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  #276    
Old July 20th, 2014 (05:56 PM). Edited July 20th, 2014 by Skymin.
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Skymin
the gratitude pokémon
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: australia
Age: 21
Nature: Quirky









Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, Budapest, Hungary

November 22nd, 2012

It was so strange and perhaps a little nauseating to travel so many miles in a matter of seconds. As soon as Cooper released the doors of the plane, Oakley was in line to get out, her stomach churning a little. She had travelled like this with the Librarian only a few times before but each time felt just as weird as the last.

It seemed that not only had the AUP Headquarters disappeared from around them, but the Librarian had left after his job was done as well. He had teleported them to what seemed like an airport (Oakley assumed in Budapest). There were large cars waiting for them and they quickly began to move gear from the plane to the cars before climbing into them. Oakley could see the smoke rising from the city close by and apparently, so could Emil.

"Perhaps we should leave Elpis here with somebody. A place like is much too dangerous for a young girl." Emil turned to Cooper, looking worried. This was much different to the frustrated worry that Oakley had seen him wearing before in regards to Devon. "I can see this ending very badly if she separates from us, or misunderstands us. What if this reminds her of... her home? What if--"

"Our mission it to apprehend the target." Cooper said plainly, his voice felt void of emotion. Oakley felt a strange ringing in her ears and turned to Cooper, suddenly feeling as if his words were of utmost importance. "If Elpis is there, we can negate the target immediately. Without doing so could cause further chaos."

"Right. No, you're right." Emil nodded his head, I'm just worried for her safety." Oakley turned back to Devon behind her, who was staring at his father. He was frowning and gave a little pout, looking a little confused. Was he... jealous that his father wasn't worrying about him or paying any attention to him anymore?

"As you should be." He gave the frenchman a smile, something Oakley did not see from Cooper often. "Do not worry, she will be fine with us."

"Don't expect me to babysit the kid." Imogen strode past them, dumping a bag into the back of the car and slamming it shut. Cooper stared back at her.

"We will do whatever is necessary to protect the girl." Imogen turned back to him, crossing her arms and looking at him from over her glasses.

"Don't order me to do anything, Cooper. I'll do what I want." She her eyes remained locked on his for a moment before she flicked her hair and got into the car, taking the driver's seat.

Oakley then turned to Elpis, who was staring at the smoke billowing from the city. She looked... worried. Not hysterical, but as worried as an eight year old girl would be if she saw a city with smoke coming from it. Oakley had to wonder -- had she been there at the fall of Atlantis? Had she been placed into that box before or during whatever happened all those years ago?

Elpis turned to Oakley, her face appeared the same but her eyes seemed far away. Oakley gave the girl a reassuring smile. It wasn't returned. Instead, Elpis found Delta's hand and took it with her own.

It was time to head off, and everyone found themselves into a car and they were on the road, the city of Budapest in view and growing dangerously closer and the giant dragon coming into view.

Emilio, Cooper, Delta, Elpis, Oakley and Aiofe in one car, Imogen, Julian, Henri, Mel, Dom and Thayne in the next, Natalia, Devon, Misha, Atticus, Simon and Freddie in the one after and a bunch of people Oakley had never met before in the last. A radio communicator connected the cars, but for the present time it had been used for not much more than chit chat.

"What an imagination this one has. Really." Imogen laughed from the radio, her voice full of static but still with that obnoxious tone. "If it's a fat white kid with a neckbeard, I won't even try to not kill him. Dragons. What a joke."

"This Atlantean could be controlled by another user," came Julian's voice. "It could be anyone."

"Or it could be some f*cking nerd who's been playing video games for far too long." Oakley could see the sneer behind Imogen's radioed voice. "This is what happens when antisocial losers complain that girls don't love them. They go and destroy a cit--" There was a smash from behind them and the radio cut out. Oakley, as well as the rest of those inside the car turned around as Cooper stamped on the brakes. Through the back window a... if Oakley could describe it, a sphinx standing in the middle of the road where the car was meant to be. Oakley followed the tire marks, the car now smashed into the side of a building with those inside it unable to be seen.

"Is that... meant to be Leo Cabrillo?" Emil squinted, through the glass, then turned back to the front. "Watch out!" Oakley turned her head catching sight of feathers just as she felt the car go upwards, nose first and flip over onto its back. They were in the air for just a few moments and Oakley closed her eyes and threw her arms over her head, the armour automatically growing over both as she felt her life was in danger. The smash underneath their heads never came and Oakley moved her arms to see Emil pushing his hands down, slowly lowering the car with his gravity manipulation. There was an angry noise from outside and the beating of wings from behind Oakley as one creature flew off but the one in front of them remained. It gave the car a shove, Emil holding it still as best he could before it took off as well.

"What was that?" Oakley wheezed.

"I think... it's a griffin." Emil replied, unbuckling his seatbelt and falling to the roof. He turned to them, eyes wide and alert. "Is everyone okay?"

"I'm okay." Oakley answered for herself, nodding then turning to Elpis. She seemed frightened, but unharmed, struggling with her own belt, muttering some things in Atlantean with a few broken English words in between. She yelped as she got free, Oakley's arms underneath her as she fell into them. Once she made contact though, her arms returned to their unprotected and unstrengthened selves and she winced as they hit the cold roof below them. "Sorry."

"I knew we should have left her behind. This is my fault, I'm so sorry, Elpis." Emil shook his head, Cooper appearing from around his seat next to him. He looked alright, aside from a cut on his eyebrow from the glass shattering in front of them.

"No. If anything, this gives us more reason for her to be here. This is a powerful Atlantean who needs to be stopped." Cooper coughed, waving away some of the dust and dirt around them.

"In any case, let's get out of here." Emil said, kicking his foot against the door. It didn't budge, caught against a cement block beside him. "Oakley, Delta, if you could, please."

There was another loud screech, a smash and the skidding of tires on the road as one of the other cars took off and the other smashed into a poll and rolled onto its side. Another smash alerted them that the griffin was back on the ground. And not happy at all.

"Hurry!" Emil stressed.
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  #277    
Old July 26th, 2014 (11:51 PM). Edited July 27th, 2014 by SV.
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It was justified
 
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Coronado Island, San Diego, California, United States

November 22nd, 2012

The plane touched down on the runaway that led into the military base. From up in the air they could see little going on down below but once they reached the ground the entire military base was in fervor. The control tower had tried to divert their plane to the city but their pilot had persisted they land, using DoD protocols to override the control tower and land their plane. When they got off military personnel rushed up to them, telling them that the island was no place for kids but Amanda simply brushed them off. They tried to reason with her that they had the situation under control and didn't need any help from A.T.L.A.S. but all three of them could tell that they didn't.

"Harpy, Gamer, you two take aerial recon, Tank and I will follow with the rest below. Do not engage the target until we're there." Both nodded before heading off into the air as Amanda requisitioned a vehicle from the base.

Like always, Tank felt a bit left out not being able to fly, but after the previous week battling the Pterosaur-mimicking Atlantean in Colorado, he had had his fill of flying. At any rate he enjoyed traveling along the road; despite Amanda helming the vehicle. It took them about eight minutes to finally reach the town portion of Coronado Island, the streets into town well cleared of cars as everyone had tried to leave following the arrival of James Hazen. Even thinking the name put chills up his spine and Tank hoped that the three of them were enough to take him out.

For the past two minutes Harpy and Gamer had been whispering into their microphones as they surveyed James from the sky; relaying his every action to the whole contingent of armoured personnel as well as Amanda and himself. Instead of going directly to the source of the disturbance, where Tank had heard gunfire and yelling from the soldiers whom had assaulted James prior to them getting there, they set up a command station within a couple of blocks.

An arsenal of gunshots was heard from inside the hotel. Furniture and decorations were tossed around the rooms and destroyed. The walls had a combination of bullet holes and scorch marks, and across the floor there were bodies of both hotel employees and guests, as well as a few military personnel that had arrived on the scene. James had destroyed most of the lights inside the hotel, and covered up most of the windows, meaning that the soldiers they had been sent in were coming in blind, while James hid and waited.

He heard the soldiers whispering something in the distance, something about formation and the dark, so he expected they would soon try to split up and see where he was. Each group that came in, whether security, police, or soon the military after, however, were coming in blind and because it was broad daylight outside, didn't expect to bring any sort of night vision. So James' strategy was to basically take out each new group that came in before they had a chance to signal about the situation to the outside. Eventually they would keep moving up the power food chain until the real prizes would show up.

Inhaling deeply, James lifted his upper body from his hiding spot to the side of the room, and fired a bolt at them. The initial bolt didn't hit any of them, whizzing past two soldiers who immediately began shooting around in surprise. Although the shot missed, it did give James a relative position on where they were before they began to spread out. He prepared multiple more bolts of electricity, harnessing from deep within his body, and shot at them from both of his hands. Each hit struck the two soldiers in their chests, pushing them back and causing them to collapse on the ground. The three remaining soldiers began to fire in the position they believed the shots came from, although the lightning came too fast for them to get a definitive position.

James meanwhile had already begun to make his way to the other side of the room, slowly crawling across the ground to avoid being seen. If any sudden eyes or movements were thought to be heading in his direction, he would lie still and act like he was amongst the dead, the the soldiers would continue forward to where they believe his position was. When they had proceeded enough forward, hiding behind furniture that was toppled over, James jumped up from behind them, delivering multiple shots of surging power at each of them. The first was dropped quickly. The last two managed to turn around. James dropped the third with almost half a dozen small bolts to his face and chest, while the third managed to get a few shots from his assault rifle off. James momentarily retreated, feeling a small stinging sensation across his hip as he believe he had been grazed by a bullet. He quickly came out again, firing a larger, more powerful single bolt straight at the soldier. It had failed to directly hit the target, whizzing by the side of his face, but definitely getting a piece of it. He heard the screams of the soldier as he fell to the ground clutching the side of his face.

Quickly, James ran over to the last soldier, favoring his right side just a bit over his left, and stood tall over him. The man below him continued to struggled, but saw his attacker above him and panicked. "Please, I've got kids!" The soldier implored James, clutching the side of his face in anguish. James dropped to one knee, lifted two fingers directly at the man's forehead, and fired a precision bolt right through his skull.

"So did they," He replied, pointing to the other bodies scattered across the hotel floor.

"He's holed up in the Hotel, we can't get a fix on his position," Gamer voice over the microphones.

Standing there doing nothing, Tank started to feel edgy and wanted to get to fighting already yet Amanda held him back. "Fly around the back, enter as low as you can without making noise. They've cut the power to the hotel so you'll be going in blind. Be careful."

Nodding to each other, Gamer and Harpy began their flighty around the side of the building and around the back. They each found an open window, on the third and fourth floor respectively and made their way inside. The rooms were quite well lit from the sun but making their way into the hallways and there was very little light. Harpy had the easier time as her eyes were able to adjust to the darkness thanks to her bird mimicry, but the two soon met up and began descending down the nearest stairwell. Without any electricity, Gamer was reliant on the reserves she had.

"We've arrived on the lobby floor," Gamer again took charge, the two of them glancing warily through the small glass window in the door that separated them from the target. As they watched the latest contingency of soldiers taken out, they tried their best to spot James but the flashes of electricity blinded them. They finally saw him when he bent over a soldier, both girls turning away as he delivered the final blow. "What do we do now?" She asked.

"Try and draw him out into the street. We'll take it from there."

"Gank em." Was all Gamer said, but Harpy knew exactly what she meant.

Opening the door, Gamer was the first to go through, making her way opposite James while hiding behind furniture. On occasion she would make noises; knock a plant so the leaves scratched against the wall, push a table a couple of millimeters; small things to gather the man's attention. When she was sure she had him in her sights, she sent a stream of pixels flying from her hiding spot behind an overturned couch.

James heard the door unlock, and quickly dropped out of sight from the soldier and into the nearest hiding spot he could find, a broken up wooden table, which was lying on its side. He expected it to be more military reinforcements, but as the person moved, he could hear her making sounds. He didn't expect the military to do that, although it could be someone who was simply panicking. What came next was some sort of attack, energy-based of some sort. He was almost positive now. It wasn't the military this time. It was an Atlantean! An Atlantean with some sort of projectile-based ability, like his.

"Who are you?" James asked, quickly firing off a small bolt of electricity at the direction of the other Atlantean, before moving from his first hiding spot across the side of the room to a more larger, half-torn couch.

Gamer followed his movement with her eyes as they struggled to adjust to the changing of light before firing off another stream of pixels in his general direction. "Zoe, who are you?" She asked, summoning up the fear she currently felt as her voice shook. She knew all about him, but he knew nothing of her. The more disinformation he knew the better upper hand she had.

"Havoc," James replied back, crouching under the furniture to avoid the strange energy wave that came at him. He fired off another round of lightning in the direction where she fired from, though with less intent to harm more than to keep occupied. "You're Atlantean, who're you working for?"

"I don't work for anyone! I was staying in the hotel with my boyfriend!" She called over the couch, firing another bolt his way to keep him distracted and occupied. She had to be careful though because she was slowly running out of built up power and didn't know how much he had in reserve either. "Why are you here?"

"Waiting for someone to show up!" James called out from his own spot, waiting for her to fire her shots before he looked up and fired his. Once he did, he roamed across the room and positioned himself behind another piece of turned-over furniture, this time a wooden table of some sort. "But if you're serious about just being a guest and turning out to be Atlantean, this is my lucky day!" He called out. He doubted she was simply a guest. He was pretty sure she was one of the ones that came in through the door. Though that didn't mean he could try to recruit her.

"Sh*t!" She cursed, louder than she had meant to. She had tried to conjure up another stream but failed to do so; she was out of ammunition and she could hear him moving about. "Why is it your lucky day then?" She asked hesitantly, this time refusing to fire a stream and hoping that he didn't connect the dots.

"Come on, we're on the same side here," James responded, choosing not to fire another round since apparently the woman stopped firing as well. Maybe she was curious about what he was talking about. He peeked over the table to ensure she wasn't aiming for him at that moment. He then place his whole upper body on the table and leaned over it. "We shouldn't be fighting. See? I'm putting down my hands," He added, showing that he was dropping his hands down to his sides.

Unsure whether or not to trust this guy, it took Gamer a few seconds to make up her mind. He seemed like he was raising a white flag and calling truce, but she knew from his profile that he could easily charge a bolt and hit her before she even had a chance to move. "I'm coming out! Don't fire." From behind the couch Gamer came, standing upright with both her hands at head height. She slowly walked forward, shortening the distance between them until she was at the halfway point. "You wanted to talk, so let's talk." She took a gulp, her heart racing in the tense situation.

James came out right as the girl did. He walked toward her direction in the dark hallway, and stopped a few meters away from her. "Right," James began, offered the girl a small smile to let her know he wasn't going to fire at her, yet. "So I'm Havoc, or James as you probably heard. Was with a man named Henry for a while. Then I went to the Atlantean Royal Family, then to a group called the Renegades. I'm now technically not with anyone, although I'm backed by a man named Lucas," He stated, still keeping his hands down and in plain sight.

"I'm telling you this because I'm letting it all out. No bullsh*t. So Zoe, who're you?"

Gamer grinned at James, happy that he had let his guard down. "Zoe, Zoe Pearson. I live in San Francisco with my boyfriend. He brought me here on holiday-" Gamer's sentence was cut short as harpy launched from the shadows. With a flap of wings the half-woman, half-bird Atlantean slammed into James' body, gripping his midsection tightly as she propelled them both towards the front door. Summoning up the reserves she had pretended to be exhausted of, Gamer send a large stream of pixels flying towards the door; blowing both off of it's hinges.

"F*ck!" James yelled, struggling to try and break free from the bird-woman's strong grip. He should have known that there were others hiding around, but he acted recklessly. As Zoe broke the door and the harpy girl brought them outside, James slowly tried to concentrated and make something happen. He controlled his breathing, trying to focus his energy not just on his hands but on other parts of his body, which he hadn't had much practice in doing. Sparks began along his fingertips and traveled along his arms, up to his shoulders and down to his stomach region. The sparks seemed to work, so he tried again, this time with more energy.

He once more let the energy flow from around his torso, to and down his arms, then back up. All at once, he released the shockwave across his body, trying to focus precisely where the harpy was holding him so that it would hopefully shock her.

As the electricity coursed through her body, Harpy's claws dug deeper into the skin and muscle of James' body as her feathers began to singe. After a couple of seconds her grip receded, wings stopped flapping and the two fell to the ground. Her body limp and smoldering with no pulse to be found. Gamer now stood in the doorway of the hotel, her hands clasped over her mouth in horror.

"Harpy!" The yell from down the street erupted into a roar as Tank began pelting down the street. Blue fur started to sprout all over his body as he grew slightly larger, his arms now significantly larger than his legs as, in his place, a large Silverback Gorrilla was now bounding towards James.

"Stupid b*tch," James cursed, holding his side where some blood was seen seeping through his shirt from the harpy's claws. Having no time to lick his wounds, he could see another apparent Atlantean, one that could transform into a gorilla suddenly spring onto him. James backed away a few steps, bringing his hands up and gathering energy into the palms of both of his hands. He felt the tingling sensation of energy passing through his nerves toward his hands, and watched as the electricity formed at the base. He then shot out the two lightning bolts directed at the gorilla. Afterwards, he prepared two more bolts, but instead of firing combined them together into one large one, and fired that as well. He could feel the tingling intensify in his arms after he fired those shots.

As Tank dodged one bolt, the other hit him in the flank, but whether it was the rage, adrenaline or simply his Atlantean heritage, he continued forward until he was mere meters from James. He definitely wasn't prepared for the second larger bolt which caught his arm, sending him pummeling into the ground. Picking himself up, he tried to shake the pins and needles from his arm as he huffed at James. Pulling his large, hairy arm in close to his chest, he roared that primal, animalistic roar before grasping a table with his other hand and flinging it at James. As each table, chair, and whatever else wasn't bolted to the ground left his grasp, Tank grabbed another and another; sending as many as possible flying towards James.

"F*cking f*ck!" James cursed again, surprised that his bolts did nothing but slow down the large ape. He opened his eyes in shock as a table was flung directly at him. With no time to move out of the way, James was hit square on by the table thrown at tremendous force, and knocked back onto the hard concrete. He groaned on the ground, coughing once or twice from the hit, which seemed to have knocked the wind right out of him. He could feel the throbbing pain on his ribs, but forced himself up, whether through adrenaline or sheer will. Another chair came soon after, which James was able to avoid just in time, hearing it crash behind him. The beast was relentless, continuing to throw more and more items.

Behind her the power to the hotel sprang back on and Gamer could hear the television in the foyer blaring with static. Taking it as her chance, she pelted back inside, holding her hands up at the television and draining as much pixelated energy from it as she could. No doubt the would shut the power off soon to leave James Hazen dry; which annoyed her since her ability relied on electricity as well. She finished draining the TV and stepped back outside in time to see the furniture and rubbish bins start flying at James.

James started backing up, hoping that if he increased the distance between them, he could be able to dodge more effectively. However, because he was constantly moving and dodging, he had no time to prepare any more powerful lightning attacks which could take down the gorilla. He continued to move left and right, trying his best to dodge every item, although occasionally he would get chipped or knocked back by a chair to his arms or side. Eventually, he began to grow tired of it. "F*cking piece of sh*t!" He cursed, as he slowly was losing the energy to keep moving around. Deciding to take a chance, James powered up as much energy as he could into his left hand. He stopped dodging, this time focusing as much energy as he could to the tips of his fingers. He aimed directly for the gorilla's chest, standing in place to gain better footing and precision, and fired a large bolt, which drained a sizable chunk of his power. However, he was unable to dodge the incoming table that was thrown at him, which hit him once more right onto his body and flung him onto the ground.

The bolt of electricity struck Tank, if he hadn't had his arm hanging limply in front of his chest it would have struck him cold. Piercing through his arm, Tank roared as the shock sent him flying backwards; his gorilla ability waning until eventually he was lying on his back a few meters behind. His arm still had the hole where the bolt had pierced.

Seeing Tank struck, Gamer leaped into action, heading towards James who had been flung to the ground. One after the other she fired streams of pixels from each hand, alternating as she stepped closer. She aimed for his hands, legs, joints, anything that would stop him casting electricity at her or allow any movement. She needed to keep him down and out of control.

James couldn't catch a break. Immediately after he had appeared to finally bring down the gorilla Atlantean for the moment, he started to be fired upon by the same Atlantean from inside. Luckily, there was a broken up table on top of him, which he tried to use as a shield from her attacks. However, as she kept alternating locations on where she was striking, James lay there, unable to strike back. He was hit multiple times across his arms and legs, though he did prevent a few bolts from reaching him thanks to the table piece he used.

He still felt the pain of being struck by the large table, which further slowed his movements. However, he was finally able to get a few smaller bolts of electricity out from his hands toward the girl, hopefully distracting her enough so that James could find some cover. As the lightning strikes left his body, he could feel his energy depleting. He looked around, trying to find a source, taking what he could from lamp posts and cell phones.

"Not so fast, Mister Hazen." Amanda Tell stepped out from the alleyway followed by an ensemble of guards all decked out in riot gear with serious weapons pointed at him. In front of them, Amanda stood with a pair of what looked like gloved handcuffs in her grip. "You are under arrest as given to me by the jurisdiction of A.T.L.A.S and the United States Government. There is nowhere to run, you're coming with me so you either cooperate and put your hands behind your back or we choose the hard way." She approached James, all the guns pointed at him as well as Gamer standing behind him.

James looked around, seeing that he was in fact cornered and probably with nowhere to run. He chuckled nervously to himself, glancing at each one of them and shaking his head. On one hand, he detested the thought of being a captive of humans. On the other, he preferred not to be dead. Maybe a while ago, he would have instantly tried to fight his way out in order to avoid such a fate. Now, he was playing in something where he needed to be sensible about things. Right now, he valued his own life more. James stood up slowly, raising his hands together to be put in the handcuffs. He looked directly at Gamer.

"I took out three of you," He said to her plainly. "If I didn't step out to talk to you, I could have done more. Think about that." He added with a smile, hoping she would understand what he was saying.

Slipping his hands into the cuffs and tightening them, Amanda signaled to two guards to take him to the holding van. While she stayed here and cleaned up the mess, the van would drive back as part of a contingency to store James on their plane before leaving. While one guard opened the door to the metal box that was to be his seat back to HQ, the other stepped in with him, locking James' cuffs into a small looped bar so he couldn't move before taking a seat opposite him. As soon as the door closed, the van roared into gear and proceeded towards the airport.

"My my my, in a bit of a pickle now aren't we?" The soldier that had entered the van with him pulled off his mask, revealing himself to be none other than the Librarian. "Long time no see, Mister Hazen." He grinned at the chained James.

"Oh, God, not you again," James said as a wave of shock and dismay swept over him. "What the f*ck are you doing here, Henry?"

Henry laughed, "For two things really. First of all, I must retrieve a gift I left in your possession," Henry stretched his arm forward, picking up the necklace around James' neck and spiriting away the small blue crystal embedded in it. "Secondly, I'm here to return you to your caregiver. Can't have someone of your stature rot away in prison now, can we?" With Crystal safely tucked away, Henry then procured a key from his jacket, brandishing it to James before unlocking the handcuffs and allowing James to slip free before grabbing him by the scruff of the neck. "And off we go!"

The next moment Henry was in the living room of Lucas' suite. "I believe this belongs to you, Lucy." He shoved James forward before spiriting himself away leaving James to his own devices with Lucas.

Detesting the nickname his brother has given him, Lucas ignored his sudden appearance and instead turned his attention to James. "I'm guessing your little spectacle wasn't quite spectacular? What happened?"

"Well..." James began, not quite sure where to begin. First everything was going well. James was there, doing what he did best. Then came some Atlanteans, which was a nice surprise. Then came A.T.L.A.S. Then Henry. Overall it was a whirlwind of events in the small span of time, ultimately ending with James managing to take out a large amount of humans, civilians and armed alike, and also some Atlanteans. It was some nice publicity, even if it ended somewhat anti-climatically. How could he really describe the entire ordeal.

"I did get hit by a flying table. Twice. Which is new. So I'll put this in the not-too-bad-of-a-day column."

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  #278    
Old July 30th, 2014 (05:39 PM).
Vintage Arachnid
Fight 'til you win.
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Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, Budapest, Hungary

November 22nd, 2012

In mere seconds they were off to Budapest. There was nothing stronger than how Delta abhorred flying, except, maybe, her crystallized skin. The Librarian's method of traveling was far preferred even if it did leave her stomach in knots. She graciously made her way off the plane with Elpis in tow and made sure to keep a keen eye on her movements. When Elpis wanted to be, which was all the time as of late, she was quite the handful. Several different conversations lulled on around Delta yet oddly she didn't care to listen in on any of them. Her mind had travelled to a conversation she was actually interested in and had been replaying ever since it had happened. Right before they boarded the plane Aoife had come up to her and, well, their short conversation ended with both parties having malice toward one another. It made Delta so angry that Aoife hadn't listened to her. She knew she was right. How many times had Aoife done this? None. Delta was trying to protect her from harm but clearly Aoife had put on her rose-tinted glasses. Anger started to influence Delta's thoughts; she was just so enraged at it all. A small hand slipped into hers - Elpis.

The small girl had a knack for bringing Delta back down to Earth, here all she had done was selfishly think about herself when Elpis had came from the destruction of her home to the scene of another. How had she been so stupid? She should've made Elpis stay in Toulouse because this was no place for her. It was too late for that; everyone was already getting into separate cars. The passengers in Delta's vehicle weren't so bad, Emil, Cooper, Oakley, and Elpis. Then there was Aoife... who by some twisted act of fate ended up sitting next to her of all people. Outside of the window is where Delta kept her eyes glued not wanting to give into her urges to look at Aoife. She had previously visited Budapest, strangely that felt like a lifetime ago. Nathan had taken her here as some sort of romantic gesture, and it was. A smile graced her face as she recalled him getting down on one knee right in the middle of a mud puddle in vivid detail. When he slipped the ring onto her finger it was the happiest she had ever felt in her life. That was before all their talks erupted into arguments, and before the bruises and pain...

