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Sasha Belov

In the motherland, he was called Koschei, the Undying. Now, he's looking for a new name.

0 · 1,636 views · located in Atlas City

a character in “Hadean”, as played by DarKnight36

Description

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Image
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Theme 1: to you they are birds, to me they are voices in the forest
Theme 2: Demon Curse
Theme 3: Piano Concerto No. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Theme 4: A Soul Can't Be Cut
Theme 5: Dark Blue
Theme 6: Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Theme 7: Nausicaa Requiem

Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGBlO6Bs3dQay74-4MOY-trxsoDxaWkP5
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Full Name: Sasha Belov
Alias: Koschei, the Undying
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Russian

Hair: Reddish Brown

Eye color: Hazel

Body: Unassuming

Height: 5'7" or 5'8"

Weight: 180 lbs.

Hometown: Vladivostok, Russia

Affiliation(s): Nothing at the moment, but he formerly "worked" for the Russian government.

Personality: Relaxed, and easy to get along with. He's pleasant but doesn't like talking about himself.

Likes:
- Cinnamon buns

- The ocean

- Birds

- Running, especially cross-country

- Martial arts

- Suits

Dislikes:
- Shopping

- Raisins

- Winter

- Competitions

- Shorts

Fears:
- Octopus

Skills:
- Fishing

- Martial arts

- Making friends

- Disappearing in crowds

Costume Identities:

Sasha doesn't wear a mask or have a uniform. Due to the nature of his powers, he has no need for the former and no reason for the latter.


Equipment:

Sasha uses whatever's at hand, if need be, but has no regular equipment he utilizes.

Image



Background:

Sasha doesn't like to talk about his past, but it's apparent he was originally a Russian asset. How he broke ties with the Soviet Union is a matter of debate - perhaps he killed his handler and escaped, perhaps he was deemed no longer useful, or perhaps he is still working for them, even now.

Regardless, what is known of Sasha is that he was born 32 years ago in Vladivostok, where he worked with his father on his fishing boat. His father died of cancer before Sasha entered high school, followed by his mother's death a year later in a car accident. Sasha finished high school, but details are scarce after his mother's death, perhaps due to the government's growing interest in the young man.

During the next 10 years, Sasha was utilized by the Russian government as a reconnaissance unit (or at least, that's all they'll admit to using him for). However, this activity slowly came to a halt, and for the last five years, there is no data on Sasha's whereabouts or activities.

Six months ago, he appeared in Atlas City. This was noted and his activity since then has been monitored, but is deemed of little concern as he appears intent on living a normal life.

Powers:

Name - The Revisionist
[Changer – Level 6 or 7]

Sasha's powers are much easier to demonstrate than to explain. At its root, Sasha can manipulate any part of his body, whether that be his skin, bones, muscles, blood, etc. In practice, Sasha has used this to become another person, disappearing in crowds or infiltrating target areas for information. Another noteworthy example is his ability to harden his skin, making it nearly impervious to attack. It's highly likely that Sasha has some sort of ability to regenerate as well, giving his title of Koschei.

The exact limits of Sasha's powers aren't known, but it's very possible the man has yet to demonstrate the full range of his abilities.

Name - The Nine Hells
[???? - Level ??]

Sasha's Revisionist abilities seem to have a secondary force behind them, a template of sorts that Sasha follows. On the beach fighting the Beast of Decay, he transformed into a demon of fire, with magic spells to match. Other devil forms have also been noted. Further, Sasha survived several shots to the chest even after supposedly losing his Revisionist abilities. What strange energy lies within Sasha to give him these powers?

Power Origins:

The most likely origin of Sasha's powers (from evidence found within Russian files) is of either random chance or an anomalous incident. It appears that the government became aware of Sasha's powers shortly before or after his mother's death. Sasha himself has been less than forthcoming.

Color Code:#B4AF54

So begins...

Sasha Belov's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait:
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Sasha took another swallow of his hot chocolate and continued reading the local newspaper, only glancing up momentarily to eye the newcomers to his regular diner.

Sasha sighed. He liked this diner since it was out of the way, but it appeared the forces that be was making this a hot spot.

Ah well, he thought, breaking off another piece of his cinnamon bun. Won't be the first time this place gets a little noisy. He popped the piece into his mouth and smiled, enjoying the warm morning sun as it landed on his back. Maybe he'd overhear something more interesting than the paper he held.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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Richard smiled and took Ichiro's hand, shaking it politely. "Mackenzie. Richard Mackenzie. Pleasure to make your acquaintances, Ichiro and Yue." He gave a slight nod in the direction of the waitress. "You two must be regulars here I take it? I'm new to town myself, been here about three days. I have to say though, this place seems to attract some pretty interesting clientele." His eyes flitted over to the shorter girl a moment, as if to indicate to the two next to him just one example. Of course, he also included Ichiro and Yue in that, something about them, and their relationship, seemed odd. Brother and sister duo, with one being the other's therapist?

The waitress now made her way over to Sheri, with a pleasant smile on her face, but a little off put by the strange behavior of the girl so far. "Ready to order yet hun?"

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The girl at the front desk did a quick up and down of the tall individual who stood there, a little damp looking from sweat, smelling of freshly smoked weed, and swearing quite profusely about the radio in their room. The girl flushed a little in shock and embarrassment. "The ah... The wake up call ma'am? Is the ah, is the button not working? On the sound system on the bedside table? The umm, hotel switched from using voice commands a few years ago. There were issues with ah, feedback loops from the loudness of the system. Were you... Were you not told about this last night ma'am? When you requested a wake up call?"

Shuffling around some papers, the girl's face continued to redden. She needed to move the papers around to seem like she was doing something so she could avoid any confrontation or other awkwardness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov
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All in all not a bad day, but did it really have to start this way and this early? Nothing like getting called out of bed at 4 am for a fluttering valve. Then batch quality verification had to be done by 5 am, color, vol%, smell, flavor, chemical profile, mouth feel, the whole works, all so everything would be bottled and ready to ship by 8 am when the truck would come, today they had 40 minutes to spare. Why did they even need to pick up the beer this early, aren't trucks allowed near the resort after 10 or something? In any case that'd be 1000 bottles of premium product going to the kind of resort where asking the price of something proves you're at the wrong address. Funny how branding works, never ran any ads or promotions, no flashy labels, just a title, quality product and a low quantity, and boom you're considered a brand with high standing.

"If you see John tell him valve 32's actuator is completely fucked, he'll love my emergency measures. I'm going to get myself some breakfast and a cup of wake me up, haven't eaten anything since dinner."

