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Insurrection

Insurrection

[Closed] In a futuristic world where megacities are run by corporations with private police forces, crime runs rampant in the streets. Superpowered humans gather together, some to fight organized crime, others to take down the enigmatic MortixCorp.

2,217 readers have visited this universe since GMDKENJK created it.

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Introduction

MortixCorp City, 2113


There are old books that talk about this. I've read some of them. 1984. Brave New World. All burned, or presumably burned, anyway. It's funny, that almost 200 years ago, some weirdoes were asking the questions that everyone seems to forget to ask anymore. Like what happens after utopia?

It's been just over 50 years since MortixCorp founded this city, the one that bears its name. Almost a hundred years since the first child was born a Super. But only a few since Freya Mortix consolidated all the power in this place into her own hands. Most people have no idea how she could manage it, but I do. That bitch is a Super, with the creepiest kind of power- she gets inside your head, figures out exactly what you want from life, and promises you that and everything else if you do what she wants. No surprise she's running the show, then, is it?

Thing is, it's all great if she likes you. You get six, seven figures, your own luxury everything, the goddamn American dream. Problem is, she doesn't really like most people. The slums are overflowing, and crime is all over the place. That's what happens when the cops are privately-owned. Once upon a time, that's what Supers were for, but now most of them are corporate dogs, too, and all that's left out there are a few free Supers who are too damn afraid of getting caught in the spider's web to risk doing much of anything. Untrained kids, cynical old folks, even the occasional Mortix deserter who just wants to keep his head down.

I aim to change that. I'm gonna bring down MortixCorp, once and for all. I'm gonna set this city free. Thing is, I can't do it alone.

Whose side are you on, anyway?





Insurrection is a cyberpunk-inspired, futuristic, superhero RP. Players can choose to join the private army of Freya Mortix, or a small, underfunded guerrilla effort in the warehouse district. Playing as a Super is highly-encouraged, but if you would rather be the perfectly-human hacker or a random civilian, we won't restrict your freedom on that front either. The story will follow both sides of the conflict as the Insurrection forms itself, takes on crime in the city, and comes into conflict with MortixCorp. Most of the specifics of this will be decided on by the players as they go, but we GMs have a few plot devices up our sleeves if they're needed also.



The Oracle's Dossier:

MortixCorp:

Freya Mortix, CEO
Babayaga Vladmiskov, "Rasputina" KIA
Alex Snyder, "The Magician" KIA
Myrias Wesper, "The Enigma" DECEASED
Francis Vespois, "Clockwork" AWOL
Valter de'Forte, "The Musician"
Specimen 32, "Michael" KIA
Kayne Rourk, "Tombstone" KIA
Specimen 42, "Vivian" DEFECTED
Esmerelda Gorrion de Flores, "La Bruja"

The Insurrection

Gregory Smith, "Hekaton" KIA
Charlotte Loxely, "Powersurge" KIA
Gene Deblair, "Drache" AWOL
Eliot Moore, "Smokey" KIA
Peter Parkinson, "Mech" KIA
Alan Sikes, "Phantom" KIA
James Evans, "Talisman"
John Maddox, "Tank" AWOL
Vincent Erebos, "Adam"

Free Supers:

Gabriel Hastings, "Chevalier"
Raphael Kristiansen, "The Archangel" Revolutionary Suicide
Isaiah Abrahms, "Prophet" MIA, presumed DECEASED
Vivian Hastings, "Tabula Rasa"




Character Creation Guidelines

1. Powers: Each "Super" is allowed one primary and one secondary power. Primary powers are, predictably enough, powerful, but they all have major drawbacks. For example, a pyrokinetic who can overheat and/or burn herself when using the ability. Secondary powers have no drawbacks, but the catch is it has to be something weak enough that having only the secondary power would be, in a word, lame. Flight comes to mind, or an enhanced sense of your choice. Each super must have a primary power, but secondary abilities are not necessary and can either be left off entirely or acquired later, with GM approval.

2. Age: Nobody under 18. If they were, they'd have to be attending compulsory education every day, and that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for trying to save the city.

3. Faction: Feel free to create people working for MortixCorp, free Supers, or existing members of the Insurrection. Or anyone, really, as long as they can be reasonably incorporated into the story. Ideally, we'd have some grey morality going on here, so if you want to make a complete douche for the "good" side, go for it.

4. No races other than human please, though the setting makes cybernetic implants a possibility. Try giving yourself an awesome cybernetic body+ sweet powers, though, and dionkar336 will eat you.

5. Character Sheet:
Code: Select all
[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Alias:[/b] If you have one; most free supers and some Mortix people use them to protect identity
[b]Age:[/b]Between 18-80, please. Though if you have a really badass idea for a 90-year-old, we probably won't say no.
[b]Gender[/b]
[b]Affiliation:[/b] MortixCorp, Insurrection, or Free Super. If you're a civvie, say so.
[b]Appearance:[/b] Pictures are acceptable, but should be linked via [url] [/url], not [img] [/img]. A written description should be provided, at least for things like height.
[b]Clothing:[/b] This is in some senses an homage to classic superhero comics, so costumes are completely acceptable. Most of the time, characters will be in street clothes, but everyone in the Insurrection needs a mask, and if you feel like making something up beyond that, that's awesome.
[b]Primary Power:[/b] Get creative, and don't forget to include a significant drawback.
[b]Secondary Power:[/b] Not necessary, but an option. Anyone who had been actively using their powers for less than five years probably will not have developed this yet.
[b]Personality:[/b] Remember to give your character flaws, please.
[b]Strengths:[/b] Things your character is good at.
[b]Weaknesses:[/b] They'd better actually be weaknesses, and at least a number equal to (strengths minus 1), with no less than two total.
[b]Equipment:[/b] Anything they carry around with them.
[b]History:[/b] Include your cover occupation, if you have one.

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The Story

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The magacity is a vast place, perhaps five times the size of the metropolis it once was. Long ago, before the War, they called it New York, but these days it was Mortix. Everything about it was Mortix, from the shiny facades to the buildings that dared to challenge the sky down to the dirt beneath the feet of the bums and prostitues who graced its filthiest corners. It was beautiful, and it was disgusting. The pinnacle of human accomplishment offset by the depths of human suffering.

The city seemed to have little order to it, at least in terms of relative conditions. Aside from the always-pristine downtown, you could be in a perfectly middle-class area and turn the corner to find a slum. A remnant of the old sector system, back before Mortix owned it all, like a hundred cities in miniature, each with its own prime real estate and squalor alike. The rising sun casts reddish light onto the shining siding of downtown, which is reflected, giving the entire thing an ethereal feel to it. The whole city might have been so, but not all the crime bosses with sectors under their control bother to clean the surroundings, and sometimes there no reflected hope or accomplishment to be seen, just rust and the occasional annoying beam of light in your eyes.

A new day dawns on Mortix City, and the woman in charge of it all can only frown at what she has wrought. Not because she is on the whole displeased, but because “on the whole” was never good enough for someone like Freya Mortix. An exacting attention to detail, a concept of how all the little pieces moved across the board to frame the battle she fought- these were things that had made her successful in the first place. Unless each minute valve was calibrated to the exact attunement she wanted, each pawn positioned just so, she could never be satisfied.

Anal bitch, someone snickered, and her bright-red brows knit together, the thoughtful frown morphing into a grimace of distaste. It would seem she would not be granted a moment’s peace today. Sometimes, she truly did wonder if her thoughts were her own any longer.

Of course they aren’t. What else would you expect, playing God like you do? God’s gonna play you right back, like some kinda shitty barroom piano. Having people inside your head sucks, don’t it? She could almost picture the snide sneer that accompanied this proclamation, and she shoved the thoughts forcibly from her headspace. A temporary fix, of course. He would be back. They always came back, and that sometimes seemed to be the only consistent thing about them. Consistency, order, control. Tell a lie once, and someone might not believe it. Repeat a lie indefinitely, and it suddenly became all the more probable.

Freya shook her head, turning from the large-paned window in her top-floor office and crossing back to her desk. Papers requiring her perusal were stacked neatly in one corner, those to be put in her outbox on the other end. Half of those papers had something to do with the Insurrection, and she well knew it. Damn bunch of brats thought they could topple her perfect order with nothing more than a few scattered Supers, some shaky allies and a whole lot of hate. As though she would ever allow such a thing. As though they were anything but half-broken pawns, crawling futilely forward across the board she had laid out with masterful precision, alive only until she could decide which trap she would most like to spring upon them.

There were two problems here, however: the first was the fact that she did not know who or where they were, not precisely. This was something that could eventually be discovered, with time and effort. She would slowly gather the information she could, and then turn it over to the Enigma. That man could find anything with a computer; it was the reason he yet lived. Well, that and she found his eccentricity amusing. But he would need somewhere to start. Thus far, the only soldiers to collide with the Insurrection were coming back in uniform condition; namely dead and therefore useless.

The other problem came in the form of exactly two unknown factors. One, she understood too well to consider much of a threat. He was out for himself and himself alone- and thus predictable. Even so, the fact that he still eluded her control, when not attributable to the twinge of sentimentality she had left, spoke to the fact that he was just capricious enough to present a problem.

The other, though, had a streak of altruism in him yet, or at the very least an inclination to help those of his ken and kind. Which way he would sway in this conflict was as yet unknown to her, but she would know soon enough. Vincent might be ancient by most standards, and potentially out of his mind, but he could and would be accounted for.

But first… first, she needed intelligence, information, data. Fuel for Enigma’s systems. There were a few ways to go about achieving this, but one of them was risking an asset she did not want to lose just yet, and most of the others were far too inefficient. Yes, that left rather narrow options indeed, and only one good choice. The only question that remained, then, was which personnel to put to the task. She wanted someone to come back alive, and as much as she was loath to admit it, whoever this rebellion was, they were good at taking her patrols unaware.

Rasputina then, certainly. There were advantages to having a secretary who could reassemble herself even if they did kill her. But, if she was estimating their numbers correctly, they would need more than a normal patrol plus one, even if that one was what Freya privately termed the “back-up plan.” Just one more then; fact-finding mission, keep it simple, minimal. The Magician could probably get a good read on what they were dealing with in terms of powers, and the more Enigma had to work with, the better.

Very well, then. Extending her mental reach over her network of underlings, Freya sought the two she was looking for and homed in on their… unique mental signatures. Some of her employees were much easier to find than others, full stop. Ms. Vladmiskov, Mr. Snyder, please report to my office at your earliest convenience. The subtext of course was that their “earliest convenience” had better be pretty soon. While Freya was good at waiting, she was not exactly what anyone would describe as patient. A subtle distinction that made all the difference in the world.

Someone’s a little on-edge today, hm? Does that mean we get to mess somebody up? I do love it when they writhe around in agony, begging for mercy.

Freya sighed, and grabbed a document from the top of her stack. New Dragon Salt shipment, by the looks of it. Funny, how what was once intended for use as a biological weapon was now a recreational drug.

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The tattered hem of her shirt skirt ruffles about her thighs. Against her motorcycle her fishnet stockings stand out a bit. With her skirt being short, top and bottom, her twinkling lavender navel decoration is visible. Perfect bait for the dealer she's targeting tonight. They've known each other for nearly a year now. And Gene can honestly say that Skunk has earned her trust and more specific attentions. Not only does he give her a sweet fix, he's a hell of a good fuck (or maybe he isn't, she's usually too high to tell or really care anymore).

It's a short ride through the dim streets of the city. People are coming home from work and various other errands, starting a shift, or like Gene out doing miscreant deeds. On her corset the silk ribbons flutter their short lengths along her slender torso. Wandering along the slick slums she halts Toxin at a rundown looking building. Of course she within the heart of the industrial section of the slums. Giant cogs, coils, pipes, garbage and tires litter the streets as well as the alleys. Gene feels most comfortable here however. The megalomaniac is one of the many love children of this city, here in these slums. Lurking to the crumbling steps she scales a behemoth gear to get inside, twisting her body through a small opening. Most buildings are strategically littered with junk to keep out the only undesirables in the slums; anyone with lawful authority.

The junky lands heavily on her platform, belted boots. A few users are already in the building all nice and high. Within herself Gene feels that need. Her body gets shaky and a cold sweat begins to dot along her skin. She walks quickly now, ignoring the cat calls of those she's yet to sleep with and the greetings of those she's already bedded. Galloping like a horse she slams open a few doors before coming upon Skunk's office. Lounging in a creaky chair with a cigarette in one hand, he flicks the ash from his fingerless gloves. Skunk has on his traditional hoodie, all black save for the single stripe going down the back. Even his eyes are striped in a similar fashion. On his lips are spider piercings, something they both also enjoy aside from dragonsalt. Self mutilation/decor. Skunk smiles as she leans over his desk. Gene parts her untethered lips, scraping their piercings together as she moves to speak in his ear, hot breath dusting his cheek and ear. "Hey Skunk baby...I need a few hits. My glass garden in the basement came up short this year." she shrieks with anticipation as the equally eager man pins her on the desk, knocking aside paperwork.

Their legs are a tangle as they now rest on the floor. "You have the worst balance." Gene mocks, swatting Skunk's broad chest. The man grunts and chuckles, biting at the twisted skull on her ear. "Cry me a fuckin' river." the dealer groans a bit and sits up, the patched blanket drifting from his hips. They always seem to end up on the floor no matter where they ravage each other. She gets out from under the blanket and finds her undergarments, slipping the black silk up her hips. Her hips seem so bare...maybe she should get some hip studs. With her skirt on she loosely hugs her corset to her chest, lacing her boots as Skunk moves to tighten her corset. Gene laughs softly. "Such a gentleman.", she coos as she also eyes the generous orange crystal tossed onto the table. "Thanks for the candy and for kissing my rings." she's not talking about the ones on her fingers.

With a heavy crystal wedged in her cleavage and a sated body, Gene exits the building. Now to get to something more serious. Earning some cash for the day to be able to buy some groceries for her dragonites (the slaves she has caged for dragon salt harvesting) and of course her cannibalistic, inbred siblings (or the few still alive and too far gone to help themselves). Gene is all for the Insurrection but honestly? She prefers a long, hard day of honest work doing what she knows best. Sex and drugs. Filtering into a back alley she met up with a nervous young man and showed him the speckled crystal so many people have been clamoring to obtain.

A heavy wad of cash in her gloved hand she brushes herself off, walking out of the alley. Gene finds her motorcycle, Toxin and kneels to make sure everything is still in mint condition. Nimble fingers tuck the money into of her wallet and pockets it inside of a worn jacket before heading down the street. She'll buy groceries soon, perhaps before she ambles to the rebels' place to crash for a little while. And to freshen up her make up before hitting the streets all over again. Rinse, lather, repeat.

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In a rundown backroom of some dirty old hovel, a game of poker was being played. A group of four men surrounded a beat-up circular table. The men were all dressed in similar fashion, ties, suits, high priced leather. A stark contrast compared to the conditions the game was being played in. Each person had two cards face down on the table and a couple of the players wore sunglasses, others' faces were so solid and unmovable, one could mistake them for statues. On the table laid a deck of cards and beside the deck three cards laid face up, the board. A 5 of hearts, 7 of clubs, and a 3 of spades occupied the table and every now and then a player ventured to check his two card hand.

James, a man without sunglasses and a black fedora stared at the deck. He wore leather jacket over a gray vest and checkered tie. He reached down into his pile of money on the table and pulled a folded twenty and threw it in the pot. "Call," He stated, and another card was placed down. An ace of spades. The faces on the players shown no emotion and one player merely tapped the table. It wasn't a tell as the man had been tapping all night, perhaps the dwindling pile of money at his side had something to do with it? Either way, the betting continued. One man, in a red fur coat and a gawdy top hat made first bid. Another twenty. Then the next man, a smaller, fat man in a business suit and a cigar hanging out of his mouth, "Raise you twenty," He said, placing two twenties on the table.

The other man winced and followed suit. The next man, a tall grizzled fellow with a patchy beard and a ratty vest placed down the bet and finally, it was James bet again, "Call," He said, placing the two twenties on the table. Then another card was laid down. Another Ace, this one of hearts. Still no reaction from the players and only silent contemplation. The man in the fur chewed on his lip... This was the last bet. "Fuck it," he said, putting two hundreds in. The other players winced and the next man, the fat man with the dwindling pile cursed and folded. The grizzled man chewed on his lip before shaking his head and putting his two hundreds in. Now it was James turn. The man showed no emotion and took his time... By this time, the waitress, a stringy and old looking broad, began to bring drinks around...

WHACK!

James held the back of his head on the table as the waitress turned sharply and accidentally bashed the man in the back of his head. His hat was slightly wet due to some of the scotch spilling. The men around the table laughed and the waitress apologized off-handly. Then the man in fur took off his glasses and peered at James, "Looks like you have a string of bad luck. Might want to fold, otherwise you might not be eating tonight." He said condescendingly. James looked at the man with a pained expression and then spoke, "One way to find out, yeah?" He asked, as he took remaining three hundred from his pile and placed it on the pot.

The patchy man uttered a cursed and folded, while the man in the top hat winced. He had just noticed that James hadn't looked at his hand once during the whole game... "Hard ball, you little shit? You aren't going bluff me," He said, placing another hundred on the pile, "Call," He said with vemon.

Then the man flipped his two cards, with a smirk. He held an Ace of Clubs, and a 5 of spades. Two pair with Aces and five. The man smirked and muttered, "Beat that you bastard," James winced at the flipping of the cards and sighed... He flipped one card. A 7 of hearts. A pair of 7s already... The top hat man snorted. Then... Then James smiled a wide smile and flipped over his last card. An Ace of diamonds... James won the pot.. A total of around $900 dollars. The men sat around the table, dumbfounded while James began to rake the cash in. He balled it all up and put it in his pocket.

"Sorry, fellows, I've got to go. There's a steak out there with my name on it." He said, quickly slipping from the backroom and into the ally. Behind the door, an explosion of curses, swearing, and threats could be heard. James only smiled and walked off. He didn't get far before he stepped into a pot hole and tripped in the water.. "Of course. Getting bashed in the head wasn't enough, was it? I had to fall too... Fair enough." He muttered to no one. He was $900 dollars richer, he didn't just give a damn. He got up, and brushed himself off, and headed towards the nearest diner to order that steak.

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#, as written by Shiva
"And for my grand finale, a box!" cried the black-haired man upon the stage.

The polished floor and wide area meant that this was one serious gig- but altogether it was just a normal place to perform for The Magician. Equipment and everything, a box was lowered onto the floor. Several assistants came out, all wearing the same black hooded robes to appear the same. The men whooped and the women fell silent once again. It was all part of the show. With a flourish, Alex Snyder patted the box to show that it wasn't some hallucination and nodded empathetically to the audience. He was received by some chuckles as he bowed once, handing his cloak to his assistance and hopped into the box. His assistants closed the box over him, and took out chains to wrap around the box. The Magician was trapped inside, or so the crowd thought. The assistants left with his cloak, and the crane lifted the box up into the air. What the audience would notice, is that while chaining the box up, one attached a stick of dynamite to the front- strategically directing the fragmentation (of the box) backwards instead of toward the audience. With a few ticks and tocks, the box exploded- but the Magician was nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly, the spotlights shot toward a balcony near the back of the stage, to reveal The Magician standing there, his arms outspread and smiling. The people applauded, though some were still recovering from the combustion of that box. Grabbing a pole, he slid down and walked toward the front as the pieces of the box and chain were picked off the ground. "Thank you! Thank you very much." He said, as the clapping fell to a close. He decided to grace the audience with one more trick- so he snapped once and a chair sitting on a trigonal pedestal was brought out. Both sides had three steps leading up to the spot where a exotic, red and black painted chair sat. He smiled, rubbing his hands together. "Being the good audience that you are, I shall give you another show!" He declared, much to his audience's approval.

"I've managed to make myself disappear, audience- but now, I'll show you how to make somebody else disappear." He said, just as a scantily clad woman strode out and stood next to him. "Meet Margaret- or rather, say goodbye- as she's going to disappear before your very eyes!"

He lead Margaret up to have her sit on the chair. Just as she sat down, two other assistants walked up holding a thick blanket. As the Magician hopped down, the blanket was raised, hiding Margaret from view. The blanket was lowered about halfway, revealing Margaret. The Magician smiled, raising his arms to show no magic has been done yet. The blanket was raised once more to hide her from view. With a few hand gestures from the Magician, he snapped his fingers. The two assistants threw the blanket down, and revealed nothing but an empty chair on a trigonal pedestal. The crowd gasped. The Magician laughs, walking up the steps on the pedestal and sits down on the chair. "Thank you once again, ladies and gentlemen, for attending the show. Maybe you've learned after all- you don't need to be a Super to use magic."

With that, the curtains closed- but did not muffle the roaring applause he received from the people in the stands. As he got up from the chair, he helps the assistant squeeze herself out of a trap door on the top of the pedestal. Looking at it, it would be extremely thin and impossible to fit anyone- but closer inspection reveals that even the stairs in the side were hollowed out, allowing the assistant to contort herself into escaping from view. "Good show, Margaret." He chuckled. The girl slapped him on the shoulder.

"It's Matilda, idiot." She said playfully as she exited with the rest of the girls. Oops. He mixed up the twins again. Suddenly, Freya's voice entered his head. Her order to report to her would be obeyed as always. He sighed- luckily the show was finished, otherwise she would have had to wait just a little longer. And from past experience, making Freya wait was not in his best interest. He slipped out of his cloak and left, congratulating everyone on his team the entire way out. To avoid fans (just in case) he casted a glamor beforehand, making the door and area appear static. People outside would not see the door open and the Magician slip out and into a nearby alley. However, if they weren't paying attention to the door, they would have noticed the cat perched on the windowsill suddenly disappear and reappear a few seconds later.

It would only be a little more time until he reached MortixCorp, the huge building that separated himself from Freya. He shot his ID to the security at front and made his way up to Freya's office- luckily avoiding full body searches that some guards were so fond of.

He entered the room without knocking- as he had done from when he had started working with Freya and bowed with a flourish. "You called, Frey-frey?" He asked. At first, he used to be wary of her power- but as he progressed, he realized that if he let her stomp all over him he'd end up becoming just another tool. Therefore, he always acted casual or sarcastic around the head of MortixCorp, despite the various punishments she had inflicted on him. Of course, she already knew this. Probably.

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“Dammit!” Charlotte shouted to nobody in particular, half-tempted to smack the bothersome fixture with her favorite wrench. Ultimately, though, it isn’t worth it. Waste of a good wrench, and a troublesome but workable apparatus. Though her warehouse abode is now the unofficial Insurrection HQ, there’s hardly ever anyone else around at this hour, unless somebody crashed on her couch or the floor last night, and then, well, she reserves the right to shout things at random intervals.

Technopath she may be, but some repairs just have to be made manually, and this is not the first time she’s wished for less pathetic upper-body strength. With considerable effort and a few more useless oaths, the bolt is tightened to her satisfaction, and she slides out from under the rebellion’s sole four-wheeled vehicle: a surprisingly swish sedan, with an engine that purrs like a kitten when Charlie’s finished with it. Then again, everything mechanical is better when she’s on the job. It’s one of the few things she takes pride in.

Charlotte clambered to her feet, swiping a hand across her brow, leaving a streak of blackish oil to match the one on her left cheekbone. Her goggles, she plants firmly on her head, keeping back her wispy mess of bright-blue bedhead. Swiping the skateboard she was using up off the ground, the mechanic circled the car. For all the well-touted hovertech and stuff that the rich idiots were gabbing about, there was still something to be said for old-fashioned Japanese engineering.

The car was a gift, to the Insurrection, from a man named Gabriel Hastings. She knew it was stolen for this reason alone, and the thought was amusing to say the least. He probably only gave it to them because he couldn’t find a buyer for such an old model, but she didn’t care. The mechanical beast was Sadie now, and it was theirs.

The bikes, she left for now, unlatching her toolbelt and draping it over a hook in the wall. She wondered if Peter would be in today- that guy needed tune-ups near-constantly, though she thought it was kinda funny to tease him by interfacing with his mechanical parts, making them do random stuff without his consent. All in good fun, of course, but her inner child couldn’t really help it.

Deciding she was hungry, Charlotte ambled to the fridge, poking her head inside and examining the rather bare shelves with a grimace. Damn Insurrection, easting her out of house and home. Or maybe that was just Vincent, it was hard to tell. Shrugging, she grabs something in a dangerously neon-colored can and pops the tab, heading for her couch and sprawling across it. One of the positives to living in a modified warehouse was that everything (except her bathroom amenities, thank whatever gods are out there) was in one huge room.

She picked up a three-day-old newspaper that someone had left laying around and thumbed through it, rolling her eyes when she caught an article that featured the grand opening of Mortix City’s newest museum, apparently to feature a rare collection of gemstones. Gabriel was going to be busy for a while. She didn’t really know why people bothered to open museums anymore. All the good stuff was in private collections by now, or about to be. Whichever.

Weren’t they supposed to be attacking another patrol today? That would mean people would probably start showing up soon. Frankly, Charlie didn’t really see the point. As soon as they could flatten (in Greg’s case, literally) one, there would be more to take the same place. It was like Mortix had an endless supply of peons. It wouldn’t surprise the technician to learn that they made them in factories these days.

It was likely just a ploy to get Mortix to send someone important after them. Once they took out the big guns, the city would know they meant business, these foolish little vigilante rebels. They might even make it somewhere into this yellow rag she was reading. Who knew?

Idly, Charlotte wondered what Gene was doing right now. On second thought… the correct way to ask that question was not what but who, and she really didn’t want to know. Gene had been around since Charlie wound up down here in the slums eight, nine years back now, and without her, the techie would be dead, no question. But she had enough… something left that she’d never been able to embrace the lifestyle the way Gene did. And she stayed well away from the Salt.

Rolling over onto her back, Charlotte frowned and lazily flicked sparks back and forth between her fingers, bored at rest as she tended to be.

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"I'm not saying she should become a clone of myself. It's just that she could use some modifications. Particularly her upper-body. One arm like mine and her efficiency will triple," Peter stated calmly as Alan and himself entered the warehouse. Childish, though the thief tended to be, he had lifted most of the tech held to his chest like his first-born child. There always was some useful scrap in the city's many junkyards, but only the richer parts of the city or MortixCrop itself contained the cutting-edge technology that Peter required for his upgrades. He wouldn't get them all installed tonight. There was much to do and some of it required Charlotte's help, which would no doubt include her making his body move involuntarily while she and Alan snickered. That was the price he paid for good maintenance and the tech Alan retrieved for it.

"She's fine the way she is. Not everyone has to be half-machine," Alan retorted, slightly annoyed. It was an age-old argument that Peter had with pretty much everyone. It came with being a cyborg. Better that he thought that was the way of the future, the thief supposed. Thus, he contented himself with smelling the bag of Italian food he was carry. Not the cheap, mass-produced kind that was available in the slums. The pasta was covered in sauce made from real tomatoes and bread that was handmade. Alan's mouth watered at the thought. It was good to be invisible, even if he panicked for a few minutes when he was unable to turn back. That was the downside to his powers. Sometimes, he had nightmares of becoming invisible permanently, unseen by his closest friend and, in the really scary ones, unheard too.

"The way her powers work, it would be a benefit for her," Peter stated, interrupting the thief's thoughts, "The risk posed by her primary power would decrease 30%."

"Yeah, but she has beautiful arms. I don't want to see them replaced by hunks of metal. Err... No offense," Alan told him, a bit nervously.

"Machinery is beautiful. And less fragile than these organic bodies of ours," Peter replied, choosing to ignore the accidental insult. Alan just shook his head and headed for the dining area, spotting Charlotte and grinning over at her.

"Food's here!" he shouted happily, unceremoniously propping himself next to Charlotte on the couch, dropping the precious food on the table in front of it and searching for the remote. If he was lucky, he got here in time for Dragon Age: Damnation. He loved that show. Peter, for his part grabbed a plastic container of spaghetti and headed towards the corner with the power tools and antiseptic. If he was lucky, he could extend his flamethrower's reach by a half a foot.

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Initially unnoticed by James, a translucent shadow followed him for his post-poker route, chuckling slightly when the man tripped over the pothole and got water on his trousers. Running through a few buildings, the intangible man picked the route he thought his target would select and lurked just around a convenient corner. This neighborhood was a fair bit outside Gabriel's usual haunts, as there was not much to steal from people who had nothing, but one of those card-players was a well-connected man, and a paranoid one at that. Of course, the cigar he'd been smoking and the quality of his suit probably would have given away his profession as this sector's personal crime lord, if his lousy gambling ability didn't. Such men were not known for losing, and that was because most people were too smart to beat them by a lot.

Most people did not include certain luck-dependent gambling addicts, obviously, and hence Gabriel was presently employed to retrieve a few belongings that had become collateral when the cash ran out. Solidifying himself once again, Gabriel leaned casually against a nearby wall, ever the picture of careless elegance. It was something of a point of personal pride, to look at once so careless and so polished. Okay, so it was more vanity than anything, but it was mostly harmless.

As soon as James rounded the corner, Gabriel stepped forward (with unnecessary dramatic flourish, of course), and smiled with genuine friendliness. "If it isn't the luckiest unlucky man I know," he greeted amiably, tipping his pinstriped hat in a half-mocking gesture. "I think we both know why I'm here, yes? All I need is-" and here he darted forward, deftly pulling the watch from James's pocket- "this. I suppose I'd better make off with the spoils while my luck is still mine, eh?" And with that, he was breezing past the gambler, trying to make his escape, and the game was on.

Too late. He didn't see the damn tabby cat until it was under his feet (why was it always a cat?), preventing him from simply phasing through it, and instead it thoroughly tripped up his long limbs, sending him pitching forward. With reflexes born of something older than his powers, he managed to land on his back with a melodramatic sigh. From his position on the ground, he held up the watch in a resigned gesture. "I think that makes it 54-55, your favor," Gabriel commented idly, waiting for James to take the trinket back before he stood. "I must admit, I am rather happy to know that something unfortunate will happen to you eventually because of this." He had to admit, being able to pick your karma seemed dead useful, if a tad dangerous given the inevitable backlash. Fate was a harsh mistress indeed.

Dusting off his shoulders and back in an attempt to place himself back to rights, the tall man grinned. "It might actually be an affront to my professionalism, being thwarted so easily, but I have always held that I am a heist man, not a pickpocket." Here he paused, dark blue eyes sparked with mirth. "How about we celebrate your victory with drinks? On you of course; I did not just stumble upon nine hundred green ones, after all." It was always like this; James and Gabriel had known each other for some time, and tended to cross paths fairly frequently due to the contact both had with the Mortix City underbelly. Of course, most of the time, someone was mad at James and hired Gabriel to take care of it. Whether he "succeeded" or not was, as the tally he kept would testify, a rather even chance. Not so bad, when your adversary was the lucky one by nature. Of course, as Gabriel liked to point out oh-so-conscientiously, thieving was less a matter of luck than skill, which he liked to think counted for something. Being able to avoid getting hit by things helped more than he would ever admit.

Unknown to the people who employed him but most amusing to Gabriel himself was the fact that James was a hell of a drinking buddy, and swapping stories of various misdeeds and tidbits of the goings-on in Mortix was a far more valuable use of his time (and in the end a far more profitable venture) than doing petty jobs for small-time crooks. Of course, it was also entirely possible that James had somewhere to be now that he was a man nine-hundred richer, and if this was the case, Gabriel certainly wasn't going to stop him. But, well, there was the possibility of drinks involved, and both of them knew that the bar in question was also the thief's place of more legitimate employment and thus would not cost either of them much at all.

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#, as written by Aythr
John Maddox made his way to the warehouse where he was planning to meet the rest of the members of The Insurrection. The warehouse was a lot like John himself; It wasn't a very glamorous, but it served its purpose well enough. He was making his way there on foot, keep a careful eye behind him to ensure that he wasn't being followed. Even though the rebels hadn't really made a name for themselves yet, it was never too early to be cautious. It's always easiest to put out a fire when it's an ember, and giving anybody that chance would mean everything they were doing would be for nothing.

He turned the corner, and once again looked behind him. Nobody. It was probably for the best that he was on foot. As far as he was concerned, vehicles could be bugged, sabotaged, or even rigged to explode. It was not something to look forward to, even with his durability taken into account. At last he reached his destination, and made his way inside.

John entered the warehouse as stealthily as a mountain, his form slowly lumbering in ahead of schedule. He preferred to show up early, else he would probably show up late. He quickly made a beeline to the fridge as quick as he could before Charlotte would notice him, hoping to get a soda and pop the top before she could start yelling about how much she hated people taking things out of her fridge. As he popped the tab, he jumped over the back of the couch in an attempt to sit before Charlotte could appear and give him an earful about whose soda it was that he was drinking. Right before he landed, he noticed his the TV was on and the smell of food in the air.

As he landed on the couch, he felt that he was sitting on something that wasn't a couch. He looked down, and noticed two people, Alan and Charlette on the couch. If his powers were active, he probably could have killed them both just by landing on them. Peter was sitting in the corner by himself with power tools, doing some kind of adjustments on himself. He was completely unaware of their presence. He felt stupid for not noticing them, though smart wasn't really his strong suit.

"Uh...Hey." he said, looking around awkwardly.

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"Oh shi-" James uttered as a familiar figure rounded a corner, quite... Dramatically "The hell did I piss off now?" He said rather friendlily. Usually when ever he saw this man, that meant he had won something of some value from someone important... Now doubt from his latest set of victims... His mind flashed through the three men, Patchy, Top Hat, and Cigar... He had his money on Top hat.. He seemed especially pissed at his recent... Misfortune.

Then man leaned forward and snatched something from James's pocket. It flashed with a sheen in the low-light of the ally. "A watch?" He asked incredulously... He didn't remember a watch. However, it was probably hidden in the rolls of twenties and hundreds... A simply thought crossed his mind, what other crap had he won? He turned as the man bounded pass him, and nonchalantly slid his hands in the pockets of his soggy trousers... And waited...

Almost as if on cue, a black tabby darted from somewhere to the side of the man and tripped him up. A smirk curled around a corner of James's lips, like he was expecting that to happen. He slowly loped over the the fallen man, taking his time and enjoying it. The man was Gabriel, a professional thief who James usually had the luck to run into after gambling. Usually because some pompous ass decides that he wants his stuff back from the unusually lucky fellow with the black fedora and leather jacket. Can't fault them, not like he won it legitimately, unlike they would know. And neither could he fault Gabriel for what he does, using the powers he had to his advantage. In fact, they had made a game out of the ordeal...

"I think that makes it 54-55, your favor"

"Ah, good ol' Gabriel, looks like I'm winning now," He said with good humor as he took the watch from the Gabriel's hand and then helped him up with the other, showing good will. He then examined the golden watch in his other hand. Gold, of course. No one who dressed like those men would settle for anything less... Except for maybe Patchy. But this was real gold. Plus it told the correct time! Well, at least it did for now.. James tapped the watch with a finger curiously while he listened to the man. He wondered how long it would last with James's flippant luck.

"I must admit, I am rather happy to know that something unfortunate will happen to you eventually because of this."


"Yeah... I am not looking forward to that at all.. Jerk," James said with a laugh and a smile. "Lady Luck is a fickle bitch and karmic justice just sucks." He said shaking his head. He then took a last look at the watch and handed it back to Gabriel, "Here, it wouldn't last with me. I'd do something small and it'd either tarnish on me or plain out break. You can use it better than I can. Besides, no telling what else I got in here," he said, patting his bulky pocket. He then snarked, "Plus, I'm winning. That's all I really need... That and maybe a drink." When Gabriel then spoke of being better with heists than pickpocketing, James shrugged, "Keep telling yourself that. Skill is good and all, but it can go to hell in a second if you throw a black cat in the works." He said, smirk still readily apparent. While Gabriel did have skill, James wouldn't argue that, he was much more comfortable with the ability to pick and choose who and when Lady Luck decides to smile or forsake. Even if she would turn on him within moments afterward.

"Drinks sounds good right now, I'll buy them, as long as they aren't on me..." He said with a bit of wordplay, taking the black hat off of his head. The whiff of the drying scotch was strong, a testament to James's flippant luck. "Since I'm buying," He pulled out a wad of cash from his pocket as he flipped the hat back on his head, "You can choose where." James said, thinking of the thief's work place. He rather liked the thieving phantom's tales of his exploits. Plus, James was rather sure Gabriel liked to hear his latest hauls, as well... Or perhaps it was the karmic justice afterward he liked... Either way, the two were good drinking buddies. The man was a high-class bartender, and usually had good information dealing with gamblers with more money than sense. James as well could provide tips on work, if he was not the subject of work himself, to Gabriel. One tends to learn things when one gambles with connected people. He chuckled. Rich people always wanted other rich folk crap.

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#, as written by Basta
The waiting room outside of the CEO's office could only be described as lavish. Rich mahogany trim, plush carpets, hand crafted leather furnature. It spoke of someone who had both the time and money to entertain guests before entertaining guests. In reality, though, Freya Mortix had no say in how her personal waiting room looked. It was a task delegated to her secretary, Babayaga Vladmiskov. The secretary was just as detail oriented and task focused as her boss, but about other things. Meetings, appointments, decorations, meals, all these things were her domain.

The smallest hint of a frown blemished Babayaga's luscious mouth as she worked. She wasn't unhappy; it was simply a habit while she typed reports for her boss to review. Her job was to sift through all the junk sent up to Freya and make sure she occupied her time with things that really mattered. Budget deficiencies, worker complaints, vacation requests...all these things never graced the most powerful woman in the city's desk. There were a rash of reports about rogue supers and the "Insurrection" appearing with annoying frequency, though.

Ms. Vladmiskov, Mr. Snyder, please report to my office at your earliest convenience. The voice of Ms. Mortix echoed through Rasputina's head, making her shiver a bit. She reminded herself that it was for business, tried to surpress her...reaction. It isn't healthy to be...close to someone like Freya, she reminded herself.

Babayaga stood and quickly fetched an espresso before she entered the office. Taking care not to disturb the leaf pattern in the coffee, she set it down on a clear spot of the desk, along with another stack of papers in the in-box.

"You rang, ma'am?" she questioned, her Russian accent thick.

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Three floors down from Freya Mortix's office sat a room that measured no more than fifteen feet squared. Unfortunately the edges were so cluttered with computers, machines of varying functions, dials, clocks, buttons, flashing lights and a seemingly endless number of tiny screens that the floor space measured no more than eight foot by twelve. At the front of the room was an automated door made of thick and heavy metal with no apparent keypad or lock. It was unmarked on the outside save for a small sign hung halfway up. It was a bleak, faded white with stark, orange lettering that read simply "Have Faith." Opening this door was only for the man who resided most of the time inside and the head of MortixCorp. Other than her personal voice scan the only key was the mind of Myrias Wesper.

An approaching visitor would see door open and they would smell before they saw the contents of the room. A stale, acrid odour seeped out; the combination of constant human (If he could still be called such) habitation and endlessly running machinery. The heat too was intense, though it was not a product of poor ventilation. It seemed the longer he lived the more he resembled the corpse he should be, requiring outstanding amounts of heat to keep warm and giving off the tangy, sweet aroma of decay.

Then the view. Possibly the most complicated system of computers set up in the whole of MortixCorp. Digital products of a dead age met the cutting edge of technology in a sprawl around the edges. And dead ahead, a twisted wedding aisle where the only guests were robotic eyes and the groom was locking into wedding vowes with artificial constructs. So much of his time was spent crawling through 'The System' that some people genuinely believed his very heart and soul was encased in the intricate wiring and that when he finally gave up his unnatural grip on life the programmes would keep running. To see him work would offer some evidence for that argument.


The room is dark, there is no need of light for The Enigma. The greatest puzzle for most is how a blind man crippled by age could possibly scoot from one workplace to the other and never miss a key as he typed and flicked screens furiously, endlessly, never growing tired of it. But then, not everyone knew he was super. It was also his job and Myrias was never one to let hardship get in the way of passion. His bony, black fingers skittered around and his mind went out into the very core of his machine, searching. Searching for the insurrection. Every trace of them, every mention, every possible lead was followed up and categorised. The categories were reviewed and analysed and theories made. But each only ever led to the same conclusions: Misinformation, deliberate bending of the truth or impersonators.

Despite every hour of daylight being spent inside tapping away The Enigma felt no anger at getting no closer to his goal. "Have Faith". They would destroy the heathens in time, She would make sure of it. She who was sent to the mortal world to reign in His place. As long as She gave the orders he would follow relentlessly. And the order was simple: Find them. No matter what the cost.

And he thought he was getting closer. He knew he was getting closer. He could feel it. "Have Faith".

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#, as written by Smith
Marshall stared down at the paper with a frown that formed deep lines across his weathered face. He sat in the kitchen, pondering over the form and only barely listening to whatever his wife was rambling on about. After a long moment of deliberation and a steadying breath, the man raised his eyes to regard the other person seated at the table. "Well," he started off shakily, "Mr. Gregory A. Smith. It's straight A's. Again, so-"

"Don't disregard the gpa. I'm pretty sure a 6.0 is worth something." Gregory chimed in. He smirked and grabbed his report card as he stood. "So does that mean you'll call me in sick today? I really want to see that new museum." Marshall sighed and waved the boy on, pinching the bridge of his nose as he did so. Sarah stopped Greg for a quick peck on the cheek before handing over a brown paper bag that he hoped to god had two sandwiches...or there would be problems. "Thanks mom. See ya tommorow!"

As the door clicked shut behind him, the owners of the small house exchanged glances. Ever since Gregory arrived at their doorstep three years ago the condition of their lives had increased considerably. After having been formally adopted, they received government checks, and the kid had a job that paid well enough to take care of groceries and most bills. Both Marshall and Sarah Herring thought it was unusual that any teenager would give up money so willingly...but maybe they had found the one child left on this hell-hole of a planet that knew a thing or two about graciousness.

Or not. Gregory was down blocks away and already exiting the middle-class portion of the area and entering the slums. How they weren't robbed more often when being this close to gangbanger-ville was beyond him. Greg furrowed his brow in consternation. Did I just use the term gangbanger? he smiled at the thought and turn another corner. Damn i'm gettin' old... A gaping hole in the concrete lay before him now, amid the ruins of a long demolished metro-center. The dusky-skinned lad dropped in without hesitation.

His body came to a drifting halt a few inches above the dusty train tracks and Gregory looked down the westbound tunnel. Focusing his power to will a two fields around himself into being, Gregory's body lurched forward with astounding speed down the dimly lit tunnel. It was a simple technique, merely creating a field of moderate anti-gravity on his legs and one of increased gravity on his chest causing him to tilt forward as the back tried to lift the other way while creating smaller gravity fields on the left or right for turning. He smiled, thinking back on the first few times he'd tried this. The attempts had ended in futily spinning in the air and, on more than one occassion, slamming face-first into the pavement.

In ten or so minutes Gregory had covered miles of track and arrived at his destination. Allowing the fields to wane, he came to a sliding stop just below another good-sized hole in the dilapidated street above. A quick low-gravity jump and the sunlight was shining down all around again. Wiping some of the dust out of his dark curls, the student made his way down the street and eventually into a storage area. It was not long before Gregory stood in front of the locked gate in front of the garage. Having memorized the structure of the locks, it was a simple matter to shift the bars with miniscule fields. The door flew up and Greg stepped inside, almost bumping into the car...or whatever it was supposed to be. After closing the door he turned to greet the motley members of the resistance.

"Good morning, ladies and gents! I come bearing gifts!" Gregory tossed the lunch-bag over to Tank. "2 P-B-n-J, plus chocolate, pickles and bananas. Just how you like 'em big boy. You should know I get more than my fare share of strange looks from the folks I live with because of you...eating tendencies of a pregnant woman I tell ya." smiling, he slid off his backpack and held it up with one hand to unzip it with the other. "For the lovely lady, we have..." Greg's hand came back with a small plastic container no larger than a thimble with a small computer chip inside, which was placed on Charlotte's forhead. "It took me three hours in line at Gear Metropolis to get this. Why couldn't you just wait a month for people to stop clammoring for the damned thing? It's not like it's better right off the assembly line."

A set of steel fiber bundles and some expensive conditioner came out next and were tossed to Peter and Alan respectively. Gregory's pack held only two more items; Cough syrup and a small vial filled with red, green and blue crystals all layered in seperate levels within. Dragon Salt, Devil's Dust and Monkey Powder. Gregory tried the stuff a few decades back and never saw the appeal. Yet, seeing it did make him think. "Where's Gene? I know Eliot's excuse, but..." he pulled out his cell phone and sent a text.

U said your 'appointment' wsnt til thurs you lying, sultry harlot. I wanna see ur pincushion-ass back at the Warehouse in ten min or u won't get teh Monkey. You know about the shortage...u wantz teh Monkeh...you needz teh Monkeh...

That sent, he slapped the phone shut and walked around to lean on the couch. That show with the gore and the swords was on...something about Dragons and old people? Gregory recoiled slightly when a grizzled giant of a warrior tore some grotesque man-thing in half on screen. "I don't get it...is this show all about violence? Is there a point? Why not watch something with substance..." as soon as the words passed his lips Gregory scowled. Now that sounded old.

"Nevermind. Alan. When Eliot gets here you're going to go downtown near the new museum. There are two patrols stationed there, Mortix of course, and one is an individual of interest." Gregory fished around his backpack once more and produced a printed dossier with the picture of a burly Indian man with a clean-shaven face and a similarly hairless head. "Marvin Salas. Currently a grunt, but formerly a geneticist. He's been showing signs of unrest and has openly demonstrated against the company's practices regarding testing on humans. He would be an invaluable asset. Try to approach him alone, and take out any who've you have caught. We don't need you marked as people of interest too. If he's interested, bring him to the under-building in the up-town. Maxxie will take care of him." he tapped his chin in thought, wondering if the normal humans at that base could detain Salas... "Tell Maxxie i'll be there shortly afterwards. Just give a me a call. Oh...if he says no, feel free to kill him. He's better off dead than not with us."

Gregory passed the couch again and seated himself on one of the cushions on the floor around the coffe table. He unwrapped the food and smiled to see that it was chinese. God he loved chinese food. Before he realized what he was doing Gregory was chomping down on rice an lo-mien. Slowly, scowling, he stopped himself. It tasted good...but it did nothing for him. Not even the sensation of being filled with sustenance. It had been forty years since his body stopped requiring fuel like that...but it was still hard to remember he was not normal. So Hekaton leaned back on his hands and looked to Charlotte. "Could you call Gabriel later? I've found something I need, that new drug on the market, Fire Touch. He should know why I can't simply buy it on the street...tell him the pay's triple what he normally runs.

"Hmm..." Gregory looked to the ceiling, lost in thought. Finally a smile broke his soft features. It seemed too out of place on the face of a teenage boy. "Johnny boy, Peter, we're going out tonight. Just us boys." he glanced at Charlotte. "You and Gene are gonna have a girls night. Sound fun?"

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"Hey, don't knock it until you try it, old man. It has a good plot. It's about a group of heroes trying to prevent the spread of the Blight and end of the world. Just substitute MortexCorp with Blight and that'd be us," Alan quipped, catching the conditioner and nodding approvingly. Who says you have to be rich in order to have nice hair? At Gregory's orders, he frowned and nodded grimly. It sometimes bothered him how their leader could go from complaining about TV shows to giving out missions with the only two outcomes: conversion or murder. He could see the logic in it, of courses. MortixCorp was paying top dollar for whoever had information on the Insurrection. They were finally beginning to take notice. The last thing their group needed at a bounty on one of them or their aliases.

"So, you're a pimp now, boss?" he asked lightly, trying to push away his more morbid thoughts, "We all know what Gene's definition of a "Girls' Night Out" is."

"I just fixed my missile launcher, Peter. Maybe I should test it out by firing a missile up your ass," Peter growled dangerously, causing Alan to hold out his hands in a gesture of no-offense. The cyborg nodded in satisfaction and set the steel fibers with his other upgrades.

"He needs a healthier crush," Alan whispered lowly to Charlotte and John. No matter how polite or uptight you were, you had to admit that Gene was a Dragon-Salt-Whore that could beat the crap out of you.

For his part, Alan said nothing, only sending a gout of flame from his arm that just barely missed Gregory's assassin's precious hair, causing him to yelp. He scowled.

"You try to help a man and that's what you get..."

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It was, of course, not long before Freya's Russian secretary/resident weapon of mass destruction made her appearance known, coffee in hand, just as the Mortix CEO liked it. Such a sweet girl, Babayaga, at least when she wasn't dismantling people limb from limb. Freya almost couldn't decide which she preferred. Honestly, it depended on which set of voices was dominant that day. Freya as herself and only herself liked the limb-rending part. "Thank you, Babyaga. I'll explain everything in a moment. We're waiting for Mr. Snyder." Oddly, Freya tended to use first names when face-to-face with her employees, but surnames or titles when referring to absent ones. She'd been told once that it was a way of balancing respect and personableness. By now, it was just habit either way.

There were a few dead moments of time before the Magician made his grand entrance, calling her that gods-forsaken pet name again. While Freya liked Babayaga, she tolerated Alex and his eccentricities because he was useful. Oh, certainly, his antics were equally amusing when played against her enemies. She did love watching people twitch and panic, completely captured in illusions of the senses. weak minds broke so easily...

Does it count as 'broken' if you still have all the little pieces, I wonder? She ignored the interruption and focused on the mild irritation sparked by being referred to as "Frey-frey." The man's flamboyance was a talent all its own. "So glad you could join us, Alex," she replied dryly, rolling her eyes. This was not so unusual. With most of her employees, she was the picture of professionalism, but these two were high enough up that she didn't really need to bother. They knew who she was and what she was about, which made all pretense otherwise laughable. It wasn't like she didn't know them twice as well, and so she allowed small touches of personality to show up every once in a while.

"In answer to your original question, Babayaga," she began, largely ignoring Alex because she knew he hated it. "I have an assignment for the two of you. As I'm sure you are aware by now, our patrols have been disappearing, then showing up dead. The media is as yet mostly unaware of it, but our intelligence department believes this may be a small-scale rebellion of some kind, an... insurrection, if you will. Unfortunately, they have thus far been striking guerrilla-style, and leaving none alive to provide information on who, or what, they are."

Freya stood, leafing though a few of the documents at her desk, until she extracted the one she was looking for. "This-" she gestured to the single sheet of paper- "is all we have on them, and as good as the Enigma is, it's not nearly enough to find anything useful. All we can determine is that they take small or mid-sized patrols, usually on slum patrol. Enigma has run some calculations, and he thinks that he's found the most likely next target for them. I'm planting the two of you in that patrol. Your job is to gather as much information as possible- and to survive to bring it back. Engage in combat if you are so inclined, but your primary motive is reconnaissance. Make whatever preparations you feel are necessary. You depart in two hours, patrol 43, which today runs Zuna Sector, slumside. Am I understood?"

She set down the paper again and raised an eyebrow, finally deigning to make eye contact with Snyder as well.

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Eliot's alarm clock went off with its usual annoying pop tune. One might think that a man like Eliot wouldn't want a pop-tune going off at full blast every morning, but it was the only thing annoying enough to get him to wake up and not just hit "snooze." After all, hitting "snooze" meant that he'd have to hear the pop tune again. Groaning, he rolled out of bed. He threw on a fresh shirt and an already-worn pair of jeans, then grabbed some heavily-processed junk food for breakfast, as usual. He rinsed his face, but skipped shaving and brushing his teeth, the former because he was lazy and the latter because even brushing ten times a day couldn't combat the gunk that built up in his mouth from constantly exhaling smoke. He rinsed his mouth for good measure, relieved for a few seconds by the lack of the disgusting taste in his mouth, but only to have it return after another breath. He blew a few smoke rings in front of the mirror to amuse himself, then remembered he ought to get going.

Grabbing a pack of cigarettes and his leather jacket on his way out the door, he lit one and started walking towards the warehouse where Insurrection's base of operations was housed. The cigarettes didn't really do anything to Eliot, being immune to the drug effects of nicotine and the carcinogenic effects of just about everything else in them, but it was a nice cover for the smoke he constantly exhaled. Realizing he would end up late if he didn't hurry, the fat man attempted running. No, that wouldn't work; he was too unfit. Jogging, perhaps? He managed to keep that up for almost a full three minutes, but quickly tired. "Goddammit," he muttered to no one in particular, followed by a fit of coughing, "shoulda just drove my car." Giving up, Eliot decided to just walk the rest of the way. It wasn't too far, anyway; both his house and the warehouse were located in the same slums.

He walked into the warehouse. It looked like everyone was here but Gene. "What's up, anything going on?" he asked, putting out his cigarette now that he had no need to cover up his powers. He coughed into his forearm, letting loose a small plume of smoke. People always said coughing into your arm was better than coughing into your hand, and Eliot knew that it's a fact. He had coughed into his hands for a while, years ago, but getting what was essentially soot all over one's hands quickly got annoying.

Eliot walked over to the TV where everyone was, standing a few feet away to save the others from having to inhale too much of the gas that he knew everyone found disgusting. Dragon Age: Damnation. Nothing like pointless violence in the morning. Eliot liked the show, but didn't really follow it. He might lose out on other, plot-centric shows, but luckily the main appeal of Dragon Age seemed to be the senseless violence. Maybe there was a deep plot, he certainly hadn't watched it enough to know if it did.

