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Project Oddity

Capetown, Texas

a part of Project Oddity, by NethanielShade.

Welcome to Capetown, Texas, the nation's 5th in population density of parahumans to humans!

NethanielShade holds sovereignty over Capetown, Texas, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Capetown, Texas is a part of Project Oddity.

There are no Places in Capetown, Texas.

Some of the 28 Characters Present

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In 1979, the first parahuman, a human with "super powers", appeared. It is widely believed that they did not come out of hiding, but simply started existing then. Today, roughly 1 in 7,000 people on the planet are a "parahuman." Capetown, Texas, is the nation's 5th in population density of parahumans, these super-powered individuals, to unpowered humans.

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Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)
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“That was A little bit of harmony by the Seven Numbers, I’m your host, Kayle Tallion and wanting to let you know that the tunes are just going to keep playing reliably like old faithful. I’m here to give you beats to listen to at work to liven up what could potentially be a dull day. Not to mention, coming up we’ll be taking calls for a chance to win two tickets to Ozzy Osbourne's concert as part of his last tour, which will be taking you all the way to Las Vegas. That’s right people, a chance to visit the city of sin with accommodations paid for and a free pass to go and indulge in all the things that make that city great. So stay tuned, that will be coming up in a bit. In the meantime, here’s I’m not here by The Mediocre Truth.” Kayle saw the light in the studio go off as he looked at the window, there Melissa sat with a thumbs up as she pressed a number of buttons on her panel.

Kayle took the time to start looking through his notes which were scattered all over the table. He had to get the questions for the call in contest as well as make sure the tickets would be available. Plus the next break he would have to give a little news update to the people and so far a lot of these articles were small attacks, aside from the blackout which he had already covered this morning. Phillip would be talking about it again, his enthusiasm matching Melissa’s in a lot of ways concerning the parahumans. They always considered him an oddity, the fact that he wasn’t excited by people flying around with capes and causing mayhem with unthinkable powers. They did have a bet going for awhile that Kayle either was a cape or hadn’t triggered yet, but they let that drop after a year, finding something else to draw their attention.

Hmmmm, there’s a bit here about the hospital requiring volunteers, I’ll bring that up first next break we get. Kayle’s work phone buzzed with a couple of people texting in some accidents that he jotted down on a piece of paper for his next broadcast. Of course, there were a number of people texting in giving their opinion of the current song, but he largely ignored those. This wasn’t a ‘give us your opinion’ hour, mainly because he hated doing that. He would get stuck here for days on a single song if he truly went in depth with that kind of crap.

It was about halfway through the song when it started.

The air raid sirens started flaring to life and his phones lit up with the emergency warning system. He checked them for a second, his eyes darkening as he looked back at Melissa in the booth who had gone completely pale. “Kayle, we gotta go!” She shouted through the glass, reaching for the door. Kayle got up, opening the door to the studio to catch her.

“Head for the nearest shelter, I’ll stay a bit longer and try to give the people some direction. I’ll be right behind you.” Melissa looked conflicted, looking back at her panel then back to Kayle, who had already pushed past her into the booth. Immediately he started flicking switches in order to bring the radio station back onto the air instead of the music. “I’m not staying long, just want to make sure everyone knows where to go and how to get there. Do my part before cowering in fear.” Kayle pushed Melissa towards the door, where everyone else in the building was already rushing towards. She hesitated again, but ultimately went through with the plan and made for the door. Kayle walked into the recording studio and sat down.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not a drill. An Abhorrent attack is imminent and the capes around the town will need you to evacuate yourself and your loved ones to the closest shelter for your safety and theirs.” Kayle pulled up the information on his work phone. “The locations of the shelters are as follows:” Kayle listed off all the shelters, giving instructions as to how to get there as well, doing his best to relay police orders as they filtered into his phone at a crazy pace. When he felt he had said enough, he paused. “I wish I could say everything was going to be ok, that we’re all going to make it through this but you know that would be a lie. All I can say is to take care of yourselves and those around you, we’re all in this together and if we’re going to see the other side we’re going to need to help each other. Stay calm, work together, and hopefully this will all be over soon. This is Kayle Tallion from 56.7 Kodiak...signing out.” Kayle got up from his table, pocketing all the things he would need before walking out of the studio and into the observation booth to turn off the equipment.

