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Recruitment

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Grey steam rises from the rail yard as the metro trains finish their rounds of the city and come to an end of a long day. In the distance the sounds of departing rail workers greet the night crew that has come to clean the trains and perform the nightly maintenance.

But even as the dying light of the setting sun, casts its rays on an old sandlot by the rail yard, where four men gather against an old overturned rail car, a sense of foreboding fills the air. The small group of men are dressed in grey robes and wearing red goggles. They seem to be waiting impatiently, as if they aren’t sure anyone will actually show. Tonight dark men plan dark deeds.

"You think anyone will show?"

"It doesn't matter either way, we just want back up."

"Yea, their loss."

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Dear Ironhide

The Grey order wishes to invite you to partake in a nefarious plot to gain wealth and riches. If your interested meet at the old rail yard in west side, Tuesday at 9:00.

Dont be late.

Ironhide chuckles softly at the letter "awfully vauge" he murmurs "But it might be fun" He conceds to himself and, folding the letter into his leather jacket finds a secluded alleyway and takes flight to said railyard.

He lands several moments later, about 50 ft from a small group of oddly dressed men "I take it your the vauge but interesting "grey order?" " He pulls out the letter and walks forward, handing it to them.

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Ember lands with a thud on a nearby warehouse roof, eyeing out the men in gray robes and the other stranger who appeared to be talking to them. Ember never liked cryptic massagers, or being anyone else’s lackey, however he couldn’t ignore his current financial predicament, His working with Jos could eventually pay off, but things were moving slowly with the antiques dealer, and it couldn’t hurt to do a little moonlighting.

Taking another leap, Ember landed several meters away from the group, Hunched down on all fours, his heckles were up, a soft grow coming from his throat. “Who are you and what do you want!†Ember growled, a little more threatening than he was going for. Ember didn’t like the situation and had to fight every muscle in his body to not flee. Perhaps it would have been wiser to go as Sirius rather then ember, but that would compromise his identity, as well as the fact the letter was addressed to Ember not his human counterpart.

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>

The dark red demon soared in a circle around the rail yard, until he found what he assumed was someone from "the Grey Order." The presence of a familiar form brought a wicked smile to his face.

>

The demon landed with a great and not-at-all-subtle THUD, behind Ember. "Hello, Pup! I told you we'd be meeting again!"

[[ I've created an OOC thread for this. Also, for any telepaths in the area (though I don't believe there are any PC Villain telepaths on the board), the > are Belphegor's thoughts/internal monologues, but they're in Dutch. ]]

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Hearing the thud, and than the familiar voice behind him, Ember jumps into the air several feet than lands several meters away from the demon. Suddenly this ‘moonlighting’ wasn’t looking so good.

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Ironhide turns to face the two newcomers..and is rendered speechless momentarilly "Wow..so, who are you guys, and have you looked inna mirror lately?" He seems to aim the last comment more towards the hulking demon creature.

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The demon lets out a booming laugh when the fox-man jumps, then turns to the grey-suited Ironhide, and speaks in a growling but resonant bass voice. "Mirror? 'Course I have, why wouldn't I? I am BELPHEGOR, the Artisan of Hell, not a vampire!"

>

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"Thats a moulthfull for a name..can I just call you Bella?" He gives the hulking demon a smartass grin "And no, I did'nt think you were a vampire..they look good..feminine,but good" He pauses "Whereas your tall,red and evil"

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"'Bel' will suffice, mortal," he says with a sneer, then smirks and adds, "call me 'Bella', I'll be calling you 'Ginger'. Though I'm guessing that's nowhere close to your real name. So why not tell us all who you are?"

"You, too, Pup," he says in a slightly louder voice, though he doesn't turn or even look away from Ironhide, "no point in being shy, we're all here for the same reasons."

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Ember shies away a little bit when 'Bel' speaks to him, but Ember resists the urge to flee. "P-P-Pups fine....." Ember stutters, "Or Ember." he quickly adds using the name the local papers back home called him. No way was he going to give out his real name of Foxfire...