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When Peter and Alan walked in, Charlotte squealed with girlish delight at the mention of food. "Awesome! I'd say I love you guys, but I don't wanna give Al any ideas, so sorry Pete" she ribbed, grabbing one of the plastic forks in the bag and swiping one of the containers of pasta. She placed it on the couch in front of her, having rolled over onto her stomach, and watch as the TV in the corner flicked on. "Oh, is this the episode where Connall and Tal fight each other? I love this one!"

She might have gotten mad that Alan had stolen the remote, but it wasn't like she needed it or anything. She could adjust the volume or whatever with nothing more than a thought. She zoned out for a while, enraptured by the show, and completely ignored whatever the boys were talking about. Or at least she did until she felt a crushing weight on her back. She emitted a rather pitiful 'meep' sound, but was unable to manage much else due to the pressure in her rib cage. So she settled for squirming as much as possible until John decided to notice and get off her. Once her lungs were free to breathe again, she pulled her legs under herself and sat up, balancing the foil container of pasta on her lap instead.

"Jeez, John, if you wanted a seat, ya could've just asked!" she shot him a mock-reproachful glare, but she knew it had likely been an accident. Tank: not the brightest bulb in the socket, but generally a decent guy. She she scooted into the corner, letting him settle between herself and Alan if he so chose, then looked to Peter, noticing the pile of parts he had for the first time. "Ooohh, did you bring me new toys to play with? You're such a sweetheart, Pete." She grinned devilishly; there was nothing Charlotte liked more than messing with spare parts, especially if she got to use them to tinker with Pete's cybernetic arm.

Greg walked in next, though, but she ignored him until he stuck a computer chip on her forehead, which she promptly removed and examined closely. "Hey, I'm state-of-the-art, thank you, which means I can do more even with inferior components. Plus I need to eat this week." The age-old debate between shiny new mechanical things and food was practically the story of Charlotte's life. Most of the time, shiny things won, which explained why she culd never seem to gain muscle mass no matter how much heavy lifting she did. Good thing she had Eliot around, or else she might have to put out want ads for muscle or hire John, and the thought of letting him near her stuff was just... she shivered. Not in a million years.

She expertly ignored Greg's old-man ramblings about violence (hypocrite), and whatever smart-mouthed Al might have said in reply, though she did spare a wave at Eliot when he entered. Dude might smell noxious, but he was a good mechanic, and she liked him well enough. When Gregory started handing out orders, though, she paid a little more attention. Well, a lot more, if she were being honest. Technically, she was second-in-command of this stuff, though really that was because she was the first one to join and also provided the meeting place, the tech, and honestly a good chunk of the funding too. So whatever. Plus, she was the one with the professional thief's phone number, as she was reminded when Greg asked about Fire Touch. Why he wanted it, she didn't know, but she'd get it for him, or rather, Gabriel would at her behest.

At the mention of a girls' night with Gene, Charlie laughed, but nodded anyway. "Only if you take Alan too. I know he takes better care of his hair than a girl, but we don't want him either," she joked, though she did have the decency to frown at the pimp joke. "Oh, and what exactly do you know about how Gene and I pass our time, Alan?" she questioned of the blond with a raised brow. "For all you know, we might be the most profitable team act this side of downtown." A lie, but let him figure it out.

Of course, that was about the time Pete decided to shoot at Al's precious hair and she rolled her eyes, using her technopathy to shut off the offending arm. "Can we not destroy my home please children?" She asked petulantly, leaving her seat on the couch to examine the cybernetic technology in question. All traces of anger were immediately gone when she removed the outer casing to expose the wiring beneath. She didn't know or care if Pete disliked being seized in such a fashion, because she was too busy looking back and forth between the parts and his arm. Charlie's eyes lit up, and she beamed at Pete. "You dog! You brought me enough parts to increase the range of your flamethrower, didn't you?"

Gleefully, Charlotte darted about, grabbing a few highly-specialized tools and the parts she would need. The entire upgrade would be a matter of maybe twenty minutes, because she could bypass all the annoying computer stuff with her brain. "Oh wait. We have time for this now, don't we?" she asked, glancing over at Gregory. Sometimes, she tended to forget other things in favor of interesting mechanical problems.

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#, as written by Aythr

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#, as written by Aythr
"2 P-B-n-J, plus chocolate, pickles and bananas. Just how you like 'em big boy."

John looked back at Gregory as he walked in, his head almost twisting all the way around not unlike an owl. It seemed that everybody was arriving in an oddly clustered schedule, save the fat guy and the druggie. It seemed he had gotten up just in time when the brown paper back hit him in the head. He quickly opened it and pulled out the sandwiches. He opened them up to examine their contents, and frowned. There was no bologna on them.

John loved bologna.

"You should know I get more than my fare share of strange looks from the folks I live with because of you...eating tendencies of a pregnant woman I tell ya."

John wondered exactly how Gregory got away with having parents. Wasn't he in his late fifties? If John had to guess, it would have been that he put himself up for adoption or some such thing. He was pretty sure that his real parents would either be dead or at least in an old folks home right now. It was probably best to just leave it be. Everybody had something that they preferred to keep secret, after all. Immediately, John sat down on the floor with his legs crossed, waiting to hear what Gregory had to say after he was done handing out his gifts and texting Gene to tell her to get here quickly.

"Johnny boy, Peter, we're going out tonight. Just us boys."


His ears perked up a little. He knew what that meant, at least. Greg was planning something a little more extravagant than what John had been called here for originally. and he had absolutely no problem with that if it meant he could blow something up. He smirked a little, taking a monstrous bite of both the sandwiches which were now stacked on each other to form one massive sandwich.

"Are you gonna tell us what we're doing, or is it a surprise?" John said, trying to mask the excitement in his voice with bored expression.

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Enthralled with checking on her bike she blinks as her cell phone chimes. Gene usually has two on her; one for personal contacts and another (usually disposable and renewed every month) strictly for her clients. Her long fingers wrap around her phone and tug it out from the laced depths of her corset. Whoops. Looks as though she's late. Not that this would be the first time and nowhere near the last time. Still she sends back a reply before pulling on her helmet (sans her biking outfit which she left at the warehouse) and settling into Toxin.

Shit man learn yourself some words. Ain't no rest for the wicked.

She's never been able to use text talk. Gene dropped out of high school early so in a way, words are all she has left of memory of any education. And damn if she doesn't love that song that begins to permeate from herself as she begins to peel pavement. Just within her peripheral vision she can see two men hanging near the street. One is barely recognized (hasn't he been around the warehouse or any of the others a couple of times? Again, usually too high to notice). She swerves her back a bit to dip the rear tire into a puddle. It may nearly hit the men or it'll get them soaked. It's just fun to do that. The song resonates after she's gone around the corner of said street to make her way to the base.

Gene can't decide what the warehouse is to her. As a homeless person it's shelter but her pride won't allow it to be called her home. And it can't be a home. All of the others are always milling about. She's at some liberty to crash there but never for more than a few days. Otherwise she's tucked away in the slums somewhere, always refusing to spend the night at a client's place or allow them over. At least she can conduct business in the warehouse which usually appointments go on until sunrise. So long as Charlie can't hear them and doesn't have to see them when she gets up, Gene's in the clear. Thankfully she has an assortment of gags under her queen sized bed for that.

The song trailed off as she got closer to her destination, wary of being trailed. Doing a double take she sees no one and nothing out of the ordinary. Gene parks along the wall and tugs off her helmet, resting it against her hip with her elbow as she kicked open the front door to walk in, nearly taking Eliot out with sweeping strides of long legs. A neutral nod in his direction; they've never had any serious problems that she's ever been aware of. Sure he reeks and he's ornery but the two have yet to get into it. Then of course their leader, Greg, really isn't anyone Gene's ever had a bone to pick with nor is he someone she'd readily stay up all night with. Hearing something about a "girls' night out" she snorts derisively. "That involves bonding. The only bonding I do is bondage."

Peter is just wrapped around her finger. She likes that. It means she has another way of getting things she wants. Gene has the feeling that if she slept with him all of that attention and special treatment would go away, so all she can allow Peter to do is look at her saunter around. Now she tosses her helmet into the corner of the entrance before kicking the door shut, lumbering towards the couch. Alan. Gene hates him and everyone knows it. It began with him pulling a prank on her. She came into the warehouse after a rough party and blacked out on the sofa. Next morning she woke up in a tub filled to the brim with water. Not that Alan could have known her terror for water, but that morning anyone who was present learned it and tried to stop Gene from drowning Alan. She cuffs the boy upside his head. "You're in my seat, asswipe." she hisses from her inked lips, leather string wound around her finger. Gene grips him by the scruff of his shirt as the other hand digs her nails into his shoulder, gripping him like a feral cat before hauling him over the back of the couch and dropping him on the floor.

Slamming her boot on his chest she launches over the back of the couch to join Charlie and Tank. Charlie...Charlie is easily her best (only) friend. Gene's never had any doubts about her loyalty to Charlie. The blue haired mechanic is easy for her to get along with and she doesn't try to sabotage Gene's lifestyle. Finally there is Tank. Tank is just the family pet so to speak. Gene loves being around the big oaf, dumb as a bag of rocks but still one of the sweetest and rather intimidating people she's encountered. "Hey Tank." she accompanies her ceremonial greeting by playfully punching at his thick bicep. No way in hell she would win a fight against him, not that she'd ever want to provoke him.

Gene tilts her head down at Charlie, snickering before twisting her serpentine body and grappling Charlie out from under Tank by angling herself. With just the right wedge it's an easy squeeze out from under a behemoth and the couch. As soon as the smaller woman is in her arms Gene leans over and presses Charlie's backside against Tank's arm. With a wicked smile she nuzzles her scalp beneath the opposing femme's chin. "Mmm. Don't you just love Charlie sandwiches, Tank?" she doubts he even understands what she's trying to hint at.

When John had risen she released Charlie. With Charlie rushing off to tinker with things Gene comfortably stretched out along the couch, crossing her legs and relaxed. She wasn't interested in the nearby drugs having already had a daily fix. Free food always tastes good though. Gene reached over and swiped up a carton of orange chicken with rice, using chopsticks to feed herself as she stared at the TV. She wasn't actually watching that crap just admiring the shiny screen while keeping an ear open on Greg and the others.

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#, as written by Shiva
She was ignoring him again. Luckily for her, she knew that it annoyed him, just as much as he annoyed her. Biting back another retort, he decided to fall silent. It was one thing to barge in calling Freya by his infamous pet name, but it was another to interrupt her while on a mission briefing. She was no fun. Whenever he tried to do a magic trick she would simply just reach into his mind and figure out what he was trying to do and how he did it. However, he digressed. Insurrection, huh? Sounded like some cool-and-edgy name for a cool-and-edgy movement. He almost laughed, because he heard the name in whispers amongst those in the middle-class and slum sections of Mortix City. He never really believed them, because their activities were mainly just harassing guards. However, when the news was brought up that they were killing patrols, he straightened his posture a bit more and paid just a tad more attention.

So due to a prediction from the old man, they were going to be deployed into god-knows-what. Not that he didn't trust the old man, Enigma was one of the smartest people the Magician had the pleasure to meet. In fact, he sometimes walked down to his stinky room to hang out with him. Not that he was any fun either. He was so damned smart all of his slight-of-hand tricks were instantly seen through. The Magician had made it a personal goal to dumbfound the both of them. Somehow. Of course, Freya already knew that.

"Gotcha, Freyday." He said. When he wasn't calling her 'Frey-Frey' he was making up nicknames on the spot. He did this for everyone. Luckily most of them didn't have the balls to confront him for it and the rest took it in stride. They weren't THAT bad, right?

He had about three hours to get ready with his new partner, Rassy-Tee the Secretary. He was familiar with her powers and all, but talking to her was a completely different thing. She just looked so dangerous- what with that Kukri hanging out in the open. Piercings just creeped the Magician out in general. He gave a friendly slap on the shoulder. "Looking forward to working with you, Partner." He said, tentatively taking the paper and reading it over quickly. He then folded it up, hid it in his fist, revealed it, and tore it in two. Hiding the paper from view once more, he tapped it once, waving his free hand and pulled out a folded piece of paper. When he unfolded it, the sheet of paper was whole once more.

Before Freya could spoil his fun, he bowed and left. As he exited, he tossed out two folded pieces of scrap paper he had hid in his sleeve before he entered- just in case there was an opportunity. He walked over to Rasputina's desk, and scrawled out his contact info with a note: "Let's arrange a meeting point to plan this out, if you would be so inclined. -Snyder" To make sure she found it, he pulled out a bouquet of fake flowers. Poor taste, but he knew a secretary's work was full of papers- and he had to make sure his was seen.

The Magician made his way down to the armory, where he was given the standard patrol uniform. He was given the standard rifle, and after fiddling with it for five minutes, a sympathetic guard helped him out. Firearms were never his thing- if it was, he'd be the top killer in this damned corporation. He learned to shoot, yes, but he didn't shoot well nor was he able to adapt to different kinds of weaponry. He placed all of this in a backpack, folding up the rifle into a compact state. They only had two hours, forty minutes to prepare for this mission. He was expecting enemy supers. He wanted to plan this out. If there was one thing The Magician was serious about, it would be formulating a plan.

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"Come on, Charlie! I thought you loved me!" Alan stated, pretending to be hurt, though his mouth nearly fell open at her next statement. He shook his head, "Nah. I know you as well as my favorite mark, Charlie. And you know you like running hands through my hair."

"Unfortunately, we do not," Peter replied, sounding a bit disappointed but not being able to resist the urge to tease Alan, "I think she likes my arm better, Alan."

Alan was about to retort when Gene walked in, unceremoniously throwing him off his seat. He glared over at her as he stood up. Gene was, without a doubt, the bad egg in their group. He supposed he could tolerate her getting high off the newest drugs and humping every man on the street, but their missions were a disaster whenever she was high during them or worse, suffering from withdrawal. Not to mention she hated him. How was he supposed to know that she was afraid of drowning? He did have the decency to apologize after they both calmed down, but she still treated him like crap and in turn, he humiliated her every chance he got, including recommending her to some of the most disgusting people he knew. He smirked. The time Big Bob hit up on her was priceless.

Nevertheless, they had to tolerate each other as fellow members. That and they both got along well with Charlie, him sharing her sense of humor and Gene being kind of like an older sister to the girl. He glared at her slightly when she made a comment about the "Charlie" sandwich. True, he had a little soft spot for her, though he hid it, especially from Gene, so she couldn't have known. It still irked him, however.

Peter, for his part, made no attempt to disguise his open admiration of her serpentine body. She was beautiful to him, different than him in all respects, especially with her devil-may-care-lifestyle and his reclusiveness. Alan felt sorry for the cyborg. Another reason he hated Gene was how she was stringing him along just to make her life easier. No one deserved that, especially from someone like Gene.

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Gene almost knocked Eliot over, which is understandable, considering their height difference. Usually Eliot would have been angered greatly, but because he was eight inches shorter than her, Gene's breasts had come in close proximity with his face. Having no objection to such an event, he simply returned her neutral nod while trying not to grin. Taking into account his weight, height, personality, and, of course, his breath, that was about as close to sex as he ever got.

It was then Eliot took his eyes off of Gene and the TV, a genuinely unlikely combination of happenings, that he noticed the Chinese food. No, he thought, you're already fat enough. After a pause, he decided that it would be difficult to get any fatter than he already was, and thus decided to grab a bite to eat. He held his breath for a few seconds to grab a little bit; Eliot might not be very nice, but he at least had the decency not to taint the remainder of the food with his smoke-like exhalations. Once he had completed this task, he took a step back and tilted his head away from the group to exhale; by an odd twirl of his tongue and curl of his neck, he managed to make the smoke blow away in a neat spiral. Perhaps it was the taste of the noxious gas that constantly came into his mouth from his lungs that had made him so overweight, for eating was one of the few things that got rid of it. Like a long-term drug addict, eating had become more a matter of relief than that of enjoyment.

Dragon Age had gone to commercial break. Eliot briefly wondered why there were commercials when the entire city was one big monopoly, but he hadn't lived long enough to remember what it was like before Mortix City and as such didn't think about such a thing for very long; it had always been normal. Instead, he turned his attention to Charlotte tinkering with Peter's robotic arm. Such a thing was what Eliot primarily classified as "complicated" mechanics, and was thus outside of his area of expertise, but he was still interested. "Problem with the arm?" he asked, trying to figure out what Charlie was doing. It was much harder to tell, since all of the electronic modifications were probably being done through unapparent, supernatural means.

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#, as written by Basta
Rasputina stood straight as Freya briefed them on their mission. She didn't object, officially, but she personally didn't enjoy the company of the man Snyder. He was to showy for her taste. When he slapped her shoulder she stood even straighter in surprise, which was quite a feat. Babayaga bit her lip after he was gone to keep from blurting out any comments about how she felt. Her job wasn't to feel, but to obey. She bowed her way out of the office and quietly shut the door, knowing that if Ms. Mortix had more to say to her, she'd tell her in her head.

"What shit is this?" exclaimed the woman when she returned to her desk. She picked up the bouquet and read the Magician's note. With a frustrated sigh, Babayaga tossed the flowers onto an unused corner of her desk. She turned to her coat rack and removed her suit jacket, depositing it carelessly. She then shed her blouse and pulled the two long sticks out of her hair, letting the braids fall about her shoulders. Not even looking, she tossed the shirt over her shoulder onto an empty hook.

"Blades...I need lots of blades," she muttered to herself. She picked several weighted combat knives, a pair of kunai, and a spring-loaded chakram. As always, her trusty khukri hung at her belt, and her hidden boot knives were functioning. She strapped everything to bandoleers on her legs and took the private elevator down to the armory.

When she noticed the Magician, she frowned a bit, but otherwise did nothing to approach him. His role was to plan, hers was to guard. The other five men in the room were simply cannon fodder should there be violence. She refused the quartermaster's offer of a firearm, as she preferred her knives.

"I know vhere my knife vill hit. I don't need jouse off hyour gun. Keep it," she growled at the man with scorn. Guns took less skill than melee weapons, and if anyone took pride in skill, it was Babayaga. She did put on a flack vest,though, to blend in with the team.

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#, as written by Smith
With an audible sigh Gregory tried to focus his thoughts, if only for a moment. With what accounted for nearly every super within the ranks of the Insurrection gathered at the warehouse, he had to stop himself from thinking morbid thoughts. What if someone had been tracked and Mortix had a couple dozen missles trained on the spot? What if one of them had been drugged--Gene--and rigged with micro-explosives ready to blow them all to hell and back from the inside. So many possibilities, so very little time.

"We're on the clock now people." he said while standing, "John. It is a surprise, but rest assured, there will be mayhem. We shall be slumming it this evening, ol' boy. And no," this was directed at Charlie who was trapped in an oddly colored cluster of flesh, "Alan will not be joining us this evening. He isn't as suited to street warfare as the metal-head and the wrecking ball over here. Plus, his talents are better suited for what I've already assigned him. On that note, Eliot. Alan has the specs of your newest assignment. You two are leaving, now." It wasn't intentional, but this last word was punctuated by a sudden increase in gravity all around. Not enough to harm anyone, but enough to make one feel like their limbs were made of led.

The field materialized and passed in a matter of heartbeats with Gregory none the wiser. "Gene, now that you're here, you should know that at about six tonight you and Charlie are going to be running a diversionary team. Somewhere down by Hellsing Park...hmm...play something by one of those old ass bands. Ah! 'Deep', by Nine-Inch-Nails. At least that's what I think it's called. We'll need as much of the private army drawn to you as possible, so Charles, I want blackouts and as much collateral damage as you can. Corporate buildings only this time..." Gregory scratched the back of his head and looked around as if he were forgetting something. Nope.

"John, Peter, Charlotte and Gene. You're free until sunset, make preparations, get some weapons, I don't give a damn. We are running low on ammuintion however. Alan, Eliot, get to work. I want the scientist on our side or in a ditch by midnight." his commands for the day dispatched, Gregory disappeared into one of the three back rooms with his backpack. A few minutes later upon emerging, the leader was dressed in his 'working' uniform. A spotless Akami black suit, shining Kevin Caine dress shoes, supple black leather gloves and of course, a full-head black fabric mask. Absently he wondered how odd it must look with the gaping eye on his face. He passed the others left in the warehouse with a salute. "I'm off. Boys, meet me back here at six. Girls, you have your orders. Ciao!" the words were crisp and unhindered by the fabric. And then he was gone.


A half hour later Gregory was crouching on top of the apex of a Mortix Corp building. He occupied himself by staring at the cars and crowds passing oh so very far below. Smiling under his mask, the revolutionary figured it was about time. He withdrew a disposable phone from the chest pocket and dialed with precision and speed. One ring. Two...

"Hello! Mortix Corp Home, this is Shelly talking, how may I be of service? Gregory grinned from behind his mask.

"Oh? Ms. Vladmiskov is not in today?"

"Yes, she is, but she is in an urgent meeting with Ms. Mortix. Should I take a message?"

"That would be delightful," he said with all sincerity. "Please inform both Freya Mortix and her secretary that their information primier building in the uptown area is about to be attacked." there was a long silence.

Wait, what-" Gregory hung up. Stil grinning an unseen smile, he created a field around himself and overlapped that with yet another, much heavier zone and vaulted off the top of the building. The result, as seen seconds later, was a massive seismic shock that rocked the entire front of the structure. A dent spiderwebbed with cracks in the sidewalk lay all around the suited figure and glass was raining down from dozens of shattered windows above. Just as the screams began Hekaton brought his hands down in a sweeping motion, the force created tearing away a large swath of concrete and steel from the lobby and crushing several employees within. In moments the seven story building began listing forward. He could only laugh as he zipped away though the air. He kept the phone just in case someone wanted to call back.

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"Lady Luck is a fickle bitch and karmic justice just sucks." Gabriel chuckled darkly. "You're telling me buddy. At least she likes you, eh? Not everyone gets to choose half of her games." That said, he scratched absently at his clean-shaven chin, pretending to ponder what bar they should go to. The fact that they were going to be drinking this early in the morning wasn't lost on Gabriel, but his schedule was so variable that it didn't really matter anyway. This might as well be late evening for him, at least until he got another call for a job, and then he'd be crashing who-knew-when. Everyone wanted something, after all, and greed never slept.

Perhaps it was Fate playing her games again, then, when a motorcycle went by, blaring a tune that said as much. It was just too good, really, especially when the driver (likely intentionally) splashed water in their direction. Gabriel, having noticed it, simply became intangible and allowed the liquid to pass straight through himself. James couldn't do that, and chances were (ah, the irony) that it would hit him. As though this were the furthest thing from his mind, though, Gabriel continued the conversation as nonchalantly as possible.

"Seems to me as though the same place as usual is an excellent idea as ever, though-" and here he turned back to James, raising an eyebrow, "I'm not sure you are exactly dressed for it, hm?" He grinned, and might have said something else, but his cell phone buzzed, and he withdrew it from his pocket.

G- Greg wants Fire Touch. Pay's triple. Don't get caught. -C

Gabriel frowned slightly. The message was from Charlotte, obviously, but why would Gregory want Fire Touch? Brand new "pharmaceutical" product from MortixCorp- or more accurately, one more method of population control. High-priced drugs to keep the poor junkies poor junkies and the rich investors rich. Solid business plan, admittedly, if you liked the status quo. Ah well. It wasn't his job to question the assignment, just to take it. And if Gregory Smith wanted it badly enough to pay triple, who was he to say no?

"Looks like I'll have to take a rain check on that drink," he told James, regret caught somewhere between genuine and mocking. No rest for the wicked, indeed. Although... triple. Hmm. That was significant. The product was new enough that he'd be best off stealing it from a storage facility, not trying to find a dealer good enough to have it already. Too many inquiries, and someone would be onto him. And robbing MortixCorp directly meant assuming a great deal of personal risk. That was good; Gabriel had always enjoyed a challenge.

"Although... how would you feel about making some problems for the authorities? The real ones, mind, not the cigar-smoking suits in the dens." He raised a speculative eyebrow. "Pay's good; work's, well... not honest in the slightest, so nothing unusual for you, eh? Just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill heist." Truthfully, he wasn't sure if the other man would take him up on it, but he had little worry that James would go blabbing to the "authorities" so to speak. Even if he did, he would find that getting him to believe them would be something of a challenge. Freya's arrogance tended to trickle down to her lackeys, and few of them had any concept of someone being able to outwit them. Besides, it never hurt to have luck on your side in his business, for all his assuredness regarding skill.

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#, as written by Aythr
"Hey Tank." said Gene with a casual punch to John's arm.

He mockingly feigned pain, and with a mouthful of peanut butter sandwich let loose a dull, "Ow."

He didn't necessarily dislike Gene, but he didn't approve of her "lifestyle." He was in this rebellion to stop Mortix, but his sense of right and wrong gave him a strong dislike of not only Mortix's grip on the city, but of all the other things that were ruining his home as well. There were people that got into prostitution because they didn't have a choice, but he wasn't sure if Gene was one of them. It wasn't too much longer before Eliot walked in and Gregory began to speak.

"It is a surprise, but rest assured, there will be mayhem." said Gregory.

Mayhem was always good. Although, John's version of mayhem was usually a different definition of the word; Cars through buildings, buildings on top of cars, Chunks of road through buildings and cars. Basically, heavy things colliding. It was what John was best at.

"John, Peter, Charlotte and Gene. You're free until sunset, make preparations, get some weapons, I don't give a damn. We are running low on ammunition however.

Get some weapons? The only two guns that John needed were attached to his torso. Besides, there was rarely a bullet that could do as much damage as his fist. Gene continued loudly chewing his sandwich, only thinking, "Why has nobody thought of peanut butter and pickles together before?"

Gregory disappeared for a moment, and returned in a suit and a mask. He knew what that was for. He was probably going to cause a little mayhem of his own. It wouldn't be too much longer before John showed him how it was done, though.

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Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked,
Money don't grow on trees.
I got bills to pay,
I got mouths to feed


The Lyrics announced the loud engine from the motorcycle careening their way. James instantly knew what it meant and simply tilted his head towards the forsaken sound, hat hiding his face. James tended to assume things like this when he used his powers. However, normally karma wasn't so damn loud and gaudy with music accompanying her. She usually entertained herself by silently plotting her revenge on James... He honestly believed that it enjoyed springing these things on him...

SPLASH

Water everywhere. The murky water beaded up on the old leather jacket, however his pants and vest were soaked... Again. His hat was likewise drenched again, atleast this time it didn't reek of alcohol... Only stagnant water. However, tilting his head to allow the hat to catch the brunt of the water saved him from getting the nasty water in his eyes or mouth. A little bit of passive luck he wouldn't have to worry biting him in the ass later. "Well hello again karma.. How've you been?" He deadpanned before he straightened his head and noticed that Gabriel had went intangible before the drenching.. Smart move. The phantom then carried the conversation on without mentioning the incident, as did James. He wasn't surprised that it happened. It happened once before, and more than likely, it was bound to happen again. If he had let things like that get to him, then he'd probably go insane, fearful of the backlash. As it was, he took it on the chin and kept going... For every bad, there must be a good.

"Seems to me as though the same place as usual is an excellent idea as ever, though- I'm not sure you are exactly dressed for it, hm?"

James was about to jab back with a retort, but Gabriel's phone ended the thought right there. He gave the man enough time to read the message before speaking, "So, did you get another order for something? Is it something I'd probably win in a card game next week? Or is it something a bit more fancy than that?" James asked with a sly smirk. Once or twice James managed to come in possession of items Gabriel had... Procured at some point. Then these items usually went to the local pawn shop, which then found it's way into another fat cats possession... Then Gabriel had to offer a rain check on the drinks. James grimaced, he was looking forward to a shot of scotch. Drinking alone is never fun and only made one look lonely.

"Although... how would you feel about making some problems for the authorities? The real ones, mind, not the cigar-smoking suits in the dens." He raised a speculative eyebrow. "Pay's good; work's, well... not honest in the slightest, so nothing unusual for you, eh? Just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill heist."

James then laughed as if it was some kind of joke Fate likes to play. Looks like James really did have passive luck, "What? Like what I do isn't honest? Someone has to make sure the money trickles down to us." He laughed sarcastically, "I'm only speeding that process right on up and taking my payment." He said. Of course, much of his money goes to paying apartment rent, utilities, food... More gambling... Alcohol.. James didn't do drugs, because the of the threat of getting a bad batch or overdosing was always present due to his luck. As it was, he was late on both the apartment rent and the landlord was threatening to shut off his lights... Not to mention some gambling debts."Right, you know I don't like the authorities... They make my job," If you could call gambling in illegal dens a job, "Difficult. 'Sides, could always use a little extra scratch." He said rubbing two fingers together.

"What's this job about? Is it something to do about the little club you like to help?" He asked. The Insurrection wasn't completely unknown to James. "And should I pick up a mask?"

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“Sorry, Al. Your hair can’t kill a guy,” she replied in agreement to the cybernetic man’s assertion that she preferred his arm. “Although… all that crap you put in it might. And Eliot thinks he’s noxious.” All in good fun of course; Charlie enjoyed teasing her friends, and unlike when Gene and Alan had a row, there was always just a hint of actual affection underlying it.

Charlotte’s nimble fingers worked the wiring of Pete’s arm with familiar ease, snipping wires here and splicing them back together there, the occasional spark lancing from the stained pads of her digits to do the work of a soldering iron. She had leapt at the chance to be not in a Charlie sandwich, because that much human contact was just awkward. Gene could be quite horrible when she wanted to, and Charlie sandwiches were far from the worst of it. The bugs in her bed were probably the worst. Charlotte, despite having lived in a decrepit slum for eight years, was meticulously clean about it, mostly because she had a childhood fear of insects she had never quite gotten over.

Occasionally, she would pick up a spare part and replace something else. To anyone who didn’t understand the mechanics of it, it would be a rather random-looking process, and surely carried out far too quickly. A small pile of old greasy nuts, bolts, wires and gears accumulated beside her, and the pile of new, distinctly shinier (though not pristine) bits and pieces shrank.

Technically, she wound up with parts left over, but that didn’t bother her. She understood cybernetics better than most of the manufacturers, so it wasn’t really a surprise that she could do the same thing with less parts. Greg mentioned that they’d actually be running three ops today, and Charlie’s eyebrows shot up. That was ambitious, for such a small force, but she could understand it. Actually, it was technically four, if one counted the text message she’d just coded her phone to send to Gabriel. Seemed like Greg had big plans.

When he mentioned collateral damage, she smiled winningly. “Aw, c’mon Greggie, you know as well as I do that that house belonged to Steinwald. He wasn’t even in it…” Steinwald was one of the nastier pieces of work in the world of underground drug rings, and nobody would have missed him. Still she sighed with resignation. Fine; Mortix buildings only. It’s not like there weren’t a ton of those too.

Still, playing distraction seemed like fun. Hellsing park, huh? That was up in a nicer area; she and Gene would stick out like sore thumbs. The loud music and sporadic electrical surges would help. So would the bugs, but Charlie really didn’t want to think about the bugs. Not now, not ever. Sliding Pete’s metal casing back on, she fastened it in place the old-fashioned way, and tapped it as one might pat a dog. “There ya go, Pete; good as new. Better, actually; flame cannon’s got a foot and a half more range, I reckon.”

As soon as Greg was gone, Charlotte turned to those with a bit more free time and rubbed her hands together in the manner of many a stereotypically-inclined villain. “Sooo… who wants to play Final, Final, No-Really-We-Mean-Final Fantasy CX? I won’t even use my powers to reprogram the software and beat you, I swear!” Mission prep could wait. It wasn’t like Charlotte needed a lot. Bullets were kinda stupid when you could zap people fast as, well, lightning.

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The hellion reclines there on the sofa on her back, enjoying the glazed chunks of greasy meat and fragrant rice. John's feigned pain made her chuckle a bit as she ate. Every few moments Gene would pause to glance at Peter and maybe wink at him. Although once she focused on Alan again she had lifted her chin and lowered her eyelids in a haughtier-than-thou fashion. Everything about Alan rubs the hooker the absolute wrong way. She'd love to catch him in some friendly fire at some point. Or perhaps accidentally set bees off in his trousers. Angry, drugged up bees. Gene's grip tightened on her cheap food when Gregory let the gravity increase. No way is she wasting a free meal! Acidic eyes sifting towards their bizarre leader she nods her mohawk at his words.

Working with Charlie is a lot of fun. They can rip up the city in the comfort of her motorcycle too. Charlie is a pygmy compared to Gene. "Aye-aye captain...five bucks if you want me to play that shit." she snapped as an afterthought. Weapon wise she has her brass knuckles with her but will no doubt grab a crowbar before departure. Gene gets shaky during battle due to her powers sucking her dry and from partial withdrawal. These hands are only steady for intimacy and preparing Dragon Salt. Any sort of gun just baffles her. Her eyes linger on Charlie's deft hands as she tinkers and toils, lazily waving Gregory out once he took leave. At least Alan will be going soon as well along with Eliot off to do an assignment. There are a few hours to kill until Gene has to worry about using a song or summoning a horde of pests.

When the blue haired mechanic makes the suggestion she only smiles and slowly shakes her head. "I'm no good at games." they tend to make her wig out anyhow. Gene's perception of reality is...altered to put things lightly. Then again it's why she's so comfortable in her lyric induced illusions. Although sometimes if you think something will harm you in them, you could get hurt only from your body's memory of pain. It doesn't always happen but when it does people freak themselves out. She's too much of a tweaker to be bothered by it anymore. Gene wiggles herself up to sit properly with her legs still crossed, boot nodding for no reason as she continues to eat, gaze lowered in case the game flicked on too suddenly. "I bet money on Charlie winning though. Fifty bucks says she can."

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"What's this job about? Is it something to do about the little club you like to help? And should I pick up a mask?" Gabriel waggled his eyebrows and smirked. "Hmm, let's see... yes, and that depends. By all means, if you want your head presented to Freya Mortix on a platter by this time next week, I'd say don't waste your time with the mask. If you'd prefer to live to spend your hard-earned monetary compensation, however, then yes, a mask is a good idea. We can swing by whatever you're living in these days if you like, but I also have a spare."

The thief fished around in his pocket for a second, pulling out a wide cloth band with a surprising amount of elasticity. Black, of course. "Slip it on around your neck, and then pull up till it covers your nose and mouth." While this sort of cover concealed exactly the opposite half of the face from the traditional masks that most insurrection types went for, Gabriel liked to leave his peripheral vision intact. The fabric was quite breathable, which helped considerably.

"And the job is rather straightforward- we have to gain entrance to a particular warehouse that presently contains some of MortixCorp's newest product, a drug called Fire's Touch. It's not too far. The corporation likes to hide things in plain sight, which is great for people like me- us in this case. We get in, get the stuff, and get out, then you get a free visit to the residence of a friend of mine for a drop, and we're all a little richer in the ways we care about." He shrugged with a careless ease, and started in the direction of the warehouse in question. If anyone wondered how he knew where MortixCorp kept their stuff, they never asked, which he very much appreciated. He always had a plausible lie ready, just in case, but he really didn't want to have to use it.

The target location was down a few more sidestreets, at the edge of a more middle-class sector that still wasn't exactly residential. All in all, it was a rather nondescript building, which made it all the better for storing something important. There were guards posted around the perimeter, but that wouldn't be too much of an issue for either of them. One of the drawbacks to being a paranoid CEO was that you didn't even trust the guards to know the importance of what they were guarding, and these guys looked half-asleep already.

"What do you think it would do to you if that man-" Gabriel pointed at the one nearest the gate. "Decided that he really needed to use the restroom in about ten seconds?" He raised an eyebrow at James, unsure exactly how the whole karma thing worked. It was entirely possible he couldn't even do that sort of thing, but he supposed it depended on your definition of luck, didn't it? "If he leaves, I can hack into that console and put the security cameras on a loop, thirty seconds, tops, and then phase us through the door. You don't even have to keep him away for that long."

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Alan looked from longingly between the gamestation and Charlie. He had just gotten up a few hours ago and some mindless video games would liven him up for his current mission, but he remembered Gregory's tone of voice and shivered. There was just something about his tone of voice and the fact that he could crush them all with his powers that slightly intimidated Alan. Thus, he turned to Charlie and raised a hand.

"Raincheck. I don't want Greg coming by because he forgot his cellphone and finding me goofing off when he specifically ordered me to begin my mission. And I am very useful in a firefight for your information. Saved your life when you were pinned down in that one firefight. Just had to go invisible and do a silent kill," he told the mechanic indignantly before turning over to Eliot, "Basically, we're abducting a geneticist that fell out of favor and is now on one of MortixCorp's patrols. Either we convert him.... Or bury him."

He frowned a bit. He still didn't like the thought of killing someone just because they wouldn't join their cause. Most of the people working on the lower levels of MortixCorp were just regular Joes like the rest of them. It was the higher-ups that deserved a knife in the gut or worse. Still, orders were orders and Gregory probably knew what was best anyway. What was that old saying? You're either with us or with the terrorists? Yes. That worked. Only, he supposed they were the terrorists here. Shaking his head, he stood up, taking his bandana and mask from his pocket and placing them both on his face and head.

"Come on, Smokey. The Boss gave us work to do," he told him with a grin, burying his feelings for the mission.

Peter, for his part, nodded in satisfaction at Charlie's work. She truly was a competent mechanic. Shame that she refused to augment himself. At Gene's winks, he blushed slightly. Never once in his life did he think he'd have a soft spot for a hooker, but here he was. It was... illogical. He shook his head and flexed his arm. As flexible as ever. Good. That meant that the new Tech wasn't weighing him down. Better to go without Tech that weighed him down than risk losing his entire arm and a lifetime of work he did on it.

"I'll play," the cyborg volunteered. Why not? His mechanical hand was far more dexterous than organic ones.

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#, as written by Shiva
As he got his things together and was formulating a plan, the secretary came through the door. She was rather loud, but that wasn't the point. As she was strapping on blades of varying sizes he was slightly frightened. She knew how to fight. And the Magician didn't like sharp things that much. She refused the gun, and the Magician looked at her oddly.

"Uh, Miss Vladmiskov- If we're going to be part of the patrol, we need to look like it. If you ain't carrying a gun, they're going to think something's up." He stated bluntly. Snyder was only ever serious in the downtime before missions. It was when he would formulate his plan- his mode of execution. Even the nicknames and magic tricks were kept to a minimum.

"Either way." He said, ignoring the fact that she may or may not have wanted to speak to him in the first place, "How are we going to go about this? The patrol group will not be attacked until we reach a place where guerilla attack is optimal for Insurrection. That could be anywhere on the Slumside. What's their target? There are too many variables."

He once again pointed to the gun. "Our best chance is the bluff 'em. Make them think there are no supers in the group. So take the gun. A patrol(wo)man without a gun sticks out as much as a oak tree in the desert. We're going to blend in- that's the first part of the plan. I'll give you a signal of some sort when we reach the second phase." He didn't mention that the signal might include throwing a mag of ammo at her head. "Regarding your abilities- the mission left it ambiguous on when to bring back information. I know you cannot die- but in which way do you want to bring back the intelligence? Me first or us together?" He braced himself for her to give some sort of scathing reply. The real reason why he was expecting a cold reply was because of her russian accent. It was rather unnerving, if you asked Snyder.

He decided to check his equipment again, taking them out and beginning to strap up. The moment he put his helmet on, he stuffed the backpack full of extra clothing like his bow-tie and dress shirt into a locker. He secured it with his keypad, though if Freydom wanted to get in his clothes all she'd have to do was poke through his mind anyways. Snyder seriously considered laying off the excessive joking- as Freya HAD punished him before, and it wasn't fun.

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"If you'd prefer to live to spend your hard-earned monetary compensation, however, then yes, a mask is a good idea. We can swing by whatever you're living in these days if you like, but I also have a spare."

"Uh.. Point taken," James said, a nasty thought running through his head. When Gabriel pulled out a makeshift and breathable cloth for a mask, no doubt for the bottom part of his face, James took the cloth in his hand and examined it. He rubbed it between his fingers and nodded... That would go very nicely with what he had... "Well, that's nice of you to offer, but this really just doesn't suit me by itself," Jame said, placing it around his neck. He then copped a smirk and peeled back the wet leather jacket and reveal what he was hiding. An old time venetian styled mask with a slight beak. It looked similar to a raven, except for the gaudy color scheme of blues and whites. Of course, it would draw attention away long enough for something... Unlucky to happen. Plus, James tried to have a certain type of flair, if his vest and tie didn't give that away.

James then chuckled, and began to explain, "See, I won this is that card game. Hell if I know where they got it from, bought it from some museum, stole it from another super? I don't know... But it's mine now. I might just keep it," He said, fastening it and allowed it to hang limply around his neck for the time being.

After Gabriel's explanation of the target, a new drug called "Fire's Touch" James shook his head. He was never the one for drugs... Alcohol, sure, but not drugs. Stuff like that could make one lose their mind, plus it would probably cause James to spontaneously combust because of some drug-addled use of his powers. "Like we need more of that crap introduced here," He mumbled as Gabriel started towards wherever the good were held. The drugs were eating into people's pocketbooks, which meant that people didn't have as much money to spend, and that meant not as much money to gamble with. Although, he will admit... The drugs did have bad ass names like that.

In a few moments, they arrived at a rather... Ordinary warehouse being patrolled by guards. Of course, throw the goods in the middle of nowhere, that way no one would be the wiser on where to find the junk. No one apart from Gabriel it seemed.

"What do you think it would do to you if that man decided that he really needed to use the restroom in about ten seconds?"

James looked at the the guard where Gabriel pointed... A simple thug and hired gun. Probably didn't even know that he sat on a stockpile of drugs that could hook the entire block. At any rate, the man just stood there, guarding... Doing what he was paid for. He was rocking back-and-forth rythmically, almost as if the man was bored... Almost? Nah, it was pretty much guaranteed the man was bored. For now atleast.

"Depends on how much he drank recently, I suppose," James said. He wasn't completely sure of the basis his power worked. However, he was pretty sure there was a scientific explanation, he just couldn't come up with one himself. As it stood, the amount of backlash he received depended on how full the man's bladder was... James glanced back at the guard as his legs squeezed together and a hand shot to his groin. Looks like someone had to piss like a race horse.

"Now, it's up to whether he wants to drain the lizard right now or suffer- Argh!" James finished the sentence with a grunt as a muscle in his thigh tightened... A damned cramp. Well, that was a good sign, it meant the guard's bladder wasn't that empty. He grabbed Gabriel's shoulder as he put pressure on the leg and pressed on it with a hand, trying to uncramp it. "Cramp, cramp..." He muttered to Gabriel. Finally with the cramp gone, "That was quick. Least the muscle didn't snap in half," He joked as he rubbed his thigh.

He then looked back over to the guard who had decided that enough was enough and left his post... In quite a hurry to attend to some unlucky business. "Now, what was that about hacking?" He asked Gabriel as if the cramping incident never happened. He was glad Gabriel knew how to hack the thing... James couldn't do it without worrying about it exploding under his hands...

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Freya watched the two leave her office with the slightest of shakes to her head. Talk about variety in hiring practices… the two of them were very close to polar opposites. She trusted they’d be able to get over that and do their jobs. Both were well-aware that failure was something she did not tolerate. And both were very good at what they did. That was enough.

She had just gone back to her paperwork when Shelly, her front-office receptionist and substitute secretary, knocked urgently on the door of her office and burst in without waiting for a response. That alone was enough to earn her a withering glare from Freya, but she seemed so distraught that the CEO held off on the tongue-lashing and looked at the redhead in a way that invited her to speak- and soon.

“Phone call- information building in uptown- attack!” Freya raised a brow, rather unimpressed with the woman’s inability to keep her composure. This screamed diversion. Someone was toying with her, and they must have thought she was considerably easier to fool than she was in truth, else they would not have bothered with such cheap tactics. Well, there were things to be done about that. Phone calls could be traced, other numbers in those phones retrieved. Sometimes, those other numbers could even be linked to names. Someone had made a very reckless mistake indeed.

Mr. Wesper, I am informed that our uptown informational services building is under attack. Please confirm this, and discover as much as you can about the assailant or assailants. She also issued orders to the nearest patrol in the area to make themselves known. There was at least one Super in that squad- a cryokinetic, if she remembered correctly (which she did).

What she did not do was immediately panic and throw off her other plans. But it would not do to let the Magician and Rasputina walk into something they were not anticipating. Mr. Snyder, Ms. Vladmiskov, the insurrection is mobilizing. If you come in contact with any of them, engage. Otherwise stick to your route slumside. Freya trusted in Enigma’s calculations more than she did the arrogance of a rebel idiot who phoned in his movements. Collateral damage was acceptable. Falling into an obvious trap was not.




As it turned out, the guard at the gate had been out rather late the night before. Unsurprisingly, he had a hangover that was making pure agony just to be standing there, and he rocked impatiently back and forth from his heels to the balls of his feet, looking for an excuse to vacate his post to get out of the sunlight. Why did everything in this city have to be so damn shiny, anyway? It was like he was being punished for having a good time…

He was about to call over his shoulder for another guard to relieve him while he took a quick break, got some water or something, but he had the sudden feeling that water was just about the worst idea ever, and he really needed to leave- now. So without bothering to call for backup or explain himself, the guard snuck off as quickly as possible, remembering that the petrol station around the corner had a bathroom. Who even used petrol anymore, anyway?




Two full squads of Mortix officers followed the fleeing vandal in hovercraft, but the cryokinetic was going about it with a bit more finesse, drawing water from the air and condensing it to freeze, creating himself a path about thirty feet off the ground and skating over it with grace and enough speed to keep up- for now.

Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to sustain such a pace for long, though, he took the opportunity to lob a large chunk of ice at the young man’s retreating back. Stupid kids; why can’t they just sneak out late like good little rebellious idiots? he asked himself irritably. Then again, he was something of a crotchety old man at fifty-six, so everyone was 'kid' to him. He continued hurling projectiles, hoping more than anything to bring the fool down or just beat him off. Frankly he didn't care that much, but he'd be damned if some brat was going to get the better of him, powers or not.

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#, as written by Basta
Rasputina blinked rapidly for a few seconds. She would have said something snarky, but the Magician was right. With a savage growl directed at Snyder, she ripped an assault rifle from the hands of the quartermaster and slung it over her shoulder. She weighed variables and options in her head for a moment, while mindlessly checking the rifle.

"Vedy vell. Jour plan is the sountest one. I predict the rebels vill attack around de warehouzes. Dere ve vill make our stand and make our research. Be ready, Comrade, as ve only have the one zshot at dis. I also do not think I vill be coming back to de building for zome time, unless joo can make the carrying job." Babayaga smiled at her partner, showing as many teeth as humanly possible and moved to address the team. She pulled a cigar from a pocket in her flak vest and lit it, taking a draw and sighing in pleasure.

She explained to the team that this would be another simple patrol. The purpose of her and the Magician's presence was to evaluate the guard and see who was worthy of promotion and whether or not these patrols were absolutely necessary to the company. The men looked at each other nervously. One didn't like hearing that one could lose one's job based on circumstances out of their control.

"Move out!" she barked. The group scrambled into a formation and quickly began their march through the slums. After about a half an hour, they reached the factory district. Babayaga gestured to the Magician to be alert while she scanned rooftops.

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In the room that was frequented so rarely by others sat The Enigma, as usual, tapping away at keys and staring into the middle distance sightlessly. Something was creeping around in The System but he couldn't quite catch it. He had no idea what it was but it was a hunch and after almost 80 years of roaming the digital world his hunches were rarely wrong. It was something nearer the suburbs, a fair way out of town, just a few words that didn't make sense and he was gaining on it, pulling up images of street corners and basements with hidden cameras, tracking movements with uncanny speed-

Mr. Wesper, I am informed that our uptown informational services building is under attack. Please confirm this, and discover as much as you can about the assailant or assailants.

Ahhh, that voice in his head was majestic. He was more than willing to let go of whatever rat he was about to lure out of it's hole for Her. He had no need to reply, she knew well that he'd heard and would get straight to it. And no sooner had she spoken than his attention was drawn anyway to the area by an alert being sent out by the building in question. Without missing a beat he stopped typing and placed his hands by his sides. It would be quicker this way.

Every screen flashed dark for a moment and then images started coming up of every location in the city, disappearing and being replaced at lightning speed. Dials spun, lights flashed and words materialised on control panels faster than anyone alive would be able to use their fingers to do. In a few seconds every detail about the downtown building was available to him... Without the touch of button.

What he saw did not disturb him. Nothing disturbed him since embracing the Almighty but he was still surprised. It appeared that the entire building was collapsing, complete with full compliment of employees. This was no longer a mild irritation, this was mass homicide on their part. She would need to know. Three floors up the computer screen on her desk would switch itself on and display this:

Miss Mortix, the building in question is being destroyed. Cameras show only a single assailant, a super. I shall track him. Video footage will follow this message.

He took his mind away from the computers and drew in a few shaky breaths, it always took him a while to recover after that. So he set about typing again and pulled up images of the security cameras before they were destroyed. There was nothing, nothing, nothing... And then there. Only a moment he appeared, masked, and with no weapon took down the whole lobby. It was impressive if nothing else, especially for The Enigma because his view was that of the camera. He saw no screen, he saw only the direct image taken by the surveillance recording in his mind. He saw the man land with ferocious speed, wave his arms and cause a wave of dust and concrete that spread down the foyer to rise glass and steel alike, destroying everything in it's path.

Still typing while watching, he noted the direction of the super and mentally scanned the area, finding a few devices. Steeling himself for a drop in heartbeat he reached out and touched the phone in the super's pocket, causing it to ring and answer itself.

"A fine display of reckless cowardice young man." His voice was amplified from the the small speaker and had a tinny tint to it's already scratchy, aged, rattling tones. "You know, many of the people in that building were regular citizens trying to make a living. How does it feel to know you've ended their lives unecessarily?" Perfectly calm, totally reserved and almost amused.

He needed to keep the man talking, try to simultaneously track his movements and find any machine he might pass that would be useful in apprehending him. With the right circumstances he could take the battle to the streets from the comfort of his custom built office chair.But he couldn't keep it up for too long. A simple enough task it might be to control the speaker in a phone but too long and he might not be able to utilise any potentially dangerous machinery against this masked villain.

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"Least the muscle didn't snap in half," Gabriel grinned and shook his head slowly. "Oh come now, surely even karma would not be that cruel to its favorite chew-toy," he replied. He had to admit, having James along was rather convenient... for him, anyway. Actually having that particular power was by it's very nature only slightly better than not, but being able to reap the benefits, now that was highly beneficial.

As soon as James was standing on his own again, the thief nodded shortly. "Just a second." With that, Gabriel made himself intangible, which while not actual invisibility did reduce his noticeable presence significantly. A mere precaution, since the guard had been foolish enough to alert no others when he left. The two on either side of him were far enough away that unless they spontaneously decided to do something above and beyond, so to speak, he would not be discovered.

The security system was another matter entirely. Most of those were connected to the Mortix mainframe, which was monitored by a man with impressive observational skills to say the least. That made simply destroying the things an impossibility. He'd have to be much more subtle than that. Mortix warehouses could be harder to steal from than heavily-guarded museums and banks in this sense, but luckily Gabriel had some experience with this. There was simply no way to avoid making a small blip on The Enigma's radar, but the trick was to disguise it to make it look like one of the guards had made a routine mistake with the technology. It could not look like a polished hacker did it, or it would be noticed immediately.

To this end, Gabriel approached the console, keeping to the peripheries of cameras while intangible to reduce the chance of being seen. His face had been caught a few times before, but that was why he had the mask in the first place. Deciding not to mess with the internal wiring (which would certainly set off red flags) he instead mimicked trying to adjust the angle of one of the cameras, using slow, awkward keystrokes. Had to imitate one of these thugs, after all, and there was simply no way they would have the level of technological finesse necessary to complete the task as efficiently as he would like to.

An errant few data entries, and the cameras shut off. He was going to loop them, but he honestly didn't know how closely this warehouse was being watched, and they weren't going to have much time anyway. At least this way it would look stupid, but not necessarily suspicious. Hopefully, Enigma was dealing with more important matters right now. Either way, they had limited time. Gabriel gestured for James to cross the street and join him, and as soon as the man chose to do so, his sometimes-adversary was clasping his shoulder and making them both phase-capable, something only sustainable as long as Gabriel was in contact with the object in question.

He stepped through the wall, pulling James along with him assuming the man didn't struggle or something equally absurd, and then lifted his hand, both of them fading back into more conventional existence. "We're kinda tapped for time, depending on how busy their technician is right now, so try and find anything marked "pharmaceuticals." Mortix has an interesting sense of humor that way. Fire's touch is a red liquid, I think. We don't need a lot, but let me know if you find it before I do."

With that, Gabriel was off at as fast a pace as dignity would allow, perusing ceiling-high stacks of crates, simply pulling merchandise out of them at random when he could not definitively reckon what was inside otherwise.

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As Gabriel was hacking or playing with the console, whichever seemed to get the job done, James didn't quite understand the basics... He tended to shy away from technology on account of his luck. Never know when one may decide to short-circuit and take him out. However, he did understand the reasoning. Mortix ran everything they owned on a tight shift, and hardly anything went past the mechanical eye of the cameras... He believed Gabriel told him stories about that. Something about a ghost or an old man named Enigma or some such mysterious moniker... Personally, James thought they were ghost stories and thought that they were being monitored by a large team of technicians... Such an Orwellian world they lived in, James thought.

