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Liz Baker

The Alchemist

0 · 228 views · located in Atlas City

a character in “Hadean: The Brave”, as played by Kiyokojordie

Description

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Image
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Theme 1 – Heads Will Roll
Theme 2 - You Don't Own Me
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Full Name: Elizabeth 'Liz' Baker
Alias: The Alchemist
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White
Hair: White
Eye color: Gold
Body: Average
Height: 180cm
Weight: 65kg
Hometown: Atlas City, NC (Formerly Arcadia, FL)
Affiliation(s): NAHLA (Retired)

Personality: Liz is a real boss. A queen. An empress. Think Miranda from Devil Wears Prada. Liz can get away with almost anything she wants. Money? It's hers. Fame? Naturally. Everyone hates her, yet wants to be her. Shes from the cream of the crop. An old hero and one of the most notorious in America. In her old age nobility and patriotism has faded into a mild, chaotic nihilism. If only you had seen the shit she has seen.

Likes:
- Alcohol
- Gold
- Animals
- Chaos
- Fashion
- Celebrity life

Dislikes:
- The weak willed
- Cheap shit
- Heroes
- Time wasters
- Men

Fears:
- Being a failure
- Attachment
- Commitment
- Her family hurt

Skills:
- She can create millions of dollars from a pile of rocks
- Technologically adept
- Marksmanship
- Getting away with illegal practices

Image


Equipment:
- A cool fucking cane
- Maybe also a pocket knife

Costume Identities: Same as picture above. She doesn't really wear a suit or armor, instead opting for cool fashionable clothes in white, gold and black - her token colour scheme.



Background: Everything about Elizabeth Baker is publicly known. Born in the 80's to a poor Mr. and Mrs. Baker, she lived most of her childhood in an old trailer park full of addicts. When she was barely a teenager her powers were discovered, and little Elizabeth was taken away to be studied and trained as a soldier of NAHLA. As the Alchemist she has fought many villains and crimes over the years. Once known as the 'Star of America', the Alchemist was an extremely famous and mass produced hero. In her 20's she fell in love with an equally famous fellow hero called Swift, and they began a long and tumultuous marriage scarred by drama, abuse and the media. It was all anyone could talk about, and when Liz gave birth to their daughter it only got worse. Eventually the two got divorced, however Liz's image never fully recovered and, after a few more rocky years fighting crime in NAHLA's ranks, she retired.

Powers:
Transmutation



 Power Origins: Liz is able to manipulate and transmute objects around her, like a real living alchemist. She has the ability to directly manipulate atomic particles and physics to change things into something completely different. She was born with this power.
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NPC CHARACTERS

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Full Name: Walter H. Schmidt
Alias: None
Age: 73
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Jewish American
Hair: White
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 174cm
Weight: 58kg
Hometown: New York
Affiliation/Occupation: The handyman and janitor employed on George's submarine

So begins...

Liz Baker's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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The song Happy Together begins to play as two young adults come into view. At first it appears that they are dancing in the halls of a great, modern penthouse. Yet as they stumble closer it becomes clear that the man has his hands around the woman's throat, and the woman is punching his chest hard, her face red and straining from not being able to breathe. She is beautiful when her skin isn’t bloodied and bruised. Blonde hairs that usually fall in a straight line to her shoulders are sticking up in all directions as she struggles against the grasp of the man. The man is beautiful too, his eyes a deep golden brown, his topless body shaped like a Michelangelo sculpture, but it is ruined by jagged pieces of glass jutting out of it. He wears an ugly, angry look of disgust. Spittle flights from his lips as he throws the woman against a wall and attempts to disengage. But she is there almost immediately, jumping onto his back and scratching at him violently. They both make terrible screeching noises over the music. This is how they dance.

The two lovely figures stumble toward the balcony of their apartment. In the distance Atlas City shines brightly, unmarred by any horrible infestation. The man manages to rip the woman's arms from his shoulders and throw her off his back. She stands and stares at him, golden eyes wild in the afternoon sun, her breath heavy as they both poise in a defensive position, waiting for the other to lunge first. Blood pours from wounds on their bodies. Bruises bloom in ugly colours of yellow, green and purple on their perfect skin. Both of them let the wind cool the sweat against their half naked bodies. Then, with one swift movement the man leaps forward and grabs her by the neck once more, pushing them both off the balcony of their apartment. As they fall midair, the woman finally breaks her resolve and lets out a shriek of despair. Her eyes are bloodshot with fear. He simply looks down at her and grins, and they fall all the way down to the bottom of the city.

