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Old 05-27-2012, 10:14 PM   #26
Byrd Man
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG

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I nod. "I'll keep it in mind, Wilbur. Thanks for everything. You have a good night."
"Keep your nose clean, Stilty," Luke said with a smirk.
Day scowled at Cage as he passed by. The door slammed shut behind the two men as they walked down the steps. "So, Tombstone did the job, eh? Well, let's head out after old Lonnie and see what's cracking. It's Tombstone. We beat on him long enough, he'll talk..."


Two Hours Later
The Handlebar
Spanish Harlem


Luke crashed through the glass window of the bar, smacking against the sidewalk outside and sliding to a stop on the street. "Sweet Christmas," he said under his breath. A few feet away, glass crunched underfoot as the large, albino man loomed over him.

"Luke ****ing Cage," Lonnie Lincoln, aka Tombstone, spat. "What happened to that strength of yours?"

"Sorry, must have-- must have got worn out last night, giving to your momma."

Tombstone roared and moved to stomp on Cage. Before he could connect, Lincoln was knocked down by a flying roundhouse kick courtesy of Iron Fist. While Tombstone collected himself, Danny helped Luke up to his feet.

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Old 05-27-2012, 10:35 PM   #27
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Two Hours Later
The Handlebar
Spanish Harlem


Luke crashed through the glass window of the bar, smacking against the sidewalk outside and sliding to a stop on the street. "Sweet Christmas," he said under his breath. A few feet away, glass crunched underfoot as the large, albino man loomed over him.

"Luke ****ing Cage," Lonnie Lincoln, aka Tombstone, spat. "What happened to that strength of yours?"

"Sorry, must have-- must have got worn out last night, giving to your momma."

Tombstone roared and moved to stomp on Cage. Before he could connect, Lincoln was knocked down by a flying roundhouse kick courtesy of Iron Fist. While Tombstone collected himself, Danny helped Luke up to his feet.
Luke brushes the glass off his shoulders as I stand at the ready. "I take it that asking nicely didn't work?"

"The more the merrier," Tombstone growled. "I'll crush you both." He lunges with surprising speed for someone his size. I simply somersault over those giant arms of his. He's strong, but he has no form. He telegraphs his every move, which makes it exceedingly simple to duck and dodge his attacks. Because of his tough hide, it'll take a while before he starts to feel our assault, but we can wear him down.

Normally, I'd go for the pressure points - end this quickly - but that won't work on someone like Tombstone. Not with his skin. No, the only thing that Tombstone understands is brute force, so that's all we'll give him. Luke lays into him with a flurry of punches, ending with a sharp left hook which spins Tombstone around half a turn. I launch into a tornado kick which connects with his exposed jaw, sending him reeling.

"You can't beat us both. Just stand down, Tombstone."

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Old 05-27-2012, 10:56 PM   #28
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"You can't beat us both. Just stand down, Tombstone."
"C'mon, Lonnie, listen to the man. Just answer our questions, and we'll be gone. Let's just you and me talk, one brother to another."

"You ain't my damn brother, Cage," Tombstone said after recovering. "Both you and your little friend can kiss my ass."

"Sorry to hear that," Luke said, turning to Danny. "What do you think?"

"What about a Number Sixteen?"

"Naah, I need to limber up before I can do that. What about a good ole Number Five?"

"You know where to get your hands on a live badger at this time of night? No, we go with a Number One."

"Ah, the classics," Luke nodded, cracking his neck. "Let's do it."

Cage charged towards Tombstone. The large man followed suit, racing across the street to meet him. Both men yelled, their fists cocked to hit the other one. They were just feet from each other when Luke crouched down. Danny jumped on to his back and leaped into the air, chi engulfing his fist. He struck Tombstone hard in the face with the iron fist. A loud crack echoed through the area and Lincoln crumpled to the ground, dazed and barely conscious.

"How'd you like that?!" Cage said triumphantly over Tombstone. "Now, tell us about the job you did on the governor's house, or my boy'll do it again."

"**** you, Cage," Tombstone mumbled. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and the large enforcer lost consciousness.

"Dammit!" Luke shouted. "Dammit, Tombstone! Your sorry ass can't stay conscious for thirty seconds?!"

While he was cursing, Danny searched Lincoln's pockets. "Look," he said, holding up a business card. It was black, gold writing engraved on it.

"'The Answer Inc. Simple Solutions for a Complicated World.' That address is somewhere on the Upper East Side."

"There's another address here on the back. The Port Authority Bus Terminal, Locker 1265."

"What do you think, Danny? Could that be where Tombstone stashed the jump drive?"

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Old 05-27-2012, 11:23 PM   #29
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Garret Castle
England


"I can hear your heart beat."

Faiza raised her head from Dane's chest and looked up at him. "I know, it's been a while now since it returned to normal, but I still can't get over it."

Dane sat slumped on the couch and studied her features as the TV droned behind her. He wanted to tell her it didn't just "return to normal," she had returned it to normal; he owed his life to her thrice over, and more besides. He wanted to tell her he fell in love with her all over again every time he looked at her. He wanted to... to...

... Strip the flesh from her bones!

NO!


The voice had been playing through Dane's mind for years now, its familiar urges dripping with malice and scorn. The Ebony Blade. It wanted blood, Dane knew. It didn't care where the blood came from. Worse, it had been getting stronger lately, harder to tune out. He found his mind drifting to thoughts of blood whenever he was careless enough to let it wander. Blood... so wet and warm... so sticky and... delicious.

And there it is, right on cue. Dane barely stopped himself from grimacing. The vampiric sword Dracula had created as a stand-in for the Ebony Blade was still tied to him every bit as much as the true Ebony Blade. Faiza's love had reversed whatever Sersi had done to turn his heart to stone. He thought that was a good thing--how could it not be? Yet Sersi had called it a gift. Something to keep him "above it all." He had been wondering more and more lately whether she'd known what she was talking about after all; the weight of two cursed swords, each jockeying for its chance to drive him utterly mad, bore down on him constantly, and it took more effort to push free of it and find some semblance of himself every day.

He told himself he was coping; he hadn't actually taken a life since the Skrull invasion, so the blades were running on fumes. They shouldn't be calling to him this strongly. Shouldn't--yet they were. And in the darkest recesses of his mind, the tiny black pit at the back where he put on an upbeat attitude and cracked jokes to keep himself from going, lay the thought that haunted him constantly: Something has to give. Maybe not today, maybe not even a year from now, but someday, in spite of all his best efforts, in spite of the 'good man' he'd managed to fool his friends, his teammates, even Faiza into believing he must be... someday, he'd slip.

But what was the alternative? Let the blades' burden fall onto some other poor bastard? Some innocent fool who may or may not be able to deal with it as well as Dane?
Should he watch as reports of a new Bloodwraith, corrupted by the Ebony Blade's foul magic and tearing through the streets of London, played on the evening news, content that, hey, at least it wasn't his problem anymore? He knew that wasn't an option. Even if the curse weren't rightly his responsibility--a terrible heirloom thrust on a number of his ancestors before finding its way to him--he knew he could never live with himself if it robbed someone else of their life--not if he had it in his power to prevent that.

But dwelling on it would only make things worse, he knew. So he forced a smile with every bit of strength in him, gave Faiza a peck on the forehead, and said, "Yep, I'm a real boy now, all thanks to my fairy girlfriend. Now would you quit trying to make me blush? I'm trying to watch the game!"

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Old 05-27-2012, 11:36 PM   #30
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG

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While he was cursing, Danny searched Lincoln's pockets. "Look," he said, holding up a business card. It was black, gold writing engraved on it.

"'The Answer Inc. Simple Solutions for a Complicated World.' That address is somewhere on the Upper East Side."

"There's another address here on the back. The Port Authority Bus Terminal, Locker 1265."

"What do you think, Danny? Could that be where Tombstone stashed the jump drive?"
I shrug. "Can't be sure, but we wouldn't be good detectives if we didn't give it a look." I tuck the "Answer Inc." card into the sleeve of my costume. We'll have to hold onto that for later. "Come on."

