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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.

12,112 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.
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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."

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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: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Albrecht von Richthofen Character Portrait: Evangeline Richter
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Eva's mismatched eyes narrowed near imperceptibly at Albert's spectacle, and though she kept a saccharine smile on her face, she couldn't hide the subtle twitch of her left cheek.

"Ma'am. I believe you're up next," informed one of the stage hands.

"Oh my, that time already then?" She chirped, though she hesitated to stand. Her eyes drifted off the stage to where Cannonade had been standing before a wry grin twisted the corners of her lips. "Oh, nobody wants to hear a droll statement from some boring official like me... why not have the world's greatest 'hero' take the stage and say something instead? I can go afterwards," she insisted, shooing the stage-hand away.

THE WAREHOUSE


The spent bullet casing was tagged with a holographic as Yue approached, careful not to disturb the rubble.

"Good question...," she trailed off in response to Devon as she traced his line of sight from the door, tapping a metal finger on the chin of her mask. "My guess would be to obscure the evidence but... if that were the goal, why leave anything at all? This place is rather out of the way... especially with the Memorial pending it's a safe to assume they'd have had plenty of time to clean up even without knocking the building down. Curious," she noted thoughtfully, and then turned to see Akiko "trampling" over her crime scene.

She took a step towards the woman, making a choked noise of surprise before she noticed the detritus passing through her body as though it weren't there. Yue still couldn't help but scurry over to supervise closer, though, making noises of obvious discomfort and twitching whenever Akiko would "touch" something that wasn't catalogued. Investigator swooped over, making some very rude noises, mirroring Yue's anxiousness as it watched her pick through the rubble and hurriedly scanning anything new she turned up. Yue made a few gestures on an interface only her HUD could see, and Investigator dropped a handful of capsules no bigger than a thumb onto the pile. They unfurled into tiny centipede-like machines and scurried into the cracks to catalogue everything inside the cavity Akiko uncovered.

Yue jumped visibly as Jemma landed, spinning around and expecting to find trouble. Well... she wasn't wrong at the very least. When her gaze stopped on Jemma she relaxed noticeably.

"You. Are... SO cute," she muttered inside her helmet, unable to stay mad.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Silentium
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Richard felt a jolt of anxiety and instant terror rock through him as some kind of explosion erupted from the memorial stage. His gaze flashed forward to see what kind of tragedy had occurred, what insidious act had just taken place, only to take in the image of another super standing there, the one who took out the military's big gun on the beach. A wave of relief soon followed after, but ebbed away as a sense of annoyance bubbled up. The way he spoke seemed perhaps a bit too... Grandiose, in some ways. Particularly during a memorial. Maybe he was just trying to reassure the scared public, but it didn't exactly feel that way to Richard.


The White Death had just a moment ago been focused on some nearby heroes who'd seemed to be fainting, or getting sick, probably from nerves. He turned his attention back to the stage, but got distracted from the sight of birds fleeing the scene. 'Crimson Shield's' entrance seemed to have scared them considerably worse than it had Richard, and he wondered if they perhaps could feel any of that annoyance he did. His eyes followed them as they moved away from the stage, inland towards the city, passing over buildings. He watched as they dipped and dove, evading a non-existent danger as they tried to locate safer grounds.


Richard felt a little entranced, taking the moment to just enjoy watching them as they slowed to more of a gingerly glide, disappearing behind buildings, only to reappear as they rose back up into the sky. Back and forth they flew, up and down. He watched as two of them once again disappeared again.


Disappeared into thin air.


It was a brief moment before they had reappeared again, and Richard questioned if he'd even seen it at all, but they looped back around, and once more disappeared in the middle of the air before quickly reappearing again.


There was someone up on that roof.


His eyes darted around again to where the sick heroes had been, then back to the roof.


Richard had no idea how it happened, but it had to be some kind of sniper. As the realization hit him, he turned to George, grabbing the old man by the back of the neck, and pulling him down into a bow.



"Richard! What are you do-"


The old man's words were cut off as a quiet crack, barely audible even to Richard and George themselves, came from the ground just across from them. George and Richard both gazed at the spot, a hole now in the ground, created by a small, super heated bullet of some kind. The old man looked to Richard in shock and determination.


"We're getting you out of here, now." Richard whispered. "Pretend to be sick." He lifted George up and carried him over to the group of supers tending to some of the sick as he pulled his cellphone out, quickly dialing in a number.


Henry's phone rang, and when he picked it up, Richard's voice came through. "We've got a sniper here, get over to George ASAP and keep him safe, I'm dropping him off with a group of supers tending to some sick." After that, he quickly hung up and looked to the group he'd been rushing towards. "Hey, my granddad's sick! Can you guys please look after him while I go get his medicine? I've got a friend coming over to look after him, big guy, can't miss him. Can you look after him in the mean time?" The supers looked terribly confused, but nodded and affirmed they'd take care of him. Richard made doubly sure that George would be in a slightly covered area first, off to the side, near the food vendors, to make sure he couldn't be hit. While there, he stealthily grabbed several bottles of water from unsuspecting merchants.


And from the food vending area, a light fog began to form, carried in by an abrupt cold wind. Richard bolted, hidden in the cover of the fog he created, to the building the sniper had been on top of, hoping and praying he could catch them in time. Once he was inside the building, he quickly made his way to an elevator, taking it to the highest floor he could. While inside, he reached into his suit jacket, and pulled Durendal from his holster. Out from another suit jacket pocket, he produced a silencer, and quickly screwed it onto the barrel of the pistol.


