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Found 1,419 results

  1. Gilbert Ave, Hardwick Park 21:00 22nd July 2019 For the last few weeks Hardwick had been burning, and arsonist setting abandoned building of the area alight. Luck rather than skill had mean than no one's homes had been threatened. But as the weeks had gone by, and Bedlam police showed little interest in investigating, the person(s) involved had become bolder. Even the local gangs seemed to be unable to halt them. Apart from the locals no one seemed to be interested in investigating the fires, though perceptions can be deceiving. Bedlam might not have many heroes, but there were a few around and they tried their best to do there part.
  2. GM The house was both "there", and "not there". The house physically existed, or, at least, it seemed to. There were pipes and cables connecting it to the rest of Bedlam City's infrastructure. But it was a blank spot on every map. There were no utility bills, no tax assessments, nothing on a scrap of paper in any office that Gremlin could break into or a single file in any database that L0vel@ce could hack open which proved that the house existed. No one Hitter asked knew anything about it, no matter how nice or how hard he asked them. And the investigation was complicated by the fact that all three of them kept having difficulty remembering that they were conducting an investigation in the first place. The house just kept slipping their minds. When they finally made the trek across the river to Greely Point to view the house in person, they had trouble looking directly at it. They stood in one spot for several minutes as their attention kept wandering away from it. The few people they saw walking around the neighborhood in the warm summer night seemed to look everywhere but at the house, even as they crossed the street to avoid it. Some were walking their dogs, and the dogs barked and growled and whimpered at the house, but their owners barely reacted. Hitter in particular was distracted with thoughts of how close they were to the Gorganzua syndicate's territory, a group who wouldn't look kindly on an Asian, a Latina, and a one of Scarpia's soldiers, retired or not. The house was surrounded by other mansions just like it, except the others were smaller, and the trees and grass near those houses were still alive.
  3. alderwitch

    Summer Nights

    July 23, 2019: Late O'Clock at night (morning?) Janus Danger There were many common rooms, and certainly one closer to the dorm room that Janus shared with Veronica but this one had the advantage of line of sight to the door of Kam's dorm room. Janus was bored. Frightfully bored any time that they weren't training at the Espadas dojo but finding out exactly what could encourage Kam - the most rule abiding person that Janus may have ever met - to break curfew. Janus was almost entirely certain that it was a girl at this point. They'd been back for less than a week for the late summer session and by Janus' count, this was the third time that the prince had snuck out. Really, it was a time honored Claremont tradition to sneak out and do a bit of vigilante work on the side... just not one that Janus thought Kam would take part in. They were pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. Janus stretched out on the couch, long legs dangling over the arm and absently scrolling through the phone while they waited. It wouldn't be long now. Janus bit back a yawn. Being tired through classes in the morning was absolutely worth it. When the window creaked open, Janus shifted to eye the Red Lynx from their position dangling upside down on the couch. "Welcome to the hallowed fraternity of Claremont rule breakers, your highness. So, who is she?"
  4. Wyvaan IV Outer length of the Perseus Arm Lor Time Mark 1894.1 (July 15, 2019 Terran Calendar) The Wyvaan system had been too far out on the fringes of any of the major galactic powers during the Communion War to see any of the fighting, particularly given it was uninhabited by any sentient species at the time. Since the end of the Incursion, some of the displaced sentients from the war had migrated out to the system to start anew. The fourth planet from the system's star was by far the most hospitable for many sentient lifeforms. Covered with several large landmasses, the world was warm and possessed many large tropical forests. The various displaced beings that had settled on Wyvaan IV had done so in several small communities along the coastlines of one of the largest continents. The inhabitants had primarily focused on agriculture, but industrial development was slowly starting to expand as well. But given the relatively low population and current lack of any organized planetary government thus far, the world had remained outside of the Coalition and only had minimal connections with any of the other major spacefaring powers. As a result, the world had come to be seen as easy prey by some pirate groups operating in the nearby Stellar Khanate or the region controlled by Sovereign. The Star Knights tried to provide assistance, but could not afford to have a Star Knight constantly on the world. So, several of the communities on Wyvaan IV had pooled together some resources to try to hire protection. It was this that had brought Dirge, the last remaining Fryxian in the galaxy to this humid world. He had been on world for a little over a standard week, and thus far it had been rather dull, with Dirge using his magnetic powers to help the locals with some construction projects and the like to fill the time as he waited for something to possibly happen. Today had started out rather similar to the ones before, Dirge being provided a filing breakfast of local vegetables and other plants and then having time to relax. But just before mid-day, several of the community leaders had arrived at the quarters that had been provided to Dirge to inform him that a vessel matching one of the raiders that had attacked other communities in the past had sat down in one of the fields just outside of town.
