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Kiran Kingsley

The doctor is in, time to make you . . . unforgettable~

0 · 475 views · located in Atlas City

a character in “Hadean”, originally authored by fate0013, as played by RolePlayGateway

So begins...

Kiran Kingsley's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Vic took a cigarette from the platter almost subconsciously. The cigarette held lightly in the fingers of a limp-wristed hand. The waiter's lighter flickered up beneath it and she brought the smoke to her lips. Eyes never once leaving this 'Shape'.

"Shape..." she repeated, the 'p' popping off her lips. Fittingly vague. She’d taken on such an identity before too, a nothing name to a white, blank figure. She found comfort in it, not giving her superpowered identity any, well, power. It was Nobody. It didn’t mean she felt any connection towards the man for it. She knew her relationship with her super identity was different to most.

“Maybe, but give it a couple months. Then everyone will be like me. You can never get slack,” she said while she twisted, her back leaning on the bar and both elbows resting on it. She took in a long draw and tilted back her head. The smoke slowly filtered through her parted lips and nostrils as she looked across the room. Wilma was setting papers out on their table. That never meant anything good.

She chugged the rest of her drink, pushed the glass away, and rapped her scabbed knuckles on the table. "Vodka shot." She ordered, pushing herself up from the bar. She ran her hand halfway through her hair, but quickly drew it back, remembering the Frankenstein's monster-looking stitched up gash across her forehead. "Well, Shape, I came, I drank, I played hooky on business. It's been a night. I'd dance, but," she cocked her head, eyes squinting up at the ceiling and face scrunching at the EDM echoing from the dance floor, "Not my scene."

The Shape smiled under his mask, giving a slight nod in return as she contemplated walking away. "Understandable, it's certainly not everyone's scene." He chuckled lightly to himself. "But Shapeless tries to ensure we have plenty of secnes, for plenty of tastes. Perhaps this is less to your liking, but we even have a fight tonight. The great hero Cannonade, facing off against a giantess named Maeve. I do believe Cannonade was at that terrorist attack earlier, weren't they?"

He let another wave of smoke gently pass from the lips of his mask, spiraling upwards and almost framing the black, sheening face. "I have to go and watch shortly in fact, the man of the house shouldn't miss such important events. I have a private viewing box, which I'd be inclined to invite you to. If you'd think it's more your seen. You can even pick the music if you like, but we can just call that some... Club Shapeless hospitality." The words came out almost luridly as the man leaned quite comfortably against the bar counter, his gaze meeting her's.


Vic’s tongue ran across her teeth behind her lips, and her eyes crinkled at him. “Really?” Oh, this felt dangerous. It wasn’t just the sound of this legally questionable superhero fight nor the alcohol responsible for the adrenaline buzz. This man felt dangerous. And that feeling just made her all the more ready to make some bad decisions. She threw back her shot without a flinch, wiped her bottom lip and chin with her palm, and grinned.

“Right, I’m down. But I’m not making things too easy for you, either,” she said, “You choose the music that I’ll like.”

Though she couldn't see it, The Shape raised an eyebrow under his mask. "Well now, that is quite the challenge you've put to me Miss... Hmm, would it be Vortex you go by?" He asked in a light, playful tone.

"Vic. Skip the miss. Let's go." She answered, in the midst of a little puff of her cigarette, and took a step back from the bar. Before my manager notices.

"Vic it is then." He replied, again in a light, yet unassuming tone. The Shape took a step away from teh bar as well, grinding out his cigarette as he ushered Vic to follow him, with the flair of a gentleman. "Though I have to say Vic, you've got me feeling like we're doing something very bad. That's probably a feeling we're both familiar with though." There was a rougishness to his gentle words, something akin to a gentlemanly bankrobber, an old fashioned highwayman, or perhaps a much more hygenic pirate.

Nonetheless, The Shape led the way to his private viewing box. It was a spacious room, with it's own bar at the back, red velvet chairs with dark oak frame, and a light colored wood that looked only a shade away from gold colored. The room was clean, radiant, and oppulent, in contrast with some other parts of Shapeless perhaps. But The Shape rather enjoyed contrasts.

He noticed Liz Baker across the arena in her own VIP spectators box, equipped with sliding glass windows so that she could have a little more 'active participation' in the fights. The Shape gave her a slight nod in recognition. Liz was an interesting patron to have attending, she was certainly a person who exuded power and wealth, of a calibur that The Shape felt competed with him. Though at this time, it still remained to be seen if they would be competitors or not. "Now Vic, I believe the deal was for me to pick music you would like? Let's see what we got in stock."

