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.
2,756 readers have been here.
9,794 readers have visited this universe since NethanielShade created it. StorminJericho are listed as curators.

Setting

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.

Capetown, Texas

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

Minimap

Capetown, Texas is a part of Project Oddity.

30 Characters Here

Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) [73] "Hey! Hey! HEY! Do you think it'd be fucked if I ate your face? Like, literally?"
Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) [54] "Capes live double lives. Hard to keep people close in either life. Make things... lonely."
Mara Haruka Black [40] "We're all human."
Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) [40] "Heroes should inspire and bring hope to those who need it most."
Vic Martel (Nobody) [39] "It's not my responsibility to be your hero."
Alexander Dalton [38] "I swear I sort of know what I'm doing"
Devon Metzger(freischütz) [31] "There's a lot of villains out there, a lot less if you don't count the heroes that could avoid the leash called the HLA."
Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) [27] "Hahahaha! What the fuck?!"
River Riley (Zero) [26] "Domain of infinite possibilities, how can I help you?"
Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) [22] "Hero, Villain, what does it matter? In the end, I'm going to break you."

Start Character Here »


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)

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A satisfied smile spread across Vic's cheeks as the bird spoke back to her in a male voice. Ah, she knew it. She watched him fly to the ground and his form warp and twist into something human that loomed over her. The process of transforming was gruesome to watch, but Vic did anyway, eyes lit up with interest. She let out a wolf-whistle and stuffed the cigarette packet back into her shorts pocket.

"Better?"

The young, skull-faced lad the bird had revealed itself to be seemed to have lost his words despite transforming into the shape that was the most comfortable to speak with. Vic wondered to herself if she'd frightened him - the menacingly tall, skull-faced, shape changing man - which made her chuckle and look away.

"You... Weren't there at the sandwich shop or anything were you? Or in the alley?"

Vic shook her head then blew a slow stream smoke from her open mouth and nostrils. She knew what he was talking about with the sandwich shop. She had a strong suspicion that was completely confirmed the moment the guy mentioned it - he was Wendigo. That trademark skull on all of his forms gave the sucker away. The moment he asked if she was a Cape, she resisted the urge to give him an incredulous look and kept her gaze on the park.

As she tried to listen to his ramblings (she honestly had no idea what he was going on about), a laugh started to tickle the back of her throat. The terrifying and feared Wendigo was such a shy young man! It was almost... no, it was cute. Eventually, as his rant trickled to nervous laughter, she chuckled. She laughed into the back of her hand and started to cough on the smoke, squinting up at him with watery red eyes.

"God," she grunted out, leaning her head back against the fence, "We've got this all wrong. Aren't I the one supposed to be afraid of you?" She let out another small laugh and got one last cough out before grinning at him, "I'm from Capetown, man. I see shit everyday. You're not my first Changer... you're just the spoOOookiest." She sarcastically wriggled her fingers at him, then shook her head with a dry laugh. What Vic was leaving out from her teasing words was that he was also the coolest looking Changer she'd ever seen, but she wasn't about to let anything that could be mistaken for adoration slip. She paused a moment to lock eyes with him and say in a deliberate, amused fashion, "Wendigo."

A moment after the word slipped she heard another painfully awkward voice she didn't recognize at all being directed towards her. She turned her head, slightly bothered at the interruption, to see a fairly average young man looking very out of place. It wasn't that he was odd in the slightest, more that he looked exactly like someone who felt like they didn't belong here. Shit, how long was he there for? Vic thought, regarding him blankly. A name was not coming to mind.

"Sup back atcha," Vic returned simply, her brow furrowing at him. She immediately focused back on the Changer, completely snubbing the poor guy. She was about to say something to him when an irking feeling got too much for her and she pushed herself up from the fence, pointing her cigarette at the blonde.

"I know your face," she announced, "The Terrace, two weeks back, front row." She beamed excitedly at the thought, "You were there, weren't you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)

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Jericho watched the new comer warily, staring at him pointedly when the blonde walked up... Before balking and raising an eyebrow high on his tattooed face. "Oh-" Then he clamped his teeth shut, content to just watch and hope that neither of them heard his brief gasp of surprise. The Changer knew that the new face had seen him at the sandwich shop, and chose to stay silent in the hopes that he simply wouldn't recognize him; which was futile in honesty, but one can always hope.

Apparently his conversational partner also knew whoever the other teen- fuck why is today such a bad goddamn day- was. She seemed to recognize him from somewhere, but as long as blondies attention wasn't on him, Jericho could care less. Fuck. Then, becuase of course his mouth was moving faster than his brain now, he spoke up with a chirp of polite friendliness. "You two know each other? Also! Hi!"

A mental facepalm, and then more silence from the tattooed teen, brown eyes locked on the air just behind the girl- her voice was unmistakably feminine- staring past her with tense nervousness. He hadn't turned once during either of his moments of speech, only his side profile visible to the other boy. For a moment, Jericho briefly wondered if the guy had thought that he was awkward, the 'sup' from earlier sure was. But now he was doubly sure that he was the most awkward of the trio in the skatepark. It accured to Jericho then, that the girl had known who he was, but not by the name he thought he would be called. No one knew his actual name? Which was good...? But at the same time, she called him 'Wendigo', and that was concerning. Had video gotten out from what happened at the Which Wich?

Admittedly that was a stupid question, of course there had been video footage; everyone had phones now... save for Jericho, but hey, he never needed one before. Jericho startled some, as if physically realizing his thoughts were getting away from him again, rambling as if he were talking outright.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)

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Alexander Dalton


Really, Sup? He couldn't have thought of anything better to say? A simple Hi would have been more polite and probably less awkward. Well the damage was done and hindsight tended to be 20/20 in the end. When she turned her head to look him over Alex swore she looked annoyed. Great, I must have butted in at a bad time. Way to go man, you just know how to make an entrance don't you? He was quickly wondering why he had even walked over instead of head back home. He must look like just some weird dude right now. And what if he said he was a fan of the band? then he would probably look more like a creep if anything. And Alex stood helpless as his train of thought became even more negative.

"Sup back atcha," She acknowledged him before turning her attention back to the bird. Yeah, she seemed annoyed alright. Not a surprise there though, Alex was used to this kind of situation. comes with the territory of being socially awkward. After being snubbed it was looking like a great idea to just apologize and head back home. or maybe head on back over to Dean's and get his hands on some of his mothers famous cooking. Just when Alex was taking a step top leave she pushed herself up from the fence and pointing her cigarette in Alex's direction.

"I know your face," Wait really? he stopped and looked over sat her. Did he somehow have a recognizable face? No that wasn't it unless the two somehow lived near one another without knowing it. Maybe she just so happened to make it a policy to remember her fans faces or something? now that was even more unlikely, "The Terrace, two weeks back, front row." . . . . Or not. Alex's posture relaxed as he put his bag down, grinning sheepishly now. "You were there, weren't you?"

"Guilty as charged. I think I've been to just about all of your shows since my buddy introduced me to you guys at that garage show over the summer." Funny that he didn't even want to go during that time. Dean had to practically drag Alex to that party. Alex only going along and not resisting further to not accidentally reveal his difficult to move weight . . . .or accidentally toss the poor guy. "I think I have a physical copy of your second album somewhere. I swear I've never pirated a song haha."

He paused for a moment and looked over Where he had last seen a bird to find just some dude. He almost flinched and just stared for a bit, wondering if the guy had always been there. Granted Alex had a bad habit of staring at the ground as he walked, which would explain how he hadn't seen him. But he was sure this guy wasn't here a minute ago. Alex raising an eyebrow in suspicion. He swore there was something about the guy that he recognized, but just couldn't put a finger on. After another moment passed He broke his stare and turned back to Vic. The idea that a member of what had to be his favorite band somehow recognized him of all people still leaving a bit of a smile on his face. "So anyways, sorry if i came off a bit weird there when i came over. Wasn't too sure if it was you or not and I didn't want to seem like some random creepy dude. we have enough of those running around anyway." It felt a little like those stories you hear about celebrities or other famous people. you think its gonna be intimidating and forget they they are just people like you. It kind of surprised Alex how calm he was talking to someone he barely knew. and usually he had to be in costume for that.

Alex still kept an eye on the guy with what looked to be face paint on him. Alex kep felling like he knew the man from somewhere but couldn't place him. Where did that bird disappear too? And how did this guy just appear without him knowing it?. The thought of it being related to a parahuman kept crossing his mind. Which kept Alex on guard ever so slightly. God he was getting used to this stuff now wasn't he? It was better to wait for the guy to speak up. Alex not too sure what to say to the guy now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)

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"... Wasn't too sure if it was you or not and I didn't want to seem like some random creepy dude. We have enough of those running around anyway."

"You bet," Vic said, giving a sideways glance to the skull faced boy tucked behind her. She held her hand out for the blonde to shake, wiping the grazed palm on her shorts first, "God, you really are a fan. I mean, a hard copy? Even my own brother YouTube'd to MP3'd that shit. I'm flattered. Really." She could feel her chest swelling with pride... on the inside. On the outside, she kept the demeanor of not giving a damn. Sometimes, she wondered if her face was versatile enough for any other expression. "I'm Vic. If you hadn't googled that already, creep," she teased, the corner of her mouth tweaking up as she did so.

She settled back into the fence as she remembered a tidbit from the band's history the guy would probably be interested in, "Hey, you know, you're not even close to the shit we've dealt with. Back about a year ago, when we were touring the state, we had this girl who kept showing up backstage, demanding that we take her with us. You know, in return for sex." She ground her cigarette in the fence post, puffing out the last of the smoke from her lungs. "Told her we didn't take on groupies, she didn't take no for an answer. We'd kick her out, she'd hitchhike her way after us." She finished the story as casually as she began it, then her eyes misted over as she reflected on the memory. What she'd left out of the story was that they had to get the police involved and that the girl was a teenage runaway they ended up taking with them to drop her back home. So, really, the girl had gotten what she wanted in the end. Somewhat. "She was a good kid, really."

Vic's phone went off in her pocket and she fished it out to check it without so much as an 'excuse me'. There was a message from her front man, but as she went to check it she saw her own reply to whoever the hell Ρεκαλ was. She'd gotten no response back from them... good? Her face involuntarily went slack as she saw it and began thinking about it again. She managed to shake off the paralysis and read Donovan's message, though the sickness in her stomach was there to stay. She dropped her phone back in her pocket and lifted herself from the fence with a sigh.

