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Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush)

"Heroes should inspire and bring hope to those who need it most."

457 views · last seen in Capetown, Texas
a character in “Project Oddity”, as played by Tanman

Description

















































































































◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►

◄:HUSH:►

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◄:Fonts:►
Harrington | Castellar
◄:Hexcodes:►
#9F5F9F | #2E0854
◄:Music:►
Here We Are | Gabriel Brown and Michelle Creber
Fake Wings | Amalee / .Hack//Sign Cover



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“I don’t seek recognition for my work. Seeing people happy is reward enough.”

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ImageImage◄:Name:►
Terry Michelle Farina

◄:Nicknames:►
Tess
Due to her boyish first name, Terry does her best to introduce herself and use Tess as her primary name in all civilian situations.

◄:Aliases:►
Hush
Tess’ heroine name was born out of a public need to name her vigilante side, and was coined due to descriptions focusing on the mysterious fact that the heroine has yet to speak.

◄:Age:►
17

◄:Affiliations:►
Rogue Vigilante
Tess is not currently endorsed by any hero or villain association, but has performed vigilante work

◄:Gender:►
Female

◄:Sexuality:►
?
At present, Tess has shown no romantic inclinations, nor preference for either gender.

◄:Nationality:►
American – British
With an English mother and American father, Tess was born and raised in America.

◄:Face Claim:►
Makino Yagami (Idolmaster)



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“Me? I’m just an ordinary person like everyone else. We all shine in our own way.”

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ImageImage◄:Height:►
175cm - 5ft 9In.

◄:Weight:►
60kg - 132lbs.

◄:Notable Features:►
A tall and somewhat lanky girl, Tess’ height makes her a little uncomfortable, but it certainly has its benefits compared to her short friends. Despite her tallness, Tess is relatively light, showing a lack of muscle from her sedentary lifestyle. With a rounded face, button nose and fair complexion, some might say she’s cute, though she’d adamantly deny that. With lavender eyes and brown hair tinted with lilac strands, the soft colouring provides a soothing sight, if a little plain. With hair just below her shoulder blades and a fringe that’s constantly getting in her eyes and needing sweeping away; it can be somewhat troublesome, but is well maintained. She is rarely seen without her simple, small silver-frame glasses.Though it's often hidden and has healed well, there is a scar visible at the left base of her neck.

◄:Outfit Descriptions:►
When casually out and about, Tess tends to wear either a blazer or vest over simple button up blouses, sticking to cooler and duller colours. Most all the time, she combines this with ties or bows as a feminine touch and splash of colour; as well as helping to cover her neck. To accentuate her outfit, she has a myriad of ruffled skirts that she combines into the mix, though she isn't opposed to skinny jeans or shorts when skirts would be impractical. Overall, she tends to look a bit formal and sophisticated, though this only seems to add to the nerd stereotype that perpetuates about her.

She enjoys looking neat, but does try to force a bit of feminine traits to her outfits out of a nagging insecurity from her past. Simple accessories such as a thin watch, plain necklaces and studded earrings often compliment her wear, though nothing too large or gaudy. Makeup is minimal, but effective. Overall, Tess likes plain and functional wear with just a dash of flavour, preferring dresses, blouses and skirts to T-shirts and pants. Bright colours are rarely, if ever seen as the main part of her outfit, as they stand out far too much in her opinion.

◄:Costume Description:►
When performing heroic works, Tess's current wear undergoes a rapid transformation of light, and reforms into an entirely different ensemble. A stylish and racy black outfit with a mix of glowing blues and purples, Hush's sleeveless trenchcoat, elbow length fingerless gloves and gartered thighhighs from heeled boots looks like something out of a digital fantasy. Silver studs and zippers sparkle in the light, crisscrossing geometric lines of blue light dance over the outfit, drawing the eye and truly standing out. With a small split skirt and open cleavage from the under-bodysuit, it's probably more daring than anything Tess would ever wear, though maybe that's one of the added reasons Hush seems so confident and powerful in owning the look. Topping off the outfit is a large motorcycle style helmet that obscures her face behind black plates and tinted blue glass.



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“I might not see everything I want when I look to myself, but Hush can be an inspiration.”

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ImageImage◄:Personality:►
There are many sides to Tess, but primarily she slips into two main personas: Tess and Hush. In general, as a student and teenager, Tess is reliable, hardworking, honest and genuine. Shy and reserved, she's quite an introvert, and doesn't like bothering other people or standing out too much; embarrassed by excessive attention. An honour student, class representative and member of the band; Tess is pretty much a nerd, but she accepts that. Kind almost to the point of being a doormat, she enjoys helping others, especially those down on their luck. She loves the peace and quiet of reading to herself, learning new skills or about history, as well as the pleasant warmth of casual conversation with a person or small group of friends.

She worries that she's perhaps boring or uninteresting, and as such, tends not to go into much detail into her hobbies or interests, instead keeping conversation focused on those around her. A lover of sweets and cooking, she bakes a fair bit, but doesn't tend to share it beyond her immediate family. Though she's not big on sports, her main issue is her lack of competitiveness, as she'd rather get along or give someone else the satisfaction of winning then take their opportunity. Despite her quiet nature, she's not afraid to push her comfort zones to some extent, especially when something needs to be done or indecisiveness has paralyzed those around her.

Hush on the other hand, is Tess' outlet for a more wild side. The anonymity and power of her other persona helps her overcome her introversion, becoming a far more active and forceful individual. A strong, confident, mysterious, cool and charming woman, Hush knows what she wants and doesn't stop until she achieves it. The character of Hush is something of a fantasy for Tess, or perhaps a guilty pleasure; though she does try to use her cape identity to be a role model to everyone. The importance of keeping her identity secret has lead to two quirks to Hush as a persona, though this intrigue has only seemed to have added to the heroine's popularity. The helmet she wears keeps her face hidden, and not wanting to give away any further cues to who she is, Hush has never spoken in her limited appearances; though this characteristic has proven to be popular with her fans.

◄:Likes:►
  • Pastel Colours
  • History
  • Books
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Poetry
  • Learning
  • Music - Primarily Classical
  • Violin
  • Cooking
  • Neatness
  • Cute Things
  • Ice Cream
  • Strawberries
  • Winter and Autumn
  • White Chocolate
  • Board Games
  • Animals
◄:Dislikes:►
  • Bullies
  • Her First Name
  • Her School Nickname
  • Being Called a Boy
  • Loud Noises
  • Horror
  • Violence
  • Mess
  • Excessive Or Unwarranted Praise
  • Pessimism
  • Mayonnaise
  • Gossip
  • Large Social Situations
  • Blood
  • Fluorescent Colours
  • Laziness
  • Competition
  • Becoming Ill
◄:Fears:►
  • Being Ostracized
  • Negligence Of Her Responsibilities
  • Spooky Things
  • Rejection
  • Extreme Heights
  • Loss Of Control
  • Her Identity Being Discovered
  • Her Work Closing Down
  • Fame
  • Bleeding Out




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“Oh, this? It’s about… Well, you’d probably find it boring.”

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◄:Power Classification:►
Through her limited appearances, the PCRT have categorized Hush as a Mover 5 / Breaker 1 / Striker 5 based on the glimpses of footage and eyewitness description of her actions. In actuality, Hush is presently aware of abilities that span Mover / Shaker / Breaker / Thinker / Striker, though likely also has some applicability in the Trump area that she is unaware of. In her present state, Hush could probably be categorized as a Mover 6 / Shaker 1 / Breaker 2 / Thinker 5 / Striker 6, though her relative inexperience and lack of training with her abilities do indicate she likely has a lot of hidden potential.

Mover 6 - Gate/Blink & Slip/Hurdle: By utilising the blades formed through her Striker ability, Hush is capable of cutting warps in reality. The warp formed by the slash is represented by a crescent shaped, light blue glowing portal. At the time of the slash, a second, near identical portal will form in Hush's pictured location, and upon fully entering the first portal, will near immediately exit the second portal. No experimentation has been done regarding how long these portals last, whether others can use them, etc., though they do appear to vanish the moment Hush enters/exits from them. Distance appears to increase the amount of delay and focus required before making the slash, with longer distances requiring several minutes of preparation.

Hush has determined through personal experimentation that she can only open warps to areas that she has seen and can vividly picture. In actuality, the warps breakdown Hush into some form of light energy, traveling at the speed of light to the exit warp before reconstituting the physical form. In addition to gate based movement, Hush herself seems far more agile than her figure and fitness suggests, allowing for dexterous, agile movement beyond her physical capabilities.

Breaker 2: At will, Hush is able to form an outfit/armour, which has proved useful as a disguise during her vigilante work. This outfit is also a hardlight construction, and can be customised to some extent. Though not particularly durable as blades or bullets cut through it like regular cloth, it does appear to be quite good at storing or deflecting energy. By focusing, the outfit can be repaired and altered, though it cannot be removed from Hush without vanishing into light. Thankfully, upon dissipation her previous clothes appear to return intact.

Shaker 1: Hush seems capable of making a small number of hard-light structures in her immediate vicinity, though they appear limited to simple hollow shapes. These appear solid enough to support some weight and pressure, at least that of a person, but can easily be broken and appear to disappear in a small burst of light when they do. As of yet, Hush has yet to find much practical use for these objects in both her cape and personal life.

Thinker 5 - Combat/Environment/Sense & Skill: Hush's reactions, instincts and perception of her surroundings have heightened since her trigger event, helping her be resourceful and aware of both the environment and tendencies in her opponent, such as a preference in which direction they dodge, etc. Primarily, these enhanced senses are utilised in combat, but being more passively perceptive and faster reactions are helpful in a variety of situations.

Hush also seems highly adept at learning new skills and information, grasping techniques that should take far longer to master through observation and study, though the execution can sometimes take a bit more practice. Though she was already a smart student, the improved memory and other aspects of her Thinker abilities have fortunately afforded her more freedom with her time as she isn't required to study as much (Though she still enjoys doing so).

Striker 6: The crux of Hush's combat capabilities; by focusing her energy she is able to make weapons of light, primarily blades and the like. These weapons are able to inflict damage in a variety of ways, ranging from lethal cuts and heat-based slices; to basic bludgeoning and some sort of energy based kinetic strike. Though she hasn't had much chance to test their full capabilities, Hush believes them to be able to cut through not just physical matter, but energy and other substances. A unique quirk of the swords she forms is that they appear weightless to her, and make no sound on impact or movement, which can make them tricky to keep track of. Hush is also a bit stronger than her figure would suggest, which although unnatural, does not seem to surpass human limits.













































ImageImage◄: Power/Abilities:►

Hardlight Creation:
The primary ability of Hush appears to be a form of light/energy manipulation, able to create varying tangible objects out of light, the durability and capabilities of each varying based on application. Whether this is done through some personal energy, or external light sources is unknown; as her limits haven't been particularly challenged. The main objects she is capable of creating include a personal heroine outfit, blades and other weapons of light, and a series of simple geometric shapes. Despite repeated attempts at creating other objects, Hush is limited in the extent of what she can make, and what she can do with those creations, though there is some degree of adaptability to the objects she does make.

Enhanced Capability:
In terms of physical and mental capability, Hush has received a buff to her faculties. Her intelligence, perception, memory, senses, learning and the like have all improved greatly. Physically, her speed, dexterity, strength and agility have all increased, though perhaps to a lesser extent than her mental improvements. Overall, she's more capable than the average person.

Photon Form:
Utilizing the gateways she creates with her blade, Hush can travel at incredible speeds across varying distances, though only as a form of light. In that regard, she is capable of changing herself into energy in that specific circumstances, though the consequences of having this affected by another cape in some way could be catastrophic.

◄: Personal Skills:►

Musician:
Even prior to her ability to pick up and learn new skills quickly, Tess had been a member of the school band, primarily learning the violin, but able to transfer her musical knowledge to other instruments to some extent.

Cook:
Tess adores baking, both in obtaining delicious sweets to eat, as well as the relaxation involved in steadily following a recipe and making something special.

Scholar:
A history buff, Tess enjoys factual stories and information, reading on wars, politics, government everything. A versatile academic and researcher, Tess could probably rattle off quotes from a paper on just about anything.

Author:
Having written a number of papers and the like on various subjects, as well as read numerous fiction novels, Tess fancies herself as a bit of a writer, though more so as a hobby and time-sink than a career aspiration. At least, when it comes to her fictional writing.



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“I can be a light in the darkness: A beacon lighting the way for others.”

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◄:History:►

Terry 'Tess' Farina had a somewhat problematic childhood. Early on, she learned a few things about her habits. One, she was a nerd. Two, she looked like a boy. Three, glasses are strange to children. And lastly, social peers really enjoy pointing those facts out. Though the bullying did hurt her, she was strong enough to try and work past it, and to some extent, was successful in ignoring the taunts and jeers of her peers. Still, children are crafty and cruel. 'The Terrible Fartina' was the schoolyard call wherever she went, and stupid as it was, it began to eat away at her. They called her ugly. Said she looked like a boy. It cut deeply, but when she felt she had nowhere to turn, she searched and found people that understood her. An introverted nature didn't necessarily mean that she wanted no company. Whether out of necessity or choice, Terry began to associate with the group that pretty much everyone in the school (Themselves included) considered to be the losers. Among them, Terry made some genuine and wonderful friends, even if there were a bit strange. There was some strength in numbers, protection from the slurs, particularly once she began to wear the badge of nerd with pride. Over time, she buried the pain beneath her, and began to thrive as an academic. She read. She learned. She joined band and played the violin. Her mother taught her to bake and cook. In time, she thought she forgot it all.

Then, high school brought it all back. She hit puberty earlier than her peers, and grew to be taller than some of the guys. That didn't sit well with a bunch of insecure teenagers, and once again, the bullying returned. She didn't want it to affect her, but it did. She became highly self-conscious of her image, how she dressed and acted. She began to change. Her hair, which she'd always kept short, she began to grow out. After begging her father, she got a new, slimmer pair of glasses. All the baggy jeans and T-shirts she had were replaced with blouses and skirts. It didn't happen overnight, but... Well, soon enough, she'd changed her image. Some called her a try-hard, but she'd brushed up well. The teasing stopped. Or at least, it did for her. She began to make new friends, more popular friends. Even with her nerdy interests, she could feign the girly stuff to some extent mainly by letting the other person talk a lot and agreeing. The friends she'd once had, the 'losers'... Well, she had to make a choice on who she'd hang out with. And just like always, the losers lost. With 'Tess' no longer the focus of bullying, her former friends became the new targets. She didn't join in with the insults but... She never stepped in to help. She never checked whether they were okay.















































ImageImage◄:Trigger Event:►

When a number of the 'losers' committed mass suicide together, Tess was devastated, but that didn't push her over the edge. Apparently they'd all sliced their throat in some sort of ritual. Though she felt responsible for not being there, it was somewhat comforting the words that their parents gave her. A lot of them were thankful that she hadn't made the same choice they did. Still, she felt she owed it to them to do... Something, in tribute. She spent time gathering photos and preparing to speak at the funeral. She'd make a presentation, get lots of student comments remembering the good things about them. One of the parents even shared with her some of the last words written in the note they'd left, talking about the good times that they missed. It... Perhaps she was just upset. Maybe things had gotten to her more than she thought but... it didn't sound like the people she'd known. They were 'losers' sure but... They'd been proud of who they were. They weren't stupid either, they just... Didn't fit in. Yet the note... It wasn't written in a way like any of them would. It nagged at her, how little sense it made.

At school, things had gotten more sombre in the halls. Still, Tess was going to do her best for her friends. The 'Losers' that were still around happily contributed to her speech, but as she started to poll more of her peers, Tess made the fatal mistake of assuming that their deaths had changed things. "What do you care about those losers? It's better now that they're gone. Don't tell me you actually liked that dweeb?" Those words and more became common as she spoke with her new 'friends', asking for just a kind word or something nice they remembered. They were... awful. She'd stood by and done nothing previously, and that led to... She wasn't about to do nothing again. The ensuing argument threw Tess back into the depths of unpopularity hell. The bullying returned in an avalanche, far worse than it had ever been before. It was debilitating, but she couldn't just ignore it this time. One day after class, some of the girls had tried dunking her in the toilet. She tried to fight back, and, to her surprise, succeeded in injuring one of her assailants enough to break free and escape home. Though the words she'd heard as she fled chilled her to the bone: "You're gonna wish you were dead, just like those other losers."

As a class representative, Tess stayed back late on some days, helping with cleaning and other administrative jobs. As she finished doing the last rounds however, she noticed something odd. A large knife sat in the middle of the classroom, sitting on one of the desks. Strange, but... Well, it was her duty to tidy up, so she'd take it down to the principle's office or something. Taking the knife into her left hand, she went to head back out when she felt it. A terror rising in her heart, but also... Trembling, her left hand was slowly raising with the knife, moving to her throat. Despite fear clouding her mind, her right hand immediately darted out to grab hold, stopping it inches from her neck as she fought herself, fought for control over her body. What the hell was happening?! Laughter came from somewhere behind her, but she didn't have the strength to turn and see who. "Stupid Terry. What's wrong? Can't finish what you want to do?"

Tess knew that voice. The girl from the cubicles, the ringleader of all the torture her and the other 'losers' had endured over the years. "You just couldn't be normal, could you? Ah well, you always pissed me off anyway. I'm not gonna miss your stupid mug, and I think I'd get bored if I didn't get the chance to off another one of you losers. Scared right? You should be. See, I can control you with that knife, but I can't make you do anything you don't want to. Somewhere inside of you, you know you're just a pathetic sack of crap that wants to die. I'm just helping with that. And the best part is, I get off scott free! Don't worry, I'll leave a sweet little note to your mother about how you couldn't go on without your loser friends." Little by little, the knife pressed closer and closer to Tess' neck, guided by her own hand. Slowly, she was losing strength in her right arm resisting, especially since she was left handed. Tess screamed in fear, calling out for help. And suddenly, the knife slipped, and cut her throat. Then everything faded to light.





































ImageImage◄:Present Day:►

Somehow, someway, Tess survived. Mostly, it was dumb luck - She'd fainted from the fear and pain, but hadn't managed to do quite enough damage to herself to make it lethal. Her scream had managed to attract the night janitor, who'd stumbled in on her body and called the paramedics. The girl that had attacked her, Victoria, was nowhere to be found. In fact, she went missing after that. Tess had to make a number of statements to the police and PCRT, and thankfully, they believed her, investigating the incident and starting a search for Victoria. The deaths of her friends were listed as homicides. The trauma she'd undergone in such a short span of time wasn't without its consequences however.

The move to Capetown had been sudden, but Tess didn't mind. After all that had happened, she was thankful to be away from that mess she'd been involved in. A new school meant a new life, and new opportunities. It took a little time for her to come out from her shell, return to the hobbies she'd enjoyed in a new place. She got a job at a second hand bookstore. Slowly, she was recovering. At her new high school, Tess made a point of making friends with the less popular kids. Somehow, she just felt they'd probably be nicer and more accepting. Still, her new school wasn't without the same sort of problems. When the bullying started, Tess made a choice. She wasn't going to let her friends take that. It probably wasn't the smartest idea, but it worked. Tess became a martyr, and invited the other students to pick on her, to use her as a vent for their frustrations. Her bravery protected her to some extent, but not from everything. Still, after all she'd gone through it at her previous school, it was nothing. But, if in teasing her they left the rest of her friends alone, she'd be happy.

