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Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura

"I was glad to be tenderly remembered, to be gently pitied, not to be quite forgotten."

0 · 836 views · located in Wasp Labs, Tunisia

a character in “New Guardians”, as played by Achelois

Description


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M E N O Nwe're all just shadows and dust
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            Full name: . . .Gabriel Ventura. ..
            Nicknames: . . . Gabe . .. [ neutral ], Melon . .. [ DISLIKED ]
            Age: . . . Twenty, February 10th

            Sexuality: . . . Bisexual
            Hometown: . . . New Mexico
            Mentor: . . . N/A

            Dialogue colour: . . . #5b7144
            Playlist: . . . TBDl

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      Appearance

        Eye colour: . . . Brown . . . . . . . . . Hair colour: . . . Brown
        Height: . . . 6'2 . . . . . . . . . . . . Weight: . . . 155lbs

        Everyday appearance: . . .
        Gabriel had always been conscious of his appearance. Perhaps it stems from a child-like want to be noticed, but regardless of the reason he makes sure to always be impeccably dressed. He’s too poor to afford designer brands, but too self conscious to shop at a second hand stores. So, he compromises. He buys basics at higher end stores where things like t-shirts can be redressed in a different way to create an entirely new look. As well, he rarely finds himself buying anything out of his usual color palette of black, white, or beige. It’s not that he’s adverse to a splash of color, he simply doesn’t believe he would look good in it.

        Hero appearance: . . .
        His hero appearance does not differ greatly from his civilian style. Gabriel wears a dark leather jacket with similarly colored pants, shoes, and shirts. He always makes sure to layer up in case of a situation where the temperature is too cold for him to use his ability. For added benefit he wears sunglasses in order to “not show the enemy where he may be looking” but really it’s for style and everyone knows it. It does little to protect his identity, and although he values his privacy when it comes to his powers he uses his transparent disguise to push himself out of his comfort zone in order to become a ‘better person’.



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Abilities
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    Telekinesis: . . .Gabriel was born with the ability to manipulate matter with his mind. It’s a part of him that on some level he refuses to accept, and due to that he’s never quite reached his full potential. He practices of course, everyday to try and better himself, but it seems that at times even his best is not enough. As it stands he is able to bind, levitate, push/pull, maneuver, and deflect solid objects and people.

    Limitations: . . .His weakness lies with the cold where the lower the temperature the less effective he can control his power until it eventually would cease to work. As well, he can only manipulate objects that he can see in front of him. And although he has the ability to move a human he is not skilled enough to force them to do anything they do not want to do unless they're incapacitated or willing to let him do so.


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      Personality

        Gabriel counts his blessings in the number of people he’s managed to keep. He’s deeply apologetic to the point of masochism where he feels that if he’s not repenting he’s doing something wrong. And he understands it’s unhealthy, god does he know, but at the same time he knows himself better than anyone else and knows he cannot stop. His greatest fault lies within his own cowardice to change for himself.

        He tries to live unobtrusively, never getting in anyones way, never talking without reason. Gabriel accepts invitations to outings when asked, helps save the day with other superheroes, cooks for those who wish to taste his food, but in each interaction a strange weariness plagues his every move. He can’t help but think he’s a nuisance — that every action he takes is one that people merely tolerate.

        Although he’s unafraid to talk about it, wishes desperately so that people wouldn’t respect his comfort zone and push him till he cries, he will not actively seek people out for comfort or help. It’s not pride or pity that defines his actions, its uncertainty.

        Despite his lack of self-confidence Gabriel can put aside his own needs for the sake of others if the need ever arises. He’s still adverse to using his powers frequently, but he’s made it a point to force himself to be more casual with his ability. Some days it pains him to do so, where every fiber of his body is protesting such a blatant act of power, but on other days it seems almost natural — like his power isn’t a separate entity but a part of his own being.

        He’s grateful for those days, just as he is grateful for the people he’s met while in the New Guardians.

        They’ve been with him for longer than he thought they would, and for that he has no words. He’s astounded anyone would ever want to be in his presence for more than five minutes, but he has to remember that the people he’s with aren’t normal as well. They’re superheroes in the making, and Gabriel is just a little bit in awe of that fact — completely forgetting he’s part of that equation as well.

        He looks up to the others with a reverence he used to reserve only for God. But now, he has no need for a deity he cannot see when there are people larger than life in front of him. He reminds himself it’s irresponsible to look at someone without thinking of the person first, and he was quite guilty of doing so in his earlier months, but he would like to think he knows some of the people better than before and is instead showing a great amount of admiration. If he sometimes forgets they’re people too, well it hasn’t hurt anyone yet.

        He can also be pretty funny when he wants to be, but usually his jokes consist of out-of-date puns that are too terrible to be repeated.
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Warm weather, as his powers do not function correctly in the cold (and thus makes him more susceptible to error) its obvious he’s taken a general liking to a hotter climate. Coffee, without it he wouldn’t ever be able to wake up properly (black, no sugar please). French, Italian, and Brazilian cuisine, he has a taste for food and one that’s impossible to sate (he’s not particular about the types of food, but rather how it’s made. Small spaces, even though he’s a taller guy he still finds comfort within a cramped room. Noise, he likes to drown out the hums of his own thoughts with the chatter of others. Friendship, it may be an obvious like however he deeply appreciates all those who care to keep him in their company.

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Children, Gabriel knows they can be cruel despite their innocent appearance, and remembers how much hatred they can hold in their hearts. Sloppiness, he doesn’t understand why some people aren’t affected by the opinions of others, and instead look like they are without a care in the world (secretly, he wishes he too could be like that). Cereal, Kiwi, and Ice, he doesn’t like it in his food or his drinks. Night, there’s nothing wrong with it he knows, but somehow he still finds it eerie.


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Strengths
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    Perception: . . .Gabriel has an acute sense of vision where he can detect movement even when it appears nothing has changed. It’s quite handy when facing opponents who can fade into the shadows or move at a rapid pace.
    Listening: . . .More than lending an ear to a friend, he’s developed a knack for eavesdropping. It developed as a mechanism where he would listen to his foster parents conversation to ascertain when they would inevitably let him go. He thought it was better to be prepared than to be shocked in the moment.
    Blending in: . . .He’s contradictory in the way he wishes to be seen, and yet excels in disappearing within a moments notice. Gabriel chalks it up to years of appearing unassuming that he naturally fades into the background at times.