"I gotta go," she announced. She tossed her cigarette in a bin and dropped her skateboard wheel-down on the ground, stomping a foot down on it. She turned back to the two behind her, the fan and the Changer. She tapped her finger against her leg a few times, flickered her eyes between them hesitantly, then turned her head away. “See you boys around, I guess.” She skated down the slope then skidded to a stop in the bottom of bowl.

“Hey!” She shouted, looking up at them from below, “You got anything on later?!”





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Vic strutted into the garage, the people she'd met literally just this afternoon in tow. The members of I Really Hope We Don't Crash were fiddling with cords and warming up their instruments when she announced her presence with a small, “Hey guys.”

A dirty blonde immediately called out to her, “It would be nice if you could help up with the set up for once, you know.”

She shrugged. “Don't need to. The kit just stays here. No cords or nothing.”

He looked like he wanted to argue some more, but was distracted by the two figures ghosting her, “Who are they supposed to be?” Vic glanced over her shoulder at them.

“Alright,” she said in preparation for what was to come, “This is Alex,” she gestured to him as she said his name, “And Jericho.” She waved at the skull-faced Changer, whose skull tattoo had been shrunk a significant portion for this meeting. He looked... not so scary anymore. Like a normal, decent-looking person. Taking the face masking tattoo away would do wonders for his social life.

She allowed them time to give their own greetings, all while she pondered whether Wendigo/Jericho had given her his real name. Surely he didn't. Did he? He didn't seem to hold a Cape's secret identity in high regard, or his own secrecy, really. It must've been nice not to have those limitations. While on the subject of Wendigo, a classified villain, she surely had to be thinking about how she'd led, no, lured such a villain under the promise of food to her address and the repercussions of doing so. No? Alright. She didn't give a shit, then. Typical.

“Alex, Jericho,” she started again and began pointing around the garage, “The big bear-looking fellow is Rudy, red-head with the eye-bags is Zach, and the asshole,” she jabbed her thumb back at the dirty blonde behind her, “Is Donovan. Our leading man.”

“So what are you guys here for? Our drummer's ass or the free show,” Zach shot in their direction, his teasing directed more towards Vic than the two completely innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. Vic was taking off her jumper at the same time and immediately ditched it in his face. She sat down in front of the drum set in her black tank top.

“They're here to watch us rehearse,” she said exasperatedly, “And they're holding the pizza, so be fucking nice.”

Jericho and Alex immediately found themselves pounced upon by Rudy and Zach. Donovan stayed behind, eyeing Vic down.

“Seriously, who are these people and why'd you invite them here,” he said in a low voice to her.

“Well, Alex is a fan of the band,” Vic explained slowly enough for a toddler to understand, “And Jericho... Jericho is...” She looked at him from across the garage. Nothing much she could say about him without giving up his Cape identity. “He was hanging at the skate park. He's cool. What's it matter? It's my garage.”

Donovan just shrugged, backing away from her defensive stance, “I guess it doesn't.” He regarded her (as she deliberately avoided his eyes) before managing to squeeze out, "Are you alright?"

Before he got any response, Rudy and Zach returned to their instruments, pizza grease covering their hands. “Are we ready or what?”

“Start with Knock Out, or would you rather...”

"Yeah, alright, to warm up. We can jam to that."

"We're not gonna skip working the new track just cos Vic made us an audience, right?"

Vic looked over at Jericho and Alex, eyes shining brightly. “You boys get comfortable,” she called over to them with a grin, “And, uh, protect your ears somehow.”

She tapped her drumsticks together four times, and the band kicked in. Loud.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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The alarm blared, filled with static because Kayle didn’t believe in having music wake him up. He wanted the sound to be something that he didn’t want to listen to, for fear of falling back asleep to the melodic sound of someone smashing a cymbal over and over again. Kayle reached up a hand, slapping the ‘off’ switch to his alarm and he sat up slowly, rubbing his eyes to get the morning sand out of them. 5am, much sooner than he needed to be up for work or any other social obligation, but it was needed for his morning routine. He got up and made his way across his apartment.

His home away from home, his apartment was a pretty standard studio layout save that it was probably a bit more spacious than some others. There was only one closed off room, that being the bathroom. Everything else was open concept, with each corner of the place dedicated to a different amenity. His bed and dresser were set off to the right of the front door. It sat right next to the bathroom, which housed a standing shower and the basics, nothing fancy and not overly large. Honestly, some days it was like trying to do his business in a closet, but most of the time it didn’t bother him.

The kitchen was on the left of the apartment from the door, with a standalone counter between it and the rest of the apartment. It was nice enough looking with marble counter top, although the years hadn’t been particularly kind to it as chips and scuffs could be seen all over the surface. There was a fridge, stove, microwave and more than enough cabinets to house whatever utensils he had. It was the standard fare, a bit condensed just like the bathroom but it was what it was. The wall directly opposite to the door was where all his recreation stuff was. A couch sitting opposite of a decently sized 45’ tv, hooked up with his PS4 and a laptop connected to it via a HDMI cord. In the middle of his apartment hung a punching bag, along with a treadmill and a number of smaller weights.

In the corner between the kitchen and lounge area lay sit an Easel with a half finished painting, surrounded by all sorts of artistic supplies ranging from paints and brushes to odd trinkets and tools that shouldn't have a use for such a past time yet were covered in different colors to indicate what they were used for. The picture currently being created seemed to be a mixture of different dark colors coming together to form what appeared to be a hallway covered in decay or crumbling to dust. To a casual observer, it was a somewhat organized chaos, but to Kayle it was normal and home.

Giving a couple love taps to his punching bag as he walked past it, he went about his morning routine and grabbing something to eat while putting the news channel on the tv through his computer. As he buttered some toast, listening to the reporter talk about the latest and greatest cape vs villain encounters of the night, he wasn’t sure if he was happy or disappointed that he was rarely a headline. He wasn’t doing this for the recognition, he had always reminded himself of that fact, but he couldn’t help but feel underappreciated sometimes. Once in a blue moon, it would be nice to be recognized without someone screaming in fear and agony. As soon as the thought entered his mind though, it was gone, replaced by a cold and calculating reasoning of how he couldn’t allow himself to be big news.

He knew he was notorious in his own right, with a standing warrant on his head for his...rather brutal methods. At the moment though, he wasn’t at the top of the list of people who needed to be hunted down, and he needed to keep it that way. There were plenty of extremely powerful capes out there, and while he was confident in his own abilities, there was no reason to put himself in any unnecessary danger. As he munched down on some toast, there was some mention of a changer villain incident at Which Wich, which was only 10 minutes away from his place on foot. That meant they would be closed for a bit, which sucked but ultimately didn’t affect him. They had good panini’s though.

Once he had some food in his belly, he went about wrapping his hands in bandages, setting about his morning exercises as was his routine. He practiced taijutsu, which was a bit of a misnomer since taijutsu wasn’t exactly the combat style as it was more a blanket term. He had taken a bit of a number of japanese combat arts, including Karate, Judo and Akido, although he was more of a fan of the striking combat practices, the grapples and joint locks of the Judo and Akido allowed him to understand the human body better...and to use his chains to maximum effect. Not to mention if someone got the jump on him, he wouldn’t have to rely on his powers instantly.

After a hour and a half of training, a mix of weight, stamina and general combat practice, Kayle hopped into the shower and actually set about cleaning himself up for the day ahead. Once he was done, putting on a respectable polo and making sure his hair was just that proper amount of messy, he stared at the tv for a bit longer. More talks about heroes and villains that just didn’t concern Kayle, along with some traffic reports that would make getting to work a bit easier. He had the morning shift today, which after an evening shift was not really supposed to happen but he was getting a bit of overtime out of the deal so it was nice. He could use the money to pay for some things that he really wanted, like getting his bike into the shop to replace his tires. They had been getting a bit bald and he wanted to switch them out before it became a problem. With that thought in the back of his mind and double checking the time, he grabbed his bag and turned off the tv, walking out the door into the world at large a few moments later.




Having stopped only to pick up a morning bagel and some coffee, Kayle wandered into the radio station with a smile and wave to the security guard who sat there. A rather big man in the belly sense by the name of Liam. Kayle tossed him a bagel as he walked by, earning a smile and a word of thanks from the man as he continued to his ascension to the third floor where the studio was actually housed. Scanning his card at the door, he made his way into a skeleton crew of people getting ready to do the morning shift. The graveyard DJ was still in the room, finishing up his last little bit as Kayle took a drink from his coffee.

“Hey Tallion.” A voice rang out from the floor, causing Kayle’s head to spin towards the source. A beaming ball of a woman came walking towards him from down the hall.

“Morning Melissa, how’s things?”

“I’m awake and standing, so far 2 achievements this morning!” She smiled, finally reaching Kayle. Melissa Drake, a short and pudgy woman coming in at 5’4 and weighing well over what she probably should. Kayle didn’t know her exact weight, and honestly was never going to ask because that was a conversation that would be anything but pleasant. That being said, she was always a beam of sunshine in the office, quick with a smile and an encouraging word, along with a wit that often caught Kayle by surprise. Her blonde hair was pulled into a ponytail as she wiggled her fingers in front of her. “So...did you see the Wendigo last night?”

“Did I see a mythical cannibal monster?” Kayle asked, his eyebrow arching up. “Can’t say I did, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be standing here.” That response earned a light smack on his arm as Melissa huffed.

“You know damn well what I mean, isn’t Which Wich close to where you live?”

“Oh, you’re talking about that attack, yeah it caught my attention due to proximity but I missed all the excitement.”

“Aw that’s a shame...I heard he’s gross in all the right ways!” She seemed to brighten even more if that were possible. She was a complete paranormal fanatic, even though she herself didn’t have any abilities...as far as Kayle knew.

“Right ways? How can you be gross in the right way?”

“A McDonald’s burger.” She countered, causing Kayle to pause. “You say to yourself ‘never again’ after it gives you indigestion, yet you somehow end up getting another one down the road because damn it’s good.” Kayle thought about this for a moment, and recalled several times where he had done that exact thing.

“Point taken, I’m assuming it was exciting?”

“If you believe the reports, apparently there were several capes/villains right next to you. How did you miss it?”

“Unlike people who have social lives, I went home after work and slept.” Kayle countered, knowing full well that was mostly a lie considering his usual night time activity. Melissa once again slugged him in the arm. “Keep doing that, I can get a lot of money from HR.”

“A lot more from insurance if I rip it off entirely.”

“Such violence today, what have I done to earn this ire.”