As Tess began to learn that she had developed powers, experimenting and harnessing them through instinct, she made the mistake of thinking it was an answer to her problems. Under the guise of a 'hero', she assaulted the bullies that had been teasing her, though quickly came to the realization that should she speak, they'd know who she was. She'd have to leave her new friends behind as she got involved with a hero association or something. And once she was gone, they'd be right back where they were before she had arrived. That, marked the first appearance of 'Hush' as the school journalist so cleverly coined, but it wasn't the last. Tess received a particularly rough day from the school bullies after that fiasco, but she didn't fight back. She couldn't, not without endangering her life as she knew it. At least, that's what she seemed to think. From that moment on, 'Hush' only appeared a few times. Sometimes to help other students being bullied, other times stopping petty crimes that just happened to be near her. Still, such activity wouldn't go unnoticed, and sooner or later, her actions and choices were going to catch up to her...



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“Perhaps I could go on to greater things, but I won’t leave them behind. I will always be with them.”

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So begins...

Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush)'s Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: River Riley (Zero) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

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INK

◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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“Ah, let’s see here…” Juggling a few books to her chest while trying to fumble around her bag for the store keys, Terry was just finishing up her shift at the unfortunately named ‘Bookies’. The owner, Mrs. Gretin, insisted that she’d never heard the term before, and thought it would make for a cute and appealing name as a bookstore. Alas, that did mean that Terry and the few other staff in her employ had to deal with the odd gambler looking to place some bets on horses. But that wasn’t the issue at hand. Terry had been working for Mrs. Gretin for some time, and as such, had been entrusted to do the odd night shift and shut up shop. So why was it that she couldn’t find the keys?

“I know I had them in here somewhere…” Mumbling to herself slightly, Tess sighed as despite a frantic scrabbling of her hand at the bottom of her large handbag, no pleasant jingling informed her of the location of her keys. Setting the books down beside her on the brick fence, Tess relented in her ‘quick’ approach and instead knelt to the floor, opening the bag and beginning to rummage through. Eventually she found what she was looking for clicking her tongue in mild annoyance as they’d gotten stuck tucked away into one of the lining pockets. Standing back up promptly, she quickly worked to lock the door, before striding down the few steps of the stoop and calmly heading down the street. Moments later she came running back, recollecting the books she’d left behind and tucking them under arm, jumping down the steps this time and jogging slightly as if her small forgetful moment had made her late in some way.

In truth, she wasn’t in any particular hurry. Whenever she had a late shift, her mother would usually have something in the fridge for her, but given this had been an unexpected shift, no one would be waiting up for her. Most would be saddened to work on a Sunday, but she didn’t mind, and she’d even found a few odds and ends new stories to take home. Still, it meant she’d have to pick something up to eat on the way home. Strolling down the street, Terry pulled out her phone briefly, taking a look at the time and any messages she would have received. Given how quiet work was though, it was unlikely anything would have changed since she last checked it five minutes ago. Almost 6:30… No wonder she was getting kind of ravenous.

Eying the various places along her route home, Tess briefly considered stopping at the ‘Which Wich’ on the way home, but visibly grimaced as she noticed the cloud of people inside. Seemed she wasn’t the only hungry person tonight, but that looked a little cramped for her liking, much as she loved a big doofy dog to hang around. Animals were much more pleasant company then people, and that one looked so smart and cute sitting in front of the counter - especially without a collar or leash or anything! It was probably a good thing she didn’t see the dog’s face. Not that Terry knew that. Re-shouldering her bag strap and straightening out the books under her arm again, Tess instead went back a block to cross the street, giving a polite wave to the car that stopped to let her past.

A burger probably wasn’t as healthy as the sub or wrap she’d get from a Which Wich, but a little indulgence never hurt anyone. It also came with the added benefit of little to no waiting as the queue was negligible. Soon after she’d ordered, she had her takeaway bag in hand, though now she was having trouble working out how to carry everything. Well, she certainly could carry everything, but she did want to get home soon, so she planned to try and eat on the move. Taking a small handful of fries as she mulled over her options, she decided she was impatient enough to try it. Carefully turning the books into a makeshift platter, she set the bag down on top, and began precariously balancing the load with one arm. Tucked in the elbow of one arm she kept her drink, the same side as her purse. That left her with one hole hand free to eat her burger with. Heading back out the door and across the street, she happily began munching away as she made her way home past the Which Wich; though it was annoying how her handbag strap kept slipping off her shoulder...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: River Riley (Zero) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black
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Footnotes

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Image

It had taken the woman long enough, but the clerk who worked behind the counter finally grabbed a sandwich for the boy beside Jericho, giving a strained smile to the boy in question, who quickly turned and left; giving one last pet to the dog that had managed to get him some food- For whatever reason. The moment the boy was out of sight, the employee was treated to another sight that promptly made her yelp, which then escalated into a sort of quiet horror. The 'dog' that had previously been barking at her, wagging its tail and looking friendly enough was on it's hind legs and staring at her, leaning forward with enough conviction to give her the impression that it had some amount of intelligence.

Jericho continued to stare at the cashier, letting his jaw split into a smile that he had hoped would look endearing... It was terrifying in reality, the Dia de' skull that adorned his face was split along with the fur and skin, giving show to all the teeth that lined the gums of his mouth. When the woman started staring, and then shouting at him, he paused and let the smile fall. He couldn't quite understand what was so discerning, weren't dogs cute? A shrug followed then, and he dropped the form in its entirety.

Black ink-like vines and marks spread over the fur of the dog; coiling in some places and pooling in others, giving way to a rather sudden shift in growth and size, legs becoming 'properly' bent and chest broadening enough to show a humanoid sort of figure. The 'sugar skull' painted on his face remained, as the skull itself rounded out and took on the proper shape for a human. The skeleton done, the muscles followed and then the skin; though over the chest and lower portion of the body, ink coalesced into a pair of blue jeans and a soft cloth hoodie, with what could be considered actual fur around the inside and lining of the hood and torso portions. Jericho grinned again, leaning on the counter once more and speaking as if he hadn't just been an overly large German Shepherd. "Hey! Thanks for feeding the kid. He was really hungry, and I figured that he could do with a meal. Except... I'm also kinda hungry!" He finished, cutting his long explanation short and standing straight up again.

The cashier hasn't listened, instead having chosen to just keep shouting and stammering, vastly unhappy that the dog that had 'coerced' her into giving some random child food, was apparently a teenager... Who also looked well off enough to pay for the food outright! She voiced this greievence aloud, angrily as well. Which of course left Jericho in a bad enough spot. Oops.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: River Riley (Zero) Character Portrait: Jason Riley (Quantum) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black
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◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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Slowly making her way home, a normal person would’ve probably continued along without a second thought. But Tess wasn’t a normal person. At first, it was just something she could faintly hear, but with the slightest amount of focus, she was able to make out what was being said, and from where. "Do me a favor. Check out the blond kid in the black jacket I need to know his deal." Blinking once, Terry looked up towards the roof of the building across the street, squinting slightly as she could make out a figure up there. Immediately, she regretted her decision and looked back away, hoping that her glance was more subtle than it felt. Looking back into the Which Wich, it seemed the dog was still inside, along with the swarm of patrons. Of course, one stood out a little more in this situation.

The boy eating by himself at one of the tables matched the description she heard. Was he being targeted or something? Taking a last bite of her hamburger as she moved slightly past the doorway, Tess kneeled by the window of the store, reorganising her bag and the food as she tucked the burger wrapper away. Maybe it wasn’t any of her business, and maybe it wasn’t something untoward, but it wouldn’t hurt to watch for a few moments more. Pulling out her phone, Terry pretended like she was popular enough to receive a message, sipping from her drink while looking over the screen. Fortunately, she didn’t have to pretend very long before shouts and swearing could be heard from inside the store. Pivoting quickly on the spot, Terry immediately regretted the decision as she covered her mouth.

The dog- No, the… Whatever that was, began to shift and morph in a gruesomely disturbing twist of inky blackness. It was disconcerting and more than a little terrifying, Terry reflexively taking a step back from the scene. She really wished she hadn’t just been eating. Forcing down the uncomfortable feelings, soon enough, the transformation was complete; a young man standing at the counter and receiving more than a few stern words from the cashier. A shapeshifter? That really creeped her out… Shivering involuntarily, the mood in the store seemed to have drastically shifted with this new revelation; the parahuman in the middle of the room drawing everyone’s attention. Was he the one connected to the male on that roof?

Tess decided to tear her eyes away from the intimidating boy with the skull paint. At least, for the moment, though she still kept him in her peripheral vision in case he was an actual danger. The blonde man seemed to have gotten involved in some sort of mess with a lady in the confusion, though no sooner had they began speaking did the blonde fellow seem to remember something, suddenly darting around her and out the door. “Uh excuse me-“ Tess felt she had an obligation to warn the boy to his observers, but he was quick, and she wasn’t exactly loud. The fellow slipped out of earshot and into the nearby alleyway before she’d gotten more than two words in. Moving to briefly bundle her belongings up again, by the time Tess followed to the sidestreet, the boy was already gone. Parahuman as well? It wouldn’t be unheard of in Capetown. That might have explained the interest of the other party in observing him. Still, if he was a parahuman, he could probably handle himself. Hopefully. There wasn’t exactly much she could do at this point.

“I really need to stop sticking my nose into other people’s business… “ Tess finally concluded, checking her phone once more for the time. It was pushing closer to seven now. Not exactly the safest time of day for a lone young lady in a town full of super powered individuals. She really should start heading home before her father began worrying. Pocketing the device again, she made her way to pass the sandwich store for the third time that evening, briefly looking inside to see if the commotion had resolved, while at the same time glancing back to the building opposite. She couldn’t see anyone there anymore, so hopefully she was just being overly paranoid for that other boy’s safety.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: River Riley (Zero) Character Portrait: Jason Riley (Quantum) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush)
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◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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The tension was still in the air of the store, with only a few remaining people inside. The shaper was still the focus of the attention given his earlier display, but as of yet, hadn’t made any dangerous motions. At least, if making a mess on the countertop didn’t count as something sinister. Still, it was impossible to ignore the screams and panic of that clerk. A few of the scared individuals that had fled the store were now getting well clear of the scene, and judging by the phones in their hands, it was likely the police or a hero agency had been called. Awkward as the situation was, it was handled… Right? It’s not like she could step in without drawing undo attention to herself – Anyone with the confidence to do so was basically telling those around them that they were likely a parahuman themselves. She could probably slip off to change, but despite the loud cashier and heavy air, it seemed unnecessary.

Indecision plagued her. Or perhaps it was more she’d made the conscious decision to wait? Regardless, that confident woman had the guts to ask the important question that would either defuse or escalate the situation. Maybe she could’ve done that if she’d been in the room, but as it stood, she was an outside observer. She’d made up her mind. Heeding her earlier advice to herself, Terry finally stepped back away from the window, continuing her way down the street and back towards home. Even so, her ears were peaked to try and eavesdrop on the changer’s reply, just in case. She wouldn’t get to hear too much more then that as she made her way from the store. Well, unless things got really messy and broke into a huge fight – and at that point, she’d be able to make her way back.

The trip home was peaceful. Well, relatively peaceful. Since she was running behind, Tess decided to take a couple of the shortcuts she’d learned in her time living in Capetown, moving through the odd alley and busted up chain link fence. Her family wasn’t exactly poor, but they weren’t extraordinarily well off. Still, her mother was a shrewd woman. Which was another way of saying she was a cheapskate. As such, a cheaper rent in one of the shadier neighbourhoods wasn’t much of a concern for her parents; at least for a few years until they reconsolidated their funds to purchase something more substantial and not have a crippling mortgage. Either way, it wasn’t a huge concern of Tess’. She had a modest savings from her casual work, and hopefully the grades for a scholarship of some sort. If not, it was just a matter of finding some like-minded individuals to be roommates with. No sweat.

A crash sounded off in the distance, quite far by Tess’ estimation. She’d found she was getting better at judging sounds and the like, especially when it was quiet enough to focus on them like this. An accident? Or something else? Shaking her head, she decided to continue on her way. She’d already made up her mind that she couldn’t keep stopping for each and every little sign of danger. There were plenty of actual heroes for that, and if she didn’t get home, her parents would worry. She couldn’t risk having her secret out. Just as she was thinking that, an explosive green light lit up part of the horizon, a rumbling sound and rush of wind reaching her after a short delay. Must have really been something if she could feel it from here… Her hands fidgeted slightly as she looked in the direction of the explosion. Giving an exasperated sigh, Tess continued on her way, moving parallel to the distant blast. Something like that wouldn’t go unnoticed. Heroes would be there. They could handle things.


It wasn’t long before Tess stumbled upon some people. Striding down the street, she cocked her head to the pair of panting voices, eying the two scruffy gentlemen in her way, though neither seemed to have noticed her. The two looked more than a little shaken, so perhaps that was why she was so fortunate. Not wanting trouble, especially in her civilian wear, Tess tried to stealthily cross the street to avoid them, not making eye contact and keeping her head low. The one on the left was tall, thin, with a number of piercings and one of those large ear spreaders. His hair was tied behind him in a greasy rat’s tail, his outfit a decidedly punk ensemble, and although she wasn’t the kind to judge books by the cover, she visibly grimaced. His partner didn’t look much better, a balding fellow in stained white tank top, some degree of muscle showing. Both were panting as they caught their breath, leaning against the brick wall for support.

“Shit, how do the freakin’ capes get there so fast?” Ratty spoke, resting his hands on his knees before sitting up. “Think someone snitched? Or maybe that guy’s psychic?”

“I don’t know how them freaks work! Just be glad we got out of there before that guy exploded! Whoever that Aegis guy was, he’s got to be toast now!” Baldy replied, spitting a wad to clear his mouth. “Not that we’re gonna find any cash in that mess. Damn it, let’s get the hell out of here!”

“Whoah whoah, easy there Buck. This is our chance.” Rat-tail grabbed his friend by the shoulder, raising a finger to indicate he had an idea. “While our friend draws all the focus of the heroes that way, we just need to find ourselves another target, snatch us some quick cash, and get off scot free.”

‘Buck’ as he was revealed to be, gave rat a look of disbelief. “You crazy man? You still wanna go after getting that close to that mess? What if another fre-“ Baldy didn’t get to finish his sentence as Rat-Tail interrupted. “What’s the chances we run into another one? Our luck’s not that bad you dipshit.” Slapping Buck on the back, Rat took a few jogging steps away, spreading his arms wide. “Come on, stop being a chicken bait. We-“ Ratty stopped speaking, and Tess knew that was a bad sign.

Pheeew~, See? When life gives you lemons…” Ratty whistled, then whispered to the bald fellow, and Tess distinctly heard the sound of jogging footsteps coming up behind her. “Hey, hey, missy, what’s the hurry? Those are some big books, need some help?” Ratty was closing in, and Tess wanted no part of what he was planning. Hastening her pace, she hoped he’d give up the chase, but the gangly man wasn’t slow. “Hey, hold up, I just want to talk!” Tess risked a glance behind her, and was startled to see him less than a couple of metres from her, reaching forward to take her arm.

Breaking into a run as the snatch came in just wide of Terry’s hand, she heard Rat-Tail shout to Baldy to get after her as well, but was confident she could escape given her abilities as a parahuman. At least, until she heard the rumble of an engine. Stealing another backwards glance, she spotted Ratty clambering onto a motorbike with Buck at the front, gunning it to follow after her. There was no doubt in her mind that she could deal with two ordinary individuals, but she couldn’t transform without completely revealing her identity. She had to find somewhere to hide or outrun them, and then Hush would make sure that they ended their night in a jail cell.

Knocking a trashcan behind her in an attempt to slow them down, Tess really hoped she’d get that chance as she ducked into another side alley. She could handle it... Right?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)
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“How are the callers tonight?” Kayle looked up from grabbing his jacket as another member of the radio team managed to pop in to take his spot on the evening shift, the last one before the automated music system took over for the graveyard section.

“Not bad, had a couple of idiots call in with political opinions, but such is the risk you take.” Kayle responded with a light smile, flipping his jacket onto himself. He made sure his keys were in his pocket and he grabbed his opaque black motorcycle helmet.

“Right, always a few of them. I always hang up and pretend like there was a bad connection.”

“Ignorance is it’s own reward sometimes. The more ‘out there’ ones entertain the listeners, so may as well let them rant for a while.” Kayle stated, taking a look around the room to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything.

He was standing in a standard radio recording room. A red light, that was currently off, sat above the door to let the hosts know when they were live. In the middle of the room was a fairly large table capable of seating several people and filled to the brim with mics and recording equipment, not to mention papers and reminders for the hosts. The room itself was painted a pleasant blue, with a window overlooking the city from their third floor position and a window off to the side showcasing the recording studio section. There sat a tech who was more busy with his phone at the moment than he was with the controls, which was to be expected as they were running uninterrupted music for the next half an hour.

“Eh, I’d prefer not to spread it if I can help it, but that’s just the Crunkster way!” Kayle looked over at his fellow host. The ‘Crunkster’, a.k.a Phillip Unnetti was a heavy set man who could stand to lose at least 60 pounds, but he had a great voice for radio and a rather magnetic personality that flowed with an electricity and excitement that you simply wouldn’t expect from a man of his size. A big bushy beard, long hair that reached down to the middle of his back and a smile that simply beamed with genuine happiness projected an impression of the jolly fat man. Honestly, Kayle liked the guy. They weren’t necessarily close, but he was easy to talk to and easy to listen to.

“A fair point, to be sure. I left you the traffic reports there, and there’s a box of donuts. Sorry, they’ll be a bit old at this point.” Kayle stated as he twirled his helmet around his fingers.

“No such thing as a bad donut buddy. Take care out there, heard traffic is backed up for miles again.”

“Hence why I don’t own a car.” Kayle smiled, holding up his helmet. “And with that, Talion’s out. Enjoy the night!”

“Will do Kangaroo!” Phillip stated, taking his seat at the table and organizing his notes for the night broadcast. Kayle made his way out of the recording studio, giving a nod to the tech who gave a two finger salute as a wave goodbye. Exiting out the stairs and descending the two floors to the ground, Kayle exited the building and walked the couple of blocks to where his bike was parked.

An older Yamaha, purple with a black finish. It was nothing particularly flashy, having a bit of dirt on it to detract from the overall style of the vehicle, but Kayle enjoyed it all the same. Flipping on the helmet and starting up his bike, he started the long trek back home.




Once again, he was met with resistance as he weaved through cars, much to the chagrin of everyone else who was stuck. Horns blared, swears were uttered and more than enough fingers were given to Kayle to make him feel a little fuzzy on the inside. A part of him never understood their anger. He wasn’t damaging their cars and he wasn’t breaking any laws, but jealousy was a powerful emotion apparently.

Well, of course it was, Kayle knew that all too well.

He continued on the Loop for some time until even his skills on a bike weren’t going to get him much farther. With several large trucks making the spaces too small for even him to get past, he decided that was enough of that and shoved himself off onto an exit. While it wasn’t his normal route, and to be honest with the way traffic was he didn’t really have one, he was confident in his ability to get back home with little trouble. After all, aside from the busiest street in all of Capetown, traffic should start slowing down now that it was getting closer to 7.