There was what looked like an antique record player off to the side, though it was actually part of a much more complex sound system for the room. The Shape flitted through a list of rock songs, trying to sort by artists and genres for a few moments. At the end of the room was a large, floor to cieling window, outside of which sat the monolithic arena, with large crowds belting out muffled cheers.
Vic sauntered up to peer out it. Smoke rolled across the glass as she opened her mouth in an impressed 'o'. It didn't last, and she turned her back on the empty arena, leaning her bottle-red head against the glass.

~~~

A ghostly pale man in a dark red outfit stepped out of a non-descript black vehicle in front of the club Shapeless and marched inside. Nobody gave the striking man a second glance while he didnt so much as slow down for any of the security or bouncers. He shrugged his large blood red fur coat to hang around his elbows and adjusted his mirrored glasses with a hint of a scowl. Kiran Kingsley was not in a good mood. He had been forced to end one of his "test subjects" far earlier then he liked when he had recieved some rather distressing news from his current employer. Super power granting drugs that weren't his own creation had somehow made it into the city. Of all the insults one could muster, somebody had the unmidigated gall to step in on HIS work? Kiran's craft?? This could not and sure as hell would not stand. Oh no it wouldn't survive at all if this doctor had anything to say about it. They at their hands, minutes ago they had been covered in gore from their tantrum moments after hearing the unforgivable news. A coppery tang still hung around them even after they had washed them clean of any blood or viscera. It was a shame really, the test subject had such a good reaction to the recent batches of their new regenerative formula. At least the Biomass could still be used later, for now it was left in one of Kiran's freezers.

But that was business that could wait for another time. The sound of loud EDM and moving bodies filled his ears, almost drowning out the yells and echos of a fight. Right, THE fight. Kiran had been told beforehand and he did want to see it from the start, regardless of it being rigged or not. but he got caught up in his work as usual. No worries though, it sounded like it was still going and there was always videos for later. He struted up to the bar and tapped the counter twice. When the barkeep glanced his way and nearly froze. "Poison me dareling, I need a pick me up." The barkeep said nothing and simply nodded. In less then a minute, a dark purple drink on ice in a short but stout glass was slid into Kiran's awaiting hand. He grinned and set down a one hundred dollar bill on the counter with his other hand before turning on his heel, "Thanks love, now dont mind me, i have to see the boss." and was marching off again. The Doctor stopped at the VIP box's door reserved for Maxwell and knocked on it to the tune of shave and a haircut two bits. He sipped his cocktail paciently. it tasted sickeningly sweet and had a host of drugs masked by the alcohol. Probably would kill anyone else what tried drinking it.

The door opened for Kiran, and as he quickly rushed through he was met by Maxwell, closing the door behind the enraged mad scientist. "Kiran, how very good to see you again. Please, have a seat, enjoy the show and your drink. We've a guest with us this evening, so business will have to be brief. But allow me to introduce you to Vic." He smiled under his mask as he indicated to the girl in the room. She acknowedged him with a lift of her brow, nothing more.

Kiran quickly looked over at the unexpected extra body in the room and tilted their head. "Vic? You seem familiar. Sorry I've been a bit . . . distracted tonight so excuse me if i dont recognize you right away." He gave a wide grin and was careful not to show their maw of fangs, yet. He gave Vic a once over with his eyes. She seemed rather thin, if not unhealthy. poor health leads to swifter deaths. Kiran held his tongue though for now. He had other things to attend to. The scientist turned to Maxwell and sipped his drink before speaking in a more hushed tone. "This is a big problem for me boss, I'll hold off on doing anything too drastic but if this desn't get sorted out . . . you know what im willing to do to make sure this is done." He glanced at Vic quickly before hissing. "We cant have someone stepping into our market this early." Kiran huffed and took another sip before swirling the liquid absently. It was at least starting to calm him a little. sometimes he wished he hadn't mutated and changed himself so much, though his drink might have instead hit like ground glass otherwise.

"The thing that worries me, Kiran old boy, is that they may not be new to this market. We'll have to do some more research I think, perhaps check in with our suppliers and distributors. I don't mean to worry you though, take a seat and relax yourself for a moment." He turned his gaze back to Vic giving a slight nod as apology for the interruption, before returning to the music set up. Another moment later, the sound of The Rolling Stones "Sympathy For The Devil" began to quietly build up in the room, emanating from speakers built into the cieling and other hidden spaces.

"Well Vic, let me know how I did. I was certain I'd heard before that you enjoy a bit of classic rock, and this one certainlly seems like a theme song. Not just for me though, I assure you. I'm certain most people in Shapeless could say this has been their theme once upon a time, maybe even yours. Though, if I'm being honest, I would think the Devil would be considerably older than anyone present here tonight." He chuckled slightly to himself as he made his way back to the viewing window.


Something about the way he said that. It made Vic squint suspiciously at him then check over her shoulder in case the devil really was in the crowd. And this song... she had to have a heart-to-heart with Anastasia for giving away her info. She let out a mildly amused exhale from her nose and flicked her cig into the ashtray.

"I think you're trying to taunt me," she replied, "You know, Slash called this song the sound of a band breaking up." She paused a second. "And he was right. Improv drum solo, right between the bridge and final chorus. That's where it happened for me." A dry smile. "The fucking audacity to release my identity during a cover. Oh, there we go." The announcer's voice boomed over the stereo and she bounced over to to a chair, flopping into it with the same comfort as she would her own lounge.

"A hundred on the big one, by the way," she piped up, "Cannonade might be running on a few less ribs tonight." She pursed her lips, then added nonchalantly, "Not that I would know anything about that. Make it five hundred."

Kiran grumbled but nodded. He slinked over to a seat near Vic and sank into it with an over dramatic sigh. He held his drink up to the light. Cocaine, Meth, touch of Acid, and a bunch of small time synthetics. All floating in a swirl of pomegranate, grape, and moonshine. tasted just right. He downed all of it in a gulp. Not feeling like sipping it anymore. Almost half his tongue flicked out as he smiled broadly. Well, no dwelling on unpleasent thoughts right now. He reached up and took off his glasses, hooking them in the colar of his buttonup. His red eyes gleamed with a manic excitment as he became focused on the match. That giant of a woman was interesting for sure. Kiran's mind started to form all sorts of ideas for what he could do with a body like that. Oh the number of surgeries that could be done on a body that big and strong. "700 on the Big one for me, I wanna see her crush Cannonade. Might be fun~" He cackled a bit to nobody in particular.

The Shape chuckled slightly at the comments made by both Kiran and Vic. He grabbed something from a liqour cabinet next to the record player. The Shape walked over to the seats, taking a middle one placing himself between Kiran and Vic, and placing a bottle on a table in front of them. "Well, I'm not sure if you're a Cognac fan, but as a peace offering for the 'taunting', you're welcome to some of this Henry the fourth." He placed some glasses down along with the bottle as the fighting began outside.

"And I'll unfortunately match your bet Vic, your's too Kiran. Someone has to. $1200 on Cannonade." He smirked slightly as he poured a glass of the vintage liquid from the table. "Although to be honest, it's quite a dilemma for me. My money, like most of the spectators tonight, is on Cannonade. And yet I've got an upcoming business arrangement with Miss Maeve down there. Either way it looks like I'm losing, or perhaps winning. Guess we'll find out."


__________________________________________________________________


Monsieur Ric had tumbled out of the ring with a strangely graceful bumblingness as he ran over to the announcement box.

"LET'S get ready to RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMBLE!!!" As he finished, Maeve and Cannonade began their bought. It seemed like it may be mostly respectable, but it wasn't long till face shots found their mark at Cannonade's head.

"Uuuuuhhhh.... AH!!! A LOW BLOW from Maeve! Going for the face and holding nothing back!" The beatings came swift, hard, and angrily as the two titans clashed. At one point, Maeve sent Cannonaade skidding across the floor of the arena.

Monsieur Ric was silent a moment. Beads of sweat cascaded down his face, soaking into his fine white dress shirt. "C-c-c-c.....CANNONADE IS DOWN!!! The MIGHTY Maeve has sent our beloved hero through the ringer, but CANNONADE is FAR stronger than this! Just you wait, folks, they'll ahh... Get back up and ah... REMEMBER to ask the waiter for a nice, refreshing SLAMMONADE while you enjoy the fight folks! A house special, made espcially to commemorate SUPER ROMA'S surviving member! LEMONADE, VODKA, AND- Wait... CANNONADE IS UP!"

His speech was cut off when the Super of Gravitas stood once more to continue the grandiose match. They went to blows again as an annoying man in the audience made grotesque remarks about his bodily functions to one of their great partrons, Liz. Monsieur Ric was feeling his patience wear quite thin.

The sound of glass, rock, and a variety of other substances breaking filled the room, as Maeve and Cannonade took to projectile combat! No, no no no no no! This was absolutely not part of the deal! The supers WEREN'T supposed to do this!

"Daaaaah, CANNONADE! FINISH THE FIGHT! DEFEAT THE MAD BEAST! And try to reduce the property damage..." He muttered the last words.

"My defining trait is that I'm horny!" The businessman

That DID IT. Monsier Ric was DONE with this night. He marched his way into the stands, face red as a tomato, anger and hatred rising in his entire being. When he reached the perverted pebblian, he stood firm a moment, as if he were a soldier at attention. The gross guest looked Monsieur Ric up and down a moment, before the announcer's fine Italian leather shoe shot up, and into the throat of the rotundely rude rabble rouser.

As the man sat choking on his tongue a moment, Ric grabbed the phone, and threw it into the arena, shattering it on the ground. "DOWN THERE CANNONADE!" He shouted gleefully before returning to the announcer station.

__________________________________________________________________


The Shape rapped his fingers against his glass, getting concerned at the direction the fight had taken. "This fight may need to be called if this keeps up." He spoke quietly with a slight smirk. "It's certainly been more interesting than it was supposed to be..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Maeve was still for a moment as Cannonade rose off of her into the air, declaring the fight over. The arena was completely silent, aside from a few tentative cheers for the hero’s victory following the brawl which had been quickly growing out of control a second before. The air seemed to take a breath as everything calmed.

Then Maeve got up. Her body rose limply off the ground, thick, black ichor dripping down her chin. Then massive tendons exploded around her, encasing her limbs and thrashing outward as a massive rib cage grew like a horrific white tree out of the air, bone impaling the nearby seats and ripping them apart as the VIPs scattered in terror. Cannonade swerved away to evade before they could get caught in it, and then again as first one shoulder and then another sprouted into existence and a single giant clawed arm slammed down into the center of the arena, sending a cloud of dust and rubble exploding outward to fill the entire building.

The vast, incomplete skeleton tried to lift itself up off the ground as more of it started to form, the back of its spine sending cracks spiderwebbing across the already damaged ceiling as it strained to break through. Tendons and sinew began snaking their way over the skeleton’s frame, muscle crawling down and threatening to encase Maeve’s form inside. It tilted left, unable to support itself fully with only one limb, crushing a few unfortunate patrons under its torso.

Then it fell still. Maeve’s body began to slip, ever so slightly, then snapped free from the meat which had bound her limbs and fell back to the demolished floor of the arena. She stayed crouched there on her hands and knees for a moment, dazed, and the monstrous form above her began to dissolve, dripping down in drops of oily tar which caused whatever they landed on to smoke and hiss from the intense heat. It was gone almost as quickly as it had appeared, manifesting and then vanishing in only a handful of seconds.

Maeve got slowly back to her feet, then stumbled and fell to one knee. She blinked away the fog that clouded her mind, returning to her senses, and tried to stand again. She looked around in a daze at the destruction of the arena, dust and rubble drifting gently down to the abused ceiling of the club. She slapped her cheeks, trying to focus, as she attempted to recall what had just happened.

She had been fighting Cannonade, and then… had she lost control? No, she might’ve gotten a little carried away with the fight, but… Then how…

Oh. The bowling ball, she must have lost consciousness. Her eyes scanned around for her former opponent, then abandoned that when they landed on one of the VIP booths instead. That one in the mask, looking like an anthropomorphic shadow. Was that her contact?

Shit.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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J-3 kept bounding away, humming thoughtfully for a second before leaping from one roof to the next, peering forth into the night sky as they kept moving. They figured that the chances of either of the supers from before following were high, but the urge to 'Complete the mission' was stronger than the call. A twinge of regret flashed through their core before fading as quickly as it came. They felt the eagerness for combat rising once again, before the disappointed voice of Alex filtered into their thoughts... They couldn't do again what they had done this morning. It would be too much.
The safety that Alex offered would be forfeit if Jericho lost control again. So instead they attempted to hold a cold, nearly clinical, focus until they could arrive at their destination.

Which only took a few moments longer, what with Jericho once again shrinking their form just a bit more. They took the shape of some odd stream-lined thing, appearing as if a shark's skull was forced onto the feathered shape of some cat-like body. A fan of tail-feathers sprouted mid-stride, and Jericho leapt once more from one roof to the next before taking to the sky as a legless felid-lamidae with a quartet of wings flaring into the night air.
They flew onward, their body streamlined for as much aerodynamics as they could get with the particular form. As they rose up, with Alex following ever onward with an otherwise unseen rhythm, at least for Jericho.
The super was leaping from telekinetic spires, each spire forming mid-air to catch and then catapult Aegis forward, lending the distance and speed required for Aegis to keep up with J-3.

A small distance away, after a few moments more of leaping and flying for the two of them, Jericho spotted the building- and breathed the strength of the now closer scents- that they needed to enter. A duo of security guards were positioned atop the roof, one on north west corner, and one on the south east corner.




