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Old 11-29-2011, 02:07 PM   #76
Byrd Man
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG





Previously

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The East End
1:23 AM

"Please! Lemme go!"

Sam Stephens, an independent drug pusher operating in this part of the city, is blindfolded and dangling in the air while I hold him by the ankles.

"Hear that sound, Sam? That's the sound of traffic on the Breyfogle Expressway. It's twenty stories below us. You lie to me and you go splat. Who's your supply?"

"Some jinky-ass toy factory! I talk to the big guy, Ox. He hooks me up with the package and re-ups! That's all I know."

"What toy factory?"

"Krank or something."

"Thanks for your help, Sammie."

I let Sam go and he screams as he falls a whopping two feet to the rooftop overlooking the Expressway. By the time Sam yanks off his blindfold, I'm long gone.



******



Krank Co. Toy Factory
1:52 AM

I gently lift up the window pane and step lightly inside the factory's assembly line floor.


I creep through the shadows of the factor activating the ultraviolet lenses in my cowl as I approach a set of chemical vats placed on the floor. There's fresh residue all over. I rub my finger through the vat and get residue on my finger tip. That should be more than enough sample for the computers in my suit and the uplink it has with the bunker underneath Wayne Tower. It takes just a few seconds to comb through the database before the results show up on my HUD.

Residue Result:


75% Diacetylmorphine aka Heroin
Street name: "Up, Up, and Away!"

15% Inositol
Primarily use: cutting agent

10% Unknown Substance

No matches with known chemicals in database


The results are interesting to say the least. Three quarters pure heroin is more than enough to kill almost all the junkies in the city and tri-county area who grew up with shots of heroin cut down to ten and five percent. But it's the unknown substance that interest me the most. My databases are connected to the drug and chemical databanks of the DEA, FBI, and ATF. There's no known chemical compound that they don't have.

I can work on that later. For now, I need to keep climbing the ladder. I've taken out most of the street dealers and middlemen, now it's time to take out the source.

The sound of a door opening a few hundred feet away draws my attention. I meld back into the shadows as three men enter the room. One of them towers over the others while one wears a three-piece suit and the third is dressed in a suit with a cowboy hat on his head and a lasso on his hip. I deactivate the UV lenses and boot up the facial recognition software.

"Can we go get some burgers?" The large man asks his two smaller partners.


Identified:
Raymond Bloch aka Ray Block aka Ox
Three arrests for assault & armed robbery
Known associates: Daniel Brito & Jackson Brice
Known method(s) of attack: Brute strength


"We got a job to do, Ox. Stop thinking with your stomach all the time!" The man in the suit says.


Identified:
Daniel Brtio aka Fancy Dan
Arrests for shoplifting, kidnapping, & racketeering

Known associates: Raymond Bloch & Jackson Brice
Known method(s) of attack: Guns, martial arts


"Wish ya'll would pipe the hell down!"The cowboy grumbles. "It's almost two in the goddamn morning!"


Identified:
Jackson Brice aka Montana
Arrests for armed robbery & kidnapping
Known associates: Raymond Bloch & Daniel Brito
Known method of attack(s): Lasso, knives


Three of them to the one of me. The one called Ox might be a problem. Pulling a small pad from my belt, I stick it to my glove and creep through the dark as they continue to talk.

"Willie got pinched last night by the cops."

"Wasn't the cops that did it. It was that freak Batman. The cops were just on clean-up duty."

"Damn. Willie didn't know this is where we make the H is it?"


"Naah, we always used Sam as a buffer. He came here to pick the s*** up and then pass it on to Willie and the others."
.
"Well, if the Batman comes...I'll be ready. I don't give a damn what he can do. Nobody can beat the Ox!"Taking the opening, I flick the pad and watch it twirl through the air. My aim is true and it sticks against Ox's neck, sending out a one time burst of 20,000 volts.

"Ggggk!"


The big man crumples to the ground and convulses as his two friends suddenly put their guards up.

"Your friend didn't live up to his promise," I say as I step out of the shadows. "Can you?"



Montana pulls his revolver him his hip, while Fancy Dan goes for a pistol in a shoulder holster. No way I can beat them to the punch and disarm both of them. I opt for a different approach, pulling smoke pellets from my belt and smashing them to the floor. The smoke envelopes the area and I disappear into it.

"Dammit, I can't see a thing in this bull****."

I activate the thermal vision and watch from a hidden vantage point as Montana and Dan both stumble through the thick smoke. Dan's smaller, so I go for him first. He's covering his mouth and coughing when I wrap my arm around his neck and put him in a sleeper hold. He struggles and gasps, but is unconscious within a minute. Just in time for me to flee from the clearing smoke.

"Dan?" Montana calls out when he sees Dan's unconscious body. Montana looks around frantically for me, the gun in his hand shaking. "Where are ya, ya son of a *****?!"

"Right here," I whisper to his direct left. He jumps and shouts in fear. I slap the revolver from his hand and charge him. Too close for the lasso, he pulls out a Bowie knife and swings it at my sternum. I block the blade with my left gauntlet and knock him back. Montana stumbles and I take advantage, swinging my leg high and striking him with a roundhouse kick to the face. Montana hits the floor hard and sprawls out.

I pick him up and hold him up the lapels of his suit.

"Talk! Who do you work for?!"

"I don't...I don't," he mutters. His eyes are unfocused and he's mumbling and disoriented. Trademarks of a concussion.

"Tell me!"

"Guy, clown feller...upstairs."

I drop Montana and turn to look. Up on the catwalk is an office and someone watching from the shadows, their face obscured by the darkness.

"Who are you?"

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Old 11-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #77
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG

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"Who are you?"

"Now that's a big question, isn't it?" said the pale man on the catwalk. "A question that keeps people up at night. I mean, what exactly defines who we are? Am I my job? Am I my bank account and credit score? Am I my relationships? Am I just a birth certificate and a social security number? I mean, in this crazy world, can anyone say they really know who they are?"

He stroked his chin contemplatively, before shrugging.

"Or maybe we should just start with names and work our way from there," he said. "I go by the Joker, by name and by game. And you must be the famous Batman I've been hearing so much about! I gotta tell you, I've been looking forward to this....."

The Joker raised his heavy revolver towards the Batman, and took aim.

"....because, if you don't mind my saying? You look like the kind of guy who could really use a good laugh."