Imogen's voice pierced through her memories just in time, "If it's a fat white kid with a neckbeard, I won't even try to not kill him. Dragons. What a joke."

A dragon that had to be some sort of a joke, but it wasn't. She saw the rather large fictitious creature flying through the air far ahead of their current position and (what Delta could only assume was) fire flew from its mouth. At least Delta knew what they meant by beasts now. They all were assuming that these beasts were being controlled by someone, but what if these beasts were Atlanteans? Delta had taken to reading some Atlantean literature - yeah, it surprised her as well - Atlanteans with morphology-related powers were fully capable of doing this.

It didn't take long before something went wrong. Imogen's constant talking had ceased (not that Delta minded) and when the brakes were slammed on Delta instinctively thrust her arm out in front of Aoife. Goddammit, she just momed Aoife. A loud crash from behind them gathered all of passengers' attention. An oversized monster stood on the road and from what Delta could tell it was a mixture of a bird, a lion, and a person, more specifically, Leo Cabrillo. Its feathered wings were outstretched and it pounced (or glided?) from place to place, swiping its paws at the AUP's vehicles. Dom and Thayne were in one of the cars that had found itself halfway buried inside of a building. There was barely enough time to think before the car she was in flew up and flipped on its back. In no time at all Delta's skin had crystallized and she grabbed ahold of Aoife to absorb all the damage they would take on impact. She prayed that Oakley was doing the same with Elpis. Fortunately, they were in a car full of Atlanteans and when she opened her eyes she saw Emil using his power to slow their descent.

Now, there were two winged-beasts, and the second one was responsible for flipping over the car. It was a hybrid like the first one except this one was darker in color and seemed a bit more agitated. The first one took off and the second one came back for seconds, a griffin, that's what Emil called it, and crashed into the car before it flew off into the smoke-filled sky. After everyone confirmed their safety they started unbuckling their seats belts. Falling to the roof wasn't Delta's idea of a good time, but she eagerly helped Aoife out of hers, though neither said a word to one another. Aoife joined Delta on the roof and tried her best to avoid the glass. Delta doubled checked that Elpis was alright and safe before looking over everyone else to make sure there weren't any serious injuries.

Emil struggled to open his door, Delta could see that there was a chunk of cement pressed against it, "Oakley, Delta, if you could, please." Her hands reached forward to the side door and slid it open a crack with all her crystallized might. Noise from behind them caused her to look backwards to see that the griffin was going on another rampage attacking all of their cars. She waited while Oakley touched Elpis again and watched as her armor instantaneously started covering her arm again. Elpis had little control over her power, so any skin-to-skin contact automatically activated her ability to take (or give back) ones Atlantean ability. It didn't take them long to push the cement block backwards and off of Emil's door. Everyone inside of the van trickled out, one by one they made their way onto the road. A small layer of dust and debris covered Delta's clothing. They weren't safe here; the griffin wasn't done with its reign of terror. She saw a car positioned in the same upside down manner of the one she had just exited. Who knew who had survived the attack of this beast? She wasn't sure if this was an Atlantean or a monster created by one, but one thing was for certain they needed to stop whoever was responsible for it. They needed a concrete plan, one that would minimize casualties.

Almost like a bullet, Aoife took off toward one of the severely damaged cars. Simon! Delta managed to grab hold of her fellow AUP member's hand before she ran too far, "Aoife!" A fury of red hair and anger turned toward her trying to yank her hand free, but in Delta's crystallized state it was completely useless for Aoife to attempt such a tactic. Delta saw the tears sliding down Aoife's face and wanted nothing more then to wipe them all away. She pulled Aoife into her arms so that her head rested on Delta's shoulders. All the pain Aoife was feeling Delta wanted to take away, she didn't deserve it. As a reminder that it was still there, the griffin flapped its powerful wings and shrieked, which sounded like thousands of people dying in a truly gruesome manner. A whimper came from beside her, Delta turned toward it only to see Elpis frightened with her eyes brimmed with tears and her hands brought up to face. The young Atlantean shook her head and ran away. She watched as Oakley tried to outstretch her hand to get the girl, but Elpis had predicted Oakley's move and successfully dodged it. Did Delta do too good of a job at secretly giving Elpis lessons in combat?

"Elpis!" Delta loudly screamed after the girl who had taken off.

"Go," said Aoife firmly, she nodded and stepped back from Delta.

Lacking any hesitation Delta separated herself from Aoife and went into the debris filled area where Elpis had fled. A few steps into her run Delta stopped herself, if she didn't make it back for some reason there was something she had meant to do. She found herself back in front of Aoife. Even with the dirt smudges, tears, and hair stuck to her face Delta had never seen a more beautiful sight. Was she really about to do this? What the hell... Delta cupped Aoife's face in one of hands and tucked away the strains of hair that clung to her face behind her ear. She leaned in and pressed her forehead against Aoife's.

"I know, you don-" Aoife started, but Delta didn't care what she had to say at that moment and slowly parted Aoife's lips with her own. For a fleeting second everything didn't feel like a mess, she felt those same fireworks she felt with Nathan but with greater intensity. Delta broke away from Aoife and cursed, upset with what she had just done. This wasn't some crappy action movie where the hero kisses the love of their life in the midst of an active battlefield, especially when they had someone that they cared for who needed to be rescued.

The only thing on Delta's mind as she ran was Elpis safety, that girl had a special place in her heart and she wasn't ready to lose her. The destruction around her was astonishing, could this even be considered Budapest anymore? Most of the buildings had chunks taken out of them or were completed decimated and fire was burning anything that was left. One couldn't even see the streets, not only due to the extensive amount of smoke but it was buried under rumble and litter. The frequent amount of severed body parts she had seen was more than enough to make her stomach churn, that and the smell that emanated from them. A group of people stood ahead of her, they were all... bending over?

"Excuse me, have you seen a little girl with wavy hair?" Delta called out to them, wary of the situation and thus not wanting to get too close. Delta noticed how they all wore the same outfit, tattered black robes and lacked footwear. The second after she finished her question they all turned toward her in unison. How creepy, but not as disturbing as the fact that their eyes resembled miniature coals and lacked visible irises. Blood splatter was the only pigment on their stark white faces. Suddenly, they all hissed and showcased their teeth, no... fangs? "F-ck." These were definitely not allies. There were five of them versus Delta who was already in a race against time. Crap.

Her dominant hand had already found its way to her gun and removed it from its holster; Delta pointed the barrel at the targets. Visibility was low but she took two shoots anyway, the bullets pierced the skull of one of the creatures and it went down. One of the bullets passed straight through the skull and found itself lodged in the eye of another; its damaged eye ruptured and bled. The others dissembled; they surrounded Delta, one on and for each of the cardinal directions. If they simultaneously decided to rush her she would only be able to take out one or two before she succumbed to the others. She had practiced this situation too many times in training for this to turn out any other way than her walking away with maybe a few scratches, if she was being generous.

Trying to gather herself Delta sharply inhaled then let loose one giant breath. There was only one way to win this so she lowered her arms and sheathed her gun. A burst of speed sent her flying forward toward the creature she nicknamed West. The creature stood still until she got close enough for it to swipe at her with fingers that resembled talons, sharp and hooked. Delta halted to a stop to avoid its fury of attacks by leaning her upper body backwards. Successful in evasion she brought herself forward then reared up a kick to the creature's abdominal region. She promptly went into guard position, she turned her body sideways by bringing her right foot back, lowered her chin, brought her right hand up to eye level, brought left hand up the same way only it was positioned slightly further ahead, and with elbows tucked into her sides as closely as possible. The thought of Elpis meeting her fate pressed Delta on, she smashed her crystallized fist through its skull, blood and brain matter covering her arm.

The other creatures briskly moved toward her location. Effortlessly, Delta swung her body 45 degrees to the left with her hand still caught in the creature’s skull. Delta hoisted the body up as a shield while her free hand removed her gun once more and fired three bullets through the creature’s neck, down fell South. Quickly she yanked her arm free from West's skull, sheathed her weapon, obtained the small dagger from her leg, once in hand she slammed the blade of the knife into East's throat, ducked to avoid North's swipes of fury from behind, and turned 180 degrees. She retrieved her gun from its holster, rose up, and pulled the trigger twice, one bullet for North's skull and the other for its heart. East predictably lunged forward, which allowed for Delta to simply step backwards to evade its obvious attack. It tripped over Delta's foot and she double tapped it in the back of the skull, its blood painted the ground.

She moved on, not allowing herself to gloat over the dead bodies of what seemed to be vampires or a moments rest. Smoke poured from the windows of the surrounding burning buildings making it harder to see much of anything. Delta kept her nose and mouth inside the antecubital space of her arm. Her eyes kept scanning the area ahead of her for any surprises, once and awhile she would have to fire a bullet at something trying to attack her. Finding Elpis in this situation was like finding a needle in a house that was burning down and had already started to collapse. Delta wouldn't give up, point blank period. She kept walking, and eventually she heard the sound of fighting to her left. Through the smoke Delta could only make out a woman taller than her with dark brown hair who stood facing off against three humanoid creatures. One reminded Delta of Devon when he was in his Atlantean form, it looked more like a beast of nature than human, another was a knight in metal armor (noticeably lacking a helmet) brandishing a steel sword, and the last was a female whose feathered arms turned into wings halfway down yet still had hands that ended in sharp claws. Delta swore she saw the woman smirk before she disappeared in cloud of purple... smoke? Gas? Tortured screams were the only thing that reached Delta's ears. A glimpse of a hand here and an arc of a blade was all she saw, but after a minute the ruckus ceased and the area became eerily silent.

"It's a delight to meet your acquaintance," the voice came from behind Delta, she felt coldness nip at her neck and when she looked down she saw the sword the knight held pressed at her neck. The dark-haired woman stood there holding the handle. "I'm glad you ran into me rather than Lev or Branko." Far into the smoke sailed the blade and with more grace and agility than Delta had ever seen before she moved into sight. Her brown eyes were as cold as the blade itself and betrayed very little. "I saw you fighting earlier, you have a knack for it. Though, your movements are sloppy, any highly-trained Atlantean could beat you in combat, and your marksmanship is almost spot on except you lower your gun right before you shoot."

"Are you Atlantean?" Delta asked, trying to place the accent the lady let slip before she hid it behind a generic American one. A simple touch to her neck where the sword had been held told her it wasn't only the coldness that nipped her skin. She wanted to know why the woman was watching her but there were more pressing concerns, "Are you here to help? Have you seen a small girl in a white dress with wavy hair around here?" Not one of her questions seemed to have an effect on the lady's reticent disposition. She turned her back to Delta and started to disappear into the smoke. No, Delta wasn't going to allow her to get away from her that easily.

"I'm Alesina, we will meet again." She spoke with absolute certainty, and did so without turning around. A bird came from out of nowhere and landed on the lady's shoulder and cawed twice before taking off again. "I must be on my way now. The Atlantean you seek is on that building, she is not alone so be careful and do try to stop being so reckless."

"Wait! Why are you here?" Delta coughed, she advanced several steps toward the fading woman. The world seemed to fall away in an instant and that's when she noticed the purple fog that emitted from the lady. She dropped to her knees and then fell forward landing on rumble, she saw the lady disappear before everything turned black.

~ ~ ~

When Delta recovered she sat up and rubbed her head, how long had she been out? Five minutes? An hour? There was no telling the exact amount of time, as she wasn't carrying anything on her that told time. She practically leapt to her feet, dusted herself off, and sprinted in the general direction she was heading before she had encountered that peculiar woman... Alesina. Who was she? What was her deal? And her ability... Anesthesia Manipulation? Morphology? Delta trudged on knowing that these questions would remain unanswered until she met that woman again and next time she wouldn't let her get away. Was Elpis really on some building? Her foot ran into something that made a clanging noise, Delta bent over and picked it up. The sword the woman threw... Delta kept it in one hand as she carried on. The area she stumbled upon lacked smoke but, unfortunately, made up for that in monsters. Most of them were similar to the ones Delta had already met. She watched as a group of people tried to hold off a mob of creatures. One of them wielded a torch, another a broken chair, and one had an actual weapon, an axe. They swung around their weapons with inexperience, but it kept the mob mostly at bay. Delta noticed how the group was circled around something, no, someone. She walked closer to them and squinted her eyes, she saw a brief flash of long, wavy brown hair on white material.

Two loud bangs exploded from her gun. An extra magazine was all she had, which meant she couldn't waste her bullets on the likes of these things. She achieved the reaction she wanted; the entire horde of fiendish creatures diverted their attention to her. Handling a sword felt weird, thankfully she had done some minor training with swords but Delta had opted to spend more time with daggers. In actual combat she liked to stick to guns (and her fists) so she had not officially tested either of them. There was a first time for everything, right? She gripped the hilt tighter and threw herself into the throng of soon-to-be victims. One-handedly Delta swung the sword in a semicircle, the blade itself and Delta's clothing was moisten with blood. She took hold of the nearest creature within her range and slit its throat from ear to ear, blood squirted from its neck as it collapsed. A warning that was not well received. Anything that moved she sloppily slashed and sliced, blood flew every which way.

Delta stuck the sword in the belly of a near dead creature and used her brute strength to heave the blade all the way upward to the base of its skull. Its bloody entrails fell out on the ground. Swearing had become Delta's favorite thing (not that it wasn't already her favorite thing to do), she cursed left and right as the creatures swiped, stabbed, and poked various things at her. Her crystallization had developed significantly since she had been involved in combat of this caliber. The stinging scratches she had acquired on her face were the only foreseeable downside. Twenty minutes passed before a heap of bodies and severed limbs laid scattered at Delta's feet. She huffed and puffed, her shoulders rising and falling with every breath she took, and boy did Delta take a lot. Once she had composed herself she wiped off the bloodstained sword on the body of a dead gutted harpy. She was coated head to toe in blood and guts, she couldn't tell what was her blood and what wasn't. Parts of her clothing were shredded, such as her pants and the backside of her jacket (she hadn't worn her favorite leather jacket, thank god!) Delta dropped the sword and went toward the humans who had watched her this entire time, stepping over the bodies of those she had killed.

"Elpis," Delta said, almost in tears. She watched as the people closed rank and raised their weapons, blocking the one person on Earth Delta wanted to see. "I just saved your sorry as-es, you f-cktards. Elpis is my..." Delta paused, she hadn't actually thought of what her and Elpis's relationship would or should be called. It seemed weird to call Elpis her friend; they were closer than that... "My family." She watched as the men and woman exchanged approving looks and nods before eventually parting and lowering their weapons to reveal Elpis. The dress she was wearing was no longer white but covered in dust and red speckles. Delta scooped up the girl in her arms in a tight embrace and spun her around in a circle.

"Promise me, you won’t leave us, me, again, okay?" Delta said sternly, by her tone of voice she knew that Elpis would be able to tell she wasn't happy. Elpis understood enough of what Delta said to nod and smile. In a less perilous situation Delta would've easily stood there and held onto Elpis for quite some time.

English wasn't well spoken amongst the group, but Delta still did her best to thank them all individually. As a group Delta led them toward where she believed the AUP was located. From time to time she would hear one of the three terrors - that's what Delta had taken to calling the griffin, dragon, and sphinx - and signaled for the group to hide low amongst the rubble. About every five minutes or so this happened and when the coast was clear they would continue on their way. Occasionally they would encounter a civilian that would need their help. At the top of the list was freeing someone trapped underneath wreckage, saving people from burning buildings, and protecting a person from getting savagely beaten to death by murderous beings. Strangely enough it felt nice to assist these people, though, Delta wasn't going to make a habit of it.

The one thing that she had an urge to fulfill was to find the Atlantean(s) responsible for the decimation of this once beautiful and lively city and the countless amount of lives that were taken. Only one fate was accepted for that type of person and it was Delta putting a bullet through their skull. These Atlanteans were cowards, hiding behind their creatures and refusing to face her. Regardless of their craven tactics Delta would deliver their punishment first-hand. Even thinking about it made her twist her face in disgust. One of the buildings they passed Delta recognized, she turned to face the group in order to deliver this bit of information.

"We're almost there," Delta said. Each one of them nodded, except one. His eyes were bulged out like he was in shock and blood trickled down the side of his mouth. That's when she saw the sword protruding from his neck.

The sheer look of horror on Delta's face must have alerted everyone because one by one they all let out frighten wails. It was too late for them; Delta couldn't help but watch the slaughter unfold before her very eyes. Screams were cut short by blades and fangs. From up above a seemingly endless stream of vampires, knights, and harpies descended from the building, this was an ambush. Instinctively Delta stepped in front of Elpis and removed her gun from its holster to fire three shots. Two of the shots killed two of the creatures and the last round was a mercy killing for the man they had mutilated beyond recognition. How had she not seen this coming? She had given her word to them she'd led them to safety but instead she had led them to their graves. There were too many for Delta to take on and still watch over Elpis to make sure she didn't run away again. Her gun kept flaring to life; she disposed of one magazine and inserted another, hoping there was enough rounds inside to take down this swarm. Usually she brought two guns and four magazines with her minimum, but her fight with Aoife had distracted her from grabbing the second gun and extra ammunition. The number of foes dwindled but Delta was still on the defensive. They were incoming and in seconds Delta knew they would be on top of her.

"Get down!" Delta preferred to not yell at Elpis but the moment called for it and Elpis made herself as small as possible. After Delta holstered her weapon she crystallized her fists and ran at the group head on, wanting to keep their sole attention on her and not on the small girl that was crouching on the ground behind her. Her fists found themselves colliding with the skulls of many. On top of a mound of rumble Delta spotted the axe that belonged to one of her fallen comrades. A punch here and there allowed for Delta to clear a path toward the weapon. She ducked down to retrieve it but before her fingers could wrap around its wooden handle she was blindsided by a being with claws and feathers.

Picking herself up was easier said than done, especially when a mass of creatures was trying to rip her throat out. Her forehead throbbed with pain, she pressed her fingers up against it only for it to come away covered in blood. If she could fully crystallize this wouldn't be a problem, these things would've been dealt with by now. The only good thing about being knocked down was that she was closer to the axe. A prickling sensation on her shoulder caused her to curse as looked back and saw one of the beings with serrated teeth feasting on her flesh. Wrapping her gloved hand around the handle of the bladed weapon Delta swung it at its neck with all the vigor her crystallized arm could muster and cleaved the head clean off its shoulder. An inhumane scream focused Delta's attention and heaved her onto her feet. She lashed out with a foot to kick the nearest fiend down and brought her weapon wielding hand backwards and flung it as hard as she could. The axe sunk into the head of an armored knight that loomed over Elpis, she would have to thank Natalia for the sessions of target practice later. Not many remained after Delta snapped the neck of one very pissed off werewolf.

An overwhelming feeling of pleasure had firmly settled in. Something she hadn't felt since that time on the boat, the passion to kill. If she had the time she would have reveled in each of her kills before she moved on to the next one and made sure their blood painted a masterpiece. The gash on the left side of her forehead after some time bled enough to reach her eye, leaving her unable to properly use it. In a fit of rage she took out the rest but not without acquiring more superficial wounds.

"We did it," Delta grunted, and lowered herself to Elpis's level. In her hand Delta took Elpis's and beamed a forced smile to try and show that everything was going to be okay now. “I couldn’t have done it without your bravery, okay?” Elpis stared deeply in Delta’s green eyes and wiped away some of the blood that was stopping her from fully opening her left eye. “Lets go,” Delta murmured softly, she rose from the ground and turned around to lead them away from the massacre that had occurred.

A bloodied knight stood directly in front her, the axe protruded from the side of his head and the need for vengeance was written all over his bruised and bloodied face. With a smug smile he sank his jagged blade smoothly between her ribs. In an attempt to minimize the damage done Delta tried to crystallize her body but to no avail. Again, she tried. Nothing. Her attempts were futile. Goddammit. She looked down to see her blood staining the sword. Elpis's touch had taken her ability. The knight retrieved his weapon by yanking the sword out. Delta placed her hands on her injury, but the pressure alone wasn’t going to stop the bleeding. Taking a step forward she immediately fell to her knees. Damn. She had always imagined her going out in a blaze of glory not by some pathetic stab wound in the middle of a ruined city. Wouldn’t it be funny if this were the exact spot where Nathan had proposed so that the happiest moment of her life and the lowest were all in one spot?

Delta lingered her gazed over her shoulder for just a moment, she wanted to see Elpis one last time. If there was one final act she must do it prior to dying it was to tell Elpis, “Run.” Elpis stood there frozen in place, her voice had not reached the girl’s ears. This was Delta’s fault, she made Elpis promise not to leave her side and even at the worst possible time she was still fulfilling it. The ragged knight brought his weapon straight down for what seemed like one last strike. Delta shielded herself with her forearm, and laughed until she started coughing up blood, it was certainly going to take a better move than that to kill her. She saw the flames from the lit fires glinting off the blade as it came down for a second and, this time, final blow. Unlike others Delta had no plans on shutting her eyes and embracing death, she would see life until the very end. The sword stopped mid-swung, before it had the opportunity to finish her. A vast amount of blood started pouring profusely from the knight’s neck and, much to Delta's surprise, his head slid straight off of his shoulder. He fell forward, right on top of Delta. Delta turned her head to the side and noticed a swirl of purple haze that lingered in the air. A silhouette was visible for a brief moment then it disappeared from sight. Delta swore she heard the wings of a bird flapping. Against her will her eyes fluttered shutter, she felt her consciousness slipping but still Delta reached out for Elpis.
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  #279    
Old August 4th, 2014 (04:01 AM).
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revlis
The Dream Walker
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Age: 22
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Coronado Island, San Diego, California, United States

November 22nd, 2012

"I took out three of you," He said to her plainly. "If I didn't step out to talk to you, I could have done more. Think about that." Gamer watched as he smiled that evil grin at her; she fully understood what he meant and she could see in his eyes that he was banking on it. The words chilled her to the bones as she watched him carted off to the truck where he would be secure for their travel back to headquarters.

“He’s right, you know,” Amanda stepped up next to Gamer, her striking pose making Gamer feel small and insignificant in comparison. “With Harpy dead and Tank grievously injured he easily dispatched the three of you and could have easily come after the rest of us.” Gamer could hear the disappointment in Amanda’s voice; she wanted nothing more than to make everything better but Harpy was dead and there was no way she could bring her back.

“But your quick thinking and deception meant that he couldn’t do more. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the greater good and you did an amazing job. Well done.” Every word of praise Amanda spoke simply hammered the nail further into her heart as she dreaded more than ever the actions she had taken. If only she had ganked instead of Harpy…

“We’re just pawns to you, aren’t we? Some disposable tool you can discard and replace.” Gamer felt sick to her stomach for the fate she had caused for Harpy, but she felt disgust towards Amanda for treating her death like nothing.

Amanda looked furious at Gamer, “I’m sorry, did you actually think you had any value? If it weren’t for me you would be holed up in a federal prison, or don’t you remember those hacking charges I had the FBI drop? I will gladly send you back there.”

When Gamer had first discovered her abilities, she had been elbow deep in code hacking into her school’s records to change a student’s grades; something she did for a little cash on the side. She was almost finished when her screen started to fritz; grabbing it by the sides she shook the monitor knowing full well that it wouldn’t do much but allow her to vent her anger. What happened next stopped her in her tracks. As her fingers pushed into the cool LCD screen, pixels began streaming out from the screen, twisting around either thumb until it was a constant stream revolving around her hands and arms. Pulling her hands away from the monitor stopped the stream of pixels from the source but failed to extinguish the pixels now shimmering around her hands like some technological aura.

The itching of her tattoo had begun crawling up her left forearm; this causing Gamer’s hand twitched and a bolt of pixels flew from her outstretched hand and smashed through the window glass only to dissipate in the cool night air. From then on, she found things a lot easier to hack and started the brazen act of hacking into government files; which alerted the FBI to her. Several days later and she had found herself in a cell with four concrete walls and a metal door. It was a week after that when Amanda walked into her life.

“No, I haven’t forgotten,” She replied rather dejectedly.

“Good,” Amanda started to walk off in a huff, “the get your sh*t together and follow me back to the convoy.” Gamer was surprised to hear Amanda swear like that; the woman had always used harsh words to scold them with but nothing so profane.

“No.” Gamer was stalwart; she was fed up with Amanda’s orders.

“That was an order, not a question.” Amanda turned on her heels, her face contorted in range and anger, voice adamant.

She knew that she was rage quitting, practically on the verge of QQ-ing, but Gamer wasn’t having a bar of it; this woman wasn’t pro enough to order her around. Casting her arms wide, brilliant, sparkling pixel wings spread from her back and past her arms. “I’m out. GG, Amanda, well played.” Gazing upwards with a gleeful smile Gamer launched herself up into the air above Coronado Island, angling her descent to glide towards the large city of San Diego before flapping her wings to take her higher.

“Get her! Shoot her down! Do not let her escape!” Amanda cried out to the army personnel that had swarmed around her as Gamer had taken off, but their bullets failed to even nick Gamer as she soared across the water. “Get Tank back to the plane, I want him sedated and secured. Even if we have to comb the entire city, we’ll find her.” Amanda screamed furiously.

-----

Exhausted and elated, Gamer finally landed on the top of the Symphony Towers. She was finally free of Amanda and her tyrannical ATLAS organisation and it felt great to do so. But now as she stood above the skyline of San Diego she suddenly realised she wasn’t sure what to do next. The whole plan up till now had been to run away and escape, and now with that accomplished, she was unsure what to do next.

Spying a satellite dish a few feet from her position on the roof, she suddenly had an idea. As James’ words rung in her head she knew that he was the right person to contact. Sidling over to the disk, she place her palm on the base console, feeling her ability tap her into the endless stream of data and pixels that emanated from the modern fixture. Willing her mind into it, she used it as a central hub to take over any and all television screens within the Downtown and surrounding areas.

“James Hazen,” a pixelated projection of her face took up the television screen, its lips moving albeit slightly laggy, “You could have done more, but you didn’t. I thought you were the enemy but it turns out I was working for the enemy. Meet me on top of the One America Plaza in half an hour, I want a truce.”

