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The Bronze Bear

An ex-hero living in constant fear.

0 · 230 views · located in Kansas City

a character in “Cape Killers”, as played by blackrider

Description

Character name: John Radley

Hero name: The Bronze Bear, Bronze for short

Powers: Super strength and extremely thick skin.

Personality: John has a rather laid back personality, although somewhat paranoid due to the 28th amendment he is still for the most part rather kind and carefree. He constantly strives to do what he considers is 'right', although many times have sprung up when situations have arisen that his powers could have helped people but his ever growing fear and paranoia have left him useless many times-something that eats at him more and more each day.

Description: John has a large bald spot at the back of his short brown hair and has gained quite a few pounds over the past few years, his once large muscular body has become much more 'average' looking. Normally when working he doesnt wear much more then a pair of blue jeans and whatever t-shirt he first comes across. The only features that have remained the same from his glory days are his piercing blue eyes and the bronze colored bear face on his left shoulder.

Bio: John was an average kid growing up among the super hero craze, discovering his own powers at the age of ten when one of his friends had caught his foot in the nearby train tracks as a monster of a freight train barreled down on both of them. In a panic John literally ripped apart the railing that his friend had become stuck between to both John and his friends surprise. With his friend freed John hastily put the railing back into place as best he could, to his relief the train flew past with only a few bumps along the now bent up railing. From there John thought his destiny was set, devoting the rest of his life to honing his body to its peak physical condition. For the most part he shunned school and a social life, favoring some sort of delusional idea of becoming a famous hero. Taking up the moniker of “The Bronze Bear”, a reference to being from missouri, John patrolled the mean streets of Kansas City heavily for about two and a half years. Just as it seemed he was reaching his boyhood goal of becoming a well known hero the 28th amendment was passed and in John's point of view it was the end of his life, throughout the years losing both purpose and sight of who he truly is.

John at the peak of his career (Still wears the same cobbled together costume)

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So begins...

The Bronze Bear's Story

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Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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With a loud sigh John watched through bullet proof glass as the customer he had just sold a carton of cigarettes too exited the shitty gas station he worked at eight hours a day-Monday through Friday. It had been a rather slow day for some reason, only the occasional customer stopping in for a small purchase or two. It was days like this John especially hated. Sitting hours on end at the cash register in his bullet proof box left him far to much time alone with his thoughts, thoughts that had become increasingly more and more depressing over the past few months.

'ten years, six months, and two days.' John thought as he sat back onto the old worn out wooden stool that sat behind the counter, years of use had left the thing slightly rickety and a fading yellow color. That's how long it had been sense he had worn his old costume, that’s how long it had been sense he was a 'hero'. Now he was just normal, or doing his best to act like it anyways. As he sat there lost in his thoughts he noticed his own reflection in the thick bulletproof glass that separated him from any gun waiving lunatic that attempted to rob the store even though bullets wouldn’t do more then leave bruises on his abnormally thick skin. As he stared at the reflection the man that stared back was nothing but a stranger to John, from his balding head and slightly overweight frame to the depressed almost lost expression on his face-this was not the man John was, nor had ever been. He was once the mighty Bronze Bear, a fit super powered hero who patrolled the mean streets of Kansas Cities worst neighborhoods.

That was until the 28th amendment had been passed and hero's and villains alike were being gunned down in the streets by both law enforcement and fearful citizens, not to mention the Cape Killers. These days John honestly lived terrified, his fear having been growing and growing over the past ten years until it had become some huge monster deep inside him that not even his alter ego The Bronze Bear could beat back. Thinking of his old costume John was quickly snapped back into reality by the growing sound of a rapid 'whupwhupwhupwhup'.

It sounded like a helicopter but John wasn’t sure, pressing his face against the thick glass in front of him with his hands cupped over his eyes he did his best to peer out the front store window. That's when he saw the large helicopter, the thing was a huge gray monstrosity that looked like it was equipped for war-from the missle launcher looking devices that hung from two large wings on each side to the tiny figure manning a huge machine gun that John could just barely make out sitting at an open hatch in the midsection of the now overwhelmingly loud chopper blades.

Cape Killers.

Johns adrenaline surged as he stared transfixed. Had they finally come for him? How did they find out? All these thoughts and a dozen others raced through his panic stricken mind as he quickly ducked behind the counter-immediatley feeling like a coward.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Natalia Stevens

Natalia cursed under her breath as she hid behind the beat up Cadillac, 'How did they find me? I'm always so careful,' She thought as she heard the whirring of the helicopter hovering near by, and knew it was the Cape Killers. 'Oh, god, they're going to catch me. I'm going to die,' She thought, fear coursing through her as she looked for a way out, somewhere to hide.

Natalia saw the gas station, just a few yards away from her, but with the helicopter so close, she doesn't think she can make it. She took one last wild look around, not seeing any other option, she darted across the parking lot and into the gas station. She glanced around quickly, not seeing anyone as she made her way to the back of the store, away from the windows. "H-hello? Is anyone in here?" She called out, barely above a whisper. She ducked down between the aisles, trying her best to stay out of view of the windows.

