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  #51    
Old June 17th, 2016 (8:50 AM).
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Giron: If Jackhammers Could Scream
AKA Basil DeLeon | Aged 30 | Male | Reptilia



Somethings humanity has yet to name. Like the innerside of the elbow, or alien metals crashing into France, around the 29th of June, 1870. Sometimes, these things go without names for ages, no one even considering the need of a word for it. Again, like the innerside of the elbow. In other cases, a word exists on the planet, it's just that humanity didn't really come up with them. The name for the metal the weird bulb was made of was only known by a very select few on planet Earth. Giron was one of them. James Abney, sadly, was not.

"Giron, if I'm going to ask you to repeat that, is it again just clicks? Or is there a way for you to make that information, and I don't mean to sound insulting when I say this, but, useful?"

Giron fidgeted a little, trying to work out a way to explain what the space metal was without confounding poor Smiley further. Honestly, it was always such a hassel when his language didn't line up with human ones. The number of pieces of furniture that didn't exist for his people had been quite the issue for him when he first arrived. It was as he pondered the concept of a chair that an idea popped into his head.
"Oh! I know!" he exclaimed "It's what we build our spaceships out of. It's this really weird metal that's extremely durable and somehow always really, really light no matter how massive it is. It's also very green but most things you find on my planet are. Like, there's this one plant that is so green it would make your eyes-"

"Superhero useful is not tourism useful, Giron," James said quippingly, although there seemed to be a somber tone hidden away in the sentence. "Main point is, what do we do with it?

"No idea." Giron admitted "I mean... you can pretty much make a semi-indestructable battery out of the stuff. Speaking from experience, it takes a pretty bad impact to damage it. Oh hey, that's probably a battery. Although it's got a way easier name back h- nevermind."

"Yeah, just calling it battery doesn't work that well for me. But, it'll do for now," Smiley paused for a while. "You know, I somehow doubt your theory. Why would a clockwork robot need a battery?"

"Well that's the sort of thing we use it for, asides from ships. You run electricity through it and it remembers where to send it. Way better than Earth batteries, it learns what to do when different things happen."

"It learns? And that isn't the main use of it? Seems like pre-schooler steel is quite more interesting than your regular old battery," James said.

"Well it's not like you can get information back out of it. It's like those pathway things in people's brains. Information goes in as electricity, it reacts and remembers but you can't just plug something into it and transfer whatever it knows. That's just silly talk." Giron said, as though discussing a metal with molecular memory was totally reasonable sounding to most people and that transferring the memory was where things got weird.

"You say that like discussing a metal with molecular memory is totally reasonable sounding to most people and that transferring the memory is where things get weird..."

"Sounds perfectly normal to me." Giron remarked with a shrug. "Well until you get to that crazy transferring stuff anyway."

"Ah well, it's not much crazier than a 19th century robot fighting a cloning man, is it? Anyway, I feel like the logical conclusion would be that the metal is what programmed the Clockwork Man. Even with gears and genius you can't make a robot that sofisticated."

In the back of the warehouse, multiple Smiley's put away the last of the spilled fish, leaving only the debris too heavy for a middle-aged man to pick up.

"Um... we still have a lot of mess here. More than when I got here actually - sorry - so I don't think an Elephant is going to work anymore."

"Can't say it worked much the first time around."

"What if I turned into something that could break the rubble? Like maybe a chisel?" Giron suggested, failing to match the tool to the scale of the mess he had managed to create. "That should work!" he concluded proudly.

James laughed, but quickly realized Giron's brand of comedy wasn't sillyness, but sillyness was more Giron's brand of living. "Can I propose a jackhammer? Chisel's are a bit too small, I'd say."

"That is probably a good point." Giron said a little too matter-of-factly for someone who had just proposed the most inefficient method of doing anything ever, bar maybe a blunt spoon. However he made up for his faux pas with a flash of inspiration. "Hey Smiley, what happens if you make more Smilies whilst hammering with me?"

"You'll know what it's like living a day in the live of," James said, unknowingly confusing the giant green space lizard even more.

"In the life of what?"

"Me..." James said. "Do you know many other hiveminds?"

"Don't think so! Sounds like fun." Giron grinned, immediately shifting into a generic brand jackhammer and falling to Smiley's feet before the spy-turned-hero-turned maintenance worker could say another word.

For those who didn't split off into multiple bodies on a fairly daily basis, it was a weird experience. James would liken it to your mind being gently, although it was a good 70 years since it he first experienced it, so maybe it wasn't that gently after all, torn from your body, and being placed in an overseeing limbo of impulses. How this felt when also being a sentient jackhammer was only discovered around 13.82 billion years after the start of the universe, and it was discovered by Giron.

What Giron discovered, was that being like Smiley was a terrifying experience. He went from having a clear thought process and understanding and easy control of his body, regardless of whatever form it took, to feeling as though he had been stretched out across a room of unholy proportions. Everything he thought and felt was fragmented and it was dizzying to recieve sensory input from so many different places at once. He was extremely glad that as a jackhammer he didn't have to see or do things for himself, because the effort would likely have caused his brain to implode or something. It took everything he had not to revert immediately back to his normal form.

Smiley discovered that jackhammering was quite loud. Especially when there were four men jackhammering away neatly lined up next to each other. One James quickly slipped out the warehouse, to make sure he didn't end up with permanent hearing loss.
"It's going great, Giron!" James yelled, not knowing if his voice would be audible with all the jackhammer noise, or if shape-shifting lizard-jackhammers could even hear.

As it turned out, shape-shifting lizard-jackhammers could not hear. They couldn't scream either.The rubble cleaned up nicely, though.

With Ice as Smiley

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  #52    
Old June 19th, 2016 (4:27 AM).
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Harper glanced around the restaurant. It certainly wasn't the kind of place she was expecting, but all she needed was ice cream. She could skip out on dinner if the bill came to too much; or better yet, if it came to it, she could get whatever she wanted and teleport out as soon as the bill came. Problem was, it didnt seem to be even coming to that point. She'd been waiting to be seated for at least twenty minutes, and been walked past by quite a few of the employees. As another walked past, wearing a tag saying 'manager', Harper quickly stopped the man. "Hey, ummm...I've been waiting here for a while now, is there a reason I'm not being served?" She inquired, with little care for manners or protocol. It probably didnt help that she was still wearing her hood.

"Oh, I see. Sorry Ma'am, but we've already taken last orders. You see..." He began before stopping to think for a second. He looked her up and down before continuing. "We're closing early today." He finished, rather coldly.

"Johnaton. Please, don't be so crass with the girl. She's hungry and has been waiting for long enough to warrant some kind of repayment." The manager spun around on the spot to look towards the kitchen. Standing there in a pair of brown slacks and a black turtleneck was a rather unextraordinary man. His hair was long and black as midnight, tied loosely behind his head in a rather unkempt pony tail, he looked as if he had been up working for more than one night over the past few days, with eyes that carried the telltale signs of exhaustion, black bags and red veins. "M-Mr. Trayton sir... my apologies, you usually have your private dinners alone so I assumed.."

The manager seemed to lose his cool somewhat in the presence of this man, though the individual seemed completely calm talking down to the person whom was supposed to be in charge of the establishments staff. He just took another sip from the cup of coffee held steadily in his hand and gestured for 'Johnaton' to go back into the kitchens. "Two steaks, one for myself and one for our guest. I'd suggest making the second one free as well unless you'd like it taken out of your salary."

With a shameful nod, the manager moved passed the casually dressed man and disappeared behind a set of double doors. The empty main body of the restaurant only contained the two of them now, amidst polished birch flooring and red leather seats. He held a briefcase in the hand not dedicated to his coffee, upon the handle was a silver emblazoned name. "E. Trayton".

He extended his hand towards a nearby seat and smiled. "Do tell me then. Well-done? Or medium rare?"

***

Harper sat uncomfortably, on the edge of her seat. Her gaze, wandering around the room, but frequenting her her host whenever she could catch him not looking at her. For the most part, he steak was untouched, but she had taken the occasional nibble, purely out due to the temptation of hunger. She had no reason not to trust this man, but for some reason, she didnt. Perhaps it was an uneasy feeling. Perhaps it was the fact that company owners didn't exactly stop and offer a free meal to every starving girl that walked into their restaurant. She took another glance at the man before her, this time staring for perhaps a little to long, as this time their eyes met, and she quickly returned her attention to the steak. She did her best to seem like she had been eating it, chewing and nodding approvingly as she looked back up at him.

He rose a single dark eyebrow with a sort of bemused smile at the girls behavior. She seemed ever so curious, yet unwilling to ask what was most likely dwelling in her thoughts. He had always been the type to skip the middle man however. "You looked rather distressed, I suppose I could see it in your face, hear it in your tone of voice." He grabbed a napkin and dabbed away some grease from his lips. For a Rick businessman he certainly didn't eat like high society, he wolfed down his meal like a starving animal. "That's why I decided to give you a meal. That and i could hear from the kitchen the way my staff talked to you... still don't know why I hired him to be honest." He crossed his arm and gazed at the girl sitting before him with a curious expression. "Well, you probably know who I am but I'll make the introduction regardless." He gestured to the building sign, visible from the window of the L shaped building they sat in. "Edward. Edward Trayton. Pleasure to meet you Miss...?"

The girl's jaw dropped slightly in awe as she realised just who it was she was talking to. It had occurred to her before that this man probably owned the restaurant, but not only that, he was easily one of the richest men in Hyperia. "Oh, Edward Trayton, huh? I've heard the name." She responded in a rather unimpressed tone. She wasn't sure why she chose to respond the way she did. Though it did help her seem less 'distressed' as he'd described her. In the face of a man as powerful as he was, she needed to at least half seem like she had her **** together. She didn't particularly want to reveal who she was. "I suppose I cant really blame your employee though. I should never have showed up in a place like this wearing a hood and expected to be taken seriously." She added, with just about the only genuine thing she'd said to the man so far, though admittedly with a lot more bravado than she was truly feeling.

Edward didn't find it hard to see through the girls disguises and bravado. She wasn't the only one who had a tendency to wear masks after all. His expression twitched ever so slightly as he re-positioned in his seat, there was a rather nasty bruise on his leg... something that he had received in Japan not a few days earlier. Something that he had received while acting out as the Renegade. In truth he had been back in the city for over a day, but had kept his return to the metropolis quiet. Edward Trayton had things to do, he had to take some time to recover and recuperate for himself. Despite the fact that he remained so calm, cool and collected... Japan had been hard for him. He had come face to face with the man responsible for killing his wife and the bastard slipped right between his fingers. He wasn't ready to go back to the Resistance immediately, to face his colleagues, to face Anise knowing that he had failed to finish off her mothers killer. For the meeting at the warehouse, he had placed a camera or two ahead of time, in order to monitor the situation as it played out.

He had seen this girl here. Appearing in a nightgown in a flash of speed and sound... however, she had left earlier than expected. Storming off in a huff, seemingly lacking any and all desire to join the Resistance proper. Could he blame her? The life they offered was hardly one of luxury and happiness. It required a greater calling... a desire to help people whom couldn't help themselves using the fantastical powers gifted to you by circumstance. Edward wondered, did this girl... did Harper really lack these qualities? Or was she simply afraid? He had been afraid once, afraid of what he could and couldn't do. His fear had manifested into rage and aggression and it had lead him to almost hurt people whom were now, despite his better judgement, very important to him. Did Harper really have no desire to join the resistance and help innocent people? Or was it her fear that caused her to run and hide from something that deep down, she knew she had to do? Maybe he could find out. "I suppose you have eh? It's hard to keep a low profile for men like me. Though you still have me at a disadvantage miss. Might I have your name?"

"Har-" She began, before hesitating for a moment. Sitting in front of one of the city's richest men just reminded her how ****ty her own situation was at that moment, and she had to stop talking for a moment to avoid running the risk of getting choked up. Her moment of hesitation may have helped the man see right through her bravado, but she maintained the act regardless. "Harper. Harper Burton. You've probably never heard of me." She shrugged, deliberately accentuating the difference in status between the two. In all honesty, that was as far as she wanted the conversation about herself to go. She wasn't particularly fond of dealing with life right now, let alone reminiscing about it. "So, Mr Trayton, what business does a busy businessman such as yourself have helping an innocent girl such as myself?" She smirked, doing her best not to giggle by finally cutting her steak and taking her first bite.

Edward watched the girl with that same bemused smirk that he was so used to giving. Though it faltered as he noticed the her almost choking on the words. She did her best to mask the growing upset, anyone else wouldn't have noticed a thing and he admitted that, using his eyes, he didn't either... but he hadn't noticed it with his eyes. He heard the very subtle crack in her voice, heard her subtly swallow the lump that had been growing in her throat. There was something to this girl that he didn't know yet, so he examined her a little closer, taking a bite of his steak, he closed his eyes as if to savor the taste, though in reality he was cutting off his sight, giving his hearing more focus and attention. Her heart rate fluctuated gently, quicker then slower as she was trying to calm herself down, out of the heat of combat he could focus on the smallest things, unmoving and unchanging as he pinpointed the smallest of sounds, only his ears working at all. She was indeed rather worried about many things, though he wasn't a psychic, he couldn't read minds. Though he made the logical assumption that him being who he was might make someone of a far lower social class a little uncomfortable.

She might have noticed then, as the man sitting before her almost froze entirely. A slightly unnatural sort of pause like time itself had stopped, though it was so brief that it might be overlooked. He continued chewing as soon as he had stopped and his eyes opened again. "Harper Burton." He took a napkin and wiped some grease from his mouth. "A fine name, better than some of the things I hear in this city. Now then, as for your question... I suppose you could say that I've been tossed through the ringer these past few days. Stress, exhaustion, loss and strain... I'm a little sick of everything going on in life, I suppose. I know what you're thinking of course, how do the rich have any worries at all..." He took another bite of steak and swallowed it significantly quicker. "I'm not really in the mood to see someone else have a bad day today... and well, you looked like you had been having one." He placed his fork down and glanced at her a moment, his eyes flashing with a sort of cleverness and examination. "I don't suppose you want to let a stranger in a diner hear your troubles? Venting is sometimes a rare and precious commodity... and really, I could probably do with letting out some of my own inner demons to someone a bit more normal."

"Oh?" She replied softly, with a much more caring tone. His honesty helped her relax slightly. She felt as though she could be herself, for the first time since she'd arrived, or the first time at all that day in all honesty. She glanced at the glass of wine beside her plate, and elegantly lifted the glass, taking a small sip. "I guess empathy can make us kinder souls than most, huh?" She added, her mind drifting off slightly. The statement seemed indirect, but it applied to the entirety of her day. It made her think back to Helen, and how desperate the woman was for Harper to join her so they could run off and be superheroes again. It was what she enjoyed, and she wanted a friend to do it with. Harper had taken that from her. She thought back to Archie, and this mysterious British woman he was living with. Harper didn't know what the two were going through over there, but they didn't have to be sleeping together to be as friendly as they had seemed. Then again, empathy could've been working extra strong in the case of those two. She hadn't noticed that the train of thought had her breathing heavier. She took another sip of wine to compose herself. This sip a little less elegant, with her almost knocking over the glass, but managing to catch it before any was spilt.

She didn't want to make a big deal over the almost spilled glass. "I don't really tend to vent too often to strangers. I appreciate the meal, but I've never really been one to share too much of my personal life with those I don't know. I have my mother for that." She joked as if nothing had happened. "I guess you could say I've just had a busy day. A lot of people I need to apologize to, y'know?" She finished, sliding down into her chair slightly, feeling the guilt weighing her down.

He took a sip of his own wine as he listened, watching the girl carefully. He didn't seem to notice, or perhaps he simply didn't care in the case of the almost spilled wine. It wasn't his job to clean up the establishment. There was an odd look of melancholy in his eyes of all things. "Forgive the older and wiser approach of my words... but at your age I probably would've said the exact same thing. Well, minus the part about my mother..." He placed the wine on the table and traced a finger over the brim to create a sonorous effect. "Maybe then... you'd pay a young man feeling too old for dinner, by listening to him complain?" He stared deeper into the wine and he knew exactly the words to say. It was his honesty that would reach this one, not the subtle tricks of persuasion he could have so easily used.

"Quite a while ago now, though still very recently for myself, I lost the person whom was most dear for me. For years since then I've been searching for the right person to blame... and I thought finding them would make me feel better. I devoted all of my time and resources to sustaining myself and my desires... and while I acted in a way that portrayed me as a good person, I still only cared about myself and those dearest to me. Despite everything I'm saying, I believe that is still true." He took another sip, mimicking her less formal actions as he drank. "However... that is human nature I feel. Perhaps on thinking about the past, I feel selfish. I feel like I have to apologize for what I've done." He polished off the wine and placed the empty glass by his equally empty plate. "But... I think that's wrong too. Apologizing and saying you're sorry. In the end all you're doing is licking the wounds that you've already inflicted... looking at all I have, all the power I have attained... I think that the best way to make up for what I've done, the greatest solution to the pain I have caused?" He smiled gently and gave her a somewhat knowing look. "It's not to apologize to make myself feel better... it's to use this power I am so lucky to have, to help the people who need it most. By doing that, by really making a difference to those people whom I have wronged, to make a difference to everyone I can." He stood up slowly from the table, brushing a crumb or two from his turtleneck. "Harper, I feel like that is better than any apology. Don't you?"

He reached into his pocket and pulled out what looked to be a business card, but it was solid, plastic and had an encrypted line of code along its back. On the front was the image of a scroll, though it was angular, as if made of computer code... underneath it was the word "Trayton" in a sophisticated and elegant style of font. He placed the card upon the table in front of her and chuckled a little. "I assume you know Trayton Manor? Large building on the East Side of the city? Isolated hilltop place, hard to miss. That card will let you inside." He paused as he started to walk away. "If you ever do feel like venting to a stranger, I suppose."

"Wait...Mr. Trayton, I do have a question, before you go. I've been playing for this soccer team for a while..." She stopped, trying to align every detail with the true story behind it, before continuing. "...and I left under, dubious circumstances. The fans of that team aren't the most empathetic in the world, and the way I left the club rubbed them the wrong way. My friend wants me to join this new club...the rival club, but that's going to make the situation that much worse. Honestly, I don't even want to play anymore, but this friend seems to think me leaving will have some massive affect on the fans. As though, I'm really going to make that much of a difference. I don't really want to play soccer anymore, but I don't want to let everyone down either. What do you think I should do?" She asked, finally allowing herself a moment to breathe.

Edward smirked a little, facing away from Harper to compose himself before turning back with an oddly understanding and compassionate gaze. "I think you already know the answer Harper. You're just afraid to face it." He gave her a sympathetic look, before turning and continuing to walk away. "I know better than anyone Miss Burton... that nobody can run away forever. Now then, I hope to hear from you again soon, our talk has been most enlightening. You know where to find me."

With that the automatic doors slid open and he paced into the rainy night. His suit and weaponry was folded and compacted in the heavy briefcase grasped in his hand. He'd find an alley and change... after that? Well... The Resistance was waiting for him.
"I know better than anyone Miss Burton... that nobody can run away forever."
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  #53    
Old June 29th, 2016 (3:57 PM).
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"It's pretty cloudy today..." Quantum thought to herself, glancing up into the skies. She was standing on the roof of one of the taller skyscrapers in downtown Hyperia. It was owned by some corporation she hadn't really bothered to find out. The Resistance had asked her to go here to distribute the new transceivers, and that's what she'd do. Glancing down at her wrist, a small smile formed on her lips behind the helmet at the memory those few years ago, when she'd gotten her first. It seemed like so long ago at this point. And now a new generation of heroes were to step up and help give the city back to its people. "Sure hope they're up to the task..." She muttered to herself.

"Not if their teacher starts second guessing, I'd imagine." The voice was somewhat deeper than usual, with a robotic twang to mask its user from most solid forms of detection and recognition, though she undoubtedly knew it well enough with or without a modulator to know whom it belonged to. Just in case however, he pulled the white mask off, it wasn't as if anybody was going to interrupt them just yet anyway. Bangs of black hair fell into Edwards eyes as he took a deep breath, he stood behind Quantum, hoping to startle her a little with a sudden and silent entrance... one that had no doubt benefited from her distracting thoughts. "Still, they chose well with you I think. So no doubt you'll set a good example."

Achieving the effect he was hoping for, Quantum gave a small start at the voice, quickly spinning around to face whoever was suddenly behind her. The glowing eyes within the visor of the helmet widened as she realized who it was. "... Ed! You're back!"
Without a moment of hesitation, the armoured woman rushed over and wrapped her arms around Renegade, giving him a firm (Albeit gentle for her) squeeze, before letting go again, stepping back with a wide smile, which was easy to hear in her voice. "I thought you'd be gone for much longer! I'm -so- glad you're back on top of everything that's going on right now."

He winced a little at Quantum's hug, she did try to be gentle but being with super strength and filled with excitement often made her overstretch her boundaries a little. "Ahem... yes, I am back. Thankfully... what a long and fruitless trip that was." He scowled a little, but quickly wiped the look from his face, happy to be in the company of his friend again. "You remember why I left right? The lead I found on that particular member of the meta-force... I suppose I found what I was looking for, he's in the city again I believe. If nothing else I have an idea of name and tactics at this point..." He trailed off, he seemed to be rushing the topic out of the way before she could ask anymore regarding it... or well, before she could ask about it at all whatsoever.

"Oh! Actually... let me see here... I did get you something..." He reached into his combat pouch quickly, shuffling around through adrenaline stims and various grenades until he heard the soft crinkle of plastic beneath his glove. Gripping the small bag, he pulled it out rather swiftly and produced a folded paper fan. Spreading the panels and giving it a quick flourish, he blew a gentle gust of wind at her face before refolding and presenting it to her with pride. "I am aware that you do not often or, well, ever get to leave the city due to our work... however! I thought to remedy this, I might bring a piece of the outside world to you instead. Fans like these were once used as weapons, though now they serve more as decorative cooling tools. Still, it's... pretty, no? I thought you might like it."