  5. Friday, June 21st, 2019, 6:23 pm Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship The West End, bustling and chaotic, was winding down for the evening. While still short of sundown, the cooling day drew people to porches and cafes and away from the daily grind. The weekend was at hand, and the weather was lovely. It was at this moment, a warm breeze whistling between the buildings, that something odd happened. In the alley behind the Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship a series of rents opened in space. Or more specifically, five thin, two-dimensional lines, spaced like vertical claw marks, split open space. The lines widened, drawing back reality to reveal two figures. The tall one stepped through the portal followed by smaller. "Good girl, Penny. You're improving every day," said the larger figure: Mona. The smaller figure, a Siamese mix the size of a giant bobcat, meowed her reply. Mona was expected. Word travels quickly in the West End. Especially when Gina "Nana" Espadas was Mona's first visit. There was catching up, pictures of grand kids, and the general goings on in the neighborhood. Then Gina put the word out that Mona was back in town. Not that she was really ever gone. You see, Fulcrum had gone globe. But she was always in contact. Video chatting from an art exhibition in Berlin. Seashells from the Seychelles. Pictures of sushi from Tokyo. Boxing footage with a mutated Tasmanian devil (no one was hurt). Postcards from Dakana. Lots of pictures of rampaging, giant robots. A surprising number. And from time-to-time, she'd fly home to provide her famous Mona Bear Hugs and all sorts of eclectic presents. Recently though...she'd been going silent for longer periods. Months at a time even. Today that ended. Before the portal swirled closed, Mona plucked out a large steamer trunk and hoisted it over one shoulder. She smiled as she knocked on the back door. Home sweet home.
  6. alderwitch

    At Last

    The Harris Family Farm was not normally the kind of farm to rent out it’s barn and pasture for a wedding. It was a working orchard after all, but for today no crews moved through the trees about the business of the farm. Today, at long last, the youngest scion of the Harris family was finally to be wed and where better than the farm where he and his bride had spent many happy if too brief summers in their youth. The old barn had been emptied of its equipment, fresh hay laid on the floor and rustic tables and chairs brought in and dressed in classic country chic. Strings of looping LED lights coiled the pillars and rafters of the barn and the center was cleared with ahastily buts sturdily constructed plywood floor to serve for dancing in the midst of it all. Under the old oak in the pasture stood an arch of multi hued roses that looked grown in place, it helped to have talented friends after all and one made all sorts of new acquaintances teaching in a school for the ‘gifted’ such as Nicholson. Benches draped with gauzy linen were arrayed for the small group of friends and family in attendance. Mike stood nervously at the altar in a bespoke tuxedo that managed not to constrict his broad shoulders. He pulled his glasses from his face and absently cleaned them just to keep his hands busy as he waited, tucking them in a pocket with some trepidation instead of returning them to the bridge of his nose. He didn’t need them of course and he knew fully from the chiding voice in the back of his mind his young bride wanted to see his eyes today. *** A few weeks earlier Mike sat over his Saturday breakfast while he waited for Alex to come down from the room they shared going over his prepared speech in his head. Doubtless unintentionally echoing it in her own mind despite his intent to do this verbally and face to face. He looked up as she floated down the central column in her brightly colored dressing gown and smiled as he stood and pulled a seat for her. “Ah Alex?” he nervously began, “I’ve been thinking … and uh well…” he broke off losing his train of thought and looking down to the table where he had cleverly tucked his notecards under his plate. He hadn't had a chance to take advantage however before Alex let out a musical laugh, “Oh Mike, I agree of course!” She sprung up wrapping her arms around his neck to nuzzle his jaw catching his thoughts before he’d even had time to form words, “And yes a small ceremony at your Grandparents farm would be perfect. *** The music started up the soft tones swelling as the first groomsman and bridesmaid began their march up the aisle. It wasn’t a large wedding party. Erin was Alex’s maid of honor and Mark was Mike’s best man. That made up the entire wedding party and there were only family and very close friends on the guest list. Alex didn’t wear white and she didn’t wear a veil. Her bright red curls were pinned up with barrettes that sparkled and caught the light, tossing off brilliant rainbows along the barn roof but none of those matched her smile. The sweetheart gown that Alex wore started at the neckline in a blushing pink but the skirts turned from deeper pinks and reds to the midnight of a sunset. It might have been a modern trend of dip-dying the hems into ombre but no one who knew Alex was surprised that she’d found a way to wear all the bright colors for her wedding. Alex beamed at Mike when she handed over her bouquet and slipped her small hands into his much larger ones. The words their officiant said were lovely but really didn’t matter. It was clear that the groom and bride communicated silently through their personal psychic rapport in addition to offering their vows when prompted. Alex’s smile was brilliant as Mike slipped the simple band on her slender finger. It had taken all of Alex’s considerable resources to find a material that was almost as hearty as Mike’s impervious skin but she’d managed with a little bit of help. The band she slipped on Mike’s finger was duller than gold but Alex was reasonably confident that it would survive the majority of Mike’s adventures without having to be replaced. The ceremony was both short and sweet before they were presented as Mr. and Mrs. Albright to their nearest and dearest.
  7. GM The Heart's Zephyr, in the Centery Narrows July 6th, 2019, 9:27 PM The Heart's Zephyr, sailing out of Lisbon, and ports beyond, drifted slowly beneath the Centery Bridge. Normally, this would be no cause for concern, as a great many ships passed beneath the bridge, even at so late an hour as this. However, unlike the usual ships to pass through the Narrows, the Heart's Zephyr's lights were out. Even worse, as the vast transport slowly trundled along, over a dozen shadowy figures dropped down from the Centry Bridge onto its deck, each one armed in some way. One of the sailors onboard the Zephyr made the unfortunate error of approaching one of the figures. "Stop! Who are y-" BLAM! The crack of a gunshot cut through even the sounds of traffic on the bridge. Even as one of the figures began berating the shooter, the rest began fanning out swiftly through the ship, as though seeking something.
