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Found 17 results

  1. Gizmo

    Crack the Anvil

    July 11, 2018 7:26 AM With venerable trees reaching out to provide shade over sidewalks and expensive landscaping framing driveways Kingston had been one of the greener neighbourhoods of the city proper. Now all of that was simply more tinder for the fires indiscriminately gutting once proud estates and nouveau riche concept homes. Even as the sun rose of the second day of the Annihilist occupation its light was choked off by plumes of smoke, leaving the streets cast in flickering reds and oranges. That ominous light would have still been preferable to the deep crimson pocked with dark spots rising from the crumbling remains of one of the larger homes. With violent thumping impacts a Terminus machine the size of a city bus turned on its end dug deep into the foundation while gangly metal arms long enough to reach across the street's cracked pavements ripped free chunks of brick and metal and glass and stone to construct something unseen. The unearthly energy lashed out in unpredictable directions like tap water diffused over the back of a spoon, causing small explosions anywhere it stuck something solid. Meanwhile Omegadrones with wickedly barbed pikes were gathering another sort of raw materials: dozens of people, beaten and bloody, being marched single file toward the terrible pit.
  2. Soooo...This will be @Ari's domain, honestly. But! Get your postin' muscles ready, @Thunder King and @Vorik! https://www.freedomplaybypost.com/topic/10624-like-a-wagon-train-out-of-hell-terminus-invasion-2018-ic/
  3. July 10. 7 PM. Freedom City. Southside. The city was a battleground. Omegadrones in the sky. Heroes everywhere. Broken glass and shattered buildings. Bodies in the streets. Doom had come to Freedom. Naturally, the civilians needed to get out of town. Equally naturally, there was zero chance they’d make it without a heroic escort. The convoy was big. Several buses and a multitude of private vehicles. Obviously, it wasn’t the only convoy, with Freedom being a city of literally millions. Heroes were spread desperately thin by the invasion of the Terminus, leaving only Prism and Mannequin to protect this particular convoy. Things had been relatively quiet. They had been noticed by Omegadrones, but other heroes had taken them on allowing the convoy to get across the river. It kept happening, too. But for now, everything was quiet as the vehicles rumbled down into the Southside to the trainyard. Planes were a no go, as Omegadrones could blast them out of the sky with little effort. And the highway had been jammed since 2. So, trains. Just had to get to the depot.
  4. Sloane Manor North Bay, Freedom City New Jersey Thursday, July 12th, 2018 4:02 PM Erick Sloane's beachfront villa in North Bay was far from untouched. The prior day's assault on Kingston left much of the surrounding upper-class neighborhoods in a state of disarray. And North Bay was no exception. Especially after an entirely new force from the Terminus emerged to fight against both the Resistance Force and the invading force. Ironically, it seemed as if for the first time in the history of Freedom City someone could make the claim that the Fens was the safest neighborhood to live in. Of course, most residents didn't have a sprawling underground headquarters in their villas. A team of heroes had been risking their lives gathering and spreading information and equipment covertly to the Resistance in the city. The latest transmission pinpointed where one of the power sources for the device generating portals into the city was. Unfortunately, said generator was currently guarded by what had to be one of the largest armies of the Terminus sighted thus far. To make matters worse it was positioned deep inside the Raymond Nuclear Power Plant. Which had seen extensive renovations by Daedalus of the Freedom League to convert the plant into a virtual fortress. In short, any attempts to destroy the generator would be a suicide mission. Foreshadow sent a recruitment transmission through his headquarter's computer with the hope that anyone nearby would answer the call. When Sea Devil, Singularity, and Cobalt Templar arrived they found piles of Omegadrone armors strewn throughout the sprawling manor. The inside of the home appearing as if an explosive had been set off with the stench of entropic energies wafting through the air. Having to step over the burnt and battered Omegadrones they would find an open bookshelf that at one point covered the staircase that led down into Foreshadow's Forebode. The computer's holographic display had a Power Pike sticking through it slightly covering the top leftmost point on the 3d layout of the Raymond Nuclear Plant. A hooded man stood in the center of the room his back turned to the staircase, a dark blue cape flowing in tatters.
