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

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

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

Hadean

Atlas City

2.5 INK

a part of Hadean, by Lord Saethos.

A city on the front line of innovation, science, industry, and heroism! A growing community, helping build a better future for everyone!

Lord Saethos holds sovereignty over Atlas City, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

12,111 readers have been here.

Setting

Atlas City, home to approximately 800'000 civilians, of which an estimated 1000-5000 are supers. Some have minor powers, not able to do much more than parlor tricks, others have abilities uniquely suited to the many careers and burgeoning industries in Atlas City, and some are destined for the greatness of heroism, or the infamy of Villainy.
Create a Character Here »

Atlas City

A city on the front line of innovation, science, industry, and heroism! A growing community, helping build a better future for everyone!

Minimap

Atlas City is a part of Hadean.

32 Characters Here

Henry Stewart [428] Can't just be strong for your own sake. Not always.
Akiko Bong [368] "Death is a matter of perspective."
Sasha Belov [366] In the motherland, he was called Koschei, the Undying. Now, he's looking for a new name.
Devon Metzger [356] "I guess you could say that I'm living on borrowed time. Then let's not waste it."
Jericho Amile [296] "I'm as alive as you, just a little more monstrous."
Vicki Vortex [277] "I'm not here to save the world, I'm here to rock out in its final encore."
Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) [271] "True heroes do what is necessary."
Yue Bayushi [268] Queen of the Damned...
Cannonade [261] Super Roma #1
Alexander Dalton [258] "Try and hurt me, you wont make a scratch."

Start Character Here »


Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

February 5th, 1945: New Swabia, Nazi Claimed Antarctica

Albrecht Meyer blew out a small plume of smoke from his mouth after pulling his cigarette away from it. The sensation had been nice and warm, compared to the bitter frigidness of the Antarctic winds. He expected these conditions might be somewhat unique for an SS Officer, at least one not stationed on the Eastern Front facing the Soviets. But of course, there weren't many officers of any kind this far away from the war.

He stared out at the frozen wasteland before him, and several dozen kilometers past that to the Antarctic Ocean, where three U-Boats, and two ships, sat quietly. Another SS soldier approached him from behind, giving a firm salute. "They're ready sir." Erik nodded to him, stepping away from his perch over to a table that had been set up with a radio on top. He lifted the microphone and spoke clearly. "You may begin. Scuttle the ships. Gott sei mit uns."

Meyer released the button, as a crackly reply came through. "Gott sei mit uns." After a few minutes passed, each ship and sub erupted into a tall plume of smoke, a fireball reaching up from each ship nearly one hundred feet into the sky. Meyer and the remaining hundred or so SS Soldiers with him saluted the sinking ships before climbing into vehicles retrofitted to deal with the snow.

Several of them had cables connected to large sled they towed, carrying some massive metal monolith of a device.

February 7th, 1945: New Swabia, Nazi Claimed Antarctica

The train of Nazi vehicles had finally stopped in front of a large mountain, a bare and steep side exposed with only bit of snow and ice to decorate it. Set in the middle of it was a massive set of steel doors, large enough to fit a small ship into no doubt. Soldiers were already pulling the doors open, though with great struggle and effort in the cold.

The man from earlier whom brought Meyer to the radio stood by his commander's side once more. "Albrecht... Are you sure we're doing the right thing here?" He asked hesitantly.

Meyer sighed, letting out an exhausted breath that he had held in for the last several months. He rubbed his eyes as he shook his head. "Karl, did you know I spoke to a priest recently? Been a long time since I had seen one, since before the war started. I went to visit him because... Because I have seen many things of late. Things our Reich has been doing, behind the backs of Germany itself. Some of it I was aware of... Some I tried to ignore hearing. But I can't change what I saw."

Karl was silent, unable to speak, and sensing a terrible swell of anxiety in his gut as he listened to what Albrecht had to say. "So I saw the priest, told him I was there for confessional. He seemed surprised, but we talked without protest from him.. I asked him, 'Father, do you know if I am going to Hell when I die?' The Priest looked dumfounded at me for a moment for asking, and after he took his time to compose himself, he simply shrugged his shoulders. He then said, 'My child, I cannot tell you that which only God knows. However, if you truly desire to know, I would tell you that is my strong belief that Hell already has your names etched in stone.'"

Albrecht knew, of course, that the 'names' the priest insinuated all belonged to members of the National Socialist German Worker's Party. Karl knew this too, Meyer didn't exactly have to spell out that Hitler and Himmler were on that list too, but it only served to turn Karl's anxiety into a sense of utter existential dread. But he had to keep his mind clear and on the task. Duty, that was what this was for. Hell would have to wait for them, if only a short while.

The doors finally opened in the mountainside, and the wide open, flat space of an industrial elevator floor was presented to them. The soldiers quickly loaded up the equipment they needed onto the gigantic platform, including the device they had towed with them the last two days...

__________________________________________________________________________


23 Minutes Later

The doors of a personnel elevator opened smoothly, letting Albrecht, Karl, and a dozen SS Soldiers out into a control room. The place glittered from the well maintained concrete, glass, and shining steel. At the other end of the room, directly in front of the group, was an observation window with an older, white haired scientist standing in front of it. His form seemed jerky, spasming without much rhyme or reason as he stared before him...

Beyond the glass towered something truly bizarre. It was a massive, towering cube structure, made of strange looking materials (possibly metal), that had carvings that ranged from angular and geometric, to flowy and fanciful, asymmetrical shapes and etchings that clashed entirely with the accompanying straight lines. It was impossible to tell just how large the device was, but standing from the elevator, it looked to be about a hundred feet tall, give or take.

