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Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

"Hero, Villain, what does it matter? In the end, I'm going to break you."

627 views · located in Capetown, Texas

a character in “Project Oddity”, as played by Quakernuts

Description

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"Fear is such an easy emotion to achieve, but if you mix it with a bit of desperation, anguish and just a pinch of anger for flavor, you get something called ‘Panic’."

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Name
Kayle Tallion

Nicknames/Aliases
The Twisted Smile

Age
22

Gender
Male

Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual

Birth Date
October 30th




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Hair
Red

Eyes
Gold

Height
5’9

Weight
178lbs

Body Build
Athletic build.

Notable Scars
None

Piercings and Tattoos
None
Casual Wear
Kayle is very much a ‘clothes make the man’ kind of person. As such even his casual clothes are very pleasant on the eyes. If he wears jeans, their pressed and dark blue with a coordinated belt. Shirts are often polo, with the rare tight t-shirt on the occasions that he just can’t be asked. His shoes are often clean, even if they were covered in dirt the day prior. Many accessories line his person, ranging from earrings to sunglasses to the odd hat. Ultimately he believes in having good fashion sense, and goes out of his way to ensure the rest of the world knows that as well.

”Hero” Wear
Kayle doesn’t actually have a costume. He has some crappy clothes set aside that he likes to wear when he heads out since he doesn’t care if they get ripped or dirty, but due to the nature of his abilities, he doesn’t require a full blown mask or distinctive outfit.

Face Claim
Karma Akabane - Assassination Classroom





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Personality


Kayle acts pretty much however he wants in any given situation. He’s someone who can walk into a room and demand attention from his presence alone, and he will often extort that fact to great effect. His smile can brighten rooms and his scowl can make people quiver in their boots, and he appears to revel in the fact that he can control people in such a fashion. Despite this rather obvious character flaw regarding emotional manipulation, Kayle doesn’t think of himself as a bad guy. In fact, there are fewer friends as devoted as Kayle is to his. He will go through Hell itself if he believes the friend is worth it. That being said, the saying ‘a woman scorned’ has nothing on Kayle when he believes he has been betrayed or used.

Kayle is a fairly smart individual despite no formal post secondary education. He can read people, say the right words, and get things he wants through either intimidation, persuasion, or just being damn likable. So when he puts his mind to ruining someone’s life, he follows through with all the devotion of a man possessed. He’s determined, relentless and carries through with an almost psychotic apathy towards his intended target. This is how he manages to do what he likes to call ‘his second job’.

On the clock, which is to say when Kayle is running through the streets after some villain who decided that day was a good day to die, Kayle’s mind turns into a different beast altogether. Trying to mimic his childhood hero from the DC comics, Batman, Kayle has probably taken a step or two past what the Dark Knight would ever consider to be acceptable. He takes pleasure from making his targets fear him, he enjoys throwing them around like ragdolls and at the end of the day, it takes a very real effort from him to not cross the line and simply rip them apart. During these moments of high octane action, when he truly lets himself out, you see something that has a very good reason for being locked away. His name is derived from the twisted look on his lips as he casually chases someone through the streets, into a building, or from a back alley.

The constant smile of a killer.

Strengths
  • Word Smith: Kayle has a way of making the words flow from his lips like water in a river. Even when he says something wrong, he can correct himself in such a way as to make the person on the receiving end believe it was on purpose. While this may have a bit to do with his abilities, he likes to think that he was doing stuff like this long before his powers ever manifested.
  • Artistic: Kayle has quite an artistic streak to him, preferring to paint in vivid colors with brushes and acrylics.
  • Integrity: While many could and would look at Kayle like he was just some kind of sociopathic manipulation mouth piece, the one thing separating him from those types of people is his inherent sense of morality. He’s a man of his word and holds himself to a code with absolute certainty. While he can, and will at times, use his gift of gab to gain things for himself, he will always do what he says and look out for his friends.

Weaknesses
  • Emotionally Detached: While his sense of integrity and morality keeps him on the straight and narrow...for the most part, Kayle has a problem connecting emotionally to people. True, he has his friends that he will go to great lengths to help and protect, but rarely do people ever see him angry or sad. Worse yet, when presented with a situation where a comforting word or two might suffice, Kayle shows that he has no idea what to do. He fidgets and stands there, looking for action where there is none and essentially displaying to the world that he simply can’t relate to people who wear their emotions on their sleeve.
  • Dark Side: Kayle’s alter ego, the Twisted Smile, is a representation of what happens when Kayle fails to hold himself in check for his wanton desires. Deep beneath the skin, below the somewhat forced rules and checks he keeps for himself is someone who revels in watching people fear him, in inflicting pain and ultimately the fun that comes from everything in between and beyond. Kayle works hard to suppress this instinct, not because he feels that it’s wrong, but logically he understands that it’s wrong.
  • Pretentious: Having to do with his inherent magnet personality, Kayle sometimes has the issue of coming across like a pompous dick even if that’s not his intention. Often times he’ll catch himself and turn it into a joke or an example, but there are a few times when he simply can’t help it.




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Powers Classification
Kayle’s alter ego, The Twisted Smile, is a bit hard to classify because it seems to encompass most of everything to some degree. While others have heard TS call his power ‘The Chains that Bind’, it would be better to describe it as a form of hard shadow manipulation, but there’s a mixture or complementing powers that really make him a dangerous person out in the city. As a brief description of his powers, it appears that a number of chains, dark in color and intent, can sprout from his body at will and hit with all the force of a titan. So far, there hasn’t been a limit to how many of these chains he can handle at one time, but that’s only part of his power, as he appears to project an aura of darkness that draws forth the negative emotions of those around him, specifically those related to fear. Kayle doesn’t seem to need a costume or any form of concealing garments as a shroud of pure black can consume his person seemingly at will.

Mover 1: Twisted can use his chains to traverse much like a spider, although this kind of movement does come with some form of collateral damage as he has to impale his chains into the surface in order to hold himself. That being said, his speed while utilizing this method is nothing to balk at, and he can get going rather quickly.

Shaker 2: Twisted Smile’s aura is not as destructive as one might think, yet more dangerous than one would want to believe. Essentially, a part of his persona, Smile projects an aura that seems to draw people’s negative emotions to the forefront. While this can and often does include feelings such as jealousy, envy, anger and even depression, it seems like he’s managed to fine tune it to make fear the most prevalent one along with a host of other feelings to induce a sense of panic at his presence alone. While strong willed people can and have resisted this aura in the past, it’s a constant battle while around him and a single slip up can have the person in question quickly falling into their own despair.

Brute 6: Twisted Smile’s true strength comes from the usage of his chains, and the sense that they can hit with all the force of a wrecking ball. Capable of crushing cars and buildings alike, only the truly strong heroes have been able to stand in the way of a full blown swing, as walls and barriers are mere inconvenience for these creations.

Breaker 5: Once again, Smile lacks anything that makes himself impervious to injury, but he does have his own bag of tricks. Either an illusion of the mind or some form of darkness manipulation, Smile can seemingly have weapons, bullets and attacks pass through him as if he was a shadow. Although people have only noticed this happening when he himself is surrounded in shadow, so it might be the fact that he has to already be in darkness to utilize this particular skill. His real Breaker status comes from his chains, which seem to be immune to all known attacks thus far. It is theorized that since they are a creation of darkness, that anyone utilizing light based skills could possibly break them, but it has yet to actually happen.

Master 2: Keeping in tune with his Shaker status, Twisted Smile seems to have the ability to manipulate the emotional state of those around him. An area of effect empathy that he uses in order to boost his own combat effectiveness by making those around him break down in fits of emotional distress. While it is believed that he could go the other way, make people happy or content, it has never been recorded by the hero.

Blaster 4: Going once again to his chains, Twisted’s chains have an extremely long range, allowing him to attack from a distance and manipulate the battlefield from there. The description doesn’t necessarily change, as their power doesn’t seem to diminish the farther out they go.

Changer 1: As previously mentioned, it doesn’t appear that Twisted Smile requires any kind of concealing outfit as he’s constantly shrouded in a cloud of pure black, with only his smile seeming to pierce the darkness. While light sources do limit this ability somewhat, he has shown that even in full view of a street lamp, he can keep his face hidden from view with this ability.

Stranger 1: With his ability to shroud himself in darkness, Smile has a limited ability to seemingly disappear when in the dark. Not necessarily true invisibility or a manipulation of the mind, it’s simply darkness against darkness, pitch black. Along with this, Twisted Smile seems to have perfect night vision.




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History


Early Life
A lot of people like to think that Twisted Smile came from a broken home, abused and left to rot in a cellar of some sort. He survived by eating rats and drinking the water that condensed on the walls. He escaped by destroying one of the walls and ultimately killing his abusive parents.

Kayle had a good laugh about this when he heard that particular origin story.

Ultimately, Kayle’s life was painfully average. It would never make it into a comic book or movie to be honest, and nearly right up to his graduation, there was nothing that seemed out of the ordinary. From his early life, Kayle appeared to be a pretty standard kid. He got good grades, made friends, did his chores and got into just enough trouble to be classified as ‘Just at that age’.

Having lived in Capetown for his entire life, Kayle was constantly subjected to the media stream regarding heroes and villains, and while his own foray into the world of the parahumans didn’t begin until after high school, he had always been fascinated with the concept of heroes and villains. He read comics right up to his graduation day, and learned everything he could about both sides and what constitutes a hero or a villain. Ultimately, what he read and thought at that early age is what formed Twisted Smile today. Considering he had had his power for years prior to him exiting school, he had thought it best to know everything he could and prepare for his inevitable approach to the field.

Trigger Event

Many kids, at a young age, are afraid of the dark. What they don’t realize is that the darkness isn’t what they’re actually afraid of, it’s what’s possibly in it. Kayle wasn’t like these kids, in fact, when he was 6, he was practically obsessed with pulling out the beings that hid in these dark corners to see what all the fuss was about. Many nights, while his parents slept, he would sneak in the basement with all the lights out and sit there for hours. He would whisper into the black, asking for something to come forward and say hi, maybe even play! He was that age after all.

It wasn’t long before he got an answer, or at least, felt an answer. One night, while he was talking about his day to the potential creatures that lurked in the shadows, he felt something touch his shoulder. When he reached up, he pulled back a chain. Confusion abound, he started pulling on the chain to see if something was attached to it. He pulled more and more until a large pile of it was sitting in front of him. It was still draped over his shoulder, and as much as he would like to see where it was coming from, he would simply be stumbling around in the dark.

It was at this moment that Kayle realized he could see perfectly. He knew he was in the pitch black of the basement, but everything seemed like it was lit up like a christmas tree. Seeing as he could, well, see, he looked back to see where the chains were coming from. He was amazed to see them pouring from his back, a black portal like...thing on his back kept spewing the chains forth with reckless abandon. When it got to the point that Kayle was worried his parents were going to find out and be mad, the chains rapidly retracted into his back and disappeared.

From that point on, the rest of his abilities came rather quickly. His emotional aura was the hardest to control and hide from everyone around him. Many times he accidentally caused a mass meltdown and had to act like he was afflicted as well to draw away suspicion from himself. By the time he was 10 though, he had a very strong grip on his abilities and was using them to his advantage. He found out his empath could be used to his benefit and started figuring out subtle ways to influence those around him. As the years droned one, he refined it even more, to the point where he doesn’t believe he has it on anymore, his personality had just adapted to interact with people in a way that makes them like him.

Currently

The Twisted Smile is something of a blemish on the city, while also acting as a staunch protector of sorts. Not a member of the HLA, Smile has been brandished as a villain simply by not conforming, but he has never once considered himself such.

At night, whenever Kayle has the free time, he heads out and looks for the worst offenders he can catch. He uses the fear of death and carnage to get them back into line, and more often than not leaves them in a puddle of their own shit and tears on the police station steps. The few that he doesn’t, while he doesn’t go as far as to kill them, many of them wish they were dead. A mixture of visual, psychotic and physical cues has left their minds broken, along with their bodies. Twisted has perfected the use of his Empath aura with his, admittedly, terrifying persona.

He’s less of a ‘protection’ hero and more of a ‘prevention’ hero. While the media and other heroes scorn his name and call him a wildcard with no self restraint, he often looks to the difference between a hero and villain, and shrugs.

Outside of his night time activities, Kayle actually works as a radio host for 56.7 Kodiak radio, a modern music station that gets by fairly easy with a lot of their listeners in the younger market.

So begins...

Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)'s Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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“How are the callers tonight?” Kayle looked up from grabbing his jacket as another member of the radio team managed to pop in to take his spot on the evening shift, the last one before the automated music system took over for the graveyard section.

“Not bad, had a couple of idiots call in with political opinions, but such is the risk you take.” Kayle responded with a light smile, flipping his jacket onto himself. He made sure his keys were in his pocket and he grabbed his opaque black motorcycle helmet.

“Right, always a few of them. I always hang up and pretend like there was a bad connection.”

“Ignorance is it’s own reward sometimes. The more ‘out there’ ones entertain the listeners, so may as well let them rant for a while.” Kayle stated, taking a look around the room to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything.

He was standing in a standard radio recording room. A red light, that was currently off, sat above the door to let the hosts know when they were live. In the middle of the room was a fairly large table capable of seating several people and filled to the brim with mics and recording equipment, not to mention papers and reminders for the hosts. The room itself was painted a pleasant blue, with a window overlooking the city from their third floor position and a window off to the side showcasing the recording studio section. There sat a tech who was more busy with his phone at the moment than he was with the controls, which was to be expected as they were running uninterrupted music for the next half an hour.

“Eh, I’d prefer not to spread it if I can help it, but that’s just the Crunkster way!” Kayle looked over at his fellow host. The ‘Crunkster’, a.k.a Phillip Unnetti was a heavy set man who could stand to lose at least 60 pounds, but he had a great voice for radio and a rather magnetic personality that flowed with an electricity and excitement that you simply wouldn’t expect from a man of his size. A big bushy beard, long hair that reached down to the middle of his back and a smile that simply beamed with genuine happiness projected an impression of the jolly fat man. Honestly, Kayle liked the guy. They weren’t necessarily close, but he was easy to talk to and easy to listen to.

“A fair point, to be sure. I left you the traffic reports there, and there’s a box of donuts. Sorry, they’ll be a bit old at this point.” Kayle stated as he twirled his helmet around his fingers.

“No such thing as a bad donut buddy. Take care out there, heard traffic is backed up for miles again.”

“Hence why I don’t own a car.” Kayle smiled, holding up his helmet. “And with that, Talion’s out. Enjoy the night!”

“Will do Kangaroo!” Phillip stated, taking his seat at the table and organizing his notes for the night broadcast. Kayle made his way out of the recording studio, giving a nod to the tech who gave a two finger salute as a wave goodbye. Exiting out the stairs and descending the two floors to the ground, Kayle exited the building and walked the couple of blocks to where his bike was parked.

An older Yamaha, purple with a black finish. It was nothing particularly flashy, having a bit of dirt on it to detract from the overall style of the vehicle, but Kayle enjoyed it all the same. Flipping on the helmet and starting up his bike, he started the long trek back home.




Once again, he was met with resistance as he weaved through cars, much to the chagrin of everyone else who was stuck. Horns blared, swears were uttered and more than enough fingers were given to Kayle to make him feel a little fuzzy on the inside. A part of him never understood their anger. He wasn’t damaging their cars and he wasn’t breaking any laws, but jealousy was a powerful emotion apparently.

Well, of course it was, Kayle knew that all too well.

He continued on the Loop for some time until even his skills on a bike weren’t going to get him much farther. With several large trucks making the spaces too small for even him to get past, he decided that was enough of that and shoved himself off onto an exit. While it wasn’t his normal route, and to be honest with the way traffic was he didn’t really have one, he was confident in his ability to get back home with little trouble. After all, aside from the busiest street in all of Capetown, traffic should start slowing down now that it was getting closer to 7.

As Kayle started flying down the nearly empty streets of the city, he started imagining the stir fry sitting in his fridge with an almost salivating grin. He was hungry, he had to give up his lunch today when a major accident on the 7-9 left a lot of people angry and cut off. He had taken the time to give minutely updates on the situation and was left with only donuts to snack on. He wasn’t much for sweets, so after just one he had decided that was enough for him. The hum of his own engine was cut off by a couple yells as he rounded a corner with enough time to see a woman duck into an alley and a couple of men on a bike take pursuit. Kayle stopped his bike, popping up his visor to view the spectacle as the two men entered the alley.

Is this worth delaying my stir fry supper? Kayle wondered, after all there were plenty of Capes out tonight. That being said, he was hungry and this could be entertaining enough to distract from his hunger for awhile. Kayle sighed as he pulled the bike into the alley and started the pursuit. He shrouded himself in darkness as a precaution. His face was already covered by the opaque nature of the helmet, but he didn’t want them to recognize his bike. In a moment, in the shadows of the alley, all one could perceive was the sound of another motorbike as it continued its pursuit.

Before long, Kayle had run into them again, stopped in the middle of an alley seemingly in some sort of argument. Had they lost the girl? Had she gotten away? It would make things a lot easier for Kayle if she had, but he doubted that was the case. Chances are she managed to hide somewhere, and they were most likely on top of her. Kayle pulled up close enough to the two of them for their heads to turn and their eyes squint at the source of the sound.

“Is that a...motorcycle?”

“Don’t know...I can’t see shit.”

“You don’t think she found her own bike?”

“Nah, that’s probably not it.” Kayle stated, projecting his empathic aura forward as a sense of dread and fear started to creep into the minds of his two targets. Already, their faces were starting to contort with an array of different emotions that Kayle specifically blended to create a sense of panic.

“Ho fuck! What is that! WHAT IS THAT!”

“LET ME OUT! I’M OUT OF HERE!”

“What, so you can do this again? I would much rather prefer a straightforward approach.” Kayle launched his chains forward faster than either of them could react, wrapping around their legs as they clawed at the dark constructs and sending the bike they were using flying down the alley with a cacophony of deafening noise as it broke to pieces.

“WHAT IS THIS! WHAT THE FUCK! GET IT OFF!” They were yelling interchangeably, meanwhile the chains continued to constrict with all the force of a vise. Soon, there was the telltale crack of bones snapping, followed by screams of pain and terror as Kayle lifted them into the air and threw them back into the street.

“If you can’t use your legs for decent pursuits, there’s no need for you to walk.” Kayle whispered, giving a smile beneath his helmet before he realized they couldn’t see it. He mentally slapped his forehead, forgetting he had blocked his calling card from view. Well, could be worse I suppose. Kayle thought to himself as he looked around the alley for the woman they were chasing. With his night vision, he could see as clearly as if the sun was shining in this exact spot, but he didn’t spot anything. Maybe she had gotten away? In which case, he was delaying his supper.

Still, before he could take off he had to do the responsible thing. As much as he wanted to leave those pricks crawling around in the middle of the street until they expired, he knew that particular bit of knowledge to any person would peg him as a monster. They still viewed him as a monster anyways, but that would legitimize their campaign against him. So with that in mind, he pulled his cellphone out of his pocket, slid up the visor of his helmet and placed the cell as close as he could to his ear. His shadow cover fell away as he sat on his bike, the phone ringing quietly between the screams of pain from the two thugs.

“911, what’s your emergency.”

“I need police and ambulance to 12th and...uhhh…” Kayle looked around for another sign, only to mentally reprimanded himself again, because he was in an alley and there wasn’t going to be a sign here. “Let’s see, drove several blocks...stopped, alley...12th and Chrone street. Two thugs, badly injured, multiple broken bones and possible internal bleeding.”

“Who is this?”

“I would suggest putting a hustle on it.” Kayle said as he ended the call. Every single dispatcher was the same, asking ‘Who is this?’ every time he gave the location of people he couldn’t be bothered to personally drop off at the police station. It got annoying after a while. Placing his phone back into his pocket, he flipped down his visor and started taking off down the alley.

