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Old 11-13-2011, 10:09 PM   #26
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III

Greater Houston Area
Texas


This was perhaps the easiest task that NASA had asked him to perform. Traveling between Earth and space exerted a fair amount of effort, particularly if Lor-Zod was being asked to lift something normally hauled by the space shuttle orbiter. Even more so if it was the orbiter itself that Lor was expected to lift. Even sprinting at his full speed across the Arizona desert had required a modicum of the young Kryptonian's strength. But this? This was as simple as taking a deep breath.

In many respects, it was rather like blowing out a really large birthday cake candle. The arctic blast of air from the boy's lips howling like the north wind as it pushed back the advance of the flames and coated the smoldering wood in a layer of frost that extinguished the glowing embers. In the thicker parts, the child had escaped to above the clouds in order to avoid drawing the smoke into his lungs, but in surprisingly little time the son of Zod had removed the chemical factory's storage tanks from any immediate danger.

With that done, he supposed the burning houses just a few miles away ought to be the next priority.

Rising high into the air, the young Kryptonian looked over the frosted region that had been ablaze just minutes before. A smile briefly touching his face as he imagined Dabney telling him that he'd done a good job.

He supposed it felt... nice... doing stuff like this, even if father wouldn't have approved.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NASA Pike Island Research Facility
Metropolis, Massachusetts


Dabney Donovan gave a weary sigh as the satellite feed changed to show the changes on the ground in Texas. Thermal imaging confirmed that the fires around the chemical factory had been put out. The forest service could now move in to assess any remaining danger, leaving the fire departments to concern themselves with the housing areas once Superboy had done the same there.

The feeling of being on edge was definitely wearing on him, almost like being in mission control for a space shuttle mission. In contrast to the high tempo of shuttle operations, where every system and its back-up were monitored constantly, Project SUPERBOY operations were usually far more laid back. They'd track the boy on GPS for as far as they could going into space, but by and large the missions assigned to Superboy were pretty much Point A to Point B.

This was a situation were oversight and communications were critical however, as conditions of the assignment were subject to change. Of course, even though a child their 'astronaut' was able to do some thinking for himself. Without the need for instruction, Donovan could already see that the boy was tracking toward the urban fires.

Superboy knew what he needed to do. That, at least, gave Dabney something he could breathe easy about.

"Initial report filed by the Forest Services says that the fire was out briefly, but had crossed into a tract of land reclaimed from a landfill. They think a pocket of methane gas is what ignited and caused the backdraft,"
Fionna Ross commented, the woman appearing on one of the screens by VTC from the Department of Metahuman Affairs office in D.C.

"Must have been one hell of a re-flash," Dabney remarked idly, scanning the local news channels that were being streamed in from Texas for any sign that the cameras might be covering Superboy.

"Sir, there's a missing children's report that's just come in for the area where Superboy is," another of the science interns reported, this one coming from the fax with a printout that was marked from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"In the middle of the fire?" Donovan demanded, grabbing the fax report and scanning over the data. Suzie Christensen, age 7. The Woodlands, Texas. Dabney looked over to the Google Earth track of Superboy's location. The Woodlands, Texas.

"Apparently some kids were playing hide and seek before the evacuation. One of them hasn't been found," the intern repeated from information on the printout.

"Get me the link up with Superboy." Reaching out a hand, Donovan took back the bluetooth piece that he'd removed earlier. Slipping it over his right ear, the man glanced back to the thermal satellite imagery.

If a kid was in the middle of that mess, Dabney could only hope she was still alive. Sending an eight year old to retrieve a crispy corpse sounded like the kind of thing that could have NASA paying for child psychologists for years to come...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Greater Houston Area
Texas


"I have to rescue a girl?" Lor-Zod complained, dropping through a break in the smoke to drift over the smoldering remains of what had been a cul-de-sac community. The fires had already advanced over this neighborhood, charring a path across what had been a tranquil urban area just miles up the road from the Houston Metropolitan Area. If he had to watch for people - assuming that girls qualified as 'people' - then this next part wasn't going to be as easy as the first. "Can't it be a squirrel or something? I mean, would the world really be that bad off with one less girl?"

"Look, kid, this is happening. So just come to peace with it."

The boy frowned as his eyes darted to the right in a vain effort at glaring at the bluetooth piece that was to small to even be picked up by his peripheral vision.

"Name is Suzie Christensen. She was last reported in the neighborhood you're over now."

Lor-Zod bet Superman didn't have to rescue dumb girls. Skimming over the rooftops, the boy buzzed just ahead of the fire's leading edge as he activated his x-ray vision and scanned the houses. The roar of the fire, the cacophony of sirens, and the ambient noise from the city of Houston made it impossible for the boy to use his super-hearing to try and listen for the girl.

Fourth house on Elm Street. Stowed away in the attic. The boy could make out the shape of a girl curled up and crying as she rocked back and forth. The fire was just a few feet away, the smoke already starting to enter the home.

Lor-Zod took a deep breath as he braced himself. He hoped his invulnerability extended to cooties...

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Old 11-14-2011, 12:54 AM   #27
Andy C.
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III



"Come on........where are you....?"

The night air is cold and dry, the wind whistling through the steel-and-concrete canyons of the East End of Gotham City. Street lights below give off a dull orange glow, the ambient light pollution blotting out the stars and muting the night sky into a murky dark brown. Police sirens wail in the distance as squad cars speed towards Wayne Tower.

On any other night, the shiver that runs up my spine would be one of excitement, the thrill of adventure, the energizing sense of danger. Tonight, though, it's fear.

A few hours ago, Mister Wayne's penthouse was attacked. I don't know who was behind the attack or why, but I know it ended with him being thrown off of the balcony and down to the streets below. And the worst part is, it's my fault.

If I hadn't attacked him the night before, if I hadn't let my anger misguide me into trying to kill the very man who wanted to protect me, he wouldn't have been as injured as he was, and could have been able to fight back. If I hadn't been asleep when the intruder attacked, I could have helped fight him off, or at least distracted him long enough for Mister Wayne to take him down.

I spent over a year preparing to kill Batman. Now I'm terrified that someone else might have succeeded.

Judging from where he fell, there's about a four-square-block area where he could have landed. Considering the severity of the possible injuries that fall would cause, even in his armored suit, there's no way he's gotten far....if he's still alive.

I grabbed some equipment from the Cave before heading out: a utility harness, a high-tech grapnel gun that puts to shame the paramilitary climbing gear I use, a clip of Mister Wayne's "batarangs" just in case the attacker is still out there, and a pair of thermographic night-vision goggles. Some of the gear he's got down there is military grade stuff, some of it has got to be custom-made for himself. Eventually I'm going to have to get custom equipment of my own, but I didn't have time to shop around.

Going along the ledges of rooftops, I scan the streets below, looking for heat signatures. The process is agonizingly slow, but it's the only way I can think of to look for him. And eventually, it pays off.

Huddled in an alley behind a dumpster, I see a heat signature of human size, and draped over it are the tattered remains of his cape. A disheveled man, on some kind of drugs judging by the way he's moving, approaches the figure with a knife.

"Oh no you don't," I say, leaping down behind the knife-wielding druggie, then dispatching him with a hard kick to the back of the head.

Approaching the crumpled figure, I see that it's him. He's hurt worse than anyone else I've ever seen, he may not live through the night......but it's him.

"Batman," I say, crouching down to him, careful not to use his real name in case the druggie isn't completely unconscious. "Batman, it's me. Can you hear me? Are you.....oh God......are you still there?"

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Old 11-14-2011, 11:27 AM   #28
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III





Previously


Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

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The guard pushed the black British man down the corridor of the prison. They had stripped him of his suit and had replaced it with a dingy gray prison outfit. The guard shouted at him in the Hausa language.

His eyes lingered as he passed a room where a white man with shaggy red hair was sitting in a wooden chair, a spotlight in his eyes.


Name: Rick Flag
Codename: Flagman
Abilities: Skilled marksman, natural leader
Role: Task Force X Field Leader


The guard kept pushing the man to the end of the corridor and shoved him into a cell. The door slammed shut behind him and locked. The man paced around the room and his tongue instinctively rubbed the fresh filling in his back molar. The guards full cavity search had missed the new filling and the small GPS device in it. The man sat down on the edge of his cot and leaned back against the wall, his eyes closed.

He was mentally preparing for the task to come.


Name: Benjamin Turner
Codename: Bronze Tiger
Abilities: Expert in hand to hand combat and stealth
Role: Tactical support



*****



Kaduna, Nigeria


The middle aged black woman stood at the head of the table inside the hotel room. Gathered around her were three men and one woman.

"Listen up, people..."


Name: Special Agent Dr. Amanda Waller
Codename: The Wall
Role: Task Force X leader



"Turner's tracking chip finally came to a stop on the outskirts of Kano. It's about 150 miles west of Kaduna. I ordered a UAV to fly over the location and it's a prison facility that matches our intel."


"When do we move in?" The woman with dark hair and pale skin.



Name: Eve Eden
Codename: Nightshade
Powers: Light manipulation, teleportation
Role: Infiltration, transportation


"We need Turner to get eyes on Flag before we try any sort of exfiltration. I've got it set it up to meet with Turner at the prison tomorrow morning. I'm going undercover as his lawyer."

"No way in hell you're going in there alone," the man to Waller's right said in a gruff voice. He wore a glove on his right hand.


Name: CLASSIFIED
Codename: Sarge Steel
Role: Intelligence



"Don't worry, Sarge. I ain't going in alone. I expect my guardian angel to be looking out for me. Ain't that right, Floyd and Vertigo?"

"I don't think any goddamn guardian angel could shoot half as good as me."


Name: Floyd Lawton
Codename: Deadshot
Abilities: Expert marksman
Role: Sniper


"When I go, I'm gonna need some recording devices on my person. Klutter, you got anything like that with us?"

"I can rig something up," the skinny man with glasses said.


Name: Noah Kuttler
Codename: Calculator
Abilities: Skilled hacker
Role: Technological support


"Good. Alright, that's it for now. Let's get working on tomorrow morning. We're out of here and on our way to Kano at 0600."





Nigerian Prison
Outskirts of Kano

0545 Hours


The sun wouldn't begin to rise for another thirty minutes, but the change of the guard was already underway. The night shift guards were clocking out while day shift guards all came in to begin their shift.

It was during this lull that Lawton got into position.