Natalia had been on her way to work when she'd walk upon a purse snatching, not knowing that it was all a set up. She should have kept walking, ignored her instincts, but she just couldn't, she knew what her parents would have expected from her, and she couldn't let them down. She couldn't stop herself from stepping in, it didn't take much for her to get the culprit to willing return the purse. The moment the purse was back in the woman's hand, the Cape Killers had swarmed in, she'd barely been able to escape them there. She was able to get a few blocks away when she heard the helicopter, she knew they weren't going to give up easily.

The sound of helicopter out sound brought her back to the present, to her current situation. "Please, somebody help me," She murmured, tears brimming at her eyes. She had never really been one to show when she was frightened, but here, faced with her eminent demise, she couldn't stop the fear from bubbling to the surface.

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Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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John remained hidden as he heard the familiar clinging of the bell that sat above the store door to alert shopkeepers of coming and going customers. Assuming the new arrival was just another customer John stayed in place beneath the counter-he didn’t care if the customer helped themselves to whatever they wanted in the store, at the time he had more important things on his mind, mainly the large harbinger of death that was now hovering in the street above the store.

“We know your inside the gas station!” A loud voice boomed over the streets obviously coming from some sort of microphone. “Just come out and make it easier on yourself. We don’t want any normal citizens being harmed here.”

Now John was really worried sweat beginning to trickle down his face, apparently they had somehow found him. He was going to end up on that fucking monstrosity of a show about dead heroes, he just knew it. He was going to become just another dead sideshow.

'No!' Some voice shouted angrily from deep inside him, his fear being replaced by a long seathing rage he hadn’t even realized had been there. Before he knew it he could feel that sweet familiar adrenaline coursing through his veins as he finally stood up, it was a feeling he hadn’t felt in over ten years. If they wanted him he wouldn’t be going without a fight. Turning to the thick bulletproof door John threw his foot forward in an extremely awkward looking kick-he was rather rusty-but nonetheless the door exploded from its reinforced hinges smashing through two aisles of snack food before planting itself halfway through the wall.

John knew he was out of shape but seeing that he still had such power brought an actual smile to his face. Upon quickly exiting the booth he spotted an old metal pole that held various cheaply made hats and beanies on its various protruding arms, they were items the store barely sold but nonetheless John was now extremely glad they had them. Quickly snatching an ordinary black ski mask off the rack he immediately slipped it over his head leaving only his mouth and piercing blue eyes exposed.

Walking to the center of the store to get a better look outside at the real villains, at least that’s how he thought of them. That’s when he noticed the girl hiding behind the aisle nearest to him, she was probably terrified of him-probably just another 'meta freak' in her mind. She honestly looked as scared as he had felt earlier, if not more so. “Hey miss, you might want to get out of here.” He said trying to muster up his old confident Bronze Bear voice, obviously failing from the nervous undertones in every word though. “This will probably get ugly.”

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Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Natalia Stevens

Natalia had nearly given up, knowing that the Cape Killers would swarm in, and they'd find her, 'There's no where to hide,' She thought, as she closed her eyes, resigned to her fate. She opened them again when she heard the man's voice, seeing him standing in front of her with a black ski mask over his face. "Wh-who are you?" She asked as she looked up at him, wondering if he had heard her pleas for help, his words not registering in her frenzied mind.

"A-are you here to help me?" Natalia asked, as her eyes darted toward the windows again, sure that the Cape Killers would come crashing in at any moment. "Oh, please, they're after me, you have to help me." She pleaded, the fear clear in her eyes. This is completely out of character for her, showing her fear and asking for help, 'You'd be surprised what you're wiling to do when faced with death,' She thought, as she turned her attention back to the man in front of her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Aaron was walking down the street on his way home from another average day of work at Dr. Banks' practice when he felt a shiver up his spine. His brain didn't know what the sensation meant, but his body did, quickly running down an alley and hiding behind a dumpster as a helicopter flew overhead filled with armed men.

"Cape Killers? Probably, but who are they after?" Aaron thought to himself as he moved quickly from the dumpster to a nearby wall to sneak a peek at the developing situation. "Me? No, I've been careful enough." They were focused on a gas station nearby, shouting orders to whoever was inside. Aaron decided to try and get a read on who they were after. The Cape Killers were trained to suppress their fear while "on duty", but every wall has crack and Aaron was good at finding these cracks. A newbie was scarred of their target; a woman with mental abilities. Afraid she was gonna push thoughts into his head. Even after all this time, Aaron was still surprised how specific people were about their fears. It's with this knowledge he decided to try and sneak around the back of the gas station. He figured the Cape Killers would have their attention on the front.

His suspicion was proven correct when a man in a ski mask exited through the front door. Confused, Aaron brushed it off and figured now was his chance to move as he quickly bolted for the back door of the gas station. When he got there, it was locked, but he could feel the fear of the woman inside; the fear of death. Aaron tried multiple times to bash through the door, applying all his strength to each hit, but it was locked up tight. Looking around, he noticed a small hole, big enough for a mouse to get through, and therefore it was big enough for him. He quickly shape shifted into the form of a mouse, walked through his now giant clothes, and entered the gas station, finally getting a look at the woman. She was even more frightened then he expected, and he was sensing a similar fear nearby; from the man in the mask. "You have to be kidding me." Aaron thought to himself as he scurried behind one of the aisles. He'd actually only met one other person with abilities in his whole life, and now he was meeting two in one day...and they were all in the cross hairs of the Cape Killers.