For Jackson and Dumas, the night was the same as any other. The 'man of the house' was once again making an appearance, and they were supposed to be keeping an eye out for disturbances. But with the relative silence of the world around them, they were in no real mood to be on high alert. There was the sound of... Probably an explosion, earlier, but Dumas had told Jackson that it was too far off to really be that big of a deal.
How Jackson would come to regret fucking listening to his boyfriends bullshit excuse for continuing their lazy lookout, in the morning, was paramount to a mother's scorn.
Before then, they were shooting the shit, simply chatting for a while, when Dumas mentioned something about seeing some kind of blue light in the distance. Jackson had turned to look over, prepared to give Dumas grief.

"Oh what the fuck ever babe." Were the only words to leave Jackson's mouth. He was abruptly cut off by the sudden appearance of some large, not bird-bird thing. It wrapped around his throat with its' body, of which was as lengthy as a serpent, but nearly as thick around as a goddamn trout! It was strong as hell too, to boot. The security officer scrambled to get the creature off, hand moving towards the holstered pistol behind his suit-jacket. The beast moved quicker than he could react though, and his mind was overwhelmed by the sensation of searing pain... And then unconscious oblivion rose up to meet him along with the ground. The glory of Tarantula Hawk venom applied directly to the jaw and neck worked wonders.

Dumas had turned to ponder his partner's abrupt silence, opening his mouth to shout out in surprise before it slammed shut. All his vocal cords could muster was the sound of an overheld groan of pain. The world had lit up in his vision, sparkling and flashing brightly as a burst of electric agony raced up from his ribs to his mind. The only true option was to sleep! Sleep and escape the burst of electricity.



Jericho and Alex untangled from and gently laid their targets down to rest as they finished their respective business, with Jericho swirling with ink before taking on the appearance of the (unbeknownst to them) security guard by the name of Jackson. They turned then, and with a voice that was most certainly not theirs, spoke quickly to Alex. "Okay, they're probably going to do a check in soon. Let me speak when they do-" They, 'he', was cut off by the sound of an earpiece crackling to life. A voice echoed up from the earpiece for both Jericho and Alex to hear, coming from Jackson's prone form.
"This is Able, how's roof duty treating you two lovebirds? ... Dumas! Jackson! Quit sucking face and call in. Both of you. Boss doesn't appreciate sloppiness y'know."
To which the conscious 'Jackson' replied, leaning down and pressing a finger to reply into the microphone of the ear-set. "This is Jackson, we're doing alright." Jericho and Alex then waited for a moment with baited breath... Before sighing in relief as the voice from the speaker once again. "Good! Tell Dumas to get off your prick, and reply in about fifteen. The fight down here is getting rowdy."
They blinked and gave yet another quick reply. "Hey, Able, is the boss watching 'the fight'? How's the ring holding up?
"
An affirmative came through, along with a vague warning about being careful when 'coming downstairs' and for a moment Jericho stayed quiet as they considered their options in silence...

Jericho then turned to Alex and grinned, dropping the disguise as they whispered across to Alex. "Okay. We go down and in through the kitchen exit- I can smell the food, don't ask- and I'll take on the form of... I guess your work hound. You put on... The Dumas guy's suit, or if you brought one with you, use that one. I'll sniff around for the red-head and the silver-head. We find them, I give the red head her new phone parts, and the silver hair gets the same thing, then we leave, okay? Okay."

Alex seemed to grumble before he plopped a bag down on the roof, quickly going about and removing his armor and switching his clothing into a suit from a previous... Heist. Jericho cringed inwardly as they looked off and away from Alex. "Hm. Avoid the kitchen, stay focused. We keep our heads low and try to make this quick. Try and keep the EMP to a minimum unless shit gets bad." The man replied, standing upright as he examined his new clothing briefly. He was well dressed, sporting nearly the same dress-clothing 'uniform' that the two sleeping security guards were wearing.
Jericho nodded in reply and shifted once again into a large wolf-hound. The tips of their ears just barely reached the four foot mark, and around their neck grew a spiked collar, similar to one used to ward off attacks on cattle dogs. From the collar grew a lead made of leather, one that stretched out and quickly found it's way into Alex's hand, startling the giant of a man.
Jericho spoke one last time, before going quiet for the rest of the night. "If anyone stops us, especially security, tell them that we're here to pick up a client from the viewing of the... Sport."

And from there, the two continued down and into the club, both climbing down from the roof to enter from a side entrance that Jericho guided them towards, following the old scent-trail from the original two security.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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The Shape frowned slightly as the fight concluded, the guests now exiting the arena as they prepared to collect their winnings, and Cannonade walked off to clean themselves up after a barely successful fight. "Such an interesting fight... Shame about Maeve, but I certainly learned much more than I expected to." As he rose up from his seat, he began texting something into his phone, taking only a short pause from both Kiran and Vic. "Unfortunately I have to go down there and make myself useful, but about our bet..." He trailed off for a moment as he looked between the two.

"Let the people at cash out know you both bet on Cannonade. I certainly can't have you losing Kiran, and Vic... Well, I wouldn't be much of a gentleman if your first gambling experience at my establishment were a bad one."

The Shape began to make his way over to the VIP lounge exit, and before opening to the door, took one last look at Vic, giving a slight bow towards her. "Please, have a wonderful rest of your evening Vic. I look forward to our next meeting." And with that, he was gone.


_______________________________________________________________________________


Behind Maeve, Liz, and all others present, the sound of footsteps could be heard, echoing into the now damaged arena, heavy, purposeful, and steady.

Maxwell approached both Liz and Maeve, the black of his outfit nearly disappearing into the parts of the black marble still surrounding the room. "Liz. What a pleasure it is to see you again. And Maeve... Well, you certainly know how to make an exciting introduction. Pleasure to make your acquaintance." He extended his hand to shake hers.

The damage to the room had been more than Maxwell had wanted. Far more. And it reiterated a point he had considered for a long while now. It was time to build a new arena much further underground. This place was simply not going to continue to work if fights were going to go in this direction.


_______________________________________________________________________________


Meanwhile, outside Club Shapeless....

A slight plume of smoke rose into the air, illuminated by the soft glow of the screen of a phone. Peter took another puff as he rewatched footage showing a large, muscular guy with long hair, pouncing across rooftops with what was recognized as the shapeshifter from earlier at the diner. Hundreds of little scenes played out, playing recordings of the live footage that had been taken from security, traffic, cellphone, webcam, and even satellite surveillance.

Most of what took place was unseen, mere shadows moving in the dark. Some of what was caught would never even be seen except for by Peter; some folks just forgot to turn off whatever devices they had that contained cameras, even when they sleep. Of course, they'd never see the footage anyways, security or otherwise, he was already making sure of that. Meanwhile, the phone finished up a 'Remote Data Transfer', before erasing it from his phone completely.

"Well Nina, time to join the party, wouldn't you say?" He said with a smirk to the smaller, younger girl with him. Once his phone was back in his pocket, he made his way to the Club's entrance. "You should be good with a little crowd control if things get out of hand, right? Not that I want it to come to that. This is one of those cases I think needs a... Delicate touch."

They arrived at the entrance to the club, immediately stopped by security. "Excuse me sir, guests and club members only. You're gonna have to leave."

Peter chuckled as he reached into his jacket, causing the guards to tense up on their firearms. "Really guys? You're gonna try and turn away a VIP?" He presented them with a leather case, inside of which sat a card with his own face and name on it.

'SINS. Special Agent Peter Radovan'. The guard's heart sank with his jaw.

"Don't worry about me boys, I can look after myself easily enough. How bout you just let your boss know I'm here and we'll go from there." He patted the guard on the shoulder, in about as patronizing of a way as one could to a bouncer nearly six and a half feet tall.

"Care to join me Nina?" He called back as he walked into the club.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Vic silently raised her bet to match Shape’s. Twelve hundred, whatever. The thrill of putting it on the line was worth the cost of losing it. She poured herself the cognac and turned her head back to the window, slouched back in her seat and resting her foot on her knee.

The Albino waved his hand at the other two casually, "Why not, I'll match too. Now keep it down, this is gonna be interesting." He leaned forward and rested his chin on his hand. Hopefully this would be a better showing then last time. what kind of fight like this would end with not a single drop of blood?

By the time the fight was done, Vic’s posture had completely changed: she'd scooted to the edge of her seat, one leg jiggling violently, eyes looking alive, which was a rarity. Shit was brutal. Vic wasn't a trained fighter, or some super genius. Powers or not, she'd be snapped in half if she tried to get between that. For once, her body's lackluster sense of self-preservation was quite happy to be tucked away behind glass. Sometimes, it was nice just to sit back and watch. She bit down on her tongue, hard, to restrain herself from laughing at the vulgar quips from some rowdy man in the crowd which nearly made her spit out her cognac (and all the rest of the liquor sloshing in her stomach, with no food to keep it company). Then the bowling ball smashed down, and Vic slammed down her glass and sprang to her feet. All of her restrained dad-watching-a-football-game energy burst free:

"Oh, COME ON!" She shouted at the glass. Her hands twitched in front of her, like they were looking for her a neck to wring. "That was - that was fucking cheap! That bitch had her money on Cannon, I know it! Who even brings a bowling ball t - holy shit!" Vic's rant was put on pause as she watched the giant skeleton materialize. The shudder of a massive fist smacking the ground sent her thin and intoxicated body back into her chair. She blinked out of her stunned state, forgot what she was yelling about, and laughed, picking back up her glass to finish off her cognac. "Crazy. Fucking crazy, everything." She put down her empty glass, sighed, and rested her head back. Her brain pounded against her skull in demand of water and bladder begged her to break the seal. She shut her eyes and blissfully relished in the feeling. She gave Shape a little wave of her hand as he made off.

"Don't patronize me, you're getting your money," she murmured as the door shut. Leaving her alone. With Kiran. And a feeling of danger that kept getting stronger the longer she lingered here.

Kiran had been taking mental notes when the spectacle got into full swing. He had tuned out Maxwell and Vicki and was laser focused on the fight. Cannonade and Maeve were impressive fighters, that went without saying. He could feel the impact from each hit even from behind the glass. Each second that went by felt more and more intense. That was the drugs. The world around him was getting a touch too vibrant already, but it was of no concern. His eyes kept darting to Maeve, the greek goddess of a woman was beyond impressive. He would love to get a sample. Oh what he could do with something like that, but what if it was her power doing that to her body and not anything genetic? That would be disappointing. Still, he could dream. Dream of seven foot tall bodies of genetic excelence. Shit was he drooling again? Bad habits again, though that was rich given his other indulgences. He absently wiped away the drool on his face and leaned back in his chair, hopeing for there to be some sort of twist or turn in the match.

The sudden shacking and loud slamming sound got his mind back on track when he saw the skeleton manifested. The scientist lept to his feet and almost pressed his body to the wall. He wanted it. He didn't care how we would get it but he needed those bones. The fact that they were disolving into some kind of goop did little to keep Kiran from grinning ear to ear.

He was off in hos own little world again of possible experiments when the sound of the door shutting brought him back to his drug veiled reality again. snapping his head around, Kiran saw that he was now alone with Vicki. This . . . could be fun. He smiled just a tad too wide and padded a hair too close to the rock star. "I'm sorry, i dont think I properly intoduced myself. that was rude of me~" That manic look in his eyes seemed to have gotten worse now as he traced his gaze over Vick longer this time. Skinny yes, possibly born that way or not taking care of her body. potentially lighter then anyone of similar size due to power? Questions for later.

Vic opened her eyes to find the pale face of the stranger about a ruler's length away. Her lips pressed into a thin line. The eyes and smile on this man were a little too big for his face, including his lips, which looked stretched to their limit. It looked familiar. She didn't know why. A face this bizarre should have been hard to forget.

"No," Vic slurred, her eyes narrowing at him. "You didn't."

Kiran chuckled lightly and almost seemed to lose the unsettling air around him for a moment. He spread his arms out wide in a sort of grand gesture. "Kiran Kingsley, at your service!" He grins widely this time and shows a full set of teeth like a sharks. His face keeps pulling back into a disturbing caricature of a human face. The soft sound of metal clicking and sliding against each other is heard as his scorpion tail extedns from the base of his spine and curls up over his head before the stinger comes out, pointed at Vicki. "But you might also know me as Lab Rat~"

A subtle look of realisation dawned on Vic's face. News headlines splashed across her eyes: torture, murder, terror-attacks, all accompanied by a blurred out picture of some kind of gore and mutilation and that name: Kiran Kingsley, the Lab Rat. Psychopath, bio-terrorist, drug lord, and... the Shape's business partner.

Well.

It's not like she didn't know Shape was a dangerous man.

Vic tried not to not look too miffed about the fact he'd left her alone with a supervillain. She consoled herself with the thought that just before, she likely shared the room with two. A tight, unwilling smile broke through her resting bitch face.

"Right. I do." She said, "I didn't really introduce myself either. Vicki Vortex." She looked him straight in the eye. Someone people would notice if they went missing. She left unsaid, leaned her head in her hand, and continued as casually as she could, "You have any plans after this, Kingsley?"

He gave an exaggerated smirk. "Oh trust me, I know full well who you are Miss Vortex. You are an interesting specimen." Kiran took a step back from her and began to pace back and forth, his tail swishing and flicking behind him. "What I plan to do is a few things. One, tell you that attempting to kill or capture me is a stupid move on many levels. You are a rockstar, not a hero. Let's leave it at that." Vic gave a shrug, then a nod of agreement. At least somebody else says it.