Decked out in a desert camouflage Ghillie suit, he navigated slowly across the sands outside the prison. In his hands was a sniper rifle with desert camo painted on the barrel and suppressor.

He pulled up and stopped when he was five hundred yards away from the prison.

"Deadshot to The Wall, I'm in position. Calibrating my rifle now."

"Roger that, Deadshot. Just hang tight. It's gonna heat up real fast when the sun comes up, but you got more than enough water in your Ghillie to last you the day and into the night."

"Yeah, yeah. Just wake me when you get ready to go in..."



1125 Hours

The jeep tore across the dirt road towards the prison. It stopped at the entrance to the prison. Out stepped Waller and Nightshade, both women dressed in conservative dress clothes.

"We're with the British consul," Waller told the guard at the entrance. She was talking in a faux British accent. "And we're here to see our client, Mister Smith."

"I'm sorry, the prison if off-limits to all-"

"No," she said sternly. "I have my ID and my client has a right to be represented by his home country on these trumped up charges!"

"I-"

"No. I'm done talking with you. I want to speak to the person in charge or I will call the British PM himself and a international incident will be on your head! Do you want that?"

The guard stammered before finally turning around and running into the prison. Within five minutes, the two women were inside the office of the prison administrator.

"I am sorry for the hassle," the man said with a smile. "I do not mean to upset any of the British government's wishes."

While the man spoke, Waller fiddled with the second button on her blouse. Inside the button was a micro camera.

"There we go,"
Calculator's voice came in through her earpiece. '"I'm running his face through the database. We should know who he is in just a minute..."

"Well, when can I possibly see Mister Smith?"

"You mean the man who tries to con my people out of millions of dollars?"

"If this is the same man who is also a British citizen, then, yes. After all, he has a right to see us."

"Fine," the administrator said with a sigh. "But you will both be escorted by a guard at all times."

"Very well. Jennifer, you can wait out in the car."

"Yes, ma'am."

While Nightshade headed back to the jeep, a guard led Waller to the prison block.

"Got a hit on the warden. He's Colonel Samuel Ubuntu, part of the military tribunal that's leading the Muslim rebels. He's suspected of taking part in ethnic cleansing of Christians back in the 90's. The UN investigated, but he was never brought up on charges."

Waller tapped the earpiece to acknowledge. She was led to the visitation room where a shackled Ben Turner was waiting.

"Hello, Mister Smith. I'm Misses Wilson. I'm with the British consul's office. I'm here to see if we can get rid of these trumped up charges."

"Right," Turner said in his British accent. "By the by, cut out the mister stuff. Just call me by my nickname."

"Which is?"

"Flag," Turner said. "My friends call me Flag."

"Well, I'm sure they'll be waiting for you to get out."

Waller reached into her purse and pulled out a hardcover book.

"Is it alright if I give him this?"

"What is it?" The guard asked as he snatched it from her grasp. He thumbed through the book and shook the pages. "No contraband inside. Book is okay."

The guard handed it to Turner. He talked with Waller for fifteen more minutes before being lead back to his cell. Waller was led back to the jeep she and Nightshade had rode in. She climbed into the car while Nightshade started it up and pulled away.

"Alright, folks. Turner gave me a positive confirmation. I'm giving us the green light. Rendezvous with Turner and Flag is at midnight."

Inside the prison, the cell door slammed behind Turner. He waited until the guard was gone before he started on the book. Turner pried open the hardcover's spine and carefully removed a lockpick from inside the spine. He chuckled as he saw the book's title.

The Great Escape.

At least she had a sense of humor.



*****



IC: Rick Flag


My torturer yanks my head out of the bucket of ice water and I cough so bad that my whole body aches and spasms. The door opens up and the man who's been interrogating walks in. This time he has a pistol in his hands.

"Are you British? You must be. Why else would two nosy British consul *****es come to my prison and nose around?"

The man's two cronies lift me up on to my feet. The interrogator places the barrel of the gun inside my mouth. My heart races as he pulls back the hammer of the gun.

"Talk goddamn you! Do you know how many people I've tortured! How many people I've had beg me to kill them? Just so that I could ease their pain and suffering. Who are you to refuse me?! WHO ARE YOU?!"

He yanks the gun from my mouth and pistol whips me hard in the head. I fall back and hit the floor with hard thump. My vision's blurry and my eye is already beginning to swell as he talks.

"Your country has abandoned you, nobody cares about you. You are worthless to me. I give you one final chance, just because you are a true solider and I respect that. If you do not reach out to me or my people and tell me who or what you are, then I will put a bullet in your brain.You have until midnight to decide."

With that, the interrogator leaves the room and his two cronies drag me back to my cell. Back in the darkness he calls home...I begin to wonder. Maybe he's right. That goddamn rat Faraday sold me out, left me for dead. If they wanted me, they would have at least tried to make a deal.

Instead, I'm here...all by myself. Alone...

DINK!
DINK!
DINK!

What's that sound?

DINK!

Someone tapping on a pipe somewhere...but not at a steady pace. No, I recognize that...it's Morse code. I listen to the taps for a minute before the message becomes clear. Just hearing it fills me with a new resolve.

Flag. BT. B-out. 2345 hrs. B ready

Goddamn...It's him. I don't know how, but it's him.

Flag, Bronze Tiger. Breakout at 11:45 PM. Be ready.

Don't worry, Ben.

I'll be ready.

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-- Thomas Paine


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Old 11-14-2011, 03:09 PM   #29
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Oswald watches a secret video feed from a dock in the waterfront district.

He is giving his represenative instructions through an ear-peice as the shipping manifest is being reviewed.

Oswald takes a sip of his chardoney and says to the microphone, "It appears everything is in order give him the briefcase and begin off-loading into the warehouse. Use the trap door entrance in warehouse 13 in the north sector. I expect everything done within the next two hours any longer than that kiss you paycheks goodbye for this one. This shipment is too valuble to take chances with."

He then sends out a coded e-mail to his associates:

Weapons are being off loaded. First come first serve. Payment on delivery. Cash only! Manifest PDF attachment forth coming. Open for business for only two days. After that remaining shipment to highest bider bids to start at 10 million.

Penguin


The Penguin then calls Don Torasimo He says, "Ahh Robert this is The Penguin. How are you and the family doing?"

Robert replies, "Very well Penguin and you my friend?"

Penguin says, "Quiet well thank you, and thank you for the clean-up the other night your men did a spectacular job. I'm calling to inform you that the shipment has arrived and in 24 hours per our agreement you get the first pickings."

Robert says, "Excellent! Did you receive my order?"

Penguin says, "Indeed all of it is very reasonable except I can only give you five of the KXJ Assualt Rifles those are the big ticket items this year and you're getting them at a discount as it is."

Robert says, "I can live with that. I had to try."

Penguin says, "Of course my friend I would as well. So if nothing else comes up come be here tomorrow and we'll make the final arrangements."
Robert says, "All-right then. Pleasure doing business with you as always."

Penguin says, "Likewise old friend."

The two men hang up and Oswald looks at his watch.

Uh-oh better get moving don't want to be late for the Orphange Fund-Raiser.

Oswald quickly calls for his limo to meet him out front.

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Old 11-15-2011, 05:11 PM   #30
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III






Previously



Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

Quote:
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Matthews paces around the room while Spencer watches me impassively.

"Here's how it's going to go," Matthews starts. He ticks off points on his fingers as he talks. "One, our deal does not leave this room. Only the three of us are to be privy of your efforts to inform on the GCPD. Two, we are the ones who make contact with you. Do not attempt to contact us under any circumstances. Three, you do what we say when we say it. I know you have a track record of being...'independent' but that ends when you work for us. Fourth and finally, I'm not out to arrest some schmuck beat cop with ulcers. I'm going hunting for the big game. I want Gordon, Essen, Bullock. I want some ****ing antlers I can hang up on my wall. If you can't follow these rules, then we will have a problem. Are we going to have any problems, Inspector?"

"No, sir. I sign those immunity papers, and I'll do whatever the hell you want."

"That's gonna have to wait," Matthews says, looking at his wristwatch. "For now, I'll leave you in the care of Special Agent Spencer. When you make contact, more often that not it'll be through her. Best of luck."

With that, Matthews leaves the hotel room and I'm left alone with Spencer.

"Before we get down to any deals and immunity, I need something from you. A show of good faith. Hard evidence that you have information that can lead to the arrest of dirty cops. What do you have for us, Nygma?"

I hold my tongue from cussing out loud. ****ing pigs.

"Not sure if I feel comfortable talking without fear of prosecution."

"Listen, I don't have time for your crap. You want to play games, that's fine. No immunity. Just remember that you're the type that the bull in Stonegate love to have a good time with. By the time they get done with you, you won't be able to sit down again."

I sigh and look away from her. I stay quiet for a few moments before breaking the silence.

"There's this sergeant in the Northeast. Dylan Murphy. He runs a protection racket with all the immigrant store owners in Bennett Beach."

"That's the best you got?"

"Nope, but you think I'll blow my wad in one meeting? You got another thing coming, lady."

"Fine. I'll check this out. But for now, we're done. I'll be in touch."

Spencer stands up and shows me the way out the door.



*****



IC: Vic Sage


I take a final drag off my cigarette before tossing it to the ground and stomping it out. The Ace Chemical plant looms in front of me. I walk inside the abandoned factory and head to the scene of the crime.

The back office where Detective Marcus Driver was killed.

Two days on the case and reading on the files led me back here. There were only a few crime scene photos and the forensic report that came back was sloppy to say the least.

I look over the photos and walk through the room, imagining exactly where everything was the night Driver was murdered. I have the file under my arm. I pull it out and lay the photos out on the floor.

Okay, Driver was killed when he had his throat slit. Driver was a big guy, he'd be hard to hold down. The toxicology report said he had a bunch of Benzodiazepine in his system. So, whoever killed him had to drug him first. They had to get close to drug him. So...someone he trusted?

I walk over to the desk where Driver's body was found. The blood was pouring out and to the right on the desk. So, that means the cut probably went from left to right. The killer was probably right handed. And short, judging by the angle of the cut. No taller than 5'7. No wallet or cellphone was found on Driver's body. A murder out here in a deserted location. It was somebody he knew. He was killed to keep him quiet.

But why?

I go about picking up the photos and case files. I pull out my cellphone once they're all back in place.

"Stan? It's Vic. I need some help....yeah, I need all the case files about the last few cases Driver worked and I also need all his financial information."




