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The Adept Mages

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

Description

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The Adept Mages
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Villain Organization
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Myrlyn
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Name: MyrlynImage
Civilian Identity: Unknown
Sex: Male.
(Apparent) Age: 18-22
Rank: Leader (1st)
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification: Mover 3 / Shaker 4 / Blaster 5 / Thinker 7
Powers: Telekinesis, blue intangible flames appear around whatever he is using the telekinesis on. The telekinesis is strong, able to throw large things, make things float, push or pull people, or even make himself fly. He also had the secondary power of limited precognition, that apparently stemmed from a mental power telling him what people were about to do, or what action they'd take.


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Jeu
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Name: Jeu
Image
Civilian Identity: Unknown.
Sex: Male
(Apparent) Age: 16-18
Rank: 2nd
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification: Brute 1 / Shaker 1 / Thinker 5
Powers: Has many powers such as enhanced timing, enhanced balance, enhanced accuracy, enhanced acrobatics, enhanced reflexes, and illusory flames, making him deadly in close quarters melee, and good at battlefield control by tricking people with flames.


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Drow
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Name: Drow Image
Civilian Identity: Unknown.
Sex: Female
(Apparent) Age: 18-20
Rank: 3rd
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification: Shaker 3 / Striker 3
Powers: Drow was capable of creating constructs of green energy (like green lantern) except it was mostly limited to small constructs, and the energy appeared to be both wispy like smoke, and crackly like green electricity. She mostly made weapons out of the energy, but could sometimes create battlefield obstacles.


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Alchimyst
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Name: Alchimyst Image
Civilian Identity: Unknown.
Sex: Male.
(Apparent) Age: 16-17
Rank: 4th
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification: Tinker 4
Powers: Makes concoctions of "potions" and poisons with varying affects.


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Rethliel
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Name: Rethliel Image
Civilian Identity: Unknown.
Sex: Unknown
(Apparent) Age: Unknown.
Rank: 5th
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification:
Powers:


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Fernis
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Name: Fernis Image
Civilian Identity: Unknown.
Sex: Unknown
(Apparent) Age: Unknown.
Rank: 6th
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification:
Powers:


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Rition
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Name: Fernis Image
Civilian Identity: Unknown.
Sex: Unknown
(Apparent) Age: Unknown.
Rank: 7th
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification:
Powers:


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Cloak
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Name: Cloak Image
Civilian Identity: Unknown.
Sex: Unknown
(Apparent) Age: Unknown.
Rank: 8th
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification: Mover 2 / Brute 4 / Breaker 2
Powers: Invisible breaker form capable of being touched and exerting force (pushing, pulling, punching), but extremely hard to harm. Can also fly/float/levitate in breaker form.


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Frostflake
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Name: Frostflake Image
Civilian Identity: Unknown.
Sex: Unknown
(Apparent) Age: Unknown.
Rank: 10th
Description:
Personality / Tactics:
Classification: Shaker / Blaster / Striker
Powers: Ice generation and manipulation powers.

So begins...

The Adept Mages's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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Footnotes

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Capetown, TX. 09/18/2017, 5:00 PM. 75°F,
Overcast. Arc 2: Confluence.



Just as Jasmin Lehtinen had feared, the knock heralded the arrival of their mysterious contractor. The knock was apparently a courtesy knock, as none of the four had gotten off of the couch to go open the door before they let themselves in. Two bodyguards wearing black Kevlar body suits and black balaclavas flanked her, each holding an assault rifle aimed at the floor. Recall herself, their boss, wore a black costume, with a black helmet a purple visor obscuring her whole face. She had a purple scarf wrapped around her knock, and two swords, one of European descent, and a one a katana, sheathed on her back. She also carried a handgun holstered on her hip, another holstered on her ankle, and several throwing knives holstered on her upper arm and hip. Jasmin's pulse wuickened at the sight of her, but when she spoke, her voice reminded Jasmin of her mother, and immediately put her at ease.

"Ah, ̸ḿy͡ ̕Con̵g͏e̡nial͏.͏ ̀So ni̢ce to̸ f̀in̡al͞ly me̴et al̷l of̡ ̧y̸où t͘o͠ge͢th͞er." Her voice spoke behind the mask, muddled and changed in pitch. Tinker tech? Unlikely, probably just a mundane voice changer in the helmet mixed with other random noises that sounded pretty alien. "Yo͞u҉ ͏f̧o̵u͠r͡ ̀h̕av̧e b̡e̶e͞n ͞cr̕uc̸i̢al͞ ́i̢n̴ the ̛f̵rưi̶ti҉o̷n ͡o͠f͢ ͟my p̷lan̷ş, an̕d̡ ͠al̕ĺ is̷ ne̛a̡ŕl҉y͝ ̕cǫm̛plet̨e͝.̡ ͝I͞ ́h̛ave o͟n̢e͜ ͢l̶as͘t͝ j̀ob f̡or͡ ̡y̶ơu͡, ̧t̨h̡en̴ you wil͞l̛ be ̡f̛ree ͞t̶o͏ ̢d̶o ͝a͞s you w̴ish. T҉he p͝a̴ỳm͞en҉t f̶o͟r ͟the͠ ̢jơb҉ is ͠al̨so lar͠g̨er͘ ̢th̢a͡n̸ ҉t͏h͢e l̵a͏s͏t few̵.͏ ͝A ̡h̵un͢d̨r̸e̢d̷ ́th͘o̶u͞san͟d͡ do҉l҉lar͟s͝,̢ e͠a͡ch̵."

Jasmin
's jaw dropped. Had she heard that correctly? $100,000. She could do so much with that. She could move into a better place, she'd be able to afford food, she could even start making a costume for herself. Plus, she said this would be the last job. Her first and last job, one job, for a hundred grand. It seemed almost too good to be true.

Seemingly, Lucas felt the same way.
"What's the catch? And drop the voice, it's hard to understand you."

"Well, the job is the catch, naturally." Recall's distorted voice retorted, but it was more clear, with less background static, popping, and alien sounds. "As for the job, I need you to take out a rival of mine, a villain organization that is an annoying pain in my side. After they are gone, I'll be done."

Jasmin tried to think of who the rest of the big players were, the major villain masterminds in Capetown. There was Think Tank, Chaos Skull, White Out, Spidermonkey, Blue, Compulse, Freakshow, Zainy, and the Adept Mages, each with their respective gangs or villain organizations. How could only one of them be a pain in her side?

"Specifically, the Adept Mages." Recall elaborated. "They are allied with an Abhorrent Cult, and they are likely planning to help this cult sabotage me, my allies, and even the HLA. Take care of them tomorrow, and your payment will be delivered afterwards."




Jasmin had trouble getting to sleep that night, lying in her bed. She'd have to call in sick to work tomorrow, and it could get her fired, but that wouldn't matter if the finished the job and got paid. But the Adept Mages. That's not an easy job. They were parahumans that believed that their powers aren't science based, but are actually magic, like Harry Potter or something. She'd heard stories about how they were usually grab-bag capes with a lot of versatile powers, that liked to wear cloaks and carry "spell books," and yell cryptic chants. I'm going to fight loonies. Powerful loonies. she fell asleep, and woke up the next morning with a splitting headache.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 11:03 AM. 61°F,
Overcast. Arc 2: Confluence.



Sähkö studied the abandoned warehouse with incredulous awe.
"We're attacking them?" She hissed under her breath to Chrysopoeia, who was crouched next to her.
"Look, they're still villains, alright?" Sandstorm said, prompting Seraphim to shake her head.

"Yeah," Chrysopoeia agreed. "I say we kill the leader fir-"
"Kill!?" Sähkö hissed under her breath once again. "Look at them! They're kids."

Across the street, the Adept Mages were LARP'ing. Several members in either knight-like armor or mage-like robes were running around the warehouse, hitting each other with foam swords, throwing socks or bags filled with what appeared to be flour, based on the puffs of white cloud on contact, and occasionally one or two would throw balls of light that were obviously parahuman powers. Some were dressed in modern or casual wear, while a few even looked slightly post-apocalyptic. Three guys, who looked similar to each other, were shirtless.

"They aren't LARP'ing right." Sähkö said, prompting Seraphim to snort at her.
"What? LARP'ing?" Chrysopoeia looked at Sähkö. "What's that?" He asked, and Sähkö whipped her head around and gave him a confused look.
"LARP. Live Action Role Play... -ing. They're playing pretend medieval battles. What did you think they were doing, dressed up like wizards and knights?"
"Dungeons and Dragons? I think I've heard of that before. Or training for actual battle." Chrysopoeia replied, causing Seraphim to let loose a laugh that she couldn't contain.

"Are... Are they even all parahumans? Half of them look like they aren't even using powers." Seraphim whispered.
"That's because they aren't." Sandstorm replied. "They have a member on the team, a Trump named 'Rethliel' or some shit. He can grant non-parahumans 0-1 rating powers in a single category. Like give a non-parahuman a Brute 0 power or a Shaker 1 power, ect. You see the three shirtless dudes with white hair? They're brothers. Rethliel is the one that doesn't have tattoos down his arm. The one with tattoos is a Breaker with a fire-form named Fernis. And the last brother with the white hair is a Shaker, named Rition, he can manipulate ink, including tattoos."
"LARP'ers and their weird-ass names." Chrysopoeia whispered.

After a few more minutes of talking strategy, or arguing among themselves, the Congenial decided it was time. As a group, the four of them strutted across the street to the Adept Mage's hideout. As they did, many of the LARP'ers began stopping, and staring at the four, unsure what to do. A few parahumans switched to their Breaker forms. A few others had elements or light swirling around them.

Sähkö took a deep breath. Okay Jasmin. She thought uneasily to herself. Just like we planned. Don't mess this up. Don't kill anyone. Don't hurt your team. They're counting on you. They kept walking until they were in the middle of the Adept Mages, surrounded, and everyone was silent. No one had made a move yet, the Adept Mages unsure whether the Congenial were coming on good terms or not. Plus, most of the underlings would get in trouble for attacking first, if the Congenial were here to talk to Myrlyn or another leader.

