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Found 15 results

  1. Here you go, @SpicyWaffle and @Supercape. Cape, give me a Knowledge (Art) check for some of the stuff you find down there!
  2. Fall 2018 The invasion was over, Freedom City was rebuilding and moving on with its life - even if most people had thought that life was going to come to an end. High Steaks had taken some minor structural damage during the fracas, not enough to shut the place down, but enough that keeping a regular movement of engineers, construction workers, and their equipment away from the tourists was just one of the many bits of sleight of hand that made life at the High Steaks interesting. At least until today. "Peter broke through with his pickax," commented Miranda, the tall, rangy Italian-American woman wearing the same orange hardhat and safety gear as the rest of her men. "If he hadn't had his line on him, he'd have fallen in-" She and Diamondlight were standing together at the edge of the substantial sinkhole that had once been the bottom of his lowest underground parking garage, her headlamp only partially illuminating the substantial cavern that the collapse had uncovered. Down below, they could make out other stonework that looked manmade - and definitely something more glittering than stone. Going down there would be quite a gamble. "You want me to call the Freedom League, boss?" - It took Baxter some time to realize that the music was coming from the armor, still tucked away where he'd put it. He recognized the sound; the old Nokia that his uncle had wired into the suit a lifetime ago still worked and the suit probably still had enough power to make it work. But why would anyone be calling it? It had _not_ been part of the numbers he'd given out - but then, he hadn't always been the one in the suit...
  3. Player Name: SpicyWaffle Character Name: The Bee-Keeper III Power Level: 11/12 (175/178PP) Trade-Offs: None Unspent Power Points: 3 Progress To Bronze Status: 26/30 In Brief: An unlikely heir seeks to revivify the zanily tarnished Bee-Keeper legacy in the name of justice. Alternate Identity: Baxter Bowles Identity: Secret Birthplace: Bayview, Freedom City Occupation: High School Student, Superhero Affiliations: Franklin D. Roosevelt High School Family: Barry Bowles (Uncle; Incarcerated), Benny Bowles (Father), Samantha Bowles (Mother) Description: Age: 18 (DoB: May 15th, 1995) Apparent Age: 18 Gender: Male Ethnicity: African American Height: 5'10" Weight: 154 Lbs. Eyes: Hazel Hair: Black Appearance: Once a wiry sort of teenager, Baxter has since made the transition from tindertwig into that of a young man in the prime of his life, boasting a toned physique brought on through a combination of earnest exercise and his heroic hobby, though he still manages to come off as rather plain, making him capable of blending in with a crowd easily; a trait he's found somewhat useful amidst the high school crowd and would-be gumshoes trying to decipher his secret identity. When not in costume, Baxter keeps his dark hair short and simple, preferring a crew cut style to prevent any irritating interference with his vision. Typically found dressed in casual clothes purchased from Bayview Mall, the secret apiary adventurer is practically indistinguishable in terms of any other teen walking the streets... save, perhaps, for the unusual backpack often found strapped along his shoulders. In costume, however, is a wholly different matter. Once the armor goes on, Baxter becomes the Bee-Keeper (III), an up-and-coming albeit prematurely tarnished young hero of Freedom City. The armor in particular stands out, stylized more after the European Dark Bee, showing off a large pair of metallic, insectile wings of a silvery-black, a full-body battlesuit recently painted by Baxter himself with black-and-yellow stripes, and a helmet affixed to the rest of the heavy-looking ensemble which bears both a pair of antennae and faux compound eyes. More streamlined than the Bee-Keeper Armor 2.0, the 1.6 Eco-Edition is a lighter, but less versatile model that lacks many of the finer points than its crafter's final version, more so for practicality than an intended sacrifice for gain elsewhere. Unlike the more famous model worn by the Bee-Keeper II, however, this one doesn't actually host an army of living bees inside its whirring form. Rather, the Eco-Edition suit carries within itself an assortment of miniscule robo-bees, designed by Barry in the event he didn't wish to bring harm to his buzzing brothers and sisters; hence, ecologically sound for the bees, but not so much for everything else. Power Descriptions: Descriptors: Bees, Technology With no powers to speak of himself, Baxter relies on the various gadgets and gizmos his now-incarcerated uncle built into this particular streamlined, collapsible backpack-shaped model of iconic armor to get the job done. Once unpacked and donned, the armor functions