He was one of the luckier people he supposed, considering his family was actually farther north of here, with enough distance that they shouldn’t be affected by the Abhorrent attack, meaning he could concentrate on the task at hand. His only regret would be that he wouldn’t have the chance to change, considering he didn’t want to ruin his blazer and polo shirt. Couldn’t be helped though, as he ran out the door, the shadow already covering his face as he met the crowd instantly once he was out the door. The streets were filled with people, abandoned cars and police doing their best to try and control the flow of the panic filled populace. Kayle took one look at it, gaining a few glances before chains formed from his back, impacted the ground and launched him into the air.

He threw himself across the city, keeping his chain impacts to buildings so as to not accidentally strike a civilian. His goal was to get to the HLA headquarters, where all the paranormals would be gathering to figure out what to do next. Kayle didn’t like the idea of working alongside villains, but he understood that many would be ‘heroes’ probably didn’t enjoy the idea of working alongside him either. As he got closer, he could see the crowd of capes standing around waiting for someone to start a briefing as police prevented people from pushing into the building. Kayle landed outside the cordon, since in order to land inside would require a concussive blast or to launch out with his chains, neither a good idea considering the circumstance. He pushed his way through the people, using his chains to bluntly move people aside and part them like the red sea.

The police saw him coming, but aside from a couple of sneers, let him pass into the throng of capes ready and waiting to fight the Abhorrent or help civilians in need. Kayle recognized a few faces, but now was not the time to be harboring grudges or trying to start a fight. He pushed those thoughts of brutally crushing these people into the back of his mind to focus on the bigger task at hand.

Fighting a god level beast.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)
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The scent of sweat was the first thing Vic was met with that morning, groggily raising her head from the mattress she had collapsed belly-down on. She lazily frisked the sheets for her buzzing phone and turned off the alarm, fondly named "Limerbitch 10:30". She grunted in disapproval, then began scrolling through any messages she could have missed that morning. There was just one Rudy sent to her, a photo of the movie he'd claimed to have found at his neighbor's garage that he wanted to give to her. Ah, Hell's Martyrs. So controversial at the time of its release, the director fled the country and the lead actress was apparently driven mad on set. Rudy's neighbor truly had no idea about the gem he was giving away for $3.99.

She texted back a heart and caught a glimpse at the texts between her and Alex the evening before, her face relaxing into a smug smile as she did so. Man, that kid had to be freaking out. Being invited to her band's practice then grabbing coffee with a member just a couple days later? To think what came from a simple, awkward "sup". She remembered finding his number, hovering her hand above the bin with it. Lucky for him, the company of adoring fans was always appreciated, especially when trying to distract herself from the sort of company her "other self" attracted. And yeah... about that.

It wasn't like covering the tab for two ridiculously overpriced coffees was anything to raise an eyebrow at, but now that she'd had a very sudden and very extreme boost in her funds, she'd have to be... careful. Funny how too much money was a problem in its own right. Jericho and her had settled their score, he'd told the band that he just thought he saw her get hit by a fire bolt at the bank (in his own bumbling way that made Vic have to step in and translate for them) and didn't seem to have any desire to expose her. Of course, considering how she'd dragged him off, not everyone was satisfied with the story they came up with. Donovan.

Finally, she had the strength to get out of bed and take the shower her body was screaming for. Right before she hopped under the water, she sniffed under her armpit. Licorice, huh? She shook her head exasperatedly and got in.




Vic creaked the door to her Aunt's room open a crack, then crept inside the room when she noticed something odd. Two crumpled tissues were on the ground next to her bed. She tip-toed her way over to bin them and took a moment to look at her. She was such a short and frail looking woman for someone as sturdy and resilient as she was. Vic placed her rent on the kitchen table and left the house, skateboarding down the road and towards the inner city.

9:23 AM. Coffee. A bit spilled on her pastel sweater.

9:36 AM. Joined a busker. Left him with the cash she drew in.

9:49 AM. Listened to Limerence's planned set for the recording.

10:02 AM. Tuned into the radio. Needed something to cleanse her ears.

10:05 AM.

Sirens.

The faces of the people around her only registered briefly, filled with fear, confusion, and some with defeat, before they began to blur. Some panicked and ran, who knows where, others hurried while talking urgently into their cellphones. A car did a screeching U-turn. A homeless man didn't even budge. Vic slowly - or maybe she wasn't moving so slowly, maybe it just felt too slow - brought her cellphone up and began typing her Aunt's number, when a call interrupted her.

"Hello?"

