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Yue Bayushi

Queen of the Damned...

0 · 1,877 views · located in Atlas City

a character in “Hadean”, as played by XianEvermor




Theme 1 – Inside Out | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 2 – My Heart Lied | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 3 – If I Fall | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 4 – Coming Down | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 5 – The Tragic Truth | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 6 – Darkness Settles In | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 7 – Cold | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 8 – Will the Sun Ever Rise | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 9 – The Agony of Regret | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 10 – A Little Bit Off | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 11 – Brighter Side of Grey | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 12 – Canto 34 | Five Finger Death Punch
Theme 13 – Death Punch Therapy | Five Finger Death Punch


Full Name: Yue Bayushi
Alias: Silver Fang / Queen of the Damned
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Japanese-American
FaceClaim: Revy | Black Lagoon

Hair: Straight and black, reaching her mid back. Most of the time it’s kept in a messy pony tail.

Eye color: Burgundy, most of the time. Her eyes have been known to become a luminous red color while under the effects of her power. The more intensely she channels, the brighter the glow.

Body: Yue possesses an above average physique for a Japanese girl, being nearly 6’ tall. She has a lithe, athletic frame with extremely defined musculature. Although she is not big by any stretch, she is mostly described as being toned and wiry. Yue has a dark complexion, and is unusually tan for an Asian. Her cheeks, nose and chin are slightly discolored, as though haven been sunburned numerous times. She also has light burn scarring along her jawline, as well as most of her other extremities.

Yue’s body, especially her arms are covered in scars: Some from major surgeries, while other parts of her body almost look as though they’ve been sandblasted. She covers most of these old wounds with ornate tattoos. Some look almost runic in design, specifically the ones running down her arms and legs. The most prominent image is the silver dragon clutching a crescent moon, which spans nearly her entire backside. The outstretched wings cover her right shoulder, and the tail spirals down her right leg covering a long, ugly scar.

Height: 5’ 11’’

Weight: Rude.

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Affiliation(s): NAHLA / Suspended pending investigation

Personality: Quiet. Sometimes shy to the point of awkwardness. Yue is on the Spectrum, and was “blessed” with a highly analytical mind. However she finds it extremely difficult to relate to most people. Emotions are especially difficult to process, and she mostly bottles it all up, which has caused problems for her in the past.

Even though she has this tendency to fade into the background while the more socially adept step into the limelight, while she’s on the job it’s almost a complete transformation. She’s a laser focused, calculating, scarily adept force of nature.

- Ramen

- Sweets, specifically hard candy

- Coffee, black

- Kung-Fu movies, Martial Arts Anime

- Online gaming (guilty pleasure)

- Smoking, but she can’t seem to quit

- Alcohol, anything sour

- Large crowds

- Humidity

- Spiders

- Becoming crippled

- Losing herself

- Being helpless

- Martial Arts: Yue is an accomplished martial artist, with training in Tae Kwon Do, and Krav Maga. However she’s recently taken up Tai Chi due to its low impact nature.

- Analysis: Yue is highly analytical, and can process information on a highly advanced level. However, it’s a switch that never gets turned off, which contributes to her awkwardness.

- Search & Rescue

- First Aid training

Costume Identities:


Silver Fang Mk1 - Decommissioned
Silver Fang Mk2 - Prototype under construction. An iteration on the Mk1 suit with an improved HUD featuring full body bio-metric feedback. The suit itself also had its weight reduced with improved materials. The armor plating is still largely Tungsten alloy, though the under-suit has been completely re-designed to incorporate the thermally resistant polymer that makes up the Luna Lightning suit along with a force dispersing gel layer to protect the user from impact trauma. Shock channels have been incorporated into the suit's extremities to direct force backlash away from the user and improve her peak throughput. Motion assist servos were improved in order to help the armor keep up with & withstand the user's abilities. Ion field technology developed for the Luna Lightning suit conversion was also incorporated... at the user's request an "aura color customization" option is in development. The suit is environmentally sealed, features organic vapor rated air filtration system and a self contained oxygen supply. Can operate under water.

Brute Stick - A prototype hammer which absorbs the waste energy produced by Yue's body to be stored in a capacitor. The capacitor discharges automatically on impact to amplify the applied kinetic force of the weapon. "A ballistic missile on a stick!" (-Fate) Right. If it were wielded by a ballistic missile.