as intended: physically augmenting servos with enough strength to lift a cargo jet, functional retractable wings for flight, and a plethora of self-replicating robo-bees programmed to act just like the real things, it's certainly a scientific marvel brought to life. If it weren't for the fact Uncle Barry was one too many workers short of a hive, it might have been one of the greatest inventions in the last decade; but alas, its only use now is to put fresh whelts on criminal scum before locking them up in the clink, all of which are powered by the busy little robo-bees who collect electricity like normal bees collect pollen. The most often used tools of the Bee-Keeper Armor 1.6e are no doubt the various blasters. Within the right palm of the metallic exoskeleton is a small energy converter capable of projecting a beam of golden-hued energy generated by the busy bees housed inside the suit, using them as a sort of living battery; the other hand bears a similar compartment, though this one fires super-sticky synthetic (and surprisingly delicious!) honey alternative, capable of stopping any man in his tracks while being wholly nutritious. A pair on the wrists jut out ever so slightly, but bear similar functionality, firing toxic stingers coated in synthesized bee venom which can cause illness in victims. While many of these things are insidious inventions by a distraught Barry Bowles, he wasn't a heartless inventor, and left a few failsafes just in-case things got out of hand. As such, most of the armaments carry a triggerable anti-toxin when signs of serious danger rear their head, such as an allergic reaction or the like. History: Born and raised in Freedom City's Bayview district, Baxter Bowles had always been fascinated with superheroes. After all, Freedom City was the proverbial mecca therein, and between their constant exposure on television, in comic books, and on billboards all over the city after the Terminus Invasion, it was no wonder that the young boy found himself awe-stricken by them. They were icons; people to look up to, who went out of their way to make things safer not just for the city, but for the world as a whole. As a kid, he would often fantasize about those farfetched dreams; swinging from skylines like the Raven, duking it out as Captain Thunder, and all other manner of such thoughts that children had a propensity to conjure. Such thoughts, however, faded for a time as he grew older; coming to terms that such a thing wasn't possible in his own future. Baxter grew into an energetic boy nonetheless, and things were well amongst the family. That is, until it turned out crazy ol' Uncle Barry really was crazy. He was all over the news, going around doing heinous things in a bee-suit, causing no end of grief for everyone. While Baxter was certainly shocked at this revelation, his father and Barry's younger brother was even more infuriated, having become the laughing stock of his lawfirm. For Baxter though, this shifted to life at school. No longer was he the unassuming teenage kid who slept in math class; no, he'd henceforth been demoted to 'the kid who hung out with that crazy bee guy on TV,' despite his protests that he did not, in fact, associate with his uncle. Suffice it to say that school became substantially rougher soon thereafter. Things changed though when that mysterious letter arrived, heralded by a cadre of small robo-bees. Curious, Baxter sneaked a peek at its contents, and in it contained the location of a storage unit located in the Fens, as well as a key. After the onset of Uncle Barry's criminally-insane breakdown, Baxter felt intrigued to investigate; the errant letter and its contents clearly important. It wasn't long after arriving on the scene that he found the prototype suit hidden amidst his uncle's old salvaged knick-knacks from his electronics shop, and took it as a golden opportunity - a one-of-a-kind battlesuit of his very own. He tinkered with it, figured out how it worked, and said nothing to his parents; going so far as to hide the cryptic letter he'd gotten that was probably meant for his father. But this suit? This was his chance to live the dreams he'd all but given up on; to do something more than just be himself. Like in the comics, he could be something greater; and as he discovered the secrets of the suit and how to work its robotic denizens, he felt like he could be just like his heroes on the Freedom League. Weeks turned to months whilst Baxter secretly trained away from prying eyes outside of class whenever he could, growing in confidence as he did so and studying how the mechanics of the apiary outfit worked, adamant about his goals and eager to at least make an attempt at defending the down-trodden and putting a damper on the criminal element still rampant amidst Freedom City. Now? Now, Baxter was ready. Ready to take his shot at being a real superhero, just like he'd always dreamed. Ready to take this one chance