I'd definitely advise against trying that stunt again for the rest of the day."

"I'm sorry, Susan," Reed said, wrapping his arms around Sue. "I didn't account for inertial drift, I got so caught up on what was going on, I didn't think."

"Reed, you want to make it up to me? Just take me home."

"Right," Reed said, looking towards the Earth. "We're close enough now that the Baxter Building's quantum teleporters will be able to pick us up.
Reed pulled his scanner from his side and calibrated it. He pressed the 4 logo on his chest. Ben, Sue, and Johnny flickered and then disappeared.

"They're back in New York," he said to Superman. "I only need your help for this next part. Its time to get Warworld out of this system and far away from Earth."

Batman
03-08-2012, 08:01 PM
"Right," Reed said, looking towards the Earth. "We're close enough now that the Baxter Building's quantum teleporters will be able to pick us up.
Reed pulled his scanner from his side and calibrated it. He pressed the 4 logo on his chest. Ben, Sue, and Johnny flickered and then disappeared.

"They're back in New York," he said to Superman. "I only need your help for this next part. Its time to get Warworld out of this system and far away from Earth."

"Hold that thought,"

In all of the panic, I forgot one crucial little detail - that of the despot responsible for Earth's close call. I heard his heartrate begin to accellerate again from here, indicating that he was slipping back into consciousness after our earlier encounter. Turning towards him as his body begins to move, I begin a run that quickly turns into a sprint that's three times as fast as an olympic athelete, scooping up Mongul and throwing his body over my shoulder.

During the fight, I noticed that Warworld's arena houses a large prison area for varying alien species. If I knew whether they were wrongly imprisoned or not, I'd release them, but it's too foreign an environment for me to interfere. I'll simply deal with the one that tried to destroy the planet I love. Speeding us both to the back of the arena, I spot an empty cell among the corridors and rush over to it, placing Mongul inside just as he begins to slur his speech.

"Where..."

Stepping back, I press the button on the panel next to the cell and watch as a plasma barrier seperates the both of us, rather than conventional prison bars. Mongul, realizing what I've just done, angrily snarls and leaps at the field, instantly being forced back by the risidule energy.

"YOU DARE DO THIS TO ME?! IN MY OWN PALACE?! I WILL HAVE YOUR FLESH RIPPED FROM YOUR BONES, EARTHMAN!"

I give him a sneer, folding my arms across my chest.

"As a matter of fact, Mongul, I would dare. You nearly killed over six billion people without thought or provocation. What have the people of Earth ever done to you?"

"IT IS THE NATURE OF THE GAME, YOU WITLESS MAMMAL! WHEN YOU ENTER MY ARENA, YOU EITHER KILL OR WATCH AS YOUR WORLD IS DESTROYED! THAT IS THE LAW OF WARWORLD!"

Letting silence drift between the two of us as he heavily breathes, I eventually just shake my head.

"I see."

Turning around, I allow myself to be distanced from such a barbarian. And try hard not to be too disgusted as I walk.

"Enjoy the view of your 'palace'. Don't ever try to harm Earth again."

"YOU WILL RUE THE DAY YOU CONTENDED WITH THE MIGHTY MONGUL, APE! MY VENGEANCE WILL BE SWIFT, AND YOUR WORLD WILL---"

In a matter of seconds, I've rejoined Dr. Richards in the arena.

"Sorry about that. I had something to take care of. Now, what did you have in mind to get Warworld out of Earth's orbit?"

Andy C.
03-08-2012, 08:05 PM
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"Okay, so that's done," I say to myself with an irritated grunt as I start climbing down the ladder from the side of the house, the gutters finally clean. Of course, I could just scramble up and down the walls all day with no trouble at all--as evidenced by the fact that I caught myself from falling when I accidentally tipped the ladder over an hour ago--but I don't think the neighbors need to know that, to say nothing of Aunt May and Uncle Ben.

The past few days have been........well, frakking awful. When Uncle Ben hasn't been on the phone looking for legal counsel against the Thompsons' lawsuit for my dislocating Flash's shoulder, or poring through the classified ads looking for a new job, he's been giving me a whole mess of chores to do. He says the work will be good for me, that it will give me something to do while I wait out the two weeks of my suspension from school.

And Aunt May's spent the last few days doing paperwork, looking through the family bills, trying to balance the household checkbook, going over and over to see what things they can afford to cut out. Unfortunately, if there's one thing the Parkers are not, it's financial geniuses. I took a look at their budget when they weren't looking, and they barely have anything saved at all, apart from their 'dream vacation' fund and my money for college, neither of which are particularly impressive.

So yeah, tensions around the house have been somewhat tightened lately. Both of them are stressed out, and I honestly think they're taking it out on me, by punishing me for something I didn't even mean to do.

"Uncle Ben?" I say as I step back inside after putting up the ladder. "I finished cleaning the gutters. Can we go now?"

"Sure, Pete, get your things," he says with a tired smile. "Thanks again for doing that; I'm getting a little too old to do it myself."

Ain't that a convenient excuse, I think to myself as I head upstairs to my room, to grab my backpack.

Tonight's the night of the big UCWF Tough-Man contest, where amateurs can take on the professional fighters. If you win, you get twenty-five grand, which would be just.....awesome. Following instructions from some less than reputable websites, I was able to fudge my library card into a convincing fake ID, so I should be able to enter the contest without any trouble. And with my amazing new spider-powers, winning it should be a cinch.

Of course, I can't exactly tell my folks Hey, I know I'm grounded for fighting and all, but I'm gonna go beat up some strangers for money, don't wait up! So I came up with a convenient excuse: a research paper for my biology class, due the week after I come back from my suspension. And oh, the teacher wants us to do it the old-fashioned way and use actual books for our citations, so I can't just look everything up online, which I guess means I'll have to spend all evening at the library. I wanted to just take the bus, but Uncle Ben insisted on driving me there.

I grab my backpack, filled with a few notebooks and pencils, and underneath that, my 'Human Spider' attire: a red sweatshirt with a spider logo drawn on it in Sharpie, gloves, and a red ski mask--I figure the whole 'mysterious masked man' thing might go over with the crowd.

"Okay, I'm ready to go," I say, coming back down the stairs. We hop into Uncle Ben's old beaten-up Oldsmobile, and make our way into the city.


*****


The ride is uncomfortably quiet, me stewing in my frustration, and Uncle Ben looking like he wants to say something, but never actually getting around to saying it. For the duration of the trip, the only thing that breaks the silence is me letting out a slight cough.

Finally, we pull up to the library, and Uncle Ben finally opens his mouth.

"Pete," he says, "before you go, I wanted to say something to you. I know that you probably think I'm being a little too hard on you for what happened at school. And I know you're probably angry at me about that."

I say nothing, looking out the window impatiently.

"Understand, we don't blame you for what happened," he continues. "I understand that boy was probably asking for someone to put him in his place, but......you can't let people like that bring you down to their level. We're not mad at you, we just.....we wish you'd just shown better judgment than that."

Great, the whole 'we're not mad, just disappointed' routine again. This couldn't have waited until I got home?

"You're becoming a man now, Peter. One who's got the ability to do amazing things. But part of being an adult is knowing that your actions have consequences, to more people than just yourself. It's not just knowing what you can do, but what you should."

He looks away, sadly.

"When I was serving in the Army," he says, "There were lots of times overseas when some of the other guys in my platoon would abuse their power. We'd come across a village we were supposed to liberate from the enemy, and some of the guys, this big corporal named O'Grady in particular, would start taking liberties with the locals. They'd shove them around, humiliate them, do all kinds of bad things, because there was nothing the villagers could do about it: we were the guys with guns, we were the guys with the power."

He doesn't go into any real detail, and I don't ask him to; I imagine they wouldn't be too nice.

"That's why when my tour ended, I left the Infantry and became an MP," he says. "To do what I could to keep our boys honest, to remind them that because they're more powerful than the people around them, that they've also got a duty to use it wisely, carefully."

I fidget in my seat, getting a little antsy for him to wrap his lecture up.

"I know I'm not your real father," he says, "And I don't know how Richard would have raised you. Richard knew a lot of things that I didn't. He was always the smart one; you got your brilliance from him. And that brilliance, Pete, is another kind of power. An even greater power than just being able to push people around or threaten them with guns. But you can't let that power go to waste."

He takes a deep breath, and I know that's my cue that he's nearly done.

"I'm just saying, Peter, that you've got a lot of real gifts, and you have to know how to use them right, or they can make things a lot worse than they need to be. I was never much of a reader--not as much as Richard, anyway--but when I was in college, I read a passage from Voltaire that stuck with me: 'with great power, comes great responsibility.'"

There's a long, heavy silence between us as he lets the saying sink in.

Finally, I say something.

"Are you finished?"

Uncle Ben sighs.

"Yeah," he says. "Yeah, I'm finished."

"Okay," I say tersely. "The library closes at 9. I'll see you then."

I finally get out of the Oldsmobile, looking over my shoulder at the sad old man as he watches me go. All of that long-winded preaching, and he can't even finish it with some original advice? And really, how is he in any position to lecture anybody? All that talk, and he couldn't even use any of his 'great power' and 'great responsibility' to hold onto his job. And blaming me for standing up to the guy who was shoving me around? What else was I supposed to do?

Even more frustrated than before, I wait until Uncle Ben drives out of sight before heading away from the library, to the subway station to take me to Madison Square Garden.

Honestly, I'm glad the old man decided to wait until just then to start talking down to me.

Because now I've got a whole lot of venting to do on some unsuspecting fighters.

Byrd Man
03-08-2012, 08:24 PM
In a matter of seconds, I've rejoined Dr. Richards in the arena.

"Sorry about that. I had something to take care of. Now, what did you have in mind to get Warworld out of Earth's orbit?"

"All I need to do is get to up there," Reed said, looking up at the throne towering in the arena.


Ninety Minutes Later
Beta Pegasi
196 Light Years From Earth

Warworld shook and rattled as it jumped out of warp speed. The tiny planet fell into place around Beta Pegasi's orbit as Reed hurriedly typed on the throne's console.

"And there we go," he said, looking up at Superman. "One more thing, I'd like to see Mongul."

The two men headed down to Mongul's cell and stopped in front of it. The yellow skinned tyrant eyed them.

"Earth is off-limits to you," Reed said. "This isn't a warning or a threat. It's a fact. We're nearly 200 light years away from the planet and, as of that last jump, your warp drive has been disabled. But don't worry, the star system you're in is perfect to support you and the planet. Think of it has your new home"

"Fool," Mongul scoffed. "My engineers are the best in the galaxy. They will have the planet rebuilt and be--"

"The warp drive is intact. That's not the issue. The issue here is that it's been disabled by a biometric lock. To open it, you need the DNA, hand scan, and voice imprint of two people: Both Superman and I. And we're leaving this planet just as soon as we're done with you. At the current rate your planet moves when it's not in war, it would take the planet to reach Earth again it would be the year... 7042, give or take a decade or two."

"You think this is over? This is not over!"

"Yes, it is. Unless you feel up to losing to our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren someday."

"The God-King Mongul does not tire and he does not yield."

"But he does beg for mercy," Reed said with a twinkle in his eye. "And if you don't behave, mister, you won't have to deal with me or Superman... I'll have to go sic my wife on you... Again."

Mongul yelled and stamped his feet, cursing Reed and Superman. Reed just turned and looked at Superman. The two men shared a look and started walking down the corridor, leaving Mongul behind in his cell.

"Let's see if I can find a spacesuit. Hope you don't mind me hitching a ride with you back to Earth."

trustyside-kick
03-08-2012, 08:38 PM
OOC: Previously (http://forums.superherohype.com/showpost.php?p=22558469&postcount=371)...
Black Bolt
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/orionyell1.png


New Genesis
Orion's Private Courters

"Blackagar!!!"

Orion, the Dog of War, yells out the Inhuman King's name however he yells out to static. The second that Black Bolt unleashed his attack on the surface of Apokolips, interference was created between the connections of Orion on New Genesis and the Royal Family on their War Ship in space. In his fury and anger, Orion starts to lose his temper and smashes his fists upon the console and ripping its base clean off and tossing it over his backside. Lightray enters the room, dodge the projectile console, and speaks.

"He didn't listen did he, Orion?"

The true son of Darkseid merely jerks his head back at Lightray, who sighs as he has more than received his answer.

"Then it is time we relay to High Father that the Inhumans have foresworn the Quintessence's decree. You know as well as I do what the likely outcome is. New Genesis must be ready to defend itself for the sake of the Galaxy once Darkseid's forces has defeated the Inhumans and made them their minions."

"No...there is the other possibility...should they exceed."

"Should they succeed, the cosmos are still doomed. You heard High Father. There are only two outcomes that the Quintessence have foreseen should the Inhumans take action as they have. Black Bolt will either die during this assault on Apokolips, or wish he had in the aftermath. The former and the latter both can result in chaos among the cosmos. Hence is the reason High Father said that the Quintessence did not tell the Inhuman those two fates. There was the third and only useful fate for him and his people: not going at war. That was their only solution. Now...there is no hope for the Inhuman Race."


Apokolips
The Surface of the planet

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/pdemons1.jpg

"DIE FOR DARKSEID!!!"
"DARKSEID IS!"
"MY LIFE FOR LORD DARKSEID!!"

Such are the chants the parademon armies of Apokolips chant randomly as they engage in battle with Blackagar Boltagon's forces. Black Bolt and the Royal Family lead the battle of course. While in some cultures it is customary in a monarchy when a kingdom is at war for the monarch to let his generals and lower ranked men wage war for him...it most certainly is not the case for the Inhuman race. Black Bolt does not use his quasi-sonic scream of course now that they are on the surface of Apokolips and no longer within the warship that has the magnificent weapon his brother constructed. Still, he is able to channel the quasi-sonic particles from within and release them through powerful blasts or to imbue his strength.

As it currently stands, the Inhumans seem to be making quite an advancement through the parademon forces.

Maximus the Mad, younger brother to the King and former attempted-usurper, remains upon the warship of course. As his elder brother is on the battlefield with the rest of the Royal Family and Inhuman forces, Maximus is their greater eyes and ears. He relays to Karnak what he sees telepathically, and Karnak in return through his uncanny gift relays back the most precise of weak spots in Darkseid's forces. Victory is surely within their grasps with such efficiency and cooperation. Truly something for the history books.

Years from now, cultures will remember this day as the Great Inhuman Triumph. Hours from now...Blackagar shall be tasting victory.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/tritonforces1.png

Triton's forces, whom have finally breached through some of the Apokoliptian structures, can finally start their mission as it is their task to shut down and dampen the enemies forces and locate their weapons' cache to quicker disarm the enemy as there are still some trying to rally up while the first wave is in combat with the Inhuman forces. Gorgon, with the beautiful Inhuman Queen Medusa and her sibling Crystal, are tasked with locating where exactly it is that Ahura is being held captive.

Karnak remains with the King...the two of them alone being a force to be reckoned with as they continue to push on with the rest of their forces.

Then, everything becomes worth it as Blackagar Boltagon will finally be able to serve a sense of justice to the first person of this wretched planet that has wronged him. A loud BOOM thunders as a boom tube opens up on their left flank, and quickly Karnak notices who leads this particular force of Apokoliptians. Nudging to his cousin, Karnak assures him that he along with Maximus' aid from above will continue the main push, and Black Bolt flies to the skies. His target dead in front of him but a mere few seconds away, he charges up the quasi-sonic particles from within.

"DIE INHUMAN SCUM!"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/kalibak1.png

Kalibak the Cruel. The one who had physically taken Ahura from Black Bolt has arrived. Blackagar plans to show him just how cruel he can be.

Batman
03-08-2012, 09:22 PM
Mongul yelled and stamped his feet, cursing Reed and Superman. Reed just turned and looked at Superman. The two men shared a look and started walking down the corridor, leaving Mongul behind in his cell.

"Let's see if I can find a spacesuit. Hope you don't mind me hitching a ride with you back to Earth."

And so we leave Warworld behind.

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/One%20Earth/Superman/For%20Tomorrow/RPG5-1.png

I had to admit, I was a little hesitant about carrying Dr. Richards all the way back to Earth. I've never been this far out in space before in my life - that is at least, I've never flown this far out by myself and without a spacecraft to shield me. So suffice to say, I didn't know what I was in for regarding the flight itself. The idea of bringing a passenger along seemed like too much of a risk. But once I realized that I literally had no other option except to leave him stranded here, on Warworld, with a tyrannical despot waiting to exact his revenge, I quickly left those concerns aside and decided to take the chance. So after rummaging through Mongul's personal quarters, we managed to find a suit suitable for space travel and make our leave.

Less than a few hours later, and I've managed to spot our moon in the oncoming distance. It was a rough trek, and we couldn't nessecarily talk on the way there, but we both made it back from the other side of the galaxy relatively unharmed. Richards gives me an enthusiastic thumbs-up, evidently having enjoyed his tour of part of the known universe. I simply smirk, carrying us past the moon and back towards Earth. Admittedly, I thought it was pretty neat myself.

Whenever we hit the atmosphere, I take the brunt of the friction that it causes for us both. Fortunately, Richards' spacesuit is heavily armored, which is the one positive thing so far that I can say about Warworld. Before long, we've made it into the stratosphere, hovering just above Kenya. A little far from New York, but the trip shouldn't take more than a minute.

Feeling safe enough to lift the visor on the helmet, Richards takes a long-awaited gasp of oxygen that isn't foreign. For a moment, I find myself wishing I understood what it meant to have to breathe.

"Took us a little bit of time, but I think we're finally home. You feeling alright, now that you've seen half of the solar system?"

Byrd Man
03-08-2012, 09:40 PM
Whenever we hit the atmosphere, I take the brunt of the friction that it causes for us both. Fortunately, Richards' spacesuit is heavily armored, which is the one positive thing so far that I can say about Warworld. Before long, we've made it into the stratosphere, hovering just above Kenya. A little far from New York, but the trip shouldn't take more than a minute.

Feeling safe enough to lift the visor on the helmet, Richards takes a long-awaited gasp of oxygen that isn't foreign. For a moment, I find myself wishing I understood what it meant to have to breathe.

"Took us a little bit of time, but I think we're finally home. You feeling alright, now that you've seen half of the solar system?"

"You kidding?" Reed asked with a smile. "I only wish I had brought a camera."

A few minutes later, Superman was touching down on the roof of the Baxter Building after letting Reed down.

"I should probably get inside," Reed said, pulling off the space suit's helmet. "I have a feeling NASA and the Air Force are going to hound me to give them a debrief... Speaking of that, I submitted a report to the government the other day. They wanted my thoughts on the Superman of Metropolis. I said you were probably a low-grade metahuman suffering from delusions of grandeur... After today, though, I'm convinced that no delusions could live up to your actual grandeur."

Reed held his hand out.

"You saved my wife. Whoever you are, wherever you're from, I am forever in your debt. The doors of the Baxter Building are always open to you."

Batman
03-08-2012, 10:05 PM
"I should probably get inside," Reed said, pulling off the space suit's helmet. "I have a feeling NASA and the Air Force are going to hound me to give them a debrief... Speaking of that, I submitted a report to the government the other day. They wanted my thoughts on the Superman of Metropolis. I said you were probably a low-grade metahuman suffering from delusions of grandeur... After today, though, I'm convinced that no delusions could live up to your actual grandeur."

Reed held his hand out.

"You saved my wife. Whoever you are, wherever you're from, I am forever in your debt. The doors of the Baxter Building are always open to you."

I return the handshake, though with a bit of initial hesitance. A few days ago, few even knew for sure that Superman actually even existed. I had lived a life of hiding my potential, dodging any chance of personal glory or thanks. Yet now, I've just experienced an alien world, fought it's maniacal ruler, travelled through space, and have met The Fantastic Four. I'm shaking hands with Reed Richards, one of the world's top astrobiologists.

If this is what it feels like to be able to stop hiding yourself from the world, I may have been wrong about fearing what the world would see of me. Infact, I'm starting to think I like it.

"I appreciate the sentiment, Doctor, but I was happy to help. Your team is doing good work for the world, and may have even just saved it from annihilation. So allow me to extend an offer of my own. If you or your team ever need me, just call my name. I promise you that I'll hear it."

Giving my new friend a smile, I turn back towards the skyline of New York.

It's a nice city, but it's no Metropolis. Which I should be getting back to before it gets late. I may be mistaken, but I believe that I have another job interview tomorrow.

"It was nice meeting you all. Hopefully today won't be the last that we cross eachother's paths."

Without another word, we wave eachother goodbye as I ascend into the skies and take off.

All of the pleasantries aside, there is something else that I took away from my encounter with The Fantastic Four. I now know that the government is still hunting me. After what happened in Metropolis, in such a public display of my powers, I figured it was only a matter of time.

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG5-1.png

Hopefully their renewed interest in me won't be too problematic...

wiegeabo
03-09-2012, 12:29 AM
"I do," I said, glaring at Biglia with my arms crossed.


45 Minutes Later
Gotham Central


Matt and I were hidden in the shadows as the stairwell door opened and Gordon walked across the roof.

"Biglia sang like a canary," he said after lighting up a cigarette. He took a long drag on the cigarette before he slowly exhaled, the smoke curling out his mouth.

"I put in a call to a friend of mine at the NYPD. He's a captain in their Major Case Squad. New York and the Gotham DA offices will start extradition on Bigglia. This time tomorrow, he should be in a holding cell at the Tombs in Manhattan."

"That's good to know. There are more than a few people back in New York that will be happy to get this confession on the record."

I offer my hand towards Gordon, and he seems genuinely surprised at the gesture. "Thanks for the halp. And I'm sorry I couldn't do more to help your men tonight."

Carnage27
03-10-2012, 08:06 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

As the building burns and crumbles around us, Kobra and I continue our bout. He charges at me, and I manage to dodge a punch and throw my shoulder into him, pushing him back.

But he drives his leg into my chest and grabs me by the waste, flipping me over his head and into a column. The blow knocks the wind of me, and as I stand, the column gives way, sending an avalanche of rubble on top of me. I manage to raise my shield, saving me form being crushed, but I am trapped and too long in this heat will be the end of me.

"Captain," I hear Kobra's muffled voice from outside as I attempt to dig myself out. "I'm sorry it had to come to this. But it was either now or later. You don't fit into our future plans."

As he finishes my shield hand bursts from the rubble, and I roll towards him, delivering an upper cut as I complete the roll. "It's gonna take a lot more to take me outta the game than that."

"Apparently so," the terrorist leader smiles. He flicks his wrist away from his hip, and I have to bring my shield up quickly to deflect a throwing knife away from me. But as I do that, he throws another that embeds itself in my right thigh.

I yell in pain, and don't have time to defend myself from a haymaker punch that knocks me halfway across the room. I lay there and attempt to get the knife out of my leg as Kobra comes towards me. A hole in the roof and wall shows the city proper and the damage the terrorists have done.

"Look at it, Rogers," Kobra laughs as he reaches down towards me. "The birth of a new future through flames."

Painfully yanking the knife from my leg, I quickly slash at his hand, and then plunge it into his shoulder. He grunts and stumbles back, and I toss my shield at his other shoulder, causing him to stumble backwards. At that moment, the floor gives way, and he barely grabs on to a stable part. He manages to pull himself up, and pull the knife out of his shoulder.

I look around at the building around us, and it's obviously coming down any minute.

"We need to get out of here, or we're both going to die."

"Then I will have completed my mission and I will be rewarded in the next life," he says as he comes at me with the knife. He swipes and stabs, but I manage to keep myself unharmed. His injuries have made him sloppy, and after a few sloppy attacks, I grab his arm and toss him away from him.

He lands, and a good portion of the roof falls around him, trapping him here he stands. I can see in his eyes the anger of failure, but he knows he has no where to go. "Well done Captain," he says in an angry, dejected voice. "But this is far from a final victory."

"You said you have a master!" I call to him. "Who?"

He laughs his cruel laugh. As the flames rise, he calls back, "If one dies, two will rise to take its place...HAIL HYDRA!"

And then the building collapses. I sprint towards a hole in the wall as rubble tumbles towards me, and I leap through it as the entire building comes down.

HYDRA. Impossible. We stopped HYDRA. I was thought dead on a mission to ensure that. But I can't worry about old enemies now. I have a battle to lead and win.

I land, and see Diana finishing off a group of Kobra troops. She sees me and rushes over, "Captain, you are injured."

"I'll be fine," I respond. "What's the situation?"

"Iron Man and Thor have engaged the enemies in the air, including a force of robotic giants that showed up. But we will not last long like this. Where is Kobra?"

"He won't be joining us for the remainder of the evening," I respond, and realize she's right. We won't last long like this. I need to finish this. "You can fly, right?"

"Yes."

"Care to give me a lift?"

"Where?"

"There," I say, pointing towards the helicarrier.

Carnage27
03-10-2012, 08:41 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png

As my small, remaining Brotherhood exit the forest and find Charles's institute, the sight steals my breath. The grounds have been destroyed, and the house looks like its in shambles from this distance.

"Erik, I'm sorry," Mystique says from my side.

"Come, let's check the grounds."

As we explore what once were beautiful gardens and well manicured lawns, I'm taken aback by the destruction. There were more of them sent here, that's for sure. They wanted something here. Badly. What it was I'm not sure. It seems they got it though.

"No bodies," Arthur says form behind me.

"We can be thankful for one thing then," I respond. "When we find who ever has done this, we'll be able to liberate those captured."

We approach the house, and I push the broken door open, and its hinges give way as it collapses to the floor. The inside is barely touched aside from the broken windows and a few score marks from blast of the outside.

"They obviously didn't need to come in to acquire their targets," I ponder. "Search the house for survivors."

I head towards Charles's study, and take a seat, pondering what my next move is.

"Where are you, Charles?"

Byrd Man
03-10-2012, 10:47 PM
"That's good to know. There are more than a few people back in New York that will be happy to get this confession on the record."

I offer my hand towards Gordon, and he seems genuinely surprised at the gesture. "Thanks for the halp. And I'm sorry I couldn't do more to help your men tonight."


"I appreciate the sentiment, but I doubt there is anything just one person could have done to change things. Do we have any idea of what they wanted?"

"Not yet," I said. It was true, although I still had the sneaking suspicion that Gorgon and the Hand's appearance in Gotham related to me. "I'll be in touch."

Gordon nodded and then Matt and I disappeared back into the shadows.


****


Matt and I stood at the top of Wayne Tower as the skyline of Gotham shifted from ink-black to the purply haze of dawn. The sun was preparing to peek over the horizon.

"Thanks for your help tonight," I said to Matt. "I know it's not the most conventional class reunion, but then again we never had anything close to a conventional class."

Byrd Man
03-11-2012, 04:33 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/ffbyrd.png





Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD


Inside Johns Hopkins' pediatric ward, seven year old Eliza Newton was in her bed. She laid there asleep, a wrap covered her hairless head. A year of off and on chemotherapy had weakened her so much that it seemed like she slept more than anything. She has just turned six when her first seizure had occurred. The doctors knew right away it was a tumor, and the scans showed a tumor the size of a tangerine in the middle of her brain. It was inoperable and growing larger. She'd been fighting the disease ever since.

Eliza jerked in her sleep, a victim of a nightmare. The heart monitor picked up speed and increased. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open. Her eyes, normally brown, were golden and glowing. Contrails curled from out of Eliza's eyes.

On the street outside, the people coming to and going from the hospital were interrupted from their routine as a shrill, high-pitched scream broke through the air. All eyes went up to the sky, where a child was falling from the sky. People on the street gasped and recoiled as she careened to the ground. The girl was just feet from the pavement when she disappeared in a puff of smoke. The people outside the hospital began to gather at the spot where the girl would have landed. They talked amongst themselves and looked up into the air as they talked, all of them trying to make sense of what they just saw.




The Baxter Building
Manhattan


"JOHNNY!" Ben yelled as he stomped through the Baxter Building's upper levels. "Come out so I can murder ya!"

"Stop me when I lie!" Johnny said as he ran out of a sideroom and sprinted down the hallway away from Ben. Ben started to give chase, his rocky footsteps shaking the whole floor. Johnny came the end of the hallway and ducked out on to the terrace outside. Johnny leaped from the terrace, free falling for a few seconds before bursting into flames and taking to the skies.

"Come back here!" Ben shouted, shaking his rocky fist into the sky as Johnny streaked away.

"What's going on?" Sue asked as she stepped on to the terrace. "Oh," she said, her face scowling as she saw what was on Ben's back. Johnny had slapped a sticker read "WIDE LOAD!" in the middle of his back.

"Mind helping me?" Ben asked, pawing at the sticker that was just out of reach. Sue nodded and helped pry it off his rocky back.

"I'm sorry," she said, crumbling the sticker up into a ball.

"You ain't gotta apologize for him," Ben said with a shrug. "Kid's been a jerk since as long as I've known him."

"I know. He should know better since you're..."

"What?" Ben asked defensively. "What am I, Suze? Crazy? Depressing? What?"

"You know, Ben...sensitive."

"Well, I'm so happy that the ugly rock monster is worthy of your consideration and pity."

"Come on, Ben, you know I didn't mean it like that. I'm trying to talk to you, but I can tell you're in one of your moods.

"Moods? What mood?"

"You're having one of your pity parties. Anything anyone tries to say to you, you turn it around and use it against us. You want to feel sorry for yourself, go ahead. Just leave me out of it."

With that, Sue turned around and left the terrace. She headed up a few levels to the floor where Reed and Sue kept their labs. Her husband of six months was in the main work station, stretched out underneath a hybrid car.

"How's it coming?"

"Fantastic!" Reed said from underneath the car. "I took out the engine and replaced it with one of my own design. It can go over eight hundred miles an hour, and it's more than adequate to power hover engines and maintain flight."

"A flying car? Is there anything else it does?"

"It runs on water, but it's not as efficient as I had hoped. Only gets two hundred miles to the gallon."

Reed pulled himself out from under the car and stood up, grabbing a rag from the workbench and wiping off his greasy hands. "So how are Ben and Johnny enjoying their R&R?"

"Don't get me started," Sue said with a roll of her eyes. "They've been bickering pretty bad over the past few days. It's been nearly two weeks since Warworld. I think they need something to do."

"Idle hands and all that."

Reed's computer on the other side of the lab dinged, alerting him that he had a priority email in his inbox. "Excuse me," he said, stretching the upper half of his body across the room. Sue watched from the other side of the room as he typed and responded to his email.

"Ask and you shall receive," Reed said as he stretched back to normal. "That was an email from General Lumpkin. The FBI and something called the DEO is requesting assistance involving an incident in Baltimore."

"Good. After putting up with Ben and Johnny for two weeks, I can deal with whatever the universe is prepared to throw at us."

"Round up Ben and Johnny while I get the car ready," Reed said, patting the car's hood. "It's perfect driving weather. Can't think of a better time for a maiden voyage."