Quantum frowned. It was pretty typical for Edward to distance himself and his problems from everyone else. A habit that he'd had alot of trouble putting away ever since they met. As much as she wanted to talk to him about it, she knew that there was a time and place for everything. He'd probably open up to her about it sooner or later, anyway. She blinked in surprise at the mention of him getting something for her, the concern fading away in favor of curiousity.

After he had revealed the floral-patterned fan and giving a brief show of it, Quantum reached out to take it, opening it up again to study it closer. "Oh... wow. Ed, I- don't really know what to say." Smiling to herself, she gave the fan a small flick, closing it up and opening it again. It was weird, holding something she knew had come from the other side of the world, and the fact that Edward had gone through the trouble to bring it all the way back to her, even with his mission and everything going on at the same time...

"This means a lot to me, Ed. It's a... really sweet gift. Thank you." Giving the fan a last appreciative glance, she stepped over, placing it down on the rooftop, besides the large, heavy suitcase that was lying nearby. After putting it down, she stepped over to the edge of the building and sat herself down, glancing back at him and motioning him closer with a flick of her head.

Almost instinctively he slipped the mask back into place upon his head, he was flushing just slightly. It wasn't a very common occurrence for him to purchase a gift for anyone other than Anise. His daughter appreciated things as much as little girl would, but seeing genuine appreciation in Quantum for something he had done embarrassed him slightly. "Are you five Edward? Honestly. You're a grown man." Berating himself seemed to lower the heat growing beneath the indestructible surface he now wore, though he still didn't dare to take it off.

He walked over to where she sat, his movement differed slightly when he was The Renegade, his steps were lighter, he was slightly bulkier and taller, his long dark coat tailed behind him and every movement he made was more fluid and solid than those he made as Edward. He settled down beside Quantum and overlooked the city with the sounds that reverberated over the rooftops and streets below. He opened himself up to the chi flowing through him... and for miles around he could hear everything there was to hear. Even some of the new recruits from the earlier meeting were making their way to where they needed to go for their trials and tribulations.

"So... the trial of strength is it? Have you met any of the new recruits yet? Or perhaps... some of our old friends?" There was a slight edge in the way he pronounced the last word. It wasn't laced with hate or remorse, more uncertainty and unease... as if the concept of seeing his former team again after so long made him sincerely uneasy.

"Mhm!" Quantum replied, pushing her hands behind her in order to lean slightly back, feet gently knocking against the building her legs were dangling over. "Not privately. I only saw them during that meeting the other night. They seemed... uh, a little unorganized. Didn't really take it seriously. Then again, they were all pretty young..." She paused, tilting her head a little back to watch a plane glide across overhead.

Tilting her head slightly, she gave a small smirk beneath the helmet. " 'Friends'? You sound absolutely -thrilled- to get to see them again. But yeah, I ran into a few of them. Star, Giron and Nerites. Oh! And you know that speedster I've run into a few times? She was there too. With... what I -assume- was a friend of hers." Quantum had felt rather sorry for the woman Overdrive had dragged to the meeting, considering the state she was in. But from her brief run-ins and teamups with the speedster, it was clear that she was pretty... exciteable.

"Harper..." He thought back to the girl he had encountered that night, he hadn't connected the dots but it made sense for the speedster that Harper had been with and the Speedster that Quantum had worked with to be one and the same. He hadn't seen her at Trayton manor, or anywhere in the city really, since that night. Surely the meta-force hadn't gotten her? Or perhaps she had simply left the city? Or... maybe she was just trying to live a normal life? All of those were disappointing outcomes, though some more so than others. His mask was angled down towards the ground as he thought silently on events thus far since his return to Hyperia. All these new recruits, new bonds and new thoughts and worries. It felt like something big was just on the horizon.

"Nerites... the water goddess returns to grace us with divine presence does she? The lizard and burning gas too. I honestly didn't much expect to see any of them again since we went our separate ways." He drew the knife from its sheathe on his belt and twirled it around his fingers gingerly, deftly and dexterously spinning it with agility that he had built up over years of practice. To think that with this first weapon of his he had planned to kill them all. He shuddered and put it swiftly away.

Quantum let out a little huff at the name-calling, giving Renegade's shoulder a small shove. "Hey, don't be mean! Just because we split up, doesn't mean they don't want to help."

He let out a small noise of annoyance, almost like a growl, as she shoved him. "I'm aware of their intentions Quantum. However, if they really cared about the city, they wouldn't have left when we were most needed by it." He sighed and let the words settle for a moment, waiting until the subject had dropped.

"I received a call earlier." He spoke again and tapped the transceiver on his wrist. tilting his head towards her. "They've discovered a base of operations for the Meta-Force in Hyperion. An old forgery in the industrial district. They're using it to manufacture weapons for God knows what. Fueling gang warfare that they can eradicate for better press? Creating a private army? I don't know. All I know is that I need to infiltrate the facility and shut it down. They want me to go alone for stealth and efficiency." He paused, before acitivating the transceiver and swapping between multiple camera feeds until settling on the one he wanted.

Appearing on the holographic screen was a rather large, old complex of rusted iron and stone. Everything was calm momentarily until a fire began to burn deep within with a controlled explosion and smoke rose from that old furnace stacks. He fast forwarded the clip with a swipe of his finger before pausing at the moment he wanted. Upon the bottom left corner of the screen was a woman walking from the building, her hair and eyes burned with a strange light... and her hands seemed to radiate with a powerful fire. "This is Overheat. She's in charge of the operation. As a self assigned secondary directive I'm going to be taking her into custody."

Sitting up straight, Quantum then leaned in to watch the footage being played. She frowned a little at his proclamation, a small, oddly echo-y sigh escaping her. "You've only just come back and you're already off on a really dangerous mission. I know we're trying to save the city here, but don't you think you should... you know?" She lifted her head, giving him a small glance. Not having any facial expressions save for your eyes would normally limit your ability to show things such as your concern, but Renegade was exceptionally good at catching onto the smallest things. That, and they'd spent quite alot of time together over the past few years. Which was also the reason for Quantum knowing that this mission was probably Renegade pushing for it, rather than the resistance trying to force it on him.

He could hear the faint changes in her energy signature that indicated a change in expression beneath her suit... and upon recognizing her unique sound of concern he grimaced beneath his mask. "I know you're worried, but this is some half-rate wannabe villain looking to get away with any number of things... I'll be fine Quantum." He switched off the display and frowned a little more, before taking the mask off again and doing his best to push a smile. "Besides... who else is capable of this sort of covert operation? You think Giron is capable of being sneaky? Nerites would probably ask the guards for directions!" He pat her head lightly before rising to stand. "And while I know you mean well, you're hardly the sneaky sort you know? Haha."

"Heh... that sounds like them, alright." Quantum mused with a smile of her own, doing her best to push away the concern. As much as she was worried for her friend, he was right. He was definitely the most capable in this particular situation. She turned her head and gave him a challenging look, rising to her feet while folding her arms across her chest. "Excuse me! I can sneak -just- fine. Besides, most of the time, it pays off to be able to fly and take alot of punishment!" She made a quick jabbing motion with both hands before resuming her stance, smirking underneath the helmet.

"Oh of course it can yes, but it's not exactly a very subtle approach now is it?" He smiled a little in return before re-equipping his mask and walking to edge of the building opposite where they were standing. "On that note, there's no time like the present? Our new recruits will be arriving shortly Miss Quantum. Be sure to keep that fire ready to fight when they arrive." He stood up on the edge and began to gently step off, turning and giving her a final glance at his mask before he fell. "I missed you, by the way."

With that he was gone, the rev of an engine sounded and by the time anybody would have a chance to look, Renegade would be driving down the city streets on his motorcycle as if he had never been at the top of the building at all.

Peering over the side, Quantum couldn't tell Renegade from the myriad of other tiny little vehicles buzzing about all the way down at ground level. Smiling to herself, she stepped over besides the suitcase, leaning down to pick up the fan, which she twirled between her fingers. "Yeah... I missed you too, Ed."


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  #54    
Old June 29th, 2016 (7:10 PM). Edited August 12th, 2016 by Godzil.
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Godzil Godzil is offline
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    Star Gazer on Trial



    After yesterday's meeting of potential Resistance members, Star had gone home optimistic. She really liked some of them, and it was good to meet up with some of her old friends. And speaking of old friends, she was going to meet up with Quantum later for her formal initiation! She was so excited she almost skipped breakfast, but a half dozen donuts and a 44 oz. coffee just smelled too good to pass up.

    After breakfast, she got dressed for the day. Obviously, she couldn't wear her armor out of the apartment, so it went into a gym bag while she put on jeans and a hoodie. So disguised, she took her motorcycle to a parking garage downtown, one that had a reputation for cheap prices and even cheaper security. She found a dark corner to park her bike, shedding her civilian clothes and putting them in the bike's saddlebag. A blue glow surrounded her hands, spreading to her armor, and in thirty seconds' time Stella was gone, and Star Gazer was suited up and ready for action.

    She took the elevator to the top floor, thankful that nobody else was using it. (That would have been awkward.) Once there, she looks over the balcony and jumps, hanging in midair for a moment before heading for the center of the downtown area.

    Spotting the building she was looking for, Star quickly descended, landing softly behind her friend. "Quantum!" She called out, grinning excitedly. "I found you!"

    Turning around, the armored heroine smiled into the helmet, raising a hand in greeting. "Star! Hey! So, you're going for the trial of 'Strength', huh?" Beside Quantum on the roof of the building was a closed, seemingly heavily-armored suitcase.

    Star grinned, rubbing her neck in embarrassment. "Yeah, I know, but I've gotten stronger in my travels! I wanted to prove I've got what it takes." She looks at the suitcase, taking a step closer. "Ooh, what's in the box?"

    "That, my friend..." Quantum replied, unable to hide the smirk in her voice as she leaned down, patting the top of it. "Is your new transciever. Renegade's already upgraded mine and worked it into my suit." She tapped the side of her head with a finger.

    "Oh cool! Yeah, my old one is starting to die. I think the speaker's going or something. But let's take a look at that upgrade!" Like with most things, Star was excited about this new tech.

    Nodding firmly, Quantum put in the combination on the lock, flicking the lid open, revealing about fifteen or so metallic bracelets. She picked one up and shut the suitcase again, offering it out to her friend, her violet, glowing eyes almost twinkling. "... It's good to have you back, Star. With you and the others here, I'm sure we can finally give people their city back."

    Star accepted the communicator eagerly, strapping it to her wrist. Quantum's words diverted her attention from the bracelet, but earned a genuine smile. "Well, we're heroes, aren't we? It's what we do." She played with the bracelet, laughing as it expanded into a viewscreen. "This thing is so cool!"

    "Heh... yeah. It is, isn't it?" It was easy to hear Quantum was smiling, but at the same time, it was sort of... wistful. The screen suddenly flashed bright white and Star felt her body shifting and Quantum's words fading in the background as she vanished. "Good luck on your trial!"

    ☆☆☆☆

    Star staggered as she was enveloped in light, feeling sick to her stomach. The light cleared, revealing someplace completely unlike the one Star had been standing in. She was standing on a plateau, a scenic jungle spread out around her, although she couldn't hear any animals. The nausea passed, and Star looked out over the jungle in awe and confusion. "I don't think I'm in Hyperia anymore..."

    "You'd be correct, Star Gazer." Came a voice from behind her. It was a man's voice, high but guttural, with a peculiar droning quality to it. Star spun around, seeing more jungle and a concrete bunker, and a man nearly a foot taller than her, adorned in futuristic black and yellow armor.

    Spoiler:



    Star stepped forward, intrigued by the man's suit. "Wow... That's some impressive armor. Got a bit of a theme to it, too. You know me, but I don't believe-" Before she could react, the man lashed out with the sole of his boot, kicking Star in the stomach and knocking her on her butt. She scrambled to her feet as the man laughed.

    "You don't bee-lieve we've met? The name's Wasp, and vigilantes like you fetch a fair price! Come on! Show me what you got!" He rushed forward, throwing a heavy punch at Star's head. She ducked underneath it, throwing her elbow into his back and using his own momentum to shove him away.

    She turned to face him, and he whirled around to face her. "I don't suppose we can discuss this like civilised people?" He growled, charging her again. "Didn't think so!" She threw a bolt of starlight at his face, temporarily blinding him as she dove to the side. Rather than continue his blind charge, he stopped in his tracks, tapping the side of his helmet. It started emitting a low buzzing sound, and he turned to where Star had gone.

    She quickly threw another bolt at him, but he raised his left arm, and a yellow shield sprang from his gauntlet, blocking the blast. He shook his head to clear it, and tapped his helmet again to stop the buzzing.
    "It'll take more than some pretty lights to stop me!"

    Realizing she couldn't defeat him in a straight fight, Star leapt into the air, throwing three star bolts at Wasp. He raised his shield again, blocking all three. Star fired a single bolt, and when Wasp raised his shield, she curved the bolt around him to strike him in the back of the head. The hit knocked him off balance, making him stagger forward a step.

    She couldn't let him get the upper hand again, but fighting in midair would be more tiring than she could afford. She threw three more bolts, curving them to strike his left shoulder from behind, head from the right, and the small of his back. Wasp growled in anger, when Star dropped from the sky, right onto his head.

    Wasp hit the ground hard, and Star stood atop him victoriously. He rolled, making Star lose her balance and fly rather than fall off. Wasp rolled easily to his feet, taking the time to pop his neck.
    "That was a good hit. What other tricks do you do?" He revealed that the wings on his suit weren't just for show, launching himself into the air. His wings made a loud buzz, moving too fast to be clearly seen.

    Wasp launched himself forward, straight at Star. She back flipped, her boot catching Wasp on the chin and knocking him back. She gracefully righted herself, forming a spear of starlight in her hand and throwing it at Wasp before he could recover. The spear hit him in the chest, and while it wasn't enough to puncture his armor, it did knock him out of the air.

    Star was starting to breathe a little heavier as she weighed her options. She had the clear advantage in speed and mobility, but Wasp was stronger and tougher, and his suit didn't tire him out like her powers did. She prepared another spear, but Wasp surprised her. He raised his right hand, and a cone of booming bass sound waves came droning out of his gauntlet.

    The sound knocked Star off balance, clutching her ears in pain. Wasp launched himself up at her, hitting her in the stomach and throwing her to the ground. She bounced when she hit the ground, managing to roll in midair and land on her feet. Wasp tried Star's own trick on her, diving straight for her, but she managed to throw herself back and prevent him from landing on her head.

    Unfortunately, she wasn't quick enough to avoid him entirely, and his heavy boots struck her knee, which let out a muffled *KRUNCH* as it bent backwards under his weight. Star screamed in pain, her knee broken from the impact. She blasted him in the face with a star bolt, knocking him away from her. In desperation, she formed a shield around him, trapping him inside a semi-transparent bubble of midnight blue. She gingerly felt her leg, wincing at the pain. "Oh, man! It's gonna take at least an hour for this to heal!"

    Wasp pounded at her shield, trying to break through. Star floated into the air, looking around the area again. "Give it up, Wasp. My shield absorbs energy. You're not getting out that easily." How had she gotten here, anyway? Had she been grabbed by the meta-force somehow? What about Quantum?

    Before she could ponder her situation more, a loud droning came from the shield. Wasp was using his sonic weapon to try and break through. The shield started to glow brighter as it converted the sonic energy into heat and light. Star felt a pressure start building up in her head, the strain of maintaining the shield. With it glowing like that, she couldn't see in, and Wasp couldn't see out. She hovered over the top of the shield, and it shattered like glass as she dismissed it. (The fragments vanished as they hit the ground.)

    As she had hoped, Wasp had kept his attack focused on where Star had been, causing him to miss her entirely. She created a starlight whip in her hand, lashing out and ensnaring his right wrist. He spun around, aiming his gauntlet up at her, but a sharp tug of her whip yanked his arm to the side, throwing off his aim. Wasp threw himself into the air, his wings buzzing like mad.

    Star dashed to the left, keeping her hold on the whip and dragging Wasp with her. He tried to fly the other direction, to drag Star off balance, but she simply let go of the whip, sending him tumbling through the air. She couldn't help but laugh at the sight, and created a starlight anchor at the end of the whip. Giving the construct enough weight to drag Wasp down made the pressure start coming back in her head, and she knew she had to finish him off quickly.

    She created a weighted net out of light, while Wasp struggled to stay airborne. Star threw the net over him, and his wings got tangled as the added weight bore him to the ground. Star dismissed the anchor construct, and created another starlight whip, guiding it around Wasp's neck and tying it into a noose. She tightened the noose as she pulled herself up, choking Wasp as she increased the weight of the net, preventing him from lifting off.

    The pressure in her head was incredible, making her vision blur and her eyes water. Wasp struggled for air, for altitude, for anything, but Star didn't let up until he stopped struggling. When he fell limp, she dismissed both net and noose, the pressure fading. She nearly blacked out from exhaustion and relief, slowly sinking until she floated mere inches off the ground.

    A sharp beeping sound caught her attention, and she looked up in time to see Wasp crackle with electricity, then flicker and fade, revealing... a robot?! The surrounding area flickered with static as well, but a bright light enveloped her before she could see what lay beneath. Her stomach twisted, and she braced herself for where the light would take her.

    ☆☆☆☆

    As the flash faded, Quantum was standing exactly where Star had left her. The armored heroine winced a little at the state of her friend, taking a small step closer. "... Ouch. Looks like you had a pretty bad fight in there. How'd it, uh... go?"

    Star took a breath, letting the nausea fade. "Apparently teleporting doesn't agree with my stomach. Also, I think I killed a man, but he turned out to be a robot. So... good? I guess?" She shrugged, floating over to Quantum. "Don't worry about this, it'll heal. Just need an hour, and some lunch, and maybe a nap. How about you? You doing okay?"

    "Oh, uh... yeah, yeah, I'm fine!" Quantum smiled, waving away Star's apparent worry, despite her own state of being. "But, I think a congratulations is in order, considering you've passed the test! Sorry for not telling you what would happen. Has to be even for everyone, you know?" She gave a sheepish little smile, which Star couldn't even see anyway, lifting a hand to rub her arm.

    Star gasped in excitement, a huge grin spreading across her face. "Really?!" She squeaked, "I passed!? Awesome!" She floated up, doing a flip and zipping over to her friend. "High five! I don't blame you for the trickery, I was just concerned we'd been ambushed. But now I know it was a test, it was actually really cool! Where'd you get the robot?"

    Breathing out quietly with a slight, electric echo to it, Quantum was secretly very happy that Star Gazer didn't feel tricked. Then again, Star had always been a very cheerful, 'silver lining' kind of person. A lot like Quantum, actually. "You'd have to ask the resistance about that. I'm just here to hand out the transcievers and make sure people survive the ordeal. Oh, uh, speaking of..." She put on a somewhat more somber expression, only visible through her eyes and tone of voice. "In the future, you should keep in mind that we don't condone killing others. Even if they're evil. There's always another way, you know?"

    "Oh. Yeah, I-I know..." Star stammered, looking at the ground. "I didn't mean to, really! I was just gonna knock him out, but then he turned into a robot, you know? I promise, I'll do better!" She raised her head, eyes blazing with determination. "And besides, that would have been my first kill if he'd actually died. Seriously, have you seen me fight? I make whips, Quantum. Out of light."

    Quantum couldn't help but snicker a little at her friend's eagerness. "I know, Star, I know. It's just a thing I -have- to say, you know." She paused a moment, looking at the other armoured woman before reaching out with a hand, her eyes beaming a smile. "Anyways, I'm sure you've plenty to see to. And if not, you'll... probably get some before long. Welcome to the Resistance, Star Gazer."

    Star grinned happily, accepting Quantum's hand. "Thank you, Quantum. It's an honor to be here." She lasted a good four seconds before laughing. "Okay, I'm sure you're busy, so I'm gonna go recover. I'd ask if I could get you something, a snack, a drink, but then again... power suit! I'll see you later!"

    "Heh, yeah, no need to worry about me when it comes to that sort of thing. You go ahead. I've got to stay here and take care of anyone else coming through." Nodding her head, Quantum lowered herself down to sit back on the suitcase, giving her friend a wave as she took off into the skies.

    Star happily flew over the city, pleased with today's results. She knew she had taken a big step, and it wasn't going to be all gum drops and ice cream from here on, but for now?

    "I'm in the Re-sis-tance, I'm in the Re-sis-tance!" She twirled in mid-air, chanting happily in a sing-song way.

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      #55    
    Old June 30th, 2016 (10:43 AM).
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    Oddball_ Oddball_ is offline
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    005: Engage FTL drives and beam us into hyperspace!

    Light Force




    The moon was shining brightly over the city by the time Lightforce began making his way to Dex's Diner. Walking through the city at night always felt boring when he could be walking through the sky above it, but sadly tonight he needed to not draw attention by being a glowing blot in the sky. Of course walking like a normal person was taking far too long.

    "You know, super speed would have been way too overpowered anyway. I mean if you go fast enough you can practically break time. Or maybe phase through the sub atomic energy barrier surrounding the universe, getting yourself trapped in a parralel universe. Okay well anybody with half a brain would know better, but I guess they had to come up with plot points somehow." He muttered to himself as he pushed open the door to the run down Diner.

    Instantly he recognized the man he was looking for, an interesting looking man whom was scribling something on a napkin with a pen. Beside him sat a lonely cup of coffee which seemed to have gone cold during the long wait. Having taken off his coat in an alley some ten or twenty blocks ago, a normal looking Jake Kemon sat down on a stool beside the man.

    "I take it you're the one they call Reverb." Jake said under his breath, stealing a glance at the napkin on which the man was scribbling. It was a scribble of a waveform, possibly a specific message or perhaps just a doodle that someone named Reverb would do, whatever it was, it didn't interest the young man who just wanted to get his mission and get out of the ****ty little diner.