IC: Vic Sage


I get up from my desk and walk down my apartment's hallway into the bedroom. I'm still going over the reports in my mind, even as I sit down on my sagging bed.

Stan sends me all the files I asked for and most of it's run of the mill stuff. Last few cases Driver investigated were all organized crime related. The Triads' bootleg DVD operation, Some lieutenant inside the Red Mafiya running girls out the back of his strip club. The last case he worked is paydirt.

The Flamebird herself.

Bette Kane's body was found six months ago in some back alley. According to the report, she was beaten to death. Before her death, she was given a type of torture that turns the stomach a homicide vet like me. Her death was in all the papers, even made national news. The two officers who worked the case? Detective Marcus Driver and his supervisor, Inspector Edward Nygma.

Wasn't two weeks after Bette's murder the story of the Kane family got even more tragic. Both Bette's father and sister were found murdered in their homes and the mother cracked from it all. She's in some mental hospital in Florida.

The murders of all three Kanes are unsolved. The theory on Harold and Kate Kane is that it was a home invasion gone bad. The theory on Bette...well, nobody knows what the hell could motivate someone to do what they did to that girl.

My mind keeps going back to Nygma.

Nygma.

This has nothing to do with the Holiday case...but just like that case, his fingerprints are all over the thing. It's the daily and weekly status reports that has me wondering. At first, Nygma's reports were filled with information on information. He was padding the reports, he always had a talent for turning a simple traffic stop look like the arrest of Pablo Escobar on paper.

But, a few days before Driver died, the report style changes. They're basic, just simple. "No new leads. No further information from witness reinterviews." Stuff like that. Then, two days after that, the day after the Kanes were killed, Nygma's reporting style goes back to the normal padded style.

The date of Nygma's change in style reminds me of something, I get off the bed and walk back to the files. Stan also sent over a copy of Driver's bank accounts and all the transactions leading up to his death. Apparently, he bought a motel room a week before he was murdered, about five days after Bette was murdered.

There's nothing in the original homicide file that indicates the detectives looked into the lead, so I go to the motel and see the desk clerk.

"Can I help you?" He asks.

"Yeah, I know it's been a few months ago, but I was wondering if you remembered this guy."

I show the clerk a photo of Driver, from his ID badge.

"You a cop or something?"

"A P.I. unlike cops," I say as I slide the man a fifty. "I know how to be subtle."

He takes the fifty and nods. "Yeah, I remember him. Real weirdo. Coming and going all hours of the night. I gave him room 23...I went in there one time and there was some weird s***."

"Like how weird?"

"Remember that rich girl that got murdered? It was like a goddamn shrine to her. Newspaper articles, crime scene photos, police reports. It spooked me something fierce. I was afraid to touch anything. I left and called the cops. They didn't get to it till a few days later, because a backlog on tips and stuff, but by then that son of a ***** in the suit stole it all."

"What son of a ***** in a suit?"

"I don't know. Tall, lanky guy in a green suit."

Goddammit.

"Was it this man?"

I hand the clerk Nygma's GCPD personnel photo and he nods.

"Yeah. He came in the day after I last saw the crazy man. He must have stolen all the stuff."

Nygma.

Once again, it all comes back to him.



*****



IC: Edward Nygma


My leg bounces nervously as I sit in the waiting room at Gotham General Hospital. The ICU only lets so many people in at a time. After a few more minutes of waiting, a nurse calls me back to his room.

Laying on the bed in front of me in Jim Gordon, every muscle in his body atrophied by a nearly six month long coma.

"Eddie," he wheezes. "Thanks for coming to see me."

"What else could I do, boss? I had to see how you were doing."

Five months ago, I tried to kill him in this very hospital bed. I was interrupted by his daughter.

"Good. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. As you can see, it's going to take some time."

"Well, the PD is in good hands while you get better. Essen has been doing a heck of a job."

"So have you, from what I've been told. They say you kicked the Batman's ass so bad he hasn't been seen."

"Probably licking his wounds."

I hope that son of a ***** is dead. I hope Bane tore his head off.

"Do you know who shot you, sir? Remember what they looked like?"

"No. All I remember from that day was leaving for work that morning. The rest is a blank...Look, Eddie...I wanted to talk to you about something else today. I wanted to talk about the future."

He called me Eddie. I hate when he does that.

"After what happened to me, I realize that life is important. I know my life before the shooting wasn't honorable..."

You condoned drug dealers and killers, you had people killed in your name. You were a goddamn monster.

"You did what you thought was necessary."

"No. I was out of control and I want to change. I need to change. It's more than just about me or you...it's about everyone else. The lives we lead. The way it can taint our souls. I can't live with that any longer. I'm going to try and turn over a new leaf and work for a better tomorrow."

Bull****. A leopard never changes it's spots.

"But the most important thing right now is making sure the sins of the past don't ruin our better tomorrow. The FBI and US Attorney are sticking their nose where they don't belong. Mum is the word."

You son of a *****.

"I mean, I've been good to you, haven't I?"

Yeah, except for the times you tried to have me killed and that one time you put a loaded gun to my head.

"Of course you have."

"Good. Just remember that deal. When I come back, if I ever come back, I'll need a new deputy commissioner. A few years after that, the chair is yours."

I wish I could have killed you all those months ago.

"That means a lot to me, sir. And I want to say...I consider you almost like a father figure to me."

My old man was a drunk who loved to kick the **** outta me. I was glad when he died. You fit right in.

"Thank you, Eddie. I really don't know what to say to that."

I plan on selling you out to the FBI. What would you say if you knew that, ***hole?

"Don't say anything, just know that it's true."

I could probably still get away with killing you now. Your whole body is so weak, it wouldn't take much.

"I have to go, sir. Duty calls. I'll be back tomorrow or the day after that to see how you're doing."

"Good, come see me soon."

"You know I will," I say with my best fake smile.

I hope you spend the rest of your days in prison.

__________________
"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


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
-- Otto von Bismarck


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Old 11-16-2011, 01:54 PM   #31
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Previously


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Nigerian Prison
Outskirts of Kano

0545 Hours


The sun wouldn't begin to rise for another thirty minutes, but the change of the guard was already underway. The night shift guards were clocking out while day shift guards all came in to begin their shift.

It was during this lull that Lawton got into position.

Decked out in a desert camouflage Ghillie suit, he navigated slowly across the sands outside the prison. In his hands was a sniper rifle with desert camo painted on the barrel and suppressor.

He pulled up and stopped when he was five hundred yards away from the prison.

"Deadshot to The Wall, I'm in position. Calibrating my rifle now."

"Roger that, Deadshot. Just hang tight. It's gonna heat up real fast when the sun comes up, but you got more than enough water in your Ghillie to last you the day and into the night."

"Yeah, yeah. Just wake me when you get ready to go in..."



1125 Hours

The jeep tore across the dirt road towards the prison. It stopped at the entrance to the prison. Out stepped Waller and Nightshade, both women dressed in conservative dress clothes.

"We're with the British consul," Waller told the guard at the entrance. She was talking in a faux British accent. "And we're here to see our client, Mister Smith."

"I'm sorry, the prison if off-limits to all-"

"No," she said sternly. "I have my ID and my client has a right to be represented by his home country on these trumped up charges!"

"I-"

"No. I'm done talking with you. I want to speak to the person in charge or I will call the British PM himself and a international incident will be on your head! Do you want that?"

The guard stammered before finally turning around and running into the prison. Within five minutes, the two women were inside the office of the prison administrator.

"I am sorry for the hassle," the man said with a smile. "I do not mean to upset any of the British government's wishes."

While the man spoke, Waller fiddled with the second button on her blouse. Inside the button was a micro camera.

"There we go,"
Calculator's voice came in through her earpiece. '"I'm running his face through the database. We should know who he is in just a minute..."

"Well, when can I possibly see Mister Smith?"

"You mean the man who tries to con my people out of millions of dollars?"

"If this is the same man who is also a British citizen, then, yes. After all, he has a right to see us."

"Fine," the administrator said with a sigh. "But you will both be escorted by a guard at all times."

"Very well. Jennifer, you can wait out in the car."

"Yes, ma'am."

While Nightshade headed back to the jeep, a guard led Waller to the prison block.

"Got a hit on the warden. He's Colonel Samuel Ubuntu, part of the military tribunal that's leading the Muslim rebels. He's suspected of taking part in ethnic cleansing of Christians back in the 90's. The UN investigated, but he was never brought up on charges."

Waller tapped the earpiece to acknowledge. She was led to the visitation room where a shackled Ben Turner was waiting.

"Hello, Mister Smith. I'm Misses Wilson. I'm with the British consul's office. I'm here to see if we can get rid of these trumped up charges."

"Right," Turner said in his British accent. "By the by, cut out the mister stuff. Just call me by my nickname."

"Which is?"

"Flag," Turner said. "My friends call me Flag."

"Well, I'm sure they'll be waiting for you to get out."

Waller reached into her purse and pulled out a hardcover book.

"Is it alright if I give him this?"

"What is it?" The guard asked as he snatched it from her grasp. He thumbed through the book and shook the pages. "No contraband inside. Book is okay."

The guard handed it to Turner. He talked with Waller for fifteen more minutes before being lead back to his cell. Waller was led back to the jeep she and Nightshade had rode in. She climbed into the car while Nightshade started it up and pulled away.

"Alright, folks. Turner gave me a positive confirmation. I'm giving us the green light. Rendezvous with Turner and Flag is at midnight."

Inside the prison, the cell door slammed behind Turner. He waited until the guard was gone before he started on the book. Turner pried open the hardcover's spine and carefully removed a lockpick from inside the spine. He chuckled as he saw the book's title.

The Great Escape.

At least she had a sense of humor.



*****



IC: Rick Flag


My torturer yanks my head out of the bucket of ice water and I cough so bad that my whole body aches and spasms. The door opens up and the man who's been interrogating walks in. This time he has a pistol in his hands.

"Are you British? You must be. Why else would two nosy British consul *****es come to my prison and nose around?"

The man's two cronies lift me up on to my feet. The interrogator places the barrel of the gun inside my mouth. My heart races as he pulls back the hammer of the gun.

"Talk goddamn you! Do you know how many people I've tortured! How many people I've had beg me to kill them? Just so that I could ease their pain and suffering. Who are you to refuse me?! WHO ARE YOU?!"

He yanks the gun from my mouth and pistol whips me hard in the head. I fall back and hit the floor with hard thump. My vision's blurry and my eye is already beginning to swell as he talks.