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Weaknesses
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    Cowardly: . . .He’ll follow instructions of course, do what needs to be done, but in the end can someone who merely takes order without any thought be called a hero?
    Unworldly: . . . Gabriel was not born with some of the privileges others may have known as second nature. He does not know the intricacies of social procedure, cannot navigate the world through words, nor can he comprehend advanced technology without being overly cautious or skeptical.
    Hand to Hand Combat: . . . He has the basic training everyone is required to know, but other than that he wold not fare well against a seasoned fighter. Usually, he can fly himself away from a problem so it hasn't been too detrimental of a weakness yet.

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    Quirks
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      Always dresses in layers, he’s never seen outside without at least two articles of clothing on his person. Combs his hair exactly twenty times, he isn’t sure why he does it but it’s a habit all the same. Music, says he listens to punk rock, when really he enjoys indie pop the best. Stares at people’s hands far too much, he thinks they’re beautiful and tells a persons story in a way nothing else can.
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    Fear
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      Left behind, He has no need for fame or glory, but instead he’s deathly afraid of being forgotten without ever being understood.
      Spiders, It’s not mere dislike, but rather something that affects him wholly. He cannot breath, cannot move, cannot function correctly if he spots a spider within his domain.

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      History

        Gabriel had been an unwanted child from birth. His birth parents hadn’t the decency to contemplate their decision for 72 hours allotted to them before they left town and never looked back. As an adult he supposes it was for the best, fate has a way of creating greatness from tragedy, but as a child he hadn’t the forethought to think of the future. All he had known since birth was that his existence was a mistake.

        It was true for the most part. He was never able to keep with a foster family for more than a year at a time — even as a baby. Gabriel had been cursed in a way, not by magic (maybe then he could hold hope for a cure to his misfortune), but by science. He was born with a genetic makeup that allowed him to manipulate matter with his mind, and the people who sought to care for him couldn’t understand it (didn’t or wouldn’t).

        As he had no way to control his powers as a child, he was doomed to be relocated no matter how hard he tried to be better.

        So it was, he spent his adolescence trying to suppress his instinctual power. Alone he could admit he tired to hone his skill, always justifying himself that it was so he wouldn’t ever lose control— never for pleasure, and each time he would remember that it was because of this power that no one ever wanted to keep him. To deny and be accepted or to protect and be lonely. He was torn.

        Age eighteen saw him in the city of Chicago with little to no money in his wallet, and a desperation to be hidden among many. He knew he had an affinity for food since he was a child, and rather than aspiring to become a chef he ended up as a waiter. His plan had been to slowly rise up the ranks, but a person can only hope for so long.

        Gabriel saw a turning point in his life for the second time within the first month living in Chicago. He had been at the bank to deposit a check when two bank robbers had decided to turn his world upside down. They had come in as civilians, but upon slipping a note to the bank teller all hell broke loose.

        It happened in a sequence of events Gabriel remembers quite distinctively. First there was the silent alarm, and the man who had pressed it. The teller hadn’t been inconspicuous and the robber, obviously new and obviously nervous, had reacted accordingly. Second, another robber joined the first and carried with him a gun. The world seemed to freeze, but time did not. Third, when the first scream broke the silence chaos ensued. Gabriel didn’t think the second man had meant to start shooting, but it happened regardless, and he knew that he probably had the power to stop it.

        Thankfully Gabriel had been placed where he could see both men, and when the first few shot let out he was there to stop it. As the bullets dropped to the ground, so did his heart. He wasn’t sure if anyone had seen it, or if they had — did they care, but the feeling of using his power in public had caused a wave of fear to overtake him. Regardless of that however it stunned the two robbers to be disarmed and tackled down. He left hurriedly after that, hoping no one would take notice of absence or presence. Unbeknownst to him, someone was watching.

        The trend that misfortune seemed to follow him continued.

        Over the year occurrences he found himself in situations more dangerous than he had originally expected, and each time he silently helped from the background. From stopping a piece of building falling off and landing on someone to keeping a door shut from a persistent stalker, he had done it all. It was silent, but he felt good knowing that his powers perhaps weren’t all that useless.

        Nineteen, and finally the woman who had been keeping tabs on him since his initial run in with danger introduced herself. She offered him a place in a recently developed program called, The New Guardians, and although hesitant at first he had accepted.

        For eleven months he was no longer a waiter in Chicago, but rather a waiter in New York who had the side hobby of training to become a super hero. It was an upgrade he thought. One month ago however saw him quitting his job and returning to education as a first year college student to Ascot Academy.


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Played by: . . . achelois
Face claim: . . . renan pacheco
Sheet by: . . . bombinate
Coding inspo: . . . achelois

So begins...

Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Barlow Character Portrait: Raphael Pavesi Character Portrait: Haruto Shimazaki Character Portrait: Aldrel Kryzalki Character Portrait: Birdie McKnight Character Portrait: Wyatt Whitley Character Portrait: Josephine Kingston Character Portrait: Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura Character Portrait: Drew Anderson Character Portrait: Dorothy King Character Portrait: Lonna Le Fey Character Portrait: Selig Fuchs

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NEW GUARDIANS : ACT ONE

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Time: 9.03am, Monday 9th October, 2017


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The morning of Monday the 9th dawns bright and chilly, one of the colder days despite the time of year. Many might glance at the sky with a disgruntled frown, asking why the weather gods had decided to bring a winter breeze a month early. It could have been worse though, for it was only the wind that stirred leaves and sent the odd chill down pedestrians' backs. When out of the wind and in the sun, the weather seemed warmer, closer to the summer passed than the winter to come.

The city itself seems quiet, more peaceful than an large, thriving metropolis has a right to be. Yet, anyone knows that beneath that tranquil peace is sure to be the rumblings of crime, a common undercurrent found in any big city. Well, perhaps New York's crime stats were a bit lower than your average city. It did lay claim to a few prominent members of The Wardens, and was the secret home to The Warden's newest venture: The New Guardians, a group of younger heroes being trained to save the world.

A year has passed since the group was first formed, and since then their number has doubled as new recruits have been invited to join by the veteran Wardens. Within the last month, almost every member of the young heroes' group has received a scholarship (or invitation for those wealthy enough not to worry about money) to attend the prestigious Ascot Academy, a private school offering high school courses as well as college classes.

For those in the high school, a mandatory uniform sees all the students wearing a sea of white and navy. Thankfully, the university students are free to wear what they wish, provided it isn't too ostentatious. As the new day begins, school calls to our heroes, where they might temporarily put aside weapons and masks for pens and calculators... well, at least as long as trouble doesn't come calling.



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The girl hit the ground with a dull thud, a grunt of suppressed pain squeezed from her lips as the wind was knocked from her lungs. Her shins stung, her hands were prickling from the slap of the mat, and various bruises were already sprouting across her dark skin, and yet she was pushing herself up with barely a frown.