MST3K 4ever
03-11-2012, 07:13 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex and two lab workers watch Banner in the spartan isolation chamber.

A bed, a nightstand with a pen and a pad of paper, a two-way mirror, and a room with a toilet are the only "comforts" Bruce has known for the last two days since the lab "accident".

Periodically there are voices from a speaker box asking him questions and lab techs in full iso gear taking readings and running tests.

This is it! I am not showing an adverse reactions to these blasted tests! I've been cooped in here with hardly any contact. I feel fine in fact better than I've ever felt in my life. Well except for the fact that I should be dead.

Banner looks at the mirror and says, "Hey! I demand to be released! I have my rights and I'm being held here against my will! Let me out now!"

Lex cuts on the mic and says, "Patience Bruce. Only a few more days. I promise you that we are working around the clock to make sure that you're 100% healthy."

Banner says, "Lex I don't care. I've seen enough of the readings I'm perfectly fine. Are you trying to get a lock on how I survived so you can replicate the results, and sell them to the highes bidder?"

Lex swallows for a moment and says, "That is none of your concern. We have your best interests at heart Bruce just know that."

Bruce stands up and says, "Pardon me if I don't believe you Lex. As far as I'm concerned I am no longer a part of your beloved LexCorp, and if there are any further tests to be run I'll get out of here and go to either Stark, Wayne, or even Oscorp. Now let me outta here Lex!"

Lex looks at the two lab workers and says, "Leave the room now. Dr. Banner and I must negotiate in private."

The lab workers leave and Lex enters a stealth command on his L-pad to Alexis: End-Game.

Alexis replies thru the L-Pad, "Acknowledged"

Within seconds the room begins filling with a deadly Lithium-Propane gas and Banner knows something is worng.

Lex says, "Bruce I have no idea what is happening your filtration system seems to have picked up a glitch I have no idea how to fix it."

Banner is coughing and gagging and drops to the floor.

The only way you're leaving here Banner is in a bodybag!

Bruce struggles to get fresh air but can feel his heartbeat slowing down and the lights growing dimmer.

Can't breathe...can't focus...must escape....MUST ESCAPE!

Lex suddenly sees Banner look at the two way mirror with the jade stones in place where his eyes should be.

Lex says, "What the...."

Before his eyes Lex sees Banner grow from a 5' 9" 170 pound scientist to a monster of 7' 7" tall and at least 1,200 pounds...all of it muscle.

The creature comes over to the mirror and stares at himself. Lex though sees the creature staring to him

http://images.paraorkut.com/img/pics/images/t/the_incredible_hulk-6679.jpg

Lex has known many emotions in his time but this is the first time he has ever known pure fear on an epic scale.

The Creautre roars a primative yell and the mirror shatters!

ROOAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!

Lex moves towards a darkened corner and watches as The Creature smashes through a solid wall made of concrete and steel as though it were tissue paper.

The Creature lets out another yell and begins to leap out of the room tearing holes through the walls of LexCorp and out into the Metropolis night.

Lex says very quietly and for the first time in his life prayerfully, "My God what have I done?"

Keyser Soze
03-12-2012, 07:39 PM
Green everywhere. Alec Holland doesn’t know where he is, but it’s somewhere hot, and humid, and ripe to burst with life. He can hear the calls of unknown tropical birds in the distance, but it’s the plants that he sees. Towering trees blot out the sky and cast him into relative darkness, with only shimmers of dazzling light letting him know it’s daylight out there somewhere. And in amidst them are hanging vines and branches that interlock tightly like a labyrinth before him. By all rights he should have to fight his way through this untamed wilderness to move forward. But as he walks through it, the rampant green seems to give way without protest. It’s almost as if it’s obeying his touch.

Why exactly he’s walking forward, he doesn’t know. In truth, he doesn’t know what exactly lies backwards, either. All he knows is that something lies ahead, something great and terrifying, and as much as his mind is screaming to turn and run, his body can’t help but be drawn to the source of whatever is calling for him. The air hangs thick all around him, his shirt sticking to his back with the sweat that’s running off him like water. He feels blades of grass caressing his bare feet. He’s lost track of how long he’s been walking, but somehow his unprotected soles don’t have so much of a scratch on them.

Up ahead, he can see the dense, suffocating undergrowth starting to disperse. There’s a clearing up ahead. Something tells him that he’ll find what he’s looking for here. He stops, looks hesitantly over his shoulder. No, he’s come too far to turn back now. He has no choice. Feeling his heart pounding against his chest, Alec steps out into the clearing.

At last, the sun hits him. For a moment, he’s blinded, having to shield his eyes. But as he grows accustomed to the light, he becomes aware of what stands in this clearing. A circle of massive trees, a lot older and thicker than even those he encountered on his journey. There’s something majestic and terrifying about these giants, something that makes him feel like standing amongst them is to be on hallowed ground. He approaches one hulking tower of a tree, as wide in diameter as a train carriage, and placed a trembling hand on its rough bark. He gazes at it, transfixed by the shapes worn into its surface by time. The fascination turns to terror when he realises what he is looking at: a giant face, seemingly engraved into the bark of the tree. No, not engraved into it. Growing out of it. The face is moving! It’s looking at him!

Alec wants to scream, but he can’t. It’s caught in his dry, parched throat, and all he can do was stare stupidly in open-mouthed horror. Then, the old tree speaks to him.

“Welcome home, Alec Holland.”

...

Alec woke with a start. The same dream again. Always the same dream. He rubbed a hand against his forehead. The sweat was real enough. He sat up in bed, running his hand across the synthetic fabric of the duvet, telling himself he was resting on a mattress, not grass, that he was in his home, in his bed, not in the green place. He was used to telling himself this. It was a ritual he’d been going through periodically since childhood.

“Alec! I’ve got breakfast ready!”

He smiled to himself. Linda, his lovely new wife. Hearing her voice was enough to cast the demons of sleep away for another day. Pushing himself out of bed and padding across the bedroom, he made his way through to the kitchen, where Linda was waiting.

“Now, if I’d told you a year ago you’d be in the kitchen cooking me breakfast, I bet you’d never have married me,” Alec said with a chuckle, giving his wife a kiss.

“Don’t count your blessings yet, Dr. Holland,” she replied, “You’re doing the washing-up after. Then you’ve got to do some weeding out in the lawn.”

As he sat down at the table, Alec looked over at Linda with confusion.

“Weeding? I did it barely a week ago.”

“Not good enough, it would seem,” Linda answered, “The weeds are pushing their way up through the concrete paving. And while we’re on the subject, the hedges are starting to look a little overgrown too.”

Alec didn’t say much as he ate his breakfast.

Once he was ready, Alec stepped outside. Linda was right. The weeds were back. The hedges were overgrown. It was like a collection of fingers reaching out from all around, all stretching out to grasp onto the house at the centre. A small fortress of brown and gray within a circle of green...

He laughed at himself. That recurring dream of his was still in his head. He turned towards the house, about to walk over to the shed to get some pesticide, and his smile quickly faltered. A creeping vine was starting to grow up his house’s side wall.

Welcome home, Alec Holland.

Welcome home.


Cypress Swamp, Louisiana

They were in bayou country, out in the middle of nowhere. And that's exactly where Alec Holland needed to be. Their car had driven him and his wife out to a cabin deep in the heart of the swamp. Alec had converted this place into a lab with Sue Storm and a few other college classmates way back when, as a place they could come to if they ever needed to "get away from it all." The tech inside would probably be dated now, but it was just the sanctuary he needed.

"Home sweet home?"

Linda stepped out of the car after him, wrapping her arms around his waist. He smiled absently, but his focus was elsewhere. The air hung hot and thick, like in his dreams. This was not the place of his dreams, but it was similar. It was here, wild and unchecked. The green. All around him...

For months now, Holland had been working for a man called Nathan Ellery, who had hired him to develop a bio-restorative formula, supposedly for use in third world countries and places of drought. The theory was one that had been something of an obsession of Holland's for years, that it was possible to stimulate even the most minimal of plant growth, and make a rainforest in a desert. With Ellery's considerable resources, this idea had come close to becoming a reality. But then everything changed.

Holland had received anonymous e-mails with leaked documents showing what Ellery was truly planning on using this bio-restorative formula for. Military application, destabilising the battlegrounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. Holland was being lied to. So he quit, and took his findings thus far with him. He decided that he was going to finish his research on his own, and when he was done, the formula would become available to the world, rather than the exclusive property of shady big business. Linda had joined him. She had always been his best lab partner.

He entered the access code - long ago burned into his memory - and the cabin doors swung open. It was dark and musty inside - evidently it had been a long time since any of the old gang had used the place - but it was still in solid working order.

"Yes. This'll do nicely."

Keyser Soze
03-13-2012, 11:25 AM
Alec and Linda had been at the cabin lab in the Louisiana Swamplands for weeks now, trying to reach a breakthrough in the bio-restorative formula, to no avail. Without the resources and manpower available to him at Ellery's lab, every unsuccessful test took longer, and the effort was quite draining.

"Damn it," Alec muttered to himself, slumping in his stool.

Linda said nothing. She was feeling the strain as well, Alec knew it. She'd rather be home, not out here in the sticks. But Alec wouldn't be going anywhere until he was finished.

Muttering to himself, Holland entered his latest findings into his leather-bound journal. Linda sat down next to him, placing a hand on his arm. Maybe she was ready to say something after all.

"Alec," she sighed, and he knew this was going to be something he probably didn't want to hear, "You know I support every decision you've made. You were right not to work for Ellery after he lied to you. You're right that this formula should be shared with the world, with those who need it, rather than sold to the highest bidder. But does it have to be you that finds the solution? Or at least, do you have to do it on your own?"

Closing the book, Alec looked up at his wife wearily. It was a fair question, and one he couldn't quite answer.

"I've given years of my life to this, Linda. Yes, it has to be me. This could be my legacy, something truly great to be remembered for. And if I do this, make this gesture, maybe..."

...the dreams will stop.

"...maybe..."

...the green will finally leave me alone.

"...I don't know. I just know I have to see this through."

Before Linda could answer, both became aware of a sound outside.

"What's that?"

"It sounds like... a helicopter?"

Holland grabbed his journal and, leaping off his stool, rushed across the lab and threw the book into a safe, slamming the door shut.

"No one knows we're here!" Linda exclaimed.

"Someone obviously does," Alec replied, "Just try and stay calm."

Taking a deep breath, Holland opened the cabin door, and was greeted by a familiar face exiting a chopper and approaching him. A short, rotund man in his late 50s, with a balding head of gray hair.

"Hello, Mr. Ellery."

Nathan Ellery smiled thinly at Alec, walking past him and into the lab without waiting for an invite. He was flanked by two men in suits, who entered close behind. Ellery took out a handkerchief from his inside jacket pocket, and began dabbing his sweaty brow.

"The heat out here! I don't know how you can stand it, Alec. Nice lab you got here, though."

"Umm... we have a living area through the back. You might be more comfortable there."

The Hollands ushered their unwelcome guests through, and they settled in the modestly-sized but nicely-furnished living area, Ellery making himself at home by taking the largest sofa for himself.

"I was sorry you decided to leave us so abruptly," Ellery said with a smirk, "But it seems you've been keeping yourself busy."

Not wanting to compromise his source, Holland had not given his real reasons for quitting his job working for Ellery. He'd simply cited stress as the cause, and had given no indication that he would be continuing to work on the bio-restorative formula on his own.

"Oh, that's nothing. Just a few side projects to keep my mind occupied. Linda and I mainly came out here for the environment. The bayou is teeming with life, plenty of fodder for study and research. And, of course, it's a great place to get away from everything..."


"Indeed!" laughed Ellery, "You don't tell a soul where you're going, not even your friends! You just... vanish one day, up sticks and leave. We were worried. It was very hard to track you down..."

"Just how did you find us?" interjected Linda.

Ellery just winked and tapped the side of his nose.

"That's not why I'm here," he replied, "I'm here to make the two of you an offer. Simply put, we need you. You're two of the best botanists working today, and without your help, I don't see us completing this bio-restorative formula. How would you like to come back to work, for twice the pay?"

Alec and Linda exchanged glances. The offer hung in the air for a few moments, before Alec broke the silence.

"That's a very generous offer, Mr. Ellery, and I appreciate it. But it's not about the money. I just don't feel like I'm able to work in such a high-pressure environment anymore. After my sabbatical out here, I'm thinking of just taking on less demanding work, perhaps lecturing at a University somewhere."

Ellery stared hardly at him for a few moments. Then he was all smiles.

"Well, I'd be happy to give you any reference you might need," Ellery said, "I just want you to know that this is my final offer. We really need to move forward on this project, one way or another, so once I step out that door and get back on that chopper, I won't be open to any more negotiation."

"I think I can accept that," Holland said.

Letting out a sigh of disappointment, Ellery stood up and stretched out his hand. Standing up himself, Alec shook it.

"It was a pleasure to work with you, Dr. Holland."

After seeing Ellery and his men out, Alec Holland turned to Linda. She looked terrified.

"He knows!"

"Of course he does."

"We... we have to get out of here," Linda said, pacing frantically, "Pack up and head home, get other people in the loop while we still can. If he knows where we are, out here, it's secluded, we're vulnerable, it's too dangerous..."

"No."

Linda stopped in her tracks, turning to face her husband.

"No!?"

"Ellery's just a fat businessman. He's not going to harm us. And besides, we're nearly there, I can feel it. A little more time, and we'll have cracked this formula. Then we won't need to worry about Ellery, or anyone else!"

Linda didn't look convinced. Alec took her in his arms, drawing her close for a warm embrace.

"Listen to me. I wouldn't let anything happen to you, you know that. We're safe here. Everything is going to be alright."

Andy C.
03-13-2012, 01:16 PM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/jokerlogo.jpg

PREVIOUSLY:


"Do you know why people laugh?" Doctor Jonathan Crane asked casually, looking over his shoulder at the pale figure strapped to the table.

The Joker, unable to move his arms and legs despite his considerable strength--the guards quickly learned to use heavy steel chains to keep him down after he snapped off on orderly's fingers--eyed Crane curiously, studying the wiry doctor as he carefully filled a syringe.

"Again with the 'whys'?" he asked, annoyed.

"Oh, I don't mean the philosophical why," Crane responded. "You've already said quite a bit on that line of thinking. I'm speaking purely of the biological function of it, the practical purpose that our species evolved with the impulse to have such a reaction."

The Joker raised an eyebrow.

"People laugh as a response to fear," Crane said, a gleam in his eye. "Back when we were still hairless primates, we needed a loud and simple way to communicate with each other, especially in situations involving uncertain or unexpected developments. If we encountered something we didn't know about or didn't expect, we would need to quickly let the other hairless primates know whether something was a threat. Laughter, then, emerged as a sort of all-clear signal, to tell the other primates in the area that the unexpected was no actual threat. It's a relieving of the physical tension necessary for survival. In short, it is a secondary response to the initial reaction of fear."

Crane strolled around the table, casually toying with the syringe in his hand.

"That's why the jokes at which we laugh the most are usually the darkest, or at least he most surprising," he said. "We don't laugh because bad things are happening; we laugh because bad things aren't happening to us."

"Interesting theory, doc," the Joker mused. "But what about those of us who laugh when bad things are happening to us?"

"Escape from reality, most likely," Crane waved the question away. "Laughing is often also coupled with the release of biochemicals which alter one's state of mind."

"So if a guy has a reality so awful that he wants to get away from it, he could just keep laughing until his brain drugs itself and makes him crazy?" he asked with a giggle. "Golly, I'd hate to see what happens to a fella that's been through that."

Dr. Crane snorted.

"I thought you'd find this sort of discussion rather stimulating," he said. "After all, you seem to have a penchant for dark comedy, and the study of phobias and fear is my area of expertise. So the two related reactions may give us something in common. I understand that you are also something of a rather brilliant chemist, as am I. That's two things we have in common."

"I count three," the Joker said.

"How so?"

"Why do you think Dr. Arkham had me sent to you?" the Joker asked. "I'm not here because of severe panic attacks or anxiety or crippling phobias. So why would he send me to the fear doctor?"

Crane smirked.

"Because I'm the single best doctor this hospital has, and he knows it," he said proudly.

"No," Joker said with a grin. "He sent me to you because he's scared of you. Because you're a prototypical Hollywood mad doctor, and he likes having you around to threaten the unruly patients with. You keep the pests from ruining his crop of good little crazies. You're his scarecrow."

Doctor Crane's smirk turned into a scowl, which made the Joker smile even wider.

"So that's three things we've got in common, Scarecrow," he said. "We're the terrible monsters that Arkham doesn't like to think about. He's hoping you scare me into being more cooperative, and he's hoping I get under your skin and into your head so badly that you crack and aren't a threat to his position anymore. But both of us make the good doctor pee his pants just a little when he thinks about us."

"Perhaps you're onto something there," Crane said, dabbing a cotton ball soaked in alcohol onto the Joker's wrist to sterilize it. "Maybe we'll make a game of it: see who cracks first, you or me. I'll go first."

With that, Dr. Crane stuck the syringe into the Joker's wrist, pumping his veins full of a dark red substance.

Minutes later, the corridors or Arkham Asylum resounded with blood-curdling howls. Those who heard it couldn't be sure if what they heard was laughing or screaming.



"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

Struggling violently against the heavy chains of his restraints, the Joker screamed at the top of his lungs. Doctor Crane noted his reactions, every change in his voice and motions. He had injected the murderer with a concentrated dose of his special fear-inducing serum, designed to study the primal reactions of the mind under the most stressful circumstances, to determine the point at which a healthy mind could warp, and a warped one could break completely.

Now, it seemed the Joker was reaching the crescendo, fast approaching a climax of panic and terror. Not that getting such a reaction from a hardened criminal like him was easy; Crane had been injecting him with the formula for days. And unbeknownst to the Joker or anyone in the Arkham Asylum staff, Crane had taken it a step further, hiding speakers in the clown's cell which gave off a constant feed of infrasound: ultra-low-frequency soundwaves imperceptible to the human ear which, after prolonged exposure, can cause high tension, panic attacks, and sensory hallucinations, and were the reported cause of the vast majority of reported 'hauntings.' Dr. Crane had gone the extra mile to squeeze every last drop of fear out of the Joker as he could, and now, it was finally paying off.

"AAAAAH!!! NO! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" the white-skinned killer shrieked, his voice growing hoarse, his fingernails digging into the operating table.

Crane could only imagine what the clown was seeing. The serum caused an intense phobic reaction and hallucinations, but what precisely the phobia was, was entirely dependent on the subject. The psychiatrist studied the hysterical patient, wondering what images were playing out in his head, what scenes of carnage or depravity were tearing down his mental barriers.

"STOP! MAKE IT STOP! AAAHHH!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!"

The Joker convulsed, his back arching so hard that Crane halfway expected to hear his spine snap.

What happened next, Crane did not expect at all.

"AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! HAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!"

The Joker was laughing. It was an awful howling din, the clown's voice cracking and croaking, but it was still laughter nonetheless, genuine laughter, without a hint of fear behind it. It was the laugh of a man who had just seen the funniest thing he had ever hoped to see.

Minutes passed, and finally, the Joker had calmed down. His breath was ragged, his face streaked with hysterical tears and mucus, but he eventually managed to speak.

"Oh-ho-ho, Doc, that was a hoot!" he said, still giggling. "Tell me that stuff comes in more than one flavor!"

Dr. Crane scowled, the Joker seemingly returning to what could absurdly be referred to as 'normal' for him, and glanced back down at his notepad.

"Do you have any recollection of what just occurred, psychologically speaking?" he asked. "Do you remember the things you saw while under the effects of the serum?"

"Every last detail," he answered. "That little brew of yours makes a hell of an impression. Hard to forget."

"Then what did you see?"

The Joker shook his head.

"Ah-ah-ah, that's just for me to know," he said, smiling wide.

"If we can uncover the root behind your phobic reactions, the basic fear that drives you," Crane explained, "then we can better determine how to cure you."

"That's assuming I want to be cured," the clown said. "And more to the point, it assumes that I'm the one who's sick in the first place."

"Need I remind you that you killed over forty people, twenty of them police officers, and have admitted to killing far more?"

"Oh, please," the Joker said dismissively. "The police, the military, the government, the church, kill people every single day through institutionalized brutality. I return the favor by giving a few city-sponsored thugs a permanent case of the giggles-- nowhere near the amount of people the GCPD has killed just in the last year, by the way-- and yet because I don't have a piece of shiny metal that says I can do it, I get locked up and pumped full of drugs. That's a laugh, Crane."

"Tell me what you saw," Dr. Crane said, going back to the subject at hand.

"Not telling."

"If you don't cooperate," he said, a sinister tone in his voice, "I could always attempt to extract what you know through other methods...."

"Oh come on, Scarecrow," the Joker said, calling Crane by the nickname he had given him to irritate him, "We both know you just gave me your best shot. It might have worked, too, if you weren't trying to crack someone who's already cracked."

The Joker mused for a second.

"Normal people, though? Oh, I bet you could have all kinds of fun with them," he said. "You can get people to do all sorts of things for you, if you get them scared enough first. And most people haven't had their protective illusions shattered like me. I'll bet you could make yourself a king--a freaking fear god--if you took that stuff and--"

"That's quite enough, Joker," Crane cut him off impatiently. "I'm going to give you a few days for the serum to wear off, and then we'll try again."

"Oh, if you say so," he sighed. Crane called for the orderlies to escort the clown back to his cell.

As they carted him away, the Joker began singing to himself,

"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain......and my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin'....."

Crane grimaced as he recognized the tune.

"If I only had a brain...." he heard himself finish the lyric. The old song of the Scarecrow.

Crane shook his head, and went back to his office, spending the rest of the day trying not to think too long on what the Joker had said, and the ideas that came to him from there....

MST3K 4ever
03-13-2012, 06:19 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg


The Hulk lands with a earth shattering Kaboom in the middle of downtown Metropolis.

He looks around and yells, "ROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!"

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Film/Pix/pictures/2008/06/05/hulk460.jpg

Just then two police cars arrive on the scene.

All four officers get out of the car with their weapons drawn and they all look at one another for a moment.

The Hulk sees them and slowly approaches.

One of them says, "Umm....Ummm put your hands on top of your head."

The Hulk approaches closer and one of them says, "Do what he said or we will fire! This is your last warning!"

The Hulk lets out a slow growl and in a moment of panice one of them shoots The Hulk in the chest.

This "annoys" The Hulk. He looks down and sees a small trace of green blood ooze out of the wound and the wound closes up.

The Hulk takes a couple of deep breathes and lets out another, "ROOOOOOOAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!"

The Hulk then proceeds to pick up the two police cars and flings them across the city.

The gathererd crowd begins to yell and panic which further incites The Hulk to yell again as he looks around.

The Hulk then begins to run through the streets of Metropolis.

Andy C.
03-14-2012, 01:42 AM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/spideylogo.png

"Name?"

"Demolition Man!"

"Isn't that a movie?"

"Ummm........"

"It's too long anyway. You're D-Man now. You want the 5K match, the 10K, or the 20K?"

"I'll, um....I'll go with the 10K."

"Good; Bonesaw's been itching for a good fight. Green room's three doors down on the right; we'll call for you in about thirty."

I'm in line with about twenty or thirty other guys, all a bunch of wannabe badasses sporting tribal tattoos and piercings all over. I never understood the whole piercing thing, especially for this sort of scene--I mean, wouldn't having a bunch of metal things on your face to grab on to just make it easier to lose a fight?

The ones that don't look like they were pulled from the Who's Who of People You Don't Want Your Daughter to Marry, are dressed in even more ridiculous outfits, all obviously homemade spandex jobs to make themselves look like superhumans.

I, on the other hand, am an actual superhuman, thank you very much, which is why I look perfectly fine in my crummy homemade costume, comprising of jeans and a red ski mask and sweatshirt with a black spider drawn on it in Sharpie. What can I say? It's not easy making yourself look cool on a shoestring budget.

Finally, it's my turn, and I step up to the promoter, a square-jawed man with a hideous gold sequin jacket and way too much gel in his hair.

"Name?"

"Umm.....the Human Spider," I say nervously.

He waves that away with a dismissive scoff.

"That's no good--too much of a mouthful. 'Human Spider,' pfft. Sounds too much like that movie where those people get their faces sewn to each other's butts."

"I didn't think--"

"Spider-Man. Yeah, that's it; shorter, snappier, has a nice ring to it. You're the Amazing Spider-Man."

"Um....okay," I say with a shrug. "Works for me."

"Real name?"

I freeze; I was able to get past the bouncer with my Photoshopped ID, but if they say my real name out loud, people are gonna know me. Which is especially bad since Flash Thompson and Harry are both in the audience tonight.

"I'd, uh.....I'd rather not--"

"Y'know what? Forget real names," he says. "We haven't done a 'masked mystery man' angle in a while; could be fun. Now, are you going for the 5K match, the 10K, or the 20K?"

I couldn't help but notice that of all the guys who have signed up for the contest, not one of them has volunteered for the big purse, the twenty-thousand dollar challenge. Even that D-Man guy, who looked pretty tough despite what has got to be the worst costume in existence, only went for the ten thousand dollar match. Whatever the big payday is, it must be pretty nasty.

Then again, none of the other guys can do what I can do. I'm stronger, faster, more agile, and a hell of a lot smarter than everyone in this room combined. And the Parker household could really use the money. No reason not to go for the big one, right?

"The 20K match, please."

The promoter gives me a skeptical look, then bursts out laughing.

"Aha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Ohhh, that's rich, kid," he says. "But seriously, you want the 5K match, right?"

"No," I say, annoyed. "I said I want the 20K match, and I mean I want the 20K match."

Mr. Sequin Jacket shrugs, and says, "Your funeral, kid. I'll tell Waylon he's got a challenger tonight. But first, you've gotta get to wardrobe."

"Hey, what's wrong with my outfit?" I say, looking down at my ratty sweatshirt.

"The 20K match is the main event, kid, and I'm not having the challenger in my main event looking like an out-of-work ninja hobo. Two doors down to your right, ask for Rico."

"Okay," I say, wandering down the halls of Madison Square Garden, looking for someone who can make me look like I know what the hell I'm doing.


An hour or so later, I'm sitting in my underwear and my ski mask while a waify thin man with a frosted fauxhawk works furiously at a sewing machine.

"I am so absolutely unappreciated in my time," he complains to himself as he yanks a roll of bright red spandex off of the shelf and begins cutting out patterns. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to make you apes look good? No, of course you don't--no offense, sweetie. I mean, I'm only one man, and they expect me to work miracles in such a short time. I used to do this on Broadway, you know!"

"...you don't say...." I say, both impressed by how quickly the guy works and annoyed by how much he yammers.

"Oh yes, and let me tell you, they appreciated me there!" he goes on. "Now I'm stuck fixing seams every time Crusher Hogan puts on a few pounds, and not a soul thanks me for my work! If it weren't for me, they'd all still be wearing those ghastly singlets from their high school wrestling teams. I'm the one who makes them presentable for a live audience."

"I'll bet," I say, hoping if I humor him a bit he'll shut up.

Finally, he takes the stack of red and blue garments he's thrown together and hands them to me.

"Well, don't just stand there, try them on!" he says. "I think I really outdid myself this time. A lesser designer would have gone with black or brown or something spidery, but not me! Primary colors, big and bold! Not exactly accurate, but it should really pop out there."

He turns away to give me a little privacy, and I work my way into the tights. It's not exactly easy; I wasn't expecting them to be so snug. The pants don't quite fit at first, until I realize that I've got them on backwards. Eventually though, I squeeze into the outfit, replacing my ski mask with a full-face cowl that breathes surprisingly well considering that it covers my mouth and nose.

"Well?" Rico says. "Have I outdone myself yet again?"

"Eh," I say with a shrug.....

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/Comics/3060000000048606.jpg

".....it'll do, I guess."



**********



"Ladies and gentlemen," booms the voice of the sleazy looking promoter, who's performing double-duty as ring announcer. "We've seen one hell of a show tonight, and we're not finished yet! It's time for our twenty-thousand-dollar challenge, in tonight's main event!"

I'm pacing back and forth behind the curtains, anxious to get out there. I wonder if I'll be able to see Harry from the ring.

"Introducing first, the challenger," the announcer says, "He hails from the farthest reaches of Parts Unknown, his face concealed behind a sinister mask, his whole life shrouded in mystery! But at the center of his web of secrets is the heart of a ruthless warrior! Ladies and gentlemen, the Sensational, the Spectacular, the Amazing.......SPIDER-MAN!!!!

The curtain opens, the crowd cheers, the lights flash.........and I freeze like a deer in the headlights.

Oh God, I forgot I had stage fright!

I stand there, stiff as a board, until one of the stage hands shoves me forward and I stumble down the entrance ramp, the cheering being replaced by disappointed boos and jeers. Someone throws a beer at my head, but thankfully my enhanced reflexes and danger-precognitive sense kick in, and I duck under it before it can ruin my nice new duds.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Harry sitting in the crowd with Flash and Liz. Flash has got his arm in a sling, and Liz is trying her best to make him feel better by cuddling against him. Harry is only halfway paying attention, seemingly bored by all of this.

It isn't until it's too late that I realize I'm waving to them like an idiot.

"Dude.....did he just wave at us?" I hear Harry say, the crowd's reaction having peetered out to the point where I can pick out his voice.

"Hah, probably just waving to his mom or something," Flash laughs. "Look at how scrawny he is; he's gonna get killed in there!"

I step into the ring and nervously await my opponent, thinking of who it might be.

I watched the opening fights, where Crusher Hogan and Bonesaw McGraw threw around their opponents like ragdolls. Tough guys, but I know I'm tougher.

"And his opponent...." the announcer/promoter/owner of the world's most glorious Elvis pompadour says, "Is, like the challenger, neither man nor beast! You're in for a treat tonight, folks, because it's UCWF's first-ever Freak Fight!"

A squad of security guards makes their way through the curtain, holding riot shields and nightsticks. Okay, they're really going out of the way to make this guy look scary. I appreciate the showmanship and all, but c'mon, this is over the top.

"He comes to us from Gotham City........he weighs in at five hundred and eighty pounds of cold-blooded terror.......ladies and gentlemen, the UCWF Heavyweight Champion....."

The curtain flies open, revealing quite possibly the scariest thing I've ever seen.




http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/Comics/2090243-killer_croc.jpg

"KILLER CROC!"



..........I may have gotten in just a little bit over my head......

Byrd Man
03-15-2012, 02:37 AM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/ffbyrd.png




Previously




Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD



Inside Johns Hopkins' pediatric ward, seven year old Eliza Newton was in her bed. She laid there asleep, a wrap covered her hairless head. A year of off and on chemotherapy had weakened her so much that it seemed like she slept more than anything. She has just turned six when her first seizure had occurred. The doctors knew right away it was a tumor, and the scans showed a tumor the size of a tangerine in the middle of her brain. It was inoperable and growing larger. She'd been fighting the disease ever since.