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Old 11-29-2011, 06:58 PM   #78
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"Now that's a big question, isn't it?" said the pale man on the catwalk. "A question that keeps people up at night. I mean, what exactly defines who we are? Am I my job? Am I my bank account and credit score? Am I my relationships? Am I just a birth certificate and a social security number? I mean, in this crazy world, can anyone say they really know who they are?"

He stroked his chin contemplatively, before shrugging.

"Or maybe we should just start with names and work our way from there," he said. "I go by the Joker, by name and by game. And you must be the famous Batman I've been hearing so much about! I gotta tell you, I've been looking forward to this....."

The Joker raised his heavy revolver towards the Batman, and took aim.

"....because, if you don't mind my saying? You look like the kind of guy who could really use a good laugh."
I react before the sound of the gunshot, swinging my cape in the air and leaping to the left. The bullet tears through my cape and grazes the back of my thigh. It stings, but I've been hurt worse. Rolling, I fire a grapnel in the air and zip on to the catwalk. I land a few feet away from the Joker and calmly toss a batarang into the air, knocking the revolver from his hand.

"Who are you working for? Who hired you to tamper with the city's drug supply?"

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


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Old 11-30-2011, 04:17 PM   #79
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I react before the sound of the gunshot, swinging my cape in the air and leaping to the left. The bullet tears through my cape and grazes the back of my thigh. It stings, but I've been hurt worse. Rolling, I fire a grapnel in the air and zip on to the catwalk. I land a few feet away from the Joker and calmly toss a batarang into the air, knocking the revolver from his hand.

"Who are you working for? Who hired you to tamper with the city's drug supply?"

The Joker stumbled back, sputtering as the Batman loomed over him.

"Okay, okay, you win!" he begged off, putting his hands in the air. "I'll....I'll tell ya everything you want to know, okay? The guy who's behind this, who told me to mess with the heroin....it was......it was....."

The clown raised his hands higher, palms forward....to hide the pair of small throwing knives he had back-palmed between his fingers.

".....it was me!" he exclaimed, flipping the two knives forward and then flinging him towards the Bat. The vigilante deflected one off of his armored gauntlets, but the second dug into his shoulder.

"Ohhh-ho-ho-hooo, the look on your face," the Joker laughed. "But seriously....who hired me? Me?! Come on, Bats.....do I look like the kind of guy who settles for being on somebody's payroll?"

As the Batman winced and tried to pull the knife from his shoulder, the Joker leapt at him, his frail frame belying incredible speed. Off-guard, the Caped Crusader was knocked off of his feet, the clown generating more strength in his pounce than someone of his musculature should be able to manage.

"Falcone....Maroni.....Hammerhead....they're all the same thing, when you get down to it. All they want is money and power. It's so predictable, so.....boring. I wouldn't work for them even if they were beating down my door. Which they will be, I imagine, once Falcone finds out I'm the one who turned his whole supply into poison."

The Joker pinned Batman's shoulders to the ground, glaring at him hungrily.

"You've seen one mobster, you've seen them all," he said, producing a straight-razor from his jacket pocket. "But I guarantee you, Batman, this city's never seen anything like me."

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Old 11-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #80
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"Ohhh-ho-ho-hooo, the look on your face," the Joker laughed. "But seriously....who hired me? Me?! Come on, Bats.....do I look like the kind of guy who settles for being on somebody's payroll?"

As the Batman winced and tried to pull the knife from his shoulder, the Joker leapt at him, his frail frame belying incredible speed. Off-guard, the Caped Crusader was knocked off of his feet, the clown generating more strength in his pounce than someone of his musculature should be able to manage.

"Falcone....Maroni.....Hammerhead....they're all the same thing, when you get down to it. All they want is money and power. It's so predictable, so.....boring. I wouldn't work for them even if they were beating down my door. Which they will be, I imagine, once Falcone finds out I'm the one who turned his whole supply into poison."

The Joker pinned Batman's shoulders to the ground, glaring at him hungrily.

"You've seen one mobster, you've seen them all," he said, producing a straight-razor from his jacket pocket. "But I guarantee you, Batman, this city's never seen anything like me."
I struggle against Joker's embrace, he drives the knife deeper into my shoulder to distract me from what's coming next. pushing through the pain, I fight against his grip and stick my index finger in his face.

Pssssssh

Smoke pours out of the tiny hole and causes Joker to cough and sputter, distracting him enough for me to toss him off of me and get on my feet again.

Gritting my teeth, I yank the knife from my shoulder and toss it to the ground. He's strong, too strong for a man that thin. I reach into my belt and remove a few items, cupping them in my hands

"I don't know what you're on that made you do that, but you're coming with me."

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


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


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Old 11-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #81
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Lex strolls back into his office at LexCorp Towers. Mercy is standing by his desk and shows him a copy of the late edition of The Daily Bugel and The Daily Planet and says, "The four of you were a hit on the front page of just about every major paper."

Lex glances and says, "In most cases I would demand front and center, but.." he unfolds the papers and it shows the continuing coverage of the Mutant Registration Act.

Lex continues, "For this I will make an exception." He chuckles and lights another Cuban Cigar.

Mercy says, "Are you concerned that the President will veto it possibly?"

Lex shakes his head and says, "This clown knows who helps butter his bread. He wouldn't dream going against me on this one. If he does he knows I'll run and just do it myself."

Mercy asks, "President Luthor? Are you sure you could handle the pay-cut?"

Lex chuckles and says, "Good point. Mercy I think tonight will be a good night to test our security measures. Contact a couple of our members of our private corps tell them they are to be ready to attempt to storm the towers tonight."

Mercy nods and leaves the room.

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:45 PM   #82
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Oliver hears a knock at the door and answers seeing a middle-aged gentleman dressed like a Blues Brother who says, "On a mission from God care to join up?"

Oliver shakes his head and says, "Get in here you nutball."

The gentleman enters morphing back into Plastic Man and says to Hal, "Hey Jordan how's life?"

Oliver asks, "What do ya got for me Plas?"

Plastic man says, "I got a little this a little that and..." pulling out a folder says, "The security schematics for LexCorp, their patrol patterns, the security sensor locations including the hidden ones, and their passcode systems for this evening only."

Oliver says, "Give it here let's see it."

Plas looks somewhat heistant and says, "In all seriousness Ollie I'm not sure about this."

Oliver asks, "What's up?"

Plas replies, "Ollie don't get me wrong I can't stand Luthor anymore than you, and what he's doing he needs to answer for. However, and keep in mind I like seeing guys like you who think they're the smartest and toughest of us all fall on your face from time to time giving those of us who aren't as intense a lot of hope and a good laugh, this is illegal in every sense of the word."