"Isn't this child abuse or something?" Beatrice Barlow chirped up at her mentor, rolling her wrists slightly before crouching back into an anticipatory position, fists raised above her face. Rather than mimic her pose or respond to her teasing, Francis Leeds merely threw a towel at the teenager. His own towel was clutched in his other hand, wiping a thin layer of sweat off his face.

"Come on old man, one more round." Bea attempts to coerce her mentor, even though she knows better than anyone how frustratingly stubborn he can be.

"You have school starting soon" He replies, nodding towards the digital clock projected onto the wall of the manor's fitness centre. "I don't pay for you not to go."

Bea snorted and placed her hand over her heart, faking a regretful tone as she teases, "If only I've got one of those special scholarships, then you wouldn't have to pay a dime."

Francis Leeds merely raises an eyebrow at the girl's teasing, his lips quirking up in what might almost be considered a smirk. Someone who didn't know the man well might assume that his expression was unchanged, still that mask of blankness that The Shadow maintained at all times. Bea, however, could tell that this was Leeds' version of a smile, the equivalent of a normal person physically clutching their stomach in laughter. It was a victory, and she was sure as hell going to tell Dot about it when she did get to school.

As she grabbed her water bottle and took a refreshing gulp, Bea shook her head at her mentor, "You gonna drive me? Otherwise I might accidentally miss the bus."

Leeds merely straightened as he picked up his own bottle, flung his towel over his shoulder and proceeded to leave the training room, calling back over his shoulder, "I'll be leaving in fifteen minutes. Don't be late."

Twenty-five minutes later, after a hasty shower, pulling on her school uniform, and grabbing her school books, Bea finds herself seated in the passenger seat of Francis Leeds' favourite sports car as they pull into the entrance of Ascot Academy. The wrought iron gates were pulled wide, bracketed by solid columns of old brick decorated by climbing vines. The school itself has ivy climbing over the old building, the one that looks like it was plucked right out of 18th century Europe and plonked on the outskirts of New York city. The new building, hovering over the old, is new and sleek in comparison, and Beatrice knows from experience holds a hub of expensive tech that her wealthy mentor - among others - helped to fund.

The nine o'clock bell to signal the start of first period has already rung, no doubt the 8.50 bell telling students to get to class had already sounded too. Bea looked forward to the day she would be a college student, and didn't have to abide by the timetable those bells set. At least she didn't have to go to one of the other city schools where they started at some ungodly, even earlier hour.

"Come on, Frank, first period is gym and you know I don't need any help with that!" Bea sighs as the car grinds to a halt, attempting to do the impossible and convince Francis into doing something he's already refused her. "We could go get starbucks and I'd still be back in time for English."

"Out." Was all Leeds answered with as he leaned over and opened her door for her, raising his brows as he waited for the young girl to leave. Bea pulled a face and slid out of the car, petulantly poking her tongue out as Leeds closed the door and drove off with only a "Be good" in farewell.

Bea squared her shoulders and smoothed her skirt, resigning herself to the mind numbing dullness of playing volleyball for an hour. Truthfully, it wouldn't really be that bad. She had a few friends in the class and Bea was always fairly good at sports, but she'd still rather be wagging with Francis. Or Dot, maybe she should text Dot and...

Even as the thought crossed Bea's mind, something beeped. It wasn't the cellphone in her bag however, but the small device she kept in the thin belt hidden beneath her school blouse. Digging it out, Bea felt a grin spread across her face because she knew before she'd looked at the message and plugged in the ear piece what the beeping meant. The New Guardians were being called in on a mission. No school for the day!


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"New Guardians, report to home base immediately. This is a priority mission, everyone is required." The Shadow's voice was brusque and business-like, leaving no room for questions. The broadcast no doubt going out to all the members of the young team.

"Yes, sir." Raphael Pavesi responded quietly, head down so as not to draw attention in the small lecture theatre, hand covering his mouth. The Italian, who had risen early for a lecture at Ascot, quickly packed up his items and pulled out of his row, ducking his head further as he slipped from the room. He waved vaguely at the one friend he had in the lecture, reminding himself to text her later to ask for notes.

Then, it was only a short walk to one two teleportation devices within the school. This one took the appearance of a supply closet, yet only the thumb print of one of the heroes would cause the door knob to unlock. To anyone else it would be mysteriously locked. Raf pulled it open now, hooking his bag securely over his shoulder as the door locked behind him and he was able to step up onto the large disc-like indents on the floor. The one beneath his feet glowed, a robotic voice calling out his name as it scanned his body and confirmed his identity,

"Aeolus. Member B-1-1."

Gritting his teeth, Raf watched as yellow light washed over his body, and suddenly he felt as if he were moving at the speed of light without actually moving an inch. Gravity weighed him down, his breath was pushed from his lungs, his finger tips sparked, and then as suddenly as it began he was standing on a similar pad, but in a much larger room. Really, the teleportation pads take less than the blink of an eye, but it always feels longer to Raf, who hates them. Yet, with time of the essence, he figured it would be better than flying to base.

The underground base has a simple layout. One main room in the centre is where most activities, training exercises, and mission hand-outs occur. Around the circular room are a few niches - one of which holds the teleportation pads, enough to transport the whole team in one go anywhere in the world. Directly across are automatic doors which lead to more training rooms, areas such as the gym and a small swimming pool, rooms for training powers, and more. Between that door and the teleportation pads are, on one side, doors leading to the large garage, while directly across from them are the doors leading to the communal living areas and bedrooms.

Raf heads towards the bedrooms now, rushing through the doors into a large living room with an extensive kitchen attached, and then through into a short corridor with bedrooms branching off. Some of the rooms are empty, as not every member chooses to live at base. Raf's room is the third on the right, a tidy, personal space which he rarely invites others into. He likes to hole up on his chair most nights to read a book. Today, however, he dumps his back, quickly pulls on his outfit and then heads back out to the main atrium.

His gloves activate with a through, inscribed, golden skin crawling over his hands. He flexes them as he comes to stand in front of The Shadow, nodding his greeting to the older hero while waiting for the rest of the team to join them.

It isn't long before the teleportation pads illuminate again, and as the robotic voice calls, "Dusk. Member B-0-1." , with a wide grin on her face steps the identified hero. She's in her uniform and grinning, holding back her energy as she comes over to The Shadow.