    As Jake spoke, Reverb slid a small metal bracelet over to the boy. "Its a tranceiver like the Champions used, more accurately this is the transceiver V2, the old one was getting a bit outdated."

    As Jake slid the watch sized communications device onto his arm a flash of blue light blinded him and when he opened his eyes he was on the deck of what seemed to be a futuristic ship of some form, a strange woman with what appeared to be silicon skin with blue circuits running up and down her body standing infront of him.

    "Ma'am. I've detected an unauthorized transmat onto the ship." A holographic blue face stated plainly.

    "Thank you Gideon... I think i've found our intruder." The Silicon like woman stated with a digitized voice as she stared at Jake with her strange glowing eyes.

    "Well Todo, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." Jake said as he saw a familiar green and blue planet slowly pan into view from the ships windshield.

    "A popular quote from a piece of Earth fiction known as The Wizard of Oz." The blue head on the console stated.

    "I don't know who you are, or how you managed to transmat onto my ship, but I can't have you running about while i'm trying to destroy a planet." The digitized voice said once more as the woman pointed at him with strange metal gloves. A pulse of energy blasted out from her fingertips and Jake instinctivly snapped his fingers to call up his shield, however to no avail. The energy burned into his skin, instantly searing through the flimsy material that he was wearing.

    "Why do they never take the kill shot first? Don't they know they won't like it when i'm angry?" Jake growled, flicking his wrist in an attempt to call upon his Lightforce weapons. "Okay what the hell." He huffed as once again nothing happened.

    "Surely if you've got transmat technology you've brought some sort of weapon to fight back with? Are you really dumb enough to show up without any way to defend yourself?" The living motherboard called out, once again taking aim at Jake.

    Jake dived out of the way of the energy blast, behind one of the eight passenger seats that were scattered around the deck of this strange spacecraft. The beam of energy melted through the back of the seat, blowing right over Jake's head and scorching a hair or two.

    "Hah! You're damaging your own ship!" Jake laughed as he poked his head up from behind the seat only to have to duck in order to dodge another incoming blast.

    "Correction human, I'm damaging the ship I commandeered in order to destroy your planet, as long as the weapons remain intact the rest of the ship does not matter to me." The living motherboard explained with her strange digitized voice.

    "Why do you want to destroy the earth anyway, I mean sure we're the reason the Kardashians exist but like, even most of us want to destroy them." Jake called out while looking around the deck. The room they were in contained 9 chairs total, eight of which were positioned around a table which by Science fiction logic was some sort of hologram emmiting computer. The ninth seemed to be the pilots seat as it had a miniature version of the hologram table built into its armrest and what appeared to be a joystick into the other. On either side of Jake's side of the room were two large metal doors which would probably lead deeper into the ship. Directly behind Jake was a large glass window leading into what seemed to be a meeting room, with a very rustic feel, the walls appearing to be wooden compared to the metal plates that the deck was made out of. Not to mention the leopard print furniture that looked like it was straight from some movie set in the 70's.

    "Madamn Motherboard plans to reduce the planet into radioactive slag, then sell it on the black market as cheap atomic fuel." The blue head called Gideon called.

    "You've Yes Man'd the console haven't you! That explains why she's responding to anything thats said, you've shut off her ability to deny a request!" Jake exclaimed.

    "Affirmative." Gideon responded.

    "Silence Gideon!" Motherboard hissed as she fired another beam at Jake.

    Jake closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "I really hope this works." He mentally cried to himself as he rolled out from under his chair and climbed into a seat and pulled down the security bar. "Gideon! Open all bulkhead doors!" He cried as another small burst of energy burned into him, searing the side of his face.

    As soon as he finished speaking, a loud metal clanging noise erupted through the ship as every door opened, and all of the air began rushing out of the ship. The leopard print furniture were sucked out of the ship, as were several strange objects which Jake had no idea what they were for. Along with all of these things, the strange woman was being pulled out of the ship as well, her form wildly thrashing in an attempt to latch onto something that would keep her from being tossed into space, however to no avail as she was sucked into the deep vacuum of space.

    "Gideon! Close the doors!" Jake gasped as he felt his skin turn blue from the sudden lack of oxygen in the room.

    "As you wish." The AI replied, closing the doors with a loud clanging noise.

    As air rushed back into the room, Jake gapsed in as much of the glorious oxygen as possible.

    "Now then... Gideon, take me home. Take me to Hyperia."

    SIMULATION TERMINATED


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      #56    
    Old June 30th, 2016 (6:58 PM).
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    Druid


    Druid was enjoying another wonderful day at his apartment, but the only thin he could think about was how nervous he was about this test he had to take. What were they going to have him do? Would he have to fight? If he did have to fight, who or what would he have to fight?

    So many questions were racing through his head, when he was interrupted by his doorbell. Odd, his apartment didn't have a doorbell. Even weirder was the fact that he was sure that the only person who knew where he lived was his mother. Even weirder was that she was on vacation and wasn't even in the city. After a few seconds of confusion, he decided the only way he could find out what was going on was to answer the door. He walked over to the door, held his hand on the knob, and slowly turned it. As soon as he opened the door darkness filled the room, and his brother's voice filled his head.

    "You killed me Eric. You killed me and now I want revenge. You're a worthless little brat, Eric."

    "NO!" he screamed, covering his ears with his hands. "It wasn't my fault! I didn't know!"

    He woke up in a cold sweat. It was early in the morning, the sun was just starting to rise and it filled his room with a warm red color. He felt sick to his stomach. There was no way he could complete whatever test they had in store for him if he couldn't even manage to sleep.


    After taking a shower and putting on his costume, he seemed to feel better. He walked down the stairs, and then took the bus to the Cape Royale shoreline. He was a bit embarrassed at fact that he was a superhero riding the bus next to a bunch of old ladies looking for the early bird specials, but he got over it quickly when he noticed that they all had enough vision problems that they probably didn't notice who he was anyway. When the bus finally stopped at his destination he got off, receiving an odd look from the bus-driver.

    He walked around a bit, in awe of the sheer amount of money people probably spend on houses like the ones around him, until he noticed a lone figure sitting casually on the beach with a briefcase laying in the sand beside his chair. When he walked up to the man, he noticed that the guy had leaves all over his body and bright red hair. "Cool!" he muttered under his breath.

    The man smiled when he saw Druid, and then waved him over.

    "Someone dressed like you are probably isn't going for a stroll on the beach. Have a seat while I figure out how this stupid electronic lock works."

    He jostled the briefcase around a bit, found the keypad, and tapped the numbers a few times before it finally gave a satisfied beep and opened up.

    "Ah, here we go. You get one of these, metal bracelet computers. Just slip it on, and you're good to go! Have fun!"

    He held one of the devices towards Druid, smiling, but he had a weird glint in his eyes, like he was holding something from him. Druid took the device, perhaps a bit too eagerly, and slid it on. Its screen lit up and then flashed white, and suddenly the world around him vanished, replaced by a scene he remembered all too well. Someplace that had haunted his dreams for as long as he could remember.

    His old house had appeared around him, the one that his brother died in. He stood in the middle of his room, remnants of the chalk circle from the spell that consumed his brother still lay in patches on his floor, his rug rolled up in the corner. Tears came to his eyes as he noticed the scratches on the floor from where the demons dragged his brother across the room. Druid opened his curtains, the light flooding his room and revealing so many memories of his past. He almost collapsed, overwhelmed with emotion, but then he noticed something was off.

    On one side of his room, hidden before by the shadows, stood himself.

    "Hello." the copy said calmly.

    "Who the heck are you?"

    "Why, I'm you of course." he said, like it was obvious.

    "There's only one of me, and you're not him." Druid replied.

    "Well, there's only one way to settle that, Mr. Murderer." The copy retorted.

    Druid was flustered. "I-I didn't!" he protested, but was cut short when the other Druid shot him with a fireball, perfectly aimed at his chest. He flew across the room, smashing into his desk. He felt both angry and terrified. How much did this copy know about him? And what was going on? He realized that thinking about why and how was not going to help him when he barely rolled out of the way of a second fireball.

    "Give up!" the copy taunted, "Just like you did when you realized what that ritual did that you performed on your brother!"

    Druid cried out in agony, the sheer amount of emotional pain this other him was causing was far worse than any physical pain he had ever endured. "H-how do you know so much about me?" he was in tears. "You know what? It doesn't matter. My brother died because he pressured me into doing something I wasn't ready for." He slapped his hand over his mouth, instantly feeling guilty at his reply. He didn't have time to think about it, as his double began to charge up a large ball of wind.

    Druid, tears streaming down his face, looked around the room, instantly noticing the piece of chalk he used to draw the ritual laying on the floor, and lunged for it. He quickly scribbled a crude circle on the floor, and within seconds he cast a shield spell and a large dome of blue magic encased him. The ball of wind struck the shield, scattering onto either side of him.

    "It wasn't my fault." he realized, stating it out-loud. "It wasn't my fault!" he shouted, "He wanted power so badly he was willing to pressure me into summoning demons to bind to his body so he could control them, when I knew that I wasn't ready to protect him if something went wrong." he started to cry again, as the other druid charged a ball of rock to launch at his shield. "When I realized that I had misread the ancient text, it was too late to turn back. I banished the demons while they were still bound to his body, dragging him to hell, but he was dead long before that."

    "Shut up and fight me you idiot!" the other Druid said as a large boulder smashed through the magic shield, knocking him against the wall and shredding his clothed with the shrapnel. Druid struggled to lift the thing off of him, and by the time he did, his copy was already grabbing at his arm with a life-drain spell. He quickly countered, doing the same to his duplicate friend. Energy flowed between the two of them, a a magic void quickly forming between them.

    "Stop that you idiot! You'll kill us both!" the copy yelled, "There's no way to control it once it starts to tear!"

    "Don't you think I know that?" he responded, smiling.

    "You're trying to die?!" the copy screamed, terrified.

    "Nope, just kill you." Druid responded, grinning even more than before.

    During their struggle while trying to grab each other, Druid had shuffled them over to his chalk circle on the floor. He stood outside the circle, the copy and rift safely contained within the borders of the chalk. He chanted, the other him catching on a moment too late. The blue shield formed around the copy and rift, separating their arms. Druid ran towards the window, the void imploded, tearing the duplicate apart and collapsing the shield. Mementos of his past flew past as shelves were torn from the walls. He was almost to the window when he suddenly vanished again, reappearing back on the beach. His clothes were torn to shreds, his jacket wasn't even there anymore, and he was covered in bruises, blood, and tears.

    "What the heck just happened?"

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      #57    
    Old July 8th, 2016 (6:54 AM).
    Sir Bastian's Avatar
    Sir Bastian Sir Bastian is offline
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    Quantum
    Prologue: A New Face

    Somewhere in the financial district, a man wearing a dark-brown jacket and a very long mane of dark hair and a small moustache sped through the streets, clutching a small briefcase. Panting, he looked over his shoulder, franticly making a right turn down an alleyway.

    He came to a skidding stop, sliding in behind a dumpster as he whipped out his phone and hurriedly pressed a combination of numbers. “Come on, come on, pick up…!”

    He peeked out over the dumpster and ducked back down again, swallowing as he wiped his brow with the back of his free hand. As soon as the phone clicked, he whispered urgently into it. “I’m being followed! You need to send help, now! Or I’m not going to make it! Please, hurry!”

    ----

    ”Well, I guess that’s that, then!”

    Quantum clapped her hands together, smiling to herself as she looked down at the now empty, heavy-duty suitcase, which had been full of transceivers for the new heroes. She’d handed them all out and according to the resistance, no one else was set to come by. “Job well done. Now all I can do is hope that they’ll live up to the expectations.”

    She pushed the lid shut and buckled it shut before picking it up, carrying the ornate fan given to her by Renegade in her free hand. Stepping off of the roof, she flew towards her hideout. She had to go report to the resistance, but she had to get Renegade’s gift back to her place, first of all.

    Before she got very far, her transceiver buzzed, much to her surprise. Reaching up, she pressed a finger to the side of her helmet, glancing down at the busy streets of Hyperia, bustling away beneath her.

    “Quantum, we need you to take care of an urgent mission. It’s –extremely- important, and you’re the best equipped to take care of it at this time.”

    A small, echoey-sounding sigh escaped her as her flight came to a stop, staying floating in the air. She had hoped she could’ve at least gotten home before the resistance started yanking her in all kinds of directions again. Lifting up the suitcase, she opened it and stashed the fan inside, quickly sinking through the air towards an alleyway, where she could hide it while she was working. “Alright, I’m ready to help. Go ahead.”

    ---

    The door to a pub was slammed open, the inhabitants turning in their chairs from their after-work-drinks to witness the mullet-haired man dashing through the bar, into the back and out the door there. People muttered under their breath, but went silent as, a moment later, the door opened again and a black-clad, armored man stepped inside. Green, electric energy crackled along his shoulders and temples as he slowly turned his head, his green eyes scanning the room before speaking up.



    “Any of you happen to see a man just rush through here?”

    Everyone mumbled quietly, a few people nodding towards the back door of the room, diverting their eyes back down to their drinks. The man smirked and strode through the bar towards the back door.

    “H-hey, what’re you planning on doing to him? Are you some kind of bad guy?” A young, wavey-haired blonde man in a loose shirt spoke up from a table besides the armored man. His equally young friends were staring up at their friend in disbelief.

    The armored man eyed over the man. It was clear that he’d had a lot to drink and him and his friends were preparing for the weekend. Smirking, he reached out and patted his shoulder. “Nah, buddy. I’m with the good guys.”

    With a particularly forceful pat, he forced the man to sit down again. Turning, he strode out of the back door, leaving the younger man blinking a little in confusion, the friend on his right smacking him across the shoulder.

    Reaching the main road again, mullet-man began sprinting down the pavement, desperately looking left and right, panting heavily. “Where the hell are they?! At this rate, I’ll-“

    He let out a girlish scream as a green wave of electricity shot past him, hitting a parked car, which caused all of the glass to explode outwards, the man stumbling to the side as he covered his head with his arms. The other people scattered about the street screamed and either ran for dear life, or watched the scene with wide-eyes, some of them even filming it with their phones.

    “Alright, doctor, I think we’ve been playing tag for long enough. Stop being a pain in my ass and just come with me.” The armored man strolled up the street towards the cowering person, coming to a stop in front of him, arms folded across his chest.

    “No! I can’t! I didn’t fulfill my research just to have it stolen by the likes of you!” He shouted, clutching the briefcase tightly to his chest.

    Letting out a small huff, the armored man shrugged his shoulders. “I guess I’ll drag you all the way back to HQ. Talk about being bothersome. Come on, doctor.”

    Just as he reached out to grab the man by the neck, a purple beam of energy hit him square in the side, sending the man flying into a nearby mailbox, denting it as he fell to the ground. Quantum landed on the ground besides the doctor, reaching out to offer a hand to him. “And you’re… Doctor Emmery, right? Are you alright?”

    “If I was alright, I wouldn’t be sitting here!” He sputtered as he grabbed her hand and pulled himself to a stand. “We have to get out of here, quick! Before he gets-“

    “Phwoo, ouch! I guess the rumors about you are true, Quantum. You really do pack a punch. Even with your energy-beams.” The armored man pushed himself to a stand, flashing a small grin as he rubbed his neck.

    Quantum stepped in front of the doctor, her glowing eyes narrowing as she raised her hands in front of her, getting ready for a confrontation. “I’d be flattered you’ve heard of me, but I’m afraid I can’t say the same for you… let me guess. ‘Electro’?”

    The man laughed, hands on his hips as he casually took a few steps closer, his reddish mess of hair spiking a little as an arc of green electricity ran across the top of his head. “Nice guess! But no. I’m Neuron. And if you’re afraid you might forget that, I wouldn’t worry. I’m going to make sure you remember it.”

    Quantum looked about ready to leap in and get to work, but Neuron raised a finger in front of him. “Hold on, hold on. I know how feisty you can get and how eager to dole out punishment you are. But, I want to make you an offer.”

    He raised both of his hands in front of him, in an open-armed gesture. “Join the Meta-Force, Quantum.”

    Rolling her eyes, Quantum kept up her stance while Emmery was slowly edging backwards down the street. “As if I haven’t heard –that- before. And why exactly would I join the Meta-Force? I’m not much into ruining lives these days, I’m afraid.”

    “Because!” He exclaimed, clapping his hands together, flashing her another grin. “You get to do –exactly- what you’re doing now, but without fear of letting people get hurt by holding back against the various ne’er-do-wells that occasionally crops up in the city. Completely free reign to use your abilities as you please.” He paused, letting the words sink in before his grin dropped, clenching his right hand into a fist. “And because if you don’t… then I’ll have to bring you in. And let me tell you, it’s not nearly as nice to be –brought- in, than to –walk- in.”

    Quantum flexed her fingers somewhat, staring down the man. His change in demeanor wasn’t anything new. The Meta-Force had tried something similar plenty of times. Scare her, threaten her, whatever they could think of. And this joker wasn’t going to be changing her mind, either.

    “I’m afraid I’ll have to politely decline your offer, ‘Neuron’. And if you’re planning on bringing me in, you’d better get started using your fists, rather than your words, because I’ve –seen- what the Meta-Force is.”

    “Tch. Shame.” Neuron shrugged, raising his hands in front of him before leaping forwards. The green electricity crackled as he dodged underneath Quantum’s first swing, delivering a punch to her gut. She jolted briefly, but quickly pulled back and delivered a punch to his face, followed by his chest, sending him to the ground.

    She took a step back, brushing a hand across her stomach. The punch was barely felt, but there was something in his demeanor she couldn’t quite shake. Neuron shook his head and got up, smirking. “Man! It feels good to finally get to have a real tussle with you, after everything I’ve heard about you. But…” He paused as he dashed in again, slamming his shoulder into her chest, followed by a strike to her side. “If you keep holding back, you’re going to lose!”

    Quantum grunted as she staggered back from the punch. She swung her fist, only to have it parried by his arm, but then spun around with the momentum and landed a kick against his side, sending him to the floor again. “This is… really sad, even for the Meta-Force.”

    She turned and nodded to Emmery, who gave her a small smile back as she began moving towards him. “Let’s get you out of here, doctor.”

    “Finally. Thank y- w-watch out!”

    Quantum turned around to see Neuron leaping into the air, swinging his fist downwards. She brought up her arms to block the hit, but as his fist connected with her arms, she was sent backwards, slamming into the nearby building’s wall. The amount of force that was suddenly behind his punch was not the same as it had been a moment before. Had he been holding back against her?

    Neuron stretched his arms out over his head, a playful smirk on his lips as he turned to the doctor, reaching a hand out towards him. “Last chance, doc. Come with me, or I’m going to show Quantum what I can –really- do.”

    Emmery clutched his briefcase tightly, quickly glancing at Quantum, who’d gotten back out in front of him, hands clenched and raised. “I-I’d rather di- uh, I mean, no!”

    Sighing again, Neuron shook his head, planting his hands on his hips. “Alright then. Quantum?”

    She narrowed her eyes at him as he spread his arms out to the sides, cocky smirk flashing at her. “Hit me. As hard as you can. End the fight and take the doctor back home with you. But if you don’t take me out with this next hit, people are going to get hurt. That’s a –promise-.”

    The silence that suddenly cropped up was almost deafning. A few of the bystanders were mumbling under their breath as they watched from the other side of the street, or in nearby balconies. There was something about Neuron that made Quantum really, -really- angry, but she wasn’t sure what it was, aside from his cocky attitude.

    Lowering her hands, she rolled her shoulder. Neuron hadn’t moved an inch, and just met her gaze with a cocksure smirk and a slightly tilted head. She wasn’t going to stoop to the Meta-Force’s level. She wasn’t going to start killing people just because one guy was so full of himself that he could probably fill an entire warehouse with his own ego alone. But she knew that she had to deal with him. And if he was giving her a free hit…

    Without another word, she shot forwards, right arm pulled back. The purple lines along her suit began glowing as she sped towards the villain, until she swung her fist, slamming it into his chest. All of the air was knocked out of Neuron as he flew through the air, crashing into and through a telephone pole, slamming into a parked truck, which dented it and let him drop to the ground. A few people shrieked and moved out of the way as the telephone pole crashed to the ground.

    “Tell your friends at the Meta-Force to send someone bigger next time.” Quantum remarked, smirking a little. As she was about to turn around, Neuron slowly got up. He spat out a glob of blood on the ground, lifting a hand to wipe his mouth with the back of his hand, quirking a brow in surprise. He took a deep breath and began walking back down the street, much to Quantum’s surprise. A punch like that was enough to send even Behemoth into the ground for at least a minute, but this guy just… got up again.

    “You can tell them that yourself.” He replied as he flicked the blood off of his glove. He suddenly shot forwards through the air, green electricity crackling. Before Quantum could react, his fist had connected with her gut, and in the blink of an eye, she was shot backwards, ramming into the front of a parked car about a hundred meters down the street. She began getting up, but he was already on her, grabbing her by the throat and with a swing, slammed her into the ground.

    She winced in pain, everything going blurry for a moment as she tried to register exactly what had just happened. Neuron leaned over her, smiling as he slammed his foot down on her chest, causing her to gasp in surprise and pain.

    “And there you have it. You held back, and now people are getting hurt. You’re getting hurt, the doctor’s going to get hurt. And everyone else backing your ridiculous little rebellion is going to get hurt. Especially when we get the good doctor here to work on that anti-teleportation technology of his for us. So tell me, Quantum.” He ground his foot into her chest, leaning down, his glowing green eyes meeting her purple ones, which were wide with shock. “How does it feel to have your own strength used against you?”

    Reaching up, Quantum grabbed at his foot, panting quietly as she shifted beneath his boot. “W-what- how did you-?”