As the elevator reached the highest floor it could, he quickly made his way around the floor until he found a service area, and with it the rooftop service elevator. Richard placed an earpiece into one ear, quickly flickering it to life as he made a quick call out.


"Sairyn, I need eyes in the sky, we've got a sniper on top of the Galliant Office Building, right across from the Memorial. I need you to send a drone up here to try and track this guy before he gets away."


While he waited for a reply, he quickly dumped out several bottles of water onto the floor, stuffing one more full one in a jacket pocket, and holding the other in his left hand.


"He's got some kind of invisibility tech, but I've got an idea in mind." He took a pause before quickly putting out one more message. "Klaus, if you're receiving this, get to the top of the Galliant Building."


The elevator reached the roof, the doors opened, and a thick fog poured out onto the roof from within, quickly beginning to obscure visibility. Richard didn't have his music with him at the moment, but he couldn't help but have a song stuck in his head.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Silentium
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Henry dug in his pocket, when his phone started to ring. He'd forgotten to silence it, but luckily, the sound of the crowds chattering between speakers designed it to all but those closest to him.

"Hello? What's..." Henry paused, listening to the quick response from Richard. "Uh...that was one of my co-workers. Seems like the boss got sick," he informed his cousins. "I'll be right back!"

He had hoped at least. No rest for the weary it seemed. He looked around the memorial for the medical tent set up and headed there immediately once he spotted it.

"Excuse me, but do y'all have a George Carlisle here?" He inquired of the medical staff once he arrived.

***
Silentium mimed exhaling, an act of habit if anything. A miscalculation. The assumed super next to George...a bodyguard perhaps? Facial recognition scanners gave him no leads on traditional channels. Hyper-computing, he took a deeper dive. Credit cards, military records, anything he could narrow down, using thousands of parameters in mere seconds.

Richard Mackenzie. Canadian. Ex-Special Forces. Heavily classified. Nothing regarding powers or abilities, though he was certain to have them. No matter. No one else was alerted and it seemed only he had moved to act.

No cause for alarm just yet then. If this super were to engage him, were he even able to track him down, he'd be able to assess any danger and respond accordingly. He appeared to gave made several calls after securing the target with medical professionals. The crowd hadn't stirred much, so perhaps only a sparse few had been alerted.

Depending on their power sets, the hunt would still be on. A whole swarm of supers was an unsinkable situation, but a handful? That was a challenge.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile
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Devon listened in on the conversation Akiko seemed to have with one of the deceased. By the sounds of it the one she was talking was quite recently deceased and in all likelihood had something to do with the casing he found. "Shinigami, you said something about a bullet to the back of the head. Can you see any exit wounds and how big are they?" He asked trying to figure out what kind of bullet had been used, because no matter what that casing didn't belong to your everyday lead slug. Even if whomever she was talking to remained unwilling to bring some answers to the table knowing the perps preferred ammunition would be a significant clue.

He then turned back to Silver Fang after an amount of pondering. "I'm getting a feeling that knocking down the warehouse was an objective on it's own, for whatever reason. Let's say whomever took down the building needed to retrieve something from the building. Going in like a wrecking ball wouldn't be the best option in that case, you might inadvertently destroy what you were looking for... Or your assassination targets might get enough warning to get out." He reasoned trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together with the person shot in the back of their head, bad clean up and the flattened warehouse.

His thoughts however were swiftly disrupted as something crashed into the ground delivering a certain shape shifting miss onto the pavement. It took a moment or two for Devon to register that what had just fallen from the sky wasn't hostile... At least he assumed Jemma wasn't hostile, from what limited bits he'd gathered about her it was a rather vague line. As he once again relaxed a bit the gun he had drawn in a split second reaction to the impact was lowered and returned to it's corresponding holster. "You might want to make a more subtle entree next time, I thought we were being attacked."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile
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Sheri crossed her arms in thought, watching where the Asian girl had disappeared beneath the collapsed warehouse as a couple of her clones took up poking around the edge of the rubble, looking for anything else that could be found. Her eyes flicked over to Jemma at the sound of her impact, but ahe made no other indication that the shapeshifter's appearance were much of a surprise. Now at their third meeting, Sheri had kind of just started to accept its proclivity to pop up wherever.

"Be more careful with your landings," she chided. "If you disrupt the rubble it could shift and crush anything hiding underneath it."

Her eyes turned back to where she assumed the other girl was. Sheri didn't really care to comment on the woman's claims that she could see dead people; in her experience, it was best to just go along with a Thinker's weirdness. "If it works for them" and what-have-you.

"I don't think this was cleanup," Sheri commented, agreeing with the gunman's theory that it had been its own objective. "More likely the intent was to make a mess, hide whatever they were actually here for. Of course, that assumes they had business with the WFG at all. This whole thing might be a smokescreen to hide something else."

"Did you find anything yet?" Sheri called out to the Sixth Sense girl, leaning over the rubble to try and spot her. "Be real nice of you to share with the class."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile
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"You ain't getting me that easily again," the ghost snickered at Shinigami as she looked down at his feet. He had been rooted to one spot but there was nothing beneath him, a ploy to test a theory he had. She stiffened, the ghost unable to see the annoyance in her face behind her mask.

"Shinigami, you said something about a bullet to the back of the head. Can you see any exit wounds and how big are they?"