He still had stir fry waiting for him at home.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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#, as written by Tanman
◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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Tess was running out of time, fast. With the two goons hot on her heels, and only a few fleeting moments left where she was clear of their line of sight, she needed to make a decision. Transform and fight? Try to hide? Attempt to outrun them? None of those options sounded appealing, as all likely ended with her getting caught and revealing her identity in order to protect herself. Every moment she kept running, her options narrowed, and if she didn’t do something, the decision would be made for her. Wrenching her eyes shut, Terry silently swore to herself, and dragged herself to the side, crouching down amongst some trashbags and garbage as she held her nose. Ew, ew. Hopefully those bozos would be dumb enough to just keep speeding past this mess – It wouldn’t take too much effort for them to see her once they got past the trash pile, but hopefully they weren’t that bright to realise there was nowhere else she could have gone.

The sound of the motorbike’s rumbling engine reached the entrance to the alley as it pulled in, but contrary to Tess’ hopes, the engine seemed to slow as the motorbike crept along steadily. “No way that broad got out to that street, she’s gotta be here…” Ratty commented, Tess hearing footsteps as he climbed off the bike and strode a bit further down the alley, occasionally peering into a trashcan or kicking a cardboard box. “Freakin’ city needs to get its shit together, could do with some light in this alley to find her…” He muttered, stopping just short of Terry’s hiding place as he turned back to Buck. “What are you standing there for ya dope? Help me look!”

“Jim, let’s just get out of here. I got a bad feeling man…” Buck pleaded, glancing back behind him for a moment. Ratty didn’t seem to care, spouting off some nonsense about ambition, fighting back, cowardice… Whether it was working or not, Terry never got to see, as the two suddenly went silent as another sound filled the alleyway, that of another bike.

“Is that a...motorcycle?” Buck asked, glancing to his partner

“Don’t know...I can’t see shit.” Rat-face muttered, apparently still annoyed with his comrade.

“You don’t think she found her own bike?” Buck added, and was about to shield himself from the incoming slap to his head for his idiocy before a third voice spoke out, stopping the two mid-act.

“Nah, that’s probably not it.”

The next moments were a whirlwind of chaos. Screams and swears of pure, genuine terror filled the alley as Jim and Buck sounded scared out of their minds. A rattling sound and squeal of metal scraping metal was heard, and although Tess had been gearing herself up to peer out from her cover, she instead gave a soft yelp of fright as she ducked her head back down to avoid the two’s motorbike sailing clean over her head, already splintering into pieces as it bounced and tumbled down the alley in a reckless spin. Staring back behind her to the broken mess for a few moments, the next few sounds sent shivers through her body.

*Crack* It was a visceral sensation hearing that sound, along with the agonised cries of her pursuers. That sound soon faded out to nothing as the pain was too much for them to bear, shifting the thugs into unconsciousness. Shortly after, two hard and heavy thuds hit the ground, Terry covering her mouth to silence her scream as the incapacitated bodies of Ratty and Baldy fell to the ground just in front of her. She could clearly see the look of fear still etched on their faces, as well as the awkward direction their lower limbs had bent. It was horrific, and she had to bring her free hand to try and hold her other to stop the trembling. J-Just who… Or what..?

She could still faintly make out the sounds slightly further down the alley, along with the soft noise of… Ringing? A phone? “I need police and ambulance to 12th and...uhhh…” It was a male voice that spoke, the same as the one before, and likely the culprit behind her… Rescue? Or was it more of an assault on those two? Removing her glasses for a moment, Tess slowly positioned them to get a bit of a view in the reflection, and was surprised to see not some monster, but a young man. She’d personally been anticipating another terrifying Changer. Returning her glasses to her face, her mind began to race. Should she say something? He hadn’t seemed to have noticed her, so she could just hide and slip off like nothing happened. And yet…

Steeling herself, Tess waited to the last possible moment as the boy mounted his bicycle before standing up, clutching one of the second-hand books to her chest as if it would afford her some protection should he turn on her. “Hey!” Terry’s voice was a bit louder than she intended, but it did seem he was about to take off. Maybe he still would. “I appreciate you helping me but… Isn’t this a bit excessive? Aren’t you a hero or something?” Tess normally wasn’t the kind to speak like this, and maybe she shouldn’t considering what those men had been trying to do but… There was no need for that brutality, and she wasn’t about to just sit by and ignore it. Despite the strength of her conviction, he voice did quiver slightly, as did her legs tremble. After seeing what he’d done, she was scared, sure. But there were some values she held highly, and would never compromise on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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Kayle had been about to launch himself out of the alley, bee-lining home for food that his stomach so desperately craved. He had let his guard down, this had been an impromptu rescue after all, and now he was caught without his shadow concealing him. The moment the woman spoke, his head snapped back and once more he was wreathed in shadow. Stupid...stupid stupid stupid...should have stayed concealed till I was heading home. Kayle thought to himself as he got a look at the girl. She seemed somewhat defiant, her words gave way to appreciation with more than a bit of concern laced with them. Excessive? Spoken like someone who’s never had to cross the line, or remained ignorant to the truth that the true bastards of the city don’t respect anything but pain and violence. He let out a little smile beneath his helmet at the question of his professional moral alignment. Was he a hero? Nah, he never considered himself one. In fact, on public record, Twisted Smile was a wanted criminal with a record for aggravated assault and attempted murder, but the people on who he committed these acts were always casually brushed under the rug in order to make him look like the evil man he truly was.

What should he say to her though? People were often so scared of him by this point that their tongues refused to form words, their eyes shifted to the ground and their legs quivered beneath their bodies. Admittedly, that was partially his fault as he often spread out his empathetic aura to encompass an area, usually grabbing a civilian or two that were simply too close for comfort. She seemed to be afraid slightly, but had enough backbone to address him after what she had seen him do undoubtedly. He was caught in an uncomfortable situation. A lot of his persona, reputation and fear came from his demeanor and how he acted. It was one of the things that allowed him to get the drop on people, as true criminals would actually shake in their boots at the mention of his name, since other criminals would carry that information and create stories of the boogeyman, the chains that bind, the Twisted Smile.

“Did I ever say I was a hero?” Kayle stated through the dark shroud that now covered his body and motorcycle. “Brutality is a universal language, even idiots such as those can understand that. You call it excessive, I call it a translation.”

“You had stopped them. There was no need for that, that’s not…” Tess hesitated a little, the dark shadows enveloping the boy intimidating, and she wasn’t entirely sure whether he intended to use his powers, whatever they may be, against her. Swallowing nervously, she continued. “Just because they understand violence doesn’t justify it.”

Kayle gave a sigh, the shadows shifting around his form harmlessly as he looked down at the ground. This was an inevitable argument that happened too many times for his liking. Those who never had to go to such lengths because others like himself perform the necessary evil themselves. He could go into a discussion about morality, necessities and prevention, but that would drag things out. “If the world operated by blind ideals that everyone can and will do the right thing, then there would be no place for someone like me. The fact of the matter is that we don’t live in a fairytale.” Kayle looked at the girl, although he knew she couldn’t really tell which way he was looking through the shadows. “Villains and criminals consider heros to be an inconvenience, a small fight followed by a stint in jail. They’re never truly in danger because heroes will never kill them…” Kayle looked back at the crippled criminals. “That’s why they fear me…because they won’t be walking away unscathed.”

Tess wasn’t entirely sure what to say. Not initially at the very least. She couldn’t deny that there was some sense to what he said. Cold as it was, that hard logical standpoint was something close to the truth. But even so… Even so… “So you have the right to deliver that judgement all by yourself? What if you’re wrong?” Tess challenged, trying to take a step forward. She didn’t really manage it, since her legs still felt like jelly, so she instead remained where she was. “People make mistakes… And I don’t just mean you could be wrong. These people…” She looked to the unconscious and beaten crooks before swiftly turning back away, remembering why that was a bad idea. “People can change. They can be victims of circumstance. Can you really condemn everyone the moment they step out of line without any chance for redemption?”

“If they need to be reminded by someone like me that what they’re doing is wrong, then what they would get wouldn’t be redemption, it would be forced reform. At which point, they’re not acting nice and ‘good’ because they know and believe it’s the right thing to do...they’re doing it because they’re scared of me.” Kayle stated, looking back at the girl. “You obviously stand by your own ideals, and I respect that, but I can’t agree with it. Such a viewpoint always leads to repeated criminal behaviour.” Kayle revved his motorcycle once, indicating his intent to leave. “We could sit here and wax the philosophical all night, but I haven’t eaten all day. I suggest you get going home, chances are I won’t be around if you get attacked for a second time tonight.” Kayle finished the conversation from his end, revving his engine a couple more times before speeding out of the alley and taking a left to continue to his home.

He was stupid with hunger and stir fry was waiting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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#, as written by Tanman
◄:Terry ‘Tess’ Farina:►
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As the shadowy man made his point of view clear, it was obvious that such discussion was unlikely to yield any change in either his opinion or her own. Though Tess wasn’t afraid to continue such discussion in a calm and rational manner, the situation didn’t permit a lengthy debate as the man oriented his bike to leave, giving some last advice that she make her way home before any other danger fell upon her. Terry didn’t exactly have any rebuttal for that, nor did she feel it prudent to delay the man from his meal. Not that she could, as even if she wanted to he had already driven away, leaving Tess alone in the company of the two incapacitated crooks.

Shortly after he left, sirens sounded nearby, a few police cars skidding to a stop just outside the alleyway as a few members of the local law enforcement entered the alley with guns drawn. Terry was quick to place her hands in the air, guided away to the back of a police car for an initial interrogation. Soon enough after describing what had happened – Both the chase at the hands of the criminals, as well as the shadowy man that had assaulted them – the situation became much less hostile as any suspicion they had into her potential involvement faded. In fact, at the mention of the shadowy gentleman Terry was pressed for further details describing him and his actions, along with being asked for a formal statement regarding him and the events of that night.

Of course, it wasn’t the ideal way to spend the night, but Tess wasn’t the kind to refute those working hard to protect the local citizens. After a somewhat lengthy phone call to her parents, Tess made her way with the police to the station and filled in a detailed description of what she’d seen of ‘Twisted Smile’ as the police informed her, a somewhat notorious villain known for his extreme methods and the ability to strike fear into those around him. From what Terry recalled of her own experience with him, the panic and terror of James and Buck stood as a prominent reminder of that fact. Still, for a villain, he had saved her. Despite the Police insisting that he was a criminal, it was pretty clear based on the information he was more of a vigilante. A misguided one perhaps, but he was trying to do the right thing, at least in his mind. That’s how she saw it at least.

“So he had a motorbike was it? Did you get to see the plates?” The interrogator asked her, urging Tess to remember as many details as she could. In all honesty, she could picture it all vividly, her memory far better than any normal person; but for the sake of seeming normal, she kept things relatively general, able to only describe the model and colour. For what it was worth, that seemed a good starting point for the police, and they intended to look through registration information to track something down. Once they were satisfied they thanked Tess for her time and provided her a lift home.

Worn out from the night’s excitement, Tess only briefly entertained her parents by talking through the events, making sure to assuage their concerns for her well being. In all honesty, she just wanted to get some sleep at this point. There was no sense in dwelling on what had happened. Instead, she’d have to look forward to what tomorrow would bring. Heading through her nightly routine, Tess did her best to sleep peacefully, but her mind tormented her a little with the sounds and visions of pain and terror she’d heard. It was going to be a rough night.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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The alarm blared, filled with static because Kayle didn’t believe in having music wake him up. He wanted the sound to be something that he didn’t want to listen to, for fear of falling back asleep to the melodic sound of someone smashing a cymbal over and over again. Kayle reached up a hand, slapping the ‘off’ switch to his alarm and he sat up slowly, rubbing his eyes to get the morning sand out of them. 5am, much sooner than he needed to be up for work or any other social obligation, but it was needed for his morning routine. He got up and made his way across his apartment.

His home away from home, his apartment was a pretty standard studio layout save that it was probably a bit more spacious than some others. There was only one closed off room, that being the bathroom. Everything else was open concept, with each corner of the place dedicated to a different amenity. His bed and dresser were set off to the right of the front door. It sat right next to the bathroom, which housed a standing shower and the basics, nothing fancy and not overly large. Honestly, some days it was like trying to do his business in a closet, but most of the time it didn’t bother him.

The kitchen was on the left of the apartment from the door, with a standalone counter between it and the rest of the apartment. It was nice enough looking with marble counter top, although the years hadn’t been particularly kind to it as chips and scuffs could be seen all over the surface. There was a fridge, stove, microwave and more than enough cabinets to house whatever utensils he had. It was the standard fare, a bit condensed just like the bathroom but it was what it was. The wall directly opposite to the door was where all his recreation stuff was. A couch sitting opposite of a decently sized 45’ tv, hooked up with his PS4 and a laptop connected to it via a HDMI cord. In the middle of his apartment hung a punching bag, along with a treadmill and a number of smaller weights.

In the corner between the kitchen and lounge area lay sit an Easel with a half finished painting, surrounded by all sorts of artistic supplies ranging from paints and brushes to odd trinkets and tools that shouldn't have a use for such a past time yet were covered in different colors to indicate what they were used for. The picture currently being created seemed to be a mixture of different dark colors coming together to form what appeared to be a hallway covered in decay or crumbling to dust. To a casual observer, it was a somewhat organized chaos, but to Kayle it was normal and home.

Giving a couple love taps to his punching bag as he walked past it, he went about his morning routine and grabbing something to eat while putting the news channel on the tv through his computer. As he buttered some toast, listening to the reporter talk about the latest and greatest cape vs villain encounters of the night, he wasn’t sure if he was happy or disappointed that he was rarely a headline. He wasn’t doing this for the recognition, he had always reminded himself of that fact, but he couldn’t help but feel underappreciated sometimes. Once in a blue moon, it would be nice to be recognized without someone screaming in fear and agony. As soon as the thought entered his mind though, it was gone, replaced by a cold and calculating reasoning of how he couldn’t allow himself to be big news.

He knew he was notorious in his own right, with a standing warrant on his head for his...rather brutal methods. At the moment though, he wasn’t at the top of the list of people who needed to be hunted down, and he needed to keep it that way. There were plenty of extremely powerful capes out there, and while he was confident in his own abilities, there was no reason to put himself in any unnecessary danger. As he munched down on some toast, there was some mention of a changer villain incident at Which Wich, which was only 10 minutes away from his place on foot. That meant they would be closed for a bit, which sucked but ultimately didn’t affect him. They had good panini’s though.

Once he had some food in his belly, he went about wrapping his hands in bandages, setting about his morning exercises as was his routine. He practiced taijutsu, which was a bit of a misnomer since taijutsu wasn’t exactly the combat style as it was more a blanket term. He had taken a bit of a number of japanese combat arts, including Karate, Judo and Akido, although he was more of a fan of the striking combat practices, the grapples and joint locks of the Judo and Akido allowed him to understand the human body better...and to use his chains to maximum effect. Not to mention if someone got the jump on him, he wouldn’t have to rely on his powers instantly.

After a hour and a half of training, a mix of weight, stamina and general combat practice, Kayle hopped into the shower and actually set about cleaning himself up for the day ahead. Once he was done, putting on a respectable polo and making sure his hair was just that proper amount of messy, he stared at the tv for a bit longer. More talks about heroes and villains that just didn’t concern Kayle, along with some traffic reports that would make getting to work a bit easier. He had the morning shift today, which after an evening shift was not really supposed to happen but he was getting a bit of overtime out of the deal so it was nice. He could use the money to pay for some things that he really wanted, like getting his bike into the shop to replace his tires. They had been getting a bit bald and he wanted to switch them out before it became a problem. With that thought in the back of his mind and double checking the time, he grabbed his bag and turned off the tv, walking out the door into the world at large a few moments later.




Having stopped only to pick up a morning bagel and some coffee, Kayle wandered into the radio station with a smile and wave to the security guard who sat there. A rather big man in the belly sense by the name of Liam. Kayle tossed him a bagel as he walked by, earning a smile and a word of thanks from the man as he continued to his ascension to the third floor where the studio was actually housed. Scanning his card at the door, he made his way into a skeleton crew of people getting ready to do the morning shift. The graveyard DJ was still in the room, finishing up his last little bit as Kayle took a drink from his coffee.

“Hey Tallion.” A voice rang out from the floor, causing Kayle’s head to spin towards the source. A beaming ball of a woman came walking towards him from down the hall.

“Morning Melissa, how’s things?”

“I’m awake and standing, so far 2 achievements this morning!” She smiled, finally reaching Kayle. Melissa Drake, a short and pudgy woman coming in at 5’4 and weighing well over what she probably should. Kayle didn’t know her exact weight, and honestly was never going to ask because that was a conversation that would be anything but pleasant. That being said, she was always a beam of sunshine in the office, quick with a smile and an encouraging word, along with a wit that often caught Kayle by surprise. Her blonde hair was pulled into a ponytail as she wiggled her fingers in front of her. “So...did you see the Wendigo last night?”

“Did I see a mythical cannibal monster?” Kayle asked, his eyebrow arching up. “Can’t say I did, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be standing here.” That response earned a light smack on his arm as Melissa huffed.

“You know damn well what I mean, isn’t Which Wich close to where you live?”

“Oh, you’re talking about that attack, yeah it caught my attention due to proximity but I missed all the excitement.”

“Aw that’s a shame...I heard he’s gross in all the right ways!” She seemed to brighten even more if that were possible. She was a complete paranormal fanatic, even though she herself didn’t have any abilities...as far as Kayle knew.

“Right ways? How can you be gross in the right way?”

“A McDonald’s burger.” She countered, causing Kayle to pause. “You say to yourself ‘never again’ after it gives you indigestion, yet you somehow end up getting another one down the road because damn it’s good.” Kayle thought about this for a moment, and recalled several times where he had done that exact thing.

“Point taken, I’m assuming it was exciting?”

“If you believe the reports, apparently there were several capes/villains right next to you. How did you miss it?”

“Unlike people who have social lives, I went home after work and slept.” Kayle countered, knowing full well that was mostly a lie considering his usual night time activity. Melissa once again slugged him in the arm. “Keep doing that, I can get a lot of money from HR.”

“A lot more from insurance if I rip it off entirely.”

“Such violence today, what have I done to earn this ire.”

“You could always come have drinks with us if you’re lacking a social life!” Melissa was talking about the rest of the DJ’s and technical staff who were fairly close and actually enjoyed each other’s company off the clock. The issue with that was that it conflicted with his other activities.

“I said lack of social life, not responsibilities.” Kayle countered, pulling upon his tried and true excuse to get out of the situation. “Besides, I’m pulling a long one today I think.”

“Yep, Chris called in sick last night, so you’re by yourself today.” Kayle rolled his eyes, turning towards the studio and looking through the window at Phillip, who gave a smile and a wave, an empty donut box sitting next to him.

“Of course he did.” Melissa moved past him, heading towards the tech booth with a smile and dual finger guns.

“Oh you’ll be fine Tallion, just turn on the charm and remember...don’t be yourself.”

“And just like that, my heart is crushed, thanks for that.” Kayle smiled, looking over at her.

“Anytime champ!” Melissa ended on, entering the tech booth soon after. Kayle looked into the studio, waiting for the red light to turn off indicating that Phillip was off the air so Kayle could take over. It was going to be a long day, might as well get started.




It had been a long day.

Without Chris in the recording studio, Kayle had had to fill in for the silences and the bouts between music himself. While he wasn’t opposed to the idea, having to amp himself up to 11 all the time without someone to take the weight off was a bit stressful. Luckily Melissa had been making food and coffee runs for him in between things, really his saviour in his time of need. However, his time was nearly over. Melissa gave the signal that the song was about to end and Kayle gave a nod. As the song ended, Kayle forced a fake smile on himself. “Welcome back everyone, that was Big Empty by Stone Temple Pilots and I’m Tallion, leading you through the evening drive home from work. I hope all of you are enjoying the day, which has remained beautiful all throughout.” Kayle looked up to see Melissa being pulled away from her station.

“Now for those of you on your way home, let me hit you with a bit of knowledge to hopefully make your drive a bit safer for everyone involved. The 9th freeway going south is clogged up due to an overturned semi, so avoid it if you can. It would be in your best interest to avoid going anywhere near the 1900 block of Macarthy as there is currently a cape vs villain showdown that so far has left several people injured and thousands in collateral damage. There’s also another fight of similar proportions taking place in the south end, near the Ommitton Junction. If you can, take a detour and save yourself potentially life threatening situations.” Melissa poked her head back into the window, making the sign for Kayle to keep going. Shit, he was going off script and he knew he could get preachy at times like these.

