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Sheri Galloway

"I'm not really fond of attention."

0 · 1,154 views · located in Atlas City

a character in “Hadean”, as played by druidquest

Description

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Theme 1 – Replica - Ilaria Graziano
Theme 2 – Lungmen Battle - Arknights
Theme 3 – Hollow (Instrumental) - Nobuo Uematsu
Theme 4 - Ezio's Family - Jesper Kyd
Theme 5 - I'm Not Made by Design - Nothing But Thieves
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Full Name: Sheri Elizabeth Galloway
Alias: Houndmaster - due to the way she uses her doubles like hunting dogs to chase targets into the open
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White

Hair: Long red hair, kept in a tight braid.

Eye color: Light green, almost grey. Her irises and pupils aren't visible in her dopplegangers.

Body: Sheri is a woman of below average height who's thin build belies a wiry strength. She has a round face, and keeps herself free of distinguishing markings, fitting for a woman who prefers to avoid attention.

Height: 5'3" || 160 cm

Weight: 124 lbs || 56 kg

Hometown: Unknown. Records show residences in California and Nebraska before arriving in Atlas City.

Affiliation(s): Independent Company

Face Claim: Emi Yusa - Hataraku Maou-sama

Personality: Surly yet soft spoken, with a powerful sense of obligation and duty that can come across as fanatical loyalty to those who don't know better.
She has difficulty interacting with those around her, finding it difficult to finds words to express her own thoughts yet never failing to offer a sharp tongued remark when the opportunity presents itself. Nonetheless, Sheri clings to those brought into her orbit under the label of "teammate" with a quiet desperation found only in those who have never known true loyalty or companionship, and often seeks to endear herself to them by showcasing her "usefulness" in combat, or by offering them small gifts or favors which could be easily brushed off as "basic consideration for a comrade".
Sheri is the type to think quickly in combat, yet fall apart when the tide turns against her, and has a habit of overthinking in such a way as to effortlessly spot tiny details while completely misinterpreting the big picture, something that can make her surprisingly easy to manipulate.
Sheri is a bit of a misanthropist, yet possesses a sense of quiet faith and spirituality which many would be surprised by if she ever found the words to voice it. She hates living around people and thinks nothing of denying aid to those she views as "outside her concern", yet her sense of duty as a "superhero" shifts that category from "the weak and the helpless" to "anyone with money or influence". She is also the type to be gripped with a sense of righteous fury toward those who disregard the lives of beings they view as inherently worthless, such as insects.


Likes:
- The Countryside; having spent most of her life indoors or in crowded cities, Sheri enjoys wide open areas with little development.

- Stews and Curries; Sheri is a surprisingly picky eater, but particularly enjoys heavy comfort foods and mild curries.

- Melons

- Plush toys

- bugs and other such "gross" animals



Dislikes:
- Music. She has sensory issues with it (it makes her head feel swollen).

- Sweet or bitter foods. Sheri dislikes strong flavors, but likes spicy food.

- Sunlight. Strong sunlight hurts her eyes and gives her a headache.

- The noises other people make; chewing, sighing, shoes scuffing etc




Fears:
- Cockroaches

- Being followed

- Loss of those around her

- Being trapped


Skills:
- Urban Camouflage: Sheri is well trained in how to move through cities without detection, and is adept at evading pursuers even without the use of her powers.

- Small Tech DIY: She knows how to make a variety of devices which might prove useful in the field, from traps to handheld EMP devices to cell phones.

- Baking: She's developed a habit of making bread and other such goods in her free time, though she still doesn't like sweets.

- Sharp-Eyed: Sheri is extremely observant, often the first to notice something. This is a skill developed out of necessity in her youth, and serves her well as a sniper and stealth operator.

- Self Defense: Sheri is trained in standard CQC techniques, and has supplemented this training by studying a variety of other martial arts styles, such as capoeira and judo.

Costume Identities: None


Equipment:
- Sniper Rifle: the specific type she's assigned depends on whats needed for a particular mission. The one she uses most is an m24 sniper weapon system designed for .338 lapua magnum rounds, modified to more effectively channel her nerve blasts at long range.

- Modified Walther PPK: a sidearm she carries should she find herself in close combat. allows her to channel her energy blasts without risk of harming herself, and usually not equipped with a proper magazine.

- CQC Knife: another piece of insurance she be forced into close quarters; she's modified it with an insulated handle, as an attempt to try and reduce recoil should she try to use it with her nerve blasts.






Background: Sheri Elizabeth Galloway was born on [DATA EXPUNGED] to [DATA EXPUNGED] and his wife, [DATA EXPUNGED], in the city of [DATA EXPUNGED] in [DATA EXPUNGED]. Following an accident on the night of [DATA EXPUNGED], the infant Sheri was taken into the custody of [DATA EXPUNGED] Children's Home, a well funded and highly respected facility where she lived until she was ten, at which point she was adopted by Dr. Elizabeth Galloway, senior researcher at Vanguard Enterprises, a forward thinking and modern security company for all your public and private security needs, dedicated to protecting citizens like you.
At her request, Sheri was added to [DATA EXPUNGED], a project dedicated to finding new solutions to the threat of superpowered crime. Sheri proved to be a dedicated and highly talented member of thhfnmfkdhenwmrbfn
ONE MOMENT.

ONE MOMENT.

ONE MOMENT.

ACCESS GRANTED.