  8. So much time had passed, Jessica hadn't even noticed. She and Jack met last year and, despite that one little 'disappearance', they'd been at each other's side ever since. At first as friends, but they grew closer and closer. A fun romp of two people who generally enjoyed each other's attention and company. After Jack's graduation, Jessica snagged him as a roommate. Not that he had anywhere to go, but not that she would let him go. She just loved having Jack around. And awake. Like he was just doing now. "Afternoon, sleepyhead," she said, kissing him on the cheek as he groaned into the land of the living. They took up most of the couch as she slept on top of him.
  9. While it was known that the mantle of Master Mage had changed hands, the woman herself had been difficult to find for even the most skilled practitioners. In Phantom's defense, she had been very, very busy adjusting to her new role and making certain that her previous duties were still taken care of. That said, just because Taylor had the title and power, it didn't make her any more eager to leave her library for social engagements. Still, she knew that it was important to engage in the community. Not only would people have need of her skills, but she would doubtless need theirs. Apocalypse events were all too common for Earth Prime and when things hit the fan, it was critical for magic users to work together. A few social engagements went a long way towards easing tensions. The mystically inclined, inside and outside of Freedom City, found themselves informed that a gathering would be held on the summer solstice at the Elder Sign in North Bay. There were no instructions on how to navigate the wards included in the brief invitation. The Elder Sign had enough protections on it to keep random individuals from wandering into it. On the night of the event itself, from the exterior, the sign looked much as it always had but once across the ward lines, the actual event flickered into existence. Musicians played acoustic instruments on a stage at one end of the sign and the entire area was lit by witch light. The waitstaff were ghosts brought from the Farretti estates and who seemed quite pleased with a bit of fresh air and a change of scenery. Refreshment tables held food of all kinds with small handwritten labels in front to help nudge the unwary away from the more esoteric of offerings.
  10. Life as a spy meant keeping parts of her life in neat little boxes. It was surprisingly useful in superhero work as well, it turns out. Talya had her life as the costumed crimefighter Bombshell and the domestic side of her existence with Willow and Erik. Unfortunately, though, there was a third box to keep up in the air; Bombshell was known as Talya Browning, after all, which meant she had a public persona to keep up appearances for as well. That's where things got tricky to juggle. While Talya didn't mind making those necessary appearances alone - it certainly was in keeping with the public perception of Natalya Browning, thief - it was a rare treat to have one of her spouses on her arm for an engagement. "Should be a relatively boring evening, really. It's just a fundraiser with some of the more... ah, well let's go with 'shady' upper crust of Freedom City. I know, you'd think with so many heroes, they wouldn't be nearly so blatant but they're not super villains. Probably. Most likely," Talya offered over her shoulder as she finished her makeup in the mirror. "Super villians have their own secret identities so while I wouldn't be terribly surprised if one crops up, I don't know of any who have RSVP'd." A masquerade, however, meant that she had a little leeway in keeping the boxes separate which meant she had a date for the evening. Willow was content to stay home with the children; a boring evening party with potentially rude people she wasn't allowed to smite was not high on the dryad's list. Honestly, she had to remember exactly how she did her makeup to go with this outfit. Talya hadn't worn this costume since the nineteen sixties after all. Hard to believe that she'd made a name for herself scaling buildings in a black minidress and go-go boots. It had really been a different era. At least the hollow heels had space for lockpicks and a few other emergency odds and ends. The black domino mask still sat on her vanity as Talya stood up and slipped the dress over her shoulders before padding out barefoot to find Erik. She turned around, presenting her back to be zipped up. "You truly don't mind coming with me? Your reputation is far more sterling than mine. Being on the same team is one thing but fraternizing is another." It was a testament to how much their relationship had grown that rather than cavalier, Talya's tone was at turns wistful and sardonic. That she made no effort to hide her emotions, at least in their bedroom, was real growth on the part of the former spy. That she both wanted the company and that she worried for any gossip or rumors, entirely on his behalf was quite clear.
  11. Ace smiled to his Niece and Nibling as well as the Dakanan royals. "Almost there." he jovially offered as he turned back to the console in front of him. "I'm so glad you two and your friends found something to do this summer!" he excitedly exclaimed as he swung the Danger Jet in low over the waters of the Black Sea and engaged the jets stealth capabilities, the residents would not see them coming of that much they could be certain. The rocky shore of the, until recently, abandoned soviet era base was visible ahead and growing rapidly through the windshield. The squat towers of the base and low domes of bunkers almost hidden in the overgrown forest of the remote island in disputed territory. At least three soviet successor states claimed the island as sovereign territory, and the Russian federation still claimed ownership based on the military installation. Not that any exerted real control on the remote strip of land or its dilapidated cold war era buildings. Which is probably why their targets had chosen it as a base of operations in the first place. It certainly had made it all but impossible to get official clearance to investigate the resident organization on the island in the first place. Luckily for the occupants of the jet it this weeks Danger Family Motto was 'Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission' else Arsenal would be long gone after the setbacks in Dakana and Turkey. "You kids have everything you need? All packed?" Ace glanced over his shoulder to ask like a soccer mom dropping the kids off at camp or the mall for the afternoon. "You have coms you just call when you're ready to go and I'll be in to pick you up." he assured them as they broached the islands perimeter. Once assured all were ready he flipped the switch on the console before him and the klaxons rang out as the drop bay began to open in the floor for them to make the jump. The Danger patriarch gave the teens a thumbs up when they were in position signalling them to make the drop when ready. At the sign Kam dove fearlessly through the bay and as soon as he was clear pulled the low open chute dropping neatly into the clearing they had targeted on the west end of hte island where they could make their way to the installation itself unseen the hoped. On the ground he quickly gathered his chute and made for the treeline to wait for the others to complete their jumps.