"Should'a just gone to starbucks." She teases her mentor, and Raf isn't sure, but he thinks... he thinks he just saw the Shadow almost smile.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Barlow Character Portrait: Raphael Pavesi Character Portrait: Haruto Shimazaki Character Portrait: Wyatt Whitley Character Portrait: Josephine Kingston Character Portrait: Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura Character Portrait: Dorothy King Character Portrait: Lonna Le Fey

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Gabriel Ventura
MENON | TELEKINESIS | #5b7144

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      Gabriel hated early mornings, not because it forced him awake, but because they were too quiet. The truth of the matter was he would gladly never sleep again if it meant not having to hear the drone of a fan or the sound of his own heartbeat alone. He might have enjoyed living more if he request was satisfied.

      It was a shame though that only one part of his wish was fulfilled, and it wasn’t the one he had hoped for.

      At five in the morning he had woken up, made breakfast, trained lightly with an on-hand warden, and promptly left for the city at eight. Gabriel was sleep deprived, and he knew it — in fact, everyone knew it, but it wasn’t as if he hadn’t tried to correct it. No, he took the prescribed sleeping medication, went to bed at exactly nine o’clock, and even drank warm milk before trying to fall asleep. Nothing worked though at keeping him asleep so Gabriel had given up hope of ever a good nights rest for the reminder of his life.

      It was for those reasons Gabriel found himself sitting in a noisy cafe and sipping on a hot americano at the very back of the room. From his vantage point he could see all those who entered and their well groomed appearances. It was different from the southern states he used to live in, where frequently he would see woman and men alike enter stores with only sweatpants and hoodies to cover themselves.

      “Do you mind if I sit here?” a smooth voice pulled him out of his mind, and when Gabriel looked up a young man was smiling sheepishly down at him. With a jolt he nodded his head, and moved his coffee cup out of the way while mumbling his apologies for the mess. The man shook his head in deference and set his own drink and newspaper down on the table.

      Gabriel tensed, unsure how to respond. Yes, the cafe was busy but there was enough space at the window bar for the man to have seated himself at so why him? Did the man want to chat with him, become his friend? His breath hitched. What would they even talk about? He was so uninteresting aside from the fact he was a hero in training, but he couldn’t just tell a stranger that, or could he? Maybe he saw how lonely Gabriel was and —

      “Sorry, the spot up there was already taken,” the other man pushed up his glasses in embarrassment and Gabriel nodded his head in understanding. His heart was racing, but he tried his hardest not to appear too weird or nervous. Taking a sip of his half full drink he used it to calm his mind and remind him that jumping to conclusions never a good idea. He sighed.

      A beep from his jacket gave Gabriel the ability to excuse himself from the awkward situation politely, and when he heard the new orders from Shadow he exited the cafe to locate the nearest teleportation pad.



      "Menon. Member B-0-3,” a voice called out and to his mortification he noticed some of his colleagues already gathered in the main atrium. Without a word he briskly walked into the common living area and toward his room to change into his ‘superhero attire’ which didn’t differ much from his normal clothing choice.

      In addition to his outfit, he wrapped a long beige scarf around his neck, put on a pair of leather gloves, and donned dark sunglasses to conceal his eyes. He looked the same as a civilian, but was then significantly warmer.

      Gabriel made his way back to the rest of the team just in time to hear the automated voice call out Yuki’s identification number, and stood next to his friend Raphael (or as the heroes would call him, Aeolus). With a quick glance upward he met the gaze of the Shadow and gave a slight gesture in greeting.

      “Hello Yuki . . .” he replied not knowing if his greeting was wanted and reflexively said, “Aeolus, Dusk, Golden Girl” He nodded in their direction for knew them more than anyone else and it was only after he said their names he thought it impolite not to include everyone else. “I’m sorry. Good morning to you too Patriot . . . Fever . . . . Quantum,” he slowed his speech nervously and cleared his throat after reciting their aliases. He wasn’t sure if it was acceptable to greet the rest as a whole if he had previously mentioned everyone else by their names, and feared it might exclude them.

      Internally he screamed at himself and asked why he couldn’t function like a normal human being. He exhaled silently. It was going to be a long day.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Barlow Character Portrait: Raphael Pavesi Character Portrait: Haruto Shimazaki Character Portrait: Aldrel Kryzalki Character Portrait: Birdie McKnight Character Portrait: Wyatt Whitley Character Portrait: Josephine Kingston Character Portrait: Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura Character Portrait: Drew Anderson Character Portrait: April Choi Character Portrait: Dorothy King Character Portrait: Lonna Le Fey Character Portrait: Selig Fuchs

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MISSION ONE: WASP LABS

Time: 9.30am, Monday 9th October, 2017
Destination: Wasp Labs, Tunisia

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Shadow remained as impassive as ever as each member of the New Guardians trooped in, face revealing nothing. Usually, these debriefs took place over the large screen he stood in front of, the communication device standing taller than he was and presenting several smaller screens surrounding a much larger one in the centre. There was a direct link to The Warden’s base, where a video conference could be set up with the flick of a button. That is where Shadow would usually be, standing stiffly in front of The Warden’s screen rather than watching for the young heroes to congregate. Today, however, he had been in the neighbourhood.

The older hero watches patiently and silently, merely inclining his head when greeted by various members or remaining impassive as others filtered in. He watched and assessed as the group gathered, noting who went to stand with who, the way some glanced at their feet or nervously said hello to the whole group. None of these children, young adults – as his mentee would remind him – were his enemy, but no knowledge, no matter how small, was ever wasted.

“So, what’s the mission, boss?” Dusk quips cheerfully, eagerness to act telling by the way she was lightly shifting from foot to foot.

Shadow glanced at those gathered, noted the few who weren’t here yet, and then came to a decision. Those who were late would have to sit out, time was of the essence. Without a word, Shadow turned towards the monitor behind him, fingers lightly tapping a few of the keys and bringing up the familiar face of a local news reporter. Dusk groaned behind Shadow, and the older hero felt the tips of his mouth quirk up slightly in amusement. Shadow well knew her frustration that the reporter constantly mangled her hero name.

On the screen, Hapley was speaking to the camera while a small square image in the corner of the television revealed the focus of his segment.

“Terror in Tunisia! The villain known as Echo has been sighted in the African nation, sending the country and its neighbours into panic as his drones move across the border.” The screen shifted from Perd’s chubby jowls to a shot of a Tunisian city. It looked like a war zone; buildings were crumbling and engulfed in flame, civilians were fleeing in terror as small, robotic humanoid-drones slowly marched through the streets. Behind them, leading the small army of deadly robots, came a robotic creation that stood as tall as the eight storey building it had just crushed beneath metal hands. Though unable to see within the giant robot’s insides, the villain known as Echo would be inside, controlling the devastation from the relative safety of his robotic walls. As the scene continued, the giant robot, an intimidating vision of black and grey steel, turned in its tracks, its arm stretching out, hand opening to reveal some sort of weapon. A flash of light, and suddenly another building was destroyed.