“What else, what else…” Kayle flipped through his papers, looking for any kind of sign or piece of paper that he could use to fill the time in. “So for those of you who know my general home location, you creepy creepers you, a lot of you know that Which Wich was shut down this morning because of a supposed villain attack. The names Wendigo and Freischutz keep coming up as the main instigators in the situation, but there have been reports of possibly undocumented paranormals in the area. So tell me, what are your thoughts on those who are unrecorded or otherwise not registered? Should we force the paranormals to register? Should we ease up on this standard? Should we instigate new rules that change the field entirely? Let’s hear your thoughts on the matter! Tell me how you really feel!”

Melissa stumbled back into the booth and pressing a few buttons before looking up at Kayle and nodding. “But before we get to answering some of those calls, we have our local segment coming up. Where the big city of Capetown gives recognition to those who are more musically inclined as opposed to super powered. First up, from a little band called ‘I Really Hope I Don’t Crash; A Morning Mist at Night. You’re listening to it here, at 56.7 Kodiak.” Kayle got up as the red light indicated he was no longer live, wandering into the hall where Melissa met him. “What’s going on?” He asked.

“Sorry, there was a potential clash going on nearby...everyone was prepping to evacuate.” Kayle let his head roll back as he closed his eyes. “Luckily the Cape caught the douche canoe, so we’re fine.”

“Yaaaaay.” Kayle said with an exasperated sigh. “How much collateral damage are we talking?” Melissa gave a squeely little sound that reminded Kayle of a slowly opening door.

“It’s delayed Mandy...she’s going to be an hour late…” Kayle stared at Melissa, before wandering back into his recording studio. “I’ll get you some more coffee!” she yelled after him. Kayle let the door close, sitting at the table and letting his head lay against the table, allowing the music to wash over him as he realized that it felt like he had been here forever.




It was actually an hour and a half later that Mandy finally showed up to relieve Kayle, who did his best to put on a smile, but it was already much later than he intended to get out of his work, and now he wasn’t sure if he should even bother trying to scour the streets today. As he got to his bike he made the decision to simply take a drive through the streets and see if he came across anything. He wouldn’t go on his full patrol tonight, but maybe something would happen that he could quickly divert to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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The alarm rang with the steady stream of static, getting progressively louder as Kayle attempted to ignore it. Today was his day off from the Radio Station, but that meant he would simply be devoting more of his time to the streets today. Eventually he slapped the alarm, turning it off and slowly sitting up from his prone position. Running his hand through his hair, he could tell it was a mess and wondered when he had actually decided to pass out last night. He had actually decided against wandering the streets last night in favor of relaxing. He had started painting, and only stopped when exhaustion had started to creep up on him. He slowly rose to his feet, walking across the apartment in nothing but his boxers as he threw a lazy swing at his punching bag.

Making his way to the kitchen section, he started brewing himself a cup of coffee and looked into his cupboards for some sort of breakfast. He was running low on food and would have to make a grocery run soon, but for now he could survive until payday. Finding nothing that he necessarily felt like eating, he closed the cupboards and instead went to the fridge. Pulling out an apple, he took a bite out of it as the coffee maker started making the telltale bubbling sounds as it filtered the caffeine substance into the large pot. Kayle wandered over to his art corner, staring at the picture as he chewed thoughtfully. The image was a black and white coloring of a long hallway. The shadows cast by the light at the end of the tunnel were formed into separate images of differing intensity. Some appeared to be small families, others weapons, but more appeared to be some kind of vice. Drugs, drink and sex. There was a small body standing in the light, casting a shadow that displayed horns on its head.

Well this was one of my more depressing creations. Kayle said, usually painting only as his whims demanded. One day he might paint something that resembles a deep pain akin to addiction only to paint something completely opposite, like a picture representing how hope can be found in all things. Granted, that’s what he saw in his paintings, the art world was terribly subjective and more often than not many people took different meanings than the artist intended. Kayle looked it over, deeming it complete and took his brush to paint his name in red coloring in the bottom right corner. He had a great selection of these, separated into ‘dark’ and ‘light’ sections, but ultimately had never done anything with them. There was no money to be made in being an artist unless you became famous.

After several minutes of studying his own work, there was a beep from the coffee machine as the appliance finally finished producing the very thing that would actually wake up Kayle from his near comatose state. As he took a cautious sip at the steaming beverage, he stared at his workout equipment and grimaced. Today was one of those days he really felt like letting himself slip, but he knew from experience that if he started down that path than it was going to end up two days, then three, then four. He couldn’t afford to let himself stop for even one day if he wanted to keep in prime physical shape to do what he wanted to do. After taking ten minutes to enjoy his coffee and flicking on the news briefly, Kayle slipped into a pair of his workout shorts and started up his morning routine.




After completing what others could consider a ridiculous morning routine for one’s day off, and spending some time getting the bare necessities that would allow Kayle to get through the next week, it was time to do some work as someone the general populace couldn’t figure out if they loved or hated. Maybe they tolerated him? Maybe they loved the idea of him but hated it in practice? There were so many shades of gray in this kind of market and profession that simply labelling people as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ was rarely the end of it. These thoughts filtered through Kayle’s mind for probably the millionth time since he started his little vigilante show as he drove his bike towards the seedier parts of town. Most of the time, Kayle kept his activities to these parts, where most of the people around were guilty of a crime somewhere down the line. Considering how destructive his abilities could get when he fully unleashed them, he had to do his best to minimize collateral damage and what better way to do that then make sure nearly everyone is a target?

Right before he started entering what could be classified as the slums/warehouse district, Kayle pulled into a back alley on his bike. There he tied his helmet up to the bike, and then chained his bike to a dumpster. He didn’t want to ride his bike directly to where he would be doing his business, especially in broad daylight seeing as he had actual plates on this thing and that would be an easy trace back to who he was. He took a moment to assess himself before setting off. He felt the familiar tug of a combat knife at his hip, a last ditch option should the enemy somehow get within hand to hand distance. He had fairly decent combat training, but it never hurt to have a helping knife when necessary. Aside from that, Kayle wore raggy blue jeans and a dark blue hoodie. It was obviously a bit ripped and torn from previous fights, but in a place such as where he was going it would fit right in.

Aside from that, he did have his phone on him that was encrypted thanks to a bit of money put aside to hire a techie to make sure that if he dropped it, someone couldn’t simply guess the password and have access to all his personal information. It was tuned to police frequency, which also relayed cape activity as well. While not all capes went through official channels when responding, it was still an advantage that helped him many a times. With those two things, that was the entirety of what Kayle carried on him. He didn’t have anything that could identify him nor anything that would link back even remotely to where he lived or what he did as a career. This was a risky business, and as such he went in with the bare essentials when he decided he was going on patrol.

With everything secured and reaffirmed, Kayle pulled his hood up and shoved his face into the collar of his hoodie. He walked out of the alleyway and started his little patrol into the shadier part of Capetown. An area filled with broken down buildings, thugs in every corner, warehouses and railroads...and not to mention a strong villain presence. Granted, Kayle wasn’t looking to take on one of the villain organizations on his own, but maybe he could catch one or two off their guard and take them out before their friends could move to engage him. Kayle looked up at the sky, nearly noon without a cloud above him. It would diminish his powers out in the open, but if he could draw people to a shadowed area, he could gain the upper hand.

With his strategy and mind in the right place, he continued walking the streets. Maybe something would happen, maybe not, either way this was where he wanted to be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages

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The sun hung high in the sky, a quick glance at his phone quickly reminded him of the time. So far his little patrol hadn’t turned up anything worthwhile. He had come across a few drug deals already, but strolled past them. The moment he did something as his alter ego, the news that he was currently in the district would spread like wildfire and any bigger game would either go to ground or immediately start hunting him. As his sneakers hit the pavement of the sidewalk, trash floating in the wind across a nearly deserted street as a single rusted pinto coughed and wheezed by him, Kayle’s mind drifted to work for the next day. He had another morning routine, hopefully it wouldn’t stretch into the evening again. Honestly, his nightly excursions were sometimes the only thing that kept him sane. Block after block, nothing popped up to warrant his intervention. There was one incident where a couple of guys were beating up another dude in plain sight, but a very quick inspection showed that the ‘victim’ had nearly beaten one of their friends to death. No need for him to intervene on behalf of someone like that.

He approached an intersection, where the lights were set on a timer and rotated between green, yellow and red despite there not being a single vehicle in any direction. A couple of guys stood near the corner, and before Kayle got there, a woman of...dubious repute joined them and they all enjoyed a few smokes. Kayle got to the corner, earning a couple of looks but in his current get up he looked like he belonged in the area and they didn’t really pay him any mind. They continued their conversation, something about how drunk they got and where their next windfall was going to come from. Neither topics turned into something that Kayle could see himself jumping on, and was about to cross the street to continue his patrol when the hairs on his arms and neck stood on end. He wasn’t the only one to notice it either as the three other people on the corner stopped talking just in time to have the street lights all burst into shards around them. The men swore and the woman screamed slightly, even Kayle ducked slightly.

“The fuck..?” One of them asked, looking around as Kayle looked at the lights to see all their bulbs had burst.

“What was that? I still feel it...electric?” The woman asked, looking at her two companions.

“I didn’t think E-Lec still wandered around here…”

“Don’t joke, if he was still here and if that was him, we’d be dead.”

As they bickered, Kayle noticed that the feeling of his hairs standing on end hadn’t gone away. He was still within the electromagnetic field. He took out his phone, and while it remained largely unaffected, the screen stuttered as he turned. Finally, as he turned a certain direction, the screen flipped out and nearly filled with static. Whoever had done that hadn’t been concerned for collateral damage, which means it couldn’t have been a cape that had done it, at least on purpose. Kayle started movingin the direction that his phone seemed to indicate was the origin of the pulse.




It wasn’t a far jog to the scene as the feeling of electricity in the air seemed to die down rather quickly. Luckily Kayle already had a heading before his phone stopped being affected, and managed to stumble upon what could only be a full on showdown. Still a block away and poking his head around the corner of the building, Kayle managed to see what had caused the electrical disturbances, or at the very least, the most likely person. She stood in the center of what could only be called a lightning minefield as the heat from the melted copper made her form wavy. A number of people around her were unconscious, on fire, crying from pain, or possibly even dead. He couldn’t tell from here, but he was completely certain that they were no cape. On the same side of the street he was on, about a block away, were a number of other people hiding behind some type of shield or obstruction. He couldn’t get a good look at them, but he could tell there were three of them there. Assuming the person in the middle of that hellstorm was one of theirs, that would make four. The people who had been attacked, upon closer inspection, matched the description of the Adept Mages.

Kayle had known about them for awhile, but largely left them alone. They were annoying and...well childish to be perfectly honest. Most of the time they were content to recruit and play their games, and when they did step out of line there were plenty of others who could waste their time on their antics. Not to say that they didn’t have power, only that they didn’t use it to the full extent they possibly could. Kayle could recollect about two or three times he tangoed with them, each time an exercise in patience as they insisted on yelling their abilities like some kind of anime or Harry Potter film.

It was obvious they were fighting each other, but they appeared to be two opposing villain organizations. Sure, the unknown group could be vigilantes, but they were either stupid or careless to allow that kind of damage and exposure to happen. After all, Kayle had felt the pulse a number of blocks away, and while harmless to him and the others on the streets, how many people had she just hurt by overloading electronics? One way or the other, both groups were a threat now, especially since the Mages had just had their noses bloodied. What was the unknown group’s goal? Considering the location, it appeared like they had gone looking for the fight. Maybe focus on the new group first? Take them out of the equation before anyone’s the wiser? He currently had the element of surprise, no one knew he was here or even who he was for that matter. He looked up at the sky with a frown. It was the middle of the day though, and a couple of his abilities would be locked out or useless if he couldn’t figure out a way to cast a ray of darkness on them.

As he looked back down, he caught sight of one of the Mages approaching the electrical demon girl and get zapped without her conscious effort. Some kind of electrical field surrounding her? He couldn’t get close, or at the very least, shouldn’t get close. The rest were a bunch of unknowns for the most part, maybe it would be best to wait a bit and get more knowledge before heading in? How far would he go though? Not only did he have an opportunity to remove several villains from the board in one go, how badly would this battle start bleeding over into neighboring districts. He didn’t much care for the people who lived near this area, already having made life choices that nearly put them on Kayle’s hit list, but if their homes were destroyed they’d be forced to move to places where the ones that Kayle actually did try to protect would be. There were going to be ramifications for this regardless, especially for the Advent Mages, but ultimately it came down to whether Kayle wanted to control the situation or simply take advantage. Before he could make up his mind, he saw several vial looking things soar through the air towards the electric user, only for her bolts of lightning to strike out on their own and zap them without her input in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to be the end of it, as doing so seemed to cause some kind of reaction as they exploded and purple mist started expelling over the area.

This seemed to put her on edge as she retreated from the smoke, it was then things started to get a little hectic as the Mages recovered from the initial fight. The bigger guns of the Mages started filtering out of the warehouse as a group, their leader surrounded by blue flames and floating above the rest as they flanked his sides. The leader, Myrlyn if he was remembering the name correctly, seemed to shout some things before picking several railroad pieces from the grounds and hurling it at the group. The electric user made it to the shielded friends of hers before they hit however, and the shield changed color and...type? It went from a brownish hue to some other type of metal, and the railroad tracks either indented into the shield or bounced off into the distance. Kayle watched those fly into the air and go far enough so as to threaten the living area of this particular hunk of city. Even as Kayle pondered his involvement, not necessarily if but when, he saw the mages launch themselves at the group, including the few who hadn’t been incapacitated by the initial attack.

Immediately the area was a flurry of action as both sides engaged and Kayle could tell that this wasn’t going to be contained for much longer. Besides, they were all distracted with each other, he could sneak in and cripple a couple of members from both sides, then get out of dodge. Kayle took a moment to ready himself, breathing a bit as he felt the dark shroud cover his face to hide his identity. With that, he darted around the corner and started running towards the fight. It wasn’t that far from his location, and it wasn’t long before a couple of Mages turned and saw him heading into the fray. At first they were confused, who was this random person running towards them? Then the chains appeared, sprouting from his back like spider legs, 8 in total as they wavered over his form. As the adrenaline started sprinting through his blood, he couldn’t control his smile as it pierced through the darkness currently enveloping his head. A couple of the Mages seemed to recognize this trademark, shouting back to the others to get their attention, but even as they did so the chains were launching forward intent on catching some worthy prey.

Already on high alert and in the middle of a battle, a number of the Mages managed to avoid the blows, but the slower ones were sent flying from the impact of his attack. While he attacked with what was essentially a ‘gauging’ assault, Kayle propelled himself forward with the use of the chains, using them as an extension of his own body. Flipping himself into the air, Kayle attached two chains to the ground and launched himself like a cannonball, enveloping his legs in his protective shadow constructs and landing with enough concussive force to send a few of the lower level Mages stumbling and even falling backwards. Still, he had to even the playing field a little, make sure this was as chaotic as he needed it to be in order to get in and out with little issue. With that thought in mind, he launched several chains towards the unknown group, gripping the shield they had formed for themselves, and with no small amount of effort, completely crushed it. Throwing it away and revealing them for everyone to see, he flashed them a smile before his chains retreated to protect his more fragile self as several Mages moved to engage him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages

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Yesterday had been a rather slow day by all accounts almost as if all the villains, crooks and natural disasters decided it was their day off. Of course that was a good thing in a sense, and the lack of the constant chattering over the emergency services radio lines was rather refreshing, but to Devon it just meant one thing. The silence before the storm, something somewhere was stirring and that just didn't sit well with him.

One place that was a constant hotbed for all sorts of trouble big and small was one of the older industrial parks. It was far from any police stations, plenty of derelict lots and few prying eyes, if it was something illegal it probably happened there. As he recalled there was even a couple black market tinkers that operated out of one of these warehouses, until some villain decided it wasn't okay for them to supply to villains, vigilantes and heroes. The place was wrecked and the tinkers were found barely alive beaten to a bloody pulp.

The one thing that Devon really missed in the area was a good vantage point. Most of the buildings in the area were factory halls at most 3-4 stories high, and trying to climb and sit on one of the few smokestacks would be way more effective at taking down a smokestack than in getting a vantage point. Luckily he had found the next best alternative, a large warehouse with a couple fire escapes on opposite sides and a roof that didn't look like it could cave any second. From his vantage point he could see a couple of the main roads in the area, even if it required him to move from one end of the building to the other to really have a look at what was happening on the road.

For now things seemed to be quiet aside from the trucks driving all around the place, a lot of which were probably going quite a bit over the speed limit. Devon sat himself down on one of the more solid stone outcrops on the roof and looked around a bit trying to spot any prying eyes. Seemed nobody was watching him, with that reassurance he opened the thermos flask he had brought with him and took off the lower part of his mask revealing the lower part of his face up to the underside of his nose. He poured himself a cup out of the flask and then looked a moment at the steaming black liquid that had been poured out of the flask. If there was one thing that was absolutely annoying about his weak ass powers then it was the fact that he had to hide public identity or he'd be an easy target for a villain wanting some revenge or just one out to kill heroes. Something a lot of the heroes he worked with didn't have to worry about as much. If he were ever to be caught without his costume that'd be very bad news for him, the others would still be able to use their powers just fine. He took a sip of his coffee and skimmed through the emergency frequencies on his radio searching for any event that'd signal the coming of the storm.

It had only been a couple hours when the radio livened up with the oh so common chatter of the police. Apparently there was a bank robbery going on with some kind of changer who turned an inky black while changing. Devon had an idea of who this changer could be, likely the same one he had dealt with in that sandwich shop. Though at that point in time it didn't seem like it was going to step up from stealing grub to robbing banks in a matter of days. He really wanted to go to confirm his suspicions, but with traffic between him and the bank likely more jammed than the rusted machinery in the warehouse below him that wasn't an option. In fact with the tall buildings in the vicinity of the bank and the high density of civilians outside of the bank he couldn't even provide indirect fire support, well maybe a smoke shot, but that wasn't going to help the situation at all.

Not much later the situation in the bank had apparently changed into a hostage situation as the changer was blocking all exits of the building. Which seemed excessively strange for a creature that just three days ago ignored potential aggressors, avoided a very advantageous fight and generally took a peaceful approach to the situation. Now it really felt like a mistake to do a stakeout here in the industrial area, if he had stuck to his usual route he'd been there in a matter of minutes, now it'd take a couple hours.




Another half an hour passed but his patience had been rewarded as he spied a couple capes in costume on a motorcycle following a car with people overdressed to be working in this area sitting in it. Devon ran down the fire escape keeping an eye on where the two vehicles went. When the vehicles went out of his sight he jumped down the last few flights of stairs sticking the landing as he impacted the dusty concrete below causing some of the yellowish dust to fly up in response. He quickly ran to the street he lost the vehicles on and noticed the two vehicles parked halfway in an alley nearby. Quietly he inched closer to the vehicles picking up small fragments of the conversation held by the four people, from what he gathered they were going to attack a couple larpers, which given the area could only mean they were going to attack the adept mages. Even if you didn't count the members without powers they were still outnumbered, so either they'd have an ace up their sleeves or they were walking towards a one way ticket to a vacation in the hospital.

The four stopped their tactical discussions and walked their way to the adept mages hideout, it was only when the sound of the footsteps had faded that Devon dared to look around the corner only to see the four capes walk themselves into a position where they were completely surrounded. What happened next he would have called insanity if he hadn't seen it himself, one of the four touched the ground causing it to turn into what appeared to be copper. Then another member appeared to send a current through the copper ground tazing all the adept mages members without hitting her allies. Seemed they either had taken precautions or she was just that good at controlling the flow of electricity.

Well before he could attempt to analyse which of the two it was the answer was given loud and clear as the street lights around exploded lit up with violent arcs of plasma. It seemed the girl had lost control as the electricity started arc paths through the copper, ignite the clothes of the adept mages and fry the wearers. If it all stopped there then that wouldn't be too much of a problem, but the current started to melt paths into the copper and the radio frequency that had until now been dominated with status updates of what was happening at the bank had been flooded with police cars mentioning blackouts throughout the city.