When she had finished her little display of rebellion, Gamer staggered away from the dish breathing heavily. It had taken a lot of her ability and energy just to do that so she was banking on Hazen making their last fight water under the bridge. From her position she could clearly see the One America Plaza and, once he arrive at the top, she would make her way over to give her some time to recouperate.
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  #280    
Old August 4th, 2014 (03:43 PM).
Vintage Arachnid
Fight 'til you win.
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Budapest, Hungary

November 22nd, 2012

Unconsciousness was a state that Marwa couldn't afford. The consequences were too severe for her to drift away into darkness even if her body was begging to. She had to reject it like Raguel had taught her. A strong will and a good focus point was all that was necessary. It didn't take long for her eyes to land on something, actually, it was someone. He knelt beside her the instant she had fallen over, Marwa had no doubts that his mission here was mostly to oversee hers and protect her. That's why Andre hadn't left her side yet and for that Marwa was thankful. It wasn't easy pushing herself passed the pain into a state of mild consciousness. Sounds burst forward suddenly and loudly, sirens, gun shots, screams, roars, all signs of chaos. Perfect.

A frown was planted on her face as she struggled to sit upright. Shakily she got to back up on two legs after sternly refusing Andre's help. Looking down at all, the view was extraordinary. Fires raged all around, buildings were left in ruins, and her beings had ravaged this city to the point of decimation. She could feel each and everyone of their existents, the creatures she had summoned were tethered to her like stings that she could pluck and strum. When they were destroyed Marwa could also feel them go and, right now, someone or something was taking out a group of her creations. With all of her strength she pulled on one particular string with force and waited. Sometimes it was easy to control them, but with the amount Marwa had conjured up there was no way she could work in tandem with them all. That's why she only set her sight on the terror trio, her precious masterpieces. Her eyes grew wide as one approached, the largest of the three, and definitely the most stunning piece of work she had worked on in awhile. Its ferocious roar brought forth a wave of flames as it neared. It was a bit of an obvious choice, Marwa had always found dragons to be the most fascinating mythical beasts of fiction. Due to its sheer size the reptilian creature did not land on the building where Marwa and Andre were located but floated beside it.

A joyous Marwa ran her hands over its smooth multi-colored scales at a leisurely pace. Often times she was left astounded by how her creations came to life in such rich detail that it left her mouth agape. Now was one of those times. Marwa felt another string being separated. That meant there were actual people here that were trying to stop their attack. It also meant that Marwa could do some first hand research on those that opposed the Renegades. Without opening her mouth she beckoned the creature closer and once it had she found herself on its back. When drawing this one she had knew it was a possibility to ride it and so Marwa drew in a saddle of sorts. It would allow her and another person to ride comfortably on its backside without worrying of falling off as long as they held onto the appropriate places and the dragon didn't do any unexpected stunts in midair.

"Coming?" Marwa inquired, she prayed the answer to that would be a yes. How many times did one get to ride a dragon through the air?

"Are you sure this is wise, Marwa?" Andre had his specific orders to watch over her; Raguel certainly had her eye on this one, grooming her like a successor. Grabbing onto the handles of the saddle, Andre hoisted himself up to sit behind Marwa, feeling a little anxious at being so high off the ground up in the air. People often said cats landed on their feet, but did that work for Atlantean Morphs too?

The ride began off a bit rocky, she felt the dragon's urge to do what it wanted to do, and that was to assert its dominance over this place and all that dwelled in it. Marwa subdued its feeling to do such things and made it clear that it was to show them those that were causing trouble. The first scene they stumbled upon was a set of destroyed cars and then a group of Atlanteans. Just who were these individuals? Marwa asked Andre just that.

"They're not the ARF, that is for sure and they seem too disorganised to be A.T.L.A.S." Andre continued to survey the scene but failed to assess whom exactly these people fighting back were. He had been hoping that Leo and his students would have come to Budapest; it had been a while since he had last fought his brother.

"There certainly are a lot of organizations," Marwa stated, it was a subject she gotten interested as of late. There, of course, was the Atlantean Royal Family as known as the ARF and the Atlantean Threat Logistics and Assessment Section or A.T.L.A.S. for those who never wanted to repeat that again. Rumors of others were just that, rumors. A lack of evidence only resulted in speculation on the online forums Marwa browsed. As they sailed above the group of Atlanteans she kept her eyes glued to them. It would take effort but she could send pawns their way in an attempt to see them demonstrate their unique set of abilities. "We could just ask them...Politely?"

Andre squinted his eyes, not entirely sure if she was being sarcastic or not, "I'm pretty sure greeting and asking them from the back of a dragon would be a tad intimidating. But we might as well go say 'hi'." He wasn't overly confident in this plan but his main goal was to keep Marwa safe no matter what.

"Okay," Marwa smiled brightly, she was testing the waters with Andre. So far, he was a lot more lax with his boundaries than she thought he would be. She tuned into the dragon's mind and willed that they fly closer to the ground. It was easier for them to see the individuals and to fit now that a majority of the buildings were in shambles. Mentally she started recording the appearances of the individuals below, she had to be able to regurgitate it later. When she was sure that she had committed enough of it to memory Marwa steered them on their way.

One might not think it, but it felt nice. They were going at a speed that allowed them to get a nice breeze going, not too fast or not too slow. Even though Marwa had never been on one she threw her hands up in the air as they descended like she had seen so many people do in movies or television shows when they went on rollercoasters. She let out a fit of laughter. This was a better day then she imagined it was going to be. Hell, Marwa thought she would be dead at this point. Okay, maybe not dead but something extremely close to it.

"Look!" She pointed at a lone girl who was taking on a mob of pawns. Marwa admired the girl's moxie and how she was involved in some heavy physical combat and was pretty good at it from what Marwa could tell. Wait... A realization popped into her head, she knew who that was! Like in Paris she was dressed from head to toe in black. "That's Krystal! Or Killer Krystal." At least that's what the people on the social media sites tacked onto the name because of her supposed nature. It felt like meeting an Atlantean celebrity, it wasn't everyday one met someone who had a hand in the Parisian Incident. Another realization caused Marwa to slouch her shoulders, "Aw, this means we might have to kill her. She was involved in Paris as well. Were you there?"

"Paris? no." Andre had been too busy trying to hold on to whatever he could rather than listen to Marwa's mumbling as the dragon rippled through the air while Marwa seemed to be having the time of her life. As for Paris, it hadn't been long after his 'death' in Berlin and he had still been recovering when the band headed out for Paris. Andre continued to focus on keeping them both alive, scanning the ground far below for any sign of any other Atlanteans. "That one below," Andre refused to relinquish his grip on the saddle, trying to point out a figure below them, "the older guy floating in the air, his name is Emilio Bernot, he can control gravity so watch out for him!" Andre had met the man on a few occasions and knew his father had disliked the man immensely. So if Emilio was here, then it must mean, "These guys are the AUP: Atlantean Unification Project. Emilio is their leader!" He yelled out to Marwa over the roar of wind and sound of destruction filling his ears.

Marwa pulled her attention from Krystal and looked over to where she saw Andre divert his attention. In the air was a man! Whoa, gravity control? That was beyond awesome! Wait, did that mean Krystal was apart of this Atlantean Unification Project? Hmmm. She watched this Emil character manipulate gravity until her attention was grabbed by something else, a jet of fire. For once it hadn't come from the dragon. She watched the Atlantean admiration.

It was, "Pyromaniac!" Marwa had read in The Daily Telegraph about how he had almost burned an entire family alive while fighting another Atlantean. "Cool! I mean, you know what I mean," she said with excitement. She had hit the jackpot today or something. Krystal... Pyromaniac. They had arrived because of her? That was enough to make Marwa's day and make her smile. Where were Coldsnap or Shocker? What about Ultra? Oh well. She returned her mind to what Andre had said about the AUP.

"Who are the AUP? What do they do? What are their goals?" Marwa questioned, she assumed that unifying was a major part of it. Did Andre know more? All those wrecked cars must have belonged to them. If she had to guess she would have to say that her griffin had something to do with it. Oh man, there were so many questions she had that would have to go unquestioned simply because she would need an AUP member to answer them.

"I would say the name says it all. They're Atlanteans trying to unify Atlanteans with the goal of unifying all Atlanteans." Andre felt a bit silly spilling out that sentence but it was the best he could come up with. Even during is time at the ARF mansion he never had anything to do with Emil save for him showing up at their makeshift funeral. Likewise he knew very little on the AUP. "How long are we going to stay here observing? We should be meeting up with Pietr on Csepel Island soon."

Andre wasn't any fun. Why didn't he understand how awesome this was? Marwa was sure this might be the best day of her entire life and all he wanted to do was meet Pietr. That sounded so boring. Though, if she grew up knowing about Atlanteans or having knowledge about it prior to the reveal she supposed it wouldn't be as marvelous as it was. In Marwa's book she was still going to label him as boring. She wanted to get into trouble, do something dangerous, make more memories, etc. The Renegades was still all new to her and she was all new to it. Everyone else had done something cool, most likely a multitude of cool things and Marwa was in the midst of her first real impactful mission. Not that Qatar should be swept under the rug, but Budapest would be on the news cycle for weeks.

A teenager only slightly older than her caught Marwa's focus. He created weapons with some sort of dark energy. She couldn't help but wonder what that was and how it worked. Her mood influenced the direction that the dragon was going, it made a sharp curve back toward where the boy was. That ability was one of the most intriguing ones she seen all day. Granted she had only seen like three... The dragon stalled itself until the Atlantean displayed his ability again. Wheels began to turn in Marwa's head to try and understand what exactly he was manipulating here. Whatever it was Marwa eventually gave up and hoped one day she'd be able to figure it out. She sighed and gave the back of the dragon a pat who then took off toward the largest island of the River Danube. On the way she caught sight of a man sneaking around, clearly trying not to be seen but noticeable from where Marwa sat. Just who was that?

On the way to the island it didn't take long before they flew over another group of Atlanteans. These ones were not like the others, they were ruthless. Two adult males fought side by side, they looked quite muscular from what Marwa could tell and guys with muscles might be her weakness. One of them had a sword one moment, an axe the next, and some weapon that Marwa knew not the name of, whoa. A magical weapon? That was impressive. There didn't seem to be anything special about the other one however. His ability must have been something that was outwardly noticeable or he wasn't an Atlantean, but Marwa doubted that as soon as she thought it. Almost as if it were instinctively the duo looked upwards and Marwa waved eagerly, but they did not return her gesture and instead carried on their way. The way they took care on the pawns with ease and efficiency said that they had done this before, they weren't newbies to the Atlantean life. Two more appearances to commit to memory.

The dragon made its way to Csepel Island. Marwa wasn't ready for it to be over. She didn't even get a nifty battle scar... The information she had gotten was good for her research and writing, but that didn't make for a story to tell the others. By "the others" she did not mean the other Renegades, no, she wasn't ready to engage them yet. People that visited the same social media sites that she did, the people she discussed Atlantean-related issues and rumors with. It sounded childish, online friends, but it wasn't. They were her only friends.

"Something's wrong..." Andre mused as he got off the dragon's back when it had landed, "Pietr should have been here already." Casting his gaze around he tried looking for the German Atlantean but could see hide nor hair of the man.
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  #281    
Old August 8th, 2014 (02:37 AM).
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SV
It was justified
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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San Diego, California, United States

November 22, 2012

This wasn’t the way James expected the day to go. He expected A.T.L.A.S. to show up, which they did. Using them and the others he would encounter on Coronado Island, he had hoped that other Atlanteans watching on TV would be gathered to his cause. However, he didn’t expect A.T.L.A.S. to have Atlanteans working for them. Because of that misstep, not only did it appear that he got captured, but he also was forced to fight other Atlanteans. So in the end, he doubted he impressed anyone watching enough to join him, and he certainly didn’t think he convinced any of those he fought to help him out.

James clenched his fist around the remote control. He sat in the living room of the same place in which he woke up. There, he flicked through the television channels aimlessly, mostly passing through news programs to see if anything of interest was on the news. All the while, he thought of the day’s actions and couldn’t help but feel frustrated. Deep down, he felt things could have played out better. Looking bad while others were watching wasn’t ideal. Sure, James proved he was capable, fighting off a few Atlanteans and scores of human security and military forces. Yet in the end, he was still captured. Sure he was free now, but he didn’t like the fact that others might have been watching.

The worst though was having to fight the other Atlanteans. He wasn’t sure of all of their fates, maybe they survived, maybe they didn’t. What really bothered him was that he had to fight them in the first place. He had killed countless people up to this point and it didn’t even register an emotional response from him. He shot them with his abilities, they died, and that was it. This time...this time was different. He couldn’t explain exactly why, but for some reason, he actually felt uneasy. Regret seeped into his mind, as did sorrow, and even sadness. James felt some pity that they had to die. Even now, as he watched the television, he could see all of their faces.

A particular news channel caught his eye. It was a compilation of sorts of many different Atlantean-related incidents. The news report itself was tying the Atlantean rise and their destructive tendencies across the globe to God’s judgment, the rapture. Apparently, according to the well-dressed, loud and spiritual anchor, the Atlanteans were sent by God to cleanse the Earth of all who would sin. The program itself was bullsh*t in James’ eyes, but the compilation provided a nice way for him to catch up on all the recent feats his fellow Atlanteans had managed to accomplish. There was many scenes shown, including London, Paris, Berlin, and even recently in San Diego. There were others too, all across the world, causing mayhem. Some were caused by the Atlanteans. Others were initiated by humans an Atlanteans only rightly retaliated. There was one in particular that caught James’ attention, causing him to sit up and view the television more intently.

Strange beasts, some who traveled and rampaged on the ground, and others who did so underneath, appeared from exotic scrolls unleashed by an Atlantean of some Middle-Eastern descent. She attacked in Doha, Qatar, the helicopters above capturing her destruction quite well, and James was immediately impressed. “Marwa Al Thani…” James read the name across the television. “I want you,” He grinned toward the television, taking the remote and pausing the screen just as her image showed up.

Suddenly, the television began to react to something, as if its signal was being disrupted. Static filled the screen multiple times in a row, then James appeared to see one of the face of the Atlanteans he fought earlier. It appeared as a projected image of sorts onto the screen itself. For a moment, James thought he was imagining things. Then the image spoke. “James Hazen,” a pixelated projection of her face took up the television screen, its lips moving albeit slightly laggy, “You could have done more, but you didn’t. I thought you were the enemy but it turns out I was working for the enemy. Meet me on top of the One America Plaza in half an hour, I want a truce.”

The image was gone soon after, leaving James staring blankly at the television. It only registered in his mind for a moment long what had happened, and in his epiphany, he scrambled off the couch excitedly. “F*cking yes!” He cursed happily, dishing through the room toward the door. “Mitchell, get your car ready I f*cking got one!”

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  #282    
Old October 8th, 2014 (12:43 AM). Edited October 8th, 2014 by SV.
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SV
It was justified
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Posting as a temporary/acting GM with the permission of revlis and Skymin

Outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey

December 21, 2012

A spiral of events led to this fateful day. It had been just under a month since James Hazen recruited his first Atlantean, Gamer. Earlier in that day, he had fought ATLAS and their group of Atlanteans across Coronado Island. The fight ended anticlimactically with James being captured by the human group and later on being freed by Henry. He originally thought the entire fight had been for nothing. However, Gamer had reached out to him following the fight and agreed that being in the human organization was not in her best interests. No human or human organization, as he put it, deserved the privilege of such a partnership. They had no right to control that which was infinitely their superiors. Thus, James formed his first partnership. Gamer was cautious at first, but James insisted she was free if she ever chose to.

It wasn’t long before more recruits came to James. Waiting back at Lucifer’s apartment was a young boy, Fletcher. The boy was brought there by another Atlantean, Jeremy, who later also joined up with James. This was followed by Kieran, who also defected for Fletcher’s sake. It was a far more better start than James could have hoped for. In a matter of days, he had four new Atlanteans on his side. What’s more was that they came from the Syndicate. This proved to be quite useful later on in tracking down additional Atlanteans.

Then came a particularly strange event. James awoke one day to find himself in a completely unfamiliar location. Soon after, he found out he was not only in a strange location, but also a foreign body. It turned out that he had somehow awoken inside of Oakley’s body. The experience was bizarre, outlandish. But it was also intriguing. James spent one entire day inside of that body. For a good portion of it, he was thrown into a whirlwind of panic and dismay, believing that he would have to remain inside of that body for the rest of his life. James never entirely warmed up to the idea of it, even toward the end of the day. Yet he did learn a unique perspective about the distinctions between powers. The way James interacted with his own ability was different in many ways than how Oakley dealt with hers. Inside the body of the young woman, it felt like a constant, stinging struggle for control over the metal creeping over her arms. There were also similarities, though. Just as he felt inside of his own body, he could the unique distinction of something… dynamic flowing deep inside. It was the strange yet magnificent feeling that perhaps all Atlanteans likely felt, that feeling that they were unique. Perhaps it was only how James interpreted it from jumping into that body for such a short amount of time, but it further assured him that Atlanteans truly were distinct from humans. They were the next step, the evolution of Earth.

When James awoke the following day, he was once again back in his own body. He also felt an even stronger justification for his own actions. He was entirely convinced that what he was doing was the right thing not only for himself, but for all the Atlanteans. James also learned that he wasn’t the only one who experience this body swap. As he encountered Delta and Dominique a few days later, he discovered that they had gone through a similar occurrence. The three spent the day chatting away about their experiences in a surprisingly casual conversation, something rare given their past encounters with each other. James decided then as perhaps a final ‘f*ck you’ to the entire system of the World Changers battle that he would decide when to fight or recruit them, and on his own terms. Instead, they caught up and spoke about what happened to each other ever since Paris, including the most recent experience of being inside of another person. James followed up that thought by asking the two of them if they’d like to experience being inside of another person again, and mentioned something about a lightning rod. It always bring a smile to his face whenever he recalls that night.

Soon after, it was back to business again. Gamer proved a really useful recruit, as she was able to track down one of the World Changers, Austin. At first, James tried to recruit him. Austin didn’t budge. In fact, it was almost as if he knew that James was coming toward him from the begin as was instantly hostile. James had no choice but to fight him, even if he would have preferred to have him join him. It was a tough match up, with Austin putting up a vigorous fight. However, with some help from Gamer at a few key points during the fight, he was able to turn the tables and kill Austin. It wasn’t long after this that he ran into Nate again. Nate and James instantly began a pretty heated argument, as they had done many times in the past. For James’ part, he believed the two wanted very similar things, and so he tried to also partner up with him. Apparently, Nathaniel disagreed, and a battle ensued. To date, it was one of the two toughest battles of his life. James relied on the Harbinger sword and jewel during the fight however, which probably tipped the battle in his favor. Perhaps he could have won without it too, but it was tough to call. James however chose not to finish Nate off in the end, despite him too being a World Changer (not that he likely could have, he was pretty damaged himself). He felt in his mind that the sword and jewel gave him an advantage. If it had to come down to a fight between Nate, he wanted to fight him on his own terms, with only his own power. He owed his friend that much.

It was a few days after those intense fights that another strange occurrence happened, where James was sent back in time and even encountered Nikola Tesla. Even now, James couldn’t fully wrap his head around what exactly occurred, even if it was explained to him. In the end he decided that the experience was simply a more realistic version of the training sequences he had with his past lives in the Temple of Storms as he dreamt. It also confirmed to him that Atlanteans had indeed been around for a long time. They were influential in the progression of human history throughout the times, but even so, they always seemed in the background. James concluded that it was time for them to take the leadership role of the future.

After training for another week, James became confident and comfortable enough in his abilities and the abilities of his partners that he decided to finish what he started with ATLAS. Together, James’ group took down the organization, sending a shocking revelation through both the human and Atlantean world about his capability. With the help of Gamer, he was further able to recruit two of the surviving members of the ATLAS Atlanteans: Tank and Victory. Around the same time as his assault on Atlas, he learned from Gamer via old contact from Jeremy and Kieran that the Syndicate and Raphael launched an attack on the Renegades. He learned that Luciana and Raguel were both killed in the attack, leaving the Renegades broken and weakened. James saw an opportunity to gain some more recruits, but his team was too worn out from their ATLAS attack to try anything now, especially if it came down to fighting. Instead, he elected to wait and monitor the situation.

A week after the Renegades were attack, the remaining members, led by Andre Cabrillo, decided to strike against the Atlantean Royal Family. James heard quite a few Atlanteans had died there, including Andre himself, Leo, and to his glee, Katarina. He heard the attack also caused Edward to flee, and River to run away to the Syndicate. There was a power vacuum in the ARF, which he later learned Nate capitalized on to take over. Even if they were against each other, the news made James happy. He also tried to capitalize on the attack, turning to the remaining Renegades in the hopes of recruiting them. Explaining that with Raguel dead and Andre had only led them to more death, he urged them to join James, not as subordinates or followers but as fellow partners trying to bring real change to the establish norms of the world. To become true renegades. Enrique, Scott, Nora, and Marwa all agreed to accompany James.

This entire whirlwind of a month built to these coming moments. James had gathered outside of Istanbul, where he had learned that the city was on lockdown after a Syndicate transport carrying an Atlantean that could spread disease crashed. He also learned that all of the other remaining Atlantean factions were also gathering there, preparing for the inevitable final outcome. James saw an opportunity to recruit a few more Atlanteans to his cause, perhaps even convince some of the remaining World Changers to join him. However, he knew that some simply wouldn’t budge. They were too headstrong, or too idealistic, or too wrapped up in their own causes. It was going to come down to a fight. The last fights. This is where it would all end. Or begin.

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  #283    
Old November 14th, 2014 (06:53 PM).
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revlis
The Dream Walker
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Syndicate HQ
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Nature: Modest





Syndicate HQ, Levent District, Istanbul, Turkey

December 20th, 2012

Rain pattered down on the rooftop as Wyatt looked down the scope of his rifle at the city littered with people milling about. No, those husks shambling around on the city pavements were no longer people; they were zombies, revenants, the living dead. His breath hung in the air as the rain matted his hair and chilled the bones of his face, yet the uniform he wore emblazoned with the Syndicate crest reflected any moisture that tried to embed itself in the material keeping him warm in the cold evening air. It had been a while since he had fired his last bullet, opting to conserve the ammo for the onslaught there was sure to be tomorrow. Tomorrow, the twenty-first, the day one of the World Changers would be chosen to lead the world into a new era. It still felt surreal that they had made it to this day, but he hadn’t really thought about it much after the plane crashed.

With New Zealand far behind them, they had had the troublesome virus Atlantean securely locked up in the cargo hold of their aircraft. It had been about fourteen hours of flying; Wyatt having just woken up since they left New Zealand and were flying over what the Directive had told them was Turkey. He wasn’t sure what exactly went down but suddenly the plane lurched with warning sirens blaring and the Directive yelling at them to grab a parachute and get ready to jump. It was all a blur in his half-dazed state, but the next moment he was out the door and into a freefall, stabilising his descent by spreading his arms and legs wide: the city of Istanbul fast approaching from beneath. As he got closer he pulled the cord that allowed his parachute to burst forth from his back, slowing his descent and manoeuvring towards the park that the others below him were aiming for. In the air he watched as the plane plummeted towards the outskirts of the Turkish Airport, crashing into the terminal on its side.

When he landed however, everyone grouped up and began a mad dash through the city towards Levent; one of the major business districts and the location of the nearest headquarters. By the time they had reached the Syndicate Headquarters in Istanbul, the plague had already begun. What few staff were left in the building aided in blocking any entrances as, while the sun began to set, panic tore through the streets as people began contracting the signature virus. While some became shambling, rotting horrors, others developed extra abilities like enhanced speed or acidic vomit. They weren’t just zombies, they were monsters and the only thing that seemed to stop them was shooting off their legs or blowing their heads to smithereens. It was a horrific Zombie plague and if they didn’t stop Sean, they could be faced with a full on Zombie Apocalypse.

That was only the recent happenings in the latest month of Atlantean activity. Wyatt could see that as each day had dragged on, the world began to fall into more of a state of disrepair. Even the long standing Atlantean Royal Family had fallen. The Syndicate also talked about a group long funded by the government called ‘ATLAS’ and even one of the World Changers called James had managed to wipe them out. It seemed like all of the other World Changers had been busy since their fateful meeting back in the Library of Souls. Closing his eyes he steadied his breathing, ignoring the numbing feeling in his fingers and the pattering of rain on his head and felt his body begin to relax as his spirit drifted from his body.

“What troubles you, Master Cale?” the tall, hairless monkey like Lemurian stood in the middle of a room that curved overhead and around them. Along the walls and all over the ceiling were portholes, some looking out into black fog, others grey and Wyatt could have sworn he even saw one with blue fog.

“Where are we? This isn’t the same Library as last time.” Wyatt asked as he cautiously looked out the nearest porthole.

“This is The Oculus. Each Library tailors itself to the user of the ability. Since you took your latest ability, the library incorporated the previous memories of both abilities into one place.” Even the sound of the Lemurian’s voice sounded different within his mind and Wyatt wondered if the creature itself had been incorporated with another Lemurian guide.

Wyatt clenched his hand, “I need to know how to use this ability. It’s useless if I can’t activate and use it by tomorrow.”

“Then I’ll let him teach you,” The Lemurian waved his hand and a younger, less ravaged-appearing version of the guy he had fought back in New Zealand appeared. His black hair was short and crew cut rather than shaggy, skin no longer covered in dirt and face looking less haggard. Wyatt was puzzled as the guy seemed somewhat happier than he had been despite Wyatt taking his ability through sheer willpower.

Suddenly all portholes except for one blinked out of existence; the one remaining growing in size until the glass and purple fog enveloped the whole room. As the fog began to clear and drift away the room seemed to evaporate as well until the two of them were left standing in the middle of a field overlooking a city. The sun shone above them and people had grouped here in droves, though like any other past memory, none of them noticed Wyatt and the guy appear. It looked like everyone was on summer break as the sun blazed in the cloudless sky and many people were wearing little to no shirts and walking around in bare feet.

