Announcements: Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newbies » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Impending Pursuit Q&A » Eudaimonia » Loot! » Natural Kinds » I have a funny idea » Life in the 21st century. » Song of the Runes » Plato’s Beard » Clues » Nihilism » Strange Tales From Hadean » Art Gulag [ Come get this Commish! ] » Visibility of Private Universes & Profile Customisation » Presuppositionalism » Aphantasia » Skill Trees - Good, Bad & Ugly » In-Game Gods & Gameplay Impact » Cunningham's Law » The Tribalism of Religion » Lost Library »

Players Wanted: Looking For A New Partner » Hellboy characters » 18+ Writing Partner [Fantasy, Romance, Etc.] » 18+, Multi-Para to Novella Writers please! » Looking for roleplayers » Fun tale full of angels, demons, and humans » Looking for roleplayers » A Fairytale World in Need of Heroes & Villains! » Are You a Crime Addict? » Wuxia RP » Looking for roleplayers » New Realistic Roleplay - Small World Life ٩( ´・ш・)و » Mentors Wanted » MV Recruiting Drive: sci-fi players wanted! » Veilbrand: The Revolution » Gonna do this anyway. » Looking for Kamen Rider Players » Elysium » Looking for roleplayers for a dystopian past! » Revamping Fantasy Adventure RPG, need new players »

0
followers
follow

Jamie Kerrow

Spiderblood

0 · 218 views · located in Atlas City

a character in “Hadean”, as played by Nulix

Description

_________________________________________________________________________

Image
_________________________________________________________________________

Theme 1 - Nervejamming - Bass Drum of Death
Theme 2 - Razorblade - The Strokes
Theme 3 - stupid horse - 100 gecs
Theme 4 - bumbleboy - small dad
Theme 5 - It's Just Us Now - Sleigh Bells
_______________________________________________________________________


Full Name: Jamie Kerrow
Alias: Arachne, Spiderblood
Age: 33
Gender: Non-binary
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Hair: Black
Eye color: Blue
Body: Average
Height: 165cm/5’ft 5”in

Weight: 63kg/139lbs
Hometown: Beaverton, Ontario, Canada
Affiliation(s): Arcas - A Reigado Comunidade Autossuficiente de Superheróis (Defunct)

Personality: Jamie used to be a lost child. But now they're grow, and they know who the fuck they are- and what they have to do to get what they want. Jamie is also depressed, anti-social and angry. Jamie has to fight every day to remind themselves the future they want is possible and worth living for. In the meantime, they distract themselves with drugs and alcohol.

Likes:

-Nature
-Alcohol
-Drugs
-Skating
-Security
-Nature
Dislikes:

-Capitalism
-Superhero Industry
-Insects
-Their superpowers
-Social situations
Fears:
-Spiders
-Sobriety
-Their superpowers
Skills:

-Some mechanical knowledge
-Some metalworking knowledge

Image


Costume Identities:
Jamie wears a handcrafted metal mask to hide their identity when acting as Spiderblood.

Equipment:
Finger Knives - long, metal finger claws for easy skin piercing and blood access.

Background: Jamie was born in raised in Beaverton, Ontario, and had in many ways the typical small town childhood. Not the small town childhood of movies, the small town childhood of reality. The experience of realizing your parents were a failed insurance agent and a failing carpenter in a marriage marred with unspoken bitterness, economic stress, and an abundance of loss. The experience of being raised as the wrong gender- being viewed as something you’re not your entire life but having no alternate. The experience of spending teenage years with bad friends, on a bad hockey team, listening to angry music, driving into the woods and smoking weed to pass the time until you achieve the eventual goal of getting out the shithole town. Your usual angsty stuff. Now add superpowers into the mix.

Like most of the world Beaverton has spiders. No dangerous species are native to Ontario and for most of their life Jamie thought little of the creature. Until one day, when they were seventeen, day-drinking in the woods. A horde of spiders passed- hundreds of them, across the forest floor- all heading in one direction. And Jamie followed. They were curious. Perhaps they should have not been. They led Jamie down into a cave, to the nest: an underground lake of blood where the creatures fed. The remains of skeletal dead animals floated in the red pool the arachnids bathed in. Jamie tried to flee, but the spiders swarmed them, poisoned them, and tied them in web. Jamie fell into the pool of blood, drowning in the remains of the dead forest creatures. And there they stayed for hours, maybe days- not living but not dead, not breathing but not wanting for air. Until at last they could feel the blood. And control it.

Jamie escaped the cave and made their way home. They found they could turn the blood of any animal into spiders. Spider. Blood. Blood. Spider. It was a cursed power, one they wished every day they hadn’t received. Many people died in Jamie’s early experimentation's with their new found ability, including their parents. Jamie eventually fled Beaverton. For years they were alone, travelling town to town, relationships and employment fleeting. No matter where they went, no matter how hard they tried to suppress it, their spiderblood abilities would emerge. And they would kill.

Eventually Jamie did find a home- in a community of superheroes living off the grid in South America. The community was called Arcas. And despite their crimes, it welcomed Jamie and under the guidance of the supers there they learned how to control their powers. They made friends and figured out, for the first time, who they truly were and what they wanted: simple happiness, to love and be alive. And they even found someone they wanted to be simply happy with: a super who also felt their gift was a curse- but not one to be overcome, instead one to be given into. Under their partner’s pressure Jamie began a life of vigilante super heroics. They became the Arachne, ruler of the spiders. And for a time they fought crime.

But an unhappiness festered in Arachne. They never wanted power at all, and certainly never wanted to be a hero. And the day eventually came when they no longer could. Arcas would end, violently, at the hands of one of the Brazilian government’s superhero task-forces. Their partner had left to live a life they did not want, escaping just before the massacre. Jamie was the only survivor. And once again, they were alone. But now, they knew who they were and what they wanted. And, with their powers now fully under their control, they would carve their way through anything to get it.

In the next several years that followed Jamie’s fingerprints would pop up all over the globe, linked to murders and robberies but never with a concrete pattern as to why. Any superheroes who pursued the cases came up cold. Spiderblood remained a mystery. Most recently they seemed to have made a life for themselves in Evergreen, Colorado. Things there, as they so often did in Jamie’s life, went terribly wrong- and at the end of their Colorado stay they accepted a contract with a villain who had been studying the Spiderblood cold cases for years- Maxwell Landon, the Shape. Jamie now finds themselves under Landon’s employment, driving to Atlas City, with an uncertain future ahead.

Powers:
Arachnid Control
[Master]
Jamie can control any arachnid.
Spider Blood
[Shaker]
The ability to turn blood into spiders.
Power Origins: Traumatic spider cave blood drowning experience.

Color Code: ADA338

So begins...

Jamie Kerrow's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Though the drizzle had stopped the grey skies remained over Atlas City. Maxwell and the duo of stupid sluts under his employment Maeve, Zeke found themselves atop an old brownstone, a good vantage for the ruined beachfront. The streets were empty, save for a few abandoned cars and civilians checking to see if it was safe to emerge.

A car-horn began to echo. The horn was blaring the notes of a song: the chorus to Daylight by Matt and Kim, on loop endlessly. The trio of evildoers looked down to see a BMW van with tinted windows make it's way through the streets and stopping beside their building. The horn went dead as the door swung open, Ulysses stepping out of the driver's seat and waved to them. Out the passenger seat a freckled, black haired being emerged- their head wrapped up in a brown beanie. Their ride had arrived.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Pyromancer - or Zeke, as Maxwell knew him - stared silently at his boss' words, whatever expression he held obscured behind his mask. He looked out to the beach. Even after three years, such… gratitude... felt alien to him. But not unwelcome.

It was then that Zeke saw a car roll up. Curvilinear. Sleek. Civilian-grade, at least from the exterior. And expensive-looking. From within came the familiar face of a bodyguard, and the less familiar face of… a youthful-looking person. Pale. Freckled. With blue eyes so bright and icy, they seemed almost aglow. Something about that unnerved Zeke.

The Pyromancer wandered towards the edge of the building, then kicked down the fire escape ladder. He vaulted over, grabbed the sides of the ladder, slid all the way to the end of the ladder, then jumped to land between Ulysses and the newcomer.

"Ulysses," he nodded to greet the bodyguard. He then turned to the pale one. He had clocked them as a man from above, but up close… he wasn't so sure. Narrow shoulders. Feminine torso. He had been here in Atlas City long enough to not presume. The Pyromancer tilted his head and asked, "New blood?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Cannonade's fingers tapped their juice box impatiently. They and the other heroes had been directed by Agent Moore to a different tent, given zip-locked sandwiches (no vegetarian options), juice boxes and packets of plain chips. For the last half an hour they'd been mindlessly answering questions- a conventional first part of an interrogation, with Agent Moore creating a timeline so that he could catch them in contradictions later on. Cannonade had been in these sorts of situations before, and they knew the answer was always to stay quiet and lawyer the fuck up.

There was talk of detention when a young justice department agent had entered the room. Cannonade's grip tightened on the juice-box as they looked between the two, becoming increasingly uneasy at the lack of control this situation offered them, when suddenly: boom.

A jet making landing outside the beach. The only person Cannonade could think who could land on ground zero after an incident such as the beast of decay was the president of the United States themselves. The tent doors opened and an elderly man entered. He had a cane. And he was not the president.

"George Carlisle Hughes," Cannonade repeated the name as if it were a foreign language. But still, they rose out their chair and took a step toward George, away from the SINS agent. Step one, get out of this government hell hole. Step two, call their lawyer.

***

The pale figured gave the Pyromancer a tight-lipped smile and a nod of their head. "I just got into the city. Kind of late, I guess."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Pyromancer tilted his head. A short ‘hmph’ was muffled by his mask. “Picked a bad time. Should’ve not come at all.” He turned and gestured to the distance, where the carnage wrought by the Beast of Decay had left its marks upon the city’s outskirts. “City’s gone to shit. Capes and suits gonna crack down on this place harder than ever before.” He shook his head in disgust. Embers flickered alight and hovered around him as he hissed, “Do-gooders and lunatics. Bureaucrats and bootlickers. All maggots in a pile. Bad for business.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

George smiled softly to Henry, but his look said that Henry wasn’t exactly correct…


"I think it’s more complicated than ‘alien’. It’s not the word I would use. The situation is more… Complicated than that. As for who knows about this…" He trailed off slightly looking over to the NAHLA agents for a moment, then back to Henry.


