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Old 01-21-2011, 03:32 PM   #26
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Default Re: One Universe RPG: Season V IC Thread

Hal lands on the large, beautiful monument statue known as a Symbol of Freedom, Lady Liberty.
I have to warn them.
Hal shines a huge bright orb seen throughout Manhattan, and all of New York.

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Old 01-21-2011, 05:41 PM   #27
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Default Re: One Universe RPG: Season V IC Thread

GENERAL "THUNDERBOLT" ROSS

"Oh, that tickles."

I scowl. "No part of this requires you to talk, Blonsky."



"Tell me, General: what, exactly, do you need my blood for?" asks Emil Blonsky, codename Abomination. Once a brilliant scientist, Blonsky once offered Bruce Banner safe haven with the promises of a cure for Banner's advanced gamma radiation. Instead, Blonsky created a serum for himself in order to gain the power of the Hulk. Unfortunately for him, the transformation was irreversible. "Working on a little science experiment?"

"That's classified information," I reply bluntly. I won't succumb to Blonsky's little games. He's twice as dangerous as the Hulk because he has all of the Hulk's strength along with his own cunning mind. But he's all locked up now, and I plan to keep him that way. Doesn't mean he can't be useful, though. "Do you have what we need?"

The scientist withdraws the adamantium-tipped needle - the size of a water bottle - from Blonsky's thigh. He examines the sickly green liquid inside. Looking at me, he reports, "This should be enough for ten injections."

"Ooooh! Injections?" Blonsky laughs. "Another gamma experiment, eh, Ross? You have such a fantastic track record with those." He shifts his weight, which immediately causes me to tense up. I'm told his constraints are strong enough to withstand a being three times his strength, but I'm still understandably uneasy. "I've told you already. Let me out of here, and I'll bring you back your Jolly Green Giant."

"Keep dreaming, Blonsky," I scoff. "You're staying in this cell until age or gamma radiation kills you. I don't care which." I nod to the scientist, and he marches out of the room. I stay a moment longer to stare down Blonsky before following.

"Be sure to let me know how your little experiment works out! Hahahaha!"

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Old 01-21-2011, 06:57 PM   #28
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"Excuse me, sir! Ma'am!"

Lois and I stop in our tracks and turn around. A man races towards us holding out fliers. That's when I see the sign he's carrying over his shoulder. The family crest of the House of El with a big red 'X' over it. Anti-Superman sentiment - and anti-superhuman sentiment in general - has grown exponentially over the last week since the passing of the Superhuman Registration Act. It's troubling, to say the least.

"Come on down to the rally this Friday!" the man urges, forcing a flier into my hands.

Rally for Registration!
The time for living in fear is gone!

This Friday
Centennial Park


"If Superman truly stands for truth, justice, and the American way, he should show it by registering!" I can't help but feel like this little speech is rehearsed. The truth is I probably would register, if I felt the Registration Act was trustworthy. However, the fact that Lex Luthor is behind this shows me that something else is going on beneath the surface. And I plan to expose him for it.

Lois scoffs derisively. "You ungrateful little punk!" She tears the flier from my hand and crumples it into a little ball, throwing it at the feet of the protester. I think Lois is taking this anti-Superman movement harder than I am. "Do you know how many times Superman has saved your ass?!"

"Lois, the man is entitled to his opinion," I interject diplomatically.

"No, Smallville! I'm taking a stand on this!" She takes a step forward, and I see the protester flinch. Instinctively, I reach out and grab Lois's shoulder. That seems to snap her back to reality for a moment because she remains completely still before backing down slightly.

The terrified protester looks at me for confirmation that Lois isn't going to kill him. I try my best to convey nonverbally that he'll be fine as long as he walks away. Seemingly getting the message, the protester mutters, "Crazy b****," before scampering off.

"Thanks for backing me up, Smallville," Lois snorts. Great. Now I'm on her bad side. She stomps off in the direction which we were headed, to our assignment at a fresh crime scene. I only hope the work will take Lois's mind off this little incident. She's taken a lot of flak for being a so-called "superhuman sympathizer" and "apologist," and I think she's getting to her wit's end. She even gets it from her father, of all people.

Lois and I reach the police barricade at the First National Bank. We flash our press badges and slip under the police tape. There are police officers running all over the place, but my attention - as well as Lois's - is drawn to a particularly surprising detail.

The floor of the bank is covered with inch-thick puddles of water.

"You coming, Smallville?" Lois asks as I stand hesitantly by the door.

I adjust my tie, never once taking my eyes off the water. "Yes. I just...I don't want to get my shoes wet," I explain sheepishly. Who could have possibly done this? Must have been a superhuman, but not one I've encountered before.

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Old 01-22-2011, 10:47 PM   #29
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"Is that a hunch or do you have some inside information?" I ask with a chuckle.
Barbara smirked wryly at her dad before turning her attention back to the paper bags upon the counter, pulling out each item and dividing it up into where it had to go. She shrugged nonchalantly, trying to sound as innocent as possible, "Just a hunch is all."

She began to put the perishables in the fridge when her father uttered dreaded words.

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"Speaking of cops, I hope you don't mind but we're having Sarah over for dinner tonight."
She groaned inwardly but let her face show no emotion, plastering on a smile she hoped didn't look anywhere near as fake as it felt before turning to Jim.

"Oh, great!" She really, truly hoped her enthusiasm didn't seem overdone. She was really glad that her dad was finally dating again, but she wasn't really enthused about his taste in women. "I'll assume that's what the steaks are for then? And baked potatoes with that? I can whip up a salad too, if you can set the table."

If nothing else, though, Babs dearly loved her father and was going to try her hardest to always be positive and try, if only for Jim's sake.

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Nay. To be a reincarnated god, he'd have had to die. Nothing can kill the wiegeabo.
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Oh! Sjáđu! Logandi kind!
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:34 PM   #30
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I know my mask isn't see through, but I doubt Batman can miss the surprise, and faint sense of terror on my face. Less than an hour ago. Meaning now, not only do I have to deal with Venom, but there's someone else perpetrating the Carnage killings. Meaning my worked just double. Terrific.

After a few moments of silence, I shake the mental haze out of my head and continue, "Wow...okay. That's a bit of a blow, but hey, the life of a superhero isn't easy right?"