As Kayle started flying down the nearly empty streets of the city, he started imagining the stir fry sitting in his fridge with an almost salivating grin. He was hungry, he had to give up his lunch today when a major accident on the 7-9 left a lot of people angry and cut off. He had taken the time to give minutely updates on the situation and was left with only donuts to snack on. He wasn’t much for sweets, so after just one he had decided that was enough for him. The hum of his own engine was cut off by a couple yells as he rounded a corner with enough time to see a woman duck into an alley and a couple of men on a bike take pursuit. Kayle stopped his bike, popping up his visor to view the spectacle as the two men entered the alley.

Is this worth delaying my stir fry supper? Kayle wondered, after all there were plenty of Capes out tonight. That being said, he was hungry and this could be entertaining enough to distract from his hunger for awhile. Kayle sighed as he pulled the bike into the alley and started the pursuit. He shrouded himself in darkness as a precaution. His face was already covered by the opaque nature of the helmet, but he didn’t want them to recognize his bike. In a moment, in the shadows of the alley, all one could perceive was the sound of another motorbike as it continued its pursuit.

Before long, Kayle had run into them again, stopped in the middle of an alley seemingly in some sort of argument. Had they lost the girl? Had she gotten away? It would make things a lot easier for Kayle if she had, but he doubted that was the case. Chances are she managed to hide somewhere, and they were most likely on top of her. Kayle pulled up close enough to the two of them for their heads to turn and their eyes squint at the source of the sound.

“Is that a...motorcycle?”

“Don’t know...I can’t see shit.”

“You don’t think she found her own bike?”

“Nah, that’s probably not it.” Kayle stated, projecting his empathic aura forward as a sense of dread and fear started to creep into the minds of his two targets. Already, their faces were starting to contort with an array of different emotions that Kayle specifically blended to create a sense of panic.

“Ho fuck! What is that! WHAT IS THAT!”

“LET ME OUT! I’M OUT OF HERE!”

“What, so you can do this again? I would much rather prefer a straightforward approach.” Kayle launched his chains forward faster than either of them could react, wrapping around their legs as they clawed at the dark constructs and sending the bike they were using flying down the alley with a cacophony of deafening noise as it broke to pieces.

“WHAT IS THIS! WHAT THE FUCK! GET IT OFF!” They were yelling interchangeably, meanwhile the chains continued to constrict with all the force of a vise. Soon, there was the telltale crack of bones snapping, followed by screams of pain and terror as Kayle lifted them into the air and threw them back into the street.

“If you can’t use your legs for decent pursuits, there’s no need for you to walk.” Kayle whispered, giving a smile beneath his helmet before he realized they couldn’t see it. He mentally slapped his forehead, forgetting he had blocked his calling card from view. Well, could be worse I suppose. Kayle thought to himself as he looked around the alley for the woman they were chasing. With his night vision, he could see as clearly as if the sun was shining in this exact spot, but he didn’t spot anything. Maybe she had gotten away? In which case, he was delaying his supper.

Still, before he could take off he had to do the responsible thing. As much as he wanted to leave those pricks crawling around in the middle of the street until they expired, he knew that particular bit of knowledge to any person would peg him as a monster. They still viewed him as a monster anyways, but that would legitimize their campaign against him. So with that in mind, he pulled his cellphone out of his pocket, slid up the visor of his helmet and placed the cell as close as he could to his ear. His shadow cover fell away as he sat on his bike, the phone ringing quietly between the screams of pain from the two thugs.

“911, what’s your emergency.”

“I need police and ambulance to 12th and...uhhh…” Kayle looked around for another sign, only to mentally reprimanded himself again, because he was in an alley and there wasn’t going to be a sign here. “Let’s see, drove several blocks...stopped, alley...12th and Chrone street. Two thugs, badly injured, multiple broken bones and possible internal bleeding.”

“Who is this?”

“I would suggest putting a hustle on it.” Kayle said as he ended the call. Every single dispatcher was the same, asking ‘Who is this?’ every time he gave the location of people he couldn’t be bothered to personally drop off at the police station. It got annoying after a while. Placing his phone back into his pocket, he flipped down his visor and started taking off down the alley.

He still had stir fry waiting for him at home.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)
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◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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Tess was running out of time, fast. With the two goons hot on her heels, and only a few fleeting moments left where she was clear of their line of sight, she needed to make a decision. Transform and fight? Try to hide? Attempt to outrun them? None of those options sounded appealing, as all likely ended with her getting caught and revealing her identity in order to protect herself. Every moment she kept running, her options narrowed, and if she didn’t do something, the decision would be made for her. Wrenching her eyes shut, Terry silently swore to herself, and dragged herself to the side, crouching down amongst some trashbags and garbage as she held her nose. Ew, ew. Hopefully those bozos would be dumb enough to just keep speeding past this mess – It wouldn’t take too much effort for them to see her once they got past the trash pile, but hopefully they weren’t that bright to realise there was nowhere else she could have gone.

The sound of the motorbike’s rumbling engine reached the entrance to the alley as it pulled in, but contrary to Tess’ hopes, the engine seemed to slow as the motorbike crept along steadily. “No way that broad got out to that street, she’s gotta be here…” Ratty commented, Tess hearing footsteps as he climbed off the bike and strode a bit further down the alley, occasionally peering into a trashcan or kicking a cardboard box. “Freakin’ city needs to get its shit together, could do with some light in this alley to find her…” He muttered, stopping just short of Terry’s hiding place as he turned back to Buck. “What are you standing there for ya dope? Help me look!”

“Jim, let’s just get out of here. I got a bad feeling man…” Buck pleaded, glancing back behind him for a moment. Ratty didn’t seem to care, spouting off some nonsense about ambition, fighting back, cowardice… Whether it was working or not, Terry never got to see, as the two suddenly went silent as another sound filled the alleyway, that of another bike.

“Is that a...motorcycle?” Buck asked, glancing to his partner

“Don’t know...I can’t see shit.” Rat-face muttered, apparently still annoyed with his comrade.

“You don’t think she found her own bike?” Buck added, and was about to shield himself from the incoming slap to his head for his idiocy before a third voice spoke out, stopping the two mid-act.

“Nah, that’s probably not it.”

The next moments were a whirlwind of chaos. Screams and swears of pure, genuine terror filled the alley as Jim and Buck sounded scared out of their minds. A rattling sound and squeal of metal scraping metal was heard, and although Tess had been gearing herself up to peer out from her cover, she instead gave a soft yelp of fright as she ducked her head back down to avoid the two’s motorbike sailing clean over her head, already splintering into pieces as it bounced and tumbled down the alley in a reckless spin. Staring back behind her to the broken mess for a few moments, the next few sounds sent shivers through her body.

*Crack* It was a visceral sensation hearing that sound, along with the agonised cries of her pursuers. That sound soon faded out to nothing as the pain was too much for them to bear, shifting the thugs into unconsciousness. Shortly after, two hard and heavy thuds hit the ground, Terry covering her mouth to silence her scream as the incapacitated bodies of Ratty and Baldy fell to the ground just in front of her. She could clearly see the look of fear still etched on their faces, as well as the awkward direction their lower limbs had bent. It was horrific, and she had to bring her free hand to try and hold her other to stop the trembling. J-Just who… Or what..?

She could still faintly make out the sounds slightly further down the alley, along with the soft noise of… Ringing? A phone? “I need police and ambulance to 12th and...uhhh…” It was a male voice that spoke, the same as the one before, and likely the culprit behind her… Rescue? Or was it more of an assault on those two? Removing her glasses for a moment, Tess slowly positioned them to get a bit of a view in the reflection, and was surprised to see not some monster, but a young man. She’d personally been anticipating another terrifying Changer. Returning her glasses to her face, her mind began to race. Should she say something? He hadn’t seemed to have noticed her, so she could just hide and slip off like nothing happened. And yet…

Steeling herself, Tess waited to the last possible moment as the boy mounted his bicycle before standing up, clutching one of the second-hand books to her chest as if it would afford her some protection should he turn on her. “Hey!” Terry’s voice was a bit louder than she intended, but it did seem he was about to take off. Maybe he still would. “I appreciate you helping me but… Isn’t this a bit excessive? Aren’t you a hero or something?” Tess normally wasn’t the kind to speak like this, and maybe she shouldn’t considering what those men had been trying to do but… There was no need for that brutality, and she wasn’t about to just sit by and ignore it. Despite the strength of her conviction, he voice did quiver slightly, as did her legs tremble. After seeing what he’d done, she was scared, sure. But there were some values she held highly, and would never compromise on.

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Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)
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Kayle had been about to launch himself out of the alley, bee-lining home for food that his stomach so desperately craved. He had let his guard down, this had been an impromptu rescue after all, and now he was caught without his shadow concealing him. The moment the woman spoke, his head snapped back and once more he was wreathed in shadow. Stupid...stupid stupid stupid...should have stayed concealed till I was heading home. Kayle thought to himself as he got a look at the girl. She seemed somewhat defiant, her words gave way to appreciation with more than a bit of concern laced with them. Excessive? Spoken like someone who’s never had to cross the line, or remained ignorant to the truth that the true bastards of the city don’t respect anything but pain and violence. He let out a little smile beneath his helmet at the question of his professional moral alignment. Was he a hero? Nah, he never considered himself one. In fact, on public record, Twisted Smile was a wanted criminal with a record for aggravated assault and attempted murder, but the people on who he committed these acts were always casually brushed under the rug in order to make him look like the evil man he truly was.

What should he say to her though? People were often so scared of him by this point that their tongues refused to form words, their eyes shifted to the ground and their legs quivered beneath their bodies. Admittedly, that was partially his fault as he often spread out his empathetic aura to encompass an area, usually grabbing a civilian or two that were simply too close for comfort. She seemed to be afraid slightly, but had enough backbone to address him after what she had seen him do undoubtedly. He was caught in an uncomfortable situation. A lot of his persona, reputation and fear came from his demeanor and how he acted. It was one of the things that allowed him to get the drop on people, as true criminals would actually shake in their boots at the mention of his name, since other criminals would carry that information and create stories of the boogeyman, the chains that bind, the Twisted Smile.

“Did I ever say I was a hero?” Kayle stated through the dark shroud that now covered his body and motorcycle. “Brutality is a universal language, even idiots such as those can understand that. You call it excessive, I call it a translation.”

“You had stopped them. There was no need for that, that’s not…” Tess hesitated a little, the dark shadows enveloping the boy intimidating, and she wasn’t entirely sure whether he intended to use his powers, whatever they may be, against her. Swallowing nervously, she continued. “Just because they understand violence doesn’t justify it.”

Kayle gave a sigh, the shadows shifting around his form harmlessly as he looked down at the ground. This was an inevitable argument that happened too many times for his liking. Those who never had to go to such lengths because others like himself perform the necessary evil themselves. He could go into a discussion about morality, necessities and prevention, but that would drag things out. “If the world operated by blind ideals that everyone can and will do the right thing, then there would be no place for someone like me. The fact of the matter is that we don’t live in a fairytale.” Kayle looked at the girl, although he knew she couldn’t really tell which way he was looking through the shadows. “Villains and criminals consider heros to be an inconvenience, a small fight followed by a stint in jail. They’re never truly in danger because heroes will never kill them…” Kayle looked back at the crippled criminals. “That’s why they fear me…because they won’t be walking away unscathed.”

Tess wasn’t entirely sure what to say. Not initially at the very least. She couldn’t deny that there was some sense to what he said. Cold as it was, that hard logical standpoint was something close to the truth. But even so… Even so… “So you have the right to deliver that judgement all by yourself? What if you’re wrong?” Tess challenged, trying to take a step forward. She didn’t really manage it, since her legs still felt like jelly, so she instead remained where she was. “People make mistakes… And I don’t just mean you could be wrong. These people…” She looked to the unconscious and beaten crooks before swiftly turning back away, remembering why that was a bad idea. “People can change. They can be victims of circumstance. Can you really condemn everyone the moment they step out of line without any chance for redemption?”

“If they need to be reminded by someone like me that what they’re doing is wrong, then what they would get wouldn’t be redemption, it would be forced reform. At which point, they’re not acting nice and ‘good’ because they know and believe it’s the right thing to do...they’re doing it because they’re scared of me.” Kayle stated, looking back at the girl. “You obviously stand by your own ideals, and I respect that, but I can’t agree with it. Such a viewpoint always leads to repeated criminal behaviour.” Kayle revved his motorcycle once, indicating his intent to leave. “We could sit here and wax the philosophical all night, but I haven’t eaten all day. I suggest you get going home, chances are I won’t be around if you get attacked for a second time tonight.” Kayle finished the conversation from his end, revving his engine a couple more times before speeding out of the alley and taking a left to continue to his home.

He was stupid with hunger and stir fry was waiting.

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Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)
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As the shadowy man made his point of view clear, it was obvious that such discussion was unlikely to yield any change in either his opinion or her own. Though Tess wasn’t afraid to continue such discussion in a calm and rational manner, the situation didn’t permit a lengthy debate as the man oriented his bike to leave, giving some last advice that she make her way home before any other danger fell upon her. Terry didn’t exactly have any rebuttal for that, nor did she feel it prudent to delay the man from his meal. Not that she could, as even if she wanted to he had already driven away, leaving Tess alone in the company of the two incapacitated crooks.

Shortly after he left, sirens sounded nearby, a few police cars skidding to a stop just outside the alleyway as a few members of the local law enforcement entered the alley with guns drawn. Terry was quick to place her hands in the air, guided away to the back of a police car for an initial interrogation. Soon enough after describing what had happened – Both the chase at the hands of the criminals, as well as the shadowy man that had assaulted them – the situation became much less hostile as any suspicion they had into her potential involvement faded. In fact, at the mention of the shadowy gentleman Terry was pressed for further details describing him and his actions, along with being asked for a formal statement regarding him and the events of that night.

Of course, it wasn’t the ideal way to spend the night, but Tess wasn’t the kind to refute those working hard to protect the local citizens. After a somewhat lengthy phone call to her parents, Tess made her way with the police to the station and filled in a detailed description of what she’d seen of ‘Twisted Smile’ as the police informed her, a somewhat notorious villain known for his extreme methods and the ability to strike fear into those around him. From what Terry recalled of her own experience with him, the panic and terror of James and Buck stood as a prominent reminder of that fact. Still, for a villain, he had saved her. Despite the Police insisting that he was a criminal, it was pretty clear based on the information he was more of a vigilante. A misguided one perhaps, but he was trying to do the right thing, at least in his mind. That’s how she saw it at least.

“So he had a motorbike was it? Did you get to see the plates?” The interrogator asked her, urging Tess to remember as many details as she could. In all honesty, she could picture it all vividly, her memory far better than any normal person; but for the sake of seeming normal, she kept things relatively general, able to only describe the model and colour. For what it was worth, that seemed a good starting point for the police, and they intended to look through registration information to track something down. Once they were satisfied they thanked Tess for her time and provided her a lift home.

Worn out from the night’s excitement, Tess only briefly entertained her parents by talking through the events, making sure to assuage their concerns for her well being. In all honesty, she just wanted to get some sleep at this point. There was no sense in dwelling on what had happened. Instead, she’d have to look forward to what tomorrow would bring. Heading through her nightly routine, Tess did her best to sleep peacefully, but her mind tormented her a little with the sounds and visions of pain and terror she’d heard. It was going to be a rough night.

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“…And so that’s what happened. I really thought about staying home, but I think I’d just be bored.” Tess finally finished her explanation with a bit of a laugh, turning as they made their way through the gate to the school. It’d taken the vast majority of the walk to go through it all, though even then; she’d left out quite a number of details. Thankfully, her walking partner was more preoccupied with other thoughts.

“Gee, you’re so calm about all that. I think I would’ve fainted when they first called out to me…” Amy, Tess’s closest friend since the move to Capetown, gave what looked to be an involuntary shudder. She was a shorter girl, pudgier, with blond hair and a rounded face. She wasn’t exactly ugly or anything, but her weight, asthma and a multitude of other factors made her the social outcast that she was. Still, despite some low self-confidence she was genuine and honest, a real treat to be around, as she always wore her heart on her sleeve. “I’m really glad you’re okay Tess. I really don’t know what I’d do without you around…”

“Well, I imagine you’d be upset, but you really got to give yourself more credit Amy. You’re plenty capable on your own merit.” Tess reassured Amy as best she could, but got little more than a downward shake of the head. Gently, she gave her friend a pat on the back. “Hey, I was the one who got into trouble, so I’m the only one with the right to look that sad today, yeah?” Striding forward a few steps towards ‘their’ spot just inside the gate, the two were usually pretty punctual, so they had some time to kill before class. Waiting for them was another of Tess’ friends, Marcy. Unlike them, she was reasonably popular, but for whatever reason, tended to just keep her distance and preferred to hover in their company. An aloof girl, the only times she tended to chip in was for a sarcastic remark, but usually it was in good jest. There was one sole exception that she seemed to enjoy picking on however. Taking a seat on the bricks of the garden just under the perimeter tree, Tess reached into her bag to pull out one of the books she’d picked up at work as a point of discussion, but was swiftly interrupted as the intrepid fourth to their group made his grand entrance.

A scrabbling from the bushes behind Terry was the first sign of his arrival. Or had he been there the whole time? It was hard to tell, since he had a habit of avoiding Marcy. Soon enough however, the young man leapt from the bushes of the garden, shaking off the leaves of foliage and giving the three a wide grin. “’Bout time you all got here! I’ve been going mad with anticipation of revealing my latest and greatest plan!” Glen, as he was known, was pretty much a goofball. Eccentric was the polite way of putting it, but he always managed to make Tess smile with his antics and schemes. He lived in his own little world to some extent, but hey, at least that world was fun. With curly red hair, he’d certainly stand out, even without his extravagant personality.

“So I take it the ‘Lets Play’ career didn’t take off as you’d hope..?” Tess asked optimistically, and was swiftly silenced by a finger pointed in her face. “Hah! Everybody does gaming streams these days, if you want to be famous, you’ve got to be ahead of the curve!” Glen declared with gusto, even as Tess shook her head and used her hand to push his finger aside. Undeterred, he continued. “What you need, is to be a thing-“

“Really Glen?” Marcy interrupted with a raised brow, but was then cut off herself by him continuing. “As I was saying, you need to be a thing! Like, the violin girl, or or, the angry dude. So that’s what I’m going to do, with this!” Thrusting a hand out towards the three, Glen held a closed fist in front of them. Marcy was the first to give her opinion. “Oh, I get it. Elephantiasis hand man. People do like a freak show, Glen.”

“Marcy, don’t be rude. He’s obviously building suspense…” Amy chided, while Glen gave some approving nods of her defence. Slowly, he flipped his hand and uncurled his fingers to reveal…

“A Harmonica?” Tess stated the obvious, ignoring Marcy’s snort as she turned away to cover her laughter. “That’s uh, great Glen! You’ll be the harmonica guy then?” Amy asked, getting some vigorous nods in response. Finally composing herself, Marcy re-entered the conversation. “Glen, how many ‘Harmonica People’ can you actually name?”

“None, that’s exactly why I’ll be the first! If there was already a ‘Harmonica Guy’ I couldn’t be THE harmonica guy. Geez, think your questions through Mars Bar.” Glen pulled the harmonica up to his lips, making a series of three thweet sounds that steadily got lower in pitch, with the fourth one wavering a bit before he stopped to speak again. “In case you couldn’t tell, that was supposed to be the fail sound effect.”

