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  #276    
Old July 4th, 2012 (08:08 PM).
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Christian Calaway- Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England



"Have you guys seen Michael? Or... uh, Kieran?" Oakley asked, growing more nervous with every passing word. Christian didn't have much spite for Michael, other than the fact that Christian found him a bit "whiny" and seemingly useless. At least it paled in comparison to his contempt for Kieran, who Christian couldn't even begin to list the problems he had with him (and he only knew him for a few minutes). Oakley was clever enough to catch on to that. Then again, it was pretty obvious. Christian didn't want to answer Oakley's question and it seemed that he didn't need to answer either, with Oakley's attention being captivated by the entering Kieran. Christian immediately became apathetic, returning to his meal. Mentioning Kieran made him a bit sour, so digging himself into his meal was the only reasonable thing to do.

An all too familiar sound broke the pleasant taste of his meal. A fight in the cafeteria? Really? Is this high school all over again? Christian sighed and rose from his seat to check the damage, only to shake his head in disgust. It was irony. Pure irony. Of all the people he would find himself shaking his head at, it would be Michael and Kieran.

River entered the room parting the crowds as she came closer to the scene. Before saying anything, she tended to Kieran's "wound" by creating an ice pack from water. A useful trick, Christian thought to himself.

"Go back to breakfast," she said to the crowd, motioning them to go away. She then quickly searched the room, pointing as she called, "Chrysta! Brian! Oakley, Christian and Antonia! Please follow me at once. You too, Kieran." River waited until everyone arrived and surrounded her. "I need you all to follow me at once."

Christian nodded his head and started to follow, with Antonia quickly running up to catch up to him. "What's going on?" She asked, staying close to Christian hoping he had another theory.

"I am not sure. But I have a few ideas. I just hope I am wrong," Christian said with a rather stern face, with a slight nervous twitch cracking the stiffness.

"Like what?" She asked, lowering the volume to a barely audible whisper.

"It's pretty much a given they intend to use us. I wouldn't put it past them that to make us nothing more than pawns of their organization." Antonia stayed quiet, though she clutched to his jacket for the remainder of the brief walk. She clearly wasn't ready for something like this and Christian didn't expect to her to. Truthfully, he didn't know what to expect, but in his gut he knew what was going to happen. They were recruited to help fight a war. In the end, he would become a human weapon. A dog of the military as some would say, resorting to taking orders and fulfilling them without question. Christian smirked a bit at the thought of it. Suddenly he had a fleeting new ambition: to become the one giving out the orders.

River led the group into a room with Blayze waiting. Clearly River and Blayze had organized some sort of meeting, with no doubt to explain the expanded role that Christian and the others were to have. River explained that the Oracle had ordered the Royal Family to collect them as they had a "part to play in the coming months" which clearly made them important in some capacity. It seemed a bit farfetched, but then again so was having superpowers. Blayze expanded on it with talks of being unable to outrun your destiny and such, but Christian didn't really listen to that. He wanted him to skip to the point.

He didn't. River did.

“For your safety,” River continued, “and the safety of the people around you, we have organised you into teams of three, each member complimenting each other’s abilities. Together, you will work as a team, train as a team, strength comes from unity, as the old saying goes: ‘Unite we stand, divided we fall’. We may just be firing into the dark here, but we need to be prepared for anything.”

River took a step back as Blayze took a step forward pointing a finger at Christian, Antonia and Chrysta, “You three are in the first team, get to know each other and work out your abilities; your life now rests in the hands of the other two people in your team."

Alright. I could live with that. I am sure Antonia could too. Hopefully we can work everything out well.

“Oakley, Kieran and Michael, you three are in the second team, although you three have things to work out, your abilities work well together, so sort your sh*t out.”

Christian couldn't help but bury his face into his hands. He had a feeling that was going to happen based on his assignment. But he was hoping that River and the others had a better plan. Blayze opened the floor to questions and few seemed to have the desire to speak up. Christian had no such inhibitions. It was not in his nature to avoid the bigger issues. At least not anymore.

"Excuse me, but I have more of a concern than a question. The second team of Oakley, Kieran and Michael….I do not believe they should be grouped together. While it may be true their powers are complimentary, their personalities are far from it. Looking at the past 12 hours should provide with more than sufficient evidence that grouping them together will produce more drama than a soap opera.I propose you spilt them up for the sake of any operation you plan to send us on," Christian said making sure to hold in any harsh judgements he already made.
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  #277    
Old July 4th, 2012 (10:30 PM).
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Jeremy Kyle – Syndicate HQ, Birmingham, England



Jeremy cringed as the light bulb blew from Leon’s ability. He hadn’t been paying attention to the situation at hand, but somewhere along the line Leon and Jericho intercepted and were nearly at each other’s throats. Jeremy watched as Adrian sorted the situation, defusing the two with a swing on his hand around the back of Leon’s hand before an all-out fight between the two broke out. If they were going to continue like this, living here would start to become dangerous; especially since Jeremy knew little about Jericho’s ability.

Needless, Jeremy turned back to his own breakfast, prodding Fletcher with his elbow to eat; as they days had gone by, Fletcher had started to eat less and less, waiting for his brother to return, but Jeremy felt sorry for the kid and continued to look after him. Within a few minutes of finishing, the elevator dinged and the Directive exited the lift; finishing up his conversation on the phone before addressing them.

“Good morning to you all, I hope you slept last night wasn’t too bad, because you’re going to need all the energy you can muster.” For some reason, Jeremy felt the Directive was being somewhat cheerier than usual; making Jeremy slightly nervous. “You have ten minutes to finish your meal and get into something more fitting for training and meet me down in the training room; Adrian, please make sure everyone attends.” He left as soon as he had arrived, leaving the whole table quiet.

“Right, new recruits, old recruits and our two idiots here,” he said pointing to Jericho and Leon, “you heard the man; you have eight minutes before we head down. I suggest something light and loose fitting, for training.” Adrian left the table, followed closely by October as they retreated to their room.

Jeremy took Fletcher by the hand, leading him down the hall to the room beside his. Fletcher groaned slightly; he dislike training because they always tried to make him do better, but Jeremy always shone light on the situation, “You’re going to be strong like your brother!” he always informed Fletcher before training. Jeremy entered his own room, relieving himself in the toilet before washing his hands and brushing his white teeth after having eaten breakfast. He contemplated shaving the long stubble that had accumulated over his ‘buisness trips’ overseas, but already he was slowly running out of time.

Slipping into a white slim fit t-shirt and a pair of blue polyester shorts, he checked himself in the mirror once more, flattening the bed hair he had failed to fix up earlier this morning. He quickly checked his watch, noticing he had two minutes to meet Adrian out in the lounge before they had to leave when he heard a light knock at his door. He opened it to find Fletcher ready to train in his khaki singlet and grey shorts; Jeremy swore he needed to teach the kid some semblance of ability to dress because he obviously had none. Taking the seven year old’s hand, Jeremy walked to meet Adrian and the others outside in the foyer.

Once everyone had gathered in their respective clothes, Adrian spoke up, “Alright guys, welcome to your first day of training for some of you, follow me into the elevator and we can begin.” Adrian held the elevator door open while everyone piled in; it was fortunate enough that it was an elevator big enough to fit all of them, before entering himself and pushing the button that would take them down to the training labs. The elevator remained largely silent on the way down, people either too tired to talk or standing somewhat awkwardly near each other. It wasn’t long before the elevator dinged and the door opened up into the white wash corridors that lined the Syndicate headquarters. Adrian opened the next door for the others to step through and again, once everyone was in, followed in himself.

They soon found themselves in the same lab Leon had been in the previous day; a massive glass window looking down onto the football field sized training room while flashing monitors streamed lines of code and data reflecting off the glasses of the researchers reading them. None cared to look up as the group of Atlanteans entered the room, too engrossed in their work, except for a short Austrian man standing straight back next to the Directive.

“For those new here, this is Joshua Meier, head of the Syndicate’s research wing; he will be taking you for your training exercises today while I sort some other business.” And with that he mysteriously left again, Jeremy often wonder why the Directive was so obscure about what he was doing, but after being around him for so long, he realised that was how he operated; if you didn’t ask, he wouldn’t tell.

“Good morning, it’s good to see some new recruits, fresh meat, huh?” he spoke in his rather thick but understandable Austrian accent. “This dog eat dog world still runs on the same mechanics as the world always has; survival of the fittest. With the Atlantean Royal Family revealing our existence to the world, it has suddenly become a more difficult and volatile place to live. As of such, we need to prepare you to survive whatever is thrown at you. In the end, the only person you can rely on to save your skin is yourself; placing your life in another’s hands in just another way of getting yourself killed. How are you supposed to help someone if you can’t even help yourself, huh?” Jeremy had heard the same speech before; it was the one that the Syndicate worked on; survive or die.

After taking a little pause and picking up a small tennis ball sized sphere from the table, Joshua began talking again, “Your biggest enemy is yourself. You cannot expect to win every fight if you cannot even win a fight against yourself; it is foolish. This little orb here,” he displayed it to everyone, “scans your body and replicates a hologram of it. The hologram itself is real to touch, almost like a human being, but is run entirely by the sphere located where the human heart is. Your clone will know everything you know from the moment of scanning, and while it does not possess a conscious thought process, it can mimic and replicate any actions you would find yourself doing; including using your ability. One by one you will take a sphere that will register to your body and your body only, and descend the steps below to fight your clone in today’s training session. You will feel a small tingling sensation as the electric pulses scan your body, but once it begins vibrating, place it on the ground so the clone can form. Learn your strengths and weaknesses, think on your feet, and become powerful. If you don’t have any questions, take a sphere and descend down to the training room.”

Adrian was the first to step forward and pick up one that already has his name on it. He took it down to the training room, followed closely by October and once at the bottom, began fighting life-like versions of themselves. Jeremy urged Fletcher forward and the two took spheres with their names on them and descend down the stairs. Jeremy propped his on the ground once it started vibrating and soon a life-like version of himself stood looking at him.

The face-off didn’t last long before the neo-Jeremy disappeared in a ‘pop’, only to reappear behind the real Jeremy; thus ensuring a fight of teleport-tag that wisped around the whole room.

Fletcher stood angrily hands pushed forward, mimicked by the neo-Fletcher as their forcefields crashed and crackled against one another; trying to vie for supremacy over the other. To their left, Adrian wrestled with neo-Adrian on the floor as they fought each other using Adrian’s Brazilian Jiujitsu and Judo skills. Behind them October circled her neo-self, occasionally entering into a short fight with herself before jumping back out of reach and circling again. Training for the day was underway, and despite the huge space available, with new recruits the fighting was going to get close.
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  #278    
Old July 8th, 2012 (01:26 PM).
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Brian Sheppard – Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England



"Time to wake up!" a muffled voice sounded, jarring Brian from his sleep. "We're running late, so please do hurry!"

Brian sighed as he listened. With the impatience in Cobalt's voice, there was no need for his power. "I'll be right out Mr. Chimura," called Brian as he eased himself up. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Brian scanned the room. It was somewhat small, but it did have the basic necessities like a bed, cabinet, and bathroom. Walking into the restroom, Brian set his eyes on a fresh change of clothes. Brian began to change as his brain finally started to awaken. Gosh, today might just be one of the longest in my life, he thought.

Finally deciding he looked alright, Brian headed for the door to find Cobalt still waiting. "About time," the Asian man said. "You may need to eat breakfast a little fast. After that you have somewhere to be." Turning around, the man led Brian down to the first floor. "If you remember, the Dining Hall is just over. I'm sure River will come and get you and a couple others in a little bit."

"Thanks," said Brian as he began to walk away. Reaching the spot where the food was, he grabbed a plate and dished himself a light meal before finding an empty table to sit at. Of course he wanted to sit with some other people, but he honestly didn't know anybody here, not to mention the fact that the many emotions were already giving him a small headache.

Brian looked around the room as he began to pick at his food. All around him people all sat talking excitedly, almost as if everything was normal. Well, I guess it would be normal here, he thought. Everyone has powers. Before long, he felt a feeling of animosity come from a pair of people sitting together.

Almost as soon as he felt it, one of them punched the other square in the jaw. An uproar rose quickly in the Dining Hall before a woman walked in, yelling for everyone to continue with breakfast. "Chrysta! Brian!" she called as she pointed. "Oakley, Christian and Antonia! Please follow me at once. You too, Kieran."

Realizing she pointed at him, he stood up and walked towards her, each of the others doing the same. This must be River, the one Cobalt said would come get us.

River quickly led the group to the room where Blayze and the person who hit Kieran were waiting. Brian honestly had no idea what was going on, but the two older people began to explain.

“First off," began River, "we have chosen you all specifically. The lady you met yesterday, the Oracle, she has the ability to view the future; she saw your names and told us that we needed to recruit you seven. We don’t know why, but we assume you all have a part to play in the coming months.”

I have a part to play? thought Brian. As far as I know, the best thing I can do is feel the hostility and anxiety from the rest of these people...

The man took over, “In order to prepare for anything that may eventuate, we want to train you all to better control your abilities. There are other forces at play here that may or may not see you as a threat. It’s fair enough if you don’t want to participate, we wouldn’t blame you for backing out now, but you have a part to play in all of this, and while you may run, you can’t outrun your destiny. One way or another, it will catch up with you.”

“For your safety,” River continued, “and the safety of the people around you, we have organised you into teams of three, each member complimenting each other’s abilities. Together, you will work as a team, train as a team, strength comes from unity, as the old saying goes: ‘United we stand, divided we fall’. We may just be firing into the dark here, but we need to be prepared for anything.”

Wait, if there are teams of three and seven people, someone won't be in one. As he thought about it, Blayze began to pair up the teams. Christian, Antonia, and Chrysta in one and Oakley, Kieran, and Micheal in the other.

Finally, Blayze turned his attention towards Brian, “Unfortunately there are no new recruits for us to put you in a team with, but we will still help you out to hone your abilities and possibly find a team beneficial to your ability. So any questions?” he asked, returning his attention to the group.

Brian felt a bit left out, but it was reasonable. No one except Cobalt and those the man told knew his power. That and he knew no one else in the room.

Moments passed before Christian spoke up, stating his thoughts of the second group. I kinda agree with him, Brian thought. After all, those were the two boys in the fight and even though I have no idea why, I think they obviously have something going on.
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  #279    
Old July 11th, 2012 (08:24 PM).
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Cira Gaile - Under the Vatican, Rome, Italy


"I'd love to get into training for a while. Maybe it'll help me get worked up for breakfast." Firstly, though, Cira thanked Otto for the note, taking one of the scones and getting a bite out of it over his free hand. Slightly flaky on the outside and fresh on the inside, they were certainly tender, and even though they were clearly baked plain, it tasted like there was cinnamon mixed in.

When Natalia was asked about her next move, she wanted to watch Cira's first day of training. James, polite as ever, made sure she had Cira's approval along with his own. "It's alright by me. It would be nice to have the second opinion, too."
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  #280    
Old July 17th, 2012 (01:44 PM).
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Archie Stevens, Syndiacte HQ



Jeri arrived, followed by Leon and the new girl, from somewhere Archie plucked the name Erica but It could be wrong.

Each of them ordered their breakfast with out saying anything, except Erica who gave a short.

Sup, guys...” Before ordering hers.

To which Archie replied.

Good morning.”

Adrian had finished giving short sharp answers and rather awkwardly shook Archie's hand already.

Jericho was sat next to Jeremy, eating eggs and chatting with the small kid sat at the end of the table. Over the table sat next to Adrian was Leon, he was slumped over a bowl of pears emitting a very sour mood into the air around him. Erica sat near by with a plate of sausages and eggs, seeming a little awkward. There was a sort of strange mood about the setting in general, maybe it was just Archie, but he could swear that he could sense tension. Glancing about the table he could guess where the rifts lied. He shook his head, maybe he was just tired. Also it was too early in the morning to think about such things. He reached for his i-pod, to put on some of his choice of music but found that it wasn't there. It was still in his flat, and to be honest he felt a little lost with out it. Half consciously he began to tap his foot and strum his fingers on the table to the beat of one of his favourite songs.

He barely noticed as Jericho reached across the table and swiped one of Leon's pears. Archie silently applauded Jericho for brighting his morning, even if it was just a little. He was just about to take a bite from the pear when Leon grabbed his wrist, shooting him very irritated look.

"I'm only going to say this once..." Leon said, with out raising his voice but doing a good job of showing everyone that he meant business. He rose his right hand up above his head and bolts of electricity arced from the light bulbs above the table to his hand. The bulbs shacked and flickered as he drew power form them before finally exploding in a series of loud pops and bangs. He focused the lightning to the tips of his fingers on his right hand and pointed it directly at Jericho. "...Let go of the pear. Now." Archie wondered what Jericho's reaction to this would be, his full attention was now focused on the incident.

Jericho's response made Archie's morning, he stuck his middle finger up at Leon and taking the pair in his other hand he took a large bite from it. At the same time Adrian smacked Leon round the back of the head, defusing the situation before it could go any further.