"How are things here?"
I grunt. "Venom escaped." I say, summing up how things are. I walk over to the car.

"And he's not the only one,"
I say as I slip inside. I wait for a moment while Spider-Man just stands there.

"...are you coming?"

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Old 01-23-2011, 02:39 PM   #31
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I grunt. "Venom escaped." I say, summing up how things are. I walk over to the car.

"And he's not the only one,"
I say as I slip inside. I wait for a moment while Spider-Man just stands there.

"...are you coming?"
Oh, Batman, you never change. Always the same, warm conversations.

I think that, because I'm scared to see what would happen if I actually said it out loud.

Sliding into the Batmobile, I'm amazed at the gadgets and technology that he's packed into the vehicle. It's seriously a geek's paradise in here, but I try to keep my hands off the merchandise.

The car rockets off towards our destination and I ask, "Where are we headed?"

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Old 01-23-2011, 03:08 PM   #32
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"I'm assuming you called in the Titans. We're going to catch up with Robin. Three criminals escaped from Arkham Asylum recently. We've been tracking them for days. I'm not sure if Venom's escape is related, but it gives us something to go on."

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Old 01-23-2011, 03:21 PM   #33
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"I'm assuming you called in the Titans. We're going to catch up with Robin. Three criminals escaped from Arkham Asylum recently. We've been tracking them for days. I'm not sure if Venom's escape is related, but it gives us something to go on."
I nod, "Yea, the Titans in New York should be on patrol."

And an Arkham breakout that's basically coincided with Venom coming back? Sounds like some terrific fun. The symbiote obviously escaped, and if it did it could have possibly orchestrated a breakout, and brought others to New York to ensure I'm stretched to my limit.

Or maybe I'm just being paranoid.

The Batmobile screeches to a halt and the two of us climb out of the vehicle. Batman fires his grapnel to the roof of a building and I shoot a webline to reach the top. There, we find Robin. "Batman," he nods, and then looks at me. "Spidey, great to see you. I heard your broadcast. Venom being out isn't good for any of us."

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Old 01-23-2011, 04:27 PM   #34
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She groaned inwardly but let her face show no emotion, plastering on a smile she hoped didn't look anywhere near as fake as it felt before turning to Jim.

"Oh, great!" She really, truly hoped her enthusiasm didn't seem overdone. She was really glad that her dad was finally dating again, but she wasn't really enthused about his taste in women. "I'll assume that's what the steaks are for then? And baked potatoes with that? I can whip up a salad too, if you can set the table."

If nothing else, though, Babs dearly loved her father and was going to try her hardest to always be positive and try, if only for Jim's sake.
"I'd love to," I say as I grab three plates from the cabinet and prepare to place them on the dining room table. "Sarah really wants to make a good impression with you. I understand that it might be weird, since she was my partner before I became Commissioner, but she's a good woman and she's stuck by me through and through. She's one of the few that didn't believe the rumors about me and the stats manipulation."

I grab forks and spoons and set them around the plates. "So, even if you may not get along, just try to be nice. She really is trying."

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Old 01-25-2011, 12:25 PM   #35
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Default Re: One Universe RPG: Season V IC Thread

CYCLOPS

I'm just about finished packing my things when Jean comes into my room. She's silent, much like she has been since I told her of my decision. She doesn't agree with it - neither does anyone else around here, really - but she wants to be supportive. I had hoped, at least, that she would understand. Maybe even that she would come with me. But she's made her intentions to say very clear.

"Have you said goodbye to everyone?"

I look up from my suitcase. "Not yet." I look down at the letter I received. I haven't told anyone about it - not even Jean. I tuck the letter underneath my clothes, zipping the suitcase shut and setting it on the floor next to my duffel bag. "How's the team handling it?"

Jean shrugs. "About as well as any team losing its leader." She's not trying to guilt me. She's just telling it like it is. "More than anything, they're scared. This Registration Act could change everything."

I nod. Mutants have been under the threat of registration for decades now. The Professor and his peers have fought against it as long as they possibly could, but this is bigger than us now. This is about the superhero community at large - many of whom have made their intentions to stay unregistered clear. If one side doesn't give, this could quickly devolve into anarchy and war. And mutants, at the bottom end of the food chain, stand to lose the most.

"What about Alex?" Jean asks.

"What about him?"

"He's your brother! He came here to reunite with you." I resist the urge to scoff. Alex came here because he needed a place to stay. My being here was merely an excuse. "Are you just going to walk out on him?"

"He walked out on me a long time ago. So if that's what I'm doing, then we'll be even. Besides, we were never close, anyway. He'll manage without me."

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:33 PM   #36
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Nightcrawler

Pete and I walk through the hallways of the Xavier Institute as free men for the first time. We just graduated a week ago, along with some of our fellow classmates, and we've been lazy ever since. Heck, even Beast has scolded us for missing Danger Room sessions.

Of course, neither of us feel too inclined to practice with the X-Men right now. Pete's angrier than I ever seen him about Cyclops leaving, which is saying something considering I don't think I've ever seen Pete angry. And I just don't know how to feel about the situation.

But of course, out of some divine stroke of cosmic luck, the two of us bump into Scott as he wheels his suitcase out of his room, with Jean exiting right behind him.

"Oh, hey, Scott," I say nervously.

"Scott," Pete seethes.

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Old 01-26-2011, 11:08 AM   #37
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Nightcrawler



Pete and I walk through the hallways of the Xavier Institute as free men for the first time. We just graduated a week ago, along with some of our fellow classmates, and we've been lazy ever since. Heck, even Beast has scolded us for missing Danger Room sessions.

Of course, neither of us feel too inclined to practice with the X-Men right now. Pete's angrier than I ever seen him about Cyclops leaving, which is saying something considering I don't think I've ever seen Pete angry. And I just don't know how to feel about the situation.

But of course, out of some divine stroke of cosmic luck, the two of us bump into Scott as he wheels his suitcase out of his room, with Jean exiting right behind him.

"Oh, hey, Scott," I say nervously.

"Scott," Pete seethes.
"Gentlemen, lady," I say as I come up from the stairs and survey the scene. The climate here at the Institute has been edgy, to say the least. Many of the students are confused, while the other X-Men feel hurt or betrayed. I don't really consider myself in either camp.