* * *

It's well past the darkest part of night when we arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. We're some of the only waking souls in the area, which works fine for me. The less exposure we have while doing this, the better. Luke leads me to locker 1265. "Here it is."

"You mind doing the honors?" I hold up my hand. "I exhausted my energy back there."

"It would be my genuine pleasure," Luke answers. Checking to make sure no one's looking, Luke punches the lock with enough force to break it. The locker door submits, swinging open in submission.

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Old 05-28-2012, 05:42 AM   #31
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Little Rock, Arkansas

The Four stolen armored cars cruised along main street as fast as their heavy laden frames allowed. A number of police patrol cars form a loose square around the armored cars, sirens blaring. Behind them is an odd column of emergency vehicles made up of several other patrol cars, two swat vans, three ambulances and a firetruck.


It can hardly be called a high speed chase but it is a chase nonetheless. The officers in the squad cars, who have been at this for the better part of their morning, are frustrated and in some cases, angry. One exasperated officer, a young man who wears an expression of somber rage, leans out of the window of his vehicle and continuously fires away with side arm at the driver of the lead armored car. The driver of the car, an older man with a thick mustache and stripes on his shoulders, does nothing to reign the young officer in.


Inside the armored car the Wrecker smiles toothily. He's pretty sure he killed that cop's partner this morning. Serves him right if he did.


Several blocks away security guards at the Metropolitan National Bank help usher customers and staff to safety, behind them are a number of police officers manning a line made up of three squad cars.



The senior officer shouts hurried words of encouragement and the stolen armored cars come loping around the corner a few moments later with numerous police vehicles in pursuit in tow.


The men on the line nervously and tighten their grips on their weapons. Its been all over the radios. They know what's coming.


The armored cars lazily come to a halt, repeating a routine they have performing while robbing seven banks in the span of 4 hours.

Dozens of car doors open in unison and a precinct's worth of officers focus their attention on the armored cars as their doors, which have been pounded with bullets but remain intact, are also opened and four huge men in bold costumes step out onto the pavement.




The officers nearest them waste no time in opening fire.

The wrecking Crew mostly ignore the gunfire. Piledriver, being the exception. He taunts the officers and mocks at being hurt before bursting out in a full on fit of laughter with his hands on his knees and his sides shaking even as the bullets pinged off of him.

Thunderball follows Piledriver with his eyes then fires a look in the Wrecker's direction. The Wreckers acknowledges the look with a look of impatience. Thunderball thought Piledriver was having too much fun. For weeks he had been talking about how it was time to get serious. Frankly, The Wrecker didn't care. All he cared about was that the day was turning out to be a great one.

"Lookit these idiots."
The Wrecker says over his shoulder to Bulldozer "This is all they've got to through at us."

"Heheh. Yeah. You were right Wrecker. We shoulda come here ages ago."
Bulldozer replies before he lowers his head and sets off running at the barricade of police cars.

His feet leave deep imprints in the pavement with every step and The Wrecker laughs heartily as he watches him plough through the parked cars as if hey were nothing more than empty cardboard boxes. There were no capes in Arkansas. At least none that he knew of, and the national guard was at war somewhere. Hell even if the National Guard was here its not like they could do anything to stop them.

"Who's turn is it?"
Thunderball asks as he casually tosses his wrecking ball through several in the haphazard array of parked vehicles behind the foursome. He tugs at the chain and the massive ball comes roaring back, upturning vehicles and churning up asphalt.

"My turn!"
Piledriver declares excitedly. He's straightened up now and he cracks his knuckles them interlocks his fingers and turns his palms outwards till he hears them pop.

"Then get on with it. We've still got a few more banks to hit before we're through." The Wreckers directs as he takes several menacing steps towards a trio of officers with shotguns. The men bravely hold their ground long enough to let off of a few shouts before turning and racing for the relative safety of their vehicles.

Piledriver has already made his way to the door of the bank and he rips it off its hinges and leisurely makes his way inside. He would be back in a few minutes with as much money as he could carry and he would load it into his armored car. He would repeat the process until the bank's vault was empty while the rest of the Wrecking Crew guarded the four armored cars and the millions in hard currency they had already stolen.

The Wrecker grins and turns to Thunderball.

"Well?"

"I have to hand it to you Wrecker."
Thunderball concedes. "So far so good."

This Wrecker's chest seems to visibly puff out when he hears this. He stands a bit taller, his head held a bit higher. Thunderball hadn't just been complaining about Piledriver. He'd been moaning about how they hadn't made any real money in a long time. Sure he was right, but it wasn't Dirk's fault there were so many damn heroes always sticking their noses into their business.

That's what had given him the idea to come to Arkansas. He had asked around and as far as anybody knew, Arkansas had no superheroes. Word is there used to be one, but he turned out to be a skrull. A Skrull! It blew the Wreckers mind that they had that kinda craziness here but had not a cape who could give them trouble.

Regardless, Thunderball's words of praise had filled a sense of narcissistic self satisfaction. It is a feeling he relishes, but one that is doomed to be short lived.

"So what happens after we hit all the banks?"
Thunderball asks

"Whadya mean?"
The Wrecker replies tentatively. His self satisfaction having suddenly been replaced with something that approaches doubt without quite getting there.

Thunderball's face is serious "I mean how are we going to get all of this money out of town without bringing all these cops, probably some helicopters and god knows how many news vans with us? When you said you had a great idea I assumed it was a whole great idea and not just half of one."

"I...uh..."
The Wrecker stammers as he realizes that he doesn't actually have a plan for what happens next. Leaving a sour Thunderball to shake his head while an oblivious Bulldozer charges into a row of police cars and a gleeful Piledriver flings two large sacks of cash into the back of an armored car.

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Old 05-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #32
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It's well past the darkest part of night when we arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. We're some of the only waking souls in the area, which works fine for me. The less exposure we have while doing this, the better. Luke leads me to locker 1265. "Here it is."

"You mind doing the honors?" I hold up my hand. "I exhausted my energy back there."

"It would be my genuine pleasure," Luke answers. Checking to make sure no one's looking, Luke punches the lock with enough force to break it. The locker door submits, swinging open in submission.
"Let's see," Luke said, looking into the locker. He pulled out a black gym bag. He unzipped it and turned the bag upside down. Cash, jewels, a .38 revolver, and documents fell out on to the floor. "Damn, man, looks like he cleared out the entire safe."


The last thing that clattered to the floor was a black, plastic USB drive.

"Contact."

Luke reached down and picked up the USB drive. "Booya."

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Old 05-28-2012, 04:46 PM   #33
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Previously


Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

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Over Pakistani Airspace
0334 Local Time


"Ready, sir?" The pilot of the stealth jet asked from the front. Rogers was behind him, decked out in his full Captain America gear, his shield strapped to his left arm and a parachute on his back.

"ETA?"

"Thirty seconds. Because of the situation, we're doing a HALO drop into the area. I'll give you the green light when we're in the jump zone."

"Thanks. Watch for bogies and get back to base safely."

"In this plane?" The pilot asked with a smirk. "By the time they realize we've in their airspace, I'll be over Germany."

Cap walked to the back of the plane. As soon as it was shut, the door of the cargo hold popped and the cockpit re-pressurized. A few moments after that, the back of the jet slid open and angled down. The wind roared through the cargo bay as Rogers walked towards the end of the ramp. A red light above the exit flashed green and Cap launched into the air, free-falling towards the ground from thirty-five thousand feet above it.

Ten minutes later and a thousand feet from the ground, he pulled the parachute and floated the rest of the way. Rogers landed in the middle of a pasture.

"Uncle Sam to Eagle Eye," he said as he slipped the parachute off and surveyed the area around him. "I'm on the ground."