"Yeah, let m-" Shinigami responded to Freischütz before being interrupted by a small drone's furious electronic noises of reprimand. Considering how quickly it had descended on her after she had grabbed the vial, she figured it was because she had dug into the remains of the crate. Despite her face being hidden away, Akiko still gave a sheepish smile. Shinigami's Invisibility dropped but she kept the Intangibility in place, just so she wouldn't mess with the crime scene further.

It reactivated when Jemma landed however, Shinigami's body tensing for a possible battle. The ghost also stepped back a few steps, momentarily forgetting his current status as a ghost. Jemma's human form became visible and Shinigami relaxed, recognizing her from the conversation they had before the roach adventure. The ghost also sighed in relief though he had a shit-eating grin on his face, despite his own lack of bravery.

"Even ghosts got something to fear, huh?" he sneered. Shinigami was about to retort when another voice cut through.

"Did you find anything yet? Be real nice of you to share with the class."

"Yeah, sorry!" she exclaimed as she tried to hold up the vial for the rest of them to see. She struggled to raise her hand up however only managing to raise it up to her chest, prying a few fingers away so they could see a vial was in her hand.

"And that's all you're getting," the ghost insisted in an annoyed voice. "Anything else likely got destroyed when the walls came down."

"He says there was something more in the walls though! I'm guessing a secret compartment!" Shinigami called out to which the ghost angrily shouted, "Shut up! That black book is probably nothing more than garbage now anyway!"

"He says it's a black book! Maybe it's in the rubble!" Shinigami shouted again to her scream team before the ghost leaped at her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cannonade
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#, as written by Nulix
Cannonade sat backstage, PA's running back and forth as Albert's speech concluded. They could feel the rumble of the crowd beyond, the chanting of the crowds, the roar of the megaphone. It was the sound of a people in mourning. A nation scorned. "Cannonade?" A voice commented. Cannonade glanced to the side where a PA and two suited security agents approached. "You're next."

"What about Nahla?" Cannonade asked with a crooked frown.

"Evangeline Richter has relinquished the stage to you," The PA informed. "Do you have your speech ready?"

Cannonade's hands tensed. "I know what to say."

***

The music had ceased, the stage dark as the overflowing sea of amphitheatre attendees awaited the next speaker. Suddenly, the stage lights grew brighter and a red body-suited figure stalked out onto the stage. A steady applause began as Cannonade raised a hand to the crowd, the people reflecting back in the newly polished helmet. The stage was illuminated like a fire in the midst of the grey sea-side horizon.

"Before I begin I would like to thank... the president and applaud the creation of F.I.S.T. I would like to thank Crimson Shield and the Atlas City Heroes for promising to keep Atlas City safe from any tragedies like the one we experienced on the twelfth of March. I'd like to thank the first responders, the health-care workers, and all the amazing people of Atlas City for handling this crisis with such braveness, humanity and love for their fellow citizens. We will never forget the heroes, both super and ordinary, who lost their lives of that day. Their memory will live on. I would like to honour them with a moment of silence."

Cannonade lowered the microphone and dipped their head. The memorial went silent, no voices to be heard. The sound of helicopters overhead, traffic in the distance, and the atlantic's waves crashing beyond consumed the world for a moment.

"We-" Cannonade said, but as soon as they'd begun again they cut themselves off. "...I have been... asked a great many times where I will go following the dissolution of Super Roma PC. The world of super-heroics is one... often fuelled by self interest and corporate greed, but at the end of the day we all have a desire to do good. To help. And rarely is the opportunity to do good so clearly presented."

Cannonade swallowed. "I have accepted a position as the leader of a new multinational superhero venture known as the Brave. Me and my lads are working with the president and the governments of the world to figure out and fight whatever caused this attack. While F.I.S.T. is America's response to this horrible attack, and the Atlas City Heroes are your staunch protectors at home, the Brave will be the ones who resolve this problem. On behalf of myself, the leader of the Brave, and the world at large, I you promise the events of March 12th will never repeat again."

Cannonade leaned into the mic. "God bless America. God bless you all."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Y'mari Abara
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Vic stopped, tilted her head back, and let out a high-pitched wheeze out of her nostrils. About as thin as her patience. Persistent. All these strangers were so damn persistent. Whether it was paparazzi or the stranger on her doorstep insisting on making her breakfast or STAs or - whatever the hell this one wanted. They all treated her as clumsily as a toddler with the family cat.

"It's closed," she replied, "Staff meeting." Her head lazily tilted back to him. "No, I don't work here." A pause. Vic looked up at the club's sign, looking remarkably unglamorous in the light of day. Her brow furrowed. "I'm... thinking about it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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Not far from the heroes, a jet-black BMW van rolled up. It drove slowly, in the shade, as two figures in the front seat observed the situation. Pyromancer sat in the driver's seat, hunched over, the goggles of his gas mask glowing a dim crimson hue. Maeve sat beside him, as his superior in rank. New recruits Spider-Blood and Scourge were tucked away in the back of the van, with the latter's obscene mass taking up much of the space. In each of their hands were a cone of ice cream (two cones for Scourge). Soft, creamy, and whipped into a swirling, classical shape.

"By the Lab Rat, this ensemble rides up somethin' FIERCE!" Scourge grumbled, his bright green, undead form obscured by the drab confines of a massive trenchcoat and hat set, exposing only his yellow, pupil-less eyes through the shadows. Half-eaten, cookies and cream ice cream had started to melt and trickle down the golden brown cones.