"Idiot, settle down, it's just a pear goddamnit!" Adrian shot at Leon before turning to Jericho and adding "if you're going to steal someone's pears, be prepared to take the consequences." Archie turned back to his breakfast as the two rivals calmed back down, his half eaten slice of toast was showered in glass. He Picked a few pieces off before giving up, there were far too many tiny shards to remove. His drink also had glass in it so he ordered himself another and waited for something to happen. He wasn't sure what but being new here he assumed that someone would tell him what to do.

Good morning to you all, I hope you slept last night wasn’t too bad, because you’re going to need all the energy you can muster.” The Directive began to speak, Archie hadn't noticed him enter the room he had been day dreaming a little. “You have ten minutes to finish your meal and get into something more fitting for training and meet me down in the training room; Adrian, please make sure everyone attends.” And with that he left.

“Right, new recruits, old recruits and our two idiots here,” he said pointing to Jericho and Leon, “you heard the man; you have eight minutes before we head down. I suggest something light and loose fitting, for training.” Almost immediately people began to leave the table and head to their rooms to prepare.

Archie returned to his room and looked at his clothes, they were in no way practical for any kind of training. He was disturbed to even think it but he would have to wear the black jumpsuit provided by the Syndicate. Rather reluctantly he undressed and took out the jumpsuit. He pulled it on quickly, it was loose fitting and much easier to move in than his jeans, but he didn't feel comfortable in it. After he had finished his preparations he hung around until the last minute before heading out to meet the group, hoping now one would comment on his appearance.

“Alright guys, welcome to your first day of training for some of you, follow me into the elevator and we can begin.” Adrian said leading the group into the lift. They emerged form the lift some floors below, Archie guessed that it was below ground, in a large lab. One wall was a made completely of glass, it overlooked a large open space. Around the room sat many researches that were watching monitors. Every so often one would cross the room to pass some paper to another or talk in a hushed tone. They took little notice as the group of Atlanteans. The Directive was waiting for them along with an Austrian man.

For those new here, this is Joshua Meier, head of the Syndicate’s research wing; he will be taking you for your training exercises today while I sort some other business.” The Directive said before leaving, pulling out his phone as he did so. Was he always on the phone, Archie asked him self, like some sort of scary Atlantean window salesman.
Good morning, it’s good to see some new recruits, fresh meat, huh?” Joshua began to speak attracting Archie's attention. “This dog eat dog world still runs on the same mechanics as the world always has; survival of the fittest. With the Atlantean Royal Family revealing our existence to the world, it has suddenly become a more difficult and volatile place to live. As of such, we need to prepare you to survive whatever is thrown at you. In the end, the only person you can rely on to save your skin is yourself; placing your life in another’s hands in just another way of getting yourself killed. How are you supposed to help someone if you can’t even help yourself, huh?” it seemed like the Syndicate ran on a kill or be killed philosophy, Archie wasn't too sure where he sat with that but he would get to it when the situation arose. Joshua took a small tennis ball like object from the table. “Your biggest enemy is yourself. You cannot expect to win every fight if you cannot even win a fight against yourself; it is foolish. This little orb here, scans your body and replicates a hologram of it. The hologram itself is real to touch, almost like a human being, but is run entirely by the sphere located where the human heart is. Your clone will know everything you know from the moment of scanning, and while it does not possess a conscious thought process, it can mimic and replicate any actions you would find yourself doing; including using your ability. One by one you will take a sphere that will register to your body and your body only, and descend the steps below to fight your clone in today’s training session. You will feel a small tingling sensation as the electric pulses scan your body, but once it begins vibrating, place it on the ground so the clone can form. Learn your strengths and weaknesses, think on your feet, and become powerful. If you don’t have any questions, take a sphere and descend down to the training room.” Well this would be interesting. Archie, hung back as the other Atlanteans picked up the orbs.

He was one of the last to take an orb. He entered the training area, as the orb began to scan him. A tingling sensation ran through his body and the orb began to move in his hand. He hurried forwards in a slight jog to find a free space to place the orb before his clone burst out his chest. He placed the orb down and glanced round, so what was he supposed to do know. It looked like all the veteran Syndicate people were using their powers. As his clone materialized he searched the room for anything to use his power on but there was nothing. So no he was powerless, and the worst thing was he didn't even know how to fight.

Clone Archie stared straight at real Archie, waiting for any signs of movement. It looked exactly like him and moved just as he did, but it hadn't quite solidified yet. Archie could still see right through his clone. This gave it an eerie ghost like quality. It was then that Archie realised what here he could use his power on. He could cheat. He stared directly at the orb in the heart of his clone and began to cut. He cut as quickly as he could into the orb trying to rip it in two before it vanished behind his clones rapidly appearing chest. As he cut he felt his concentration slip, when ever this happened he felt his head spin like his brain was ricocheting around inside his skull. It was taking too long, he wasn't going to be able to do it and the more the image solidified the harder it got. He cut faster and his vision started to black out at the edges. He continued to cut away at the metal, he had managed to cut a small gash in the side but it wasn't enough. The orb disappeared from view as the last tendrils of the solid body meshed themselves together around the orb. With that Archie lost his hold on the orb, he felt weak and fell to the floor. For a few seconds he blacked out.

Archie awoke, to a sharp pain in his gut. He felt himself sliding to a stop. Opening his eyes he saw himself maniacally grinning as he lifted his left foot into the air. He was going to have nightmares about this. What was going on. A jolt of adrenalin surged through his body as Archie remembered what he was doing. He rolled aside as clone Archie stamped his foot where real Archie's head had been just a second before. The clone readied it's self to launch another kick but Archie saw it coming. He spun himself round so that he could lash out with his own kick. He aimed the kick at the clones standing leg at the knee cap. As he released the kick the clone spotted what he was about to do and tried to dodge aborting his own kick in the process. The kick landed in the clones upper thigh, knocking it from it's feet but the clone was ready. As it fell it extended it's right arm in a punch. The punch landed in Archie's chest and it carried the full weight of his clone. For a few seconds he was winded. The clone used these few seconds to gain the upper hand.

The clone grabbed hold of Archie by his collar own hand and readied him self to punch with the other. Still out of breath from the first punch Archie flailed and raised his arm to block the punch. Despite stopping the punch Archie's arm hurt, did the clones feel pain he thought for a second. The clone seemed to have stopped attacking so Archie lowered this arm, to see what it was doing. Big mistake, it flung a punch at him sending his dizzy. Then another that Archie blocked, followed by another. After blocking the third punch of the combo Archie retaliated. He pushed himself up with one hand and pulled the clone down with the other. He finished this attack with a head butt.

The clone looked dazed for a second, forgetting the now growing pain in his head Archie pushed the clone away and began to kick at at rapidly with both feet. His clone dived forwards and grasped at his foot but he kicked his other foot into the side of it's face and it let go. Quickly he retreated in a crab walk before getting up. The clone also got up. The two faced off before charging forwards for a second. But they were intimidate stopped as Jeri, or his clone, teleported directly between the two of them. A second later the other Jeri joined him, teleporting slightly behind and to one side of his duplicate. Then as quickly as they arrived they were gone again. As Archie ran at his clone he knew one thing. This was going to be a long, tiring and hard fight. Especially the hard bit.
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  #281    
Old July 18th, 2012 (08:58 AM).
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Erika Onzanem - Syndicate Training Facility
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Erika had managed to convince herself that there was little to no tension and simply ate her breakfast with no further significant anxiety. She probably would've preferred it that way anyway. It was when Jeremy finally began to address them all that Erika's attention was drawn and she stopped eating her admittedly mostly finished plate. So it was training time? She supposed this could be fun, or at least until he went on to explain that their training would be a fight against clones. Things had just gotten a tad weird. Well... she supposed she could just wing it. After all, how bad could a crash course hurt?

Erika crossed her arms under her chest and listened quietly to a speech about survival of the fittest. All she could think about was World War 2 when this topic came up. History felt so distant now that she was beginning to think of herself as an alien however, and she decidedly practiced some basic manners in keeping her mouth shut when it seemed probable her foot might wind up in it. She took an orb once it seemed clear they were supposed to and just sort of wandered her way into the training area.

Alright...now what had he said about using the orb? Oh right... She placed the orb upon her chest with a bit of fiddling and waited. Soon enough a clone of herself began to materialize in front of her. ...Trippy. What did she do? Did she punch herself? Was that winning? Was that a legit strategy? Erika drew her fist back and threw an awkward punch at her clone, who just sort of rapidly backed up so that the punch missed entirely. Well that was non-confrontational.... Why?---

Erika then realized exactly why the clone had done that. It was because fighting without using their powers was a waste of time. As if on cue the lower half of the clone's body began to gain muscle mass, most noticeably her thighs and forelegs. It somehow looked more disturbing from third person to Erika, and she realized she should probably follow suit. Luckily, both of the two had been wearing pants sized for transformation. Normally they were extremely baggy, but after the transformation was complete they honestly looked a tad tight.

Erika's clone crouched down and abruptly sprung forward at her, causing Erika to stumble backwards a bit before doing the same with a much larger jump. The fight quickly devolved into the clone chasing Erika around, the two hopping around the training area in a chaotic manner in a vague hope of landing on the other or avoiding being landed on by the other in Erika's case. Somehow it felt like because the clone had jumped first she had a disadvantage, though this was simply not true. Eventually as Erika's began to feel herself start to become dehydrated, her skin and hair both appearing rather soaked as per her amphibian DNA, she leaped straight into a wall, crashing against it with a fair amount of force. Her clone landed behind her still quite hot in pursuit. Yet, Erika proceeded to immediately turn the offensive by pushing herself back off the ground, directly at her clone! Her powered leap came fast and hard as she literally body slammed her clone with her side. It had honestly been improvised. She was pretty sure she'd stolen the idea from a TV show somewhere.

An audible crack came to Erika's ears as the two girls collided, her clone going down hard and staying down even as Erika repositioned herself to sit on her clone's stomach, raising a fist to continue fighting. It was only as the clone laid there virtually motionless that Erika got an idea of what she'd done. The impact had broken the clone's spine.

After a moment Erika lowered her fist and just sort of gazed down at the broken mirror image of herself in a slightly frustrated manner. She... won? She beat her clone! Leaning over the other a bit Erika examined the pained face of the clone as if to make sure she wasn't faking her injury before sitting up straight and just sort of... looking around in a somewhat confused manner as if waiting for someone to tell her what to do now. She was content to use the clone as a cushion for now, and was almost surprised at herself for how cold she felt towards it. She supposed her subconscious must have known it wasn't a real person lest her conscience would be screaming at her right now.

Erika thought about the battle. Why had she won? What gave her the advantage? The answer she came to? She was apparently better at fighting defensively. It could have very well gone the other way around. She could have been the one being sat on with a broken spine if she had tried to be aggressive. The thought unnerved her, needless to say. She was a tad dehydrated from the workout and in hindsight, she found that the side she'd used to impact her clone was quite sore, most especially her arm. Erika made a point to examine the offending arm for signs of injury. Fighting hurts, yo'..!
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Old July 18th, 2012 (03:00 PM).
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Leon Nef- Syndicate Headquarters, Birmingham, England

Leon dropped another eaten pear onto the bowl and picked up a fresh one, eating in silence as he cursed the invention of the thing called mornings. If only he could go back to his room now and sleep for the next few hours, everything would be so much better. But for the money that was too good to turn down, he would manage, grudgingly. The ding of the elevator was heard, and Leon knew it was time. Time for what? He wasn’t sure, but he had a feeling it was going to be a long day. But a different sensation was enveloping Leon at the moment as well. This wasn’t quite as potent as his weariness, but it nonetheless caused Leon to sit upright a bit more when the Directive walked in. He immediately began speaking, saying that they had exactly ten minutes to finish up their meal and meet in the training room. It was a mix of emotions in Leon. On one hand, he was eager to learn more about his power. On the other, he wished training began a few hours later into the day.

Leon remembered he had yet to take a shower, and of most of the people at the table, he might have been the least prepared, besides maybe October who appeared not to have anything but Adrian’s shirt on. The second the Directive left, Leon sprung forward, rushing past Adrian and October who began to move to their rooms as well. He dashed forward and ran straight to his room, and removed all of his clothes. He then proceeded into the shower. The settings adjusted with to knobs, one for cold water and one for hot. Leon would much rather have preferred to take a nice, warm shower, but he knew he would never straighten up and wake up like that. He twisted the knob for cold water and let it spray all over him, letting out a few moans and protests as the chilling water spray over his body. He did his best not to avoid it, and he could feel that every second that passed in there was increasing his awareness and shrugging off his sleepiness.

Leon stepped out of the shower a few minutes later, completely awake and ready. He headed over for his closet where he began to get ready, first with a pair of boxers and then sweat socks. He put on a pair of black sweat pants with stripes going down the side, and a plain, white t-shirt for the training he was about to do. Leon walked back over and observed himself through the mirror, making sure everything check out alright. He then simply looked at himself in the mirror, most notably at the Atlantean tattoo that was prominently displayed across the left side of his face. He put a hand to the tattoo and rubbed it, as if to remind himself it was there. It was his mark, his proof of being more than just a man. His sign of power. And Leon was eager to learn more about it, and ‘share’ it with others. On the way out, he grabbed the Corona from his desk and attached it to the slot on his back belt.

He walked out of his room, and to the elevator where everyone else was gathered. Apparently he had arrived a bit later than the others, but no one else seemed to mind much, and quite frankly, Leon didn’t care either. “Alright guys, welcome to your first day of training for some of you, follow me into the elevator and we can begin.” Leon smirked to himself realizing something. The night before, Jericho and Archie were awfully boastful about their powers. In fact, they looked pretty impressive with them. But he realized something: they were lying. Like many of the others here, they were at their first day of training, which means they only discovered their powers a week ago, same as him. There was no way they were able to make any advancements without training. So to that conclusion, he was ahead of them, and perhaps the other female as well. Although he was still behind in his abilities of October and Adrian, but he didn’t know by how much. Maybe they had it for weeks, and maybe longer. Much longer. Either way, Leon had to push himself as far as he can go.

Leon followed the rest of them as they went into the same lab he had been in the day before, where they were greeted by a familiar face to Leon: Joshua Meier. He went on to explain the purpose of the exercise, one he actually found quite enjoyable. Fighting the demon within himself seemed like quite a prospect, and he was certain for the moment, there can be no greater fight to be fought. But who knows? Perhaps someone out there might surprise him. When it was Leon’s turn, he grabbed the strange device and proceeded down to the training floor, which was reasonably suited to harbor all of them in their training. Adrian and Jeremy already began their fights with their clones, and Leon initially thought about watching the others train a bit during the fight to learn more about them, before discarding the idea. He knew he would need all of his mental and physical capability to take down…himself. Most likely, the clone would be thinking of the same things he would be during combat, and try to find any opening or weakness he could. He couldn’t let himself give the clone an opportunity. He positioned the strange ornament on the ground, and from it, his clone came forth. Leon smiled at it.

“Ah, not a bad looker we have here.” He said to himself. “Let’s put on a show for the others then, sha-“ Leon never got the chance to finish his sentence as the Leon clonse fired a bolt of electricity from his hands right at him. Leon only barely had a chance to dodge, and the lightning barely crazed him. Still, he could feel the nerve around that area of his body react. And that was only a graze of the attack. He could only imagine what it felt like to get hit full on.

Cazzo…” Leon cursed. He should have known that the clone would do something like that, start attacking when the opponent wasn’t quite ready. He actually should have anticipated it, seeing as Leon probably would have done the same thing. But then again, if he would have dodged it, wouldn’t the other have anticipated that he would have anticipated, which means he would have had a way to counter? But if that were true, wouldn’t that mean that he would have already known that as well? No, that wasn’t true, because if he didn’t know at that very moment, then the clone shouldn’t have either…right?

This was all getting a bit too confusing. Leon decided just attack. The best way to know what he was going to do was to do a bit of testing. Leon powered up lightning in both of his palms. The clone did the same. He began to maneuver around the area, and so did he. Was he simply copying the movements he made, or was he doing exactly what he did because that is what he would have done either way? Leon didn’t know, but he didn’t particularly care either. Both the clone and Leon shot lightning into the other around the same time. Both bolts connected, and both Leon’s were flung back as the impact stung through their bodies. Leon landed a meter away on his back, groaning a bit. “F**k.” He cursed to himself. The tingling was felt all across his body as he slowly got up. The clone had gotten up roughly around the same time as him, and then they were both at it again. Like the clone, Leon was firing low-energy shots, but an abundant amount of them. This means he would be able to fire more, while also not wasting too much energy. The downside is that they wouldn’t be as strong. Either way, it seemed more advantageous in a training sense, as it would not only increase the strength of his lightning shots, but also his reaction and speed. Leon fired a set of them as his clone, and the clone did the same. Both took two hits, Leon’s hitting the clone’s chest and arm, while his hit his shoulder and leg. They were both injured, but pressed on. Leon fired a set of shots again, and focused on evading the next ones afterwards. The clone did a similar tactic. Both were hit by relatively the same amount of shocks, and doubled back. The clone and Leon both panted heavily. This wasn’t working. Every move he made was one the clone would follow up with a similar one. They were both taking relatively the same amount of damage, and if it continued, it would end in a stalemate. But Leon didn’t want a stalemate. He wanted to win. That was the whole point of the training, wasn’t it? Then in order to beat himself, he was going to have to think like someone else.

