The All-New, All-Different Create-A-Post Thread!

Discussion in 'Approval & General RPG Discussion' started by Batman, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Batman

    Batman Dramatic Example

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    If you're here from The Ultimate One Universe game created on the RPG Guild, you likely already know the deal: we've all had some concepts that, at some point, have had to go by the wayside because of our commitments to regularly playing in games with single player requirements. Well, rather than let those concepts go away forever, I thought to myself... why not give ourselves a guilt-free outlet for expressing these creative endeavors, with no pressures of commitment and no pesky need to apply for characters?

    Enter the brand new Create-A-Post, where you tell whatever story and explore any character concept to your heart's content. DC stories, Marvel stories, stories based off of movies, television, original characters, there are no limits. You simply write what you want, when you want, and purge those nasty lingering thoughts of "What could've been..." in games that require your firm attention.

    Within the confines of this thread, The Basement is back, *****es.

    And it's open for business once again.
     
    #1
  2. Vic Sage

    Vic Sage New Member

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    Ohhhh ****, buddy. Now I can whip up a bunch of Question stories to purge myself of my filthy desires.

    If you haven't figured it out, it's Simple Unicycle.

    (Side note, Goddamn this site is weird. No uploading avatars until I've been on the site for a month and posted 300 times? Ridiculous!)
     
    #2
  3. Andy C.

    Andy C. Repent, Harlequin!

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    Ideas are percolatin'. Stay tuned.
     
    #3
  4. Vic Sage

    Vic Sage New Member

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    The Idea Behind This Post: What if the UOU RP reaches Year Twenty-Five? And what if I stuck a burnt-out, pretty-much-retired-but-not-really Frank in a Man On Fire situation?

    This is mostly just something I have mused about and this is a way to get it off my chest because, c'mon, this game won't keep going all the way to year 25 unless we do a lot of time jumps.
    -----
    July 4th, 2043; 12:14 AM
    Outside the El Toro Borracho bar; Mexico City, Mexico

    Being a bodyguard... Hmph. Dave said it would be easy. I'd start a whole new life in another country, away from all the violence and the killing. A chance to settle down, do easy jobs, get paid a boatload for sitting on my ass and getting drunk. Occasionally I'd have to put on a real scary face and looking intimidating, but there was never any real trouble. What'd I have to lose anyway? As Dave said, "Apart from the weight?" Yeah, haha, very funny. And that was a fake laugh. Hypocritical dick...

    Well, those were my thoughts... Until something did happen.

    My employers were this rich family, the Dineros: Ciriaco, a popular politician, his hot young American wife Emma, and their daughter Gabrielle, who was just barely entering the double digits age. Gabrielle was a sweet thing. Kind, extroverted, smart. Maybe a bit too curious for her own good, but she was a good kid. In her parents' frequent absences, mostly business trips where Ciriaco dragged along Emma, I had become... Something of a surrogate father to the girl. It was clear she only rarely, if ever, received any sort of parental love from her father, and her mother tried but, well... Emma wasn't too good at the whole 'parenting' thing.

    Neither was I, to be honest. But I guess I was good enough.

    I think I was cursed with some sort of bad luck hex or something, because wherever I went, Hell itself seemed to follow. Thankfully not literally like my old buddy from Texas, but it might as well have been. Things had a habit for going terribly wrong for me. This time was no different - as if sensing what direction I was going, kidnapping rates in Mexico City hit an all time high not long after I started this bodyguard job, like the universe itself just wanted to make **** hard for me. And it did.

    Gabi was nabbed right out from under me. I was beaten half to death and shot while some bastards made off with her. Someone found me, took me to a hospital. I fell into a coma of some kind. When I came out of it a month later, I heard the news that no progress had been made in getting Gabi back. Not a week after that, it was announced she was dead after a botched hostage exchange. The kidnappers got away.

    For a second it was 2018 and I was in Isham Park...

    ...

    "Daddy?"

    But I pulled myself together.

    I got out of bed. I left the hospital. I went back to the Dineros' house. I got a new change of clothes, grabbed my gun, and left.

    What followed was the bad old days all over again. Intense gunfights through the slums and ****** dives of Mexico City, all in the hope of finding out who took an innocent little girl from her family so that I could punish them. I've gone through a lot of **** in my life. I've seen men who cut people open for their organs, killers who brutalized the faces of their victims, even loonies who were so bad a long forgotten god of death used their murders to keep himself alive. Those were all bad. But child killers? They topped them all.

    I was at my final stop. The El Toro Borracho. Another seedy joint amidst a sea of seedy joints. Nothing special, not to anyone; anyone but me. To me, this marked the end of my journey. The ****ers were on the other side of the door I stood in front of. With a deep breath, I took off my shades and pulled one of the two Berettas from my shoulder holsters.

    This was it. One more time.

    I kept the gun behind my back as I opened the door and stepping inside, looking around. There weren't many people in here. Ten or so. And two of them were the same bastards who jumped me.

    I locked eyes with them. The others in the room turned to look at me.

    I fired off a round, nailing one in the chest, before scrambling over to a table and flipping it onto its side to provide some cover. Bullets chipped away at the hard oak of the table, and I stuck my pistol out over the cover and fired blindly. I heard one, maybe even two, fall over.

    I heard the table cracking, before the gunfire died down. Knowing it wouldn't last another round, I threw myself out from behind it and onto the bar to my left, firing off a few rounds that managed to miraculously take out another one along the way. I hit the bar, toppling over and banging my head on the ground but, thankfully, getting into much sturdier cover. I was safe again for the moment...

    ... At least I thought I was, until I noticed the bartender scrambling to grab a double barrel shotgun from under the bar. Acting fast, I aimed my gun at him. <"Gonna give you one chance to take your hand off that gun or it's lights out for you, friend.">

    "Sì! Sì!" He yanked his hands away, and I motioned for him to head into the backroom. He did so, being smart enough to keep low. Meanwhile, I had jumped for the big old scattergun he had left for me. Christmas came early, I suppose.

    I grabbed it, and, still keeping low, leveled it on top of the bar. Slowly, I fired.

    *Kra-BANG!*

    There were shouts, from at least three different guys. I switched the direction of the shotgun, and fired again.

    *Ka-BLAM!*

    Even more, followed by some satisfying thuds.

    I checked the pistol I had set down. Two rounds. I reloaded the pistol, and pulled out the other Beretta with my other hand once I was done. Heading over to the other side of the bar, I took in a breath to prepare my nerves, before throwing myself out into the open.

    There were only three guys left standing, one of whom was one of the two guys who took Gabi, and they all had their eyes and guns locked onto the spot where I last was. My presence was announced with a thud, and I fired off with both guns once, twice, three times. The first two I took out with shots to the chest or - in one's case - a shot to the head. The third, the kidnapping, child killing, no good son of a ***** I took out as non-lethally as I could. A shot to the hand to disarm, two shots to the legs to cripple.