He then looked to his feet an spied a couple of soggy leave... The gears in his head began to churn as he bent down to pick them up in a balled fist... An idea. With his other hand, he licked a finger and tested the wind. It was rather mild for the moment, and what he thought was going to require... A little bit of luck. A Cheshire grin spread on his face. Hacking is good and all, but nothing beats a stroke of good luck. He blew on the leaves which left his palm twisting acrobatically in the air. Then, a gust picked up and carried the leaves over the walls and towards the cameras... James couldn't be certain, but luck was on his side and the leaves should land in the lens of various cameras... Combined with Gabriel's hack, this would make them twice had hard to spot.

Karmic backlash was instant as the same gust tugged at his pocket and lifted a twenty dollar bill and flew it across the street. James grabbed wildly for it, but the finniky bill avoided his hands like the plague. He watched it skip merrily down the street. He refused to give himself away and run down the money... Besides, even bad luck can be good luck with a certain point of view... The money may find it's way to a guard who would then be ecstatic about his find just to run off and buy something. Not to say it was a certain thing, as the karma was unknown to him from that end.

However, by this time Gabriel waved him down, and James was more than happy to oblige. He clutched the man's shoulder with one hand and his hat with the other. Hate for his hat to follow the route of his money and skip down the streets. As it was, the feeling of phasing through the wall was unnatural for James and caused him a slight shudder. No doubt it was a mainstay for Gabriel, just as immediate luck was an acceptable act for James. Then the man let go of his clutch on his shoulder, instantly fading into existence. "Will never get used to that," James said with a final shudder.

"We're kinda tapped for time, depending on how busy their technician is right now, so try and find anything marked "pharmaceuticals." Mortix has an interesting sense of humor that way. Fire's touch is a red liquid, I think. We don't need a lot, but let me know if you find it before I do."

"Bet you I can find it first. I won't even use my luck for it, to give you a fair shot," He said with another Cheshire grin. He kinda hoped his passive good luck would be enough for that. That and he was kindly tired of the backlash kicking in. Besides, using his powers here may just alert something to their presence. James was a lucky bastard, not a stupid one. With that Gabriel started towards one pile of crates... Rather gentlemanly and refusing to break out into a run. James on the other hand, held no such illusion and he was at his chosen stack within moments.. A stray glance at a camera, and James believed he saw something resembling a leaf obstructing the lens. He couldn't be for certain and just keep searching for the desired good.

He cracked open the first case. Nothing but random merchandise, no doubt part of the monopoly Mortix held on the city... A thought scampered across his mind of taking a nice long piss on the goods... But he didn't have time for that. Second case? Same deal, more merchandise... But the third case? Ah, well they say that third time's the charm. He picked the crate up and as clear as day it read "Pharmaceuticals". James copped a grin and opened it, revealing vials of crimson red liquid... If anything deserved the title of "Fire's Touch" then that would be it. The liquid held a sinister glow about it, as if one taste would hook anyone instantly. James grimaced... Being a slave to such a substance, it was pitiful to be sure... James wished he would never have to encounter something like that himself. That and Lady Luck would make sure that the withdrawal symptoms would lay his ass out.

"Ooh Chevali-ier!" James cooed, drawing the last syllable of Gabriel's alias out, "I think I hit pa-ay dirt," He continued, clearly enthused about his find... He then grinned at the man and shrugged, "It's all in the Luck of the Draw." James said, showing him the red vial and the crate he had found it in.

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Charlotte chuckled when Gene put money on her victory. It was a pretty smart bet, of course, but... "You know Gene, I could always agree with Pete here to throw the match and split the spoils... Although I don't think he'd let me do that to ya, would you, Petey?" She slapped the cybernetic man's shoulder in a distinctly sibling-like gesture, before falling somewhat gracefully into a crosslegged position on the floor and picking up a remote, tossing another to Peter and turning on the console with her mind.

They'd never gotten around to adding a half-decent multiplayer mode to this franchise, which ordinarily didn't bother Charlotte any, but she'd gotten bored one day and interfaced with the software to give all the bad guys stats and level-up capabilities just like the main party. Adjust a few of the maps, add in a point system, and it was like you were killing your friends in an era when people still used swords of all things, to say nothing of bows.

"Oh, c'mon, Petey, all the manual dexterity in the world means nothing if you don't use your brain!" She was tempted to jab at him with one of her bony elbows, but ultimately decided that his metal arm would do her more damage than anything and he probably wouldn't feel it anyway. "My forces of evil and doom are wiping the floor with your knights in shining armor!"




Eventually though, Charlie got bored (or maybe Pete did, it didn't really matter). "Anyone feel like lunch?" She offered to the two of them plus John, since they were the only ones left. She didn't have a whole lot of food left because people tended to assume it was free and she didn't have the heart to get seriously mad at them for it, but she could probably spring something for a light meal. They had all eaten pasta and Chinese for breakfast, after all.

She glanced at her wristwatch and frowned. In Charlie's mind, sundown couldn't get here soon enough. She was itching for something to do- a way to really work out all her cabin fever. Still, she couldn't just go around fighting Mortix soldiers at random. It was senselessly violent and also suicidal, but all the waiting was the worst part. Charlotte was not what anyone would call the world's most patient person, but she knew that sometimes she had no choice in the matter.

Grabbing some random stuff from her fridge, she set it all down on the coffee table and went about making herself a sandwich. For some reason, she always seemed to eat twice what a person of her size would, but she never really noticed it. "How's Toxin running these days, Gene?" she asked by way of conversation.

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Gregory barked his commands at Eliot, followed with a moment of stronger gravity. Knees almost buckling, Eliot sighed, the usual smoky gas that he emitted diving straight for the ground after it left his mouth as a result of its supernaturally increased weight. Eliot finished his food in a huge bite, knowing he had to get going now. Regretting this, he wished that he could have had a little longer. He had the misfortune of being the only one of two sent out immediately, and with an immature idiot as a partner at that. Eliot didn't know Alan all that well compared to some of the others. Truth be told, he usually avoided him. It wasn't just his occasional pranks, it was really his overall carefree nature, which truth be told he envied in a way. He didn't know what Alan's life had been like, but because of Eliot's life experience, he ironically couldn't imagine that the prankster had lived a very difficult life.

"Abduction and possible murder," said Eliot, casting his eyes upward and groaning, "sounds like a great day to me." Scowling as Alan referred to him as "Smokey," he began following him out of their hideout. "We're outta here," he called on his way out the door, "seeya."

"Well," he began, once they exited the building, "Unless our destination is conveniently located a block away, we ought to stop by at my place and pick up my car. We might consider gathering more equipment, anyway." And grab another bite to eat, he thought.

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Peter felt himself flush at Charlotte's light teasing. She knew about his soft spot for Gene. In fact, she was just about the first to realize. And she never ceased teasing him about it. Hopefully, the others didn't realize it yet, especially Gene. He knew the girl would take advantage of it. He had no illusions about that. It was just the type of person she was, which was unfortunate. She did have a compassionate side, at least he thought so. If only she'd let it out more.

"I never throw a fight," he told her, already attacking with one of his knights. He could relate to the hulking armored figures. They fought just like he did when he was out of weapons and gadgets. Unfortunately, Charlie was a pro. He liked to think he provided her with some challenge, but Charlie was a pro. She easily defeated his warriors before losing interest. He did, however, perk up at the mention of food. Because of his cybernetic parts partly being run by bio-energy, he needed to eat more than normal, but hardly as much as Charlie did. It amazed him that such a little person could eat so much. He suspected that it related with her powers. Electricity was energy in its purest form, after all.

"I could eat. Are you hungry, Gene?" he asked the woman beside him.

***

"Yeah. Good idea," Alan relented. Truthfully, he could walk the entire away without having to gasp for breath but because of his partner's obesity, it would be cruel to attempt it. He nodded and began to head towards Eliot's place. Now, he did tease the man for easily losing his breath, but he never pulled pranks that took advantage of the man's disabilities. That would be cruel. Instead, he contented himself with more silly pranks like giving him or his possessions a new paint-job or spreading rumors that he stole Gene's underwear. He grinned at one particular memory of him using his powers on her in self-defense. The drug-addict wasn't smelling normal for weeks, no matter how much cheap perfume she wore. Now that was an added bonus for his efforts. That and no one caught him. They suspected him, of course, but they could never prove it.

His light mood, however, was brought down by Eliot's comment about the job. He frowned, "Gregory knows what he's doing. That's why he's the leader. All he asks is that we obey him, not matter how distasteful the job is. Neither of us might not like it, but we have a duty, right?"

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#, as written by Smith
The muted whirring met his ears barely a minute after trashing the structure. Hovercrafts? Must've been on patrol already. What fun! As the oddly disguised man made to land he could've sworn a gust of cold wind passed by overhead. Odd considering the time of year. With a deft twist Hekaton dropped from the air and onto the top of a smaller office building. It took every iota of strength not to burst out laughing as the hovercraft came on with a platoon of troopers. Did Mortix think he was playing around? Not even one-

Hey! Hekaton was on his hands and feet in a crab-walk position, looking backwards at the icicle that so narrowly missed spearing him as it shattered on the stone. Not without chipping off some of the concrete, he noted. At the precipice of the rooftop was an absurdly large chunk of ice that trailed streamers of wispy frost into the air. How did I not notice that before? in that thought three thin fields of intensifying power were brought into being in a semi-circle around Hekaton facing the enemy super and the hovercraft, the occupants of the latter now raining down bullets upon his position.

He stood up at a liesurely pace, dusting off his gloves and suit. Under the mask Gregory was still smiling, although all the privateers could see was the unnerving singular eye on the front of his mask. That was not what inspired panic in the troops though, however. No, it was the fact that both ice-spears and bullets crumpled to the ground in front of their would-be target exactly three feet away from him. It was such fun to pretend. Telekinesis was a common, if effective power. Very easily replicated too with the proper application of invisible gravitational fields.

The cryo-soldier must have realized the danger before his fellows did, for he quickly brought a thick crystalline shield into being around himself. Gregory allowed the man to peer through as he raised his hand towards the flying vehicle. The soldiers inside were drawing heavier artillery, setting up the mounted turret when a field the size of a marble manifested on the nose of the craft. Screams of shock and expressions of utter disbelief broke out when the hovercraft spun wildly for a brief moment, dumping it's riders onto the roof of a lower lying building across the street with no small amount of force. As those who did not suffer too much damage were shakily making their way to their feet, the craft abruptly dropped down on top of them with only a minor field. The damned thing was heavy enough without his help.

Gregory chuckled at the meaty squish that resulted. That's watcha get for working for the bad guys...huh?

"A fine display of reckless cowardice young man. You know, many of the people in that building were regular citizens trying to make a living. How does it feel to know you've ended their lives unecessarily?" Gregory removed the throw-away phone from his breast pocket and stared at it through the fabric of his disguise. The phone was talking. Not like, speaking to someone on the other line. It was literally talking. Not many things surprised the man anymore and Hekaton lifted it close so whomever--or whatever--was observing would stare directly into the eye of truth.

"Young man?" his voice did indeed sound like that of someone in his late teens or early twenties. "That's pretty irritating. Odds are we've seen alot of the same atrocities in our lifetimes." the bastard sounded either really old, or really muffled. "You know as well as I: You can't bake a cake without breaking a few eggs. And a word for Mortix...you're one of her pet supers right? Anyway...No attack is a surprise if your guard is down. I've got a few others, but now's not the--"

A sudden cascade of ice and slush hammered down upon the distracted revolutionary. The phone was sent flying off somewhere towards the street and all was quiet, except for the chattering teeth of the grizzled Mortix super. His skin was blue around the eyes and lips and he shivered uncontrollably, but there was a goofy smile plastered on his hairy face. "G-g-got'cha, ya l-little ba-s-stard...." his face turned even paler when the mountain of ice sloughed off of the building in the span of several heartbeats.

Hekaton stood from a crouch, brushing off ice-crystals and regarding his foe with a singular gaze. He spoke in a silibant whispered developed after years of practice. "Now that, was close. Do you realize how much energy it takes to create an anti-g...a barrier, that quickly? Alot. Honestly, I think I feel a nose bleed coming on." he approached the frostbitten man, flexing his gloved hands. Menace was clear in his intent, but Hekaton paused several steps from the exhausted super.

"Wh-what? I-if you're g-g-gunna do it, then d-do-"

"Shut up. You live this day." Gregory's rage was sated for the time being, having bashed some lackeys into pulp. He turned on his heel and walked to the buildling's edge. Without looking back, he spoke to the cryokinetic with something approaching kindness. "Mortix is killing what's left of this world. I expect to see you on the right side next time we meet."

Three minutes and two fields later Gregory was back in the subway system, floating through the dim corridors at a moderate pace. His head throbbed and his bones ached. That really had been fun though. Plus, he may have converted someone...probably not though. The sight of three more hovercrafts in the distance may have had something to do with his fleeing as well. Out of his pants pocket he retrieved his own, custom cell-phone and checked his messages. Three...all from friends at school. Gregory smiled sadly. If it wasn't so hard to stay caught up with current information without it, he wouldn't be back in school under a different name every eight years. On that note...he rather liked the name Gregory. Better than the last one at least.

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Good, no objections to stopping at his place for a minute. He lit a cigarette, his normal cover, and began to walk at a brisk pace, at least relative to the short length of his legs. "Yeah, Greg knows what he's doing," Eliot agreed, thoughtfully stroking his stubble, "I ain't really objecting, I don't think. No problem. I've done worse. 'Sides, we only kill him if he's truly with MortixCorp; otherwise, we gain an ally, right?"

Continuing their walk down the sidewalk and wanting to avoid an awkward silence, Eliot began pondering their plan. "Once we do find him, the first thing to do will to get him alone. We can either wait for the perfect moment or one of us can lure him," Eliot explained, "Once we do get him alone, we have a number of options. We can talk to him, then and there, and if he tries to run or call for help or whatever we just kill him quickly..." Eliot paused, thinking of what could go wrong with that, then continued, "that might not work. We could knock him out; my regular smoke could do it easy, but getting his unconscious body safely away could be difficult to do without attracting unwanted attention." He hummed in thought, finishing, "What else...?"

The man stopped to go into a short coughing fit, but continued walking after a moment's pause, spitting a glob into the street that matched the color of the dark, asphalt road. He took a deep breath, exhaling an amount of smoke that was simply too great to be covered up by his smoker guise, but luckily, no one else was around to see. "I'm a'right," the man muttered, coughing again. He could see his house now, just another block down. He could really use a bite to eat: his lungs just really seemed to dislike him today, and he could never get used to the foul taste in his mouth.

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Alan frowned a bit, feeling a bit sorry for the man's trouble. He shook his head, "When all this is over, I think you should get yourself looked at by a doctor. See if anything can be done about your lungs. We have a bunch of backpay coming to us and it's not like MortixCorp is going to use their billions of dollars once they're gone."

He smiled slightly when they finally reached Eliot's house. Just in time too, judging from his coughing, "Anyway, I say we either wait for him to be alone or separate him from his group and talk to him first. I don't think he'd be receptive to our words if we knocked him out and abducted him. I know I wouldn't."

He smiled slightly as an idea came to him, "Hey. Maybe he can join us once Gene OD's. Don't look at me like that. You and I both know we could use a more dependable comrade."

Not to mention that the hatred between the two were legendary. Alan did pride himself on being more useful to the group, however. Invisibility and the stealth were far more useful than singing and getting bugs hooked on Dragon Salt, after all.

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Gabriel searched crates with the patient speed of a true professional, managing to appear unruffled and nonchalant even when phasing his arm through random crates and pulling things out. Another annoying practice of MortixCorp was never putting all their eggs in one basket, so to speak- each location would have some of quite a few things, but all of nothing and certainly not some of everything. Go figure that one out.

It was at the back of the unit that he finally found what he sought. The masked man held the reddish liquid up to one of the dangling, near-phosphorescent warehouse lights, little more than bulbs dangling from the ceiling by wires, and grimaced with distaste. It was like thinned blood, and he surmised that the idea was to inject it, assuming it wasn't simply an oral-consumptive. "Ooh Chevali-ier!" Gabriel rolled his eyes, but smirked with good humor. "I think I hit pa-ay dirt." Heaving a small sigh, the thief made his way back towards the other man.

"I guess that makes it a tie, then," he replied, holding up the vials he had extracted from the other crate. "I think I might be starting to believe in luck," she offered with a chuckle. "Else I would be afraid I might need to feel some concern for my future employment prospects." Gabriel tucked away his own vials within his inner vest pocket, then advanced to the wall of the warehouse. "I do believe we ought to, as you gamblers say, cut-and-run?" He thought that was the right phrase, though whether it actually originated with gamblers was just a guess.

As soon as the two were through the wall once more, Gabriel set off down a separate set of sidestreets. "Same-day drop," he explained. "Just one of many conveniences you get by hiring the best. Our destination is about a mile from here. Ah, that reminds me. You haven't met Gregory and Charlotte, have you? They're quite interesting." He did not mention, of course, that the building they were heading to was actually the base of operations for the entire Insurrection- that was not his information to give out. It looked enough like a mere residence, and the sheer variety of people inside was actually enough to throw people off the scent, especially if Genevieve was present.

Suddenly, however, Gabriel stopped short, shooting James a knowing look before turning on his heel. "Now, now, I was always told that if one wishes to know something, it is best to simply ask, hm?"

Their cover destroyed, two men stepped out from the shadows. Mortix, but scarcely more than thugs, and Gabriel suppressed the desire to drag a hand down his face. He'd never found it particularly sporting to fight the ground-level employees, but the men weren't giving them much of a choice. One pulled a gun and the other a knife. Figuring that the karma involved for screwing with a gun was a load worse than making a guy drop a knife, Gabriel immediately distracted the former, plucking a stone from the ground and giving it a good toss.

The fool fired, and Gabriel lost all solidity, ceasing to be affected by other molecules at all. Hmm... He wondered if Gregory could still crush him in this state? Technically, he remained ground-bound because of the thin layer of molecules he kept at the bottom of his shoes, which may or may not have prevented him from falling through the ground. Both were things he'd have to test eventually, for the sake of satiating his curiosity of nothing else. Watching a bullet pass through himself and embed itself in the wall behind him had ceased to be a surreal experience a while ago, and Gabriel shrugged, bounding forward over the distance that remained between himself and the gun-toting thug in a single leap, solidifying his fist in enough time to connect it with the man's jaw. No challenge; what a waste. It meant, though, that they would have to be careful on the way to Charlotte's. It wouldn't do to lead anyone there, now would it?

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#, as written by Aythr
John sat on the couch, looking at his phone while the rest of the group was conversing with each other. He didn't much mind not being talked to though. He was perfectly content to simply listen to what was going on. He continued to munch on his sandwich, taking one of the last few bites and savoring it the best he could. He began thinking about what he could have put on it next time to make it better. Bologna, of course.

"Cheese, jam, maybe if the peanut butter was crunchy?" he thought to himself as he looked at his sandwich. "Tomatoes? Onions? Mayonnaise?"

He continued to list condiments in his head until he realized how long it had been since Gregory had left. He wasn't sure the exact time, but he knew that it was drawing relatively close to 6 o'clock. They wouldn't be able to do anything without Gregory's guidance, or at least John wouldn't be able to. He wasn't good at coming up with the plans, which is probably why he hadn't started The Insurrection in the first place.

"6 o'clock." he thought to himself. "6...o'clock? Why is it called o'clock? Why not 6 clock?" John had easily distracted himself with his thoughts on the origin of a contraction. He continued to sit on the couch, conversing with himself inwardly, and waiting on the couch for Gregory to return like a dog waiting for its owner.

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"Young man? That's pretty irritating. Odds are we've seen alot of the same atrocities in our lifetimes. You know as well as I: You can't bake a cake without breaking a few eggs. And a word for Mortix...you're one of her pet supers right? Anyway...No attack is a surprise if your guard is down. I've got a few others, but now's not the--"

While intently listening, The Enigma had also been scanning the area for any useful device which he could take control of to put an end to this frankly annoying, little rebellion. And what had he found instead? A bunch of useless guards and that fool of an icicle making a mockery of MortixCorp on camera. Well this simply would not do. And now the phone had been cast awa-

He skittered along on hiss office chair to a different console and started tapping away in a frenzy. He had to find something, anything robotic with movement capabilities in the uptown area. He was already perspiring from the effort of connecting with the phone, though he was far from done. He'd worked himself into unconsiousness before and he'd likely do it again. Although in his frail state the next time may be the last.

He could find nothing. The majority of the motorized equipment had been decomissioned because it was too pricey and generally not worth the effort. He'd have to settle for doing it the old fashioned way. He tapped away, yet again, and hacked his way easily into the security radios, sending out a message to every member of a security team in the area.

"Urgent orders. The encounter with the super has provided us with some evidence. There will be a phone in the vicinity. Find it!"

The phone may or may not shed some light on the situation but he could puzzle over that later. No, what really bothered him was the way the other man had spoken. Talking of seeing the same atrocities? Well he moved with the gift of youth but that wasn't to say he was young. Far from it by the words he used. He was no general youngster with a lack of respect who was in this for the glory. A frown broke across The Enigma's dark face. They were dealing with dangerous people here.

And it wasn't over yet, there was a blip in The System again and, almost grudglingly this time, he pushed his chair over and started flickering around. It was nothing, leaves over a camera lens, an inconvenience.

"Guard, the camera to the West of your post is covered. Deal with it and perform a quick scout of the area to be sure."