and put it all on the line in reckless abandon in order to do something for the city and its denizens as a protector. Ready to redeem his family name from his insane uncle, and fix what he'd wrought. With a fresh coat of paint, some idealism of youth, and a desire to make an impact, Baxter took up the mantle of the Bee-Keeper anew, eager to take his shot at what he believed he was meant to be. Not for fame, or fortune, but for the opportunity to rise above his station and do his part for the community as a real superhero. Personality & Motivation: Much like how there are two sides to every coin, this is no exception for Baxter. Outside of the armor and high-tech gizmos, he's just your average, everyday teenager, complete with all the problems that come along with that package. Despite his laid-back, almost idyllic facade at school and with his friends, Baxter still has to deal with all the stress of balancing a life of superheroics and secret normalcy. Things aren't always peaches and chocolate chips, but he gets by, and retains a relatively happy-go-lucky albeit somewhat reserved disposition; the latter more in part due to exhaustion than an earnest endeavor to come off that way. He's a sharp enough lad, able to work out this-and-that on his own without any hand-holding, but he's certainly no prodigy. What he lacks in physical and mental faculties, he makes up for with a strange sense of charm; that relaxed friendliness in the face of adversity and laid-back optimism that's earned him at least some indifference if not acceptance from the local cliques in school. A silver tongue helps, having had lots of practice wrapping mom and dad around his little finger with honeyed words and careful omission. Sure, he might lie on occasion, but that doesn't mean his morals are flippant things to be tossed around. His compass, while skewed, is nevertheless pointed soundly towards that of good. On the flip side as the Bee-Keeper III, Baxter is a wholly different fellow. Behind the mask and within the hardened metallic suit of insectile inspiration, he feels changed; empowered and confident, nearing the point of arrogance, some might say, and emboldened by a desire to do good. Often found spouting horrible bee-related puns and making grandiose speeches in a truly voluble manner, it almost seems comical by comparison. Yet, despite his charmingly goofy routine as a wise-cracking, apiary-themed adventurer, the newest Bee-Keeper takes his self-appointed job quite seriously, adamant in his fight against injustice. Ever since he was a kid growing up in Freedom City, he'd watched superheroes on TV and read comic books, but Baxter never thought he'd had the stuff to really be a hero; saving people from the criminals and bringing them to justice were just farfetched dreams that were crushed before they'd began. That is, until he found his Uncle's old suit of armor. Given a chance to actually live the dream and redeem the good name of his family after his uncle's tumultuous decent into madness, Baxter felt compelled to take up the mantle. After all, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; to be something more than average or an associate of a crazy bee-themed loon, helping people in a way that most might consider unachievable on a personal level. This was his chance to be a real superhero and redeem his good name, whilst putting villainous vagrants in their place in the process! Powers & Tactics: Hit hard and hit fast. This is the grand strategem the young bee-themed hero has relied on for the last few months, utilizing the armor's various features and augmented capabilities to put evil-doers in their place through brute force, superior mobility, a little crowd control, and the (relative) safety the battlesuit provides from conventional arms. Having never been officially placed in a position of cooperation with other heroes yet, the newest incarnation of the Bee-Keeper isn't quite sure what he'll do when thrust into such a circumstance, but thus far things have been going swimmingly. Complications: Bee Amazzzzing! (Obsession): While he wasn't always as such, Baxter has begun to harbor a newfound interest in bees. Sure, he doesn't have any live ones at the moment, but its quickly becoming a fascinating study for the boy that's no doubt been spurred on by his discovery of Uncle Barry's decidedly denounced prototype battlesuit. When he can find the time, Baxter seeks out knowledge regarding these busybodies in an endeavor to unlock his - and the suits - full potential, like his misguided uncle before him. Homeroom by Nine O'Clock (Responsibility): While the Bee-Keeper's sting might always be within reach of lawbreakers everywhere, Baxter isn't always so fortune to be suited up to do so. After all, he has things he must attend to on a regular basis; and of these things, the bane of them all is his curricular studies. As a high school student, Baxter must attend (and slip out