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  1. ic

    GM OtherSharl's eyes twinkled. A sign they weren't seated properly. <"Don't worry, they just put me back together. Still me...well, still us, in here. Probably installed something to make me go crazy and attack my friends, but that's why I shut down my physical defences. Hopefully they do something stupid and I can't be reconstituted, <LOVED ONE> doesn't need the headache of two Sharls."> "Come on in, they want to apologize and shut off all their defences." Approaching the gate, OtherSharl opened a door that was definitely not there, ushering Citizen inside and leading the way through an invisible maze that didn't follow the visible buildings at all. "They cut me from their surveillance, so you can say what you like. I told them if you were watched like last time you wouldn't listen, that on the homeworld it was taboo to look at or listen to other people talking. The trick is to get them thinking you're this weird alien guy who doesn't get humanity, then they drop their guard. Undignified, but useful." OtherSharl picked at a loose armor plate jutting from his wrist "Didn't make them better engineers, though." To E-Spider's eyes, the two Citizens shimmered in and out of view as they weaved deeper into the complex, no rhyme or reason immeditately obvious to where or when. But she didn't have much time to ponder that, due to the sharp, imperious voice that rasped into her thoughts. ~'Identify yourself! I cannot see you, but I know you are there! By Cortex's command, tell me who you are! They won't release the Skeyes while the blasted aliens are ouside, but in moments I can find you and teach you more of pain than you ever wished to know!'~ To her left, just below her, a hatch opened to let out a blast of stale air and let in a great gulp of fresh. It was easily big enough for her to crawl in. If she didn't mind going into strange holes with no easy way out that led Myung-sook-knew where. The real front door was opened before either Sharl reached it, admitting a short woman in a featureless, blank opaque veil of orange silk and an expensive-looking suit. She bowed formally, saying in passable Modern Lor <"Welcome. I am Hermit Ochre. Our house is yours. Will you come in, Citizen? We would make amends, if we can." The mask was impervious to even Sharl's expansive suite of optical sensors. Like a blank void around her head. But she still looked expectant. OtherSharl rolled his eyes.
  2. GM Blessedly, the marshmallows did follow that ancient law, and soon the impromptu wall was a pile of sweet-smelling brown over tangles of chain-link fence. Flocks of crows and gulls fought fiercely over the unexpected bounty. Faster Pussycat had to be cuffed and bound while she was still struggling in the confectionary cage, her wild swings harmless except for their being fast enough to behead somebody. As she was carried into the warehouse, she managed to swing around and grip a pillar with her claws, glaring at the three heroes with furious green eyes. "This isn't over! I'll get you back for this, you creeps! I'll-hey, watch it!" She was hauled into a police van along with her would-be assassin, the drivers and other officers of the ECPD staring openly at the first supervillains to menace the city in decades, Wiping his forehead, the struggle with Faster Pussycat having taxed the heavily-armored man severely, Wrath pocketed the flash drive plugged into the feline felon's computer, regarding it with a dry smile. "I can hear Max now, "Oh no! How could my technology have been used for evil! If only it wasn't a hundred times better than the competition!" Urgh. Hopefully you kids got her before she did anything with that info. We'll be asking you to be witnesses, hope you don't mind takng your masks off for that, this ain't Jersey." "Thanks. I have no idea how we would've solved this so fast without you. If you hadn't, this could have caused huge problems for the new project. Have a good one." With a slightly awed backward glance that belied his blasé attitude, Wrath ducked into the van, pulling it shut behind him. As the vehicle wheeled around, the door popped open for a second, and the man hollered "Hey! Got the press holed up further up the hill! Rather you didn't talk to them about this! See ya!" With a smooth purr the electric van and its cruiser escorts wheeled out into the bumpy, overgrown street and off into the gleaming streets of Emerald City, leaving the three heroes very much alone with only sirens, the calls of birds fighting outside, the drone of the city and silence for company. Wrath never had asked their mask-names...
  3. ic

    Nobody had followed them, and while Shino and Aro had gotten into a huddle of the other mob men, they didn't look about to chase them down. Scratching his head, Ishmael looked dubiously at the other boy "A mage, really? Thought Sha'ir was the only magic dude. Where's it come from? Your powers, I mean. I think Sha'ir gets his from the stars...?" "I didn't do anything, Imo!" Jun looked surprised, and a little sheepish "But no problem, you ever need somebody to start yelling, I'll be there." Smiling faintly, she glanced around "Anyway, coast is clear, but we should really get going. Thanks, Paris, see you around. Sorry we never got that sake, Imo. Next time-!" She was cut off by a frantic, blood-curdling scream coming from across the street.
  4. ooc