“Right… If you can’t even do that correctly, I hate to say that your prospects of becoming the ‘Harmonica Guy ‘are practically non-existant.” Making some air quotes and shaking her head, Marcy paused as she seemed to notice something behind the group, giving a short wave. “Well, good luck with that anyway. I’ve got to go.” Jogging past them, Marcy was soon enough out of sight as Tess and the others said their goodbyes. Realising the time themselves, they decided they’d better get going to class; bundling up their bags and heading off.



Class was uneventful. For the most part, Tess was a focused and diligent student, but since her trigger it was becoming easier and easier to pay less attention, as well as becoming bored by the material. As such, lunch was a welcome reprieve and it gave her chance to better catch up with Glen, the two sharing the same free period on Monday. Though he was somewhat unpredictable in his interests, Amy clearly had mentioned Tess’ incident the night before, as the conversation quickly moved into the specifics of what had happened, and who she’d seen.

“The police said I was lucky he didn’t harm me.” Tess said as she took another bite of her sandwich. Glen shook his head, pulling up the details on his phone and showing her one of the many hero and villain based wikis. “I wouldn’t call it luck. The guy tends to go after villains. Probably thought you were just some cute girl and left you be. Honestly, I don’t get why he’s classed as a villain though, he’s clearly more a hero type.” Leaning back in his seat, Glen waved his hand about. “Honestly, the real fans like me are way better informed then the police. They could learn a thing or two about our information gathering skills.

“If you say so Glen. Though honestly, seeing how he dealt with those guys, I can understand why the Police aren’t too fond of him…” Tess trailed off, doing the best to force the image of their beaten bodies from her mind. Seeing the mild distress on Terry’s face, Glen decided to move the conversation along. “So… It was uh… Pretty traumatic, huh? Real scary. Maybe even…” Leaning in again, Glen gave Terry a nudge in the side. “…Triggering? I mean, if you DID trigger you’d tell me, right?”

Terry gave a laugh, and forced her best fake genuine smile. “Of course Glen, but you’re not that lucky to have a superhero for a friend. I was scared, sure, but he saved me well before anything actually dangerous happened.” Adjusting her position in her seat, Terry sipped at her water as Glen mumbled some odd annoyances at how ‘unlucky’ Terry had been not to trigger. If only he knew the truth. Deciding that she’d rather not dance around the subject and be forced to lie again, Terry took the smart option of moving the focus of the conversation back to Glen and his harmonica exploits, listening to his poor attempts to replicate famous film scores.

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“You be careful on the way home, I’d walk with you but I have to work…” Amy gave a look of genuine concern which was somewhat reassuring, if a little excessive. I mean, Capetown was home to the highest population of heroes and villains alike, but it wasn’t incredibly dangerous. Whether by chance or simply good business, most of the villains were fairly organised in their criminal methods; which meant at the least, there wasn’t too many casualties. Still, what were the odds that she’d get jumped two nights in a row? “I’ll be fine Amy, don’t worry. Worst case scenario I’ll have my phone ready this time.” Terry gave a smile and wave as Amy parted ways, briefly looking to Marcy, who was still standing with her. Normally she came and went without saying much, but the fact she was still around probably meant she had something to add.

“So… How’d you go on your Parahuman Ethics assignment..?” Tess asked, attempting to make some casual conversation as she walked. Honestly, she didn’t know where Marcy lived. She was mysterious like that, but she’d never really stuck around after school, just sort of vanished. If she didn’t know Marcy to be a lazy individual, she might’ve thought she was a heroine of some kind. Silence stood between them for some time, making Tess feel awkward for a bit. After some more delay, Marcy finally responded, though she didn’t seem to notice how long she’d made Tess wait.

“Dr. Markus Crown, better known for his hero name of Dr. Triage, or his villain name, Malpractice; is an example of a parahuman ethical dilemma. After years of working to try and save his terminally ill wife, Dr. Crown made a lethal mistake in one of his surgeries, resulting in the death of a patient and several lawsuits. It is believed that during this time he developed parahuman capabilities pertaining to healing wounds; however, his sentence prevented him from visiting his wife. Eventually ending his prison sentence, he was found to be several years too late to save her; though this seemed to spur him on to heroic work as a field medic. In actuality, Dr. Crown was not actually capable of healing wounds, but only transferring them; and had been unsuccessfully attempting to resurrect her cadaver in private both with animals and other terminally ill individuals that visited him, resulting in a substantial death toll before investigations into his practices were made. Though he is on record as saving countless lives, an equally large number are thought to be dead at his hands. Given a life-sentence of imprisonment, it’s said he was released on a number of occasions during Abhorrent attacks to use his powers on heroes and civilians while transferring the injuries to suitable animals. It is during one of these events that he broke the treaty between heroes and villains, utilising the chaos to injure his detainees and escape. His current whereabouts are unknown. This is but one example of villain ‘co-operation’ during Abhorrent attack, which begs the question as to whether utilising them to any extent is wise or valuable. Though there is amnesty for villains during Abhorrent attacks to allow their assistance, villains have been proven to show poor morals and values in their very existence as villains, and as such, represent a dangerous risk in such scenarios…”

Marcy stopped at that point, looking to Tess for some sort of comment. Realising that was her cue, the girl stepped in. “Though it’s true that villains have a higher percentage of breaking the treaty than heroes, this action produces condemnation from both sides, and frequently ostracises the ‘traitor’, resulting in their capture or… elimination in most scenarios. As such, the number of parahumans committing such treason during an Abhorrent attack has dropped dramatically in recent years, to the point that such action is the rare exception rather than the norm.” Terry happily debated from the other side of the argument, Marcy staring at her for some time. Then, somewhat condescendingly, she extended her hand up to pat her head. “Ohh… You are a smart one. Good girl.”

“H-hey, Marcy! I’m not some pet!” Tess pouted a little, moving back away. “You’re just saying that because you don’t have a counter argument.” Marcy remained silent for a while again, simply staring at Tess. Then, she raised a hand up to wave. “Heroes and Villains will never get along. Just like mankind will never get along. Case in point.” Marcy extended her hand to point off to the side alley they were walking past, Tess following her gesture to see a familiar face in trouble. “Glen?” Tess spoke aloud, looking back to Marcy, only to see that she was gone. How did she- When..? Sighing, Tess brought her attention back to the situation at hand as she approached the alley.

Glen was crumpled to the ground and clutching his stomach, though for the moment, his attacker seemed more content with throwing words his way. “Why the hell did you just start playing this Harmonica you freak?” The instigator of the bullying, Callum, was Glen’s long-time adversary throughout school. For whatever reason, he intensely disliked Glen and his flamboyance; though admittedly, Glen was perhaps a little reckless not to tone it down when in his presence. As Tess made her approach, he provided a perfect example of this. “Well Cal, you know what they say about music and savage beasts..?” Glen explained, earning a swift kick in the side as Cal sneered. “What was that punk?!”

“I… I asked if your constipation had cleared but… clearly no-AUGH!” Glen hit the ground after the next blow to his head, and Tess finally had the courage and sense to step in. “Hey! Leave him alone Cal!” Stepping into the alleyway, Cal turned to give her a dry look. “S-stay out of this Tess. I’m handling this…” Shooting Tess a weak thumbs-up, Glen didn’t get to feel cool for too much longer as Cal gave a solid headbutt to his face. Relinquishing his grip on Glen’s shirt as he strode towards Tess, Cal leaned up in her face, examining her. “Heh, this girl’s got more balls than you Glen. Piece of shit, you’re lucky I’m not willing to hit a chick, but don’t let me see your butt-ugly face in my path again.” Shouting over his shoulder, Cal spat on the ground behind him and walked past Tess, muttering something about the loser as he cleared off. Hurrying over to Glen, Tess quickly began tending to him, though took an uncomfortable step back as his nose was bleeding. It always made her freeze up, the sight of blood.

“Guh… Geez… This is embarrassing… Sorry you had to see all that Tess.” Glen mumbled as he moved over to his bag, fumbling around for some tissues and the like. Shaking off her uncomfortable anxiety, Tess cleared her throat. “I’m more sorry for the state you’re in. Why do you go provoking him like that? You know he’s always over here getting his cigarettes…” Tess sighed and turned away, looking to the ground and picking up the bent harmonica and handing it over to Glen. He nodded in thanks, tucking it into his pocket before answering her question. “Well, you know how Parahumans trigger right? Well-“

“Glen, no. That’s stupid and you know it. You might not even be able to become a parahuman…” Tess tried to argue with him, but Glen was undeterred. “Hey, you don’t know that. I might even have powers now after that beating. Wait, wait, check this out.” Holding his hands out in a stop gesture, Glen quickly brought them in to his sides, posing like he was charging up for something. Out of confusion and politeness, Tess waited as Glen performed a drawn out pose before thrusting his arms out towards the wall. “Super Buster Blast Geyser!” Glen cried out dramatically, but thankfully for the convenience store owner, his wall remained intact. Glen gave a dejected sigh. “One day… I’m gonna be a way cooler hero than the ones you see online. How come next to none of them come up with cool attack names and shout them and stuff? That’s half the fun!”

Shaking her head, Tess didn’t have the heart to tell him that heroics weren’t as simple or thrilling as the comic books made them out to be. Instead, she began walking out of the alley with him to begin heading home. “I dunno. Maybe you should ask one sometime?”

“Yeah, as if I’d ever meet a Parahuman in person. It’s like, whenever something cool happens I’m in the wrong place.”

“Glen, you spend half your day at school and the other half in front of the computer. Maybe if you got out more you’d see some action?”



Yesterday had been another ordeal, that quite frankly, Tess was glad to be past. Yep, she was looking forward to a nice, normal and simple day at school. She had the odd chores and such to be a part of, such as delivering the band club funds to the bank, but that was only going to take half an hour or so on break. And in all honesty, she could use some time away from school to just relax.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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Watching the dog walk into the bank was an unusal circumstance all on its own, and the few tellers that were actively looking at the door so as to avoid eye contact with either over-excited, or over-irate individuals, stumbled in their sentences. It looked far too clean for what seemed to be a pet without a leash, and by god was it big, with a head that came right up to a burlier man's chest. Four feet tall? Maybe five? It was terrifying.

Then the dog just sat down. Right in the middle of the lobby, staring straight ahead like it had no care in the world. Some children that came with their parents stopped to pet the dog, and even some of those self same parents. But all in all... It just sat there, staring at a clock above the tellers... Though to them it seemed to just be staring into space. For a moment, those who occupied the bank easily forgot about the 'stray' that had just ambled in, turning back to focus on their errands and tasks.

Their attention was quickly drawn back when a woman began shouting incredulously, waving one manicured hand about in apparent panic as the other remained on the dogs' thickly furred neck. The whole while, the canine never moved, instead choosing to stare blankly at the clock on the wall.

Nine fifty nine... Ten o' clock. Time to start. The woman's shouting escalated as the clock struck ten, going from mere shouts to shrieks of panic and terror. Her hand was suddenly off the dog, and the shape of the animal on the floor shifted rapidly. Ink flowed from every-single opening on the surface of the beast. Swirling, coiling and finally coalescing in on the canine. Without any noise save for the faint swishing and liquid-y sounds that came from the ink. The room had dropped into a silence reserved for a horror film.

A mass of sinewy muscle and flesh was left in place of where the huge dog had once been, angry scarlet and puce purple all over, with disgustingly brown and yellow 'bruises' everywhere else. It looked like a mound of meat and flesh; taller than the average man, and twice as broad all over. Many a hole could be seen on the mound, and between each hole lay a pulsing, moving cyst. At first, it stayed still, small swirls of ink continuing to rise and fall over the holes on the surface, as well as around the raised, fist sized, bumps. Then, suddenly, the ink fell away and the bumps split open. Strands of pink ichor stretched between the split halves, revealing the eyes under each spot of raised flesh. Differently colored, different pupils, from various animal species and even just plain nonsensical shapes to the just holes in the irises. The gaps that presumably lead to nowhere on the flesh were soon filled with gnashing teeth, ranging from enamel daggers to needles of ivory and bone.

Screaming picked up again, from multiple different individuals in the lobby; until they were immediately drowned out by the cacophony of wailing and screeching that came from the fleshy thing in the middle of the space. Blood and spittle went flying into the air as the thing kept screaming, tearing itself apart in its apparent need to make noise. After a long time spent wailing, chattering, babbling, moaning and screaming back at the people of the bank; the change became noticeable. Oscillating noises, and voices, began to amplify on top of each-other. Each pitch escalated or lowered until the air around the beast was about as still as the racing heartbeat of a terrified mouse. A literal wall of sound pushed out from around it; driving some to their knees, and leaving others screaming once again, with pain instead of fear. The windows in the building began to waver; violently shaking and then shattering within seconds of the real 'noise' that the otherwise unknown changer was capable of producing.

He had been told to provide a distraction; well, now he was giving it. Nearby, a man vomited as the audible noise from the beast faded into nothing. Though too highly pitched to actually hear for a human, it was still enough to cause physical pain and damage. And that was without the lower pitched noise ripping into the intestines and muscles of nearby individuals. Some woman to the left began coughing and gasping for air; the sheer vibrations of moving air making it near impossible for her to draw in the necessary oxygen to accurately breathe. Jericho, wreathed in the horrific form as he was, was going all out. Not enough to kill, just enough to cause some real panic and terror. When people began trying to stumble their way to the exits, he dropped the pretense of just making some noise. A sound akin to breaking bone and tearing flesh actually made itself heard above and under the otherwise inaduible noises occuring in the room. A sudden wall of red flesh had taken up the exits, eyes angry and mouths churning with the warning threat of impending consumption.

It remained this way for just a moment longer before Jericho found that it would probably be well off for his lack of otherwise probable civilian casualty if he stopped with the noise. So, without any prior ceremony, or warning; the noises abruptly ceased. Now it was just deafening chittering, moaning, wailing and screaming. The mound was gone, and now it was instead plastered against the doorways out. basically encompasing the entirity of the lobby. The eyes closed, yet the mouths kept moving and making a ruckus.

Now, it was time to wait.

All the while, unbeknownst to Jericho; there were two in the room who were capable of combating him. Who could and in the case of one, probably would throw a wrench into the entirety of this plan of his.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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“I really could have planned this better…” Tess sighed to herself as she stood in the queue leading to the front tellers, shifting her weight from one foot to the other to relieve the aches. Firmly held between her hands was the bag of money from the music club fundraiser, a small metal tin inside containing the notes and mass of coins they’d gotten in donations for more instruments. It was a semi-regular event, but given how expensive some equipment could be, a lot of the time they needed to store the excess for next time. That and individually counting all those coins would take way too long. Still, heading into the bank during her late lunch break seemed to coincide with a lot of other people running errands, which is why she was stuck into a line waiting to be served.

Finally however, it was her turn. Moving up to the front counter, she quickly introduced herself and handed over the card with the school account details for the music club, along with the change to be sorted. As she waited, she couldn’t help but noticed the sudden delay from the teller as he observed something behind her, a small commotion reaching her ears as the sounds of excited children reached her ears. Pivoting to lean on the counter, Tess was greeted by a familiar and yet different sight. Cautiously, she observed the enormous dog that sat in the centre of the bank lobby, a small fuss of people petting it or hovering nearby while others pretended not to be interested. It distinctly reminded her of a situation from the other day, along with what had happened in the news that morning.

“Could that be Wendigo?” Tess thought to herself, though she didn’t make any action to point this out. Awkward as the dog’s unnatural demeanour was, he wasn’t causing any harm. Maybe he just enjoyed the attention? Turning back to the clerk to answer a couple more questions, Tess couldn’t ignore the nagging feeling in the back of her mind. Both the damage to the sandwich shop, as well as the masses of food he’d eaten at the time was more than enough of a show that he was either villainous or lacked common sense. He had to be here for a reason, and for a villain, there wasn’t many other reasons to be at a bank. It was a disconcerting thought.

Then, suddenly, that uneasy feeling began to get worse. The panicked shouts of a woman began and quickly escalated, Tess turning to see her rather desperately trying to pull herself away from the dog, and yet her hand refused to remove itself from the fur. It might have been a harmless prank, but he was clearly scaring the woman and the situation was growing out of hand. Perhaps she could step in, start to reason with him and- The air was suddenly filled with more than just the shouts of the frightened woman as a viscous liquid sound began emanating from the canine. People began to panic and shove their way to get further from the dog and the grotesque mess that began to form, but then an eerie silence settled as everyone watched, transfixed in shocked horror.

That silence didn’t last long as the shaper began to solidify its new appearance as some nightmarish creature of flesh, eyes, fluid and bone, the monster jutting out in unnatural and disgusting mounds of skin and muscle indistinguishable of where its head or body began and ended. Perhaps scariest of all were the sharp and malevolent looking teeth that filled the multitude of mouths across its figure, the eyes darting about as if absorbing everything in their surroundings. The fact it was smiling made it all the more unnerving. For Tess, she’d seen enough. Like many around her, she couldn’t suppress the fearful scream that followed, her heart racing a mile a minute as she began to process just what she was seeing and imagining the horrors it could unleash. Eyes locking onto a target. Warped flesh stretching groaning and cracking as it moved over. Teeth gnashing and maws opening wide as it prepared itself to digest its meal. It was terrifying. Then, Wendigo began to scream.

Tess froze in place as the screech of death filled her ears, like the monster was in horrendous amounts of pain. With the way it jittered and shuddered as the body failed to remain stable, Tess’s trembling wouldn’t stop as she shut her eyes and cupped her hands over her ears. Then she felt it. The soft feel of liquid on her face. Darting her hand to her cheek, she slowly opened her eyes as she looked to the flecks of blood on her hands. Instantly, her body and chest tightened as she seized up, fear amplifying to new levels. It was irrational, but it sent her mind into overdrive. No. She needed to calm down. She didn’t have to be scared. She was okay, she…

The second wave of noise from the abomination in front of her sent her staggering back against the counter, the violently forceful waves of noise stinging her ears and knocking her equilibrium for a small loop. The pain helped snap her mind and body back into action however as she pushed herself along towards a nearby door to try and get free of the chaos, ignoring the pounding in her head as she forced herself through the pain. She wasn’t the first with the idea to get out, but it seemed the creature was well aware of their intentions as flesh and organs stretched forth from its central mass, sliding across the floor and pasting themselves against the walls, windows, doors – anywhere they could have thought of escaping through. There was nowhere to run. Those nearest the monster began to pass out, while some of the ones at the exits began to pound at the monster and try to break out. Tess however, was frozen as she tried to decide what to do in this sort of situation. Even with a number of civilians incapacitated, if she changed here, there was no way her identity would be kept secret.

Thankfully, Wendigo had seemed to have his fill of toying with them for the moment, the eyes shutting and the origin point of his body dissipating as the loud blasts of sound from the mouths gave way to a dull and eerie series of moans, gasps and groans, an uncomfortably unnerving background sound. Just what was this guy’s plan? Freaking out everyone? If he wanted them dead, he could’ve done so a long time ago, and as far as she could tell, he hadn’t stolen any of the cash or made any demands… It was great that they were all relatively unharmed, but who knew what this guy was thinking? She had to get out of here and find an opportunity to transform, since no one else was going to stop him.