“I’m receiving word that-… yes! Steel comet has arrived.” Perd’s voice announced just as flash of grey streaked through the sky, a powerful sword glinting in his hand as the British hero brought it down on the still outstretched hand. With a sickening crunch the metallic limb was split almost in half.

The image froze as Shadow paused it, his gaze returning to the keyboard as he typed in a few more commands.

“Please tell me we’re going to take on Echo!” Dusk gasped, excitement lacing through her small body. She’d been longing to take on the asshole again since the last time they’d met – when he’d called her ‘that Shadow brat’ and then laughed as she’d angrily corrected him. Why couldn’t anyone get her name right?

Rather than answer his protegee, Shadow merely hit another key and brought up a satellite image of a lone, seemingly innocuous building, followed by schematics for the same construction.

“No! Shadow, please.” Dusk moaned pre-emptively, recognising the logo barely showing on a corner of the building on screen; a steel and black wasp imposed on a dark shield. Across from Dusk, Aeolus shifted restlessly, frowning slightly at the image on screen. He didn’t recognise the insignia on the building, but then again, he hadn’t been at this game as long Dusk, nor did he have The Shadow as his mentor.

“Wasp Labs, two hours from Echo’s position, currently being evacuated of most staff. We’ve been watching various labs for months-…” -Shadow ignored the loud huff coming from his protegee, who had spent countless boring days on recon at one of the American Wasp labs, and continued- “…and we’re certain that this one is hiding something of importance. Usually, with the number of civilians on staff a mission such as this would be difficult, however with the evacuation, the facilities will either be empty or...”

Aeolus leaned in slightly as Shadow pressed another button, and a slightly blurry, pixilated image appeared on screen. It was the same facility, only various trucks and cars had shifted position in the carpark. The image zoomed in to a pair of figures entering the building, a tall, lithe male glancing arrogantly over his shoulder and a slim woman beside him, staring resolutely forward.

“…guarded by criminals. Ricochet and Esfir Vasile were spotted entering the facility three days ago.” Shadow continued, naming the pixilated pair on screen, “We have yet to determine why they were there, or whether they’ve returned since. But, given the lack of civilians at the labs, we won’t get another opportunity to strike. Your mission is a three-pronged strike. Team alpha; Aeolus, Yuki, Quantum, Sigil, and Knockout, you’ll be coming in from the south and drawing any remaining guards from the building. Team beta; Patriot, Aether, Golden Girl, and Menon, you’ll approach from the north…”

Bea snickered quietly as Shadow announced the teams and shifted over so that she could elbow Dot gently, muttering under her breath, “Remember that last fic Claudia wrote? About alphas and betas?”

Shadow continued, “…Team gamma; Dusk, Ghost, Interstellar, and Fever, you’ll be entering the facility covertly to gather intel.” Shadow shifted to the map of the area and indicated the points from which he wanted each team to arrive, “Objectives for alpha and beta are the same, draw hostile enemy fire and create cover for gamma team to enter the facility. If Ricochet and Vasile or any of their associates are inside, we’ll need alpha and beta to draw them out before gamma go in. Gamma, your only mission is to collect information.”

Dusk held her hands up in a defensive position as Shadow directed the last warning to her, “Observe, collect info, got it boss.”

Shadow didn’t react to his mentee, merely typed in a series of commands to the communication table before telling those gathered, “The necessary details have been sent to your personal devices. You have ten minutes to gather what you need before the teleportation devices will take you to the drop off zone. From there, you’ll be on foot to the destination. You’ll have two hours maximum. Work together, and do not disappoint me.”

Aeolus nodded as the brief came to a close, and glanced across at the four individuals in his team. Though he was always one of the quieter ones of the team, he held respect for all of those within the New Guardians, and was prepared to push through his natural reticence in order to prepare for a meeting.

“Shall we come up with a plan?” He inquired to any of alpha that were listening, before pulling out a slim cellphone from the only pocket on his tight uniform. Raf opened up Shadow’s message and quickly scanned over the basic information sent to him and his team. It was enough to give them insight into the area, without overwhelming them with facts that they wouldn’t need.

Without a formal farewell, Shadow left the young heroes to ready themselves, heading towards the teleportation devices. He’d only gone a few paces before halting as Dusk cut him off,

“You’re going to fight Echo?” She guessed, shifting to walk with her mentor towards the alcove housing the teleportation pads. Shadow didn’t respond, but Dusk knew him well enough to be confident in her assumption, “You going to tell me what they’ve got in that lab?”

“You don’t already know?” Shadow responded with the slightest, teasing arch to his eyebrow. Bea pulled a face, biting back a scowl as she watched the tall man type in the coordinates for his destination and step onto the closest pad, “Did I ever tell you that patience is a virtue?”

Bea parted her lips to respond, incredulous that Shadow had just teased her, twice. She’d spent the dullest days watching a nearer set of Wasp labs, to no avail. Now, knowing that something was obviously happening in this foreign lab had her itching with curiosity to find out. If Shadow wouldn’t tell her, she sure as hell was going to give the stealth mission her all to find out just what was within the lab’s secretive walls.

“I’m so ready for this.” Dusk grinned as she turned back towards her comrades, raising her wrist and tapping on the small digital screen attached to her uniform. A miniature blueprint of the facilities appeared, showing several stories above ground, and at least two basement levels. Security locks, restricted corridors, secret rooms… whatever they found would pose – hopefully – new and exciting challenges. Feeling her grin widen, Dusk glanced at the others on team gamma, “This is going to be so much fun.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael Pavesi Character Portrait: Haruto Shimazaki Character Portrait: Aldrel Kryzalki Character Portrait: Birdie McKnight Character Portrait: Wyatt Whitley Character Portrait: Josephine Kingston Character Portrait: Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura Character Portrait: April Choi Character Portrait: Selig Fuchs

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H A R U T O
S H I M A Z A K I

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「Yuki」

#16ACC7

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As expected, Shadow merely nodded slightly at his question and didn't say anything else, nor express any noticeable expression. Haruto is quite confident in himself when it comes to reading other people (not that he himself couldn't be read that easy), but their leader seemed to always shrouded himself behind a rather mysterious veil. He never fully hides nor reveals anything about himself, and no one can really tell what Shadow has on his mind all the times. Haruto doesn't really know how he should feel about him though. But his mentor once told him that when Shadow first approached him, he didn't trust him in the least, now the man has become one of the very few people whom Hyouga spoke so highly of, so Haruto figures that he should respect the man, as well as following any orders and decisions he may give the lot of them.

