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Found 6 results

  1. December 12, 2010 The Iceberg, Beneath Freedom City Federal Building, Early Morning: "Lieutenant Factor reporting, sir!" Victory, already in his harness and dressed in his AEGIS standard uniform, saluted his superior. It was time for the morning Briefing before he goes out on patrol. He waited, his salute frozen on his body, until the officer gives him the word. Even then, Lieutenant Factor kept straight up, holding his hands behind his back in standard fashion. He stood very still, something made far easier by the fact that he can simply lock his joints into place, other than his right arm and neck. As he received his briefing, Lieutenant Factor kept full attention, answering briefly, only when he was asked questions directly. The briefing was rather short this morning, and when it was over, Lieutenant Factor saluted again, and turned on his foot and exited the room. As soon as he was out of the door, he removed his hat, and began to unbutton the top of his uniform, heading towards his special changing room.... Downtown Freedom City, 11:00 am "Thank you, mister!" The little girl was glad to be back with her family once again, and gave her silver savior a big hug around the neck. victory, a smile on his face, gave her a pat on her back as she hugged him. When she pulls away, he holds up his hand, and, from a small compartment in his wrist, a lolipop springs up, and his fingers catch it. "Not a problem! You were very brave." Handing her the lolipop, the girl happily takes it, as Victory stands up straight, the soot from the fire falling off his body. As the girl ran over to see her family, her grand father approached him. "Thank you so much for saving my granddaughter, Victory! We didn't think she was going to get out in time..." With his big, heroic smile on his face, Victory carefully pats the old man on the shoulder with his right hand. "All part of my job, sir." With a nod, he turns and gets ready to take off, when he's stopped by a news camera. "Victory! Victory! Can we get a word?" He stops right before take-off, his engines cooling back down. Turning, he puts on his "hero-pose", with his fists against his hips, keeping his elbows wide. "Of course! Only for a moment, though. I must be getting back to my patrol." "Of course. What do you think about the city's latest...." Riverside, 10:00 PM "Split up and stay low! he can't get a-AUGH!" The burglar's escape was cut off by a blinding light blasting in front of his face. In the darkness, their pursuer's lights seemed ominous, almost unnatural. The light gleaming from Victory's visor practically bore a hole through the criminal, who was all but paralyzed in fear. "Drop your weapons and surrender yourselves. Now." The man who got caught right in front didn't seem to be able to figure out what to do. And for that matter, neither did his cohorts behind him. Thinking that they may have a chance to escape, they immediately take off in different directions,heading down the various adjacent alleys. As soon as they do, the one unlucky enough to be right in front of the flying officer unloaded his pistol, screaming. The bullets bounce off harmlessly, and he's barely able to get more than two off before the pistol, and indeed his entire hand, is caught in a crushing metal grip. He didn't have to feel it for very long, though, before a sudden strike against his skull turns his entire world dark. His partners wouldn't fare much better, as they'd find themselves swiftly hunted and brought down. The Iceberg, 12:30 AM, December 13 The whirring and pistoning of the machine finally ends, as Victory's apparatus finishes disconnecting from the rest of his body. Sore, but released from the machine after a 30-minute process, Lance grabbed a hold of the strap dangling above his head. "Alright, sir, you're clear." "Thanks." Hoisting his body up, Lance shifted himself over, landing in the pants suspended up for him to lower in to, and on to his motorized wheelchair right after. Settled in, Lance let out a sigh, and turned the stick mounted into his arm rest to face his mechanic. "Take good care of 'er, Johnson." "Yes, Lieutenant." Lance gives the man a salute, and started his way out the door and back to his bunk. He stopped for a moment, and turned his head to look back at the mechanic. "By the way, will you be at the Holiday party?" "Afraid not, sir. I've already got plans with my family that day." "Ah. Oh well, then. Make sure to enjoy yourself." "Of course, sir. See you tomorrow." One final salute between the two, and Lance makes his way back to his room. He was able to keep a private one, unlike most of the others who have to stay on-base. Moving his chair up to the bunk, he hefts his body up with one hand, swinging on to the bed. Bringing the covers up, Lance sighs, and shakes his head. "Just another day...." he flicked off the lights, and closed his eyes for a well-earned rest.