Eliza jerked in her sleep, a victim of a nightmare. The heart monitor picked up speed and increased. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open. Her eyes, normally brown, were golden and glowing. Contrails curled from out of Eliza's eyes.

On the street outside, the people coming to and going from the hospital were interrupted from their routine as a shrill, high-pitched scream broke through the air. All eyes went up to the sky, where a child was falling from the sky. People on the street gasped and recoiled as she careened to the ground. The girl was just feet from the pavement when she disappeared in a puff of smoke. The people outside the hospital began to gather at the spot where the girl would have landed. They talked amongst themselves and looked up into the air as they talked, all of them trying to make sense of what they just saw.




The Baxter Building
Manhattan


"JOHNNY!" Ben yelled as he stomped through the Baxter Building's upper levels. "Come out so I can murder ya!"

"Stop me when I lie!" Johnny said as he ran out of a sideroom and sprinted down the hallway away from Ben. Ben started to give chase, his rocky footsteps shaking the whole floor. Johnny came the end of the hallway and ducked out on to the terrace outside. Johnny leaped from the terrace, free falling for a few seconds before bursting into flames and taking to the skies.

"Come back here!" Ben shouted, shaking his rocky fist into the sky as Johnny streaked away.

"What's going on?" Sue asked as she stepped on to the terrace. "Oh," she said, her face scowling as she saw what was on Ben's back. Johnny had slapped a sticker read "WIDE LOAD!" in the middle of his back.

"Mind helping me?" Ben asked, pawing at the sticker that was just out of reach. Sue nodded and helped pry it off his rocky back.

"I'm sorry," she said, crumbling the sticker up into a ball.

"You ain't gotta apologize for him," Ben said with a shrug. "Kid's been a jerk since as long as I've known him."

"I know. He should know better since you're..."

"What?" Ben asked defensively. "What am I, Suze? Crazy? Depressing? What?"

"You know, Ben...sensitive."

"Well, I'm so happy that the ugly rock monster is worthy of your consideration and pity."

"Come on, Ben, you know I didn't mean it like that. I'm trying to talk to you, but I can tell you're in one of your moods.

"Moods? What mood?"

"You're having one of your pity parties. Anything anyone tries to say to you, you turn it around and use it against us. You want to feel sorry for yourself, go ahead. Just leave me out of it."

With that, Sue turned around and left the terrace. She headed up a few levels to the floor where Reed and Sue kept their labs. Her husband of six months was in the main work station, stretched out underneath a hybrid car.

"How's it coming?"

"Fantastic!" Reed said from underneath the car. "I took out the engine and replaced it with one of my own design. It can go over eight hundred miles an hour, and it's more than adequate to power hover engines and maintain flight."

"A flying car? Is there anything else it does?"

"It runs on water, but it's not as efficient as I had hoped. Only gets two hundred miles to the gallon."

Reed pulled himself out from under the car and stood up, grabbing a rag from the workbench and wiping off his greasy hands. "So how are Ben and Johnny enjoying their R&R?"

"Don't get me started," Sue said with a roll of her eyes. "They've been bickering pretty bad over the past few days. It's been nearly two weeks since Warworld. I think they need something to do."

"Idle hands and all that."

Reed's computer on the other side of the lab dinged, alerting him that he had a priority email in his inbox. "Excuse me," he said, stretching the upper half of his body across the room. Sue watched from the other side of the room as he typed and responded to his email.

"Ask and you shall receive," Reed said as he stretched back to normal. "That was an email from General Lumpkin. The FBI and something called the DEO is requesting assistance involving an incident in Baltimore."

"Good. After putting up with Ben and Johnny for two weeks, I can deal with whatever the universe is prepared to throw at us."

"Round up Ben and Johnny while I get the car ready," Reed said, patting the car's hood. "It's perfect driving weather. Can't think of a better time for a maiden voyage."



Baltimore, MD

The flying car carrying the Fantastic Four skirted over the rooftops of Baltimore. Reed was driving, Sue was riding shotgun while Ben and Johnny were crammed in the back.

"This is Baltimore?" Johnny asked, looking out the window. "Doesn't look so bad. No gun battles or insane drug dealers. Starting to think the Wire lied to me."

"I could do with some legroom, Reed," Ben grumbled, his knees pressed into his chest.

"It's just a prototype," Reed said as the hospital came into view. "When I have more time, I'll make something more spacious."

"For now, just be glad you can ride in something other than a cargo plane."

"Bite me, matchstick."

"I would, but I'd just break all my teeth off in the process."

A few minutes later, Reed was parking the car outside Johns Hopkins Hospital while a crowd looked on. A woman stepped from the crowd as the Four climbed from the car. "My astute powers of deduction tell me you're the Fantastic Four," she said before taking a drag off the cigarette in her hands.

"You must be Miss Chase," Reed said with a nod.

"FBI Special Agent Cameron Chase. Part of the DEO Taskforce."
"A fed, huh?" Johnny asked, eying Chase with a cocked eyebrow. "Wonder if you'd like to be read your rights..."

"Sorry," Chase said, exhaling a thick torrent of smoke in Johnny's direction. "Not my type. I like my men... Manly."

Ben put his first to his mouth to cover up his laughter, but his rocky frame still shook as he tried to suppress it. Johnny scowled and shot Ben a dirty look.

"So, what about this incident?" Sue asked in an attempt to get back on track.

"This way," Chase said, beckoning them away from the area. The Four followed her towards the side of the hospital.

"Special Agent Chase," Reed said as they walked. "Could you tell me what exactly this DEO taskforce is. I've been seeing it pop up in reports recently."

"DEO is the Department of Extranormal Operations. We just started up six months ago in response to the boom in metahuman activity. We're mostly FBI, and we're still being housed in FBI facilities. Anything unusual -- Metahuman or mutant related activity, strange phenomenon, paranormal activity -- we investigate it."

"So you're like the real life X-Files?"

"A bit, only more boring. Here we are."

They came to a section of sidewalk beside the hospital that had been cordoned off with police tape. "What exactly happened here?" Reed asked, removing his scanner from the pouch on his hip.

"Nearly thirty witnesses reported seeing a little girl appearing about a hundred feet or so above the hospital. She was falling towards the ground, screaming. Just a few feet shy of the pavement, she disappeared."

"Fascinating," Reed muttered, stepping under the police tape and scanning the pavement. "I'm getting some interesting readings. Susan, take a look."

Reed stretched his arm out above the tape and stretched it to Sue. She took the scanner from Reed's elongated hand and read over the results. "This looks... Familiar. I've seen similar readouts before. But from where?"

"Us," Reed said. "Just after the accident. The same type of trace radiation was all over all four of us."


*****


In her hospital bed, Eliza Newton finally drifted to sleep. She hadn't been able to go back to sleep since that horrible nightmare earlier this morning. Her heart rate monitor steadily beeped as she slept. Her hands were down in her lap, wrapped around a toy dinosaur. Slowly, the heart monitor started to increase and Eliza's eyes began to glow underneath her eyelids.


*****


"So, this is the same stuff that Watcher mook gave us?" Ben asked, scratching his chin.

"I'm not sure, Ben. It's just radiation. Similar, but it may be caused by something else. I need more data."

"And how do we get more data?" Chase asked.

"HELP!!!" A voice cried out. The five of them turned and stared slack-jaw at what was down the street.

"Oh, my God..."

"No way..."Running down the street was a little girl. She screamed as she ran away from the thing chasing her down the street. It was a fully-grown, walking, living and breathing T-Rex. It snapped at the little girl as it ran after her.

"I believe that's how we get more data."

MST3K 4ever
03-15-2012, 07:23 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex watches the News Coverage of The Hulk's rampage through Metropolis while listening to Bach and sipping a fine Brandy in his penthouse.

In most cases I would be devestated at the damage done by that green freak, but right now I have my own issues to deal with. A rather large hole in the side of the Northern LexCorp Tower has attracted a great deal of interest. Luckily I've got a top-notch PR Deparment, and ALEXIS is dealing with the insurance claims forms electronically. The repesctive offices that were affected have already begun moving their operations over ot the other tower. Overall things are moving along very nicely.

Just then his intercom rings and Mercy says, "Mr. Luthor Dr. Ross is here to see you."

Lex rolls his eyes and says, "And here is where the walls really coming crashing down."

He presses a button and says, "Send her in."

Betty Ross enters and says, "All-right Lex what happened tonight?"

Lex asks, "Whatever are you talking about Dr. Ross? Care for a Brandy?"

Betty replies, "You know what I'm talking about! A certain green goliath rampaging thru the city. Wearing clothes that look a lot like Bruce's isolation clothes, and the face that crater in this side of your tower starts from his isolation room. Care to try again Lex, or do I need to call in some other people into our conversation? Like my father among others."

Lex chuckles and says, "Oh my dear little Miss Ross, do you really think you can come in here make demands of me coat-tailing on your last name and daddy's rank, which you have not earned? Even so one call from me and your daddy is the oldest living private in the history of the U.S. Army. If he was here right now I'd be taking him out like yesterday's trash."

He finishes his brandy and fixes another and says, "Face it little girl you're bringing a knife to a gun fight. So unless you have some court order compelling me to comply with your questions do me a favor and show yourself out! You're not worth my time or effort."

Betty looks sternly at Lex and says, "I'll be back in about an hour."

Lex says, "Please bring something other the righteous anger. You're out of your league young lady."

Betty slams the door and Lex begins drinking his other Brandy. Once he finishes his Brandy he resumes work on the schematics of his Battle Suit.

Batman
03-15-2012, 07:46 PM
http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Banners/Superman.png

"I don't believe this! How could you assign this story - this story - to anyone but me?!"

Perry White glanced over to the aspirin bottle sitting on the edge of his desk. Truth be told, he had fully anticipated the earful that was lingering as Lois crossed her arms over her chest and stared daggers at him, waiting for whatever explaination she could use to launch into another tirade. But it didn't exactly mean that he had to look forward to having it out, especially when he had been nothing if not generous with her in the past few weeks. Ever since that first fight in the middle of the city, every media outlet in Metropolis was covering the exact same story. "Where is Superman?" would be the constant headline scroll on the bottom of Star Nightly's news hour. Posters featuring the insignia on his chest - the red and yellow "S" that had seemed to grace more t-shirts than any piece of fashion seen on the streets - would line the block of every corner in the financial district, considered to be ground zero of his first public appearance. There was even a website running online - Superspotters.org - that dedicated itself towards the finding of any viral video featuring what many were calling the caped wonder.

Needless to say, it was becoming something of a phenomena around Metropolis. The arrival of Superman had captured the imagination of everyone - from seasoned journalists and conspiracy theorists, all the way down to school children. Even The Daily Planet itself wasn't quite immune the allure of a man who could defy the laws of gravity. It was all building to a point that, for Perry, forcing Lane off of the story was becoming more and more enivitable each day. It just wasn't her story anymore, despite her continued perserverence to make it so. It belonged to the people.

"Lane, before you go off and throw another one of your infamous tantrums..."

Lois slammed her palms onto the front of the desk and leaned into him.

"Believe me, if you take this story, you won't even know the meaning of that word."

"Let me finish. Before you turn it into another incident, I've got the entire newsroom backing me up on this. You're simply too closely connected to the story to deliver the facts. It's called a conflict of interest, Lois. Maybe you've heard of it?"

As if attempting to lift an accusatory finger, Lois showed the rare moment of self-constraint and backed down, turning away and collecting herself before addressing him again.

"Don't you try and patronize your way out of this one, White. You owe me this much. It's my story and no one else's."

"That type of behavior is exactly why it's being transferred. You're too stubborn to allow editorial imput, you've scoffed at any potential eyewitness reports... you're acting out of your mind over this! For christ's sake, you only flew with him once!"

"Exactly! Which is more than I can say for anyone beyond this wall! Face it, Perry, no one in this city is more qualified to deliver the facts on Superman. Which is exactly what you want, right?"

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Perry muttered under his breath.

"I do want that. I really do. But I've also got a job to do in maintaining the integrity of this paper, and the facts speak for themselves. You were on suspension at the time of the original article, and the fact that I even let you back in here is a breach of contract. You're still under penalty, and the only reason I gave you another shot is because you had what nobody else did."

Reserving her tone, realizing it was getting out of hand, Lois took a deep breath.

"And I still have it. Chief, you know as well as anyone that I'm not going to let some silly - what was it - 'conflict of interest' get in the way of my job. I'm a reporter, and the importance of that comes way before the story. You want me to be less intense about it? Fine, I get it. I'll work on it. But you're doing this paper a disservice by throwing the bare minimum scraps of this to the dogs."

"I'm sorry, Lois. As of now, it's out of my hands. Starting Monday, the assignment goes to whoever can give me the first solid lead we've had in weeks."

Shifting her eyes so as to not put her disappointment on display, Lois stared out at the window.

Then noticed something bizarre happening in the city. "Chief... what the hell is that?"

Perry turned to look aswell, getting up from his seat as several of the reporters in the newsroom lined the same side of the building to catch a glimpse of what was going on. The windows on every skyscraper were shaking - vibrating, at an incredible frequency. Even the windows on The Planet were starting to rattle. Pieces of debris were falling and crumbling onto themselves.

It was as if they were being hit by an earthquake on steriods.

"RAAAARGH!"

The glass shattered. Lois and Perry both ducked as bits of it came flying at them, scattering across the floors as the people on the streets outside began to scream. Lois looked up just in time to catch a flash of green and purple dart from the skies, descending at a rapid rate.

Then the ground shook even harder.

"Chief?!"

Perry grabbed her by the wrist and hurriedly led them both to the door.

"Lane, get the hell out of here! Run!"

Whatever was happening, it was twice as destructive as the monster that had attacked the city weeks ago. And unfortunately, at the moment... Superman wasn't anywhere in sight.

"What the..."

My eyes flutter open as the ringing in my ears subsides, giving way to something happening in the city. Throwing the blankets off of me, I sit up from the couch and rub my eyes, stopping myself just as the floor of my apartment shakes. I had just gotten to bed for an early start tomorrow, knowing that I was due for orientation at my new job. Stocking position at a local grocery. It's not much, but it's the first thing I've had in months. Orientation or not, I wanted to make a good impression.

Evidently, I'm not going to get the chance. Because once I pull down the blinds and peer just beyond Suicide Slums, my attention becomes fixated on a large cloud of smoke billowing up from New Troy. That's the heart of the city, and from here, it practically looks like it's on fire.

I can't be dreaming this.

An explosion? Or something worse...

A minute later, and I've already changed into my uniform and made my way to the roof of my apartment building. My x-ray and microscopic visions are giving me the distinct impression of people in panic, fleeing from the open streets. But there's too much smoke and fire to see what's causing the panic. I suppose that'd be the best place to start.

Launching into the air, I build up momentum and head directly into New Troy.

Whatever's happening, it can't be anything worse than The Humanite.

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG2-20.png

trustyside-kick
03-15-2012, 10:32 PM
OOC: Previously (http://forums.superherohype.com/showpost.php?p=22661749&postcount=418)...
Black Bolt

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/bboltpissed1.jpg

His enemy is in his sights. Between Black Bolt and his enemy, lies an entire platoon of parademons. Kalibak the Cruel wears a smug smile as he gestures with his hammer for his small army to attack and will as the Inhuman King charges. Alone, as the rest of the forces Black Bolt was with remain with Karnak as he advances that particular area, the infuriated father puts on a smile of his own: a most devilish one. Revenge becomes lustful as he starts to sweep through the parademon forces. One shout...with one should he could take them all at once...but then it might also take down Kalibak. No, that will simply not due. Blackagar will not grant the thief who stole his young son the privilege of a sweet and quick death.

It is going to be agonizing and slow...he will only rely on the quasi-sonic particles in his body to channel through him, imbuing his strength and unleashing blasts of energy from the tuning fork above his head and his fists.


Elsewhere...

"Maximus' intel says that this is where Ahura is likely being kept. And that there is an Apokoliptian by the name of Gran--OOF!"

Gorgon falls on his face as a mysterious foe attacks him from the shadows of the room. The stalker slashed at his backside and before Medusa or Crystal could even react already she was gone back into the shadows. Immediately as he gets back on his own feet and growls, Medusa switches to a defensive stance as her hair flows wild and rampant, and Crystal creates a bubble of air to swirl around the trio. A sadistic laugh echoing throughout the room, hidden by the darkness, three figures emerge.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/ffuries1.jpg

"The brat prince is with Granny while she...re-educates him. If you wish to get to Granny Goodness, well...I just don't see that happening."

However Lashina fails to understand that in the other room lies Medusa's baby, and if you attack a lioness' cub...you better be ready to face her wrath. It is Medusa who charges first, going for Lashina while Gorgon seeks revenge on Mad Harriet. Crystal finds herself in an unfortunate situation as that leaves Stompa for her to deal with. Although when Stompa creates a small quake at the ground with the stomp of her foot, Crystal manipualtes the rock beneath her feet, sinking them a foot deep as she his Stompa smack dab in the face with some of the risen rock debris. Maybe this won't be so bad after all, she thinks.

And it would appear that out of the entire Royal Family, it is Triton and his small squad that are most fortunate as they make it into the Apokoliptian throne room. Spotting the throne, Triton signals at his men to get into their positions to hold the area as he contacts Maximus aboard the warship to try to disable Apokoliptian communications.

"Maximus, I am in the throne room. This Apokoliptian tech...it is like nothing we have ever--"

"--zzt, Triton, cousin...it seems so bizarre to you because you lack the brilliance of one such as myself. Now, here is what you need to do:"

"AAARRGGH!!"

"NO!"

Triton yells for his fallen comrade, as it would seem that he has been obliterated with a swift and what looks to be simple attack. The strange beams continue to travel, as though tracking its target as more of Triton's soldiers try to evade. It is entirely futile, however, as it would seem that these twin beams have a mind of their own.

"--zzt, Triton? Triton, what happened? Triton answer me, damnit!"

The twin beams come for the aquatic cousin of the Inhuman King and Prince...slowly stopping right in front of him. He thinks it to be a miracle. That whatever it is that was propelling this monstrosity has been stopped. That Maximus had hacked into the Apokoliptian tech, and overridden the defense protocols of the throne room. However such is not the case, as the beams are not controlled by any sort of tech of the room...but rather are the power of one and one alone. A large and towering figure emerges from the shadows.

"What...are you?"

"What am I? You simpleton fool. Such a question lacks an answer your feeble mind can hope to ever comprehend. But I will entertain you before you meet you demise. It would have been much more proper to ask....what am I not? For I am not the bringer of Life but rather Anti-Life. I am the Omega."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/dhunter22/260px-Darkseid_001.jpg

"Darkseid simply...IS."

Carnage27
03-15-2012, 10:40 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

The ride up is bumpy, but Diana and I eventually land on the deck of the helicarrier. The explosions of Thor and Iron Man battling the robots and Checkmate echo around us. They're doing okay, but Stark looked like he was sustaining some heavy damage. I need to end this, and end it now.

"No guards up here," Diana says, turning back to the aerial battle around us. "I should go join the others."

"Go ahead," I agree. "I can take care of myself. Be careful up there."

She nods and takes off, but as she does a bright green ball and chain flies through the air and wraps itself around her, and she falls out of the air like a rock, and down towards the burning city below.

"No!" I yell running to the side and watch her quick descent. But I'm quickly smashed into my a giant green fist. I fly through the air, bounce off the deck, and tumble off the side. I manage to quickly grab the edge and heave myself up.

What I find surprises me, "Lord?"

http://i362.photobucket.com/albums/oo62/rekizzo/iron-lantern-1.gif

"Surprised, Rogers?" he says in his mocking tone. "I'm usually not one for something this garish, but I must admit your friend Stark has a certain sense of style. And with a power like Scott's ring....I figured why not?"

I attempt to get up but a hammer springs from his hand and slams down on my shield, preventing me from getting any closer, "Not so fast, Captain."

"I thought you wanted to get rid of powers?" I say as I struggle against the power of Starheart. The thing has unbelievable power. And in the hands of someone like Lord...I shudder to think what will happen if I don't beat him. "And now you pick up more?"

"Oh, I can have all the power I want," he chuckles. "That's the whole point. After this there will be no one to stop me."

"You think you had this whole thing played out, don't you? You think you've thought of everything. That all the players were your puppets. But your wrong. You're the pawn of forces you couldn't even imagine. They wanted you to kill us. Made you think they were part of your plan. But they wanted us out of the way to make things easier for them."

I know HYDRA. And I know if they really are still around, that's what their plan is.

I can't hold up against the weight of the hammer anymore, so I quickly roll from underneath its weight, and then toss my shield at Lord. It hits him, but barely does anything. It comes back just in time for me to deflect a blow from an axe he creates, "Impressive. I'm glad I'm the one who gets to kill you, Steve. The minute you came to Checkmate I had doubts I'd be able to control you. And then when you went all boy scout and tried to turn my people into your people...well, let's just say I've been looking forward to this."

He changes the axe into a machine gun and fires my way. I manage to block most of the shots, but a few graze my arms and legs, dropping me to a knee. I look up at Lord with anger in my eyes, "You've been waiting for this? Then fight me like a man. Or are you too afraid to take me on in close combat?"

"Nice try, Captain," he responds firing at me again. "But you're not going to goad me into a fist fight."

The energy bullets ricochet off my shield and I continue, "There's more powerful people than me, Lord. And what are you gonna do when you have to kill them? Fire a few bullets and hope it works?"

"I have my armies," he smiles and continues firing. "No one will be able to touch me."

"That's exactly about the time someone comes up behind you and stabs you in the back!" I yell as I roll again and toss my shield at Lord a second time. This one manages to smash into his chest, cracking his armor a bit. But he manages to fire on me in my unprotected state, catching me in the thigh and the hip.

I drop to the ground wounded and bleeding, but with a plan. I have no more fight in me. The fire and the fight with Kobra took a lot out of me. but now, against Lord? I've lost everything. I need to play a little possum and pray that Lord isn't as powerful as I expect he is. He approaches me laughing. His confidence is up, and I put on an aura of loss and desperation, "The great Captain America. Bleeding at my feet. Not even the great power of the Nazi army and HYDRA could do this. But here you are."

He's arrogant. He thinks he has me beaten. That I've given up. Good. I can use that against him.

He stands over me and notices how weakened I am, and he smiles, "Stand."

I do so, and he laughs again, "Oh, Captain. I've finally got you. It took this long. But I finally got you. It's too bad I still want to kill you."

That's right, you son of a *****. Do it. Tell me what to do. I'm better than you. And I'll beat you.

He takes a gun from his hip and places it in my hand and commands, "Put it to your head...and fire."

I struggle against my muscles as my arm shakes to raise the gun. But as it gets to chest height, I grit my teeth and say, "I don't think so."

Before Lord can react, I fire the pistol at his chest piece, shattering it and plunging my hand into the chest plate, and pull out Starheart, depowering Lord. With a mighty uppercut from my shield, I rip his faceplate off and send him flying towards the edge. He regains his footing, but is obviously dazed.

I stagger to my feet and call to him, "It's over, Lord. Tell your men to stand down. We need to end this and get the city under control."

"No...no...you can't beat me. Had it all planned. Perfectly. Had everyone. Everyone I needed. Can't be," he mummers, obviously completely in shock at his defeat. He pulls another gun and aims it at me, but before he can fire, a shot comes from behind me and hits him in his chest. He stumbles backwards, and tumbles off the helicarrier.

Turning, I find Fury lowering a rifle, with Coulson, Flag, and who I assume to be Dinah Lance standing behind him. They approach, and I ask, "What took you so long?"

"There were a lot of guards in there," Coulson says in his normal, deadpan way.

"You did good, soldier," Fury says, offering me his hand.

Taking it, I respond, "Yea. Well I had help. We need to end this. My team could be seriously injured."

"Come on," the colonel responds. "We'll order a stand down. Anyone know how to fly this thing?"

"Eh, we'll figure it out."

Batman
03-16-2012, 04:18 AM
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/9941/wolverineatxm.png

Hhn.

Smells like burnin' flesh.

Logan's eyes fluttered awake at the sounds of an EKG machine. Lights around him were too bright, there was a loud ringing in his ears, and his entire body felt as if it were just put through a meat grinder. But overall, he felt okay. Taking a deep breath, he waited for his eyes to adjust and looked around, realizing that he was in the same chrome-plated underground bunker that Storm had shown him before. The X-Men's secret base of operations, just an elevator ride away from the mansion upstairs. As the thought crossed his mind, Logan's adreneline kicked in, suddenly beginning to realize what had happened before he woke up. The machines. The attack on the mansion's ground. The team being scooped up and taken away, one by one. And a bright light that ended in agony.

Not simply content with the fact that he was still alive, Logan hurriedly pulled himself from the bloodied sheets of a makeshift hospital bed and threw a shirt on from the side table. He didn't know whether or not those machines were still around, or what sort of condition the aftermath of the fight had left the mansion. Nothing was certain until he left this room, and he was determined to do that.

In the midst of his departure, Logan froze, realizing that footsteps were coming from outside the door. He smelled the air, but the scent of his own recent injuries overpowered anything else. All he had to go on was the range of the steps, growing closer and closer to the room itself. Still hopped up on the rush of adreneline, he rushed to the wall and pinned himself right next to the entrance, watching as the doors slid apart and granted access to an unseen figure. The shadow on the floor casting a distinctly male form.

Visitin' hours are closed, bub.

Leaping at the percieved attacker as he stepped inside, Logan didn't waste time to give any chance of a struggle, wrapping the man in a vicious headlock that he had learned from his training in Vietnam. The figure struggled, predictably, but they both slammed into the opposite wall before either could properly attack.

"Alright, pal, you got five seconds to tell me just what the hell I'm doin' down..."

With a raised fist, Logan spun the individual around, only to get the shock of his life as a green-skinned teenage student grimaced at the sight of the punch.

"Ahh! Don't hurt me, dude! Don't hurt me!"

Stunned, Logan realized that it was Gar Logan. A persistent annoyance that had crossed Logan's path a couple of times.

"Kid?"

Opening his eyes, Beast Boy grinned wide as he realized who he was talking to.

"Logan two! Holy crap, I'm glad to see you! We thought you were gonna die!"

Confused as all hell, Logan peered just outside of the hall and noticed that several other students were crossing it, gathering supplies from different rooms and heading off on some determined location. There was no sign of any of the adults or teachers, a fact that Logan had to remind himself made sense, given that all of them were just kidnapped.

"What the hell's goin' on?"

"You don't know? We're under lockdown. This sort of thing always happens when the Professor thinks someone wants to attack the school. We have drills for it every other month."

"Lockdown?"

Rubbing his eyes, Logan walked down the hall, joined by Beast Boy as the two watched several young mutants walk past them in opposite directions.

"Seems more like they're on a scavenger hunt. What happens when you're under lockdown?"

"Oh, well, this isn't usually apart of it. See, Ms. Grey told us that we all need to look for emergency supplies, incase of, y'know. An emergency. Which I guess this kinda is."

Logan stopped at the mention of a Ms. Grey. "And just where is she now?"

Beast Boy pointed off. "Down that hall. She's trying to figure out how to use that thingamawhatzit... the machine that the Professor uses to find lost mutants."

Narrowing his eyes, Logan continued on down the hall.

"Alright, kid. Give me a minute,"

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Wolverine/RPG-12.png

"I'm gonna go have a word with your teacher."

"Sure thing. Glad you're not dead, dude!"

Shaking his head at the kid's comment, he entered the chamber that had been indicated, watching as Jean surveyed several different holographic monitors stationed to news programs from around the world. To her left sat that bizarre piece of equipment that Beast Boy had mentioned. Some sort of a bulky helmet attached directly to a console.

"Burnin' the midnight oil?"

Jean gasped, so lost in thought that she hadn't even noticed Logan enter the room.

"Logan! My god, are you okay? The last time I saw you, you were all..."

Logan cut her off, turning his attention to the monitors.

"I'm a fast healer. What's with all the television?"

Turning them off, Jean leaned against a table and massaged the bridge of her nose. Crossing his arms, Logan leaned on the console across from her.

"Trying to find a lead on what happened up there. I had hoped that somewhere in the world, something similar had caught the attention of the press. So far, I haven't seen a thing. It's like those... machines, just came out of nowhere and disappeared from sight."

"Doesn't seem possible. Don't the Professor got files for all sorts of threats like that?"

"Believe me, I've already combed through the database. There's nothing to match the description of these. And Cerebro hasn't managed to get a lock on the trajectory of any of the team."

Logan's eyebrow raised. "Cerebro?"

"It's a machine that Charles built years ago, back when Hank was still one of his students. It's supposed to be able to track any mutant in the world, wherever they're hiding, and give us an exact location. The only exceptions being Magneto and his group, of course."

Eyeing the helmet, Logan let the gravity of what she just described pass over him.

"Hh. That right..."

"I just don't know what more I can do."

Jean stared out at the halls as the students continued to garner supplies, looking particularly lost whenever it came to them. "I tried to make sure that all of them were safe. He told me, before he got taken, that they were the priority. But I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to find him, or to save him. To save all of them."

Logan remained silent for a moment.

"How many got taken?"

"All of the team. Scott, the Professor, Hank, Ororo, J'onn... aside from you and me, all that's left are the students."

Pondering this, Logan began to wonder to himself why only certain members of the X-Men were targeted in the siege. Jean remained unharmed, though she could have escaped, and he was vaporized before they could take him aswell. Why not try and grab any of the students? Were they not the targets? Deciding that it was a question best saved for later, Logan tried his best not to add more worry to the room.

"Listen, darlin'. I don't know how we're gonna get 'em back, but we're gettin' em..."

He was cut off as an alarm was triggered. The entire room went red, and a loud beacon began to go off. Logan covered his ears and groaned as Jean immediately rushed to the control console and shut it down.

"The hell was that?!"

"It's a silent alarm from upstairs. I had them all activated when we went into lockdown. Someone just entered the mansion that doesn't belong."

She turned back to Logan with a look of dread.

"We have to get up there. The security cameras are still down, after the attack."

Logan sneered. "Don't need to tell me twice."

*SNIKT*

Racing towards the elevators, Logan and Jean both ascended to the upstairs level.

What they'd find would be the last person that either of them would expect.

wiegeabo
03-17-2012, 01:41 AM
"I appreciate the sentiment, but I doubt there is anything just one person could have done to change things. Do we have any idea of what they wanted?"

"Not yet," I said. It was true, although I still had the sneaking suspicion that Gorgon and the Hand's appearance in Gotham related to me. "I'll be in touch."

Gordon nodded and then Matt and I disappeared back into the shadows.


