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Cape Killers

Kansas City

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a part of Cape Killers, by blackrider.

None

blackrider holds sovereignty over Kansas City, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for Cape Killers
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Kansas City is a part of Cape Killers.

4 Characters Here

Aaron Waters AKA The Scream [42] "Fear rules over all men. That's why I became fear itself..."
The Bronze Bear [26] An ex-hero living in constant fear.
The Midnight Masher [7] An old hero out for revenge.

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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
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"Thanks again for letting me crash here." Natalia said with a slight smile. He had to admit, the company around the apartment was already growing on Aaron and it didn't hurt that it was a woman around his age. Quickly pushing those thoughts off, he remembered how she mentioned her parents used were like her. "Your parents were metas, then?" he didn't think it was too personal of a question, but he had been wrong before. He could recount more then one occasion when he'd asked an inappropriate question, especially at work. Just in case, he grabbed two glasses from the kitchen and poured some water into them, offering Natalia one as he sat back down.

"Thought you might be thirsty." Aaron placed his hand behind his head, leaning back on the couch. It was at this point he realized that Natalia may be staying with him for a while. "Living with another girl? Well, it wasn't so bad the first time." Aaron thought to himself as he looked at Natalia, noticing her bright bluish grey eyes when he felt a slight pain in his chest. "No. No, that's cliche and you know it." Aaron could already feel the inklings of feelings towards Natalia starting to develop, but quickly pushed them down, knowing they would lead to nothing but mistakes. Aaron wasn't the type of guy to let his emotions control him, but sometimes, he wished he was. He would just be cordial with Natalia. Nothing more and nothing less.

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

Natalia nodded her head at Aaron's question about her parents. "Yeah, they were," She said as he brought her a glass of water, "Thanks," She said, taking a drink of the water. Natalia slowly slipped out of her shoes and pulled her legs up under her, getting a little more comfortable. "They were apparently pretty famous in the late 60's early 70's, though I don't really know much about it. They didn't want me to be a hero, they wanted to protect me and keep me from that kind of stuff, but they still taught me right from wrong. I just, I can't walk away when I see someone in trouble." She said with a small shrug of her shoulders, not really sure why she's telling Aaron all of this. Natalia hasn't really talked about her parents much at all since they were killed, she had no one she could really talk to about it and once she's started talking, she just can't stop. "They were killed by the Cape Killers when I was 10." She added, taking another drink of her water, mentally kicking herself just moments after saying it. 'Why don't you just go ahead and tell him your whole life story,' She scolded herself before quickly turning to Aaron, "So, tell me a little about yourself. Don't want to be staying with a complete stranger." She said with a small laugh, mainly just trying to direct the conversation away from her.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens
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Aaron felt for Natalia and her story. He had done research into the Amendment and the Cape Killers and this was a common story; a child losing one or both his parents because they had been hunted down by the government. He was lucky in a way that his parents weren't metas. They were spared that burden of fear.

"So, tell me a little about yourself. Don't want to be staying with a complete stranger." Natalia broke Aaron from his unfortunate chain of thought. "Well, I grew up in California. I'm a first generation meta in my family, so I decided early on not to tell them about what I could do. It didn't help that I could..."Aaron stopped his thought when he realized he hadn't told Natalia about his other ability. He hesitated at first, but thought she deserved to know the truth. "Natalia, I'm going to preference this by apologizing in advance. When I was a kid, my first "gift" popped up. One of the things I found out when I was a kid was that I could tell when people were afraid. Not only that, but I could read peoples fears. That's how I knew the Cape Killers were after you and that's how I knew you needed my help." Aaron hunched over in his seat and stared at the no blank television, thinking back to his earlier years when he had no control. "I could always feel how people were afraid of us. Of people like us. Some think of us as they should; as people. But, sadly not everyone was like them. I was just a kid. I was just a kid and I knew most people hated me."