"NAHLA and SINS likely know nothing more about this situation than what happened on the beach today. In fact, about the only people who know more about this situation in the world are associated with me, or those men in black."


"So why exactly do so few people know about this? Why do you seem to have such exclusive access to this knowledge?" Richard finally interjected. He’d stood up and walked to the small bar near the back of the plane, pouring himself a simple glass of water, letting it glaze over with a thin layer of frost before taking a sip.


The others had been in a bad state so far. He pitied them, and everyone who lost their lives today, or loved ones. The whole thing was… Tragic. To put it entirely too lightly. But still, people needed to move forward, now more than ever with this much chaos.



George looked to Richard sympathetically, before continuing. "Because measures have been taken to ensure that. This planet needs to be protected, at all costs, and so subterfuge must be employed quite often. The men in black are proof as to why. Imagine if a power hungry government tried getting its hands on power like this."


Words were exchanged between a few of the other supers on board in regards to incidents in ‘Asia’, specifically Russia. George raised an eyebrow and accompanied it with a slight, sly smirk at Sasha. "Well now, I am surprised to hear that information passed around, especially since it came from behind the curtain! But the rumors you heard may have validity to them. Now may not be the time to talk about it, but I intend to look into those matters. Perhaps some of you could assist in that even."


The comment about ‘Giant Monsters’ also caught his attention, though rather than addressing them in Russian, he kept to English. "If I may say, ‘Kaiju’ are very much a threat in their own category, one that’s fairly static. What we’re dealing with is far, far more dynamic. I dare say, size is the least of our worries."


The sharp, biting words of Vicki Vortex cut through again, as she demanded more explanations. It seemed things were tense between her and Aegis, or rather it seemed she was becoming more and more tense, while many of the others seemed to fall into a state of burnout. George already was fairly certain plans would need to change. Before he could respond to Vortex, she had left for the bathroom, the shapeshifter following.


Sairyn too had left for a bathroom as well, and despite his attempts to perhaps be more inconspicuous than Miss Vortex, George could see the strain on him as well. He hadn’t been on the frontlines, but the events of today still weighed on Sairyn, and perhaps something else? George cast a brief glance at ‘Silver Fang’, asleep for now, recovering physically, and perhaps mentally and emotionally. Though those are scars that take much longer to heal, even for most heroes.


"What is it we’re dealing with then? You said you know more about Heather Wright, so tell us what happened to her, how that monster got a hold of that recording, and how she died." Richard asked plainly, now pacing across the floor near the bar as he sipped the ice water in hand. There were plenty of seats available, so the choice to pace wasn’t due to any lack of place to rest. An anxious response perhaps?


Before George could say anything more, Miss Vortex had returned to the cabin, approached him directly, and finally made her demands about as clear as they could be.


Now was definitely the time to change plans. George reached into his jacket, pulling out a small, rectangular, silver metal box. Popping it open, he pulled a card out from inside, sliding it across to Miss Vortex. He then pressed a button on the surface of the desk, leaning closer to a call box situated on the surface. "Pilot, radio to the sub. Let them know we’ll be a few more days, we need to take care of matters back in North Carolina first. Then turn the plane around, take us back over to Asheville. I think some rest has been earned."


He released the button, brought his hands together and wove the fingers between each other, gently resting them on the desk. "You can leave through the cargo doors under the cabin, there’s a set of stairs in the back by the kitchen that will take you down. It’ll lower a ramp that takes you out the back of the plane, so make sure to aim yourself downwards so you’re not hit by the jet exhausts. Just don’t jump out yet. Wait till we’re back over Atlas City, you’ll have much less of a journey then, I expect. There’s also a bit of circuitry in that card. Just give it a gentle press and we can come find you, if you change your mind about joining us."


George cleared his throat and looked to the other supers in the room with him, taking a brief pause before addressing the primary concerns he’d been confronted with. "I’ll be frank with you, Miss Vortex, since it seems to me like you might appreciate not mincing words. You’re all here because you’re not dead. You went to fight the Beast, managed to all inflict some damage, and avoid being utterly destroyed. When I look at you, all of you, I see what could potentially be a collection of the most powerful heroes on Earth."


He leaned back in his chair slightly, and looked from Vicki to the rest of the heroes gathered. "Give me some time and cooperation, and I can ensure you’re the most powerful heroes on Earth. That is, of course, if you’re all willing to help me save it."


George looked to Richard briefly before he continued. "There have been a lot of suggestions made about what this creature from the beach is, or what its capabilities were. We can discuss this more later. For now, let’s discuss the matter of Heather Wright. She died in a hospital bed in 2027. The creature we encountered on the Beach never met her in its life, because she never met it in hers. The ‘recordings’ it was playing? The only people on Earth with access to them are myself and my associates, and we still have all copies accounted for. Which leads me to a working theory."


His brow furrowed as he allowed the reality to finally sink in for them all. "I believe we’re dealing with beings capable of traveling through dimensions. Not just time. Not just space. Whole planes of reality. To put it in more pleasant terms for right now, we’re dealing with something, or some things, that are incredibly dangerous to humanity."


There was a long exhale as he flattened his palms against the surface of the desk. "Today was not a victory. It was a tremendous, tremendous failure. And not even because of the lives lost. This wasn’t an attack. It wasn’t an invasion. It was a STRESS TEST. Whatever sent that monster here was prodding our planet’s defenses for weaknesses, and we failed spectacularly. Of course, this isn’t any of your faults, I’d even find it hard to blame the American government. At the end of the day, humanity’s best chances of survival are when we all pull together. United we stand, divided we fall, and all that. And that’s why you’re here."


He looked Vicki in the eyes once more. "You may leave if you like. But understand that humanity needs a bulwark against to save it. Sometimes from outside threats, sometimes from itself. None of us can escape the dangers that fate will throw at us. But we can unite and weather those threats together."


As George finished what he had to say, he looked to all the other heroes gathered before him once more, making sure to look each and everyone one of them in the eyes (or thereabouts on the masked ones). "And if that’s still not reason enough to work with me, I’ll be compensating each of you. Whatever you want, within the limits of what is physically realistic and morally acceptable, I will make sure you have it. Take some time to think about it, we’re a very short flight away from some property of mine, you can all relax there and process everything."


Shortly after this, the plane made its way over Atlas City, and continued on West towards Asheville…


_________________________________________________________________________



Maxwell tutted at Zeke, giving a slight wag of his finger as the fire wielder described the bad situation in the city. "Now now Pyromancer, there’s also a chance for business to thrive in a crisis. We’ll just need to be much more careful. Besides, the city is in mourning, they need a shoulder to cry on right now, something to bring them comfort. I do believe it is our job to do just that. Of course, I’m not sure if rumor has made it to you yet, but we aren’t the only ones in town now trying to do that. Bit of competition I think we’ll need to take care of."


The Shape gave a slight wave to their getaway drivers, particularly to the new employee. "Pleasure to finally meet you Spiderblood. Pay no mind to the doom and gloom, you’ve come at as good a time as any. We’ve a lot of work to do, and not much time to do it. We need to go to Shapeless to start, then I need to reach out to some of our… Stakeholders. It seems a lot is going to change around Atlas City very soon, so I want to make sure we’re all part of it." He nodded to Zeke and Maeve to join the others at the vehicle.


Maxwell was still bothered by all that had happened today, despite his calm speak and demeanor. He needed to be the strong face of the organization now more than ever though. This truly was one of the best times to start looking into ways to become even more powerful, to start clawing back what he had lost. There was no set end goal yet, but perhaps The Shape would not need one. Perhaps he would just keep moving forward until he reached whatever the last rung on the ladder was meant to be.


He checked his phone quickly, noticing service had returned, and a few new messages were there. Maxwell smiled as he read what Kiran had to say, and quickly sent a reply. Meet us at Shapeless when you have time later. We need to discuss hosting a meeting very soon. Some very important people we may need to work with. - Shape


His attention, once he had arrived at the vehicle, was immediately drawn back to Maeve, wondering if she would actually be able to fit inside or not. "Maeve you’ve… Gotten taller?" He asked quizzically.


Once everyone was inside, the car pulled out and headed downtown to Club Shapeless…



_________________________________________________________________________



Agent Moore had just set the box he was carrying down on a table in a new tent SINS had set up, when in swaggered Peter Radovan. An audible sigh escaped from Moore’s nostrils as he took in the sight of the reprobate agent.


"Back already I see Agent Radovan." He spoke monotonously, trying to recompose himself from the outside in.


Peter shrugged and grinned. "Yeah, they just called me in for a bit of ‘specialized surveillance duty’, something along those lines." He chuckled as he made his way over to the table, glancing down at the box on it. "So, what happened to all my suspects then? They’re all in Gitmo or something?" He asked with a cruel sense of pleasure to the tone.


Moore rapped his fingers across the table. "No… Apparently the Attorney General asked for them all to be released. Sent them off with some guy named George Carlisle Hughes. We’re looking into him already, but as you can tell… Doesn’t really put the suspects back in our hands."


Peter bobbed his head from side to side as he started opening the box. "Eh, if it was me, I probably would have had them all shot."


The other agent narrowed his eyes at Peter. "Which is why I’m here, so those kinds of decisions don’t get left up to you. At any rate, we’ve got more investigating to do. You should probably get your team together. You’re supposed to be getting Hudson Li it sounds like, so allow me to say quite explicitly not to do anything stupid. She’s a great Drive Frame Pilot, a great soldier honestly. Treat her with the respect she’s due."


Agent Radovan continued to bob his head side to side, more or less ignoring what Moore had to say, though perfectly intent on working well with Li. She sounded like a good asset, one he hoped would become quite useful. Once the box was opened, he took a moment to read the note inside, before a smirking and letting out a little laugh. Had Sairyn made Peter’s job easier, or harder? The agent wasn’t sure just yet, but he enjoyed the moment nonetheless.


"Funny… He reminds me so much of someone I knew once upon a time." Peter muttered wistfully as he closed the container again.