  2. Ever since she was little, Lynn loved Halloween, for a wide variety of reasons. For one thing, along with Thanksgiving it was one of the two non-Jewish holidays her family celebrated. Her father was a fairly relaxed Conservative Jew who loved horror movies, and he saw no harm in letting his kids dress up like monsters and eat candy; after a fairly heated discussion, he finally convinced her mother it was one thing the kids could share with their Gentile friends and schoolmates. During her Aladdin phase, young Sherilyn Epstein dressed up as Princess Jasmine three years in a row, and cried for days when her mom told her she'd completely grown out of the costume and would have to be someone else. The memory of her childhood tantrum made Grim smile as she perched like a gargoyle over Broadway, watching people troop in and out of one of the ubiquitous Halloween stores, shopping bags in hand. It always amazed her how man of these places popped up in empty storefront in October, like black and orange mushrooms after a dark and stormy night. What was it about fake cobwebs and rubber skeletons that thrilled her so? Even as a little kid, the morbid and ghoulish fascinated her, especially stories that touched upon her family's past, and both sides of her family tree had a few dark and twisted branches. Her great-great-grandfather Karl Epstein was an opportunistic thug who supposedly fled a murder charge in Germany, sailing to America using a dead man's name; he became a bootlegger and mob enforcer, at one time almost as feared as the legendary Dutch Schultz. Her great-grandfather Ira Silberman started as a simple cabinetmaker, but started designing trick trunks and tables for master illusionists like Blackstone and Berastro, eventually performing on stage himself as "the Amazing Al-Kazara". However, when the limelight faded, he used his genuine occult powers (discovered quite by chance) to fight evil in the shadows, even aiding the Liberty League on occasion. He pulled off his final vanishing act back in 1957, and hadn't been seen since. So in a very real sense mischief ran in her veins, the blood of tricksters and thieves, mummers and murders, all before her transformation into a living breathing fairy tale. After meeting Mr. Silver at his Lantern Hill shop back in September, it all started to make sense; magic didn't just touch the life of anyone, it sought out those who were pre-disposed to it, either by birth or circumstance, or possibly both. And that put Lynn right in the mystical crosshairs of the universe. A loud gurgle from her stomach told her it might be a good time to make dinner plans, so Grim quietly made her way down the side of the building, invisible to all, and stepped out of the alley in her street clothes, as herself. Sometimes it was like her life before the change had happened to somebody else; she could barely remember a time when she couldn't look and dress exactly how she wanted to, slipping from one guise to another as easy as blinking. She almost pitied the rest of the world, stuck in one body and one face from cradle to grave, to be instantly judged, labeled and categorized by others by all who see them. How did she live before she broke free of the shackles of self? As she stood in line by the pushcart, waiting her turn for a kosher red hot, she suddenly felt the vast gulf that separated her from the rest of humanity; did being able to be anyone mean that she was, in fact, no one? Her guts twisted and her head went light, but soon the moment passed. No; everyone presents a mask to the world, a different face for lovers, coworkers, children and bosses. She was just better at it than most people, that's all. She was still as human as anyone else, she just had more options. Smiling at the push cart vendor, she took her dog and diet Coke and wandered off into the night, humming a tune to herself that she didn't quite recognize. But once she did, she laughed and belted out the lyrics as loud as she could. "I gotta be me! I gotta be me!"Â
  3. Psyche The Manor was even more empty than usual at this point in the day. As it was early, early morning, Alex's grandfather was still in bed. Which, actually, was why Alex was in the 'hall of heroes' as she'd come to calling it. One of the rooms that they'd come accross was a memorial of sorts - a room filled with costumes under glass cases. Oh, it had started out as the changing room, with each costume and accessories held under pristine conditions. It had slowly morphed into a memorial of sorts instead, the first time a sidekick hadn't been able for one reason or another to don their mask and spandex again. It was the one room her grandfather had been unable to open and face, so Alex was up at the crack of dawn, quietly cleaning it. The glass cases kept the costumes themselves pristine but nothing else in the room certainly was. In a pair of raggedy jeans, with her hair knotted up in a scarf, Alex industrially dusted, swept and mopped. Each silent glass tube was scrubbed lovingly, and each letter on the name plate below was meticulously cleaned off. In this room, the soft hum of the manor's power cells was muted to a faint whooshing white-noise background. Like most of the areas of the underground potion of the base, the room was high ceilinged and panneled to look like a scene out of Star Trek. Except in this room, an aura of sorrow clung to the walls. Today, in the wake of the Halloween battle, Alex found a quiet sort of comfort in the ambient aura. Once the room was pristine, Alex turned back to survey her handiwork for a moment. She walked through, touching the nameplate of the tube that held her grandmother's lab coat before continuing on to an empty tube. Pressing her fingertips against the keypad at the side, the air tight chamber whooshed open. Pulling the jacket from her backpack, Alex slipped the expensive leather into the display case and palmed the chamber closed. Arms wrapped around her stomach, Alex watched as the jacket was held in stasis, waiting and in that moment understood exactly why this chamber existed. It wasn't about an eternal memorial. It was about the hope that the lost would one day walk down the hall and reclaim their costume. It was a promise that they were still and would always be waiting. Dry eyed, Alex walked out of the costume chamber.