Devon grabbed his trenchcoat off the coat hangers in the office and walked out. Only one place nearby(ish) with decent coffee and food this time of the day, well two but he doubted the guys would appreciate him gorging himself on their lunches.

As the diner came into view he noticed a... woman, girl?... walk through through the entree and immediately decide against entering. Perhaps it was too busy for her liking? Either way it was the only place he knew that served decent coffee within his fuel range. He soon found out as he opened the door and looked inside. Yeah, packed at least for this time of day. Devon sighed and walked further into the diner passing a fashionably dressed man sitting in the booth nearest to the door, a man who gave him more than just a passing glance as he made his way to a nice empty stool at the counter.

He looked through the diner for a moment to get a better idea of the company around, a couple of nervous types it seemed hopefully they weren't planning to bring any trouble and everyone on their own, aside from that group of three... Not quite, a group of two the third just joined the conversation just a couple of seats away. In his casual fascination with the company around he was almost startled as the waitress asked to take his order.

"A black coffee, a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and a blueberry muffin, please." As the waitress scribbled down his order she sniffed for a moment and gave a puzzled look. Devon returned a look of confusion for a moment before coming to his conclusion. "Malted barley and maybe a hint of spill from bottling." He said with a bit of a grin on his face. At least she didn't immediately draw the conclusion he had been drinking at 7 in the morning.

After being presented with a mug of dark brown and steaming hot wake me up and taking a couple royal swigs of it almost too big for how hot the beverage was Devon turned his attention to his phone. Lot's of viewgrabbing of the major media outlets as always, with only a few worthwhile articles... And a business e-mail, a rather large reservation for one of the higher end brews currently sat aging in the basement from a familiar name. Seems his brand was really catching on at the resort.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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”Ready to order yet, hun?” Sheri had been sitting at the booth for nearly 20 minutes at this point, and the waitress had clearly gotten impatient. She considered brushing her off again, but the diner had gotten so crowded in the interim that she felt it best just to give the waitress something to work with and keep her from bothering her again.
She flipped through the menu that had been sitting untouched up to that point, looking for something that looked even remotely appetizing. ”Uh…. eggs.”
”Scrambled or sunny side up?”
”Sure.”
”How many?”
”Yeah.”
The waitress rolled her eyes and walked off. Sheri glanced around to make sure no one was paying attention to her. A few had noted her presence when she walked in, but they all seemed more interested in their own stuff. She would need to act quickly if she wanted to get this done and get set up at her vantage point before the target arrived; it was already nearly 8 am, which meant she had spent far more time on this than she’d anticipated.
After one more quick check to make sure no one was paying attention (was that woman at the bar keeping an eye on her? No, it was just her imagination) Sheri flicked her eyes to the seat in the booth next to her, then focused her mind and felt something fall over her like a shroud; this particular ability wasn’t very strong, but it should at least help keep people from paying attention to her. She got up, leaving an exact duplicate of herself in the seat she’d just been looking at, and moved toward the back.
She moved to open the door into the kitchen, but stepped back when she heard someone on the other side. The waitress came out with a tray holding another customer’s order, walking right past her without even a glance in her direction. Sheri slipped through before the door closed, stopping for a moment as the change in temperature between the lobby and kitchen struck her. The heat coming off the machinery made the whole back area more humid than she had expected.
She moved through the kitchen, keeping her head down while checking for any method of ingress that her target might be able to slip through. She ducked into the stock room as the cook walked past, her eyes landing on what she was looking for in the process; another door opening into the back alley, used when taking out the trash or bringing in deliveries. Now she just had to figure out how to keep it closed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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"The pleasure is mine, Mackenzie-sama," replied Ichiro as he shook Richard's hand in his iron vice-like grip. "Yue's the regular, I literally just got off a plane last night."

"It's usually quieter in the mornings," Yue explained as she carefully applied an even coat of butter to the top of each pancake. "Lunchtime though... you almost can't get in the door." Ichiro absently slid her a dipping sauce cup from his area of the counter, into which she carefully measured the syrup.

"People go where the work is, I guess. I'm an Occupational Therapist, specializing in recovery from bone related injuries in su-sports," Ichiro explained, flinching slightly when Yue quietly jabbed the toe of her sneaker into his ankle. She was busy dissecting her pancakes into evenly sized squares to then be coated in a small amount of syrup individually prior to consumption.

Yue's eyes did routinely wander around the room during their conversation, picking up on the new arrivals and carefully observing the newer arrivals. She was beginning to feel uneasy, and shifted back and forth in her chair occasionally, like she just couldn't get comfortable. She had a hard time placing what was making her feel so uncomfortable, besides the young girl in the booth sitting eerily still... and the second newspaper reading patron in the corner. When did he arrive? Was she just noticing him? Was this the '90s? She hadn't seen a physical newspaper since grade school, but there are suddenly two in this one place. That by itself was enough to make the whole room feel off. Yue also felt like there was a pressure in the air: like there were too many gods watching this one spot while the dice of fate fell towards the table.

"Daijobudesuka? (Are you okay?)" Ichiro inquired with a slight note of concern.

"Kuki ga omoi... fuyukaidesu. (The air is heavy, it's unpleasant)," she replied.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov
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"Su-sports?" Richard asked bemusedly. "Sounds like it could be dangerous. But no doubt rewarding." He gave them both a soft smile. "But I agree, I've come to enjoy this spot quite a bit too. Quiet, good food, interesting people. A nice little corner of town."

Meanwhile outside, someone was making their way towards the park in the center of the neighborhood, someone who would be recognizable from the files in Sheri Galloway's possession.

Further in the distance, down another street, a group of men was starting to form up on the corner. They seemed innocuous enough at first, but the group steadily continued to pick up extras...

__________________________________________________________________


Maxwell continued to read his paper as time passed on, and as 7:00 continued to march on towards 8:00, he took notice of a woman who'd passed him by a second time, and then a third. Upon the next pass, his eyes remain fixed on his paper, though his voice did not.

"Lovely day out isn't it miss? Good time for a nice walk through the town. Or the park perhaps. It certainly seems to have caught your interest it would seem."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov
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The French Toast was genuinely the best meal Henry had eaten in a long time. The sourness of the blackberries contrasting with the sweetness of the French Toast and the syrup? Breakfast heaven right there. And a glass of cold milk to wash it all down...he couldn't even begin to describe how distraught he felt once he cleaned his plate.