  12. Wednesday, June 19th, 2019, 10:30 pm The abode of Mona Teymourian, near the Waterfront "She was adorable, Viktor," drifted from the kitchen area. "I know she wouldn't want to be described as such, but she was. The third heroine to wear the name Rossignol! A very sweet young woman, obviously quite skilled, but still finding her bearings. I wished her the very best and gave her my contact information." Mona was unusually chatty, even gregarious. Viktor's arrival seemed to complete her day, and she was eager to recount the highlights. So after a quick kiss, she regaled him with the latest happenings while unpacking groceries. "Do you want something to drink? I picked up some of that white tea you seemed to like." One mock glare later and she started an electric kettle. "Also some Black Death coffee, pomegranate kombucha, and a lovely micro-brew stout. A bit light on snacks at the moment. Some brie?" The sounds of activity reverberated through the high-ceiling building. The space was big, certainly, with metal beams and rows of high, paneled windows above exposed brick. Perhaps, oh, a quarter had been converted into an open living space with a kitchen, adjacent seating area, curtained-off bedroom, and bath. The rest was devoted to her studio. Ghostly shapes of dust-clothed sculptures floated in the dim lights. Her workstation, an explosion of bright colors, seemed to glow through the murk. Even after months away, the place smelled of oil paint and stone dust. Mona had been very proud of her handiwork. From a tour now many years ago, the fixtures and furnishings were secondhand or recycled, and Mona had bartered or DIY-ed much of the renovation. The original purpose, an ice warehouse, was abundantly clear from the Linden's Ice sign on the wall. The foundation and roof work were her doing, and superhuman strength proved a great boon in that regard. The crumbling antique had been picked up for a song. She had rather sheepishly admitted to being quite broke at the time. The way her eyes lit up here, in this place, spoke volumes. The expression was much the same when seeing Viktor after a long absence. As for now though, Mona deposited a tray of goodies on the coffee table. The little table was surrounded by a sofa and two armchairs. One chair stood out a bit: high-backed, Mona-sized, and eye-searingly pink. This one she drifted into tea cup in hand. "Damn, it's good to be home. How was your trip?"
  13. Shofet

    Green Thumb

    Riverside Farmer's Market, Freedom City Saturday, June 29, 2019 12 p.m. "I can't believe you invited your boss." Mia Mustafic Markov leaned against the car in the farmer's market parking lot, a sour expression on her face. She looked a lot like her mother, Serena Mustafic, but stretched out and paler. She stood 6'00" tall, making her a bit gangly, which dwarfed her mother's 5'04". A smattering of freckles dotted the bridge of her nose and checks, breaking up the milky colour of the rest of her face while being partially obscured by a pair of big round sunglasses. Her jet black hair was done up in a high pony tail held up by a baby blue scrunchie. She was dressed for the weather, wearing a black tank-top with Mr. Yuk on the front, though she had no idea who Mr. Yuk was, along with a pair of jean shorts. She had opted to only wear flip-flops on her feet, partially due to the promise of time at the beach later. "Lynn's a nice lady, give her a chance. Oh, and call her Ms. Epstein until she gives you the go-ahead." Serena didn't really look much older than her daughter at the best of times, and her choice of attire today didn't help. She wore a promotional t-shirt for Bad Religion's Empire Strikes First album, the art of a man praying in front of a black and blood coloured American flag now faded some, along with a pair of high-waisted pastel blue shorts. As always, she wore her worn Doc Martens, but for today accessorized with a wide brimmed straw sun-hat and teashades. A red pleather purse hung from her shoulders, clearly having seen better days. Serena pulled out her phone, and quickly shot Lynn a text message. 'hey, we r here in the parking lot. C u soon :)' Then, she stowed her phone back in her purse, and shot her daughter a glance. "You're not going to be a sour puss all day, are you?" she said to her daughter, peering over her sunglasses. Mia rolled her eyes. "M'not bein' a sourpuss." Serena smirked. "The sourest puss." Mia frowned. "Could be in Philly right now. Could literally teleport there," she said sulkily. "You do and the next place you better teleport is the moon, because I will kick your butt so hard it'll fly off," Serena said. She used a jokey tone, but Mia knew she would be in big trouble if she crossed her mom. "I wooooon't," Mia whined. Serena smiled. "Good. Now keep your eyes peeled for Lynn." Mia folded her arms and sighed. "What am I looking for?" "Tiny Jewish lady with more energy than a four year old on Halloween."