"Sairyn? You knew someone else who kept trying to screw with your investigations huh. You ever wonder why that might be Agent Radovan?" Moore asked with a smirk.


Peter chuckled again. "I wasn’t talking about Mr. Pendrake. I was talking about George."


_________________________________________________________________________



March 12th, 2045, 12:40pm: The Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, USA


Colonel Van Graft opened a notification on his laptop, pulled up a file he had received a short while ago, and took a moment to scratch his chin.


"What is it Colonel?" The question came from a far higher ranked officer of the US Army, a general for that matter. The group consisted of seven military officials, and at least one other person, all gathered in a quite, secluded conference room of the Pentagon, essentially forgotten by all other employees and military officials there, save for the ones present in it.


The Colonel let out a soft sigh before turning his gaze back to the others gathered. "Mr. Pendrake sends his love and warm regards." Van Graft said in a voice teetering between tiredness, and irritation. He played what was sent to him and allowed the others to listen.


"Cocky fella hey?" Another officer responded. "And why send it to you anyways? It’s not like the canon was your idea. He should take it up with the SECDEF!"


Another officer chimed in. "Look, Victor’s canon may not have saved the day, but it was never meant for this sort of thing anyways. It does what it’s meant to do; destroy fortified enemy bases. Let’s at least give the man a little credit, even if not everyone here views him favorably."


Victor Covistic, the current Secretary of Defense, was a young man in political terms at only 35. His rise to power has been swift, but not altogether unexpected. The owner of his own military weapons development company, he used his technical expertise to help arm the US military with some of the best weapons in the world, a springboard that helped him launch a campaign for senate, and eventually congress. He won both.


Rumors had been abound that he may make a play for Governor of New York (where he had been both a senator and congressman), but surprised everyone when the last Presidential Election finished and he was selected, by both Senate and President, to be Secretary of Defense. This, while surprising to many, was not all unwelcome as he had proven capable of devising technology and strategies that had proven very effective on the battlefield. And since he had never served in the army himself, his ‘civilian status’ only helped prop him up further as a reliable, trustworthy person to take on the job.


However, some members of government and military have not been entirely supportive of this move, based partly on his age and lack of military experience. But Victor has made many friends in government, and has been an effective member of DOHA, working with the Attorney General and others to make sure America’s supers have all the support they need.


When it comes to the Director of National Intelligence though, it’s been rumored quite often that their relations are more ‘frosty’, tense, not very friendly. They will work together, for the good of the American people, but their difficulty being able to agree has been noticed by other members of the cabinet, and government.


Van Graft cleared his throat to get the attention of the others gathered once more. "All feelings aside, Mr. Pendrake is addressing something we’ve all already talked about. Clearly America does not have the level of firepower it will need to continue keeping itself safe well into the future. We need new weapons, new defenses, to ensure we not only remain safe, but dominant, unchallenged, and unrivalled. That is the best way we protect this country, its people, and all our freedoms."


The other officers nodded along before one spoke up again. "Agreed. I believe that means the matter is settled then on Project Obsidian; the project is accepted, and can begin work immediately. We don’t have time to wait." The others made their points of agreement, before another voice cut through.


"Excuse me gentlemen, but you still have yet to explain to me what Project Obsidian is. If I’m going to be getting the money and equipment you need to do this project in the clandestine way we’re working under, I need to know a bit more." The speaker was Senator Stewart, a man in his 50’s, with a body that was transitioning into unhealth, and a hairline to match.


"Mr. Senator, we appreciate your help, but I hope you can appreciate our need for keeping you uninformed at this time. We still need to vet you, ensure you’re actually on our side. You’ve done a lot to help, but what we’re doing is, by legal definition, treason." One officer said.


Another scoffed. "Bah! This is the furthest thing from it! What we’re doing is REAL patriotism. The bureaucrats and money hungry lawyers can thank us when they can sleep soundly at night without commie gunmen marching down their streets!"


The Shadow Pentagon, as these men had taken to calling themselves, is a rogue division of the Pentagon, composed of officers, scientists, and even a few wealthy civilians, all dedicated to trying to keep America safe, even if it comes at the cost of morality and ethics. ‘America First, Only, Now and Forever’; the words that summed up their philosophy.


Van Graft raised a hand to calm the other officers. "Mr. Stewart, we will bring you further into the fold as time goes on. But for now, please understand the need for secrecy. Spies, traitors, and those hungry for power are abound right now. And with everything that happened in Atlas City today, we need to be even more careful."


"And what is being done about the armed men that attacked the beach, hmm? What exactly was that all about? WHO is going to look into that and take responsibility?" The senator inquired with narrowed eyes.


"SINS is currently looking into all of that, but we only have a few of our people integrated in the agency. We can’t guarantee if or when we’ll get any information, but we’re trying our best Senator. We all want to figure out what happened today."


The Senator sighed and gave a nod of concession. He’d go along with all of this. For now.


_________________________________________________________________________



March 15th, 2045, 9:12am: Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina, USA


It was three days ago that Atlas City had been attacked by the Beast of Decay. In that time, the city had managed to clean up most of the destruction that had been caused, and was now on its way to hosting the necessary memorial services to allow everyone to mourn their losses.


At this time, the heroes who had been there at the front line, and later ‘rescued’ by a benefactor named George Carlisle Hughes, were now situated at the luxurious Omni Grove Park Inn. The resort was located in Asheville, North Carolina, tucked away in the state’s mountains. George had bought it back in the 2010’s when some financial woes had swept through the state, leaving the resort in a desperate financial situation.


For the moment, the resort was empty, save for the heroes who had joined him from Atlas City. They would reopen later, once the heroes were situated elsewhere, but for the moment they needed privacy, and a chance to decompress from all that had occurred. A memorial service was scheduled for noon today, and George had invited the group to attend with him, should they desire too.


George was in his study at this time, checking on some information before getting ready later for the memorial. He would join the heroes later, but felt that for now they would be best left to taking care of their own needs.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Silentium Character Portrait: Albrecht von Richthofen Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

2.00 INK

Club Shapeless: Atlas City


Maxwell watched Vicki Vortex and Zeke have their little bout of bickering outside from the computer screen of his office. He chuckled slightly at the sight, finding the whole thing somewhat endearing. Zeke in particular was starting to grow on The Shape, much like Maeve and Kiran had. Spiderblood was still a slight enigma, but also still new and in need of some opportunities to really show off what they were capable of.


He stood up from his desk and walked over to one of the walls of the room, a mirror like floor to ceiling set of black marble slabs. Maxwell donned his mirror mask over his head, finished tying his black silk tie, and buttoned up his red dress shirt. Perhaps a black three-piece with a red shirt wasn’t the correct colors for mourning, but he had other, important matters to attend to.


Upon returning to his computer, Maxwell had noticed that Zeke and Vicki Vortex were taking an elevator? Down to Kiran’s floors. He sighed and frowned in mild annoyance. Shouldn’t Zeke have known better? Shouldn’t someone else have told them not to bother Kiran down there? Well… It’d be a test of their mettle to be sure. If they could survive all that, Maxwell would certainly respect them, though he wondered if Kiran would.


He left the office, heading in the direction of the conference room as guards and other employees scurried around. One of them seemed to be watching some Western movie or something? As soon as a fellow guard with him saw where The Shape’s gaze went, he slapped his coworker around, telling him to get back to work and not slack.



“Sir! SIR!” Shouting, from one of the guards that worked surveillance around the city.


“Yes, what is it?” Maxwell asked, a little taken aback by the panicked tone the guard had.


“Boss, I don’t want to alarm you, but we NEED to get a team together ASAP. Look at this!” He showed Maxwell the screen of his phone, images of a collapsed building glowing from it. “We thought this building was some kind of Witchfinder store house for a while, and it got ripped down today. But not just ripped down! There was gunfire coming from inside earlier, like a firefight! We didn’t have any people able to actually witness the thing, but we really should send some people to take a look quickly.”


The Shape nodded in agreement. “Yes, we should. I think I’ll send some of our heavy hitters out to take a look. Hopefully Maeve and Zeke at least, maybe even Spiderblood. But we need to do a meeting first. Get some vehicles and equipment ready in the meantime.” The guard nodded and was about to leave, but before he did he handed Maxwell one last thing.


“Just got this today. Some corpo called Menagerie Tech is looking for a high level shapeshifter. Part of me is wondering if it’s that one from the park…” After his boss took the notes, the guard gave a quick bow of his head and went off to get everything in order for the investigation.


Maxwell entered the conference room of Shapeless, quickly punching in a text message to Kiran.


Zeke and Vicki Vortex went down to the labs. Please take it easy on them. And we need to meet upstairs now, got business to take care of.


He sent the text, taking a seat at the head of a long table, with gorgeous black marble on top, and the familiar black jaguar statue illuminated behind him. Maxwell pressed down a PA system button on the table and spoke.


“Maeve, Kiran, Zeke, Spiderblood, and all executives, please join me in the Conference Room now to discuss some urgent business, thank you.” He sighed and leaned back in the chair as he punched out one last text message, the meeting almost ready to start.


Cousin, the meeting’s almost ready. Let me know when you’re ready to join.


Sent.


__________________________________________________________________


The Resort


George, still in his office, gazed into a gold framed mirror, with white marble shelf underneath it. On the shelf sat a small box containing a pair of platinum cufflinks, and in his hands was a soft, light blue silk tie. As he finished tying the Windsor knot, the sounds of some kind of explosions rang out from some other part of the property. He felt his heart race as he returned to his desk to quickly pick up a Walther P5, slipping it into a holster underneath his black suit jacket.


As he left his office, a staff member ran at full sprint towards him. “Sir! The ahh… Guests have been… Sparring outside.”


George took the information in quickly and stifled the need to sigh. That was relieving to know it was only that. But by the sounds of it…


“Thank you for letting me know. Could you please make a call through to one of our construction contractors? And spread word to the staff that we’re going to remain closed a little while longer, so that we can get these repairs finished. If we have to cancel guest stays, go ahead and do it. Tell them we had some ‘unruly super guests’.”