It was always helpful to have access to radios. All he could hope for now was the incident would not lead to anything more. The Enigma had lived to long to believe in coincidence and it was a rarity that the surveillance equipment ever had any kind of fault. If he was any less of a man he'd have put it down to plain, old bad luck.

~~~~~~~~~~~

A few minutes before, in a building in uptown, everything was going normally. Francis was finishing up some paperwork and getting himself psyched up for a night out. Nothing out of the ordinary here. He bid farewell to a few fellow employees, no one he really cared about, and made his way to the boss' office, knocking twice before letting himself in.

"Assignment's all finished Sir, just needs your signature at the bottom and MortixCorp bankrupts those idiots on the West side at last. I must admit, I thought they'd crack long before this. Guess you should have got me on the case sooner." He dropped a stack of papers on the desk and made his way out, ignoring the sarcastic response he was certain would arise from the fool he left behind. That should have been his job, would have been if he hadn't had that investigation. Someone had ratted him out, he knew it, someone in this very building. Still, no time to dwell now, he thought, time to get the hell out of here.

He pushed the button to call for the elevator but the display showed it to be on the top floor and they were notoriously slow.

"Stairs it is" he muttered as he made his way down the first flight, looking across the lobby from a height through the glass panelling around him. He sighed, wondering when he'd be rid of this place. He belonged in the MortixCorp headquarters with the bigshots. He had a good job where he was, and a lot of money, but he really wanted the status of being a real executive. He wanted everything and he'd blown it by being careless a few years ago.

While these thoughts passed through his mind as they so often did at the end of a bad day there was an almighty crash nearby and he jerked his head up just in time to see a man outside the lobby wave his arms and send the entire floor hurtling across the open space towards him. His eyes widened and his breath caught in his chest but his mind worked quicker than he ever thought it could and the world slowed. Well, to him at least. The reality of the situation was that he was now in a distortion of time and moving far quicker than everything around him. His muscles, mind and motor activity was sped up to supernatural speed. And why not? He was a super, wasn't he?

Vast chunks of concrete crept through the air towards him, shards of glass scattered in every direction at a snail's pace, creating the slowest gauntlet ever conceived by man. He did not slow his pace, instead taking a leisurely stroll through the lobby, weaving around the destruction that moved no quicker than a floating bubble to him, staring in wonder at the employees around him who were crushed and speared in slow motion. It was strangely poetic, even to a man who lived by numbers.

By the time he'd made it out the masked figure had taken his leave and was running, slowly, down the street. He considered giving chase but he knew that there was only so far he could travel before the effects wore off and he'd be reduced to little more than stationary himself. So he made a left and took a jog along until he could hold the time distortion no more. With it's release came the tumbling of the building behind him. Though it was regular speed in the normal world, it happened at a hundred times it's usual speed to Francis, whose pace still remained the same. People ran by him with the velocity of jet aircraft and all they saw was a mime standing still in front of a scene of absolute chaos.


By the time it had worn off he was only halfway down the street and sirens could be heard in the distance. And his legs! Good God alive, they were aching! He estimated that he'd made it across the lobby, out of the building and well around the corner in no more than a couple of seconds. Such strenuous effort took it's toll and he winced at the pain. Still, no need to worry, he was out. If anyone asked, he left early. And at least one good thing had come of this: Whoever had tipped the bill on his financial activity was now buried beneath a hundred tonnes of rubble. So there was justice in the world...

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She sat there numbly once the two began to play. The kaleidoscope of colors and shapes jerking around to flail at each other begins to manifest behind the couch. Gene blinks away the illusion and caves in. As Charlie and the cyborg play nice (a concept she will never fathom) she swiped up the vial of dragon-salt left over from Greg. If he had meant it for something else then he's shit outta luck. You don't leave drugs around an addict and expect to see them unsoiled when you return. With a light sniff Gene carries the vial upstairs along the catwalk into her bedroom. It's situated nearest to the exit so she can usher clients out much more quickly to stay under Charlie's radar. They have a mission ahead certainly but the amount won't be enough to make the long term user high, just buzzed. Her only concern now is if she wants to snort it or melt it down to fit in a needle.

The dragon woman emerged perhaps a half hour later and would continue to watch the game with an ignorant smile plastered on her face, eyes wide and glazed over. Just enough to get by tonight and get through the mission. At least she returned prepared. Now suited up in her spiked, thick leather biking gear she has her bladed knuckles tucked into her belt and her crowbar across her backside. Also now in her lap rests her secondary helmet. Gene pulls out a cigarette and lights up, suckling on the cancer stick before taking a swift sip from her flask and loosely holding onto it. Landed between Peter and Tank she'd periodically try to tickle Tank's neck or sides before feigning innocence. At some point Charlie and Peter stop playing the game and Gene tenderly nurses on her flask again. There's nothing strong in it (this time) and she likes to get a bit of a buzz before a mission.

Although the downside is that she forgot she had ever placed a bet in the first place (not that anyone took it) so she remained apathetic when Charlie was declared the winner. Someone mentioned food and she blinks her jungle eyes, glancing at Peter with a knowing smirk. "Yeah but not for what you're thinking about." she suggestively places her hand on his knee, giving it a faint squeeze before standing up. Helmet hugged to her chest she trails after Charlie absently into the kitchen with her flask clipped to her belt and swinging against a hip. "Nah I'm not hungry. That orange chicken was enough. And Toxin still runs like a dream thanks to you, Charlie." Gene really does feel like an older sister to the azure haired female. They met in the slums (well Gene was stalking her and hoping to mug her for some extra cash for dragon-salt at the time) but knew the other needed help getting around. Against her better judgement she had helped Charlie out and let her get close.

"If you get any ideas for mods or something, I won't be opposed to it. It's fun to surprise some jackass on the street who thinks they can just cut me off and get away with it." the druggy isn't a patient driver in the least and tends to rip after offending drivers like a bat out of hell. She's never used her powers in those situations (or in cat fights on the street), she's not that stupid. A super using powers would draw way too much attention. Gene drops down into a chair at the table, crossing her legs underneath as she rests her folded arms and chin on a smooth half of her helmet, subdued for the time being. "Maybe you could make an extra car so I could drag Tank around. Or a little hive compartment for my bugs." so, so much easier to produce the bugs and store them elsewhere as opposed to having them go ripping out of her flesh. It doesn't always feel good, not even for a sadistic masochist such as Starlight.

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"Well... Dammit," James said looking from the vial of red liquid to the same vial in Gabriel's hand, "A draw it is, looks like." Ah ha, seemed as if Skill could match Luck. James shook his head and put two of the vials in his other Jacket pocket, the side that wasn't bursting with cash (Albeit a twenty dollar bill lighter). Two because he didn't trust himself enough to actually keep up with only one. He rather enjoyed the idea of having backups present when it wasn't clear his luck wouldn't screw him over.

"I do believe we ought to, as you gamblers say, cut-and-run?"

"Close enough," James confirmed as he grabbed the man's shoulder. He wasn't looking forward to the phasing, but it was a slight better than walking out the front door like he owned the whole forsaken place... At lot more inconspicuous what it was. Then they were through the wall accompanied by James' shudder. It wasn't that he was afraid or anything it was just phasing was unnatural as all hell for him...

After the Phasing, Gabriel began to speak about his job, about some individuals named Charlotte and Gregory. James listened intently, intrigued. "Same day drop?" He repeated, "That must cost a pretty penny," It's not like first class shipping was inexpensive anything. "Sound's like a pretty decent gig... Well not decent, but you know." He admitted. Sure, James liked his job as well, swindling money from under the noses of fat-cats who don't understand that they can't just throw money around and expect no one to try and make a grab for it... James was that man who grabbed... Rather large handfuls at that too. Plus, there was always the surprise as to how luck is going to bite him in the ass later. "Charlotte and Gregory... Charlotte and.. Gregory. Can't say I do, Can't say I do. Not unless they indulge in a little cards or dice," James said. He wasn't completely sure how they tied into this, but was positive they played some role... Otherwise Gabriel wouldn't have mentioned it. However, he didn't pursue it. As it was, he thought back on his job... Gambling... The best part was always wondering how luck was going to bite him in the ass this time. Then as if almost on cue...

"Now, now, I was always told that if one wishes to know something, it is best to simply ask, hm?"

James then saw the two thugs walk out into the light, and he looked up towards the sky with his hands outstretched, "The hell did I deserve that for?" He asked his matron of luck. He felt gypped and decided he deserved a freebie. His hand went to his face to examine the mask still clasped to his face... Of course combined with that visage and talking to the sky gave him the damn good impression that he was a little bit... Loose in the head. Hell, it was a completely possible that he was.

James then looked over to Gabriel as the man chucked a rock at the thug holding the gun. No doubt realizing that the gun would cause more backlash then the knife... However, it was a lot more straight forwards with the gun... He'd have to improvise with the knife... He shrugged and jerked a hand in his pocket and slumped his shoulders, looking as unenthusiastic as possible.

"Well, let's get this over with... Come on, I don't got all day," He snapped at the man who then snarled and charged... Just like James planned. As the man closed the distance, James refused to move out of the way, only gripping something in his pocket. As the man got in range, James pulled the thing, or things out of his pocket. They were a pair of red dice with white indention. James merely tossed these at the man's feet. The dice seemed to fall exactly where the man was stepping and he slid. Now James side stepped out of the way as the man slid past him.

James replaced his hands in his pocket and leaned over the man. The thug managed to lose the knife in the slid and seemed to be quite bewildered as James hovered over him. "Well, fella... Just not your lucky day, is it?" James smirked as he punted the man in the side of the head, instantly knocking the man cold. James then moved towards the thugs feet and picked his dice back up and examined them. "Aha! A seven! How lucky," He said, laughing, picking up the dice. The dice were scratched but were relatively unharmed. He made his wave over to Gabriel and shrugged.

"Since that right there," He pointed around at the thugs, "Was a stroke of unnecessary bad luck, then I would imagine we're even.. Karma and me," He finished... What he didn't notice was when he punted the thug, another twenty fell out of his pocket and drifted beside the unconscious man. Oh yes, him and Karma was even alright.

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"Since that right there was a stroke of unnecessary bad luck, then I would imagine we're even.. Karma and me." Gabriel tended to agree; running into Mortix soldiers was never a favorable situation, regardless of your skill set. Fortunately, these two were out of commission for a while and neither of them was dead. Gabriel generally found killing people distasteful, and he didn't really want to think about what causing enough bad luck to kill someone was likely to do to James. He got a sudden mental image of the man getting hit by a MortixCorp delivery truck and cringed inwardly. Yeah... distasteful or not, if someone had to be killed at some point, that was probably going to be the thief's job.

"Right... well, we should probably get moving. Our destination is just a bit further yet." Fortunately (though he was really starting to reconsider ways to state that a pleasant circumstance existed without referring to fortune), nothing else assailed them on their way, and Gabriel could not detect anyone following them. Granted, he had nothing extraordinary in this capacity, just trained eyes and ears and a healthy dose of self-serving paranoia.

The two men eventually reached a building that didn't particularly stand out from the others, on the outside anyway. It was actually one of the few warehouses around that was occupied in a way that did not suggest a squatter's lifestyle. He had to admit, it was impressive what Charlotte managed to go with the place. Knocking exactly thrice, in a pattern that was distinctly his, Gabriel did not wait for any form of reply before entering. Frankly, they were lucky he didn't just step through the walls. But he did believe in professional courtesy, somewhat.

He stepped through, propping the door open for James, and spotted several familiar faces. "Ah, Peter, John, Miss Genevieve, Miss Charlotte. It has been some time." Gabriel was at least a somewhat-face to just about everyone in the Insurrection, though Charlotte was his contact person. "I take it Gregory is out at the moment?" That much was obvious, but he said it anyway before moving right along. "Everyone, this is James. He'll be receiving half my fees today," the last half the comment was directed mostly at Charlotte. "James, these are a few of my... closest friends." A good-natured joke. Though he was a fairly-common sight around here, he was far from a member. This was not to say, of course, that he disliked any of them. Being an amiable person generally, Gabriel was also highly-tolerant, which meant that somehow he could like both Gene and Alan at the same time, and regardless of their feelings on the subject, no less.

Moving a little further in, he observed that Gene must be on a buzz at the moment; she had that particular look on her face. Extracting the vials from his pocket, he handed them to Charlie. "The amount was never specified, but we obtained a fair bit, just in case." Gesturing for James to hand his over as well, Gabriel took a seat on the lounge opposite the one the three insurrection members occupied, taking note of all the food on the coffee table and deciding that there had been a full-organization meeting this morning, which almost surely meant that Gregory had something up his sleeve. Interesting...

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Charlie suppressed a small sigh at the fact that Gene was buzzing; it wasn't as though she judged her friend for her habits (there were plenty of other people to do that), but she liked her better when sober. All the same, she grinned at the mention of mods. Gene treated the thing like her baby, and Charlie was duly honored to be allowed pretty much free reign to mess with it. "Hmm... how would you feel about a flame cannon?" The mechanic snickered; she probably shouldn't do that, or the next person to go too slow in front of Gene would find themselves without a vehicle. She was something of a hellion on the roads.

She could do a hive compartment, though, maybe attach it to the back... Charlie cast around for something to draw on, and grabbed a clean napkin. That was probably Alan; he seemed to be the only one who remembered to take bloody napkins when he went... shopping. Full use of the five-finger discount, of course. Sometimes she thought invisibility would be a hell of a power, but she figured she wouldn't know what to do without all her machines. Fishing a pen from her pants' pocket, she started sketching, a scale model of Toxin, only with something that looked like a beehive on the back... nah, it needed to look way cooler than that. Oh, and there were aerodynamics to be considered, and also the fact that Charlie herself was a frequent passenger. So... keep the bugs well away from the back then.

Her half-frantic pen scratches were interrupted by a thrice-knock pattern on the door, and Charlotte smiled, knowing exactly who was about to march through the door. She raised a lazy arm in greeting, waving it laconically at Gabriel, only to glance over and discover with much interest that he was not alone. That was odd; she'd never known Gabe to have a partner or accomplice of any kind.

"Everyone, this is James. He'll be receiving half my fees today," Charlie blinked slowly. Well, then. She set down her sketches and stood, advancing to a small safe in one corner of the sitting area. Doubtless, Gabe could crack it in no time flat, but he was generally kind enough not to. "I'll have you know I had to repair luxury vehicles to pay for this, Gabe. Luxury vehicles." She shuddered. Rich people; never let her do anything interesting to their precious hovercraft. She had actually repaired a few Mortix-owned hovers, too, but those she had modified... only nobody knew about that.

She took the vials and examined the contents, grimacing slightly in distaste. "No idea what Greggy wants this junk for, but whatever." She shrugged and handed over two separate wads of cash, eight hundred each. Small-time, for someone like Gabriel, but the job shouldn't have been that hard. On second thought- she withdrew the hand with the man named James's half, tilting her head to the side and regarding him curiously. The Insurrection was always looking to recruit, after all, and if Gabe figured he was safe enough to bring him here. "So, Jimmy, what's your deal anyway? You guys partners in crime or something?"

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"Yeah," he muttered, walking a tad slower than he was before now they they approached the house, "I'll get seen by some doctor with a Ph.D and everything, once Mortix goes down. Assuming I'm still alive by then." Eliot didn't quite enjoy it, but he did sort of like crushing optimism. The pessimistic man doubted that they would be able to overthrow MortixCorp in 50 years, though perhaps 100. Their leader was practically immortal, so The Insurrection certainly wouldn't fall on his account, but MortixCorp was too powerful for a ragtag group of supers to destroy in a matter of months or even years. Wasn't it?

"Duuhh, can't go knocking out a possible ally," Eliot admitted, mentally slapping himself. "We might even have to be kind to him for a little while," he uttered with a touch of sarcasm. Maybe Alan's jovial personality was getting to him.

Taking out his house-key and unlocking the front door, the home's owner stepped inside, chuckling at Alan's joke about Gene overdosing. He scowled, however, when he realized how much of a wreck his place was. The house was small and in the poorest of districts, so the front door opened straight into the living-room, the dining-room behind it, and both rooms relatively small. Clothes, garbage, unwashed dishes and more surprising things littered the two rooms, which had no real boundary between them other than the back of the ratty, old couch which sat in front of a small television. A clear cabinet stood at the back of the living room, housing bottles of alcohol; most were full, from when his parents were alive, but many were in varying degrees of emptiness. Several times he had attempted to drink himself into a stupor, but his amazing powers stopped him from getting even a tad tipsy. The dining-room table, lacking a tablecloth and revealing the plastic it was built of, had signs of his latest exploit in drug-immunity testing. In a cruel irony considering Alan's joke about Gene, a pile of empty hypodermic needles was sitting there, still emitting a slight chemical stink like vinegar. Heroin, an older drug that had fallen into disuse but was still being produced and sold, was one of the few he hadn't tried until just recently.

Feeling ashamed, he took off his leather jacket, putting it on the table to cover up the signs of recent (though completely ineffective) drug use. He walked into the kitchen, which was beside the dining-room, and grabbed an open bag of potato chips, engulfing a large handful. "Uhh," he stuttered, "Anything you need?" Eliot began quickly picking up the equipment he had neglected to gather this morning. His gun, with an extra clip, first and foremost. They might get into trouble, after all. He shouldn't have left home without it, actually. He grabbed a fairly clean dark purple bandanna, which he occasionally tied around his face to stop some of the fumes from contaminating the air around him. He never used them for long, however; the gas condensed on it, leaving it wet with a stinking black liquid, and it stopped the gas from leaving his lungs as much, causing him to get less oxygen. Even so, a bandanna was useful for when he had to be in small spaces with people he didn't want to disgust for a little while. Eliot wanted to make a good impression with their future ally, after all. Following this line of logic, he grabbed a pack of breath mints and considered shaving. Nah, he thought, making up an excuse for himself, a member of a secret underground resistance should look a little scruffy, anyway.

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James walked through the door of the warehouse, which had been held open by Gabriel for him, "Why thank you. Such a gentleman," James said in good fun. Inside the room he then saw it's inhabitants. A rather large muscled fellow, another fellow who seemed to be half machine... James made a note of not playing with his luck, a simple roll of the dice would end up disabling half of the man, a woman who was seated upon the couch... Who obviously was tripping on something. James winced, his hesitation about drugs a mystery to everyone gathered. Then there was another woman, who just screamed gearhead... Perhaps it was the touches of oil on her.

James managed a broad wave to all of these people with a simple "Hello,' accompanying it. Then Gabriel gestured for his cache of the drug, which James reached in his pocket and fished out. He held it out with one in each hand to the woman most likely this Charlotte Gabriel was refering too. Gabriel then found a seat opposite of the gather people, While James opted to keep standing near the side of the couch. The fact that he was a stranger here and knew nobody except Gabriel playing a part in his awkwardness.

The woman who he had identified as Charlotte then revealed she was, in fact, a mechanic. A lucky guess for James, who merely smiled inwardly. He was always thrilled when a small amount of luck happened. Such as it meant that no backlash was going to hunt him down afterward. She continued to say that she fixed luxury cars. His thoughts shot back to the poker game earlier... He never did catch what vehicle Top Hat and Cigar drove, but no doubt it was something fancy. Damn, how he wished he could win one of those in a game. Though with the amount of luck it would take for it, the car would probably end up as a fiery ball of wrecked within the day.

Then she held out a wad of cash for James... Ah, payday. Nothing like it. With that $800 added to his earlier haul of close to $900 (Or less, considering) then this should pay off his gambling debt and be able to keep his lights on for another month. He reached for the money and as he went to grab for it, it was cruely yanked from his reach, his hand only grabbing empty air. Gah! Dammit! James yelped internally... Of course he had a facial expression to mirror the inside curse.

"So, Jimmy, what's your deal anyway? You guys partners in crime or something?"

Jimmy? That was a new one... However, it was a lot better than Bastard or Jackass... Though he was quite fond of Lucky Bastard. "Ah, well. You could say that we have similar lines of work.." James said, glancing at Gabriel, "Though, I tend to steal my prizes right in front of the owner's eyes. With a deck of cards or-," He said, coyly smile and removing his dice from his pocket. The red plastic and white dots danced in the light as he held them between his fingers. "A throw of the dice. It just so happens that every now and then, one of my gambling buddies decide they want their crap back and decide to hire a certain thief. He doesn't always succeed, but it's rather cut down the middle... Helluva fun game though." He said, another glance at Gabriel. James hadn't forgotten the score.

"My deal? Well Miss... Charlotte? My deal is exactly that. I deal the cards and reap the benefits from poor luckless fools with more money than sense... A good ol' lucky Talisman and a genuine Lord of Chance if you will," James said with no certain lack of modesty

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Peter couldn't help but blush at Gene's comment. Damn it, why was it she affected him so easily, without even trying. He was half-machine. He should be less emotional, but Gene had that effect on him. When two men entered, he welcomed the distraction, nodding over at Gabriel, whom he recognized. He was a good thief, one the Insurrection had made use of time and again, though he was not an official member. Still, he had a feeling that they could trust him. MortixCorp. hated thieves more than anything, especially if they stole from them. He chuckled at Charlie's comments about fixing luxury cars.

"I'm sorry Charlie. Rich people are just too complacent with their cars. They expect their money to protect them," he told her. He knew it didn't make sense. It was just the way it was, though. He smiled over at Gabriel and teased, "So, you brought your boyfriend to meet us. I'm so proud of you."

*

Alan frowned, but didn't say anything about the state that Eliot's house. After all, he wasn't the older man's mom or anything. He probably got enough of it from Greg if the leader ever visited him personally. He did, however, start at the sight of the drugs. He knew Eliot was an unhappy man. He had lost the draw when it came to superpowers. Still, to turn to drugs surprised him. Judging from how he hid it, he knew Eliot was ashamed.

He gave the guy a smile, "Tell you what. You, me, and the new guy can go out for a malt beer before we take him to the drop-off point. I'm sure MortixCorp never brought him beer before. I'll even pay for all of us."

He patted his back and headed towards the garage, slipping into his car, "Come on. Let's get this over with!"

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#, as written by Smith
With a loud screech Gregory shut the back door and came waltzing back into Charlotte's humble abode. He was dressed in his street clothes again, and lugging an over-stuffed backpack. As he passed by the group the vials were extracted from Charlie's hand and held up to the light. Within the vermillion liquid tiny starbursts, almost imperceptable to those who didn't focus with all their ability were forming and fading. Gregory raised an eyebrow and mumbled around the slice of pizza hanging from his mouth. "Thish ish it?"

The glasses were tucked into his pockets and the young super plopped down onto a pillow. All throughout his movements not once did he acknowledge Gabriel. After sifting through his backpack and withdrawing some papers, homework he had picked up from school on the way back, Greg glanced at James. His dark eyes locked on to those of the stranger and something flashed deep within his gaze. The gravity several dozen meters around the teebager increased by a couple levels, enough to cause the coffee table to creek in protest and make hair--even Gene's odd spikes--lay flat against the scalp. Somehow he'd managed to hold onto his pizza. "Sup?"

Remembering himself, the subconciously manifested field dispersed and the local pressure returned to normal. Still feeling slightly put-off by the fact that a stranger was in one of his bases, Gregory created a milimeter thin disk of several tons worth of force just above James' head. It didn't matter that that snarky little mechanic owned the place. He own her...so another field of the same type came into being above Charlotte. Feeling that the prostitute would react badly if the one person having something that even remotely approached respect for her on this planet was pressed into red paste, a third field was formed above Gene. Nothing for the thief though. He didn't warrant that kind of response...wasn't worth the time.

"So, Charlie, who'se the new dude?" Gregory spoke in an unconcerned tone and sorted out a small stack of papers, giving no evidence of his ire or the invisible circles of inertial energy that would press them into oblivion with less than a thought. Honestly, he found that it took more energy holding them in the air than creating them. "Hmm...6x+9=2-5..." he scrunched his face in disgust. "Is this really what they're teaching juniors nowadays? Did kids lose a few IQ points in the past decade? X= -1 is the most obvious answer...would I get in trouble by pointing out more?"

At that point he was mostly muttering to himself. Gregory took another bite of his snack, scribbled something onto the homework and flipped open his cell to check the time. Still alot of it to kill. Days always just crawled by when there was fun to be had. He moved another paper and peered at an assignment sheet. "Hm? Interview the wealthiest person you know and write a report based on their success, how you would try to make your own money..." Greg immediately looked to Gene. The pierced, tattooed, drug-addled shell of ahuman being was probably the best money-maker he knew personally, aside from himself of course. On the thought of Gene another thought came to mind; I haven't gotten laid in at least four years...

That was washed away by a loud laugh brought about by Peter's joke. "Wow. Ok, that deserves a bonus. You get to blow up something off-schedule tonight if you want Peter."

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Gene nearly began to purr as Charlie scribbled on a napkin. Leaning back in the wooden chair situated at the kitchen table she hunches over the helmet now dropped in her lap as a sullen dog may situate themselves over a scrapped bone. The only person allowed near her baby is Charlie, Charlie does Gene proud with the things she can do to a machine. "Flame cannon?" the druggy grins, tattooed lips stretching to form an almost teeth-like pattern over her mouth. Fire is always fun. Not a lot of people have the balls to flip you off if you have fire at hand.

As she observes the swift come to of an idea for Toxin's next upgrade the dragoness' knuckles go white against her helm when a familiar knock sounds at the door. Mustering as much indifference as a household cat she disregards the two men walking in. Although that red stuff they brought looks promising. Exhaling smoke from her nostrils like a dragon of old, Gene fails to try and correct Gabriel. Countless times she's tried to get it into his head that she's certainly no 'miss' but to no avail. Eventually she got tired of hissing at the thief. Gene tolerates his presence (no one can be THAT polite intentionally after all) since Charlie and Greg use his services. Outside of the warehouse he's just another face. Or possible client, it's been awhile since she's propositioned the gentleman. She snickers absently at Peter's joke. "Boyfriend? And here I thought we had something special, Gabe." she makes a morose gesture while glancing at Gabriel mockingly before focusing on something much too exciting.

Lurid emerald orbs zero in on the red drug in Charlie's grasp. The towering banshee rises up and stalks over, forked tongue leveling the piercings on her lips as she reaches for it. Gene had the dragon-salt Greg left behind but she knows he special ordered this stuff. She'd rather not risk ticking him off by downing all of what the two men brought in but it won't hurt to just look at it. This looks to be something new. New drugs are always fun, you never know what they'll do. In the past she's taken some hits (literally) for the rebel group. If there's a new drug the woman is more than willing to give it a try. For the good of their cause, obviously.

Feeling her tawny mohawk being pressed against her designed scalp Gene frowns and utters a faint hiss. The alpha of the wayward pack wanders in with a greasy slip of pizza hanging from his mouth. And that pretty little vial of red stuff is gone. Why is it that one wishes for whatever is nigh out of reach? Plump lips forming a pout she crosses her arms underneath her breasts. Horrible timing Greg. Watching the life long student settle and begin to focus on homework she arches a groomed brow when he looks at her after voicing an interview assignment.

While Gene is a slumdog she is a rich slumdog. $200 per client (cheap for the slums and her talent has them running back at least once a week) and with typically five (not including private groups) clients a night four nights of the week, she's sitting on a wonderful stash. Nobody has seen it. The only person ever to be able to coax money out of the hooker is Charlie. Most of it is most likely used for supplies for the Insurrection or even groceries but Gene only gives the green up for her friend to use at the mechanic's disposal. Although her private stash has been growing. Gene plans on buying herself a lovely treat. Lovely and expensive.

With a smoldering expression she warms herself up, sidling up to Greg. "Honey, you let me try a hit of that new stuff later tonight after work and I'll sing like a canary."

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"Ah, I see your wit is scintillating as always, Peter. It must be unimaginably frustrating, to be able to conceive of so many things and yet in practice be left so tragically... bereft," Gabriel replied without missing a beat, voice laden with implication despite the polite tone of it. Really, crude humor? The wordcraft of men with something to prove. He supposed it was a bit too much to expect otherwise. The only women that kept company around here were Gene and Charlie, the latter of whom appeared to take the business/pleasure divide very seriously (or was exceedingly oblivious to anything made of flesh, he found it hard to tell). Gene... well actually he had no explanation for Peter's obvious sexual frustration except perhaps that the object of his affections was content to allow him to remain a pitiful, sad-eyed puppy in her presence. Most devious of her. "You must forgive me, my dear," he rejoins to the spiky-haired woman, "I'm afraid exclusive contract would be a bit more than even my pocketbooks could handle, hm?"

Gregory seemed amused by the initial joke, but Gabriel hardly cared, being more entertained by Charlotte's obvious torment of his sometimes-adversary. He knew she had recruitment on her brain- when you were a tiny force working against one of the largest, most powerful corporations in the world, you tended to need more people, and frankly, he had thought it possible that James might be amenable to the situation. Hence bringing him by in the first place instead of completing the drop himself.

The sudden surge of gravity as the unfamiliar face was noted by the leader of this little resistance was enough to cause Gabriel to fight the instinct to fade from concrete form, but he resisted, simply waiting for it to dissipate. Occupational hazard when one contracted for Gregory Smith. The youthful-looking curmudgeon got to asking the tedious questions shortly afterward though, and Gabriel contemplated simply leaving. He had what he'd come for after all, namely his payment, and as nothing more than a cursory associate of most of these people, he honestly saw no point in staying.

"Right then, as my business is concluded, I do believe I shall be departing." He offered a shallow bow from the waist and turned on his heel, pausing to look back for a moment at James. "Should you be alive at the conclusion of this meeting, I wish you... luck in your future endeavors," he offered with a smirk. He doubted very much that the man wouldn't survive- the insurrection did not have so many personnel that they could kill a potential ally, even one who wished his connections to remain as loose as Gabriel's did. "Oh, if you decide you need more of that-" he directed his comment to Charlotte rather than Gregory- "I would be happy to oblige."

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Charlie sniggered at Pete's joke, but Gabe's response just made her wince. Ouch. That had been rather mean... not that this fact made it any less funny. Still, her attention was simultaneously drawn by Greg's entrance (and the subsequent feeling of being made of something disgustingly dense) and also Jimmy's explanation of what exactly what it was he did. She gave a small "huh" in response and decide to show mercy, handing him his money without further issue.

Greg was apparently doing homework and conducting interrogations simultaneously. "Hey!" she protested weakly when he looked to Gene in regards to who made the most money. "If you count all the repairs I do and don't subtract the money I funnel into... uh, stuff," she sent Jimmy a glance. He didn't actually know what they did, did he? "And add the rent I should be charging Gene, I definitely make the most." Of course, the fact that she did funnel so much money into both the Insurrection and also parts and such, and also that she would never dream of charging Gene rent meant that her entire point was moot anyway, but whatever.

Unfortunately for her, the conversation soon went into full-scale interrogation, and Charlie knew that there was probably a gravity field over her head. Not because she could sense it there, but because she'd known Greg since she was a teenager, and quite frankly she'd be surprised if he wasn't taking the opportunity to lord his powers over someone else. Ass... she thought, but there was no real malice in it.

It was not much of a surprise to Charlotte that Gabriel was true to form and took this opportunity to exit most unhelpfully, leaving his co-conspirator high and dry and being potentially killed by Greg. Which meant that she had to do the hard part. Of course. "Thanks Gabe, love you too," she grumbled sarcastically as he left. She shot Jimmy a look that practically begged him to cooperate (she was horrible with hiding anything, and so she knew very well that only honesty was going to save the both of them).

"Well actually, Greggy," she intoned lightly, pretending she was completely unaware of the (likely) small distance between herself and uncomfortable levels of compression (that much she could do, since she wasn't actually afraid of him, which either made her very observant and clever or very, very stupid), "I was just gonna ask Jimmy here to join. He helped Gabriel steal the stuff today, and he's a Super... something about gambling or something?" She shot a glance at the man, not really sure since the explanation had been somewhat lacking in terms of specifics.

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Sunset

Zuna Sector, Slumside

Gregory, Peter, and John, having chosen the location for their havoc-wreaking, would find themselves on the bad end of Zuna Sector. Whether they were just passing through or this was in truth their ultimate destination was irrelevant. Presently, all that could be seen for some distance were rows of old warehouses, storage units, and assorted scrap heaps. All the facades were rusted with time and disuse, and they'd be lucky if one streetlight in ten functioned correctly. Though the sun was only just setting, the shadowed surroundings impeded visibility even here.

It was oddly quiet- the only discernible sounds were the dripping of filthy water from the bent roof of a nearby building, and their footsteps as they walked along the street itself. If they weren't careful, a misplaced tread could place them ankle-deep in rancid water from any one of numerous potholes in the asphalt. It would seem that this area had been abandoned for a long time- even the squatters and the junkies knew how to find better residence. Occasionally, a rat skittered across their path, freakishly large for such a creature but not aggressive.

Unbeknownst to both groups, MortixCorp Patrol 43 was approaching the same area, from the other direction. This was not exactly where Enigma's calculations had predicted the rebels would strike, but it was close in the sense of distance. Still, the eerie silence of the place would make all but super-powered attempts at stealth an exercise in futility. There was no question the groups would meet, only when and how.

With a group of protesters in front of an ancillary Mortix building.

As it turned out, Alan and Eliot would have just missed their target by a matter of minutes, and the man in question well knew it. He had left his address with the man leading the rally- well, not his address, but one where he could be found. Attempting to follow it would lead the two men to a decent condominium in the old Verciamo Sector, formerly run by Verciamo, Inc, a reputable manufacturer of luxury furniture. These days, local citizens paid their protection dues to a woman named Sarah Mitchell- not that this was much different from the story elsewhere.

Waiting for the unwitting Insurrection members would be an ambush of three Supers- the man who Freya Mortix had planted in the protests as a lure, who was a telekinetic of moderate skill, a woman in her mid-thirties with a stern expression who had earned her place in the corporation by being a very competent shadowmancer, and a half-wild ex-convict shapeshifter of no more than twenty-six. Of course, the only obvious tell in the group of them was the shapshifter's tendency to look at most people as though he actually wanted to eat them- and he most certainly did.

Hellsing Park

When Gene, Charlie, and any possible last-minute additions to the mission arrived at Hellsing park, they would find it rather full- mostly of old people taking walks before dinner or families packing up after an afternoon spent enjoying the weather. There was also a Mortix patrol in the area, but nothing out of the ordinary there- yet.

MortixCorp HQ

As it turned out, one of the men on the scene earlier that day was able to retrieve the cell phone Smith had been using, but even Enigma would be unable to find any numbers or names stored within it, for there had been absolutely none. The camera footage would give a general direction of retreat, but anything else would have to wait until the team in the field was able to report.

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Before sunset

James looked back as Gabriel up and left him in the hands of these strangers, a phrase came to mind ("Cut and run")... Clearly a couple of them were supers, if the increase of pressure about his head and neck was any indication. James was startled by the increase in pressure and chalked it up to the man who had entered moments ago. He searched feverishly for something he could use to his advantage... Of course he couldn't find anything that would be suitable. Instead, he relied on the tried and true effect of tripping... Only if the man made a hostile movement towards him. Only then. As it was, the pressure was lifted but James felt like he wasn't out of the ball part just yet either way... Then the pizza in the boys mouth came to mind... Be terrible if it was contaminated and held some kind of food poisoning. James kept that mental note in check, folded it, and tucked it away for a rainy day...

All of these thoughts flickered through his mind in instants, and never once did he show any emotion or hint of his thoughts. His face was a solid and smooth as granite.. A true poker-face. He staightened out his spine from the bit of pressure and adjusted the fedora on his head. He may have been in uncertain company, but dammit, he was going to look half-decent.

There was an argument who made the most money, of course, James decided to opt out of this pissing contest, smugly satisfied with the fact that he had billed in at somewhere around the $1700 dollar range that day alone not counting the small items he raked in between cash... A joy that he could hardly hide behind his stoic face as he slide the money in his pocket.

Then Charlotte shot James a look. One that just screamed to try and cooperate... For her sake, he began to stop searching for something to help him luck out. As it was, it seemed she had other plans for him.

"I was just gonna ask Jimmy here to join. He helped Gabriel steal the stuff today, and he's a Super... something about gambling or something?"

Finally, James broke his poker-face with a hearty bell-laugh at the mention of joining, "Ah. So this is the Insurrection is it?" He said, moving to the seat which Gabriel had just recently vacated, he took a seat and settled in, knowing that a full-blown interrogation was inevitable... So why fight it? "Suppose that would make sense, hmm? That would explain the pressure I felt.." He said, glancing at the man identified as Greg. "Plus the little job you had our mutual friend do," mentioning Gabriel.

"As for my Super status? I suppose that's a decent title. I myself prefer Talisman," He said, dragging the chair closer to the coffee table. "and my ability? I suppose you can say it is something akin to gambling. See, I control Lady Luck herself, who then decides to turn on me. Ah," He said, worrying he wasn't being clear enough. While he normally didn't explain his powers, chances were everyone in the place wouldn't allow him to leave without some kind of demonstration... Especially since he called them out being the Insurrection. James then shifted in his seat and pulled out a set of normal playing cards and shuffled them in his hand... A thinking process he did.

Then he stopped mid shuffled and withdrew three cards. He placed them face up on the coffee table. A 7 of spades, a 7 of hearts, and a 7 of diamonds. "Triple sevens, Blackjack. Lucky." James stated nonchalantly... He then picked the remote to the TV up and began pressing buttons... Nothing. The remote wouldn't work for him. Obviously. "Unlucky." He stated again before setting it down.

"See, Luck never gives... It only lends. However, I can decide when, where, and how it lends... Only I don't control what it takes back. Karmic balance is a bitch." He said with a hint of humor. He refused to state the relationship between his luck and the backlash, though. "I can make people slip on a perfectly good road, make them lose something important out of their own damn pocket, or win a game of poker or dice. Saying that, anyone want to test it?" He said, picking up the three cards and shuffling the deck again. He pulled out a random card and showed everyone, but himself, before placing it back in the deck and shuffling... He then pulled out a card at random and held it up for everyone to see... It was the same card, the 3 of hearts... Then a slight buzzing began in his ear.

"Questions? Comments? Bets?" He said the last bit with a smirk.

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#, as written by Shiva
Maybe Rasputty wouldn't be so bad to work with after all. Well, at least she didn't let the conflicting personalities get in the way of the current mission. At least she had some sense of humor. Setting the gun on his back, he tested out his powers to make sure that it would not be affected by the armor. He turned to a guard checking his armor. He noted her rather sarcastic humor. It would make sense for her to come back later- her power would probably account for part of it. "Of course, milady, but the only carry I know is the princess carry." He replied.

"SPIIIIIDERSSSS" He hollered, beginning to swat at his body. The Magician then cut the illusion, and the man looked at his body with confusion spelled out on his face. The others looked at him strangely, and the poor guy began to start looking embarrassed. Well, now he knew his powers was working. The Magician smirked and gave the man a wink. The man regarded him with a slightly dignified look. Of course, none of them really knew what the Magician could do as a power. As Raspberry Tina began lecturing the patrol, the Magician simply let her do the talking. It was a well known fact that the Magician had problems with authority in MortixCorp- his laidback attitude often leaves many of his subordinates confused on whether his orders were serious or not.

With Vladmiskov, she could just intimidate them into doing whatever they wanted. He was just the back-up anyways. He made sure his goggles, helmet, and everything was in place. heck, the only place that wasn't covered with some sort of cloth/armor was... nowhere. Luckily most of this was made with the urban setting in mind- lets the body breathe. He looked in a mirror- he definitely looked like a typical soldier- if only slightly thinner due to his lack of physical fitness. "Well lads, let's get moving then."

The Magician hung out near the back of the group, acknowledging Rasputinium's signal and beginning to extend his awareness. While she scanned the rooftops, the Magician scanned for other hostile minds. It was unlike Frey-Frey's power- who could delve into a mind, but more of a detection that a mind was present. However, it was tricky to do, and a hostile mind was subjective. They could be nervous at one point, waiting for the patrol to pass by before attacking. It would only be the moment they attacked that the mind would be detected as "hostile". His precognition skill only gave him a very slight forewarning.

Zuna Sector was always full of Hostile Minds. Gangsters everywhere. Not much help.




Valter de'Forte was a man that always had spare time. He attacked his tasks with much gusto, and never let tasks overwhelm him by staying on top of them. At this point, he had finished most of the workload assigned to him by his damned branch manager. However, the Musician did not begrudge him. He was a hard-working branch manager, even if most of his subordinates were total garbage. Too used to MortixCorp payroll, if he was to be asked.

Hellsing Park was very... grimly named. As a park, one would expect greenery and happy children skip roping on the sidewalk. Hellsing Park just sounded like some sort of grim biker-gang hideout that people enter but never leave. However, this subject was completely irrelevant to the matter at hand. He sat on a park bench, admiring the sunset. While some might call him a damned hipster, he really did enjoy watching the sun bring the day to an end. The light would slowly wink out in on the buildings, and the sky would turn deep crimson and tangy orange as if the horizon was ablaze.

He was not wearing his MortixCorp attire, as he often used the locker rooms to change into his civilian clothes before leaving. He donned a simple pair of jeans, t-shirt, and sweatshirt as always. He didn't like being scrutinized, though he didn't object to it if they just kept to themselves. There was a patrol in the area, and he watched them out of the corner of his eye. They looked professional. Some looked tired, but some looked eager. He knew all of them had the same intention in mind. The get back, hang up for the day, and go home. Some might have wives. Some might have children. There was something those god damned Insurrection bastards didn't know about.

But now was not to be thinking of such things. The last time he let himself delve too far into that, he had to restrain himself from attacking a civilian that LOOKED like he was part of the Insurrection. Valter took a deep breath, relaxing himself as he began to admire the burning horizon once more.

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#, as written by Aythr
John simply sat on the couch, twiddling his fingers about. He had just finished his sandwich, and made his way to the fridge for something to drink. Before he got up, he noticed Gene, on another trip of some kind. She tickled his side, but he didn't find it particularly amusing. He had some tolerance for Gene, but in general, he found drug users and their highs rather annoying. As he got up to get something from the fridge, he noticed some new-comers. He recognized one of them as Gabriel, but he had no idea who the other guy was. As he "hid" near the fridge, going through it for something to drink, he kept an eye on the new guy, who came to be known as James. He felt a little uneasy about him, but in short order it seemed he had made a good impression with Charlotte. He trusted her, at least. She seemed like a good enough judge of character, but he wasn't sure how Gregory would react to the new guy. John was a little nervous, and kept his head in the fridge as Gregory arrived.

"So, Charlie, who'se the new dude?"

John almost cringed. Although Gregory hid it well, he had an eery sixth sense about Gregory's mood. Normally, he found, Greg didn't use small talk if he had something to say. He'd just let it out. The fact that he was masking his irritation only made John's decision to stay head-first in the fridge a more appealing idea. In short time, however, Gregory appeared to be less suspicious of the new comer, and John managed a look over his massive shoulder. It seemed as though Greg was trying to ignore the new guy after the "dealings" that John wanted to be no part of. He sipped on a soda that he had found, and quickly realized that he had the fridge open for quite some time. He closed it quietly, hoping Charlotte wouldn't notice.

John just wanted it to be 6 already.

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"There's his car," Eliot pointed out, referring to a fairly common model of hover-car parked neatly in front of a large condominium building. "It's got that dent on the left bumper," he continued, parking his own hover-car, a twelve-year-old vehicle that was only still running thanks to his own ingenuity and a little help from Charlie, barely between the white lines. The car was solid black, with windows that were almost pitch-black, which stilled created a sleek look despite the old model and various dents and dings. Eliot had lost their target for a few minutes, but thankfully he still managed to figure out where Marvin Salas had gone. He blew smoke out the window, which had been kept open during the entire chase to stop them from suffocating, in a deep sigh. "Now to figure out which one is his."

After exiting the car he took a few deep breaths, now that he was out in the open air. A massive crowd had been gathered, so they could not get to Marvin through all the people, but they had followed him here. Taking a moment to stretch after the drive, he pessimistically wondered why so many people were bothering to do a peaceful protest. This wasn't some kind of democracy like you read about in history books; no doubt MortixCorp would shut the protesters up as soon as possible. A few might even go mysteriously missing.

Just as Eliot was about to make a move towards the building, a chain shot from the shadows and tangled itself around his body, binding him in place. Three people stepped into view, one of the men growling like a wild beast, and the other silent, looking as though he was in deep concentration. The third, a slightly older woman, took another step forwards. She seemed to be the leader of the three, as she commanded the monstrous shape-shifter to see if anyone else was in the car. The young man approached the vehicle with an odd, animal-like gait and a slightly hunched back. "Aw, shit!" Eliot swore, struggling to get out of the chains. The chains, still being held by the telekinetic, held, though the telekinetic himself showed greater signs of struggle.

"Put a lock on the chains, you idiot," the woman commanded, addressing the telekinetic, "you don't just have to hold them there." The telekinetic lifted a padlock and attempted to move it towards Eliot, locking it on the chains. Instead, it flew at Smokey's face and smacked him in the mouth. Eliot let loose a long string of curse words as the telekinetic continued attempting to lock the chains with his mind, but it seemed doing two tasks at once was a bit difficult for him.

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"Jolly good. Now we just have to convince him to join us and we can all go out for a drink..." Alan said lightly. To his surprise, Elito's hovercar ran well for how old it was and the gunk it must have gathered from Eliot's prolonged use. He and Charlie must have scraped it out and worked to maintain it. He nodded approvingly at the protesters. True, they probably wouldn't accomplish much, but they were showing MortixCorp that they weren't afraid. He had to respect that, at least. Besides, whenever MortixCorp did something particularly underhanded to silence the protesters, that meant that people joined the Insurrection in droves for a little while.

"Shit!" he muttered, instinctively activating his power. Long ago, he had gotten used to the weird feeling of not being able to see his own body, even as he waved a hand in front of his face. He grinned darkly. These Mortix thugs were in for a surprise. He quickly exited the car before drawing a knife and slashing savagely at the chains holding his friend. That plus Eliot's own straining managed break him free. He smirked as he then threw a knife over at the animal-like person who he guessed was a super. A bonus to his power was that whatever he touched became invisible as well, but whenever he let go, it showed up instantly. It must have been disconcerting, to see a knife thrown from nowhere.

He grinned began running to and fro, tossing knives as he went, never staying in the same place lest they figure out where he's coming from. He paused for a moment, glancing at the three people. He already knew what the telekinetic could do as it was a pretty common power and after seeing it, he decided it wasn't a power disguised as telekinesis like Greg often did with his. The two others, however, were a mystery at the moment. He frowned and snuck silently behind the woman. She seemed to be the leader, after all, so he'd take her out thirst. He drew another knife and stabbed at her back, aiming right at her neck. Hopefully, it would be a quick death.

***

Peter smirked over at Gabriel, "Oh, don't worry. That part of me is completely organic, thank you."

He frowned, however, as he left his comrade alone. Really, the poor guy could use some emotional support. Gregory's interrogations were far from pleasant. Nevertheless, James or "Jimmy" as Charlotte was calling him was taking the interrogation well. He snorted a bit at his power, shaking his head. True, he couldn't fault powers, but he preferred tech. Besides, luck didn't seem useful as a primary weapon. At least the others' powers had a defined cost. Karmic backlash didn't seem precise and the cyborg hated vague variables.

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#, as written by Smith
Earlier

Without looking up from the papers Greg nodded slowly. "Mhm. Sure. Of course. A recruit." although it was painfully obvious at this point in their relationship that he knew that Charlotte was lying through her teeth, he trusted her judgement just enough to allow the slight to pass. With a sigh he penned in the last of the answers to the physics work and glanced up at the new man. "Jerry. Jimmy...." Gregory tisked and looked at Charlotte, "Whatever the hell his name is, he's goin' with you and Gene. You defended him, so he's your responsibility."

Without realizing it the sultry painted woman that was the not-so-lovable whore of the Insurrection had crept up on his flank. He heard her cooing for the new drug only distantly, trying not to focus on the heat she was throwing off. Being stuck with the raging hormones had grown old decades ago. With a calming breath Gregory smirked at Gene. "Fine. One hit--after your mission is completed. Better start getting ready."


Present

"Alrighty lads..." Gregory was back in his working uniform, mask and all,adjusting the cuffs of his suit as he and his cohorts waltzed down the eerily illuminated street. "I had some of our boys up in Intel. scrounge around for some of Mortix's pet projects. What they found was...interesting, I suppose?Apparently Mortix wants to make powers dispensible. Temporary abilities, the crappier ones like enhanced speed, eyesight and skin-color shifting. I don't know the specifics but it would give the wealtheir folk something akin to temporary tattoos...only with superhuman dna." Gregory began twirling a scratched up old cane he'd picked up a little while back.

"We're going to squish it. A couple billion dollars down the tube, plus we might be able to salvage some of the temp-powers and make some extra cash." While further pissing off Mortix, he mentally added. "So feel free to unload on the building, as it's not much further ahead."

With a flourish he withdrew his cellphone from the breast pocket and rapidly tapped out a text to Charlie, then Gene. They read;

Charles- Make as much of a nuisance of yourself as possible. Crash routers, bust lamps, short out night-lights. Twenty minutes of riding around the park should be enough time. Masks on! And give the scrub a sock to put over his head or something. I'm expecting shocking reports on tv tonight :3

Gene- Be loud. Very loud. Cause panic and mind-fuck as many civillians as you can, enough to get the pat.s riled up. I've already got a syringe loaded with Fire's Touch back at Charlie's place. Don't forget the mask this time love...don't want to have to kill more innocents that see your face! Bring the noise.

Gregory would've suppressed the grin plastered on his face if he hadn't been concealed. Having a druggie on your side could be a boon at times. Gene, with her pentient for things that destroyed your body, could test out the crimson liquid. She would confirm his suspicions...

"Hm?" in the distance, amongst the shifting shadows he could've sworn he caught a glimpse of movement. "Make sure your masks are on boys...stage names only. If the brutes of Zuna catch wind of even a shred of out identities, word will spread faster than you could say herpes."

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After tossing the keys to her prized old-school ground-bound sedan to Jimmy, Charlotte sighed and waited until Greg left before she spoke. "Look- not trying to force you into anything here, but you can come if you want. If you'd rather not, well... just don't take my car. You think karma can be a bitch, you should see me when someone messes with my stuff." She grinned, but for some reason, that just made the threat all the more menacing.




Not ten minutes later, Charlie was on the back of Gene's bike, clinging onto the other woman's waist for dear life as they raced through the streets like the proverbial bats out of Hell. Of course, it helped that she could make every traffic light green if she wanted to, which she did, since being all secretive wasn't exactly the point here.

As if on cue, her phone buzzed inside her pocket, and she cautiously relinquished one arm's worth of grip to check it, smiling when she read Greg's instructions. Mass havoc, huh? Nothin' I do better, boss-man. She thought to herself. The combined insanity potential of herself and her best friend was more than enough, but if Jimmy had chosen to drag his ass along, there was bound to be even more shits and giggles everywhere.

The bike pulled to a stop, and Charlie adjusted the mask on her face before springing off. "Ready to make trouble?" she asked Gene, casually placing her hand on a nearby streetlight and sucking the power straight from it. Of course, it was connected to all the other streetlights in the area, and Charlie grinned manically before surging them all, short-circuiting the lot, and causing several bulbs to explode with a good deal of noise.

Blue-white electricity sparking from each hand now, Charlie chose a parked hovercraft, not near enough to cause any human damage, but close enough to make a helluva lot of noise. The one she picked screamed "wealthy off your labor" and it was with no small amount of glee that she discharged one of her hands. "Fire in the hole!" she shouted, and with that, the vehicle was little more than a conflagration of flames and shrapnel.

Now, let's see what else we've got here... come and get me, goons.

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Zuna Sector, Slumside

As it turned out, the frontman of the patrol figured out Gregory was there at about the same time as the reverse happened, and he made a motion for the rest of the group to stop. Turning to Babayaga and Alex, he spoke quietly. "Suspicious persons spotted ahead. Stay here, and if they turn hostile, move in." With a few terse hand motions, the frontman positioned the other six members of his unit to surround the small group, and as one they stepped into visibility.

"Halt!" the leader intoned, suspicion evident in his tone. This was a largely abandoned area, and though it was not explicitly forbidden for civilians to be here, the fact that this lot were both wandering through unused streets towards Mortix property and also, now that he was close enough to see, wearing masks, was a major red flag. "State your names and purpose." Each man leveled an automatic weapon at the trio, but none would fire unless attacked or ordered to. Already though, their training was demanding they pick potential targets, and each did, two to one, with the pointman's gun aimed squarely at the chest of the one in front, who had some kind of weird eye on the front of his mask.


Verciamo Sector, Alley

Marvin didn't much care for Daphne, the woman he'd been assigned to work with. If he was being honest, she was actually kind of a bitch. Good thing he was never honest, then, because her creepy powers kinda scared the shit outta him. As soon as the fat man stepped out of the craft, Marvin was ready with a chain, winding it telekinetically about the guy's person, pinning his arms to his sides. The false rebel had no idea what the guy's power was, but incapacitating movement was generally a good way to go.

Kevin, the creepy cannabalistic beast-man, approached the other side of the car, and when the door opened without any visible provocation, he blinked slowly, trying to figure out exactly what was going on. The ex-con wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, but even he knew it wasn't supposed to do that. So maybe that was why when the knife appeared out of nowhere and came flying at him, he was able to move quick enough that it only caught him a glancing hit to the side.

Letting loose an animalistic roar, Kevin shifted, sprouting fur, fangs, and claws as he took the form of a large bear. His eyesight diminished, but he was able to detect the intruder by smell alone, and so when the invisible man crept up behind Daphne, Kevin followed, swatting at what looked like empty air but smelled like human and... floral shampoo?

On of the other knives struck Marvin in the shoulder, and he lost his concentration completely, causing the chains to fall ineffectually to the ground at the visible target's feet, scrabbling frantically at the length of steel embedded in his flesh, Marvin soon decided that this was far too painful and went back to trying to concentrate. Finesse had never really been his thing, anyway, so he settled for picking up the nearest trash dumpster and hurling it towards the large man, stumbling back as a wave of lightheadedness washed over him, a combination of the effects of his power and also his bleeding shoulder.

Daphne, for her part, wasn't quite as stupid as Kevin, and managed to figure out pretty quick that they were dealing with supers, one of which could not be seen. Noting the movements of her olfactorily-inclined counterpart, then, she put two and two together and got negative one- that is, minus her life if she didn't move, and quickly.

Luckily, she was good at this sort of thing, and she slid into Marvin's shadow, reappearing in the one cast by the building they were in front of with a self-satisfied smile before drawing a knife of her own. Watching the ground carefully, she picked out the larger man's shadow and threw the blade at it. If it connected, the attack would create a wound only about half as deep as the one it would if she threw it at his physical body, and the other half would be sustained by Daphne herself. A fair trade-off, when your secondary power was the inability to feel pain.


Hellsing Park

The flickering streetlights were the patrol's first clue that something was wrong, but when the hovercraft exploded, they knew where to go, and all six members unslung their weapons, off as fast as their feet could carry them towards the source of the noise. When they stumbled upon a woman with Technicolor hair and another with a foot-tall mohawk, they didn't bother asking questions. It was obvious that neither belonged, and the half-wild expression on the blue one's face (and the sparks issuing from her left hand) was all the proof they needed.

"Fire!" Their Lieutenant called without hesitation, and each man did just that, going more for the spray-and-pray method of combat more than one that relied too much on accuracy. It was pretty obvious they were dealing with rogue supers, and quite frankly that scared a good half of them badly enough that trying to aim would have been about as useful as a knife in a gunfight.

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#, as written by Aythr
"So feel free to unload on the building, as it's not much further ahead."

John felt the glee well up in his stomach at those words. He wasn't too concerned with Mortix's plans regarding "selling" super powers, although the thought should probably have been terrifying. If they were able to go through with their plans, soon enough, they would probably not only be able to give regular people powers, but they'd be able to cultivate specific powers. With the proper time and money, Mortix could make an army of nearly indestructible clones of John, or enough Charlottes to power a city indefinitely, not to mention that those were just the industrial uses. If Mortix was creating weak, temporary powers now, in a few years, they'd be creating powerful, permanent powers that could more than likely enslave or even destroy the world.

John threw one of his massive fists into the other, a resounding thud carrying much farther than it had the right to.

As they made their way to their target, John slipped on his mask, a simple design for covering enough of his face up to remain unrecognizable. He lost some peripheral vision from the mask's design, but it was hardly an issue to a nearly indestructible man. Currently, his wardrobe was rather bare: Just boots, jeans, and a tank-top besides his mask. He found that in a rather "enthusiastic" mood, he tended to ruin all his good clothes, and quickly decided that he probably shouldn't wear anything that would cost more than a few dollars to replace.

Just as he put on his mask, however, he heard a voice from behind him.

"Halt! State your names and purpose."

"Great." thought John as a squad of what appeared to be Mortix cronies pointed guns at them. John slowly made his way in front of Gregory; He knew that he was immortal, but he wasn't particularly sure how a bullet to the head would affect his well-being. John's massive shoulder was at about eye level with Gregory, and he took a place in which he would be able to quickly defend their leader. He didn't think too hard about protecting Peter, but it wasn't much of a comparison. Being mostly made of metal was the next best thing to being John.

They had been compromised. There was no way to prevent Mortix from finding out where the trio was headed now that they had been intercepted. If any one of these men had sent in the information of their location, it would mean they would be confronted by no short order of gun-toting guards when they arrived at their intended destination.

John looked to his sides, and noticed a small car. He could grab it and throw it at the squad, or use it for cover. It seemed unlikely that a group with any supers in it would be holding them up with guns. For a moment, he waited for Gregory's approval to start smashing them, but it didn't take even a second for John to realize that if they had anything to do with Mortix, Gregory wouldn't hesitate to turn them into a gory puddle at the bottom of a crater. For almost the same second, John realized that he was probably too slow to reach them before they let loose their hail of gunfire.

"On the other hand," John thought, "bullets tickle."

He immediately rushed the group as his powers activated. The very next step made the ground quake slightly under the stress of John's body. He had to be sure that this patrol didn't reveal their plans to Mortix before they arrived at the building, or else they would be receiving a lot more resistance than even Gregory would have anticipated. It was crush or be crushed, and John intended to do as much crushing as he could before Gregory got involved. With any luck, his massive, charging form would draw futile gunfire; After all, any man that wasn't concerned with a wrecking ball heading towards him probably was not terribly invested in a long life expectancy.

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I can has drugs? Was her gleeful, joyous thought, urged on by her own silly whims of gaining new...product. Gene purred when she had sauntered away from Greg although the woman bristled when it was declared the newb would be going with them. Aw fuck. With disdain she observed the gambler flitting cards in his hands. The only card game Gene can play safely is strip poker and that doesn't entirely count. Hopefully his...luck will come in handy for tonight. Then again it's nearly insulting. Gene and Charlie are the Doomsday Duo! They don't need a third wheel. Auuugh. It doesn't help that Gene is extremely territorial when it comes to strangers save for potential clients when she's working. After Charlie gave James a warning Gene stalks in the blue haired woman's wake not too long afterwards, eyes sizing the new recruit warily. Before they headed out she dialed an emergency text to her dragonites in a discreet location somewhere in the city. The dragonites she had in the nest were either dead or still able to barely function with their dragon-salt laden bodies. Just in case she has one less supplied than the others to answer the emergency texts and rally up the troops.


Nearest to the park she was able to check her phone, muttering as she fumbled in the saddlebag for her belled jester mask strewn with musical notes. Loud and proud, she can do that like a rockstar. Either screaming in the sheets or out on a mission everyone is bound to hear the calliopean harpy. The mask is malleable and can bend slightly inside of her helmet but any headgear would mess with Gene's primary power. It's left hooked onto the side of her bike for now. Charlie's voice earns a grin from the druggie. As the lights pop out Gene rears Toxin into a wheelie before shrieking down the sidewalk, searing her tires. Gunfire brings on a frenzied group scream as Gene's dragonites arrive on time. Armed crudely with switchblades, pipes, chains, broken beer bottles, they all swarm around the park. Some go for the guards as the rest begin to harass anyone within the park. And then she begins to sing something from her favorite band, Rammstein. Gene isn't in control of much in her life but she is in control of her own damn powers. And chances are she may not even let money change that, maybe she'd never accept it. Then again it's nice to tuck away for a rainy day.

"Nur für mich bist du am Leben. Ich steck dir Orden ins Gesicht. Du bist mir ganz und gar ergeben...du liebst mich denn ich lieb dich nicht." the park becomes ignited with the orange glow of Gene's drooling, crystal covered dragonites as well as the illusion that begins to form. The ground begins to melt away, stars revealed beneath the dirt. Overhead the nocturne sky blurs and blotches, sprouting grass and trees that don't have leaves but chains. And still she crows out using the singer's voice as her own, eyes and mouth glowing as her highlighted dragonites. Gene adjusts the volume so it will be all that anyone can hear within the park. "Du blutest für mein Seelenheil. Ein kleiner Schnitt und du wirst geil...Der Körper schon total entstellt! Egal erlaubt ist was gefällt..." she shreds her bike through the community garden, creating an arch of petals and roots behind her as she attempts to get Charlie closer to the guards to zap them out and to handle the itch manifesting in her arms.

Gene hastily rolls up her leather sleeves. Bizarre and irritated pods have begun to engorge themselves in her forearms. She's growing a few bugs to hurl at the guards as her disfigured junkies continue to fight in her honor. Throwing out one arm she showers one of the guards with the dragon-salt addicted beetles. "Ich tu dir weh! Tut mir nicht leid! Das tut dir gut, hör wie es schreit!"

[If you'd like an English translation, click here.]

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Now freed from his chains thanks to Alan, Eliot grinned. That grin quickly vanished when the beast-man turned into a bear and a dumpster was hurled at him by the telekinetic. Eliot, though strong, could not get hit by a dumpster and remain unscathed like John. He dived to the side and to the ground as the dumpster flew over him, smacking a flab of fat on his back as it narrowly missed crushing him. It hurt like hell, and it scraped a bit of skin off, but it had just skimmed him.

Eliot began to get up, but a knife was flying towards him so he quickly hit the deck again. The knife flew over his head and the blade sliced into the leg of his shadow. The injured man shouted out in pain as a shallow but long cut appeared on his left leg. He wasn't sure what the woman's powers were before, but he had a general idea now. It looked like Alan might be in trouble, too; the bear did not depend solely on sight, and it was swiping at what appeared to be thin air to Eliot. "Phantom, the bear can smell you!" he shouted, perhaps a bit too late.

Confident that Alan was over by the bear, far away from the shadowmancer, he drew his gun. Perhaps a bit mundane for a super, but Eliot couldn't release a poison gas cloud with Alan nearby. Eliot quickly let off five shots in quick succession towards the direction from which the knife was thrown, then took a few deep breaths and released a massive cloud of smoke, masking himself and everything within a ten foot radius of him in dark gray. The smoke would hide himself and his shadow, and the smell might screw with the bear. His little trick would be ineffective if he stayed in the same spot, though, so he got up, struggling a bit with his injured leg, and moved towards the shadowmancer, remaining in the blinding smoke, ready to fire again if the need arised.

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#, as written by Basta
"Suspicious persons spotted ahead. Stay here, and if they turn hostile, move in."

Rasputina watched the soldiers confront the trio of men walking through the Zuna warehouse district. With a shake of her head, she removed her flak vest and helmet, depositing them on the ground along with her rifle. She thrashed her head wildly, letting loose all of her braids, and then tied them up into a mop. With a glance at the Magician, she strapped her mask onto her face and pulled the bottom cloth half down over her mouth.

Babayaga examined the three in turn. The biggest one was dressed very simply, with only his mask, a tanktop, jeans and boots. His impressive size and musculature elicited a raised eyebrow from her, and she glanced down at her own marble-carved body. While she didn't want to be as big as the man, Babayaga envied his definition. Each muscle rippled and bulged separately under his skin, and the concert of strength was certainly impressive to be witness to.

The second man seemed to be half metal. His massive mechanical arm probably housed more gadgets than Freya's phone, and she was willing to bet none of them were nice. His mechanical mask looked like something out of a very old movie, and she couldn't help but imagine assisted respirator sounds issuing forth out of it. She smiled slightly, but ignored him for the time being. He didn't look like much of a threat to her.

The last man piqued her interest. Why in their right minds would someone wear a suit in a place like this? The ground was filthy, there were sharp edges and rusty corners everywhere, and all kinds of vermin scurried about! That, and the fact that his mask was so odd, made him Babayaga's primary target. She began to approach when the largest one, whom Rasputina decided was probably the leader, charged like a crazed bull.

Her squad panicked and began spraying him with bullets while spreading out and trying to flank him. He did manage to hit one guy, who went flying and ricocheted off a brick wall. Babayaga quickly ran to the Magician.

"Listen, Comrade. If I am defeated in dis battle, take my head to the office of Freya. She will know what to do vith it." With that, she drew her khukri and approached the other two supers.

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Alan/Phantom grunted as he attempted to dodge the bear-like human, grimacing as he felt a cut at his arm. Damn it. He forgot that animal-like Supers often had enhanced senses. He could probably even smell his blood. On the plus side, Eliot's smoke had probably helped cover his scent somewhat and, judging from the knife the woman threw at Eliot's shadow, she was a shadowmancer. He smiled slightly. It was good thing Gregory drilled all the different kinds of supers in their minds after all. That meant he and Eliot knew what to look out for here.

Phantom leaped back, throwing a couple of knives straight at the bear's nose for now. He was the biggest threat to him at the moment. Meanwhile, he tore off a scrap of fabric from his shirt and wrapped it around his wound. The last thing he needed was to drip blood. He smiled slightly as he ran to the side and threw a few more knives at the shapeshifter before drawing another and stabbing at its back. Hopefully, at least one of his knives would connect.

*

Peter/Mech smirked behind his mask as a patrol approached them. It seemed that they were going to get their hands dirty after all. It was a pity Gregory was with them. Their leader would almost certainly show them no mercy nor would he allow his subordinates to either. As John charged, Peter levelled his arm at the few members of the patrol that weren't in front of the hulking man, unleashing his flamethrower. He blinked in surprised as it reached up to 10 feet. Thank you, Charlotte.

His thoughts were interrupted, however, when he saw a woman emerge. She was dressed like a typical patrolman, save for a few differences. One, she wore a mask, and, two, she wasn't holding a gun in her grip. A Super.

He drew his pistol just incase and pointed both it and his right arm at her. He intoned gravely, "MortixCorp is finished. It would be best if you either joined us or left now."

Never let it be said that he wasn't without mercy. The Mortix grunts were marked for death no matter what, but this woman could still be saved.

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#, as written by Shiva
While moving, the leader of the patrol reported suspicious movement. The Magician immediately scanned the minds that were to their front, and they were indeed, hostile. Snyder didn't need to don his mask, as the helmet, goggles, and balaclava that made him look like every other soldier did just that. He decided after one of them- a big boy, rushed them. "Scatter!" he cried, and the group did just that- lighting up the super-dense super the entire time. He ducked to the side as Rasputina ducked next to him.

Her orders sounded completely sane, surprisingly. "Alright, gotcha." He acknowledged. W-would he have to cut her head off if they didn't do it for her?! Quashing his nervousness at that, he turned his attention to the supers. He would give The Baba Yaga support, as well as try and confuse the strongman. His footsteps quaked the ground for godssake! How would he do this? Best keep it subtle. Subtle.

He had already cast his glamor around all three of the Insurrectionist Supers. They weren't affected yet- but how could he affect them without blowing his cover? For the big one, best to confuse his senses. "It's... magic." He whispered. With a bat of his eye, suddenly the Tank would see the soldiers moving slightly differently. Where he would be punching, or hitting the soldier would have already moved from. He would be seeing the after images of the soldier. He looked over at the two supers while pretending to light up the super hulk. To them, he would still be an ordinary soldier. Time to bluff Rasputina's powers. They didn't know she was immortal... yet.

So, he made Rasputina multiply. From their eyes, they'd see the Baba Yaga split into several clones, all rushing them. He hoped that Rasputina would catch on. By panicking them, they would reveal their powers. He was simply masking Rasputina's true Super power.




The Musician's lovely view was cut off by screams of civilians and other noises. Bulbs popped violently, and a car had exploded. Everyone was clearing out of the area except for two people. A goth-dressed woman that looked like a druggie, and a shock-blue haired woman that could shoot electricity from her hands. Insurrection.

An irrational anger overtook him. He got up, pretending to run while a few soldiers rushed them, laying down gunfire on the two rebels. Suddenly, some metal music started playing- and the whole scene began to warp- her junkie friends arrived on the scene, beginning to harass the guards.

"Such tasteless music." He thought coldly, donning a white, nondescript mask. Pulling his hood up, he turned back- a tangible mist forming at his fingers to reveal a piano. He wasn't wearing his MortixCorp uniform, but the guards would identify him by the white mask he wore. As well as keep his anonymity from the damned Insurrectionists.

Everyone had left the park. Time for the concert to begin. He began to play a distinct Abarenbo Shogun remix to counteract the effects of Gene's music. He focused himself, and the music slowly began to rise. The Musician began to walk toward the two insurrectionists, his playing now emitting a screeching pitch that stunned Gene's junkies, the patrol who tried to back away, and hopefully the insurrectionists.

You. Will. All. Pay.

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Hellsing Park

Charlie's powers could theoretically deal with one or two bullets, zapping them out of the sky or what-have-you, but this many was not something she really had the capacity to deal with. Well, not on her own, anyway. Instead, she interfaced with a nearby vehicle, compelling the hovercraft to drive itself in front of her, soaking up metal rounds like a sponge did water.

Gene had apparently summoned her creepy druggies, but they weren't much more than a distraction, what with the switchblades and the general superpower-free harassment they were capable of inflicting upon random passers-by. Nothing fatal of course; civilians were not what Charlie would consider acceptable collateral damage, but civilian property definitely was, as long as it looked like they could afford it.

Which was why several high-class motor vehicles went careening around, attempting to run down the Mortix patrol or simply smashing into each other like some twisted twenty-second century version of the bumper cars from Hell. Charlie from behind her metal shield ducked to and fro between streetlights, sucking up power like some kind of voracious electricity-eating leech. Her plan was to charge the car itself and then send it at the nearest Mortix building, releasing the power itself only as the craft crashed through the front window. In some ways, she really was the perfect terrorist.

Gene's music was blaring loud in her ears, some kinda German headbanger band that was so completely Gene it couldn't have been more perfect if she'd tried. Of course, when the electrokinetic next passed her friend, she noted the creepy pustules on her arms and cringed visibly. "Oh dear God, Gene, do you really have to-" Her protest was cut off by a sound from a ways behind her car-barrier. It sounded like... a song. Very different from Gene's but clashing with it.

Charlie peeked around her hovercraft to see a man in a white mask approaching them. He appreared to be playing some kind of half-tangible piano, and the young woman frowned. There weren't supposed to be any supers on this route... Though from the look of the way he stunned junkie and patrolman alike, he wasn't exactly with them, exactly, more like technically compelled to assist? Or just really angry, one of the two.

She shockwave of sound hit Charlie and sent her reeling backwards. Unfortunately, it also had the noticeable side-effect of causing her to lose her concentration, and she felt her control of the enormous amount of electricity she was storing slip. Shitshitshit, she panicked inwardly. If she tried stabilizing it, this much power could kill her. So instead, she discharged all of it- straight at the musician and the Mortix cronies. There was no time to aim, but there was so much of it that it was probably going to hit something.

All of this happened in the space of a second, and then Charlie was stunned, losing her hold on the hovercraft and causing it to drop to the ground in front of her while the others all stopped in place, a few crashing into trees or each other before their momentum ceased. The blue-haired Super staggered, trying to remain upright, but wound up falling against the downed craft for support, vision swimming in front of her as her head tried to process the sheer amount of noise.

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Hellsing Park

Vincent was sitting on a park bench enjoying a nice cup of herbal tea, home grown of course, when the chaos started. He tossed the cup and stood, scanning for the activity. Streetlights were going crazy, cars were being blown up, loud music was blaring, and soon gunfire accompanied the orchestra of destruction. Vincent knew the Insurrection was at it yet again. He frowned, displeased with what the world had turned into. He focused for a moment, and then projected his thoughts.

Once again Freya, I find myself very disappointed in you. See what your family's greed has done? Your brothers and sisters fight and die in the streets every day, while you and those you have subverted live in luxury on the suffering you have wrought. See now what madness you bring to the world.

Vincent focused on the scenes of battle, the wounded and the panicking people, sending all of this straight to Freya. He knew of her mental prowess, Vincent knew of most of the Supers in the city. He made it a point to keep tabs on them all. And Freya received many of these little mental notes from Vincent. He hoped she would eventually crack from it all, but greed is much more powerful a motivator than conscience.

Taking a closer look, Vincent saw that three Supers were battling. The Musician, one of the prodigal children, seemed to have just entered the fray. When Vincent saw the others, he couldn't help but smile. Charlotte and Gene. Both were members of the Insurrection, which meant they had stronger morals than most humans in this forsaken city. Well.... Gene perhaps not so much. But she did things her way and refused to change for others, and that kind of strength of character was to be respected. Vincent only wished she had healthier habits.

In any case, he couldn't let the young ones continue in such a manner, so summoning his powers, Vincent caused the nanotech suit to readjust itself into his combat armor. He would have to be careful not to push his full strength, but it didn't seem like this battle really needed it. Taking inspiration from Charlotte, Vincent went and lifted a small car, flinging it at the Musician. He didn't mean to hurt him, simply to break his concentration. Vincent flung another car at the patrolmen, hoping he wouldn't accidentally hit some of the helpful druggies, and used this as cover to run toward the two rebels.


Vincent quickly ducked behind cover with them. "Charlotte, Gene, so good to see you two again! Oh and Gene, great choice of music... Rammstein is so oddly appropriate. And Charlotte, good work with the cars and the lightning, you are a one woman army! Now then, how may I assist you today?" Vincent smirked under the mask. While he detested the fighting amongst the Supers, he always enjoyed working with the Insurrection. They knew how to have fun.

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Zuna Sector, Slumside

As John charged, the two men who had been locked on him from the very beginning fired, aiming for his chest and head while simultaneously trying to get out of range of his charge in enough time. Only one of them succeeded, and the other was thrown to the ground -hard- by the force of the massive man's assault. The patrolman's head hit the pavement behind him, and even despite his headgear, he lost consciousness, though upon closer inspection, one could tell he was still alive. If one bothered with closer inspection.

This only seemed to make the other ones more resolute, though, and the commander ordered the rest of his men to fire at will. Two aimed right for Gregory and did just that, but the other two were busy trying to dodge a jet of flame from Peter's cannon. Both were caught by surprise at the range of the weapon and one was not able to get away fast enough, and caught fire, burning to death in his suit. For the second, contact was not as direct, and he managed to put himself out on the damp, filthy ground, regaining his feet and firing at the cybernetic man, who was attempting to hold a gun at Rasputina.

The guard, of course, knew something that the cyborg did not, and so had absolutely no problems risking the fact that she might get shot.

Even as Peter aimed at Babayaga, she would seem to his eyes to resolve into six of herself, and as the Magician directed them, so they would seem to charge at him.


Verciamo Sector, Alley

Daphne may not have been able to feel pain, but she knew the wound appeared on her leg, and watched with something approaching disinterest as the blood ran from her calf to the ground. she was considering her best next move when the gunshots went off, and the fact that her injury did somewhat impede her movement meant that she caught a bullet to the shoulder before she was able to melt away into the shadows, and this, too, bled freely. Knowing she would have to try and stem the bleeding lest she pass out, she decided this needed to end sooner rather then later.

The fat man breathed a cloud of some form of smokescreen, and Daphne smiled, a mirthless, tight gesture. "Two can play at that game, friend," she purred, taking a deep breath. Slowly, her own shadow began to enlarge, creeping ever closer towards the area of the fight itself. Once it had extended that far, she wouldn't need to be able to see to know where they were; she would feel where their feet were placed.

Looking down at her injured arm, she noted that the entire thing was nothing but shadow itself and cursed. The unfortunate side-effect of her power; that wouldn't be flesh again for at least an hour, and she would no longer be able to touch solid objects or do any damage with it. Still, just a few moments more, and she would be in total control of this battlefield for a while.

Marvin didn't stop with the dumpster, and perhaps it was his inferior intellect, but for whatever reaosn, the smokescreen only increased his desire to randomly fling things into it, which he did. Nothing so heavy as a dumpster again, oh no, but smaller things: a bench, a glass door, several garbage cans. In his overzealousness, though, he got lightheaded, and fell to the ground, no longer able to manage anything terribly effective and slinking off somewhere to wait for Daphne to transport him back to HQ.

Kevin didn't react much to the knives; the one aimed at his nose missed, and though the others hit, layers of thick bear fur and fat kept them from doing any more than irritating him. The smoke, though, addled him thoroughly, and perhaps it was for this reason that one of Marvin's randomly-thrown trash cans smacked him in the head. No longer able to effectively sense where the invisible one was, he could do little more that wait to be attacked and thus for his chance to retaliate.


Hellsing Park

As Charlie had anticipated, the vast majority of the bullets were absorbed by the hovercraft she placed in front of them, and the havoc caused by her activation of several more vehicles was not negligible. In addition to Gene's music and psychedelic projections, the one she sent at a group of patrolmen smacked straight into three of them, sending each flying and almost certainly with several cracked bones to the ground.

The Musician's stun effect worked its magic on two of the remaining soldiers, in addition to all but one or two of Gene's junkies, Leaving the only really able participants on the field Gene, a half-aware Charlie, Valter himself, and another two Mortix soldiers, both of whom leveled their weapons at Charlie and were about to fire when they were wiped out by an incoming car from Vincent.

MortixCorp HQ

By this point, The Enigma's monitors were alight with so many warnings and alerts that it was a wonder they didn't drive the man crazy. Most of them were focused on Hellsing Park, indicating heavy infrastructure damage and strange psychic interferences. A few, though, indicated a confrontation in Verciamo Sector.

Freya, for her part, rolled her eyes at the intrusion. And once again, Adam, your overdramatic moralization is completely useless. Say what you will of me; at least I have achieved something with my gift. You have had a hundred years to do that and failed spectacularly. The images were nothing new, but she paid careful attention to them in case they revealed some little tidbit of information. Adam did not know it, but every once in a while, she caught a stray thought of his with an image he sent, and perhaps such a thought might contain a name.

Not today, though she would have to show them to Enigma and see if he could cross-reference with known Supers. For now, though, she closed off the connection between herself and the self-righteous failed experiment, turning back to her work and trusting her employees to do what she paid them for.

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#, as written by Smith
Gregory, or Hekaton rather, listened calmly as the armored patrol called out for a halt. He leaned forawrd on his cane, the eye on his mask regarding the speaker with a blank stare. When the man quieted, he began. "Name and purpose? Why officer, what ever could you want with us? We are merely simple-"

Cracking pavement and an audible 'woosh' of air being displaced as John barreled on by caused the Insurrection leader to sigh, smile and place a palm against his forehead all at once. Children were such wonderful pains sometimes. Through the disguise Gregory glared at the man who was third of the Mortix patrol to speak. Curiously, the handsome young gent had managed to call out a warning before even he himself could anticipate John's charge. That alone spoke of a good deal of experience in the field or previous intel on the group. The thought that he was a super hadn't crossed his mind.

A constant tinkling sound roused the masked super from his lazed mullings and Hekaton glanced at the streams of bullets falling to the ground only inches from his suit. Swallowing hard, he straightened his tie leapt back several meters farther than the human body would normally allow thanks to several levels of lightened gravity. Almost forgot I had that field active...if I keep daydreaming something might actually hit me next time. With a shrug, Hekaton raised his cane and formed four fields of antigravity, two on each side of the street.

On the left was a hovering ball of rusted iron bars and tires as well as a shell of a rusted out car. On the right, more threatening objects were forced away from the Earth's natural pull. One was a chain that connected four dysfunctional hover-car engines, and the other a stone wall from a crumbled building that measured nearly twenty feet across. With eight more smaller fields of gravity and anti-gravity supplimenting the ones already in place set along the makeshift projectiles, Hekaton sent the debri hurling through the air.

The two firing futiley at him would be ground into bloody strips of flesh by the motors and scrap-orb if they did not move immediately. The largest of his weapons was flung to land directly on top of Rasputina and her clones. Best to kill vermin before they multiply out of control. Sailing for the Magician, the remnants of a cadillac would skid and slam into him if all went well. The entire time, he kept his eyes on the one man who had managed a warning.

Somewhere in the back of his mind Hekaton wondered if his life would have been easier with a high-level type of telekinesis instead of mass-distortion...he did enjoy flinging things around so. As an after thought, he called out to Mech who was just barely within the area of effect of the thrown wall. "Do watch out Mech, there seems to be something-" the resulting crash drowned out whatever he would've said next. No warning was issued for John, as...well...he was John.

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#, as written by Basta
Rasputina became confused. The mysterious suited man tossed fields of debris and sharp things around, without touching any of it. Definitely the main target. With an angry growl, Babayaga rushed at Gregory with her khukri low to the ground. She made sure it was held low, shooting sparks up high into the air. Right as she was about to leap and slash at him, she was picked up off her feet and thrown backwards by some unseen force.

"What devilry is this?! Fight like a man!" she yelled at him, brandishing her blade. With a savage snarl, she leapt at him again, but was thrown back once more. She brushed the grit off her bare arms and back and stood up straight. Experimentally, she flung a knife at Greg. With a lack of surprise, she caught it as it flew straight back at her.

"Why have you come to dis place? Ve have nothing khere fohr joo." Rasputina flourished her khukri, but sheathed it. She couldn't get near the suited one, couldn't hurt the metal one with her blades, and the large one was otherwise occupied. Her only hope was either the Magician pulling attention from one of them, or distracting them herself.

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Verciamo Sector, Alley

It was hard to tell through the smoke he had released, but Eliot thought he saw the shadowmancer disappear back into the darkness. Damn, what a useful set of powers, he thought sullenly, I now officially hate shadowmancers. Eliot might have been able to deal with the situation if it weren't for Invisible Alan getting in the way; he couldn't shoot much, for fear of hitting his transparent comrade, nor could he just wipe away all the enemies with a toxic cloud of gas, because Greg wouldn't be happy if he made Alan collateral damage. Nearby animals, sure. The occasional passerby, strongly looked down upon, but okay, if it's an emergency. Comrades? Not okay.

Speaking of collateral damage, Eliot was smacking in the gut as a bench flew past him. He gasped, exhaling a small burst of smoke. Other objects flew past him, some narrowly missing and others missing by a long-shot. Then: nothing. The telekinetic must have tired himself out, and Eliot's suspicions were confirmed when he spied the telekinetic fall to his knees and sneak away.

With one enemy out of the picture and another being handled by his partner, Eliot tried to remember what he knew about the uncommon-though-not-rare shadowmancers. They could harm a shadow and it would harm its owner, with some slight ineffectiveness and repercussions. As shadows expanded to engulf the whole battlefield, Eliot briefly wondered why she would do that, considering vision was already obscured greatly. Then it hit him. It was intended to get past a lack of sight. Shit.

Judging from the direction of the expanding shadows, Eliot knew where to look for her. Luckily, it was far away from Alan and his newly acquainted bear friend. Not so luckily, she was quite a distance away. No doubt Alan could cover the distance in a few seconds with a sprint. Eliot could not. Coughing a few times to clear his gunk-coated throat, he pointed his gun in her direction and began charging at the shadowmancer at a speed slow for anyone that was fit and healthy but about as fast as the fat man could get by natural means, especially with his injuries. His leg was still dripping blood, and his stomach hurt, but it was nothing that was life-threatening yet.

Due to the distance between his target and Alan's approximate position, he could get away with a small, concentrated blast of poison gas. It looked like he would have to, anyway, as his gun clicked; the large gunman had just fired his final five bullets. Conserving ammunition had not been a priority. Eliot continued his slow charge, digging into his pocket for another clip while simultaneously preparing a blast of poison in his lungs.

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#, as written by Aythr
John was utterly confused at the man he was attempting to crush.

He had swatted the first target easily enough. He hadn't used quite enough force to kill the man, but it seemed like he was down for the count at least. But the one he was fighting now seemed to be quite adept at dodging his attacks. Punch after monstrous punch seemed to miss the man, until only one thing kept biting at John's brain.

"Stop moving. Stop moving. Stop. Moving. STOP MOVING." It was the only thing his brain could muster at the moment. He began to work himself into a tantrum to end all tantrums. He was the kid at the store crying for a toy, but multiplied easily by a thousand. He was only focused on ending this guard before moving to another, as it seemed that switching targets didn't cross his mind in his frustration.

"STOP MOVING!" he finally screamed aloud, as bullets bounced off of his skin like flicked paper-footballs. He got down on his knees and started punching the asphalt of the road, hoping to cave it in to the sewer system below. Stress fractures began to form in the road under his assault. Hekaton's projectiles seemed to be furthest from his attention, as rubble and debris bounced off of his in the same way the bullets did. All he could see know was the road. His rage was seething, and he intended to cave the entire city in if he had to, in order to stop this one guard.

The logical error did not seem to catch up with John in the slightest, nor did it really have to as far as Tank was concerned.

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#, as written by Shiva
The Magician smiled, though he was a bit worried. The Tank was proving to be a much more worrisome foe to put down. "Lay down some Distress Gas!" He called, and the men stopped firing- They were honestly glad to stop wasting bullets on such an impervious foe. They loaded Distress Gas, a much more powerful form of tear gas to further confuse the raging Super. From what the Magician gathered, this man had the power to densify himself- or shield himself from external forces. With that comes strength as all that mass will bring a lot of weight. Nothing yet about protection from gaseous substances. As they launched the canisters of gas, He quickly looked over to the cyborg and what looked like the ringleader. Nice suit.

However, he didn't look at them because he wanted to appreciate the suit, but rather his precognition alerted him to an oncoming car. Time to put the next phase of his plan to action. He manipulated their sight- anyone who saw him would be lead to believe he was crushed into a bloody mush by the car- when in reality he backed into the alleyway and moved out of sight. Now he could work freely.

First, he quickly stripped off all the soldier's gear, revealing civilian clothes underneath. He then gave himself a dirtied look, very similar to the gangsters that lived in Slumside. He moved into the remnants of a warehouse, quickly making his way up to a top floor and observing from a discreet window. He made sure his face was arranged into a bloody mask of fear.

By this time, the street was broken, threatening to collapse into the system. The gas canisters had just been released, beginning to take their effect- if it could even affect the huge man. He noticed the Baba Yaga having trouble with both. Well, she should have saw this coming to be honest. And goddamnit, she revealed her power. He noticed that bullets merely halted in front of the ringleader and he jumped back. Telekinesis? Energy Manipulation? Gravity hadn't even occured to the dextrous MortixCorp agent. When the Baba Yaga murdered one of their own guards, he assumed it was the guard that revealed her power. Curses.

Back to matters at hand, he manipulated the clones, making sure the supers under his glamor saw that they got crushed and evaporated in a cloud of red. She wasn't attacking. Therefore, he cast a small glamor around Rasputina.

"Miss Vladmiskov. I'll give you some distraction. Remember, our mission is reconnaissance. Even if they break past- we'll have information." He stressed.

The Baba Yaga, as well as the other supers would notice that she split into seven more clones- tactfully trying to take on Hekaton from both sides rather than a straight rush now. Two more would leave Baba Yaga to engage Peter, though not really because they couldn't physically harm him- just psych him out.




Things were going fairly well. That is, the bolt of electricity forced him to abandon his song, as he dove to the side to avoid being struck- rather than getting partially hit and maintaining his power. He then had to roll over just as a car carcass barely missed him as he scrambled to his feet. Another damned Insurrectionist. Some sort of strength? Telekinesis? Who cared. They had to be crushed- those filthy racketeers.

No barrier would escape sound. He would not allow them to recover. This concert was only just beginning. He raised his arms, and a half-tangible Violin misted into reality. His next song would be much less forgiving. The first few notes he had already begun sending powerful shockwaves- his Songfighting screaming across the park, the brunt of the force directed at the three Supers who decided to have an idle chat. Slowly, he raised the pitch on the song, the grass bending under him in rhythmic precision as shockwaves blasted across the ground. He wasn't going to give up. Running from Insurrectionist Bastards would be an insult to his family.

As he reached the bridge of his song, the pitch of the song was wild, screeching, as hatred motivated the Musician to concentrate further. It was still a while before he could deafen them, that required an unnatural amount of concentration- the kind that you get when you're having a good day. And as of now, the Musician was having a terrible day. He was facing off against three anarchists- those who have no regards for the society and choosing to wreck havoc and confusion despite how they try to limit their blood shed and rationalizing their actions in the most perverted and contorted ways possible. No, they were beyond redemption. They were ignorant. They were defiant. They had to be put down.

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Alan frowned a bit as he saw that his knives hat little effect on the bear-like man. Throwing them wouldn't work. At least, they wouldn't harm them. He glanced around at Eliot and cursed. The fat man couldn't use his powers effectively while he remained. Worse still, as he noticed shadows starting to spread throughout the battlefield, whatever the shadowmancer was doing couldn't be good. He'd have to take his battle elsewhere.

"Hey ugly!" he shouted, tossing another knife at the beast-man's face, though he didn't expect it to injure him at all, "Your mom have sex with a raccoon or what?"

Incase he didn't anger the Super enough, he threw a knife and made sure to make some noise as he ran past him, out of Eliot's range. He grinned and tapped the man as he passed, signaling the guy that he could start taking the gloves off. At last, he exited the smoke cloud, and prepared a couple of knives. Okay. All he had to do was get behind the bear before he recovered and stab it in the back. Easy.

*

Peter frowned a bit as the battle progressed. Things just didn't seem right. His cybernetic eye and his organic one were giving two contradictory accounts. As the Babayaga chose to ignore him, he glanced back at the group patrolmen shooting at John. Smiling slightly, he sent another stream of flame at them until he was suddenly attacked by two more of the clones.

He growled and shot at one before lunging with his mechanical arm at the other to simply crush it into paste. Surprisingly, however, he fell through it and grunted as he hit the ground. He stood up and frowned. He wondered. Closing his organic eye, he scanned the battlefield. The clones were gone. Instead, there was simply one of the girl. He grinned slightly. Yet another power foiled by science. He turned to Gregory.

"Hekadon. None of the clones are real. Only the original," he told the boss, pointing at the real Rasputina. So she was an illusionist. Clever. The thought of another Super hadn't even crossed his mind.

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In The Enigma's cave all kinds of warnings were activated in The System. He had access to radio transmissions, telephone calls, CCTV and every other form of monitoring the streets. What he found was not pleasant. The streets seemed to be in chaos, battles erupting with MortixCorp employees all over the place. He frantically typed away and locked into several cameras at once. Being able to see through their lenses was wonderful and he watched through a dozen screens simultaneously, weighing up what help was needed, where, and how he could give it. There seemed to be a scuffle down in Helsing park that required some form of aid. A single Mortix super against what appeared to be an unstoppable army of three. Including... Him, that experiment gone wrong. If he had joined this ridiculous uprising then they may be in worse trouble than he first thought.

With the battle being in a park there was little around that The Enigma himself could use to help out. A few parked cars that he could see through the helmet-mounted camera of one of the guards (Which was disturbingly still) and ... Hmm, that looked interesting. Some minor repair work was being carried out and a rather sturdy-looking contruction machine stood idle behind a chain link down the road. It appeared to be a metal quadruped with various pieces of building equipment attached to it. A pnumatic drill and triple pronged claw seemed to the most appealing for him.

"Shall we even the odds a little?" he rasped as he honed his concentration onto the vehicle.

At the same time as it's engine roared into life, every car along the road flashed it's headlights in a backdraft of power and the heavy machine rose from the ground, drill extending and powering up, starting to chatter away like steel gibbons. Each 'leg' extended to it's full length and a few cautious steps were taken to test the ground before The Enigma found himself used to the control. It took off, metal screeching on asphalt as the metal beast systematically wove it's way through the park aiming for the trio, claw extended and snapping visciously, hungry for flesh.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile Francis had been taking his time getting home. Time was not something he was short of so he felt he could easily get by losing a few minutes here and there. The usual sounds of the city punctuated the air. Music from an open window, sirens in the distance, people shouting somewhere close, a bottle smashed after being thrown by some kid. Nothing out of the ordinary that he could think of. Not until he heard the gunshots anyway.

They were close, though he couldn't say for sure what their exact location was. At any rate, it was something he wanted to avoid. He'd heard that tensions were running high and there were rumours at work, well, what used to be work, that some kind of mutiny was getting underway. On more than one ocassion he had been asked if he would sign up had there been any offer going. It was a common enough question 'around the watercooler' as they used to say, but he had simply laughed the question off every time. Giving up 7 figures a year to live on the streets and go up against the largest and most powerful corporation the world had ever known? Seemed a pretty stupid idea to him. But if it was actually happening... Well, MortixCorp would be able to deal with it, wouldn't they.

He had to hope they could. As an employee, even just an accountant, he could not afford to have the corporation brought to it's knees by a bunch of thugs. He needed to rethink his evening.

No more than a minute later he had changed direction and was heading straight for the HQ. He had a job to do and now the building he used was gone. Not only did he have a right to a transfer, he might also be in luck for some compensation. But what he really needed was to see Freya Mortix. It was not a pleasant prospect, people had come away from that office with serious thoughts of suicide because they had let her down, but there was no other choice. He was a super and she knew it. She knew every super in her employ. If he didn't turn up and tell what she likely already knew, as well as offer some kind of help, then the consequences would be worse than walking into the middle of the shootout he'd just heard. He shuddered at the thought.

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Charlie was saved from certain death by the sudden intrusion of a car upon the people who were deciding to shoot her. Not that she was really all that aware of it, and she certainly didn't see or hear much of Vincent, though she wasn't quite so far gone that she couldn't tell he was there.

She did manage to shake herself out of it though, in time to catch the first strains of a violin. "Shit," she said aloud. "Drache, stop his music, please!" If she tried to charge again only to get stunned, she might not be able to discharge her electricity in enough time to avoid killing herself. The whirring of engines caught her attention, and Charlie's eyes went almost comically wide. Construction equipment? But she hadn't... oh no.

"They've got a techie!" she yelled over the din. "I'll see what I can do!" Honestly, it was more to get away from the noise-that-could-kill-her than anything else, but she was the best person to deal with rampaging machines. Leaving Gene and Vinny to handle the musically-inclined super, Charlie made a break for it. Not willing to use her electricity quite this close (she was still getting disorienting waves even at this distance, and didn't really want to think about what the other two were dealing with) she picked up a few more cars instead.

Trying to interface with the construction equipment was futile, and hinted at someone with a much stronger technopathy than hers, perhaps even a specialist. Which meant that there was no way she'd be overriding his system anytime soon. Instead, she tired to ignore the persistent ringing in her head and covered her ears with her hands, mentally directing the smaller crafts to kamikaze the large vehicle in hopes of hitting something vital. She'd blow it up herself, but tuning-fork over there was making that a risky prospect at best.

But where was the technopath responsible for this, anyway? All the civilians had long since cleared out, but no Mortix reinforcements had arrived quite yet, which meant they shouldn't be dealing anymore with anyone but the euphonious nuisance over there. The mechanic gnashed her teeth in frustration- this mission wasn't supposed to work out like this! The reason only the two of them had been sent was because they were supposed to be making a lot of noise and dealing with nothing more than a simple patrol, not a super who could effectively short-circuit her powers!

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Charlotte seemed greatly distracted by the noise and general chaos. It did not take Vincent long to realize Valter's powers were somehow conflicting with Charlotte's own. She also didn't seem to be having much success with the construction equipment come to life. There was only one other Super that Vincent knew could control technology, and that was Enigma. He was one of the first generation Supers born after project Adam, and Vincent knew now that he compromised nothing when he sent Freya his thoughts earlier. With Enigma peeking through all the electronics, there was nothing the group could hide from Mortix anyway. That clever witch thought she could use Vincent, but long life has given Vincent some measure of protection from her mental probing. Some, but certainly not 100%.

Freya, I will make it my personal responsibility to punish all your pet Supers. They have been used long enough, and it is time for them to learn the truth. Insolent brat, do not proceed to assume that I have squandered my time. I simply decided to stay off the radar as much as possible. As enjoyable as it is to talk to one of the failed children, I have work to do.

To Gene, Vincent said, "Alright, I am going to try something out here. I will leave you with some cover, but our goal is obvious: we must stop Valter from using his musical power. Well, I'm off!" With that, Vincent sprinted out of the cover faster than any normal human could ever hope to, grabbed another car, lifted it, and proceeded to run toward the Musician, using the car as a battering ram. Hopefully this would be enough to stop Valter. The pain was starting to build up, but after years of feeling pain, Vincent had become used to it. He would see this battle through, and then enjoy a massive dinner.

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#, as written by Smith
It seemed as if everyone was overlooking subtle details these days. Hekaton did not pay the Magician another thought as he watched the man vanish under his projectile. It was almost amusing how easily John lost himself to the heat of battle. Even more so, was the female soldier that charged the gravity cylinder around Hekaton and promptly fell back on her ass. Yet, there was more to the comdey show. It nearly made Hekaton bawl in laughter.

"What devilry is this?! Fight like a man!" the woman screamed. She tried for another attack but was rejected all the same. All Hekaton could think about was the absurdly thick accent Rasputina was spewing...was it even real? Maybe the side effect of her multiplication ability? "Why have you come to dis place? Ve have nothing khere fohr joo." the question made him place a hand to his chin in thought.

"Well...word on the street is Mortix wants to start mass-producing what makes indivduals such as you and I, so very unique." Hekaton replaced his hand back upon the top of the cane and stood stark still. He laughed quietly. "Although, I always thought the term 'unique' was purely subjective. Ludicrous even...like normal. If everyone is unique in their own way, then they are different, like everyone else. If everyone is that way, wouldn't that make it the norm? How can individuality be normal if it's sole purpose is to break the mold and to define oneself? A paradox I would like to see solved by someone smarter than I one day. For now..."

As if on cue, his opponent divided a second time into more than half a dozen clones. Glancing at the splattered remains of the others it was safe to say that her power was...different, to say the least. As the new Rasputina's moved to surround and engage him, Hekaton caught wind of Mech's heads up. Still standing still as a statue Hekaton created seven imperceptable fields around those women that were not pointed out by his comrade. He quirked an eyebrow in fascination as none of them flew up or tripped within the varying levels of force. In aiding his comrade, the Magician had most likely spelled out her demise. How could you create a fluid reaction within an illusion when you weren't aware of a power becoming active.

All seven fields were cancelled almost as soon as they came into being and Gregory snapped with one gloved hand. A sphere of inertial force would appear around Rasputina's head--the real one. It was not enough to crush the woman's skull, nor was that the manipulator's intent. The enemy super's cranium would become so dense that she would slam into the ground with jarring force and stay there, unable to lift her head. Suddenly Hekaton turned his unseeing eye upon the young man who had appeared in the window of an adjacent building moments ago. During the entire exchange Gregory had been scanning the battlefield from under his mask.

It was unfortunate for this fellow that Hekaton was not above killing people who got too close to his business. Even if they had done nothing. With one lightning-quick gesture a massive field bore down upon exterior structure for only the briefest of moments, dissipating less than a second later. A three-count later the slums building began to cave in on itself and the disguised Magician. Gregory scowled. Those urchins always survived shit like that...like roaches. Taking a step forward the world suddenly shifted under Hekaton. The vertigo came and went sporadically and he wanted to throw up. That last field had taken alot out of him and he would need a short rest after this engagement.

With a shuddering sigh the super pushed past his weakness and approached Rasputina. "Please, consider our offer. It expires midnight tommorow, on top of the Helix Hotel." it was either a potential ally or a chance to cause some major damage if the woman snitched. His next sentence was directed at John and Peter, punctuated by a loud clap. "Wrap it up boys, we're behind schedule."

Hesitantly, the super withdrew his phone and dialed Gene's number. He knew she would be the only person who could hear past her own music and probably was not too fucked up to forget three seconds after he said something.

"Drache? Everything good on your end? We'll be needing you to keep it up for an extra ten minutes...erm. What's all that noise?"

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#, as written by Aythr
John continued his assault on the ground, as the hairline cracks became larger and larger, spreading out from the point of his assault. Just as the ground was about to give way, however, he heard a hissing sound. It was as though he was surrounded by a good dozen of angry snakes. Suddenly, a rancid, yellow gas spewed forth, and began to surround him. He was confused, and wasn't even sure exactly where his previous target had gone in his tantrum. He looked around as the gas clung to the ground and began to envelope his position. It seemed like they had figured out at least one of his weaknesses. He got up and looked around for a moment, apparently snapped out of his rage in a manner befitting most people. He saw Gregory just outside the gas, and before he knew it, he had given the command.

"Wrap it up boys, we're behind schedule."

John was happy to oblige, but he the gas was beginning to close in. He had plenty of experience with fat, gas-spewing super Eliot to know that he had to hold his breath. Immediately, he had a flash back to an old comic book he had read once. He grinned and readied himself for a leap that would probably end in a crater wherever he landed. His massive legs contracted, and he took off into the air with a tremendous burst of speed, his super strength propelling him not only above and over the gas, but high enough to see the tops of the relatively small buildings on either side of the road. As he neared the end of his ascent, he felt gravity taking hold of him again, and realized that he wasn't exactly sure where he was going to end up crashing. One thing was for certain though.

Whatever part of the road he hit, there wasn't going to be any more road.

John closed his eyes and waited for the impact, certain that his new attack would probably be very effective with the proper training.

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Zuna Sector, Slumside

Tank's assault on the poor street eventually caused the concrete to buckle, and his moving target was only just able to fire off a gas canister as ordered before he lost his footing. After that, it was a short, but somewhat gruesome death for the poor man, as he was subjected to numerous concussive blows from the splitting of the asphalt beneath him. In the end, he wound up right beneath John's leaping attack, and the sheer force of impact crushed most of his bones.

The second man who had been trained on Peter fell to the flame cannon as well, but he too was able to release some poison gas, though his capsule malfunctioned and the noxious fumes were only leaking slowly.

Neither of the soldiers had much chance to dodge Hekaton's flying debris, and while the first was lucky enough to have his head severed immediately, his counterpart, a blond woman who had joined MortixCorp but tow days prior, would die a slow, lingering death, gashes in her chest and legs not killing her quite quick enough for her to avoid inhaling some of the gas herself. Her last thought was that neither side knew mercy, not anymore.

Her death left Rasputina and the Magician very much alone for the moment, against three Insurrection members. The building in which the Magician had disguised himself was collapsing around his ears, making the need to vacate it a very urgent one indeed.

Verciamo Sector, Alley

Daphne's extended shadows allowed her to feel the man incoming before she could properly hear his footsteps or breaths, and when he emerged from his own smokescreen looking for another clip of ammunition, she knew that the smart thing to do was to get the Hell out of there. So realizing, she warped through her shadowspace to reach the collapsed Marvin, grabbing onto his shoulder with her still-good hand and taking him with her when next she sank.

Kevin, being a creature of dim intelligence at best, was easily aggravated by the comments about his mother, and picked up on the sound of Alan moving. He could still smell him, too, now that the smokescreen was fading. Those knives were annoying but he was going to find that annoyng little pest and maul him to dea-

Daphne appeared in front of him, Marvin in tow, and Kevin noted grimly that her arm and the corresponding shadow and half her torso had already faded into nothing but shadow. That meant nothing good, and he knew that they could not stay. Marvin was barely half-conscious as it was, and though the beast-man wanted nothing more than to kill the fly he could not see, he was a foolishly-loyal creature, and the look on Daphne's face suggested that cooperation would be the best idea.

So Kevin moved to her good side, making sure that he was in contact with her leg, and Daphne transported all of them. It wasn't a terribly long-range skill, this movement between shadows, but it was faster than walking, and she repeated it until they were well away from their opponents. By the time that happened, though Daphne had lost the use of both arms, half her left leg, and most of her right one. She was more shadow than person, and Marvin struggled to drape her over Kevin's back so they could get the rest of the way back to HQ. The boss wasn't going to like this, but they might be able to placate her with information.

Hellsing Park

Charlie's compelled hovercraft crashed with much ado into the Enigma-controlled construction vehicle, doing significant damage and disabling the drill mechanism, but not enough to stop the machine from continuing forward.

MortixCorp HQ

Freya's heavily-modified cell phone beeped, and she picked it up.

Interesting people, the Insurrection. They know more than you give them credit for. I suppose I am partially to blame for this though. Knight to E-5.

Scowling, the CEO glanced over at the chessboard laid out in one corner of her office. Obligingly, she stood and moved the white knight in question. She had expected that move, of course. It took out one of the black rooks. A good move, on the surface, but the game they played went much deeper than that, and it had only begun.

She was once again interrupted by Adam, and she sighed, both outwardly and internally, so he could hear it. I tire of your moralizing. After that, she shut off her mental connection to him completely. Even the progenitor of her 'race' could not contact her if she did not wish it, and right now, she had better things to attend to than the ranting of an old man long past his expiration date.

She was aware of it when the three she had sent to plant themselves in the protests arrived, and from the fact that Daphne was clearly unconscious, she deduced it had not gone well. She directed several medical bay staff to assist, then focused on the other arrival. Ah, Mr. Vespois. My office, if you please. She was aware that he worked at the ancillary building in uptown that had been attacked, but her hopes of him having much information on this front were rather slim. She was more interested (presently) in his day-job skills, so to speak.

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Alan had tapped him on the back, signaling that he was retreating so Eliot could really release his poison gas. Right as he was about to release a massive blast, though, the shadowmancer disappeared. Eliot swung around, searching, and noticed her beside the bear-man and the tired telekinetic. Before he could do anything, however, all three of them vanished. He groaned in anger, releasing a bit of the toxic smoke, then keeled over and vomited, a combination of dark purple gunk from his lungs combined with part of his large breakfast. It was probably best, though; it harmlessly released the poison that he had produced and it made his stomach, which had been indirectly smacked by a bench, hurt a little less.

"Alright," he muttered, getting back on his feet, "they got away." Eliot limped towards his car, opened a door to the back seats, and dug around in a few things that littered the seats and floor. No garbage or drugs; he kept his car cleaner than his house. He did find some duct tape and fast-food paper napkins, though, which he engineered into a makeshift bandage for his bleeding leg. "Where are ya, Phantom? You alright?" the newly-bandaged man asked, "This was an ambush, do you think Marvin was a part of it? I doubt there's much chance that he's still in his condo, unaware of what's going on, but..."

Eliot stopped as he noticed a few civilians had become aware of the mayhem going on outside their homes, some staring out their windows and others peeking around corners. "Yeah, we better get outta here," he decided, making his way to the driver's seat. As soon as he saw Phantom get in, or rather, a door open and a seat-belt buckle, he would drive off, get lost in traffic and drive around a bit to avoid being followed, then probably go back to base.

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Taking control of the construction vehicle, especially at this distance, quickly tired The Enigma and he knew he was only a few precious minutes away from losing his breath, and possibly consiousness. So he decided to not play tactfully and opt for a more direct approach in his assault, willing the crawling metal construct to charge at full pace. His view through the camera was shoddy at best, the edge of his possible arena was close and there were no other cameras present in the park at the moment. Really, they should have been monitoring every inch of the city to stop this kind of thing but that simply wasn't possible. People didn't like being watched everywhere they went.

The vehicle launched itself across the park with surprising speed, it's course set with Charlie's location as the destination. Unfortunately it seemed it may not make the journey as hovercars started joining the fray and hurling themselves at the makeshift weapon. For the most part they simply bounced off the solid, dense metal and lay crumpled in a roughly straight line behind the wandering urban monolith but a few smashed into vital joints and hinges. The first to cause damage came from the left and was dispatched with a drill through the windscreen before landing on the connecting wires and delicate parts, rendering the drill motionless and silet. The second caused a limp in one of the rear legs and the third twisted a metal plate to cause a limited amount of movement for the front legs.

Crippled though it was it was still deadly and relentlessly charged Chalie down, powerful claw opening and positioning itself to grasp at her body.

Meanwhile The Enigma was actually smiling, the cars, being used as missiles, were a sign that there was another technopath in the area. He had made it a personal goal to see the end of them and there were now so few reported sightings that he had come to think he was the only one left with the ability. Luck for him there was another and they were in the insurrection. He would enjoy killing her.