  14. GM Marmaris, Turkey Mid-July, 2019, 11:34 AM local time The small city of Marmaris, Turkey was nestled among low foothills along the southwestern coast of Turkey, not far from the Island of Rhoades. With long, beautiful beaches and clear blue waters, the city was one of the key resort towns along the section of the Turkish coast line known as the "Turkish Riviera," or the "Turquoise Coast." For most, the primary attraction of Marmaris was the city’s vibrant nightlife, and in particular the collection of nightclubs and discos along bar street. Out in the Marmaris harbor, a sleek sixty foot yacht was making its way towards the inner part of the harbor, easily blending in with the other similar yachts and large sailing ships that filled the harbor and marina. However, unlike the majority of the passengers on the other similar vessels, the four teenagers aboard this yacht were not here for the exciting nightlife, or at least not directly. During an investigation into the possible disappearance of Daka crystals from a border region of Dakana, the teenage children of the Dakana king and two members of the Danger family had uncovered a group of mercenaries smuggling crystals across the border. Information obtained from some of the captured mercenaries had revealed that other members of the mercenary group were planning to meet with some potential buyers in Marmaris the next day. So, the four teens had arranged for a non-descript yacht to transport them to the costal town, providing them an chance to blend in with the other summer tourists looking to enjoy the excitement of the city. The sun was staring to approach its mid-day zenith, and already the temperature was over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit. The nearby beaches were crowded with people and the harbor was busy with activity as the yacht slowly made its way in.
  15. GM There are few things one needs in life. To live, of course. Eat, sleep, repeat. That would get boring. So we find other things to occupy our time. Action, adventure. Though some use this as an excuse to be dreadful. Luckily there are people who will stand up and protect the less fortunate. The days are long and hot in the summer, but nothing is left to chance. Or is it? Immortals hiding from society, treating humanity like a chess game. Or just the causality of the universe. You could ask this group of youth in ski masks and nondescript clothing, but they really don't care. They're using what minimal power they have to ransack a row of businesses in a mini mall. Cops are on the scene. Pedestrians are freaked out. The kids are high on a cocktail ZOOM and MAX. Guaranteed not to kill you or you money back. Suckers.
  16. Shofet

    Homecoming

    Hanover, Freedom City June 22, 1:26 AM It was the dead of night, which only increased Serena’s dread as she approached the abandoned building just off the corner of Raleigh. Despite being far from Kingston, the damage was apparent in the stones. They’d paved over most of it, repaired as much as they could, but you couldn’t hide wounds as deep as these. She looked up at the building, watching it rise many stories in the air, the boarded up windows kindling old memories in her. But it wasn’t what was above that she cared about. It was what was below. She walked up to the glass doors, now covered in graffiti, and placed her palm on the surface. I shouldn’t be here, she thought to herself. Could just turn back now. But she couldn’t, not really. Something told her that she had to be here, had to make sure everything was still the way she left it in 1995, when the police raids came down and broke up Dr. Wu’s little experiments. Why now was she so concerned about it? She had gone 23 years without coming here, and yet now she was unable to get it out of her head that she had to come here. Back to the Lab, back to the Delinquent HQ. Looking down at the door handles, she saw that they had been locked tight with some chains and a padlock. She considered just melting them, but that’d leave too much evidence. She freed the lock release gun from the inside of her leather jacket, and inserted it into the keyhole. Within a moment, it popped up and dropped to the concrete. With that settled, she removed the chains and made her way inside. For a moment, Serena felt her breath catch in her throat. This was, technically, trespassing. She steeled herself. She would just be in and out. Make sure nothing was out of place. Then, the alarm started screeching into the night. Serena cursed loudly, looking around for the source of it as fast as she could. Her eyes settled on a red bell contraption, looking conspicuously new. She gritted her teeth, and charged up a blast with her free hand before firing a beam into the bell and melting it into slag. She took a second to hiss more curses to herself, before moving inside. She had to be even quicker now, before anyone noticed. She stowed her lock gun, and pulled out the flashlight she kept with her. Flicking it on, she drew the beam of light across the room in front of her. It revealed the lobby that helped keep the masquerade that the building was for nothing nefarious, but now it was a shell of its former self. The ground was littered with trash and rubbed, and the walls were covered in graffiti. The front desk was barren, missing the secretary - Ms. Chatham, right? - she remembered so well. An ancient, dust-covered PC lay on the floor, its monitor shattered and its tower pried open and stripped for parts. There was no sign of the mouse or the keyboard. The swivel chair Chatham had sat in was long gone. She paused for a moment. Wouldn’t they have seized the PC for evidence? Her eyes narrowed. Something to check in on later, she thought. She made her way through the lobby, the rubble crunching beneath her boots. She stopped in front of the elevator, fingers running over the up and down buttons and moving to the secret third button that blended in seamlessly with the rest of the panel. She pressed down, but nothing came. Somehow, that relieved her. The power was still off. Still, that meant she had to find another way down. @Exaccus
  17. Utando wa Buibui, Dakana The Buibui Waridi, the Rose Spiders were a small clan that specialized in micro-engineering and nanotechnology, making medical scanners and other surgery equipment using Daka crystals in almost artistic ways. Recently there had been a few disturbing rumors that a few of their supplies of Daka crystal had been disappearing across the border. Such rumors had reached the ear of the Palace, though none had yet taken a look. There home town, Utando wa Buibui, was also on the way the lakeside Summer palace of the White Lions, where the two teenage children of the King were taking friends to enjoy the natural springs and (mostly) crocodile and hippo free waters for a few days of summer. How could they not take a few hours just to take a quick look into things, they had the entire summer to enjoy the lake after all...
