View Full Version : Issue #5: I Am Legion, For We Are Many

3rd of November, 2007, 12:31
145 Monroe St., Apartment B, Brooklyn, New York.
The Haunting of Jacklene Washington
12:30 pm, January 17th 2010.

The noise woke her from her slumber, all sandpaper eyelids and twisted vertebrae.

Breaking glass... she thought through the veil of Morpheus denied, sitting up awkwardly. Burglars that hadn't picked up on the street's word that it was a bad idea to break into her home? The curtains and blinds were drawn tight, and it took her the same amount of time to remember that it was actually the middle of the day as it did to swing her legs over the edge of the bed and find the floor. So, no... Even in Brooklyn, there weren't many burglars with the cojones to try literal daylight robbery, two storeys off the ground. This was what she hated most about working nightshift on the ambulances... not the crazies and druggies that only seemed to come out when it was dark (especially during the full moon), not the grimy stink of the city when all God-fearing folk were abed... but the sense of disconnection from the racing pulse of New York, the sense of being a transient in the shadows of other's lives, the fact that she hardly got to speak to, let alone see, the people closest to her. All her perceptions about time and place, thrown out of whack.

“Who's there?” Sleep had changed her voice, usually pleasingly husky in any case, so that she sounded like Tom Wait's sister. This is crazy, she thought, looking around the seemingly empty bedroom for the source of the intrusion.Why am I acting like the prey? I ain't no scared white girl that gets stabbed by the killer in the first scene. I'm the predator here! Hear me ROAR.

“I mean... Who's there? Show yourself!” Her voice reverberated with power, a command that could not be denied, that short-circuited the ear and hit the brain directly, incontestably. She smiled, folding her arms under her impressive chest, and waited. If the trespasser heard those words, he'd be front and centre any... second... now...

It had been a while since she used her power, her voice. Not since those new guys showed up in town, splashed over the papers and TV – the Centinels, honest to goodness superheroes, for Pete's sake! Some of them even wore costumes! Frankly, she'd been relieved that she wasn't the only person with the weirdness trying to do good in the city any more. Flying ninjas and strongmen and pistol-wielded inventors and sprinters and this one guy who, she swore, looked like nothing so much as a human bug-zapper; with them around, there was finally a chance for her to just be her, to be Jacklene Washington again.

There was no response. No one stepped forwards to answer her demand, and the hairs on the back of her neck started to prickle. If there was someone there... who could hold off her voice of command like that? The Saiettas? Omega? Fool Knight? Dead, dead, missing... Jack slowly edged towards the door of the room, gathering psychokinetic energy about her as she went. That's right, burglars had learned not to mess with her, and enemies had fallen... being one of the most powerful psionic Novas of her generation had its advantages. As she edged around the bed, Jack caught a glimpse of herself in the full-length mirror by the door; statuesque and looking good, if sleep deprived, with a not inconsiderable amount of chocolate skin and definite curves showing around the over-sized sports shirt she wore. She took another step towards the door, and felt wet carpet squelch under her toes. Risking a glance down, she saw the dark stain of water, the crescents of broken glass – the glass she normally kept on her bedside table, smashed and spilled against the wall.

The intruder, the whatever, had been in her bedroom, seconds ago. Right beside her bed as she slept.

“That's it, asshole...” she fumed, throwing open the door with a twinge of telekinesis, and stalking out into the open plan kitchen and living room of her apartment. A few rays of outside light slipped through the curtains and blinds, creating strange interference patterns of light and shadow over her dinner table, her couch, her TV, her shelves. She could have opened them the same way as she had the door and filled the room with daylight, but that would have left her dazzled for several precious seconds... enough time for an unseen assailant to get the drop on her. Instead, she reached out with her sixth sense, feeling for other minds, hostile thoughts, strange...

Thump. Jack felt floorboards under her knees and palms, felt pain. Her paramedic's training kicked in; a blow to the back of the head, knocked her silly if not senseless. Before even trying to climb to her feet, she lashed out telekinetically behind herself, the walls shaking as pure force slammed into them. She hit nothing.

There was a knife by her hand, she realised as she opened her eyes, pain trickling through them into her bruised skull. One of the big carving knives from the kitchen drawer. She didn't need a weapon – she was one, to all intents and purposes – but it suddenly felt good to have one. With six inches of honed steel gleaming in her hand, Jack rose unsteadily from the floor. The apartment... still empty.

Time to go. She backed into the bedroom again. The windows were bigger there, big enough to fly out of... everyone on the street seeing her be damned, because that was better than staying here while... whatever it was played sick games with her. Spinning around, she tried to make a break for the window, but stopped, transfixed by her image in the mirror. Try as she might, she couldn't turn away, only walk closer, wide-eyed, feeling it but not even flinching as she stepped on the broken glass and gashed open her foot. She stared at herself in the silvered glass, unable to blink, unable to move of her own volition.


Slowly, her body manipulated by an unseen puppetmaster, Jack raised the knife, until the blade was parallel to her forehead. She could feel clammy, invisible mental fingers touching her, moving her like a posable doll, violating her freedom. She fought, she fought hard, her literally superhuman will and psychic defences raging against the manipulation, slapping away the intrusive mind. Those that tried to interfere with her mind in the past had been in for a nasty surprise... so much psionic energy filled her Nova brain that unwelcome contact with it was like french kissing a power cable. For a moment, the intruder seemed to waver; but then a will incomprehensibly vast and alien and wicked washed over her, reinforcing the puppetry. Her pupils dilated into their deep brown irises, as she came mind's-eye to mind's-eye with a multifaceted, compound, insectile horrorshow of an intelligence. Within the twisted, Escherine labyrinth of its mind, a chorus of ten thousand maniacs sang 'Halleluhjah!'.

Don't fight Us...

“Don't worry, Jacklene,” said a voice that was not hers, even though it used her lips, her throat. Her free hand moved up against her body, clumsily pulling the over-sized Knicks shirt against her voluptuous figure like a novice lover.

“We don't want you for your body... just your mind.”

Blood welled up as the knife began to saw across her temple.

15th of November, 2007, 08:17
Department of Energy Classified Research Site "The Bell Jar", Sunny Mesa, New Mexico.
Daedalus Falls, Icarus Avenges.
12:31 pm, January 17th 2010.

For the first time in months, Jason Gilmore awoke as a free man.

At first, he didn't recognise the fact. Rising from his bed – a scorched concrete slab with aluminium and lead-foil blankets atop a concrete platform rising from the bottom of a hollow concrete sphere – he began his morning ritual. With a glance at the reinforced window built into an alcove on one side of the sphere's equator, he abluted himself in the stainless steel, prison-style toilet and raised sink provided on one corner of the 20 by 20 foot pillar he resided on. Having no choice about it, he'd long grown used to the lack of privacy. Rubbing tepid, sterilised water from his eyes and blinking under the dim lights that shone down from the ventilation grate high above, he picked up the polished square of metal that served as a mirror and placed a hand to his fuzzy cheek. With a single brush of his fingers, the stubble sublimed into a cloud of carbon dioxide and water vapour, leaving his skin as smooth as it had been before he started to develop facial hair... all of a couple of years ago.

With a yawn, he kicked out of the pyjama pants he wore to sleep, and into the orange and blue jumpsuit lying pooled at the foot of his hard bed. He sniffed the sleeve as he zipped it up; it was the same one he'd worn yesterday, so it smelled of... well, it smelled of 17-year-old male. Or was he 18 now... had he been a 'research assistant' (read: subject) here long enough for his birthday to come and go? Either way, it was weird; they usually delivered a freshly-laundered jumpsuit while he slept. Maybe they're just running late today, Jason thought, flopping down in the uncomfortable steel chair next to the steel table that was riveted and glued with cement to the platform. He thumbed through the collection of magazines, this time feeling a surge of petty anger; they hadn't changed his reading material, either. Old issues of NME, Sports Illustrated and books of Sudoku puzzles... he'd been looking forward to the swimsuit issue, too!

Jason glowered at the window. By now, Drs. Bowen and Singh should have switched the currently one-way-mirror window to its translucent mode, and been on the intercom wishing him a good morning, telling him what was for breakfast and what tests they'd be conducting today. Or if he was lucky, it might be his counsellor, Dr. Amy MacIntyre, come to make sure he was 'coping with his grief and guilt'. At this point, they'd talked through enough that he was dealing with what had happened. It was something that he could never forget, but at the same time, it hadn't been like he'd pushed himself in front of that bus. Or like he'd decided to go nuclear. Either way, he liked her visits far more than the tests of the physicist and the biologist... she had nice legs. Where were they? Balling up a loose page from one of the magazines with a staple in it, he gave it his best baseball pitch towards the inset frame, behind which lay the monitoring station where they kept tabs on him, night and day, looking for fluctuations in his... unique powers. The glossy paper ball bounced off the window, and fell into the darkness of the sphere-pit surrounding his isolated island-pillar.

That brought him up short. Augie - Dr. Bowen - had told him that the chamber was encased in rings of powerful electromagnets, Russian-style tokamaks, projecting an intense field that contained the entire spherical room in a magnetic bottle, to keep him from... they said to keep his energies from being unleashed and destroying the facility and god knows what else... but when they said that, Jason always heard to keep you from escaping. And he'd felt the field before... they'd had him try to fly off the platform, but every foot beyond its perimeter the air seemed to thicken, or some invisible giant seemed to push back at him, until at last he was repelled and crashed onto the concrete floor of his very own fortress of solitude, scraping his palms and knees. But if the staple in the paper ball had made it all the way to the window, without being thrown back...

Where were they?