He stopped and looked out the glass at the damaged arena. The tip of his tail however seemed to be pointed at Vicki while his back wasturned. His eye resting on the slime that was once Maeve's "skeleton". he needed samples before it was cleaned up. "Two, I have details to work out with the boss that requires my attention. Power granting drugs that aren't mine are bad for business." The words came out in a dangerously inhuman sound. The tail shuddered with hints of his anger.

He turned back to face Vicki, his body moving with an almost alien grace. "Look, I have had a really, REALLY frustrating night, and I'm very close to turning the next person I can get my hand on into an effigy to project and vent my frustrations into." Kiran almost seemed to calm down for a moment and looked away from the nervous rock star. "You should go . . . before I change my mind." The tail retracted behind their coat. trying to operate on someone that could turn into a gas was too annoying and Kiran wanted some instant gratification. More blood and gore, no trying to catch air.

Vic's eyes flicked over to the door. She didn't really care about capturing him, or how his drug peddling business was doing. The murderous psychopath was giving her a free pass. She should take it. She knew she should. Her eyes returned to the mad scientist's back. It's not like he could manage to lay a hand on her - wait, no, she was hammered, when had she ever wielded her powers to decent effect when she was drunk. This was a stupid temptation. Even if the other side looked appealing now and again, there were more fun ways to be ferried there than being disected alive.

It took a bit, but Vic got out of her chair.

"Yeah... thanks for the heads up," she said in a dry voice, and slowly backed her way towards the door. Stare fixed on him. Just in case.

There was no last words or move to stop her as when Vic made it out the door. Kiran let out a long breath, made their way over to one of the chairs and crumpled into it. urges and demands screamed and echoed in their skull, all scrambling together in an almost indiscernible static.

He reached into one of his pockets and withdrew a stranger looking gun with a vile stickingout of it at an angle. A strange orange liquid sloshed around inside the glass. With little ceremony, Kiran put the barrel of the gun to their neck and pulled the trigger. A set of three micro needles quickly punctured his skin and released a dose of chemicals into his system. The gun was put back into his pocket before he let his head roll back. His mind went blank as bliss took hold. A horrifying type of smile twisted his face. He really needed that.

On the other side of the door, Vic's knees gave up. Her forehead slid down the door, and she came down to a crumpled ball.

"Ohhhhh Jesus Christ," she groaned. Her curses were cut off by the alcohol trying to leap up her throat. She brought a fist to her mouth and bit down on her knuckles, holding the stomach acids back. As she pulled her hand away, she saw it shaking. "Huh... ok, that's weird," she murmured to herself. Even her voice had a tremble to it. "... Really weird."

Vic wobbled back up to a stand, and began to stagger back the way Shape had led her. Whatever that freak made her feel was not a good time. She was taking a piss and getting out of here.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Jericho led Alex onward through the crowded club, their focus devoted solely to following the two scents, their nose yanking them towards a far quieter portion of the club. It looked to be high dining, and for a moment there was quiet chit-chat and calm conversation. Some diners and patrons at the nearby bar looked up with curiosity at the giant of a man with an equally massive hound walking through, before simply ignoring it and returning to their dinner. Some reached out with hands they thought were sneaky and clever, attempting to touch the fur of the 'dog'.

Jericho resisted the urge to growl, to snap and tear, and instead let some human hands brush through their fur. The two were still walking, moving slowly as J-3 attempted to walk them around the outside edge of the dining area... But the scent got too faint there, and was only ever strongest at the bar. The scent of the silver-haired man and the red-haired woman flooded Jericho's snout and mind once they arrived at the bar, and they came to an abrupt stop. They pointed their head and ears in the direction that 'Scarlet' and Maxwell had taken to get to the arena, waited for Alex to take note, before standing and moving once again.

It didn't take too long for Jericho to find the right route to take to arrive where they, and Alex, needed to be.

Alex had made sure to follow Jericho's lead, the two had used this tactic before to take care of a serial killer super a while back. Making slight adjustments to his stride so that he looked like he was leading his "hound" along instead of following. He had tied his hair back in a pony tail and wore a black domino mask with the eyes whited out using one way lenses that disguised the lines of his face. Unlike Jericho he couldn't hide his face without prep work. The mask wasn't that cheep, but popular enough in the vigilante community that it wasnt hard to get ahold of thankfully.

Sliding past the dining room wasn't too hard, nobody seemed to pay the two of them mind. He drew some attention from the bar, which was annoying. the crowd at "Shapeless" just didnt feel like his scene. His stature helped keep most people away. Any attempts to converse or get his attention were met with silence or him simply stating that he was on business. A few ladies tried insisting on him drinking with him. Not his type or his kind of drinks. This place felt more expensive the longer he stayed here.

Before he had the chance to feel more out of place, he got a tug on the leash. Jericho got their lead. Smirking, Alex gave the hound a few scratches behind the ears and followed along. so far so good.

There was a brief moment of hesitation as Jericho meandered through, their nose leading them to a flight of descending stairs. They had no idea about guard details, and wanted to be absolutely sure not to jeopardize Alex's survival... Or their own. This world of humans was still too new, still too unfamiliar, to navigate without a human aide. And Alex was so fair the friendliest, kindest, and arguably the best option that Jericho had. The man was doing his best at all times and was even trying to teach J-3, which was a stark difference from the researchers and handlers back at Menagerie Tech.

Those wandering thoughts were abruptly shattered by a message that Jericho didn't expect to hear. It was rumbling, a deep humming noise that filtered into their ears via various electronic speakers. Objectively, it was made for them as a shapeshifter, and that alone was worrying. The message was that much more conerning. They just barely knew enough about the government agencies at play in the world of Humans and Supers, and found their focus shifting ever so slightly. The message included an address, and they knew enough about Atlas City to know where to go... But a map would be necessary at some point.

SINS... What a troublesome foe, making an irksome situation, with a dashing of fucking bullshit. Jericho resisted the urge to growl aloud, just barely, before turning their head to look back at Alex and whine lowly. They continued down the stairs either way, bumping into a passing patrol of security. The man and woman pair opened their mouths to speak to Alex, but paused at the sight of Jericho.
Jericho, who was closer to the two foreign humans, held a passive face and stared up at them from the 'meager' four foot height they held. Ibran, the male, spoke with a quiet southern twang, smiling faintly at the dog and at Alex. "Beautiful dog there, 's a wolfhound, yeah? Where'd ya get... Him?"

The woman side-eyed her partner before sighing and pushing him along. "No. No no no. Not again. We will be keeping moving Ibran. Good evening to you, gentleman, monsieur Shape is currently in his viewing booth. If you are arriving for a client, you may enter the arena through here. Now, we shall be along." Her accent was foriegn to Jericho, but to Alex, it rang true as french in origin.

Convenient. And the scents led this way too, so they were ever closer.

The sudden whining grabbed Alex's attention. He glanced down at the hound with a touch of concern. "Everything ok buddy?" He didn't get any initial response and was just led along. That's probably for the best. If something was dire Jericho would have let him know a lot more urgently. he glanced down at Jericho again and they seemed to not break their pace. Guess it could wait.

Then came the guards, which funnily resolved itself without him having to BS anything. They even gave directions. That was new. Alex gave the two guards a curt nod. " Thank you, that helps immensely madam." as the woman tried to push her partner along, Alex felt he might as well indulge the woman's partner a little. "He is a rescue, a bit rambunctious but he's worth it. Have a goodnight." He waved at the two and proceeded on his way. Keeping mostly quiet seemed to be working, so he might as well keep it that way.

Jericho seemed to be tugging at the leash more earnestly now. Guess they were close. That's a relief, he wanted out of this place a lot faster now given how lucky they seemed to be getting. Something was bound to happen soon. Call it superstition but Alex really didn't want to push it more then was necessary.


Jericho took some mild satisfaction at the fact that people seemed to be woefully idiotic tonight, almost as if the security were being controlled by a lesser intelligence. Or at least, they were a little off their game. It made sense to J-3 though, as the air was charged with a strange sort of ... Flare? Energy? It was off.

But then, with an abrupt sneeze, Jericho's snout turned their path about. They had been approaching a doorway, but the scent of the red-hair abruptly moved past them and back up and away from the arena. There was another scent on the air, lingering faintly between the red-hair and the silver-hair's scents... Another vaguely familiar smell.
Madness and chaotic self-destruction, chemicals and meat- Oh.
That one was here. Why.

Jericho quickly made their way back up to the club proper, dragging Alex along as fear pulled at their core in a manner they simply couldn't fathom. It was an alien sensation, a fear of someone as compared to something. They dragged Alex further onward, following the scent of the red-hair and plopping themselves in front of the door to the women's bathroom.
Another damn pair of scents lingered in the air, and Jericho turned their head towards Alex. Their fur swelled with ink for a moment, though it was imperceptible to any other than the super that stood with Jericho.
"SINS is HERE." Branded itself in Jericho's fur, pulsing for a quick moment before the fur returned to its all black 'normalcy'.

"Wait here." Came the next set of words, before the dog turned about once again, a leather bag forming around their neck filled with pieces and parts required to mostly puzzle-box together a new handheld. On the front, written in scarlet ink, was a message reading: "To the Red-Haired super from Soldier Park."

The dog then, without ceremony, waltzed right into the bathroom.
Right into a moment in which the Red-Haired Super in question was speaking with the helmeted one. She was forced to stop as the massive canine walked in, and walked straight up to her before sitting down and staring up at the woman.

Jericho waited.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Inside Club Shapeless....

Peter grinned a little wider when the big guy finally noticed him, and he could practically feel the anxiety starting to come off the guy. "Nina, keep your eyes peeled for anyone trying to move a little too quickly. I need a second set of eyes for any people of interest to us. Also... Keep the peace. I need to stir some things up." He chuckled to himself as he walked away, and towards...

The DJ. He flipped his ID at the woman running it, and drew a his index finger across his neck. She quickly fumbled around with the sound system until it went silent. The crowd stopped and looked around.

"Evening folks." He said with an all too pleased tone, somewhere close to being smug, but in that way where someone knew something everyone else didn't. "No need to panic or anything, just a little bit of SINS business here tonight. Making sure nothing illegal is going down." He let out a hearty laugh, raising a hand as if to tell people to settle down. "Not that I think any of you would do something like that. Just keep yourselves calm and we'll be done here soon."

Peter stepped away from the crowd, making his way towards the big guy and the dog that had reappeared with him. Seemed like he was ready to bolt, but before he could, Peter had produced something in his hand.

"Nice look pal! I should see your tailor! Wouldn't mind a pup like this boy here too, looks like he'd make a fantastic junior agent!" His voice was light, attempting pleasantry, and distracting enough to have caught Alex off guard, long enough for a flash to go off.

The SINS agent held up his own phone and wagged it slightly in his hand. "Hope you don't mind, but it's just so iconic, can't help myself!" He chuckled again as he walked past Alex and Jericho, heading towards the VIP areas.

Once he'd arrived, all the wealthy, well to do VIP's froze practically solid. The barmen didn't move, the waitresses paused mid service, and the guards looked on in almost abject horror, clueless on how to handle the situation. Two figures caught Peter's gaze, long enough to notice that at least one of them had noticed him, even if only briefly.

"Hey, you look like Cannonade. You seem like you've been through some kinda championship fight! But seems you might have come out the winner, eh? Nice job." His eyes gave a slow up and down of the hero, and the person they were dragging along with them. "Better look after your friend there too. VV doesn't look like she's doing too hot."

Each step he took seemed to carry the weight of the universe with it in that moment. His weird, 'knowing' smile gave the whole ordeal an existential atmosphere, and the anxious feeling in the air only intensified as his quiet, yet somehow heavy and energetic steps, took him up to a window near the bar. Curtains were drawn shut, but he soon opened them to reveal a wide, tall, black marble sided room.

The arena.

His gaze traveled down, where it landed upon a figure in black, the blackest black he'd ever seen.

_______________________________________________________________________________


"SHAPE!" A voice called out in a shout from the other side of the arena. It was Ulysses, eyes wide and panicked, Willoughby close behind, hand hovering by a pistol inside his jacket.

The Shape turned back to see his two associates standing at an entrance to the fighting room, looking as if they'd seen a ghost. And then a movement from one of the VIP rooms caught. Maxwell looked up and his eyes met the gaze of a man dressed in a grey suit. A SINS agent. His heart skipped a beat as his body began to flood with a sense of dread, and his mind raced to find a solution.

Ulysses and Willoughby both looked up to see the agent as well, staring down into the arena. They looked over to The Shape, to take some kind of direction from him.

With a slight, but noticeable movement, The Shape raised his hand to the two guards to ask them to stand down and just wait for now... See how this played out.

_______________________________________________________________________________


Peter smiled, tilted his head slightly, then let out a warm breath against the glass. It fogged slightly, and in that circle of condensation he drew a smiley face. He raised his hand, tapped the knuckle of his index finger against it, then with a satisfied smile turned around to return to the other guests of the establishment.

"Bit of a weird place, huh? Got all these curtains up to cover up random bits of concrete wall. Could at least put some more rooms in or something. Maybe something for a bit of show?" He smirked to himself as nervous eyes looked between him, then each other.

Concrete wall? Was he... Going to cover for them? Ignore the arena and the fight?

Why?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Liz Baker Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Surveillance agent Zain Medhi leaned back in the old wicker chair, staring wearily at the collection of computer screens and data slates on age-stained wooden desks which filled the small apartment they’d rented out over the thrift shop near Soldier Park. He was sooooooo boooooooooooored. The boss got to go hang out in a nightclub with Nina, and they were all stuck here staring at screens all night. Again.

