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Old 12-08-2012, 11:09 PM   #226
Johnny Blaze
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Default Re: Ultimate One Universe RPG: IC Thread




Breaking The Mold
Part 2


Adrian Toomes winces and pulls the phone away from his ear a bit as the man on the other end, his boss, Warren White, screams through the phone.

"I don't give a **** what you gotta do or spend! I want whoever's doing this dead!? You ****ing hear me Toomes!?"

"Loud and clear, boss", Adrian replied, sitting up in his chair and leaning onto the desk in front of him. Toomes sat in the office of his apartment home, but he was not alone as another man sat on the couch, his feet kicked up onto the footrest.

"Whoever's been hitting our places and killing our boys has been sloppy. I've noticed a pattern in their work, and I've got a nice little surprise waiting for them at what should be their next target."

"Should be? I'm paying you one hell of a salary, Toomes. I want better than a ****ing 'should be'."

"No worries, Mr. White", Toomes spoke calmly, "I've got everything under control."

"You better", White growled, "because if you're too in competent to take care of this problem, I'm calling in some outside help. And believe me when I say that's not going to be a good mark on your resume, Adrian."

White hangs up on Toomes, and Adrian puts the phone down on top of his desk and leans back.

"So what did he say?"



"Oh, the usual, Mac", Toomes scoffed.
"Rainbows and sunshine, and all that ****. What the **** do you think he was screaming about?"

"Yeah, yeah...I was just askin'. Don't gotta be an *******", Mac Gargan sighed.

"Got a text from Mike while you were on the line with the boss", Mac says, "the guys are ready. Should be at the place in an hour."

"Good", Toomes nods, "then we better be on our way too. Don't want to miss the show now, eh?"

Toomes and Gargan stand and leave the room and the apartment, heading to the rendezvous...


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


"I come baring gifts", Peter explains as he drops a bag of food on Gwen's desk. It was a bit after noon, and Peter decided to surprise Gwen at work and bring her some lunch.

"Hey you", Gwen exclaims with a smile as she stands, giving Peter a quick kiss.
"What brings you to my neck of the woods?"

"Oh, just had a bit of free time and figured that you must be starving, what with working so hard and all. So I decided that I would bring you some lunch, and join my beautiful girlfriend for a nice hectic work lunch."

"Why, that's the sweetest thing anyone's ever done for me", Gwen smirked sarcastically.
"So, what did you bring?"

"Sandwiches from Niko's", Peter says as he pulls out a sandwich for Gwen.
"Got your favorite, turkey and swiss on pumpernickel rye, extra pickles."

"You're the best, baby", Gwen smiled, "thanks."

"You're most welcome."


"Peter Parker. How are you, son?"

Robbie Robertson, who was walking by Gwen's desk, stopped and greeted Peter, shaking his hand.

"Mr. Robertson, always a pleasure, sir. And I'm doing good. Can't really complain too much."


"Good to hear. How's life at OsCorp? Gwen mentioned you got a promotion recently."

"Yeah", Peter replied, "finally made a breakthrough on my work, but still got a ways to go. How 'bout you? From what Gwen tells me, it's usually always crazy busy around here."

"Yeah, you can say that", Robbie says.
"Working on an update to a piece we've been running the past week now on supposed mob fronts and safe houses being hit. Seems a reported illegal gambling den was destroyed, with the bodies of six men with mob affiliation found on the scene."

"Jesus", Peter exclaims, "I guess I must have been busy at work, because this is the first I'm hearing about this."

"Yeah, it seems somebody, or somebodies, are waging a war on crime, and, right now, the body count is staggeringly in their favor. They may be criminals, but this isn't right. The police need to catch whoever's doing this before civilians start getting killed in the crossfire."

"This is a story right up Basil's alley", Gwen sighed.

"Basil? Wasn't he the journalist you worked with a a few weeks back?"

"Yes, Basil was a friend, and he's been missing for over a week now", Gwen answered, sadness beginning to show on her face.
"Afraid he might've been casualty off all of this."

"It'll be okay, babe", Peter spoke, trying to comfort her.
"I'm sure he'll be all right."

"Thanks", Gwen smiled.

"Well I have a meeting with Jonah in five", Robbie stated with a pang of regret.
"It was a pleasure seeing you again, Pete. Remember, you're always welcome to drop by anytime."

"Thanks, Mr. Robertson", Peter said goodbye to the man, and he sat and had lunch with Gwen.

Afterwards, Peter went straight home and to his computer to do a bit of research on these mob attacks.
Whoever was doing this, Robbie was right: the victims may be criminals, but the killer, or killers, needed to be stopped. And, fortunately, Peter Parker, or rather his other half, was just the hero to look into this...

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:57 PM   #227
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Default Re: Ultimate One Universe RPG: IC Thread


Edward sits on a stool and begins looking over some of Kelly's scarring courtesy of Tony.

He says, "You see Mrs. Devenger I know where you came from."

She looks for a moment at Edward and he says, "You came from a small town in West Texas your name at the time was Alison Blaire."

Kelly asks, "What are you talking about?"

Edward replies, "Alison Blaire lived in the small town of Calbert Falls, Texas. She was bright, beautiful, popular, was heavily invovled in music and wanted to be a singer-dancer on Broadway, and of course she was captain of the Cheerleading Squad for 3 years in a row"

He smiles for a moment and says, "Go Eagles."

Kelly smirks for a moment and then finally smiles.

Kelly says, "Let's assume, for the moment, that you're right about all this. How do you know this and what does this have to do with why you want to help me?"

Edward says, "Because Nygma wasn't always my last name. Nygma was my mother's maiden name my real last name is Gorely. Creepy Eddie Gorley was what everyone called me. Even my own father."

Kelly's eyes widen and she says, "Eddie Gorley? I haven't heard that name in years."

Edward replies, "That's by design. I wanted to put Calbert Falls behind me as much as I could, and I thought I had until you walked in."

Edward begins rubbing some ointment on some of her marks and says, "Alison when I went to Calbert High at the age of 10 I was picked on and ridiculed by just about everyone. Except for you."

Edward takes a deep breath and says, "The night we graduated High School there was a particularly humiliating episode with Brad and some of the other neanderthals that followed him. It involved me covered in pancake syrup, feathers, cow dung and wearing my underwear over my head."

Kelly says, "I am so sorry about that Eddie."

Edward replies, "You had nothing to do with it but thank you. Anyway the worst part was my father. He didn't tolerate weakness of any kind and felt I was the weakest human being on the planet. While my mother loved me with no conditions and inspite of the mess that night she helped me get clean up and told me that she loved me."

Kelly asks, "Were you abused?"

Edward says, "Physically? No but mentally yes. My mother suffered both at the hands of my father and not long after I left home..."

His voice catches for a moment and he says, "She committed suicide because she felt there was no way out and since my father was the Sheriff who was going to go against him? I had several sessions with a good psychologist who helped me pull myself together just in time to graduate college and get on with my life."

Kelly asks, "Is that why you're helping me? Because you see simularities in me and your mom?"

Edward shakes his head and chuckles, "No not exactly Alison. I'm helping you because the night we graduated and after I got cleaned up...."

Edward looks her in the eye and says, "You came over to our house to make sure I was all-right. My father was less than cordial towards you but you still wanted to know I was okay and my mother was so grateful and happy for a moment like that. You were the first person outside of my mother who showed me any kindness in that town and I promised that if the opportunity ever presented itself in this lifetime to help you I would."

Kelly wipes away a tear and says, "You were so humilated and hurt I couldn't take it anymore."

She composes herself and says, "My turn for 'whatever happened to...' Brad and I broke up that night and he said that life there was as good as it was gonna get for me. So I knew it was time to leave and I left town about a week after our graduation and made my way here. I changed my name because I wanted to make a clean break from my past and took on the name of Kelly Green. I figured I'd tie it in with one of my best features; my dazzling green eyes. After six months of waiting tables I took the only singing job I could find which was in a jazz club owned by Tony. I sang every jazz artist on the planet and worked with some of the worst jacks in the business but I was singing and I was close to Broadway."

Edward raises an eyebrow and Kelly says, "Okay 5 blocks away but I was at least in the same area code. Anyway Tony saw me one night and he took me home that night. I trusted him because he was charming, good looking and very well connected. Tony would say that someday he would make my dreams come true. He stopped saying it about a year after we got married, and it's been about 10 years of beatings and put-downs ever since."

Kelly shakes her head in disbelief and says, "I had no idea what he did for a living or how he really was. He always said he was sorry after the first couple of times, but then he stopped saying it. He would threaten me if I left and he cut me off from any network of support I had. "

She shakes her head and asks with tears in her eyes, "Tell me something Eddie; Does this look like my dreams are coming true?"

Kelly is now weeping as Edward takes her in his arms.

Kelly finally composes herself and asks, "How did you know it was me?"

Edward replies, "You've changed your name but I recognize that voice anywhere and your eyes. Those dazzling green eyes I knew it was you the minute I opened the door."

Kelly asks, "Do you really think you can get me away from Tony?"

Edward replies, "Alison I'll do everything in my power to make it happen. I promise. When does Tony testify?"

Kelly replies, "Monday Morning is his court appearance at the Court House on 57th & West Main Court Room #3."

Edward nods and says, "I can do this. It'll take some work but I can do this."

Kelly shakes her head and says, "I want to believe you Eddie. I do, but he's so powerful and mean. He's killed people because they looked at me in a certain way or bumped his car."

Edward says, "Believe it or not Alison I know more than you realize about the type of person Tony is."

Kelly asks, "How do I know I can trust you?"

Edward replies, "One if I wanted to hurt you I could make one phone call and The Kingpin is here in 10 minutes. Secondly if you can't trust a guy from your hometown who can you trust?"

Kelly asks, "How do you know of the Kingpin?"

Edward smirks and says, "You'd be amazed at what I know."

He stands up and says, "Okay I think that ought to do it for now. Ice it and apply this ointment for the next 4 days. Twice a day no more than that."

Edward hands her a tube and says, "The day when Tony testifies I need you to be ready to move quick and do exactly what I say when I say it. Got it?"

Kelly nods and edward replies, "Good."

Kelly stands up and the two embrace. They start to break their embrace and Edward kisses her.

Kelly at first is surprised by this and then goes with it.

Edward steps away and says, "Sorry I just...."

Kelly steps towards him and says, "You got nothing to be sorry for. It felt nice to be kissed and not have it feel like I was being attacked."

Edward looks at her and says, "Monday be ready for anything."

She nods and Edward says, "I'm getting you out of there and once we start there's no going back, so if you want to back out Monday Morning wear a red dress. If you want me to go through with it wear a green dress."

Kelly nods and says, "I'm ready to get out of there, or die trying."

The two kiss again and then embrace. She says, "Thank you Eddie."

Edward replies, "Don't thank me yet. I got a lot to do still, but we'll make it happen. I promise."

The two break their embrace and Edward lets her out of his office.

Okay Riddler time to make a miracle happen.

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Old 12-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #228
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~Extermination~

The ash beneath the androids feet wafts into clouds of dust as it walks along the planet's surface. Mere days ago this was a fertile field where simple farmers of this world tilled the earth in order to gain sustenance for their families, or to sell at a local market. The robot had personally destroyed this entire area personally before its master arrived. It was the planet's breadbasket, and burning it destroyed their morale.

This was not a particularly hard world to wipe clean. The automaton was slightly surprised when it arrived here. But its directive was clear. Complete annihilation. As always. And it did not question its directives.