Then they made their move. Sähkö gave the signal, a simple nod of the head, and Chrysopoeia reached down to touch the dirt. Before anyone could react, the entire dust/dirt ground surrounding the warehouse turned to copper. A second later, Jasmin reached down and touched the copper, and released energy into it. In that moment, multiple things happened. Almost everyone standing on the copper began to convulse, as if being tasered, and dropped down to the ground. Sähkö held her concentration as hard as she could, preventing them from receiving too much of a shock, and trying as hard as she could to prevent her team mates from getting shocked at all. Any excess energy put into the copper was routed back into her for absorption. She felt in her mind every circuit between herself and a person touching copper, every tendril and arc of electricity that zapped through the air where a rock or irregularity in the dirt turned to copper, causing arcs through the air like you'd see between the nodes of a stun gun. Then, overpowering all else, she felt a single line. The line connected her through the copper ground, to wiring under a nearby street light.

Oh shit. She thought. Suddenly her consciousness became fuzzy, as it grew. She felt electricity light up the street light. S\In slow motion, she felt the bulb explode and the arc of plasma in the air around the shattered glass. She felt the electricity run through the underground wires like blood through her veins, as they hit each street light on the block and shattered them. Then she felt more. She felt the lights in the buildings around her, she felt the buildings and street lights a block over, and two blocks. She felt a phone booth three blocks away, and she felt computers in an office building somewhere. She felt street lights, felt the impulses change from the red light to the green light. She felt landlines, telephone wires, internet cables, phone chargers in buildings, coffee-makers, televisions, digital clocks, outlets yet to be plugged into. Her awareness began to expand beyond the office and industrial buildings around her, reaching residential buildings, restaurants, convenience stores, and more. For a fraction of a second, she was aware of a bank, six miles away from her, before the next building entered her consciousness, then the next, then the next. She had a mental map of the city, being built as if pouring blue water coloring into a maze, watching it spread and stain out from a central point, it's radius growing ever larger. Eventually she hit a blindingly bright spot, bright as the sun, somewhere far out from her mental map. It's a power plant. I'm connected to the grid. She thought, dimly aware of anything around her body. Her mind wasn't there, her physical body not hers to control. She was everywhere, and she felt everything. For two or three seconds, she felt powerful, like she controlled the world. She could switch on and off televisions, change the temperatures of an oven, change the time on a clock, all across town. Her powers, for a moment, felt more fine tuned then they had ever been in her life. Her physical body was minuscule compared to the scope of her body now. The city was her body, each appliance feeling like a finger she could twitch, her physical body barely a facial muscle to flex.

Then, it all imploded. She felt darkness, as her consciousness shrunk rapidly, in the span of a second, and she felt the whole of her power not spread out over a section of the city, but in her body. Like water into a drain, all of the electricity in over a quarter of the city, including a power plant, entered her body. Then, she felt blind. She realized that for the last few years, she'd been unconsciously feeling and seeing every current or magnetic field around her, not registering it in her mind, but feeling it like a slight breeze or gust of wind. Now, with the city in a state of blackout, she felt like she was standing in a dark room with no draft. Blind, nothing to see or to feel.

Then she opened her eyes and everything was blurry. Chrysopoeia, Sandstorm, and Seraphim were all back across the street. They had thrown up shields, likely made out of Sandstorm's sand powers, and transmuted by Chrysopoeia. She looked around the warehouse, where people lie on the floor, clothes on fire, twitching and spasming. Then she looked down, and noticed the influx of power towards her had actually melted a path through the copper, drawing several spidery lines around a thick canal of molten metal from her feet towards the nearby street light. Then she realized why everything was blurry. The air around her shimmered with the heat of molten copper, and was ionizing from the amount of electricity in her body. There was a limit to how much electricity she could safely hold without it leaking out and zapping people who came too close accidentally. She was far beyond that limit, and the electricity in her body was leaking out enough to turn the air around her to plasma. She couldn't breathe, and she felt like she were standing in a stove. Finally, conscious thought returned to her, and she said to herself;

What the fuck.

Followed immediately by, How can I safely discharge all of this?!?!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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The sun hung high in the sky, a quick glance at his phone quickly reminded him of the time. So far his little patrol hadn’t turned up anything worthwhile. He had come across a few drug deals already, but strolled past them. The moment he did something as his alter ego, the news that he was currently in the district would spread like wildfire and any bigger game would either go to ground or immediately start hunting him. As his sneakers hit the pavement of the sidewalk, trash floating in the wind across a nearly deserted street as a single rusted pinto coughed and wheezed by him, Kayle’s mind drifted to work for the next day. He had another morning routine, hopefully it wouldn’t stretch into the evening again. Honestly, his nightly excursions were sometimes the only thing that kept him sane. Block after block, nothing popped up to warrant his intervention. There was one incident where a couple of guys were beating up another dude in plain sight, but a very quick inspection showed that the ‘victim’ had nearly beaten one of their friends to death. No need for him to intervene on behalf of someone like that.

He approached an intersection, where the lights were set on a timer and rotated between green, yellow and red despite there not being a single vehicle in any direction. A couple of guys stood near the corner, and before Kayle got there, a woman of...dubious repute joined them and they all enjoyed a few smokes. Kayle got to the corner, earning a couple of looks but in his current get up he looked like he belonged in the area and they didn’t really pay him any mind. They continued their conversation, something about how drunk they got and where their next windfall was going to come from. Neither topics turned into something that Kayle could see himself jumping on, and was about to cross the street to continue his patrol when the hairs on his arms and neck stood on end. He wasn’t the only one to notice it either as the three other people on the corner stopped talking just in time to have the street lights all burst into shards around them. The men swore and the woman screamed slightly, even Kayle ducked slightly.

“The fuck..?” One of them asked, looking around as Kayle looked at the lights to see all their bulbs had burst.

“What was that? I still feel it...electric?” The woman asked, looking at her two companions.

“I didn’t think E-Lec still wandered around here…”

“Don’t joke, if he was still here and if that was him, we’d be dead.”

As they bickered, Kayle noticed that the feeling of his hairs standing on end hadn’t gone away. He was still within the electromagnetic field. He took out his phone, and while it remained largely unaffected, the screen stuttered as he turned. Finally, as he turned a certain direction, the screen flipped out and nearly filled with static. Whoever had done that hadn’t been concerned for collateral damage, which means it couldn’t have been a cape that had done it, at least on purpose. Kayle started movingin the direction that his phone seemed to indicate was the origin of the pulse.




It wasn’t a far jog to the scene as the feeling of electricity in the air seemed to die down rather quickly. Luckily Kayle already had a heading before his phone stopped being affected, and managed to stumble upon what could only be a full on showdown. Still a block away and poking his head around the corner of the building, Kayle managed to see what had caused the electrical disturbances, or at the very least, the most likely person. She stood in the center of what could only be called a lightning minefield as the heat from the melted copper made her form wavy. A number of people around her were unconscious, on fire, crying from pain, or possibly even dead. He couldn’t tell from here, but he was completely certain that they were no cape. On the same side of the street he was on, about a block away, were a number of other people hiding behind some type of shield or obstruction. He couldn’t get a good look at them, but he could tell there were three of them there. Assuming the person in the middle of that hellstorm was one of theirs, that would make four. The people who had been attacked, upon closer inspection, matched the description of the Adept Mages.

Kayle had known about them for awhile, but largely left them alone. They were annoying and...well childish to be perfectly honest. Most of the time they were content to recruit and play their games, and when they did step out of line there were plenty of others who could waste their time on their antics. Not to say that they didn’t have power, only that they didn’t use it to the full extent they possibly could. Kayle could recollect about two or three times he tangoed with them, each time an exercise in patience as they insisted on yelling their abilities like some kind of anime or Harry Potter film.

It was obvious they were fighting each other, but they appeared to be two opposing villain organizations. Sure, the unknown group could be vigilantes, but they were either stupid or careless to allow that kind of damage and exposure to happen. After all, Kayle had felt the pulse a number of blocks away, and while harmless to him and the others on the streets, how many people had she just hurt by overloading electronics? One way or the other, both groups were a threat now, especially since the Mages had just had their noses bloodied. What was the unknown group’s goal? Considering the location, it appeared like they had gone looking for the fight. Maybe focus on the new group first? Take them out of the equation before anyone’s the wiser? He currently had the element of surprise, no one knew he was here or even who he was for that matter. He looked up at the sky with a frown. It was the middle of the day though, and a couple of his abilities would be locked out or useless if he couldn’t figure out a way to cast a ray of darkness on them.

As he looked back down, he caught sight of one of the Mages approaching the electrical demon girl and get zapped without her conscious effort. Some kind of electrical field surrounding her? He couldn’t get close, or at the very least, shouldn’t get close. The rest were a bunch of unknowns for the most part, maybe it would be best to wait a bit and get more knowledge before heading in? How far would he go though? Not only did he have an opportunity to remove several villains from the board in one go, how badly would this battle start bleeding over into neighboring districts. He didn’t much care for the people who lived near this area, already having made life choices that nearly put them on Kayle’s hit list, but if their homes were destroyed they’d be forced to move to places where the ones that Kayle actually did try to protect would be. There were going to be ramifications for this regardless, especially for the Advent Mages, but ultimately it came down to whether Kayle wanted to control the situation or simply take advantage. Before he could make up his mind, he saw several vial looking things soar through the air towards the electric user, only for her bolts of lightning to strike out on their own and zap them without her input in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to be the end of it, as doing so seemed to cause some kind of reaction as they exploded and purple mist started expelling over the area.

This seemed to put her on edge as she retreated from the smoke, it was then things started to get a little hectic as the Mages recovered from the initial fight. The bigger guns of the Mages started filtering out of the warehouse as a group, their leader surrounded by blue flames and floating above the rest as they flanked his sides. The leader, Myrlyn if he was remembering the name correctly, seemed to shout some things before picking several railroad pieces from the grounds and hurling it at the group. The electric user made it to the shielded friends of hers before they hit however, and the shield changed color and...type? It went from a brownish hue to some other type of metal, and the railroad tracks either indented into the shield or bounced off into the distance. Kayle watched those fly into the air and go far enough so as to threaten the living area of this particular hunk of city. Even as Kayle pondered his involvement, not necessarily if but when, he saw the mages launch themselves at the group, including the few who hadn’t been incapacitated by the initial attack.