Pyromancer's gaze narrowed behind his goggles.
Others had arrived. Two unfamiliar faces behind unfamiliar masks. Pink-haired triplets. A roiling, eldritch, formless mass of black ink. ...Menagerie's Lost Asset? Pyromancer privately wondered. Capture if possible.

It was then that he noticed… her. White tabard. Silver plates that gleamed like pale moonlight. The Queen of the Damned. Slayer of Dark Crow. Champion of 100 Nights. The Dragon of Arizona.

His left hand clenched into his cone, cracking it open and scattering pink, melted globs all over the dashboard. He pulled the car into reverse, as quiet and gentle as he could.

Slowly, he turned towards Maeve, the fear palpable even through those emotionless goggles. "NAHLA's Silver Fang." He turned his attention back forwards, towards the shrinking group of heroes. "Seven of them. Four of us. Can't go in for a direct attack. Risk; Extreme."

"Whaaaaat?" Scourge whined, and nudged himself between Pyromancer and Maeve. "But this is what I'm here for! She's just a twig in an aluminum can, how bad can she be?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit
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"Klaus, if you're receiving this, get to the top of the Galliant Building."

The voice came from the Chrono Dialer having been linked to his phone. Richard sounded worried and Klaus wasn't one to question a man like Richard's tone.

In a flash, he donned his suit and made for the Galliant Building. He had plenty of time to mull over his predicament later. For now, there was work to be done and the distraction was welcome.

"I'm on my way, ETA 2 minutes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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Maeve peered at the demolished warehouse over a carton of orange juice. The one in the gas mask had drawn swiftly when the shapeshifter had landed; a gunman, with quick reflexes. Probably jumpy. The other masked figure seemed to pass straight through solid objects, which could be annoying. The knight's armor suggested a need for protection, which meant they were likely fragile. As for the triplets… Maeve couldn't tell if they had powers or not, but they didn't seem much of a threat. She gently folded the lip of her juice carton, then set it into the cupholder.

"Get the drone out of the boot and bring it around back of the warehouse," she instructed, looking at Spiderblood in the rearview mirror.

"At my signal," she continued, eyes flickering over to Pyromancer, "Release explosions over their heads and by the street. Keep them pinned down."

"And me?" the new one spoke up, sounding almost like a child ready for a new game.

"Hit the knight dead-on. Keep them from regrouping with the others. I'll take the shapeshifter."

With that, Maeve pushed open the door of the car, straightening her black tie as she stepped out of the shade of the trees and approached the heroes with a silence unexpected of someone her size. It was one of the redheads who spotted her first; the other two instantly vanished in bursts of static. Ah.

"Beggin' your pardon," she greeted, her voice sounding raspy as she strained to raise her volume above a polite indoor voice. "But this is private property. May I ask what ye're all doin' here?"

Sheri shot a look toward the man in the gasmask, hand going to the back of her pants where she normally kept her gun, only to find it missing. The memory of its confiscation did choose the most opportune time to present itself… She scanned behind the tall woman in the black suit, spotting a car in the shade by the street. "Real estate representative?" she suggested facetiously, keeping her voice down.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Y'mari Abara
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Nebulae blinked behind his helmet, watching as the woman before him spoke in calm, if irritated sentences. He hummed gently before shrugging and rolling his shoulders. "Well... Hm! I hope you get the job then, yeah?"

A smile spread behind his helmet as he shifted his weight to one side, his hands finding his hips as Nebulae spoke again. His eyes darted to one side of his HUD as the P-AI chirped at him yet again. Movement from somewhere just out of sight, around the corner? A vehicle. The thing was nearly silent, and eerily quiet as it went. "Well... I think someone just left from the establishment. So, if you're goin' to go back in, I suggest goin' in now before you have to chase 'em down, yeah?" He took a step back, nodding at her hand as he went to turn away. "'Ere, I'll hand y' my number if you ever wanna cash in on that drink, yeah?"
He had paused, tapping a pocket on his ... Jacket? Would you call it a jacket? Or was it more of a coat? ... His coat. Nebulae reached in and produced a relatively small card, perhaps like a business card. On it was a cell-number, and a name: Y'mari.

He stepped back then, waving once before quickly taking his leave. "Sorry for botherin' you, jus' curious, like I said!"





Jemma jerked to attention as a voice rasped at the group of them from some distance away. Ink pulsed in her face and hands as she looked over at the- Oh! It was her! The brutal murderess, the slaughtermaster, the hot one! ... Save that thought for later. In the current moment, adrenaline throbbed through her veins, and the world began to slow in that weird way it did when she fought.

Jemma watched her approach all the same, the muscles under her face warping and changing as her tongue became a hallow tube, in which resided a needle of iron and bone. The needle had grooves inlaid upon it, and venom eerily similar to that of a bullet ant filled the grooves. Her hands became armored, talons taking place of her nails as she stared at the eerily tall woman. Her voice worked without her wanting, calling out to the short redhead. "Tall and Irish was at the beach! Do not trust. Threat high. She tore apart many of the small beastlings. With ease" The last word was hissed with a strange sort of... Relish, excitement, maybe even a bit of admiration. Ink rippled along her back as she spoke, and what started as only bone, soon covered itself in flesh, and then in iron and brass, was a wickedly tipped tail. It was as long as the tall woman was tall, and from its tip dripped a black-red venom.