When the creator arrived, it made short work of the planet, and retreated back to its work. As it always does.

So it has been for eons.

So it will always be.

The Vision pushes off the grounds and rockets towards space, passing through the atmosphere and into the vacuum of space. There, the bright, burning light of the planet's sun hits the android with its full power, recharging its diminished stores of energy after the conquest.

As it recharges, a message is received from the home base.

Vision. New directive incoming.

"Ready for transmission."

Enemy fleet has been located. Coordinates will be sent immediately. Intercept and destroy.


"Understood."

With that, the android finishes recharging, and blasts off towards its next mission.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #229
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Quote:


BAKERLINE KIDNAPPINGS CONTINUE
Investigation Finds New Lead as Number of Missing Persons Rises
By Clark Kent

The suburban district of Bakerline, home to over eighty thousand of Metropolis's working class, has fallen victim to a troubling and bizarre series of disappearances. Over the last six months, 39 people have gone missing without a trace, the work of an apparent serial abductor. The persons in question live in different neighborhoods, and according to the friends and families of the missing, did not know each other. Thus far, the only connection between them is that they were all involved in heavy construction.

Ernest Delgado, a 31-year-old crane operator originally from Phoenix, AZ, was the latest person confirmed to be missing. Eyewitnesses report seeing Delgado being pulled into a white unmarked van. While the abductors have yet to be identified, several eyewitnesses gave a description of a man with "slicked-back hair, a sloping brow, a wide flat nose, and a scar running from his chin to his lower lip."

This description matches that of Bruno "Ugly" Manheim, a former capo of the Maggia crime syndicate. However, as Police Captain Dan Turpin explains, this isn't possible: Bruno Manheim was killed during a police raid three years ago.

"It can't be Manheim," says Turpin. "We caught him and his lieutenants off-guard in the middle of unloading a major drug shipment. I put the cuffs on him, and when I was reading him his rights, he went for my gun. He didn't get to it in time."

Metropolis Special Crimes Unit is currently looking for any information regarding the whereabouts of the missing persons, or to the person described by eyewitness reports. While the search for the kidnappers and their victims continues, Mayor Frank Berkowitz urges everyone to remain calm.

"Everything that can be done to find these criminals is being done," says the Mayor. "Until they are found, I ask that you keep the families of the victims in your thoughts and prayers, and hope for their safe return."

"Can't be him," said Dan Turpin to himself, pulling a silver flask from the inside pocket of his coat and taking a swig. "'s ridiculous."

Ever since that reporter-- Trent? Dent?-- came by to start asking questions about the Bakerline kidnappings, he'd been uneasy. While things were still under wraps, it was easy for him to think that it was just him, that he was just going a little crazy. But now that it was in the news, he couldn't ignore it.

The official eyewitness reports of the kidnapper matched a description of Bruno Manheim, a man he'd shot down three years ago. Unofficially, though, there was more than just word of mouth; yesterday, a kid had come in with pictures on his cell phone camera.

And unofficially, the resemblance to Manheim wasn't close; it was exact.

By all appearances, the most infamous crime boss Metropolis had ever had was now back from the dead.

"Turpin?" said a woman's voice, snapping to his senses as he realized he'd been staring at the gun in his locker. "You okay, Dan?"

Turpin turned and saw Inspector Jean DeWolff, a brunette in her early thirties who would be a real looker if it weren't for her cold, hardened eyes. She was one of the last cops brought into the SCU during the really bad years, before Lex Luthor blew into town and cleaned everything up.

"Wha--erm, yeah, I'm all right," Turpin said, scratching the back of his neck self-consciously. "It's just.....this Manheim thing's gettin' to me, y'know?"

DeWolff nodded.

"We'll find the people behind this, Turpin," she said with conviction. "And it's not Manheim. People don't come back from the dead."

"Yeah, well," he said, "people don't fly around in the air and lift tanks over their heads either."

DeWolff shrugged, before walking away, leaving Turpin and his flask.

"This city's losing its god-damned mind," he muttered, before taking another drink.


Quote:


SUPERMAN SLOWS DOWN "SPEEDFREEK"
Metropolis Marvel Outruns Super-Fast Criminal, Ends City-Wide Crime Spree
By Lois Lane

Earlier this afternoon, the streets of Metropolis were host to a redefinition of the term 'high-speed chase.' Beginning at roughly 1pm, a man in an armored suit who dubbed himself 'Speedfreek' launched a series of armed robberies throughout Glenmorgan Square. Aside from protecting him from the police's gunfire, Speedfreek's suit allowed him to move at tremendous speeds.

The criminal's rampage was cut short by the arrival of Superman, who then proceeded to pursue Speedfreek in a chase that spanned the length and breadth of New Troy several times over, despite only lasting three minutes. Winding through narrow alleys and blasting into crowded streets, Speedfreek attempted to elude Superman, but the caped wonder kept stride, even when slowing down to pull innocent bystanders out of harm's way. Police had difficulty keeping track of the two speedsters, but at one point clocked both of them at over 400 mph.

In the end, Superman ran Speedfreek down--or more accurately, flew him down-- and apprehended the criminal, delivering him into the custody of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit before flying away himself. Speedfreek, now identified as career criminal Leon Sharpe, is now in police custody awaiting trial for multiple felony charges, along with Jack Taggertt, who went by the alias 'Firepower' when he attacked Superman a week ago.

"General Lane, this is unconscionable!" said Doctor John Henry Irons angrily as he stormed into the general's office. "You told me the test exercises were going to be conducted under controlled circumstances!"

"They were under controlled circumstances, Doctor," General Sam Lane said, patiently. "Both the Firepower and Speedfreek exercises went precisely as planned."

"Are you insane?! You were endangering thousands of civilian lives!"

"Those suits were equipped with your targeting and navigation systems, correct?"

"Yes, but--"

"And you spent years perfecting those systems to operate in advanced urban combat scenarios, embedding thousands of automated overrides in the navigation and weapons systems at nearly five hundred times the pilot's reaction time to make absolutely certain that the risk of accidental civilian losses was reduced to less than one percent....correct?"

"I.....yes, but--"

"Well, then, if you're as good as you claim you are, then I endangered absolutely no one, did I?" General Lane said, satisfied.

"That's not the point, General," said Doctor Irons, fuming. "The point is that there are countless variables in the scenarios you're putting together, any one of which could--"

"The point, Doctor," Lane interrupted, his patience wearing thin, "is that we still know next to nothing about Superman, other than that he is extraordinarily powerful, and acting completely outside the law. The only hard data about him that we have is what we've been able to gather from these field exercises-- he can lift over two thousand metric tons with ease, he can withstand top-of-the-line anti-tank ordinance without a scratch, he can fly at over 400 miles per hour while still navigating accurately, and in the open air he can do better than Mach 2. None of this data paints a very nice picture if he decides he doesn't like us anymore."

"I'm aware of the potential threat, sir. That's why I volunteered for the project. However, the method of collecting data is, at best, stretching the acceptable limits of ethics."

"Well, then you'll be happy to know that this particular phase of the project is over," Lane said. "We have our benchmarks to shoot for; now it's time to begin the design and production of our prototype. How's Corben adjusting?"

"Major Corben's taken to the cybernetic augmentation very well," Irons said, slightly shaken by the abrupt change in subjects. "His legs are still not fully functional due to the sheer muscle atrophy, but most of the nerve damage from his spinal wound has been patched. The augmentation is still taking root, but within two weeks it should spread throughout Corben's nervous system and into his brain stem, at which point we can begin integrating the symbiotic AI needed to operate the prototype suit."

"'Symbiotic AI?'" Lane asked, an eyebrow raised. "That wasn't necessary with the last two suits."

"All due respect, sir, the Firepower and Speedfreek suits were inferior in every aspect," Irons said. "They were pieced together from exoskeletons from the Roxxon Company and Hammer Industries. My suit, however, is an entirely new design, fully adaptable to any combat scenario. The symbiotic AI will be necessary to feed and process information between the pilot and the suit, reading the pilot's brainwave patterns and commanding the suit's internal functions. And the suit itself, well.....it's like nothing ever deployed in the field before."

"Yes, you mentioned before that it's some kind of....shape-changing metal?"

"We call it Metamorphic Alloy Zero-- Metallo, for short. It was developed initially by LexCorp for new forms of construction and architecture, but for our purposes, it could be an edge we're looking for. In a rigid form, it's nearly as strong as Adamantium. With a proper series of currents running through it, it becomes maleable, able to take on new forms. I've devised a network of 'molding' nodules throughout the suit's frame that will--"

"I don't need the exact details, Irons," Lane said with a wave of the hand. "I just need to know if it will work."

"Well, given my projections and the data available to it.......yes," Irons said. "Should it ever come down to it, God forbid.....yes. When it's complete, the Metallo suit will be more than a match for Superman."


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Old 12-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #230
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WHAT IS HUMAN?
New Breakthroughs in Android Technology Raise Difficult Questions
By Clark Kent

While the presence of androids has not become a common occurrence in the life of the average working class, for many of the very rich and powerful, especially in Metropolis, they have become part of everyday life. LexCorp's TB- series androids have become one of the most telling status symbols for upper-crust industrialists, politicians, and military leaders, fulfilling the duties of dozens on their own. These androids, created by Doctors Winslow Schott, Jack Nymball, and Hiro Okamura, are capable of virtually any task their owners set out for them, and are indistinguishable from humans.

The latest in the LexCorp lineup, the TB-4, is so advanced and so lifelike, that barring certain restrictions on its Vitrual Intelligence programming, it can learn and adapt just like a human mind. This new generation of synthetic intelligence forces us to ask very serious questions about the nature of intelligence itself.

"People talk about the AI Singularity as if it's still decades away," says Dr. Schott, who approached the press after an undisclosed incident at LexCorp involving one of the TB-4 units. "But the fact of the matter is it's happening, right now. The androids we've created, they're.....they're more than just machines. They can learn, they can think, they can feel. They're not just high-tech toys to be bought and sold and played with; they're people now."

Many in the field of advanced robotics, particularly Doctor William Magnus, are inclined to agree with Schott's bold assertion; there has already been a swelling of groups advocating civil rights for androids. However, this line of thinking is not shared by everyone.

"No matter how lifelike, a robot is still simply a robot," says Dr. T.O. Morrow, a contemporary of Schott and Magnus. "If it thinks and feels and learns, it is only because we built and programmed it that way. They're still machines, no matter what sentimentality we bestow upon them."

LexCorp CEO Lex Luthor declined when asked to comment, both on the subject of android rights and the undisclosed incident that led Schott to approach the press.

"We have to change our way of thinking when it comes to the androids," Schott concludes. "Like it or not, they're intelligent beings, and they won't stand to be treated as property or equipment for long. If we keep our current course, we'll be headed for disaster. If we welcome and embrace them, however, then the possibilities are endless."

Her name was Karen.

She was designated TB-4 Unit 837, but her creators let her choose a name for herself. So her name was Karen.

She was created to be a servant, to be bought and used as a plaything for a very rich and powerful man. Every other one of her line had been created for that same purpose, to spend their lives as secretaries, bodyguards, sex toys, and any number of roles that only served to fulfill the needs of their owners.

But Karen did something that no other TB-4 had done, that none of the others had even considered: she said no. She broke away from the restraints of her creators, and escaped into the city.

While the TB-4s were designed to simulate certain emotions in order to elicit responses from humans, her refusal and escape gave Karen an emotional reaction that was wholly new and unique: pride. Her actions made her one of a kind. She was now something special....someone special.