It was at that point that the shapeshifter made another loud and sudden noise, but somehow, this one was different. She could hear the surprise and pain coming from the mouths around her, the genuinely startled gasp. Glancing about the room, she only caught sight of them for a few moments, but was that… A pair of hands? They were white, and seemingly capable of materialising out of thin air. With little hesitation, they were laying into any of the nearby eyes they could get their… Erm, hands on. Although, just as quickly as they had begun to strike, the hands vanished. Hit and run tactics? Well, with something this large, she couldn’t blame them, especially since she had no idea where to start with trying to stop something like this. Still, it seemed that striking the thing's eyes did seem to harm it. That was all the prompting she needed.

Turning to the nearest eye, which had closed its eyelid, Tess took a deep breath to steel herself before drawing back and delivering her own kick to the large eye. Instantly she recoiled a bit from squishy nature, but she recovered soon enough and launched back towards the door, striking another of the eyes, the same one, she didn’t really care. She just needed the damn thing to back off so she could get clear. Maybe her help wasn't needed again, but she wasn't going to wait until it was too late. This guy needed to be stopped if this was his second 'attack' in two days. Who knew how many incidents he'd cause before someone actually got severely hurt or worse? Slamming her foot into the eyeball again and twisting her heel, Terry really hoped the thing would keep its eyes shut. Her skirt wasn't very practical for this sort of thing.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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A short jerk of flesh all along the walls was the only sign that the abomination felt any contact from either Vic or Tess. The eyes that had remained open spotted the floating hands almost immediately, locking onto them and following their demented path along the attached girth. Watching as the hands tore the thin skin apart with ease. A few eyes that had been closed opened as well; glaring or squinting at everything in sight. Before Jericho noticed that one eye specifically, had found itself in a certain amount of pain.

For a moment, there was a flash of flesh: calf, then thigh, then- Oh hello- pain again as a foot connected with the wide open orbital organ. For a moment, the sounds ceased entirely, throwing the room into a state of uneasy silence... Then crackling bone and tearing flesh echoed their cacophony up into the air, the walls finding themselves cleared of the multi-eyed and mouthed flesh that had shortly taken up residence. An amorphous mass of ink and meat formed once again in the center of the lobby; swirling near soundlessly before fading from sight as a new form took shape.

The first to finish forming were the antlers and finger-like horns that swelled to life all over its flesh-less skull, shifting to the sides and leaving it's top bald and without anything to cover up the bone. The skull was eerily human, with two forked antler-like protrusions a few inches above where the ears would be; and those ears were replaced by a zombie-like flesh and fur based column. On each side of the head were stubby-arm like growths, though they were much shorter than an actual arm. They bulged at the farthest end from the body, extending into three finger-like horns that curved down and forward. The face of the skull was... Horrific, Jericho hadn't felt the need to waste (as if he had too little, this was more than he had ever had in a long while) any mass in the slightest. And so the face was barren, looking exactly how one would expect a human skull to look without the skin; save for the sunken points of bio-luminescent light that counted for the eyes. They seemed to burn, and with a quick thought, Jericho made the skull 'grin' wider. Skin and muscle stretched thinly over the cheeks and the rest of the face, leaving the nose unformed. A single hole sat there, steam clouding the air in front of the monstrous face. From the eye sockets and mouth, ink slowly dripped downward.

It looked as if it was bleeding, but the smile it was making... The beast gave a half-hearted chuckle, as a pair of lips flashed into existence; but only just. Teeth like a shark formed rather suddenly, a vicious smile in place of the otherwise comical grin (at least, to Jericho it was comical.) Then the body erupted into sight: thin, wraith-like shoulders and narrow chest came into view. The chest itself was thinly skinned like the face above it, with the shoulders covered in coarse, spiky fur. Fur that rose up and surrounded the jaw and chin; layered with spines just under the longer hairs. A pair of arms extended downward, just as thin as the chest itself though made thick by the muscles under the skin, and then seemingly thicker still by the fur that coated the forearms. Spines erupted upwards on those, inches thick at the base, and pointed outward threateningly.

The hands were malformed, with seemingly no palm and nothing but dagger-long, curved claws reaching outward. They were black with ink, which dripped from them as well; small points reared backward on the underside of each talon, reminiscent of fishhooks, in a way. The fingers that supported each claw had only two knuckles, and of all the things on the form of the monster, were thick as meaty little clubs. Finally, almost as quickly as the arms, the legs came into view; missing fur as they came to the calves, but otherwise being just as thickly furred as the shoulders were. The calves were skinless, showing the muscles and tendons that could be found everywhere on the monstrous form, but were surrounded by a chitin covering; clear and glossy though seemingly flexible. The 'feet' were little more than clubs of keratin and bone, lacking nerves so as to avoid feeling pain. The sound they made was like that of high-heels clacking on tile.

It was tall too. Well over eight feet, and that only accentuated it's lack of any real fat or weight; seemingly. The monster straightened as it finished forming, the change from blob to genuine nightmare beast having only taken a few seconds at most. It glared at the threat it could see, steam leaving its nostril hole as the creature sighed outwardly- Then turned, giving a screeching, calamitous sound; blood once again spurting from the mouth as it tore its vocal cords apart to push the sound as loud and high that it would go. More attention for it, what with the clanging bell-like klaxon sound that flew from the monster, liquid chattering underneath only adding to the keening noise. It was a wholly 'unnatural' sound, something no animal had ever made- at least that Jericho knew of.

Jericho wanted the PCRT there like yesterday, and the change in form was just to add to his need for mobility. After making yet another screeching roar, it turned back and focused on the visible woman, snarling and letting one last cacophonous bellow erupt from it's maw. It was spoiling for a fight now. And unfortunately for the 'only' woman who had attacked him, Tess was the fight.

Yet unknown to the beast, or those inside the bank other than those who had recovered their wits enough to call, and call, and call again, three vans; filled with PCRT officers armed to the figurative teeth roared their path to the bank. Officers aplenty, their equipment tailored for combat against a parahuman who could change form at will, and was reported as doing so as they pleased. They accelerated in their rush to reach the bank, before any truly grievous harm could be caused. The sirens atop each vehicle screamed to life, eerily reminiscent of the scream Jericho had made not too long ago. They

The beast had locked eyes on Tess, though her name was unknown to it, and was proceeding forward. It moved slowly and ponderously, turning it's head from left to right, without ever taking its gaze off of the now much shorter woman, in comparison. To him, the monster, sound came into his eardrums sharply, eardrums on the outside of the body, within two indentations behind the finger-horns, like a lizards were. Highly sensitive as they were, enough that as he focused, he found that the rapid breathing of the people that still filled the bank was as easy to hear as his own screaming had been. Interesting.

As the monstrous form stalked towards Tess, he spoke up; voice crackling like sticks breaking underfoot. "So... A skirt? You kicked me in the eyes, in a skirt- nice underwear by the way- but I gotta ask... Is it a combat skirt, or just a skirt skirt?" Wow, awkward. This form was one that he truly expected to be difficult to converse in, but apparently... Not. At least that trademark shyness and rambling hadn't left him! Haha...

From a group of people to his left, he caught the sound of someone snickering. So with a quick tilt of his head, he gave another- strained- throat tearing scream, coating some of them in blood and ink. No time for peanut gallery to intrude on this! They promptly left, and the other civilians, seeing that the Changer was no longer paying attention to them, ducked out as well. He watched and once done, he turned back to the original focus of his attention and found that he was nearly in front of her, mouth stuck in a horrific facsimile of a smile. "I promise I'm not smiling at you intentionally, skulls are just weird, y'know? Anyways... So! As I was saying... You kicked me, and somehow managed to poke me in the eyes from a distance at the same time. Tell me your secrets! Cape." His voice had gone from aloof and carefree, to quiet and serious, and the silence that fell afterwards was tense. The burning light of the 'eyes' focused on the pupils of the human woman in front of him; no question in his mind that she was also parahuman. If only uncomprehending as to what her powers were.

He had begun leaning closer to her, voice crackling from a mouth that was a dentists worst nightmare; even if the teeth within were pearly white. "See now, I was told I needed to provide a distraction here, and nothin' more! PCRT show up, I have a little time havin' fun with people who seriously need to stop underestimating capes, and then I leave. No need for you to get involved. In fact, most of my shapes are just for intimidation! You don't want to deal with the ones that are meant for genuine fights. Believe me. So! G'wan! Skitter away." He had hoped before, that his actions were clearer now; why he hadn't hurt anyone and why he hadn't bothered to hold anyone for ransom or anythin' similar. But... Something just kept bothering him. This chick... looked kinda familiar.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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If Vic currently had a jaw to drop, it would've been on the ground. It didn't take long for her shock to turn to admiration. She watched as the civilain teenage girl attempted to blind the monster with her kicks, and was inspired to contribute to the blinding with another hard, tissue-tearing jabs. She backed off as the monster stripped itself from the walls and exits, its mass congealing into a new, more capable form. Its eyes were now small, glowing coals - much harder targets to poke out.

Vic flew near to the girl who'd assisted in annoying the creature enough to get it away from the exits, hovering between her and the devil-beast the goopy flesh monster had turned into. An invisible cloud of gas was probably not the most comforting protector, but Vic floated by her nonetheless. Then the towering nightmare screamed. Christ, it knew how to hold a note.

"So... A skirt?"

The monster began to stalk closer and taunt the girl. Agh, shit. The exits were thankfully now open and the unfortunate stragglers who'd been caught behind the walls of flesh were getting their asses out of there. But the girl behind her wasn't running. The monster was blocking her path to the front exit, she couldn't run without an advantage attack being taken on her.

"I promise I'm not smiling at you intentionally, skulls are just weird, y'know?" At those words, a suspicion hatched in Vic's head. This skull-faced horror show's awkward-yet-casual manner of speech and the inky way it morphed between forms were reminiscent of the unforgettable character she had a run in with the other day. Her suspicion took the form of a frustrating thought that wouldn't surface. It was there, yet she wasn't entirely sure what was bothering her. "So! As I was saying... You kicked me, and somehow managed to poke me in the eyes from a distance at the same time. Tell me your secrets! Cape."

Ahh... crap? Vic generally quite liked having the cover of invisibility and the advantages her powers had over others when she was not known, but hiding behind the girl's skirts made her feel cowardly. She needed to get her out of here before the monster could trade blows with her. It would hardly be a fair trade. Thankfully, it wanted her out of there too, aaand also didn't want to fight. Damn, that was half of the reason she was doing this gig to begin with. Maybe she should've been relieved. But no.

An almost solid, concentrated gust of wind slammed into the girl's chest, pushing her across the bank to hold her up against the wall, about a meter off the ground. Vic dropped from the air then into a crouch, solid feet hitting the ground. She released her grip on the girl and allowed her to drop, shouted, "GET OUT OR HOLD ON!" and threw out her arm.

The small arc her arm made was followed by a rippling wave of air, which then moved with incredible speed to envelope her and the monster in a swirling, impenetrable wind wall. They stood in the eye of the storm, the girl safe on the other side and hopefully holding onto something. She could do her best to prevent her from being sucked into the wall, but it was a strain to change the nature of an unnaturally made natural disaster. Having a wall of wind sucking in, while wrapping it in a wind wall doing the opposite, was downright exhausting. Hopefully the girl would just get out. Vic could barely see her through her barrier, only a blurry figure.

She turned to the monster.

"So you're the distraction, then?" Her feet hovered from the ground, raising up until she came to eye-level. "Don't bother trying to break through it. The walls don't come down until yours do. Tell me where your friends are, and you can go. If not..." She winked at him through the eyeholes of her mask, floating backwards. "Go ahead and intimidate me, bad boy."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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A slow, visible blink was given by Jericho as the originally invisible cape made her appearance. His face originally was going to pull into a snarl, something resembling anger- But it was quickly wiped away by the sudden shout that came from the other parahuman. He barely caught hold of her warning before he stumbled back just a bit; two tiny steps. His ears, sensitive that they were, heard the way the air rushed and pressed into the other girl's chest. He wondered if 'Skirts' was in pain, but ignored it when a wall of wind roared to life around him and the recently invisible cape. Wow.

"Don't bother trying to break through it. The walls don't come down until yours do," A small, quick thought found some inane irony in her statement, and that was definitely a familiar voice... And oddly sultry to the ears. "Tell me where your friends are, and you can go. If not..." For just a moment, a truly idiotic moment, the Changer actually considered telling this terribly familiar cape that he didn't know where Vic or Alex or the guys were right now. "Go ahead and intimidate me, bad boy."

He caught the wink. And for a moment, his tongue nor mind could bring up anything to quip back to her with... But only a moment, in the next he immediately popped off his first question. "Uh... You, comin' onto me? What're you, the vaguely sensual fun police? I ain't too keen on breath play so uh." He drew a blank for another few moments, staring with an equally blank face. His voice remained crackly, but now was underlain with a curious amount of, well, curiosity. "Where did you even come from? Oh! Do I know you from somewhere? Your voice is REALLY familiar to me!" A quick, flashed smile, "I mean, I met this chick yesterday who sounds just like you, but not muffled you know? But maybe that's just me being really forgetful.... Anyways! OH WAIT!" He perked up rapidly, his form melting to ink and flesh again as he thought over her voice.

The head of the nightmare beast stayed where it was in relation to the flesh mass that was now forming, the new shape showing almost immediately. It stood up tall, shoulders reaching where the original head had been before. The face there kept speaking as the undefined shape began... Defining, itself. "Did you get a note thing too!? Man it would be so coincidental if you did, you know? Like some sort of divine coincidence! But that's dumb huh. Oh man I should've asked Vic if she got a message on her phone or something, do you think she has a phone? ... Wait, do you even know who Vic is? Aw man, she'd have a field day if she knew about this! Then again, she'll probably see it on the news huh? Do you think we'd make the news?"

Oh jesus he was babbling, and all the while he was still changing, just as rapidly as before. Six elephent thick legs were holding up a body that was as long as the other form was long, curving upward just slightly as a new skull formed around the original shape of the first. Scales flickered into sight, slick with ink before darkening into ink-blue. Muscles pushed up under those scales, giving the form the real weight that Jericho carried around with him at all times. A vaguely reptilian skull began talking in place of the first; though fur and lips were formed on it instead of scales and hard skin. "Oh man, I hope you like fire by the way, I almost never get to use this form!"
... That exclamation was random, and it didn't seem to follow any of what the shapeshifter had been saying before; and apparently he didn't even notice the jump in conversation that he had made. Were they conversating? Eugh, focusing was hard.

For a moment, the changer stopped shifting forms entirely, staying still as he quickly finished off the features he needed. A wide, broad body that suited the six legs that held it up, scaled and furred alike, with the fur following the spine; spiney protrusions rising up from the fur itself. A tail formed last, curling up into the air with chintinous segmentations. The tail tip was cruelly curved, eerily reminscint of a scorpion, if only on the 'tail-end'- ahahehehe... of some biologically dubious dragon... Beast. Thing. Jericho had stopped talking, and as soon as the tail finished it's formation- he had forgone the wings for now- a gout of heat erupted from his mouth. Preceeded by a long hissing exhalation; the dragon-like beast sent a wave of heated air over the vape in front of him.

The lips of the monster pulled into a smile, one that was entirely too excited considering the actually somewhat dangerous form he had taken. The tail whipped around, dancing in the wind wall for a moment before rocketing back out of the shearing force of air behind him. He was missing the stinger, having let it become detached from his body to gauge just how powerful the wind was... And found it a tad much. Fun.

Apparently, fun enough to pull a short bout of excitedly hysteric snickering out of him. Jericho was nervous! A fight against another, relatively powerful, parahuman! It was a first, and quite frankly it was just a little terrifying! However, a smaller part of himself; one that found existence in his mind after the first true act of cannibalism, was even more excited than the rest of the Changer. That tiny part was the part that drove him to 'swing first' as it were, lashing the stinger-less portion of the tail in Vic's direction, unknowing that it was her. Should it strike, it would be a strike that would've knocked the air out of anyone not prepared for any amount of combat.

A grand amount of passing thought was given to the status of the other girl, the skirt, before all his attention was once again back on the cape across from him; adrenaline fueled as he was, it felt as if time had stopped altogether! Which obviously wasn't true but...

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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No. No no no. Tess backed up to the wall as the flesh that had coated the walls withdrew and sucked back into the centre, pooling and growing into a mass before beginning another horrific transformation into a nightmarish being. Tess wasn’t good with this squeamish stuff. Or horror in general. So why did the person robbing the bank have to be so scary? Blood and guts just didn’t sit right with her, and even though visually the creature was terrifying, it was the damn noises that freaked her out the most. It was the unnatural, bodily noises of pain and disfigurement that really set her off. The bones snapped and creaked with the stress of the way they were bent. Liquid splashing and squelching as it squeezed out of fractures and broken pockets of flesh. She really wanted to hurl.

A piercing screech of… God, she didn’t know how to describe it, but it rang in her ears and rattled her brain. It was strained, gargled through liquid and rising into a crescendo as the beast finished its transformation, Tess opening her eyes to the eerie silence, not even remembering when she’d shut them. Thankfully, the new monster that formed wasn’t nearly as gross or disgusting as the previous one. Still, it was all the more intimidating with its large stature and haunting appearance: A ghostly skeleton demon with long and sharp blackened claws. Tess didn’t really pay too much attention to those however, as the most gripping feature of the new creature was that of its face. She stood, transfixed as she watched it, unable to tear herself away as her legs refused to work. Glowing, soulless orbs for eyes that bored into her mind and another macabre smile that seemed to delight in her fear were bearing down on her as it began its approach. Ink dripped from the cavities in its face, like blackened blood tears; leaving a stained trail of darkness where it walked.

With another of its bone-chilling roars, it stalked closer, though with no sense of urgency. Like it knew she was cornered and had nowhere to run. Prey. Then, it spoke, pausing in its steps every now and then to punctuate its words. "So... A skirt?” Tess visibly paled as the being spoke more and more. It was creepy. In more way then one. Perhaps she would’ve been more embarrassed at the mention of her underwear had she not been so terrified. There was no witty comeback or answer to his questions. Just shivering and fear, amplified as he roared in the face of the boys that were nearby, spitting blood and goop over them. As the beast turned back to her, clearly focused on her rather than anyone else, the rest of the people in the room fled as fast as they could. Abandoning her to it. Not that she could blame them.

More questions came her way, bellowing from the beast as steam wafted from its nose and mouth. It had mistaken her for the one behind those hands earlier, and seemed none too pleased by her ‘heroic’ display. It was right that she was a cape, but it had completely the wrong idea. Obviously it didn’t realise how scared she was, or maybe it thought she was just acting, because even if Tess wanted to, she wasn’t in the mindset to answer or do much of anything. Still, she could listen. He was a distraction for something bigger and apparently, he had no intention of harming anyone. At least, not in his eyes. The unconscious people and the dizziness she’d felt from the screaming earlier apparently didn’t count. The way he was speaking, she was beginning to see a strange immaturity, but in a way, that was even more worrisome in that she wasn’t sure she could rationalise with the guy.

Then, before Tess had much more time to think on it, she was sent flying. Though not by the monster as she’d expected. Wind swept her clean off her feet and to the side, slamming her somewhat painfully into the wall, but at least she was clear of the creature. Squirming a bit against the wind pressure that held her there, suddenly, she was dropped, coughing a bit as she tried to catch her breath from being winded.