For now Devon had to make a plan of attack, the three others had moved away from the girl back toward the vehicles and there was no way they hadn't seen him by now. He looked back at the girl and noticed she was practically glowing with a plasma layer covering her top to bottom. Whatever was going to happen from now on was likely to be a mess, but first things first, that layer of plasma and that look on her face told him she was holding on to more juice than she could handle. Devon ran near to the rest of her group figuring since they weren't getting fired that it'd be far away enough. He quickly scanned his surroundings and found exactly what he had hoped to find, a smokestack with a lightning rod. "Hey! There's a lightning rod at your 3 o'clock, on the steel smokestack! Aim for it!" His distorted voice yelled through his mask as he pointed at the barely visible strip of metal sticking up from the smokestack.

It wasn't even a second after speaking up that the fight erupted properly as vials flew out of the warehouse and a couple railroad tie flew in his general direction. Well, he'd been waiting for a fight and now here it was. From the corner of his eyes he noticed some shadowy figure with some kind of shadow chains engaging with some adept mage members, seemed this battle just got a whole lot more complex than anyone could have hoped for. Devon Sighed and grabbed his sniper and assault rifle from his back, the hardest target would be Myrlyn he apparently had some kind of pregoc and that was friggin annoying as far as he was concerned. He immediately engaged his overdrive began unleashing a volley of mixed rubber bullets and taser shots from both guns in the direction of Myrlyin who like any good telekinetic took to the back of the fight. It would be a fight between Myrlyn's precog and Devons homing projectiles and overcharged reflexes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages

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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 11:18 AM. 61°F,
Overcast. Arc 2: Confluence.



Sähkö blinked, in a daze. So much had happened, it was hard to comprehend, especially with her concentration being slammed against by her over-capacity storage of energy. The plan hadn't gone as, well, planned. Chrysopoeia was supposed to transmute the terrain, Sähkö was to shock and disable everyone immediately after, when the leaders came out of the warehouse, Sandstorm was to kick up a sandstorm, and Sähkö would manipulate the charges from the friction in the resulting cloud, and use it to shock and disable the blinded Adept Mages. It was supposed to last ten minutes, maximum. Instead, something went wrong, and she had tapped into the grid without realizing it, and lost control of her power as it blitz'd this half of the city. It would act as an EMP, frying and ruining circuitry, shattering light bulbs, and draining batteries and capacitors. Even backup generators within range would have failed.

The hospital... She thought dimly. Capetown Memorial Hospital and West Tex were both within two miles, in opposite directions. So was the Capetown Police Department, and so was Fire Station 1. How many lives would be affected in the coming days by the electronics that had just been ruined?

She was dimly aware of an Adept Mage member who had gotten up and stumbled towards her. As soon as he touched the shimmering ionized air around her, a connection between the two flashed blindingly for a second, and he was on the floor. She understood that she no longer sensed his bio-electrical processes, and she hoped it was because of the amount of energy around her dimming her senses, like looking for a flashlight against the glare of the sun. Still, she felt doubt that he was alive.

She felt far away, with little control of her body. She felt super-heated air enter her lungs like breathing straight out of an oven. Isn't the air poisonous now that it's ionized? She wondered internally, not even registering the fact that her skin was reddening and blistering from the heat, and her lungs weren't likely to fair better.

Milliseconds went by as aeons as she was alone with her thoughts, her perception increased by adrenaline and her innate ability to focus at literal lightning speeds as each arc of electricity flowed through the air in coils around her. She watched and counted individual grains of iron, or tiny flakes or rust, as they were pulled out of the dirt and dust below her and atomized by plasma. Soon she had belts of metallic sand orbiting her. Is that something I can control? She wondered. She flexed her power, and suddenly her head exploded with pain.

She heard a voice as if far away. She recognized it. A team mate? No, not that familiar. Some one she had met before, been close enough to talk to. Who was it? What did they say? She couldn't think; couldn't focus.

Then she watched something else happen. She felt several connections as glass exploded in the sky, gushing out clouds of purple. She felt and watched the sky fragment, triangular shards reflecting blue and white, and watched as cracks of cool hues slowly burned through reality. She was losing it, losing her grip on herself.

Her body moved on it's own, as if some other force were controlling her, something subconscious, or even instinctual. It wasn't a bond, it wasn't healthy. It was parasitic, controlling her, forcing her to go somewhere when she couldn't tell herself. She almost felt violated, but it was causing her to back up and retreat to safety, away from the purple mist. Then she forgot about that, as something told her to. Many things were telling her to forget other things. Some things told her to forget themselves. Neurons fired in her brain, electrical impulses, and she suddenly realized her memory had been altered. What did that? Then, quick as it came, it went, and she forgot. Where did that come from? Glass, then purple clouds. Vials? Potions? Who made potions? What caused that to happen? Chemical reactions, movement of electrons from one atom to another as they bonded, changes, stole energy, or changed levels. Chemistry was physics on a smaller fundamental level, and she almost understood it.

How could she understand the movement of non-physical charges through a spacial field, but not comprehend the bigger picture? A name jumped to mind. Recall. What did she have to do with it? Did she control her? Something told her that wasn't it. What was her significance?

Recall sent her on a mission. To where? Why? What had happened during it? When did it even happen, how long ago?

Was it happening right now?

Another name, then. The Congenial. Who was that? Weird name. The Adept Mages. Ah, the target. She remembered. She felt a tiny spark inside her head as neurons connected. She was part of the Congenial, and they were going after the Adept Mages. Who was the leader of the team? Merlin? Myrlyn. Leader of the Adept Mages. She hadn't seen him yet. Who made the purple mist? Alchimyst did, he was a chemical Tinker, he threw the concoctions. She was in battle, she had hurt people.

Oh. She killed someone. That jolted her, and reality came back all at once, in a wave. She looked around. Mere seconds had gone by, and to her it had felt like hours, days, weeks. The Adept Mage who had walked up to her and gotten zapped hadn't even hit the floor. neither had the glass shards. Then, they did. Time had resumed normally. What was she supposed to do? Her body was still moving, as her first step backwards completed. Only one step? She took another. Then another. Her fingers twitched. He chest moved as another breath entered her lungs. Had she been holding it? No, she was hyperventilating, breathing really fast. Her perception had just slowed enough to make that last breath feel like an eternity ago.

"-lightning rod at your 3 o'clock, on the steel smokestack! Aim for it!" The familiar voice said. The same one as earlier. Did he repeat himself? No. Speaking took longer than breathing, and he was still in his sentence. She understood him, and looked to her right.

Woah! She was startled. The connection was so easy. All connections were easy. She had so much power in her that drawing a path through rubber right now would probably feel like drawing a path through copper or gold before. Nothing resisted her power in this state. Electromagnetism, movement of electrons, it was physics. Matter bows to physics, and right now, she was Lord of it. She felt every conceivable connection. She could zap people's hearts, melt the chain link fence, explode that car. No, what had he said? Lightning rod? What lightning rod? EVERYTHING IS A LIGHTNING ROD RIGHT NOW! Ah, there it is. She felt it. The path of least resistance. It was what her power was based off of, one of her fundamental abilities is altering the path of least resistance to allow her lightning to go where she willed. But the natural path was there, if she didn't think about it. Right to that lightning rod on the smokestack where he had pointed her. She'd almost lost her senses again.

She cracked the world in half. Then, nothingness. For a moment, the world was white, like looking at the screen of a computer monitor, every pixel pure white. Then, she could see. Lightning never blinded her, even if it could permanently blind others. She felt the vibrations rock her cranium and her whole skeleton as thunder shook the buildings around her. She gaped, her jaw would have hit the floor if it were physically possible, as the
glow of the ionized plasma where the air had been destroyed to the lightning rod. The glow extended around the rod, and the rod were melting like a stick of butter upright in an oven.

And she could think. I'm back to normal. Oof, even when she snapped out of the trance, she didn't have complete control of her mind, body, and abilities. Like looking through your eyes covered in tissue paper with earmuffs on and moving through molasses, her senses and mind had been muddled. Now, she was clear once again. Back to the fight.

Myrlin, Jeu and Drow followed Alchimyst out of the warehouse, each flexing their respective powers on the battlefield. The congenial flew into the fray, Sandstorm and Chrysopoeia collaborating to make solid obstacles in front of people, Seraphim acting as a personal force field, jumping in front of attacks and dissolving them across countless dimensions.

Jasmin tried her powers. Iron sand clung her her face through magnetism, forming the same spikey iron-filing mask she wore in this cape identity of Sähkö. A tiny arc jumped between her fingers, the air snapping and crating the startling crackling sound of a taser. She wasn't drained, she still had tons of energy, but not enough to leak out. She felt good.

An Adept Mage wearing a red cloak with black cloud pattern blew flames from his mouth, Sähkö sidestepped and punched him in the side. He convulsed and dropped to the ground crying out. Her taser hands worked, and she had enough control to not kill. Just as before. Good, she had been worried that maybe her control over her power had been damaged. She saw a man with jet-black chains walking around like Doctor Octopus with them, throwing people with sweeping motions, and tying others up. Then he darted through the battlefield, propelling himself with the chains like a slingshot, before grabbing one of Chrysopoeia's transmuted shield-structures and crumpling it with the shadowy limbs. His power is very similar to Tendril's. Jasmin thought. And he doesn't appear to be a friend. She kept in mind.

Meanwhile, she watched as rubber bullets flew through the sky, blue flames enveloping them as they altered trajectories. A few made it closer, but Myrlyn dodged them in ways a teenager shouldn't be able to. Right, he was a precog. Maybe she should go after him. She looked around again, to see Jeu doing acrobatics, back flips, handsprings, and more as he dodged attacks flying through the air, heat-less flames exploding around him. Another part of the battlefield looked like the jizz of a Green Lantern, with Drow's green energy constructs everywhere. Besides that, most of the other Adept Mage members were down and out of the fight, already having been dispatched easily, or taken out with Sähkö's initial attack. She decided to go after Drow. Myrlyn had too many attacks aimed at him, and Jeu was out of her league in close combat. If she could zap Drow's energy constructs, she was powerless against Sähkö.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages

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A full on battle.

Kayle hadn’t been in one of these in a long time, in fact this was not normally his go to method. He could count the rumbles he had gotten into on one hand, usually finding isolated targets and making them regret their life decisions that way. As several Mages ran at him, different powers in tow, his eyes darted every which way to assess the situation. There were plenty of people here, but due to the three way battle of things, no one could present a unified front which worked for him. As a solo agent, he needed the chaos in order to prevent being ganged up on and inevitably outnumbered. His chains lashed out with the speed of a whip, smashing into the ground hard enough to cause small fissures in the surface, throwing dust and rubble into the air with every smash. The Mages who weren’t fast enough to avoid the chains were nearly crushed or thrown aside from the kinetic force, while those who managed to get inside Kayle’s guard found him no mere easy prey either.

One such Mage managed to duck and weave his way to Kayle, which admittedly wasn’t all that hard considering the amount of people he was attempting to fight at the same time. When he got close to Kayle, he could see that his hands, specifically his palms were glowing red. The air rippled in front of them and confirmed Kayle’s suspicion. Some kind of heat power associated to his limbs, something Kayle took into account as the man swung first. His strike was wild, driven by instinct and adrenaline rather than any form of training. “SMOKING PALM!” He yelled as his attack went wide. Kayle had to resist the urge to roll his eyes as he dart to the side, delivering three quick blows to the man’s kidneys. The Mage doubled over as Kayle took that moment to roll over his back, landing, and backflipping. His feet connected with the man’s face as he was doubled over and carried enough force to the Mage’s chin that it forced him up and landed him squarely on his back. A moment later, a couple of chains were bound around his arm, and a second later a sickening crack was heard as he screamed in pain and agony.

Just stay out of the fight dimwit. Kayle thought to himself as he turned towards the others who were either trying to get past his chains, or fighting the chains themselves. Idiots, they wouldn’t be able to do anything against them, but honestly Kayle wanted to focus on the big fishes in the pond at the moment. With a tiny flex, the number of chains sprouting from his body doubled and a few moments later had overwhelmed the lesser class of Mages that had been attempting to take him down. Now, who should he go for next? There were still a number of people in the fight, any of which would be decent targets. Kayle took a step forward, only to hear a slight ‘whoosh’ behind him. He ducked, but it still wasn’t enough as he felt a blade carve through his sweater followed by a kick to his side that sent him tumbling. It was a weird sight as the chains seemed to convulse, shaking with Kayle as he rolled with the dirt. He quickly stood, feeling the burn from the wound now seeming to pulse on his back with his heartbeat. He grimaced, it hurt but it wasn’t something that was unknown to him.

He looked at his attacker, covered from head to toe in black garb and a ceramic mask covering his face. One of the leaders? Jeu, if Kayle’s recollection was correct, although his powers were somewhat up for debate. Enhanced battlefield cognition? Maybe some athletic boosting abilities? Didn’t he have fire or something? Kayle couldn’t spend time trying to remember everything about the man as Jeu launched forward, his speed pretty impressive as he ducked and weaved between Kayle’s shadow constructs. Kayle took two steps backwards, buying himself exactly one extra second as Jeu lashed forward with his blade. Kayle palmed it to the side, spinning and ducking to deliver a leg sweep which Jeu spiral rolled over in what seemed to be an impossible maneuver . When he landed, his blade was already lashing at Kayle’s face, forcing him backwards and into an unstable footing. Jeu pressed the advantage, slashing away at Kayle and landing a couple of blows as his sweater was torn and blood started to stain the blue material.

Kayle summoned chains from his chest, pushing outwards to keep Jeu at bay but was dismayed as he front flipped onto the chains rather than being pushed outwards, jumping over his head and lashing out with fire. Kayle instinctively went prone, falling on his back as the blade missed his head by mere inches, rolling backwards to hopefully land on his back. The moment he did, he heard the subtle crunch of Jeu landing behind him and threw up a wall of chains. The moment he did, he heard the ‘clang’ of the blade ringing off of them. Kayle snarled before balling his fists and feeling the darkness expel from everywhere at once.

Like an explosion, chains launched from Kayle with varying effects as they landed several yards away and impacted with anyone and anything that got in there way. There were easily a couple dozen chains of differing sizes strewn about the battlefield. Kayle looked back and was surprised to see that not only had Jeu avoided getting hit, he was moving on the chains with precision and expertise, getting closer to Kayle through the maze that was his power. Kayle gave a smile as he collapsed the chains in on his opponent, who once again displayed his skill as he jumped and weaved through the moving chains with supernatural ability. Flipping out the top like a ninja, Jeu landed a few yards away in a crouch, his blade held at the ready as Kayle retracted his chains back into his person. Once again utilizing a manageable number, Kayle stared at his target. A worthy foe, if nothing else, but he wasn’t going to win this way. Kayle was learning and it wouldn’t be long before all of Jeu’s tricks were used up. Kayle raised his hands into a fighting stance, but was dismayed to find that they were actually covered in fire. He probably hadn’t felt it due to the adrenaline, but immediately went about trying to put them out. In that moment of surprise, Jeu closed the distance quickly, throwing his blade ahead of him.

It only took a couple of seconds, but Kayle’s mind processed it as minutes. The fire was still burning, but it was secondary as the blade that was clearly aimed for his heart made it’s way to him. He started falling to throw off the trajectory, but it wouldn’t be enough. His chains were too slow to summon from the front and wouldn’t put up a satisfactory shield. He brought his arm in front of him and felt the white hot pain as the blade embedded itself up to the hilt in his forearm. As Kayle’s back hit the ground, he felt Jeu reach the blade and violently rip it from where it had impaled Kayle, earning a grunt of pain as Kayle did his best to suppress the instinct to scream. With yet another feat of acrobatics, Jeu jumped over Kayle and slashed for his neck, but was met with yet another clang as chains formed into a choker for Kayle, preventing the lethal injury.

Kayle was on the defensive, he was not used to this. Enough of this kind of game, he was done trying to play on his field. Jeu landed with a slide backwards, his hand gripping the dirt and his feet attempting to move forward even as he himself moved backwards. He was trying to finish this quickly. Kayle rolled to his feet, staring at Jeu as he started to close the distance rapidly. Despite the blood that now pooled beneath him, Kayle gave a smile that stood out against the darkness enveloping his head.

“Panic.” He whispered as he summoned a vast amount of strength and sent out an Empath pulse that affected everyone within range. He didn’t want Jeu overcoming it so he put more juice into the attack than what was probably necessary. It must have hit Jeu like a ton of bricks because he stumbled, barely keeping his footing but it was enough. With that moment of hesitation and now that Kayle could properly think about his moves, chains surrounded the battlefield master, encompassing his limbs and held him in the air for everyone to see. Jeu seemed, well, panicked by this change in battle, and next thing Kayle knew he was completely encapsulated by fire. Kayle held his breath for a moment, before quickly realizing that, aside from his previous injuries, the flames didn’t actually burn him. He gave a smile and a small laugh, realizing how much of an idiot he had been before looking up at his hostage.

“For what it’s worth, you gave it a good shot.” Twisted Smile stated, before squeezing the chains and hearing the telltale sound of bones being shattered followed by Jeu’s screams of terror and pain. With what looked like barely a thought, Kayle tossed him aside, letting him land in a heap of tears, blood, sweat and screams. Fucker, could barely think with him launching himself at me like that. Kayle thought to himself as he checked his wounds. All of them had dark red blood flowing out of them, but that was a good thing. None of them had hit an artery, so he would be fine for awhile. In the meantime, he looked to the other combatants.

Who was left, who else could he take out?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages

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Devon watched as the girl launched a bolt of electricity at the lightning rod. While it was clear that she had overcharged quite a bit given her previous state, the severity of her overcharge only became apparent when the bolt hit the rod and turned it and part of the top of the smokestack it was attached to into a mess of molten metals. But what followed was much more interesting to him as metal flakes collected themselves on the face of the girl, very much like the mask he had seen in the sandwich shop a few days back. Now he had even more questions to ask her when this fight was over.

Then there was the more pressing matter at hand, the floating candlewick. From the bullets he had fired at him a large percentage had been forced onto alternate paths and the ones he hadn't taken control of he had managed to dodge either being able to react on the rather slow bullets or his precog being the driving force behind his matrix moves. Well what were the chances that a spray and pray attack would work on a precog with telekinetic powers, but it was mostly to keep him on the defensive and unable to hurl more crap, which it apparently did do splendidly. Seeing as dual wielding an assault rifle and a sniper rifle wasn't exactly an effective fighting method as it didn't play to either weapons strengths, he slung his sniper rifle onto his back figuring that volume of fire might give him the edge, making it harder to avoid and advert all of the projectiles.

He aimed his assault rifle at Myrlyn and unleashed a large stream of sandbag ammunition, not only did this ammo type fire with a much greater speed and have more mass behind it, with the properly aimed fire the homing properties of the rifle kicked in. However it was not to be, as Myrlyn quickly diverted many of the projectiles again whilst avoiding remaining projectiles that he didn't manage to control in time or didn't feel the need for. It even seemed he was aware of the homing properties of the projectiles as the projectiles he had initially dodged were dodged once more on their return flight. But with how he was still holding a grip over the bullets he had diverted instead of slamming them into the ground or something else solid, it seemed he didn't have all the answers. The thought of it being a ruse ran through Devon's head, but the likelihood that a brat with little real combat experience would concoct something like that on the fly seemed slim at best. The fact that he hadn't tried to launch the bullets back in Devon's direction showed that he felt that it was some sort of risk, what exactly that risk was he couldn't tell at this point, but slowly the cracks in the precogs defenses started to appear.