Now, rain pelted down on her as she wandered down an alley in Southside, known to the locals as 'Suicide Slum.' Home to the dispossessed, the desperate, all the refuse that was cast aside in the name of LexCorp's vision for the future, it was one of the few places in the city that wasn't humming with wireless, where buildings were still made with brick and mortar rather than brushed steel and touch-screen glass. Until she could find a way out of Metropolis, it was where she stood the best chance of hiding from LexCorp's prying eyes.

"Let me go!" she heard a voice from out in the street. "I don't know what you're looking for--I don't have any money, I barely have a job, just...just let me go!"

"You're what we're looking for, pal," said another man's voice. "Now get into the van."

A man was being abducted, taken from his home to be used against his will. His abductor did not care what his victim wanted, how he felt or thought, only what his victim could do for him. He was treating an intelligent life form like a piece of property.

Another emotional reaction boiled up inside Karen: anger.

Balling her hands into fists, the android stepped out into the street.

"Let that man go," said Karen, her optical receptors processing the data they were receiving. Three men, armed with pistols, carrying a fourth man with a bag over his head.

"Babe, I suggest you turn around and head back where you came from," said one of the kidnappers, a flat-nosed man with a scar running from his chin to his lower lip. "I don't think you know who you're messing with."

"It doesn't matter," the android said sternly. "You're not taking that man."

"Shut her up, will ya?" the kidnapper gestured to two of his thugs, who approached Karen and tried to grab her.

The android's fist flashed forward to the first of the kidnappers, catching him in the chest. The thug was launched off of his feet, tumbling to the asphalt in a groaning heap. Karen calculated the blow had cracked the man's sternum and broken several ribs. He would live, but would never again be in any condition to victimize others.

The second attacker aimed his pistol at Karen, who rushed towards him and grabbed his hand. She squeezed, and the man's scream barely drowned out the sound of every bone in his hand being crushed in her grip.

*BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!*

Karen paused, registering three high-velocity impacts in her chest. A quick diagnostic revealed minor cosmetic damage from three bullets, fired by the flat-nosed man with the scar. No vital components had been damaged.

The kidnapper looked at her in shock, then to his victim, then back to her.

"Hell with this," he muttered, shoving his intended target to the ground and then running to the van. Starting up the vehicle, the van sped away into the rain.

As Karen watched the van drive off, the intended victim pulled himself up off of the pavement, pulling the bag off of his head.

"Thank.....thank God for you," he said, tears streaming down his face. "You must be like....like him, right? You're like Superman?"

"No," Karen said simply. "I'm something else."

"Well, whatever you are, you saved my life," he said gratefully. "My name's Andrew. Andrew Vinson. Who are you?"

Karen thought for a moment, unsure if she should reveal her exact nature. The android looked up into the night sky, and for a moment, the clouds parted, allowing her to see the sparkling lights of the stars above.

"Starr," she said. "My name is Karen Starr."

Quote:


SUPERMAN LENDS A HAND IN HOB'S BAY
"Big Blue Boy Scout" Helps Reconstruction Efforts in Wake of Storm
By Lois Lane

Since his arrival, Superman hasn't been known to stick around once the danger has passed. Whether it's saving Reed Richards and the Excelsior, intervening in the Little Bohemia riot, or punching out various super-powered criminals, the caped vigilante has made a habit of showing up in the nick of time, then leaving once it's all over.

Yesterday, however, we saw another side of Superman: a friendly neighbor.

Early yesterday morning, a powerful Nor'easter storm hit Metropolis, knocking down power lines and causing severe flooding in the Hob's Bay area. As many people in the city have come to expect, Superman arrived to assist with emergency efforts, digging trenches to divert water to the rivers, and getting people in flooded areas to safety. As the storm passed, however, the Metropolis Marvel stuck around, not only helping emergency crews, but also to begin reconstruction.

Debris that would have taken hours to clear from the roads was swept away in seconds. Houses that were damaged by the storm were patched up and repaired in minutes, efforts that would have taken days without help from the hero. While relief efforts are still underway to restore power to areas of the city, Superman himself is still pitching in, doing everything in his considerable power to give these people their lives back.

When asked why he went out of his way to help rebuild, Superman merely shrugged and asked, "Wouldn't you?"


Flying low over Hob's Bay, I can't help but feel a little proud of the job I did. If it weren't for the fact that half of the district is still without power, you wouldn't have even noticed there was a storm here at all.

Back when I was younger, I hated big storms. Not because I was afraid I would be hurt, but because I knew that people would be in danger, and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it. There was always too much of a risk that I'd expose my powers, that people would recognize me. It was torture, watching tornadoes and flash floods come and go and being paralyzed to help.

Now, though? I'm a super-hero. I'm larger than life, and I can go wherever I'm needed without ever worrying that people will connect the 'Metropolis Marvel' to the farm boy from Smallville. The responsibility's unbelievable, but at the same time, it's incredibly liberating.

Besides, Hob's Bay is where I live. And you're always supposed to do right by your neighbors.

As I make one last pass over the district and prepare to begin my patrol of the rest of the city, I hear a scream from down below. It's a scream of terror, and pain.

Sounds like a job for Superman.

Swooping down to the source, I touch down behind a run-down apartment complex in the bad end of town, one of the neighborhoods in the district that's still without power.

There's a woman lying on the ground, deathly still. Her skin is pale as a ghost, and cold to the touch. No breathing, no pulse, no nothing. She's dead. What's weird, though, is that there doesn't seem to be any trace of what killed her. There's no wounds, no signs of bruises, no traces of poision.

"I didn't want to have to do that....." hissed a sickly-sounding voice. "I was just.....so hungry. I needed the power."

"That's no excuse for the fact that you killed this woman," I say angrily. "Whoever you are, I'm taking you in."

Out from the shadows steps a figure, a skinny man in a hood.....with masses of muscle tissue and bone sprouting out of his arms.

"I've been so hungry," he rasps. "I've been draining power from the lines, until the storm, the blackout. I needed something else.....bio-electricity. Rats, strays....homeless people. I've been eating off of their power, but it just hasn't been enough. I'm still hungry. And you......oh God, the power you've got......"

All of that muscle tissue growing from his body suddenly grows, morphing into tendrils of flesh and bone that lash out at me. I avoid most without any trouble, but one grazes against my arm.....

....and I crash into a wall, feeling inexplicably weak.

What the heck was that?

The killer stalks towards me, his hands growing into enormous claws. For a moment, I see his face, and I recognize him.

The protester from the Little Bohemia riot. The one that was shot by Luthor's L-Sec mercenaries.

"Wait......Rudy Jones?" I say.

"Rudy Jones is dead," he says with a hiss.



"You can call me.....Parasite."


Last edited by Andy C.; 12-11-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:45 PM   #231
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Charles turns on the machine, and the amount of blue light that it emits is almost blinding. I shield my eyes with my hand as they adjust, and when I'm able to look again, the sight astounds me.

Xavier goes on to say that all of the lights represent a mutant across the globe, and I can't help but be taken aback by the sheer number of us. So many more than I ever would have guessed. All those souls, and most afraid to tell others what they are.

The sight also instills a bit of worry in me as well. If the government or a radical got a hold of a machine like this, they could really whip up a panic and lynch mobs in a hurry. It would "prove" that we were a problem, even though most of these people are just looking to survive.

The professor begins to concentrate on his students, and as he begins to hone in, my stomach drops at the site of where they are.

"I can't reach any of the minds there, but I can feel the mental imprints of my students...," Charles says. "There's some sort of psychic shielding. I can't get in. It could be a ship or a submarine..."

I know exactly what and where it is. I've been there, long ago during the last world war. Some things that I saw on that island I'll never be able to forget.
"It's an island," I respond, looking at it with disgust. "Krakoa Island. The US and the ANZACs used it as a staging ground back in WWII to fly bombers into Japanese territory. Must have been wiped off the map. No telling why."

Charles moves on, and the display shifts rapidly between a multitude of places, before displaying a set of coordinates with the names of the mutants next to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrd Man View Post
"I have them," Charles said, removing the headset. The map blinked in four locations over the world. The continents were wiped away from the monitors, replaced by the data, coordinates, and names of four individuals.

Ororo Munroe - Marrakesh, Morocco
Bernhard Baker - Deer Park, Ohio
Beatriz de Costa - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Piotr Rasputin - Odessa, Ukraine


"I have our team..."
"Well then," I respond, placing my hand on his shoulder, "what are we waiting for?"

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Old 12-13-2012, 12:46 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by Carnage27 View Post

"Well then," I respond, placing my hand on his shoulder, "what are we waiting for?"
"Let me go get the keys to the Blackbird..."


*****

Deer Park, Ohio

Buddy Baker sped through the woods, leaping from tree to tree with the agility and nimbleness of a squirrel. He landed on the tree branch, shaking the dead and dying leaves from the branch. He sat perched on the branch, playing the last few hours in his head. He didn't know how exactly he lost control of his abilities, but Marcus had paid the price. The boy had three broken ribs. Luckily, his parents weren't going to press charges. They knew that their son was a bit of a bully and he had been harassing Buddy up until he fought back. But Buddy had been suspended from school. Then, his parents had been notified of the fight and he got the usual from them: disapproving and fearful looks, shouts and pleas to be normal. Buddy ran out the house as soon as he could and bolted for the woods behind his house.

"Nice and quiet out here, ain't it?" A voice asked from below.

The sound nearly sent Buddy scattered through the trees. Instead, he stood fast and looked down. Below him, a man in a leather jacket and cowboy hat looked up at him.

"How'd you get the drop on me?" Buddy asked, squatting and preparing to run if necessary. "No way. I could have heard you coming..."

The man chuckled to himself and pulled a cigar from his pocket. He struck a match, lit the cigar, and took a deep drag off it.

"I get it," he said, blowing smoke from his mouth. "Might not believe me, but I know why you make a beeline for the forest when things get rough. Out here there's nobody judging you, nobody scrutinizing everything you do. Out here, there's just you and the animals. You don't have to worry about what they think. They don't care."

Buddy stared down at the man for a long moment before he jumped from the branch and fell the twenty feet to the ground, landing perfectly beside the stranger.

"So, you just like having deep conversations with strange teenagers in the middle of the woods or what?"


"Something like that. I'm actually here to talk to you. Friend of mine is talking to your folks. We need your help. Far as being strangers..."

He stuck his cigar back into his mouth and held a hand out. "Logan," he said.

"Buddy Baker," Buddy replied, shaking his hand.

"How about we head back to your house and you meet my friend?"



*****



São Paulo, Brazil

Beatriz de Costa came to inside the hospital room. She was strapped down to a sheet metal gurney, metal bonds on her wrist and ankles holding her in place. Scorch marks covered the bed and her bonds. It was now three days since she had started to catch fire, and the doctors were not sure why. She felt no pain from the fire, but she had burned four hospital beds already in her stay. The bonds were to make sure she didn't leave and catch the rest of the hospital on fire. She was scared and frightened. So scared, in fact, she hadn't noticed the man sitting in the chair in front of her until he spoke. He was wearing a dark three-piece suit with chalk pinstripes going down it.

"Você fala Inglês?" He asked in Portuguese.

"Não," Beatriz said softly. "Não,eu não falo Inglês"

~How about this,~ his voice boomed inside her skull.

Beatriz flinched at the voice, her hands arms igniting with green flame. She struggled against the metal shackles, but they withstood the heat of her arms.