  5. July 10, 2018 8AM Joan Collier's soothing voice greeted Freedom City's commuters on July 10; those that didn't already have today off anyway. "All of Freedom has turned out for what may be the largest gathering of metahumans in recent history; a commemoration of the death of the Centurion twenty-five years ago-" In the waters off the coast of North Bay, Aquaria watched as Jessie and Baxter played fetch in the surf. Tourists usually didn't come to the beach by the airport, which made it the perfect spot for locals in the know looking to get away - especially when one of them generally couldn't be seen by human eyes. They'd brought their gear, just in case superheroing turned out to be necessary; but this was supposed to be a day off. In Bedlam City, Anna Cline was up early with her plate of breakfast sausage and eggs and a live newsfeed. Thanks to the satellite hookup her sidekick had made, she didn't even have to see the stupid Bedlam talking heads. In Britain, UNISON heroes Mark Lucas and his wife Monsoon were eating lunch in Vanguard's headquarters, their son sitting on his father's lap. It had been a good teamup. Woodsman slept late that morning, curled up in his tent screened from the bushes, his motorcycle chained to a nearby tree. Next stop, Minneapolis. The Omegadrone called Harrier sat in his house with his woman and was content. The cameras were off and the world outside them quiet. This was a day when neither of them needed to go out. In Emerald City, Washington, Citizen backed himself up that morning, prompted by one of several emails Miss Americana had sent him that night. After that, it was time for a morning speech to the Archetech staff, and then maybe time to get to work? In the VIP section of the audience in Riverside Park, Fast-Forward sat alongside his wife, occasionally shooting a glance over at Wail elsewhere in the crowd of dignitaries. He hadn't seen a crowd of supers this big since...well, since 2013. Elsewhere, Heyzel remembered "And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father" - but found the holy words bitter comfort. 9AM "Thanks for that, Carl - that was Carl Stallone on location with the Freedom League Auxiliary and True North in Greenland, where it seems one giant rock monster found that it bit off - more than it could chew." Joan frowned, as if judging her teleprompter, before continuing. In an undisclosed wing of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Ashley and Jaycee sat in a room free of any electronics and ate breakfast together - practice for that fall. "So, uh, are you really a...a lesbian?" Jaycee asked Ashley while she was sipping her orange juice. Ashley was a veteran superhero and Secret Service agent. She managed to swallow it. 11AM And all at once, psychics and mystics across the city screamed in mixed terror and pain as they felt the very stuff of the universe be violated - - And Harrier crashed to the floor without so much as a sound escaping his lips - - And the sky ripped open above the assembled crowds like the tearing of some great and terrible wound, and with the sound of hellish trumpets the Omegadrones poured forth from the sky like so many locusts- NOON The image of Captain Thunder and the Alpha Omegadrone, plunging together into the base of the Sentry Statue and sending it tumbling to the Earth amid belching smoke and flame, remains one of the most infamous images of the Invasion of 2018- Fast-Forward felt his tendons pull as he runs his way through the city, grabbing people and running them out, but he doesn't care - not yet, not time for that- -And in the center of the city something happenned to the DuTemps Building; great black wriggling things like umbral tentacles spread across the building from the castle downward, enveloping the entire structure like a squid around its prey before tentacles and castle alike vanish altogether 1PM "A body count already estimated to be in the hundreds and-yes, I've just gotten word that the portal in Liberty Park has been closed but that the crisis is not over-" 2PM "YOU CAN EVADE REALITY BUT YOU CANNOT AVOID THE CONSEQUENCES OF AVOIDING REALITY!" cried Abby Brio from her throne, the great golden chair glowing above the burning remains of the Ashton neighborhood, the chair itself cast in an eerie light by the great green dome overhead, flanked by Omegadrones. 5PM "And we are reporting now that the Freedom League has been driven away from the enemy fortress in Kingston as well, thus leaving two Terminus strongholds right in the heart of Freedom City." It was shortly after this moment that Joan Collier handed her desk off to someone else. 8PM The sun is setting. There are war councils afoot and civilians being rescued. The skies are red, but stars glow defiantly through them. There are bodies in Kingston and Ashton, and terrible things are being done to the dead - and very soon to the living. Omegadrones are flying - and the Sentry Statue is still burning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Fju9o8BVJ8
  6. July 12th, Third Day of the Terminus Invasion 2248 Hours Briefing Room A1, Subbasement Level 1, Claremont Academy In the hours and days following the Invasion, only few safe areas remained for the citizens of Freedom. One of them was Claremont Academy, as it turns out the Summers had planned for the eventual inevitability, the Academy was prepared for an attack. Or at least, that had been the expectation. As it turned out, the systems themselves could not hold off the hordes of bodies being thrown at them, and what heroes had made it to the Academy spent their time in shifts, assisting with the defence to the best of their ability. The Subbasement was, for the time, fully secured, and the dorms were filled up with people receiving first aid and doing their best to recover before heading out into the fight once more. Walking through the hallways, one had to avoid stumbling over weapons, equipment and clothing, hastily thrown away, with nobody having the energy to try and keep things organized. Keeping up the fight was more important. Which was why a small crowd of heroes had been gathered in the briefing room, for a top-priority assignment. The group was being briefed by headmistress of Claremont, Callie Summers herself. It was a simple briefing, no fancy graphics, no extended speeches, just right down to business. “As you may have noticed yourself, the Annihilists have changed their method of attack. They’ve incapacitated multiple people and dragged them off, something that we’ve been trying to keep under wraps as good as possible in order to preserve some degree of morale. “ “Now, I’m not telling you this for nothing. Our scouts have managed to track down the location these people have been brought to, the College. We need to get them out, and with every minute that passes, they are in more danger. As are we. I need you to get in and extract them. We have no idea how many people are being held there, or what exactly is being done to them. “ “This will be dangerous. You will probably see things I wouldn’t want anybody to see. You will face what we can only assume is a massive force of enemies. We won’t be able to keep up any radio contact, you will be on your own. But don’t ever forget this, all of these people rely on you. This is your chance to save potentially dozens of lives, while also dealing a major blow to our enemies. “ “Now, any final questions? The faster we’re done with this, the more people you can save.”