    The electricity crackled along his shoulders and arms as he grinned down at her surprise, reaching down to grab a hold of her hand, brushing a thumb across the back of it. “… You really don’t think I’d just tell you that, right? Now, you have two options, dear. Keep punching me and get punched back, which won’t last that long, I can assure you… or go back to HQ with me and the doctor, and we’ll make you part of our glorious little ‘peace-keeping force’. How about it?”

    Her chest rose and fell as she stared up at the man who’d just decked her, of all people, into the ground. She glanced sideways at Emmery, who was standing with wide eyes, half-hidden behind a fruit stand. Turning her head back, she looked up at Neuron. He was right. If she kept fighting him, she was definitely going to lose. He’d gone from being slightly-stronger-than-an-average-human, to… well, very close to her own levels of strength, somehow. But then again…

    “I’ll… I’ll go.” She muttered, slowly lifting a hand for him to take, in order to pull her to her feet.

    “-Really-? Hah, that was easier than I’d thought. The others said you were such a hardhead. It’s so much easier when you start speaking someone else’s language. And in your case, the language was ‘beat them the hell up’.” He reached out in order to take her hand, grinning.

    “Yeah, well… I was never a very good listener.” Quantum replied as her hand suddenly moved away from his, palm pressing against his face. Her palm began glowing as a blast of energy sent him flying backwards, crying out in pain and surprise, his hands shooting up to rub at his damaged face.

    Quantum quickly got to her feet, still panting as she ran over and grabbed the doctor’s arm. “Come on, we need to go, -now-!”

    “What? But where?! He’s going to find us if we start flying! You can’t beat him!”

    “I know that!” She gave the doctor a quick glance, her brows furrowed before looking ahead again, quickly scanning the street. “… That’s why I’m not going to.”

    A few moments later, Neuron got up, laughing under his breath, his mask scorched and the one green lens knocked out, revealing a green-iris’d eye. “Oh-ho-ho, that was pretty sneaky, Quantum! But you’re still not going to beat-“

    He blinked a little as he looked up and down the street. There was absolutely no sight of either of them. He spun around, jaw clenching as he glared at the people who were still stood around. “Where’d they go? TELL ME!”

    A couple people jolted slightly, most of them quickly raising their hands and pointing into a nearby alleyway. Neuron narrowed his eyes, his messy hair shimmering a little with another burst of electrical energy as he ran off into the alley.

    Quantum breathed out quietly. The only sound was the slow trickling of the sewage water running past them. They’d just about managed to get into the manhole and close it before he’d gotten to his feet. Emmery slumped against the wall, breathing out before sending Quantum a sharp glance. “Some bodyguard you turned out to be. If this is what I can expect from the resistance, I don’t have high hopes.”

    The heroine pursed her lips behind her helmet, lifting a hand to rub her chest. Despite being what she was, it still ached on top of what had just happened. She wasn’t sure if it was physical, or just… humiliation. “… Sorry. Come on, let’s… get you to the safehouse. The others’ll make sure you’re safe.”

    Without meeting his gaze, she began moving forwards, her metallic feet clinking softly against the stone ‘path’ on the side of the sewage canal, the doctor grunting and holding his nose as he followed her.

    It seemed like the Meta-Force was ramping up their efforts. What Neuron had said to her was still ringing in her ears. If she –had- taken him out, then he wouldn’t still be out there, causing trouble and looking for them. Maybe they’d send him to try and take out Giron or Star, or even Renegade. And that could’ve all been avoided if she’d just…

    Closing her eyes, she quickly shook her head and pushed the thoughts away. She had a job to do. She had to focus, suppress her worry, anxiety and doubts. Just like she’d done in the past.


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      #58    
    Old July 8th, 2016 (8:52 AM).
    Jay's Avatar
    Jay Jay is offline
    Who dahell do you think you're dealin' with?
     
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    The inside of the old factory was dark and stank with sulfur and black smoke. The two guards outside were incapacitated, they had seemed to be nothing more than civil servants hired to watch over the facilities. Renegade had seen no reason to kill innocent men when he easily knocked them unconscious. The worst they would experience? A few bruises waking up that they'd have to explain to their families upon returning home. The inside of the location was much more a foundry than a modern day factory, which he supposed made sense considering the location in the city and its age. It was a pretty clever cover, re-working the forges to manufacture parts for weapons and claim it to be an effort to re-vitalize the older parts of the city and make use of otherwise wasted resources.

    His vision would have been impaired in the warm corridors bereft with wafting smoke. Once again he found himself grateful for his particular set of skills relieving him the need to see at all. Most workers for the factory were in larger rooms, thus allowing him to move through side passages and secret areas uninhibited. By listening for wind cracking through older, covered up passageways, he could find side routes that the local grunts would be stupid to locate. He heard idle tidbits of conversation between the bursts of sound his boots made against the cast iron floor. They spoke about weapons, upgrading the stock of their foot soldiers as Ren had anticipated... but something else caught his ear.

    Talk of a weapon. A big one. Something special that would remove any fear of opposition against the meta force and its leaders. They needed a big space to create it, whatever it was... and thus the plans had been brought to the refinery for improvement and creation.

    Overseeing the work efforts for the time being was his secondary target. Overheat... a villain possessing control over fire and flame. She was a lower ranking member of the meta-force, but the cries of her shrill commands gave the impression that she hoped to be much more with the brownie points this particular job would grant her. She was the easiest out of everyone to track, her hands constantly ablaze sent the sounds of burning embers flickering against his ears with every movement she made. Apart from her there were roughly twenty men in the facility, with most workers only coming in to work night shifts when their activities were far less monitored by the general public.

    Dashing out of the concealed passageway and ducking under one of the forges, Renegade charged into one of the more open rooms where five street thugs were working away, preparing for the night shift ahead. He moved silently through he various shadows cast by the flaming molten metal burning in the forges light. Against a few of the walls he noticed molds for various gun barrels and stocks. If he had needed any more proof, there it was. Their size and quantity assured him of the size of the operation.

    With a few more precise ducks and weaves, he found his destination. The primary forge connecting to the largest smoke stack. A massive pit of molten rock and metal, surrounded by railings and allowing smoke to rise high through a stone, cylindrical tunnel, to the skyline above. Sitting opposite his location at the edge of the massive molten pit was a large machine. It whirred with energy and slight overheat, as its glowing heated surface powered the entire facility. Connecting to said device were fuel pipes, power lines and everything else the facility needed to run, including coolant. If it were destroyed, it would create an explosion strong enough to level the entire facility and end the lives of all those inside.

    And that was exactly what he planned to do.

    Wars aren't won through peace and prosperity, despite what people hope for. While the Resistance focuses on creating heroes that are merciful and just, they keep the Renegade for when amorality is all that can win the day. The news would report the explosion as a terrorist attack on the city. The meta-force would get bad press for their inability to stop the explosion... as well as losing a major resource.

    And Ren? Ren would get just a small fragment of the revenge he craved.

    After slipping silently around the guard rail, he strapped a high velocity explosive pack to the machine and held the trigger tightly in his hand. With a final deep breath he turns, ready to re-trace his steps to the entrance.

    ***

    People were screaming and running towards the building, though the police that a good enough job at holding them back to stop anymore needless slaughter. The explosion had rocked most of Northern Hyperia... and it would more than likely hit local news within the hour. Renegade atop the roof of a nearby storage warehouse, he had heard the explosion as it sent cracks through the foundation of the city. He listened as ripples spread across the water. He heard the screams and final gasps of the men whom were working inside. Not all of them were as corrupt as each other. Some had families. Some had children.

    Edward had created many widows and orphans in the space of a few seconds.

    But it... was for the greater good? Wasn't it? What those men were doing, what they were going to help create, it was surely something monstrous that would have killed so many more. He had done the right thing! But then why... why was his chest clenching like this? Why were there tears welling inside of his mask? He struck out at the roof he stood on with his blade, carving massive burning gashes in the steel with every violent strike. He was tired, Quantum was right, he was pushing himself far too hard. All the killing, all the fighting, he had been used to it before. Natalie had changed him, Anise had changed him, he wasn't a murderer anymore. He wasn't just a heartless killer. Renegade remained, but the Edward Trayton whom was able to ignore so much death in the name of vengeance was gone.

    Edward sheathed his blade... and for a moment he removed his mask and looked upon the destruction with his own eyes. The teary eyes of family members whom had been nearby, the shocked faces of pedestrians. They would never know why Edward had done what he did... but he had his own family to protect. If he had to cleave the heads off of every innocent whom stood in his way, if that's what it took to make a safe life for the people he loved? For his daughter? Renegade re-affixed the mask upon his face.

    He no longer had the luxury of regret.

    He heard the sound of burning rising behind him, he knew his secondary target would survive a fire based blast. So causing the factory to explode was the easiest way to stop the project, deal with the hired help and draw her out all in one. He heard her gritting teeth, the gentle cracking of white knuckles as she clenched her fits. He heard her scream as she launched a concentrated blast of flame in his direction.

    He jumped at the last second, drawing his sword in mid air and slamming it into the steel wall of the warehouse. Everything was going exactly as he had planned, it hadn't been much of a surprise that his opponent was, shall we say, rather hot headed. People were turning to look as Overheat roared with angst and rage, leaping off of the building after Renegade. He moved swiftly, turning the corner of the warehouse just in time to dodge another blast of flame and slip inside a door he had picked the lock to prior to ever starting this mission.

    Overheat rushed to the front of the building, igniting with flames on her arms, legs and hair as she soared into the air. The building was a typical storage warehouse, there were plenty in the industrial district she had been operating out of for the past month or so. She knew she could scorch open the walls of these building with excessive ease. She was going to find her assailant and kill him, he couldn't hide from her now.

    With a burning jet of volatile fire she melted the steels wall down to nothing, leaving a massive hole in the side of the building and funneling out of the opening was... smoke? "You can't hide in your hole forever mouse..." Overheat landed gently upon the ground in front of the now carved open building, stepping slowly into the smoke and increasing visibility with her burning flames. "I will descend upon you and roast your corpse."

    "It's more a matter of catching you'll find." Suddenly a bright flash of a head lamp struck out through the artificial fog, blinding Overheat momentarily and causing her to reel back in her surprise. Renegade spoke in monotone upon the seat of his getaway ride, uncaring for his opponents words or attitude, passive aggressive and condescending, which only riled her further. "And judging by your wits, you're rather slow, for a cat."

    Using a piece of melted metal as a ramp, a black motorcycle carrying the Renegade upon it's seat launched out of the smoke and turned towards an older and less populated part of the city. It moved far faster than a vehicle of its bulk and stature had any right to... and it turned hard and fast around the tightest corners, dodging between warehouses and old shipping containers. Overheat in outrage, shot out of the smoke like a burning bolt of lightning. Her screams of rage echoed across the industrial district and caused many people in the vicinity to flee. Renegade, unfazed and now swerving to dodge oncoming blasts of fire, kept dodging. He had to lead this psychopath away to somewhere less populated. Nobody else would die today apart from her.

    Any guilt he had once felt was now replaced by concentration and anger, a certain familiar hatred for those who misuse their power brewing in his gut. She was meta-force... they were responsible. For Natalie, for putting Anise's future in jeopardy, for threatening his city, his friends.

    He flicked his wrist gently and activated his transceiver, the blue light of the wrist mounted communications device sparking to light as he spoke. The voice modulator in his mask serving as a direct link wireless microphone for the device. "Mission Log: Target located, initiating secondary objective."

    "You're rather slow, for a cat."
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      #59    
    Old July 10th, 2016 (5:41 AM).
    Ice Ice is offline
     
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    Nowhere/Nowhen

    The server begrudgedly put the orders on the table. A cheeseburger with and a Coke for the young hispanic man, and a cheeseburger with cup of english blend tea with milk and sugar for the older gentleman. Nothing bar the tea was on the breakfast menu. A server with a good mood wasn't either.

    The two started to chip away at their breakfast, James in a somber introspective state, Giron probably trying to wrap his mind around cheese. It was silent in the diner, as it was just teeth grinding away at meat-that-legally-had-to-have-a-question-mark-behind-it and the tapping of a server heavily debatting quitting his job and moving to New York to chase his passion of musical theatre.

    "You know why they call it Coca cola?" James asked just after swallowing a neatly cut piece of his burger.

    Giron, sipping the afformentioned brown sludge, shrugged. Considering he had studied history he knew surprisingly little about how popular products had come into being or things like that.
    "Not a clue. I always just thought it was named after someone or something. Or it was a weird human word I don't know."

    "When I was younger," James paused at that word, "there was cocain in that drink. That's why they call it that."

    Giron choked on the drink, barely managing to swallow the liquid instead of inhaling it. Cocain was a word he was more familiar with.
    "That sounds like a terrible idea. Times must have been crazy on Earth back then."

    "I quite enjoyed it besides the world wars and economic depressions. The gay twenties were quite the time to be young."

    "Besides being drugged, why's that?" Giron asked, visibly extremely intrigued by a chance to get first-hand insight into Earthen history.

    There was another pause, something James seemed to fall back on when his past came up. "It was a simpler time. Life was only as complicated as life needed to be. People like you and me were barely around. It was just... people. I... I think there's... I don't know, it just felt right back then. You must feel something similar, right?"

    "A bit yeah." Giron admitted "I've mostly gotten used to it after so long, but things here are sometimes really different than things back home. I mean, that's why I came to check Earth out anyway but it takes some getting used to. I don't know if I'd call it simpler though, in some ways my people are a lot simpler but we also have to have a lot of rules because of the whole shapeshifting thing."

    "How often do you think of going back?"

    "Ah well... sometimes, I guess? Trouble is I've kind of broken the law by revealing my identity and doing the Titans thing. Not entirely sure I'd be welcomed back with open arms. We're not meant to do anything that can cause change."

    "Your people don't like change?"

    "They don't like the thought of abusing our abiltiies. So it's against the rules to use them to exploit people, or to interfere with the development of another race in any way. You're really in for it if you start breeding with other races or committing crimes for example. We're meant to come to experience other ways of life and to observe not to... well resist stuff. I ruined a ship and lost my travel visa though so I'm probably stuck here anyway. Might as well enjoy it."

    Giron thought for a moment
    "Experiencing so many changes in culture over all the time you've been alive has probably left you in similar positions I guess. You sound like you miss the old days."

    "It's just this ache that doesn't sit well. I think I have too much to compare it to. If you don't change, but the world does, it creates so much strife. And I tried, believe me. I own Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart Club. I just can't say I enjoyed it. It's humorous, though. I'd say your species would experience the opposite. If you're ever-changing, why would you want to world to stay the same? You're made to adapt. Maybe it's just the nature of everyone." Only now, James took his second bite.

    "When you spend all of your time being someone else, you kind of wish things were the same though." Giron said, being uncharacteristically serious "I don't mind walking around like this, but it would be nice to be able to walk around in my natural form without drawing a crowd. Also, I liked Seargeant Pepper's Lonely Heart Club. But that might just be because we don't have music at home. Oh, I kind of went off-topic again, but you get the point."

    James smiled. "I guess we're both a bit alien."

    ft. Gimmepie as Giron

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      #60    
    Old July 11th, 2016 (6:12 AM). Edited July 11th, 2016 by Shak.
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    Shak Shak is offline
     
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    HARPER BURTON

    A Shot in the Dark


    23 // Spectrum // Female

    “Just my luck.” Harper murmured with a sigh. “Outlands. Why do I always get the dirty, dangerous and just plain stupid stuff?” She continued to complain staring longingly at the debriefing letter she’d found in her letter box a few days earlier. She had already contemplated the fact that she didn’t confirm anything, it was pretty unorthodox, that they just so happened to know that she’d decided to ‘accept her destiny’ or however the hell they decided to word it. Either way, she was making her way to the outlands, so they must’ve got something right. The whole situation was stressing her out in all honesty. She’d even bought some cigarettes and considered turning to smoking. She hadn’t tried it yet, but with her hair falling out, she’d have to try something to calm her down. Not only did she hate where she was going, but she hated her reason for going there too. It’s not like she had any other business out there. If anything, it was in her best interests to avoid those regions. Ignoring the dangers of encountering meta-force activity, Harper simply was not a fan of nature, and that’s reason enough.

    Doing her best to utilize the map function on her phone, Harper finally found herself in Zephyr Forest. The place was dark, and every little detail filled the girl with disgust in some way. There were huge cobwebs that stretched across trees, and puddles of brown liquids that truly could’ve been anything. Harper couldn’t help but wince at the smell. It wasn’t a great place to be. “Now I know I’ve been complaining non-stop for the past few days (admittedly with good reason) but if this isn’t reason to have a good rant…” She began propped a hand on her hip.

    “You have, and it isn’t.” A gruff, and rather grating voice croaked from behind the girl, causing her to jump. She turned to see an aging man. He seemed as though he used to have a buzz cut, but whatever damage had been done to his face had made short work of that. One of his eyes was completely missing, and Harper was struggling to keep her own eyes away from it, despite her best efforts. The armour the man was wearing suggested he was from a military background, and the sniper he had tied tightly around his waist, pretty much confirmed that. He certainly did have the sergeant look. Though, Harper did have to wonder how practical it was to tie your weapon to yourself.

    While the young unaspiring vigilante was pondering the intriguing traits of the character before her, the man took the time to unveil a rigid looking briefcase and unclip the locks. Inside, were a bunch of wristwatch, gauntlet looking things that closely resembled those that the second titans group used to wear. She supposed that made sense. If the resistance was yet another fragment of the original titans, it made sense that they would do some things similarly.

    “Here, kid.” The man spoke, handing one of the transceiver things to Harper. The girl looked at it hesitantly. She had expected some sort of explanation, but he didn’t seem to care much for giving one. She knew what to do with it, but she didn’t know why she needed it exactly. With a sigh, she took the transceiver and placed it on her wrist. What was the worst that could happen?

    Within seconds of putting it on, the transceiver ambushed her with a flash of bright light, before turning to complete darkness.

    “Am…am I dead?” Harper blinked, with a hint of fear in her voice.

    “Not yet, Harper. Soon though.” A chilling female voice came from behind her. A confused Harper quickly shifted her body to face where the voice was coming from; not that she could see it anyway.

    “Why do you people keep doing that?” Harper whined. She knew stealth was something that came in handy as a vigilante, but this was getting ridiculous. She tried backing away slowly and quietly, but the sound of this mysterious girl charging at her made her speed up her getaway. She was too fast. Harper could barely make it a few yards, before she felt a sharp pain in her side that instantly grew into a much larger force sending her flying a few feet to the left. She rolled across the ground, whimpering as she clutched desperately onto her stomach. She heard the girl approaching again. Could she see her or something? There was no way. It was so dark, there’s no way she could’ve realistically seen her without night vision. Harper backed up again, this time bumping into what felt like a tree. She wasn’t sure why, but her body seemed to dive to the left almost automatically. In wake of her instinctive action, she heard the violent snapping of the tree, followed by leaves rustling against other trees, before hearing the whole thing thud heavily against the ground. What was perhaps the most satisfying of the sounds she could hear, was the annoyed groan that came after the collision.

    After a few instances similar to the prior, both women began to grow increasingly frustrated. Harper, at this point, had managed to climb a tree and seemed to be safe from the other woman’s fearsome punches. After taking two more of the strikes she’d taken earlier, Harper was able to deduce that she was being hit with boxing gloves. Not that that helped anything. She was still struggling to breathe after taking heavy blows to the body, and if she took another blow, she’ have to fear the worst. She had no way to combat this woman. The pure darkness of the forest made it impossible for her to use her bow, and even if it did work in the dark there was no certainty she’d be able utilise it to any effect without the ability to see. She reached into her bag. The stress was getting to her far too much for her to handle. In the pouch: was her phone, a small flask, a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. She looked indecisively between the cigarettes and the flask.

    “Alright hotshot, how about you show yourself so we can get this over with.” The girl called out as she grew more and more frustrated with Harper’s absence. While she couldn’t find her target, what the woman did find was something trickling down the side of the tree. While she was investigating, a large flame seared down the side of tree, before igniting the whole thing. The woman barely managed to dodge, but still saw no sign of Harper. “Ha! You missed idiot!” She shouted out, with a smug grin on her face.

    Harper, who could now see the woman thanks to the light of the burning tree, was standing on a nearby branch. Golden boxing gloves, black leggings and a sports bra to match: this woman seemed more set for a boxing match than…whatever the hell this was. Harper drew the orange strand of her bow. “You can’t miss if you haven’t taken a shot.” As Harper spoke, the boxing woman turned to see an orange arrow of light flying towards her. Before she could move she had been encased in a large bubble of light. She clambered to escape, but lost any sense of urgency as her hand passed through the barrier with ease. However, she was given no time to escape, as Harper fired another arrow, this time a red one, and the field was filled with a harsh red light.

    The bright light petered out, and what remained was…a robot? Harper staring down at the bot in utter disgust and disappointment. As if she’d almost lost to this thing. She was used to this sort of thing from her days in the Meta force, yet somehow she never saw through this bullmuk training regime.

    Within an instant, a much grumpier Harper found herself standing before the scarred man once again. They exchanged knowing glances, but nothing really needed to be said. Harper was annoyed, and the man didn’t really care. She was losing the will to do so herself. As she began to walk away, the man called out to her.

    “Hey, you dropped these!” He held out her packet of cigarettes that she’d somehow ‘dropped’ while completing the simulation.

    “You can have ‘em. I won’t be needing them anymore.” Harper waved dismissively, as she headed back to Hyperia. She had a couple people she needed to have a ’word’ with.


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      #61    
    Old July 16th, 2016 (4:00 AM).
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    Jay Jay is offline
    Who dahell do you think you're dealin' with?
     
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    The bike slid quickly around the corner, sparks and fire blaring in its wake as The Renegade attempted to drive the vehicle as far away from the civilized part of the city as he could. "Just. Stay. STILL." The raging screams of his opponent blared behind him. Her anger was almost deafening as people all over the block fled into their homes and carried their children to safety before the insanity could reach them.