“There are three facets to the ability: Implosion, Explosion and Combustion.” People around them shouted in fright as above them fireworks began to explode in mid-air. The guy pointed to one of the houses which sat up against the hill overlooking the field. Using his vision, Wyatt focussed on the flat that the guy was pointing to that contained 3 people. The first was a tall, lanky dark-haired girl with a basket of tennis balls at her feet; she was tossing these tennis balls out above the crowd which she had to have been Atlantean to be able to throw so far. Next to her stood the half-Maori guy, Vaughan, the one Wyatt had taken his ability off and was now conversing with. Each time the girl tossed a tennis ball his eyes seemed to glow before the ball combusted in mid-air. With arms wrapped around Vaughan’s torso and face nuzzling into his shoulder was the virus-Atlantean, Sean, they had apprehended and subsequently let escape.

“You and him were a couple?” Wyatt asked, surprised that someone as mentally unstable as ‘Viral’ could be that intimate with anyone.

“For a long time. Even when he lost it completely, I was there for him.” Vaughan was distant; obviously not happy about Wyatt and the others beating him up and taking his ability, but still like he was happy to be where he was. “But my love life is irrelevant. The ability is all about control and power. If you feel even the slightest hint of weakness or lack of control, you’ll either mess up badly or fail to activate the ability. Know which facet you wish to use and stick with it; no changing half way through.”

“Okay, I think I’ve got it. Anything else I should know?” Wyatt asked hesitantly.

“Just do me one favour; tell Sean I’ll be waiting for him.” Vaughan smiled and Wyatt could have sworn he saw a tear beginning to form in his eye.

Snapping out of the library was a bit of a disorientated feeling; coming back into the pouring rain after having spent the time in the summer of New Zealand. Using his rifle as an aide, he looked down from the roof top as his vision ‘zoomed in’ on the shambling bodies below. Place his finger on the trigger, Wyatt focussed on the feeling of aiming a target in his site, pulling on the trigger and feeling the gun kick as it fired. The control over the weapon in his hands, the power the bullets possessed, he focussed these feelings instead into his eyesight: mixing his primary ability with the experience of weilding a gun. In his head he imagined the shambling corpse of a middle-aged business man bursting apart as an explosive round tore through his chest.

Wyatt watched as below the man seemed to rip apart in slow motion leaving nothing but a puddle of rapidly diluting blood and body parts in the middle of the street. Checking his rifle, he found the bullet still sitting, cocked and ready to be fired. With head down he noticed something dark drip from his face. Wiping it off the gun with his thumb, he took a closer look and realised it was blood. Dropping the gun he brought his other thumb up to wipe away the trail of blood leftover running down the side of his cheek.

“Woah, that was cool!” Daemon leaned further over the edge of the ledge, him and his sister having approached when Wyatt was in the library. “You should do again!” he jeered in the rain.

“I’ve got everything ready for tomorrow, we can’t back out now.” Pyrrha spoke bluntly, looking angry at having to be out in the rain and ignoring her brother’s outburst.

Wyatt quickly removed any trace of blood and propped his weapon against the ledge. “Now is the time to back out, if you guys want to. No hard feelings if you do.” Wyatt anxiously played with the nozzle of his gun as he looked at the two Greek-Russians standing opposite him.

“Father and his organisation are gone and you saved us from the boat. There is nowhere else for us except by your side. And let’s be honest, you won’t get far without us.” Ever since Wyatt had recruited the help of the siblings, Pyrrha had seemed to take over the organisation of the plan and bringing it to fruition.

Wyatt didn’t want to admit it, but she was right: he had done such a good job of organising everything that he wouldn’t be here without her. “Fair enough. Once we’ve helped the others get Thayne to the Hagia Sophia, we’ll split off and go look for the Oracle. If the Blind Prophet is right then she should be in the nearby Galata Tower; I can take her out from across the street.” Wyatt wasn’t worried about being overheard, the rain almost deafened their conversation to the point that even Pyrrha and Daemon could hardly hear.

“Come on Daemon, let’s get out of the rain.” Pyrrha motioned for her brother to follow her; him looking dejected as he wanted to keep watching Wyatt practice his ability.

Picking up his gun from the roof, Wyatt brought it up and into the crook of his shoulder, lowering his body to the ground and getting comfortable. As he looked down the barrel he felt an itch of sorts behind his eye. He had been so sure last time of his control and power that he wondered why exactly his eye had bled. Whatever it was his body seemed to be telling him that it didn’t want to go through the same stress again. Heaving a sigh, he stood back up again, slinging his gun over his back and hooking it into place before heading towards the exit. They had a few hours to get some rest before their big day tomorrow and Wyatt didn’t want me be tired. Opening the door, he looked through the wall of rain towards the grey outline of the Hagia Sophia. It was his first trip to Istanbul and could very well be his last.
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  #284    
Old November 16th, 2014 (01:01 PM).
Vintage Arachnid
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The League's Base in Kumköy, Turkey

December 21st, 2012
In a span of a month Delta Mayor had changed her life in a multitude of different ways. Somehow she managed to survive the events in Budapest with her life firmly intact, but it had given her a few more scars to add to the ongoing collection. During her brief period of recovery she found a folded slip of paper tucked deep inside her pants pocket, a date and a rendezvous point lightly scribbled on it. Before that date took place something else happened, a gathering of sorts. Delta was beckoned into a room that contained Mel, Dom, and Thayne. The latter had disappeared during Budapest and Delta had assumed he was dead; it turned out he had instead joined the Syndicate. It seemed as if he had a mission to join and defect from every faction out there. He approached the three of them about coming with him to the Syndicate. From what Delta could interpret they were just a bunch of glorified spies. The fact that Wyatt was a member was enough to deter Delta from ever being apart of that organization, plus, Delta needed to know what the letter in her pocket meant. Dom and Mel however both agreed, albeit after a lot of discussion, that they would accompany Thayne to the Syndicate HQ.

Another subject was brought up, the World Changers and everything that came with that. It angered Delta that they wanted to speak about it in front of Mel, a non-World Changer. Opinions on the matter were scattered, but the trio of World Changers managed to decide on one thing: No matter what they wouldn't kill or attack each other until the final day. The truce was meant to allow everyone to train and master their abilities. Delta agreed to it because didn't want to fight them when they were weak but when they were at their prime. Within an hour Dom, Mel, and Thayne were all gone but not prior to saying final goodbyes to Elpis.

The next night Delta arrived a few minutes late to the meeting point, mostly because Elpis wouldn't settle down and sleep that night. The Atlantean known as Alesina stood there, clearly keeping true to the words she had spoken in Budapest, and told Delta about the League. An Atlantean organization that essentially were assassins for hire, but here and there did their own missions. It wasn't long before Alesina offered Delta a spot in their ranks, one she accepted without hesitation. With that she was whisked away to some mysterious location and introduced to the rest of the core members, Levin, Eileen, Branko, Nyatichi, and... Charles, or how she used to refer to him as, dad. That revelation wasn't an effortless one to go through, Delta experienced anger like she never had and also a bit of happiness. Her mother was dead, but she didn't die in the manner that Delta was told.

Her father killed those who were responsible for such a grievous act. There was too much to discuss at that moment in time, and all Delta's questions were answered to some degree over the course of their next few encounters with one another. An opportunity was brought to her that night, if she took on the role of a double agent inside of the Atlantean Unification Project then they would reveal to her powers she had only dreamed about. To Delta it was a no-brainer, she had grown tired of the AUP and its attics, it was officially time for her to upgrade herself to a group that understood her passion and desire. Following her return to the AUP an event that could only be described as ludicrous happened, she woke up in a disgustingly fragile body. The small sliver of goodness that came from it was the information Delta received. She only spoke of this to Dom and James Hazen, who also shared this experience. The three of them also shared another experience. It became a mission for Delta, one that, if completed, would be very helpful to her in the future. When they had finished their fun they went their separate ways.

For Delta it was time for her to meet up with the League to rely any information she might have gathered and that Delta did. With both Thayne and Dom gone, Aoife was the only person (besides Elpis) that could remotely hold Delta's interest. The two of them got closer as Delta started overseeing Aoife's weaponry training, eventually so much so that Aoife, Delta, and Elpis were never more than a meter from each other. Days were passing and Delta knew she still hadn't mastered her ability, a fact that could hinder her in the upcoming World Changer event. When she wasn't training Aoife she was pushing herself twice as hard and made several dream trips to the Sanctuary of Crystallization per day.

It wasn't long before an Atlantean interruption disturbed her training and delivered her to a time period that was thousands of years ago. On an island is where Delta found herself and she wasn't alone. She crossed path with a hostile woman with tan features, dark eyes, and a horrible attitude. At first it appeared as if there was a language barrier, but the woman seemed to possess some sort of talent that allowed her to speak any and all languages. Through muddled conversation Delta found out her name, Pandora. Apparently, the exact same Pandora that Delta descended from (or says the Librarian). She told Pandora as much and even mentioned Elpis and Pandora's box, which triggered a visceral reaction from Pandora and soon revealed to her was Pandora's story.

The Lemurians and Atlanteans had come together to try and create a new race. However, the Lemurians had tried this prior to the Atlanteans arriving on earth but all that came from that was primates also known as the ancestors to the monkey and apes of present day. Atlantean DNA was the key to making the first humans and improved the process they used to create their first experiments. These newly fangled beings were placed across Earth, but the Lemurians didn't stop there, no, they wanted to design the perfect specimen. The direct result of that was Pandora. The Atlanteans and the Lemurians came to an agreement that she was flawed. Pandora became pregnant and delivered a daughter, which she named Elpis. Her offspring was viewed by the Lemurians as the perfect being and they took her from Pandora. Distraught and angered Pandora tried her best to retrieve her child. She was caught and exiled to the very island they were on. She asked one thing of Delta, for her to take care of her daughter so that she wouldn't be a tool for the Atlanteans. To aid her in this task Pandora bestowed a gift upon Delta, the gift of Crystal Manipulation and the knowledge of how to use this ability. A smile can't help but grace her face every time Delta thinks back to those memories. It gave her a boost; she had to win for Elpis and to make sure she didn't let Pandora down.

An itch to try out her new ability Delta overwhelmed her so she took the next mission that popped up in the AUP, it was a recruitment mission and Delta did it alone. Some Atlantean was pretending to be a superhero (even had the disguise) and caused a big stir in the town that he lived in. It didn't take long for Delta to track him down; all she did was pretend to rob some poor woman at the location where he most frequented. The kid was young and dumb and he thought he was the hero that the town needed. He claimed he wanted to do good with his ability, but he was nothing more than a vigilante. Words did not get through to him so Delta instead used her fist until it did. A few punches were enough to subdue him and talk him into coming with her to the Atlantean Unification Project where he could utilize his power in a more effective manner. The boy's name was Omar and he displayed a mastering over his ability that impressed Delta.

A week went by and thoughts swirled around in Delta's head about the future and what would happened after the World Changer battle. It became more and more apparent that she needed her own team if she was going to continue on in the League. The current members of the League were ultimately too loyal to Charles and Delta doubted she could trust them. What she needed were individuals that she could rely on and that would propel her forward toward her goal. After a quick chat with Alesina, apparently her father was a busy man, Delta was allowed to invite Aoife, Simon, and Omar to the League. As soon as Delta returned to AUP she pulled Aoife aside to inform her about everything that had happened since the World Changer reveal (except that night with Dom and James Hazen). Between the two of them they agreed that it was best they didn't clue in Simon until it was absolutely necessary.

It wasn't long before James Hazen was back in the news, this time he had dismantled, or, rather, completely demolished an American faction known as ATLAS. He had a group of ragtag Atlanteans with him, only one of which was familiar to Delta. It became a domino effect, and soon Delta learned of how the Syndicate attacked the Renegades and the Renegades in turned attacked the ARF. It was all a mess. This led to the AUP swooping in to recruit more members and they gained a few, Delta only knew the names of two, Kieran and Roxxy. The former turned out to be a spy that was planted in the AUP by James Hazen to get knowledge about not only Delta, but the entire faction. In a fit of rage Delta confronted Kieran and a fight ensued, one that completely wrecked a significant portion of the HQ. In the end, Kieran escaped with his life. There was one (or two) things he did not leave with that Delta had snapped off his arms, his bone blades. In fact, they made for the perfect weapons once Delta crystallized them. The plan was to slit Kieran's throat with him. With so little time to spare there was no way Delta could go after him.

Soon after the League contacted her because it was time to take out the AUP. She was told by Alesina, once again her father was too busy, that it was crucial to the survival of the League to have the resources that were located inside of the HQ. The invasion of the AUP by the League was confirmed and Delta devised a plan with Aoife, Omar, and Roxxy, who Aoife had bonded with and persuaded to join to the League, to pretend that they were on the AUP's side incase something went sideways. On the day of the attack Imogen approached both Oakley and Delta in her naturally nasty demeanor and lured them to a section underneath the AUP HQ that Delta had never seen before that moment. It didn't take long for Delta to see that Imogen, who it turned out had been aligned with Cooper (who wasn't as irrelevant as Delta thought he was, hell, she didn't even his name) all along, was up to some truly sick experiments. Above them sounds of fighting had begun, a signal that the League had come, which triggered fear inside of Cooper who in turn released his experiments. He and Imogen had been experimenting on both humans and Atlanteans alike (Delta saw familiar faces such as Agnes and Brad) and using Atlantean blood to make these humans into what they called berserkers. These berserkers were able to use Atlantean power in enormous ways. Cooper controlled both the berserkers and another weapon he had under his control, Devon.

At that point Delta realized that Cooper wasn't an ordinary human like she had assumed. His words were his power. One command sent the teenage Atlantean into a rampage. A quick observation told Delta it was similar, if not exactly the same, to the state Devon was in on the boat. There wasn't any other choice (not that Delta wanted one) than to subdue him by herself as Oakley was absolutely useless in a fight (not to mention pathetic). It was a back and forth battle, full of claws, teeth, and crystal. Thankfully Delta had extra power this round, which aided her in taking down the beast Devon had become. The only way to stop him was either to kill him or kill Cooper, and Cooper had surrounded himself with a handful of berserkers... so the easiest option was to put down the dog. The move to end it all was about to be made when Oakley, for whatever reason, interfered with Delta’s attack. Oakley decided to waste more of Delta's time and rattled off some speech about how this wasn't like Delta and how she was more than a murderer, essentially anything to save Devon’s life.

If that was how Oakley wanted to act, to sacrifice herself for Devon, then so be it. Enough anger had brewed inside of Delta while Oakley spoke that she had no choice but to unleash it. The conclusion to that was Oakley losing her arm, a fate that could've been avoided if Oakley had kept her mouth shut. Issued next was a strict warning to Oakley, the next time they fought Delta wouldn't end the fight until Oakley's head was removed from her body (and something about a dog cage). A familiar face arrived on the scene, Charles, who without a second thought went and attacked Cooper. What Delta had failed to realize was how close Cooper had gotten to her and by the time she had it was too late, she was trapped under his spell. He used her like a puppet and a shield against her father. To prove that he was in complete control he had Delta kill Imogen, who, in Cooper's words, had become a liability then he preceded to escape with Delta in tow.

The ousting of the AUP from their headquarters had turned out well. A few casualties happened on the AUP's side due to Branko's inability to control himself. Charles (through Simon) was able to locate Delta. Cooper was heading to Lindholm (aka New Atlantis). Charles led the League along with Oakley and Devon (even though Delta had cut off the former's arm and almost beat the latter to a pulp) to Lindholm to retrieve Delta. When they arrived at New Atlantis it was being raised by Emil who was still under Cooper's mind control. In order to stop him Lev lobbed an axe at him, which embedded itself in Emil's thigh and ended his concentration. Cooper was found in no time at all and it was agreed upon by Charles that if, and only if, he freed Delta from his grasp that he could leave alive. The reunion between Charles and Delta was short lived, as Charles wasted no time in making it abundantly clear he was going after Cooper and would not stop until he had his head on a silver platter. Delta preferred the reunion between herself and Aoife as well as the events that followed it later that night.

As a reward for helping secure the League's future Delta was to be taught God Mode. Prior to his leaving Charles had ordered for Delta to be thoroughly trained in his absence. The task fell to Alesina, as Branko, Nyatichi, and Lev left to take down Cooper with Charles. God Mode was a tricky state to slip into, it involved pure belief, and the only thing Delta had faith in was that she was going to win this World Changer event. There were certain steps that needed to be taken in order to "unlock" God Mode and it turned out that all along that the training Alesina had put her through since the day one of her League membership was for this. The final trainings sessions were ruthless, and took more strength than Delta had to continue on with. It crossed her mind that perhaps she shouldn't put her body through so much pain and exhaustion days before the final battle, but where there wasn't pain there wasn't any gain, right?

Through some means Delta found herself in Turkey, where it was been prophesied that the final battle was destined to occur. She wasn't foolish enough to locate herself in the city, as it turned out the Syndicate were the fools and had released an Atlantean that was pathogenic. Luckily, Delta had evacuated most of the surrounding cities and a portion of Istanbul days earlier (bomb threats plus Atlantean terror always worked). The thought of what happened in Paris, Budapest, The Vatican, and the cities prior to her role as an Atlantean repeating itself in Istanbul made her stomach seize up. What ever happened next was between her and the rest of Atlanteans that were fated to take place in the last fight. Not the civilians. The lives Delta would play the part in taking wouldn't be human. This was everything that Delta had built herself up for. It was time to give it all she had. It was time to win.
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  #285    
Old 4 Weeks Ago (12:29 AM).
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Syndicate HQ, Levent District, Istanbul, Turkey

December 21st, 2012

“All you have to do is move with the matter,” said a young Asian-American woman as Thayne watched. “You need to remember to let your body flow with each and every attack. The dark matter is an extension of yourself and once you realize that you’ll be able to master your ability.” Thayne watched as Nara demonstrated, moving her body as if she was using her power. It was almost as she was dancing. Each movement simply merged with the next and never broke the flow. The teen was amazed by it. For once, the burden of Thayne’s powers seemed as if they could’ve been different.

The girl walked over to him and flicked his nose. “How about you stop looking at me like that and actually pay attention to what I have to show you.” She said dismissively. “I thought you were a better kind of guy than that.” She walked a short distance away as he apologized quietly. She simply shook her head before continuing. “You know, you’ve been acting a little off lately. Is something the matter, sugar?”

Thayne laughed at the question. “Quite a bit actually,” he said honestly. Ever since he had become an Atlantean, his life had met more challenges than ever. The last month was probably the worst of it. “Would it be easier to tell you, or to simply show you?”

Shika shrugged as she looked at him. “It’s whatever you think is easier for you, hon.”

Thayne nodded before moving closer to her. Pressing his forefinger against her temple, his recent memories flowed into her mind in an instant. She had done the same thing to him several times, but it was new this time. Everything he knew became a part of what she knew.

In a matter of seconds, the world around them had shifted. The library of massive bookshelves and dark apparitions that were once there disappeared. She found herself standing in the middle of a large city as gigantic monsters wrought havoc upon it. The name of Budapest found its way upon her lips as her eyes focused on several cars driving towards her. She could tell Thayne was in one of them.

The cars drove through her as if she was a ghost. Taking a short amount of time to comprehend what was happening, she turned around only to see a monster’s large paws lift Thayne’s car into the air and against a building. She felt helpless as she watched the scene unfold, but soon found herself somewhere else. Here, Thayne and man, who strikingly looked similar to him, fought alongside each other against an unknown Atlantean. The battle ended rather quickly with Thayne leaving with his new comrade. Again, another word found it’s way upon her lips. Father.

Again and again, she found herself in new places. At first, things seemed to happen slowly for her successor. He had found himself within a new organization backed by his own missing father. It seemed that he had found things a little too different and returned to the AUP. In what felt like a quick meeting of sorts, he managed to convince two others to join him in the Syndicate. A third person whom had attended the meeting didn't leave with him, but it seemed to be that they had come to an agreement of sorts.

Shika didn't care for much of the conversation, but the fact that three of that group was made up of World Changers spoke to her. She felt sorry for the girl that hovered close to Thayne. She probably didn't understand much of what was going on, but that was no different from what she herself had learned about the World Changers' existence.

The rest of the month seemed like hell for Thayne as the world went into a state of dilapidation. It all started as Thayne found himself in a new body and a new set of powers for a day. He looked scared beyond belief after looking in a mirror. The name of James appeared on her lips and a sudden rush of information entered her mind. He was a murderer, anarchist, and a World Changer. She shivered at the similarities in her life. Did someone always go mad with power? She could tell Thayne was having a hard time dealing with the situation at hand, but she was nonetheless proud of him. Even though he was only in the body for a short time, he managed to gather what useful information he could about the man.

Once Thayne was back in his own body again, he was quickly transported to New York where a battle ensued among the many factions made up of Atlanteans. In a freak accident between two Atlanteans whose powers somehow reacted with one another, Thayne found himself in a place awfully familiar to Shika.

Even without Thayne's memories, she could remember what was happening as if it was yesterday. She could already see herself, looking exactly as she did now, bar the clothes, walking up the grassy knoll in anger towards the boy that appeared. She was partly surprised by her own ferocity, but continued to watch despite her former self's offensive against the younger Erebokinetic. She felt an anger at her own actions, but was amused to see the younger keep pace with her doppelganger. It seemed that the battle had lasted longer than she remembered, but the ending was the same. The two had practically collapsed next to each other at the time. Thayne had finally been able to reason with her enough to convince that he was her successor. She had been astonished that someone could’ve travelled through time. The pair had laid there for several hours as they talked about the past Shika’s anger and her reasoning behind it. She had actually gone as far as to talk about Kenny, the man who seemed so much like James, not that she had known back then.

At the time, she was honestly surprised how much she had talked with the young man whom she had not met before. However, his familiarity with her seemed to beckon to her. She had felt oddly close to him. When the time had come for her to leave, she had gone as far as to ask him a single question.

“Cash or check?”

Shika had laughed when Thayne didn’t understand the question. She had ended up answering it herself because of his lack of knowledge. “So a check then,” she had said. “I’ve got something I need to do, hon. How about you stay up here awhile? Maybe I’ll come back.” Shika watched herself flash a wink before disappearing into the night. Thayne’s memory of that day flashed forward until the stench of burning wood crossed their path.

Within a second, Shika was whisked out of Thayne’s memory and back to the library. “You know I still remember that,” she told him. “It was practically yesterday for me.”

“What do you mean?” asked Thayne, surprised by her sudden withdraw from his mind.

“Well…” She began as she walked away. It was a long story, but she knew she needed to tell it. “To say the least, it’s the day I died.”

Thayne's eyes lit up in surprise. "You died?” He asked, his voice faltering. “How… What happened? You seemed perfectly fine when you left me on the hill.”

“Well, there is a reason you smelled the burning wood before you disappeared.” She looked at him carefully, not letting her emotions show. Part of her didn’t want to retell the story, but she knew it was only fair. “I had told you about Kenny. He was the Pyrokinetic of my time as well as a World Changer. After learning that last bit of information, he had gone mad with paranoia. It didn’t help when he was attacked by another World Changer.

“They were supposed to be friends. All of them were. His paranoia pushed him though, making himm think that the only way to survive was by killing the others. Each World Changer was eventually killed by him in one way or another, but that wasn’t the only thing. Somehow, he had uncovered a way to take another’s Atlantean ability and thought of it as a way to protect self even more.

“The power twisted him, making him consider himself more than an Atlantean, but a God in a mortal body. In a way, he had thought that his status of being a World Changer was what caused him to reach such power. With himself as God, he believed that he could rule the entirety of the world. If you had known him before all of that World Changer business, you would’ve of been easily able to see that he had gone mad from the power he had gained. It’s why I needed to do something. The only person he had trusted was me and that meant I was the only one who had a chance at getting close to him. I was the only who could kill him.”

Her voice faltered for a moment as she began to think about the coming event. “It was the day that you and I had met that I had finally decided to go through with it.”

“Kenny and I had been staying near the place where I had met you. It was a cabin in the middle of nowhere. It was the perfect place for me to end his life. I had attempted to slit his throat, but he was ready for me…” She could feel a small amount of tears streaming down her face as she spoke. “He kept muttering that the other World Changers told him this would happen, that they still were there with him. I didn’t hesitate before striking again, but neither did he. It was close, but I had been able to plunge one of my tendrils through him while narrowly dodging the fire that he had shot at me. The majority of people wouldn’t have survived, but he had the body of an Atlantean. He was able to live long enough to make sure that I would go with him. With the last of his power, he grabbed me. I was able to pull my arm away from him, but… I knew I was already dead.

“One of the World Changers whom he stole an ability from was a Toxikinetic, someone who could create and manipulate poison. As soon as he had grabbed me, he introduced a powerful, paralytic neurotoxin into my bloodstream. I had no chance of leaving that place with my life.” Despite the fact that her death was practically a century before, she still felt incredibly sad whenever she thought about it.

“You loved him, didn’t you?” Thayne asked the young Asian woman. Shika merely nodded before looking away. It was obvious that she didn’t want Thayne to see the tears. The fact that World Changers even exist ruins lives, he thought as he looked at her. She wasn’t even a World Changer, but she lost her friends, her lover, and her life because of their existence. How many people lost loved ones since the Atlanteans became common knowledge? How many since the current generation of World Changers started to play a bigger role? Hell, he was going to be entering a death match with the others World Changers anytime now. Part of him wished he could be honest if he were to tell Shika that her death was worth it, but what did it do? Buy humanity another ninety years before someone like James would attempt the same thing?

“You did the right thing,” he told her. “By doing what you did, sacrificing what you did… You stopped Kenny from taking control of the world. You probably saved millions of lives by putting an end to things back then.”

“I just wish you didn’t have to go out there and do the same thing.” She said to him, wiping her eyes. “You’re a World Changer and after seeing what few memories I have of yours, I’m stunned at the progress you’ve made. You never resorted to attacking others without reason, particularly against the other World Changers. You’ve even attempted to talk to a few of them. Hell, what else has happened to you? Just tell me, there isn’t any need to show me again.”