  7. July 13th, 6ish PM, Riverside. The end of the world’s arrival looked to be on a Friday, Eastern Standard Time. This was in stark contrast to the expectation from many office workers, and comic strip cats, that it would be on a Monday. Though it was in part towing the line of the firm the belief of those who lived in Northeast United States that the world revolved around them. It was only fitting, then, that the apocalypse would start in one of the most important cities there. Self-fulfilling prophecies being what they are. In a parallel with other historical events, this particular phase was set off with the delivery of a message: “Taarvon is here, he is fighting Shivan Steelgrave. At the peninsula of Loneliness” This was news, good or bad it was hard to suss out, or know that what the impact had. But it came from the lips of a Furion, young as they went, battered, bruised, and bloodied. Though, he had succeeded in getting to the some of the Earth heroes, and relaying the information, before he collapsed in a heap. There wasn't many there, but it was a number that wasn't zero, and the three that he had found were some of the luminaries in the dark times that were crashing around them, the city, and humanity itself. But it wasn't just a swarm of Omegadrones, of course. Though the relief on the young Furion's face spoke volumes that they were the ones he had been after. Especially the recognition in his eyes on seeing Gaian Knight, before the rush of words came out before he dropped down. A look to the Eastern horizon showed the sky alight with flames against the dwindling day.
  8. July 11, 2018 4:17 PM The ambulance didn't bother with its sirens as it rode deeper into the West End. It wasn't as though the laws of the road were being enforced just then and drawing attention would have only made it a better target. The missing passenger side door and twisted remnants of a front bumper testified that the blocky vehicle - and its operators - were lucky to still be in reasonably working order. The way it screeched around two abandoned cars wrapped around each other in the middle of an intersection, lifting up onto two wheels briefly, said that those close calls hadn't made them any more timid. It wasn't a hospital where it came to a stop but the Summerhill Street Farmer's Market of all places. Stands normally stocked with ears of corn and handmade candles had been repurposed into temporary shelters and soup lines, tarps and truck beds and trash bins call called into whatever use was most immediately needed in the chaos of the previous day. People forced to flee their homes or unable to return to them, people too injured or old or simply unwilling to attempt to flee with city entirely had gathered in the convenient open space, stocked with food and running water. The rear doors of the ambulance opened and a muscular man with sleeve tattoos and a blood caked concert tee that barely fit vaulted out. "I got a broken leg and a couple kids that got separated from their folks!" Hernandez called to the able bodies already jogging over to meet him. "Somebody grab me something to use for a splint, I'm using shitty ass rebar over here!"