Leon prepared more lightning at the tip of his fingers. The clone did the same. It appeared that the two would encounter in the same manner they had been before. Leon had other plans. The clones went in, firing the same amount of short, quick lightning bursts from his hands. Leon tried to dodge as best as he could as tried to close the distance between the two. The clone continued to fire the shots and as the distance closed, so did the maneuverability Leon had. Eventually, there was not enough time to evade the clone’s shots, and hit after hit of lightning was struck at Leon’s body. Leon could feel the electricity burst inside him, as if needles were pulling on his nerves and organs, and poking them continuously. Leon didn’t let up, moving in until he was right next to the clone, and reached for the Corona on his back. All at once, he poured his energy into the clone, and hit him with an uppercut swing of the Corona. The energy sizzled off of the weapon and lunged at the Leon-clone, and he was flung back onto the ground, remnants of the electric shocked hit still covering his body and causing him to twitch. Lyn smirked as the clone struggled to get up, clearly rattled. Leon took a bunch of damage, but the impact he made with the Corona more than made up for it. As of now, in his eyes at the very least, he was winning.

“Come on, good-looking.” Leon said to the clone. “We’re just getting started.”

The battle for electric supremacy continued between the two. Leon elected to abandon his usual strategies of hitting from afar and weakening with an array of attacks, and simply closing the distance and hitting with everything he could muster all at once. The tactics constantly were throwing the clone off, causing him to try to change strategies to something similar at one point. Leon knew that this was due to his own policy of trying to adapt whenever something came along, so he anticipated something of the sort would happen. Armed with a Corona of his own, Leon-clone used the tactic of closing the distance, only to find Leon now electing for the opposite tactic of keeping his distance. He now tried to tired out his opponent as the clone swung left and right only to miss with most, and sending pulses of electricity all across the room. There was charred ground from strikes each made, the very heat of the electricity causing it to smelt it. Leon fired long, deadly shots at the clone, concentrating on aim and power instead of speed and agility, while still maintaining his distance. The clone was slowly appearing to get tired out. Leon was as well, and his electricity was slowly depleting, but not at the same rate the clone was going at. Eventually, the clone seemed to have exasperated all of his remaining energy, and subtly, came to a slow, and then a halt, panting heavily. Leon took this advantage, and without a moment’s hesitation, fired a set of precise lightning bolts right at the body of the clone. The clone doubled over, and fell, the shots pouring into his body and electrocuting him. Leon panted heavily as he watched his clone fall to the ground. How long was he at this? It would have been hours for all he knew. What was more difficult about this training was that he didn’t get any breaks in between. All it was, was one continuously long fight. He knew he couldn’t rest because the clone wouldn’t give him any, and the clone probably had the same notion in mind. But as he saw the clone fall onto the ground, Leon felt he was finally able to relax. He sat down on his bottom, looking over the body of the fallen clone, a bit of electricity still at the tips of his fingers just in case the clone would get up for one more final scare. It was, after all, something Leon would do as well.
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Old July 23rd, 2012 (02:48 AM).
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Helena Andersson - AUP Headquarters, France

After nodding with a smile at Annie and trying to get eye contact with Evo but failing, Helena sat down between Nikolai and Atticus at the table, helping herself to breakfast without wanting to look too hungry. She really was, though. While she chewed her first sandwich as quickly as she dared, she carefully listened to the people around her. They all seemed to be talking with one another and some faces looked serious or even confused. Well, mostly Natalia was probably looking serious. No wait... she wasn't even here.

Anyways, Helena felt refreshed after a good night's sleep, even though she was longing to call her little brother and make sure that her family was alright. But the AUP wouldn't do them any harm, at least. And now that she was here - and not even registered by those people at the Atlantean Centre - there was no reason anyone else would expect her to be an Atlantean and try to come after her family to get to her. Right?

"So, Nikolai," the Swedish girl said, turning to him in an effort to be nice. "Did you sleep well?" Not the most interesting thing to say, but that was what she came up with. At least she wasn't as nervous as she had been the day before.

Just then, she overheard something and turned her head quickly. Someone at the main table - people Helena hadn't been introduced to - had mentioned an "incident" and "our situation". Of course this could be everyday snacks for the AUP, and perhaps for Atlanteans in general, but something about it made her listen up. Maybe it was that combined with the faces in the room today.

"Annie," Helena dared to say. She had sat down on Atticus' side and leaned forward to see her now, guessing that Atticus didn't know much either since he had just arrived with Nikolai and herself. "Is something going on?"


((Ugh, am I rusty or what? I hate the English in this post >.< excuse the Swede, please.))
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Old July 25th, 2012 (10:21 PM).
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Michael Cale - Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England



Michael lowered his head to his chest as Christian questioned the grouping of their teams; especially Michael's. They had known each other for little over a couple of days and already he was passing negative comments about them. Sure, he was right, Michael and Kieran did have their problems with each other, but surely Kieran could look past that as well to make the team work; if not for his sake then for Oakley's.

Neither Kieran nor Michael had a chance to respond to Christian's outburst before Blayze stepped in, "Christian, if I were you I would stop worrying about them so much as worrying about controlling your ability. Are you in their team? No. So then the logistics of their team do not concern you." Michael looked up at Blayze shocked, this was a guy who took no sh*t, yet remained calm through the whole spiel.

Michael was both amazed by Blayze's outburst at Christian and respectful for the man standing up for him. Blayze soon returned to a less aggressive stance, calmer tone of voice and addressed the rest of them, almost as if nothing had happened. "Now, if there are no more questions, then we may continue."

The American girl, Chrysta raised her hand shakily in the air, "I-I have a question," she stammered timidly, obviously somewhat shaken up from Blayze's outburst.

"Go on," Blayze gestured as the room turned slightly to see what Chrysta wanted to ask.

"W-w-what about our parents? Surely people would have noticed we have disappeared."

Michael tossed the situation over in his head, he of course didn't have anyone close to him, only his flatmates who would receive an automatic payment for rent; even they wouldn't worry if they hadn't seen him for a couple of days, but then again, how long were they going to stay here? He still had his study to catch up on. Then again, there were the likes of Oakley who had their father, and obviously everyone else had work, familial or school commitments, surely someone would miss them if they just up and disappeared.

River was the one who answered, "Darling, we have notified family members, workplaces and schools of your current situation, minus a few cosmetic details and that you will be away for sometime. Monetary issues have been covered."

Chrysta looked as if she was about to ask another question, but dismissed it with a slight shake of the head. Micheal began to wonder what the so called "cosmetic details" were exactly. Did his flatmates, work and university now know that he was a genetic freak?

"Right, with all the questions and worries out of the road, we can get onto training," Blayze stepped in front of River, much to her annoyance, "Christian, Antonia and Chrysta, follow River into the room next door, there you will work in the gym." River got up, motioning for the three to follow her.

Blayze waited for them all to leave before he turned to Brian, "You will be training with Mr. Chimura today," motioning to the stocky Japanese Man who now stood in the door, wearing more civilian clothing, "If you would like to follow him to the courtyard below and begin your training."

Cobalt gave a slight bow of his head which Blayze readily responded in kind with a bow as well, waiting for Brian to leave with Cobalt before turning to the last three in front of him. "Right, you three are training with me today, we'll put this silly little feud behind us and start working as a team!" Blayze's enthusiasm was quite sarcastic, by Michael still agreed, if him and Kieran continued to fight, it could upset Oakley.

So Michael followed behind Blayze out the classroom door and down the staircase, passing several students who stared and whispered as the two walked past. Obviously Blayze had some training in mind as he took them out to the giant field behind the mansion where a couple of groups of people practised together. He took them to the far edge of the field, well clear of others around them.

"Let's get training then, shall we?"


River Beleren - Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England



River brought Christian, Antonia and Chrysta into the gym next door; a sizeable area about the size of half a basketball court, maybe a little bit bigger, with a small alcove offset where people could be seen training with weights, running on treadmills or doing any number of exercises.

"Right, for today's exercise, it's simple. With Chrysta on my team, and Christian with Antonia on another team, we will play basketball. However, before you scoff, this isn't normal basketball. At either ends are hoops, higher than your average basketball hoop; you must get the ball between the hoops. The catch being; there are no rules or limits, so anything is game." River smiled a crooked smile, looking almost evil and menacing as if trying to throw off the competition.

"So, who's game?" She asked, spinning the ball on the tips of her index finger.


Cobalt Chimura - Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England



Cobalt lead Bryan out into the courtyard surrounded by the mansion on three sides and open to the field beyond. He took a seat on the grass beneath the shade of an old oak tree that rose up in one of the quarters. Around them, a sparse amount of students sat relaxing in the sun, or mucking around with abilities. Water from the fountain in the middle cascaded gently down it's tiers and a small, cool breeze brought the scent of flowers from the nearby garden.

"Okay Brian, training is going to be a little weird and interesting today, but I will explain first. Your inherent ability to sense people's feelings is your Atlantean ability; one that is rather un-aggressive and hardly defence-like, however there is a lot more to it than simply feeling people's emotions. In it's simple form, that is exactly what it is, but once you expand on it, the possibilities are endless."

Cobalt took a deep breath through his mouth, and out his nose, "Today we shall meditate, but while meditating, you will need to keep your mind on your ability. There is a human genetic mutation called "Synaesthesia" where all five senses are combined and words become colours, sounds become smells, the variations are wide. The same is with your ability; you ability to feel the emotions of people around you is, for all we know, caused by some part of your body; most likely your brain. What I want you to try today, is to incorporate your ability with one of the five senses, focussing on either smell, touching, tasting, hearing or seeing the emotions around you. Contact is not necessary for this exercise, but a large amount of concentration is."

"I can't tell you how to operate your ability or how it works; that is for you to figure out. If you don't have any questions, breath steadily in through your nose and out through your nose in your own time, with eyes closed, and focus on encorporating that sense of emotions with any sense of your choosing. Got it?" He asked before closing his eyes to meditate, ready for any questions Brian might ask.
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Old July 29th, 2012 (11:55 AM).
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Jericho Heiko: Syndicate Training Room, Somewhere in England

Jericho waited for the mystery chick to answer while he finished his rightfully won pear and food. However, an answer was never given between that time and a point when the elevator opened to reveal the one man who'd always give him a haunting memory, the Directive. He was talking on the phone to some person or another, a casual action that would normally go unnoticed. However, watching him that didn't make it seem all that casual. There was something about knowing a guilty deed someone has done that makes their every action seem a little less than okay. The thought wasn't much on his mind. It couldn't be while flashes of the bald man's death kept coming to him, even when he willed them to stop.

After his phone call the Directive addressed them, telling them about apparent training they had to do. This could be expected, he signed up (sort of) for this thing to learn how to use his powers correctly. The Directive told them they had ten minutes to eat and get into some new clothes before they had to head out. Then Adrian spouted something abut the clothes they should wear and cutting down their apparent time. Eight minutes, he ought to loiter...

Jericho got up from his seat, throwing what food he finished away and doing what was proper in the current setting with his plates. He went out of the kitchen, hands in his hoodie pocket, and went to his room to change. It didn't take long for him to pick out some black athletic shorts and a white, short sleeve t-shirt to wear. Over top of the t-shirt he wore a gray, sleeveless, Nike-brand hoodie. In large, bold capital letters it read, "I WILL STEP ON YOU TO WIN." The words were written in white, save the last two which were in green. Underneath was the iconic Nike check mark also in green. While he had taken a few minutes to scrutinize his wardrobe, it hadn't taken much time to get dressed. On his way down, he pondered over exactly what would happen next. They were going down to train, apparently. Jericho's imagination of training had involved running on treadmills or lifting weights in a montage fashion. However as he did he started to doubt what he thought was correct. How would doing crunches or pull-ups help him learn to use his power? This would have to be something more specific, but what? He supposed he'd have to find out on his own.

He wasn't the last, which made him feel a point more responsible than the rest of their party, even if he knew himself that wasn't true. As instructed, everyone had donned athletic gear or clothing more fit for training. The person who stood out to him (other than Fletcher, who had on an odd arrangement of clothing) was Archie. Instead of wearing normal clothing like the rest of the population would, he had picked out what looked to be some sort of... Jump suit? He opened his mouth to ask, but then closed it figuring that it wasn't worth it. As time went on Archie seemed to be able to fuel him with more and more reasons to either question him or not like him. Maybe he was just an odd kid. Whatever it was, this new addition managed to make him smile than frown. Into the elevator, Jeri was forced into a bit of a corner. With the whole Syndicate crew packed into one place and Adrain's hulking, four-armed body already larger than life itself, the ride was a bit of a tight squeeze. Why they would plan to bring together a bunch of people and not make an adequately sized elevator was beyond him, but he was courteous not to get into it today.

When they exited the elevator they entered a silent room filled with working scientist. None of them turned their heads or hesitated in their work, as if a group of teens with apparent superpowers were just a normal, every day occurrence that shouldn't be minded. As the elevator doors closed behind them the Directive, who had been here before them, introduced a man that Jericho had not seen until now. He was apparently Austrian or Russian, something or another (everyone on that side of the world probably sounded the same anyways). It wasn't really important. What was that that they were getting clones or something like that. He had the basic gist. He might know more if he weren't waiting for Joshua to say something from the Terminator.

Jericho smiled to himself and took an orb into his hand. This was actually... Really... Really f*cking cool. The Syndicate may have been made up of creeps and stalkers but they sure did know how to entertain. Holograms! It was like he was in a Sci-Fi movie. As soon as he touched the orb it sprung into action. The little golden sphere vibrated and then let out a quiet whirr. While he descended the steps, Jeri could feel the warned tingling sensation that signaled a scan being done. Jericho picked a space away from the other trainee's. For a moment he took the time to see what exactly the others were doing. The first four who'd gotten down here--Jeremy, Adrian, October, and the kid--were already fighting their look-a-likes. Jeremy and himself popped around the training room in an attempt to find advantage, Adrian wrestled and rolled on the floor, the kid was in a battle of stamina, and October was having a time herself. All of them seemed equally matched to each other, neither the clone or the person getting an advantage. If it hadn't been for the fact that they had been wearing different clothes when they were cloned, he wouldn't have been able to tell which was which. Jericho set down his orb, seeing it was about time he got started. When it touched the ground the orb lifted itself back into the air, floating at the height of his chest. He took a step back, noticing how close it was, and in the next second an image flickered around the orb, then another time, until finally the picture of himself was before him.

The result was a mirror image and, even though he expected it, Jericho was surprised at the likeness. He eyed himself, looking the clone up and down. It--or he?--did the same thing. He moved his arms, wiggled his fingers, shook his leg and the clone did so as well. The scientist said something about copying right? Well it sure was copying! You know, this was actually really cool, but as cool as it was, Jericho was beginning to catch on to the meaning of his words. How could you expect to win a battle if you couldn't beat yourself? How could you expect to win anything if you were too busy fighting yourself!? This was clearly the answer to the scientist's proverb. The path to greatness was not defeating yourself, but making peace or whatnot. Something nonviolent. If he punched, his clone would punch back. If he kicked his clone would kick back. If he never initiated he'd never have to fight! All these idiots rolling around on the ground here were completely missing the point! They were beating themselves needlessly! It just took a greater mind to catch on.

"We're not going to fight about this, right?" The clone didn't respond, of course. Jericho shook his head and the clone did too. He took that as a solid agreement. "Awesome." To seal their deal both Jericho and his clone raised their arms and connected their hands in a most satisfying and legendary high-five. Well that's great! Not only was he not going to waste his time trying to fight, but he got to high-five himself. Not those fake, sorry ones for lonely people. A real high-five. Jericho looked away from his clone and at the people who were punching and zapping and tussling with themselves. Well, if he was going to have nothing left to do he might as well watch these re-- F*ck! Jericho doubled over, hands and arms recoiling to his stomach which tensed and sent nausea through his system. Before he had the time to recover or even groan he was hit again, this time in the face. His head flew back from the impact, disorienting him. He stumbled back and fell to the ground, head spinning and in a lot of pain. His hands automatically went to his head and nose, both areas pounding. In front of him his clone laughed, though not a single sound came out. Man this guy was an *sshole.

Jeri got to his feet. Maybe the whole proverb theory wasn't exactly correct. It was clear now that the clones didn't do exactly what you did. They just did things that you did. If he was a clone and he tricked someone like that, well... He'd be laughing too! That didn't really give it an excuse to be an *sshole, though... The clone stopped laughing when Jericho rose, and instead, grinned mockingly.

"This could have been easy," Jericho said, scowling. "But you had to make it hard." He took two steps forward and swung, aiming to wipe that grin away. His punch was stopped abruptly by his clone's hand. Its grin turned into a smirk, holding on tightly to his caught fist. Jericho's eyes widened and then narrowed. He balled his free hand into a fist and swung it as well, but just as the first one it was easily caught by the clone. "Wha--" The clone jerked Jericho forward and kneed him in the stomach, sending him back onto the ground. He grimaced and held his stomach, feeling an intense nausea and the pain from the blow. Once again the clone did that stupid, silent laugh of his. It didn't attack and didn't make an advance to hit him more while he was down. He wasn't quite sure why. He would have taken the chance. Maybe it was too busy making fun of him. Jeri got to his feet again once he recovered and glared at the second Jericho. He was really starting to dislike this guy. The clone put on that mocking grin again, as if the whole task was, and would be, child's play. Jeri growled and swung again, and as before his fist was caught by his predicting clone. The clone didn't give Jericho a time to make a second swing. It balled its free hand into a fist and sent another blow to his stomach. Again the wind was knocked from his body. He gasped for a breath but another blow cut off his attempt. He grimaced and fell to his knees, hand still in the clutches of the clone.