Immediately the area was a flurry of action as both sides engaged and Kayle could tell that this wasn’t going to be contained for much longer. Besides, they were all distracted with each other, he could sneak in and cripple a couple of members from both sides, then get out of dodge. Kayle took a moment to ready himself, breathing a bit as he felt the dark shroud cover his face to hide his identity. With that, he darted around the corner and started running towards the fight. It wasn’t that far from his location, and it wasn’t long before a couple of Mages turned and saw him heading into the fray. At first they were confused, who was this random person running towards them? Then the chains appeared, sprouting from his back like spider legs, 8 in total as they wavered over his form. As the adrenaline started sprinting through his blood, he couldn’t control his smile as it pierced through the darkness currently enveloping his head. A couple of the Mages seemed to recognize this trademark, shouting back to the others to get their attention, but even as they did so the chains were launching forward intent on catching some worthy prey.

Already on high alert and in the middle of a battle, a number of the Mages managed to avoid the blows, but the slower ones were sent flying from the impact of his attack. While he attacked with what was essentially a ‘gauging’ assault, Kayle propelled himself forward with the use of the chains, using them as an extension of his own body. Flipping himself into the air, Kayle attached two chains to the ground and launched himself like a cannonball, enveloping his legs in his protective shadow constructs and landing with enough concussive force to send a few of the lower level Mages stumbling and even falling backwards. Still, he had to even the playing field a little, make sure this was as chaotic as he needed it to be in order to get in and out with little issue. With that thought in mind, he launched several chains towards the unknown group, gripping the shield they had formed for themselves, and with no small amount of effort, completely crushed it. Throwing it away and revealing them for everyone to see, he flashed them a smile before his chains retreated to protect his more fragile self as several Mages moved to engage him.

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2730884.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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Yesterday had been a rather slow day by all accounts almost as if all the villains, crooks and natural disasters decided it was their day off. Of course that was a good thing in a sense, and the lack of the constant chattering over the emergency services radio lines was rather refreshing, but to Devon it just meant one thing. The silence before the storm, something somewhere was stirring and that just didn't sit well with him.

One place that was a constant hotbed for all sorts of trouble big and small was one of the older industrial parks. It was far from any police stations, plenty of derelict lots and few prying eyes, if it was something illegal it probably happened there. As he recalled there was even a couple black market tinkers that operated out of one of these warehouses, until some villain decided it wasn't okay for them to supply to villains, vigilantes and heroes. The place was wrecked and the tinkers were found barely alive beaten to a bloody pulp.

The one thing that Devon really missed in the area was a good vantage point. Most of the buildings in the area were factory halls at most 3-4 stories high, and trying to climb and sit on one of the few smokestacks would be way more effective at taking down a smokestack than in getting a vantage point. Luckily he had found the next best alternative, a large warehouse with a couple fire escapes on opposite sides and a roof that didn't look like it could cave any second. From his vantage point he could see a couple of the main roads in the area, even if it required him to move from one end of the building to the other to really have a look at what was happening on the road.

For now things seemed to be quiet aside from the trucks driving all around the place, a lot of which were probably going quite a bit over the speed limit. Devon sat himself down on one of the more solid stone outcrops on the roof and looked around a bit trying to spot any prying eyes. Seemed nobody was watching him, with that reassurance he opened the thermos flask he had brought with him and took off the lower part of his mask revealing the lower part of his face up to the underside of his nose. He poured himself a cup out of the flask and then looked a moment at the steaming black liquid that had been poured out of the flask. If there was one thing that was absolutely annoying about his weak ass powers then it was the fact that he had to hide public identity or he'd be an easy target for a villain wanting some revenge or just one out to kill heroes. Something a lot of the heroes he worked with didn't have to worry about as much. If he were ever to be caught without his costume that'd be very bad news for him, the others would still be able to use their powers just fine. He took a sip of his coffee and skimmed through the emergency frequencies on his radio searching for any event that'd signal the coming of the storm.

It had only been a couple hours when the radio livened up with the oh so common chatter of the police. Apparently there was a bank robbery going on with some kind of changer who turned an inky black while changing. Devon had an idea of who this changer could be, likely the same one he had dealt with in that sandwich shop. Though at that point in time it didn't seem like it was going to step up from stealing grub to robbing banks in a matter of days. He really wanted to go to confirm his suspicions, but with traffic between him and the bank likely more jammed than the rusted machinery in the warehouse below him that wasn't an option. In fact with the tall buildings in the vicinity of the bank and the high density of civilians outside of the bank he couldn't even provide indirect fire support, well maybe a smoke shot, but that wasn't going to help the situation at all.

Not much later the situation in the bank had apparently changed into a hostage situation as the changer was blocking all exits of the building. Which seemed excessively strange for a creature that just three days ago ignored potential aggressors, avoided a very advantageous fight and generally took a peaceful approach to the situation. Now it really felt like a mistake to do a stakeout here in the industrial area, if he had stuck to his usual route he'd been there in a matter of minutes, now it'd take a couple hours.




Another half an hour passed but his patience had been rewarded as he spied a couple capes in costume on a motorcycle following a car with people overdressed to be working in this area sitting in it. Devon ran down the fire escape keeping an eye on where the two vehicles went. When the vehicles went out of his sight he jumped down the last few flights of stairs sticking the landing as he impacted the dusty concrete below causing some of the yellowish dust to fly up in response. He quickly ran to the street he lost the vehicles on and noticed the two vehicles parked halfway in an alley nearby. Quietly he inched closer to the vehicles picking up small fragments of the conversation held by the four people, from what he gathered they were going to attack a couple larpers, which given the area could only mean they were going to attack the adept mages. Even if you didn't count the members without powers they were still outnumbered, so either they'd have an ace up their sleeves or they were walking towards a one way ticket to a vacation in the hospital.

The four stopped their tactical discussions and walked their way to the adept mages hideout, it was only when the sound of the footsteps had faded that Devon dared to look around the corner only to see the four capes walk themselves into a position where they were completely surrounded. What happened next he would have called insanity if he hadn't seen it himself, one of the four touched the ground causing it to turn into what appeared to be copper. Then another member appeared to send a current through the copper ground tazing all the adept mages members without hitting her allies. Seemed they either had taken precautions or she was just that good at controlling the flow of electricity.

Well before he could attempt to analyse which of the two it was the answer was given loud and clear as the street lights around exploded lit up with violent arcs of plasma. It seemed the girl had lost control as the electricity started arc paths through the copper, ignite the clothes of the adept mages and fry the wearers. If it all stopped there then that wouldn't be too much of a problem, but the current started to melt paths into the copper and the radio frequency that had until now been dominated with status updates of what was happening at the bank had been flooded with police cars mentioning blackouts throughout the city.

For now Devon had to make a plan of attack, the three others had moved away from the girl back toward the vehicles and there was no way they hadn't seen him by now. He looked back at the girl and noticed she was practically glowing with a plasma layer covering her top to bottom. Whatever was going to happen from now on was likely to be a mess, but first things first, that layer of plasma and that look on her face told him she was holding on to more juice than she could handle. Devon ran near to the rest of her group figuring since they weren't getting fired that it'd be far away enough. He quickly scanned his surroundings and found exactly what he had hoped to find, a smokestack with a lightning rod. "Hey! There's a lightning rod at your 3 o'clock, on the steel smokestack! Aim for it!" His distorted voice yelled through his mask as he pointed at the barely visible strip of metal sticking up from the smokestack.

It wasn't even a second after speaking up that the fight erupted properly as vials flew out of the warehouse and a couple railroad tie flew in his general direction. Well, he'd been waiting for a fight and now here it was. From the corner of his eyes he noticed some shadowy figure with some kind of shadow chains engaging with some adept mage members, seemed this battle just got a whole lot more complex than anyone could have hoped for. Devon Sighed and grabbed his sniper and assault rifle from his back, the hardest target would be Myrlyn he apparently had some kind of pregoc and that was friggin annoying as far as he was concerned. He immediately engaged his overdrive began unleashing a volley of mixed rubber bullets and taser shots from both guns in the direction of Myrlyin who like any good telekinetic took to the back of the fight. It would be a fight between Myrlyn's precog and Devons homing projectiles and overcharged reflexes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 11:18 AM. 61°F,
Overcast. Arc 2: Confluence.



Sähkö blinked, in a daze. So much had happened, it was hard to comprehend, especially with her concentration being slammed against by her over-capacity storage of energy. The plan hadn't gone as, well, planned. Chrysopoeia was supposed to transmute the terrain, Sähkö was to shock and disable everyone immediately after, when the leaders came out of the warehouse, Sandstorm was to kick up a sandstorm, and Sähkö would manipulate the charges from the friction in the resulting cloud, and use it to shock and disable the blinded Adept Mages. It was supposed to last ten minutes, maximum. Instead, something went wrong, and she had tapped into the grid without realizing it, and lost control of her power as it blitz'd this half of the city. It would act as an EMP, frying and ruining circuitry, shattering light bulbs, and draining batteries and capacitors. Even backup generators within range would have failed.

The hospital... She thought dimly. Capetown Memorial Hospital and West Tex were both within two miles, in opposite directions. So was the Capetown Police Department, and so was Fire Station 1. How many lives would be affected in the coming days by the electronics that had just been ruined?

She was dimly aware of an Adept Mage member who had gotten up and stumbled towards her. As soon as he touched the shimmering ionized air around her, a connection between the two flashed blindingly for a second, and he was on the floor. She understood that she no longer sensed his bio-electrical processes, and she hoped it was because of the amount of energy around her dimming her senses, like looking for a flashlight against the glare of the sun. Still, she felt doubt that he was alive.

She felt far away, with little control of her body. She felt super-heated air enter her lungs like breathing straight out of an oven. Isn't the air poisonous now that it's ionized? She wondered internally, not even registering the fact that her skin was reddening and blistering from the heat, and her lungs weren't likely to fair better.

Milliseconds went by as aeons as she was alone with her thoughts, her perception increased by adrenaline and her innate ability to focus at literal lightning speeds as each arc of electricity flowed through the air in coils around her. She watched and counted individual grains of iron, or tiny flakes or rust, as they were pulled out of the dirt and dust below her and atomized by plasma. Soon she had belts of metallic sand orbiting her. Is that something I can control? She wondered. She flexed her power, and suddenly her head exploded with pain.

She heard a voice as if far away. She recognized it. A team mate? No, not that familiar. Some one she had met before, been close enough to talk to. Who was it? What did they say? She couldn't think; couldn't focus.

Then she watched something else happen. She felt several connections as glass exploded in the sky, gushing out clouds of purple. She felt and watched the sky fragment, triangular shards reflecting blue and white, and watched as cracks of cool hues slowly burned through reality. She was losing it, losing her grip on herself.

