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Old 03-11-2012, 04:33 PM   #426
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG






Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD



Inside Johns Hopkins' pediatric ward, seven year old Eliza Newton was in her bed. She laid there asleep, a wrap covered her hairless head. A year of off and on chemotherapy had weakened her so much that it seemed like she slept more than anything. She has just turned six when her first seizure had occurred. The doctors knew right away it was a tumor, and the scans showed a tumor the size of a tangerine in the middle of her brain. It was inoperable and growing larger. She'd been fighting the disease ever since.

Eliza jerked in her sleep, a victim of a nightmare. The heart monitor picked up speed and increased. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open. Her eyes, normally brown, were golden and glowing. Contrails curled from out of Eliza's eyes.

On the street outside, the people coming to and going from the hospital were interrupted from their routine as a shrill, high-pitched scream broke through the air. All eyes went up to the sky, where a child was falling from the sky. People on the street gasped and recoiled as she careened to the ground. The girl was just feet from the pavement when she disappeared in a puff of smoke. The people outside the hospital began to gather at the spot where the girl would have landed. They talked amongst themselves and looked up into the air as they talked, all of them trying to make sense of what they just saw.




The Baxter Building
Manhattan


"JOHNNY!" Ben yelled as he stomped through the Baxter Building's upper levels. "Come out so I can murder ya!"

"Stop me when I lie!" Johnny said as he ran out of a sideroom and sprinted down the hallway away from Ben. Ben started to give chase, his rocky footsteps shaking the whole floor. Johnny came the end of the hallway and ducked out on to the terrace outside. Johnny leaped from the terrace, free falling for a few seconds before bursting into flames and taking to the skies.

"Come back here!" Ben shouted, shaking his rocky fist into the sky as Johnny streaked away.

"What's going on?" Sue asked as she stepped on to the terrace. "Oh," she said, her face scowling as she saw what was on Ben's back. Johnny had slapped a sticker read "WIDE LOAD!" in the middle of his back.

"Mind helping me?" Ben asked, pawing at the sticker that was just out of reach. Sue nodded and helped pry it off his rocky back.

"I'm sorry," she said, crumbling the sticker up into a ball.

"You ain't gotta apologize for him," Ben said with a shrug. "Kid's been a jerk since as long as I've known him."

"I know. He should know better since you're..."

"What?" Ben asked defensively. "What am I, Suze? Crazy? Depressing? What?"

"You know, Ben...sensitive."

"Well, I'm so happy that the ugly rock monster is worthy of your consideration and pity."

"Come on, Ben, you know I didn't mean it like that. I'm trying to talk to you, but I can tell you're in one of your moods.

"Moods? What mood?"

"You're having one of your pity parties. Anything anyone tries to say to you, you turn it around and use it against us. You want to feel sorry for yourself, go ahead. Just leave me out of it."

With that, Sue turned around and left the terrace. She headed up a few levels to the floor where Reed and Sue kept their labs. Her husband of six months was in the main work station, stretched out underneath a hybrid car.

"How's it coming?"

"Fantastic!" Reed said from underneath the car. "I took out the engine and replaced it with one of my own design. It can go over eight hundred miles an hour, and it's more than adequate to power hover engines and maintain flight."

"A flying car? Is there anything else it does?"

"It runs on water, but it's not as efficient as I had hoped. Only gets two hundred miles to the gallon."

Reed pulled himself out from under the car and stood up, grabbing a rag from the workbench and wiping off his greasy hands. "So how are Ben and Johnny enjoying their R&R?"

"Don't get me started," Sue said with a roll of her eyes. "They've been bickering pretty bad over the past few days. It's been nearly two weeks since Warworld. I think they need something to do."

"Idle hands and all that."

Reed's computer on the other side of the lab dinged, alerting him that he had a priority email in his inbox. "Excuse me," he said, stretching the upper half of his body across the room. Sue watched from the other side of the room as he typed and responded to his email.

"Ask and you shall receive," Reed said as he stretched back to normal. "That was an email from General Lumpkin. The FBI and something called the DEO is requesting assistance involving an incident in Baltimore."

"Good. After putting up with Ben and Johnny for two weeks, I can deal with whatever the universe is prepared to throw at us."

"Round up Ben and Johnny while I get the car ready," Reed said, patting the car's hood. "It's perfect driving weather. Can't think of a better time for a maiden voyage."

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Old 03-11-2012, 07:13 PM   #427
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG




Lex and two lab workers watch Banner in the spartan isolation chamber.

A bed, a nightstand with a pen and a pad of paper, a two-way mirror, and a room with a toilet are the only "comforts" Bruce has known for the last two days since the lab "accident".

Periodically there are voices from a speaker box asking him questions and lab techs in full iso gear taking readings and running tests.

This is it! I am not showing an adverse reactions to these blasted tests! I've been cooped in here with hardly any contact. I feel fine in fact better than I've ever felt in my life. Well except for the fact that I should be dead.

Banner looks at the mirror and says, "Hey! I demand to be released! I have my rights and I'm being held here against my will! Let me out now!"

Lex cuts on the mic and says, "Patience Bruce. Only a few more days. I promise you that we are working around the clock to make sure that you're 100% healthy."

Banner says, "Lex I don't care. I've seen enough of the readings I'm perfectly fine. Are you trying to get a lock on how I survived so you can replicate the results, and sell them to the highes bidder?"

Lex swallows for a moment and says, "That is none of your concern. We have your best interests at heart Bruce just know that."

Bruce stands up and says, "Pardon me if I don't believe you Lex. As far as I'm concerned I am no longer a part of your beloved LexCorp, and if there are any further tests to be run I'll get out of here and go to either Stark, Wayne, or even Oscorp. Now let me outta here Lex!"

Lex looks at the two lab workers and says, "Leave the room now. Dr. Banner and I must negotiate in private."

The lab workers leave and Lex enters a stealth command on his L-pad to Alexis: End-Game.

Alexis replies thru the L-Pad, "Acknowledged"

Within seconds the room begins filling with a deadly Lithium-Propane gas and Banner knows something is worng.

Lex says, "Bruce I have no idea what is happening your filtration system seems to have picked up a glitch I have no idea how to fix it."

Banner is coughing and gagging and drops to the floor.

The only way you're leaving here Banner is in a bodybag!

Bruce struggles to get fresh air but can feel his heartbeat slowing down and the lights growing dimmer.

Can't breathe...can't focus...must escape....MUST ESCAPE!

Lex suddenly sees Banner look at the two way mirror with the jade stones in place where his eyes should be.

Lex says, "What the...."

Before his eyes Lex sees Banner grow from a 5' 9" 170 pound scientist to a monster of 7' 7" tall and at least 1,200 pounds...all of it muscle.

The creature comes over to the mirror and stares at himself. Lex though sees the creature staring to him



Lex has known many emotions in his time but this is the first time he has ever known pure fear on an epic scale.

The Creautre roars a primative yell and the mirror shatters!

ROOAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!

Lex moves towards a darkened corner and watches as The Creature smashes through a solid wall made of concrete and steel as though it were tissue paper.

The Creature lets out another yell and begins to leap out of the room tearing holes through the walls of LexCorp and out into the Metropolis night.

Lex says very quietly and for the first time in his life prayerfully, "My God what have I done?"

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Old 03-12-2012, 07:39 PM   #428
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG

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

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

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

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

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

“Welcome home, Alec Holland.”


...

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

“Alec! I’ve got breakfast ready!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome home, Alec Holland.

Welcome home.

Cypress Swamp, Louisiana

They were in bayou country, out in the middle of nowhere. And that's exactly where Alec Holland needed to be. Their car had driven him and his wife out to a cabin deep in the heart of the swamp. Alec had converted this place into a lab with Sue Storm and a few other college classmates way back when, as a place they could come to if they ever needed to "get away from it all." The tech inside would probably be dated now, but it was just the sanctuary he needed.

"Home sweet home?"

Linda stepped out of the car after him, wrapping her arms around his waist. He smiled absently, but his focus was elsewhere. The air hung hot and thick, like in his dreams. This was not the place of his dreams, but it was similar. It was here, wild and unchecked. The green. All around him...

For months now, Holland had been working for a man called Nathan Ellery, who had hired him to develop a bio-restorative formula, supposedly for use in third world countries and places of drought. The theory was one that had been something of an obsession of Holland's for years, that it was possible to stimulate even the most minimal of plant growth, and make a rainforest in a desert. With Ellery's considerable resources, this idea had come close to becoming a reality. But then everything changed.

Holland had received anonymous e-mails with leaked documents showing what Ellery was truly planning on using this bio-restorative formula for. Military application, destabilising the battlegrounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. Holland was being lied to. So he quit, and took his findings thus far with him. He decided that he was going to finish his research on his own, and when he was done, the formula would become available to the world, rather than the exclusive property of shady big business. Linda had joined him. She had always been his best lab partner.

He entered the access code - long ago burned into his memory - and the cabin doors swung open. It was dark and musty inside - evidently it had been a long time since any of the old gang had used the place - but it was still in solid working order.

"Yes. This'll do nicely."

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Old 03-13-2012, 11:25 AM   #429
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG

Alec and Linda had been at the cabin lab in the Louisiana Swamplands for weeks now, trying to reach a breakthrough in the bio-restorative formula, to no avail. Without the resources and manpower available to him at Ellery's lab, every unsuccessful test took longer, and the effort was quite draining.

"Damn it," Alec muttered to himself, slumping in his stool.

Linda said nothing. She was feeling the strain as well, Alec knew it. She'd rather be home, not out here in the sticks. But Alec wouldn't be going anywhere until he was finished.

Muttering to himself, Holland entered his latest findings into his leather-bound journal. Linda sat down next to him, placing a hand on his arm. Maybe she was ready to say something after all.

"Alec," she sighed, and he knew this was going to be something he probably didn't want to hear, "You know I support every decision you've made. You were right not to work for Ellery after he lied to you. You're right that this formula should be shared with the world, with those who need it, rather than sold to the highest bidder. But does it have to be you that finds the solution? Or at least, do you have to do it on your own?"

Closing the book, Alec looked up at his wife wearily. It was a fair question, and one he couldn't quite answer.

"I've given years of my life to this, Linda. Yes, it has to be me. This could be my legacy, something truly great to be remembered for. And if I do this, make this gesture, maybe..."

...the dreams will stop.

"...maybe..."

...the green will finally leave me alone.

"...I don't know. I just know I have to see this through."

Before Linda could answer, both became aware of a sound outside.

"What's that?"

"It sounds like... a helicopter?"

Holland grabbed his journal and, leaping off his stool, rushed across the lab and threw the book into a safe, slamming the door shut.

"No one knows we're here!" Linda exclaimed.

"Someone obviously does," Alec replied, "Just try and stay calm."

Taking a deep breath, Holland opened the cabin door, and was greeted by a familiar face exiting a chopper and approaching him. A short, rotund man in his late 50s, with a balding head of gray hair.

"Hello, Mr. Ellery."

Nathan Ellery smiled thinly at Alec, walking past him and into the lab without waiting for an invite. He was flanked by two men in suits, who entered close behind. Ellery took out a handkerchief from his inside jacket pocket, and began dabbing his sweaty brow.

"The heat out here! I don't know how you can stand it, Alec. Nice lab you got here, though."

"Umm... we have a living area through the back. You might be more comfortable there."

The Hollands ushered their unwelcome guests through, and they settled in the modestly-sized but nicely-furnished living area, Ellery making himself at home by taking the largest sofa for himself.

"I was sorry you decided to leave us so abruptly," Ellery said with a smirk, "But it seems you've been keeping yourself busy."

Not wanting to compromise his source, Holland had not given his real reasons for quitting his job working for Ellery. He'd simply cited stress as the cause, and had given no indication that he would be continuing to work on the bio-restorative formula on his own.