The wind seems to slow when they reach the pavement. Several people walking past stare at the two in disbelief as they touch down gently. Of course, he has the power of flight, yet for a moment the woman almost believed that he was going to let her fall to her death. Her knees are shaking and she pushes herself off him and vomits. Vaguely she can hear him speaking to the crowd that has gathered. “Nothing to see here,” he laughs in that stupid, charming way, “She just got a little drunk is all.” She spots a weed in the crack of the pavement and is tempted to rip it out and turn it into a baseball bat. Yet, bashing her husband’s head in front of the public seems like a bad idea. It is game over for today. He has won.

Her eyes suddenly look up and she notices a person trapped beneath acidic goop, staring at her with their mouth agape. Skin melts off an unrecognizable face. The person reaches out, letting out a horrible cry.

“Beyond the sea...”

***

Liz Baker lets out a gasp as she wakes. Her skin has broken out into a cold sweat. The music playing contrasts with her dream in a dramatic, almost comedic way. With a hurried motion the woman throws her covers off and swings her legs off the side of the bed. Briefly she massages the bridge of her nose as reality sets in.

***

Mr. Schmidt, the janitor employed on George’s submarine, glares up from mopping the floor as he is almost pushed over by the Alchemist who is stalking toward the main atrium, wearing only a light blue bathrobe and, strangely, sunglasses. She barely acknowledges the other supers who have gathered as her presence sweeps toward the only thing that matters in this early hour of the morning; coffee.

Once Liz has the steaming hot mug of comfort she sits and sips, quietly eavesdropping on them but never once speaking. Only silently judging.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Richard smiled a little awkwardly and gave a slight shrug to Henry. "I think that depends on how you define a 'team' and 'official'. I did some work in Africa and the Middle East, some was official, some was 'official'." He used air quotes several times as he described his past work. "Anyways, I guess this is actually my first time with an official hero team. If ah... We're official?"

Akiko's laid back, cheerful dialogue was disarming, made her seem like she was either the least threatening, or most trustworthy, of all the heroes on the sub. Of course, at this point, he really had few to no reasons to distrust any of the others. They were all in the same boat after all. Err... Sub.

He chuckled a little forcefully at Akiko's question, anticipating some half-truths he'd end up using. "Uhh, yeah I'm doing alright, all things considered. Back's still a bit sore, but the doctors managed to deal with any serious damage, and y'know, still alive and kicking, so that's pretty good." Before he could say anything else awkwardly, Devon's voice entered into the conversation, causing Richard to turn to him and give him a slight nod in greeting.

"I mean, maybe some of the others could do alright on their own, but I'm definitely much more confident with this being a team." Richard grinned in a similarly jesting way. "And speaking of all that 'running into each other', sounds familiar to what Sasha was talking about. Destiny and fate and all that. I'm partial to agreeing with him honestly, cause I sure didn't come to Atlas City to fight horror movie monsters."

Out of the corner of his eye, Richard noticed Liz Baker enter the atrium, dressed rather scandalously, or at least as scandalously as walking into your workplace in your sleepwear would be. She didn't interact with them, but he caught that look in her eyes. Reminded him of some of the words they'd exchanged after the attack on the beach. A part of him felt a little badly, another part felt like she had a few too many opinions for someone who hadn't gotten down in the muck and grime of the world like Richard had had to.


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George took what Sasha said into consideration for a moment, quietly contemplating the hero's words while he quietly sipped at his coffee, a wry, knowing smile on his face. "Yes, the incident at Atomic Anne's, as well as the collapsed warehouse... It seems we're being drawn into becoming more involved in this issue, doesn't it?" He turned to face Sasha face to face, that same knowing smile on his face. "As it so happens, there's something of a... Developing situation I have been made aware of in the USSR. I'm waiting to learn more, so there currently isn't a reason for us to become more involved, but I expect that will change. There are several other leads we're looking into as well, but perhaps you're right about following these Witchfinder leads."

He looked down to the Atrium floor, observing the several heroes that milled around down there now, catching up on the events of the last week no doubt.