"Where is the skateboard?" Kate's urgent voice came through, "Did you take it?! Why didn't you take the van?"

"They... have a drum set at the studio," Vic replied distractedly. It was weird, getting reminders that unassuming Kate was the one who taught her how to skate. "The world is ending. Why do you need it?"

"Don't joke with me, Victoria. I need to get to the hospital, the roads will be too heavy to drive quick en-"

"Why?" Things finally started to speed up again and she began to swerve her way around people, getting home as fast as she could, "You need to get to a shelter."

"I need to shelter the people I have responsibility for," Kate snapped, "You get to a shelter, now. I'll find another way to get there. Text me when you're safe."

"K-Kate?" Vic flinched from her stutter, annoyed at the anxiety infecting her. As she took a moment to properly observe the mass panic happening around her, the dread finally set in. Now everything was moving too fast. I don't want to fight it, she wanted to say. But she couldn't. Because Kate didn't know. She could see parahumans flying above her, making their way to HLA headquarters. All parahumans were together in this fight. Why did she feel so alone in it?

"It'll be alright, Vicky. I promise."

"That's not up to you."

Vic hung up and strengthened her resolve, glaring at the panic before her. It was infectious. She needed to get home as quick as possible to her costume, and there was only one tactic that would get her there fast enough. She ditched her skateboard and ran into the crowd, her solid matter shedding away. She flew as air towards home. Her costume was not as white as it used to be, the scorch marks on its chest left there by Jericho's recklessness. She wondered what he would be doing in this fight.

Some time later, Nobody materialized above the crowd at the HLA, her demeanor calm and stance unnaturally still. She took out her phone. There was dozens of messages and missed calls, and she sent the same lie out in response to each one.

[I'm safe.]

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: Heroes League of America
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With a yawn Devon walked into the kitchen to make a quick breakfast. Just a simple sandwich with left over leafy greens, cheese and ham was the only thing he had the motivation to make at that point. With his sandwich and a glass of milk he sat down in front of his pc screen, his eyes pouring over the news as he took a bit of his sandwich. The situation at the bank had been a confusing mess as far as the news articles went, so much so that it swamped the events he took part in. Only a small article was spent on the blackout and the duststorm, not even a mention of the happenings at the adept mage hq. Probably for the best, they weren't a noteworthy faction within the city and news coverage would only strengthen the anti-cape factions within the city.

His attention was then ripped away from the news as he could heard the air raid sirens starting up their wailing sound and his phone blaring. He jumped up from his desk and hurried his ass to the closet that hid his gear. He'd swear he had never changed into his costume as fast as in that instant. There was no time for secrecy at this point so without a second thought he burst through his front door barely taking the time to lock it behind him. Most of his neighbors were also in the midst of evacuating the building, but with a very different destination in mind.

As he hit the streets his radio flooded with chatter over the emergency channels, he promptly turned it off. He looked at the sky trying to find any clues it might be Dragon that was attacking, but there wasn't even the slightest breeze in the air. "If it was Leviathan they wouldn't send the emergency messages all the way here, so it can't be him. Dragon, well we'd have known an hour or two in advance which would have allowed for a more controlled evacuation. Let's hope I'm wrong, but it seems it's that bastard." Devon thought as he went over the options prompting him to call a friend as he made his way in the direction of the HLA building. "I don't have time for this I need to evacuate." "Is the hoverbike operational? I might need it for this." A sigh sounded from the other side of the line before the voice responded. "Kinda, I don't have the time to be here in person so I'll leave the keys to the warehouse under the flowerpot, the 100 pound one, and explain the specifics over the phone." "That'll be plenty. Thank you." "It uses a magnetic repulsor field to levitate and propel itself, which means it stops functioning properly if it's more than 300 feet off the ground. Currently it's top speed is limited to about 90 miles per hour, I couldn't get it higher without causing destabilization occurring in the field. Similarly to prevent destabilization it can't pull more than 2.1 g's in any direction, including accelerating. Other than that it pretty much handles like a normal motorcycle with the added bonus of being able to ride it upside down without fear of falling off." "So, no sharp turns at speed and no transatlantic flights. How much do I owe you for all this?" "About three grand, two and a half and a I'll even throwing in a free tune up if you manage to keep my workshop intact. I'll send you the bill... Assuming we survive this." "You know I don't have a say in that." "Let's just call it a gamble. Anyways good luck out there, Greasemonkey out." "Good luck to you too."