He decided to change into his "suit" as his body quickly changed to the faceless man some had come to know as The Scream; a frightening face. That thought in mind, Aaron grabbed a nearby can from the shelf and rolled it towards the woman's feat, hoping to get her attention. He didn't know if he had her attention though. "He, Ms.. I'm here to help. We need to grab that guy and get out of here or we're all ending up on the evening news." Aaron said loudly, trying to talk to her over the helicopter blades. "Him and I are like you, so the way I figure, from this point on, it's us against them. Okay?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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It had taken John a minute to realize that Natalia was in fact the meta the cape killers were actually after, the realization causing him to mentally kick himself in the head. He should have just stayed hiding behind the counter.

Before he had a chance to respond to the cowering girl however another voice from behind him had interrupted through the chaos, nearly causing John to literally leap in place. He had thought somehow the Cape Killers had came in from behind him. Turning to look at the newcomer John was forced to do a double take as he noticed the man had no face. Staring at the distinctive figure for a moment John could swear he had seen the man in the news before but his attention was drawn back towards the front of the store as a loud shattering sound erupted in the air, the two large front windows breaking as three men stormed inside obviously ready for combat.

John could tell by the thick bulky dark green armor that each man wore they were cape killers, and it was obvious they meant business by the menacing looking sleek black assault rifles each one had at the ready. He couldn’t make out a feature of a single one due to the full face helmets each one wore, large black see through glass hiding each of their eyes. John knew at this point it was to late to play it off like he wasn’t in league with the other two obvious meta humans so without hesitating he grabbed the nearest item within his reach.

A small yellow candy pack of gobstoppers.

'This had better work' John told himself as he effortlessly tore the package in half, spilling a large fistful of the small marble shaped hard candy into his right hand. Taking aim at one of the seemingly similar looking cape killers he let the small candy fly from his hand with all his strength. He was honestly surprised by the result of his candy coated attack as his intended target was literally thrown off his feet as the small multi colored balls impacted into him at various points even causing his black helmet visor to explode in a shower of dark black glass. As the man flew through the same window he had entered through John silently cursed himself hoping he hadn’t hurt the man to badly, it’d been so long sense he'd used his powers that he’d forgotten just how much control he actually needed to exert over them.

Then suddenly the shooting started, bullets ripping apart anything unfortunate enough to get in their path-John even felt the familiar sting of two colliding with his right should as if someone had thrown a ten pound weight at him. The pain caused him to duck behind the nearest aisle of assorted goods just opposite of Natalia. “Whatever his name is right!” John roared over the gunfire, nodding his head in the direction of the faceless man who John was just waiting to see unleash his own power. “There's a door in the back, we can high tail it outta there!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Natalia Stevens

Natalia's attention was focused on the guy in black ski mask, she hadn't even noticed the other guy until she heard his voice. She glances between the two men, feeling a little less frightened now that it's not just her. A yelp of surprise escaped her lips at the sound of the glass breaking, seeing the three Cape Killers come rushing in. She watched in awe as the man in the mask threw a hand full of gobstoppers at one of the men, sending him flying backwards, back out the window he had come in. She ducked down as the other two men started shooting, and was about to make her way to the exit when a thought crossed her mind. She stopped crawling, reaching out with her mind, she feels one of the cape killers, sensing his thoughts, a smirk forms on her lips as she messes with his mind, without realizing what he's doing, the man turned his attack onto his partner, the two Cape Killers attacking each other.

Natalia quickly followed the two men to the back of the gas station and slipped out the back door with them. She could still hear the helicopter as they slip outside, but glancing around, she doesn't see it. "We need to get out of here." She said, stating the obvious. She quickly glanced around, looking for some kind of cover. 'Where can we go? We need to get off the street,' She thought, hoping that the mayhem going on inside the gas station will keep the Cape Killers occupied for at least a little while.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Aaron was surprised of how effective the two strangers were against the Cape Killers. The man took out one with candy while the woman made the other two fight, which gave Aaron an opportunity to attack. He formed his arms into tentacles and wrapped each one around a soldier's necks, causing them to pass out.

When the two ran for the door, he followed them, catching a stray bullet to the arm in the process. He winced in pain, but kept his composure, focusing on healing enough so their wouldn't be any blood trails and applying pressure with his hand. He stumbled after them, making sure to grab his clothes from in front of the back door.

"We need to get out of here." the woman said, looking around for a place to run to. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a sewer cap in the middle of a nearby street. "Damn. I don't think I can pick that up." Aaron thought, still holding his injured arm. "Wait, guy. If you can throw a man through a window with candy, then a sewer cap is no problem, right?" Aaron said, pointing to the sewer cap. "I'll distract the chopper long enough for us to get over to the cap. Then you can pull it off and we can lose them in the sewers." Aaron began to morph his right hand into another tentacle, eyeing the tail of the chopper.