The staff member gave a hesitant nod and rushed off to begin the damage control process. George took another moment to let himself be eased out of that anxiety he had felt. Today almost sounded like it was going to be quite terrible, but not so terrible as some kind of attack on himself and the heroes. Before he got to comfortable though, he felt his phone buzz. George pulled it out and took a quick glance over the contents of a text, before yet another sense of anxiety hit him.


It was the Attorney General.


He made his way down the halls of the resort, trying to make sure he was able to gather all others he needed to see. During this journey, he came across one in particular that was littered with room service carts. Sheri’s, he believed. He knocked on the door to see if she was in, but with no response coming, he decided she may be out, or unavailable.


The little journey continued until he came to Liz’s door. It had been a while since they’d spoken, perhaps now would be a good chance to check in with her. He was about to knock on the door until he heard talking inside, and the sound of… Kokomo? George knocked before opening the door to peer inside, greeted by floors covered in sand, tropical heat, and the strong scent of drinks typical to vacation spots with these attributes.


George gazed at the two in the room, Sheri and Liz. The drinks, several of which had been clearly polished off and left around the makeshift beach, were alcoholic. At quite an early hour. While the old man’s face was pleasant enough, there was an ever so slight shift in his eyes, a tiny narrowing as he made eye contact with Liz.


“I see you’ve both made yourselves quite comfortable, I’m pleased to see. I hope you have been enjoying your stay at the resort thus far.” Before either could get in another word, he had indicated with his hands back to the hallway.


“If you both have time, I hope you’d be able to join me and the others in the library. There are some matters I wish to discuss shortly.” He was about to close the door to continue gathering the others, but stopped for another brief moment, turning his gaze to Liz once more. “And Ms. Baker, I believe you and I should also have a private chat soon, when it’s convenient.” His eyes had briefly lingered again over the drinks, both around the room and in the super’s hand, before he close the door and continued his search.

__________________________________________________________________


Seemed like just as soon as Richard reached the kitchen, everyone else had disappeared. ‘Jemma’ to go deal with… Something? Right around the time some explosions started happening (apparently the sparring between Alex and Silver Fang?), so he guessed it was related to that. Cannonade, everyone’s favorite gravity wielding super, had also disappeared to go to the memorial no doubt, though it seemed a bit early for that still.


In the end, only Richard and Klaus had remained, but the two soon parted ways as well, probably for the best since Klaus seemed to have a lot on his mind anyways. Richard was about to head back to his room, but ended up running into George on the way back. “Oh, Mr. Carlisle, good morning.” He spoke with a little surprise, though admittedly he felt glad to see the old man again, he still hoped to get more answers out of him soon.



“Good morning Richard, how has your day been so far?” George responded politely.


Richard shrugged slightly and gave a bemused nod. “The other guests are a little… Unique, but it’s been good otherwise. Are you ready to head to the memorial?”


George nodded with a sigh before responding. “Yes, but there’s some matters to attend to first. I’d like you to join me and the others in the library quickly. There’s matters we need to quickly discuss.”


Richard nodded hesitantly, a little offput by George’s rather… Unsettled reaction? “Ahh, sure thing! I’ll shoot a quick text to Klaus, I think he’s still here. The others are… I think in that NAHLA guy’s lab? Maybe?” He quickly typed up a message to Klaus, telling him to meet in the library, before hitting send.


George gave a slight bow of his head in gratitude. “I appreciate it Richard, see you shortly.”

__________________________________________________________________


Moments later, a knock came from outside of Sairyn’s lab, with George peering in to those gathered, not crossing the threshold himself. “Pardon the interruption, but I’d like if you could all join me in the library. We have a matter to discuss quickly. Something I’d like your help with.”


He was about to turn away and leave before he noticed something on the shapeshifter’s lips… Red.


It appeared like it might be blood. George’s eyes quickly came to meet both Sairyn’s and Alex’s. He said nothing further, hoping they knew well enough to not make him need to talk with them. Time would tell of course, for now his best choice with this collection of supers…


Was to help them grow into something even greater.

__________________________________________________________________


George sat quietly in the library, in a large, red chair next to a fire. He’d momentarily picked up a book to pass the few moments he needed till the others would arrive. Wuthering Heights, sort of a macabre, miserable tale if he was being honest. But he felt a strange familiarity with it, like something in the eerie atmosphere of the book was reflected in the real world.


Terrorist attack at a diner, complete with super drugs and Frankenstein’s monster. A towering behemoth of rot and decay attacking Atlas City. The brutal murder of a super on live stream. A Witchfinder warehouse collapsing on the inhabitants.


He believed he hadn’t seen the dead wandering any moors yet, but that could still be yet to come for all he knew.

__________________________________________________________________


Memorial, Atlas City Beach:


From all around Cannonade there was shouts and cheers of excitement, a mixture of people calling out the hero’s name, along with other heaping praise. The memorial had yet to start, but already people were getting worked up, though at this exact moment more because they could feel safe.


More cheers erupted as some activity near the stage caught the attention of others. Seemed some other big names were here too, including Captain Valor, and none other than Backlash, The Baron, and the other hero to have ‘saved’ Atlas City: Albrecht von Richthofen.


Before Cannonade truly had time to react though, there were men in black suits starting to make a perimeter around them, almost as if they were about to be arrested, until they could see who was running at them from the stage.


Gordon Ford. The President of the United States.


“Cannonade!!!” He shouted in glee. “Oh I’m so glad you came here to join us! Truly, Atlas City and America owe you a great debt!” Along with the overjoyed, yet still incredibly boring President, were several other figures. A woman of African American heritage, in about her 40’s or 50’s, with curly dark hair, and an olive green power suit on. She seemed serious, somber, perhaps a little cold, but there was a sense of sympathy and mourning about her. Claudia Burke, Attorney General of the USA.


There was also another man with them, much younger than either of them in only his 30’s. He was tall, quite handsome, and had blonde hair parted to one side and slicked back. He had a smile that could put a Kennedy to shame, but the air of a man who’d be comfortable in just about any setting that could exist. Calm, collected, and very much in control of himself. This was Victor Covistic, the Secretary of Defense of the United States.


“Cannonade, pleasure to meet you, and happier to see you made it today.” Victor spoke in a relaxed, but pleased tone as he offered a handshake to the gravity wielding hero.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
As Cannonade marched toward the back of the stage they were greeted by a grouping of men in black suits. Cannonade was silent as the president of the country appeared seemingly from nowhere to congratulate them. The hero glanced over the different members of the presidential cabinet before turning to Victor.

"Mm," Was all they said as they shook the man's hand.

***

Spiderblood rode a spider into the meeting room.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Silentium Character Portrait: Albrecht von Richthofen Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

100.00 INK

The Time Tunnels

Outside the cracked glass that occasionally dotted the walls of the time tunnels sat the Outer Chronoclasm, a realm of pure chaos and destruction. A black void of a realm, constantly moving with unseen forces and energies that few could make sense of, and fewer could even conceive of surviving. It was a torrent of utter destruction, the likes of which even the roaches had learned long ago to respect.

Two soldier roaches guarded this tunnel, waiting for reinforcements to arrive and do a changing of guard. Word had already spread that a massive assault on the tunnels had cost them hundreds of laborers, at least. Work on their war ships would be slowed to a grinding halt as a result, and the Queen… Still living, but the utter disrespect she’d suffered at the hands of those filthy interlopers, it was inconceivable to the roaches, and they would have their revenge.

The two guards chattered and clicked in their insectoid tones, nearly mimicking machines. Topics of conversation had varied from their beloved Queen, the attack earlier, the tastiest fallen comrades they’d consumed, and much more. But soon their talking stopped, having noticed something odd out of their peripherals. Something had been moving strangely, coming from… Behind the glass?

The quiet of the hall was erased by an explosion of noise; glass bursting open, the tinkling and crashing sound of it hitting the floor, the mighty roar of the chaos beyond the glass.

Winds whipped around the hall, threatening to pull the two roach guards to a fate that might be worse than death. A heavy thud was heard, causing them to turn their gazes back towards the now destroyed window. There was a figure standing there.

Twelve feet tall.
Muscular.
Bipedal.
Carrying a sword.
Covered head to toe in armor.
Surrounded by a blue, mist like light.


The armor was shaped intentionally to mimic that of what one would see on a knight, but the material was far from simply ‘medieval’. It was more like a patchwork of a thousand war zones, across thousands of years. Some of it bore the steely look of an ancient warrior, some of it gleamed as though from some far flung, space-age time. And other parts still looked as if it could have been stone.

All of it appeared to have severe cracks throughout it, but they were fused together, like thick scars or fissures. The same was true of the sword in fact. It must have been shattered into thousands of pieces, yet here it stood in one, monolithic piece. A testament to its long journey. And to its wielder.

And the blue light, a strange substance that seemed to be both at once a sort of intangible mist, and light. It glowed a beautiful, vibrant, soft tone of blue, and when touched it might seem as though it were air, or a cloud. At least that is how it currently would feel…

Whoever this individual was, he was what the bugs had seen on the other side. Out of the Chronoclasm. The roaches tried to respond quickly, one opening fire on him nearly immediately, landing every shot on the intruder.

The shots did nothing to the man. He turned to the roach that had shot him, and sent a mighty fist into its skull, colliding the creature’s entire body into the ground beneath him.

The other now began to open fire as it tried to flee, but the towering intruder was able to catch it in only a few mere steps. The knight wrapped a hand around the creature’s neck, lifting it off the ground, before slamming it back down into it. Once. Twice. Thrice.

He lifted it back up in front of him, bringing the roach to eye level with him.

“*klik* Pitiful…. Creature? *kilk* Man… Human! What *klik* ever you are… You cannot… *klik* defeat the Roaches! We are… *klik* the masters…. Of the End of Time!”

The hulking figure was silent a few moments, before a soft, amused sigh could be heard from within his mask. “Well I guess today isn’t your day then, because I’m from the Beginning of it.” Bright blue light surrounded the man and the roach, as he pierced his left fist through the carapace like chest of the Roach, and pulled at its head with his right, removing it with ease.