    I pulled myself to my feet and approached him. He was writhing on the ground in agony, screaming profanities at me in Spanish.

    <"You ****ing ********er! I'll ****in' gut you for this!">

    <"Save it. You don't got much left to say, pal, so use your words wisely."> I knelt down beside him. <"Why the **** did you kill Gabrielle Dinero?">

    <"Who?"> That was a dumb question. The only answer he got was a shot to the stomach. "Aargh!"

    <"Little girl. Ten. Blond hair, brown eyes. Ring a bell?">

    <"I didn't- we didn't kill her!">

    <"Say that to her ****ing parents, or the ****ing body they found!">

    <"I swear on my abuelita's grave, I don't know what you're talking about!">

    <"Hostage exchange, under an old bridge outside of town. She got killed. Sound familiar?">

    <"She's not dead, pendejo! I just saw her a day ago! We're planning on something real special for her!">

    <"Where the hell are you keeping my- ... That little girl?">

    <"Why the **** should I tell you?">

    Good question. I'll let Mr. 9mm answer that.

    I level the pistol at his crotch.

    *BANG!*

    He screams in mingled horror and pain. After a minute or two the screaming becomes horrified laughter. It takes a while for him to become coherent again.

    <"I-I-I-I-I she's at t-t-this fuc-****ing **** **** ****!">

    <"Calm down there, friend.">

    <"The o-ol-old chur-church outside of t-town! Saint Pa-Paul's!">

    I release a sigh. At least I had a place to go after this. Looks like I was wrong: this was just a warm-up for the real finale.

    I stood up, leveling the gun at the kidnapper's head and firing.

    It felt strange to think about... But that thing I had retired so many years ago, this persona, the Punisher...

    He was back.
     
    #4
  5. Sentarous

    Sentarous Inkarnation

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    [​IMG]

    City Streets, Gotham City

    Damian Wayne landed firmly on the rooftop before him, the visage of Robinson Park in the near distance.

    After spending several weeks in a coma, and several more on 'restricted activity', the thirteen-year-old was starting to get restless. His father had forbidden him to don the cowl of Robin after his fight several months ago with the being known as Heretic nearly ended his life. He had come out of it still breathing, though he was starting to think it would've been better for everybody else if he died right then and there. With everyone walking on eggshells and treating him like some incapable idiot he couldn't really do anything but sit in his bedroom at Wayne Manor and hope that his father would let him return to helping him battle the threats present in Gotham. But Damian didn't appear on the doorsteps of Wayne Manor as a person who was keen on letting people tell him what he was allowed to do. He was Robin the moment he said he was and even with one misstep against a foe he underestimated under his belt there was no thought in his mind that told him that he should stay in his room like a good little boy and wait for people to arbitrate for his return to duty. He said he was ready and that was it. Nobody could stop him. Not Drake, not Cain, not Brown, and definitely not Grayson.

    Heretic had gotten lucky. He didn't understand why everyone was wasting their time trying to babysit him. Every single one of them had made stupid mistakes in the past that almost led to their deaths. So as far as Damian was concerned they were telegraphing their own anxieties upon him. They were hypocrites.

    "Tch."

    A heavy breath left Damian, he wasn't sure if he was going out while his father was too busy to notice was a good idea. But he knew he needed to get out of the manor and deal with things in his own way. However, this wasn't the time to be thinking about the past. There were more pressing matters. Such as the assassins that were trying to remain hidden as they surrounded him. His brows narrowed and his body tensed. He was preparing himself for a fight.

    "If you think you can sneak up on me, you are sadly mistaken."

    Normally when he was out on patrol he could handle himself, but in this situation, he noticed all of the cues that his contemporaries wouldn't. The stratagem was all too familiar to Damian considering the fact that he had been trained the majority of his life in the same fashion, with the same tactics, and with the same tools. His father had been most 'correct' in his assessment of the League of Assassins, especially so in regarding when that the league would keep trying to drag him back into it. But even if Damian were interested he suspected they weren't here to ask. It was an estimation he came to due to the fact that Nyssa al Ghul, his mother's nemesis -- and estranged sister -- had taken control of the league following his mother's untimely disappearance and suspected death.

    He turned, batarang in hand, his eyes moving to each spot where the assassins likely sat in wait.

    "Reveal yourselves. Now."

    As if on cue, Damian's enemies did just that, appearing from the darkest corners with a hasty intent. Had Damian been anybody else he would've been intimidated by the number of league agents that had been stalking him for the last several minutes. As they revealed themselves Damian's lips pursed and he took a step back with his hand on the hilt of his sword as he mentally counted the number of opponents that had encircled him. However, before a fight could initiate, one of the masked assassins held their hand up as they took one step toward Damian. The voice was not one he had heard before -- not as heir of the demon or in his current guise.

    "Damian al Ghul. Do not resist."

    "Interesting, I was about to tell you the same thing."

    His opponent sighed, lowering his hand. "Very well. Have it your way."

    Damian smirked.
     
    #5
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  6. GreenGrenade

    GreenGrenade New Member

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    The following is the introduction to J. Jonah Jameson’s biography of the late Peter Parker – more famously known as Spider-Man – With Great Power. It has been republished with permission from the author.

    With Great Power was first published in 2029, two years after Peter Parker died.

    He was a hero.

    * * *

    The night I began to suspect that Peter Parker was Spider-Man was the night I found him in my office, masked and utterly defeated.

    It was about a week after Gwen Stacy was murdered – my smear campaign was in full effect by then, blaming him for the poor girl’s death with as much zeal and venom as my editorials could muster. It didn’t matter to me that witnesses had seen the Green Goblin throw her off the George Washington Bridge, or that Spider-Man had plunged after her, trying so desperately to save her life the way he couldn’t save her father’s. All I cared about was what I’ve since realised was my ego; fulfilling the image of a menace that I’d built up over years of fear, born of personal inadequacy. So I channelled all of my energy and wealth into destroying his image, libelling and slandering him in every single publication and broadcast that the Daily Bugle Group could muster – and it had ruined him.

    He wasn’t yet nineteen.

    I’d returned to the Flatiron after dinner with my family. The week’s tragedy had not escaped me, and with Gwendolyne’s funeral approaching, I suppose it felt important to spend as much time with Joan and John as possible. I was gripped by a kind of sadness I had not felt before, and walking out of my office that night, it only seemed to get stronger. Entering it, though, I could feel only shock.

    His costume was filthy, tattered and stained; he hadn’t bothered to mend it since that night – hadn’t bothered to take it off at all. I could see blood, both his and the Goblin’s, dried in dark pools all over. One of these stains surrounded a large tear beneath his ribs, and I caught a glimpse of what looked like stitching, messy though it was. He’d been stabbed. He healed faster than most, but the gash was fresh. I could see the blood, dark and crusted through time, swallow up light near his wound. Gross and cruel, a mark of the city’s damned.