"Roger that, Uncle Sam," Nick Fury said into the commlink in his ear. "We got you on satellite. Heads up, Cap, there's a village about a klick to the west of your current location. A Pakistani military platoon is converging on it. I think they found the target."

"I'm on it."

A few minutes later, Steve peaked out over a ridge down at the small village. A half dozen jeeps with soldiers in them were rolling through the town. Soldiers were kicking in doors, dragging people out of their homes. A group of four soldiers shouted excitedly from the north end of the village. Cap kept low and sneaked through the shadows towards the north side of where the soldiers were. One soldier shouted in Urdu as he pushed a woman in a Burka down to the ground. The woman shouted in terror and the man coughed violently, blood coming out of his mouth. A few seconds later, he fell to the ground, smallpox covering every inch of his visible skin. The rest of the dying soldier's friends quickly back away, aiming their rifles at the woman and shouting wildly.

"I found the target."

"Roger that. You have the green light. Reestablish contact when you and the woman are out of danger, and are on the way towards the extraction point. Fury out."

The line went dead and Cap went to work. He leaped from the shadows and charged towards the men. Assault rifle rounds harmlessly bounced off Captain America's shield as he swung and struck one of the soldiers in the face with the shield. Another man moved to club him in the back of the head. Cap dodged the blow, grabbing the man's wrist and disarming him before delivering a powerful punch that knocked him to the ground. The last soldier turned to run. He was a dozen yards away when the shield struck him in the back of the head. The vibranium disc bounced off the wall of a nearby house, then the ground before being snagged from the air by Cap.

"I'm here to help you," he told the woman. He stepped over the dead soldier and moved to help her up. "I'm here to get you to safety."

Suddenly, the air above the village lit up. A sky ship hovered above the town, spotlights lighting up the area.

"ATTENTION, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE WOMAN IS NOW PROPERTY OF ADVANCED IDEA MECHANICS. YIELD, OR BE DESTROYED."

Figures jumped from the ship. AIM soldiers converged and attacked the Pakistani soldiers, while a half dozen shocktroopers jumped from the ship and landed in a semi-circle in front of Captain America.

"We are M.O.D.O.C.," the six men in a simultaneous, robotic voice.


"Military Operatives Designed Only for Combat. Yield to us, or be destroyed."

"Ma'am," Cap told the woman. "Please, get to safety."

Sliding his shield on to his arm, Captain America turned back to the MODOC soldiers and nodded.



Attowala, Pakistan
0355 Local Time


Captain America twirled through the air, coming down hard on to the AIM shocktrooper with his shield. The shield ripped apart the crown on top of the MODOC's head. The robotic unit fell to the ground, sparks flying from its head and shoulders. Rogers turned just as another assailant fired out of rounds with an assault rifle. The bullets bounced harmlessly off the Captain's shield as he charged the MODOC.

"Increasing reaction speed 16%," the robotic fighter said. Cap swung at the MODOC with his shield, but the AIM unit dipped below the shield, coming up hard with powerful blow to Steve's stomach. He stumbled backwards slightly, but regained his composure just before the MODOC came down hard with a fist. The robot's blow glanced off Cap's shield, throwing it off and allowing Steve to drive his fist into the thing's face.

"Target acquired," a voice said behind him. Cap turned and tossed his shield at the MODOC preparing to shoot him in the back. The vibranium laced disk smashed into the AIM trooper's face. The control crown shattered and the MODOC collapsed to the ground. Shieldless, Cap charged towards the remaining robotic assailant. He zig-zagged left and right to avoid the MODOC's assault rifle fire. Once he was in range, Steve leaped into the air and somersaulted over the AIM henchman. He swept his leg underneath the MODOC's leg, dropping it to the ground. Cap reached down and ripped the crown from its head, disabling the last attacker.

Standing, he walked towards his shield and picked it up. Hunkered down by a house was his objective. The Pakistani woman had been experimented on using a bastardized version of the same formula that had turned him to Captain America. Except, she irradiated a rabid version of the smallpox virus.

"Don't worry," Steve said, walking slowly towards her. "Everything is going to be alright."

"واپس رہو," the woman shouted out in a foreign tongue. Even though he couldn't understand her words, he could read her body language.

"I'm sorry," he said, standing still. "I don't speak Urdu. I'm not here to hurt you. I promise."

"Why should I believe it?" The woman asked in English. "You are from America."

"I am, but I don't speak for them or with their authority. I'm with SHIELD, the United Nations. I want to get you to safety."

"Why?"

"Because, a long time ago, I was in your exact shoes. Alone, frightened and confused. A man turned me into something the world had never seen, the first of my kind. It's a hard burden to bear, I know that. But it's a burden you don't need to carry alone. That's why I'm here."

"What about the sickness?" She asked, standing.

Cap smiled, rolling up his right sleeve to reveal the scar on his shoulder. "Smallpox vaccine. Got it in the fall of '25 before I started school."

He started to slowly walk towards the woman until they were face to face. "I'm Steve. What's your name?"

"Riya," she said.

"Riya, I promise you I'm going to get you to safety."


*****


S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier

"Uncle Sam to Eagle Eye," Cap's voice came in through the bridge of the helicarrier. "I've got the package, leaving town now."

"Roger that," Fury said. The monitors that surrounded him were relaying data from the situation. "Proceed to Peshawar. We've got an old SHIELD safehouse there from back when the Soviet's invaded Afghanistan. We'll extract you from there. Stay on the comm, we'll keep you up to date on enemy movements."

"Roger that. Uncle Sam out."
"Sir," Daisy Johnson said from Fury's side. "You're not going to tell him about the contingency plan."

"Cap does his job, he'll never need to find out about it. Speaking of that, relay orders to Snowman. Tell him to proceed with surveillance, the red light is still on."

"Yes, sir."
*****


Attowala, Pakistan
0402 Local Time



"Quake to Snowman. Orders from Eagle Eye, proceed with surveillance. The red light is still on."

The radio crackled in the agent's ear. He was perched on a high vantage point, watching as Captain America and the Pakistani woman were headed east from the village. A sniper rifle was to his right, and there was a pistol in his hands.

"Snowman here," he said into the line.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:



"I copy. Moving out."

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Old 05-28-2012, 07:46 PM   #34
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Asgard

The sun creeps up over the realm of Asgard, and the bright beams of light shoot through the drapes that hang over Thor the God of Thunder's windows. The brightness stirs the son of Odin from his rest, and he stretches his mighty arms, attempting to wake himself from his slumber. As he does, he feels for his lady Sif beside him, but finds her place empty.

"Training with the Warriors, more than likely," the Thunderer muses to himself. It was often his lady's desire to train with the Warriors Three in the morn, so this development is of no surprise.

Thor stands and throws the drapes open and shields his eyes slightly as the full power of the sun shines down on him. As his eyes adjust, he looks over the idyllic setting that is Asgard and smiles. While he may love Midgard and consider it his to protect, but Asgard will always be home. And a more perfect home Thor could not imagine.

He dresses and heads towards the grand feast hall, which he finds woefully quiet. The servers come and go, giving and taking courses, but no one comes to join his meal. Not his friends, nor his lady, nor his father.

Then again, his father has been scarce since the confrontation with the Serpent and his worthy. He spends most of his time locked in his chamber with the body of his dead brother. When he does appear, it is fleeting and he doesn't speak. All he does is look at his domain before retreating back to his solitary existence.

So the burden of ruling has fallen upon Thor once again. He has taken the mantle of king before, and ruled well.

Thor finishes his meal, and goes to find his friends, but fails to run into them in their normal spots. The royal training room is empty, the mead hall is quiet save for a few of the normal drunks, and all of their quarters are empty as well.

As a last resort, the current ruler of Asgard heads towards the Bifrost and Asgard's gatekeeper, Heimdall. Thor calls out to him as he approaches, "Heimdall! I would ask a question of you!"



"I am at your service, my lord," the large and imposing figure of the gatekeeper responds.

"Have Lady Sif and the Warriors Three passed through the gate this morn?" Thor asks, crossing his arms. "And if they have, where have they traveled to?"