Acolyte Armor - A light-armor suit lying somewhere between the Luna Lightning and Fang Mk2 suits in terms of function and durability. It was developed primarily as a training tool for Yue. It's made mainly of a reactive polymer that absorbs energy of a particular wavelength to change its density. In other words, it restricts Yue's movement by becoming incredibly dense and heavy in response to waste energy generated by her powers. The training feature is controlled via a companion app, and can be tuned or switched off remotely or in the user's HUD.

Luna Lightning Suit - A super-light armor suit formerly belonging to Texas 'vigilante' Luna Lightning. It was replicated and augmented by Sairyn to fit Yue and work with her abilities. Little more than a technologically packed thermal barrier, mainly focused on improving the user's top speed and limiting wind resistance. The suit is covered in control surfaces to stabilize the user at speed. These panels are fragile and offer little or no combat protection.

Yue sat in a plush office with a man silhouetted across from her. Some pencil pusher sent from the powers on high to review the incident from days previous. The light from his lamp splashed across the marble desk as he licked his thumb and crisply turned a page on the action report. Yue squirmed uneasily under his gaze as he turned another page and held a hand over her cast to suppress a nervous fidget… she could feel the bones in her arm grinding against the pins whenever she moved it.

She and her team had been ambushed while investigating the Witchfinder Generals on a possible high value target capture. It was a slaughter. Somehow everyone on her team had been perfectly countered, like they knew exactly who was coming and what they were all capable of. Her two teammates were cut down instantly. Yue wasn’t supposed to be there: it was a last minute substitute.

Pain was a funny thing. Yue understood that it was her body’s way of telling her that whatever was happening was unpleasant. It’s not that she didn’t feel it. It’s hard to explain… how did her brother put it? “Pain is that thing that happens when your character gets damaged in a video game and the screen flashes red.” The stun guns they were using on her “hurt.” The screen was flashing red. She felt her muscles locking up, and for one brief moment like she might not be able to move.

Yue scrunched her toes uncomfortably inside her shoes and took a deep breath. One of her cracked ribs popped, eliciting an involuntary twitch of her cheek. The investigator turned another page, though Yue never saw him take his eyes off her to read. Was he ever going to ask a question?

She thought back to the incident. That moment was when it happened: right when she thought they were done. Red light, the sensation of falling, the thunderous crack of shattering concrete, the uncomfortable pop of force traveling up her arm and knocking bones into the muscle wall. The impact had pancaked the entire floor below them, and they only just narrowly escaped getting crushed by some fluke of luck.

All she had to do was grab her two critical teammates, retreat to a safe distance, and wait for backup to arrive. Right?

“Why did you go back inside?” He finally asked. The question made Yue jump.

“I…” she cleared her throat. She was angry. That attack was targeted, they’d been betrayed. But why? She had to know who. The person who knew was inside. “wanted to buy the evac team time, and keep the area clear of hostiles,” she lied.

“If they’re focused on you they won’t go after your friends?”

“Y-yes sir,” Yue answered.

“Have you read this police report?”

She nodded, it wasn’t pretty. The perp they brought in was out of his mind; terrified. Just the sight of her sent him into hysterics. He was ready to spill all, but he wasn’t the one who knew anything. Everyone else was too critical to speak, and the main suspect was dead. Crushed like an overripe melon, in the perp’s words.

“Best case: this sets our investigation back some months,” he intoned gravely, closing the file with a snap of finality. “Worst case: he becomes a martyr, galvanizes their cause and they come together to hunt their ‘Queen of the Damned,’” he explained, steepling his fingers in front of his nose. “Do you have a statement?”

He knew her name. He knew the names of her family, her little brother. He told her all the horrible things they’d do. They hurt her friends. Hurt her. All that anger piling up was just too much. All she could see was red, and then in one moment before she could stop herself...

Sometimes the rabid dog must be put down.

“No,” she replied. Her good hand was clenched into a fist.

“A piece of debris fell from the upper floor during the fight and killed him,” he informed, leaning back in his chair. “You’ll be transferred to Atlas City and suspended from duty pending a formal inquiry.”