The white haired man unsteadily turned to face the group of SS soldiers and officers behind him, a beaming grin on his face. "Ah! Albrecht Meyer! Pleased to see you again! This is a most exciting time, yes most exciting indeed! Our work is complete, we are ready to begin at once! Oh the Fuhrer will be so thrilled! And Herr Himmler as well no doubt! Oh this will change the world in such incredibly ways! Ach! The anticipation is too much to bear!" He lifted his hands, slightly shaking, indicating to them as if to say it was the result of his joviality.

Albrecht cleared his throat. "I'm afraid that won't be happening Doctor Faust. Plans have changed, and I must inform you that the project is cancelled."

The Doctor's smile didn't leave, but his eyes seemed to grow larger, angrier. "What! Cancelled? How absolutely preposterous! My boy, if Herr Himmler of the Fuhrer doubts what we are doing here, bring them here to see for themselves! The work is done, and the project WILL work! What madman could propose we cancel such a thing! On the cusp of VICTORY for our Great Reich!"

Albrecht narrowed his eyes as he stepped further into the room, nearing the observation window. "The order, my good Doctor, has come from me. Not Himmler, not Adolf Hitler. Me. I have seen what this thing will do. It will destroy the Rei- No, it will destroy the whole world." He clenched his fist as he spoke the last bit.

Faust bellowed. "You fool, this is far above what YOU could possibly decide! It will build a greater Reich than was EVER imagined! The Fuhrer wanted a thousand year Reich? I'll give him a ten thousand year Reich! Send them to me, let me speak to them you imbecile! This is our chance to claim the world as our own!"

"Doctor, even if I didn't know what I do about this demonic apparition, neither the Fuhrer nor Himmler can help you now. The war, Doctor Faust, is lost. We keep pretending we can turn things around, but I promise you within three months the Soviets or Allies will be marching through Berlin. He paused for a moment, feeling a sense of rage grow inside him before he spoke more.

"I know what this device is capable of Faust! I have seen it's dark machinations! Not Hitler, not Himmler, not even Germania herself, the fatherland, if it could stand in front of me in this moment and tell me to protect this weapon, I would REFUSE. And more than this, no one can tell me now. Our ships in New Swabia have been scuttled. And as a final precaution, I have Germany's second most powerful weapon with me. No one is leaving this Hell alive." He pointed behind the doctor. In the room with the cube, the massive device they had towed with them was being driven in by several cargo vehicles.

The device was a bomb. A nuclear bomb. The first, and the only, nuclear bomb the German Reich ever developed. Packed with the power of fifty megatons, it was designed for absolute annihilation, annihilation originally intended to be aimed at London, Washington, or Moscow. But here, in Antarctica, a rogue SS officer was sovereign over it, and he was having it put right next to the Cube.

The Doctor's smile finally faded as he gazed blankly at Meyer. "L... Lost? The Reich? The war?" He turned back to the cube, removing a pair of spectacles from his eyes to allow him to dry his eyes. "If that is true then... There is no other choice... I shall have to create my OWN Reich!" He bolted towards a control board, Meyer desperately reaching out to grab him, but narrowly missing. The deranged scientist slammed into a panel and pushed a switch up, sending a wave of energy through the facility as electricity crackled around the Cube.

Behind Albrecht, the SS soldiers opened fire on Faust, riddling his body with bullets. He collapsed to the ground almost instantly, with not a single further word uttered. Meyer rose again, and with gritted teeth barked orders at his fellow soldiers. "Shut it down immediately!" Engineers with the group quickly raced around the room, breaking control systems open, scouring wires, inputting codes, everything they could do to shut it down. Nothing worked.

A light began emanating from the Cube, some strange kind of rectangular shape had opened in its center, as if a gateway of light. Albrecht felt his heart wrench. They were too late to shut it down. The light was flooding the room the Cube sat in, illuminating the bomb next to it, and the strange, arcane runes etched upon the explosive device. These occult symbols were one more added precaution. Albrecht had been as thorough as he could be.

He looked to Karl, to his men, to those who choose to give their lives in this moment. His face was steely with resolve as he made his way over to a command console with a built in PA system. Albrecht's voice came through clear over loudspeakers throughout the facility. "You know what to do gentlemen. It has been my utmost pleasure serving with all of you, and my utmost regret that this is our end. Today, we die so that all of Germany, so the entire world, may LIVE. GOTT SEI MIT UNS!"

The soldiers around him, in the room with the bomb and cube, and throughout the facility, responded in a proud, triumphant cheer; "GOTT SEI MIT UNS!"

Albrecht Meyer stared into through the glass at the cube, his whole body tensed and vibrating in fear, anxiety, and hatred of that thing. "If I am destined for hell..." He thought to himself. "Then I shall make sure the world does not join me."



A brilliant light appeared from inside the shell of the bomb, and in an instant... Everything disappeared.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

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.

Image


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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

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.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


March 11th, 4:23 AM, Atlas City, North Carolina, USA.