15th of November, 2007, 11:55
the Brewery Restaurant, 1 N. Oklahoma Ave, Oklahoma City.
Two Guys Walk Into A Bar, And One of Them Says...
12:32 pm, January 17th 2010.

Most of the lunchtime rush had been over, so the doorman/bouncer who went only by the name of Ricky had been taking the opportunity to doze under the shade of one of the potted trees beside the Brewery's awning. The first inkling that something had been up was the honking of horns and brake-shredding sound of cars screeching to a halt – and then, as he opened his eyes, he'd seen two guys from outta nowhere whaling on each other in the middle of the intersection.

And now they seemed to have made up (or at least stopping hitting one another), and they were coming straight for him.

Some of the Brewery's well-dressed lunchtime diners had crowded around the windows, looking out from the brick building at the fight. Others, more canny ones, had slipped out the fire exits or demanded the waiters usher them out the back. A few resolute / cloddish individuals remained at their tables – even ignoring the half-panicked customers that fled from the windows to join the more forward-thinking people that had already fled. The cop that had shot at the big guy – and he was damn huge – had retreated down the street, frantically radioing for backup. The other guy, the one hanging off the bigger man's shoulder like he was drunk or, more likely, because he'd just got the crap kicked out of him and then back into him, wasn't exactly petite, either.

Ricky swallowed, ran a hand over his bald pate and rubbed his knuckles against the Pro-Am Middleweight Boxing Champion belt he wore under his uniform, for luck. “Hey. Hey!” He forced himself forward, blocking the two men from walking onto the emerald green carpet that lead up the steps to the entrance. “You guy's can't come in here...” Ricky waved his hand in Tracy's face, casting around for some reason to deny the two entrance. “No shirt, no service!” he finally warned, gesturing at the cannon-fire shredded top through which Tracy's hirsute, mega-muscled frame flexed.

A – comparatively – gentle nudge from Tracy's forearm sent him tumbling back into the potted greenery. He considered himself lucky, even as he groaned in pain and tried to pull his bent spine back in to place while watching the two men hobble into the Brewery. No one could really have excepted him to stand up to a couple of freaks like that, right? But he'd taken a stand, done his job, above and beyond and all that. He might even get a raise for this, and that made him smile as he rolled off the ceramic pot and fumbled for a handrail to pull himself up on.

Kicking the door open in front of him, Tracy glanced around the mostly abandoned tables of the ground floor, seeing plates of half-eaten steaks, baked potatoes topped with some kind of posh cheese (if it didn't come as slices individually wrapped in plastic, Tracy didn't want to know about it) and salads, but Paul grunted something about the bar being above them, so he moved to ascend the spiral staircase near the door.

Carrying his former team mate and hardly noticing the weight, he found the next floor of the Brewery far more suiting the name, and far more to his liking. In between dartboards, pool tables and the more common sitting-at-and-drinking kind of tables was a long, central bar capable of serving scores of thirsty patrons at a time. The performance stage at the back of the room was empty, but the bar was manned by an apprehensive looking tender.

15th of November, 2007, 19:47
Jason Gilmore - Genesis

Jason stared down at the piece of crumpled, coloured paper. His tongue ran over the premolars on the lower right side of his mouth. It was a sign of his curious, pensive state. The irritation he'd felt at the magazines and the dirty clothes faded away in the silence of the concrete island – a silence broken only by the hum of the fluorescent lights, far above. The sound had faded virtually into non-existence after the first few weeks Jason had been locked away in his magnetic cage, but now it seemed somehow thunderous because of the silence he expected outside that window. In the semi-rational flare of hope that Jason was experiencing, the noise felt like a remnant, irritating in the same way as a fly landing again and again on the same spot on your hand. He smiled, deciphering his own sleep-addled thoughts and emotions and realizing what they meant – or at least what they seemed to mean.

If the staple got through... then so could he. Jason smiled, suddenly and broadly for what felt like the first time in months. A trickle of nuclear power was channeled through meta-human organelles secreted in every cell in his body. Personal magnetic fields shifted subtly, interacting with the billions of polarised hydrogen particles in his body that existed as raw plasma, and the concrete surface that had been his home for these past months receded slightly. This was nothing new; he'd developed the ability shortly after arriving, aided by the theoretical projections of what he could do based on the tests that Augie had done. But now, perhaps, he'd finally be able to use that ability to do something more than bash his head against the electromagnetic force field they used to contain him. Flight was supposed to mean freedom. For the first time, it felt like that might actually be true.

He pushed forward, floating cautiously through the air. Nothing. No resistance. The smile broadened a little, though a tension started to form in his gut. He had hope now, and if that was snatched away it would be crushing. Still, he accelerated slightly, applying more pressure to his forward momentum. Still nothing. Not even a trickle. The smile began to fade, slowly being subsumed by plain shock as he moved closer and closer to the window. Finally, his feet touched the concrete surface of the alcove that permitted the window through which he was watched like a zoo animal. Two steps were taken as though by instinct, and Jason found his hand upon the glass surface, feeling the heavy smoothness of it for the first time. The shock turned into another grin, this time accompanied by a short, soft laugh. With the barest application of pressure, and a complex focusing of desire, the window folded inwards as though it were a door opening to freedom. Jason started to laugh fully now, scarcely aware of the sound, but having no other rational release for his joy and newfound hope.

He stepped through, and onwards towards the rest of his life.

17th of November, 2007, 16:14
Rising Sun Applied Technologies, Research Campus and Head Office.
Syndicate (X) Rules.
12:33 pm, January 17th 2010.

HP: 2; Status: Bruised, Injured

The sun blazed through the piles of grey clouds in the New York sky, cold and distant winter-fire. As it passed the apex of the sky, the bright light shone off the face of the RiSun building and reflected down to the battlelines below, catching tumbling shards from the destroyed upper floors so they blazed like diamonds, and the coils of smoke from WarGod's armoured carcass cast wispy shadows on the players of the painful game.

A sharply dressed mercenary went down, his windpipe caving in under the edge of a hand moving faster than the eye could see.

Ryan Sanders could not outrun the sun, but as he ducked and weaved through the achingly slow ballet of fists, feet and weapons trying to catch him the broke illumination cast him in strobe light. It was like dodging through the set of some obscure German expressionist theatre piece, with the limbs of black-clad extras casting the shadows of sickle-shaped tree limbs. Through the tangle of clumsy enemies, Bolt zigged and zagged, picking his targets and striking, kicking, clotheslining victims so fast that he was just a blur ripping through their ranks, moving in and out from under the shade of the building's overhang. They were scattering, trying to move away from where he was, where he had been, but it was as if they were marching through molasses.

Another goon dropped to his knees, twisting to clasp at his abdomen, which had been the recipient of a kick that knocked the wind out of him.

Picking his way amidst the bullets that skipped, hummingbird-like, through the air was an almost trivial task. As they cracked through the sound barrier at a relatively sedate 750 miles per hour, Bolt could speed past them even at a stroll. Only the sheer mass of hot lead, coming in all directions from wild-firing Syndicate soldiers made it difficult; more than once, he nearly ran into a line of fire while avoiding another.

Blood erupted in all directions as Bolt's hand caught a thickly-built enemy across the lips, splitting his cheeks open in both directions. The man fell, howling and gurgling, clutching at his ruined face, and the speedster decelerated into view just long enough to flick the red mess from his fingers. He favoured the remaining looters with a feral grin that held little humanity; less pity.

OOC: Bolt disables three enemies.

HP: 1; Status: Injured

Blood and fury thundered in his ears, but the bird of prey within circled its centre. Master Fong would have liked that metaphor, Rob Holt thought. Ruddy flesh cracked on his elbows, shoulders, hips, legs; skin charred and blistered from the heat of the missiles broke as he stretched, pushing himself into motion.

Osprey held few delusions about himself. At his core, he knew, he was one thing: a delivery man. He brought pain and punishment to those he felt deserved it, payment on arrival; justice, as society understood it at least, was the province of others, like the assistant district attorney they'd met at O'Malley's trial. Protection was good; protection was virtuous... but you didn't send a predator to act as a shield bearer, or stand in the path of relentless destruction with an all-too-human, all-too-fragile body. So as he flew himself back upright, unarmed but for his fists and training, and saw the Syndicate's leader shooting his already downed team mate, he knew what he had to do.

Outside the main cacophony of the conflict, his eyes narrowed behind the chipped and scratched lenses of his mask, following X's trajectory as the hurled fragment of metal smashed him in to the building, four storeys up. Spiralling like a misfiring Space Shuttle launcher on the jet of his propulsion-pack, X tumbled painfully through the air, struggling to gain control of his flight. Accurately judging his prey's point of crash-descent, Osprey streaked up into the air in pursuit. Any of the Centinels could have done the job, really; Bolt could have sprinted up the wall, if he hadn't been wading through the gangsters; Quantum could have done it in an eyeblink, assuming Wreck hadn't simply murdered him wherever they'd ended up; god only knew what kind of scaling apparatus Henry Elias Blackthorne could have produced from his ingenious little aresenal; and even the newcomer, the brickdoll Verve could have cleared the distance in one leap, if the way those long, long legs (pay attention, Rob) propelled her through the air at that very moment. Osprey rose past her, sliding through the air with his tattered costume and coat fluttering like a wounded raven's wing. His boots found purchase on the lip of an imploded window on the fourth floor, and he crouched, peering into the wrecked cubicle farm this level seemed to contain.

O'Malley had escaped him. He had let Red Hare walk away. But for X, vengeance was Osprey's.