"Oh, that's nothing. Just a few side projects to keep my mind occupied. Linda and I mainly came out here for the environment. The bayou is teeming with life, plenty of fodder for study and research. And, of course, it's a great place to get away from everything..."


"Indeed!" laughed Ellery, "You don't tell a soul where you're going, not even your friends! You just... vanish one day, up sticks and leave. We were worried. It was very hard to track you down..."

"Just how did you find us?" interjected Linda.

Ellery just winked and tapped the side of his nose.

"That's not why I'm here," he replied, "I'm here to make the two of you an offer. Simply put, we need you. You're two of the best botanists working today, and without your help, I don't see us completing this bio-restorative formula. How would you like to come back to work, for twice the pay?"

Alec and Linda exchanged glances. The offer hung in the air for a few moments, before Alec broke the silence.

"That's a very generous offer, Mr. Ellery, and I appreciate it. But it's not about the money. I just don't feel like I'm able to work in such a high-pressure environment anymore. After my sabbatical out here, I'm thinking of just taking on less demanding work, perhaps lecturing at a University somewhere."

Ellery stared hardly at him for a few moments. Then he was all smiles.

"Well, I'd be happy to give you any reference you might need," Ellery said, "I just want you to know that this is my final offer. We really need to move forward on this project, one way or another, so once I step out that door and get back on that chopper, I won't be open to any more negotiation."

"I think I can accept that," Holland said.

Letting out a sigh of disappointment, Ellery stood up and stretched out his hand. Standing up himself, Alec shook it.

"It was a pleasure to work with you, Dr. Holland."

After seeing Ellery and his men out, Alec Holland turned to Linda. She looked terrified.

"He knows!"

"Of course he does."

"We... we have to get out of here," Linda said, pacing frantically, "Pack up and head home, get other people in the loop while we still can. If he knows where we are, out here, it's secluded, we're vulnerable, it's too dangerous..."

"No."

Linda stopped in her tracks, turning to face her husband.

"No!?"

"Ellery's just a fat businessman. He's not going to harm us. And besides, we're nearly there, I can feel it. A little more time, and we'll have cracked this formula. Then we won't need to worry about Ellery, or anyone else!"

Linda didn't look convinced. Alec took her in his arms, drawing her close for a warm embrace.

"Listen to me. I wouldn't let anything happen to you, you know that. We're safe here. Everything is going to be alright."

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:16 PM   #430
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PREVIOUSLY:

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

"Do you know why people laugh?" Doctor Jonathan Crane asked casually, looking over his shoulder at the pale figure strapped to the table.

The Joker, unable to move his arms and legs despite his considerable strength--the guards quickly learned to use heavy steel chains to keep him down after he snapped off on orderly's fingers--eyed Crane curiously, studying the wiry doctor as he carefully filled a syringe.

"Again with the 'whys'?" he asked, annoyed.

"Oh, I don't mean the philosophical why," Crane responded. "You've already said quite a bit on that line of thinking. I'm speaking purely of the biological function of it, the practical purpose that our species evolved with the impulse to have such a reaction."

The Joker raised an eyebrow.

"People laugh as a response to fear," Crane said, a gleam in his eye. "Back when we were still hairless primates, we needed a loud and simple way to communicate with each other, especially in situations involving uncertain or unexpected developments. If we encountered something we didn't know about or didn't expect, we would need to quickly let the other hairless primates know whether something was a threat. Laughter, then, emerged as a sort of all-clear signal, to tell the other primates in the area that the unexpected was no actual threat. It's a relieving of the physical tension necessary for survival. In short, it is a secondary response to the initial reaction of fear."

Crane strolled around the table, casually toying with the syringe in his hand.

"That's why the jokes at which we laugh the most are usually the darkest, or at least he most surprising," he said. "We don't laugh because bad things are happening; we laugh because bad things aren't happening to us."

"Interesting theory, doc," the Joker mused. "But what about those of us who laugh when bad things are happening to us?"

"Escape from reality, most likely," Crane waved the question away. "Laughing is often also coupled with the release of biochemicals which alter one's state of mind."

"So if a guy has a reality so awful that he wants to get away from it, he could just keep laughing until his brain drugs itself and makes him crazy?" he asked with a giggle. "Golly, I'd hate to see what happens to a fella that's been through that."

Dr. Crane snorted.

"I thought you'd find this sort of discussion rather stimulating," he said. "After all, you seem to have a penchant for dark comedy, and the study of phobias and fear is my area of expertise. So the two related reactions may give us something in common. I understand that you are also something of a rather brilliant chemist, as am I. That's two things we have in common."

"I count three," the Joker said.

"How so?"

"Why do you think Dr. Arkham had me sent to you?" the Joker asked. "I'm not here because of severe panic attacks or anxiety or crippling phobias. So why would he send me to the fear doctor?"

Crane smirked.

"Because I'm the single best doctor this hospital has, and he knows it," he said proudly.

"No," Joker said with a grin. "He sent me to you because he's scared of you. Because you're a prototypical Hollywood mad doctor, and he likes having you around to threaten the unruly patients with. You keep the pests from ruining his crop of good little crazies. You're his scarecrow."

Doctor Crane's smirk turned into a scowl, which made the Joker smile even wider.

"So that's three things we've got in common, Scarecrow," he said. "We're the terrible monsters that Arkham doesn't like to think about. He's hoping you scare me into being more cooperative, and he's hoping I get under your skin and into your head so badly that you crack and aren't a threat to his position anymore. But both of us make the good doctor pee his pants just a little when he thinks about us."

"Perhaps you're onto something there," Crane said, dabbing a cotton ball soaked in alcohol onto the Joker's wrist to sterilize it. "Maybe we'll make a game of it: see who cracks first, you or me. I'll go first."

With that, Dr. Crane stuck the syringe into the Joker's wrist, pumping his veins full of a dark red substance.

Minutes later, the corridors or Arkham Asylum resounded with blood-curdling howls. Those who heard it couldn't be sure if what they heard was laughing or screaming.




"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

Struggling violently against the heavy chains of his restraints, the Joker screamed at the top of his lungs. Doctor Crane noted his reactions, every change in his voice and motions. He had injected the murderer with a concentrated dose of his special fear-inducing serum, designed to study the primal reactions of the mind under the most stressful circumstances, to determine the point at which a healthy mind could warp, and a warped one could break completely.

Now, it seemed the Joker was reaching the crescendo, fast approaching a climax of panic and terror. Not that getting such a reaction from a hardened criminal like him was easy; Crane had been injecting him with the formula for days. And unbeknownst to the Joker or anyone in the Arkham Asylum staff, Crane had taken it a step further, hiding speakers in the clown's cell which gave off a constant feed of infrasound: ultra-low-frequency soundwaves imperceptible to the human ear which, after prolonged exposure, can cause high tension, panic attacks, and sensory hallucinations, and were the reported cause of the vast majority of reported 'hauntings.' Dr. Crane had gone the extra mile to squeeze every last drop of fear out of the Joker as he could, and now, it was finally paying off.

"AAAAAH!!! NO! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" the white-skinned killer shrieked, his voice growing hoarse, his fingernails digging into the operating table.

Crane could only imagine what the clown was seeing. The serum caused an intense phobic reaction and hallucinations, but what precisely the phobia was, was entirely dependent on the subject. The psychiatrist studied the hysterical patient, wondering what images were playing out in his head, what scenes of carnage or depravity were tearing down his mental barriers.

"STOP! MAKE IT STOP! AAAHHH!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!"

The Joker convulsed, his back arching so hard that Crane halfway expected to hear his spine snap.

What happened next, Crane did not expect at all.

"AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! HAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!"

The Joker was laughing. It was an awful howling din, the clown's voice cracking and croaking, but it was still laughter nonetheless, genuine laughter, without a hint of fear behind it. It was the laugh of a man who had just seen the funniest thing he had ever hoped to see.

Minutes passed, and finally, the Joker had calmed down. His breath was ragged, his face streaked with hysterical tears and mucus, but he eventually managed to speak.

"Oh-ho-ho, Doc, that was a hoot!" he said, still giggling. "Tell me that stuff comes in more than one flavor!"

Dr. Crane scowled, the Joker seemingly returning to what could absurdly be referred to as 'normal' for him, and glanced back down at his notepad.

"Do you have any recollection of what just occurred, psychologically speaking?" he asked. "Do you remember the things you saw while under the effects of the serum?"

"Every last detail," he answered. "That little brew of yours makes a hell of an impression. Hard to forget."

"Then what did you see?"

The Joker shook his head.

"Ah-ah-ah, that's just for me to know," he said, smiling wide.

"If we can uncover the root behind your phobic reactions, the basic fear that drives you," Crane explained, "then we can better determine how to cure you."

"That's assuming I want to be cured," the clown said. "And more to the point, it assumes that I'm the one who's sick in the first place."

"Need I remind you that you killed over forty people, twenty of them police officers, and have admitted to killing far more?"

"Oh, please," the Joker said dismissively. "The police, the military, the government, the church, kill people every single day through institutionalized brutality. I return the favor by giving a few city-sponsored thugs a permanent case of the giggles-- nowhere near the amount of people the GCPD has killed just in the last year, by the way-- and yet because I don't have a piece of shiny metal that says I can do it, I get locked up and pumped full of drugs. That's a laugh, Crane."

"Tell me what you saw," Dr. Crane said, going back to the subject at hand.

"Not telling."

"If you don't cooperate," he said, a sinister tone in his voice, "I could always attempt to extract what you know through other methods...."

"Oh come on, Scarecrow," the Joker said, calling Crane by the nickname he had given him to irritate him, "We both know you just gave me your best shot. It might have worked, too, if you weren't trying to crack someone who's already cracked."

The Joker mused for a second.

"Normal people, though? Oh, I bet you could have all kinds of fun with them," he said. "You can get people to do all sorts of things for you, if you get them scared enough first. And most people haven't had their protective illusions shattered like me. I'll bet you could make yourself a king--a freaking fear god--if you took that stuff and--"

"That's quite enough, Joker," Crane cut him off impatiently. "I'm going to give you a few days for the serum to wear off, and then we'll try again."

"Oh, if you say so," he sighed. Crane called for the orderlies to escort the clown back to his cell.

As they carted him away, the Joker began singing to himself,

"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain......and my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin'....."

Crane grimaced as he recognized the tune.

"If I only had a brain...." he heard himself finish the lyric. The old song of the Scarecrow.

Crane shook his head, and went back to his office, spending the rest of the day trying not to think too long on what the Joker had said, and the ideas that came to him from there....


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Old 03-13-2012, 06:19 PM   #431
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG



The Hulk lands with a earth shattering Kaboom in the middle of downtown Metropolis.

He looks around and yells, "ROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!"



Just then two police cars arrive on the scene.

All four officers get out of the car with their weapons drawn and they all look at one another for a moment.

The Hulk sees them and slowly approaches.

One of them says, "Umm....Ummm put your hands on top of your head."

The Hulk approaches closer and one of them says, "Do what he said or we will fire! This is your last warning!"

The Hulk lets out a slow growl and in a moment of panice one of them shoots The Hulk in the chest.

This "annoys" The Hulk. He looks down and sees a small trace of green blood ooze out of the wound and the wound closes up.

The Hulk takes a couple of deep breathes and lets out another, "ROOOOOOOAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!"

The Hulk then proceeds to pick up the two police cars and flings them across the city.

The gathererd crowd begins to yell and panic which further incites The Hulk to yell again as he looks around.

The Hulk then begins to run through the streets of Metropolis.

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Old 03-14-2012, 01:42 AM   #432
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"Name?"

"Demolition Man!"

"Isn't that a movie?"

"Ummm........"

"It's too long anyway. You're D-Man now. You want the 5K match, the 10K, or the 20K?"

"I'll, um....I'll go with the 10K."

"Good; Bonesaw's been itching for a good fight. Green room's three doors down on the right; we'll call for you in about thirty."