…..Well, he was planning on lying low for a while. And he hadn't eaten very much in a while either, so...Henry signaled his waitress. "Ma'am...I'd like another plate and a refill on my glass. If you don't mind!" he spoke cheerfully with a booming laugh as the waitress nodded and hurried off to another customer. This place was getting packed. All sorts of strange characters...a few he was certain gave a cautious glance his way. It wasn't anything he was too worried about. None of them seemed like the one's after him. If they were, he would recognize it instantly. Tension so thick, one could cut it like a butter knife through that delicious French Toast.

He leaned over on his table, putting a hand to his chin, looking around the restaurant. There was someone else, reading a newspaper. Good. Anything that made him stand out just a little less would help. He couldn't stay here forever though, much as he'd like too. But as long as there was no sign of the danger to come, he was more than willing to kick back for a bit. Maybe take a tour around town to see what's new once he feels it's safe enough.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov
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Sasha brushed the few crumbs off his jacket, folded his newspaper, and stood, stretching. He'd already settled his bill, so he gave the waitress a cheery nod as he brushed by the other patrons. Slipping the newspaper in a trash can by the door, he stepped outside and took a deep breath of the morning air.

Glancing over at the nearby park, Sasha noted that his favorite bench had been taken by a silver-haired man who was also reading the paper. Sasha's eyes narrowed, but he walked over to another, less favorite, bench and sat down, giving the man a cool glare. The man didn't notice, however, as he was busy waylaying a Hispanic...

Sasha blinked twice as the scent hit his nose, and did a double-take. That was no woman. Unless Sasha was completely mistaken, the woman walking was actually a shapeshifter.

So not only the diner but the park, Sasha thought. Fate's hands are in motion. He immediately began scanning the area, looking for any signs of disturbances. If there was one thing Sasha had learned during his tenure with his homeland, it was that Fate never played nice, but it always played fair. Something was about to happen.

Sasha considered moving away from the area for a moment. He'd spent the last few months in Atlas City keeping his head down, working a normal job, doing normal things. He wanted no reason for the government, any government, to be suspicious of him. If he were forced to use his powers now, that might all be for naught.

Sasha's mouth tightened. Unfortunately, he was no coward to run from Fate. So he remained on the park bench, seemingly relaxed on the outside but coiled tight as a spring. Que sera, sera, as they say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Within the depths of a storage room echoed the tinny tsk, tsk of a hi-hat. It petered out, followed by an "ah, fuck". A neck cracked. Wrists rolled. And in came the kick.

Stashed away in the corner was a figure in a loose tracksuit, curled over a drum set. Scabbed fingers held the sticks and flirted with a simple 4/4 rock beat without any thought behind it. Distracted to the trained ear. Dark eyes fixated on a tiny phone screen and the crappy audio coming from it.

"- sure, maybe - Really Hope We Don't - but I think punk is the sound this generation needs. I really do."

A twiggy woman leaned back in her seat, shaggy red hair falling over her face and caught in her lip gloss, legs wide apart and boot resting on one knee. One sleeve fell off her shoulder, showing off a brutal burn as confidently as she flashed a grin. The interviewer asked something muffled out by a stream of blast beats.

"-eah, it's - ri - back in Queens, when I, ah, let's say dabbled in vigilantism - oh, shut up! Shut the fuck up," the woman turned on the audience, who had let out a collective sound of dread at that 'v' word. Her finger pointed accusingly at them, but the sarcastic tweak of a smile made it impossible to tell how serious she was. "You have Logan Price up here talking 'bout snorting coke behind the wheel, cut me a break." A mixed response. Laughs and 'oooh's. She rolled her shoulder and turned back to the interviewer. "So back in Queens, when I was tripping out hard on LSD, I hallucinated that I stopped a gas station robbery..."

The figure's drumming sped up. Their breath hitched in anticipation, for something.

A chant flooded through a stadium. Rows of lighters raised up towards a dark, moonless sky.

"So, Vicki, it's no surprise to you what I'm about to say, surely, but you've been declared quite the controversial figure," the interviewer at last threw at her, the topic she'd been dancing around the interview. The woman rolled her eyes and her hand, goading him on. "You've been under a lot of pressure to join a hero's organization lately. How have you been coping with that?" No answer, just an unimpressed raised brow. The need for a cigarette itched at the back of her head. "Well, do you feel that what you're doing now is good enough for the hero community? With your -"

"Let me stop you right there," she interrupted with a raised hand. The laid-back persona she presented before was stripped away in an instant. "The hero community? What is that?" The interviewer opened his mouth again to regain control of the conversation, when she leaned forward, her elbows pushing her legs apart. "Actually, let's talk about that. Heroes. Look, I didn't get that moment in my life when a superhero lifted me from the rubble, cape fluttering and skin radiant with, shit, radiation. Hendrix, The Pixies, Velvet Underground - those were my heroes."

The chanting faded out in the stadium, it had gone on for too long with no reward, when suddenly - the clash of a symbol, and a spotlight on a translucent white backdrop, revealing the silhouette of somebody behind a drum kit. The stadium was back alive, this time with screams.

The figure's drumming devolved into a frenzy. There was no longer a rhythm to it, or you were just too slow to catch it. Sweat splashed onto the drums and jumped as her sticks crashed down beside it.

"Thirty million superheroes across the world, and is that even counting those that aren't putting on costumes and fighting crime?" The woman slipped a cigarette packet from her back pocket and lit one on stage, ignoring the looks the crew was giving her. Her leg jiggled with agitation. It translated on camera. "That's my community." She claimed, pointing her cigarette at the interviewer. She took a drag, then like she wasn't able to bear it any longer, stood up. "Here's a secret about supers - well, it ain't a secret, let's call it an ignored fact - most of us get it from shit. A lot of us could have gone our entire lives without being super, or realizing we’re super, if shit didn’t happen to us. So. In the spirit of doing right by the hero community, I’ve got a message for kids at home." She turned towards the screen and pointed her cigarette right at it.

"Next time someone tries giving you the Uncle Ben speech, you say... Fuck. That." She took another puff, and the interviewer behind her looked off stage for help. "You don’t have to sacrifice what you want to be because of the shit that happened to you, or shit you didn’t ask to be born with. So yeah, to answer your question. I think I’m doing some good here."

She returned to her seat with a bounce, swinging her leg up to rest her foot on her thigh again, and gave pause. The figure dropped threw her drumsticks down, their wood smeared with red, and hunched over, panting. "I think I am." Repeated over the phone's warbled speakers.