Her body moved on it's own, as if some other force were controlling her, something subconscious, or even instinctual. It wasn't a bond, it wasn't healthy. It was parasitic, controlling her, forcing her to go somewhere when she couldn't tell herself. She almost felt violated, but it was causing her to back up and retreat to safety, away from the purple mist. Then she forgot about that, as something told her to. Many things were telling her to forget other things. Some things told her to forget themselves. Neurons fired in her brain, electrical impulses, and she suddenly realized her memory had been altered. What did that? Then, quick as it came, it went, and she forgot. Where did that come from? Glass, then purple clouds. Vials? Potions? Who made potions? What caused that to happen? Chemical reactions, movement of electrons from one atom to another as they bonded, changes, stole energy, or changed levels. Chemistry was physics on a smaller fundamental level, and she almost understood it.

How could she understand the movement of non-physical charges through a spacial field, but not comprehend the bigger picture? A name jumped to mind. Recall. What did she have to do with it? Did she control her? Something told her that wasn't it. What was her significance?

Recall sent her on a mission. To where? Why? What had happened during it? When did it even happen, how long ago?

Was it happening right now?

Another name, then. The Congenial. Who was that? Weird name. The Adept Mages. Ah, the target. She remembered. She felt a tiny spark inside her head as neurons connected. She was part of the Congenial, and they were going after the Adept Mages. Who was the leader of the team? Merlin? Myrlyn. Leader of the Adept Mages. She hadn't seen him yet. Who made the purple mist? Alchimyst did, he was a chemical Tinker, he threw the concoctions. She was in battle, she had hurt people.

Oh. She killed someone. That jolted her, and reality came back all at once, in a wave. She looked around. Mere seconds had gone by, and to her it had felt like hours, days, weeks. The Adept Mage who had walked up to her and gotten zapped hadn't even hit the floor. neither had the glass shards. Then, they did. Time had resumed normally. What was she supposed to do? Her body was still moving, as her first step backwards completed. Only one step? She took another. Then another. Her fingers twitched. He chest moved as another breath entered her lungs. Had she been holding it? No, she was hyperventilating, breathing really fast. Her perception had just slowed enough to make that last breath feel like an eternity ago.

"-lightning rod at your 3 o'clock, on the steel smokestack! Aim for it!" The familiar voice said. The same one as earlier. Did he repeat himself? No. Speaking took longer than breathing, and he was still in his sentence. She understood him, and looked to her right.

Woah! She was startled. The connection was so easy. All connections were easy. She had so much power in her that drawing a path through rubber right now would probably feel like drawing a path through copper or gold before. Nothing resisted her power in this state. Electromagnetism, movement of electrons, it was physics. Matter bows to physics, and right now, she was Lord of it. She felt every conceivable connection. She could zap people's hearts, melt the chain link fence, explode that car. No, what had he said? Lightning rod? What lightning rod? EVERYTHING IS A LIGHTNING ROD RIGHT NOW! Ah, there it is. She felt it. The path of least resistance. It was what her power was based off of, one of her fundamental abilities is altering the path of least resistance to allow her lightning to go where she willed. But the natural path was there, if she didn't think about it. Right to that lightning rod on the smokestack where he had pointed her. She'd almost lost her senses again.

She cracked the world in half. Then, nothingness. For a moment, the world was white, like looking at the screen of a computer monitor, every pixel pure white. Then, she could see. Lightning never blinded her, even if it could permanently blind others. She felt the vibrations rock her cranium and her whole skeleton as thunder shook the buildings around her. She gaped, her jaw would have hit the floor if it were physically possible, as the
glow of the ionized plasma where the air had been destroyed to the lightning rod. The glow extended around the rod, and the rod were melting like a stick of butter upright in an oven.

And she could think. I'm back to normal. Oof, even when she snapped out of the trance, she didn't have complete control of her mind, body, and abilities. Like looking through your eyes covered in tissue paper with earmuffs on and moving through molasses, her senses and mind had been muddled. Now, she was clear once again. Back to the fight.

Myrlin, Jeu and Drow followed Alchimyst out of the warehouse, each flexing their respective powers on the battlefield. The congenial flew into the fray, Sandstorm and Chrysopoeia collaborating to make solid obstacles in front of people, Seraphim acting as a personal force field, jumping in front of attacks and dissolving them across countless dimensions.

Jasmin tried her powers. Iron sand clung her her face through magnetism, forming the same spikey iron-filing mask she wore in this cape identity of Sähkö. A tiny arc jumped between her fingers, the air snapping and crating the startling crackling sound of a taser. She wasn't drained, she still had tons of energy, but not enough to leak out. She felt good.

An Adept Mage wearing a red cloak with black cloud pattern blew flames from his mouth, Sähkö sidestepped and punched him in the side. He convulsed and dropped to the ground crying out. Her taser hands worked, and she had enough control to not kill. Just as before. Good, she had been worried that maybe her control over her power had been damaged. She saw a man with jet-black chains walking around like Doctor Octopus with them, throwing people with sweeping motions, and tying others up. Then he darted through the battlefield, propelling himself with the chains like a slingshot, before grabbing one of Chrysopoeia's transmuted shield-structures and crumpling it with the shadowy limbs. His power is very similar to Tendril's. Jasmin thought. And he doesn't appear to be a friend. She kept in mind.

Meanwhile, she watched as rubber bullets flew through the sky, blue flames enveloping them as they altered trajectories. A few made it closer, but Myrlyn dodged them in ways a teenager shouldn't be able to. Right, he was a precog. Maybe she should go after him. She looked around again, to see Jeu doing acrobatics, back flips, handsprings, and more as he dodged attacks flying through the air, heat-less flames exploding around him. Another part of the battlefield looked like the jizz of a Green Lantern, with Drow's green energy constructs everywhere. Besides that, most of the other Adept Mage members were down and out of the fight, already having been dispatched easily, or taken out with Sähkö's initial attack. She decided to go after Drow. Myrlyn had too many attacks aimed at him, and Jeu was out of her league in close combat. If she could zap Drow's energy constructs, she was powerless against Sähkö.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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A full on battle.

Kayle hadn’t been in one of these in a long time, in fact this was not normally his go to method. He could count the rumbles he had gotten into on one hand, usually finding isolated targets and making them regret their life decisions that way. As several Mages ran at him, different powers in tow, his eyes darted every which way to assess the situation. There were plenty of people here, but due to the three way battle of things, no one could present a unified front which worked for him. As a solo agent, he needed the chaos in order to prevent being ganged up on and inevitably outnumbered. His chains lashed out with the speed of a whip, smashing into the ground hard enough to cause small fissures in the surface, throwing dust and rubble into the air with every smash. The Mages who weren’t fast enough to avoid the chains were nearly crushed or thrown aside from the kinetic force, while those who managed to get inside Kayle’s guard found him no mere easy prey either.

One such Mage managed to duck and weave his way to Kayle, which admittedly wasn’t all that hard considering the amount of people he was attempting to fight at the same time. When he got close to Kayle, he could see that his hands, specifically his palms were glowing red. The air rippled in front of them and confirmed Kayle’s suspicion. Some kind of heat power associated to his limbs, something Kayle took into account as the man swung first. His strike was wild, driven by instinct and adrenaline rather than any form of training. “SMOKING PALM!” He yelled as his attack went wide. Kayle had to resist the urge to roll his eyes as he dart to the side, delivering three quick blows to the man’s kidneys. The Mage doubled over as Kayle took that moment to roll over his back, landing, and backflipping. His feet connected with the man’s face as he was doubled over and carried enough force to the Mage’s chin that it forced him up and landed him squarely on his back. A moment later, a couple of chains were bound around his arm, and a second later a sickening crack was heard as he screamed in pain and agony.

Just stay out of the fight dimwit. Kayle thought to himself as he turned towards the others who were either trying to get past his chains, or fighting the chains themselves. Idiots, they wouldn’t be able to do anything against them, but honestly Kayle wanted to focus on the big fishes in the pond at the moment. With a tiny flex, the number of chains sprouting from his body doubled and a few moments later had overwhelmed the lesser class of Mages that had been attempting to take him down. Now, who should he go for next? There were still a number of people in the fight, any of which would be decent targets. Kayle took a step forward, only to hear a slight ‘whoosh’ behind him. He ducked, but it still wasn’t enough as he felt a blade carve through his sweater followed by a kick to his side that sent him tumbling. It was a weird sight as the chains seemed to convulse, shaking with Kayle as he rolled with the dirt. He quickly stood, feeling the burn from the wound now seeming to pulse on his back with his heartbeat. He grimaced, it hurt but it wasn’t something that was unknown to him.

He looked at his attacker, covered from head to toe in black garb and a ceramic mask covering his face. One of the leaders? Jeu, if Kayle’s recollection was correct, although his powers were somewhat up for debate. Enhanced battlefield cognition? Maybe some athletic boosting abilities? Didn’t he have fire or something? Kayle couldn’t spend time trying to remember everything about the man as Jeu launched forward, his speed pretty impressive as he ducked and weaved between Kayle’s shadow constructs. Kayle took two steps backwards, buying himself exactly one extra second as Jeu lashed forward with his blade. Kayle palmed it to the side, spinning and ducking to deliver a leg sweep which Jeu spiral rolled over in what seemed to be an impossible maneuver . When he landed, his blade was already lashing at Kayle’s face, forcing him backwards and into an unstable footing. Jeu pressed the advantage, slashing away at Kayle and landing a couple of blows as his sweater was torn and blood started to stain the blue material.

Kayle summoned chains from his chest, pushing outwards to keep Jeu at bay but was dismayed as he front flipped onto the chains rather than being pushed outwards, jumping over his head and lashing out with fire. Kayle instinctively went prone, falling on his back as the blade missed his head by mere inches, rolling backwards to hopefully land on his back. The moment he did, he heard the subtle crunch of Jeu landing behind him and threw up a wall of chains. The moment he did, he heard the ‘clang’ of the blade ringing off of them. Kayle snarled before balling his fists and feeling the darkness expel from everywhere at once.