G-Goddammit... What was with this guy and stomachs!? He didn't do this to people, right? This constant gut-blow thing. How was he even feeling this anyways?! The scientist said that they would be able to feel it, but how!? These things were holograms, right? And holograms were pixels, right? So when the hell did pixels start going to the f*cking gym!? Jericho coughed and looked up at his clone who looked down at him with a very malicious grin. The clone lifted its foot and gave him a hard kick to his face, sending him back. Jericho's hands went over his face immediately, eyes watering from the hit to his nose.

"Sh*t!" He yelled out, feeling a terrible pain in his nose. God be merciful if this thing was broken... The fight between the two Jerichos raged on like this. He would attack and the clone would block and deal its own blow (which usually ended up with Jericho on the ground). The back and forth getting up and starting over was taking its toll, especially along with the fact that he could barely get a hit on himself. He had been lucky to land a blow or two, but those times were only during spontaneous improvisation, and when he tried to do the move a second time, his clone seemed to have learned it just that quickly and, once again, he was back on the ground. If it weren't hard enough already, he had to dodge and weave through other fighting Syndicate members and, most notably, the random sprays of electricity coming from the body of Leon. When he first saw a display of his power, Jericho was most definitely surprised. It was pretty cool and lightening could definitely kill someone. The only problem with Leon's power is that... Well... He could definitely kill someone. With the bolts that missed and the ones that bounced off walls, it was extremely easy to get hit by these ultra-hot death beams. He'd come close to getting shocked to death at least five times by now, but had very little time to comment or complain past the advancements of his aggressive clone.

Jericho was slowly starting to catch onto the idea of this little session. "Learn how to mix it up," was the gist of the whole lesson. If he did the same things over he couldn't beat his opponent, but if he knew how to improvise and to make a new plan well... Just maybe. It was what Jericho had started to work on for the past ten or five minutes without much luck. It was hard to mix things up when you were exhausted and you couldn't think past the blood on your shirt. And he was bleeding, of course, and his nose still kept that terrible, long lasting pain like a night with the wrong girl. It didn't help that he'd taken several extra blows to the face. Once again Jeri was knocked to the ground by his clone, head spinning like it had been the last time he was punched in the face. He groaned, pain coming out of what seemed like every inch of his body. He thought to, maybe, just lay there for a while. His clone did this odd thing where it would actually wait for him to get up before it knocked him down again. Maybe it got this sick pleasure from seeing him try and fail. Either way, he didn't feel like getting up or moving. Maybe it'd get the hint and just back off for a second. Jericho stared at the ceiling of the training room, half wondering when the whole "End Training" buzzer would go off and the other half not thinking at all. A flash of white electricity zoomed past his sight. F*cking Leon... Can't you ju-- ... Wait, what was this f*cker doing? From below his sight he saw his clone step into view, looking down at him almost expectantly, which was odd, because the whole fighting experience it kept a stoic expression. As much as he wanted to tell it to go away, Jericho didn't really have the energy nor the enthusiasm to speak. It waited for him to rise but he was absolutely refusing, though silently. Apparently robots could run out of patience. The clone lifted its leg into the air without word. Watching it, Jericho's eyes widened and a short spark of adrenaline kicked his reflexes into high gear. He rolled out of the way before the clone's foot stamped down in the empty spot his groin once occupied.

"You a*shole!" Jericho yelled at it, immediately rising to his feet. Who the hell was teaching these things?! It hadn't gotten that from him! He'd never do that to a person! Right...? Well... Okay. Maybe. Probably. Possibly. It'd maybe come up in his mind. Subconsciously. I mean... Did he like the person? Was he getting his ass kicked? But still! This was himself he was talking about! When would he ever consider doing that to himself? Never! These clones had to be compromised. The clone wasted little time. It swung a punch, but thanks to his little rush, Jericho snagged a freebee and dodged out of the way of the attack. From the fight so far, the whole "they do what you do" thing sort of started to come to him. He just have to think of what he'd do next and then counter it, just like the clone had. Change up what he was doing...? F*ck that, this made much more sense. Why change it up when he could be just as much of a pain to the clone as it was to him? It was a nice seat of revenge. While the clone was being him, he would be the clone. The only problem? He was tired as hell. Jericho was sluggish from fatigue and he could hear his breath in his ears. He knew the punch was coming, but couldn't force himself to move out of the way. The first punch hurt, the second had him back on the ground.

He was bruised, beaten, and black-eyed, but he wasn't going to get a break. If he tried to stop his clone would just force him to start again. The thing didn't even get tired either. Beating him up hadn't brought a sweat to it, but maybe that's because it wasn't a person, just a floating orb thing. A robot. The only thing that really showed he had done anything remotely taxing was that its knuckles were red and scraped from constantly attacking and its clothes were stained with red from Jericho constantly bleeding. He wanted to quit, he really did, but that emotionless son of a b*tch was like a predator. It wouldn't quit. Jericho forced himself to his feet again, legs shaking.

"Well, come on ass-wipe." He said gruffly. The clone swung again and again, pounding his face and knocking him back. The last punch was the hardest, but he managed to stay on his feet. He tried to keep himself standing, but it was hard without stumbling time and time again. He felt dead, but forced himself to go on. Maybe because he hated this clone. Jericho narrowed his eyes when another one of those stupid lightening bolts flew between them. It went past in its own direction, not harming either of them. The clone watched it pass before turning its attention back to Jericho. He looked away from his clone and at the retreating bolt. It moved fast, of course, towards a luckily empty area. He expected it to hit the wall and blacken it, just like others before it. Jericho's eyes widened when the bolt, instead of phasing away harmlessly, bounced off the wall and went straight for him. He was too slow to move out of the way himself and, even if he wanted to, it moved like a bullet.

Jericho's body tensed when electricity entered him. Pain rushed through his body instantly, touching every inch of him as if a thousand needles skewered each individual cell. He screamed behind his teeth, paralyzed from the electric current going through his body. The pain began to subside after what felt like hours. No instant relief as if the current had traveled somewhere else, but a soothing disappearance, as if it were soaking away. The event had lasted forty-five seconds, maybe less. Jericho groaned, swaying where he stood. His visioned blurred and made double of everything he saw. A high-pitched ring went off his ears and he felt tired, sick, everything bad all at once. He could hear his heart beating right against his ear and his heavy breath clouded the possibility of anything else getting through, not that it mattered, the world sounded like it was underwater. His clone stood away from him, not moving because it was either confused on what to do or because it wanted to see if he were finally finished. He was finished, felt finished. He might not have had the energy to fall down. The only thing Jericho was fully aware of was little jolts that went under his skin. Cracks and pops like electric sparks made dim noise in his body and each time one went off he twitched or fidgeted. The little jolts crawled through him, traveling to one spot as if trying to escape. In moment the charge had completely congregated into his hand. The pent up energy was desperate to escape, building until another jolt went through his body, releasing it.

Jericho's vision cleared, his nausea disappeared, and the ringing in his ear subsided. He couldn't enjoy the relief, he was much too distracted by the electricity that shot out of his body and towards his clone. The clone itself was not ready for the apparent attack and made no move to dodge. The clone froze when the bolt hit and its image flickered and then disappeared, the golden orb falling on the ground with a metallic thud. Jericho panted hard, staring down at the orb on the ground. Wait... Did he just... Win? Heh. Heheh. Jericho smiled and laughed weakly, feeling pain as he did. It looked like it were true, but the joy of knowing just made the full weight of his fatigue fall down on him. He fell to his knees, more happy his ordeal was over than worried about his physical health. He felt tired, exhausted, on the brink of death, and wanted nothing more than to close his eyes and sleep. But he won. He didn't know how, wasn't going to ask, wasn't going to question. He would sleep victorious, a champion. That was good enough.

He dropped to his hands, still managing to make a small laugh come from him. He watched blood drip onto the floor. There was probably a lot of that everywhere. He grinned a bloody grin and closed his eyes, feeling dizziness come over him. What sounded like buzz started to go off. He looked up, fuzzy questions floating in his head. What was...? He made a face when the floor looked a little more empty than it had before. Turning his head up he could see why. The buzzing came from the orb that now floated in the air once more. It did nothing for a moment before an image began to materialize around it. The clear body of the clone reformed in a moment, glaring down at him with a hard stare. It was as if brand new, completely free of stray blood and knuckles completely unharmed. Its features, which were more or less neutral before, were now hostile, aggressive, and deadly in the gaze.

Jericho could only groan. Victory was only a memory now. The clone stepped in front of him, grabbed him by the collar, and pulled him off his knees; stare not once faltering. The clone balled its hand into a hard first and pulled it back to punch.

Why did he agree to this...?

(I sincerely apologize for the length of this post as well as the time it has taken to make it. I did not mean to do this. I didn't know what to say (I know that's hard to believe, but when I run out of ideas I write more than I should), but that's not an excuse.

tl;dr: Jericho lost.)
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Old July 29th, 2012 (04:14 PM).
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Atticus Forsberg - AUP Headquarters, France

"I'm not sure," Annie looked around at the scene around her, "but it must be important. It's not often everybody gets called in like this. Actually," Annie corrected herself, "it did happen a few days ago. The explosion in Berlin? Everyone was here when that happened. But that was all over the news. I didn't hear about anything this morning. Unless there's something really bad going on that would make the media be quiet about these kinds of things. Maybe Emil knows?"

And as if he heard his name from the other side of the room, Emilio and Cooper came striding over, obviously finished talking to whomever. Mr. Bernot looked quite smiley, a little more so than usual. Cooper, on the other hand, had the same straight face with a hint of happy. Was he always thinking about something?

"Good morning, everyone! Did you all sleep well?" Mr. Bernot spread his arms out as if he expected a hug but retracted them before anyone could respond with one.

"Fine, thanks," Annie said, sound a little annoyed. She didn't sleep often. That's where she had gone last night, to the hypnotist to be put to sleep. She looked physically a lot better than before.

"Yeah," Devon grunted.

"Yeah, good," Atticus gave a hearty thumbs up.

"Good, good, glad to hear it. Now, I have something important to show you all, so when you are finished your breakfast, please, come to the elevator!" And with a pat on Devon's shoulder, Bernot was gone as quickly as he arrived, moving off to talk to some others.

"Sounds like fun," Devon pushed a lump of bacon into his mouth, obviously sarcastic.
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Old August 2nd, 2012 (12:41 PM).
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Archie Stevens - Syndicate HQ



Breathless Archie stared at his clone. Round after round they had engaged each other and neither of them got the advantage. They both got a beating off the other but neither one was able to land a decisive blow, so the two of them would fight on getting more and more beaten up. Aside form some minor bruising Archie had a sore spot on his ribs where the clone had landed a kick. He wondered if his ribs were broken but he had no idea how he could find out. Once the clone had realised that he was hurt there it had started to target the spot, aggravating the pain. His clone wasn't faring much better, it had a bloodied nose from where Archie had managed to get a good right cross in.

He was about to run back in again to fight his clone but decided not too. His clone noticed his hesitation and hung back too wary of some kind of trap. Good that would give him a few more seconds to recover. If only there was some way to gain the advantage. He glanced round the room at the other Syndicate members. Some of them were already finishing their fights and most of them were fairing better than Archie had been. All of them had used their power to fight in some way though and that was where their fights had differed from Archie's. Well he knew that everyone except Jericho had and since neither he nor his clone was currently splatted against the walls, floor and people in the room he assumed that he had been lying about his power. Erica it seemed could greatly increase her leg strength, for some reason it reminded Archie of a frog. He turned his thoughts inwards for a moment.

What did his power do?

He could cut metal.

Could he cut anything else?

No, he didn't thinks so. He didn't get that same feeling that metal gave him.

What could he cut?

Metal.

Where was metal?

And then a light bulb flicked on in Archie's head. Well the light bulb wasn't in Archie's head and it didn't flick on. In fact it wasn't even a bulb it was a shade. He tried to hid his epiphany from his clone. He had realised that the room was lit by those long florescent strip lights. And around them were large metal shades, designed to reflect the light down into the room.

His clone was growing anxious by now, it was still uncertain if it was a trap but was trying to work out what Archie was planning. It knew the longer it gave him to think the more prepared he would be and he had no doubt that it would have some ideas of it's own to try.

Archie took a step towards the clone and so did it. Then taking a deep breath he ran at the clone, as though he was going to tackle it. The clone dodged aside and tried to hit Archie but he was already considering how it would counter this attack. He stepped over the clone's low kick to his knees and deflected a wild punch to the sore spot on his ribs. The clone threw two more strikes but Archie let them hit him as he grabbed the clones collar and kicked it's legs out from under it. The first strike hit him in the jaw and made his ears ring. The second, an uppercut under the chin barely scraped him.

He landed himself on top of the clone and dug his knee into it's side. The clone was ready for him, it trapped his leg and threw him off onto his back. Archie let the clone throw him off and used it's momentum to get a roll going. The clone realised what he was doing and thinking it was a trap continued the roll. As the world spun around Archie he monitored the lights. He would have to roll the clone some more.

Their tussle carried them until Archie was in position. As each one got in the top position they would try to stop the other throwing them off. Of course Archie wasn't trying. When they were under the fixture Archie stopped the clone as though he were pinned and attempted to throw the clone the other way. The clone stopped him and raised an arm to punch him. Archie raised his own arms to defend himself.

F**k! This was crazy.

Why hadn't he though about this before now but he had no choice he had to go through with it now.

He started to cut the light shade while pretending to struggle. It was harder than he had thought it would be. Fighting made it hard form him to concentrate and that made him slower at cutting. Every second or two he had to stop and defend himself from his clone throwing punches at him and he had to pretend he was fighting back. It was exhausting. Well he had half finished the job, one side of the piece he wanted to fall had been cut, except for a couple of small joints to stop it falling early. He continued to put up a fight until the other side was three quarters done. Then he gave up the pretence and concentrated on the shade to cut it faster.

His clone landed a couple of blows and Archie coughed up blood but it was concerned something was off. It stopped and looked at Archie. It would have been better off throwing another punch or two since they could have finished Archie off by this point.

From the roof there was a creaking sound and the clone looked up. A piece of steel a bout a meter in length began to fall from the roof. It fell quickly and the only thing the clone could do was lay down and cover it's head. The metal hit Archie's clone and the impact travelled through it hitting Archie like a ton of bricks. He was winded and his ribs hurt but his clone was much worse off. He laughed and reached to push the sheet of metal off him.

“Ah! S**t!” Archie swore, the metal was sharp and he had cut his left hand open. He recomposed himself and pushed the clone off. Then carefully moved himself out from under the metal. Holding his left hand with his right to stem the bleeding a little he began to walk away.

There was a noise behind him and he turned round, his clone was pushing the metal away and starting to get up. What was he made off! Archie looked at the metal on the floor and dived over to it.

The real fight was about to begin.

When he had cut his hand Archie had realise that cutting metal made it sharp. So this piece of metal was a weapon to both Archie and his clone. This fight had become a very different game. Archie was the first to act, he cut a strip of metal away. It was much quicker now that he could focus. His clone was only slightly behind him, the blood dripping from his hand gave it away. The clone walked over as Archie was cutting and began to cut a piece of metal too.

The metal was sharp, Archie knew that much, so he tore the arm off his jump suit to wrap around the metal. In about five seconds he had improvised himself a eight inch knife. The clone wasn't done yet so Archie spun around and use this opportunity to attack. He lunged forwards with his knife but the clone took a step back using his foot to slide a piece of metal away along the floor. Archie composed himself and slashed out, the clone dodge. And his knife broke. No it didn't break it was cut, his clone cut it in two and the blade flew off. Luckily there was no one in the way, it embedded it's self a good five inches into the wall. Archie was afraid what would have happened if it had hit some one.

Now it was his clones turn, carefully it picked up the scrap of metal from the floor and cut a needle like shape from it. It held it on the flat sides to avoid cutting it's self but Archie didn't give it the chance to attack he cut it as soon as it held the weapon up and the blade fell to the floor. He dived forwards as the clone began to cut another of the blades. He was in real danger of the clone shoving one of those points into the back of his skull right now.

He grabbed the broken spike, cutting his left hand again. Then with all the force he could muster he stabbed it into the clones foot. The attack caused the clone to recoil and wail silently in pain. It was rather disturbing. Taking the piece of metal he had still in his right hand Archie stood up and held it to the clone's neck. He knew it wasn't a real person so he slashed a jagged edge across it's throat.