The room fell silent for a moment. Realizing where he'd taken the conversation, he quickly gave an awkward cough and sat back up normally. "Eventually, I learned what I was doing. I developed new talents. Learned some control. I didn't get into the "hero" thing until I moved out here for college." Aaron didn't know exactly what to say for a little bit, until he figured out something. He had never told anyone about his abilities, about his other life. Natalia was the first one he had told. The first person he shared his secret with. He thought about telling her this, but knew it would sound crazy. But he had to admit, it felt nice, even if she might hate him for pervading her mind.

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

Natalia watched Aaron as he talked. When she was younger she'd always been a little jealous of the other kids, the ones who were 'normal', who had happy families, with both their parents. As she got older, she realized that just because someone's life may look 'normal' and happy on the outside, if you look a little closer, that's hardly ever the case. Like with Aaron, he had both his parents, but it didn't make his life any easier. It didn't really bother her too much that he could get into her mind, it wasn't his fault he was born with this gift, any more than it was her fault that she was born with hers.

Natalia stayed quiet until Aaron finished talking, "Well, first off, you don't need to apologize. It's fine, really." She said, giving him a kind smile. "And secondly, I can't imagine how hard that must have been, growing up with that gift." She continued, shaking her head slightly. She only paused for a moment before moving on, not wanting to dwell on upsetting topics of conversation. "So, what are you studying in college?" She asked. She'd wanted to go to college, but her grades weren't good enough for any type of scholarships, and Mr. and Mrs. Still, her father's friend and his wife, had enough trouble trying to send their own kids to college, they couldn't help Natalia. She's just happy to have found this job. At that thought, she cursed quietly, realizing she'd now missed work, and more than likely won't have any job to go back to when this whole thing blows over.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens
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Aaron was surprised by how forgiving Natalia was. He didn't expect it or her sympathy for his life and past at all. It was something he really appreciated about Natalia.
He felt like he had soured the mood a bit, so he was happy to answer Natalia's question about college. "Studied, actually. I got my doctorate in psychology pretty recently." Aaron didn't talk about school often, mostly because for a long time, it was most of his life.

Aaron noticed Natalia's lack of shoes and was happy to see she was feeling comfortable. He stretched his arms and placed him behind his head, resting on his hands in comfort, looking over to Natalia. "I work for a marriage counselor right now. That's how you get your own business which is what I'm hoping for. What about you? You go to school or do you work?" When he brought up work, he thought he saw Natalia twitch a little bit. "Is everything alright? I mean, besides the obvious?" Aaron was concerned as he hadn't thought of the mess Natalia's life the Cape Killers and himself by extension, had probably put her in.

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

Natalia nodded her head as Aaron talked about college, his degree, and his work, it all sounded really intesting. When he asked about hers, she frowned slightly, sighing when he asked if everything is alright. "Yes, I mean, no," She said, sighing again, running a hand over her face. "I was on my way to work when all this happened. I doubt I'll have a job to go back to now." She murmured. "I'm not in college, can't afford it." She added to completely answer his question. "I don't know what I'm going to do now." She said, shaking her head as she reaches over and sets her, now empty, glass down on the coffee table.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens
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"I don't know what I'm going to do now." Natalia said, shaking her head as she placed her empty glass on the table. "Well, for the time being, you won't have to worry about that." Aaron sat up as he spoke, walking towards his window and looking out of it, across the street. Something didn't seem right about the view, but the whole day hadn't seemed right with all that was going on.

"Look, I'm gonna go grab some groceries. There's a place I know around the corner." Aaron said, making sure he had his wallet and keys in his pockets. "Don't let anyone in unless it's me and again, make yourself at home. Cocoa, blankets, bad TV, the whole nine yards or whatever girls like. Just try to relax." Aaron walked over the door and turned the knob, opening it and giving a kind smile and wave as he exited his apartment. When he reached the street, he still had that feeling of something not feeling right, but ignored it and kept onward towards the store.