HP: 2; Status: Injured 2

Miranda was less reticent about salting the air with curses as Verve's athletic legs quivered, bunched, and unleashed their terrific force straight down (leaving boot prints in the concrete). The teen idol cum lawyer cum superheroine vaulted over the grinding, whining hulk of WarGod, shooting into the air like no human should have been able to. The Syndicate lieutenant swung the barrel of her weapon up frantically, squeezing off a burst, but was unable to compensate for Verve's speed and arcing motion...

The few men still standing by their leader scattered as the ground compacted, denting under Astrid's landing. Amidst the gunsmoke and bits of glass raining down, chips of paving flew in all directions, adding a jagged note to the chaos. Her knees bent to control the impact, but she immediately straightened and rose to her feet. Face to face, they were of a height; Miranda a little more stocky, a little more square of jaw and hard of eye, a few years older. The briefest moment of Old West, battle-of-wills staring followed; before Miranda tried to jab the G36 into Verve's stomach and blow her away, at point blank range.

Astrid's hand shot down, intercepting the barrel as she heard a bang, felt the rifle shudder and its mechanism eject the spent cartridge. A red-hot bee stung her palm, blowing out a perfect 5.56 millimetre circle of her glove, and disintegrating harmlessly if painfully on her skin. Grimacing, she tweaked her wrist, and the metal warped into an uncomfortable angle with a screech. Miranda fought her damnedest for a moment, trying to keep hold of the weapon – but it was like trying to stop a car from moving, bare handed. Verve snatched the rifle up and crumpled it, doing damage in moments that would break the heart of some poor Heckler & Koch engineer as the bolt, scope and stock were torn to metal, glass and polymer splinters over her raised knee.

She might not be getting any Christmas cards from the NRA this year, but at least the Syndicate goons' leader was disarmed.

HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

Wincing as he re-balanced his multifunction gun to compensate for the recoil, the wound on Blackthorne's arm ached abominably, adding to the battering he'd already received during the battle. The gashes in his sleek, high-tech incursion suit shimmered in irrational cascades of colour as the material malfunctioned around the damage, and he felt a prickle of nerves every time a pair of eyes or a weapon was pointed his way, just in case his camouflage was ineffective.

Behind one of the pillars, fleeing the dark, omnipresent streak that was Bolt, Blackthorne spotted two of the suited footsoldiers taking cover and preparing to slip around and flank the Centinels. With a faint smile, he lifted the muzzle of the boom gun and let the electromagnetic launcher hurl a projectile in an arc towards them. The shell cracked on the angular pillar of marble-plated stone next to them, and the two men yelled in alarm as the coils sprung out, filling the air like brambles before the shape-memory metal clenched inwards and locked them in its inflexible embrace. Fingers and feet that weren't fully wrapped twitched feebly, but otherwise both were tightly bound.

Syndicate X
Still Standing: 3, plus lieutenant

Bullets pitter-pattered in all directions and from all directions as the handful of remaining lackeys turned on the almost equal number of novas. They snarled through the air where Bolt had been, and ricocheted on the concrete around Verve's feet. Blackthorne staggered as a lucky, probably random, shot glanced off his armour-padded chest, but failed to do more than leave a welt on him.

Meanwhile, Miranda recoiled back a couple of paces from Verve, arms flailing as she tried to keep from tripping over the bits of wrecked firearm strewn across the already buckled ground. Bumping against the disjointed plate glass door at the front of the building (currently non-functional due to the havoc the armoured mercenary and his cadre had wreaked), she caught herself and crouched, glaring at the superstrong young woman that had disarmed her. “Just drop, already, you bitch!” Miranda snarled, flicking her wrist so that the taser she'd taped to her forearm spilled out of her sleeve and into her waiting hand. Feinting with a rabbit punch to Verve's face, she swung the device around, stabbing it into the nova's shoulder. There was a crackle, and Verve felt a tingle as electricity arced over her skin, neither its electrode-tines or amperage able to penetrate her skin.

“Oh, come on...” Miranda groaned in disbelief.

OOC: The remaining lackeys have scattered far enough that you won't be able to catch more than one in an area effect (unless it's really large), and they've taken cover amidst the wrecked vehicles, rubble and buckled ground.

Left-Handed Bandit
22nd of November, 2007, 10:13
HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

Enough tricks, Henry, the entrepreneur thought to himself as he fought through the pain and stepped to his left, hoping his camouflage continued to deceive the eyes of the Syndicate X goons.

Blackthorne adjusted his gun to its main setting; it was time to end this fight and assess the damage done before the federal authorities began their raid. And maybe, just maybe, our mysterious "friend" is still in the building, ready to be captured and unmasked, Henry added.

He smiled at the goons, although his mask hid any trace of it; cover would do nothing for them against his marksmanship. However, they weren't the biggest threat. And while the lovely and shapely Verve probably had a handle on the syndiate lieutenant, Henry didn't have enough time to wait for her to end the sparring match.

I'm sorry, my dear soldier, Blackthorne mused, playtime is over.

With that, the technologist fired.

OOC: Blast against Miranda. If she's no longer a viable target, Henry will resign himself to taking out one of the remaining goons if they so much as give him a fingernail to shoot at (Precise Shot 2).

2nd of December, 2007, 10:24
HP: 1; Status: Brews for bros.

Of all the breweries in all the parts of Oklahoma City, they walk into this one. At first, he thinks the name on the sign outside is a misnomer. Breweries aren’t supposed to be fancy. The napkins here are made of actual cloth and not paper. While the pint glasses he spies next to plates of filet mignon are of some comfort, he sees too many salads and fru-fru drinks to enjoy it. Maybe he could get past that if there had been a mechanical bull, but no dice. The very air reeks of a class located four or five steps higher on the social ladder than the rung Tracy currently occupies.

It’s places like this that remind Tracy why he loves money so much. Adaptex infused body aside, he thinks of the All Mighty Dollar as the great equalizer. He might not have the nice clothes or the social graces, but Tracy has the cash. He became a mercenary because he was tired of being poor. But the money never bought respect—just obedience—and Tracy had despised the way he was looked at the last time he stepped into a BMW dealership. It didn’t matter that he had brought a briefcase and paid cash. That only heightened their judgment of him. They went from thinking he was an outcast to thinking he was a criminal. Maybe they were right.

Tracy’s initial dislike of the Brewery is greatly lessened by their ascension to the second floor where the bar proper resides. At this hour, and given the recent developments of the metahuman brawl he started outside, it stands empty save for the bartender. Tracy greets the man with an inclined nod and notes how his eyes shift between Tracy’s frame and Paul’s bruises.

“Gimme a pitcher. Something domestic,” Tracy says, turning his head to look at Paul. “What do you want?”

4th of December, 2007, 06:38
HP: 0. Status: Beaten, battered, and bruised.

Paul kept his left arm over Tracy's shoulder as they ascended the stairs, trying not to wince when the man supporting him swung around one of the landings. He couldn't do much to maintain his balance beyond simply hanging onto the man; his right arm still didn't want to do much.

Entering the bar brings a wash of memories, somewhat clouded by whatever damage was done to his eye. The first time he heard Pantera, playing on the stage to the left of the stairs. Back by the arcade games, he gave Anya their first kiss, lingering on it for over a minute. He couldn't recall how many times he'd had a plate of nachos the size of a hubcap brought up to his seat at the bar, much less how many beers he'd consumed here.

Beer was the last thing on his mind, now, Paul realized with a pang of regret — and a slight hiss of pain when his arm got jostled.

"Water," he said, hoping he wouldn't mangle the words too badly around that loose tooth. "Just water. And some rags."

14th of December, 2007, 09:05
HP: 2; Status: Bruised, Injured

Ryan glanced around the battlefield the predatory smile widening as he surveyed the destruction, part of him realized that he shoudn't be enjoying this as much as he was but he couldn't help it really, after the last couple of weeks it was nice to be on the giving end for once.

It was all such a waste, the destruction, the injuries, the death of an associate, it bothered him that it didn't bother him. X probably wouldn't have let him live anyways or was that just him trying to rationalize things or was he so broken that he could never live a normal life. He had always thought that he wanted the "American Dream", wife, kids, house on the street with a white picket fence, could he live that life now? Was it even possible? Did he even really want that? But that didn't really matter at this very moment, there were people trying to hurt him so he had to hurt them first, the fact that he was the one that started this little fight was forgotten.

ooc: - AP: Strike 5 (power feats: Mighty; extras: Autofire +2) “Mach-One Punch” on one of the remaining soldiers.

14th of December, 2007, 09:55
HP: 2; Status: Injured

Shrugging off the sensation as nothing more than the hopped-up static electricity assault it felt like on her super-tough skin, Verve clicked her tongue and darted forward, bum rushing the woman who'd first shot and then electrocuted her. Smashing her up against the heavy, off-kilter plate glass door at the front of the building, which cracked and groaned under the stress, the heroine lifted her boot and placed it firmly on the other woman's armored chest. Perched on one leg as she leaned in close, her raised thigh bare and flexing, Verve smiled.

"And here I thought you'd play nice after I took your gun away. Guess not. Forgive me if I don't wait to see if you have any other tricks up those sleeves."

Biting her lower lip and baring her teeth, Verve straighted her raised leg, shoving her opponent violently backward into the lobby, straight through what had once been billed as a shatter-proof door.

29th of December, 2007, 07:13
HP: 1; Status: Nominal

Somehow, the features of the room he had seen for so long – and seen nothing else but – managed to take on a new aspect in the light of his nervous hope and the giddy exhilaration of being able to fly more than a dozen feet from the pillar-island. The buzz of the lights and the imperfect whiteness they cast on the room, the smell of the cool concrete all around – strangely reminiscent of morning on a beach, when the sun had yet to warm the sandstone cliffs. All all seemed to swirl before Jase's eyes as he warped the molecules of the variable-translucency window to his needs, buckling it inwards.