    Quickly the cityscape began to shift to a more suburban atmosphere, skyscrapers became small houses, car parks became rolling hills, tarmac became greenery. The screams coming from behind him were growing closer and angrier, fireballs were being hurled left and right as he mistakenly found himself on a long and open stretch of road, with no turning point in sight. A line of buildings to his right, a grassy knoll to his left. With every meter he drove, Overheat got a little closer to her mark, he couldn't keep dodging forever. One ball of flame passed right by his side and the villain behind Renegade began to laugh triumphantly. This wasn't good, he wouldn't dodge this next attack. He had to do something drastic.

    As one more massive fireball shot straight towards him, Renegade swerved left, hard. Crashing through a wooden fence his bike released ground gripping spikes from its wheels and began to scale the loamy Earth with relative ease. Still, the momentary dip in speed would make further escape impossible. As Overheat raced passed him, she stood at the top of the hill, gazing down at him with hatred and triumph as he dismounted his bike and began to walk towards her.

    He stopped however, as he reached the top. She didn't move to kill him instantly, to strike out and begin combat right away, Ren found that curious enough to hold back just for a moment longer. There was something in her eyes, fiery and full of rage, but they looked like they had something to say, like there was a point they had to make before this went any further. They both stood there for a few moments, staring each other down, he heard a hiccup in her throat, he heard embers smolder as she clenched her fists just a little tighter and he heard the subtle noise of water evaporate as it tried to trickle down her face. She was crying.

    "WHY?!" She screamed and the volume she produced was enough to make him hesitate a step backwards. "Why...?" Her voice softened, layered with bitterness and edged with hatred. A few moments passed until Edward realized the question wasn't rhetorical. He took a deep breath and steeled himself, this was harder than any fight he was about to have, it took a lot out of him to even create the smallest utterance.

    "The people of Hyperia have to be protected." He said, plainly as he could. "Through MURDER?!" She screeched, his hand reaching for the hilt of his blade as he recognized the sound of fire rising. "Making children cry for their fathers? Creating widows en masse? Is THAT your idea of protection?!" She took a step forward, Renegade didn't move. "I knew those men. Good men! Maybe they were falling on hard times... Maybe they didn't always do the right thing! But so many of them... so many of them didn't deserve that... I was talking to my FRIENDS. Then I see them go up in an explosion of heat and pain! I watch them die in front of me... because of YOU!" She stomps her foot into the ground and the fire bruning around her singes the grass.

    "Who... do you think you are?" She glares at him, though he cannot see the true intensity of her gaze, only hear the vein bulging upon her forehead in hatred. "How many have you killed...? To get to this point? To be so distanced from a ****ing act of mass murder that you can still call yourself a HERO!" He twitched just a little...

    And Renegade drew his sword.

    "I've killed enough that one more won't weight heavily on my conscience."

    She charged at him, pure rage penetrating every facet of her being. She launched with incredible speed, Renegade barely being able to spin away in time to draw his pistol, he fired five shots towards her head, but the heat radiating from her was so much that they melted upon contact with her skin. Renegade quickly rolled, ducked and slid beneath a concentrated beam of heat she launched from her hand. He heard a sizzling noise and through echolocation could see her hand lose its unstoppable heat for just a moment, before re-igniting with renewed fury.

    He kept this up for a while, dodging and weaving across the hill. Choked sobs and screams of rage battering his ears as the heat around him became ever more intense, the grass around him was singed and black before she finally did what he wanted. Raising both hands she channeled a powerful beam of pure, concentrated heat. It was bigger than the last and as Ren grabbed his pistol once more it tore through his leg, severely burning through his pants and searing away his flesh. For a brief moment, Overheat felt triumphant, as the heat momentarily left her hands... but that feeling disappeared as a bullet shattered the joints in her knuckles and pierced through her fingers. Her blood was boiling as it hit the grass and she screamed with agony.

    Suddenly she found herself gasping for breath, a powerful cold shook her body as something exploded beneath her. Her hair turned a dull dirty blond and her clothes began to sag with frost as her heat seemed to dissipate into nothing. She felt like a normal girl again, if for a brief moment. Then the burning hot blade pierced her gut, the heat... it hurt. She couldn't remember the last time it had done that. She looked up stunned to see The Renegade standing there, a sword held by his hand driven into her weakened form, the same unfeeling expression painted on his mask. "Y-you..." She spluttered, reboiling blood gurgling in her lungs. "You'll ruin this... place... long before- we get... the.. the... cha-..." She coughed and spluttered, gagging and choking on her own red hot fluids. Her skin was melting, her body no longer able to contain her own energy, she was falling apart. She looked up at him, one of her eyes boiling away, the other stretched in agony.

    "M-monster..."

    He pulled his sword free and let the corpse of Overheat fall to the floor in front of him. It began to catch alight and burn with an incredible heat. Edward took his mask off and while it was uncomfortably warm, he still stood and watched. He watched until there was nothing left but ash.

    He no longer had the luxury of regret.

    Placing the mask back upon his face, he activates the transceiver on his wrist and speaks slowly, with an empty monotone in his voice. "Target eliminated. Returning to base."

    "One more won't weight heavily on my conscience."
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      #62    
    Old July 29th, 2016 (11:14 AM).
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    Oddball_ Oddball_ is offline
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    006: With friends like these... Fight the enemies!

    Light Force



    Oh, hey there! Its me, Lightforce incase you didn't remember. Woah, it feels like its been a month doesn't it? Aww, I know you missed me, you don't have to say anything. Don't worry, i'm never gonna give you up, let you down, and especially never going to hurt you. Well maybe a bit, but only in the fun ways. Anyway, This part of my story is a real whopper, it introduces my good friend Ryker Mc edge-ington!




    An alarm clock was ringing in his ears and the sun was shedding light through the drawn blinds of the third story apartment where Jake lived. He grunted as he slammed his fist down on the "off" button of the alarm.

    How he hated mornings.

    He sat up, his blankets spread across the bed beneath him still. Had he not even bothered to get underneath them? He blinked twice as he tried to remember the events of the previous night. He had gone to the resistance meeting and done some sort of trial thing. Was that last night or the night before? He shook his head as he stumbled out of the bedroom and into the small kitcheonette acrost the hall where he could smell a pot of coffee brewing.

    "Mmm... Coffee..." He mumbled zombily as he shuffled into the kitchen, his feety pajamas sliding over the tiled floor. On the fridge was a note, stating that his mother had gone to work early and that she would be home late. Jake frowned at this, it was unfortunate that his mother had to work double shifts at her ****ty job just to pay for them. He cursed under his breath as he made a mental note about putting a blast hole through her scumbag boss' new convertable.

    His computer dinged from his bedroom, a sign that somebody was trying to get ahold of him. He poured himself a cup of coffee and grabbed a chocolate muffin from the box on the counter, shuffling back into the tiny bedroom and plopping himself into the spining chair which he loved so much. He glanced at the screen and saw that the message was from the scientist he had been corresponding with.

    Doctor Von Force: Would you mind coming in today? I would like to run some tests.

    Jake sighed as he tapped his fingers on the side of the desk. He had met the man three times before, once before he had gotten his powers when he had applied to be an intern. He had been accepted for the job, but his mother had gotten ill the next day and the position had ended up going to someone else.

    Jake: I guess it couldn't hurt. I might have to dash at a moments notice though, i'm expecting something to come up.

    He hesitated but did eventually press send. He wasn't sure if the Doctor knew about the resistance or the meta force, and he wouldn't be the one to tell him unless it became absolutely necessary. It was information that needed to be compartmentalized.

    Doctor Von Force: Wonderful! I'll have the receptionist show you in.

    Jake grunted and took a long drink of his coffee, before almost spitting it out having forgotten to put any cream or sugar in it.

    It was almost two in the afternoon when he arrived at the lobby of Force Technologies. The receptionist was a younger woman with long brown hair and similarly colored eyes. As he walked towards her the strange blue woman from the resistance meeting flashed before his mind and he couldn't help but think the name "Amanda"

    The sound of an argument began to drift into the lobby from somewhere outside. Jake turned and tried to listen in, but whomever or whatever had been causing so much noise seemed to have either stopped or moved away from the building.

    "Can I help you?"

    The womans voice snapped Jake back to reality. "Oh uhm... Jake Kemon to see Doctor Von Force?" He said, not quite sure of what he was supposed to say now that he was here.

    "Ah, Doctor Von Force has been expecting you. He's in his lab, through that door and straight down the hallway." The young woman smiled sweetly as she pointed to a door on her left.

    A large explosion rocked the building, throwing Jake and the receptionist to the floor. A terrified and extremely high pitched shriek escaping from the woman.

    "Its a good thing I brought the coat." Jake grunted as he threw it on, the young woman still screaming on the floor beneath her desk.

    Jake dashed into the lab, smashing through the door in a glowing ball of golden light. The old man was currently being held at gunpoint by a japanese guy in his early twenties who had some sort of circuitry imbedded into his face, beside him stood a slightly younger woman with coppery hair who looked like she was ripped straight out of a western.

    "Who the **** are you?" The man said firing his gun at Jake, a bolt of lightning crackling against the energy shield surrounding the boy.

    "Hey! I'm not done with you yet you bloody bi- who the hell is this?" A blonde haired man in a beige trenchcoat grunted through a mouthful of blood as he crawled through a hole in the wall, likely made by the explosion.

    "It doesn't matter, you're both dead!" The woman snorted and snapped her fingers. A cloud of dust swirled around her, seemingly out of nowhere, engulfing her and the man.

    "Serenitatem!" The bloody trenchcoat man shouted, and as soon as it had appeared the dust cloud disapeared revealing a shotgun pointed at the man.

    Jake barely had time to react, placing a large golden wall infront of the man before the loud boom that generally follows a gunshot echoed throughout the room. He felt the bullets hit the wall, shattering it, but it had served its purpose anyway.

    "Thanks, I owe you one mate." The man mumbled before conjuring a large fireball and flinging it at the duo. They both dived out of the way as a ball of flame smashed into the wall, sending embers raining down across the lab.

    "My beautiful prototypes." Ulfric cried from the corner, drawing the attention of the two goons.

    "Grab him and get out." The woman called, a large pointy stone forming in her fist as she hurled it towards Jake. Another shield erupted infront of him, but the stone seemed to almost completely pass through it, shattering into pieces just before it reached his heart.

    "Now we're even." The trenchcoated man grumbled before ducking his head as a blast of lightning erupted from the gun wielding man and arked over his head.

    "What no, let go of me this instant." Doctor Von Force howled as the gun wielding man grabbed him by the neck and dug the gun into the side of his head.

    "Don't move or he gets it." The man hissed, his finger twitching on the trigger.

    "Kaze, what are you doing! We need him alive." The woman growled.

    "No Terra, The boss wanted him alive. We only need to get enough money to get out of Hyperia before they find out we cut them out of the deal." The man, Kaze, replied simply.

    "What!? You have somebody already willing to buy the accelerator? Why the hell wouldn't you tell me this, I thought we were a team! You never tell me anything" The woman, Terra, whined.

    "Look, Sorry to interrupt your little marital spat." Trenchcoat man said, waving his hand and knocking the gun away from Doctor Von Force.

    "But we're gonna need to take Doctor Von Force." Lightforce continued, wrapping a golden whip of light around the professor and dragging him over to the young man.

    Terra and Kaze looked at eachother. Suddenly a large wall of rock erupted infront of them.

    "Gah I hate it when they do that. Obliterate!" The man in the trenchcoat muttered, limping over to the wall which exploded into a pile of dust as the man spoke.

    Behind the pile of dust was another gaping hole in the wall, leading into an elevator shaft that the duo had clearly escaped into. fifty or sixty feet down was another hole, leading into one of the corridors in the sub basement.

    "How bloody big IS this place Ulfric?" The trench coat man grumbled as he stared down the shaft.

    "Oh it my own little labrinth of daedulous." The elderly man coughed, climbing to his feet and dusting himself off, surprisingly unharmed.

    The sound of the japanese mans thunder gun echoed through the building, a split second later the lights all cut out.

    "Wonderful." Lightforce and The man in the trenchcoat both muttered.

    "I suppose I should thank both of you, if you hadn't stepped in who knows what they would have done.

    "Who the hell were they?" Lightforce asked.

    "That, was Technomancer and Terrastorm. They're a couple of bank robbing crooks from Arkhana city, I've been watching them for awhile now. When they made their way down south towards Hyperia, I figured i'd check in on the old man. Who would have thought that they had the same idea. Ryker Merlyn, by the way." The man in the trenchcoat said with a nod.

    "This is Jake Kemon, he's the friend I told you about." Doctor Von Force mumbled deleriously.

    "Oh yeah thanks, just go tell my secret identity to everyone why don't you." Lightforce grumbled.

    "Secret identity? What are you twelve?" Ryker chuckled as he rolled his eyes.

    "Go to hell." Jake grunted and stuck out his tounge.

    "Been there, lovely weather this time of year." Ryker replied with a chuckle, pulling out a pack of cigarretes and lighting it with a wave of his hand.

    "Please don't smoke in here, this is a billion dollar facility!" Ulfric grunted.

    Ryker rolled his eyes at the old man and limped over to the gaping hole in the wall. With a flick of his wrist and a bird being given, the young master of magic stepped outside.

    "So... I take it we won't be doing any tests today." Jake asked sarcastically, and as soon as he finished speaking the lights flashed back on to shed light onto the destroyed laboratory with its several missing walls, ruined machinery, dust covered surfaces, and scorched tiles.




    Later that night on the roof of an unknown building, Kaze Volt and Terra Blackwood stood side by side as they waited for their client to arrive.

    A blur of orange zoomed forward, red lightning crackling around her as a female figure in a black and orange suit appeared from seemingly nowhere.

    "Where is the old man?" The woman asked, an echoing voice being used to disguise her real one.

    "I'm afraid the secondary objective was... impossible to achieve. We did however, bring the Genetic Accelerator from the vault in the sub basement. With this, you're boss should be able change as many normal humans into as many meta humans as he wants." Kaze said with a smile as he held out a dufflebag.

    "He'll be pleased to hear that. The meta force thanks you for you're cooperation." The woman said in her echoing voice. She grabbed the dufflebag from the man and turned to leave.

    "Uh, what about our payment." Kaze asked plainly his hands hovering over his Thunder gun.

    "Oh. I almost forgot." The woman laughed, her echoing voice making it sound more like a cackle.

    A flash of orange as her fist plunged through the mans chest, vibrating at impossible speeds. she turned and looked at Terra who was standing there with her mouth wide open, almost going to scream.

    "Don't fail us again."

    The blur sped off, Kaze's body slumping to the ground lifelessly.

    It was only then did Terra scream.
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      #63    
    Old July 29th, 2016 (12:01 PM).
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    GreyBidoof GreyBidoof is offline
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    Prologue: Next Steps


    The first stage of trials were coming to a close.

    As the blue flash of light warped each confused and battered individual back to where they had been standing prior, the resistance member that had met them there was nowhere to be found. However, the odd device that had been given to them, a metal bracelet currently residing on their wrists, sprung to life.

    "You have potential. A temporary base of operations has been made available to you via the GPS map located on this device. Travel to this location as soon as possible, mention you have an appointment."

    A closer inspection of the holographic map display showed a small, flashing cross over a building in on the edge of the downtown district. Those who chose to make the commute would be greeted by a slim, redbrick building sandwiched in between an Italian restaurant and a small medical practice.

    Who knew what awaited them?



    Objectives:
    - Finish your Trial if you haven't already!
    - Make your way to the building, and report in.
    - Interact with other resistance members/leaders, and consider completing a mission.

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      #64    
    Old July 29th, 2016 (8:02 PM).
    Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
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    Abraxas - Frosty the Snowman


    There he was. That long greasy hair and the all brown outfit were recognizable from even a long distance away. While they never interacted personally, Jessie had glanced over Reverb's file quite a number of times after the split of the New Champions. Some sort of sonic energy manipulator who was an expert when it came to technology, she hoped that she wouldn't have to square off against him as a part of her trial. The whole "technologies expert'" thing put her at a good disadvantage to him. From what she knew he was a rather quiet man, but that was about as far as her knowledge on the Resistance member went. He didn't seem all too interesting so Jessie hadn't followed up on him too much after her brief crime fighting stint.

    Deciding that she had scoped out the area well enough, the potential resistance recruit strode forward to the run-down coffee shop where Reverb was sitting outside. He looked up and gave her a wave as she approached, beckoning her over. "Hello there, you must be Abraxas." He paused for a moment as she sat in the chair across from him, and took a closer look at her. A faint look of recognition crossed his face, but was quickly swept away by a rather serious expression.

    Noticing the change in his face, Jessie took the chance to give the man a gentle toying with. She placed her hand on his own, and leaned forward with a mischievous smile. "Don't tell me that you've already fallen for me, sir." This time a brief look of embarrassment formed, but once again it was a quickly exchanged with a stern expression.

    "Miss, we're here on rather important business, so I suggest being as focused as possible." He stated quickly, pulling away his hand and placing a large briefcase carefully onto the table. After tapping a couple of numbers into a keypad on the side of the case, it popped open. Inside was a device that resembled a metal bracelet, but obviously was some sort of technological device.

    Reverb took the object out of the box and handed it over to Jessie. "That right there is the newest version of the our transceiver device. This was what we used to communicate when I was a part of the New Champions." He gestured towards her wrist. "Go ahead and try it out."

    Giving him a suspicious look, she looked the object up and down. "Why would you give me a transceiver if I'm not a member of the resistance yet?" The only answer she received was a shrug. "There's obviously something to this... but what's like without taking risks, yeah?" She slipped the device onto the wrist that wasn't already covered by a hunk of metal, and immediately her vision was filled with a series of blinding blue flashes.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    "Well I suppose they were called trials for a reason."

    When her vision had returned, Jessie found that she was no longer in front of the coffee shop. Instead she found herself in an abandoned warehouse, quite similar in appearance to the one that the first meeting was in. The area was rather sparce, an empty room save for a few large crates that she could only guess were shipments of some kind. In this almost empty space stood a lone figure, a man dressed in some sort of mechanized snowman suit. The outfit covered his entire body, with a closeable hatch above his head. On his left arm was some sort of weapon in the shape of a large gun.

    That was about as far as Jessie got into her observations before she burst out into a fit of laughter. "He said IMPORTANT business and they send me Frosty the f-cking snowman?!" She continued laughing so hard that she fell to the ground, holding her sides and rolled around on the floor. The man just stood there straight faced, taking the abuse as if he were used to it.

    Without a word, he raised his left arm aiming it directly at the preoccupied young woman. Noticing that she was about to be attacked, Jessie quickly raised her own left arm, shooting a portal to the wall of the warehouse and then launching another at the ground directly below her... only there were no portals and she was hit with a blast of freezing cold air. Enduring the blow for mere moments, she dove behind a nearby crate. She couldn't even imagine how cold the man's attack was as even the short exposure to it left her gasping for breath.

    Taking another few seconds to recover, she tried once again to shoot out a portal, to no avail. "Guess we're gonna have to do this the old fashioned way." As she spoke, she began to feel the crate behind her begin to freeze over. Taking that as a sign to take her leave, Jessie sprinted out from behind the now eviscerated wooden box.

    "You're not as much of a joke as I thought, snowman." The man was fiddling with the contraption on his left arm, so she took the time he gave her as a chance to give him another good look over. The one obvious weak point to her opponent, was his exposed head which was now not so exposed. He had closed the hatch while Jessie had been laughing at him, leaving him with no easily accessible weak spots. The now shivering woman swore under her breath, she had an idea, but it was gonna require her to get a bit chilly.

    With his weapon ready to go again, Frosty started firing away, shooting blast after blast of frigid air at Jessie. She, on the other hand, continued her evasive maneuvers, putting all those years of gymnastics to good use. As she avoided the frozen onslaught, Jessie began to pull a few items out of her bag, namely her grappling gun, a bottle of lighter fluid, and a box of Marlboro 27's.

    Waiting until he had to recharge his weapon once again, she shot her grappling gun out onto the rafters that covered the warehouse's ceiling. More specifically, the rafters directly above the snowman. After being pulled up over her opponent, she stuck three cigarettes into her mouth preparing them for later use.

    As she let her grappling gun drop to the floor, Jessie heard the same sound that she had heard after Frosty's freeze gun had recharged the first time. Knowing what she'd have to endure, she let out a quiet "f-ck" and let herself drop from the rafters towards the not-so-friendly snowman.

    She was immediately met with another blast of ball-shrinkingly cold air. A blast that she endured until she landed with a thud onto the back of the man's suit. Surprisingly enough he had kept his balance, but was now thrashing around, trying to throw Jessie from his blind spot.

    With her now white eyebrows, and some quite literal frosted tips, Jessie used the small gap between his hatch and the rest of his suit to hold on for dear life. Using her mechanized arm to stay out of Frosty's range, she used the other to squirt as much lighter fluid in the same gap she was using to not fall off. She then quickly exchanged the bottle for a lighter, igniting her three cigarettes in one fell swoop. And after taking a couple puffs to keep them lit, dropped all three into Frosty's suit.

    Kicking off from his back, Jessie landed gracefully a safe distance away from the now melting snowman. "I guess you just needed to... chill out." Then she whipped on a pair of sunglasses and the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" started blaring in the background.

    As Frosty was burning to the ground, another series of violent blue flashes flooded her vision. Once again Jessie found herself standing outside of the old coffee shop. All was the same as it had been before she was transported to the warehouse, sans a certain Resistance member. Instead the transceiver device placed upon her arm sprung to life and with it came a message.

    "You have potential. A temporary base of operations has been made available to you via the GPS map located on this device. Travel to this location as soon as possible, mention you have an appointment."

    A holographic map was displayed from the transceiver, showing a small, flashing cross over a building on the edge of the downtown district. It actually was only a short walk from her office, and she'd even gone to the Italian joint that was beside it. Jessie swore under her breath, realizing that a ticket to the Resistance headquarters had been right under her nose.

    "I guess I have an appointment to attend to." With a flip of her trenchcoat and two blasts from her palm, she was off.