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

"Alright," Natalia said, watching as Aaron walks out of the apartment. She sighed quietly, running a hand over her face once more, before picking up her empty glass. She walked into the kitchen and quickly washed it before putting it away, though it takes her a few moments to figure out exactly where the glasses are supposed to go. Once she's finished, she glanced around the kitchen taking it all in. Natalia knew that if she's going to to be staying here for a while, she's going to have to get used to everything, know where everything is.

After exploring the kitchen for a while, Natalia slowly moved through the apartment, getting the lay out. While exploring, she found herself a pillow and a blanket and made her way back to the couch. Natalia quickly makes herself comfortable on the couch, the pillow under her head and the blanket wrapped tightly around her. After all the excitement and adrenaline, she's pretty worn out. She grabbed the TV remote and turned it on, flipping through the channels for a few moments before settling on a romantic comedy movie. With the TV on for noise, Natalia cuddled up and closed her eyes, quickly falling asleep.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Midnight Masher
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Upon watching Scream exit his apartment building on the city streets below Midnight wasted no time in quickly scaling down the building he had been perched upon moments prior. His thick large combat boots met the back alley with a dull thud and slight crunch having trampled a small amount of garbage under his foot. Quickly peering out the alley into the street he took a moment to time his next movements just right, he had to make sure no average civilian noticed him so finally when the flow of traffic and people walking the streets met his satisfaction he took off running, clearing the distance across the street into the alleyway he had set as his destination. Taking a moment to gather his thoughts he took a glance upwards, now residing in the alleyway on the right side of Screams apartment building-he had chosen this spot due to the large solid looking fire escape that clung to the side of the building. Having studied Screams apartment layout for the past week Midnight was well aware that the fire escape lead to a side window in Screams apartment so without hesitation he leaped into the air, his hands tightly grasping onto the pull ladder that would have been just out of arms reach for most ordinary people. Useing his upper body strength he began to pull himself upwards until his feet also found footing on the ladder and from there everything else was simple.

Silently running up and up the metallic staircase Midnight quickly found the window he was looking for, a quick glance through the glass showing that the unknown woman was fast asleep on the couch. Which was good, midnight thought, he really hadn't wanted to have to incapacitate her for this little recruitment session, not that he would have hesitated too. Kneeling in front of the solid glass window Midnight pulled a tiny almost pizza cutter looking object out of one of the many pouches on his dull grey belt. As quietly as he could he took the 'pizza cutter' to the window, the object making a slightly loud scratching sound as he traced an ever deepening hole around the base of the window frame. After a mere minute or so the circle he'd been outlining made a slightly dull 'pop' sound before falling into Midnights outstretched hand, leaving a large fist sized hole in the window. From there all Midnight had to do was reach through the hole with his free hand, unlock it, and slowly slide the window open before letting himself into the apartment-he made sure to keep it open just in case he needed a fast getaway. From there he walked into the living room surprisingly silently, almost shadow like. His hands carried a chair from the kitchen, which upon reaching the living room he set down without a sound.

Finally taking a moment to rest he sat himself in the chair, his sharp green eyes focused on Natalias sleeping body. As he stared at her he wondered if she too was in fact a meta, and if so just how strong? Pushing the thought from his head he pulled one of his sleek jet black .45 caliber pistols out of its leg holster as he turned his gaze towards the apartments entrance-it was after all best to focus on the man who'd be coming home who Midnight was well aware was a threat, other then some unknown variable on the couch.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Midnight Masher
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After Aaron exited the store, groceries in hand, his head began to pound with each step, causing him to clench his forehead in pain. He turned around back to the store's entrance and found a bottle of generic Aspirin. "Perfect." he thought, buying the medicine immediately and proceeding to wash a pill down with a bottle of water he had brought previously. He hoped he had enough food for Natalia and himself, but he wouldn't know until he got home.

