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Old 07-29-2012, 09:35 AM   #176
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The Assassination of Hank Pym by the Coward David Cannon: Part Three.

Brooklyn, New York

From his window David watched as the police helicopters swooped over his apartment building and headed towards the Brooklyn Bridge. They had been searching for Whirlwind all day and, more than likely, they would continue doing so until some other super-villain killed a couple of cops on the other side of town. The problem with the police, especially in a city as big as New York, was that they were too reactionary. It was bad enough dealing with normal criminals like that, next to impossible to handle super-criminals that way.

“… Not bad for an hour’s work.”



Cannon placed his hands on his helmet and slowly removed it from his head, throwing it to the floor and smiling as he admired the two large sacks of money he had acquired earlier in the day. It would take some days to successfully launder it all and clear out the marked bills, but he had more than enough money sitting in front of him to destroy Hank Pym with. He intended to upgrade his armor before the next met which meant a visit to Phineas Mason was in order, but until then he would have to sit tight and plan his next move.

“I have to admit, you always did know how to put on a show…”

Yellowjacket was back. Whoever it was under that mask had helped him plan the job he had pulled off this morning. The man wandered around the small apartment, stepping over discarded pieces of pizza and empty beer cans as he did so. He ran his finger along the walls of the apartment, touching the pictures of Janet Van Dyne affectionately as he passed each one.

“I take it you’re here for your cut,” Cannon said with a grin, as he reached into one of the bags. “Surprised it took you this long.”

“Why don’t you hold onto that for me? There’ll be plenty more where that came from. Let’s just hope Pym saw it…”

David shrugged his shoulders and sat himself on the couch. He kicked the pizza boxes away from the top of the coffee table and rested his feet on them nonchalantly, then placed his interlocking fingers behind his head. He thought for a moment that only one night ago he had sat in the same position ready to blow his own brains out; ready to leave this world whilst that coward, Henry Pym, still drew breath. Pym had let Janet die. He had failed her as a man and a husband, like Cannon had told her he would. Oh, how they held him up and revered Pym now, but Cannon was ready to expose him as the false prophet he was. The people would thank him, after he ended Pym’s sorry life. They would thank him of ridding the world of a cowardly, woman-beater like him.

“You really think that coward will come all the way across the country for little old me?”

Yellowjacket reached into his utility belt and removed several pictures, which he threw onto the coffee table next to David’s feet. The first was of a young black male that he did not recognize, David turned the picture over and read the name scrawled on the back, which brought a faint smile to his face. The second he recognized straight away as Tigra, having butted heads with the Avengers more than his fair share of times he was aware of her links with Pym. The last picture, even with the name scrawled on the back, was a mystery to him.

“I’m counting on it.”

The Assassination of Hank Pym by the Coward David Cannon: Part Four.

Staten Island, New York

It had taken Pym several hours in the Avengers Quinjet to get to New York but he was finally there. The first stop was obvious. According to the Avengers database Leonard Samson had worked with Cannon a few months ago before his last breakout from The Raft. If there was anyone that understood what had driven him off the deep end, it was Samson. Leonard Samson was the finest psychiatric mind the world had to offer and, to little surprise, his insight into super-human behavior was was unparalleled. Samson had even helped Pym understand and overcome his own demons once upon a time.

“I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think it was an emergency,” Hank said in a low voice. “More than anyone, Leonard, I know the merit of the work you do.”

Leonard was sat in an expensive leather chair behind his desk, whilst Pym stood in front of the window and stared out across the New York skyline. Samson sighed as he grappled with Pym’s request. David Cannon, as Samson’s patient, had a right to confidentiality but Whirlwind, the super-villain endangering people’s lives, did not. He took a sip of his coffee, reached into his draw and revealed a file with a picture of Whirlwind on the front before he began speaking.



“David has always been a troubled individual. You know that much from your own experiences with him. He’s obsessive, increasingly violent and, as of the last session we had, seems to be projecting all of his anger onto a single person: you. David’s unhealthy obsession with Janet did not disappear when she left us, Hank. He simply redirected it. In doing so, it appears his obsession has become magnified. The feelings of anger and of betrayal, in turn, have become more intense.”

“... And that explains the uncharacteristic brutality he employed during the bank robbery?”

Whirlwind had never been a stranger to violence. But, for as long as Pym had known him, it had always been a means rather than an end. The footage of Cannon’s attack wasn’t shocking to Hank because of the level of violence, he had seen much worse in his time as an Avenger. What was troubling about it was that Whirlwind had only ever been concerned with the money, he had been that way since he had called himself the Human Top, but this time he seemed to have thrown his modus operandi out of the window.

“Exactly,” Samson nodded, he cleared his throat slightly before continuing in a diplomatic tone.

“As the object of his obsession, you could be feeling some responsibility for David and his recent actions… I would suggest that you leave his apprehension to someone else. The less contact David has with you, the better, Hank.”

“You don’t understand…” Hank said.

He rested his arm against the glass and turned his face towards Samson.

“Time and time again, I’ve bumped heads with Whirlwind. Believe it or not, he was one of the first super-villains I encountered after becoming Ant-Man. Every time we’ve sent him to The Raft one way or another he’s fallen through the cracks and ended up worse than the time before. He needs to be brought to justice, Leonard, but he also needs help. It wouldn’t feel right for me to leave this to someone else to deal with.”

Samson understood better than Hank imagined. Pym saw himself, Leonard had failed to ascertain whether it was conscious or not, as Victor Frankenstein. He was caught in a never-ending battle with the guilt he felt about creating a monster of his own in Ultron. With Whirlwind, Pym feared that in failing to protect Janet he had unleashed another monster upon the world. Samson could tell from Pym’s eyes that he had no intention of staying away from Cannon, that he would leave his practice and pursue Cannon if it took him to the ends of the Earth. He would be damned if he would let him face that alone.

“You are nothing if not stubborn, Dr. Pym. Fine then, if you insist upon ignoring my advice… I must insist upon helping you.”

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Old 08-02-2012, 04:16 PM   #177
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WE INTERRUPT THIS BROADCAST TO BRING YOU BREAKING NEWS.