"Sorry to waltz in to what appears to be an awkward moment, but I believe an icebreaker seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered."

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Old 01-26-2011, 02:22 PM   #38
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Starfire
"Wait, wait, wait. He actually asked you out? Like a date?"

"I know totally weird, right? Sam Guthrie out of all people, asked me out. Why couldn't it of been Flash Thompson or someone hot?"

"Oh, hold on a sec. I spy a robbery. Be right back, hun."


"Need any assistance?"

"I got this one."

The two female aliens disconnect their call, Starfire sliding her mobile phone in to her slim-fitting belt. She comes to a halt, glaring down at the large Museum down below. The window's been cut, a perfect hole right in the middle. Her trail quickly brushes away in the wind and Starfire hovers down to the crime scene. "Interesting..."

She lands carefully on the glass window, taking a quick glance at the museum below. A strong wire hung from the broken window, a slender female attached at the end. She's upside down and wearing one of those cat masquerade masks. Dressed all in black, the thief is quick to blend in with the night, only her pearl white wig standing out.

She hangs upside down, her gloved hands reaching for the ancient 'Black Cat Talisman'. A chained necklace with a black medallion hung on the end, a picture of a slick black cat carved within the piece. "Come to mama..."

ZEEEON

A bright amber light explodes before the thief, causing her to shriek in shock and blink violently. She carefully arches her neck up, staring back at Starfire. She chuckles, licking her teeth slightly. The hero stands by the broken glass, her hands balled in to fists, still glowing from the previous attack.

"You know, it's wrong to steal!"

"Oh boo-hoo, b*tch!" The thief hissed, arching up her back and sliding out pocket knife from her belt. She slit the wire and gracefully landed on the museum floor. As she elongated out her right arm to grab the talisman, she felt a strong force pull it right back, a powerful grip tightening around her wrist.

"You always were the suckiest Teen Titan!" Pulling back her left arm, the thief quickly flung her fist forward in to Starfire's nose, the impact of the punch sending Starfire back a few feet. The thief clutched her hand, still aching from when it had collided with Starfire's rock hard skin. But, this villain took no time to waste and ceased her opportunity, reaching back and snatching the talisman off its stand. "Think it suits me?" She giggled.

"Oh please, talisman's were so 1800's!" Starfire growled, recovering from the shock of the hit. She jumped in to the air, swooping down low for a powerful kick to the thief’s stomach. But, her attack ended out quite differently to how she imagined. The thief slammed her hand around Starfire's ankle, a Cheshire cat grin creeping up upon her face. "What the---?"

Falling off balance in mid-air, Starfire came to a painful landing as she landed straight on her back, the kick having failed right after her confrontation with the thief. "Looks like ya gotcha self a jinx!"

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:41 PM   #39
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Nightcrawler

Pete and I walk through the hallways of the Xavier Institute as free men for the first time. We just graduated a week ago, along with some of our fellow classmates, and we've been lazy ever since. Heck, even Beast has scolded us for missing Danger Room sessions.

Of course, neither of us feel too inclined to practice with the X-Men right now. Pete's angrier than I ever seen him about Cyclops leaving, which is saying something considering I don't think I've ever seen Pete angry. And I just don't know how to feel about the situation.

But of course, out of some divine stroke of cosmic luck, the two of us bump into Scott as he wheels his suitcase out of his room, with Jean exiting right behind him.

"Oh, hey, Scott," I say nervously.

"Scott," Pete seethes.
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"Gentlemen, lady," I say as I come up from the stairs and survey the scene. The climate here at the Institute has been edgy, to say the least. Many of the students are confused, while the other X-Men feel hurt or betrayed. I don't really consider myself in either camp.

"Sorry to waltz in to what appears to be an awkward moment, but I believe an icebreaker seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered."
I smile pleasantly at Dr. McCoy. The man's incredibly perceptive, I'll give him that. Then again, it doesn't exactly take a Ph.D to see the tension here. Peter obviously feels betrayed by my decision, and Kurt's at least a little bit hurt. I've been thankful to have Hank and the Professor being so supportive, even if we don't see eye to eye on the issue.

I turn to Kurt, who's sheepishly avoiding eye contact, and Peter, who seems to be deciding whether or not to hit me. "Gentlemen," I greet them calmly. I may be leaving, but that doesn't mean I don't view them the same as I always have. "You're no longer students. You have a greater responsibility now. You're the example for the younger kids."

It's strange not to think of them as students anymore. Hell, it's strange not to think of myself as a student anymore. Seems like only yesterday I was sitting in the back of Dr. McCoy's class, exchanging quick glances with the cute redhead in the front row. Of course, Hank was younger then. We all were.

"Listen to what Dr. McCoy tells you to do. He's a very smart man. He knows what he's doing." At least someone does. I hold out my hand for Hank.

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Old 01-26-2011, 04:12 PM   #40
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"Listen to what Dr. McCoy tells you to do. He's a very smart man. He knows what he's doing." At least someone does. I hold out my hand for Hank.
I shake Scott's hand and smile. "While I personally don't agree with your decisions, I understand the reasoning behind it. The need to forge your own path is the perogative of youth, so it is not my place to judge you and your choice. I just hope you realize what the President is and what he truly stands for before it is too late. Our door will always be open, feel free to come back at any time."

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Old 01-26-2011, 05:16 PM   #41
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I turn to Kurt, who's sheepishly avoiding eye contact, and Peter, who seems to be deciding whether or not to hit me. "Gentlemen," I greet them calmly. I may be leaving, but that doesn't mean I don't view them the same as I always have. "You're no longer students. You have a greater responsibility now. You're the example for the younger kids."

"Listen to what Dr. McCoy tells you to do. He's a very smart man. He knows what he's doing." At least someone does. I hold out my hand for Hank.
"Sure, Scott," I nod. His departure hurts. There's no doubt about that. We've always been more than a team here. We've been a family. We've grown up together for the past few years, and Scott was always the leader. He can make his own decisions, even if this one doesn't ring true with everyone.

"No," Pete says, shaking his head. He's been livid ever since Scott made the decision, though I've tried to keep him from exploding. "No, Scott. You can't make one of your speeches this time and make everything A-okay. You're supposed to be our leader, and now you're running off and joing up with Luthor?"