The sound of pencil tip scratching against paper echoed through the silent apartment for a time, a pair of hands held a journal open while yet another pair of hands scritched with a pen in one, and a pencil in the other. Silent contemplation scored through the mind of the writer, along with the faintest ripple of ‘ink’ on the skin of their four wrists. Flesh became metal, became copper wires and iron sheets covered by tough rhino-like leather, before bubbling and swirling with ink yet again. The metal pulsed and writhed, exposing flesh and bone, vein and meat. Then it sank away again, becoming skin, then chitinous sleeves of a brilliant ruby red.
J-3, Jericho, sat at the coffee table in the living room of the apartment, writing in their personal journal, and sketching absentmindedly in a temporary art book that they had “requisitioned” from a nearby art store upon first arriving in Atlas City.
The apartment was quiet, the sounds of traffic and general city life outside filtered in just barely.
The area they lived in was quiet, peaceful and relatively well off for all things considered.

Alex would be awake soon, around five, and Jericho would be there to surprise him. Heh. The guy never seemed to startle or be surprised by Jericho’s antics. Probably wouldn’t even really question, at least not with any seriousness, as to why there was a series of carved bone and bronze trinkets on the kitchen counter.
Their attention returned to the journal, Jericho’s tongue slid from their lips and rested out in the open air, forked as a snake’s… for the moment.
They wrote on in Spanish.



Y’know, I never quite understood the type of people that Alex hunts. Or hurts. I guess I never understood Supers in general. Or humans. Some can be incredibly kind, I know Alex is. Others are so… Fucking stupid.
Some assume they can harm him? Like that’ll work. Others try to bargain- one ‘dude’ apparently tried to offer Alex coke in return for Alex not cracking his nose into the pavement- and yet more try to run.
I usually catch those. Alex tells me not to eat them, but I really want to.
I don’t know how to tell him I’m gonna need to eat more than just a regular human meal soon. I haven’t had food in a while, not since… Arizona?
I don’t miss that place. Menagerie almost caught up. Burned up a lot of mass to get out of that one…

I wonder if they’ll send Kaylen after me. I hope not. I liked her…


Jericho’s writing was abruptly sidetracked, their focus shifting and yanking their head towards the nearby window. The panicked breathing and gasping of what they assumed to be a human female passed by on the street below. Their ears twitched, swirling with ink before growing into a pair of massive bat-like things. The breathing became that much louder, whimpers and whispered prayers echoed up to Jericho.

They briefly, for all but a moment, wondered if they should do anything at all. Then, “Help, oh god help me please…” whispered it’s way into Jericho’s hearing.

They sighed heavily, swiftly launching themselves up and into movement. Ink swirled violently, rose up around them before settling back into their new skin. A shark-like skull, adorned with a short sail made of iron and bone, extending along the spine and out into a long, thicker at the body, thinner at the tip, tail. The metal was bone white, and along the spine spread out like a sleeker, somewhat thinner armadillo shell. The exposed flesh was thick as crocodile skin, leathery like an elephant, and scaled like a fish. Midnight blue and black to better blend into the dark, with ‘gauntlets’ made of iron-reinforced bone adorning the hands at the fore. The hind legs had similar ‘armor’.
The arms and legs were startlingly close together, as the back was highly arched to allow for as much of the form’s space to fit in.
The face had two blade-sails on the upper and lower jaw, the lower extending halfway to the throat and the upper running along the armor plating of the back. The tail tip was adorned with a barbed stinger, looking almost as if someone shoved a barbed spear-head on the end of a whipping length of flesh.

Two blades extended from the armored forearms of the monstrous form, onyx black and nearly impossible to see in the night air. A pair of startling blue eyes took up residence on the vicious face, along with rows and rows of needle sharp teeth. The form was tall at eight feet at the shoulder, and a lengthy thirteen feet… but it had the grace of a shark in water.

Jericho slinked out of the apartment, opening the window silently and clinging to the wall of their building as they crawled down to street level.
They knocked nothing over, and moved with an alien grace that belied the absolute strength of their form.
Their maw opened up part way on the way down, and the electric burst of scents from the world around him exploded across their mind. Their snout twitched, and the smell of blood wafted from a block over.

They moved, swift as a cheetah on the hunt, silent as a snake in the brush.

Image

The morning came with Jericho dragging a bound, gagged, and blinded man to the apartment. His form had two tendrils extending from the chest, made purely of flesh, holding the hands and legs of the unknown man. The man, dressed in the suit and tie of a businessman, with the hidden crest of a nearby mafia clade pinned to the front shirt pocket stank of alcohol. When Alex woke, Jericho was sitting calmly in their monstrous form waiting for the other to pay his attention. Their maw was holding the man’s skull in its entirety, though the human still writhed and occasionally made muffled screams and shouts.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

[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: Cannonade
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Blaring horns shot from the surround-sound speakers of the room, soon followed by a funky beat. Cannonade's right eye peeled open, their left eye and indeed the rest of the face buried too deeply in the mess of white hotel pillows to react to the sudden noise. "Computer, stop..." They said out of the muffled mouth as James Brown's voice began to blare over the beat. "Jesus Christ, computer... COMPUTER." No response.

Cannonade propped their torso out of the cocoon of sheets, briefly blinded by the day-light that shun through the gargantuan windows surrounding the California King they slept in. "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-" A voice began to pipe in over the music.

An automated alarm clock? It was the year 2045, not 2001. "Radio off! Computer- radio off! COMPUTER. SILENCE!" Cannonade screamed. No response, instead the American news anchor kept rambling on like a gigantic asshole as the unrelenting wall of sound that was James Brown played.

Cannonade slumped their legs over the side of their bed, defeated as the music blared around them. Out the windows surrounding their bed was the skyline of Atlas City, golden morning rays shining down onto the metropolis. "Computer, hotel computer," Cannonade said in defeat. "Please... shut the fuck up."