The hum of ghostly back up vocals joined the drum solo, echoing from every corner of the stadium. The crowd swung their lighters, their shouts morphing from, "Cold Front! Cold Front!" to "VICKI! VICKI!"

Then a sudden whoosh of air blew over the crowd, snuffing out every flame. All lights went out. The music cut shot. The stage went dead. The crowds were left anticipating in a jet-black stadium.

When the lights came back on, they were focused on a white-clad figure, their fist raised high and clutching a microphone. Other black clad and masked band members were posed behind her, their hands poised over their instruments. Vic waited for the excited crowd to calm down before she brought the mic down to her lips to say, in the flattest voice imaginable,

"Hey, Atlas City."

The crowd cheered. A little less excitedly than before. Vic shook her head with a grin.

"Sorry. We can do that better."

The white coat she wore dropped to her boots. She clutched the mic with both hands as the band suddenly slammed down on their instruments, and she screamed,

"LET'S MAKE OUT!"




Vic listened to her illegally uploaded performance through earphones with far too good quality to be subjected to such a mess as she stared into the window of a newsagents. She could barely hear her own voice over the crowd screaming the lyrics. Her eyes flicked between the magazines on display. To her left, a woman's magazine, where articles were written criticizing her decision to hold a signing of her leaked nudes, right next to bikini pics taken by some pervert when she wasn't paying attention on the beach, next to which was a snarky remark about her weight. To her right, a 'respectable' news source, where her latest live 'outburst' was scrutinized, as well as her lack of a statement on whether supers should all be registered by the government and made to carry identification. Vic's tongue rolled to the back of her mouth as her eyes refocused, settling on her reflection instead of sensationalist titles behind it. A cap, hoodie and medical mask hid her face. The disguise made her look like a teenage delinquent, and she felt like it, from the way the store owner was eyeing her up. Her back molars bit down on her tongue, hard, and she entered the store.

All the stuff in those magazines she could find on her phone, anyway.

Soon Vic was skating down the path, carelessly weaving between pedestrians with her hands in her pockets and clutching breakfast. She dismounted at the park, flipping the board up with her foot and resting it against a bench before flopping down beside it and unwrapping 'breakfast' - an ice cream bar, covered in sprinkles and shaped like a clown, with a big red gumball for its nose. She hooked a finger around her mask and pulled it down for a bite.

Snap.

About three bites in, she heard the dreaded sound of a shutter snapping.

"Jesus," she muttered, looking around, "Here?" Her eyes locked on to some guy across the path crouching with a camera, and she pulled back up her mask, grabbed her skateboard and stood up. She did not need the internet to get a hold of her eating a Candied Clown at 7 am. As she sped up, a voice followed after her.

"Vicki? VickI Vortex. Tobias, from Apex Media."

No, no, no, fuck off.

"Vicki Vortex, with your history of vigilantism, the public wants to know-"

"Dude, it's the first thing in the morning. How long have you been following me for? I know that you finding me here isn't a coincidence," Vic snapped all in one breath before she'd even finished turning around to him. A camera went off and she retracted, squinting at the man's face. "Oh, shit. You."

Tobias Flanagan, the independent 'journalist' famous for jumping celebrities with hard questions in moments they least expect it and getting embarrassing or incriminating answers as a result. "Where is the camera?" She asked calmly. As Tobias raised the camera in his hands, Vic snatched at his collar and flicked away the teeny body camera attached to it. "Unless you're asking about the date of my next tour - no comment. Kindly fuck off." She turned, pulling down her mask, and aggressively bit off her ice cream's nose. Her teeth clanked against the ice hard gumball. Despite her trying to get away, the man persisted.

"How do you feel about privatizing supers? With the rise of private hero institutions worldwide, would you feel more comfortable being involved with the NAHLA, or a private company? What is your comment on the superhero idol culture ?"

"Will you stop it?!"

The man was wheezing out his questions. Without realizing it, she had begun to thin the air around him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The park began to see more activity trickle into it, and not quite so slowly as Maxwell would have liked. A young man had entered a little while ago, seemingly from the direction of the cafe. Coupled with the Hispanic woman before him, he was starting to get a little concerned. Kingsley was supposed to be meeting with him soon, and he started to question the effectiveness of the location. No turning back though it seemed. But now... Now there was yet another matter to contend to.

A young woman had been in the park as well, wearing clothes typically associated with 'punk', as well as some kind of medical mask, an odd fashion statement perhaps, but not unseen. She wasn't a problem however, it was that she had picked up what appeared to be a rather annoying tag that Maxwell considered to be... Distasteful.

He sighed, laying his paper down on the bench next to him, standing up and straightening his tie. "Would you excuse me for just a moment?" He asked with a polite smile of the Hispanic woman. Maxwell walked over to the other woman, and the man with the camera, and upon reaching them, placed a hand on the man's shoulder. Something was off. The air felt thinner. Was it Maxwell? No, he'd been fine before... It seemed likely it was the girl.

No matter though.

The man with the camera turned to look to Maxwell, who had a pleasant, polite smile on his face, while grabbing the camera the man held. "Excuse me sir, but it appears to me you're disturbing this young lady. You also happen to be disturbing me." He pulled the camera away from the man, tossed it to the ground, and brought the heel of his shoe down on it, crushing it into various, quite unusable pieces and fragments.

The man looked astonished for a moment, then close to becoming furious, but before he could protest at all, he began to sway a little, placing a hand on his forehead and doubling over slightly. Maxwell smirked. "Oh come now, it's only a camera, I'm sure you can afford a new one." The man looked to Maxwell cautiously, his face contorted into a mix of fear and confusion, and a bit of pain from the head ache that had appeared from nowhere.

"Run along now." He said with an unnaturally warm smile. The camera man, despite his strong inclination to refuse this order, obliged them in the end, staggering away to no doubt find something to ease the the throbbing sensation in his head. Maxwell finally turned to the young lady with a smile and nod. "I'm terribly sorry you had to suffer such rudeness miss. Are you alright?" He asked in a gentle, pleasant tone.

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jericho watched the man depart, their eyes zeroing in on a woman who looked as if she had missed many a meal, and who probably needed- The thoughts slammed to a stop, mouth opened to drag air in between three sets of teeth.

A long hiss, a quick and silent sigh. Their skin prickled and the urge to claw, and bite, and bludgeon, and stab and rip and tear-
Jericho shook their head and laughed quietly to themselves. The man was a super! He stank of it, reeked of power hidden beneath the skin!
Their head turned over the shoulder and scoured the park until they locked on another man, sat on a bench just ever so further away. The ever so faintly familiar scent of something like themselves wafted over. A reptilian grin flashed over Jericho's temporarily painted lips, before fading as quickly as it came. 'She' turned and rushed to the silver haired man, and the masked, punk, woman.