As he waited, more and more people started to arrive. Menon walks in only a few moments after Haruto arrives, though not from the teleportation pads so he may have arrived earlier and left somewhere to tend to his own business. The guy greeted everyone as he stood next to Aeolus, though it was quite clear that he was somewhat... fidgety, judging by the way he nervously said. Haruto doesn't blame him though. Each and everyone of them has their own characteristics, and he respects the way people be themselves. So, in response, he just smiled back to him as gently and brightly as he could, like he always did, "Hi there, Menon. You look fine today."

Aether stepped in shortly after. Upon their first meeting, Haruto has had an instant impression of him being quite a cute boy. The way the two of them behaves around others is pretty much similar. He couldn't help having a nagging feeling that the younger boy is always seemed to be in a state of confusion. Like... all the time. He was so soft that it felt as if he was afraid to get on people's bad books. But that doesn't stop him from approaching Aether and tried to make friends with him. Haruto hoped that the boy will open up more about himself and be more confident in what he is capable of. One thing though, he doesn't really get why some of their self-proclaimed fans shipped him and Aether together, as he once accidentally came across some fanfictions of them. It was kind of weird, but he decided to let it off his mind for now.

The next one to turn up is Ghost, otherwise known to him by her civilian identity as Birdie. "Hey, Ghost-chan." He immediately waved and greeted her in a rather excited manner as she went and stood by Quantum, offering her some bagels. Well, Haruto wouldn't miss a chance to have some chit-chat with his favorite otaku girl, so he walked by her side, "Did you watch the newest episode of 'Attack on Titans' last night? That was quite a twist, wasn't it?" There was just no ends between them when it comes to Japanese cultures so they wouldn't hold back on talking about them anytime possible.

After the Sigil and Knockout arrived, Shadow gained everyone's attention and get down to the real purpose of their meeting, as time was running short and they can't sit around waiting all sixteen of them to come. A report footage was shown on the big screen, showing the villain Echo at large in Tunisia, a nation in Africa, throwing the civilians' lives into chaos as he control a giant robot to terrorize the city. That is, before a hero arrived and put an end to it. Haruto watched the whole thing with much enthusiasm, as it almost felt like watching a blockbuster in the cinema.

Haruto was seriously thinking that they are going to take on Echo, until Shadow paused the screen and move to the ins and outs of the upcoming mission. Like most of the times, he knows that there would be a huge amount of information to take in, so his listened as attentively as he could, while piecing what he had heard together. It seemed like they will be infiltrating a lab that Shadow has been observing for quite a while now. This mission would put Haruto at a disadvantage, due to the usual high temperatures of Africa, even more so if it was situated in a desert. However, it wasn't of anything special, until the screen was enlarged, showing two figures that were blurred due to the pixels. But Haruto recognized them. Ricochet and Esfir Vasile. He and Hyouga once faced them before and they are definitely not easy targets.

Shadow decided to divide them into three teams, each with their own missions. It seemed that he was placed in team Alpha, tasked with striking from the south of the facility. His heart raced a little when he realized that he and Aeolus were both going to work together. But he shook that little thought of and focused on the task at hand. When the briefing came to a close, Shadow left to let them to gather what they need and work out how will they work together in the upcoming mission. There was no room for questions or any extra information, as expected, but he's pretty much used to it now.

He went and stood with his team when Quantum gathered them together. She began to assess their abilities and set out which positions are best suited for them. Jo is reliable as a leader, so Haruto trusts her with her recommendations. After she finished assessing, he nodded to her and replied, "Yes, I admit that the dryness in Tunisia will be a hindrance, but I'll see what I can do. Freezing stuffs up wasn't the only thing I'm good at." He said with a small hint of joke, "I definitely won't let any of them to get in your way. But a bit of a warning though. I faced both Ricochet and Vasile with my mentor before, and they certainly aren't just some ordinary goons. I think it's best that none of us should face them head-to-head recklessly. That's all."

Haruto then turned to Aeolus, trying to hide the fact that he was seriously fanboying on the insides right now, "Hey, umm... Aeolus? Please watch your back too when we went out there, okay?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Barlow Character Portrait: Raphael Pavesi Character Portrait: Aldrel Kryzalki Character Portrait: Wyatt Whitley Character Portrait: Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura Character Portrait: Dorothy King

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The Patriot / / Wyatt Whitley // #e31006Image

Wyatt didn't expect his question to be answered when he reached the base. He would've asked Dusk for answers since she was the leader's sidekick and all, but, and he hated to admit it, The Shadow was intimating and talking might get Wyatt scolded. The thing he needed was for Samuel to get onto him for not playing well with the head of the Wardens. Teamwork and working with others is a new thing for him lately so he's been trying to be watch his actions. Wyatt half smiles at Golden Girl, Aeolus, and Dusk before leaning on a nearby wall. Dusk was the first to approach to him when he first arrived at New Guardians, offering to train with him if he wanted. He quickly realized despite working with someone so serious, she was actually playful. Her teasing was loved and despised at the same time. Dusk treated him like a normal person, but god was it annoying on missions. Their lives are at risk every second and she cracks jokes. Just like Samuel, that blockhead. Wyatt says it affectionately though. Everyone began to flood in after Wyatt's arrival. He saw Fever, his favorite taste tester come in. The two weren't exactly friends, but they respected each other.

Wyatt began to pay attention when Shadow began to speak about the mission. Echo was the villain behind the chaos in Tunisia, ruining lives of civilians for his nefarious purposes. However, what ticked Wyatt off the most was Perd's voice. The reporter has been calling him 'The Parrot' for a year and it grinds Wyatt's nerves. A patriot and a parrot are two different things! It's not that hard! Wyatt zoned back in after Shadow ended the video. Hearing he was going to enter a guarded factor to gain secret information instead of fighting the main villain was a chance to prove himself; going against Echo in his current state would be suicide. As much as he hates to admit it, Wyatt isn't strong enough, yet. Missions like these were good stepping stones though.