The monitoring room beyond was almost an anticlimax.

Jase wondered if the scientists who had watched him from here had felt some kind of sick, voyeuristic thrill, or if it had been as tedious for them as it had been for him. Four comfortable, wheeled office chairs were scattered over the floor as if tipped and left in a careless hurry – the floor itself featured some kind of awful carbonised mess, like a pile of burnt garbage. Roughly two metres wise and one across, the black ovoid had the texture of charred pizza, and filled the air with a stink like someone had poured sugar and diced car tires on a barbecuing pork chop. On the far wall of the small room was a complex computer monitor and workstation, a keyboard and numerous specialised readouts and scientific input devices built into a crescent-shaped desk, overseen by a sophisticated webcam module.

There were several ways out of the room; to the left was a sliding glass door leading into some kind of office or conference room, darkened so that the door acted more like a mirror; in front of him, next to the computer set-up was a white-painted metal door with a chevron of yellow and black stripes on its surface; and to the right was a narrow corridor, sparsely lit with flickering lights. The walls of the monitoring station and the passage were made of neatly dressed concrete, with coloured horizontal lines painted on it marking where electrical conduits, water and gas pipes had been fixed to them.

Before Jase could do much more than look around and shuffle his feet to avoid the burnt mass on the ground, the webcam's operational light blinked on, and it swivelled up to focus on him. The lens whirred as the monitor flashed to life. Lines of numbers and data rolled across the screen, and a window appeared to flash up images; a Hello Kitty doll; a glimpse of Jase himself as he stood there, obvious transmitted live from the webcam; a ball of yarn; the atomic structure of Radium; and a flash of a woman, her blonde hair in disarray, soot smearing her frightened features – Dr. Amy MacIntyre. She was only on screen for half a second, but Jase's stomach gave a jerk of alarm, only heightened by the synthetic voice that addressed him from a hidden speaker.

“Good morning, Subject #002. I hope you enjoyed your recuperation in the Voluntary Mandatory Recreation Spheroid Enclosure. I am MAriE CurIE.”

The screen flashed up the name and its irregular capitalisation, displaying the letters in a column and letting them expand, explaining the acronym: Machine Arisen Emotional Curator IntelligencE.

“I am looking forward to testing your powers again, and I relish the opportunity to do science to you. Please proceed into the DoE|BellJar Voluntary Mandatory Personal Enrichment Course. Entering the DoE|BellJar Voluntary Mandatory Personal Enrichment Course will be considered an acceptance of the Subject Personal Safety Liability Waiver found in DoE headquarters, floor 16, office 1b, refuse recycling bin 5.”

The white metal door slide up into its frame with a hiss, revealing a corridor lined with odd, semi-reflective ceramic tiles.

29th of December, 2007, 08:13
Quantum & Wreck

A rangy man with tanned skin, a hairline that was not so much receding as making a rapid tactical withdrawal and caught up in a short ponytail at the back, the bartender's apprehension only increased as he saw dried and fresh blood on Paul's collar, and muscles quivering atop muscles under Tracy's thick hide.

“Christing hell, man,” he said, cautiously pulling out a handful of clean dishcloths from under the bar. “Were you in a car crash or somethin'?” He sounded almost hopeful that that was the case, as if trying to dismiss the possibility that the other man was the cause of such significant pulverisation. Pouring a generous pitcher of Molson Ice and a measure of cold water, he squinted at Paul again, as if trying to recollect his face before it had acquired such a varied and colourful set of contusions.

29th of December, 2007, 11:14
HP: 2; Status: Bruised, Injured

“No. No.”

The criminal shifted from scampering away as fast as the sundered terrain would let him move to swinging around, pointing his gun twitchily behind him. He saw the wiry, hollow-eyed man with the wind-tossed brown hair coming towards him, moving slowly, so slowly. The SMG's snug barrel came up, the clip almost trembling as it prepared to unleash a spray of armour piercing death.

His finger fell away from the trigger, but not before the coldly smiling man vanished in a dark streak that seemed to blur in all directions. “I don't want to do this,” the Syndicate footsoldier mumbled miserably, his arm going slack to drop the gun.

Flashing down to a human-visible speed for an instant, Bolt crested the piece of debris his foe stood atop, his leg snapping out to kick away the other man's footing. The soldier tumbled with a gasp of pain, the fall shredding his neatly-pressed suit and tearing one knee out of its socket. He hit the ground with a meaty thump, groaning his anguish into the pavement.

HP: 2; Status: Injured 2

Her leg still stretched out in the air like a murderous ballerina, Astrid Brant looked down as the heavy-set lieutenant of X-s goons smashed bodily through the toughened glass pane and skidded across the intricate Mediterranean mosaic floor of the lobby, imported and relaid by hand from Macedonia. It wasn't a clean, sugar-glass Hollywood fall; Miranda bled. A lot. Her red-slicked stungun slipping from a badly torn hand, she gave a gurgle of pain, writhing where the shards had lacerated her ribs and shoulders, even slashing through her kevlar vest.

If she'd still been in the Millennium Kids, Verve thought, she might have had a scriptwriter to make sure she had a one-liner for a situation like this. 'Don't let the door slam you on the glass on the way out'. 'Just tell 'em you cut yourself shaving'. 'That's seven years bad luck to add to your seven to ten for armed robbery'.

Truth be told, Astrid wasn't exactly in the mood for snappy, sadistic jokes. She regained her balance as Miranda flopped into a state of traumatic near-unconsciousness, shards of broken glass raining down from the kick-hole that marked the new entrance to the Rising Sun building's central offices.

HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

Fighting through the pain was an point of pride for the Blackthorne clan. His father, old Josiah Blackthorne, had governed the family fortunes up until the very last week of his life, even as the caner rotted away his body from the inside, never giving an inch, never showing a second of weakness. Following that, of course, the estates, trusts and accounts had fallen to Henry, and he had transformed the residues of a wealthy family dating back to America's earliest colonies into a multinational corporation worth anywhere between 500 million and four billion dollars – depending on who you listened to, and which set of books you read.

Ribbons of colour danced through the air as his damaged suit tried to match its surroundings, but Henry paid neither them, nor the bruises and broken-feeling bones beneath any heed. Stretching out his arm he sighed along the Boom Gun's sophisticated targeting array. Miranda was out for the count, so only a pair of targets remained. There was the sound of blunted thunder that was the weapon's trademark; one of the men spiralled to the ground in the midst of trying to clamber over a wrecked car, the projectile tearing through armour and flesh, leaving only ruin in its wake.

The single remaining man flinched, seeing his comrade fall, but in taking his eyes off the ground slipped in a puddle of vomit, the legacy of one of the other unpleasant modes of Blackthorne's weapon. Skidding onto his knees, the man slumped in defeat, throwing his DP-9 submachine gun away and knotting his fingers behind his head, shivering in fear.

A sort of calm settled over the plaza. It was hard to call it a true calm, marked as it was by the screams and moans of a nearly a dozen injured or crippled men and the heavy unconsciousness of a half-dozen more. Somewhere a few floors above, in that near-silence, Osprey must be stalking the Syndicate's leader, the last remaining vestige of the group (barring the 'Port and his lucky escape).

The Mechanic lay unmoving amidst it all, surrounded by carnage and wreckage that made his company look like a warzone. His life's work in ruins, and his life itself – over? Or were there signs of life in him still?

Left-Handed Bandit
11th of January, 2008, 12:10
HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

Henry Elias Blackthorne wasn't the most loyal of men, nor the most selfless, nor known for looking to any other interests, save those that advanced his own. But, neither did he entirely lack compassion, especially for trusted advisors and colleagues.

And it was this lesser known quality that the multi-billionaire drew upon as he crossed the short distance to the Mechanic's body and kneeled to check for life in his one-time rival.

"Come on, Rob, you can't get out of this the easy way," Henry quipped. "Hang in there. We'll get you help."

Looking up, he caught the attention of the shapely powerhouse near the front entrance.

"You, there! The buxom one in the tights! Yes, you! Come here!" he called, not bothering with decorum when he didn't even know the heroine's code name, gesturing her over with his free hand. "He needs to get to a hospital right away!"

11th of January, 2008, 16:37
HP: 2; Status: Injured 2

"No smart-ass commentary about this goddamned suit," Verve said testily as she jogged over, looking awfully good as she did, despite the bumps and scrapes she'd suffered. "This is really the first time I've worn it, and... well, this is the first time I've worn it. I'll be making some changes. So watch it, Blackwell."

Tugging at and adjusting her costume to make sure nothing had slipped free in the melee, Astrid knelt near the Mechanic and her expression fell. "Shit. He's really hurt." Looking up at the leader of the Centinels, the woman's masked expression was lined with concern. "I can probably carry him to Mercy before we can get paramedics here -- you want me to take him?"

Left-Handed Bandit
12th of January, 2008, 04:56
HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

"It's Blackthorne -- as in that Blackthorne -- and yes, please do. We don't have time to wait for the authorities," Henry replied, sparing only a brief glance at the woman kneeling next to him before returning his attention to the failing Mechanic. "Tell them to bill the Centinel Foundation. Mr. Thomas is a valued 'contributor.'"

When she scoops up Rob and readies herself to leave, the black-clad businessman adds, "Oh, one more thing, miss. What is your code name?"

18th of January, 2008, 17:36
HP: 2; Status: Injured 2

Slowly and carefully picking up the mechanic, lifting his broken, inert form in her slender, incredibly powerful arms, Astrid Brant stood for a moment as the wind blew, rustling her dark hair. The corner of her mouth twitched for a moment before she answered, then she turned her eyes, hidden behind her mask, onto Blackthorne.