"Hey! That seemed like a bunch, you okay there sweetheart? ... Is that what paparazzi is like? Or was that a stalker? What a cunt. Bite his balls off, someone should, yeah." Came the rushed, almost excitedly breathless voice, a low alto, almost as if the 'woman' had a voice too big for her height. Her accent seemed vaguely Boston born, but with a Hispanic lilt that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Her eyes locked on the masked woman, a shiver passing through the bones of her own body as she realized... Yet another Super. Here. In the park.

W̶̰͂h̴̳͚̊̓a̵͓̐́t̵̬́͌͜ ̶̳̆͌f̵̬̝̓̕u̷͚̯̽̽n̷͔̓̎.̵̧̋.̷̨͘.̴̺̿̓

'She' couldn't stop the shiver that passed through her yet again, the immediate, instinctual, need to consume and assimilate. But she could stop herself from acting on it. And when she took note of the thinning air surrounding the woman, and felt her lungs shift below the surface of her skin to better adapt for it, she simply stopped talking and stepped back. Behind the silver-man. To give the poor thing some space. And to watch the world with an expectant eye.
Speaking of which...

Jericho's hair silently swirled with ink for a moment, though from a distance it could be mistaken for the wind pulling some strands of hair loose. And under the hair, close to the skull, six pairs of 'holes' formed on the flesh. The world became that much louder for Jericho, and that much clearer for 'her' hearing. She tried to angle herself in a manner that would be behind the silver-man as much as possible, but she couldn't guarantee anything. Oh well, not like it would matter, right?

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait:
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Alexander Dalton

If there was one thing Alex was grateful for one with all the changes that happened to his body, it was probably the fact that he could still get his cardio in. The burning in his lungs and muscles was a welcoming feeling, it made him still feel like he could improve himself. That he was still human and not some invincible demigod. He kept his breathing steady and began to slow his pace as he came close to the end of his run. It was a shame he couldn't run at a full sprint if he wanted too, but the thought of him accidentally cracking the sidewalk from his feet slamming into the concrete at full force wasn't a good one. That was an easy way to out yourself as a super. You read stories all the time of people with minor powers outing themselves on accident all the time, from damaging restaurant silverware to floating off the ground cause you got a little too excited. Yeah, not gonna end up on some YouTuber's top ten list of dumb supers outing themselves in public.

He checked his phone for messages. Jericho was out and about. Hopefully not causing a scene. He too a deep breath and gathered his thoughts for a moment. Jericho was at the part, nothing wrong with that. They could take care of themselves and already ate, there was no reason to worry . . . yep, none at all . . . damn his paranoia. Alex figured it was better to wing by the park and check in then to keep worrying.

Didn't take long to get to the park, he compromised with himself to jog the way there rather then run in fear of an incident from his amorphous roommate. Jericho didn't survive this long on their own being stupid. But Alex would feel better not leaving them to possibly commit some form of social suicide what would end up in the internet, again. Couldn't use that disguise anymore without anyone recognizing the colorful trash eating dumpster diver of Atlas city. Not that Jericho entirely cared but second hand embarrassment was a powerful thing and Alex would rather be spared the cringe.
After a few minutes of trying to remain casual in his search he finally sighed with relief. No crowds in sight, looked like they were chatting with just two people. A relatively sharp dressed man and . . . wait a moment. He could swear he recognized the woman, questions for later. Alex jogged up from an angle that would make him easily visible to the three and made eye contact with Jericho first.
"Hey Jemma! figured I would still find you here. Was gonna grab some things for lunch before heading back home and wanted to know what you were in the mood for." He looked to the man and woman present before glancing at Jericho. There was a hint of something wild in their eyes that was barely noticable. Might be a good idea to divert attention. Alex turned his attention back to the others before sheepishly scratching the back of his head. "Ah, sorry that was rude of me. Barging in on you guys like that. My bad. Alex chuckled a little before relaxing his posture slightly, trying to come off as friendly as he could. Even so he still almost towered over the others present.
"Jeez, where are my manners? He held out a hand towards the silver haired man first. "Alexander Dalton, at your service." The man gave off a professional air to him, Alex figured being polite was the best course of action there. The punk looking woman though, Alex swore he had seen her before and it was really nagging at him now as he gave her a glance and a smile.

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Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait:
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By the time she was interrupted, Vic had noticed what she was doing... and she didn't exactly stop it. On the contrary, she just watched as Tobias's face went red and his last words trailed off in a cough and a wheeze. Intently. The green flecks in her eyes seemed brighter as she stared the choking man down.

Then a hand grabbed his shoulder out of nowhere, and she blinked, and Tobias sucked in a deep, much needed breath. Vic glanced over to the tall, silver-haired stranger, and in a moment too fast for her to form even a single judgement, the camera was violently splattered across the pavement. She stared at the massacre. The rest of her ice cream drooped off her stick to splatter beside her sneakers.

"... Ha!" A sudden, breathy laugh burst from her. She stuffed her hands into her pockets as she watched the stranger ward Tobias off, her mouth still left hanging from the last she opened it. A genuine grin threatened to spill over and she sealed her lips, ignoring their twitch and chewing her gum. When the stranger turned to her, she took her time to finish blowing her bubble and answered with a pop!

"Yeahhhh..." she dragged out, looking him up and down as she did so. Spick and span in a business suit and tie and wearing the professional charm of a car salesman. Not the sort of person anyone would expect to spontaneously lay waste to thousands of dollars worth of personal property. "... you-" Before she could add anything to that thought - another interruption. Vic raised a brow at the woman's enthusiastic punishment proposal and stretched her lips thin, giving her a mock-thoughtful nod.

"Yeah, fair. Personally, don't think they're fit for a dog, but," she ended that thought with a shrug and looked back to the business man. "I'm good. Don't worry about it." Her sneaker unintentionally nudged the colorful breakfast sludge she'd dropped before as she intentionally nodded down to it. She picked the already flavorless cheap gum from her mouth and flicked it over to join the camera, then shuffled a cigarette pack from her shorts pocket and lit one up. "Always a plan B. You're looking wicked, by the way." She added, eyes flicking up the woman's tight leather pants to her startling gold lipstick.

She took a drag, and almost immediately felt her rumbling, baseball-sized stomach crunch down to about the size of a golf ball. "So, ah," She cocked her head and her eyes crinkled at him. They were sparkling with interest and narrowed with suspicion, but not the dreading kind - more of the kind one looks around with when they hear the rustle of a chip packet. "... Who do you think you are?"

