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About EternalPhoenix

  • Birthday 07/08/1986

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  1. Terrifica Rubenstein was about to speak, but Terrifica beat him to it. “Standard alarm systems for a building of this type. High quality, but you or I could get through them if we had to. The aforementioned cameras, sensors on the windows and doors, a few motion detectors, etcetera. Nothing too special.” She waved at Rubenstein, indicating he could elaborate if he wished. Rubenstein did. “I’ve been with BID for twenty years. Good company. I thought their tech was good, but T says it’s crackable so now I don’t know.” “I wouldn’t worry about that, Mister Rubenstein. Nothing’s uncrackable to an elite professional. The average criminal doesn’t have the expertise or equipment to do this.” “Eh, if you say so. The cameras themselves…” Rubenstein pointed up and around briefly. The ceiling had relatively inconspicuous plastic domes set into it. A section of each dome was clear. Obvious cameras to anyone looking, but not the casual viewer. “Have a look, there’s only the five. Store’s only but so big, you know.” Terrifica had one thing to add. “I did check them myself and found no evidence of tampering with them specifically, though that doesn’t mean anything. There are other methods, as you know Nevermore. However, feel free to check them yourself if you like.”
  2. Queenie The breakfast rush was ending at the Southern Queen, yet this did not mean Maybelle McQueen was taking a break. She’d merely slowed her pace. The lunch rush was feverish and she wanted the whole restaurant to be ready. So it was her business partner Chris who brought the news incident to her attention. The whole staff knew she was a superhero by this point, even if every customer wasn’t aware. Well. Maybe some of the transient dishwashers didn’t know, but they came and went so frequently. Maybelle wrapped up and handed off what she was doing, and less than five minutes later a silvery energy clad figure came rocketing out of the employee entrance. She picked up speed as she went, praying the news crew was all right and that she’d be in time.
  3. Effigy and Invisigirl Wilona shrugged. “Was talking to Naomi, not you Flyboy.” This was directed at James, naturally. And she was right. Naomi was carefully studying Claremont’s latest student. “Seriously, you’re getting rude.” “Eep!” Naomi startled, and turned invisible. So her voice now came from apparently nothing, which was sitting on nothing. “S, sorry. Fur patterns, interesting.” Wilona laughed. “Naomi’s an artist, and it never turns off.” She kept grinning. “No, she and I are from right here and right now. Some days I feel like we’re the only normal people here.” Well. There was Leon, she guessed. “<Don’t mind the boys, they’re just dork ass losers. You want to have some fun, you come see me and Naomi.>” She was fluent in Spanish, too. Ah, the advantages of other languages.
  4. Effigy and Invisigirl “If it’s a talking bird, it’s Owain.” Wilona did not look cold, despite the wind flowing around her position in midair. Because she was flying. Which was a thing people apparently casually did here at Claremont. Well, it could have been that she was covered from the base of her neck to the soles of her feet. Or maybe her right hand that shimmered slightly with heat. Who knows? Normally, she wouldn’t have stopped at all. But 1) a bird talking to a catgirl (who wasn’t Neko) in a tree was unusual. And 2) Naomi had stopped first. Because right next to Wilona in midair was a smaller girl, apparently sitting on nothing. And how did she know who Owain and Neko were, you ask? They were all freshmen and magic users. Class, obviously. “It’s Freedom in January. Observe the normalcy.” She gestured at…well, everything. “Dirty snow and rock salt. Amazing.” She sounded extremely jaded, like she’d seen it a thousand times. “You must be new. I’m Wilona, this is Naomi and yes she’s listening. The bird is Owain, like I said, and I forget who the other guy is.” Naomi was having thoughts. Thoughts that words were fundamentally incapable of expressing. Cat and bird. Catbird. Tiger stripes, quoth the raven. Ideas danced, twisted, and reformed behind her blank eyes. “James.” Yes, she was in fact listening. “James? No wonder I don’t remember it.” There were probably millions of people named James. Common. Dull. Boring. Bleh. “You done staring at Miss Stripes yet? Snow at Saint Michael’s won’t move itself.”
  5. Effigy Wilona helped Naomi up, same as Leon. No words were required. Then, of course, Hero, Danica, and the Professor had to open their mouths. She stared at them in disbelief. Did they not know that All Cops Were Bastards? Privilege in action. She hated to see it. “Tch.” She started glaring holes through Graystache again. And, of course, he was flapping his gums too. “You’re a pig full of questions. Let’s give you some answers, eh?” Her smile was about as saucy as a smile could be. “Curfew can kiss my ass. I’ll start respecting the law five minutes after it starts respecting me. That’s her disability aid, you dick. And we’re in Southside because I thought I could visit where my parents died without being harassed by 5-0!” Whoa, she was angrier than she thought. Between Naomi’s troubles, a wild cop appearing, and everything else, she was understandably compromised on the emotional control front. She should calm down and stop her arm from smoking. But yanno…he did have his hand on his freed gun. “But noooooo. Mr. Grey Mustache decided he needed to shoot somebody today.” Her right hand sprouted a ball of fire, and that entire arm was smoking freely. She was genuinely furious, if not particularly irrational. “So go ahead, draw your weapon on a bunch of unarmed children. See how that works out for you. Spoiler: It involves the burn unit.” Invisigirl “Thank you.” Leon helped Naomi up, so he deserved the words. Everyone was doing lots of talking. For once, she wasn’t actually listening all that closely. Because while she had steadied herself, that was not in the same universe as okay. She was still metaphorically shaking like a leaf. Clinging to Wilona’s robes and Leon’s arm (This one wasn’t the right temperature, how weird) like she was half her age. But it wasn’t lockdown. That was important. And-oh, dear. Wilona was about to fight the police again. Not that Naomi had any sympathy for the police. Some of them were nice, sometimes. But they were all bastards. Three years on the streets had taught her that.