only when it's easy to get away with) his classes regularly, relegating the majority of his crime-fighting activity to the late night variety. Failure to show up... well, hopefully there won't be another parent/teacher conference any time soon. Who is that Masked Apian Weirdo? (Secret): As a would-be superhero, Baxter does his best to keep his identity a closely guarded secret. While supervillains, mooks, and various other misguided miscreants might prove a perilous sort of ordeal for the aspiring apiary protege, there is one thing he fears more: his parents finding out he's been sneaking out to fight crime on the side. Abilities: 6 + 6 + 6 + 4 + 0 + 8 = 30PP Strength: 34/16 (+12/+3) Dexterity: 16 (+3) Constitution: 26/16 (+8/+3) Intelligence: 14 (+2) Wisdom: 10 (+0) Charisma: 18 (+4) Combat: 10 + 10 = 20PP Initiative: +7 (+4 Improved Initiative, +3 Dex) Attack: +5 Base, +7 Unarmed, +11 Bee-Keeper Armor Attacks Grapple: +27/+8 [w/o Beesuit] Defense: +11 (+5 Base, +6 Dodge Focus), +2 Flat-Footed Knockback: -6/-4 [w/o Protection]/-1 [w/o Beesuit] Saving Throws: 5 + 7 + 8 = 20PP Toughness: +11/+11 [w/o Protection]/+7 [w/o Defensive Roll] (+8/+3 Con, +4 Defensive Roll, +3 Protection) Fortitude: +13/+8 [w/o Beesuit] (+8/+3 Con, +5) Reflex: +10 (+3 Dex, +7) Will: +8 (+0 Wis, +8) Skills: 72R = 18PP Bluff 6 (+10) Craft [Electronic] 8 (+10) SM Craft [Mechanical] 8 (+10) SM Diplomacy 8 (+12) SM Knowledge [Life Sciences] 8 (+10) Knowledge [Pop Culture] 6 (+8) Knowledge [Technology] 8 (+10) Notice 10 (+10) Perform [Dance] 8 (+12) SM Feats: 26PP All-Out Attack Attack Specialization [unarmed] 1 Defensive Roll 2 Dodge Focus 6 Fast Overrun Grappling Finesse Improved Grab Improved Initiative 1 Improved Overrun Improved Throw Improved Trip Interpose Luck 3 Move-By Action Power Attack Precise Shot 2 Skill Mastery 1 (Craft [Electronics], Craft [Mechanical], Diplomacy, Perform [Dance]) Powers: 65PP Device 16 (Bee-Keeper Armor 1.6e; 80PP Container, Flaw: Hard to Lose; Power Feat: Subtle) [65PP] Communication 4 (Radio) {4DP} Comprehend 2 (Speak & Understand Animals; Flaw: Limited [bees]) {1DP} Enhanced Constitution 10 {10DP} Enhanced Feat 3 (Blind-Fight, Ultimate Save [Toughness], Uncanny Dodge [Auditory]) {3DP} BE: Enhanced Strength 18 + Super-Strength 10 (Effective Carrying STR 84; Power Feats: Alternate Power 4, Groundstrike) {43DP} - The Proportionate Strength of a Bee! AP: Blast 11 (Extra: Autofire, Power Feats: Accurate 3, Improved Crititcal 2, Richochet) [39PP] - The Sting of Justice! AP: Nauseate 11 (Extra: Ranged; Power Feats: Accurate 3, Reversible) [37PP] - Toxic Stingers! AP: Snare 11 (Power Feats: Accurate 3, Tether) [26PP] - A Sticky Situation! AP: Strike 11 (Extras: Autofire, Penetrating; Power Feats: Accurate 2, Improved Critical 2, Mighty) [38PP] - A Mighty Beeting! Flight 5 (250 MPH/2,500') {10DP} - Flight of the Bumblebee! Immunity 1 (Bees) {1DP} Protection 3 {3DP} Super-Senses 5 (Darkvision, Direction Sense, Distance Sense, Ultra Hearing) {5DP} 4 + 1 + 10 + 3 + 43 + 10 + 1 + 3 + 5 = 80DP Drawbacks: -4PP Normal Identity (Full-Round Action) [-4PP] DC Block: ATTACK RANGE SAVE EFFECT Unarmed Touch DC18 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Physical) Unarmed in Suit Touch DC26 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Physical) Strike Touch DC26 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Physical) Blast Ranged DC26 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Energy) Nauseate Ranged DC21 Fortitude (Staged) Sickened/Nauseated/Helpless Snare Ranged DC21 Reflex (Staged) Entangled/Helpless Totals: Abilities (30) + Combat (20) + Saving Throws (20) + Skills (18) + Feats (26) + Powers (65) - Drawbacks (4) = 175/178 Power Points
  4. "Stories?" Eden Espadas inquired with a hopeful inflection as she ducked her head under her aunt's elbow and pulled herself up onto Ellie's lap to get a better look at the medical text open on the table in front of them. With a small laugh, Ellie shifted the toddler about into a safer position. "Not exactly, Edie. Y'know how tu papa teaches people here? This is how I learn how to be a doctor." She'd set herself up at a deck on the dojo's first floor partly so that she could take advantage of the light coming in through the large front windows and partly so she could keep an eye on her niece as she played on the pads covering most of the floor. Chris had also mentioned something about coming by to work on the security systems in the headquarters hidden in the converted bomb shelter under their feet and with her brother and sister-in-law out celebrating their anniversary she wanted to watch the door in the meantime. Eden looked equally skeptical at the idea of a book that wasn't for stories as she did about her aunt being a doctor. She liked Ellie, after all, and she knew she didn't enjoy visiting the doctor much at all. She could only assume it was another case of an adult trying to be funny. They did that a lot.