    He sat there on my desk, toes barely touching the floor, his shoulders slumped beneath the weight of his guilt. Hurt and broken. His mask covered his face, yet I could almost see the pain underneath. The sorrow. It ebbed out of him in slow, mournful pulses, hitting me like a truck with every wave, and all I could do was stand there in the doorway, dumbfounded. All of the things I’d ever dreamed of telling him, the moral high ground with which I’d hoped to floor him, suddenly melted along with the rest of my thoughts. All I could do was stare. And so, I suppose, he decided to fill the hollow silence with just as empty a voice.

    “Why do you hate me?”

    His words were tired. Weighed down by the past week, by all he had to endure and hear and see. There was none of the mischief or energy that one would hear when he fought crime. No vigour, no conviction. He’d stopped rolling with the punches, stopped taking on whatever the world threw at him. His voice was not the voice of a crusader, of a man with conviction. It was the voice of someone who’d given up.

    I stood and stared, my thoughts still reduced to mush, trying to figure out why Spider-Man, the man whom I hated and who no doubt hated me back, was just sitting there; why he wasn’t trying to get back at me for all the things I was saying about him, yelling at me or attacking me, using his strength to hurt me in places I couldn’t hope to hurt him back. I was frozen.

    He didn’t wait for me to fill the silence. Thinking back on it, I don’t believe that he ever expected me to talk. Battling his emotions, he pushed on, choking back tears as he explained that he didn’t kill Ms. Stacy. That he tried so hard to save her, that he wished that he’d died instead, that he would give anything for a chance bring her back, along with everyone else that Norman Osborn had killed… and as he spoke, my mind began to paint a picture with his words – a picture of youth, of someone who had lost their innocence far too soon. Because that was what he sounded like. Not like a man. Not like a benevolent hero, or a corrupted villain… but like a boy, broken from experiences that would have killed most men.

    It had taken over three years and an unbearable tragedy for the illusion to finally break – but in that moment, I stopped seeing Spider-Man as Spider-Man. The image I had built up in my head of his “menace” began to smudge and fade, replaced by the puzzle of who he was beneath the mask… of this boy, bearing the weight of the world and its punches with heavy, staggered steps… slowly piecing itself together.

    And over the years that followed, it clicked into place. Shifted. Changed. Spider-Man stopped being Spider-Man. In his place I saw Peter Parker, who first walked through the Daily Bugle’s doors when he was just fifteen years old – saw him grow from that noble, naïve boy into a man whose calibre surpassed that of all who came before him; whose kindness and heroism made me aspire to make something more of myself. As he continued to put his life on the line, without respite, I realised just how wrong I was about him. Threat turned into hero, hero turned into friend, and eventually I was no longer “the man who hated Spider-Man” – I was a man who Peter Parker trusted.

    I found him in my office again nine years later. Twenty-seven years old, he’d changed so much since that first night. His chest full, shoulders rolled back. A ring on his finger. Sitting on my sofa, dressed in the clothes he’d worn to work that day, an easy smile on his face. No ruined costume, no deaths on his conscience. Just a smile, and the knowledge that in a few days, he might not be alive anymore.

    There were boxes at his feet, full of files and folders; on the coffee table above them was a flash drive. I looked at him, puzzled.

    “Peter – what’s…?” I trailed off, and he explained.

    In front of me were documents full of everything anyone might want to know about Spider-Man. Diary entries, medical files, photographs, police reports, research journals, notes; information about his parents, his childhood, how his powers worked – everything. And then there was the flash drive. Since he was fifteen, Peter had written about his experiences, both as a civilian and as Spider-Man – and on that drive was every single entry. His completed memoirs.

    He told me that he was leaving all of it with me, to do with as I pleased. I asked him why. I said that I didn’t understand.

    He didn’t answer. I suppose that, while he could come to terms with his mortality, it was another thing to admit it – but I can’t say for sure. I can’t equate his final moments with me to those he had with his wife or aunt, can’t assume that he was as honest with me as he was with them. He might have told them that he would not survive the week. He might have just held them close, and told them he loved them. I don’t know. All he did was look me in the eye and say that whatever I do, he knew it would be the right thing.

    I hope that he would think so now.

    Peter Parker died three days later. I spent the next two years mourning him and learning about him, reading everything that he’d given me and more, and by the end of it I had written this book and asked permission of his family to publish it. I didn’t know what answer to expect, because of this biography’s nature – it is personal, invasive, and confronting, and I was asking them to let me show it to the rest of the world. Everyone would know Peter’s life the way that they knew their own.

    They said yes.

    And so here you are, holding this book and reading these words. In the pages that follow you’ll find the most accurate, detailed account of Peter Parker’s life. His highs and his lows, his achievements and failures, his love and his heartbreak. His heroism. His guilt. Nothing has been omitted, but for a select few details in the interest of privacy. Writing this book has been my way of coming to terms with Peter’s death, and celebrating his life. In publishing it, it’s my sincerest hope that you gain at least a glimpse of the man that he was.

    I have since destroyed my copy of his memoirs. They are not mine to share. Perhaps one day, when his passing is not as fresh and the hole he’s left in the world has begun to scar, the public will be able to read them… and truly come to understand one of the greatest men I’ve ever known.
     
    #6
  7. Eddie Brock

    Eddie Brock Golden Domer

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    [​IMG]

    KO-35 was burning.

    In the years after the Z-Wave, the colony had known nothing but peace. With the help of the Space Rangers, the wayward colonists had been able to return home, rebuild, and resume the lives they had been forced to leave behind. The once-barren colony flourished again. In many ways, theirs was the story of the galaxy at large. The Z-Wave had brought on an era of unprecedented prosperity and growth. With the forces of evil seemingly extinguished, light and life reigned supreme. Yet, from somewhere beyond the stars, a new threat arose: A Black Pact that united the scattered armies of Zedd, Divatox, Astronema, and all those who opposed goodness. Its shadow spread across the galaxy before arriving here at KO-35, as it had on so many worlds before.

    The skies were black with smoke, and everywhere the sounds of laser weaponry could be heard. This was not the first time in living memory that KO-35 had come under attack. As Nettle ran through the burning streets, he could not help but remember a similar scene from some years ago; he had only been a boy when Dark Specter first invaded his home, but he could still remember the terror and confusion. It was the same terror and confusion that he felt now as he followed the mob of panicked colonists to the spaceport. He only hoped he would make it in time to catch one of the evacuation transports. A tandem of Velocifighters screamed past them overhead, causing Nettle and the others to duck. For the first time, Nettle began to consider the possibility that the transports might already be destroyed. His heart pounded in his chest.