  6. Queenie “Clara? She’s my employee, not my friend.” Maybelle spoke matter-of-factly. “As for how old she is…” That was…actually a good question. Their various temporal adventures had left all of her staff’s chronological ages slightly to wildly inaccurate. Clara was technically born 30 years ago, but she was on the wildly inaccurate side, though less so than Chris, David, Matt and Peter. “The short answer is that she’s way too old for you, sunshine. Appearances can be deceiving, you know.” She smiled. She wasn’t going to tell him anymore than that. “Anyway, by sheer coincidence I actually did sign up for the mentorship program.” She let him chew on that while she ate the last of her barbecue mac. “But they didn’t have anyone for me. Oh, well.” She eyed him as her fork and the silver jessamine faded away. “I should get back to work. Clara will need a hand with the second lunch surge.” Out of his league, huh? She got up to leave, but clearly had a sudden idea. Still guileless, our Maybelle. She leaned over the table, establishing sudden close proximity. “Oh, and today’s menu is what I make casually. You should taste what I can do when I’m trying.” She straightened, and flashed a grin that could only be described as belonging to a temptress. Granted, one who preyed on gluttony instead of lust, but a Deadly Sin is a Deadly Sin. “See you later, sunshine.” Translucent silvery energy surrounded her, and she floated a full foot into the air before looking back. “Did you want thirds? I can get them. You don’t have to get up.” Cheerful, a little perky, and smiling happily very pleased with herself. That was our Maybelle McQueen. And yes, Leon, she did indeed have a nice butt. Please focus.
  7. Effigy Wilona’s head whipped around and she stared holes through Greystache. “Minding our own business, what’s it to ya?” Thank god, something she knew how to handle. She briefly turned to Naomi again. “One sec. Gotta do a thing, okay? I’ll be right back.” She let her partner’s hands go, stood up, and stepped between Greystache and Naomi. She knew this kind of cop. She’d met this jackass several times living on the streets. The type who though a badge and gun made him God. “Kinda busy here, oinky. So let me make this quick. No, we don’t belong in school. No, we’re not showing you some ID. In fact, we don’t need anything from you except for you to go away. That about cover it? Super. Bye.” She turned her back on the cop and crouched back down with Naomi. “See? Right back.” Invisigirl Naomi had been listening. It was all she could do, at the moment. Since everything was terrible and wrong and awful and no good. The scent of burning flesh, empty places where people were, the taste of blood in her mouth She had to admit, they were being very nice. Very supportive. Like a warm blanket. It kind of made her want to hug them and scream at the same time. They didn’t understand and she didn’t have the words to explain. Monsters oh god monsters don’t see me don’t see me don’t see me It wasn’t…it wasn’t about being strong. Or tough. It was about pain and terror. About the universe being very very big and Naomi being very very small. She really didn’t know what to do about that, aside from shrinking the universe. Fire in her veins what’s happening it hurts it hurts why don’t they see me I’m right here it hurts so much Just nice close walls and a warm soft Wilona. No troubles. She sighed mentally. But, of course, it wasn’t like that anymore. She wasn’t thirteen. She was sixteen. The universe was still very very big. Mr. James said the other week that one couldn’t live in the past. Mommy daddy I don’t understand what happened I’m so confused where did you go Another mental sigh, and a single tear rolled down her face. Lots had changed. Maybe she could too? I’m scared please don’t leave me alone I don’t understand Her mental machinery wrenched. It was…sad. She didn’t want to leave the girl who’d had that nice life with the distant but loving parents and no concept of how very very big the universe really was behind. She liked her a lot. She wanted to be her forever. But it wasn’t her anymore. And truthfully it hadn’t been for a long time. And and Leon was right. She rolled with crew now. (who talked like that? ) She stopped flickering between visible and invisible. Standing up…okay, maybe in a minute. Knees say no. Baby steps. She pulled out one hand from Wilona’s and extended it to Leon. He was a friend. Because he tried, even though he knew nothing and didn’t understand. And she wanted to get up now, not in a minute. “Help, please. Knees say no.” She spoke to both Wilona and Leon. Greystache was not yet important. Standing first.
  8. Nagesh Malik Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 240/240 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +2 (14), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +2/+6, Fort: +9, Ref: +12, Will: +9 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Bluff 12 (+15), Craft (artistic) 12 (+15), Craft (chemical) 12 (+15), Diplomacy 12 (+15), Gather Information 12 (+15), Intimidate 12 (+15), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 12 (+15), Knowledge (art) 2 (+5), Knowledge (current events) 2 (+5), Knowledge (history) 2 (+5), Knowledge (life sciences) 7 (+10), Knowledge (physical sciences) 12 (+15), Knowledge (streetwise) 12 (+15), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 12 (+15), Language 4 (+4), Medicine 3 (+5), Notice 8 (+10), Sense Motive 13 (+15), Stealth 12 (+15), Survival 3 (+5) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, All-Out Attack, Artificer, Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Demoralize, Challenge - Improved Feint, Challenge - Improved Startle, Challenge - Improved Taunt, Defensive Attack, Improved Critical 2 (Short Sword Strike (Strike 2)), Improved Trick, Inventor, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Redirect, Ritualist, Skill Mastery 2 (Acro, Bluff, Craft (chem), Diplo, Gather Info, Intimidate, Sen Mot, Stealth), Startle, Takedown Attack, Taunt, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Well-Informed Powers: Enchanted Snake Physiology (Container, Passive 6) Comprehend 2 (animals - speak to, animals - understand; Broad Group (Snakes)) Immunity 10 (common descriptor: Chemical; Limited - Half Effect) Immunity 5 (poison, uncommon descriptor: Acid, uncommon descriptor: Gas) Protection 4 (+4 Toughness) Regeneration 4 (recovery bonus 3 (+3 to recover), resurrection 1 (1 week); Persistent, Regrowth, Reincarnation) Speed 3 (Speed: 50 mph, 440 ft./rnd) Super-Movement 2 (slithering, trackless) Focus Items (Device 2) (Hard to lose) Focus Items (Array 3) (default power: features; Stacks with (Poison Magic (Array 9+3))) Adds Area (Burst) (Features 6) Adds Area (Cloud) (Features 6) Adds Autofire (Features 6) Adds Indirect 2, Subtle 2, and Triggered 2 (Features 6) Adds Secondary Effect (Features 6) Poison Magic (Array 9+3) ([Stacking ranks: +3], default power: blast; Incurable) Agony Inducing Poison (Stun 6) (Array; DC 16; Range (ranged)) Blindness/Deafness Poison (Dazzle 6) (Array; affects: 1 type + visual, DC 16) Burning Acid (Blast 6) (Default; DC 21; Penetrating) Choking Poison (Blast 6) (Array; DC 21; Alternate Save (Fortitude)) Death Inducing Poison (Drain 6) (Array; drains: any trait, DC 16; Range (ranged)) Paralysis Poison (Paralyze 6) (Array; DC 16; Alternate Save (Fortitude)) Short Sword (Device 2) (Easy to lose) Short Sword Strike (Strike 2) (DC 19, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Short Sword Strike (Strike 2)); Penetrating [2 extra ranks]; Accurate (+2), Mighty) Attack Bonus: +12 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +12, Grapple: +14) Attacks: Agony Inducing Poison (Stun 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Blindnes/Deafness Poison (Dazzle 6), +12 (DC Fort/Ref 16), Burning Acid (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Choking Poison (Blast 6), +12 (DC Fort 21), Death Inducing Poison (Drain 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Paralysis Poison (Paralyze 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Short Sword Strike (Strike 2), +14 (DC 19), Unarmed Attack, +12 (DC 17) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +6), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +3 Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Hindi Native, Spanish Totals: Abilities 30 + Skills 47 (188 ranks) + Feats 24 + Powers 68 + Combat 48 + Saves 23 + Drawbacks 0 = 240 Age (as of Jan 2019): 54 (chronological), 32 (current biological) Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 170 lbs Ethnicity: Indian (Northern) Hair: Jet Black Eyes: Yellow (irises are like a snake’s, not a human’s) Background: Nagesh Malik stands more or less alone among the League of Seven and their subordinates and putting the villain in super villain. He is a remorseless and relentless goddamn bastard. Just a completely despicable piece of shit. Yet even he did not start out that way. He was born in the Indian state of Uttarakhand (its casual name for a long time and official name since 2006; it was officially renamed Uttaranchal when it became a state in 1998 and prior was a part of the state of Utter Pradesh). It’s a beautiful place. Mostly mountainous and heavily forested. Filled with Hindu temples and pilgrimage centers. 10 million people spread over 20.5 thousand square miles. The north is actually part of the Himalayas, and as such is much less habitable than the southern regions, which encompass everything from grassland to swamps. He was born into a village of martial artists and magicians. He has changed his name since then, naturally. He proved to be an incredible prodigy at both. He, like all of his teachers and trainers, thought he’d be a superhero. And indeed, he was one for a little while. But the rules chafed, ever so slightly. He was just clever enough to see that it was a life of perpetual warfare in service to people who would never know your name, against enemies that would never relent in their efforts to subvert and destroy. Enemies whose often more effective tactics you could not appropriate, as they were immoral. And it was as likely as not that you would receive nothing but a gruesome, horrible death for your great virtue and altruism. Nagesh did not want to die at all, let alone in such a manner. And so it chafed at him, but not enough for him at actually do anything about it. Then, it happened. A terrible asura (Christianity would call them demons, but that’s only accurate as far as their alignment on the good/evil axis) escaped to Earth, and his entire village turned out to defend against it. The bloodshed was apocalyptic, from his perspective. Yes, they had won, but at such cost. Legends lay slain. A fate they had willingly chosen. And it seemed as if everyone left was all too willing to do the same should it prove necessary. He could no longer do this. He didn’t mind helping people, not really. But like hell was he ever going to die for anyone. If he had his way he’d never die at all. He left the village and superheroics for good. He delved deep into magical lore, seeking ways to defeat death. But it is not so easy, to become immortal. Sacrifices must be made. Prices must be paid. And like hell was any of it coming from him. He became a thief. He became a murderer. He found he didn’t really mind hurting people, either. And at long last, he had the ritual he needed. It had been a long road, but this master magician would never permanently die. Well, as soon as he was done with the ritual, anyway. But he had left a trail of breadcrumbs for clever superheroes to find, and they burst in to stop him at his moment of triumph. Ain’t that always how it goes? Thirteen terrified people were lined up to have the life ripped out of them to feed his spell. The heroes put in excellent work, but not nearly fast enough. Because he fought them with everything he had, three of the people died before they were able to defeat him. His rage was enough to surge his powers beyond all reason. No jail cell could contain him, and his violent revenge scheme ended up with a hell of a battle in the heart of Delhi. His revenge was arguably successful. Every hero who’d interrupted his quest so cruelly was either dead, horribly maimed, or permanently crippled. His getting away with it, less so. Because he sustained such severe injuries that even the best trauma hospital in India couldn’t save him. Ironically, the man who didn’t want to die saving people died killing some. Two weeks later Nagesh looked out at the world through a new set of eyes. His ritual had worked, partially. He had reincarnated in the body of one of the ten that had been saved. This, unfortunately, meant a complete reboot on his magical and martial powers. But it didn’t matter. He was indeed immortal. He had succeeded. …now what? Hmm. Well…hmm. That…that was a very good question, actually. Oh. It was obvious. While he could always reincarnate now, he needed to learn the limitations of this power while regaining his own abilities. Because he had time, now. Time to research and seek raw power. Reincarnation was excellent…but he had to die