"You may not be looking for the promised land! But you might find it anyway! Under one of those old familiar names, like: New Orleans! Dallas! Detroit City! Pittsburgh, P.A.! New Orleans! Dallas! Detroit City! Pittsburgh, P.A.! Atlas City!"

Cannonade had risen, reluctantly, as the listing of American towns continued. They pulled the massive t-shirt they slept in from their body and threw it across the room before stumbling forward in the nude. From an accent table they grabbed a half full cup of water, downing the liquid before dropping the cup to the ground. Down the hall from the branched off bedroom they entered the living area of the suite- couches, a full kitchen, and entertainment systems setup in the carpeted space. And of course, overhead speakers- which, like in the bedroom, continued to play the radio at full volume.

It was a massive hotel room, and even though Cannonade was the only occupant they had already managed to make it a mess in their short time there. Pizza boxes and cans lined the couch, and the floor of was covered in clothes thrown aside from Cannonade's suitcase.

"Living in America," Cannonade murmured in a nasally tone that sounded nothing like James Brown but was still, for some reason, the impersonation they chose to go with. From the ground they'd pulled a familiarly on brand red-shirt and pair of black jean shorts. Then they took a quick hit of a half smoked blunt before ashing it out on the kitchen island.

Cannonade shambled to the balcony, lifting their helmet openhandedly and placing it on their head- a sweaty palm-print left on the glass where they had grabbed it. They did a small skip forward and their feet rose off the ground, hovering over the jacuzzi and then over the rails of their balcony. The radio echoed further and further away from the open doors of their 25th floor suite as the sound of the city below came into focus. Downtown Atlas city: buildings surrounding them, curving highways below, stretching over and criss-crossing along riverbanks and tiny peninsulas to the bay. Atlanta mixed with Miami mixed with New York- a real bastard of the last hundred years.

In the air Cannonade rotated in their descent, facing the hotel behind them. Floor after floor passed- their helmeted eyes peering into each. Families, couples, old men with much younger partners. The usual. No one of interest. No one that looked to be their mystery competitor in tonight's match- the reason they had travelled all the way to Atlas city, after all.

***

Cannonade touched down beside a fountain outside the hotel to the surprise of the streets passerbys and the hotel lobby on-lookers. Those in the in the hotel cafe lowered their papers to spot the unusual occurrence. Not that unusual, mind you, it was Atlas City. There were many supers about- most just weren't so public about it.

The rotating doors spun open and Cannonade marched bare-footed toward the reception desk. They smelt of slept in sweat and marijuana. "Excuse me, pardon me," They called from under their mask to a red-haired, slightly too slick for her uniform young woman behind the desk. "The... the fucking radio station... started five minutes ago, how do you turn it off? The speech control wasn't working," The helmeted figure explained in exhaustion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Henry hunched over to catch his breath. But only for a second. A second was all that was permitted. He looked over his shoulder. Were they given the slip? He leaned his hand against the rightmost building in the narrow alleyway he'd found himself situated in. Cold brick. He listened carefully...

March 11th, 2045, 7:45 am: Atlas City, North Carolina, USA

Splash!

More carefully still...

Splish-Splash-STOMP!!

And there it was. The familiar sound of rubber soles, nice but expensive shoes, stomping into a puddle in a near inhuman haste. He had gotten all too used to it by now. Back in Tibet....and then South America. And now here in this massive metropolis, the modern marvel of the 21st century. Atlas City...it was almost good to be back. Almost. But there was no time left for dawdling. By the time they got there, he would already be gone. As always. But with every new stop, every new detour, that was becoming increasingly difficult. He let himself get too lax while their tenacity only increased.

What they wanted, only God knows, but he had something of an idea. And it didn't paint a pretty picture. It would do him good to simply leave. Leave town, leave the country, leave the...well, no. He couldn't do that. That would just be giving up, wouldn't it? He came back here for a reason. And he wouldn't leave until he saw it fulfilled. But why here? What did he sense here? There were more than enough heroes in Atlas City. Maybe it was because he didn't trust them nearly enough. Perhaps not as much as he should.

Still he admired them. They had their job and he had his. Perhaps one day that job would be one in the same. But for now...wait!! Yes!! The alley was narrow, full of plenty of things he could throw as obstacles in their way, but he didn't want to waste a second. Once he turned the corner things were much more promising. It was early when he started running./ Not many out but the occasional jogger more preoccupied on hoping the next song in the playlist was some good workout tunes rather than pay attention to the tall man being chased by several suits.

But the city was waking up. It's people were ready for their morning routine. Crowds that even the most conspicuous could easily blend into. Where even the most seasoned trackers would lose sight of their prey. And when the people of the city wake up, there's a common train of thought that permeates their minds as they drowsily get ready for the new day before them...sustenance!

And no major metropolitan city was complete without one..an Atomic Anne's. Henry smiled. He pulled the door open and kept himself from jumping as the bell rang in greeting of the restaurants newest customer. He knew he didn't exactly look the least conspicuous...he was sporting a trenchcoat after all, stained with water from the puddles he'd recently rushed past in his efforts to escape his pursuers. Grimacing, he rubbed his sneakers against the carpet below him so as to not track water onto the polished floors and adjusted his collar slightly, before quickly running his hand through his hair to make sure it hadn't gotten wet too.