As he reached his apartment building, he walked through the door, gave a quick wave to a neighbor passing by and walked up the stairs towards his door. He opened and walked through it, but definitely was surprised by the man in black armor and a mask pointing a gun at him as he entered. Aaron knew this man wasn't a Cape Killer due to the facts that 1. The man didn't fire on sight and 2. Natalia was asleep on the couch, seemingly unaware of the intruder. Aaron decided to slowly put down the groceries next to the door frame and close the door behind him, not wanting anyone else to get involved. "I'm going to take a wild guess here and say you used my fire escape?" Aaron said, rubbing his chin as he thought. The intruder remained silent, so Aaron took that as a yes. "Okay, then. I don't have any bullets in me yet, so obviously you want something else from me. I recommend we talk this out, because when people break into my home and don't have the decency to be polite about it, I can get very...agitated." Aaron said, making sure to deepen his voice into a monstrous tone with his last word as well as blacken his eyes to try and put some fear into the masked man. "And please don't wake the girl up. She's had a rough day."

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Midnight Masher
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As Scream spoke in his slightly threatening tone not a trace of fear ran through Midnight, in the old days it might have but the things he'd done and seen over the past ten years had left Midnight all but fearless. He wouldn't admit the fact to anyone nor did he entirely realize it himself but throughout the past few years he had become more and more 'detached' from reality, drifting further and further away from the 'man' he once was, even in his own head he had become 'Midnight'-he hadn't heard the name Vincent in nine years.

Remaining seated in his chair he kept his gun on Scream, not necessarily pointing it at the man but instead resting it across his lap in a relaxed way, but at the same time it was clear where the barrel was pointed-and that was at Screams chest. "Very astute." Midnight finally answered in an extremely deep, almost unnatural, voice. In the mere seconds before Midnight spoke up again his mind soaked up the fact that the man cared about the girl on the couch, and based on that he assumed cared about people in general.

He filed it away as something to use against Scream if need be, the barrel slowly, almost unnoticeably, finding its way in the direction of the sleeping Natalia. "Ill just assume by the fact that there aren't tentacles wrapped around my neck or any of the other number of things your powers could attempt to do to me..." He stressed the word attempt without skipping a beat. "...That your smart enough listen. Ill be blunt, Scream." He continued speaking as he revealed that he knew Aaron's alter ego. "Every moment I spend sitting here is quite possibly the death of another innocent meta human, so forgive me if i make this brief." The way Midnight spoke was almost robotic, the tone was completely controlled and emotionless like he was reading from a teleprompter or something equally rehearsed. The truth was however this was what he'd become, the reign of the Cape Killers had taken quite a toll on him-throughout the years he had to mentally adapt to survive. Even as he spoke with Aaron he was plotting three different escape routes, along with multiple ways to kill any would be intruders who busted in on the private conversation.

"Like I said, ill be brief. I want you Scream, not Aaron, Scream. I know you never resigned your mask like so many of the fucking cowards over the years." The way he spat 'fucking cowards' through his mask sounded slightly uncontrolled, almost psychotic. "Instead of patrolling petty street crimes why not make a real difference? Make no mistake, this fucking twenty eight amendment is all but a God damn legal contract for genocide against meta humans. Just think about it Scream, and get back to me within a day." Standing from his seat after he finished speaking he now did have the gun openly aimed at Scream, slowly backing up and making his way towards the still open window. "I've left a card with an untraceable number on your coffee table, if you don't call within the next day the number will be fried and you wont be able to call. Like I said, think about it." As he finished his sentence he ducked out the window, dissapearing into the growing night.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens
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As soon as the stranger was out of the apartment, he quickly grabbed the card and moved over to his desk, taking a key from his pocket and unlocking the drawer closest to the ground. Inside was a mess of newspaper clippings, blacked out files, and other such information Aaron had collected, or as he liked to put it, "acquisitioned" from Cape Killers and their files. While he didn't have many, he knew he had a partial file on a man fitting the stranger's description; black armor, mean, and enough guns to start a war, which seemed to be his intent. He poured over paper after paper, hoping to find something. He did so for ten minutes until he found what he was looking for; a name. The Midnight Masher. "How very 80's." Aaron joked to himself, but then again, he named himself after a painting, so who was he to judge.