Devon tipped the giant flowerpot and quickly snagged the keys from under it. Once inside he took a moment to look around and figure out where his bike was hidden, it had been parked right next to one of the large gates to the side of the building. The workshop was filled to the brim with bought tinker made parts and the projects he'd produced from them. As Greasemonkey had once explained to him he couldn't create the physics defying creations like the other tinkers, but his power allowed him to engineer around these creations and see their potential uses, even if they seem completely useless to their creators. Another part was the ability to maintain and repair any tinker made creations, well perhaps not Suit's, but he'd never get that chance. All of this led to him having a business in buying up tinker creations and devices to serve as parts in his projects.

It didn't take long before he had made his way through the maze of machinations to his bike. He opened the gate and with a slight feeling of awe he looked at the bike as the sunlight struck it's shiny black and red panels for the first time since it's transformation. Devon moved the bike out of the gate and locked the place back up, putting the keys back where he had found them. With a whirr the engine inside the hoverbike came to life as the key was turned and not a moment later it flew up a few feet freeing the tires from the ground. He gave a small bit of throttle to feel out the bike and did some practice rounds through the open air above the workshop, finally giving it the all clear and making his way to the HLA building.




As he flew over the crowds gathering at the HLA headquarters he looked in amazement at all the people gathered there. He had seen it a few times before and it had looked almost surreal to see that many gathered, including those who'd normal hide or fight them, but it never ceased to amaze to see such a sight let alone from the sky.

However Devon quickly spotted a problem, how the hell could he land with people moving around all over the place. He quickly ditched the idea of landing on the ground and settled for one of the low roofs of the building. After landing he jumped through an open window and worked his way down and out of the building. Outside he noticed a couple of the HLA and THA members huddled together with a mix of excitement, fear and general tension visible on the exposed parts of their faces. "Yo, new wheels?" Red Jet asked jokingly, probably just trying to break the tension. "It's got one hell of a mortgage on it, but it definitely beats traffic." Devon responded in the same joking fashion.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen
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The morning had started off just like any other, though Logan had to admit, he wasn't feeling as terrible as he used to. Up until his trigger even, he couldn't recall the last time that he truly felt good. He was always tired to some degree, mind always filled with troubled thoughts (which still hadn't changed), and aches and pains accompanied him constantly. Now he felt rested every morning when he woke up, and he was further surprised by the lesser amount of sleep he needed.
Finally pulling himself out of bed, he steadfastly went about his morning, following the three S ritual, as most men undoubtedly do.

Shit, shower, shave. Always in that order.

For him, it was just another lonely, lazy Sunday. It had been a couple of months since his he gained his newfound abilities, triggering in a hospital bed of all places. The fact that he had accidentally harmed his partner had been preying on his mind since. Two months, two, and Mal still had yet to return a phone call or so much and shoot him a text. It was an injustice that he couldn't wrap his mind around. He had done nothing wrong, hadn't even been conscious when it had happened, and now he was being punished, and ignored for something he'd had no control of. He tried putting it all out of his mind, cigarette between his lips, music playing from the phone in his breast pocket. He made his way towards his favorite pub, the idea of a few beers and some good food helped ease the burden his thoughts were quickly becoming.

A short while later, Logan was enjoying his first beer. Being a regular had it's perks. He typically sat at the same table, and since he came in on the same day every other week, he always had the same waitress. She always gave him a smile, called him "Hun', and brought him the same beer he always drank without asking. With his life suddenly being the tumultuous storm of uncertainty that it had become, this last bastion of normality and repetition was a rock he could stand on. It was only after the shrimp tacos and his third beer came, that he finally started to feel better about the day. He read a story on his phone while he ate, steadfastly ignoring the football game on the television, as well as the shouts of the insipid fucks that whooped and hollered for their favored team or players, even as they went through one play and five minutes breakdown and analysis. It would never be clear to him why people liked American football. Sure, European could be interesting, but even that was a stretch. The only sport he truly liked was hockey, and Logan felt he was a little biased on that front.

Logan was just finishing the last of his beer when a high pitched whine caught his attention. It was quiet at first, barely on the borders of perception and he almost dismissed it as the roar of his tinnitus. That is until the wail of the nearby siren reach its full magnitude and became nearly deafening, even inside the pub.