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      #65    
    Old July 29th, 2016 (8:03 PM).
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    Strange Strange is offline
     
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    Druid
    Left battered and torn after his training fight, Druid stood on the beach with nothing more than torn rags of cloth covering him. He was completely exhausted and unable to comprehend what had just happened to him. He pulled his spellbook out of what used to be his pocket, but now had so many holes it looked more like a net. He waved his hand over the top and then whispered a spell, the cover opening and sucking him inside.

    It only took him a few minutes to change into a fresh costume, while his book droned on about how he needed to be more careful and stop making foolish decisions or he'd get both of them killed, blah, blah blah. He was about to leave when the metal object on his wrist beeped and began to talk. "You have potential. A temporary base of operations has been made available to you via the GPS map located on this device. Travel to this location as soon as possible, mention you have an appointment." Does this mean he passed? After all that he actually did it!

    "So, umm, book?" he questioned.

    "Yes, Eric?" it replied

    "Can you explain how my magic works again, in case they ask?"

    "Haven't I explained it enough times already?" it questioned, although there was hardly any pause before it continued, "Magic is an energy force that is everywhere, it permeates all existence. Most magic works by channeling the ambient energy from the room through a physical object, in your case through me, a spellbook, and then transforming the energy into a physical form based on your thoughts or incantations. However, as I've explained to you before, this form of magic is limited on how much energy can flow through the object at a time. Some magicians are born with the ability to channel magic energy through their body directly, without the need of a catalyst to assist. I know for certain that you hold this power, however I do not know how it works, or whether you can learn to use it yourself. I fear that if you do not learn to use that kind of magic, you will not grow in power, and your peers will surpass you and leave you behind." It finished.

    "Yeah, yeah, yeah, thanks for the help!" Eric waved at one of the blank walls, and then exited the book. With a flash of light he was back on the beach. He picked up his book, slipping it into his jacket pocket as he watched the screen on his wrist. "This way!" he said, starting to walk towards the little flashing icon on the screen. "This might take a while." he said as he began his walk downtown.



    He came to a halt in front of a law-firm wedged between an Italian restaurant and a small medical practice. The building was very small compared to what he was expecting, and he wondered if the thing could even fit the whole resistance inside. Maybe there was more than one base? If that was the case then why didn't they direct him towards the closest one instead of making him go all the way downtown? He was about to walk in when his stomach made a loud noise that drew the eyes of a couple walking by. Or maybe it was the fact that he was walking down the street wearing a cloak made of leaves that drew their attention. Either way, he decided to go into the restaurant and get something to eat, and change into some normal clothes in their bathroom.

    When he finished eating and changed into a pair of jeans and a green tee-shirt, he paid for his meal and exited the restaurant. He walked over to the law-firm building, and opened the door. It looked, normal. He was caught off-guard. He quickly glanced at the device on his arm, seeing that he was indeed at the right place. "Hmmm" he mumbled as he walked towards a desk with a blonde woman sitting at it.

    "Can I help you?" she asked politely, looking up from her paperwork.

    "Uhh, yeah. I think. I, uhh, have an appointment." he said, hoping that the device didn't malfunction and lead him to the wrong place.

    "Ah! Yes, just down the stairwell, bottom floor." she stated kindly, and then turned back to her work.

    She's not even going to ask who I am? Odd. he thought. After following the stairs all the way down to the very bottom, he came across a dead end, with a very sturdy, and locked, door at the end. He tugged on the handle with his left hand a few times, and then when he put his right hand over to try using both, the door and the device on his wrist beeped in unison, the door swinging open with ease. "Interesting," he said under his breath.

    After walking down the short hallway, it ended again with a door, although this one appeared to be an elevator. He walked inside, and looked at the control panel. It had two buttons, up and down. He doubted that they would have him walk all this way down the stairs just to have him go back up. So, he pushed the down arrow, and waited patiently as the elevator took its sweet time decending the shaft. It seemed like an eternity, until he heard the familiar clunk of the elevator stopping, and the squeel of the doors opening. He turned to the door and stood in awe as he took in the scene before him. He was there; he made it to the resistance base.



    First Day- Part 1

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      #66    
    Old July 30th, 2016 (12:23 PM).
    Oddball_'s Avatar
    Oddball_ Oddball_ is offline
    Magical Senpai and god of the closet.
     
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    007: And so it began.

    Light Force


    Jake crashed into onto his bed, his coat once more tucked away in the duffel bag which he carried everywhere. His day had been filled with a bit more excitement than he had anticipated. He was surprisingly more exhausted than he should have been, Ulfric had taken some DNA samples as well as had him do some simple exercises to test him, despite most of his personal lab being destroyed.

    He groaned as he looked over at his desk, a faint blue light emitting from the locked bottom drawer.

    "I suppose its time." He moaned as he struggled to climb to his feet. He shuffled through his pocket and pulled out a small brass key and used it to unlock the drawer. As he pulled out the drawer the smell of old newspapers filled the room. Sitting ontop a stack of them was a metallic bracelet looking device which had a blinking blue light on it. He picked up the device and pulled it open, a small screen being uncovered and blinking to life.

    "Genetic confirmation. Welcome back Lightforce." The device said through a series of quickly displaying text flashing acrost the screen.

    Genetic confirmation? Did the thing take his DNA at some point? If it had, Jake hadn't noticed it, which was both comforting and alarming at the same time.

    "New Objective: Priority Alpha" The device noted, the text once again fading out as quick as it had appeared. "6102 Foodib Avenue West" The device displayed, the address remaining at the top of the screen as a map of the city appeared a cursor hovering over someplace downtown.

    "Hm." Jake mumbled as he tapped the screen, turning it into a clock. He had played about with the device last night, he wasn't as technologically savvy as he could hope but as far as he could guess the device included some form of short range teleportation, fully encrypted text based communications, as well as the ability to pergorm several mundane tasks like tell the time and browse the internet, likely only added to make it appear less conspicious in public.

    The adress which the device had displayed, Jake had walked by last night out of curiosity. It had a sign that read 'Cooper and Hawkes, Attorney's at Law', Although that was likely a front for whatever the resistance had going on there. It wasn't a half bad place to hide a secret organization, unassuming really.

    Jake sighed and dug through his pockets, pulling out several empty candy wrappers, a buisness card which read: 'Ryker Merlyn, Paranormal investigator and Exorcist', a set of keys, and finally his cell phone. He dialed the number for his mother, letting the phone ring until it went to voicemail.

    "Hey Mum, its me... I'm gonna be at a friends place tonight, call me if you need anything. Uhm... Yeah thats it I think, love you and see you soon." He hung up the phone and looked around the cramped little room, his eyes focusing on every little detail of the place, embracing all of the memories flooding through him as he did so.

    The old threadbare white carpet that had begun to turn yellow with age. The ugly puke colored walls which had several holes in them from when he had first gotten his powers. The overflowing bookshelf tucked into the corner with so many books that he had been forced to start poling cardboard boxes full of old ones in his closet. The afterimage on the closet door from when he had been struck by the lightforce blast. The computer which had been a gift from his father when he found out he was in the hospital after being 'struck by lightning', probably the only thing his father had ever gotten him since leaving him and his mother for the hot secretary whom Jake wasn't even sure was 18 at the time.

    He stepped out of the room while carefully shutting the door behind him. Mentally however, he was still going over the things in the room. The various posters of the champions and other various heroes were still hanging on his walls. Drawings of the things he had begun to see while he was in the hospital. Of a fez wearing man in a skirt and bow with a grey beaver as only one of his many peculier friends, of a world where children battled super powered animals for fun, of a clocktower facing the sunset, of a man who could run through time and a soldier lost to time. Of Espers and of Raposa...




    The building looked much the same in the daylight as it did at night. Jake stepped in, tranceiver hidden beneath the simple white jacket he was wearing.

    "Do you have an appointment?" A blonde haired woman asked with a smile. Jake noticed a nametag on her desk that read Amanda and couldn't help but laugh.

    "Uh, yeah... my uhm... yes." He said awkwardly.

    "Through that door there, go all the way down. Mr. Hawkes will see you right away." The woman responded, still smiling.

    He stepped through the door and slid down the banister, riding it all the way down. Sure it was childish but it was far more efficient that walking he thought to himself as he reached the bottom. A door sat at the bottom with an electronic lock on it. As he approached the door, his tranciever began to vibrate. Holding out his arm, the lock emitted a clicking noise and the door slid open, revealing an elevator behind it.

    "Neat." He muttered to himself. He stepped into the big metal death box as his mother had refered to them as and pressed the down button. The doors slid shut quickly and the elevator began descending, a peaceful melody filling the elevator. About halfway down however, the tune suddenly switched, a television screen in the corner showed a picture of an alligator paddling along and an annoying albeit catchy song about interior crocodile alligators began playing. Jake rolled his eyes as he thought he could just imagine someone laughing their ass of in a control room somewhere.

    As the elevator came to a stop, Jake almost thought about blasting his way out of the thing before he could hear the damn thing talk about driving cheverolete movie theatres one more time.

    "Tell whomever is in charge of that ****ing elevator that they should really think about buying life insurance." Jake muttered to the first person he saw, which happened to be the man whom he had seen before at the diner.

    "Welcome to the resistance." Was all the man said in reply.

    The bunker was much larger than he had expected based on the size of the little building above, making Jake curious about how they kept the construction secret. The place was dimly lit and while not dirty, the place had certainly seen its better days. It was almost as if a secret resistance group couldn't just hire a maid like a billion dollar laboratory could.

    The main corridor branched into several different rooms, most with thick glass windows looking into them. There was a gym of sorts, various hulking muscle heads punching bags and lifting weights. Several people were standing infront of a window looking into a room that was displaying the scene of somebody fighting... themself? A terminal was built into the wall next to said room displaying large text that read "Records."

    Jake tapped the screen a few times and was suddenly watching a recap of his battle with Motherboard. Apparently it had been a simulation, that much he had figured out when he had been transported back to the Diner after the battle. He had still yet to figure out how they turned off his powers, considering it was his very biology that enabled him to produce concentrated lightforce beams shouldn't that have been impossible? He groaned to himself and rubbed his temples. Ulfric would probably have a lengthy explanation involving the friction between two quarks and about how reversing the polarity of the neutron flow could cause an influx of...

    "Physics. Physic! PHYSICS!" He chuckled to himself and continued walking. The next room he came across was a lab of sorts. He could see people pinning pictures to a wall and he watched with interest as the crossed out a picture of some... burning woman. Jake couldn't help but almost feel bad for whomever she was. Regardless of whom you were, having your picture crossed out was... cold. Its an exceedingly blunt declaration that whoever or whatever she was involved with was finished. More than likely at the cost of someones life. Or multiple someones.

    Jake turned and continued to walk down the corridor. He had reached the back of the bunker now, and there seemed to be a caffeteria. He walked in and ordered a coffee before slipping into a seat, pulling out a manilla envelope from his bag. He spilled its contents acrost the table.

    The first thing that he grabbed was a screenshot of security footage from Force Technologies earlier that day. He circled the images of Terrastorm and Technomancer with an erasable marker and grabbed the file which he had been given by Ryker after their confrontation. Once he met with whomever was going to speak with him here at the resistance, he would check their databases for any information on them as well.

    Doctor Von Force had discovered that a single prototype had been stolen from the sub basement. A genetic accelerator, a prototype device that was meant to be able to enhance the speed of evolution within crops. He slid a paper with the words incident report written on the front towards him.

    Roughly eight months ago, the device had malfunctioned and emited waves of dark matter that had caused rapid mutation in several of the then current staff whom had been working in the lab. It had made them into meta humans...

    And not three days after the incident did both victims go missing. Obvious signs of struggle at both of their homes.

    Alice Evergreen and Kyle Steel... The only people other than Doctor Von Force whom knew what the device was capable of. Had they told someone about the device? Someone who wanted to make meta humans? Jake could only think of one group that would benefit from having more meta humans in Hyperia...

    Jake sipped his coffee and continued to think about his current prediciment. If the Meta Force had stolen the device, why have two crooks from the next city over come and steal it? Because they didn't want to reveal their intentions? By having outsiders get the device it would arouse less suspicion? It wouldn't catch the resistances attention? Jake frowned. Regardless he would have to inform whomever was meeting him about what had happened.

    "Hmm..." He muttered to himself as he continued to drink his coffee.

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      #67    
    Old August 11th, 2016 (9:01 AM).
    Foxrally's Avatar
    Foxrally Foxrally is offline
     
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    Nerites Ekitai
    Child of The Ocean

    "That'll be three fifty, ma'am." the barista said, closing the lid on Nerites' coffee. It was much too early in the morning for anyone sensible to be up at this time - yet this peculiar customer had waltzed in merrily into the empty café like they owned the place, happily humming a little tune to herself.

    "Ah, wonderful! Just the right amount!" the water goddess exclaimed, tearing off the lid and effortlessly chugging down the scalding hot drink in one swift motion.

    "Ahm..." the barista hesitated. "I meant three and a half dollars, ma'am."

    "Oh." Nerites mouthed sheepishly. "Ah... currency, currency..." she mumbled, patting her pockets tentatively. "Dear me, I suppose I must have run out. My deepest apologies, miss, ah..." She squinted at the barista's nameplate. "Miss, My Name Is Sharon!" She said, a little impressed at how long first names were permitted to be in the US.

    "Uhm..." Sharon began, unsure whether she was paid enough to handle people like this. "Well, you need to-"

    Before she could finish her sentence, Nerites grabbed her cup and plunged her hand inside. "One second..."

    Moments later, the cup began filling back up- with the exact same coffee Nerites had drank earlier. The barista watched in shock and awe as she handed her back the drink.

    "I am truly, truly sorry." Nerites said, her expression genuinely apologetic. "I need to get used to the concept of currency again. I assure that the moment I acquire three fifty of an item, I will pay them to you. I do have a little appointment to go to, though, so do not be alarmed is my payment is delayed."

    Sharon opened her mouth to say something, but with a twiddly wave of goodbye, the woman had already gone.

    --------------

    Shifting out of gas form into her corporeal form, Nerites finally arrived at the building where Quantum was waiting.

    "Oh, there you are, Quantum!"

    Looking up from the suitcase she currently had open, Quantum's voice rose in pitch, clearly excited to see her old friend.

    "Nerites! Awh, I'm glad you made it."

    Without waiting for her to speak again, Quantum strode over and wrapped her arms around the water godess, giving her a fond squeeze. "I know we saw each other the other night, but... it's -really- good to see you again. Where did you go again...?

    Nerites opened her mouth, ready to make another misplaced sea comment, but was cut short by Quantum's powerful cyber-enhanced embrace. "Oh, me? I suppose I was just exploring your beautiful city again. Memory does get a little shrimpy after the first thousand years." she said, giggling.

    She looked around the rooftop. "Say, why are you on top of this location? I was told you would be here, but it seems very strange you would be just to enjoy the view."

    Stepping back, Quantum gave a small shrug of her shoulders, glancing around at the clear, blue skies. "It had to be a place where we could hand out the transcievers, without anyone really taking note of it. And not alot of people come by here." She added with a wry smile behind the helmet.

    Nerites gasped. "My transceiver!"

    "Hold on..." Raising a finger, the water goddess shifted her right arm into water form. After a few seconds, a rusty, circular piece of metal fell off, landing in her other hand. Nerites raised the bracelet-like object, once given to her by Binary on the first day of the Champions' operations. "Oh dear... I don't think it has held up very well."

    "Oh, erh... no, it doesn't look like it." she gave the device a small glance, shrugging her shoulders. "It's okay, though. I've gone through my share of transcievers too." She snickered, raising her arms to flex them, letting her action tell its own story.

    "But! The new ones are waterproof, so it should be just fine for you to use underwater."

    "Oh, perfect!" Nerites cheered, clapping her hands together in excitement. "I would very much like a new one!"

    Quantum smiled to herself. It was nice to be around the always bubbly Nerites. She blinked, shaking her head. "Can't believe I just did that..."

    Reaching down towards the open suitcasee, Quantum pulled out a very shiny, metallic-grey wrist-mounted device, which she offered out to Nerites. "There you go. And good luck."

    Putting on her new accessory excitedly, Nerites twisted and turned her watery forearm, examining every angle of the gadget. It took her a few seconds for her to register what Quantum had just said. "...hmm? Good luck? What for?" she asked absentmindedly, still resisting the urge to push every button on the transceiver.

    "You are right, though. Everyone deserves a little good luck in life!" she added, looking up and grinning at Quantum.,

    Quantum smiled to herself, nodding her head lightly. "True enough! But, uh, I think you'll need most of it right now." She paused, giving Nerites a small look. "You... do remember the trials, right?"

    "Trials?" Nerites asked, confused. Suddenly, her eyes free wide and she nodded. "Oh, yes, the triaaaals! Pfsh- of course I- how could I forget?" she scoffed unnaturally. I can't let her know I forgot... not on my first day! she thought.

    Quantum let out a snicker-snort and nodded her head, rolling her shimmering, purple eyes. "Suuuure. Well, I'm glad that you -do- remember, because otherwise, this next part might come as quite a shock to you."

    Before she could respond, the device burst into a bright flash of light.

    When she opened her eyes, the rooftop in was gone. She was now in what seemed to be a city square - or at least, what used to be one. The landscape around her was now barren and rocky, with destroyed buildings lining the rubble-covered street and upturned cars scattered around like trash as if spat out by a massive hurricane.

    "Goodness me..." Nerites gasped. "What could have happened here?"

    She was met with a female voice echoing in her mind. "This is what happens when you face the power of the meta force."

    Nerites turned around, confused as to where the voice had come from. There was no sign of life for miles, aside for herself. "Who said that?" the water goddess asked, looking around. "Quantum, is that you? You sound... different." She tapped on her transceiver.

    She was met again with the same voice. "You are alone now. No help from Quantum, or any of the other resistance scum."

    Nerites turned around again, now beginning to get irritated at the little game the voice was playing. "That's not a nice thing to call them! I'll have you know that they are some of the nic- oof!"

    She was cut short as a massive, purple projectile slammed into her gut, knocking her back into a broken car.

    "Oww..." she moaned in pain, rubbing her head as she got out of the indent that her body had made in the car. "I don't think you like them very much then. But that's okay, there are some things I dislike too! So we aren't so different aft- whoa, hey!"

    She was cut short again, this time barely dodging the energy ball by rolling out of the way.

    "It's not nice to interrupt others either!" she called out, dusting off her clothes. "And please show yourself!" she added, accentuating her demand by bursting into her water form. I hope that was not too intimidating...

    "As you wish." the voice replied behind her.

    Spoiler:


    "I am the sorceress Morgana. And I am here to finally get rid of the rebel filth that you are." the woman spat.

    "Very glad to meet you, Morgana! I am Nerites. Now I know it's going to be a little hard to believe, and it is quite a funny story," the goddess chuckled, "But I am in fact a Greek god- hey!" she stopped, ducking again to avoid the magician's attack.

    "Quit the talking and get to the fighting, rebel scum!" Morgana spat, her hands glowing with magic from the bolt she had just fired. "Come here and fight m-"

    "No!" Nerites yelled, interrupting her. "How does it feel to be interrupted now, huh?"

    Giving Morgana no time to reply, Nerites raised her arm, flinging a large glob of water at her enemy and taking a step forward. "See?" she began. "It's- not- very- nice, IS IT?" she continued, barraging her with glob after glob and slowly making her way to the sorcerer.

    Using the water barrage as cover, the goddess dashed underneath her own projectiles and slid towards Morgana. Blinded by the water, the sorcerer found herself lifted up by the legs, encased in a giant watery bubble.

    "Are you... going to play nice now?" Nerites huffed, worn out by the large amount of water she had expulsed in such a short time. It has been a while since I have done something like this... I should be more careful about tiring myself out.

    Regaining her cheery composure, she leveled Morgana's face to hers. "I did want to ask you about something. Quantum was talking about a 'trial' earlier being around here; do you happen to know where - or who - that may be?" she asked. "This rusty old transceiver hasn't been much help."

    Her response came in the form of a powerful burst of energy, bursting the water bubble and sending Nerites flying off towards a nearby building. Catching herself mid-flight, the goddess flipped around, shifting into gas form to stop her momentum. Magic?!

    As the purple energy dissipated from around Morgana's body, the sorceress leapt into the air before dashing at an incredible speed towards Nerites.

    "You should be careful with that!" she called out, frowning in concern and putting her hands on her hips (a pose which made for a rather funny-looking cloud, she thought). "I've seen many mortals get overwhelmed by this power."

    She watched as multiple magic blasts, followed by Morgana herself, shot through her gaseous body before turning around to face the sorceress again. "I'm being very serious, MorganaaaAAAHHH!!"

    Nerites flailed around wildly as she fell, having been suddenly and forcibly switched back into her liquid form; and hitting the ground in a loud splash. Moments later, the puddle of water regrouped itself, once again taking the shape of the - now fairly nauseous and irritated - ocean goddess. Coughing, she pounded herself on the chest before hurling out a pingpong-ball-sized glob of purple goop. What...? She was met with another spike of pain before vomiting out another similar glob. Nerites' mind raced as she tried to register what had just happened. The globs seemed to give the sorceress control over her metamorphosis - even if she was in gas form. Morgana came crashing down in front of her, her arms set alight with two fiery magic swords, her eyes burning with purple energy and her sights set on none other than the water goddess.

    Shakily getting back on her legs, Nerites coughed a few more times before clearing her throat. "That was... unpleasant, Morgana." she said, frowning. "But if this is this game you want to play... I am afraid I must play along."

    As she spoke these words, the Greek goddess' arms instantly solidified, creating a pair of deadly frozen blades. "Nos bellum , auguratricis!"