"I've been trying to decide how best to proceed with our investigations, now that you're all gathered here. What's your assessment Sasha? Should we leave it to a vote, or start tracking down this drug first and foremost?" His tone was level, neutral. George was sincerely looking for input from one of the heroes, as he would seek it from the others. For them to work together in the best ways possible, they'd need to trust each other, and him.

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Atlas City, North Carolina: March 17th, 2045, 1:20am

Victor Elizabeth Galloway stood in the cool night air of Atlas City, made even cooler by the soft breeze that came off the ocean. He stood with several of his most trusted Witchfinder lieutenants at the warehouse-docks area along the coast, and across from them stood several other individuals in black suits, and black balaclavas, helmets, or other forms of head gear. Some of the individuals across from Victor stood out in particular, due to their incredible height, and deformed features. Others like Balthazar.

After a few uncomfortable moments of waiting, the sound of a car pulling up could be heard, and a black car with red neon under glow, and strangely red glowing windows, approached. It stopped about ten or fifteen feet across from Victor, and sat there quietly for a few moments, no one moving.

The door opened, and a figure from within stepped out. His suit and long coat were all black, contrasted by the bone white mask he wore. And on that mask was painted an eerie, uncomfortable grinning face of a comedy mask from theatrical performances. The eyes and mouth were filled in with a jet black color, and it was impossible to make out any natural human features beyond the mask.

The figure took a few steps towards the Witchfinder Generals, stopping about halfway between the car and Victor himself. "Victor..." The voice came out distorted from some kind of voice masking tool, making it tough to tell if the speaker was male or female, though the body shape implied the former. "What a pleasure it is to finally meet you in person."

He looked to the men and black who stood behind him, all standing at attention and ready to respond to the slightest twitch the masked man might give. "As you may have been aware, The Union has been under new management for a little while now." He paused for a brief moment.

"I am that new management."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Victor stood with his hands in the pockets of his black slacks, hip popped to one side and the strap of his sword case hanging loosely on his shoulder. His face was impassive toward the masked figure's assertions. He was under no presumptions that this was actually the leader of Union in the flesh; no, more than likely the mask shared a visual and audio link to the actual leader, who fed lines to their face on the field.

Assuming they cared enough to oversee this meeting themself.

"Looking to review the old investments, huh?" He spoke casually, with a light air of humor in his voice. "I'd be happy to give you a little tour of our operation, though there isn't much to show at the moment."

He turned and started walking down the dock, gesturing as he spoke. A petite, dark haired woman fell into step beside him, her silver-tipped cane clicking softly against the pavement. "I'm something of a new arrival myself. Last week's disaster left something of a mess, and Francis… well, he wasn't exactly a mastermind."

"The city's in a delicate position right now, so we're taking care with our movements. Put pressure in the wrong place and it could all…." his voice trailed off, his hand dropping in a slow arc to demonstrate his point.

He stopped in front of a warehouse, looking up at its blank facade for a moment with his back to the masked figure. "Luckily, an unknown interloper has seen fit to remove the bulk of what was left from the… previous administration. Always easier to build something new on a clean foundation," Victor grinned at the Union face over his shoulder. "Don't you agree?"





Strike. Jab. Strike. Strike. Low kick. Strafe. Step in. Strike.

Red haired twins circled around each other in the gym off the third floor of the atrium, locked in a sparring match that had lasted since long before the sun had risen over the surface of the atlantic. Sheri's shirt clung to her unpleasantly, nearly transparent with sweat, her chest rising and falling with each exhausted breath. It still wasn't enough.

Jab. Jab. Low kick. Strike. Block the-

"Shit!" Sheri lost her balance and fell backward as a palm struck her chest, spared the impact of the floor only by that same hand grabbing her shirt. She sighed in exasperation, and her twin disappeared in a burst of static.

Sheri lay on the ground in the otherwise empty gym, lifting one hand up in front of her face for a moment before letting it fall again. Her whole body ached, threatening to pass into sleep if she would let it. She didn't. She would eat something, though.

She got shakily to her feet, her legs crying out for mercy before falling back into line as Sheri left the gym and made her way down to the cafeteria near the bottom of the atrium. A number of support staff milled about the atrium in the early morning, and she spotted a number of her team… the other hero… the rest of the contracted agents hanging around together off to one side. She ignored them as she stalked through, pretending she didn't look like a drowned rat with how soaked and matted her hair was.