Hello, readers.

You may know that I am currently involved in a battle alongside X-Force.

... I think.

I'll be honest, here, I haven't quite checked the IC thread in a while, and I only have a foggy memory of what's going on in the world around me. Some details of my adventure might be wrong. Others might be blatantly made-up. If that happens, please just let me know through a perfectly and preposterously pleasant direct message, and we'll have things up and running smoothly again in no time.

Now I've heard a rumor that X-Force and the Wrecking Crew and the Avengers are all involved in battles. Come on, people. Let's get a move on, here. We're a cutting-edge, technological outlet for people to role-play as their most a-favoritest super heroes.

How is this not wonderful?

Recruitment numbers are down, fights are at an all-time low, and Terry the awkwardly effeminate/potentially homosexual donut man from across the street is making a delivery to my place in sixteen minutes. Whatsay we all put our little noggins together and make some stuff blow up?

Kisses,

Wade
WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING.

Wade Wilson sprints down a corridor as he heaves his X-Force communicator out of a pouch adorning his chest.

Oh-ho, BABY, we are back!

Yes, Wade, we are.

How've you been?

I'm not sure that you have time for this conversation right now, Wade.

Well. Someone's no fun.

He slams a finger onto one of the buttons on its face and speaks into it, rounding a tight corner on his way to his quarters. His brief conversation with Wolverine had been awkward at best, and sexually tense at worst.

I think you got those two confused.

"Psylocke and Wolfsbane, this is Deadpool-Niner-Niner-Gee-Four."He spits into the device, "Wolverine's told me to raise you on communications. Looks like we're all going for a bit of a joyride on a trip to see Warpath. And, yes, before you ask --"

Wilson kicks down the door to his quarters and looks into the room. Usually a standard-looking two room apartment (formerly a dormitory), it had truly become Wade's man-cave. Adorned with PLAYBOY magazines, empty pizza boxes, and a couch made entirely out of plastique explosive.

"-- we have chimi's."

He disengages the communicator, tosses it onto his dresser, and gets down on his hands and knees. He lifts the sheet draped over the mattress's side, and glanced quickly under his bed.

What am I looking for?

You tell me.

How am I supposed to know? You're the smarty-pants writer.

I couldn't tell you, but I'm sure you'll know it when you see it.

He heaves a cardboard box out from under the bed and glances inside. It's a collection of receipts documenting Wade's purchases of every Nike Air Jordan sneaker since 1992. He heaves out another box. Inside is a small, and, indeed, offputting collection of cutouts from Batman comics. Thousands upon thousands of

Probably not it, huh? He thinks, blinking to himself.

Probably not.

He pulls out a third box, THIS ONE scrawled atop it's cardboard lid.

He opens it, and finds his teleporter belt. With a gasp, he straps it on.

I have been looking for this for forever!

He taps a button, and with a FMAB! finds himself standing next to none other than Captain America. The Sentinel of Liberty.

And the mascot for a famous cereal!

That's Captain Crunch.

The fish-face from Star Wars?

Admiral Ackbar.

Huh.

Yeah.

Deadpool bends his knees, as one of the Wrecking Crew --

"AHH! OH MY GOD!"

-- screams in agony and sails through the air, being carried by an undamaged Iron Man.

"Heard you guys could you a hand, here."Wilson says, rolling out of the way of a blow from Bulldozer. He hops onto Bulldozer's giant shoulders, heaves out a katana and buries the sword's blade into the wrecker's right shoulder blade. With a leap, he leaps through the air, and lands by Captain America's side. He draw the other katana on his back and points to it with a grin.

"I have two of those!"

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Old 08-02-2012, 09:49 PM   #178
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Default Re: The "Nuff Said" Marvel Universe RPG

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"Danny, watch out!"

A metal beam, loosened by the explosion, swings around and knocks me in the head. I fall to the floor, dazed and disoriented. Sweat rolls down my forehead as the fire grows stronger. I fight the urge to slip into unconsciousness, knowing that I can't afford to get trapped down here. Suddenly, I feel a large hand grab me by the shoulder. Must be Luke's. I feel myself get dragged away from the flames as my peripheral vision goes dark...
Grunting and growling, I drag Danny and two other thugs on my back, fire licking at my legs. "Dammit, whiteboy!" I yell as I crash through the building's outer wall. The fresh oxygen hits the flames, creating a backdraft. I drop Danny and the two mooks, turning to take the brunt of the explosion. Fire engulfs my body, pain hits every nerve ending. But I block the fire from my friend and the two bad guys. I hit the ground, rolling and patting out the fire that's all over my body. A few seconds later, I stand up in burnt and tattered clothing.


"I really liked this shirt, too," I say, looking down at the yellow shirt that's now black with soot. I look back at the building. It's being eaten by the fire. In a few minutes, it'll be nothing but rubble. I reach down and shake Danny awake. He looks up at me with a confused look. Slowly, he remembers where he is and how he got there.

"Welcome back to the land of the living, homie. Cops and firemen are coming. We gotta go. We gotta find Victor."

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:22 AM   #179
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Captain America and Deadpool have to duck to avoid a piece of concrete aimed at their heads

"You'd better do what you're gonna do Wrecker!" Piledriver shouts as he lifts another, larger piece of concrete "The do gooders are startin' to come out of the woodwork!"

Behind him, Bulldozer is already climbing back to his feet.

Meanwhile on the bridge, Cannonball has swung and missed in an attempt to hit Iron Man with his wrecking ball. The armored Avengers banks mid flight and fires a double repulsor blast at the villain.

Only the Wrecker, who has worked his way to the other end of the bridge, stays clear of the fighting. Having, blocked access to the bridge with a few cars and trucks, he continues to terrify civilians onto the bridge, while ignoring the warning and occasional bullets being sent his way by the NYPD.

Satisfied that he has gathered enough bargaining chips, the Wrecker then bounds to the top of a fire truck. Once there, he retrieves the Universal Weapon from his belt and raises it up over his head.

"Hey Avengers!" He shouts as the weapon begins to gather a charge "Get a load of this!!!"

The weapon begins to hum with power and as wave after wave of energy emanate outwards from it, a low rumble fills the air.