As he dropped the corpse of the roach to the ground, he walked back to the other that shot first at him, his feet landing heavily on the ground, body swirling with the bright blue, misty light that followed him wherever he walked. It began to pour forth from him, surrounding the other roach and lifting it into the air, screeches erupting from it as it felt its body being crushed down by some kind of incredible pressure.

“I will only ask this once, ‘pitiful creature’. Where is the Artifact?”

The roach looked to him, what little its eyes could show were showing fear. “It was *klik* taken by a human, to another time! We don’t know where *klik* it has gone!” The words were sputtered out as the mountain of a man stood before it, the blue light enveloping the roach pulled it closer and closer to him. “You *klik* fool… You think you can *klik* defeat us? Who are *klik* you to think you can defeat what has *klik* already passed!”

A moment of silence passed as the tall figure held his sword out, feeling the weight of it as the blue light swirled around them. “I’ve fought worse.” His voice was monotone as he lifted the sword and cleaved the roach from top to bottom, it’s thick armor offering up no resistance.

The body fell to the floor, and while the blue light continued to swirl, the giant knight quickly went over his next plan of action. It sounded as though someone either very stupid, or very unaware had gotten their hands on the artifact. Either way, he needed to figure out where they had gone, and quickly. Otherwise…

His thoughts were cut off by the sound of approaching roaches, a group of twenty or so who quickly spotted him, and the remains of their comrades. They lifted their weapons to him, and the blue light cascaded towards them.

No time to waste then.

_________________________________________________________________________


The Resort

Richard had been on his way to return to the library when he heard some loud noises coming from another part of the resort again. He couldn’t place exactly where it was, but it sounded like there had been some crackling? Like electricity?

He passed by the buffet dining hall, stumbling upon Devon who seemed to be taking advantage of his own coffee routine. But he seemed kind of tired, almost as if he’d had a rough night or something. At least mentally. Richard chose to put it aside and gave a wave to the German. “Hey, George wants to see us in the library. You should come along.”

Richard continued on towards the library, passing through the kitchen first, and once again stumbling upon someone, Henry this time. Strange, he also seemed a little on the tired side. Had others been having trouble sleeping or something? Might be a bit of projection on his part though, he doubted Henry had the same reasons to be losing sleep as himself. “Hey Henry, sorry to interrupt you, but George wants to see us all in the library, you should come with.” With that, he exited once again, Henry in tow, and Devon gravitating in the same direction.


_________________________________________________________________________


George heard a soft, English voice pipe up in the library, and upon lifting his eyes from the pages of his book was greeted by Klaus, a man who had the most interesting timing of any man he’d ever met. He smiled back to Klaus, giving a nod in greeting.

“Good morning Klaus, and yes I’m doing as well as can be expected in the circumstances. Thank you for asking. How are you managing? I expect this has taken quite a toll on everyone.” In fact, George had been weighing that on his mind considerably. He’d speak to the others as a group, but felt it was time to offer them some much needed mental respite; someone to talk to.

Before anything else could be said, a flurry of noise erupted from another part of the resort. Sairyn’s library. George furrowed his brow and let out the softest sigh one could imagine, the tiniest loss of composure he could muster given his growing agitation. “Excuse me a moment Klaus.” George briefly exited the library and made his way to the lab.

On the floor in a heap was Sairyn, Pendleton, and Yue. Standing in the room was a nearly shirtless Alex, and some ball he was holding in his hands. George looked to all of them, brow furrowed slightly, eyes that uncomfortable narrowness of someone ready to scold. But rather than do that, he was very simple, brief, and commanding.

“Library, now. Everyone.”

_________________________________________________________________________


The team was now gathered together in the library, everyone capable of arriving there at least. George was seated back in his seat, and Klaus had remained in his for the time being, still enjoying the steaming cup of coffee he had.

“Now that you’re all here, we have some matters to discuss, namely the memorial, and a… New Mission that’s come to us. But before we begin, how about you all update me on what’s been happening today. Seems you’ve all run a little more loose and wild than I had anticipated.”

His voice carried a little sternness to it, but was not cold or unkind. It was almost like a parent who had come home to find their children drawing all over work documents. Of course, blowing up a chunk of the property was a little more expensive to fix.

_________________________________________________________________________


Club Shapeless: Atlas City

Maxwell smirked upon reading the response he’d received from Gideon, but chose to disregard the remark. They’d both had their independent successes, but now they were going to have to rely on each other, work together to get what they wanted out of Atlas City, and potentially beyond.

As each member entered the room, he would greet them with an affirming nod, though under his mask he was raising an eyebrow at Spiderblood’s entrance. What were they riding? Was that a dog in a spider costume? He decided not to address it, there had been weirder things to have happened here.

And Scourge… That was a mountain of a man, something he hadn’t anticipated seeing so soon (and in such good condition) from Kiran. But here he stood: The Shape’s response to ‘Balthazar’, or whatever those Witchfinder nuts called the monster they’d bought.

“Thank you for joining me everyone. We have some business to discuss, some of it being… Breaking news. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that what is discussed in this room stays in this room, but I’m going to out of care for our mutual needs.”

His eyes flicked over to Zeke, Kiran, and Scourge before continuing. “At times I believe it is essential to remind everyone that a betrayal of each other is a betrayal of me. I expect you all to protect each other as much as you would protect me, and our business operations.”


_________________________________________________________________________


The Memorial: Atlas City

Victor followed Cannonade with his eyes as Cannonade passed by with very little regard for their welcomers. He smirked. “There’s that famous confidence I’ve heard about.” He chuckled, speaking mainly to himself and the Attorney General.

She looked on with uncertainty and discomfort. There were other words she could think of than ‘confidence’ that would be impolite to voice out loud. “And you’re thinking about trying to invite them to work for us?” She asked in a tone trying to mask her incredulity.

Victor nodded and smiled. “At the very least inviting. Last I heard they were missing a team, so perhaps we can help them out.”

“If you say so…” Was all the AG could mutter back.

The President briskly followed Cannonade, as did his entourage, as he attempted to make friendly overtures to the hero. “Again, it’s so good to have you here! We’re inviting some of the heroes who were on the beach that day to speak some words of encouragement to the crowd, is that something you’d be up for? We can absolutely get a time slot in for you!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Pyromancer bowed his head. Maxwell spoke the truth. Business was all that mattered. And as much as he loathed every fiber of Kiran's being, the Rat was an essential part to their operations.

"Apologies," he grunted, swallowing his pride.

Scourge, meanwhile, scoffed aloud. "HAH! So… you're 'The Shape'? Our fearless leader?" The big green abomination loomed over and squinted. "Hmpf. You're smaller than I expected."

Pyromancer glared straight at Scourge. His fists clenched, and a red glow came alight from his goggles. He had half a mind to blast the wretched creature right then and there…

It was then that Scourge remembered his Father's instruction to behave. He chuckled and wiggled his brows. "But I suppose big things come in small packages, eh? Eh?!"

And then, the door opened, and in came Maeve, who drew attention from both Pyromancer and Scourge. The former stepped back, and the glow faded from his goggles. The latter whistled and leered at the newcomer from top to bottom.

She was a specimen of a woman, statuesque, with white-streaked black hair which made her feel that much more rugged. That suit fit her like a glove, oozing sex appeal not through bare skin, but rather from style and modesty. Scourge stood straight and folded his arms close to his chest, ensuring the maximum girth of his bulging muscles. "Hiya gorgeous. Ya come here often?"

Pyromancer rolled his eyes, then turned towards Maxwell. "Boss. You mentioned breaking news?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

The Resort

George listened intently as Devon started off, describing events that frankly baffled the mind. The old man maintained a stoic face, but his mind worked over the information as it came out. Now he was aware of the fact that there were a great many matters he had been unaware of up until now. That both excited and worried him, as the conversation implied potentially new allies, but also enemies.

It was when Devon presented a strange orb that the room seemed to draw in to that one space, George himself carefully studying the strange, arcane device. "It creates a weapon you say? Most peculiar... I urge caution, but this is promising. We will need any and all assistance we can get. With your permission, I can perhaps have some of my own researchers take a look at it, and perhaps some of our more scientifically oriented team mates." He gave a nod of his head to Sai and Klaus in consideration.

Henry spoke next, confirming more of Devon's story, and adding onto it. "Henry, it sounds like your team has had some substantial experience with this... Strange series of events. It concerns me greatly that so many events appear to be coalescing at this time. Whatever these ‘time roaches’ are, if they’re connected to the creature from the beach, they're going to need to be dealt with. As for the woman, I'll see what I can do to locate her as well. I'm worried she could be connected to the soldiers that had appeared on the Beach the day of the attack. Even if she's not, her appearance warrants investigation."

Before George could ask further about the situation with Wayland, Akiko had seemingly appeared from nowhere to explain what had been communicated between her and the otherworldly man.

Richard listened intently, feeling his skin crawl as Akiko described what Wayland had seen. It was bizarre to think he'd stood next to that man only a few days ago, but somehow this girl had been speaking to his spirit? That did seem a little less strange than the Time Roach stuff, which felt completely out of his element. But this.... Felt like a description of Hell itself. "You ahh... Spoke to his spirit?" He asked a little uncertainly. "Did he say anything about getting to that place he saw?"

There was a moment of silence before Akiko and the others made it clear that that was knowledge Wayland hadn't possessed. With what she recounted though, maybe that was for the best.


Akiko continued, now describing the rest of the events with Polarity/Isotropic, and an 'artifact' she'd escaped with. George needed only a split second of consideration before he rose a hand to interject again. He opened Wuthering Heights to a blank page and produced a pen from his jacket.

"Black stone with symbols? Do you think you could recreate some of those symbols for me? Write them down here?"

He nodded to the blank page, placing the pen down next to it. The old man's eyes carried hint of intensity to them now.

_________________________________________________________________________


Club Shapeless: Atlas City

Maxwell gave a brief nod to Maeve as she entered the room, feeling quite pleased as she took her seat next to him. "It's quite alright, I'm glad you were able to join us." Others may have seen it as presumptuous for her to take a seat next to him, after all she was still very new to the organization. The Shape, however, felt it was exactly what he wanted. She was remarkably powerful, confident, and a sign like this signaled a growing sense of loyalty. There was ambition there for certain, but when ambition and loyalty came together, they were a force to be reckoned with.