to do it, and that was unacceptable. Since then, Nagesh has been a continual threat, growing ever more evil, sadistic, and cruel while seemingly impossible to permanently get rid of. And he knows it. He’s vastly improved regaining his abilities after each reincarnation, now taking days to accomplish which took months the first time. He’s not just a solo threat either anymore, as he sells poisons he makes to the highest bidder. The money doesn’t last long. Seeking new routes to magical power is expensive, in both blood and coin. A few years ago, this business led him to Daisuke Uehara. The young man needed a mentor and a partner desperately, and Nagesh was only too happy to oblige. Honestly, it’s Nagesh that keeps Operatives Without Names running. Daisuke is, at best, an uninterested figurehead…not that anyone but these two actually knows that. Powers & Tactics: Nagesh actually has multiple things going on. He’s a snake man, he slings literally poisonous magic, and he has some self crafted focus items to enhance said magic. And that’s without mentioning the twin short swords h uses with expert skill. His sword shorts are fairly normal, if very sharp. His snakeman-ness is a result of magic. He can speak and understand snakes, he’s virtually immune to all manner of chemicals, acids, gasses, and poisons, snake scales make him tougher than he looks, he’s as fast as a car in the city, and he can slither like a snake and leave no visible trail. This is also where his reincarnation is, though it functions a bit differently. Though Ritualist, he can mark any number of potential persons to reincarnate into, but he currently has no control over which one it will be. When it happens, that person’s soul is extracted and Nagesh’s is inserted. That person is not inside, fighting to get free of Nagesh. They are dead, their soul sent to the afterlife. It would take ultra rare and potent magic to restore them afterward. Naturally, this never happens to PC heroes without permission. All NPCs, however, are fair game. His Poison Magic isn’t on it’s own excessively dangerous. Burning Acid does damage that cuts through armor. Choking Poison targets not the airways, but the oxygen (or whatever) absorption process in the blood. Blindness/Deafness Poison can dazzle those senses. Agony Inducing Poison, well, induces an phenomenal amount of pain in the target. Paralysis Poison can slow or even paralyze. Death Inducing Poison can rip the strength out of any part of the target’s body or mind. It is the focus items that increase the danger factor significantly. Adding Burst Area means civilians could be hit. Cloud Area is the same, but as a lingering gas. Autofire can add extra hits. Secondary Effect means the target must resist the poison or acid twice. And Indirect 2, Triggered 2, and Subtle 2 mean the target probably won’t even notice they’ve been hit or that Nagesh has done anything until the poison trigger condition is met. Tactically, Nagesh operates on a simple philosophy. Blood is red, your skin is blue. Omae wa mou shindeiru. He’s a poisoner at heart, you see. Take careful note of the fact that he has Artificier, Inventor, Ritualist, and Well Informed. Getting into a fight with enemies who haven’t already been worn down by poisons, traps, and poisonous traps just isn’t his style. And he probably knows who said enemies are and their general modus operandi. Basically, he cheats with wild and furious abandon. He’s not a genius master planner or overwhelmingly powerful, so he has to be as creative (and often as vicious) as possible. Your heroes can expect their weaknesses to be ruthlessly exploited. Whether it is a substance, compassion, honor, or whatever else. Nagesh has no shame and no guilt in using it to kill. And when I say creative, I mean it. From Silver Age nonsense like mind control venom (used on NPCs, naturally) to evil Iron/Modern Age shit like poison gas bombing a civilian target (like a school) with a not immediately lethal agent to either get the heroes out of his way (while they get the civvies help) or get them to do his dirty work (because, of course, he says he has the antidote to it [whether he does or not is up to you, Mr. GM]). The actual fight with Nagesh is almost secondary to overcoming his convoluted scheme. At which point one of his Poison Magic spells fulfills their Triggered condition on each of the heroes. I said he cheats. He doesn’t favor any of his spells over another, however. He does prefer to remain at range and use his Poison Magic over his Short Swords. He’s not afraid of melee combat by any stretch, and if he has the advantage as a result of said Magic he’ll chop heroes down with no problem. Keep in mind that he has Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Improved Feint, and Improved Startle to remove Dodge Bonuses. And Improved Demoralize and Improved Taunt to lower saves. And and Improved Trick and Redirect to bob and weave if the heroes’ accuracy sucks. He’s not the type to stick around if the battle’s going poorly for him, either. Especially if the heroes have decided to use lethal damage. Personality: Nagesh is a a snake. Arguably he was never a hero to begin with. He was just raised to be one, and it didn’t stick. He is a vicious, sadistic, and cruel bastard…but only when it suits his purposes. Primarily he’s treacherous, slippery, and hard to pin down. He’s also a really happy guy. If heroes aren’t thwarting his plans he’s usually having a very good day. And even then he’ll still smile. It’s just no longer a nice smile. He’s a very selfish person. The life of everyone who is not him means very little to him. Him reincarnating alone is an act of intentional murder. Since he chose that method instead of finding another one and several deaths later still hasn’t even so much as attempted to change it. At the core of him is a man who doesn’t want to die, yet it’s strange. Actually dying is nothing but funny now… Obviously, there’s no saving or redeeming Nagesh. There’s also very little hope of permanently getting rid of him, either. Killing him obviously doesn’t work. Imprisoning him requires a constant, unwavering suicide watch. Or a magic nullifying space in which you can keep his corpse in literally forever. Otherwise he’s coming back with better intel on the heroes. Even if Operatives Without Names is taken apart. Even if Daisuke Uehara is saved and redeemed and the other two are imprisoned. Nagesh will always be a threat. That’s just how it is. He’ll always be back unless extreme measures are taken that the mundane authorities simply don’t have access to.