~~~~~~~~~

"Yeah, it was pretty traumatic, I was lucky to get out alive." Francis was talking to the rather attractive lady at the front desk about his ordeal earlier, all too quickly fotgetting why he was there in the first place. His elbows rested on the desk and he held her gaze with a thoughtful look on his face.

"But I hear that the best thing for shock is dinner with a beautiful woman." He added a wink and a smile for emphasis, reaching for a pen while colour rose in her cheeks.

Ah, Mr. Vespois. My office, if you please.

And there it was. As moodkilling as it was creepy. Having other people's thoughts pushed into your mind was not something Francis was particularly comfortable with and he didn't think he'd ever get used to it. So he sighed in resignation and pushed himself up from where he had been leaning.

"Excuse me a second" he said, pulling his brand new and highly fashionable phone from his pocket, pretending to read a text. "That's the boss, I should make a move." He had intended to leave his phone number but the moment had passed and he was simply not in the mood anymore. Damn woman, what a buzzkill he thought as he started walking towards the elevator.

"I'll see you later" he called to her as he went, knowing full well that he wouldn't. On his way out he would be just another employee who couldn't wait to get home after being systematically mind-probed by the lady at the top. He just hoped she'd stay out of the portion of his mind that should have been running his evening. Power was attractive and he'd no doubt have a few images flash through his mind, more out of habit than actual desire, which he wouldn't want her to see. He supposed that knowing someone had access to your most sordid thoughts would only make you think more about them as you tried to cover up. It was a real puzzler, this telepathy thing, as well as eternally irritating.

The elevator arrived and took him up to the top floor, requiring his MortixCorp ID card to make it there, where a hallways led to a waiting room and another secretary at a desk.

"I got called by Miss Mortix." No casual flirting now, it was business time. He would remain as professional as possible during the course of their meeting. "Francis Vespois." He gave his name in case there was a list, he had never actually been to this office before and wasn't sure what the procedure was. She was, of course, expecting him and a quick rap of knuckles on wood signalled his arrival a moment before he opened the door and walked in to the spacious and extravagent office. He kept his eyes dead ahead, not gawking at the surroundings or taking in the rather breathtaking view of the city at night thorugh the large window behind the desk.

"Good evening Miss Mortix."

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#, as written by Shiva
The battle continued, and the Magician watched with distaste as they killed each last guard. So much for good intents, huh? It didn't matter now, because the ringleader gave the warehouse he was hidden in a look, and to the Magician's surprise decided to collapse the entire building despite it having civilians. Yep, totally not evil, we were the bad guys here. The Magician didn't see what happened next, as his Precognition skill kicked in. He had taken careful note that the cyborg saw right through his illusions- reaching out and breaking through the clones, cutting the illusion on him immediately. He knew of ways to deal with Cyborgs- he was slightly frustrated that he didn't confuse him more, but he didn't have the opportunity to stick a knife in him. Just as well, they thought he was nothing special- which is excellent. If they pinned Snyder's own powers on Rasputina, it would disguise the fact that she had the ability to survive whatever death blow awaited her.

You're welcome, Rassy-Tee. The Magician thought, as he broke from the window. He narrowly missed having a sizable from hit his forhead, but he found it incredibly hard to move. Why was this? Wasn't the ringleader's power telekinesis? He felt an enormous pressure all over his body, pressing him to floor next to the windows. He shielded himself as the windows smashed under the weight.

Weight.

This wasn't telekinesis. This was gravity. Very powerful gravity. His precognition skill would do him little use if he couldn't move. He barely managed to stand up, and threw himself to the side as a slab of concrete collapsed and slammed tot he floor next to him. He began crawling toward the door as the building began to crack- down to it's very foundations, and pulled himself over to the railing. He couldn't jump down from the second floor. It would be suicide- considering the strength of gravity. He felt the upper catwalks give away, and suddenly the ledge he was crouched on bend down, sending the Magician tumbling over the edge. He barely managed to grab the railing, which was bending under the weight of Hekaton's power. The ledge split in two, bending into two curving slopes toward the ground floor. Debris was beginning to fall from the roof- glass had already broken. Hanging onto the railing, the Magician realized the bent ledge had lowered him close enough to the ground that he wouldn't be significantly hurt if he let go. Gathering his courage, he let go and crashed to the floor. It was the left side of the buiilding that gave way first- cutting off his door to freedom. The Magician struggled under the weight of gravity, forcing himself to take cover next to a metal stand that held boxes. The stand collapsed over him, bending in a position that protected him from the collapse of the building. When it was over, the Magician was very much tired from the ordeal, due to his weak physical stature. However, he still needed to break out and find Rasputina- if she was still "alive".

"Ugh." He grumped, feeling much more free now that gravity had been restored. That was an amazing power- Gravity. He crawled over to the pile of rocks before him, pushing on the pile. He felt it give slightly, which meant that it wasn't too big. He forced the rocks out, clambering through the hole and saw that he had emerged from the side of a pile of rubble. If it had been piled anywhere closer to the left, the Magician would have been trapped. He noted that the entire warehouse was leveled- bent metal and concrete scattered everywhere. He had not suffered serious injury, just several bruises that would heal on it's own later. Luckily his Precognition skill had him avoid things that would probably have broken an leg or arm. He crawled over to the end of the alley just before he reached the street, noting with interest that the tank had left a huge crater. Probably jumped, if his super-dense theory was correct. He was still keeping the act up of being a civilian. From there he collapsed his arms, rolling over onto his back and believed this is a good spot to catch his breath.




The blast of music didn't have enough strength to overwhelm the other supers yet, though he noted that industrial equipment decided to join the fight. "Thank you, Enigma." He muttered. He was completely aware of the new Super's unusual powers. He had a more regal appearance, though the way he talked to the two female supers he noted that he might have some sort of stunted mental growth. Poor guy. He truly felt sorry for the Insurrection, if all of the members were indeed idiot children with powers. It probably is the case.

However, Valter was here to kill- not give psychiatric diagnosis'. The man had picked up a car and began charging the Magician to disrupt him. Just before he was within distance, he sent a shock wave blast out, slowing him down slightly (as he would need much greated concentration to blow away a car and significantly hurt the super at the same time), and did a large pivot around the man, just avoiding the edge of the car as he just finished the song. He switch seamlessly, materializing a saxophone-like object in his hands. This song was a personal favorite, He decided to maintain the loud screeching, rather than try a heavy balance of pure offense and passive stunning. He cranked up the sound, and now the sound was so thick it was almost tangible.

It's a braw, bricht, braw bricht nicht. He sung in his head as the last rays of sunlight began to fade over the horizon.

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#, as written by Aythr
Immediately, John brushed all the rubble off of the remains of his shirt. He may have been impervious to most damage, but his clothing wasn't. He frowned as he inspected it. There was no way it was going to last the night if they kept on doing what they were doing. He frowned at the thought that he would have to spring a couple of dollars for a new shirt, but this was precisely the reason he didn't wear a suit or some silly costume like some of the others did.

Beneath him was the shattered corpse of the guard that he was trying to pummel not but a moment ago. He thought about undigging the guy, but there didn't hardly seem to be a point. If he wasn't a super, there was little doubt that he was dead. John immediately remembered Gregory's command, and hoisted himself to ground level with a massive hand. he brushed himself off again, but realized there was little point. He took a look around for any remaining guards. Save the female with the accent, it didn't seem like there was. It was probably for the best.

"Ready to go when you are." John said.

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In a apartment complex in the slums, James entered the room and threw the keys he recieved from Charlotte on the dresser. It was a two room apartment. One was the living room/bedroom/and kitchen while the other was the bathroom. It was relatively tidy compared to the state of affairs outside. A TV was situated on the dresser infront of the fold-out couch that doubled as his bed. On the walls there was an assortment of goodies. Lucky charms and such. Tribal masks from a bygone era, band posters, art work. No doubt everything was won in a game of dice or cards.

James sat his hat on a coat rack which held a leather trench coat, a nylon jacket, and an assortment of ties. Then he fished out the mask and black wrap he had obtained from Gabriel. He gave a look at the items and just placed it on the coat rack. James had to think. He sat heavily on the couch and placed his hands on his head. The Insurrection. He had heard about the Insurrection, how they tried to end Mortix's monopoly on everything. To try and rid the city of the Orwellian nightmare. However, James was not of the Insurrection. He was just a gambler with lucky powers. What right did he have to go up against a mega-corporation? What was he going to do? Fling cards at them and hope one catches Freya in the jugular? Hell, the girl could probably roast his mind with ease as it was. He couldn't do it...

James shook his head and stood up. He had to piss. He walked into the bathroom and did his business. As he was washing his hands though, he caught his reflection in the Mirror. He rubbed his face and looked at the man in the mirror. He was just a gambler, and that was it. He was just trying to survive on what little luck he could had. He was by himself...

However

However, in the Insurrection, he wouldn't be alone. There was Charlotte, Gregory, Gene, Peter, and John, and no telling who else. He wouldn't be alone. Perhaps... Just perhaps... With a little bit of luck. They could take down Mortix. "Hell no. It isn't possible. I will just killed with them anyway. I rather like living." He said leaving the bathroom. As he left he caught glimpses of the Tribal masks. Masks used for hunting, for good luck, for farming... That was living, a having a goal in life. A future. Here, here they didn't have a future. He walked up to the dresser beside the TV, where another mirror was placed. He looked at the man staring back.

"But this isn't living. This is just surviving. By myself, alone," He said before hanging his head down. Damn... Damn damn damn. What is he to do. He opened his eyes and saw the keys on his dresser... "If I'm not living... Then hell, I'd better get to dying," he said, snatching the keys from the dresser and walking out the door. Not before grabbing the trenchcoat, mask, hat, and a bat on the way out...




Hellsing Park

The man didn't get far before he saw the commotion. A blaring sound was echoing throughout the air, heavy machinery and electrical pops was all but a common place. He saw a drill coming after a woman... No doubt Charlotte, knowing her gearhead tendencies. His hands rubbed the steering wheel, knowing the guilt was going to kill him, if Charlotte didn't. Perhaps if he was lucky... He would survive...

A smile cracked under the mask and black wrap. He cranked the radio up and laughed at the song choice. Is It Luck by Primus. Now... Now it was a party. He picked a big ball of cotton and stuffing from the seat and tucked inside a pocket before he aimed the sedan at the drill and Floored the gas pedal. At the last final moment, he jumped out as the car careened toward the machinery. With a little luck, that sedan should completely disable the big device.

As he rolled to a stop, he stopped and stood, managing to roll right beside Charotte, now masked. Under his own mask, he smiled. "Is it luck?" He asked, letting her know that it was him... Talisman. He was wearing the large trench coat with his mask and fedora. He then ripped out the ball of cotton and fluff from his pocket and handed it to Charlotte, "I believe this will help with the god-awful sound, don't you agree?" He asked as he stuffed some in his own ear. Enough to block out the sound, but not enough to completely drown it out and obsure voices. Lucky. He just hoped all of this made up for the fact that he just totaled her car... To save her though!

In his other hand he swung the bat around in a circle and spoke to Charlotte, using an almost apprentice like tone, "So what do we do now boss?"

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Vincent growled in anger as Valter deftly moved out of the way of his attack. Not that Vincent had high hopes for such an obvious tactic to work, he just wanted to break the Musician's focus enough to get close to him. Vincent dropped the car, and just as he was about to attack Valter directly, a loud explosion caused him to look over to Charlotte. Underneath the ominous battle armor, Vincent cracked a smile. Without a doubt, that had to be James. It seems his luck had not diminished any, though Vincent couldn't help but imagine what the Karmic backlash for such a ridiculous stunt would be. How could one even calculate such a thing? The odds of surviving that stunt were very slim, so James had to have pushed the boundaries of luck quite a bit in order to achieve that. In any case, Vincent was glad that Charlotte and James were safe. Gene seemed preoccupied with something, and Vincent could not help but feel she was indulging one of her many addictions.

Turning his attention back to Valter, Vincent quickly pushed his way through the shockwaves of sound, reaching a clawed hand toward the Musician's neck. it was time to end this battle. Vincent steeled himself against any sudden impacts, and mentally controlled the nanites to offer some measure of protection from the sound. Vincent pushed his powers up another couple notches and rushed forward, making contact with Valter. He would not kill him, and he wasn't going to just hand over the Musician to the Insurrection, but at least Vincent now had some control over the situation.

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Alan sighed in relief as he jumped into the front seat of Eliot's car. Sure, he was confident he could handle the bear-man, but he was glad that he didn't have to. He'd have probably broken a few bones in the attempt. He made a note to get sharper knives. Perhaps Charlie could help him with that. She had to know about metals that were sharp and dense enough to cut through bearskin, right? He frowned as he gazed in the mirror as he attempted to regain his visibility. Damn. It was going to take a few minutes.

"Well, at least we know MortixCorp isn't ignoring us anymore," he commented over to Eliot. Gregory wouldn't be pleased, of course. They had technically failed the mission, but their target was nowhere in sight, if he even existed. He frowned slightly as he thought of something, texting both Peter and Charlotte, asking if they needed any help. He and Eliot might not have been the only ones that were in trouble. He read Peter's reply and spoke.

"We might want to swing around where Gene, Charlie, and the new guy is. Peter says his group is fine, but Charlotte isn't answering," he suggested to the smoke-spewing man.

*

Peter frowned as Alan texted him. Apparently, he and Eliot had run into some trouble as well. He texted him back to let him know they were fine before firing a couple of mini-missiles at the remaining patrolmen. He glanced over at Rasputina, firing a couple missiles the super's way just incase, before turning back to Gregory. Their leader really was exerting himself. He hoped the guy wasn't suffering too much from the drawbacks his powers resulted in.

"I think we've destroyed everything, Boss. We should get out of here. Alan contacted me, by the way. His and Eliot's mission was an ambush by three Mortix Supers, but they drove them back."

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Hellsing Park

Charlie watched the hovercraft crash into the construction device, and while she was more than a little relieved to note that she had in fact disabled the drill mechanism, that wasn't stopping the thing from continuing forward. She hated being without her electricity; all she would have had to do was overload the thing with juice, and boom- no more oncoming death.

The noise was growing, and she wasn't entirely certain her ears weren't bleeding. Then again, it wasn't really the sound proper that was the worst of it; it was those shockwaves. If any of them caught her as off-guard as the first one had, she was gonna be fried Charlie on a stick, and she did not relish the thought of dying on what was supposed to be a simple diversionary mission. She sensed an incoming message to Gene's phone and shouted over. "Drache! Is that Hekaton? Tell him we need to get the hell outta here!"

Looking back to the still-advancing machinery, she grimaced upon noting that all the parked craft in the area had already been hurled at either this vehicle or the demented maestro over there. She kind of wished Vincent had picked something else to chuck, but there honestly wasn't a whole lot else around excluding park benches and trash cans.

At about the same time as she was thinking that maybe she needed to take the prerogative here and call a retreat, her black, mid-sized sedan went hurtling past her and into the advancing machinery. "My... my baby..." it took her a second, but she eventually shook herself out of it, in time to notice James's approach. She was at once petulantly irritated at what he had done to her car and also unfathomably grateful that he'd shown up. Not only could they really use a stroke of luck right now, but also Greggy wouldn't be happy if he figured out that James had been a no-show. She'd stuck her neck out for him (as Gabriel had undoubtedly known she would, that smarmy bastard), and if he'd backed out, it would have been her head on Hekaton's block, no mistake about it.

She accepted the cotton and stuffed some in her ears, immediately relived when the sound dulled to a manageable roar. The shockwaves would still be a problem, but at least she knew to expect them now. "So what do we do now boss?" She could barely make out the sound of his voice between the cotton and the din, but she smirked all the same, raising her own voice to shout loud enough to be heard.

"Well, Lucky Ducky, that's the question of the day. Depends on whether you think you can shut him up-" she pointed to the man with the improvised saxophone- "or help me shut that off. I'm gonna charge some electricity now, but I don't want to risk more than one shot. How likely is it that you could help my aim hit the fuel tank? I'd like to blow that thing to oblivion, and teach that Mortix techie a thing or two about how the Insurrection does it!"

As promised, she made for the nearest lamppost and siphoned the electricity, noting that Vincent was pushing towards their opponent, and so her best choice of tine was probably now. Taking aim at the construction vehicle, she looked to James. "Just a little luck. I'm a good shot." She grinned, releasing the electricity from her fingertips, though she did stagger backwards when a wave of lightheadedness hit her. "We need to get out of here, and soon..." she muttered, more to herself than anything.

Her cell phone buzzed in her pocket, and she mentally interfaced with it.

Tell Hekaton we need to abort. Now.

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Eliot was almost used to Alan's invisibility, "almost" being a key word here. It was hard to get used to, so he still jumped a little when a voice coming from thin air spoke to him. "We'd better get going, then," he remarked.

As Eliot drove out onto the main road, he realized traffic was thick. As a few civilians slowly followed the car, courageous or possibly just stupid, Eliot tuned in the radio and switched lanes as quickly as possible, doing a U-turn. Everyone was struggling to go in one direction, for the most part: away from Hellsing park. As Eliot drove as fast over the speed limit as he could get away with, he turned on the radio. Some new boy band. Definitely not what he wanted. Scrolling through the channels, he managed to quickly locate a newscast.

"...an unprecedented amount of concurrent terrorist attack," the news anchor reported, "The largest battle is luckily going in MortixCorp's favor. It appears that the psychopathic supers leading the attack will soon be subdued. Civilian deaths are currently numbered at 73, with many more missing or injured..." The propaganda-fed drone continued spewing her message, remarking on the evils of the disorganized anarchists and how every citizen should report any suspicious activity, so he turned the volume down low, but not off, in case an actual fact managed to get in her broadcast somehow.

"Yeah," Eliot remarked, "Looks like they're in trouble. If MortixNews is a reliable source, which it almost never is, we might need to help an escape; my specialty." The man blew a bit of smoke out the window, sighing before coughing. He had already used his powers quite a bit today, and felt like if he used them any more then a lung might collapse. Coughing again, he spat a glob out the window. It was dark gray, as it usually was, but had specks of crimson in it. Just from his throat, from coughing so much today. Probably.

Glancing around, he noted a lack of police cars; they had all passed him at maximum speed to get to the battle. With this, he increased his speed by ten miles per hour, hands clutching the wheel, grimacing.

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James noted Charlies' momentary hesitation to speak to him after he had crashed her car... That would end up on the conversation list tonight if they survived... As it was, she seemed to get over it quick enough.

"How likely is it that you could help my aim hit the fuel tank? I'd like to blow that thing to oblivion, and teach that Mortix techie a thing or two about how the Insurrection does it!"

"Damn likely," James said, nodding. The fluff in his ear drowned most of the words but he understood the gist of it... What with all the pointing and what not. "Just aim towards it!" He added. It was strange, the backlash wasn't quick or immediate as it usually was... That wasn't good as he would have to expect it later. However, as it was, he was sure that justice wouldn't kick in on him directly. That just scared him slightly. He was too far in now to bitch out now though. He watched as Charlie made her way towards the lamp post, per her agreement, while James scurried away out of Charlies way and closer to another super, no doubt Vincent. Of couse, as a super himself, he had heard of Vincent but he never knew the man personally.

He looked back at Vincent and The musician. He narrowed his eyes at Vincent, willing good luck to befall the man. Perhaps have his attack connect, perhaps lessening the wear such a maneuver would cause his body. Either way, he wished the father figure good will and luck... Who couldn't use a bit of good luck? He was already ankle deep in belated backlash, How could things get any worse? James then tore his gaze from behind him to Charlotte in front. The beak of his mask slicing through the night air. When electricity arched across her fingers, he willed the currents to fly true... Truer than ever, right towards the gas tank. He of course then willed the possible resulting explosion to be a great and grand thing, a combination of a full gas tank and faulty electrics. Small stuff that would add up to an immense fire ball.

After his willing and wishing Lady Luck to allow these actions to manifest, he looked around... If they didn't have anything to get away on or leave in a hurry, then they were up a river... And he so hated being up a river. He wished that something or something would happen to help them out...

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#, as written by Basta
"Please, consider our offer. It expires midnight tommorow, on top of the Helix Hotel."

Rasputina blinked in surprise from the ground. She hadn't expected this from one of them. All of the reports she'd ever seen had made these rebels out to be monsters who butcher the Mortix patrol teams. This man clearly had the power to do some serious damage to her, yet he refrained. As they were leaving, however, the metal one fired a couple mini-missles at her as a parting shot.

"Joo bastards! I'll ge-" Her yell was cut off as the explosions ripped her out of the gravity field and blasted her into a wall. She lay on the ground for a good five minutes, stunned. When Rasputina managed to struggle to her feet, she promptly fell over. With a curse, she examined her wounds. Multiple shrapnel punctures, a missing foot and forearm, various burns and a broken arm. She assumed her face looked like hell, too, but without a mirror she couldn't see it.

"Fucking bastard..I vill cut off the balls from his body and feed them to the goats! I vill beat him viss his own liver! I'll...I'll..." Babayaga continued to mutter to herself in Russian as she hobbled to the ruins of the building she assumed the Magician was in or near. It didn't make sense to collapse a building for no reason, so he was probably seen taking cover in there. She was glad that she only had on her breastband at the moment and pants, though, as it started sprinkling lightly. The droplets of water felt refreshingly cool to her overheated skin.

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#, as written by Shiva
The Musician was nearing the end of the song, satisfied with what was going on so far. However, several things happened that instantly turned the tides against him. Enigma's presence would be very brief, as somebody in a car stalled the excavation machine and seemed to be helping the shock-blue haired girl bring it down. He had brought headphones, effectively canceling out his power. He snarled, but at the same time he saw the super (Vincent) make his way toward him. Valter tried to back away, by some damned luck he stepped on a damp patch of grass and slipped. His song immediately disappeared, and the struggling super was grabbed and hoisted by the neck by Vincent.

There were too many of these roaches. But he wasn't done. He wasn't letting them overpower him so easily. He would kill himself before he returned to MortixCorp without at least one prisoner. Well, not really, but he didn't like these insurrectionists.

Vibration-based technology had increased in significance in the past few hundred years. By violently vibrating a object at high frequencies, it can cut through things they usually cannot penetrate. This goes into many equipment, especially in the excavation industry. However, as technology progressed, vibration technology became more compact- finding it's way into everyday items and more importantly- becoming an easily accessible tool. As Valter pretended to struggle against Vincent's vicegrip, he suddenly slipped one hand under to a hidden sheathe, and pulled out a knife. Normally, knives probably wouldn't hurt a super who could resist powerful shockwaves and ear-splitting noise. However, with vibration technology the knife could punch through nearly anything, resisted or not. It didn't matter if he didn't want to risk it, he had very little to lose at this point.

The Musician jabbed the humming knife at the enemy super in one smooth motion.




The Magician noted that they had left. "Some fight." The Magician muttered to himself, chuckling slightly. He wasn't really a fighter. He picked himself off the ground, looking beside him at the collapsed warehouse. They claimed they were in it for the good of the people. How absurd. Snyder had always regarded the Insurrection with a good-natured tolerance. Their motives, sounding right on paper were so far causing more harm than they would like to believe. It didn't help that most of them were just about his age, and should be a lot smarter- if not just as smart as Snyder himself.

He was about to exit the alley, but suddenly Rasputina hopped up to him. Getting a good look, the Magician was rather intrigued to see the ability in action up close. "Wow." He said, since he had little experience in medicine. The only thing he could probably do medically was put someone in pain under his glamor and dull the feeling. She didn't even look like it hurt a damn anyways. "Well, miss Vladmiskov. Am I to chop off your head and bring you to Freya? Nevermind." She looked like she was in a bad mood.

He took Rasputina, and hoisted her up in a princess carry. She was a lot lighter without her leg. He started to make his way down toward the city. As they passed her leg, he paused slightly. "You uh... wanna bring that with you or what?" He hoped that she understood why he was carrying her.

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Vincent saw the knife coming as if in slow motion. One undoubtedly helpful aspect of his powers was that, since reflexes were dependent on speed of electrical movement between the brain and body, and also on how quickly the mind could process these signals, being able to boost his bioelectric currents meant that Vincent's reflexes were the best. In fact, pushing his powers to the limit created a strange state of mind, where the rest of the world seemed to be moving at a crawl while Vincent could process everything very quickly. In this state, Vincent could easily dodge a bullet by being able to see exactly when the assailant pulled the trigger. So a knife wasn't going to much.

Vincent withdrew the hand that was holding up Valter, and grabbed the man's fist, being careful to avoid the blade of the knife. Vincent crushed the knife handle, disarming Valter, and then twisted the enemy super into an old wrestling hold. Vincent forced Valter down to his knees and said, "There are four of us, and only one of you. Powersurge has undoubtedly stopped the Enigma's attack by now, which leaves only you, Valter de' Forte. The others have not noticed us yet, but I give you only one chance; escape now, and live to fight another day, or I can simply break your neck right now. Do not make the mistake of assuming I am allied to the Insurrection. No, all Supers can be my allies, and I seek to end this ridiculous slaughter. I give you the option to escape or die. It is your choice."

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Hellsing Park

The careening of Charlie's sedan (as driven by James) into the construction machine would further slow its advance, but not until the karma-guided electricity hit it would the thing finally cease its lurching forward movement. The electricity would ignite the fuel cell in the machine, causing it to give a great shudder before exploding, shrapnel raining down on the scene and neighboring buildings.


MortixCorp HQ

Freya chuckled inwardly when she caught Vespois's thought about her being a 'buzzkill.' Given the type of 'buzz' that particualr employee seemed to prefer, she did not mind the designation in the slightest. Oh no, not at all. His... habits had been troublesome for her company's image on more than one occasion; he was frankly lucky he was useful, else she would have discarded such a potential media frenzy long ago. Though she did control most of the media, she couldn't let her iron grip become too apparent in any but the most grievous situations, lest they choose to fight it.

It was a surprisingly delicate balance, one that she had apparently failed to strike in the eyes of at least a few. This, she did not blame on some lack of skill on her part, no indeed. It was clearly a failure on behalf of the fools who thought themselves capable of opposing her.

Before Francis entered (for he was out in her lobby right now) she extended her web to encompass all those employees she had come to understand were in conflict with supers. Rasputina, Musician, Magician, Noctis and company, your orders are to withdraw and report. That includes you, Mr. de'Forte. She knew his hatred of Insurrectionists far eclipsed most of the others, and also that he was justified in this, but she wasn't about to allow this farce to continue.

Today, the Insurrection had caught them unawares by a simultaneous attack on three fronts, but their ambition would also prove to be their undoing, for they surely had needed most of their forces to manage this, and if even one of her well-trained agents lived on each offensive (and from the fact that their minds were still contactable, they did), Enigma would have information aplenty. She was going to want an entire database on this, and she would have it.

"Ah, Mr. Vespois, good of you to come," she intoned smoothly after his greeting, as though he'd had a choice in the matter. "I understand that the uptown building in which you work was demolished today. I'm moving you to headquarters effective immediately. You will have an empty office on the fourth floor, and I would like you to begin by making as detailed an investigation as possible of the damage suffered to both city property as well as anything the Insurrection has. I want to know two things: first, how well-funded they are based on the resources they have used today, and second, how much I'll be charging them to fix all they damaged."

Does that mean we don't get to kill them right away?

"You are free to ask questions of anyone within the company that you think might provide you with useful information. Essentially, I am asking you to piece together what happened here today, on all fronts, and form a coherent picture of who we are dealing with. If it seems to you that they have a particular piece of information that they should not, I want to know. If they have expensive equipment, I want to know. The Enigma may be able to assist you on that particular front. Everyone else I'm putting on this will be trying to figure out who, but I want someone on how. do you think you can handle it?"

That's a mean question, Miss Freya. You'll be horrible if he can't.

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#, as written by Basta
Rasputina didn't complain as the Magician hoisted her to a carry. She didn't comment about the leg. She didn't even make some snarky retort about the battle. She would have done all these things, however, if her body wasn't shutting down to begin the regeneration process. A van backed into the alley they were in and opened the rear doors, revealing the extraction team.

"I have tired. Take me home, if joo woudt," whispered the weakened mutant, who then went limp. The extraction team pulled the two into the van and took off, just in time to avoid the police who swarmed the crumpled old building.

Rasputina's wounds slowly knit during the car ride, depositing any grit or foreign objects onto the mat she was laying on. The process was actually very disturbing to watch, as it looked like her body was being woven together by an invisible spider. Her scar riddled body had returned to normalcy by the time they made it back to Mortix Tower. The van parked itself in the basement and the team moved her onto a different stretcher and out into the armory. The leader approached the intercom and paged the back-up secretary in Ms. Mortix's lobby.

"Freya Mortix's office, Michelle speaking. What is the purpose of this call?" she chirped vapidly. The captain rolled his eyes, but of course the woman couldn't see it.

"Tell Ms. Mortix that Ms. Vladmiskov and Mr. Snyder have returned. I'm sure she'll want to de-brief them."

"Right away, sir!" gasped the woman in surprise. She'd only seen Babayaga twice, and both times she couldn't stop shaking for several minutes after. The woman scared the daylights out of her. Michelle quickly approached the clouded glass door and knocked loudly twice, waiting to be summoned in.

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#, as written by Smith
Even as Hekaton broke into a run down the alleyways away from the sight of the battle, he began cursing inwardly. Through the phon ehe caught enough static through the cacophany in the background to make out Charlotte's electrical signals. That, combined with Mech's overzealous slaying of a potential ally sent Gregory into a fit of rage. He glanced back to John, not even dignifying Mech with words. "The warehouse directly ahead, number seven. Crush it and get back to the base. There shouldn't be any more than five or so guards and three scientists. Small lab. Trash the comps. Get out."

His short flurry of words delivered, the masked super launched himself into the sky with an anti-gravity field that was probably charged with an excess of energy. Hekaton did not care though. The force of his flight-fields was so great that the wind roared in his ears, and despite being dulled by the fabric of his mask, threatened to defean the super. In less than a minute the suited man slammed down in almost directly upon the musician and his captor with enough gravitational force behind him to crack the earth upwards of a meter away from himself.

In the time it took Hekaton to cast a withering glare at Vincent and the explosion in the background, multiple fields were coming into existence around Charlotte, Gene and that new fellow he could not remember through the furious haze. Taking just enough prescence of mind to compact Charlie's van into a ball of crushed metal, rubber and several other components as well as Gene's bike in one piece, and took to the air again. In the night sky their flight was relatively quiet. After dipping into the tunnels and losing what possible pursuit their was, the flight back was brief.

Retreat.