Sheri Elizabeth Galloway, birth name unknown, was an orphan raised in the Little Miracles Children's Home, a chronically underfunded hovel of an orphanage suffering from a horrific roach infestation, which Sheri hasn't yet managed to psychologically recover from even decades later. Following some shady dealings, she was taken into the custody of Dr. Elizabeth Galloway as a test subject in Vanguard Enterprises' Project Mastima, which sought to develop a method of infusing normal humans with abilities as a way of commodifying the entire concept of a superhero. Despite substandard results, Sheri nevertheless maintained more genetically stable than many of her "siblings", and was cleared for field duty after 6 years of intensive training, with most of her operations consisting of the incapacitation and retrieval of superpowered criminals and test subjects, following payment from either local business associations or city governments unequipped to deal with them.
Sheri was eventually decommissioned as an agent of Vanguard Enterprises' Enhanced Security Division (their registered superhero branch) following the dissolution of her generation in favor of a new batch of heroes who had shown better results with the company's successor to Project Mastima, Project Principality.
Records show that, following this break with Vanguard Enterprises, Sheri has become a registered intependent contractor with a number of other privately operated hero leagues. There seems to be no record of her private life at present, perhaps intentionally to prevent possible encounters with her... shall we say, "parent company" in the future.



Connections

Dr Elizabeth Galloway: Researcher for Vanguard Enterprises and overseer of the children taken in as part of Project Mastima. A distant older woman of roughly 50 years old, she is utterly dedicated to her goals and the advancement of her research, and is perhaps one of the brightest minds on the planet. She is, after all, the woman who cracked the code to manufactured powers.
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Relationship: Dr Elizabeth Galloway is a complicated individual for Sheri. She is a woman who thought nothing of exploiting the role of "mother" to manipulate the children of Project Mastima into doing whatever she wanted. She is a woman who showed them both kindness and cruelty; who praised their successes yet put them through unimaginable hell in her experiments. She is the person with the greatest degree of influence over Sheri, and is perhaps the one Sheri fears and loves most in the entire world.

Nina Elizabeth Galloway: AKA "Opera", one of the children from Project Mastima. She has the ability to manipulate low level sonic vibrations with her voice, resulting in migraines, paranoia, hallucinations, short term memory loss, heart palpitations etc in her targets. One of the last remaining of the Project Mastima children, she is now employed by SINS. As a member of Vanguard Enterprises' Enhanced Security Division, she bore the operator number of O12.
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Relationship: Perhaps the closest thing Sheri had to a friend in Project Mastima, if only because Nina wouldn't leave her alone. She was constantly dragging Sheri around when the two were younger, and there wasn't a single song this fanatical music lover ever listened to that wasn't also pushed onto Sheri. Sheri considers Nina an exceptionally dangerous person, both for her powers and for the degree of sentimentality Sheri feels for her "sister", despite the understanding of their... dynamic, as Sheri was the one assigned to "remove" Nina should she ever become a threat, a contractual assignment which has persisted even after she was discharged from Vanguard Enterprises.
Johnathan Elizabeth Galloway: AKA "Salt", one of the children from Project Mastima and the only one of the five "siblings" known to still be living who remains in Dr. Galloway's company, employed as her bodyguard. In addition to enhanced strength and durability, he has the power to erode anything he touches with his bare hands into a fine salt-like substance, which he can manipulate at will. Though he was not assigned an operator number due to being given responsibilities as Dr. Galloway's bodyguard instead, the other subjects unofficially assigned him the designation of O00.
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Relationship: Sheri's relationship to Jonathan is something that could be deacribed as "strained". While the two were never close, Sheri had been one of the few children in Project Mastima to demonstrate consistent loyalty to Dr. Galloway, and one of the few who never picked on Jonathan for his near-fanatical devotion to their "mother". Thus, Jonathan views Sheri's decision to stay at the doctor's side as a betrayal, more than he does any other of their "siblings".
Victor Elizabeth Galloway: A member of Project Mastima and former "superhero" for Vanguard Enterprises, he underwent partial mutantization in the field and is officially declared Killed In Action. He possessed the ability to raise his body temperature to extreme levels, igniting this things he touched or even the air itself. His operating number with Vanguard Enterprises was O16.
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Relationship: Despite his brash demeanor, Victor was well respected by the other subjects of Project Mastima, and a natural born leader. He and Sheri harbored a mutual sense of respect and, while not neccessarily close, understood the other could be relied on when needed.
Alice Elizabeth Galloway: An extremely reticent woman of who was a mystery even to her fellow subjects in Project Mastima. It is known she possessed the ability to cut through anything, even with just her fingernails, and is officially listed as Missing In Action. Her operator number is O21.
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Relationship: Sheri was one of the few who got along well with Alice; their quiet dispositions and tendency to avoid others meant they often found themselves in the same places. Even though they rarely spoke to each other, if you were to ask, they might each describe the other as their most trusted confidant.



Powers:

Hounds
[Master – 7]
Conjures a duplicate of herself, within her range of sight. The strength and tactical complexity depend on how far from her they are - in close range, they are fundamentally equal to the original, potentially making her extremely dangerous in close quarters; however at distance they become far more simple, and when deployed through the scope of her sniper rifle at a distance of up to 1.4 miles/2400 meters, they are only capable of following basic commands such as "chase this person" or "grab that person". She most frequently uses them as "hunting dogs" to flush out targets, either for capture or elimination. She can have between 3-10 active at once, based on how far away they are (the further they are, the more she can summon. She uses this with a "discard and draw" tactic to cut off possible escape routes, forcing targets where she wants them to go, as well as to overwhelm with sheer numbers.)
Nerve Blast
[Blaster 5, Striker 3]
A nerve blast used to incapacitate targets, which she can focus through the use of firearms. Its strength ranges from "slight muscle cramp" to "elephant tranquilizer". She's far less adept at controlling it at close range, only able to use it at full power or no power, and runs the risk of recoil ranging from minor electrical burns to necrosis.
Shade
[Stranger - 2]
A weak perception filter used to avoid detection. Causes minor electrical interference in machines, and makes it so she doesn't stand out to people. They can still see her, but struggle to remember her once shes out of their direct line of sight. Useless if she does something which would naturally call attention to herself, such as getting in a street fight or running around naked. Also less effective against people who already know her personally.