"Verve," the woman said simply, unsure if she was proud or embarrassed of the name she'd decided upon, and then she was off, bounding a few steps before launching herself into the air, still gently cradling the ailing Centinel inventor.

Left-Handed Bandit
19th of January, 2008, 10:50
HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

Henry stood, following Verve's retreating form until it momentarily disappeared behind a hedgerow, before emerging again as she continued on her assigned task.

Lingering a moment longer, Henry's thoughts turned to the source of this carnage: the enigmatic "Mr. X" -- for lack of an actual name -- and his syndicate of well-trained monkeys. Henry thought it poor taste that his counterpart be so close in style so soon after Blackthorne had debuted his own costume, not that it surprised him at all; the entrepreneur was used to cheap knock-offs attempting to imitate him. Such was the life of a wildly-successful, high-profile businessman.

But still, Mr. X and his syndicate either knew of RiSun's seizure beforehand or very quickly after, meaning they likely had insider information (either with the government or within RiSun itself). Henry would need to ensure he didn't have similar moles within his own organization, and certainly not within the Foundation. He'd have to get Ms. Stone to look into it.

The aches and pains of the recent conflict started to make their presence known, and Henry decided he better start moving before he was too stiff do anything more than lay down and wince.

Thinking again how wonderful it would be for the entire team to have transceivers for instant communication, Henry trotted toward the front of the building. He knew vaguely where Mr. X and Osprey entered on the fourth floor, and, since he hadn't seen the flying martial artist return, the Centinel was still in pursuit or engaged with the criminal. This mysterious technologist needed to be apprehend and unmasked, and his technology disassembled and studied. At the very least, it could be reverse-engineered to install into Henry's gear.

On a side note, Henry should see how much of Rob's files, blueprints and prototypes he could salvage. He had visited RiSun once or twice, before either CEO had thought of joining the Centinels, and had a very general idea where to search. Unfortunately, the Mechanic would have been the best choice to do this work, even if he weren't the brilliant mind behind the bulk of the technology created here. Henry furrowed his brow with an unusual serious determination and pressed forward.

As he passed the semi-conscious syndicate lieutenant, Blackthorne strikes her hard in her kevlar vest with a quick downward thrust of his telescoping baton...

21st of January, 2008, 19:30
Quantum and Wreck
Status: Elsewhere.

As Tracy dragged his former companion — truth be told, perhaps the only person in the Centinels who gave a rat's ass — to a table, he gave the ceiling and walls a cursory scan for cameras and other recording devices. Finding none (or, at least, none that were obvious), he helped Paul into a seat. He ordered a handful of brews and, at Paul's suggestion, a large plate of nachos. Paul settled for water, without ice, and tried very hard to keep his injuries from slurring his voice.

They talked for quite some time, wandering over various topics."It's not like the choices were great. Leave town with a little money or get paid to turn for X. Refusal meant fighting a meta that couldn't be beaten."

"Ouch. Rock and a hard place. I ended up having to kill a guy who started a riot at, get this, a Beastie Boys concert."

"Ouch. Rough crowd."

"Seriously, though... What sort of hold does X have on ya?"

*sigh* "He's calling all the shots, you know? He's like the gearhead, but nastier. Got ahold of one of my old partners. Guy can't be beat. You punch him in the face and he gets stronger. Plus he's got something planned. Something big. Maybe bad. I don't know."

"Wait. So it's some sort of machine thing that let's you do that...stuff?"

"Yep. I thought you knew."

"Huh. That's kinda weird. Do you ever need to take it out? Change it?"

"What about X?"

"What about him?"

"Guy could probably have me killed next time I go to a bar."

"Stick around with me, then, and wish him luck trying. You think anyone could beat BOTH of us? I mean, really."

"Yeah, you're right. It's just...you ever worry that maybe people like that find out who your family is? You know? Maybe kill them instead?"

"My dad's dead already."


"Driving while drunk. Took a nose-dive off the interstate."

"Aw, shit."

[points out the window] "That interstate, actually. I-40."

"Now, I've got to figure out something I've been putting off this past hour."


"Well, apart from cracked ribs and such... I think I shorted out the thingamajig they put in me."

"Oh. Shit."
Finally, having reached an agreement, Paul pulls his PDA off his belt, thankful that it didn't get broken during the beating he received. He checks a couple screens, jotting something down on a napkin and pushing it across the table. With that done, he activates its built-in phone; he'd prefer to use his communicator, but it's well out of range of home.

He dials the number listed for Henry Blackthorne, then waits for an answer. As he waits, he tries to bring up whatever it was that he did in his head that called his teleportation-field into being. Just to be on the safe side, he gets up and moves to the dance-floor; it's closer to the windows, anyway, and he doesn't know if the building will mess with his phone's reception.

[OOC: We had a REALLY long talk, got some interesting things covered, but it's not worth posting it all. As mentioned, trying to bring up some fast-transit ability while listening to the phone ring.]

23rd of January, 2008, 08:43
New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York.
Last Aid
12:45 pm, January 17th 2010.


The Rising Sun plaza, being a thoroughfare and Mecca for nerds and demi-geniuses of all stripes was well supplied with WiFi transceiver pods and public information kiosks. A quick check of one of the latter (that hadn't been crushed by falling masonry or torn out of the ground to serve as impromptu cudgels) had revealed that the closest medical facility was New York Presbyterian. Verve supposed that information like that might have been useful, in a company staffed and run by, if not mad, then somewhat monomaniacal scientists. With her curt introduction to Henry Elias Blackthorne, she had started to jog down one of the more or less intact roads away from the plaza. The jog became a run; a sprint; a leap of incredible power and finesse, and then the masked woman was gone, almost as unexpectedly as she had arrived.

The finest legs in the New York legal and superheroing professions bunched and kicked, propelling Astrid Brant (no d) onwards, upwards and forwards. With a solid run up and once she'd gotten into her stride, she could cover a good hundred feet with each bound – the hardest part was making sure she didn't land in traffic (or on a skylight, or on some delicatessen's awning)... and trying not to bounce the ravaged body any more than absolutely necessary. Wrapped in the remains of his armoured coat, the Mechanic's body felt frighteningly... squishy in Verve's sure grasp. Broken bones shifted against the jelly sacks of his organs, and the wound in the middle of his chest where X had shot him, like a coward, stunk of burning copper.

New Yorkers that happened to be looking skywards, or staring out of high rise windows gawked at the athletic blur of pink and black that shot through the city in fast, careful, punctuated arcs. A hotdog vendor brought his cart to a startled halt, spilling packets of mustard all over the place as Verve landed, leaving a faint pattern of bootprints in the pavement, took a step and shot up again on forcefully quivering pins. One particularly epic jump took her all the way across the Spuyten Duyvil creek, a greasy artery of green-grey water lurking its way along the northern edge of Manhattan, and she landed easily amidst the trees of High Bridge Park. Bits of snow still clung to the pine branches, only the mud and muck stopping it from being a white post-Christmas. Another few bounds took her to Audobon Street; the towering grey slabs of the hospitals many centres stretched out ahead and above her. As soon as she had cast about to find the Accident & Emergency intake, she carried her battered cargo towards it.

As the merciless forces of Serendipity would have it, duty nurse Kara Pontelli was not having the best of days. First, one of her paramedics had gone missing. Then someone had undercooked the seafood salad at a Shriners convention, and respectable middle-aged men were vomiting all over her ward. And now... a woman in not much of a costume was kicking her way through the door, carrying a man's body with no trace of effort. Though instinct and training propelled her forwards, she hesitated for a moment, eyeing the slumped form with the broken goggles pushed up onto his forehead and blood dripping slowly from one finger of a drooping, red stained hand. The woman she, Kara, couldn't place... but wasn't that guy one of the Centinels, that gang of superpowered psychotics that kept popping in to make her life miserable, with their hammer-induced dental traumas and inexplicable ball-bearings lodged in their lower intestines and people they apparently stabbed in alleyways for no good reason.

Kara Pontelli grimaced, and sighed. All but vaulting over the registry counter, she wove through the crowd of nosebleeds and dislocated ankles towards the more critical case. “Hey! You!” An arm snapped out as she passed, pointing demandingly at a figure sprawled on one of the gurneys that lined the blue-tiled walls. The occupant, a scruffy college-aged boy jerked to his feet, made spontaneously guilty by the tone in the nurse's voice. He'd had a minor narcogenic epileptic seizure, but Kara suspected he'd be fine, so long as he stayed off the drugs (which meant she fully expected to see him back in here by the end of the week; she may have only been 31 years old, but in cynicism about human nature she was 106). “Get offa that!”

Grabbing the now empty gurney, the nurse wiped her hands on her scrubs and pushed it towards Astrid. “What the hell'd you do to this guy?” she grumbled.

23rd of January, 2008, 10:40
Quantum & Wreck
HP: 1; Status: Bruised, Exhausted; HP: 1; Status: Nominal

Several minutes later, after several glasses of water that his throat seemed to crave (well, he'd probably lost a lot of fluids... like blood), a cautious handful of nuts and a long sit down, much to the relief of his pulverised extremities, Paul Forrester was willing to concede that maybe he wasn't going to die. A decent recuperative rate was one of the advantages of being hale and in good shape; so although 90% of him was still sore and felt like it'd been worked over by a Swedish masseur with a meat tenderiser, he felt a little better.