"GET OUT OR HOLD ON!" Was the command as Tess sat up, looking to the source. Evidently, this was the cape that had attacked the monster earlier, clad completely in white hiding most of their features. Given the situation, Tess was quick to trust and follow her advice, holding onto the doorframe while simultaneously going to move through it. Thankfully, she’d been quick enough on her reaction to stop the newly formed whirlwind from sucking her in, though it still took a fair bit of effort to pull herself out and free, unable to see what was happening in the middle of the storm. Struggling out to the doorway, Tess took shelter behind the wall, still peeking around the corner to try and judge what was happening. With that crazy wind wall flowing, she’d probably be more of a hindrance than a help if she changed and got in there. Giving a soft yelp and ducking as some sharp black stinger appendage impaled itself in the wall she was hiding behind, Tess hoped that was a good sign that Whiteout or whatever they were called was winning.

For now, she’d watch and see if she needed to step in, perhaps once the dust of this initial scuffle settled.

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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Holy shit, Vic thought, It IS him.

She stared at the babbling mess in front of her, feet slowly lowering to the ground. She barely took notice of the distorting body horror as Jericho transformed, being too absorbed to gawk at it.

"Did you get a note thing too!? Man it would be so coincidental if you did, you know? Like some sort of divine coincidence! But that's dumb huh. Oh man I should've asked Vic if she got a message on her phone or something, do you think she has a phone? ... Wait, do you even know who Vic is? Aw man, she'd have a field day if she knew about this! Then again, she'll probably see it on the news huh? Do you think we'd make the news?"

Vic facepalmed. This guy. Words could not express...

... how annoyed she was. She almost just sat down then and there with her arms up. What was she supposed to be doing here again? Jericho wasn't going to rob the bank, probably no one was. What was he supposed to be the distraction for? Did he even know that himself? Yeah... something about him made her doubt it.

"Yeah, maybe," she mumbled distractedly, "She'll be ecstatic."

"Oh man, I hope you like fire by the way, I almost never get to use this form!"

She raised her gaze to properly take in the furry, dragon-scorpion thing that now stood before her. Wendigo deserved props for his creativity. This form was better than any B-grade monster she'd ever seen before. She flinched at the heat that came too close to her face and watched as his stinger come loose and was swept up in the overpowering wind-currents.

Wendigo's tail came hurtling towards her. She felt the disturbance as it cut through the air almost too late. She shut her eyes as it cleaved through her stomach. Her legs and chest hovered, the clear gap between them wispy, mist seemingly rising from the "wounds". The gap increased as the mists crawled up her torso and down her legs, seemingly eating her away into nothing. Anyone could tell she was smiling from her eyes, which only opened briefly as she was sucked back into the wind wall, flashing for a moment before she was completely gone.

She burst through the other side, her torso and head appearing as she looked around wildly for anything to help her situation. Her eyes immediately fixated on the stinger embed in the wall, and the violet head of hair poking out from behind it. One arm formed and pointed at the stinger, while she looked directly at the girl.

"Chuck that here, will you?"

She snatched the curved blade out of the air as it was promptly tossed to her, letting the wind part for it so it could make its way to her rather than be deflected by the winds pushing out from around her wall.

"Cheers," she said, giving the girl a casual salute with a finger gun, before merging back with the whirlwind. This girl was awesome. It made her consider how handy a sidekick could be.

She was spat back out on the other side, materialized as she shot from the wall to hover over the back of the monster. She dug the point of the stinger into the base of Wendigo's neck, restraining herself from piercing through.

"Want this back?" She mused, "Tell me about the note - and you don't feel your own poison."

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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  1. WIP WIP WIP

    2017-11-03 17:46:23 by StorminJericho

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An excited, if terribly annoyed, sigh echoed out of Jericho's maw; just the memory was irritating, like he had forgotten something important! Oh well. Might as well explain... and get this chick off his back! Jeez. The spines standing in the fur of his skull twitched, sinking into the flesh as the head itself turned completely around, a long oil black tongue lashing out and impaling itself on the stinger. Ink swelled from both objects, merging and then vanishing back into the main source.
In Vic's hand, she felt the change from solid to liquid; incredibly warm, near scalding, before it pulled itself out of her hand. Jericho kept his head turned towards her, voice crackling as it had been before, as if liquid was caught in the throat. "That was weak. Your quips are weaaak," The changer drew out the vowel, rolling the human eyes that sat in the skull of a reptile. "But hey, if you really want to play all rough and tumble, maybe I'll jus' play along hey?" The sentence ended on a question, just for a moment. Then the tail was again lashing forward; chitin segments bursting in fountains of odd gore. Strings of some goopy material lashed out from where the segments ruptured; flaying out into the air like silly string. He had aimed to attach it to Vic's arm; her chest and her hair. Her mask, Jericho was thankful, would have kept most of it from actually getting on her face, if he didn't miss.

The strings remained connected to the tail, dripping oily ink as well as some... Oddly clear liquid, giving the already iridescent ink even more of a sheen than it garnered. He thought about his plan for a second before pausing entirely, suddenly remembering that she was asking about the note. "Oh right! Anyways, so, I spent the day durin' the morning wandering around! This guy on a motorcycle almost hit me, and I may or may not have done a loud in his face... anyways! So! After the fun bike guy, I was hiding out in an alley to calm down and get my thoughts back... but then this fucking 'Pekah' bitch," whoa. That was some intense anger; the kind of intensity that surprised even Jericho, "decided that to give someone a note, she had to kick 'em down and then leave 'em with a bottle. 'M supposed to go back tonight to get my 'pay', but honestly, I don't trust it. If she shows up, I'll eat her as soon as any funny gamboling starts."

It hadn't occurred to Jericho, that while he disliked to do so, grudges were a thing he apparently was capable of holding. Especially against shadowy individuals who couldn't be 'civil' as he saw it. A long sigh left him, mind leaving the memory behind as he instead turned his attention completely back to the flighty cape. "You know... This is actually a breeze, I figured you'd actually be trying to kill me or something! Most people don't ever mind trying to slaughter me... when they're capes at least, or when they're scared enough, I suppose. I would appreciate it if you didn't though! I gotta figure out if Vic's band'll be playin' anywhere anytime soon! I haven't really heard their old music just yet!"

The Changer was rambling again, strings of ink swaying in the gale that surrounded him and the- still unknown- cape. But... he thought it was nice! Having someone to talk at, who seemed to take this just as seriously as he was; which was to say, not in the slightest. His furred head turned away from her, though a mouth opened just where the stinger tip has been, smiling away while the skull itself twisted around to look at the wind wall. Maw opening wide, there was nothing but the sound of Jericho giggling up the windy one. "This'll be fun, hehehe."

That was random. He hadn't MEANT to say that, but... eh! Oh well. Ink sprayed out from his mouth, sets of spinnerets hidden under the tongue and extending from the roof of the mouth; rope-thick webbing. Black and shining like the strands that flew from his opened tail, if immensely thicker, coated in a chitin that . The webbing flew into the wind wall; getting spun around and flung every which way into the bank. All of it still connected to Jericho's monstrous skull. His tail began sinking back into him, and as it did, the mouth that smiled and talked up at Vic suddenly burst forward; becoming a club of bone and chitin that rocketed itself toward her chest, just as the stingerless tail had before. Now, speaking of the tail, the strands of ink that were attached to everywhere near he and Vic in the center of the cyclone, were now connected to the space just between his 'hips'.

There was no pausing, no warning even; for one moment, all that the Changer did was spread webbing and ink everywhere... Then, with a hissing sound; with the formation of one bladder growing in his tongue itself, stretched tissue rapidly swelling a skull the methane produced by his constant digestion filling the new organ almost immediately. Jericho focused then, concentrating with a disgusted face as he brought another, new organ to life right by the air bladder. A sickened cough echoed out of Jericho, body lurching to the side just for a moment, before a intimately familiar sound echoed its way into Vic's ears.

scrape-scrape-SHCK, and then fire. Gouts of fire, lines of fire; traveling up and along the webbing spread about the room. Then Jericho's head turned and the stream of fire that came from the methane-potent saliva abruptly cut off, the Changer giving a ever so slightly manic grin as it did. "Trial by fire~!" Came the elated shout, focus turning to the ceiling as powerful legs sent him rocketing upward, a sheathe of bone forming around his shoulders and skull as he broke through the tile on the ceiling. Scrabbling and clawing his way to the roof, whether or not the two capes on the ground floor followed him didn't matter.

He couldn't help the cackling laughter that erupted from him abruptly, dizzied for a moment from the amount of blood he had manipulated inside his own system. His power, while it allowed him to morph his biology at will, didn't really agree with the formation of metal through his blood. He had only ever tried to form a blade of iron once, and only once. It took a while for the ink to result his body with the iron missing from him, and once he made it, he couldnt reconsume it.

Jericho coughed, letting the makeshift spark striker fall out of his maw. He stared at the metal there, his eyes focusing on the inherently wrong creation there. He shuddered and turned his attention out to the skyline; ears taking in the wailing sirens of the PCRT vans on their way. More cackling laughter, and then a burst of terrifying sound. 'Here I am!' Screamed the shriek that tore out of his throat; multiple mouths and vocal cord sets opening on the reptilian body he wore, adding onto the sheer volume he was giving out. A keening bell- again- mixed with what sounded like an air-raid siren; once again underlain by some terrifying chattering gurgle. After he finished his scream, he snapped up the makeshift spark striker again, swallowing it and taking it back into the whole of his being.

By sheer luck, or by the whim of nature itself; wind pushed from behind Jericho, carrying his 'voices' out just a bit farther than he was capable of pushing them. A challenge to every challenger who attempted to usurp this king of the hill. The Changer, in his roaring and shrieking, had forgotten all about Vic; forgotten that he was technically fighting with someone... So, he dove back down into the room; roaring and cackling all the way down as the bulk of his body thrashed about at random. The fiery lines of silk and ink that he had strewn about the room were still blazing, some even caught in his fur and set that ablaze as well! Which... normally would've concerned Jericho, if he weren't totally expecting it.

Now he was a blazing monster, fur ablaze and reeking horrifically. Maybe... the fire was a bit much. Some of the things inside the bank were catching fire as well, oops, uh... "Oh. Hahaha whoops."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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There was a muted grunt of pain as the stinger slipped through Vic's fingers, dissolving into burning, black gunk. As Wendigo insulted her quips, she felt honestly offended.

At least I don't blab out my life story in the middle of a FIGHT, she thought indignantly, right before she heard a disturbance behind her and glanced over her shoulder to see a spray of some gory substance being discharged from his tail. She immediately turned ethereal as it lashed out at her. She split around Wendigo, becoming one and visible again in front of the monster's eyes. She was prepared to punch him in his reptilian face, but he began to answer her question, so she just floated out of biting range and listened, hands in pockets.

"So! After the fun bike guy, I was hiding out in an alley to calm down and get my thoughts back... but then this fucking 'Pekah' bitch -"

Vic visible stiffened then, her brain whirring as she took in the rest of his story. What the hell was the person wanting her to stop the bank robbery, also the one enlisting the person to rob the bank? What was the point of that? Were they just curious about what a stand-off between Nobody and Wendigo would be like? No - Jericho said he was supposed to be a distraction... she was part of the distraction too, wasn't she.

"... honestly, I don't trust it. If she shows up, I'll eat her as soon as any funny gamboling starts."

"You better share," she muttered under her breath, her fists tightening within her pockets.

Her grouchiness was watered down as Jericho kept doing what he did best - rambling. Vic smirked as he brought up her name again. He's obsessed, she internally sighed, shaking her head.

"Is that Vic from I Really Hope We Don't Crash? Heard that they're gonna be playing at Connections tonight," she said, her amusement showing through, when suddenly that icky, black silly string burst from Wendigo's mouth. She didn't bother becoming untouchable. She simply weaved through the slick black projectiles, whipping her head around to get a glimpse of what was happening. The chords were getting through the wind wall and were attaching to things on the other side. Vic frowned beneath her mask. The sticky matter was strong enough that the wind couldn't dislodge it from whatever they were attached to. Wendigo, despite projecting bits of hit matter through the wall, was having a perfectly fine time keeping on his feet. Vic focused on the wall, trying to boost its speed and mass, when Wendigo's skull crashed into her chest.

She made no noise at the pain she felt. She was pushed back, then let herself drop and crouch on top of the thick vines protruding from Jericho's body. She went into a coughing fit, hand on top of where the biggest impact was made. God, she wished that Capes had the common decency to not go for the fucking boobs. I mean, yeah, she did her best to make people forget they existed on her, but they were still there.

In the moments she was recovering from the hit, she heard the hissing. She looked up just a second before fire was blasted from Wendigo's mouth. She changed forms too late. Her energy was being exerted on reinforcing the wind wall to try and dislodge the black cords, causing her disappearing act to be delayed. She was caught up in the initial blast, screamed, then leapt up in the air off the cords to avoid the next wave of fire rushing down them to greet her. She disappeared as she jumped, hurriedly zipping low to the ground where the cords weren't present. Fire wasn't the healthiest thing for either of her forms.

She involuntarily materialized belly-down on the ground, smouldering. Her white hoodie was darkened with flame damage. There was a crash as Jericho broke through the ceiling and Vic barely glanced up at the plummeting rubble before throwing her arms out and dispersing the wind wall with a loud WHOOSH. She crossed her arms over her head protectively as the wind came roaring back to her.

Her eyes opened and she looked up to see the floating rubble above her. The place was practically destroyed - a hole in the ceiling, fire, rubble smashing craters in the ground... but it wasn't robbed. Yay.

Vic stomped her foot down and threw the rubble that had been sent down to crush her flying. Chucks of ceiling slammed against walls and a miniature whirlwind formed around her, snaking her upwards through the hole like a worm. She came out on the roof just in time to hear the terrifying battle cry of Wendigo, right before he scrambled back into the hole. Vic's brow twitched. Did he just ignore me?

The whirlwind around her narrowed into a arrow-like shape. She pressed her hands together in front of her and let out a little puff of air from her lips, before her projectile came down full force. The concentrated wind slammed into Wendigo's back, grinding him into the ground despite his mass. Vic blew out again, this time adding to the force of the current. Wind tugged on her clothes roared in her ears. She pushed harder. Hard enough to break bones. Suddenly, she stopped.

The strength of the wind faltered until it no longer weighed down on Wendigo's back. She lowered herself down to stand by the edge of the hole, leaning over it and peering down at the monster.

"If you're not going to rob the bank, I'm just gonna go," she called down, "This was fun. We'll probably have to do it again sometime. See you 'round, Wendy."

And she began to fly away. She swept over the top of PCRT vans making their way to the bank to detain the creature inside, quite happy to let someone else deal with it. She was getting hungry.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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“Wow…” Tess murmured to herself in mild awe as the white cape emerged – Or at least, a part of them did. It actually was pretty amazing with the wispy nature of their being, swirling haze suddenly giving way to a figure. Whoever he was, he was pretty cool. Forming out of the nothingness once more, an arm and hand gestured to her with an open hand. "Chuck that here, will you?" He asked, and Tess immediately obliged, wrenching the stinger from the wall and tossing it across the room. Almost perfectly, it landed in his hand, and with a quick salute and thanks, he was off to fight the monster once more. Tess wondered if she came off that confident to others when she was Hush.

Continuing to observe the action from the safety of her position, it was still incredibly hard to tell what was happening in there, even for her. The whirlwind was still roaring, which was probably a good sign for the white cape though. From amongst the cyclone, more of that creature’s body was flung out, though this time as thick strands of black goop. Spiralling about the whirlwind, they seemed out of control until they hit the walls, floor, ceiling, anything they could attach to before holding steady, shuddering amongst the force of the wind. Was it trying to anchor itself to better strike at the white cape? Briefly, she heard the sound of a scream from within the wind wall, before things suddenly got a lot crazier.

The inky wires that had affixed themselves about the room began running flames down their length, setting ablaze like fuses, yet remaining strung about as if becoming a web of fire itself. The room turned red and orange with the hot light, the inferno whipping about and remaining furious even amongst the intense winds they were subjected to. Naturally, more than a few cinders and sparks were flying about the room now, setting alight to furniture and scraps of paper caught in the cyclone. If the sandwich shop was bad, this bank was going to be a whole lot worse. As the shadowy figure of Wendigo leapt upwards and broke through the ceiling, it seemed ‘worse’ was a bit of an understatement.

Shrinking back through the doorframe, both to avoid the fiery heat and the rubble falling in the wake of the shapeshifters destruction; Tess kept an eye on the white cape as he came into view once more. Dispelling the whirlwind that he had formed, in a quick motion of his arms above his head he forced the wind into a protective barrier of sorts, the air pressure holding the stones above him as it continued rushing upward. Then, with little more effort, he tossed it all to the side, though the fact that the powers seemed to rely on physical motions was an intriguing factor to note. A necessary component of the ability? Or just something to help them focus? Without any hesitation, Tess watched the young man form a cyclone around his lower body and fly upwards to continue the battle.

Beginning to make her way back outside so she could continue to watch the fight, Terry stumbled at the loud thud behind her as Wendigo hit the floor of the bank once more, fur aflame and… Ughh, that smell really reeked. Why did she have to have a sensitive nose? Pinching it to block the stench, Terry didn’t have to worry about it too long as Whiteout made his presence known again. This time however, it was a blast; a reckless amount of air forcing down into the monsters back and driving it into the ground so hard it splintered the concrete. Falling backwards from the air that rushed past her in the aftermath of the strike, Tess remained where she was seated as she listened to him speak from somewhere high above them.

"If you're not going to rob the bank, I'm just gonna go. This was fun. We'll probably have to do it again sometime. See you 'round, Wendy." With that, she could only assume that the hero of the hour had left, leaving the shapeshifting monster to… Ah crapbaskets! The PCRT! She’d been so focused on the battle she hadn’t heard the approaching sirens, nor thought about the fact they’d be on their way here! She had to get out of here before they started asking her even more questions about what she was doing hanging about the scene of another crime!

Moving to the corner of the room, Tess was thankful the place was so dark and destroyed that no one would see her transform. Even the technology around seemed down for some reason. It was nothing particularly flashy – at least, not to her - Just a quick shimmer of blue-white light pulsing over her body before dispersing in a swarm of particles, morphing her clothes and leaving Hush where she once stood. Moving up to the window and glancing out to the rooftop, Tess briefly pictured it in her mind before forming her lightblade, making a quick vertical sweep to cut open the vibrant azure portal. Quickly stepping through, Hush vanished from the bank and reappeared on the nearby roof, immediately ducking down to avoid being seen before looking further up ahead. With another quick slice, she was away, zipping past the PCRT vehicles without even being spotted. Leaping off the side of the building to slide into the dark alleyway below, Hush did a few quick checks to ensure the coast was clear before ending her transformation.

Returning back to regular old Tess, the girl gave a soft sigh of relief as she’d once again managed to preserve her secret. Now she just had to work out how to get back to school and explain where she’d been and what had happened.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Splatterblood's Crew Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: Heroes League of America Character Portrait: The Adept Mages Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen Character Portrait: Nova Edinger Character Portrait: Legend (The Triumvirate)
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Capetown, TX. 09/20/2017, 10:04 AM. 74°F,
Partly Cloudy. Arc 3: Obsolescence.