Power Origins: Corporate Experimentation





Color Code:#663399

So begins...

Sheri Galloway's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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[i]March 10, 2045
Offices of Atlas City Heroes Incorporated
7:47 PM


Sheri gazed out at the overcast sky through the windows of the small third floor office space ACHI had been renting since their recent financial troubles had resulted in some downsizing to their headquarters. She hoped it would rain soon, though hopefully after she finished the job the super across from her was trying to hire her for; the decreased visibility caused by a storm would just be a nuisance.
”Miss… Houndmaster, if I could get your attention back-”
”You have my attention.”
”R-right…” The man clearly wasn’t used to hiring outside help. He’d been nervous the entire time she’d been here, which was starting to get on her nerves - Javier Baque, aka Aconite, was an impressively powerful plant generator and manipulator when he wasn’t acting as the human resources manager for ACHI, but his powers did tend to get annoying when he was stressed; the pollen and spores floating off him were starting to clog up her nose.
”Anyway, so the target Mr. Kingsley, appears to have enhanced hearing and the ability to see through walls,” Javier continued. ”As well as a precognitive ability to detect when he’s being targeted within a certain range. It’s made it impossible for us to get close to him - it’s pretty difficult to catch someone who can always see you coming, you know?”
”And you don’t have anyone who can take him out at distance, or a way to trap him.”
Javier chuckled nervously. ”We used to, but uh…”
Sheri sighed and picked the file up off the small table between them. A cup of tea had been placed next to it for her when she arrived, but she ignored it. ”What this guy do, anyway?” she asked, thumbing through the dossier. Alan Kingsley, 52, from Raleigh. Didn’t look particularly impressive.
Javier ticked off his fingers as he recounted. ”Money laundering, counterfeiting, fraud, and… tax evasion.”
”Dangerous man,”Sheri scoffed. ”I can see why you’re desperate to get him off the street.”
”He’s a criminal.” Javier shook his head slightly, picking up his own cup of tea. ”It doesn’t matter if he’s dangerous or not. He needs to be held accountable for his actions.”
”Is that how that works?”
”If you’d rather not-”
”That’s not what I said.” Sheri dropped Kingsley’s file back on the table. ”More importantly, are you sure you guys can even afford this? I’ve seen the news. If you aren’t able to pay me for this...”
Javier was silent for a moment. ”We need to catch this guy,” he said softly. ”We can’t really afford not to. Compared to that, your fee is a negligible expense.”

March 11, 2045
Atomic Anne's Diner and Cafe, Downtown Atlas City
7:28 AM


The diner looked about how Sheri had expected; which didn’t say much, since every diner she’d ever been in looked and smelled pretty much the same. It hadn’t been open long, but a few customers had already set themselves up at the counter, chatting and sipping that brown crap she’d never developed a taste for.
She took a seat in a booth with a solid view of the entire lobby. Large glass window with a view of the street, no visible entrances beside the one she’d entered from. A small side hall which likely led to the kitchen and bathrooms. A waitress came over to take her order; she waved her off, saying she needed another moment to decide. The waitress smiled and set a small glass of water in front of her, before moving back behind the counter.
Sheri got up and slipped toward the kitchen and bathrooms - or rather, bathroom, singular, as she found. A note on the door said to ask for the key at the front.
”Need the bathroom, hun?” the waitress called from the counter.
”Oh… no,” Sheri mumbled. Observant woman. That would make checking around a bit harder; she still needed to confirm whether there was an alternate route of escape through the kitchen. She returned to her seat. If she could use a double to take her place and slip back there while the waitress was distracted...
She checked the clock on the wall. 7:30. From what Javier had said, the target came in every morning around 10. That should give her a bit more time to figure something out, she reasoned. Maybe if she checked around the back outside?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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Richard had been sipping away at his coffee for a while, and the diner cafe had managed to accumulate a rather interesting cast of characters in it, which he hadn't wasted much time in observing. There was the short, younger girl who'd taken a booth, and decided to scope out the bathroom before changing her mind, which seemed a bit odd. Then the taller, middle aged woman who'd sat down rather awkwardly, putting only one seat of distance between them. Something threw her off, and he wasn't sure what.

Then there was the big guy who'd come in, seeming like he'd seen a ghost. Maybe two even. He made an order with the waitress, who happily obliged him before making her way back to the kitchen to place the order. Another man sat between him and the taller woman now, the two carrying on with their idle chatter. Eventually the waitress made her way back to Richard, smile on her face as well.


"Ready hun?" She asked warmly.

"As a matter of fact yes. I'll have the breakfast special, with whole grain toast and marmalade, scrambled eggs, slice of ham, and what do you have here in the way of fruit?"

She raised an eyebrow and smiled as she replied. "Apples, oranges, maybe some berries or something?"