    Off to the side somewhere, Nettle heard sobbing. Even in his current state, he found himself stopping to locate the source of the noise. Across the way, a little girl knelt by a pile of rubble and tugged on something. Against his better judgment, Nettle slipped out of the crowd and went over to her. As he approached, he saw another figure pinned beneath a fallen steel girder: the girl was pulling on this other woman's sleeve and crying. Upon seeing Nettle, the injured woman -- young enough that she could've been Nettle's older sister -- called out, "Please! Please, help me!" Her leg was caught, but she seemed well enough otherwise.

    Nettle rushed to the woman's side and assessed the situation. There was no way of wriggling her free; not without risking further injury to her leg, anyway. The only way he was going to be able to move her was if he could get this girder off her. "It's alright," Nettle assured the little girl as he motioned for her to step aside. His voice was shaking. Nettle took the girl's place and got his hands under the girder. With a heave, he lifted with all his might... and the girder hardly budged. The woman positioned her hands beneath the steel and offered her help, but even the two of them were not strong enough. Nettle was close to panicking. He twisted his body as to get his shoulder beneath the beam and prepared for a third attempt...

    ... when the girl let out a blood-curdling scream. Nettle's head immediately whipped around to see the cause for alarm, and his heart dropped down to his stomach. There, marching down the alley towards them, were two Piranhatrons; each was marked with the sign of the Black Pact, and each had a spear raised. They shouted something in their alien language and brandished their spears threateningly. The little girl clutched to Nettle's side as the injured woman began to cry. As covertly as he could, Nettle reached down and picked up a fist-sized piece of rubble. If this was how he was going to die, then he was going to go down swinging. Nettle steeled himself as the Piranhatrons drew near.

    "KYAAAAH!"

    When, suddenly, a figure came leaping into view. The new arrival delivered a flying kick into the chest of one Piranhatron, sending it reeling. Before the second one could bring its spear to bear, the interloper ducked and landed a combination of blows that dislodged the weapon. Now disarmed, the Piranhatron hardly had time to react before another spinning kick sent it skidding across the alley like its buddy. Nettle was speechless. The rock he was holding tumbled from his grasp as his savior turned to face them.

    Clad in a silver jumpsuit and bright blue shirt, TJ Johnson was a familiar face to the colonists of KO-35. As a member of the Space Rangers, he had helped restore the galaxy to order. Now, he had saved Nettle's life. "Need a hand?" the Ranger asked as he nodded in the direction of the pinned woman. With TJ's help, Nettle was easily able to lift the girder, allowing the woman to slide out. As she hugged the little girl tightly, TJ considered them all and said, "You have to get to the spaceport. There are still transports, but I don't know for how long."

    Nettle opened his mouth to say something -- "Thank you," for a start -- when the communicator on TJ's wrist sounded. The Ranger held it up and accepted the incoming message. "TJ, we need you down at the city square. The Black Pact's forces have trapped civilians."

    "I'm on my way, Jen," TJ reported. He looked back at the three of them. "I have to go. Will you be alright?" Feeling somewhat less than certain yet invigorated by the Ranger's presence, Nettle nodded; TJ returned the gesture and then was off, just as quickly as he had came.

    *****​

    In all his years as a Power Ranger, Adam Park had never seen anything like this. The Black Pact had brought together the remnants of every army the Rangers had ever faced. Stingwingers, Quantrons, Putties, and more had fallen upon the space colony of KO-35 in staggering numbers in what was becoming a pattern of devastating attacks across the galaxy. That was why he had been called back into action, why they all had been. The Black Pact was too big a problem for any one team of Rangers to face; it was going to take everything they had.

    Fortunately, there was no one better in a fight than Adam Park. After all, how many other Rangers could say they had fought the famed Tommy Oliver to a standstill? Yet, even for his prowess, Adam was being pushed to the limits. As the forces of evil surrounded him, it was all he could do to keep them at bay. He followed a high kick to some Batlings with a sweep at the ankles of the Cogs closing in around him. In the process, though, he left himself open to a strike from behind by a Tenga warrior. Sprawling across the square, Adam felt the mob swarming him.

    At that moment, a hand took Adam by the collar and pulled him to his feet, dragging him away from his attackers. Confused, Adam looked over to see the face of Kelsey Winslow smiling back at him. "C'mon, no staying down now!" the energetic athlete urged. With surprising deftness, she used her rollerskates to weave through the crowd of footsoldiers and bring the two of them to the plaza steps, where their other allies were engaged with the enemy. Kelsey let go of Adam and let him regain his balance. Her method of fighting wasn't as technically refined as Adam's, but he couldn't deny being impressed by the way she used the momentum of her skates to dip and dodge incoming attacks.

    "Did I miss the party?" came the voice of TJ, arriving just as he promised he would.

    From the top of the steps, Jen Scotts answered, "Just in time, TJ!"

    They were outnumbered twenty to one, but at least none of them fought alone. As the fight dragged on, Adam, Kelsey, and TJ found themselves climbing the steps to join the rest of their team; the height gave them a tactical advantage in repelling their attackers, but the Black Pact didn't lack for warm bodies or perseverance. For their part, the Rangers were starting to look ragged. If the tide of the battle didn't change soon, it could very well wash them away. As if they were perfectly synced, they all realized what needed to be done and assumed their positions.

    "Ready, guys?"

    "Ready," they answered in unison.

    Adam stepped forward first. "It's Morphin' time!" He crossed his wrists, connecting the two halves of the Zeonizers as he declared, "Zeo Ranger 4 -- Green!"

    Jen was next. Making an 'X' with her arms, she spread them wide before reaching back to press the button on her Chrono Morpher. "Time for Time Force!"

    Then, it was TJ's turn. Throwing out his right hand, he shouted, "Let's rocket!" and opened the Astro Morpher on his left wrist. The device called out, "3-3-5!" in response to the morphing activation code.

    Kelsey knew what to do. Swinging her arms out in front of her, she announced, "Lightspeed! Rescue!" Locking her wrists, she brought them in to her chest and opened the face of her Rescue Morpher.

    Last, though certainly not least, was Jason Lee Scott. The team leader stepped forward with determination in his eyes. "It's Morphin' time!" he called, a hand reaching for the Power Morpher clasped to the back of his belt. Closing his hands around the morpher, Jason thrust it forward and declared, "Tyrannosaurus!"

    KO-35 was burning. But as before, the Power Rangers had come to protect it.
     
    #7
  8. Batman

    Batman Dramatic Example

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    THE TOMMOROW TRIP - PART 1

    "It's just one weekend! What harm could it really do?"

    Jonathan Kent looked skeptically from behind the morning newspaper as the bacon on the frying pan sizzled in the kitchen. Martha gave him a side-glance, indicating that neither one would even begin to entertain such foolishness. But this was one family conversation that hadn't been settled over the span of the last few weeks, and given the tenacity of their seventeen-year-old son whenever he put his mind to almost anything his heart desired, it wasn't likely to die down anytime soon, either. Folding up the paper, Jonathan neatly placed it infront of him and removed his thickly-brimmed reading glasses. Looking back up, he noticed that Clark was watching his every movement. Enthusiastically reading his father's body language for some sign that, beneath his tough exterior, the old farmer would show some sign of relent. Jonathan sighed to himself.