Iron Man, who is busy grappling with Cannonball, reacts to the information displayed on his HUD by trying to fire a repulsor blast at the Wrecker but Cannonball grabs his wrist and forces the blast to miss its target.

Then the entire bridge groan and creaks, the sounds quickly being drowned out by screams, which in turn are drowned out by the deafening shearing sound of metal and stone tearing away from each other as the entire bridge, and everyone on it, are lifted upwards and away from the city.

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:46 AM   #180
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Moon Knight crouches low, his white cape fluttering behind him, as he rides Angel Wing over a wooded area of an expensive residential section of upstate New York.

Despite appearances, this part of town was not exactly the home of the rich and famous, rather it had a reputation for being the area of choice for high level mobsters to make their homes, usually in the form of plush estates. It allowed them to maintain a distance from their crimes and served to insulate their families from the mob life. At least that what the rumors were. Guys who lived out here, they rarely got charged with anything.

Still, Moon Knight could not help but continue to wonder if Boar had lied to him, though the drug dealer's fear of him had been real enough. The kind of guys who lived up here tended to have city council men and bankers in their pockets, and he found it hard to believe that one of them would be peddling MGH. Still, he had had no better option than to follow up on the lead. Hence the late night flight.

With his target rapidly coming into view, Moon Knight slows Angel Wing and leaps from the small platform and onto a high wall.

Sprawled out before him is the Manor. Some quick research had informed him that it had, until recently, been known as the Monti Estate, home of a near legendary mobster who was alleged to have made his money in high level prostitution and gambling. Monti hadn't been seen in weeks and the underground had taken to calling this place the Manor. To Marc that could only mean one thing. Monti had been taken out.

A buzz inside his cowl demands his attention, a cowl from the tower. Samuels had terrible timing. Deactivating the buzz, Marc goes back to scanning the perimeter. If what Boar told him was true, he was going to be in for one hell of a night and that was under the best of circumstances. If he wasn't careful he probably wouldn't be leaving here in one piece, if at all.

Another buzz and Marc narrows his eyes in annoyance.

"What?" He growls into the phone built into his cowl

"Hey Moon Knight."A chill runs down Marc's spine. Only Samuels had this number but this wasn't him. This voice was rough, dangerous, almost feral.

"Who is this?"

"You know who this is." The voice replies "Stupid of you to think that I wouldn't be hunting you while you were hunting me."

"Samuels?"

"You're butler's alright, mostly. You want him to stay that way you best hurry home."

"If you hurt him!"

"Ah-ahh Moon Knight. You don't get to threaten me. I'm gonna have to take that out on your friend."

A muffled whimper that quickly turns into a scream of pain is heard before the line goes dead.





MoonKnight crouches low and leans forward as he races Angelwing over the city at its top speed.

When he began the desperate return his thoughts were a chaotic jumble of fear, guilt and rage. His worry for Samuels was at war with thoughts of what he would do to those who have hurt him and how he should have done more to protect the faithful butler. But as the minutes ticked agonizingly by, the guilt that came from the knowledge that he's the one responsible for Samuels being in danger only served to fuel his rage and by the time the tower comes into view all he can see is a wall of red.

BANG

The bullet catches him by surprise, hitting him right in the chest and knocking him off of his flying platform. He'd like to pretend that the anger clouded his judgement, that he was unawares because he was unfocused. But as he falls earthwards, disoriented by the bullet's impact and reaching desperately at empty air he has to admit that that wasn't the truth. The truth was that he never would have seen it coming anyway. The truth was that he just wasn't that good.

***

On the roof of the tower Lasso smiles behind his bandana and shoulders the high powered sniper rifle. Smoke still trails from the tip of the barrel.

"So predictable." He observes as he watches MoonKnight fall.


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Old 08-04-2012, 01:09 PM   #181
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"Hey Avengers!" He shouts as the weapon begins to gather a charge "Get a load of this!!!"

The weapon begins to hum with power and as wave after wave of energy emanate outwards from it, a low rumble fills the air.

Iron Man, who is busy grappling with Cannonball, reacts to the information displayed on his HUD by trying to fire a repulsor blast at the Wrecker but Cannonball grabs his wrist and forces the blast to miss its target.

Then the entire bridge groan and creaks, the sounds quickly being drowned out by screams, which in turn are drowned out by the deafening shearing sound of metal and stone tearing away from each other as the entire bridge, and everyone on it, are lifted upwards and away from the city.
Ignoring Deadpool and the chaos around him, Cap rushed forward across the bridge towards Wrecker. He jumped on the roof of a taxi as the bridge began to levitate over the river.

A panicked and confused citizen was in Cap's line of sight, blocking Wrecker. "Sir," Steve said, pulling his shield back.



The man ducked as the shield whizzed overhead, cutting through the air and aimed at the back of the distracted Wrecker's head.

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Old 08-05-2012, 03:52 AM   #182
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The shield catches Wrecker on the back of the head with a loud clang and the impact knocks hims forward a couple of paces.

He turns and gives Captain America a dangerous look "Hey!" He barks, annoyed "Can't you see I'm in the middle of something?"

But Captain America does not respond. Having recovered his shield, the star spangled hero isalready in motion, bounding smoothly and seemingly effortlessly towards the Wrecker's position.

"Bet you wouldn't throw that thing at the back of Doc Doom's head." The Wrecker mutters grumpily at the advancing Captain as he raises the Universal Weapon.

The Weapon once more emits a wave of force, this time, focused on Captain America, who is struck mid leap and sent flying off of the still rising bridge while the Wrecker lets out a satisfied chuckle.

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Old 08-05-2012, 12:03 PM   #183
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Ignoring Deadpool and the chaos around him, Cap rushed forward across the bridge towards Wrecker. He jumped on the roof of a taxi as the bridge began to levitate over the river.
See? It's probably things like that that make new people not want to pla--

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The shield catches Wrecker on the back of the head with a loud clang and the impact knocks hims forward a couple of paces.

He turns and gives Captain America a dangerous look "Hey!" He barks, annoyed "Can't you see I'm in the middle of something?"