Medhi cracked his knuckles, stretching his stiff neck, then rolled his eyes over to the agent next to him, a tall, hawk-faced man named Rossel Lidia. Lidia was hunched over one of the desks in a leather office chair from 2002, chin in his hand. ”What are you so interested in?” Medhi teased, jostling Lidia’s shoulder. ”Another couple thinking they’re being discreet on the roof?”

”Shut up, man,” Lidia said gruffly, waving Medhi’s hand away. ”Come look at this.”

”If you’re just trying to show me another old homeless guy taking a shit-”

”What? No, man it- Ok, not right now, it’s actually something serious.”

Medhi smirked at him. ”Like what? Hack the club footage to spy on the boss?”

Lidia groaned in exasperation. ”Just look at this.” He grabbed Medhi by the collar and pulled him over to look at the screen. A satellite image had captured a photo of a red haired woman lying on a rooftop, fussing with what had to be one of the largest guns either of them had ever seen.

”Isn’t that the woman who was pursuing the shapeshifter?”

Lidia nodded. ”According to the satellite she’s about six blocks north of the club.”

Medhi scoffed, letting himself fall back into his chair. He leaned back, rubbing his chin with an incredulous grin on his face. ”So- so what, is she waiting for it to come back out? What makes her think it’ll even head that direction?” Lidia just shrugged.

Medhi thought for a moment, then sat up straight and snapped his fingers at two of the other agents in the apartment. ”Mayer, see if you can bring up surveillance footage of the area around where she is and where she came from. Bricker, try and analyze the angle of her gun. I want to know what she’s aiming at.”

The two jumped to attention, quickly setting about their work. Medhi moved back to the computers to aid in the investigation, keeping his phone nearby with Peter Radovan’s number on speed dial just in case.

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Sheri checked her sights one more time, making sure she had her aim perfect. This wasn’t a shot she could risk screwing up; if she missed by even a fraction of an inch, the bullet would rip straight through the target without hitting anything solid enough to detonate against, potentially going until it hit a wall or the ground, potentially several yards away, endangering who knows how many civilians.

She checked again, and then again, and once she was perfectly satisfied with her adjustments, she let out a slow breath and activated her shade filter. She rolled carefully to the side, making certain not to brush against the stock of the rifle, and a double of her appeared where she had just been, taking up her position on the trigger. She stood carefully and moved back over to the fire escape before descending to the alley below.

Sheri dug her hands into her coat, pulling out a pen and three sheets of folded paper. She wrote in a quick, tiny scrawl, then folded them back up and stuffed them neatly into her coat pocket. Her eyes flicked to the Bonneville, and she walked swiftly to its side, making sure it was in good condition with a full gas tank. Sairyn had left a helmet sitting on the seat for her, and she picked it up and set it down gently on the side of the narrow alleyway. She would need her face to be seen clearly, so as much as she appreciated the concern for road safety, the helmet was functionally worthless here.

She gave the alley one more sweep for any sort of surveillance; it was free of cameras, and practically invisible to the road. It was also narrow enough, and the buildings tall enough, that the angle created a blindspot for satellites if she hugged the wall. She’d chosen a good spot. Satisfied with the preparations for her plan, she squatted down against the side of the building, closed her eyes, and pressed her palms tight against her ears.

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Peter had made his way back to the dance floor, passing by the big guy and the dog, giving them a little half smirk and a nod in recognition. Once he got back to Nina, he'd given a slight flourish of his hand, a waving off directed at the DJ, letting her know she could return to her music. Once it had resumed, he turned to his younger counter part. "Well I've had fun tonight, what about you?" He chuckled before being interrupted by his phone ringing out, playing Elton John's 'I'm Still Standing'. Upon taking the call, he gave a brief, cool response. "What is it?"

"Hey, uh, boss, how's it goin'?" came Agent Medhi's voice on the other end, quavering with nervous incredulity. "So, uh, funny story, we were watching the cameras, you know, like we do, all the time - shut up Mayer! - and uh, eheh, funny thing, we actually got a satellite overhead that picked up the contractor woman from earlier - do you remember her? Red hair? Was chasing the shapeshifter?"

Peter let out a soft sigh indicating a slight streak of impatient annoyance. "Yes Medhi, I remember her, I saw her like an hour ago when she was chasing the shapeshifter." He was less annoyed by Medhi's calling him, and more annoyed by the fact Medhi couldn't explain how serious the situation was, and that he was taking far too long trying to do so if it was serious.

"Haha, yeah, anyway, we were watching the monitors, and, funny thing, Lidia actually spotted her in some footage from a satellite moving over the city, about a mile and a half from your position! Isn't that wild?" Medhi let out a small cackle of nervous energy. "So, uh, anyway, we noticed she'd set herself up with a sniper rifle, which you know, we thought that was pretty weird, right? Like what are the odds the shapeshifter would even be going in that direction? So uh, as a joke, just as, you know, a goof, and in all due dilligence, I had Bricker run an analysis of the angle of her gun to get an idea of what exactly she might've been aiming at, and uh, eheheh, you aren't gonna believe this, boss, but it actually looks like she's aiming at your-" Medhi was cut off by an explosion loud enough to shake the walls of the building. "Oh shit."

The sound of the explosion rocked the whole building, causing a wave of people to dash away from the entrance of the club in fear for their lives. Peter's eyes narrowed as he marched outside, Nina close behind. Upon seeing the wreck of the car, he took a quick look around the area to spy if the saboteur was still around, but there wasn't anything he could see from the ground.

He stared at the wreck for a moment as he processed what feeling this inspired in him. Annoyance? Only briefly, but it was being fast replaced by other considerations.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Mere seconds after the utter devestation of Peter Radovan's government-issued Chevrolet Suburban, Sheri exited the alleyway's west end twice, one heading north, the other continuing due west. A moment later, Sheri exited again from the east end of the alley, tearing out of it on a black motorcycle.

She raced down the street and past Club Shapeless, coming just close enough to the front parking lot to make eye contact with the two SINS agents who had just been inside before zipping away to the southeast.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

The other end of the line was filled with a clammor of government agents shouting, some professionally, a couple losing their minds over the skill on display in the gunshot. Underneath the voices was a clatter of tapping against electronics and scooting of thrift store chairs as the agents went flying about in a flurry of activity. Medhi was silent on the other end for a bit before coming back.

"Don't worry boss, I'm sending someone to pick you two up right now," he finally responded. "I've got them working on tagging the girl-" his sentence was cut off when he turned to shout at someone else. "What do you mean which one? The one on the damn- God, just tag all of them!"

Peter didn't respond immediately, his eyes locked on the girl on the bike as she went by, fairly certain it could be assumed she was the one responsible for the damage.

"Medhi. Send that car, but keep word of this under wraps. I need the brass out of the loop while I try to figure some of this out. Got it?" He looked back at the wreck again, his face blank for a few moments, before contorting into a smile that soon erupted into laughter.

After a few moments of his uncontrollable fit, he finally managed to settle himself down again, though he made no effort to find how amused he was. "This just might be the cherry on top for today! Sabotage? An attempted assassination? Some kind of diversion? Doesn't even matter, cause I'm having the time of my life right now!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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March 12th, 2045, 9:40am: Atlas City, North Carolina, USA

Day 2


On the beach of Atlas City, further North, and more comfortably away from the Beast of Decay, an old facility once used for oil drilling and research now housed a new, more ambitious owner.

A sumptuous, elegant office room, with dark oak for near almost everything, including the large desk Maxwell Landon was seated at. Book shelves lined the sides of the room, but behind him sat a large, black marble statue of a panther, with thin veins of gold scattered throughout it. Before him sat another table, a long conference one, made of similar materials, with oak chairs with red leather seating surrounding. Ulysses, Willoughby, Kiran, and several others sat at the table currently, waiting quietly for Maxwell to speak.

“For the time being, I’ve sent Maeve to test out some weaponry at the front line. It’s a good time to prove herself, and to see what exactly this creature is capable of. Kiran, I need you to keep in contact with her, collect as much information as you can and try to figure out some ways we can kill this thing. The rest of you, I need you geared up and masked. I want you to take to the streets and help with evacuation. Now’s a good chance to build some PR with the city, and hopefully make it easier to kill this thing before it gets to us.”

Those in the room nodded along silently. “Ulysses, you stay here with some of the men, make sure the base is secure, and that Kiran can work on a solution in peace. Willoughby, you head to Shapeless, make sure it stays secure as well, and try to get as much product onto trucks and out of the city as you can. As for me, I’ll be joining some of you at the front lines to provide support, and hopefully add to that good PR.”

Maxwell rose from his seat, with the others soon following suit, as was tradition. He rapped his knuckle on his desk twice. “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s go save a city.”


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The Beast of Decay stood as a strange, dynamic statue in the midst of Atlas City’s coastal waters. While people scattered about in horror and panic, it made no moves closer to the city, it’s movements being restricted to the strange pulsing through its body, producing more foul liquids and lumps of unknown materials into the water below.

At one point, a small, shapeshifting ant of a being tried roaring. The Beast of Decay was entirely disinterested in any form of communication. The foul mist, the aerosol essence of its body, devoured organic and inorganic material before it without prejudice, leaving behind liquefied remains, which soon after turned into strange, blackened, mold like patches of fur. Veins grew across these patches, throbbing as unknown liquid passed through them, and shuddering as tiny needles of black began to pierce through and grow upward. They weren’t particularly long, about an inch in length, but they were indeed sharp as needles, and far more dangerous.

A moment later a light pierced through the sky, purple and white in color, and racing towards the Beast of Decay.

The burning substance quickly tore through the outside of the beast, forming a hole approximately 10 feet in diameter, and quickly exploding to be even larger as the charge inside went off. A torrent of brown, black, and orange sludge poured forth from the creature’s mouth, with hefty large chunks close in size to small cars plummeting into the waters below.

More explosions sounded off around the beast, as the sound of a strange man-bird announced an attack from the air. While the damage was mainly superficial at first, one well placed explosion forced a geyser of foul decay fluids to shoot up into the air, 50 foot spray that spread out into a fine mist in the direction of Man-Hawk.

______________________________________________________


Peter and several other SINS employees looked out the windows of their rented office building as the sky was lit up by a thin beam of light, aimed at the monster in the waters. Several of them looked shocked, confused by what happened. Peter seemed mostly unmoved, beyond a little smirk as he looked over at the NAHLA headquarters.

“What… Was that?” One of them asked.

Just as those words had finished being spoken, several people looked solemnly at TV screens that had been set up, reporting live news coverage of the attack. From around the world.

British, French, German, nearly every language known to man, all speaking in rapid unison as footage of the laser was marched across their screens. But the news coverage most concerning to everyone was that of the Soviets and Chinese.

“That was someone earning themselves a free visit from the Department of Defense.” Peter responded neutrally. “Try not to worry about it boys and girls, we’ve got a lot of work left to do. Hop to it.”

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Richard weaved through traffic as quickly as he could, having luckily found streets that were considerably less crowded by vehicles, though that was likely due to them being side roads that led more easily to the beach, as opposed to away from it. The light in the sky that seemed to come from the direction of the NAHLA building had momentarily stunned him, as did the boom that followed it.

Had that been the end of the monster? No time to get hopeful, had to assume worst case and keep going. Richard sped up as he wound his way through suburbs and emptied streets, coming screeching around a corner as he found a relatively quiet street. People were pouring out of an alley it looked like, with one of them stepping over towards one of those self-driving limos.

Wait… Was that someone he recognized? Was that… The super with the shorts from yesterday getting into that car? Seemed they had places to go that weren’t the beach. Whatever. Wasn’t much good in a super that was only super for a show.

He drove over to the alley as the self-driving car pulled away, and once the narrow area had become clear of escaping civilians, he began to back up down the alley. If he was right about the roads, this should get him pretty close to the beach.

Once the back end of the SUV had pulled out into the other street connected to the alley, Richard had a pretty good view of the beach. There was still space between him and other vehicles, enough to shoot over, and create a battleground of his choosing.

Richard stepped out of the SUV, locking the steering wheel in place so the vehicle wouldn’t be going off anywhere he wasn’t, particularly with his equipment. He stared up at the monster in front of him a few moments, taking some time to comprehend just what was before him. A couple deep breaths. A nod of affirmation. He began marching forward, now with Hrunting firmly in hand.


______________________________________________________


The Beast of Decay finally moved. Just subtly at first, but enough to indicate it was looking directly at where the shot that had hit it had come from. It’s mouth fell open, more chunks dropping out and into the water, the hole in it’s body now visible.

And now visible too was the fact it was putting itself back together. Thin ropes of some kind of organic, fleshy material strung themselves up between the two sides of the wound, pulling the hole closed as more organic material poured in to coagulate the hole.

While this happened, and the beast’s mouth was open, a sound began to emanate from it. Quietly at first, but it soon grew to a volume that was audible across a large part of the city. Not painful to the ears, and all the more eerie that it was audible, the sounds of "I Think We`re Alone Now" by Tommy James & The Shondells carrying across the city.