“You could always come have drinks with us if you’re lacking a social life!” Melissa was talking about the rest of the DJ’s and technical staff who were fairly close and actually enjoyed each other’s company off the clock. The issue with that was that it conflicted with his other activities.

“I said lack of social life, not responsibilities.” Kayle countered, pulling upon his tried and true excuse to get out of the situation. “Besides, I’m pulling a long one today I think.”

“Yep, Chris called in sick last night, so you’re by yourself today.” Kayle rolled his eyes, turning towards the studio and looking through the window at Phillip, who gave a smile and a wave, an empty donut box sitting next to him.

“Of course he did.” Melissa moved past him, heading towards the tech booth with a smile and dual finger guns.

“Oh you’ll be fine Tallion, just turn on the charm and remember...don’t be yourself.”

“And just like that, my heart is crushed, thanks for that.” Kayle smiled, looking over at her.

“Anytime champ!” Melissa ended on, entering the tech booth soon after. Kayle looked into the studio, waiting for the red light to turn off indicating that Phillip was off the air so Kayle could take over. It was going to be a long day, might as well get started.




It had been a long day.

Without Chris in the recording studio, Kayle had had to fill in for the silences and the bouts between music himself. While he wasn’t opposed to the idea, having to amp himself up to 11 all the time without someone to take the weight off was a bit stressful. Luckily Melissa had been making food and coffee runs for him in between things, really his saviour in his time of need. However, his time was nearly over. Melissa gave the signal that the song was about to end and Kayle gave a nod. As the song ended, Kayle forced a fake smile on himself. “Welcome back everyone, that was Big Empty by Stone Temple Pilots and I’m Tallion, leading you through the evening drive home from work. I hope all of you are enjoying the day, which has remained beautiful all throughout.” Kayle looked up to see Melissa being pulled away from her station.

“Now for those of you on your way home, let me hit you with a bit of knowledge to hopefully make your drive a bit safer for everyone involved. The 9th freeway going south is clogged up due to an overturned semi, so avoid it if you can. It would be in your best interest to avoid going anywhere near the 1900 block of Macarthy as there is currently a cape vs villain showdown that so far has left several people injured and thousands in collateral damage. There’s also another fight of similar proportions taking place in the south end, near the Ommitton Junction. If you can, take a detour and save yourself potentially life threatening situations.” Melissa poked her head back into the window, making the sign for Kayle to keep going. Shit, he was going off script and he knew he could get preachy at times like these.

“What else, what else…” Kayle flipped through his papers, looking for any kind of sign or piece of paper that he could use to fill the time in. “So for those of you who know my general home location, you creepy creepers you, a lot of you know that Which Wich was shut down this morning because of a supposed villain attack. The names Wendigo and Freischutz keep coming up as the main instigators in the situation, but there have been reports of possibly undocumented paranormals in the area. So tell me, what are your thoughts on those who are unrecorded or otherwise not registered? Should we force the paranormals to register? Should we ease up on this standard? Should we instigate new rules that change the field entirely? Let’s hear your thoughts on the matter! Tell me how you really feel!”

Melissa stumbled back into the booth and pressing a few buttons before looking up at Kayle and nodding. “But before we get to answering some of those calls, we have our local segment coming up. Where the big city of Capetown gives recognition to those who are more musically inclined as opposed to super powered. First up, from a little band called ‘I Really Hope I Don’t Crash; A Morning Mist at Night. You’re listening to it here, at 56.7 Kodiak.” Kayle got up as the red light indicated he was no longer live, wandering into the hall where Melissa met him. “What’s going on?” He asked.

“Sorry, there was a potential clash going on nearby...everyone was prepping to evacuate.” Kayle let his head roll back as he closed his eyes. “Luckily the Cape caught the douche canoe, so we’re fine.”

“Yaaaaay.” Kayle said with an exasperated sigh. “How much collateral damage are we talking?” Melissa gave a squeely little sound that reminded Kayle of a slowly opening door.

“It’s delayed Mandy...she’s going to be an hour late…” Kayle stared at Melissa, before wandering back into his recording studio. “I’ll get you some more coffee!” she yelled after him. Kayle let the door close, sitting at the table and letting his head lay against the table, allowing the music to wash over him as he realized that it felt like he had been here forever.




It was actually an hour and a half later that Mandy finally showed up to relieve Kayle, who did his best to put on a smile, but it was already much later than he intended to get out of his work, and now he wasn’t sure if he should even bother trying to scour the streets today. As he got to his bike he made the decision to simply take a drive through the streets and see if he came across anything. He wouldn’t go on his full patrol tonight, but maybe something would happen that he could quickly divert to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)

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A wide smile split Jericho's face, ears throbbing painfully at the sudden explosion of sound the band brought to life. Thrumming in his bones and his blood in equal measure. He set the pizza down where he could, focus torn between the smell of the- fuck it. He took a slice before he completely focused on the band; eyes wide and taking in every movement he could. He also took note of the noise, the sounds ripping forward from the drums and the strings. After a short pause, he found himself thrumming along to the notes that rose from the bass, the inside of his throat rippling just barely as his vocal cords stretched and shifted to mimic the sound. Without ever meaning to, or thinking about it, he was causing oscillation between his 'voice' and the bass from Rudy's strings.

A nearly imperceptible slight, but one that at the least Jericho noticed, and quickly stamped out by clearing his throat and turning away from the band. He had been staring, but the Changer had hoped that Rudy hadn't been the target of his gaze: though the bass player could later testify that yes, Jericho was staring really, really hard.

The Changer turned again, humming softly under his breath and continuing to listen to the band play as his hand reached out for another slice of pizza. Inhaling it before quickly grabbing another, and another... and another. On the right side of his face, where Alex stood, his tattoo pulsed in time with each swallow; tendrils of ink crawling out from underneath the skull and visibily wriggling as the food made its way to Jericho's stomach. For any who saw, Alexander being the unfortunate singularity for that group, it was a gruesome sight. The tattooed boy hadn't ever had his trademark, mark, so small, and thus hadn't ever noticed what it did when he ate. And as if to add more disgusting movement to the already disquieting appearance of the tattoo; the tendrils themselves pulsed as well, some of the veins beside them turning dark as the ink that made up the skull, before lightening again.

All the while, innocent as the sun was bright, Jericho just kept eating. One whole pizza, inhaled like air through a drowning swimmers mouth. Oops. "Oh- Uh... huh. Better stop..." came the mumbled thought, cheeks puffed out with the pizza still not yet swallowed. He turned back around then, crouching down and smiling with closed lips at the band playing in front of him- yet again finding his sight trailing towards Rudy and his bass... before flicking back to lock on the drums that Vic played. Why am I so distracted? It's not like I haven't heard music before... I flew over plenty of concerts, so what gives? And as if he could answer his own thoughts, he asked them.

Meanwhile, for the blonde vigilante; recognition poured into his mind. A dog ballooning in size, surrounded by ink; a man standing in front of a counter with a skull painted on his face; a bird, one the size of a dog, with feathers patterned like the skull on... Jericho's jaw... Huh. Imagine that. Wouldn't it have been really ironic if Jericho was the Changer from the Which Wich? But that would've been ridiculous- There was no goddamn doubt.

And innocent, ignorant, Jericho didn't even think that anyone other than Vic would recognize him. Because really, who would've thought anything about the barely fist sized skull print on his jaw? It was just a tattoo. Nothing special.

For a while, long enough that Jericho stopped counting the beats in the songs and instead just listened easily, the music rang out from the garage. It held the Changer captive, his attention never once wavering from the band 'fore him. While the vigilante was still reeling, still parsing the identity of the shapeshifter from the night precious. Perceptive gaze catching the tendrils of ink that rapidly writhed under the skin of the changer, flowing from one ear, around the back of the neck, and up to the base of the ofher. Dimming the volume of the music just enough to lessen the chance for some tinnitus. For the one who was just close enough to see, it was impossible to miss. Those that played the music, wouldn't be any wiser.
======================================
One hour, thirty minutes later:

Jericho found himself 'walking' home soon thereafter, yet another wide smile splitting his lips. Alex had been looking at him a little weird after a little while of being there, but hey oh well! He had enjoyed himself, and had a few ideas for what he would be doing at the bank tomorrow- oh Christ he was supposed to be there at a certain time, wasn't he... shit. Someone's phone would just have to do. Later. After some sleep. The three band members were a blast to be around, and some part of Jericho was hoping none of them had any checks or something to cash in tomorrow. It would really suck to have to end up scaring one of them... Or worse. Mhhh.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia)

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



Jasmin Lehtinen had just taken off her shirt and laid down on her futon in her apartment when she heard three quick raps on the door. She groaned, and sat up, her midriff cramping and her body aching from standing all day. "One sec!" She hollered, quickly throwing a tank top on and some short, almost booty-shorts. When she opened the door, she was greeted by Lucas' shit-eating grin and ugly sunglasses.

"I can tell by how you dressed that you were expecting me. We can take a detour on the wa-"
"Ew!" Jasmin exclaimed. "Stop hitting on me. It's creepy."
Lucas only laughed, leaning against the wall just outside the door, before asking, "I thought you were going to go to the hangout tonight, after work?"
"I just got off," She retorted, "And I'm really tired. I don't think I'm gonna go, tonight."
Lucas shook his head, and pulled out his phone. "I got a text from the boss-lady. We're going to meet at the hideout to discuss a new job. She wants you in, this time."

Jasmin's eyes widened. She joined the team a few weeks ago, and so she was the newest member. They had their first job since she'd joined a few night after she had done so, but she opted to stay out of it since she was the newest member. This time, they'd be expecting her to go along. She ran her hand through her hair and gave out a long sigh, blowing the breath through her bubbled-lips, before it switched to coming out of her nose. "I don't..."

"You're going to meet her, this time." At that, Jasmin's head snapped up, locking eyes with Lucas. His face was set, hard, as if he didn't trust her. Since Jasmin had joined the group, named "The Congenial," she had met all of the members except for the boss, always instead receiving information from one of the other members. All she knew about the boss was that she was a female named Recall. No PCRT record, no Parahumans Online mention, nothing. She had learned from the other members that their boss was mysterious, not often showing herself, and never showing her identity,
even if all of the others in the group were on a first name basis. Jasmin knew that the others trusted their leader about as much as she did, but she paid well for their jobs. Or so Jasmin had been told.
"Tell me more about her before I meet her, then."