I'm in line with about twenty or thirty other guys, all a bunch of wannabe badasses sporting tribal tattoos and piercings all over. I never understood the whole piercing thing, especially for this sort of scene--I mean, wouldn't having a bunch of metal things on your face to grab on to just make it easier to lose a fight?

The ones that don't look like they were pulled from the Who's Who of People You Don't Want Your Daughter to Marry, are dressed in even more ridiculous outfits, all obviously homemade spandex jobs to make themselves look like superhumans.

I, on the other hand, am an actual superhuman, thank you very much, which is why I look perfectly fine in my crummy homemade costume, comprising of jeans and a red ski mask and sweatshirt with a black spider drawn on it in Sharpie. What can I say? It's not easy making yourself look cool on a shoestring budget.

Finally, it's my turn, and I step up to the promoter, a square-jawed man with a hideous gold sequin jacket and way too much gel in his hair.

"Name?"

"Umm.....the Human Spider," I say nervously.

He waves that away with a dismissive scoff.

"That's no good--too much of a mouthful. 'Human Spider,' pfft. Sounds too much like that movie where those people get their faces sewn to each other's butts."

"I didn't think--"

"Spider-Man. Yeah, that's it; shorter, snappier, has a nice ring to it. You're the Amazing Spider-Man."

"Um....okay," I say with a shrug. "Works for me."

"Real name?"

I freeze; I was able to get past the bouncer with my Photoshopped ID, but if they say my real name out loud, people are gonna know me. Which is especially bad since Flash Thompson and Harry are both in the audience tonight.

"I'd, uh.....I'd rather not--"

"Y'know what? Forget real names," he says. "We haven't done a 'masked mystery man' angle in a while; could be fun. Now, are you going for the 5K match, the 10K, or the 20K?"

I couldn't help but notice that of all the guys who have signed up for the contest, not one of them has volunteered for the big purse, the twenty-thousand dollar challenge. Even that D-Man guy, who looked pretty tough despite what has got to be the worst costume in existence, only went for the ten thousand dollar match. Whatever the big payday is, it must be pretty nasty.

Then again, none of the other guys can do what I can do. I'm stronger, faster, more agile, and a hell of a lot smarter than everyone in this room combined. And the Parker household could really use the money. No reason not to go for the big one, right?

"The 20K match, please."

The promoter gives me a skeptical look, then bursts out laughing.

"Aha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Ohhh, that's rich, kid," he says. "But seriously, you want the 5K match, right?"

"No," I say, annoyed. "I said I want the 20K match, and I mean I want the 20K match."

Mr. Sequin Jacket shrugs, and says, "Your funeral, kid. I'll tell Waylon he's got a challenger tonight. But first, you've gotta get to wardrobe."

"Hey, what's wrong with my outfit?" I say, looking down at my ratty sweatshirt.

"The 20K match is the main event, kid, and I'm not having the challenger in my main event looking like an out-of-work ninja hobo. Two doors down to your right, ask for Rico."

"Okay," I say, wandering down the halls of Madison Square Garden, looking for someone who can make me look like I know what the hell I'm doing.


An hour or so later, I'm sitting in my underwear and my ski mask while a waify thin man with a frosted fauxhawk works furiously at a sewing machine.

"I am so absolutely unappreciated in my time," he complains to himself as he yanks a roll of bright red spandex off of the shelf and begins cutting out patterns. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to make you apes look good? No, of course you don't--no offense, sweetie. I mean, I'm only one man, and they expect me to work miracles in such a short time. I used to do this on Broadway, you know!"

"...you don't say...." I say, both impressed by how quickly the guy works and annoyed by how much he yammers.

"Oh yes, and let me tell you, they appreciated me there!" he goes on. "Now I'm stuck fixing seams every time Crusher Hogan puts on a few pounds, and not a soul thanks me for my work! If it weren't for me, they'd all still be wearing those ghastly singlets from their high school wrestling teams. I'm the one who makes them presentable for a live audience."

"I'll bet," I say, hoping if I humor him a bit he'll shut up.

Finally, he takes the stack of red and blue garments he's thrown together and hands them to me.

"Well, don't just stand there, try them on!" he says. "I think I really outdid myself this time. A lesser designer would have gone with black or brown or something spidery, but not me! Primary colors, big and bold! Not exactly accurate, but it should really pop out there."

He turns away to give me a little privacy, and I work my way into the tights. It's not exactly easy; I wasn't expecting them to be so snug. The pants don't quite fit at first, until I realize that I've got them on backwards. Eventually though, I squeeze into the outfit, replacing my ski mask with a full-face cowl that breathes surprisingly well considering that it covers my mouth and nose.

"Well?" Rico says. "Have I outdone myself yet again?"

"Eh," I say with a shrug.....



".....it'll do, I guess."



**********



"Ladies and gentlemen," booms the voice of the sleazy looking promoter, who's performing double-duty as ring announcer. "We've seen one hell of a show tonight, and we're not finished yet! It's time for our twenty-thousand-dollar challenge, in tonight's main event!"

I'm pacing back and forth behind the curtains, anxious to get out there. I wonder if I'll be able to see Harry from the ring.

"Introducing first, the challenger," the announcer says, "He hails from the farthest reaches of Parts Unknown, his face concealed behind a sinister mask, his whole life shrouded in mystery! But at the center of his web of secrets is the heart of a ruthless warrior! Ladies and gentlemen, the Sensational, the Spectacular, the Amazing.......SPIDER-MAN!!!!

The curtain opens, the crowd cheers, the lights flash.........and I freeze like a deer in the headlights.

Oh God, I forgot I had stage fright!

I stand there, stiff as a board, until one of the stage hands shoves me forward and I stumble down the entrance ramp, the cheering being replaced by disappointed boos and jeers. Someone throws a beer at my head, but thankfully my enhanced reflexes and danger-precognitive sense kick in, and I duck under it before it can ruin my nice new duds.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Harry sitting in the crowd with Flash and Liz. Flash has got his arm in a sling, and Liz is trying her best to make him feel better by cuddling against him. Harry is only halfway paying attention, seemingly bored by all of this.

It isn't until it's too late that I realize I'm waving to them like an idiot.

"Dude.....did he just wave at us?" I hear Harry say, the crowd's reaction having peetered out to the point where I can pick out his voice.

"Hah, probably just waving to his mom or something," Flash laughs. "Look at how scrawny he is; he's gonna get killed in there!"

I step into the ring and nervously await my opponent, thinking of who it might be.

I watched the opening fights, where Crusher Hogan and Bonesaw McGraw threw around their opponents like ragdolls. Tough guys, but I know I'm tougher.

"And his opponent...." the announcer/promoter/owner of the world's most glorious Elvis pompadour says, "Is, like the challenger, neither man nor beast! You're in for a treat tonight, folks, because it's UCWF's first-ever Freak Fight!"

A squad of security guards makes their way through the curtain, holding riot shields and nightsticks. Okay, they're really going out of the way to make this guy look scary. I appreciate the showmanship and all, but c'mon, this is over the top.

"He comes to us from Gotham City........he weighs in at five hundred and eighty pounds of cold-blooded terror.......ladies and gentlemen, the UCWF Heavyweight Champion....."

The curtain flies open, revealing quite possibly the scariest thing I've ever seen.






"KILLER CROC!"



..........I may have gotten in just a little bit over my head......


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Old 03-15-2012, 02:37 AM   #433
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Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD


Inside Johns Hopkins' pediatric ward, seven year old Eliza Newton was in her bed. She laid there asleep, a wrap covered her hairless head. A year of off and on chemotherapy had weakened her so much that it seemed like she slept more than anything. She has just turned six when her first seizure had occurred. The doctors knew right away it was a tumor, and the scans showed a tumor the size of a tangerine in the middle of her brain. It was inoperable and growing larger. She'd been fighting the disease ever since.

Eliza jerked in her sleep, a victim of a nightmare. The heart monitor picked up speed and increased. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open. Her eyes, normally brown, were golden and glowing. Contrails curled from out of Eliza's eyes.

On the street outside, the people coming to and going from the hospital were interrupted from their routine as a shrill, high-pitched scream broke through the air. All eyes went up to the sky, where a child was falling from the sky. People on the street gasped and recoiled as she careened to the ground. The girl was just feet from the pavement when she disappeared in a puff of smoke. The people outside the hospital began to gather at the spot where the girl would have landed. They talked amongst themselves and looked up into the air as they talked, all of them trying to make sense of what they just saw.




The Baxter Building
Manhattan


"JOHNNY!" Ben yelled as he stomped through the Baxter Building's upper levels. "Come out so I can murder ya!"

"Stop me when I lie!" Johnny said as he ran out of a sideroom and sprinted down the hallway away from Ben. Ben started to give chase, his rocky footsteps shaking the whole floor. Johnny came the end of the hallway and ducked out on to the terrace outside. Johnny leaped from the terrace, free falling for a few seconds before bursting into flames and taking to the skies.

"Come back here!" Ben shouted, shaking his rocky fist into the sky as Johnny streaked away.

"What's going on?" Sue asked as she stepped on to the terrace. "Oh," she said, her face scowling as she saw what was on Ben's back. Johnny had slapped a sticker read "WIDE LOAD!" in the middle of his back.

"Mind helping me?" Ben asked, pawing at the sticker that was just out of reach. Sue nodded and helped pry it off his rocky back.

"I'm sorry," she said, crumbling the sticker up into a ball.

"You ain't gotta apologize for him," Ben said with a shrug. "Kid's been a jerk since as long as I've known him."

"I know. He should know better since you're..."

"What?" Ben asked defensively. "What am I, Suze? Crazy? Depressing? What?"

"You know, Ben...sensitive."

"Well, I'm so happy that the ugly rock monster is worthy of your consideration and pity."

"Come on, Ben, you know I didn't mean it like that. I'm trying to talk to you, but I can tell you're in one of your moods.

"Moods? What mood?"

"You're having one of your pity parties. Anything anyone tries to say to you, you turn it around and use it against us. You want to feel sorry for yourself, go ahead. Just leave me out of it."

With that, Sue turned around and left the terrace. She headed up a few levels to the floor where Reed and Sue kept their labs. Her husband of six months was in the main work station, stretched out underneath a hybrid car.

"How's it coming?"

"Fantastic!" Reed said from underneath the car. "I took out the engine and replaced it with one of my own design. It can go over eight hundred miles an hour, and it's more than adequate to power hover engines and maintain flight."

"A flying car? Is there anything else it does?"

"It runs on water, but it's not as efficient as I had hoped. Only gets two hundred miles to the gallon."

Reed pulled himself out from under the car and stood up, grabbing a rag from the workbench and wiping off his greasy hands. "So how are Ben and Johnny enjoying their R&R?"

"Don't get me started," Sue said with a roll of her eyes. "They've been bickering pretty bad over the past few days. It's been nearly two weeks since Warworld. I think they need something to do."

"Idle hands and all that."

Reed's computer on the other side of the lab dinged, alerting him that he had a priority email in his inbox. "Excuse me," he said, stretching the upper half of his body across the room. Sue watched from the other side of the room as he typed and responded to his email.

"Ask and you shall receive," Reed said as he stretched back to normal. "That was an email from General Lumpkin. The FBI and something called the DEO is requesting assistance involving an incident in Baltimore."

"Good. After putting up with Ben and Johnny for two weeks, I can deal with whatever the universe is prepared to throw at us."

"Round up Ben and Johnny while I get the car ready," Reed said, patting the car's hood. "It's perfect driving weather. Can't think of a better time for a maiden voyage."


Baltimore, MD

The flying car carrying the Fantastic Four skirted over the rooftops of Baltimore. Reed was driving, Sue was riding shotgun while Ben and Johnny were crammed in the back.

"This is Baltimore?" Johnny asked, looking out the window. "Doesn't look so bad. No gun battles or insane drug dealers. Starting to think the Wire lied to me."