With a devilish grin hidden under his mask he looked at Myrlyn up in the sky, the homing strength of a single of those bullets wasn't all too great, but with the distance to the ground and the open air around him given the chance every single one of those bullets would find it's way back to their target time after time. However there was one weapon in his possession that excelled at homing. With his left hand Devon pulled the revolver from his holster and trained it on Myrlyn who was still battling the other bullets in the air. With a sharp crack similar to the lightning that had roared prior a bullet was released from the gun and as expected Myrlyn's attention had shifted to this new projectile releasing his grip over some of the others to try and divert this new threat. However he immediately found out this one wasn't going to let the telekinetic bend it's route as his powers failed to make the bullet veer off course before he had to dodge the bullet, and even then barely managed to as the bullet ripped a new hole in the robe on his back

As the first bullet passed Devon took aim for another shot only to notice Myrlyn making a twitchy move as he was pulling the trigger, one that would have been impossible to react to in time had his opponent been just a regular gunman, but with fortune being on Devon's side his overdrive improved his reaction speed quite a bit beyond that of a normal human. With a half pulled trigger Devon watched what must have been panic situation for the precog as Myrlyn realized that Devon could keep up with his preemptive dodges, and not only that he could do it faster than Myrlyn could react upon what his precognition was telling him. A feeling of glee passed through Devon as he now understood the limitations of his opponents precognition, and with that new knowledge he fired his shot just as Myrlyn was in the middle of another preemptive dodge. The bullet connected and sent a wave of electrical energy through Myrlyn, causing him to lose control of his muscles and more importantly his powers for a moment.

He managed to save himself from injury as he regained control over his power just in time to slow his descent from a bone breaking drop to one that would only leave one sore for a couple of days. But his problems weren't over yet, there was still the swarm of homing bullets to content with. The mage hadn't even gotten the time to get his bearings before the bullets had come too close to dodge. In a blind panic he diverted as many as he could, causing the bullets to slam into the ground hard enough to leave small craters in the copper below, and hoped the left over ones wouldn't kill him. At the same time however another shot sounded and Myrlyn flew a few feet backwards as if someone had just thrown a medicine ball at him with full force, allowing the remaining bullets to burrow themselves harmlessly into the ground. Well not completely harmlessly as some of the others on the copper may have noticed with a slight tingle of electricity passing through their feet as the first revolver shot hit the ground.

The mage wasn't exactly in the best of shape, quite a few sore spots to attent to and perhaps a few bruised ribs. The sudden strike to the chest seemed to have knocked the wind out of him as he lay there unmoving, but quite clearly still breathing.




He then turned his attention to the others on the battlefield, it was hard to not notice the mangled man left behind by the shadow chain wielding entity. While some injury during battle wasn't uncommon, this seemed more like mere brutality and cruelty. Devon gritted his teeth in anger and frustration as he felt forced to let the man operate for now as at this point securing the metal faced girl for some question was the prime objective. And she seemed to be intent on tangling with the one female among the adept mages leadership. He holstered his revolver and in a fluid motion slung his assault rifle to his back while taking his sniper rifle back into his arms. At this point the rag tag team had a solid upper hand and he wanted to see a bit of miss 9volt in action, he'd just keep an eye on anyone trying to butt into that fight or step in to protect her if she had bitten off more than she could chew.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Splatterblood's Crew Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages

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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 11:25 AM. 61°F,
Overcast. Arc 2: Confluence.



Sähkö bent down, hands supporting herself on her knees, panting and slightly wheezing. Damn, she thought, they sit out here every day and fight each other, while I work as a cash register at a convinience store. I'm not fat, but they're in waaaaay better shape than me. Beads of sweat rolled down her forehead, dropping onto the rough dirt-textured copper below. She felt tingles in her feet, the telltale sign of electricity, as her beads of sweat were likely carrying charges. She wiped her forehead and ran her fingers through her short hair, flinging wetness to the floor, before straightening and taking in a huge breath, her back cold from moisture and the shirt clinging to it.

In front of her, Drow, looking like an overdone highschool goth chick with jet black makeup and lipstick and dyed-white hair, smirked with a hand on her hip. Arrows of green energy slowly floated around her, trained on Sähkö. Sähkö had been on the defensive,
despite attacking Drow first, using her bolts to destroy the green constructs, but not able to get close enough to tag Drow.

Suddenly, Sähkö broke into a run, charging her opponent. Drow stood her ground until Sähkö was a foot away, and as Sähkö threw a punch, she felt her arm yank, as it was tethered to the ground by a green strand of energy. Pain flared in her thigh as Drow swung with a green cackling mace, and Sähkö dropped to avoid a second hit, kicking at Drow's legs, only for her to take a few steps back. Sähkö discharged energy and the green thether tying her wrist to the ground dissipated into green mist.

This has been going on for the last five minutes. She loathed the fact she didn't trust her powers enough to just shock the creepy goth chick at range. She stole some glances, taking her attention off of her opponent, to survey the battlefield. Ten meters away, the guy with the shadow-chains fought Jeu, and both looked like professional martial artists in a movie scene, dodging attacks with reflexes much higher than Sähkö's. Across the lot, the HLA member she had met a few days ago, the one with the german name she couldn't remember nor pronounce, was firing round after round at Myrlyn, who was redirecting flaming blue projectiles. Chrysopoeia and Sandstorm fought some of the non-parahuman members who had been given temporary powers by Rethliel, and the pair fought like a left and right arm, obviously used to each other's synergy, with Chrysopoeia transmuting different sections of the floor into various materials that Sandstorm could manipulate. Around them, a small localized storm of sand, dirt, a white powdery substance, and even shiny shard that looked like glass dust to Sähkö's horror, swirled. Sandstorm would keep the substances out of his mouth and lungs and away from their skin, and Chrysopoeia wore a bandanna and sunglasses just because he was so used to fighting alongside Sandstorm. Seraphim war off by herself, virtually untouchable with armor made of portals, throwing up windows to other dimensions and using them as force-fields.

Sähkö looked back to Drow just in time to see a baton of green whack her across the bridge of her nose, and across her eyes. Nerves screamed white-hot as Sähkö stumbled, grabbing her face. Unconsciously, as a reflex, an arc jumped between Sähkö and Drow, and a loud crackling sound louder than a taser made Sähkö jump as the area was bathed in a glow of white and blue for a fraction of a second. Drow dropped straight down like a rag doll, and bounced at an angle as her legs stiffened from the muscles contracting. Upon landing, she relaxed again, breathing heavily, and groaning as she tried to turn over. Sähkö reached down with one hand, still holding her face with the other, and tagged Drow. She spasm'ed, and went limp, unconscious.

Sähkö then watched in utter horror as the shadow-chain-guy lifted Jeu in the air with the chains like Dr. Octopus, and crushed his arms and legs before flinging him aside into the floor in a mangled heap. Holy shit, is that even legal? She ironically asked herself in disbelief. He could die. He's just a kid. She thought again, unaware she had just taken a life minutes ago. The shadow-chain guy then stopped to survey the battlefield, as if looking for his next target, when both of them watched Myrlyn plummet from the sky, slow his fall, and plop against the ground. The mage regained his senses and forced the swarm of projectiles out in a spherical telekinetic explosion before he was knocked off of the ground and several feet back, landing and laying flat out, breathing but otherwise unmoving.

The batllefield went still for a moment as Sähkö, Freischütz, and The Twisted Smile watched each other in a triangle. Chrysopoeia and Sandstorm were also done fighting, and the localized storm around them began slowing down. Seraphim had also dispatched some of the mooks, trapping them in prisons of portals that would slice them if they tried to escape. There were only a few non-powered individuals left, and they were on their knees with their hands up in surrender. Sähkö noted that Alchimyst had also surrendered laying on the floor after a stray projectile from Freischütz's fight with Myrlyn had knocked the wind out of him. She looked between the two other parties. A hero and another villain. Her pulse quickened even more than it had during the fight at the thought of being taken in by the HLA. Sähkö glimpsed back down at Drow, to make sure she was fine, and then looked back at the other two parties. What now?



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Capetown, TX. 09/19/2017, 11:30:25 Am. 57°F,
Partly Cloudy (Sprinkling). Arc 2: Confluence.



Josh's phone had been going off for the last hour, group-chat texts about several different fights around the city, including a parahuman-induced blackout, according to PCRT Thinkers. He didn't particularly care about going and helping, he'd do a job if told but not go out of his way to do more than required. But it did make him anxious. Five days ago, Capetown's HLA team had informed the THA that they were expecting an Abhorrent attack within the week. Red Jet had seen the carnage on tv, cities destroyed, mass evacuation impossible due to the natural disasters caused by each Abhorrent, and the Abhorrents killing indiscriminately, both cape and normal people. He himself was a regular on Parahumans Online, and every time there's an attack, hundreds of posts crop up, alongside megathreads for the disaster. Everyone knows about them. But unlike most people who haven't experienced an Abhorrent attack and may feel detached, he's been in cape fights and can imagine it scaled up to 11. It scares him.

As the end of the school day neared and arrived, Josh wondered what he'd do with his day. He had patrol at nine, but that was nearly five hours away. He sighed and picked up his red backpack, slinging it over a shoulder. At fifty pounds, most high schoolers would have trouble carrying it around all day, but Josh's powers made it light as a feather in his hands. As he strolled through the halls towards the front of the school, followed by a sea of clothes, backpacks, perfume, and heads of hair, on in particular caught his attention, way ahead of the crowd. Alex. What caught his attention specifically was Alex knocking over two students, and not swaying or moving against their force, as most would when colliding with another body. It's something so normal, that whenever it doesn't happen, it strikes Josh as weird every time. Alex had been in Josh's head all day, as he pondered whether or not to approach him.

After leaving the school and crossing the street, Alex put in headphones and seemed occupied by his phone. He was walking a different direction home than the HLA HQ, but he was walking nonetheless. After some internal debate, Josh decided to follow him, if for no other reason than to learn where he lived. Eventually, they reached his house, Josh almost missing him from half a block away as he climbed towards the roof of his house. Doesn't want to alert his parents. Josh realized. He understood the sentiment, because Josh had done the same at his parents house before joining the THA and living at the HQ. Josh decided to take his moment of knowing where Alex was and knowing he'd be there for at least a few minutes, to blast himself into the sky, and towards the HQ. The trip took five minutes, changing into his costume took a little more. In the end, he was back at Alex's house with time to spare, on the roof of a nearby building, watching the place Alex had used to enter the house.

A little while later, he was watching the unnamed... hero? Vigilante? Villain? Cape. He watched the unnamed cape that was Alex in disguise stall across rooftops, after some of the non-powered members of Splatterblood's Crew. He shook his head sullenly. Poor sods knew Splatterblood was a parahuman, and a scary one at that, and would do anything to get on his good side, but he didn't care for the lives of the unpowered. Red Jet thought about interrupting Alex, confronting him, stopping him from attacking. But who knew how that would turn out? He didn't feel like having a fight on his hands tonight, especially against someone he kinda knew. An idea burst into his head, then.

Red Jet was on the roof of a building three over from the one Alex was on. He launched himself at an angle, not towards Alex, but off to the side. After a few seconds of flying in that direction, he abruptly changed course, straight for the roof of the building Alex was on.

He landed with a resounding crunch, the asphalt on the rooftop buckling under the force of his fall, echoing like a gunshot. He wasn't facing Alex, instead he appeared to be oblivious of Alex, instead looking down from the edge of the roof, over a little section of the city. He'd just pretend to be on patrol and 'run into' Alex.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages

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It seemed like the battle itself had wrapped up fairly quickly, with the Adept Mages taking the brunt of the damage. It seemed their leadership was either incapacitated or in the process of surrendering, and even then Kayle liked the thought of breaking the Alchimyst in half. He was a villain after all, and had done his fair share of things that put him on Kayle’s list. Unfortunately, as the blood dripped off him like a faulty faucet, he recognized that he was at a disadvantage. He could still fight, but the others didn’t look like they had taken any injuries worth noting, or at the very least, they were good at hiding them. Kayle looked between them, but it obvious just from Freischütz’s stance that he would side with the group that had actually instigated the fight and had shocked the entire city into a standstill.

Typical hero, thinking to the short term. Kayle thought to himself as he relented and realized that he couldn’t take all five of them in an engagement, especially wounded the way he was. He also couldn’t inflict more casualties on the Mages without the Cape stepping in to stop him either, so there was only one avenue of approach left to him. With nothing but a smile, the chains launched out of him and impacted the ground. With a quick movement, Kayle was thrown through the air past them, the chains lashing out every so often to keep his momentum going but in moments he had removed himself from the situation.

When he did finally land, he was several blocks away, and noticing that there didn’t seem to be any kind of pursual, took a moment to catch his breath. His blue hoodie had been dyed red by this point as the shadow fell away from his face. His hood was still up, making it nearly impossible for someone to get a good look at his face, since he didn’t want to be caught off guard once again, but he was starting to feel the effects of the blood loss. He had to get himself patched up...luckily he had a guy.




Kayle pulled up to a walk in clinic on his bike, doing his best to hide his injuries but it was getting harder with every passing second. His breathing was ragged and sweat had started to bead on his brow. His eyes had been getting heavy and he had noticed that his body temperature was starting to drop. He would last a few minutes longer, maybe. As he managed to park his bike, somehow not toppling over and not letting the bike crash on it’s side, he stole a glance at several people who stared at him and whispered among themselves. They were unsure what to do, he could be an injured cape or villain, and no one wanted to risk getting put in the same boat as a ‘bad guy’. Cowards, one and all, too self absorbed to help those around them without worrying about their own benefit or risk.

Bypassing all of them, he pushed open the door to the walk in clinic with his shoulder. Inside he was greeted with one of the lower ends of a doctor’s workplace. The walls were painted a weird shade of green with chipped pieces falling off at irregular intervals. The chairs were cheap and plastic, deliberately made red to avoid the blood coming off of some of the patients here from staining any of the furniture. A couple of magazine stands were set off at regular intervals, filled with all the latest literature from 1960. All of this would be visible from the window that covered the entire front of the clinic, save that the window itself was tinted black with the letters ‘Southside Clinic’ printed in red ink, with ‘Dr. Lucio Corvax’ written underneath. At the far end of the front door sat a circular desk with a young, somewhat pretty secretary sitting there staring off into space. A couple of people sat in the chairs, either absorbed in their own little world or taking enough time from their busy lives to stare at Kayle as he stumbled in.

Kayle wandered past all of them, including the secretary who finally noticed him after he was already half past the desk. “Hey wait, you need to check in and wait your turn!”

“Make me.” Kayle uttered as he continued to walk past her, the words enough to make her stop in her path as she wondered what to do next. Her hand hovered over the phone, but something made her switch ideas and instead ran after Kayle as he walked down the hallway, opening doors until finally he found the one he was looking for. In the room at the far end of the hallway, Kayle opened the door to find your standard looking clinic room. There was a counter and sink off to the side with cabinets filled with all sorts of medical looking crap. A desk with a computer sat next to it on the adjacent wall, and opposite of these necessary components was fold up patient table that currently had a middle aged man sitting on it with his shoes and socks removed.

The doctor looked up from his inspection of the man’s foot. The man seemed to be of spanish descent, older but definitely not refined looking. His hair, a mixture of grey and black, wasn’t so much distinguished as it was all over the place. Yes, his hair was gelled back to avoid looking like a cartoon Einstein, but gray streaks ran through his hair at random intervals. Wrinkles and creases smothered his face, indicating age and his eyes had the look of someone who was simply looking forward to retirement. His coat was open, revealing a rather unprofessional t-shirt that was a reference to some soap opera that Kayle couldn’t be bothered to remember or comment on, which also happened to be covered in some sort of stain...most likely spaghetti. Lucio, the doctor, stood up and looked at Kayle. He was fairly tall, at least 6’2, but he never carried with him any air of authority or pride, if anything his size made him seem even more done with this life than anything else.

There was a brief moment where no one said anything, including the secretary who was standing behind Kayle. Finally, Lucio looked to his patient and slowly blinked. “I’ll be back in a moment.”

“But I’ve already been waiting two hours to see you!” The man retorted angrily, trying to grab Lucio’s arm. Lucio shrugged it off.

“Yes and a few more minutes won’t kill you.” Lucio made a note to bend over one more time to look at the man’s foot, which Kayle was just now noticing had a weird growth on it. “Hopefully...maybe...try not to breathe too fast.” The man looked incredulous, then scared, then started holding his breath. Lucio rolled his eyes as he stepped into the hallway.

“I tried to stop him Dr. Corvax, he just barged right th-”

“If you had truly tried to stop him Grace, I doubt you would be conscious enough to even explain.” Lucio stated, motioning towards another one of the rooms, which Kayle entered. “Just go back to your desk and deal with the other incoming patients.” She gave a brief nod, stealing a glance over at Kayle before speed walking back to her spot. Lucio walked into the room after kayle, slowly closing the door as he did so and giving a slight sigh. “You could try to be a bit more personable when you come here.”

“Kind of hard to do when every time I come here I’m in enough pain to rip the tongues out of everyone who looks at me wrong.”

“Pleasant.” Lucio stated as he motioned at Kayle’s clothes. Kayle started taking them off, but required aid from the good doctor about halfway as the pain forced Kayle to grit his teeth to the point of crushing them. Once the clothes were off and Doctor Corvax could see what was going on, he let a couple of spanish swears roll off his tongue as naturally as water flows through a river. “Looks like you had a fun time.”

“As much as I generally enjoy your apathy, I’ve been bleeding for a great deal of time now and everything’s starting to get sleepy and cold.”

“Yes yes yes, one moment.” Lucio made his way back to the door, ensuring that it was securely locked. After that, he pressed another button and there was a slight ‘chunk’ as some other precautions were put in place. With that, Lucio cracked a couple of his knuckles and rolled his neck slightly. “Alright, first thing’s first.” Lucio walked over to the cabinets, pulling out a collapsible bag holder and a package of plasma. Putting the cords into place, he stuck it into Kayle’s arm and made sure it was good to go. Once that was done, he took Kayle’s arm first, giving it a good once over. “You got lucky, this looks like it was inches from puncturing an artery.”

“Time of the essence Doc.” Kayle stated, looking over at him. Lucio gave a sigh, holding his hand over the wound. There was a brief tingle, like all the hairs on Kayle’s hand were standing on edge, but as Lucio pulled his hand back Kayle could see that the wound was starting to close. Lucio then moved to the other wounds even as that one was closing. His hand passed briefly over each of the wounds, and in turn that slowly started closing. As Lucio finished with the last one, he wandered back to the cabinet and pulled out several towels. He threw them to Kayle, who plucked them out of the air and started wiping away the blood. Another quick search later and Lucio was throwing Kayle another shirt along with a hat.

“Might I suggest you invest in some actual armor?” Lucio stated, leaning against the counter. Kayle shrugged.

“Harder to wander around incognito if I’m decked out like a power ranger.”

“Not saying power ranger, but there are such things as ballistic vests, or even some metal padding under your hoodie?”

“They slow me down.”

“Oh right, wouldn’t want to get stabbed cause you were too slow.”

“I’d be dead right now if I had been even half a second slower.” Lucio gave a shrug.

“Whatever, just saying, you could stop visiting me so often if you did something to protect yourself.” Lucio reached to the wall this time, instead of the cabinet and slid back a hidden compartment. Inside were a number of pictures, which he retrieved and flipped through. He settled on one, and put the rest of them back into the compartment before sliding it shut. As Kayle continued to wipe himself up, Lucio placed the picture beside him.

Inside was a semi-blurry photo of a white man in his mid twenties, skinny and looking very much like an addict with sunken eyes and a hunched back, not to mention his clothes were not exactly top of the line and he looked to be walking through an alley. “Story?” Kayle asked as he continued to wipe up.

“Asshole robbed me, took about a month of pharmaceuticals. Don’t even think he needed it all, was probably looking for something specific but rather than spend the time to read the labels, just jammed it all into a grab bag.”

“Were you around when it happened?” Kayle asked, picking up the photo and inspecting it more carefully.

“No, he came after hours.”

“So how do you know it’s him?” Kayle asked, looking up at the Doctor.

“I have more ‘Special Care’ patients than just yourself Smile.” Lucio stated, narrowing his eyes slightly. “They got me the information, but that’s as close as they could get...the guy is slippery but it doesn’t seem like he’s a paranormal.”

“So why not have them just deal with him.” Lucio gave an exasperated sigh.

“Because their abilities weren’t geared for combat, because he’s surrounded by a gang of some sort or at the very least seems to hang around them a lot, because I knew that someone like you would show up eventually who would be better suited to the task.” Kayle paused for a moment.

“You don’t care about the drugs or money.”