And that was it. The clone collapsed on the floor and the hologram disappeared. Archie was more than a little hyped up and cut the orb in two before booting it across the room. Training was done. And he had learnt something new. It wasn't just metal that he could cut.
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Old August 5th, 2012 (12:40 AM).
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Nikolai Afon - AUP Headquarters

Nikolai smeared his pancakes with peanut butter, then dousing them in syrup, making a sticky yet delicious breakfast. The exhaustion from the training the previous night had taken its toll on him, leaving him no longer tired, but incredibly hungry. He forced himself to slow down his eating though, not wanting to be seen as a pig. Even so, the sticky peanut butter and syrup did a pretty good job that. As he looked around the cafeteria, Nikolai tried to get a look at and remember as many faces as he could. He had to wonder if there were normally these many people here. Prom what he had seen of the building, it was plenty large and could easily hold living and working quarters for the people gathered in the cafeteria. But Nikolai had assumed that most of the people working for the AUP would be out recruiting more members, or working on secret missions. So the number of people was a bit surprising. Even Atticus and Annie seemed a bit miffed about the amount of people in the room, looking around with a bit of confusion. Meaning that something had happened. Whether good or bad was yet to be seen.

"So, Nikolai," Helena said, turning to him. "Did you sleep well?"

The girl's question broke Nikolai out of his thought process. he drank some orange juice to clear his mouth and throat before replying, "Yeah! The sleep felt great, and the beds were comfortable too. Although considering how tired I was, I could have slept on a bed of nails and still woken up refreshed." Nikolai grinned. "Training was a bit...tiring. So how did your training go? I'm sure we still have a lot to learn about both our abilities, but hopefully some progress has been made?"

Helena turned her head as she heard something from the next table over. Nikolai didn't really catch what had been said, but it had certainly caught Helena's attention. "We can talk about training in a minute." Then, turning to Annie she asked, "Annie, is something going on?"

"I'm not sure," Annie looked around her, "but it must be important. It's not often everybody gets called in like this. Actually," Annie corrected herself, "it did happen a few days ago. The explosion in Berlin? Everyone was here when that happened. But that was all over the news. I didn't hear about anything this morning. Unless there's something really bad going on that would make the media be quiet about these kinds of things. Maybe Emil knows?"

Nikolai took out his phone and placed it on the table, before putting his palm over it, reaching out for his power. He quickly entered the device, finding it much easier to do so than previous. He quickly scanned a few major news sites before accessing a few lower level news networks as well, but could find little out of the ordinary. The smaller news networks were often more reliable than the bigger ones, the big networks mostly just telling people what they want to hear. "Well, the Nasdaq is up 2.83%, the "Best of Michael Jackson" CD information was released, and Miley Cyrus is apparently lesbian, but nothing big relating Atlanteans in general. Just lots of missing person reports."

Striding over from the other side of the cafeteria, Emil and Coopercame to their table. "Good morning, everyone! Did you all sleep well?" Emil asked, seeming to be in a good mood.

"Fine, thanks," Annie said, sounding a little annoyed, as if sleep was a waste of time.

"Yeah," Devon grunted.

"Yeah, good," Atticus said, giving a thumbs up."

Nikolai only nodded, his mouth once again full of peanut butter and syrup pancakes.

"Good, good, glad to hear it. Now, I have something important to show you all, so when you are finished your breakfast, please, come to the elevator!" And with a pat on Devon's shoulder, Emil and Cooper walked off to talk to some other group.

"Sounds like fun," Devon said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Well then," Nikolai said, moments after finishing his plate, "Perhaps we should go see what has been going on while we slept then. Something tells me we wont want to miss it."

Disclaimer: All news in this post is purely fictional
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Old August 5th, 2012 (09:36 PM).
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Christian Calaway, Antonia Costa, Chrysta Montague and River Beleren - Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England



Christian stood silent, glaring at Blayze Nalaar with his small cold eyes as Blayze himself, River and Chrysta engaged in a discussion about families and the lives they left behind. It was the second time she brought it up, clearly signifying it was important to her. A fair concern if there was ever one. Christian enjoyed a rocky at best relationship with his family and his roommates weren't that important to him. Really, Christian was only really concerned about Nicolas, his friend back in America. But Christian knew he would be fine. Leaving his past life behind would be easy, assuming that this was his life now. Though, part of him did not like this life. At least not yet. Looking around the room, it was becoming obvious. His eyes locked back on Blayze and he stared at him more until River motioned he and the other members of his team to follow her.

Christian followed River without a single word with Antonia in tow, though she barely kept up really. His stride was fast and angry as ever. A small fire was burning inside him.

"Christian…about Blayze…" Antonia said, trying to calm him down.

"What is there to discuss?" Christian scoffed at her unintentionally. "If Blayze Nalaar is perfectly fine with his operation failing, then who am I to judge?"

"Well, then we just have to do twice as well to make sure that it doesn't fail," Antonia said, catching up to him. "And with you as our leader, I am sure we won't fail," she continued before pecking him on the cheek. "Now come on. Cheer up. You shouldn't be so….brooding all the time."

Christian's face cracked a weak smile as he entered the gym. It was a fair size, large enough for his taste with basketball hoops suspended high above and other students working out. It was pleasant to say the least.

"Right, for today's exercise, it's simple. With Chrysta on my team, and Christian with Antonia on another team, we will play basketball. However, before you scoff, this isn't normal basketball. At either ends are hoops, higher than your average basketball hoop; you must get the ball between the hoops. The catch being; there are no rules or limits, so anything is game." River smiled a crooked smile, looking almost evil and menacing as if trying to throw off the competition.

"So, who's game?" She asked, spinning the ball on the tips of her index finger.

"I'm in," Christian said without hesitation. "But can I have a few minutes to plan with my teammate?"

"In a real battle, you may not get time to plan," River warned, "but seeing as this isn't a real battle, you have five minutes tops." River caught the ball in one hand and started to dribble it impatiently turning around to talk to Chrysta about their plan of action.

And to be fair, you would plan before going into any situation anyway," Christian whispered over to Antonia in which she smiled anyway. Maybe he could do better at this whole leader thing anyway. Christian stepped a few meters away from River and Chrysta, pulling out his smartphone, typing furiously. "What do you know about basketball?"

"A good amount. I played a few games here and there. I watch it too."

"Not since getting your ability right?"

"No, not really."

"Then here. Watch this video that I have on my phone," Christian said before shoving his phone into her face. Antonia looked shocked for a moment before smiling.

"A Michael Jordan video? Nice one," she said with a chuckle before watching intently.

"As far as the game is concerned. I'll run point for now. See how it works. No sense in getting ahead of ourselves." Christian let the time run until River called him over. He wanted to squeeze every second he could out of her. While Antonia streched out and and watched the last remaining seconds, Christian took off his jacket (to sweat less and give River less to manipulate with her own abilities) and practiced using his smoke, taking Thalia's lessons to heart.

"Okay guys, time is up. Let the game begin." River called, dribbling the ball back to the center line. After consulting with Chrysta over their tactics, River was now confident that they could pull off a win. She dribbled the ball at center court for a few seconds before running off to Antonia's side, with Chrysta a little way behind; Antonia being the seemingly weaker of the two.

Christian did not see the quick move coming, but was surprised that the would both go in the same direction. It didn't seem like a tactic he would use at least. But then again, this was a different game. One that super powered people played. Christian fired a smoke screen in the path of River's run and transformed into smoke, mingling into the cloud he generated. "You know," Christian said as a cloud of smoke. "Usually you check the ball before playing." Suddenly the smoke regathered in the from of Christian, with the ball in hand. He passed to Antonia in the center of the court, who caught with wide eyes before running past Chrysta to the other net.

Chrysta noticed River run into the smokescreen caused by Christian and held back noticing the tall man reform holding the ball while River continued on a few paces behind him, turning around in surprise. Chrysta ran after Antonia as she began to dribble the ball to the opposing net; Antonia's style quite similar to the pro's on TV.


She couldn't seem to catch up to Antonia who raced towards the other hoop, and watched in dismay as she dunked the ball in.

Antonia raced back to Christian after the dunk, which Christian was surprised she could do. Personally, he was expected a fancy layup, but he always admired dunk more than anything. Christian offered an out-streched hand for a high five, of which Antonia obliged and smacked hard, leaving Christian's hand a stinging red. Shaking it violently, he was ready for the next round.

"Good steal," she said.

"Better dunk."

River ran back to Chrysta, cursing slightly having fallen into that trick. With ball in hand, Chrysta returned with River back to centre court, ready for round two. Chrysta looked at River who nodded back at her; time to put their plan into action. River again ran with the ball towards Antonia's flank, with Chrysta running quickly behind; almost intending for the previous action to repeat itself.

"Deja vu," Christian mumbled. He was perplexed at the execution of the same play, but didn't think of it more than once. His last defensive play produced a point and you can't beat perfection. Christian launched himself as a plume of smoke at River again, splashing into a smoke screen before her eyes. Antonia, meanwhile, stayed glued to Chrysta, in case Christian failed. She didn't think he would.

Chrysta smiled as the play mimicked their last run in. Unlike last time, she followed River into the smokescreen, tapping River lightly on the elbow to let her know it was Chrysta. Once the ball was in her hands, Chrysta felt River launch herself out of her way so that Chrysta could work her magic.

Chrysta began spinning around in circles on one foot, her ability activating making her spin faster and faster until she was a miniature tornado. As she spun, the cloud of smoke around her began to disperse revealing her spinning form. The nature of her ability meant that Chrysta could overcome the dizzyness involved with spinning at such revolutions, but also that she could move somewhat in that state. However, her sight was blurred while spinning, so she made for the general direction of the opposing hoop, seeing River every so often to her side, knowing that she was going the right direction.

The half smoke, half solid form of Christian stood dumbfounded as his smoke trap was cleared out by the spinning tornado that was Chrysta. That was her power? Turning into a tornado? Impressed was one word for it. Shocked was another. Heading on a course for the net, Christian had no idea what to do. Smoke wouldn't do much to her, so traps were useless. A concussive shot could work, but he wasn't that skiled with them yet. She could probably cut down any wall he made. Crap, he thought. I can't think of anything to do.

Antonia slid into action, tripping up Chrysta with an extended leg. The spinning top came to a screeching halt as she crashed to the ground, the ball coming close and bouncing on the ground. Rolling on the ground, Antonia kicked the ball into Christian and River's direction.

River extended her arm, the ball barely touching her finger tips enough her her to alter it's course towards the opposing goal. With Christian hot on her heels, she darted forth, weaving so that Christian had no clear path that she was following before launching herself into the air, the ball sailing from her fingers towards the goal.

Chrysta high-fived River as the ball fell through the net; the two of them having successfully made a goal. Chrysta caught the ball and with a flick of her arm, sending it spiralling towards the shocked Christian. River was the first and only person she had revealed her ability to; overcome by how weak she seemed compared to the others around her.

Christian barely caught the ball, still a bit shocked at what happened. He didn't like giving up the point. He wanted his lead back. He wanted it back now. "Here. Dribble it up. Take a shot at the net. Don't worry about missing. I got the rebound," Christian said under his breath to Antonia. She nodded, though she didn't understand completely. Antonia lightly jogged to the center of the court, with Christian following close behind. Right as Antonia stepped on the center line, Christian launched a smoke cloud that consumed the entire side of the court, immersing himself into the dense cloud of smoke. The smoke reached high into the room, making it difficult to breathe for anyone who caught a whiff of it.

River cursed as she was engulfed in the acrid smoke produced by Christian, but Chrysta had her ability running once the smoke surrounded them, trying to diffuse the smoke particles, but only barely managing to clear enough for them to see in a two meter diameter around them. They couldn't run blindly into the thick smoke; it was too much.

Antonia could barely see the basketball through the fumes, but remembered the instructions. She readied a long range shot and fired away with near perfect form. However, given the obscured view of the basketball the shot was off and appeared to be destined to miss. However, the ball stopped suspended in midair caught by the smoke outline of Christian. In a fluid movement, Christian dunked the ball and slowly flew down the ground.

River heard the swish of the ball through the hoop and the gas cloud disappear as Christian and Antonia stood beaming under the hoop, ball under Christian's arm. Clapping, River called for time out, walking towards the side of the court where she had left four bottles of water.

"Good game, guys," she congratulated, tossing a bottle towards everyone and drinking deeply from her own.
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Old August 6th, 2012 (12:57 AM).
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Leo Archibald
Picadilly Square, London


Leo let out a deep, slightly exhasperated sigh as he leaned back in the café chair, lifting both of his hand to rub his face tiredly as he shut his eyes for a few moments. The last week and a half had been completely and utterly messy, and he had had almost no control over it. Every time something happened he couldn’t do anything about, he always felt so weak, useless and just wanted to bury himself away, far, far away from the problem.

Lowering his hands, he glanced out over Picadilly Circus in London, watching the various people stroll, rush or drive by. A multitude of different people and colours, which led Leo to thinking of why he had ended up here, of all places. He knew the answer, of course, but sometimes it was a good idea to look over the facts to see if you had missed something important. He huffed quietly to himself and lifted the cup of coffee sitting on his table, peering over at his two friends whom had gone with him on this vacation, sitting over by the statue in the middle of the square.

It all happened… about a week and a half ago. He had been at work when his right hand had suddenly begun itching. It wasn’t a normal itch, it was… something more intense. He even had to step out of the kitchen in the restaurant he worked at, moving out in the alleyway to not cause any worry among the guests. He rubbed the back of his hand as it began burning, his teeth grit in slight pain.

And just as quickly as it had started, it stopped. He panted slightly and turned his hand around to see an odd tattoo that he’d never had before. It looked like a circle of waves, surrounded by fire and the entire thing was coloured a deep, almost aquatic blue. He tried using his nails to scratch it off, but it didn’t even budge. He didn’t think about it much longer and simply went back to work.

The next morning however, when he was reaching for the coffee pot in his apartment, one of the lamps suddenly emitted a crazily intense light, which blinded Leo, causing him to yelp and stumble backwards so both he and the coffee pot landed on the floor. Three more times did something like this happen in the span of five minutes, and he decided it’d be best to call in sick for the time being.

The upcoming few days, he spent trying to avoid any light, wondering what the heck was going on. He had noticed that every time it happened, the back of his right hand itched slightly, which made him study the tattoo a little closer. He had never been a person to get a piercing, tattoo or the like, so this was indeed really odd. He spent the days watching a bit of television, and this way, found out about the Atlanteans, realizing that this mark… made him an Atlantean. The next couple of days, he spent focusing with all his might on trying to stop the flashes of light from happening, with no clue how to. He did this in his bedroom, completely blackened with blinds pulled down in front of the window, and only a tiny flashlight lying on the floor.

The first tries didn’t yield much success as the light just flashed at him, blinding him slightly. Oddly enough, the more it happened, the less bothered by the flashes he was. A week after the mark had appeared, he had been able to stop the light from flashing like it had, having a very basic control over his powers. He spent the next two days learning how to create said flash of light, from a lightsource, although the bigger it was, the easier it was to create. And even then, he could only make the flash appear from the light bulb itself.

He had kept calling in sick, because he didn’t want to alert anyone at work about him being who he was, but the only two friends he had was a little more persistent. Jane and Alexander. Eventually, they marched up to his apartment, and he only barely managed to hide the mark as he peered out in the sunlight at them. They explained they were going to London for a week, and wanted him to come along, since he had been holed up in his apartment for almost two weeks, according to them. Leo figured it might be an easier way to escape going to work than just calling in sick all the time. He agreed to going with them, and planned to tell them about his heritage at some point during the trip.

And there he sat, at the café, contemplating where everything had gone wrong. He sighed deeply once more, frowning to himself. He just wished everything would go back to the way they were… easy. Not complicated. He had a good life, but he was unsure he could just… go back to it, with the mark and everything… but, then again. Why shouldn’t he be able to? It’s not like he had to tell anyone about him being able to create those flashes.

Stirring his cup a little, he stared thoughtfully into it. He was going to go back to Copenhagen after his week of vacation, go back to work, and act as if nothing had happened. Satisfied with this plan, he smiled and lifted the cup to take a sip of the warm liquid.
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Old August 7th, 2012 (06:03 AM).
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Garrett Flynn - London, England


I am Garrett Daniel Flynn, a student at MIT. This is a brief summary of my discoveries two days ago.

"Its been over a week since the Atlanteans revealed themselves...and there is still next to nothing about them on the internet..."

I complained to myself. As usual, I was up to my eyes in research, but this time I had found nothing. Not much reliable internet chatter on the Atlanteans, aside from the fact that they existed. And that they had to register their "powers" at the nearest Atlantean Center. But there was nothing on what those powers actually were! Well, a few silly webcomics and forum posts about superheroes claimed their powers to be like that of superman, or spider-man. I automatically disregarded such ill fated attempts at humor.

Atlanteans...Atlantean...man, It would be so cool to be Atlantean.

I carried on like this for several minutes, bouncing a ball off his wall. I saw this on House, and I decided to see if it actually made me think better. So far, my focus hadn't changed at all. Perhaps more rigorous exercise would clear my mind? I groaned, and dropped the ball to the floor. I lazily got off my bed and opened my dresser. Socks. Underwear. Jeans. Folded tees. Oh, there they are. Swim trunks. I had never been especially fond of swimming...but it beat running on the treadmill or lifting weights.

Why am I so lazy...? Even the sheer fact that I have to ask that question is lazy. I could change. I could start playing a sport. And do physical activities.
......Nah. I'm still 17. I can do that later....