****


Matt and I stood at the top of Wayne Tower as the skyline of Gotham shifted from ink-black to the purply haze of dawn. The sun was preparing to peek over the horizon.

"Thanks for your help tonight," I said to Matt. "I know it's not the most conventional class reunion, but then again we never had anything close to a conventional class."




"To say the least. And not to say it hasn't been fun, but I'll be glad to get back to New York. I don't know if it's the architecture or just the general feeling in the streets, but this city is disorienting."

"Take care of yourself Bruce. You might be as rich as God, but you're not him. And don't make Alfred stay up late worrying nights."

Byrd Man
03-17-2012, 10:37 AM
"To say the least. And not to say it hasn't been fun, but I'll be glad to get back to New York. I don't know if it's the architecture or just the general feeling in the streets, but this city is disorienting."

"Take care of yourself Bruce. You might be as rich as God, but you're not him. And don't make Alfred stay up late worrying nights."

"I make no promises," I said with a smirk. Matt chuckled, shook his head, and jumped from the roof of Wayne Tower, swinging away through the city towards the rising sun.

While Matt disappeared off into the city, I headed down to the bunker. After a night of riddles, mobsters, and ninjas, it's time to finally get some rest.

Byrd Man
03-19-2012, 04:03 AM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/ffbyrd.png




Previously



Baltimore, MD


The flying car carrying the Fantastic Four skirted over the rooftops of Baltimore. Reed was driving, Sue was riding shotgun while Ben and Johnny were crammed in the back.

"This is Baltimore?" Johnny asked, looking out the window. "Doesn't look so bad. No gun battles or insane drug dealers. Starting to think the Wire lied to me."

"I could do with some legroom, Reed," Ben grumbled, his knees pressed into his chest.

"It's just a prototype," Reed said as the hospital came into view. "When I have more time, I'll make something more spacious."

"For now, just be glad you can ride in something other than a cargo plane."

"Bite me, matchstick."

"I would, but I'd just break all my teeth off in the process."

A few minutes later, Reed was parking the car outside Johns Hopkins Hospital while a crowd looked on. A woman stepped from the crowd as the Four climbed from the car. "My astute powers of deduction tell me you're the Fantastic Four," she said before taking a drag off the cigarette in her hands.

"You must be Miss Chase," Reed said with a nod.

"FBI Special Agent Cameron Chase. Part of the DEO Taskforce."
"A fed, huh?" Johnny asked, eying Chase with a cocked eyebrow. "Wonder if you'd like to be read your rights..."

"Sorry," Chase said, exhaling a thick torrent of smoke in Johnny's direction. "Not my type. I like my men... Manly."

Ben put his first to his mouth to cover up his laughter, but his rocky frame still shook as he tried to suppress it. Johnny scowled and shot Ben a dirty look.

"So, what about this incident?" Sue asked in an attempt to get back on track.

"This way," Chase said, beckoning them away from the area. The Four followed her towards the side of the hospital.

"Special Agent Chase," Reed said as they walked. "Could you tell me what exactly this DEO taskforce is. I've been seeing it pop up in reports recently."

"DEO is the Department of Extranormal Operations. We just started up six months ago in response to the boom in metahuman activity. We're mostly FBI, and we're still being housed in FBI facilities. Anything unusual -- Metahuman or mutant related activity, strange phenomenon, paranormal activity -- we investigate it."

"So you're like the real life X-Files?"

"A bit, only more boring. Here we are."

They came to a section of sidewalk beside the hospital that had been cordoned off with police tape. "What exactly happened here?" Reed asked, removing his scanner from the pouch on his hip.

"Nearly thirty witnesses reported seeing a little girl appearing about a hundred feet or so above the hospital. She was falling towards the ground, screaming. Just a few feet shy of the pavement, she disappeared."

"Fascinating," Reed muttered, stepping under the police tape and scanning the pavement. "I'm getting some interesting readings. Susan, take a look."

Reed stretched his arm out above the tape and stretched it to Sue. She took the scanner from Reed's elongated hand and read over the results. "This looks... Familiar. I've seen similar readouts before. But from where?"

"Us," Reed said. "Just after the accident. The same type of trace radiation was all over all four of us."


*****


In her hospital bed, Eliza Newton finally drifted to sleep. She hadn't been able to go back to sleep since that horrible nightmare earlier this morning. Her heart rate monitor steadily beeped as she slept. Her hands were down in her lap, wrapped around a toy dinosaur. Slowly, the heart monitor started to increase and Eliza's eyes began to glow underneath her eyelids.


*****


"So, this is the same stuff that Watcher mook gave us?" Ben asked, scratching his chin.

"I'm not sure, Ben. It's just radiation. Similar, but it may be caused by something else. I need more data."

"And how do we get more data?" Chase asked.

"HELP!!!" A voice cried out. The five of them turned and stared slack-jaw at what was down the street.

"Oh, my God..."

"No way..."Running down the street was a little girl. She screamed as she ran away from the thing chasing her down the street. It was a fully-grown, walking, living and breathing T-Rex. It snapped at the little girl as it ran after her.

"I believe that's how we get more data."





As the T-Rex stomped through the streets of Baltimore, the Fantastic Four were already rushing into action. The Human Torch flew above the dinosaur, striking it with glancing fireballs. Meanwhile the Invisible Woman created a force field on both sides of the street to shield pedestrians from the beast. The Thing charged towards the T-Rex, his rocky fist cocked and ready to strike. Mister Fantastic stretched his body. With one arm, he picked up the little girl the dinosaur was chasing while his other arm held a scanner that was collecting data on the dino.

"Are you alright?" Reed asked the girl once he set her down out of harm's way beside Agent Chase. The little stuttered and tried to talk. Reed was suddenly taken aback as the girl's eyes began to glow bright yellow.

"Reed!" Ben yelled as the T-Rex tail whipped Ben into the air. He slammed against Sue's force field and smacked against the asphalt of the street. "Could use some help."

Reed nodded in his direction and turned away from the girl. He stretched his body out and began to wrap himself around the dinosaur's legs. The T-Rex struggled and flexed its muscular legs against Reed's tightening body. While the dinosaur fought Reed, Johnny came in and delivered a roaring fireball to the T-Rex's face. Off-balanced and burning, the dinosaur stumbled and smacked hard into the pavement. The impact of the beast falling cracked the asphalt underneath the beast. The T-Rex roared and suddenly disappeared, allowing Reed to fall to the ground and get up confused.

"What was that?" Sue asked as she brought down her forcefields and turned to the others.
Johnny landed on the ground and dispersed the flames that covered his body. "What just happened?"

"I'm not sure," Reed said with a confused look. He turned to where Agent Chase was, and noticed the girl was gone.

"She disappeared like the T-Rex," Chase said. "Where did they go?"

Reed held his scanner up and looked over the results on the screen. "I have a good idea. Okay, we need to split up and go into the hospital. I think the answer to all of this is in there. Ben and Agent Chase, go to geriatrics. Susan, check out oncology. Johnny, take pediatrics. I'll go to neurology."

"What are we looking for?"

"Something unusual or out of the ordinary. A patient probably. Whatever is causing these illusions, the answer lies within the hospital."

Carnage27
03-19-2012, 10:21 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

The wind blows across the National Mall, wafting the smell of fire and ash up towards me as I stand on the deck of the now landed helicarrier. The city is decimated, but the monuments seem to be in good shape and easily repaired. But this attack will weigh on the country for a long time. Attacks on the homeland tend to do that.

"That was easier than I thought it would be," Flag says, coming up from the helm along with Coulson.

"Yea, if you don't count the divet in the mall," Coulson responds.

"I think that's the least of our worries," Fury chimes in as the rest of my team join us on the deck.

After taking down Lord, the Checkmate forces went into disarray. It seemed as if his hold over them was powerful, and losing that influence affected them. And the robots...just left. I don't know what that's about, but we'll need to follow up on that.

"Ha! That was a rousing fight!" Thor says, landing beside me and slapping me hard on the back. "They will sing songs of this day!"

Ted goes over to Dinah, who's been sitting with Agent 13 since our taking of the ship and comforts her. Tony Stark and Diana land in front of me, Diana obviously worse for wear.

"Are you okay?" I ask.

"Oh, you know, a few blast knocked me out of the sky, but the big guy caught me once...and the White House caught me the second time."

"I believe he was talking to me," Diana says.

"No respect," Tony mutters.

"I am fine. I'm glad you did what needed to be done. This victory was hard fought. And earned."

I look back over the city. The destruction is obvious, and the death toll is obviously going to be high, "I don't know how much of a victory this is."

Fury takes a call and then approaches us, "The press is going to be here in a while. That was the Secretary of Defense. I've been given control of Checkmate again, but I need to go figure out how we're moving forward."

"What about the press?"

"It's time for Captain America to talk to the world, Steve," Nick says, placing his hand on my shoulder. "It's been too long. Give them a reason to believe, soldier."

**********

I look out over the Capitol stairs, where a mass of the international press has come to hear an address. An address from me.

Taking a deep breath, I step out and head towards the podium. As I do, an excited murmur rolls through the assembled crowd. I clear my throat and begin, "Thank you all for coming on this horrible, horrible day. I'd like to start by asking for a moment of silence for all those that lost their lives in this heinous attack last night....Thank you."

Looking out over the crowd and peering into all the eyes and cameras I can get, I continue, "Last night, Washington DC was attacked by the international terrorist group known as Kobra, which caught our nation's military off guard. But not only were we attacked, we were setup from the inside. Maxwell Lord, the leader of Checkmate, a super human espionage and countermeasure agency, worked along with Kobra to orchestrate a plot to begin the extermination of the world's metahuman population. Instead, they nearly destroyed Washington and killed countless civilians."

Another murmur of shock goes through the people, and my team joins me at the podium. "But we were here to stop them. And I'm here to tell you we will always be here to stop them. I know there has been a division across the world on the super human population. Some see us as the next step in human evolution. Some see us as saviors. And some see us as a menace to society. As destroyers of worlds. And to be honest, I've seen all of these represented in the superhuman community through my life. I fought against the maniacal Red Skull in World War II. And I fought him alongside some of the bravest men in history to defend the freedoms we hold dear today."

I turn to my new teammates around me, "And now we are here to defend the same freedoms. Yes, there will always be threats. Super powered and otherwise. And we're here to show you that no matter what power evil holds, there will always be someone carrying the flag of freedom. There will always be someone to hold the line. There will always be good to combat that evil. Yes, we may be the same metahumans many of you fear. But we hope to show you that just like every other segment of humanity, there is good that comes with the bad. And we will stand beside you, brothers in arms and peace, defending this world and all its peoples."

"The world now has a shield. We are the Ultimates. And we're the ones that will fight back the tide of darkness."

http://i945.photobucket.com/albums/ad296/aqua200/Comics/captain-america-20060312071850551.jpg

MST3K 4ever
03-20-2012, 12:42 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

The Hulk continues his rampage through New Troy

ROOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!

He looks around as people are running away but one little girl approaches the beast and holds up a teddy bear. The girl's mother starts to run out there and finds that she is almost paralyzed with fear.

The Hulk breathing heavily sees the child and the bear.

The child says, "Here you can have this. Teddy helps me when I get mad."

The Hulk looks at the child for the moment as though he were studying a new life-form and reaches for the bear with a semi-twisted smile.

Suddenly someone yells, "He's going to kill her stop him!"

Someone shoots at The Hulk and then two more people start shooting.

Without thinking he jumps in front of the child to shield her.

The mother finally sees The Hulk will not hurt her child and approaches them.

The mother embraces the child and says to The Hulk, "Go! They want to kill you! Thank you."

The Hulk picks up the mother and child and sets them behind a car.

He then turns to where the bullets are coming from and yells as he charges towards them

ROOOOOAAAARRRRRRRR!!!!

http://i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv174/dimpszx09/Hulk_Rampage.jpg

Batman
03-21-2012, 05:09 AM
http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Banners/Superman.png

"ROAAAR!"

From the skies, I practically have to wince as an inhuman voice loud enough to shatter glass comes echoing out from the corner of Morrison Boulevard. My advanced hearing usually picks up faint, but otherwise distant noises before I can ever focus on a closer proximity, but that one was difficult to ignore. I actually wouldn't be surprised if all of Metropolis was hearing it at once. Coupled with the sounds of wanton destruction and gunfire, it doesn't take me long to realize that what I'm going up against is no bomb - though, worryingly, it is something that leaves just as much damage in it's wake. Flying over downtown New Troy, I glance down at streets that look not unlike a ravaged, third-world nation rather than the heart of what people have always been quick to call The City of Tomorrow. The important thing is that, scanning the wreckage with my x-ray vision, I don't immediately spot any casualities.

Of course, that's liable to change if I don't stop whatever's caused this.

Allowing my velocity to increase through the air, bringing me to speeds that are very nearly supersonic, I finally arrive over the area most devastated. And standing atop of what looks to be two giant spiderweb cracks into the pavement, indicating either the sheer size or power of what I'm looking at, is something hideous. More noticably, it's something big... something green.

Whatever you are, I've found you.

I find myself almost willing to pause, just to be able to take in the enormity of it. It stands at least twelve feet tall, with wild hair and skin that looks just about ready to burst. But what really causes me to become confused is the fact that it seems to be wearing some sort of garmets below the waist. Not unlike a pair of jeans, torn violently at the seams. It's that detail that renders me unable to tell if it's mutant, alien, or something else entirely.

All that I know for sure is the look of seething rage on it's face. It's not here to be friendly, and it definitely doesn't look willing to reason any sort of logic. I can see this becoming difficult. My fears are only strengthened when the creature greets further gunfire with hostility, unphased by being faced with about a dozen armed police officers that rush onto the scene.

It's time I intervened. "That's enough!"

Firing a solid beam of laser vision at the ground between the monster and it's human prey, I rapidly descend from the skies and draw far more attention than intended. Infact, seeing me almost provokes just as much of a fear based reaction than the creature.

I ignore it, focusing exclusively on the creature as it turns to me, evidently not pleased with what I just did. I'm not even sure if it can even understand human dialect, but I'm sure it'll understand brute force. That seems to be all that it understands.

"A warning shot. But I promise, the next one won't miss."

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG-14.png

"You're through putting these people in danger."

MST3K 4ever
03-21-2012, 12:06 PM
http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Banners/Superman.png

"ROAAAR!"

From the skies, I practically have to wince as an inhuman voice loud enough to shatter glass comes echoing out from the corner of Morrison Boulevard. My advanced hearing usually picks up faint, but otherwise distant noises before I can ever focus on a closer proximity, but that one was difficult to ignore. I actually wouldn't be surprised if all of Metropolis was hearing it at once. Coupled with the sounds of wanton destruction and gunfire, it doesn't take me long to realize that what I'm going up against is no bomb - though, worryingly, it is something that leaves just as much damage in it's wake. Flying over downtown New Troy, I glance down at streets that look not unlike a ravaged, third-world nation rather than the heart of what people have always been quick to call The City of Tomorrow. The important thing is that, scanning the wreckage with my x-ray vision, I don't immediately spot any casualities.

Of course, that's liable to change if I don't stop whatever's caused this.

Allowing my velocity to increase through the air, bringing me to speeds that are very nearly supersonic, I finally arrive over the area most devastated. And standing atop of what looks to be two giant spiderweb cracks into the pavement, indicating either the sheer size or power of what I'm looking at, is something hideous. More noticably, it's something big... something green.

Whatever you are, I've found you.

I find myself almost willing to pause, just to be able to take in the enormity of it. It stands at least twelve feet tall, with wild hair and skin that looks just about ready to burst. But what really causes me to become confused is the fact that it seems to be wearing some sort of garmets below the waist. Not unlike a pair of jeans, torn violently at the seams. It's that detail that renders me unable to tell if it's mutant, alien, or something else entirely.

All that I know for sure is the look of seething rage on it's face. It's not here to be friendly, and it definitely doesn't look willing to reason any sort of logic. I can see this becoming difficult. My fears are only strengthened when the creature greets further gunfire with hostility, unphased by being faced with about a dozen armed police officers that rush onto the scene.

It's time I intervened. "That's enough!"

Firing a solid beam of laser vision at the ground between the monster and it's human prey, I rapidly descend from the skies and draw far more attention than intended. Infact, seeing me almost provokes just as much of a fear based reaction than the creature.

I ignore it, focusing exclusively on the creature as it turns to me, evidently not pleased with what I just did. I'm not even sure if it can even understand human dialect, but I'm sure it'll understand brute force. That seems to be all that it understands.

"A warning shot. But I promise, the next one won't miss."

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG-14.png

"You're through putting these people in danger."

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

The Hulk stares at this new arrival for a moment. He then looks to the sky and then back to this blue-man.

The Hulk touches the ground where the red beam hit the ground.

He growls in pain, "GRRRRRR!!!"

The Hulk then sets his sights on the Blue-man and takes a couple steps towards him.

He stops and then The Hulk lets out another roar, "ROOOOAAAAAARR!"

The Hulk picks up the Blue-man and hurls him down the street into the side of an apartment building. The impact cause the building to shake and rumble.

A large slab of stone begins to fall away. A mother with a stroller is right underneath the stone and The Hulk dashes over and covers the woman with his body as the stone shatters on him into hundreds of tiny pieces of rubble.

The Hulk stands up and and the mother says, "Thank you" and scurries away.

A person standing nearby says, "That green Hulk saved them."

The Hulk looks around and sees his reflection in a window.

He says beating his chest, "Hulk? Hulk.HULK! HULK!!!! HULKKKKKKKKKKK!"

He looks around and towards the sky this time looking for the Blue-Man.

He says looking around, ""HULK SMASH BLUE-MAN!"

http://www.comicmix.com/media/2008/06/21/hulk---early-design-00.jpg

Byrd Man
03-21-2012, 10:50 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/ffbyrd.png




Previously




As the T-Rex stomped through the streets of Baltimore, the Fantastic Four were already rushing into action. The Human Torch flew above the dinosaur, striking it with glancing fireballs. Meanwhile the Invisible Woman created a force field on both sides of the street to shield pedestrians from the beast. The Thing charged towards the T-Rex, his rocky fist cocked and ready to strike. Mister Fantastic stretched his body. With one arm, he picked up the little girl the dinosaur was chasing while his other arm held a scanner that was collecting data on the dino.

"Are you alright?" Reed asked the girl once he set her down out of harm's way beside Agent Chase. The little stuttered and tried to talk. Reed was suddenly taken aback as the girl's eyes began to glow bright yellow.

"Reed!" Ben yelled as the T-Rex tail whipped Ben into the air. He slammed against Sue's force field and smacked against the asphalt of the street. "Could use some help."

Reed nodded in his direction and turned away from the girl. He stretched his body out and began to wrap himself around the dinosaur's legs. The T-Rex struggled and flexed its muscular legs against Reed's tightening body. While the dinosaur fought Reed, Johnny came in and delivered a roaring fireball to the T-Rex's face. Off-balanced and burning, the dinosaur stumbled and smacked hard into the pavement. The impact of the beast falling cracked the asphalt underneath the beast. The T-Rex roared and suddenly disappeared, allowing Reed to fall to the ground and get up confused.

"What was that?" Sue asked as she brought down her forcefields and turned to the others.
Johnny landed on the ground and dispersed the flames that covered his body. "What just happened?"

"I'm not sure," Reed said with a confused look. He turned to where Agent Chase was, and noticed the girl was gone.

"She disappeared like the T-Rex," Chase said. "Where did they go?"

Reed held his scanner up and looked over the results on the screen. "I have a good idea. Okay, we need to split up and go into the hospital. I think the answer to all of this is in there. Ben and Agent Chase, go to geriatrics. Susan, check out oncology. Johnny, take pediatrics. I'll go to neurology."

"What are we looking for?"

"Something unusual or out of the ordinary. A patient probably. Whatever is causing these illusions, the answer lies within the hospital."



Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

In the geriatric ward of Johns Hopkins, Ben Grimm sat at a table with three old men, playing cards.

"Go fish," Ben said as he looked over his cards. "Finish your story, Morty."

"Huh? Oh yeah...," one of the men stammered. "Where was I? That's right! So it was me, Brooklyn Joe, Brooklyn Phil, and Joey Brooklyn on the deck of the battleship. Spring of '45 and in the Pacific. We were part of the ass-end of the fleet. So, the four of us were swabbing the deck when a kamikaze planes comes over the horizon--"

"Morty, got any threes?" One of the other men asked.

"What? No. Go fish. Uhh, where was I?"

"You and the Brooklyns saw a kamikaze plane."

"Right. So, we're in the Pacific. And that plane is barreling down towards us. That's when Joey Brooklyn starts to--"

"Major Grimm," Special Agent Cameron Chase said as she came up to the table. "What are you doing?"

"Playing cards," Ben said with a shrug. "They needed another one."

"We lost our fourth two days ago," Morty said. "Sal DeVecchio, God rest his soul."

"I thought we were supposed to look for anything out the ordinary," Chase said, placing her hands on her hips.

"Agent Chase, only thing I see out the ordinary here is how Freddie doesn't seem to have any cards. You holding out on me, Freddie? You got any sevens?"

One of the elderly men narrowed his eyes at Ben before he forked over two cards. "There you go. Happy?"

"Very happy," Ben said as he tapped the communicator on his waistband. "Reed, Ben here. Nothing out of the ordinary here with the old folks."

"Alright, Ben," Reed voice crackled through the comm. "I'm not getting any readings in neurology.

"Oncology seems normal," Sue said through the comm. "What exactly are we looking for, Reed?"

"I programed our suits to pick up trace amounts of that energy signature that I picked up outside. If we get close, the comms start to give off a noise like a Geiger counter."

"So I'm good to go? I can get back to the old folks?"

"Just come running if we need you, Ben. Reed out."

"Who are you calling old?" Morty asked Ben with an arched eyebrow. "I was in the Pacific, fighting the Japs before you were even born, sonny. That reminds me. So it was me, Brooklyn Joe, Brooklyn Phil, and Joey Brooklyn on the battleship..."


*****



Johnny Storm walked through the pediatric section of the hospital. Children in hospital beds were watching him as he walked down the ward. He smiled and nodded at them, even signing an autograph or two. Suddenly, his suit began to quietly tick.

"Johnny here," he said, activating his comm. "I'm getting something."

He followed the signal as it got stronger and stronger until...

"You," Eliza Newton said as she looked up at Johnny from her bed. "You're Johnny Storm!"

"That's me," Johnny said with a grin. "Reed," he said into his comm. "You might want to get up here."

Carnage27
03-22-2012, 09:25 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png

I can sense him before I hear him. For what the man has in power and ferocity he decidedly lacks in stealth and subtlety. At least in this instance. He rushes up the stairs and into Charles's study, roaring like the animal he believes he is.

With a mere flick of my wrist, I send him flying through the air the way in which he came, driving him through the wall. With another flick, I drag him back into the room, make him stand, and cause his body to go completely rigid. Locking him into place.

"Honestly, Wolverine," I smile at him from underneath my helmet. "Is that any way to treat a guest?"

Byrd Man
03-23-2012, 10:16 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png


Blüdhaven
3:15 PM

Carmine Falcone scowled as he stepped out the back of his limo and headd inside the hotel lobby. As bad as Gotham was, Blüdhaven was a real ****-hole. It'd always been in Gotham's shadow, and it was easy to guess why. The town wasn't even a third the size of Gotham, but the city's crime was almost on par with Gotham's. He had a few business associates here, but nothing too serious. You could make money, but it was just chump-change and this place was like the goddamn wild west with all the hits and drive-by shootings that went on. It wasn't civilized here. **** Russo, he though. Sending him out all the way here for this meeting.

Falcone headed through the lobby with two of his bodyguards flanking him. They headed to the conference room where Falcone and his men were the last to arrive. The ugly son of a ***** with the square head was already waiting. Hammerhead was sitting at the table with three of his men behind him. They looked impassively at Falcone and his men, sizing the three mobsters up and assessing them.

"Here he is," a voice from the head of the table said with a smile. Billy "The Beaut" Russo, acting boss of the Gnucci Family, walked towards Falcone and warmly embraced him. Falcone managed a strained style as he patted the younger man on the back. "You look good, Carmine. Come, have a seat."

Billy was all of thirty-one when he was handed the reigns of the Gnucci Family while Ma Gnucci was sent up for life at the women's state pen. Since that time, Billy had been turning the sinking mob family around. He'd gotten a good deal when the families had split up Maroni's territory. With confidence, ambition, youth, and now prime territory, Billy Russo was becoming a threat to Falcone.

After swapping pleasantries with Falcone, Hammerhead finally asked the question. "Out with it, kid," he grunted. "The hell are we doing here?"

"Exactly," Falcone said as he lit up a cigar. "What's so goddamn important we had to come to the state's ***hole to discuss it?"

"Batman," Russo said with a glint in his eyes. "It's time to get rid of him."

"Great plan," Hammerhead said sarcastically. "Why the hell haven't we thought of that before?! We kill Batman, and that's the end of it. Wow, you're a ****ing genius."

"Funny," Russo said. "But here's the thing, you've sent killers after him, and they've all failed. I finally got the right guy for the job."

Falcone exhaled a swirling plum of smoke from his mouth and looked at Russo. "Hammerhead said the same thing six months ago. That weird **** with the target on his head."

"That was the problem," Russo said. "You sent killers. The man I have for is so much more."

"That explains it," Hammerhead said with a sigh. "I figure that's why you called us here. Afraid the big, bad bat is listening."

"You can never be too careful," Russo said with a nod.

"How much," Falcone asked, stubbing his cigar in the ashtray beside him.

"Pretty cheap. Only a half mil from all of us."

"A half mil?" Hammerhead asked with a raised eyebrow. "Just a mil and a half for this job? It cost us five mil for Bullseye. Why's this guy cheap?"

"He gets off on it," Russo said. "Thrill of the chase and all that. He's here, let me bring him out."

Both Hammerhead and Falcone stared at the man as he came in. His outlandish outfit threw both mobsters for a loop.

"This guy?" Falcone asked with a laugh. "He looks like a goddamn acrobat, not a killer."

"Killer is not what you need," the man said with a slight Russian accent. "Killer is what you used before. Killer will not work. You have animal problem in your city, you do not call killer..."

http://i42.tinypic.com/15gqp0j.jpg

"You call hunter."

MST3K 4ever
03-24-2012, 12:32 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex continues to watch the coverage of The Hulk rampaging through Metropolis.

He sees The Hulk hurl Superman like a Frisbee and this pleases Lex on a lot of levels.

Who knows maybe I just might be lucky and they finish each other off.

Just then his intercom chimes.

Why do I have the feeling that this is where my luck is about to be tested?


He presses the button and says, "Yes Miss Graves?"

She replies, "Mr. Luthor Dr. Ross has returned and she has brought others with her."

Lex replies, "Others? By all means show them in."

Lex cuts off his TV and looks out towards the window.

He hears footsteps stop at his desk and then hears the door close.

Lex asks, "Tell me little girl did you bring some significant help this time? Or do I get to throw you and a few Government flunkies out this time?"

General Ross says, "Be careful Lex! That's my daughter you're talking to!"

Lex raises his eyebrows a bit and says, "Oh you brought daddy to save you from big bad Lex! Oh please."

Then he hears a new voice in the conversation say, "And I'm here to get some answers from you about that Green Skinned Goliath tearing up Metropolis!"

Lex's blood goes stone cold. He knows that voice anywhere. It was the voice that kept him from getting his hands in Checkmate.

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/10069/447062-nick_fury_00_super.jpg


Lex turns and says, "Hello Nick. Nice to see you again. tell me how's unemployment?"

Fury replies, "Don't know I'm the director of Checkmate! And I want answers from you."

Lex says, "Answers? What questions do you have for me? Please keep it brief I still have things to take care of."

Fury says, "Gotta give you credit Lex. General Ross and I don't exactly see eye to eye on a lot but one thing which we both readily agree upon is; neither one of us like you! Takes a special talent to get us to agree on anything. Congrats."

He takes a drag on his cigar and says, "So you tell me about the not-so Jolly Green Giant while everyone else begins going over your records and we'll go from there."

Lex always hated Fury for two major reasons; he was his equal in so many ways and he could never intimidate him.

Lex loses his cavalier attitude and says, "Of course let me get my lawyers on the phone before you do anything."

Fury pulls out a document and drops it on his desk and says, "That's a court order compelling you to allow us to begin immediate search and seizure of all your files and items in your company and belonging to you, and to answer any questions I might have."

Fury turns to the assembled squad behind him and says, "Get to it! Start with the computer areas first! Anyone gives you trouble arrest them on the spot!"

Lex stands up and says, "You can't do this!"

Fury says, "Watch me! That order says I get to do whatever I deem necessary for my investigation! Now if you want to fight me on this right now feel free! I'll do two things that you will not like at all, and they will be perfectly legal!"


Lex asks, "And what are they?"

Fury replies, "Your tower has a rather large hole in it. I doubt it or the other tower are safe right now. I may have to order them to be closed until further notice. How does 2015 sound for a re-opening?"

Lex stands up and glares at him and says, "You wouldn't!"

Fury smiles and says, "Try me. Second Dr. Ross here will get an early Christmas gift."

Fury pulls out a set of shackles and says, "I'll let her slap these on you and escort you out of the building in front of the press and right into jail for obstruction and interfering with a Government Investigation. Anything else you would care to add."

Lex sits back down and activates an intercom and says, "This is Lex Luthor by now you have noticed the Checkmate agents roaming the halls. You are to comply with whatever request they have and make all information available to them. That is all."

He cuts off the intercom and Fury says to the Ross family, "You all go on and keep an eye on things. I'll stay here and make sure Lex continues to be so cooperative."

They leave and Lex says, "Well Nick. Care for a drink? It might be a while."

Fury shakes his head and says, "No it won't be that long. I know exactly what I am looking for and when I find it you will have a lot to answer for."

wiegeabo
03-25-2012, 12:58 AM
"I make no promises," I said with a smirk. Matt chuckled, shook his head, and jumped from the roof of Wayne Tower, swinging away through the city towards the rising sun.

While Matt disappeared off into the city, I headed down to the bunker. After a night of riddles, mobsters, and ninjas, it's time to finally get some rest.


"Why am I not surprised." I give Bruce a mock salute and swing away on my club's line, saying a quiet prayer for Bruce to find some peace.

***

"But you just got here. We hardly spent any time together." Vicki puts on the air of pouting, but that's just how she always teased me when I made her mad.

"I know. But it was worth it. My client will go free, and I actually got to help put a bad guy away. Pretty hard thing to do, being a defense attorney."

"Oh, I thought it was Batman and the GCPD that did all the work."

"And who brought them the case?"

"Uh-huh, sure." She sighs. "Take another day off. Foggy can handle the appeal."

"He can. But I should be there, shouldn't I."