Oliver says, "And what he's doing is okay then?"

Plas says, "That's not what I'm saying! If you get caught you and I both know Lex will use every resource and dirty trick in the book to take everything from you. Your livelihood, your foundation, your secret identity will be exposed, and your company will be toast, and then he'll really let you have it. He'll use those same resources to make sure you're not thrown into Club Fed but a Super-Max and tell me there won't be a con or two ready to stick a shiv into you."

Oliver asks, "Why the concern Plas?"

Plas replies, "You've got the brooding intensity thing down, but you treat me as an equal most of the others view me as the wise-cracker and a nut-ball and while you do that as well you also see me as a real colleague. I don't wanna lose that."

Oliver says, "As long as you know who you are and you know that you make a difference then to hell with what anyone else thinks of you. As long as you can look in the mirror and know you did all that you could to hold the line for one more day then that's all that matters."

Plas nods and says, "Thanks Ollie." He hands him the folder and says, "Good luck GA. See ya around Hal."

Plas leaves and begins studying the info and shares some of the findings with Hal.
"Plastic Man does have a point. Luthor would enjoy ripping you to shreds if you get caught That is why I'm helping to make sure you don't get caught. This information does look rather intense. I hope you know how to get by it all. Just be glad there aren't any real big guns or things will get real messy. So are we ready to go get whatever Luthor is hiding on your Congressman friend?"

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:57 PM   #83
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Strange walks into a book store and heads towards the occult section. It amuses him of what normal humans think that qualifies as occult stuff. Some of the books does have some relevant information but most is just fluff put out by this random author or another one. He then takes a few steps over to find the 'magic' section and sees the usual card tricks or illusion\sleight of hand trick books. Most of these make good parlor tricks to entertain guests but if anyone truly understood magic the way he did, it would scare vast majority of the population. As he starts to head back out, he notices the coffee shop portion being filled and everyone looking up at the TV screen. He had an idea of what it could be since the Mutant Registeration Act been in the papers past few days but what he witnessed wasn't what should be going on.

"Hmm, it looks like this act has gotten quite a bit of attention in more ways then one. I surely hope that the US Government doesn't get the bright idea of having everyone with super powers to register. Such a registery would be way too dangerous in the wrong hands and several such hands I know personally."

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:17 PM   #84
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I struggle against Joker's embrace, he drives the knife deeper into my shoulder to distract me from what's coming next. pushing through the pain, I fight against his grip and stick my index finger in his face.

Pssssssh

Smoke pours out of the tiny hole and causes Joker to cough and sputter, distracting him enough for me to toss him off of me and get on my feet again.

Gritting my teeth, I yank the knife from my shoulder and toss it to the ground. He's strong, too strong for a man that thin. I reach into my belt and remove a few items, cupping them in my hands

"I don't know what you're on that made you do that, but you're coming with me."

"Oh, normally I'd jump at the chance to be whisked away by a tall dark stranger," said the Joker, one hand still brandishing the razor to keep the Batman at bay. "But unfortunately, I've still got an awful lot of work to do. I've got people to poison, chemicals to mass produce, a whole city to terrorize....I'm just swamped!"

The clown's other hand dug into his back pocket, fishing around for something.

"So as entertaining as this has been, I really do have to be going," he said. "I'll make sure to call you when I'm ready for another get-together, but for now, let's leave on a joke."

Finding what he was searching his pockets for, the Joker produced a remote detonator.

"Knock-knock," he said.

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:27 PM   #85
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"Oh, normally I'd jump at the chance to be whisked away by a tall dark stranger," said the Joker, one hand still brandishing the razor to keep the Batman at bay. "But unfortunately, I've still got an awful lot of work to do. I've got people to poison, chemicals to mass produce, a whole city to terrorize....I'm just swamped!"

The clown's other hand dug into his back pocket, fishing around for something.

"So as entertaining as this has been, I really do have to be going," he said. "I'll make sure to call you when I'm ready for another get-together, but for now, let's leave on a joke."

Finding what he was searching his pockets for, the Joker produced a remote detonator.

"Knock-knock," he said.
I hold the batarang in my hand, trying to calculate my speed. I could maybe beat him to the punch and knock the remote from his hand before he pushed it, but I'd need a distraction, something to keep the clown busy. So I give him what he wants.

"Who's there?"

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:39 PM   #86
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"Ka," the Joker said, his smile growing wider, his eyes wild.

Rather than follow it up, the Batman flung a weapon at the clown, a bat-shaped throwing blade that whizzed through the air towards his hand. To his surprise, however, even at the lightning speed at which the weapon traveled, the Joker snaked his hand out of the way.

"I'll take that as a 'Ka who?'" he said, holding the detonator out, his thumb on the button.

For a few intense moments, the two stared at each other, waiting for the next move. Until, finally, the Joker answered his own question.

"Ka-BOOOOOOOM!!!!"

The Joker pressed down on the button, and the warehouse of the Krank Co Toy Factory was rocked by a series of explosions, as the charges of C-4 the Joker had planted all through his own hideout went off.

The catwalk teetered as supports were ripped away, then fell towards the floor, the Joker laughing madly on the way down before being enveloped in a cloud of smoke and dust.

The warehouse filled with flame and smoke, and the struts and supports of the building groaned and then buckled. The entire building would be a pile of rubble in a matter of seconds.

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Old 12-01-2011, 08:11 PM   #87
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Almost immediately after landing we're assaulted by gunfire. I direct the team to a rock formation that gives us sufficient cover. In this position, I almost wish I had the gun Lord supplied me with. But I'll be able to live without it. With my shield in hand, I'm not to worried anyway.

"Well, I think they may have known we were coming," Barton says as he slings an arrow, leaves cover, and fires it quickly into an enemy. "This is a disaster."

"We're fine," Sasha replies, annoyed and firing into the enemies. "They have these mountains covered with eyes. They saw the jet and our jump. The mission will be fine."

"You're damn right it will be," I respond. But I know we're not going to last long pinned down like this. I take a quick peak around cover to determine where the aggressors are. I quickly pinpoint three men with some sort of automatic rifles firing at as. The fourth is dead from Hawkeye's bolt. A bullet ricochets of the stone above me and I fold back into cover.

But I've got what I need. Turning to the other two I say, "Cover me."