But Captain America does not respond. Having recovered his shield, the star spangled hero isalready in motion, bounding smoothly and seemingly effortlessly towards the Wrecker's position.

"Bet you wouldn't throw that thing at the back of Doc Doom's head." The Wrecker mutters grumpily at the advancing Captain as he raises the Universal Weapon.

The Weapon once more emits a wave of force, this time, focused on Captain America, who is struck mid leap and sent flying off of the still rising bridge while the Wrecker lets out a satisfied chuckle.


Uh-oh.

Deadpool watched the bridge continue to steadily rise. He glanced around him, an eye arching underneath his mask.

The way he saw it, there were only two options: find a way onto the rising bridge, or stay and defeat the remaining members of the Wrecking Crew. Iron Man had to seem that situation well in-hand, though. Various members of the super villain team, at regular intervals, were screaming in agony, pain, or frustration (or, at times, an ear-splitting combination of all three).

Deadpool hopped on top of an overturned taxi and pulled out a bowie knife from a sleeve on his belt.

He tapped his teleportation belt and -- FMAB! -- found himself face to face on the bridge with Wrecker, as well as his Ultimate Weapon. Ignoring Captain America's deadly plummet towards the water --

So, there.

-- Deadpool drew a pistol and took aim for the center of Wrecker's chest.

"Vibranium-tipped adamantium rounds." He says, all business, "Strong enough to put Wolverine down for a good five minutes if I hit him point blank in the head."

That doesn't sound very intimidating. "Hey, my bullet can knock out a stumpy Canadian for five minutes if I fire it at his face from three feet away."

"This range? Wouldn't kill you, but it'd hurt like a *****."

Deadpool glanced around.

"What was your endgame, anyway?" He said, half in disbelief."You're gonna kidnap... a bridge. That's Villainy-101. This is why you'll never be a Magneto or a Doc Doom."

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Old 08-05-2012, 12:29 PM   #184
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"Bet you wouldn't throw that thing at the back of Doc Doom's head." The Wrecker mutters grumpily at the advancing Captain as he raises the Universal Weapon.

The Weapon once more emits a wave of force, this time, focused on Captain America, who is struck mid leap and sent flying off of the still rising bridge while the Wrecker lets out a satisfied chuckle.
Cap twirled and spun through the air, falling rapidly towards the water. He saw an object out the corner of his eye. A support cable that had snapped when the bridge went airborne. Curling into a ball, he fell towards the cable and reached out as he got in range.

Gripping onto the support cable, Steve let his momentum from the fall swing him upwards. He let go of the cable at the height of its upswing. Flying forwards, Cap landed back on the bridge just a few feet away from Deadpool.

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"What was your endgame, anyway?" He said, half in disbelief."You're gonna kidnap... a bridge. That's Villainy-101. This is why you'll never be a Magneto or a Doc Doom."
"For once, Deadpool makes a good point," Steve said, readying his shield. "This kind of scheme isn't in your wheelhouse, Wrecker. What are you trying to do?"

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Old 08-07-2012, 09:09 AM   #185
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The Assassination of Hank Pym by the Coward David Cannon: Part Four.

Staten Island, New York

It had taken Pym several hours in the Avengers Quinjet to get to New York but he was finally there. The first stop was obvious. According to the Avengers database Leonard Samson had worked with Cannon a few months ago before his last breakout from The Raft. If there was anyone that understood what had driven him off the deep end, it was Samson. Leonard Samson was the finest psychiatric mind the world had to offer and, to little surprise, his insight into super-human behavior was was unparalleled. Samson had even helped Pym understand and overcome his own demons once upon a time.

“I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think it was an emergency,” Hank said in a low voice. “More than anyone, Leonard, I know the merit of the work you do.”

Leonard was sat in an expensive leather chair behind his desk, whilst Pym stood in front of the window and stared out across the New York skyline. Samson sighed as he grappled with Pym’s request. David Cannon, as Samson’s patient, had a right to confidentiality but Whirlwind, the super-villain endangering people’s lives, did not. He took a sip of his coffee, reached into his draw and revealed a file with a picture of Whirlwind on the front before he began speaking.



“David has always been a troubled individual. You know that much from your own experiences with him. He’s obsessive, increasingly violent and, as of the last session we had, seems to be projecting all of his anger onto a single person: you. David’s unhealthy obsession with Janet did not disappear when she left us, Hank. He simply redirected it. In doing so, it appears his obsession has become magnified. The feelings of anger and of betrayal, in turn, have become more intense.”

“... And that explains the uncharacteristic brutality he employed during the bank robbery?”

Whirlwind had never been a stranger to violence. But, for as long as Pym had known him, it had always been a means rather than an end. The footage of Cannon’s attack wasn’t shocking to Hank because of the level of violence, he had seen much worse in his time as an Avenger. What was troubling about it was that Whirlwind had only ever been concerned with the money, he had been that way since he had called himself the Human Top, but this time he seemed to have thrown his modus operandi out of the window.

“Exactly,” Samson nodded, he cleared his throat slightly before continuing in a diplomatic tone.

“As the object of his obsession, you could be feeling some responsibility for David and his recent actions… I would suggest that you leave his apprehension to someone else. The less contact David has with you, the better, Hank.”

“You don’t understand…” Hank said.

He rested his arm against the glass and turned his face towards Samson.

“Time and time again, I’ve bumped heads with Whirlwind. Believe it or not, he was one of the first super-villains I encountered after becoming Ant-Man. Every time we’ve sent him to The Raft one way or another he’s fallen through the cracks and ended up worse than the time before. He needs to be brought to justice, Leonard, but he also needs help. It wouldn’t feel right for me to leave this to someone else to deal with.”

Samson understood better than Hank imagined. Pym saw himself, Leonard had failed to ascertain whether it was conscious or not, as Victor Frankenstein. He was caught in a never-ending battle with the guilt he felt about creating a monster of his own in Ultron. With Whirlwind, Pym feared that in failing to protect Janet he had unleashed another monster upon the world. Samson could tell from Pym’s eyes that he had no intention of staying away from Cannon, that he would leave his practice and pursue Cannon if it took him to the ends of the Earth. He would be damned if he would let him face that alone.

