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Found 1,419 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. GM Egyptian Airspace, 30 minutes from Cairo Friday, April 18, 2019 (1:20 PM local time) A Danger International private jet soared above the light cloud cover over northern Egypt as it entered its final approach toward Cairo. The sleek aircraft began a gradual descent as it continued on its flight path, transporting a rather unusual group of passengers to the ancient city. It had been several months since a group of Thule Society sorcerers accompanied by several enhanced SHADOW clones had attempted to steal an ancient Egyptian artifact during the opening of an exhibit at the Hunter Museum of Natural History. What the Thule Society had not accounted for was the presence of three Claremont students who had been able to halt the theft. But as the remaining Thule sorcerer had escaped, he had made a cryptic remark about artifact, suggesting that there it possessed some secret the teens were unaware of. Two of the teens, Veronica Danger and Elizabeth Grey, had been able to confirm that the artifact (the burial mask of the Pharaoh Sanakht) resonated with magic and that it was some sort of key. But despite their best efforts to research what that might mean, they still did not know exactly what it was a key to. So over the last few months Danger International, with some assistance from the Dakanan Royal family, had made arrangements with the Egyptian authorities to allow for an investigation of Sanakht's pyramid at the Saqqara necropolis. Permission had not been obtained until after the start of the new year, meaning Veronica, Elizabeth and Kam Kingdom had to wait until Claremont’s Spring Break to take the trip to Egypt. The interior of the jet was rather luxurious, with each of the teens having a large leather seat with plenty of room around them. The seats rotated so they could turn to face the middle and each other to more easily converse about the expedition they had set out on, or could turn out towards a small table next to each of seat (with connections for laptops and cellphones).
  5. April 2019 Outside the Common Room Leaning against the wall, the corridor mostly empty at this time of day, Watchdog's eyes were firmly hidden behind her sunglasses by the time Monica approached, a few minutes after the 'incident' out in the greenhouse. Normally she'd have let the other girl pass, but she picked up on the indications in Lady Liberty's manner that she actually wanted to talk. "Got a problem, Liberty?" she sneered.
  6. Bedlam First Assembly 9PM October 30th 2018 Light Rain Dr. Thorne sat nursing their drink at the dinner where their prospective, client? informant? had requested to meet. The girl had sounded scared, genuinely scared, but determined and thought the PI might just be able to get what she knew to the right kind of cops. Outside in the spotty glow of failing streetlights the occult investigator could make out the knot of hardened looking young men paying a bit too much attention to the diner. Perhaps looking for victims, perhaps trying to screw up the courage to knock over a place under the protection of one of the families. Mr. Strix had stalked, followed, the group after he'd seen the handoff of clean and disposable guns in an ally a few blocks away. They had kept to the better traveled streets not giving him alot of room to find out more but that kind of hardware was not the sort of thing for a casual carry. They intended to use it. Pastor Theo set the last of the chairs up on the table in the churches small community room. The last of the NA attendees were vanishing into the cloud of cigarette smoke that lingered outside every meeting of this sort. Event he chill rain wouldn't stop them, though one supposed it was mostly better than the less legitimate vices they were trying to kick with varying degrees of success. It was like the weather. I night that seemed to be holding it's breath. Not quite still but with an air of something to come. And then it did, in a flash of dirty scarves and worn sneakers the girl spotted the gangbangers ont eh corner and bolted nearly knocking more than one off balance junkie off their feet as she sprinted for the closest thing to sanctuary in a town like Bedlam. A church. Most of the gangs were just superstitious enough not to try anything in a house of god, most of them. Across the street Thorne and Strix saw the gang member move into action the jumpier one flashing enough of his new iron to have the junkies and other patrons clearing out before they became victims, or worse witnesses. While a pair headed around the back and a couple fanned out to watch the street in each direction just in case the apparent leader approached the door grinning through a mouthful of fake gold. "Eh man, you see my sister eh?" he snickered not even trying to hide the lie, "She need get home real quick momma gonna be worried where she get to."
  7. 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.
  8. 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?"
  9. 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.