    "Son, it's not as simple as you're making it out to be, and you darn well know it."

    Clark placed his school backpack down on the opposite seat, preparing to make his counter-argument. Martha shot him a disapproving gaze, knowing that the bus was coming by the farm at any moment. But Clark gave her a nod back, indicating that he knew what he was doing. His mother hadn't really known it, but for the past few weeks, the youngest member of the Kent household had been honing his hearing to detect oncoming traffic off the main road into Smallville whenever he focused just hard enough. And Clark already knew that the bus wasn't going to reach their house for another three minutes.

    "Okay. I get it, I'm a liability out in the world. You guys haven't let me live a day in this house without some reminder of that, and I completely understand. I've still got alot of work to do before I can control myself in a bigger environment than Kansas."

    Martha flipped one of the flapjacks that was simultaneously frying next to the rest of the soon-to-be prepared breakfast.

    "He's a fast learner, Jon, I'll give him that."

    "But..."

    Clark held up his hand before his father could open his mouth, giving him a nice big smile. Hoping to sweeten the pitch that he was about to bring forth, because at this point, it was just about all that Clark had in his back pocket - the last remaining card he could pull from under his sleeve to break the barrier of overprotectiveness that the two had instilled over him ever since he was old enough to lift tractors over his head and light an entire year's worth of crops on fire just by looking at the field.

    "Lana's parents are letting her and a bunch of other girls from school go to Coast City for the weekend, completely unsupervised. And you know the Langs. They wouldn't even let her walk home by herself until last year. And then there's Pete! Pete Ross, who's proven himself to be categorically less responsible than me in every single way, is getting to stay with relatives that live out of Gotham. Gotham, Pa! The literal worst city in the country!"

    Jonathan raised an eyebrow. "If that's your elevator pitch, Clark, I'm more inclined to give Lana and Pete's parents a call to negotiate that they rethink their parenting strategies than to let you go off to a big city by yourself. I've told you a hundred times. What the other kids get to do and what you get to do aren't remotely the same thing."

    "All I'm asking for is one time where that could be different.", Clark responded, pleadingly. "C'mon, it's been a time-honored tradition for every kid in Smallville for the last eighty years. The week before graduation, we all make the pilgrimage to one of the big cities to celebrate the next stage in our lives. They literally used to call it 'The Tomorrow Trip', back when you were old enough to do it."

    "And your father understands that, Clark, but you're not quite getting what he's saying.", Martha interjected. "It isn't your safety that we're worried about, here. It's the safety of everyone around you. I know that you'd never, ever in a million years intentionally cause another person harm. We raised you to be better than that."

    Clark's face sunk as he anticipated where she was going with this. It was the usual 'end-of-discussion' speech that his mother had practically committed to heart.

    "That being said, you can't control the things you can do. You're not even sure what all of those things even are, yet. There are some abilities that your father and I already know about, but we know you've not told us everything. And that's fine. Heck, we know that you've a right to your privacy, same as anyone else your age. But it's just too dangerous."

    Clark clenched his fists in frustration, taking his seat at the table with a sigh. The bus would arrive in a minute and a half.

    "Fourty-eight hours. That's all I'm asking from you. Fourty-eight hours of freedom before I work the farm for the rest of the summer. I've never asked you guys for much of anything. Never needed to. You've given me just about everything I could ask for, within reason. But this is so much more important to me than either of you could ever realize."

    Jonathan and Martha looked at eachother, wondering what he meant by that. Clark leaned forward, gazing ahead - not at them, but past them. Out into the open window that overlooked the opposite side of the kitchen. Towards the sun, shining off the brilliantly golden field of grains.

    Most people were advised to never look directly at the sun, as it could damage their vision. Most people were smart enough to take that advice to heart. But Clark wasn't most people. While some star-gazed, he sun-gazed. It was his only alternative, because if he looked hard enough at the stars, he'd start to see things that no one else could even dream of. Moons. Planets. Galaxies. He often wondered to himself if this was some sort of latent microscopic vision at work, or something, that was beginning to manifest.

    But that wasn't the point. While other kids felt trapped by the surroundings of rural Kansas for what it lacked, Clark felt trapped by the surroundings of rural Kansas for what it didn't. With nothing to interfere with his senses for miles, apart from farm animals and the occasional gust of wind, every day was beginning to become a nightmare for him. He'd wake up and start hearing voices from likely hundreds of miles away. He'd almost be certain they were thoughts if he didn't already know that he wasn't capable of that. But he heard them all the same.

    And if he could see millions of miles into the skies, there was nothing to say he couldn't hear roughly the same distance in every which direction. It drove him crazy, because it was just another waking reminder that there was a world beyond Smallville. A world that he wouldn't be ready to journey into on a permanent basis for at least another few years, at the rate his powers were developing.

    "When I hear other kids talking about how much they want to get away, I don't understand them. Not because I don't have similar thoughts, but because I know that I'll never have the option for as long as I have these... gifts. Everyone else is being encouraged to follow their dreams and go for whatever their futures may be. But me? I've got no future to speak of. At least, not one that I can see over the horizon."

    Martha placed her hand on her own chest, hearing her son's bitter, somber declaration. Jonathan looked down at his own hands, unsure of what to say. Neither of them knew that Clark had ever felt that way about himself. And it was one of the biggest fears they ever had in raising him - the idea that, because of what he was and all of the things that he could do, he'd feel like an outcast. A freak among his own friends, his own family.

    They had done what they could to encourage him that it simply wasn't the case, but if Clark was already looking at the other kids and knowing that they had more promising futures than he did, something was more wrong than they had previously realized.

    "Clark..."

    Martha walked over to her son and gestured for him to stand. He did so, still saddened by his own words. His mother wrapped her arms around him in a tight embrace, as his father stood up, letting out a loud sigh of his own.

    "Son, you know you have a future. A boy with your gifts has got to, no ifs, ands, or buts. Neither your mother or I have any idea what that future will be, and we're not gonna guide you towards a decision that you'll have to make yourself, one day.", Jonathan reassured him. "But you're right. That decision is gonna have to come for you a little later than most kids. It's not fair, and I wish with all my heart that it wasn't the case. You're such a good kid, better than the others at your school would even dream of. You deserve to have the freedom to go out and make that life for yourself. But the nature of your abilities just makes that next to impossible for us to grant. Not because we want to punish you, but because we love you."

    Clark and his mother seperated, with Clark looking at Jonathan with quizical eyes.

    "I... I don't understand."