She didn't get her answer, not before somebody else barged in and - HOLY SHIT.

Vic's brow shot up like it was trying to match the giant in height. In an instant, it was decided that she was not going to be tilting her head back for him. This man would be satisfied by eye-to-throat contact or nothing at all.

"Ummmmm." Vic very clearly vocalized as the man's hand was passed over to her. She chewed on her tongue as she regarded it. "Scarlet." She very clearly made up on the spot, courtesy of Grateful Dead's Scarlet Begonias blasting in one eardrum loud enough to be heard faintly by all present. Then she smacked her palm against his instead of shaking it, then looked away. "Barge anytime, but you missed the good part. Nothing here now but a..." A glance to the camera and melted ice cream puddle. "...boulevard of broken data and dreams. And no skating. Which I came here to do, so..."

She took the cigarette from her mouth, picked up her skateboard by its end, and backed off slowly as she raised her mask. Her brows lifted like she might have had a smile behind it, however sarcastic it was.

"Thanks for the concern babes, but I'm just gonna... goooo..."

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Sasha's concentration was interrupted by the chaos erupting before him. Frowning, Sasha stood and stretched, walking idly over to the growing group of bystanders. A man had stopped a young woman, complaining about her music or some such. Another woman was attempting to stop the man, but was not having much luck.

Sasha stepped forward and grabbed the man's shoulder, squeezing down in a quick but decisive manner. The stranger's eyes rolled into the back of his head, and he collapsed, unconscious. Sasha caught the man before he could fall, and eased him down to the pavement.


"Th-thank you," the older woman who had been attempting to help said. "What did you do?"

"Just something I picked up at my self defense course," Sasha assured the woman. "He's just unconscious, but make sure the police know what happened." Sasha turned to the young woman, who seemed extremely uncomfortable. "My apologies, young miss. I'll be happy to escort you home, if you'd like, or perhaps you'd rather be on your way?"

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Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov
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Maxwell had allowed himself a small smirk when the girl had let out a laugh at the ordeal they'd put the camera man through. Seems the moment had been mutually enjoyable, much to Tobias's expense. She seemed like she was about to say something else until another presence had arrived behind his back. The girl from before.

Did she know him or something? She'd been getting awfully familiar with him, he almost felt like she might try to devour him or something if she could. The girl with the now medical mask confirmed she was doing well now, to which he responded with a slight nod and smile. "I'm pleased to hear that." As she pulled out a cigarette pack, Maxwell felt the desire to obtain his own, as well as the permission to do so. He pulled out a small gold case and popped it open, pulling one out for himself. As he placed it back in his pocket, the girl responded with a question.


"So ah, who do you think you are?"

He gave a soft smile. "I'm-" And before he could say another word yet ANOTHER person had arrived to the group. The man seemed to know the woman behind Maxwell, Jemma apparently. He seemed strangely familiar to Maxwell if he were being honest, not in terms of looks or anything, just a feeling he got from him. Maxwell took the man's hand and shook it with polite firmness. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance Mr. Dalton, Miss Jemma. Maxwell Landon, equally at your service." He gave a cordial smile to each of them, and to the masked girl who had now introduced herself as Scarlet.

She began to work her way out of the group, seeming to be preoccupied, or wanting to be preoccupied, with other important exploits. "A pleasure Miss Scarlet. Take ca-"


Another noise sounded off. Louder this time.

__________________________________________________________________


Richard smiled as both Ichiro and Yue explained the nature of their expertise's, and he took a quick moment to enjoy a few bites of the food that had newly been brought to him. After a quick gulp of orange juice, another man at the counter had butted in, putting in his own two cents about Yue's profession.

Richard was feeling pretty relaxed at this time, but he'd begun to notice that he was one of the only people in here that seemed to be feeling that. Both Yue and Ichiro had seemed off. The large man with the French toast had seemed off. The girl in the booth had stopped moving practically. He almost started to speculate that these people might be here for a revenge killing for last night, but nobody had seen him in any way. The only person who would know who he was would be that dead drug slinger, and unless his power involved regenerating his body from literal ashes, he very much doubted that was the case.

Maybe it was him though, making them a little uncomfortable or something. He'd started to wonder if they could... No, no he had been pretty good about that too, slim chance they could see, the waitress certainly hadn't. Richard inwardly shrugged. Besides, this Yue woman did look pretty tough, and he contemplated saying so but her flustered response to the other guy gave him the impression that maybe he should respond with more tact and consideration.

"Exercise is good for the body, mind, and spirit they say. Whatever it is you're teaching, I'm sure your students appreciate it, and probably get as much out of it as you do." Richard gave a kind smile and understanding nod to Ichiro and Yue.

Richard took a few more bites of food and a sip of orange juice while the door to the Diner opened again. He had contemplated what the real deal was with Ichiro and Yue, and the other people in here. Seemed all to be quite odd, but he tried to ignore it. The sound of those loud feet touching down on the floor was quite distracting however on its own, but Richard felt the need to maybe offer a little bit more small talk to ease Yue and Ichiro's minds. And maybe learn a little more about them.


A tall, looming figure behind the group placed a hand down on a shoulder. Yue's. Before anyone said anything the counter had shuddered, knocking over Richard's food and drink, as Yue was hoisted from her seat, and flung across the room behind them. Her body briefly passed in front of Henry as she crashed through the window next to him and toppled out into the street.

Richard had bolted up from his seat just in time to turn around and watch a hulking mass of a man leave the Diner. He was at least 7 and a half feet tall, decked out in a long, black leather trench coat, and wearing a... A Puritanical hat. The same garb as the Witchfinder Generals. Outside stood 25 more of them, all lined up in the street, effectively building a wall that kept Yue and the diner barricaded.

__________________________________________________________________


"YUE BAYUSHI! YOU DEGENERATE FILTH! DEMONESS! PERVERSION OF NATURE! YOU STAND ACCUSED OF CRIMES AGAINST THE WITCHFINDERS! THERE SHALL BE NO TRIAL FOR YOU, YOUR GUILT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF." One of the men seemed to roar at the woman.

The others were all dressed quite similarly to each other, but some held guns, while others seemed to be injecting something into their necks... Within a few moments, those who had taken the injections began to wield new powers, but only two types, no other variety. Some of the men seemed to be wielding fire, and the others some kind of pale sand or something.