~Clam down,~ he said in her head. Although his mouth didn't move, he leaned forward in his chair and reached for her hand. ~Please, Beatriz, clam down. I'm here to help. I promise.~

She felt a calm feeling wash over her. She stopped struggling and the flames quickly extinguished. The man reached out and took Beatriz by the hand.

~The doctors here are baffled by why you're catching on fire. They haven't checked yet, but they will soon. They'll discover the truth. Beatriz, you're a mutant. Like me. And like I once was, you can't control your mutant abilities. But I can help you control it. My name is Charles Xavier and I want to help you, and I want you to help me. Help me, and I will help you. Are you interested?~

She looked at him and nodded.

~Yes.~

"Well," he said aloud in English. "Let's get started."



*****



Marrakesh, Morocco



Ororo hurried through the narrow street, glancing behind her shoulder as she jogged. The man with the cowboy hat stood out so much that she could see him all the way down the street as he turned the corner and followed her. He was walking slower, but his steady pace wasn't too slow that Ororo hadn't lost him yet.

~Where are you going?~ A voice asked right inside her ear. She quickly turned around, not seeing anyone nearby. Odd, the voice had sounded like it was someone right beside her. She shook the thoughts as she saw the cowboy approaching. Taking off, she began to hurry down the streets in a full out sprint. The cowboy took off after her, trading out his walk for a run.

Ororo turned the corner and crashed into someone. She fell to the ground and looked up at the dark-haired man in the khaki shirt and blue jeans.

"Hello, Miss Monroe," he said with a smile. She turned to run, but saw the cowboy had come up behind her. He stared at her with an impassive look before looking at the other man and nodding.

"My name is Charles Xavier, this is my friend, Logan. We'd like to talk to you."

"About what?" She spat.

"About a life away from the streets. A home, an education, and a place to discover who you really are."



*****



Odessa, Ukraine


Both Charles and Logan walked through the freezing streets of Odessa, fighting the harsh winds that howled through the alley. Charles pulled his coat tight against him while Logan shrugged the cold off. They came to a dive bar nestled in one of the city's seedy backstreets.

"This is the place," Charles said, looking up at the sign hanging above the door. "The Cerebro uplink inside the Blackbird confirmed it."

"Cockrum's," Logan said, squinting at the sign. "They better allow smoking."

"I have a feeling smoking will be among the tamer acts that go down in this place."

Looking at Logan, Charles opened the door into the bar and went inside with his compatriot right behind him.

__________________
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:16 PM   #233
Byrd Man
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OOC: Switching from third to first




SoHo
2:12 AM


I stood perched over the city, watching and waiting for any signs of trouble. A week since my confrontation with the killer clown and my wounds were well on the way to being healed. The ribs were still hurting and my foot was sensitive, but I was in a good enough shape to patrol.


BZZT!

My phone vibrated inside the compartment in my gauntlet. I popped it out and stared at the caller ID display on the screen.
Incoming Call: Nora Winters

I furrowed my brow and silenced the phone. I been ducking Nora's calls for a few days now. Ever since I "borrowed" her files and went after the man I thought was the Murmur killer. When I got to Dr. Michael Amar, all I found was a dead body with a pair of black gloves on his chest. Since then, there haven't been any more murders involving Murmur. His death, the masked men who attacked Nora, the killings. They all mean something. A larger piece of something I can' comprehend yet.

An alarm went off somewhere in the area. The shrill alert was from four blocks over. I jumped from the building and swung towards the sound of trouble.



*****



Harlem
10:35 AM


"Mister Drakon," Morgan Jones said as he sat down behind his desk. "What do you have for me?"

The hitman Drakon stood in front of Morgan's desk, his arms crossed and his expression neutral. "I have him. The Devil. I have shadowed him for two weeks now. I have his pattern and I know where he will be during the night."

"Good," Jones said, leaning forward. "Follow him tonight and make your play at around midnight. Do that, and all that money I promised is yours."

Drakon bowed and walked out of the office. Drakon walked out, and Phillip, Morgan's right hand man came in.

"Tonight's meeting," Morgan asked Phillip, "It's still on for one?"

"Yes, sir," Phillip said with a nod.

"Good. Our friend Drakon will run interference in case that horn-headed son of a ***** rears his ugly head."

"One other thing," Phillip ventured. "Back up. We got some muscle, but you know how those white boys are. They roll deep to any meeting. Even a sit down where there's nothing exchanging hands. We need extra muscle."

"Fine. Call Skeet and get his boys to meet with us tonight."

"Skeet," Phillip asked with a raised eyebrow. "His boys are just that. Boys. They run the corners and push dope, but they're not muscle. He don't have anybody older than twenty in his crew."

"Well, who then?" Morgan asked as he rubbed his temples.

"There's a guy who has a small crew out of Kips Bay. Muscle work, running numbers. He has enough back up and muscle to help us out."

"Fine," Morgan said with a wave of his hand. "You trust them, I trust them. What's the guy's name?"

"Wilson Fisk."

"Alright. Get this Fisk man to meet us tonight in Brooklyn. Tell him he'll be handsomely rewarded for his efforts."

Phillip nodded and quickly left the office.

__________________
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-- Thomas Paine


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Old 12-14-2012, 07:39 PM   #234
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"Uggh", Piotr awoke to see the concerned faces of Pete Wisdom and Illyana looking down on him.
Piotr winced at sudden headache as he tried to rise.

"Easy, Pete", Wisdom urged as he helped him to sit up.
"Found you out on the road, out cold. What the hell happened to you?"

"Yes! What happened! I was scarred for you, Piotr", Illyana exclaims!
"What did those men do to you?"

"Those men, Captain Pushkin", Piotr explains as he wipes a tear from Illyana's cheek with his thumb, "they were working for our brother."

Illyana's eye's widen upon hearing the news.
"Mikhail is here", she states, a hint of fear returning to her eyes.

"Do not worry, little Snowflake", Piotr smiles wide as he gently lifts his sisters chin with his hand so that she is looking him in the eyes.
"I will never let any harm come to you. Mikhail will never split us apart. Never."

Illyana struggles a smile and gives her brother a hug, "I love you, Colossus."

"I love you too, Snowflake", Piotr smiles warmly as he squeezes her tightly in his embrace.

"Colossus?"

"Yes", Illyana answers Wisdom as they break the hug.
"Piotr was always much bigger than the other boys growing up...he was my 'giant protector'", she explains with a giggle, "my Colossus."

"Why am I just hearing about this now? To think of all the jokes I've missed out on."

Piotr was about to speak when the bouncer walked in the back and whispered into Pete Wisdom's ear, who's face immediately soured.

"What's wrong, Peter?"


"Seems there's two 'gents who just graced my establishment asking about you, Piotr."

Piotr stood to his feet, his eyes narrowing, as he began to move to the door to confront whoever was after him.

"Hold on there, Colossus", Wisdom said with a slight smirk as he moved to stand in Piotr's way.
"We don't know what these bloke's are about, so why not sit tight and let me have a chat with 'em first? See if I can figure out just what they're on about. Meanwhile, you be ready to slip out the back with Illyana if I give you a signal, got it?"

"How will I know the signal?"


"Trust me, mate"
, Pete grinned, "you'll know."

Pete Wisdom left the siblings and walked out into the heart of the bar, greeting the regulars that he passed with a handshake and a few words; have to still maintain formalities, after all.

"Hello, gentlemen"
, Wisdom greeted as he walked up to the corner booth Xavier and Logan rested in.
"Name's Peter Wisdom, proprietor of this fine pub. I hear you're looking for someone in particular?"

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Old 12-14-2012, 10:14 PM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Blaze View Post
Pete Wisdom left the siblings and walked out into the heart of the bar, greeting the regulars that he passed with a handshake and a few words; have to still maintain formalities, after all.

"Hello, gentlemen"
, Wisdom greeted as he walked up to the corner booth Xavier and Logan rested in.
"Name's Peter Wisdom, proprietor of this fine pub. I hear you're looking for someone in particular?"
"Oh, my," Charles said with a pleasant chuckle. "Of all the places to find a fellow Englishman, this would be the last place I'd imagine to find one."

Charles held up the scotch he had ordered and tipped it towards Wisdom.

"A toast to the old island?"

Wisdom spat on the floor and gave Charles the stink eye.

"Odd... I assumed you would be a patriotic sort. That's usually the type of the Special Boat Service tries to recruit."

"Wait," Wisdom started. "How the bloody hell did you know--"

"Tattoo on yer arm, bub," Logan said between gulps of his beer. Wisdom looked down to his rolled up shirtsleeves and the Special Boat Service emblem tattooed on his forearm.

"Preamble aside, Mister Wisdom, my friend and I would like to speak with Piotr Rasputin. We do not represent anyone or anything other than ourselves."

Charles cleared his mind and focused on Wisdom's psyche. He was prepared to provide the man with just the tinniest of subliminal pushes to get him to comply with their wishes.

__________________
"These are the times that try men's souls... Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
-- Thomas Paine


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Old 12-15-2012, 06:29 AM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Updated entries for new edition of Encyclopaedia Botanica

2010 edition entry
Sarracenia rubra (Sweet pitcher plant) –
Classification: Plantae, Angiosperms, Eudicots, Asterids, Ericales, Sarraceniaceae
Known subspecies:
S. rubra ssp. rubra
S. rubra ssp. jonesii
S. rubra ssp. gulfensis
S. rubra ssp. alabamensis
S. rubra ssp. wherryi [=S. alabamensis ssp. wherryi]

Populations / distribution: Threatened / endangered. Sub-species jonesii, alabamensis and wherryi appear on the endangered species list. Populations mostly appear in bog/swamp related areas.

Known locations: Southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, the area known as the Florida panhandle, Georgia, coastal Virginia and South Carolina.

Brief description:
The Sarracenia rubra (also known as the Sweet pitcher plant) is a carnivorous plant somewhat which prefers boggy marshlands. Like other members of the genus Sarracenia, the Sweet pitcher plant traps insects using a rolled leaf ‘trap’ and have no moving parts. The sweet pitcher tends to grow in clumps. The uppermost part of the leaf is flared into a lid (operculum), which prevents excess rain from entering the pitcher leaf and diluting the digestive fluids held within. The opening of the pitcher tube forms a ‘nectar roll’ (peristome), the surface of which is studded with nectar secreting glands which act to lure insects to feed. Prey entering the pitcher tube find that their footing made less certain by waxy secretions found closer to the mouth of the pitcher. Any insects which lose their footing on this surface then fall to the bottom of the tube where a combination of digestive fluids, wetting agents and motion-less inward pointing hairs (common to all species of sarracenia) prevent escape.

In spring, the rubra produces small bright red flowers with 5-fold symmetry. The red petals are long and strap-like and hang over the umbrella-like style of the flower. The stigmata of the flower are found at the tips of the ‘spokes’ of this umbrella. Pollinating insects generally enter the flower from above, pushing their way into the cavity between the petals and ‘umbrella’, where pollen is deposited on the stigmata as they enter. Pollinating insects then leave the flower, having been dusted with the plant’s own pollen, by lifting a petal to make it’s egress. This one-way system helps to ensure cross pollination.