  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. GM April 4th Rapa Nui, W.E.S.T Headquarters A light rain had greeted Dr North as the WEST plane landed. He was not in a good mood, and the tepid precipitation suited. Now he was in the reinforced WEST headquarters on Rapa Nui, affectionately known as EAST. There was the usual reports of threats across the globe on his desk. Most of these didn't pan out to anything serious, or needed only further management by the other local or world authorities. An Ebola outbreak in Africa. A mutated Crocodile in New Orleans. Metaphasic radiation in Freedom City. The normal. The major problem was the reappearance of Doctor Archeville. And the threat he may or may not pose. To Doctor Norris North's educated mind, Doctor Archeville was a net neutral. He could solve as many problems as he created. He could save as many lives as he created. He harboured no particular distrust of the man or the personality, or any particular warmth either. It was a situation that should be managed, and by his estimation that meant diplomacy and investigation. That meant W.E.S.T. The world was most keen for W.E.S.T. to keep a heavy eye on Doctor Archeville and his experiments. They wanted, as normal, the impossible. All he could do was meet them halfway. He felt, like normal, that he was playing an impossible game of chess with mysterious new pieces. In any case, he had requested Doctor Archeville meet him at EAST. He would have to size up the risks and benefits of the man. He hoped very very much it would be less of the former, more of the latter... But if there was a hazard, he was prepared. And he had asked Delta to be on site. In case they needed some heavy blasters...
  12. GM A high-rise apartment on 64th Street, overlooking Liberty Park March 15th, 8 PM Miss Tricia Thorne, head of the Thorne Foundation, socialite and all around rich woman had it all. She was young, she was beautiful, she was popular, and she was so very rich. And she was a good person, too! At only 20, she had started the Thorne Foundation after her parents died tragically in a skiing accident in Norway, using both her own money and donations to help whatever cause was most in at the moment, whatever would get her the most headlines and recognition for her effort to and attempts to help everyone! This evening, the beautiful young blonde, now just 25 years old, was hosting a gala for the rich and famous, with all proceeds from the evening going to aid the refugees of the Middle-East. It might not be the hottest and most in topic right now, but Tricia Thorne was bringing it back! And of course, she had informed all the media, from TV stations to bloggers, and even some of the people that still worked on those old newspapers and magazines! See, Tricia wanted to be inclusive of everyone! The gala was held in the 64th street apartment. Well, apartment was putting it lightly. It was quite a large place, with her owning several of the upper floors, including the huge ballroom at the very top floor. A multitude of round tables were placed around the room now, with an overly large see through trophy in the middle of the room. While it was slightly golden in color, it was clearly just made of glass. It was filled with money, mostly as a publicity stunt. A staircase led to the top of the trophy, where any of the rich and famous could walk up to throw their money in, which was of course just symbolic of their actual donations. Or so they said. Camera crews surrounded the area, which was by now filled with people. There was a slight lull in the festivities now that the main dish had been finished, while they waited for Miss Tricia Thorne, dressed in a beautiful black dress to symbolize her sorrow at the plight of the refugees, to make a speech. Well, once she finished talking with the handsome young man at her table. And one such guest from the media was one Buddy Brand.
  13. June 6th 2019, 10:00 PM The Fens Crouched atop the van as it sped over the bridge Red Lynx kept his body low and balanced as his target wove in and out of the late night traffic. Technically of course he wasn't supposed to be off campus without leave. As far as he was concerned the notice of his intent to familiarize himself with bayview and the southside perhaps after curfew was as good as permission. Summers likely would not see it that way. Particularly as he crossed the river from the relative stability of south freedom for the infamous fens. But he could hardly allow the thief to escape merely by crossing a bridge. At the Riverview Inn and Suites, which had neither a river view nor suites but did have hourly rates, Robin sat in a rented hyundai camera in hand. Tracking down cheaters was not the most glamorous of work for a PI but it paid the bills and the agency could only take on so many freebie cases and keep the lights on. She heard the revving of the engine as the compensation mobile squealed around the corner and rocked to a stop in the parking lot. The pair that emerged were precisely the type she'd expect from such a fine establishment, tall muscular, wearing the Fens approximation of wealth doubtless ill gotten, armed if that oddly straight legged gait was any indication. Less expected was the thump of muted footfalls on the roof of her car as a delivery van sped past and something almost silently lept from it vaulting off her rental to scale the side of the motel and keeping to the shadows pick their way across the roof overlooking the criminals in the parking lot as they looked around then moved toward the trunk of the lowered Honda they'd arrived in.