All clear there. He smiled and greeted the waitress as she approached, noting what a welcome sight it was when she smiled back even if it was simply a courtesy. Howe long had it been since he'd done this. Spoken with someone directly. No cause for secrecy or caution. But, Henry supposed, that was just another sacrifice. Though it did give him the idea of trying to reach out to his old contacts. ...If they hadn't gotten to them first. He certainly hoped they could avoid all; this nonsense. All the more reason to try and get in touch with them.

The waitress had offered him a seat and he had declined it, opting to take the booth once occupied by an elderly couple that was just leaving the restaurant. It seemed they had only had coffee, so it wasn't much for the serving staff to clean up...plus it gave him a clear view of every which way one may enter...and leave the restaurant if they were in a quick hurry.

"If you don't mind..." Henry began nodding at the waitress. "I already know what I want," he laughed as he sat down.

"Oh, sure thing! What'll you be having?" she asked, somewhat surprised as she scrambled to get her notepad. This probably happened often enough.

"Atlas City Blackberry French Toast," Henry sighed almost nostalgically. "And a glass of milk to drink." That was another thing he missed. A full stomach. But, keeping it consistently full....that was the trick. As the waitress left, Henry glanced down at the table. Seems the old couple had left something behind...an old news paper. He briefly considered it...a bit cheesy but...there were less inconspicuous methods that had worked for him in the past. He grabbed it and flipped through to check out the headlines. He had lived off the grid so long...

It was time to be reintroduced to the world.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Alexander Dalton

March 11th, 5:00 AM, Atlas City, North Carolina, USA


The almost cartoonish sound of a nuclear meltdown warning blared off the moment the clock struck five in the morning. Alex slowly woke with a groan of protest at his alarm clock. He flopped over to his other side only for a beam of sunlight gleaming through his blinds to shine right in his face. guess it was the universes way of telling him to get off his ass already. not like complaining was going to do him any good, he did set the alarm himself. Early run to start the day was good for your health after all.
He grumbled as he got up and began the start of his morning routine. Make bed, clean up the room of discarded cloths, then look over his gear from last nights outing in costume. Helmet wasn't visibly damaged thankfully, he picked the worn spartan helm of his desk and ran his hand over its scratched and dented surface. no point in cleaning it up too much unless there was blood maybe. He set it down after being satisfied that the shell wasn't compromised. Might check the electronics later, right now coffee and some breakfast sounded nice.

After throwing on his workout cloths Alex made his way down the stairs of his loft apartment. Nice place, not a bad location, and surprisingly affordable. Thankfully it wasn't in a busy part of the city given his double life and newest . . . "room mate". Jericho Was, different to put it mildly.


Their first meeting had been when Alex was out during one of his patrols. He had thought the sound of screaming was from citizens in danger, but surprise-surprise when he found what could only be described as the love child of H.R. Giger's mind and the Monster from "The Thing" in the process of eating its way through a group of gangsters. Meanwhile a scared bystander was trying to back themselves into a corner in the fetal position.

After launching a few telekinetic spheres into its hulking frame, Alex was able to divert the monsters attention away from the traumatized civilian. He then went about attempting to subdue what would give him nightmares for about a week and a half. When it lunged at him at a speed that betrayed its bulk Alex reflexively threw out his arms and proceeded to "Bubble" the creature in layers of his force fields. Giving the civilian only a glance and an order for them to run as their senses came back to them and they scrambled frantically while screaming out of the alley. Jericho had began flailing violently and going through as many disgusting and frightening morphs as possible to escape the entire time Alex had him contained. Alex without thinking yelled at the creature to calm down only for it to demand that it be set free.
The barrier almost dissipated from his shock before he regained his composure. The realization at the time that he might have been dealing with some sort of Super rather then a monster.
What followed was one of the strangest conversations Alex had ever had in his life. What it boiled down to was promising to let the monster go and then proceeding to try and educate them on why they cant just eat anyone they wanted. . . A feat that is still a work in process to this day. Oh and to top it all off, the soon to be named Jericho ended up Following Alex home like some giant lost puppy.


So here we are, With Alex standing at the foot of his stairs, staring at Jericho in one of their morphs holding what was obviously some mutilated gangster. All with the same pleased air of an outdoor cat bringing back a kill. He closed his eyes and let out a long and exasperated sigh before walking to the kitchen and starting his coffee. "At least he isn't some random civilian off the streets." he turned back to give Jericho a hard look, almost making the shifter flinch. "I'm going on my run, ill be back and make breakfast after a shower. I don't care what happens to him just . . . don't make a mess alright?" We walks over and pats Jericho on the head. "And don't get into any trouble while i'm gone.I know how much you can get up to in only an hour."

After his scolding and slipping on his running shoes at the door, Alex finally got started on his 6 mile run. he knew Jericho listened to him and did their best not to cause trouble, but their urges were worrying. Progress was slow and he was giving up on the idea of keeping Jericho from ever eating anyone again given how their shifting mass seemed to work. All he could do know was try and direct the hungry shifter's appetite towards the dredges of the world and keep innocent people from getting eaten.
He slipped his headphones on and continued to keep his pass steady as he jogged down the sidewalk, the sounds of busy streets and pedestrians drowning out to loud thumping bass.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Butler
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

March 2, 2045
Stormont Estate, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
5:02 PM

”This is John Martin, reporting for BBC One News live from Stormont Estate, where an apparent bombing by terrorist group Fomóraigh during the seventeenth delegation to vote on reunification has damaged much of the Parliament Buildings, injuring dozens. It is currently not known how many are dead, but estimates are not optimistic. As yet, there have been no arrests, but police are working closely with the British Heroes League and United Celtic Heroes Association to uncover the culprits behind this heinous attack on British democracy. Back to you in the studio, Anna.”