Lucas sighed, and rubbed his cheek, as if it were an unconscious thinking gesture. "Okay, Recall. We don't know a whole lot about her. Ray did some digging, and we can’t say what she does as far as his powers go, but she’s one of the more powerful players in town. She considers herself a chess master. You know, like a master strategist, tactician. She controls more than half of downtown with squads of top notch personnel in the highest end gear. Ex-military from around the world, mercernaries, and she apparently has even bought out many villain groups like ours. If she even has powers, she’s the only one in her main organization who does. But most importantly; she's a ghost. She controls a lot behind the scenes, and people don't even know it. We're pretty certain she has many people in the PCRT and probably even the HLA. But whoever she is, she can afford to just flush thousands down the toilet and give to us for our stupid little jobs."

Jasmin's eyes widened. That was a bombshell of information to drop, though it didn't surprise her a whole lot.
She already knew she was mysterious, and mysterious and powerful aren't an uncommon combination.
"So we don't even know if she's a parahuman."
"If she isn't, it's weird that she dresses up in costume. But we don't know what her power is."

Great. Jasmin thought. Ten minutes later, they were at the hideout, which was really less of a hideout, and more of an apartment building that the team had rented, stocked with snacks, a television, several gaming consoles, and two guest rooms if someone ever needed to crash somewhere that wasn't home. Jasmin tried her best to avoid coming here, as she didn't want to get too attached to the team. As Jasmin and Lucas entered the door, they heard the voices of a guy and a girl, making exclaimations, laughing, and the occasional grunt. Walking up the stairs revealed Ray and Mark, the other two members of the team. Mark's cape name was Sandstorm, on account that the PCRT thought he could control sand, when, in fact, he can control any form of powerder, be it big granules or very fine dust, he can control sand, iron shavings, dirt, dust, ash, flour, cornmeal, and more. Ray, on the other hand, had the cape name Seraphim, which Jasmin thought was a really cool name. She could create small portals to other worlds and anchor them to objects. She usually did this to give herself armor and wings made out of portals to hundreds, or thousands, of other worlds, making he look like a walking art mosaic. If something were to hit her portal-armor, it would get slices and distributed across several different universes, or at least that's how Ray described it.

Lucas and Jasmin joined them in the couches surrounding the TV, Lucas joining in the games while Jasmin opted to just watch. There was no discussion of the job, and Jasmin assumed everything would be explained when the boss showed herself. Twenty minutes later, there was a knock on the apartment door.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Capetown, TX. 09/18/2017, 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: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush)

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#, as written by Tanman
◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
Image



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)

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Alexander Dalton


"God, you really are a fan. I mean, a hard copy? Even my own brother YouTube'd to MP3'd that shit. I'm flattered. Really."

Alex's smile grew into a sheepish grin. "Personally I find the sound quality better then straight digital. Call me old fashioned I guess. He gave A bit of a wink before Vic introduced herself. Cringing a little at the playful jab. He let out a nervous chuckle. " I'm Alexander, though everyone just calls me Alex." Not like I know a whole lot of people though.

Vic's story wasn't too uncommon with bands. Heck one would probably state that you couldn't be considered famous until you had one or two crazy "devoted" fans. When she went to check her phone Alex took A moment to say hi too the guy Vic had been talking with moments ago. I know I've seen this guy before somewhere. Before he could get a chance to ask any questions Vic spoke up breaking away Alex's attention. She had to head off. while disappointed He didn't have a chance to chat longer, it was understandable that she probably had better things to do then hang out with some fans. He gave a wave as she mounted her board and began riding off. Maybe now I can question this guy a bit.

Hey!” Interrupted yet again. Alex would have been annoyed at this point but looked back and at the bottom of the bowl's slope. “You got anything on later?!” Alex's eyebrows furrowed in confusion before he gave a shrug. "Nothing i cant do later, why do you ask?"




Jericho And him followed Vic into the garage where the rest of the band were finishing setting up. Vic introduced the two of them to the others. “The big bear-looking fellow is Rudy, red-head with the eye-bags is Zach, and the asshole, is Donovan. Our leading man.” Alex gave A wave to everyone and hoped he wasn't smiling like an idiot right now.

“So what are you guys here for? Our drummer's ass or the free show,” Alex's eyes almost bugged out of his head. It was when Vic suddenly pelted Zach with her jumper that Alex realized the question wasn't really directed at him or Jericho. Shaking his head, he simply smirked. though his face went A shade of pink for a moment. "Right, like that would ever happen. Just a fan that got invited for a free show."

Opening one of the pizza boxes on Vic's cue, He was soon quickly run up on by Rudy and Zach. It was Zach who asked if he knew Alex from somewhere. After having snarfing down half of an entire slice. Wow that didn't take long. The ice broke fairly quickly. Rudy recalling a scene during one of the shows just last month when Alex got clocked in the face in the front row of the show after trying to keep a heavily drunk fan from climbing on stage. Nobody could explain how the poor dude had broken a few of his fingers and Alex had learned that He wasn't too terrible at faking being hurt.

"There is no way you are 19. I call Bull." Zach pointed his second pizza slice objectively at Alex. "You are at least 21." Alex simply gave a somewhat smug look. "I'm mature for my age I guess. Besides does it mater?" He wasn't too sure how the conversation had taken this turn in the first place. While he tried thinking of something a little more witty to say both the men motioned that it was about time for them to get started and returned to their instruments. pretty sure they didn't whip off their hands. not that he cared. wasn't like they were his instruments anyway. he was about to get a personal show after all. Donovan and Vic got to their places shortly after.

And then is got loud. The kind of loud that Alex was able to feel in his skull.




The alarm clock blasted. Alex sighed loudly and rolled in his bed, It was morning already apparently. Great. Time to start the day. He moved like a zombie while going about his business. After the practice last night Jericho had bounced. And Alex had only just figured out who the guy was. Hard to forget that ink stuff crawling across his skin and that skull. Having had tried tailing him for a while and failing to keep track of the guy somehow, Alex just ended up going back home late. He still had a project he wanted to get done after all. Glancing at his work desk showed the fruits of his late night labors. A custom built mask helmet with new armor pieces to match for the costume. Packages had arrived while he had been out. Containing the last pieces he had needed for the helmet. He walked over and picked it it. not being able to help feeling proud of his work. It looked like a modern spin on a knights helmet, but sleeker and less clunky. The anti-flash goggles and sound filters fit perfectly and appeared to function as intended. Lucky him since he payed quite a bit for the tinker tech. He put the helm down and checked the calendar. It was the eighteenth. Shit. He was going to be late for class. "Oooooh I'm so dead." Aegis would have to wait. Right now Alexander Dalton scrambled to get out the door and not miss his first class of the day . . . and hopefully not pass out in the middle of it.

He felt like he was forgetting something, but shook his head as be bounded down the street to catch his bus. Probably nothing important. What Alex had failed to recall was that he had left a slip of paper that had his number on it back at Vic's garage almost on a whim. If he could recall though he more then likely would die of embarrassment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul)

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Image


Jericho hated mornings, hated dreary mornings, in fact, he hated cold mornings. Especially when he was politely reminded that he had to go and provide some amount of support to a potentially dangerous villain group. That early wake up trepidation was much unwanted. Heh, like any villain group wasn't dangerous, honestly he just wanted a day where capes would just... Sit the fuck down already. Jeez. "Fuck I'm rambling in my own head, great... Signs of insanity, flag number one! Talking to your- I'm doing it right fuckin' now great jeez." A heaved sigh left the Changers mouth, eyes impassively looking over the scene that he had managed to hear upon waking up on the bleak morning, bleary with sleep.

Below his perch on the apartment buildings, which he found to be in the 'worse' part of town; made him laugh, that. Anyways! Below him, some poor man was being hounded by a pair of rather unpleasant men; they all seemed homeless, especially the chasers... But hey, you should never judge people until they prove you otherwise, right? "Hey! Stop fucking moving! Just give us whatever you got, and stay OFF Splatterblood's turf! We ain't got the time to waste with fuckers like you!" Came the shouted words from below, ringing in Jericho's ears as easily as the lies under them. There wasn't a single doubt in his mind that whoever was down there, were posing as either gang-members, or were actually part of the 'kingpin' group that, that one chick had warned him about. Either way, they were making a ruckus, and it was entirely unnecessary this early in the morning.

Gaze locked on the three below, Jericho began chuckling under his breath, the absurdity of what he was witnessing actually drawing some amount of amusement out of him. Only one of them could be considered homeless, and that was Jericho himself! These idiots were all dressed like at LEAST middle class citizens; the two muggers wearing 'blood' splattered clothing that, to the never ending amusement of the Changer above, was torn and frayed at random parts. Honestly, what the fuck. The blood was obviously fake, and if the idiot below actually thought they were a threat then maybe he deserved to give up his money. Or wait... What if instead, Jericho could act like a passing hero! Maybe he could even- CRACK.

The sound of a gun going off, then an audible thud, was enough to sharpen Jericho's focus entirely. Wow. That was a lot of blood. The man being mugged was leaning against the wall now, a fist sized hole blasted into his shoulder as the 'thug' across from him waved an unfamiliar looking gun around. A pistol? Yeah. Maybe a revolver; whatever it was, it was apparently a pretty concerning weapon. That was a big hole in the arm there. And now the guy was screaming, maybe the pain finally registered in his head. The thugs kept their distance, screaming back while Jericho took note of something interesting. It was... Quieter around them, and looking around, people kept walking as if they couldn't hear or see the action that was going on just down the side street. The air itself even seemed to shimmer, and after a very quick change to his ears; heightening the sensitivity on the damn things, Jericho could hear just how different the air was now. Thicker, like someone had draped a blanket over the air itself; he could feel the pressure on his skin, and his newly sensitive ears could just barely make out the words below now. A scuff of his foot told him all he needed to know: muffled. Quieted to the point that he just knew that no-one else would've heard it, even if they had been trying to listen... Or had been on the roof with him.

"Of course it's a goddamn, motherfuckin', man... I hate capes so much. Eheh, I hate my self so much!" Rambling again, adrenaline filling his blood, and excitement at the prospect that was happening down below, Jericho gave a wide grin; disturbingly so. It wasn't the smile of someone who was leaping to protect the innocent, but rather the 'smile' a cat would've made as they caught that silly stupid mouse. If cats could smile, unless you were Jericho, then of course they could!