"I'm sorry to disappoint you, Thunderer, but no one has passed through the Bifrost today."

Thor thanks the gatekeeper and turns back towards Asgard proper. Something fishy, as the humans say, is going on here. And he is going to find out why.

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Old 05-28-2012, 09:57 PM   #35
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"Let's see," Luke said, looking into the locker. He pulled out a black gym bag. He unzipped it and turned the bag upside down. Cash, jewels, a .38 revolver, and documents fell out on to the floor. "Damn, man, looks like he cleared out the entire safe."


The last thing that clattered to the floor was a black, plastic USB drive.

"Contact."

Luke reached down and picked up the USB drive. "Booya."
"Huh." That was... easy. I mean, I'm not one to complain. I much prefer an assignment like this than one where, say, I come home bruised and bleeding. Still, for a job of this magnitude, we found that USB drive really quickly.

"Well, if we hurry, we can get back to office before the sun comes up," I suggest. "And then we can find out whether that's the right drive or not." And perhaps even solve the mystery of why it was so important in the first place...

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Old 05-28-2012, 10:25 PM   #36
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"Huh." That was... easy. I mean, I'm not one to complain. I much prefer an assignment like this than one where, say, I come home bruised and bleeding. Still, for a job of this magnitude, we found that USB drive really quickly.

"Well, if we hurry, we can get back to office before the sun comes up," I suggest. "And then we can find out whether that's the right drive or not." And perhaps even solve the mystery of why it was so important in the first place...
Heroes For Hire
Midtown

Danny plugged the USB drive into the laptop that was propped on the break room table. His mask was off and on the table. Luke was behind Danny, looking over his shoulder. "What do we got?"

"Nothing..."

"What do you mean nothing?"

"Nothing, zero, nada, rein, nichts, nil, el zippo."

"Damn, you know how to say nothing in a lot of languages..."

"There's something... let's see..."

Danny opened the document on the jump drive. A word document sprang open.

You want the USB drive?
You want to complete your job?
If it is answers you seek, then come get them.
2nd Avenue & East 69th
The Answer Inc.
Simple Solutions for a Complicated World


"Damn," Luke said with the shake of his head. "Should have know when that card showed up, it was gonna tie into this some kinda way."

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Old 05-29-2012, 02:04 PM   #37
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"Van Persie nears the goal box, the goalkeeper's out to meet him... Van Persie feints left, comes back 'round, and OOOOH, IT'S A THING OF BEAUTY, MY FRIENDS! Van Persie, just hammering the ball in past the goalkeeper! And with that, Arsenal seems to have this game locked in--"

BZZZZZZZZZZT!

Dane muted the TV. He and Faiza got off the couch and began making their way over to the still-buzzing MI-13 communicator on the table across the room.

"Ugh, Pete's timing could not be worse! Just when the game was getting good!"

"Y'ask me, his timing couldn't be better. Look, I appreciate the grace and athleticism of soccer--"

"Football."

"... Right. But when it comes to sheer excitement, I'll take authentic fo--" Faiza's glare felt like it was scorching its way into his very soul. "Sorry, American football any day."

"God, my father was right about you. Uncultured savages through and through, that's your lot."

"Says the girl who simply can't miss an episode of Jersey Shore."

"Shut it, you! I never said you weren't capable of producing brilliant telly. Don't we have a communicator to answer?"

"Yeah, I think we've kept Wisdom waiting long enough." Dane pressed a button disguised as the crown on the wristwatch-shaped communicator. "Moe's Pizzas, you've got Moe, what can I getcha?"

"Very droll, Whitman," Wisdom replied acidly. "How's the humor working out for you? Gone on any blood-soaked rampages of late?"

"If I do, Wisdom, trust me: you'll be the first to know."

"Touché. But if you're quite done threatening your commanding officer with all the moose-like subtlety your American wit can offer, I've a mission for you. Some vampires have turned up in south London. We think they may be remnants of Dracula's invasion force."

"Ah, Dracula's army: the gift that keeps on giving. But isn't that more Blade's field?"

"Why, yes, it is. One might even think there's some tactical knowledge from your time leading the Avengers still rattling around in that pasty white cue ball you call a head. You'll rendezvous with Blade on-site. We want you there since your blade's curse doesn't apply to the undead, and the undead seem rather less fond of mystical pointy things than any other kind. Oh, and Faiza, my dear?"

"Mmpfg?!" Faiza quickly gulped down the spoonful of ice cream she'd helped herself to during Dane and Pete's verbal sparring. "I mean (oh, brain freeze!) yes, I'm here!"

"Be a dove and accompany your boyfriend, would you? You know how those fangs love a visit from old Excalibur."

"Right! I mean roger! I mean--"

"--We're on it, Wisdom. Black Knight and Excalibur: out."

"I can't believe I still get flustered like some newbie when the prospect of superheroing comes up."


"I can't believe you just used 'superhero' as a verb."

"Oi! That's enough out of you."

Five minutes later, Dane and Faiza stepped out of Garret Castle clothed in the armor of the Black Knight and his faithful steward Excalibur, superheroes extraordinaire. A whistle from the Knight summoned Strider, the mystical winged warhorse gifted to him by no less than the Lady of the Lake. Dane and Faiza climbed onto Strider's back and the gleaming white horse bore them both with ease. "Ya!" Dane yelled as his heels tapped Strider's flanks. The stallion's wings stretched to their full, tremendous span, powerful muscles spasmed, and within seconds the horse and his two riders were coasting over the countryside surrounding Garret Castle. Dane took a look around. "All right, we're high enough and it looks like we're clear of any nearby eardrums. Hold tight, Faz." She did. Dane directed the horse toward London and gently flicked his reins. "On, Strider!" Strider grunted obediently and took off, Avalonian magic thrusting him forward at supernatural speeds. Within moments came the whump of the sonic boom; to anyone on the ground, it would seem a great thunderclap high in the sky above.

"Next stop, London. ETA: ten minutes."

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Old 05-29-2012, 02:30 PM   #38
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TRACK 1

Portwell House, Whitehall, London.

John the Skrull shifted about in his seat. He was sitting at a large, blacktopped table with Pete Wisdom, head of MI-13 and Lance Hunter, the Joint Intelligence Committee Chair. Standing in front of the group was the American Henry Peter Gyrich, giving a presentation on the anatomy, strategies and habits of the Skrull race. John wasn’t quite sure whether he should be outraged or bored. At the moment, as Gyrich delved into Skrull infiltration techniques, it was mostly the latter.

“Lights,” Gyrich finally said after another half hour of the gruelling presentation. The last slide, which Gyrich had left on, depicted the anatomy of the Skrull per Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. The American’s eyes caught John’s – even with the sunglasses on, you knew when Gyrich was looking at you – and the Skrull tried his hardest to send a telepathic message: “You would do right by taking a chill pill, like.”
Of course, John wasn’t telepathic and even if he was, it’d be unlikely he could change Gyrich’s mind about the ‘green skins’.
“A delightful presentation, Henry,” Lance Hunter said, the words dripping with sarcasm. Gyrich smiled nonetheless.
“Bit heavy on the ‘known information’ though,” Pete Wisdom commented. Gyrich shot him a scornful look, and it was then that Wisdom decided to take off his sunglasses. He didn’t want to invite any comparisons with the American government agent.
“Just making sure you all have the details,” Gyrich said as he looked to John again.
“Just missed the information on their reproductive process. So the --” Wisdom was just about to mimic the ‘reproductive process’ with his hands, causing John to snicker, when he was sternly interrupted by his superior Hunter.
“Peter.”
“Right.” Wisdom turned to Gyrich. “So, tell us, what’s SWORD want with us?”