March 2, 2045
Port of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
9:21 PM

Maeve pressed herself against a shipping container another pair of supers passed by overhead, flying low as they scanned the area for anyone suspicious. Her fingers dug deep into the metal as they flew off into the distance; she understood the need for subtlety, but she hated having to hide like this, especially when it felt like she was running away.
”Alright, everything’s ready,” Saoirse said, slipping out of the shadows once the hero patrol was gone. ”We got a freight ship willing to take ye. Ye should be there in just a few days.”
”A few days?” Maeve pulled her fingers out of the shipping container and rubbed at her hands. Good thing it was empty, given the holes it now had in its side. ”Where are ye sending me, anyway?”
”Atlas City.”
”America?” She ran one hand through her hair. ”I admit, this is a bit of a mess, but-”
Saoirse shook her head. ”No, this works out. We needed someone to meet with a contact in Atlas City anyway.”
Maeve sighed through her nose as the two of them started walking toward the pier, keeping away from the lights in case any more patrols came through the area. A contact in Atlas City. So Paul had decided to go through with the plan to seek external support. She understood it from a tactical perspective, but it still left a foul taste in her mouth. Even if everyone in their “organization” had powers, Fomóraigh was still less than 100 strong, and despite the media’s insistence to the contrary had existed for less than a decade. Still, Maeve wasn’t thrilled at the thought of them becoming beholden to someone else, especially someone for whom the Fomóraigh and their ideals were little more than a convenient business opportunity.
”So?”
”So what?”
Saoirse pulled Maeve to a stop. ”Don’t play stupid,” she chastised, looking up at the sky instead of at Maeve. Her grip was tight on Maeve’s arm. ”If ye lost yourself at the assembly, then does that mean-”
”Yes.”
Saoirse let out a foul string of Gaelge that was only silenced by Maeve putting her hand over her mouth to keep Saoirse from giving their location away to any supers still in the area. Saoirse struggled under her grip for a bit, then huffed and tapped Maeve’s forearm to signal it was fine to let go now.
”No bleedin’ wonder ye lost it! I would too!” Saoirse spoke in the breathy shout-whisper of someone trying not to wake the dead. ”Seventeen damned blood-fuck years! You’d think they’d just give up the act at this point!”
Maeve sighed. ”Aye, well.”
The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Seventeenth Delegation to Vote on Irish Reunification. The best joke they’d come up with yet. As if they would ever actually vote to leave the Crown’s good graces. Or that Parliament would ever really let them. Instead they played a game every year where they’d gather up in Stormont Estate, pretend they were going to have a serious discussion on the subject, then ultimately vote against it while the English media ran feel-good pieces about how nice and loyal and unified the Kingdom was, and wasn’t it grand how much Northern Ireland preferred them to the Republic? Maeve found it absolutely vile.
”Come on. You’re the one who knows which ship it is.” She turned and continued walking toward the pier. Saoirse’s mouth opened and closed a few times, evidently with more to say, but instead she just huffed and jogged to catch up.
”It’s this one,” she said, indicating a large American cargo ship which appeared to have finished loading at least 2 hours prior. ”They were planning to leave a bit earlier, but we managed to convince them to push back their schedule.”
”Alright then.” She lifted the wide hat hanging off her back up onto her head. ”I’ll be off. Try not to let Paul break everything apart without me, aye?”
”Just a second, Maeve.” Saoirse grabbed Maeve’s arm and turned her around before pulling her down for a hug. ”Be wide, aye? There’re a lot more supers in Atlas. Mind your temper.”
”Are you my ma now?” Maeve quipped, pulling away.
”Not with that attitude,” Saoirse replied, laughing. Maeve turned to leave, and Saoirse stopped her again. ”One more thing. Paul might want ye to get this boxed, but an agreement goes both ways. If ye feel they can’t help us, or ye don’t trust them, just leave. We can find someone else.”
Maeve was quiet for a long moment, looking out at the sea. ”That might not matter,” she said finally. ”But I’ll bear it in mind. See ye when it’s done, Saoirse.” Then she left and boarded the ship to Atlas City, leaving the rest of the Fomóraigh to hold the fort without her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

"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)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Sasha took another swallow of his hot chocolate and continued reading the local newspaper, only glancing up momentarily to eye the newcomers to his regular diner.

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akiko Bong
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Akiko couldn't breathe.

She reached up to find what was pressed against her face only to find a soft, warm ball of fur that had gotten too comfy again. She grabbed Snowcat by the nape of her neck and set her gently down as Akiko inhaled and exhaled with gusto. Snowcat's fluffy brown tail twitched at the end as she watched the butler, Akiko, brush fur off her face. The small cat meowed as if to remind Akiko her butler duty in the morning.

With a small chuckle, Akiko nodded and went off to get the cats their breakfast.

"Ah."

The case with the dry and wet food was missing the dry. She was out of it and the cats had already started gathering at her feet. She sighed and started setting wet food in their plates before setting off to get their dry food.

On the way to the pet store, Akiko saw the Atomic diner up ahead. Not having had her own breakfast yet, she considered getting her own. After all, the cats had eaten half of their usual breakfast. They wouldn't mind waiting a bit, right?

She walked up the door, opened it, and immediately saw everyone inside. She then promptly shut the door and kept going on her way.