Like an explosion, chains launched from Kayle with varying effects as they landed several yards away and impacted with anyone and anything that got in there way. There were easily a couple dozen chains of differing sizes strewn about the battlefield. Kayle looked back and was surprised to see that not only had Jeu avoided getting hit, he was moving on the chains with precision and expertise, getting closer to Kayle through the maze that was his power. Kayle gave a smile as he collapsed the chains in on his opponent, who once again displayed his skill as he jumped and weaved through the moving chains with supernatural ability. Flipping out the top like a ninja, Jeu landed a few yards away in a crouch, his blade held at the ready as Kayle retracted his chains back into his person. Once again utilizing a manageable number, Kayle stared at his target. A worthy foe, if nothing else, but he wasn’t going to win this way. Kayle was learning and it wouldn’t be long before all of Jeu’s tricks were used up. Kayle raised his hands into a fighting stance, but was dismayed to find that they were actually covered in fire. He probably hadn’t felt it due to the adrenaline, but immediately went about trying to put them out. In that moment of surprise, Jeu closed the distance quickly, throwing his blade ahead of him.

It only took a couple of seconds, but Kayle’s mind processed it as minutes. The fire was still burning, but it was secondary as the blade that was clearly aimed for his heart made it’s way to him. He started falling to throw off the trajectory, but it wouldn’t be enough. His chains were too slow to summon from the front and wouldn’t put up a satisfactory shield. He brought his arm in front of him and felt the white hot pain as the blade embedded itself up to the hilt in his forearm. As Kayle’s back hit the ground, he felt Jeu reach the blade and violently rip it from where it had impaled Kayle, earning a grunt of pain as Kayle did his best to suppress the instinct to scream. With yet another feat of acrobatics, Jeu jumped over Kayle and slashed for his neck, but was met with yet another clang as chains formed into a choker for Kayle, preventing the lethal injury.

Kayle was on the defensive, he was not used to this. Enough of this kind of game, he was done trying to play on his field. Jeu landed with a slide backwards, his hand gripping the dirt and his feet attempting to move forward even as he himself moved backwards. He was trying to finish this quickly. Kayle rolled to his feet, staring at Jeu as he started to close the distance rapidly. Despite the blood that now pooled beneath him, Kayle gave a smile that stood out against the darkness enveloping his head.

“Panic.” He whispered as he summoned a vast amount of strength and sent out an Empath pulse that affected everyone within range. He didn’t want Jeu overcoming it so he put more juice into the attack than what was probably necessary. It must have hit Jeu like a ton of bricks because he stumbled, barely keeping his footing but it was enough. With that moment of hesitation and now that Kayle could properly think about his moves, chains surrounded the battlefield master, encompassing his limbs and held him in the air for everyone to see. Jeu seemed, well, panicked by this change in battle, and next thing Kayle knew he was completely encapsulated by fire. Kayle held his breath for a moment, before quickly realizing that, aside from his previous injuries, the flames didn’t actually burn him. He gave a smile and a small laugh, realizing how much of an idiot he had been before looking up at his hostage.

“For what it’s worth, you gave it a good shot.” Twisted Smile stated, before squeezing the chains and hearing the telltale sound of bones being shattered followed by Jeu’s screams of terror and pain. With what looked like barely a thought, Kayle tossed him aside, letting him land in a heap of tears, blood, sweat and screams. Fucker, could barely think with him launching himself at me like that. Kayle thought to himself as he checked his wounds. All of them had dark red blood flowing out of them, but that was a good thing. None of them had hit an artery, so he would be fine for awhile. In the meantime, he looked to the other combatants.

Who was left, who else could he take out?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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Devon watched as the girl launched a bolt of electricity at the lightning rod. While it was clear that she had overcharged quite a bit given her previous state, the severity of her overcharge only became apparent when the bolt hit the rod and turned it and part of the top of the smokestack it was attached to into a mess of molten metals. But what followed was much more interesting to him as metal flakes collected themselves on the face of the girl, very much like the mask he had seen in the sandwich shop a few days back. Now he had even more questions to ask her when this fight was over.

Then there was the more pressing matter at hand, the floating candlewick. From the bullets he had fired at him a large percentage had been forced onto alternate paths and the ones he hadn't taken control of he had managed to dodge either being able to react on the rather slow bullets or his precog being the driving force behind his matrix moves. Well what were the chances that a spray and pray attack would work on a precog with telekinetic powers, but it was mostly to keep him on the defensive and unable to hurl more crap, which it apparently did do splendidly. Seeing as dual wielding an assault rifle and a sniper rifle wasn't exactly an effective fighting method as it didn't play to either weapons strengths, he slung his sniper rifle onto his back figuring that volume of fire might give him the edge, making it harder to avoid and advert all of the projectiles.

He aimed his assault rifle at Myrlyn and unleashed a large stream of sandbag ammunition, not only did this ammo type fire with a much greater speed and have more mass behind it, with the properly aimed fire the homing properties of the rifle kicked in. However it was not to be, as Myrlyn quickly diverted many of the projectiles again whilst avoiding remaining projectiles that he didn't manage to control in time or didn't feel the need for. It even seemed he was aware of the homing properties of the projectiles as the projectiles he had initially dodged were dodged once more on their return flight. But with how he was still holding a grip over the bullets he had diverted instead of slamming them into the ground or something else solid, it seemed he didn't have all the answers. The thought of it being a ruse ran through Devon's head, but the likelihood that a brat with little real combat experience would concoct something like that on the fly seemed slim at best. The fact that he hadn't tried to launch the bullets back in Devon's direction showed that he felt that it was some sort of risk, what exactly that risk was he couldn't tell at this point, but slowly the cracks in the precogs defenses started to appear.

With a devilish grin hidden under his mask he looked at Myrlyn up in the sky, the homing strength of a single of those bullets wasn't all too great, but with the distance to the ground and the open air around him given the chance every single one of those bullets would find it's way back to their target time after time. However there was one weapon in his possession that excelled at homing. With his left hand Devon pulled the revolver from his holster and trained it on Myrlyn who was still battling the other bullets in the air. With a sharp crack similar to the lightning that had roared prior a bullet was released from the gun and as expected Myrlyn's attention had shifted to this new projectile releasing his grip over some of the others to try and divert this new threat. However he immediately found out this one wasn't going to let the telekinetic bend it's route as his powers failed to make the bullet veer off course before he had to dodge the bullet, and even then barely managed to as the bullet ripped a new hole in the robe on his back

As the first bullet passed Devon took aim for another shot only to notice Myrlyn making a twitchy move as he was pulling the trigger, one that would have been impossible to react to in time had his opponent been just a regular gunman, but with fortune being on Devon's side his overdrive improved his reaction speed quite a bit beyond that of a normal human. With a half pulled trigger Devon watched what must have been panic situation for the precog as Myrlyn realized that Devon could keep up with his preemptive dodges, and not only that he could do it faster than Myrlyn could react upon what his precognition was telling him. A feeling of glee passed through Devon as he now understood the limitations of his opponents precognition, and with that new knowledge he fired his shot just as Myrlyn was in the middle of another preemptive dodge. The bullet connected and sent a wave of electrical energy through Myrlyn, causing him to lose control of his muscles and more importantly his powers for a moment.

He managed to save himself from injury as he regained control over his power just in time to slow his descent from a bone breaking drop to one that would only leave one sore for a couple of days. But his problems weren't over yet, there was still the swarm of homing bullets to content with. The mage hadn't even gotten the time to get his bearings before the bullets had come too close to dodge. In a blind panic he diverted as many as he could, causing the bullets to slam into the ground hard enough to leave small craters in the copper below, and hoped the left over ones wouldn't kill him. At the same time however another shot sounded and Myrlyn flew a few feet backwards as if someone had just thrown a medicine ball at him with full force, allowing the remaining bullets to burrow themselves harmlessly into the ground. Well not completely harmlessly as some of the others on the copper may have noticed with a slight tingle of electricity passing through their feet as the first revolver shot hit the ground.

The mage wasn't exactly in the best of shape, quite a few sore spots to attent to and perhaps a few bruised ribs. The sudden strike to the chest seemed to have knocked the wind out of him as he lay there unmoving, but quite clearly still breathing.




He then turned his attention to the others on the battlefield, it was hard to not notice the mangled man left behind by the shadow chain wielding entity. While some injury during battle wasn't uncommon, this seemed more like mere brutality and cruelty. Devon gritted his teeth in anger and frustration as he felt forced to let the man operate for now as at this point securing the metal faced girl for some question was the prime objective. And she seemed to be intent on tangling with the one female among the adept mages leadership. He holstered his revolver and in a fluid motion slung his assault rifle to his back while taking his sniper rifle back into his arms. At this point the rag tag team had a solid upper hand and he wanted to see a bit of miss 9volt in action, he'd just keep an eye on anyone trying to butt into that fight or step in to protect her if she had bitten off more than she could chew.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Splatterblood's Crew Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 11:25 AM. 61°F,
Overcast. Arc 2: Confluence.



Sähkö bent down, hands supporting herself on her knees, panting and slightly wheezing. Damn, she thought, they sit out here every day and fight each other, while I work as a cash register at a convinience store. I'm not fat, but they're in waaaaay better shape than me. Beads of sweat rolled down her forehead, dropping onto the rough dirt-textured copper below. She felt tingles in her feet, the telltale sign of electricity, as her beads of sweat were likely carrying charges. She wiped her forehead and ran her fingers through her short hair, flinging wetness to the floor, before straightening and taking in a huge breath, her back cold from moisture and the shirt clinging to it.

In front of her, Drow, looking like an overdone highschool goth chick with jet black makeup and lipstick and dyed-white hair, smirked with a hand on her hip. Arrows of green energy slowly floated around her, trained on Sähkö. Sähkö had been on the defensive,
despite attacking Drow first, using her bolts to destroy the green constructs, but not able to get close enough to tag Drow.

Suddenly, Sähkö broke into a run, charging her opponent. Drow stood her ground until Sähkö was a foot away, and as Sähkö threw a punch, she felt her arm yank, as it was tethered to the ground by a green strand of energy. Pain flared in her thigh as Drow swung with a green cackling mace, and Sähkö dropped to avoid a second hit, kicking at Drow's legs, only for her to take a few steps back. Sähkö discharged energy and the green thether tying her wrist to the ground dissipated into green mist.