  18. Wednesday, June 19th, 2019, 2:02 PM Fulcrum sometimes wondered what radar operators thought of Freedom City. The newer systems could easily track something of her size or smaller. At least that is what the science magazines were writing. But planes and helicopters were one thing. Flying heroes? That she'd like to chat with someone in the know. Such were her musings as she descended toward home. Her flight path arced lazily westward across the blue waters of the Atlantic. Out there she could cut loose, but closer to land she slowed down to a more reasonable 200 mph or so. No need to shatter windows or capsize boats after all. Soon the familiar face of Centurion's memorial gleamed on the horizon below her. She smiled. Home. To those with keen eyes, a white and gold streak approached from the east and aimed for Sentry Statue.
  19. Wednesday, June 19th, 2019, 8:39 PM Mona missed the West End. This was her old stomping ground. She knew the place like the back of her hand. Friends, family, neighbors. Memories. The riot of life made her smile: the smells from the restaurants, kind words in dozens of languages, the old cobblestone side streets, the "newly" planted trees now soaring above the row houses and shops. Despite all that Freedom City had experienced, the core character of the neighborhood remained. But the West End wasn't perfect. Not by a long shot. Heroes were still needed. Which meant this particular evening, Fulcrum decided to do something she hadn't done in years: patrol. Or more specifically, patrol here. So as the lights blinked out in the businesses, and tired West Enders hurried home, Fulcrum jogged through the streets. Oh, sure, she could fly, but jogging was more fun, and pun intended, kept her grounded. She was in costume though. She was "on the clock" as it were. Thus a giant in a white bodysuit with gold wristbands, belt, and anklets passed under the street lights of a quieting West End. Except of course for a rhythmic thud, thud, thud of her 600+ pounds hitting the pavement.
  20. GM FCU June 10, 2019, 2am Maggie Rayburn was pulling a late night again. Internally, she chastised herself for leaving her paper to the last minute, but for some reason someone always seemed to be throwing a party on the nights she planned to work. Now, she had burned through her last extension and found herself staring at her laptop screen, trying to summon up the will to finish on time. She sighed, watching the cursor blink, and rubbed her temples. She could feel a headache brewing. Her eyes drifted down to the clock on her taskbar. 2am. Maybe a mocha would give her the energy she needed. She rolled her chair back from her desk and stood up. She looked down at her stained sweatpants, and wondered if she should change. Nah. She moved over to her desk and grabbed her wallet and keys, before cramming her feet in her high-tops and headed out the door. There had been talks of attacks at night around campus, but the parking lot wasn’t far and besides, Maggie had a can of mace so severe you could use it to blind a bear. Still, as she stepped out into the night air, she couldn’t help but feel a thrill of fear run up her spine. She steeled herself, reminding herself that if she was scared now, Professor Xiu was infinitely scarier. She needed this coffee. She resolved to simply walk briskly, just in case. By the time she made it to the warm halogen glow of the parking lot, Maggie was sighing relief. She made her way to her car, laughing at herself for worrying at all. Yet as she went to slide her key into the car door, she felt a sudden pulse like frozen electricity through her body. She froze, her body unable to move except for the most minimal twitches and jerks as something gripped her from within her mind. She tried to scream, but her lungs and throat refused to cooperate. She could not so much as move her eyes, leaving her view locked onto her car door windshield, and the reflection of the figure that approved behind her. The distorted image was humanoid, a black shape with great white spheres for eyes. She could see it extending its hand out to her, and once more she tried to struggle, to move, to do anything. But she could not. She felt tears come unbidden to her eyes as the figure extended its hand, and laid its icy cold fingertips on her forehead. Somewhere in the bowels of her mind, Maggie could swore she heard something speak. “What a waste of a mind, Ms. Rayburn…” Then, there was another jolt through her, and Maggie felt everything go blurry. -- Zeb Simms sipped his coffee, feet up on the front security desk. Overnights paid well, but they were almost unbearably boring. If he wasn’t saving up for that new boat, he'd probably take a new shift entirely. Still, at the very least, it was usually pretty peaceful aside from the occasional too-young-to-drink-but-drunk-anyway college kid. His peace was disturbed, however, by a banging on the door. Zeb looked up from his coffee to see a pretty little blonde girl just going at it on the glass door. Her face was red, and it looked like she was crying. Immediately, Zeb mind raced to the worst and he immediately got up off his butt and rushed to the door, unlocking it and swinging it open. He didn’t even have time to ask what was wrong before the girl threw herself forward, wrapping her arms around him, burying her face deep into his shirt and sobbing. Rather than try and stop her, Zeb simply let her hold him and cry it out. Finally, after an uncomfortable few minutes, the girl looked up at him, sniffling and snorting. “I-I can’ read what's on the door… I… I used bu' I can anymo'…” she moaned. Zeb blinked, then looked over at the door. In bright, friendly letters were the words “FCU Building C”. He looked down at the girl, confused for a moment. Then a horrible realization rolled over him like a wave. “Oh, no, honey,” he said softly. “Oh I am so sorry…” He pulled his radio free from his hip, and called in. “Yeah, uhm... I got a report… Uh… damn. We got another one.”