Before they can respond, I roll from behind cover and throw my shield with all my might. I might have been out of action for decades, but as I loose the shield, it feels like I'm back on the European battlefield. It's so natural for me. It's like I was born to do this. And I guess in reality I was. I was born out of science and American ingenuity.

The shield bounces off the rock formation to my left, striking two of the soldiers in a line. The third points his weapon towards me, but I'm already on top of him, and I drive my knee into his jaw, knocking him out cold. My shield bounces back to my, and I catch it instinctively.

"Wow...okay," Hawkeye says as he exits from cover. "That was pretty damn impressive. Where'd you learn to do that shield stuff?"

"Kinda just came to me instinctively," I respond, heading towards the mountain base. "Let's move."

"Yea...let's do that," Sasha nods.

But before we get very far a large shell smashes down in front of us, sending shrapnel and sand flying in our direction. I act quickly, pushing the other two to the ground. "Well, they have a tank."

"I have something that can take that out, but I'll need some time," Clint says.

"We can get you it," Sasha responds. "After you, Captain."

The two of us split up, and rush off on opposite sides of the tank. Gears, as she said her codename is, is surprisingly fast. I guess the robot parts that she's been rebuilt with gives her more than just strength. Another tank shell screams towards her, but she slides underneath it, and it crashes into the ground behind her.

Smiling and impressed, I'm surprised as a machine gun on top of the tank fires in my direction, coming dangerously close. I toss my shield at the gun, but it bounces off the tank and back towards me. I catch it and roll behind a rock pile. The powerful machine gun starts cutting through the rock, and I know I don't have much time here. The large gun goes off again, and I can only imagine it was fired towards Sasha.

Terrific. Here I am, my first outing since being unfrozen and I've led my team to their deaths. I should have led them around, instead of going straight in. I should have seen this coming.

And that's when I heard the engine of the tank shut down, and the machine gun stops firing into my cover. I peak over the side, and see the tank standing there, completely immobile and shut down.

Barton is leaning against it, smiling, "High voltage arrow. Shuts down basically everything and knocks out anyone in it. Just needed time to charge it up."

"Good job, Clint," I respond. He may be cocky and a bit sloppy, but the man is a good shot, and doesn't flinch in the face of danger. The kind of person you want fighting alongside you. And the same can be said about Sasha. "Let's get moving. I'm sure that isn't the last of them."

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Old 12-01-2011, 10:27 PM   #88
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Along Came A Spider

Part I


Metropolis. The City of Tomorrow.

And in no place is that name more true than here: the world-famous S.T.A.R. Labs. Founded by Doctor Robert Meersman, S.T.A.R. Labs have been at the forefront of virtually all fields of science for years. While they've got facilities all over the world now, the one in Metropolis is still the unofficial headquarters of the chain. The fact that they're able to work in the same city as Lexcorp without being bought out really speaks about their abilities, not to mention their principles.

In short, this is Disneyland for nerds. And like any family of slack-jawed tourists in that theme park, I'm stopping to gawk at pretty much everything I see....and the tour hasn't even started yet.

"Peter," Gwen says as she tugs at my sleeve, "Your camera's going to run out of memory before we even get to the good stuff."

"Huh? Oh, yeah. Right,"
I say, ruefully putting the lens cap on my camera. "Guess I'm just a little excitable about this. I mean, come on, this is so cool!"

As if on cue, Flash Thompson yawns loudly.

"Can we get moving already?" he says impatiently. "The longer we stand around, the more I'm worried I'm going to catch a case of geek from this place."

I roll my eyes and mutter to Gwen, "Too bad they don't hand out Nobel Prizes for Ignorant Jackasses, because I think we've found ourselves a prodigy."

Gwen giggles, but I must have said it a little too loudly, as Flash shoots me a dirty look.

"You say something, Parker?"

"Uhh....no, nothing."

"That's right, nothing,"
he says with the kind of smugness that just begs to be smashed in the face with a brick. I look away, angry and embarrassed, before someone steps through the front door.

"Good morning, young ladies and gentlemen," says a balding man with a Van Dyke beard and mustache. "My name is Doctor Emil Hamilton, and as Lead Project Director here, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you all to S.T.A.R. Labs on what promises to be a very rewarding day. I'll give you the main tour of the facility, and then we'll get to our main attraction for the day."

I raise my camera to take a picture, and Dr. Hamilton puts his hand up.

"I'm sorry, young man," he says. "We don't allow photography on the premises, except for in authorized areas. I'll have to ask you to turn your camera off for the time being."

Flash snickers, and I put my camera away, dejected.

"Tough break," says someone behind me. "You oughta get yourself a press pass; then you can shoot pretty much wherever you want."

I turn, and see a guy not much older than me-- eighteen, maybe nineteen, tops-- with red hair, an ill-fitting jacket, and a press pass hanging from his neck, along with a camera of his own.

"What have you got there?" he says, gesturing to my camera. "Looks like a Canon PowerShot, am I right?"

"Yeah, it's the ELPH 100 HS model," I say. "It was my birthday present."

The red-haired guy nods.

"Cool, cool," he says. "Not exactly in the same ballpark as my Canon EOS 60D, but cool."

My eyes go wide when I see the high-end device.

"Really? Those things cost over a thousand dollars! Where'd you get it?"

"Perks of being a professional,"
he says with a proud grin. "You seem to know your way around photography--y'know, for an amateur."

"Well, it's something I do for a hobby,"
I say defensively, "but yeah, I've got an eye for it."

"Hm,"
he says. "Well, I'll tell you something: this is a heck of a way to make a living, if you're cut out for it. Pay's nice, my pictures get in the paper....sometimes.....and I get to use the latest and greatest equipment when I'm on a story. Nice work, if you can get it."

"You work for a newspaper?"
I ask.

"A newspaper? No, kid, I work for the newspaper," he says. "Jim Olsen, freelance photographer for the Daily Planet."

"Peter Parker,"
I say, shaking his hand. "Freelance photographer for the Midtown Manhattan Magnet High School newspaper."

The tour group starts to move, and Gwen nudges me on.

"Better get going, kid," he says.

"Right," I say, following everyone else inside. As we head in, I can't help but think about what Jim Olsen was saying. I'd never really considered photography something I could do for a living, but he seemed to be doing pretty well for himself, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a real knack for it.

Nice work, if you can get it....

Even though it's supposed to be put away, I keep my camera in my front pocket, ready to shoot some photos at the first opportunity. Just another thing to be excited about today...