  4. Arming Up April 5th John Fraser paced back and forth across his dingry room, still limping but not as badly as a week ago. He was no doctor, but he knew enough to tell he'd never walk quite right again. Serves me right, he though as he turned to the assortment of equipment scattered across his bed. I need to clean the slate a little. Rein myself in, measure things up like I used to. And I need to cover my self-inflicted loss of mobility. He picked up a pair of trousers. They were closer-fitting than his previous loose costume, designed to support his legs, not provide complete freedom of movement. The shins, knees and thighs had thin armour plates of a strong carbon compound, light and tough, and he'd sewn strips of Kevlar into the chinks in the armour. He pulled them on over the trousers he'd been wearing already, taking a few experimental steps. Definitely tighter, but... needs more. Around his injured right thigh, he pulled tight the straps he'd affixed to the armour. He winced as his wound shot waves of pain through his thigh. John remembered the first night in costume. As a younger man he'd been able to bound across rooftops effortlessly. He'd been young, in peak condition. But he'd also been scarily inexperienced. Falling through a skylight into a meeting of gangsters, he'd thought his ankle had blown out upon the poor landing. A rookie mistake. Luckily, they'd all been too shocked to react quick enough to gun him down... Next... torso armour. John tutted. Until now, he'd eschewed traditional armour in favour of a kevlar vest and his own mobility. But he'd robbed himself of the latter. Not as much as I robbed it from those two people. The armour was constructed like scale mail, the plates overlapping to allow some flexibility without sacrificing protection. It slid on, forming a jet black shield for his torso and upper arms. In stark contrast to the armour, a white hawk logo was painted across the front. He'd chosen it as a symbol of fear. Hawks were swift, vicious, deadly. John had wanted to be that, to be the hawk the common criminal's rabbit. One man could do little, but a concept... A white hawk flying in the darkness of night. Not the one causing darkness, he reflected, strapping on his belt, laden with miscellaneous small tools us used. Binoculars and the like. The gloves to the costume were shy of elbow length, covering the fingertips and inner arms to prevent bowstring-related injury but leaving the backs free to move. Darkness was falling outside his window, so he locked the door and pushed open the window. He pulled on the cape. It was wide, and greyer than the rest of the outfit. Contrary to belief, grey faded into the night better than jet black. It was reinforced and billowed around, making him a more difficult target. Logically, a cape was impractical. It got caught in bowstrings, restricted access to the quiver... but you adapted, because it was useful. A hawk-shaped silhouette dropping into an alleyway was a dramatic way to scare someone. He turned to the window, placing his cowl on his head and his quiver over his shoulder. "Time for that clean slate," growled Arrowhawk, towering in his armour and wing-like cape. He dived from John Fraser's window and into the night.