  9. Earth-K-Omega/Pastoral-1 (Extinct) Information on Earth-Pastoral is sketchy and has been collected from oral sources only. Thus, all data should be considered unreliable until personally confirmed. The history of this Earth split off from Earth-Prime in the 14th Century CE. On Earth-Pastoral, the Black Death began in the mid 1340s and recurred every decade until the middle of the 1500s. Europe’s population was severely depleted, and stories began to spread that the continent was cursed by God. In the same hand, the Vikings had spread their stories of Vinland far and wide. In the early 1500s a group of Europeans decided that they would rather risk the seas and natives that were described as demons, rather than await another round of plague. They set out, crossed the Atlantic, and found a eastern American coastline that seemed ripe for expansion. While there was plenty of room to expand in the New World, Earth-Pastoral did not have the same population pressures that Earth-Prime experienced and so immigration and colonization was much slower. The expanding European population made treaties and intermarried with the indigenous peoples, and often honored them. Too, less population pressure made the competition for resources less fierce, and while steam engines were invented in the early 18th Century there was no rush for industrialization that marked the 18th Century of Earth-Prime. Altogether Earth-Pastoral was a much more agrarian and less urbanized society, even into the 20th Century. The most important figure of this time has to be a Prussian nobleman who would become known as the Steam General or the Brass General. No subjects interviewed would confirm his name, but they did give a brief sketch of his history; he was the last son of a minor Junker house and inherited very little money. He turned to industry and trade to build a fortune, but the leaders of Europe were aware to the ecological cost of his factories and most denied him land rights. Frustrated and at the end of his ropes, he became an arms manufacturer for the expanding German army. Around this time he made contact with the Terminus; it’s believed Shadian Steelgrave offered him the secret of entropic reactors, and with this the Junker made tireless robotic soldiers. He broke his exclusivity deal with the German army and sold them around the world, and before long every nation was racing to build up robotic armies. When the Terminus invaded, those self-same armies turned on the people they were supposed to protect. It’s hard to get an accurate counting, but it seemed that only one or two superpowered beings survived the first invasion. Before long the planet had been brought into the Terminus, and installed as one of the Hundred Worlds. The last superpowered being, an heir of the Spirit of Liberty, helped form the resistance movement that all the known refugees of Earth-Pastoral came from. Before long, though, she was warped from the Spirit of Liberty to the Spirit of Revenge, and was killed on a raid. Before that, she gave birth to Antoinette Baudin; Antoinette would be enrolled in Claremont Academy on Earth-Prime, and in 2014 she, along with Blodeuwodd, Crimson Tiger, and Kit, would return to Earth-Pastoral and save a large number of the remaining prole population. These refugees are now living on Sanctuary under the protection of Fleur de Joie. Earth-Pastoral has since been consumed by the Doom Coil. This planet is no more. All further inquiries should be routed through the Freedom League, ℅ Auxiliary member Fleur de Joie or known hero Antoinette Baudin. ====Flora & Fauna==== Much of the flora and fauna of Earth-Pastoral was identical to that of Earth-Prime. It can be assumed that many species that have since gone extinct on Earth-Prime endured long afterwards on Earth-Pastoral, but since that planet is now gone there can be no confirmation. There is one species of note, a particular tree found on Earth-Pastoral. This tree integrated a silvery-white metal into its cellulose matrix; the material is metallurgically similar to the Silver Tree of the Furions. Anecdotal evidence indicates that this metal worked in a similar way, scrambling Omegadrone sensors and, in large quantities, could cause them to shut down. Prior to the invasion, the material was primarily valued for its decorative value, and many of the Earth-Pastoral refugees have jewelry or small pieces made of this wood-metal matrix. 7.48 kilograms of the mineral has been voluntarily collected from refugees on Sanctuary, but this amount has no observable or reported effect on known Omegadrone Harrier. ====Notable Natives==== The following individuals are native to Earth-Pastoral and of particular interest to the Freedom League. Antoinette Baudin, aka Blue Jay.
  10. HGM

    Argonaut

    Argonaut Yves Zermeño is Freed Omegadrone and a current Agent of AEGIS. Operating under the heroic code name of Argonaut, Yves seeks to prevent tragedy from hitting her current home as occurred in her past. History In another world in which the mythical First Age never came to a close, the Lor Republic stretched to every corner of explored space. The military existed primarily for the purpose of exploration and further colonization of Lor Space. Quality of Life for citizens of the advanced civilization was such that only a sci fi novel could compare. Yvejskrujanharbh'aar was a freshly graduated university student with a future as a star faring diplomat in all but certain. Her life was pretty much uneventful. She had friends, family, loved ones and her personal tragedies were no more exciting than a lost pet here or there. Having never left her home planet, her dream was to engage in interplanetary relations perhaps to eventually take a seat as a Senator.The Lor citizens born on the planet of Lor-Zul are known for being born with two very distinct features. The first being a long life span in which they maintain a