"I could do with some legroom, Reed," Ben grumbled, his knees pressed into his chest.

"It's just a prototype," Reed said as the hospital came into view. "When I have more time, I'll make something more spacious."

"For now, just be glad you can ride in something other than a cargo plane."

"Bite me, matchstick."

"I would, but I'd just break all my teeth off in the process."

A few minutes later, Reed was parking the car outside Johns Hopkins Hospital while a crowd looked on. A woman stepped from the crowd as the Four climbed from the car. "My astute powers of deduction tell me you're the Fantastic Four," she said before taking a drag off the cigarette in her hands.

"You must be Miss Chase," Reed said with a nod.

"FBI Special Agent Cameron Chase. Part of the DEO Taskforce."
"A fed, huh?" Johnny asked, eying Chase with a cocked eyebrow. "Wonder if you'd like to be read your rights..."

"Sorry," Chase said, exhaling a thick torrent of smoke in Johnny's direction. "Not my type. I like my men... Manly."

Ben put his first to his mouth to cover up his laughter, but his rocky frame still shook as he tried to suppress it. Johnny scowled and shot Ben a dirty look.

"So, what about this incident?" Sue asked in an attempt to get back on track.

"This way," Chase said, beckoning them away from the area. The Four followed her towards the side of the hospital.

"Special Agent Chase," Reed said as they walked. "Could you tell me what exactly this DEO taskforce is. I've been seeing it pop up in reports recently."

"DEO is the Department of Extranormal Operations. We just started up six months ago in response to the boom in metahuman activity. We're mostly FBI, and we're still being housed in FBI facilities. Anything unusual -- Metahuman or mutant related activity, strange phenomenon, paranormal activity -- we investigate it."

"So you're like the real life X-Files?"

"A bit, only more boring. Here we are."

They came to a section of sidewalk beside the hospital that had been cordoned off with police tape. "What exactly happened here?" Reed asked, removing his scanner from the pouch on his hip.

"Nearly thirty witnesses reported seeing a little girl appearing about a hundred feet or so above the hospital. She was falling towards the ground, screaming. Just a few feet shy of the pavement, she disappeared."

"Fascinating," Reed muttered, stepping under the police tape and scanning the pavement. "I'm getting some interesting readings. Susan, take a look."

Reed stretched his arm out above the tape and stretched it to Sue. She took the scanner from Reed's elongated hand and read over the results. "This looks... Familiar. I've seen similar readouts before. But from where?"

"Us," Reed said. "Just after the accident. The same type of trace radiation was all over all four of us."


*****

In her hospital bed, Eliza Newton finally drifted to sleep. She hadn't been able to go back to sleep since that horrible nightmare earlier this morning. Her heart rate monitor steadily beeped as she slept. Her hands were down in her lap, wrapped around a toy dinosaur. Slowly, the heart monitor started to increase and Eliza's eyes began to glow underneath her eyelids.


*****


"So, this is the same stuff that Watcher mook gave us?" Ben asked, scratching his chin.

"I'm not sure, Ben. It's just radiation. Similar, but it may be caused by something else. I need more data."

"And how do we get more data?" Chase asked.

"HELP!!!" A voice cried out. The five of them turned and stared slack-jaw at what was down the street.

"Oh, my God..."

"No way..."Running down the street was a little girl. She screamed as she ran away from the thing chasing her down the street. It was a fully-grown, walking, living and breathing T-Rex. It snapped at the little girl as it ran after her.

"I believe that's how we get more data."

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Old 03-15-2012, 07:23 PM   #434
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG


Lex watches the News Coverage of The Hulk's rampage through Metropolis while listening to Bach and sipping a fine Brandy in his penthouse.

In most cases I would be devestated at the damage done by that green freak, but right now I have my own issues to deal with. A rather large hole in the side of the Northern LexCorp Tower has attracted a great deal of interest. Luckily I've got a top-notch PR Deparment, and ALEXIS is dealing with the insurance claims forms electronically. The repesctive offices that were affected have already begun moving their operations over ot the other tower. Overall things are moving along very nicely.

Just then his intercom rings and Mercy says, "Mr. Luthor Dr. Ross is here to see you."

Lex rolls his eyes and says, "And here is where the walls really coming crashing down."

He presses a button and says, "Send her in."

Betty Ross enters and says, "All-right Lex what happened tonight?"

Lex asks, "Whatever are you talking about Dr. Ross? Care for a Brandy?"

Betty replies, "You know what I'm talking about! A certain green goliath rampaging thru the city. Wearing clothes that look a lot like Bruce's isolation clothes, and the face that crater in this side of your tower starts from his isolation room. Care to try again Lex, or do I need to call in some other people into our conversation? Like my father among others."

Lex chuckles and says, "Oh my dear little Miss Ross, do you really think you can come in here make demands of me coat-tailing on your last name and daddy's rank, which you have not earned? Even so one call from me and your daddy is the oldest living private in the history of the U.S. Army. If he was here right now I'd be taking him out like yesterday's trash."

He finishes his brandy and fixes another and says, "Face it little girl you're bringing a knife to a gun fight. So unless you have some court order compelling me to comply with your questions do me a favor and show yourself out! You're not worth my time or effort."

Betty looks sternly at Lex and says, "I'll be back in about an hour."

Lex says, "Please bring something other the righteous anger. You're out of your league young lady."

Betty slams the door and Lex begins drinking his other Brandy. Once he finishes his Brandy he resumes work on the schematics of his Battle Suit.

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Old 03-15-2012, 07:46 PM   #435
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG


"I don't believe this! How could you assign this story - this story - to anyone but me?!"

Perry White glanced over to the aspirin bottle sitting on the edge of his desk. Truth be told, he had fully anticipated the earful that was lingering as Lois crossed her arms over her chest and stared daggers at him, waiting for whatever explaination she could use to launch into another tirade. But it didn't exactly mean that he had to look forward to having it out, especially when he had been nothing if not generous with her in the past few weeks. Ever since that first fight in the middle of the city, every media outlet in Metropolis was covering the exact same story. "Where is Superman?" would be the constant headline scroll on the bottom of Star Nightly's news hour. Posters featuring the insignia on his chest - the red and yellow "S" that had seemed to grace more t-shirts than any piece of fashion seen on the streets - would line the block of every corner in the financial district, considered to be ground zero of his first public appearance. There was even a website running online - Superspotters.org - that dedicated itself towards the finding of any viral video featuring what many were calling the caped wonder.

Needless to say, it was becoming something of a phenomena around Metropolis. The arrival of Superman had captured the imagination of everyone - from seasoned journalists and conspiracy theorists, all the way down to school children. Even The Daily Planet itself wasn't quite immune the allure of a man who could defy the laws of gravity. It was all building to a point that, for Perry, forcing Lane off of the story was becoming more and more enivitable each day. It just wasn't her story anymore, despite her continued perserverence to make it so. It belonged to the people.

"Lane, before you go off and throw another one of your infamous tantrums..."

Lois slammed her palms onto the front of the desk and leaned into him.

"Believe me, if you take this story, you won't even know the meaning of that word."

"Let me finish. Before you turn it into another incident, I've got the entire newsroom backing me up on this. You're simply too closely connected to the story to deliver the facts. It's called a conflict of interest, Lois. Maybe you've heard of it?"

As if attempting to lift an accusatory finger, Lois showed the rare moment of self-constraint and backed down, turning away and collecting herself before addressing him again.

"Don't you try and patronize your way out of this one, White. You owe me this much. It's my story and no one else's."

"That type of behavior is exactly why it's being transferred. You're too stubborn to allow editorial imput, you've scoffed at any potential eyewitness reports... you're acting out of your mind over this! For christ's sake, you only flew with him once!"

"Exactly! Which is more than I can say for anyone beyond this wall! Face it, Perry, no one in this city is more qualified to deliver the facts on Superman. Which is exactly what you want, right?"

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Perry muttered under his breath.

"I do want that. I really do. But I've also got a job to do in maintaining the integrity of this paper, and the facts speak for themselves. You were on suspension at the time of the original article, and the fact that I even let you back in here is a breach of contract. You're still under penalty, and the only reason I gave you another shot is because you had what nobody else did."

Reserving her tone, realizing it was getting out of hand, Lois took a deep breath.

"And I still have it. Chief, you know as well as anyone that I'm not going to let some silly - what was it - 'conflict of interest' get in the way of my job. I'm a reporter, and the importance of that comes way before the story. You want me to be less intense about it? Fine, I get it. I'll work on it. But you're doing this paper a disservice by throwing the bare minimum scraps of this to the dogs."

"I'm sorry, Lois. As of now, it's out of my hands. Starting Monday, the assignment goes to whoever can give me the first solid lead we've had in weeks."

Shifting her eyes so as to not put her disappointment on display, Lois stared out at the window.

Then noticed something bizarre happening in the city. "Chief... what the hell is that?"

Perry turned to look aswell, getting up from his seat as several of the reporters in the newsroom lined the same side of the building to catch a glimpse of what was going on. The windows on every skyscraper were shaking - vibrating, at an incredible frequency. Even the windows on The Planet were starting to rattle. Pieces of debris were falling and crumbling onto themselves.

It was as if they were being hit by an earthquake on steriods.

"RAAAARGH!"

The glass shattered. Lois and Perry both ducked as bits of it came flying at them, scattering across the floors as the people on the streets outside began to scream. Lois looked up just in time to catch a flash of green and purple dart from the skies, descending at a rapid rate.

Then the ground shook even harder.

"Chief?!"

Perry grabbed her by the wrist and hurriedly led them both to the door.

"Lane, get the hell out of here! Run!"

Whatever was happening, it was twice as destructive as the monster that had attacked the city weeks ago. And unfortunately, at the moment... Superman wasn't anywhere in sight.

"What the..."

My eyes flutter open as the ringing in my ears subsides, giving way to something happening in the city. Throwing the blankets off of me, I sit up from the couch and rub my eyes, stopping myself just as the floor of my apartment shakes. I had just gotten to bed for an early start tomorrow, knowing that I was due for orientation at my new job. Stocking position at a local grocery. It's not much, but it's the first thing I've had in months. Orientation or not, I wanted to make a good impression.

Evidently, I'm not going to get the chance. Because once I pull down the blinds and peer just beyond Suicide Slums, my attention becomes fixated on a large cloud of smoke billowing up from New Troy. That's the heart of the city, and from here, it practically looks like it's on fire.

I can't be dreaming this.

An explosion? Or something worse...

A minute later, and I've already changed into my uniform and made my way to the roof of my apartment building. My x-ray and microscopic visions are giving me the distinct impression of people in panic, fleeing from the open streets. But there's too much smoke and fire to see what's causing the panic. I suppose that'd be the best place to start.

Launching into the air, I build up momentum and head directly into New Troy.

Whatever's happening, it can't be anything worse than The Humanite.


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Old 03-15-2012, 10:32 PM   #436
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG

OOC: Previously...
Black Bolt



His enemy is in his sights. Between Black Bolt and his enemy, lies an entire platoon of parademons. Kalibak the Cruel wears a smug smile as he gestures with his hammer for his small army to attack and will as the Inhuman King charges. Alone, as the rest of the forces Black Bolt was with remain with Karnak as he advances that particular area, the infuriated father puts on a smile of his own: a most devilish one. Revenge becomes lustful as he starts to sweep through the parademon forces. One shout...with one should he could take them all at once...but then it might also take down Kalibak. No, that will simply not due. Blackagar will not grant the thief who stole his young son the privilege of a sweet and quick death.

It is going to be agonizing and slow...he will only rely on the quasi-sonic particles in his body to channel through him, imbuing his strength and unleashing blasts of energy from the tuning fork above his head and his fists.


Elsewhere...