“Of course, sir.”

Notable Relations:
Theme 1 - Ain't no Rest for the Wicked | Cage the Elephant
Theme 2 - This Ain't no Place for no Hero | The Heavy
Theme 3 - Hero | Weezer

Full Name: Ichiro Bayushi
Alias: None
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Japanese-American
FaceClaim: Sei Shokatsu | Hitori no Shita
Hair: Short, black, a little length on the top, loosely kept.
Eye Color: Burgundy. Yue and Ichiro's eyes are identical.
Height: 6'1’’
Weight: 225 lbs
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Affiliation(s): NAHLA | Medical Staff, Yue's younger brother

Description: Ichiro is muscular but not bulky; solid... not an ounce of fat on him. His body looks as though it were carved out of wood and he's not shy about flaunting it. Ichiro is very much the opposite of Yue in personality: whereas she is shy and awkward, he has a tendency to be friendly and personable. The two share a close relationship, and Yue does noticeably come out of her shell when he is around. Ichiro doesn't have any powers, but is a highly skilled physician, occupational therapist, and was a silver medalist in the 2032 Summer Olympic Karate Kumite. Currently Ichiro is on staff at the NAHLA medical center where he treats and rehabilitates Supers with severe injuries. Although he won't divulge how he got the position, no matter how much Yue prods him, it's clear to her someone called in a major favor to get him onboard.

Powers: Ft. Sairyn's Notes

Ginryo no Ken (Silver Dragon’s Fist) -
[Brute / Breaker – (??)] {Subclass: Intensity Brute}
Yue has been miss-classified as a 'Brute' for the majority of her career and it's negatively impacted her development and her body. While she does exhibit "Brute" type characteristics, her powers technically fall under the "Enhancer" subset, though I feel labeling her as a "Breaker" may also not be completely accurate. Yue's body converts oxygen into energy, which her body then absorbs to enhance her physical attributes. This enhancement is an amplification, and is directly linked to her un-augmented physical condition. Any energy that can't be absorbed is ejected from her body in the low energy visible spectrum... it's red. I feel like the color has significance but more analysis is required.

An "Enhancement" type ability that amplifies the user's strength, endurance, and agility.
The enhancement is directly tied to the user's un-augmented physical state.
It's controlled through breathing.
She glows red.

Yue's body seems to generate vastly more energy than it can absorb. If her conversion rate could be improved I would put her on the same level as Captain Valor or Lone Star in terms of strength. Previous file notes saying that her ability does not carry any safety features protecting her from self harm are... inaccurate. Yue is protected from her own power, the aura itself is a safety feature which expels excess energy to prevent Yue from overloading herself. She is not, however, protected from the outside forces her powers generate. I've compensated for this, in part, with the design of the Acolyte and Mk2 Silver Fang suits.

Drawback Summary:
Produces more power than she can use.
Not protected from outside forces.
"Enhanced Constitution" not a substitute for superhuman durability.

Pain Resistance
[Breaker - 7]
This aspect of Yue is still a mystery, but after observation I've decided to give it it's own power entry. Yue's amplification power is always active to a very low degree, and I think that this is the source of her super-human pain tolerance. It seems like her body does not process pain signals, but bio-metric data reveals that pain signals are being generated to human norms, and then dampened before they reach her brain. What causes this is still unknown.

Superhuman pain tolerance.
Even grievous injuries don't hamper her ability to operate.
Difficult for user to judge level of injury without bio-metric feedback - Compensated for in design of Acolyte and Mk2 Silver Fang suits.

Incremental Regeneration
[Breaker / Brute - 5] {Subclass: Regeneration Brute}
A revelation uncovered by recent observations. Significant enough to receive it's own entry. It was noted previously that she heals at an accelerated rate, but I believe that to be inaccurate. Yue's body responds to stress and damage by reconstructing and reinforcing the damaged bone and muscle tissue during a healing cycle. This only appears to happen when she is at rest, and as a result receives an incremental increase in bone and muscle density whenever her body is harshly taxed. Her rate of healing has increased dramatically over the course of her career as well. I believe that her durability could be increased to a level on par with Aegis through high level constant strain. The Acolyte suit was designed with this in mind. Results of experiment to follow.