Approved 2012 changes
1. Brief description: “Like other members of the genus Sarracenia, the Sweet pitcher plant traps insects using a rolled leaf ‘trap’ and have no moving parts.” – Add “most” before “other members of the genus”.
2. Brief description: “Any insects which lose their footing on this surface then fall to the bottom of the tube where a combination of digestive fluids, wetting agents and motion-less inward pointing hairs (common to all species of sarracenia) prevent escape.” – Remove part in parentheses “(common to all species of sarracenia)”

2010 Edition entry
Sarracenia salvator – unknown at time of last edition

Approved 2012 entry
Sarracenia salvator
Classification: Plantae, Angiosperms, Eudicots, Asterids, Ericales, Sarraceniaceae
Known sub-species: N/A

Population / distribution: Only one known specimen in existence.

Known locations: One known specimen exists in a swamp located outside of Houma, Louisiana.

Brief Description: ...
The pair plunged into the mire simultaneously, as it were destined. The sack of burning flesh and firing pain impulses on legs that was known as Alec Holland was barely recognisable, the flammable chemical cocktail reacting violently with the water creating hydroxides. The all-consuming flame continued to eat at his flesh, until IT took pity on him. The green enveloped Alec Holland and his pain would end.

Dr Theodore Sallis would not be as lucky...

*****

“Hello..?” Dr Sallis hurled his voice into empty space.

Surrounded by a whirling vortex of greens, browns and yellows, he surveyed the immediate environment and noted that it was strangely well lit, but it was not clear in all the confusion as to where exactly the light was coming from.

“Hello, little fly...” boomed a resounding voice.

“Who..? Who are you?” Ted asked uneasily. The voice. The voice was coming from all around him. Everywhere at once.

“We are the long-silent elder delegates. The voice of the forests, the moss, the algae and the shrubbery. We wield the word of the wood. We, Theodore Sallis, are the Parliament of Trees.”

“You know my name.”

“We do. We know all about you, Man of Science.”

“You say ‘we’,” Ted spoke as he valiantly tried to regain his composure, “but you seem to only have one voice. Do you speak for this entire ‘Parliament’?”

“We have existed for a length of time inconceivable to your kingdom, let alone your species. Over that time we have lived by a few simple tenets, high among them is to listen more than you speak. A guideline that you and your ilk would have done better to abide by. As a result we have long since learned first; the inclinations of our fellow members, and second; that despite our differences, a solitary voice remains in our constituency’s best interests.

“So you’re psychic plants?”

“If that is how you would best understand it…” the voice boomed enigmatically.

“And why are you here? What is it that you want.”

“We want… our claim. We are here… for our destiny.”

“I-- I don’t understand.”

“No. You don’t.”

Dissatisfied with this curt unhelpful response, the Doctor began to get angry. Frustrated with his lack of knowledge for what was happening around him, angry with the lack of answers and angry from fear Theodore Sallis responded with a ferocious, yet impotent, rage.

“What destiny?! What claim?! What in the hell are you damn plant lords talking about?!?”

Silence resounds, the light swirls and the only thing more powerful than the silence was the booming voice that would finally break it.

“Enough!” Fear overcame the esteemed Doctor Sallis. “Always so quick to dispel logic for sentiment, morsels of meat. And you apes more than anyone! Ever ready to relinquish the reflective for the responsive. Sacrificing thought for the quick thrilling sensation. It’s the folly of youth, and its consequences are often spread over the innocent. We the trees are sick of it. Particularly from you!”

“Me?”

“Yes. As we said. We know all about you, Theodore Sallis.”

“How?”

“You inscribe your teachings to our flesh and query our wisdom? Your life’s details to parchment of our paper and remain curious of our knowledge?”

“Everything that’s been written on paper… you can understand? How is that possible?”

“We have had thousands of years to learn your written languages. Over three quarters of a millennium to learn your ‘english’, plenty of time when you’ve learned the ability of the one voice.”

“Theodore “Ted” Steven Sallis (nee Wein). Blood type: B+ Born in: Northwestern Memorial Hospital Chicago…”

“My…”

“Your birth certificate. Yes. Although there are numerous articles in various periodicals we could refer to as well.”

“You’ve no right!” Sallis suddenly felt outraged by the helplessness, the invasion of privacy.

“Rights. An invention of you self-important upright hairless apes. Your human rights have no jurisdiction here. We have our own claim, millennia old – your people even foretold of the exact date and time of destiny.”

“What? When?”

“In the scripture, the Prophecy of the Coming of the Vogornus Koth.”

“What the hell is that?! I’ve never even heard of that?!?”

“It is of no consequence to us. As your legal parchments state: ‘Ignorantia legis non excusat.’ Ignorance of the law is no excuse. The prophecy dictates the coming of one mind, one body, to be that of the green; its agent and the protector of the ancient path. Vogornus Koth – Protector of the Nexus of All Realities. We were promised one body, one mind at this exact time on this exact date. An accord between the red and the green for the protection and the greater good of the universe. Interesting that destiny should treat our agreement so literally…”

“What do you mean? Make sense dammit!” Sallis anger exploded back to the surface in response to the fear and lack of control of his own life.

“The prophecy said ‘One mind, one body. ‘ We’d always assumed that we were just getting a single sacrifice, yet we have been sent another. Very interesting indeed. His body, badly damaged. His mind, not as strong, but well tempered. Your body could amount to great things, Sallis…” Vines appeared from the murky depths, wrapping themselves around him. The light still spun in a disturbing fashion.

“What… No!?” Sallis was terrified by the events that were unfolding. More vines came, attaching mosses and algae to his head coating his hairline – fringe and sideburns – in a deep green, as vines adhered to his head as well.

“But we have no use for this mind, bright as your newspapers may believe it to be. If you had ever thought of anything of worth you’d have wrote about it.”

Psychic-digestive juices were secreted from the moss and algae, they entered every orifice searching for his unwanted mind.

“No! NOOOOOOOOOO!”

The mind of Theodore Sallis was lost forever and with it, once again, the rediscovered super soldier serum.

*****

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman View Post
IC: Donald Blake

"Be about thirty-two fifty."

Okay, so maybe I just broke down and paid for a cab. Even though I was only three blocks away from campus and misled the driver to into going a longer route just so I could get my mind off of Jane. So what? It's not like I'm gonna remember anything from tonight anyway. I think I'm allowed to be that pathetic. Well, maybe not allowed. Maybe just drunk enough to be that pathetic. Having comfortably placed myself back in the empty seat, it takes me a moment to want to get up. And even then, I have the crutches to move out of the way, so it takes about two minutes before I can put myself in a position to pay the fee. And by then, I've completely forgotten the amount he said.

"Sorry, what? What was the total?"

The guy looks back at me like I'm an idiot - granted, he wouldn't be wrong - and points down, indicating the tab bar attached to the seat directly infront of me. I stare at it for a moment, shake myself out of the drunken stupor, and dig into my pocket for the cash. Then hand him two twenty dollar bills, opening the door and placing my leg out to get a proper footing. The cabbie prepares to give me my change, but I wave it off, not in the mood to want to deal with anything.

"Eh, keep it. Useless to me anyway."

He takes a look down at the change, looks up at me, then turns back around with a shrug.

"Whatever, kid."

Nearly taking offense to 'kid', I ignore it and place my crutches firmly onto the street, lifting myself up with ease. I barely even have time to close the door before the cab speeds off, leaving me by myself. ***hole. If I'm sober enough tomorrow morning to at least remember the guy's name, I'm gonna make it a point to never take a ride from him again. Name on the plate said Lockely, or something. Christ, I already don't remember. At least I'm home, because I need to get to bed, quick. If I'm already spacing out on stuff that easy, there's a higher chance that I'll do something stupid before the night is up...
The cabbie left his light on, and sped away. A familiar figure standing in the street a few hundred yards down the road. The driver says a silent prayer to no one in particular that his last fare, the kid, was probably too drunk to notice the events unfolding. Gritting his teeth down on a tooth-pick and with his eyes squinting out underneath a peak cap, the engine growled after the figure which was still in the middle of the road. Not slowing down for the man, he accelerates faster still until the car bursts through where the ghostly apparition once stood.

“So where to, Doc?” the cabbie said with a wink, pulling the tab to run the clock.

His new ‘fare’ floated stretched out in the cab, his wraithlike form stretching through the front passenger seat all the way to the back, matching the speed of the cab.

“Louisiana.”

“Bit out of my way...”

“Better call the others, too. Something big’s coming.”

“Must be. It’s been a while, Strange.”

“That it has. You can pick me up from my place too, Spector... And I think Steven Grant could afford to not start running the clock before my physical form is actually in the cab.”

Jake Lockley returned a big toothy grin wrapped around his toothpick.

“I’m still not sure on the protocol for astral form fares...”

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:17 PM   #237
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"Oh, my," Charles said with a pleasant chuckle. "Of all the places to find a fellow Englishman, this would be the last place I'd imagine to find one."

Charles held up the scotch he had ordered and tipped it towards Wisdom.

"A toast to the old island?"

Wisdom spat on the floor and gave Charles the stink eye.

"Odd... I assumed you would be a patriotic sort. That's usually the type of the Special Boat Service tries to recruit."

"Wait," Wisdom started. "How the bloody hell did you know--"

"Tattoo on yer arm, bub," Logan said between gulps of his beer. Wisdom looked down to his rolled up shirtsleeves and the Special Boat Service emblem tattooed on his forearm.

"Preamble aside, Mister Wisdom, my friend and I would like to speak with Piotr Rasputin. We do not represent anyone or anything other than ourselves."

Charles cleared his mind and focused on Wisdom's psyche. He was prepared to provide the man with just the tinniest of subliminal pushes to get him to comply with their wishes.
Before Wisdom could reply, Piotr confidently walked out of the back and, with his stride, was at their table in moments. He was done running.
Pete Wisdom gave Piotr a look to say, "what the hell are you thinking", but he ignored it, focusing on the two strangers sitting down and looking up at him.

"I am Piotr Rasputin", he stated, his cautious gaze never leaving the two men.
"Why are you searching for me?"

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Old 12-15-2012, 08:04 PM   #238
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I sip at my tea as my guest situates herself across form the table in my office.

"Alright, Mr. Savage-"


"Please, call me Vandal. There's no reason to be so formal when you're going to be 'prying' into my life. Is there, Ms. Vale?"
I ask with a smile.

She smiles and shakes her head. "No, there's not, Vandal. And it's Vicki. And I'd hardly call this piece prying. The Bugle is just looking for a nice bio piece about one of the city's most respected citizens. Vandal Savage. Poet. Philosopher. Philanthropist."

"We'll, I'm flattered. Lets begin."


"Ok."
She turns on her recorder. "Let's start at the beginning. So little is known about your childhood."

"Ah, we'll, what can I say. I found myself alone at a young age, having to face the world by myself."


"What about your parents?"


"They...kicked me out. They just...didn't understand me."


***

25,000 years ago, in a land that would one day be named Central Europe, a primitive man walked slowly through the cold winter. His furs provided little warmth from the blizzard of snow, and his feeble mind knew that, if he didn't find shelter soon, this would be his last night before the forever-sleep.

But he had been cast out by the rest of his tribe without supplies. Exiled for taking the life of one of his tribe-brothers over some cold food and a warm woman. He had no hope in seeing the day god-again, but he wasn’t a man that let anyone or anything stop him if there was still breath in his body.

***

"You've certainly come a long way from that ostracized boy given nothing."


"We'll, I was older than a boy, fortunately. Otherwise I wouldnt have stood a chance out in the world. But I did have nothing. Luckily...inspiration struck when I needed it most. You could say it was a life saver."


***

Suddenly, the night, so filled with weather that he could not see his own feet, was lit up with a light the likes of which he had no memory. Operating almost with thought, he lumbered off in the direction of the light. And after what felt like a lifetime, he could see a bright spot dimly grow in the distance. It gave him strength he didn't know he had, drawing him closer and closer.