"Maximus' intel says that this is where Ahura is likely being kept. And that there is an Apokoliptian by the name of Gran--OOF!"

Gorgon falls on his face as a mysterious foe attacks him from the shadows of the room. The stalker slashed at his backside and before Medusa or Crystal could even react already she was gone back into the shadows. Immediately as he gets back on his own feet and growls, Medusa switches to a defensive stance as her hair flows wild and rampant, and Crystal creates a bubble of air to swirl around the trio. A sadistic laugh echoing throughout the room, hidden by the darkness, three figures emerge.


"The brat prince is with Granny while she...re-educates him. If you wish to get to Granny Goodness, well...I just don't see that happening."

However Lashina fails to understand that in the other room lies Medusa's baby, and if you attack a lioness' cub...you better be ready to face her wrath. It is Medusa who charges first, going for Lashina while Gorgon seeks revenge on Mad Harriet. Crystal finds herself in an unfortunate situation as that leaves Stompa for her to deal with. Although when Stompa creates a small quake at the ground with the stomp of her foot, Crystal manipualtes the rock beneath her feet, sinking them a foot deep as she his Stompa smack dab in the face with some of the risen rock debris. Maybe this won't be so bad after all, she thinks.

And it would appear that out of the entire Royal Family, it is Triton and his small squad that are most fortunate as they make it into the Apokoliptian throne room. Spotting the throne, Triton signals at his men to get into their positions to hold the area as he contacts Maximus aboard the warship to try to disable Apokoliptian communications.

"Maximus, I am in the throne room. This Apokoliptian tech...it is like nothing we have ever--"

"--zzt, Triton, cousin...it seems so bizarre to you because you lack the brilliance of one such as myself. Now, here is what you need to do:"

"AAARRGGH!!"

"NO!"

Triton yells for his fallen comrade, as it would seem that he has been obliterated with a swift and what looks to be simple attack. The strange beams continue to travel, as though tracking its target as more of Triton's soldiers try to evade. It is entirely futile, however, as it would seem that these twin beams have a mind of their own.

"--zzt, Triton? Triton, what happened? Triton answer me, damnit!"

The twin beams come for the aquatic cousin of the Inhuman King and Prince...slowly stopping right in front of him. He thinks it to be a miracle. That whatever it is that was propelling this monstrosity has been stopped. That Maximus had hacked into the Apokoliptian tech, and overridden the defense protocols of the throne room. However such is not the case, as the beams are not controlled by any sort of tech of the room...but rather are the power of one and one alone. A large and towering figure emerges from the shadows.

"What...are you?"

"What am I? You simpleton fool. Such a question lacks an answer your feeble mind can hope to ever comprehend. But I will entertain you before you meet you demise. It would have been much more proper to ask....what am I not? For I am not the bringer of Life but rather Anti-Life. I am the Omega."


"Darkseid simply...IS."

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Old 03-15-2012, 10:40 PM   #437
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The ride up is bumpy, but Diana and I eventually land on the deck of the helicarrier. The explosions of Thor and Iron Man battling the robots and Checkmate echo around us. They're doing okay, but Stark looked like he was sustaining some heavy damage. I need to end this, and end it now.

"No guards up here," Diana says, turning back to the aerial battle around us. "I should go join the others."

"Go ahead," I agree. "I can take care of myself. Be careful up there."

She nods and takes off, but as she does a bright green ball and chain flies through the air and wraps itself around her, and she falls out of the air like a rock, and down towards the burning city below.

"No!" I yell running to the side and watch her quick descent. But I'm quickly smashed into my a giant green fist. I fly through the air, bounce off the deck, and tumble off the side. I manage to quickly grab the edge and heave myself up.

What I find surprises me, "Lord?"



"Surprised, Rogers?" he says in his mocking tone. "I'm usually not one for something this garish, but I must admit your friend Stark has a certain sense of style. And with a power like Scott's ring....I figured why not?"

I attempt to get up but a hammer springs from his hand and slams down on my shield, preventing me from getting any closer, "Not so fast, Captain."

"I thought you wanted to get rid of powers?" I say as I struggle against the power of Starheart. The thing has unbelievable power. And in the hands of someone like Lord...I shudder to think what will happen if I don't beat him. "And now you pick up more?"

"Oh, I can have all the power I want," he chuckles. "That's the whole point. After this there will be no one to stop me."

"You think you had this whole thing played out, don't you? You think you've thought of everything. That all the players were your puppets. But your wrong. You're the pawn of forces you couldn't even imagine. They wanted you to kill us. Made you think they were part of your plan. But they wanted us out of the way to make things easier for them."

I know HYDRA. And I know if they really are still around, that's what their plan is.

I can't hold up against the weight of the hammer anymore, so I quickly roll from underneath its weight, and then toss my shield at Lord. It hits him, but barely does anything. It comes back just in time for me to deflect a blow from an axe he creates, "Impressive. I'm glad I'm the one who gets to kill you, Steve. The minute you came to Checkmate I had doubts I'd be able to control you. And then when you went all boy scout and tried to turn my people into your people...well, let's just say I've been looking forward to this."

He changes the axe into a machine gun and fires my way. I manage to block most of the shots, but a few graze my arms and legs, dropping me to a knee. I look up at Lord with anger in my eyes, "You've been waiting for this? Then fight me like a man. Or are you too afraid to take me on in close combat?"

"Nice try, Captain," he responds firing at me again. "But you're not going to goad me into a fist fight."

The energy bullets ricochet off my shield and I continue, "There's more powerful people than me, Lord. And what are you gonna do when you have to kill them? Fire a few bullets and hope it works?"

"I have my armies," he smiles and continues firing. "No one will be able to touch me."

"That's exactly about the time someone comes up behind you and stabs you in the back!" I yell as I roll again and toss my shield at Lord a second time. This one manages to smash into his chest, cracking his armor a bit. But he manages to fire on me in my unprotected state, catching me in the thigh and the hip.

I drop to the ground wounded and bleeding, but with a plan. I have no more fight in me. The fire and the fight with Kobra took a lot out of me. but now, against Lord? I've lost everything. I need to play a little possum and pray that Lord isn't as powerful as I expect he is. He approaches me laughing. His confidence is up, and I put on an aura of loss and desperation, "The great Captain America. Bleeding at my feet. Not even the great power of the Nazi army and HYDRA could do this. But here you are."

He's arrogant. He thinks he has me beaten. That I've given up. Good. I can use that against him.

He stands over me and notices how weakened I am, and he smiles, "Stand."

I do so, and he laughs again, "Oh, Captain. I've finally got you. It took this long. But I finally got you. It's too bad I still want to kill you."

That's right, you son of a *****. Do it. Tell me what to do. I'm better than you. And I'll beat you.

He takes a gun from his hip and places it in my hand and commands, "Put it to your head...and fire."

I struggle against my muscles as my arm shakes to raise the gun. But as it gets to chest height, I grit my teeth and say, "I don't think so."

Before Lord can react, I fire the pistol at his chest piece, shattering it and plunging my hand into the chest plate, and pull out Starheart, depowering Lord. With a mighty uppercut from my shield, I rip his faceplate off and send him flying towards the edge. He regains his footing, but is obviously dazed.

I stagger to my feet and call to him, "It's over, Lord. Tell your men to stand down. We need to end this and get the city under control."

"No...no...you can't beat me. Had it all planned. Perfectly. Had everyone. Everyone I needed. Can't be," he mummers, obviously completely in shock at his defeat. He pulls another gun and aims it at me, but before he can fire, a shot comes from behind me and hits him in his chest. He stumbles backwards, and tumbles off the helicarrier.

Turning, I find Fury lowering a rifle, with Coulson, Flag, and who I assume to be Dinah Lance standing behind him. They approach, and I ask, "What took you so long?"

"There were a lot of guards in there," Coulson says in his normal, deadpan way.

"You did good, soldier," Fury says, offering me his hand.

Taking it, I respond, "Yea. Well I had help. We need to end this. My team could be seriously injured."

"Come on," the colonel responds. "We'll order a stand down. Anyone know how to fly this thing?"

"Eh, we'll figure it out."

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:18 AM   #438
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Hhn.

Smells like burnin' flesh.


Logan's eyes fluttered awake at the sounds of an EKG machine. Lights around him were too bright, there was a loud ringing in his ears, and his entire body felt as if it were just put through a meat grinder. But overall, he felt okay. Taking a deep breath, he waited for his eyes to adjust and looked around, realizing that he was in the same chrome-plated underground bunker that Storm had shown him before. The X-Men's secret base of operations, just an elevator ride away from the mansion upstairs. As the thought crossed his mind, Logan's adreneline kicked in, suddenly beginning to realize what had happened before he woke up. The machines. The attack on the mansion's ground. The team being scooped up and taken away, one by one. And a bright light that ended in agony.

Not simply content with the fact that he was still alive, Logan hurriedly pulled himself from the bloodied sheets of a makeshift hospital bed and threw a shirt on from the side table. He didn't know whether or not those machines were still around, or what sort of condition the aftermath of the fight had left the mansion. Nothing was certain until he left this room, and he was determined to do that.

In the midst of his departure, Logan froze, realizing that footsteps were coming from outside the door. He smelled the air, but the scent of his own recent injuries overpowered anything else. All he had to go on was the range of the steps, growing closer and closer to the room itself. Still hopped up on the rush of adreneline, he rushed to the wall and pinned himself right next to the entrance, watching as the doors slid apart and granted access to an unseen figure. The shadow on the floor casting a distinctly male form.

Visitin' hours are closed, bub.

Leaping at the percieved attacker as he stepped inside, Logan didn't waste time to give any chance of a struggle, wrapping the man in a vicious headlock that he had learned from his training in Vietnam. The figure struggled, predictably, but they both slammed into the opposite wall before either could properly attack.

"Alright, pal, you got five seconds to tell me just what the hell I'm doin' down..."

With a raised fist, Logan spun the individual around, only to get the shock of his life as a green-skinned teenage student grimaced at the sight of the punch.

"Ahh! Don't hurt me, dude! Don't hurt me!"

Stunned, Logan realized that it was Gar Logan. A persistent annoyance that had crossed Logan's path a couple of times.

"Kid?"

Opening his eyes, Beast Boy grinned wide as he realized who he was talking to.

"Logan two! Holy crap, I'm glad to see you! We thought you were gonna die!"

Confused as all hell, Logan peered just outside of the hall and noticed that several other students were crossing it, gathering supplies from different rooms and heading off on some determined location. There was no sign of any of the adults or teachers, a fact that Logan had to remind himself made sense, given that all of them were just kidnapped.

"What the hell's goin' on?"

"You don't know? We're under lockdown. This sort of thing always happens when the Professor thinks someone wants to attack the school. We have drills for it every other month."

"Lockdown?"

Rubbing his eyes, Logan walked down the hall, joined by Beast Boy as the two watched several young mutants walk past them in opposite directions.

"Seems more like they're on a scavenger hunt. What happens when you're under lockdown?"

"Oh, well, this isn't usually apart of it. See, Ms. Grey told us that we all need to look for emergency supplies, incase of, y'know. An emergency. Which I guess this kinda is."

Logan stopped at the mention of a Ms. Grey. "And just where is she now?"

Beast Boy pointed off. "Down that hall. She's trying to figure out how to use that thingamawhatzit... the machine that the Professor uses to find lost mutants."

Narrowing his eyes, Logan continued on down the hall.

"Alright, kid. Give me a minute,"



"I'm gonna go have a word with your teacher."

"Sure thing. Glad you're not dead, dude!"

Shaking his head at the kid's comment, he entered the chamber that had been indicated, watching as Jean surveyed several different holographic monitors stationed to news programs from around the world. To her left sat that bizarre piece of equipment that Beast Boy had mentioned. Some sort of a bulky helmet attached directly to a console.

"Burnin' the midnight oil?"

Jean gasped, so lost in thought that she hadn't even noticed Logan enter the room.