Accelerated healing during rest cycles.
Incremental muscle and bone density increase when stressed.
Changes are slow and gradual, user appears not to notice.

Raiton Ken (Lightning Fist) -
[Breaker / Mover – 6] {Subclass: Rocket Mover}
Characterized by the electric discharge in Yue's aura, is a result of super-accelerating her body's synaptic impulse. This enhancement is a subset of 'Ginryo,' with a focus on agility instead of strength. In this state her perception of time is accelerated as well. I estimate it to be at 1/120th time (every real-time second is perceived as 2 minutes) at her peak power as observed by the bio-metric feedback sensors in the Luna Lightning suit, though she appears to have fine enough control to augment her perception and physical speed separately. This observation leads me to believe she could learn to combine 'Ginryo' and 'Raiton' into a single power. Acolyte's secondary training function will put this to the test. It is worth noting that while accelerated, Yue transfers kinetic energy into objects she comes into contact with. It's unknown at this time if this is an aspect that she can learn to control. Like her strength ability, Raiton does not protect her from outside forces. Acolyte and the Silver Fang Mk2 suits have been designed to compensate for this.

Vastly enhanced speed and agility.
Bullet Time effect.
Not protected from outside force (e.g. wind resistance)
Total transfer of kinetic energy on contact while accelerated.

Note: Kaze Ken ability entry was removed. I believe it to be a side-effect of the kinetic energy transfer of 'Raiton' and felt it was redundant to have its own entry.

Queen of the Damned -
[Trump – mind/perception affecting groups]
The "Demonic Visage," as coined by the Witchfinders. It's a result of Yue's built-in safety features. Her body expels excess energy that it can't absorb into the low-energy visible spectrum (red). This process prevents her body from critically overloading during periods of stress. According to the bio-metric feedback, the aura is energized, which I believe is the reason perception based powers are so strongly affected. It's like shining a bright light at someone wearing night-vision goggles. The 'Brute Stick' was developed with this in mind.

Waste energy converted into light.
Energized Aura can overload perception based powers.
Can be harnessed and utilized - see 'Brute Stick' prototype.
Result of peak exertion.
Not directly controlled.

Power Origins:
Yue is the product of a happy household, a loving father and mother, and a doting younger brother. She wasn’t extremely popular due to her awkwardness, but save for the occasional minor trouble with bullying she graduated without any life-altering issues.

Unsure of what her major area of study would be, she decided to stay close to home and go to the local community college for general studies. All was well, at least until some classmates pressured her into going to a party with them. She was a wallflower, of course, but it was the trip home where trouble struck: they were hit by a drunk driver in an intersection, the car was flipped, and the doors wouldn’t open.

Trapped. No way out, the powerful smell of gasoline flooding the cabin, the other passengers screaming or unconscious. That’s the first time it happened: that flash of red, her pushing against the door though it wouldn’t budge. Finally, she hit it with everything she had.

When the EMTs arrived, she had pulled everyone from the wreckage. The entire side of the car had been blown apart from the inside. The bones in Yue’s right arm were shattered, and she had to have reconstructive surgery.

Super Strength! Awesome, right? Except she couldn’t control it! It would be fine for weeks… and then accidentally tripping on a chair would have it crushed into a wall. With her powers being such a detriment to herself, and a danger to others, a representative from the National American Hero League Association finally came and took her in.

Color Code:Yue - #CE2B95
Color Code:Ichiro - #1770D1

So begins...

Yue Bayushi's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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March 10th, 2045, 11:23pm: Atlas City, North Carolina, USA

Car doors slam closed as the trunk of a sedan is opened, faint and muffled shrieks erupt as someone is dragged out, arms and legs bound together, and a bag over their head.

A faint dripping sound echoes off the rough, decaying concrete walls of some strange tunnel network, hidden in an almost forgotten part of Atlas City.

Chains clink together as a dim ceiling light sways gently from the ceiling, faintly illuminating the form of a man, wrapped in chain and elevated off the floor from beams of wood above him.

The bound man, supported by two men dressed in finely pressed, black suits, was dragged away from the car, feet scraping across gravel beneath him. The grinding sound of the rocks being displaced soon gave way as his feet reached patches of grass, and then sand. Crashing waves informed the currently blinded man that they stood on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, likely still in North Carolina he would wager.