It was clear where it came from, the Beast of Decay, but soon radios began to crackle to life across the city, phones and computers, all echoing the sounds of the song in unison with the monster. Something else too came to life, but not in the city.

In the sea.

The chunks that had been falling into the water were now crawling up onto the land. They still maintained their amorphous shapes at first, but soon they began take on new shapes, more recognizable, but nonsensical. Strange spikey protrusions poked through their decaying surfaces, looking like thick, broken bones, or bit of dead tree root, some even looked like large spider legs. These strange appendages allowed them to begin moving, slowly at first, but quickly picking up pace. Thin veins began to extend out of their bodies too, a dark, red and brown color, lined with singular rows of some sort of pulsating, stinger looking barbs.

As they made their way up the beach, the throbbing circles in their own external flesh became noticeable, more foul fluids spilling out around them as they moved. Once they’d gotten properly situated, their main weapons began to awaken; mouth like structures in the center of their bodies, equipped with insect like mandibles, and rows of teeth, broken boy, root, and other bizarre materials. The mouths opened and closed in deep, heavy breaths, anticipating their next meals…

“I think we’re alone now, there doesn’t seem to be anyone around - ”

The music cut off, replaced now by the sound of a voice, one all too familiar to many. While it couldn’t be understood by non-German speakers, it was the very recognizable voice of Adolf Hitler. The speech repeated his famous words, “Wir wissen vor uns, dass Deutschland liegt, in uns brennt Deutschland und hinter uns folgt Deutschland.” We know before us Germany lies, in us Germany burns, and behind us Germany follows.

More static cut through, and the voice of the long dead dictator was replaced by yet another, this one with the sound of a distressed English woman.

“This is Doctor Heather Wright! If you’re seeing this, I may already be dead, but I pray not. The date is March 5th, Nineteen Seventy - *static* I’m currently in the South Ge- *static* We must find a way to destroy this thing! It can’t continue to exist! All of humankind dep- *static*”

And with that, all voices and sounds from the Beast of Decay ceased.

______________________________________________________


A steady stream of civilians ran through the streets, scrambling to get away from the beach as fast as possible as the strange offspring of the monster quickly made chase. One man slammed into a car, desperately scrambling to get over, though not quickly enough. He turned to see one of the grotesque monstrosities closing in, now less than 20 feet away.

A loud gunshot rang out, and what appeared to be the offspring’s head was turned into a fine mist, dropping it to the ground. For now. The fleeing man turned in time to see the shooter, a man dressed in an all black military fatigue.

“MOVE!” Richard shouted, firing off several more rounds, finding their way into the heads and bodies of the monstrous targets heading this way. The fleeing man gave a simple, frightened nod and was up over the car, and bolting.

He fired off several more shots, having taken down most of the offspring that were coming down this street, but looking further down the beach he could see there were far more trying to make their way up every other avenue, to break through to the city center.

Another gunshot rang out, almost as loud as Richard’s, but not from him. He turned to see another one of the offspring dead on the ground not 8 feet away from him, and looking up he finally noticed a man, dressed in clothing from at least the early 20th century, holding a smoking shotgun.

Richard looked confused at the man, but gave an appreciative nod. “Thanks for that-“ He was cut off when he noticed the man was limping, and his left leg finally came into view. It was decaying already, bits of flesh falling off, the brown pant leg a tatter of what it was before. Richard rushed over to him. “Come with me, we need to get you medical-“ This time he was cut off by the shotgun being aimed at his face.


“DON’T TOUCH ME!” The man shouted in a startling manner. “Don’t come near me, or my body, understand! I’m already dead! I probably have an hour left of my life, maybe less. The last thing I need or want is someone going down with me!”

Richard took a nervous step back from the man, hands raised slightly so as to prevent him from shooting again. “You… Know something about that thing? What was with all the music? And the talking?”

The man let out an agitated sigh as he leaned against a car, pulling out two solid shotgun slugs that he placed into the gun. This was a man intent on hunting something. “I know that this thing is not alone! You must listen to me; I don’t know who or what you are, but I need you to talk to your leaders, or someone, anyone in command. A President, Prime Minister, King or Queen, even a general. Just tell them they will need everything they can muster to destroy these things!”

“These… Things?”

The man in tweed nodded. “Yes, there is far more than you could ever imagine, this? It’s an infant compared to what horrors lurk… And they… Are… Legion…” He began to cough and hack uncontrollably, a spatter of blood exiting his mouth. “It’s inside me even… In my body, killing me from within… I… I don’t understand enough about this creature, or the others. I don’t even know where I am right now… I was hunting these things in a bog. But now… I think I’m a very, very far way off from home.”

______________________________________________________


March 12th, 2045, 2:40pm: Scottish Highlands

It was a pleasant afternoon, typically cool for Scotland this early in the year, but the snow was in mere patches right now. New Tantallon Castle had a gorgeous view of the sea from the back end of the estate, and it’s brilliant, vibrant gardens from the front. The stone architecture, and dark wood made the place truly magnificent to behold. George Carlisle Hughes, a man well aged and into his 90’s, sat quietly at his desk, finishing up on some paperwork before being interrupted by the phone ringing. He cocked an eyebrow at the thing, before picking it up.

“Hughes here, what is it?” The man spoke in an elegant English accent, though some Scottish tints could be detected.

“Sir, you need to look at the news. Now.”

George pursed his lips, a little off put by the tone as he exited his office to head for the conference room. He quickly turned on the television, and was immediately greeted by the sight of the monster from Atlas City. His face was stony with resolve as he watched the beast work. “Do we know for sure it’s one of-“

“This is Doctor Heather Wright! If you’re seeing this, I may already be dead, but I pray not.”

His mouth dropped as the woman’s voice continued to echo through the television. They were capable of this even? How?

“Ready the jet for me immediately. And do we have anyone close to North Carolina right now? George asked in a stoic voice, trying to hide his true, much more fearful emotions.

“We have a sub out there sir. They can likely be at Atlas City in 5 hours, give or take.”

George nodded remorsefully. “Get it done. I’m leaving for the airstrip in 15.” As he hung up the phone, he looked back to the TV, feeling his whole body shake and go weak from the sight of this creature. He’d never thought in his life he’d actually see something like this take form. But here it was, mocking all of humanity, and their hubris for thinking nothing could be more powerful than them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger 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: 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: Evangeline Richter Character Portrait: Hugo Hemrod Character Portrait: Joseph Wright Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss Character Portrait: Hudson Li Character Portrait: Amy Lin Character Portrait: Leah Lin Character Portrait: Ezekiel Walker
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March 12th, 2045, 9:40am: Atlas City, North Carolina, USA

Day 2


Albert's comms crackled to life as a reply came through. "HQ here Albert. Not certain on that ETA yet, government is supposed to be filling us in on that soon. Sounds like the weapon is some sort of canon, or artillery, not sure. They're going to level the residential area close to the beach, they want civvies moved to the West as much as possible to avoid any collateral."

______________________________________________________


As Vicki and Maeve arrived on scene to help defeat the Beast of Decay, close to a dozen of its offspring rushed up onto the beach, with 3 targeting Maeve, 2 targeting Vicki, and the remaining others charged towards where Yue, Jericho, and Alex were operating. The sand behind these creatures darkened, as patches of dark mold grew.

______________________________________________________


And explosion of noise erupted from the entrance of one of the roads leading to the beach, as several of the Beast's offspring were torn to shreds, some bursting into bits of flame. The massive .50 caliber machine gun Richard had was making quick work of the offspring, but this was little more than a temporary measure. The man in tweed too had fired off shots, taking out two more of the dark beasts before needing to reload.

Down another adjacent street, explosions could be heard as offspring got blasted into gory, misty messes. Richard and the man in tweed looked over to see Man-Hawk working to keep his own street cleared of monsters, and allowing more innocents to escape.

______________________________________________________


Three more offspring landed around Man-Hawk, heavy, wet breathing audible all around him as they all lashed out with their veins, and malformed, claw equipped arms. So far he was managing to dodge the attacks, but another distraction had cropped up, now bursting from... His coms? His phone?

The sound was blaring from phones, radios, TVs, and everything else across the city.

______________________________________________________


Across the city, supers and humans alike, both heroes, villains, and average folk, got the startling, hopeless tone of a National Emergency Alert coming through on whatever speakers were close by. Even the heroes on the beach, the NAHLA heroes, ACHI, and SINS were getting the same message.

"This message is being transmitted at the request of the United States Government. This is not a test. An existential threat against the United States of America has appeared on the coast of Atlas City, North Carolina. The United States Government has commenced preparations for a counter offensive against the threat. A forward assault base will be established in the residential area of Atlas City closest to beach front. All homes and buildings in this area will be demolished in 20 minutes to create space for this counter offensive. Please evacuate the area immediately and retreat to safe zones set up by emergency and government services, as well as hero organizations. Safe Zones will be located in the following locations."

The message continued by listing various locations across the city to be retreated to. 20 minutes. The city had 20 minutes to ensure all living civilians were out of the front line before the military did whatever it was they had planned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Evangeline Richter
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"Hmph," he grunted, eyeing the general and his companion with the expression that he was expecting someone else and was sorely disappointed. He leaned his back against the railing and turned his gaze back to the slate floating in front of him, receiving a notification from Tracer which brought a bit of a smirk to one corner of his lips.

"Lots, but based on the timing of your appearance and your expression you're convinced you already have the answer and that this plan you have us all scrambling to implement is sure to work. The fact that you asked in the first place instead of just informing me suggests you want me to stroke your ego by allowing you to correct me," he sighed like this was all so troublesome, using the slate to send Tracer back to the battlefield and observe the creature. Back in Olympus Heights, it warbled something sarcastic at Sheri before flying out of the garage and shrieking back towards the beach.

"Very well, I'll humor you," he said lifting the cup towards his face reflexively. He paused, looking down at it in dubious silence for a solid minute like he was trying to remember when exactly he received it. Sairyn took a breath and casually tossed the cup over the railing, moving on like nothing was amiss. "I won't make any assumptions about its origin, but it appears to be a regenerating multiplier class, per my broadcasts over the NAHLA network which I assume that you've read already," he explained, flashing a phone into his hand and tapping it a few times when he noticed that there was no signal. He ignored the smug look on the Colonel's face and tossed the phone over his shoulder flippantly where it dissolved in a flash of light. A second, phone-like device flashed into his hand, looking more like a science-fiction device cobbled together from the scraps of dozens of electronics and a miniature particle accelerator. He tapped a message silently into it for a moment.

Truce for today. Need something to deal with an S Class regenerator. Drinks after XOXO.

Somewhere, in a certain laboratory, a certain someone's phone chirped.

"Anyway, seeing that every time its damaged it creates more minions, and that it was able to withstand and instantly heal a massive wound to a vital area... unless your toy completely annihilates Slionheart over there down to its last molecule, you're probably just going to make the situation worse for the front liners," he explained, brushing a silver lock out of his face.

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Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Deep bellow the city in the eighth level of Kiran’s underground laboratory there was a flurry of movement accompanied by enough sound that would normally be heard in factories twice the size of this facility. Massive distillery unites and bubbling containers of strange technicolored guilds in every shape and size all churned as mechanical arms sucked out their noxious content and mixed it into other vats in a ceaseless pass. Kiran Kingsley oversaw everything from a sort of command center in the middle of this floors facilities. Dozens of monitors and controls payed out before the mad doctor that showed the progress of their work as well as videos of the beast of decay at the beach.

The battle didn’t look too good so far, but Kiran had other worries. The acids and launchers they had sent out with Maxwell and the others seemed to have an effect but didn’t meet Kiran’s standards at all. Had to be better, had to eat away at it more effectively. Larger amounts of chems would be ideal Transportation and launching the ordinance would become tricky fast. Not a tinker for large weaponry that isn’t alive or liquids. Annoying.

Kiran ran their hands across dozens of buttons and switches with the energy and dramatics of a conductor in front of an orchestra. The sound of Daft Punk’s Derezzed blared in their ears as they finalized their two current ideas to help combat the rotting monster. That was when their music was interrupted and a vibration came from their leg pocket.

All of their work froze at once aside. The phone in their leg pocket was only connected to only one particular person. Kiran’s face lit up and became almost live sick as they quickly checked the message.

Truce for today. Need something to deal with an S Class regenerator. Drinks after XOXO.

A squeal escaped Kiran’s lips and they flailed like a fan girl in their chair. Sairyn needed them! And he sent kisses!! Oh this was going to be a LOVELY day!!!
This also solved the ordinance problem! Kiran slammed down on a few buttons in quick succession and the machinery came back to life. Minutes passed and two new batches of heavy duty chem balls were put together. About two dozens of each, One being a virulent green and the other a icy blue. These chem balls differed from their normal ones in the fact that they were the size of beach balls and held a greater amount of pressurized fluids. The other was the divots that covered each balls surface like a golf ball, this was to reduce drag and allow the large spheres to be launched at faster speeds with less wind resistance.