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Old 12-01-2011, 11:33 PM   #89
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"Plastic Man does have a point. Luthor would enjoy ripping you to shreds if you get caught That is why I'm helping to make sure you don't get caught. This information does look rather intense. I hope you know how to get by it all. Just be glad there aren't any real big guns or things will get real messy. So are we ready to go get whatever Luthor is hiding on your Congressman friend?"

Oliver looks at Hal and says, "I know he does, but if something isn't done it's all over for a lot of innocent mutants. Luthor he thinks he runs the world from his ivory towers looking down on mutants and humans alike. Something has to be done and I'm ready to do what I gotta do. The security is impressive but I do see some cracks in the foundation. Not big ones but they're there and they can exploited."

Oliver leaves the room and kills the lights. He enters a combination code on a panel in his closet. A wall behind his closet opens revealing his costume and gear.

Oliver dresses for combat and loads his quiver with various arrows. He then puts a electronic voice distorter in his costume and then walks out into the living room. He hands Hal an ear-peice and a tiny microphone.

He says, "Keep in touch. If you hear me say Mexico that means the situation is beyond repair, and its time for you to get as far away as you can."

Green Arrow opens his the door leading out to his balcony and says, "Gimme a 10 minute headstart and then make your way to the towers. I'll either be inside or caught already. Good hunting to both of us."

Arrow turns to go and turns back to Hal and just nods. He fires a grappling arrow and zip-lines across Metropolis to the Towers.

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:35 AM   #90
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"Ka," the Joker said, his smile growing wider, his eyes wild.

Rather than follow it up, the Batman flung a weapon at the clown, a bat-shaped throwing blade that whizzed through the air towards his hand. To his surprise, however, even at the lightning speed at which the weapon traveled, the Joker snaked his hand out of the way.

"I'll take that as a 'Ka who?'" he said, holding the detonator out, his thumb on the button.

For a few intense moments, the two stared at each other, waiting for the next move. Until, finally, the Joker answered his own question.

"Ka-BOOOOOOOM!!!!"

The Joker pressed down on the button, and the warehouse of the Krank Co Toy Factory was rocked by a series of explosions, as the charges of C-4 the Joker had planted all through his own hideout went off.

The catwalk teetered as supports were ripped away, then fell towards the floor, the Joker laughing madly on the way down before being enveloped in a cloud of smoke and dust.

The warehouse filled with flame and smoke, and the struts and supports of the building groaned and then buckled. The entire building would be a pile of rubble in a matter of seconds.
Fire and smoke surrounds me, Joker is nowhere to be seen. UV and thermal visions are all but useless in the heat. Another explosion, the foundation shakes and the roof cracks. Off to my right is, the Enforcers are unconscious. I run to them and attach clips to their belts and mine. It's going to be tricky, Ox's weight complicates matters. A support beam snaps as I shoot a grapnel out the skyline. It whizzes through the air and anchors itself to the building adjacent to the factory. The grapnel zips the four of us up into the air and out the building as it collapses into a fiery heap.

I land on the rooftop of the warehouse beside the toy factory and pull the Enforcers up off the ledge and on to the roof. They're still unconscious. I pull out zip ties and wrap their hands and feet together before I activate the bluetooth in my cowl.

"Hello?" Gordon says on the other end of the line.

"It's me."

"...I...what's wrong?"

"I found the base of the people poisoning the city's heroin. I managed to get three of the four."
"What happened to the fourth?"

I stare at the wreckage and flames down below.

"I don't know...there's a fire at the old Krank Toy Factory. The three men responsible are on the adjoining rooftop, passed out and tied up."

"I'm on the way."

I cut the line and stare into the rubble. Who was the Joker? Did he survive? It's the motive that puzzles me the most. There are senseless crimes, but never of this type of scale and ambition. There was never any benefit for him other than basking in the fear and panic his poison created.

"Alfred?"

"Yes, sir?"

"I'm on my way back home. Start up the computer for me and run a search. Mental patients across the country with a background in chemistry."

"As you wish. It may take some time to search every mental patient file there is."

"That's fine. I've got plenty of time."

A siren screams across the night, both fire and police. The first responders to the explosion. I turn away from the fire and run, shooting a grapnel into the sky and leaping off the building. I swing away into the night, fading into the shadows.

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Old 12-02-2011, 03:42 AM   #91
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J'onn got us in close, but not as close as Mystique. Jean's telekinetic bolt knocks both of us off our feet, but does the same to Mystique and the Congressman. It's now or never, and I need to act. I phase below the stage and run to about where the Congressman fell. I phase my upper body through and grab him, pulling him down to the dirt with me.

"No time to explain sir, but we gotta get moving now!"

"Excuse me, young lady? What did you just do to me?"

"Saved your life from people trying to kill you!"

"Since when did my staff employ filthy muties?"

I try hard to bite my tongue. I really do. I really, really do.

"Since it saved your miserable life. If you'd like, I can leave you to die?"

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:37 PM   #92
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Luthor meets with 4 very heavily armed and muscular gentlemen in the loading dock of the North Tower at LexCorp.

He says, "Thank you all for coming and being a part of this security exercise on such short notice. I assure you that you'll all be compensated justly. Now gentlemen you're assignment is to test our security measures. You will be facing both electronic measures and human measures as well. Your goal will be to capture me and to rob as much of my penthouse suite as you can within an hour. Understood?"

The men nod and Lex says, "Use and all methods at your disposal anything goes. Your guns are loaded with tranquilizing darts and your grenades are flash bangs. Use them against the security guards they don't know what's coming, so their responses will be real. I expect yours to be likewise they are the enemy treat them as such. The phones are disabled and their walkie talkies and cell phones are on a specific signal. I have had the signal disabled for the purposes of this exercise so the police are not contacted."

He looks at them and asks, "Any questions?"

They all shake their heads and Lex says, "Good I'll head to the penthouse where I'll be waiting."

Luthor leaves as the men make last minute preps for the exercise.

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Old 12-03-2011, 06:33 PM   #93
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Chinatown
11:05 PM


Fat Ricky Fat's was the kind of place where nobody came for the Moo goo gai pan. They took takeout orders and deliveries, but that was to keep up appearances. Nobody ever used the dining area. That's because the dining room area had been outfitted with nearly twenty different telephone lines where a half dozen workers answered them and took orders. Those that ordered the Kung Pow Chicken with a side of french fries found the fries in their bag, along with a quarter pound of marijuana.