I groped about my inability to participate in organized sports while I put my trunks on. Lime green. What a funny color. Its not really the color of a lime, yet the tag clearly said "lime green". It should be labeled "yellow green". Limes are definately "green yellow". And yes, there is a difference. The newly dubbed yellow green swim trunks still fit, though a bit short on the leg. A refreshing swim should calm the mind. I grabbed my waterproof thongs and slid them on my feet. I snagged a towel on my way out the door, and headed towards the pool.

A few minutes later, I noticed that there was nobody else in the pool. There was an exceptionally large amount of sunbathers by the poolside, however. Disregarding this observation entirely, I dropped my stuff on the only remaining pool chair with an arm rest after taking my shirt off. I didn't bother with sunblock, as my skin was fairly dark and never really burned. I jumped into the pool, splashing water on a seemingly docile college student. Closer inspection of this specimen revealed a more aggressive nature. Maybe the sudden change of dry to wet had something to do with it? Anyways, it was time for frolicking in the pool.

Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea. I would go underwater and hold my breath for as long as I could, as a way to improve my lung capacity. Without regarding the danger of this experiment, I took a deap breath and dove down. Life at the bottom of the pool is simple. There is no rush, no responsibilty....just water. And the concrete. And lots of dead bugs. Gross. I, of course, didn't notice any of these things, being completely absorbed in his preservation of oxygen. Limiting muscle movement and concentrating on a slower hearbeat should increase my breath holding by a few seconds.

A minute and 20 seconds later, I had had enough, and needed air. I kicked off the bottom of the pool, but alas, I scraped my foot as I did so. Screaming like a little girl, I let go of the rest of my air. Naturally, I breathed in after that, taking in a lungful of water (actually, about an eigth of a lungful, because the automatic response and nature of humans is to take a short, shallow breath once depleted of oxygen. But thats all technicalities.)

Agh! No! I didn't plan this out very well, did I? Lungs...full of water....need.... Gills. I thought.

Ironically enough, gills were exactly what I had grown. You see, I myself am an Atlantean and my power is that of Enviromental Adaptability. Or, actually its more of an increased adaptation time and control, as any living organism can adapt. I just do it faster. Way faster. For example, my gills grew about a milisecond after I inhaled all of that water. I'm pretty sure the water hadn't even reached my lungs yet. Anyway, back to how I discovered this power.

I grew gills. And even started to form webbed hands and toes. I didn't really have time to focus on this, as I was panicing. I thrashed my way to the top of the water, breathing in as much as I could and coughing up water. Many female college students fled the scene, screaming violently. I didn't know what was up with that, but at the time nearly drowing took precedence over girls. I felt a sort of itching rash on my neck and inbetween my digits. This was very annoying, and even started to hurt. I looked at my hands to see what the rash was. At the time I thought it was just my blood vessels burning from lack of oxygen, but I soon discovered that my hands had formed webbings. I dunked my head underwater to look at my feet, and surprisingly enough, my vision was completely clear. Now, I can assume it was a film or clear eyelid covering my eye, but back then I just figured my water vision had increased. This was all very fascinating, so I decided to head back to my dormroom and experiment. As I got out of the pool, even more females had left, and only a few remained, frozen in fear. Among the distant screams of the ones who had evacuated earlier, I heard "Fish-man".

Oh, they were afraid of my appearence.

Slapping myself on the face for not realizing this earlier, I also realized that my hand was no longer webbed. Strange. It appeared to only work in water. If I had had a mirror, I would have surely seen that my gills were absent as well. The next hour is very boring, so let me get to the good stuff.

Back in my dorm, I started experimenting on my adaptation. First with only water, but eventually my curiosity got the best of me. I wondered if water was the only thing I could morph to survive in. I quickly grabbed a stainless steel pan, and hit myself on the thigh. A metallic ring emitted throughout the dorm. I barely felt the impact, and when I touched my skin there, it was hardened. Not quite as hard as steel or iron, but about as hard as a rock, cliche similies and all. It also has a greyish black tone, which showed up against my tanned brown skin pretty well. I spent the entire night doing things like this, even swallowing a deadly amount of tylenol. I automatically gagged and spit out the excess medicine, without meaning to. I dropped the heat in my dorm to 30 degrees F. My skin thickened and preserved my heat, keeping my body temperature fairly warm. Several experiments followed, and I discovered that I could adapt to most situations.

The next morning, yesterday morning, I had ripped my shirt in several places, and had driven myself half to death with beatings. Well, half to death for a normal person. To me, I didn't have more than a few bruises. I pulled off my shirt and walked to the bathroom to wash the sleep (or lack there of) out of my eyes. In the bathroom, I saw my reflection in the mirror. This caught my eye, which is strange because usually I don't notice such unimportant things, and I observed myself in the mirror. I looked about the same as usual. Except, to my disbelief, a dark blue tattoo on my neck had apparently rendered itself. But further inquiry would have to wait, for I noticed a clock in the reflection. 5:30 A.M.

I was already behind schedule for my feild trip to London. We were leaving in a few hours, and I still needed to pack. Cursing to myself, I haphazardly threw new shirt on, which was coincidentally my favorite Spider-Man tee shirt. I completely forgot to wash my face. I tossed a few pairs of jeans in my small suitcase, and folded up 4 or so shirts to go too. A handful of socks and underwear topped off the clothing portion of my supplies. I ransacked my messy room for my deoderant, and the bathroom for my tooth care supplies. I grabbed a spare hair tie in the process, and pulled my hair back up. I needed a haircut, but I was too lazy to do it myself, or find someone to do it for me for that matter. Regardless of my appearence, I had to get to the airport and meet up with the other people going on the trip. I was excited to see London, and had gotten my passport just for that purpose.

About an hour later, 6:41 to be specific, I had arrived at the airport. I paid my taxi driver, which was hard enough to track down, and hurried off to see my classmates. I'm on friendly terms with most of them, and the rest I haven't really met. Upon seeing my classmates, we exchanged polite greetings. After that, I started reading more slightly humerous Atlantean Comics on my Galaxy Tablet. I didn't really see what the others did, though I assume they talked and mingled, save a few like myself who had something to do. When the plane was all ready to go, we boarded. I sat next to Zac, who I was friends with. We had hanged out a few times, playing video and whatnot. He was emo, stereotypically so, but he was nice. He did well grades-wise, like most of the people here. He had black hair, and I couldn't tell if it was artificially colored or not, but I assume it isn't because his roots were always black as well. It was styled over his face, swooping to the side. He had peorcings on his lower lip, and wore mainly all black clothes and graphic tees. When he sat down beside me (I had the window seat) I nodded and gave a friendly "'Sup?" After we all got situated and started to take off, I fell asleep, without really paying any more attention to Zac.


Present Day


Garrett read over the text he had just typed into his Galaxy Tab (The text above). He quickly erased it all, not wanted anybody to read it. He wanted to keep his power a secret. He was on a bus with the rest of his classmates, traveling to tour one of the many sights in London. He looked over to the guy on the seat across the aisle. They were aquantences, but had a lot of classes together, so he probably could say when it appeared. He wanted to find out how long his tattoo was there.

"Hey. Do you notice anything...different about me?" he asked casually.

The student looked at him, trying to find anything that was new.

"Uhh....did you get colored contacts?" He had a dense look on his face, as if he were suspecting some sort of prank. Garrett pointed to his tattoo, which ran down the length of his left jugular to his collar bone. It featured two curving caligraphic lines, which crossed at the midpoint.

"Oh, your tattoo. You got that like, a week ago, right?"

Garrett figured the student was underestimating the time he had his tattoo. A week and some odd days put his tattoo convienently at the time of the Atlantean's reveal. This made the most sense, as its too big of a coincidence. Garrett smiled.

"Yeah, its just that nobody ever commented on it."

The other student furred his brow. "Well, you don't really talk to a lot of people, and it would be kinda awkward to say 'hey, nice tattoo!' to a guy who acts antisocial all the time."

Garrett frowned. He thougt to himself, Antisocial? I'm not antisocial. Maybe socially inept, but I don't avoid people. I have lots of frien- Wait. No I don't. I mean, I guess theres Zac. And I didn't even talk to him on the flight. What the hell? How could I ignore my own friend? Out loud, he said, "Oh, yeah. I guess you're right. Well, thanks anyway." The other guy snorted and turned back to the guy on his seat, continuing his conversation. Garrett himself had a seat to himself, and started playing Drisk on his tablet, bouncing off the verizon wifi hotspot on the bus.

I really should go hang out with Zac on this tour. Its been ages since we last had a real conversation. And I want to be good friends with him.

Half an hour later, Garrett controlled both the Americas and Africa. The other players didn't even have one continent. He typed "GG" into the chatbox and minimized the app. He browsed the internet for cool things to do in England. He soon got a notification that the Drisk game had recieved a new chat message. Player 4 said "Not quite". He had feigned an attack on Africa, where Garrett had placed the bulk of his reinforcements. He had used his fortify turn to take his military to Alaska, and his next attack command to completely take over North America and sting South America. Garrett stared at disbelief, having fallen for a Hail Mary sweep. He typed back "clever girl, good one" before forfeiting. There was no way to recover from that. He was pretty good at Risk, and had a hard time finding a chellenge on the droid version's servers.

Shortly after, the bus stopped. The trip leaders announced that this was a stop for the field trip. Garrett waited for the rest of the students on the bus to exit before following out. Stepping off into the sidewalk. "Science Museum". Straightforward enough name. Garrett looked for Zac, and saw him with some other people.

I should say Hello to Zac, but I don't know those guys....

In the end Garrett chickened out and was too afraid of looking bad in front of the other guys to hang out with Zac.
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  #292    
Old August 7th, 2012 (04:35 PM).
Classical Insect
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Delta Mayor - London, England
The wooden bench made a great place to survey the area the only weakness to it was the shrubbery behind it. Two large bushes made themselves home to the left and right of the bench. Small, purple flowers emerged from the leaves and their vivid color demanded attention. An unknown tree with quite a large trunk stood tall behind the place where Delta sat. Flanked to each side of the tree’s trunk were two more bushes except these ones lacked the colorful flowers. Del noticed the absent of flowers right away, she tended to notice the smaller things. This country was quite different from her country, Poland. Surprising to most Del preferred to call herself Polish instead of American. Yes, she had been born in America but she had lived in Poland for 15 years of her life. Her Polish wasn’t as good as her English because most people spoke English in Poland where she lived. She knew a few words in German and Russian but if someone spoke to her in either of those languages she feigned ignorance.

Constant headaches plagued Del ever since that day ten days ago. This same memory played over and over in her head as if it was too good to be true. She had finally been able to relax after a stressful day the events of the day weren’t even in memory anymore. The only way for her to cool down was her nightly bubble bath, which also happens to be her favorite part of her day. Del slowly lowered herself into the very warm water. At that moment her tattoo emerged on her finger and made its way down unbeknownst to her. A few moments later she fell into a deep sleep and when she awoken she placed her arm on the edge of the tub. She’s normally one to be calm but once she saw that her arm had been transformed into a diamond-like material she let out an ongoing scream. After the initial shock died down a little Del casually stroked the hard material with her right hand. That’s when she realized that she had a tattoo that made a few twirls down her index finger then a straight line to her wrist where it then curved under and went all the way down to the crease of her arm.

The news blared from downstairs into the restroom, “…a large explosion occurring in Berlin, Germany today, thought to be the work of Atlanteans has rushed a bill through the United Nations calling for all Atlanteans to register themselves and their abilities with the local Atlantean Centre in all capital cities. The Atlantean Royal Family, lacking to presence of leader Blayze Nalaar, has today agreed with the UN authorities to support their decision and were the first to register. Anybody now caught using Atlantean Abilities without being registered or carrying a registration card will face detainment.” Delta took a big breathe she always thought she was more of an outcast in society but now this confirmed it. This must be her ability to make her skin become this hard material; she needed to do research on it. Her exit from the tub proved that only her entire left arm was the only thing that had changed. She also decided that there was no way in hell she would register on some freak list. Gloves and a long sleeved jacket were enough to cover up her tattoo at all times. It dawned upon her that she didn’t know how to change her arm but to normal.

The next few days were full of experimentation and well, training. Since her arm had returned back to its normal state Del decided she would test it. Her first test was out of pure curiousity, was she fireproof? A gas lit stove in her kitchen is where Del decided she would experiment with it it was the perfect place. Her hesitation held her back for the first few minutes but then she carefully placed her hand on the fire. At 37 C she felt nothing beneath her hand and this feeling continued until she reached 204 C where she felt a little heat. This meant that as of right now she wasn’t completely heat/flame resistance but perhaps if she learned how to make her arm even harden and denser that’d change. Experiment number two was to see the strength that she possessed now that her arm had transformed. Paper was a breeze, rocks were easily crushed, wood wasn’t a match, and nor was concrete. Her trouble was steel she had only been able to make a dent in it not punch all the way through. A look full of disappointment was on full display as she tried another time, which ended in the same result. A notebook full of information was burned after each test was done because Del knew she’d have to be careful especially since she hadn’t registered. The desire to transform more of her body became more and more apparent to her when she failed at her steel test. Could she punch through it if both of her arms were crystalized? Yes, she found the correct word when she googled the process of what had happened to her arm. Crystallizing both of her arms made her a bit weary but she wasn’t going to faint from it. She continued the test in the spare room, which is where all her previous strength test had taken place. The only thing that changed was the number of dents and this time it was two. Angry at her failure to break through Del kept pounding the steel sheet over and over again. Right, left, right, left over and over again. Her idea to simply crystallize her body was her next experiment…

“Delta, Delta, wake up, please, wake up!” Her sense of hearing was dull but she knew that husky voice, well, she did. “Glad to see you awake, Nan sent me over after you weren’t returning her calls.”

“Nathan,” Yes, his name was Nathan and he was her grandparent’s gardener, their cute gardener. “I’m fine, you can go now.”

“Fine?! You don’t know how long you’ve been passed out, do you? Two days, yeah, two f-ing days and you want me to leave you? You’re ridiculous, Delta.”

She found herself laid across the couch with her head prompted on a pillow which laid on his lap. His fingers were making a figure eight on her leg but he seemed to be unaware he was doing it. He had called her Delta that was her full name but she had shortened it to Del quite a long time ago. For some reason she let him call her that perhaps it was the same reason why she got butterflies in her stomach every time he came around. Pain had spread like wildfire throughout her entire body her arms especially ached. Del sat up as quickly as she could then threw off the blanket that covered her arm it was back to normal. She poked it several times with her other hand to be sure but what if Nathan had saw her? Like her tattoo which was now on full display, Del couldn’t see his face but she knew it would be quite the reaction.

“You’re one of them, aren’t you?” His question hung in the air before Del took the bait.

“One of them? Don’t be crazy, a sharpie did this!” A nervous laugh overcame her hoping she was playing her cards right. “You, you didn’t see anything unusual did you?”

“No but I’m betting your power has something to do with your arm and the fact you had dented that sheet of steel multiple times is another clue,” Nathan spouted this matter-of-fact like as if he had done a little research of his own. “Nan wants you to go to London, take a break. I agree you need it.”

Del let his words enter his ears but she didn’t want to accept this she couldn’t, could she? The very next day, today, she boarded a flight to take her London. Nathan was supposed to come with her but at the last minute he cancelled which left an empty seat next to her.

Now, she was sitting in a park, St Jame’s if she was correct, not sure of where she should go next. Del seemed to take this whole ‘you’re-a-different-race-and-you-now-have-superpowers’ rather well but she thought about it a lot. She had dressed in case the weather was as cold as thought it would be. A black leather jacket, a black tanktop, and black skinny jeans were of clothing of choice today. Her legs were crossed but as she moved her right leg (the one on top) the heel of her shoe clicked on the sidewalk. One of her gloved hands stayed attached to her lanyard it was guarding a treasure, her keys. The other hand rested on her hip feeling the outline of one of her knives. Unfortunately there was no way to smuggle knives on a plane so she had bought two as soon as she landed. They weren’t as sharp or as familiar as her ones back home but they would do the job quite well. Her hair blew slightly in the breeze which caused the beads to rattled and hit each other. Many people had gawked at the sight of her head shaven on one side but some had complimented her on the braids she had on the other side. She had kept her beads yellow in the back, orange in the middle, and red in the front it was a lot simpler like that. The only piercing she was missing today was her nose piercing, the others were all set in place. A genuine smile crept across her face hopefully London would be her time to relax.
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Old August 9th, 2012 (03:36 AM).
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part time demon hunter
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Age: 21
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Oakley North, Michael Cale, Kieran Davis and Blayze Nalaar - Atlantean Mansion, Boston, England

Michael looked at Kieran and Oakley before staring blankly at Blayze; he had brought them out into the middle of the field to do some training, but hadn’t really specified what training was to be. "So, uh, what’s training meant to be?"

"Teamwork, of course” Blayze stated as if they were already meant to know what they were supposed to do. Delving into his pockets, he ruffled around for something he could use. Pulling out his engagement ring, he held it up to show the three. “This here is the treasure you are after. You must work with each other,” putting emphasis on ‘with’, “and get around each other’s weakness to recover this here treasure."