youthful appearance, only showing signs of aging during the last quarter of their lives. The second a natural affinity with languages their mind able to comprehend all spoken and written word as if they were living ciphers due to a unique psionic mutation. It was only the first trait that appealed to Shadivian Steelgrave after the Terminus came. With no enemies to oppose the Lor the military was nowhere near qualified to handle the unified front of the combat drones that swept their world. The Lor were crushed and in the end there was only the Terminus.Life as a conquered slave with the Hundred Worlds was far different for the Lor. Gone from Spacemen to cavemen one had to let a piece of himself die just to survive. In Nihilor only the strong survive. And what she lacked in physical might, Yvejskrujanharbh'aar made up for with sheer willpower and luck. Engaging in brutal gladiatorial fights until she scrapped by on top of her opposition. Her prize? Her mind was torn asunder as she underwent the unspeakable acts that defined the Omegadrone conditioning. Brainwashed by the Omegadrone conditioning Yvejskrujanharbh'aar had long faded she was merely a servant of Omega. Serving on the front lines as an Omegadrone Shocktrooper.Many people remember the Terminus Invasion of 1993 differently. Most of those memories are not looked back on too fondly. But for Yvejskrujanharbh'aar it was her first real memory since her first shot at life had ended. As one of those very invaders, she found herself barely clinging to life by the time the battle had come to a close. Her armor was skewered onto a steel rod at her abdomen. Recovered by AEGIS field agents, she was given medical treatment as the organization wasn't out to just let people die. Even those part of a foreign invasion force. Of course if it brought about the opportunity to learn more about the Terminus forces more power to them.It took a think tank of the top AEGIS psychologists and doctors to match Daedalus efforts in deprogramming the Omegadrone conditioning. They even crafted a new identity for her to live, monitored by a field agent, just outside of their Baltimore offices. Yvejskrujanharbh'aar or Yves as she had now come to be known just had to agree to surrender her armor to them as well as acting as a consultant whenever the need struck the agency. When Dr. Doris Volk joined AEGIS in 1997 amongst the many projects she pursued was the development of MAX series Power Armors. Shorty after completing the designs on the Super-Max armor Dr. Volk had already begun considering the process for advancing upon her design. Searching through old AEGIS files for inspiration Dr. Volk eventually came to learn about the deal AEGIS made with Yves. It took a decade to combine the technology of the Omegadrone with that of a SUPER MAX armor creating the first flight capable power armor, far before the distinctly more well known models used by Subjects V and V2. The most problematic bit of integration was that the armor's neural interface would only respond to omegadrones like the armor's previous pilot, Yves. A neural interface was originally designed to reinforce the Omegadrone conditioning and improve Nihilor's Mixed Murder Arts by recording combat data and aiding the pilot adapt in all situations. Dr. Volk's attempts of repurposing the interface to aid field agents in saving lives could not completely overcome the fact that only a mind whom had gone through Steelgrave's brainwashing was the only one capable of conceptualizing such an idea. So she requested Yves assistance in improving the combat data of the interface as Dr. Volk attempted to overcome the flaw in the design. An offer that went through a very long series of refusals before Yves finally relented with some trepidation. Spending weekends as a test pilot for the tongue in cheekily named MEGA-MAX armor.Breaking away from the training simulation when the armor caught the transmission of a nearby alarm system in which a shoe store was being robbed by three heavily armed men. Within the comfort of her armor she was able to easily able to deal with the crooks. Disappearing before AEGIS latest line in experimental technology could be shaken. Upon her return she wasn't admonished for taking off with government property as she expected. Instead there was a congratulatory fanfare and applause and she was offered a real job with the agency. After weighing her options and the sense of satisfaction that came with actually doing something good with the armor she took the job.In her personal life, Yves and her handler had wed some years back. Together they were raising three girls from his first marriage. Although at this point the eldest was studying at FCU, so the children did not exactly outnumber the parents in the household. Eventually the Zermeños requested a change in duty station from Baltimore to Freedom City. Marking her return to the city after 20 years as the armored hero Argonaut. Powers Aside from being in very good physical , Yves body has been cybernetically modified as part of the Omegadrone process. These modifications have made her both stronger and more physically conditioned than befitting a woman of her size. As a Lor Mentat Yves was psionically attuned with an innate understanding of all spoken language. Extended time in Nihilor and traversing the Cosmic Coil for invasions have left the freed Omegadrone immune from any tampering to the temporal stream. Allies Caradoc/Harrier: Steven Murdock, fellow freed Omegadrone whom Argonaut encountered while on a mission to Australia.Dr. Volk: Scientist in charge of AEGIS MAX armor series.Carlos Zermeño: Husband, former member of Team Alphabet. A trained mercenary with a bionic of arm. The pair have three children together as a result of Carlos' prior marriage.Rogues Omegadrone Armor Argonaut uses a rebuilt Omegadrone armor using an alloy made out of spare parts from broken MAX Armors and