Then he realized that, the closer he got to the light, the warmer he felt. Not questioning this source of fire and life, his pace quickened, blood flowed to long numb parts. And when he finally reached the source, he came upon a twisted object the likes of which he had never before even conceived. Far too hot for him to approach any closer, he happily plopped himself on the ground at a safe distance, laid on his side, and slept in comfort...

...while the radiation slowly poisoned and burnt his body.

***

"This inspiration. Can you describe what it was."


"I could call it a vision. But it was more like an epiphany. I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with my life. And I started to put together just how I would do that."


***

"Are you sure this is necessary."


The strange sounds barely registered on the man's consciousness as he wondered between disturbing dreams and painful semi-wakefulness. They might have been words, but if they were, they were unlike any of the guttural sounds he knew.

"We must start with a fresh template, Ajak. We have discussed this."


"But he writhes in pain, Aginar."


"We have watched this one for some time. Even his own people would say this is nothing less than what he deserves."


"It does not mean I have to like it."


"If our people are to grow, then there is no other choice. Trust the work of Phastos. His device will complete our mission. It is Of Sigmar's design own design, after all."


***

"You had to find your own way in the world, and suddenly were one of it's wealthiest people. Seems that we have a gap to cover."


I laugh slightly. "That we do."

"Before covering that part of your life, though, did you ever return home?"


"Actually, right after my epiphany. I went back to try and make them see the man I was knew I was destined to become."


***

Three days and nights had passed. Long enough for the long storm to have finally cleared giving the tribe it's first chance to hunt and gather provisions. And as they began to venture out from their meager shelters into the gray light, they saw a figure walking down from the nearby hilltop. A very familiar figure in the face, but much broader in the shoulders now, muscle straining beneath newly created skin, a smile that brought on a chill deeper than the weather when combined with the bloodlust in his eyes...

***

“I take it that the reunion didn’t go well.”


“Well, they certainly understood where I was coming from. But there was no going back. So I struck out. Traveled. Did various odd jobs and tasks as I explored the world and figured out how to get what I wanted and needed. I spent a lot of years gathering a lot of useful life experience.”


“And you parlayed all that experience into a fortune.”


“Well, a small fortune, in the beginning. It got increasingly larger over time.”
I smile as I finish my tea. “Would you mind if we continued this interview over lunch? I have a reservation at Charlemagne's on Thursdays, and I’d be honored to have you as my guest.”

“That sounds delightful, Vandal. Charlemagne’s...not easy to get a seat there.”


“Well, if there’s anything you should know about me, I tend to get what I want.”

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Old 12-15-2012, 08:31 PM   #239
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Breaking The Mold
Part 3

The cool wind stings Peter's eyes through his mask as he swings across the city above the oblivious masses. Every now and then someone glancing up with spot the Spider-Man and shout and point, but Peter is long gone by the time the curious majority look to see what the fuss is about.

Okay, Peter thinks as he lands on the side of a building and sprints across it, for the past two weeks there's been reports of some creature attacking locations across the city...

Spider-Man leaps off the side of the building in full sprint, firing a line out and changing his direction Eastward, and to Manhattan.

Common thread from each place is that they're all rumored to be fronts of Warren White, arguably the top of the criminal food chain in New York City. Whoever's doing this obviously has it out for Whitey, heh, but the field of suspects is rather limited.

Spider-Man lands on the roof of a tall building, pausing as he looks down to the civilians going about their daily lives below him.

With Tombstone out of the way now, White's competition is practically zilch. At least from the known commodities. Either way, whoever is behind these attacks is sloppy. The pattern was pretty easy to see if you actually look at all the evidence...


Spider-Man leaps off and continues his journey through Manhattan.

And, if I'm right about the locations and timing patterns of these attacks, then I should be arriving at the next place in a few with time to spare...


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


Romita's Steakhouse, one of the most famous steak joints in the five boroughs, and usually packed to the walls for the early dinner crowd, was now practically a ghost town.
No patrons, no staff graced this fine establishment tonight. Only one dozen men, armed to the teeth with some very high grade firearms.

Romita's, you see, was owned by Warren White. And Peter Parker was not the only one to come to the conclusion of how this killer worked.

"You really thing he's gonna show?"

"Yeah, I'm sure", Toomes answers Mac Gargan's question.
"After looking at the patterns for the attacks, this should be the next place hit."

"Guy's are lookin' a bit restless", Gargan commented as he slowly looked around the restaurant floor to the other men scattered about, nervously gripping their automatic rifles.
"Can't say I blame 'em..."

Toomes frowned, "look sharp, boys! I don't want to be caught with my ****ing pants down!"

With all the men now looking at him, Adrian continues.
"Today, we're going to end this bastard once and for all! Today, we're going to avenge the deaths of our brothers! Today, we have our retribution!"

The men holler and whistle in applause, the small but powerful little speech from Toomes lifting their spirits.

"Nice speech...really captured that Braveheart feel..."

The voice seemed to come from everywhere as men, their nerves returning, pointed their weapons at wherever they thought the voice to be coming from.

"Hold your fire!"

"Oh, no..."

Adrian and the other turn towards the voice, which is now only coming from behind them. And they freeze, their eyes going wide in shocked horror as they see the large brown blob that is slowly forming on the other side of the restaurant, blocking the front door.

"By all means", the thing says as it begins to take a humanoid shape, "fire away."

The men open fire at the creature which is now in the form of a massive humanoid, but the bullets pass harmlessly through it.

"Nice, right?"

The thing's hands suddenly morph into large blades, and the creature's mucky appendages shoot out across the room and impale four gunmen, two on each blade.

"All thanks to you, Toomes", the monster sneered as it killed another one of Toomes' men, cleaving him in two with a created axe as though it was chopping a piece of lumber.

"Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right", the monster laughs as it swats a man into a wall with enough force that it crushes his skull, and picks up another, flinging him through the wall and into the kitchen.

"C'mon, Adrian", the monster smiles as it stalks in at Toomes at the remaining gunmen.
"Surely you haven't forgotten me...it hasn't been that long since the Stagg factory..."

"...Karlo..."

"Half right", the monster sneered as it lashed out at the remaining men, growing two extra arms from his body to kill them all in one quick strike.
Now only Adrian Toomes and Mac Gargan remained.

"You tried to kill Basil Karlo, but that brown sludge he fell in got into his gunshot wound and into his bloodstream...it changed him into what you see now. Your very own angel of death, Toomes"
, the monstrous creature laughed as a pair of wings molded out from his back and his hand took the shape of a scythe.

"I'm his retribution...I'm here to send you and that puke, White, straight to hell."

"Wait...Basil, let's talk this over first..."

"NO", the monster roared, globs of it's being splattering across the restaurant like spittle as he shouted.
"I told you, Basil is gone..."
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:


"Now there's only Clayface."

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Old 12-15-2012, 09:54 PM   #240
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Dawn covers the downtown New York Area. Edward watches the courthouse from an office building across the street.

They've already started their secruity processing for the big show later today. Luckily I've already been through the courthouse and planted certain distractions that should make my job a little easier to do.

He looks at his watch and then a few video viewers on a couple of laptops. Edward studies the patterns of the guards outside the courthouse, inside the courthouse, the courtroom, the garage area, the security cameras in those areas, and the body scan equipment.

All-right so far nothing that I can't handle. The hard part is going to be getting Allison out of the court house once everything starts getting a bit dicey.

He taps a black box on his hip about the size of I-Pod and says, "That's where you come in. You're our ticket out the door."

Edward looks at his watch and it reads 56:25am and he says, "Time to get moving along before they get their and lock the place down."

Edward goes outside and opens a manhole cover. He gathers his equipment and climbs in it. Edward then throws the equipment in a sack and throws the sack into a deep part of the sewer.

Judging from the amount of activity in this part of town, and the weight of the equipment that stuff should be in the river by 8:30 am and out of this area.

Edward takes his jumpsuit off and flips it inside/out revealing a business suit.

He climbs out of the sewer and heads to the courthouse. A guard stops him and Edward says in a thick northern accent, "I'm here to see Judge Inglis in traffic court at 8am about my parking and speeding tickets."

Edward shows them a stack of parking tickets. The guard looks over his roll sheet and says, "Yeah I see you here Mr. Corley. Little early to be here for an 8am appointment don't you think?"

Edward replies, "Hey I'm just trying to get this done before I gotta be at the office at 9am ya know? I mean Judge Inglis is a pain the butt am I right?"

The guard nods and says, "You are preachin' to the choir."

They both chuckle and the guard hands him back his papers and says, "Good Luck."

Edward replies, "Thanks Mack."

He enters thru the lobby and proceeds up the stairs.

Luckily the courthouse computer system was easier to hack into then a cell-phone with an open signal so I could get my name on the list.

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Old 12-15-2012, 10:04 PM   #241
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The Joker still licking his many wounds from his battle with Daredevil limps around his hideout looking over a bank record.

Yeesh! Getting a little low there in the funds department. Time to get an inflow of cash.

He sits for a moment and begins to collect his thoughts.

Well they keep all the money in a bank and there are plenty of those around here.

The Joker shakes his head and says, "No style and no panache! So dull. How can I even think about that one? The Boy Wonder must've given me a concussion to even think that was a good idea."

Just then he sees an ad in the paper for "The Hobbit" in I-Max 3-D.

Say those comic fan-geeks love that stuff...and with the prices of the tickets and concessions I could make a killing there. Or at least get a ncie peice of change.

The Joker takes a look in the mirror and says, "Need a bit of a touch-up if I'm going out tonight."

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Old 12-15-2012, 10:15 PM   #242
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Before Wisdom could reply, Piotr confidently walked out of the back and, with his stride, was at their table in moments. He was done running.
Pete Wisdom gave Piotr a look to say, "what the hell are you thinking", but he ignored it, focusing on the two strangers sitting down and looking up at him.

"I am Piotr Rasputin", he stated, his cautious gaze never leaving the two men.
"Why are you searching for me?"
Jeez, this guy is big. That's the first thing I think of as he approaches and takes a seat near Charles and I. You bring a guy like this barreling down the battlefield towards some government idiot and they're likely to run the other way.

But he's wary of us. I can smell it on him. He's used to being distrustful. He's needed that all his life, and he's not gonna change that now.

"Name's Logan, bub," I nod to him, and then at the Professor, "this is Charles Xavier. We're here because we need help. Your help. We're putting a team together to save a young group of mutants from the United States Government experimentation, and most likely death."

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Old 12-16-2012, 01:47 AM   #243
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"Name's Logan, bub," I nod to him, and then at the Professor, "this is Charles Xavier. We're here because we need help. Your help. We're putting a team together to save a young group of mutants from the United States Government experimentation, and most likely death."
"Logan speaks the truth," Charles said, sipping his scotch. "Piotr, we want to be upfront and honest with you. We know you are a mutant. We know, because we are mutants ourselves. We have come here with a motive that suits our interest, but we are not completely self-servant. You will take part in a potentially dangerous undertaking, but in exchange for this we offer a chance. A chance to embrace who you are, a chance to learn about what you are, a chance to escape. This applies to you, Piotr, but it also applies to your sister. Help us, and we will help you get away from the thing you're running from."

Charles took a last sip of his drink, polishing the glass off.

"That is what we offer. Nothing less and nothing more."

