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Found 12 results

  1. Nick Cimitiere, Equinox, and Ghost Girl deal with a really strange haunting.
  2. Wednesday, January 23rd 10:13 PM There was no reason the Levant Arms should have loomed the way it did. It wasn't even that tall - a mere five stories, and there were much taller buildings on this stretch of the West End. Likewise, the street was fairly well lit, and lights were on in most of the buildings surrounding it. But then, that just made the shadows inside loom that much taller. Nick took the building in, trying to get a more detailed read off of it. It had only been empty for the last few hours; there was no official word from the city, but so far, their opinions ran everywhere from "gas leak" to "undetermined event" - the usual code for "we don't know, but boy, is this weird." He'd heard rumors over the past few nights, from all over the city. Customers at the Black Petal whispering about the strange lights in closed-off rooms. Ghost hunting websites talking about strange wails. The ghosts themselves at Lantern Hill, speaking of an "overwhelming presence." He had been about ready to check it out tonight when all hell had broken loose. There was little word on what had happened, but a 911 call brought most of STAR down on the place, and the first response team had been quick to get all the tenants out. Nor was there any one solid account, with stories ranging from "phantom fire" to "I saw this horrible face looking at me in the mirror" to... "there was a unicorn in the elevator." He'd had to make sure he'd heard that one right. More than once, in fact. Nick checked his watch and kept his eyes firmly on the building. It probably wasn't the sort of place to go in alone. Fortunately, he wasn't going in alone.
  3. April 26th, 2012 9:37 PM Down on the beaches, the crowds were pouring out. The people who wanted to celebrate the weekend one day early, the desperate, the young lovers. Given all things, Nick Cimitiere would rather be there - and he couldn't rule out that his business might take him there. But there were more pressing matters to attend to. The necromancer stalked through the back alleys of businesses and townhouses that served as connective tissue between the Boardwalk and Southside. Over the past few nights, there'd been a number of... "sightings" might be the best word. "Visions" if you believed, or "hallucinations" if you were a cynic. The witnesses, many of whom had had more than a few drinks, had described glowing, ephemeral beings moving through the neighborhood, either flying overhead or tearing through at great speed. One person, especially poetic under the influence, had described them as "more real than real." Nick might have written it off as fancy... if not for Angela Zilani. A local medium of some repute, Zilani had been found dead in her apartment, seemingly burnt to death. The funny part was, nothing else had caught fire. She'd been the only target of something using a very controlled burn. It was safe to say that if these beings were responsible, they really didn't have the best of intentions. It might have been folly to search all of the Boardwalk alone, looking for the first sign of phantom activity. Fortunately, Nick wasn't doing it alone. He pulled out a slate with three glyphs on it - representing his partners in the endeavor - and ran his fingers over the simple trinket, opening a line of communication. "Things are dead out here. And not in the exciting way. Anything on your end?"
  4. The New Midnighters on their first real mission - dealing with Tarot troubles on the Boardwalk.
  5. Friday, October 28th 5:39 PM It was another quiet day at the Black Petal Cafe, and Eric LaCroix was pretty happy about that. It had actually been a rather quiet month - ever since the incident at the Parkhurst, it had been a good month of simple dealings with the restless dead and the occasional exorcism for flavor. Every so often there'd been an attempt at a robbery, or maybe the occasional cackling supervillain, but things had been pretty sedate on the heroing front. It was good to have some time to think on things and not have to deal with a major crisis. Of course, the Halloween weekend was starting up, and who knew what would come with that, but for now, it was time meant to savor. He was in the middle of preparing a double-shot caramel latte when something pinged the distance edge of his senses. Someone dead was in the coffee shop. He scanned the crowd - no one looked like parts of them were falling off, or even had the pallor of the recently deceased. There weren't any obvious ghosts, and a poltergeist likely would've made more noise by now. He filed it away in the back of his head, waiting for the time to go on dish-clearing duty to see if he could scope out the specter. He handed the latte off to the customer and took the register once more. "Welcome to the Black Petal," he said. "How may I help you today?"