  9. Turgenev Mercenary Group Overview The Turgenev Mercenary Group has gone through many iterations. Ruslan Turgenev is, obviously, the founder and longest serving member. There is no distinct founding date, and dozens of members have come and gone (to their graves or life sentences in prison). In fact, without Ruslan as the point which they all have and do orbit, it would quickly fall apart. Thinking of them as a private military corporation, with ranks and offices and a whole management side is completely incorrect. Despite having an official name, it is primarily a loose affiliation of mercenaries all taking advantage of Ruslan’s reputation for brutally murdering anyone who attempts to screw him over, screw with him, or otherwise mistreat him. It’s less an organized group and more a glorified protection scheme. Ruslan, naturally, doesn’t mind. Mainly because he’s the one who started it. Anyone who claims to be one of his and isn’t, well…most of the time he just has to say so, and it blows up in the liar’s face. Often spectacularly literally. But every now and again he takes care of the matter himself, just as a reminder to any other would be liars out there. The contracts Group members take run the gamut. They’re basically muscle for hire, though this can be flashy or subtle. And killing costs extra. A contract may not be altered once accepted and each Group member may have only one contract active at a time. Ruslan takes the most jobs of the listed four. Tatsuya has a code of honor that prevents any sneaky business. Bellona wouldn’t know subtle and/or patient if it bit her on the ass. And Reyna only takes jobs from legitimate national organizations. Terrorists and organized crime she will never help. Ruslan himself has none of these issues, and neither do most of the generic membership. They’re all PL 5 Soldiers or PL 6 Elite Soldiers, with a handful of PL 5 former Government Agents. As befitting the loose organization of the Group, they have no headquarters of any kind. Hell, finding more than a handful in the same general area at the same time likely means they’ve been contracted by the same client. Tactics Again, as befits the loose organization of the Group, there are no real established team tactics. Reyna and most of the generics have professional modern combat training, however, and do operate well as a unit when called upon to do so. Cover fire, aid actions, you know how this works. Tatsuya and Bellona, on the other hand, do whatever the hell they want. Tatsuya does look after his less capable allies, but on his own terms and with his own methods. With Bellona, though, they’re on their own. Ruslan is the only one who can corral them all into a proper fighting unity, but in practice they’re just doing the above under his supervision. He does, however, keep the generics out of fighting enemies that may or actually do threaten the named Group members. This includes sending Reyna to look after them as they retreat, as he is actually unaware of her PL of 12. He thinks of her like the PL 9 she mostly operates as offensively. Similarly, he overrates Tatsuya slightly, seeing him as a PL 13 instead of the 12 he is. This goes the other way with both Tatsuya and Reyna, with them seeing Ruslan as a borderline unstoppable PL 16 instead of a 14. Bellona doesn’t think this deeply about anyone. Additionally, in the Phoenixverse those who have reached PL 12 have earned a special free Benefit feat that slightly alters the rules on Extra and/or Extraordinary Effort for them. They are detailed below. Group Member Feat Name Effect Ruslan Turgenev Hellish Might Ruslan may temporarily gain the Bracing and Countering Punch powers feats from Super Strength without use of Extra Effort or granting a Hero Point. Furthermore, he does not need to do anything special to use Countering Punch. He may simply use the feat if he can take actions. Tatsuya Gushiken Countering Slash This is similar to the Countering Punch power feat from Super Strength. Tatsuya uses the damage rank from his swords (+9) as his normal Strength bonus before Super Strength applies. No Extra Effort is required to access this. However, normal countering rules apply. He must ready an action, grant a Hero Point, or use Extra Effort. Bellona Accardo Savage Onslaught Bellona may use Extra Effort to apply Autofire to all powers in her Divine Weapons Array for the rest of the current combat. For Divine Assault Rifle and Divine Blades, this reduces the degree of the attack roll’s success required to raise damage DC by 1 from 2 over Defense to 1 over Defense. For Divine Grenade Launcher, for every 2 the targets fail the reflex save the damage DC increases by 1. Divine Sniper Rifle uses Autofire normally Reyna Oleastro Ghost In The Machine Reyna may use Extra Effort to automatically succeed on any Computers check, no matter the DC. Furthermore, she may function like a “universal remote control” in relationship to machines that include such capabilities, turning them on or off or controlling them like a regular remote would. This second part does not require Extra Effort.
  10. Reyna Oleastro Power Level: 12; Power Points Spent: 225/225 STR: +10 (30), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +0 (-), INT: +6 (22), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +0 (10) Tough: +0/+10, Fort: Immune, Ref: +14, Will: +8 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Computers 9 (+15), Craft (electronic) 9 (+15), Craft (mechanical) 9 (+15), Disable Device 4 (+10), Drive 2 (+5), Knowledge (life sciences) 9 (+15), Knowledge (physical sciences) 9 (+15), Knowledge (tactics) 9 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 9 (+15), Medicine 7 (+10), Notice 12 (+15), Search 4 (+10), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 12 (+15) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, Attack Focus (ranged), Attack Specialization (Unarmed Attack), Beginner's Luck, Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Dodge Focus 7, Eidetic Memory, Equipment 4, Evasion, Improved Initiative, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Jack-of-All-Trades, Master Plan, Master Plan 2 (tactics), Move-by Action, Power Attack, Skill Mastery 2 (Acro, Comp, Craft (elec & mech), KN (tactics), Notice, Sen Mot, Stealth), Takedown Attack 2, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Cyborg Body (Container, Passive 12) Enhanced Trait 2 (Feats: Beginner's Luck, Jack-of-All-Trades) Immunity 30 (fortitude saves) Leaping 3 (Jumping distance: x10) Protection 10 (+10 Toughness) Quickness 3 (Perform routine tasks at 10x speed) Regeneration 5 (recovery bonus 5 (+5 to recover)) Speed 3 (Speed: 50 mph, 440 ft./rnd) Super-Senses 4 (infravision, radio, ultravision) Neuro-Cyber Interface (Linked) Comprehend 2 (Linked; machines / electronics - speak to, machines / electronics - understand) Datalink 9 (Linked; sense type: radio) Polyglot (Comprehend 3) (languages - read all, languages - speak all, languages - understand all; Limited (to languages with at least a million speakers)) Equipment: Arsenal (Assault Rifle, Custom Sniper Rifle, Flash-Bang, Fragmentation Grenade, Masterwork Heavy Pistol) Attack Bonus: +12 (Ranged: +13, Melee: +12, Grapple: +22) Attacks: Assault Rifle, +13 (DC 20), Custom Sniper Rifle, +13 (DC 20), Flash-Bang, +13 (DC Fort/Ref 14), Fragmentation Grenade, +13 (DC Ref 15), Masterwork Heavy Pistol, +14 (DC 19), Unarmed Attack, +14 (DC 25) Defense: +14 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -5 Initiative: +7 Languages: Spanish Native Totals: Abilities 34 + Skills 32 (128 ranks) + Feats 29 + Powers 76 + Combat 38 + Saves 16 + Drawbacks 0 = 225 Age (as of Jan 2019): 45 (chronological), late 20s (appearance) Height: 5’ 6 Weight: 250 lbs. (appears approx. 