"Pete, I und-"

"No, you don't understand!" Pete says, raising his voice. "And that's the problem. You're always so quick to run off and do whatever it is you think will help, without every taking the time to figure out whether it will or not. You always need to be the boy scout. You say we need to be the ones to set the example now? Well guess what, that's always been you. You're the one we looked up to. How is it going to look to these kids when they see you on the news signing your deal with the devil? Huh? What kind of message is that going to send?"

Without another word, Pete turns and storms off. I turn back to Scott, and say before leaving, "Sorry, Scott. Be safe, and good luck."

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Old 01-29-2011, 03:05 PM   #42
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Last Time


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The unmarked car pulled to a stop next to the crime scene tape. The two detectives climbed out and stepped under the tape, flashing to the patrolman, their IDs that identified them as Homicide.

"Not often we get a body in the Southeast," Detective Sergeant Harvey Bullock said to his partner. Detective Crispus Allen nodded in agreement as he stubbed out his cigarette. Both men walked through the shin-deep grass of the vacant field. Allen managed a smile as he saw a friendly face come into view.

"How's it hanging, Maggie?" He asked the woman in the patrolman uniform. Sergeant Maggie Sawyer smiled and shook hands with her two former coworkers. "Harvey, Cris. Looks like they gave you two plum positions while they shipped the rest of the MCU off to the boonies."

"Where's everyone else?" Bullock asked.

"Not sure on everyone," Sawyer replied. "I think Cole, Driver, and Fields ended up together somewhere in the Western. Montoya got a post in Robbery. Not sure where Lieutenant Akins is, but I'm working for Sarah now. She's the CO of the Southeastern District. Major Essen now."

"So what do we have?" Allen asked. Sawyer nodded and escorted the two men a few feet through the field where the dead body of a woman was resting. "Here you go, fellas. Hope you don't mind, but I did a little looking while I waited on you to get here."

"Better not have ****ed anything up," Bullock snapped. "I know you worked Homicide once upon a time, but that's been awhile."

"Calm down, Bullock," Sawyer said. "I used gloves and made sure I wrote down everything I noticed. I didn't actually shift the body, just went through the pocket to see if I could find anything."

Allen squatted down and looked the dead woman over. She was rail-thin, her shirt and jeans stained and torn. Her back was matted and covered with congealed blood. "If it wasn't for the blood, I'd swear she OD'd," Allen noted. "You manage to find an ID when you went through her pockets?" He asked.

Sawyer handed Bullock a wallet. "No cash, so it could have been a robbery."

Bullock rifled through the wallet and pulled out a driver's license. "Marie Kane, 42 years of age. No cash, no credit cards, but a few family photos. Had to be from a few years ago, Christ that heroin did a number on her."

One picture in particular catches Bullock's eye. "Hey, Maggie, you recognize that guy?" He asked as he passed a picture to her. The picture in question showed Marie Kane with her two teenage children and her husband. "Yeah," Sawyer said. "That's the guy running for mayor, right?"

A look of knowing passed between the three of them as soon as Sawyer got the words out.

"A mayoral candidate's junkie wife found murdered in some Southeastern backlot," Allen said. "****. I can already smell the ****-storm this will kick up."



**********



The man walked down the street toward his old house. It'd been ten years since he was in the old neighborhood. He smiled slightly as he passed stoops and remembered all the old memories attached to all the landmarks on the street.

It was a stupid thing he'd done. He'd regretted it from the second he pulled the trigger. Back then he and Mink ran the game on the Eastside. The mob got wind and wanted a piece. The two men had talked it over and they agreed they needed to show force. He'd went out with a gun and looked for trouble. He'd never had a chance to come home. Instead he ran out west. It wasn't until a year ago he even contemplated coming back, once he found out Sal Maroni had been killed. The price on his head was ten years old, and the man who had called for it was dead. So, he'd finally decided to come back to Gotham.

He took a deep breath and climbed up the steps to the rowhouse. The house was still the same. It was still that same off-white color, the paint slightly faded from the last time he remembered. He knocked on the door and waited. He almost didn't recognize the man who opened the door. It had been ten years since he saw Jimmy, he was only nine when all that mess went down. Now, the man that stood before him couldn't be Jimmy. But it was.

"Danny?" He asked. "Is...is that you?"

"Yeah," Danny said. "It's me. How ya doing, Jimmy."

The young man leapt out and wrapped his arms around his older brother. "I...I thought you were dead."

He breathed heavily and closed his eyes, fighting back the tears. It was ten years in the making, but Danny Sullivan was finally home.


The two men ate in silence at the kitchen table. Brothers Jimmy and Danny Sullivan finished their meal of leftover corned beef and cabbage. "So, you're back now? For good?" Jimmy asked as he stood up and began clearing the table.

"Looks that way," Danny replied. "What times does Ma get home?"

"She usually clocks out from the mill at about nine, gets home a half hour later."

The two remained silent for several minutes while Jimmy washed their plates in the sink. "Danny," Jimmy finally said. "You've been gone ten years. Where was you?"

"Up in the Northwest. I got a job in Washington, working with the Army Corps of Engineers."

"You joined the Army?"

"No, dummy," Danny said with a chuckle. "They have civilians work for them. I was working at this dam they have out there, just did some minor repair work. Always been good with my hands."

"Why is it you decided to come back now?" Jimmy asked once he finished the dishes. "I mean, you never made it back to Pa's funeral a few years ago. That was kinda when we all thought you were dead."

Danny remained quiet for several moments, his head in his hands. "I came back now," he started. "Cause.....Look, you were young, Jimmy. I don't know if you know why I left."

"I remember asking," Jimmy said. "I remember never getting a straight answer."

"Well, I left because someone was looking to hurt me. I did some bad ****, most of it you probably don't remember. I had a pretty powerful man who wanted me dead. Sal Maroni. You know, the mob boss. It wasn't until six months ago I found out he was dead. It wasn't like I never wanted to come back. I always kept up with what was going on by reading the papers online. That's how I found out about Pop dying. I wanted to come back, Jimmy....I just...I don't know."