This has been going on for the last five minutes. She loathed the fact she didn't trust her powers enough to just shock the creepy goth chick at range. She stole some glances, taking her attention off of her opponent, to survey the battlefield. Ten meters away, the guy with the shadow-chains fought Jeu, and both looked like professional martial artists in a movie scene, dodging attacks with reflexes much higher than Sähkö's. Across the lot, the HLA member she had met a few days ago, the one with the german name she couldn't remember nor pronounce, was firing round after round at Myrlyn, who was redirecting flaming blue projectiles. Chrysopoeia and Sandstorm fought some of the non-parahuman members who had been given temporary powers by Rethliel, and the pair fought like a left and right arm, obviously used to each other's synergy, with Chrysopoeia transmuting different sections of the floor into various materials that Sandstorm could manipulate. Around them, a small localized storm of sand, dirt, a white powdery substance, and even shiny shard that looked like glass dust to Sähkö's horror, swirled. Sandstorm would keep the substances out of his mouth and lungs and away from their skin, and Chrysopoeia wore a bandanna and sunglasses just because he was so used to fighting alongside Sandstorm. Seraphim war off by herself, virtually untouchable with armor made of portals, throwing up windows to other dimensions and using them as force-fields.

Sähkö looked back to Drow just in time to see a baton of green whack her across the bridge of her nose, and across her eyes. Nerves screamed white-hot as Sähkö stumbled, grabbing her face. Unconsciously, as a reflex, an arc jumped between Sähkö and Drow, and a loud crackling sound louder than a taser made Sähkö jump as the area was bathed in a glow of white and blue for a fraction of a second. Drow dropped straight down like a rag doll, and bounced at an angle as her legs stiffened from the muscles contracting. Upon landing, she relaxed again, breathing heavily, and groaning as she tried to turn over. Sähkö reached down with one hand, still holding her face with the other, and tagged Drow. She spasm'ed, and went limp, unconscious.

Sähkö then watched in utter horror as the shadow-chain-guy lifted Jeu in the air with the chains like Dr. Octopus, and crushed his arms and legs before flinging him aside into the floor in a mangled heap. Holy shit, is that even legal? She ironically asked herself in disbelief. He could die. He's just a kid. She thought again, unaware she had just taken a life minutes ago. The shadow-chain guy then stopped to survey the battlefield, as if looking for his next target, when both of them watched Myrlyn plummet from the sky, slow his fall, and plop against the ground. The mage regained his senses and forced the swarm of projectiles out in a spherical telekinetic explosion before he was knocked off of the ground and several feet back, landing and laying flat out, breathing but otherwise unmoving.

The batllefield went still for a moment as Sähkö, Freischütz, and The Twisted Smile watched each other in a triangle. Chrysopoeia and Sandstorm were also done fighting, and the localized storm around them began slowing down. Seraphim had also dispatched some of the mooks, trapping them in prisons of portals that would slice them if they tried to escape. There were only a few non-powered individuals left, and they were on their knees with their hands up in surrender. Sähkö noted that Alchimyst had also surrendered laying on the floor after a stray projectile from Freischütz's fight with Myrlyn had knocked the wind out of him. She looked between the two other parties. A hero and another villain. Her pulse quickened even more than it had during the fight at the thought of being taken in by the HLA. Sähkö glimpsed back down at Drow, to make sure she was fine, and then looked back at the other two parties. What now?



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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 11:30:25 Am. 57°F,
Partly Cloudy (Sprinkling). Arc 2: Confluence.



Josh's phone had been going off for the last hour, group-chat texts about several different fights around the city, including a parahuman-induced blackout, according to PCRT Thinkers. He didn't particularly care about going and helping, he'd do a job if told but not go out of his way to do more than required. But it did make him anxious. Five days ago, Capetown's HLA team had informed the THA that they were expecting an Abhorrent attack within the week. Red Jet had seen the carnage on tv, cities destroyed, mass evacuation impossible due to the natural disasters caused by each Abhorrent, and the Abhorrents killing indiscriminately, both cape and normal people. He himself was a regular on Parahumans Online, and every time there's an attack, hundreds of posts crop up, alongside megathreads for the disaster. Everyone knows about them. But unlike most people who haven't experienced an Abhorrent attack and may feel detached, he's been in cape fights and can imagine it scaled up to 11. It scares him.

As the end of the school day neared and arrived, Josh wondered what he'd do with his day. He had patrol at nine, but that was nearly five hours away. He sighed and picked up his red backpack, slinging it over a shoulder. At fifty pounds, most high schoolers would have trouble carrying it around all day, but Josh's powers made it light as a feather in his hands. As he strolled through the halls towards the front of the school, followed by a sea of clothes, backpacks, perfume, and heads of hair, on in particular caught his attention, way ahead of the crowd. Alex. What caught his attention specifically was Alex knocking over two students, and not swaying or moving against their force, as most would when colliding with another body. It's something so normal, that whenever it doesn't happen, it strikes Josh as weird every time. Alex had been in Josh's head all day, as he pondered whether or not to approach him.

After leaving the school and crossing the street, Alex put in headphones and seemed occupied by his phone. He was walking a different direction home than the HLA HQ, but he was walking nonetheless. After some internal debate, Josh decided to follow him, if for no other reason than to learn where he lived. Eventually, they reached his house, Josh almost missing him from half a block away as he climbed towards the roof of his house. Doesn't want to alert his parents. Josh realized. He understood the sentiment, because Josh had done the same at his parents house before joining the THA and living at the HQ. Josh decided to take his moment of knowing where Alex was and knowing he'd be there for at least a few minutes, to blast himself into the sky, and towards the HQ. The trip took five minutes, changing into his costume took a little more. In the end, he was back at Alex's house with time to spare, on the roof of a nearby building, watching the place Alex had used to enter the house.

A little while later, he was watching the unnamed... hero? Vigilante? Villain? Cape. He watched the unnamed cape that was Alex in disguise stall across rooftops, after some of the non-powered members of Splatterblood's Crew. He shook his head sullenly. Poor sods knew Splatterblood was a parahuman, and a scary one at that, and would do anything to get on his good side, but he didn't care for the lives of the unpowered. Red Jet thought about interrupting Alex, confronting him, stopping him from attacking. But who knew how that would turn out? He didn't feel like having a fight on his hands tonight, especially against someone he kinda knew. An idea burst into his head, then.

Red Jet was on the roof of a building three over from the one Alex was on. He launched himself at an angle, not towards Alex, but off to the side. After a few seconds of flying in that direction, he abruptly changed course, straight for the roof of the building Alex was on.

He landed with a resounding crunch, the asphalt on the rooftop buckling under the force of his fall, echoing like a gunshot. He wasn't facing Alex, instead he appeared to be oblivious of Alex, instead looking down from the edge of the roof, over a little section of the city. He'd just pretend to be on patrol and 'run into' Alex.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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It seemed like the battle itself had wrapped up fairly quickly, with the Adept Mages taking the brunt of the damage. It seemed their leadership was either incapacitated or in the process of surrendering, and even then Kayle liked the thought of breaking the Alchimyst in half. He was a villain after all, and had done his fair share of things that put him on Kayle’s list. Unfortunately, as the blood dripped off him like a faulty faucet, he recognized that he was at a disadvantage. He could still fight, but the others didn’t look like they had taken any injuries worth noting, or at the very least, they were good at hiding them. Kayle looked between them, but it obvious just from Freischütz’s stance that he would side with the group that had actually instigated the fight and had shocked the entire city into a standstill.

Typical hero, thinking to the short term. Kayle thought to himself as he relented and realized that he couldn’t take all five of them in an engagement, especially wounded the way he was. He also couldn’t inflict more casualties on the Mages without the Cape stepping in to stop him either, so there was only one avenue of approach left to him. With nothing but a smile, the chains launched out of him and impacted the ground. With a quick movement, Kayle was thrown through the air past them, the chains lashing out every so often to keep his momentum going but in moments he had removed himself from the situation.

When he did finally land, he was several blocks away, and noticing that there didn’t seem to be any kind of pursual, took a moment to catch his breath. His blue hoodie had been dyed red by this point as the shadow fell away from his face. His hood was still up, making it nearly impossible for someone to get a good look at his face, since he didn’t want to be caught off guard once again, but he was starting to feel the effects of the blood loss. He had to get himself patched up...luckily he had a guy.




Kayle pulled up to a walk in clinic on his bike, doing his best to hide his injuries but it was getting harder with every passing second. His breathing was ragged and sweat had started to bead on his brow. His eyes had been getting heavy and he had noticed that his body temperature was starting to drop. He would last a few minutes longer, maybe. As he managed to park his bike, somehow not toppling over and not letting the bike crash on it’s side, he stole a glance at several people who stared at him and whispered among themselves. They were unsure what to do, he could be an injured cape or villain, and no one wanted to risk getting put in the same boat as a ‘bad guy’. Cowards, one and all, too self absorbed to help those around them without worrying about their own benefit or risk.

Bypassing all of them, he pushed open the door to the walk in clinic with his shoulder. Inside he was greeted with one of the lower ends of a doctor’s workplace. The walls were painted a weird shade of green with chipped pieces falling off at irregular intervals. The chairs were cheap and plastic, deliberately made red to avoid the blood coming off of some of the patients here from staining any of the furniture. A couple of magazine stands were set off at regular intervals, filled with all the latest literature from 1960. All of this would be visible from the window that covered the entire front of the clinic, save that the window itself was tinted black with the letters ‘Southside Clinic’ printed in red ink, with ‘Dr. Lucio Corvax’ written underneath. At the far end of the front door sat a circular desk with a young, somewhat pretty secretary sitting there staring off into space. A couple of people sat in the chairs, either absorbed in their own little world or taking enough time from their busy lives to stare at Kayle as he stumbled in.

Kayle wandered past all of them, including the secretary who finally noticed him after he was already half past the desk. “Hey wait, you need to check in and wait your turn!”

“Make me.” Kayle uttered as he continued to walk past her, the words enough to make her stop in her path as she wondered what to do next. Her hand hovered over the phone, but something made her switch ideas and instead ran after Kayle as he walked down the hallway, opening doors until finally he found the one he was looking for. In the room at the far end of the hallway, Kayle opened the door to find your standard looking clinic room. There was a counter and sink off to the side with cabinets filled with all sorts of medical looking crap. A desk with a computer sat next to it on the adjacent wall, and opposite of these necessary components was fold up patient table that currently had a middle aged man sitting on it with his shoes and socks removed.