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)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

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.

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)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

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)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

”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: Cannonade
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
"You did WHAT?!" Cannonade exclaimed for no reason, placing their palms on the desk angrily. The guest behind them in queue for the desk frowned in disapproved. Cannonade let out a long sigh. "When I get back just... please make sure it's off, eh?" They smiled beneath the red glass of the helmet. "You know who I am, don't you?" They questioned. "If so then you know I'm here for important business. Superhero business." Their voice was androgynous, gravelly and deep - one suited for the silver screen if they hadn't dedicate their life to beating the living shit out of criminals instead. "So please, help me out."

Cannonade released the desk and gave a click of their tongue to the receptionist before turning and beginning to march out the hotel lobby, out into the streets of downtown Atlas city. They were indeed here on business though the importance of it depended entirely on who you were. If you were the shady contacts from Monaco who arranged for a private match between Super Roma PC's own Cannonade and another super powered fighter then it was probably very important. If you were a peace-loving citizen it was probably very unimportant. If you were Cannonade, who stood to make a tidy sum and a free trip to Atlas city for a single night of work, then it was very important. If you were the poor, unknown superpowered individual who the Monaco men hired to be pulverized by Cannonade... well, then the importance was dependent on how much they were paying you.

Cannonade emerged from a subway bathroom, their helmet safely tucked away in a plastic shopping bag. They gave a finger gun on their way out to the subway worker who'd witnessed Cannonade confusedly wander into a washroom and then come out dehelmed. If they gave two shits about their secret identity they certainly didn't show it. Cannonade jogged up the steps of the station stairs, emerging onto the downtown street. Crowds were shifting in for the days work. "Living in America," Cannonade repeated as they swung their helmet-bag loosely...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maeve Butler
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

March 11, 2045
Hesperides Hotel, Atlas City, North Carolina, United States
8:03 AM


The sharp ringing of an old analog phone jolted Maeve from half-conscious dozing. She opened her eyes blearily, then immediately shut them again as bright morning light struck her from the grated window. ”God- feck off,” she mumbled as her hand fumbled around for the phone. She found it… and then immediately shot it into the opposite wall when she misjudged the strength needed to pick it up in her still-bleary state. ”Ugh.” At least the ringing stopped.
She dragged herself up and moved to the bathroom to splash water on her face, then dried off with a towel that smelled like… something, before moving out into the hall. The next room’s residents, a young woman and another woman twice her age who had a wedding ring on her finger, had also stepped out. The younger of the two was holding… most of what had once been a phone.
”We, uh. Found your phone in our room.”
Maeve sighed and took the wreckage from her. ”Much obliged."
She turned and walked out to the lobby, trying to ignore the sound of footsteps trying to match her long stride.
The lobby was small, and had that musty smell of a place that’s had a roach infestation long enough that they’d given up trying to control it. The clerk behind the desk was a thin man who appeared far more interested in the 30 year old tv on the desk than in any of the customers who came through the establishment. His eyes flicked over to register Maeve’s presence for only an instant before turning back to the television. ”Called to let you know your time was up. Would you like an extension?” he drawled.
”No,” she said, setting the broken phone on the counter. ”This fell off the nightstand.”
The man’s eyes went from the phone, to the Maeve, to the woman lurking behind Maeve, to the wall, then back to the TV. ”Kay.” He set a bowl for room keys on the counter without looking. It was clear to Maeve that this was a thoroughly practiced action. ”That’ll be $126.37 for seven hours in the room.”
”Do ye take pounds?”
”No.”
”Ugh.” Maeve slipped her wallet back into her pocket. She hadn’t had time to switch her currency before leaving, and the banks were already closed when she arrived the night before. ”Do ye do currency exchange?”
”No.”
”Can I go to the-”
”No.”
”Ugh.”
The clerk huffed in annoyance. ”Just have your girlfriend pay.”
”My- What?” She turned to look where he pointed. The older woman from earlier waggled her fingers at her. “Eh-”
”Don’t be so shy, darling,” the woman said, moving past her and producing her wallet from… somewhere. ”You can just pay me back later,” she added with a wink.
With that taken care of, Maeve and the woman walked outside. Maeve followed the woman for several blocks in silence, sizing her up; she hadn’t noticed it the first time, but though the woman was dressed modestly her clothing was made from deceptively expensive material. It was only designed to look cheap; in reality, Maeve estimated this woman was wearing several thousand dollars worth of clothing. She was suddenly very suspicious. It wasn’t that unusual for rich, bored housewives to find fun outside their marriage, but she couldn’t imagine they would go out of their way to help a random immigrant for pure philanthropy.
”What kind of favor did ye want from me?” she probed.
The woman stopped, and Maeve had to take a quick step back to avoid running over her. ”You’re very strong.”
Maeve’s eyes narrowed slightly. [color=44#3f13]”If you’re looking for a bodyguard, I’m already-”[/color]
The woman shook her head. ”No, it’s not that. An… acquaintance told me to be on the lookout for a large Irish woman who would be arriving sometime around today.”
Maeve didn’t like that comment. Paul had told her over encrypted phonecall that her contact would be a white-haired man in his 30s. This woman was none of those things. If there had been an information leak, she needed to get back to Belfast quickly.
”Ah, maybe that gives you the wrong idea,” the woman said, apparently sensing she may have tripped some wires. ”I work for the man you were sent to meet with. He wanted me to bring you to him.”
”...And that’s where we’re going now?”
The woman hesitated. ”Not exactly.” Maeve turned to leave. ”Wait! Wait.” The woman rushed after her and grabbed her arm. ”This is just… a favor, right? Think of it as a chance to impress the new boss.”
Maeve scratched the back of her head, pulling her arm gently from the woman’s hands. This seemed like a giant pain in the ass. So, this woman had decided to put her employer’s business partner to work to do… what? Some kind of manual labor?
”This actually works out pretty well for me,” the woman continued. ”My original entry dropped out when he learned who his opponent was, so having you here-”
”What opponent?” The woman shrank back slightly. Maeve was… a lot bigger than she was.
”R- right, there’s this… event, you see? A game, sort of. People of my particular standing, you see, we like excitement, right? And what’s more exciting than superpowers?”
Maeve leaned her head back slightly as understanding dawned. ”A fight club.” That wasn’t… entirely objectionable. She’d had to keep her distance from the supers back home so she didn’t draw too much attention, but if this was an opportunity to blow off some steam against a real opponent for once…
The woman fiddled with her wedding ring a bit. ”Not so loud, it's not exactly something we like to broadcast.”
”And that’s where we’re going?”
She shook her head. ”No, it’s not until tonight. But there are preparations to make. I need to register you properly, and we can’t just have you showing up looking however.”
Maeve sighed. She wasn’t thrilled by the idea of being dressed up like a toy for some bored socialite. Still, if this was her connection to the contact, it’s not like she had much choice. Or… anything better to do.