"Logan! My god, are you okay? The last time I saw you, you were all..."

Logan cut her off, turning his attention to the monitors.

"I'm a fast healer. What's with all the television?"

Turning them off, Jean leaned against a table and massaged the bridge of her nose. Crossing his arms, Logan leaned on the console across from her.

"Trying to find a lead on what happened up there. I had hoped that somewhere in the world, something similar had caught the attention of the press. So far, I haven't seen a thing. It's like those... machines, just came out of nowhere and disappeared from sight."

"Doesn't seem possible. Don't the Professor got files for all sorts of threats like that?"

"Believe me, I've already combed through the database. There's nothing to match the description of these. And Cerebro hasn't managed to get a lock on the trajectory of any of the team."

Logan's eyebrow raised. "Cerebro?"

"It's a machine that Charles built years ago, back when Hank was still one of his students. It's supposed to be able to track any mutant in the world, wherever they're hiding, and give us an exact location. The only exceptions being Magneto and his group, of course."

Eyeing the helmet, Logan let the gravity of what she just described pass over him.

"Hh. That right..."

"I just don't know what more I can do."

Jean stared out at the halls as the students continued to garner supplies, looking particularly lost whenever it came to them. "I tried to make sure that all of them were safe. He told me, before he got taken, that they were the priority. But I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to find him, or to save him. To save all of them."

Logan remained silent for a moment.

"How many got taken?"

"All of the team. Scott, the Professor, Hank, Ororo, J'onn... aside from you and me, all that's left are the students."

Pondering this, Logan began to wonder to himself why only certain members of the X-Men were targeted in the siege. Jean remained unharmed, though she could have escaped, and he was vaporized before they could take him aswell. Why not try and grab any of the students? Were they not the targets? Deciding that it was a question best saved for later, Logan tried his best not to add more worry to the room.

"Listen, darlin'. I don't know how we're gonna get 'em back, but we're gettin' em..."

He was cut off as an alarm was triggered. The entire room went red, and a loud beacon began to go off. Logan covered his ears and groaned as Jean immediately rushed to the control console and shut it down.

"The hell was that?!"

"It's a silent alarm from upstairs. I had them all activated when we went into lockdown. Someone just entered the mansion that doesn't belong."

She turned back to Logan with a look of dread.

"We have to get up there. The security cameras are still down, after the attack."

Logan sneered. "Don't need to tell me twice."

*SNIKT*

Racing towards the elevators, Logan and Jean both ascended to the upstairs level.

What they'd find would be the last person that either of them would expect.

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Old 03-17-2012, 01:41 AM   #439
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"I appreciate the sentiment, but I doubt there is anything just one person could have done to change things. Do we have any idea of what they wanted?"

"Not yet," I said. It was true, although I still had the sneaking suspicion that Gorgon and the Hand's appearance in Gotham related to me. "I'll be in touch."

Gordon nodded and then Matt and I disappeared back into the shadows.


****


Matt and I stood at the top of Wayne Tower as the skyline of Gotham shifted from ink-black to the purply haze of dawn. The sun was preparing to peek over the horizon.

"Thanks for your help tonight," I said to Matt. "I know it's not the most conventional class reunion, but then again we never had anything close to a conventional class."
"To say the least. And not to say it hasn't been fun, but I'll be glad to get back to New York. I don't know if it's the architecture or just the general feeling in the streets, but this city is disorienting."

"Take care of yourself Bruce. You might be as rich as God, but you're not him. And don't make Alfred stay up late worrying nights."

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Old 03-17-2012, 10:37 AM   #440
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"To say the least. And not to say it hasn't been fun, but I'll be glad to get back to New York. I don't know if it's the architecture or just the general feeling in the streets, but this city is disorienting."

"Take care of yourself Bruce. You might be as rich as God, but you're not him. And don't make Alfred stay up late worrying nights."
"I make no promises," I said with a smirk. Matt chuckled, shook his head, and jumped from the roof of Wayne Tower, swinging away through the city towards the rising sun.

While Matt disappeared off into the city, I headed down to the bunker. After a night of riddles, mobsters, and ninjas, it's time to finally get some rest.

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Old 03-19-2012, 04:03 AM   #441
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Previously


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Baltimore, MD

The flying car carrying the Fantastic Four skirted over the rooftops of Baltimore. Reed was driving, Sue was riding shotgun while Ben and Johnny were crammed in the back.

"This is Baltimore?" Johnny asked, looking out the window. "Doesn't look so bad. No gun battles or insane drug dealers. Starting to think the Wire lied to me."

"I could do with some legroom, Reed," Ben grumbled, his knees pressed into his chest.

"It's just a prototype," Reed said as the hospital came into view. "When I have more time, I'll make something more spacious."

"For now, just be glad you can ride in something other than a cargo plane."

"Bite me, matchstick."

"I would, but I'd just break all my teeth off in the process."

A few minutes later, Reed was parking the car outside Johns Hopkins Hospital while a crowd looked on. A woman stepped from the crowd as the Four climbed from the car. "My astute powers of deduction tell me you're the Fantastic Four," she said before taking a drag off the cigarette in her hands.

"You must be Miss Chase," Reed said with a nod.

"FBI Special Agent Cameron Chase. Part of the DEO Taskforce."
"A fed, huh?" Johnny asked, eying Chase with a cocked eyebrow. "Wonder if you'd like to be read your rights..."

"Sorry," Chase said, exhaling a thick torrent of smoke in Johnny's direction. "Not my type. I like my men... Manly."

Ben put his first to his mouth to cover up his laughter, but his rocky frame still shook as he tried to suppress it. Johnny scowled and shot Ben a dirty look.

"So, what about this incident?" Sue asked in an attempt to get back on track.

"This way," Chase said, beckoning them away from the area. The Four followed her towards the side of the hospital.

"Special Agent Chase," Reed said as they walked. "Could you tell me what exactly this DEO taskforce is. I've been seeing it pop up in reports recently."

"DEO is the Department of Extranormal Operations. We just started up six months ago in response to the boom in metahuman activity. We're mostly FBI, and we're still being housed in FBI facilities. Anything unusual -- Metahuman or mutant related activity, strange phenomenon, paranormal activity -- we investigate it."

"So you're like the real life X-Files?"

"A bit, only more boring. Here we are."

They came to a section of sidewalk beside the hospital that had been cordoned off with police tape. "What exactly happened here?" Reed asked, removing his scanner from the pouch on his hip.

"Nearly thirty witnesses reported seeing a little girl appearing about a hundred feet or so above the hospital. She was falling towards the ground, screaming. Just a few feet shy of the pavement, she disappeared."

"Fascinating," Reed muttered, stepping under the police tape and scanning the pavement. "I'm getting some interesting readings. Susan, take a look."

Reed stretched his arm out above the tape and stretched it to Sue. She took the scanner from Reed's elongated hand and read over the results. "This looks... Familiar. I've seen similar readouts before. But from where?"

"Us," Reed said. "Just after the accident. The same type of trace radiation was all over all four of us."


*****

In her hospital bed, Eliza Newton finally drifted to sleep. She hadn't been able to go back to sleep since that horrible nightmare earlier this morning. Her heart rate monitor steadily beeped as she slept. Her hands were down in her lap, wrapped around a toy dinosaur. Slowly, the heart monitor started to increase and Eliza's eyes began to glow underneath her eyelids.


*****


"So, this is the same stuff that Watcher mook gave us?" Ben asked, scratching his chin.

"I'm not sure, Ben. It's just radiation. Similar, but it may be caused by something else. I need more data."

"And how do we get more data?" Chase asked.

"HELP!!!" A voice cried out. The five of them turned and stared slack-jaw at what was down the street.

"Oh, my God..."

"No way..."Running down the street was a little girl. She screamed as she ran away from the thing chasing her down the street. It was a fully-grown, walking, living and breathing T-Rex. It snapped at the little girl as it ran after her.

"I believe that's how we get more data."


As the T-Rex stomped through the streets of Baltimore, the Fantastic Four were already rushing into action. The Human Torch flew above the dinosaur, striking it with glancing fireballs. Meanwhile the Invisible Woman created a force field on both sides of the street to shield pedestrians from the beast. The Thing charged towards the T-Rex, his rocky fist cocked and ready to strike. Mister Fantastic stretched his body. With one arm, he picked up the little girl the dinosaur was chasing while his other arm held a scanner that was collecting data on the dino.

"Are you alright?" Reed asked the girl once he set her down out of harm's way beside Agent Chase. The little stuttered and tried to talk. Reed was suddenly taken aback as the girl's eyes began to glow bright yellow.

"Reed!" Ben yelled as the T-Rex tail whipped Ben into the air. He slammed against Sue's force field and smacked against the asphalt of the street. "Could use some help."

Reed nodded in his direction and turned away from the girl. He stretched his body out and began to wrap himself around the dinosaur's legs. The T-Rex struggled and flexed its muscular legs against Reed's tightening body. While the dinosaur fought Reed, Johnny came in and delivered a roaring fireball to the T-Rex's face. Off-balanced and burning, the dinosaur stumbled and smacked hard into the pavement. The impact of the beast falling cracked the asphalt underneath the beast. The T-Rex roared and suddenly disappeared, allowing Reed to fall to the ground and get up confused.

"What was that?" Sue asked as she brought down her forcefields and turned to the others.
Johnny landed on the ground and dispersed the flames that covered his body. "What just happened?"

"I'm not sure,"
Reed said with a confused look. He turned to where Agent Chase was, and noticed the girl was gone.

"She disappeared like the T-Rex," Chase said. "Where did they go?"

Reed held his scanner up and looked over the results on the screen. "I have a good idea. Okay, we need to split up and go into the hospital. I think the answer to all of this is in there. Ben and Agent Chase, go to geriatrics. Susan, check out oncology. Johnny, take pediatrics. I'll go to neurology."

"What are we looking for?"

"Something unusual or out of the ordinary. A patient probably. Whatever is causing these illusions, the answer lies within the hospital."

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Old 03-19-2012, 10:21 PM   #442
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The wind blows across the National Mall, wafting the smell of fire and ash up towards me as I stand on the deck of the now landed helicarrier. The city is decimated, but the monuments seem to be in good shape and easily repaired. But this attack will weigh on the country for a long time. Attacks on the homeland tend to do that.

"That was easier than I thought it would be," Flag says, coming up from the helm along with Coulson.

"Yea, if you don't count the divet in the mall," Coulson responds.

"I think that's the least of our worries," Fury chimes in as the rest of my team join us on the deck.

After taking down Lord, the Checkmate forces went into disarray. It seemed as if his hold over them was powerful, and losing that influence affected them. And the robots...just left. I don't know what that's about, but we'll need to follow up on that.

"Ha! That was a rousing fight!" Thor says, landing beside me and slapping me hard on the back. "They will sing songs of this day!"

Ted goes over to Dinah, who's been sitting with Agent 13 since our taking of the ship and comforts her. Tony Stark and Diana land in front of me, Diana obviously worse for wear.

"Are you okay?" I ask.

"Oh, you know, a few blast knocked me out of the sky, but the big guy caught me once...and the White House caught me the second time."

"I believe he was talking to me," Diana says.

"No respect," Tony mutters.

"I am fine. I'm glad you did what needed to be done. This victory was hard fought. And earned."

I look back over the city. The destruction is obvious, and the death toll is obviously going to be high, "I don't know how much of a victory this is."

Fury takes a call and then approaches us, "The press is going to be here in a while. That was the Secretary of Defense. I've been given control of Checkmate again, but I need to go figure out how we're moving forward."

"What about the press?"

"It's time for Captain America to talk to the world, Steve," Nick says, placing his hand on my shoulder. "It's been too long. Give them a reason to believe, soldier."

**********

I look out over the Capitol stairs, where a mass of the international press has come to hear an address. An address from me.