The cafeteria's breakfast selection was… abhorrent. Sheri had never liked breakfast foods, and the discovery that starvation apparently wasn't enough to kill her had done nothing to help that. There was a selection of sliced fruit available, however, and she filled a bowl with melon cubes while trying not to consider the logistics of how this submarine would maintain its stock of fresh produce. She ate a piece of cantaloupe with her fingers as she stepped back out into the atrium, eyes scanning for a moment before settling on a spot under the staircase where she should be able to eat in peace.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"I can't say I did either," Henry agreed with Richard after nodding to Devon in greeting. He looked contemplative for a moment, before continuing. "...or maybe I did. Either way, it does feel good to be part of something bigger," he stated, glancing up as the Alchemist passed by wordlessly to get herself some breakfast, he assumed. Among the rest of them, she was probably the hero with the most professional experience. While that would prove an invaluable asset, it seemed that she wasn't always the most sociable. It made Henry wonder what led Liz to retire in the first place. "Here's hoping we got the whole team unity thing down. Won't matter how powerful we all are together if we can't all get on the same page." He scratched his chin.

"You know...if we all end up gathering in here for breakfast, it might be as good a chance as any for us to have talk," he suggested. An amused look flashed across his face. "I know the sub's big enough for us to avoid each other before the mission starts...but that doesn't mean we should!" he shouted loud enough to echo across the atrium.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"I could not have said it better myself, which it seems, I did!" came the bombastic reply from the other side of the Atrium as the deepfake Henry stepped into full view, his clothes matching the true Henry's outfit detail for detail. In fact, as the fake Henry (hereafter referred to as Fenry for narration's sake) crossed the room, it became clear that it was impossible to tell the difference between the twins, other than their mannerisms.

"Those who feast together, usually end up fighting for the toilet later!" Fenry claimed, striking a heroic pose. "But also conversations can be struck up! Camaraderie can be built! Bonds can be forged!" Fenry pointed a finger up to the sky. "Only the bravest can face the battlefield that is the breakfast table!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"..."

Henry was silent for a moment at the sudden lookalike's intrusion. He calmly walked over towards the beverages placed onto the sub and poured himself a glass of orange juice before sitting back down and taking a sip. "...so, anyway, like I said. Team building's pretty important for a whole buncha reasons. Knowing when to detect any imposters for starters..." he said, lifting his juice-free hand to reveal something else he stealthily swiped from the breakfast table.

A platter of chocolate muffins. With precision not dissimilar to that of an expert marksman, he began to pelt the muffins at 'Fenry's' head.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"O-ho!" Fenry exclaimed, spinning in place and in a swirl of clothing, transforming himself into Richard 2.0. "You would lure the White Death into battle?" Richard 2.0's hands snatched a chocolate muffin from the air, and shoved it into his mouth.

"Fen fie musft fue fis baffle shfusish!" Richard 2.0 said, chocolate crumbs spraying out of his mouth as he tried to chew and fend off the remaining muffins simultaneously. "On fard!"

Racing to another end of the table, Richard 2.0 grabbed some pancakes and began hurling them like frisbees back at Henry.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Pancakes instead of waffles. That's blasphemy. Henry grabbed Akiko's umbrella and used it as a shield against the inferior pastries. "This reminds me...we got a training room in this thing, right? We should use that to our advantage too at some point," he mentioned casually against the volley of pancake projectiles.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Sasha shifted back into his normal self, grinning, and rubbed his nose. "Give me that mop, old man, I wouldn't be who I am today if I didn't clean up after myself." Patting the man's shoulder, Sasha turned to the others. "It's nice to see at least some of our spirits are up. I'm sorry I've been away for a few days."

Sasha glanced at Liz. "My dear Alchemist, would you mind tossing me a bin?" He gestured to the mess on the floor. "For the spill."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lilian Anderbilt Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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George watched the events in the Atrium unfold as a 'clone' of Henry turned into a 'clone' of Richard and began a small food fight. He felt a slight rush of amusement, but it was soon overcome by other, more serious thoughts. Namely the other meeting he'd need to contend with soon, as well as the myriad of questions he was no doubt going to need to answer quite soon.

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Richard felt a twinge of second hand embarrassment as the more lonesome colleagues were less than subtly called out for not participating in their socializing. "Well I mean... There aren't many pages in the book of existential threats to humanity. I kinda figure you either do what it takes to save the planet or-" He was cut short by the arrival of... Henry. Another one. Richard looked confused for a few moments as the first Henry threw muffins at the other, who then turned into Richard himself.