  6. September 24, 2011 11:15 PM Nick Cimitiere tended to the main hall of the Parkhurst. He knew full well the ghosts would've been happy to help, but he'd decided to give them the night off. They were back in their quarters, passing the time, while he waited for some sort of miracle. He took a look over the Parkhurst - it was still hard to believe that, six months ago, it was effectively abandoned. The ghosts had kept it in order, but it was still a husk, soaked through with the essence of tragedy. Now it had become a formidable center for magical thought. The workshops were fully functional, the dimensional portal hadn't yielded up anything hideous yet, and the scrying crystals mostly stayed on target. It was a tribute to what could happen if a bunch of like-minded mystics put their mind to something. He hoped tonight would have similar results. It had been four days since the Gorgon had appeared in the skies above Freedom, issuing its dread ultimatum. In the time since then, Freedom City had fallen into panic, and it had taken most of his strength for Nick not to follow with them. In his line of work, he was familiar with multiple apocalypse scenarios - molten steel drowning the earth to burn the wicked, giant wolves eating the sun, and other such cheery scenarios. For all of them, though, he'd never heard of the possibility of the earth ending in stone. Bet Frost is kicking himself for not thinking of that one, he thought to himself as he finished up preparations in the main hall. He'd borrowed a few pastries from the Black Petal's freezer; the rioting hadn't spread to Riverside yet, and the store had stayed open, wanting to remain loyal to its customers during the "brief emergency." That was the Freedom City way - stand defiant in the face of angry gods. It had worked against Omega, against the Grue, against Hades... He just had to hope it would work this time. He took his seat, and waited for the others to arrive.
  7. September 24, 2011 Rene, Nick Cimeterie, Kid Cthulu, Equinox, Dead Head, and Phantom deal with an invasion by magical creatures and their goons. Trollthumper be runnin' this.
  8. Time: After November 1st, 2010 "Okay, Dok, let's start at the top. Th' trapesiuz 'rises from..." "From the external occipital protuberance and the medial third of the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone, from the ligamentum nuchae, the spinous process of the seventh cervical, and the spinous processes of all the thoracic vertebrae, and from the corresponding portion of the supraspinal ligament." Dead Head read along on the laminated sheet Archeville had given him, and noted that the Doktor got it all right. He nodded, causing the exposed muscles to contract and expand as they slid over one another. Archeville had filed a request for a medical cadaver a few days ago, so he could practice some of his lesser-used medical skills and not let them get rusty. Dead Head got word of this from one of his contacts at the hospital morgues, and decided to volunteer, showing up at Archeville's doorstep in Hanover. (And if the good Doktor would pay him for his services, so much the better!) Archeville was skeptical at first, but decided to humor the man. He was surprised at how still he could lie while being worked on, no involuntary spasms or tremors, and if not for his incessant talking he would think the body on the operating table was a regular (if very badly bruised) corpse. But there was a complication, aside from the corpse's constant talking testing Archeville's powers of concentration as well as his medical skill: Dead Head's 'undying factor' repaired damage to him as soon as it was inflicted, making practicing most surgical techniques impossible. How could he practice a small bowel resectioning when the abdominal incision closed around him before he could even get his laproscope in? So instead they went with basic anatomical review, peeling back layers of Dead Head to expose and identify assorted structures. "Alright, next set," Dead Head said as he reached back and tore loose the clamps and forceps pinning back his skin. As soon as he did, the flaps closed and sealed shut, leaving him looking completely unharmed. He tossed the instruments, still holding tiny bits of his skin, into a bucket holding other used instruments, and resumed his face-down position on the massage-turned-operating table. "Latissimi dorsi, dextral and sinistral," he instructed. Archeville took up a scalpel and forceps and began cutting and pinning. "How is it you know so much about medical terminology? I mean, the stereotype is that you 'zombies' are, well-" "A bunch'a brainless boneheads?," he interrupted, and chuckled. "Most are, but I ain't 'xactly a run'a tha mill zombie. Had a Voudun loa in me fer 'bout a decade, animatin' me, but he left recently. Did somethin' ta me when he left," he shrugged, making some of the exposed muscles twitch, "but through it all I've kept ma mind. Which I am very grateful for! 