"An apple would be fine if it's not too much trouble. And I think I'd like a glass of orange juice too, thanks."

The waitress nodded as she finished up with her note pad. "Coming up hun."


Richard's attention was taken away from his own thoughts when he heard the man now beside him state, rather loudly, that he was the woman's therapist. He cleared his throat gently to get the man's attention. "Excuse me doctor, I'm sorry to interrupt your private conversation, but I thought things such as therapy fell under some kind of doctor-patient confidentiality?" His voice was light and pleasant enough, but the intention of his words was correctional. Perhaps it wasn't his business, but then it certainly wasn't his business to be overhearing private matters like that.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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"Excuse me doctor, I'm sorry to interrupt your private conversation, but I thought things such as therapy fell under some kind of doctor-patient confidentiality?" The voice came from behind him. It was Ichiro's turn to freeze.

"You'll have to forgive my little brother," Yue piped up, leaning onto the counter past Ichiro to smile at the stranger. "He's an excitable idiot."

"She's not wrong," Ichiro laughed nervously, more from noticing the subtle change in Yue's demeanor. She had turned in her stool and was resting her back against the counter, intent burgundy gaze sweeping the interior of the restaurant while she cradled her coffee mug with both hands; she clicked her teeth against the mug for a long second before slowly drinking. Something had caught her attention and he knew better than to try and interrupt. Instead he turned towards the other man at the counter. "You're absolutely correct, sir. I should be more careful. Ichiro," he said, offering his hand.

Yue noted the young woman, several inches shorter than herself... petite, red hair, green eyes. Takes a booth, doesn't order. Shortly gets up and moves towards the kitchen area. Bathrooms are over there, but you need a key from the counter to use them. Declines and returns to her seat when asked, and appears to be concerned with the time...

Then there was the man that just came in moments ago: Tall, large build, African-American, black hair, black eyes. Wet shoes and trench coat, but it's not currently raining. Looks hurried; takes the time to wipe his feet. Occupies a booth with a clear view of the door and easy egress... strategic choice: that's where she might sit if she wanted to leave quickly. Her own seating choice was mainly decided due to proximity to other customers: there were rarely more than one or two people at the counter, especially in the early hours when she usually arrived. He picks up a newspaper to read, which by itself wouldn't normally be conspicuous. One of her thin black eyebrows raised ever so slightly. Newspapers had been out of style for a long time, and even most older folks preferred digital media. Yue hadn't seen if the paper was left behind by the previous customers or whether it was new or not: she hadn't been paying attention that closely before.

Something about the stranger at the counter suddenly felt off as well, but Yue dismissed it as a note of paranoia since he hadn't done anything out of the ordinary. It's possible she was just over-analyzing and latching on to coincidental details. The thought made her click her teeth quietly against the mug once more.

"Maybe it's nothing..." she mumbled to herself, and went to drink. She had finished her coffee at some point during her deep thought, and the empty mug seemed to snap her out of it.

"What?"

"I said I'll forgive you if you order pancakes," she replied, placing her empty mug on the far edge of the counter and carefully adjusting it until the handle was facing magnetic North. The waitress came by and re-filled it a few moments later, bringing a small smile to her lips.

"Small price to pay," Ichiro muttered in a defeated tone. He knew Yue though: She would continue to fish for excuses to stay until she was satisfied there wasn't any weirdness happening, and he could tell she was being a lot more attentive to their surroundings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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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: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Cannonade 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: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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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: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart 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: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart 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: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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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: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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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: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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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.

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Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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"Yeah, sports," Ichiro laughed, a little too nervously for Yue's liking. "Helping people get back on their feet is the best reward. It's nothing compared to the work my sister does," he said smiling, but did catch Yue flicking an eye towards him with a hint of annoyance.

"Please, I teach basic self-defense and fitness classes at a gym, it's nothing special," she replied. Ichiro's tendency to talk excitedly about his passions would be adorable if he weren't so annoying about doing it in public... you know, to complete strangers.

Yue scanned the room again, seeming to feel a little more comfortable. The quiet patron with the newspaper had left; the large man by the window was now wolfing down his second helping of french toast; the newest customer had yet to do anything out of the ordinary, and the man sitting at the counter with them seemed nice enough. The only real outlier was the red-haired girl.

That uneasy feeling hadn't gone away, but Yue hadn't seen her do anything especially suspicious except be awkward with the staff. Yue was pretty awkward herself, and it had taken some days to warm up to the staff. Part of what kept her coming back is that they'd just kind of accepted that she was sort of an odd duck. She wasn't letting her guard down: that gut feeling wasn't wrong very often, but she had stopped fidgeting at the very least. It probably wasn't just paranoia, but she didn't think it was coming from inside the diner at least.

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Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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Just as he was about to put the finishing touches on his confirmation e-mail Devon's meal arrived, the beautiful incarnation of cholesterol placed in the middle with the muffin straddling the line between the edge of the plate and touching the hot mess of grease dripping bacon, sunny side eggs and half melted cheese on a butter toasted bun. Whether it was the craving for food after working on an empty stomach or the sandwich was just that good he did neither know nor care to know, but from the first bite to the last he devoured it with gusto almost letting his coffee get the time to cool the tiniest bit down in the process.

After asking the waitress for a much needed refill of his coffee he grabbed a bite of his little dessert. There was something different in the atmosphere, he had been so absorbed with his sandwich that he hadn't noticed the one with the newspaper at the counter leave, nor that there hadn't been any glancing gazes from the girl in the booth for a little bit now when she seemed to have been nervously looking around before.