“That part has already been taken care of, but I don’t like the idea of someone robbing me and getting away with it.” Lucio grabbed the picture out of Kayle’s hand and held it up. “Find him, hurt him and make sure that he, and anyone else who thinks they can rob me thinks twice about doing it.”

“Be scary, seems easy.”

“Don’t care if it is or isn’t, get it done. That’s your payment.” Kayle slipped on the shirt and hat, unplugging the plasma long enough to do so, and put his bloodied clothes into a bag that Lucio grabbed from the cabinet once more.

“I’ll be sure to notify you when the job’s done.” Lucio shrugged.

“Do it when you can, but no more special care until it’s done.”

“I know the rules Doc.” Kayle stated as he pocketed the picture for later use. After that conversation was done, they sat in amicable silence for several minutes as the plasma worked its magic and replaced Kayle’s bodily fluids. Once that was done, Lucio unlocked the room and opened the door. Kayle gave a nod as Lucio let him pass, moving back to his previous room while Kayle made his way back out the front door. A couple of people, including the secretary stared at him as he left, but they all wisely kept to themselves as Kayle exited the building. Kayle didn’t like being indebted to Corvax, often times having to target people who were well below his ‘worth it’ radar, but his ability made him a perfect doctor...to those who knew and could afford his price.

Whatever, he had done some work today and earned a meal. Maybe some lasagna? Oh he could go for some lasagna.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: The Adept Mages

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The battlefield lay silent for a moment as the Adept mages that were still standing surrendered to the quite clearly superior forces of the three parties combined, however most had experienced that force first hand and were no longer in any shape to resist. Devon had scratched his head mentally as he pondered for a moment whether the shot Myrlyn forced away and as a result hit Alchimyst would be considered a hit or friendly fire, not that it did matter as a philosophical conundrum. There were things that did matter though, there was the matter of the shadow cloaked villain who by all standards had overdone things. His victims had truly been brutalized, Jeu in particular who been reduced to abstract art. While they were villains and criminals, they were also just kids and didn't actually have any severe crimes on their names, not some rampaging group of violent criminals. If the situation had left him a chance to engage he'd gone after him, but it seemed he wisely chose to just leave as the chains carried him into the sky in a fashion that made it look like he was being flung by the chains every time they lashed out at the ground. Without a shadow of a doubt he'd have to report him to the PCRT, if only to keep tabs on him. Also Tendril would be just thrilled to know his villain twin was in town.

As Tendril's evil twin made his exit Devon walked to the body of the adept mage that he watched get zapped by miss 9volt in her supercharged state. It was pretty clear to him that he was just going to be checking vitals on the charred remains of some pour soul, but unless the head is at least 2 feet away from the torso you have to check for vitals first. As he leaned in to check the pulse it was clear the boy wasn't breathing, and there wasn't a pulse either. With the time that had passed and the fact that he had been hit with a charge of electricity strong enough to melt a lightning rod there wasn't any use in trying reanimation either. He got back up and radio'd in: "Freischütz requesting PCRT assistance at the adept mages HQ, industrial lot 207. I need medical assistance for 14, a few in critical condition, one confirmed death."

With a sigh he turned to the four that had caused the whole situation to begin with. Things are simpler when it's just some idiot rampaging through the streets. "Well then, would you mind following me for a bit. I'd love to have a little chat to clear up the situation here." Devon said pointing at miss 9volt. "As for you three, I know she has no criminal record, but I'm not too certain about you lot. And given that PCRT will be here in about 10 minutes, I'd suggest you make yourselves scarce." He said to the other three. While the girl was only tense for the most part the other three showed some hints of hostility towards him, which meant it was probably better to have them make a clean get away before PCRT showed up rather than having that turn into a hot mess as well. In any case he wanted some answers this didn't seem like a random attack on a hostile faction, he was sure there was something behind it, some bigger picture he just couldn't figure out yet.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Splatterblood's Crew Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: Heroes League of America Character Portrait: The Adept Mages Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen Character Portrait: Nova Edinger Character Portrait: Legend (The Triumvirate)

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Capetown, TX. 09/20/2017, 10:04 AM. 74°F,
Partly Cloudy. Arc 3: Obsolescence.



Ray Green narrowed her eyes at Jasmin Lehtinen, jutting her head forwards and raising an eyebrow in a really strange combination that made Ray's signature look of suspicion. "Who or what was that?" She asked. Right as Jasmin went to open her mouth, Ray reared back, her hand over her mouth. "Don't tell me you're cheating on Lucas!"

"I am not dating Lucas, and you know it!" Jasmin practically screeched as Ray sniggered. She was one of the few people who could actually snigger in real life. "And no.. We uh, met two nights ago at the Which Wich next to my apartment. He robbed the place, and I was about to stop him, but Freischütz showed up."

Ray nodded understanding. Ray gave her response, Jasmin took a bite of her pancakes, and somewhere in the restaurant, a baby began to cry. Jasmin gulped down her mouthfull, and responded, "What was that? I misse-" Jasmin was cut off by the look on Ray's face. Fear. "Wha...?" Then it registered. A whining noise, a low 'wwwwaaaaaaaaaaa' that slowly rose into a cresendo before lowering again, in a cycle. It was sirens. Air raid sirens. Seconds later, three long gutteral buzzes followed by a prolonged beep marking the signature gut-wrenching noise of an Emergency Alert System sounded from every phone in the IHOP. Jasmin looked to Ray, fear plastered plainly over the faces of both girls.
"This is real, isn't it...?" Jasmin asked, a dark suspicion at the back of her mind. The weekly tests hadn't been going on for no reason.
"Looks like it," Ray responded, her voice suddenly sullen. An expression came across her face, one Jasmin hadn't seen before. Ray had always been tough, especially for a girl. In the fight against the Adept Mages, she had been fearless, and as far as Jasmin had heard, she'd always been headstrong. Now, there was no trace of her usual confidence, but there was uncertainty. Then came a one words reply; "Abhorrents."
"Shit!" Jasmin stood up, her chair sliding across the floor away from her. Already many of the patrons of the shop were panicked, filtering out through the glass doors at the front of the IHOP. "I may not like them, but I have family here in Capetown-"
"They'll evacuate or get to a shelter like every one else. Look Jasmin, you haven't been part of the team for a particularly long time, and so you missed the conversation, but me, Lucas, and Mark have agreed that if an Abhorrent ever attacks... Well, we'd help. You missed the conversation, you never signed up for it, so I'd understand-"
"No," Jasmin interruped. "I'll go."

Jericho's attention was ripped away from his meal and his music by the sound of sirens wailing away. His head jerked up, and for a moment he froze with indecision. He didn't know where he was supposed to go, or if he even should go... Wherever he needed to go. The confusion was dispelled upon the realization that some people might not even have the ability to evacuate, as most were expected to when the walking apocalypses showed up to a city.

A safe choice could be made here, and was. The Changer stood, easing himself out of his seat as he stood up and stretched, a frown pulling over his face as he forced calm to his troubled mind. This evidentially wasn't a drill, as the two girls and the rapid exit of the IHOP proved. Jericho's attention roved over to the two again, feet padding over to them rapidly as his voice rose out of his mouth without his bidding. "Hey. What're you two going to do? I doubt I can really prove an apt combatant against...," Jericho gave a nervous flap of his hands, shuddering just enough to be visible, "One of them. I can help with evacuation though, or if you two need, I can get you to wherever they have Capes go?" His voice slowly rose in pitch, trailing off and rising as if he were questioning them and expecting answers. He himself had no clue as to where to go, but giving any help where he could would ease him. Or at least, Jericho figured it would.

"I don't have any family in town, and I ain't exactly in position to worry about a house, all things considered. So! Whatever y'all need from me, I wouldn't mind helpin' out."


Ray stared at Jericho hard for about five seconds before coming to a conclusion. "Fine, you and Jasmin come with me. We're going to round up the rest of the group, then head to the HLA Headquarters. We will be under the protection of the Unspoken Rules, since an Abhorrent is about to attack." Jasmin nodded, and she caught Jericho nodding also.

Jasmin, Jericho, and Ray stepped out of the IHOP, and chaos had ensued. Traffic was backed up on even the simplest of roads, and people ran en masse by foot to the nearest Abhorrent Shelters. Jasmin listened, but she heard no telltale explosions of a cape fight, nor the distant rumble of buildings being destroyed. Is he even here yet, or were they able to start the sirens ahead of time? She wondered internally. Overhead an explosive sound concussed as a cape broke the sound barrier, a trail of flames and smoke following him as he flew towards downtown Capetown. She noticed a few people in costumes going against the grain of the civilians fleeing. The crush of bodies was hard to fight, like pushing through a deep river, the current of people fought against them. Jasmin raised her hand in a gun-shape above her head, pointing at the sky. Suddenly, lightning struck her fingers and thunder reverberated throughout the area louder than even the air raid sirens, causing the civilians around them to pause and give them room. People parted as they made their way downtown, towards Jasmin's appartment, next door to the Which Wich.




That happened multiple times in the ten or so minutes it took to reach Jasmin's house, as the crowd was thoughtless in panic, rarely giving pause to the occasional costumed cape. When they reached Jasmin's appartment (as it was the closest meet-up point to the HLA headquarters between the Congenial), Lucas and Mark, in-costume as Chrysopoeia and Sandstorm, were already waiting on Mark's motorcycle, bands of sand swirling around them like personal asteroid fields, leaving them personal space against the panicked civilians. Jasmin looked down the street and took a moment of pity for the police officers established at the intersections, attempting to route the traffic, both automobiles and people on foot, towards the nearest shelter. Everyone knew where to go, though, as everyone was always informed. Pamphlets came in the mail, billboards would have locations marked on city maps, students in school would be taught during drills. People weren't supposed to use vehicles, too easy to cause an accident in the resulting panic, but people did nonetheless.

All the while, the air raid sirens blared in the background, piercing the ears and embedding itself in the mind, sounds engineered specifically to strike fear into humans, to tell you something is wrong.

None of this helped the fact that people were inherently stupid, one of the biggest faults of modern society. In the panicked crowds, every rule was broken as people pushed and shoved and tripped, shouted and cursed, pulling luggage on wheels, hitting people with cars. Everyone was driven by the primal desire to save themselves over others. Capes were no different, as was evident by Sandstom using his power to keep people at a distance, or Jasmin using it to part the sea that was the crowds. One of the cops at the intersection noticed the group of villains that was The Congenial, plus Jericho, and was about to say something. The cop nearest rested his hand on the shoulder of his fellow cop, and shook his head, and they went back to corralling the crowd.

As they reached the blocks around the Heroes League of America Headquarters, the crowd thinned and yellow police tape blocked off intersections heading towards it, and police cars stopped traffic. The cops were there to stop people from trying to seek shelter with the capes, and stop civilians from inhibiting the capes from gathering and strategizing before the attack. The cops let the group through, and Jasmin gawked at what lay ahead.

A crowd of roughly two hundred capes stand infront of the building, with more appearing every second, being teleported or flown in. The group reached the edge of the crowd, careful not to straggle lest they be in the way of incoming teleporters. Capes of all kinds, costumed in bright colors or dark colors, or not costumed at all, were present.

"Everyone is coming together." Jasmin realized aloud, almost in awe.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile)

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“That was A little bit of harmony by the Seven Numbers, I’m your host, Kayle Tallion and wanting to let you know that the tunes are just going to keep playing reliably like old faithful. I’m here to give you beats to listen to at work to liven up what could potentially be a dull day. Not to mention, coming up we’ll be taking calls for a chance to win two tickets to Ozzy Osbourne's concert as part of his last tour, which will be taking you all the way to Las Vegas. That’s right people, a chance to visit the city of sin with accommodations paid for and a free pass to go and indulge in all the things that make that city great. So stay tuned, that will be coming up in a bit. In the meantime, here’s I’m not here by The Mediocre Truth.” Kayle saw the light in the studio go off as he looked at the window, there Melissa sat with a thumbs up as she pressed a number of buttons on her panel.

Kayle took the time to start looking through his notes which were scattered all over the table. He had to get the questions for the call in contest as well as make sure the tickets would be available. Plus the next break he would have to give a little news update to the people and so far a lot of these articles were small attacks, aside from the blackout which he had already covered this morning. Phillip would be talking about it again, his enthusiasm matching Melissa’s in a lot of ways concerning the parahumans. They always considered him an oddity, the fact that he wasn’t excited by people flying around with capes and causing mayhem with unthinkable powers. They did have a bet going for awhile that Kayle either was a cape or hadn’t triggered yet, but they let that drop after a year, finding something else to draw their attention.

Hmmmm, there’s a bit here about the hospital requiring volunteers, I’ll bring that up first next break we get. Kayle’s work phone buzzed with a couple of people texting in some accidents that he jotted down on a piece of paper for his next broadcast. Of course, there were a number of people texting in giving their opinion of the current song, but he largely ignored those. This wasn’t a ‘give us your opinion’ hour, mainly because he hated doing that. He would get stuck here for days on a single song if he truly went in depth with that kind of crap.

It was about halfway through the song when it started.

The air raid sirens started flaring to life and his phones lit up with the emergency warning system. He checked them for a second, his eyes darkening as he looked back at Melissa in the booth who had gone completely pale. “Kayle, we gotta go!” She shouted through the glass, reaching for the door. Kayle got up, opening the door to the studio to catch her.

“Head for the nearest shelter, I’ll stay a bit longer and try to give the people some direction. I’ll be right behind you.” Melissa looked conflicted, looking back at her panel then back to Kayle, who had already pushed past her into the booth. Immediately he started flicking switches in order to bring the radio station back onto the air instead of the music. “I’m not staying long, just want to make sure everyone knows where to go and how to get there. Do my part before cowering in fear.” Kayle pushed Melissa towards the door, where everyone else in the building was already rushing towards. She hesitated again, but ultimately went through with the plan and made for the door. Kayle walked into the recording studio and sat down.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not a drill. An Abhorrent attack is imminent and the capes around the town will need you to evacuate yourself and your loved ones to the closest shelter for your safety and theirs.” Kayle pulled up the information on his work phone. “The locations of the shelters are as follows:” Kayle listed off all the shelters, giving instructions as to how to get there as well, doing his best to relay police orders as they filtered into his phone at a crazy pace. When he felt he had said enough, he paused. “I wish I could say everything was going to be ok, that we’re all going to make it through this but you know that would be a lie. All I can say is to take care of yourselves and those around you, we’re all in this together and if we’re going to see the other side we’re going to need to help each other. Stay calm, work together, and hopefully this will all be over soon. This is Kayle Tallion from 56.7 Kodiak...signing out.” Kayle got up from his table, pocketing all the things he would need before walking out of the studio and into the observation booth to turn off the equipment.

He was one of the luckier people he supposed, considering his family was actually farther north of here, with enough distance that they shouldn’t be affected by the Abhorrent attack, meaning he could concentrate on the task at hand. His only regret would be that he wouldn’t have the chance to change, considering he didn’t want to ruin his blazer and polo shirt. Couldn’t be helped though, as he ran out the door, the shadow already covering his face as he met the crowd instantly once he was out the door. The streets were filled with people, abandoned cars and police doing their best to try and control the flow of the panic filled populace. Kayle took one look at it, gaining a few glances before chains formed from his back, impacted the ground and launched him into the air.

He threw himself across the city, keeping his chain impacts to buildings so as to not accidentally strike a civilian. His goal was to get to the HLA headquarters, where all the paranormals would be gathering to figure out what to do next. Kayle didn’t like the idea of working alongside villains, but he understood that many would be ‘heroes’ probably didn’t enjoy the idea of working alongside him either. As he got closer, he could see the crowd of capes standing around waiting for someone to start a briefing as police prevented people from pushing into the building. Kayle landed outside the cordon, since in order to land inside would require a concussive blast or to launch out with his chains, neither a good idea considering the circumstance. He pushed his way through the people, using his chains to bluntly move people aside and part them like the red sea.

The police saw him coming, but aside from a couple of sneers, let him pass into the throng of capes ready and waiting to fight the Abhorrent or help civilians in need. Kayle recognized a few faces, but now was not the time to be harboring grudges or trying to start a fight. He pushed those thoughts of brutally crushing these people into the back of his mind to focus on the bigger task at hand.

Fighting a god level beast.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA)

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Jericho was awestruck at the sheer amount of people that had gathered in front of the HLA building, laughing under his breath out of overwhelming shock. The two, Jasmin and Ray- he learned their names along the way- had two others who joined up with them. Two guys who had swirling streams of sand keeping the crowd from crushing them as they had made their way to the HLA. Mark and Lucas, the latter being incredibly familiar... Oh right. Motorcycle dude.

Now that they were here, and yet more people were either flying in- Hey! It was Vic! Instinct said to go over and talk-
Oh wait. Almost immediately after Nobody arrived, Jericho locked his sight on the flying 'motorcycle' and its rider as they touched down beside a group of teenagers and other costumed heroes. That guy too, mister trench-coat-creepy-mask-mctriggerhappy-pants. He stopped to talk with a teen, leaving Jericho glaring across the way before his attention was grabbed by the appearance of a blinding rip of light.

From it stepped another duo of presumed capes; a faintly familiar head of purple-tinted brown hair stepped out, with a shorter girl stepping out with the former female. The portal closed behind them, taking its all too blinding light away with it.
The space that had formed for the two girls was immediately swallowed up by other people; again. Everyone here was crowding together and man if that didn't make the Changer vaguely uncomfortable. He was then made even MORE uncomfortable by another cape bumping into him roughly, seemingly to get out of the way of ANOTHER cape who was stalking into the crowd. Jericho turned to make a comment, before stopping and staring at the man who melded into the crowd of parahumans.

The Changer stepped up to the guy, sliding to his side as casually as he could and looking over and just so slightly upward. There was a ... mask? One that seemed to be made of shadows that covered up his face. Hell, maybe the guy couldn't even speak! Oh well, a little conversation didn't hurt anyone right? "Hey! You've got a pretty scary ensemble goin' on there... You one of the HLA? They always seem to have some intimidatin' shit goin' on with their costumes and shit." Jericho popped the question off cheerily, smiling politely at the other cape.

The man turned to him then, sorta; his shoulders shifted just a bit but hey, Jericho would take that as acknowledgement any day, usually. "What? Part of the egomaniacs? No." Ehehehe, that was rude. "Then who are ya with? A villain group? Wait am I not supposed to ask that?" The teen quipped off another question, tilting his head curiously as he found ink pooling around his ankle and feet, chitin building there before suddenly stopping as his focus returned to his appearance. Concentrating on keeping a human appearance was difficult sometimes, especially when Jericho was stressed, or distracted, or anxious. Oop the guy's talking again! "I'm not a hero, I'm not a villain."

How delightfully vague. Ugh, that wasn't a clear answer even if it gave one! "So a vigilante? Huh... Never met one of you before! Are you all so posh? Nice suit- Oh! What're your powers? I mean, people seem to be upset with ya bein' here or sommat, was' with that?" Jericho waited for an answer, blinking and smiling widely when the man turned around entirely and spoke to him directly. "What is your name?" Oh that was odd? The changer could feel the guy sizing him up, or at least taking in his appearance. Huh. "Oh! 'M name is Jericho! Nice to meet'cha~!"

Oh wait, there was stuff going on right? They were here for a reason, so, without even so much as a second thought to appearances; Jericho shifted some of his mass. His skull was briefly, for all of two seconds maybe, wreathed in ink as two more pairs of eyes appeared. Two pointed towards the sky and taking in all they could, two pointed at the crowd directly behind him. The changer gave a quick giggle at the sudden scramble that the cape behind him gave to get away. A man in a vaguely knight-like armor suit thing. Surprise Sir Gawain! Ehehehe. The teen focused again on the cape in front of him, blinking his 'original' eyes in surprise when the guy spoke 'Wendigo'. Weird- "If this were any other time, I would enjoy breaking you."

Whoa whoa whoa! What?! And he smiled while saying that?! Did he dispel some of his weird face fuckery just to say that?! Jesus kringle-fucking christ. "Whoa! Uh? Soooo... You know me? I mean, jeez man, I ain't done anythin' to you have I?" Reflexively, Jericho's ink swelled around his hands; turning them into blunt clubs of bone and what looked like some amount of oily sinew. "Bank robbery, sandwhich shop... Not much in the overall scheme but in the short amount of time that your name has been present, it has been attached to bad things." Oh sweet creepy Christ, he was still smiling, what the fuck? "I'm the guy that shows up when you've done one bad thing too many."