Fat Ricky Fat's specialized in two things: Pepper steak, and delivering drugs. Ricky Fat was an associate of the Maroni Family, they provided him with his narcotics and the occasional muscle, while Ricky kept the steady flow of drugs and money going. Every month, Ricky kicked half of his earnings up to Maroni and his people.
Tonight, business was going as usual. The workers were up front taking calls and orders, both legit and shady. In the kitchen, Ricky sat with the kitchen workers as they cooked. Baggies of weed, coke, crack, and heroin were beside Ricky. He placed them in the delivery bags just before they went out.
Ricky heard the sounds of gunshot outside the restaurant. He looked towards his cooks, who had stopped and were staring. He barked at them in Mandarin and told them to keep working. Ricky reached for the pistol laying on the counter beside the drugs. More shots, these were closer. Ricky walked into the front room just as a man was walking in, two 9MMs in his hands.

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

The man gunned down Ricky's workers in cold blood until his guns were dry. Ricky turned his pistol on him, but the man dropped his guns and reached into his trenchcoat, swinging a shotgun out and aiming for Ricky.

BLAM!

The buckshot tore into Ricky's guts and ripped through his stomach. He got a shot off, a glancing blow that struck the killer's shoulder. Ricky was on his back, blood pouring from his body. The killer stepped over him and went into the kitchen, firing shotgun blasts at the cooks. There were screams and shouts for several minutes until it went silent.

Ricky was growing cold and weak. He heard the man exit the kitchen. Ricky looked up and saw shooter had the drugs in his hands. He laid them on the floor before walking off. He returned a minute later, a plastic gas can in his hands. The man coated the drugs with the gas and began to pour it all through the dining room. He covered Ricky in gas. He coughed and sputtered, but was too weak to protest.

The man turned to leave, pulling out a box of matches. He lit one and flicked it over his shoulder. The fire caught hold of the gas and ignited the room. Twenty seconds later the dining room had been turned into a blazing inferno.
The man calmly walked out of the restaurant, ignoring the bullet wound in his shoulder. He heard their screams as he walked away from the fire. They were begging to die, begging for mercy.

But they wouldn't find mercy from him. All that he had for them...




Was punishment.

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Old 12-03-2011, 08:48 PM   #94
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J'onn got us in close, but not as close as Mystique. Jean's telekinetic bolt knocks both of us off our feet, but does the same to Mystique and the Congressman. It's now or never, and I need to act. I phase below the stage and run to about where the Congressman fell. I phase my upper body through and grab him, pulling him down to the dirt with me.

"No time to explain sir, but we gotta get moving now!"

"Excuse me, young lady? What did you just do to me?"

"Saved your life from people trying to kill you!"

"Since when did my staff employ filthy muties?"

I try hard to bite my tongue. I really do. I really, really do.

"Since it saved your miserable life. If you'd like, I can leave you to die?"
"Oh, that won't be necessary." said a blonde man with a slight Australian accent emerging from the chaos surrounding Kitty and Senator Ross, "Everyone saw you kidnap the scumbag, so now when they find his corpse, everyone'll know that we mutants mean business." With a flick of his wrist, he opens a small cigarette lighter. I am ashamed to say that I momentarily hesitate at the sight of it, but I push past my fear anyway.

"If you mean to assassinate anyone today, I must warn you, you will not succeed." I say, not yet revealing my true appearance for the sake of the Senator.

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Old 12-04-2011, 06:29 PM   #95
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The situation around us turns to chaos in a mere moment. Screams and terrified yells fill the air, and the armed guards are confused as to which group of mutants to attack. But I don't have time to worry about that. Mystique is in this crowd, and I need to find her.

The crowd runs in a panic, and people run straight into me, one large man even knocks me down. As I hit the pavement, I see a child crying a few feet away. I approach them, hoping to help. That's when a warning bell goes off in my head, and I throw myself into a roll.

The child fires a gun, the bullet barely missing my head. I telekineticly snag the child in midair, and it shapeshifts back into the blue seductress known as Mystique, "Hello, Red. Long time no see. You really made a mess of things, haven't you?"

"I'm not the one that was trying to murder someone," I snarl back.

"No...but you're the mutant that seemingly started this, aren't you?" she laughs and breaks a leg free from my hold, kicking me across the face, and sprinting off.

I go after her, hoping that I can find her again before she does more damage.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:49 AM   #96
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IC: Cyclops


Jean fights with Mystique while J'onn and Kitty take on some man who shoots flames from his hands. I'm wading through the panicking crowd, on my way to back them up, when a blast of energy shoots from the crowd, pointed towards J'onn and Kitty.





"GET DOWN!"
I bark out, letting a blast loose from my visor. My energy beams annihilates the attacker's blasts. The crowd separates from the woman who fired the shots.



"Prepare yourself, monsieur. Face the power of Plastique!"

She lets loose with a wave of energy, I counter with a blast of my own. The two waves explode and ripple in the air above the scattering crowd's heads.

"You'll have to do a lot better than that, lady."

"Challenge accepted, prepare yourself for death!"

"Jeez, who writes your dialogue?"

Plastique tosses a ball of energy towards me, it pulsates as it twirls through the air. I aim and strike it, creating a concussive blast strong enough to knock me off my feet and to the ground.

Struggling to get up, I shoot a blast at her, but she parries my optical energy with a energy spike of her own. I should be able to make quick work of Plastique...or keep her busy long enough for Kitty and J'onn to get Ross to safety.

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Old 12-05-2011, 01:29 PM   #97
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Meatpacking District
12:10 AM

If there's one neighborhood that's changed as the city has changed, it's Gotham's Meatpacking District. The neighborhood is a creation of the late 19th century, when butchers began to centralize their trade in one part of the city. By 1900, this part of the city was home to over 250 slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants.

By the 60's, the butchers were gone and replaced by drug dealers and prostitutes. The GCPD turned a blind eye to it all, and the Meatpacking District became Gotham's gutter. Gay sex clubs began to rise in the 70's and 80's, most of them were victims of mob and GCPD protection rackets. It's been speculated that the Meatpacking District is one of the places where the AIDS epidemic took off. Nearly all the clubs were forcibly closed in the late 80's to prevent a further spread of the disease.

With the neighborhood's blight and dilapidation at all time high, a change began in the 90's, headed up by Thomas and Martha Wayne. They pledge money to the Meatpacking District, and helped push through grants and resolutions to make the rundown neighborhood liveable. The community was refurbished, renovated, rejuvenated, and restored. Although the Waynes didn't live to see it, by 2000 it was one of the few success stories of the city. Families and store owners came back and saved the area.