Another, softer, CRACK made its way up into Jericho's ears, and the Changer made his choice right then and there. Ink flowed around him, and as it shifted out of his ears and into his tail-bone, he couldn't help but keep smiling. The looks on their faces would be so worth it. The ink coalesced around his hands and feet, with a long, chitinous, scorpion-like tail rearing up and above his back and head. He leaned over then, placed his hands on the wall of the apartment building, and stuck. Like some sort of spider-man or something. His feet stuck too, when he began crawling downward, tail pressed flat against the wall of the building. The three men below were unaware all the same; up until the thug holding the gun finally took a moment to check his surroundings; hello there scorpion man thing.

Startled shouting, a warning to 'back the fuck up', before yet another CRACK sounded from the revolver in hand; slamming into Jericho's lower spine and tearing through like it was made of butter. Welp. There was blinding pain and burning, wow, that was HURTS SO FUCKING MUCH and then Jericho found himself on the ground, blankly staring into the eyes of the unarmed thug. The two were muttering to each other, pointing and whispering quietly... The man that was originally getting mugged was still there, but without being able to hear as well as he might otherwise have been able, it was impossible to tell if he was even alive. Oh no wait, there was some movement.

A turn of the head, blinking owlishly when one of the thugs stepped closer and pressed the- ow hot- end of the gun barrel against his forehead. A moment of calm, then blinding panic, then calm against... And then, without warning; anger. This motherfucker had already shot someone twice, and now had shot him! The fuck!? What was it with people who had guns? Why did they feel the goddamn need to fuckin'... Ugh. The anger built further, and for a moment, he understood what people meant by 'seeing red'. With a snarl taking over his face, Jericho made some small alterations to his appearance; mostly superficial. Mostly. The corners of his mouth split further backward, the mass there shifting and moving to his teeth as they became unsettling in their size and shape; daggers in the mouth. The scorpion tail whipped forward, and for a moment, Jericho wished he would've at least hesitated... But that moment passed as quick as it came.

The thug was screaming, and then went silent when Jericho yanked him forward by the neck- stinger tip embedded in the side of the throat of the standing man- pulled him down to face level and took a bite. There wasn't even enough time for Jericho to feel disgust at the thought of eating another human, just a quick thought of 'hmm this is different', before another bite was taken. The first went tumbling down into his stomach, and suddenly the world lit up with vibrant colors. Just a mouthful, that was all, and yet it felt as if he had eaten the stock of the Which Wich all over again! His tail ripped out of the first thug, and sank into the other- a chunk of flesh flinging from the stinger tip into the air- and sank this time into the stomach. Ink poured in, and Jericho had the grim satisfaction of feeling each pulse and throb of the 'venom' sack at the end of his tail pushing more ink into the man.

He sat up then, the Changer, and turned his head; dragging the now dead gun-toting thug with each movement. A stare down towards the street showed no difference in the people there... So he turned around and went scrambling up the building side. Corpse still held in his bear trap jaws. Only a few minutes were spent eating; the sound dampening man had run off by now- or at least Jericho thought so, maybe the one he was eating right now was the sound dampener. Who cared? This was one of the best 'meals' he had had in a while. A moment was spared when Jericho finished, leaving nothing but the clothes from the man and the gun... Before he changed his mind and pulled the gun apart; thickening the chitin around the tip of his tail until it was strong enough to crack the metal casing of the weapon- and then did so. Striking with all the force he could put in at the moment; which was more than enough to shatter the gun and then some.

A turn, moving over to the edge of the roof and peering down. Another corpse; the man who was being robbed at first... Another meal then. No one would notice, or care. Right? Oh well. The Changer thought for a moment and shifted some more mass to his tail; a grim line set to his modified maw. Striking forward as if he were going to sting the corpse from all the way on the roof; his stinger tip launched downward and pierced the back of the skull below. A long cord of sinew and muscle mass stretched from tail to stinger; wreathed in writhing ink that coiled around the muscles there. The tail yanked backwards, and so came the body; like the corpse of a bug to some horrifically human shaped spider. The blood stains could stay, but hey; another meal was worth the evidence left. His modified teeth sank into the skull of the new cadaver, and only ten minutes were spent consuming this one too; letting the clothes drop back to the alley below. Within thirty minutes, Jericho was walking down the street in the shape of a malamute. Fur thick and glossy, with the skull pattern on his face giving him away to anyone who would recognize such a marking... But who cared.

He had murdered and then eaten one person today, left another in desperate need of a hospital before ink-poisoning really fucked up his day. Jericho hoped that man didn't get there in time. He had also eaten another who was already dead; and strangely... Felt no remorse. No regret- he didn't know any of them, and why should he care? He wasn't a hero, and he certainly wasn't going to become one now. Murder is bad kids. At least the mass provided from the two corpses was enough that he could keep going for a few days without eating. He thought so at least, but today he'd be using quite a bit of mass to rob a bank, and he wouldn't be eating anyone there, that's for sure. The Changer knew he got away with this because of the circumstances; no one could hear what was happening, and they were well enough out of sight anyways. A lucky break.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA)

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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 10:10 Am. 57°F,
Partly Cloudy (Sprinkling). Arc 2: Confluence.



Josh McDaniel hated school. He, like most high school students, felt that there was little need for him to learn calculus, trigonometry, or British literature. However, unlike most students, his opinion was mostly fueled by the fact that he was guaranteed a full, government-sponsored, scholarship to virtually any college he wanted, and guaranteed a well-paying, full time job afterwards with the HLA. His hatred for high school was somewhat abated in his Parahumans Ethics and Parahumans Studies classes. Technically electives to other students, they were a required class for him, unbeknownst to his teachers but known to school administration, because he was in the THA. Each class took half of a semester, and combined they gave students an elective point in either Science or Art, but most students joined it because they were mildly interested in parahumans, vainly wanted to learn how to become parahumans, extreme cape geeks, or just thought it'd be a fun class or an easy A. Josh didn't think the college style lectures were fun or that the multi-page essays were easy. Nevertheless, the class was interesting.

Josh enjoyed the class, and so though there were good and bad qualities about it, it was the one class that he ever spoke aloud in, whether to other classmates, or to answer the teacher (who called himself "Professor P" even thought it's not a college class). Josh was quiet, reserved, and had very few friends, though he was not the edgy loner type that many of the school's emos or goths would try to play off. Josh used to be a popular kid, even what some might consider a jock. He was on the school's football team, had multiple girlfriends, lots of friends, and made good grades. Then, when his trigger event came about, Josh became reclused and isolated afterwards, losing most of his friends, dropping the ones that remained with him, leaving the football team, and breaking up with his girlfriend. It left him traumatized, and it only worsened the fact that rumors spread. Josh attempted suicide. He would hear whispers about it in the halls, teachers would act nicer to him, and the world felt a lot more condescending. Things got worse when he joined the THA, and though he started making friends with some of the team, it was a far cry from what it used to be. Annoyed, Josh found himself zoning out in the one class of the day he somewhat enjoyed, and turned his attention back to Professor P's lecture, after hearing a student ask a question he didn't quite catch.

"You know, it's just human nature. Chaos in a system, selfishness, mistakes, stupidity, people doing the wrong things with the tools they have at their disposal. I once met a powerful parahuman, she was an animal biokinetic. She could change any animal's biologies, and she used it to sell hybridized animals to circuses and zoos. I asked her, 'Why don't you make a mosquito that cures malaria?' It was a simple question. She had a fix on the tip of her fingers that could do what scientists have been trying to do with genes for years. She could fix ethical dilemmas by making domesticated cows not have the ability to feel pain, and make their milk contain all sorts of important things like vitamins and antibacterials safe for human consumption. She could make GMO's that seem perfectly natural with no mess ups, no drawbacks. Now, a lot of people trust parahumans even less than they trust scientists doing genetic modification, and some companies wouldn't accept that even if it meant a possible profit turn. But there'd be a company or two that would, and she'd make money off of making things better. So, why didn't she? It's simple. Parahumans are humans, but they are also humans who have had the worst happen to them. About 70% of parahumans, according to studies, have powers related to their trigger events. These powers remind them of the worst aspect, part, or day of their lives, every day. A parahuman who's trigger event was being ignored by everyone, including family, ironically gained the power of self-invisibility. Things like that. Some parahumans repress this, or even better, overcome their trauma and become heroes. But even more chose not to work for the greater good, to instead be rogues, pursue their own small goals or dreams, or instead not use their powers at all. It doesn't always pay to be a people-pleaser, and these parahumans can't be faulted for their choices in life, just as each of you in this class may not be faulted for not wishing to become a doctor, surgeon, or EMT to save lives.

Now, everyone turn in their assignments about a famous parahuman who's faced ethical dilemmas in their careers, and... Mr. Dalton!" Professor P. raised his voice, and Josh turned his head to see one of his classmates, Alexander, jerk his head up as if he'd just been asleep on his desk. "Please don't sleep in my class." Professor P requested, before going back to telling the class to turn in their assignment that was due today. Josh himself had done his assignment on Dr. Charles Manton, the man who "discovered" the Manton Effect, because it made it easy for his assignment to tangent off onto describing the Manton Effect to give a higher word count with less effort. There could have been other choices, like Suit, the Tinker member of the Triumvirate, basically the real-world Iron Man, but better. Or maybe someone like the parahuman villain who's cape identity name was literally "God," but parahumans have done worse than defile religions. In the end, Manton seemed like an easy choice for his assignment, and probably a choice more than a few other students would have chosen as well, causing Professor P to not have too much interest in Josh's own paper.

He passed his paper to the person sitting in the desk in front of him, then turned to Alexander, "Not getting enough sleep last night, man?" He didn't know why he asked, in particular. He and Alex hadn't really communicated much before, maybe if Alexander had been around before Josh's trigger event, Josh might have tried to be his friend just like every one else, but as far as Josh knew, Alexander moved to Capetown High from somewhere else, and he hadn't seen Alexander in middle school. He was startled from his train of thought when his phone buzzed, a group text with a couple dozen numbers attached, saying "Cape bank robbery in progress, PCRT members down, requesting HLA backup. THA members to stay in school." His pulse slowed, and he hadn't even realized that his heart had been pounding in his chest. They were expecting an Abhorrent attack within the week, and that was four days ago. Every text or call he got got him scared that this would be the one. It was inevitable.


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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 7:00 AM. 54°F,
Overcast. Arc 2: Confluence.



Jasmin Lehtinen
woke up with one of the worst headaches she's had in a while. The dull throbbing of her heartbeat wracked her brain constantly, as she struggled to muster the strength to get out of bed, and drew shaky breaths with each movement. At least the quiver in her voice as she was close to tears made her phone call to work believable, and somewhat justified. Now I just have to go fight a bunch of powerful parahumans. No biggie. She sarcastically thought, grabbing her car keys.