Omegadrone armors. The armor itself contains tiny nanofibers that are far stronger than human muscle fibers of equal size. The tiny nano muscles allow her to perform feats of strength above what is humanly possible. The armor's boots are able to act as a propulsion system for flight. Chanellig the entropic energies of the Terminus for a perpetual source of energy. When not in use the Omegadrone armor is stored as a portable briefcase. As impressive as the armor itself is. The signature weapon of the megadrone is not without mention. Cold Terminus Steel capable of acting as a conduit to the Terminus, the power pike can fire bolts of entropic energy. Or more. The power pike is also able to blend in with the user's surroundings. Camouflaging the user before a deadly strike. The fact that the foot soldiers of Omega are nothing more than bodies to be thrown at a problem means that this feature had little use for anything other than the opening of a drone invasion. Dr. Volk is supposedly researching the means to combine the cold dark metals of the Terminus with Impervium creating the alloy for a unique living metal armor. Rather than putting AEGIS agents through cyberization the MEGA-MAX series of armors is purported to use a neural interface much like Argonaut's shocktrooper armor. Mimicking the behavior seen by the Communion the armor allows a symbiotic bond of man and armor. Adapting the neural technology and finding a power source are the supposed last hurdles in unveiling the new line of MEGA-MAX armors. Timeline 2014 Winter The Edge of the World: Argonaut and Cavalier find remnants of the Terminus having slipped into Earth's biosphere. Trudging up old traumas the pair hastily escape a ship housing a psionic monstrosity of Dr. Friendly's leftover experimentations.Spring No More Good Days: Argonaut was sent on assignment to Australia in the hopes of retrieving a Terminus artifact. She found herself teaming with Harrier, and Vector when caught in the middle of the Omega Boss' plans to level Australia with a series of Terminus bombs. Vector was badly injured in the confrontation and a local hero was killed before the day was ultimately saved.Fall Heavy Decisions: Argonaut, Kit, Nevermore, and Terrifica all find themselves wrapped up trying to catch a thief with stolen technology. Only they quickly find out they're not the only ones after the thief.Winter A Matter of Recognition: Steve introduced Yves to Erin White, a fellow survivor, over an awkward dinner. In which Vector presented both Steve and Yves medals. In honor of their efforts in Australia much to their chagrin.All in Hand: Argonaut and Stronghold find themselves teaming up to prevent a traitorous AEGIS Agent seeking to steal various artifacts from AEGIS' vaults.Badly Soiled: Argonaut is sent to backwoods Alabama to deal with Black Knight who was causing a scene. Apparently, attacking mutant mushrooms. Despite a tumultuous meeting the pair worked with local pd to get to the bottom of things. Ah say they worked together.2015 Winter Shanghai Surprise: Argonaut, Terrifica, and Titan found themselves traveling to China in search of stolen artifacts. Placed in the black market by Agent Hand.Spring Incursion: Red Five: The Communion had been content to use its world killer as a feint to distract most of the Freedom League near Pluto's orbit but with the true attack on Earth pushed back, five heroes volunteered on a suicide mission. Aiming to destroy the superweapon before their home joined Lor-Van!
  11. Late March 2015    Gina had been able to tell something was wrong with Steve for the last few days. Always quiet, he'd fallen nearly into monosyllables unless directly pressed, and he'd started spending his nights either reading or sitting up, staring out the window at the world outside. After living together for well over a year, this was a familiar pattern - the only mystery was whether he would eventually tell her what was the matter or if his feelings would sink back down below the mantle of his self-restraint. Finally, over a dinner of oven-cooked shrimp fajita, he put down his fork and broke the silence that had been pressing on him.    "There is an Annihilist living in the DuTemps Building." He said the words with the calm frankness of a man broaching a difficult subject, as well it was. 
  12. The Terminus High above the Silver Tree, deep in the cold red space of the Terminus itself, darkness billowed from the nothingness. It formed first into a black crescent that glowed with an impossible black radiance, then from the crescent there swelled a long spear with a pentagram at the tip. From the crescent resolved the figure of a pale-skinned woman, the spear in one hand and the crescent of shadow billowing behind her like a cape - her eyes deep voids of blackness as she looked down at the world of the Furions beneath her. Clutching her weapon, which was Starkiller, the slayer of suns in her hand, she waited in the void until the Furions came for her - and when they surrounded her, weapons glowing, she threw aside Starkiller and declared in a booming voice that resounded even in the true vacuum of the Terminus. "I am Tarva the Terrible! I bring grave tidings from the streets of Nihilor. But I will speak only to the Fleet-Footed!" --- March 1, 2014 As happens more often than you'd think, a swirling dimensional portal opened above the Martel Castle suspended itself a full hundred stories above Freedom City. Out stepped a man, if that was a man, all in black - the darkness of his garb marred by silvery lines that criss-crossed his muscular body in an abstract pattern and by his facemask - a white goat's face like that of Baphomet himself! Wielding a staff that glowed with searing red flame at the tip, he folded his arms expectantly and awaited in cold silence the arrival of his host and her escorts - for this was Scavros the Scarred, darkest and most terrifying of the Furions!