He had been peripherally aware of the conversation of the three he shared the counter with taking a bit of extra note from the moment the brother and sister had exchanged a few words in an eastern language, perhaps Japanese given the brother had adressed the third as 'sama'. He could however not resist the urge to pass a glance at the sister when she had mentioned she teached 'just' basic self defense and fitness at a gym. She didn't look like she had that gym instructor/trainer fitness, if he had to say they looked more... Purpose built. They just didn't look like the sort of muscle you'd build up doing fitness or body building, much less basic self defense training. That being said he could just be wrong, it wasn't like he was a physician or had any knowledge about muscular buildup beyond that of what basic college biology teaches you.

"Well,if I may be so bold you certainly don't look like you just teach the girls to aim below the belt and how to wield a purse as a flail. I would have guessed more in the direction of a martial arts trainer, Aikido or some other soft method martial arts." Adding the last part with an aloof tone of voice as he took another bite of his muffin.

For what it was worth he had the idea that like him she was aware that something seemed just that tad bit off about the atmosphere in the diner, perhaps by mixing in on the conversation he could find something out, also she was a regular and would probably know which pastries would make for a nice surprise for the boys back at the brewery. Never hurts to show a bit of appreciation for the moments where they go above and beyond their jobs even when he wasn't there.

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Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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N-Nani?! Yue couldn't suppress the icy chill that ran up her spine at the man's comment. She didn't even think he was listening, let alone that someone could tell what kind of martial arts she practiced just by looking at her. For one short instant she narrowed her burgundy eyes at Ichiro, who gave an embarrassed grin. Who knew a little innocent conversation would lead to digging such a deep hole? Yue was a terrible liar, so she couldn't just keep making shit up on the spot: that's what the NAHLA provided backstory that she had memorized was for. The only problem with it was that it didn't have many specific verifiable details in it... like what kind of "self-defense" she taught, at "which gym."

"W-well... It's not, but... You're...," she blustered for a long moment, becoming flushed and trying to hide behind her coffee mug while she floundered for something to say. "Y-you're not wrong, I guess. Just fundamental Tai Chi and how to apply it... you know like in a real world situation," she explained, clearly fishing.

"Wow, you can tell that just by looking at us? I bet it's her muscle structure: fitness trainers are usually built with large muscles that look impressive, but are mostly water-mass," Ichiro replied excitedly. Yue drew a slow, deep breath: if she let him, Ichiro would talk anyone's ear off about the difference between muscle mass and muscle density, or short and long muscle compression.

"Oh I'm sure it's just a lucky guess, n-no need to bore them with a biology lesson, nerd," she chided, laughing nervously and quietly wishing God would just make her invisible, or suddenly whisk her away from this conversation somehow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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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.

Setting

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart 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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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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!!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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It was rather amusing to watch her stumble around trying to find the words, like a tall vase only a light tap had been enough to throw her off balance. Her brother on the other hand did not seem phased in the slightest, rather he seemed very excited then again given his previous behavior he seemed to be of the excitable and enthusiastic kind. At the very least one with significant knowledge of muscular structures, which makes perfect sense in a way given his claimed profession. The other guy gave a considerate response, but he couldn't shake the fleeting feeling that there was an underlying message to it that he just didn't quite get.

He had considered making a response of his own, but seeing he kind of had his mouth full of sweet blueberry goodness and a rather imposing figure made his acquaintance with the girl, a rather physical one. Devon jumped up from his seat narrowly avoiding the hot coffee's sloshing from staining his pants only to leap over the counter a second later as he heard the sound of a large piece of glass shattering behind him. He looked around to see how the quint diner had just turned into a battlefield, Mackenzie had pulled Ichiro towards the booth where the man with the newspaper had sprung into action as well. The others all seemed to either have huddled beneath some cover or having made a mad dash to the kitchen, like any other place it'd probably have a backdoor at the very least to avoid bringing the ingredients through the customer section of the diner. Outside it seemed a group of witchfinders had gathered up to assail Yue, though from the glimpses he managed to catch of it she seemed to hold on quite well given the situation popping some moves that didn't gel with his mental image of fundamental Tai Chi.

Not that whether she was telling the truth was of any importance at this moment, as Ichiro had said she was holding her own for now and seemed to have some assistance joining the fray, they needed to get the others to safety first. Running into the kitchen he found himself faced with the kitchen staff unable to open the backdoor. Fuck... Inward hinges, those aren't going to bust from a little ramming attempt. "Stand back!" He yelled assertively as he grabbed one of the guns from his coat. A bullet directly applied to each hinge ensured the hinge pins were shattered beyond function and a forceful kick to the hinged side of the door later left a doorframe damaged and a door ejected from it into the alley behind the diner, leaving a safe exit route for the customers and staff.

From the sound of things Yue was pulling the fight through the park, away from their kitchen extraction route. As far as he recalled there were no big obstructions in or directly around the park, if only he could... Bingo, fire escape a reachable one. He jumped up on a dumpster (shouldn't those be some distance away to prevent just what he was about to do?) to a small ledge next to the fire escape and jumped up to the railing of the fire escape. Clambering over the railing and up the set of ladders he rushed his way up to the roof with a mixed grace of a cat by looks and Thor the god of thunder by sound.