    In a blinding burst of speed, Nerites dashed bladefirst into her enemy, the attack just barely being blocked by Morgana's magical barrier. Allowing no time for her opponent to respond, Nerites spun around with her blades, cutting downward and attacking with another slash. This time, the barrier broke, sending sparks of energy flying towards both fighters. Refusing to slow down her attack, Nerites turned around, digging her two ice blades into the ground and pulling out a gigantic chunk of earth. Morgana leaped out of the way as Nerites hurled the rock at her, combining her two swords into one massive Excalibur before slamming it down onto Nerites.

    "Saeva magicae, quod tu geris!" Nerites yelled, blocking the giant sword with her own blades. The Excalibur suddenly began turning blue - frozen on contact. Shifting one of her icy swords back into an icy hand, Nerites pulled sharply downwards, sending Morgana flying towards her only to be greeted with an ice-packed punch to the face.

    Instantly, Nerites reeled back, watching Morgana's body land in front of her in a crumbled heap. "Oh dear me... I forgot you were a mortal.. Are you still o-"

    A stabbing pain in her back suddenly cut her words short. "All this talk about magic and you still fall for illusions." Morgana whispered in her ear, painfully pulling out her sword out of Nerites' back. The latter fell to her hands and knees, coughing violently. "Die!"

    Waving the swords off her hands, Morgana pulled her leg back to kick Nerites, the kick only being met with air as the latter transformed into her gas form. In a flash, Nerites reformed behind the sorceress, this time with her own blades poised. "And you should know that gods cannot die."

    Pushing both icy blades through Morgana's abdomen, Nerites raised the sorceress into the air, blasting her away with a powerful jet of water. As she landed a short distance away, the goddess looked around.

    "Do you still have any more illusions to throw at me?" Nerites called out. She was met with silence. "...Morgana?"

    She turned back around. Where the bodies of the former illusions had fallen, there were now two other bodies: Chris and Quantum.

    "N-no..." Nerites gasped. "I didn't mean to- no, no, no no no..." she murmured, clutching her head and falling to her knees. "No no no no no..."

    She curled up onto the floor, whimpering. "I'm hurting them, no, no, no... I've changed, I've changed, I've... changed..."

    Unaware of the illusion and purple figure forming behind her, Nerites continued, slowly shifting back to corporeal form. "I'm sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry..."

    She never noticed Morgana's figure approach her, or the magic blade raised above her pierce the back of her head.

    --------------

    Quantum turned around, having been looking out over the skyline of the city. Her eyes went a little wide upon seeing Nerites on the ground, quickly stepping over to her friend and kneeling down besides her.

    "Nerites? Nerites, are you... what happened?"

    The water goddess slowly looked up. "Q-quantum?" she stuttered, her eyes widening at the sight of her friend.

    "Oh Quantum, I'm so, so sorry!" she wailed, wrapping her arms around the cyber-her. "I hurt you, she made me hurt you, Morgana did!"

    Blinking a little, Quantum looked down at the woman hugging her, a small smile curling up on her lips, hidden by her helmet as she reached down to paat Nerites' back. "It's... alright, Nerites. It was just a sort of... practice round. It wasn't real."

    "It... It wasn't real...?" Nerites stammered. "But I was there! Are you also not real?" she asked, unwrapping her arms.

    "No, no, it wasn't!" Quantum raised her hands in front of her in order to calm her friend. "It was just a test. And, uh... I mean, it sounds like you sort of failed it, but... you were a hero here once. I'll make sure you still can be."

    "R-right..." the goddess replied, shifting back into a watery form. "I am very sorry, Quantum, I- I need to leave."

    "Wait, Nerites. What... happened in there?" Quantum's brow furrowed and she took a small step closer to her friend, reaching out in order to rest her hand on her shoulder.

    Merely shaking her head in response, Nerites shrunk down to a puddle, quickly sliding away from Quantum and under the rooftop's railing.
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      #68    
    Old August 11th, 2016 (12:52 PM). Edited August 11th, 2016 by Estrello.
    Estrello's Avatar
    Estrello Estrello is offline
    Beyond The Stars
       
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      Robert Wixter
      Q-85487384
      R-52769365

      Episode 4
      The Inquirer Questions
      Dex's Diner, Hyperia

      The family clambered in to the red pick up. Q had some difficulties getting in without its jet pack. R advised against scorching the pavement and hoisted Q on to the back, unhooking the caught wire on a rogue hook. R returned to the passenger seat. “It was not easy getting it in the back.” R made himself look comfortable, sinking in to the chair. He reached over his shoulder and pulled it across him, clipping it in place.


      Robert glanced at the rear view mirror, the slightly scuffed white plating obscured half of the vision. He smirked and then said to his son, “Maybe I should have bought a family car.”
      Almost immediately, in a strangely familiar way, Q stated, “I have found 24 car dealerships, 12 have reviews that mention family cars, 4 are fairly close to you.”


      Robert burst in to laughter. R just looked at his father blankly. After a brief fit of laughter, he composed himself. He had noticed R didn't laugh. Maybe that was what was something he missed over all these years. Her laughter, He had adjusted R's appearance before activating him, mixing the characteristics of his and his late wife in a modelling program. He sculpted R's face meticulously in order to make him look like the projection. He waved the depressing thoughts from his mind and slotted the key in to the hole and turned it, tugging at the ignition. The engine raised up from it's inanimate state and purred... if with a little bit of spluttering. He checked the map in his mind and then put his foot down.


      “Where are we going?” His son asked him.
      “Dex's Diner.”


      The truck finally pulled into a small, half-emtpy parking lot outside their destination, according to Robert's GPS calculations. Before the three of them stood a small, aged restaurant, the words "Dex's Diner" emblazoned over the entrance. The group alighted the vehicle walking in to the old restaraunt. The diner's occupants numbered just two. A young man in his early to mid twenties sat at table, sipping froma mug of coffee and reading from a small electronic tablet. The other was an ashen-haired middle-aged man who was polishing glasses behind a counter. The air hung with a smell of rich coffee ingrained in to the wood of the old diner.




      "Hey there, glad to see you made it." The man smiled, setting down his tablet. Picking up a briefcase from the floor beside the table, he unlocked it, and took several small objects from inside.
      Q instantly recognised him from his databanks of archived news. He said outloud: "ID: Reverb, New Champion | THERMAL (av.): Nominal | RISK: Low | Medical: Is In Perfect Health, Zero Malfunctions. | ExOrds: Kinetic and sonic energy manipulation. Proficient in almost all forms of technology. Uses sonic gauntlets to enhance his sound blasts." Reverb nodded knowingly. "Yep, that's me."
      R looked at his brother aghast at the blantancy, "Don't shout it out."
      Q accepted the command "Tuning volume settings." As it said it, it's voice lowered.
      Robert asked the man, "You're in the resistance?"
      Reverb nodded. "Yes, now, I believe I have something for you." he said, setting two small silver bracelet-looking devices on the tabletop. "As for you, my friend..," the man turned his gaze to Robert. "You'll find a program on this usb drive that will allow you all of the same functions the device offers." Robert took the memory stick and Q opened his connection port from the panel at the side of his torso. Q reported, "Updating." Robert put on his bracelet on his left arm, because he already had his watch on right hand. R put the watch on his hand. Robert felt some weird in the program he put in to Q... It felt wrong and he couldn't put his finger on it...

      ???, ???

      In a flash of light, the three disappeared, finding themselves separated. He stood stood in grey faceless city that smelt like a graveyard. The sky was grey, the street lamp was emitting white light, brightening the monochrome world. Wixter tensed up, he instantly felt disconnected. A lack of company and a lack of internet connection, something was uneasy about this place. A perfect stillness had fallen on this exactly uniform world. A thick smog had the quantity to choke you in to believing this was a real world, but not so much to rip you from your unreal circumstance in a seizure of smoky blindness. The High Rise buildings stood in formation windowless cept for a central window which hid nor reveal nothing. With no open area, just a devil's grid of endless cuboids of clay.


      Nearby a bin rattled with excitement. Its tin helmet began to steam and shake. It began to wobble up and down, the clanging echoing throughout the city as if it was a cathedral. The can exploded in a colourful cloud of pinkish purple. Yellow beads of light sprayed out. A silhouette formed within the cloud. Pulses of pink circles expanded rippling throughout the worldHe chuckled maniacally, “The blending of colour on to the drab is just so beautiful, don't you agree?”
      A man in punk green and scarlet burgundy spandex, labelled with a question mark on his head, strode out of the gaseous source of the waves. Almost simultaneously, this had happened within the scope of all three. R, Q and Wixter stood in exactly the same spot in different instances. In Q's instance, the inquirer walked up to the robot and flicked it in the forehead. The head went back and it collapsed backwards. It was laying there without a spark. “Oh, no powers? How boring is that? I thought if you were going to summon me, you'd send me something more than a walking powerhouse turned off, isn't that reasonable?” He cried out in frustration to the sky.


      In Robert's Instance, the Inquirer grinned. Robert called out to his family, “Q! R!” Yet none heard. The villain stepped forward and crossed his arms, summoning a mirror that phased in to existence in front of him. It lacked a frame, like a super sleek modern mirror reflecting that Robert Wixter is a old decrepit man, trying to imbue himself with a fake façade of robust immortality. The mirror's image began to become unfocussed. Refocussing, he found it looked like a youthful Robert. He stretched out to touch the mirror but it was immaterial, his hand wafted right through it, with the glass starting to ripple as if it was water, the image morphing and stretching and wobbling

      “What is youth?” The Inquirer donned a circus ringmaster's cane and hat. He knew what to ask.

      Robert was perplexed. He had been stolen away from his family by this mad man and put in a strange world just to answer questions! He looked around. Robert responded hesitantly. “Its the most precious time of your life.”

      “It's the quality of being in an organisms youngest years of their life.” R answered the question in his instance.

      The villain floated up to them and smacked them with the brass top of the cane. Robert grunted with a low “Ow.”




      Son had been pushed aside by the impact. He looked at his arm, the flesh-like epidermis had been punctured and a piece of dented metal was underneath, though he did not express any pain. The villain was much more forceful with Son. “Wrong?” He told them as if it was a verdict yet sounded like a question. He then widened his large smile to an impossible length. It was his time to shine.

      “What is the circumference of the sun?” He interrogated both of them

      “696,000 kilometers” responded Son.

      “Correct?” Again, strangely responding.

      “How am I supposed to answer that?” complained Robert.

      “Aren't I supposed to ask the questions?” He asked another question “578345 times 94363?”

      Son calculated it in a few milliseconds, “54574369235” Then again, Son's mother had called Robots “Walking Calculators” previously, but that was before he was born.
      Robert found the calculations a little more difficult than his son. He tried to create a tablet. But he found he couldn't “Hmphf” he grunted. He went over to another trash can and snapped a piece off of the lid and pulled off the handle. He then began to sharpen the implement at painfully slow pace. The Inquirer tapped his foot. After he had sharpened it, he began to work it out, scratching it in to the tarmac.


      The inquirer complained. “Do you have to be so slow?”

      “Well, you should have thought about that before you asked a question like that.”

      “Your own image completed it in an instance, why can't you?”

      “Mine own image? You mean my son? You've got him too?”

      “Are all humans as stupid as you?”

      Robert bit his tongue, he couldn't react just yet. He finished working it out. “five, four, five, seven... forty-three, sixty-nine, two-three-five.”

      Unimpressed, the Inquirer crossed his arms.“Will you answer my questions?”

      “What questions?”

      “Isn't it futile to answer a question with a question?”

      “Might I say the same the thing to you?”


      “The answers are: Yes, you were wrong. Yes, I am supposed to provide the questions. No, you could be faster. It can because it's an imitation, an automaton,” he stressed that word, the word the old man hated, automaton. “According to your own feeble attempts at ranking yourself within the category of humans from all of the world in order of...” he floats closer, pausing. “IQ” he continues after a briefer pause. “You just might be average, there are plenty below and above you. It seems all humans are stupid, to butcher such a simple measurement. No, I'm telling you the answers to my questions and to some extent it is futile, yet gives way for more questions and more answers, eventually, when you actually start to respond. Yes?”

      Wixter thought about asking a question, but then that would start the dreadful cycle again. He couldn't show his anger just yet, he needed neutrality “Alright.”

      “Next question?” The inquirer left his cane floating, bringing up his hands, which had been magically dressed in elegant white butler gloves, and clapped his hands. He reached his legs to the floor, tipping his hat. He grabbed his cane that was casually floating away from him as if in space.


      He hit it on the ground in front of him and put both of his hands atop the bulbous golden top. Suddenly at the speed of a hurricane he stood standing but skidded around Wixter as if drawing a circle on a compass. After one revolution, his second time around spawned copies of himself at each 10 degrees. A disembodied voice from above accompanied the copied version that spoke in unison, “Which of us is the original?”
      Wixter stroked his beard, replaying the scene in his head. Logically it would be the one next to the one in the original place. He pointed at the one he thought it was. All at once the fancily dressed ringmasters strode forward and began batting their batons against Wixter. They echoed, “Wrong?” again.


      R calculated the location of the disembodied voice from his two high quality microphones and vibration sensors placed either side of his Sensory Processing Network. It was not in the circle, but below him. He would answer the question correctly. “None of you are the root. The original is in the ground, 2 metres from my current location.”

      The original phased out of the ground and stood next to R. He congratulated the robot, “Correct?” The original appeared as a silhouette of the sky and set down next to Wixter. “Wasn't that fun?” He plastered an insatiable grin, that was borrowed from the face of the Joker. He took off his top hat, throwing away a stuffed bunny rabbit, and an African Lion that had been taken out of his hat, they scattered.


      “Ah here it is.” He pulled out life sized, 2-d version of a man with brown hair, glasses, a red and white striped shirt, blue jeans and a beany which continued the striped theme. It shuffled awkwardly, unable to move correctly in 3 dimensions. The inquirer summoned a mirror with a crowd of people. He pushed the walking piece of paper in to the picture. He took the entirety of the mirror's view until he got smaller and smaller and then the crowd moved around, mixing him in. The Inquirer slung his arm around his subject's shoulders and asked,“Where's Wally?” Wixter looked at him funny, the villain clarified, “Where's Waldo?”




      Wixter found him, “Next to the Granny with the baby in a pram.”
      R found him shortly after, “There.”
      Wixter shrugged off the Inquirer's arm. He was close enough, he had to take this opportunity.
      He held it behind his back, rallying his fury and putting it behind his right arm. He pulled it out from behind his back. He thrust it towards his captor. The sharpened end of bin handle dug in to the neck of the crazy man, Robert braced himself for gore, yet the blood and ooze never came. A satisfying snap replaced a crush of the spinal cord. Oil sprayed out from one side of the wound, a thicker, more docile oil gradually made its way down it's grey hardened plastic chest plate. The point had went right through the central column severing the connections.


      Son stepped back from the Inquirer. Something changed. His smile temporarily stopped for a brief second. He then grew it back out, “Final question!” He poked Son's chest. “Who are you?”
      As an automated script still left over, he responded, “This Unit is an R series automated personal helper. Manufactured by Mayclare International Industries. Its serial code is R-52769365.” After a moment, the script ended.
      “I thought you were Son, son of Robert Wixter?” He started to walk circles around R.“An imperfect imitation? 'Automated' it said, that's what 'automatons' are, right?” R felt anger well up inside him.
      “I am!” He shouted.
      “Son, or an automaton?”
      “Son, I am Son!”
      “Son or son of Robert?”
      “I am his son, he named me Son.”
      Inquirer conjured a mirror, an image showing Robert, deceased. His rage was unleashed. He took his hand and punched his arm in to the inquirer's chest, quickly realising that this was a robot. The inquirer pulled the weak punch that only pierced the projection away from his chest. “Don't you have any powers? What a crying shame, doesn't that mean your reinforced fighting frame, your hacking and all of your other powers are disabled?”


      He laughed evilly, “This is a trial of wit, Impress me.” He summoned a pile of junk and R was quick and concise, pulling some eligible piece of wire. He yanked a couple of wire out of his circuitry and put it behind him. Sneaking up to him while he was turned away, he ripped a panel out of the back of the enemy robot and jabbed in the two wires. The Inquirer's head went back, trying to protect his neck. It was too late. R sent a large shock through the wires, overloading the resistors. The inquirer began to smoke and heat up. The fire from the inside ate him up. His façade fell. The robot fell to its knees as then toppled backwards.


      R and Wixter disappeared in a flash of light engulfing them.

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        #69    
      Old September 23rd, 2016 (1:47 AM).
      Foxrally's Avatar
      Foxrally Foxrally is offline
       
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      Nerites Ekitai
      Child of The Ocean

      Nerites looked at her transceiver, then back up to the building in front of her. Cooper and Hawkes... Attorneys at Law... Nerites squinted. He must have quite an intelligent hawk for it to be an attorney. she mused, slightly impressed. She entered the building, as was immediately met with the sight of someone she knew very well - at the other end of the lobby was a desk, and sitting at the computer was none other than the Champions' secretary Amanda.

      Nerites gasped, dashing over to the woman and hugging her tightly over the counter, scattering countless papers and other office stationary as she wrapped herself around the stunned secretary. "Amanda! Oh, I am so glad to see you once more! How have you been?" she asked.

      Coughing a little as the goddess loosened her embrace, Amanda regained her composure. "Hello to you too, Nerites." she croaked, smiling as she rubbed her neck. "You're early."

      "Oh, am I?" Nerites asked. "Should I come back later? I still need to pay the-"

      "No, no! I just meant that you're one of the first people. You're here for..." she momentarily paused, glancing at the camera pointed at her desk. Putting on a pleasant smile, she continued. "...your appointment, I presume. The place you are looking for is through the stairwell, bottom floor." she said, motioning towards the stairs to her left.

      "Ohhh..." Nerites nodded slowly. She leaned in not-so-discreetly and winked at the blonde-haired secretary, "I get it." she whispered.

      -------------------------

      Nerites yawned as she passed what felt like the hundredth door in the underground base. For all the facilities and technology they had in here, the place was surprisingly empty. The water goddess assumed most of them were sleeping in, or off fighting crime somewhere. As she continued to stride past the numerous metallic sliding doors and yet more corridors, she began fiddling absentmindedly with her transceiver as one of the former slid open with a slight whoosh.

      A male figure came through the opening, and suddenly Nerites was no more alone in the hall. After closer inspection, this man was clearly one of the older resistance members. He looked to be in around his mid forties to fifties, and wore an olive green shirt, along with baggy khaki pants, and some kind of half-mask that covered the left half of his face. It appeared as if he had not seen her as he exited, as he immediately began down the other end of the corridor without a word or glance in her direction.

      Nerites instantly perked up, relieved that there was another soul aside from herself and Amanda in the building. Quickly shifting to her watery form, the goddess slithered along the ground and between the man's feet before suddenly reforming in front of him, stopping the man in his tracks (and inadvertently splashing his attire with water).

      "Hello!" she piped up, wiggling her fingers amicably. "You did not notice me?"

      The man in green pressed on, without so much as turning his head. It was as if he hadn't heard her at all.

      Nerites pouted, slightly offended that the only person she had seen in hours was pretending she didn't exist. Once again dropping to the ground in a puddle, she slithered ahead of him again, this time reforming into her larger, less-transparent ice form this time. "I am Nerites! Nice to meet you!" she said cheerily, extending a cold hand towards the approaching man.

      The man stopped in front of the icy goddess. He stood motionless for a few seconds, but after a moment, reached up and pulled the mask away from his face.

      Nerites gasped, her hand instinctively pulling back the sight of his face. The entire left side was marred with scars and burns, most of which looked old and well-worn. One of the larger scars ran through the eye, whose color was a milky white. A scowl stretched tightly across his mouth, her new acquaintance stared back at Nerites.

      "Move."

      Nerites briefly shook her head as she regained her composure, realizing how rude it was to stare at the man's scars. "Aye aye, captain!" she replied, stepping to the side and saluting the man. The moment he continued to move forward, the goddess began to follow, slithering along in her watery form, watching him eagerly with a broad grin etched on her face.

      After descending a flight of stairs, they entered a large, rectangular room. The walls were covered with racks of weapons and ammunition, and down at the far end there were several booths that appeared to house targets. The room was mostly empty, most likely due to the early hour. However, the a low, clacking sound be heard, coming form one of the firing booths. The scarred man wasted no time in traversing the long room, passing the set of equipment and training supplies littered throughout the space.

      As Nerites followed her target, they came into view of the cause of the sound. A girl, with pale skin and a thin frame, stood gripping a silenced sniper rifle, firing round after round into the mechanically moving paper targets. Her face was mostly obscured by a black hood, which connected to a large black jacket that seemed to swallow up her small form.

      The man's footsteps were silent despite the wooden floor, and the girl seemed intensely focused on her task. Stopping just behind the girl, he took a small metal object from one of his pockets, and let it drop to the ground. The bullet casing hit the ground with a small clink, and the sound seemed to echo out into the silence between the gunshots. The girl whipped around, surprised, and her carefully-aimed shot lodged itself over into the wall.

      The man spoke. "You missed."

      The girl hung her head, a few strands of black hair falling out of her hood.

      The exchange continued for a few moments more, though neither party uttered a word more. After a moment, the girl took notice of the puddle of water that had appeared next to her.

      She looked questioningly at the man. After no response, she asked. "What... is that?"

      "The other thing you missed."

      A tiny hand emerged from the puddle, waving at the girl. A face appeared soon after that, followed by the entire body of the water goddess. Beaming, Nerites extended her watery hand. "Hello! I am Nerites. He's with me."

      The girl took a step back, surprised. The scarred man didn't so much as blink. "Is this one of the recruits?" she queried softly. Returning the gesture to the watery outstretched hand, she smiled. "My name is Surefire. His is Longshot."

      Nerites frowned slightly, confused as to whether these were four separate words or two single names. Either way, she shook it off and smiled happily. "And yes, I am a recruit! Although not exactly new. I am already great friends with Amanda, of course."

      Both Surefire and Longshot both seemed taken aback by this last comment. After shooting an uncertain glance at her companion, the girl smiled back at the watery woman. "Good to hear. Have you been assigned a mission task yet, Nerites?"