Jimmy leaned against the counter and watched his brother for a long time before stepping forward and patting him on the back. "Hey, don't worry about it, okay? What's done is done. I know it's gonna be a bit until Ma gets home, but I know someone else who's gonna be happy to see you."

"Who?"

"Mink," Jimmy said with a smile. "Your favorite cousin."



**********



Michael "Mink" Sullivan rolled his black SUV to a stop at a rest stop just outside the Gotham city limits. The tall, thin black man in the passenger seat was Peter "Skinny Pete" Tillman, one of the few members from the Two-Face organization to escape arrest. Mink's boss saw the promise in Skinny Pete, and soon offered him a job. Now the two men were the right and left hands of Penguin's budding criminal enterprise.

"Just a heads up," Mink said as he turned the car off. "These guys were about to meet, they don't **** around. These are some serious cats."

Mink paused and pulled his vibrating phone from his pocket. Looking at the display, he silenced it and placed it back in his pocket. "Just my cousin. I'll call back. Like I said, these guys aren't ****ing corner boys. They're spooky."

"I'll be alright," Pete replied. "They might be hard, but they don't know to deal with a Gotham n*****."

The two men stepped out the car and approached an old Chevy Nova. A man inside the car stepped out and met the two halfway. He was taller Hispanic man, and was taller than Pete by at least three inches, putting him at 6'7. The man was dressed in a suit and tie, a pair of reading glasses on his face.

"Hello," he said with a light Spanish accent. "I assume you left the money under the driver's seat?"

"You would assume right," Mink replied.

"Excellent. That's all."

The man walked back to his car while Mink turned to leave, leaving Pete looking around confused. "Just like that?" He asked as soon as he caught up with Mink. Mink nodded and opened the driver's door to the SUV. He reached under the driver's seat and pulled out a heavy duffel bag. He tossed it over to Pete, who caught it and opened it up. Inside were bricks of cocaine and heroin. Pete turned around quickly and saw another Hispanic man climbing into the Nova.

"Just like that," Mink said with a smirk.

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Old 01-30-2011, 10:50 AM   #43
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Starfire

She trains extensively. The soft breeze whips the back of her neck, whilst her wrists elegantly twirl, two blades moving swiftly in harmony with her limbs. Her father quickly goes in for an uppercut attack, but finds his ankle blocked by a slender, pale hand. The father then slowly lowers his toned leg, standing straight up like a solider. His eyes stare directly in to his daughter's mind, and slowly, her mood changes."Have I pleased you, father?"

The father's eyes slowly begin to glow a soft scarlet. He nods slightly, before stepping back, further in to the darkness of the cave. The daughter's hood falls down, a red diamond revealing itself. It stretches down from the tip of her hair line to the top of her forehead. The father chuckles, his sharp white teeth glowing in the dark shadows. "You always do, my dear daughter."

The father stretches out his strong hands, a small vortex appearing before his daughter's eyes. The vortex swirls around clockwise, before finally shaping in to a moving image. Two girls, going toe-to-toe. One, being a female jewel thief and the other being Starfire. "You know what you must do..."

***

She moved faster than a human, her movements swifter and more elegant. Her feet had barely touched the ground by the time she had reached the roof entry door. She sliced off the padlock with ease, the claws on the ends of her gloves making a small screeching sound. As the thief sprinted up the stairs, Starfire shot high up in to the sky, crashing through the glass window. "I don't have time to play games!"

Her eyes glowed with rage. Her hands balled up in to fists. She spotted the female thief, bursting out through the rooftop door. Ceasing her chance, Starfire fired a trail of star bolts, that were purposely low voltage. After all, she did not condemm killing.

"Ooh, pretty!" The thief giggled. As the star bolts flew towards her, the thief moved sharply to the left, avoiding the first incoming attack with what seemed to be an ease. She dodged the second, back flipped away from the third and fourth and jumped over the fifth. It seemed like she was the impossible target. This only seemed to rage Starfire more. It was time for some serious action.

"You think it's funny, to steal!?" The alien spoke, her words bold and almost presidential. She swooped down low, her hands spread out wide. Her flight was too quick for the sly female to dodge, and so, she found herself in the strong clutches of the Teen Titan. Her hands trailed up against the collar of the thief's black polar neck jumper.

The thief squirms, gasping for air, fighting and kicking. It's no use. The alien's hold is tougher than steel, and she has no intention to lower or release the girl anytime soon. "She said you were coming!" Her words were quiet against the raging wind, but Starfire's keen ears could still make out the sharp sentence.

Before Starfire could even open her mouth to reply, the thief had raised up her right arm, aiming it directly in to Starfire's eye. Licking her cherry red lips, she bent her wrist back slightly, revealing a thin, red laser. The laser shot right directly in to the alien's pupil, causing her to lunge back in shock. With both hands occupied on clutching her eye, the thief had began to free fall through the night sky of Gotham. "Bon Voyage!"

The thief felt the strong force push up against her chin, her arms and legs spread out wide at an even ratio. She closed her eyes, picturing the talisman she wore around her neck. She felt an almost 'magical pull' consume her, and soon she had back flipped in mid air, landing lightly on the streets of Gotham. Her toes touched the ground first, followed by her heels. "Just my luck..."

BOOOM

A fiery explosion knocked the thief back a few feet, causing her to land right on her butt. She looked up in to the sky, passing bystanders shrieking with horror and running away at the first opportunity. Starfire hovered before her, the fiery star bolt still fizzing on her palm. "You're lucky that didn't destroy you..."

"Luck seems to be on my side, lately. The name's Black Cat...I don't think we've introduced eachother properly..."

Black Cat? Named after the talisman, perhaps. "You're some low life thief. I don't need to introduce myself. You're going to jail. End. Of."

Black Cat tilt back her head, letting out a loud laugh of joy. "Oh, how you would love to see that! But I hate to be a party pooper and all...But, my ride's here,"

A large, black, shadowed figure rose up from the fire that the star bolts had caused. It was in no shape of a male or female, just a sort of demonic projection. It shrouded over Black Cat, swallowing her whole.

"..."

The fire had gone. The shadowed figure had gone. And so had Black Cat. "Kara, you at the Tower? We need to talk..."

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #44
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I nod, "Yea, the Titans in New York should be on patrol."