'Fore all that, though, I was a college student, biology major. Wanted t'be a Neurologist, but didn't have th' grades." "Really?," Archeville replied, sounding quite surprised. "So your interest in brains existed long before your transmogrification?" "Heh, ya could say that, yeah, 'cept I ain't ever et a brain. Well, not since ma death an' rise. Friend'a mine back home, his granmaw had a hog farm, an' most ev'ry Sunday they'd have a big heap'a scrambled brains 'n' eggs fer breakfast." He grimaced, "never could stand 'em. Naw, my interest were from all the migraine headaches I'd get as a teen. I read up on th' causes, got hooked on the neuroanatomy'a it, tried pursuin' it as a career. Never had th' grades ta do so, though. An' in my current condition, it ain't easy ta continue mah education." "Oh, I am sure you could take distance education courses, many colleges offer several courses online, and-" Dead Head laughed, "that ain't it, Dok, not at all. I cain't go 'cuz I'm broke! I got nothin' but my shovel an' th' clothes on mah back!" "Oh, pshaw. I am sure there are numerous scholarships and grants you could apply for, and-" "Ain't got no permanent mailin' address. I mean, I could have 'em forward it care'a St. Stephen's Church on Lantern Hill, but... I don't wanna be a bother." "Dead Head, I would like to help. I am fairly wealthy, you know, and make numerous donations to-" "Nah, Dok," he said, shaking his head, "ain't no need fer that. I got so much t'do fer the Dead, I'd never have time t'study. I caon't get any'a my credits t'transfer, 'cuz I'm legally dead, they closed or erased all mah records. I'd have ta start over from scratch, an' I'd already been a full-time student fer four an' a half years. Now, quit yer jawin' an' answer me this: th' lateral margin'a the latissimus dorsi is separated below from th' obliquus externus abdominis by a small triangular interval, the..." "the lumbar triangle of Petit," Archeville rattled off, "the base of which is formed by the iliac crest, and its floor by the obliquus internus abdominis. And the latissimus dorsi can be remembered best for insertion as "The Lady Between Two Majors," as it inserts into the intertubercular groove of the humerus and is surrounded by two major muscles, the teres major on one side and the pectoralis major on the other." This went on for some time. Archeville was amazed at his recuperative powers, and mildly impressed by his anatomical knowledge; Dead Head was mildly amused at his fascination. As soon as he had seen the 'zombie,' Archeville had another idea for him, but it was not until halfway through the 'anatomical tour' that be broached the subject. "Dead Head, have you ever allowed your recuperative abilities to be tested?" "They're tested all the time, Dok," he replied while pinning back a section of skin on his left calf, "but, uh, naw, never had a scientific study done. Mostly 'cuz, well, I don't think science can 'splain it." "Oh, nonsense!," Archeville cheerfully retorted. "I am sure I can find out why and how this happened. And along the way, we can discover the extent of your abilities. Would that not be helpful to you? It certainly would to me and my research!" "Well, if it's fer Science, I s'pose I can help..." Soon Archeville had named all the muscles, bones, and organs in Dead Head's body, and he had exposed every inch of himself to the Doktor. Washing up, he lead Dead Head to the reinforced Hazard Hall below his laboratories, where realistic holograms covering overlapping polygonal force fields and tightly-focused pressor beams (as well as an assortment of robots) could create a variety of threats for superhero training... or superhuman power testing. "Alright, Dead Head, just stand right there, please, and I will go to the control room and set things in motion." "Yeah, but what about monitorin' me? Dontcha need, like, monitors attached to me?" "Indeed so!" A small section of the floor irised open, and a slim pedestal rose up, atop which was something looking like a watch. "Her, put this biomonitor on, it will link to the dozens of sensors in in the walls, ceiling and floor to monitor you!" Archeville practically skipped to the control room, giddy to start cataloging another Metahuman's abilities. He set the Hazard Hall to its lowest level to start, all nonlethal attacks. For the most part, Dead Head simply stood there, unaffected by it all; at one point he looked up with his arms crossed over his chest and the most bored expression his dead face could muster. Archeville looked over the biomonitor readouts, which showed absolutely nothing. He stepped up the intensity of the attacks, and these attacks did break skin and fracture bone, but Dead Head bounced back in practically no time. Archeville set about removing the safeties from the Hazard Hall, which caused parts of the control room to unfold as new options were made available. He turned to one console, but did so just as another was descending, and suffered a nasty concussion. Archeville fell to a crumpled heap on the control room floor. A hand reached up to the main console from the floor. It was not human. "Herr Totenkopf... I mean, Mister Dead Head... are you ready for de next level of intensity?" "Sure thing, Dok! I'm startin' ta get bored ta death down here! An' I'm already dead! Yer borin' me back ta death!" "Oh, do not vorry about dat," he muttered, while black-scaled, taloned hands manipulated the controls. First came whirling blades and crushing hammers, but they could not kill the zombie. A shotgun blast to the back of the head healed over with annoying swiftness. "Yea! Now we're cookin', Doc!" "'How about a little feuer, scarecrow?'" It would take days to get the smell of burnt zombie out of the Hazard Hall, but only moments for Dead Head's charred body to regenerate. "This ain't mah first barbecue, y'know!" "Hold on a moment, you are still smoldering..." A saline solution was prayed onto the smoking zombie; the solution was filled with several million particularly nasty nanobots designed to rip and tear their way through skin, organ tissues, and blood vessels, causing massive internal hemorrhages and shock response in the victim. They barely managed to keep Dead