"Target is extremely armed and very dangerous." he read a loud what he had on this so called hero to himself. "He is responsible for the deaths of dozens of CK soldiers over our pursuit of him. Prior history and power set is unknown, but we believe he was formerly part of a group. This was gathered from some slices of information he yelled during combat. He is also mentally unstable and erratic, so kill by any means necessary." Aaron finished reading about the man who had just pointed a gun at him.

He knelt down and grabbed the groceries still by the door and placed them with the file on the kitchen table. He heavily slouched into a chair, starring at the file, wondering what to do now. Getting a burst of inspiration, he dashed into his room and rummaged around through a pile of mess until he found his tape recorder. He liked to use it for patient diagnoses when he didn't feel like writing and figured he should get his thoughts down in his mind while they were still fresh. Aaron then sat back down and began to talk into the device.

"Patient identifies himself as "The Midnight Masher". Files indicate a past history of violence as well as an anger towards former masked vigilantes who hung up their masks as well as the Cape Killer initiative, seeing it as a genocide. Paranoia is definitely not out of the question." Aaron said, slightly agreeing with the Masher on his last point as he took a momentary pause. "Luckily, the patient seems to value the lives of fellow innocent meta-humans, showing some capacity for kindness as well as seeking to recruit those for his "cause". He also seems to have supreme self control, pervading even my..."techniques". However, even this rule is sometimes broken as he endangered two of innocents in a single instance. Diagnosis at this time is impossible as patient history is required for further processing." Aaron rubbed his eyes with his left hand as the other pressed the stop button on the recorder. Aaron had dealt with his share of unstable people, but none of them ever entered his house and none of them knew of his other identity. This shook him a little bit, but his fear was pushed aside when he had a thought. Quickly, he grabbed the cell phone on the living room table and grabbed Bronze's business card from his pocket, quickly typing the number and hitting the call button. He waited, but all he seemed to get was the voice mail. "Hey, John. It's Aaron from the gas station earlier today. I just thought I'd tell you about...a guest who came to my home and I think he'll like to meet you. This is bad news, seriously, call me back when you get this." Aaron hung up the phone as he thought he heard a yawn coming from behind him as Natalia woke up from her nap.

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

Natalia yawned quietly as she started to wake up. She slowly sat up, glancing around at the unfamiliar, it taking a few moments for her foggy brain to wake up and remember the events of the day, to realize where she is. Natalia glanced over at Aaron, seeing him sitting there with the cellphone in his hand. "Hey," She murmured quietly, running a hand through her hair. "How long ago did you get back?" She asked, glancing at the clock, trying to figure out just how long she'd been asleep. After a few moments, she glanced back over at Aaron, looking at him once more, with the phone in his hand. "Is everything alright?" She asked as she started to wake up more. Natalia blinks slowly, she can tell that something is going on, she's just not sure what.

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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: Natalia Stevens
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Aaron had a choice to make; tell Natalia the truth or lie and try to keep her far away from this man. If he tried the latter, he would have no where to send her. If this guy knew where he lived and who he was, he probably knew where he'd hide if the need arose. Or, he could try the former, but who knew how Natalia would react. So, he decided to leave it up to her.

"Natalia..." Aaron said, sitting beside her on the arm of the couch, looking down as she woke up completely. "This job requires something. Most people call it courage, but I just call it stupidity." Aaron let out a small smile from his frowning lips. "I chose to do this. Put on a disguise and help people, save them from...from people like me. I knew I'd be hurt and hunted and feared, but I did it anyway. I made a choice and I don't regret it at all.....but you didn't have a choice. You got dragged into this by the fears of cowards, the same fears that kept us afraid as children." Aaron took off his glasses, placing them on the table in front of him and turning towards Natalia. "Now, someone is going after them. A former hero, but he's different. Far gone. He asked me to join him, but he doesn't know about you. He doesn't know what you're capable of." Aaron rubbed his face with his hands, trying to find comfort where there was none to be found. "I have to do this. Make sure he doesn't hurt anybody, find out who he is, try and figure out how he found me out. I don't want you involved in this, but you deserve to know. You at least deserve this choice."