That text was sent to both Eliot and Alan. As soon as they reached Charlotte's 'home' and flicking on the lights Gregory tore off his mask, shed the overcoat and fell onto the couch with a deep sigh. For a long while he stared up at the metal ceiling above. The others should be arriving shortly, and the world was cooling off for the leader of the Insurrection. With one more steadying breath, Gregory said allowed more to himself than anyone: "What are the odds...?"

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(Oops. Forgot that Gregory made an offer to Rasputina.)

"You should be careful, Eliot. How are you holding up?" Alan asked as they drove towards Hellsing Park. Despite his flighty nature, he hadn't been oblivious to Eliot's difficulties, after all and was a bit concerned for the guy. After all, his powers must be unpleasant to have and had quite a dangerous drawback. His own drawback was minimal in comparison. He shook his head, "Perhaps we can just have them get int the car and speed away. Don't want to overuse your powers."

He paused as they finally stopped in front of the park. Thankfully no one was hurt and Charlie and Gene were joined by the newbie and, was that Vincent? Alan smiled slightly. He liked the guy. He was the only one to ever catch him when he tried pickpocketing him. The man's grip was strong and, as a half-starved orphan, he had been terrified. Yet, the man understood. He let him go after only a little lecturing. He had been perhaps the only adult he ever trusted when he was younger.

Then, of course, Gregory appeared, transporting the others away and texting both him and Eliot. He read the text and nodded over at Eliot, "Come on. We need to get to the base and fast."

*

Peter left John to destroy the warehouse, gulping slightly as he headed for the the headquarters. He shivered. Gregory was giving him the cold shoulder and he knew it. He hadn't quit realized that he was trying to recruit Rasputina. He cursed. The boss was going to have his head. Maybe he should have made it detachable after all.

He would offer whatever he could for atonement, he decided. Any task, no matter how grueling, was better than having Gregory remain angry with him. The immortal could hold grudges for a long time and was particularly creative when he wanted revenge. Peter knew this. He had witnessed these actions for himself.

When at last he reached the warehouse, he bowed his head over to the leader, "I am sorry, sir. The din of battle distracted me from what you were saying to the Super. For the record, she may still live."

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#, as written by Aythr
John quickly huddled with Gregory and Peter, shortly after the half-cyborg blew away the Russian that Hekaton was attempting to recruit. It seemed as though Gregory wasn't too happy about the supposed death of the female super. Between that and whatever texts he was receiving, it was apparent that there wasn't much that would get on his good side for the next few hours. Their plan hadn't failed completely, however.

"The warehouse directly ahead, number seven. Crush it and get back to the base. There shouldn't be any more than five or so guards and three scientists. Small lab. Trash the comps. Get out."

Gregory gave Peter the cold shoulder, it seemed. He was a very passive aggressive person, and there was no doubt Peter would be paying for this for quite a long time to come; John figured that grudges could last quite a while when you were ageless. Without hesitation, John followed Gregory's orders as he usually did. He quickly made way to the warehouse in question, unsure if Peter would follow after Gregory's cold shoulder. It would no doubt be a good idea to arrive at the warehouse as quickly as possible. By the speed at which Gregory flew into the air, something serious was going on. If Mortix knew what they were doing, there was little doubt that they'd already have prepared heavy defenses at not just one of their labs, but more than likely all of them. His powers deactivated, giving him some time to recover while he could.

As he shortly arrived at the warehouse, he tried to find a window to look through. It seemed like Gregory was right. They hadn't yet set up much of a defense; A positive surprise for John. In lieu of crashing through the wall, John thought that maybe starting out subtle would have been more appropriate. He tried to open the door, but it appeared to be locked. A small sensor on the side of the door appeared to be glowing red, an indication that some sort of clearance was necessary to gain entry.

"Well, that's not happening."

As he began to bust his way in, he noticed that his attempt at opening the door had garnered the attention of a nearby guard. John rolled his eyes as he reactivated his powers, and with a mighty kick, sent the door flying of its hinges. Without hesitation, the guards began to open fire with their sidearms, though it was little use. Each of the tiny bullets crumpled against his skin and fell to the floor as they made contact. John frowned. They were definitely trying to kill him, but he didn't like to return the favor if he could help it.

He lightly tossed anything that he could grab at the guards, one getting beaned in the head by a keyboard, which dropped the man, but didn't incapacitate him. He grunted, and decided that there was no point ending the guards or the scientists. He took his fists to the lab equipment and the computers, in an attempt to fulfill Gregory's wishes to the utmost degree. The guards seemed to change their tactics in the time he was destroying the lab, and quickly brandished taser-sticks. One made contact with his back, and John winced at the surge of electricity flowing through him. He would not be so easily as incapacitated as a regular person, though electricity was one of the things his powers did not fully protect against. John turned around and swatted the guard across the room, colliding with the wall of the warehouse. Another rod connected, and another, and John fell to his feet. His muscles started to twitch, though he was able to get to his feet and swat another of the guards off of him. Two more rods connected, and John fell to his knees again, before hitting the ground completely. His body was paralyzed, but the rage began to well up. The second the tasers stopped pulsing, it would mean doom for the guards.

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Charlotte felt some mixture of relief and trepidation when she realized she was being encased in a gravity field. Greg's preferred method of travel was not necessarily hers, and in fact flying through the air with no visible reason was one of the most nerve-wracking things ever. Still, it was vastly preferable to staying and dealing with incoming Mortix reinforcements. She noted that they were apparently leaving Vincent behind and waved. The man could take care of himself after all, though it had been a while since he stopped by for tea. He'd know to get the hell out of there before the reinforcements showed up. Even he couldn't deal with all of them.

The sensation of hurtling around at someone else's will freaked her out a little bit, and she really wished Greg had not accidentally-on-purpose destroyed Gene's bike, because even her friend's reckless driving was far and away better then this. Still, it wasn't like she got to fly every day, so she tried to make the most of it, even if she was pulling her knees to her stomach and trying to ignore the feeling of unnatural vertigo that the whole process gave her.

Her feet touched down in front of her house and she immediately took a deep breath, trying not to be sick from the sudden stop. "If you have to vomit, take it away from my house, please," she told James. He was a first-time flyer, and that was always the worst, plus wasn't he due for some bad luck or something. Still breathing through her nose, Charlie hauled open the door to her house and marched inside, taking a seat on the area rug and leaning up against the armrest of the couch Greg was sprawled on.

"What are the odds?" she heard him mutter, and she shook her head. Oh, bad idea. The mechanic waited for her head to stop spinning before she said anything. "They're shit," she replied casually, "but if you want an actual number, ask Jimmy. He saved my ass today, by the way." A pause, then an indignant mutter. "Trashed my baby, but saved my ass. Even exchange, I guess."

Another pause. "What happened to you guys, anyway?"

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In his bleak room The Enigma ceased control of the industrial behemoth and fell back into his chair just as the final vehicle carrered into it. He set the movement to directly forward but had little hope after seeing the blasted woman grabbing hold of a streetlight and drain the power out of it. He had some tapes to watch to determine exactly what powers were being used and by whom but that could wait. Sweat was pouring down his face and his dark skin was ashy and grey. A heaving in his stomach told him he felt the urge to be sick but he refrained, instead concentrating on bringing his breathing back down to a normal level, something he needed to do quickly as his heart was beating far slower than it should for a man his age.

"Bastard" he muttered, referring to that idiot who had driven a car into his vehicle. It was, of course, MortixCorp and would cost a pretty penny to replace but he thought it would have been worth it. How was he to know that such powerful Supers were against them? It boiled his blood. Not the thought that he was fighting Supers, but rather the fact that they were fighting him. He was on the side of good, the side of God. These heathens could not win! They WOULD not win! He would not rest until they had each been crushed like ants... Well, apart from when he needed to of course. Such as now, his breath rattled in his throat and his chest rose and fell rapidly. Even his fingers, the most sophisticated mechanical technology the corporation could provide him with, would barely move until he had regained some control over his body.

At least he had some information now. And that was the greatest weapon of all. So he would start by going over images, watching directions travelled, requesting forensics on key locations, tracking any devices held and scouring The System for anything that was new regarding them. Then he could move on to formulating some leads and theories. Then he could track anyone involved. And if he got that far... Well he knew a few supers with rather persuasive powers that could get information in a nasty enough way. It was going to be a long process and he was going to have to put many other projects on hold. But it would be worth it in the long haul. It had to be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Francis listened well without speaking a word. She was his boss, hell she was everyone's boss, and he'd let her finish before speaking. It was polite, let alone professional. And he cherised the thought that he was polite, a perfect gentlemen, except in the bedroom. He kept his eyes fixed straight ahead, looking just over over his employer and out of the window. It was a terrific view but he wasn't much of a one to stop and enjoy the scenery. Give him a bar fight to watch over a sunset any night.

Well, of course she'd heard about the building being destroyed but she didn't seem all too bothered by it. She spoke in smooth, flowing tones, nothing like what he'd have expected from a woman who'd lost somewhere in the region of $300 million. And that was just material cost. Data, and lots of it, would have to replaced, thousands of extra man hours would need to be employed, the rubble would have to be cleared, a new building likely put up and not to mention finding and hiring new staff. He'd given some thought to it on the way over and gave a rough estimate at close on to a full billion dollars. Maybe more, depending on what was being run there. Which was something he needed to know. And to get it he was going to have to be cheeky.

"Everyone else I'm putting on this will be trying to figure out who, but I want someone on how. Do you think you can handle it?"

Even with the severity of the situation Francis could not help but feel a flush of pride at being the only person put on the assignment. Then again, maybe it was just a way to keep him occupied. Either way, it kept him in the good books, something that was particularly good considering his less than elegant past.

"Of course" he replied without even a hint of arrogance, nodding his head as he did. Though while he did he could not help but take in the view of his boss, it was just his nature. Though he was sly enough these days to pass it off as nothing more than it was meant to be, a sign of ackowledgement. What he saw was not disappointing. If she were any less insane I'd steer the conversation a much nicer way than this... he thought, instantly appalled at himself. He was in the presence of a GODDAMN MINDREADER and he'd let himself get distracted. He hoped she hadn't heard him. In any case he continued the conversation, though not in the way he really desired.

"But I'm going to need access to all records and information regarding the building in question and it's activities. Clearance level of the highest employed member of staff there will easily suffice." Again the professional, stunted speech, words that held no emotion, only cold hard facts. He surprised himself how well he could hide his true self at work. "An interview with someone who was in the fight will help aswell. Nothing beats a full frontal view." Crap.

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"You should be careful, Eliot. How are you holding up?"

Eliot considered his possible answers. He felt awful, but he was too proud to tell Alan that. "I'll be fine," he decided. The tired man didn't appreciate pity, and as such insisted, "I'm fine, I'm fine." He approached Hellsing Park, and the first thing that he noticed was that the ground was littered. Not with garbage, as many parks are, but with bodies. Police fallen in the line of duty, Gene's druggies. Next he noticed the many supers, their allies flying away with Gregory. He grimaced after Alan told him that they had better get back to base. They had been too late. They had been useless. Unable to complete their mission, and unable to help his teammates in need, the man drove back to base.

After parking his car, he entered Charlotte's home, their base of operations. He noticed Gregory, and could tell that although he was calm now that he was probably not in a good mood. "Hey, boss," he greeted, pulling off the sweat-drenched balaclava with its purple-and-black swirling design that had hidden his identity. Sighing, he decided that he did need to say how their mission went. He began explaining the whole ordeal, from following them after the protest to the ambush, after which they had to leave because they had attracted too much attention. His regular coughs interrupted him between and sometimes in the middle of thoughts, but he delivered the information in a concise manner.

"How did everyone else do?" he asked, glancing around, realizing something was amiss. "It looks like our group is a bit off. Where's Tank, and who's the fellow over there?" Eliot commented, referring to James.

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#, as written by Shiva
The Musician was resisting futilely in the iron grip of Erebos when he began paying attention to what he said. He was ready to die fighting, but in the small chance he lived the super might spill something important.

Do not make the mistake of assuming I am allied to the Insurrection. No, all Supers can be my allies, and I seek to end this ridiculous slaughter. Vincent stated in a deadpan voice.

He paused, and would have attempted to look over at the man to see if he were going to laugh any second. A sudden, hysterical laugh escaped the lips of the Musician. Followed by another. Soon, tears of mirth ran down his face as he continued to laugh at what the man said. Oh god. Oh god that's hilarious. The Musician thought weakly, unable to quell his hysteria. It was only until Freya contacted him via mind-link that he began to control himself. So he was to retreat, huh? How shameful. Time to take advantage of the man's offer.

He gasped a few times, controlling the last of his chuckles before Vincent allowed him to break free of his grasp. What was the point in keeping him in a lock, anyways? If the Musician resisted, he'd die. Simple as that. He gave the elder super a bemused look. "You are the biggest hypocrite I have ever seen. Worse than me." He said, grinning as he remembered the ridiculous line Vincent uttered out of his filthy mouth. "All supers can be your allies? Hmm. Why are you so friendly with our dear Insurrectionist friends? During my years of service, I haven't seen you helping restore order for MortixCorp." Traitors and gutless bastards, to be more precise, but that's not the point. Valter added as an afterthought. "In fact, if you aren't allied with them why do you act so biased? Is this some sort of joke? Are you trying to be funny? I will remember your words, Insurrectionist." He spat, taking a step back and high-tailing it out of the park.

He was picked up by surveillance teams, and was dropped off at the HQ. He removed his mask, and pulled down his hood. He sustained minor injuries, and bruising around his neck from Erebos, but aside from that he was fine. He walked into the locker room where he changed into his work clothes- a neat dress shirt with trousers and black loafers. He put his white gloves on, and even as he made it up to Freya's office he was admitted. Her secretary seemed to be missing. He walked in, ignoring the fact he may have walked in on a discussion impolitely. He bowed once. "A pleasure, Madame Freya." He said stonily, still annoyed at the events in the park. If only he'd been able to capture at least one. Oh he'd have so much fun with them. Make them pay.




Rather than repulsion, The Magician watched with avid fascination as the wounds healed at breathtaking pace before his very eyes. Here was why she was called Rasputina- The girl that could not be killed, like the man she drew her nickname from. Well, he debated whether or not she could drown, but that was only for a moment. He stripped off the sweatshirt, and gave it to one of the soldiers. Suddenly, Fee-Fee-Ya contacted him. He acknowledged the order, noting with some amusement she stressed that de'Forte had to show up. Was he in a scuffle too? He followed the guards to the armory, where he quickly changed. As used to Freya as he was, he was never comfortable showing up in anything besides professional clothes. He took off the rest of the dirtied civilian wear, and donned back his typical black suit- topping it off with his Magicians hat. His prediction was answered, as the guards moved over to the intercom where they asked for Freya to debrief them. Before the Baba Yaga could wake up, The Magician produced a fake flower out of his hand and stuck it in her hair. She would hate that.

Of course, everyone had to deal with this. The Magician wasn't altogether a serious person- and more often than not they dealt with his harmless antics and nicknames. Some liked it- it showed that at least some of the more important folks weren't uptight pole-in-their-arse officials. He followed the group up to the doors, allowing the guard to knock. Sheesh, would she really heal that fast? That's amazing. She was still on the stretcher asleep, but she had long since healed over. Somehow, it made his power seem a lot less practical than most people made it out to be. He felt a twinge of jealousy.

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Vincent shook his head and smiled under his mask as he watched Valter escape. He made some valid points, but he could not possibly know what Vincent has done to help MortixCorp. More specifically, Vincent has lent assistance to repairing the collateral damage over the years. MortixCorp itself needed no help from anyone, they had enough money and power. In fact, Vincent helped the Insurrection more blatantly because they fought against the exploitation of people that seemed to be a common theme in all of MortixCorps' dealings.

Dizziness and immense hunger hit Vincent suddenly, and he changed his armor back into a neat black suit before casually walking away. He went into some fast food place and ordered a few slices of pizza. He paid the cashier in bills, and received a strange look, but a generous tip quickly turned that look into a smile. Vincent strolled out, taking large bites and eating rather quickly. After using his powers, he was always hungry. Which reminded him, he wanted to take out Charlotte and her friends to a nice dinner. And Charlotte needed a new car.

Vincent called a cab and directed the driver to take him to one of his many fake residences. Once the driver had left, Vincent went to a cabinet and pulled out several meal replacement bars he had managed to get his hands on. These bars were designed for soldiers to be easily digestible, and providing high calories and a lot of nutrition. Thus, they were perfect for Vincent to fuel his powers on. After eating a few, Vincent activated his powers, changing back into his battle suit. He slipped out a back exit and focused all his energy on his heart, lungs, and legs. The surge of raw power was something Vincent always enjoyed about his powers. Thus focused, Vincent began a hard sprint in the direction of another hideout. This one was equipped with a garage, and was quite helpful. About a block away, Vincent changed back to his suit, and went up to the keypad. He scanned his identification card and the electronic voice said, "Welcome Mr. Adam." Vincent grinned at the irony of using that name as a cover. He wasted no time going up to the luxury hovercar, exactly what was to be expected from a high class antiques dealer. Vincent pulled out something that looked like a small diver's cap, and placed it over his thumb. He pressed his now-covered thumb to the car's scanner, and it acknowledged its owner with a beep and a green light. He opened the door and calmly drove off toward his main residence toward the edges of town. While this whole process may seem overly paranoid, Vincent thought it was better safe than sorry. He did not want Mortix to be able to connect his two personas.

Once he arrived at his main residence, Vincent took a moment to look through his tea collection. He pulled out three tins, passion flower, lemon balm, and chamomile. This blend would be more of a fruity flavored tea, but Charlotte would most likely appreciate it. After all, most of these plants had become extremely rare with the rise of the corporate powers, so any of them were a treat. He quickly mixed a decent batch and put it in a spare tin before going to check on his garden. Many rare and forgotten medicinal herbs grew here, and whenever they set seed, Vincent went out and planted them anywhere he could. Landfills, demolished buildings, anywhere there was land. And he was happy to see that many of the plants took off nicely in those places.

After a quick shower, Vincent took the tea tin and went into his extensive garage. The place was filled with ancient luxury and sports cars from a century ago. After walking amongst the ancient beauties, Vincent decided on the Bugatti. He found its keys, hopped in, and quickly sped off toward Charlotte's home.

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A Gravity field... Another gravity field actually. Of course, the first reaction James had was, "What the fu-" Before he was cut off by the sudden jar of his feet leaving the ground. However, instead of being queasy or uneasy about the whole flying business, James kindly found it... Enjoyable. Almost like a rollercoaster. Although, the height bit did strain his mind a bit, but he felt if Luck was going to pile-drive him into the ground, then it would have done it so already... As it was, James felt Luck had something a little more... Sinister in mind.

Perhaps it was his warped and slightly crazy mind, but James like the various twists and turns. If he was to be a be a lord of luck, and subsequently be lorded by it, then the best he could do was spit in it's face every now and then. Perhaps not the most rational thought, but most rational thoughts don't include jumping out of a speeding car into a heated brawl with supers... Nope, not rational in the slightest.

Still, the ride came to a sudden halt, with James landing on his back... Seems like his new gracious leader had yet to warm up to him. "If you have to vomit, take it away from my house, please," A familiar voice rang. Charlie. James just chuckled and stood up, brushing the dirt off of his trench coat and sliding the mask and cloth down around his neck.

James walked in behind Charlie and too heard Greg's question and Charlies subsequent response. James took the other chair, the one he had sat in earlier that day and began to play the the dice he fished out of his pocket, his bat resting against the side of the chair. "Odds are.. Sketchy," James said, looking at the dice in his hands, "I can't even completely control them all of the time," Now he began to shake the dice in his hands. "Odds are what they are, an idea. Something no one can truly put reigns on. All the preparation in the world can even fail with a little bit of bad luck," He said, throwing the dice on the table... Snake-eyes. Not a very promising sign. "As it is, Luck never gives... Only lend..." James said cryptically, retrieving his dice and rubbing them together again.

"Trashed my baby, but saved my ass. Even exchange, I guess."

"I'm sorry for that... Just seemed like the thing to do in the heat of the moment..." James said, reddening a little. He did feel bad about that, but if there was one thing he knew... It was even exchanges. He was still waiting on his.

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And she's lost. Something isn't right. Other music begins to play, making Gene hobble off of her bike after crashing into a bench. Oh cripes. Both her baby and Charlie's baby are injured badly, shit! She already felt bad that Charlie was grossed out by the exploding beetles. All thought melts away as that wretched music plays. Among the drugs in the city dragon salt is...well unexpected and illegal. They literally change the user. Said user becomes aggressive, insatiable in every aspect, careless, reckless, angry, and a touch of humanity is shaved off every few hits or so. Gene is no exception. Prologned exposure to not only dragon salt but every drug both known and unknown to the city has been drained through her system. As it were it's still unknown what could set off a dragon salt user. More specifically what could set off Gene on a bad trip. Apparently classical music can now be added to the list below; Alan, water, children and too many sweets.

Gene's hallucinating. She barely recognizes Vince as he looms over and greets the two, narrowing her eyes and hissing sharply at him. "Fuck off." used in a much darker hiss than normal. She does not appreciate this prick challenging her, that pianoman. Did he steal her power? Can he mimic another Super's powers for his own? Paranoia building she sways like some dumb beast, disorientating herself further. Briefly Gene's music slows down and blares like a radio thrown overboard. Her dragonites fall to the beat as well. Gene gets herself worked up as she hobbles away from her bike, her illusion melting as her focus is utterly lost. In her state of panic she begins another tune as the world fades away. Whatever was happening everyone seemed to pull out. The last thing she could remember was the music colliding and her being helped to Toxin by the least drugged dragonite she had on her. They all remained to fight literally to their deaths with the guards as Gene sped off through the city, taking every back road she knew and ducking with some hookers she got along with usually.

She had reached the warehouse before the others (how so she isn't even certain) but she knew morale would be low. So Gene switched into something comfortable. Cinching the top tightly she tugs her stockings up, smoothing them out and adjusting her snake heels. Her thong is adjusted accordingly as she stepped with ease downstairs. She just had a shot of whiskey to calm herself down, frowning out at the down trodden group. Their young leader most of all seemed irked. And poor Charlie...her baby was trashed. Toxin is hidden away for the time being. Gene wedges herself in Greg's lap and strokes his hair, he could use some pampering. She's already found the promised drug and tucked the vial away for later. Right now she's too exhausted to want to try any new toys. Then again...

Leaning back with Greg she relaxes against his chest with wary eyes on that James. He ruined her best friend's vehicle and now she's going to plot to ruin his face. Or something equally unpleasant. Now a logical person would reason it was unintentional. Gene is far from the realm of logic. The typically silent (hey if your main power was singing your throat would be worn out too. Although it's not all Gene's throat is often used for) junkie grabs a cigarette from the pack on the coffee table, she always has one there, and lights up as she leans back. "...I think pianoman is my evil twin. Or maybe my good one. Augh. Hate 'em." and cue a pout. Her free hand playfully ruffles Greg's hair as she gives him an appraising glance. Must be hard on him especially as the leader. Which is why Gene has appointed herself the unspoken team cheerleader; jumping around in skimpy outfits and screaming at the top of her lungs usually works.

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#, as written by Aythr
A full minute after the guards started to shock John, the tasers began to wear out. It seemed as though, shockingly, they weren't meant to stun anybody for more than a minute at a time. As the first petered out, John roared and quickly got back to his feet, his muscles now at least partially under his control again. He met the guard's groin with his massive boot, and he went flying across the room, his pelvic bones now pulverized by the attack. A swift backhand was administered to the second guard, and he too was sent flying across the room. There was little hope for his survival. however, due to the point at which John impacted. The third guard fled for his life out the door with the scientists, and John made short work of the rest of the room.




John ran into the Warehouse/Headquarters not shortly after Eliot's mention where he was. He was panting and out of breath. His powers seemed to have taken their toll on him, and he tripped and stumbled into the floor with a soft thud. It was lucky for Charlie's floor that his powers weren't active. Not quite conscious, but not completely passed out John rolled over on to his back and took slow, heavy breaths.

"I just...need a minute...to breath."

John stared up at the ceiling as his eyelids began to grow heavy. It was not unlike the urge to fall asleep, though John was not fully willing to oblige to his body's wants or needs.

"Can I have some water?" he said, still either unable or unwilling to move any part of his body but his mouth.

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#, as written by Smith
Resting his chin on Gene's shoulder, Gregory wrapped his arms around the sultry woman's waist and recapped. Going over the night's operation was made slightly more difficult by the lull Gene was creating by playing with his hair, however. It had always been an easy way to conk him out when he was still fully human and actually required sleep. Now, it was merely relaxing.

The first voice to reach his ears, unsurprisingly, was that of Peter. The boy was smart enough to realize that supplication was his best shot at surviving the next twenty-four hours. With a half-lidded gaze Gregory nodded. "Alright. If by some miracle I do see this woman again within the next month or two, I won't have to tear off what few fleshy parts you have left. Mind you, I did not say she had to be in one piece." to the immortal super, that was being lenient.

Gregory addressed Eliot next, assuming Alan was not too far behind. He noted with a hint of annoyance that they had not managed to procure the scientist. Lovely. "It seems we've done about as well as you. Well, except for Charlie and Gene." still leaning his head on Gene, the youthful commander smiled ruefully. "They did what they were supposed to. I'm guessing John--" his sentence was cut short by the giant of a man lumbering in gasping for breath. "Speak of the devil. Here." using up what was probably the last of his power for a while, Gregory created two small fields to toss a water-bottle that had been sitting on the work-bench at John's chest. "Alrighty then. That's two missions complete. You and Alan are our only failures. If it makes you feel any better though, my team was delayed somewhat."

And we may be short one cyborg in the near future. he mentally added. Gregory glanced at the top of Charlotte's head over the armrest behind him. "We met some resistance. A full, well-armed patrol plus some...I don't know, shadow-clone super? She copied herself...it was confusing if you stared at them too long. I wanted her on our side, but someone decided to blast her apart as we were leaving. By the time we managed to detach from the engagement our time alotment had nearly come to a close. So I sent John in to smash our target and came to help you two out. Oh, three, my apologies James." the fact that he used the man's name, or even acknowledged his existence was a good thing.

Not wanting to speak too much more about the farce of an evening, Gregory buried his face in the crook of Gene's neck. "Tease." he whispered with a hint of a smile. Louder this time so the others would hear, he posed another question. "Who is this 'Piano Man'? And is anyone going to turn on the tv?" he said no more and for the moment contented himself with relaxing. She smelled like odd spices and pleasantly simple perfume. Did Gene even use perfume?

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#, as written by Basta
With a sharp yell, Babayaga jerked awake from her slumber. She had a nightmare in which she was torn apart and couldn't heal herself, over and over again. She calmed down when she looked at her body, whole and intact. After a moment, Rasputina frowned. She couldn't move her left hand or fingers, and her entire right leg was useless.

"I forgot about that part..." muttered the woman. With a grunt, she managed to lever herself into an upright postion and get ahold of an iron rod to support herself with. Babayaga limped over to the elevator and clubbed the up button with her useless left hand. After a short ride, she managed to get out into the waiting room in front of Freya Mortix's office. Brushing aside the secondary secretary with a disdainful expression, Babayaga hobbled into the office. She kept her gaze down, ashamed of herself in this state. Her right foot dragged along behind her and her left arm hung down by her side.

She stopped near the back side of the room and took count of who all was there. So far, only the lecherous Francis was present, and he was being briefed. Rasputina disliked the man immensely. She waited for Freya to finish her talk with him and sent a thread of her conciousness towards her boss. Communicating telepathically allowed briefs to go faster and more efficiently, as well as allow her employer to understand her workers' perceptions and feelings.

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MortixCorp HQ

Freya caught the direction of Vespois's thoughts and arched a perfectly-groomed eyebrow. She obviously wasn't surprised, but most people who felt that way tried a good deal harder to avoid thinking about it. Then again, it was Vespois. She should expect nothing less, perhaps. A smirk played over her face as she nodded along to his requests for resources. "All of that is easily done. Actually, if you wish for a discussion with someone who was on the scene... a full-frontal view, if you will, then you have little to do but remain here."

Even as she spoke the words, de'Forte appeared, and she gestured him inside. "Valter," she transitioned smoothly. "I trust there is a wealth of information to be had from your observations of what just occurred, so please report. Mr. Vespois is here to investigate the Insurrection's resources, so anything you have on that would be most useful also."

She felt Babayaga make contact, and knew that the woman was doubtless already back out in front of her office. If that was the way the woman preferred to give her report, Freya could understand. It was more complete this way, and she could use Mr. Snyder's to funnel the information to Francis and Myrias. Speaking of which... she established another link with Enigma, who would doubtless be somewhat worn-down from all the activity on his grid today. This way, he could passively receive the same information she was, as though through a live feed of sorts.

Likewise, she decided now was as good a time as any to debrief the collection teams and anyone else who had managed to survive. Discovering that Daphne Rhodes was once again conscious, she told the woman to report as soon as she was solid enough to do so again. Of the three in that unit, she supposed Marvin could probably give it, but he had a tendency to unnecessarily embellish things until she was taking the information straight from his mind anyway, and Kevin was just... no.

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"I'm sorry for that... Just seemed like the thing to do in the heat of the moment..." Charlie shook her head again, this time without quite as much nausea, but she was grinning. "No hard feelings, Jimmy. I loved that car, but I gotta admit I love being alive a helluva lot more. Now siddown, introduce yourself, and make with the nice. I'm gonna make with the coffee." Standing, Charlie traipsed over to her kitchen area, which was really just an oven/stove, microwave, fridge, and a single cabinet with some counter-space beneath, atop which sat a surprisingly-fancy coffee maker and a teapot.

Charlie was an avid fan of both coffee and tea, but the group at large seemed to prefer the former. She flicked the machine on and set it for the right brew, noting with irritation that someone hadn't removed their dirty filter from last time. With a sigh, she did, replacing it and setting the whole thing to go in enough time to turn around and observe Gene promenading around in little more than her underwear. This wasn't so unusual, really, though she did chuckle to herself when her friend planted herself firmly in Greggy's lap. That was pretty normal, too, but it just looked funny. Pete's already in the doghouse, and now he's gonna shit bricks.

John showed up next, but she was too far away to hear what he was saying. Apparently Greg did though, and a bottle of water went flying across the room. "Who is this 'Piano Man'? And is anyone going to turn on the tv?" Rolling her eyes, Charlie took care of the second request, though she kept the volume down low enough to hear and be heard from where she was leaning against her counter. "Piano-man's the guy who gave us trouble at the park. He does some weird stuff with sound and shockwaves. It messed with my concentration," she put in, mumbling something about not being able to hold a charge. That smarted a little bit, truth be told.

At this point, the coffee machine signaled that it was done, and she grabbed several mugs from the singular cabinet. "All right, who wants Joe and what do they want in it?" Charlie, despite her love of sweet things, always took hers black, which made things simple, but she did keep cream and sugar stocked for the others.

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Eliot smacked himself on the forehead, drawing his fingers through his short hair in frustration. As John came in, gasping for breath, Eliot took a seat away from the others, especially from John, who looked like the smoke Eliot exhaled would do him no good. "Sorry," he told Gregory, "We know which building he lives in, but we have no way of knowing if he was a part of that ambush..." Eliot hissed smoke through his teeth, frustrated with his failure. Charlie's question about coffee from the other room distracted him. Coughing, he noticed that he could really use something to get rid of the taste in his mouth from the smoke. A horrible taste like fumes from burning paper, with a taint of blood just this time. Cream in his coffee might help soothe his throat, but black coffee would definitely get rid of the taste. Black was easier for her, anyway. "I'll have mine black, thanks Charlie," he called back.

Today had not gone very well, Eliot noticed. What he noticed more was Gene sitting with Gregory. A twinge of jealousy crossed his mind as he tried not to stare at the half-naked woman. Gregory had it all: a woman all over him, unquestionable leadership, an incredible power that Eliot couldn't see any drawback to. The guy was fucking immortal, to boot. One corner of his mouth raised in a sneer. Today was just not his day. Not many days were, but today definitely wasn't one of them.

What was Gregory thinking, anyway? Sending his two most useless cronies on a mission together. Eliot wanted to blame Gregory, blame Alan, blame himself. It wasn't really anyone's fault, though, he reasoned, calming slightly. The ambush, as the title "ambush" might suggest, was not expected. Peeling his eyes away from Gregory and Gene, he focused on the newcomer, who he had just discovered was called James from Gregory's explanation. They didn't get many newbies. It was a resistance that was too dangerous to be popular, it had a really bad reputation because of MortixCorp propaganda, and it was really only open to Supers. Unpopularity Cubed. You had to have a good reason to join up.

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Vincent finally pulled up to Charlotte's house, and he drove around to park his Bugatti in a somewhat hidden area. Vincent stepped out of the car and made sure to lock it before walking up to Charlotte's house with his tea tin. He sat outside for a moment listening. Sounded like most or all of the members were present. And by the smell of things, Charlotte was making coffee. Such a polite girl. Seeing as Vincent did not have the power to simply phase through the door, he knocked, and waited patiently for a response. If Charlotte was busy, it may take a while to respond, but Vincent wasn't in much of a hurry. His thoughts drifted back to Gregory... He may look like a child, but he is as grumpy as an old man with intestinal discomfort and a swollen prostate. Perhaps in time he would mellow out and use his head more. Vincent hoped he was not blaming the others for the way things went today. Success is dependent on how well planned out the mission is, and if the leader doesn't plan everything properly, then the only result is failure. Vincent mentally shrugged and put a smile on his face for whoever bothered to answer the door.

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As his fingers flexed slowly and rythmically, The Enigma felt his head start to fall forward. He was a very old man and he often forgot that fact. As inconvenient as it was, it was still the truth and no amount of mechanical aids would prevent him being human. His time left on Earth was not long. In fact, he was well past his expiry date, it was only thanks to MortixCorp that he was here at all. It was usually these thoughts that occupied him as he drifted off to sleep, something that became less frequent the older he got. Locked away in his room for six days a week played hell with his body clock and it was only coincidence that he was falling asleep in the evening, probably because of the exhaustion his powers placed on him.

All too soon though he was awoken from a dreamless slumber by Miss Mortix opening a telepathic channel and allowing him access to every piece of information she heard.

"Nap time's over, old man" he mumbled to himself as he leant forward, face breaking out into a grin followed by a shriek of inhuman laughter. To hear it would be to confuse the sound with his terminal malfunctioning, sometimes the difference between Myrias and his beloved computer was not quite so distinct anymore. And then his fingers started drifting effortlessly over the keypad, typing at lightining speed everything that passed through his mind while his mind's eyes remained trained on the recordings of what was available to see of the battles.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Francis saw his boss raise an eyebrow, clearly she had seen inside his head and read his very unprofessional thoughts. But to him telepathy was the most difficult power to combat. There was literally no way he could control his roaming thoughts. And to try not to think of something only brought it to the forefront of his mind. The example he had spoken of with a colleague was telling someone not to think of a purple dragon. The first thing they would do was think of a purple dragon. His problem was he didn't know where to stop. His purple dragon would have a cave and a name and a favourite food - Chargrilled maidens most likely - and the more he tried not to think about it, the more purple the dragon would get.

"Actually, if you wish for a discussion with someone who was on the scene... a full-frontal view, if you will, then you have little to do but remain here."

Thankfully his thoughts were finally interrupted by the arrival of a man in a rather nice suit and white gloves who was ordered to report. And he, presumably, was to listen and take note of anything he could use for his analysis. He was starting to feel like an investigator, one of the same people who had tried prying into his own life not so long ago over the claims of 'missing' money at MortixCorp. This is bullshit he thought, all too soon forgetting he was in the presence of a mind-reader again.

By which I meant the title I was inferring to myself Miss Mortix. I love my job. He glanced over at her for just a second to check she had 'heard'.

For the first time since arriving in the office he processed a thought directly for her benefit. It would have made him shudder had he not been where he was and in the situation he was. And it was true, he really did love his job. There were few accountants who did as far as he could tell. Why was something else altogether. How someone could not like the job was a mystery. Numbers, figures, computers, all simple stuff if you knew the system. And a whopping paycheque at the end of the month for it. Piece of cake.

"A pleasure, Madame Freya."

Francis looked over and gave a nod of ackowledgement to the other man. He knew better than to speak out of line. He had made his request and got his answer, if he needed anything else from this man after his report he could wait and ask after the meeting.

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Peter practically shivered when Gene entered the warehouse. She was so beautiful, so alive. She didn't know effect she had on him. When she began to tease Gregory, his heart fell like it always did when she payed attention to someone else. He knew she was a whore and a drug addict, but somehow he didn't care. She was the one that led him to freedom and he pined for her ever since. Nonetheless, there was nothing he could do. Perhaps if he finally did become full machine, such thoughts and feelings would cease to be a reality. It wasn't as comforting a thought as he would have liked.

He was careful not to show any emotion lest Gregory decide to torment him further in the face of his obvious discomfort. He merely nodded, "Thank you, Gregory."

Alan frowned a little as he continued to try to make himself visible. He stood beside Charlie and flickered slightly before becoming visible. He frowned slightly, "If that Super you wanted us to recruit has shown any inclination to join the Insurrection, she would have killed him by now. In fact, she probably mind-raped him just to make sure. He's either dead or loyal."

He smiled slightly at Charlie's offer. She was a kind person. It was a mystery to him why she was close friends with Gene of all people. The foul-tempered, Red Salt-addicted prostitute was about as far from Charlie as anyone could get. He almost rolled his eyes at both Peter's and Eliot's gazes. Honestly, was he the only one that wasn't attracted to the woman? As one of his pranks, he thought about going to her while she worked the streets and pretending to be interested, but that very thought still made him want to vomit. He was interested in girls with a sense of humor. And maybe oddly-colored hair.

"Black, please," he told her, not wanting to add to her trouble, though usually preferred taking his with a lot of cream and sugar. At the knock at the door, Alan opened it slightly to see Vincent. Grinning broadly, he opened it wide and announced, "Papa's here, guys!"

Occasionally, he liked calling the guy by that nickname. He was the closet thing to a parent the orphan had and the long-lived man acted like father-figure to each of them, even Gregory, it seemed.

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#, as written by Aythr
John stared up at the ceiling of the warehouse, still trying to catch his breath. He only half heard the conversations going on around him, though he probably wouldn't have been too interested in them either way. On his stumble into the warehouse, it was safe to say that he had no idea who was even there. He heard some voices and pinned a few people, but without what he called his wits about him, he wasn't sure who was missing.

A moment after he asked for a drink, a bottle of water appeared to fly across the room, and landed squarely on his chest. He had no idea that Gregory was there, and half-assumed that it was some kind of mercy from above. He gripped the bottle and spun off the top, chugging it like a drunk fratboy. He finished the bottle in no time flat, and gasped for air. His eyes shifted, but his head was either refusing or reluctant to move. He felt as though his body had turned to lead, and without his super-strength, he probably wasn't going to be getting up any time soon. He decided to ask the heavens for one more favor, since they had so willingly obliged with the water.

"Okay, now I need Charlie to give me mouth-to-mouth."

He snapped into reality as he heard Gregory began to speak, but didn't appear to make the connection between Gregory and the magical flying water bottle.

"We met some resistance. A full, well-armed patrol plus some...I don't know, shadow-clone super? She copied herself...it was confusing if you stared at them too long. I wanted her on our side, but someone decided to blast her apart as we were leaving."

"You never know, boss. Maybe he blew up another clone or something." John said, seeking to offer the poor cyborg some reprieve from Gregory's cold fury. "Besides," he added in a slow, corny accent, "Supers are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get."

Charlie seemed to be brewing coffee, but she would probably know that John didn't want any. He didn't like the taste, or the fact that he couldn't take small sips to keep from burning his mouth. He sat on the floor and played with the now empty water bottle, crushing it to make sounds that John though were amusing. He kept one ear on the conversation at hand, and waited to hear more about some guy with a piano as Alan joined the group.

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With a slight chuckle, Vincent stepped into Charlotte's home, clasping Alan's shoulder as he walked in.

"Good to see you again Alan. Keeping out of trouble, I hope?"

Vincent knew of Alan's often-mischievous nature, but as long as the boy didn't play with fire too much, Vincent wasn't too worried. As he walked into the main group, Vincent instantly noticed quite a few odd things. Gene was sitting on Gregory's lap, apparently being very flirtatious, Eliot and Peter seemed somewhat down in the dumps, and John was on the ground. What was becoming of these children?

"Come on John, off the ground," Vincent said as he helped lift John off the ground and into a chair. He thought it rude that none of the others tried to help him before. Particularly Gregory. With his powers, it would hardly be an effort. Ah well, this is what their generation was raised with. Human interaction was strained and fragile in this world. Vincent felt profoundly out of place at this thought.

"Good evening everyone! Sorry I am late for the festivities, but from the looks on most your faces, I haven't missed anything fun. Now then, who is hungry? I figure, after coffee and some chit chat, we can all go out for dinner. My treat, of course. But Gene, I wont be bringing you if you don't put on some clothes. Going to a restaurant in your underwear would just be.... disastrous."

Vincent smiled to everyone and then walked into the kitchen, giving Charlotte a big hug before she could stop him. He then put the tea tin down in front of her.

"And how are you doing my dear? If you didn't hear, I will be treating everyone who is interested to a big dinner, as much as they can eat! Also, I brought gifts for you."

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Good, Peter saw them then. As did the entire team. Gene walks around in her underthings and her bizarre outfits to feel comfortable among the team; as a hooker it really does help her. And curling up and purring against their leader is a fun way to watch Peter (and sometimes Eliot) squirm. Gene took a slow drag on her cigarette and growled slightly at the mention of pianoman. "Jerkwad sent me into a fit, his music put me on a bad trip from what little high was left in me. I couldn't control anything." her music had gone wonky and all of her commanded junkies were killed in the process. Damn. She smirked when Greg muttered "tease" against her starstruck nape.

With Tank toppling to the floor (he's always been Tank to her, never John. He's huge!) Gene frowns with mild concern and nudged at his shoulder with her heel extending from a long leg. "Deep breaths, Tank." she muttered gently as their leader rolled a water bottle the giant's way. Gene's eyes level with Alan for a moment. He's got that look again. Something's up. Her acidic gaze narrows threateningly and she bares her forked tongue at him in distaste. Little brat, she'll stomp him one of these days. Calming herself with another puff from her cigarette the woman sighs and glances back at Charlie. That had to have been exhausting for her to be using her powers like that, hopefully the mechanic will be alright. "No coffee for me, hun. I'm fine." she has cigarettes to hold a fix for now.

When Vincent walked through she watches him carefully. The druggy still doesn't know what to make of him but he seems accepted by the others. And he's nice to Charlie at least. When he mentions food and remarks to Gene that she should get dressed she only smirks. "It's never disastrous to be in your underthings. Buuut since I don't plan on getting any clients tonight, yes, I'll slip something decent on." she rose out of Greg's lap without a second thought. Gene walks by Alan and stomps her heel at the toe of his shoe (maybe he'd be quick enough to move) before sliding by Peter, glancing at him as she goes by. She had heard of all the failures tonight, she wants Peter to learn that if he's a good boy, he'll get good things.

Now technically she could slip on a skirt and call herself good to go. However Gene's mood for clothing switches, just as easily as everything else she does. Keeping the heels she wears a pair of dark denim jeans, her favorite tank top and her belted jacket. Coming downstairs she finishes off her cigarette, snuffing it in the community ashtray before easing up to her friend. Gene rubs Charlie's shoulder briefly, silently grieving with her over the loss of that wonderful vehicle. "...are you gonna be okay?" the dragon lady inquires lowly.

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Charlie started passing coffee around correctly assuming that John didn't want any, and holding off on getting any for Gene either, since she seemed to be fine at the moment. She was shoving a bunch of sugar packets and little creamers on a small tray just in case anyone changed their minds about how they wanted to take theirs when she was bear-hugged from behind. "Meep!" she squeaked as her feet left the floor. As soon as her feet hit the ground again, she turned and punched Vincent in the chest, which honestly probably hurt her more than him. I need to invest in a pair of brass knuckles, she thought to herself. Maybe she could borrow Gene's.

"Vinny! Don't scare me like that, ya crazy oaf!" Honestly. The guy was like some strange mix of her immature kid brother and the weird uncle that nobody's quite sure how to deal with. As far as she could tell, he was a couple years younger than she was, but that didn't stop him from pontificating like he was older than Greg. When he set the tea tin down on the counter, though, her mood changed abruptly and she opened it, sniffing the contents with a discerning taste she'd acquired via his absurdly-detailed tutelage on the subject. "Hmm... lemon balm, passion flower, and... chamomile. Thanks, Vinny." She grinned and finished distributing coffee, shoving some at Jimmy even though he hadn't asked for it.

Well, shoving was probably the wrong term. She actually placed it on the table in his general area. "Careful with that," she warned. "It would suck if your luck made ya spill it or something. Maybe wait a few minutes for it to cool down, eh?" For Tank, she rummaged around in the fridge and pulled out one of those weird energy drinks he'd been trying to pilfer earlier. Why anyone would drink anything named Poison was beyond her, but whatever. Apparently is was just as horrible for your system as coffee, if not more so, and that was the point here, so that worked. "Catch, John," she chirped, giving it a deft toss in his direction.

She was pouring her own beverage when Gene approached, and the mechanic looked up at the contact to her shoulder. "Hey Gene. Yeah... I'll be fine. It sucks, but I can't really blame anyone for it. Next time I might just have to say that it doesn't get used for Insurrection missions, eh?" She leaned into her friend's hand for a moment, tired but not quite wiling to show it obviously, then took a resolute breath and turned on her heel.

"Dinner sounds nice; though I dunno. If MortixCorp caught us on camera today, eating in might be better..." she shrugged; Charlie would roll with the group consensus on this one. It was only a small risk anyway.

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"Please. You know me, Vincent. No one can prove anything," Alan told the guy with a grin while Peter gave the man a nod. This Super seemed to be hiding something. That or the cyborg was paranoid. Everyone hid something about themselves. He himself never talked about his past before the Insurrection. It was better that way.

He smiled Gene's way, "Only you could change into so many different outfits everyday."

It was a little teasing, maybe a lousy flirting attempt, but he said it anyway. He already had a bad day anyway. Besides, Gene liked the attention.

Alan glared over at Gene, having managed to avoid her stomping on his foot. Why the girl had it in for him, he had no idea. Probably because she had been in a certain type of high when he pulled a prank on her. The drugs she slipped into her system could do pretty much anything to the girl. Except make her a nicer person. Slutty, maybe, but not nice. He smiled gratefully at Charlie as he took the coffee he gave her. Well, at least Gene was nice to her. That was something.

"We'll need to goto a place that the authorities don't pay too much attention too," he stated with a shrug. That ruled out most if not all the high class feedbags.

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#, as written by Shiva
Valter bowed once more. What frustrated him was that Freya understood why he hated the Insurrection- he felt that his mind was his greatest sanctuary, however polluted it was with his hate and hypocrisy. Every time Freya probed his head he would try and resist as hard as he could. Initially, he was punished quite a few times for it. Call it a mental stub, but he preferred to have nobody in his head.

He regarded Vespois with a measured glance. To be honest, he wasn't all that familiar with most other operatives outside of names. He only joined MortixCorp to exact revenge on the Insurrectionists, and never really concerned himself with his comrades. Either way, he wasn't here to evaluate his reasoning. He was here to report his information to Freya. Possibly Enigma, if he was tuned into the conversation. This was beneficial- the sooner he could get his hands on those god-forsaken racketeers, the sooner he could strangle the life out of them with irrational pleasure. The thought of it sent waves of pleasure through him.

"I was sitting in the park. I was off duty for the day as I had finished all my assignments and another report wasn't due until the day after." He began, "It was calm and quiet. I identified two of them initially, after they had begun to cause panic and damage to the area. A car exploded, and bulbs shattered. They only had masks on. They were female. One had shock-blue hair, and the other was dressed like a punk and smelled like drugs. They were dressed casually."

"The punk had some strange power. By creating music, she cast an illusion over the entire area. I am not quite sure what kind of power it is, for I broke her power when I interfered. The blue-haired girl controlled electricity, from what I gathered. She could store and release the energy from her body, and I was nearly fried because of it. However, when I started playing she started retreating. I will assume that she requires copious amounts of concentration to commit to controlling the electricity. I know little else, but I do recall an abnormal activity with insects. There were beetles attacking the patrol in the park, seemingly on their own accord. I do not know whether this was influenced by their powers, or if it was a power in of itself, or if it was just some natural phenomena."

"I was keeping them down fairly well, when a thrown car had broken my concentration once again. It came from a black haired man of medium height. I believe his powers were merely physical augmentation. He managed to brave my power and defeat me." He said, his voice becoming rather cold near the end. "I also saw a car pull up with a man that looked like he knew the Inssurectionists. I don't remember what he looks like because I only saw him through my peripheral vision."

He ended it right there.




Snyder balked as Rassy-Tee bolted upright and started flopping her way toward Frey-frey's office. It was only after the Magician waited until five minutes after she left that he rolled over and started laughing. Wiping a tear from his eyes, he barely made eye contact as he passed the bewildered soldiers. "If you tell her any of this I'll have your necks." he said nonchalantly. Of course, if Freya was feeling particularly malicious... well, she was too professional for such childish things. Frey-frey didn't like childish things, right?

He didn't really know. He had to make up some time so he made his way up to her office quickly to be debriefed. He passed by the Baba Yaga on his way in, noting with a tap to his head. "That looks nice on you." He said, keeping a straight face until he entered the office, which was when he broke into a slight grin. One day he was going to die for his antics, and unlike the Baba Yaga, he wouldn't be regrowing any limbs. Especially his favorite one.

He saw Frankie Vess and the Musician, Valty-won't-Halty. Terrible nicknames, yes, but when you have a name like Vespois and Valter, it starts pushing the limits of a certain man's imagination. Backwards.

"Hey-O, Frey-frey!" He called. "You asked for me?" He paused and looked at the other two. "Frankie! It's been too long. How've ya been? Vall-e! Where've you been?" He called. He noted Valter scowl slightly. The reference killed the Magician, and the fact that Valter got it entertained him even more.

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#, as written by Smith
Too many deaths. Unecessary killings. No. Not unecessary, but not wanted. Unavoidable. Too bad. Gregory stared off into space. In war casualties are always a factor, one multiplied several times over when one considered how fragile humans were. No way to defend themselves adequately against even one another, much less a super. It was pitiful how easily they fell under their power... Gregory shook his head slightly.

Next project. We need something small, yet big. More subtle than just crashing into Mortix on three fronts. That just meant spreading the troops much thinner than was necessary...now it's time for a concentrated attack. Some kind of operation that get's us close enough to give the big-wigs at Mortix a scare. Make them realize that they lived in glass houses, and that they are not the only ones with stones to toss. But where to begin? What could we...oh! That's it! That-

The immortal's reverie was broken by the arrival of Vincent. Or, rather, the man's voice. In truth Greg had not noticed Vincent coming into Charlotte's home, or Gene having gotten up for that matter. Gregory arose from the couch and stretched, muttering a greeting to Vincent. He was still contemplating the specifics of his next plan against Mortix as he moved across the room towards the back door. Within a minute or two the youthful super had entered, changed from his suit and dress shoes to jeans, a t-shirt, jacket and sneakers and returned to the collective rebellion.

As he walked past the kitchen area Gregory stole a glance at Gene. Still curvy and firm when stuffed inside pants... he was, of course, looking at her rear-end. His eyes moved up to Charlotte and her newly acquired tea and the boy could not help but smile. It was an odd sensation for the immortal, but attachment to others was what kept what was left of his sane mind thinking straight. The others were talking about going out for dinner...it wasn't a bad idea.

"Alright Vincent." he said while finally looking the older man in the eye, "I'll take you up on that offer. The Mortix goons'll probably be searching for people trying to lay low...not an odd-family outing. We takin' your car or Char...lie...'s...sorry." he winced and tried not to look the electrolinetic in the eye. "After I get my next...check, we can go shopping for a new baby to call your own. Maybe some attachments too."

For all intents and purposes Gregory appeared to be the happy teenager once more. "Alrighty. College students going out, a couple of us are relatives...Namely John and Eliot." he took out his student-ID and smirked, opening the door leading outside. "Looks like it's my birthday, should we need an excuse."

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James tugged at the beaked mask and cloth at his throat, loosening the ties that bound it to his face moments earlier. The trench coat was beginning to get stuffy, and he unbuttoned the thick clothing, revealing his signature vest and tie underneath. Say what you would about the gambler, he did have a certain flair of... Style. Something not unheard of for gamblers of course, but James always tried to look his best.

The various tugging and stripping of the trench coat and masks was interrupted by Charlies question for coffee. "I'll take a cup," James admitted, "Black as well." He truly did enjoy his coffee black, not because he didn't wish Charlie any trouble. Though, truth be told, he would try to avoid troubling the girl at all. He did, after all, total her car. A fact he still felt guilty about and it shown in his eyes every now and then. Finally, he managed to become free of the tangle of the trench coat, and threw it over the back of the chair he was situated at. "That's better. Now I can breath- Augh!" James yelped in pain. He was rolling his neck when a pop came from his neck. Now, it hurt to even look in that general direction. James merely closed his eyes and shook his head slightly, as to avoid the pain, "It's going to be a long night," He said. Finally opening his eyes.