  5. Raveled

    The Talk

    January 23rd, 2013 FDR High School, Freedom City Late Afternoon FDR High was an unassuming building made mostly of brown brick, sitting in the middle of one of Freedom City's largest suburbs. It was bigger than most of the colonial and ranch houses around it, and the entire thing was enclosed by a chainlink fence. Jessica Parker had already walked around the entire thing twice, trying to figure out where students would come out (in just about ten minutes, now) and had found at least three, all spilling out in different directions. Which would make finding Baxter Bowles a challenge, to say the least. Jessica stopped underneath a bare tree and sighed, looking at her feet and snuggling a bit deeper into her fuzzy peacoat. The Day of Wrath had been a trying time for all of Freedom's heroes: she had engaged Victoria Atom in a rooftop duel to defend an apartment full of T-Babies, and even after subduing the heroine the body had burst into flames while Ironclad was flying her to Blackstone. Now the tangled wreckage was sitting at the bottom of the South River. Nothing could have prepared her for the news that the Bee-Keeper III, also known to her as Baxter Bowles and maybe-kinda-sort-of her boyfriend, had snapped and tried to incinerate a biker gang and a bunch of bystanders. It had hit her like a punch in the gut to think that someone she knew could be a cold-blooded killer. Now the truth was out and she and the rest of the world knew that the Bee-Keeper that had done such horrid things had been an imposter. But if what Jessica had heard was true, then it was possible that she had never known the real Baxter. Which made the possibility of talking to the real thing more than a little frightening to her. She had liked the Baxter Bowles she had talked to, but who knew if that had any relation to the real thing or if it had all been a lie? Nevertheless, she knew that if she didn't at least try she would always wonder, so here she was. Waiting for a guy who maybe didn't even know that she existed.
  6. With the heroes and two-thirds of the ship's complement beamed down into the heart of the Curator's central control room, it was just Jill and Vrix-117, and of course Quickstep as well. Vrix wasn't as talkative as Samran or Shepard, and admitted that as she showed Jill how to read the panels that showed everyone's life readings inside the Curator's construct. "Commander's tactical, Shepard's science, but I'm more engineering. I mostly keep the ship running while they're on missions." Vrix had removed her helmet too, revealing bronze skin and hair as red as a lollipop. "I...oh!" she pointed as one of the wall panels lit up to reveal a flash of light from the distant perimeter of the ringworld, a silvery saucer ship flying through the gap. "I don't know that design, but they're not local. Hang on." She tapped a button on the panel in front of her, then shook her head. "Damn. I can't reach the commander, but I got a tachyon squirt out to the fleet. They'll be sending reinforcements. Friends of yours?" she asked, cocking her head Jill's way. Dorothy peered at the screen and said, "Looks just like a flying saucer from the movies!" - The saucer erupted into the Curator's system as it dropped from FTL, spilling a wash of tachyons and neutrinos along with a spray of visible light. They were between the ringworld's star and its structure, and for a moment the sheer size of the magnificent construction, known to be one of the largest structures in the Milky Way, filled the scanners of the ship. Thanks to the Curator's famous paranoia, it had been a long, long time indeed since anyone had ever gotten this close. 'Beneath' them was an ocean big enough to swallow multiple Earths, a storm playing across it that could have covered the entire planet, with distant shores visible even to the naked eye beyond before the ring curved away into invisibility. Trillions of people were down there, living their lives, perhaps never knowing about the Curator. Above them, close to the star, hung a black sphere the size of the Earth's moon, part of the circle of rotating black squares the size of planets themselves that made day and night for the people below. It was the central control unit of the entire structure, the geniuses aboard could tell at a glance. And inside that sphere, somewhere, was Steve. And attached to the side, visible as they got closer and closer, was a white pod the computer recognized as a Lor military vessel.