After a few moments of unsteady standing, the bag was finally removed from his head, and he was pushed forward so that he tumbled into an open pit of sand. After thudding into the ground, the man tried to regain his faculties and searched around him frantically. He spoke, shouting in fact, throwing out curses and fast paced, almost unintelligible sentences in Russian. The tirade was cut short as another man began to walk towards the pit, a faint glow of a cigarette barely illuminating the features of his face.

A man dressed in a grey suit stood before the Russian now, cigarette hanging gingerly from the fingers of his left hand. "Well comrade, what a predicament you find yourself in now, hmm?" He chuckled to himself as he knelt down at the edge of the pit, another drag from his cigarette showing the cold features of his smiling face.

The Russian began shouting at the man in grey, his words going between Russian and small bits of English. "Square, square!"

"I think you mean a cube comrade." The man in grey smirked as he blew out a plume of smoke. "Unfortunately, that’s SINS territory you’ve stepped into. Or rather… Mine."

A shaking, twitching, emaciated man shuffled through the dark tunnels, led only by faint lights that crept around corners, and the promise of a new life. He scratched at his arms, his scalp his face, everything. His whole body felt like it was crawling, and being scrapped with pain. It was unbearable for him, would be for almost any man or woman, and he would do anything to alleviate it.

Rounding a corner, he finally found a large, tall room where water gently poured from spouts built into the concrete walls. At the center a figure was seated, surrounded by the faint glow of candles. He wore a long black coat, and an eerie white mask. The disheveled man who entered the room staggered over to the dark figure, falling to his knees before the white mask.

"They… They told me you can f-f-fix people… Please… I feel so… Much… Pain…" He stuttered as his body convulsed, body wrenching pain flowing through every inch of flesh.

"You have heard correctly." The man responded, the sound of his voice obscured by a microphone of some sort within his helmet. "But it comes with a price."

"W-what’s the price?"

"Your unyielding loyalty. Your obedience. Your soul." The man on the ground looked up to the white masked figure as he named his terms. His eyes were wide, with a mixture of fear, but also pain.

The sound of footsteps alerted the chained up man, as a door at the other side of the room gently swung open. A man dressed head to toe in black tactical gear stepped into the room, his face covered in a matching balaclava with only two holes in it where his piercing eyes looked through. As the man in black approached, the chained up man began to writhe around violently, screaming for help, hoping desperately to get the attention of anyone who might be around.

"That’s not going to help you. If I wanted anyone to come help you out, I’d have chosen a much less remote location. You’re not exactly innocent yourself either, you should know something about trying to stay hidden." After he finished speaking, he turned on a small radio that sat on a wooden workbench. He turned up the volume as bells began to toll, ushering in AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells.

The man in chain’s started to break down into laughter.

"You’ve gotta be kidding me! Do you even know who I work for? We're gonna have you skinned alive! You stupid vigilantes, thinking you're the devil or something!"

More laughs emanated from the chained up man, but the man in black was unfazed, he simply removed the mask from his face, laying it down on the table. Richard turned to face the man, a soft smile on his face. The chained up man went quieter. A vigilante that shows their face doesn't expect witnesses...

"A devil eh? No, I wouldn't say that. You know, the Devil gets all his sinners sent to him, practically delivered. But me? I have to hunt for the sinners I want. Like you for example, part of the chain that brought your nasty drugs up to my side of the border. Couple kids are dead from that, you know? Thought they were gonna have a fun party with some coke, didn't realize what the dealer had laced it with. Probably lots of kids this side of the border who've suffered too."

Richard grabbed something that stood next to the table, a long wooden handle, with a heavy piece of sharp metal at the end. A fire axe. "The other thing about the Devil is he likes to torture people, any people he can get his hands on. And he relishes it. I only torture the unjust, the evil, the real Devil's of the world. And I relish it." Richard smirked.


The Russian began shouting out a slew of more curse words, Russian, and garbled bits of English. "The Union! The Squares! We fight same enemy!"

The man in grey let out a low laugh as he shook his head. "Izvinite, tovarishch, no my ne na odnoy storone. Dlya tebya eto dasvidaniya." Sorry comrade, but we're not on the same side. For you, this is goodbye.