When he did, he realized two new Insurrectionalists had entered the room, aside from John and Peter. Probably Alan and Eliot from the mutterings about. One in particular. Alan had opened the door for the Father figure Vincent. To be quite honest, James hadn't expected the man to show up at this place, however stranger things had happened and he didn't dwell on it, just leaned back an tried to take the sight in. He was the new meat, so he opted to just stand in the back and listen for the time being. Under normal circumstances he would have had a friendly card game going to break the ice. Too bad these weren't normal times...

As it was, Vincent offered to take them out to eat, a prospect that invoked a chuckle from the gambler. They had just torn up the city, now they were going out like a family outing. What a gamble. Something James appreciated. The prospect of free food and some actual time to get to know his new team tickled James' fancy... However, there was still the matter of his backlash. Even with all the small stuff such as a crick in the neck and snakes eyes, he knew he was still in for more. James wished not have any of his new team members become a victim of his bad luck. "Sounds great Vincent. I would love to... But." It was a hesitant but. He really wished he could go, "But, I don't think it would be the safest thing if I tagged along. I still got a whole lot of bad luck backed up and waiting to bite me in the ass still. I'd rather it not bite all of you in the ass as well. As it stands, after I drink my coffee, I think I'll go home and hole up... Maybe Lady Luck will forget?" Wishful thinking, Lady Luck never forgets.

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MortixCorp HQ

It was amusingly easy to make Vespois stumble over his own thoughts. Honestly, this was probably because he'd never had much direct contact with her power, being a mid-level accountant and all. He'd get used to it eventually; all of them did, in one way or another. Granted, everyone took it differently. Enigma practically worshiped it, Rasputina embraced its efficiency, The Musician hated it horribly. But all of them dealt with it.

Perhaps funnier than Clockwork's struggle to contain himself was that some part of Valter still flinched. Well, that and his flagrant hatred for the Insurrection. An electrokinetic and some kind of sound manipulator... maybe one of them controls insects. Fitting, given what they are. As soon as he reached the part about the man who threw a car though, she made a small 'tsk' sound in the back of her throat and contacted Enigma immediately. Myrias. Adam has chosen to involve himself, and he showed up at Hellsing Park. Get me all the footage you can from that site first. I want to know why. No the why that Erebos himself would give her, of course, but the actual reason for choosing that front over the others. He spent so much time preaching about his dislike of violence against superhumans; something would have had to draw him out here and now.

There was apparently a second man present as well, and she'd have to scan the footage for a better description of him, since Valter could not provide one. When de'Forte reached the conclusion of his report, she inclined her head. "Very well. Thank you for your report. You are dismissed. Feel free to go back to... whatever it is you go back to."

Probably lurks in a high-security apartment listening to police scanners for signs of the Insurrection, one of her vices informed her snidely. She was saved from giving the idea any further consideration when The Magician showed up, full of his usual... charm wasn't the word she would have chosen, but that was probably how he'd think of it.

One of the more annoying voices had to chirp in at his ancient musical reference though. Now all we need are spring, summer, and fall, 'cause you're cold enough to be winter, Freya! It was just her luck that one of them actually liked Snyder's inane jokes. "Yes, Alex, I'd like your report on what happened. I have Ms. Vladmiskov's, but I understand that you were better able to... observe what was occurring."

Freya was already planning countermeasures, but so much would depend on just how good this information was. If she could figure out what they were capable of, then- yes, that might be the best option. But it would have to wait. First, she needed Snyder's observations, then she'd leave Enigma to figure out what he could. Freya did not like to act without as much information as possible. Only when one knew one's foe could one crush them so utterly that they would never again rise from the ashes of defeat, and that was precisely what she planned to do. These ignorant fools had killed her soldiers, injured her employees, and destroyed parts of her city. If they wanted to play this little game like that, they would be met with nothing less than an infallible opposition.

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#, as written by Basta
Rasputina glanced blankly at Snyder as he walked past her, then reached up and touched her head. When her fingers closed around the flower, she cried out in outrage and threw it to the ground.

"Stupid! Vat a child! I'll tear his arm and...." she trailed off vaguely, taking a seat at her desk. Michelle had been typing a report to Ms. Mortix, or rather, basically a summary of all of Babayaga's notes. With a growl, she finished the report and signed it. She also left a post script about her meeting with the leader of the Insurrection tomorrow at Helix Hotel. As soon as she hit the send button, her eyelids grew heavy and she felt drained.

"Time to go home," she muttered to herself. Rasputina grabbed the cane next to her desk and slowly hobbled into the elevator, which she took to the main lobby. The receptionist called a chauffeur to take her back to her small house in the lower class side of town. She thanked the man as she exited the car, quickly seeking her bed. As she drifted off to sleep, she reached for a hand. When she couldn't find it, a single tear rolled down her cheek, reminding her of times long past.

Babayaga sat against an enormous oak, weaving a mat out of long grass strands. Her braid was neat and lying over her shoulder, rustling gently in the wind. She looked up for a moment to wave at the figure in the distance, gathering more grass for her. With a small laugh, she bundled her sundress up and picked her way through the field, answering the summons she recieved. Without warning, she cried out in surprise when she was attacked from behind. Her cries of distress soon turned to soft laughter as the soft mouth nibbled gently on her ear. Soon their limbs were entangled as they lay together in that sun kissed field, oblivious to everything but each other.

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#, as written by Aythr
John was sitting on the floor playing with his water bottle when Vincent walked in. He wasn't really familiar with the man, and thought it was weird that he was so personal and close with supers he had probably never met. As he came in, Vincent helped John up to his feet and placed him in a chair. The man's grip on his bicep was almost vice-like, despite his appearance. It felt as though John was yanking his own arm across the room. He let out a small grunt as he landed in the chair, which creaked audibly under his weight. He felt a little uncomfortable with the way Vincent talked, but he kept it to himself and continued crinkling and twisting the plastic of the water bottle.

"Now then, who is hungry? I figure, after coffee and some chit chat, we can all go out for dinner. My treat, of course."

John looked up at Vincent at the mere suggestion of free food. He played coy, and continued playing with the water bottle, one eye placing a cursory glance on Vincent and looking away at a hint that Vincent was about to look John in the eye.

"Also, I brought gifts for you."

John looked up and poorly hid his anticipation. It took all his willpower to not blurt out loud the only thought in his head.

"What'd you get me?"

It seemed as though Gregory agreed with Vincent that dinner was a good idea. Though he felt uneasy with Vincent for a reason he couldn't quite pin, he decided the benefit of the doubt would probably be well placed on him due to Gregory's reaction. Gregory opened the door and invited people to follow, but John didn't get up quite yet, waiting to gauge the reaction of the other members. His eyes shifted from person to person, waiting for a response. He was willing to go, but he didn't want to seem too eager. He twiddled his fingers on the bottle and patiently waited, continuing to wonder what "gifts" Vincent might have.

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"Well, I am glad everyone seems to agree with going out to eat. As for the restaurant, I have already made reservations at a rather upscale place. Apparently, all the rage with rich youngsters these days. As for being caught, I think a few rudimentary disguises will be enough. Part of the reason these high-end places are so expensive is because you pay for privacy, and I took the liberty of requesting a room for us. Fortunate that I did some business with the manager in the past. Gave him a great deal on some old Parisian art that was old even in Gregory's time, so I decided to call in a favor. I made sure the room has a back entrance for Peter, so he won't draw any attention. And James, do come along. From my understanding, your powers have a bad luck backlash, but the backlash only really affects you, right? After all, it wouldn't be fair of Lady Luck to punish your friends when you are the one teasing her all the time. If you want, come around back with Peter!"

Vincent paused a moment, pulling out his keys and making his way slowly over to Charlotte.

"As for my car.... Unfortunately, I do not have one anymore. Its a shame what happened to your old car Charlotte, so I figured you might appreciate one of my old cars in its stead. Here you are."

He placed the keys to the Bugatti in Charlotte's hand, a big smile on his face.

"As for the rest of us, we will be taking a limo. History lesson! Limo's used to be considered the height of fashion in terms of land transportation. Celebrities, people getting married, or spoiled rotten high schoolers would ride around in them to feel important during school dances. I chose a limo because I am friends with the driver, it will comfortably seat us all, and I thought Gregory might appreciate the spoiled rotten high school experience.. yet again."

Vincent was all smiles to let everyone, especially hot-tempered Gregory, know that he was only playing games. Alan of all people should appreciate it

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Eliot pulled himself up on his feet to get his coffee. The caffeine, as with just about all drugs, had no effect on him, but the powerful taste cleared his tongue of the taint of his smoke. He swished it around in his mouth a bit before swallowing. Vincent came in, inviting them all out to dinner. That sounded good.

At the mention of drawing suspicion, Eliot decided to speak his mind on that matter, which had been bugging him for a while. "You know," he began as he slowly stepped towards the door, "I really wonder how much longer some of us can stay hidden." He paused to cough, then continued, "I mean, some of us are inconspicuous enough. Dark-haired teenagers?" he asked, referring to Gregory, "Common. Fat smokers?" he said, gesturing towards himself, "Common enough. Now, a piercing-riddled woman? Blue hair? Ridiculously long blond-and-black hair?" Eliot tactfully avoided mentioning Peter, as he was the only one who couldn't control his outlandish appearance, but didn't mind biting Alan a bit. The super could empathize with uncontrollable and conspicuous traits. "They managed to build and rule an entire city for decades, they're not that stupid," he finished. Some others in the group might not like him saying it, and maybe he should have waited until after dinner to avoid ruining their night, but it had to be said and now was almost as good a time as ever.

When he heard Gregory mention that John and Eliot should pose as related, he wondered again just how intelligent their leader was. Taking a glance at John, he noted that they looked absolutely nothing alike whatsoever. John was massive and fair, and Eliot, though Caucasian, was dark and vertically challenged. Sighing while hissing smoke through his teeth, he exited the warehouse, waiting for the others to follow suit.

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Charlotte flinched. "S'okay Greggy. I think maybe the budget should go elsewhere, y'know?" Okay, so she'd really loved that car, but she'd be able to get over it a whole lot faster if people stopped bringing it up. Not that they were doing it on purpose or anything, but really now.

"Hey. This just so happens to be my natural hair color," Charlie protested, though she knew that wasn't really the point of Eliot's objection. And he did have a fairly good one. "Though... most of us aren't really dressed with the swanky in mind, Vinny. I mean sure, Greggy's got his suit, and you of course, and Jimmy's pretty sharp I guess, but the rest of us kinda..." she trailed of and shrugged.

"Eh, what the hell. It's a private room and it's Greggy's birthday, I guess, so why not have a little fun. If MortixCorp really did catch us on camera, this might be the last time we don't have to watch ourselves too much in public, y'know? They'll probably have our faces plastered everywhere by tomorrow morning..."

When Vincent handed her the keys to the car he'd driven over in and told her it was hers, Charlie's eyes got comically huge. She was definitely considering telling him she couldn't possibly take it, but the guy was pretty loaded and he did eat a lot of her food, so she figured maybe she could get away with it. Plus, her last car had been a gift too... well, okay more like stolen property that Gabe couldn't sell and didn't need, but the thought was there... ish. So instead of protesting, she grinned, gave him a quick hug, and waltzed to the door.

"If you're really that worried about crashing a limo full of people, Jimmy, ride with me. Even karma can't be so much of a bitch as to ruin two of my cars in one day, right? Anyone else coming along?" She was quite obviously excited to get going now, and for once she hoped that everyone would stop strategizing so damn much and just agree to have fun. They most certainly needed it, after all the crap that they'd been faced with today.

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#, as written by Shiva
Valter bowed stiffly once more. "Thank you." he said, turning and brushing past Snyder. Snyder was a funny man. He didn't like funny men. He exited the office, making his way down the building and outside. He paused, looking at the sunset which was beginning to grow faint as the last rays peeked over the horizon. It was hard to imagine such little time had elapsed. His hands clenched into fists. If only he had managed to get his hands on that punk girl before that car-chucking hypocrite got in his way. Ending the war, pah. If he had wanted to end the conflict, he would have chosen a side and fought for it. Not that sissy bullshit about allying himself to any super. However, Valter believed that super had already chosen his side.

He made his way down the street, ducking down into the subway system. He didn't play around with cars too much- as he lived in the city. Public Transit was much easier. Flashing his ID on the screen, he walked through and took a subway down. It was fifteen minutes before he arrived home- a modest apartment in a high-end neighborhood.

He greeted the doorman, entering the building and moving up to his room. He walked in and regarded the police scanner on his table. Perhaps today the Insurrection wouldn't be attacking. He was tired, anyway. He had personally asked one of the mechanics at MortixCorp to rig it up for him- and it has been instrumental in capturing some low-end information brokers for the Insurrection. He sat on his sofa, debating on what to do. He sat down for about fifteen more minutes, before getting up and turning on the stove. He deserved a cooked meal for his efforts in... er... "restoring" order. He splashed some oil into a pan and took out some garnished slices of beef to place on the pan.

Meals tasted better if you cooked them yourself.




Snyder listened to Freya again, watching Dee-Forry brush past him in a rather sullen manner. That guy was too serious. Frey-frey was ignoring his nicknames again, which put him off slightly but he wasn't too concerned. She was so used to it, probably couldn't get mad at it anymore. That was just his assumption, and god-be-damned if she thought he was going to stop. How could he make a name like Freya more cute and/or annoying?

He would think about that later. He had a job to do. He tapped his chin, attempting to recall.

"We were attacked, somewhere in the warehouse in Zuna Sector, as Enigma predicted." He began, his face changing into a mask of seriousness. "I think it was three... Yes, it was three. We were confronted, the leader asking what their business was. All of a sudden, one attacked. However, our weapons did no damage to it- I believe they were supers, and that particular one had some sort of power that allowed him to absorb physical punishment. I'm not sure, but it might be some sort of natural armor? He had immense strength as well- pounded one guy into a bloody pulp. He was blond, and big."

"The other two kind of hung back. I feigned death, hiding in a warehouse to observe as you requested. One was a cyborg. An obvious one- he saw straight through my illusion. The other looked like the ringleader. He had black hair, and looked fairly young. All three were men. The ring-leader had a very odd power- he could control the gravitational field around us. He brought down the entire warehouse I was in by collapsing every support. with gravitational pressure."

"I survived, as you can see, but Rassy-Tee took some hits. I assume it was from the cyborg, as she was missing a leg and had multiple shrapnel wounds. The cyborg must have some sort of explosive weaponry- though I didn't get to see it in action as the building was collapsing around me. That's all I have to report."

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James leaned forward in his seat. He was being persuaded to come along with them on the "family outing"... And truth be told, it was working. They were right afterall. Luck hardly ever affected others directly, just him. A fact he knew first hand as he rubbed the crick still in his neck. "Alright... Alright! I'll go with all of you... But!" He said, holding a finger up, "I get to ride with Charlie and her new ride," He said with a wink at the blue haired girl.

He was like a lucky charm it seemed, thus the name Talisman fit. Even though he had wrecked Charlie's old beauty, he felt he was responsible for her acquisition of her new beauty.. A Bugatti at that. Even if it was Vincent who had actually gave her the car. Without his crashing of her old one, then she wouldn't have acquired this one... Of course, he still intended to pay her back... Eventually. It would take some high stakes to win another car in a card game. He smiled and shot Charlie a good-natured wink. He didn't use any of his luck based powers, so he was safe from further backlash... However, that didn't mean his passive luck stopped functioning. All he needed a set of coincidences to call his own and Bam, instant "luck".

"If you're really that worried about crashing a limo full of people, Jimmy, ride with me. Even karma can't be so much of a bitch as to ruin two of my cars in one day, right?"

"You'd be surprise how fickle she can be when she wants to be..." James said, chewing on his lip, "But no, I don't think she would... It is my ass she wants tanned, not yours," James admitted. They were right, she was hunting him down, not them... As it was James felt he had to watch out for himself. What she had in mind wasn't going to be any stepping in puddles or tripping on a cat. The snake eyes and crick was only a prelude at what was to come.

He then stood up and followed behind Charlie, and about half-way to the door, thought of something. "Hold on, if you don't mind, could we swing by my place? I want to get a better tie and vest. If it's a birthday, then I got to be dressed appropriately." He said, remembering the clothing, or rather lack thereof, of a certain druggie super... He dared not say this out loud for fear of the woman's wrath... She had already been giving him looks... Uncomfortable looks. He quickly scurried behind Charlie, and fell in line with the girl... It was her car after all.

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Gene could feel eyes on her ass and swaggered her hips a bit after Charlie convinced the druggy she was fine. When Peter teases her (so cheesy!) she smirks and saunters to him with a shrug, hands shoved into her jacket's pockets. "I love playing dress up. I wouldn't mind giving you a fashion show later if you want. Tomorrow's my day off anyhow." another awesome thing about being a hooker; you can make your own schedule. When Eliot piped up and mentioned her pierced face Gene hisses, flickering her forked and pierced tongue at him. "I wore a mask! Not as if they'd recognize me by anything below the belt if I wore a skirt! I'll have you know most of what's on my body is for work dammit." she shrieked indignantly. Although this is a good sign; a loud Gene means a Gene recovering from a bad trip. And just being her usual bitchy self.

While Charlie did just get a new car and normally Gene would call shotgun on that, she apparently gets the delight of riding a limo with the others. She can ride in that nice, sleek car any other old time. Unless Jack's drawback wrecks it. Hopefully Charlie will be alright riding with that inside out rabbit foot. Her eye twitches slightly from Vincent's...tone, expression...everything. The guy has always rubbed her the wrong way. Not as drastically as Alan obviously or strangers outside of the workplace, but his overtly nurturing and attentive attitude actually ticks her off. It means he wants something, he's an actor, like that nutty thief that skitters around sometimes. Feh.

Shit wait, upscale? Greg's birthday? "Auuugh. I'm gonna go change. Again. Charlie, you drive safe chika." she gallops upstairs, already wrenching off her jacket and tank top before entering her room. When you're a professional escort, you learn to wear many things for a variety of occasions all fitting to your client's taste. She changes into a gifted dress, swaps her macabre earwraps for a more tasteful pair and even touches up her make up for the evening. The rest of her facial piercings are swapped for ones donned with small diamonds. Gene would be middle classed if she didn't spend her money on her addictions and outfits. Obviously she continues to wear the snake heels.

Touching her tawny mohawk up she walked outside in Eliot's smogged wake to wait for the others. She'll chide Vincent later, a girl needs just a tad more warning after all!


[I'm really sorry for all the url spams in my recent posts. Gene just likes to wear many things!]

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Everything reported was all well and good for the people that were trying to figure out who these people were but, as could have been predicted, the information had no way of helping out Francis in his own investigation. He switched completely into professional mode after giving a smile and a nod to Snyder. He was the only person here so far whom he had met personally before and regarded him as somewhat of a good guy. He had the same laid back atttitude to life as Francis did, though his extended too far into work to be healthy. Still, they had shared conversation and a couple of drinks in the past, but were far from friends. Ignoring Freya now and concentrating on the information he needed, Francis asked a question before Miss Mortix could dismiss the man.

"Did you happen to notice anything about any equipment they had? Transport, weaponry, communications? What level of technology did this cyborg have?"

Questions, so many damn questions to ask. Why couldn't he just be given the information and sent off to work. Wait, why was he even itching to get to work? He'd just pulled an eight hour shift and been dragged into an extra assignment without even being asked if he was OK after escaping from a building that was clearly the focus of a terrorist attack.

Still, this was his job and if it kept him out of trouble then all the better for the corporation. Besides, he was intrigued. It wasn't often he got the job of finding things out, it could be fun. He was even looking forward to it. Maybe he'd even get some special treatment from the boss. For the love of God, control yourself Francis!

This was going to be a difficult task without people who were on the lookout for the right things. He'd check with The Enigma after settling into his office on the fourth floor. Apparently the man creeped out pretty much everyone that visited him but if you needed information there was no better place. Still, with all this fresh on the table and with very little evidence he'd need more than databanks of information and statistics. If he could only find out one or two specialist pieces of equipment this insurrection were using he'd have a better idea of their funding. And with his connections in town he might even be able to find out where a certain piece of information came from. From there the funding could be traced and they'd be able to follow the trail right to them.

Of course, it was never that simple. Many other factors had to be taken into consideration and that was why he wasn't on the team for locating them or finding out a motive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, The Enigma was watching the video footage from Helsing park when Freya contacted him, interrupting her stream of information from those who were fighting on the frontline.

Myrias. Adam has chosen to involve himself, and he showed up at Hellsing Park. Get me all the footage you can from that site first. I want to know why.

Yes, he'd seen the super and wondered himself. From what he had seen it seemed that the ancient animal had allied himself with this uprising. It was fine by him, Myrias despised him for wasting such a gift and looked forward to seeing him crushed along with the rest of these rats.

Yes M'am, all records from the park will be on your computer shortly.

Slowly, but gradually, things were slotting in to place in The System. Files were filling out and a few things seemed to keep pointing to the same place. With a little more investigation he could manage to catch them by surprise. And he'd make sure the place was being filmed so he watch it.

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Eliot rolled his eyes at Gene's protests. She was right, she did wear a mask. Though the man highly doubted that her forked tongue could be "for work." On second thought, he subconsciously invoked Rule #34. His eye twitched and he shivered. Gene may be attractive in that she has a very fine figure and breasts, but Eliot really didn't like some of the body modifications she had undergone. It was like slicing across the face of the Mona Lisa, or punching a bunch of holes into a Picasso.

As Gene followed after him, dressed up, he found that he would like to wear something a bit more fancy. Some of the others were wearing suits, after-all. "I think I'm gonna stop by my place to change," he called back to everyone. "Tell me the name of the restaurant and I'll meet you there real fast." After pausing a moment to wait for someone to tell him the name of the place, he went towards his own black car, which he had parked there.

He would drive home and shave, first and foremost. Rinse out his mouth with his most powerful mouthwash. The bare essentials done, he would remove his leather jacket and swap his pit-stained white T-shirt for a white button-up dress shirt. Next, three of the buttons of the fat man's shirt would pop and fly off, one bouncing off the wall and smacking him in the eye. "Argh!" he would cry in agony, massaging his eye while swapping the broken shirt for a more comic T-shirt. That done, Eliot would attempt to fit into his old slacks, get stuck halfway in, then swap them for some dark-wash jeans with a complete lack of fading and holes. Finally, he would top off the slightly-less-than-classy outfit with a plain black sports coat that miraculously fit. Vowing to eat less, starting after their fancy and paid-for dinner, of course, Eliot would drive to the restaurant.

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Peter grinned happily, all thoughts of his earlier predicament forgotten. Gene did that to him. Alan called her his drug. Unlike the hooker, the cyborg never took drugs seeing as they'd ruin what was left of his organic body. Still, the analogy was correct, though Peter would never admit it. He was psychologically dependent on her approval, whether he knew it or not. He smiled at her statement.

"Don't make promises you can't keep," he growled.

"Eh. I've ridden in limos before. I'd much prefer seeing this new car of yours," Alan told Charlie, fighting back the urge to gag at Gene's and Peter's actions. Really, the cyborg should know better. Gene was simply teasing him and at the end of the day, he or the others would have to deal with a depressed Peter when she broke his heart again. Purposely, he sidled over to Charlie's car and took shotgun, partly to spite Gene and partly to chat with the mechanic as she drove. He decided not to change his clothes. Despite the fight, they remained a decent outfit, though he did spray himself lightly with deodorant to counteract the smell of Eliot's smog.

"So, have fun causing mass destruction?" he asked the girl with a grin.

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#, as written by Aythr
"A Limo?" John inquired mentally. He had heard of them, but he had never seen one that actually worked. These days, it seemed, everybody was into hovercars and the like. A thought occurred, one that illustrated his foresight in a way that even his friends might not appreciate fully.

"Don't those run on gasoline? Doesn't gasoline explode?"


As he continued to question the limo, it seemed everybody else had taken the liberty of heading out the door. Vincent had given Charlie his car, a gesture that seemed completely out of place to him.

John looked down and realized that his shirt was completely in tatters from the previous encounter with Mortix guards, and began to panic internally. He ran to a small dresser that likely contained Charlie's extra clothes and went through drawer after drawer of clothing, hoping to find an old shirt he had left, or, more unlikely, one of Charlie's shirts that fit him.

"Bra, bra, what are these? Lacey. Pants...Shirt! Too small. Shirt, shirt, shirt...Shirt!"

He yanked a shirt out of the dresser and hoisted it up in the air as a sign of his ultimate success. He carefully slipped off his old, now shredded tank-top, and put on a red and white striped shirt that seemed woefully tacky and out of place in Charlie's dresser. He balled up his old shirt and lobbed it like a basketball at Charlie's rag bucket, and made a small inward celebration when it bounced off the rim of the bucket and fell in. He headed for the door with everybody else, pulling and stretching his new shirt down as far as it would go without ripping the fabric. It was bad enough looking like a giant candy cane inmate, but at least he could make the tacky garment fit him.

As he caught up with the departing Insurrection, he made his way to the limo. There was no way he would be able to fit in Charlotte's new ride, and wasn't even going to attempt getting in. The limo made an audible creaking noise as he stuffed his frame through the open door of the limo and had a seat in the center, hoping his weight would not throw off the cars balance in the event of a high speed chase. He wasn't sure if there would be high speed chase, but better safe than sorry, he had always thought.

"Come on!" John shouted. "I'm hungry!"

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Alan ran past her, apparently to find a seat in her new car, and Charlie shook her head, turning to James just behind her. "Oh, right, threads. One sec, Jimmy." She darted up the stairs that took her to the suspended section of her warehouse abode, which also contained Gene's "room" (way on the other side, mind you, there were some things she'd rather not hear or see). She seriously considered slapping her forehead with a hand when she noted that John of all people had beaten her to her dresser. If it was anyone else, she would have probably shrieked and called them a pervert, but it was John, and thus she wasn't too worried about it.

Still... "Tank, where did you even find that? I don't own that... oh never mind." She shook her head and opened the trunk at the foot of her bed which contained the very few articles of clothing that she didn't want to get grease on, grabbed the first thing she saw, shot a look at John, and decided that she'd be using Jimmy's apartment to change. He'd have a bathroom or something.

With a sigh, she sprinted back downstairs and met Jimmy at the door. "Hey, sorry about that. We're good to go now, and we can stop at your place on the way there." She led the way out the door, and as soon as the car was unlocked, Alan was in the shotgun. "Oi, Al! You could at least be nice and let Jimmy have shotgun. It's not like you've never driven with me before..." She sighed and shook her head. For some reason, Alan insisted on shotgun, and usually got it, at least when Gene didn't decide otherwise. "After you, I guess," she told the newest member of their team, letting him move past her and occupy the back seat before she got in to drive.

The car was truly awesome, in Charlotte's humble opinion, and she reminded herself to make Vincent a huge dinner next time he came over, grocery bill be damned. Hell, she'd even let Jimmy share, because his bad luck was apparently her good fortune. The interior was just as nice as the outside, but none of that was nearly as important as the motor, of course. And that would have to be tested yet.

"So, have fun causing mass destruction?" Charlie stuck the key in the ignition, grinning when the engine purred to life. "Oh sure, Al. Nothing quite like getting your ass kicked by MortixCorp to brighten up your day," she replied sarcastically. "Though a little mass havoc is fun every now and again." She shrugged. "Buckle up, everyone. Actually, Jimmy, would getting tossed around a bit help? Can you even do that; accumulate small mishaps to make up for a big one? Should I punch you or something?" Despite the rather ridiculous nature of her question, Charlie was sincere enough. She honestly had no idea how some kinda luck power would work anyway.

Seeing as how her passengers were all in the car at the very least, she pulled out in front of the limo and sped off, occasionally asking James for directions to his place, and seriously considering stopping by Eliot's to grab him after they were all finished. When they got there, Charlie killed the engine and turned to face the back. "Hey Jimmy? Do have a bathroom or something I can change in?" she inquired, holding up a piece of fabric that was largely indiscernible as anything except for the fact that it was dark gray in color. Hey, there were only so many things you could pull off with blue hair.

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"With his luck, he'd have earned a vendetta from Gene if he took the front seat," Alan pointed out sheepishly, remembering the guy's explanation of his powers. In truth, though, he had forgotten about him. Strange. He usually prided himself on getting on the right foot with everyone. Guiltily, he added, "He can take shotgun next time. I'll just be careful to not sit by Gene."

He grinned sheepishly. It was strange how he and Gene just couldn't get along to save their lives. He didn't know why, but there was something about her the rubbed him the wrong way. Maybe it was her pointless vendetta against him for a harmless prank? Maybe it was because he was childish and she was drug-addicted prostitute. He definitely disapproved of her use of druggies for battle and God knows what else. The way she made them her slaves definitely made her lose any sympathy he might have felt for her for being hopelessly addicted to sex and drugs. That and the teasing of Peter of course, poor guy.

"If you want, I can steal any parts you need to modify this baby," he stated, taking his mind off of his distaste for Gene. It was best he didn't get in any fights with her. They were all already in a bad mood, especially Gregory. He didn't need to find out about the two of them trying to kill each other once again. He continued, "Didn't Peter say your cars could use a rocket launcher or flamethrower? Maybe a nitro..."

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#, as written by Smith
Gregory was already laying down across one of the window-adjacent seats when the limo listed to one side, then to the other, and back again. He did not need to open his eyes to know that 'Tank' had entered the vehicle. Hands behind his head, the pseudo-teenager looked at the great man anyway. Too big, he thought immediately. "John. After this, we're keeping you under lockdown. That lab you mangled most definetly caught some footage, and you aren't hard to point out in a line-up. And no buts. It's only until things simmer down. Mech is under house-arrest too, if it makes you feel better."

The boy crossed his legs for a moment, wiggling his foot in thought. He nodded. "And don't tell Charlie...but she's dying her hair. Alan is going to be getting a close buzz, though he does not know it yet. I'm not sure how tight Mortix is on city-wide security, but there are too many variables to consider. Er..." it was at that moment he realized that he was talking to John. Not to say the man was dumb, to the contrary really, as he probably understood every damned thing and more than he let on...but Gregory could never help but feel subtleties were lost on the goliath.

Turning his attention away from John, Gregory glanced at Vincent. He met the man's eyes for a long while and admired the timeless quality they held...much like his own. Yet, he could not help but notice a difference. Something that was only slight, but created such a massive incongruity that Gregory sometimes wondered what exactly Vincent was. It was clear that he was at least quasi-immortal, again, like Gregory, proven by the fact that he had met the man years before most of the Insurrection members had been white tadpoles vying for dominance over the egg they so coveted. After a small eternity of staring the younger immortal spoke. "Thanks. You do know how to push my buttons...prom is always a fun night, although I skipped the last one. Probably why I haven't gotten laid...that and the fact that I feel like a pedophile for even looking at a girl 'my age'...um, you know what I mean. It's a real hassle when you need to go to highschool to know anything recent...

"So, what've you been up to?"

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With everyone in some car or another, or on their way to the restaurant, Vincent told the driver to begin, and then sat back to enjoy the ride.


"So, what've you been up to?"


Vincent chuckled slightly and said, "well old man, I've been living. Attempting to do so peacefully and quietly, but your shenanigans keep pulling me back into the fray. We really must discuss your ideas for operations before you go run around with a half-assed scheme. But, other than making a rather large profit off of what is essentially junk, I have been working with my nanotechnology and on my cars. If you'd like, your group can use nanite suits like me, which would really help keep your identities secret."

Vincent sat back, wondering what Charlotte was thinking. He tended to bristle slightly every time Alan attempted to flirt with her... It felt odd to Vincent.

"I wonder how soon Charlotte will realize her car has a modified fuel cell engine. It runs on water! Clean energy."

Vincent reflected on an earlier comment Gregory had made. Something about getting laid. Vincent almost laughed at that thought. Gregory hadn't had sex in what? A few years tops? Vincent was going on twenty three years now. Vincent mentally flinched at the realization. He didn't really have the desire to go out and get laid, so that's probably why he didn't realize it had been so long.

"Well Gregory, getting laid may be just what you need. You do not contain stress well."

Vincent recalled his first few meetings with Gregory. Vincent knew of Gregory's existence, but didn't want to introduce himself until Gregory was in his late 30's. This way, Gregory couldn't piece together who Vincent really was, as Vincent would seem younger than Gregory, but with similar longevity. Still, Vincent often wondered exactly how much Gregory suspected. Being as old as Gregory brought about some degree of wisdom, after all.

"In any case, how have you all been lately? I feel as though I am perhaps too absent from the important events. Any long term plans? An epic scheme to thwart Mortix? or are you simply playing the game? Matching each move of MortixCorp's with one of your own, locked in a stalemate?"

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James climbed into the back seat of the Bugatti, repeating what Alan had said, "Modify?" He asked, "Why would you want to modify this beast? Sure chain guns and missle launchers are nice... But this car is nicer." He said, stretching out in the backseat. At least he had knee room back there...

"Should I punch you or something?"

A strange question that made James laugh audibly. "It doesn't work that way, Charles," He said, using a different nickname. She had been calling him Jimmy all night afterall. "I'd only be bruised by the time I get my comeuppance. I'd rather not be bruised. It hurts... And that's bad," He said as the engine roared to life. In the backseat, James shivered a little bit as the gasoline engine growled. Then they were off. Charlie asked directions to his house, which was responded by simple "Right, left, left, right," Answers. Soon enough, they came up to the final corner to James house... But something was off. There was smoke in the night sky. This set James on edge as they rounded the corner and faced...

Nothing.

Nothing but ash. James apartment complex was burned down, the ruins still smoldering. James pushed up on Alan's seat and opened his door for him to get out and get a better look. Yeah, that was his apartment building... Yup, it was ash... And everything inside of it. Thing was, he didn't miss it, it never really felt like home. He could easily get another apartment in due time, as James always made a habit of carrying around his cash on him. However, what James did miss was the trinkets he had... The tribal masks, idols, statuettes. All of that. He also missed his various ties and vests...

He leaned against Charlie's car and looked up, towards where the smoke drifted off and shook his head. "You magnificent bitch," he said, of course referring to his luck, "That's... Just mean," He said simply. For some reason, his thoughts drifted to an investment he should had made once, long ago... "Why in the hell didn't I get that fireproof safe?" He asked. He shook his head and peaked in the Bugatti.

"I would offer you my bathroom Charlotte... But it looks like I don't have one anymore," he said, a bit of gritty humor in his voice. The smoke lazily drifting away... Oh well, it was for a good cause, wasn't it? However, that did mean that Luck and him was even, yet again, and perhaps that made him even with Charlie as well. "I guess... We can go on over to the restaurant then... Unless you have another friend who lives on this side of town?" He asked.

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The conversation turned to modified vehicles, which was of course something that Charlie go on about for a really long time, depending on how technical the other two could get. For the moment though, she chose to keep it pretty light. "As much as I'd love to agree with ya, Jimmy, my cars aren't just mine. They're the Insurrection's, and frankly it's gonna need some mods. Flame cannon, grappling hook, turbo engine... Batman stuff. Does anyone read twenty-first century comics anymore besides me? It'll still look pretty when I'm done though, don't you worry," she added with a grin.

The mechanic listened to the engine for a bit and decided that the thing probably ran on water. Oh Vinny. So old-fashioned, yet so very... green. At Jame's reply, she laughed and nodded. "Okay, okay, no punching it is then. Wouldn't want to bruise your poor fragile self."

The Bugatti slid up to the apartment complex, only for Charlie to note that the entire thing had gone up in smoke. "Holy-" she didn't bother to finish the thought. Instead, she shook her head, wondering exactly what James had done in that last skirmish to earn this. "Uh... no problem, I guess," she managed, somewhat confused as to why he wasn't at least a little more upset about this. She'd probably scream bloody murder if someone burnt down her warehouse. Then again, maybe if this was the kind of thing that happened to you on a smaller scale all the time, you learned to take stuff as it came and went? You'd probably have to unless you wanted to go freaking nuts.

"So, um... good news: you weren't inside? Bad news: I've got extra space until you can find somewhere else, but Gene lives there too, so... clients." She gestured him back inside and turned to Alan. "Eliot lives on this side, right?" she'd never actually been to her fellow mechanic's place before, having no need particularly to go so, so she let Alan point out the directions until they got there.

"Sorry about your place, Jimmy. You should know, though, that since you're one of us now, we can replace you clothes and stuff, so don't worry about that I guess?" She wasn't exactly boss at the condolences thing, but it was the best she could do. "Uh... should we go see if Eliot's in?" Feeling slightly awkward, she didn't really wait for the answer to her question before cutting the engine and hopping out, knocking on the door she really hoped belonged to the smoke-spewing super.

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Having gotten his less-than-formal getup ready, Eliot inspected himself in the mirror for a final look-over. As he exhaled, he noted that he was producing a lot of smoke. More than could be covered up by a cigarette. Despite having used his powers quite a bit, he was still spewing smoke like an old factory. His recent mission must have kicked his lungs into overdrive. Eliot started coughing a bit, but it didn't stop. A minute of coughing went by, it slowly getting worse, and his small bathroom filling with smoke. As the choking man began feeling a liquid rush up his throat, he managed to get himself over to the toilet. He vomited several cups' worth of black ooze, with specks of blood in it. Stumbling out of the bathroom, Eliot flipped the fan switch on his way out. He sat on his ass, taking many deep breaths, feeling somewhat relieved. He tried to blow a smoke ring, but realized that he wasn't blowing smoke any longer. Not a single visible molecule. A grin touched his lips. He couldn't remember the last time that he wasn't spewing smoke. Laughing in relief, he made his way over to the kitchen sink and rinsed his mouth out. For once, as he exhaled, the taste didn't come back.

Just as he was recovering from the shock of this oddity, his doorbell rang. "Was I really being that slow?" he mumbled, assuming it was someone from the Insurrection coming to get him. The now almost clean-smelling man opened his door, his eyes poised upwards, expecting someone taller than him (as most people were), and was greeted by Charlotte's bright blue hair. "Hey, Charlie," he greeted, stepping out the door and locking up behind him. After taking a glance at the car parked near his house, he whistled as though it were a fine woman. "Damn, where'd you get that beautiful car?" he asked, pointing at the shiny new vehicle and grinning. This day was just getting better and better, despite his failed mission. He made his way over to the car, admiring every piece of it in detail. "Better not keep it parked there too long," he warned in half-jest, "It won't last for long in this neighborhood without being burglarized."

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MortixCorp HQ

Freya blinked at the conclusion of Snyder's report. Only three? And one of those had destroyed a dummy lab, too. Not much more than water filtration equipment there, but of course it was hardly her fault if the rebels took a bad guess... or fell for one of numerous decoys she had placed in not-too-conspicuous places. It meant she knew what their priority target had been, assuming they were organized enough to have priorities other than causing mass havoc and lots of damage.

Vespois made an inquiry of Snyder, but she shook her head. "As much as the answer to that question interests me, gentlemen, I think we've all had enough excitement for one evening. Well... most of us have anyway," she qualified, reading the direction of Francis's thoughts with an inward roll of her eyes. Really, the man was as hormonal as a teenager sometimes. Not that it didn't amuse her- it did- but now was hardly the time for one of her employees to be entertaining such notions. "Alex, please either see Francis tomorrow or write a report, including the information he just asked for. Both of you have worked more than enough today, so I suggest you get some rest and come back to this fresh tomorrow."

As soon as they were both gone from her office, though, she dismissed the substitute secretary and sat back at her desk. A small voice in her head declared her a hypocrite, but she wasn't in the mood to pay it any mind. She needed to see 42, but for the moment she had other things to attend to. Reaching down under her desk, Freya pushed a button on a slender metallic computer tower and watched as the 3-D projection technology transformed her desk into a scale model of a back alley in Verciamo Sector. Daphne, Marvin, and Kevin stood there, waiting to intercept the Insurrection supers that would soon show up. The ensuing confrontation was almost comedic, or at least it would have been if Freya found incompetence funny.

The footage clearly informed her that one of the Insurrectionists was capable of making himself invisible, though apparently not unscented, if the way Kevin went after him was any indication. The other seemed capable of producing some kind of smog. How... delightful. Still, it had a fair amount of utility from the looks of it, for though both of them wound up injured, it was her agents that had to retreat. Did the Insurrection know now that the pharmacist had been a plant? Probably... it was a lost cause in terms of reuse anyway.

She probably wasn't going to get anything more out of this, so she flicked her hand across the surface of the desk, and the image was replaced with a rendering of Hellsing Park. Everything seemed normal there, at least until a couple of people pulled up on a motor bike. That had to be the erratic one and the electrokinetic.... both were masked, of course, but Enigma's tech would still be able to get accurate dimensions for both of them, and the lower half of the blue-haired one's face was exposed. Wait... blue hair. Why did something about that trigger a memory? When Vincent appeared, she could not shake the feeling that he had something to do with it, but Freya had more memories to sort through than most, and a good amount of those were not even truly her own.

Her fingers tapped idly on the surface of the desk, even as she watched what must have been Enigma remotely-operating a vehicle to assist Valter. How much was she paying the Musician? For a man whose power could be beaten by a simple sound-muffling device, he was doing rather well for himself. If her employees didn't already make copious amounts of money, she'd probably have given him a raise. Another man appeared, jumping out of a car. His effect on the fight wasn't something she could quite pinpoint, but no simple civilian would charge headlong into a conflict between superhumans unless he was an idiot. No, something else was at work there...

"Don't you ever knock?" she asked her visitor with a hint of annoyance.

"Of course not, my dear," he replied, quite a bit more nonchalant than she. Freya sighed and looked up from her footage.

"You have an annoying habit of showing up when I least wish you to be present, Gabriel." He only chuckled at this, and she ignored the cacophony of several voices that urged her to make his mind a living hell for her own amusement. He was one of few people with a certain level of resistance to her probing, not because of any talent of his own, but because they had known each other for so long that he'd figured out how to consciously focus his thoughts even while she was inside his head. An irritating tendency to say the least, and one that not even Adam had yet figured out.

"Indeed?" he asked as though he had not done it on purpose. "You have my humble apologies."

"What do you want?" She was in no mood to deal with him right now, not when she had the Insurrection to deal with. Instead of answering her question, though, he scanned the images playing over her desk, a small smile on his face.

"They fight so hard, don't they? I rather like them." She knew he knew who they were, and he was in turn aware of this, but when she reached for the information, she discovered that he was thinking of nothing but what he was seeing. No other information slipped in, and she bit back a frustrated snarl. "Ah, ah... I can't just give them away like that. That isn't terribly sporting of you, my dear."

"I'll ask you once more, Gabriel: What. Do. You. Want?" she punctuated each word carefully. He thought he could resist her powers, but everyone broke eventually, and he would be no different if she chose to make it so. Some sick form of nostalgia or sentimentality prevented her for now, but he was truly trying her patience at the moment.

"I want what I always want, Freya. You know that," he replied offhandedly.

"Well, you know as much as I do that you can't have it. Now stop trying to beat me at my own game and say what you've come here to say." She fixed him with a glare and was rewarded when he relented.

"Very well, if that is truly your wish. I came to deliver a message. Sanzer is moving." His tone lost all of its previous jocularity, and he regarded the redheaded woman with all seriousness.

She scoffed. "I knew that."

"No, Freya, you didn't. Up until now, it's been motions, exercises, tests. We both know that he's probably the one person in the world more ruthless than you, and he has succeeded where you have failed." That got her attention.

"How long?"

He shrugged with affected ease. "Days? Weeks? A month if we're lucky. You'd best forget your petty disputes before that time comes." He finally moved away from the desk, glancing at the chessboard on the other side of the room. "You still play, I see." when she did not respond, he sighed theatrically and shrugged again. "Until next time, then. Do take care of yourself."

He phased out her office door, and she tried to put the encounter out of her mind for the moment. Sanzer was a concern, but right now she had other things to deal with. As she watched the footage repeat itself, a plan began to formulate itself in her mind, and she knew exactly what her next assignment to any of her available employees was going to be. But first...

Enigma... shift priority to locating possible locations for a rebel base.

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#, as written by Aythr
"Please. I promise I-"

"You'll promise nothing." Michael retorted. The man was trying very hard to squirm out of his fate, but it was no good. Michael budged for nobody, save one person. He nervously stuck his hand in his pocket, gripping his phone. An eyes formed on his palm, feeding the sensory information to what could only be referred to as his "brain." Being a biomorphic mass, he didn't have any true organs to speak of, but his senses were not any different from a normal humans. The eye looked the phone up and down, but it seemed that he hadn't gotten a call yet.

"Why do you torture me, my love?"
Michael thought.

"You're in a lot of trouble. Blackmailing MortixCorp? Company secrets are the worst kind of secrets to try a sell when it comes to us." Michael took a few steps and closed the gap between him and the man.

"You don't understand! She-" the man tried to speak, but was cut off once more.

"She nothing. You've made your last mistake. But don't worry. Your family will be..." Michael paused as a sickeningly evil smile spread from ear to ear, revealing a mouthful of pointed fangs. "Well taken care of."

The man immediately pulled a pistol on Michael, and screamed, "You won't touch them!" as he emptied the clip into Michael's body. Bullet after bullet hit him and sunk into his form. He winced as each one made contact, taking a step back as each one impacted. He had definitely felt the bullets, but as usual, he was no worse for the wear. The mans eyes widened as each of the bullets fell from within him, one by one hitting the ground with a heart-sinking ring.

"You should have saved one of those bullets. It would have made things a lot less painful for you."

The man futilely pleaded one last time. "Please...Don't you have a heart?"

Michael squealed in glee as his own chest began to open up. His ribcage became exposed, revealing a complete lack of anything within. The ribs split open, forming a set of jagged, vertical jaws.

"I'm afraid not."

A horrified scream was muffled by Michael's form, which quickly enveloped the man.




"John. After this, we're keeping you under lockdown. That lab you mangled most definetly caught some footage, and you aren't hard to point out in a line-up."

"Bu-"

"And no buts."


"AWWWW..." John exclaimed loudly with sigh. He could hardly argue with the facts. It wasn't difficult to pick out man who was roughly the size of a black bear on its hind-legs. It wasn't as though John was inclined to argue as it was. After all, Gregory knew what was best. He always seemed to know. When John a tad smarter, he probably would have started making up his own mind on things a long time ago.

"And don't tell Charlie...but she's dying her hair. Alan is going to be getting a close buzz, though he does not know it yet."

"Ha." John blurted. They probably wouldn't like that, and arguably, it would have been a lot less embarrassing to just disappear for a week or two than to go through the trouble of getting rid of your hair. Besides, John thought, "I like my hair."

John began to trail off about the same time that Gregory did. He always talked too much as it was, John thought. He looked out the window at the buildings passing by, and distracted himself with a couple games he developed, such as trying to count the stripes on the road before he lost count. John considered himself a whiz at coming up with such clever games. He often thought why nobody else had ever come up with games like this.

He looked down at his shirt, and realized how silly he looked. It was probably not a good idea to wear such a colorful monstrosity, in foresight, but it couldn't be helped; a half naked body-builder probably wouldn't go over well at any restaurant. Or maybe it would go over better than expected. It really depended on the clientele of the place they were headed.

He tuned back into the conversation between Gregory and Vincent just in time to hear about how Gregory wasn't getting any.

"Big baby." John muttered under his breath. He had meant to think his words, but John sometimes had a problem with keeping things in his head. There wasn't much room in there, after all.

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"Damn, where'd you get that beautiful car?" Charlie laughed. "Vinny likes me best. Wanna help me put some flame cannons on later?" Eliot may not be a technopath, but he was a damn good mechanic, and she trusted him enough to let him work on anything she did, which was probably an honor (dubious though it may be) that belonged to him alone. Ushering everyone back into the vehicle, though, she took a few backroads to the restaurant she was pretty darn sure Vincent would have picked. He was all for high-class stuff, and it wasn't something that the rest of them got a lot of.

Sure enough, the limousine was pulling up even as she found a parking space, and Charlie waved over at the group getting out before the door was opened for the four of them. "Reservation for Erebos?" she asked, and the maitre d' checked the listings and nodded, though the look he shot her grease-stained jeans and plain blue shirt was disdainful at best. She scowled back at him, but as soon as Vincent and Gregory appeared, he seemed to believe that they were actually supposed to be here.

"Of course; this way please." He led the rest of the group to their private room, but Charlie spotted a bathroom on the way and ducked inside. She was seriously considering just staying in her dirty clothes to spite the snotty rich idiots, but... well, Gene had practically forced her to bu this dress and she had no other occasion to wear it, so might as well make her money worth something.

A few minutes later, she was pulling at the stupid thing to try and make it a decent length, only that make the top half indecent, and she was damn sure she was never letting Gene decide on anything that had to do with her wardrobe ever again... ever. It actually wasn't that bad: gunmetal gray and hitting midway down her thigh, but Charlie was the kind of girl who dressed like a grungy teen boy. Hell, people called her Charlie, for the love of all things holy! "Jesus, Gene, what were you thinking? I look like a girl!" She studiously ignored the fact that this was not as unnatural as she believed it to be, and the fact that she was still wearing steel-toed combat boots was something of a comfort.

Hurrying to the private room, she slid into the booth-table... thing with as little fanfare as possible, promptly sending her friend a glare and opening a menu to hide the fact that she presently had cleavage of all things. "So... Italian. What's everyone getting?" It was rare for the lot of them to get out as a group, so she actually found it pretty refreshing. Hopefully, everyone would relax a bit and they could almost forget that they were presently fighting a losing battle against the most powerful corporation in the world. Yeah, that sounded like a very good idea.

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Vincent sat down at their table in their private room, suppressing a giggle at Charlotte's antics. She reminded him so much of his ex wife that he couldn't help but spoil her sometimes.As the others got comfortable, Vincent was already perusing the menu. He was starving, having not eaten properly for hours. Properly, in Vincent's case, was more than three very obese people could eat. As requested, a waiter that Vincent could trust was their private server for the evening, so Vincent waved him over.

"Good evening Freddy! I am ready to order." The waiter smirked, pulling out his notepad. With smaller groups, the waiters were expected to memorize orders, but Vincent himself was usually enough to overwhelm anyone's memory. "I will have the Sanda-gyu steak, medium rare, with potato salad and the minestrone soup, the cryo-seared duck, smoked salmon, the stuffed cornish game hen with black truffles, and for dessert, chocolate cake and ice cream. And for a drink I would like the usual rum and root beer!"

Vincent smiled as Freddy took down all the information. His smile dissipated however, as Vincent couldn't help but feel as though something was off... What name did Charlotte ask for when she came in? Erebos.... But Vincent could have sworn that he made the reservations under his public name, Adam... He decided to just wait and see what happens. He was curious to see what the others were going to order.

"Alright everybody, don't feel shy or whatever, order whatever you like, as much as you want to eat. Hell, order more so you can bring some home with you! Tonight, we feast!"

And tomorrow, we get back to work. Gregory's leadership is... lacking, to say the least.

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"You can stay at my place, if you like. Got room for a roommate," Alan stated, feeling bad for James. Damn, he couldn't imagine what he'd do if his place was burnt down. He had lots of valuable stuff he had "collected" over the years. For the rest of the trip, he was silent, perking up when they finally reached the restaurant, quickly stealing the maître d's wallet as he led them to their table, which he promptly sat at while Charlie changed. Then, of course, she returned.

"Dude...." Alan gasped, the archaic word slipping out of his mouth before he could do anything to stop it. Charlie wasn't in a greased shirt and jeans. She was dressed as a girl! In fact, she was wearing a dress! If he knew that Gene had brought her this, then the sometimes-invisible man would have seriously considered changing his opinion of his archnemesis. As it was, his hand began to flicker in and out of sight and he had to bite his lip in order to concentrate on getting his powers on control. He frowned slightly. Honestly, he hadn't had trouble with his powers acting up like this since he was a kid!

Peter, for his part, had offered his hand to Gene as he stepped out of the limo and, assuming he took it, he led her into the restaurant like she was posh lady, smiling slightly as he pulled up a chair for her and taking a seat next to her before smirking at Alan's expression. People were so easy to read. They had no control over their facial muscles sometimes. He was going to make sure to get back at the prankster for some of his teasing about Gene.

"How does Charlie look, Al?" he asked with a smirk.

"Beautfiul. I mean, she looks like a girl! Not that she doesn't look good covered in oil. I mean," Alan stated, his usually laughing face looking flustered. He glared over at the Cyborg. Peter made a note to make sure his joints were coated in jelly or his drinks replaced with motor oil. He glanced over at Vincent. It was worth it. Especially if Vincent got all Papa Wolf like he often did when he was around Charlie.

"I'll have the Cheese Ravioli with Garlic bread. Chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert," Alan muttered.

"I'll have two orders of spaghetti, a Caesar Salad, and a bottle of Red Wine," the Cyborg orders. He smiled slightly. His systems partly ran on organic energy, which meant that had to eat a lot and often.

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"Great!" Eliot exclaimed, "Flame Cannons: Practical and Safe." The usually gloomy man was uncharacteristically cheerful. The relief of the prolonged lack of foul taste in his mouth far outweighed his worries of his health. They got to the restaurant fairly quickly and Eliot followed the others into their private room. As Charlie walked into their room dressed in a dress that was extremely revealing for her, Eliot admired his fellow mechanic. Sexy. He didn't stare, and kept his opinions hidden until Alan started talking.