"Huh, well that's an interesting trick..." He muttered as a small scale food war broke out. One of the pancakes that fell to the floor landed with a bit more of an audible thud, having been frozen solid by real Richard. "Can you copy powers too, or just appearances I wonder?" He grinned, curious to see what the extent of powers of Henry's 'opponent' were.

A warcry from Akiko, and some angry ranting from a janitor, were the last two great sounds of the short lived food war, and Richard 2.0 revealed himself as Sasha, a little surprising, but then Richard always expected he had rather strange abilities. "Good to see you again Sasha, and surprised to! Have you... Been on the sub this whole time? I don't remember you being on the jet when we came over?" He glanced over to Liz again, feeling a little annoyed she continued to just sit there. Then he noticed someone else who'd decided to settle down here. Her name was... Sheri?

Richard suddenly realized that this wasn't the first time he'd seen her under similar circumstances. The diner, the Witchfinder attack, she was there sitting in a booth by herself, not interacting with any other patrons. That seemed like ages ago now...


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An audible laugh cackled from behind Victor, emanating from The Union Leader. "True to your roots it seems! Scorched Earth policy and all that, evidently that applies to more than just the drugs you buy!" He laughed a few moments longer before silence overcame him, and he continued his response. "But as for clean slates, I suppose that depends Victor. Oh certainly, I did have to clean things up quite a bit when I came into possession of The Union, but no sense in reinventing the wheel. You take what works, fix or toss out what doesn't, and you organize it all into a cohesive system that works better than any of the parts did on their own before."

The figure approached the warehouse, standing a few feet back from where Victor was. A moment of silence passed before the leader of The Union continued. "But actually, it's funny you mention that 'interloper', because truthfully I'm not really here to review my old investments. I'm here to do some... Let's call it 'supply chain management'." He faced Victor fully now, stepping around him to come closer to the warehouse. "How about you give me that little tour while we talk about making some improvements to our 'supply chain', some fixes for efficiency." A warped chuckle emanated from the voice box of the mask, sounding raspy and robotic.

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Atlas City, North Carolina: March 17th, 2045, 1:25am

The barkeep nodded to Lilian, and let her know he'd see where The Shape was at. She only needed to wait a few moments before a strange, black void seemed to take up the color of everything on her left. As she turned to face the new comer, she saw that they were donning a Vantablack suit and mask, which appeared to suck up the color and light immediately around it.

"It's good to see you again Lilian, or at least see whoever it is you're impersonating here." The Shape chuckled to himself. "In fact, it's just good to see a familiar, friendly face again. One of few, I can assure you. How are you managing these days? Keeping yourself... Busy?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"No," Sasha said to Richard. "I actually just got back. I was tracking down some leads of my own in regards to that 'super' drug."

Having been rudely ignored by the Alchemist, Sasha extended a hand and concentrated. The hand changed shape and color into what could have passed as any ordinary trash bin. With a slight sucking sound, Sasha pulled his arm free, flexing his fingers for a second before picking up the newly formed trash container.

"I'm glad to see everyone's okay, at least for the most part. Devon, we never got a chance to catch up after that beach incident. Were you able to study that sample we took?" Sasha asked, beginning to collect the scattered muffins and pancakes. Sasha glanced at Sheri and nodded her way. "Anything made it over there, Ms. Galloway?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Sheri stared blankly at the umbrella for a long moment. She scoffed in annoyance and pushed past her, wondering what she could possibly hope to expect from a team like this. And then Sheri stopped, just a few steps behind Akiko. Maybe it was just Sheri's fatigue getting to her, but somehow the words Akiko had spoken echoed in the voice of someone else.

Sheri's vision skittered around the atrium, to the walls, the ceiling, the seawater flowing beneath the glass under her feet. Then she sighed, rubbed at her tired eyes, and turned to slump into the seat of a nearby table, head resting back against the cool, polished surface.