Confusion crossed his features as he heard it. There weren't any drills or tests scheduled for today. As it was, his eyes widened and he felt like his heart might crush itself as his phone mimed the siren outside, telling everyone to seek the nearest shelters immediately. It was all suddenly so surreal, everyone in the pub suddenly standing, even a woman screaming as she broke out into hysterics. Her husband tried calming her as he grabbed their child, but by then, there was no longer calm anywhere to be seen. People were running for the door, heedless of the others in their path. Fighting, arguing and screaming drown out the light music playing over the speakers and even the booming televisions as Joe Schmoe scored another touchdown. The battle through the door only intensified while the manager tried shouting to be heard in a vain attempt at calming everyone down. Little did he know that his staff had already vacated by way of the back door, leaving him to his fate.

Logan watched everything in an aghast daze and retried his phone from the table. At first he tried making a call, but as he had guessed, everyone in the city was probably doing the same thing, and none of his calls would go through. So, he resigned himself to two texts.

Female Parent: I'm fine, getting to shelter, call you when everything blows over.

Mal: Get to a shelter, let me know which one you're at so I can find you after. If you can't get to a shelter, find somewhere safe, I'll call you after. I don't care how pissed you are.

He watched as the little ring simply spun in circles at the bottom of the message, telling him it was sending, but making it clear that the effort was futile at the moment.

With that done, Logan slid his phone back into his pocket, and followed the logic that the kitchen staff had displayed and he left through the back. Upon entering the alley behind the pub, he looked around, ensuring the coast was clear. He didn't want people he saw regularly to know that he was no longer one of them.

The dark stone erupted from various points on his flesh, and wrapped him in it's cold embrace. Suitably armored within his glossy black shell, claws sprang from the covering on his feet, affording him better traction as he broke into a dead sprint. Taking back alleys and scaling between buildings, he was able to spot groups of flying capes heading towards the HLA. He changed his course, avoiding the worst of the pandemonium and arriving within the perimeter as quickly as possible.

He was awestruck by the sight of so many capes gathered in one place. Heroes standing alongside villains, murmuring in discussing, anxiously awaiting the announcement of what it was they would face. It was still all so surreal, and being a new player among the parahuman community left Logan wondering if this was all just some bad dream.

He mostly stuck to the fringes, making his way towards a few of those keeping their distance like himself.

Feeling more than a little out of his depth, he approached the nearest cape, trying his best to hide his nervousness, and asked, "How long does it usually take before we start getting information? I almost expect a riot simply because of the collectively anxiety."

Setting

Characters Present

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




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

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

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

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

If you say extra thick you can forget pizza.

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

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

Ranch Hand my dude.

. . . . . . -__-

What???

Oh god you're serious

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

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

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

I Try ^^

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

And I never will ~

You ass XP

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

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

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

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

"Alex where are you? Are you safe?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I love you too."



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

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

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

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Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black
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In a certain bedroom with nothing but a bed, a girl was sleeping. In her head, there was a frantic scream. Faint, but annoyingly familiar to her ears. ACE, NO!!!!!!

The girl opened her eyes, revealing brown eyes colored with swirls of red. Her mother Akira said that her eyes were a beautiful color, unlike anyone in their family of capes. Your eyes are a blessing; her words would always follow along those lines. Coming from that woman, Mara felt greatly annoyed and increasingly so every time some variation of the sentence came from her mouth. It was a reminder of her trigger event, and she didn't think anyone would want to be reminded of their trigger events.

Bed sheets rustled as Mara sat up, disgruntled and slightly confused. She was surprised that nothing was attacking her today. Rather than the usual buzz warning her of imminent danger, she felt an unpleasant and incessant dull ache around her chest area. Maybe she just had a bad dream. The thought didn't make the feeling disappear. Troubled, she picked up was her phone.

With nothing and no one waking her up, Mara woke up a little later than usual - 09:54. Ace would say that was still "damn early," but she thought it was three hours later than usual. It unsettled her.

Mara frowned in thought, wondering what those two people were planning and slipped out of bed. Even as she padded downstairs, there was no noise but she smelled something weird. It kind of smelled like...

She was instantly on guard as she turned the corner into the kitchen. Holes ranging from the size of a nickel to the size of a basketball littered the kitchen. By the kitchen table, she could see two bodies covered in blood and could only assume that they were Akira and Abel. How had she slept through all of this? Judging by the type of damage done to the kitchen, the one who did this was-

"Hey, Mara," a familiat voice said. On the other side of the kitchen was Ace with not a speck of blood on him. He seemed tired though, she noted. As the wind started to rustle his clothes, he jumped lightly and crossed the kitchen.