"Your country has abandoned you, nobody cares about you. You are worthless to me. I give you one final chance, just because you are a true solider and I respect that. If you do not reach out to me or my people and tell me who or what you are, then I will put a bullet in your brain.You have until midnight to decide."

With that, the interrogator leaves the room and his two cronies drag me back to my cell. Back in the darkness he calls home...I begin to wonder. Maybe he's right. That goddamn rat Faraday sold me out, left me for dead. If they wanted me, they would have at least tried to make a deal.

Instead, I'm here...all by myself. Alone...

DINK!
DINK!
DINK!

What's that sound?

DINK!

Someone tapping on a pipe somewhere...but not at a steady pace. No, I recognize that...it's Morse code. I listen to the taps for a minute before the message becomes clear. Just hearing it fills me with a new resolve.

Flag. BT. B-out. 2345 hrs. B ready

Goddamn...It's him. I don't know how, but it's him.

Flag, Bronze Tiger. Breakout at 11:45 PM. Be ready.

Don't worry, Ben.

I'll be ready.



Nigerian Prison
Outskirts of Kano

2330 Hours


It was dark inside Ben Turner's prison cell, but he stood up and walked towards the tiny window that looked out on the night. The land surrounding the prison was dry and arid, but there were some plant life. This part of the country was the beginning of the mighty Sahara.

There were stars lighting up the night sky from millions of light years away, but it was a closer light that caught Turner's attention. From off in the distance, a light flashed on and off twice.

Without a second thought, Turner turned to his cot and pulled the lockpick from out under the mattress. He walked over to the cell door and began to work on its lock. Within thirty seconds, the lock snapped and the cell door swung open. Turner took the lockpick and held it like a knife as he crept into the corridor.



*****



IC: Rick Flag


"Almost time," my guard says from outside my cell. They're supposed to execute me in about a half hour Going on who knows how long in this hell hole and they still haven't broke me. So now they're going to kill me.

That's their plan, anyway. Take it from someone who's had experience in these matters, plans have a way of being blown to hell and back when you least expect them.

The guard in front of me turns around to look down the corridor. I slowly slide off my bunk and creep across the floor until I'm within reach of the guard's neck.

"Uck!" He cries out as I reach through the bars and wrap my hands around his neck, slamming him into the bars. The guard struggles against me, trying to reach for the pistol on his hip. I end it all with a savage twist of the neck. His dead body falls limp to the ground. I reach for the keys on his belt and look through them. I find the key to my cell and open it. I grab the pistol off the guard and chamber a round. I'm two steps out the cell when footsteps echo down the corridor. I hold the gun out and get ready to squeeze the trigger when...

"But that gun down..."

Ben Turner himself steps out of the shadows, a lockpick in his hands.

"I'm here to rescue you."

"About goddamn time," I croak out. The first words I've spoken in I don't know how long. "You're early. I almost shot you."

"My message was 11:30. Not my fault you suck at Morse code. We gotta go. The Wall is waiting."

"Who the hell is that?"

"Don't worry," Ben says with a chuckle. "You'll find out soon enough. Now, let's go."

"Not before we make one little stop first. I want to say a proper goodbye to the ***hole who tortured me all this time."

Ben nods and he leads the way down the dark corridor with me right behind him, pistol in my hands and ready to fire.

__________________
"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


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:03 PM   #32
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The Atom shakes her head and says, "If anyone else has a better idea let's hear it. There's some very nervous and frightened people right now and they need some sort of assurance."
"First things first, I think we need to talk about how we can face...whatever that was, in a head on fight."

I turn to GL.

"I know we came here for a different reason, but I think we should talk about adding more firepower to our lineup and Green Lantern is that firepower."

__________________
"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


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:18 PM   #33
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"First things first, I think we need to talk about how we can face...whatever that was, in a head on fight."

I turn to GL.

"I know we came here for a different reason, but I think we should talk about adding more firepower to our lineup and Green Lantern is that firepower."
"Agreed." I step to the large conference table in the center of the room. "And he's not the only one." Punching a few commands into the keyboard built into the table, a holographic monitor display lights up with the image of another costumed crimefighter from Metropolis.



"Dr. John Henry Irons has recently taken up the armored alias of "Steel" and has begun cleaning up certain areas of Metropolis, but I think he can do much more good on top of that, given the chance. He's an inventor and engineering genius, which could certainly be another boon to this team, and he has agreed to let me vouch for his membership candidacy."

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:28 PM   #34
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OOC: Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:29 PM   #35
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"Dr. John Henry Irons has recently taken up the armored alias of "Steel" and has begun cleaning up certain areas of Metropolis, but I think he can do much more good on top of that, given the chance. He's an inventor and engineering genius, which could certainly be another boon to this team, and he has agreed to let me vouch for his membership candidacy."
"That actually does remind me of someone else I met a few months back. Name of Green Arrow. He works out of Star City."

"Another green themed hero? You whore!"

"I met him first! But anyway, he's a heck of a hero. I know his MO of shooting arrows isn't exactly what you'd call a powerhouse, but he's just as effective at Batman with a percentage of the attitude."

__________________
"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


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:48 PM   #36
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"Dr. John Henry Irons has recently taken up the armored alias of "Steel" and has begun cleaning up certain areas of Metropolis, but I think he can do much more good on top of that, given the chance. He's an inventor and engineering genius, which could certainly be another boon to this team, and he has agreed to let me vouch for his membership candidacy."
The Atom says, "GL hey the guy has my vote, and Dr. Irons I know him. He's a good man and has all the makings of a first rate Justice Leaguer."

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"That actually does remind me of someone else I met a few months back. Name of Green Arrow. He works out of Star City."
After hearing The Flash & GL go back and forth about Green Arrow she shakes her head and says, "Talk about the Odd Couple."

She chuckles and floats to the computer and jumps on a few keys.

Within seconds a list of Heroes from the database created by Checkmate appears.

The Atom floats away and says, "For those of us who don't know other heroes by name here are some other suggestions."

She closes her eyes for a second and then says, "The only other one I know of outside of you all is a guy named The Question, and trust me he's eccentric and very good at what he does, but unlike the playful banter between Flash & GL the banter between him and say Batman could get very tense."

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Old 11-17-2011, 02:35 AM   #37
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III



"The more allies we have on our side, the better," I say, still only halfway paying attention to the names the other members are saying. "We don't know if this Legion of Doom has already shown its true strength, or if Vandal Savage has others in reserve."

I stare death at the image of Cheetah on the monitor, a smug grin on her face.

"When Flash and I encountered Cheetah, she was assisted by another woman, who could grow to gigantic proportions. Cheetah was also under the employ of an international terrorist organization called the Cult of Kobra. They've employed several super-powered murderers as well....many of whom have already tried to kill me."

Captain Nazi.....Dark Angel.....Silver Swan......and Kobra doubtless has more monsters under his thumb.

"Whatever Savage is planning, we need to gather as many of our fellow heroes as we can. The Legion has declared war on us; it is our duty to end this war before it has the chance to escalate."

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Old 11-17-2011, 03:26 PM   #38
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"The more allies we have on our side, the better," I say, still only halfway paying attention to the names the other members are saying. "We don't know if this Legion of Doom has already shown its true strength, or if Vandal Savage has others in reserve."

I stare death at the image of Cheetah on the monitor, a smug grin on her face.

"When Flash and I encountered Cheetah, she was assisted by another woman, who could grow to gigantic proportions. Cheetah was also under the employ of an international terrorist organization called the Cult of Kobra. They've employed several super-powered murderers as well....many of whom have already tried to kill me."

Captain Nazi.....Dark Angel.....Silver Swan......and Kobra doubtless has more monsters under his thumb.

"Whatever Savage is planning, we need to gather as many of our fellow heroes as we can. The Legion has declared war on us; it is our duty to end this war before it has the chance to escalate."

The Atom says, "That's true Wonder Woman. Only two issues we don't know when or where they're gonna strike next. Which means we may not have a lot of time to get ready."

She floats to back to the screen studies it.

The Atom floats away and says, "To do what they did has got to take a lot of power, and every form of matter gives off some kind of signature or rhythm or ambient pulse. If we can get to the U-N we might be able to get some information that we can use later on, or at least maybe fill in some of the holes in the blanks."

The Atom then looks at the group and says, "What about this? Those of us who know other heroes go on a recruitment drive, and the rest take some portable scanners and take a road trip to the U-N. We meet back here in about two hours to compare notes. Assuming we don't have communicators now otherwise we can just keep in touch that way."

She steadies herself realizing the gravity of the situation and says, "They fired the first salvo it's time for us to get down to business otherwise their next salvo might be the last for humanity."

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Old 11-18-2011, 10:09 PM   #39
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III






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IC: Vic Sage


I get up from my desk and walk down my apartment's hallway into the bedroom. I'm still going over the reports in my mind, even as I sit down on my sagging bed.

Stan sends me all the files I asked for and most of it's run of the mill stuff. Last few cases Driver investigated were all organized crime related. The Triads' bootleg DVD operation, Some lieutenant inside the Red Mafiya running girls out the back of his strip club. The last case he worked is paydirt.

The Flamebird herself.

Bette Kane's body was found six months ago in some back alley. According to the report, she was beaten to death. Before her death, she was given a type of torture that turns the stomach a homicide vet like me. Her death was in all the papers, even made national news. The two officers who worked the case? Detective Marcus Driver and his supervisor, Inspector Edward Nygma.

Wasn't two weeks after Bette's murder the story of the Kane family got even more tragic. Both Bette's father and sister were found murdered in their homes and the mother cracked from it all. She's in some mental hospital in Florida.

The murders of all three Kanes are unsolved. The theory on Harold and Kate Kane is that it was a home invasion gone bad. The theory on Bette...well, nobody knows what the hell could motivate someone to do what they did to that girl.

My mind keeps going back to Nygma.

Nygma.

This has nothing to do with the Holiday case...but just like that case, his fingerprints are all over the thing. It's the daily and weekly status reports that has me wondering. At first, Nygma's reports were filled with information on information. He was padding the reports, he always had a talent for turning a simple traffic stop look like the arrest of Pablo Escobar on paper.

But, a few days before Driver died, the report style changes. They're basic, just simple. "No new leads. No further information from witness reinterviews." Stuff like that. Then, two days after that, the day after the Kanes were killed, Nygma's reporting style goes back to the normal padded style.