  13. GM The Gateway, the Nucleus, Goodman Building, 1961 40th. Avenue, Midtown, Freedom City, United States of America, North America, Earth, the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Earth-Prime. 10.47 AM, March 17th, Monday, 2014. The silence had grown almost unbearable as Maximus and Tesla Atom prepared the circular arch placed on raised steps in the center of the starkly-lit room. Hands tapped out short commands on the aged yet ruthlessly advanced control panels on either side as power thrummed through the portal, a kaleidoscopic miasma of shifting colors and shapes revolving in the center as dimensional energies were harnessed for a journey to the uttermost depth of the omniverse. While the the older siblings did their work, Victoria and Chase watched the bulky readout monitors beside them, once or twice calling out a word that touched faintly the edges of the visiting teen's scientific knowledge. Cosmo had a job as well, the blue primate flashing from shoulder to shoulder as he searched carefully for errant insects suck in unwieldy human hair. The destination for the four young superheroines was felt long before it was seen. A prickling across the skin, a sense of rawness in the air and a growing sense of something horrible drawing nearer had gone on for agonizing minutes before- "Got it," Tesla Atom's voice rang out suddenly, a hint of satisfaction behind the steely words as she swept her hand across a quartet of buttons, green energy flowing from her fingers to keep the triggers down, "incoming door locked." she looked up, ponytail bouncing against her neck as she quickly checked on her brother "Max?" "Everything's fine, Tess. Outgoing door just locked, no problems." The older Atom answered with a momentary glance to her. Maximus briefly flickered and passed wraith-like through the panel, solidified enough to check an errant power cable, give it a cautious nudge, and then drifted back to his station with a a relieved smile. It soon vanished though, replaced by a deep frown. "Stand by, Terminus Tunnel opening...now!" And with that, the mouth opened. Air rushed through the Gateway, a deep howling that had begun as the last word fell rose to a deep thunder, and the room trembled as a roiling whirlpool of red and white gaped before the four heroines and four Atoms. Cosmo screamed and vanished in a flash of light to reappear trembling on a rafter, and for a moment nobody said anything more, until Chase stepped over to the visitors. Regarding them with his earnest, penetrating eyes, he said in a quiet voice that cut through the howling wind "We'll shut the outgoing door the moment we know you're through, but like we said earlier, just trigger the Passport," a small metal box sheathed in a faint yellow aura slid out of his pocket and floated over to Blue Jay, "and Max and Tess will reposition the passage to Sanctuary. We will transport you and anyone you can save out of the Terminus. I guess you'll want a 'good luck'. I wish you success." he gave a stiff nod and retreated to Tesla's station. Victoria gave the foursome an encouraging grin "Don't worry, Chase, it's not like they're racing in to beat up Shady Ironpants or anything, just a quick and quiet trip there, Tona grabs her people, they get back, yadda yadda, everything's gonna be fine." Reaching up to the ceiling with an elastic arm, she gently scratched the family Moon Monkey behind his ears "Sucks we're not coming with, I want to meet this 'Steam General' jerk and show him my new Atom Punch! But this is your gig, we'll stay put unless you need us." Miming a boxing motion she turned her legs into a stool and sat with Cosmo on her lap, stroking him gently from long practice. Tesla smiled a little "What Vicky said. Keep in touch, and good luck. I'm sorry we can't go with you. Could be there's someone we know trapped in there too." The maw of the Terminus Tunnel never ceased its seething, its flickering blood-bone colors giving the sere room an ugly feel.
