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  #301    
Old April 10th, 2015 (07:15 PM). Edited April 15th, 2015 by Swolligator.
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Istanbul, Turkey

December 21st, 2012

Jeremy sat and watched from his rooftop view as the streets below turned to hell as the sun began to set overhead. It had been hours since Eris had left him, yet he still felt the pang of loneliness as if she had only just left him. He had fully intended to go back to the fight once she had returned, but after the first hour the depression slowly crept into the fringes of his brain and he just didn’t want to anymore. Content to just sit and watch he adjusted himself a little to the left and gazed off at the battle below. It seemed like a huge waste of life and potential and he wished he could teleport down there and stop it, but something deep down inside him told him this needed to happen. Shifting his vision away from the battle, he spotted a group of individuals floating in the sky above the city, no doubt these were the Raphael and his brothers.

“JEREMY!” A squeal erupted from behind him, giving Jeremy a fright.

As soon as he turned around Eris gleefully wrapped her arms around Jeremy as he sat on the edge of the building. After the hug she stood back while he stood up and brushed the dust off of himself, his eyebrows furrowed. She tried to contain her happiness at having returned to this time to be with him again but couldn’t help but bob ecstatically on her toes.

“I don’t know who… Eris?!” He asked as he realised the previously early teen girl he had been talking to several hours ago was now the late teen standing in front of him. “You made it! I knew you would!” A smiled stretched across Jeremy’s face as he took his turn to embrace her in a hug.

“So you got back to your parents then?” He asked remembering where their conversation had lasted previously.

Eris’ smile faded slightly, “Yeah… it wasn’t for long but I did it. It took me another two years before I could willingly control my power, but I can now!”

“Well done!” was all Jeremy could manage; he just didn’t know what to say to the girl. For him he had only met her briefly several hours ago and was still getting used to the whole age thing.

“Actually, I also came back because I need you.” Just as she finished talking a large watch scarily similar to the one that took up half of Jeremy’s forearm started beeping on Eris’ forearm. Pushing one of the many buttons, a small hologram ejected from one of the screens as Eris began conversing with the hologram person. “… Just lock on to my signal and jump here, I’ll be finished soon.” Was all that Jeremy picked up before she ended the call.

“Who was that?” he asked inquisitively.

“Oh just a friend, you might know him.” Eris seemed a bit flustered by the call but soon regained where she had left off, “Jeremy, I want you to join my team. It’s kind of a superhero team and we kind of go back and forward in time.” She concluded, leaving Jeremy puzzled.

“Kind of? Wait, so you’re teleporting people through time? Isn’t that a bit dangerous?” Jeremy had seen television shows and movies of how people had gone back in time to change something, only to have messed with the future they had come from.

“No, silly, they teleport by themselves. We’re kind of like, the Guardians of Time. Sometimes things happen and we need to make them right, so we go back in time and fix it.” She bit her lower lip trying to think of a way to explain it to Jeremy. “It’s better if I show you, but like, we just know, I just know. You have to trust me on this.” She was almost pleading with him.

Jeremy’s jaw dropped, there were more people who could time travel? “I-I don’t know. This is a big ask, eh. I mean like, how do you know I won’t mess up the timeline or if you even need me at all?” It definitely sounded like a lot of pressure, and a lot of feeling what was right and wrong.

“Because if you do, we’ll stop you.” Jeremy turned round as a deep, raspy voice spoke behind him, “Or kill you.” Looking down at Jeremy, Adrian seemed a lot older than he last remembered. His hair was a lot longer and shaggier, face battered with scars, and his arms were almost twice as thick as they had previously been wrapped in thin tendrils of veins and covered in scars.

“A-Adrian?” He asked hesitantly, unable to believe his eyes.

“Goddess, we have to go soon, there are much more pressing matters to attend to.” This future Adrian seemed to ignore Jeremy’s presence just after addressing him and focussed instead on Eris standing in front of him.

“Jeremy,” Eris turned her attention back to him, her voice softening, “Can you please trust me? We could use someone like you.” Her soft eyes seemed like they were almost on the brink of tears: a look that cut deep into Jeremy’s feelings.