This part of the city has never gone back to its seedy roots, but it's still not without its blemishes or bumps.



You just have to know where to look.

Peeking over the edge of the ledge and into the window, I see three men inside the empty loft. They're all standing around a crate. Two of the men are wearing army camo, while the third man is clad in a suit, his back to me.

The two army men are Clarence Jones and Mike Boddicker, members of the Righteous Aryan Army, a white power militia group founded by former general Thomas Kreigkopf. Based in the Tennessee Smokey Mountains, the RAA is on all the standard watch lists, and is considered an organized criminal group that borders terroristic territories. They popped up on my radar two nights ago when a snitch told me about them. Once I found out who they worked for, I've been watching them ever since.

Why they're in Gotham, I have no idea.

"We've got the money stashed in a bus locker," Boddicker says in his backwoods drawl. "You give us the weapons and we give ya the locker key."

"How do I know that the locker isn't empty?" The man in the business suit asks.

"The general does not betray those he does business with," Jones snaps. "He has far too much honor."

"Well, let's get to it."

The three men wedge open the top of the crate and dig through it. The man in the suit pulls out a large, shoulder mounted weapon. Similar to an RPG or Stinger, except without the missiles.

"This is the RX-987. A sonic emitting weapon, the first of our new line. It sends out a high frequency blast that disrupts and shakes apart any kind of matter. All you do is aim and press the trigger, and the weapon does the rest. The 987 can silently tear the foundation of a building apart in under a minute. By the time the building starts to rumble, it's too late. Point this at a person and it shakes their insides to jelly within ten seconds."

Boddicker and Jones grin as Jones takes the weapon from the man in the business suit. "If only we had a test subject..." Jones trails off, pointing the weapon at the man in the suit.

"No!"

"Oh, yeah. This was part of the deal, my friend. Your people thought you would make a good test subject."

"NOOO!"

Jones presses the trigger and the man in the business suit falls to the floor. I finally come out from my hiding place, leaping through the window and shattering the glass. The two militia men turn and their eyes go wide when they see me.

"Kill 'em!" Boddicker roars. Jones aims and fires, I get low and run through the loft. Even though the sound of the weapon is too high to hear, I feel my cape rustle as the frequency hits it. Running just ahead of Jones' aim, I reach into my belt and toss a batarang at him. It strikes him in the head and throws his aim up, where the ceiling of the apartment begins to shake and crumble.

"Goddammit!" Boddicker snarls, grabbing the gun from Jones. Instead of trying to fire, he turns and runs with the weapon. I chase after him, clotheslining the dazed Jones as I run past him. Boddicker is already headed to the ground floor by the time I enter the stairwell. Turning around I run back into the loft and jump out the window.

Boddicker's pickup is just pulling off the street when I begin to fall. Holding on to my cape, I catch the current and glide down on top of his truck. I crash on to the hood. Boddicker curses and skids to a stop. I stare into the windshield at Boddicker. He reaches into his jacket, but I'm quicker, punching through the glass and pulling him through it.

Holding Boddicker up on the hood of the truck, I headbutt him. He slumps and loses consciousness. Dropping him on to the hood, I climb into the back of the truck and grab the sonic gun. After a few moments I find the power source inside the handgrip. I yank it out and render the weapon useless.

The police will be here soon enough. Shooting a grapnel into the sky, I zip back into the empty loft and walk across the loft. Jones is stirring and beginning to gain consciousness again. A kick in the face remedies the situation. I glance at the crate, "Property of Stark Industries" is stamped on it.

Heading over to the man in the business suit, who hasn't moved since he fell. Even though the weapon was only on him for a few seconds, he's dead. Blood coats his lips and stains his white shirt. I roll him over and pull out his wallet. There's a business card. Alan C. Goren, Executive Vice-President of Research & Development, Stark Enterprises. The name on his driver's license matches the business card. A few hand written notes scribbled inside the wallet, two hundred dollars in cash. There's another card hidden behind his business car, this one is small and personally engraved with a logo




The card is blank on the back. I hold the card up to the light, looking for anything written on it, front and back. Activating my UV lenses, I see the secret message scrawled on the back in invisible ink.

2587 West 53rd, 2nd floor. Midnight. Names Boddicker & Jones.

The calligraphy is unique and doesn't match the handwriting I found on Goren's notes. Whoever gave him this card also gave him marching orders. Sticking the card into my belt, I climb out the window and scale my way up to the rooftop.

"Alfred."

"Yes, sir."

"When is my meeting with Tony?"

"I believe we're off meeting Mister Stark at Stark Industries later this week."


"Call Pepper Potts first thing in the morning. Move the meeting up to tomorrow if you can. We'll host them at Waynetech."

"It's short notice, sir. He may not be able to."

"Tell him that if he comes to Gotham, I'll take him to that nightclub we went to a few years ago. The one the Russian gymnast frequent. He should be here by lunchtime."

"Of course, appealing to Mister Stark's intellect...even if it's the intellect of his...smaller head. I shall call Miss Potts as soon as the sun rises. Anything else?"

"That's all."

Standing on the roof, I mull over the puzzle pieces in front of me. Somebody tried to sell a Stark Enterprises' weapon to a domestic terrorist group. That somebody was an executive from Stark Enterprises. Further more, someone was pulling his strings.

Maybe Tony has the answers...or maybe he's involved. I'll know soon enough.

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"These are the times that try men's souls... Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
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"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
-- Otto von Bismarck


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Old 12-05-2011, 02:23 PM   #98
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Arrow arrives at the loading docks at the Northern LexCorp towers. He observes the security cameras and recognizes the sweeping paterns according to the information relayed to him by Plastic Man.

All-right next sweep begin a series zig-zag leaps across the concrete platform stopping no more than 2 seconds at one time. Luckily for me I'm in pretty good shape.

Arrow begins darting back and forth and makes it to the back-door. He then enters an access code to the back door and enters the warehose area. Arrow then observes the cameras and shoots a grappling arrow into the ceiling.

Green Arrow makes it to the rafters once he is there he notices the motion sensors on various pipes.

Now for a couple of specailty arrows.

He loads and fires 4 specially designed arrows with special tips in them into certain areas. He then fires two more near the vent

Since the arrows are made of a highly reflecting substance the beams on the sensors won't be broken, and the two at the vent contain two electronic scramblers which will buy me about five minutes to get the vent off and into the air-duct system.