The date of Nygma's change in style reminds me of something, I get off the bed and walk back to the files. Stan also sent over a copy of Driver's bank accounts and all the transactions leading up to his death. Apparently, he bought a motel room a week before he was murdered, about five days after Bette was murdered.

There's nothing in the original homicide file that indicates the detectives looked into the lead, so I go to the motel and see the desk clerk.

"Can I help you?" He asks.

"Yeah, I know it's been a few months ago, but I was wondering if you remembered this guy."

I show the clerk a photo of Driver, from his ID badge.

"You a cop or something?"

"A P.I. unlike cops," I say as I slide the man a fifty. "I know how to be subtle."

He takes the fifty and nods. "Yeah, I remember him. Real weirdo. Coming and going all hours of the night. I gave him room 23...I went in there one time and there was some weird s***."

"Like how weird?"

"Remember that rich girl that got murdered? It was like a goddamn shrine to her. Newspaper articles, crime scene photos, police reports. It spooked me something fierce. I was afraid to touch anything. I left and called the cops. They didn't get to it till a few days later, because a backlog on tips and stuff, but by then that son of a ***** in the suit stole it all."

"What son of a ***** in a suit?"

"I don't know. Tall, lanky guy in a green suit."

Goddammit.

"Was it this man?"

I hand the clerk Nygma's GCPD personnel photo and he nods.

"Yeah. He came in the day after I last saw the crazy man. He must have stolen all the stuff."

Nygma.

Once again, it all comes back to him.



*****



IC: Edward Nygma


My leg bounces nervously as I sit in the waiting room at Gotham General Hospital. The ICU only lets so many people in at a time. After a few more minutes of waiting, a nurse calls me back to his room.

Laying on the bed in front of me in Jim Gordon, every muscle in his body atrophied by a nearly six month long coma.

"Eddie," he wheezes. "Thanks for coming to see me."

"What else could I do, boss? I had to see how you were doing."

Five months ago, I tried to kill him in this very hospital bed. I was interrupted by his daughter.

"Good. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. As you can see, it's going to take some time."

"Well, the PD is in good hands while you get better. Essen has been doing a heck of a job."

"So have you, from what I've been told. They say you kicked the Batman's ass so bad he hasn't been seen."

"Probably licking his wounds."

I hope that son of a ***** is dead. I hope Bane tore his head off.

"Do you know who shot you, sir? Remember what they looked like?"

"No. All I remember from that day was leaving for work that morning. The rest is a blank...Look, Eddie...I wanted to talk to you about something else today. I wanted to talk about the future."

He called me Eddie. I hate when he does that.

"After what happened to me, I realize that life is important. I know my life before the shooting wasn't honorable..."

You condoned drug dealers and killers, you had people killed in your name. You were a goddamn monster.

"You did what you thought was necessary."

"No. I was out of control and I want to change. I need to change. It's more than just about me or you...it's about everyone else. The lives we lead. The way it can taint our souls. I can't live with that any longer. I'm going to try and turn over a new leaf and work for a better tomorrow."

Bull****. A leopard never changes it's spots.

"But the most important thing right now is making sure the sins of the past don't ruin our better tomorrow. The FBI and US Attorney are sticking their nose where they don't belong. Mum is the word."

You son of a *****.

"I mean, I've been good to you, haven't I?"

Yeah, except for the times you tried to have me killed and that one time you put a loaded gun to my head.

"Of course you have."

"Good. Just remember that deal. When I come back, if I ever come back, I'll need a new deputy commissioner. A few years after that, the chair is yours."

I wish I could have killed you all those months ago.

"That means a lot to me, sir. And I want to say...I consider you almost like a father figure to me."

My old man was a drunk who loved to kick the **** outta me. I was glad when he died. You fit right in.

"Thank you, Eddie. I really don't know what to say to that."

I plan on selling you out to the FBI. What would you say if you knew that, ***hole?

"Don't say anything, just know that it's true."

I could probably still get away with killing you now. Your whole body is so weak, it wouldn't take much.

"I have to go, sir. Duty calls. I'll be back tomorrow or the day after that to see how you're doing."

"Good, come see me soon."

"You know I will," I say with my best fake smile.

I hope you spend the rest of your days in prison.


Kate Spencer is waiting in her FBI issued unmarked car as I pull up in my own car. The deserted field on the outskirts of Gotham is a better place to meet than the Gotham Ritz.

"Your tip planned out," she says as I step out of my car.

"I knew it would."

"Sergeant Murphy has been running a protection ring with the Bennett Beach storekeepers."

"What's your next move?"

"I've got my people shadowing him, getting more intel. But I need you for something again."

I narrow my eyes and look at Spencer.

"What?"

"Holiday. Something funny went down in that case. We're making it a RICO case so we need to establish the GCPD has a past history of corruption. Now why did you and the rest of the PD sweep it under the rug?"

"It is what it is. You read the report."

Holiday. That's off-limits. Lot of history. That's the case that made me...and the case that almost killed me. Drugs, corruption, and murder all wrapped up in a neat little bow. I had Gordon, Essen, and the whole MCU dead to rights...but I got my hands real dirty in the process.

"So Lieutenant Michael Akins just snapped and started killing people based on a goddamn whim?"

"Read the report, sweetheart. He snapped years ago when he son was murdered.'

Spencer flips me off and scowls.

"I am not nor ever have been your sweetheart. So, you can go to hell."

"So can you. Tell your boss I ain't saying **** until I get my immunity."

With that, I jump back in my car and drive off in a fury.



******



IC: Vic Sage


Back in my apartment, trying to fill the gaps. What did Nyma have to do with the Kane case? Why did Driver die? Why did the Kanes? Who killed Bette and who killed her family?

A knock at the door, I push all my case files away and go to the door. A dark-haired woman in a pants suit is waiting for me. There's a badge in her hands.

"Mister Sage? I'm Special Agent Kate Spencer, FBI. I wanted to have a few minutes of your time."

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Old 11-18-2011, 11:15 PM   #40
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Sinestro

Arkillo is the first to arrive. The large Vorn laughs and pats me on the back before taking a seat at the table with me. The monstrous being is a strong and fearless warrior, and one of the best surviving Green Lanterns. He served with distinction during the attack on Hand's forces, and since then he has been an excellent sounding board for my feelings on the new direction the New Guardians are taking the Corps.

Next, Katma Tui, one of my own race and a Violet Lantern, arrives. I've sworn her father I would do all in my power to protect her, and by placing her in my inner circle, I'm doing just that. She will be most prepared for the road ahead, along with the others I have placed my trust in.

"So," she asks, taking the third seat at the table, "should we get this meeting of the Sinestro Corps underway?"

I frown at the name. Ever since the charge and destruction of Hand's forces, there have been whispers that I've been trying to create my own fighting force. While the whispers aren't necessarily wrong, the assumption that I'm doing it to fulfill my own egotistical desires.

But they couldn't be more wrong. No, I'm training a select group to be prepared for the inevitable. These science experiments ordered by the New Guardians will lead to countless Corps members falling to the impurities. They were not meant to be used by only anyone. The weak among us will be swallowed by them, the lure of their power will be too great. And when push comes to shove, we will have a civil war on our hands.

But we will be ready. I'll make sure of that.

"No," I respond. "We are still waiting on another."

Almost immediately after I say that, the final member of my chosen warriors walks in. "Sorry I'm late. Hope I didn't hold anything up."



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Old 11-19-2011, 11:22 AM   #41
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The Atom then looks at the group and says, "What about this? Those of us who know other heroes go on a recruitment drive, and the rest take some portable scanners and take a road trip to the U-N. We meet back here in about two hours to compare notes. Assuming we don't have communicators now otherwise we can just keep in touch that way."
"I'll see if I can find Green Arrow. Don't think a masked dude with a robin hood fetish will be too hard to find...but it is California after all...umm, anyway, just to get all the formalities out of the way, I guess we should do a vote on GL? All those in favor?"

I raise my hand and nod at Lantern.

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Old 11-19-2011, 11:39 AM   #42
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"I'll see if I can find Green Arrow. Don't think a masked dude with a robin hood fetish will be too hard to find...but it is California after all...umm, anyway, just to get all the formalities out of the way, I guess we should do a vote on GL? All those in favor?"

I raise my hand and nod at Lantern.
The Atom raises her hand and says, "He's got my vote,and in terms of Arrow hey if he can catch the bad guys with a bow and arrow that's got be tough enough. "

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Old 11-19-2011, 12:05 PM   #43
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Previously


Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

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Nigerian Prison
Outskirts of Kano

2330 Hours


It was dark inside Ben Turner's prison cell, but he stood up and walked towards the tiny window that looked out on the night. The land surrounding the prison was dry and arid, but there were some plant life. This part of the country was the beginning of the mighty Sahara.

There were stars lighting up the night sky from millions of light years away, but it was a closer light that caught Turner's attention. From off in the distance, a light flashed on and off twice.

Without a second thought, Turner turned to his cot and pulled the lockpick from out under the mattress. He walked over to the cell door and began to work on its lock. Within thirty seconds, the lock snapped and the cell door swung open. Turner took the lockpick and held it like a knife as he crept into the corridor.



*****



IC: Rick Flag


"Almost time," my guard says from outside my cell. They're supposed to execute me in about a half hour Going on who knows how long in this hell hole and they still haven't broke me. So now they're going to kill me.

That's their plan, anyway. Take it from someone who's had experience in these matters, plans have a way of being blown to hell and back when you least expect them.

The guard in front of me turns around to look down the corridor. I slowly slide off my bunk and creep across the floor until I'm within reach of the guard's neck.

"Uck!" He cries out as I reach through the bars and wrap my hands around his neck, slamming him into the bars. The guard struggles against me, trying to reach for the pistol on his hip. I end it all with a savage twist of the neck. His dead body falls limp to the ground. I reach for the keys on his belt and look through them. I find the key to my cell and open it. I grab the pistol off the guard and chamber a round. I'm two steps out the cell when footsteps echo down the corridor. I hold the gun out and get ready to squeeze the trigger when...

"But that gun down..."

Ben Turner himself steps out of the shadows, a lockpick in his hands.

"I'm here to rescue you."

"About goddamn time," I croak out. The first words I've spoken in I don't know how long. "You're early. I almost shot you."

"My message was 11:30. Not my fault you suck at Morse code. We gotta go. The Wall is waiting."

"Who the hell is that?"