Oakley made a face at the training. Though she didn't remember what happened at her last training, she knew enough to know that something bad happened. She felt a little better this time around though; with family and friend, maybe she would feel better.

"So... we just take it from you?" Kieran frowned. "That seems too easy."

Blayze laughed deeply, "It may seem easy, but the fact still remains that you need to get it off me." He backtracked up a couple of steps to face the three. "Let's begin."

Kieran went first, pulling off his jacket and dashing at Blayze. He went full offensive, one arm protecting his face and one arm held tight by his side, ready to swing at his instructor. When he got close enough to swing, he did, Blayze lazily stepping back as the bone was aimed for his arm. Oakley gasped a little, sure that Blayze would get hurt, but he seemed too calm about this. Kieran swung again and again, trying to cut something to make the hand open but Blayze was just dodging everything like he was dodging a fly.

"What are you trying to do? Cut my arm off?" Blayze teased.

"Yes! No... I don't know!" Kieran kept swinging false hits.

Michael stood therer as Kieran attacked, not knowing what to do. He looked briefly at Oakley but she was the same. They were meant to work as a team yet Kieran had seemed all too happy to rush forward.

"Should we help?" he half-heartedly asked Oakley, hoping for her to come up with a solution. He turned back to Blayze and flicked his vision into infra-red mode; if Blayze was going to use his ability, then his fire must stem from somewhere, giving Michael a brief advanced notice of when Blayze would attack.

"I don't know..." Oakley stared at her right arm. She was a little nervous, to be honest, and it was showing; her armour was moving slowly but surely up her arm. She clenched the fist, exhaling. She had to be in control. She couldn't let herself slip up again. What had Kieran said? There were people here to help her. She had to rely on that thought to make it through. "I guess this is teamwork, after all."

"Why aren't you guys helping?!?" Kieran puffed after another series of failed flurries directed at Blayze, "stop standing there and fight!" he yelled as he sprung in for another attack.

Michael didn't honestly know what to do. His ability wasn't aggressive at all in nature, and neither was he; he barely even knew how to defend himself much less attack someone else. "Kieran, duck!" He yelled as he watched Blayze's body temperature rise before a gout of flame barely brushed over Kieran's head.

"Oakley, can your armour survive against fire?" he asked her, trying to think of a plan while they continued to unravel in his head.

"Fire?! That's not fair!" Kieran dodged a fire punch from Blayze, his nose just feeling the hot burst.

"All's fair in love and war, honey," Blayze shot another fire burst.

"I... I don't know! I've never..." the only thing she had done against it was touch it and try and pull it out. Never had she used anything but her own hands against it. Oh, and a hammer once. As far as she knew, it was pretty indestrucable; nothing had even laid a dent in it. "Maybe?"

"Do you reckon you could use it to, uh, block the flames or something?" Michael asked uncertainly.

"M-m-maybe?" Oakley bit her bottom lip. She felt her arm twinge a little. No! Stay calm. Friends, remember?

"Okay then," Michael moved to behind Oakley, making sure he had a line of sight over her shoulder before grabbing onto her shoulders. "Keep you arms up, I will guide you and tell you where you need to move your arms." Oakley nodded and shaking put her transformed arm up, covering their faces and top of the chest.

Michael watched through shaded red vision as Blayze turned to them, pushing Oakley forward and watching Blayze for any signs of fire movement. The were only a couple of meters away when Blayze's body brightened and another gout of flames pummeled into Oakley and Michael, pushing them back slightly.

Oakley's right arm pushed forward, as if the fire was a ball and it was being passed to her. As soon as she realised what she was doing, the fire was in her palm but... it didn't hurt. It didn't hurt at all.

"Hah... hahaha!" she said, amazed she wasn't hurt at all. Blayze winked at her, throwing another fire ball at her. Oakley caught it again, extinguishing another flame. Her left hand joined in with the fun, and though it hurt with the first fireball, come the second one, armour had already encased her hand.

Michael watched in awe as the fireballs snuffed out in Oakley's palm. They continued to press on, Oakley seeming either maniacal of plain freaky as she enjoyed catching the fireballs; as if it was only a game. They were slowly gaining on Blayze who was now back tracking from a human battering ram and Kieran's intermittent swipes. Michael darted out from behind Oakley, acting as if her was going to attack Blayze and grasp the ring; leaving Oakley in the center and Kieran on the otherside. Before he had left, he had whispered in Oakley's ear, "Keep going for him," hoping that Oakley would keep Blayze concerened alongside Michael's distraction so that Kieran could run in for the snag.

Oakley smiled. For the first time in a long time, she was confident in herself. And the first time ever, in her ability. She knew it was moving up her right arm, she could feel it moving but it didn't really hurt; she was far more focused on the target in front of her.

"'Scuse me!" she shouted, Kieran jumping back as he was a metal arm lurch forward. With it, she grabbed Blayze's shooting arm, hopefully rendering him unarmed from his ability. She could feel his arm grow hot as he tried to pull her off, but it didn't hurt. Not at all. She was actually... at an advantage!

"Kieran, careful, his other hand!" Michael yelled as his vision was nearly blinded by Blayze's other hand, the one with the ring in it. Kieran leant back, getting scorched on the arm. The burn was mild but that wasn't what he was most concerned about.

"You... your ring! You melted it!" Kieran pointed at the lack of ring in the fire user's hand. Blayze smiled slyly.

"Crazy people would rather commit suicide than be captured. Remember this, information is everyth--"

"His pocket!" With his vision switched to x-ray, he could see the circular object clear in his pocket. "It's in his right pocket!"

Oakley grabbed his other arm, the only thing flailing was Blayze's legs. The metal surrounding his hands had grown so hot that he himself had to stop using his ability to avoid burning himself (as ridiculous as that sounded). He threw well-aimed fire kicks at Kieran but it wasn't enough; with a quick slash of his bone swords, Kieran had cut the pants leg and ripped it off and claimed himself as victor. Before he could start cheering though, Blayze twisted his arm, kicked his legs upwards, knocking Oakley in the chin. She let go and before Michael had time to warn Kieran, there was a hand full of rich fire bubbling below his chin.

"I'll be taking that," Blayze snatched the pants leg off Kieran, the fire still dangerously close to his face. Oakley was too stunned to try and defend him and Michael frankly couldn't do anything. "See, most fighters use their best move last. Never, ever underestimate your enemy. Because they probably will kill you in those seconds you think you've won."

"But, well done. It takes more than luck to get the ring. You guys scrape a pass. I'll see you at lunch."

And with that, Blayze left the three, like stunned mullets as he drifted back to the mansion.

"Cool," was all that could be said.
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Old August 9th, 2012 (06:42 PM).
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The Dream Walker
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Location: Syndicate HQ
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Joshua Meier - Syndicate Headquarters, Birmingham, England



Joshua watched from the glass observation deck as the new recruits trained tirelessly against their clones. He jumped back slightly as a bolt of Leon's electricity struck the window pane, leaving a small, black smudge where it had struck. "He's reckless, but strong," Joshua commented as he continued to watch, as one by one, people either moved to an impasse with their clone or dispatched them. The screen beside him lit up his glasses as figures from the clones displayed statistics on everyone's hits, abilities and misses.

Soon the information began to slow down as people finished their fights and now waited for the next step. Hitting the button to the left of the console and speaking into the mic, his voice came over the overhead speakers in the training room as the clones shut down; shimmering before returning to their spherical shapes.

"Good training everyone, if you could please bring your orbs up with you and we will take a break. All of you who have battle scars, Doctor Phelps is waiting outside of the break room, his healing ability will be able to heal all superficial wounds before you grab something to eat in the break room." Joshua finished his announcement and reviewed everyone's statistics one by one as they came up the side of the training room into the control room.

One by one, they came through the door looking beaten and bruised, but once Dr. Phelps had finished with them; all cosmetic bruises and wounds would be healed with a simple touch of his hands. A tall and lean Caucasian man whom towered over Joshua, he wore a pair of circular glasses and always seemed to smiled wide at people; as if healing them made him happy.

Once Archie walked through the door, Joshua pulled him aside, "I just need to borrow you for a second," and before Archie could object, Joshua brought out a measuring tape, measuring Archie's fingers, arches, hand width and wrist, writing down the measurements with his opposite hand. Joshua was done in a matter of seconds, happy with his results.

"Thank you Archie," Joshua flashed him a grin as he left to join the others in the cafeteria off to the side of the control room. It was lucky that the cupboards had been refilled from yesterday, given the amount of new recruits they now had. Smiling to himself, Joshua compared Archie's measurements to a copy of a doctor's form from the Atlantean Registration Centre he had received through connections. The measurements were almost similar, meaning that with a couple of tweaks, Joshua would not have to discard his previous experiment.
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Old August 10th, 2012 (02:19 AM).
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Skymin
part time demon hunter
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: AU
Age: 21
Nature: Quirky

Atticus Forsberg - AUP Headquarters, France

"Sounds like a good idea," Atticus finished picking his teeth with his fingernail. After he licked away whatever bacon was stuck to the rest of his pearly whites, he stood up and cracked his back. "Let's see what he wants then."

Atticus led the way, Annie wheeling herself behind and Devon behind Nikolai and Helena. Just as Mr. Bernot had said, he was standing at the elevator, chatting offhandedly with Cooper. When he noticed the approaching group, he stopped talking and greeted them graciously.

"Excellent, excellent, you're all here. And Devon too, good," Emilio gave Devon another shoulder pat, much to his discomfort. "I have something to show you two," he nodded to Helena and Nikolai, "and almost like a... well, you've passed intiation. Like a medal for intiation, for passing intiation. Now, if you please." He gestured to the elevator and everyone else step (roll counting Annie) in before he joined them and pushed the bottom level. So they were going to the hanger? That could only mean one thing...

The elevator gave a loud ding as it hit the bottom floor and this time, Cooper led the way to one of the private jets. The same as what they came in last night. Atticus and Cooper gave Annie a boost as they helped her into the plane. When everything was all set up, Cooper fired up the engine and the plane was in the air.

"I'm sorry you have to spend so much time in the air, but just a little while longer, I promise. We just have one detour to make, to Italy. There's a friend that's going to join us," Emil annouced from the chair towards the front. Annie had taken her seat by the window with the computer, tapping away. Atticus wasn't doing anything in particular except inspecting his fingernails. Devon had tucked himself back into a corner, playing on his phone.

"So, uh, anyone been to Italy before?" Atticus leant on his left hair, his eyes drifting towards anyone that was offering to close the silence.
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Old August 10th, 2012 (11:22 AM).
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Skaia
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HELENA ANDERSSON

Helena got up from the table and followed Atticus and the others to the elevator. She wondered what floor they would visit now. Perhaps they would all be part of some big special training because of this incident that had occurred? She was actually rather eager to get to train again. Just one evening's worth of training had given her better control over her so called power. But she wanted to get even better. Just because she felt like she could.

They weren't led to a training room though. When the doors opened, they stepped out in the hangar. Helena was surprised. Was there something here Emilio wanted to show them or... or would they actually be going somewhere already again? Maybe they did spend a lot of time traveling in this job. If this could even be called a job. Helena couldn't recall that anyone had mentioned paying her for staying with the AUP. But she got food and a bed and company and importantly: training. Her fit body couldn't go long before it was itching for a proper workout. She hoped there was a proper enough gym hidden somewhere in this base.

The same jet that had taken her here was waiting for them now. "So we are going somewhere..." she said out loud. It wasn't really a question. More like a rhetorical complaint, perhaps. Not that she was often complaining about things, and she wouldn't be rancorous now either. But she had just woken up and had breakfast and she had no legitimization or money or even a phone on her now. It hadn't occurred to her that she might need it when she went out for breakfast inside the AUP base. She hoped that her lack of legitimization would only be a good thing if something bad happened wherever they were going... something bad? So she was worrying already, she suddenly realized.

"I'm sorry you have to spend so much time in the air, but just a little while longer, I promise. We just have one detour to make, to Italy. There's a friend that's going to join us," Emil announced when they were all seated inside the plane.

"Italy!" Helena gasped, then almost blushed a little where she sat in a seat just in front of Evo. She wasn't used to traveling much. And here she was taking a little casual detour to Italy after having breakfast in France. Nothing special for these people. She'd better just get used to it.

"So, uh, anyone been to Italy before?" Atticus asked after a little while, in a way that was sure to be meant to be casual.

"Not at all," Helena said with a little smile. She had decided to try and be open and positive about all this. "I haven't been traveling much in my life."

She glanced at Evo. Devon. Evo. He wanted to be called Evo. She wondered why. If he would have her power, he would surely had made himself invisible now. Or maybe he'd be invisible almost always, just to get away from his father. Helena shrugged to herself. Emilio seemed nice to her. As long as she didn't think about what his words had made her think last night.
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Old August 10th, 2012 (04:11 PM). Edited August 11th, 2012 by Skymin.
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Skymin
part time demon hunter
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: AU
Age: 21
Nature: Quirky

Adeline "Otto" Russo, Natalia Zaytsev and Cira Gaile - Under the Vatican, Rome, Italy

"Alright! Then shall we begin?" The Librarian clapped his hands together again, flour exploding from them. He, using some kind of ability, forced the flour off his skin and proceeded down the hall, past a few rooms and into a large, empty hall filled with odd pieces of furniture that were perhaps not to his liking or were just waiting to be destroyed. Cira, Adeline and Natalia followed behind, Natalia taking a seat on one of the chairs and Adeline sitting on the floor next to her on a funny looking cushion.

"First off, Cira, why don't you show me what you can already do?"

"Okay," he answered. Looking around the hall for a piece of furniture of a weight he could handle, a slightly undersized, egg-shaped ottoman caught his eye. Cira raised his hand to it and it lifted off the floor about an inch before he pulled it around the open space a short time at varied speeds and heights. After about fifteen, maybe twenty seconds in one of the legs started to drag against the ground; before the sound of wood screeching on the floor made its own way around, he let the rest of the ottoman down.

"I doubt it's much, but I guess that makes a decent example."

Cira was met with a smile as the Librarian beamed at him.

"No, no, we all need to start somewhere, Cira! And that is an excellent start. I remember another young boy like yourself many years ago. When I met him, he was convinced that he had no ability. But, no, his tattoo said differently. He came from the Royal Family, do you remember him Adeline? Oh, you would have been much too young. Well, by the time I was finished with him, he had developed into a fine dust manipulator ind--"

"Sir."

"Oh, yes," the Librarian chuckled. "Okay, so, Cira, what do you think when you use your ability?"

Interested by the short tale the Librarian started up, Cira kept that in his head for later -- the dust manipulating thing feels underwhelming though, for royalty. "The only thing that comes to mind is 'move'. It feels like I'm picking it up and carrying it around even if I'm nowhere near it."

"That's a good start," the Librarian nodded, "but, instead of thinking of it as a command, you really should think about it like you would move your arm or your leg? You never physically think about it. That's what your ability is. An intangible, well," he gave a small chuckle, "in most cases, but intangible, invisible limb. Especially your power. Do you understand?"

Cira had no trouble visualizing this, an amorphous, cartoon-like arm protruding from just behind his real ones.

"Yeah, I get it." Jokingly rewarding himself for the understanding, he used said visualization to pat himself on the back -- and he felt it. He was only able to imagine what the arm looked like, but the patting was definitely real. Even more interested in his ability now than when he first discovered it than before-- before. "There's something I don't get about that, though. When I first used this, I was only moving myself. It's like I eliminated my body's friction on the grass, everything that slowed me down seemed like it didn't exist." He felt like nothing resisted him, letting him go faster instead of fighting even the air; until he stopped moving that time, it was as if he was in a vacuum.

"Well," he answered, "that's because you're controlling the aspects of movement itself. From direction to speed to resistance, you have the power to create, manipulate and eliminate the vectors of motion." To show this, the Librarian pulled off a much flashier feat than Cira with none of the limitation. The ottoman Cira only managed to hover about was quickly bouncing off the walls and ceiling before coming to an abrupt stop in mid-air. "You can even completely suspend something from motion, freezing it in place." Then the ottoman started vibrating faster and faster until it became a violent, yet somehow isolated explosion, leaving everyone unharmed. "You can even choose to make something spontaneously combust or outright erupt."

"If you wish, you can create that invisible limb I mentioned -- among other objects -- and have it perform things that wouldn't happen otherwise." With that knowledge, could Cira make a shield, or projectile out of nothing but the force of motion? "That said, I believe our training is coming to a close; we can continue later in the day while you consider the possibilities of your new powers. For now, I suggest we head back to the dining room to greet your father." The Librarian turned to the Russian nearby. "Miss Zaytsev, will you be joining us? or must we part ways again?"

"I'll be happy to join you," Natalia gave a nod. "Also, your apple turnovers should be done right about now?"

"It's been 22 minutes," Adeline said from the floor.

"Good timing, good timing. I say we continue this later after we're all finished." The Librarian smiled and led the way back down the hall and into the kitchen, pulling out his perfectly cooked apple turnovers. After he doused them in fresh cream and presented them perfectly, Alex appeared at the door, sniffing out the air carefully.

"Are those... turnovers? Apple, whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg in the dough?"