  7. The group of young heroes and their Lor allies stepped onto the transmitter pads and vanished, their atoms quantum-tunneling five hundred miles through solid computronium and re-emerging in the central control room of the Curator - the mighty cybernetic intelligence whose vast power and arcane manipulations of their world had brought them to this place. They found themselves standing in a vast, cathedral-sized hall lined with dark and silent monitors cut in a triangular shape, the too-bright silver light overhead a source of stark illumination inside the central hub of the Curator's lair. The air was stale and smelled musty, a relic of however many eons it had been sealed inside since the Curator's original construction. At the 'altar' of the room sat a massive chair, almost like a throne, covered in the same silver-black pyramids that were the Curator's symbol, tentacles of computronium rising from it to infiltrate the wall behind. Sitting in that chair, its head bowed ever-so-slightly, was a still, silent Curator drone, its three eyes dim and dark. And standing next to it was Dr. Sebastian Stratos, lightning crackling around his fingers. "Hey, kids!" he called with a wave. "Got your hive going, eh, Barry?" He chuckled. "I wondered if I'd see you again. You didn't happen to bring any food with you, did you? Because I am _starving_!" He waved his lightning-covered hands around for emphasis. "I found this zoo a couple of levels down, but most of the animals tasted terrible, and one kept trying to shapeshift into my mother or something. It was awful!"
  8. Ready for anything, the heroes erupted from the pyramid ship, weapons raised as they prepared to do battle with unending robot hordes! But instead they found...stillness. The lights were bright, just as VINCE had suggested, the sharp white glow of the central spine overhead casting harsh shadows everywhere. There was a scent in the air vaguely like the stuff added to natural gas back on Earth, and everywhere there were robots! Eerie humanoid skeletons with three eyes and clawed limbs, ferocious-looking guardians of the Curator that were doing absolutely nothing. For a long time, Harrier eyed the robots, his armor having chunked open over his skin, before he spoke in a voice loud enough for them all to hear. "Look at them. They are not arranged. They are not armed. They are...immobile." And sure enough, the robots were silent and still, caught in the middle of walking, pressing buttons, circulating around the hangar bay, but not a single one moved a metal muscle. Harrier walked over to one, still wrapped in armor. "It does not react." "So what does that mean?" asked Quickstep, scrubbing her hands along her arms as she leaned out of the ship. "Is he waiting for something? Is this really his base? Are we were we're supposed to be?" She wrinkled her nose against the smell. "What do we do now?"
  9. January 15 It was not a good day for getting commlink messages in Freedom City. It seemed like every message that came in heralded some new disaster in the city, another hero replaced by a robot double, another fire that needed put out somewhere. In the middle of the parade of messages assailing the communications array of Dragonfly's suit on a day when she was already considerably distracted, one message managed to stand out, for its oddity at least. The message was in text, bald blinking letters that scrolled across the screen of her suit. <> That was one voice who had been silent through the tumult of the day, Miss Americana had been nowhere to be found during all the rescue work, though there had been word of her at Blackstone Prison early in the morning. What followed the message header, though, was no description of danger or location, but rather a long string of scrambled letters and complex equations.
  10. Wharton Hill Harrier watched, as amazed as anyone else, as the Curator's ships gathered up the severed Freedom City and began to carry it away into the perpetually grey sky overhead. Over the distant rumble, he called, "We should not remain this area long! The subsidence from the city's removal may cause a collapse...and if the Curator's ships do come hunting for the missing ones who probed the sky, they will pass through this area early in whatever search they make. We should avoid being taken by the Curator...again," he added, chewing on that thought unpleasantly. "His attentions will not be in our favor." He was carefully not looking at Blue Jay or Bee-Keeper, eager not to resume the arguments that had nearly gotten the armored warrior and young (so young, was I ever that age?) archer captured by the collecting vessels.