After their wandering conversation had come to some kind of conclusion, or at least hiatus, Quantum prised himself from the chair to make a call. Wreck demolished another beer, stifling a belch in what for him was a display of high etiquette, then made his way over to one of the windows. Toying with a toothpick, the big man glanced down at the street below, noting the mobs of police lurking not far out of sight. Oklahoma City was not what you'd call big-time in terms of superhuman crime and related problems; the local police didn't have the hardware to tackle a couple of high-end supers that gatecrashed the city with their personal problems. Statistically, there may have been a nova or two in the local population; but equally, chance were that they weren't the costumes and crime-fighting types. Maybe an elementary school teacher who could freeze small volumes of water, or a bus driver with an uncanny knack for guessing the results of sports matches.

Lifting one thickly-muscled arm to rest on the bricks of the window frame, Wreck grunted to himself. He could almost feel the scopes of police sharpshooter rifles on him, a soldier's survival instinct tickling at the back of his mind. But really, what was an ordinary .308 slug going to do? Tick him off? Might as well be firing BB guns.

Removing himself to a safe distance from any furniture, Pauk cautiously began to feel around with his mind, looking for that... torrent of energy, that nick on the pane of spacetime that would provide the notch to let him shatter and bend reality. Slowly, his skin began to tingle, and waves of translucent, incandescent violet shimmered across his vision, rising like heat-haze from the ground. For a moment, Paul seemed to bloat, swelling in every direction at once as he threatened to engulf the entire cosmos within himself; but then the effect turned inwards, and in a fraction of time too small for gauge bosons to exchange information he receded, dwindling into a point of infinite smallness. Paul Forrester was nowhere at once; the living, crackling event horizon that was Quantum blazed into being, immolated with subatomic energy.

Incongruously, he began to tap a number into his palmtop computer.

The signal flared from the antennae, but at the speed of light rebounded off the interior of Quantum's spatial distortion field. The radio signal folded back onto itself, the frequency running away faster and faster and faster, creating a loop that caused the PDA t emit a squawk of escalating pitch that made his teeth ache and ears recoil in pain. Hastily, Quantum shut the thing off. Clearly, ordinary technology wasn't meant to operate inside a transpatial warp.

OOC: Quantum had enough time and relaxation to successfully make a recovery check from one of his Bruises. Q&W both get a hero point for settling things like gentlemen, and having what was no doubt an enlightening conversation.

23rd of January, 2008, 11:41
Bolt & Blackthorne
HP: 3; Status: Bruised, Injured; HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

The clash of novas was often compared to Titanomachy; the war of the gods, the battle of the titans. Part of the RiSun building's front colonnade teetered dangerously on the brink of collapse, where the MsF's Stronghold had nearly shattered it and set it smashing down on the fighters below; even now, it shed just and faux-obsidian chips unnervingly. The ground was pockmarked with craters from WarGod's ordnance, cars reduced to hot metal scrap and workshops and display rooms adjacent to the plaza emitting smoke from colossal shell-holes punched in their walls by the autocannon. Parts of the skyscraper's façade still shone silvery in the winter sunlight, but other sections were jagged-edged black pits, yawning into the building's innards where the looters had already got to work, or where some super-strong combatant had idly tossed a piece of wreckage.

But to the eyes of the SWAT team and police elite interdiction and containment unit that scurried across the battlefield as silence fell, it could equally have been a spat between ungodly-powerful children, with little concern for anyone caught in the middle.

At a series of rapid hand signals from their officers, the armed police began to disperse across the corporate campus, securing the unconscious or captured Syndicate soldiers and their super-mercs. A cry of “Sam Paul Boy!” went up from behind the damaged column; the bloodied, motionless form of Stronghold was dragged out. Despite her neck being and awkwardly twisted mess of bruised and swollen tissue, at least three guns were trained on her every moment. A containment specialist rushed forwards to inject the sedatives and moxaquinone neurotransmitter blockers that – in most cases – suppressed nova capabilities. Once the thick syringe, designed to puncture armoured flesh, was empty, he began welding the heavy-duty alloy cuffs in place on her wrists and ankles. The coded shout was repeated over by Candomble's battered body, and he was taken in to custody as well. Other officers began handcuffing and Mirandising the more human criminals; taking care to avoid the puddles of vomit and weird, almost artistic metal coil-sculptures that were the hallmark of Henry Elias Blackthorne's non-lethal arsenal.

A tall man in a black field uniform detached from the group and approached Bolt and Blackthorne. Pulling the fabric mask that covered most of his down below his jaw and revealing a neatly-trimmed ginger moustache. “Captain Tillerman,” he snapped precisely, brusque through efficiency rather than rudeness. The SWAT commander glanced between the two men, before his gaze settled on the industrialist. Henry could hardly blame him; Ryan Sanders was pale and waxy-skinned, trembling almost at super-speed so that his fingers were an indistinct blur and with an almost feverish glint in his eyes. Charitably, that might have been because he was nearly as badly beaten-up as Blackthorne himself... but there was something about the Centinel that made him, Blackthorne, think of a junky looking for his next fix. Was speed addictive, somehow? Or was it just the man coming down from the fear and stress of combat?

“We got two Sam Paul... that's super powered beings. Where are the rest? And your team?” Tillerman rested his elbow on the butt of the carbine slung over his shoulder, giving Henry Elias Blackthorne that was appraising and, it must be said, not a little impressed.

24th of January, 2008, 21:17

"Guys, this is seriously not funny," Jase said in a low, displeased tone while fervently wishing that he really believed it to be a joke. A psychological test? Maybe. But after God knew how long of being trapped in the damn tokamak, dumping him out into this just seemed insane. Jason's jaw set, his teeth grinding together hard. He would be leaving here today. Whether it was a stupid test, or whether this AI had actually been hurting people didn't matter. The only difference would be the number of pieces that this damn prison was in by the time he left it, and how many people were coming out with him. His expression soured to something typically teenage and defiant. "Fuck your waiver, and fuck your science. I'm gonna be breathing fresh air inside the hour," he told the screen.

Defiance didn't make Jase incautious, though. He balled up his fist, drawing together the molecules of the air around his hand to create a small steel sphere in his palm, as revealed by his unfurling fingers. Staring down the hallway, he tossed the ball in. If there were a magnetic field in there to screw with him, then the metal ball would feel it first.

25th of January, 2008, 10:29
HP: 1. Status: Bruised, exhausted.

Paul snapped the cover of his PDA back into place and replaced the device at his belt. "Tracy, good news: our ride's here. Grab your beer." As the meathammer joined him in the center of the dance-floor, the largest clear area in the room, Paul asked him, "So, where's a safe spot to drop you off? How about the subway you thrashed the other day?"

Once his passenger is close enough, he calls up the warp-field again. Never realized I'd actually MISS this. With a series of hops, each far more conservative than his last one, he makes his way back home.

25th of January, 2008, 17:06
HP: 2; Status: Injured 2

Walking to the gurney, the masked woman laid the Mechanic's broken form down as gently as she could -- the trip over had jostled the man, frankly, but hopefully he'd end up the better for it being in the hands of health care professionals that much sooner.

"I carried him here is what I did," Verve answered, looking sidelong at the battle-tested nurse as she stepped back from the badly injured man. "Someone else, however, shot a hole through his chest with some kind of electrified harpoon and then dropped him a few stories onto the pavement. I got him here as soon as I could, but as you can see he's in bad shape." The bloody footprints leading back down the hall from where the woman had entered the emergency room were testament to just how much blood the inventor had lost, and, looking down, the dark-haired woman realized what a horror-show her shapely legs and sleek costume had become, and she exhaled evenly and realized that her hard-beating heart was finally slowing. Her decision to help the Centinels, the frenzied battle, the desperate race to get the Mechanic to the hospital -- all together, it was considerably more stressful than standing in front of even the crankiest of judges.

Left-Handed Bandit
26th of January, 2008, 10:24
HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

The chairman of the Centinel Foundation stops short of the emergency staircase when he notices the reflections of several members of New York's finest SWAT arriving on scene to mop up the mess.

He gives a nod to Bolt as the speedster comes to a stop -- if the high-velocity nervous ticks that blur the meta's image could actually be considered "stopping" -- next to him in front of the cheesy-moustached commander.

"My team is in pursuit of the remaining members of the Mercenaries sans Frontiers, who have fled the field," Henry offered, dismissing Tillerman's approving gaze by meeting it with easy calm, as if the businessman had just completed an afternoon jog.

"We believe there are one or two metas still inside the building. I have one man already inside investigating; Bolt here and I were just about to join him," he added. "You folks better hang outside until we can confirm the area clear. No need for unnecessary casualties. Bolt?"

26th of January, 2008, 10:58
HP: 3; Status: Bruised, Injured

Ryan's hands clench unconsciously as he notices Blackthorne looking at him oddly, he gives a small sigh of relief when the SWAT member approaches them.

"One of them teleported out early in the fight," he says to the commander, "there should be another in there." He says gesturing to the destroyed battle mech, "said his name was Wargod or something like that, you might need the jaws of live to get him out. If he is still alive."

"Osprey has been gone to long, I will scout it out and see what's going on." He tells Blackthrone before he is off running up the side of the building entering the hole that the mysterious X made only a few minutes before.

29th of January, 2008, 02:22
HP: 1; Status: No more heroes.

Special Weapons and Tactics arrive on the scene, deploying alongside the regular uniformed officers. America’s breadbasket doesn’t see much in the way of metahuman activity and it shows in Oklahoma City’s lack of readiness. It occurs to Tracy that the flyover states might be ripe for heists and thuggery. But that’s the problem. He can’t pull a simple bank job. Masked robbers toting AK-47s could be anyone. There isn’t a long list of guys who can shrug off gunfire and rend open a vault with his bare hands. He has all the power and no way to use it.