Oh. Sweet fucking christ. He was one of those. "Ohhh so you're one of those huh? Batman style vigilante? Or maybe Dexter? So you've probably really really hurt people too huh? Killed someone with some 'non-lethal' takedown? ... Maybe I went overboard, I probably really did but... Jeez man." Jericho felt it too, some guilt that welled up and spilled out just ever so slightly over his lips. A quick guilty glance from one pair of eyes towards Vic... "Give me every morality argument you can think of, I've heard them all. And the comparison to batman is overdone to the point of being cute. I know who you are now, and that's all that matters." The capes stance had shifted throughout his speaking, turning to face Jericho entirely and relaxing to the point that the Changer felt as if the other guy didn't find him a threat!

So maybe the guy was a huge asshole, who cares! Everyone's different right? And so what if he had the most bullshit excuse for a fucking- Yeah no. Jericho was pissed, and just who the fuck did this guy think he was? "Okay first off, who the fuck are you? Actually no wait, excuse me if you're acting like a hardass and tryin' to 'break' people based on your assumptions! Bleh, y' can't get upset over the batman comparison if y'er gonna be actin' like the guy too! What if I've gone and done more shit than just what you've heard about? Eh?" He gave a quiet growl, throat and chest splitting open and swirling with ink as the classical batman cowl formed on his body; a full face underneath the chitin that glossed metallic. "I know who you are now, and that's all that matters. Bleh bleh bleh."

Okay... That was pretty childish, but c'mon what was he supposed to do? You can't argue with people like that in actuality right? "The mind of a child trapped in playdough. Unless you intend to fight me, I have nothing more to say to you." And with that lovely bit of ending statement, the guy just turned the fuck back around. What the fuck. Well fuck him too then, Jesus.

Jericho gave a silent sigh, turning away and ducking back into the crowd as his form returned to semi-normalcy, his skin was beginning to swim with tattoos and wriggling bits of 'art' that began to bleed out onto his actual physical form. Tendrils of flesh and muscle pulsed their way off his wrists and ankles, the nape of his neck sprouting some that were lined with viciously curved hooks. Fangs and claws sprouted at random on his fingers, face, and toes; the rest of his body covering itself on and off with fur, feathers, scales, chitin... And any mixture of the four. Ugh. He was in a mood now, and trying to keep still was becoming impossible. He couldn't even bring himself to even try and cheer up. Luckily, it seemed that no-one wanted to talk with the cape who's body was doin'... Whatever Jericho's was.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: Heroes League of America Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen

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Alexander Dalton




Alex was about halfway to the pizza parlor now. His music blasting loud enough for some of the people he walked passed to hear. Given how durable his physiology was now he didn't really have to care about hearing loss. At least not from his commercial bought headphones. The last song faded out only to be replaced with Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. He grinned and reflexively tried turning the volume up. Full blast though, which he was a little annoyed by. Maybe now that he bought those pieces of Tinker tech he can buy something higher quality then his store bought wrap arounds. A sudden buzzing on his thigh made him pulled out his phone. Dean again. Might as well humor him.

Bro, so level with me. Do you have an Cape crushes? Like for real cause I swear I'm in love right now

This is getting old. Last week you were obsessed with Laser Hawk.

Dude Can you blame me??! The woman is DDG

If you say extra thick you can forget pizza.

I wasn't going to say such a thing, you wound me sir

So then, who's the "Lucky" lady?

Ranch Hand my dude.

. . . . . . -__-

What???

Oh god you're serious

The woman is a muscle bound goddess, can you blame me man?

Its good to dream big . . . .But i think if you even tried to make a move you might actually die.

I'm not that dumb, but way to go shattering dreams my dude

I Try ^^

Still didn't say who you're crush is bro ;)

And I never will ~

You ass XP

Alex snorted and was about to send another text back when a whining sound cut through his music. and suddenly, the whole world seemed to stand still for a moment. It was like a fog horn, a low whining cycle. It was the air raid sirens. Alex yanked down his headphones and looked around frantically.

Everyone was momentarily frozen. some from shock, other disbelief. most out of fear though. Seconds passed and the signature Emergency Alert System could be heard coming from about every house and store ringing out across the entire city. Alex felt his stomach drop. The sudden urge to empty out what little was in his stomach trying to override his brain. He chocked it all back down as people began to panic. some tried denying it. most though instantly started to run. over the sound of the sirens, one word rang out from the crowd as it began to surge. "Abhorrents!!!"

Almost instinctively, Alex ducked into the closest side street. He ripped open his bag and grasped at his helmet. Only then did he realize he was shacking almost violently, causing his helmet to be dropped on the ground. His breathing was fast and uneven. He was scared, everyone was. The world around them was about to become a war zone. Attempts to try and steady his breathing weren't going so well, and he just wouldn't stop shacking. Alex was about to go straight into full blown panic when the sudden rhythmic vibrating at his thigh snapped him away from himself.

He fumbled for the phone. it was his grandpa calling him.
"Hello?"

"Alex where are you? Are you safe?"

"Yeah, I'm safe. I'm about halfway to Tom's right now. How are you and grandma??" Worry flooded His voice. He was so far away from them, would they both be able to get help and be in a shelter in time? Alex began to stutter, trying to figure out what to do. it was his grandpa that snapped him back.

"Alexander! I need you to listen okay? Your grandmother and me are fine and being helped escorted to a shelter. Calm yourself, and just breath. Here count and breath with me like we used to, can you do that for me?"
The man's voice was not as steady as it usually was, but still strong as ever. Alex followed along, feeling himself steady and regain composure. This was happening. But his family was being taken care of.

Now boy, you don't need to explain anything to me. But I Know what you have been up to for the past few months. I've seen you're costume when you weren't at home. I'm not sure how long it has been going on, but I've known for a while. Hard to miss when I cant even lift my own grandson.
The words seemed to rewind and play back in Alex's mind a few times before the gravity of what his grandpa had just said came to him. Grandpa knows I'm parahuman.
" Now i want you to answer me this. Are you going to go out there and help?

It took another minute before he said anything, a lump the size of a softball seemingly wedging itself in his throat. Then he finally spoke. "Yes. I am,"

" . . . . Ok. There was yet another pause after. "You come back to us son, don't you go and get yourself killed. What was he going to expect from a former soldier? He must have his grandpa's sense of duty.
Remember what i told you about courage?

Alex sniffed, holding back tears. "It's not the absence of fear, its the ability to act in spite of it."

"That's my boy, Now go out there and show some courage. Don't worry about me and grandma. We love you." He could hear pride in the mans voice.

Hanging up. Alex picked up his helmet. Time to go face the apocalypse.

"I love you too."



Alex flew through the air. Riding a disk shaped barrier. he looked down below to see the police officers established at the intersections, attempting to route the traffic and prevent any chaos as they lead civilians towards the nearest shelters. All the while, the air raid sirens blared in the background, drowning out the sounds of panic and confusion bellow. As Alex flew on he soon noticed that there were other capes flying near him. Some were in thrown together costumes, others in plain civilian cloths but wrapped in some variety of power and or energy. Nobody said anything but a nod was shared between the small group. They all knew what was about to happen. Whether any of them were prepared or not.

As they reached the blocks around the Heroes League of America Headquarters, The "Air traffic" got a bit too thick, forcing most of the fliers to touch down and brave through the crowd of people trying to take refuge in the building. The crowd had been thinned and yellow police tape blocked off intersections heading towards the HQ. When Alex was able to finally wiggle his way in and was taken aback by the sight. There had to be a few hundred capes stand in front of the building, with more appearing every passing second. Alex was careful to avoid the larger open spaces that were made to allow teleporters easy entry.A quick look around revealed capes of all kinds were present. Their costumes ranging from bright colors or dark colors, to no costume at all. Villains, heroes, and vigilantes were all present.

The atmosphere was thick with a slew of emotions. some were excited, others nervous. The shacking feeling that they all were about to go to war with what many considered to be a god. Many were speculating on what abhorrent was going to show. from the sound of it people had it narrowed down to three. Behemoth, Giant, or Tangle. Others were psyching each other up and trying to keep moral. Alex stayed reasonably quiet. Wondering both when they would be given their orders and if he might know anybody in the crowd. Which given how many people were here wasn't unlikely. Best to focus anyway. it looked like things were starting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: River Riley (Zero) Character Portrait: Jason Riley (Quantum) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Splatterblood's Crew Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: Heroes League of America Character Portrait: The Adept Mages Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen Character Portrait: Skull Syndicate Character Portrait: The Think Tank Character Portrait: The Freakshow! Character Portrait: Nova Edinger Character Portrait: Legend (The Triumvirate) Character Portrait: Victor "LTL" Stellianos

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Capetown, TX. 09/20/2017, 10:36 AM. 73°F,
Partly Cloudy. Arc 4: Abberance.




Chaos. It was indescribable as anything other than complete chaos and pandemonium. The English language could try in vain, but there's no describing the utter devastation that was going on before Jasmin's eyes.

..... "Everyone is coming together." Jasmin Lehtinen spoke her thoughts aloud, in awe. All around her was a mass of capes, and more poured in, from around the world, like ants. There was a crowd of hundreds now, almost entirely made up of foreign aid and support groups from around the world. A large chunk was the United States' own HLA and THA teams from all around the country. The building's parking lot was large, but it could hardly accommodate the crowd that was forming. Jasmin looked at the HLA's headquarters building. You'd expect a team of heroes to have a tower or a skyscraper somewhere, maybe letter-shaped and on a perfectly-sized island nearby. Instead, Capetown's HLA HQ was more like a police station, no more like a fire station. There was a section of the building that was obviously large and box-shaped, like how you could always point out the gymnasium at a school. Probably a training room, Jasmin thought. The parking lot was also large, large enough to accommodate a lot of emergency response vehicles. Even so, the group swelled past the parking lot's perimeter, and into the empty streets. On the edge of the crowd, more capes arrived, through portals, flying vehicles, or carried by Speedsters. it was surreal. Capes of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, colors of suits, villains, heroes, people made of fire or earth, capes with things floating around them, or Tinkers in suits of armor. Changers that look like monsters or animals, capes hovering above the head-line, or capes flying about. The murmuring from the surrounding crowd made conversation nearly impossible.
..... Until up ahead at the HQ, a large, flashy-green portal opened up. The portal threw out swirling green sparks at the edges of the portal-way, almost like Dr. Strange's portals. From inside the portal came a blinding white light, infront of which Jasmin could make out four dark silhouettes. Immediately, Jasmin knew who these four were, and in the same way it did when she heard the air raid sirens start up, her heart paused for a second. The Triumvirate.
..... The first to step out of the portal and come into focus was Legend. Leader of the Triumvirate, and aptly named, Legend had a blue suit with silver and red accents and a red cape. Legend, Jasmin knew, had a nigh-invincible body, could fly, and had mind-boggling strength. The next to step through was Hero, who, in Jasmin's opinion, was a lot less aptly named. He looked more like a villain, like Dr. Doom, than one of the most renown heroes in the world. Hero's powers' specifics weren't fully public knowledge, but it's known that he has access to virtually any power in the world that he wants' and is limited to three to four at a time. The next to step through, and last of the Triumvirate, was Suit. Jasmin didn't know much about his antics and tactics, but she knew he was the most impressive Tinker on the planet. Like a mixture of Rick Sanchez, Tony Stark, and Batman, he had a gadget for literally everything. Jasmin looked at him with the most interest, as he was possibly the most mysterious of the Triumvirate to her. Suit has never been seen outside of his suit, like Master Chief, no one knows what he looks like or even his skin color. He's known as the most powerful and versatile Tinker in the world, due to being able to copy a Tinker's specialty once he comes across another Tinker. As a result his gadgets are so much more complex and magical than even the most powerful Tinkers Jasmin has heard of. Suit's suit itself has thousands of different gadgets and things invisibly embedded into it, and the suit can morph between several different styles and looks, each with different specialties and functions. He has specific suits for specific Abhorrents, and today, he was in his Tangle suit. The last silhouette, though not officially part of the Triumvirate, was a famously strong cape named Synergy. Synergy was known to commonly accompany the Triumvirate during major threats like Abhorrents. Synergy, Jasmin knew, was a seriously powerful Trump cape with the power to copy the powers of other capes that he touches, up to two at a time. When he copies a power, he has the power's full potential unlocked as the original cape could possibly have. So, say there's a cape that isn't experienced with their power but has potential to learn a lot, Synergy, after copying the power, would use the power like a master. Synergy also has the ability to synergize two copied powers and have them interact in unpredictable ways outside of the scope of the original two powers. This combination makes him an extremely powerful cape.
..... These four were the veterans of the veterans, and while their being here did calm Jasmin a little bit, it also filled her with a sense of dread knowing that the situation she was in was very, very real. Jasmin watched ahead as soldiers began to flood out of the portal that the Triumvirate had walked out of. PCRT? That was the most likely answer, but they didn't have the normal black face mask and red-accented body armor that Jasmin was used to seeing, these soldiers instead had bulkier clothing with blue accents and half-gas-mask-like half-night-vision-like goggles.
..... "-and those are PCRT Abhorrent response members. Their suits are Tinker-made, specifically to resist Tangle's radiation, laser-beams, and his plant minions' attacks." Ray said, as Jasmin realized she had speaking to her this entire time, as Jasmin hadn't been paying attention. As Ray finished her sentence, Jasmin noticed that up at the front of the crowd, Suit took a large sleek black box reminiscent of a suitcase off of his back. He got on a knee and placed it on the ground. Immediately, it started coming apart as if made of hundreds of boxes that were seamlessly each a part of the original box a second ago. Then, rotors popped out of the tops of the black boxes, each perfectly smooth and the size of a rubix cube, and they began flying around the crowd of capes. Drones, Jasmin thought, as one flew to her and hovered in front of her. Jasmin looked next to her at Ray, and noticed that Ray had put her left arm outstretched in front of her, and the drone landed on her wrist, and began to transform, reconstructing itself into a wrist band, about two inches wide and an eighth of an inch thick. Jasmin did the same, and though the wristband seemed to be made of some sort of black metal, it felt curious to her, as she felt literally no paths of connection to it through electricity. For the first time in her life, Jasmin felt something she couldn't shock.
..... "Some kind of power-resistance material, probably made by some Tinker who is the only in the world who can make it. Besides Suit, I guess." Ray spoke again, confirming Jasmin's suspicions. Jasmin moved her arm around and was surprised that this amount of metal on her arm felt completely weightless. Jasmin looked to Lucas and Mark, or Chrysopoeia and Sandstorm as they were in costume, and they also had the wristbands. Systematically, every cape in the crowd began accepting the drones onto their arms. Legend, up at the front of the crowd, began a noble-sounding speech about how everyone here was doing a great service to humanity. Suddenly, Jasmin became aware that her face was naked, without her iron-shavings mask. Jasmin pulled out the bottle and unstoppered it, magnetizing the shavings to her face, conscious of the spiky configuration they fell into along the magnetic field lines. Ray, or Seraphim, wasn't in her portal-costume, but it was understandable as the armor of portals would be dangerous in this crowd of close bodies.

Jericho flinched, partially out of reflex and partially because he wasn't paying attention, when the sparking swirling amalgamation of green light and energy abruptly popped into existence ahead. His eyes narrowed, focusing in on the 'gateway' as it were, taking in every possible detail about the quartet of capes before opting to change his eyes into those that normally belonged to a raptor. Minute details, tiny features, everything possible to see with 'mundane' sight opened up for Jericho. Suit was taller than Jericho expected, and Legend was... Almost everything that the Changer thought he would be, and maybe a little not so.

It was Hero that Jericho immediately distrusted, if only because the costume that he wore was one that made Jericho think of villains from comic books and similar. Hero made the Changer... suspicious, but for no good reason, seeing as how the man put himself through harms gauntlet day in and out when it came to the Abhorrents.

His gaze slid over to Synergy, or at least the man who held the name, and studied him for a time. Tall, dark, bald and with a posture that seemed to scream “Regality.” Jericho was reminded of a lion when he looked upon the man. His attention shifted back to Jasmin and the rest of his ‘friends’. Multiple eyes sprouted into existence upon his skull, ink flowing and then fading into nothing as pupils contracted and dilated on each recognizable face. Jasmin, Vic-Nobody, The Gunman, The girl who stepped out of light, the ‘not-a-batman’, and then a blondie who seemed to arrive just a little bit later than everyone else on a disk of turquiose light. Jericho’s eyebrows rose at the somewhat familiar form, before furrowing in concentration as he tried to piece together where he may have seen the unknown cape from.

His attention was again yanked away, his focus turning towards a small scuffle between a man who dressed himself like some sort of medieval ranger, with a bow and arrow to tout, and a man who wore nothing but a body suit marked with digital numbers. The body suit man had the ranger held up by the collar of his cloak, and a small circle had formed around the two. Several other capes watched on warily, and as some others from the edge began to push to break the two apart, Jericho noticed a familiar woman making her way over.

A black, silver and magenta colored cape floated over to the two scuffling, their words and voices growing louder and a little more heated. The cape’s mask covered their face, adorned with with the magenta markings that covered their- her- whole suit. A helmet that was remniscent of a hawk’s head, along with a visor that covered everything except for the bottom half of her face. From mid breast and upper sternum, her suit was silver and seemingly armored, with two markings on her stomach and upper groin glowing with hot pink light. Her voice was nothing like her suit led Jericho to believe: firm instead of soothing, authoritive, and pissed. “Hey! Hey! Pull yourselves together. Don’t break the unspoken rules.”

It was those words that caused the commotion to come grinding to a halt. ‘Don’t break the unspoken rules.’ Every cape within hearing distance, even some of those who only heard the ‘...rules’ stood a little straighter, gritted their teeth- all manner of stress reflex. ‘The Unspoken Rules’ were rules between capes that were exactly as they sounded: unspoken rules that every known and unknown cape followed. To break them was to vilify yourself against quite actually every other cape in the area. Maybe even the continent.

The two scuffling capes separated themselves, one looking cowed and the other looking almost as if his pride had taken a direct hit. Jericho, on the other hand, recognized Laser Hawk the moment she began speaking. His mind flew back through time to the aftermath of the bank heist: an HLA woman who turned her hands into magenta light and essentially dissolved matter. A breaker who was... Scary to say the least. Respected to say even less. She had flight as part of her kit, but from what Jericho saw of her, not very fast flight. He could outrun her, probably... She only flew as long as her hands were glowing, maybe a part of her power?

He was nervous all the same, a minutely guilty part of his conscience poking its dirty, dirty hands into his emotions. The Changer hummed to himself, reflexively shuffling away from Laser Hawk and the group of capes around her. He bumped into Jasmin, muttering sorry in his passing as he disappeared just a little deeper into the crowd of capes. There were plenty of people around to take attention off of him, right? “Fuck.”

It was only after a short moment of getting into a comfortable enough space- (read as getting distance between himself and Laser Hawk) that Jericho turned back towards the ‘front’. A drone was in his face, and as he reached out, the automaton landed and formed into the bracelets everyone else was receiving. Legend was going on about something or another, Jericho wasn’t paying attention, far too interested in the metal bracelet around his wrist.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Splatterblood's Crew Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Teen Heroes of America (THA) Character Portrait: Heroes League of America Character Portrait: The Adept Mages Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen Character Portrait: Skull Syndicate Character Portrait: The Think Tank Character Portrait: The Freakshow! Character Portrait: Nova Edinger Character Portrait: Legend (The Triumvirate) Character Portrait: Victor "LTL" Stellianos

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Capetown, TX. 09/20/2017, 10:40 AM. 73°F,
Partly Cloudy. Arc 4: Abberance.