She dropped into an odd stance beside Yue, tail lashing to and fro with unmistakable mistrust, tension building in her muscles as she waited for 'the other boot to drop' as Alex put it. The heart in her form was beginning to pound ever faster, and the want to touch on that cicada-scream was building, but Jemma held off. If they needed aid, she didn't want to cut off that chance. Not yet.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Y'mari Abara
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"... Alrighty." Vic said as she pocketed the business card in the same pocket George's number resided. She watched the strange man take his leave and huffed. "Nobody knows how to pick up a bitch anymore." She slithered her way back into the club and marched up to the meeting room door to give it three loud bangs of her fist. "Hey, is Lab Rat still in?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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Sheri came forth with her own set of theories, however they didn't quite hold up in Devon's mind. Accidentally stumbling upon a WFG stashhouse didn't seem likely, it wasn't like they were dressed in their ridiculous outfits all the time and it would have been hard to distinguish them from the regular populace without surveillance. Then again it could have been someone who saw something fishy going on and decided to investigate, but this really didn't seem like something a private entity could do especially considering the building was brought down by some form of mechanical means as Silver Fang had brought up.

Using this as a smokescreen for something bigger also seemed like a shaky theory, much less a smoke screen this was barely a puff of smoke. Causing a small commotion at the memorial would have been so much more effective at drawing attention away from everywhere else, especially with several important figures being present there.

As Akiko called out to the group that there might be something important hidden among the rubble Devon was about to shift into wraith form when a cold chill crept through his back informing him that it might not be the right moment. Pretending to not notice the gazes from a vehicle in the street he went on with looking through the rubble, his mind occupied with the intentions that had shot him that look full of malice.

It didn't take long for the first entity to make itself known as a towering figure decided to inquire about their reason for being out there. The woman's appearance seemed to cause quite a reaction in the shapeshifter as it shifted into a clearly more aggressive form and called out to Sheri to be very wary of the woman before them. Devon too took a more defensive stance getting ready in case things were to go ugly, however as it stood he was less concerned with the woman who seemed to have the shapeshifter as her main focus and more the other sets of eyes that he could feel burning on his skin.

"This is the site of an official NAHLA investigation, I would request you and your friends to leave the scene as you seem to be neither the property owner or the operator of this facility." Devon called out loud and clear to the woman. It may have been a bit forced to act so authoritative especially after Sheri's evasive answer, but it seemed like the simplest and quickest method to cue the rest in that the one before them wasn't acting alone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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The energy in the ruined warehouse began to change as footsteps approached. Even Shinigami's ghostly companion stopped in its tracks as it turned to see what was causing the unrest. A tall, muscular woman approached. An inquiry was made and then, there was tension in the air. Warnings were called out. She wasn't alone.

"I would say good luck but I'm really hoping you guys don't make it out," the ghost said as it started walking away. Shinigami made no response or movement. She knew what bullets they were looking for and to make a move now might provoke an attack. Intangible was still up. Going Invisible might be a good move but Shinigami didn't want to give her trick up so easily... If it even was a trick at this point. Had they just arrived or were they watching?

Shinigami slowly widened her stance slightly, one hand at her waist where the lanterns emitted a soft glow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Ezekiel Walker
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"This is a crime scene," Yue replied simply, turning towards the new arrivals. Truth be told, she'd had the chilling sensation that they were being watched long before Maeve approached them. The vents on her mask opened momentarily, producing a quiet, but pointed hiss as air was rapidly drawn in. A subtle flicker of crimson electricity crawled its way up her body as she accelerated her perception as a precaution.

Yue held out her hand, and her badge was holographically projected onto it. It wasn't strictly necessary in this circumstance given that she was in full NAHLA regalia, but it was an excuse to have Tracer turn towards Maeve and the others, capture the vehicle's plate number, and run facial recognition silently in one corner of her HUD.

"These recruits are shadowing me on my investigation," she explained.
ELSEWHERE IN ATLAS CITY



Sairyn's phone rang, to which he gave a proper sigh before answering.

"Can't you follow simple directions?" He managed before he was assaulted by Richard's commands. He held the phone away from his ear, and rolled his eyes dramatically while Richard said some things... it was the polite thing to do. Apparently. "You've had drone support: I sent a Tracer ahead of you to the memorial. 'The fuck is a Galliant building?" he called to someone in the background.

"It's a big art-deco office tower over by where they're hosting the memorial, silly," Archer's voice answered, over the rough hiss of a cappuccino machine.

"Right. Anyway. Use the app I installed on your phone to direct the AI and stop using made-up words," he instructed, letting the phone float nearby as a new slate materialized to show Tracer's view of the memorial grounds and slowly floated into position next to the other three.

"I don't think y'all told them about the app, love," Archer chided, handing Sairyn a cup, which he accepted slowly.

"I installed an app on your phones so you can interface with the drones. Open it and let it run in the background, just be careful how you word your requests: one of the 'features' of the AI is that it tends to take the most literal translation," he said, sipping the dink noisily. He spit it out suddenly with a noise of disgust. "Are you trying to poison me?!"

"Doll, of course I am!" Archer giggled. "Ain't my fault your handwriting is trash." To which Sairyn answered with a long, awkward pause.