  5. 31st October, 2009 The green airship floated down into the street, stopping above a small coffee shop. A hatch opened in its side and a skinny-looking teenager in a green costume leapt out, hands and feet adhering to the wall's sheer brickwork. With a quick scuttling motion, he dropped to the pavement and walked into the shop. They'd seen him coming, and knew his usual order. Since his metabolism was several times faster than a normal human's, to get a caffeine kick he needed coffee strong enough to drop an elephant, with half a bowl of sugar and served in something closer to a bucket than a cup. After chatting to the staff for a minute, he turned to leave. And saw Spellbound, the villain who'd recently attacked him, standing behind him. "Woah!" he pointed, hefting his coffee. "Don't try anything, grudge or not! This coffee is hot!" She just smiled at his and shook her head. "I'm going to a party, and really? You're not worth my time." Geckoman just rolled his eyes and walked past her. She grabbed his shoulder and spun him around. "Hey, didn't you offer to buy me coffee?" She smiled at him, and he started feeling... fuzzy. "So... how about it?" Geckoman closed his eyes for a second. Liz would murder me, I should say no. "Ok... Just no stealing things, or electrocuting me. I've got a party to go to as well." Paying for her coffee, they took a seat in the corner of the shop. "Ok, so... you don't look much older than I am. Why rob banks?" He took a gulp of coffee, instantly feeling the caffeine hum. "Building the sort of inventions I come up with isn't cheap. You stole some of them... why masquerade as a superhero?" She fixed him with a not-quite-glare, not-quite-grin. God, she really has beautiful ey- no, Chris, stop. No. Bad Geckoman! "Guilt, obviously. I'd taken it, couldn't really give it back, so I pretended I'd built it and became a superhero. You show up, claim it's yours, and I believe you." He met her gaze. "But you rob banks. I'm not supplying a known thief with anything." He thought for a second, rubbing the back of his neck. "Don't point out the hypocrisy." She just smiled at him again. ... I'm going to Hell. "And yet I'm the only one you've told all this to?" Spellbound took his expression as a yes. "Ironic, eh? But you can't keep a secret forever." She drained her mug, leaned forward and kissed Geckoman dead on the lips. "I guess next time we meet, it's back to fighting." She walked a few steps away, before turning back to the obviously still stunned Geckoman. "Well... unless you had something else in mind?" Raising an eyebrow, Spellbound sashayed away between the tables, aware of the superhero's eyes following her. He pulled off his goggles and rubbed his face. He thought of Liz, how she'd react. He thought of Spellbound, the villainess who now seemed to like him as much as she hated him. Unless it was a game? Nonetheless, he could still taste her lipstick. He put his head on the table. "Can't keep secrets forever." Crap.
  6. When: October 10th Where: Fens and Wading Way The Simple Answer It was weird being Atlas. People always looked at you differently, and not just because they had to crane their neck to do so. They assumed you brains were indirectly proportional to your muscles. However, sometimes this could be an advantage. You let people think that you were just a sack of dumb muscle and then surprise them with a 'burst of insight'. So, Samael had developed a particular speech pattern with Atlas. He talked in 'hulk speak'Â, which meant short words and taking in the third person, and threw in a 'smash'Â, 'crush' or 'little man' for good measure. And for a while, Samael actually liked the persona he threw on when he transformed into Atlas. He could say flat out stupid things, but it would actually seem threatening in the heat of the moment. But once e moved past normal street crime, that sort of persona seemed to be in bad taste. Like it was disrespectful for everyone involved to not take the situation seriously. So Samael decided that he would start to phase out the weird mannerisms. After all, he still wanted to have some fun, and people seemed a little scared of him if he got too serious. "So vat do ya zink? Am I over zinking zis again?" nnnnnnnrrrrryyyyyyyaaaaahhhhh. Mrow. was his only response as Sprinkles woke up from her little nap. She wormed her way through his legs and tugged on his pant leg in the direction of her food dish. 'ÂVat's ze matter? Poor bebbie starvin?†Continued tugs on his pants and a quiet "meow" confirmed this. "Oh da. Ya just wastin away to nuzin. I gotta hurry or zere'l be nozing left huh?' meeeeooooowww â"I'm coming starve-guts." Samael put out a bunch of dry cat food for Sprinkles and as a special treat, added some mackerel into the mix. Samael scratched Sprinkle's shoulder blades as she dug into her meal. This quiet moment was broken however when news of a break in came over across the police banner. "Time to vork. Goodbye my dear." muttered Samael as he messed with Sprinkles' ears, and headed out the door. He leapt across town, where the robbers were making their get away in a van. Atlas leap in front of the van, and before it could squirrel away managed to grab a hold of it, and lifted it off the ground. "Little, tiny men should vatch vere zey are going!" The apparent ring leader pulled out a gun and shot Atlas in the face a few times, but the bullets just fell to the ground. "We give." Said one of the smarter thugs who tossed his gun out of the van and threw up his hands. His compatriots did likewise. The criminals were rounded up and handed over to the authorities without further hassle. Atlas waved at the small crowd who had gathered and was applauding and cheering him on. With a smile spreading across his face, Atlas leapt back home. A few minutes later he was back home and sprawled out on the couch with Sprinkles slowly rising and falling on his chest. "ÂYou know, I zink zat I am alvays me, but people, ze see me how zey want to see me. But I am alvays me da?" Sprinkled looks at Samael, cocked her head to the side and then slowly reached out with her paw and squished Samael's nose.
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