Kiran kept from their chair and hot one last button before pirouetting away from the command center and towards their labs elevator.



Level four of the lab was a place where nightmares lived, the howling and screaming of the horrors that lived here all but died down as Kiran stepped in. The Tinker gave a smirk. Good, the ones with a grain of intelligence still knew better. They lapped their hands and smiled brightly. ”I need Cesar number five dash twelve, now! I got a Job for you!!” A loud buzzer sounded followed by a shriek of metal against metal. The sound of claws clattering against concrete and heavily breather drew near as one of Kiran’s more stable mutant monsters came before them. “Cesar” was a type of strange sort of quadruped that had the look of a hyena fused with with a tiger but with scale like skin that was almost covered in bone growths. It’s face had no eyes, instead having more nostril holes then any normal creature should and three sets of ears. This one had a host of scars from my wrote experiments and successfully missions. Kiran grinned and patted the creatures head. ”Go get your bag and head to the maze, your going towards the boardwalk and giving a gift to Sai for me, you know his scent so it shouldn’t be hard. Be quick and don’t. Damage. Your cargo. Got it?”
Cesar gave a low growl and nodded before bounding off. Kiran smiles to themselves and took out their phone to message Sairyn.

Sending a Cesar to you. Has heavy ordinance ready. The green ones are filled with hyper active. self-replicating enzymes that are floating in a acid meant to break down organic and inorganic material for 5 minutes after coming into contact with oxygen before it all becomes inert.
The blue ones are a viscous super cooling agent that far outstrips liquid nitrogen or methane and should continuously freeze a target that it’s in contact with until 5 minutes has passed. Just try and guess what this would do to that thing.
Oh and don’t try to keep any of them for more then 24 hours, they won’t last.
Love you Babe~


Satisfied. Kiran turned back to the elevator, they wanted to keep watching the fight and was curious to see how their newest creations would fair.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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"Now listen, don't get it twisted. I want you to be right, I just think you're all morons. So unless you're pulling my leg and you really do know what's going on... let's be honest here, the probability your plan works is pretty low," he replied squinting past the general. He smiled brightly for just one moment, and then cleared his throat, folding his arms and turning his nose up at Sheri just slightly. "It's about Goddamn time. Invoice me," he snipped, kicking the coil rifle up towards her and indicating the bucket of incendiary slugs on the platform. "Oh don't shoot any people with those, it's a war crime, apparently," he said, stepping past her to give her room. Some distance below them, the chink of hard talons on concrete was slowly getting closer. He didn't appear concerned.

"You make it sound like I wasn't already going to help with the cleanup: It's part of my job," he interjected with a sigh and an oversized black anodized pistol with Volta gilded on the barrel materialized in his hand as he leaned on the rail. "I'm as interested in figuring out what we're dealing with as any other Tinker in the city... okay maybe I have some other things on my mind that have priority on my attention," he admitted, as he removed the magazine of 9mm and ratcheted the chambered round out into the air. Both dissolved into light, and a fully loaded magazine of .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum rounds flashed into his hand. He squeezed them carefully into place: it was a tight fit, but they finally clicked securely into the weapon.

As he was talking, he ratcheted the first round and the head of what he recognized as one of Kiran's pets popped into view. Moments later it was scrabbling to get over the rail and onto the platform. With a snap of his fingers the two large sacks it was carrying dissolved into a pale golden light, and reappeared at his feet. Sairyn casually lifted the pistol and pulled the trigger. The lighthearted snap of the magnetic coils belied the size of the bullet as it embedded itself, casing and all, into the creature's eye. It screamed for a moment before the deep-throated *CRACK* of the round discharging painted the inside of its head onto the side of the building and the creature tumbled off the roof.

"Oh, and you tell your boss they have to negotiate with Evangeline for my weapon designs just like everybody else. Those were the terms. Of. My. Employment," he said, emphasizing his words by gesturing the pistol emphatically. He dropped the gun, letting it dissolve as he reached into one of the sacks to withdraw... a giant metal golf ball... Sairyn huffed with a note of disappointment. He was going to have to work some notes about build aesthetics into the pre-fight banter for his next encounter with Kiran. A quick pulse took the measurements, and he flipped through his grimiore with his free hand.

"Those were the terms when Emile was director, those are still the terms now that... somebody who's name is not important enough to remember has taken over. Green or blue first?" he asked, mid conversation, more to himself than anyone present. "Green matches my eyes," he said, hesitating for a moment. Sairyn clucked his tongue. "Do you think he'd appreciate it if I do green first?" he asked with a bit of a smirk, like he was talking about surprising his lover. "I'm gonna do green," he decided, flicking an object onto the platform behind Sheri, which groaned beneath the weight.

The air hissed loudly as it was displaced, and a massive cannon that looked like it belonged on a warship materialized over several seconds. It was an up-scaled version of the magnetic catapult that was sitting in the test range. Sairyn pressed his fingers to it, and the metal creaked loudly as he adjusted the bore diameter to fit Kiran's charges and loaded a green one into the firing chamber.

"Don't make trouble for me lightly," he warned as he punched in coordinates on his slate relayed from the Tracer drone on site. The machine whirred as it made the adjustments and then began to hum ominously like an overcharged transformer. "There are reasons I'm a protected asset- Oop: safety first," he said, snapping his fingers and materializing ballistic earmuffs on everyone before he pressed the button to fire.

There was a fast, but intense buildup and a charge shot down the barrel. The cannon didn't quite have the report of Lancea, but the deep *CRUMP* rattled the platform and reverberated through the city for some distance. The charge hurtled across the city, arcing down on the creature like a meteor, crushing into its flank and exploding Kiran's super-acid all down one side.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger 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: 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: Albrecht von Richthofen Character Portrait: Amelia Brunel Character Portrait: Niall Khadkani
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Albert was impressed despite himself. The amount of destruction the other heroes had managed to scrape together and pile onto the beast of decay was actually inspiring. For a moment, he thought they might actually have won.

But the beast kept going.

"Listen, HQ, I have to get down there,"Albert said, pulling his plane's nose up and heading higher into the atmosphere. "That thing's still coming."

"The artillery is incoming, Backlash, stay put," Ivetta's voice, still calm but strained as the beast lurched up the beach.

Albert opened his mouth to protest but in that moment, the artillery appeared. The flying super could only stare at the oversized cannon that had flattened a section of housing, thankfully one that had been emptied for some time. The supers on the beach retreated. The cannon fired.

At this point, however, Albert wasn't convinced. He continued to climb, his knuckles white as he clenched the joystick. He'd been caught with his pants down with this thing. It wasn't something anyone could have predicted, but Albert felt like a failure anyway. There was no doubt in his mind that he could have destroyed this beast himself, but he would have had to know at least a day in advance in his current state. One day in advance, and he would have been able to vaporize the beast completely, and without the damage the cannon caused.

Below him, the beast took control of the artillery, and fired a shot into the Atlas City Reactor. Flipping his plane around, Albert pointed the nose of it straight at the cannon and accelerated. He was thirty thousand feet in the sky, higher than he'd ever fallen before. His plane would cover that distance in around 30 seconds. It was time to redeem himself, even if only a little bit, for his failure today.

The cannon fired thrice more as Albert dove, then fell silent as the beast reloaded the massive weapon. Albert's plane hit the cannon at over 600 miles per hour, and exploded, but it was Albert's strike just before he crashed that truly tore the cannon to pieces. For just a moment, Albert's punch contained a tiny fraction of the sun's power, and as Albert collided with the military's creation, that power cascaded through the entire system.

The cannon shuddered, sparked, then exploded from the inside, parts of it ripping off while others turned to molten flame and melted. The beast of decay's tendrils were turned to ash instantly, the heat and fire following the tendrils into the earth and burning them underground.

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Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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On the first floor of their laboratory Kiran lounged on a rather plush coach. They hummed to themselves happily and pet the sleeping corgi in their lap. "Hmmm, I do wonder how it all went, hopefully none of ours got themselves killed
while I wasn't there to bring them back. What do you think Thor?"
They looked down at the half asleep god, who yawned and woofed softly in response. "True, very wise words as always, Maxwell isn't so stupid as to stick around if it got to bad. Though i'm sure I'll be fixing up someone before the day is over." Kiran pulled out their phone to check for any new messages. Nothing since their last message to Sai. The mad doctor huffed in annoyance. better keep up their end of the deal, or things might get Ņa̵͞s̸t͏͝y͏͠ ŗ͝e͘͜ą͟l͘͟ļy̢ ̧śo͘͟o̸͏͢n̛. They blinked and shook their head a bit. None of that right now, have to wait for a call back from Maxwell soon. there was too much hero activity going on topside to safely travel right now anyway.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Kiran stared at their phone. Feelings of joy at the sight of a message from Sai died as quickly as they had came. Their left eye twitched slightly as their pupils dilating before becoming almost pinpricks. Oh, it seems the american government was getting in the way of them and their beloved Sairyn. that wouldn't do at all. Nothing got in their way when it came to Sairyn and anyone or anything that thought otherwise would find that mistake fatal.

Kiran's cybernetic tail lashed behind them dangerously, Their face contorted into a predatory sneer that would scare any sane person. their mouth full of fangs glinted in the sterile lighting."MAybe͞ ҉I҉ sh̛oųl͞d ͜ga̕s͠ ̡the ̕Pen͟ta͜Gon ͟nEx͠ţ?" Their voice came out more a beastly growl then anything a human should make. They stalked over to their Labs elevator and pressed the down button. Some poor soul was going to die painfully to calm Kiran's rush of bloodlust.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley
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Kiran let out a satisfied sigh. They sat lounging in the fifth level of their lab, the coliseum. The floor was slick with blood and viscera from a dozen corpses scattered around the arenas floor. Mangled monstrosities and seemingly normal humans of all shapes and sizes ripped apart and brutalized as if mauled by something equally monstrous. He smiled blissfully as his scorpion tail flicked from side to side, imitating the wagging of a dog as blood and meat slid off its metallic shell.

Finally calmed down from a potential episode, Kiran got up from their spot on the floor, which evidentially had been the torn open torso of a particularly large creation of theirs. The poor beast was still gurgling through grit teeth, a look of hatred and fear in its eyes as Kiran gave the thing a sideways glance before their tails stinger plunged itself into the dying creatures temple. A grin spread across their face as the mutant finally went quiet. He really needed that.


Minutes later, Kiran was just getting dressed after a much needed shower in the first floor. He glanced at a black phone resting on their dresser and decided it was as good a time as any to check in. He snatched it up and contacted Maxwell.
Wondering if you are alive or not Boss. If you are I hope you were able to get samples of that beast.
Also hope the others are well too, I have a new friend in mind for Maeve!
Miss you all :(
Getting a little bored over here and had to resort to some self care >:D
Tempted to go for a walk if I get any more bored -_-

With that out of the way, it was time to go down to level eight again. An idea for a new adaptation was swimming inside their mind and Kiran would hate to loose the chance to gain a new edge.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger 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: 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: Jamie Kerrow
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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: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge
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Deep beneath Shapeless, where the walls and shadows seemed as one, where the sun dared not spread its light. A sickly green glow permeated through the darkness, spread by the myriad distilleries which lined the floor like the pillars of a profane temple. This was level 8, the Alchemist's Nightmare, the penultimate level of Kiran Kingsley's laboratory. 

Upon one corner of the chamber, surrounded by thick roots of cables, hoses, and wires, was a carcass. A pale green thing, lying upon a slab of concrete, seven foot tall and four foot across. Its flesh was etched with a myriad veins and sutures, bulging with muscles that stretched and distended its skin. It was almost entirely naked, save for a harness of black leather and spikes which provided the barest concealment for its dignity, as well as a heavy collar around its neck, fitted into a mask that obscured the creature's features from the eyes down.

Its eyes…

Pale, yellow, and bulging open, without the barest glimpse of life. For that was what it was, a corpse. Cold, bloated, and rigid… but not for long. Upon its right shoulder, seared underneath the skin with jet-black ink, was its name: "04 CARNIFEX."

A tall, slender woman with pale skin and stark white hair gazed at her creation and smiled. It was a common thing for Kiran to change the shape of their physical body, and their current shape could land them a career as an actress or model easily. With their reputation changing their appearance now and again was a necessity. They gazed at the creation before them with a look of pride. "All ready to wake up, just need a good chance to test you out."

The intercom crackled to life, interrupting their musings. Pyro was coming down here? Curious. Moving to the control center in the center of the floor and a few button clicks and What Kiran saw in their elevator made them blink. Vicki Vortex??? What would possess her to come back here? A smile slowly started to creep onto their face. That was a juicy thought indeed. But what would they force the rock star to do as payment for whatever the woman was here fo…oh.

OH~