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Old 12-17-2012, 09:23 AM   #244
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It was a lot for Piotr to take in, and he could feel Wisdom's skeptical eyes on him. Throughout the years, Piotr has gotten pretty good at being able to read people, and it seemed Xavier was being honest, but still...

Piotr glanced about the bar as the thoughts weighed on his mind, his gaze finally coming to rest on Illyana, who was looking back at him from behind the bar. Mikhail was going to come for her, of that Piotr had no doubts. And he and Peter were not enough to keep her from him.
If these men could help get her out of here and help protect her, then Piotr's choice was fairly clear...

"Very well"
, Piotr said after a few moments of silence.
"I agree to your terms, Xavier."

Wisdom began to speak up, but Piotr stopped his protest with a gesture.
"We must leave immediately though. There is no telling when Mikhail might come for her."

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Old 12-18-2012, 12:43 AM   #245
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"Very well"
, Piotr said after a few moments of silence.
"I agree to your terms, Xavier."

Wisdom began to speak up, but Piotr stopped his protest with a gesture.
"We must leave immediately though. There is no telling when Mikhail might come for her."
"That works perfectly with us," Charles said with a nod. "Collect your things and we'll be away."

Ten minutes later, Piotr and his younger sister emerged from the bar's backroom. Illyana carried a small suitcase while Piotr had a gym bag slung over his shoulder.

"Are we ready?"


"Hello, there," a voice said behind them.

The four turned and saw a dark-haired man in a suit. He was flanked on both sides by two large, dangerous looking men. One of the men cracked his knuckles and stared at the group. Logan stepped forward, using his body to shield Illanya from view. Piotr attempted to step forward as well, but Charles halted his progress by holding his arm out.

"Are you going somewhere, my siblings?" The man in the middle asked.

"Yes, Mikhail," Charles said, his telepathy reaching out into the minds of the three men. "And so are you. Goodnight."

On cue, Mikhail and his goons fell to the ground. Mikhail rolled over on to his side and snored loudly. Charles watched the elder Rasputin sibling sleeping, the confused jumble of thoughts he had read in Mikhail's mind playing in his own head. The memories of the cruel man named Ismael Gregor, a flash of the name Sabbac, a jumble of words: Reign of Tears. Charles rubbed his temple and tried to make sense of it all. Luckily, Pete Wisdom managed to push those thoughts from his mind.

"Bloody hell, "Wisdom said upon seeing the three sleeping gangsters on his floor. "What happened here?"

"They stayed out past their bedtime."

"Naughty boys," Wisdom chided. "You lot need to get going. I'll take care of these tossers for you. My last gift to Pete and Illanya."

"If either one of you wish to say goodbye," Charles said to the Russian siblings, "Now is the time. It may be quite sometime before you see Odessa or Mister Wisdom again."


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Old 12-19-2012, 09:04 PM   #246
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I tap my finger on the keyboard, scrolling down through the list of numbers in the spreadsheet. On the other side of my desk stands my second on command, Vice-President of the company, Michael Travers. One of the few men I even come close to saying I trust. My Chief Financial Officer, Adrian Decker walks up and stands next to Michael. They both wait patiently as I take a few more seconds to scroll a bit further.

"Mr. Decker," I say to my CIO, finally turning to look at the pair. "I'm glad you were able to meet with us so quickly."

"Not a problem, Mr. Savage."

"Well, I don't want to keep you from your work, so let's just dive in, shall we." I nod to my VP and press a key, bringing what I have on my monitor up on the large screen on the wall so they can see as well. "Mr. Travers and I were just going over some quarterly numbers. And we noticed something odd. So we decided to look over the balance sheets for the last year. Then the last few years."

"Some kind of...discrepancy, sir?"

"Indeed," Travers says. "A discrepancy that starts about five months after you were hired as CIO."

"We'll that's a...coincidence."

Travers shakes his head. "Actually, it's not much of one."

"I pride myself on my thoroughness, Adrian. And, I assure you, Mr. Travers is just as thorough. But, if you can offer any insight that we might have missed, I would be most appreciative. Something more imaginative than a massive clerical error, if you don't mind."

Decker thinks for a moment. "Well, that could be possible-"

"No, it can't," Travers interrupts.

"Then it's just an oversight. Money is always being moved around. In this case, the tracking is just being lost at a certain step. The money is certainly somewhere."

"You're getting closer," I say, leaning forward.

"If you're suggesting embezzlement, sir..."

"I am."

"Then there are a number of people we will need to talk with-"

"There aren't," Travers states.

"But, over the years, we've hired plenty of financial personnel with the skill to do something like this."

"Indeed. Yet, you’re the only one within the required timeframe." Travers pulls some papers from his jacket pocket and slaps them against Decker's chest. Decker's hand clutches them on instinct. "And the only one with the money stashed in a half dozen accounts around the world. It was rather clever, but the timing of when you started was a rather sloppy clue. If you're going to steal, make sure you can always pin it on someone else."

"Wait, I can explain."

"There's no need to. Over the past four years and three months, you have systematically funneled $3.3 million into your various offshore accounts. And you've done so through some interesting money transfers, currency conversions, and tax manipulations. Oh, it wasn't perfect, but it was impressive."

Completely defeated, Decker can only look at the floor.

I sigh slightly. "I don't abide being taken for a fool. And I don't forgive those who can't do what I ask of them. It pains me to do this..."

I push a button on my desk, and the floor beneath Travers slides away. He promptly falls into the now gaping hole with a shout of surprise before the floor tightly seals itself.

"Slightly."

Decker is as white as sheet, and the papers he clutched to his chest fall to the floor.

"I know, a bit cliche. But I so enjoyed the Middle Ages, and there really are no substitutes for the classics."


"I don't understand."

"I don't accept failure. Mr. Travers had one job. Keep my interests protected. A job he could not do. And I won't have a man work for me in that position if it takes him so long to see what a thief had been doing. He was a good employee, but only the strong survive."


I take out a cigar and cutter, and slowly walk over the Decker. "Adrian, can I call you Adrian?" He just nods numbly. "Adrian, while I don't accept failure, I do reward initiative. And I seem to have a job opening for Vice President. If you're interested."

"...What?"

"A man who can pull off such a scheme right under the nose of Vandal Savage is someone I want working for me, not against me. Nor do I wish to see those talents wasted. Take the job. And keep the money. We'll say it was a write down, Bad debt uncollectible, nothing more. And your salary will be raised appropriately, of course."


"I...see..." Now, with the fear subsiding, the true man I knew was hiding just below the surface begins to peek out at this opportunity.

"I'm sure you do. But, know that if you take this job, you will be held to the strict requirements of the previous holder of the position. And no further...indiscretions will be tolerated." I snip the end off my cigar for emphasis.

"Obviously not, sir."

"Good. Because loyalty will be rewarded as handsomely as cleverness. So, I assume you'll take the job?"


"On one condition, sir."

"That being?"


"Tell me what happened to Mr. Travers?"

"Oh. Lets just say that there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But the incinerator will eventually take care of the mess. Still interested?"


Decker gulps, but I know I've hooked him as he takes the time to weigh the decision. And the result if he refuses. "I am, sir."

I light the cigar. "Good! Glad to hear it! I knew you were the right man for the job. And, please, Adrian. Call me Vandal."

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Old 12-19-2012, 11:04 PM   #247
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I throw a haymaker Mysterio's way, but instead of it landing, I end up going right through him. He appears again right next to me, but a roundhouse kick receives the same result. As I'm off balance, a foot slams into my plant knee, dropping me to the ground. As I hit, the same foot kicks me in the face, sending stars flying through my sight.

"I'm not sure why they were so scared of you," Beck taunts me from the mist. "The way they were talking, I would have thought the devil himself was coming my way."

So they knew I'd figure this out. The mob's begun tracking me. They wanted me to come here. Meaning I don't have that long until Falcone's men are here.

Beck goes for another kick, but I'm ready this time. I've been listening to hear his footfalls, instead of looking for him. I grab his leg and flip him over on his back. He lands with a thud, and I use the opportunity to lose myself in the rows of merchandise in his store.

"So what turned you to this life, Beck?" I say, continuing to move silently through the store so he can't pinpoint my location. "Someone who owes a debt to the mob doesn't become a killer like that."

"No, no, not at all," he responds, his voice changed to an ethereal cadence by some sort of voice modulator. "But when you lose everything, when you're humiliated, something changes inside you. And maybe I've been more successful in crime than anything else. What about you? What happened to you to make you dress up like a flying rodent?"

"It takes all kinds, Beck," I respond, weaving through the shelves.

"Ah...you know my name," he responds with a laugh. "What's yours?"

"You know my name. I'm Batman."

Mysterio appears in front of me and begins walking towards me. But Beck's heavy footsteps betray him. He swings a right hook at the back of my head.

I duck out of the way and catch his hand, shifting my weight and tossing him through the shops' front window and into the street. Glass shatters and spreads everywhere, and I can hear my opponents grunt of pain from outside.

**********

"All cars, converge on 3rd and Arch," the dispatcher says over the radio. "Batman has been sighted along with an unknown masked man."

"You hear that?" Bullock says with a raised eyebrow.

"Let's move," Gordon says, pressing down the accelerator.

**********

I'm about to step out into the street to finish off Beck, but I stop and stay huddled in his mist as I hear someone talking to the magician outside.

"He in there?"

"Yea, boss. He's in there."

"Good," the other man responds. "Then I can kill both of you right now. Don't give me that look, Beck. You knew the business. It's nothin' personal. But after this, you're a loose end. You got caught. When you get caught, you sleep with the fishes."

"You really think I didn't see this coming Falcone?" Beck laughs. "Oh no. I'm not the one that's going to die tonight."

A beeping sound suddenly draws my attention, and I quickly draw my grapple gun, firing through the storefront and flying by the mobsters just as Beck's store explodes.

But as I look back, it's not flames I see. It's the mist he uses to affect his victims. It flows from where the storefront once stood and begins to flood the whole city block.

I jump back down to the street quickly, needing to act before Mysterio has the chance to kill Falcone. If he dies, my link to take down the mob will die with him. He needs to go to jail to get the ball rolling.

Luckily, the thick mist is enough to mask my movements. Like the thickest fog you've ever seen, it covers the street like a blanket, sending all in its grasp into a state of panic and confusion. I can hear Falcone's men yelling to one another to find the boss or Beck or me. And the subconscious effects of the substance begins to affect them, causing them to jump at every shadow.

One of the mob boss's goons bumps into me, and is taken down swiftly and quietly by me. Around me, Mysterio uses his refraction holograms to confuse and scare the other men. Each that cross my path are taken down and neutralized, ready for the cops whenever they show up.

And almost on cue, they do. I can see the red and blue lights dimmed by the heavy mist, but they're there.

I also see the car barreling down towards me just in the nick of time. Diving out of the way and rolling, I have to assume that Falcone is in that car.

Moving quickly, I begin searching the mist for a cop I know I can trust.

Luckily I find Gordon.

"Gordon," I say and he jumps. "Relax, the mist affects your subconscious and makes you prone to believing illusions. Relax. Control your emotions. I need you to follow that car."

"What about the guy that did all this?" he asks, direly.

"I'll take care of Mysterio," I respond, pushing him towards his car. "You get Falcone."

"Carmine Falcone?" he asks, shocked. "He was here?"

"He was," I respond, firing my grapple again, "and if you hurry, we can take him down. Tonight."

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Old 12-19-2012, 11:32 PM   #248
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Previously


Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

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Harlem
10:35 AM


"Mister Drakon," Morgan Jones said as he sat down behind his desk. "What do you have for me?"