It’s why he’s in league with men like X. They provide the means for Tracy to use his talents. He tried to convey that to Paul. It’s not that Tracy is a villain; it’s that he can’t do anything else. He’ll never hold a normal job. He’ll never be a normal person. When you can press an F-150 over your head, sitting in a cubicle in Accounts Receivable at the local insurance office just doesn’t work. That leaves two kinds of people to work for: the Centinels and X. Black hat, white hat—at the end of the day they aren’t that different. Neither has any regard for Tracy.

He watches the scene unfold outside. Men bark orders and talk into radios. The members of SWAT take up positions with their assault rifles, covered further back by dozens of police officers crouched tactically behind their cruisers. Likely a few snipers were taking up residence on the rooftops of nearby buildings. But it isn’t the armament of that holds his attention. It’s the looks on their faces. Uncertainty is painted across most, with fear on some. A select few hold grim determination. Tracy smiles. They won’t have to learn whether or not they’re ready for a metahuman crisis tonight. These guys will all go home safe. Sometimes it isn’t the doing that matters; it’s the knowledge that you can.

A half-empty bottle of beer dangles between his fingers, the brown glass reflecting the dim bar lights. Tracy raises it to his mouth and takes a pull. Behind him, Paul is messing with the machine inserted in his chest, trying to conjure up his mojo. The two of them are very different. Tracy rebels against the laws of physics, but with Paul the basic laws of the universe rebel against him. Paul works for the Centienls and is an all-around good guy. Tracy works for X and isn’t a good example of a decent human being.

Throughout his brief stint with the Centinels, Paul had been the only one to treat Tracy as anything more than a dumb brute. The rest of the organization had regarded him as a force of nature to be unleashed in a controlled setting. Never did the organization consult him or try to use any of his skills that fell under a category other than Savage Beatings. He was a tool to be used only as the job dictated. They had him pegged. Tracy cares for himself, first and always. He isn’t a Good Samaritan. He doesn’t feel compelled to help others. He’s not cut out to wear a cape.

“Yeah,” he says. “Anywhere in the city is fine.”

He can never be a hero. He can only be Tracy.

Left-Handed Bandit
30th of January, 2008, 08:16
Bandit Blackthorne
HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

Henry watches the speedster streak away, then returns his attention to the SWAT commander. "If you'll excuse me, Captain," the entrepreneur adds, before turning and heading back inside the building.

2nd of February, 2008, 08:01
HP: 1; Status: Nominal

The webcam swiveled to observe him.

“Subject #002 is reminded that profanity engenders an unhappy working environment, and has been linked to instances of sudden, brutal death. Question: Do you kiss your female bioprogenitor with that mouth?”

The sphere clunked loudly as it hit the floor, and bounced a few times with a metallic tinkle before rolling off down the passage, apparently unmolested by magnetic fields.

“What was that?” the computer's oddly-modulated voice asked, watching the steel sphere roll away. “Subject #001 did not waste valuable science time playing with simple geometric shapes. Please enter the DoE|BellJar Voluntary Mandatory Personal Enrichment Course. Failure to do so will result in the opening of... the Box.”

Ominously, the screen flashed up a picture of a simple black plastic cube with a sealed lid as its top face, and several large tanks or gas canisters connected to it via flexible pipes.

2nd of February, 2008, 08:43
HP: 4; Status: Injured 2

“Check out those legs! I mean, sure, covering in gore, ewww, but man-o-man!”

“If I had a butt like that, I'd wear a spandex thong, too. Hmph. I bet as soon as she's outta here, she's shoving her fingers down her throat and chucking up that tiny salad she had for lunch. Cow.”

Snapping on fresh gloves, nurse Pontelli gingerly pressed her fingers to the skin of Rob Thomas's stomach, and cringed as it distended wetly under her touch. “Jesus. Oh, Jesus. Suze! Get Dr. Hauser, and Alvin! And whoever's available on gastrointestinal! Jesus.” She peeled his eyelid back, and looked down into the eye. “Jesus, God. And some neurosurgeons. Lots of neurosurgeons!”

“Hey, isn't that Supra? From the Millennium Kids?”

“No kidding? I loved that show! Man, looks like she went the typical former-child-star route, though... if it's not drugs and booze, it's killing a guy with your bare hands!”

“Like Macaulay Culkin?”

“Yeah, exactly.”

Angrily, she turned to glare at Verve, her tightly-tied ponytail whipping across her back. Reaching out, she shoved the superheroine hard in the shoulder... which resulted in the nurse stumbling backwards, and Verve remaining stationary and bemused. “What did you do? Take a pogo stick? Fly a loop-de-fucking-loop? His brain... his eyes... his menginges are swelling like there's a balloon in his brain? Do you understand? The fall ruptured his lungs and bowels, and you, you... shook him up! He's drowning in his own chyme and faeces, you stupid bitch!”

“She sounds pissed... you think that super-chick wasted that guy?”

“Then brought him into the emergency room? Duh, no way. Sheeze, stop staring at that hole in her costume, man! She'll waste you, too!”

OOC: I feel kinda bad about this post... screwing you with 'realism' when you had the best of intentions. Have a couple of Hero Points.

7th of February, 2008, 12:02

"Fucking great," Jase muttered beneath his breath, feeling more fear than exasperation, but allowing himself to express more of the latter. "First I get shoved in front of a bus, then I blow the damn thing up, get locked up in a sci-fi prison for God knows how long, and now I'm being screwed with by Hal-9000's psycho little sister." He sighed, and swallowed, clenching his jaw as he stared forward towards the apparently-unmagnetized tunnel. He almost added 'could things get any worse?' at the end of his subdued rant, but honest fear of jinxing himself kept Jase silent.

He looked down at himself, dressed in yesterday's clothes and feeling still like a captive. He wasn't willing to concede to that any more, not in appearance, and not in actuality. Before his eyes his plain white jumpsuit began to darken and thicken, splitting into layers of clothing and transmuting into different kinds of material. Thin cotton blend trousers became heavier and tighter, turning into faded blue denim. The material at the ends of his legs grew outwards, covering his feet while they transmuted into the more comfortable elastic-and-polyester of the socks he'd had at home, finally splitting themselves away from his pseudo-jeans altogether before hardening with the emergence of his boots. Likewise his thin white top became a large, loose khaki t-shirt, and it seemed to unfold as a new dark brown suede jacket was birthed from it too. The young man - designated Subject #002 - looked down at his handiwork, pleased. At home he would have had to work around the house for months to get enough money from his dad to afford what he'd just created in a matter of moments here. Filled now with a little more confidence, Jase looked back at the hallway he had thrown the metal ball down, and then towards the white door, intent on playing this game for just long enough to find Dr. MacIntyre (and her fabulous, no doubt grateful legs) and get out of here.

Again he clenched his fist, using his unique abilities to tear apart the protons and neutrons and electrons of the air molecules surrounding his fist. They came together again quickly, though in different configurations. Jase felt a slight breeze stir about his fingers as he created an unintended vacuum, not only increasing the density of the material by turning gas to solid, but also by encouraging the particles to take on denser configurations, requiring an uneven ratio of atoms to begin with as compared to those after he was done. These forces danced about his hands, the exotic machinery of his psionic nuclear abilities twisting the universe - or the part of it closest to Jase - into new configurations in a manner than was more alchemical than chemical. With a few well-placed strides, he moved towards the white door, which opened automatically before him. At the whoosh of the apparent invitation, Jase stood before the well-lit corridor, covered as it was in reflective ceramo-metallic tiles. Taking in a breath he opened his palm and tossed in the new ball-bearing.

To his surprise and relief, the thing bounced and clattered as he would expect a metal ball to do anywhere... for a moment at least. It wasn't until the sizzling sound of the ball-bearing being liquified and then dissolved by the strength of the magnetic fields that were bound tightly, with near-unimaginable force to the tiles, that he realised that the metal ball had left a discolouration where it first bounced, from the atoms that had been ripped away and left bound to the floor. In horror he stared at the little piece of metal while it was torn asunder on a molecular level, and frantically he tried to ward away thoughts of what that might do to him. Slowly he swallowed, and made an attempt at controlling his breathing. The very idea of the magnitude of those forces was terrifying... Suppressing a shudder, Jason Gilmore stepped forward towards the threshold of the hallway, and leaned down. He placed his hand upon the floor, just in front of the first tile as he came to a squatting, crouching position. Beneath his fingers he felt the cool hard surface of the viewing room's floor. And he felt it become softer, grainier as he applied his will to it. The tan colour of well-sanded pine spread out from his point of contact, slowly rolling forward towards the odd tiles, attempting to subsume their very nature and in so doing, strip them of the danger they posed.

8th of February, 2008, 09:34
Blackthrone, Bolt & Osprey
HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured; HP: 3; Status: Bruised, Injured; HP: 1; Status: Injured

“In there?” Tillerman said in surprise, glancing at the pile of wreckage that had once been a multi-ton bipedal warmachine. “Christ. You guys did a number there.” He turned away with a nod of recognition to the two Centinels, making a tactical gesture to his officers. “Malone, Sikorsky! Get some heavy manipulators from the boys in FD!”

Glancing back as the captain set to work clearing up after the post-human battle, Blackthorne dragged his gloved hand across his chin, wiping away some blood that was drying into an itchy, crackly mess in his beard. His own blood, he thought, looking down at the mess on his hand with a twitch of intestinal revulsion that betrayed no external sign. There was an aching tension across his chest, and dozens of spots of piercing pain all over his body, the result of exertions that were quite different from his meticulous exercise regimen and even the combat training he put himself through; and the scars and wounds of genuine attempts on his life. Despite the pain, that almost made him smile; he had many, many enemies, and it was refreshing that the ones from the Syndicate and MsF were honest enough to actually try and kill him, instead of merely sue, defame, subpoena or bankrupt him.