  14. -Richard Cline, An Oral History of the Terminus Invasion   Summer 1993 First National Bank of Lincoln   Richard Cline stuck out in the crowd of customers waiting in line for the teller for three reasons - his tapping foot, rolling eyes, and general air of impatience marked him as someone eager to be anywhere else than waiting in line, his white skin and flashy clothes marked him as an outsider among the bank’s mostly working-class customers, and his baseball cap and sunglasses were just a little odd for this early in the morning. The other customers gave him a wide berth, when they weren’t glaring at him - just as planned.   It was hot in the bank, but not quite hot enough for them to run the air - instead the music from the lot across the street gently thrummed in through the open windows. “Cause my heart is beatin’ triple time, yeah!” He did a little dance in place, snapping his fingers to the beat, and winked at a little kid watching him from the row behind. Poor little bastard, stuck in these lines with his boring mundane ‘rents. Maybe we’ll give him something to think about. He slid back and forth on his sneakers as he stood there, brand-new rubber squeaking again and again against the green marble floor.   He and Paige hadn’t been back in Freedom City for a while, but they’d kept up their careers in New York and London, and even made the front page in the latter when they’d squared off against Britannia while making off with the Prime Minister’s watch. Maybe we should go to Canada next. Those jerks in True North could be taken down a notch or two. “What are _you_ looking at?” he sneered over his sunglasses at an older man in the business suit before he pulled the shades back up and made a rude face. Stupid old man, thinks he can start something. He yanked his fingers down his vest, snapping it tight, and thought Paige’s way.   Baby, once we pawn the jewels, let’s run up to that theater in Queens and see Jurassic Park again. He knew his girl was already in position, getting the crowd in the bank ready for the show of their boring little lives, while he kept everyone’s attention through his confident demeanor and manly swagger. He tapped his pristine white Air Jordans and thought good thoughts about showing Paige a very good time in that darkened theater. Feeling like a T-Rex today! He was thirty years old, he had the best superpowers and the best girl in the world, and they were about to do what they did best - CRIME!   Guard’s at the door...checking his watch...think he’s gonna go take a whiz. When he finally got to the front of the line, an eternally frustrating five or six minutes later, Richard pulled off his shades and smiled real big at the middle-aged clerk, flashing his pearly whites. “Honey, I got good news, and I got good news - first, you can take the day off. Even better is -” He jumped up and kicked off, speeding up the room and slowing himself as he did a totally, bodaciously badass flip that landed him on top of the counter. Enjoying the shocked faces of the crowd in that one long, frozen moment, he pulled off his magenta vest, bright red tie, black leather jacket, and white tee, and threw on the black and white jumpsuit that he’d been wearing since he was a teenager.   “Fast-Forward and Hologram are here to put a little color in your lives! Everybody get down!”
  15. September 30, 2013  Somewhere in Ashton    The apartment complex looked like any other in this bedroom community, an anonymous collection of two-story boxes done in a vaguely mid-20th century Spanish style, occupying the edge of the bedroom community in the space that lay between Ashton proper and the industrial loading docks of Greenback. Thanks to Dr. Metropolis's powers, and Daedalus' wealth, nobody much had noticed just how fast the complex had gone up, or who exactly had moved into it. There had been some very special circumstances over a year earlier, when the heroes Wander, Jill O'Cure, Dragonfly, and Harrier brought back the >last survivors of a dying world from the grip of the Terminus. Most of the time, dimensional refugees in Freedom City went to the same place - Freedom League Special Circumstances Housing.  But these refugees, such as they were, were very special indeed.  Murdock stepped out of the car, the taxi rising off its struts, and looked up at the nearly-anonymous building complex, clouds in a darkening sky overhead showing what promised to be the mother of all rainstorms. He wasn't looking at Circle Ten Apartments, though, or even at the agents waiting inside who he knew worked directly for the Freedom League. Instead he was remembering the last time he'd met the people inside that building.     He remembered that day, and how close he had come to losing control, with a fever-hot vividness, and took a moment outside to compose himself.   Gabriel was arriving at the same time, by a discreet League teleporter into a nearby side-street rather than by his own very noticeable flight. The news wasn't good - the Terminus prisoners resettled in Freedom City had been found making a secret room inside their apartment complex, marked with strange signs and unknown names, and as the League's expert in religions, he'd been called in to see if this was another Terminus cult alive and well even among people who were supposed to be their guests. 
  16. 14 April 2012 The weather is nice today, Eve thought as she looked out across the Great Bay. It was a fleeting thought, and only a momentary distraction from the anxiety gnawing at her, for guests would be arriving soon. Eve was never one for drawing attention to herself--the few friends she had knew she preferred to be the quiet, unseen hand in the background--but there were certain things she was unable to avoid. Unavoidable, perhaps, but not immutable. By floating out an invitation to her friends and teammates, and most importantly Etain, Eve was able to neatly sidestep the preconceived notion of what an eighteenth birthday party for someone of her wealth and status should be like. Taking things into her hands would allow the Martel heiress to do things her way. That thought brought a smile to her face as she slipped back into her room then headed down the stairs, guests would be arriving soon, after all.
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