Jasmin Lehtinen caught a glimpse of something that made her heart skip a beat. A familiar sight, familiar capes. Myrlyn, Jeu, Drow, Alchimyst, and the rest of the Adept Mages bunched together. Curiously, she only saw two heads of white hair. Weren't there three brothers with white hair? Jasmin felt a moment's apprehension before remembering the Unspoken Rules. They were allies. For now. All of the local heroes were present in force. It wasn’t a surprising fact – skipping this fight, as a hero, let alone a team of heroes, would be unforgivable to the public. Jasmin was surprised that nearly all of the big villain gangs were all present. Gangs that brutally fought for territory and money, gangs with unbreakable feuds against each other.
..... That was the thing about the Abhorrents, Jasmin had learned. They were a much bigger threat to society, to humanity, to survival and extinction, than any amount of human-on-human hatred. It's why the Unspoken Rules exist. During Abhorrent attacks you take no opportunity against your fellow capes. Not to find out their identities, not to end their lives, not to bicker and fight. You focus on the common enemy. Or else.
..... "-all should know your chances going into this battle. Given the statistics from our previous encounters with Tangle, a ‘good day’ still means that at least one in three of the people present will probably be dead before this day is done. Tangle is an antediluvian horror capable of killing each and every one of us. The odds are likely not going to be as good as a 33% death rate."
..... This jolted Jasmin into listening to Legend's speech. It seemed to have caught the attention of the rest of the crowd, as uncomfortable shifting and a quiet murmur rippled through the crowd. Everyone knew that it was dangerous being here. But hearing numbers brought unease. One in three dead as a best case scenario. And that's not counting life-threatening or life-altering wounds.
..... “I’m telling all of you your chances now because you deserve to know. We're all humans here, we all have the right to live. We so rarely get the chance to inform those individuals brave enough to step up and fight these monsters. The primary message I want to convey, even more than briefing you on the particulars of his abilities, organizing formations and battle plans, is that I do not want you to underestimate Tangle. I have seen too many good heroes, rogues,” Legend paused for a fraction of a second, “And villains, too, die because they let their guard down.
..... “Tangle is the fifth and final Abhorrent to have shown up. I won't give a full history lesson, but his first attack was in 1992. At 75 feet tall, hes the shortest of the Abhorrents, but his body is shaped like a snake's and his tail trails for several hundred feet. Though he looks like a plant, his biology is something entirely alien to us. His body is made up of intertwines 'vines' similar to how a large rope looks. Each of these vines is layered like an onion, with the outermost layer being as hard as aluminum, the next one as hard as steel, the next tungsten, etc. until it quickly reaches harder than existing materials. Materials so strong virtually no one's powers can harm them. Though Tangle looks like a plant, he is not mindless. Do not underestimate him. The extent of his intelligence, and whether he is sentient, is unknown. But he can prioritize target, and has shown tactics and skill, as well as usually having an apparent specific location or target when he's attacking a city.
..... “As for abilities, Tangle is fast. Not speedster-level, but he can accelerate to 75 miles per hour in half a minute from a standstill. He's even quicker when he's already moving, turning, or thrashing. He has two auras. Two hundred feet out from him, all metal capable of rusting will immediately start to rust all of the way through. Not just a rust layer on the outside, but all the way to the center. Steel bars will be reduced to rust as weak as a sand castle. About a hundred feet out from him, a radiation aura starts. Getting inside this aura is an immediate death sentence within 2 weeks. Getting close enough to touch Tangle is enough radiation to kill you before the fight's over with. It's more dangerous than standing next to a melting reactor. If you aren't immune, don't get close.
..... “Tangle also has macro-scale control of both light, or electromagnetic radiation, and plants. He will shoot you with lasers. He will flashbang everyone. He can turn invisible. He can make you blind. He'll hit you with radiation blasts without you even knowing. His application of the control of light is extensive. After battle, everyone present should go through cape-powered healing and/or radiation therapy. Lastly, he can grow plants in seconds, and make them strong enough to constrict and crumble concrete. He also has minions made entirely of plants, that he likely controls like the command center of a hive mind."
..... As if the timing were rehearsed, as soon as Legend finished the speech, a loud crashing-crunching-explosion-like sound similar to a concrete building being thrown into another building was immediately followed by the sound of gasps and screams. Jasmin whipped her head to look behind her, and she felt the entire crowd do the same. Down the street, a giant mass of writhing and whipping tentacles coming out of a large snake-shaped form had just crashed into a building, failing to do the 90-degree turn at the intersection. It immediately turned, whipping its 'head' to stare at the crowd of capes.
..... Tangle's 'mouth' looked like a green bulb of a flower yet to bloom. Like the bulb on the Pokemon, Bulbasaur's back. Slowly, it peeled open, revealing a pink petal-like inside. And a maw inexplicably lined with teeth. Then a glass-shattering, ground-shaking shriek emanated from it.
..... Panic. Jasmin couldn't think as the massive abberation raced down the street towards the crowd. Already, capes were rushing forwards, providing a line of defense, whilst others ran in the opposite direction. Fight or flight. There was a third option, seizing up in the middle, as Jasmin was currently doing. The primal fear was something she'd never felt before in her life. It was similar to that time she had been 10 feet away from a mountain lion while camping five years ago, the heart-sinking deer-in-headlights feeling, but it was deeper, worse. The fear was not just the primal fear of a predator or a deadly situation, it was also the fear of the unnatural, the eldritch, the alien. Tears welled up in her eyes as her disabled mind and body were unable to react to the primal panic swirling in her brain. Jasmin's powers began to take over, switching to her electromagnetic vision, she could immediately see the electrical impulses lighting up like fireworks in the brains of other capes. Adrenaline. Hers came too, and suddenly, as her body tensed to jump, she was swallowed up by Jericho's shifting form.

Jericho’s heart dropped into his feet, maybe even fell out of his chest outright and onto the pavement below. Splattered like a water balloon or something. Panic flooded his system, his mind froze, his skin prickled with needles of numbing cold... Then he shoved it all out of his head, reflexively going so far as to begin shifting and morphing then and there, ink flowing around him as he took the biggest form he’d taken in... ever.

Long, moose-like antlers rose from the back of his skull, as his body shifted forward, his legs remaining about the same position as they were, his torso shifting and moving forward as flesh rapidly began extending backwards from his buttocks. His body swelled with flesh, muscle and bone, skull disappearing under a swirling vortex of ink for a moment before reappearing in the shape of an elk’s fleshless head.

From his waistline down, Jericho grew himself into a centaur-esque shape, flesh and muscle just barely obscured by a thin, thin layer of gray fur. It was more predatory, if only because of the paws with short, thick, blunt claws. His torso grew upwards just a faint amount more, and from just behind and below his original arms, grew a second pair. All four arms grew thick and furry, muscled and capable, as the rest of his body proportioned itself out a magnitude better.

His lower half was relatively horse sized, his upper shaped as if someone took a body-builder and made him both hairy, monstrous, and with a ‘crown’ of antlers thick enough to put an actual moose to relative shame.

Jericho reared back, twisting to reverse his position as his forelegs passed over the heads of the nearby capes easily, planting back onto the concrete below as a small space formed around him, he reached out, moving quickly as he shuffled some people out of the way, grabbed Jasmin, Seraphim, Chryssopea, and Sandstorm up into his arms, setting Chryssopea and Seraphim on his centaurid half as he turned and shouted with a voice that roared into the following silence of Tangle’s own screeching. The word hissed during the beginning, like a serpents’ call before rumbling and roaring out clearly despite the non-human maw it leapt from.

SCATTER!!!

Before making past anyone else in his way, getting the five of them as far back and away from tangle as possible. He took a sharp left turn once he cleared the parking lot, once he cleared the buildings directly adjacent to the crowd, ducking behind a three story and stretching his arms upward to knock out two second story windows with a branching pair of bone-clubs that sprouted from each radii, latching the appendages there and holding on tightly. The clubs then became hands, swirling with ink during the short transformation, before grabbing the bottom of broken window sills, more hands and arm like structures sprouted and grabbed the other edges. Secured. The hands that held Jasmin and Sandstorm stretched higher still placing them on the roof of the building while Jericho’s torso turned around entirely and spoke to Chryssopea and Seraphim. “Up? Yes or no? I’ll leave this body here as a stairway regardless... If Tangle doesn’t come here.

He didn’t wait for an answer, choosing instead to focus on the entirety of the form he was utilizing. Every muscle, bone, fiber of hair, nerve, ounce of fat, all of it he dedicated to memory. He dedicated it to permanency, before a portion of his torso fell over and to the side, his hind legs bending so that the farthest back end was sloped towards the ground. A relatively normal sized, human torso sized, bulge moved through the bulk of the centaurid half. A human sized Jericho stepped out from the still straightened forelegs, before shifting into a smaller, eagle-sized form. Skyblue and white feathers sprouted into existence, before being replaced by a sporting of plumage that seemed to shift color spontaneously.

He took off, rising up into the air before continuing to soar higher and higher still. The crowd of capes back at the HQ had indeed done what he had shouted, and as he focused on the scene below him, Jericho relaxed. If only for a short moment, before remembering that Tangle was an absolute threat. Something that he knew, deep in his core, in his very being, he couldn’t hurt. Nothing he had, nothing he could’ve thought to grow or utilize, would actually hurt the Abhorrent. He couldn’t get close, he couldn’t stay far enough away... He was helpless and useless.

..... Jasmin, or Sähkö as she was now wearing her mask, stepped onto the roof of the building that Jericho had brought her to and surveyed the scene with quiet horror, throwing up the hood of her blue hoodie. She watched as capes that presumably could survive close proximity to Tangle rushed forwards down the street, in attempt to stop the beast before he rushed into the crowd of more squishy parahumans. Then, a white line seared across her vision, leaving a black-fading-purple blind spot in her eyes. Immediately, she heard an artificial-esque feminine voice, similar to Siri or Alexa, speak from her new wristband, "Laser Hawk down." Sähkö whipped her vision over to where Capetown's HLA team had been huddled. Already Cosmic's spheres and Tendril's tentacles were being thrown up as shields, but Sähkö could clearly make out a place where molten concrete was. Presumably, Laser Hawk had been standing near. Elicitor was also right in the middle of the molten concrete, though Tendril was already lifting him up and out of it before any secondary damage could be done.
..... The female artificial voice started naming off more names, before Jasmin could even react to Tangle rushing forward and swiping his tail through a building and into a crowd of capes, like massive steel pipey-wires, destroying all in the tail's path. "Intellast down. Pluto down. Kuro-Yūrei down. Thirty-seven in critical condition. Two-hundred-and-ten capes with radiation poisoning." Jasmin balked at what she had just seen go down, and they were only a minute into the fight. Sheetrock, bricks, rust, and dust rained down on the crowd as the building collapsed. Jasmin noticed that concrete everywhere was crackling and crumbling as creeper vines sprouted, pushing cement apart. Metal streetlights instantly turned into rust, and crumbled like sandstone Jasmin used to crush with her hands at playgrounds when she was little. Loud explosions rang out as Suit and hundreds of other tinkers launched rockets and threw bombs. Lasers bounces off of tangle, but plasma and particle beams seared a paper-thin layer of the beast's skin. An unimaginable amount of cape attacks were being launched at range, with a few capes immune to his radiation aura closing in for close-combat.
..... "What can I even do to help?" Jasmin asked to herself, incredulously.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Lucas Eklund (Chrysopoeia) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Logan "Shatterstrike" Hartigen Character Portrait: Nova Edinger Character Portrait: Victor "LTL" Stellianos Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)

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The atmosphere was anything but pleasant. Even as someone who could influence others emotions on a mass scale, this was something that put even Kayle on edge. Everyone looked ready to fight, but not necessarily the Abhorrent. Glances, deliberate stares, feigned insults and threatening physical postures. Villains, vigilantes and heroes alike all crowded into a space with their potentially worst enemies outside of genocidal monsters of nightmares. Already people were feeling the friction, emotion taking over logic in a bid for immediate satisfaction. Kayle’s eyes floated over them, watching as the fight was broken up and only barely paying attention to the briefing that the ‘best of the best’ were giving them. In fact, it took him longer than he would have liked to notice the box floating in front of him with what appeared to be a bracelet of some sort. Looking around, he saw nearly everyone donning it, lawful and evil alike. He didn’t like the idea of wearing anything made by someone who, on any other day, would most likely be hunting him down, but this was a different situation.

Once it attached itself to his arm, he rubbed it slightly but didn’t find that it was heavy or otherwise in the way. It did seem to be a mixture of tracking and communication device, which made Kayle even more uneasy, but considering the chaos that was about to unfold, he couldn’t fault them for wanting some way to coordinate with the superhumans here. Looking back at the four ‘veterans’ so to speak addressing the crowd, he couldn’t help but feel some anxiety. Now, he had been asked more than a few times in a couple different situations, ‘Aren’t you afraid?’. Even in a situation like this, where death was more likely than survival, and survival was not technically ‘alive’, he couldn’t say that he was. Anxiety, impatience, a small amount of anger, but fear? He couldn’t say that he was afraid of the abhorrent, more akin to annoyed by it. Which struck even Kayle as odd as he reflected inwardly for a moment.

He remembered the conversation he had with the changer just moments ago, and found himself wondering why, at this specific time, he had chosen that route over outright ignorance? Maybe he was more prideful than he liked to admit. Why, at this specific time, he looked at others with contempt rather than compassion or understanding. Maybe he was more closed off than he liked to admit. He closed his eyes for a moment, breathing slowly and bringing himself back in line with his mentality, that of someone who would take that extra step when no one else would. Morality be damned, he had a job to do.

When Legend started talking more about the abhorrent, he realized his chances of being able to do something to the creature itself dropped to zero. With the radiation threat, not only would his chains refuse to manifest in any proper capacity, due to a weakness to radiation he found out a couple years ago against a particularly nasty villain, but with a limited time frame to find his doc after contact, the radiation itself would most likely kill him before he could do anything. Everything else was more or less in the realm of possibility to deal with though. The ability to control light made things a bit difficult, but if you were 75 feet tall with a tail spanning several dozen city blocks, being invisible didn’t really help much.

Kayle cracked his knuckles, one at a time out of a sense of keeping his hands busy. He wouldn’t be able to fight Tangle directly, but he could keep the plants at bay, prevent collateral damage and escort any potential injured capes or civilians away from the fight. He would have to be mindful of the radiation aura though, the closer he got the less effective he would be. That could be said for any number of capes, but for him especially. To be honest, having heard about it now, Kayle couldn’t help but feel a sense of uselessness wash over him as he realized he wasn’t going to necessarily be part of the effort pushing Tangle back. He bit the inside of his cheek a bit, more out of indignity than anything else.

As if the whole thing had been rehearsed, the moment Legend was done filling them in, the sound of destruction forced everyone’s head to whip to the source. There, somehow appearing as if from thin air, Tangle sat like a budding flower filled with murderous intent. Like some scene out of a monster movie, it turned to face them, unleashing a shriek that made even Kayle wince in pain at the thought of it. Instantly capes were moving to perform whatever tasks they thought they could do, while Kayle was part of the group running away. His chains burst from his form, impacting the ground and lifting him into the air as he propelled himself away from the conflict. Not necessarily because he was afraid, but because as he thought earlier, the radiation would render his abilities useless.

As he was floating through the air on his spider leg chains, he noticed that while some were rushing forward, others were running away, there was a group of capes standing still and not doing a damn thing in any capacity. Normally, Kayle would have chastised such behaviour. Villain or hero, this kind of thing came with the territory, but not even Kayle could fault them for being shocked into a standstill at the sight of Tangle. In fact, it was the very changer that Kayle had insulted and essentially mocked that made the first move. Picking him out of the crowd wasn’t hard as his ability to shift was...not exactly pleasant on the eyes. Having picked up some people, screaming at them to scatter. Whatever his opinions on the man, he wasn’t wrong.

Being someone capable of doing something in that instance, chains launched themselves towards the group that was still watching Tangle with nothing but either shock or fascination, grabbing as many people as he could before moving all of them a few blocks back. There was no preference in his actions, simply taking anyone who was standing still. Once he placed everyone down, he launched himself into the air again. This time, he took up a stance at roughly 4 stories, watching the ensuing chaos with a sense of anxiety once more. He wanted to do something, but like always, his logical side won out as he found himself simply watching for an opportunity.

It was then that a voice came from the bracelet. Looking over, listening as it listed names and statuses. So that’s what it was for. A way for people to realize just how powerful, and fruitless, this was ultimately going to be.

You didn’t need to have an empathy aura to know this wasn’t going to inspire confidence.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jasmin Lehtinen (Sähkö) Character Portrait: Jericho Amile (Wendigo/Ghoul) Character Portrait: Alexander Dalton Character Portrait: Terry 'Tess' Farina (Hush) Character Portrait: Mara Haruka Black Character Portrait: Kayle Tallion (Twisted Smile) Character Portrait: Devon Metzger(freischütz) Character Portrait: Vic Martel (Nobody) Character Portrait: Nova Edinger Character Portrait: Victor "LTL" Stellianos Character Portrait: Maxwell Landon (The Shape)

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Maxwell watched as the chaos unfolded in the streets. The battle, for all intents and purposes, was not going well. Capes, Villains, Vigilantes, they all got batted away like flies. "So much for the unspoken rules." He smirked, though more out of disdain for the concept, but it soon faded. No sense in endangering himself over the matter. As the chaos ensued though, something caught his eye, over on the streets. At first it looked like two children, but in a mere moment it became only one. The little girl laid there for a moment, Maxwell felt a slight sensation of... Pity? Or perhaps just familiarity, but he felt it all the same.

"Poor thing... Still a mere child and the world has already robbed you." He contemplated going down to help, but his thoughts were quickly put aside. The... 'Thing' from the TV, or so it seemed to be it, had dropped down to the pavement to quickly grab the girl and run off. "This... May be a more interesting day than I had originally expected." A slight grin grew on The Shape's face.

The windows beside Maxwell exploded as a shower of glass was thrown across the room, a brief moment of colorful bliss as the sun glinted off the fragments. The Shape had thrown himself to the ground, rolling back as far away from the windows as he could, looking back up just in time to see a piece of sidewalk fall from the window frame, down to the ground below. Turned out Tangle had a pretty good throw too. One more thing to keep in mind. Before anything else got thrown his way, Maxwell quickly made his way to an exit door, and quickly made his way down the stairs within. Elevator would be a death trap at this point.

Once he was back on the ground level, Maxwell burst through an emergency exit door and started running. He stuck to the back alleys for now as he tried to get an idea of what direction that thing from the news was running in.
"Gotta close this gap quick, before he makes any more distance." He didn't know much about whatever he was chasing after, but he knew that it could be fast, much faster than most humans on foot.

There. Maxwell managed to catch a glimpse of the thing turning down another street, so Maxwell ran out of the alleys and back onto the main streets. Some of Tangle's minions were running around, some engaged with capes, but others were not. No time to waste. Both his 87's were quickly in hand as Maxwell began to run through the crowd, careful not to get too close to the plant creatures. One of them jumped up towards him, too quick for him to get a shot immediately. He braced against the thing with his left arm, letting it grab him as he lifted his right up to put the barrel against the thing's head. One shot and it's head was burst apart, sending the thing to the ground writhing and flopping around.

Maxwell kept moving.

A few began to run towards him, two on his left, and one on his right. Aiming at the left two, he opened fire on their bodies, letting the bullets rip their flesh up till moving became impossible. Clicks sounded letting him know he needed to reload. Not enough time just yet. When the right one got close enough he dropped the pistols, flicked a knife out from his coat, and let it jump at him. The blade made it's way into the creature's neck, and Maxwell, started carving his way through. It kicked and flailed madly at him, almost knocking him to the ground, but he managed to decapitate it before it could overpower him. The Shape quickly picked up his guns again and kept moving, ejecting the magazines from his firearms before quickly reloading them. This time he moved even faster, he'd lost too much ground with the thing he was following, and couldn't lose any more.

In a few brief moments, The Shape had made it to the alley he'd seen the thing turn down, and upon rounding the corner was immediately met by a cape and some nightmarish looking creature. It was the thing he had decided to follow, and it... Had the girl inside of it? She seemed unharmed, but he was confused nonetheless. The cape there was a woman, a little taller than typical, wearing what appeared to be a motorcycle helmet.

Maxwell gave a slight nod to the group.
"Looks like we're all getting our workouts today huh?" He spoke with a slightly friendly tone, but despite the attempted joke, his voice carried more somber sympathy than anything else.

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