“As of this moment,” Gyrich started, “we have a number of Skrulls operating at a high profile.” He pointed to one of his assistants, who reactivated the next part of the slideshow. The first slide depicted a hulking blonde, green-skinned teenager, standing amongst a group of colourfully dressed peers.
“Teenage Avengers.” The words were laced with venom.
Wisdom smirked. “What, the grown ups can’t handle it on their own anymore?”
Gyrich ignored this comment and nodded to his assistant. The next slide consisted of a blurry photo, depicting another group of teens. Standing with a young girl was a boy, in the middle of transforming his green skin into brown. After a short pause, another photo was shown. It was a dated picture of a Skrull woman standing between members of the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch’s arm around her waist.
“Yeah, okay, I saw her standing there.” Wisdom motioned towards the assistant. “But before you show the next one,” he said as he turned back to Gyrich, “mind telling me what the point is? I was hoping to be done here sometime before dinner.”
“The point is, Mr. Wisdom,” Gyrich replied, “is that we have no idea whether these Skrulls feel any allegiance to this planet. And another problem is--” The next slide was shown, of a man, dressed in all black with a cowl and cape, flying through New York City. “--is that there are a number of them working under the radar as well. We have no way of knowing how many aliens have infiltrated the superhuman community, or any way of knowing what their intentions are.”
Wisdom shrugged. “Ask them.” He looked to John. “That’s what we did.”

All three men looked to John, which didn’t sit right with him at all. He felt prompted to speak.
“Yeah, we wanted to take over Earth, but we found out the world was a pretty nice place to hang out.”
“But you have no way of knowing if your former conspirators still feel the same way.”
“What, those guys? They’re living the high life, mate.”
“Let’s cut to the matter at hand, gentlemen, shall we?” Hunter said.
“Take it away, Gyrich.”
Gyrich nodded. “We want your man.”

Now, John the Skrull wasn’t bored any more.

He was more outraged, like.

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Old 05-29-2012, 03:46 PM   #39
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Castle Zemo, Germany.

Abandoned since World War II in light of the horrific Nazi experiments conducted by Baron Heinrich Zemo, no one of the Zemo bloodline had walked the castle's halls for many years. Even the most recent Baron Zemo, Helmut, thirteenth in his line, had disappeared years ago and any theories towards his continuation of his father's villainous legacy have since died out. Having been born to a World War II era Nazi scientist, Helmut would be an old man now, if not for the chemical treatments that he was rumored to take in order to remain in his physical prime, if he were indeed still alive as a number of conspiracy theorists believed.

He wouldn't be for much longer.



Slowly getting to his feet, the old man could feel the broken bones in his body begging him to lie back down. His enemy had brought him to his ancestral home, and he couldn't begin to guess why.

"W-whatever your intentions," he began, the straining of his elderly voice more than apparent, "I am a Zemo and I will not fall to the likes of you!" His hand started to reach for the gun of Adhesive X strapped to his belt, but the weapon was immediately shot out of his grip by an oncoming laser blast.

"I beg to differ."

The enemy who had thrown the aged form of Helmut Zemo through a window and into the site of his father's consistent failures to kill Captain America during the war, had arrived.



"You have already fallen, old man. You simply haven't realized it yet."

Enraged, Zemo could only raise his fist at his armored assailant. "Why do you do this? Why take me here of all places?! Which of my enemies has sent you?!" Met with only silence as the Titanium Man's glowing hand remained locked on Zemo and ready to fire again, the Baron still demanded an answer to what would be his final question. "WHO ARE YOU?!"

As if amused by the question, Titanium Man lowered his hand and a soft laughter could be heard coming from within his armor. "I would suppose that you of all people deserve a satisfactory answer, "Baron." Please, allow me to provide it." Reaching up and unlocking his headgear, Titanium Man savored the look of shock showing on Zemo's face as the helmet was removed. Even through the mask covering his entire face, the Baron's surprise was hidden from no one.



"No. It... it can't be..."

"Trust me, old man, your eyes do not deceive you." Titanium Man then took aim at the form of Baron Zemo, and fired. "But you will take that secret to the grave."

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Old 05-29-2012, 05:28 PM   #40
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Danny opened the document on the jump drive. A word document sprang open.

You want the USB drive?
You want to complete your job?
If it is answers you seek, then come get them.
2nd Avenue & East 69th
The Answer Inc.
Simple Solutions for a Complicated World


"Damn," Luke said with the shake of his head. "Should have know when that card showed up, it was gonna tie into this some kinda way."
I take the business card out from my sleeve, placing it on the desk next to the keyboard. It appears this game has more players than we previously imagined. Well, it's not too much of a surprise. Wilbur did say that Tombstone didn't have the cunning to pull this job alone. And I'd bet what's left of my diminished fortune that this "Answer Inc." holds the key to finding out who's holding Tombstone's leash.

"We'll head over first thing in the morning," I suggest. "For now, go home, be with Jessica, and get some sleep." I stare at the ominous message on the screen. "I have a feeling tomorrow's going to be a very long day."

* * *

Luke and I rendezvous at the address for Answer Inc. right at the start of business hours. The building is an unassuming monolith of reflective glass - beautiful, in a way, in its perplexing simplicity. No name, no signage of any kind. Only small black numbers displaying the address. It's a minimalist's wet dream.

"Let's do this."

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Old 05-29-2012, 07:03 PM   #41
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Luke and I rendezvous at the address for Answer Inc. right at the start of business hours. The building is an unassuming monolith of reflective glass - beautiful, in a way, in its perplexing simplicity. No name, no signage of any kind. Only small black numbers displaying the address. It's a minimalist's wet dream.

"Let's do this."
OOC: Switching to first person.


Danny and I rode the elevator up towards the floor that held the office for the company. I took a deep breath and cracked my neck. "Whatever's waiting for us out there -- the mob, HYDRA, something worse -- we take it on head first like always. Having superior numbers against us ain't nothing, we've been there before. Always whipped their asses. H4H for life."

Danny and I bumped fist as the elevator doors started to slide open.

"Let's do this ****..."

"Gentlemen!" A perky voice said from the semi-closed doors. The doors opened all the way, revealing a young, blonde girl in a skirt and blouse. "Welcome to The Answer Incorporated, I'm Mister Nicholson's personal assistant, Becky. I've been expecting you."

"Wait... what?"

"Yes," Becky said with a smile. "Mister Nicholson informed me you and Mister Fist would be joining him for a meeting this morning. Now, how do you gentlemen like your coffee?"

I traded looks with Danny and then back to Becky. "Cream and sugar for me, black for him."

"Excellent. Now, follow me."

Danny and I walked behind her through the sparsely decorated hallway. She led us into an office where a man dressed in a black suit with purple pinstripes was waiting on us, his feet propped up on the desk.

"There they are!" He said, standing to greet us. "Becky, leave us."

Becky nodded and left. The man walked towards us, smiling. "I know you two don't recognize me, must be hard without my suit on. I'm The Answer. Or I was."

"The Answer?"

"The name rings a bell... didn't you used to be a hitman or something?"

"Yep, but I got tired of being beaten on and sent back to prison every six months. I decided to go another way with my enterprise. Like what I've done?"

"What exactly is it that you do?"

"It's actually not too different from what you two do. I offer help to people in need. It's just... we're on different sides of the line. I'm a fixer. People come to me needing help. Like, for example..."

"'I want to break into the governor's house.'"

"Right. I make a few phone calls, hire some dumb muscle. And, voila," he said, holding up a black USB drive. "See, the world really is a complicated place. That's where I come in. People have problems, complex ones, and I solve them. I am The Answer."

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Old 05-29-2012, 10:33 PM   #42
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Previously


Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrd Man View Post
Attowala, Pakistan
0355 Local Time


Captain America twirled through the air, coming down hard on to the AIM shocktrooper with his shield. The shield ripped apart the crown on top of the MODOC's head. The robotic unit fell to the ground, sparks flying from its head and shoulders. Rogers turned just as another assailant fired out of rounds with an assault rifle. The bullets bounced harmlessly off the Captain's shield as he charged the MODOC.