Once on the roof he walked towards the edge where the sounds of battle came from, no raised ledge unfortunate, but fortunately a good view of what was happening on the streets below. It seemed the Witchfinders found themselves assailed by some kind of beast and something even more monstrous near the diner, the latter making carnage enough to turn those of lesser constitution vegan for the remainder of their lives. A bit further away a group of them were running towards an alley guns and abilities blazing, that would be where Yue had gone. Devon looked around a bit to see if he could get to a better position to cover that alley, no luck. At best there was the option to cross over two more buildings to get an angle on the street on the other side of that alley, but anything that'd allow him visibility into that alley would require jumping some rather wide gaps.

Not quite desiring to lower himself to the degree the assailants had he made the decision to avoid using anything too lethal... for now. As such he aimed a bit away from the group near the alley allowing his projectiles to home in on their targets and giving the Witchfinders the idea of being surrounded by gunmen on all sides with the hopes of causing a sufficient distraction while he made his way to a vantage spot for the other side of the alley, to provide a more accurate fire support for Yue when she exits the alley. He unloaded a mixture of bullets aimed at disabling them, destroying guns, breaking hands, putting bullets through calves and restraining one in the sticky mess that was structural fire foam.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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Laying on the pavement, coughing up globs of blood, the head Witchfinder started to barely stir and regain his senses, just in time to witness several of his men being attacked by terrifying looking beasts, monsters, demons.

"Th-the demon- *HACK* The Demoness! She brings her servants with her! Destroy them! SEND THOSE UNNATURAL CREATURES TO PERDITION!" He cried out.

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Richard saw the larger man at the booth bolt out of his seat and over the diner counter, calling out to him to help deal with the Witchfinders, and to... Rob the place later? He was confused for a moment, then it occurred to him not only what he wore, but what he had said moments before. Ichiro's words broke through Richard's moment of embarrassment, focus on getting the civilians out of here. The short girl from earlier appeared to have entered the diner again from out of the kitchen, and before anyone could say or do anything, she bolted out and towards the park? And the guy who had been at the counter with them had gone into the kitchen, and several of the staff had gone with him, only a few others remained pinned down in here.

Ichiro had been on his phone a few moments, and it became clear that Ichiro wasn't just a therapist. Sounded a lot like he was some kind of cop. Not great for Richard. Giving a slight nod to Ichiro, Richard began to assume a crouching position as he got ready to take action. "Oh and Ichiro, I ah... I'm not a burglar or anything like that... I ah... I'm in witness protection..." He feebly lied. Once he felt he'd attempted his best possible subterfuge in the moment, he raised a hand towards the shattered window, and to the others. After a few moments, a faint frost began to appear, and where the shattered window had stood with a hole in it, it now was becoming a full sheet of ice.

The ice was too crystalline to see through, and caused the room to dim slightly. Richard quickly ran over to some of the other staff and guests, quickly trying to usher them into the kitchen, where the guy from the counter had seemingly gotten the back door opened. "Alright, get out of here as quick as you can! Stay low, stick to the back alleys, and get into some kind of building! You need to take cover!"

He looked back to Ichiro now, nodding his head to the kitchen. "You need to go too, unless you're able to help out here." Richard raised both pistols to the opaque windows now as the power went off, some kind of shriek emanating from the street out there.

One more thing to worry about.

As some of the Witchfinders tried to chase down Yue, others tried to get a handle on the situation with Jericho and Sasha outside. Richard had noticed the man from the booth was now holding some kind of glowing gun, a laser gun? Weird, but he'd roll with it. "Hey! Aim for the shadows with tall hats!" He called out to Henry. A steady stream of bullets began making their way down from the rooftops, and soon after another hail of them exploded from the windows of the diner. Richard had begun to open fire through the glass, shattering the pane that had previously stayed in tact.

Three Witchfinders were grazed or hit, scrambling to take cover or falling to the ground as Richard opened up on them. One tried to crawl away from the gunfire and Jericho, but before he could make it far his hand landed in a pool of blood that quickly froze solid around his hand.

His screams of terror echoed across the street as his doom became sealed with that hand.


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Maxwell felt himself tense as gunfire and violence exploded on the street next to the park. "That is... Problematic." He muttered. Just as he finished, the girl who had been called 'Jemma' disappeared and turned into some horrific monster, the likes of which Maxwell had never imagined. As the creature bounded off into the fight, he couldn't help but cock an eyebrow. "And that is... Rather interesting." He mused, almost a tiny bit pleased. He'd just witnessed something he was now quite interested in getting a better understanding of...

That brief pleasure was fast cut short however. Mr. Kingsley was outside the park. Running. With a girl chasing him. Maxwell's eyes narrowed as he chewed his lip. "This day has been full of surprises. Some more pleasant than others." He quickly gave a nod to Scarlet and Alex. "I'm terribly sorry, but you'll have to excuse me. This mess may have just put a client of mine in grave danger, and I must go help him. Mr. Alex, Miss Scarlet, it has been a pleasure." He gave them both a kind, warm smile, a slight bow, and turned to go find Kingsley...


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Not long later, the silver haired man found Kingsley on the ground, and a shorter girl standing over him, likely a super.

"Excuse me Miss, but can I help you?" He asked in a light tone.