And an Arkham breakout that's basically coincided with Venom coming back? Sounds like some terrific fun. The symbiote obviously escaped, and if it did it could have possibly orchestrated a breakout, and brought others to New York to ensure I'm stretched to my limit.

Or maybe I'm just being paranoid.

The Batmobile screeches to a halt and the two of us climb out of the vehicle. Batman fires his grapnel to the roof of a building and I shoot a webline to reach the top. There, we find Robin. "Batman," he nods, and then looks at me. "Spidey, great to see you. I heard your broadcast. Venom being out isn't good for any of us."
Robin's quick dismissal of me has been par for the course the last few days. Announcing my candidacy for mayor has put a strain on our relationship. I have no doubt we'll work things out eventually. But until we do...

"Have you found anything about the others yet?"

Robin's body stiffens subtly. He turns away from in the pretext of looking down over the city. "Rumor has it that Crane's back in the Narrows."

"Not surpri-"

"A few of the homeless have been scared out of the subways by what sounds like a monster growling around down there," Robin interrupts.

They're just making this easy by returning to their old haunts. Of course, given the way Robin talked over me, I decide not to say it out loud.

"And Kasady?"

Robin shrugs. "Cletus dropped off the face of the earth. I'd really doubt he's still on Gotham. No one knows anything."

"That confirms what I've heard about him."

"Checking up on me?" Robin says coldly.

"No," I say simply.

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:51 PM   #45
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Eddie Brock makes his way into Mick's Truck Stop several miles outside of Gotham City. Since escaping from the hospital, he has had only one thing on his mind...Getting back to New York and getting his revenge on Spider-Man.

He knows that the sooner he gets there the better, because by now word of his escape has gotten out, and Parker will find out soon, and then he will have lost the element of surprise. Which leaves him here, looking for transportation.

That is when he spots a young woman, probably in her late twenties to early thirties sitting behind the wheel of a big rig. He puts on a big smile and walks over to the rig. The woman sees him approaching and rolls down her window, returning his smile.

"You look lost. Where you headed?" She says with a cheery, bubbly voice.

"New York. My wife and I had a bit of a blow out and she left me here..."

The woman shakes her head knowingly, then reaches over and opens the passenger door.

"Hop in. I'm heading to Boston anyhow, I can drop you off on my way."

"Thank you...."

"Jenna."

"Thank you Jenna. I'm Charles, Charles Allan." Brock says as he climbs into the truck.

"Kill her Brock. Kill her and take the vehicle. She is a liability that we cannot afford." The Symbiote says using it's telepathic link to Eddie as he straps himself into the passanger seat.

"No. She hasn't done anything wrong. She's innocent, like we were once. I won't harm her." Brock responds silently.

"Of course, you're right Eddie. We mustn't punish her for Parker's evil."

As the Symbiote falls silent, Brock leans back in the passanger seat as Jenna starts the rig and pulls out of the truck stop and heads off down the highway toward New York.
After a relatively quiet ride up from Gotham, Jenna pulls the rig over into the parking lot of a small shopping center just outside of Queens.

Brock climbs from the rig, thanks Jenna for the ride and beings walking toward the plaza. As he makes his way toward the mariad of shops in front of him, one word comes to mind.


"Home."

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:54 PM   #46
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Robin's quick dismissal of me has been par for the course the last few days. Announcing my candidacy for mayor has put a strain on our relationship. I have no doubt we'll work things out eventually. But until we do...

"Have you found anything about the others yet?"

Robin's body stiffens subtly. He turns away from in the pretext of looking down over the city. "Rumor has it that Crane's back in the Narrows."

"Not surpri-"

"A few of the homeless have been scared out of the subways by what sounds like a monster growling around down there," Robin interrupts.

They're just making this easy by returning to their old haunts. Of course, given the way Robin talked over me, I decide not to say it out loud.

"And Kasady?"

Robin shrugs. "Cletus dropped off the face of the earth. I'd really doubt he's still on Gotham. No one knows anything."

"That confirms what I've heard about him."

"Checking up on me?" Robin says coldly.

"No," I say simply.
I can cut the tension with a knife, hell with a spoon, between these two. No idea what it's about, but dang. I would guess that living with Batman would have it's downsides, but they still have to work as a team. It's the only way to survive in a town like Gotham.

Looking around between the two of them, I break the silence, "So...do you want help with Crane and Croc? I mean as long as I'm in town I might as well."

After a few more moments of silence, I continue, "Or, I mean I can leave it to you guys."

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:04 PM   #47
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Lex Luthor sits around the briefing table with his most trusted advisors, discussing the Superhuman Registration Act and the further implications of it.

"The way I see it, all we need to do now is wait for the rest of the heroes to be rounded up by the new organisation. We assign a crack military team to the rounding up of the regular heroes, and then we use the Avengers to take on the real heavy hitters; Superman, Thor, Iron Man, those that we'll need to fight fire with fire,"

"Where do we start?" the military advisor, new after Ross' departure, asked.

"There is already a candidate picked out,"

***
Daredevil perched on the cross at the top of the Cathedral in Hell's Kitchen, setting up a mental plan of the area, based on the sounds of the neighbourhood and their echoes. He frowned. Something was irregular. And very close by. He dropped on instinct, just in time to feel a tranqueliser dart brush past the top of his head. He rolled, and heard the sound of boots crunching on the ground towards him. He picked himself up and moved on. This would be a long night.

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It may or may not have also 'got real'.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:45 AM   #48
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I can cut the tension with a knife, hell with a spoon, between these two. No idea what it's about, but dang. I would guess that living with Batman would have it's downsides, but they still have to work as a team. It's the only way to survive in a town like Gotham.

Looking around between the two of them, I break the silence, "So...do you want help with Crane and Croc? I mean as long as I'm in town I might as well."

After a few more moments of silence, I continue, "Or, I mean I can leave it to you guys."
I don't like working with others. Especially amateurs. Despite having superpowers and facing his own list of enemies, that's all Spider-Man is. An amateur. Robin and I...we're trained for this. This is our fight.

Still...Robin trusts Spider-Man. And if they're going to be a team, I suppose I don't have much choice.

"If you and Robin head after Crane, I'll go after Croc."

"Unless...you want to take the sewers."