“You are nothing if not stubborn, Dr. Pym. Fine then, if you insist upon ignoring my advice… I must insist upon helping you.”


The Assassination of Hank Pym by the Coward David Cannon: Part Five.

Manhattan, New York

A man wearing a heavy brown coat and a blue baseball cap enters an antique store in Lower Manhattan. He places an order with the Congolese man that owns the store, who wanders into the back and produces the item for him. The brown-coated man suggests a price, which the Congolese shop-owner takes issue with, before the two settle in the middle on a more acceptable sum for both men. They shake hands as they exchange goods and the shop-owner reaches underneath the desk and presses a button, which makes the entire shop begin to whir erratically and be seemingly consumed by the ground. Eventually the whirring stops and the shop is transformed, as if by magic, into a laboratory. The Congolese man, his movements now distinctly robotic, gestures towards the brown-coated man to venture deeper into the laboratory.

“Well, well, well, look who it is…”

A voice calls out from deep inside the laboratory. The owner of the voice is a diminutive man who is almost completely bald barring a ring of grey hair that encircles his egg-like head. He fiddles with a piece of equipment in front of him, from which several violent crackles of energy are emitted that don’t seem to unnerve him in the slightest, before he continues to speak.



“New York’s most wanted.”

The man is Phineas Mason. Known to most, however, as the Tinkerer. He smiles at the brown-coated man, who takes his hat off to reveal the face of David Cannon underneath. The two men share much professional history, without the technological expertise that Mason provided him Cannon would have never have been taken seriously by the criminal underworld despite his mutant abilities. Mason, in turn, had been able to rely on Cannon’s continued business and occasionally his protection should a competitor decide that Phineas had become too problematic.

“Look who’s talking,” David said with a smile, sitting opposite the elderly man as he worked. “You got those things I asked for?”

“Remind me, David, when was the last time I failed to meet an order?”

Phineas down his tools and reached underneath the desk, throwing across a small plastic bag to Cannon. He opened it and peered inside at its contents, inside were several techno-organic worms that could make short work of any security system on the planet. It had taken Phineas all of five minutes, a discarded toaster and an old television set to come up with those. Cannon nodded approvingly and placed the plastic bag in the inside pocket of his brown coat.

“Please tell me you aren’t planning another attempt on the life of that insufferable buffoon Pym. The last thing I need is my laboratory being turned upside down by SHIELD agents again after your latest caper goes horribly wrong.”

Whirlwind’s obsession with Janet Van Dyne was an open secret amongst the super-villain community. Some of his peers refused to work with him because it made him unreliable; he would often stray from carefully laid plans at the mere mention of Van Dyne’s name. After her death he had disappeared from the map completely and, once he finally reappeared, he seemed a changed man entirely; although Mason was not completely sure Cannon’s road to Damascus moment would prove to be a beneficial one for either of them.

“… It will be different this time,” David said, making his way towards the exit of the laboratory. “Pym took the only thing I’ve ever loved away from me, Phineas, someone has to pay for that.”

The Congolese man returned and the whirring began once more. David disappeared with the android to man the antique store above his laboratory in order so as to not arouse suspicion.

Phineas placed his tools down for a moment and shook his head with guilt; he known Cannon for nearly a decade and what he was to do next would pain him. It was the “someone” that had made Mason’s mind for him. Perhaps he had become sentimental in his old age but the birth of his grandchildren had changed things for him; the policemen he understood, they were part of the game that people like he and Cannon were all part of, but he could not have innocent lives on his conscience.

Phineas tapped a code into a floating panel next to the table he was working on and cleared his throat, before issuing the order.

“Get me Hank Pym.”

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Old 08-09-2012, 03:23 AM   #186
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Cap twirled and spun through the air, falling rapidly towards the water. He saw an object out the corner of his eye. A support cable that had snapped when the bridge went airborne. Curling into a ball, he fell towards the cable and reached out as he got in range.

Gripping onto the support cable, Steve let his momentum from the fall swing him upwards. He let go of the cable at the height of its upswing. Flying forwards, Cap landed back on the bridge just a few feet away from Deadpool.



"For once, Deadpool makes a good point," Steve said, readying his shield. "This kind of scheme isn't in your wheelhouse, Wrecker. What are you trying to do?"
The Wrecker lets out a hearty, satisfied laugh. "You're right Cap. This isn't how my crew and I usually operate. But things change...."

With that the Wrecker gestures again with the Universal Weapon and as he does so, a shimmering bubble of pure force fades into existence around the bridge, effectively sealing it, along with the Wrecker, his hostages and the two heroes, from the rest of the world.

"And its a new day for the Wrecking Crew" The Wrecker declares wit ha toothy grin as he spreads his arms wide and gestures to the shield. "Now surrender or I start hurtin' people."

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Old 08-09-2012, 05:46 AM   #187
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MoonKnight crouches low and leans forward as he races Angelwing over the city at its top speed.

When he began the desperate return his thoughts were a chaotic jumble of fear, guilt and rage. His worry for Samuels was at war with thoughts of what he would do to those who have hurt him and how he should have done more to protect the faithful butler. But as the minutes ticked agonizingly by, the guilt that came from the knowledge that he's the one responsible for Samuels being in danger only served to fuel his rage and by the time the tower comes into view all he can see is a wall of red.

BANG

The bullet catches him by surprise, hitting him right in the chest and knocking him off of his flying platform. He'd like to pretend that the anger clouded his judgement, that he was unawares because he was unfocused. But as he falls earthwards, disoriented by the bullet's impact and reaching desperately at empty air he has to admit that that wasn't the truth. The truth was that he never would have seen it coming anyway. The truth was that he just wasn't that good.

***

On the roof of the tower Lasso smiles behind his bandana and shoulders the high powered sniper rifle. Smoke still trails from the tip of the barrel.

"So predictable." He observes as he watches MoonKnight fall.



Inside Marc Spector's Private Tower

A bell pings to announce an elevator's arrival. The the metal doors slide open to reveal Lasso. The super criminal has his bandana lowered from his face so that it hangs around his neck. The high powered sniper rifle he fired earlier is still slung over his shoulder.