When she arrived at the hideout, she was no longer Jasmin, she was now Sähkö, and Mark, or rather Sandstorm, was already there. However, unlike last night, he was now in his costume, a black costume with a sand-tan top, gloves, boots, and a sand-tan cowl-scarf that hung down his back like a small semi-cape. Brown bandoliers were on his belt, and Jasmin could only guess that they were filled with various powders, or a lot of sand. Lucas, or Chrysopoeia, showed up next, in his red armor with scales of various materials, and red sunglasses and bandana. Lastly Ray, or Seraphim, showed up uncostumed, because her power created a costume for her. Sähkö checked the time, and it was ten minutes after ten o' clock. They would be striking the Adept Mages at noon. In every one of their last jobs, the HLA had been occupied elsewhere, Lucas had once told her, so they never met with the HLA and the HLA knew little about The Congenial, so it was usually lone vigilantes The Congenial fought, if there was any fight at all during a job. Lucas had suspected Recall had always set up the other distractions for their jobs, but Sähkö wondered if it was mere coincidence and that today would be their unlucky day.

So, they spent the next hour talking strategy. Sandstorm and Sähkö would take Sandstorm's car, and Chrysopoeia would follow close behind on his motorcycle, Seraphim riding bitch, both vehicles with the licence plates covered. Then they talked about who they'd be fighting. Their leader, Myrlyn (who Sähkö pictured as an old wizard dude until Seraphim mentioned it was spelled fucking weird), was a dressed in intricately blue-runed black armor with a black cloak-like cape and skirt that was open in the front. He also had a nearly-blank white ceramic mask with a hood thrown over it. Sähkö's mental image of it was weird, but Chrysopoeia said he looked like a Lord of the Rings villain or something. Apparently he had telekinetic powers that caused blue flames to appear around whatever he was using the telekinesis on, but the flames were intangible and didn't hurt or burn things. he applied this in many ways, as it was a particularly strong form or telekinesis, 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. This combination made him very deadly in a fight, though he didn't have as many powers as some of his underlings. Jeu, apparently second in command of the Adept Mages, wore black armor with red highlights and a black cape with a red inside, he also had a similar ceramic mask to Myrlyn, and a frame that made him look almost like an evil jester. He had many powers such as enhanced timing, enhanced balance, enhanced accuracy, and illusory flames, making him deadly in close quarters melee, and good at battlefield control by tricking people with flames. Third was Drow, named after the dark elves from Dungeons and Dragons, she was a super-pale girl with jet black makeup and snow white hair, wearing the same black armor as the two before her, but with green highlights. 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. Alchimyst (who Sähkö was informed also spelled his name retarded) was fourth in command, and didn't share the same theme as the three before him. He wore a drab grey hood, gas mask, and more modern apocalypse-looking gear, and he was a chemical Tinker, who made concoctions of "potions" and poisons with varying affects. Sähkö hated the utility Tinkers brought to a table, as they were usually unpredictable even with simple specialties. There were twelve more, but they didn't have time to go over a strategy to dealing with each and every one, so they tried basic general strategies of dealing with the main four, and hoped that winging it in the heat of battle would help against the rest.

Sähkö, for her part, was pretty nervous. She'd never actually been in a cape fight before, and she wasn't intent on killing anyone, even in self defense. I'm so screwed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA)

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Alexander Dalton


Good news was that Alex had made it to class with only a minute to spare. bad news was that he passed out nearly fifteen minutes into the lesson after taking just a moment to rest his head on his desk. The resulting snore followed by giggling from his classmates was more then enough to get Professor P's attention. "... Mr. Dalton!" Alexander woke as suddenly as he had drifted into sleep, jerking his head up in a mix of confusion and annoyance. Only taking a moment to remember where he was. Right, school. Just lovely. "Please don't sleep in my class." Professor P was by no means a bad teacher by Alex's standards. In fact Alex quite enjoyed the class. It gave him A chance to look at the triumphs and mistakes of past and current parahumans. He only hoped that he could learn not to make any similar ones. Even so, he didn't like suddenly being the center of attention, or upsetting who had to be one of his favorite teachers. Alex's face burned red as he attempted to pull his bangs and hat over his face.

"Sorry . . . " He mumbled more to himself then anyone else.

Their class assignment was due today. Thankfully that was something he had gotten done long before the events of last night. Alex pulled out his paper and set it passed it up along with the others. He had done his paper on Dr. Agatha Damas, a former Biological anthropologist from France that had been A part of the global research team for the continued study of parahumans and how each one uniquely functioned. While her theories on meta evolution were fascinating to say the least, it was only after she herself became a parahuman when she began releasing very "interesting" research papers. She had become a thinker type but with an odd addition. Dr. Agatha had claimed to be able to visibly see a sort of pulsating glow in the heads or torsos of parahumans when their abilities were being used. Not being able to provide much proof, she began to write about what many parahuman researchers still talk about now and again today. Genetic changes were common among many parahumans. changers aside, it wasn't unusual for new organs to suddenly grow or entire cellular structures to mutate during a trigger event. Dr. Agatha claimed to have definitive answers for the more fantastical powers and abilities. Now this was what caught Alex's attention more then anything, seeing that this could have everything to do with his own barrier powers. The woman claimed there to be an entirely new organ that would form in the body which would facilitate things such as the generation and manifestation of energies or natural phenomena. When medical tests could not help give proof to her theory, she became desperate. knowing for sure of what she saw. The next part made Alex's stomach a little uneasy. Since she had began to dissect the bodies of parahumans without any given consent or clearance. It got worse though. She was only discovered after having preformed a dissection on a living parahuman. The remaining papers of her research that had been collected after her resulting imprisonment stated something that would spur further, and vastly more human, research into what was dubbed "the Damas organ" or "Damas gland". The final pages boldly stated that the organ in question was not if ever physically present within the host. That it was a form of energy all on its own. being compared to the mind, or ones own life force. There were many scientists to this day that try and study the phantasmal Damas organ with little to no progress. though there are reports that a German research facility might have stumbled onto what could be proof.

Alexander had been lost in his own head when one of his one of his classmates turned to him. "Not getting enough sleep last night, man?" Alex blinked. He and Josh hadn't really talked much if at all. Apparently the guy tried to commit suicide once and had become a lot more distant before Alex enrolled. But given that this was school, one might as well take such kinds of stories with a grain of salt. Gossip was a dime a dozen and most of it wasn't worth memorizing anyway.

He shrugged and rested his chin on his arms crossed on his desk. "You could say that. Got to go to a private concert, got caught up in some of my hobbies and just forgot how late it was." He yawned, noticing Josh was now busy checking his phone. Alex was checking off a mental list of everything that he had done last night when he remembered the stupid, cliche thing he had back at Vic's garage. He wanted to slam his face into the desk as hard as he could, if only to try and knock some sense in to him and not break the poor innocent piece of furniture. She had either laughed it off or one of the other band members was going to call him and heckle. Probably Zach if anyone. Alex glanced over at the clock, desperately wanting school to just be over already so he didn't have to sit idly with his own thoughts.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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The alarm rang with the steady stream of static, getting progressively louder as Kayle attempted to ignore it. Today was his day off from the Radio Station, but that meant he would simply be devoting more of his time to the streets today. Eventually he slapped the alarm, turning it off and slowly sitting up from his prone position. Running his hand through his hair, he could tell it was a mess and wondered when he had actually decided to pass out last night. He had actually decided against wandering the streets last night in favor of relaxing. He had started painting, and only stopped when exhaustion had started to creep up on him. He slowly rose to his feet, walking across the apartment in nothing but his boxers as he threw a lazy swing at his punching bag.

Making his way to the kitchen section, he started brewing himself a cup of coffee and looked into his cupboards for some sort of breakfast. He was running low on food and would have to make a grocery run soon, but for now he could survive until payday. Finding nothing that he necessarily felt like eating, he closed the cupboards and instead went to the fridge. Pulling out an apple, he took a bite out of it as the coffee maker started making the telltale bubbling sounds as it filtered the caffeine substance into the large pot. Kayle wandered over to his art corner, staring at the picture as he chewed thoughtfully. The image was a black and white coloring of a long hallway. The shadows cast by the light at the end of the tunnel were formed into separate images of differing intensity. Some appeared to be small families, others weapons, but more appeared to be some kind of vice. Drugs, drink and sex. There was a small body standing in the light, casting a shadow that displayed horns on its head.

Well this was one of my more depressing creations. Kayle said, usually painting only as his whims demanded. One day he might paint something that resembles a deep pain akin to addiction only to paint something completely opposite, like a picture representing how hope can be found in all things. Granted, that’s what he saw in his paintings, the art world was terribly subjective and more often than not many people took different meanings than the artist intended. Kayle looked it over, deeming it complete and took his brush to paint his name in red coloring in the bottom right corner. He had a great selection of these, separated into ‘dark’ and ‘light’ sections, but ultimately had never done anything with them. There was no money to be made in being an artist unless you became famous.

After several minutes of studying his own work, there was a beep from the coffee machine as the appliance finally finished producing the very thing that would actually wake up Kayle from his near comatose state. As he took a cautious sip at the steaming beverage, he stared at his workout equipment and grimaced. Today was one of those days he really felt like letting himself slip, but he knew from experience that if he started down that path than it was going to end up two days, then three, then four. He couldn’t afford to let himself stop for even one day if he wanted to keep in prime physical shape to do what he wanted to do. After taking ten minutes to enjoy his coffee and flicking on the news briefly, Kayle slipped into a pair of his workout shorts and started up his morning routine.




After completing what others could consider a ridiculous morning routine for one’s day off, and spending some time getting the bare necessities that would allow Kayle to get through the next week, it was time to do some work as someone the general populace couldn’t figure out if they loved or hated. Maybe they tolerated him? Maybe they loved the idea of him but hated it in practice? There were so many shades of gray in this kind of market and profession that simply labelling people as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ was rarely the end of it. These thoughts filtered through Kayle’s mind for probably the millionth time since he started his little vigilante show as he drove his bike towards the seedier parts of town. Most of the time, Kayle kept his activities to these parts, where most of the people around were guilty of a crime somewhere down the line. Considering how destructive his abilities could get when he fully unleashed them, he had to do his best to minimize collateral damage and what better way to do that then make sure nearly everyone is a target?