Standing up and brushing himself off, Jeremy looked around at the city surrounding them. Down below his fellow Syndicate agents had split and were fighting valiantly by themselves, in the horizon he imagine his parents now sitting down to lunch happily chatting with one another. He was finished with this place; there was truly no reason for him to stay any longer.

“I’m ready,” he announced to Eris, watching the girl’s face light up. Behind him he heard Adrian give off an exasperated sigh but ignored it as Eris embraced him. She wrapped her arms tightly around him and Jeremy soon found himself hugging her back.

And then they all just disappeared.


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  #302    
Old June 28th, 2015 (02:15 PM).
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To Great Things- Istanbul, Turkey

December 21st, 2012

The whirlwind that James unleashed was mighty gust, likely infused with the combined energies of James' God Mode and the Harbinger Sword. Nathaniel had experienced the blade before, having lost once to it already. As he flew through the sky unable to get anything resembled a hold on his momentum, the memories of the sword rushed into his head. James' power was unreal the last time they fought and while Nathaniel had gotten the upper hand this time around, having mentally prepared for this fight for some time, he had always counted on James' pride getting the better of him. The Harbinger Sword was the reason James won, but Nathaniel knew James would never be able to really count that as a victory. But desperation can change even the best of men, and James was never a great man to begin with.

Nathaniel had crashed through a run down building. The shambles of his frozen form broke his fall once more, but the concrete this time had gotten the better of Nathaniel. He could feel his body resembling the ruins around and the power of his God Mode fading ever so slightly. Forcing his body to move, Nathaniel shuffled over to a door frame and scaled the stairs up to the roof, figuring that James would be able to find him there. Nathaniel wasn't about to run away. No, this fight needed to end. Nathaniel wanted to be found. In due time, Nathaniel made it to the roof of the high rise apartment complex, the Hagia Sophia on the far end of his peripheral vision and the sounds of battle all around them. Undoubtedly, the New Atlantean Order was doing battle with James' Renegades, Delta's force, and every other faction that met their destiny in this city. Nathaniel had caught his second wind, and with small burst of frozen energy, messaged James in his own way.

James slowly lifted himself to his feet with the help of his sword positioned along the ground. He briefly watched Nate’s spectacular fall through the air, but lost sight of him in a ruined building. The electrokinetic took this moment to inspect his surroundings. The area was in utter disarray. The streets were cracked and fractured beyond repair. Buildings were smoldering ruins of smoke, fire, loose debris and frozen fragments. It was a catastrophe, a devastation of everything that was established in Istanbul mere days before. It was the commencement of the collapse of human civilization. It was his vision for the future of the earth, one he hoped to accomplish with the Zombie Atlantean. It was, in James’ eyes, perfect, and it was accomplished all by himself.

Well, not all by himself.

The electrokinetic watched as a piercing blue energy shot through the sky from the top of one of the large building Nate had crashed into. A sign. It seemed James wasn't the only one who wanted to continue this fight. James was ecstatic. He proceeded forward toward the building with a large grin on his face, undeterred by his aching injuries and broken body. His God Mode had all but vanished from his body, but he confidently marched forward. As he reached the side of the building, he noticed the climb and how much time it would take. Having no intention of wasting anymore time from this fateful, climactic clash, James pointed his Harbinger sword toward the ground beneath his feet and lightly waved it, causing the familiar gust of wind to develop, though at a lighter weight. He suddenly found himself propelled into the air beside the building, with the wind brushing by his face like a cyclone.

He reached the top of the gust and reached out to land on the side of the damaged, open building, close to the top of the stairs. The momentum he had going forward caused him to roll forward before his body came to a halt. He panted a bit, but almost didn't care about any additional damage he may have caused himself during this process. He was borderline delirious. James looked up to see himself close to the end of the set of stairs. He got to his feet and finished the climb.

"Sorry about the wait," James stated as he reached the rooftop where Nate waited. He examined the view into the ravaged city with an unhinged wonder. "Beautiful, isn't it?"

"It will be more beautiful when it is rebuilt," Nathaniel said grimly, his golden aura barely more than a flicker.

"Maybe, depends how it's rebuilt," James replied back with a brief shrug. He continued to observe the city and felt a cold breeze brush by him. "I've been thinking more often recently that there may not be a better sight in the world than this. Most people don't appreciate the artistry behind Atlantean destruction."