He steps into the large room that is Marc Spector's private office. The room which has an impressive glass wall overlooking the city, is crowded with armed thugs.

"Well?" The mutant called Arclight asks Lasso as he approaches her. She's standing impatiently with hands on her hips.

"Piece of cake." Lasso replies. He unslings the rifle and puts it down on a lucite table. He then drops into a leather bound office chair before throwing his arms up behind his head and swinging his leather cowboy boot clad feet up on to the table.

"You're sure?" Arclight asks rather skeptically.

The doubting tone doesn't seem to bother Lasso who grins and gestures with his hands so that his right hand simulates a gun. "Bam!" He says, continuing to simulate the track of the bullet from his hand to the center of his chest where his fingers spread wide in an exaggeration of the force of the impact made by the rifle round. "Right in the middle of the chest."

His demonstration complete. He allows himself to lean back into the chair and once again throws his hands behind his head "Poor old boy never saw it comin'"

"Good" Arclight says with a nod before turning to face the back of the room "Guess that's it then."

There's a pause, which is followed by a low throaty response. "Maybe."

Two fingers grab Samuels' face, tightly squeezing the flesh between thumb and forefinger. The butler, who is tied to a chair and bleeding from several wounds, had been barely conscious, but this action brings a semblance of alertness to his face and he looks wearily looks up at his tormentor with eyes that remain courageous and defiant.

"How about it Jeeves?"
the tormenter, who's face remains hidden in shadows says "My man Lasso says your boss took a high powered round right in the chest. Think he's done for?"

Samuels says nothing, but his glare tells the villain everything he needs to know.

"Yeah I didn't think so either." The tormentor roughly lets Samuels go, then straightens, rising to his full and impressive height.

"He'll be coming for us."
He says, addressing his gang "Make sure we're ready for him."

****

Consciousness returns to Moon Knight in waves. Painful waves. He groans, and tries to rise, only for a sharp stab of pain in his back to cause him to scream out despite himself.

"Aaarrgghh....ghn.....ok...ok.."

He looks around, his movements slow and measured. He is on the roof a medium sized apartment building. His lit up tower dominates the skyline in front of him. His mind is foggy and he struggles to remember what happened. The information starts to come in bits and pieces before his eyes widen suddenly as the full details of the days events find their way back to the forefront of his mind.

"Hu-hold on Samuels." He says as he pulls himself up and onto unsteady feet. He was still dazed but he was now recovering quickly.

Now standing tall, Marc presses a button built into his belt. There is a mechanical hum, like the sound of a small and efficient engine as Angel Wing, which had been hovering riderless since his fall, comes into view near the edge of the apartment building.

"I'm coming." Marc says, eying the distant tower.

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:06 PM   #188
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The Doppelgänger. A harbinger of doom. A victim will see the Double Walker whilst dreaming, in a trance, or occasionally, in the physical realm. If a victim sees their own Double Walker—and especially if the victim sees their double destroyed—it is an omen of their forthcoming death. The Double Walker is not a true duplicate of its victim but rather a twisted form of mockery from powers beyond this world with visions spanning throughout time. It is the netherworld taunting its victim—creating an effigy to burn before the original’s eyes for no reason beyond the petty amusement of “higher” entities.

The Vardøgr. A benign “spirit double” who’s actions mimic the original’s before the original has executed them—that is to say, a form of reverse déjà vu. But, like the doppelganger, this Norse spirit is not a true double, nor is it a spirit at all. It is the result of temporal anomalies causing brief glimpses into the future in isolated spaces throughout the universe. The spells used to summon the vardøgrs are merely spells that provide temporary, short-ranged precognition. As the future constantly shifts and infinite divergent timelines are formed, visions of the future viewed through these spells are subject to change with each passing second and are ultimately unreliable.

The etiäinen, the fæcce, the ikiriyo—all different forms of “spirit doubles”. Hundreds of spellbooks tucked away within the expansive shelves of my library contained spells for summoning, exorcising, or otherwise communing with these ethereal manifestations of the self. But none were true spirit doubles.

Through the sciences, man has already mastered duplication of the body. An entire, fully-functioning genetic duplicate of an organism can be engineered from a strand of hair or droplet of blood. But duplication of the soul—the life force, the unique living energy within sentient beings is a feat yet to be accomplished. Perhaps because so many of the so-called great minds are not even aware of or even deny its existence. But I am all too familiar with the living fire that dwells within us. And how it can be taken. Sold. Devoured. Extinguished.

But duplicated?

Many of those versed in the mystic arts deem it impossible. But those ignorant charlatans that dare call themselves sorcerers are not Doom.

I pluck a series of ancient Egyptian spellbooks from the shelves. These are where the answers lie, I am certain. The Egyptians believed the souls was comprised of five fragments: Ib, the heart, Ka, the life-force, Ba, the consciousness, Sheut, the power, and Ren, the destiny. Within these texts are the means of creating, extracting, and maintaining these fragments. The secret of soul duplication will soon be revealed to me.

And with it, the key to defeating the Lord of Chaos.

DOCTOR DOOM


THE CLONE SAGA, PART IV

Castle Doom

Doomstadt, Latveria

I descend the winding staircase leading into my laboratory, passing the occasional Servo-Guard android standing at attention. I have spent the greater part of the last few weeks studying my Egyptian texts and honing my spells in the library. The secret of building the human soul is almost mine. Already, I ahve acquired the knowledge to form three of the five fragments spoken of in the texts.

Ren—
The destiny, or name. The simplest to create of the five fragments. To create the Ren, one must merely name the soul’s host upon its birth.

Ib—
The heart of the soul. The will, the mind, thought, and emotion lie here. I have learned through my studies that the Ib can be extracted from a single droplet of blood from the host’s mother at the time of their conception.

Ka—
The living bolt that sparks life into the host. Through the Books of Meskhenet, I have learned how summon the power of the Egyptian god and instill this magic spark into empty vessels.

But it is the Ba & Sheut—the consciousness and the shadow—that still confound me.

At least, for the time being. No secret remains a secret to Doom for very long.