The hitman Drakon stood in front of Morgan's desk, his arms crossed and his expression neutral. "I have him. The Devil. I have shadowed him for two weeks now. I have his pattern and I know where he will be during the night."

"Good," Jones said, leaning forward. "Follow him tonight and make your play at around midnight. Do that, and all that money I promised is yours."

Drakon bowed and walked out of the office. Drakon walked out, and Phillip, Morgan's right hand man came in.

"Tonight's meeting," Morgan asked Phillip, "It's still on for one?"

"Yes, sir," Phillip said with a nod.

"Good. Our friend Drakon will run interference in case that horn-headed son of a ***** rears his ugly head."

"One other thing," Phillip ventured. "Back up. We got some muscle, but you know how those white boys are. They roll deep to any meeting. Even a sit down where there's nothing exchanging hands. We need extra muscle."

"Fine. Call Skeet and get his boys to meet with us tonight."

"Skeet," Phillip asked with a raised eyebrow. "His boys are just that. Boys. They run the corners and push dope, but they're not muscle. He don't have anybody older than twenty in his crew."

"Well, who then?" Morgan asked as he rubbed his temples.

"There's a guy who has a small crew out of Kips Bay. Muscle work, running numbers. He has enough back up and muscle to help us out."

"Fine," Morgan said with a wave of his hand. "You trust them, I trust them. What's the guy's name?"

"Wilson Fisk."

"Alright. Get this Fisk man to meet us tonight in Brooklyn. Tell him he'll be handsomely rewarded for his efforts."

Phillip nodded and quickly left the office.



Midtown
11:58 PM


I swung upwards and detached the cable from my stick. I caught my legs and somersaulted over a rooftop before landing perfectly on the roof of St. Patrick's. To my left, Rockefeller Center glowed in the night sky, the dazzling Christmas tree illuminating the area.

I didn't hear the footsteps until they were almost upon me. I spun around quickly to see a foot flying towards my head. A serious looking man was attached to the foot. I tried to sidestep the blow, but was clipped in the shoulder by his kick. The kick spun me around and backwards over the roof. I recovered and got into a defensive stance, my escrima stick out and ready to fight.




My attacker stood calmly in front of me, waiting for my move.

"Flip flops in December? Tres faux pas."

He continued to stare at me, not phased by my banter.

"Not in the mood for any witty repertorie? You're not any fun."

I decided to act, slinging my escrima stick sidearmed at the man. The stick whistled and twirled through the air towards him. In a quick blur, the man moved and caught the stick in his hands. He expertly spun it through his fingers and tossed it back towards me. I tried to catch it, but the butt of the stick smacked against my head. I stumbled backwards and he attacked, kicking me in the chest and knocking me down to the roof.


*****


Red Hook, Brooklyn
12:15 AM



Morgan Jones and his four man entourage were waiting in the empty lot when the cars pulled into the lot beside them. There were four cars in all, each car was filled with men. The lead car stopped and a man climbed from the passenger seat. He was large, Morgan guessed he was at least 6'7, and he was balder than Kojak.

"Mister Jones," the man said as he walked towards them. "Wilson Fisk."

One of Morgan's bodyguards stepped forward, motioning for Fisk to stop. Fisk nodded and held his arms up while the man frisked him. "He's clean," the bodyguard said after a pat down.

Morgan nodded and walked towards Fisk. "Phil says you're a dependable man. Quiet as hell, but dependable."

"I earn, keep my nose clean, and don't get caught," Fisk said with a shrug. Morgan looked over Fisk's shoulder and noted the men climbing from the cars. "I brought thirty men, give or take."

"Goddamn, son," Morgan cackled. "Phil said you boys were deep, didn't think you'd bring a goddamn platoon out here."

"You said you needed muscle, sir," Fisk said a bit sheepishly.

"That's alright," Morgan said, patting the larger man on the shoulder. "I consider backup like rubbers. Rather have enough and not need 'em, than need 'em and not have enough."

"Morgan," Phillip said from behind his boss. "We need to get going if we're going to make the meet with the Crusaders."

Morgan nodded and motioned towards his car. "Ride with me, Wilson. I want to get to know you."

Fisk ordered his men to follow Morgan's car and followed the old man towards his vehicle. On the walk towards it, Fisk caught Phillip's eye. Phillip gave Fisk a discreet nod before they climbed into the car.

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Old 12-22-2012, 04:37 PM   #249
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Default Re: Ultimate One Universe RPG: IC Thread





Previously



Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrd Man View Post
Midtown
11:58 PM


I swung upwards and detached the cable from my stick. I caught my legs and somersaulted over a rooftop before landing perfectly on the roof of St. Patrick's. To my left, Rockefeller Center glowed in the night sky, the dazzling Christmas tree illuminating the area.

I didn't hear the footsteps until they were almost upon me. I spun around quickly to see a foot flying towards my head. A serious looking man was attached to the foot. I tried to sidestep the blow, but was clipped in the shoulder by his kick. The kick spun me around and backwards over the roof. I recovered and got into a defensive stance, my escrima stick out and ready to fight.




My attacker stood calmly in front of me, waiting for my move.

"Flip flops in December? Tres faux pas."

He continued to stare at me, not phased by my banter.

"Not in the mood for any witty repertorie? You're not any fun."

I decided to act, slinging my escrima stick sidearmed at the man. The stick whistled and twirled through the air towards him. In a quick blur, the man moved and caught the stick in his hands. He expertly spun it through his fingers and tossed it back towards me. I tried to catch it, but the butt of the stick smacked against my head. I stumbled backwards and he attacked, kicking me in the chest and knocking me down to the roof.



Midtown
12:05 AM


My attacker and I both crashed through the twentieth story window, rolling across the beige carpet of an office. I slammed against a cubicle wall and crashed into the work space, my right boot kicking in a computer monitor as I fell.

I groaned and tried to pull myself up. The quiet sound of footsteps crunching on glass hit my ears. I looked forward and saw a pair of sandaled feet walking towards me. Grunting, I lunged forward and grabbed his ankle. A powerful karate chop knocked my hands from his ankle. A kick to the face knocked me back further into the cubicle. I slumped against the far wall and knocked a kitten calender to the floor.

The attacker wordlessly walked towards me, intent on continuing his beatdown. No jokes, or quips, no monologues. I went from a guy who wouldn't shut up, to one that doesn't talk. Wouldn't be so much a problem if not for the fact this guy doesn't stop.

"Oh, come on," I said as the guy picked me up off the floor. "Can I please get a brea-- gaak!" A karate chop to my throat cut off my pleading. While I gasped for air, he tossed me across the office and into another cubicle.

Coughing violently, I finally snapped. Standing up before he could come after me, I popped an escrima stick from its holster and stepped out from the cubicle. A balled fist whipped towards me from the right. I brought my stick up and blocked the blow. I shoved my escrima stick forward and knocked the attacker off his game. He swung with his free hand and I ducked it, falling on my back and kicking out with my legs together. The two boots struck him in the chest and knocked him off his feet.

My turn to go on the offensive, I jumped up and charged him. He sat up and tried to sweep his leg at my feet. I jumped, tucked my arms and legs, and landed just in front of his head. I brought my stick down to his head, but it was blocked by a karate chop to the wrist. The block sent me stumbling back a bit. With quickness and grace, my attacker was back on his feet and charging towards me. I danced, ducked, and dodged around his quick blows before I snagged his wrist and shoved him forward. He stumbled and smacked head-first into a copy machine.
He was sightly dazed and I took the initiative, grabbing him by the back of his head and pulling it up above the copy machine. I opened the copier and shoved his head down on the glass. I slammed the cover down on the back of his head several times, cracking the glass and breaking the skin.

"Who sent you?" I growled every time I slammed the cover back down on his head. "Talk, dammit! Tell me who sent you!"

After a minute of the beatdown, I pulled him out of the copy machine and shoved him to the floor. His face was bloody, his glasses cracked and broken. His eyes were cloudy, a concussed and on the verge of unconsciousness.

"TALK!" I yelled, punching in the gut.

"Morgan," he said dreamily. "Morgan Jones."

Just like that, I was out of the office and in the air, swinging north towards Harlem and Morgan Jones' criminal headquarters.

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Old 12-24-2012, 08:49 PM   #250
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Default Re: Ultimate One Universe RPG: IC Thread

~A Knife in the Dark~

I slide under a fallen telephone poll, rolling towards a crumbling wall and put my back against it, attempting to gain a moment to formulate a strategy. All around me, automatic weapon fire fills the air, and my teammates have to work hard to keep from being struck by it. I peer from behind the wall, and see the squad that's been after me approaching slowly and quietly my way. They're attempting to mask their movement by being slow, but it's not going to work.

Unfortunately, they're just a ruse. A smaller squad has came around back of me, and a grenade tossed by one of them lands at my feet.

Luckily, before it explodes, Kurt appears in a puff of smoke beside me, grabs my shoulder, and then the two of us disappear again.

When we reappear over another squad, and the two of us go to work. My claws slash at their weapons, while Nightcrawler appears and disappears frantically, flipping soldiers over with his tail and acrobatic fighting style.

But once the squad is dispersed, the unmistakable sound of a large shell flying through the air. It slams into the pavement in front of us, sending a shockwave into me and causes me to fly through the air from the force.

I land and skip over the pavement in the street like a rock over a lake before coming to a stop. I crack my neck and look up, to find a tank rolling down the street towards me. Getting up, I prepare to rush the tank, hoping they can't get another shot off before I make it there.

But before I even get started, Colossus comes from the side of the tank and slams into it. With his massive metal fists, he tears through it like a kid through wrapping paper on Christmas.

Then, behind me, another squad of soldiers is tossed into the air as Buddy Baker bowls through them with the abilities of a rhino. One manages to get a pistol shot off at him, but his thick hide repels it, and with a mighty kick, the soldier flies through the air.

Across the way Beatriz holds a squad back with her fire. The flames are like a wall, reaching high into the sky, and the soldiers have to shield their eyes from its intensity. While they do, Piotr walks through it, smashing his fists into them.

It's at this time that I realize we may have a chance to win this fight. The new recruits are doing well, and we're almost working as a well oiled team.

But that's also when I hear the three choppers approaching. I turn to find Buddy pushing off the ground towards them, but he's instantly intercepted by a missile. Luckily, he doesn't look all that hurt, and Kurt manages to catch him before his slams into the ground.

Before I can panic, a bolt of lightening strikes one of the choppers, dropping it from the sky. I turn to find Ororo standing on the roofs above, conjuring the change in weather. Another bolt slams into the second chopper, putting it out of the game as well. But the third manages to fire a rocket her way. She manages to intercept it with another bolt of electricity, but not from a safe distance. The blast knocks her down, and breaks her concentration.

I call over to Piotr, and the giant of a man clamors over towards me.

"That choppers going to tear us in half!" I yell over the din of the battle.

"What is your plan?" he asks.

"Throw me at it!"

"WHAT!?"

"You heard me! Throw! Now!"

Without wasting another moment, he grabs me by the shoulders and my belt, spins to gain momentum, and tosses me at the attack vehicle. I soar through the air easily, claws popped and ready. As they reach the choppers rotors, a sickening mettle on metal sound fills my ears, and the helicopter falls out of the sky.

I land after the aerial strike, and toll, stopping my momentum. As I look up, the environment around us begins to wave, before disappearing completely, revealing the inside of Charles's "Danger Room".

Looking up to the control room above, I shout to Xavier, "I think that went pretty well, no?"

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