"Can you blame them? We are destroying someone's world to create...this. You can claim that we are superior and this is 'our' world all you want, but at the end of the day, if we act like this...the humans are right then. We are nothing more than monsters. There is no beauty in that," Nathaniel said, his staunch resolve plain to see as the aura strengthened with his belief.

James turned to Nate as he made his speech. The electrokinetic rolled his eyes and laughed. "You should hear yourself. We're monsters!" He repeated mockingly, and let out another laugh. "I can't believe people like you exist. How can someone exist that's so different than me and yet be so f*cking fun? Amazing!" James finished laughing and exhaled satisfyingly. "We're not monsters, Nate. We're Gods. And we can destroy whatever we f*cking please if it gets us what we want!" James own aura had began to surface again following his own conviction. "This right here, all of this, is what I want."

Nathaniel could shake his head disapprovingly at James, disagreeing with most of James' rhetoric as he spoke. As far as Nathaniel could see, James had lost what little humanity he had left. "The Gods I know wouldn't approve of this. Just because we have power does not give us the right to flaunt it. To abuse it. We can do so much more for this world that destroy it because we think we deserve more because of some ability we happened to inherit," Nathaniel said, holding on to his moral convictions yet doing what he could to not sound superior as he often did.

After a brief pause, Nathaniel appeared to disarm himself, pacing around the rooftop of the ruined complex. "I have a question for you, James. How many prophecies did those 'True Atlanteans' spout at you?"

James tilted his head and replied. "A few? One? None? I don't really remember. I kinda stopped caring. Why? What did they tell you?"

"We can almost agree there," Nathaniel chuckled. "I've heard it all. Most telling me I will rise to the occasion. I don't generally believe in prophecy, but one stayed with me. The one I heard in that dream-like world that gathered the World Changers and Harbingers. 'The Future is Cold. Separation is the Key.' That is the prophecy that I assumed related to me. Now, I will admit it made little to no sense when I first heard it, but then I thought about it." Nathaniel sighed and looked at James with a nervous smile. "Humans and Atlanteans can't live together. At least not right now. Otherwise, this happens. And as much as you love it, you know deep down that its wrong. But if we were to separate these worlds and give Atlanteans their own home where they are ruled by their own kind with their own laws...we would have progress. We would have peace. Now tell me, James. Is it that wrong to want to help this world? Because I will tell you one last time that what you want will be stopped. This cannot last. But peace, that can last. That would mean something. If you can cast aside your pathetic little rebellion or whatever you want to call it, you can be part of something far greater than what you could amount to you on your own."

James listened in silence as his rival and friend orated his vision of the future. The electrokinetic seemed to actually be processing that future, imagining it in his head. He quietly put on a thought-provoking face and considered such an idea. A world where Atlanteans and Humans did co-exist in the same world, but where they would be separate from each other, split apart. After contemplating in silence for the better part of a minute, James finally gave his answer.

"Nah," He replied plainly. "That sounds boring."

"I expected as much from you," Nathaniel said flatly. With a breath of cold air, Nathaniel once again mimicked the Harbinger's Sword and fashioned his own blade. It appeared slightly larger with a more elaborate edge. "If you will not join me, I must defeat you and become the World Changer without your help. It is simple as that."

James gave Nate a smile and gripped his sword with both hands. He then positioned it in front of his body and pointed it toward the ice master. What remained of his electricity reserves poured from his palms into the weapon. They bounced across the bronze blade and danced across the sharp edges in a continuous, fluctuating motion of sparks.

The electrokinetic snorted as he prepared to face off against his opponent for what appeared to be a climactic bout. James knew for quite some time now that this was how their stories were going to end up, with them facing off. And he had embraced it. He had come to realize that the feat more worthy to pursue than their clash of ideals was the actual clash of their abilities. It was here, at the pinnacle of their destructive powers, with death surrounding them with every blow, that he felt most alive.

"Try," James urged his rival passionately, as he gripped his sword tighter in preparation for their first clash.

Thrusting the sword forward, Nathaniel unleashed a small gust of wind, laced with shards of ice towards James. The aim was poor, laughably so, but it was merely to cover his advance as Nathaniel lunged forward coming down at James with an overhead swing, as it was abundantly clear that Nathaniel wanted to end the fight quickly, wasting no more time.