Right before he started entering what could be classified as the slums/warehouse district, Kayle pulled into a back alley on his bike. There he tied his helmet up to the bike, and then chained his bike to a dumpster. He didn’t want to ride his bike directly to where he would be doing his business, especially in broad daylight seeing as he had actual plates on this thing and that would be an easy trace back to who he was. He took a moment to assess himself before setting off. He felt the familiar tug of a combat knife at his hip, a last ditch option should the enemy somehow get within hand to hand distance. He had fairly decent combat training, but it never hurt to have a helping knife when necessary. Aside from that, Kayle wore raggy blue jeans and a dark blue hoodie. It was obviously a bit ripped and torn from previous fights, but in a place such as where he was going it would fit right in.

Aside from that, he did have his phone on him that was encrypted thanks to a bit of money put aside to hire a techie to make sure that if he dropped it, someone couldn’t simply guess the password and have access to all his personal information. It was tuned to police frequency, which also relayed cape activity as well. While not all capes went through official channels when responding, it was still an advantage that helped him many a times. With those two things, that was the entirety of what Kayle carried on him. He didn’t have anything that could identify him nor anything that would link back even remotely to where he lived or what he did as a career. This was a risky business, and as such he went in with the bare essentials when he decided he was going on patrol.

With everything secured and reaffirmed, Kayle pulled his hood up and shoved his face into the collar of his hoodie. He walked out of the alleyway and started his little patrol into the shadier part of Capetown. An area filled with broken down buildings, thugs in every corner, warehouses and railroads...and not to mention a strong villain presence. Granted, Kayle wasn’t looking to take on one of the villain organizations on his own, but maybe he could catch one or two off their guard and take them out before their friends could move to engage him. Kayle looked up at the sky, nearly noon without a cloud above him. It would diminish his powers out in the open, but if he could draw people to a shadowed area, he could gain the upper hand.

With his strategy and mind in the right place, he continued walking the streets. Maybe something would happen, maybe not, either way this was where he wanted to be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)

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Vic woke up feeling disgusting. She remembered why the moment the body beside her rolled over.

After cleaning herself up, she dropped her towel to the floor and observed herself in the bathroom mirror. The grazes on her knees and elbows were scabbing over and there was a small graze along her jaw, near her chin. Turning to her side, she spotted a patchy green bruise between her chest, spreading to her left breast. The worst of the marks on her body were the small, red marks on her neck and collarbone.

She layered her shirts before securing a scarf around her neck, hiding both her blemishes and femininity beneath them. In her room, she sat on the bottom of her bed and laced up her boots. Donovan stirred, shrugging off the covers from his naked chest. Vic took a moment to look at him, a dulled expression falling over her face, before sighing and tucking him back in. She crept to her wardrobe and dug through her belongings to reach a locked box. She opened it and took out the contents, an assortment of pure white attire and a mask, stuffing them into a bag she flung over onto her back. Before she left the room, she threw a half-full packet of cigarettes onto the bed beside Donovan, took her phone and walked out the door without looking back.

She checked on her Aunt before she left the house. She was dead to the world, eyes sore with bags and hair not even taken out of the bun she wore to work last night. Donovan would be out of the house before her, Vic decided. She shut the bedroom door carefully, despite knowing she could slam it and not wake her.

Thank god she had the morning shift that day. She had to call in to tell her instructors she wasn't going to be there for her tae kwon do and kickboxing training sessions that afternoon, but that wasn't such a big hassle. The biggest issue had to be making it to her gig in time. Depending on how long this was going to take or exactly when the bastards were planning to rob the bank that afternoon, she would be having to make up some excuses to some pretty grumpy faces. But she was going to take the job anyway. It'd been too long since she'd been in a good fight. And besides...

... any step that could get her a little closer to Ρεκαλ was a step she was going to take, if only just to sucker punch them in the face for messing with her.

Work went past unnaturally fast for Vic. Soon, Donovan was barging through the door, coming to take over her shift.

"Hey, Vic..." he murmured, not even having time to blink before Vic had stormed past him.

"Catch you tonight," she said briskly and jogged down the cramped stairwell, bursting out of the building. She skated her way through back alleys, working herself through a maze of shady paths, until she reached it. It was a shut down deli that had been out of business because of terrible sanitary conditions. All that remained of the place was its dusty, empty, gratified insides. The building had been on lease since forever and teenagers had taken their pent up hormonal rage out on this place. It was definitely going to be hit with a wrecking ball and build up into something new, but in the meantime, this was Vic's phone booth, aka, the place her superhero costume transformations took place in. Yes, there were definitely more glamorous locations, but small fries like Vic couldn't be picky.

With all her might, Vic managed to shove an empty dumpster just enough to reveal the secret entrance. As she slipped through into the building, the smell of old frying oil hit her. Man, she hated this place. She took no time changing into Nobody. Rather than leaving her backpack of clothes and skateboard in there, she took them outside with her and flew up. She shot above the city skyline before pausing, hundreds of feet above the earth's surface, a tiny white beacon to whoever looked up from below.

Vic hid her bag and board upon the roof platform of a skyscraper. Up there, it was much, much less likely to be found and ransacked. She memorized where she put it and flew out above the city, surveying the land. She loved it up here. It made sense that she did, with her powers to control the air around her, up in the sky she could be a god. Sometimes she wondered how if she tried, she could use her powers to control the city's weather, or create a natural disaster. Not that she would set a tornado upon the city just to see if she could. Going too far with your powers didn't do anyone good and Vic at least tried to be "good", despite not being the most heroic. She'd stick to flipping up skirts for now.

After a moment of just enjoying herself in the sky, she spied The Prosperity Bank and dissolved into thin air. She spiraled down to the bank and hovered above it, an invisible guardian angel to the people below her. There, she waited.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Watching the dog walk into the bank was an unusal circumstance all on its own, and the few tellers that were actively looking at the door so as to avoid eye contact with either over-excited, or over-irate individuals, stumbled in their sentences. It looked far too clean for what seemed to be a pet without a leash, and by god was it big, with a head that came right up to a burlier man's chest. Four feet tall? Maybe five? It was terrifying.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, it was time to wait.

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA)

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Parahumans Online



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(↑285↓) ♦[Serious] Why does everyone I ask hate parahumans, but the media...
In: Boards ► Discussion ► Parahumans ► General
Posted on August 19th, 2017 by MightyFallenOne:

Sorry, ran out of title space. Basically, why does everyone I ask hate parahumans, but the media doesn't portray them that negatively? Do I live in an extremely anti-cape area? Is there media censoring? Is something else going on? It's kinda weird, when I ask people about specific capes, I get good responses about the person, but when I ask about capes as a whole, I get bad responses. For example; I asked a friend about Legend. Everyone knows who he is. You can not know who Bill Gates is and still know who Legend is. My friend said Legend is a good guy, he's at almost every Abhorrent attack, he's a protector, a true hero. Then the next day, I asked him what he thinks of the Triumvirate. He said that he thinks there's something up with them, that they're part of the government but that they need to be more restricted, ect. Not the worst sentiment, but the next day I asked him what he thinks of parahumans in general, and get this; he thinks they are trouble, that they need to be strictly regulated, and devoted to good causes. He practically advocated their slavery for energy, capital, industrial, medical, ect. reasons based on their powers. I get similar sentiments from many others, what gives?


RocketTazer [Survivor] (↑235↓) points 1 month ago
I think you probably live in a more anti-cape area than usual, as most people I know like capes. I'm a bit of a cape-geek, and so are most of my friends. We love heroes, and we sometimes secretly root for the non-murderous villains. It's fun. However, I'll try to see another point of view and give some of my ideas on why so many people are against parahumans;

Parahumans get a lot of racist flak. Ordinary humans fear them because, unlike comic book heroes who everyone loved and stuff, parahuman's powers are real, and we don't know much about them. Some people believe they are an extreme jump in evolution that represents the end of the human race as we know it. Others believe they're a government project gone wrong. Others blame aliens. Who knows? All three sound pretty bad.


bigBOat5 (↑-57↓) points 1 month ago
or may-b its bcuz capes are mostly villains who destroy lives or use powers to bcome rich. you have a survivor badge, so you were probably saved by a fuckn cape during an attack, but did you ever think that they probably caused the fucking abhorrents man.


RocketTazer [Survivor] (↑26↓) points 1 month ago
Woah, /u/bigBOat5 I don't think that's a completely fair assessment of capes. Not every single cape can be a hero, and most capes literally got their powers from traumatic events and likely have PTSD. Some are stronger and become heroes. I honestly think most low-crime level villains are victims of their powers. As for the Abhorrents, now you sound like a flat-earther. The capes didn't cause them, there's probably not some big global cover up or conspiracy. With the amount of deaths per Abhorrent attack (roughly 100,000-200,000 people per attack, every four months) if the capes did cause it, many world-wide governments would be on their asses. They're trying to stop the Abhorrents. Trust me. I was at ground zero in Miami. I've earned the [Ground Zero: Miami], [Survivor], and [White Cross] badges. I saw up close and personal what capes do to the Abhorrents and what the Abhorrent do to capes. Trust me, random low-level villains with weak powers wouldn't have been risking their lives against Leviathan like that, for what, a giant conspiracy?


MightyFallenOne (↑14↓) points 1 month ago (edited)
You bring up some decent points, /u/RocketTazer. Not sure how I feel about it, honestly. On one hand, shouldn't the government be doing more about literal superhumans? On the other hand, you're right, they're people too and it's kinda prejudice to be against them. Plus, some people's argument is that vigilantism is a crime. Well, with the amount of superpowered people running around, crime has gone way up since before they existed because it's easier now. As a result of more crime, more vigilantes are appearing, both powered and non-powered.


BiggerB1rd (↑14↓) points 1 month ago
Wait why do parahumans tell people that they are parahumans? They could just strap a calculator to their arm and say it's super tech. I would lie like a rug about how I got my powers if I was going to get flak for telling the truth.


Chrono_Tasker [Cape] (↑32↓) points 1 month ago
thats part of the point, they do lie. the population numbers we have on the wiki are just estimates, and we only really know about many of the active hero/villain/rogue capes that actually go out in costume and are seen by civilians. its estimated that for every two public capes, theres one not known to the public. people are vigilant about keeping records on them since the government wont, and not everyone wants their information publicized. parahumansonline.com is a free site with an accessible wiki, private-ly owned, and not regulated besides by site moderators and admins. if a cape identity gets put out in the open; it gets put in the wiki, regardless of how against the unspoken rules it was, regardless of if the cape wanted their identity public or not. thats one reason people are quiet about being parahumans; once people know youre a parahuman, everyone knows.