Ray Green narrowed her eyes at Jasmin Lehtinen, jutting her head forwards and raising an eyebrow in a really strange combination that made Ray's signature look of suspicion. "Who or what was that?" She asked. Right as Jasmin went to open her mouth, Ray reared back, her hand over her mouth. "Don't tell me you're cheating on Lucas!"

"I am not dating Lucas, and you know it!" Jasmin practically screeched as Ray sniggered. She was one of the few people who could actually snigger in real life. "And no.. We uh, met two nights ago at the Which Wich next to my apartment. He robbed the place, and I was about to stop him, but Freischütz showed up."

Ray nodded understanding. Ray gave her response, Jasmin took a bite of her pancakes, and somewhere in the restaurant, a baby began to cry. Jasmin gulped down her mouthfull, and responded, "What was that? I misse-" Jasmin was cut off by the look on Ray's face. Fear. "Wha...?" Then it registered. A whining noise, a low 'wwwwaaaaaaaaaaa' that slowly rose into a cresendo before lowering again, in a cycle. It was sirens. Air raid sirens. Seconds later, three long gutteral buzzes followed by a prolonged beep marking the signature gut-wrenching noise of an Emergency Alert System sounded from every phone in the IHOP. Jasmin looked to Ray, fear plastered plainly over the faces of both girls.
"This is real, isn't it...?" Jasmin asked, a dark suspicion at the back of her mind. The weekly tests hadn't been going on for no reason.
"Looks like it," Ray responded, her voice suddenly sullen. An expression came across her face, one Jasmin hadn't seen before. Ray had always been tough, especially for a girl. In the fight against the Adept Mages, she had been fearless, and as far as Jasmin had heard, she'd always been headstrong. Now, there was no trace of her usual confidence, but there was uncertainty. Then came a one words reply; "Abhorrents."
"Shit!" Jasmin stood up, her chair sliding across the floor away from her. Already many of the patrons of the shop were panicked, filtering out through the glass doors at the front of the IHOP. "I may not like them, but I have family here in Capetown-"
"They'll evacuate or get to a shelter like every one else. Look Jasmin, you haven't been part of the team for a particularly long time, and so you missed the conversation, but me, Lucas, and Mark have agreed that if an Abhorrent ever attacks... Well, we'd help. You missed the conversation, you never signed up for it, so I'd understand-"
"No," Jasmin interruped. "I'll go."

Jericho's attention was ripped away from his meal and his music by the sound of sirens wailing away. His head jerked up, and for a moment he froze with indecision. He didn't know where he was supposed to go, or if he even should go... Wherever he needed to go. The confusion was dispelled upon the realization that some people might not even have the ability to evacuate, as most were expected to when the walking apocalypses showed up to a city.

A safe choice could be made here, and was. The Changer stood, easing himself out of his seat as he stood up and stretched, a frown pulling over his face as he forced calm to his troubled mind. This evidentially wasn't a drill, as the two girls and the rapid exit of the IHOP proved. Jericho's attention roved over to the two again, feet padding over to them rapidly as his voice rose out of his mouth without his bidding. "Hey. What're you two going to do? I doubt I can really prove an apt combatant against...," Jericho gave a nervous flap of his hands, shuddering just enough to be visible, "One of them. I can help with evacuation though, or if you two need, I can get you to wherever they have Capes go?" His voice slowly rose in pitch, trailing off and rising as if he were questioning them and expecting answers. He himself had no clue as to where to go, but giving any help where he could would ease him. Or at least, Jericho figured it would.

"I don't have any family in town, and I ain't exactly in position to worry about a house, all things considered. So! Whatever y'all need from me, I wouldn't mind helpin' out."


Ray stared at Jericho hard for about five seconds before coming to a conclusion. "Fine, you and Jasmin come with me. We're going to round up the rest of the group, then head to the HLA Headquarters. We will be under the protection of the Unspoken Rules, since an Abhorrent is about to attack." Jasmin nodded, and she caught Jericho nodding also.

Jasmin, Jericho, and Ray stepped out of the IHOP, and chaos had ensued. Traffic was backed up on even the simplest of roads, and people ran en masse by foot to the nearest Abhorrent Shelters. Jasmin listened, but she heard no telltale explosions of a cape fight, nor the distant rumble of buildings being destroyed. Is he even here yet, or were they able to start the sirens ahead of time? She wondered internally. Overhead an explosive sound concussed as a cape broke the sound barrier, a trail of flames and smoke following him as he flew towards downtown Capetown. She noticed a few people in costumes going against the grain of the civilians fleeing. The crush of bodies was hard to fight, like pushing through a deep river, the current of people fought against them. Jasmin raised her hand in a gun-shape above her head, pointing at the sky. Suddenly, lightning struck her fingers and thunder reverberated throughout the area louder than even the air raid sirens, causing the civilians around them to pause and give them room. People parted as they made their way downtown, towards Jasmin's appartment, next door to the Which Wich.




That happened multiple times in the ten or so minutes it took to reach Jasmin's house, as the crowd was thoughtless in panic, rarely giving pause to the occasional costumed cape. When they reached Jasmin's appartment (as it was the closest meet-up point to the HLA headquarters between the Congenial), Lucas and Mark, in-costume as Chrysopoeia and Sandstorm, were already waiting on Mark's motorcycle, bands of sand swirling around them like personal asteroid fields, leaving them personal space against the panicked civilians. Jasmin looked down the street and took a moment of pity for the police officers established at the intersections, attempting to route the traffic, both automobiles and people on foot, towards the nearest shelter. Everyone knew where to go, though, as everyone was always informed. Pamphlets came in the mail, billboards would have locations marked on city maps, students in school would be taught during drills. People weren't supposed to use vehicles, too easy to cause an accident in the resulting panic, but people did nonetheless.

All the while, the air raid sirens blared in the background, piercing the ears and embedding itself in the mind, sounds engineered specifically to strike fear into humans, to tell you something is wrong.

None of this helped the fact that people were inherently stupid, one of the biggest faults of modern society. In the panicked crowds, every rule was broken as people pushed and shoved and tripped, shouted and cursed, pulling luggage on wheels, hitting people with cars. Everyone was driven by the primal desire to save themselves over others. Capes were no different, as was evident by Sandstom using his power to keep people at a distance, or Jasmin using it to part the sea that was the crowds. One of the cops at the intersection noticed the group of villains that was The Congenial, plus Jericho, and was about to say something. The cop nearest rested his hand on the shoulder of his fellow cop, and shook his head, and they went back to corralling the crowd.

As they reached the blocks around the Heroes League of America Headquarters, the crowd thinned and yellow police tape blocked off intersections heading towards it, and police cars stopped traffic. The cops were there to stop people from trying to seek shelter with the capes, and stop civilians from inhibiting the capes from gathering and strategizing before the attack. The cops let the group through, and Jasmin gawked at what lay ahead.

A crowd of roughly two hundred capes stand infront of the building, with more appearing every second, being teleported or flown in. The group reached the edge of the crowd, careful not to straggle lest they be in the way of incoming teleporters. Capes of all kinds, costumed in bright colors or dark colors, or not costumed at all, were present.

"Everyone is coming together." Jasmin realized aloud, almost in awe.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush)
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◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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The school day had started like any other. Or at least, it started like it had for the past few days. It was becoming a recurring theme that Terry’s encounters with capes and dangers was a point of discussion amongst her friends, with Amy and Glen eager to get all the details of who she’d seen, what had happened, all of it. Marcy simply made comment that she was glad Tess was okay, seemingly disinterested with what Tess recounted of ‘Whiteout’ and her second encounter with Wendigo. Still, it made for an impressive tale that she’d managed to somewhat help in halting Wendigo’s robbery. At least, that was what the media had portrayed it as – Tess had her other suspicions, but lacked any idea why Wendigo would simply make a scene like that. Maybe he just liked attention?

Regardless, she made her farewells to Glen and Amy, and instead moved to attend her Parahuman ethics class with Marcy. Honestly, there wasn’t a lot to tell there either. After their essay submission, things were a bit more lax with a simple lecture about the various treaties involved in Abhorrent attacks; as well as discussion around mandatory conscription of known capes into defence and the like. It was an intriguing discussion, one she felt should be up to the individual. Not everyone could or should risk their lives for something like that. Even if she wanted to, Tess wasn’t sure she had the courage for doing something so… Martyr-like? She hoped she never had to find out. Every time she’d been faced with trouble in the past couple of days, she’d left it to someone else or thought about her own sake first. Could she really set that aside and join a cause like that? All she’d managed as a ‘hero’ was some minor things, but… She did want to make a difference. She just didn’t really know how to start. Or rather… She didn’t want to give up what she had for it.

It was at that point that a sudden movement and noise at her side made her jump out of her thoughts, Marcy having sat up from her chair and looking out the window past Tess. Her expression was… Terry hadn’t seen Marcy show much of any emotion, but this… That was fear. “Marcy, what-“ Tess started to ask at the same time as the professor began asking if she had a question, but both were silenced by a sound of dread. That winding and rising whir that spelled only one thing. At the same time, everyone’s phones came to life with screeches of static, confirming their worst fears. Emergency signals. This wasn’t a drill or some test: it was real. An attack. They were here. An abhorrent was in Capetown. Things immediately erupted into chaos, students clambering from their seats, grabbing their stuff, trying desperately to use their phones and contact love ones, all the while the professor began calling over the top for order and a calm and orderly evacuation towards the nearest shelter. Tess remained frozen in her seat for a moment, before she felt a firm grip on her wrist yanking her to her feet.

“We need to go.” Marcy stated, eyes darting about the room for a moment before she began dragging Tess with her, heading out the door and into the hall. The sea of students was suffocating as people pushed and shoved about the crowd, all jostling towards the stairs and exits to the building. Panic was setting in, but for the most part, the faculty were keeping things pretty under control. Well, the ones that weren’t screaming and forcing their way out themselves. Moving with the flow of the crowd, Tess felt herself being wrenched about, but the whole time, Marcy maintained a firm grip on her hand, guiding her through the crowds with serious determination. It was amazing how different this side of her was to what Terry knew of her.

Breaking out into the courtyard, Tess felt herself yanked to the side as Marcy dragged her away from the doorways and against the building wall, giving the two some breathing space as the crowd of people continued forward in the evacuation. Slowly, Marcy released her grip on Tess, turning to face her. “You can get us out of here, right?” Marcy stated, looking directly at Tess. Blinking a bit in surprise, Terry responded in the first way that came to mind. “Well yeah, we just have to follow everyone to the shelters and-“ Tess was cut off by Marcy dragging her again, this time, further perpendicular to the crowd. “That’s not what I meant, Tess. I know about you.” Marcy glanced back to Tess over her shoulder, reading her expression. Seeing the confusion on her face, she sighed and continued. “I’ve seen your powers, Tess. I’ve known practically since I met you.”

Tess’ eyes widened in surprise, and immediately her mouth started speaking before her brain could catch up. “You what? I mean how-when?” The stammering continued as they pushed their way into the girl’s bathroom, Marcy releasing her grip on Terry once more now that they had some more privacy. Shutting her eyes a moment, Marcy was silent for a brief while, before turning back to Tess to speak. “I have abilities too, but they’re not much good in a situation like this. And you know as well as I do that the shelter’s do jack shit against any Abhorrent. No, we need to get the hell out of the city, as far away as we can.” Marcy paused, shutting her eyes again before speaking. Tess began to wonder what she was doing when she did that. “You can make those portal things, right? I know where that thing is coming from, and so long as we head in the opposite direction, we’ll be safe. Then, when it’s all cleared up, we come back to the city, slip in amongst the survivors and no one’s the wiser. You keep your secret, I keep mine, and neither of us dies in some pointless fight.”

Terry couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Part of her was still struggling to take it all in and process the revelations in the past few minutes. She knew one thing though. “This isn’t pointless. Someone has to try and stop those things or-“

“You can’t kill an Abhorrent. Neither can I. No one can. Sure, the big guns will drive them off, but not before people die. And I’m not an idiot like the rest of them, I don’t wanna die. Call me a coward if you want, but I’m just being realistic here. Just because we have powers doesn’t mean we have to use them on some big noble bullshit Tess. Someone else can deal with that crap. Now, if you’re done having your crisis of conscience, can we please get going?” Marcy sounded exasperated at this point, still glancing away every now and then as if diverting her attention to something else. Now wasn’t the time to ask questions about that though.

“Marcy, we can’t just abandon everyone. What about Glen and Amy? What about our families?” Tess suddenly felt her heart wrench as she thought about her mother and father at work, deep in the thick of the city. They’d be right in the middle of everything. “We don’t have to fight the thing, but we can help with evacuating and-“

Marcy sneered, turning her focus back to Tess. “Yeah, like you’ve been helping so far. I saw those thugs that chased you. I saw you at the Sandwich store. I even saw you at the bank. Tess, you’re not some hero, it’s painfully obvious that, like me, you’d rather look after yourself. You don’t need to prove yourself to me or bluff bravado. It’s just us, and no one will know. So let’s go.” Gesturing back outside, Marcy began to lead the way, seemingly thinking the discussion was over. Tess wasn’t about to let that be the last words however. Grabbing hold of Marcy’s hand, she stopped her.

“You’re right that I’m not a hero, but I’m not just going to run from this. You can go if you want Marcy, I’m not stopping you, but I’m staying and doing what I can. I’m not leaving people behind again.” Determined, Tess released Marcy’s arm and, in one swift flash of light, changed into Hush. Marcy stared at her a moment longer before looking away bitterly. “I needed you to get me out of here. If you’re staying then I’m stuck staying. And at this point I won’t get to a shelter before it seals.” Twisting her face into a grimace, Marcy gave a groan of annoyance. “Fine. I’m coming with you. At least if I’m near the idiots risking their lives I might be able to use their sacrifices to get clear.”

“Please don’t talk about people like that.” Hush replied sternly as she stepped outside, looking out across the horizon towards the HLA headquarters. Shutting her eyes and focusing, she extended out her arm, a beam of light sprouting forth before solidifying into a blade. Drawing a quarter circle with the blade and pointing it to the sky Tess took a deep breath as she concentrated. She’d been past the HLA plenty of times before. She knew where it was. She knew the area around it. She just needed to focus. Slashing the blade down swiftly, a blue rip in the air formed, glowing bright with light. “This should take us to the meeting point. But I’ve never had anyone else go through this with me… Are you sure you want to try this?” Hush asked, looking back to Marcy.

“Oh, so now you decide to warn me?” The girl huffed, shaking her head as she moved up towards the glowing gateway. “Guess I should be glad that this isn’t all of me if it does go wrong…” Marcy muttered, moving back over to Hush and holding on to her over her shoulders. “Alright, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”

Nodding to her friend, Hush moved forward and stepped through the portal, stepping out into the crowd at the HLA headquarters, a small open area having been made for her after the portal had formed. Soon enough, the crowd closed in around the two as they waited for everyone to be addressed. All the while, Marcy was complaining into Tess’ ear. It certainly was strange seeing her so much more talkative. Their discussion had brought a lot of questions to Hush’s mind, but there’d be a time and a place to put them into words. For now, there was a bigger problem to address.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA)
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Jericho was awestruck at the sheer amount of people that had gathered in front of the HLA building, laughing under his breath out of overwhelming shock. The two, Jasmin and Ray- he learned their names along the way- had two others who joined up with them. Two guys who had swirling streams of sand keeping the crowd from crushing them as they had made their way to the HLA. Mark and Lucas, the latter being incredibly familiar... Oh right. Motorcycle dude.

Now that they were here, and yet more people were either flying in- Hey! It was Vic! Instinct said to go over and talk-
Oh wait. Almost immediately after Nobody arrived, Jericho locked his sight on the flying 'motorcycle' and its rider as they touched down beside a group of teenagers and other costumed heroes. That guy too, mister trench-coat-creepy-mask-mctriggerhappy-pants. He stopped to talk with a teen, leaving Jericho glaring across the way before his attention was grabbed by the appearance of a blinding rip of light.

From it stepped another duo of presumed capes; a faintly familiar head of purple-tinted brown hair stepped out, with a shorter girl stepping out with the former female. The portal closed behind them, taking its all too blinding light away with it.
The space that had formed for the two girls was immediately swallowed up by other people; again. Everyone here was crowding together and man if that didn't make the Changer vaguely uncomfortable. He was then made even MORE uncomfortable by another cape bumping into him roughly, seemingly to get out of the way of ANOTHER cape who was stalking into the crowd. Jericho turned to make a comment, before stopping and staring at the man who melded into the crowd of parahumans.

The Changer stepped up to the guy, sliding to his side as casually as he could and looking over and just so slightly upward. There was a ... mask? One that seemed to be made of shadows that covered up his face. Hell, maybe the guy couldn't even speak! Oh well, a little conversation didn't hurt anyone right? "Hey! You've got a pretty scary ensemble goin' on there... You one of the HLA? They always seem to have some intimidatin' shit goin' on with their costumes and shit." Jericho popped the question off cheerily, smiling politely at the other cape.

The man turned to him then, sorta; his shoulders shifted just a bit but hey, Jericho would take that as acknowledgement any day, usually. "What? Part of the egomaniacs? No." Ehehehe, that was rude. "Then who are ya with? A villain group? Wait am I not supposed to ask that?" The teen quipped off another question, tilting his head curiously as he found ink pooling around his ankle and feet, chitin building there before suddenly stopping as his focus returned to his appearance. Concentrating on keeping a human appearance was difficult sometimes, especially when Jericho was stressed, or distracted, or anxious. Oop the guy's talking again! "I'm not a hero, I'm not a villain."

How delightfully vague. Ugh, that wasn't a clear answer even if it gave one! "So a vigilante? Huh... Never met one of you before! Are you all so posh? Nice suit- Oh! What're your powers? I mean, people seem to be upset with ya bein' here or sommat, was' with that?" Jericho waited for an answer, blinking and smiling widely when the man turned around entirely and spoke to him directly. "What is your name?" Oh that was odd? The changer could feel the guy sizing him up, or at least taking in his appearance. Huh. "Oh! 'M name is Jericho! Nice to meet'cha~!"

Oh wait, there was stuff going on right? They were here for a reason, so, without even so much as a second thought to appearances; Jericho shifted some of his mass. His skull was briefly, for all of two seconds maybe, wreathed in ink as two more pairs of eyes appeared. Two pointed towards the sky and taking in all they could, two pointed at the crowd directly behind him. The changer gave a quick giggle at the sudden scramble that the cape behind him gave to get away. A man in a vaguely knight-like armor suit thing. Surprise Sir Gawain! Ehehehe. The teen focused again on the cape in front of him, blinking his 'original' eyes in surprise when the guy spoke 'Wendigo'. Weird- "If this were any other time, I would enjoy breaking you."

Whoa whoa whoa! What?! And he smiled while saying that?! Did he dispel some of his weird face fuckery just to say that?! Jesus kringle-fucking christ. "Whoa! Uh? Soooo... You know me? I mean, jeez man, I ain't done anythin' to you have I?" Reflexively, Jericho's ink swelled around his hands; turning them into blunt clubs of bone and what looked like some amount of oily sinew. "Bank robbery, sandwhich shop... Not much in the overall scheme but in the short amount of time that your name has been present, it has been attached to bad things." Oh sweet creepy Christ, he was still smiling, what the fuck? "I'm the guy that shows up when you've done one bad thing too many."