"Fine," she surrendered, not looking at any of them. "Debrief away."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"Well, look at that! We debriefing now! Our first one as a team!" Henry remarked with a smirk, leaning back in his chair. "Aight....let's trade notes!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Devon watched on as Sasha played a little doppelganger skit with Henry and Richard, resulting in a bit of a food fight only really stepping in to snatch one of the chocolate muffins that found themselves airborne. "Woe the cooks that have to watch their hard work being thrown into the trash." He said with a soft voice before digging into his claimed muffin. He then stepped back a bit anticipating the actions of the one who disappeared with a whole plate full of scrambled eggs, luckily managing to avoid getting hit by either of the gluten gladiators or the phantom of the buffet.

When things calmed down, flying food wise, another barrage was thrown through the air though this was a more verbal one, one of combined questions and information. Two of which demanded Devon's immediate attention, as such he turned to the first one to open their food receptacle. "Annoyingly yes, if you want to read up on the details I went ahead and created a couple folders on the shared drives it should be in the beast of decay case file. But to sum up the results it indeed formed a kind of inhibiting polymer complex, however I've been unable to identify the source of a couple of the building blocks so to speak and I have a feeling they aren't part of the beast of decay either. Maybe you could take a look at it, since you are more well versed with oceanic biology?" He asked Sasha hoping he would be able to fill in the blanks and in turn complete the formula for a decay inhibiting solution.

He then turned his mind to the far more troublesome matter that had just been revealed, with a sigh he sat down on one of the clean seats at the table giving himself a moment of time to think about the implications before more or less addressing the group. "Since none of you all were at the warehouse, let me just sum up the situation. Somebody murdered all of the witchfinders at the location, then leveled the building with god knows what kind of machinery with no attempts at cleaning up any evidence. Likely an action in anticipation of a SINS raid. Now let's add in the fact that some kind of law enforcement agency did this. Honestly I can only come to the conclusion that affiliates of the witchfinders have infiltrated one or more law enforcement agencies, high enough to be in the know of when locations are going to be raided and high enough to cover up the clean up operations from their subordinates." He explained to the others before taking a big sip of his coffee, giving the others a moment to let the new information sink in.

"What I'm saying is... FBI, CIA, NSA, SINS, DOHA or even a branch of the military, chances are at least one of these has been infiltrated and corrupted by the witchfinders to a degree that they are effectively in control." He added trying to figure out internally which one would be the most likely and which one would be the scariest prospect to fight against.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"So... our working theory is that the Witchfinders, a faction of deranged, extremist religious zealots, infiltrated one of the most secure federal agencies in the country, found out they were planning a raid on a Witchfinder warehouse, and then... murdered all their own guys in advance to prevent information leaks? That's our theory?" Sheri lifted her head up enough so Devon could see her skeptically raised eyebrows.

She slapped the table and stood up to leave. "Welp, this has been a fantastic waste of time. Good work gang, I look forward to watching you crack the next case."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"Knowing next to nothing about the Witchfinders and their drugs and....slightly more than I'd like to about government shadow agencies, is it that hard to believe?" Henry called over to Sheri as she began to leave. "At this point, any possibility seems...possible."

Henry put his hands behind his head and asked anyone who could answer. "What's up with these Witchfinders guys anyway? They're like a bunch of psychos who hate superpowers...but also have superpowers, right?"

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Akiko had been beaming, having followed Sheri back to the tables and sat across from her. As Devon gave his theory and Sheri tore it to pieces, something inside of the ghost hero stirred. She got up to stop the redhead from leaving but found her face smacking the floor as Henry added to the conversation. A pressure was building inside of her and she could hear the sound of crackling fire behind her. Akiko didn't even bother to look around. She knew nothing was there.

Of course, you'd wake up for this...

"I think you missed a spot, Sasha" Akiko said with a small laugh as she got up from the floor. It hadn't looked like she had tripped however. More like just collapsed. "Sheri, don't leave yet! Admittedly, we shouldn't be making theories until we get more clues. We're gonna get too caught up in making the pieces fit. But I do think it's a good idea to see if there are leads we can pursue. Everyone's just voicing what they got right now."

"Though," Akiko added, looking over at Henry ominously, cracking her knuckles. "Some of us should be more careful with our word choice, especially after the food incident we just had."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"Hey look, I just wanna know about the Witchfinders," Henry shrugged. "You hear about 'em on the news, but I never really got much outta those reports aside from their gist of their rheotoric. ...Actually, hold up," he turned to Akiko. "Do you know anything about 'em? I mean...one of your ghosts sure looked had the look of one, from what I remember."