  14. 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...
  15. 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.
  16. 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?"
  17. GM The man who walked into Silberman's Books could best be described as "goth pimp with hipster garnish," the unholy union of a failed stage magician and an even less successful pick-up artist. He wore a long black velvet overcoat with puffy faux-fur trim, also in black. His slacks, suit jacket, and long-sleeved collared shirt were black as well, while his waistcoat and necktie were splashes of red. His dark hair was tied back in a braided pony-tail which almost reached his waist, peeking out from beneath a wide-brimmed black Stetson hat with a red ostrich feather stretching a foot and a half above and behind him. His beard was almost as long as his hair, waxed and styled in a pseudo 19th century fashion. He wore several fine chains around his neck, from which hung a giant gold pentagram and several different crystals. All of his fingers were covered with mis-matched rings. A pair of black snake-skin boots, polished to a high gloss shine, completed the ridiculous ensemble. The man clicked his walking stick on the floor as he strode up to the counter, swinging a briefcase with his other hand. The red-lacquered wood was topped with a silver handle shaped like a coiled dragon. He tipped the brim of his hat to the employee behind the counter and gave them a smug grin. "I'd be much obliged if you could point me toward the restroom, and if you could have a double espresso macchiato and your manager waiting for me when I get back. Assuming the beans are fair trade, of course." The man reached into the breast pocket of his suit jacket and pulled out a metal calling card case, and a money clip bulging with a three-inch thick stack of folded bills. He pulled out an embossed white business card, and a hundred-dollar bill, and slid them both across the counter. "Keep the change. Buy yourself something nice." He winked. The business card read "HAWTHORNE BOOKS & ANTIQUITIES," with an address in Bedlam City, Wisconsin.
  18. 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.
  19. March 17, 2019 Claremont Academy It was St. Patrick's Day, so naturally Judy had dressed for it; a green dress with white flowers that went below her knee, and a nervous, almost hesitant smile as she made her way to join her World Religions study group in the library. She greeted Danica, Pan Ayjay, hugging her book to herself before she said, "Um, Ashley said she can't make it today, so it's just us." She looked around at her study buddies and commented, "...so, Ah was thinking, that since we already know about Buddhism and stuff, and this is just review anyway, we could mostly just...you know, maybe do other stuff?" she asked hopefully. Judy struggled in some classes, and occasionally turned a bright, mortified red when particular subjects came up, but she'd always done quite well in World Religions.
  20. Heritage

    Body Doubles

    Silberman's Books. Wednesday, March 27th, 2019. 12:35 pm It started out as a bit of joke, really, until the idea began to take hold in Lynn Epstein's brain. Then the more she thought about it, the better and better it sounded. Surely there were lots of people in 'the biz' who could this kind of service. And it wasn't like they needed the money; heck, they could do it for free! No need to discriminate against struggling, up-and-coming heroes; it could really give them a leg up! So she sent a message to the one person she knew who currently fit the bill in Freedom. And who knows, maybe they could eventually add more? The changeling waited in her office, sipping mint tea as she waited for guest to arrive.
  21. Mr Murk April 15th, 2018, Silvermans Books 9.57pm The Sun was down, and it was nearly closing time. Mr. Murk needed the sun to be down. And he would prefer it to be nearly closing time. Less people around. Wrapped in the Murk, he entered as a stiff gentleman of advanced years, in a tween jacket and thick glasses. He was blind, but he didn't need eyes to see in a book store. He could feel the sumptous wit of the ink around him, he could feel the souls of those in their, and all he had to do was avoid chairs. He went up to the counter, smiling pleasantly. The immortal soul of Grimalkin was there, and he could feel its taste, and taste its feel. "Good evening. I hope I do not intrude at this lateness of hour?" he asked, softly, voice dusty with age, with a mild American accent that spoke of New York and Europhillia. He had come on a mission that required his gentle touch. Grimalkin was an immortal, and should be offered the duties and benefits of the Codus Immortus!
  22. 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
  23. 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."
  24. 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.
  25. 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.”
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