"Don't worry," Ben says with a chuckle. "You'll find out soon enough. Now, let's go."

"Not before we make one little stop first. I want to say a proper goodbye to the ***hole who tortured me all this time."

Ben nods and he leads the way down the dark corridor with me right behind him, pistol in my hands and ready to fire.


Nigerian Prison
Outskirts of Kano

2345 Hours


Turner and Flag sneaked through the prison's cellblock. They stopped short and melded into the shadows as a guard walked by. Flag leaped out at the guard and put him in a chokehold. While the guard struggled, Flag reached for his pistol and bashed the butt of the gun on the man's head. The guard went limp and Flag let the unconscious man drop to the floor.

"C'mon," Turner whispered. He searched the passed out guard and took the man's pistol from its hip holster. "Prison exit is one floor down. We're almost out of here."

"Not yet,"
Flag whispered back. "I want to find the bastard who tortured me everyday for a month."

"We're wasting time, dammit!"

"I want to find out how much they know about me...among other things. Come on, let's go."

Flag led the way out of the cellblock and up a level to the prison offices. They entered an office marked Col. Ubuntu. The man who had been interrogating flag was sitting at his desk when the two came in.

"Oh, no," he said, reaching for the gun on his desk. Flag beat him to the punch, pulling up his pistol and shooting Ubuntu in the chest. The colonel fell back away from his desk and hit the floor. Flag walked over calmly and put the gun in Ubuntu's face.

"I came to talk. My name is Lieutenant Colonel Richard Montgomery Flag the third. I'm a former US Ranger, former Delta Force, and current leader of a black-ops strike team known as Task Force X. I was in your hellhole of a country because of an ***hole set me up. What he's got coming for him, is what you got coming to you right now. Any more questions?"

"Please, no! NO!"

Flag squeezed the trigger and shot Ubuntu twice in the head.

"Didn't think so."

"Well, so much for being quiet. Half the guards in the prison are probably headed our way."

"Then let's get going."

The two men left the office and began back down the corridor. Two guards rounded the corner with AK-47s in their hands. Flag and Turner drew down fire, striking both men in the chest before they had a chance to fire. They swapped out their pistols for the assault rifles and hurried out of the offices and out to the prison's side entrance.

"I had a certain side I was supposed to escape out of, I think this was it."

The two men ran through the sand, but stopped short when a spotlight from the prison fell on them. Guards from the roof of the prison began shouting.

KRAK!
KRAK!
KRAK!
KRAK!

Four rifle shots cut through the air and all the guards on the roof were dead, each and everyone of them were victims of bullets to the head.

KRAK!

A bullet struck the spotlight and shattered it. Back in the restored darkness, Flag turned to Turner.

"Lawton?"

"Lawton. He's up here somewhere. The three of us have a rendezvous with the extraction team a half mile away."

They turned their backs on the prison and began running. Shots were coming from inside the prison as the guards prepared to give chase to the escaped prisoners. At one spot, the sand beside them suddenly started to move and a Ghillie suit clad Deadshot began to run along with him.

"This ****ing suit! I've been in this goddamn suit for eighteen ****ing hours!"

"Cry me a goddamn river, Lawton. Try wearing one while you lay in the mud for three days straight and then you can come crying to me."

As they covered the ground to the rendezvous, the shots and calls from the guards began to grow louder. Off in the distance, a pickup truck was idling in the sand.

"Hit the dirt!" A voice from beside the truck called out as soon as the three were within earshot. They fell to the ground as automatic rifle rife ripped through the night. Bullets whizzed over their heads.

"Clear!"

The three men picked themselves up and jogged over to the truck.

"Sorry about that," Sarge Steel said. An M4 was in his hands. "Guards were getting close. That buys us time. Now let's go! Get on the back of the truck!"

Lawton, Flag, and Turner jumped into the pickups bed as Steel climbed into the cab and hit the gas.

"Is that the Wall?" Flag asked as the truck bounced across the desert.

"You wish," Turner said with a smile. "That's Sarge Steel."

Flag shot Turner an incredulous look and Turner just shrugged.

"You never know. It could actually be his real name."

After a half hour drive, the pickup came to a stop on a flat stretch of desert that had been turned into an improvised airstrip. A C-17 was running and waiting.

"Let's go," Steel said as he exited the truck. "We got a thirteen hour flight back to the states to look forward to."

Flag, Turner, and Lawton climbed out of the back and walked towards the taxiing aircraft. Two women were waiting for them by the plane's cargo ramp. One of them bolted across the sand as soon as she saw Flag.

"Rick!"
Nightshade said as she embraced Flag. "Thank God you're alive!"

She pulled away suddenly, looking slightly embarrassed.

"Good to have you back."

"Ain't that sweet," the other woman said. She walked over to Flag and looked him over. "Welcome back from the cold, Flag...You look like hell. Come on inside the plane and we'll start your debrief. You think Ubuntu was a torturer, wait until I start on you."

With that, she turned and walked back to the plane.

"That," Turner said over Flag's shoulder "Is the Wall."

__________________
"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


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #44
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Greater Houston Area
Texas


The firefighter's helmet slipped over the child's eyes, the small Superboy adjusting the brim of the red safety hat so that he could peer down at the area map which the fire chief and others from the fire and forest services were examining. One of the firefighters had turned around to lift the young boy up to see the map spread out across the table, only to have everyone surprised to discover that the Metropolis grade schooler was hovering in the air. "Let me see somethin' for a second..." the boy remarked, picking the map up.

Before anyone could so much as blink, the child shot straight up into the air.

"Please tell me you guys are seeing this too," the fire chief mumbled.

In another blur, the Superboy returned and laid the map back down on the table as he produced a red crayon from out of the pocket of his jeans. Making some scribbles on the aerial map, the child updated and expanded on the visual depiction of the fire damage. "Okay, that looks right," Lor-Zod remarked to himself, folding his legs underneath himself so that he was seated cross-legged in mid-air.

"We need to clear the debris from this section of highway to get more trucks in," the fire chief began.

"Okay."

With that, Superboy vanished into a red blur. The fire chief exchanged looks with some of the others around the table before the child returned a minute later. "That was easy. What's next?"

Mouth agape, the fire chief just looked over at his fellow man. Clearing her throat, one of the forest service workers opined, "We should... probably do a search through these neighborhoods."

"I scanned the homes when I was searching for that Suzie girl," Superboy answered casually, starting to rummage through his pockets. "I found a cool rock and, oh, this frog," the boy added, holding out the treasures that he'd located.

"Other than that, the neighborhood was empty," the little Kryptonian began, starting to put the treasures away when he caught a glimpse of the watch that Superman had given him. "What els..."

The child paused, examining the hands of the watch closer. One... two... three... It was three o'clock and the minute hand was...

A look of horror crossed the boy's face. Without a word, the Superboy vanished into the skies with only the echoing thunder of a sonic boom to mark his departure from Texas.

"Where in the sam hell do you imagine he's going?"

"I sure don't know," the fire chief answered. "But a boy with courage like that is sure to be handling something right important."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NASA Pike Island Research Facility
Metropolis, MA


Lor-Zod tore through the skies over Massachusetts, practically tearing doors off their hinges as he rushed to the lounge in the center of the Project Superboy headquarters.

He'd barely arrived in time, a sigh of relief leaving him as he switched on the television and tried not to think about what might have happened if he hadn't made it to Metropolis.

Blinking, the boy realized there was something missing. In a blur, the boy disappeared to the kitchen and returned with a bag of Cheetos and a pair of Capri Sun juice packs.

Nope, something was still missing.

Flying back out, the Superboy returned a second later with Adam Grant in tow.

For his part, Adam didn't seem to appreciate the heroic effort being made here. "I'm not watching cartoons with you, butthole!" Adam declared hotly, popping up to his feet as he leveled an accusatory finger at the Superboy. "You embarassed me in front of the entire gym cl..."

"Believe it!"

Blinking, the Grant boy was silenced by the warm glow of the television that was alight with the animated figure of a blond, spiky-haired, juvenile ninja. As the cross look lifted from his face, Adam quietly took a seat next to Lor-Zod. After another moment, Lor popped a straw into one of juice boxes and handed it over to the other boy. Examining the peace offering for a moment, Adam accepted the juice box and looked down at his lap for a moment. Finally, the boy reared back a hand and punched his Kryptonian friend in the arm. "Ow!"

Okay, so maybe that hadn't worked out quite like Adam had imagined.

Turning his head back just slightly, eyes still glued to the anime, Lor made out the sound of Dabney Donovan coming to explore the noise coming from the lounge. "Can Adam sleep over tonight?"

"What the... I thought you were helping people in Texas!?" Donovan demanded, somewhere between shock, anger, and awe.

"I learned in science class that your planet is, like, thousands or millions of years old or whatever," Lor-Zod answered with a shrug, shoveling a handful of cheetos into his mouth before passing the bag over to Adam. "I think it'll survive while Naruto's on."

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Old 11-19-2011, 07:03 PM   #45
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Boy Blue
~No Place Like Home~
Part 2

The Munchkin leads me along the edge of the forest towards another clearing through a few more trees. Buffkin flutters excitedly around us, obviously excited to be at home. As we walk, the Munchkin tells me of the happenings in Oz since the Emperor took over, "And you see, the Wizard never really had any magical power. But that all changed when the Emperor came in. The minute his forces marched in, the Wizard bent the knee and helped them clear out all the dissidents."

"You don't have to remind us about that one," Buffkin seethes. The flying monkey was once one of the warriors fighting to keep Oz free, under the leadership of Gilda the Good. But their sparse forces didn't stand a chance against the combined forces of the Wizard and the Adversary. "We remember."

"So you do," the Munchkin nods. "Well, ever since then, our ol' Wizard has been showing some pretty interesting powers. And on top of that, he's been exerting his rule much more forcefully. His troops march daily, the talking Animals of Oz have been rounded up, and anyone who talks out is put to death in the large square in the Emerald City. Ah! Over this way."

We follow the small man through a few more trees before exiting into the designated clearing. And As we do, I immediately realize it's a trap. Cindy is held with a knife to her throat by what I can assume are the Wizard's shock troops. They're draped in emerald steel armor, and are all armed to the teeth.

The Munchkin waddles over to them, turns to us and says, "Sorry gents. But the price on dissenters heads are just so high. Couldn't pass it up. No hard feelings."