"Stick out your tongue. As far as it goes... Ugh. I forgot you could do that. I'm spoken for," he said, while Archer laughed in the background. "My attention is split three ways right now, you're gonna have to direct the drone yourself," he instructed, as he reached out and tapped one of the slates, slightly adjusting the image of a seemingly innocuous lamp post.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Cannonade Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Klaus Zeit Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape) Character Portrait: Sairyn Pendrake Character Portrait: Kiran Kingsley Character Portrait: Silentium Character Portrait: Albrecht von Richthofen Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Evangeline Richter Character Portrait: Gideon Gauss
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Medical Area: The Memorial

Upon hearing the tall man's request, several of the medical staff simply looked at him, blank faced. They were not prepared to tell an absolute stranger about patients they were caring for, and certainly not one that most of them weren't familiar with. Luckily, a hand rose out of the group of people to wave over to Henry. George stood, face grave and stony as he ushered Henry to join him.

Before the cosmic titan could ask anything of his new 'employer', George cast a pointer finger to his lips and led Henry to a part of the tent with fewer people, and less noise. "Thank you for coming Henry. There's been a... Complication today." He looked a little shaken, but not just because of the attempt on his life...

"Someone just tried to assassinate me. Richard has gone to try and catch the sniper, and I guess he hoped you'd be able to serve as protection for me." He looked to Henry and gave him a concerned smile. "For what it's worth, I don't feel quite as in danger with you here now. But we need to stay focused, figure out what to do about this right now."

__________________________________________________________________


Stage: The Memorial

As Cannonade finished their rousing speech, the crowd broke out into a raucous chant:

"Can-On-Ade!" Was how it started.

"Crim-Son-Shield!" Was how it was followed.

The two names continued to be chanted for a few moments, before they bled into chants of 'U-S-A', and other proud and patriotic cheers. The President stood, clapping profusely in his fit of enthrallment for the 'heroes of the city'. Victor and Claudia both found themselves clapping as well, though both less inwardly enthused. Claudia looked to Victor, trying to hold back a smirk.

"Looks like that idea just got flushed down the toilet." She teased nodding at Cannonade.

Victor only smiled and gave a slight shrug. "Mmm, I think it may still be too early to say. And at the very least, I still have other candidates I've got lined up." He pointed with his eyes in the direction of the newly rebranded 'Crimson Shield'.

"But... He's working for ACHI. I doubt they're gonna want to let him go."

"Who said anything about them letting him go? Don't forget my area of expertise as well Claudia, I'm a businessman first and foremost. I have a mutually beneficial business arrangement I think Ivetta will be pleased to hear."

Claudia nodded along. Victor probably had the budget afford trying to get the pilot on their payroll, but this all assumed they were willing to work with the government. Time would tell, she supposed.

"By the way Victor, what was all that about the 'Beast of America'?" She questioned, raising a curious eyebrow. "That's some pretty intense choice of wording there, not sure it's what our speech writer's would have come up with."

Victor turned his gaze back to Claudia again, the two of them now resuming their seats, the clapping having come to a close with the next speaker getting prepared. "Our enemies sent Hell itself to our shores. The people are absolutely terrified, and how could they not be? How do you stop being scared of monsters and beasts?"

Claudia stared back and sighed. "By becoming one?" She asked, already expecting the answer.

He chuckled in response before turning his gaze back out to the audience. "Don't worry about the speechwriters. It's going to become politically popular very soon, because for as angry as me, you, the President, or any of these heroes may say we are? None of us are more angry than America and her people."

Whilst heroes, politicians, and businessmen participated in the memorial, off to the side Douglas MacNamara flipped through a few messages on his phone. He looked up long enough to listen to Cannonade's speech, smirking a little to himself before going back to sending a reply text message. 'And a special team run by Super Roma's Number 1 no less. Interesting. Very interesting...' He thought to himself.

'One more thing to keep our eyes on.'

__________________________________________________________________


Club Shapeless: Atlas City

The door's of the meeting room opened gently, giving way to the sight of a masked figure standing on the other side.

The Shape.

There was the briefest moment of silence before he granted a bow of his head to Vicki Vortex. "Vicki, pleasure to see you again. Won't you come in?" He said indicating to the meeting room. Kiran was absent currently, but as Maxwell allowed the rocker in, retaking his own seat at the table, he set to work in assisting Miss Vortex in her task.

"Lab Rat isn't here at the moment, as you can see. But what is it you'd like to speak with them about? Perhaps there's some way I can be of assistance."


__________________________________________________________________


Roof of the Galliant Building: Atlas City

Richard's mouth swung open about as fast as Sairyn's had.

What was this guy's problem? Richard was about to snap something back at the guy, but bit his tongue on remembering that Sairyn was the one with the drone's that Richard currently needed. It wasn't made any easier though by the inclusion of unrequested software being sneakily put on his phone. Of course, this was ignoring all the data collecting software likely already on the phone when he bought it...

"Alright, alright, I got it. And the thing doesn't like 'made up words'? Is that supposed to be a special 'feature' or something?" He remarked mostly rhetorically. It was a slight dig, Richard found he couldn't help himself in the face of the tinker's choice of wording, which the icy hero found to be somewhat grating.

Richard pulled out his phone and started to get the software running, and once it was operational, he spoke some brief orders. "Uhh... Tracer; fly to the rooftop of the Galliant Building in Atlas City."

He heard some shouting from the other end of his earpiece, something about poison? "Are... You alright? What was that about a... Tongue?" He asked confused.


"I'm sorry, your request for 'tongue' cannot be completed as requested." Tracer chirped through his phone.

"Disregard that Tracer. Please come to the roof of the Galliant Building." He heard Klaus's voice come through the other end as well, and quickly muted his phone so Tracer wouldn't get any more confused.

"Thanks Klaus, see you shortly."