"Fine. Well, I'm writing about this. If you don't mind. And even if you do."

"I would never stand i the way of a free press."

"Good. Because I'd just roll over you anyway." And suddenly she's pressed her lips to mine. But only for a brief, but intense, moment. "Still think leaving early is worth it?"

"Uhh..."

"Well said, Counselor."

***

The train lurches and pulls away, but I'm too lost in my own thoughts to much notice. Somehow Vicki and I had found a way to spend a little more 'time' together. Not a bad memory to leave Gotham on...

We're only on the move for a couple of minutes when my cell goes off. I flip the phone open.

"Murdock."

"Matt."

"Oh, hey Foggy. Tell our client yet? You better not be waiting for me-"

"Matt...you haven't heard?"

"Haven't heard what? Something happen to Varnell?"

"No, not Varnell. Biglia."

"What are you on about?"

"He's dead, Matt."

"Say again?!"

"I know you heard me."

"How?"

"On the way back to Gotham. Some kind of car accident. Details are sketchy, but the car went off the road and Biglia and the detectives that were transferring him were killed."

I let the phone drop into my lap. "Dammit..." I take a moment and lift it back up. "What about the case?"

"I've got an emergency meeting with the judge in ten minutes. But the NYPD and DA have the confession, and Commissioner Gordon made sure we got a copy too."

"He's a good man. Well, my train won't get in for a couple of hours..."

"Don't worry about it, Matt. The judge is going to have to overturn, or she'll look as bad as the last one."

I smile at the thought of that rooftop. "Don't jinx it, Foggy."

"I'll spin around three times and spit, don't worry."

"I wasn't. See you when I get in." I hang up.

The train ride gives me plenty of time to think. Calling it an accident is a joke. This was a kill order, plain and simple. But a kill order from whom? With Marone dead, there's no one in Gotham to worry about Biglia squealing. Not Falcone. Not anyone who'll be trying to fill the power vacuum. Who could Biglia have been a threat to?

There's really only one answer.

The Kingpin is real...

Byrd Man
03-25-2012, 11:58 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/ffbyrd.png




Previously





Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

In the geriatric ward of Johns Hopkins, Ben Grimm sat at a table with three old men, playing cards.

"Go fish," Ben said as he looked over his cards. "Finish your story, Morty."

"Huh? Oh yeah...," one of the men stammered. "Where was I? That's right! So it was me, Brooklyn Joe, Brooklyn Phil, and Joey Brooklyn on the deck of the battleship. Spring of '45 and in the Pacific. We were part of the ass-end of the fleet. So, the four of us were swabbing the deck when a kamikaze planes comes over the horizon--"

"Morty, got any threes?" One of the other men asked.

"What? No. Go fish. Uhh, where was I?"

"You and the Brooklyns saw a kamikaze plane."

"Right. So, we're in the Pacific. And that plane is barreling down towards us. That's when Joey Brooklyn starts to--"

"Major Grimm," Special Agent Cameron Chase said as she came up to the table. "What are you doing?"

"Playing cards," Ben said with a shrug. "They needed another one."

"We lost our fourth two days ago," Morty said. "Sal DeVecchio, God rest his soul."

"I thought we were supposed to look for anything out the ordinary," Chase said, placing her hands on her hips.

"Agent Chase, only thing I see out the ordinary here is how Freddie doesn't seem to have any cards. You holding out on me, Freddie? You got any sevens?"

One of the elderly men narrowed his eyes at Ben before he forked over two cards. "There you go. Happy?"

"Very happy," Ben said as he tapped the communicator on his waistband. "Reed, Ben here. Nothing out of the ordinary here with the old folks."

"Alright, Ben," Reed voice crackled through the comm. "I'm not getting any readings in neurology.

"Oncology seems normal," Sue said through the comm. "What exactly are we looking for, Reed?"

"I programed our suits to pick up trace amounts of that energy signature that I picked up outside. If we get close, the comms start to give off a noise like a Geiger counter."

"So I'm good to go? I can get back to the old folks?"

"Just come running if we need you, Ben. Reed out."

"Who are you calling old?" Morty asked Ben with an arched eyebrow. "I was in the Pacific, fighting the Japs before you were even born, sonny. That reminds me. So it was me, Brooklyn Joe, Brooklyn Phil, and Joey Brooklyn on the battleship..."


*****



Johnny Storm walked through the pediatric section of the hospital. Children in hospital beds were watching him as he walked down the ward. He smiled and nodded at them, even signing an autograph or two. Suddenly, his suit began to quietly tick.

"Johnny here," he said, activating his comm. "I'm getting something."

He followed the signal as it got stronger and stronger until...

"You," Eliza Newton said as she looked up at Johnny from her bed. "You're Johnny Storm!"

"That's me," Johnny said with a grin. "Reed," he said into his comm. "You might want to get up here."


Pediatrics Ward
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD


Johnny sat at the foot of the bed while the sickly Eliza Newton watched him. Behind them, the rest of the Fantastic Four were huddled together with Agent Chase, a doctor, and Eliza's parents.

"So, you've met Superman?" Eliza asked Johnny.

"Yeah. He was alright. Not too super."

"You went into space, too?"

"Been there, done that. Kicked this alien guy's as-- uhh, butt."

Johnny looked around at all the tubes and wires hooked up to the little girl. "So, why are you in the hospital?"

"They say I have brain cancer."

"Oh," Johnny said, a bit unsure of how to continue. "I'm sorry to hear that."

"Why? You don't know me."

"I know, but you seem like a nice girl. It's never good when bad things happen to nice people."

Eliza's eyes darted over towards where the adults were huddled together. "I wish I knew what they were talking about. I've been in and out of hospitals for nearly two years. They never tell me what's going on."

"I can understand. That's how the rest of the team do me. Always the last to know about things. I'm always belittled because I like to have a good time and joke around."

"Well," Eliza said, reaching her tube covered hand out and touching Johnny's. "At least you have your health."

Johnny smiled at the girl and lowered his head. She yawned and started to close her eyes. "Sleepy? Let me tell you a story to put you to sleep..."

While Johnny and Eliza talked, a hospital doctor, Eliza's parents, Agent Chase, and the rest of the Four discussed what was going on.

"So she's the cause of it?" Ben asked, making sure to keep his voice down.

"The readings I'm getting off her," Reed said. "I believe so. I think something, some sort of energy has entwined itself with her brain. Doctor Hall?"

The doctor held up two different MRIs for the people to see. In both MRIs, there was a massive black spot in the center of the brain that was Eliza's tumor. "The one on the left was from two weeks ago. The one on the right is from two days ago. As you can see, the one from two days ago has more synaptic activity in the frontal lobe area, a particularly dormant section. It's suddenly active, and we don't know why."

"It's been theorized that that area of the brain can unlock certain psychic properties. We're seeing that now with mutants and metahumans."

"So what?" Eliza's father asked. "She's creating these illusions?"

"Not illusions," Reed said with a shake of his head. "Dreams. Dreams come to life. Think about it. The first incident was a girl falling from a great height, only to disappear feet before she hit the ground. Everyone has those falling dreams. The second incident, a little girl who looked like your daughter was being chased by a dinosaur. She has a toy dinosaur by her bed, other dinosaur things. I think her dreams are being manifested to life while she sleeps."

"She's always so tired from the treatments," Eliza's mother said with a worried glance over to her daughter.

"So we keep her awake?" Chase asked.

"It's not that simple. Her manifestations are getting more powerful. I believe that, as time goes on, she could very well alter reality while still awake. Doctor Hall, what's her current condition?"

"I believe it's only a matter of time," he said with a look towards the girl's parents. "I know that's cold and uncaring, but it's a miracle she's stayed alive this long."

"She's a fighter," Eliza's father said. "She's been so brave for us, for herself. She can keep it up."

"Well I ask because her health could be a problem. She gets a seizure and tenses up, she could very well bring the hospital down with her abilities."

The group looked at Reed with shocked looks. Eliza's mother held her hands up to her face while her husband tried to comfort her. "So," Doctor Hall said. "Doctor Richards, what's our next move?"

"Guys!" Johnny shouted from behind them. They all turned and looked. Eliza's eyes were closed, but her eyes were glowing purple under her eyelids. "I was telling her a story. She fell asleep... and then..."

Suddenly, the little girl's eyes snapped open, revealing the purple energy pouring out of them. All around the hospital ward, the walls began to swirl and melt like an ice cream on a warm summer's day.

"What's going on?" Sue asked as she looked around. Reed had his scanner out and was surveying the area.

"She's having another dream. She's warping reality..."

Batman
03-26-2012, 01:33 AM
The Hulk picks up the Blue-man and hurls him down the street into the side of an apartment building. The impact cause the building to shake and rumble.

He looks around and towards the sky this time looking for the Blue-Man.

http://www.comicmix.com/media/2008/06/21/hulk---early-design-00.jpg

"Rrgh!"

It takes me nearly half a minute before I can finally break through the brick and rubble, unscathed. Most of what threw me off guard in the impact wasn't from the building. At least, in what I could feel. It was actually the strength of the creature that gave me considerable pause. Even with it being twelve feet tall and boasting an impressive physique, I still could have never imagined what that grip would feel like. It was as if my entire body were being crushed between two steel beams, being pushed by tanks thrown through the air at velocity. Still trying to shake off the strange feeling I'm getting in my head. I assume this is sort of what it's like for someone to be dazed.

"HULK SMASH BLUE-MAN!"

Hulk? So that's what it calls itself...

This, whatever it really is --- "Hulk" will do for the moment --- spots me in the midst of the rubble and charges, blindly stomping down the pavement without any effort. The ground literally crumbles beneath his feet, leaving trails of dust. He's massive and he's supremely powerful. This probably won't be as simple as fighting that other creature that was sent by the Moleman. Or Mongul, for that matter. Still, I don't have a choice but to face him, because as long as he's out and about in the city, rampaging like a mindless animal, he's going to be a danger irregardless of his intentions.

And his intentions, right now - frankly - look to be to squash me like a grape.

Alright, Clark...

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG5.png

Let's try a different approach.

Grabbing the support beam beneath my fingers, I lift it into the air and toss it head on into the Hulk's ribs. Even though he stumbles, it doesn't really seem to cause him much pain. Infact, he looks more annoyed than before. Kicking off of the ruins of the wall, I fly out and slam both of my knuckles into his chest, pushing him back with as much strength and speed as I can lash out in the spur of the moment. Then, to keep him from countering, I go to work with a few punches to his chest and jaw.

Glass shatters around us as the hits become increasingly more powerful, raining down upon us just as I can bring both fists together and swing them into the side of The Hulk's head. Yet even with these futile attempts at an attack, he simply stares back at me, baring his teeth and growling under his breath.

Nothing's working. He's not falling. It's like he's... getting stronger!

Batman
03-26-2012, 01:55 AM
With a mere flick of my wrist, I send him flying through the air the way in which he came, driving him through the wall. With another flick, I drag him back into the room, make him stand, and cause his body to go completely rigid. Locking him into place.

"Honestly, Wolverine," I smile at him from underneath my helmet. "Is that any way to treat a guest?"

"RAAARGH!"

Logan's entire body felt as if it were in complete agony, suffering through every unnatural movement that his bones made while mended under Magneto's control. His claws kept sheathing and unsheathing from his knuckles, knocked back and unbalanced by the phenomena. True, it was his own doing for rushing in so blindly, but how was he to know what was waiting for him - all that he smelled were a group of unwelcome guests in the mansion, baring a similar scent to those he had encountered at the attempt on Senator Ross' life. What he expected was a rematch with Sabretooth, the man that taunted him with knowledge of his own past.

What he got, to his surprise, was Charles Xavier's long-feared enemy. This was the guy that the X-Men didn't want to talk about, for all they had to say about the Brotherhood that he was leading. Magneto was an infamous pro-mutant terrorist that had committed devastating acts of destruction all across the world. Even before he came to Westchester's doors, Logan had heard plenty about the man. He just never thought that he'd actually come into contact with him, given that his fight was with the X-Men.

Which, as of two weeks ago, Logan had promised himself he'd never be apart of.

But as he felt his wrist start to shift and his neck begin to crack, Logan cried out in pain and rage, realizing Magneto wouldn't distinguish him between the rest of the team. To the often dubbed "master of magnetism", he was just another hapless bystander to throw around.

Except he had something that any other hapless bystander didn't.

A body full of metal.

"W-What do you..."

Growling behind his teeth, an enraged Logan stared back at Magneto with nothing but contempt. This guy didn't scare him, no matter how dangerous he was. He'd seen a hell of alot worse in his own dreams. Which, incidentally, he could swear were faint memories trying to boil to the surface.

"What do you mean... guest? Y-You look more like some... half-assed burglar."

Just as he could finish his pained retort, Jean Grey was thrown to the ground beside him, gun held tightly to her temple. With the one called Mystique brandishing the weapon. Logan looked at her oddly, knowing that she was a powerful enough telekenetic to handle Magneto's lackey - but then again, she was still as much of a trainee in the field as some of the students, given the magnitude of her powers.

And with the Professor gone, she wasn't about to get anymore practice in.

"If it isn't the famous Erik Lehnsherr. It seems we meet again at last."

MST3K 4ever
03-26-2012, 11:07 AM
"Rrgh!"

It takes me nearly half a minute before I can finally break through the brick and rubble, unscathed. Most of what threw me off guard in the impact wasn't from the building. At least, in what I could feel. It was actually the strength of the creature that gave me considerable pause. Even with it being twelve feet tall and boasting an impressive physique, I still could have never imagined what that grip would feel like. It was as if my entire body were being crushed between two steel beams, being pushed by tanks thrown through the air at velocity. Still trying to shake off the strange feeling I'm getting in my head. I assume this is sort of what it's like for someone to be dazed.

"HULK SMASH BLUE-MAN!"

Hulk? So that's what it calls itself...

This, whatever it really is --- "Hulk" will do for the moment --- spots me in the midst of the rubble and charges, blindly stomping down the pavement without any effort. The ground literally crumbles beneath his feet, leaving trails of dust. He's massive and he's supremely powerful. This probably won't be as simple as fighting that other creature that was sent by the Moleman. Or Mongul, for that matter. Still, I don't have a choice but to face him, because as long as he's out and about in the city, rampaging like a mindless animal, he's going to be a danger irregardless of his intentions.

And his intentions, right now - frankly - look to be to squash me like a grape.

Alright, Clark...

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/Superman/RPG5.png

Let's try a different approach.

Grabbing the support beam beneath my fingers, I lift it into the air and toss it head on into the Hulk's ribs. Even though he stumbles, it doesn't really seem to cause him much pain. Infact, he looks more annoyed than before. Kicking off of the ruins of the wall, I fly out and slam both of my knuckles into his chest, pushing him back with as much strength and speed as I can lash out in the spur of the moment. Then, to keep him from countering, I go to work with a few punches to his chest and jaw.

Glass shatters around us as the hits become increasingly more powerful, raining down upon us just as I can bring both fists together and swing them into the side of The Hulk's head. Yet even with these futile attempts at an attack, he simply stares back at me, baring his teeth and growling under his breath.

Nothing's working. He's not falling. It's like he's... getting stronger!

The Hulk staggers from the blows from Superman, but he is not going down.

The Hulk repeats his battle-cry, ""HULK SMASH!!!""

He picks up a police car in each hand. The Hulk then puts each one on a hand as thought they were boxing gloves and begins pummeling Superman over and over.

Though Superman is absorbing the blows and movng backwards he doesn't seem to affectd by them.

The Hulk looks at his skin and sees were the various cuts are healing, but not a scratch on Superman.

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/3826/hulk2theincrediblehulk2.jpg

Hulk starts to growl and says, "Why Blue Man not bleed? HULK MAKE YOU BLEED!"

The Hulk unleashes a barrage of punches and yells until the police cars on his hands are nothing more than scrap metal.

Andy C.
03-26-2012, 06:12 PM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/spideylogo.png



So, taking a quick appraisal of the situation......

I, Peter Parker, a scrawny sixteen-year-old who weighs about a hundred and twenty pounds soaking wet, just happened to get bitten by some sort of cosmically irradiated spider which has granted me superhuman powers. Naturally, I'm using said powers to my advantage, trying to win some easy money by winning a wrestling match. I'm main-eventing at Madison Square Garden, in front of a crowd of thousands, including Harry Osborn, one of my two best friends, and Flash Thompson, the jerkhole jock whose family is suing me for not letting him beat me up, and who is also dating Liz Allan, the girl of my dreams. So I get a chance to impress my friend, rub my awesomeness into my nemesis's face, and win a boat-load of money all at once.

That's the good news.

The bad news is standing across the ring from me, all five hundred and eighty pounds of him.

The guy's name is Killer Croc, and neither word in his name is hyperbole. He's covered from head to toe in thick green scales, some growing out into barb-like protrusions around his forearms and jawline. His mouth is lined with slavering fangs, whether he filed them into points or they just grew in naturally I'm not sure, and neither would surprise me. He looks every inch like a human crocodile.

And the 'killer' part? Just the look on the guy's face, that hungry gleam in his eyes, tells me he's out to hurt me as badly as he possibly can. He stares at me like a lion looking at a wounded gazelle.......and then he grins.

I'm not saying I did, mind you, but I am saying that in situations like this, it is perfectly understandable and even acceptable to pee your pants a little.

The bell rings, and Killer Croc cracks his knuckles eagerly, the joints cracking with the sound of someone casually snapping logs in half.

"Okay, ya little insect, I'm feelin' generous tonight," Croc says, "So I'll give ya one free hit, on the house."

He stands up straight, spreading his arms, making it clear he's got no intention of blocking. I look at him skeptically.

"Seriously?" I ask. "You're just going to let me get in a free shot?"

"You heard me, pipsqueak," he says mockingly. "And c'mon, gimme your best shot, too. What's the worst a scrawny little bug like you can do?"

I shrug.

"Only one way to find out, right?"

Okay, Parker, this might be the only shot you get on this guy. Better make it count.

I turn away and go into a dead run, easily crossing the span of the ring and make it to the ropes. I hop up, planting one foot on the middle rope, and spring backwards into the air back towards Croc. While I'm flying towards him, I turn, swinging a big wild haymaker that cracks the gigantic reptilian brute on the side of the head.

*POW!*

....oh my GOD, that hurt my hand. Seriously, I think I may have broken my wrist.

To my surprise, it actually takes Croc off his feet, the green monster toppling into the ropes and tumbling out of the ring. The crowd goes wild for me, and I take a minute to soak it all in.

"What we've got here, folks," I call out to the cheering audience, "is a prime example of the direct correlation between a person's size and the force of impact upon rapid descent."

The cheers quickly go quiet as the thousands of hardcore wrestling fans try to figure out what I just said.

*sigh*.....you know, the bigger they are, the harder they--oh crap!"

That last part isn't part of the old cliche, I know; it's me reacting to the fact that Killer Croc is bounding towards me, tearing through the ring ropes as he climbs back in and charges, his big clawed hands ripping at the air.

"Stay still, dammit!" he snarls as I duck and weave to avoid the slashing claws that would probably splatter me across the canvas if they hit me. "I'm gonna rip you in half!"

"Gee, you make it sound so tempting, Croc," I say, sliding between the monster's legs and delivering a mule kick to the back of his knee to take him off his feet again, "But I think I'm gonna have to pass. After all, I still need my legs to kick your butt."

Okay, what the heck am I doing? I'm in the ring with an actual legitimate monster, a vicious psychopath who I wouldn't be surprised if he has a criminal record in Gotham, who wants to tear me apart like tissue paper....and I'm intentionally getting on his nerves?! Shut up, Parker, before you get him really mad!

"Shut your mouth, you little freak!" Croc roars, confirming what my common sense is screaming at me.

My mouth, however, is fanatically determined to keep talking.

"I'm the freak?" I say, springing off of Croc's shoulders as he charges in at me again. "Hey, I'm not the one who looks like his siblings got flushed down the toilet."

Croc charges again, and this time, I flip through the air over him, planting both feet down hard on his head.

"Owww!" he growls, staggering. "I'm gonna kill you!"

"Y'know, you keep saying that," I say, perching on one of the turnbuckles. "But here I am, still pretty definitively not-killed. So how's about this:"

I stand up straight on the turnbuckle, and spread my arms out wide.

"I'll give you one free hit, on the house. C'mon, big guy, take your best shot."

"GRAAAAAAAAAAGH!" Croc roars, slinging spit and snot all over as he howls in animalistic rage, then charges headlong towards me.

Oh God oh God oh God, if this doesn't work, I'm very probably going to actually die here.

At the last possible second, I cartwheel to one side, landing on the ring apron, and Croc slams his head with full-force into the steel corner post. The massive brute slumps down, dizzy, but not out.

Time to finish him off.

Running along the apron, I build up speed, then jump feet-first towards him, becoming a human javelin as I connect with a hard dropkick, smashing his head between my feet and the corner post, knocking the big lug out cold.

I grab the unconscious Croc by the arm and drag him to the center of the ring, where the referee counts the pinfall.....


.....One......



.....Two......




......Three!


The bell rings, and the crowd goes absolutely wild. Even the ring announcer seems impressed.

"Ladies and gentlemen, your winner," he shouts, "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!"

I soak up the deafening cheers, taking a sec to look into the crowd. Flash is utterly losing his mind cheering for me. Even Harry, who didn't seem into this whole thing at all, is on his feet. All of Madison Square Garden is chanting my name.

Well, they're chanting 'Spider-Man' anyway.

And I gotta admit, when fifty thousand people are screaming it out loud......the name sounds pretty freaking awesome.

Carnage27
03-28-2012, 07:48 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll77/blqck/Signatures/Magneto.png

"What do you mean... guest? Y-You look more like some... half-assed burglar."

"Charming to the last," I smile at the living weapon. The man was shaped and formed for years to be a living mutant hunter. It's good for our kind that he never became it, because it would have worked. His power is almost unrivaled in our people. I'm not even sure he can be killed. "I see your Charles's guard dog now?"

Luckily I have no desire to kill him. But pointed in the right direction he can be a valuable tool.

Just as he could finish his pained retort, Jean Grey was thrown to the ground beside him, gun held tightly to her temple. With the one called Mystique brandishing the weapon. Logan looked at her oddly, knowing that she was a powerful enough telekenetic to handle Magneto's lackey - but then again, she was still as much of a trainee in the field as some of the students, given the magnitude of her powers.

And with the Professor gone, she wasn't about to get anymore practice in.

"If it isn't the famous Erik Lehnsherr. It seems we meet again at last."

"Mystique, dear, please let Dr. Grey up," I say shaking my head. "We're not here to fight."

"Tell that to Logan," Jean Grey responds, looking at her X-Men partner.

"Jean, is that how you greet me after all these years?" I sarcastically shake my head. "I'm disappointed. As for the Wolverine, I'll let him go as long as he agrees to behave himself."

Byrd Man
03-28-2012, 11:24 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/batmanbyrd.png








Blüdhaven
3:15 PM

Carmine Falcone scowled as he stepped out the back of his limo and headd inside the hotel lobby. As bad as Gotham was, Blüdhaven was a real ****-hole. It'd always been in Gotham's shadow, and it was easy to guess why. The town wasn't even a third the size of Gotham, but the city's crime was almost on par with Gotham's. He had a few business associates here, but nothing too serious. You could make money, but it was just chump-change and this place was like the goddamn wild west with all the hits and drive-by shootings that went on. It wasn't civilized here. **** Russo, he though. Sending him out all the way here for this meeting.

Falcone headed through the lobby with two of his bodyguards flanking him. They headed to the conference room where Falcone and his men were the last to arrive. The ugly son of a ***** with the square head was already waiting. Hammerhead was sitting at the table with three of his men behind him. They looked impassively at Falcone and his men, sizing the three mobsters up and assessing them.

"Here he is," a voice from the head of the table said with a smile. Billy "The Beaut" Russo, acting boss of the Gnucci Family, walked towards Falcone and warmly embraced him. Falcone managed a strained style as he patted the younger man on the back. "You look good, Carmine. Come, have a seat."

Billy was all of thirty-one when he was handed the reigns of the Gnucci Family while Ma Gnucci was sent up for life at the women's state pen. Since that time, Billy had been turning the sinking mob family around. He'd gotten a good deal when the families had split up Maroni's territory. With confidence, ambition, youth, and now prime territory, Billy Russo was becoming a threat to Falcone.

After swapping pleasantries with Falcone, Hammerhead finally asked the question. "Out with it, kid," he grunted. "The hell are we doing here?"

"Exactly," Falcone said as he lit up a cigar. "What's so goddamn important we had to come to the state's ***hole to discuss it?"

"Batman," Russo said with a glint in his eyes. "It's time to get rid of him."

"Great plan," Hammerhead said sarcastically. "Why the hell haven't we thought of that before?! We kill Batman, and that's the end of it. Wow, you're a ****ing genius."

"Funny," Russo said. "But here's the thing, you've sent killers after him, and they've all failed. I finally got the right guy for the job."

Falcone exhaled a swirling plum of smoke from his mouth and looked at Russo. "Hammerhead said the same thing six months ago. That weird **** with the target on his head."

"That was the problem," Russo said. "You sent killers. The man I have for is so much more."

"That explains it," Hammerhead said with a sigh. "I figure that's why you called us here. Afraid the big, bad bat is listening."

"You can never be too careful," Russo said with a nod.

"How much," Falcone asked, stubbing his cigar in the ashtray beside him.

"Pretty cheap. Only a half mil from all of us."

"A half mil?" Hammerhead asked with a raised eyebrow. "Just a mil and a half for this job? It cost us five mil for Bullseye. Why's this guy cheap?"

"He gets off on it," Russo said. "Thrill of the chase and all that. He's here, let me bring him out."

Both Hammerhead and Falcone stared at the man as he came in. His outlandish outfit threw both mobsters for a loop.

"This guy?" Falcone asked with a laugh. "He looks like a goddamn acrobat, not a killer."

"Killer is not what you need," the man said with a slight Russian accent. "Killer is what you used before. Killer will not work. You have animal problem in your city, you do not call killer..."

http://i42.tinypic.com/15gqp0j.jpg

"You call hunter."






Cameroon
Then

The jeep bounced up and down the dirt road as it cut a dusty swath through the countryside. The driver of the jeep chattered away in French, the young, dark-haired man in the passenger seat barely listened to him. Instead, the passenger's eyes were focused on what was up the road.

"Nous sommes arrivés, Monsieur Wayne," the driver said as the jeep skidded to a stop outside a grass hut.

"Oui, je vous remercie," the young man replied in flawless French. Two years "studying" in Paris had left him with a fluent understanding of the language. He handed the driver a handful of African Francs. Then, the young grabbed the canvas bag behind his seat and stepped out of the jeep. "Ce sera tout. Je peux le prendre à partir d'ici," he told the driver.

"Très bien. Ce vieil homme est fou. Vous avez besoin d'aide, tu m'appelles," the driver said with a nod.

"Oui. Je vais le faire, George."

The driver of the jeep reversed the vehicle and began back down the dirt road. The young man watched the jeep disappear down the road before turning to the hut. While he had his back turned, a man had appeared out of nowhere, a rifle in his hands.

"Explain yourself," the man said in a slight Russian accent. He slid the rifle's bolt action and cycled a round into his rifle. "Two seconds before I shoot you dead."

"My name," the young man said in English, "is Bruce Wayne. I came to speak to Sergi Kravinoff."

The older man looked at Wayne with narrowed eyes before he pulled his rifle back. "You want Kraven, richboy? You have found him. What do you want?"

"I seek knowledge. Training."


Now
Old Gotham
8:04 PM


I was crouched in the shadows, watching the lone gunman from a safe distance. Shortly before five this afternoon, he had walked into a daycare and proceeded the daycare's staff and a dozen toddlers hostage. The cops have been involved in a standoff for a little over three hours. Major Gordon was outside supervising the scene, but word from Gotham Central is that new commissioner Peter Pauling is getting antsy. In an hour, SWAT is banging down the doors. The only way that ends is with dead bodies and bullets.

There's a better way. Twenty minutes ago, I infiltrated the daycare and have been stalking the hostage taker ever since. The fourteen hostages, twelve of them scared and frightened children, were huddled together in an adjacent room.

"Attention!" Gordon's voice boomed through a megaphone outside. While his voice carried, his tone was hesitant. "This is Major James Gordon with the GCPD... You have forty-five minutes to come out with your hands up or we will... we will breech the doors."

The gunman began to pace and fidget nervously across the floor. I stayed still and watched as he wildly swung the pistol in his hands. A child in the following room started to cry, prompting an angry outburst from the gunman.

"Can you shut that goddamn kid u--," he stopped short as my forearm came out the shadows and struck him in the diaphragm. The gunman gagged and grasped for breath. I quickly disarmed him and drove him to the ground with a forceful thump.

"Run!" I shouted to the workers in the room next door. "Take the children and get out of here, but be careful!"

As the hostages and children began to leave the daycare, I had the gunman on the floor, pinned by the throat. "Please --gaak -- lemme go. Just following orders."

I relented my grip and leered at the hostage taker. "What?"

"Russian guy," he said weakly. "Told me he'd kill my family if I didn't come in here and take people hostage."

"Why?!"

"I... I don't know!"

Heavy footsteps were coming in the next room. I let go of the kidnapper and disappeared just as a cop came into the room, her gun out. "I found him," she cried out. "He's in here!"

While the members of the GCPD began to fill in the room, I was already out the daycare and on the roof of the building across the street. Someone threatened that man to take hostages. Why?


****



As Batman headed into the night, a pair of eyes watched him from a hidden vantage point. The man he had forced into service was adequate at doing his job. It had given him a chance to stake out the Batman and watch him in action. He was good. Patient, methodical, and ruthless when he needed to be. He needed more chances to watch his quarry, but for now Kraven the Hunter was convinced that the Batman would be a most worthy prey.

Batman
03-31-2012, 03:21 AM
He picks up a police car in each hand. The Hulk then puts each one on a hand as thought they were boxing gloves and begins pummeling Superman over and over.

Though Superman is absorbing the blows and movng backwards he doesn't seem to affectd by them. The Hulk looks at his skin and sees were the various cuts are healing, but not a scratch on Superman.

Hulk starts to growl and says, "Why Blue Man not bleed? HULK MAKE YOU BLEED!"

The Hulk unleashes a barrage of punches and yells until the police cars on his hands are nothing more than scrap metal.

I was borderline whenever the fight started, but now I can actually begin to feel it. Actual pain, coursing throughout my entire body. Not enough to leave me incapacitated, but it certainly gives me pause. Nothing - no one - has ever been strong enough to give me so much of the relatively foreign feeling until now. I always knew it existed, that it was possible. But for me, it was always hard. I've suffered glimpses of true pain in the past. Even recently, ever since becoming Superman. Going even father back, after I started manifesting my abilities, I would often try and test my limits. Throw myself into the path of Pa's tractor. Roll around in open flame. Leap off of the cliff at Cedar Heights, the canyons overlooking Shuster Creek near the farm.