Taking a deep breath, I step out and head towards the podium. As I do, an excited murmur rolls through the assembled crowd. I clear my throat and begin, "Thank you all for coming on this horrible, horrible day. I'd like to start by asking for a moment of silence for all those that lost their lives in this heinous attack last night....Thank you."

Looking out over the crowd and peering into all the eyes and cameras I can get, I continue, "Last night, Washington DC was attacked by the international terrorist group known as Kobra, which caught our nation's military off guard. But not only were we attacked, we were setup from the inside. Maxwell Lord, the leader of Checkmate, a super human espionage and countermeasure agency, worked along with Kobra to orchestrate a plot to begin the extermination of the world's metahuman population. Instead, they nearly destroyed Washington and killed countless civilians."

Another murmur of shock goes through the people, and my team joins me at the podium. "But we were here to stop them. And I'm here to tell you we will always be here to stop them. I know there has been a division across the world on the super human population. Some see us as the next step in human evolution. Some see us as saviors. And some see us as a menace to society. As destroyers of worlds. And to be honest, I've seen all of these represented in the superhuman community through my life. I fought against the maniacal Red Skull in World War II. And I fought him alongside some of the bravest men in history to defend the freedoms we hold dear today."

I turn to my new teammates around me, "And now we are here to defend the same freedoms. Yes, there will always be threats. Super powered and otherwise. And we're here to show you that no matter what power evil holds, there will always be someone carrying the flag of freedom. There will always be someone to hold the line. There will always be good to combat that evil. Yes, we may be the same metahumans many of you fear. But we hope to show you that just like every other segment of humanity, there is good that comes with the bad. And we will stand beside you, brothers in arms and peace, defending this world and all its peoples."

"The world now has a shield. We are the Ultimates. And we're the ones that will fight back the tide of darkness."



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Old 03-20-2012, 12:42 PM   #443
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The Hulk continues his rampage through New Troy

ROOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!

He looks around as people are running away but one little girl approaches the beast and holds up a teddy bear. The girl's mother starts to run out there and finds that she is almost paralyzed with fear.

The Hulk breathing heavily sees the child and the bear.

The child says, "Here you can have this. Teddy helps me when I get mad."

The Hulk looks at the child for the moment as though he were studying a new life-form and reaches for the bear with a semi-twisted smile.

Suddenly someone yells, "He's going to kill her stop him!"

Someone shoots at The Hulk and then two more people start shooting.

Without thinking he jumps in front of the child to shield her.

The mother finally sees The Hulk will not hurt her child and approaches them.

The mother embraces the child and says to The Hulk, "Go! They want to kill you! Thank you."

The Hulk picks up the mother and child and sets them behind a car.

He then turns to where the bullets are coming from and yells as he charges towards them

ROOOOOAAAARRRRRRRR!!!!


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Old 03-21-2012, 05:09 AM   #444
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"ROAAAR!"

From the skies, I practically have to wince as an inhuman voice loud enough to shatter glass comes echoing out from the corner of Morrison Boulevard. My advanced hearing usually picks up faint, but otherwise distant noises before I can ever focus on a closer proximity, but that one was difficult to ignore. I actually wouldn't be surprised if all of Metropolis was hearing it at once. Coupled with the sounds of wanton destruction and gunfire, it doesn't take me long to realize that what I'm going up against is no bomb - though, worryingly, it is something that leaves just as much damage in it's wake. Flying over downtown New Troy, I glance down at streets that look not unlike a ravaged, third-world nation rather than the heart of what people have always been quick to call The City of Tomorrow. The important thing is that, scanning the wreckage with my x-ray vision, I don't immediately spot any casualities.

Of course, that's liable to change if I don't stop whatever's caused this.

Allowing my velocity to increase through the air, bringing me to speeds that are very nearly supersonic, I finally arrive over the area most devastated. And standing atop of what looks to be two giant spiderweb cracks into the pavement, indicating either the sheer size or power of what I'm looking at, is something hideous. More noticably, it's something big... something green.

Whatever you are, I've found you.

I find myself almost willing to pause, just to be able to take in the enormity of it. It stands at least twelve feet tall, with wild hair and skin that looks just about ready to burst. But what really causes me to become confused is the fact that it seems to be wearing some sort of garmets below the waist. Not unlike a pair of jeans, torn violently at the seams. It's that detail that renders me unable to tell if it's mutant, alien, or something else entirely.

All that I know for sure is the look of seething rage on it's face. It's not here to be friendly, and it definitely doesn't look willing to reason any sort of logic. I can see this becoming difficult. My fears are only strengthened when the creature greets further gunfire with hostility, unphased by being faced with about a dozen armed police officers that rush onto the scene.

It's time I intervened. "That's enough!"

Firing a solid beam of laser vision at the ground between the monster and it's human prey, I rapidly descend from the skies and draw far more attention than intended. Infact, seeing me almost provokes just as much of a fear based reaction than the creature.

I ignore it, focusing exclusively on the creature as it turns to me, evidently not pleased with what I just did. I'm not even sure if it can even understand human dialect, but I'm sure it'll understand brute force. That seems to be all that it understands.

"A warning shot. But I promise, the next one won't miss."



"You're through putting these people in danger."

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Old 03-21-2012, 12:06 PM   #445
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"ROAAAR!"

From the skies, I practically have to wince as an inhuman voice loud enough to shatter glass comes echoing out from the corner of Morrison Boulevard. My advanced hearing usually picks up faint, but otherwise distant noises before I can ever focus on a closer proximity, but that one was difficult to ignore. I actually wouldn't be surprised if all of Metropolis was hearing it at once. Coupled with the sounds of wanton destruction and gunfire, it doesn't take me long to realize that what I'm going up against is no bomb - though, worryingly, it is something that leaves just as much damage in it's wake. Flying over downtown New Troy, I glance down at streets that look not unlike a ravaged, third-world nation rather than the heart of what people have always been quick to call The City of Tomorrow. The important thing is that, scanning the wreckage with my x-ray vision, I don't immediately spot any casualities.

Of course, that's liable to change if I don't stop whatever's caused this.

Allowing my velocity to increase through the air, bringing me to speeds that are very nearly supersonic, I finally arrive over the area most devastated. And standing atop of what looks to be two giant spiderweb cracks into the pavement, indicating either the sheer size or power of what I'm looking at, is something hideous. More noticably, it's something big... something green.

Whatever you are, I've found you.

I find myself almost willing to pause, just to be able to take in the enormity of it. It stands at least twelve feet tall, with wild hair and skin that looks just about ready to burst. But what really causes me to become confused is the fact that it seems to be wearing some sort of garmets below the waist. Not unlike a pair of jeans, torn violently at the seams. It's that detail that renders me unable to tell if it's mutant, alien, or something else entirely.

All that I know for sure is the look of seething rage on it's face. It's not here to be friendly, and it definitely doesn't look willing to reason any sort of logic. I can see this becoming difficult. My fears are only strengthened when the creature greets further gunfire with hostility, unphased by being faced with about a dozen armed police officers that rush onto the scene.

It's time I intervened. "That's enough!"

Firing a solid beam of laser vision at the ground between the monster and it's human prey, I rapidly descend from the skies and draw far more attention than intended. Infact, seeing me almost provokes just as much of a fear based reaction than the creature.

I ignore it, focusing exclusively on the creature as it turns to me, evidently not pleased with what I just did. I'm not even sure if it can even understand human dialect, but I'm sure it'll understand brute force. That seems to be all that it understands.

"A warning shot. But I promise, the next one won't miss."



"You're through putting these people in danger."

The Hulk stares at this new arrival for a moment. He then looks to the sky and then back to this blue-man.

The Hulk touches the ground where the red beam hit the ground.

He growls in pain, "GRRRRRR!!!"

The Hulk then sets his sights on the Blue-man and takes a couple steps towards him.

He stops and then The Hulk lets out another roar, "ROOOOAAAAAARR!"

The Hulk picks up the Blue-man and hurls him down the street into the side of an apartment building. The impact cause the building to shake and rumble.

A large slab of stone begins to fall away. A mother with a stroller is right underneath the stone and The Hulk dashes over and covers the woman with his body as the stone shatters on him into hundreds of tiny pieces of rubble.

The Hulk stands up and and the mother says, "Thank you" and scurries away.

A person standing nearby says, "That green Hulk saved them."

The Hulk looks around and sees his reflection in a window.

He says beating his chest, "Hulk? Hulk.HULK! HULK!!!! HULKKKKKKKKKKK!"

He looks around and towards the sky this time looking for the Blue-Man.

He says looking around, ""HULK SMASH BLUE-MAN!"


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Old 03-21-2012, 10:50 PM   #446
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Previously


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As the T-Rex stomped through the streets of Baltimore, the Fantastic Four were already rushing into action. The Human Torch flew above the dinosaur, striking it with glancing fireballs. Meanwhile the Invisible Woman created a force field on both sides of the street to shield pedestrians from the beast. The Thing charged towards the T-Rex, his rocky fist cocked and ready to strike. Mister Fantastic stretched his body. With one arm, he picked up the little girl the dinosaur was chasing while his other arm held a scanner that was collecting data on the dino.

"Are you alright?" Reed asked the girl once he set her down out of harm's way beside Agent Chase. The little stuttered and tried to talk. Reed was suddenly taken aback as the girl's eyes began to glow bright yellow.

"Reed!" Ben yelled as the T-Rex tail whipped Ben into the air. He slammed against Sue's force field and smacked against the asphalt of the street. "Could use some help."

Reed nodded in his direction and turned away from the girl. He stretched his body out and began to wrap himself around the dinosaur's legs. The T-Rex struggled and flexed its muscular legs against Reed's tightening body. While the dinosaur fought Reed, Johnny came in and delivered a roaring fireball to the T-Rex's face. Off-balanced and burning, the dinosaur stumbled and smacked hard into the pavement. The impact of the beast falling cracked the asphalt underneath the beast. The T-Rex roared and suddenly disappeared, allowing Reed to fall to the ground and get up confused.

"What was that?" Sue asked as she brought down her forcefields and turned to the others.
Johnny landed on the ground and dispersed the flames that covered his body. "What just happened?"

"I'm not sure,"
Reed said with a confused look. He turned to where Agent Chase was, and noticed the girl was gone.

"She disappeared like the T-Rex," Chase said. "Where did they go?"

Reed held his scanner up and looked over the results on the screen. "I have a good idea. Okay, we need to split up and go into the hospital. I think the answer to all of this is in there. Ben and Agent Chase, go to geriatrics. Susan, check out oncology. Johnny, take pediatrics. I'll go to neurology."

"What are we looking for?"

"Something unusual or out of the ordinary. A patient probably. Whatever is causing these illusions, the answer lies within the hospital."



Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

In the geriatric ward of Johns Hopkins, Ben Grimm sat at a table with three old men, playing cards.

"Go fish," Ben said as he looked over his cards. "Finish your story, Morty."

"Huh? Oh yeah...," one of the men stammered. "Where was I? That's right! So it was me, Brooklyn Joe, Brooklyn Phil, and Joey Brooklyn on the deck of the battleship. Spring of '45 and in the Pacific. We were part of the ass-end of the fleet. So, the four of us were swabbing the deck when a kamikaze planes comes over the horizon--"

"Morty, got any threes?" One of the other men asked.

"What? No. Go fish. Uhh, where was I?"

"You and the Brooklyns saw a kamikaze plane."

"Right. So, we're in the Pacific. And that plane is barreling down towards us. That's when Joey Brooklyn starts to--"

"Major Grimm," Special Agent Cameron Chase said as she came up to the table. "What are you doing?"

"Playing cards," Ben said with a shrug. "They needed another one."

"We lost our fourth two days ago," Morty said. "Sal DeVecchio, God rest his soul."

"I thought we were supposed to look for anything out the ordinary," Chase said, placing her hands on her hips.