It was salt. The Witchfinder Generals were particular about their powers, so they bought these from one source and one source only, possibly located somewhere in Asia. The fire was a straightforward enough power, but the salt? It could be wielded as though it were a sand storm, a storm that could rip skin open and burn the flesh beneath. Some had even suggested the power could turn the enemies of the Witchfinders into salt, their bodies burning in agony as they slowly morphed into the substance.

__________________________________________________________________


Looked over to Ichiro for a moment, then the others. The girl still seemed like she hadn't moved at all. Richard dropped to the the ground by the booth Henry sat at, pulling Ichiro with him, and using the seat as cover. He waved to the other patrons to get down and away from the windows. Richard quickly scrambled through his pockets as he pulled something out and started to put it on his head.

"Pardon me Ichiro, but I have to break a few laws quickly." He pulled down his balaclava over his face, and pulled off his jacket to reveal the shoulder holster under it, equipped with two pistols. Richard pulled both out, donning one in each hand. "Any chance I can give Yue a little cover?" He asked Ichiro, who he hoped might have a better angle for a view outside.

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"Ah," Sasha said as Yue was thrown threw the window of the diner he had oh so recently been a patron of. "Never mind, lass, looks like I have some other business to attend to."

Turning from the cat-besot woman, Sasha began walking forward toward the group of angry men he recognized as Witchfinders. As he did so, he slipped off his jacket and dropped it on the ground, a smile coming to his lips. It had been too long since he had used his powers in any real way.

"Fire and salt, eh," Sasha said, his skin beginning to change color to nearly black, starting from his hands and moving up his arms quickly. His smile turned into a grin as the color wrapped itself around his face, transforming it into what could only be described as the face of a devil - pupil-less red eyes, lips peeled back to reveal sharpened fangs. His hands spread, his fingers lengthening into sharpened claws.

"Witchfinders," Sasha growled, his normal tenor voice now having dropped into a gravelly snarl. "Why don't you step away from the girl and... play with me a little?"

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Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait:
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There it was. The second plate. Empty. It was probably a bad idea to attempt to order a third. His money should be used for finding some sort of lodging...but once all that was said and some when would be have a decent meal breakfast ever again? A true dilemna.

...at the end of the day, there really wasn't too much of an issue with treating himself to more helpings. He waved at the waitress once more. "Ma'am," he laughed, catching her exasperated look as she likely predicted what he was going to say.

He froze before he could speak further. Events had begun to spin out of control far too fast. A man in black fling a woman across the counter, right past him through a window. And that man wasn't alone either.

There were more, enough to make up a small army, surrounding the diner. All dressed in a similar garb they shouted out their intent. And revealed themselves to be Witchfinders. Henry had heard of the group by their reputation and while he had no encounters with them personally he was sure they were no friends of his. Or most people, by all accounts.

But that woman they were after, they called her a demoness. So, she was a super. Henry sighed to himself. He knew Atlas city was kind of a hotbed for this kind of activity but to think he's mind himself wrapped up in it within hours of arriving...this wasn't what he was here for. Henry spun around, checking for an exit a way out where he could sneak past these crazies gathered out front.

He turned his head. There was a man near the counter. He put on some of burglary mask on...what, was he picking now to rob the place?! Not particularly good timing on his part. Henry stood up slowly from his seat he definitely wanted to leave now, but...his eyes shifted to the side.

There were others, the waitress and some customers, huddled under a table, afraid for their lives. Glass shards embedded in them from the shattered window. Henry closed his eyes and took a deep breath. In a rush he told them, "Hurry! Get back to the kitchen!"

And luckily another element emerged. The Witchfinders were under attack though he couldn't quite see who had done so. No matter. It was the perfect cover for the diners and servers to make their escape and hide in the kitchen.

And then there was the robber... "Hey yo Burglar!" He shouted. towards Richard. "You can rob this place all you want later, but right now....I think it's best to save whatever ammunition you have for them!" He asked, drawing a weapon of his own. An odd looking pistol, it seemed.

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Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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Wish. Granted.

She was about to turn and reply to Richard when she felt, more than heard a presence behind her. A huge, meaty hand clasped down on her shoulder, and she scrabbled quickly for her phone but she only manged to knock it clattering to the floor along with her half finished plate of pancakes before she was hurled across the diner. She barely managed to cover her face with her arms as she crashed through the window and landed sprawling on the pavement outside. Yue exhaled slowly, her ears ringing as they shouted at her, her body alight with that vibrating numbness she'd come to associate with pain.

The Witchfinder leader barely had enough time to finish his declaration. Yue had sprung to her feet and charged the line with terrible swiftness, her burgundy eyes flashing red for one fraction of a second. Several panicked gouts of flame and salt winged past her as she drove her fist into his solar plexus. Yue felt the man's rib cage crunch under the impact as he was lifted bodily off the ground and thrown into a heap on the pavement. It wasn't more than a second or two, but the sheer savagery of her retaliation stunned the mob into hesitation. Just long enough for her to gather her thoughts.

"Help me get the customers out of danger first, they're focused on her! Yue can handle herself, Mackenzie-Sama," Ichiro replied, hand shaking as he lifted his phone to his ear. "Yes, twenty or so assailants attacked us over at Atomic Anne's Diner... Ichiro Bayushi. Yeah, oh! Send at least one ambulance: they spilled my sister's coffee. Yeah I'll stay on the line," he said, speaking to the emergency operator with practiced coolness. He was tense, clearly fighting the urge to rush in and help, but remaining in control of his breathing.

It wasn't a good situation for her: there were far too many to fight without her powers, but she couldn't risk her identity. The problem was that her powers were not subtle, and using them for even one second would reveal her identity to anyone with passing knowledge of regional supers... not that it seemed to matter as the Witchfinders were able to track her down and identify her by name. Was it too much to hope that knowledge had been isolated to her last encounter with them?

"B-BITCH!" One of them recovered faster than she thought, and there was suddenly a gun brought to bear on her. Yue darted towards him, bringing her left hand around and slamming the knife edge of her palm into his wrist feeling the bone crack. The gun went off in her ear, and she felt a stinging line stretch from her elbow to the back of her shoulder. Hopefully just a graze. She thrust her palm into his chest with a hollow thud, knocking him to the ground and sending the pistol skittering. She didn't stop moving, driving one heel into his groin as he hit pavement and the other into his face, literally running over him to barrel into the man behind him and knock him sprawling into his comrades.