  21. 2019 May 17th (Friday). Evening. Cloudy, temps in high 60s/low 70s. [Continued from Upgrading the Supply Chain.] At the doorway to a small private hangar on Jameson Airport, a hole in space appeared. It was a very brief thing, and tightly controlled -- the creator knew a wormhole's varying gravimetric fluctuations could play havoc with the delicate sensors used by the aircraft in the area, so he kept things tight and focused to minimize that. Out of the portal stepped two figured, with a motorcylce between them. One was a young man, who appeared to be the vehicle's owner as he was dressed not unlike a biker. The other appeared to be an older man, middle aged, with long brown hair, in blue overalls and an orange long-sleeved shirt, with a large leather tool belt. As soon as they were through, the portal snapped shut with a soft 'boof' of displaced air. "Here we are, hangar 4P," the older man said as he walked towards the single side door, "home sweet home. Well, for now, at least." He opened the door and entered the darkened structure, beckoning for the younger man to follow.
  22. GM July 1st, 2019, 4.51PM Lor Diplomatic Navy vessel A Grace in Steel, in orbit of Xix Yr, first planet and capital of the Lia system civilization... The meeting room was structured along clearly hierarchal lines, in contrast to the more egalitarian architecture of the Science Navy ship that had carried the Earth teens to the Lia system. The Ambassador's seat was elevated by a few significant steps, the room arcing inward from there, encompassing a torus-shaped table. Everything was birds, from the Great Galactic Bird blazing across the walls and ceiling to the bird-shaped chairs with crossed wings for backs to the furred and snuffling eagle-like creatures that appeared from nowhere to snuggle against the legs of everyone in the room. From his seat, poised as if about to take flight himself, the Ambassador spoke. "...which is why Squire B'ka will not be joining us! Hopefully your visit to Xix will be less eventful! On behalf of the Coalition Council, and the worlds it represents, welcome to the galactic community!" Ambassador Ortilac already looked angelic with his sweeping red wings, long gold hair and dazzling white formal gown; his outright glow of joy at meeting the 'Terresi' teenagers was infectious, and the previously stern and solemn Lor Navy personnel had been suppressing grins at the excitable envoy throughout his welcoming speech, which had veered spectacularly from the Ealan's dignified, practical notes into vivid speculation about the glories to be seen, the wonders created and the almost frighteningly-rosy picture of the future Ambassador Ortilac believed in. Luckily, he had very easily been dissuaded from trying to hug everyone in glee at paragraph breaks. With a wing, he indicated the armored feline at the table "Squire Kath'lana, of the Star Knights," with the other he gestured to the armored Earth woman and her strange, robotic associate "Sitara the Traveler, and Universal Field Operative 777, of our Praetorians. These good people have agreed to be present at this, the final stage of union with our newest member. For form's sake, the Li have requested we only meet them face to face on the planet surface. I promise, you won't be disappointed!" The ambassdor's ash-grey face creased as his grin returned. He leaned back in the chair, nodding to the assembled officers, dignitaries and Claremont students. "So, any questions?" "Dozens, Ambassador, but they can wait." Dr. Rakesh Chawla never smiled, but he especially didn't around people as gregarious as Ortilac. Cold and quiet, the Claremont head of Extrasolar Studies had been watching his students like a hawk's keener-eyed and more vigilant cousin, keeping the party firmly on track and where, in his mind, everyone was supposed to be. His uncanny talent for finding people just in time to spoil things hadn't endeared him to the teenagers, and even the Lor found the brooding young man hard to get along with. Rakesh glanced at the Claremont students "I am sure the young heroes have questions, however, that can't wait. Not you, Leroy," he added with a sharp look at the tattooed boy who'd started to jump up, arm raised, causing him to wilt in disappointment, "you have done enough damage for today. I will be writing to your mother about that, rest assured." Seated beside Nicole, the gravity-bending prince of Earth-2 practically sunk into his chair. "I merely wished to know where the bathroom was" he murmured in utter dejection, golden eyes fixed miserably on the table.
  23. Shofet

    Special Delivery

    The West End Silberman's Books June 14, 6:00 PM …For a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself Phew, for a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself The smooth sound of Thom Yorke’s voice filtered through Serena’s car speakers as she pulled up onto Pratt, looking for Silberman’s Books. As she spotted the store-front, she sighed to herself in relief. This was her last delivery of the day, and she was looking forward to the chance to finally relax after this. Normally, she engaged in superheroics after work, but today had been a bit of a mess and thus all she wanted to do was get in the shower and sleep like the dead. They sell coffee here, she thought to herself. Maybe I should pick one up. Pulling to a stop next to the store, Serena compulsively double-checked to make sure there wasn’t “no parking” sign to saddle her with a ticket she couldn’t afford. That’d really mess up her week. Safe. She disconnected her phone from the blue-tooth, and stuffed it into her front-right pocket before twisting the keys and yanking them out of the ignition, then headed to the back. The first thing she grabbed was her collapsible dolley, kicking it down to its full size before she loaded the three boxes down onto it. The delivery was a bunch of copies of some weirdo French, In My Name or And Numina or something. Not really her wheelhouse. Her ex, Pete, was into that stuff but he was never really able to get her into it like he was. The moment the math started, she was off into her own little world. Slamming her trunk shut, she locked the car - three times just to be safe - and began wheeling the dolley up the very convenient wheel-chair ramp and into the store. She looked around, seeing the magic posters, and whistled to herself. She used to spend more time in bookstores, back when Mia was younger, but these days she never had time to read. She kind of missed it. Used to be she’d never miss a Stephen King, but these days she wasn’t even caught up on the movies. She headed toward the front, wanting to get things done quickly. She was dressed in a baby blue blouse with the sleeves rolled up, showing off her colourful Bosnian flag wrapped around her right forearm and the cut-off depiction of a fanciful battle on her left. Her jeans had a tear in the right knee, but this wasn’t a fashion statement so much as a reflection of the fact that she needed to make every pair of pants last as long as possible, while her worn Docs had seen better days. She had made the decision to mostly eschew make-up today, wearing only some winged eyeliner, while her hair was tied up in a messy bun. “Hey, I got a delivery for a… Lynn Epstein?” She said, her voice a rough contralto.