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Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"Hmm, maybe," Sasha said in response to Devon's request he look at the data, looking slightly embarrassed. He listened to Devon's theory, and Sheri's rebuttal, then shrugged.

"It's certainly likely that elements of many criminal organizations have infiltrated the higher reaches of the government," Sasha said, setting the trash bin down and grabbing a plate. He began quickly filling it with food. "The Witchfinders are well-funded, well-equipped, and growing in number thanks to resentment fostering amongst those without powers, or those who have been mistreated. Neither of those necessarily mean that using said power is forbidden, just that those who were gifted with it are."

Sasha shrugged. "Regardless of the motivations, however, the Witchfinders have, I believe, simply stumbled across the drug. It appears to be a recent addition to their ranks. The giant one we fought near the diner was too rough around the edges, too weak. They'll be working on newer, better soldiers. But to do that, they'll need vast quantities of the drug."

Sasha seated himself and looked at the rest of the group. "They'll be starting to synthesize the drug for themselves. Production and distribution will shift in America to the Witchfinders. Not only that, but they'll be eliminating any competitors.

"For us, however, we still have to look bigger. The Witchfinders found the drug, but who created it in the first place? That was the question I sought to answer. The last few days I have spent tracking down leads, tracing back the roots of the drug. I debriefed George earlier, but it's somewhere out of country. I know Russia has a variant of the drug in it, but it's more primitive. It doesn't give the user powers, simply enhances what's there. I believe the Witchfinders have been getting the drug shipped in through somewhere along the west coast, but without heading there ourselves, I didn't get much farther."


Sasha glanced at Akiko, who was supposed to be the detective, and smirked as if to say Top that, Ms. Bong, I dare you.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"It's all I have to offer given the facts. Or do you perhaps have a theory why law enforcement murdered a whole warehouse of criminals, more than a few who didn't resist and then leveled the place without investigating the scene and taking anyone in for interrogation? Smells to me like someone in the government is trying to cover something up and not something small. So unless we want to entertain the idea that this drug is another government concoction a la MKUltra, them being in bed with the Witchfinders to a certain degree doesn't sound all that outlandish." He retorted towards Sheri after having gotten some backing from both Sasha and Henry.

He then turned towards Sasha who had himself uncovered a whole host of leads to follow. "Given the amount of the stuff that got trashed in the warehouse it has to have been shipped in via one of the bigger ports, but that still leaves a couple dozen places dotted along the West coast, do you have any idea where about along the West coast we have to start looking for this needle in the haystack?" He asked hoping Sasha could narrow things down to two or three port cities at most.

Not a moment later did the spectral detective drop a few bombs on the group. She had managed to collect the black book that one of the ghost on site had told her about, an actual non-trashed sample of the drug and apparently the soul of one of those shitty witchfinders. "Well that would have been useful to have had earlier, chemical analysis takes literal ages on mystery matter like this. Oh well, at least we now have one more set of eyes to help decode that mess." He said with a little annoyance in his voice giving a little nod to Sasha at the end.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lilian Anderbilt Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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The ground level of the atrium had become a raging storm of conversation, ideas, evidences, and possible theories surrounding the subject of the Witchfinder Generals, as well as the drugs they had been using. So far, everyone had brought up some major potential leads; an outside source for the drugs, potential government involvement, the possibility of a pharmaceutical company being used (even if only in part) for production, a little black book, and what sounded like (depending on what Akiko meant by a 'soul') a witness.

Richard quietly cleared his throat before deciding to add some of his own thoughts. "Devon, if I recall correctly, we'd talked about the possibility of some leads in ex-East Germany? I'd heard rumors about things like the freaky Witchfinder from the diner, being used during the Belarusian Civil War. Thought it was just a myth, like the Philadelphia Project or something, but seeing him in person lends a lot more credibility to that possibility."

He looked between the group, taking what had been discussed about the potential of government involvement for a second, milling it over in his head while he thought it through. "It's also entirely possible the Witchfinders are some kind of... Well, either a false flag movement, or maybe a government controlled terror group? I mean think about the political implications for a second. The US government, at least, is having a major schism over super rights, supers in the military, providing more funding to supers, etc. A group like the Witchfinders could very easily be part of some political group's toolbox for getting whatever it is they want passed into law."