Thayne nodded, surprised by her sudden transition. It was obvious she didn’t want to talk about herself anymore. It only took a few more minutes to recount the last of his time with the Syndicate. The attack against the Renegades and the death of Raguel was trivial anymore. All he got from that was a dead aunt, not that he would’ve cared if she was or not. It took a game piece out during the final day, but in the end, it would’ve been left to the World Changers anyways.

The events of the most recent couple days was different, however. After a large group from the Syndicate was sent to New Zealand, they discovered a disease spreading Atlantean. His signature? The zombie plague. They managed to capture him, albeit with a few close calls that caused a few problems along the way. Of course, the heads of their group decided to bring the Atlantean with them back to the UK. As always, problems occurred and the man managed to break free. The Syndicate members were forced to jump out of their plane and into the city of Istanbul, which quickly turned into a real version of Zombieland.

Zombies were roaming the city around them, the world was in chaos, and people who are barely in their twenties (if even that) would be fighting to the death.

“The World Changers who wins this fight will only be there to fix the world,” Thayne said. “It would’ve been easier if none of it ever happened.”

“But what more could come of it?” Shika asked in an attempt to look at the positive.

“Anything from good to bad,” he told her. He wanted to look at the positives. The chance of human and Atlanteans living peacefully would be an amazing one, but how plausible would it be? Atlanteans have only caused trouble since the reveal. But wasn’t that why he was fighting? For the better tomorrow? He needed to win if he wanted that to happen. Hell, Wyatt had already placed his cards on Thayne. James was wanting the total extinction of humanity. Dom had disappeared and was likely dead.

The others? He couldn’t even think of what they wanted. He hadn’t heard anything of Nate since the attack on the Royal Family and Delta? Thayne didn’t know. She was tough on others, but she was good and caring. Thayne never even asked what she wanted to happen.


Out of nowhere, Thayne felt a tugging at his body, the usual signal that it was time to leave the Library. “Before I go, what did you mean by ‘Cash or check’?” He asked the woman next to him. He knew it would be better to leave on a different note than that of the battle.

“It’s an old saying,” she said to him as she moved closer. She gave him a peck on the cheek, laughing as Thayne blushed. “You’ll be sure to receive another check when you get out of this mess you’re in.”

“Next time,” he said to his fellow Erebokinetic before letting the pull take him. This would be the day that decides it all.
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  #286    
Old 3 Weeks Ago (06:01 PM).
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Skymin
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Atlantean Unification Project Headquarters, Toulouse, France

Someday in December (can't figure it out efficiently lol)
"I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do now." Oakley stared at her feet, tears welling in her eyes. "Que dois-je faire? Qu'est-ce que je suis censé faire maintenant?!" She choked on her words, and she started to cry. If there was ever a time she felt more alone, it wasn't on that fateful day where the armour began to grow from her arms, it wasn't the day her brother left her, it was right now. She sat on rubble, crying over the broken body of Devon. He wasn't dead, Oakley knew that much, but he wasn't exactly human either. His beast form hadn't receded but his face looked peaceful, resting. She hoped with everything she had that face would stay when he awoke.

Everybody else from the AUP had evacuated from the destroyed building, leaving to God knows where. Some had ushered her to come with, like Julian or Atticus, but she refused, and they had left her. The bodies of the dead littered the area including Imogen, her body battered and glasses broken and skewed from her face. She glanced at the armoured stump which was once her left arm, the one Delta had cut off and the armour had slowly grown back. So much had happened in so little time and Oakley was so confused how to react. She wanted to hate Delta for doing this to her but she couldn't help but feel pity and sadness for her. Especially when she watched her being taken over by Cooper, and attack her supposed allies, including killing Imogen.

Devon's body stirred and Oakley hastily wiped the tears, sweat and mucus from her face, widening her eyes as his eyes flickered open. They darted immediately to her and a flash of fear shone through them before he relaxed and whimpered softly. Oakley sighed in relief, giving the beast a small smile. She wanted Devon's face back, but at the moment his eyes would have to do.

"It seems that Mr. Cooper's effects have worn off, but his mind is still damaged from it." A voice came from behind Oakley, and she turned to see the Librarian standing behind her, his clean state and perfect posture a harsh contrast to the scene around him. Oakley opened her mouth and the Librarian held a hand up to silence her, motioning he had not finished speaking. "He will return to his human state, albeit as fast as he can recover from what happened to his mind. He has been under Mr. Cooper's spell for quite some time."

"For how long?"

"Years, perhaps." The Librarian shook his head sadly. "It's hard to tell. It seemed Mr. Cooper had been harvesting Devon's ability as soon as he found out about it. Poor boy. He had been forced to repress those memories while in public and now that Mr. Cooper has let him free, all those memories are flowing back." His eyes moved to the beast, still whimpering quietly beside Oakley. "What he has receded to was the scared boy that Mr. Cooper had tortured for many years. It will take some time for him to revert to his previous state." Oakley felt the tears well up inside her again. If only she had known, she might have been able to help him. But even Devon didn't know. Not consciously.

"What can I do?" Oakley sniffed, wiping her nose again.

"For him? Nothing right now. It's something that he himself will have to overcome. But for the world, dear Oakley, there is so much you can do. You're a World Changer after all." He smiled his charming smile at her. "All the decisions you made today will affect the world in unseen ways, whether you want it to or not. Your next step is to decide what to do next."

"I want..." she started, cutting herself off. What she truly wanted to do was help people. That's why she had joined the AUP, wasn't it? That's why she had this ability. That's why she had stepped in front of Delta to save Devon. That's why she had lost her arm. She wanted to save and protect people. In all truths, what she wanted to do was sit next to Devon, cry in her father's arms and pretend that all of this had never happened, but that wasn't really an option right now. It seemed she was a lot more important than she had given herself credit for and she had to rise to the responsibility fate had thrust upon her. "I want to protect people. I don't want the world to have to feel any more suffering. And... and I want to save Delta. She must be in the same pain that Devon is in right now."

"Excellent choice, my dear. But how are you going to do that in a destroyed building in France?"

"I could... Would you take me to her father? Me and Devon? I'm sure he knows how we can help her."

"Of course, my dear." He bowed, holding a hand out for her to take. She took it with her right arm, and with her now permanently armoured left, wrapped an arm around Devon. "Anything for my favourite niece. Well, in this era anyway." Oakley frowned and opened her mouth to ask but a white light enveloped her and the sound of rusting wings surrounded her before she found herself somewhere else.

"Just trying to keep up my appearance!"

* * *

Oakley joined Charles as he stormed Lindholm, Oakley lending the knowledge she had about the island from the time she had been there, but it wasn't long before the island rumbled beneath their feet and slowly began to rise. Using the Atlantite and under Cooper's control, Emil had amplified his ability and began to raise the island. He was quickly stopped by Charles' team and a short fight broke out between this League of extraordinary people Charles' had brought with him and the AUP members who had joined Cooper. This League had quickly subdued their enemies and Cooper was found and Delta returned.

As soon as the mission was over, Oakley took Devon and left. As much as Oakley wanted to apologise to Delta for not trying to help her earlier (and how stupid that sounded to everyone else since Delta had CUT OFF HER ARM), she got off the island and began to walk. She wasn't sure where she was going or where she was meant to be next, but she was going to find her way there all on her own.
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  #287    
Old 3 Weeks Ago (01:01 PM). Edited 3 Weeks Ago by Raikiri.
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Outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey

December 20th, 2012


Nathaniel couldn’t sleep. It had been a long time since he last had a good night’s sleep. Most nights he spent tossing and turning. Others were spent in the strange library his mind swept him too as he tried to make sense of his ability, the events surrounding and the world he found himself in. He didn’t enjoy it, and considering the drama he found himself wrapped in with World Changers and Harbingers, any Atlantean or human in the right mind wouldn’t blame him. Yet, right minds were difficult to come by.

In a rundown motel a few miles outside the city, the New Atlantean Order had swarmed in and rested on the eve where Nathaniel had predicted everything would come to some sort of conclusion, for better or worse. He anticipated a grueling outcome, only confessing his thoughts to a select few. Perhaps that had better what kept him up. That theory was as good as any. Standing outside the motel with a small cup of decaffeinated coffee, Nathaniel stared into the night sky admiring the constellations he did not get to enjoy back home. New York City blocked the stars with its heavy pollution and noxious air, but the outskirts of Istanbul were clear enough for Nathaniel to purge some shred of happiness despite it all.

“You should be getting some sleep,” a voice said from behind him.

“I could say the same to you, Jegudial,” Nathaniel replied, taking a sip of his coffee.

“We True Atlanteans do not require as much as sleep,” Jegudial said.

“Well, maybe I am one of your people,” Nathaniel said with a shrug of his shoulders as he took another sip. His cup was now half full, barely warming his cold hands. Though, he couldn’t really complain. The night air clearly affected the True Atlantean a little more, as indicated by his thicker clothes as Nathaniel casually wore his regular outfit.

“You are not one of us. We established tha-“

“Easy. I was being sarcastic,” Nathaniel said, assuring his benefactor.

“Oh.”

“I was trying to make a joke. But, it wasn’t my best attempt. Just trying to get my mind off things,” Nathaniel confessed, finishing the rest of his coffee. He placed the cup on the ground and gazed back into the night sky.

Jegudial moved to stand beside Nathaniel, looking up at the stars as well. He then turned his head, looking at the tall Atlantean: “Overthinking things will not help you. Trusting your instincts will aid you far more.”

Nathaniel turned away, running his hand through his hair as he did. “I wish you were around to tell me that months ago,” he admitted. “Ever…ever since this all started, I tried to convince myself I understood things. And so I pondered and pondered, carefully measuring my every move. I tried my best to do the right thing. And look where it got me.”

“You’re alive,” Jegudial reminded Nathaniel.

“This is surviving. Not living,” Nathaniel shot back. “When I was trapped in Delta’s body all I did was sit around and think about I got there. I didn’t take advantage of my position and try to get information or anything like that. I was too worried about not getting caught and her or myself killed. I thought. I didn’t act.” Nathaniel paused and sighed, regretful he didn’t focus on attacking. He remembered how he again tried to figure out the situation, despite previously telling himself he would need to start accepting the irrational. All he gathered was their location was nowhere the Royal Family Mansion and Delta was seemingly well respected, though she did seem to have her fair share of feuds. Nathaniel did not care to find out much, only developing a rudimentary clue on her ability. Though that was admittedly unintentional. All he knew about Delta is that she did not like him and would present a problem should they meet.

“Same thing happened a few days later when James and I met…” Nathaniel’s thoughts trailed just thinking about that day. “I focused so much on trying to convince James that he was wrong and I was right. I thought…there I go again thinking. I thought I was capable of doing good there. But we fought. He could of killed me. He didn’t. I like to think I know why, but it doesn’t matter. If it wasn’t for Eris, I would be dead.”

The whole situation played in his head again, looking back to when Eris and Fletcher’s powers came together to throw Nathaniel, and presumably James, back in time. He woke up to find himself on the Titanic of all places. People often gawked at Nathaniel’s dress, considering his tendency to believe it was 1990s and the Titanic sailed in the early 1910s. Yet, it was there he met Kenneth, a fellow cryokinetic. Kenneth, unfortunately, was not immediately fond of the young man, viewing him as a threat to the ship and its passengers. Nathaniel fought back, and the two unleashed their abilities on the other. Nathaniel and he fought on near even ground, yet a massive blast of ice from Kenneth crafted a massive iceberg in the distance…the one that infamously brought down the entire vessel. Kenneth and Nathaniel did battle on the sinking ship, exasperating the dismal situation. Moments before Nathaniel was about to go down with the ship, Eris, the time traveling Atlantean, rescued Nathaniel flashing him back to modern times.

“Your daughter has been watching you for some time,” Jegudial said as Nathaniel’s focus returned to the conversation.

“Eris refuses to answer most of my questions. Something about disrupting the fabric of time or some other science I won’t understand. It would certainly help understand what is going,” Nathaniel said, raising his arms up in anger. “You can’t tell me that I am going to have a daughter at one point in the future and not answer a few other questions at the very least.”

Jegudial’s face did not shift its expression. “She said that to obtain your trust. She has the best of intentions.”

“I understand that, but…never mind. This is all just so much…” Nathaniel said, becoming increasingly frustrated. “Ever since the Renegades attacked the mansion…I-I don’t know what I am supposed to do. Supposed to think. Supposed to say.” Nathaniel stomped on the ground and started pacing, the ground icing over slowly.

“You did everything you could,” the True Atlantean said.

“Did I? Did I really? Do you know how many Atlanteans died that day? All because of some old grudge between brothers or whatever dumb reason they had for wanting to kill each other? To matters worse, we were abandoned and betrayed by those we believed we could trust! Only Justin bothered to stay and fight with Antonia and myself! And looked what it cost him,” Nathaniel said, gesturing to Jegudial, who inhabited the fallen Justin’s body. The other Atlantean remained silent as Nathaniel ranted, his makeshift compilation of thoughts flowing over. Despite the jumbled mess of speech Nathaniel was spewing, Jegudial could understand Nathaniel and where he was coming from.

“Now I am leading some ragtag group of a bunch of scared kids…and I don’t know if what I’m doing is the right thing or not.” Nathaniel sunk down to a seat on the ground, digging his face into his hands. “None of this is fair. None of this is right.”

Jegudial smiled weakly, though he of course hid it from Nathaniel as he took the seat next to Nathaniel. “I think you know what you want to say. I think you know what you want to do. And I think you know what you believe is right.” Nathaniel looked over to Jegudial. “You have spent so much time wallowing in self doubt when you are among the more capable Atlanteans I have met. Only a few can muster the ability to lead in times of strife. And I believe that you are among them. I did come to inhabit Justin’s body because I thought you could not succeed. I did it to offer you guidance.”

Nathaniel sighed. “Well, you true Atlanteans are not exactly the best when it comes to explaining things or offering guidance you know.”

“You confuse me for…I guess you could call him my brother. You know him as the Librarian, I believe.”

“You are his brother?” Nathaniel asked, raising an eyebrow.

Jegudial nodded slightly. “That’s putting in rather simple terms. Enough. Such things are not important,” he said, tossing such thoughts aside. “My intention is not confuse you or overwhelm you more than you already are. Rather, I want you to do one thing for me: Believe.”

“Believe?”

“Yes. Tomorrow will test you like nothing you have done before. You will fight those with more passion for all…this than you can imagine. Some you will recognize. Others you may not. But regardless, you cannot underestimate them. Nor should you think that you could change their minds about what is right and wrong. Good and evil has little place here. You must purge your mind of what Nathaniel Calaway once thought he could do. Instead, you must believe in what Nathaniel Calaway can do.”

“What do you mean?” Nathaniel asked, unsure if he was acting the right question. So often, he asked questions hoping they would lead to answers. However, so often, one question leads to another. The revelation of Eris as his daughter from the future was a prime example of that. He wanted to know when she was born. Who her mother was. Is the world they live in a peaceful one? Why did she come back from the future to see a younger version of her father? They were so many questions. Yet Eris insisted she couldn’t answer them, as much as she wanted to ease her father’s mind. Questions always haunted Nathaniel and he was certain he would never have the peace of mind.

“I mean, believe in yourself,” Jegudial insisted. “Believe in that the actions you intend to take are right. That they are justified. The ones you may fight tomorrow believe that much. Any shred of self-doubt is inviting a moment of weakness. You must understand that sacrifices must be made and that people will die. But, if you believe in yourself, you can win and the world of peace and order that you believe so greatly in can come to pass. Do you remember the speech you made after the Royal Mansion fell to those renegades?”

Nathaniel nodded his head: “This tragedy will not be forgotten. It will not be forgiven. In order to protect our own and this world, we must fight to take it back from those who seek to bring it down. Lest we will this world be overcome with fear, our kind will never be safe. Join me and I will establish a world where Atlanteans will rule over Atlanteans. They will follow our laws and our principles. A world of peace! A world of order! A New Atlantean Order!” Nathaniel recounted the end of his peace vividly, before turning his head to Jegudial.

“Remember those words. Never lose sight of your goal. Your cause is a just one. But they will feel the same way about their own. They will fight a desperate one. Buildings will crumble. Cities will burn. And hundreds will die,” Jegudial said softly.

Despite their limited time together, the True Atlantean had gathered a good sense of Nathaniel’s character. He knew the man was concerned with doing the right thing, doing whatever he could to protect people. He knew that Nathaniel was haunted by his mistakes, both fatal and not so fatal. He knew that Nathaniel wanted to understand things before throwing himself into them. And he knew that Nathaniel did not want to do the things he had to do since the Altantean Royal Family became nothing more than a distant memory; a lost relic of an older generation. It was perhaps because of all this that he helped the young Nathaniel in these moments. It was because of Jegudial that Nathaniel and the New Atlantean Order even made it to Istanbul and would take their place amongst these new factions in one last battle to determine the fate of the Earth, humanity and Altantean kind.

Nathaniel stood up rather suddenly and looked at Jegudial, before turning and opening the door to his room. “Not hundreds,” he said. “Thousands.”



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  #288    
Old 3 Weeks Ago (11:19 PM). Edited 3 Weeks Ago by The Last Sentinel.
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Syndicate Headquarters, Birmingham, England

November 12th, 2012

Bleary eyed Seamus twisted his body from one side to the other, twisting until he heard the satisfying crack of his spine. They had had a hard night sleeping on couches, desks, chairs, anything really that they could somewhat comfortably sleep on. There were probably around fifty odd people holed up in the Syndicate Headquarters, including their team and Mister Cain. He had only been with the group for a couple of weeks and had already been pulled into all sorts of situations. Looking around though, he could tell that this one was different from the rest. A kind of tension sat in the air around his teammates and everyone seemed cautiously protective of the new kid, Thayne. All Seamus knew was that he had to help protect the kid with the others.

Seamus watched as they all began slipping into their Syndicate uniforms, noting how the rest of the team seemed to be brimming with guns or other weapons. Wyatt of course had his own Assault Rifle, Pyrrha had her usual arsenal of handguns, small blades, needles, collapsible metal Bo Staff, and probably even deadlier weapons hidden up her sleeves. Adrian had about four of anything he could carry and use while Daemon seemed to sit happily across the room manipulating his bone structure and covering parts of his body with heavily calcified bone matter. October seemed to be the only other person like Seamus who wasn't brandishing any weapons. He of course could turn his skin into some Atlantean metal, according to Dr. Meier, but October on the other hand had little in the way of protection.

Once they were all geared up and waiting by the front doors, the Directive made an appearance looking rather tired. From what Seamus knew, he had been up most of the night talking with the Boss back in Birmingham. By the look of his haggard expression, talks hadn’t gone smoothly. No doubt the man would be facing at least a demotion when they got back if not something more serious. That was assuming they made it out of here alive.

“Okay guys, as the plan stands you’ll make your way down to the basement car park and take two cars to the Hagia Sophia. In the first car will be Adrian, Seamus, Daemon and Wyatt and the second car with Thayne, October, Pyrrha and Mel. October and Adrian will be taking lead.” The Directive’s voice was gruff and a little hoarse.

“What about you, sir?” Seamus asked since the Directive often accompanied them on missions.

“I’ll be back here; you can reach me via your earpieces. I have things here that I need to get done so you guys will have to work as a team.” As much as he wanted to go and make sure the kids were safe, the Directive had already received his orders already. “You guys should be ready by now, I suggest you head off soon…” the Directive stopped after a couple of steps, “…good luck guys.” Turning on his heels he made it back to the stairs.

“Right all, you heard the man, let’s get this show on the road.” Adrian chimed in as he lead the others down to the basement.

Everyone seemed to remain quiet during their descent until they arrived at the set of cars the Directive had lined up for them. For most of the group the severity of not just the scenario they were in but also what the day ultimately entailed had set in. Seamus wouldn’t lie, he was incredibly nervous and a little bit scared, but ultimate he was proud of where he was. After the eventful life he had lived so far, he was glad to be among these people.

Just as they were about to hop into cars, Adrian gathered the attention of the group, “October and I will be driving, Daemon will be in the passenger’s seat while Seamus and Wyatt are in back. Thayne will be in the passenger’s seat next to October with Mel and Pyrrha in the back. If we encounter any trouble along the way, Wyatt and Pyrrha will utilise the sunroof while Seamus and Mel respectively will hold them steady. If there are any road blocks, Wyatt, you’ll take the wheel while Seamus and I clear the way; the girls will keep guard.”

Without another word Adrian slid into the driver’s seat of the front car, turning the key and revving the engine. With everybody in the two cars began the twenty minute journey to the Hagia Sophia. They managed to escape the parking garage with few scraps on the vehicle, however they were unable to reach the speed limit as it became a game of weaving in and out of traffic. Seamus tapped his foot anxiously on the floor of the car, there was something about the eerie silence of the city now that everyone had either left or died that made everything surreal. It was like they were in some sort of book or movie and everything was building up for this major battle and climax that was coming. At times he just wanted to jump out of the car and run, run until he was as far away from the place and the city as possible.

Seamus looked down as he felt a warm hand lie over top of his. He could see Wyatt’s hand visibly shaking; most likely from the same anxiety and nerves he felt, yet when he looked at him the guy seemed calm. “Breathe, Seamus, we can get through this. Remember the Waite Pharmaceuticals raid a couple of weeks back? We made it out of there alive, and we’ll sure as hell make it out of here.”

Seamus couldn’t help but smile at the guy, ever since he had arrived in the Syndicate Wyatt had been nice enough to Seamus despite his awkward attempts to fit in. “Thanks Wyatt, we’ll kick some Atlantean ass and be back in no time.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that,” Adrian chimed in as he brought the car to a stop. Ahead of them, the Galata Bridge that would get them across to the middle island was jammed with cars from one end to the other. “October,” Adrian pressed his finger to his ear, activating the inbuilt mic, “we’ve got a problem: the bridge is jammed with cars. It’ll take too long to clear, we’ll have to go by foot.”

“Sure thing, get Wyatt to take guard on left flank, I’ll have Pyrrha guard right flank. If you and Seamus take point and send Daemon back my way, he and I’ll take the rear. Mel will keep Thayne company in the centre.” Seamus could hear October’s voice clear through his earpiece as if she was sitting next to him.

Stepping out of the car and Seamus could have sworn that even the air around them felt wrong. The water lapped gently against the support of the bridge, fog milling about on the shore and sun rising from the east. Everything seemed off. Seamus couldn’t hear any chirping of insects or squawking of birds, even the lack of human noise seemed to throw him off. He walked past Daemon who waited patiently by the car and up to where Adrian stood at the front. Once the girls and Thayne caught up, Thayne immediately made his way towards the other group.

"Don't you think I'd be more useful if I wasn't so far away from the action?" The younger man asked, a look of worry on his face. "I wouldn't be helpful to anyone if they were attacked." It was obvious that he didn't like the idea of the other members merely being a shield. Everyone made it seem like he was the most important piece, but he knew the value of everyone else.


"We have the Directive's orders, Thayne. We can take care of ourselves, each one of us has been trained to do so, our mission is to get you to the Hagia Sophia safely. If any one gets hurt then someone else can help them." Adrian understood Thayne's willingness to help, but the Directive had made it adamant that Thayne stay in top shape till they got to the Hagia Sophia.

"The Directive's orders..." Thayne shook his head. Even though he disagreed with him, he knew that the others wouldn't disobey. He took a look at Mel as she reached his side, brandishing what weapons she chose. Thayne knew that she could take of herself as well, but he was still glad to have her by his side. "I suppose my ability can be used at long range.. If we need it. Just be careful."

With that said, the group moved into their positions with Adrian and Seamus moving to opposite side. Seamus couldn’t help but looking into almost each and every car he passed or climbed over. To his surprise, he didn’t find any trapped civilians or rotting corpses, just empty cars. At first he thought that they had ditched their cars and escaped, then he realised that he was hoping they had escaped. As he looked into more and more cars he began to think that they may have escaped their cars but maybe not the city.

It was when he turned his head to the side to look over at Adrian when Seamus felt the warm body collide with his own. Instinctively his body seized up and the cool blue metal washed over his skin like a protective second skin. The remnant had knocked the both of them down behind a car, Seamus yelling out to the others as it salivated blood all over his face and clawed at his skin. Turning his face to the side, Seamus tried to minimalise any blood getting into his mouth, but what he saw instead made him freeze. The mutilated body of a small child lay splayed out on the concrete, its ribcage open to the sky. Bile surged into his throat as he panicked, his ability fading out until he began throwing up between screams of pain.

Adrian was the first to react once Seamus had gone down, leaping over cars and shooting the zombie in the head with little remorse. As it slumped down on Seamus, Adrian made his way over, practically throwing it off of him. Seamus could tell from the horror on Adrian’s face though that his stomach was beyond repair as he began choking on blood.

Weakly he managed to lift his arm up, pointing to the railing, “dump… me… in river…” he managed to splutter to Adrian. If anything he refused to become another zombie wandering around Istanbul.

With nothing more than a nod of his head, Adrian lifted Seamus’ ravaged body up as if he were a rag doll. Once he was at the railing he waited for everyone else to draw near, Wyatt nodding in confirmation that that was indeed the only zombie left on the bridge, “As the old Atlanteans would say, may the light of the universe guide your path. We all came from the universe, and so we shall return.” Looking down, he could see Seamus pull together a weak, bloody smile before Adrian dropped his body over the railing.

As his body hit the water, Seamus refused to take a breath as he felt the ice cold liquid envelope his body. He had made it this far and was happy with the journey so far. In that moment, the water flooded his lungs and as he was on the brink of losing consciousness, Seamus felt an overwhelming sense of euphoria as he finally let go.

----------

To be brutally honest, Adrian hadn’t liked the Irish kid in the slightest. He was loud, impetuous and made overly sexual comments at the most inappropriate times. But losing a comrade, despite how much Adrian might have disliked the guy, was like losing a limb and right now they needed all the man (and woman) power they could have. Turning away from the edge he began walking back to his position at the front of their group, his eyes darting back and forth as he tried to figure out the best way to reorganise their group yet October beat him to the punch.