She looked at him expectantly, and he knew that the look meant that she wanted an explanation. Why all of a sudden? Isn't killing innocents wrong? Did they do something wrong? What's going on? Ace scratched his head, a habit picked up from Akira. He smiled sheepishly.

"Yeah. While you were sleeping, we ate breakfast together." He paused and pursed his lips. "Well, you know how I'm a hero. We've been getting warnings that there'll be an Abhorrent attack within the week. Came back to check on you, make sure you're doing well, yeah? I was thinking of killing them and taking you with me. Didn't make me feel good since I thought they were still getting you to master your powers. And then they tell me that they're letting you free like they did for me. It was awesome news! Great job, by the way. It took me a little longer to master my own powers."

Mara noted that he seemed super happy, even as he said these next words.

"So I just asked them if I could get you to live with me, you know? I guess I said it wrong cuz they started saying that a parahuman must be independent and all that crap... So I finished 'em off. I'm 18, and you're training's finished. We don't need 'em anymore. A lot of people die from Abhorrent attacks. We can crush this place and say it was a result from some debris or something."

And Mara found that okay. When she looked behind Ace and saw her parents again, she felt no guilt or sympathy... but something inside of her felt wrong. It was as if this was somehow going against Ace's moral code even though it was Ace himself who killed them.

He smiled and took her hand. After a moment, he said softly, "Mara. If by chance, we make it through the attack alive, would you come live with me? I won't force you to become a hero or anything like that. You'll get to go to school, And we'll see each other more often."

Mara was vaguely reminded of those marriage proposals she watched in movies and on YouTube. Her answer was obvious.

"Yes." All she wanted was to be with him. He showed her what was right with this world. Ace seemed really, really happy, and it made Mara happy.

On the car ride to Ace's apartment, the air sirens went off. Her heart stopped and so did Ace's. The car actually did come to a stop though. In the unmoving cae, the prolonged beep rang from their phones, and the chaos began. If she wasn't so worried, then maybe she would have found it interesting how streets and neighborhoods could be filled with such chaos in less than five minutes.

With hands clasped tight, they moved through the chaos to HLA HQ. Even as they stood in the crowd of costumed parahumans, Mara did not let go of Ace's hand.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Victor "LTL" Stellianos
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“Mocha Capuccino for a Victor?”

“Yo.” Victor stated, pushing through the crowd in the coffee shop with a sandwich already in his hand. As he reached the barista, he gave a wide smile and grabbed the cup from the guy who looked like he could use at least 4 more hours of sleep. The barista immediately moved on to the next order as the line up was a bit ridiculous this morning. Not wanting to make himself a nuisance in the crowded store, Victor left the building and hopped back into his car, taking another sip from his drink and placing both his sandwich and drink in the cup holders. With little flair, Victor took off down the road trying to figure out where exactly he had to go this morning. He did have to go to the bank, but that could wait. He could see what was going down at the park, maybe take a walk around there. He could also head towards the shadier parts of town and hope for something exciting to happen. That seemed like the best idea so far, mainly because he didn’t really have anything else going on.

So with that in mind, he set off at a cruise speed, sipping on his drink and watching everything around him carefully for any signs that LTL would be needed. Granted, LTL was needed at all times of the day but to admit that to the public would be egotistical...better that they say they need him than him broadcast it. After a short while, Victor came up to a light and noticed that the line was a bit long. Craning his head out the window to see what was holding them up, he could see an accident in the middle of the intersection had caused traffic to come to a standstill. “Bunk.” Victor said, noticing that he was already blocked in and would be here awhile. He propped his arm on the car door and placed his head in his hand. He had things to do, places to go...well not really but anywhere was better than here.

It was then that the sound started blaring.

Air raid sirens? His phone started buzzing and the message that came across the screen was enough to freeze Victor’s blood...and get it boiling at the same time. When he looked back up, he saw cars literally bashing into each other to try and get anywhere but gridlock. People were sprinting down the streets, either heading to the shelters or attempting to get as far away as possible. Victor gave a smile, grabbing his backpack and pulling out his costume. His clothes melted away onto the car seat and within a couple of seconds he was fully donned in his silver and white suit. He stepped out into the street, smiling beneath his mask as cars rammed into each other with all the grace of a bumper cars track. Victor gave a ‘tsk tsk tsk’ sound as the clothing around his feet receded long enough for his bare skin to touch concrete. With a bit of overly dramatic flair, concrete barriers started raising between the troublemakers of the lot. “You idiots trying to act like you’re in a derby!” Victor yelled, using the concrete beneath his feet to raise him to a level so he could properly project his voice. “Get out of your cars and run to the nearest shelter. You’re doing nothing but being a nuisance and potential hazard to everyone here!”