That almost gets a smirk out of Robin.

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Old 02-02-2011, 02:47 PM   #49
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"Yea, we'll take Crane," I nod to Batman. In all honesty, I have the urge to punch him instead of agree, but in fighting wouldn't be great press for the League right now. But he's always so smug. The man has never treated me with an ounce of respect. I don't know if it's because I have powers, or if it's because I don't act like I've got a stick up my ass twenty-four-seven. But whatever it is, I don't get it.

Batman drops down from the roof, and I look over to Robin, "He's in a mood, isn't he?"

"You have no idea," Robin says, obviously frustrated. "It's been like this for a few weeks now. I'm used to it."

He shoots a grapnel across the street, and I allow him to take point. He knows these streets more than I ever will. We cross the rooftops, one at a time, leaping and flipping towards our intended goal of the Narrows, the poorest and most desolate areas of Gotham

As we go, Robin informs me of Crane, "I'm sure you know about him. Uses gas to induce a fear induced panic attack. It's intense. Most intense thing I've ever seen."

"I'll try to remember to hold my breath," I respond as we cross over into the Narrows. It amazes me just how run down this area is. I thought we had bad areas in New York, but my word does Gotham take the cake on urban depression. The apartments here look like they're held together by duck tape and despair. It's also an urban jungle, untamed and wild. "Where are we starting?"

Before Robin can answer, a shrill scream echoes through the night sky. He looks at me and shrugs, "That's probably a good place to start."

The two of us swing to the roof of the building which produced the scream, and instantly, we're dropped into a mad house. The roof of the building collapses underneath us, and inside, we find civilians tearing each other apart, and once they see us, they advance, "Well, this is a lovely party. I take it this is what that gas does?"

"Yea," Robin nods, taking a flare off his belt and lighting it. The crazies turn they're attention completely to Robin, "Go find Crane! I'll take care of them."

I knock out a few that run by me, giving Robin some room before heading deeper into the apartment complex in search of the mad doctor. I find a few raving humans on the way, but they're not tough to take care of alone, save for the one that bites me on the shoulder. "Terrific, now I'll need a tetanus shot."

As I burst through the first locked door I see inside the building, I'm blasted in the face by a foul mist, and a frightening voice calls from the darkness, "HeLlO, sPiDeR-mAn. TeLl Me. WhAt Do YoU fEaR?"



**********
SHIELD Helicarrier
Maximum Security Wing


Alarms blare and screams fill the air as guards are sliced apart. The creature slips behind two more, driving its claws through their skulls, spraying blood across the walls. Others fire blindly that way, but before they hit the creature, it slithers back up into the overhead piping.

The two who just discharged their weapons into the hall, hitting nothing but their dead comrades, back up, attempting to defend themselves from their coming fate, even though they know deep down it is fruitless.

A blade drops down, decapitating them, and the creature drops from its hiding spot, slithering towards the cell control console. It flips four switches, allowing four of the most dangerous criminals in the world to walk free.



Alex O'Hirn, better known as the Rhino. Gifted with super stregth and invulnerability.



Kraven, the greatest hunter known to man kind.



Flint Marko, aka Sandman, who can turn his body into sand.



And finally, Mac Gargan, the Scorpion.

The four crowd around the being that has just given them their freedom, eying it up and down. And the creature just stares back, the red and black goo that formulates its body shifting continuously.

Finally, O'Hirn speaks, "What the hell are you?"

"Something that requires your help," it responds in an otherworldly hiss. "Spider-man must be destroyed. This world must be remade."

They shift nervously at the words. The world must be remade. As if this thing has some sort of plan for Earth. But before they can respond, four globs of liquid spring from the creature, attaching to the backs of their necks. They feel as small tendrils shoot through their skin and attach to their spinal columns. And finally, they feel the creature's will begin to flood their minds.

The creature begins to laugh in a shrill, haunting sound and says, "Welcome to the Family."



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Old 02-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #50
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Last Time

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The two men ate in silence at the kitchen table. Brothers Jimmy and Danny Sullivan finished their meal of leftover corned beef and cabbage. "So, you're back now? For good?" Jimmy asked as he stood up and began clearing the table.

"Looks that way," Danny replied. "What times does Ma get home?"

"She usually clocks out from the mill at about nine, gets home a half hour later."

The two remained silent for several minutes while Jimmy washed their plates in the sink. "Danny," Jimmy finally said. "You've been gone ten years. Where was you?"

"Up in the Northwest. I got a job in Washington, working with the Army Corps of Engineers."

"You joined the Army?"

"No, dummy," Danny said with a chuckle. "They have civilians work for them. I was working at this dam they have out there, just did some minor repair work. Always been good with my hands."

"Why is it you decided to come back now?" Jimmy asked once he finished the dishes. "I mean, you never made it back to Pa's funeral a few years ago. That was kinda when we all thought you were dead."

Danny remained quiet for several moments, his head in his hands. "I came back now," he started. "Cause.....Look, you were young, Jimmy. I don't know if you know why I left."

"I remember asking," Jimmy said. "I remember never getting a straight answer."

"Well, I left because someone was looking to hurt me. I did some bad ****, most of it you probably don't remember. I had a pretty powerful man who wanted me dead. Sal Maroni. You know, the mob boss. It wasn't until six months ago I found out he was dead. It wasn't like I never wanted to come back. I always kept up with what was going on by reading the papers online. That's how I found out about Pop dying. I wanted to come back, Jimmy....I just...I don't know."

Jimmy leaned against the counter and watched his brother for a long time before stepping forward and patting him on the back. "Hey, don't worry about it, okay? What's done is done. I know it's gonna be a bit until Ma gets home, but I know someone else who's gonna be happy to see you."

"Who?"

"Mink," Jimmy said with a smile. "Your favorite cousin."



**********



Michael "Mink" Sullivan rolled his black SUV to a stop at a rest stop just outside the Gotham city limits. The tall, thin black man in the passenger seat was Peter "Skinny Pete" Tillman, one of the few members from the Two-Face organization to escape arrest. Mink's boss saw the promise in Skinny Pete, and soon offered him a job. Now the two men were the right and left hands of Penguin's budding criminal enterprise.