The doctor looked up from his inspection of the man’s foot. The man seemed to be of spanish descent, older but definitely not refined looking. His hair, a mixture of grey and black, wasn’t so much distinguished as it was all over the place. Yes, his hair was gelled back to avoid looking like a cartoon Einstein, but gray streaks ran through his hair at random intervals. Wrinkles and creases smothered his face, indicating age and his eyes had the look of someone who was simply looking forward to retirement. His coat was open, revealing a rather unprofessional t-shirt that was a reference to some soap opera that Kayle couldn’t be bothered to remember or comment on, which also happened to be covered in some sort of stain...most likely spaghetti. Lucio, the doctor, stood up and looked at Kayle. He was fairly tall, at least 6’2, but he never carried with him any air of authority or pride, if anything his size made him seem even more done with this life than anything else.

There was a brief moment where no one said anything, including the secretary who was standing behind Kayle. Finally, Lucio looked to his patient and slowly blinked. “I’ll be back in a moment.”

“But I’ve already been waiting two hours to see you!” The man retorted angrily, trying to grab Lucio’s arm. Lucio shrugged it off.

“Yes and a few more minutes won’t kill you.” Lucio made a note to bend over one more time to look at the man’s foot, which Kayle was just now noticing had a weird growth on it. “Hopefully...maybe...try not to breathe too fast.” The man looked incredulous, then scared, then started holding his breath. Lucio rolled his eyes as he stepped into the hallway.

“I tried to stop him Dr. Corvax, he just barged right th-”

“If you had truly tried to stop him Grace, I doubt you would be conscious enough to even explain.” Lucio stated, motioning towards another one of the rooms, which Kayle entered. “Just go back to your desk and deal with the other incoming patients.” She gave a brief nod, stealing a glance over at Kayle before speed walking back to her spot. Lucio walked into the room after kayle, slowly closing the door as he did so and giving a slight sigh. “You could try to be a bit more personable when you come here.”

“Kind of hard to do when every time I come here I’m in enough pain to rip the tongues out of everyone who looks at me wrong.”

“Pleasant.” Lucio stated as he motioned at Kayle’s clothes. Kayle started taking them off, but required aid from the good doctor about halfway as the pain forced Kayle to grit his teeth to the point of crushing them. Once the clothes were off and Doctor Corvax could see what was going on, he let a couple of spanish swears roll off his tongue as naturally as water flows through a river. “Looks like you had a fun time.”

“As much as I generally enjoy your apathy, I’ve been bleeding for a great deal of time now and everything’s starting to get sleepy and cold.”

“Yes yes yes, one moment.” Lucio made his way back to the door, ensuring that it was securely locked. After that, he pressed another button and there was a slight ‘chunk’ as some other precautions were put in place. With that, Lucio cracked a couple of his knuckles and rolled his neck slightly. “Alright, first thing’s first.” Lucio walked over to the cabinets, pulling out a collapsible bag holder and a package of plasma. Putting the cords into place, he stuck it into Kayle’s arm and made sure it was good to go. Once that was done, he took Kayle’s arm first, giving it a good once over. “You got lucky, this looks like it was inches from puncturing an artery.”

“Time of the essence Doc.” Kayle stated, looking over at him. Lucio gave a sigh, holding his hand over the wound. There was a brief tingle, like all the hairs on Kayle’s hand were standing on edge, but as Lucio pulled his hand back Kayle could see that the wound was starting to close. Lucio then moved to the other wounds even as that one was closing. His hand passed briefly over each of the wounds, and in turn that slowly started closing. As Lucio finished with the last one, he wandered back to the cabinet and pulled out several towels. He threw them to Kayle, who plucked them out of the air and started wiping away the blood. Another quick search later and Lucio was throwing Kayle another shirt along with a hat.

“Might I suggest you invest in some actual armor?” Lucio stated, leaning against the counter. Kayle shrugged.

“Harder to wander around incognito if I’m decked out like a power ranger.”

“Not saying power ranger, but there are such things as ballistic vests, or even some metal padding under your hoodie?”

“They slow me down.”

“Oh right, wouldn’t want to get stabbed cause you were too slow.”

“I’d be dead right now if I had been even half a second slower.” Lucio gave a shrug.

“Whatever, just saying, you could stop visiting me so often if you did something to protect yourself.” Lucio reached to the wall this time, instead of the cabinet and slid back a hidden compartment. Inside were a number of pictures, which he retrieved and flipped through. He settled on one, and put the rest of them back into the compartment before sliding it shut. As Kayle continued to wipe himself up, Lucio placed the picture beside him.

Inside was a semi-blurry photo of a white man in his mid twenties, skinny and looking very much like an addict with sunken eyes and a hunched back, not to mention his clothes were not exactly top of the line and he looked to be walking through an alley. “Story?” Kayle asked as he continued to wipe up.

“Asshole robbed me, took about a month of pharmaceuticals. Don’t even think he needed it all, was probably looking for something specific but rather than spend the time to read the labels, just jammed it all into a grab bag.”

“Were you around when it happened?” Kayle asked, picking up the photo and inspecting it more carefully.

“No, he came after hours.”

“So how do you know it’s him?” Kayle asked, looking up at the Doctor.

“I have more ‘Special Care’ patients than just yourself Smile.” Lucio stated, narrowing his eyes slightly. “They got me the information, but that’s as close as they could get...the guy is slippery but it doesn’t seem like he’s a paranormal.”

“So why not have them just deal with him.” Lucio gave an exasperated sigh.

“Because their abilities weren’t geared for combat, because he’s surrounded by a gang of some sort or at the very least seems to hang around them a lot, because I knew that someone like you would show up eventually who would be better suited to the task.” Kayle paused for a moment.

“You don’t care about the drugs or money.”

“That part has already been taken care of, but I don’t like the idea of someone robbing me and getting away with it.” Lucio grabbed the picture out of Kayle’s hand and held it up. “Find him, hurt him and make sure that he, and anyone else who thinks they can rob me thinks twice about doing it.”

“Be scary, seems easy.”

“Don’t care if it is or isn’t, get it done. That’s your payment.” Kayle slipped on the shirt and hat, unplugging the plasma long enough to do so, and put his bloodied clothes into a bag that Lucio grabbed from the cabinet once more.

“I’ll be sure to notify you when the job’s done.” Lucio shrugged.

“Do it when you can, but no more special care until it’s done.”

“I know the rules Doc.” Kayle stated as he pocketed the picture for later use. After that conversation was done, they sat in amicable silence for several minutes as the plasma worked its magic and replaced Kayle’s bodily fluids. Once that was done, Lucio unlocked the room and opened the door. Kayle gave a nod as Lucio let him pass, moving back to his previous room while Kayle made his way back out the front door. A couple of people, including the secretary stared at him as he left, but they all wisely kept to themselves as Kayle exited the building. Kayle didn’t like being indebted to Corvax, often times having to target people who were well below his ‘worth it’ radar, but his ability made him a perfect doctor...to those who knew and could afford his price.

Whatever, he had done some work today and earned a meal. Maybe some lasagna? Oh he could go for some lasagna.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages
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The battlefield lay silent for a moment as the Adept mages that were still standing surrendered to the quite clearly superior forces of the three parties combined, however most had experienced that force first hand and were no longer in any shape to resist. Devon had scratched his head mentally as he pondered for a moment whether the shot Myrlyn forced away and as a result hit Alchimyst would be considered a hit or friendly fire, not that it did matter as a philosophical conundrum. There were things that did matter though, there was the matter of the shadow cloaked villain who by all standards had overdone things. His victims had truly been brutalized, Jeu in particular who been reduced to abstract art. While they were villains and criminals, they were also just kids and didn't actually have any severe crimes on their names, not some rampaging group of violent criminals. If the situation had left him a chance to engage he'd gone after him, but it seemed he wisely chose to just leave as the chains carried him into the sky in a fashion that made it look like he was being flung by the chains every time they lashed out at the ground. Without a shadow of a doubt he'd have to report him to the PCRT, if only to keep tabs on him. Also Tendril would be just thrilled to know his villain twin was in town.

As Tendril's evil twin made his exit Devon walked to the body of the adept mage that he watched get zapped by miss 9volt in her supercharged state. It was pretty clear to him that he was just going to be checking vitals on the charred remains of some pour soul, but unless the head is at least 2 feet away from the torso you have to check for vitals first. As he leaned in to check the pulse it was clear the boy wasn't breathing, and there wasn't a pulse either. With the time that had passed and the fact that he had been hit with a charge of electricity strong enough to melt a lightning rod there wasn't any use in trying reanimation either. He got back up and radio'd in: "Freischütz requesting PCRT assistance at the adept mages HQ, industrial lot 207. I need medical assistance for 14, a few in critical condition, one confirmed death."

With a sigh he turned to the four that had caused the whole situation to begin with. Things are simpler when it's just some idiot rampaging through the streets. "Well then, would you mind following me for a bit. I'd love to have a little chat to clear up the situation here." Devon said pointing at miss 9volt. "As for you three, I know she has no criminal record, but I'm not too certain about you lot. And given that PCRT will be here in about 10 minutes, I'd suggest you make yourselves scarce." He said to the other three. While the girl was only tense for the most part the other three showed some hints of hostility towards him, which meant it was probably better to have them make a clean get away before PCRT showed up rather than having that turn into a hot mess as well. In any case he wanted some answers this didn't seem like a random attack on a hostile faction, he was sure there was something behind it, some bigger picture he just couldn't figure out yet.

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: [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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender 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: 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, 10:40 AM. 73°F,
Partly Cloudy. Arc 4: Abberance.