    Okay then: 4 "Huh? What?"
  5. ic

    GM Tower took his hand, hers icy cold and hard as steel, as the blood red eyes that met his "Thank you, Mr. Sha'ir. I did hope you would be so cooperative." Stepping back she added wearily "So few small-town mages are. Territoriality is one thing, being a blockhead is quite another. Talespinner?" Nodding to his...superior? Talespinner stepped forward and swept the newspaper from the table where it had been set. Holding his hand over it and murmuring something in a language that tickled the back of Hakim's brain, the pages shone and burst into life, a crime scene spilling out in lurid colour along with police officers in the Upper Emerald's green and blue, newshounds and bystanders, all staring and stock-still around a frozen body. Despite the grisly scene, the taller, older man flashed a showman's grin at Sha'ir and snapped his glovéd fingers next to a policewoman's ear. "Well, officer Neema?" Softly, almost mechanically, the woman spoke "The Blood Brothers are an elusive street gang, they keep their faces masked and have been known to hide in crowds while stalking their victims. They are most dangerous at night, but can operate during the day as well." "Lucky bastards," Tower grumbled, leaning against a bookshelf stuffed with editions and translations of Dracula with a look of profound envy. One was missing, a first edition on the top shelf. "They do not have any mystic training, but they are skilled fighters and ambush predators. Remain vigilant and do not heed their voices or look into their eyes. They can hypnotize and induce illusions via such contact." "That all, Jas?" "No. After four days anyone they kill also becomes one of them." "Thanks, darling, you're an angel." All smiles, Talespinner swept the imagery, the corpse under the sheet, the crowd and yellow tape and alleyway back into the paper, which he shut with an unpaper-like snap. "We have a few initiates working this city's beat. Good practice." Tower glided closer to Sha'ir, her hands clasped behind her back "Any further questions?" Behind her, Talespinner made a sharp 'cut' motion and mouthed "No" several times.
  6. ic

    "We wish you unmarred decision-making, should that become necessary. We would offer to help, but our Oath of Office forbids it." Holding a container of water up to his forehead, Dol-Druth dipped his antennae in it, then began cleaning his face with them as he went on "If you can kill her. This illustrates, we believe, the perils inherent to the adulation and intemperate worship of individual might. You are, we condede, correct in that unusual skill and/or ability is desirable and historically dependable in sifting good leaders from ineffective ones. However, it is the difference between a man who can eat poisons without much harm and one who can exclusively eat dirt and still live forever." "In due time, our government will be changed by the selection of a new Praetor. It is assumed that neither is an excep-hm, no, a meta." The bulging alien scowled as the unfamiliar word scrawled across its tongue. "Were either a mentat, or found to be one, they would be disqualified, for reasons we hope are obvious. On this planet, humans have become more or less comfortable with the idea of far-off nations being led by superhumans, like Soqotra or New Freedom. On their televisions and in their public life, exceptionals are held up as nigh-infallible heroes or else clear and dastardly villains." "If killing the Harper becomes necessary, do you believe it will become necessary to kill someone else, perhaps from this continent, for a similar end?"
  7. ooc

    I confess, I also was confused and was about to ask the same thing. Kolohehonu, would you briefly say what's what so we're all square?
  8. Many happy returns to this day, Granspear! Don't let the bugbears bite!
  9. GM On the Platform, fingers swiped at touch-sensitive bars, dials were turned and switches clicked for the very first time to unleash a flood of pent-up energy that hurtled through the water, boiling it into vapour in its path, until it reached the small knot of aquatics and self-named heroes with a WOORMPH of exploding plasma! The searing barrage missed the Rayders entirely, but its clear target, Rayzer, was struck full in the chest by the shockwave and a sizzling dart of plasma that burnt through his suit and skin faster than any human could react. His scream of pain echoed and shuddered as the electronic mask did its unfeeling work, the man flailing and thrashing but quickly going limp. The boiling bolts had glanced off Deoxy's armor and splattered harmlessly against Leviathan's scales, so the Rayders had only to look between the origin of the attack and its victim to leap to conclusions and to action. Two knifed through the waters, grabbing their leader by his arms and dragging him back to the sub, which the others were already racing pell-mell for, shouting furious curses at the PanStar power base as it thrummed, readying for another attack...
  10. For the love of God. Okay, so Leviathan is unaffected, Rayzer is Bruised, Injured and Dazed, Dr. Deoxy is Stunned but unharmed. Since the shot came from the Platform, Rayzer's Rayders are heading back to the giant Karkarius sub, with two heading over and beginning to haul Rayzer onboard to relative safety. Blarghy, Exaccus, what do you want to do here? Focus on disablng the turret? Of which there are probably more? Preventing the situation from escalating? Something else?
  11. ic