Nothing ever worked. Except The Hulk.

And if I can be hurt by him, everyone in Metropolis is at serious risk. No matter what happens today, I have to move him out of the city by whatever means nessecary. People could die if this continues any longer within the confines of the city itself. The only problem is that at every turn so far, he's proven relatively indestructible. Cosmetically damaged, yes, but he heals very rapidly. That alone gives me alot to be concerned about.

Fortunately, though, I'm not out of tricks yet. I've only shown Hulk the capabilities of my strength and heat vision. That gives me at least three different other abilities to use in offense. And one of them happens to be ideal for relocating a twelve-foot growling behemoth out of the city.

"You'll make me bleed, huh? Hate to be the bearer of bad news, Hulk..."

I take off at mach-speeds and fly directly into his body, forcefully directing him further and further in a vertical motion that seems ineffective at first. Even he seems annoyed, rather than taken by surprise. But eventually, that registers on his face as we both ascend upward, my work finally paying off into a momentary flight into the air.

"But 'Blue Man' might object to that!"

Scooping my arms under his massive forearms, I muster as much strength availible to me as possible and - with enough effort - manage to toss him straight through the old abandoned Metropolis Radio tower. He goes flying into it effortlessly, nearly bringing the building down in his wake, and emerges from the other side while still in flight.

Flying over to meet him as he falls, I use some short bursts of laser vision to lessen the debris reigning down on the streets below. Even if he's the bigger priority, the safety of the people come first. I won't allow lives to be lost because of my reckless actions.

Hope he doesn't mind an abrupt landing.

Batman
03-31-2012, 03:32 AM
"Mystique, dear, please let Dr. Grey up," I say shaking my head. "We're not here to fight."

"Tell that to Logan," Jean Grey responds, looking at her X-Men partner.

"Jean, is that how you greet me after all these years?" I sarcastically shake my head. "I'm disappointed. As for the Wolverine, I'll let him go as long as he agrees to behave himself."

Logan growled under his breath, still in agony at the mercy of the mutant terrorist. If he didn't have the damned metal running through his body, he'd gladly rip the skull off of Magneto's spine with his bare hands and shove it in the only place that it might actually be of some use. But like all of these theatrical types, Magneto didn't just want to come in and kill everyone in sight, like any good psychopath. He had to draw everything out and make his victims listen to his every whim like they were poetry.

He'd honestly prefer the torture he was already enduring. But Jean looked back at him, desperate not to make an ugly situation even uglier than it currently was. Deep down, all that she wanted was to get the missing members of the team back. And deep down, so did he.

"A-Alright,", He finally submitted, closing his eyes. "You got my word. I ain't harmin' no hair on your damned head."

Seemingly content with his surrender, Magneto waved his hand and allowed Logan to fall to the floor like a lifeless ragdoll. Sweating from the strain of the attack on his body, he fought to catch his breath as he sneered up at the Master of Magnetism.

"Wasn't enough to kidnap the Professor with those damn machines, was it? You just had to come back and screw with us even further. What's next, bub? Gonna decapitate a couple'a infants?"

Andy C.
03-31-2012, 04:43 AM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/spideylogo.png


"What the heck is this crap?!" I say, trying (and failing) to keep my voice from getting too high as I wave the wad of cash in front of the wrestling promoter indignantly.

"Looks like about a grand and a half," the slimeball says with annoyance. "That's an awfully big payday for a kid that probably doesn't even have his driver's license."

"The prize for winning the match is supposed to be twenty thousand!" I say.

"Correction: the prize for winning the match is up to twenty thousand," he says coolly. "Shoulda double-checked the program. And that's before expenses-- material and labor for your fancy new costume, fees for use of our ring and our equipment, and most importantly, your opponent's hospital bills. You put our star attraction in an ambulance, kiddo. That's what really cost you."

I narrow my eyes--not that he can see that since I'm actually still wearing the Spider-Man outfit, but I do it anyway--and lean in close.

"If you don't give me what you advertised," I growl, "then Killer Croc might not be the only one leaving this building in an ambulance."

It's a bluff, but considering how mad I am and how much of an attitude this sleaze has, I'm kind of hoping he calls me on it.

"Are you seriously threatening me?" he asks incredulously. "Maybe if you put a finger on me, I'll have you locked up on assault charges. On top of lying about your age--don't think for a second that we didn't know about your crappy little fake ID. That's a federal offense these days, y'know."

That.....that takes the wind out of my sails a good bit.

"C'mon, I........I really need that money," I hear myself beg. "Things are tough at home, we don't have enough to pay the bills....."

"Yeah, yeah, it's tough all over, pal," he says impatiently, "Unfortunately for you, I must've missed the part where that's my problem."

I stare at him angrily, unable to give him the punch in the jaw that he's got coming to him, then storm out of his office.

Changing back into my regular clothes in the backstage locker room (keeping the Spider-Man mask on in the extremely unlikely event that someone might recognize my face), I mutter angrily to myself and mumble curses that would probably give Aunt May a heart attack if she heard them.

Seriously, who does this guy think he is? I give this guy the show of a lifetime--against a ten-foot-tall monster who was actually honestly trying to kill me, no less-- and he just rips me off like that?! Not even ten percent of what I was promised?! Unbelievable! And what's worse, there isn't even anything I can do about it.

Right now, more than anything, I really wish someone would just--

"Hey! You! Get back here! STOP!"

I hear the promoter yelling urgently as a man runs through the locker room towards me--or rather, towards the elevator behind me. He's got bad two-day stubble and badly-dyed blonde hair. Tucked under his left arm is the promoter's cash box. In his right hand is a revolver. And on his face is an expression of hungry, desperate fear.

"Stop him!" the promoter barks at me.

Oh........oh-ho-ho-hohhhhh, this is just too good.

I mean, I'm normally a strictly scientifically-thinking person, not really prone to believing in stuff like Fate or Karma, but.......if there's some divine hand at work in the universe, it's working fast tonight.

I step in front of the terrified burglar.....

.....and open the elevator door for him.

"Go right ahead, my good sir," I say with a butler-like flourish and a slight bow as he runs into the elevator and presses the button to the ground floor.

"Thanks," he says with a filthy smile as the doors begin to close.

The promoter reaches the elevator just in time to see the doors shut, the burglar leaving with all of his money.

"What the hell's wrong with you?!" he shouts at me, shaking with anger.

"Sorry," I say sarcastically, "but if you want heroics, you oughta think twice before ripping off the hired help. What goes around comes around, buddy."

"You coulda flattened that guy without breaking a sweat!" he says. "Now the whole show's a bust! I'll go bankrupt because of this!"

"Yeah, yeah, it's tough all over, pal," I say, giving him a good heaping spoonful of his own medicine. "Unfortunately for you, I must've missed the part where that was my problem."

He stares at me in utter disbelief as I call for the elevator and calmly step inside, whistling a happy little rendition of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" as I go.

I know, I know, it was pretty awful of me to just sit back and watch this guy get robbed. And I know that Uncle Ben would probably tear me a new one if he was there to see it.

Fortunately, Uncle Ben isn't here to see it. And that guy was a jerk anyway. So y'know what? Screw him. My conscience is gonna have to try a lot harder than that to override the joy of pure Schadenfreude I got from seeing the look on his face.

I finally slip the mask off before getting off of the elevator, thus officially ending the wrestling career of the Amazing Spider-Man. As far as the rest of New York goes, now it's just plain old boring geeky Peter Parker making his way down the streets of Manhattan, back to the library where his uncle will take him home, still unable to stop grinning with immense satisfaction.

wiegeabo
03-31-2012, 03:35 PM
In the judge's chambers, Foggy Nelson and the District Attorney await her judgement. Finally, she leans back in her chair, closing the file and putting down Foggy's motion.

"In light of this evidence...I am overturning the conviction of Mr. Varnall. Assuming the District Attorney has no objections."

The DA shakes his head. "None, your Honor. This was a miscarriage of justice."

"I'm surprised to hear that from your side of the courtroom, Councilor."

"I felt the evidence presented to me was solid, your Honor. I'd press charges again, given the same situation. But Mr. Varnall was denied a fiar trial, and I suspect the veracity of what I was given to work with."

"Going to continue your crusade against police corruption, Harvey?"

"That's why I was elected, Foggy. And I believe the system only works whe everyone works within it."

"Noble words. But save them for the next election." The judge signs the paperwork, and just like that, an innocent man will be sent free.

***

I couldn't get back to New York in time to be with Foggy for the hearing. But I do get to be at the prison with him for the best part. Our client walking free.

And suddenly I find myself in a bear hug.

"I hope that's you, Jacob."

"You did it. You both did it." I can breath again, and hear an 'oof' from Foggy next to me. I can guess why.

"Thank you," a woman's voice says. Varnall's mother. "Thank you so much!" And once more I find myself in a tight hug.

"It's what we do."

***

"Pies?"

"Really good pies."

"Real-I mean, pies?!"

I swallow my bite of pecan pie and wave my hand in the direction of all the smell on the table. "Take your pick. She baked six. And she said she'd bake us a set every month for life."

Foggy sits down heavily in his chair across from my desk. "Matt, we really need to find some clients that pay with actual, you know, money. Cash. Legally transferable tender."

"Not everyone who's innocent has the money to pay for a good defense."

"Which means we need to be more selective with our clients."

"Foggy, we have this argument every month when the bills come due."

"That's because we have to pay them to stay in business, Matt. That's why it's sort of a big deal we get paid. So we can stay in business and keep defending people who need it. It's called a virtuous circle...or something."

"And what do we tell the people that come to us for help? How do we turn them away?"

"Well, at this rate, we won't have to worry about that. Can't pay the landlord with pies."

"Why not? Barter is a perfectly acceptable and legal method of payment. Federal government still taxes bartered income."

"No they dont'...do they?...they do?"

"Yep."

"I'm going to look that up."

I hear the clacking of keystrokes and walk over to Foggy's side, dropping a plate in his desk.

"...Is that cherry?"

"Yep."

"I love cherry pie."

"Yep."

I hear chewing and a satisfied 'mmmm'. "This is really good. I hate you, Matt."

"Yep."

MST3K 4ever
04-01-2012, 03:37 PM
I was borderline whenever the fight started, but now I can actually begin to feel it. Actual pain, coursing throughout my entire body. Not enough to leave me incapacitated, but it certainly gives me pause. Nothing - no one - has ever been strong enough to give me so much of the relatively foreign feeling until now. I always knew it existed, that it was possible. But for me, it was always hard. I've suffered glimpses of true pain in the past. Even recently, ever since becoming Superman. Going even father back, after I started manifesting my abilities, I would often try and test my limits. Throw myself into the path of Pa's tractor. Roll around in open flame. Leap off of the cliff at Cedar Heights, the canyons overlooking Shuster Creek near the farm.

Nothing ever worked. Except The Hulk.

And if I can be hurt by him, everyone in Metropolis is at serious risk. No matter what happens today, I have to move him out of the city by whatever means nessecary. People could die if this continues any longer within the confines of the city itself. The only problem is that at every turn so far, he's proven relatively indestructible. Cosmetically damaged, yes, but he heals very rapidly. That alone gives me alot to be concerned about.

Fortunately, though, I'm not out of tricks yet. I've only shown Hulk the capabilities of my strength and heat vision. That gives me at least three different other abilities to use in offense. And one of them happens to be ideal for relocating a twelve-foot growling behemoth out of the city.

"You'll make me bleed, huh? Hate to be the bearer of bad news, Hulk..."

I take off at mach-speeds and fly directly into his body, forcefully directing him further and further in a vertical motion that seems ineffective at first. Even he seems annoyed, rather than taken by surprise. But eventually, that registers on his face as we both ascend upward, my work finally paying off into a momentary flight into the air.

"But 'Blue Man' might object to that!"

Scooping my arms under his massive forearms, I muster as much strength availible to me as possible and - with enough effort - manage to toss him straight through the old abandoned Metropolis Radio tower. He goes flying into it effortlessly, nearly bringing the building down in his wake, and emerges from the other side while still in flight.

Flying over to meet him as he falls, I use some short bursts of laser vision to lessen the debris reigning down on the streets below. Even if he's the bigger priority, the safety of the people come first. I won't allow lives to be lost because of my reckless actions.

Hope he doesn't mind an abrupt landing.

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

The Hulk slams into the streets below.

KATHOOOM!!!!!!!!!

Buildings shake and windows shatter. Under the rubble The Hulk is still for the moment.

In his short life he has survived beign gased by Luthor, being shot at, and taking a pounding from Superman but this seems to have stunned him for the moment.

Blue Man put Hulk in ground. Blue Man think he better than Hulk. No one is better than Hulk! Puny small Blue Man not stop The Hulk.

A large green hand smashes through the road and upward and The Hulk emerges.

He yells, "Blue Man will not beat Hulk!"

The Hulk looks around at the crowd and for the first time notices the people. Some of them are covered in dust and dirt from the battle, some are wounded from the falling stone among other injuries but they all have the same exact look on their faces..."Please stop. We've seen enough."

The Hulk looks around and shakes his head slowly and says, "Not here. Time to stop"

The Hulk turns to Superman and says, "This not over!"

The Hulk hurls himself skyward and away from the city.

Carnage27
04-03-2012, 08:33 PM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png

"So now what do we do? Can we build a clubhouse!? If we do, no guys allowed. Except for me of course," Tony Stark says as he twirls a glass of scotch in his hand. We're back in Checkmate headquarters after the battle, talking about the next step for our group of heroes.

I don't really know what to do next, to be honest. HYDRA is apparently out there, but I have no idea where to look for them. Or who could possibly be leading them at this point in time.

"I say we find the next evil doer and take care of him," Thor is still enjoying our earlier victory. "At this rate we'll have Earth taken care of in a few days and we can drink our fill."

"I'd rather not," Wildcat cracks his neck. "I can't fight for as long as I used to. I am almost a century old after all."

"Yea, don't remind me, old man. I've had to bail your butt out more than once," Dinah Lance, known as Black Canary laughs from next to him. I've been able to talk to her for a short time, and she's agreed to join the team. Which of course brought Ted on as well. He says he wants to be a combat instructor.

"I can go all night, sweetheart," Tony smiles at Dinah.

"You know I can make you go deaf, right?" she smiles sarcastically back at him. She's got a super powered scream that's more powerful than a sonic boom, so she tells us. "Get any closer and that's the best you can hope for."

"Feisty," Stark mocks.

"Okay, enough," I finally speak up, silencing the group. "We had a hard go of it the past few hours. We worked well as a team. We compliment each other well, and we obviously have the same goal. We know we can trust each other, and we know we have each others backs."

I pause, "And we definitely have more fights coming our way. Kobra said something from my past is coming back." Looking over at Ted, "HYDRA is active again, and he said they were behind all of this. If HYDRA is in fact back, no one is safe. We all need to be ready."

"Great speech, fearless leader."

"I'm serious, Stark. We've got to be on our toes. Keep in touch, and keep vigilant."

I toss them all some communicators, "Fury left them for us. Anything you guys find out, you contact me first."

"Oh, so you are fearless leader."

"I dunno, Iron Man. Maybe I am. Does it matter?" The man knows how to get under your skin. You can't just talk to him. He's always looking to poke and prod you into getting angry. "I'm just trying to think of a plan of action to protect people."

"Yea, sure. That works."

"I look forward to fighting with you all again," Thor says as he turns to leave. "You would all make good Asgardians."

"Captain, I will be in touch soon. This HYDRA will not catch us off guard. Take care, Captain."

Before long, the others are gone...save for Iron Man. Ted and Dinah have gone to heal up some wounds and check on Alan, who was beat pretty brutally by Lord's men.

"What do you want, Tony?" I ask, slightly annoyed despite my best efforts to not let him get to me.

"What's your problem with me, Cap?" he asks with a cocky smile.

Sighing, I respond, "You really want to know? You're attitude. You're cocky, you don't seem to be a team player, and I'm not sure if you're out for glory or to help people. I served with the bravest men in history. And none of them did it to be famous."

"You think I do this to be famous?" he responds, his face turning serious. "I dunno how long you've been frozen or what they told you about me, but I was famous enough before Iron Man. I was nearly killed by a bomb. There's still shrapnel in my chest. It's why I'm part machine. And I made the Iron Man suit to protect others from the same fate. Don't act like you know who I am Captain. The world's passed you by. Try to keep up."

With that he leaves, and I'm left to my thoughts."

Carnage27
04-03-2012, 08:44 PM
"A-Alright,", He finally submitted, closing his eyes. "You got my word. I ain't harmin' no hair on your damned head."

Seemingly content with his surrender, Magneto waved his hand and allowed Logan to fall to the floor like a lifeless ragdoll. Sweating from the strain of the attack on his body, he fought to catch his breath as he sneered up at the Master of Magnetism.

"Wasn't enough to kidnap the Professor with those damn machines, was it? You just had to come back and screw with us even further. What's next, bub? Gonna decapitate a couple'a infants?"

So they were attacked by the same machines that attacked us. I had my suspicions, but it's nice to finally have some proof. But the fact that this animal thinks I've kidnapped one of the only men I've ever respected. He's as much of a fool as he is a weapon.

"Logan, in the future, I'd like to ask that you never imply that I'd do anything to Charles Xavier," I snarl at him. I was here to make allies, but I will tolerate none of this insolence from this man. "He's done more to advance mutant kind than any one on this planet. If whoever has taken him has harmed him they better hope they kill me before I reach them."

I stand and walk towards the window of the study and look out, "I did not send the machine after you. In fact, they attacked the Brotherhood and I as well. They've taken all but three of us."

Arthur Light joins us, "I didn't see any others."

"Thank you, Arthur," I nod to him. "You see Wolverine, we're in the exact same position as you. Defeated by an unknown enemy and in the dark. Wat has been declared against mutant kind by this enemy, and I intend on finding them. And killing them. But I can't do that on my own. So I'm here to ask for your help. I'm not here to fight. I'm not here to steal your children. I'm here to save Charles Xavier. Nothing more, nothing less."

Batman
04-04-2012, 08:54 PM
Buildings shake and windows shatter. Under the rubble The Hulk is still for the moment. In his short life he has survived beign gased by Luthor, being shot at, and taking a pounding from Superman but this seems to have stunned him for the moment.

Blue Man put Hulk in ground. Blue Man think he better than Hulk. No one is better than Hulk! Puny small Blue Man not stop The Hulk.

A large green hand smashes through the road and upward and The Hulk emerges.

He yells, "Blue Man will not beat Hulk!"

The Hulk looks around at the crowd and for the first time notices the people. Some of them are covered in dust and dirt from the battle, some are wounded from the falling stone among other injuries but they all have the same exact look on their faces..."Please stop. We've seen enough."

The Hulk looks around and shakes his head slowly and says, "Not here. Time to stop"

The Hulk turns to Superman and says, "This not over!"

The Hulk hurls himself skyward and away from the city.

What in...

He's left. Just like that, without any sort of warning, the struggle's over and The Hulk's decided to seperate himself from the chaos. I can hardly believe my eyes as he leaps away, transformed from a massive giant to little more than a mere dot in the clouds. My fists tighten as the realization dawns on me that he's getting away, but I'm still too shocked to even move. Something about the way he was when he left was... different. Almost like a child, or a frightened animal, realizing he had gotten too deep and over his head in something. Infact, thinking about it, most of The Hulk's actions here today can be described like that.

What was he? Where did he come from? Why did he attack Metropolis? An assault of questions keep barraging my mind, playing out over and over as I fly into the air, scanning the nearby skies for any trace of him to be found. There's a faint trail of some kind of radiation that I noticed his skin emitting, but it stops just outside of the city. Other than that, he's vanished without a trace. Leaving nothing but signs of his rampage in the torn pavement below.

http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy98/DCMarvelRPG2/One%20Earth/Superman/For%20Tomorrow/RPG6-6.png

Unbelieveable.

Wherever you've disappeared to, Hulk, you were right about one thing.

This isn't over.

Byrd Man
04-05-2012, 03:34 AM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/ffbyrd.png




Previously





Pediatrics Ward
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD


Johnny sat at the foot of the bed while the sickly Eliza Newton watched him. Behind them, the rest of the Fantastic Four were huddled together with Agent Chase, a doctor, and Eliza's parents.

"So, you've met Superman?" Eliza asked Johnny.

"Yeah. He was alright. Not too super."

"You went into space, too?"

"Been there, done that. Kicked this alien guy's as-- uhh, butt."

Johnny looked around at all the tubes and wires hooked up to the little girl. "So, why are you in the hospital?"

"They say I have brain cancer."

"Oh," Johnny said, a bit unsure of how to continue. "I'm sorry to hear that."

"Why? You don't know me."

"I know, but you seem like a nice girl. It's never good when bad things happen to nice people."

Eliza's eyes darted over towards where the adults were huddled together. "I wish I knew what they were talking about. I've been in and out of hospitals for nearly two years. They never tell me what's going on."

"I can understand. That's how the rest of the team do me. Always the last to know about things. I'm always belittled because I like to have a good time and joke around."

"Well," Eliza said, reaching her tube covered hand out and touching Johnny's. "At least you have your health."

Johnny smiled at the girl and lowered his head. She yawned and started to close her eyes. "Sleepy? Let me tell you a story to put you to sleep..."

While Johnny and Eliza talked, a hospital doctor, Eliza's parents, Agent Chase, and the rest of the Four discussed what was going on.

"So she's the cause of it?" Ben asked, making sure to keep his voice down.

"The readings I'm getting off her," Reed said. "I believe so. I think something, some sort of energy has entwined itself with her brain. Doctor Hall?"

The doctor held up two different MRIs for the people to see. In both MRIs, there was a massive black spot in the center of the brain that was Eliza's tumor. "The one on the left was from two weeks ago. The one on the right is from two days ago. As you can see, the one from two days ago has more synaptic activity in the frontal lobe area, a particularly dormant section. It's suddenly active, and we don't know why."

"It's been theorized that that area of the brain can unlock certain psychic properties. We're seeing that now with mutants and metahumans."

"So what?" Eliza's father asked. "She's creating these illusions?"

"Not illusions," Reed said with a shake of his head. "Dreams. Dreams come to life. Think about it. The first incident was a girl falling from a great height, only to disappear feet before she hit the ground. Everyone has those falling dreams. The second incident, a little girl who looked like your daughter was being chased by a dinosaur. She has a toy dinosaur by her bed, other dinosaur things. I think her dreams are being manifested to life while she sleeps."

"She's always so tired from the treatments," Eliza's mother said with a worried glance over to her daughter.

"So we keep her awake?" Chase asked.

"It's not that simple. Her manifestations are getting more powerful. I believe that, as time goes on, she could very well alter reality while still awake. Doctor Hall, what's her current condition?"

"I believe it's only a matter of time," he said with a look towards the girl's parents. "I know that's cold and uncaring, but it's a miracle she's stayed alive this long."

"She's a fighter," Eliza's father said. "She's been so brave for us, for herself. She can keep it up."

"Well I ask because her health could be a problem. She gets a seizure and tenses up, she could very well bring the hospital down with her abilities."

The group looked at Reed with shocked looks. Eliza's mother held her hands up to her face while her husband tried to comfort her. "So," Doctor Hall said. "Doctor Richards, what's our next move?"

"Guys!" Johnny shouted from behind them. They all turned and looked. Eliza's eyes were closed, but her eyes were glowing purple under her eyelids. "I was telling her a story. She fell asleep... and then..."

Suddenly, the little girl's eyes snapped open, revealing the purple energy pouring out of them. All around the hospital ward, the walls began to swirl and melt like an ice cream on a warm summer's day.

"What's going on?" Sue asked as she looked around. Reed had his scanner out and was surveying the area.

"She's having another dream. She's warping reality..."


The air inside the pediatric ward was thick and heavy, hazy with humidity. The walls and floors swirled and shifted. The sleeping girl in the nearby hospital bed had her eyes open, purple energy racing out of them and into the air.

"You got a plan, Reed?"

"Twelve plans to be precise," Reed said as he examined part of the unstable wall. "I'm in the process of strategically eliminating them down to one." He touched the wall and pulled a string of goo from it. "Okay, I'm down to ten."

"Doctor Richards," Special Agent Chase said from behind Reed. He swiveled his head and saw a pack of four giant, human-sized teddy bears walking down the hall.

"That's cute," Johnny said. He reached out to touch one, only to have it bare its razor sharp teeth and snap at Johnny's hand. He pulled it away milliseconds before the bear took his hand off. "Okay, maybe not!"

Before the bears could attack him, they were stopped by an invisible barrier. Sue was behind Johnny, her hand out and projecting the barrier between her brother and the monsters. "We need a plan, Reed."

Reed had his neck stretched up at the ceiling, looking at the ceiling tiles as they dripped down to the floor. "We need her to wake up, but gradually. A sharp shock to her system could collapse this building."

Reed suddenly snapped his neck back and looked at Doctor Hall. "Caffeine and sugar. Where's the closest source of these things?"

"The break room," the doctor said, pointing towards the hallway where Sue had the grizzly teddy bears pinned.

"Ben?"

"Love to," the Thing said, cracking his rocky knuckles. Sue dropped the barrier and the bears began to pounce. They were stopped in their tracks by a large and orange rocky body. Johnny joined the fight with a blast of flames.

While Ben and Johnny kept the bears busy, Reed stretched his upper body down the hallway to the break room. Once there, he took a pot of coffee in one hand, packets of sugar in the other. He retracted his upper body and rushed his items over to Eliza Newtwon's bedside. Reed opened and dumped the sugar packets into the coffee before he detached the end of Eliza's IV tube and stuck it into the coffee pot.

A minute later, Eliza's eyes faded back to normal, the bears disappeared, and reality stabilized. "What... what happened?" She asked feebly. "Don't worry," her mother said through tears. "Everything's going to be okay..."

Before Eliza girl could reply, blood started to pour down her nose and her whole body went rigid, seizures and convulsions coursing through it. As she shook, her eyes began to glow again. Suddenly, the entire hospital began to shake. From the top floor to the foundation, the building shook with the force of a powerful earthquake.

"Her seizure's bringing the entire building down!" Reed shouted over the noise. While everyone held on to the walls and floors for dear life, Johnny sprang into action. He wobbled across the room to Eliza, taking her shaking body in his hands and disconnecting her from her IVs and heart rate monitors.

"Johnny! What are you doing?!"

"I'm taking her out the equation. She's out the building, it won't shake! Flame... kinda on!"

Johnny's body, save for his arms where he held Eliza, burst into flames. He turned and jumped out the window beside the bed, taking off and scorching the sky as he flew with the little girl in his arms. As they flew away, the shaking in the building subsided until it was gone.

"Fascinating...," Reed said as he stood up. "Her manipulations did indeed have a range. Johnny was right."

"There's a first time for everything, I suppose..."


*****


Eliza's eyes fluttered open and she looked around. She was sitting on a bench in the park, looking at the pond. She was still clad in her hospital gown and the headwrap she used to hide her bald head.

"Are you okay?" A voice asked beside her. She turned and saw Johnny Storm sitting next to her and softly smiling.

"Why are we here?"

"The hospital was in danger."

"Because of me?" She asked, a bit of shame on her face.

"No. Because of what's inside of you."

"Your friend, Mister Fantastic, does he know what it is?"

"He says it's some type of cosmic radiation. How you got it, he's not sure. Whatever it is, it's given you the power to change things. It's powerful, but highly unstable."

"Change things," she said before patting her head. "But not this."

"You don't know that," Johnny said with a shake of his head. "Over the past few days... you've done some incredible things. What makes this any different?"

"Because for the past year, all I've done is wish I was healthy. I've wanted to go play with my friends, go to school, do homework, have fun. But I can't. There's a part of me that thinks it's unfair, so unfair. But then another part of me says that it could be so much worse. Mister Storm, I'm tired. Tired of being sick, tired of fighting, tired of being tired all the time."

"Why are you telling me all this?"

"Because... I think I'm going to die soon. My sight's been blurry since that last seizure. My left side is numb."

"C'mon," Johnny said, jumping up. "We have to get you back to the hospital."

"No," Eliza said. "I'm going to die, sir. My parents have tried to hide that from me since my first doctor visit, but that's the truth. I've fought this as long as I can. Mr. Fantastic said that if my body seizes up again, I could hurt people. Just... please, let me do what I want to and die here where nobody can get hurt."

Johnny sat back down, fighting the growing lump in his throat. Eliza leaned her head on his shoulder and sighed. "Finish telling me that story."

"Alright," Johnny said, swallowing hard. "So the four of us had taken down Mongul's warriors when he sent out this massive monster. It was huge, bigger than a three story building. They called it the Monster of the Badoon..."


*****


Reed Sue, and Johnny were outside Johns Hopkins, gathered around the Four's flying car when Johnny landed and flamed-off, Eliza's limp body in his hands.

"Johnny...," Sue said, coming forward. She saw the tears running down her brother's cheek, vaporizing from the heat on his skin.

"She went peaceful," he croaked out. Doctor Hall and a few paramedics rushed out with a gurney. Johnny carefully placed Eliza's bod on the gurney and watched as they pushed her into the hospital.

"Do what you want," he told the rest of the group as he reignited his flames. "I'm going back to New York."

He blasted off into the sky and the rest of the group watched in silence as he rocketed off into the Balitmore skyline.

Batman
04-05-2012, 09:36 PM
"Logan, in the future, I'd like to ask that you never imply that I'd do anything to Charles Xavier," I snarl at him. I was here to make allies, but I will tolerate none of this insolence from this man. "He's done more to advance mutant kind than any one on this planet. If whoever has taken him has harmed him they better hope they kill me before I reach them."

I stand and walk towards the window of the study and look out, "I did not send the machine after you. In fact, they attacked the Brotherhood and I as well. They've taken all but three of us."

Arthur Light joins us, "I didn't see any others."

"Thank you, Arthur," I nod to him. "You see Wolverine, we're in the exact same position as you. Defeated by an unknown enemy and in the dark. Wat has been declared against mutant kind by this enemy, and I intend on finding them. And killing them. But I can't do that on my own. So I'm here to ask for your help. I'm not here to fight. I'm not here to steal your children. I'm here to save Charles Xavier. Nothing more, nothing less."

"Forget it."

The words couldn't come more quickly out of Logan's mouth. Whether or not Magneto's claims were genuine were hardly in question - hell, this was probably all just a ruse anyway - but even if by some stretch of imagination he were telling the truth, the last thing that Logan or any of the others needed was to help the terrorist add to the growing pile of bodies that the Brotherhood had left in their wake. He talked about Charles Xavier like he was a mutant messiah. If that were true, then Magneto stood for the strict opposite. And at a time like this, Logan had no interest in dealing with the devil.