  11. Elsewhere Test Site I Freedom Hall Blue Jay woke up in a ditch, the smell of ashes in her mouth. She was in her costume and fully armed, the quiver at her back weighted with arrows. Raising her head, she found herself surrounded by a vision from Hell: a bombed out Freedom City laden with debris, ashes, and the broken remains of what once might have been bodies. She'd seen the effects of power pikes well enough to recognize their work. And there, screaming down from the sky like the armies of the damned, came the all-too-familiar sight of an Omegadrone troop carrier, big as a small jet liner but covered in the spikes and weapons she knew all too well. It roared overhead, antiproton engines screaming loud enough to nearly deafen her, and headed for what looked like Freedom Hall. Baxter awoke from a dream, and found himself in Hell. Bee-Keeper III felt the vibrations in his suit before he saw the ship come roaring down out of the sky; a monstrous vision of technological hell as it swooped overhead and plowed into a nearby street hard enough to rattle his teeth, careening along a street to plow into a nearby building. He noticed the apocalyptic surroundings next; the ruined Freedom Hall behind him, the smashed windows and fallen bodies of what looked like the aftermath of a grim and terrible battle here at the heart of Freedom City's heroing, and then finally what looked for all the world like a shattered city all around them. Jill O'Cure's eyes snapped open and she found herself in an empty hospital. She could tell that right away; the red, flickering emergency lights exposed a scene of wild chaos, torn and fallen beds and equipment in a mad jumble, but no sign of life, or death, for that matter. She knew this place, the waiting room of the clinic in City Center just down the street from Freedom Hall. She was in costume, not her scrubs, but before she could take further stock of the situation there was the brief scream of mighty engines and then a nearby BOOM, as if a plane had hit the ground just a few blocks away. Bones. Bones bones bones. Wander had seen plenty of those in her life, but the pile she was standing over was impressive. Smashed and broken, they were scattered over the front steps of the City Center Clinic like a child's much-abused toys. She could make out the familiar sight of skulls and other big bones, but these bones hadn't rested easy: something had disturbed the remains, if they'd come here first inside bodies. The ossurary at her feet was new; the burning city all around her wasn't. Suddenly, the familiar sight of an Omegadrone troop carrier roared overhead and disappeared over the nearest high-rise with a BOOM that shook the ground beneath her feet. When Harrier awoke, strapped into the recharging station of a heavy combat Omegadrone, Steve found himself frozen to the spot in the mortal terror of an awakened nightmare. He wasn't conscious of anything about his surroundings, only the sudden, horrible surety that his life was a dream and he was about to be taken away and dissected by the Physician. WAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUP-the crash interrupted his frenzied mental shouts and tore him loose from the station, sending him bowled end over end against a hard steel wall before he realized the ship had crashed and that he was all alone inside it. Taking a moment to steel himself, and think of Gina, the Omegadrone chose to meet his fate head-on: armored up, he blasted out the nearest hatch and burst forth onto a murdered Freedom City street. It wasn't so strange, really, he'd seen many of those in his time. He distantly saw an armored figure in yellow and black nearby, and moved towards him with pike raised defensively.
  12. The bombastic sign above the otherwise nondescript storefront proclaimed the institution to be "The Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship!" in bold gold lettering on a black backround complete with exclamation mark. Large glass windows revealed a currently unattended front desk and a diving wall that separated the training space from the street entrance. The second floor of the brick building looked to be given over to modest apartments, though it was worth noting that the window boxes hanging from them were host to some truly gorgeous flowering plants, fully in bloom in the August heat. Their leaves brushed against the top of the sign invitingly. The school had been up and running for about a month by then, advertising through posters and word of mouth not to mention a surprisingly well designed and maintained website. It was in one of the nicer parts of the West End fortunately enough; those inclined to research such things might have noted that it had become a noticeably nicer area since the proprietors of the dojo had moved in. Thing has been a little slow to start off with but a new wave of self-defense classes were starting that day and a good number of new members had signed up. Erik Espadas, the titular owner and head instructor busied himself unhooking a punching bag from the ceiling and moving it to one side of the larger section of the building, clearing off space in preparation. In a sleeveless white shirt and and comfortable sweat pants, the athletic, dusty haired young man certainly looked capable enough, built of lean muscle and angular good looks. The real question was just what this new batch of trainees would bring him.
  13. For sparring purposes later on! This is a thread for Bee-Keeper III, Blue Jay, Catalyst and Glow.
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