After he felt confident things were settled and that the drone was almost in position, Richard snuck out of the elevator and carefully made his way across the roof, with the thick, cool fog encompassing nearly the whole area. As it spread out over the roof, it began to leave a thin coating of frost on the surfaces it touched, giving them a slight glimmer.

Richard wasn't sure if his plan would work, but since he couldn't see someone that was invisible, he figured seeing something frost covered would at least bridge the disadvantage.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Henry Stewart Character Portrait: Richard Mackenzie (The White Death) Character Portrait: Silentium
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"Shouldn't we get you out of here?" Henry asked, glancing back cautiously. "We're not exactly out in the open, but if this assassin is bold enough to try and kill you in the midst of all these supers, you're probably still at risk."

***

"Ice Manipulation. Or perhaps weather?" a mechanical voice taunted from within the icy fog, emitting form a humanoid outline directly ahead of Richard. "It is no matter. I've dealt with others of your ilk before." the voice continued, now coming from Richard's right. "So who are you to Carlisle, boy? His bodyguard? You must be a recent acquisition of his, then. Nothing in his profile suggests he's employed anything of the sort before. But to the point!"

Richard would see a red dot line up to where his ribcage was, though the direction it was coming from was Richard's left. "How many other supers are in Carlisle's employ? How many are present at the Memorial? Answer quickly and concisely...unless you vastly prefer being left to bleed out on a roof."

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Character Portrait: Vicki Vortex Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)
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Vic looked up to see herself reflected back in his featureless mask. She caught the immediate interest in her eyes - that was an unusual look for her.

"Shape..." she greeted, how to put this, cautiously entertained by his presence. The last she'd left him, she hadn't considered the possibility of seeing him again. All due to the chances of her risking running into his business partner... it was remarkable they were the reason she was back in this club. She slunk after him into the meeting room at his invitation and took her seat two away from him, just enough to be wary but still appease the lull she felt towards this man.

"Well. If you've got another spare Tinker in your... 'employ'," she began. She shrugged and rested her chin on her knuckles. Then, looking past him, she proceeded with not the whole story, "I dropped something of mine in your basement. Just a personal investment, some memories I want to access and... have separated from a tracking chip." She flicked her eyes over to him and leaned back, walking a pen over to her with two fingers. "Don't freak, the paparazzi aren't about to break down your doors. Yet." She whisked up the pen and her body turned to air in a wave, moving through and reforming from her busted hand through to the pen she held in the other. The pen burst away into particles with her hand then reformed. Her lips twisted into a short-lived smirk. "I've got this disappearing act down." She twirled the pen between her fingers like a drumstick and stuck it between her teeth. She took a second to regard him with that amused curiosity she always wore in his presence.

"Youuuuu... are very liberal with what you let me see." She said, shaking the pen at him. "Screw the fight club, I wonder what OSHA would say about the nine story slaughterhouse under your turf. What makes you so sure that I'm here to keep your secrets?"

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Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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#, as written by Nulix
Jamie stared down the assemblage of heroes they'd found among the fucked up remains of the warehouse. They glanced to Maeve before taking a step toward the intruders. Pale hands went up and scooped their hood out from atop their head, revealing dark, short cut hair underneath. "You guys..." A voice croaked, Jamie squinting at the heroes. "Don't want to be here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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Maeve's eyes shot in Spiderblood's direction like a bullet. "Exactly," she agreed, making a mental note that this one doesn't listen.

"The owners would prefer this investigation be handled internally," Maeve continued, gesturing to herself and her fool of an assistant. "There has been no request or necessity for official intervention. So I would ask ye all to leave, or..."

Maeve's voice trailed off as her vision focused on the knight's outstretched hand, and the holographic badge displayed upon her palm. Maeve might not know what "Witchfinders" were, but this wasn't her first introduction to government heroes, and she knew what this particular gesture meant. She looked briefly around at the other heroes; the shapeshifter had recognized her, and the gunman already seemed ready for a fight.

Maeve closed her eyes and sighed softly, taking a step back. "Let it never be said we didn't try diplomacy." Dirt and cracked concrete exploded under her feet, and in the next thought the shapeshifter found her vision filled by the inside of Maeve's elbow as it swung fast at her head, the distance between them closed in an instant.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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Violence was something Jemma excitedly looked forward to, most days, but on a day like this… When the hot one’s elbow was flying at her face? Violence sent her heart skyrocketing into the stratosphere. In the pulse of time that it took for the elbow to begin splitting the flesh of Jemma’s noise, she felt that unusual pulse of cicada scream spark behind her heart.

The elbow met her skull, and the spike that had formed in Jemma’s mouth began to pierce the flesh of the offending limb. Then it met the meat of her brain, and thoughts shuttered to a stop, only understanding from the core.
The spike sank deeper into the meat of the fast moving woman, venom pulsing up into the bloodstream as her own was sputtering along, made mostly of ink and blood.

The moment faded, and as Maeve moved through Jemma’s skull, Jemma’s claws reached up with the speed of a viper’s strike. Bones shattered with the force that the shapeshifter put forth, and claws made to slice and gash reached for Maeves passing form. The cicada scream and the burning of electronics spread out and destroyed that which could be destroyed. The tail flicked, and a spine of virulent venom on the end of it came rising towards where Maeve might have been, had Jemma been able to move faster—

The fun had begun, and the heart was pulsing. Fight and fight until it was done.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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Pyromancer watched his superior’s body language shift. The quake of the earth and scattering of rubble was all the signal he needed. With a wave of his hands, his embers launched towards the heroes like a swarm of fireflies; buzzing, dodging, and scattering all around the gunman, the pink-haired woman, and the black-clad heroine, before-

BOOM!