"Increasing reaction speed 16%," the robotic fighter said. Cap swung at the MODOC with his shield, but the AIM unit dipped below the shield, coming up hard with powerful blow to Steve's stomach. He stumbled backwards slightly, but regained his composure just before the MODOC came down hard with a fist. The robot's blow glanced off Cap's shield, throwing it off and allowing Steve to drive his fist into the thing's face.

"Target acquired," a voice said behind him. Cap turned and tossed his shield at the MODOC preparing to shoot him in the back. The vibranium laced disk smashed into the AIM trooper's face. The control crown shattered and the MODOC collapsed to the ground. Shieldless, Cap charged towards the remaining robotic assailant. He zig-zagged left and right to avoid the MODOC's assault rifle fire. Once he was in range, Steve leaped into the air and somersaulted over the AIM henchman. He swept his leg underneath the MODOC's leg, dropping it to the ground. Cap reached down and ripped the crown from its head, disabling the last attacker.

Standing, he walked towards his shield and picked it up. Hunkered down by a house was his objective. The Pakistani woman had been experimented on using a bastardized version of the same formula that had turned him to Captain America. Except, she irradiated a rabid version of the smallpox virus.

"Don't worry," Steve said, walking slowly towards her. "Everything is going to be alright."

"واپس رہو," the woman shouted out in a foreign tongue. Even though he couldn't understand her words, he could read her body language.

"I'm sorry," he said, standing still. "I don't speak Urdu. I'm not here to hurt you. I promise."

"Why should I believe it?" The woman asked in English. "You are from America."

"I am, but I don't speak for them or with their authority. I'm with SHIELD, the United Nations. I want to get you to safety."

"Why?"

"Because, a long time ago, I was in your exact shoes. Alone, frightened and confused. A man turned me into something the world had never seen, the first of my kind. It's a hard burden to bear, I know that. But it's a burden you don't need to carry alone. That's why I'm here."

"What about the sickness?" She asked, standing.

Cap smiled, rolling up his right sleeve to reveal the scar on his shoulder. "Smallpox vaccine. Got it in the fall of '25 before I started school."

He started to slowly walk towards the woman until they were face to face. "I'm Steve. What's your name?"

"Riya," she said.

"Riya, I promise you I'm going to get you to safety."


*****


S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier

"Uncle Sam to Eagle Eye," Cap's voice came in through the bridge of the helicarrier. "I've got the package, leaving town now."

"Roger that," Fury said. The monitors that surrounded him were relaying data from the situation. "Proceed to Peshawar. We've got an old SHIELD safehouse there from back when the Soviet's invaded Afghanistan. We'll extract you from there. Stay on the comm, we'll keep you up to date on enemy movements."

"Roger that. Uncle Sam out."
"Sir," Daisy Johnson said from Fury's side. "You're not going to tell him about the contingency plan."

"Cap does his job, he'll never need to find out about it. Speaking of that, relay orders to Snowman. Tell him to proceed with surveillance, the red light is still on."

"Yes, sir."
*****


Attowala, Pakistan
0402 Local Time



"Quake to Snowman. Orders from Eagle Eye, proceed with surveillance. The red light is still on."

The radio crackled in the agent's ear. He was perched on a high vantage point, watching as Captain America and the Pakistani woman were headed east from the village. A sniper rifle was to his right, and there was a pistol in his hands.

"Snowman here," he said into the line.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:



"I copy. Moving out."



Fort Dix, NJ
April 16th, 1942


"Good evening," the tall man said in a German accent. He walked through the nearly empty barracks towards the building's only inhabitant. "Do you know who I am, Mister Rogers?"

"Doctor Erskine, right?" Steve Rogers replied. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, watching the scientist approach him.

"That's right. I'm here to give you a final physical inspection before tomorrow's experiment. I have the final say in approving you for the serum."

Erskine came to a stop in front of Rogers' bed. He looked down at the young man. He wasn't much to look at, that was for sure, but General Phillips' reports on Private Rogers were encouraging. What he lacked in speed, strength, stamina, and pretty much every other physical trait, he more than made up for it with heart, spirit, and tenacity.

It took Erskine about five minutes to do his final checkup on Rogers. The skinny test subject had gotten no better, nor any worse in his six months training here. "Alright," Erskine said. "That is it. You have my approval for the final experiment, Mister Rogers."

"Umm, Doc?"
Rogers asked gingerly. "Do you think you could answer some questions for me? Everyone's been kinda mum on a lot of things."

"Sure," Erskine said. He grabbed a chair and pushed it over to Rogers' bunk. "I understand you have your fears, your worries. So, ask away."

"Is it going to be painful?"

"Extremely."

"Great bedside manner you got there,"
Steve said, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Sorry if it sounds rough, but it is true. If I lied to you, it would not dull the pain."

"Gotta appreciate a straight shooter, I guess... This formula I'm taking... am I the first?"


"The first to take this batch. This serum has been my life's work. You are not the first to take... and it is a near certainty that you will not be the last."

"The rest of the subjects... how did they--"

Erskine shook his head. "In this case, Mister Rogers, the less you know the better."

"How long will the procedure last?"

"If all goes to plan, you will be out of the chamber in a half hour. If things go awry, then you will be out very quickly."

The two men sat in silence for a few minutes until Erskine finally broke the calm.

"Regardless of what happens tomorrow, good or bad, you need to know this: Your life as you know it will be vastly different. Everything and everyone around you will change. Just remember to always stay who you were before this experiment. If you do that, if you stay true to the man underneath the muscles, then you will become more than a super soldier, more than an actual soldier. You will be a good man. In the times we're living in now, those types of men are very hard to come by."


*****


Rawalpindi, Pakistan

0445 Local Time

The tarp covered truck rolled through the outskirts of the city heading west through the areas hills and valleys. The middle aged Pakistani man driving the truck was Kumail Kakar. Kumail had a normal life, worked as a truck driver, had four children and five grandchildren. But, unbeknownst to his family and most of his friends, Kumail had been a freelancer with SHIELD in the 80's. He had worked closely with the organization as they monitored the war between the Soviet's Red Army and the Afghanistan Mujahideen.

Kumail had mostly done surveillance work mostly, watching activity between the different factions that crossed the border into Peshawar. But once he had went into the field as a guide for a few agents into the Khyber Pass. That was where he met the one-eyed man who called himself Doyle. During the mission, Doyle had saved Kumail's life from an attacking Soviet helicopter. As the Soviet's withdrew from Afghanistan, Kumail's days as a SHIELD operative came to a close.

And it had remained that way until twelve hours ago. After twenty years of silence, SHIELD had contacted him. The man he knew as Doyle now called himself Fury. Director Fury, to be precise. Fury had an important mission and needed help within the country. So, Kumail set out in his truck and went to Rawalpindi to meet Fury's agent inside Pakistan. As a favor to the man he owed his life to. In Fury's words it was to be a simple mission. Kumail had assumed it was another mission for him to act as a guide, or to smuggle someone out of the country. The truth, Kumail had found out, was more severe than he realized.

Kumail constantly checked back at the tarp covering his truck bed. He checked for any shifts or movement underneath the sheet. Word was that the Pakistani Army were combing the hills, in search of a fugitive. Kumail knew the truth, though. He knew who they sought. So far, they were a hundred kilometers into their journey and they had not encountered a checkpoint yet. His fear was they would be discovered and the mission would be comprised.

As Kumail drove through the night, two figures were underneath the tarp covering his truck. The dark haired woman lay flat on her stomach, breathing nervously. Her name was Riya, and she was the object the army was after. To her right was her escort. He remained calm, focusing his hearing outwards to listen for any signs of trouble over the noises of the truck. A red, white, and blue shield was strapped to his back. He looked to his left and even in the dark, gave Riya a comforting smile.

"It's going to be alright," Captain America said, reaching out and touching Riya's hand. She recoiled away from his touch on reflex. "Sorry about that. Tell me about yourself. Where did you come from?"