    GM Some kind of distortion field was in place, but a quick look around confirmed one thing: the Fallen Heavens Complex(as designated by a convenient sign) was damned weird. A high wall surrounded the complex proper, a dark metal vaguely familiar to Sharl, though off the top of his head he could only recall a statue his sister had made long ago to represent antiquity and obsolescence(though it being a solid statue would have been enough). Guard towers stood, empty but for the countless cameras. Around the top was razor wire. It stretched in a circle for almost a mile in diameter, with one opaque gate opening onto the Oceanside freeway. The buildings so defended were harsh white, angular things in total defiance of Terran norms, connected to each other by tubes and with no visible access or exits. Though there were dutifully-marked 'EXIT' fire door signs at seemingly random points. Not a soul was in sight or sound. At the center was a jagged tower that stabbed fifty stories into the air, holding aloft the hilariously mundane Ming Xi Visions logo of an 'M' at the center of a stylized human eye. The tower was made of the same whatever as the wall. All that was well taken in and digested during the total silence that followed Citizen's request. A silence suddenly broken when something flew out of the complex and landed in front of Sharl. Another Sharl. With very different eyes. "Hey." He said, quite casually, then turned back to the walled compound, beckoning to Citizen "You coming in or what? They're waiting."
  12. ic

    GM "Of course, my deepest apologies. I am Tower, this is my associate Talespinner." Around the bend Hakim found himself all but face to face with two people in long coats. One was a woman so obviously a vampire the predominant black and red of her clothing seemed downright cartoonish, her long hair and skin pale as milk and hard eyes and thin lips red as blood. The other was a Pakistani-looking gentleman in a copper-coloured three-piece suit with accessories in violet. His beard and gentle widow's peak gave him a fatherly look, and his easy-going lounge against a bookshelf, thumbing through a tome, set him instantly at odds with his ramrod-straight and grim-faced comrade. "We are agents of the Order of Light, Sha'ir. A special collections branch for their library, you might say." the obviously-a-vampire said by way of explanation "We find and confiscate magial artifacts before they fall into the wrong hands, which regrettably puts us in frequent conflict with the many mystics and monsters of this world." Talespinner closed the book he'd been reading with a soft whump and gave a kindly smile to Hakim "We understand you've been perusing the texts stored here, Mister Spellsmith, 'thout so much as a 'by your leave'. Ordinarily that's a serious offense, but we ain't sticklers for rules out here in the sticks, eh?" He chuckled at his own joke. "Regardless," Tower soldiered on, producing sme newspapers and flipping to relevant articles "we would like to request your help. As you may have heard, there have been several strange murders in the last few months, all victims found in secluded, shadowed places and drained of blood. The work of vampires. A clan of considerable power, to act so boldly." She looked him in the eyes, obviously displeased with what she saw "As this city's chief mystic, this is your problem and must be dealt with speedily and decisively. The Redletters(us) will assist you, but only this once and at cost: we will monitor the use of our Library by you." She raised a forestalling, slender hand as black as night "You have free access to the area we installed in Emerald City, and the other branches across the Earth. But we will be watching." Tower folded her arms. "Do we have a deal?" Behind her, Talespinner silently made the "call me" gesture to Sha'ir, having grown visibly uncomfortable with Tower's words as she'd gone on.
  13. Paris managed to keep himself from saying anything especially embarrassing. He smiled winningly at the young techie as she went to work. "Well, it is the most obvious side of you, Spider. But it's not like you can just charm pixe-huh?!" Stopped short by the name scrolling across the screen, the Salmon stepped closer to re-read it incredulously "Agostino is a metabats?! What the ****?" Rubbing his exposed jaw nervously, Paris struggled to square this with what everyone in Upper and Lower Emerald knew about the blonde socialite. "She does have that church to some Egyptian cat god...maybe that's where she got the powers?" But Salmon knew that couldn't be it even as he spoke. For a start, everyone knew the gods in Jersey always mentioned who they were and how their powers worked. So you'd know they were legit...? Paris began edging backwards, then swiveled around to head outside "I'll...go make sure about our prisoners, be right baaaAAAAACK?!" The speedster scrambled backwards as a portal opened in mid-air and the ten-person ECPD SEAT team burst into the warehouse, shockers at the ready and with Wrath looking ready for blood. Squinting at the two over his mustache, the formidable wall of a man growled "You kids are the heroes? Thanks, nice work." He glanced at the man made of static lying on the floor in bonds of eye-watering spatial warps and then at the woman in the cheetah suit struggling furiously to ge her hair out of a wall of marshmallows. Sighing deeply, Wrath signaled for his team to take action, half going for Faster Pussycat while the rest began cuffing the static martial artist. Folding his arms, Wrath hollered through the portal "Hey! Scarfsmith! Get in here and get rid of whatever the jigo you've done! We're all fine, by the way! Sorry I yelled at you!"
  14. ic