“Wyatt, move to the front, be vigilant and make sure we have no more surprises. Daemon, you’ll take the left flank.” October barked the orders as they all began moving back. “Let’s get moving, people.”

Adrian waited for the others to get back into position before starting forward, this time keeping a wary eye on Wyatt. How hadn’t the guy seen the zombie there before Seamus? Surely his vision should have picked up on it. Adrian just hoped that Wyatt was focussed on the mission at the moment and didn’t have any ulterior motives. Looking back he noticed that everyone had inched a little closer together than they had started out, obviously wanting to reduce the chance of another event like Seamus’ death panning out.

They managed to make it across with bridge with no more issues, Wyatt urging them to move into the left lane as they walked off the bridge. This wasn’t just to lead towards their destination but also because there was a horde of zombies milling about to the right of the bridge. From there it took them just over fifteen minutes to traverse through the streets over towards the Hagia Sophia, Wyatt picking up on hazards as they went with Adrian adjusting their course as need be. Once they had arrived however, they soon realised they weren’t the only ones. A large group of Atlanteans composed of differing aged teenagers had made their way over and now milled in the carpark. October informed the lot of them that they were the remnants of the Atlantean Royal Family, now apparently under the leadership of World Changer Nathaniel Calaway as the New Atlantean Order. Opposite them were a ragtag group of Atlanteans that looked like they were ready for a fight, with the unmistakeable James Hazen leading them out front. Adrian heard Wyatt catch his breath; no doubt he had spotted his sister Oakley while October pointed out to them the presence of Delta. However it was Wyatt whom named each of the World Changers.

"Seems like everyone is here," October muttered as the groups stood around the carpark at the front of the Hagia Sophia.

"Except those who are already gone," Thayne said aloud in reference to Dom and the others. "What are you all going to do during this? If I remember right, this is supposed to be between the World Changers and no one else."

Wyatt let out a laugh, "You think this'll just be between you guys? Look around you, Thayne, everyone's brought an army. This is more than just a scuffle between you five, it's an all out war." He cocked his gun in hesitation for the oncoming battle. "This'll be a massive cluster f*ck."

"Why do you think I asked?" Thayne replied sarcastically. Part of him knew that many of these faction members weren't on a level that could be compared to the World Changers, especially when many people have been focusing on their growth instead of their own. "I really don't want unnecessary bloodshed."

"And I really don't want to get old, but it's still going to happen. Unless you plan on saving everyone from everyone else, Superman, then there's not much you can do." Wyatt turned to look Thayne in the eye, "People can look after themselves. Unnecessary bloodshed is unavoidable, princess, so get over it and focus on winning." He was being harsh, even he could see that, but the Directive had given them orders to help Thayne win in whatever way possible.

"It won't stop me from trying," he told his older teammate. "There isn't any reason for us World Changers to be fighting besides a stupid prophecy, let alone anyone else. Even if you guys can handle yourselves, this is going to be a full out war. There is no coming back from that unscathed. Anyways, you want to say that you guys can take care of yourselves? If I remember right, someone said that and another ended up dead."

"Guys, quiet." Adrian ordered, his hands reaching for the guns holstered at his side, "Someone's coming out of the museum." Adrian and the others watched as a short, mid-40s looking man stepped out and stood at the top of the stairs.

"Is that... The Librarian?" Wyatt asked rhetorically, surprised at the man's guest appearance.
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  #289    
Old 3 Weeks Ago (12:21 AM).
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The League's Base in Kumköy, Turkey

December 21st, 2012

"Are you sure?" It took some time before the words trickled out of Delta's mouth. With one look at her face it was quite clear she was devastated by the news. No longer were her eyes bright and full of life, all of that had faded. The question itself was rhetorical, of course, he was sure, she could tell that by the never-ending apologetic look that was being given in her direction.

His lips quivered, and when Simon eventually spoke his voice cracked, "I felt it.... I relived his final moments. Dom's dead." It was quite clear to Delta that he had never delivered this type of news to anyone before and was unsure of how one proceeded with a notification of death.

Dom's dead. Dom's dead. Over, and over went the conversation, it kept replaying for hours after the actual exchange. Goddamnit, James Hazen would pay for his crimes. It wasn't as if Dom and her were the closest of friends, but... it wasn't fair. Dom was supposed to see the final day, after all that crap he had been put through Dom deserved at least that much. He had found out that his mother was alive and hadn't perished during the assault on Paris as he originally suspected. The three of them, Thayne, Dom, and Delta, had made that pact, that they would make it to the final day without killing each other and fight then. Delta felt an overwhelming sense of anger and resentment toward Dom. How could he die on her? Who was going to teach Elpis how to swear in French? Who was going to teach her the dos and don'ts of fashion? Who was going to be her favorite "uncle"? A tightly formed fist found itself smashing into the nearest wall and the wall came crumbling down.

A pair of arms found themselves around Delta's abdominal region. Soon to follow that was a set of lips that pressed into her neck. There were only two people in the entire world that would dare touch her in this moment and by the lingering of the lips Delta knew which one it was, Aoife. It was a refreshing touch, but most importantly, it was one that calmed her. Today, was more than likely the day that Delta would die and here she was obsessing over the death of a former comrade surrounded by rumble. It... it wasn't like her. But, wasn't it? Dom was the first death since her father, who wasn't quite as dead as she thought he was, whom she gave some sort of a damn about. Delta had been advised not to get riled up the day of her own possible death, but she couldn't help it.

Inside of Delta she felt white-hot rage, not just any rage, but all of her rage. Rage at her father. Rage at the Atlantean society she had been thrust in to. Rage at anyone and everyone, specifically, James Hazen. His death would be today that much she was certain. His death would also be symbolized as a man who committed treacherous acts and as a result he died the treacherous death he so deserved. It would not be quick, and it would not be painless. It would sting a thousand times over. She had no qualms with having the streets of Istanbul painted with his blood. Delta's misty eyes began to clear up at the thought.

Another thought tugged at the back of her mind, was that all she was good for? Killing? In the minds of others Delta was sure she was viewed in the same light as James Hazen. Demented. Psychopath. Antagonist. Murderer. Delta, in good faith, couldn't dispute half of those. She had willingly taken the life of someone else and would do it again if she needed to do it. They deserved the fate that they had coming to them. Matthias, her first kill, had protected the meteor man who was killing hundred of thousands of Parisians. Those guards on that boat were aiding in the torture of young Atlanteans to the point of psychotic break and death. Blood of innocents was on all of their hands and Delta wasn't ashamed she had snuffed out their flames. Perhaps there were other routes that she could've taken but none of them were permanent enough for her. Everyone else had made up their minds about her long ago, and to them all she would be doing was justifying murder. Who knows, maybe they were right to think of her as all of those things.

"Stop that!" A voice hissed in her ear, which shook Delta from the thoughts she had been hiding from.

"Stop what?" Delta turned around, grateful for the distraction, and greeted Aoife's warm blue eyes and furrowed brow. The look on her face was too cute not to lean in and kiss her, so that's exactly what Delta did.

"Doubting yourself," Aoife said, and continued on in between kisses, “I’m touching you." Kiss. "Right now." A longer kiss. "I can feel what you're feeling." Kiss of the century.

Delta broke the kissing-talk cycle and smirked, "Only when I have clothes on." With that she removed her signature leather jacket and pounced on top of Aoife while trying to avoid the rubble and dirt. Delta slid her fingers underneath the straps that were keeping Aoife's dress on her shoulders, kissing each spot as she went. All of... this felt natural to Delta. Soon all traces of clothes, except their underwear, were removed in haste.

A whistle broke the moment. "Wow, if you told me free viewing for lesbian action was part of the deal I would've left that AUP gang all the more sooner!" Leaning on the doorframe was the kid that had thought he was some sort of vigilante who Delta then recruited to the AUP.

"Shut it, Omar." Delta snapped at him. She sighed, pried herself off of Aoife, and fetched her and Aoife's clothing that was scattered all across the room.

"No, no, don't stop on my account," Omar grinned, but that stopped when he noticed Delta's glare and after rearranging himself began to speak again. "Any who, Eileen says there's a crap ton of activity. They're all on the move. The Cryokinetic brought lackeys, as did James Hazen, but thanks to Simon you already know about him, there's more Atlantean activity than ever before. Eileen's getting a little overwhelmed by it all. Elpis had to take it away for a bit, by the way, how does that work?"

As Omar spoke Delta got dressed and gave Aoife a helping (and lingering) hand. She nodded at the appropriate parts. Eileen's Power Chart had proven especially useful over the past week. With her ability of Power Detection and the Atlantite Delta had given her, the range at which she could sense Atlantean presence had vastly improved. That allowed her to create an active live-tracking map of where each Atlantean was located at, ignoring the Turkish ones. Simon was able to keep tabs on those of which Delta had taken an article of clothing from, notably Dom, Thayne, and James Hazen. All those nights ago when she had taken part in that experience with James Hazen and Dom, an event she had yet to inform Aoife of, Delta had made it her mission to obtain an article of his clothing, the same for Dom, and she had. The need to keep tabs on James Hazen was crucial as he was the least stable and the biggest threat of the World Changers. An ability as powerful as Simon's had become over time was quite invaluable to Delta's operation. She had learned a lot of useful information about her opponents and it was how Delta had learned of Dom's death...

"Oh! The Syndicate. Yeah, the idiots who made Istanbul into The Walking Dead, they're on the move too. Eileen can fly you to the church place that Library guy told you about." Omar made a variety of gestures with his hands as he spoke.

"Gotcha." And that was all Delta had to say.

She exited the room and headed to the operation center where everyone else was located. Eileen, Elpis, Roxxy, Simon, and now, Omar, Aoife, and Delta. As soon as she entered Elpis flew into her arms and Delta spun her around before setting her back down again. A month had passed yet it seemed like longer because of how much Elpis had grown. Everyone had ceased talking, as if it were Delta's turn to say something important like a speech, but that wasn't like her so she didn't. Instead they all followed her into the plane. The ride was shorter than Delta expected. She had ordered Eileen not to drop her right next to the church because Delta couldn't take the risk of someone pulling them out of the sky.

"Aoife and Elpis, stay back at base," Delta commanded. "I mean it." Heads all around her nodded in agreement. That was easier she than had expected.

"At the present time there are multitudes of Atlanteans gathered at the location. Do you still not care for assistance?" Eileen turned back and asked, she had already landed the plane.

"Not to mention those zombies!" Omar chimed in.

"I'm coming with yo-" Aoife started.

"No! The easiest way to get to me is through you guys. I'm not letting my girlfriend or my daughter (technically, great (times a lot) aunt) get killed because of me!" Delta shouted.

"Girlfriend, eh?" Aoife laughed, the term had slipped out but Delta had contemplated about saying it for a while now and it wasn't something she regretted now that it was out there.

"Good bye," Delta was the first to step off of the plane and the others followed.

"Knock 'em dead, Del," Simon rushed over and grabbed ahold of Delta and forced her into a hug. "Come back or I'll never hear the end of Aoife's tears. She's quite the crybaby, you should've seen her after her first girlfriend dumped her that was a sight." Simon was met with a death glare and a smack to the head from his twin sister.

"Go get 'em, Boss," Roxxy playfully punched Delta in the shoulder and gave her a single nod as a wish of good luck.

"I'll see you when I see you, and hopefully that includes more lesbian action!" Omar winked at her, which only made Delta internally groan.

"When my girlfriend wins this thing, she better not be bloody, bruised, or battered or I'll hurt those stupid World Changers," Aoife grabbed Delta's hand and held it in hers. She gazed into Delta's eyes and smiled the entire time before giving her a parting kiss.

Last, but certainly not least, was Elpis. Delta had ordered them not to mention anything about death around her. Elpis had been picking up English rather quickly as of late and Delta didn't have the heart to tell her the truth. The only thing Elpis knew was that Delta was going on an adventure all alone.

Delta lowered herself down to Elpis's level and embraced her in a hug. "Be a good girl. Listen to Aoife. Eat your food. No dessert until after dinner." Tears trickled down her face, though Delta managed to wipe them away before Elpis could see them. She broke the hug and looked Elpis in the eye and spoke to her in Polish, "I love you."

Toward Hagia Sophia Delta went without another word or look back. The city of Istanbul looked all but deserted. There was little movement except for a cat or a dog that would be scavenging in a nearby trashcan. A zombie had lurched out at Delta and was put out of its misery when Delta stabbed her crystallized bone sword through its head. Thayne and Wyatt were looking more and more like potential starting targets for being apart of a group that would allow this to happen. On the side of one of the buildings she passed was some weird symbol, clearly Atlantean made. Before Delta knew it she had arrived on the scene, one that included James Hazen and Ice Boy. There was barely time to acknowledge their presence when Oakley appeared on the scene almost out of nowhere. Following her were Thayne and Wyatt. It seemed as if everyone had brought people, didn't they realize that this battle was between World Changers? The lackeys were easy targets. One, if Delta had her way, would be the first casualty.

Here they were, all the World Changers that had made it to the final battle and for some of them it was their final day. Determinedness was on the face of almost everyone that or they were incredibly stoic or nervous. A lot had built up to a moment like this. A lot of anger, a lot of deaths, and a lot of sacrifices. None of that would be taken for granted by Delta. Her fingers itched to pull the trigger on her gun, or to wrap her hands around the two bone swords she had strapped to her back. There wasn't any way in hell she was going to be caught off guard by any one here.

"Okay, can I just say how zombie guts stink? This is my favorite gear! I'm never going to get that smell out!" That whiny voice sounded familiar to Delta, in fact, she had heard that voice every day without fail for a month. She whirled around to be greeted by Simon, Aoife, Elpis, Omar, and Roxxy. Goddamnit. They never listened to her!

"Why are you here?" Delta said through clenched teeth, she was trying to keep her face emotionless but it was tough seeing how she was beyond fuming. "Why is Elpis here? Why!" Delta couldn't help but hiss the last bit.

"We're here because we want to be," Roxxy spoke up quietly before else could. Delta had to admit she had guts. "And if we die, it's because we were willing to." A hand clamped over her mouth as she glanced down toward at Elpis. Her facial expression twisted into an apologetic look.

"Elpis, sort of, refused to get on the plane and ran off after you..." Aoife muttered, and crossed her arms. "But! Don't worry, we're all geared up. We weren't letting you come alone that had been established prior to your little outburst."

"We're a team... or something," Omar added and gave his best smile and a thumbs up.

Delta couldn't help but push Elpis behind her, hoping that no one would get any ideas. She wouldn't be able to fight properly until Elpis was safe and out of reach from anyone that was here. The rest of them she should've listened to her, but a part of Delta was glad that they had not. Who would have imagined that Delta Mayor would have people, friends even, that had her back and wanted to protect her? Not Delta, that much was for sure. It was something worth fighting for, something Delta was willing to fight for. So, this was it. All Delta had been training for months. There was nothing left to do but win.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago (01:00 AM). Edited 3 Weeks Ago by SV.
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Istanbul, Turkey

December 21, 2012

James stepped through the portal Scott had just created, and found himself right in the middle of mayhem. Istanbul was the latest in a list of cities victim to the ire of a powerful Atlantean. Or as James would call it, evolution. Buildings were torn apart, screams could be heard in the distance, the streets were filled with corpses and burning cars. He stepped firmly into the streets and found himself deep into the heart of the city with his ragtag group of Atlantean renegades behind him. James took in the surroundings around him and felt a familiar sensation sweep his body. It was the same one that overtook him during the brief incident in London, and later in Paris and San Diego. It was the same feeling he felt when he fought and destroyed ATLAS, and the same one he felt when he fought other Atlanteans. It took James the last two months to figure out that it wasn't the actual death or destruction that he craved. James could hear an announcement on TV of a news anchor report the deaths of hundreds, or thousands, and he wouldn't bat an eyelash. He could hear about an explosion that dismantled one of the tallest buildings in the world and yawn.

It was the unpredictability of it all that James loved. The very fact that it surprised people, that it went against the norm of everything they thought could happen or should happen, is what he enjoyed witnessing. If he didn't see the reactions, the responses of people looking around in shock and fear and trying to find an answer, some sort of explanation for why this was happening, all of it would be meaningless. People taught that fighting, killing, and destruction were all evil acts, that they were the most unnatural in the natural order of things. But for James, they were when he felt most alive. This was his natural order.

"This sh*t's crazy, yo!" Tank exclaimed as he looked around Istanbul in shock, amazement and fear all in one.

"Why are you acting like such a noob?" Gamer asked her ex-ATLAS teammate. "It's not like this isn't something new at this point."

"I think he meant the zombies," Victory chimed in as he scanned his surroundings. He held a serious demeanor across his face as he prepared himself for anything that would come his way, determined to prove himself apart of this group.

"It's the same game, we're just playing Zombie Mode now," Gamer replied back. She began to tap into her ability as she scanned the area for street cameras or local electronics to try and triangulate their position and figure out where to proceed.

James looked across the mess of a city Istanbul had become. He glanced around at the annihilated cars and streets and siphoned off some energy from the nearby lamps and cars, adding onto his already-full tank of electrical energy surging inside of his body. "Don't tell me you're getting bored of my field trips, Gamer." He said with a grin.

"Kinda hard to be bored with you, James," Gamer shot back as she continued executing her power. "I'm just wondering why Tank's acting like such a scrub."

"Hey, quit trippin'," Tank jumped back into the conversation. "I was just surprised when we came out of the hole, yo!"

"That's what ella said," Enrique quickly said with a smile, which caused Scott to let out a chuckle as well.

"Good one, man!" He exclaimed, fistbumping with his Renegade companion.

James stepped forward down the main path leading to a large plaza. A large fire had begun to close off the entire path leading forward, which caused James to begin to take out his bronze sword to clear the path.

"Hey, let me do it, Santiago," Enrique stopped James from using his Harbinger weapon. He had begun calling him Santiago shortly after teaming up with him after Raguel's death.

"Someone's feeling threatened," Nora teased the wind controller as Enrique proceeded to call up his powers and blow the fires out and clear the path.

"Just warming up for the batalla, chica!" He cried out as he suddenly caused a massive burst of gust to flow in front of him, not only burning out the fires from the cars, but also flinging the automobiles down further in the street and into a nearby building. The noise caused a nearby group of zombies to suddenly burst forward in the direction of the cars. Nora stepped forward to get rid of them, but James held her back. Instead, he observed their behavior with interest.

"They're not harming anybody," He pointed out to her. Nora raised an eyebrow.

"They're zombies, James," She replied back.

"Yeah, but they're also zombies of an Atlantean," He answered in turn. "In some ways, they're more higher up the chain of power than humans are. It's almost like taking out any of Marwa's paintings. Not the nicest thing to do to a fellow Atlantean, don't you think? Especially if we're trying to recruit him."

"Wow... that's cold James," Scott chimed in as he scratched his chin, before he looked over to Enrique. "But is it weird that I kind of get what he's saying?"

"So... what's the plan exactly?" Jeremy asked the rest of the group. He seemed tense, his eyes constantly scanning his surroundings as if he expected something to suddenly jump out and attack them.

James turned around and addressed him as well as the rest of the group. "What we've always been doing. We have a high class Atlantean somewhere in the city. This one's top priority if there's ever been one. And then there's the World Changers, who are also here according to Lucifer. From what we've found out, they have others with them just like we do. And from what I know about three of them, they won't be easy to take down. In fact, I don't see this going down any other way than with a fight." He explained, as a grin formed on his face. He couldn't contain his excitement even if he tried.

Marwa liked to remain quiet, she found out things went smoother that way. No one paid her a lick of attention as they were all vying for James's. If she had a preference Marwa wouldn't have picked another option. It allowed for her to write down what she saw, heard, and felt. That Atlantean novel she had been writing was becoming closer and closer to a reality. There was a question that kept popping up in her head yet no one had asked it, which meant that she had to. "W-w-what are we to do? I mean, what do you want us to do?" Marwa got flustered easily, and she could feel her cheeks getting flushed. "This is a fight between World Changers is it not?"

"If this was just a fight between the World Changers, I would have stayed home," James replied with a wink toward Marwa. "What I want you to do... what I want you to do..." James repeated twice, as he pondered the question. He then looked back up at the group, smirked at them and shrugged. "I dunno," He said simply.

"What?" Kieran asked incredulously, holding the ends of his arms where his bones were taken from him by Delta. He had Fletcher close within his sight in order to protect him, although there was little he could do with his powers at this point. James and the others had done a fairly good job of keeping him safe in his stead, however. "What do you mean you don't know?"

James smile seemed to only grow wider. "I don't know meaning, I don't know," He replied casually. "I have no idea what to expect. I can't tell you how the other World Changers would act or react because I really don't know. I can make predictions and we can make a plan based on that but that sounds... kinda lame, really. Maybe we can convince some to join us. Maybe none will and we'll have to duke it out then and there. Maybe the zombie Atlantean has a few surprises in store for us to shake things up even more. The point is... none of us can really predict what happens next. And you know what?" He asked his group as he eyed each one of them in front of him.

"That's OK. I'm not your boss. I'm barely your leader. You didn't sign up so that I'd go telling you what to do and what objective to complete. You're all now, just like you were when you joined, free to do and act however you want," He explained. His last words however suddenly reminded him of something he had written down to himself what seemed like a long, long time ago. He checked the back pocket in his jeans and was amazed to find that same piece of paper between his fingers. A piece of paper with two words crossed out and one word remaining.

"If you wanted my opinion though," James continued as he put the paper into his back pocket. "Do anything you want."

"Estás muy loco, you know that right, Santiago?" Enrique asked James with a grin of his own.

"You only remind me every other day, Enrique," James stated back with a smirk. "Let's go f*ck sh*t up!"




James' group navigated the city with a polished madness, as they proceeded toward the direction of the World Changers, or where it was assumed they would be. Gamer also managed to track down the general location of the zombie Atlantean, but since they appeared to be closer to the other World Changers, James elected to go there first. The others didn't complain, even taking what James said literally, which required a few stops along the jagged way to fulfill their impulsive whims. James didn't mind one bit.

Scott wanted to recreate the same symbol he crafted in the former Renegade flat, the upside down anarchy sign. James obliged him and with Nora and Gamer's help, the three used their powers to mark it into the side of a building. Their combination of powers crafted a burn-like marking through broken concrete and windows to make a crude-looking similar symbol as proof of their territory.

Enrique challenged James to a contest on which wind power, Enrique's or James' sword, could toss objects the furthest. James' sword held up, but Enrique's power couldn't be denied, as he managed to prove that the weapon was no substitute for El Huracán. The two flung chairs, cars, corpses, and even zombies coming after them.

The others did other actions, all of which James approved of and ultimately encouraged. It was about more than just doing whatever took their fancy. It was about letting go of everything the human society considered as taboo, and breaking free from their thinking. To James, it was also one of their last steps to get rid of their attachment to what they were in order to focus on what they would become: the inheritors of the Earth. They stood now in front of the Hagia Sophia brimming with confidence, as the other factions also began making their way toward the final spot of conflict.

As James looked over the faces of his Renegades, he was convinced that while they weren't 'World Changers', they were definitely here to help change the world.

They were the future.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago (07:01 PM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by revlis.
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Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

December 21st, 2012

“Welcome, brothers, it’s been a while.” The Librarian smirked as he addressed his siblings once all had arrived.

“Long time no see, Gabriel,” Michael said as he rolled his sleeves up while he floated across to joined them. “Nice body Jeg, finally stopped being a tree I see.” Reaching deep into his pocket he retrieved a cigarette and promptly lit it; at high altitudes he could feel the effects of the nicotine enhance.

Despite being the eldest of the brothers, Jegudial was currently looking like the youngest, “It has been, Michael, but apparently events have forced my hand. Justin was a good Hybrid and it was sad that it had to end this way.” Lifting up his shirt the others drew in to look at the healing scar that marred his chest.

They were all hovering above Istanbul; high enough so that they could still make out the individual Atlanteans that were making their way to the Hagia Sophia. Gabriel stood opposite his brothers, Raphael looking rather formal in his suit on the left, Michael almost the opposite with his sleeves rolled up and cigarette hanging from his mouth in the middle with Jegudial on the right currently occupying Justin’s body and youthful clothing. It pained Gabriel to think that Raguel would not be joining them; losing a sibling, especially a True Atlantean like them, wasn’t a great feeling. Then again, she had always been rash and vengeful and even their darling sister Selephial had seen her sister’s demise. Much to Gabriel’s surprise though, their favourite half-brother, Lucifer, had decided to make his guest appearance amongst them.

“Welcome, Lucy, I wasn’t sure if you would make it.” Gabriel smiled at the new addition to the group, enjoying using the nickname he had created for him.

While the other brothers cast looks of disgust and dislike, Lucifer simply flattened his suit against his chest and smiled, “It’s good to be back in the competition, Gabriel.” He bit the side of his lip, annoyed at their brotherly joke to call him ‘Lucy’.

“Good. Well then, Selephial will not be joining us unfortunately; her catatonic state won’t allow her like usual. Also we must mourn the loss of Raguel, the anger finally caught up to her….” Gabriel lowered his head in mock sadness.

“Enough of your games, Gabriel, I think we can all agree that she was a great loss, but won’t be missed.” Raphael interjected Gabriel, his voice stern like he was telling off a child. He was perhaps the closest sibling in age to Raguel but the two had rarely gotten along. Raphael would have been the kind of kid who built towers with his blocks while Raguel would come along and kick them over with a diabolical laugh.

Michael sighed, “Guys, I know we all despise being around each other so can we save the therapy session for after? Gabe, just get on with it already.” He took a long drag from his cigarette, promptly receiving the evils from his brothers.

“Alright, alright. First of all we have our Harbinger already chosen; James Hazen backed by Lucifer.” Gabriel motioned towards Lucifer who was looking pretty proud, “I was sure Mister Hazen would give up becoming a Harbinger to focus on becoming a World Changer, but it seems your guidance has paid off. In that case, Lucifer is now in control of the new messiah.” Gabriel floated over to shake Lucifer’s hand. “Secondly, we have four World Changers: Nathaniel Calaway backed by Jegudial, Oakley North backed by Michael, Thayne Clarke backed by Raphael, and Delta Mayor. Seeing as no one is here to represent Miss Mayor, I shall take the mantle.”