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Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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Sheri turned at the sound of a man’s voice. “Can I help you.” The question voiced by one who’s noticed you intruding on their property. The man in question was in a tailored suit, with thin rimmed glasses and manicured silver hair. The way he carried himself, Sheri wouldn’t be surprised if he were carrying a metal cigarette case, ether. This guy practically had “corporate” tattooed across his bigass forehead.
”Not right this moment, no,” she replied, placing one boot on Kingsley’s back as if claiming ownership. She tried not to let suspicion appear on her face as she watched for his reaction. ”Not unless you have a working phone.”
She’d had run-ins with vultures before, trying to snipe her contracted arrests by playing it like her actions were legally illegitimate; even if she could prove she were acting under an organization’s authority, cops weren’t exactly fond of independent contractors like herself, and these situations could easily become more trouble than they were worth. Still, there was also the chance he were a genuine concerned citizen. Presenting the possibility of a small favor, like borrowing a phone to call in the arrest, was a good way of sorting out which he was.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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Jericho had paused at the sound of Alex's voice, had begun turning to locate the massive man who they called a friend, their very first friend. The stench of super powered individuals was overwhelming. It stank like rot, like flesh and meat and hunger.
It stank like glorious power, sweet glorious satisfaction, like a purpose meant to be completed! They would have their carve! But. Alex would be disappointed, perhaps even angry, and survival would be in jeopardy if Jericho kept going the way they were. They had to calm down, they had to back away from the fight, return to hiding! They-

Something clattered off their haunch, the scent of wind-scraped plains, of dust and gale, caught their attention. The air shoved Alex out and away from Jericho, shoved the prey that surrounded the Polymorph away.
The fog descended, and Jericho gave in to their instincts for battle, for the hunt.

There was a brief black-out moment, where J-3 would not remember even moving to attack Scarlet, where it wouldn't remember having its' haunch shoved by a wall of wind that threatened to topple it over. The meat of J-3 would remember turning, flinging a cadaver at 'Scarlet' and rushing her right after the corpse flew through the air.
It would remember cleaving a path through meat that stood in its' way, ripping a witchfinder in twain with brutal efficiency, sending the halves scattering their contents to the ground as they continued with single-minded determination.
It would remember watching Scarlet blocking and deflecting the corpse of a witchfinder with her skateboard, would remember leaping up, spinning about midair, and flexing its long tail.
The length of meat and metal split apart like a horrifying flower. A multitude of eight thinner but no less armored, lined with iron 'fangs', tentacles spread out.
The tendrils swept through the air like whips, and the first three to come into contact with Scarlet's board tore it in half. Another lashed forward as J-3 landed, spearing through the air with the intent to harpoon and kill.
She disengaged her ‘shield’, holding each skateboard piece by the truck like she was about to start dual wielding them, and ducked. Far too slow. Half her face began to melt away as the tendril shot through it, particles floating up into the sky, but she felt the sting. When the tendril whipped away, and she regained a full solid form, her hat had been knocked off and there was a thick, red gash on her forehead, spilling blood down her face and soaking into her mask.

J-3 Unleashed another roar, their chest ballooning outward and swelling with silver-black ink. The sound was that much louder, like a blast of thunder and animal-fury. The noise was a grating bellow mixed with the chittering whine of an insect, the screaming caw of some parrot-like bird supplemented it all. They shook the ground with the force of it, completely lost to the shift and shake of combat. They spun about, swirling on one armored hind leg, as their limbs lashed out at everything nearby. Another Witchfinder lost an arm, the one who ran to avenge her comrade found her face slashed by a clawed hand that spared no mercy or care for her existence.
Meanwhile, across from the whirling dervish, a certain someone thought to themselves.
Christ, that was a big set of lungs. Would be a shame if somebody-
Scarlet flipped her hood back on and punched forward, air cannon engaged. And concentrated. It blasted the creature, and the sickening noise of ribs turning inward cracked over the conflict. The creature’s chest caved in as it was blown back, the air forced out of its lungs. Vic gladly held onto that. And didn’t return it.

J-3 was thrown back, chest caved inward and starved of air. It locked its' gaze on Scarlet, still blinded to reasoning by the thrill and excitement of the hunt. It stood a solid fifteen or more feet away from Scarlet now. The tails on its hindquarters flicked, and lashed forward with an abrupt speed that left them blurs to the naked- or non super eye. Ink swirled on the tips of the tails as they moved, quills of bone and barb forming and soaring through the air between the two combatants. Four sank into the flesh of Scarlet's left shoulder, right and left forearms, and one just barely scraped by her hip as she once again 'POOFED' to avoid the worst of it.
J-3 thrashed for a moment longer, before shuddering and staggering side to side, desperate for oxygen.
The middle of a roar was no time to have the air stolen from you. Asphyxiation was a bitch.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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The leader of the Witchfinder General hit squad coughed out yet more blood, his vision becoming hazy as he laid on the ground, the life slowly draining from his eyes. "*HACK* B-B..... BALTHAZAR! BALTHAZAR THE DESTROYER!!!" His cry echoed out across the street. As he gazed up into the sky above him, he felt his life leaving him, but the last thing he saw before it was abruptly cut short was a car falling on top of him.

The tall, monstrous Witchfinder from earlier stood on the street again, now alone, all his other comrades now either dead or captured. His outstretched arm remained in the air a moment longer after it had tossed the car that landed on the now deceased Hit Squad leader. The Giant's other arm was next to his side, fist closed, but as it opened it released seven hypodermic needles.

Empty needles. The Boss fight had begun.

"PUUUUUUURGE!!!"

The Witchfinder roared with the low, monstrous bellow. He aimed his arms at the various heroes and supers around, unleashing a torrent of fiery, molten salt at the enemies that surrounded the area. The flash of blue had particularly caught Balthazar's attention, causing him to rip the door off the truck Cannonade had previously been thrown into before being tossed into another building. Balthazar flung the door in the direction of Cobalt Blue, following it up with more salt and fire.