Bolt vanished in a blur, moving so fast that gravity had no time to raise a protest. Adjusting his grip in the multifunction hand cannon of his own design, Blackthorne walked towards the doors that Verve had so thoughtfully kicked down. A pair of SWAT officers were in the entrance, dragging the wounded and barely conscious Miranda out of the building and tagging the others hat were in no state to escape on their own, or even protest. The billionaire stepped over a patch of vomit, and was inside the cool confines of Rising Sun Applied Technologies.

The lobby was spacious, and ingenious holographic windows made it seem more so. They offered vistas of a white coral beach in the Bahamas; a sultry, bird-of-paradise haunted jungle in Papua New Guinea; a misty glen dominated by a comfortably renovated castle in Ireland, and others. The times of day in the projected images were accurate, making Blackthorne wonder if they were live feeds from remote cameras, or just synchronised holofilm loops. Either way, he made a mental note to try and scour anything the MsF and government failed to loot first, in hopes of acquiring the plans or patents for the technology. Between the diverse panoramas, a wide reception desk was scarred by the action of thuggish hands, with guttering, sparking sockets left like open electronic wounds where hard drives had been torn free. Cracked, cratered footprints marked the passage of WarGod, or the unusually careless tread of Wreck.

The way up was not hard to find; the Syndicate's gangster army had trampled an obvious path through the loose papers and wreckage of the interrupted pillage. Their trail lead to a kicked-open service door and a staircase leading up and down, which Blackthorne began to ascend. Based on the fact that X had entered through the damaged third floor window, that the Syndicate seemed to have a good deal of inside information on the RiSun operation, and making some shrewd guesses of his own on the building's layout, he began to try and work out where X's most likely escape routes would be. Even a 'progressive' high-tech firm like the Mechanic's would need facilities for the high-volume, (comparatively) low-skill code and number crunching work that defined the industry... and when Blackthorne crested the stairs, finding himself in a floor dominated by a labyrinth of computer workstations, sound and EM-proof partitions, he opened his mouth for a rare bout of self-congratulation. This area would provide exactly the kind of cover X would need to evade the Centinel's hunting him...

A wooden stick locked hard against Blackthorne's windpipe, cutting off any idea of making a sound.

Blackthorne had trained himself to be observant, but Osprey hadn't made a sound as he moved up behind the technologist. The two men were of a height, but the martial artist was a good 20 pounds lighter, lean, dense and without a scrap of excess flesh. Blackthorne could see the Centinel silently raise a finger to his lips, under the tattered and charred remains of his cowl; hush; and the pressure of the rattan fighting stick on his neck relaxed. Osprey's gaze flicked towards the infotech cubical farm, and Blackthorne pricked up his ears. There were words coming from somewhere not to far inside the maze of tall office palisades.

“It seems we are at an... impasse, gentlemen.” X's voice sounded strained, and there was the faint whirring of the mechanical limbs of his 'auto-surgeon' in the background. “I could, of course, engage my rocket and simply escape... but there is always the chance that my acceleration would not be sufficient, and that Bolt would be able to locate and catch me before I left the premises... or that Osprey would prove the superior flier in these cramped conditions. So, perhaps we can... negotiate? Something Mr. Blackthorne, you, I think, understand well.”

8th of February, 2008, 17:21
HP: 4; Status: Injured 2 (also, mortified)

Normally, crass comments about Astrid Brant's legs and backside, or about her aborted career as a teenaged superheroine, would draw at least a hostile glare from the attractive, dark-haired woman, and in her current guise as Verve, the woman wouldn't have to hold back at all, but then the nurse... the nurse said that the Mechanic was dying, and it was probably because of Astrid. She went numb as the hospital worker shouted at her, not even hearing the continuing banter in the background, until finally she realized that the other woman had tried and failed to push her away, and had called her a bitch.

"I was trying to help him. I was trying to save his life," the shocked nova responded. "He was -- he was just lying there, dying. The ambulance wouldn't have come in time, we didn't think -- it, it just seemed like the right thing to do, to get him to the ER as fast as I could."

Her eyes on the Mechanic and the medical team now rushing to his side, Astrid felt her knees go weak, which was highly unusual, considering the woman was able to do squats with a pickup truck on her back. "Fuck," she swore. "Fuck. I didn't know this would happen. I didn't know he would... I'm sorry. I was just trying to... do the right thing."

Verve stood dumbly by, feeling as helpless as she ever had in her life, and as doctor and technicians began working to try and save Rob Thomas' life, the assistant district attorney clenched her boxer-wrapped fists. "Fuck."

* * *

Feeling in no way like leaping and bounding her way home, Astrid took to the city's wintry streets after leaving the hospital. She did get her share of odd looks, but the fact was that most New Yorkers were just grizzled and jaded enough to simply walk past the rather ridiculously clad woman. Ignoring the few people who did gawk or comment, Verve made good time as she headed uptown, lost in thought and more upset than she'd been in a long time. A violently honking car horn shook the woman from her contemplation, but when she looked to the street she saw that the aggressive horn use wasn't directed at her, but rather at a young black woman trying to hurry her four-year-old across the street. The woman and her son had a green walk signal, but whomever sat in the car was trying to turn right and evidently didn't think they were moving quickly enough.

The vehicle was long and sleek, a late-model BWM 7-series, and the impeccably dressed, forty-something business man at the wheel had a bluetooth headset in his ear and a string of curses on his lips. When the young mother and her boy were finally out of his way, the man chirped his expensive car's tires as he spun around and corner -- and stopped with a squeal, scant feet short of Verve's stupendous legs. Walking to the driver's door, the masked woman tried the handle and found it locked, then tore the door off its hinges without effort and flung it across the street.

"Get out of the car," the woman commanded.

"John, I think I'm going to have to call you back."

"Get out of the goddamned car," Verve repeated.

"Are you going to hurt me?"

The distraught heroine answered by seizing the man by his silk tie and yanking, pulling him out of his car and out onto the street where he dangled briefly from her powerful hand before being dropped to the wet asphalt. Raising her leg as the now purple-faced man coughed and sputtered behind her, Verve drove her boot straight into the side of the BMW, sending it skittering across the street and into the curb, where it impacted and nearly rolled up onto its side. Her teeth gritted and her fists balled, Brant followed the vehicle across the road, stalking it like a panther. One mighty punch later and the vehicle was up on it's side, rocking back and forth as plastic and glass and sublime German sheet metal rained down all over the street. Jumping, the woman came down on the vehicle with both feet, crushing the rear quarterpanel and part of the trunk with her high-impact footwear. Stumbling off of the car, Verve proceeded to deliver three minutes of the worst woman-on-car violence that had ever been perpetrated. The thing was unrecognizable when she was finished, chassis torn in two, engine block smashed to pieces, wheels and dash and seats and grill and all sorts of other components strewn all over -- there was virtually nothing left. Her anger finally abating, Verve drew a series of steadying breaths and turned to the petrified driver, statuesque and somehow looming even among the giant skyscrapers of New York City.

"Sorry," she finally said, brushing metal, plastic and glass from her hands, where she'd torn her wraps to shreds. "My old boyfriend had one of those. Kind of sets me off."

The woman was gone before the businessman could answer, bounding down the street.

Left-Handed Bandit
9th of February, 2008, 04:01
HP: 2; Status: Bruised 2, Injured

Henry let the silence hang for just a brief moment before answering, filling it with an almost-imperceptible nod to instruct Osprey to go right. Taking a few steps to his left, the billionaire entrepreneur switched on his IR sensing, trying to locate X's heat signature.

"As I'm sure you know, sir, negotiations require you begin with specific goals in mind," he began, wondering where Bolt was and deciding that it was probably more a blessing than a boon that the speedster hadn't found his way up here. As jittery as Bolt was down below, Henry wasn't sure he'd be able to stand still long enough for the technologist to actually get anything out of the discussion.

"For instance, my goal is to ensure Rising Sun's itellectual property remains solely in the hands of Mr. Thomas, or his estate," Blackthorne added, slowly continuing around to the left. "Your capture, while it would be incredibly beneficial to the Foundation's interests, is only a secondary goal; however, if I can't achieve the former, I'll gladly take the latter in consolation.

"What can you offer me that helps me achieve those goals?"

8th of March, 2008, 11:07
HP: 3; Status: Bruised, Injured

Ryan smiled to himself as he ran up the side of the wall, even with his injuires this always made him smile, he didn't think he would ever get used to being able to defy the laws of gravity. Sure it wasn't flying but damn if it wasn't cool anyways. His smile fades as he enters the hole in the side of the building, leading into a room, a very large room that is a literal maze of cubicles...

"Shit," he thinks to himself. This was seriously going to screw with his maneuverability and that was pretty much the only thing he had going for him at the moment. He shifts slightly to the left so he wouldn't be an obvious target and waits as his eyes adjust to the different light levels.

He crouches down as X begins to talk, he is kind of surprised that X wasn't unconscious, he took a pretty good hit from that woman, what the hell was her name? He couldn't remember but she sure did have nice legs and the costume certainly was distracting to say the least.

"Focus you idiot," he mentally scolds himself, "don't lose it now." He adds as he clenchs his hands yet again to stop them from shaking. While Blackthorn talks he moves slowly into the maze before him, although he was nowhere as talented at stealth as Osprey, he was still good at it and he was pretty sure that it would be unexpected, he also picks up a few random items just in case he needs it, nothing like getting picked off with a stapler moving damn near the speed of sound to give that lasting impression.

ooc: moving into the maze in search of X using stealth, while Blackthorn distracts him. (Stealth +8) The hunt is on.