“Hold on, you can’t do that, you’re to remain impartial!” Raphael objected, well aware of Gabriel’s tendency to influence things in ways that would benefit him most.

“She needs a benefactor, Raphael, that’s how this works.” Jegudial was rather blunt, Gabriel couldn’t blame him after having been a tree for thousands of years. Then again, Gabriel also had a slew of tree and plant puns he had been saving up through the ages to use when his big brother finally woke up again.

“I second the motion,” Michael spoke in agreement with Gabriel, Lucifer backing the motion soon after but none of the siblings really counting his vote.

“It’s three against one, Ralph,” Gabriel stated matter of fact like, choosing to ignore Lucifer’s protest that it was four against one. “Besides, Micky and Ralph were allowed to be the benefactors to their children and that broke precedence. It’s not like I’m going to interfere, you all have already had the chance to prepare your candidates.”

“Carry on, Gabriel, we’ve already established that you may be Miss Mayor’s benefactor.” Jegudial was growing tired of their sibling bickering, making his time as a tree seem much more pleasant.

“Alrighty then. So now that everyone has gathered here, they can no longer interfere with the events of the battle. Whoever wins this round will pick the next round of candidates and set up the following event while being able to offer their candidate the Choice. Each Choice must be composed of two options for the winner to decide. If there are no more urgent matters to attend to, I suggest you all sit back and relax as I’ll be back shortly.” The brothers collectively watched as one moment Gabriel was standing in front of them and the next he had disappeared in a flash of golden light.

“I still think this should have gone down in Beijing,” Michael muttered between drags on his cigarette, “I haven’t seen China since the Communist Revolution.”

“Honestly brother, it has just become worse.” Raphael informed Michael, having had set up multiple offices in China. The people were much ruder than they had been before and the air around the major cities was filthy and polluted.


Gabriel stood behind the large front doors to the basilica turned museum ready for his grand entrance. He could feel the tension hanging in the air just beyond those doors; giddy with excitement for the battle that was about to take place. Over the recent generations of World Changers, none had amassed such a following as this generation; it made him anxious to see how the battle would take place. It seemed like only yesterday that he had personally visited each and every World Changer while they were still in diapers, confirming his choices. To think three months had gone by since this event had started and now here he was standing at the precipice with nothing but the finale in front of him. He was proud, proud of the contestants he had chosen, how they had survived and ultimately how they had all reached this final point.

The point where everything he had set in motion was to come to fruition.

Flinging his arms out wide, Gabriel made sure to hold his chin up high as the morning light of day broke through the doors as they arched open under the will of his power. Stepping out into the morning air, he could hear the collective breaths inhale as he made his appearance.

“Good Morning, what a lovely turn out! I'm so pleased you could all come today. I hope you are all prepared for the fight ahead of you today,” his voice boomed out across the carpark in such a way that everyone could hear him. “Before we get under way however, there are a couple of things we must attend to.” With a wave of his hand, everyone who was not a World Changer or Harbinger was frozen in place. They were still able to breathe and look around; he had simply frozen their muscles to prevent anyone from interrupting his procession.

“Misters Calaway, Clarke, Hazen and Miss' Mayor and North, could you all please make your way forward.” Gabriel made sure to make eye contact with each of them as they left their crowds of followers. “Miss Mayor, could you please bring young Elpis up with you? Also I would advise heavily against any early attacks, you will have time to try and kill each other after.” Gabriel eyed them all suspiciously and gave them a sheepish grin, knowing full well that some like Mister Hazen would try a preemptive strike.

Once the group of Hybrids had made their way over, Gabriel first addressed James, “Mister Hazen, please, hand over the Harbinger relics.” Gabriel held his hand out, motioning for James to hand them over, “Don’t be afraid, I shall return them.”

James hesitated for a moment, looking back at his frozen comrades. Their eyes darted to him as they looked on helplessly. Only a few minutes into this altercation and James was already hating how it was turning out. Nonetheless, he silently strutted forward to The Librarian with the three artifacts. His eyes wandered to the other World Changers for a moment, his gaze lingering for a bit longer on Nate, Delta and Oakley.

Gabriel tutted James, "You really should have done this earlier." He spoke condescendingly to James as he placed both the jewel and mirror in their respective sockets on opposing sides of the sword's hilt. Once done he handed the sword back to James, "Through the everlasting shine of the Universe, I name thee, James Hazen, as the Harbinger of Light." For a moment the clouds parted and sunlight illuminated the patch where Gabriel and the Hybrids stood, "Wow, that was eerily coincidental. The sword is now yours, Mister Hazen, only you can use it and the pieces will disconnect upon your death."

Gabriel dropped the upbeat tone for something more serious, "As for everyone one else, it's nice to see so many familial faces. Just in case you weren't aware, one of you will stand triumphant after today as the World Changer. While in the running you're all considered World Changers, only one will turn out to be the World Changer. Whoever sucessfully stands triumphant shall recieve two options; the winner may only choose one." Gabriel turned to address James, "As the Harbinger, you Mister Hazen have the choice of backing one of the World Changers. Who do you pick?"

James examined his adjusted sword before he turned his attention to the other World Changers. The four of them stood on opposite ends with their own constructed factions, except Oakley who only had one other Atlantean with her. They all seemed to gather up their own forces similarly to how he did. He doubted they used the same tactics, but James wondered for a moment if the World Changers were able to naturally draw people to them, or if the fact that they managed to was tied to mere coincidence.

He brought his gaze once more down to the sword, and then at Henry. "That... would be telling," James replied to the Librarian as he gave him a look of resentment. "Who says I have to pick any of them? Who says I haven't already picked one? Or two? Or all? And frankly, who the hell are you to tell me what I can and can't do? I should have known you would have something to do with all this, Henry. You've been pissing me off basically since we met. So why don't you do us all a favor, step aside and let us handle our own business how we want to. Now if you don't mind, I've got some friends to catch up with," He ended as he walked past the Librarian and addressed the rest of the World Changers.

"Hey guys," He greeted with a grin. "Looks like we all made it. Well, what's left of us."

"You would know all about that, wouldn't you?" Thayne asked him sarcastically. This was the man that had murdered Dom and who the hell knows how many others. Thayne had always had a dislike for the electrokinetic, but that dislike had quickly transformed into hatred after his various murder sprees and the death of Dom. "You've been picking people off as if it was a game after all."

Delta had a lot to say about this subject but that required usage of words that were not suitable for Elpis to hear. For some strange reason The Librarian felt the need to beckon her along with the World Changers and that came off as awfully suspicious to Delta. However, if it kept Elpis away from those that wanted to do her harm then what other choice was there? Delta needed answers first, "Why do you want Elpis?" She looked solely at the True Atlantean who apparently was the ring leader of... everything.

Gabriel sighed at James reply, the boy's angst was definitely clouding his judgement, but if this was the game he wanted to play then he would certainly accomodate that. "Be wary of your words, Mr. Hazen. Remember who you are talking to. But in any case, that'll have to do for now." As he began, the siblings, Mister Clarke and Hazen, bickered in the background, Gabriel was questioned by Delta following the nature of Elpis' being with them, "Simple, Miss Mayor, I want the same security for Elpis as you do. Once the battle begins she'll leave with me where I'll keep her safe from all the ruckus, don't you worry. I see her as much of a sister as you do. You remind me so much of Selaphial." He smiled down at the small girl, rapidly conversing with her in Atlantean. At first she spoke hesitantly, but ultimately ended in nodding her head at him.

"Picking people off?" James repeated what Thayne had said as he examined the Atlantean. "I haven't been picking people off. Well, only humans. But they don't really count. Anyone else was an unfortunate casualty," He explained diplomatically. His attention was momentarily caught by the conversation with Delta and Henry, and he decided to chime in as well.

"Don't take her too far away," James interjected with a grin, his eyes wandering to the young girl. "She still has a big part to play in all of this, don't you, Elpis? I heard all about you," He said specifically to her with a smile. "How would you like to come with me when this is all over, little lady? Do you like to travel? We'll be going all over the world!"

To believe him or not to believe him was the real question on Delta's mind. Trusting anyone in the world that they lived in was a dangerous decision. Delta was curious as to the words he had riddled off in an ancient tongue to Elpis, hell, it could've been anything and Delta would've been none the wiser. Back when they first discovered Elpis in the box and then subsequently removed her from it The Librarian seemed rather friendly and sincere when it came to her. Pandora's words came forth from the back of her mind where they had been lingering even since Delta experienced them firsthand. Would he try to use Elpis as a tool?

It wasn't long before James Hazen's words reached her ears. Now, that was the sound of someone who wanted to use Elpis. That also was the sound of a dead man. Audible heavy breathing came from her nostrils, the anger made her shake with rage, and her fingers curled around the grip of her gun. She was at a lost for words, but that never happened with it came to actions. It was easy enough to tug her gun out of its holster and even easier to point it at James Hazen, but pulling the trigger was tougher than Delta thought. A glance at Elpis was all she needed to see before she returned her weapon back to its place on her hip. Words would have to do after all.

"I... Will... Murder... You." Between every word Delta took a deep breath in, her voice shaking with anger. "Take another step or speak another word to her, I dare you to, and I will make you wish you were one of those unfortunate casualties." Delta had managed slow her breathing, but couldn't lose the shakiness of her voice. How did he possess the audacity to address Elpis in such a manner? In Delta's eyes remained nothing but coldness, they were daggers that were ready to plunge into their victim. "I will watch over you as you hopelessly try to breathe in that last shallow breath and perhaps prior to that you'll have rambled about something completely predictable, but you'll think it's unpredictable and alluring, and then I will crush every ounce of life out of you." Delta wasn't satisfied at leaving at that. James Hazen had heard about Elpis... Kieran. "Though, this isn't before I slit the throats of each member of your pathetic group and lay their bloody corpses at your feet. Without fail I will remind you how you brought them here like pigs to the slaughter. Sacrificial offerings."

"So I'm guessing this means you probably won't join up with me," James replied to Delta with a slight smirk after her huge rant.

As much as Thayne agreed with Delta, he knew that starting the fight now was pointless. There were questions that needed to be answered and this was likely the only time that they would get any. As inevitable as the battle was, they needed to know. "What the hell-"

"Librarian!" Nathaniel stepped forward, cutting off Thayne completely. The leader of the New Atlantean Order was not invested in the business of Elpis, nor did was he explictly aware of the havoc that James had wrought on the world since his defeat at the hands of the lightning enchaced Atlantean. Yet, behind him he had an army depending on his leadership and a task he could not ignore. He would restrain his opinions on James, Delta and Thayne. Dwelling on any of the things they have done or may have done would serve little in the moment or even in the grander scheme of things.

"I grow tired of these prophecies, enigmatic speeches and petty games! Ever since I have been given these abilites, I have been tossed around being told what I need to do with no reason behind any of it!" Nathaniel looked at the others. "While I have had my disagreements with him, perhaps James has a point. Why do I need to listen to you? Why do any of us have to listen to you? I don't need your history lessons and Atlantean magic to tell me if I can change the world," he continued, gesturing at his followers in the New Atlantean Order, before gesturing to his fellow World Changers and James. "I have a goal. No, a mission, to create a world where we Atlanteans can live as we are meant to be! Now tell me, Librarian, what's stopping me from marching out of this city and refusing to play your little game! What's stopping me or anyone else from changing the world on our own?"

James grinned at Nate's speech and nodded in agreement. "Preach on, Nate. Preach on."

Gabriel's mouth curved into a wide grin, "You. You are the one stopping yourself from leaving this city and trying to change the world." Gabriel locked eye contact with each and everyone of the World Changers standing before him, "You have all been drawn here, not by prophecy, but by your curiosity and belonging; curiosity to see what exactly this event and its outcome is. Deep down you all believe that standing here is where you belong. If you were to walk out of this city right now, what's to stop you from continually questioning for the rest of your life 'what if...'." Gabriel stopped, he wanted to go on but each moment was just another delay for the show, "For those that care about casualties, if you leave this city now, if you all try to change the world by yourselves, are you so sure that you will be left alone? String this fight out over years, decades even, across continents and ocean, and what will be left in the process? I'm sure some like Mr. Hazen here," he turned to James with the slightest note of sour in his face, "will not let you walk away when you pose a threat to their end goals."

"But what if we all choose to walk away," Thayne began. "What if we all made the decision to just live peacefully?" Thayne knew that probably wouldn't happen, particularly with James. There was no way he'd want to live without the destruction he wants. They'd likely need to get rid of him before anything. "What if we just decide that we're done with all this fighting?"

"Your decisions are yours alone, and you must face the consequences of what might happen if you choose to walk away. In my experience with the past... the fighting never seems to stop until the last man or woman is standing." Gabriel's eyes seemed to darken, like there was something else he knew about going on in his mind that he refused to share with the group, "The Choice always seems to bring that kind of chaos."

Nathaniel glared at the Librarian, almost throwing his arms up at the rhetoric the Altantean spewed at him. "The Choice? You expect to believe that the entire fate of the world rests on an A or B decision. That a single 'choice' as you put it will end all the fighting? I find that terribly hard to believe. There will be always be fighting. When there is law, there is chaos. When there is peace, there will eventually be war. What you are speaking of is nothing more than wishful thinking." Nathaniel paused and crossed his arms, looking for a moment at Thayne, who seemed to be on Nathaniel's side for the moment. "But let's say for a moment, I believed you. How does the Choice do what you say it does?"

"Everyday you make choices. Turn left or turn right. Kill or not to kill. Your entire fate rests on choices, if you choose to send the earth into another Ice Age, isn't that the entire fate of the world resting on an, as you put it, 'A or B decision'?" Gabriel couldn't blame the Hybrid, his human side was restricting the understanding he would have otherwise achieved as a True Atlantean, his human side that was polarising everything. "Like every other choice you make, it just happens. Despite being able to control and manipulate elements, there are forces out there that even us True Atlanteans can't control: this is one of them. In the same way that your choice to throw the world into another Ice Age or not works, so does this Choice."

"Except you haven't told us what that Choice is." Thayne looked between the Libarian and the other World Changers. "Don't you think it's our right to know? This entire time you seem to have been manipulating events to your liking, so you can't tell us that you do not know what it is. You want to tell us that it's our choice to be here, and I'm not disagreeing with you. We all ended up here of our own accord." Thayne thought back to the plane crash. Well, most of us anyways, he thought. "There is more than one reason why we're here, so how about you tell us."

"As much as I'd like to know, Mr Clarke, I cannot tell you. I've done this for many centuries and each time, the Choice only presents itself once the winner stands triumphant. It's one of the most frustrating things about this ordeal." Gabriel was quickly tiring of the questions and bickering, he wanted the fight to start sooner rather than later. He had said his part, relayed all the information he deemed necessary, now he was just waiting for someone to make the first move. "I suppose you could forfeit, but where's the sport in that? Don't you all stand up for what you believe in?"

"But why do you want us to fight? Couldn't we solve this some other way?" Oakley piped up, her eyes glistening at the thought of her killing someone. Some of these people she considered friends. And her brother was here too! Why was she being forced to fight them? The Librarian had made it sound like they were given a choice whether to fight or not but in reality, Oakley was not going to get out of here peacefully.

"My dearest niece, I don't want you to kill each other, but its always the way that this plays out." He shook his head and sighed. "But wouldn't you agree, that this is the most interesting way to go about this? I'm almost bursting at the seams in excitement to discover who will win. Out of all the things I don't know in the world, this is at the top of my list to find out!"

"Niece?" Delta couldn't help but groan, "You're telling me basically everyone here is related?" A single glance at the rest of the World Changers told her that the majority of them hadn't a clue of what she was referring to. "All I know is that you four are children of True Atlanteans," Delta pointed to Thayne, Wyatt, Oakley, and James Hazen. Through various means Delta had found out a lot about her fellow competitors. It didn't take a genius to put two and two together that Oakley and Wyatt were siblings, and the Librarian had just confirmed their parentage. When it came to Thayne, Delta had Simon tap into his ability after snatching one of few articles of clothing he left behind when he disappeared after Budapest. The information about James was supplied by her father who had told her The League had been hired to kill a True Atlantean. There were means and methods used that were never fully disclosed to Delta, as her father rarely had the patience or the time to talk about such things. James Hazen was linked back to a name she had heard before, Ralph, better known as Raphael.

"Oakley and Wyatt are siblings. Thayne and James Hazen are siblings. That makes you guys cousins or something. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Ice Boy was related to the rest of you lot as well." It all made sense in Delta's head, she wasn't sure how well it translated out loud. "How did I do?" Delta turned toward the Librarian and narrowed her eyes.

"Very well done." The Librarian gave Delta a sincere round of applause. "I wouldn't expect anything less from you, Ms. Mayor." Once the rest began discussing and arguing over ideologies, Gabriel took the moment to step back from the discussion. Taking Elpis' hand, he smiled at her before spiriting the two of them off and up to where his siblings stood. Once he was back up high, he introduced Elpis to his brethren before clicking his fingers and allowing the rest of the Hybrids to resume movement.
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Old 3 Days Ago (09:03 PM). Edited 3 Days Ago by Vintage Arachnid.
Vintage Arachnid
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Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

December 21st, 2012

"Well ain't that just peachy," James stated as he crossed his arms and stared for a few moments are Thayne. He tried to find some family resemblance, but shrugged and gave up. That wasn't too interesting for him to begin with. In fact, a lot of the conversation surrounding what to make about the Librarian's intentions and their choices was beginning to annoy him. He had already made up his mind that he'd handle this entire situation how he wanted to. "In the spirit of supposed family bonds, and letting us play this entire fiasco out how we want to, what if I say that I would agree with you, Thayne?" He asked his apparent brother.

"Seems Henry is pushing us to make choices, and it is what it is. He's got his agenda, and I've got mine," James explained as his eyes darted to each of the World Changers. "Contrary to what you've probably heard, I'm not here to kill you, or really even to fight you. So I'll give you some choices too. You can leave now, just like you suggested," He said as he as motioned to Thayne. "Leave and live peacefully, whatever. I won't bother you ever again if that's what it takes, just as long as you leave this World Changer business behind. Or... you can join up with me. Not as a World Changer or any other bullsh*t these guys are spewing, but as a partner. A fellow Atlantean. I think if we actually sat down and listened to each other, we could see that we might be after similar things. Your choice. Unless, of course, you guys like being on a leash and playing their little 'World Changer' game."

"If you would agree with me, then maybe we'd all be able to get passed this," Thayne said in reply to his 'brother'. Thayne sighed and looked at Delta. He should have known she'd figure something like that out. "However, we can all tell that that's not what you're looking for, is it?

"You want us to join your fight, but what is it that you're actually after? Tell us how it's the right thing to do, how you justify the means with the end."

James smiled at Thayne, then shrugged his shoulders. "All I'm trying to do is let nature take its course. Natural selection. Evolution. And to create a better world for the Atlanteans. Is that so different than what any of you want?"

"What I want doesn't involve killing innocent humans or Atlanteans," Nathaniel interjected. "Eliminate that small fraction of your intention and then maybe we can come to some sort of compromise."

"Yeah." Oakley nodded, agreeing with Nate. "I just want to protect those who can't protect themselves."

"I'm so tired of these boring conversations about morals and ideals that we always find ourselves in again and again," Delta announced to her fellow World Changers. "We're all different people, we all want different things." Delta turned toward the Cryokinetic Atlantean, "In the past month, how much good have you done with your New World Order? How many goals have you accomplished?" She pivoted to turned toward a former comrade with blonde hair, "And you, how many lives have you truly protected? Attempted even?" Lastly, Delta shifted herself toward the Atlantean whose goals she knew the littlest about. "What about you, Thayne? Make any major progress?"

"I'm going to guess the answer to all of those questions is no or none. You're here because even if you don't believe in this Choice, if there's a chance that it might help your cause you want it. Otherwise, why are you here? To tell the Librarian that you reject everything? Don't you think you could've done that simply by staying at home? We all have things we want to achieve in this world, some more extreme than others. At this point, from what I've seen, all your dreams are just that, dreams. Now, you reject the chance at fulfilling them because of where it comes from? Seriously? You all sound like idealistic idiots to me."

"He," Delta pointed at James Hazen, "isn't a World Changer anymore, as we just saw. He has no choices to give to us and no input in this decision, unless he plans on stopping us. In fact, I have choices of my own to give." Unfortunately, the others were the types to foolishly try to reason and work with a man like James Hazen. They wanted to see good where there wasn't any, a fact some of them weren't willing to accept. It was the end of the line and hard decisions needed to be made. Delta locked her gaze onto James Hazen, "You can leave World Changer business to actual World Changers. You'll leave here completely unscathed and take those who you brought." She made sure to gesture to his group at the appropriate time. "If you reject that one, well... I'll kill you and whoever aids you right now," Delta finished and crossed her arms. A sense of power returned to her as soon as she noticed the absent of Elpis and the movement of the individuals who were not World Changers. At a slow pace the ground beneath her very feet had begun to crystallize.

"You're right about one thing," James began to reply to Delta. "I'm not a World Changer. But that doesn't mean I won't change the world. If you guys want to go fight for that title, be my guest." He held up a finger and continued. "But if you think I won't be getting involved... well you got another thing coming. I ain't missing this for the world. It's like I told Dom and Austin before... well, before things went down: if you're not going to be with me, then all you'll be doing is standing in my way. If this is where you World Changers want to fight, if this is how you want the future to begin, then you'd better believe I'm gonna be apart of it."

"Don't you dare bring them up," Thayne began in response, mostly in regards to Dom. He knew Delta was right about what had been accomplished in the last few weeks. The most he had done was kill Raguel in an attempt to stop the Renegade's attacks on the world, not that it made the difference he wanted. It seemed the majority of the group had already joined James. By killing one brutal anarchist, all he had done was give another the beginnings of an army. However, even if he didn't accomplish anything worthwhile, James would only do something to harm the world.

"The future you want is full of murder. You don't want to fix this world, you want genocide of an entire race and of those who oppose you." He could tell the words wouldn't do much, but it was something that he knew needed to be established. At that moment, the only way Thayne thought the world could be helped was by stopping his brother. If he were to win this, he'd figure out how to fulfill his role later on. Changing the world wasn't something you could do over night, it required too much planning. However, stopping a madman seemed like a much easier feat. Finally noticing the non-World Changers movements, Thayne prepared to defend himself, a few whisps of dark matter beginning to rotate around him.

Nathaniel walked over to James, looking at the smaller man right in the eye. "It would seem you are outnumbered. So I would turn around and walk out of this city while you are still able. Hide in some backwater country and allow us to handle what needs to be done," Nathaniel said, before looking look at the other World Changers and Delta in particular. "Considering the circumstances, I would not take your chances. Yet, if you continue to stand in my way, I will strike you down just as quickly as the any of the others. You are not among friends. That is the last piece of advice you will ever recieve from me."

"Not among friends, huh?" James repeated with a chuckle as he looked down to the sword in his hand. He examined the hilt where the mirror and jewel had been placed. "You know, this jewel is supposed to tell me whenever danger approaches. But it's been shining ever since I got into this city. So is it really that helpful anymore, I wonder?" He questioned, before he set his eyes on Delta, then gazed at Nate, and then Thayne.

"As much as we try to deny it, I think we all knew this was going to go down only one way," He continued to say towards the other World Changers. "But if you really wanna settle your World Changer business now," James took a few steps back and gestured forward to an imaginary spot in the center of the others. "Be my guest, I won't stop you."

James took a few more steps back, then glanced again at the other World Changers. He then turned around and looked over at his Renegades, his eyes lingering on each one of them. They looked back at him expectanctly, and James thought for a moment how he should react. It was only the briefest of thoughts, because he had made up his mind long before to act and do as he pleased. And there was only one thing he wanted to do now.

"Buuut then again..." James swiftly turned around again as he gripped his sword tightly, and swung it toward the other World Changers. Instantly, the sword's abilitiy activated, sending a powerful gust rushing in their direction. The blast of air flung every object in that direction hurling into the air. "F*ck that!" He laughed with glee.

Nathaniel was knocked to the ground by the sneak attack by James, yet rolled on the ground to quickly recovery. Coming to his feet, his placed one hand on his forearm, channeling his power to his right arm. Gathering some energy and ice, he launched a large ice blast directly at James with pinpoint accuracy. It only took a second for Thayne to right himself. Aiming at the attacker, Thayne sent several tendrils of dark matter in his direction. It pushed forward through the air until it reached the same distance as the ice shards flying through the air. Oakley, because of the sheer weight of her arm, had her feet slip beneath her but her arm kept her torso upright, leaving her slip a little but still remain verticle. Delta, unlike the others, had remained on her feet. From the moment they recovered their powers she had been setting up precautions. One of which was firmly anchoring herself to the ground through a crystallization trick she had learned. She looked on as both Thayne and Ice Boy launched potentially deadly attacks toward James Hazen. Delta couldn't allow for those attacks to land and do the job she had already claimed. Thankfully, the ground beneath them was almost entirely crystallized so all it took was the motion of raising her hands to manipulate the crystal upwards. It wasn't fast enough to block the full brunt of the attack, that James Hazen would have to do on his own, but it took out enough to leave his life intact.

She launched herself up and over them and stood facing the two male World Changers. "I can't let you kill him," Delta spoke them in a stern tone. "I've got that part covered."

"Protecting him doesn't make it seem like it, Delta! Now stand aside!" Nathaniel said. The air around them became cold fast, with the moisture in the air turning into specks of ice and mist. In due time, all but Nathaniel would feel the effects of the winter-like aura.

"Remember the first and last time you told me to do something?" Delta inquired. The events in Paris almost seemed like a life time ago. That's where she first encountered Ice Boy and Oakley, it was her very first important mission at the Atlantean Unification Project.