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Richard looked to the right side of the diner, standing outside was the giant of a man that had thrown Yue through the window. His eyes widened slightly as he tensed up. This guy was not human, not even close. He waited to see how the other heroes would respond, but the new comer (Cannonade he thought he heard? Sounded kind of familiar) had been tossed into another building, and some of the others seemed caught up in their own fights.

"Hey pal?" He called out over to Henry. "Hope that thing has a kill setting on it. You're going to need it."

After Richard quickly reloaded his gun, he vaulted out the diner window and onto the street, firing off three shots at Balthazar's head. Two went through, the third knocked his hat off.

As the hat hit the ground, Balthazar's massively deformed head became visible to all. The place where the two bullets had hit was a now dented steel plate sewn into the monsters scar covered head. His entire face was a patchwork of stitches, decaying skin, and bits and pieces of metal and wires. The Witchfinders had employed a monster to hunt other 'monsters'.

"Guess you're going to take a little more work."


Balthazar roared at Richard, and the two charged toward each other. As the two closed the distance, a glittering blade formed on Richard's right hand and forearm, coming to a sharp, knife like point that protruded 3 or 4 inches out from his knuckle.

The beast of a man swung a right hook at Richard, but he quickly dipped down and dodged to the left, sending his right fist up into Balthazar's jaw, puncturing it and tearing through his mouth. Richard broke off the shard of ice and pulled away from Balthazar a few steps.

As the giant turned to look at the masked ice wielder, the ice blade fell from his mouth and shattered on the ground. Balthazar's jaw was split vertically into two, loose hanging halves that swayed as he moved. He swung his right arm and sent it crashing into Richard, tossing him backwards and sending him into a roll across the pavement.

"PURIFY!!! PUUUUUUURGE!!!"

He reiterated with fiery hated.

"As you wish." Richard muttered through gritted teeth, as he got back up, firing off three more shots.

The bullets passed through Balthazar's neck. He seemed unfazed as a trickle of thick, brown liquid began to make its way out of the holes in his neck.

__________________________________________________________________


Maxwell smiled as he pulled out his cell to amuse himself and the girl, but he soon noticed it wasn't working anymore. That was... Odd. And unexpected. He'd have to get that dealt with later. "I'm sorry, seems like I'm at a loss for that too. How strange." Maxwell looked the girl over, and then Kingsley once more.

"Since I can't help you, perhaps you can help me. I'm rather curious what it is you want with Mr. Kingsley?" He smiled kindly at the girl, intentions well hidden behind the soft face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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Jericho found themselves slammed about, asphyxiating at first and then abruptly able to breathe once more. The sound of battle was fading from their hearing, and a quiet- in insistent- pounding was echoing against their mind. The Hunt kept calling out to them from some unknown distance, and their vision and focus was disoriented. It felt as if they were pushing through mud, but the mud was existence, and their body just wasn't right. It was a vaguely familiar sensation, as if they were dreaming... Their flesh shifted, swirling yet again with ink before a maw filled with tombstone shaped teeth formed on the patch of skin that held a strange device. Some sort of power was being emitted from it, and the cicada scream from their EMP generator was doing nothing.
So they crunched it. The abrupt opening and closing of a jaw with the strength twice that of a hippo flattened and destroyed the object attached to them.

The world was still blurry, and their vision was suddenly filled with Alex's! face.
A gentle pat across the 'unarmored' part of Jericho's ribs brought them further back to reality, farther away from the siren call of the Hunt. They knew he was talking to them, and they understood the words, but the meaning behind them just wasn't computing. Their mind was foggy and sluggish, the rush of combat was only just bleeding out of their system.
The sound of Alex's voice was filtering in, and the calm-panic in his tone shook Jericho to the odd core.

The first friend they had ever had, and they sounded fearful, but of what? Of them? Of the battle? They needed protection didn't they, shit. "Nrh. Hold on. Will protect you. Make you safe." They grunted out, their voice distorted and mixed together with the sounds of a tiger growl and a boar's grunt. They shifted then, dropping the combative form and instead switching to the shape of a large, amorphous metallic... Blob. Jericho swooped upward, surrounding Alex and cocooning the other super in a protective shell. They extended upward from there, forming a small, humanoid torso on top of the metallic sphere. The torso had no eyes, no mouth, no nose... But it did have a multitude of arms that were lined with jagged blades. The torso swayed back and forth, and was turned towards the squabbling group of Supers.

'Protect.' Said Jericho's instincts. So Jericho positioned themselves to protect.

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Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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Oh, this dude thinks he’s slick.
Well. She supposed it was possible this man had simply overheard Kingsley’s name when she got the confirmation of identity… or tried to, anyway. It never hurt to be sure. She kicked Kingsley lightly in the side. ”What about you? Do you have a phone?”
He glanced sheepishly at the man in the suit. Very subtle. ”I was told not to bring one,” he mumbled. ”Someone could trace it.”
”That’s not what I asked.”
”...It’s in my back pocket.”
Sheri had to laugh. She didn’t actually laugh, but the absurdity of this entire situation made it so hard not to. She dug through Kingsley’s pockets, pulling out an extremely expensive phone - one of the new models, with the holographic display glass screen that was much too far outside the price range of an ordinary office worker. She dialed the number for Atlas City Heroes Incorporated.
”Okay, I’m going to give you two one more chance to - This is Houndmaster, I got your boy, near the north entrance of Soldier Park. Just look for the giant brawl near the diner and go up - One more chance to play this like something other than Baby’s First Protection Racket.”