He wasn’t sure if they could hear him over the sirens and general panic, but seeing as they were now blocked in the people got out of their cars and started running with the rest of them. Now, the next immediate question...what was he going to do about his car? He raised a hand to his chin, thinking for a moment before he summoned a massive hand out of concrete and picked up his car as carefully as he could. Looking around, he spotted a rather narrow alley and managed to slid his car in there. Once that was done, he put a hand on one of the buildings, forming a barrier around his vehicle. People might say he was worrying to much about material possessions, he’d tell them to fuck himself. He loved his car, had put a ton of work into it and wasn’t about to see it destroyed because an Abhorrent decided to come and wreck his life. With that done, he brushed off his hands and started running towards the HLA HQ.




It was only once LTL was within eyesight of the HQ, which was surrounded by capes of varying affiliation that he pulled out his phone. Immediately he noticed that there was several missed calls from an assortment of people, but the only one to repeatedly call him was Brian. Such was the life of having the best of the best, Victor had to assume that the lines were flooded to hell with incoming and outgoing calls, but they didn’t pay for the best service because they ‘felt like it’. They were prioritized over a ton of people, and while that made him feel guilty for still being able to call people when others couldn’t, it was simply the fact of life. With a flick of his thumb, he hit redial and held the phone up to his ear. Nearly on the first ring, his uncle picked up the phone. “You shit!” He started, although it sounded like he was a bit out of breath. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you! Don’t you know what’s going on!”

“Of course I do, it’s why I’m at the HLA HQ, along with what looks like hundreds of other capes.” There was a brief pause from Brian.

“Don’t do this…” Brian stated, his concern easily coming across the phone. “There are plenty of other capes there, they can handle this...you don’t need to be going against the Abhorrent.”

“And turn down the opportunity of a lifetime? LTL going up against a monster the size of a city? It’s what my name means!”

“This isn’t a game Victor!” Brian yelled. “That thing can’t be stopped...can’t be stalled. What can you possibly do? Just...get out of there alright?”

“Can’t do that Bri Bri.” Victor stated, looking at the mass of crowds push and run in a nearly blind panic. “If every hero did that, we’d already be extinct.”

“Vic, don’t make me beg.”

“I’ll give you a call when the fight’s over. For the time being, make sure you’re safe and do your best to keep your head down. I have to go, everyone’s starting to gather.” Victor hung up the phone, hearing Brian complain about it for a second before the call was done. His Uncle was understandably worried, and to be honest, Victor would have been more scared if Brian wasn’t panicking slightly. At least it made the situation real, because Brian was very much someone who didn’t like wearing his emotions on his sleeve. It showed he cared at the very least, even if it did make Victor feel somewhat guilty with going through with this.

After a few more moments of thought, he took a breath and pushed his way through the crowd to the gathering of capes in front of the HLA HQ.

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.

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Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black
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With hands clasped tight, they moved through the chaos to HLA HQ. Even as they stood in the crowd of costumed parahumans, Mara did not let go of Ace's hand.

She was scared. It was actually happening. An abhorrent was going to go through here, right here in their hometown, and people were going to die. Mara stared blankly ahead and didn't look up at the people surrounding her - they were strangers and had nothing to do with her. They were going to die. She knew she couldn't be a hero like Ace. Even Ace couldn't save everyone. They were going to die. Ace wouldn't die, though. She wouldn't let him die.

There was a sudden quiet, and then commotion again. Was it starting already? No, she immediately calmed herself. Ace could sense her tension, she knew, because his hands squeezed her hand a little tighter. He wasn't talking at all now, and that didn't help at all. It was okay, though, because she knew that he cared and his hand was warm. He was safe. She looked at him, but he was staring at something else with a determined face. Four prominent figures. Mara could barely see them through the tall crowds, but she could tell that they were respected by Ace. They were probably very powerful capes.