125 lbs, because synthetic body) Ethnicity: Mexican Hair: Variable (swaps regularly between Dark Brown, Blue, and Purple) Eyes: Variable (swaps regularly between Dark Brown, Blue, and Purple) Background: Reyna Oleastro was nobody. Just another girl in Merida, Yucatan State, Mexico. She was smart. She did well in school. She applied to college, and got in. The Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, or the Autonomous University of the Yucatan. Clever girl that she was, she had a double major. Criminal Justice and Cybernetics. Still, after her Bachelor’s in both was achieved, she focused on Cybernetics. This was because she joined the Yucatan State Judicial Police as a uniformed preventative officer. She’d always had a strong desire to help people, and this was the way to do it. She excelled enough in both her work and her studies that by the time she earned her Master’s the Federal Police (these days merged into the National Guard, but in those it had just been formed) took an interest and hired her away from Yucatan. Leaving home was difficult, but the thrill of far away Mexico City (the hub of all things Mexican, in many ways) lured her away. At this time she was arguably Mexico’s foremost cyberneticist, not that there was a lot of competition for the title. Cybernetics is a demanding discipline, requiring high level knowledge of biology, chemistry, medicine, electronics and mechanical engineering. And she was Mexico’s shining star. Under her watch and stewardship, several experimental modifications were made to Federal Police volunteers injured in the line of duty. She was more and more successful, returning many of the officers to functionality, if not full duty. However, her greatest project aspired to put a naked brain into an android body. There were, however, no volunteer for that. And then her own neurology began to fail her. The cartels had found out the source of their recent woes with cyber-augmented policemen and moved to get rid of her. She was too well protected, deep in Mexico City, for a gunman or a bomb. But a poison? Administered by one of the few they could corrupt so deep inside the hierarchy? It could be done. Her brain was fine, for now, but her the rest of her nervous system was slowly shredding. And so her greatest project found a volunteer. Herself. It was a complete success, and the Federal Police found a powerful new officer willing to fight on the front lines against the drug cartels. She performed well in both sets of duties, but a new Mexican President was elected. One who’d campaigned on getting the military off the streets, including the ones with visible cybernetics. The writing was on the wall. Her department was being phased out. The National Guard was going to take a very different approach. She had reached the rank of Chief Inspector a few years back, and has very recently met the requirements to be promoted to Inspector General. But her life’s work was being disassembled before her eyes, and her position in the new organization had not yet been decided. Everyone she spoke with was sympathetic and said all the right things while carefully telling her nothing of substance at all. She quickly got the feeling all of them wanted what happened to Mexico’s shining star of cybernetics and small unit tactics to be someone else’s PR problem. So she took early retirement and solved the problem for them. Keeping her systems maintained took money, however, so she took her combat skills to the open market. She could not take her cybernetics skills there, as her designs were made for and owned by the Mexican government. And she was still loyal, even if it seemed like they didn’t want her around anymore. Enter Ruslan Turgenev. His reputation would help prevent her from being forced into taking contracts she didn’t want, and she’d make him plenty of money. It was not an easy decision. Ruslan was a well known international criminal. But she needed the money and he was equally well known for being a man of his word. She comforted herself by saying he’d never been so much as charged with a crime in any court. Powers & Tactics: Reyna is an android. Or a gynoid, as the terminology may be. Most of her, anyway. Her brain is contained inside the head, as you might expect, but the rest is a wonder of electronics and mechanical engineering. As such she is completely immune to most mortal concerns. No need to eat or breathe to keep her body functioning, and environmental concerns don’t matter at all. Technically her brain requires a nutrient solution of pure distilled water, glucose and various vitamins and minerals, and it also requires a steady oxygen supply. However, she replaces the nutrient solution once a week purely out of practical paranoia. Theoretically she could go a whole month, but why risk neurological degradation? A subsystem filters a week’s worth of oxygen out of the air and stores it inside her. She could manually adjust the infusion rate and get double or triple that time, but again, why risk neurological degradation when she doesn’t have to? Naked brains also require a constant supply of various hormones the body normally produces with various glands, but the quantities are so minute that the supplies stored inside her alone will last years. On the surface she appears completely human in every way. The illusion is quickly dispelled whenever she uses her abilities. She has superhuman strength, mobility and quickness, a surprisingly tough chassis and frame, vision in the full light spectrum, and even radio wave detection. A side note on her senses. Touch and smell, unlike most synthetic beings, are fully operational. Taste is not, unfortunately. Subsystems even work together to repair damage, though it’s much easier if she or someone technically minded is helping and lost or ruined parts need to be replaced. The Neuro Cyber Interface (surprisingly, an co-innovation with Zuberi Wafula, currently of the Blackgate Pirates [through published papers; they’ve never actually met]) means that her body is connected to her brain not through direct wired hookups, but a version of the same technology that powers the wireless internet and smartphones. She can and has been weaponizing this to hack systems from ones in the same room to ones on the other side of the planet. When you speak fluent computer code, hacking most systems is a breeze. It’s the same thing she’s doing to run her body, after all. This is, admittedly, a potentially dangerous vulnerability. A master hacker might able to take control of her body from her…except she’s one so that’s easier said than done. She is an expert martial artist and markswoman who routinely carries a small arsenal in the field. Flash bang and fragmentation grenades. A masterwork Heavy Pistol. An assault rifle. And a customized sniper rifle with suppressor (Subtle) and scope (Improved Aim). Tactically, Reyna is primarily doing the actual private military contractor style work. Training others. Bodyguarding. Bounty hunting. Extractions. Assassination. The difference is that she works for nations. Their militaries. Federal law enforcement agencies. Intelligence agencies. So when she’s doing something illegal like kidnapping or murder, the job is sanctioned, if disavowed. With that said, she’s a tactical genius. She only meets PL 9 caps with her weapons, but that’s normally good enough fo the thugs, criminals, and terrorists she normally deals with. Between a Stealth’d first attack and Improved Acrobatic Bluff her Assault Rifle can be extremely dangerous. Especially with a little Power Attack added to it. Her Custom Sniper Rifle adds Improved Aim and Subtle, making chances of assassination success go up while chances detecting her go down. However, when faced with superheroes and/or law enforcement, she’s very reluctant to resort to violence except in self defense. Her Inventor feat can be quite helpful