The pain was too much to bear, the man on his knees could feel it nearly ripping his body apart. He'd had enough. He wanted a new life, one free from all this, and he'd give up some other freedoms to have it.

"I'm yours. If you can end this for me, I'll serve you for the rest of my life."

The man in the white mask nodded as he laid a hand upon the other man's head.

"So be it. Welcome to your new life."


Richard heaved the axe up so it was in both hands now, and slowly began to raise it over his head, the edge aimed towards the tied up drug dealer, who had once more resumed his screaming, with curses, threats, and sobs mixed in.

"This might take a while. Welcome to Hell."


The man in grey pulled a pistol out from his holster, placing it against the Russian man's forehead as a stream of cries and sobs erupted.

"Oh, and by the way: Welcome to America."

A gasp of air filling lungs.
A thud of metal on flesh.
The crack of a pistol being fired.


March 11th, 2045, 7:15am: Atlas City, North Carolina, USA

Living in America by James Brown ushers in the morning news, accompanied by triumphant images of America from the past 268 years, paying particular attention to World War 2.

"Good morning Atlas City! I'm Ron Clark, and this is your morning news! To start us off on a good note, we're listening to Living in America by James Brown. This is going to be an incredibly important year for America! It marks the 100 years anniversary since the end of World War 2, and as we quickly approach VE Day, Atlas City, and all of America, busily prepare themselves for Centennial Celebrations! We'll be keeping you updated on all the VE Day news, and giving tips on what you can do to mark one of America's, and the whole world's, greatest victories against tyranny! Later this afternoon, we're going to have a special guest on to talk about the myths and legends, and maybe some real life evidence, of the legendary North American monster, the Wendigo! Following that, we'll be providing coverage on a recent scientific study that shows there could have been life on Earth that predated the Ha-"

The sound of the news was cut off by a diner bell ringing as Richard entered a small breakfast spot in downtown Atlas City. It was a nice place, used to be an old fashioned diner, but was taken over by folks with slightly more modern tastes who decided to keep the old style, but upgrade the coffee menu, making it a cafe and diner hybrid. He took a seat at the counter and smiled at the waitress. "Just a coffee to start with." He said warmly. The waitress smiled and nodded back, bringing him a menu before going to get his coffee.

It was beautiful being up at this time of day, the sun barely making its way up and illuminating the town, casting early morning shadows. And on top of that, the sky was still mostly overcast, except over the ocean, where the sun seemed to be pushing the clouds deeper inland, away from the city. Still, there was always a chance of rain, but Richard was quietly hoping for that.


Maxwell quietly sat in a park in the downtown part of Atlas City, in a nicer area surrounded with coffee shops, small grocers, and boutiques. The park was in a rectangular shape, with a road that encircled it, and the buildings and shops encircling that road. There was an old fashioned looking diner even just across the road west of the park. He was sipping away at an Americano as he read bits of the morning paper, trying to catch up on current events, particularly economic ones. Being involved in crime, sadly, did not make one immune to the impact of global economics, though that sometimes could be to his benefit.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Silver Fang: Queen of the Damned? Yue scrolled through the article as she inhaled the crisp morning air of Atlas City. She strolled down the sidewalk from the downtown Hotel where she had just checked out, flexing the stiffness out of her right arm and grimacing, only slightly, at the repeated pop of her joints. She twisted her neck, arched her back and stretched her shoulders as she walked, absorbed in her phone and was rewarded with a symphony of crunches and cracks like someone angrily taking their frustration out on a roll of bubble wrap. Just one of the rewards of surviving into your thirties! Her father would jest.

No mention of the Witchfinder Generals. No mention of Silver Fang pulling her injured teammates to safety. Just property damage, injuries, and “Was this negligence, or intentional harm?” Yue flicked the article away as she strolled absently past a park. She’d never had a great relationship with the media. The fact that she never took any interviews and her powers only seemed to destroy everything they touched only fueled this image of her being a reckless menace. This incident in particular had been eating away at her during her recovery.