James elected to make evasive maneuvers at Nate's coming attack. The gust of wind momentarily threw him off balance, but he recovered quickly enough to begin dodging the ice shards on rapid approach. He veered left and right to avoid their impact, though one did scrape him on his shoulder, drawing blood. He momentarily felt the stinging combination of the cold strike along his warm flesh. But he soon realized the first attack was merely a cover for Nate to get closer. James hastily swung his sword forward, producing a combination of his new sword's powers: a relatively strong gust of wind that would thrust Nate back, along with a swarm of electrical sparks mixed in with the gust to damage him.

Nathaniel was instantly pushed back and felt a loss of feeling in his limbs as the burst of electricity singed his skin. Getting up was hard, painful even but he pushed through. He got good at that, possibly coming from getting used to the wear and tear that James' ability was so skilled at inflicting. But Nathaniel knew that a test of endurance was in his favor. James' ability had at the nasty backlash of affecting his own body just as well, while Nathaniel's had the diminishing effect of exuding so much cold that another's touch was going to be a figment of his imagination in the coming years. But he couldn't dwell on a uncertain future. He got up after a few moments, watching as James recovered, gripping his sword and awaiting James' attack. It was best to let the eager one put himself into a crippling position and seize the opportunity.

James grinned happily at the effect of his attack, but he wasn't ready to stop then. He gripped his sword tightly to prepare for another powerful swing. As he did so, he noticed that his fingers had no feeling along the hilt of the sword. This momentarily loosened his grip, but he chose to ignore it and grasp tightly again. He slung his sword behind his body, then took a few large steps forward and once more thrust a powerful wave of wind and lightning at Nathaniel. Sharp gusts of wind morphed with lightning waves. This created a visibility to the wind, as a greenish-yellow wave was sent at the Atlantean.

Driving the sword into the ground, Nathaniel crafted a massive wall, absorbing the brunt of the of the wind with difficulty. From the safety of his fort, he noticed the wave of energy cracked the foundation and after the raw force had vanished into the air, the wall came crumbling down. Little more than icy dust remained, but it mattered little. Nathaniel has safe and James did not make any headway despite the mass of energy he created. Raising a hand in the air, he gathered up the dust and made his sword that much bigger, far larger than James' Harbinger blade and bolted forward to meet James in a duel.

"Now we're psyducking talking," James called out as he saw Nate charging at him with his new, improved weapon. He had hardly reacted to his powerful attack failing to hit the target. It hardly computed with him at this point. Right now, the only thing that he really cared about was the fight he was having with Nate, and how great it felt. He couldn't believe that he had considered trying to kill him a while ago. Why would he ever try to ruin such a good thing?

James charged forward as well, and swung his sword forward at Nate, this time trying to do his best to concentrate on the electrical surges pumping in his weapon to form a barrier around it to keep the powerful gust momentarily contained, so that it would only unleash when the weapon clashed with Nate's, instead of releasing like a ranged attack.

Noticing the surge of energy that beamed through James' weapon, Nathaniel had coated himself in a suit of ice armor, reshaping himself into a juggernaut of frozen energy. Whatever James was considering in his tunnel vision, Nathaniel could easily absorb it now. He swung his hefty claymore, overhead, hoping to shatter James into pieces in one fell swing.

James met Nate's strike with his own, and the two weapons clashed. James immediately felt the superior strength of Nate's swing, given his physical advantage. But he continued to smile maniacally. As the blades clashed, the band of electrical energy concealing both the lightning and the wind broke, which caused the enormous, contained energy to overflow at that moment, and explode in the faces of the two Atlanteans, primarily in Nate's direction. Through the explosion, James could be heard chuckling.

The powerful eruption of energy tore across the skyscraper as it destroyed everything within its range. Lightning streaked across the sky in reverse. It emerged from the center of the powerful explosion and danced across the clouds in an extraordinary sight. James pressed further along his sword, despite the powerful wind and electricity affecting him as well. He laughed loudly as scratched and his own lightning burst around him. He continued to fuel more power into it, more power than he had ever wielded before.