Scourge's voice filled the room for a moment, as he remarked upon Maxwell, and his comparably lesser size. He smirked under the mask as he looked in the direction of Kiran's 'child'. "Fearless, and feared." He replied confidently. "Don't worry, I'm quite formidable. I wouldn't be in charge here if I wasn't." Maxwell spoke pleasantly, intent on proving something to Scourge: that the newborn giant of a man could trust The Shape to lead.

And finally, they were drawn back to the matter at hand by Zeke, who seemed to have the embers of resentment still burning inside, directed at Scourge. Maxwell was going to have to find some way to cool them both off later, infighting was not going to help.

"Yes, breaking news, as in only having taken place probably 20 minutes ago. Our 'friends' the Witchfinders have had a little accident befall them." Maxwell pulled out his phone, making a few quick swipes while a screen on the wall flickered to life. On it were images of a collapsed warehouse. "After the attack at Atomic Anne's, I had some of our men collecting intel on where Witchfinders might be storing weapons. We'd had suspicions that this warehouse might be one location, and it seems they've been confirmed."

He turned back to those gathered, clasping his hands together on the table. "I need some of you to investigate it immediately, before authorities catch wind. Everyone's been fairly caught up in the memorial, but it won't be long until someone shows up. Having said that, I'm also concerned the authorities may have been involved in this somehow, but we can't not move on this. Whoever is arming these terrorists, we need to find them and deal with them. Quickly."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

"I...can write down what I remember, yeah," Henry nodded apprehensively, taking the book and pen. "Just keep in mind, I wouldn't advise studying it at the earliest convenience. At least not for too long/ Maybe hire some specialists for this kinda thing. Psychics, mystics..." he went on as he began to recreate the symbols he'd see inscribed on the stone to the best of his abilities. Usually when things like this have a language, it's a 'caution' sign for anyone who dares to read it."

"This is all I can remember. Even when I think back to it, the memory's kinda blurry...Weird, when everything else that happened in those tunnels feels so vivid. ...But probably for the best." Henry looked towards the others who had made the trek across the End of Time, turning to a new blank page.. "You guys remember any?"

***
With the arrival of the dragon woman, the meeting proper could begin. Maxwell took a bit of time to intimidate as he was wont to do, but he was quick enough in getting to the business at hand. And what a sordid business it was. Witchfinders...moronic fanatics with no idea of how the world truly worked. Quite the blemish on business, they were, always showing up to throw a wrench in the works. Their recent exploits in Atlas City were no different. And with a third-party supplier in the mix...Gideon was more than willing to get his hands a little dirty with this one.

"I can promise you this much, Shape. The authorities will be off your back as long as you need them to be," Gideon replied, his hologram displayed before the group, scratching his chin in thought. "As for those that may be involved...Perhaps an internal investigation, of sorts, is in order."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Silentium Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

The Resort

George placed a hand down on the book, stopping Henry and the others from writing anything else. He gently thumbed back to the page with the symbols and carefully studied them. A moment of silence fell over the room before the old man sat back up in his chair and looked to the group.

"Finding this woman is a top priority. Ladies and gentlemen, I am asking you to use all the skills and abilities at your disposal to find this Polarity, or Isotropic. I need you all to capture her alive, and this... 'Artifact', I need you to obtain it intact. It may be that we need to destroy it, but I want to avoid even the tiniest mistakes until we have a clearer idea of what it is."

He looked to Sairyn a moment, as to several of the others gathered. "Mr. Pendrake, I would appreciate your talents in collecting whatever data you can gleam about this woman. She may have connections to the mystery soldiers from the beach, or not. As for everyone else, whatever you can offer in the search for her, you're welcome to provide that assistance."

"What's got you so spooked about this 'artifact' Mr. Carlisle?" Richard asked bluntly, eyes searching George for the tiniest clue, the slightest tell, that could reveal some of the knowledge he was so intently holding back. "You've seen these symbols before? Where? And what do they mean?"

George remained as stoic as before. "Unfortunately, none of those questions will be of any help to you all right now. You need to stay focused on the tasks at hand, finding this woman, and the artifact. Not to mention the other tasks at hand."

_________________________________________________________________________


Club Shapeless: Atlas City

The Shape gave an appreciative nod to Gideon. "Your assistance is greatly appreciated Mr. Gauss. And an internal investigation could be very much warranted, though I recommend a cautious approach. If it becomes too obvious that we're looking for Witchfinder agents, or people working for their suppliers, it could drive them more into hiding."

Maxwell chuckled slightly before continuing. "Of course, again, time is of the essence. We need to find information, evidence, leads. The Witchfinders, much as I disdain their antics, aren't what we're worried about. Uncovering their supplier is our goal. Once we do that... Well the rest should be evident."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Silentium Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Cannonade squinted at the president. "If it would help... first, I need to show you something." Cannonade rose a hand to their hip and from a pocket pulled out a glass phone. The touchscreen came to life with a gloved finger press and the screen went to twitter. It was open to an account named smallpuppetsbigd.

“I see that most of the replies to my tweets are about my mother, Anastasiya. They‘re mostly dirty comments. Dammit, people, stop talking about my mother's chest and want to do her!” Read the first tweet

“Yes, I know she has fucking gigantic knockers. Every time check my Twitter, I have to go through this shit. It's getting old”

“Really wish people would stop posting comments about my mother on my Twitter. Doesn't help that my mother post her NSFW pictures on my Twitter. Seriously doesn't that woman have her own damn account?”

This was followed by an extremely strange photo of a pink haired gnome-esque woman with, as described, gigantic knockers.

"Sorry," Cannonade said, glancing over to the screen they'd shown the American president wrong page. Cannonade flicked their finger to the twitter homepage, where pages and pages of concerned tweets over the attacks were laid out before them. "People are scared. We are the response but right now we don't have any answers... not to any of this."

***

Spiderblood remained silent but watched the scene with great interest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

‘Fearless, and feared,” came Maxwell’s reply towards Scourge’s prodding.

The giant man’s eyes wrinkled with a smile. “HAHA!” He leered closer, and his voice dropped into a purr as he replied, ”Ohhh, I like you. Your confidence is pleasing to me.” The monster’s milky yellow eyes darted from top to bottom, quite pleased indeed.

Pyromancer and Scourge listened on. The former took mental notes to summarise the situation. Witchfinders. Warehouse. Weapons. The latter nodded along to Maxwell’s explanations, the Shape having engaged his full attention.

Scourge cackled, then held his arm up and clenched his fist. ”Don’t worry, boss. We’ll uncover the Witch-Bitches’ suppliers and PULL them by their roots!” Veins bulged under his skin, too tight and too many to be natural. ”Kicking, screaming, and BEGGING if need be!! Hya-ha-ha-HA!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Silentium Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

"Right, so...I can't stay for much longer, but in addition to holding off any prying eyes for as long as I can, I may be able to provide additional assistance. Not that any of you lack in competence, but it would ease my own state of mind to send one of my own in with the rest of you." Gideon's hologram slowly phased out of sight as the device emitting him began to rattle and shake.

Soon, a swarm of grainy silver sand seemed to swim from beneath the floor. All converging on the holographic emitter and quickly forming into a sleek, vaguely humanoid exterior..at least form the torso up. It lacked legs, opting to instead hover silently above the floor by utilizing some sort of anti-gravity array. The blue light of the hologram emitter now acting as a singular eye.

"A bit cliché to deem it, 'State of the Art' but the acquisition of Nanomachia Ltd. a few years back proved to be well worth the trouble. And given that I've spent a good month or more ironing out the flaws in their designs piece by piece, I daresay it's quite a bit more advanced than your average military grade war-mech,"[color] Gauss chuckled, his voice emitting clearly through the robot's vocal array. [color=goldenrod]"That's all the time I have for now. Infiltrax will make itself useful, I can assure you of that much."

With that, Gauss voice faded out, leaving his creation to sit impassively, awaiting for the start of the group's mission.

***

"Mayor Gauss, we've arrived," Gideon's driver alerted him. It wasn't long before the Mayor stepped outside and stretched his legs a bit. After a lengthy limo ride in the midst of traffic, he was more than happy to finally set foot outside once again. Especially among the people of his city and honored guests. From the visitors from the Nation's Capital to the dignitaries from across the sea, it almost brought a smile to his face to see them all gathered here to honor those that had fallen in Atlas City's greatest disaster.

"So many grieving parents. Too many died too young, Diane," he sighed to his secretary.

"Then it will be our job to give those poor souls a legacy their loved ones would be proud of, sir," she answered back succinctly.

"Indeed. Upon the ashes of this soul-crushing loss, the foundations for Atlas City's brightest future start today. ...I think I may use that in the speech."

"Sounds like a plan, sir," Diane gave an immediate thumbs up. "Would you like me to see to the accommodations of the President, sir?"

"It's like you've read my mind. Please, so do, Diane," Gideon nodded, as another pair of feet stepped out of the limousine behind him. A small boy with blonde hair and a tiny suit. He clutched a Lone Star toy tightly. "You alright, Ben?"

"Will we see Phaser here? O-or the Gamma Guard?" the boy, Ben asked sheepishly.

"Maybe after the ceremony, son," Gideon assured, patting him on the back. "For now, let's find our seats."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Maeve rose from the chair until she loomed over the others, assuming that with no further information to be discussed, the meeting could be considered adjourned. "I'll go then." Her eyes flickered to the one in the stained hoodie. "Bring the car around."

Although, looking at them... were they important? She'd initially taken them for another grunt, but after seeing them floating around the club and now their seat at the table, perhaps there was something more there. Not that it was terribly important.

"If anyone else is comin', come," she added brusquely as she moved toward the door. She tapped one finger against the top of the Shape's chair as she passed, causing the wood to vibrate slightly as if someone had struck it. "I'll call if anythin' useful turns up."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Silentium Character Portrait: Albrecht von Richthofen Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow Character Portrait: Y'mari Abara
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Club Shapeless: Atlas City
Maxwell chuckled slightly at Scourge’s response, nodding in affirmation. “I have every faith you’re all the most capable people that could be put to this task. Just ‘pull carefully’ with this one. Weeds can grow back if any root is left behind. We need to make absolutely sure we get every last root in our grasp first. Then we can rip them out, and toss them in a bonfire.”