Arrow manuvers through the metal framework to the vent and gets inside. Once there he sets up 2 arrows to hold the vent in place and begins making his way though the system.

When I'm done inside I'll comeback the same way and fix the vent. I just hope it...HOLD EVERYTHING!

He sees something through the venting system he wasn't ready for. An unconscious security guard.

Arrow activates his transmiter and says to Green Lantern, "GL gotta a potential situation. I've got a security guard and he's out cold! I'm not even 1/4th of the way..."

Just then the alarms sound and a voice says, "Break-in in progess! Force of undetermined size has broken into LexCorp and is being tracked through the building last reported section 3-A. Lockdown procedures intiated."

Arrow says, "I'm not the only one in here GL! I'm nowhere near 3-A and if there is a lockdown in place those security protcols Plas got me are worthless. Worst of all I'm locked in. I gotta get to the Penthouse now. If you got any ideas I'm listening."

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Know yourself & your enemy & you need not fear the outcome of a thousand battles-- General Sun-Tzu

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Old 12-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #99
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG


Christ. Only a minute, and it's already startin' to get ugly.

Having already garnered more than a few stares from the crowd due to the outfit he was wearing, Logan felt himself pushed back as several hundred people went running in the opposite direction. Fighting his way through the crowd, frustratedly growling at more than a few of the bystanders that stepped on his toes to get away, he finally pushed a few out of his way and went directly into a sprint towards the podium. The crowd was beginning to thinn out fast, revealing several different struggles at hand. Summers, playing leader of the pack, was already getting in too deep with a redheaded woman who was dressed like she had just stepped out of a cartoon. The runt of the group, who they kept calling "Kitty", had the creep that they were trying to protect in arm.

Greenie was busy dealing with some loser with a lighter, who seemed to be taunting them more than directly engaging anyone. Logan didn't even want to know what his deal was. And Red was fighting toe to toe with a blue-skinned biker reject that made even Logan's outfit look tame.

His eyes darting between all four members of the team that needed help, Logan felt himself unable to choose between who needed it the most. It had been years since he had worked with any team, and he didn't particularly ever care for the dynamic of one - and this was definitely one of the reasons why. If it were just himself, he'd only have one person to worry about. Now he had to look out for others. And being the one constantly at war with his own animal instincts, which gave him the menality of a lone wolf in the most literal of sense... that didn't bode well for them at all.

This is exactly why I didn't wanna join up, Prof. Ain't got no straws to draw.

Randomly shifting through the options and where he'd be needed the most, Logan's eyes fixated on the girl trying to get the Senator out of harm's way. He grunted under his breath, knowing he'd regret the decision, but nevertheless started on the path towards her. Xavier was insane for ever thinking to bring a kid out here. She didn't know what the hell she was doing.

"Hang on, kid! I'm coming your..."

But midway through his step, something hit Logan in the back. Hard and fast. Little more than a blur of motion greeted him as he toppled across the ground, landing headfirst into a wooden promotional stand that was sitting off to the side of the scene, shattering it on impact. Grimacing at the large splinters poking through his skin, he ripped through them immediately and stood back up, facing whatever had hit him.

"Who's the wise guy?!"

What met him was something he didn't expect. Another punch to the chest, hitting him harder than he had ever remembered being hit, sending him back into a brick wall. As Logan fell to the ground and gasped at the impact to his supposedly indestructable ribcage, he heard massive footsteps crunch the ground leading up to him. Followed by a deep, frighteningly inhuman chuckle.

"Well, well, well. Lookit what we got here."

Before Logan could retaliate, a massive clawed hand grabbed at his throat and thrust his skull back into the brick. Even with his considerable strength, Logan was unable to break the grip as he was pulled out, then slammed into it again.

"Costume's changed, but I'd recognize that putrid stench anywhere..."

Feeling himself begin to pass out, Logan grabbed hard and tried to fight. But he felt his knees kicked out from under him. Soon, he was forced into a violent headlock, face to face with a wild looking behemoth of a man that he didn't recognize. But given the way his enemy smiled, with a sadistic gleam in his eye, it seemed more than clear...

That the man recognized him.

"This day just keeps gettin' better an' better. What do ya say, short stuff..."



"Remember me?"

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Old 12-06-2011, 06:23 PM   #100
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Default Re: One Earth: The Marvel/DC RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by SenseiofCheese View Post



Thus, Tony Stark, as much as it pained him, made an effort to stay out of trouble. That's not to say that trouble....

WARNING: INCOMING PROJECTILE

KRAKA-BOOOOOOOOM



...didn't have a way of finding him.


"Holy ****."

Iron Man rose out of the small crater created by his impact with the asphalt. Two cars had been overturned, a fire hydrant sprayed wildly, and people slowly began crowding.

"JARVIS, what the hell was that?"

KrRZZzZzZzzunKNowN ProJECTILEvvrzzzz

Tony swore under his breath. Assuming he would manage to stay out of trouble, he had downgraded many of the armor's features. He immediately began mentally compiling a list of features he would have to reintegrate into the armor, when a loud thud and the sound of cracking pavement came from behind.

Instinctively, Tony swung his arm up towards the towering figure, preparing a blast from the repulsor ray. As if the being could read his mind, it mirrored his movement with superhuman speed. As the suit started locking up and its systems blaring, Tony realized he had been hit with a concentrated blast of EMP.

"Fine, up close and personal then." Tony growled through the armor, leaping towards the being.

He realized his mistake when a fist clenched around his neck, crushing the suit like a piece of paper. Tony winced as the armor enclosed around his throat.

"Designation: Iron Man." the being stated coldly, its metallic voice revealing it as an android. "Status: Incapacitated."

Hurling Iron Man to the ground, the android flew two feet off the ground. Looking down on Tony with a disgusted look, the android spoke once more, but with a familiar voice. "Know that if I wished it, you would be dead. But Ivo is a merciful man." Ivo's voice echoed out of the Amazo's mouth, before it took to the skies.

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

"Are you going to tell me what happened?"

Pepper stared at Tony's neck, his suit barely covering the bruise stretching up to his face.

"Disgruntled former employee." Tony shrugged.

"You're going to have explain to Senator Carroll what happened. The property damage alone.."

"Pepper, please."

The rest of the car ride was silent, and once the vehicle stopped Tony exited with a smile no more natural than his suit of armor. An old friend walked down the steps to meet him, and the two men shook hands.

"Bruce! You're getting fat."

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