    Jonathan chuckled, placing his hand on the boy's shoulders.

    "No, I don't imagine you would. The world's a very scary place when it wants to be, Clark. There are plenty good people, like you and the people of Smallville. But there are others who're... not so good. People who concern themselves with matters above themselves, and worse, people who think they're above those matters. If you were to go to a big city and accidentally set off one of your powers, you know what their first response would probably be? To contain you. Lock you away, in some kind of prison that even someone of your strength couldn't break out of. Poke at you and prod with needles, to study what you're made of. And Clark, you are not a science experiment. You're just as human as your mother and I are. Maybe a bit stronger, maybe alot faster, but you're not what they'd think you were. And that's what scares us the most. None of them would ever understand who you are. They'd just look at what you can do."

    Clark placed his hand on his father's forearm.

    "Pa... I know that it's dangerous. I know that you and Ma are only trying to protect me by keeping all of my powers a secret. And I've agreed with you the whole way. But I can't pretend to be able to know the limits of my power if all I'm ever gonna be is a farmboy. I need to go out there, someday. I need to be able to spread my wings. And if I can't even get one lousy weekend away from here, what chance do I really have?"

    Jonathan looked back at Martha. She crossed her arms and looked down at the floor, unsure of what to do. More than anything, they had feared that the world would learn the truth about their son for as long as they'd had him. He came rocketing out of the sky, coming straight from who-knows-where, and they had found the sense to at least make sure that no one had ever known. The rocket that carried him had been stowed away the very day that they adopted him, and the crash site had been paved over by Jonathan's combine. There was never any trace, as far as they knew, that he'd arrived.

    It was a risk. A bigger risk than even Clark realized. But it meant so much to the boy. And if they couldn't trust him to do this, they weren't going to be able to convince him that they ever really did.

    "There are going to have to be... conditions, if you're really sure about this."

    Clark's face lit up as he looked back at his mother, unable to believe what he'd just heard.

    "Firstly. You're taking a burner phone. And you're going to call either me or your father every hour that you're away. No exceptions, no excuses."

    Nodding, Clark enthusiastically stepped forward.

    "I'll get one in town after school. The pawn shop's open till five. I'm sure they'd have something like that at a decent price."

    Martha raised her finger.

    "Secondly. And this is important. You do not, under any circumstances, spend time around city folk. You can go sight seeing, you can go to a movie, you can walk around the shops and eat. But you don't engage in conversations. You don't make any friends. They are not like us, Clark. People from the city are always out for themselves. If they see an opportunity, they'll con you out of everything you own."

    Jonathan smirked.

    "And everything you don't, for that matter."

    Clark shook his head. "Minimal contact with anyone. Call home every hour. Okay, I got it. Scout's honor. I can do that."

    "And thirdly, Clark..."

    As he turned around, Jonathan shoved his reading glasses over his son's face, causing him to stare back in confusion.

    "Wear a disguise. They have all kinds of cameras in the city, and everyone's got one in their phones, nowadays. The last thing we need is for you to be recognized, in the event something does happen. And if it does, you're to come straight back at that very moment. And we both know that you're fast enough to get here without waiting for the bus."

    Clark looked at himself in the reflection of the stainless steel of the refrigerator, tilting his head slightly at the bizarre new look that his father had just given him. He looked like a dork, is vaguely what his immediate thought was. But he had to admit, he also didn't really look like himself. Parting his hair in a different direction, Clark frowned as he looked even more indistinguishable from his normal appearance.

    "Oh, man. This is gonna take some getting used to..."

    "But you're not going to have to, remember?", Jonathan cautioned. "This is just for the weekend. And only the weekend. I don't want you to go thinking that we're going to be this lenient in the future. You get to leave after you've mastered your abilities, not before."

    Clark removed the glasses and combed his hand through his hair, resuming his normal, unassuming midwestern look. A spit curl sprouted from the front of his forehead, but he brushed it back, annoyed.

    "Right. And on that day, I'm gonna be up, up, and away. But that day only comes with hard work and dedication."

    Jonathan and Martha both smiled to themselves, hearing their own words echoed back at them.

    "What? I have been listening to you guys for the last seventeen years."

    Martha tended back to breakfast as the bacon began to brown and the flapjacks reached a golden perfection.

    "So, now that that's settled. Have you given any thought as to where you're going to go on this little excursion out into the world?"

    Clark grinned.

    "The only place to go, Ma."

    His parents looked back at him as he grabbed his backpack and excitedly swung it over his shoulder. The bus was here, and the driver was seconds away from beeping the horn.

    "If I'm taking The Tomorrow Trip, it's only fitting that I go to the one city in the entire country that people literally call The City Of Tomorrow..."

    [​IMG]
     
    #8
  9. Sentarous

    Sentarous Inkarnation

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    I'm pretty sure I want more of that Superman story.
     
    #9
  10. Andy C.

    Andy C. Repent, Harlequin!

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    [​IMG]


    The Stacked Deck Nightclub
    Otisburg District
    Years Ago



    "Thank you, um, thank you ladies and gentlemen! So, erm, how's everyone feeling tonight?"

    There's a smattering of unenthusiastic applause from the half-interested crowd as a rail-thin man in a shabby suit takes the microphone, obviously uncomfortable under the heat of the spotlight. He's only been on stage for a few seconds and he's already starting to sweat.

    "So, um, I went on a date last night," he begins to go into his act, shifting back and forth on his feet like he's ready to cut and run. "Anyone here on a date tonight?"

    One or two people raise their hands, including myself at one of the tables near the back. I glance over to the empty seat next to me, and give an impatient sigh.

    "Okay, sure, yeah, a few of you," the skinny man nods. "I gotta tell ya, y'know, dating's tough.....especially when you're married."

    That gets a few half-hearted chuckles, a few groans. I'm still not sure how I let myself get talked into this.

    Not ten blocks away, Sal Maroni is holding a war council with his capos. I've been interrupting their narcotic shipments, leaving his men in broken heaps for the GCPD to sweep up, costing him millions each time and slowly bleeding his operation dry. On top of that, now that Jim Gordon has made Captain and Commissioner Loeb has been....visited, the actual authorities are starting to make real headway against the syndicates that have been strangling Gotham for decades. If I hit them tonight, when he and his top men are all in one location, I may be able to break Maroni's back once and for all.

    Instead, I'm taking up an offer from one of my 'daytime' friends.

    I've been working closely with Harvey Dent, making generous donations to his campaign for District Attorney, holding a few gala events as fundraisers, putting Wayne Manor to some good use instead of letting it gather dust while I spend all my time in the basement. In a system as crooked as Gotham's, an idealist who isn't afraid to speak truth to power and shine some light into the city's dark corners is a rare thing, and so I've become the man's biggest public supporter.

    The media has tried to spin it that Dent is being controlled by the Wayne Family's "old money," to which he responded with a great sound byte: "it may be old money, but it's clean money."