Delta surprisingly blocked off a good portion of the attacks sent at James, but a few of the ice shards Nate sent came after James. He targeted them in the air, then concentrated the energy of his lightning into the tips of his fingers. He began to send out bolts of lightning from them one after another. Each one targeted the shards coming toward him. Upon impact, the extreme temperature of the lightning caused the shards to melt and splash onto the ground as either water or spray into the air as steam. He narrowly avoided one last shard which whirled by his head, watching it spiral behind him. He turned again to the others and grinned.

"Looks like she won't bite, Nate," James said with a grin. "That's OK, I could use a hand to even the odds!" He yelled as he brought both of his arms in front of him and fired off what essentially was two sets of prolonged lightning bolts at Thayne with one hand and Nate with the other. The bolts appeared to shoot off like a electrical ray gun, constantly burning what it touches.

"Don't get too cocky," Delta snapped. While she hadn't seen either Thayne or Ice Boy in action Delta wouldn't be the one to underestimate them in a fight. There was a good chance they spent as much time training and learning to bolster their abilities.

"Don't you think starting an ice age is a little counter-intuitive, Nate?" Called Thayne as he raised separate black shields in front of the pair, barely protecting them from the blast. Instinctively, Thayne began looking for some sort of cover to take shelter in. There was no way he could use the shields without depleting a little too much of his own energy. He had no idea how strong the other World Changers were and that only left him with a few choices. Watch and conserve his energy, or push them to use more of their own.

The majority of buildings around them were blocked by the many Atlanteans already waging war on each other, leaving him with little to no options for protection. Thayne sighed before looking at Delta and James. He knew the girl could hold her own against any of them and James was a wild card, particularly with the sword that the Librarian had fashioned for him. It definitely put them at an advantage. "So, what's with the sword," Thayne called towards James. "Thought you needed a little extra to actually match us?"

"If you're scared, don't worry!" James replied to Thayne. He felt a small shiver roam across his back, no doubt the effects of the temperature slowly but surely beginning to decrease thanks to Nate's ability. James stopped shooting the continuous lightning shot, and ran a few steps forward. "The only thing I'm here to do is show you how lightning really works!" He yelled, before he jumped into the air and slammed his palms onto the ground. Instantly, sparks of electricity spiraled off of his hands and shot their way across the floor and towards both Thayne and Nate. During the past month, James had developed a greater mastery over his ability, able to release and store larger amounts of energy. This came with its prices as well, but James wasn't worried about that right now.

To attack her fellow World Changers felt unprovoked, but Delta needed to see how far they had come. Her second ability allowed for her to become a proficient ranged fighter, which was quite different from close combat. There was also the problem of showing off too much, Delta had plenty of tricks up her sleeves after a month of planning for this moment and she wasn't going to show her hand just yet. She rose crystals from the ground that had cracked under the pressure of James Hazen's electricity and molded them into thin, sharp-pointed needles while they hovered in mid-air. Patiently Delta held them back until the exact moment when the duo went to dodge the Electrokinetic's attack and sent them flying forward. One batch aimed at Thayne and another at the Atlantean who had lowered the temperature.

It didn't take long for James' electrical attack to reach them. Without a second thought, Thayne pushed himself into the air without looking at his temporary partner. He couldn't just protect him the entire time, after all. Unfortunately, Thayne wasn't able to notice the Crystallokinetic's attack until it was practically on top of him. It was close, but he managed to deflect at least a few of the needles. Another seemed to have pierced his shoulder, narrowly missing any major arteries.

Nathaniel followed Thayne's lead and leapt into the air, watching the ground quake with James' electrical wave. As he hovered in the air, Nathaniel quickly noticed Delta's attack prepping and ready to launch. Unable to muster an effective defensive plan in the few seconds he had, he coated himself in a sheet of ice armor. It wasn't thick and probably would not do much to prevent the likely stronger crystals from piercing his makeshift attempt at defense. The attack hit Nathaniel with a fair amount of force. He crumbled to the ground, with the ice armor and crystals falling to the ground as he shed the armor. Unlike Thayne, Nathaniel was in better shape, with only a few cuts on his arms and legs.

As he laid on the ground, Nathaniel placed his palms flat on the concrete, as if getting a feel for the land. An idea struck him and he smirked softly. Leaping to his feet, he turned to the New Atlantean Order: "Take defensive positions! Brace yourselves!" The members of the order that were capable of swift movement, backed away from Nathaniel, spurred on by Antonia, who seemed to know what Nathaniel was planning. Others, injured from the stray fire from James and Delta did what they could to move, with only a handful helping as they seemed to fear Nathaniel's smirk more than anything.

Nathaniel knelt down, placing his hands on the ground. Ice gathered and spread across the floor, coating the ground around the World Changers, James and all the groups that gathered with a sheet of ice. Hardly worthy of the fear invoked in the Order. But then a glacier of ice sprouted from the ground. Then another. Then one more. The glaciers and pillars of ice burst through concrete, in a jagged mess of ice. Istanbul had become an example of the so called Ice Age that everyone grew fond of calling Nathaniel's abilities. "If you are going to use your sword, James, then the least I can have is the homefield advantage." With the city resembling the arctic tundra, the area can become significantly colder with even Nathaniel able to see his breath. Instead of shivering, all he did was crack his neck, ready for a round two.

Delta tapped once on the earpiece she had in, "Get back." They only had the briefest of moments to talk before The Librarian had walked out the door, but Delta had warned them to stay away from all ice, dark matter, and electricity. A chorus of acknowledgements came through and she turned her position in order to make sure they had completed the task. As much as Delta hated to admit it Ice Boy was starting to prove he actually had strength when it came to his ability. This trick of his would have an effect on her battle strategies. The coldness however was a different story, as she easily could have crystallized body and be immune to it within seconds. Temperature wise, it didn't really compare to what she had to deal with back home, at least not yet anyway.

Two could play of making the playing field their own. Delta interlocked her fingers and stretched them outwards, palms out. In one swift movement she raised her arm to the left of her, which jolted up one large spiral of crystal and several smaller ones near it reminiscent of a metal spring. Stomping her foot down caused a line of jagged spikes of crystal to shoot forward her opposition. It didn't take long before she erected walls of crystals to use as shields, one right in front of her and another closer to James Hazen.

Watching the entire area be transformed by Nate's ability was truly a sight to see. James found himself grinning like an idiot the entire time it was happening. He enjoyed it when other Atlanteans demonstrated the extent of their power to others. The scary thing was, he was certain Nate could do even more. As he noticed Delta and Nate give orders to their groups, James turned to his own and smirked. "Go crazy!" He yelled at them as another shiver ran down his spine from the declining temperature. He already briefed them before that he would most likely handle the World Changers on his own. However, since he didn't really consider them his subordinates, he declined giving them instructions beyond that. They were free to do as they liked.

Oakley began to shiver, flicking out her right arm to let the armour grow to protect her from the cold. Honestly, she had no idea what to do and who or what to fight for right now. The rest had ignored her completely, perhaps seeing her as useless or weak. Of course, she didn't mind that much not being targeted, but she hated this fight. It seemed so futile. She glanced at the sky, searching for the Librarian. What had he been planning all along? A few dark spots dotted the sky above her. She narrowed her eyes, squinting to try and make them out. What were they?

"Um, guys?" She yelled out to them, pointing one of her armoured arms upwards. "We might have bigger things to worry about."

"What the..." Delta responded as she looked upwards toward the sky. Honestly, the shocked tone was more about Oakley's presence than the falling rocks. The fight had her enamored to the point where she forgotten Oakley was even a factor. Not that it mattered, the teenage girl wasn't much of a threat unless seriously provoked. As one of the rocks smashed into the ground it scattered some of the lackeys and if some of them were unlucky it might have crushed a few. A strange feeling of déjà vu overcame her, they had a similar appearance to the meteorites that had fallen in Paris... How was this possible?

"I don't have time for this," Delta sighed. Above the necessity of this fight was first and foremost the immediate protection of the individuals that had came to protect her. In haste Delta abandoned her position behind the thick wall of crystal and muster as much focus and concentration as she could. Subsequently, she flung it at one of the smaller meteorite that was bracing for impact near her team. The durable and power of the throw was enough to knock the meteorite off course and into one of the nearest buildings. A dome, reinforced with crystal columns came about as Delta proceeded to manipulate and crystallize more and more of the substance that was needed. This was precious energy she was wasting when it was better spent on fighting to win.

Spotted on the roof was the same glowing figure she had spotted months ago on top of the EIffel Tower. Goddamnit. He was back and so was his goddamn meteorites. It didn't take much of an effort for a crystallized platform to appear beneath her feet. She rose off the ground and grabbed the handle of the now modified bone swords, Delta hoped one well aimed throw would pierce his skull.

When the fighting started, Wyatt and the others had backed off, using their guns to hold everyone off at a safe distance. As the meteorites began falling around them, Wyatt began looking for their source; seeing the same Atlantean from from Paris glowing on top of the Hagia Sophia. "Cover me," Wyatt yelled at the others as he darted forward, watching Delta up on the steps obviously noticing the same danger and reacting. The last time he had encountered her outside of the Library of Souls, she hadn't enjoyed his nickname for her. Wanting to get in quick, Wyatt stopped where he was planting his feet and lifting his Assault Rifle to his shoulder and aimed at the Atlantean. He was a little too far away to accurately hit the guy, but if he ran any closer, Delta would get to him before Wyatt. Biting the side of his lip, he took the shot, holding down on the trigger and emptying the rest of his clip in the Atlantean's general direction.

"You're welcome, Skrillex!" Wyatt yelled at Delta as the man ceased his glowing and slumped to the roof, not knowing if she had heard or not.

To effectively position her weapon in order to hit the man in a place that would kill him was tricky. Though, Delta supposed it didn't really matter seeing as she could manipulate the material the weapon had become to be made out of... None of that mattered as the man fell backwards as he was hit from something that was not her sword. She scanned the landscape only to notice a rifle-wielding boy mouthing something in her direction. The various amounts of screams silenced his words, the final meteorites were still raining down from the heavens, but it didn't take a genius to figure out what Wyatt had said. A quick dismantled of her platform (and a trip to the ground) left her with enough material to create something special for him. The crystal was fashioned into several sharp daggers and another batch of sharp needles except these ones were barbed along the sides to inflict maximum damage. With a flick of her wrist Delta sent them barreling at a heighten speed, her only wish that one ended up buried in the chest or smashed his glasses.

Wyatt picked up on the daggers and needles flying towards him, but the speed at which they were traveling was too fast for him. He couldn't activate his second ability in time nor could he move out of the way without getting hit. As he jumped to the side, Wyatt felt the unmistakeable sting as a dagger caught him on the cheek, slicing a gash from the side of his face and across the bridge of his nose. Another sharp pain ripped through his right arm as two needles pierced through his skin; one through the shoulder and the other lodged in his bicep. He cried out in pain, crumpling to the ground and his broken glasses smashed against the concrete and gun fell from his hand. Her needles had torn much of the surrounding muscle and would be painful and near impossible to remove. Blood clouded his vision as thick globules dripped down his face. The pain wracked his body in a way he had never experienced. move out of the way without getting hit. As he jumped to the side, Wyatt felt the unmistakable sting as a dagger caught him on the cheek, slicing a gash from the side of his face and across the bridge of his nose.

James observed the actions by Wyatt and Delta toward the Atlantean from Paris. He cringed a little bit as he was brought down. He would have preferred to try and recruit him if given a chance. But he refrained from doing anything to Wyatt in retaliation. Fortunately, Delta wasn't so restrained, something James hoped for. As the crystal-manipulator fired at Wyatt, James scooted over to another World Changer: Oakley. He quickly changed his expression on his face from a grin to a scowl.

"What are you doing?" He asked her expectantly. "You're not going to let them do that to your own brother are you?" He was specific about pointing to not only Delta, but Nate and Thayne as well, even if they weren't involved in trying to harm Wyatt at that moment. "Is this how you want them to see you? When are you going to stop acting like a little girl and actually be what you really are? What did I say to you in Paris? You're stronger than this!" He yelled in her face. He then pointed to the three other World Changers again. "They might not know it. But I do. Now you just have to know it!" He repeated the words he said to her in Paris, before running forward again to attack Nate and Thayne. It's not going to do it yet, but it's a start, James thought to himself.

"But..." Oakley started, but James had already taken off, and Oakley turned back to her brother, watching in horror and conflict. Last time she had spoken to Wyatt, she had been furious at him and it hadn't ended that well. In saying that, she still loved her brother. She wanted her, her father and her brother to be together. And her mother too, but that was impossible.

Speaking of her father, the Librarian had continued to refer to her as his niece. Did that mean... her father was the Librarian's brother? Or was it just a term of endearment? Everything just went too fast for her. She could only take so much information

Try to ignore the declining temperature, James warmed the air around him by sending currents of electricity coursing through his body. As they navigated inside, they exited his body and struck and bounced across random solid object nearby him. When enough of this electricity was coursing in all random points in his body, he suddenly sent those volts streaming back toward his hands. He then extended both of his arms outward, and once all of the condensed lightning reached his arms, he slammed both of his arms together, causing a loud, thunderous boom which also sent dozens of smaller sparks of electricity towards the direction of Nate and Thayne.
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Old 3 Days Ago (09:45 PM). Edited 2 Days Ago by revlis.
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revlis
The Dream Walker
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Syndicate HQ
Age: 22
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Fatih District, Istanbul, Turkey

December 21st, 2012

Prior to the boat incident, Jeremy had been so full of life and pacifistic. Now as he stood with the rest of James’ Renegades, defectors and support, he was a hollow shell of the man he had been only a month ago. Full of rage and anger he wanted to do all that he could to help James; Jeremy’s way of getting back at the people who had kidnapped and experimented on him. But first James needed to win this fight. While James and his friends seemed to be arguing on the steps, Jeremy was ready to jump into action, almost doing so when the Librarian unfroze them. Yet his attention was drawn elsewhere as a glowing man with a small girl clinging to his back dropped from the sky, landing on the roof of the Hagia Sophia. As they landed, the small girl seemed to lose her grip of the man, tumbling down the roof heading towards the edge. In the spur of the moment, Jeremy chose to leave the fight and teleported over to the side of the Hagia Sophia. His arms were wide open, catching her as she tumbled off of the edge.

“Are you alright?” He asked the girl who now looked up at him, her eyes still wild with fright.

“I-I’m fine. Where am I?” She asked as Jeremy lowered her to her feet. She looked about ten or eleven years old with olive skin, brown eyes and dark brown hair.

“Istanbul, Turkey. Where did you come from? Are you with the ARF? Or remnants of AUP?” She couldn’t have been with the Syndicate, Jeremy had seen all the folders of recruits and possible recruits the Directive had in his filing cabinet. And of course she hadn’t been in the crowd James had coalesced.

When Jeremy spoke the acronyms, she looked puzzled, “What’s an ARF or AUP? I remember Istanbul, my dad used to tell me stories of a battle he had here long ago. What is the date?” There was a great pain in her eyes; Jeremy guessed she had started teleporting when she was younger and it had been a while since she had last seen her parents.

As the temperature chilled around them, Jeremy heard the cries, shouts and clash of abilities as no doubt the fight had started. “Let me take you somewhere safe,” he offered the little girl his hand, teleporting the both of them to a nearby rooftop once she had accepted. From the rooftop they had a good vantage point to look down at the battle raging below. A lot of the surrounding area had been iced over by Nate while electricity seemed to arc in the air, striking against a strange black mass. “This’ll be good,” Jeremy lowered himself to sit on the edge, patting the stop next to him for her to sit.

“It’s December Twenty-First, Twenty-Twelve, if that helps.”

“Oh, it doesn’t, but that’s alright. I won’t be around for long.” The small girl looked down at her feet, kicking them into the air.

“What do you mean? There’s not many places you can go around there. The place is overrun with zombies, and everyone is fighting down there, not doubt it’ll spill out more into the city. The best we can do is sit and watch.” Jeremy continued looking into the distance, focusing past the fighting to the horizon.

“My power won’t let me stay in one place for too long.” The girl stopped kicking her feet, “Before I showed up today I was in this land with massive creatures! Before that was Paris…” her voice dropped as she recounted her previous ventures.

“Wait, Paris? As in like two months ago? I was there too!” Jeremy was excited, he could have passed this girl at any point while he was there, “so you’re the reason the meteorites stopped?”

“Sorry, I have no control so my power takes me to where I need to go. Usually to bad events…” Jeremy quickly cut her off.

“You’re a hero! You stopped that guy from destroying more of the city, saved heaps of lives! If it wasn’t for you there would have been more damage!” For the first time in the last two months he felt genuinely happy inside. This girl didn’t realise that she had saved so many people with her actions and meeting her reignited something deep inside Jeremy. “I think you lie to yourself too much. You do have control over your ability. I don’t think your ability teleported this Meteor Guy away from Paris, I think, no, I believe you took control and teleported him yourself.” Jeremy turned, smiling at the little girl who sat next to him.

“You really think so?” she asked hesitantly, soaking in every word the guy had said about her being a hero. It reminded her of the stories her father used to tell and ever since she had been young, she had wanted to grow up to be a hero just like him.

Jeremy let out a small laugh, “Of course. What’s your name? We’ll come up with a superhero alias for you.” Just sitting here talking with this girl, Jeremy felt like the world around him slipped away and it was just the two of them. If he had ever lived a normal life, he probably would have become a teacher; he enjoyed talking with younger children.

“I’m Eris, what’s your name?” She looked up at Jeremy, amidst all this chaos, strife and destruction; this was the first time she had actually had a positive conversation with someone. She had been teleporting all over time now for the past three years and people had either reacted negatively to her, or treated her like a child.

“I’m Jeremy, nice to meet you, Eris.” Jeremy and Eris laughed, their entire conversation seemed out of place. Jeremy should have been down there fighting and helping his comrades except he was up here watching it like some sort of God looking down on his creation. “Well Eris is the Greek Goddess of Strife and Discord, but I don’t believe that you create strife, I think you experience it.” Jeremy looked up at the sky, running his hand through his hair as he crossed off differing superhero names to give her.

“Goddess. You’re named after one and your ability is powerful.” He mouthed it out once again before smiling, “That works. Nice to meet you, Goddess.” Jeremy nudged the girl with his elbow.

“I like it!” She said gleefully, “Goddess to the rescue!” Holding her fist out in the air, she swayed from side to side like she was pretending to be Superman flying through the sky. When she stopped, the two of them broke into uncontrollable giggling. Eris stopped before Jeremy, looking up at the boy who had been so nice to her. In the feeling of the moment, she flung her arms around his body and nuzzled her face into his arm. Taken aback by the hug, Jeremy froze not knowing what to immediately do. The last time a kid had hugged him like that was Fletcher when he thought Kieran had died.

With his free hand, Jeremy wrapped it across the girl’s shoulders and lay his head on top of hers. “If I can control my power, you can control yours.” He whispered to her.

“How? How do you do it?” She asked, a lone tear trailing down her cheek: his hug reminding her so dearly of her father.

Jeremy recollected all the times he had teleported, from his first erratic attempts to his latest where he caught the girl before she fell. “I tell myself that I am control. I know where I want to go, so I make myself teleport there. You just need to think about where and when you want to teleport to and make yourself teleport there. Where do you want to teleport to?” He asked softly.

“I want to see mummy and daddy again.”

“Think about them, where they are, when they’re there, believe 100% that is where you want to go and then you’ll be there. Try it now.” The two broke off their hug, Jeremy resting his hand on her shoulder.

“What if it doesn’t work?” Eris queried hesitantly.

“I think it will, I believe in you.” Jeremy smiled at the girl, trying his best to instil as much confidence in her as he could. “I’ll be here waiting for you to return, I promise.”

“Okay!” Eris spoke enthusiastically. “I can see daddy, he’s standing at the door, mummy is sitting on my bed…” Scrunching up her eyes and fists clenched and shaking, Jeremy was worried he was going to burst a vein of defecate herself instead of use her ability. He watched her, secretly keeping his fingers crossed that she made it.

Jeremy had never really realised what it was like for others to see himself disappear and so seeing this younger girl suddenly vanish before his eyes took him mildly by surprise. To him, whenever he teleported it was like he was seeing his destination before he was leaving where he was. The destination seemed to layer itself over top of where he was, slowly becoming more solid and real until he was entirely in the destination. He took a quick glance of the area around him, making sure she hadn’t missed her mark and teleported near where he sat. After a few minutes he stopped smiling, the loneliness getting back to him. As happy as he was for helping her with her ability, he was kind of sad that she hadn’t immediately teleported back within a couple of seconds of leaving.

Looking back over at the battle, he watched everyone else fight while he waited for her. He wasn’t aware of how long it would take, but he was afraid to even leave for a second least she return disappointed to find him missing.









Fatih District, Istanbul, Turkey

December 21st, 2012

Wyatt was lucky to have teammates, as soon as he went down, diamond spikes imbedded in his muscles and gash seeping large amounts of blood down his forehead, Adrian had sprinted forward to pick up the injured Atlantean before quickly withdrawing. As Adrian sprinted back towards the others, he forced a small case into Wyatt’s arms.

“This is an emergency, so I suggest you use it.” Adrian panted as they finally reached the others, laying Wyatt against an over turned car.

Hands shaking Wyatt tried giving it back, “Nah man, I’ll be fine, it’s more use to you.” He recalled the Directive explaining the effects adrenaline had on the Atlantean body; it was a source of Atlantean power, and injecting a dosage of adrenaline into your body would give your powers a great boost. It accelerated and increased strength, healing and durability too but it was unpredictable and could wear off at any moment.

“For God’s sake,” October exclaimed, ripping the case from Wyatt, opened it, then proceeded to inject it into Wyatt again his wishes.

With one set of arms, Adrian cut the sleeves off of his uniform, turning them into several makeshift bandages while the other set carefully removed one needle at a time: bundling up a strip of the sleeve and placing that against the wound while he wrapped it tight with another strip. “Lucky she only hit you in the arm,” he started on the shoulder wound, “much easier to bandage arms and shoulders than your torso.” Tying two strips together, he tied the final remnants of the sleeve across Wyatt’s face to stem the blood that had slowly started to coagulate.

He could feel the adrenaline pumping through his veins; quickening his breath and causing him to feel like he could sprint for miles. Looking into the sky he felt his abilities overwhelm his body as images flooded his eyes overlapping on the sky which itself was changing colour. Remembering New Zealand, Wyatt focussed on the moment they had come across Sean, the Pathogenic Atlantean. With only natural lighting streaming through the rafters, Wyatt could barely make out the place, but he soon realised the guy was kneeling at an alter muttering prayer. Returning back to their current location, Wyatt took in a deep breath before forcing himself to his feet. Holding his arm limply against his chest, he picked up his rifle with his other hand and nodded to both Pyrrha and Daemon. “I’m no use here. Directive wants us to take out the Virus Atlantean and I know exactly where he is. I’ll take Daemon and Pyrrha with me.”

Both October and Adrian looked like they wanted to object, but neither wanted to contradict a direct order from the Directive and they had to contain this Atlantean least he or his virus get out of the city.

“Alright, but be careful,” Adrian warned the trio, “We don’t want to lose any more of us.”

With a simple nod, Wyatt, Pyrrha and Daemon headed off, skirting around the battle and back towards the bridge they had crossed to get here. Knees bench, they moved crouching between cars, buildings and any other obstacles in their way. Wanting to move quietly they decided to conserve ammo and take out any zombie threats with close combat. Sneaking up behind them, they would slice the back of the zombie necks in order to sever the spinal cord that seemed to keep them walking. Behind them they could hear the ruckus of the fight echoing out into the empty streets as various forms of energy, elements, minerals and who knows what else could be seen in the air over the fight. Even several of the buildings had been punctured with meteorites or frozen in place with ice facades. As they approached a half devastated church, Wyatt put his one working arm out wide to stop the siblings from walking further.

“This is it,” he whispered to them, “You two secure the perimeter and I’ll go in.”

“That’s crazy, you’ve only got one arm!” Pyrrha scoffed while Daemon seemed eager to get moving again.

“Then I’ll scream for help, I’ll be fine.” Wyatt locked eyes with Pyrrha, making sure she understood. “I’ll be back once he’s down, so wait for me out here when you’ve finished.” With a final nod the three split up; Wyatt carefully climbing over a destroyed wall and into the inner sanctum while Daemon took the left of the church and Pyrrha the right.

Without any artificial lighting, Wyatt had to switch into his night vision to properly see through the dark church. With his Assault Rifle slung across his back, he now wielded one of Pyrrha’s handguns; her idea since he could barely hold the rifle up with one hand. Flicking into Infra-Red, he scanned the inside of the church finding only one heat signature. Flicking back into night vision, he made his way gingerly past rubble and pews as he snuck towards the figure that kneelt at the alter; his back turned. A small meteorite flew through the stain glass window above the alter, flooding the place with light and causing Wyatt to flick back into his normal vision. However the meteorite had startled the figure and Wyatt was now faced with an angry looking Atlantean.

“YOU!” He growled at Wyatt, finger pointed directly at him as Wyatt raised the handgun in response.

Wyatt smirked, “Yeah, it’s me.”

“You killed him! You killed Vaughan!” He screamed bloody murder at Wyatt, keeping his hand raised and pointed at Wyatt as he slowly limped forward.

Pulling back the trigger, Wyatt could see Sean momentarily hesitate as the ‘click’ echoed out. “And pretty sure, you’ll join him.” From their opposing positions it would be hard for the bullet to miss the advancing Atlantean. “Take another step forward and I’ll put this bullet through your brain.”

“I’m dead anyway!” The Atlantean cast his arms out wide, “At least I was able to give this world my gift! I was shunned, hunted, and imprisoned but now I am free. Kill me now, but you will never kill my disease. It will spread rife through the human populous and there will be nothing left!” He stopped in his tracks, his body shaking before he let out a massive, maniacal laugh. “This is your doom.”

Wyatt looked the man in his wild eyes and couldn’t shake the feeling that this man was right. Pushing his arm forward, Wyatt lined his body up with the gun and wrapped his finger around the trigger. “See you in hell.”
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