"I hope you two are ready to run!" and with those words, Aaron threw his tendril and wrapped it around the tail of the helicopter, applying all his strength to spinning it, causing the chopper to spin wildly in the air.

"We gotta go, NOW."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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The shooting had stopped for a moment which caused John to peak his head up over the aisle he was hiding behind, surprisingly seeing both of the heavily armed men literally beating each other in a vicious fist fight. “What the hell?” He asked more to himself then anyone else. Then things got even stranger as two large tentacles shot from seemingly out of nowhere, wrapping tightly around both mens necks and pulling them apart. The men struggled for a minute before going limp, their bodies dropping to the glass riddled floor with two loud thuds. Following the tentacles back to their owner John saw that they belonged to the faceless man who was halfway through explaining his plan. John had to admit it was a pretty cool looking power and apparently rather useful to.

The plan sounded pretty good to John, or at the very least he couldn’t think of a better one off the top of his head. Standing in the back alley as the helicopter circled over head obviously trying to position itself for the guy manning the machine gun. “The caps no problem for me man, just don’t get yourself killed over here. Don't wanna see you dead on the news tonight.” John said as he ran out of the alley towards the man hole in the center of the street, doing his best to stay in front of Natalia like some sort of human shield. He wasn’t sure if bullets would hurt her or not, but nonetheless he thought it’d be better to air on the side of caution.

Upon reaching the middle of the street he quickly knelt down beside the old iron manhole, gripping at the slightly rusted thing with both hands he almost effortlessly tore it from the street. Taking a look back at the faceless man who was doing a rather good job of making the helicopter unable to position itself to get a shot John hollered as loud as he could “Were good to go tentacles! Get your ass over here, ill cover you!” The big metal beast in the air had finally righted itself from the vicious spin The Scream had thrown them into, and it appeared as if the pilot was still having trouble flying straight. The Cape Killers inside were probably pretty nauseous John assumed.

John kept the manhole clutched tightly in his right hand as if it were a mere plastic Frisbee, he was keeping the thing at the ready just in case the chopper did start shooting at the man he called 'tentacles'. He didn’t want to throw the thick iron disc into the helicopter due to fear of hurting someone innocent with a crashing helicopter but he'd already decided if it came down to it he would.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Natalia Stevens

Natalia quickly followed the man in the ski mask over to the manhole and slips into the sewer with the two men. Her nose wrinkled slightly at the smell, but she knows it's better than the alternative. When the faceless man introduced himself by his hero name, she hesitates, not having any other name but the one on her birth certificate. "I'm Natalia," She said after a few moments of debating, knowing that its because of these two men that she's alive. She bit down on her lip a little nervously when The Scream asked about how the Cape Killers found her, hating to admit how stupid she had been to help that woman only to be caught in a trap. "I was on my way to work, when I came across a purse snatching. I thought I could help easy enough, without any one catching on." She said with a small shrug of her shoulders. "But it was a set up, they were on me in a matter of seconds." She said, running a hand through her hair as they make their deeper into the sewer system. "I'm sorry you two got dragged into this." She added quietly.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Remaining silent in the dark sewers as Natalia and the man who called himself 'The Scream” spoke. After hearing the mans name Johns mind was flooded with a few clear memories of watching the news one night, the man before him having been one of the main topics of discussion. He remembered hearing from the news anchor how The Scream was considered extremely dangerous being one of the few heroes still actively patrolling Kansas City, he was even number eight on Americas 'most wanted meta list'.

Realizing who he was John immediately wanted to shake his hand but resisted the urge to do so, he didn’t want to come off as some weird fan boy or something. Men like The Scream made John still have some form of hope due to the fact that somewhere out there people still were not afraid to stand up for what was right like he had become.

After Natalia apologized John shook his head, his somewhat low voice slightly echoing down the long stretch of sewer the three now pathetic trudged through. “No need to apologize. Hell, those fuckin maniac cape killers woulda gunned us all down given the chance. Oh, and you can call me uh...” John stopped for a moment, unsure of exactly what name to give them. He wasn’t even sure which name was the real him, but before he knew it he was speaking again as the words flowed naturally from his mouth “..Bronze, you can call me Bronze.”

As the group trudged through the sewers for what seemed like hours but was no more than a mere twenty minutes John finally spoke again breaking the silence that had slowly came over the group. “So Scream...I saw somethin about you on the news once....It true you can change into anything?” He asked curiosity thick in his voice, as if he'd been putting off the question as long as he could but just couldnt wait any longer.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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"Nice to meet you, Natalia and don't beat yourself up too much." Aaron said, feeling bad for the woman and how they Cape Killers took advantage of her kindness. "They treat us just as bad as common criminals and some of us deserve it. I know I do, but you didn't.." Aaron said, thinking back to a time when there wasn't as much fear surrounding him. "And besides, you didn't drag me in. I jumped in. This is a profession for altruists or idiots, after all." Aaron said in a slightly joking manner.