    I'd introduced him to many of the movers and shakers in the city's upper crust....the ones who could be trusted, anyway. Now, in addition to being seen as a hero of the common people, Harvey has people in high places he can rely on as friends. To pay me back, Harvey insisted that I meet one of his friends, someone who had just moved to Gotham from New York.

    "Interesting thing about New York," Alfred had said as he practically forced me into the Mercedes this evening, "they say the people who live there bump into the person who's going to marry them seven times before they even know who they are."

    "...and that's when she said, 'sorry, honey, I thought you were Mayor Hill!'"

    Another murmur of half-hearted laughter.

    "You suck!" a heckler shouts from the safety of his seat. The scrawny comedian winces.

    "Hey, come on," the skinny man taunts.

    "Leave him alone," a woman's voice calls out from next to me. I flinch for a fraction of a second; I hadn't even seen her come in, let alone take her seat. "He doesn't come to your job and knock the sailor's cocks out of your mouth!"

    This gets a round of applause and a bigger laugh than anything the scrawny man on stage had managed. She stands and takes a grand, sweeping bow before sitting back down.

    "Sorry about that," she says with a satisfied giggle, "I just can't stand a bully. It's a pleasure, Mister Wayne."

    "Please, call me Bruce," I say, offering her my hand. "And you must be Harvey's friend...?"

    "Selina," she nods, taking my hand and doing the best mock-curtsy she can while seated, and holds onto my hand just a moment longer. Her eyes, green but ringed with flecks of gold, give me a piercing, searching look, and her burgundy-colored lips purse into a slight smile.

    A smile like that isn't a nice gesture. It's a statement of intent.

    "So, umm, people always ask me why I do this," the skinny man in the filthy suit begins his floundering act again. "And, erm, I think the best way to answer is with a joke. A guy walks into a bar, and this is one of those one-horse towns where everyone knows everyone, but no one recognizes this guy...."

    "So, I've got to ask," I say to Selina, sipping from the martini I've been nursing all night--definitely too much vermouth. "Harvey said you picked the location. Why here? I could have taken you to a hundred different restaurants or clubs around the city."

    "The bartender says 'hey, fella, you must not be from around here.' The stranger says, 'no, I'm with the traveling circus! We're in town for the weekend and I wanted to meet some of the locals.'"

    "You could have, sure," Selina says, "but I've been wined and dined by millionaires and billionaires before. It always ends up with them trying to impress me with their toys, and frankly, I can get my fill of fast cars and shiny jewelry any time I want. I want to see what you're like when you have to be yourself."

    "'Oh, the circus!' The bartender says. 'So, what do you do? Are you an acrobat? A lion tamer? ....you're not a clown, are you? I hate clowns.' And the stranger says 'nononono, I work with the elephants. See, it's my job to go into the elephant cages and give them enemas before showtime, so they don't crap all over the stage during the show!'"

    "Besides," she adds, "You're the Prince of Gotham. And the Prince should be among his people."

    She's more right than she knows. I should be out among the people tonight, keeping them safe. I should be hunting down and destroying one of the most powerful criminal syndicates in the city, who have made the people of Gotham desperate and fearful for too long. I should be making Sal Maroni beg for mercy that he won't receive.

    As I share another long glance with Selina, though, I find myself not minding that fact so much.

    "The bartender doesn't believe him, so the stranger says, 'okay, well come down to the fairgrounds tomorrow afternoon and see me in action!' So, out of morbid curiosity, the bartender closes early the next day and heads to the fairgrounds, and sure enough, there's the stranger, with a pair of big rubber gloves and a hose as he heads to the elephant cages."

    "You're right," I say, "It's been a while since I've gotten a chance to get out from the trust-fund crowd and see the real Gotham."

    She laughs, and gives me a mischievous look.

    "I can tell when someone's lying," she says with a sly grin. "And you, Mister Wayne, just told a whopper. You sounded like a little kid being asked where the last cookie went. No, you strike me as the type who likes to sneak out and cause trouble."

    "The stranger walks up to one of the elephants, and shoves the hose right up its ass. Then he turns the hose on full-blast, and a few seconds later, PSHEEEWWWWW!!!! Watery elephant crap spews everywhere, covering the guy from head to toe!"

    "I, erm, I wouldn't know about that," I say, trying not to notice how hot it feels all of a sudden.

    "I would," Selina says. "I think it's true what they say about men from Gotham. They're just like men from New York, only....more."

    "The stranger walks up to the bartender, still covered in the most disgusting muck you can imagine, and says 'Well, whaddya think?' And the bartender says, 'I think you need to find a new job.'"

    "Hah, you know, it's funny," I say, trying and failing to make small talk. "I'd always heard a saying about New York. If you live there long enough, you'll run into the person who's going to marry you seven times before you even know who they are."

    "The stranger gets offended and says, 'What, and give up showbusiness?!'"

    Silence. A few coughs. One person boos.

    "That's funny," Selina says as she leans in. "I always heard much the same about Gotham.....only it's the person who's going to kill you."
     
    #10
  11. Sentarous

    Sentarous Inkarnation

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    [​IMG]

    South China Sea, Southeastern Asia

    It had been a bad year for violent tropical storms, and in the South China Sea, it had been no different than the Caribbean. But unlike the Caribbean, there was no Lex Luthor or Tony Stark stepping in to help the region stabilize. The dependence on intervention was much higher in independent republics like Madripoor, Singapore, and Rheelasia. It was one reason why Kara-El had stopped what she was doing in Jump City and took flight for Southeastern Asia instead of New York City. As pertinent as the assault on the United Nations was, she knew how densely populated the superhero community in New York City was and who was watching over the summit itself. Wally West had once called Kara a 'human calculator', and right now that was exactly what she was doing. Kara had to determine where she was needed and not where she wanted to be, and the odds right now were telling her that the United Nations needed her less than the people in the crosshairs of the typhoon in the South China Sea.

    Fortunately, Kara was no longer an impulsive, inexperienced superheroine; she hadn't been one in many years. Kara was familiar with her 'weight class' and all of the limitations that she had inherited as a daughter of Krypton. Her hands weren't shaking and she wouldn't need any help to take on a storm of this magnitude. The typhoon that had been forming in the South China Sea wasn't going to be another Maria or Irma, in fact, it would be over with before the people in Madripoor could even finish their breakfast.

    As a loud crack cut through the sky her eyes finally met the eye of the storm. Her brows narrowed as she recalled a situation where her cousin had done the same thing in the past. Though, that scenario was a little different considering her cousin was also fighting against the supervillain known as Hurricane, whom had been hired by the Society of Supervillains to distract him from a greater plot. As far as Kara knew these storms were natural and not born from metahuman, magical, or extranormal sources. Part of her was glad they were natural. Not just because she didn't want to go toe-to-toe with Weather Wizard or whoever, but the sooner she was done here she could get to the next place that needed her; though she suspected New York would be handled by the time she was done with this magnitude five typhoon.