with this, adding 15 PP of temporary upgrades to her body. By far her most common uses of this are for Visual/Auditory Concealment, Super Strength, or Impervious Toughness. Failing that, there’s nothing wrong with simply talking it out. While with assassination this may not work so well, with bounty hunting/extractions/kidnappings the target is generally scum evading justice. So the heroes may be on her side…as long as they don’t inquire too closely as to who her client is and what they want with the person. The spy game is a dirty business. Finally, she can, of course punch and kick the crap out of people. It’s what she’s best at. Don’t forget unleashing a Master Plan when she needs a boost in combat. Personality: Reyna is…tired. Old and tired. Not physically, naturally. But spiritually. For so long she has held the flame of justice high, only to be betrayed by the government and people she swore to protect. There is no greater political inconvenience than yesterday’s hero. She gave them everything. The fruits of her genius. Twenty years of her life. The very flesh she was born into. And yet now…it feels…futile. She is not angry. How could she be angry at the people and land she loves so much? She never married. She did not have children. The work was all. She did so much good. Saved lives and brought evil to justice. And it ends like this, with a miserable whimper? No. She will wait. They will sort out this National Guard, and in time they will call her back to them. They must. Otherwise, she has nothing. Is nothing. But a foolish old woman who is more dead than alive. Nothing more than a brain in a fancy box. She is distinctly uncomfortable with some of her work, but she is a polished professional. It does not matter. She is not a criminal. These are not crimes. She is not betraying her own ideals for survival, as she betrayed her humanity once before. No. She is doing nonevil works and biding time. That is all. It has to be. It has to be. God, if you listen to the prayers of a disembodied brain, please. Let it be so. Reyna is…complicated. She’s a villain in game terms, absolutely. In terms of how your heroes should feel about her? The world is messy. Being a hero doesn’t pay the bills. And when you’re a naked brain stuffed into a bleeding edge cybertech gynoid, the bills are too damn high for normal employment to cover. Especially when you can’t use your main field of expertise because someone else holds all the patents to your work from the ground up. She is a good and moral person, but she needs a boatload of cash just to survive month to month. So she makes little compromises, rationalizes as hard as possible, and waits for a call that is likely not coming for some time. If at all. She should play a Catwoman style role in your campaign. Sympathetic, helpful at times, not a bad person at all. Your heroes ought both like and respect the law enforcement veteran. But she’s routinely involved in shady business, and there’s a trail of bodies leading to for those who know how to look. Government sanctioned assassination is still murder, Reyna. Extracting someone from a place they don’t want to leave is still kidnapping. That he’s wanted for murder and/or drug trafficking is beside the point. There are rules to this. The easiest way to remove her from villainy is to have a uber-wealthy hero cut her an enormous check for her maintenance costs or hire her and pay her what she needs plus some extra. Of course, not every group has one of those. So there’s also talking the Mexican government into either rehiring her properly in the National Guard, or into releasing some or all of her patents. A third, much more esoteric method, is to dig up her original flesh body, clone it, and have a top class surgeon put her brain (or a powerful and skilled telepath transfer her mind) into it.
  11. Bellona Accardo Power Level: 12; Power Points Spent: 210/210 STR: +7 (25), DEX: +7 (25), CON: +7 (25), INT: +0 (10), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +5 (20) Tough: +15, Fort: +12, Ref: +9, Will: +9 Skills: Acrobatics 13 (+20), Intimidate 15 (+20), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 5 (+5), Language 3 (+3), Notice 8 (+10), Sense Motive 8 (+10) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, All-Out Attack, Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Demoralize, Challenge - Improved Startle, Improved Critical 2 (Divine Assault Rifle (Blast 9)), Improved Critical 2 (Divine Blades (Strike 2)), Improved Critical 2 (Divine Sniper Rifle (Blast 9)), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Startle, Takedown Attack 2, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Bellona's Divine Armor (Protection (+8 Toughness; Impervious [7 ranks only]) Bellona's Divine Arsenal (Array 16) (default power: blast) Divine Assault Rifle (Blast 9) (Default; DC 24, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Divine Assault Rifle (Blast 9)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Accurate 3 (+6)) Divine Blades (Strike 2) (Array; DC 24, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Divine Blades (Strike 2)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [7 extra ranks], Penetrating [1 extra rank], Secondary Effect [7 extra ranks]; Accurate 3 (+6), Affects Insubstantial 2 (full power), Incurable, Mighty) Divine Grenade Launcher (Blast 9) (Array; DC 24; Burst Area (45-2250 ft. radius - General); Progression, Increase Area 5 (area x50)) Divine Sniper Rifle (Blast 9) (Array; DC 24, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Divine Sniper Rifle (Blast 9)); Penetrating [3 ranks only]; Accurate 3 (+6), Improved Range 2 (450 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4500 feet), Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Immortal War God (Linked) Immunity 2 (Linked; aging, disease) Regeneration 23 (Linked; recovery rate (bruised) 3 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (disabled) 8 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (injured) 6 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (staggered) 6 (recover 1 / round without rest); Persistent, Regrowth) Attack Bonus: +9 (Ranged: +9, Melee: +9, Grapple: +16) Attacks: Divine Assault Rifle (Blast 9), +15 (DC 24), Divine Blades (Strike 2), +15 (DC 24), Divine Grenade Launcher (Blast 9) (DC 24), Divine Sniper Rifle (Blast 9), +15 (DC 24), Unarmed Attack, +9 (DC 22) Defense: +9 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -11 Initiative: +11 Languages: English, Greek, Latin, Native Totals: Abilities 59 + Skills 13 (52 ranks) + Feats 11 + Powers 77 + Combat 36 + Saves 14 + Drawbacks 0 = 210 Age (as of Jan 2019): 23 Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 250 lbs. Ethnicity: Italian Hair: Brown Eyes: Grey Background: Bellona Accardo is both mentally ill and a terrible, terrible person. Her original first name was Isabella, and all of her life she has been obsessed with combat. At first she took her meds, and was just one hell of a delinquent. Size and age difference didn’t matter to her at all. She picked fistfights with anyone and everyone. It wasn’t an anger management problem. It wasn’t excessive sadism or masochism. She was kind of born in the wrong century. She’d have fit in well enough when civilization was young. Naturally, her parents had no idea what to do with someone who gloried in the thrill of the fight. They got her into amateur boxing and kick boxing, but those had rules. One had to keep it together, maintain a cool head. Isabella thought of them as pitiful. She reveled in instinctual violence. Rules were for the weak. And so while she was probably the strongest under 18 fighter in Europe, after a short while she was essentially banned from boxing and kick boxing. This, however, led her to underground fighting. And oh, boy, the money you