"Just a heads up," Mink said as he turned the car off. "These guys were about to meet, they don't **** around. These are some serious cats."

Mink paused and pulled his vibrating phone from his pocket. Looking at the display, he silenced it and placed it back in his pocket. "Just my cousin. I'll call back. Like I said, these guys aren't ****ing corner boys. They're spooky."

"I'll be alright," Pete replied. "They might be hard, but they don't know to deal with a Gotham n*****."

The two men stepped out the car and approached an old Chevy Nova. A man inside the car stepped out and met the two halfway. He was taller Hispanic man, and was taller than Pete by at least three inches, putting him at 6'7. The man was dressed in a suit and tie, a pair of reading glasses on his face.

"Hello," he said with a light Spanish accent. "I assume you left the money under the driver's seat?"

"You would assume right," Mink replied.

"Excellent. That's all."

The man walked back to his car while Mink turned to leave, leaving Pete looking around confused. "Just like that?" He asked as soon as he caught up with Mink. Mink nodded and opened the driver's door to the SUV. He reached under the driver's seat and pulled out a heavy duffel bag. He tossed it over to Pete, who caught it and opened it up. Inside were bricks of cocaine and heroin. Pete turned around quickly and saw another Hispanic man climbing into the Nova.

"Just like that," Mink said with a smirk.


Gotham Mayor Hamilton Hill looked at the paper in his hands and balled it up in frustration. "Third ****ing place?! How does that happen?!" He growled as he threw the ball of paper across his office. "How in the hell does a two-term mayor end up losing in the poll projections to a city council chump and a goddamn billionaire airhead?!"

"Wayne's lead over you is a slight one," an intimidated aide replied. "Maybe five percent. He's appeal to the people who don't care about the issues, they're just drawn to the press surrounding Wayne. It's like a sideshow attraction."

"What about Kane? How is that sniveling little weasel is pulling off a ten percent lead in the polls?"

"He's gotten a lot of sympathy from the murder of his wife. It's become a rallying cry behind his campaign to get tough on crime."

Hill shook his head and walked over to a cabinet in his office. He pulled a bottle of scotch from the cupboard and fixed himself a glass. "That little ****. Leave it to him to turn the death of a loved one into a political move. At least I'm doing better than that idiot, Krohl. When's the debate?"

"Next week. It'll be you, Councilman Kane, Mister Wayne, and Deputy Krohl."

"Alright," Krohl said with a sigh. He turned his glass up and chugged down the scotch. "Start looking into their campaigns and get me what you can."



**********



Councilman David Kane sat up in bed and looked out the window. He was being consumed by guilt. In a week, he'd turned his biggest political liability into a strength. He was going to be the next mayor based on just one issue. But it had cost him his wife. The woman Marie had become in later years wasn't the woman he'd met an fell in love with, but she was down there somewhere underneath all the drug addiction.

Marie's drug addiction was the biggest flaw in his campaign. How could a mayoral candidate who professed to be tough on crime have a junkie wife? Nevermind the fact that he'd put her in rehab and NA programs a dozen times. She could never get the monkey on her back. He'd always threaten to cut her off, divorce her and take their children, and she'd always counter with threats of suicide. The drugs were taking her life, no matter how much he tried to help her, she'd never be truly clean. He couldn't stand to see her suffer any longer. That fact, along with the political motivations, is why he visited the Penguin with a few thousand dollars and his wife's photo.

All it took was one gunshot. One gunshot caused him to leap frog over Mayor Hill and Bruce Wayne to take charge in the polls. He was the firebrand in the election. While Hill and Krohl represented the old ways, and Wayne was just a PR stunt, it was David Kane that was becoming the hungry up and comer with ideas to help change the city. But was it worth it? Marie's death was on his conscience. He stilled owed Cobblepot twenty-five grand. He had no idea where the money would come from, and he was afraid to think of what would happen when he didn't pay the Penguin.

He turned and looked at the empty spot in his bed, the place where Marie had laid next to him for nearly twenty years. He stared at the spot for what felt like hours before finally laying down and going to sleep.




**********



Detective Crispus Allen pulled his unmarked squad into the parking lot and swooped into a space. He lit a cigarette and puffed on it while he crossed the parking lot. Allen tossed the butt down on to the pavement and stomped it out just before he walked into GCPD's Eastern District House. He nodded and waved to a few of the officers he knew from the job. Most of the men and women weren't familiar to him. He navigated through the hallways to a small row of cubicles marked "Eastern District Drug Enforcement Unit." Allen couldn't help but smile when he saw the three familiar faces typing away on their work computers.

"You boys better not be looking at porn," he said with a chuckle. The three men turned almost simultaneously. Detective Sergeant Kasper Cole, Detective Charlie Fields, and Detective Marcus Driver all stood up and greeted their former co-worker.

"So what's brings you down to the Eastern?" Cole asked once the four had finished exchanging pleasantries. "Figured it was beneath the big, bad Homicide boys to visit us in the districts."

Allen reached into his jacket and produced a picture of a middle-aged woman with her husband and two children. "This is Marie Kane in better times." He pulled another photo from his jacket. It was Marie Kane, dead and laying on a coroner's slab. "This is her a few days ago."

"She's the wife of the guy who's running for mayor, right?" Driver asked.

"Yeah," Fields replied. "Nora told me about her husband coming in and identifying her at the morgue. Said it was kind of heart-breaking. She had two younger children"

"Yeah, it's sad, but it's also a priority case," Allen said. "I got stuck with this redball. Now, those of you who aren't illiterate like Driver, you know she had a drug problem."

"I know about that," Driver said defensively. "It was on TV, after all."

"Well, anyway," Allen continued. "She had a drug problem and like to buy Eastside. Even though she was found over in Major Essen's district, I figured the Eastern DEU would know a little intel about what's going on in the streets out there, know who's dealing and who was dealing to her."

The three narcotics detectives shared looks before Cole spoke up. "Yeah, you can come along while we bust heads. I mean, the captain's been riding us to get the stats. We can't do all the stuff we did in MCU."

"Yeah," Driver added. "Much as that works, the captain don't care. So, instead of collecting intel, we collect scalps."

"We're rolling out in about a half hour," Cole said. "You up for it?"

"Sure," Allen said. "Just make sure to get a vest in my size."

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