    Push harder, Kara. Push faster. Show this storm who's in charge of the situation.

    Madripoor and Singapore were not going to be repeats of Puerto Rico or Sri Lanka.

    Not on her watch.

    "Ngh!"

    Years ago her cousin had helped her against a storm much like this one; it had been during her first year as Supergirl. She could still remember it vividly to this very day. The force of the storm knocking her back, the gale force winds pushing her back like a ragdoll, and the anxiety that she wasn't good enough. She had been barely been on Earth for half-a-year and a girl of barely twelve cycles old. Four years later and Kara was facing down a more aggressive and virulent storm without even a flicker of hesitation or nervousness. Four years later and she had come into her own.

    And her cousin was proud of her.

    It was a thought that brought a smile to her face.

    "You think you're tough, don't you? But you don't have anything on my cousin!" Kara shouted, pushing herself forward.
     
    #11
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  12. Sentarous

    Sentarous Inkarnation

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    [​IMG]

    Uptown, Gotham City

    "Mario Falcone."

    My words are cold, my grip on the firearm in-between my fingers tightening by the second.

    I suppose it makes sense to be tense in my current situation. In front of me is the man who killed my entire family; no, the man who destroyed my entire life and made me into this... thing, this terrible, awful thing. The look of fear in his eyes isn't euphoric, but it does incite a different sort of satisfaction in me. My only regret is this satisfaction was gained through the sacrifice of my humanity. But I'm sure I'll be judged at the gates of St. Peter for what I've done and will do once I put a bullet in-between Mario Falcone's eyes.

    "I sentence you to death."

    The sharp sound of shattered glass causes me to turn, but I don't turn fast enough by any means. Before I know it I'm disarmed and thrown across the room. By the time I've gathered my bearings what I see doesn't surprise me, but to say I was expecting it isn't exactly true.

    [​IMG]

    To think the 'Caped Crusader' is standing between me and Falcone is infuriating. This isn't his business and I'm not the kind of girl who likes men interfering in my life. For a man who supposedly took down Carmine Falcone single-handedly, I can't even begin to imagine why he's protecting the same man's kin. I'm not the best at psychoanalyzing people and I don't intend to be.

    The first thought in my mind is to tell him that this isn't any of his business and go back wherever bat's come from. But a different word leaves my lips as I get to my feet, preparing for a tough fight.

    "Crap."
     
    #12
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  13. Andy C.

    Andy C. Repent, Harlequin!

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    [​IMG]


    Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
    12:27am Local Time



    I once heard that the Europeans believed their gods lived on the top of a mountain called Olympus. As a young boy, I thought this to be silly-- with a world as vast and unknowable as this, who could believe such powerful beings would be contained to a single mountaintop?

    At the foot of Kilimanjaro, though, I can understand why men would be swayed to believe such a thing. Its power and majesty is enough to give awe to the proudest of men. It is a humbling experience, even to a king.

    This is why the Europeans could believe in their Olympus. It is also why my enemy has chosen this spot to rally his forces.

    Erik Killmonger has amassed an army, with the intent of staging raids on our homeland. It is a small force at the moment-- dozens, maybe a hundred men, maybe more-- but with such a brilliant mind commanding them, they could strike at vital locations and cripple Wakanda. This is why I must make a pre-emptive strike on them.

    I hear the drums echo in the night. War drums. Killmonger is working his men into a religious fervor, holding a bonfire at the foot of the mountain and preaching his words of righteous vengeance. He has a tremendous power over them.

    Fortunately, I have a tremendous power on my side as well. Above the clouds, above the war drums and chanting, she whispers intel through our earpieces. She hears only whispers of some quiet conversation.

    "Coming in," she whispers, letting me know it is half past midnight, the time for our synchronized attack, and that she will be striking from above.

    Ororo Munroe. In America, she is known as Storm, a powerful leader of the mutant activist group called the X-Men. I know her as my wife, and my Queen.

    Seeing her fly overhead, her capes drift behind her like wings, moonlight wings that reflect the stars, and guide me toward salvation. It pains me that we must spend so much time apart, but when we are together, nothing can separate us. With her, I know Killmonger and his forces will be powerless to stop us, regardless of how many he has.

    There is a rumble of thunder, and suddenly rain comes down in thick sheets. Grateful, I give a King's blessing for the cover the rain provides, obscuring the enemy's vision and allowing me to close in quickly.

    "Together, we will have our retribution against the Wakandans and their many sins against us!" Killmonger shouts, unflinching in the torrential downpour, a fist raised in defiance of the gods. "Before this night ends, Wakanda dies!"

    "Wakanda forever!" I bellow in response, leaping from the shadows with claws extended to pounce upon my prey.

    Erik is a huge and powerful man, and a masterful combatant. On top of that, his powers are enhanced as mine, after tasting the Heart-Shaped Herb, and stealing a Vibranium suit as powerful as my own. Taking him on alone is a challenge enough, to say nothing of fighting him with an army at his side.

    Ororo more than evens the odds, though, bowling his men over with gusts of hurricane winds, scattering them with bolts of lightning that split the night. Her people once worshipped her as a goddess. It is only fitting, then, that she be here at the foot of our Olympus.

    "The mantle of the Black Panther should have been mine, T'Challa!" he snarls, slashing high and low with his Vibranium claws.

    "You are no Panther," I say, ducking and weaving from his savage strikes. "You are a wild dog, that cries out in the night."

    Killmonger lunges, claws out for the kill. I roll backwards and let him pass over me, snagging his wrists and kicking both feet into his stomach to flip him forward. He lands flat on his back, and I press a knee into his chest, my left hand on his throat, my right extending my own claws.

    He has done so much harm, not just to me, but to my family. My people. It stops tonight. I ready myself to do what must be done, to end his madness once and for all.....

    "T'Challa!" my Queen calls out to me, floating in the skies like the goddess she is. It is not just her power that makes her so, but her compassion, her mercy that touches my soul.

    I know that I must do what's right. As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.

    I curl my claw instead into a fist, and strike Killmonger across the jaw, knocking him cold. He will face justice, but it will be the people's justice, not an animal's vengeance.

    Ororo finally sets foot on the ground as the last of Killmonger's men scatter and flee into the rain, and touches me on the shoulder. I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become. And like a answered prayer, she is there for me.

    "I was worried that I might lose you, my King," she says, pulling me to my feet over our unconscious enemy.

    "No, my love," I say, pulling my mask away and smiling, "it is going to take a lot to drag me away from you. There is nothing that a hundred men, or more, could ever do."

    We kiss, and again, I use the King's grace to sanctify this moment, the power of nature pouring down upon us.

    I bless the rains down in Africa.
     
    #13

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