"Beautfiul. I mean, she looks like a girl! Not that she doesn't look good covered in oil. I mean," Alan replied to Peter's questioning. Usually Eliot would have simply snickered, maybe joining Peter in taunting Alan, but his good mood spurred by the ceasing of his powers motivated him to burst out laughing loudly while smacking the table with his hand. "Oh God, Alan," he managed between breaths. Usually such an outburst of laughter would have caused the other inhabitants to start choking on fumes, but now it did nothing but fill the room with noise and possibly spread laughter. After perhaps two minutes he calmed down, with only a snicker every few seconds. He coughed, having not breathed well through the uncontrollable laughter. He exhaled a tiny bit of smoke, barely noticeable. His wide grin shortened a bit, and he sighed, not releasing any more smoke. At least his powers hadn't been somehow ejected from his body with his barf, but Eliot was looking forward to a dinner of relative normality, not having to light a cigarette for when the waiter comes in and not having to hold a cloth over his mouth so the room doesn't become filled with fumes. Maybe it wouldn't come back significantly until after dinner, he hoped.

Wanting to poke more fun at Alan perhaps selfishly regardless of embarrassing Charlie, he told her, "I think you look just fine," then, turning his head to look at Alan, "covered in oil or not." Eliot glanced downwards, shaking his head while chuckling a bit more. The man smirked at Alan, fading in and out of visibility as if he couldn't make up his mind whether or not to leave the room.

The waiter came in, taking orders. Barely able to even glance at the menu, the man quickly glanced over it. The others would likely expect him to order an insane amount of strong food, as he usually did. But now, there was no taste to cover up. "I'll have a Caesar Salad, too," he proclaimed, "Dressing on the side. Let's see, what else..." To be honest, Eliot wasn't really all that hungry. He had eaten a lot today, and usually he would welcome more, but again... no reason now. "...and two bottles of your strongest wine," he impulsively decided. The others had never seen him drink wine, or consume any sort of drug. He turned down Tylenol when he had the flu. They didn't know about his secondary power, beyond the fact that his own poison didn't affect him. The usually grouchy man had occasionally thought about downing something insane in front of everyone... a gallon of alcohol, or as much of Gene's drug supply as he could fit in his massive gut (man, that would really piss her off), but he hadn't seriously considered it until now. Truth be told, when he was in an incredibly good mood, which is almost never, Eliot was somewhat similar to Alan. Maybe that's why they got along slightly better than one would expect, and why Eliot hadn't strangled him yet.

The man continued to chuckle a bit, no longer at Alan's social disfunction but at the thoughts of his friends' expressions when they watched him down two bottles in almost as many minutes. It was about time to show the group the full extent of his powers, after all; although his secondary power wasn't very useful in fighting the enemy, Eliot wasn't really sure why he hadn't at least told Gregory. He wondered if their leader would be angry.

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#, as written by Basta
With a heavy sigh, Kayne Rourk plopped into the loveseat in his house. After a long day at work, he wanted nothing more than to just kick back with a pint, but he also didn't feel like going out again.

"Looks like I'll be 'avin th' freezer meal again tonight..." he muttered to himself resignedly. Kayne grunted as he struggled out of his seat and shed his button up shirt. He tossed the celophane wrapped horror in the microwave and pushed a button. With a blink of confusion, he looked at the screen, which read [84:22]. He snarled at it and picked up a pencil, using the eraser as a finger and input the correct time. After a moment, he blinked to himself and chuckled wryly while shaking his head. Tombstone popped the door on the microwave and stuffed the meal in his mouth, half cooked and still wrapped. After chewing five or so times, he swallowed the monstrosity and clambered up onto the counter to get to the automatic can opener.

" 'Ere, kitty kitty!" he whistled, clucking his tongue. As soon as the machine whirred to life, the jingling of a bell was heard, and his obese cat trotted happily into the kitchen. "Nummy times, Platkcha," cooed the dwarf. Platkcha, the flabby tabby, did a little cat-jig as he dropped to the ground and scooped the tuna onto a small saucer.

"There's daddy's good girl, aint'cha? Did ya do anyfin intrestin taday?" he murmured, as much to the cat as himself. Without pausing in her meal, the cat mrrted in reply. Tombstone chuckled to himself and dusted his knees while rising. Taking a side trip to get a beer out of the fridge, he tossed himself into the beanbag in his living room and turned on his TV. He remained in this position, eyes glazed and mouth slightly open, for the duration of his beer, after which he switched off his TV and drifted off to sleep.

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James looked out the window as the left his ruined apartment building... As soon as they were out of sight James leaned back and propped his feet up in the back seat and set to thinking. He had just lost his home and everything it contained... How did he feel? James pondered on that for minutes... Strangely, he didn't feel an overwhelming feeling of grief or sadness. There was nothing in there that actually made it home, just another place with a bed. He did feel twinges of loss as he thought on the various charms and totems he lost, but they were merely objects, nothing immensely important. Besides, long ago, James had set upon keeping all of the money he had on him, just in case. Never know, an impromptu bet may break out.

He looked out the window again as they pulled up to another house, this Eliot fellow. James shifted his position and moved his legs to make room for the short man. He only nodded and gave the man a half-hearted smile, not noticing the lack of smoke following the man... He was too deep in thought to notice. He smiled at the various offers of taking him in, appreciative. He may would have to take one of them up on the offer, however, he hated feeling like a mooch. He thought again... A week. He would need a week of constant card games to make enough for a good down payment on a nice apartment... He glanced over at Charlie... He would give her all of the neat items he won. He didn't want to risk losing them again.

Before long, they had pulled up to the restaurant. James filed out of the car, which he finally noticed was a damn fine beast, and straightened his tie and tucked his shirt in... He wanted to look at least half-way decent. Then he followed the rest of the clan into the private booth, noticing Charlie ducking away for a moment... James shrugged and took his place at the table. James followed everyone else glances at Charlie as she strode in. His eyes widened for a moment and he tilted his head... All of a sudden, the recent incident of his house burning to the ground disappeared...

"Damn... fine place, of course! Ha ha..." Smooth save, real smooth.

"So... Italian. What's everyone getting?"

"Oh, uh, um, food?" He stammered before looking looking at his own menu. He recoiled at the words and fanciness it all had. It was like it was written in another language! Like French or.. Italian.. Of course. James popped himself in the four head... Of course. He then looked at the prices and was suddenly relieved he wasn't paying.. He chuckled before announcing, "I could get a nice apartment for one of the these sammiches." He said. But he wasn't in the mood for a sandwich... He wanted something a bit more heavier. When the waiter returned and began to take orders, James placed his, "I want to start with the... Risotto?" He wondered if he pronounced it right, "And then I'll take the Florentine steak and to finish it all off I want a Cannoli and a side of Gelato," He said, before adding, "Oh! And a bottle of scotch... I want something stronger than wine," Of course, Charlie and Alan knew what he wanted to drown.

He then looked at the group surrounding the table before shrugging and producing a deck of cards from his pocket, "Cards anyone?" He asked, shuffling the deck... Another nervous habit he had. Also, playing cards at a posh restaurant may not be the best of social graces... However, who accused of James of being graceful?

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#, as written by Aythr
John stared at the menu placed in front of him. This place was so fancy. He felt stupid wearing the striped shirt now, though he wasn't woefully out of place with his friends around him. He picked up the menu and looked at it from every conceivable angle, as though the strange accents and unintelligible words would lay bare their secrets. He couldn’t make heads or tails of what he was attempting to read. He seemed to be in the dessert section at the moment.

“Mousse? Why’d they spell it funny? Why would I have a moose for dessert? Are there a lot of mooses in Italy? Or is it meece? Mice? Is there a goose on the menu?”

He held the menu upside down once again, trying to see if it would make more sense upside down. It didn’t. He started to bum himself out between the menu and the fact that he couldn’t step foot outside for the next three weeks.

John began to shape his mouth in an attempt to pronounce what he wanted from the menu, attempting to pronounce it in his head before he blurted it out. His forehead hit the table with a thud, and he rolled his eyes to meet the waiter.

“Something with chicken in it.” He said, before reassessing his statement.

“Maybe that won’t be enough. What kind of meat is the moose? White or dark?” The waiter raised an eyebrow and paused in the middle writing down the order.

“I’m afraid we don’t have any moose dishes, sir.” replied the waiter.

“You’ve got moose right here. You didn’t spell it right, and you put it in desserts. I don’t know what it tastes like, but it can’t be that sweet.” John tried to argue rationally to the waiter, but he had no idea what he was talking about.

“No sir, that’s chocolate mousse.” said the waiter, probably trying to hold back a guffaw. “It’s like, uh…Pudding.” He shuttered at the thought of the chef hearing him compare a chocolate mousse to pudding.

“Moose pudding? Can you just give me food? I don’t care what it is.” John paused for a moment. “As long as it isn’t all leafy.”

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Vincent's eye visibly twitched as Alan, Eliot, and James made comments about Charlotte. His smile fully dropped into a frown and his golden eyes seemed to burn a bit brighter than usual. Normally, Vincent wears sunglasses in public, but since he knows the staff at this restaurant (many of the servers and the sous chef are Supers), he didn't bother with them today. Vincent would have to watch those three... hell, he apparently has to watch out for all the Insurrectionists. He let out a small sigh at the thought and noticed John was having trouble with the menu. Vincent felt ashamed at himself for not taking John into consideration. He stood up, and walked over to John and the waiter. He put a hand on John's shoulder and gave him a smile as he said, "John, if you don't mind, I will pick something that I guarantee you will like."

To the waiter, Vincent said, "Mr. Mercury, John here isn't used to this kind of food, but as you can see, he is a big man. So how about two more orders of the Sanda-gyu steak, cooked the same as mine. And for dessert, an order of the mousse and... how about a big piece of bougatsa? Thanks Freddy."

As the waiter left, Vincent bent closer to John and whispered, "When it is spelled m-o-u-s-s-e, it means a whipped chocolate dessert. And bougatsa is vanilla creme in a crunchy wrapping with cinnamon and powdered sugar on top. But,one day I will take you out to get a moose burger made from actual moose. Its pretty damn good." With another smile, Vincent returned to his seat, and casually sipped some water.

"So, what is everyone up to these days? Charlotte and Eliot, I know you are mechanics, and I am assuming Gregory here is still playing the sad part of the perpetual student, but what about the rest of you?"

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#, as written by Shiva
Snyder bowed, and left, flocking by Raspberry's desk and looking at it. He debated pranking her some more- but decided against it. He had his days when he would come to work extremely tired and grumpy the day after he went home extremely tired and grumpy. That, at least, he knew. He wasn't the one that had to regrow his leg.

He had promised to make his report, and went over to an information kiosk. "Give Frankie- er, Francis Vespois my mail and number. We'll come in contact later." He said. "Oh, uh, it's Alex Snyder." The man at the desk nodded, watching the Magician walk away before getting back to taking calls.

Snyder scratched his head, wondering what else he could have forgotten to do. Freya mentioned he was free to leave, but he couldn't help but he forgot something important. It didn't matter now, as he began walking down the steps. The reason he took the steps was more for health issues. Walking up and down several tens of stories was his form of exercise, especially when he's rushing up and down them at work instead of taking the elevator. It taught him to be fast, and be efficient in the case of such things as a power outage or whatnot.

Soon he was out the door, and feeling the breeze hit him. It was pretty much dark now, and he walked over to the parking lot. Pushing past a tight fit, he pulled out a rather strange-looking device. It looked like a unicycle, except the bottom was without a wheel. It was very compact, very easy to use once mastered, and fairly agile. It wasn't just for show, it offered his hands to be free as well as a mode of transportation.

When you were in showbusiness, you spared no expense in making it look as crazy as possible- which is what the people thought he was as he zipped down the street juggling his wallet, name tag, and hat. He reached his abode- a modest looking basement apartment and entered. He plugged his cellular device in to charge, as he was the one waiting for Vespois to call. He wasn't very hungry today, so he opted for a quick and fast meal of instant noodles.




crunch crunch crunch nom this is so good man those insurrection bastards are probably chewing on hard tack or something.

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#, as written by Smith
The silence created by Vincent's words was part seething anger--as always--and part consideration. Luckily for John, the larger man's comment went unnoticed. Gregory was all too aware of the fact that the other immortal was constantly observing, calculating and simply thinking. When you had all the time in the world, why not? That brought him to his second point: Vincent was considerably more intelligent than him, and that irked Gregory to no end. Well, maybe intelligent was not the right word. Perfect. Always cool, always a step ahead and a cut above the competition. That included other Insurrection members. Gregory shifted uncomfortably as the limo slowed to a stop and realized he was too close to releasing his power.

When did that come back? he wondered idly as the group arrived at their private room. It was strange when his power restored itself so quickly. If Gregory had analyzed the numerous times that similar occassions had taken place, he would have been able to come to the conclusion that whenever he became extremely angry, his abilities flooded back. Gregory took a seat somewhere opposite to Vincent; He could not stand to be too close to the man. While the younger immortal had something of a God complex, when stacked up against what was essentially a more complete, if not necessarily more powerful version of himself, Gregory could not help but think that others were making the same comparison.

As the waiter took their orders Gregory played the part of an excited, spoiled brat. "Alright..." with the most selfish air he could muster--which was not a particularly great feat--he lifted his menu and pointed out several delectable dishes. "I want this, and this, and-Oh! Definetly this. One of these, two of those and...oh, yeah, a big-ass birthday cake with the name Al-" Gregory's face screwed up in confusion for a moment and he quickly corrected his stumble, "Greg, written in strawberry icing on top. Three layers of ice-cream inbetween each layer of cake, going chocolate, vanilla and strawberry for both cake and cream in that exact order. Got it? Good. Chop-chop! The birthday boy wants his grub!"

When the flustered and obviously annoyed waiter moved on, Gregory steepled his fingers and stared over them at Vincent. It was fun to jack up the man's cash. Even more so when he got upset over Charlie. What was that about? It would have been too easy to point it out, so the boy settled for some small talk of his own, completely ignoring the words of Vincent. "So..." something akin to recognition ghosted over Gregory's features and he simply continued to stare at Vincent, eyes looking beyond the man at something quite different. "Hm."

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So much for inconspicuous. "Gee, thanks guys," she muttered to her friends, who obviously enjoyed her embarrassment far too much. Ordinarily, this situation would have been solved by smacking Al in the back of the head for being a doofus, but of course for some reason, Pete was exacerbating things today. Eliot actually said something that wasn't a double-edged compliment, which was immediately suspicious. He wasn't exactly the flattery type, which just meant that he was probably making fun of her or at the very least making fun of the other two. She was tempted to go back to dressing like a boy and laying the beatdown on some people this very moment.

But he wasn't getting smoke all over the place for once, and that had to count for something, right? Maybe he was just in a good mood or something. Well, she wasn't just gonna roll over and take all this crap anyway. "Aww, Eliot, I didn't know you cared. You look rather smashing yourself." She quirked an eyebrow and went back to perusing her menu. Yeah, she'd just called him out for wearing a joke t-shirt, not that she really cared, and honestly it was kind of a horrible comeback and she knew it, but really.

"Oh! And a bottle of scotch... I want something stronger than wine," well, that brought everything back down a notch didn't it? Charlie bit her lip, but it wasn't as though there was much she could say to that. Jimmy's apartment was a pile of freaking ashes, there was no two ways about how much that sucked. He seemed to brush away the moment of melancholy pretty quickly though, and she shook her head when he proposed a game of cards. "Uh, well... I'm gonna lose and I don't know anything about poker, but sure. I know how to play blackjack and rummy, but that's about it." Charlie shrugged at about the same time as a waiter approached.

If anyone had ever wondered how Charlie had figured out she could eat so much, it was pretty brilliantly obvious right now: she was surrounded by people with the carrying capacities of the average pickup truck.She had nothing on Vinny, or apparently Greggy, but she could pack it in when she wanted to. "I'll take the Straciatella with Piadina and the Ciceri e Tria with a glass of Fiano de Avellino please." Her order was relatively painless, especially compared to Greg's. Oh boy, sometimes he really did behave like a petulant child.

She had to chuckle at John trying to order though. She really did love taking him places. If the group ever needed a reminder that not everything in life was awful, Tank was certainly there. She didn't consider him stupid (though she wouldn't lie and say he was smart), but his quirks and oddities never failed to amuse, she was certain. Luckily, Vinny stepped in and everything ran smoothly from there.

"What is it Greggy? Don't tell me Mortix is standing right behind me or something," she commented dryly to their 'fearless' leader's apparent distraction with something.

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"Hey, I was being serious!" Alan complained with a scowl. Hey, he might have been a jokester, but he could give people a genuine compliment, damn it, especially if it just slipped out of his mouth, "You are pretty."

Nonetheless, his expression brightened at the suggestion of a card game. He grinned slightly. True, it probably wasn't the best manners to play cards in a place like this, but since when did a street rat like him have any manners? He spoke, "I'm up for a game or two, just as long as you don't use your powers to cheat."

"I'll play," Peter stated, smiling slightly. Any card game was simple enough. There was four of each card, thus, making it easy to note which card remained in the deck whenever a hand was played, helping him to calculate the chances of himself or the others drawing a favorable card or not. Luck was all very good, but it was irrelevant in the face of cold machine-like logic. Of course, he decided he had something to add as well.

"On the condition Charlie doesn't use her good looks to sway anyone," he teased with a smirk.

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"If you think this is smashing," Eliot replied, "You should've seen my outfit that I decided against. It was so very smashing that a button popped off, bounced off the wall and smashed me in the eye." Why had he said that? Now Alan was sure to mock him in return. He wasn't usually this silly.

At the suggestion of cards, Eliot agreed. "Well, I know how ta play blackjack and five-card draw," he admitted. "Using powers to cheat?" the man asked, "Well, I don't think using your natural skills to your advantage should be banned." He paused a moment, then amended, "So long as I get to use mine, of course. You can't call me out on snatching all the aces from the deck if you can't see a damn thing." Eliot whistled while purposely blowing out a little spiral of smoke to help those along who didn't get it, struggling a bit to even release such a miniscule amount of smoke. Man, he thought, Today's really taken a toll on me. Not that he minded.

Before they could begin their card game, a waiter entered, tray in hand. He brought out only the salads and drinks, but even that was quite a bit, considering the size of the group. "Your meals won't be much longer," he explained, "Can I get anyone anything else?"

"Well, I simply don't think this will be nearly enough alcohol," Eliot complained after seeing the relatively small size of the wine bottles, "You better get me four bottles of that Scotch you brought my friend." The alcohol-proof man would not be outdone by some newbie, though he was unaware of James' cause for wanting Scotch.

The waiter's eyebrows rose in surprise, his mouth opening a bit. "Anything else?" the surprised employee asked, "Perhaps a gallon of rubbing alcohol?"

"Do you have a gallon of rubbing alcohol?" Eliot retorted. After a response in the negative, Eliot leaned back and poured himself a glance of wine. Better to start off small, he reasoned, Don't start the insane drinking until I get the Scotch. The man with an apparent death-wish wondered if he might not die simply from his stomach bursting if he drank too much.

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Francis left without another word. Usually he'd have plenty to say, and probably a request or two for a little more help concerning his investigations but this time he thought he'd said more than enough, even without opening his mouth. He watched as Snyder went for the stairs, something he personally wasn't a fan of. If he wanted to knacker himself out he'd hit the gym or go for a run after work, both were good. Here, in the office, was for paperwork and typing, outside here was for toning up and looking good. It was one of the many things he had on mental lists which he used to keep work and socialising seperate entities.

So he took the lift, right down to the fourth floor. May as well check out my office before I clock off for the night. He asked for directions to which was his and found everything had already been set up, the keys were handed to him there and everything had already been fitted. She may have been developing a serious mental disorder but Freya Mortix was the most efficient boss he'd ever worked under. He took a quick look around, checked out the computer and it's software and just as he was leaving the phone rang. Not even in the office for five minutes and the phone rings, typical. He picked it up.

"Vespois' office." Now that was worth being inches away from having an entire building fall on his ass. So much work, so much crap taken from idiots higher up than him, and he finally had his own office. And all it took was a near-death experience.

"Mr. Vespois, you have a message from Alex Snyder, he said to hand over his contact details, I'm forwarding them to your office computer now."

"Thank you... Erm, who is this?"

"My name is Elise, I'm the department secretary.

"Well, thank you very much Elise, I look forward to working with you. I'll see you in the morning." He hung up, wondering exactly what Elise might look like, and dropped his head to one side, feeling the satisfying series of clicks that came with the act, then did the same for his other side before opening his inbox and clicking the number of Snyder to dial it, hearing it ring once, twice...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Floors above Francis, out of sight and out of earshot, The Enigma was wide awake again and was reaching a breakthrough in the case of this pathetic insurrection. Other than using sophisticated software (Of his own design, of course) to gather as much information as possible about the members encountered that had been caught on camera, he had determined three possible locations of their whereabouts. So, with a profile of each containing approximate weight, dimensions, age, details of mask (If any) and powers, he then set about working out potential targets for the next MortixCorp assault, as was his rather sudden order from Freya upstairs.

Through magnetic tracking of digital materials, eyewitness reports of vehicles, police reports, general direction, velocity and imaginative use of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, The Enigma had narrowed down possible hideouts for the rebellious organisation to three candidates. One of these was a disused weapons facility way out in the backend of the commercial sector, another was one of the many abandoned warehouses that littered the industrial estates and the final location was a large apartment building in the slums of Zuna Sector, a fitting place for them. All were similar distances from the sites of the attacks and all routes had been accounted for. Though The Enigma's cover of the city was FAR from complete in terms of surveillance, he could see the ocassional spot that was enough to confirm or deny to be part of their getaway route.

All data was gathered, filed and sent on to Miss Mortix, along with the best stills of the pests he could gather from the images recorded. Then, for the first time in what felt like days, he rested, instead of simply falling asleep at his workstation. And, with his current task finished, he thought it might be nice to go for a walk. So he stood, reached for his stick and opened the door. It was times like this that he concentrated on not seeing through lenses. It felt unnatural, even after decades of blindness, and just accepting what he was - a blind, old, decrepit hacker - was actually rather comforting in it's own strange way.

With no particular destination in mind, The Enigma's hunched form started scouring the hallways, thin metal rod tapping away at the ground in an arc as he went.

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MortixCorp HQ


Freya had spent most of the night at HQ, going over the information Enigma had managed to upload to her computer, as well as replaying the surveillance videos. Myrias himself, she left alone for the most part, as he’d had to work considerably harder than usual today. The thing about working for Freya was, though she most often personally treated her employees with a form of aloofness, she truly did believe in looking out for their health whenever possible. Of course, this was naturally interpreted somewhat loosely due to the fact that life-endangering tasks were somewhat necessary, but that’s why she paid them so much.

Being the best gig in town was also a good way to get the best people in town, even if they wouldn’t all agree to think as much of each other as well as themselves. It was actually rather amusing when they did not. Having been inside the headspace of each of her employees, down to the night cleaning staff (a kind old couple named Henry and Beatrice Jones, as it turned out), she also had a fairly good notion of who she could trust with what, and who would be useful in what situation.

She spent quite a few minutes staring at the map Wesper had generated for her. Chances were, they weren’t as remote as the first location. They’d probably want to be closer to the action, somewhere that all their daily commutes wouldn’t draw attention, so to speak. A central location would also suggest greater tactical flexibility, with reinforcement much more possible should an operation go drastically wrong. It was what she would do, which was an uncomfortable realization in and of itself.

Still, she’d be sending teams to all three locations, regardless of her own personal hypotheses. She had enough people to handle it, certainly. Even if the people accounted for in the day’s encounters did not constitute the entirety of the Insurrection, she was willing to bet there weren’t a whole lot more.

Absently popping the joints in her hands and fingers, Freya glanced from the computer screen down to the legal pad on her desk. Some things just made more sense when you wrote them down the old-fashioned way. Presently, there were three empty columns on the yellow, lined page, all of them empty, labeled Weapons Facility, Warehouse, and Zuna Apartments respectively. She didn’t like the chances of anyone of note being in the apartments, so she’d reduce that team to the minimal number of operatives. The other two, though, were still-

I’m bored. Can’t we do something else now? Freya sighed. It figured that this would happen now.

Bored? Bored?! Why don’t you shut the fuck up and let us figure out here these bastards are hiding?

What, so someone else can kill them? That’s no fun!

Come now, you two, surely there is not need to argue…

Oh shut it, you.

That did it. Freya needed to see 42, and sooner rather than later, and then she needed to go home and sleep. The rest of this could wait until the morning; she was always here long before anyone else, anyway. Whoever had said running a company was easy had been lying through their damn teeth.




The next morning, each employee would find a memo on their desk addressing their tasks for the day. Valter, Babayaga, Francis, and Michael were to take the warehouse location, whereas Kayne and Alex were sent to the old weapons facility, now an abandoned building just like any other. Daphne’s team would be handling the Zuna slum apartments.

As she felt each enter the building, Freya further informed them that they had their pick of platoons from the barracks and weapons from the armory, but she was leaving how they carried out the directive to their own discretion. The directive itself was simple: find the Insurrection, and kill them. She did add a caveat, however: there were two members in which she was particularly interested, and if given the chance, the teams were to attempt to subdue and capture them instead of killing them. One was the gravity-manipulator with the strange mask Alex had described, and the other she was able to send an image of: the blue-haired electrokinetic.

There was a hypothesis Freya wanted to test that involved that one. If it turned out that either of these people were encountered and subdued, the teams were ordered to call HQ immediately, and a specialized extraction team would be sent.

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#, as written by Basta
I will BREAAAAAAAAAAKK

Babayaga leaped out of her bed as her alarm clock started blaring metal. She began yelling at it as she smacked it, trying to shut it off. Finally, it goes quiet and she sits heavily on the edge of her bed. [6:24] it read. With a sigh, Babayaga showered and changed into her work clothes, a blue pinstriped, custom-tailored suit. She wrapped her hair into a tight bun and secured it with two ornate chopsticks.

Rasputina took the stairs down two at a time. Her old jalopy, whom she dubbed "The Beast", was waiting for her. After the car started and died three times, she popped the hood and took a peek around.

"Sorry olt gerl. I vill get you de oil change vedy soon, I promise," she whispered to her car. She'd had it imported from her house in Russia, and it didn't weather the trip very well. It needed a lot of work, but this morning she was going to be late if she didn't get help. Babayaga pulled out her phone and scrolled through her contacts.
-----------------
"Why th' hell did I put th' damned phone so high up on th' damned wall?!" roared Rourk as he leapt and swung for the phone. When he finally knocked it off the cradle, he quickly put it to his ear.

"Lo? Oh! Yea...yea...sure. I'll be there in five, sure as sunshoine." Kayne was glad he hadn't left yet. Babayaga was one of the few people he could stand working with in the company. She was about as rough and direct, while still being womanly, as was possible. He was glad he could count her as a friend.

True to his word, four minutes and fifty three seconds later, Kayne pulled to a stop in front of Babayaga's apartment complex and ferried her to the building.
----------------------
Once in the parking garage, they exchanged goodbyes and headed for their respective offices. They each looked at their memos and reacted differently. Kayne was excited, as he felt he wasn't included on the action enough, and Babayaga felt a bit disappointed. There was a lot of emails piling up, and she didn't like Michelle, or Shelly for short, to handle them. The vapid blonde couldn't tell what was important and what was not, and even if she did, she wouldn't know how to deal with any of the things Babayaga dealt with. However, she wasn't one to complain, especially not when her boss was right next door. She sorted through a large pile of papers and paperclipped a stack of seven together, leaving it on the desk with a sticky note saying, "For Ms. Mortix". The rest she put in a pile labeled "To sort later". Babayaga headed down into the armory and changed into a pair of urban camouflage pants and a sport top of the same color. She strapped her khukri to her waist and pulled on a pair of iron knuckled gloves. She was looking forward to seeing The Magician again, so she could punch him right in his damn face.

"I vill show him how his "jokes" are wearing thinly with my patience..." she muttered ominously to herself. Kayne showed up a few minutes later, dressed in his usual street wear. After acknowledging Babayaga with a nod, he began making war braids out of his beard and brushing his teeth.

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Charlie had never needed an alarm clock, which she supposed was probably a good thing. She likely would have accidentally exploded it by now if she had. As it was, she was up every day at pretty much the same time like clockwork. Sheer force of habit, probably, since she tended to open the shop next door exactly an hour and a half afterwards. Well, that and this way she was always awake before any members of the Insurrection decided to pay a visit, which was unquestionably a good thing.

She made her bed in short order and grabbed some clothes from her closet, heading downstairs to the lower level, which happened to be the only one with indoor plumbing. She noted that Gene wasn't around, but the woman kept odder hours than anyone she knew, and really she could be anywhere at the moment. That might have worried her once upon a time, but she was much smarter now. Gene could take care of herself; it's what she was best at.

The mechanic stifled a yawn behind one hand. They'd stayed out pretty late last night, though not ridiculously so. Greg did still have a curfew, after all... the thought made her chuckle. She killed the noise though, when she remembered that Jimmy was asleep on the couch down here. As it turned out, with or without his powers, he'd thoroughly destroyed everyone else at cards. She was actually the best off, coming out of the whole endeavor only owing him about fifty bucks, which she decided was rent for that couch-space. Not that Charlie ever actually charged anyone rent or anything.

The bathroom was off to one side, the only room with it's own set of walls. She had to pass the kitchen space to get there, and when she did, she stopped in her tracks. Sitting on the counter was a rather innocent-looking bottle. Her eyes narrowed, and she almost ignored it, but in the end she sighed softly. Stupid Greg and his stupid ideas. The bottle, she well knew, contained hair dye. Black hair dye, to be precise, which was honestly the only color she trusted to cover her blue without looking even funnier afterwards.

Grabbing it off the counter with a muttered obscenity of the Gene-taught variety, Charlie shuffled into the bathroom, not exactly pleased but understanding that some things just had to be done. She was looking forward to laughing at Al's new haircut- if he ever actually got one.

Half an hour later, Charlie emerged, frowning as she ran a hand through her still-damp dark hair, but deciding to ignore it for right now. The dye was temporary anyway; it would wash out in a few weeks. By then, this whole mess probably would have boiled over anyway. Tossing her used towel into the basket she used to collect laundry, she padded over to the kitchen and retrieved a frying pan, rummaging through the fridge until she found the eggs and Canadian bacon. Canada, she had gathered, used to be a country, back when stuff like that mattered, but she still had no idea how they'd gotten bacon confused with ham. Whatever.

Popping a few slices of bread into her toaster, she went about the business of making breakfast for herself and her sleeping guest. As usual, she made way too much, because it was almost inevitable that someone else would show up. If nothing else, she'd feed Eliot when he came by for work. And probably send him home with the leftovers, too. She knew his smoke tasted awful, and didn't really know how good he was at cooking, so she usually contributed something every once in a while.

Hmm... wonder if Mortix has our mugshots all over wanted posters yet... Not that their faces could be seen, exactly, but it wasn't like they all had twelve different masks or anything, so any future operations would have to be carried out with care. Ha.

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To say that Alan felt crummy this morning was an understatement. Gregory had been clever last night. After he lost most of what he stole the previous month to Jimmy in cards, the near-immortal offered to buy him drinks. Alan, being the hedonist he was and down on his lucky, couldn't refuse. Next thing he knew, Greg had convinced him of the necessity of a haircut to hide his identity. To his credit, however, even while drunk, Alan had instinctively fled as soon as a single lock of his beautiful hair was cut off. Not that it helped with Gregory, of course. He had simply immobilized the thief with a gravitational field and gave cut his hair short in the alley right outside the restaurant they had feasted at. Jerk.

Now, Al was heading for Charlie's house, an old baseball cap covering his head and the few hundred bucks he owed Jimmy in his pocket. True to form, however, Alan had already pick pocketed 150 dollars worth of junk on his way to the HQ. Druggies, thugs, and Red Salt dealers really needed to stop depending on their eyes to catch thieves. As he entered Charlie's house, he glared over at the gambler's sleeping form. Lucky bastard. Sighing, he deposited a bundle of cash into his hand before heading for the kitchen and, as he expected he would, catching sight of Charlie.

"Nice hairdo, milady. Have to say, I prefer the ol' natural electric blue look, but King Greg isn't someone to provoke," he commented.

Peter, meanwhile, had awoken in an old motel room, a dull headache the only reminder of what happened the previous night. The Cyborg saw no point in making a permanent abode. It was easier for Mortix Corp to track you that way and, besides, if he had to go into hiding, there was always HQ. Peter frowned at the thought. That reminded him. Gregory told him he was to stay indoors. That meant that he was going to join the new guy over at Charlie's and Gene's place. On the bright side, maybe Gene would invite him in bed and...

He shook his head, reprimanding himself for having such base thoughts about one of his friends, even if he knew she wouldn't mind if he did. He still had some memories of his father teaching him manners somewhere in his half-mechanical head. With a grunt, he left his motel room, not bothering to check out at the counter. He had paid the previous night and, quite frankly, he didn't need to remind anyone of his presence.

It was still early in the morning when he reached the warehouse, easily inputting the security cold and walking towards his station in the corner. He saw Alan chatting with Charlie and Jimmy sleeping, but he ignored them. He instead, opened the fridge and chugged down half a gallon of orange juice that he labeled with his name. He did have the civility of only eating his own food here without permission, unlike others.

"Greg's our leader," he intoned, though it sounded like he was quite annoyed with him as well.

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#, as written by Smith
Sometimes not requiring sleep was a burden. As soon as he departed from the restaurant on his own, Gregory had swung by Charlotte's place to pick up his bag and went home. Well, what served as his home when the immortal played the part of a normal, upstanding young man. The Herrings had only a passing interest in his day at the museum, more concerned at why he arrived only just barely before midnight. Despite the tongue-lashing regarding how dangerous the daily news had portrayed the events of the city, as Marshall and Sarah retired to their room, Gregory was directed towards the cheesecake on the table. Eighteen candles...Gregory smiled at his the hospitality of his adoptive parents. It was sad to think that they would be rotting in a hole in the ground thirty or fourty years from now.

The night passed slowly, homework and online games absorbing his time. The next week's worth of trig and literary analysis was complete around two in the morning, so Gregory turned on the laptop and fired up "Dominance: The Final War". It was a relatively new game that combined third and first-person combat with rts-like strategy that made strategic deployment of units as vital as controlling individual soldiers. He had played a few games against mid-level players, warm-ups really. It was then that he encountered a Gold-Rank general like himself. The 'Lady Fire', as she called herself, was easily the best player he had ever faced. Every time he gained some ground or successfully executed a trap, she unleashed some new and inventive counter. All thirteen rounds ended in ties, Gregory only barely managing to tear through her remaining soldiers in suicidal offensives. It was like multiple people managed the one army, each with their own playstyle.

It was strange, he thought as the computer shut down for the night. Lady Fire played the weakest type of the customizable heroes: Freya. Literally the only thing keeping her ahead of the curve was a brilliant tactical mind. It was almost as if she knew what he was thinking...Gregory shrugged. Some people are just that good.

His fun for the night done, morning was not long in coming. Gregory showered, brushed his teeth and got dressed, a blue long-sleeved shirt and jeans this time. He felt like wearing something with color this day. It was early, the first rays of light streaming through the windows as he descended the stairs and entered the kitchen. The smell of grits, steak and eggs immediately assaulted his senses. It made Greg's mouth water, but no reaction from his stomach. Sometimes Gregory wondered where all the food that he consumed went...it never came out after being eaten. With another shrug, the immortal hugged his adoptive mother and made his way out the door intending to go without a word. Feeling that was a bit rude, he called back. "Thanks mom. I love you, and dad too."

The morning was chilly, and it was never good to fly in cold weather. He opted to take the sadan. In twenty minutes of quiet driving Gregory pulled up alongside the Helix Hotel, entering the lavish building with an air of superiority and belonging. He flashed a couple hundreds at the receptionist and was received with an avaracious smile and a room key. His second ID, the one saying he was twenty-one, was passed by inspection and Gregory silently made his way to the elevator. Several minutes later the boy was on the roof overlooking the city. Twelve stories up, Gregory leaned agains the railing and waited. That woman, the Russian...she would show up over the course of the next few hours, or not at all. Honestly he suspected that the light-clone woman had not survived Mech's attack. If she had, then in all likelihood, there would be a squad of supers converging on or eyes on this location.

Greg sighed and wondered how the Insurrectionists were doing. This may be the last time they met, he thought sourly. With a ghost of a smile Gregory withdrew his cellphone and sent a mass text to every member of the Insurrection excluding James.

Sorry if this wakes you up. Had to be said. I've never been one to like people...but I honestly think I love you guys. Like a family of course, excluding Gene. And maybe Alan. Seriously :9 that hair. So hawt. *sarcasm* And yeah, that love extends to you Mech, even though you're a love-sick-metal-head. Just wanted to say you won't be hearing from me for a while. Vincent will be handling the Insurrection from this point on. I hate the bastard, but he is pretty much a smarter, more cunning, wiser...well...better version of me. Take care guys.

Next was Vincent.

...hi. 0429. That's the PIN to every single account I have. Even those couple overseas. 877423 is my passcode for my lockbox. 4673..."Hope", is the code for my Black Market accounts. Altogether there should be roughly 9.5 million dollars. Sorry it isn't more, but running an empire takes alot of cash. There are six true bases aside from Charlie's place. Three offices, two rogue research facilities and one underground pseudo-military base. What else...god...I can't believe i'm doin' this. I don't like you. I truly don't. But you're the only man on this planet I'd trust with this. Please, don't mess this up. Oh! And if you bone Charlotte, don't use protection. I still have no idea if people like us can reproduce, and it'd be cool if I met your kid twenty years from now. Hm...that's it. I expect to see your handiwork on the news soon enough. Take care.

Charlotte.

Eh. Don't know how to say this. Thought about it a hundred times. I've watched you grow from that punk of a gear-head girl to...uh...that woman of a gearhead. I helped build your first entire car from scratch. Well, funded it at least. I don't know when it happened, but I think I might...erm. Like you. More than just a comrade. Never thought to tell you because of the whole trapped in the body of an eighteen-year-old thing. lol. That, and the fact that you know better than anyone what a monster I am. You're probably the only person on this earth 'sides Vincent that knows the truth about Max. I didn't mean to lose control. I didn't. But it happened, and he's gone, and we moved on. Sorry about the dye. Um. I left you two tickets to the Battle-Bots show for next friday on the counter, under the remote. Bye Charlotte.

Alan.

Don't forget to cut your hair. Sorry dude, but it must be done. Take care of metal-head...don't let him fall too deep into Gene's charms.

John.

You're awesome man. Check your gym bag. I didn't forget the bologna this time :3 stay safe dude.

Eliot.

Dude, stop smoking. Get a goddamn fake electric ciggy and look like you're smoking. That shit will be the death of you. I know you didn't particularly like me, but I've always valued your cynnical insight and subtlety in missions. I ain't gunna tell you what to do anymore, or threaten you and shit. I hope life deals ya a better hand soon.

And Gene.

...you're hot. Disruptive. Rude. Protective. But you probably don't give a shit about my adjectives. Report to Vinny how the Fire's Touch 'feels'. He might be interested in the results, if my hypothesis is correct. I won't tell you to change your ways or anything, because they make you happy(??). If there was a woman who I ever thought understood how I felt most of the time, it was you. Thanks. Have fun livin' it up. Cum exta hard for me on your next job~

Tears threatened to spill from his eyes, and Gregory only just barely blinked them away. In an instant the cellphone was a hyper-compressed sliver of plastic and components. The tiny field abated and the refuse was torn asunder and flung across the city in pieces the size of pinpricks. That, combined with his virtually untraceable signal would ensure anonymity. That was it. Tommorow, after one more night with them, his parents would find his room completely bare and sanitized. All pictures with him in it had been taken down. Both adult's computers had been wiped clean of anything suggesting his existance. Now, Gregory waited.

Rasputina, a squad, or maybe even nobody would show up. He hoped the woman was alive and considering.

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Eliot awoke at the sound of the usual pop-tune alarm. He resisted the urge to smash the alarm clock or change the tune yet again. The man was hangover-free, despite consuming enough alcohol to poison a normal person his size. He sighed, and watched as a plume of smoke exited his lips, a cough following suit. His chest hurt. Eliot shed the shirt and jeans from last night which he had neglected to remove before falling asleep. An entire night, smoke-free, had been his. Testing his limits, the smoke-exhaling super attempted to force another bout of vomiting from the lungs into the toilet. A trickle of purple liquid dripped down. That was his poison, in liquid form, it seemed. Intriguing. Either way, he kept on blowing noxious fumes as he breathed, so he gave up for now. He glanced into the mirror again. Despite shaving last night, Eliot had already grown a shadow. He considered actually growing out a beard. No, he looked worse than usual with a full-blown beard. He would shave. But not now.

Eliot grabbed his usual belongings; wallet, knife, gun, the usual. Next, he threw on a pair of jeans and a black MortixCorp T-shirt. Decades ago, it might have been Nike or Aeropostle or even Mountain Dew, but MortixCorp, being a corporation as the name might suggest, had complete dominance on just about all goods, and only lacked a monopoly on those few products it chose to lack. Even so, some of the others probably didn't like him supporting MortixCorp financially, as if he had much of a choice. McDonalds had become McMortix and PopTarts had become MortixTarts. Speaking of MortixTarts, the fat man grabbed one for breakfast on the way out of the door. Eliot drove to the warehouse, parked, and walked inside.

"Hey, all," he greeted in a little plume of dark gas. The lucky bastard, asleep on the couch, already had a stack of bills in his hand. Eliot simply added to the pile, repaying his debt. Next he took two coins, placing one on each of the sleeping man's eyes. Next he got a good look at Alan, and a grin cracked across his face. Unable to resist taunting him, Eliot came up and ruffled his newly-shortened hair so that it stuck up in every direction. "I never thought I'd see the day," he commented, "Your hair might even be shorter than mine!"

Next, Eliot smelled breakfast, followed by a look at its chef. His reaction to Charlie's new hair was different than his reaction to Alan's, to say the least. "Oh, I feel sort of guilty, now," he admitted, "Greg really took my complaint to heart." Eliot's smile faded, "Well, it's for the better, and you look fine, albeit a little less..." Don't say exotic, he thought. "...colorful," he finished. Great save, brain, he thought sarcastically.

"Is that ham and eggs I smell?" he asked. To be honest, MortixTarts didn't taste much better than his smoke, and the taste was more persistent.

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#, as written by Shiva
Valter was up before dawn had broke, shaking sleep out of his body by going through several exercises. He refrained from exerting himself too much, since he had work. He stopped at fifty mountain climbers, and began washing up. He had eaten breakfast- a quick batch of fried egg, orange juice, and a granola bar. Mornings weren't his best part of the day- he ate very little because his appetite refused to have any food. He examined his clothes, satisfied that they were clean before checking that he had everything before he went out the door.

The Musician was a very prompt man at his very worst. Usually he arrived at meeting points one hour earlier, and if he was ever late he'd be killing himself over it. He took the train again, the fairly empty compartment containing a slightly cold air as there were few bodies to warm it up. He rubbed his face, picking up his suitcase and exiting the compartment at his stop. He walked into MortixCorp, just like any other day would progress. He was slightly more tired than usual due to events at yesterday, but he felt a lot better, at least than the soldiers that the Insurrection indiscriminately kill. He took the elevator, with some fellow employees getting to work earlier.

He entered his own little office, fairly small compared to those with more useful powers like Vladmiskov and Snyder. He checked up his place, making sure that nothing had been removed. The hairs he had place had not been disturbed, which meant his things had not been rifled through. Even deep within MortixCorp, you could never be too careful- a large company was bound to have at least one spy snooping about. Suddenly, a man came in, handing Valter a stack of papers and an envelope. He placed the papers in his "To do" box and opened the letter. A mission to investigate the warehouse sectors with Vladmiskov, Vespois, and Michael. In all honesty, he wasn't too happy about working in a group. It had never been a strong forte of his. However, if it meant bringing back a Insurrectionist bastard for him to toy with it would be well worth the effort. A slight smile spread across his face. What should he do? Whipping? Burning? The possibilities were endless. He didn't give two shits about information, he just wanted them to feel pain.

After his little sadistic fit ended, Valter gathered his thoughts and went down to the Armory to prepare. He put on light protective padding, as well as gloves. He sheathed a nice-looking combat knife, and holstered a powerful pistol. As he saw Vladmiskov pass him, he noted she looked rather pissy today. Whatever it was, he hoped she got it off her system before the mission began. It wasn't like he was completely unfamiliar with his co-workers. He had dealt with Vladmiskov in the past- at a professional level. He didn't particularly care what she thought of himself, as he wasn't the kind to promote a good self-image. So, he continued to gear up, testing every inch of his body for comfortable mobility and adjusting the straps accordingly every now and then.




The Magician was brushing his teeth at home. He was extremely, extremely careful to take care of his teeth- as if there was one thing he hated, it was dentists. He often had to put a glamor over himself to numb himself from pain because even now the dentist drugs are so god damn worthless. It wasn't like he WANTED to feel his molar getting drilled open. Sheesh. If his toothpaste was any stronger, it would corrode the enamel of his teeth. Bacteria and germs whimper in fear.

He picked his things up and threw them on the coffee table, making sure he had everything. His breakfast consisted of a piece of buttered toast and glass of milk. He'd make more, but quite frankly, the things he'd eat in the morning were preferably cooked- and he usually didn't have enough time to do so thoroughly. Last time he had acquired a nasty case of salmonella. Damn eggs.

He exited the basement apartment, taking a running start and hopping on his motor uni-cycle. People were still turning and craning heads to see him use it. It wasn't like it was THAT odd, but whatever. He quickly made his way to MortixCorp, not particularly late but definitely not early. His office, once again was piled up with some work. He never really got a day off even with his laid-back showsman attitude. He read the note, obviously from the higher ups as it was placed on top of the pile. Another mission? He was just recovering from the last one. He didn't like forming plans all day long- it made the Magician a very boring person, and what kind of entertainer was boring?

Well, a entertainer didn't really have mind powers, but nobody said they couldn't.

He walked down to the armory to gear up just like every other time. Kayne was his partner, eh? He wasn't too sure who Kayne was, as he really only remembered those who have worked multiple times with him. The Baba Yaga was different because she simply just left a more distinct imprint in his head- her hate was really a thing to behold.

Which reminded him to cast a small glamor in the armory before he entered, shielding him from visibility. He looked in, and there she was. As he walked in, he heard her bitching. Somebody wasn't hugged enough as a kid. He thought, pausing in front of her and deciding anger her some more.

On second thought, he would wait until later. The Magician toned down his antics before a mission, always. He wasn't going to break that habit now. Either way, he knew he was going to either have to avoid Rastina, or let her punch him. Maybe he should fess up to his crimes and let her give him a good whack.

AHAHAHA. nope.

He cut the illusion behind a set of lockers, and began gearing up. His precognition skill was in full drive, as he didn't want the sneaky russian immortal noticing and clocking him in the head while he wasn't looking. He wasn't going to be wearing much due to his thin frame, so he merely donned some tight light armor and light padding. He holstered several small daggers and quickly made sure that most of his things could be taken off in a flash. He had to disguise himself in a hurry, which was why he was able to gather information. He had demonstrated one of his tactics yesterday. Feign death, find a vantage point. However, bloodthirsty insurrectionists decide to collapse buildings with scared civilians in them as well. He couldn't rely on that tactic any more.

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James was dead asleep. The scotch the night before had managed to writhe it's way into the veins of the gambler and take hold. This didn't mean his card game suffered, actually one could say is prospered. Full houses, straights, four of a kinds, everything. It was just like magic and James was the wizard. A little bit of passive luck never hurt, and he would never consider using his full powers with friends... As it was, the sleeping man looked like a log, not even registering the arrival of both Eliot or Alan, and neither of their... "Contributions to the James' foundation". Though the sound and noise couldn't wake James, the smell of food certainly could.

His awakening wasn't gentle. First the wringling of a nose. The curling of his toes. His lips opening and closing trying to taste the smell. Then his fingers. Finally, he opened his eyes... To relative darkness. It didn't register at first, why was there no light? He blinked a couple of times, but his lids felt heavy.. Strange. Finally, he rubbed his eyes and felt the cold metal of the coins. He picked the coins up and looked at them with a raised brow, "... Didn't they used to do this to dead folk in the ancient times?" James asked no one in particular. "Am I dead? I certainly feel like it?" He said, the aftermath of a night of drinking rushing to his joints and head. It wasn't quite as dibilitating as it could have been, since he had long since built up a tolerance to the demon drink. But still.

Then he looked at his other hand, the wads of cash laying on his palm, "Ah... That settles it then. I'm not dead. Because if I was, then this would be heaven," He said, rubbing the cash, "And we all know I am not heading there without a fight," He said, finally pocketing the money. He laid on the couch for a bit, merely listening to the conversation occurring in the kitchen, as well as the delicious crackle of food being prepared.

"Is that ham and eggs I smell?" A voice asked. Eliot's.

"Ah well, sound's like the party is in there," James said to himself as he sat upright, before falling back down... "Dammit," He cursed as he righted himself once more, this time staying upright. Then he rolled off of the couch and into the floor. "Oomphf." he grunted before hopping to his feet and acting like he didn't just fall. He brushed off his shoulder and marched into the kitchen with Eliot, Alan, and... Charlie, "What happened to your hair?" James asked tilting his head a little bit, "am I still drunk? I swear it was a azure blue last I checked..." He asked before looking at Alan... Another hair victim it seemed, "And your's?" He asked. Truth be told, James' didn't remember the hoedown with Greg and Alan. A blackout if you will...

"The hair fairy didn't attack me... Did it?" He asked, instinctively rubbing his head. Nope, his hair was still there, short and tight around his dome, if a bit unkempt. Then he realized what he had said might be taken... Offensively, "Oh, my bad... I didn't mean... I meant.. Heh, sorry?" He asked, scratching his head... and walking towards the coffee machine and pouring himself a cup of pitch black joe. Then he downed the entire cup in one swallow, the bitter liquid shooting through his veins and waking him up, as well as suppressing the aftereffects of the alcohol. He roughly shook his head and muttered, "just what daddy ordered," Then looked towards the group. Oh hey, look, Peter was here too... The cyborg seemed to keep to himself...

"Right, I didn't do anything... Stupid last night did I?" He asked, leaning against the counter.

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#, as written by Aythr
John woke up the next morning in his apartment after the previous night's festivities. It was a lot of fun, but it would most likely be the last night of fun for quite some time. Gregory had decided that John would not be making himself known until things quieted down for the Insurrection. There was little doubt that after such a bold attack on Mortix, they would be looking not only for their headquarters, but probably each and every member. It was probably the number one reason that Gregory had forced everybody else to do something silly with their hair. John was lucky that there wasn't much that could be done with his own short hair. A dye job probably wouldn't have been a bad idea, but it would have been pointless considering his inability to blend in with anybody who wasn't the size of a sedan.

John dyeing his hair to be inconspicuous would have been like an pink-dyed elephant walking around on the streets.

He was woken up by a text message from Gregory, and it seemed he had very little to say. He grumbled as he put the covers back over his head, trying to keep the sun from the blinds from penetrating the cracks and hitting him in the face. He wasn't going anywhere today. He might as well have been on house arrest for the next few weeks. He couldn't leave for anything, per Gregory's instructions, which meant he would probably lose his meager job as a nightclub bouncer. It was a somewhat ironic job for the gentle giant, but brute strength was all he was good for, and nobody was going to argue with a man-mountain guarding the door. He half-hoped that Gregory had supplied him with enough funds to live off of for the next few weeks. Gregory was good for money, but frugality was not lost on the immortal Insurrection leader.

John closed his eyes beneath the blankets, wondering what he was going to do today. He had a set of weights, but it seemed pointless. He would probably get a better workout out of bench-pressing his couch. He sort of wished that somebody would come over and entertain him, but if everybody else got the same kind of order that he did, it was unlikely.




Michael grumbled the next morning with the arrival of the sun. He hated being caught outside and in the light, and it was one of the few times that he ever wore actual clothes, if only for the purpose of blocking most of the suns rays. A heavy, black jacket covered most of his body, while a fedora and black sunglasses protected his face. It was crisp outside, and it justified his wardrobe for the day, but he didn't seem to have a sense of style when it came to actual clothes. It wasn't as though his closet was full of clothing, but there wasn't really anything inside of it besides a mostly black or white clothes.

As Michael entered the building at got to his desk, he found it bare except for a memo and a the usually disturbing amount of photos of Freya in picture frames. There was normally no work for him, and it was for good reason. An aura of intimidation oozed from his office, and people very rarely came in for anything besides assigning him his meager allotment of weekly assignments.

Michael picked up the memo and picked it up to read, checking who it was from.

"Freya. My love."

He eagerly read the note , knowing well that an assignment from Freya was something he did not want to mess up. Michael held back his urge run and skip at the thought that he would have a chance to prove his love for Freya once more today. Espionage was his forte, so it would be fairly easy, he thought, to investigate the warehouse the memo specified. It would be easy, he thought, until he realized that he was not the only person going. He noticed Valter had been there quite some time before him, already arming himself with everything he might need for a tussle.

"Valter. Good Morning." he said in a monotone voice, clearly unhappy as usual.

It was a shame that Freya had teamed him up with so many less than subtle individuals, but it was probably a test. Freya would know soon enough that he could do anything for her. He began to mimic Valter's gear choice, grabbing a vest, a pistol, and a large knife. He held back a smirk towards Valter to see if he would even notice his games as he picked up a powerful looking shotgun and absorbed it into his form, hiding it inside of his body with his powers. Although he didn't often need weapons, the ability to conceal such powerful weapons so easily wasn't something he passed up given the opportunity.

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