"Team beta; Patriot, Aether, Golden Girl, and Menon, you’ll approach from the north…” Wyatt glanced over to his new teammates. ... Something to work with. Golden Girl and him got along well. Their mentors forced them into a 'playdate' when the two joined Guardians. Colonel wanted to Wyatt make friends as a rehabilitation or something and Golden Girl's mentor must've wanted the same. It was weird at first, but the two bonded over music especially during their debates of rap vs. country. Watching her face while listening to 'She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy' was the hardest he's laughed since after... the experiments. She's also a good addition to Team Beta. Her gold exterior makes her more difficult to injure and stronger, good offense. Aether was a mystery to Wyatt. The two have never talked or had any sort of interaction before so trusting him wasn't going to come easily. His projectile attacks and ability to create barriers and weapons, melee, are very valuable. Flight is also an advantage if they need a bird's eye view for incoming enemies. Finally, there was Menon. The man didn't not have uses, but honestly, he's the liability. As much a camouflage and perception are important, he's useless in a physical fight. Wyatt watched him in combat training and he's almost too nice to fight back. Menon can take out guards by throwing them or disabling with his telekinesis, but he seems more defense or secret weapon then a front line man. Wyatt could work with them.

Beta team drifted towards each other after Shadow finished his announcement, saying they had ten minutes to talk strategy and gather weapons. Normally, Wyatt would've gone for weapons first, but a weapon is useless without a plan. Even though Wyatt was the youngest, he felt like he needed to step up, prove himself. "Okay... team," the words felt odd coming from him and he hoped the others' didn't hear the nerves in his voice, "I say Gold and I are the front linemen, or women, whatever. I'll try to draw the guards out since I'm faster and you,"[color] Wyatt looked at Golden Girl,[color=#e31006] "and you," he turned his gaze to Aether, "Be ready to attack when they come out. Aether, eyes in the sky will, hopefully, keep us aware of our surroundings. Distance weapons are your best so do some damage up there. Menon, you need to be out of sight, out of mind. You're our secret weapon, disable as many guards as you can, but don't let them see you. Keep an eye on the three of us in case we need back up. Any questions?" Wyatt gritted his teeth; he sounded more drill sergeant than team member. Well, I am a soldier-not the point! "I mean... any thoughts? Suggestions?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aldrel Kryzalki Character Portrait: Wyatt Whitley Character Portrait: Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura Character Portrait: Dorothy King

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Gabriel Ventura
MENON | TELEKINESIS | #5b7144

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      There were times in Gabriel’s life where he had to wonder whether his apologetic disposition was a direct influence of external circumstances, or if they were simply part of his nature. The answer to his question would have no direct effect on his thought process, but the moment Aether moved beside him, he had to ponder that thought once again.

      “I-I’m sorry I didn’t mean to um, make you desire . . . suffering,” he added hesitantly. Gabriel looked down at his friend and tried to smile slightly. His glasses then perched on his nose came sliding down as he tilted his head as a sign of surrender. “If you wanna talk about it then uh then I’ll be here.”

      He didn’t respond and so Gabriel let the conversation awkwardly die out, and watched as a few more members filtered into the room. Soon enough Dusk asked the question most were thinking, and silently turned on the television to the News.

      Internally Gabriel groaned and instinctively clenched his jaw in anticipation for the inevitable. Fortunately, their names were safe from slaughter, but in its stead was a news report about an attack in Tunisia. On the screen Gabriel watched in horror as droids marched along the ruined city streets with a much larger robot behind them. He wanted to throw up. However, he forced himself not to look away and was relieved to see Steel Comet already fighting Echo.

      Shadow then switched the view on the screen to showcase a building and a few schematics. Gabriel listened intently to his instructions and quickly glanced to Aether once his name was called. A wave of relief washed over him as he realized he wouldn’t be on the mission alone with people he didn’t know quite well.

      With Shadow’s final words to everyone Gabriel then turned to the others and formed a small circle in order to talk privately.

      Without a word, Gabriel took in the members of his team and nodded his head in approval unconsciously. He was in awe. It was one thing to be standing next to them, and a whole other to be working alongside them. Without warning his heart began to race, and it took a few deep breaths to calm himself down. He wasn’t meant to be there.

      Aether of course was arguably his closest friend, and Gabriel had to qualms about working with him. The man was quiet and intelligent and knew how to make a cool ass weapon from thin air — what was there not to like? And Golden Girl, although her energy was frightening at times Gabriel still appreciated her work ethic and strength. He knew she and Dusk were very good friends, and felt a twinge of sadness not to see them work together. As for the Patriot, Gabriel held a good amount of respect for the kid. Sixteen and already a hero, he was more than Gabriel ever was at his age and would only continue to grow.

      The Patriot then began to talk and explained his strategy. Gabriel nodded his head in understanding and when it came time to make suggestions he could only shake his head no. He knew his role, and despite not feeling confident in his abilities knew that he would rather die than disappoint them more than he already has.

The setting changes from new-york-city-ny to Wasp Labs, Tunisia

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Barlow Character Portrait: Raphael Pavesi Character Portrait: Haruto Shimazaki Character Portrait: Aldrel Kryzalki Character Portrait: Birdie McKnight Character Portrait: Wyatt Whitley Character Portrait: Josephine Kingston Character Portrait: Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura Character Portrait: April Choi Character Portrait: Dorothy King Character Portrait: Lonna Le Fey Character Portrait: Selig Fuchs Character Portrait: Michi Kneller

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MISSION ONE: WASP LABS

Time: 9.40am (NYC)/ 2.40pm (Tunisia), Monday 9th October, 2017
Destination: Wasp Labs, Tunisia

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Ten minutes ticked by quickly when planning and plotting for a mission. As the timer ticked down the last minute, the New Guardians finished any last second preparations needed for battle. As per Shadow's instructions - those spoken and the more individual plans sent to each member's personal device - the various teams would be transported to the perimeter of Wasp Laps. Team alpha and beta would leave first, alpha arriving just south of the facility's entrance and pushing their way through security to draw out any remaining guards from the main entrance, while team beta would find themselves teleported just north of the labs and taking the second entrance as their target. A few minutes later team gamma were set to depart, arriving to the west of the facility, where the easiest path into the facility had been mapped out by Shadow and - hopefully - reinforced during the ten minute planning session.

As the deadline to leave came, team alpha stepped up to the teleportation pads. Aeolus gave his teammates a nod before Dusk, at the teleportation device's control pad, tapped in the coordinates. With a flash of light, Aeolus felt his body being hurtled through space as the transport technology pulled him halfway across the globe in the blink of an eye. He would have clenched his fists if he'd had time to do so. As it was, his boots were landing on the quickly set up receptor teleportation pads seconds after his departure, his team appearing beside him in the same moment. As Raf caught his breathe - he hated the teleportation devices, he took a moment to assess his surroundings.