Boom-boom-BOOM!


The sound was deafening. Heat and concussion assailed them from all sides as the swarm exploded. The ground cracked and concrete shrapnel grazed their forms. The streets were covered in small flames that blazed a blinding bright.

”Reactive Armour; Engage!”

Pyromancer yelled, and with the clenching of a fist, more fireflies emerged and flocked close to him. They flew and hovered, like embers around a burning forge.

Scourge’s yellow eyes squinted into a gleeful smirk. With a broad, slimy green hand, he tugged at his trenchcoat, and tossed them aside, exposing his near-nude and rippling form for all to see. ”NOW, we’re talkin’!” the monster roared. He groped Spiderblood by shoulder and posterior, hoisted them over his head, and let out a raucous cackle as he tossed them, far and fast as a missile.

”LET’SSSSS RIP AND TEAR!”

Spiderblood spun and spun like an oversized arrow. Blood rushed through their head, and breeze cooled their body as they launched straight at Akiko.

”GyahahahaHAHAHA!”

The monster stomped forward, each step a tremor upon the earth. He was less a man than a walking glacier of muscles and flesh. The veins all over his body took on a dim green glow as he leered at Yue, then the gunman - Devon. ”Submit, WORMS!”

Slimy, wet tentacles slithered from the hole in his forearm. Pale fluids dribbled and glistened from their tips. Gripping them tight in each hand, the monster cracked them over his head, then slammed them forwards, the tentacles extending to their maximum length to cover the distance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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It took all of half a minute for the situation to go from an on edge conversation to complete pandemonium. Jemma seemed to have been the first to take on an attack and despite how things looked Devon had a sneaking suspicion that things weren't going too badly on her front, at least better than if any of the others present were to have intercepted that elbow with their faces.

Mere moments later a flurry of embers descended on them and exploded in rather dramatic fashion. "Get down!" He yelled at his teammates as the first of the embers started to explode. Though the flashes of the explosions were rather distracting and he could feel the pressure waves trying to push him around Devon was largely unaffected by the barrage, as the flames licking across the armor and the shrapnel could do little more than leave a dusting of concrete and soot behind on the surface. As he was trying to find the origin of these explosives the perpetrator did them all a favor and lit himself up with a coating of similar looking embers.

However before Devon got the chance to light the pyromancer up another cretin entered the fray, an oversized muscle bound pickle that lashed out at them with some rather grotesque looking tentacles it spawned from it's body. Until this point Devon hadn't quite felt the need to move from his position, but seeing what that brute did to it's environment with it's mere walking made sure that Devon dodged that attack with everything he had, diving right into one of the more vigorous explosions.

Taking the advantage of the fact that he was now under the cover of the fire and explosions he rushed towards the pyromancer while avoiding getting within range of the enraged pickles fleshy whips. As he rushed forward he unleashed a small barrage of his own, sending about a magazines worth of fire foam bullets in the ember lit specter swiftly followed by a similar amount of more electrically charged shots. "Let's dance shall we." He yelled at the flame clad figure before him with a whiff of excitement in his voice.

He hoped that he could at the very least divert the pyromancers attention away from his teammates as by far he would be the most suited to deal with one who could throw around fire and explosions. So they could focus on dealing with the tentacled pickle and the twig he had thrown at Akiko.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheri Galloway Character Portrait: Akiko Bong Character Portrait: Yue Bayushi Character Portrait: Devon Metzger Character Portrait: Jericho Amile Character Portrait: Maeve Butler Character Portrait: Ezekiel "Zeke" Walker Character Portrait: Scourge Character Portrait: Jamie Kerrow
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Pyromancer's eyes narrowed. Despite the deafening explosions, the sound of his own breathing was the loudest within his head. Then, amidst the blinding bright, a silhouette emerged, its long coat billowing from the shockwaves.

A hail of bullets struck his chest. Each hit struck his vest and sent the pyromancer skidding further across the ground, then burst into globs of white foam that rapidly sapped him of heat.

"...!"

A second barrage followed. Pyromancer just barely shielded his head with an arm, but the bullets struck the foam, and sent violent jolts of electricity through his body. "Goh…!" Pyro grunted. The bolts stung through his suit and whipped and seared the flesh underneath.

""Let's dance shall we."

The hits stoked the swarm around Pyromancer into a frenzy, and as Zeke fell to his knee, his reactive armour shedded and ignited into a radial explosion.

Boom!

...Far, too far to strike the agile gunman. All he felt was the very edge of impact, nothing his armour couldn't handle.

Pyromancer glared straight at Devon. A ball of flame burst alight in each palm. He lobbed one towards the gunman with a grunt. Then another, and another. One orb missed Devon completely. The second grazed close, but not enough. The third one struck him square on the chest, but his armoured vest bore little more than a singe against the tongue of flames. Zeke narrowed his eyes. Fireproof. Change tactics, he noted to himself.

"What do they call you, warrior?"

Pyro's swatted a small dusting of embers right at Devon's face. The embers bloated, whistled, then ignited into a firecracking cacophony of light and sound.

"I WILL BRAND IT INTO YOUR CORPSE!"

RA-TA-TA-TA-TA!

As Devon's senses were assailed, embers swirled around him in a spiral, and with the snap of a finger, they enclosed, converged and exploded, into a point-blank blast of pure force laced with fire.