"Bronze? Odd name, but I like it." Aaron replied after Bronze answered his question. Something was picking at the back of his mind when he heard the name. It seemed like he remembered it from a very long time ago. “So Scream...I saw somethin about you on the news once....It true you can change into anything?” Aaron got that question more then he liked to. He understood why. People were naturally curious, and hell, he was even a little curious about his abilities and how far they could go.

"That's what I want them to think, but no. Not everything. Most things I can see in my minds eye, I can change into." Aaron stopped and turned toward the two, his face and body slowly morphing until they resembled Natalia to a tee, except his ill-fitting clothes. "People are easy enough and animals I can handle." Aaron thought Natalia might be freaked out, so he decided to change back to his faceless visage and body they had come to know and started walking again. "Items on the other hand are a little harder. Have to figure out where everything fits. You may have also noticed the tendril trick. Stuff like that and showing some sharp teeth or the like usually scares people."

"And fair warning, Natalia. I wouldn't appreciate you pushing your thoughts into my head, so please don't try it. I don't think you would, but I'd rather be safe then sorry." Aaron said, already thinking of ways to counter her ability if the worst were to come about. "And what about you, Bronze. We saw your super strength. You have any more tricks?"

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Natalia Stevens

Natalia nodded her head slowly as both men rebutted her apology. She stayed quiet, listening to the two men as they talk, she'd never really been one to pay attention to the news, too depressing for her, so she doesn't recognize either of them. When The Scream showed them his power, she had to admit it did put her on edge a little, seeing an exact replica of herself standing in front of her. "Wow," She said, her mind still trying to comprehend the extent of The Scream's powers.

Natalia had turned her attention back to where they were heading, really wanting to get out of this sewer. Though her attention is drawn back to The Scream when he mentions her not using her powers on him. "Oh, you don't have to worry about that," She said with a small wave of her hand, deciding not to mention the fact that he wouldn't even know if she did., well, at least not until after the fact. "I don't really use my power much, unless I have to." She added with a small shrug of her shoulders.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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"Yeah. Let me try and look up." Aaron pushed the manhole cover up as hard as he could, pushing it up just enough to see ahead of him. He was surprised to find that he recognized the street it opened on was only a left turn away from his apartment. "My place is nearby. You two can hide out there for a while." Aaron said, jumping back down from the ladder.

"Bronze, you might want to lose the mask. We just need to not stand out." Aaron asked, quickly remembering he would also stand out like a sore thumb. So, he shifted his face back to his own, quickly grabbing the glasses from his pocket and putting them over his now visible eyes. "Do I look alright?" Aaron asked, not really wanting the answer as he again climbed the ladder, pushing the cap with all his strength and pushing it to the side, exiting the sewer.

"Follow me." Aaron began to walk down the street, trying to look normal and hoping his companions were doing the same. When they reached the apartment after a few minutes of walking, Aaron went into autopilot. He walked through the front door, checked his mail, and walked up to his home, almost entirely forgetting the two strangers he had brought home. His place was modest, but he was proud of it. "Make yourself at home. Just stay away from the windows." Aaron grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol from under the kitchen sink and a rag and sat down on the kitchen table. He then took off his shirt and jacket, exposing not only his chest, but his still fresh wound. It had healed a little, but was still bleeding slightly. So, Aaron grabbed the alcohol and poured some of it onto the wound. "Damn it!" Aaron winced through clenched teeth as he rubbed the wound with the rag. He then found a bandage wrap in the bathroom cabinet and began to wrap it around his arm, making sure to keep an eye on his new house guests.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Natalia Stevens

Natalia nodded her head at Bronze's words about her mind control power, she knows just how dangerous it could be if used in the wrong way. Her parents had ground the concept of right and wrong into her until the day they were murdered, because they too knew the damage Natalia could do if she wasn't taught properly. She quickly pushed the thoughts of her parents away as Bronze spots the manhole above them.

Natalia quickly climbed up the ladder, following Scream as he leads the way down the street to his apartment building. She kept quiet, trying to blind in and seem inconspicuously as he checks his mail before leading the way to his apartment. She hesitated at the door a brief moment before following Scream into his apartment, glancing around curiously. When he told them to make their selves at home, she walked over and sat down on the couch. She glanced from Scream to Bronze, she has lots of questions floating around in her mind, but she knows that people like her are very secretive and don't really like people poking around in their business, she's really surprised by the fact that Scream had even allowed them into his home.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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"You gonna be ok man?" John asked Aaron, his wrapped arm still bleeding slightly. "I'll be fine." Aaron replied entering the living room with the others. The wound would be fully healed by tomorrow, but it still hurt a lot. Luckily, he was used to the pain as it hadn't been the first time he'd been shot.

As he entered, he noticed almost immediately how uncomfortable Natalia was. She seemed like she had something on her mind she wasn't saying. "Natalia, you have something you wanna say?" Aaron said, feeling like he owed them some info since he knew secrets about them. As he waited for an answer, he remembered something the two might want to know about. He pulled out a drawer from his work desk and pulled a small cell phone from it, placing it on the coffee table for the two to see. "If you wanna make a call, use that. I'm a little paranoid when it comes to the Cape Killers and phones. It's a burner." Aaron said as he looked for something to wear nearby, remembering he was still shirtless. He settled on a blue hooded jacket lying on the edge of his bed.