Head at the same level of injury, and in time, unable to draw power from the zombie's non-existent bioelectrical field, their tiny batteries gave out and they fell inert. And he didn't even seem to notice. "What's next?" Unintelligible curses issued from Arch-Evil's fanged and spittle-flecked mouth, even as he programmed in a new attack. Behind Dead Head, a machine assembled itself from hard light holograms, but the unconventional undead was too busy focusing on the large hulking robot that was rising from the floor. It charged, swinging a massive hammer-fist at the hero; he simply smiled as he braced himself for impact. The blow connected, a mighty uppercut that sent Dead Head flying into the machine behind him. The western wall of the Hazard Hall became dark red. "Ha! Ein Zombie shambled bis zu hölzernen abklopfhammer und sagt "Ich vergaß, nicht in sie gedrückt zu werden, und jetzt ich bin laubedeckt." Ha! Es ist lustig, weil der Zombie mit laubedeckt erhält! Ahhh hah hah hah hah hah!" The remains stirred, wiggling and writhing back towards each other, slowly un-mulching themselves. Arch-Evil looked on, unbelieving. "Nein! Nein, nein, nein, nein, nein! Computer! Erstellen Sie eine Kopie von den letzten fünf Minuten dieses Lernabschnittes und außer zum Wraith-Antrieb," he commanded while adjusting the controls to the Hall and his Electromagnetic Screwdriver, "wenden Sie dann Filter 23-E an den letzten fünf Minuten der Primäraufnahmenan." Arch-Evil took a few deep breaths, then did what he hated doing: went back to a quiescent state. With the last microsecond of consciousness, he activated the Screwdriver, which set off a memory-altering pulse to cover his actions, making Archeville think they were his own; the doctored audio and video logs would show Archeville running the tests. The gadget reset itself to standby mode as it tumbled from his unconscious hands. Archeville stood, placing a hand over his throbbing head. "Dead Head? Still with us?" "Jes' fine, Dok, the regenerative -- and very naked -- revenant called from the empty Hall, "but... uh... I'm gonna need some new clothes!"
  9. Taylor had been stretched to the breaking point and then some. After some terse words exchanged with Jack (and perhaps a chair or two thrown), she'd been forced back onto yet another emergency but something had tickled in the back of her mind. Had been tickling in the back of her mind so this time, after the emergency, she'd waited around and spent some time doing some serious scrying and spell casting to check her suspicions. What she'd found left her more coldly furious than Taylor had ever thought she could be. Normally, her return to the library was soundless as she filtered in from one reality to another but this time, Phantom ripped time and space asunder, leaving bolts of eldritch energy flashing and crackling through the windows and a fell wind knocking over papers and sending them whipping around the room. She seemed unaware or uncaring of the magical storm she was causing in the library as she tore through it, tossing priceless volumes aside in some sort of personal quest.
  10. Blackstone Prison is what allows the citizens of Freedom City to sleep at night. They know that all of the super villains Freedom City seems to attract are safely locked up inside the formidable walls of Blackstone. That security blanket was shattered as a large scale break out attempt larger than any since the Terminus Invasion began mere moments ago. The Blackguards were fighting valiantly, but it was only a matter of time before they were overrun. Prisoners were already making it to the surface, there only saving grace was that the least powerful of the villains were kept closest to the surface. The longer the prisoners went uncontained, the more likely the guards were to be overrun by Freedom's most wanted.
  11. With a little help from Alex, Erin was quickly on her way through the nighttime shadows of Freedom City, leaping from rooftop to rooftop across the downtown, then speeding along surface streets when the neighborhoods got residential. Alex had said he was around here, and there were only so many cemeteries in the neighborhood. It felt so strange to be out here at night in her street clothes, almost as though she were underdressed. She definitely missed the weight of her bat at her side. But there would be no fighting tonight. She'd promised Dr. Marquez and Alex both that she would be able to restrain herself. As soon as she found the zombie, she would talk to it. Him, whatever. Just talk, and then she could go home and be done with this especially obnoxious part of therapy. As she neared the closest cemetery, she slowed, looking around for signs of motion. It would be really bad, after all this, if the zombie took her by surprise and she did something unfortunate.
  12. Date: May 23rd, 2010 The city was in sad shape, but the day had been saved, but barely. The heroes realized that they needed to better themselves should such a dire situation ever arise again. An old abandoned arena, probably from the hey day of Circus Maximus would prove to be a way to better themselves. This was a venue where the heroes could spar away from prying eyes, on neutral ground and best of all, not worry about hurting anyone. Word was spread through the grapevine in the hero community. Take the evening off to come test your mettle against the other heroes. No one knew definitively who was coming, though heroes had their suspicions. But among all of these unknowns, there was one truth to the whole matter, tonight was going to be an interesting night.