It was warm, a pleasant 25 C (77 F), with the lightest breeze ruffling his hair (that would change). To one side of him ran a lonely road through a sparse covering of trees. Hills stood in the distance and the odd homestead, open to the mid-afternoon sun. He wondered if that was where Echo was wrecking havoc with his robots?

To the other side sat Wasp labs; a high-tech facility that gleamed with the prosperity of well-funded research. The lone road lead through tall security gates, a lone station to the side of the road no doubt for screening arriving individuals before cars were diverted to a car park on the other side of the metal fence. Beyond that was the small collection of buildings which made up the lab. None reached higher than a few stories. They were square, flashy things which utilised modern architecture and a combination of shining metal and brick. Alpha were closest to the first building, where a set of large glass doors marked the official entrance. A small fountain and courtyard decorated front of the entrance, though it was nothing ostentatious.

What Aeolus noted as he took in the building was the odd scattering of patrolling security guards, guns sitting happily at their hips. He sighted three from where he stood - one walking from the carpark towards the south-east fence, the other two by the building entrance. The carpark was mostly empty too, a good sign to indicate that most of the civilian staff had no doubt left already.

"Andiamo. Let's go." Raf said, taking a step towards the labs. There was no need for stealth here, not when his team's mission was to distract. With a grin, Raf flexed his hands and, making sure he wasn't too close to any team mates, called on the winds. The engravings in his gloves gleamed as they tugged at the air, sweeping the soft breeze into something fiercer, collecting dry leaves and dust as it swirled and wrapped around Raf. Aeolus took a leaping step and the wind caught up, propelling him up and over the fence in a graceful arch. He had no doubt that the rest of his team right beside him.

He landed with a thud on the concrete of the parking lot, knees bending to absorb the impact, head turning slightly to glance behind him at his team. Straightening, Rafael held his hand parallel to the ground, calling on the winds again. They came in a burst; a tight ball of fierce winds which flew towards the nearest parked car and sent it flying into it's neighbour several spaces down. There was no explosion (sadly), but a flying car would serve a good initial distraction to signal Wasp Lab's guards that they were about to have a fight on their hands.

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From the other side of the facility - where team beta were arriving - they would find no lone road, but rather a simple fence dictating the facility's boundaries. Beyond that, shipping containers lined one side of the immediate grounds, beside the locked containers stood a smaller carpark, no doubt for the executives of the lab, though only one car sat in its assigned spot. The other half of grounds before the buildings was taken up by grass and the odd picnic table. Apparently, the back of the facility was often used as a lunch station for the facility's employees. The second entrance was also often used by the bosses, and here too a few guards were stationed. Even from the other side of the grounds, the sound of screeching metal from a thrown car could be heard.

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Team gamma were the last to arrive, their landing position to the west hidden from view of the labs by a thick collection of trees pressed against the lab's fence. Bea blinked at the bright sun, already digging through her belt for the small wire cutting device she kept stashed there. Once through the fence they had the shortest distance to cross (a small stretch of grass) before reaching a small door on the side of the building. From there, if the blueprints they'd been provided with were accurate, Dusk and her team could find somewhere for Fever to lie and get Ghost to the servers. Then, Dusk was determined to find her way through the twisting labyrinth of underground hallways to their target.

"Can you cast an illusion over us when we're through the fence?" Dusk asked Tauschung over her shoulder as he brought the hand-held wire cutter to the fence and cut through the first diamond of metal. A grin stretched across Bea's face, fuck yes, this is what she lived for.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aldrel Kryzalki Character Portrait: Wyatt Whitley Character Portrait: Gabriel 'Gabe' Ventura Character Portrait: Dorothy King

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    Guilt pricked at Rel the moment Gabriel turned his head in Rel's direction. He hadn't meant to make the man uncomfortable, and his brain moved quickly, gears almost audibly turning as he attempted to come up with an adequate response. Nothing came, and Rel continued to struggle until, finally, the acceptable amount of time in which to respond had fully elapsed. Rel closed his eyes in a wince.

    Gabe may have been his best friend on the team, but that didn't exactly mean Rel felt entirely at ease. Less stilted and awkward than with others, yes, but still uncomfortable, like a clown attempting to interact with people normally, costume still fully in place. He sighed and dedicated himself to focusing on the task information being given.

    The screen displayed, first, news on big name villain. Rel wouldn't mind going up against a major force, especially since his powers were still completely intact, but it did seem a little redundant given the hero already on the scene, and, well, he hadn't quite gotten used to being televised yet, though Circuit was always coaching him on something or other about it, though to Rel it seemed a little over the top, but who was he to say, after all—oh.

    Semi-lost in thoughts, Rel was a half second short on the realization that they weren't on their way to battle Echo after all (why'd Shadow even bother showing the footage? a moderately irked part of him thought, before also thinking that he was overstepping his bounds with that sort of mentality), but at least the contents of their mission seemed to be relatively simple. Plus, he thought, with some relief, Dot and Gabe will be there.

    In a few quick seconds, the boy, known to Rel as Patriot, took command of the operations. Rel had no complaints. He'd be happy with no directions or with finely detailed ones— it didn't matter to him. He was no type A personality by any means, but he also wasn't completely vacant in the headspace, so he tended to work well with whatever he was given. And of all the things Patriot had said, he found nothing to contest. Nodding his assent, he inclined his head towards Gabe.

    "I can generate and maintain a barrier around you, if you'd like," he said, not quite whispering, perhaps endeavoring to make up for their earlier, somewhat embarrassing, communication attempt. It would be too difficult for him to cast projectiles while flying and generate shields for the moving targets of Dot and Patriot, but if Gabe wouldn't be moving much, he didn't think it'd be too much trouble. Then again, he never really went into missions thinking they'd be too much trouble. More often than not, he was proven wrong.

    ***

    The instantaneous teleportation always afflicted Rel with a small sense of vertigo, and the jump to Tunisia was no different. He took a moment to gather himself and take in their surroundings. There was a fence, but Rel wasn't concerned with how to enter the facility regardless (even if he weren't capable of flight), and he was thinking of a good way to draw out any combatants from the building when a horrible screeching sound overtook his sense. He'd place his bets on team alpha, which meant guards would be heading off their directions very soon. Panic setting in at the thought of leaving team alpha to fight off everyone, Rel hastily, and without any forethought, lifted an arm. He felt the force of aether tear through his body, leaving his muscles tense, his balance slightly off, and shot a small mass of the energy in the direction of the building. Then another.

    The first collided the fence, ripping an entire segment out from the ground, and the second blew through two of the large shipping containers with a loud, booming noise.

    "Ah," he said to the rest of his team, rather sheepishly, "I guess we should assume positions now."

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