Then he felt... odd. He had felt pain in his body, along his arms and legs. But at one point, he noticed that he felt no more pain. He looked down at his arms. Small, sharp pieces of the crumbling building were tearing across his skin and drawing blood, something he knew would be extremely uncomfortable. Yet as he looked down and examined himself, he couldn't feel a thing. No pain, no discomfort, nothing. Before he even realized it was happening, his arms felt unable to strongly grasp his weapon, and his hands slowly began to give way to the stronger strike from Nate.

It was that strength and endurance of Nathaniel forced the numbing James off balance. As the building began to collapse under the raw force of the two battling Atlanteans, an explosion of energy was unleashed as lightning and ice fused together. The explosion tried to bridge the two auras, but failed, becoming a mix of yellow and blue, with the golden auras of their weakening God Modes fading in and out of the blend. The explosion knocked the two away, as the tumbled through the dying structure.

James' body flew away from the explosion and slid across the destroyed rooftop like a ragdoll. He finally collided near the end of the building, dropping onto his back and facing the direction of the explosion. Smoke and dust swept up the entire area, causing James to cough as he scanned his surroundings. Nothing seemed to be present. No organic sound was heard. The electrokinetic glanced at his hand and tried to raise it up. Two of his fingers twitched, but they didn't react beyond that. James chuckled lightly and coughed, then once more scanned around.

Nathaniel soon breached through the smoke, ice covering the ground as he walked. A closer look revealed that he formed something of a platform and a bridge to break his fall and secure his gait. The armor that protected him was in tatters as was much of his body, but he endured the explosion better than James did, even if his face was drenched in blood from a gash on his head and his clothes a pale remnant of what they once were. He stood over James proudly, appearing to claim victory over the weakened Atlantean, brandishing an ice spear in his right hand. With a small gesture, he drove into James' left shoulder, securing his opponent onto the crumbling rooftop. "Now you can enjoy the view while I take care of other business," Nathaniel said, turning away from James soon after the words left his lips.

James grunted from the stab to his shoulder, but oddly enough it didn't hurt as much as he thought it would. His body must have still been in a relatively strong state of shock. But he knew the damage was done, severe damage even. As he examined the wound, he saw blood flow out from it. Yet instead of reacting much to it, James turned back to Nate and chuckled again. "I guess this is the end then, huh? Hey! Wait up, aren't you going to say good-bye to an friend, for old times sake?" He asked and laughed again, which was followed by more coughing. As he did so, he noticed blood mixed in with the couch, as it splattered along his chin and chest.

"A friend would stand down if I asked him nicely. A friend would help another save this world," Nathaniel retorted, barely looking over his shoulder. "You are no friend. You are just another Atlantean would thinks their way is the right way without even considering the ramifications of flaunting their abilities. So please, don't waste your breath spouting more lies than you already have."

James chuckled again in between his bleeding coughs. "Come on, Nate. You know we've always had a different kind of friendship. Ever since we've met, we've always been against each other. We've never seen eye to eye!" He coughed again as he attempted to reach up with his hand to the spear stuck in his shoulder, but his hand barely moved a few inches. "You say A, I say 1. You say right, I say wrong. We're always on opposite sides... but that's why this thing works so damn much! You remember when we had that drink in the bar close to when we first met? We didn't agree on psyducking anything we said, but wasn't it one of the best talks you've had with another person? I know it was for me!" He explained with another cough in between his ramblings. "I think... I think it's because we're so different, that yet somehow deep down we're exactly the same. The same passion drives us. The same strong-headed nature. We're the perfect opposing forces! There shouldn't be a world where we both don't exist in it, together. It's like I said before... I think you and I are meant for great things."

Nathaniel walked over to James as he spoke, listening intently with his step. Did James mean what he said? He couldn't tell. Nathaniel doubted that even James really knew or believed what he spoke about. But that was then and this was now. In a matter of months, both men radically changed. Their respective views on everything did not drift dramatically, but it revealed the core of their characters. Nathaniel was motivated by a desire to bring change through order and belief in justice. James was motivated by a unquenchable thirst for power. At least this how Nathaniel, the presumed victor of this duel, felt. Fashioning another ice spear in his hand, he looked down at James, as he often did.

"To great things..."

And then he brought the spear down.

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