When he returned to the living room, he looked at Natalia and John. They seemed like average, decent people who got caught up in the fear mongering the country had been under for years. It was hard not to think of all the lives the Cape Killers had destroyed over the years. Lives completely ruined to placate the fearful populace.

Wiping the thought away, Aaron sat next to Natalia and John on the couch, letting out a large sigh as he looked down at the floor.
"You two should probably lay low for a while. Natalia especially. You're welcome to stay here for the time being. It isn't much, but it's better then a prison cell." Aaron was surprised by how trusting he sounded. Aaron came across as that to a lot of people, but that was because Aaron always had an ace up his sleeve. He figured a person could afford to be trusting when you know their deepest and darkest fears.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Natalia Stevens

Natalia glanced at Scream, when he asked if she had something she wanted to say. She hesitated a moment and decided to go with what she believed to be the least intrusive. "I, well, I was just wondering about your real names." She said with a small shrug of her shoulders, feeling it's only fair she knows their names since they know hers. When Scream placed the phone on the table, she looked at it, thinking, but she had no one to call, no one would notice her missing.

Natalia slowly leaned back into the couch, getting comfortable and doing her best to relax. Though, she's taken by surprise when Scream offered to let them stay here until things calm down. She hesitated again, thinking about refusing, not really feeling comfortable staying in a stranger's apartment. Though, she knows she doesn't really have much of a choice, the Cape Killers are probably swarming her apartment as they speak. So she slowly nodded her head. "That's probably for the best. Thank you." She says to Scream.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Aaron wasn't surprised John left. He probably had business he needed to get to in case the Cape Killer's found him. "My name is Aaron, by the way." Aaron said, remembering Natalia's question as he picked up the card John had left behind. He was glad to have his number in case he needed his help. Now that the Cape Killers were on their back, they would need to stick together. With that thought in mind, he decided to try and get to know his temporary housemate.

"So, Natalia, you do this kinda stuff a lot? I mean the vigilantism not being chased by armed men." Aaron said, trying to make her feel comfortable after the day she had. While he was used to his life being on the line, he couldn't help but feel Natalia was different. She didn't have the air of someone who did this often and was around these type of situations. He had become so used to it over the years, beating up villains and running from the law, that it was refreshing being around someone who he could relate to, but wasn't a vigilante. It reminded him of a time before he was the Scream. A time he missed on more then one occasion.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Natalia Stevens

Natalia nodded as John introduced himself though she feels a little uneasy when he says he's going to head home. It's not that she doesn't trust Aaron, he helped to save her life after all. She just doesn't know him, and she's never stayed the night with anyone, let alone a guy. 'Would you calm down, it's not a big deal,' She scolded herself, 'He's just trying to help you out.' she thought. She quickly pulled herself out of her thoughts as John headed toward the door. She laughed quietly at his comment about her staying out of trouble. "I'll sure try my best." She replied, as John walked out the door.

Natalia turned her attention Aaron once John left, as he asked his question, a small smile on her lips at his small joke. She shook her head slightly, "Eh, no, not really. My parents did though. I mean, when I see something happening, I just can't keep walking, but I don't go out looking for it." She said, shrugging again, hoping that made sense. "Normally I can help out with out drawing any attention to myself at all." She added quietly, reflecting on the events of this afternoon, trying to think of what she could have done differently. After a few moments she pushes those thoughts from her mind as well. "Thanks again for letting me crash here." She said, giving Aaron a small, kind smile.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear Character Portrait: The Midnight Masher
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As John reached the front doors of the apartment building he quickly began walking down the sidewalk, trying to walk slow enough to not look suspicious and at the same time fast enough that he could get home before the nightly news was over. As he walked at his brisk pace his eyes couldn’t help but notice the sun's burning shape slowly fading off in the horizon as the dying rays cast an amber glow across the various sky scrapers and tenement buildings within his view. It was actually quite beautiful. If he hadn’t been so lost in thought and focused on the scenery he might have noticed the figure in black atop the roof of the large building directly adjacent to Screams apartment, probably not though-it seemed as if none of the dozens of people walking the busy sidewalks had noticed him.

Vincent Doran, also known as the Midnight Masher among the papers, sat high atop the streets on the roof of the slightly upscale apartments adjacent to where the man known as 'Scream' made his home. He had been following the mans exploits over the past year and he had to admit that he was rather effective and the fact that the man hadn’t stopped patrolling the streets over the past years made him greatly respect the man. Although he had been following the mans hero career for years it hadn’t been until the last week he had physically begun to watch the man, he needed to make a final decision on whether or not to invite him to be apart of the team he had been putting together the past month.

As he thought of the word 'team' a scowl spread under his masked face, thoughts of his old team flooding his mind. Back in the day he had been apart of the only real Super Hero group that resided within Kansas City, they stupidly had referred to themselves as the 'Super Seven'. Despite the dumb group name they had been some of the best men and women Vince had known in his life and as a group they had decided to continue to fight crime and serve the public. These days however the entire team, save for Vince himself, were dead and buried, hunted like common criminals at the passing of the 28th by the newly formed Cape Killers.