"Indeed, they are! Good morning and good nose, Alexander," the Librarian welcomed the man with open arms. "Would you like one?" He handed Alex a plate holding a turnover sprinkled with icing, sugar and strawberries.

A bright shring disturbed the quiet morning and Natalia quickly snapped open her phone and answered it. After a few "mmhms" and a "yes", she closed it again and turned to her host.

"I'm sorry, but the plane is almost here."

"Aah, excellent," the Librarian clapped his hands together. "Time for a... well, not a road trip. A sky trip? Yes, yes, that sounds about right. Alright, it's time for us to leave. We can take our breakfast with us."

He gave the others time to quickly change into less pyjama-like clothing, spending the rest of the time putting food into a picnic basket. When everything was ready, the Librarian linked hands with his guests and smiled brightly.

"Are you ready? You may feel dizzy. Three, two, one... lift off!"

* * *

The group reappeared at the Fiuminicio International Airport, just outside the front doors. Incoming and outgoing businessmen and women didn't even notice the presence of an extra five people who had appeared out of nowhere at the front doors, though Natalia frowned at the Librarian's rashness. Nevertheless, he smiled and led the way inside, directing the other four to a set of seats by gate A2. It didn't take long before he had opened the picnic basket and began to munch on one of his turnovers.

"And now, we wait!"

Julian Morales - Piccadilly Square, London, England

It was a great day, despite it being Winter in England. Usually, Winter was cold, depressing and simply awful. But today? The sun was shining brightly just enough to be considered t-shirt weather. Maybe that was being too kind. Long sleeved shirt weather? Whatever it was, it was the nicest day Julian had experienced since that awful day a week and a half ago. That was in the past though. The rain had dried up and a new day had begun.

"What's it like down your end, Anabel?" Julian sat casually at a park bench with a phone to his ear, soaking in the sunlight. Despite it being t-shirt weather, he was wearing a large trench coat. It was a little hot and sticky, he would admit, and he would have rather not have followed his stereotype of the Black-British man in the big coat but it was unavoidable. But Julian didn't want to dwell on that thought for long. "Cosy, I bet?"

"Yeah, right. We're in the sky again. Emil wants to show some of our newest recruits the... y'know, the thing," Annie stopped for a moment, typing could be heard in the background. "But enough of me, how are you doing? Are you doing okay, Jules?"

"I'm fine, thank-you for asking," Julian smiled warmly through the phone. "Just waiting for him. How are you sleeping?"

"He should be there soon. It's a little annoying he went cross country before we got to his house but I got a satellite on him now," Annie ignored his last line, her typing growing more vigourous. "He's like, drinking coffee. Aw, the café is cute."

"Anabel, how are you sleeping?"

"Fine," Julian could almost feel the look of daggers from the other side of the phone. "How are you sleeping?"

"Anabel."

"I'm fine, okay? Really. You might be a doctor, but you're not my doctor. I am 100% fine. I slept last night. We need to focus on this guy though. Look, Leo looks a little flu-ey. Maybe you can cure him," Annie's voice was growing quite irritated but it didn't bother Julian at all. He was too nice to feel insulted.

"Promise me you'll try to sleep tonight?"

"Stop worrying about me. Please."

"Promise?"

"Mm," there was a beep and the call cut out. Julian smiled and tucked his phone into his pocket. She could be a fiery red-head when she wanted to be, that Annie. She was a good girl, she just didn't pay herself too much attention. It was all about everyone else and never about herself. Julian knew she would work herself to death, one day, if they weren't careful.

Taking her advice, his focus switched to the boy he could see in the distance. Leo Archibald; 19 years old, Danish, long brown hair, five foot eleven. He was a little bit shorter than Julian was, despite the fact he was 29 years old. When Julian approached the little cafe, he pretended as if he was a long-time customer, which wasn't a complete lie. Julian was born and raised in London and had lived here all his life. He had been to this café once, maybe twice. He walked inside, ordered a cappucino to go and just as he went to leave the café, put his hand on the chair opposite Leo.

"May I sit with you?"
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  #298    
Old August 10th, 2012 (11:25 PM).
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Sir Bastian
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Denmark
Age: 24
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Leo Archibald
Picadilly Square, London


Leo’s two friends seemed busy with taking pictures of each other in between running to the different few little shops around the square, which suited Leo just fine. It gave him time to sit and try and clear his head of everything that had happened. Every time he began thinking of something, it was very hard for him to stop, meaning that his mind would often get a little cluttered, which sometimes ruined his perception of what was going on around him, due to the constant images and words flying through his head.

He had learned to control it, at least to a certain degree, if he could simply sit and, more or less, meditate. He shut his eyes, taking a deep breath of air as he tried to shut out everything around him, lifting the cup to take a deep whiff of the coffee’s aroma, before taking a sip of it. After a few minutes, he opened his eyes again, smiling a little to himself.

Sure, it was just a little too warm with his brown coat and the gloves, but it wasn’t –that- bad. He was used to the temperature shifting insanely quickly back in Denmark, and had gotten himself used to wearing the large, almost winter jacket, just in case the weather turned awry.

As he sat and thought about this, he didn’t notice the tall, black man stepping up next to his table and suddenly coming to a stop. This led him to jumping a little as he spoke, his heart giving a quick few thumps against his chest before looking up at the man and giving a slight smile, waving his hand dismissively. “Oh, no no, help yourself.” Leo hadn’t spoken to a lot of black people, but he didn’t dislike them or anything. They were just other, ordinary people like himself.

He huffed within himself. “Ordinary” people like himself, yeah right. Shaking off the thoughts, he turned his attention to the man again, sitting kind of sideways towards the table to have a better view of the square itself. “Lovely weather out today, huh?” He had always prized himself of being a rather fluid English-speaker, but he couldn’t help a slight bit of an accent to slip in here and there.
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  #299    
Old August 11th, 2012 (02:54 PM).
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The warden
I'm back!
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Standing at the edge of the world! Thinking let's jump off!
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Nature: Relaxed

Archie Stevens - Syndicate HQ


As his training was finished Archie moved to one side of the room and watched the others train. There weren't many left, he was one of the last to finish. Did that say something about him, maybe that he found it harder to push himself beyond his own limits than some of the others, did that say anything about the limits of everyone's skills. He glanced up at the long glass window from where the scientists and researchers could view the training room, up there was Joshua watching the remaining few Syndicate members training. Had he been up there watching the whole time. Probably after all hadn't he said that was his job. Joshua would watch one person for a few seconds then his gaze would flick to another, over the course of a minute he would circle everyone training. As the last person dispatched of their clone Joshua spoke over a loud speaker system.



"Good training everyone, if you could please bring your orbs up with you and we will take a break. All of you who have battle scars, Doctor Phelps is waiting outside of the break room, his healing ability will be able to heal all superficial wounds before you grab something to eat in the break room." He announced.


Ah! S#!t” Archie swore as he looked at the damaged wreck that was his training orb, that thing was likely quite expensive, why the hell had he broke it. He picked it up carefully, mainly because he had practically disembowelled it. Though it was cut in two there were still wires and odd bits of technical stuff joining the two halves. Trying his best not to cause any further damage to it he carried it up the stairs to the control room.


As he walked into the control room he glanced over at Joshua who was occupied reading statistics from a display. Good, he would be able to get rid of this ting without anybody noticing. As he walked across the room he held it in one hand as naturally as he could whilst still holding all the parts inside it. He was glad when he reached the table where he deposited his orb with the intact ones. Then he joined the queue for Dr. Phelps' office. As people came out of the office he noted how effective Dr. Phelps ability seemed to be very effective at healing up minor scrapes, Archie wondered what the limits of his ability were and if he could do anything for his ribs.


When it was Archie's turn to see Dr. Phelps he entered the room to be greeted by a very tall, very lean man. He smiled at Archie, from under his circular glasses and gestured for Archie to sit on a small bed of the kind found in well a Doctor's office.


Please show me your wound's...” Dr. Phelps began to say as Archie sat down, he shuffled through some papers on his clipboard before stopping at one. “... Archie. My power is healing touch, so I will have you back out training again in no time.” Archie began by getting his rib's healed as they were causing him the most pain. In order to do so he had to half take off the jumpsuit he was wearing. Dr. Phelps had Archie lie down and placed his hands on Archie's ribs. As Dr. Phelps closed his eyes a warm tingling sensation moved across Archie's torso. He held his breath instinctively as the feeling spread. Then it receded back into Dr. Phelps' hands leaving Archie feeling a lot better than before.


Better?” Dr. Phelps asked as he opened his eyes, with a large smile on his face.


Much better.” Archie replied as he sat up and circled his shoulders to get used to the new found sense of well being in his ribs. Next Archie turned Dr. Phelps' attention to his hand. It was then that he realised he had trailed a river of blood all the way up form the training room.


Oh!” Dr. Phelps said as he saw the cut on Archie's hand. This did little to reassure Archie as it is never a good thing when a doctor looks at you and says “Oh!” in the tone of voice Dr. Phelps had just used.


What is it doctor? Can you heal it?” Archie asked more than a little nervously.


Yes. I can fix it, no problem. It's just I've never seen a cut quite like this.” He picked up Archie's notes again and darted his eye's back and forth between them and Archie's hand. “Hmm.” He opened a draw and took out a pair of magnifying lenses that stuck to the front of his glasses. Then he examined Archie's' hand again. “This is quite a deep cut. And very clean too. However you did it you must have cut your self on something really sharp. You did this with your power didn't you.” Archie nodded in response to his question. “Well it's left traces of metal in your hand, it wouldn't do you any harm to leave them there but my power will force them out anyway.” Again Archie nodded. Dr. Phelps didn't wait for his response before healing Archie's hand. The rest of the time Archie spent in the room went much quicker and was much less eventful.


As Archie left the room Joshua took him to one side. "I just need to borrow you for a second," What. The only times in the past Archie had been taken aside like this were back when he was in school. He would goof off in class and get taken outside, often sent away to isolation. Well he had preferred it that way to be honest, in isolation he would finish his class work and any homework he had leaving him free to practice music when he got home. But still being called to one side had a connection with being in trouble with Archie. Wait a second the orb had his name on it.


Is this about the orb?” Archie asked, in a frantic style. “Fletcher did it!” He lied, saying the first thing that came into his head. Well done Archie he applauded himself sarcastic in his head. You go and blame the five year old for breaking a few million pounds worth of equipment.


But wait, Joshua wasn't talking about the orb. In fact he wasn't talking at all just, well measuring Archie's hands. This must be the worse punishment ever unless he is measuring me up for thumbscrews Archie thought as Joshua finished his work.

"Thank you Archie," Joshua said wit a grin as Archie turned to leave. He headed through to the cafeteria to join the others. He was felling rather hungry, it must be all the exercise he was getting. He wasn't fat, really he was very slim but that didn't mean he was fit. If Archie continued working out like this though he would have to start getting fitter. His body wouldn't be able to keep up otherwise.



In the cafeteria he grabbed himself a cheese and ham panini with a side salad. He also got himself a glass of orange juice. Looking round he picked the table where Jeremy and Fletcher were sat.


Hey. Mind if I sit here?” He asked taking a seat next to Jeremy. “Hi, little dude.” Archie said to Fletcher before he began to eat his sandwich. After taking a few bites he turned to Jeremy. “So is he like your son?” Archie whispered to Jeremy, nodding in Fletcher's direction. It was just something h wanted to get cleared up.
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  #300    
Old August 11th, 2012 (08:04 PM).
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SV
It was justified
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Gender: Male
Nature: Relaxed
Leon Nef- Syndicate Headquarters, Birmingham England

Nope, nothing. Leon expected the clone to get up one more time and try to attack him, but no such incident occurred. Instead, Leon sat there, staring down at himself, and tried to put the pieces together. It was a good training session, but there was something Leon realized in this whole fight. This battle was actually a lot easier than he thought it would be. He didn’t really know if the others had the same experience. He didn’t pay much attention to them until after his own clone was down on the ground. But for him specifically, it wasn’t his hardest fight he had ever fought. That medal would have probably been reserved for the fight in the forest on his first day here. In this fight, it was all about adapting what you thought you knew about yourself, and changing it up to something new. This is what puzzled Leon. If this really was a clone of himself, would he have expected that as well? Wouldn’t he have adapted in the same way and try to take the real Leon off guard? Or was its capabilities simply limited to the exact form of what Leon was the second he was copied, and the clone was simply incapable of learning anything new? Perfect replicas as they may have been, there seemed to be something missing about them that separated them from the real forms. What was it?

Leon turned to see the finale of the Jericho clone fight. He had just defeated his own clone (with a bit of help from Leon’s own ability). Jericho let out a small painful laugh in his victory. Leon said nothing as he observed this and attempted to figure out the real reason they were all eventually ending up winning. Some of them won by a larger margin. Others had closer calls. What was it that really separated them so much from that which is said to be an exact replica of oneself? Was it something missing inside of the clones, or was it something extra inside of themselves that the clones could never have? There was one thing Leon noticed missing in his fight with himself. The clone never spoke a word back, nor did he have Leon’s signature ticks or mannerisms. So was that it? The true tiebreaker of a fight with oneself is the simple personality you may have? The very idea of thinking that that had any factor into a fight seemed a bit ludicrous, but if not that, then what? Was it something deeper? Something so unknown and incomprehensible?

Joshua Meier said in the beginning of the training that their biggest enemy is their self, and that one cannot expect to win every fight if one cannot even win a fight against themselves. Leon began pondering his words, and wondered if he, or anyone else in the Syndicate for that matter, had any idea what they were talking about. Did they really expect them to believe that they have just defeated themselves? What they fought was virtual copies, and nothing more. A key part of them were taken out. Something that couldn’t be added into circuits and wires.

“There is only me.” Leon said to himself out loud as he stood up, beckoned by the call of Joshua from above. The clone was fit back into the orb, and Leon snatched it up, walking up the stairs above. Joshua made a congratulatory speech of how well everyone’s training went. Leon didn’t bother to listen much to it, his mind still thinking about the exercise before. He dropped his orb off as instructed, and proceeded to the one called Dr. Phelps. Leon was relatively silent during the entire examination and healing process, not bothering to speak as he continued to contemplate the entire purpose of the exercise. If it was this plainly seen, then the point of it was just as important as any other training he had or would have. It was simply to increase his own capabilities on a physical level. Leon hoped to get something more out of the exercise, but given the conclusion he came to, he didn’t think that this would be the case.

Leon grunted as the doctor began healing a point on his body where the clone had hit him with lightning. As if all at once, the pain momentarily came back to him, realizing just how injured he really was. Perhaps when one’s brain is preoccupied with so much attention on something else, pain can be temporarily blocked out. Leon shook his head, realizing what he thought before was a bit wrong. The training was in no way easy. It was simply that the primary standard for comparing events would always be his first one, where he went up against four other Atlanteans and killed them, almost dying himself in the process. But the fact of the matter was that this training exercise against himself was still hard. His bones aches, and his muscles were tense. His side hurt from an impact he took from the clone, realizing how damn strong his own attacks were. He supposed it was a good learning experience. Better to have experienced ones own abilities first hand then to naively will it upon others. He could truly know what they would feel now whenever he would fire them upon them later in life. He moved away from the doctor as he took care of his injuries, and proceeded silently into the break room, where he casually walked over to the refrigerator there and scoured the box for…pears. Apparently, someone didn’t take the hint. They were around in the morning, but none appeared to be present now.

Merda…Can someone please take a hint a f***ing put pears in here next time?! It’s not too hard. Pears: green juicy fruits. Look like fat apples. Put them f***ing in!” He reached in and grabbed an apple from the refrigerator and slammed the door shut, walking to the far side on the room and leaning on the counter, silently eating his apple. He wished he would have saved some of his pears from the morning. Archie began making conversation with Fletcher and Jeremy, but Leon didn’t want to hear much about it. He never was much a fan of small talk. He was still preoccupied by the disappointment with his training. He seemed to have overestimated the Syndicate. He thought they were more than what they appeared to be. He was in this most for the money, but secretly, he wished it could be about much more than that. He thought with this training, he could uncover something else about himself, something he didn’t know before. All he found out was that the clones were not themselves. They were copies. They were incomplete. Imperfect.

Imperfect.

A lightning bolt seemed to travel straight to his brain as if he was able to make something out of all this. He shook his head and chuckled a bit to himself, walking to the end of the break room and looking out at the control room in from of him. He laughed out loud as he looked around at the scientists and others on their computers, and Joshua fiddling with some of his own things. Perhaps Leon underestimated the Syndicate quite a bit. Leon wasn’t just fighting the clone, but he was fighting himself on the inside, fighting the urge to be himself. He altered who he thought he was in the battle, and therefore opened more doors that otherwise could have remained closed, well, forever. He realized in this instance that who he was and what he can become is so much more than what he thought. He was imperfect, and by fighting the Leon clone, he was figuring out how to be more. The biggest enemy you would have to face is yourself, because only your thoughts and emotions, your tendencies and actions can prevent you from being better.

He continued to laugh to himself as he returned inside the break room and sat down in a chair, putting his feet up on the table. He looked at everyone else in the break room.

“There is only me.” He said out loud, looking at everyone else in the room while taking a satisfying bite of his apple.
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