"Agent Chase, only thing I see out the ordinary here is how Freddie doesn't seem to have any cards. You holding out on me, Freddie? You got any sevens?"

One of the elderly men narrowed his eyes at Ben before he forked over two cards. "There you go. Happy?"

"Very happy," Ben said as he tapped the communicator on his waistband. "Reed, Ben here. Nothing out of the ordinary here with the old folks."

"Alright, Ben," Reed voice crackled through the comm. "I'm not getting any readings in neurology.

"Oncology seems normal," Sue said through the comm. "What exactly are we looking for, Reed?"

"I programed our suits to pick up trace amounts of that energy signature that I picked up outside. If we get close, the comms start to give off a noise like a Geiger counter."

"So I'm good to go? I can get back to the old folks?"

"Just come running if we need you, Ben. Reed out."

"Who are you calling old?" Morty asked Ben with an arched eyebrow. "I was in the Pacific, fighting the Japs before you were even born, sonny. That reminds me. So it was me, Brooklyn Joe, Brooklyn Phil, and Joey Brooklyn on the battleship..."


*****


Johnny Storm walked through the pediatric section of the hospital. Children in hospital beds were watching him as he walked down the ward. He smiled and nodded at them, even signing an autograph or two. Suddenly, his suit began to quietly tick.

"Johnny here," he said, activating his comm. "I'm getting something."

He followed the signal as it got stronger and stronger until...

"You," Eliza Newton said as she looked up at Johnny from her bed. "You're Johnny Storm!"

"That's me," Johnny said with a grin. "Reed," he said into his comm. "You might want to get up here."

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Old 03-22-2012, 09:25 PM   #447
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I can sense him before I hear him. For what the man has in power and ferocity he decidedly lacks in stealth and subtlety. At least in this instance. He rushes up the stairs and into Charles's study, roaring like the animal he believes he is.

With a mere flick of my wrist, I send him flying through the air the way in which he came, driving him through the wall. With another flick, I drag him back into the room, make him stand, and cause his body to go completely rigid. Locking him into place.

"Honestly, Wolverine," I smile at him from underneath my helmet. "Is that any way to treat a guest?"

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Old 03-23-2012, 10:16 PM   #448
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Blüdhaven
3:15 PM

Carmine Falcone scowled as he stepped out the back of his limo and headd inside the hotel lobby. As bad as Gotham was, Blüdhaven was a real ****-hole. It'd always been in Gotham's shadow, and it was easy to guess why. The town wasn't even a third the size of Gotham, but the city's crime was almost on par with Gotham's. He had a few business associates here, but nothing too serious. You could make money, but it was just chump-change and this place was like the goddamn wild west with all the hits and drive-by shootings that went on. It wasn't civilized here. **** Russo, he though. Sending him out all the way here for this meeting.

Falcone headed through the lobby with two of his bodyguards flanking him. They headed to the conference room where Falcone and his men were the last to arrive. The ugly son of a ***** with the square head was already waiting. Hammerhead was sitting at the table with three of his men behind him. They looked impassively at Falcone and his men, sizing the three mobsters up and assessing them.

"Here he is," a voice from the head of the table said with a smile. Billy "The Beaut" Russo, acting boss of the Gnucci Family, walked towards Falcone and warmly embraced him. Falcone managed a strained style as he patted the younger man on the back. "You look good, Carmine. Come, have a seat."

Billy was all of thirty-one when he was handed the reigns of the Gnucci Family while Ma Gnucci was sent up for life at the women's state pen. Since that time, Billy had been turning the sinking mob family around. He'd gotten a good deal when the families had split up Maroni's territory. With confidence, ambition, youth, and now prime territory, Billy Russo was becoming a threat to Falcone.

After swapping pleasantries with Falcone, Hammerhead finally asked the question. "Out with it, kid," he grunted. "The hell are we doing here?"

"Exactly," Falcone said as he lit up a cigar. "What's so goddamn important we had to come to the state's ***hole to discuss it?"

"Batman," Russo said with a glint in his eyes. "It's time to get rid of him."

"Great plan," Hammerhead said sarcastically. "Why the hell haven't we thought of that before?! We kill Batman, and that's the end of it. Wow, you're a ****ing genius."

"Funny," Russo said. "But here's the thing, you've sent killers after him, and they've all failed. I finally got the right guy for the job."

Falcone exhaled a swirling plum of smoke from his mouth and looked at Russo. "Hammerhead said the same thing six months ago. That weird **** with the target on his head."

"That was the problem," Russo said. "You sent killers. The man I have for is so much more."

"That explains it," Hammerhead said with a sigh. "I figure that's why you called us here. Afraid the big, bad bat is listening."

"You can never be too careful," Russo said with a nod.

"How much," Falcone asked, stubbing his cigar in the ashtray beside him.

"Pretty cheap. Only a half mil from all of us."

"A half mil?" Hammerhead asked with a raised eyebrow. "Just a mil and a half for this job? It cost us five mil for Bullseye. Why's this guy cheap?"

"He gets off on it," Russo said. "Thrill of the chase and all that. He's here, let me bring him out."

Both Hammerhead and Falcone stared at the man as he came in. His outlandish outfit threw both mobsters for a loop.

"This guy?" Falcone asked with a laugh. "He looks like a goddamn acrobat, not a killer."

"Killer is not what you need," the man said with a slight Russian accent. "Killer is what you used before. Killer will not work. You have animal problem in your city, you do not call killer..."



"You call hunter."

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Old 03-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #449
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG



Lex continues to watch the coverage of The Hulk rampaging through Metropolis.

He sees The Hulk hurl Superman like a Frisbee and this pleases Lex on a lot of levels.

Who knows maybe I just might be lucky and they finish each other off.

Just then his intercom chimes.

Why do I have the feeling that this is where my luck is about to be tested?


He presses the button and says, "Yes Miss Graves?"

She replies, "Mr. Luthor Dr. Ross has returned and she has brought others with her."

Lex replies, "Others? By all means show them in."

Lex cuts off his TV and looks out towards the window.

He hears footsteps stop at his desk and then hears the door close.

Lex asks, "Tell me little girl did you bring some significant help this time? Or do I get to throw you and a few Government flunkies out this time?"

General Ross says, "Be careful Lex! That's my daughter you're talking to!"

Lex raises his eyebrows a bit and says, "Oh you brought daddy to save you from big bad Lex! Oh please."

Then he hears a new voice in the conversation say, "And I'm here to get some answers from you about that Green Skinned Goliath tearing up Metropolis!"

Lex's blood goes stone cold. He knows that voice anywhere. It was the voice that kept him from getting his hands in Checkmate.




Lex turns and says, "Hello Nick. Nice to see you again. tell me how's unemployment?"

Fury replies, "Don't know I'm the director of Checkmate! And I want answers from you."

Lex says, "Answers? What questions do you have for me? Please keep it brief I still have things to take care of."

Fury says, "Gotta give you credit Lex. General Ross and I don't exactly see eye to eye on a lot but one thing which we both readily agree upon is; neither one of us like you! Takes a special talent to get us to agree on anything. Congrats."

He takes a drag on his cigar and says, "So you tell me about the not-so Jolly Green Giant while everyone else begins going over your records and we'll go from there."

Lex always hated Fury for two major reasons; he was his equal in so many ways and he could never intimidate him.

Lex loses his cavalier attitude and says, "Of course let me get my lawyers on the phone before you do anything."

Fury pulls out a document and drops it on his desk and says, "That's a court order compelling you to allow us to begin immediate search and seizure of all your files and items in your company and belonging to you, and to answer any questions I might have."

Fury turns to the assembled squad behind him and says, "Get to it! Start with the computer areas first! Anyone gives you trouble arrest them on the spot!"

Lex stands up and says, "You can't do this!"

Fury says, "Watch me! That order says I get to do whatever I deem necessary for my investigation! Now if you want to fight me on this right now feel free! I'll do two things that you will not like at all, and they will be perfectly legal!"


Lex asks, "And what are they?"

Fury replies, "Your tower has a rather large hole in it. I doubt it or the other tower are safe right now. I may have to order them to be closed until further notice. How does 2015 sound for a re-opening?"

Lex stands up and glares at him and says, "You wouldn't!"

Fury smiles and says, "Try me. Second Dr. Ross here will get an early Christmas gift."

Fury pulls out a set of shackles and says, "I'll let her slap these on you and escort you out of the building in front of the press and right into jail for obstruction and interfering with a Government Investigation. Anything else you would care to add."

Lex sits back down and activates an intercom and says, "This is Lex Luthor by now you have noticed the Checkmate agents roaming the halls. You are to comply with whatever request they have and make all information available to them. That is all."

He cuts off the intercom and Fury says to the Ross family, "You all go on and keep an eye on things. I'll stay here and make sure Lex continues to be so cooperative."

They leave and Lex says, "Well Nick. Care for a drink? It might be a while."

Fury shakes his head and says, "No it won't be that long. I know exactly what I am looking for and when I find it you will have a lot to answer for."

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Old 03-25-2012, 12:58 AM   #450
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"I make no promises," I said with a smirk. Matt chuckled, shook his head, and jumped from the roof of Wayne Tower, swinging away through the city towards the rising sun.

While Matt disappeared off into the city, I headed down to the bunker. After a night of riddles, mobsters, and ninjas, it's time to finally get some rest.

"Why am I not surprised."
I give Bruce a mock salute and swing away on my club's line, saying a quiet prayer for Bruce to find some peace.

***

"But you just got here. We hardly spent any time together." Vicki puts on the air of pouting, but that's just how she always teased me when I made her mad.

"I know. But it was worth it. My client will go free, and I actually got to help put a bad guy away. Pretty hard thing to do, being a defense attorney."

"Oh, I thought it was Batman and the GCPD that did all the work."

"And who brought them the case?"

"Uh-huh, sure." She sighs. "Take another day off. Foggy can handle the appeal."

"He can. But I should be there, shouldn't I."

"Fine. Well, I'm writing about this. If you don't mind. And even if you do."

"I would never stand i the way of a free press."

"Good. Because I'd just roll over you anyway." And suddenly she's pressed her lips to mine. But only for a brief, but intense, moment. "Still think leaving early is worth it?"

"Uhh..."

"Well said, Counselor."

***

The train lurches and pulls away, but I'm too lost in my own thoughts to much notice. Somehow Vicki and I had found a way to spend a little more 'time' together. Not a bad memory to leave Gotham on...

We're only on the move for a couple of minutes when my cell goes off. I flip the phone open.

"Murdock."

"Matt."

"Oh, hey Foggy. Tell our client yet? You better not be waiting for me-"

"Matt...you haven't heard?"

"Haven't heard what? Something happen to Varnell?"

"No, not Varnell. Biglia."

"What are you on about?"

"He's dead, Matt."

"Say again?!"

"I know you heard me."

"How?"

"On the way back to Gotham. Some kind of car accident. Details are sketchy, but the car went off the road and Biglia and the detectives that were transferring him were killed."

I let the phone drop into my lap. "Dammit..." I take a moment and lift it back up. "What about the case?"

"I've got an emergency meeting with the judge in ten minutes. But the NYPD and DA have the confession, and Commissioner Gordon made sure we got a copy too."

"He's a good man. Well, my train won't get in for a couple of hours..."

"Don't worry about it, Matt. The judge is going to have to overturn, or she'll look as bad as the last one."

I smile at the thought of that rooftop. "Don't jinx it, Foggy."

"I'll spin around three times and spit, don't worry."

"I wasn't. See you when I get in." I hang up.

The train ride gives me plenty of time to think. Calling it an accident is a joke. This was a kill order, plain and simple. But a kill order from whom? With Marone dead, there's no one in Gotham to worry about Biglia squealing. Not Falcone. Not anyone who'll be trying to fill the power vacuum. Who could Biglia have been a threat to?

There's really only one answer.

The Kingpin is real...

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