Over the years Vince had gone from protecting citizens from crime to protecting meta's from their own government. In the old days when he had been part of a team he fought with nothing more then his fists and a shield along with the occasional use of his powers but now when he'd stalk the streets at night he was damn near a walking armory. His huge arsenal contained just about everything, from the two .45 caliber pistols strapped to each leg and the sub machine gun tucked into his belt to the large caliber rifle strapped across his back and a medium sized curved blade attached to his lower right leg. He also carried his old signature black shield but used it far less these days. Over the past ten years the amount of cape killers that had died at his hands was rumored to be in the triple digits and Vince felt no remorse over a single one, there was a reason he had earned the title of 2nd most wanted meta in Kansas City Missouri.

Kneeling atop the roof in his kevlar looking black armor that covered nearly every inch of him he grasped a pair of binoculars in his hands. Putting the large black binoculars up to his eyes he continued to peer across the street into Screams apartment, not that he could really see anything but he was determined to find out who the newcomer was he had brought home-over the week he'd been following Scream he never once had seen someone else follow him into his apartment, and he knew the best way to find answers was to be patient.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear Character Portrait: The Midnight Masher
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As John reached the front doors of the apartment building he quickly began walking down the sidewalk, trying to walk slow enough to not look suspicious and at the same time fast enough that he could get home before the nightly news was over. As he walked at his brisk pace his eyes couldn’t help but notice the sun's burning shape slowly fading off in the horizon as the dying rays cast an amber glow across the various sky scrapers and tenement buildings within his view. It was actually quite beautiful. If he hadn’t been so lost in thought and focused on the scenery he might have noticed the figure in black atop the roof of the large building directly adjacent to Screams apartment, probably not though-it seemed as if none of the dozens of people walking the busy sidewalks had noticed him.

Vincent Doran, also known as the Midnight Masher among the papers, sat high atop the streets on the roof of the slightly upscale apartments adjacent to where the man known as 'Scream' made his home. He had been following the mans exploits over the past year and he had to admit that he was rather effective and the fact that the man hadn’t stopped patrolling the streets over the past years made him greatly respect the man. Although he had been following the mans hero career for years it hadn’t been until the last week he had physically begun to watch the man, he needed to make a final decision on whether or not to invite him to be apart of the team he had been putting together the past month.

As he thought of the word 'team' a scowl spread under his masked face, thoughts of his old team flooding his mind. Back in the day he had been apart of the only real Super Hero group that resided within Kansas City, they stupidly had referred to themselves as the 'Super Seven'. Despite the dumb group name they had been some of the best men and women Vince had known in his life and as a group they had decided to continue to fight crime and serve the public. These days however the entire team, save for Vince himself, were dead and buried, hunted like common criminals at the passing of the 28th by the newly formed Cape Killers.

Over the years Vince had gone from protecting citizens from crime to protecting meta's from their own government. In the old days when he had been part of a team he fought with nothing more then his fists and a shield along with the occasional use of his powers but now when he'd stalk the streets at night he was damn near a walking armory. His huge arsenal contained just about everything, from the two .45 caliber pistols strapped to each leg and the sub machine gun tucked into his belt to the large caliber rifle strapped across his back and a medium sized curved blade attached to his lower right leg. He also carried his old signature black shield but used it far less these days. Over the past ten years the amount of cape killers that had died at his hands was rumored to be in the triple digits and Vince felt no remorse over a single one, there was a reason he had earned the title of 2nd most wanted meta in Kansas City Missouri.

Kneeling atop the roof in his kevlar looking black armor that covered nearly every inch of him he grasped a pair of binoculars in his hands. Putting the large black binoculars up to his eyes he continued to peer across the street into Screams apartment, not that he could really see anything but he was determined to find out who the newcomer was he had brought home-over the week he'd been following Scream he never once had seen someone else follow him into his apartment, and he knew the best way to find answers was to be patient.

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Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear Character Portrait: The Midnight Masher
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John could hear his cell phone ringing through the old wooden door that lead to his bedroom, like most days he had forgotten the damned electronic device at home. He had been sitting on his comfy looking couch with his eyes glued too his ten inch tv watching the news when the ringing began, and just as he had stood up to go retrieve the blasted ringing thing Natalias picture finally popped up on the television screen with a banner beneath reading 'Breaking news!'. It was for this reason John simply let his phone ring, forcing whoever had been calling him into his almost empty voice mail box.

Paying attention as the news caster spoke John let out an audible laugh when the man started off the segment by saying that the young woman was 'extremely armed and dangerous', a vibe that John himself had not picked up on at all in his brief meeting with Natalia. He then went on to speak about just how she and another unknown meta along with the infamous 'Scream' had torn apart a local gas station and terrorized a whole city block, he also finished with a number panning across the bottom of the screen saying that if anyone had any information on the suspects they should call the number presented beneath him. John joked to himself saying in his mind that he would do his very best to not dial said number.