"I am from Lahore," she said. "My father was a professor at the university, my mother stayed at home."

"How old are you, Riya?" He asked. After a few moments of silence, he chuckled. "I'm sorry, that was rude of me. What's your last name, Riya?"

"Loharani," she said meekly.

Rogers let it hang in the air. He knew that last name, Loharani. It was the surname of the doctor who had operated on Riya and the others. It was Loharani who had turned Riya into a walking plague.

"He was--"

"My father," she said with a sigh. "All his test subjects were me, my mother, and my brothers and sisters."

"My God..."

"I killed my father and his lackeys in vengeance... but I... I killed my family as an act of mercy. I was the only one who actually managed to survive the serum."

They both stayed silent while the truck bounced and shook as it cut through the Pakistani countryside.

"I know this won't change what has happened," Cap finally spoke up. "But it can change where you go from here. You need to believe me when I say this. Your father changed what you were on the outside, but he couldn't touch what you were inside. Don't let what's outside you define you."

"But how can you say that? Everyone I come in contact with dies."

"But not me..."

"Feel your face, Captain. I noticed the bumps when we climbed into the truck."

Cap ran his fingers across the skin underneath his mask. There were tiny bumps all across his face and cheeks. That was when he noticed his slight fever and sore throat.

"Not even you are immune to it."

Before Cap could respond, the truck came to a stop. He could hear Kumail talking to someone in Urdu. A harsh reply came back in another language. "Russian," Steve said under his breath.

Suddenly, gunfire echoed through the night. Cap turned to Riya and gave her the signal to stay down. Footsteps were approaching the back of the truck as Steve jumped out from underneath the tarp, smacking a Russian Spetsnaz soldier in the face with his shield.

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Old 05-30-2012, 11:37 AM   #43
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG

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"There they are!" He said, standing to greet us. "Becky, leave us."

Becky nodded and left. The man walked towards us, smiling. "I know you two don't recognize me, must be hard without my suit on. I'm The Answer. Or I was."

"The Answer?"

"The name rings a bell... didn't you used to be a hitman or something?"

"Yep, but I got tired of being beaten on and sent back to prison every six months. I decided to go another way with my enterprise. Like what I've done?"

"What exactly is it that you do?"

"It's actually not too different from what you two do. I offer help to people in need. It's just... we're on different sides of the line. I'm a fixer. People come to me needing help. Like, for example..."

"'I want to break into the governor's house.'"

"Right. I make a few phone calls, hire some dumb muscle. And, voila," he said, holding up a black USB drive. "See, the world really is a complicated place. That's where I come in. People have problems, complex ones, and I solve them. I am The Answer."
I suppose it was only a matter of time. Luke and I broke the mold when we made Heroes for Hire. We took the concept of superheroism, previously a purely moral obligation, and turned it into a business. Our intentions were pure, but I suppose eventually someone would get it into their heads to make a Villains for Hire. I can't say I imagined it would be this guy.

"Hand over the drive, Nicholson," I say sternly.

He regards me with a smile. "Don't confuse politeness for pacifism, Mister... Fist?" He places the USB drive down on his desk, almost challenging Luke or I to reach for it. "I run a business. My clients have expectations. If I abandoned a job every time a costumed crusader came sniffing around, I wouldn't be very successful, would I?"

"He wasn't giving you an option," Luke warns as he gets on his feet. I do the same. We both ball our fists.

The Answer rolls his eyes. "Oh, please. Haven't you two listened to a word I said? This old-fashioned way of exchanging blows in colorful costumes is over." He sneers at us. "Learn to adapt. I have."

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Old 05-30-2012, 12:36 PM   #44
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG


TRACK 2

Portwell House, Whitehall, London.

“What in hell are you talking about!?” John said it a second before Pete Wisdom could.
Gyrich smiled. “Just following your advice. We want to talk to the Skrulls.”
Pete calmed somewhat as he sat down, while John still stood seething. “You want to feel them out?” the first asked.
“A little counterintelligence to prevent another invasion.”
Pete looked to John, then to the table and back to Gyrich. “What would we get in return?”
John’s eyes widened as he turned to Wisdom. “Pete, what are you on about?”
“Could you give us a moment, Gyrich?”
“Sure,” Gyrich replied, leaving the room.
“SWORD intel could be a major help, John,” Lance Hunter, Joint Intelligence Chair, offered.
“Shut up, Hunter,” Pete said as he turned to John. “But he’s right, unfortunately.”
“Have you gone mental!? Did you miss the presentation about the greenskin cockroaches, ‘no offence’?”
“They did almost do us in, John,” Hunter offered.
“I won’t repeat myself, Hunter,” Wisdom replied. “It’s not like you were much help.”
“They had me captured! Impersonated me!”
“And the imitation was just as worthless.”
Lance Hunter was boiling, but he nonetheless kept mum.

“Now, look, John, I don’t care for Gyrich and I could care even less about their little satellite up there. But they’ve got info we could use. And you helping them, helps us. Your old classmates had us off our guard once, we can’t let that happen again.”
John had calmed by now, was thinking about things. “I’m not a spy, Pete,” he said after a few seconds.
“The look is kind of working against you there, mate.”
John sighed, shook his head. “This is &^%$ing misery.”
“They just want you to tag along.”
“Isn’t that how you roped me in in the first place, mate?”
Wisdom smiled.
“Want the honest to god truth, Pete. I just don’t like him.”
“I’ll get you back, John. Promise.”
John nodded. “All right.”


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Old 05-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #45
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG

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"He wasn't giving you an option," Luke warns as he gets on his feet. I do the same. We both ball our fists.

The Answer rolls his eyes. "Oh, please. Haven't you two listened to a word I said? This old-fashioned way of exchanging blows in colorful costumes is over." He sneers at us. "Learn to adapt. I have."
"Only thing that's about to adapt is your face adapting to the shape of my fist..."

"Funny," Nicholson said with a chuckle. He placed his feet up on the desk and smiled at us. "You want that USB drive, fine. I'll tell you what, earn it. I'll give you one minute and one guess for both of you. Tell me who hired me to recover the jump drive. You do that, I give it to you. Your time starts, now."

"Wait, what?"

"Tell me who employed me to break into the governor's house. The clues are right there, use them. Thirty seconds..."

"We're not playing your games.'

"Then you don't get the USB drive. Twenty-five seconds..."

"The union guy. What was his name?"

"Wrong! C'mon, think! Fifteen seconds..."

Danny and I traded glances and turned back to Nicholson. I closed my eyes and started to piece the clues together. The burglary, the item stolen, nothing taken besides the one jump drive, the cameras going out minutes before Tombstone broke in, the red herring pointing towards the union leader. I start to say it, but I'm cut short.

"Phillips," Danny said. "Phillips is the one who hired you."

The Answer smiled and reached into his jacket, pulling out a white memory stick. He tossed it over the desk towards us. Danny reached out and snagged it.

"There you go. That one is the real article. No tricks to be found."

"That easy? What happened to your integrity as a businessman?"

"Eh," Nicholson shrugged. "I was hired to procure the jump drive, Phillips never explicitly said not to give it away. Besides, he's an ***hole. I got my money, so screw him."

"What's on the drive?"

"Does it really matter? Some boring evidence Phillips was going to use to blackmail the governor. Who cares? Our little game was much more interesting."

"That what this is to you?"

"Oh, yeah. Laying down the breadcrumbs and watching you eat them up. I suggested to Phillips that he hire you to belay any suspicion his way. I let rumors slip through the underworld about Tombstone doing the job at the governor's house. Gave him the card that pointed to the bus locker and the fake USB drive. Every step along the way, you've been following my path."

"If your goal was to piss us off, congrats. You succeeded and then some."

"F'n A."

"My goal was to lead you on a merry chase through the city, guide you by the nose. To be able to manipulate the the competition so completely, that looks fantastic on a resume. I've got criminals, politicians, CEOs, terrorists, and government types all banging down my door now looking for help. They've got their problems, and I am their answer. So, take the jump drive in good faith of services rendered. Thanks for the help, fellows. Becky will show you out."