      Nerites shook her head. "No, sadly. I remember our missions were given on our old transceivers." she said, showing and tapping the gadget on her wrist. "Oh no, I think I left my old one with Quantum..."

      "I see... well, it won't be long then. There is much work to be done. Speaking of which..." Surefire trailed off, turning back to the man beside her. His grim frown deepened.

      "Trayton is gone." was the old man's reply. The girl gasped, a somber look spreading across her features. "You don't mean that..."

      "Don't know what happened exactly. Never came back from the factory job. Could be MF, could be just him pulling his damn solo antics again. Either way, we're going to have to wait until one of the others gets back before we can run the op."

      Surefire slung the rifle over her back, and motioned them out of the booth. As the three walked back into the main room, she stopped once more, with another query.

      "Are none of them back yet? Do any of the new recruits have..."

      "No." Longshot grunted as he brushed roughly past, continuing to stride towards the door.

      "Ooh, I may be of assistance!" Nerites called out. "Or at least, until Mr Trayton returns from his 'solo attic'. I am sure it is only an emergency. Besides, we have already bonded so greatly! We cannot waste this opportunity, mister Long!"

      The scarred man halted. After a moment of silence, his gruff response came.

      "Not a chance."

      Before any more conversation could take place, the transceiver device on Longshot's wrist began to emit a low beeping sound. He tapped the display, and raised his arm slightly, as if reading something intently.

      Clearly, whatever the old man read didn't please him. His face contorted into a snarl, before relaxing back into it's usual neutral scowl. Looking back to Surefire and Nerites, he pointed towards the door. "Armory, now. Both of you."

      The rifle-toting girl followed without hesitation motioning for their watery companion to come. It wasn't long before the trio reached the armory. A large, octagonal room near the heart of the compound, with doors and walls that one could see were much thicker than the rest. After various security measures were performed, the reinforced doors slid open, revealing the interior of their destination. The room was filled with a maze of shelves and racks, laden with every sort of armor and weapon one might think of. Firearms lined one wall. Blades and blunt weapons adorned another. Racks of battle armor, kevlar, and bright spandex dotted the others. There was enough tools of warmongering here to outfit a small legion.

      Longshot and Surefire seemed right at home, and were already eyeing up certain caches. The former looked back at Nerites, who simply stood there humming to herself, and sighed. "We're proceeding with the op as planned. She'll be our third. Order came in straight from Alpha. Get her suited up, we greenlight in ten."

      Surefire nodded as the man moved away to the other side of the armory. Looking at Nerites once more, she chuckled to herself. "Now, Nerites was it? We need to get you geared up for the mission. Are you ready?"

      "I suppose s-" Nerites stopped mid-sentence. Her eyes grew wide as she spotted something in the armory. Quickly dashing over to the shelf, she carefully took the pair of shades, contemplating them as if they were objects of indescribable value. She slowly put them on, taking a moment to indulge in the new light-grey-colored perspective she had on the world.

      "I'm ready." she turned to Surefire, giving her a stoic nod and a thumbs-up.

      A joint post of Foxrally and GreyBidoof
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        #70    
      Old October 7th, 2016 (3:27 PM).
      Strange's Avatar
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      Druid
      The base was far larger than the building it sat below. Eric's eyes wandered about, looking at all the people walking around, and of course all the hallways and rooms within eyesight. His eyes finally settled on the training room that must have been where he had his battle against himself, as it had replays of various fights on a screen next to the glass window, one of which was his own. Eric was startled when the doors of the elevator began to close, and quickly shoved his arm in the way to stop the machine from taking him back up to the top.

      He wasn't exactly sure what he should be doing, since they hadn't appeared to give him any direction other than to get to the building, so he decided to explore the complex a bit. He walked over towards an area that appeared to be a technology lab, but quickly decided that they looked much too busy for him to bother them. There was a gym, but he didn't really need to work out after that exhausting fight earlier. He wasn't sure exactly where to go, or what to do. He thought about it for a while, and then decided that his best course of action would be to rest. He could worry about figuring everything out in the morning. He walked back over towards the elevator, and then stopped. Why should he go all the way back to his apartment, when he could just sleep in his spellbook? But where would he store it overnight? He thought about it for a minute or two before he settled on leaving it under a bench near the elevator. He propped the book up against the wall under the bench, and then cast the spell to allow him to enter the book.

      "Hello Eric." the book greeted him.

      "Hey." he replied. He picked up a piece of chalk from the ground and drew a series of elaborate circles on the ground. When he finished, he stood in the center of it. After a few seconds of delay, the circles began to glow, and they began to spin at varying speeds. "Sleepware." he commanded. The circles changed color before his clothes glowed and faded away. A few seconds after, a set of pajamas had taken their place. He was wearing a white tee-shirt, a pair of pajama pants with little rocket-ships on them, and a pair of fuzzy bunny slippers. "Book, can you please replicate my bedroom?" he said, before the walls began to ripple like a liquid and the floor reshaped into various furniture items. He walked over to his bed and lay down on it, then realizing something. "Book?" he questioned.

      "Yes, Eric?" it replied.

      "You're not going to watch me when I sleep are you?" he asked nervously.

      "You do realize that you're inside my mind? I can't exactly stop using my mind while you're sleeping, so of course I'll be forced to watch you while you sleep. Pleasant dreams!" it replied.

      "Oh book, you always say just the right things." he said sarcastically.

      Needless to say he didn't sleep well, although the nightmares were not caused by the book's creepiness. He has yet another nightmare about his brother's death, although this time it didn't end when his brother died. This time he saw where his brother went. He saw hell.

      The fire was so blinding, and the black smokey fog blocked out almost everything. The only thing Eric could make out was his brother's body, and the demons that dragged it down with them. But something troubled him more than the demons feasting on his brother's corpse. He was more concerned with the fact that his brother was screaming and writhing in agony. After an eternity of torture, his brother went quiet, and then he stood up. By this point he wasn't much more than bone and bits of flesh stuck here and there, but Eric clearly saw him stand on his own. Then his body erupted in fire, and the flames created new flesh, new skin, and completely reformed his body. He looked vastly different than how he looked before, now having red skin, horns, and fiery demonic eyes. Eric was terrified, and then it started to speak.

      "Thank you." it rasped, "You have given us more power than we could have ever asked for, little brother. For now we, Daniel and Igneon, are one in the same." It then cracked a smile, its sharp teeth bared as it laughed hysterically.

      Eric woke up in the middle of the book's floor, the room no longer disguised as his bedroom. "Eric! Eric!" the book was shouting.

      "What?" he answered groggily.

      "You were trebling in fear! What's going on?" it demanded.

      "Oh, nothing new." he replied in an annoyed tone.

      "How long have these nightmares been happening?" it asked, concerned.

      "A few days, weeks? I don't remember. Look it doesn't matter anyway. I think tonight was the last one." he lied, earning a concerned yet relieved sigh. Eric walked over to the circles he drew on the floor yesterday, luckily they hadn't been smudged during his restless night's sleep, and stood in the center. "Costume." he demanded. The circles glowed, undressed him, and re-dressed him in his costume.

      Today would be a very long day.



      First Day- Part 2

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        #71    
      Old October 7th, 2016 (7:58 PM).
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      Oddball_ Oddball_ is offline
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      008: Super Plumber Brothers... Part One

      Light Force


      Lightforce sat up. It seemed as though he had fallen asleep while viewing his folders at the table in the Resistance caffeteria. How long had he been out? It felt like it had been 69 days or something since he had sat down. The teenage meta-human shook his head and stood up and stretched, before noticing that has tranceiver was blinking.

      "Agents Lightforce and Druid.
      You have been tasked with going to the Hyperia Manufacturing factory to investigate the reports of meta force activity, and to destroy any equipment that they might be housing there WITHOUT causing any damage to the main facility.
      Report to Research and Development to pick up some tools that will aid you in your task." The tranceiver screen displayed.

      "Druid?" The teenage meta wondered to himself. "Its not that hobo looking guy is it?"

      Druid sighed as he ordered lunch. He rubbed his eyes and yawned, when suddenly his tranceiver beeped. He swiped at the screen that popped up and read through the message twice. He was going on his first mission! He just had to find his partner.

      Then, the guy behind the counter tapped him on the shoulder, handing him a plate of what appeared to be some kind of meat slopped on a pile of potatos. "Thanks?" he replied, turned and dumped the smelly slime into the trash. That was not going to go in his mouth.

      Lightforce turned at the sound of mush falling into a plastic bag. Which is about as appealing a sound as it would seem.

      "I know right. You would think they would at least try to keep us well nourished." The blonde haired superhero chuckled as he dug through his bag and pulled out a bag of potato chips. "Have some REAL food, best keep your strength up. Looks like we're working together." He said as he tossed the bag at the only other person in the room with him.

      "Names Lightforce. By that beeping on your arm, I'm assuming you're the one they call Druid."

      "Thanks!" he replied, popping open the bag and walking over to sit down with Lightforce. "I'd complain about the food, but at least I didn't have to pay for it." he said in between shoving wads of chips in his mouth like a madman. "Is this your first mission too?"

      "For the resistance yeah. I did some vigilante stuff on my own for a short while after I got my powers, drew a bit of attention where I shouldn't have. Learned my lessons I suppose. Did meet some interesting people though." Lightforce responded as he watched the homeless looking man sit down next to him. "How about you. What made you think 'hey, I want to save the world?'"

      Druid's face went pale. "I, uhh, well I have to use this magic for something." he waved his hand, flames engulfing it. "Ow! Ow! That was supposed to be sparkles!" he shouted, blowing on his hand.

      "..." Lightforce stared at the man as he attempted to put out the fire that he had accidentally summoned onto his hand. "Stop drop and roll?" He said, attempting to hide the laughter that was escaping from him.

      "Uhh, no I got this, just gotta...." he muttered as he racked his brain for a spell to fix this. After an agonizing ten seconds of flaming fingers, he muttered an incantation, the flames dissipating. He flexed his hand, mild burns on the surface of his skin. "Heh, I, uhh. I'm not exactly, that experienced with using shorthand spellcasting. Usually I take a minute or so and cast the safe versions. I've had more than a few giant fireballs explode in my face." he blushed. "Probably should've studied more of the quick ones."

      "I might have someone who can help with that. ANYWAY... We should probably get going before the meta force takes over the world or something." Lightforce responded, motioning towards the doors.

      "Right. Uhh, do you know where the Research and Development area is?" Druid questioned.

      "According to the GM boss man its on the fourth sub basement, I believe we're on the second floor now so we just have to find the stairs down." Lightforce explained as he began looking around for a stairway leading down to the RND labs.

      "GM? Is that an abbreviation for something?" Druid questioned, following closely behind.

      "Game Master. You know, the omnipotent being who is watching over everything we do at every moment in time? Oh look heres the stairs!" Lightforce interjected, pointing to a set of stairs leading downwards. "Shall we?"

      The duo headed down the stairs and followed the path down to the RND floor, where they were met by several scientists who ushered them into a back room and handed them several bags. Inside one such bag was a oblong device with glowing blue buttons that was explained to them to be an Electro Magnetic Pulse that would fry any high tech equipment the meta force might be using without harming the majority of the factory's machinery. In the other bags were two blue plumbers suits, and the keys to a van which were labelled: "Laxitive Plumbing Co. We'll clear out your pipes in no time "

      They arrived at the factory a short while later, and were ushered in by the security guard at the gate and pointed towards a bathroom in the back of the factory. Once there, they parked their van and began to prepare for their mission.
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        #72    
      Old October 12th, 2016 (5:06 PM).
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      Lightforce and Druid
      Donning their swanky new plumbing clothes, Druid and Lightforce, currently going by the names of Mario and Luigi, made their way into the facility.

      "So, whats the problem boss?" The young meta human in green asked.

      Muk pipes are clogged... say aren't you a little young to be plumbers?" A fat man asked from behind a desk as he took a deep puff of a pungeant cigar.

      "Yes. Yes we are." Lightforce-Luigi responded as he pushed his trolley across the floor and towards the bathroom which the fat man had directed them towards.

      "So do we actually have to unclog their toilet pipes? Because I am not going to touch anything that came into contact with that guy's butt." Druid whispered, walking alongside Lightforce in a red version of the same costume he was wearing.

      "I don't even want to think about that." Lightforce muttered in response as they pushed the trolleys down the hallway. "We're supposed to be looking for any equipment the meta force is hiding and or developing here yes? I don't think they would just leave that lying around where two guys dressed as italian plumbers from a japanese videogame could just stumble across. I suggest we start looking for places they don't want us to find."

      "So we should be looking for like, locked doors and areas marked 'restricted?' Sounds easy enough. Although I guess not getting caught is the hard part. This would be so much easier if we could just light the place on fire." Druid laughed.

      "I'm with you there." Lightforce said as they arrived at the bathroom. "So now we just crack the door open and pray nobody decides to actually check on us while we're in there? Wait, what am I thinking. How would having that happen push the narrative forward at all."

      Suddenly, as if knowing it would happen, an asian man in a buisness suit walked past, nodding politely as he pulled a keychain off his belt and stepped into the elevator. He held the keys awkwardly as he waited for the doors to close.

      "Well thats a bit suspicious. Looks like we're going to have to find some keys." Lightforce muttered to his wizardy partner.

      "Hmm, HQ didn't say anything about kidnapping or knocking someone unconcious, did they?" Druid grinned. "How about we take a look at the 'plumbing' in that room over there?" He pointed to a room that seemed to have someone in it, sitting at a desk alone. "We just go in, whack him, and then draw the blinds."

      "I like the way you think." Lightforce laughed quietly as they stepped towards the room.

      Druid turned the doorknob slowly, pushing the door open as quietly as possible. He moved his hands in a rhythmic motion, a ball of air forming between them. He walked up slowly behind the man, who was so engrossed in his work that he didn't notice the wizard towering behind him. Druid slammed the ball of air over the man's head, his brown hair swirling in the vortex.

      He held the ball there for a while, until the man was deprived of air long nough to pass out. Then, dissipating the air ball, he reached down and pulled the man's keychain off his belt. "Got it!" he announced. He tore a piece of cloth off the poor man's suit, gagging him, and then used the man's shoelaces to bind his hands and feet together. "I saw this in a movie once. Hopefully it actually works." he laughed.

      Lightforce shook his head and grinned. He doubted the shoelace would hold the man, but he wasn't going to deprive his comrade of his moment of glory. That and, if things did go south, that would give him an excuse to blast stuff.

      "Shall we?" The plumber in green asked from the doorway, quickly jabbing a thumb in the direction of the elevator.

      "Ladies and small children first." Druid motioned to the elevator, winking at the smaller boy.

      Lightforce rolled his eyes and walked forwards, trying desperatly to ignore teenage writers remarks about his character. He jammed his finger on the button and waited for what seemed like an eternity as the elevator returned to their floor.

      "About damn time." He grumbled as the door finally opened and he stepped inside. "Are you coming or what?" He grumbled to Druid as he tapped his foot impatienty. "It looks like theres a keyhole or something."

      "Well, since we did just go through this whole thing of finding a key, I kind of figured there would be." he replied, stepping into the elevator. He pushed the key into the hole and waited for the doors to close. Then, he turned it.


      SUPER PLUMBER BROTHERS - Part 2

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        #73    
      Old November 29th, 2016 (8:36 PM).
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      Giron: Simple Solutions"
      AKA Basil DeLeon | Aged 30 | Male | Reptilia



      Giron had places to go and things to do. Unfortunately for him, neither of those things in his mind included spending several hours as Bazil DeLeon working for the government agency that was desperately trying to find and kill both he and his friends… which is exactly what he was stuck doing. Espionage was not always all it was cracked up to be. It was also extremely boring when there no information coming in worth altering. There’d been a few sightings the previous day - oddly enough - but nobody had any real information at all.


      The time ticked on, as time is prone to doing, as Giron tried to look like he was busy. After all, being fired would make espionage rather difficult. Or at least Giron figured it would without considering how easy it would be for him to impersonate just about any of his co-workers. Eventually however, feigning hard work was set to become actual work as he was able to escape the office and sneak away down to an alleyway where he took on the form of a crow and took to the sky. He normally wouldn’t risk shapeshifting so close to the Meta Force’s headquarters but he had important things to do.








      It wasn’t long before Giron, still wearing the guise of the black-feathered bird, arrived on the outskirts of his destination - Zephyr Forest in the Outlands.Giron had been to the area before interestingly enough, the thick foliage was vaguely reminiscent of his home and whilst he had gotten used to living on Earth, sometimes he felt the need to be surrounded by walls of lush green again instead of bricks and plaster. Giron landed and without hesitation returned to his natural state in all of his big, lizardy glory. The place was just as it always was, a calm and familiar forest… well minus the surly looking guy sitting in a tree.


      The man sighed at the appearance of the alien, apparently having been warned about Giron’s obliviousness. He couldn’t help but wonder if a trial involving wit was really the way to go for Giron, but here he was.
      “Hello!” Giron chirped enthusiastically “I’m Gi-” he was cut-off by the man tossing what seemed like a metalic glove to Giron.
      “Oh cool!” Giron said excitedly “Is this like the communicator amanda gave me? It will change with me right?” How does it work?”
      “Put it on.”
      “Bu-”
      “Just do it.” the man in the tree grunted. Giron shrugged and obeyed without any further hesitation, and suddenly there was a flash of bright blue light.


      Giron blinked several times as his eyes adjusted to his new surroundings for he was no longer standing in a green grove but in the middle of what seemed to be a vast stone labyrinth.
      “This isn’t really what I had in mind.” Giron said, surprised. He wondered what exactly he was meant to do. “Am I supposed to make it to the end?”
      “Not exactly.” a new voice answered from behind him “it’s the end for you regardless of where you are.” Giron turned to face this new appearance. Before him stood a short and slender but muscular man in what seemed to be a green diving suit with black, hooded body armour over the top. His hands and feet were covered by black gloves and boots and on his face he wore a mask over his mouth. Giron recognised him, but was unable to place exactly from where. He didn’t get much time to consider that issue either however, as the man rushed forward.


      Giron gave in to his immediate reflex, to change his shape to something smaller and harder to hit. However, Giron did not become a ferret as he originally intended. In fact, he didn’t change at all. So instead of this strange enemy comically missing a small furry animal, instead Giron took a sharp kick to his throat and stumbled back coughing and spluttering in time to take several punches to his soft gut and have his legs swept out from under him, causing him to hit the floor hard.
      “Are you with the resistance?!” he yelled “I’m on your side!”
      “Shut up and die!” the masked attacker replied, stomping hard on Girons belly. The alien tried to change his shape again, but found that again he was unable to assume a more convenient form.
      What is going on?! he screamed in his head. Not only was Giron unable to change form, but he was fighting an opponent that seemed to know exactly where to hit his natural body to do the most damage. He could take hits quite easily on his limbs, take, back and even his head thanks to the hard scales covering his body, but his underbelly and throat were free of scales and covered only in soft skin. His attacker was going to enjoy taking advantage of that it seemed.


      Giron whipped his tail to knock his foe off balance, then leapt to his feet and sprinted down the maze, making random and erratic turns to try and distance himself from the attacker. However, this didn’t work as planned as the masked man suddenly burst through the wall as though it were not there… literally running through it as though it was air, leaving a perfectly normal wall intact behind him.
      “What!?” Giron exclaimed, just in time to take a boot to the face.There was no time to collect his thoughts either, as his assailant had disappeared through the next wall.


      Slowly, Giron crept forwards - constantly looking to his sides or over his shoulder. He wasn’t sure what he should do, nor where the man would come from next. Although he soon enough had an answer as, as Giron was looking behind him, the man ran through the wall directly ahead and delivered another brutal series of strikes before disappearing again.


      Giron didn’t move this time, he put his back to the dead end ahead of him - figuring that was the least likely place an attack would come from since that was where the last one had hit him from.
      “Think” he muttered to himself “What can I do about this? I don’t have my shapeshifting, so what do I have? I can run and jump, I have teeth and claws and a tail and I can think. I’m stronger than him and faster than him. That’s why he’s doing this. He doesn’t want me to be able to fight back.”


      Giron smiled a bit at that, it seemed he wasn’t in as hopeless a situation as he’d assumed. He felt naked without his shapeshifting, he felt powerless. The fact remained though, that by ordinary human standards he was a walking weapon. He resembled crocodiles more than human beings after all.
      “So he can move through walls.” Giron continued “He can probably pass through me too. He won’t though, because he has to hit me. I won’t be able to hold onto him though. I see.”


      It was at that moment that an attack came from the last place Giron expected, from behind him, the man launched another assault. The strike didn’t do too much damage, Giron’s scaled back was not the best place to attack, but it caught him by surprise and allowed the villain to get several more hits in before dashing through another wall. He didn’t give Giron a reprieve however, as he came straight back through the same wall, surprising the alien again. This time though, he bit off more than he expected. Giron noticed the incoming attack and delivered a punch to the man’s face, shattering his mask and sending him stumbling right back through the wall.
      “Can’t stop me doing that if you’re trying to hit me in the first place.” Giron said, realising that he would have to adopt the uncomfortable role of the hunter to pass his trial.


      The scent of his targets blood fresh in his nose, he leapt to the top of the wall the man had fled through and saw him a few passages ahead. Giron didn’t need to move through walls to catch him however. His species as built for jumping and climbing so he put that natural skill to work and vaulted from the tops of walls in pursuit. In moments, Giron was leaping from the top of the structure onto his target. The man faded through Giron, but this was expected. Giron landed behind the man, but struck out with his tail, striking him in the side of head and probably rendering him unconscious.


      Giron turned, expecting to see the man limp on the ground but let out a gasp. Instead what he saw was robot, on the ground and twitching uncontrollably. Then, there was a flash and Giron was back in the comfortable forest with the surly looking Resistance man.
      “The simplest solution is usually the right one. You pass.”

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