It was about that same time that the news segment had finished and was being followed up by the next days weather that John stood up to go to his room. He had decided on the way over to his home that he would pack a bag and finally leave the country, a thought he had constantly toyed with in his mind over the years but could never bring himself to do, but now he felt he had little choice-at least that’s what his paranoid side kept telling him. It had taken him about thirty minutes to pack everything worth taking in his room, quickly shoving everything into the large green duffle bag he had used many times before throughout his life. Finishing packing everything up in his room he went to go exit his room, deciding there were a few items also worth taking with him out in the living room. As he turned the door knob with one hand he also checked his phone with the other, a seemingly random number having been plastered onto the small screen. He was just in the process of dialing the number to hear the message the unknown caller had left him when he walked back into his living room, a man completely adorned in black armor staring at him with folded arms.

“Hello Bronze, you yellow bellied bear.”

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear Character Portrait: The Midnight Masher
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John awoke the next morning from the sunlight streaming through his window, he had left the curtains pulled back the night before and now most of his bed was illuminated by the warming sun. Opening his eyes to the glaring light had made John want to vomit however, which he then proceeded to do over the side of his bed onto the clean wooden floor of his bedroom. Of course before he threw up he made sure to rip off the old brown leather mask he'd had on his face when he'd passed out.

To say last night had been strange was an understatement: not only had he met Natalia and Aaron fought with some cape killers and then lost his job but on top of all that he returned to his house to gather up some belongings when he met yet another hero. This one however had been lying in wait inside Johns apartment, the man donned in his complete costume while carrying enough guns to make a soldier blush. From the kevlar armor like costume to the large round shield clutched in the mans left hand John had immediately recognized the man as Midnight Masher-he appeared so often in the news that John assumed most anyone would recognize him, but why was he here in Johns apartment? More importantly, how did he know that John was the Bronze Bear?

To say the least his brief meeting with Midnight had been somewhat confrontational. Things had started off civil enough, Midnight simply stating, not asking but stating, that Bronze had been in Screams apartment. “Uhm...yeah, I guess?” John had responded slightly nervous, noticing the strange monotonous almost robotic tone of voice Midnight had.

“Let me say this bluntly, stay away from Scream. He's going to be joining me and my team, a team for real heroes, not cowards so scared they wont even wear their masks anymore.” That had left John slightly speechless, and before he knew it Midnight was gone leaving John slightly dumbfounded and alone. A few minutes had passed and John found himself digging through his kitchen cabinets, finding what he was looking for he returned to his couch with a half full bottle of whiskey which he immediately uncorked and began drinking in an attempt to drown out the thoughts that Midnight had stirred up in his heads, thoughts that were often there but simply pushed into the farthest parts of his mind.

After vomiting up his liquid courage from the previous night John was a bit confused as to exactly how he had gotten into his old costume, having drank to the point of blacking out last night he must have drunkenly 'suited up' at some point in the night. As he stood up, his head aching and his throat dry, he looked in the large stand up mirror in the corner of his room. Seeing himself in his old costume felt right, no, something was missing. He put the tight leather mask back on. Now he felt right.

Picking his phone back up off the night stand he returned Screams call.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Aaron woke up the next day with a splitting headache. As he got up from his bed, he tried to remember everything about last night, but after his shower, it was all a bit hazy. He figured these new frequent headaches had something to do with it. Then again, he did over exert himself a yesterday. It wasn't a common practice of his to grab a helicopter and spin it with his bare hands and tired him out quite a bit.

After grabbing a cup of water, he noticed Natalia still asleep on the couch. Thinking back, he remembered he hadn't made or eaten anything for dinner. His stomach grumbled in agreement, so he decided to head out and grab something to eat before Natalia woke up. He changed into some clean clothes, grabbed the cell phone and keys from the table in front of Natalia, and quietly went out the door, locking it behind him.

Walking around, he found a place a few blocks away that was good enough. He bough two coffees and some bagels. He figured this was enough, but also bough an apple just in case. He walked back home, sipping his warm coffee, his headache now gone. With each step, his whole body felt warm from the drink.

As he reached the door of his building, his phone rang. He checked the caller ID and he recognized the number as John's. He answered it, quickly.

"Hey, John. We need to talk about something. This guy calling himself the Midnight Masher broke into my apartment last night. You know anything about him?"

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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Listening to Scream talk it was obvious to John that he hadn't been the only one visited by Midnight. "Well you might or might not be shocked about this man but he paid me a a visit last night too. And I wouldn't say I know to much about him but I do have quite a few newspaper articles on the guy." He paused for a second as he walked around his apartment, quickly realizing how awkward that might have sounded. "I, uh, collect news on heroes." He quickly added in an attempt to explain, he then also made a mental note to himself to take all of Screams news articles from the dark leather notebook-he didn't want to come off as some weird fan boy or something. "If you want man I can bring what I've got on him over later today, just gotta give me some time to rest up I have a...huge fuckin headache." As he spoke into the phone his voice was slightly muffled, having been speaking through the old leather mask the entire time.

Walking into his living room he flipped the middle cushion up on his beige colored couch, revealing a sleek black looking leather notebook which he quickly picked up.