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Old 05-30-2012, 02:27 PM   #46
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG

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"How old are you, Riya?" He asked. After a few moments of silence, he chuckled. "I'm sorry, that was rude of me. What's your last name, Riya?"

"Loharani," she said meekly.

Rogers let it hang in the air. He knew that last name, Loharani. It was the surname of the doctor who had operated on Riya and the others. It was Loharani who had turned Riya into a walking plague.

"He was--"

"My father," she said with a sigh. "All his test subjects were me, my mother, and my brothers and sisters."

"My God..."

"I killed my father and his lackeys in vengeance... but I... I killed my family as an act of mercy. I was the only one who actually managed to survive the serum."

They both stayed silent while the truck bounced and shook as it cut through the Pakistani countryside.

"I know this won't change what has happened," Cap finally spoke up. "But it can change where you go from here. You need to believe me when I say this. Your father changed what you were on the outside, but he couldn't touch what you were inside. Don't let what's outside you define you."

"But how can you say that? Everyone I come in contact with dies."

"But not me..."

"Feel your face, Captain. I noticed the bumps when we climbed into the truck."

Cap ran his fingers across the skin underneath his mask. There were tiny bumps all across his face and cheeks. That was when he noticed his slight fever and sore throat.

"Not even you are immune to it."

Before Cap could respond, the truck came to a stop. He could hear Kumail talking to someone in Urdu. A harsh reply came back in another language. "Russian," Steve said under his breath.

Suddenly, gunfire echoed through the night. Cap turned to Riya and gave her the signal to stay down. Footsteps were approaching the back of the truck as Steve jumped out from underneath the tarp, smacking a Russian Spetsnaz soldier in the face with his shield.
The instant that the circle of red, white, and blue sprang out from under the tarp, it was met with a burst of gunfire. Of course, the soldier wielding the shield was more than up to the task of fighting back against the assault while protecting the woman in his care.

Or so he thought.

Taking the focus of the gunfire away from the truck where the woman still sat frightened, Captain America flipped over the still-crumpling unconscious body of the first Russian soldier he had hit, and leaped through the air in a dazzling display of acrobatics to dodge the lethal barrage of bullets while simultaneously throwing his famed shield into the fight. Bouncing from one Russian soldier to the next, the disc finally came to a stop when it was surprisingly caught by another man who was also dressed quite theatrically.


"Hey, Cap. Fancy meetin' you here."

As much as I might like to keep Rogers' shield for myself, I've already got one strapped to my arm. Having another one right now would just be overdoing it. Instead, I casually toss his shield to the ground off to the side, thinking I'll probably end up collecting it after I finish up here.

"I gotta tell ya, it sure is a small world we live in, huh?"


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Old 05-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #47
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG

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"What's on the drive?"

"Does it really matter? Some boring evidence Phillips was going to use to blackmail the governor. Who cares? Our little game was much more interesting."

"That what this is to you?"

"Oh, yeah. Laying down the breadcrumbs and watching you eat them up. I suggested to Phillips that he hire you to belay any suspicion his way. I let rumors slip through the underworld about Tombstone doing the job at the governor's house. Gave him the card that pointed to the bus locker and the fake USB drive. Every step along the way, you've been following my path."

"If your goal was to piss us off, congrats. You succeeded and then some."

"F'n A."

"My goal was to lead you on a merry chase through the city, guide you by the nose. To be able to manipulate the the competition so completely, that looks fantastic on a resume. I've got criminals, politicians, CEOs, terrorists, and government types all banging down my door now looking for help. They've got their problems, and I am their answer. So, take the jump drive in good faith of services rendered. Thanks for the help, fellows. Becky will show you out."
Just as I'm considering a proper retort - something to show this pompous prick that he hasn't won - Becky enters holding two steaming cups of coffee in clear cups. The Answer waves his hand. "Thank you, Becky, but those won't be necessary," he says matter-of-factly. "These gentlemen were just on their way out."

Becky smiles absently and nods. "If you two will follow me..."

Luke and I keep silent the whole way out of the office. There isn't much to say, really. We were played for fools. Hired to do a job that we weren't expected to complete, led down a rabbit hole by some washed-up villain trying to reinvent himself, and even though we did retrieve the jump drive, the value of that small victory seems diminished in the long run.

It's not until we're outside that I finally speak. "What do we do with this?" I ask, holding the jump drive up. All that trouble for something so small.

Luke shrugs. "Don't give it to Phillips."

"So go to the governor, then?" I think back to what the Answer said. Phillips was trying to blackmail the governor. That means her hands aren't clean, either. "We better check to see what's on this thing first. I'm not about to look like an idiot for the second time."

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Old 05-30-2012, 05:15 PM   #48
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It's not until we're outside that I finally speak. "What do we do with this?" I ask, holding the jump drive up. All that trouble for something so small.

Luke shrugs. "Don't give it to Phillips."

"So go to the governor, then?" I think back to what the Answer said. Phillips was trying to blackmail the governor. That means her hands aren't clean, either. "We better check to see what's on this thing first. I'm not about to look like an idiot for the second time."

Back at the office, Danny plugged the flash drive into his laptop. He activated it and opened up the spreadsheet document. On the document was a dollar by dollar tally of all political contributions to the governor. We searched through it for nearly a half hour until we found what we were looking for.

"Look at this," Danny said, pointing towards one of the contributions. "Four thousand dollars from United Exports. That name ring a bell?"

"Yeah, from the Jacobson job. They're a front."

"A HYDRA front...," Danny corrected. "And the fact that she had it hidden, means she knew what she was taking."

"Jesus. We dig deeper into this ledger, HYDRA probably won't be the only criminal front we find paying off the governor."

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Old 05-30-2012, 05:18 PM   #49
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"Hey, Cap. Fancy meetin' you here."

As much as I might like to keep Rogers' shield for myself, I've already got one strapped to my arm. Having another one right now would just be overdoing it. Instead, I casually toss his shield to the ground off to the side, thinking I'll probably end up collecting it after I finish up here.

"I gotta tell ya, it sure is a small world we live in, huh?"

"Taskmaster," Steve said, not taking his eyes off the assassin. A spetsnaz soldier swung at him with a combat knife. Cap knocked the man's arm away and drove a fist into his sternum. The soldier grunted in pain and Captain America backflipped, kicking the man under the chin and knocked him out.

"I assume these misguided young men are with you," he said towards Taskmaster, stifling a cough with the back of his hand.

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Old 05-30-2012, 05:49 PM   #50
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG

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Back at the office, Danny plugged the flash drive into his laptop. He activated it and opened up the spreadsheet document. On the document was a dollar by dollar tally of all political contributions to the governor. We searched through it for nearly a half hour until we found what we were looking for.

"Look at this," Danny said, pointing towards one of the contributions. "Four thousand dollars from United Exports. That name ring a bell?"

"Yeah, from the Jacobson job. They're a front."

"A HYDRA front...," Danny corrected. "And the fact that she had it hidden, means she knew what she was taking."

"Jesus. We dig deeper into this ledger, HYDRA probably won't be the only criminal front we find paying off the governor."
I shake my head in disgust. I would've taken almost anything but this. It's one thing to know that the governor of your state is corrupt. It's another thing entirely to know that she has accepted campaign funds from HYDRA, the world's leading terrorist organization. As far as I'm concerned, the governor has the same blood on her hands that HYDRA does, and it makes me sick.

"Good thing we took a look at this first." I close the spreadsheet and shut the laptop. I can't bear to look at this any longer. I'm sure Luke's right: if the governor was willing to accept HYDRA's help, who else might she be in league with? But I need to process the shock of this revelation before I can dig any deeper.

I look up at Luke. "I guess we know what our play is," I remark. I pull the USB drive from my laptop. "Get this information to the proper authorities and take this all public." Maybe this assignment wasn't a waste after all.

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