  24. Matthias Cooke Wing, Claremont Academy Bayview, Freedom City, New Jersey Saturday, June 22, 2019 12:18:54 PM "... And to my fellow graduates, my most heartfelt gratitude and my congratulations." Applause rippled through the crowd as the Mae Sweet, the valedictorian, stepped down from the podium and then the stage. The sun shone down, bright but not overbearing as rolling clouds softened the afternoon sky. No chance of spring rain today, graduates of the Batch 2019 sat in orderly rows in Claremont Academy's athletic field. They were comfortable in their togas and their mortarboard hats in place, attention rapt from the valedictorian speech. Behind the mass of graduating students sat their parents and families. On one side of the graduation field, Claremont's teaching staff watched the proceedings and across from the students, on the stage, sat the senior staff. Ms. Summers held the position of honor as school principal and she stood as the applause subsided Nicole shut the television off as Summers stepped behind the podium to introduce the guest speaker. Her fingers held the remote in the vice grip as she glowered at the blank television screen. They were alone inside Gabriel Marquez's office, the Head Counselor's office and besides some half-eaten food and barely touched drink it would have seemed that nothing else had been touched, so intent on watching the proceedings as the two students had been. Marquez had been there too. Now neither were present. Nicole saw Corinne's reflection on the screen and without turning to face the other woman, Nicole spoke to her through gritted teeth. "That was supposed to be my graduation." She spoke every word as if they scraped her tongue raw. "But I guess it isn't anymore, huh? I guess this is the last laugh after all these years. Is that the reason you had to make me wreck half the school?" An exaggeration, though Nicole was not in the mood to argue semantics. Still, the dislike between her and Corinne's other half was known through the school, both by teachers and students alike, but rarely did it go past barbed words and one-upmanships. Not until this morning that is, when words turned to blows and a heated rivalry into an all-out brawl between two very powerful and very dangerous teenagers. A testament to the mistakes schools could make, even private ones, to let something fester for so long unattended. Yet here they were again. Unattended. Alone. One could only hope Marquez knew what the hell he was doing.
  25. Tortola, British Virgin Islands Monday, June 24, 2019 (10:34 AM local time) A white van made its way along curving roads that twisted and turned along the lush green hills along the southern coast of Tortola along the way to Road Town. In the back of the van sat Veronica Danger and four of her classmates from Claremont Academy, Adam Lanchester, Pan Barrie, Louise Beaumont, and Davyd Palahniuk. When Veronica had learned that she needed to come down to the Caribbean almost immediately after the school year ended to help a Danger International team that was investigating a recently discovered shipwreck, she had invited some of her classmates to come along. The group had departed Freedom City early this morning aboard a Danger International private jet, landing a short while ago at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, where the van had picked them up. Now they were on their way to where they would be picked up by the Danger International research vessel. The teenage Danger had been eagerly anticipating the trip. While she enjoyed being at Claremont, she also found the time there somewhat….constrictive, as she was not accustomed to being in one place for so long. If it had not been for trips to Africa over winter and spring breaks, Veronica would likely have gone stir crazy. But now it was summer vacation, and this was but the first of a number of locations she would be visiting before the fall. The teenager was pulled from her thoughts by a voice from the front passenger seat of the van. "A launch from the Horizon is already waiting at the docks for us. Several of the team went into Road Town to pick up supplies." Stated Prudence, the almost omnipresent twenty-something employee of Danger International that had been given the daunting task of trying to oversee the schedules for both Veronica and Janus Danger while the cousins were at Claremont. As was typically the case, Prudence had her tablet in hand, studying the screen, seemingly indifferent to the breathtaking view outside the van. From the winding roadway, the van’s passengers had a mostly unobstructed view of the clear blue waters of the Sir Francis Drake channel to their left, along with several of the southern British Virgin Islands in the distance. Out on the water were a number of sailboats, catamarans and yachts of various sizes, either moving through the channel or moored in one of the many bays along Tortola or the other islands. "Thank you Prudence." Veronica replied with a small grin, shaking her head slightly before looking back out the window at the water beyond. Then the van turned a corner to the right, and the teens in the van caught sight of Road Town and its harbor below. The clear blue waters of the bay were filled with boats, from small single person sailing ships to a large cruise ship pulled up to the main pier.
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