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Old 11-20-2011, 03:44 AM   #46
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"Lantern is easily worthy of fighting alongside us," I say. "I have yet to meet the others, but if Flash and Superman vouch for them, then I will put faith in them as well. Arrow, Steel, bring them all."

"I'm coming too," I hear Donna's voice; in the shock of the attack, I had all but forgotten she was here. "You said you need all the help you can get, right?"

"No, Donna," I cut her off. "Your wounds from the battle with Doctor Destiny are still not healed. And this is not your fight."

"I'm not going to just sit back while you get--"

"I won't ask you to sit idly by with the world in danger," I say, pulling her aside, "But on the front lines, against Cheetah and her new cohorts? You would slow us all down, and likely get yourself killed."

Her eyes flare up with indignation and hurt, but she knows I'm right.

"I have another task for you, though," I continue, "one that could be vital to achieving victory in this war. I had a dream last night, a vision--"

Donna looks up.

"The gods said that we were all fragments of a single person," she says, and I'm taken aback for a second that she shared my dream. "Parts of the same whole, right?"

"That is right," I say. "And there are others out there, who may not yet know who and what they are. I need you to find them."

"You're about to wage war on an army of monsters and psychopaths, and you have me running errands?"

"It's more than that--when we fought together, our physical and mental abilities were heightened merely by being in each other's presence. Strength, speed, skill, all increased by leaps and bounds. If we could find the others.....fighting in tandem, we could be unbeatable."

Donna raises an eyebrow.

"I said this was a war. I'm giving the task to you to call forth our army. The Jet is yours; I'm heading to the UN."

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Old 11-20-2011, 04:05 AM   #47
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Lying in a pool of his own blood in the back of a filthy alley. It's no way for any man to die, let alone the Batman. It still seems strange considering all I went through to try to kill him myself, but after everything he's done for me, I can't let Mister Wayne die.

I tried to wake him, but he's completely unconscious, maybe comatose. I'm scared to move him. I'm scared to leave him. Above everything....I'm just scared.

Pulling my phone from my utility belt, I call the house and pray Mister Wayne's butler answers.

After four tries, he finally picks up.

"Wayne residence," he says, "I'm sorry, but there's been a terrible--"

"Alfred," I cut him off, "It's me."

"Master Dick! Where are you?"

"I've found him," I say. "He's still alive; that's the good news. The bad news is, that's really the only piece of good news there is. He's hurt, I can't tell how badly, but badly. He's barely breathing, his pulse is faint, and he's losing a lot of blood. If we don't get him urgent medical attention, I don't think he's going to live through the night."

"I'll bring the car around," he says, "As well as a change of clothes, and hopefully a sufficient cover story. Just tell me where you are."

"My smart-phone has a built-in GPS in it," I say. "I've been able to synch it up with the Oracle system before. If I patch into that, it should lead you straight to us."

"I hope for Master Wayne's sake that you're right," Alfred says. "Don't you dare lose him before I get there."

Alfred hangs up, and I nervously pace around Mister Wayne's broken body. I don't know very much first aid, at least not enough to treat a man who could very well have severe head trauma or a broken spinal column. All I can do now is wait for the car to arrive....

....and pray that he stays alive long enough for us to save him.

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Old 11-20-2011, 04:41 AM   #48
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Have to do better than this.

For what seems like the third hour since I started, my fist collides against the leather bag strung up infront of me, rocking back and forth with a violent aftershock that brings me back to reality. I can feel myself panting, gasping for air that I haven't allowed myself to stop and breathe much of, but I nevertheless keep going on the poor thing - hoping, praying there's something left in me that can still fight. Pain in my leg's still making me wince every now and again, and I know that by the time I'm finished, I'll be back on the crutches. If I ever claimed to have any pride, now would be the time to acknowledge that it might be seriously wounded. Or at best, scathed to the point that I'm starting to doubt myself.

I keep pushing it. Another few minutes goes by before I finally hear a voice at the other end of the room that shakes away my concentration. The voice accompanied by a yawn. Damn, I didn't mean to wake her.

"Selina?"

I turn back to the tired face of little Arizona, standing in the doorway and rubbing her eyes. Hard to believe it's been a month ever since I brought her back here to stay, and I never thought I'd make it this far as her guardian. But I suppose we've been managing, in our own little way. She still hasn't asked me anything about why I came home battered and bruised, my leg bandaged and swollen to the point that I've barely been able to move around the apartment. And for that, I'm almost grateful.

"Hey,", I meekly respond, giving her a smile. "Didn't think that I'd wake you. Sorry about that."

With an air of confusion, she looks at the speed bag, then back at me. Barely even registers a reaction in her face.

"S'okay."

"You hungry? I can make another grilled cheese. Or would you like some takeout?"

I can tell that she isn't sure of what to say. Poor girl hasn't exactly been the most receptive of company, but I know exactly how she feels. Spending time in that hellish environment, traded in and out between who knows how many dirtbags under Yuri Dimitrov's clientelle and forced to do things she was never going to be ready for... it makes me sick to even think about.

Wiping my face of perspiration after I limp over to the side table, I throw the towel around my shoulders and grab the crutch to put under my arm. Arizona tries to come over and help, but I throw up a hand, shaking my head to acknowledge that I'm fine. She's a sweet kid, all things considered. Probably better than I deserve to have around.

"C'mon. Let's find something for both of us."

Leading her out of the room, we go and have a late night dinner together. It's a peaceful end to an evening, and I almost feel like I could spend every night like this without complaint. But at the end of it, all I can think of is when I'm going to be able to ditch the crutch and put on the costume again. That fight with The Dragon's right hand she-devil nearly cost me everything, and if it wasn't for his intervention, I wouldn't be around to pick myself up and fight.

Which is exactly why I need time to do just that on my own. Batman may have offered to help me hone my skills, but there's one thing that he can never hope to teach me.

And that's how to be Catwoman again.

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Old 11-20-2011, 09:02 PM   #49
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NASA Pike Island Research Facility
Metropolis, MA


They were very close to making a breakthrough like none other in the history of either Kryptonian or human kind. Like all scientific and military geniuses, the pair were not without critics. Ignorant masses who heaped obstacles in their path. First there was dinner time, the protest over which was quickly ended in a mutual treaty when it was learned that they were having Hamburger Helper.

Of course dinner had been a trap.

No sooner had the barren plates of hamburger helper and empty glasses of milk been taken away than the two ground-breaking researchers had found themselves arraigned before the Galactic Criminal Court of the Cronus-9 Statute. In short order, they were sentenced to imprisonment in the bath tub and made to brush their teeth in the Crest mines of Jorunga.

But through the combined might of General Zod and Professor Supremo, better known by their mild-manner alter egos of Nobel Prize winning scientists General Lor-Zod of Krypton's Ninth Order and Doctor Adam Grant of NASA, the two had managed to escape their hellish bath time imprisonment. With only their prison uniforms on their backs, they were now fugitives from the law, working to better the universe from the wrong side of the tracks.

And they were close. With a little more time, they could develop a cure of girlishness and finally rid the galaxy of the Curse of Girls.

"Quick, Professor Supremo, let's get this sample back to the ISS!" Lor-Zod declared, holding up the rock that he'd picked up earlier in Texas. Clad in the oversized NASA t-shirt that he wore to bed, the brown-haired boy began running in circles about the lounge while making zoom and swoosh sounds.

"Watch out for that asteroid field, General!" Adam warned, as the boy ran counter-clockwise to Lor's circles, while holding up a plastic inflatable replica of the Space Shuttle Excalibur. The Grant boy was colorfully garbed in his Superman pajamas that mimicked the appearance and color scheme of the Man of Steel's iconic blue and red costume.

Narrowly dodging the hyperactive grade schoolers, Dabney Donovan stepped into the lounge and immediately wondered whether or not they needed more child psychologists on the staff. "What the hell is this?"

Standing in the doorway to the kitchen, one of the interns pointed toward a pillow-and-blanket fort that had been erected. "That's the International Space Station, the sofa is Mars, and I think the kitchen table is a moon base of some kind..."

"They're playing scientists?" Donovan asked dubiously.

"Yeah. It's pretty cool," the intern remarked, sipping at his coffee. "It's... it's like they're nerds in training."

"Okay, all right," Donovan announced, clapping his hands together to get the attention of the two kids lost to their own imaginations. "Time for bed."

The two boys just paused in their play before sharing a look with one another. "It's S.T.A.R. Labs! They want to stop us from making our breakthrough!" Lor remarked loudly.

"Run!" Adam yelled, sending the pair scrambling for their pillow fort.

"Where do they get this crap?" Donovan wondered with a loud sigh.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Shutting the door behind him, Donovan felt as though he could have crawled into bed himself. A bedtime story and two glasses of water later, followed by yet another bedtime story, Donovan was finally crawling his way to the daily outbrief with the Department of Metahuman Affairs. "Sorry about that, took a little longer than usual to get Superboy into bed," the geneticist offered by way of explanation, as the mustached scientist took his seat at the table opposite Albert Michaels, with the image of Fionna Ross video teleconferenced in from her DC office.

"We were just discussing whether or not we should allow the President's Council on Fitness to use Superboy as a publicity icon. Dabney, you mentioned that you'd been approached with a private sponsorship offer. Maybe you could talk about that?"

Donovan nodded. "Yes, earlier today I circulated an offer from a WGBS-Television property known as the Uncle Oswald Show?"

"I had our legal division look into, but is there a reason why we have to put Superboy in front of cameras at this point?"

"There were news crews all over that Texas fire. If Superboy hadn't pulled out to come watch afternoon cartoons, one of those reporters would have almost certainly gotten hold of him at some point," Donovan remarked with a shrug.

"I think there's some interest there. No one's interviewed Superboy yet," Albert noted quietly.

"So its a variable we ought to control rather than let happen at random."

"Exactly, plus we keep control over Superboy as a brand," Dabney added.

"As a... what did you say?"

"We're both public agencies, so the public opinion and interest in Superboy directly relates into their willingness to have tax dollars support things like Project Superboy," Albert remarked, catching Donovan by surprise. Michaels had largely been quiet of late. Continuing on, the medical doctor went on to add, "And let's face it, kids say the darnedest things. And Superboy can really say some of the darnedest things. If he were to say 'humanity is weak' on national television, we'd pretty much be screwed."

Donovan found himself agreeing with everything that had just been said. "Can you imagine if a reporter asked his opinion of Superman?"