Jasmin Lehtinen caught a glimpse of something that made her heart skip a beat. A familiar sight, familiar capes. Myrlyn, Jeu, Drow, Alchimyst, and the rest of the Adept Mages bunched together. Curiously, she only saw two heads of white hair. Weren't there three brothers with white hair? Jasmin felt a moment's apprehension before remembering the Unspoken Rules. They were allies. For now. All of the local heroes were present in force. It wasn’t a surprising fact – skipping this fight, as a hero, let alone a team of heroes, would be unforgivable to the public. Jasmin was surprised that nearly all of the big villain gangs were all present. Gangs that brutally fought for territory and money, gangs with unbreakable feuds against each other.
..... That was the thing about the Abhorrents, Jasmin had learned. They were a much bigger threat to society, to humanity, to survival and extinction, than any amount of human-on-human hatred. It's why the Unspoken Rules exist. During Abhorrent attacks you take no opportunity against your fellow capes. Not to find out their identities, not to end their lives, not to bicker and fight. You focus on the common enemy. Or else.
..... "-all should know your chances going into this battle. Given the statistics from our previous encounters with Tangle, a ‘good day’ still means that at least one in three of the people present will probably be dead before this day is done. Tangle is an antediluvian horror capable of killing each and every one of us. The odds are likely not going to be as good as a 33% death rate."
..... This jolted Jasmin into listening to Legend's speech. It seemed to have caught the attention of the rest of the crowd, as uncomfortable shifting and a quiet murmur rippled through the crowd. Everyone knew that it was dangerous being here. But hearing numbers brought unease. One in three dead as a best case scenario. And that's not counting life-threatening or life-altering wounds.
..... “I’m telling all of you your chances now because you deserve to know. We're all humans here, we all have the right to live. We so rarely get the chance to inform those individuals brave enough to step up and fight these monsters. The primary message I want to convey, even more than briefing you on the particulars of his abilities, organizing formations and battle plans, is that I do not want you to underestimate Tangle. I have seen too many good heroes, rogues,” Legend paused for a fraction of a second, “And villains, too, die because they let their guard down.
..... “Tangle is the fifth and final Abhorrent to have shown up. I won't give a full history lesson, but his first attack was in 1992. At 75 feet tall, hes the shortest of the Abhorrents, but his body is shaped like a snake's and his tail trails for several hundred feet. Though he looks like a plant, his biology is something entirely alien to us. His body is made up of intertwines 'vines' similar to how a large rope looks. Each of these vines is layered like an onion, with the outermost layer being as hard as aluminum, the next one as hard as steel, the next tungsten, etc. until it quickly reaches harder than existing materials. Materials so strong virtually no one's powers can harm them. Though Tangle looks like a plant, he is not mindless. Do not underestimate him. The extent of his intelligence, and whether he is sentient, is unknown. But he can prioritize target, and has shown tactics and skill, as well as usually having an apparent specific location or target when he's attacking a city.
..... “As for abilities, Tangle is fast. Not speedster-level, but he can accelerate to 75 miles per hour in half a minute from a standstill. He's even quicker when he's already moving, turning, or thrashing. He has two auras. Two hundred feet out from him, all metal capable of rusting will immediately start to rust all of the way through. Not just a rust layer on the outside, but all the way to the center. Steel bars will be reduced to rust as weak as a sand castle. About a hundred feet out from him, a radiation aura starts. Getting inside this aura is an immediate death sentence within 2 weeks. Getting close enough to touch Tangle is enough radiation to kill you before the fight's over with. It's more dangerous than standing next to a melting reactor. If you aren't immune, don't get close.
..... “Tangle also has macro-scale control of both light, or electromagnetic radiation, and plants. He will shoot you with lasers. He will flashbang everyone. He can turn invisible. He can make you blind. He'll hit you with radiation blasts without you even knowing. His application of the control of light is extensive. After battle, everyone present should go through cape-powered healing and/or radiation therapy. Lastly, he can grow plants in seconds, and make them strong enough to constrict and crumble concrete. He also has minions made entirely of plants, that he likely controls like the command center of a hive mind."
..... As if the timing were rehearsed, as soon as Legend finished the speech, a loud crashing-crunching-explosion-like sound similar to a concrete building being thrown into another building was immediately followed by the sound of gasps and screams. Jasmin whipped her head to look behind her, and she felt the entire crowd do the same. Down the street, a giant mass of writhing and whipping tentacles coming out of a large snake-shaped form had just crashed into a building, failing to do the 90-degree turn at the intersection. It immediately turned, whipping its 'head' to stare at the crowd of capes.
..... Tangle's 'mouth' looked like a green bulb of a flower yet to bloom. Like the bulb on the Pokemon, Bulbasaur's back. Slowly, it peeled open, revealing a pink petal-like inside. And a maw inexplicably lined with teeth. Then a glass-shattering, ground-shaking shriek emanated from it.
..... Panic. Jasmin couldn't think as the massive abberation raced down the street towards the crowd. Already, capes were rushing forwards, providing a line of defense, whilst others ran in the opposite direction. Fight or flight. There was a third option, seizing up in the middle, as Jasmin was currently doing. The primal fear was something she'd never felt before in her life. It was similar to that time she had been 10 feet away from a mountain lion while camping five years ago, the heart-sinking deer-in-headlights feeling, but it was deeper, worse. The fear was not just the primal fear of a predator or a deadly situation, it was also the fear of the unnatural, the eldritch, the alien. Tears welled up in her eyes as her disabled mind and body were unable to react to the primal panic swirling in her brain. Jasmin's powers began to take over, switching to her electromagnetic vision, she could immediately see the electrical impulses lighting up like fireworks in the brains of other capes. Adrenaline. Hers came too, and suddenly, as her body tensed to jump, she was swallowed up by Jericho's shifting form.

Jericho’s heart dropped into his feet, maybe even fell out of his chest outright and onto the pavement below. Splattered like a water balloon or something. Panic flooded his system, his mind froze, his skin prickled with needles of numbing cold... Then he shoved it all out of his head, reflexively going so far as to begin shifting and morphing then and there, ink flowing around him as he took the biggest form he’d taken in... ever.

Long, moose-like antlers rose from the back of his skull, as his body shifted forward, his legs remaining about the same position as they were, his torso shifting and moving forward as flesh rapidly began extending backwards from his buttocks. His body swelled with flesh, muscle and bone, skull disappearing under a swirling vortex of ink for a moment before reappearing in the shape of an elk’s fleshless head.

From his waistline down, Jericho grew himself into a centaur-esque shape, flesh and muscle just barely obscured by a thin, thin layer of gray fur. It was more predatory, if only because of the paws with short, thick, blunt claws. His torso grew upwards just a faint amount more, and from just behind and below his original arms, grew a second pair. All four arms grew thick and furry, muscled and capable, as the rest of his body proportioned itself out a magnitude better.

His lower half was relatively horse sized, his upper shaped as if someone took a body-builder and made him both hairy, monstrous, and with a ‘crown’ of antlers thick enough to put an actual moose to relative shame.

Jericho reared back, twisting to reverse his position as his forelegs passed over the heads of the nearby capes easily, planting back onto the concrete below as a small space formed around him, he reached out, moving quickly as he shuffled some people out of the way, grabbed Jasmin, Seraphim, Chryssopea, and Sandstorm up into his arms, setting Chryssopea and Seraphim on his centaurid half as he turned and shouted with a voice that roared into the following silence of Tangle’s own screeching. The word hissed during the beginning, like a serpents’ call before rumbling and roaring out clearly despite the non-human maw it leapt from.

SCATTER!!!

Before making past anyone else in his way, getting the five of them as far back and away from tangle as possible. He took a sharp left turn once he cleared the parking lot, once he cleared the buildings directly adjacent to the crowd, ducking behind a three story and stretching his arms upward to knock out two second story windows with a branching pair of bone-clubs that sprouted from each radii, latching the appendages there and holding on tightly. The clubs then became hands, swirling with ink during the short transformation, before grabbing the bottom of broken window sills, more hands and arm like structures sprouted and grabbed the other edges. Secured. The hands that held Jasmin and Sandstorm stretched higher still placing them on the roof of the building while Jericho’s torso turned around entirely and spoke to Chryssopea and Seraphim. “Up? Yes or no? I’ll leave this body here as a stairway regardless... If Tangle doesn’t come here.

He didn’t wait for an answer, choosing instead to focus on the entirety of the form he was utilizing. Every muscle, bone, fiber of hair, nerve, ounce of fat, all of it he dedicated to memory. He dedicated it to permanency, before a portion of his torso fell over and to the side, his hind legs bending so that the farthest back end was sloped towards the ground. A relatively normal sized, human torso sized, bulge moved through the bulk of the centaurid half. A human sized Jericho stepped out from the still straightened forelegs, before shifting into a smaller, eagle-sized form. Skyblue and white feathers sprouted into existence, before being replaced by a sporting of plumage that seemed to shift color spontaneously.

He took off, rising up into the air before continuing to soar higher and higher still. The crowd of capes back at the HQ had indeed done what he had shouted, and as he focused on the scene below him, Jericho relaxed. If only for a short moment, before remembering that Tangle was an absolute threat. Something that he knew, deep in his core, in his very being, he couldn’t hurt. Nothing he had, nothing he could’ve thought to grow or utilize, would actually hurt the Abhorrent. He couldn’t get close, he couldn’t stay far enough away... He was helpless and useless.

..... Jasmin, or Sähkö as she was now wearing her mask, stepped onto the roof of the building that Jericho had brought her to and surveyed the scene with quiet horror, throwing up the hood of her blue hoodie. She watched as capes that presumably could survive close proximity to Tangle rushed forwards down the street, in attempt to stop the beast before he rushed into the crowd of more squishy parahumans. Then, a white line seared across her vision, leaving a black-fading-purple blind spot in her eyes. Immediately, she heard an artificial-esque feminine voice, similar to Siri or Alexa, speak from her new wristband, "Freischütz down. Laser Hawk down." Sähkö whipped her vision over to where Capetown's HLA team had been huddled. Already Cosmic's spheres and Tendril's tentacles were being thrown up as shields, but Sähkö could clearly make out a place where molten concrete was. Presumably, Freischütz and Laser Hawk had been standing near each other. Elicitor was also right in the middle of the molten concrete, though Tendril was already lifting him up and out of it before any secondary damage could be done.
..... The female artificial voice started naming off more names, before Jasmin could even react to Tangle rushing forward and swiping his tail through a building and into a crowd of capes, like massive steel pipey-wires, destroying all in the tail's path. "Intellast down. Pluto down. Kuro-Yūrei down. Thirty-seven in critical condition. Two-hundred-and-ten capes with radiation poisoning." Jasmin balked at what she had just seen go down, and they were only a minute into the fight. Sheetrock, bricks, rust, and dust rained down on the crowd as the building collapsed. Jasmin noticed that concrete everywhere was crackling and crumbling as creeper vines sprouted, pushing cement apart. Metal streetlights instantly turned into rust, and crumbled like sandstone Jasmin used to crush with her hands at playgrounds when she was little. Loud explosions rang out as Suit and hundreds of other tinkers launched rockets and threw bombs. Lasers bounces off of tangle, but plasma and particle beams seared a paper-thin layer of the beast's skin. An unimaginable amount of cape attacks were being launched at range, with a few capes immune to his radiation aura closing in for close-combat.
..... "What can I even do to help?" Jasmin asked to herself, incredulously.