Not even a minute later, there was a fight. Even with all this noise, she could clearly hear a woman's voice pierce through the background chatter. Powerful and maybe even arrogant, but she was betting that the woman was more powerful than arrogant. Again, the "unspoken rules" were mentioned. Just like the time in that sandwhich shop. She could envision the air quotes around that phrase. Everyone quieted, but she still didn't understand what the unspoken rules were. How could there be rules if no one said them out loud? She searched for a comparison, but she could only come up with the unspoken agreement between her Ace that she would not become a hero.

Ace still hasn't talked to her since he told her to hold his hand when they got off the car. Despite her anxiety about this situation, her thoughts distracted her and Ace's presence already calmed her down significantly.

Another commotion broke out. People were yelping, stumbling, jumping, and sometimes using their powers. This time, she wondered if someone was crazy enough to pick fights with the crowd when an abhorrent was probably minutes away from destroying this place. No, she told herself again. Black boxes with propellors flew through the air and landed on people. Mara observed that some people were too sensitive and were merely surprised when the boxes latched around their wrists as it did to her right wrist just now. By Ace's sudden body jerk, he was surprised too.

Mara skimmed the design on her right wrist. Black, plain, metallic maybe, and designed like a bracelet. Or maybe a faceless watch. Nothing happened. Now that she thought about it, she couldn't feel it. It was completely harmless. What was this? A Tinker probably made this, but she wasn't sure. It wasn't likely to harm her since it wouldn't have been able to latch onto her otherwise, but she was worried for Ace who had no such protection. He must have known that she would worry since he gave her a reassuring smile.

It's probably a tracking device. We're going into a battle, after all. Let's not worry too much about that and trust them. Everyone here are our allies, you know.

Yes, that made sense. A suddenly loud voice dominated the clearing, and she couldn't help but turn her attention to the flying cape. The man was making a speech that made her feel... strangely annoyed. The cape Ace labeled as "Legend" was making a noble speech, how capes were doing this for the good of humanity. This was a noble act. Thinking about it, this was probably also very much in line with Ace's philosophy and, in turn, her own. Ace looked almost awed at the sight of this charismatic cape. Mara admitted that the cape seemed reliably strong at first glance. Maybe it was the costume...

But there was a something bothering her, a bothersome pressure in her chest. An unwanted emotion. She wondered idly as she stared blankly at the hero above her...

Why does this seem kind of... wrong?

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Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Legend (The Triumvirate)
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◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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Standing among the crowd of people, Tess was struck by the tension in the air. Even after the big names such as Legend and the like arrived, it still hadn’t really sunk in the gravity of the situation. She knew about Abhorrent attacks. Who didn’t in this day and age? But she’d never been close to one. Never impacted. It occurred to her how sheltered a life that she’d been living up until this point. Maybe if she’d experienced it herself, she’d have listened to Marcy and fled far away from here? Or maybe because she’d experienced the loss it brought about, she’d be more compelled to fight? People knew the figures. She knew the figures. Getting involved in something like this, even with incredible powers, didn’t change anything. Statistically, half or more of the people standing here wouldn’t be when all was said and done. It was so unreal, and she still couldn’t entirely comprehend it. Faintly, she realised how tense her whole body was, and made a point to relax her jaw and unclench her hands.

As the floating bands made their way over, Tess and Marcy got plenty of chance to see others letting them attach before they did the same. “I guess it’s something to help protect us..?” Tess whispered to Marcy, though she didn’t entirely know why she felt the need to keep quiet. Maybe she was embarrassed to be seen as ignorant in such a situation? Normally, she was confident when acting as Hush, but the atmosphere seemed to suck all of that out of her. Regardless, Marcy simply gave a snort, rolling her eyes. “Or it’s to help identify us when we’re dead.” The coldness of Marcy’s comment struck Tess, but she held whatever objections she had to herself. There was no sense in chastising her about this. In this grim a situation, she couldn’t be entirely certain she was wrong.

“Last chance for us to leave by the way. Even with these gadgets on, no-one would fault us.” Nudging Tess in the side Marcy tried a final plea, but Tess simply shook her head, steeling her resolve. Even if everyone was scared. Even if she was scared. Everyone was here fighting. Faintly, she still had hope. The presence of everyone gave her the courage to remain and fight. She’d been too scared of risking herself in the past. This was going to be different. She was going to make a difference. And, if she somehow survived this, she’d have to change. Seeing everyone here confirmed it to her. With the gift she had, she had a responsibility to help protect everyone. She wasn’t going to run or hide any longer. She was a hero. It was time she started acting more like one.

Listening to Legend, her heart swelled. They could do this.