"All right, let's feel out this Uncle Oswald **** some more before we agree to anything," Ross remarked through the conference connection. "What about the devil we know? Superboy's slept over at Cat Grant's place, so she might know as much about the kid as we do... but it doesn't seem she's run to the Daily Planet with any of it."

"So we might be able to trust her with controlling the interview so it didn't spin out of control," Donovan commented with a nod.

"And then he'd be better prepped for a live children's show like Uncle Oswald," Albert concluded.

"Sounds like we have a plan. I'll talk to Cat Grant tomorrow. Donovan, give a call back to the Uncle Oswald Show and see you can get them to give us firmer details on what it is they want from us and from Superboy."


As the conference ended, Michaels was left at the table. Superboy on national television. What an interesting opportunity to swing national interest against him...

__________________
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Currently into: Journey Into Mystery, Batman & Robin, Nightwing

Last edited by Bounce; 11-20-2011 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:28 AM   #50
Byrd Man
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III





Previously



Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

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Originally Posted by Byrd Man View Post

Nigerian Prison
Outskirts of Kano

2345 Hours


Turner and Flag sneaked through the prison's cellblock. They stopped short and melded into the shadows as a guard walked by. Flag leaped out at the guard and put him in a chokehold. While the guard struggled, Flag reached for his pistol and bashed the butt of the gun on the man's head. The guard went limp and Flag let the unconscious man drop to the floor.

"C'mon," Turner whispered. He searched the passed out guard and took the man's pistol from its hip holster. "Prison exit is one floor down. We're almost out of here."

"Not yet,"
Flag whispered back. "I want to find the bastard who tortured me everyday for a month."

"We're wasting time, dammit!"

"I want to find out how much they know about me...among other things. Come on, let's go."

Flag led the way out of the cellblock and up a level to the prison offices. They entered an office marked Col. Ubuntu. The man who had been interrogating flag was sitting at his desk when the two came in.

"Oh, no," he said, reaching for the gun on his desk. Flag beat him to the punch, pulling up his pistol and shooting Ubuntu in the chest. The colonel fell back away from his desk and hit the floor. Flag walked over calmly and put the gun in Ubuntu's face.

"I came to talk. My name is Lieutenant Colonel Richard Montgomery Flag the third. I'm a former US Ranger, former Delta Force, and current leader of a black-ops strike team known as Task Force X. I was in your hellhole of a country because of an ***hole set me up. What he's got coming for him, is what you got coming to you right now. Any more questions?"

"Please, no! NO!"

Flag squeezed the trigger and shot Ubuntu twice in the head.

"Didn't think so."

"Well, so much for being quiet. Half the guards in the prison are probably headed our way."

"Then let's get going."

The two men left the office and began back down the corridor. Two guards rounded the corner with AK-47s in their hands. Flag and Turner drew down fire, striking both men in the chest before they had a chance to fire. They swapped out their pistols for the assault rifles and hurried out of the offices and out to the prison's side entrance.

"I had a certain side I was supposed to escape out of, I think this was it."

The two men ran through the sand, but stopped short when a spotlight from the prison fell on them. Guards from the roof of the prison began shouting.

KRAK!
KRAK!
KRAK!
KRAK!

Four rifle shots cut through the air and all the guards on the roof were dead, each and everyone of them were victims of bullets to the head.

KRAK!

A bullet struck the spotlight and shattered it. Back in the restored darkness, Flag turned to Turner.

"Lawton?"

"Lawton. He's up here somewhere. The three of us have a rendezvous with the extraction team a half mile away."

They turned their backs on the prison and began running. Shots were coming from inside the prison as the guards prepared to give chase to the escaped prisoners. At one spot, the sand beside them suddenly started to move and a Ghillie suit clad Deadshot began to run along with him.

"This ****ing suit! I've been in this goddamn suit for eighteen ****ing hours!"

"Cry me a goddamn river, Lawton. Try wearing one while you lay in the mud for three days straight and then you can come crying to me."

As they covered the ground to the rendezvous, the shots and calls from the guards began to grow louder. Off in the distance, a pickup truck was idling in the sand.

"Hit the dirt!" A voice from beside the truck called out as soon as the three were within earshot. They fell to the ground as automatic rifle rife ripped through the night. Bullets whizzed over their heads.

"Clear!"

The three men picked themselves up and jogged over to the truck.

"Sorry about that," Sarge Steel said. An M4 was in his hands. "Guards were getting close. That buys us time. Now let's go! Get on the back of the truck!"

Lawton, Flag, and Turner jumped into the pickups bed as Steel climbed into the cab and hit the gas.

"Is that the Wall?" Flag asked as the truck bounced across the desert.

"You wish," Turner said with a smile. "That's Sarge Steel."

Flag shot Turner an incredulous look and Turner just shrugged.

"You never know. It could actually be his real name."

After a half hour drive, the pickup came to a stop on a flat stretch of desert that had been turned into an improvised airstrip. A C-17 was running and waiting.

"Let's go," Steel said as he exited the truck. "We got a thirteen hour flight back to the states to look forward to."

Flag, Turner, and Lawton climbed out of the back and walked towards the taxiing aircraft. Two women were waiting for them by the plane's cargo ramp. One of them bolted across the sand as soon as she saw Flag.

"Rick!"
Nightshade said as she embraced Flag. "Thank God you're alive!"

She pulled away suddenly, looking slightly embarrassed.

"Good to have you back."

"Ain't that sweet," the other woman said. She walked over to Flag and looked him over. "Welcome back from the cold, Flag...You look like hell. Come on inside the plane and we'll start your debrief. You think Ubuntu was a torturer, wait until I start on you."

With that, she turned and walked back to the plane.

"That," Turner said over Flag's shoulder "Is the Wall."



Over the Atlantic Ocean


Amanda Waller eyed Rick Flag as he took in all she had just said. She'd just spent the last half hour explaining to him what she and Sarge Steel had found after he was left for dead in Nigeria. King Faraday, the man who had run the team after Waller left, had used the Squad for his own devices. They became his own private mercenary team, pulling jobs across the globe for an oil company while Faraday had lined his pockets. After the incident in Nigeria, Faraday had disappeared off the grid.

Fast forward a month and here they were, in the back of a cargo plane headed back to the States. Flag was alive, beaten all to hell and back, but still alive.

"You have no idea where he's at?" Flag asked after a long pause.

"No idea. He took a flight from New Orleans to Dubai. The last shot we have of him is from a security camera in the Dubai International Airport. After that he turned into ghost. No paper trail at all. Faraday is an old pro when it comes to spook work. He has two backup identities on file, but he could have another dozen fake passports we never knew about. I managed to freeze the assets in his Swiss bank account, but by then he'd already taken two mil out. I have no idea. That's more than enough to pay for a few years on lam."

"Not good enough. I want to find him now. He left me for dead, Waller. I want to repay the favor."

"Listen to me, Flag," Waller said sternly. "I know how you feel, believe me, I know all to well. You rushing out to get revenge won't solve anything. It makes you sloppy. It does nothing but hurt yourself and others. I've got my best people working on finding Faraday. As soon as they even get a whiff of Faraday's scent, I'll sic you and the Squad on him. 'Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war' and all that."

Flag leaned back and rubbed his head. While he needed medical attention, he felt like he needed a shower above everything else.

"So what is this? You're going to keep me on the team with the offer of getting the kill shot on Faraday?"

"Hell no. I won't dangle that carrot in your face, Flag. If I have it my way, Faraday will spend the rest of his days rotting in some hole. The traitorous snake deserves death, but that's too easy for him. I'm only offering you a chance to go along for the ride. Fact of the matter is that you're a damn good leader, Flag. You bring your people back alive...for the most part. Face facts, Rick, you ain't good at anything else."

"Fine," Flag replied. "Just get me a hot shower and some decent food."



16 Hours Later
Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary
Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana



Cleaned up and bandaged, Flag looked in the mirror of the bathroom as he finished up shaving his rust colored beard.

"I actually liked the beard," Ben Turner said as he rounded the corner into the bathroom.

"Never liked the feel of facial hair. Always felt like a slob if I let it grow out too much.'

"Of course. You don't want to look like a hippie or some draft dodger."

"Funny," Flag said, rolling his eyes. "You know, Ben. I didn't have a chance to say it, but I want to thank you. Thank you for coming back and getting me. Waller told me that you gave up a chance on the outside for this."

"Well, I'm still free to come and go as I please. I'm just a 'civilian contractor' now. Sure as hell beats the construction I was doing before."

"You seen Eve? I haven't seen her since we got back. I wanted to thank her too."

"She's working with Sarge Steel on something. I think a prisoner managed to escape while we were in Nigeria. You ask me, I think she's trying to avoid you, still a little embarrassed."

"About what? Hugging me?"

"Nevermind," Turner said, shaking his head. "You'll find out soon enough. For now we're needed. We got a new recruit."

Flag washed the shaving cream from his face and followed Turner to the entrance of the sub-level of Belle Reve. A massive prisoner is shackles was waiting for them.

"This is Roland Desmond. Calls himself Blockbuster. Super strength and durability. He was running a drug ring out of Gotham City before Batman and some weirdo without a face took him down. Cops linked him to ordering three murders and killing three people with his bare hands. Six consecutive life sentences."

"Welcome," Flag said to Desmond. "I'm Lieutenant Colonel Rick Flag, your field leader. You know the deal. Work for us until we say so and you get a pardon. Disobey orders and you're either thrown back into your cell to rot forever, or we execute you where you stand."

"Yeah," Desmond spat out. "How you gonna do that? Nobody's been able to kill me yet."

"Remember that booster shot you got during your physical? It was an injection of microtechnology known as nanites. They're in your blood stream right now. You disobey and I have them blow off your head."

"Your bluffing!"

Desmond roared and snapped his restraints. "I'm gonna rip off your ****ing head!"

Flag pulled a remote out of his pocket with two buttons on it. One green and one red. He pressed the green button and watched as Blockbuster's huge frame hit the floor and began to convulse in pain. Flag stopped after thirty seconds and walked over to the downed prisoner.

"That's pacification mode. You mess up again and I press the red button. Then I'm the one ripping off your ****ing head."

Behind Flag, Turner was talking into an intercomm.

"That was Sarge Steel. Waller needs all of us in the briefing room. Apparently we have a mission."

Flag turned to the downed Desmond and kicked the large man in the ribs.

"Up and at 'em, dirtbag. Time to serve your country."

__________________
"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


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
-- Otto von Bismarck


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