They were starting to recover and get organized again, but hopefully she had caused enough chaos and disarray in their ranks to buy time for people to get to safety. Yue sprinted across the street, sliding over the hood of a car. She grunted as she caught a spray of salt in her side, and rolled into a small alley between two shops. She slid around a corner as bullets started to whip past, biting into the bricks, spraying dust and shards into her face. Hopefully she could lose some of them in the park, and scatter enough of them to fight on more even grounds.

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Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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The sound of crashing glass and gunfire caught Jericho's attention first, the overwhelming stench of adrenaline and fear caught second... And the absolutely, quite nearly blasphemous stink of super powered beings sucker punched the Polymorph so hard in the olfactory senses that they staggered. They spent only a brief moment, not nearly long enough to truly consider the consequences of stepping in, before their choice was made.

Then, with a bright cackle that did not nearly fit the voice of the woman who stood beside Alex, Maxwell, and 'Scarlet', a noise like an oversize cicada burst forth from the Polymorph. It drowned out all thinking for a moment, though when the ink began swirling violently around 'Jemma', perhaps thinking wasn't necessary. The flesh vanished and exposed organs that were nothing like the proper human anatomy, muscles and nerves and bones of bright silver-y sheen ripped their way into the sun before quickly fading from its light. They were replaced by the same beast Jericho had transformed themselves in to the night before.
The cicada-like scream continued droning on, and in pockets and along walls, on desks and on wrists, within a radius of about thirty or so feet... Phones and cameras, or any other small electronic without proper shielding, fried itself and shut off. Permanently.

Jericho, however, did not wait.
They instead leapt forth, darting forward like a demon sent straight from the bowels of hell. And CRASHED into the backs of some strangely dressed men, their weight alone snapping and cracking bones. The blade-sharp protrusions from their snout sliced into the back of the neck of one such man.
From the beastly maw came a scream like no other, like a cougar was blended in with a train whistle, and then brutalized by a booming undertone that rang the eardrums of the nearby 'Witch Finders'.

Another scream rang forth from them, the man-made monstrosity, and their metal-stinger-tipped tail whipped about and sank into the shoulder of a man who's gun rang forth projectile idiocy at a woman who barely dodged its bite. The blades on Jericho's face were wet with ichor, and their heart was pounding harder and louder than it had in a while. The cicada drone continued on, as yet more small electronics failed their owners. A claw swiped out, ink swirled, and sheets of iron plating layered over Polymorph J-3's skin. Their attention turned towards an apparent ally, another Changer whose form was that of a devilish beast.
J-3 screeched a greeting, and turned to snap their maw with deathly force at a nearby gunman.
A searing wind of salt scoured across their shoulders, but the iron simply held for yet a moment more. It would eventually scrape away, and the flames from nearby Witch Finders would soon burn and harm... But...

The slaughter was on, and no hesitation would be spared for the meat.

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Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov
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Sheri cursed at herself as she fiddled with the hinges on the back door, finagling them in such a way that they wouldn’t open if the target tried to come through here. It took several minutes of effort as she considered, attempted, and then reattempted several different solutions that wouldn’t be easily seen or removed before the man got here. The cook passed by twice, giving her a funny look the first time, but she just said ”Maintenance!” with the best fake smile she could manage and he immediately lost interest in her presence.
She’d got it just about into a state she was satisfied with when there was a sound of glass shattering at the front of the diner, followed by the sound of shouting. Her first thought was to slip out the back if there was trouble here... only to be reminded she’d just jammed the door shut when she tried to open it. ”Shit.”
She turned and slipped back toward the front. She quickly stepped to the side as staff and a handful of customers fled back into the kitchen; she decided not to mention there was no escape this way. They’d figure it out. She turned to look back up front, only to see a crowd of goddamn Witchfinders gathered outside, in a fistfight with the woman who’s been at the counter, and someone else she couldn’t see. Three of the men who’d been in the diner were also still here - two taking shelter behind the bar (was one of them wearing a balaclava mask? In 2045? What is this, the IRA?) and the third looked like he was about to go join the fight outside. Good for him, Sheri thought. Buy me more of a distraction. Oh, and her double was still in the booth. That was kinda funny. She dismissed it, and it dissolved in a burst of static.
It was a shame this job would turn out to be a bust, though, she thought to herself as she slipped around the counter toward the door. After all, it wasn’t as if Mr. Alan Kingsley would be stopping by for his coffee after… after… She froze where she was standing, within arms reach of the balaclava man, as her eyes fell on someone through the window, at the other side of the park.
Her fucking target.
She threw herself around the counter, jumped onto a booth table and tumbled out of the window, before breaking into a dead sprint through the meleeing crowd. Her hand flew to the PPK tucked into the back of her jeans under her coat, her fingers wrapping around the top of the grip with her forefinger resting along the length of the barrel. One of the Witchfinder’s spotted her as she dropped her stealth, and she ducked under his arm as he reached for her, putting her gun in his face and channeling a stunning nerve blast through the handgun at point-blank range without ever turning her eyes to him.
Sheri folded herself nearly in half as she vaulted over some mutated monster a mere instant after it tackled two more Witchfinders to the ground (Where the fuck did that come from? Am I gonna have to deal with that?) and then she was across the street, boots pounding over the grass as she made a beeline for Alan Kingsley. He spotted her, and as he turned to run her eyes flashed a brighter shade of green and two exact duplicates of herself appeared 20 yards ahead, following one very simple command: catch the target.
Alan bolted, adrenaline making this otherwise out of shape man move faster than he ever had in his life. Sheri dismissed her clones, then summoned two more further ahead, gaining ground with her doubles until they were practically on either side of him.
”Leave me alone!” he wailed, struggling for breath. He stumbled and fell as he reached the street, rolled, then was back up, sprinting left. Sheri stopped and fired another nerve blast through the handgun, hitting Alan in the back of the knee. He fell a second time as his entire leg suddenly went dead, cracking his chin on the asphalt. ”Please,” he wheezed. ”Please don’t hurt me.”
Sheri walked over, stuffing her gun back in her pants and dismissing her duplicates. She pulled a thin voice recorder out of her pocket, then lifted Alan up slightly by the back of his shirt, kneeling down to look in his face. ”You’re Alan Kingsley?”
”W-what?”
”I need you to confirm,” she said, clicking ‘record’. ”Are you Alan Kingsley?”
”Y-yes,” he answered. He was starting to cry. Gross.
Sheri dropped him, then clicked play on the recorder to confirm she’d gotten his official confirmation.
Nothing happened.
Click. Click click. Clickclickclickclickclickclickclick- she through the recorder on the ground, and it bounced and skidded into the gutter. ”God damn it!!”