She paused for a few moments at a corner when her phone chirped: a notification from the fan website her brother had set up. Yue flicked her still wet hair out from under the strap of her black tank top nervously, and nearly missed her window to cross. Her loose warm-up pants rustled as she jogged across the street and tapped the notification timidly.
It brought up a list of dozens of links to articles written by some smaller, independent journalists and their blogs about the activities of various supers. Silver Fang Braves Inferno, Rescues Four. Silver Fang Pulls Car from Flood. Silver Fang Saves Trapped Family. Many of these incidents never made it to the mainstream media, or had been buried beneath much larger headlines. She scrolled past the links to the bottom as she pushed her way into the small diner she’d been frequenting since she arrived in Atlas City.

Some of us appreciate the things you do. – Anonymous.

Yue couldn’t help the smile that cracked the corners of her lips. It was an anonymous post, but she knew it had to either be her father or bother: they always did this to cheer her up when there were negative headlines about her.

The sharp “Ding!” of the diner’s server bell brought her head out of her phone as the door closed behind her. Her sharp burgundy eyes found a man she didn’t recognize sitting in her usual spot at the counter. She’d already crossed most of the distance to the stool from the door, and had been but a few steps from absently running into him. Yue bit her lip and scrunched her toes inside her shoes against the wave of anxiety: there wasn’t typically anyone inside when she arrived. She was a creature of habits, and even seemingly insignificant changes in her morning routine felt incredibly disruptive. Today she’d been held up at the front desk of the hotel for several excruciating minutes while she arranged for her luggage to be delivered to the NAHLA building where her apartment was being prepared, and now wasn’t the first customer inside.

This is dumb: I’m a grown-ass adult! Yue steeled herself and took a seat two stools over just as the waitress was noticing her.

“Good morning Yue- Oh! You got your cast off, congratulations!”

“Yeah, just yesterday,” Yue smiled awkwardly.

“Coffee and a bear claw?”

“Y-yes, if you would be so kind,” she half stammered.

Yue’s flicked an eye towards the man in her seat, she couldn’t help it. Tall, though probably slightly shorter than her, dark brown hair, took care of his body. She only just barely glimpsed his grey-blue eyes before she buried herself in her phone again and thanked the waitress when her order arrived.

“Chibisuke! Caught you!” Yue tensed for an audible heartbeat, unable to suppress the icy chill running up her spine. There was suddenly someone behind her: a looming, muscular figure silhouetted in the morning light. She’d been too absorbed to hear him come in. She had only just taken the first bite of her bear claw, though she hurriedly wolfed the rest of it down as he approached. Wait… was he flexing?

“You’re too late: I’ve already finished it!” She replied, as he sat roughly in the stool between her and the other man. Definitely a flex. “Don’t be rude, Ichiro-chan,” she chided as she sipped her coffee, though inwardly she was relieved to have someone she knew between her and the stranger.

“Pastries aren’t proper nutrition,” he chided back, snatching a crumb from her plate and only narrowly avoiding getting his hand slapped. “Mm- you know how to pick ‘em though,”he complimented, making like it was time to leave. He slowly sat back down when Yue coolly leveled her burgundy eyes at him over the rim of her coffee mug and made it clear she wasn’t going anywhere until she was finished. Nobody interrupted coffee if they wanted to live. He gave a nervous chuckle.

“What are you doing here anyway?”

“Taking you to P.T.,” he grinned.

“Do you know my therapist or something?” She asked, looking over as her phone chirped. An email from the office. She could feel his grin expanding, much to her annoyance. Appointment confirmation for physical rehabilitation at the NAHLA facility, directions to the building, her access credentials and… she froze, and nearly spit out her coffee. “No…”

Personal physical therapist and trainer: Ichiro Bayushi.

PERMANENT. ASSIGNMENT. The words slammed into her with finality.

She felt the color drain from her face as their identical burgundy eyes locked. He ran a hand through his short cropped black hair and she could tell that he could just not stop grinning. This was not a mistake; he had planned this somehow.

“I am your therapist.”


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Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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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?


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


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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.


"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.


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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.


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Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Cannonade
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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?"


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.


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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.


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Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
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”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?”
”How many?”
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.


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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.


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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."


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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.


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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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"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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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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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.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Sasha Belov
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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.



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.


Characters Present

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

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

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

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


Characters Present

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


Characters Present

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