Oh. Sweet fucking christ. He was one of those. "Ohhh so you're one of those huh? Batman style vigilante? Or maybe Dexter? So you've probably really really hurt people too huh? Killed someone with some 'non-lethal' takedown? ... Maybe I went overboard, I probably really did but... Jeez man." Jericho felt it too, some guilt that welled up and spilled out just ever so slightly over his lips. A quick guilty glance from one pair of eyes towards Vic... "Give me every morality argument you can think of, I've heard them all. And the comparison to batman is overdone to the point of being cute. I know who you are now, and that's all that matters." The capes stance had shifted throughout his speaking, turning to face Jericho entirely and relaxing to the point that the Changer felt as if the other guy didn't find him a threat!

So maybe the guy was a huge asshole, who cares! Everyone's different right? And so what if he had the most bullshit excuse for a fucking- Yeah no. Jericho was pissed, and just who the fuck did this guy think he was? "Okay first off, who the fuck are you? Actually no wait, excuse me if you're acting like a hardass and tryin' to 'break' people based on your assumptions! Bleh, y' can't get upset over the batman comparison if y'er gonna be actin' like the guy too! What if I've gone and done more shit than just what you've heard about? Eh?" He gave a quiet growl, throat and chest splitting open and swirling with ink as the classical batman cowl formed on his body; a full face underneath the chitin that glossed metallic. "I know who you are now, and that's all that matters. Bleh bleh bleh."

Okay... That was pretty childish, but c'mon what was he supposed to do? You can't argue with people like that in actuality right? "The mind of a child trapped in playdough. Unless you intend to fight me, I have nothing more to say to you." And with that lovely bit of ending statement, the guy just turned the fuck back around. What the fuck. Well fuck him too then, Jesus.

Jericho gave a silent sigh, turning away and ducking back into the crowd as his form returned to semi-normalcy, his skin was beginning to swim with tattoos and wriggling bits of 'art' that began to bleed out onto his actual physical form. Tendrils of flesh and muscle pulsed their way off his wrists and ankles, the nape of his neck sprouting some that were lined with viciously curved hooks. Fangs and claws sprouted at random on his fingers, face, and toes; the rest of his body covering itself on and off with fur, feathers, scales, chitin... And any mixture of the four. Ugh. He was in a mood now, and trying to keep still was becoming impossible. He couldn't even bring himself to even try and cheer up. Luckily, it seemed that no-one wanted to talk with the cape who's body was doin'... Whatever Jericho's was.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: Heroes League of America Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen
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Alexander Dalton




Alex was about halfway to the pizza parlor now. His music blasting loud enough for some of the people he walked passed to hear. Given how durable his physiology was now he didn't really have to care about hearing loss. At least not from his commercial bought headphones. The last song faded out only to be replaced with Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. He grinned and reflexively tried turning the volume up. Full blast though, which he was a little annoyed by. Maybe now that he bought those pieces of Tinker tech he can buy something higher quality then his store bought wrap arounds. A sudden buzzing on his thigh made him pulled out his phone. Dean again. Might as well humor him.

Bro, so level with me. Do you have an Cape crushes? Like for real cause I swear I'm in love right now

This is getting old. Last week you were obsessed with Laser Hawk.

Dude Can you blame me??! The woman is DDG

If you say extra thick you can forget pizza.

I wasn't going to say such a thing, you wound me sir

So then, who's the "Lucky" lady?

Ranch Hand my dude.

. . . . . . -__-

What???

Oh god you're serious

The woman is a muscle bound goddess, can you blame me man?

Its good to dream big . . . .But i think if you even tried to make a move you might actually die.

I'm not that dumb, but way to go shattering dreams my dude

I Try ^^

Still didn't say who you're crush is bro ;)

And I never will ~

You ass XP

Alex snorted and was about to send another text back when a whining sound cut through his music. and suddenly, the whole world seemed to stand still for a moment. It was like a fog horn, a low whining cycle. It was the air raid sirens. Alex yanked down his headphones and looked around frantically.

Everyone was momentarily frozen. some from shock, other disbelief. most out of fear though. Seconds passed and the signature Emergency Alert System could be heard coming from about every house and store ringing out across the entire city. Alex felt his stomach drop. The sudden urge to empty out what little was in his stomach trying to override his brain. He chocked it all back down as people began to panic. some tried denying it. most though instantly started to run. over the sound of the sirens, one word rang out from the crowd as it began to surge. "Abhorrents!!!"

Almost instinctively, Alex ducked into the closest side street. He ripped open his bag and grasped at his helmet. Only then did he realize he was shacking almost violently, causing his helmet to be dropped on the ground. His breathing was fast and uneven. He was scared, everyone was. The world around them was about to become a war zone. Attempts to try and steady his breathing weren't going so well, and he just wouldn't stop shacking. Alex was about to go straight into full blown panic when the sudden rhythmic vibrating at his thigh snapped him away from himself.

He fumbled for the phone. it was his grandpa calling him.
"Hello?"

"Alex where are you? Are you safe?"

"Yeah, I'm safe. I'm about halfway to Tom's right now. How are you and grandma??" Worry flooded His voice. He was so far away from them, would they both be able to get help and be in a shelter in time? Alex began to stutter, trying to figure out what to do. it was his grandpa that snapped him back.

"Alexander! I need you to listen okay? Your grandmother and me are fine and being helped escorted to a shelter. Calm yourself, and just breath. Here count and breath with me like we used to, can you do that for me?"
The man's voice was not as steady as it usually was, but still strong as ever. Alex followed along, feeling himself steady and regain composure. This was happening. But his family was being taken care of.

Now boy, you don't need to explain anything to me. But I Know what you have been up to for the past few months. I've seen you're costume when you weren't at home. I'm not sure how long it has been going on, but I've known for a while. Hard to miss when I cant even lift my own grandson.
The words seemed to rewind and play back in Alex's mind a few times before the gravity of what his grandpa had just said came to him. Grandpa knows I'm parahuman.
" Now i want you to answer me this. Are you going to go out there and help?

It took another minute before he said anything, a lump the size of a softball seemingly wedging itself in his throat. Then he finally spoke. "Yes. I am,"

" . . . . Ok. There was yet another pause after. "You come back to us son, don't you go and get yourself killed. What was he going to expect from a former soldier? He must have his grandpa's sense of duty.
Remember what i told you about courage?

Alex sniffed, holding back tears. "It's not the absence of fear, its the ability to act in spite of it."

"That's my boy, Now go out there and show some courage. Don't worry about me and grandma. We love you." He could hear pride in the mans voice.

Hanging up. Alex picked up his helmet. Time to go face the apocalypse.

"I love you too."



Alex flew through the air. Riding a disk shaped barrier. he looked down below to see the police officers established at the intersections, attempting to route the traffic and prevent any chaos as they lead civilians towards the nearest shelters. All the while, the air raid sirens blared in the background, drowning out the sounds of panic and confusion bellow. As Alex flew on he soon noticed that there were other capes flying near him. Some were in thrown together costumes, others in plain civilian cloths but wrapped in some variety of power and or energy. Nobody said anything but a nod was shared between the small group. They all knew what was about to happen. Whether any of them were prepared or not.

As they reached the blocks around the Heroes League of America Headquarters, The "Air traffic" got a bit too thick, forcing most of the fliers to touch down and brave through the crowd of people trying to take refuge in the building. The crowd had been thinned and yellow police tape blocked off intersections heading towards the HQ. When Alex was able to finally wiggle his way in and was taken aback by the sight. There had to be a few hundred capes stand in front of the building, with more appearing every passing second. Alex was careful to avoid the larger open spaces that were made to allow teleporters easy entry.A quick look around revealed capes of all kinds were present. Their costumes ranging from bright colors or dark colors, to no costume at all. Villains, heroes, and vigilantes were all present.

The atmosphere was thick with a slew of emotions. some were excited, others nervous. The shacking feeling that they all were about to go to war with what many considered to be a god. Many were speculating on what abhorrent was going to show. from the sound of it people had it narrowed down to three. Behemoth, Giant, or Tangle. Others were psyching each other up and trying to keep moral. Alex stayed reasonably quiet. Wondering both when they would be given their orders and if he might know anybody in the crowd. Which given how many people were here wasn't unlikely. Best to focus anyway. it looked like things were starting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: River Riley (Zero) Character Portrait: Jason Riley (Quantum) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Splatterblood's Crew Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: Heroes League of America Character Portrait: The Adept Mages Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen Character Portrait: Skull Syndicate Character Portrait: The Think Tank Character Portrait: The Freakshow! Character Portrait: Nova Edinger Character Portrait: Legend (The Triumvirate) Character Portrait: Victor "LTL" Stellianos
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Capetown, TX. 09/20/2017, 10:36 AM. 73°F,
Partly Cloudy. Arc 4: Abberance.




Chaos. It was indescribable as anything other than complete chaos and pandemonium. The English language could try in vain, but there's no describing the utter devastation that was going on before Jasmin's eyes.

..... "Everyone is coming together." Jasmin Lehtinen spoke her thoughts aloud, in awe. All around her was a mass of capes, and more poured in, from around the world, like ants. There was a crowd of hundreds now, almost entirely made up of foreign aid and support groups from around the world. A large chunk was the United States' own HLA and THA teams from all around the country. The building's parking lot was large, but it could hardly accommodate the crowd that was forming. Jasmin looked at the HLA's headquarters building. You'd expect a team of heroes to have a tower or a skyscraper somewhere, maybe letter-shaped and on a perfectly-sized island nearby. Instead, Capetown's HLA HQ was more like a police station, no more like a fire station. There was a section of the building that was obviously large and box-shaped, like how you could always point out the gymnasium at a school. Probably a training room, Jasmin thought. The parking lot was also large, large enough to accommodate a lot of emergency response vehicles. Even so, the group swelled past the parking lot's perimeter, and into the empty streets. On the edge of the crowd, more capes arrived, through portals, flying vehicles, or carried by Speedsters. it was surreal. Capes of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, colors of suits, villains, heroes, people made of fire or earth, capes with things floating around them, or Tinkers in suits of armor. Changers that look like monsters or animals, capes hovering above the head-line, or capes flying about. The murmuring from the surrounding crowd made conversation nearly impossible.
..... Until up ahead at the HQ, a large, flashy-green portal opened up. The portal threw out swirling green sparks at the edges of the portal-way, almost like Dr. Strange's portals. From inside the portal came a blinding white light, infront of which Jasmin could make out four dark silhouettes. Immediately, Jasmin knew who these four were, and in the same way it did when she heard the air raid sirens start up, her heart paused for a second. The Triumvirate.
..... The first to step out of the portal and come into focus was Legend. Leader of the Triumvirate, and aptly named, Legend had a blue suit with silver and red accents and a red cape. Legend, Jasmin knew, had a nigh-invincible body, could fly, and had mind-boggling strength. The next to step through was Hero, who, in Jasmin's opinion, was a lot less aptly named. He looked more like a villain, like Dr. Doom, than one of the most renown heroes in the world. Hero's powers' specifics weren't fully public knowledge, but it's known that he has access to virtually any power in the world that he wants' and is limited to three to four at a time. The next to step through, and last of the Triumvirate, was Suit. Jasmin didn't know much about his antics and tactics, but she knew he was the most impressive Tinker on the planet. Like a mixture of Rick Sanchez, Tony Stark, and Batman, he had a gadget for literally everything. Jasmin looked at him with the most interest, as he was possibly the most mysterious of the Triumvirate to her. Suit has never been seen outside of his suit, like Master Chief, no one knows what he looks like or even his skin color. He's known as the most powerful and versatile Tinker in the world, due to being able to copy a Tinker's specialty once he comes across another Tinker. As a result his gadgets are so much more complex and magical than even the most powerful Tinkers Jasmin has heard of. Suit's suit itself has thousands of different gadgets and things invisibly embedded into it, and the suit can morph between several different styles and looks, each with different specialties and functions. He has specific suits for specific Abhorrents, and today, he was in his Tangle suit. The last silhouette, though not officially part of the Triumvirate, was a famously strong cape named Synergy. Synergy was known to commonly accompany the Triumvirate during major threats like Abhorrents. Synergy, Jasmin knew, was a seriously powerful Trump cape with the power to copy the powers of other capes that he touches, up to two at a time. When he copies a power, he has the power's full potential unlocked as the original cape could possibly have. So, say there's a cape that isn't experienced with their power but has potential to learn a lot, Synergy, after copying the power, would use the power like a master. Synergy also has the ability to synergize two copied powers and have them interact in unpredictable ways outside of the scope of the original two powers. This combination makes him an extremely powerful cape.
..... These four were the veterans of the veterans, and while their being here did calm Jasmin a little bit, it also filled her with a sense of dread knowing that the situation she was in was very, very real. Jasmin watched ahead as soldiers began to flood out of the portal that the Triumvirate had walked out of. PCRT? That was the most likely answer, but they didn't have the normal black face mask and red-accented body armor that Jasmin was used to seeing, these soldiers instead had bulkier clothing with blue accents and half-gas-mask-like half-night-vision-like goggles.
..... "-and those are PCRT Abhorrent response members. Their suits are Tinker-made, specifically to resist Tangle's radiation, laser-beams, and his plant minions' attacks." Ray said, as Jasmin realized she had speaking to her this entire time, as Jasmin hadn't been paying attention. As Ray finished her sentence, Jasmin noticed that up at the front of the crowd, Suit took a large sleek black box reminiscent of a suitcase off of his back. He got on a knee and placed it on the ground. Immediately, it started coming apart as if made of hundreds of boxes that were seamlessly each a part of the original box a second ago. Then, rotors popped out of the tops of the black boxes, each perfectly smooth and the size of a rubix cube, and they began flying around the crowd of capes. Drones, Jasmin thought, as one flew to her and hovered in front of her. Jasmin looked next to her at Ray, and noticed that Ray had put her left arm outstretched in front of her, and the drone landed on her wrist, and began to transform, reconstructing itself into a wrist band, about two inches wide and an eighth of an inch thick. Jasmin did the same, and though the wristband seemed to be made of some sort of black metal, it felt curious to her, as she felt literally no paths of connection to it through electricity. For the first time in her life, Jasmin felt something she couldn't shock.
..... "Some kind of power-resistance material, probably made by some Tinker who is the only in the world who can make it. Besides Suit, I guess." Ray spoke again, confirming Jasmin's suspicions. Jasmin moved her arm around and was surprised that this amount of metal on her arm felt completely weightless. Jasmin looked to Lucas and Mark, or Chrysopoeia and Sandstorm as they were in costume, and they also had the wristbands. Systematically, every cape in the crowd began accepting the drones onto their arms. Legend, up at the front of the crowd, began a noble-sounding speech about how everyone here was doing a great service to humanity. Suddenly, Jasmin became aware that her face was naked, without her iron-shavings mask. Jasmin pulled out the bottle and unstoppered it, magnetizing the shavings to her face, conscious of the spiky configuration they fell into along the magnetic field lines. Ray, or Seraphim, wasn't in her portal-costume, but it was understandable as the armor of portals would be dangerous in this crowd of close bodies.

Jericho flinched, partially out of reflex and partially because he wasn't paying attention, when the sparking swirling amalgamation of green light and energy abruptly popped into existence ahead. His eyes narrowed, focusing in on the 'gateway' as it were, taking in every possible detail about the quartet of capes before opting to change his eyes into those that normally belonged to a raptor. Minute details, tiny features, everything possible to see with 'mundane' sight opened up for Jericho. Suit was taller than Jericho expected, and Legend was... Almost everything that the Changer thought he would be, and maybe a little not so.

It was Hero that Jericho immediately distrusted, if only because the costume that he wore was one that made Jericho think of villains from comic books and similar. Hero made the Changer... suspicious, but for no good reason, seeing as how the man put himself through harms gauntlet day in and out when it came to the Abhorrents.

His gaze slid over to Synergy, or at least the man who held the name, and studied him for a time. Tall, dark, bald and with a posture that seemed to scream “Regality.” Jericho was reminded of a lion when he looked upon the man. His attention shifted back to Jasmin and the rest of his ‘friends’. Multiple eyes sprouted into existence upon his skull, ink flowing and then fading into nothing as pupils contracted and dilated on each recognizable face. Jasmin, Vic-Nobody, The Gunman, The girl who stepped out of light, the ‘not-a-batman’, and then a blondie who seemed to arrive just a little bit later than everyone else on a disk of turquiose light. Jericho’s eyebrows rose at the somewhat familiar form, before furrowing in concentration as he tried to piece together where he may have seen the unknown cape from.

His attention was again yanked away, his focus turning towards a small scuffle between a man who dressed himself like some sort of medieval ranger, with a bow and arrow to tout, and a man who wore nothing but a body suit marked with digital numbers. The body suit man had the ranger held up by the collar of his cloak, and a small circle had formed around the two. Several other capes watched on warily, and as some others from the edge began to push to break the two apart, Jericho noticed a familiar woman making her way over.

A black, silver and magenta colored cape floated over to the two scuffling, their words and voices growing louder and a little more heated. The cape’s mask covered their face, adorned with with the magenta markings that covered their- her- whole suit. A helmet that was remniscent of a hawk’s head, along with a visor that covered everything except for the bottom half of her face. From mid breast and upper sternum, her suit was silver and seemingly armored, with two markings on her stomach and upper groin glowing with hot pink light. Her voice was nothing like her suit led Jericho to believe: firm instead of soothing, authoritive, and pissed. “Hey! Hey! Pull yourselves together. Don’t break the unspoken rules.”

It was those words that caused the commotion to come grinding to a halt. ‘Don’t break the unspoken rules.’ Every cape within hearing distance, even some of those who only heard the ‘...rules’ stood a little straighter, gritted their teeth- all manner of stress reflex. ‘The Unspoken Rules’ were rules between capes that were exactly as they sounded: unspoken rules that every known and unknown cape followed. To break them was to vilify yourself against quite actually every other cape in the area. Maybe even the continent.

The two scuffling capes separated themselves, one looking cowed and the other looking almost as if his pride had taken a direct hit. Jericho, on the other hand, recognized Laser Hawk the moment she began speaking. His mind flew back through time to the aftermath of the bank heist: an HLA woman who turned her hands into magenta light and essentially dissolved matter. A breaker who was... Scary to say the least. Respected to say even less. She had flight as part of her kit, but from what Jericho saw of her, not very fast flight. He could outrun her, probably... She only flew as long as her hands were glowing, maybe a part of her power?

He was nervous all the same, a minutely guilty part of his conscience poking its dirty, dirty hands into his emotions. The Changer hummed to himself, reflexively shuffling away from Laser Hawk and the group of capes around her. He bumped into Jasmin, muttering sorry in his passing as he disappeared just a little deeper into the crowd of capes. There were plenty of people around to take attention off of him, right? “Fuck.”

It was only after a short moment of getting into a comfortable enough space- (read as getting distance between himself and Laser Hawk) that Jericho turned back towards the ‘front’. A drone was in his face, and as he reached out, the automaton landed and formed into the bracelets everyone else was receiving. Legend was going on about something or another, Jericho wasn’t paying attention, far too interested in the metal bracelet around his wrist.