The Ba contains all that makes an individual unique—their personality, their essence. The Sheut is the form that would traverse the spirit world, moving with an unperceivable speed across various realms. The processes of forming, locating, or extracting these two fragments are found nowhere in my texts. However, I have formulated a theory.

The astral forms that I and fellow sorcerers take to traverse the metaphysical planes shared traits with both the Ba and Sheut. An astral projection carried its creator’s personality along with most of their consciousness. And like the Sheut, the astral form can traverse through other realms of existence at a speed thousands of times greater than its physical form. Perhaps the astral projection may be a type of vessel that holds these fragments within?

I arrive at the main entrance of the laboratory. A pair of Servo-Guards standing on either side of the doorway welcome me with a quick salute as I pass through. I make my way to the lab’s west wing, passing by all forms of machinery and dozens of busy scientists toiling on way on several of my projects. Awaiting by the time platform are Dr. Takacz and his aides.

“Greetings, Master,” Takacz says with a slight bow.

“Greetings, Doctor. I trust the micro-drones have been programmed and are ready for dispatch?”

“Yes, my lord. We have just finished entering coordinates to Subject V’s location into Drone One and Drone Two sits on the time platform as we speak. We merely await your command .”

“Very good,” I reply. Takacz and his scientists immediately clear out of my path as I advance towards the platform’s control panel. I begin entering the date, time, and location of the tiny machine’s destination into the device.

“Is Dr. Warren behaving himself?”
I ask, not taking my eyes off the time platform controls.

“Aside from a few crass comments directed towards some technicians, yes, my lord. He reports no abnormalities in Clone 00’s development .”

“Very good. Launch Drone One,”
I command, still focusing on the platform controls.

“Yes, my lord,” Takacz replies immediately.

“Drone One launched and en route to the United States,” a scientist calls out less than a moment later.

“Excellent,”
I respond as I turn away from the time platform. The base of the platform illuminates and prism of light slowly grows around the second drone, totally concealing it as it rises towards the ceiling.

“It is done. You are all dismissed.”


“We can monitor the progress of Drone One if you wish, my lord.”

“I shall see to it myself, Doctor. You are dismissed,”
I repeat, with more sternness in my voice.

The doctor responds with a bow of his head before turning and hurrying his associates out of the room.

Now alone, I activate a nearby computer console, its monitor displaying the drone’s current route and mission data. After a brief moment of mediation, I open the data file on the target—Subject V.



Valeriaforgive me…”

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Old 08-11-2012, 03:17 AM   #189
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The Wrecker lets out a hearty, satisfied laugh. "You're right Cap. This isn't how my crew and I usually operate. But things change...."

With that the Wrecker gestures again with the Universal Weapon and as he does so, a shimmering bubble of pure force fades into existence around the bridge, effectively sealing it, along with the Wrecker, his hostages and the two heroes, from the rest of the world.

"And its a new day for the Wrecking Crew" The Wrecker declares wit ha toothy grin as he spreads his arms wide and gestures to the shield. "Now surrender or I start hurtin' people."
Captain America delivered his response in the form of his shield. He tossed it through the air and knocked the weapon from Wrecker's hands. The device spun through the air and Cap took off for the weapon at the same time Wrecker did.

"Dogpile!" Deadpool shouted in glee, running after the two men. Cap jumped after the fallen weapon, coming up short. Wrecker stepped over him and reached for it, but had it snatched from his grasp at the last second by Deadpool.

"Shiny," he said, cradling the weapon in his hands. "A badass weapon and I got to work in a Firefly reference. Yessir, everything's coming up Deadpool."

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Old 08-13-2012, 10:33 AM   #190
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The Assassination of Hank Pym by the Coward David Cannon: Part Five.

Manhattan, New York

A man wearing a heavy brown coat and a blue baseball cap enters an antique store in Lower Manhattan. He places an order with the Congolese man that owns the store, who wanders into the back and produces the item for him. The brown-coated man suggests a price, which the Congolese shop-owner takes issue with, before the two settle in the middle on a more acceptable sum for both men. They shake hands as they exchange goods and the shop-owner reaches underneath the desk and presses a button, which makes the entire shop begin to whir erratically and be seemingly consumed by the ground. Eventually the whirring stops and the shop is transformed, as if by magic, into a laboratory. The Congolese man, his movements now distinctly robotic, gestures towards the brown-coated man to venture deeper into the laboratory.

“Well, well, well, look who it is…”

A voice calls out from deep inside the laboratory. The owner of the voice is a diminutive man who is almost completely bald barring a ring of grey hair that encircles his egg-like head. He fiddles with a piece of equipment in front of him, from which several violent crackles of energy are emitted that don’t seem to unnerve him in the slightest, before he continues to speak.



“New York’s most wanted.”

The man is Phineas Mason. Known to most, however, as the Tinkerer. He smiles at the brown-coated man, who takes his hat off to reveal the face of David Cannon underneath. The two men share much professional history, without the technological expertise that Mason provided him Cannon would have never have been taken seriously by the criminal underworld despite his mutant abilities. Mason, in turn, had been able to rely on Cannon’s continued business and occasionally his protection should a competitor decide that Phineas had become too problematic.

“Look who’s talking,” David said with a smile, sitting opposite the elderly man as he worked. “You got those things I asked for?”

“Remind me, David, when was the last time I failed to meet an order?”

Phineas down his tools and reached underneath the desk, throwing across a small plastic bag to Cannon. He opened it and peered inside at its contents, inside were several techno-organic worms that could make short work of any security system on the planet. It had taken Phineas all of five minutes, a discarded toaster and an old television set to come up with those. Cannon nodded approvingly and placed the plastic bag in the inside pocket of his brown coat.

“Please tell me you aren’t planning another attempt on the life of that insufferable buffoon Pym. The last thing I need is my laboratory being turned upside down by SHIELD agents again after your latest caper goes horribly wrong.”

Whirlwind’s obsession with Janet Van Dyne was an open secret amongst the super-villain community. Some of his peers refused to work with him because it made him unreliable; he would often stray from carefully laid plans at the mere mention of Van Dyne’s name. After her death he had disappeared from the map completely and, once he finally reappeared, he seemed a changed man entirely; although Mason was not completely sure Cannon’s road to Damascus moment would prove to be a beneficial one for either of them.