Their gaze had drifted back to Scourge, still on their slab. This was perfect. With a giggle, Kiran flipped a few switches for the facilities security measures to force Vicki and the Pyromancer into the fifth layer. If the two were so bold to come down here then they were going to make a lovely stress test for Kiran's new "son". Stepping back over to the slab, Kiran's hands becoming a blur of movement across a panel covered in switches and buttons. Wires began to hum with power while a cocktail of chemicals began to rapidly be pumped into Scourges still body. A restraining bolt that had been keeping the brain from being connected to the rest of the monstrous humanoids body was ejected violently out of the back of its head. the space it once took up in the soft flesh soon healing over in seconds. The body began to convulse and strain against itself as its tailored biology began to rapidly acclimate to itself and reach some sort of equilibrium. Months of painstakingly work and three failed creations lead up to this moment.

Kiran couldn't help but laugh as the hulking form before them drew in breath with a growl. "In the theatrical words of Victor Frankenstein . . . It's Alive~" And like that, a new terror was brought into the world.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge
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Fingers twitched. What was once cold and still jerked, once, twice. Bones were stretched to their limits and crunched. Muscles rippled beneath the skin. Veins bulged as they were flooded with sickly glowing green fluids. Light glinted upon dead eyes, and the flesh of brows and cheeks distended as the monster's growl crescendoed into a blood-curdling roar.

"GRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Steel bent like butter against quintals worth of muscles. Shackles and chains snapped, and broken wires spat out sparks. The monster reached for the skies, his silhouette cast against the dark grey walls.




The metallic thud of the door seemed twice as loud inside Pyromancer's mind. It took him a second to process what had happened. Golden rings came alight in his eyes, and he glared straight at the closest intercom.

He reached for the lapels of his suit and tossed them aside. Embers came unfurled around his body, flying, swaying around him like a horde of furious fireflies. Before Kiran could continue on his overlong speech, Pyromancer pulled his arm far back, summoned a fireball in his hand, and pitched it, far, fast, and high.

"Lab Rat, you Son of a BITCH!"

Ka-BOOM!

The speaker shattered. The Lab Rat was silenced. Black and grey detritus rained from above. Pyromancer blinked, and silently hoped that the Shape would not take this out of his paycheck.

Silence ensued. Pyromancer bent his knees into a guarded stance and kept himself close to Vortex. His eyes darted left and right.

The floor erupted. A green arm burst through layers of concrete; resembling a man's, yet far too big and too long to be one. Dust and debris scattered towards them. A shard of rubble grazed Vicki Vortex's cheek at high speed. Pyromancer stumbled, and just barely secured his footing.

The rest of the creature emerged from beneath, like a zombie crawling out of its grave. He leered at them, with his pallid yellow eyes. He was a man, but not human. Not anymore. His veins shimmered in tune with his false heart. He took a step forward. A single footfall shook the earth beneath their feet.

"Well, well, WELL!" The monster remarked, with a voice that was boisterous yet mundane compared to his form.
"My creator has blessed me with such taut, succulent FLESH"

Pyromancer stepped back, and fires came alight within his palm.

The creature's mask obscured much of his face below the eyes, but Vic could sense his smirk. He looked straight at her. Hungry, eager, and undressing her through his leering eyes.

"I! Am! SCOURGE! Butcher, executioner, and DELIVERER of her will-"

A gout of flame struck Scourge in the face. Pyromancer held both of his hands forward, and maintained the stream. On, and on, and on, and on.

Scourge chuckled.

Then approached.

He lumbered with every step. A slow, yet steady advance.

"GYAHAHAHA! OHHH, HOW IT BURNS!"

Pyromancer widened his eyes. He halted his flames and hopped back. "Move!" He whispered Vic's way.

"Give me MORE!"

The monster swung, and a tentacle shot out from his forearm. The throbbing shaft shot out, gaining twelve feet of length in two seconds, and struck at both Pyromancer and Vic, hard.

"Hakh!" Pyromancer gasped out. His body was flung across the arena, then crashed onto the seats with a bone-shattering thud.

Scourge's brows knit together with a lascivious smirk."Yessssss…". His tentacle retreated into his arm. White fluid dribbled from the tip before it disappeared, sizzling as it stuck to the floor.

Pyromancer clutched the armrest of a seat with one hand, and his ribs with the other. He winced, and sputtered, and looked around for Vicki Vortex.

The ground quaked with Scourge's steps, like the slow and menacing beat of a war drum. His skin rippled and shifted. "Hiding WON'T save you! I'm not satisfied YET."

His eyes narrowed. "Not until I have YOU. Spent! Broken! On your knees, BEGGING, for release…"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge
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"THATS ENOUGH." The voice of Kiran Commanded from speakers all around the arena that couldn't be seen. The sound of clicking heels heralded the appearance of a tall and lithe figure appearing at the uppermost seats of the coliseums stands. Glowing red eyes similar in appearance to the pyromancers glared down at the central arena. They eyes seem to travel over to Scourge first. " Did I say you could damage them my child?" Their head cocked to the side. " And I clearly didn't say that you could rip your way through the levels now did I? J̢u͞s͘t̨ a͏ ̷n҉ewb̛oŗn and̛ yo͡u tes͘t ̧m͟y p̡at͢i̷e͏n̴c͡e͘ ̛s̶o̸ s̀ǫon͢~" Their voice came out as a cold distorted growl that came off rather inhuman. The undead brute seemed to flinch back as if physically struck by Kiran's words. Good, just born but he does know his place.

They regarded the two "guests" within their domain. " Pyro, you really should know better then to try and come in here unannounced, especially with unexpected company~" Kiran was all too well aware that out of the two of the villains present, Kiran was the indispensable one in the eyes of the Shape. And they were all too happy to remind the injured pyrokinetic of that fact. Their usual playful tone returned as two beasts lumbered out of the shadows to flank their master. The monstrosities looked like a skinned bear and gorilla fused together then covered in bone plates and growths. the idea that either could have been human before was hard to believe unless one had been forced to walk through the nest of horrors.

" Vicki Vortex . . . . color me surprised that you decided to come back and seek me out." The beasts both growled and snapped their maws but remained still. " I should warn you, harming a tinker in their lair is a death wish. Even for someone that can become gas." A cackle echoed throughout the empty hall of blood sport. " Though to be fair . . . . even if you were to kill me you really should know that death is an inconvenience for someone like me and nothing more . . . . . . so by all means, do try something if you want. but you wont be getting whatever it is you came for if you do Little Rockstar."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge
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Scourge didn't even hear Vic.

Until it was too late.

The wind that struck was a force of nature. And while he was not human, he was still just one man. One man who was swept off his feet, and launched far, far away, into the wall at the edge of the arena.

The resulting crash rumbled through the entire level. The wall caved in against Scourge's monstrous weight, and shattered concrete trickled upside his head.

The monster laid there, partially embedded into the wall. He choked and wheezed, the impact tilting his head too far from his neck. His eyes were wide, yellow, and staring off into the distance.

Pyromancer looked up with a gasp. He stared at Vicki Vortex, and for a moment, the pain in his hand felt so insignificant. Her words were vulgar, and devoid of compassion, and yet…

"You… need me?"

Those simple words gave such feelings to his chest. The ‘probably’ went in one ear and out the other. He looked at her stump. Then glanced at his own broken hand, now a shapeless, bloodied lump. And back to her eyes. He inhaled. His brows knitted into a determined glare, he took her stump with his good hand, and returned to his feet.

"HOW- uerfkh... TOUCHING!"

While their eyes were off him, Scourge had erected himself out of the hole. He stood tall, reached for the top of his head, and-

Crunch.

The monster winced. His broken neck straightened instantly.

Pyromancer drew a long sigh, bent his knees, and drew his arm back. He stared down Scourge. Tongues of flames erupted from his hand, which extended and coiled into a flaming whip. The Pyromancer cracked said whip, and a trail of fire danced from where it struck the ground.

“Hooooo…,” Scourge remarked, a hint of amusement in his eyes. The monster raised his arms high. His bloated muscles flexed naturally, the veins across his bicep threatening to burst through his skin. The slids for his tentacles parted with a wet sound. White liquid seeped from the tip of the purple rods as they emerged. He met Pyromancer’s unblinking gaze.

“Mine’s bigger.”

”THAT’S ENOUGH.”
A voice came in legion. The colour drained from Scourge’s face. Pyromancer’s gaze darted left and right.

Scourge turned cold and stiff at Kiran’s words, his gaze straight-on, his arms by his side. Vic and Pyromancer were too far to see it, but his hands were trembling. The doctor’s distorted voice sapped the warmth from his body, and the beat of his heart slowed to a crawl. It stirred something primal, something instinctive within him. This voice… was his God. They were here, and watching, disapproving. With a whim, the doctor could take back the un-life they had given.

Pyromancer’s glare burned with seething contempt. His good hand clenched into a fist which snuffed out his flame, then moved behind his back. He struggled to keep his eyes off the two aberrations that accompanied Kiran. His brows wrinkled in disgust. An expected reaction, but it wasn’t towards the creatures. Not entirely. Such cruelty, inflicted upon the pitiable souls which these creatures used to be… the mere thought turned his stomach, and brought the heat to his head.

“Degenerate,” Pyromancer growled. Orange embers floated down and settled upon Kiran’s shoulder. A tiny flame came to life behind Pyromancer’s back.

“You have no authority over me!”

Pyromancer launched his burning orb far, high, and fast, straight towards Kiran. The heat from the orb primed the embers on the Lab Rat’s shoulders, and-

KA-BOOM!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge
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Yeah, the 'probably' went over Pyromancer's head. So did the expression of apprehension as she stared back down at him and it dawned on her that she'd triggered something icky and emotional and likely related to ones mother relationship with their mother. As Pyromancer reached out for her stump in an agonizingly slow fashion, an unconsensual Put Your Head On My Shoulder started to echo in the empty mall of her mind. The second he was up she jerked her stump right out of that moment.

She was prepared to send another unimaginative gust Scourge's way when Kiran showed theirself, wearing skin as pale and sterile as hospital walls or a freshly dry cleaned strait jacket. It was stretched tight over a Victoria's Secret mannequin - no matter how beautiful Lab Rat could make theirself, Vic couldn't see more than plastic. That creepy childhood doll you played with to appease or else it come at you in the night with a potato peeler. It was those glassy, rattling eyes. And did they ever rattle on. She tried to remind herself why she was there, that it was worth throwing away the free bone they'd given her their last encounter, but she couldn't feel it in her hand.

This was a womb. Kiran Kingsley reigned over birth and rebirth, and this depraved womb hosted all of its darkest aspects. She'd waded through creatures born from the sticky afterbirth left in the wake of Kiran's thirst for greater creation. Her feet had sunk into soft, spongy flesh and oozing toxins from its pancreas. She was fighting slimy, quivering protrusions that dribbled out stinking fluid whenever their master smelled blood. When Vic made the descent, her misery had accepted that death was worth such a risk. But she hadn't accounted for what really stung her nerves around Lab Rat. That if she were to die at their hand...

She wouldn't.

The disgusting feeling weighing down her stomach lifted the instant Pyromancer launched his attack. She shouted in alarm and launched herself at him. Her hand clamped around his wrist and thin arm struggled to stop his from shooting off another orb. Embers bit at her flesh and her skin flared up with little burns. Her other hand materialized, the chip in her palm, to help her wrestle Pyromancer's arm. That's when a fleshy whip struck her in the back and sent them both across the coliseum.

She was flung off the pyromaniac and tumbled across the ground with the grace of a barrel thrown down a really big fucking hill. She raised her fuzzy head, and before she could notice her wounds, the mind-numbing, heart-sinking realization struck her. She'd let go of the chip. Her hands frisked her immediate area for it. Nothing. Her head whipped up to the menacing form of Scourge hulking towards her. Vic saw red and scrambled into a sprint towards him. She went out of sight for only a second before she threw herself at him. The extensive list of deadly power applications at her fingertips went right out the window as her reedy legs wrapped over the freak's shoulders and her thumbs stabbed into his eyesockets.

"What's the matter?" She shouted over his guttural roar of pain, "Sounds like you've never been SKULLFUCKED before!" Her thumbs jabbed in deeper, the jelly oozing down his cheeks. "Yeah. I do innuendos too, motherfucker." She muttered, then pulled a hand back and started repeatedly punching him in the face, completely obliterating her hand in the process.

Vic and Zeke were very angry.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge
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Scourge bellowed, with a blood curdling roar that betrayed more pain than pleasure. Black bile gushed out from his eye sockets. The monster waddled back and forth, his gorilla-like arms swatting the air in blind panic.

"GHEEEEYAAAAAAAAGH!"

His screams drowned out the sound of Vic's breaking knuckles, her pale flesh muddied by blood and bile.

Pyromancer struggled back to his feet. He hunched over, the pain on his back too much for him to stand straight. He glared down at Scourge, who reeled, and flailed, and screamed against the skinny woman's savage attacks. The monster's wretched voice rang loudly in his ears. A cacophonous sound that rattled his skull.

"Shut…," the Pyromancer grunted through gritted teeth. Tongues of fire burst to life in his hand. His skin took on a warm orange glow, which grew brighter, and hotter, and brighter, and hotter, until his very body burst into flames. "...The FUCK up!"

The Pyromancer bent back, held his hand forward, and blasted forth, with a rapid-fire hail of flaming bolts that assailed the monster. The heat from his body burned away at his shirt and pants, until there was nothing but ash scattered behind him.

The bolts struck the monster's body, over and over and over again. His flesh blackened from the impacts, but was otherwise unharmed by the lingering flame. A lucky hit tore open the suture across his abdomen, spurting out bile and exposing the organs clumped together underneath.

Pyromancer dug his heels and maintained his fire. The floors beneath his feet glowed a bright, hissing orange, melting under his rising heat.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Scourge
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A gout of fire burst over Vic's back while she was in the middle of getting Scourge's eye juice under her nails, setting her 100% polyester shirt ablaze.

"WHAT THE HELL?!" Came her offended shout, and she poofed to the ground. She rocked up to her her elbows, squinting at Pyromancer. "Whose... side are you on... dickhead." She grunted out and rolled to her side, when she caught something small and geometric ahead of her. Right near the edge of the hole Scourge had punched out of. Vic's eyes grew two sizes and she scrambled across the ground for it.