Things began to near their end, with Gideon making his final remarks. “Thank you Mayor Gauss, I’ll be sure to put this to good use.” Maxwell said in regards to the automaton his cousin had leant to them. As Gideon’s form disappeared, the others began to ready themselves to leave, with Maeve leading the way.


After his chair lightly shook from the press of her finger, The Shape rose a hand to stop her. “Hold on, there’s one last matter I need to address.” He swiped across his phone again, pulling something else up onto the wall screen. An email this time, one that appeared to have been written for quite a variety of recipients.


The sender was a corporation called Menagerie Tech.


“Apparently this company, Menagerie Tech, has had an issue lately with a ‘lost asset’. They’ve requested assistance from just about everyone they felt was safe to ask in this matter. The asset they’re looking for in specific is some kind of shape shifter.”


Under his mask, Maxwell allowed for a slight smirk. “There’s no doubt of quite a handsome reward for helping reunite them with their lost ‘property’, but businesses like ours have more things to consider than money. If you come across this shape shifter, I ask you to do what you can to ensure it ends up back here at Shapeless instead.”


The Shape looked to all others present. “That’s all from me for now. If you need anything else feel free to ask now. Otherwise, you can head to the warehouse now.”



__________________________________________________________________



The Memorial


Before leaving the resort, George had made sure to get Devon’s ‘blueprint’ put into a secure area where it could be researched later. The object was strange, something he’d never encountered before. But based on the discussion of the strange interdimensional travel, he was allowing himself to have a small amount of optimism that this could be a potential breakthrough in their fight. It would remain to be seen, but hope was an important tool, one they were all in need of.


Atlas City finally came into sight again, striking George with a strange sense of foreignness, but also nostalgia. It had only been a few days ago, and yet it felt like years. The old man continued to gaze out through the window of the 2025 Rolls Royce Limo he and Richard both sat in the back of.


Richard adjusted his tie while taking a quick glance at George. The old man seemed deep in thought, understandable given the circumstances. The White Death was also in a slight trance, thinking back to the day the ‘Beast’ had attacked. Standing on the balcony, looking out at the ocean, seeing that towering mound of death… It was like it had never even happened, like it wasn’t real. How could it have been? And yet, here they were, going to a memorial for the people who died from it, the ones that couldn’t be saved.


“How does the suit fit ?” George asked quietly of Richard.


Richard nodded an affirmation before he spoke. “Quite well actually, little surprised you had something in my size.”


George chuckled slightly, trying to keep up a positive exterior, hiding the sense of melancholy growing as they drew closer and closer to the memorial area. “Actually we just work quite fast. Some things can’t be anticipated for, so the only alternative you have is to reach a solution as quick as possible.”


Richard smiled in agreement, but said nothing more as the car pulled up to the memorial. All the passengers inside stepped out and made there way to find spots to sit. Richard had hoped he and George might sit a little closer to Henry. He wanted to be close to someone he knew, and someone he felt could offer some more immediate assistance if any was needed.


White Death had already spotted some familiar faces, a few quite famous, including the briefest of glimpses of Cannonade. Seemed they’d arrived earlier, and were already busy being adored by the crowds.



George and Richard finally took their seats near the edge of the crowds, hoping to avoid being clustered too close together with anyone, and wanting easy access to be able to stand up and leave their seats if it became essential. The old man had noticed plenty of familiar faces, but what caught his attention most immediately was that Henry had gone to join what appeared to be a family, possibly his own relatives. It was touching, but he had some concerns as well, primarily for the safety of the two adults and their children.


“You know George, I think we should come up with a team name at some point.” Richard stated nonchalantly.


George, a little surprised, cocked an eyebrow at the comment. “Really? And what do you suppose you should all be called?”


Richard shrugged. “No idea, I kinda thought that was more your department, speaking frankly.”


The old man’s mouth perked up at the corner as he shook his head. “No, while I might be your ‘boss’, I think you’re all much more qualified to come up with that sort of thing on your own. Besides, builds some camaraderie with each other, and lets me avoid being criticized over choice of name.” He chuckled slightly.


__________________________________________________________________



Start of the Memorial


As everyone took their seats, or found a place to stand and watch, a deafening quiet came over the crowds gathered in Atlas City. All eyes turned to the stage, or the screens, whichever they had easiest access to view. After a few moments of silence set in, a projector screen lowered at the back of the stage, and on its left and right side two banners unfurled downwards, decorated with the stars and stripes of the American flag.


Images began to fade into view on the screen, and the televisions across the city, country, and world. Pictures of men, women, children; they were of homes, parties, happy times. Hearts broke and tears began to stream as the pictures became accompanied by the sounds of Lee Greenwood's “Proud to be an American”. Those who tried not to cry struggled, some failed. They leaned on shoulders, tried to give comfort where they could as they watched images of their happy loved ones pass by.


After a while, the song finally came to its close, and the screen faded to its blank, white color once more. The first speaker came to the front of the stage, slowly, almost cautiously. Once he was at the podium, Captain Valor took a moment to compose himself. The hurt was clear in him to the crowd below, but he maintained his composure as the screen behind him flickered with color once more. Now images of Lonestar faded in and out, introducing various glimpses of the hero’s life and adventures.


“My fellow Americans, people of the world. We all lost loved ones on March 12th. For me, it was my fellow hero, sometimes rival, and always good friend; Lonestar. We had…” Valor went quiet a moment as his eyes glistened, two tiny trickles of tears making their way down his cheeks. “We had a lot of adventures together. Saved a lot of people. Saved each other even a few times.”


The hero continued on, regaling the crowd with a few tales of the adventures the two heroes had had. Of course, this was all mostly known to the public. There were many ‘adventures’ they hadn’t heard of though, the kinds of which Valor and Lonestar would both ensure were taken with them to the grave…


“All I want to say now is thank you everyone, America and the whole world, for all your continuing support. And to Lonestar buddy, we’ll meet again one day. Till then, know that you’ll always be in our hearts, a true American hero.” Valor began to exit the stage, wiping away a few tears as the screen continued to show a montage of Lonestar, before slipping into images of more of the heroes and soldiers that laid down their lives to fight the Beast. As America’s heroes passed by on the screen, they were accompanied by a favorite song of Lonestar’s, Toby Keith’s “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue”.


While the crowd was hit by a wave of emotions, the sadness had begun to subside near the end of the song, giving way to a roar of cheering and applause. They could be proud of those who sacrificed so much for them, and honor that freedom by continuing to fight this fight for their families, friends, and America itself.


As the song subsided, other speakers had gone up to the stage, survivors, family members of victims, heroes. Once they’d said their piece, it was time for the message they all really needed to hear. Gordon Ford, President of the United States of America, stepped up to the podium. Near the back of the stage, stood near other speakers, the Secdef and Attorney General both stood by, looking on and hoping Gordon knew what he was doing.


“My fellow Americans…” he started. “This has been a truly, truly painful time for us all. Our country has suffered a grievous injury like never before. So many lives lost, families torn apart… We’ve never seen anything like this.” There was a pause as he sought for words to give power to what he was saying. “But we are a strong nation, a strong people. We’ll rebuild, and fight this fight to keep our free nation as free as it ever has been. You can all sleep soundly at night, knowing we’re working tirelessly to keep you all safe, and to give you the answers you deserve. The people who did this will be brought to life, this I promise you. And to help keep that promise, your government is starting new initiatives to try and fight this menace, including a new team we are calling F.I.S.T. And to speak more on that, I’d like to introduce our Secretary of Defense, Victor Covistic.”


There was some cheering for the President as he stepped away from the podium, though the message he gave perhaps didn’t have the amount of impact he’d hoped for. Victor, for his part, smiled at the President as he went to the podium himself, but inwardly thought very lowly of everything the President had just ‘attempted’.


Once Victor took the podium, he also allowed for a brief pause, a moment of quiet, as he went over everything he would need to say. “Thank you Mr. President. Ladies and Gentlemen, people of America, citizens of Atlas City… Before I say anything else, I need to take a moment here to apologize. As Secretary of Defense, I’m partially responsible for the response we gave to the monster that attacked this great city. We believed we were ready to take this thing on, that we had everything we needed to destroy it. We were wrong, we underestimated the Beast, and we need to take responsibility for that. Myself, my colleagues, and everyone in your government takes responsibility for our handling of this attack.”


There was silence in the crowd as they took in what he had to say. “As the President said, we are all working tirelessly to strike back against our enemy, and while I cannot, for security reasons, tell you everything you deserve to know, I can tell you that our enemies are not long for this world.” He took a pause, hands pressed firmly on the podium as he squared his shoulders and looked directly into the faces of the crowd before him. “Again, I cannot say much for security reasons, but what I can tell you is that the military is developing a team called F.I.S.T. First Initiation Strike Team. They will be instrumental in allowing us to deal with these threats in more precise, fast, and tactical ways. We are also developing another team, known as Bulwark. This team will differ from F.I.S.T. as it will be the newest American Hero team we put together, designed for the specific purpose of ridding us of monsters like this Beast. We will have more details on this team at a later date. But for now…”


Another moment of silence. It stretched on for a second as Victor held his gaze with the crowd, letting them have a moment of anticipation. “For now let me say this. America, today is a day for mourning. Feel this grief, this sadness, this hurt. Let it all go through you. That’s what we can do today. Tomorrow? Let these feelings embolden us. Let it steel us, our resolve. The ones who did this to America, to the American people, they want us to be afraid. They want us to live in fear of them, to put us on edge. But our men and women in uniform, our Supers, our best and brightest minds, are all working in unison in this fight. One people, one purpose. They crave justice, to bring retribution down like a mighty storm. Our enemies have caused us to be afraid long enough. It’s time for these cowards to TRULY be afraid. They’ve awoken the Beast of America, and we are ravenous.”


With that, Victor stepped away from the podium as a roar of passionate emotions erupted from the crowd. The cheers were near deafening, filled with a sound that could be described as sorrow burning up into righteous rage. America had been struck a heavy blow, but it would strike back with a million times more force.