Ey_U_Link [THA] (↑43↓) points 1 month ago
Hey, /u/Chrono_Tasker, I don't think capes should really comment on this thread. It's more of a respect thing. Non-capes are entitled to their opinions, and should have places to speak their minds without capes telling them they're wrong.


bigBOat5 (↑-102↓) points 1 month ago
[deleted]


kyscapes [Banned] (↑-123↓) points 1 month ago
[deleted]


Darker_Shies [M] (↑56↓) points 1 month ago
If one more person gives out death threats or excessive cursing at other posters, regardless of whether they are a Parahuman or not, this thread will be locked. This thread is for civil discussion of everyone's opinions, and disagreeing with them is fine, and you can even say so if you do it civilly, but otherwise keep it to yourself. Everyone has rights on this site.


@aboi (↑5↓) points 1 month ago
o7 Yes mod-senpai.
Personally, I think capes are cool, and I don't see the big fuss about regulating them. They're people, and its politics. We live in a capitalistic society, and as a result, private cape teams are legal, and they can even charge for their services as much as a plumber can. Our government has it's own, official, sponsored, organization, the HLA (and by extension, the THA) and it is governed and administrated by the PCRT, a NON-CAPE government organization. These guys are literally SWAT for people with superpowers. I get not everyone likes cops or trusts the government, but geez lighten up a bit guys.


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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 10:25 Am. 57°F,
Partly Cloudy (Sprinkling). Arc 2: Confluence.



Josh McDaniel sighed, looking up from his phone the second the bell rang, making him jump. Politics, drama, idiots, why did he even browse boards on Parahumans Online that upset him like that one? He stood up and slung his bag over his shoulder, noticing that Alex was once again asleep, his body leaning to the right, his face rested in his palm as his arm supported the weight of his head. Must be really tired to sleep through the bell. He thought, putting his hand on Alexander's shoulder to shake him awake. As he did so, his brow scrunched in confusion. He feels like he has the weight of a car, Josh thought, as his tactile telekinesis field made contact, and the mental feeling he got told him the object weighed way more than he was used to in other humans. Strangeness aside, josh ignored it for the time being and shook his classmate awake.

As they were walking down the hall to their respective classes, Josh tailed Alexander a few yards behind, hopefully unnoticed in the sea of people in the hallways. Josh's suspicions were confirmed when he noticed that anyone bumping into Alex jolted as if hitting a brick wall, and Alex would be unmoved by the jostles. If he hand't been looking for it, he might not have noticed it. If he didn't behave similarly when hit, he may not have noticed it. But he did. He's a cape.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody)

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Nobody waited in complete and utter boredom, wondering whether she could sneak away from her post to go get a snack or something, when she heard the screams. Screams of pure and paralyzing terror, screeching in chorus with an otherworldly shriek. Her gaseous heart skipped a beat from the initial surprise, though she immediately fell back into her unnervingly calm state and materialized. She dipped her head over the ledge to try to get a peek at whatever the hell was happening to see people fleeing from the bank in hoards. Well, the bank robbers sure were having fun down there. Time to stop it.

She sighed (it was more of a yawn, really), stretched out her back, cracked her neck then took a casual step off the rooftop. She disappeared as she fell and weaved between the people into the bank, just managing to slip through the doors as they began to seal over with what looked like moist, red skin, embedded with furious eyes and teeth.

Invisible to the creature's many... many eyes, Vic stared at the quivering mass of flesh and heaving mouths before her. What the fuck, were the first words that came to mind. She managed to tear her gaze from the creature covering the front doors and looked around to see that its mass had spread out over the walls and was blocking all exits, giving the feeling that she was trapped in a room made out of flesh. She was literally in the belly of the beast. The entire set-up reminded her of a video game boss. If an invisible cloud of gas could grin and rub its hands together diabolically, Vic just did.

She floated towards the center of the room to look around at the Changer (she assumed it to be a Changer, they were definitely not born looking like that), waiting for its next move. For somebody trying to rob a bank, it did a whole lot of sitting around doing nothing. Perhaps it was waiting for back up? Ha, like this monstrosity needed anyone to help it clean this place out. Well, actually, somebody with hands might've been useful.

She hovered right over the creature, inches away, feeling its breath and staring into its huge, bulbous yellow-stained eyes. The smartest move would probably have been to just hang around in invisi-mode and keep checking out this bad boy - er, keeping an eye on the beast and seeing what its next move would be before throwing herself into combat. Unfortunately, the temptation was there and too hard to resist. And with that, Vic had hands again. Only hands. They had materialized from the nothing she had been before, too fast for the monster to even blink. Without saying a word, she poked it.

Right in one of its big, soul-piercing eyes.

What proceeded next was a fast-paced, messed up game of whack-a-mole. After speedily jabbing several of its eyes, her hands dispersed back into thin air and she doubled back and up, away from the confused Changer. She was trying so, so hard to hold back the snorts of laughter that were threatening. She could laugh about it later, you know, when she wasn't in the middle of taunting a giant, room-consuming blob.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Tanman
◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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“I really could have planned this better…” Tess sighed to herself as she stood in the queue leading to the front tellers, shifting her weight from one foot to the other to relieve the aches. Firmly held between her hands was the bag of money from the music club fundraiser, a small metal tin inside containing the notes and mass of coins they’d gotten in donations for more instruments. It was a semi-regular event, but given how expensive some equipment could be, a lot of the time they needed to store the excess for next time. That and individually counting all those coins would take way too long. Still, heading into the bank during her late lunch break seemed to coincide with a lot of other people running errands, which is why she was stuck into a line waiting to be served.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

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

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A short jerk of flesh all along the walls was the only sign that the abomination felt any contact from either Vic or Tess. The eyes that had remained open spotted the floating hands almost immediately, locking onto them and following their demented path along the attached girth. Watching as the hands tore the thin skin apart with ease. A few eyes that had been closed opened as well; glaring or squinting at everything in sight. Before Jericho noticed that one eye specifically, had found itself in a certain amount of pain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA)

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Alexander Dalton




Alex had tried to stay awake during the rest of the lecture. He honestly did. But there was just something about school desks that seemed all to inviting to take a nap on. It was the same in middle school and high school. Somebody must spray the damn things down with chloroform or something. He didn't really have a chance to contemplate the idea of sleepy desk conspiracies since he fell right back asleep after resting his head in his palm and propped himself up just to get comfortable. His hat and bangs helped cover up his eyes and gave the illusion that he was just bored and paying attention to the front of the class. The lack of snoring prevented anyone from suspecting Alex's resumed unconsciousness. The sound of Professor P's voice faded out, as Alex drifted off.




He was back home, In That poorly lit apartment up on the fifth floor. Decent neighborhood that would have been considered a ghetto a few years ago before the city had invested in its reconstruction and fortification programs. There Alex stood in the living room. If he had to guess he looked about sixteen. There was a sudden crash that came from the kitchen. Alex spun around to see a looming figure standing in the kitchen threshold. The man swayed slightly and reeked of alcohol even from five feet away. In the dim yellow glow Alex could still see those angry bloodshot eyes. His knees shook and a lump the size of a softball seemed to suddenly get stuck in his throat as he gasped in an attempt to yell or scream as his have lumbered towards him, spitting curses under his breath.
He tried to run, to scream, just do something other then watch in horror as Alex's dead father seemed to grow in size and tower over him. Jason Dalton's face contorted. bruising and bleeding from wounds that opened up on their own. The man's eyes burned with rage as he screamed at his cowering son. "DID YOU THINK YOU COULD KILL ME BOY? LEAVE ME FOR DEAD?! I'VE COME TO TAKE YOU WITH ME YOU LITTLE MONSTER!! Massive hands reached out to grab at Alex's neck. All he could do was whimper and squeeze his eyes shut. He felt so small and helpless again.




He awoke gasping. Almost slamming his face into his desk from his sudden wake up call. Taking in a shaky breath and seeing that Josh had just shook him awake. Everyone was leaving the room. Bell must have rung while I was stuck asleep. Images of his fathered plagued his thoughts momentarily. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes, trying to focus on anything else. The man is dead, I killed him that day. not the building falling on us. Without realizing it, Alex had reflexively reached up to touch his scar on his forehead. Quickly he dropped his hand and got up. Not wanting to be acknowledge the permanent reminder of everything that waste of human life had put him through. Giving a simple nod to Josh after grabbing his bag, Alex hurried out of the room and down the hall. Not paying attention to anyone that accidentally bumped into him or that he clipped as he B-lined for a door heading outside.

Breath deep, just breath deep. You'll be okay. His hands were planted too the wall while he stared at his feet, only concentrating on his breathing exercises like his psychiatrist taught him to do if he ever felt like he was about to panic or possibly have an anxiety attack. Trauma and superpowers came hand in hand after all. Like others, most days he could live with it, rise above and be someone better because of what he had been through. Other time though, like now, he felt like glass. How ironic that if someone tried to say run him over with a car right now the poor vehicle would probably be in worse shape them him. With one last deep breath he felt his heart slow down and his knees finally stopped shaking. First episode in weeks. They were getting less frequent since the incident but still knocked the wind out of the poor guy. Alex was going to head back inside before he noticed what he had done to the wall.

"Damn it . . . not again."

He had gripped onto the wall perhaps a little too tightly. sizable cracks had formed where his hands had been, luckily there wasn't an obvious appearance that it had been the work of somebodies bare hands. Alex slowly picked up his bag and went back to the door. hoping nobody saw what happened. He had only two more classes for the day. afterwords he could run home and suit up for his patrol. the thought giving him newfound energy and a bit of a smile creeping on his lips. "Right, I'm okay. And I'm a hero, I shouldn't let stuff like this keep dragging me down. Real hero's push past whatever trauma they had been through, right? I can do this. His composure renewed, Alex went to get to his next class. Now itching to go take his newly finished costume out on the town for a test drive. While hopefully avoiding any actual heroes this time.

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.

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

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If Vic currently had a jaw to drop, it would've been on the ground. It didn't take long for her shock to turn to admiration. She watched as the civilain teenage girl attempted to blind the monster with her kicks, and was inspired to contribute to the blinding with another hard, tissue-tearing jabs. She backed off as the monster stripped itself from the walls and exits, its mass congealing into a new, more capable form. Its eyes were now small, glowing coals - much harder targets to poke out.

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

"So... A skirt?"

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

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

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

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

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

She turned to the monster.

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

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