The slight shrug he gave showed he wasn't entirely confident in his hypothesis, but he still felt it had credibility. "It'd be a risky move, but with enough layers of separation between politicians and terrorists, how do you come out and prove that this is all part of some conspiracy to either oppress supers, or get more supers fighting wars?"


______________________________________________________________________________________


Lilian talked for a while, starting off with general enough chit chat, but the generalities quickly turned to things she was working on, ideas and inventions she had, and soon it seemed she was whisked away by a passionate, heartfelt speech. For all of Maxwell's dark sides, for his coldness, and his views of people often being little more than tools, he couldn't help but feel thrilled but what she had to say. His heart may be somewhat cold, but it would have to be missing entirely for all of this to have no impact on him.

Especially because these emotions were all her own. Maxwell wasn't using his powers on her right now, and truthfully, he rarely ever had. Why manipulate someone who'd freely offer you their loyalty? That was not least of the things that made her quite endearing.

He'd started to respond, but after a few moments it became clear she'd trailed off, coming back to reality and asking him to repeat himself. The Shape chuckled a little at this.

"Well firstly Lilian, I just wanted to say that, busy as you may be, I do hope you're enjoying your time with all of your 'jobs', especially with being a mom. " He patted her gently on the shoulder before clasping both hands in front of him, leaning against the bar.

"Let's not get too absorbed in the talk of 'becoming gods'. We've still got a lot of work to do, wouldn't do us well to put the carriage in front of the horse. But... Your ideas, and your inventions, are an investment we can't ignore either. So I'm going to support you in this 100%, and if testing on me is necessary, let's go ahead and do it. Assuming it's safe that is. Mustering up the 'resources' to do proper tests would take time, but you've more than made your point that what you're working on could potentially be one of the most important things we've ever made, even when I had The Union under me."

He went quiet for a moment, pensively tapping his fingers together before looking back to Lilian. "But as for The Union, I'm not yet sure if they're causing me problems or not. Someone certainly is, they've been providing drugs that create super powers to various gangs and villains in the area, but most significantly is that terrorist group, the Witchfinder Generals. I don't know who's behind this, but whoever it is, we need to deal with them. Quickly."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"Hey, you might catch Akiko slacking but while she works at an...unorthodox pace, as a detective, she's the real deal," Henry interjected. "Besides...got a feeling she'll be one of the keys to getting the drop on the Witchfinders," he added, looking over at the ghostly detective, his eyes then drifting over to a packet of nearby hot sauce which he stared at in contemplation. "Not only do we have a decent amount of evidence left for chemical analysis, we have our very own Witchfinder we can interrogate in-person...uh, so to speak."

Listening in to Richard's take regarding the Witchfinders, Henry didn't quite like what he was gleaning for this. "If any of that, has a grain of truth in it, then..." he shook his head. "I honestly don't get it. You'd think there'd be bigger problems to deal with, especially now. Then again, I never quite understood the government's hold on superheroing. Makes me glad we're operating unaffiliated."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Akiko clutched at her chest, looking wounded as both Devon and Sheri practically reprimanded her for not delivering key evidence sooner. Richard helped twist the knife in as he, too, had absolute no reaction to the ghost hero's confession. She placed her head on the table, staring off into space in disbelief. Had she simply been overthinking this all along?

Henry's words snapped her out of her despair. She sat up, about to thank him for defending her, when two things registered in her brain.

"Unorthodox!?" She cried out first as her brain worked on processing the gravity of the second statement. "Henry... Taco sauce won't be enough to make him behave this time around."

She paused, placing her arms behind her head. Her brows came together in thought as she tried to gauge how resistent he would be to the idea. With all the theories floating about however and need for information, it was tempting.

"Since it hasn't been too long yet, there's a chance that we could get some info out of the Witchfinder. That way we can get these theories narrowed down. I might need to get clearance for this though. Or at least a couple of you to get him back under control if need be. I can't guarantee anything though, especially not with how grumpy he gets."

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Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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Sheri crossed her arms and eyed Henry, as he seemed the most experienced when it came to working with Akiko. "So what, is this like a split personality thing?"

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Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Sheri Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Henry Stewart (Macroman) Character Portrait: Liz Baker
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"Uh..." Henry scratched the side of his face. "Kinda, in the literal sense. She's like a spirit medium of sorts. Best way I can put it anyway. Saw in in action twice. Once during our trip to the beach, where we had a interview with the dead. And once when...well, uh...there was a taco incident."