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)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

"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: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


"Hmm... I need another. Not enough for another big change... Hmph. Maybe another ten feet on top of this?" Came the deep, bass-y rumbles of the form that Jericho held. It was little less than fifteen minutes since Alex had left, with Jericho having rapidly consumed the mobster in as swift a manner as possible. Jericho's tongue, lengthened, thickened, and split into a nearly uncountable amount of smaller, whip fast tongues cleaned the left-over clothing and jewelry.

Jericho turned, holding the clothes as they folded them in silent contemplation, before setting them down on the couch in the 'living room' of the loft. Their head tilted to the side, their form shrinking down and swirling with bright blue-black ink before settling into the shape of a Hispanic woman, with a small "cute" button nose, and bow lips. The changer tried their hardest to adhere to a sense of 'cute and nonthreatening', and mostly succeeded. Nevermind that the throat was lined with metallic needles, attached to small air-filled sacs that would inflate as needed. Nevermind that the nails of the woman, 'painted' bright gold and scarlet, were hollow and brimming with venom that would bring about excruciating pain. Nevermind that the bright head, Hyena Agenda 'hoodie' she wore was in reality just another part of Jericho's skin. As well as the maroon motorcycle leathers she 'wore' for her legs.

"My name is Jemma, I live on 4803 Sourced Boulevard... Yeah! Okay. I got this! Heh." They wondered briefly if Alex would be proud, before quickly shaking their head and stretching their limbs out, feeling a brief swirl of ink as their hair rose, twisted in on itself, and became a shoulder-blade length braided ponytail, with vibrant reds and purples running through the strands. Jericho reached up, smiling faintly as they ran a fingertip over their lips for the morning, willing them to become a brilliant scarlet-gold that would've shocked the eye of anyone who looked for too long.
They knew that they should technically be going out with the idea of staying under the radar... But it was too good! It was a chance to learn more about what humans thought would be too excessive and what 'preferences' were like.

A quick reminder to themselves to grab the phone that Alex had given them 'in case of emergency situations' ruffled through their mind. They snatched the thing up from the couch, smiling brightly and snapping a quick picture of their appearance before sending a text to the super-man in question.
Hey. Going for a walk. Look like this. Park nearby that one diner place. Ttyl! Be back by ... 10? Idk. Will have phone on.

And with that! The device slipped into a jacket pocket, their feet carried them out the door, their middle finger morphed into the proper key... And they were off!

They wandered the neighborhood for a while, taking in the sights of the city with a pleased smile gracing their lips, drinking in the awestruck attention of many a male- Oop, there was a female that time!- who were graced with their presence. Jericho took it in like an addict, cackling to themselves when no-one else could possibly see or hear.
A half hour more, and the time was nearing 6:30. Their attention was drawn to the busier streets, and they meandered until the clock ticked over to 7:18 AM. They found themselves in the quiet park near enough to Atomic Annie's that Jericho could feasibly walk to the diner in about ten to twenty minutes.
They meandered through the park for a while though, passing by at least thrice, by a man with silver hair and his face buried in the newspaper. As hard as it was to ignore a human with hair so startling at what appeared to be a young age, perhaps another human with an appearance as absolutely unique (perhaps) as Jericho's could draw some attention.

Whether for better or worse.

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)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

"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)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

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)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Sasha brushed the few crumbs off his jacket, folded his newspaper, and stood, stretching. He'd already settled his bill, so he gave the waitress a cheery nod as he brushed by the other patrons. Slipping the newspaper in a trash can by the door, he stepped outside and took a deep breath of the morning air.

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Within the depths of a storage room echoed the tinny tsk, tsk of a hi-hat. It petered out, followed by an "ah, fuck". A neck cracked. Wrists rolled. And in came the kick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hey, Atlas City."

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

"Sorry. We can do that better."

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

"LET'S MAKE OUT!"




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

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

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

Snap.

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

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

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

No, no, no, fuck off.

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

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

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

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

"Will you stop it?!"

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Sasha Belov Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

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

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

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

No matter though.

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

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

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