can get from that. But it was never about the money. It was about the fight. She won, mostly. The rewards for victory could be more than money, however. One tournament was dedicated to a Roman goddess of war. The violent and savage Bellona. The Roman pantheon hadn’t had a lot to do with mortal affairs since the Empire had spurned them in favor of Christianity centuries before. This did not, however, mean that they weren’t paying attention. Bellona observed young Isabella, and she liked what she saw. The gods, by edict of Nick Phoenix, could not directly interfere with mortal affairs. This left a vigorous goddess like Bellona bored out of her mind. But a partnership with a mortal was allowed. And so a god offered a mortal power beyond her wildest dreams, if only she would continue to be herself in the process. Isabella accepted, and shed her mortal name. She was Bellona Accardo, now. At least, that’s the story she tells. She was not taking her meds at the time. That tournament did take place. She is wielding divine power. And the goddess Bellona has not noticeably objected to someone wielding divine power in her name. The truth? Isabella had already begun to believe herself divine while still only human. At the tournament the similarity between her nickname of Bella and the name of the goddess further confused her. The reward of divine weapons from the tournament took her over the edge into believing she was Bellona reborn. The goddess herself does not object. Why would she? People are remembering her name again, far and wide. With her new powers, the former Isabella was much too powerful for the underground fighting circuit. But Ruslan Turgenev was present at the fight that proved how powerful she had become. Whoops, killed that guy in a blow. He recruited her on the spot. Powers & Tactics: Bellona is using divine weapons implanted into her body. They allegedly belonged to the Roman goddess of war Bellona in a very long time ago. Whether that’s true or not I’ll leave up to you, Mr. GM. Immortal War God is a silver cylinder inside her torso that grants her a complete lack of aging and near instantaneous wound recovery. Bellona’s Divine Weapons are silver bracelets integrated into her wrists between skin and tendons. They can theoretically summon any weapon she wants. In practice, she summons mostly modern weaponry. An assault rifle. A grenade launcher. A sniper rifle on rare occasions. Or going old school with a pair of Roman gladii. Bellona’s Divine Armor is a small silver ball nestled into the cleft of her collarbone. It strengthens her physiology immensely, and even renders her immune to mundane man portable weaponry. Tactically, she goes in guns blazing. Ruslan has made it known that bodyguard contracts are a remarkably poor idea for her, and she’s not really an assassin either. But as a force multiplier for whatever nation or criminal organization can afford her rates? Hell, yes. She is not a complicated combatant. Improved Acrobatic Bluff or Improved Startle can remove Dodge Bonus on single targets. Apply Divine Assault Rifle (if at range) or Divine Swords (if in melee) until dead. Rinse and repeat. Divine Grenade Launcher is for groups when at range, otherwise it’s Swords time again, this time with Takedown Attack 2. Really far away? Divine Sniper Rifle I guess, whatever. All Out Power Attack is used liberally. She’s really quite reckless. But she heals from the most grievous injuries in seconds, so she doesn’t really care. Enemies are allowed to both surrender and retreat. Personality: Bellona (or rather, Isabella) genuinely believes she is the reincarnation of the Roman goddess. She is imperious and savage in equal measure, glorying in blood shed in combat. It doesn’t matter if it’s hers or (as is more often the case) someone else’s. It’s about the fight. Struggle for your life. Test your skill and might. And if you are found wanting, die gloriously. A complex personality, Bellona is not. In the middle of combat is very clearly her element. She grins savagely, feeling immense joy at attacking and being attacked in return. If combat is about to happen, she is visibly thrilled with anticipation. But if it’s normal noncombat activities, she’s just as obviously bored and antsy. With that said, she isn’t a murderer. Killing in combat against an enemy that is both willing and able to fight back is to be admired, even glorifed. Remove the “in combat” or the “willing and able to fight back” and it’s nothing more than shameful, dishonorable murder. One thing, however, must be made very clear. Her schizophrenic delusions are the source of her recklessness, not her battle hunger. If you’re an invincible war goddess, you have no reason to fear mortals at all. Her desire to fight and her moral code (strange as it is) belong to Isabella. So getting her properly medicated would actually make her more dangerous, not less. Because Isabella Accardo is only flesh and blood and can die. While she wouldn’t mind dying in glorious combat, exactly, she’s also in absolutely no rush to do it either. She’d integrate proper modern battlefield tactics instead of mostly Leeroy Jenkins’ing it. There is no turning her to modern heroic morality. She is who she is. But she can be reasoned with, and potentially convinced not to take contracts from criminal organizations. That is, of course, if she is properly medicated. Getting that to happen is a challenge and a half, as why would a goddess listen to what mortals say? Enough talk! Fight or flee!
  12. Effigy and Invisigirl Wilona looked left, and looked right. “I think this is Southside. Hold on a minute. Libertas!” The winds of her flight spell flowed around her. She handed the lantern to Naomi and shot upward. Her goal was to get above the buildings and look at the area as a whole. It was recognizably Freedom City. Kind of. Buildings were missing. A lot of the green park space was not there, either. She dropped back down to the group, and throttled the spell back so she could be heard. “Yeah, this is definitely Southside. But most of the landmarks I remember are missing. Weird.” Naomi, meanwhile, had sunk down to a seated position, hugging her knees. Her expression was as zoned out as ever…but she was rocking back and forth, her hands shook just a little, and she was flickering in and out of visibility. Southside was home to Jordan International Airport. The place her parents were trying to get to in their limo during the last Terminus Invasion three years ago. The very same limo Wilona pulled the only living person inside (her) out of. It wasn’t this street. Or the one over there. It didn’t matter. She was in Southside, and things were going very slowly sideways because grungy Freedom Cities didn’t belong at the end of magic caves. She wanted very much to go home now, please. And she did not mean the dorms, or the fancy penthouse her inherited money bought for her and she rarely set foot in. She meant one of the little boltholes she and Wilona had shared over the last three years. But then she felt her hands gripped by a familiar pressure. Her eyes focused on Wilona’s, right in front of her. “Hey. Not the Terminus. Okay? No metal monsters.” Wilona was…not an expert on psychology. Generally, when Naomi had something like this happen, just being around was enough to get her through it. But now that she thought about it…whenever she’d gone to Southside for something, Naomi had never gone with her. Not once. Well, shit. “We’re gonna be fine. I promise. I’ll burn any bad guys down, and we can hide like before. Okay?” Anyone watching would see an unfamiliar expression on Wilona’s face. Fear. A fear that had nothing to do with the Terminus and everything to do with not knowing how to help the closest person in the world to her.
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