"You wanna come in here, givin' your fancy lectures and expect us to bow down to the crap you're sellin'? Get real. We might be desperate, bub, but it'll still be a cold day in hell when we roll out the red carpet for a---"

"We'll do it."

Logan's jaw dropped as Jean stepped infront of him, eyeing Magneto defiantly.

"I don't need telepathy to know that you're telling the truth. The Professor always said that no matter what you've become, you were never going to let another mutant suffer the way they have in the past. It was the one thing he still respects about you."

Growing increasingly angered, Logan grabbed her by the shoulder.

"Are you outta your goddamn mind? The man led a battalion of robots right to our doorstep, and you wanna help him?!"

"Logan,"

Strictly removing the hand from her shoulder, Jean gave him a sneer.

"He didn't do this. He's had every opportunity to attack us here before, and yet he's remained loyal to Charles at every turn. If not in ideology, than in the right to oppose him. Whatever Magneto may have done in the past, this isn't apart of his schemes. Besides,"

Turning back to Magneto, Jean made it clear that though their alliance was to be upheld, it didn't mean that she trusted him.

"The Professor would say the same. We have a duty to help every mutant, and that includes The Brotherhood."

Logan could hardly believe his ears. But when challenged to speak any further, he simply crossed his arms and murmured to himself.

This was a gigantic mistake. No good would come of it.

But what other choice did they have?

MST3K 4ever
04-05-2012, 10:25 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex and Nick continue to monitor the battle between the Hulk and Superman.

Lex is somewhat baffled by The Hulk leaving and asks, "What just happened The Hulk was battling blow for blow with Superman and then disappeared. I don't get it."

Fury lights a cigar and replies, "Underneath all that rage and power we just saw a creature demonstrate great humanity and compassion. He saw that the people were tired of watching the battle and there had already been enough damage. He knew it was time to call it draw. In a strange way I respect him for that."

Lex scuffs at Fury and says, "That green behemoth has only begun to realize his true potential. A being capable of going toe to toe with Superman like that just unreal."

Just then Betty and her father enter the office and Fury asks, "What do you got?"

Betty says glaring at Lex, "You created the Hulk Lex! You did this!"


She drops a stack of forms on his desk and General Ross says, "You see Checkmate has a machine that is capable of re-constructing lost or defragmented data like deleted files."

Lex begins scanning some of the files and he realizes he is a lot of trouble.

Nick reads some of the others as well and says, "You know for a building that is touted as being so State of The Art power fluctuations and filter system failures terrible. May have to shut you down for this one for a full review."

General Ross pulls out a DVD and says, "The Checkmate device cannot only re-construct documents but also Video Files as well."

Betty cuts on a lap-top and begins playing the DVD which shows Banner transforming into The Hulk.

Fury looks at Lex and says, "You tried to cover your tracks and for good reason. Heaven only knows how many laws you broke. All it takes is one though and I'm betting we can have an arrest warrant drawn up and here within the next five minutes."

Lex sits behind his desk and Fury says, "Lex you're going down for this one. It wasn't enough to break the laws of our legal system now you've decided to start breaking the laws of creation."

Fury pushes the phone towards Lex and says, "Get your billion dollar an hour lawyers on the phone right now Lex you're gonna need them."

MST3K 4ever
04-05-2012, 10:35 PM
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk23/Spike_x1/Marvel%20RPG/HulkBannerBanner-1.jpg

The Hulk lands in the middle of the Wastelands between Metropolis and Gotham.

He retreats into a canyon and looks around.

No more Blue Man here....No people looking at Hulk....There is quiet here. Nice quiet no buildings no noise...just quiet.

He looks up at the night sky and sees the stars twinkling back and forth.

Very pretty here...Hulk like being here...it make Hulk sleepy...now......

Just then The Hulks leans against the canyon wall and closes his eyes. He then begins to transform back into Bruce Banner.

Bruce opens his eyes and looks around.

How in the world did I get out here?

he looks at his clothes and shakes his head.

What happened to my clothes? I....what's going on?

He begins to walk out of the canyon and heads towards what appears to be the highway. He sees a road sign that reads: Metropolis 60 Miles.

60 Miles I...just don't remember. Well looks like I'm walking

Bruce begins his trek back to Metropolis trying to remember what happened.

bkhedr
04-06-2012, 06:36 AM
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg



"Beautiful" The Gorgon uttered under his breath as he followed Ra's Al Ghul into the ancient chamber housing one of Al Ghul's many lazarus pits.



"That it is Lord Gorgon." Al Ghul said as he folded his arms across his chest.



The chamber was bare save for the two men and the pit and the Gorgon wasted no time unfastening his kimono and letting it drop off of his shoulders so that he was undressed from the waste up save for the crimson mask that covered his eyes and his black gauntlets.



"Are you sure about this?" Ra's Al Ghul asked, eying the Grass Cutter sheathed on the Gorgon's hip as he took his first step towards the pit "That blade will definitely kill you but its properties are such that you can't be sure that the pit will be effective."



"It doesn't matter." The Gorgon replied flatly "If I am to have the power I need, the knowledge I must have, then this is the only way to proceed, and if I do not survive, then I am unworthy in any case."



"Hmm." Ras al ghul rubbed his chin "You'll understand then why I have to ask this again before you..."



"I will not tell you the Batman's true identity ancient one." The Gorgon replied, cutting him off. "I have already given you plenty of information on him and that was not part of our deal and I may yet need to barter that information in the days to come."



"Ever the cautious one eh Gorgon?"



"Ever the prepared one Lord Ghul" The Gorgon replied and with that he waded into the Lazarus pit, not stopping until he was waste deep in the very center of the glowing pool.



The Gorgon unsheathed the Grass Cutter and swung the blade around so that it pointed to his heart. Many men had tried to kill the Gorgon in his life, none had succeeded. In truth he was not sure if he could be killed, but death was a necessary part of his plan and if any weapon could do it the god slaying blade would be it.



"I am coming Master." The Gorgon said, calling out to the Beast whom the Hand had served for centuries "Hear your servant."



The Gorgon then plunged the Grass Cutter through his heart and felt the pain, the agony, of his life blood slipping away. He gasped for air, couldn't take any in and felt satisfaction wash over him as he fell face first, dead in the pool which immediately began to boil and smoke around him.






http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg

After several moments the murky greenish waters of the pool begin to cool and become still.

Ra's Al Ghul watches the Gorgon's lifeless body intently, anxious to know if the dark lord's gamble has paid off or if he has consigned himself to oblivion.

He does not have to wait long before the Gorgon's dead fingers suddenly come to life and tighten their grip on his deadly blade. A second later and the now ressurected Gorgon lifts his face from the pool and rises from the water, the Grasscutter held tightly in one hand, his fatal wound, completely gone.

"Welcome back Lord Gorgon" Ra's al Ghul says "And congratulations."

"My thanks Lord Ghul" The Gorgon replies as he wades through the pool and steps out of it in front of Al Ghul.

Though he looked the same as he did only moments ago Ra's al Ghul could tell that he was not. He was darker, more menacing. This was not unexpected. The Lazarus Pits often changed those who made use of their gift, as Al Ghul knew first hand, but this was different. It was as if the Gorgon had dones something while on the other side, brought something back with him. Al Ghul was considering what this could mean when the Gorgon spoke again, his voice strong and insistent.

"And now, as our business is concluded." He says while sheathing his blade. He moves to walk past Al Ghul, towards the world outside the underground pit and his destiny but Al Ghul places a hand on his shoulder.

"One moment." The master assasin says as he gestures towards the top of the stairs, beckoning someone in the shadows to step forward.

"You already know my daughter Talia" He says as Talia comes into view. "Talia will be accompanying you for the time being." It was not a request.

"You want to keep an eye on me." The Gorgon growls, obviously unimpressed

"Of course." Al Ghul replies matter of factly "And you would do the same if you were in my place. Afterall, you are too resourceful to leave unchecked. Nonetheless I would have you consider Talia's services and companionship a gift, from me to you."

"Why would I accept such a gift?"

"Because I am one of the deadliest of my father's assassins." Talia says, speaking for the first time. There is a hint of disdain in her voice "And I will not be spoken of as if I am not here."

"Talia will serve you well, and yes she will report to me, but only to insure that you and I are not at odds. Afterall we should refrain from becoming..." he pauses, looking for the right word "...adverserial for as long as possible."

There is a long beat as the Gorgon silenty considers this.

"Very well." He finally says before stalking up the ancient stone steps towards the surface without another world.

Talia glances at her father, who nods, before she turns to follow. Wherever the Gorgon was headed, he was moving with purpose and something told her he wouldn't wait if she fell behind.

bkhedr
04-06-2012, 11:50 AM
http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii69/Saamun/Captain-America-022409.png





"So now what do we do? Can we build a clubhouse!? If we do, no guys allowed. Except for me of course," Tony Stark says as he twirls a glass of scotch in his hand. We're back in Checkmate headquarters after the battle, talking about the next step for our group of heroes.



I don't really know what to do next, to be honest. HYDRA is apparently out there, but I have no idea where to look for them. Or who could possibly be leading them at this point in time.



"I say we find the next evil doer and take care of him," Thor is still enjoying our earlier victory. "At this rate we'll have Earth taken care of in a few days and we can drink our fill."



"I'd rather not," Wildcat cracks his neck. "I can't fight for as long as I used to. I am almost a century old after all."



"Yea, don't remind me, old man. I've had to bail your butt out more than once," Dinah Lance, known as Black Canary laughs from next to him. I've been able to talk to her for a short time, and she's agreed to join the team. Which of course brought Ted on as well. He says he wants to be a combat instructor.



"I can go all night, sweetheart," Tony smiles at Dinah.



"You know I can make you go deaf, right?" she smiles sarcastically back at him. She's got a super powered scream that's more powerful than a sonic boom, so she tells us. "Get any closer and that's the best you can hope for."



"Feisty," Stark mocks.



"Okay, enough," I finally speak up, silencing the group. "We had a hard go of it the past few hours. We worked well as a team. We compliment each other well, and we obviously have the same goal. We know we can trust each other, and we know we have each others backs."



I pause, "And we definitely have more fights coming our way. Kobra said something from my past is coming back." Looking over at Ted, "HYDRA is active again, and he said they were behind all of this. If HYDRA is in fact back, no one is safe. We all need to be ready."



"Great speech, fearless leader."



"I'm serious, Stark. We've got to be on our toes. Keep in touch, and keep vigilant."



I toss them all some communicators, "Fury left them for us. Anything you guys find out, you contact me first."



"Oh, so you are fearless leader."



"I dunno, Iron Man. Maybe I am. Does it matter?" The man knows how to get under your skin. You can't just talk to him. He's always looking to poke and prod you into getting angry. "I'm just trying to think of a plan of action to protect people."



"Yea, sure. That works."



"I look forward to fighting with you all again," Thor says as he turns to leave. "You would all make good Asgardians."



"Captain, I will be in touch soon. This HYDRA will not catch us off guard. Take care, Captain."



Before long, the others are gone...save for Iron Man. Ted and Dinah have gone to heal up some wounds and check on Alan, who was beat pretty brutally by Lord's men.



"What do you want, Tony?" I ask, slightly annoyed despite my best efforts to not let him get to me.



"What's your problem with me, Cap?" he asks with a cocky smile.



Sighing, I respond, "You really want to know? You're attitude. You're cocky, you don't seem to be a team player, and I'm not sure if you're out for glory or to help people. I served with the bravest men in history. And none of them did it to be famous."



"You think I do this to be famous?" he responds, his face turning serious. "I dunno how long you've been frozen or what they told you about me, but I was famous enough before Iron Man. I was nearly killed by a bomb. There's still shrapnel in my chest. It's why I'm part machine. And I made the Iron Man suit to protect others from the same fate. Don't act like you know who I am Captain. The world's passed you by. Try to keep up."



With that he leaves, and I'm left to my thoughts."





http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTRh7eE449f4f7nvUy3d35lfxQ04M2K3 0maAvd0_6zzSvB4pgmZSmuZ3to


"Damn boy scout." Tony mutters under his breath. Finally giving in to the feeling that had been dogging him through most of the afternoon.


"Excuse me sir?" Jarvis' automated voice comes in over the speakers in the lab.

"I said 'damn boy scout.' " Tony says with a huff as he leans back in his work chair and tosses aside the small welding tool he had been working on "I mean who the hell does he think he is questioning me? He doesn't know me."

"Quite right sir." Jarvis' replies as Tony stalks over to one of the many bars in eye sight and starts pouring himself a drink.

"Its not like I wasn't out there fighting, putting my ass on the line, just like he was." Tony knocks back a big gulp of brandy, emptying his glass, then immediately starts pouring another one.

"Perhaps if you made more of an effort to-"

"Uh-uh-uh..." Tony wags a finger, effectively silencing the AI midsentence, then downs his second drink. "Aaah. You don't get to take his side. In fact, why am I even talking to you?"

Tony is already moving, not waiting for a response.

"What I need is some good old fashioned human companionship." He declares as he steps onto the armoring platform and holds his arms out at his side. The platform goes to work immediately and in seconds Tony Stark is clad from head to toe in his invincible armor which still shows the marks and scars of the recent battle.

"Sir." Jarvis says "I must remind you that the Mark 7 armor is still in need of repairs."

"No worries Jarv." Tony replies "Won't be any aliens or monsters where I'm going."

With that, Iron Man's boot jets kick in and propel him upward through a skylight in the ceiling that opens to admit him and automatically closes behind him.

His HUD is suddenly filled with the night sky and the shining stars and he adjusts his flight path, abruptly halting his ascent and heading due West.

"Vegas, here I come."

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e0/Iron_Man_bleeding_edge.jpg/250px-Iron_Man_bleeding_edge.jpg

Byrd Man
04-06-2012, 11:42 PM
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb232/byrdRPG/Fantastic%20Four/ffbyrd.png



Mediterranean Sea
500 Miles West of Cyprus


The cargo plane bounced and shook as it flew just a few hundred feet above the water. The Fantastic Four were in the back of the plane, holding on for dear life. Major General William Lumpkin and Captain Frankie Raye, the Four's liaison with the US military, were seated near them.

"We're nearly there," Lumpkin said to the group. "Just a few more miles."

"What are we gonna to look at?" Ben asked.

"You'll see when we get there, Major Grimm."

A few minutes later, the cargo plane touched down on the USS Harry S. Truman and came to a stop atop the supercarrier. They exited the plane and were greeted by a small procession of naval officers.

"General Lumpkin," the lead naval officer said with a salute. "Captain James Pembroke, CO of the HST."

Lumpkin nodded and returned his salute. "This is my assistant, Air Force Captain Raye and my four associates... I believe you know them."

Pembroke went for handshakes with all of the Four, warmly greeting them. "Doctors Richards and Storm. Major Grimm, Mister Storm. Honor to meet you all. Welcome to the ship."

"Why exactly are we here, Captain?"

"Follow us, please."

The Four and their Air Force cohorts followed Captain Pembroke through the halls of the aircraft carrier to the bridge. "We were on our way to the Sinai Peninsula when we began to pick up strange readings on the sonar."

The captain handed Reed a copy of the sonar logs from that day. "Interesting. I seem to recall there was some minor seismic activity in this area. Very interesting."

"It gets even more odder. We sent down a few divers and they found this..."

Reed looked at the photographs Pembroke passed him. Reed's mouth slightly hung open as he saw what was in front of him.

"This is..."

"Yes. We think so."

"What is it?"

Reed handed Sue the photo and saw the shocked look on her face. The picture was of rotten and dilapidated buildings, wedged in the mud on the bottom of the sea.

"I believe we have found the ruins of Atlantis."

wiegeabo
04-07-2012, 12:47 AM
"Who do you work for?!"

"No one!"

***

SLAM

"Who sent you? Why did you break in here?"

"No one sent us, man. It's a damned pawn shop! They've got gold and ****!"

***

"You're employer. Give him up and I let you go."

"What the **** you talkin' about?!"

***

I drop my mask on the floor and walk into the kitchen. I open the freezer door, and stick my head inside. The cold air feels good on my skin and in my lungs. It's hard to wear the costume during a wave of unseasonal New York heat.

And turning up empty handed over the last five days since getting back into the city isn't helping either.

I know I shouldn't be beating myself up over this. What did I really expect to find so quickly? Less than a week ago, I thought the Kingpin was just a myth. Now I'm dealing with every crime, no matter how petty, as if the Kingpin himself was behind each and every one. But there's nothing to back that up. I'm going about this all wrong.

I grab some ice and pop them in a glass, putting the glass to my face. Lucky punk got in a kick when he was trashing about. Last thing I need is Foggy grilling me over another bruise.

I plop down in a chair and turn the stereo on. I change the dial until I find a sweet spot between the stations. The static helps block out the noise from the streets. Let's me relax.

I pull off my gloves. Then strip off my top. I lean back, and let the ice do its work.

I need a new plan. This is getting nowhere fast. But what else can I do? Even if I'm not finding anything directly, I'm hoping that I'm getting the word on the street. The Devil is back in town and not taking prisoners.

Of course, keeping up this pace is going to kill all my nights. If it doesn't end up killing me. But...maybe...maybe...

"Maybe there's something I can do during the day..."

bkhedr
04-07-2012, 06:21 AM
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg


After several moments the murky greenish waters of the pool begin to cool and become still.

Ra's Al Ghul watches the Gorgon's lifeless body intently, anxious to know if the dark lord's gamble has paid off or if he has consigned himself to oblivion.

He does not have to wait long before the Gorgon's dead fingers suddenly come to life and tighten their grip on his deadly blade. A second later and the now ressurected Gorgon lifts his face from the pool and rises from the water, the Grasscutter held tightly in one hand, his fatal wound, completely gone.

"Welcome back Lord Gorgon" Ra's al Ghul says "And congratulations."

"My thanks Lord Ghul" The Gorgon replies as he wades through the pool and steps out of it in front of Al Ghul.

Though he looked the same as he did only moments ago Ra's al Ghul could tell that he was not. He was darker, more menacing. This was not unexpected. The Lazarus Pits often changed those who made use of their gift, as Al Ghul knew first hand, but this was different. It was as if the Gorgon had dones something while on the other side, brought something back with him. Al Ghul was considering what this could mean when the Gorgon spoke again, his voice strong and insistent.

"And now, as our business is concluded." He says while sheathing his blade. He moves to walk past Al Ghul, towards the world outside the underground pit and his destiny but Al Ghul places a hand on his shoulder.

"One moment." The master assasin says as he gestures towards the top of the stairs, beckoning someone in the shadows to step forward.

"You already know my daughter Talia" He says as Talia comes into view. "Talia will be accompanying you for the time being." It was not a request.

"You want to keep an eye on me." The Gorgon growls, obviously unimpressed

"Of course." Al Ghul replies matter of factly "And you would do the same if you were in my place. Afterall, you are too resourceful to leave unchecked. Nonetheless I would have you consider Talia's services and companionship a gift, from me to you."

"Why would I accept such a gift?"

"Because I am one of the deadliest of my father's assassins." Talia says, speaking for the first time. There is a hint of disdain in her voice "And I will not be spoken of as if I am not here."

"Talia will serve you well, and yes she will report to me, but only to insure that you and I are not at odds. Afterall we should refrain from becoming..." he pauses, looking for the right word "...adverserial for as long as possible."

There is a long beat as the Gorgon silenty considers this.

"Very well." He finally says before stalking up the ancient stone steps towards the surface without another world.


Talia glances at her father, who nods, before she turns to follow. Wherever the Gorgon was headed, he was moving with purpose and something told her he wouldn't wait if she fell behind.


http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg

A subway train rumbles noisily overhead and the Gorgon waits for it to pass before speaking.

Gathered around him is a large group of Hand ninja. To his right stands Talia al Ghul, her hands resting on her ample hips.

"Our time has come my warriors." The Gorgon declares as the train passes and the noise begins to fade. "Now is the time for the true Hand to rise."

A few of the red clad ninja nod in agreement but most remain deathly still, silently hanging on their master's every gesture. This is no regular gathering of Hand warriors, for these men are the deadlies, the most merciless of the ancient cult's foot soldiers. They are the most dedicated of the Hand and they have been individually chosen by the Gorgon to serve him. They are his private army. They are the Hand of the Gorgon and they have come here, to a long abandoned subway station beneath Gotham city, to do his bidding.

"This forgotten place will serve as our headquarters on this continent." He continues, spreading his arms to encompass the space around them. "Treat it as you would our ancient city. Fortify it, keep it hidden," his voice hardens "And kill any unfortunate enough to stumple upon it."

"Hail Gorgon!" The Ninja announce their reply in unison.

"Hail the Beast." The Gorgon answers back before a wave of his hand puts them in motion.

"Most impressive Gorgon." Talia al Ghul comments dryly as the Ninja silently go about the business of turning the station into a proper haven "To command such loyalty, particularly in opposition to the Elders."

"The Elders are weak" The Gorgon snorts "And these are but the first of many. Soon my warriors will be legion."

"Such confidence." Talia says with a wry smile "Why then have you not yet moved against your former masters?"

The Gorgon move impossibly fast, wrapping a powerful hand around Talia's throat and pinning her against a brick wall. Talia almost immediately shakes off her initial surprise and struggles against his grip only to find that he is far, far too strong for her.

"You do not fear me Talia Al Ghul." He growls "That is a mistake."

He tightens his grip and Talia feels her wind pipe tighten even as the ninja around them continue to go about their business, seemingly oblivious to her sudden plight. For the briefest of instances, blind panic, threatens to fill her mind, but she fights the feeling back and glares at the Gorgon with all the defiance she can muster, for she is Talia Al Ghul and she was not raised to know fear.

"You are here to serve me woman." The Gorgon says. If he's impressed by her stubborn courage he does not show it. "Do so and you will live. Continue to question me and I will rip off your head. Do you understand?"

She can tell that he is serious and Talia nods her acquiscence, though her glare does not soften. This prompts him to release her and she coughs and rubs her throat where his grip is already leaving an angry red mark.

"And how would you have me serve?" She asks, her voice raspy.

"For now I would have you show me the proper respect." He snarls before reaching for a small bracelet like device strapped to his forearm and activating it.

The device, a personal teleporter of his design, emits a bright white light that surrounds the Gorgon and as he starts to turn transluscent and fade away he gives Talia a cold look.

"I go to move against my former masters."

bkhedr
04-07-2012, 06:43 AM
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTRh7eE449f4f7nvUy3d35lfxQ04M2K3 0maAvd0_6zzSvB4pgmZSmuZ3to



"Damn boy scout." Tony mutters under his breath. Finally giving in to the feeling that had been dogging him through most of the afternoon.


"Excuse me sir?" Jarvis' automated voice comes in over the speakers in the lab.

"I said 'damn boy scout.' " Tony says with a huff as he leans back in his work chair and tosses aside the small welding tool he had been working on "I mean who the hell does he think he is questioning me? He doesn't know me."

"Quite right sir." Jarvis' replies as Tony stalks over to one of the many bars in eye sight and starts pouring himself a drink.

"Its not like I wasn't out there fighting, putting my ass on the line, just like he was." Tony knocks back a big gulp of brandy, emptying his glass, then immediately starts pouring another one.

"Perhaps if you made more of an effort to-"

"Uh-uh-uh..." Tony wags a finger, effectively silencing the AI midsentence, then downs his second drink. "Aaah. You don't get to take his side. In fact, why am I even talking to you?"

Tony is already moving, not waiting for a response.

"What I need is some good old fashioned human companionship." He declares as he steps onto the armoring platform and holds his arms out at his side. The platform goes to work immediately and in seconds Tony Stark is clad from head to toe in his invincible armor which still shows the marks and scars of the recent battle.

"Sir." Jarvis says "I must remind you that the Mark 7 armor is still in need of repairs."

"No worries Jarv." Tony replies "Won't be any aliens or monsters where I'm going."

With that, Iron Man's boot jets kick in and propel him upward through a skylight in the ceiling that opens to admit him and automatically closes behind him.

His HUD is suddenly filled with the night sky and the shining stars and he adjusts his flight path, abruptly halting his ascent and heading due West.

"Vegas, here I come."


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e0/Iron_Man_bleeding_edge.jpg/250px-Iron_Man_bleeding_edge.jpg



http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTRh7eE449f4f7nvUy3d35lfxQ04M2K3 0maAvd0_6zzSvB4pgmZSmuZ3to

Three hours ago, about an hour into his evening, Tony Stark was wondering why he ever let an old dinosaur like Captain America get under his skin.

An hour ago Tony Stark forgot all about Captain America.

"You know what Alexis? Its Alexis right?" He says to one of the beautiful women draped over his shoulders.

"Actually its Cind-"

"It doesn't matter." He cuts her off and holds a pair of red dice up to her lips "Blow please."

The woman knows better than to waste her time trying to correct him and she dutifully blows on the dice before he flings them down the table.

The gathered crowd of socialites, reporters, holidaymakers and business elites let out a roar of approval as the dealer declares that Stark has won again and the girl behind his other shoulder, the one standing next to Cindy, bends over and gives him a congratulatory kiss on the cheek.

"Anyway the thing is.." Tony continues, talking to Cindy, but speaking loud enough for all to hear "The thing is, saving the world is stressful work."

A waitress walks by and replaces the empty glass in front of Stark with a full one

"Mmm. Thanks sweetie" He takes a big gulp, emptying half the glass "And the way I see it anyone who saves the world, or you know, at least D.C. ought to have earned a party."

This statement is met with more enthusiatic cheering from all around the casino floor. Las Vegas may be a city of many stars but its not everyday Iron Man gambles on the general floor with all the normal people and he's attracting a huge crowd that keeps growing by the minute.

"So I say..." he pauses, relishing how they hang on his every word "...drinks are on me!!"

The crowd goes wild and Tony is promptly showered with pats on the shoulder and kisses on both cheeks. He grins widely, letting their joy wash over him and is about to say something else when gunfire suddenly fills the air.

Andy C.
04-08-2012, 03:00 AM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b73/nowhereman716/spideylogo.png



Great Power
Part X





"Okay, seriously, what is taking him so long?" I say as I pace back and forth in front of the library, bristling with impatience.

Uncle Ben was supposed to pick me up almost an hour and a half ago. Usually he's the first to tell me how important punctuality is, so I don't get what's going on tonight. Maybe he's mad at me for being short with him when he dropped me off, and is trying to teach me some kind of lesson by making me take the bus. I dunno, though, that's not really his style......

Suddenly, the sound of someone beat-boxing emanates from my right pocket, followed by rapping in Spanish (http://youtu.be/Ta0SybpiUFQ)....

Donde, está, la biblioteca. Me llamo T-Bone La araña discoteca.
Discoteca, muñeca, La biblioteca Está en bigotes grandes, el perro, manteca
Manteca, bigotes, gigante, pequeño, la cabeza es nieve, cerveza es bueno.
Buenos dias, me gusta papas frías, los bigotes de la cabra Es Cameron Diaz.

.....so I've got Troy and Abed as my ringtone. What of it?

"Hello?" I say, not recognizing the number.

"Peter?" says a familiar voice on the other end. "This is.....this is Captain George Stacy, NYPD."

That's.....weirdly formal of Gwen's dad to introduce himself in full like that. It's not like I haven't met him before; his daughter's my best friend, and I'm over at their place at least two or three times a week.

"Yeah, um, hi," I say with a frown, not sure why he's calling. "What, um....what's up?"

"Peter, I'm going to need you to brace yourself," he says, his voice as somber as I've ever heard him, which is really saying something. "There's been an....an incident. About an hour ago, a man broke into your aunt and uncle's house, while they were home inside."

I stop dead in my tracks, my blood turning to ice. I practically feel my heart stop beating.

"I.....wha...." I sputter. "Oh God........are they okay?"

There's a long pause on the other end.

"Captain Stacy?"

"Your aunt wasn't harmed," he finally says, uneasily. "But evidently your uncle tried to stop the intruder.............the man had a gun....."

If he said anything else, I didn't hear it. I stuff the phone in my pocket and run. I run, as fast as my legs will take me, until my muscles scream in protest, weaving past pedestrians and hurdling cars like they're not even there. Because, as far as I care, they're not there.

All that matters is getting home. Now.







----------




After running for what feels like forever, I see our house in Forest Hills. The street is closed off to traffic, and the usual dull orange glow of the streetlights is drowned out by the flashing red and blue of police cars and an ambulance.

Somewhere in the back of my head, I was praying that this wasn't real, that this was all some kind of tasteless joke. As I get closer, those hopes, as slim and ridiculous as they are, are burned away.

I plow through the yellow crime scene tape surrounding our front yard. The front door is open, the frame splintered from where it was kicked in. Inside, I see officers combing through our living room. Whatever my danger-detecting 'spider-sense' is, it's still kicked into overdrive, allowing me to see every detail while the cops are still milling around in slow motion.

Aunt May's China cabinet's been tipped over, shards of blue-on-white porcelain littered across the carpet.

The coffee table in front of the TV has been flipped on its side, my copies of EGM scattered on the floor, dirty footprints on the pages.

A picture from one of our family vacations has fallen from the mantle over the fireplace, our faces still smiling back at me through cracked glass.

One of the forensics detectives is examining a bullet hole in the wall, right next to the glass case containing Uncle Ben's Purple Heart.

"Aunt May?!" I call out, finally alerting the officers to my presence. "Uncle Ben?!"

Some of the cops hustle me out the door, saying I'm contaminating the crime scene. I don't know what they mean. This isn't a crime scene.....it's my home. It's.....

"Peter!"

I turn and see a figure running towards me, her cheeks streaked with tears. Before I can even register who it is, Gwen grabs me and holds me as tightly as she can.

"Oh, God, Peter, I'm so sorry," she says, her breath coming in gasps and sobs. "I was coming over to return a book to you, and, and I saw him break in. I called my Dad, and-- and then I heard gunshots......Peter, your uncle......he's....."

I pry Gwen's arms off of me gently, barely hearing what she's saying. My eyes are transfixed on a team of paramedics huddled around a stretcher by the back on the ambulance.

"Uncle Ben?" I say, my voice barely a frightened whisper. I don't want to see him. I want more than anything than to just run away, to run and hide and pray that this all isn't real.

But I have to see him.

Shoving my way past cops and onlooking neighbors, I make my way to the ambulance. Towards the front, I see a few of them tending to Aunt May, putting a blanket over her shoulders and offering her a cup of coffee. She doesn't say a word, still trembling in shock.

"Uncle Ben?" I ask again, the paramedics trying to crowd me out. "Let me see him!"

Lying on the stretcher in front of me, a breathing mask over his mouth, red-soaked gauze covering his chest, is the man who raised me as the son he never had. The man I knew and loved closer than my own father. The man who taught me right from wrong and what it is to be a man in this world.....

....the man I insulted and dismissed.

"....Peter?" he asks, looking around as if searching for me.