    The duo swept from the hall without anyone there any the wiser of where or how. Something that would have been impossible outside was made almost trivial with the addition of glaring lights and blaring music. Outside the air was blessedly cool, the manicured back alley a peaceful, well-lit haven away from prying eyes. Which wasn't much use to Paris, who found hmself facing a now very angry and confused Shino and his older brother Aro, who was staring at the lanky teen like a mustached whale getting very angry in slow motion. <"Guys! It's just a trick! Uni kids all know it, the stuff they juice the tea with makes you all fuzzy!"> Taking the split-second the two repeat murderers spared to glance at each other, Paris scooped up the coin Kim...Kiko? That cute guy, he'd got it somehow. Shoving that question aside as he shoved the troublesome bit of metal into his pocket, Paris filed a mental note to "find" it later. Having the ear of the Old Hawk wasn't much if you got in bad with his boys. Honourable, noble gangsters got there by having less scrupulous people do the dirty work, after all. Taking a breath, Paris added in a conspiratorial holler <"Dragons been talking! Spreading old-country recipes!"> That did it. Aro and his brother started at this revelation, then glanced around the Teahouse and the gawping kids with knowing, narrowed eyes. The Society could always be counted on to make good scapegoats, neither the Japanese or the Russian mobs liked or trusted them. Nothing was too low, especially, for some reason, now there was a woman Dragoneye. Paris couldn't figure why, Jun would know. <"I'll go find them, make sure they know not to try that again, 'aru?"> Their curt bows weren't a "no", so Paris raced out after the duo as fast as he could, only realizing he had lft his backpack inside as the door clanged shut behind him. "They're after us?" Jun asked nervously, shuffling from foot to foot. She'd been uncharacteristically quiet in the moments that had passed. Paris shook his head "No. So...?" the Chinook boy looked curiously at Kimo "The jigo was that? You some kinda psychic?"
  15. ic

    GM The voices resolved all too slowly, but the argument did become crystal clear: Leather creaked on high boots and a long coat swished as someone paced back and forth, words flowing without pause for breathing "...Neither do I need your 'remahnder' that this city is sorely lacking in mystical defenders, Jamal. We need real help, not some novice finding his slippered feet!" Another, more silky rustle was followed by the scratches of a pen on paper "So why not take the poor fella in? Learn more, faster, no need for the old-fashioned stalking treatment you have Weaver on?" "The Sphinx has already said she can't spare more resources to a city of such low priority. We get tied up holding this boy's hand, we cannot be where we ought." "Needn't be all of us. I might have some time to kill." "With Bookbinder still out there?" "I'll let that slide once, Liza. Anyway, it's a small job, he can handle it fine. These Blood Brothers aren't no challenge 'cept to the poor folks they hunt." The pacing stopped. There was a long silence. The cool English woman's voice broke it: "It is rare for eavesdroppers to hear any good of themselves. Surely, for that novelty alone, you will introduce yourself, Sha'ir?"