Once the crowd had let that wave of emotion pass through it, other speakers began to take the stage…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Not far from the heroes, a jet-black BMW van rolled up. It drove slowly, in the shade, as two figures in the front seat observed the situation. Pyromancer sat in the driver's seat, hunched over, the goggles of his gas mask glowing a dim crimson hue. Maeve sat beside him, as his superior in rank. New recruits Spider-Blood and Scourge were tucked away in the back of the van, with the latter's obscene mass taking up much of the space. In each of their hands were a cone of ice cream (two cones for Scourge). Soft, creamy, and whipped into a swirling, classical shape.

"By the Lab Rat, this ensemble rides up somethin' FIERCE!" Scourge grumbled, his bright green, undead form obscured by the drab confines of a massive trenchcoat and hat set, exposing only his yellow, pupil-less eyes through the shadows. Half-eaten, cookies and cream ice cream had started to melt and trickle down the golden brown cones.

Pyromancer's gaze narrowed behind his goggles.
Others had arrived. Two unfamiliar faces behind unfamiliar masks. Pink-haired triplets. A roiling, eldritch, formless mass of black ink. ...Menagerie's Lost Asset? Pyromancer privately wondered. Capture if possible.

It was then that he noticed… her. White tabard. Silver plates that gleamed like pale moonlight. The Queen of the Damned. Slayer of Dark Crow. Champion of 100 Nights. The Dragon of Arizona.

His left hand clenched into his cone, cracking it open and scattering pink, melted globs all over the dashboard. He pulled the car into reverse, as quiet and gentle as he could.

Slowly, he turned towards Maeve, the fear palpable even through those emotionless goggles. "NAHLA's Silver Fang." He turned his attention back forwards, towards the shrinking group of heroes. "Seven of them. Four of us. Can't go in for a direct attack. Risk; Extreme."

"Whaaaaat?" Scourge whined, and nudged himself between Pyromancer and Maeve. "But this is what I'm here for! She's just a twig in an aluminum can, how bad can she be?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Maeve peered at the demolished warehouse over a carton of orange juice. The one in the gas mask had drawn swiftly when the shapeshifter had landed; a gunman, with quick reflexes. Probably jumpy. The other masked figure seemed to pass straight through solid objects, which could be annoying. The knight's armor suggested a need for protection, which meant they were likely fragile. As for the triplets… Maeve couldn't tell if they had powers or not, but they didn't seem much of a threat. She gently folded the lip of her juice carton, then set it into the cupholder.

"Get the drone out of the boot and bring it around back of the warehouse," she instructed, looking at Spiderblood in the rearview mirror.

"At my signal," she continued, eyes flickering over to Pyromancer, "Release explosions over their heads and by the street. Keep them pinned down."

"And me?" the new one spoke up, sounding almost like a child ready for a new game.

"Hit the knight dead-on. Keep them from regrouping with the others. I'll take the shapeshifter."

With that, Maeve pushed open the door of the car, straightening her black tie as she stepped out of the shade of the trees and approached the heroes with a silence unexpected of someone her size. It was one of the redheads who spotted her first; the other two instantly vanished in bursts of static. Ah.

"Beggin' your pardon," she greeted, her voice sounding raspy as she strained to raise her volume above a polite indoor voice. "But this is private property. May I ask what ye're all doin' here?"

Sheri shot a look toward the man in the gasmask, hand going to the back of her pants where she normally kept her gun, only to find it missing. The memory of its confiscation did choose the most opportune time to present itself… She scanned behind the tall woman in the black suit, spotting a car in the shade by the street. "Real estate representative?" she suggested facetiously, keeping her voice down.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Sheri came forth with her own set of theories, however they didn't quite hold up in Devon's mind. Accidentally stumbling upon a WFG stashhouse didn't seem likely, it wasn't like they were dressed in their ridiculous outfits all the time and it would have been hard to distinguish them from the regular populace without surveillance. Then again it could have been someone who saw something fishy going on and decided to investigate, but this really didn't seem like something a private entity could do especially considering the building was brought down by some form of mechanical means as Silver Fang had brought up.

Using this as a smokescreen for something bigger also seemed like a shaky theory, much less a smoke screen this was barely a puff of smoke. Causing a small commotion at the memorial would have been so much more effective at drawing attention away from everywhere else, especially with several important figures being present there.

As Akiko called out to the group that there might be something important hidden among the rubble Devon was about to shift into wraith form when a cold chill crept through his back informing him that it might not be the right moment. Pretending to not notice the gazes from a vehicle in the street he went on with looking through the rubble, his mind occupied with the intentions that had shot him that look full of malice.

It didn't take long for the first entity to make itself known as a towering figure decided to inquire about their reason for being out there. The woman's appearance seemed to cause quite a reaction in the shapeshifter as it shifted into a clearly more aggressive form and called out to Sheri to be very wary of the woman before them. Devon too took a more defensive stance getting ready in case things were to go ugly, however as it stood he was less concerned with the woman who seemed to have the shapeshifter as her main focus and more the other sets of eyes that he could feel burning on his skin.

"This is the site of an official NAHLA investigation, I would request you and your friends to leave the scene as you seem to be neither the property owner or the operator of this facility." Devon called out loud and clear to the woman. It may have been a bit forced to act so authoritative especially after Sheri's evasive answer, but it seemed like the simplest and quickest method to cue the rest in that the one before them wasn't acting alone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

The energy in the ruined warehouse began to change as footsteps approached. Even Shinigami's ghostly companion stopped in its tracks as it turned to see what was causing the unrest. A tall, muscular woman approached. An inquiry was made and then, there was tension in the air. Warnings were called out. She wasn't alone.

"I would say good luck but I'm really hoping you guys don't make it out," the ghost said as it started walking away. Shinigami made no response or movement. She knew what bullets they were looking for and to make a move now might provoke an attack. Intangible was still up. Going Invisible might be a good move but Shinigami didn't want to give her trick up so easily... If it even was a trick at this point. Had they just arrived or were they watching?

Shinigami slowly widened her stance slightly, one hand at her waist where the lanterns emitted a soft glow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Jamie stared down the assemblage of heroes they'd found among the fucked up remains of the warehouse. They glanced to Maeve before taking a step toward the intruders. Pale hands went up and scooped their hood out from atop their head, revealing dark, short cut hair underneath. "You guys..." A voice croaked, Jamie squinting at the heroes. "Don't want to be here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Maeve's eyes shot in Spiderblood's direction like a bullet. "Exactly," she agreed, making a mental note that this one doesn't listen.

"The owners would prefer this investigation be handled internally," Maeve continued, gesturing to herself and her fool of an assistant. "There has been no request or necessity for official intervention. So I would ask ye all to leave, or..."

Maeve's voice trailed off as her vision focused on the knight's outstretched hand, and the holographic badge displayed upon her palm. Maeve might not know what "Witchfinders" were, but this wasn't her first introduction to government heroes, and she knew what this particular gesture meant. She looked briefly around at the other heroes; the shapeshifter had recognized her, and the gunman already seemed ready for a fight.

Maeve closed her eyes and sighed softly, taking a step back. "Let it never be said we didn't try diplomacy." Dirt and cracked concrete exploded under her feet, and in the next thought the shapeshifter found her vision filled by the inside of Maeve's elbow as it swung fast at her head, the distance between them closed in an instant.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Violence was something Jemma excitedly looked forward to, most days, but on a day like this… When the hot one’s elbow was flying at her face? Violence sent her heart skyrocketing into the stratosphere. In the pulse of time that it took for the elbow to begin splitting the flesh of Jemma’s noise, she felt that unusual pulse of cicada scream spark behind her heart.

The elbow met her skull, and the spike that had formed in Jemma’s mouth began to pierce the flesh of the offending limb. Then it met the meat of her brain, and thoughts shuttered to a stop, only understanding from the core.
The spike sank deeper into the meat of the fast moving woman, venom pulsing up into the bloodstream as her own was sputtering along, made mostly of ink and blood.

The moment faded, and as Maeve moved through Jemma’s skull, Jemma’s claws reached up with the speed of a viper’s strike. Bones shattered with the force that the shapeshifter put forth, and claws made to slice and gash reached for Maeves passing form. The cicada scream and the burning of electronics spread out and destroyed that which could be destroyed. The tail flicked, and a spine of virulent venom on the end of it came rising towards where Maeve might have been, had Jemma been able to move faster—

The fun had begun, and the heart was pulsing. Fight and fight until it was done.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.25 INK

Pyromancer watched his superior’s body language shift. The quake of the earth and scattering of rubble was all the signal he needed. With a wave of his hands, his embers launched towards the heroes like a swarm of fireflies; buzzing, dodging, and scattering all around the gunman, the pink-haired woman, and the black-clad heroine, before-

BOOM!

Boom-boom-BOOM!


The sound was deafening. Heat and concussion assailed them from all sides as the swarm exploded. The ground cracked and concrete shrapnel grazed their forms. The streets were covered in small flames that blazed a blinding bright.

”Reactive Armour; Engage!”

Pyromancer yelled, and with the clenching of a fist, more fireflies emerged and flocked close to him. They flew and hovered, like embers around a burning forge.

Scourge’s yellow eyes squinted into a gleeful smirk. With a broad, slimy green hand, he tugged at his trenchcoat, and tossed them aside, exposing his near-nude and rippling form for all to see. ”NOW, we’re talkin’!” the monster roared. He groped Spiderblood by shoulder and posterior, hoisted them over his head, and let out a raucous cackle as he tossed them, far and fast as a missile.

”LET’SSSSS RIP AND TEAR!”

Spiderblood spun and spun like an oversized arrow. Blood rushed through their head, and breeze cooled their body as they launched straight at Akiko.

”GyahahahaHAHAHA!”

The monster stomped forward, each step a tremor upon the earth. He was less a man than a walking glacier of muscles and flesh. The veins all over his body took on a dim green glow as he leered at Yue, then the gunman - Devon. ”Submit, WORMS!”

Slimy, wet tentacles slithered from the hole in his forearm. Pale fluids dribbled and glistened from their tips. Gripping them tight in each hand, the monster cracked them over his head, then slammed them forwards, the tentacles extending to their maximum length to cover the distance.