"I'm right here, Uncle Ben," I say, kneeling to him while the paramedics continue trying in vain to stop the bleeding.

God, let this be a bad dream.

Let this be a sick joke.

Just......anything, please, just.....anything.

Between shallow, pained breaths, he looks at me. His lips move as if trying to smile, but he doesn't even have that left in him. His eyes, though, smile just as brightly as every time he ever saw me.

"Pete, I'm........" he rasps. "......I'm glad.........you're okay........"

"I'm fine, Uncle Ben," I say, my own vision blurred with hot tears. "And you're gonna be fine, too, okay? You've just got to..........Uncle Ben?"

His eyes are still open, but the light in them has faded. The labored breaths and gasps for air have stopped.

He's gone.








He's.........he's gone.











I could have stopped this.

I could have been home when it happened, I could have stopped the burglar before any of this.......

Instead, I tried to get rich quick. I tried to make a quick buck off of the things I can do, to be selfish with the great power I've been given.....

And now he's gone.

"I want squad cars down on 15th and 67th now," I hear Captain Stacy say with a growl into his radio. "If our suspect's holed up there, I want him brought in within the hour, understood?"

15th Street and 67th Avenue. That's less than five blocks from here. Considering how fast I made it from Manhattan to Queens, I can be there before the cops are even close.

My hands ball up into tight, angry fists, and I start walking away from our home.

"Peter, where are you going?" Gwen calls after me. "Peter!"

I don't turn. I don't even look over my shoulder.

I just run, faster than I've ever run in my entire life.

Batman
04-08-2012, 10:54 PM
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"Is everybody okay?"

Perry's question barely registered as Lois watched Superman take off into the skies, following the climatic battle between him and the beast that had tore half of New Troy apart in the span of fifteen minutes. She had seen him up close twice before - which was twice more than many of Metropolis' citizens could ever claim - but seeing him in action was something else to behold. His raw strength, his incredible speed, the way that he effortlessly tossed the giant through a skyscraper, it was all unlike anything that she could have predicted in her wildest imagination. But more than that, what struck her as the most interesting was the fact that even though he seemed to know what he was doing, he also... didn't.

It had been clear from the beginning that Superman was relatively young. He looked to be in his early-to-mid twenties. But what if there was more to it than that? He had only been originally sighted nine months prior, but reports of a man in red and blue dated back to at least three years ago, coming in all across the world. An urban legend that evolved into very potent reality. Lois looked off into the distance, wondering to herself just how experienced he really was at this. And if there were some way for her to help him.

Lois Lane,, her mind told her. What the hell are you thinking?

Help him? Why should she care if he's "experienced" enough - whatever that even meant - to brawl with freaks and weirdos that showed up to cause some property damage every now and again? It wasn't her job to get directly involved. She was the reporter, and he was the subject of the piece. That was the extent of her involvement, and it would become nothing more.

"Chief! Chief, I got shots of it! Superman and the green guy! You're not gonna believe what I---OOF!"

In the rush of it, Jimmy Olsen tripped over a piece of debris and watched in horror as his camera went flying from his hands and into the air, sure to see his prized pictures scattered all over the pavement in the form of broken pieces of hardware. Luckily, before it could hit the ground, Lois managed to kneel down and catch it just as it dropped. Olsen looked up from the pavement as she smirked back.

"Close call, kid."

Embarrassed, Jimmy accepted the camera as she handed it back.

"Uh... thanks."

Just as Perry walked over to inspect the shots that Olsen had taken, the three of them were caught off guard as a black SUV sped up to the front of The Daily Planet building, promptly rolling over debris and crushing stray glass as it approached. The vehicle stopped just beyond the entrance, as two individuals quickly got out of the front, followed by others from the back. They were all dressed in black and white suits, wearing dark shades and brandishing weapons.

Lois instantly recognized them, flashing a sneer as they turned their sights towards the three. They worked for her father.

"Hey! You can't just park there in the middle of a---!"

Instantly, the leader of the pack produced his badge.

"Perry White? Special Agent Corben, FBI. This is my partner, Special Agent Danvers."

Stepping infront of Perry, Lois immediately became accusatory in tone and demeanor, already knowing the answer to her question.

"Wait just a minute. Who the hell sent you?!"

Corben narrowed his gaze, watching as his men forced themselves onto the scene to secure the peremeter. Danvers stepped forward, a blonde woman that looked just as serious as her predecessor.

"That's not important at this time. What is important is a matter of national security,"

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/6011/rpg6.png

"As of right now, this building is property of the United States Government. You and your entire staff are about to tell us everything you know about Superman."

MST3K 4ever
04-10-2012, 10:08 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6366396619_3cd1399208.jpg

Lex never thought for a moment that it would end like this. The Gammatron one of his greatest concepts that everyone said would never work, and Dr. Banner the brilliant but socially awkward and somewhat eccentric working for him these two forces combining under the banner of LexCorp were supposed to cement his place in the pantheon of world figures for generations to come. They were not supposed to be his downfall. One thing was for certain if he was going down...then everyone was going with him.

Fury pulls the phone away and says, "General are you noticing something unusual here?"

Ross replies, "You know something Nick I am."


Betty asks, "What's going on?"

General Ross replies, "In all my years on the battlefield I have never seen anyone willing surrender, unless they had some kind of knife or small revolver up their sleeve."

Fury adds, "Or they had some kind of self-destruct device ready to go. Punch in a few numbers on the phone and this tower goes down while Lex somehow escapes."

Lex chuckles and says, "Fury you and the General are insane. Do you know how ludicrous this all sounds."

Fury replies, "For a man who is about to lose everything and be humiliated by being hauled away to prison you are being way too calm about all this."

Ross adds, "Even if we do haul you away I'm willing to bet two phone calls and lot of our findings are thrown out or conveniently lost."

Lex smirks and says, "Oh come now really. You think?"

Fury says, "Basically we have to catch you in the act."


Lex lights a cigar and says, "Good Luck with that. Many have tried and all have failed."

Fury says, "Oh don't worry I'm about to step up my game here. As of right now Dr. Ross is our official liaison between The Government and LexCorp."

Lex says, "You can't do that Fury there has to be a process there..."

Fury pulls out his gun and chambers a round and says, "I can make it look like a suicide. You've known me for a few years Lex. Have you ever known me to bluff?"

Lex gathers himself and says, "Of course we welcome Dr. Ross with open arms."

Fury says putting his gun away, "It's not just her you're gonna have to deal with. As of this moment you can expect many MANY surprise inspections from just about every Government Organization from A to Z. Watching you like a Hawk! At the end of everyday I'm gonna know what you had for Breakfast and what time you went to bed and all points in-between. Big Brother is alive and well for you Lex."

Lex is seething and says, "Don't start what you can't finish Fury."

Ross interjects, "Oh don't worry Lex WE will finish this! Count on it!"

Fury looks at Ross and gives a crooked smile. He looks back at Lex and says, "Let me make this clear. If Dr. Ross should one day decide she's had enough and throws herself out a window, has an accident here or at home, or is struck by a bolt of lighting I will come down here and personally rip your heart through your throat."

Ross says, "Sorry Nick I need to top you on this one."


Fury bows his head and motions for him to step forward.

Ross says, "Anything happens to my daughter your fault or not I don't care. I will personally lead the hunt against you and when it's over they will never find your body."

Fury says, "Well said T-Bolt."

Fury says into a radio, "We're done pack it up."

General Ross says to Betty, "You need anything call."


Betty nods and says, "I will."


Father and daughter embrace and the General whispers, "Find him. You're the only one who can save him."

Betty replies, "I will."

The Crews leave LexCorp and Lex says to Alexis, "Get me a LexCorp chopper on the roof on 10 minutes and begin working hypothetical trajectories of where The Hulk landed."

Alexis replies, "Acknowledged Mr. Luthor."

Byrd Man
04-11-2012, 10:52 PM
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Previously




Cameroon
Then

The jeep bounced up and down the dirt road as it cut a dusty swath through the countryside. The driver of the jeep chattered away in French, the young, dark-haired man in the passenger seat barely listened to him. Instead, the passenger's eyes were focused on what was up the road.

"Nous sommes arrivés, Monsieur Wayne," the driver said as the jeep skidded to a stop outside a grass hut.

"Oui, je vous remercie," the young man replied in flawless French. Two years "studying" in Paris had left him with a fluent understanding of the language. He handed the driver a handful of African Francs. Then, the young grabbed the canvas bag behind his seat and stepped out of the jeep. "Ce sera tout. Je peux le prendre à partir d'ici," he told the driver.

"Très bien. Ce vieil homme est fou. Vous avez besoin d'aide, tu m'appelles," the driver said with a nod.

"Oui. Je vais le faire, George."

The driver of the jeep reversed the vehicle and began back down the dirt road. The young man watched the jeep disappear down the road before turning to the hut. While he had his back turned, a man had appeared out of nowhere, a rifle in his hands.

"Explain yourself," the man said in a slight Russian accent. He slid the rifle's bolt action and cycled a round into his rifle. "Two seconds before I shoot you dead."

"My name," the young man said in English, "is Bruce Wayne. I came to speak to Sergi Kravinoff."

The older man looked at Wayne with narrowed eyes before he pulled his rifle back. "You want Kraven, richboy? You have found him. What do you want?"

"I seek knowledge. Training."


Now
Old Gotham
8:04 PM


I was crouched in the shadows, watching the lone gunman from a safe distance. Shortly before five this afternoon, he had walked into a daycare and proceeded the daycare's staff and a dozen toddlers hostage. The cops have been involved in a standoff for a little over three hours. Major Gordon was outside supervising the scene, but word from Gotham Central is that new commissioner Peter Pauling is getting antsy. In an hour, SWAT is banging down the doors. The only way that ends is with dead bodies and bullets.

There's a better way. Twenty minutes ago, I infiltrated the daycare and have been stalking the hostage taker ever since. The fourteen hostages, twelve of them scared and frightened children, were huddled together in an adjacent room.

"Attention!" Gordon's voice boomed through a megaphone outside. While his voice carried, his tone was hesitant. "This is Major James Gordon with the GCPD... You have forty-five minutes to come out with your hands up or we will... we will breech the doors."

The gunman began to pace and fidget nervously across the floor. I stayed still and watched as he wildly swung the pistol in his hands. A child in the following room started to cry, prompting an angry outburst from the gunman.

"Can you shut that goddamn kid u--," he stopped short as my forearm came out the shadows and struck him in the diaphragm. The gunman gagged and grasped for breath. I quickly disarmed him and drove him to the ground with a forceful thump.

"Run!" I shouted to the workers in the room next door. "Take the children and get out of here, but be careful!"

As the hostages and children began to leave the daycare, I had the gunman on the floor, pinned by the throat. "Please --gaak -- lemme go. Just following orders."

I relented my grip and leered at the hostage taker. "What?"

"Russian guy," he said weakly. "Told me he'd kill my family if I didn't come in here and take people hostage."

"Why?!"

"I... I don't know!"

Heavy footsteps were coming in the next room. I let go of the kidnapper and disappeared just as a cop came into the room, her gun out. "I found him," she cried out. "He's in here!"

While the members of the GCPD began to fill in the room, I was already out the daycare and on the roof of the building across the street. Someone threatened that man to take hostages. Why?


****



As Batman headed into the night, a pair of eyes watched him from a hidden vantage point. The man he had forced into service was adequate at doing his job. It had given him a chance to stake out the Batman and watch him in action. He was good. Patient, methodical, and ruthless when he needed to be. He needed more chances to watch his quarry, but for now Kraven the Hunter was convinced that the Batman would be a most worthy prey.



Ural Mountains
Then

The two men lay flat on their stomach on the snow-covered mountain ridge. This was their third week in the mountains. They had each come into the mountains with very little supplies. The only thing they had left were their hunting knives and the rifle, which only had six rounds left. Both men were dressed in white camouflage, frost speckled bears covered their faces.

"I see something," the younger man, Bruce Wayne, said under his breath. A large brown bear stepped out of the snowy woods. Bruce saw the dark markings on the bear's hindquarters and knew it was the same one they had been tracking for the past week.

"This is your kill," the man to Bruce's right said. For the past six months, Bruce had been under his wing. The legendary man they called the Hunter had taught him so much about tracking, scouting, and hunting.

The Hunter cycled a round into his hunting rifle and began to hand it to Bruce, before he stopped himself and laughed. "I forgot. Man who wants to be hunter, but not use guns. For you, there is only one thing."

Bruce pulled his hunting knife from its side holster. It was ten inches and had a serrated blade. "Me against a bear with nothing but my knife... Kraven, are you sure?"

"What is the first rule of the hunt?"

"'Know your prey, watch it. Study it, get inside its head. Know it like it were you own flesh and blood.'"

"Da. For past week, we watch, we study. We see bear in fighting. We know bear's every movement, we know how bear thinks. That is most valuable weapon, worth more than a thousand of my rifles."
"You're right."

Bruce began to slowly creep through the snow. He was stopped as Kraven grabbed his ankle. "I will watch," he said with a nod. "If need be, I will but bear now... but then again, maybe not. When I was in Spetsnaz , we had saying when we did not live up to expectations: 'Иногда ты ешь медведя, а иногда и несут съесть.'"
"What does that mean?"

"'Sometimes, you eat bear and sometimes bear eat you.' In your case, saying is quite literal, yes?"

"Yes," Bruce said as he began to crawl towards the bear. "Quite."




Wayne Tower
Now


"Oh, Bruce, let me introduce you to one of our newest ADAs... Pretty young thing, maybe even a potential candidate for the seat in the upcoming election."

"And me without my checkbook handy. Maybe they won't want to talk to me.."

Mrs. Van Patten, actually Judge Van Patten, laughed and took my hand. I followed behind her and let her lead me through the crowd gathered in my penthouse. The Thomas & Martha Wayne Charity Fundraiser, a black tie event I'm hoping to turn into an annual event. All proceeds going to helping lower income Gotham residents find permanent work, affordable housing, and substance abuse treatment if they need it. I may be doing... interesting work as Batman, but the work as Bruce Wayne is just as important, if not more important, to the future well-being of the city.

"Bruce Wayne," Mrs. Van Patten said as she stopped in front two people. A tall, handsome man in a tux and a shorter, blonde haired woman beside him dressed in a navy evening gown. "I want you to meet the District Attorney Office's newest star, Miss Janice Porter."

The blonde woman smiled and held her hand out for me. I shook it and grinned. "Well, the judge said you were a pretty one. I had no idea she had a habit of making understatements."

"Oh, Mister Wayne," Porter said with a laugh. "I'm flattered, by both your words and Judge Van Patten's. This is my fiance, Henry."

I shook hands with the man accompany Porter and nodded. "So, the judge tells me you may have eyes for the DA seat?"

"That's putting the cart before the horse. I've only been in town for a few months. Lots of factors to consider, and the election is a long way away."

"Well, if you're ever interested in making a run, I have lots and lots of disposable income and like most people with too much money, I like to meddle in politics. If I like what you have to offer, we can work out a deal."

"I'm flattered, I really am. But for now--"

She continued to talk, but something across the room caught my eye. Someone with their back to me, but with an unmistakable frame.

"--so just take a rain check."

"Will do," I said with a nod. "It was a pleasure meeting you both. If you'll excuse me."

I walked through the crowd, catching snippets of conversation as I navigated through the social scene.

"--missioner Pauling is just in it for the pension now, milk more time until he can retire--"

"--blepot is supposed to be coming back to town with some new business venture. His father, Chester, was always such a good businessman--"

"--And Mister Fields, let me introduce you to Miss Felicia Hardy--"

"Excuse me," I said as I approached the man. "I'm looking"

"You seek someone," the man said. He slowly turned around, revealing his face. "And you have found them. Hello, richboy," Sergi Kravenoff said with a smirk.

"Kraven," I said with a furrowed brow. "What are you doing here?"

"Not so happy to see me? We may have not parted on the best of circumstances, but you were still my friend."

"You didn't answer my question," I said. "What are you doing here?"

"The hunt, my friend. Always the hunt. It calls me to Gotham."

"But there's nothing to hunt in the city," I said with a skeptical look.

"I am working for a client. They wish to bag big game. They call me in to hunt."

"What are you hunting."

"I am--"

"Pardon me, Master Bruce," Alfred said as he approached us. "Coucilman Dickerson is requesting your presence."

"Duty calls," I said with a shrug."Enjoy the party."

"I will try. If only you would serve vodka. Drink of real men, not champagne."

"I'll see what I can do."

I nodded and followed Alfred through the party. "Soon as you can, Alfred, I want you to pull the guest list for me. See who has plus one invitations and run those people through the computer downstairs, combing through their recent financial history. Look for large amounts of cash that have been withdrawn within the last thirty days. After that, talk to security about the man I was talking to, see if he came by himself or "

"Is it related to that large Russian chap?"

"Yes. He's here tonight on business, I know it. First rule of the hunt, Alfred: Know your prey. Watch it. Study it. Get inside its head. Know it like it were your own flesh and blood.'"

"Inspired poetry, sir. But who is he?"

"Sergi Kravenoff," I said, turning to look back at him. His eyes were watching me, unblinking and focused. "And he's one of the most dangerous men in the world."

bkhedr
04-13-2012, 07:57 AM
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg



A subway train rumbles noisily overhead and the Gorgon waits for it to pass before speaking.

Gathered around him is a large group of Hand ninja. To his right stands Talia al Ghul, her hands resting on her ample hips.

"Our time has come my warriors." The Gorgon declares as the train passes and the noise begins to fade. "Now is the time for the true Hand to rise."

A few of the red clad ninja nod in agreement but most remain deathly still, silently hanging on their master's every gesture. This is no regular gathering of Hand warriors, for these men are the deadlies, the most merciless of the ancient cult's foot soldiers. They are the most dedicated of the Hand and they have been individually chosen by the Gorgon to serve him. They are his private army. They are the Hand of the Gorgon and they have come here, to a long abandoned subway station beneath Gotham city, to do his bidding.

"This forgotten place will serve as our headquarters on this continent." He continues, spreading his arms to encompass the space around them. "Treat it as you would our ancient city. Fortify it, keep it hidden," his voice hardens "And kill any unfortunate enough to stumple upon it."

"Hail Gorgon!" The Ninja announce their reply in unison.

"Hail the Beast." The Gorgon answers back before a wave of his hand puts them in motion.

"Most impressive Gorgon." Talia al Ghul comments dryly as the Ninja silently go about the business of turning the station into a proper haven "To command such loyalty, particularly in opposition to the Elders."

"The Elders are weak" The Gorgon snorts "And these are but the first of many. Soon my warriors will be legion."

"Such confidence." Talia says with a wry smile "Why then have you not yet moved against your former masters?"

The Gorgon move impossibly fast, wrapping a powerful hand around Talia's throat and pinning her against a brick wall. Talia almost immediately shakes off her initial surprise and struggles against his grip only to find that he is far, far too strong for her.

"You do not fear me Talia Al Ghul." He growls "That is a mistake."

He tightens his grip and Talia feels her wind pipe tighten even as the ninja around them continue to go about their business, seemingly oblivious to her sudden plight. For the briefest of instances, blind panic, threatens to fill her mind, but she fights the feeling back and glares at the Gorgon with all the defiance she can muster, for she is Talia Al Ghul and she was not raised to know fear.

"You are here to serve me woman." The Gorgon says. If he's impressed by her stubborn courage he does not show it. "Do so and you will live. Continue to question me and I will rip off your head. Do you understand?"

She can tell that he is serious and Talia nods her acquiscence, though her glare does not soften. This prompts him to release her and she coughs and rubs her throat where his grip is already leaving an angry red mark.

"And how would you have me serve?" She asks, her voice raspy.

"For now I would have you show me the proper respect." He snarls before reaching for a small bracelet like device strapped to his forearm and activating it.

The device, a personal teleporter of his design, emits a bright white light that surrounds the Gorgon and as he starts to turn transluscent and fade away he gives Talia a cold look.

"I go to move against my former masters."





http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5344/1168718-gorgon_01.jpg


Ancient wood creaks and groans in protest then bursts inward, showering the inside of the Hand's temple with splinters of what was once a door that had never been breached.

The three Elders flinch in spite of themselves, their sudden fear awakening long forgotten reflexes, and they raise their arms to cover their withered reptilian faces from the natural light shining through the now open doorway even as their last few remaining guardsmen flow forward like water. Ready to meet the intruder head on.

The Gorgon steps through the doorway with the light at his back, blood dripping from his crimson blade.

The undead ninja warriors show no fear, no hesitation. Their devotion to their masters is rewarded with swift and final death as the Gorgon slices his way through them, severing limbs, heads and anything unfortunate enough to fall under his sword.

The Elders' eyes widen in terror as their defenders dwindle and the Gorgon moves forward relentlessly. They would turn to run, but they are paralyzed by fear, not to mention the knowledge that they have not so much as left this chamber in centuries. They know they would not get far even if they could escape.

As the last of the ninja fall one Elder, perhaps blinded by panic, stretches his arm out, pointing a crooked finger at the approaching Gorgon

"Stop him!" He commands desperately with a decaying voice; but there is already no one left to obey and the only response is the slashing Grasscutter which severs the arm at the elbow.

"AAARGH!!"

The sound of the screaming Elder is thick with terror mixed with primordial evil. It is a chilling sound even to the Elders themselves and they huddle together and back away as the Gorgon swipes his blade sharply through the air to shake loose the wounded Elder's sticky green blood.

Satisfied that the blade is sufficiently clean, the Gorgon sheathes his weapon, slowly, relishing the terror emanating from those whom he once called masters.

"Wh-what is the meaning of this Gorgon?" One Elder asks, trying and failing to sound in control.

"I have come to end you and claim my rightful place at the head of the Hand." The Gorgon replies, scowling at the Elder.

"Rightful place?" The wounded Elder says through gritted teeth "How dare y-"

The Elder is instantly silenced as the flashing blade of the Grasscutter severs his head cleanly. The remaining Elders recoil in horror as the head rolls to a corner and comes to a stop and the Gorgon, satisfied that he has made his point, once again shakes his sword clean and resheathes it.

"What do you want?" One of the Elders asks timidly, his limbs and head tucked close to his body.

"I want what I have always wanted, to serve the Beast and cleanse this world of the crime of life." The Gorgon's eyes narrowed behind his mask "I have decided that it is a mission you are unqualified to accomplish."

"We-" The second remaining Elder began but the Gorgon silenced him with a raised palm.

"You had millenia to burn this world and you have failed. You thought to use me to accomplish what you have so far failed to do. I intend to, but you will not be here to see it."

"How do you propose to do that boy?" The first Elder asked, anger mixing with his fear and giving him some modicum of a backbone "This world is littered with freaks of nature, mutants, demigods. Even the mighty Gorgon, formidable though you may be, cannot stand against them all."

The Gorgon's lips curled into a menacing smile that made the Elder shudder

"I know about the ancient weapon that fell from the stars." The Gorgon says "And I have come to claim the heart of darkness and raise it."

The second Elder shook his head "You are mad. The ancient weapon is inert. It will not rise. It will not move."

"Not for you." The Gorgon growled "But I have communed with the Beast and he has shown me the way; and when I bring the ancinet weapon to life not even the most powerful freak of nature, whether he be born of mythology or the stars, will be able to stand against it."

"You-" The Elder's eyes widened with a startling realization.

"Yes. I have died and been reborn." The Gorgon lunged towards the Elders and wrapped a hand around each of their needle thin, scaly necks "And you will show me where the heart is."

bkhedr
04-13-2012, 01:36 PM
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTRh7eE449f4f7nvUy3d35lfxQ04M2K3 0maAvd0_6zzSvB4pgmZSmuZ3to


Three hours ago, about an hour into his evening, Tony Stark was wondering why he ever let an old dinosaur like Captain America get under his skin.

An hour ago Tony Stark forgot all about Captain America.

"You know what Alexis? Its Alexis right?" He says to one of the beautiful women draped over his shoulders.

"Actually its Cind-"

"It doesn't matter." He cuts her off and holds a pair of red dice up to her lips "Blow please."

The woman knows better than to waste her time trying to correct him and she dutifully blows on the dice before he flings them down the table.

The gathered crowd of socialites, reporters, holidaymakers and business elites let out a roar of approval as the dealer declares that Stark has won again and the girl behind his other shoulder, the one standing next to Cindy, bends over and gives him a congratulatory kiss on the cheek.

"Anyway the thing is.." Tony continues, talking to Cindy, but speaking loud enough for all to hear "The thing is, saving the world is stressful work."

A waitress walks by and replaces the empty glass in front of Stark with a full one

"Mmm. Thanks sweetie" He takes a big gulp, emptying half the glass "And the way I see it anyone who saves the world, or you know, at least D.C. ought to have earned a party."

This statement is met with more enthusiatic cheering from all around the casino floor. Las Vegas may be a city of many stars but its not everyday Iron Man gambles on the general floor with all the normal people and he's attracting a huge crowd that keeps growing by the minute.

"So I say..." he pauses, relishing how they hang on his every word "...drinks are on me!!"

The crowd goes wild and Tony is promptly showered with pats on the shoulder and kisses on both cheeks. He grins widely, letting their joy wash over him and is about to say something else when gunfire suddenly fills the air.



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Panic and screams fill the air as bullets whizz all around while Tony does what any self respecting playboy billionaire would do in such a situation and ducks under the table with Cindy and Amanda holding on tight and screaming at the top of their lungs.

Tony is still trying to assess the rapidly developing situation when Amanda grabs him by the lapels of his suit.

"Do something!! Save us!!"

Despite the present danger, Tony can't help but give her a disbeleiving look.

"Do I look like I'm wearing a suit of powered battle armor right now?" He asks only for her to begin tearing up

"You know what fine." Tony says with a sigh "Just stay down."

The panicked woman nods frantically and presses herself lower to the ground as Tony shakes his head and peers around the edge of the table.

The gunfire has died down and from Tony can see the entire casino floor seems to be under assault simultaneously. He can see the damage done to the casino and notes that virtually everyone is staying as low and out sight as possible. The only thing he can't see is the attackers.

He begins to scan for them when he feels something cold and hard pressed against the back of his neck.

Tony freezes and raises his arms slightly

"Tony Stark." He hears a disembodied voice say "You are now our prisoner."

This actually reassures Stark. "Prisoner" means that he won't be getting shot, at least not this exact second.

"And you are?" He asks with practiced nonchalance.

The answer comes in the form of a shimmering display of light at several points around the casino which Stark quickly recognizes as some sort of cloaking fields being deactivated.

He turns his head slightly, looking over his shoulder, and sees what he can only describe as a high tech bee keeper looking back at him.

"We are the Advanced Idea Mechanics and we have come for the Iron Man armor."

Byrd Man
04-14-2012, 12:19 AM
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The cargo plane bounced and shook as it flew just a few hundred feet above the water. The Fantastic Four were in the back of the plane, holding on for dear life. Major General William Lumpkin and Captain Frankie Raye, the Four's liaison with the US military, were seated near them.

"We're nearly there," Lumpkin said to the group. "Just a few more miles."

"What are we gonna to look at?" Ben asked.

"You'll see when we get there, Major Grimm."

A few minutes later, the cargo plane touched down on the USS Harry S. Truman and came to a stop atop the supercarrier. They exited the plane and were greeted by a small procession of naval officers.

"General Lumpkin," the lead naval officer said with a salute. "Captain James Pembroke, CO of the HST."

Lumpkin nodded and returned his salute. "This is my assistant, Air Force Captain Raye and my four associates... I believe you know them."

Pembroke went for handshakes with all of the Four, warmly greeting them. "Doctors Richards and Storm. Major Grimm, Mister Storm. Honor to meet you all. Welcome to the ship."

"Why exactly are we here, Captain?"

"Follow us, please."

The Four and their Air Force cohorts followed Captain Pembroke through the halls of the aircraft carrier to the bridge. "We were on our way to the Sinai Peninsula when we began to pick up strange readings on the sonar."

The captain handed Reed a copy of the sonar logs from that day. "Interesting. I seem to recall there was some minor seismic activity in this area. Very interesting."

"It gets even more odder. We sent down a few divers and they found this..."

Reed looked at the photographs Pembroke passed him. Reed's mouth slightly hung open as he saw what was in front of him.

"This is..."

"Yes. We think so."

"What is it?"

Reed handed Sue the photo and saw the shocked look on her face. The picture was of rotten and dilapidated buildings, wedged in the mud on the bottom of the sea.

"I believe we have found the ruins of Atlantis."





USS Harry S. Truman
Mediterranean Sea
500 Miles West of Cyprus


Johnny Storm sat at the edge of the aircraft carrier and looked out at the horizon in front of him. The rest of the Fantastic Four were bellow deck, working on what they thought was the discovery of the lost city Atlantis.

"Are you okay, Storm," a voice asked from behind. Johnny turned around and saw Captain Frankie Raye, General Lumpkin's XO, standing a few feet away.

"I'm fine, Captain," Johnny said, turning to look back out at the ocean.

"What are you doing all out here by yourself," she asked. Johnny heard footsteps and scooted over as Frankie sat down beside him. Frankie had read the report from last week. That incident in Baltimore had shaken Storm up pretty bad. He'd been distant since then. Lumpkin had suggested to Reed that Storm see Major Grimm's psychiatrist, Dr. Masters, but Frankie hadn't heard any updates on that.

"They don't need me right now. Figured I'd come out here and alone with my thoughts."

"You never know, they could need your help."

"Yeah, right," Johnny said with a scoff. "In case you haven't noticed, Reed is the smartest man on the planet. My job is to tag along and follow Sue's orders, flame on when I'm supposed to, and have her yell at me when she gets mad. That's it. I'm completely useless. At least Ben's a pilot. I'm an actor, what the hell can I do? I'm only here because of dumb luck. I pretty much blackmailed my way on to that shuttle flight."

"Don't sell yourself short, Stor-- Johnny. Doctor Richards may be a genius, but you have something that he lacks."

Johnny looked at Frankie and arched his eyebrow. "You have common sense... most of the time."

"So, you're telling me that driving a porsche in full Human Torch mode isn't a smart decision?"

"I would say so."

"Duly noted, Captain."

"Please, call me Frankie."



*****




Below deck, the rest of the Fantastic Four and General Lumpkin watched the screen inside the captain's conference room. On the monitor was a video feed connected to the robotic probe thousands of feet below the sea. The robotic submarine floated through the ruins of the city underwater.

"Wait," Reed said, stretching his arm all the way across the room and tapping a spot on the screen. "What's that?"

The crewman guiding the probe guided the sub to the spot Reed had pointed at. The spotlight on the sub shinned on the object. It was a long, rectangular box stuck in the mud of the sea floor. It appeared to be metallic, and tinged with rust. Words were inscribed on the box.


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"What is that?" Lumpkin asked as he lea