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

Natalia watched Aaron curiously as he moved to sit on the arm of the couch. She tilted her head slightly, studying him as he talked. A small frown was on her lips by the time he'd finished. She stayed quiet for a few moments, taking it all in. Natalia bit her bottom lip as she thought about it. Every time she makes an important decision, she always tries to think of what her parents would do if they were still here. No mater how hard she tries, she's not sure what they would do if in this situation. She knows that they always protected the innocent people, but the Cape Killers aren't innocent, they've killed people. Like her. Like her parents. With that thought, she's made up her mind.

Natalia finally nodded her head as she turned her attention back to Aaron. "I want to help," She said. "My parents, they always protected the innocent, normal and meta alike. The Cape Killers, they're far from being innocent, the best way I can protect innocent Meta's, is to help you, and this other guy, who ever he is." She finished with a small nod, glancing away from Aaron again, not sure if her reasoning would actually make sense to him. She wanted to do this, partially because of what she just said, but also for revenge on the people that took her parents from her, not that she would admit that out loud.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens
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"Okay." Aaron said, accompanied with an audible sigh. To relieve the tension, he decided to turn on the TV. That was a bad idea as the news had Natalia's face plastered all over it, marking her as "armed and dangerous". "God damn it." Aaron said, getting up from the couch, manually turning off the TV, and returning to the kitchen, retrieving his tape recorder and placing it in front of Natalia. "My thoughts on this guy before you lock in your decision." Aaron said, taking off his shoes and placing them next to the door. After that, he walked into the bathroom and locked the door behind him as he began shedding his clothes. He turned on the water in his shower and stepped in, thinking back to his little trek through the sewer earlier that day. He couldn't believe everything that had happened in just a few hours and he almost didn't want to, wanting to believe he was finally going nuts and these were all just hallucinations. But, the woman in his apartment and the news report would beg to differ. The only option he felt he had was to just keep going and see this situation out. See where this rabbit hole ended and hopefully, it wasn't in a casket.

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

Natalia glanced at the TV when Aaron turned it on, a frown tugging on her lips when she sees her face though the 'armed and dangerous' thing made her want to laugh. She shook her head slightly, running a hand through her hair as Aaron turned off the TV. "Yeah, armed and dangerous," She murmured to herself with a roll of her eyes as Aaron walked off to the kitchen. When he came back and handed her the tape recorder, she looked at it for a few seconds before slowly nodding her head. "Alright," She said, before he walked off to take a shower, though, she'd already made up her mind and knew that no matter what was on the tape recorder, it wouldn't change her mind.

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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.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Waters AKA The Scream Character Portrait: Natalia Stevens Character Portrait: The Bronze Bear
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"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." Aaron heard John say over the phone. The sound was muffled slightly which was definitely odd, but Aaron just took it as sleepiness. He was interested by the fact that this mysterious man had known both John's and Aaron's identities
somehow.

"Yeah, definitely bring what you've got. We're gonna need all the help we can get." Aaron said as he walked up to his apartment and entered it, breakfast in hand and balancing his phone on his shoulder as he placed the bag and two cups on the kitchen table. "Get here when you can. The sooner we figure out what this guy's deal is, the sooner we can come up with a plan." Aaron continued, sitting at the table and taking a sip from his cup of coffee. "I'll talk to you when get here. Bye." Aaron hung up the phone as he thought he heard a stirring come from the couch. He figured it was Natalia waking up and even if she wasn't up already, Aaron thought she should be. So he walked over to the couch and placed her coffee in front of her.

"Natalia, wake up." he said, trying not to sound too rude as he knew he hated being woken up by someone else. "I bought breakfast."