“… It will be different this time,” David said, making his way towards the exit of the laboratory. “Pym took the only thing I’ve ever loved away from me, Phineas, someone has to pay for that.”

The Congolese man returned and the whirring began once more. David disappeared with the android to man the antique store above his laboratory in order so as to not arouse suspicion.

Phineas placed his tools down for a moment and shook his head with guilt; he known Cannon for nearly a decade and what he was to do next would pain him. It was the “someone” that had made Mason’s mind for him. Perhaps he had become sentimental in his old age but the birth of his grandchildren had changed things for him; the policemen he understood, they were part of the game that people like he and Cannon were all part of, but he could not have innocent lives on his conscience.

Phineas tapped a code into a floating panel next to the table he was working on and cleared his throat, before issuing the order.

“Get me Hank Pym.”


The Assassination of Hank Pym by the Coward David Cannon: Part Six.

Brooklyn, New York

Henry Pym entered in the co-ordinates that Phineas Mason sent over into the Avengers Quinjet control panel and it began to change its trajectory. Mason had designed every piece of armor that Cannon had worn for near to the past decade and, naturally, he had built in certain fail-safes should their relationship ever turn sour. Now that David had set it aside in favor of a lightweight plastic-based exoskeleton those fail-safes were useless. But he could still track them down.

Although Hank was grateful for the good turn Mason had done, he had still enabled dozens of super-villains to commit crimes and was therefore an accessory to each and every one of those. Pym couldn’t let him continue to arm some of the most dangerous men on the planet. It had proved difficult but Pym had managed to track Mason’s transmission to an antique store in Lower Manhattan and, all whilst talking to the inventor, managed to forward his location onto SHIELD. He counted down the seconds in his head until they arrived as he watched the ever-confident Mason talk down to him unaware of what was to happen next.

“… Now, I would deter you from wasting your time attempting to track this transmission, as it is, I can assure you, untraceable. Even the greatest minds our world has to offer, which you do not number amongst, could hope to decipher my enc-”

A familiar whirring noise began from behind Mason and his eyes opened in astonishment. The dismembered head of an android still adorned with its traditional Congolese hat rolled towards Phineas and struck him in the foot gently. As the elderly inventor lent down to pick up what remained of his creation the sound of half a dozen high-grade SHIELD firearms cocking in unison brought a bittersweet grin to his face.



“Tell me the bit about the greatest minds again…” Pym said with a smile.

“I’m impressed, Henry. We might make something more than a second-rate biochemist of you yet.”

Pym touched a button on the control panel and the screen that Mason’s face had been on disappeared. Samson, who had remained quiet throughout Hank’s exchanged with Phineas, pointed out of the window at an old apartment building to indicate they had arrived. Hank landed the Quinjet atop the apartment building roof and, upon landing, shrunk it down and placed it inside of a compartment on his utility belt. Samson set off the fire alarm to the apartment building, ensuring the building would be clear of civilians should Cannon still be inside, as the two men made their way towards apartment 12b. They stood in front of it for a moment and Pym gave Samson and thumbs up. Leonard lifted his leg into the air and kicked the center of the door, which rather than sending it off its hinges sent Samson’s leg directly through it and created a boot-shaped hole. He quickly drew his leg free from the door and wiped the splinters from his trousers with an embarrassed smile.

“… Have you tried the handle?”

Leonard reached for the handle and the apartment door opened with a click. The door hung open and the men entered the dingy studio apartment that had served as Cannon’s home for the past couple of months. Every inch of clear wall was covered with pictures of Janet Van Dyne, some dating back decades. Empty bottles and cans of beer similarly littered the floor and what little remained inside of them had left the apartment smelling of stale beer. The two men, both possessing keen forensic minds, set about overturning the apartment in search of any possible clues Cannon might have left behind.

Pym noticed the broken television in the corner of the room and the bullet lodged behind it in the wall, then the gun that he David had casually discarded days earlier underneath a box of pizza. Samson meanwhile cleared the coffee table of pizza boxes and noticed a set of pictures that lay underneath.

“Hank…”

“Give me one second, would you? I think I’ve found something here.”

Samson shook his head in disapproval; Pym pried the bullet free from the wall and held it to the light to examine it. He placed his hand on his chin pensively and attempted to track the trajectory of the bullet whilst Leonard examined the pictures in the corner of his eyeline.

“No, Hank.” Samson said, turning him around by his shoulder and thrusting the three pictures into his hands. “Look…”

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:00 AM   #191
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Captain America delivered his response in the form of his shield. He tossed it through the air and knocked the weapon from Wrecker's hands. The device spun through the air and Cap took off for the weapon at the same time Wrecker did.

"Dogpile!" Deadpool shouted in glee, running after the two men. Cap jumped after the fallen weapon, coming up short. Wrecker stepped over him and reached for it, but had it snatched from his grasp at the last second by Deadpool.

"Shiny," he said, cradling the weapon in his hands. "A badass weapon and I got to work in a Firefly reference. Yessir, everything's coming up Deadpool."

"Hey!" The Wrecker growls "Gimme that!"

The big man reaches for the Universal Weapon only for Deadpool to yank it away. The Wrecker reaches a gain and this time Deadpool jumps back to avoid his massive hand.

Suddenly frustrated, the Wrecker takes his crowbar in two hands and raises it high above his head. "Enough a' this." The magically enhanced weapon comes crashing down before anyone can react, smashing into the already damaged pavement of the bridge and causing the whole structure to rumble and shake.

All along the length of the bridge, civilians trapped on the now floating structure by the Wrecker, scream in terror and hug each other tightly. Their panic brings a thin smile to the Wrecker's broad face and he lifts his crowbar out of the damaged and crumbling pavement, an act which reveals just how much damage his blow did, and raises it once more over his head, this time in one hand.

With his free hand the Wrecker gestures towards Deadpool. "Now hand it over or I bring this whole bridge down. I'll survive fer sure, you two might, but none of these poor saps up here with us will."

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