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Can't believe I'm going to do this... Not that I have much say in the matter. If they know who I am, then I've got figure out who they are if I want to be out from under their thumb. Suit's not too cheap either. All this is is a means to an end. At least that's what Eric told himself as he suited up the Mantle of Freedom. True he needed money to continue his personal vendetta, and information was always valuable, as were allies; but something didn't sit right with him. This job sounded like an gray area, even for him, but whatever it was, it was something, and Eric knew he would sit up countless nights wondering at the possibilities.

Flying low and fast towards the meeting place, Eric was gone, in his stead was Malice. Eric was weak; he had bills to pay, friends to keep, a life to live. All Malice has is the mission, or at least that's what he hoped. Setting down by the others, Malice took stock of his surroundings, and immediately he disliked the situation even more. Under his helmet, his lip curled as he mentally uttered the word "Metas." Looking distinctly out of place in red, white and blue power armor, Malice simply crossed his arms and said "The name's Malice. Why'd you call us here?"

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"Ginger?...THAT'S orignal..anyways, you can call me Ironhide" He glances at a man in a power suit and the fox/human creature, giving everyone a polite but reserved nod and smile.

He turns back to the grey cloaked men "So.." He waves his letter a little "Whats this all about?"

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The Grey Order sat silent as the four invited partners landed and talked amongst themselves. They were hidden under low pulled hoods and red goggles; however there were differences between them if one looked closely. The one on the end seemed to be playing with some kind of big combat knife and somewhat indifferent to the proceedings, next to him was a figure that seemed intimidated by the assembled body, but resolute to be a part of the proceedings today. In the center of the group stood a younger man with black hair under his hood. He was keeping close eye on a stop watch that was slowly ticking down to nine o’clock, he had a bit of arrogance about himself and seemed as if he was in charge. The last on the end was silent and slightly bigger than the others, his face completely hidden by the cloak, he seemed content to watch the proceedings.

Tick, tick, tick.

The man in the middle sighed and looked up from his watch at the band of villains gathered in the yard. The sun had set and the evening chill seemed to cling in the air. A small buzz could be heard as the street lamps on the corner turned on, bathing light on to the sand lot. With a flourish the central man closed his watch, and with a brief look around sighed.

“Only four… I had hoped for more, but I guess this will have to do.†He looks around for any signs of any more comers. Then he turns to address the crowd.

Gestureing to the assembled hooded figures, he says. “We are the brothers and sisters of the grey order. We have called you here today because we are in need of a little more firepower for an upcoming plan. But before we reveal the details of said plan, we need an oath that what you hear tonight stays here. After you hear our proposal you can leave if you don’t like the proposition, with the assumption that you will tell no-one what transpired here tonight, but if you accept, we are in it together till we collect our share. We will hold you to this promise. Breaking it means we will never do business again, a situation that may prove to be very unprofitable in the future. The grey order can be powerful allies; our numbers are many and our eyes are everywhere.â€Â

He finishes his little prepared speech with a sense of foreboding. They are people not to be crossed lightly.

“So do we have a deal?â€Â

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Ember looks hesitantly around the group that had assembled before looking back the stranger in gray and nodding his acceptance. Ember wasn’t sure if it was a good idea or not, but at this point in time he didn’t feel he had much of a choice.

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Ironhide's respect of the oddly dressed men goes up a notch as he hears thier speel..he sighs softly before noding "Yeah, you've gotta deal..one way or the other" He runs his hands through his hair and sighs "Soo..what's your gig?"

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Ronin sauntered in from one of the shadows. “Sorry I’m late folks there was jackknifed Death Robot on the overpass.†He looked around at the assembled group of flunkies. What a bunch of freaks. Was that a demon?

In truth he had balled up the Oder invitation and tossed it in the trash two seconds after reading it. Working for cultists never turned out well. They always wanted some dead guy’s bones, or something stupid like that. And they had a tendency to stiff you when the job was done, usually by trying to sacrifice you to unspeakable evil from the other side.

But the last job didn’t go so well. He was supposed to steal a few files off a computer, but then idiot rent a cop trips the alarm, next thing he knew he had to burn the place to the ground.

Turns out the guy who hired him, had owned the building and data already. He was just trying to test his security. Needless to say pay was shortened.

“Yeah I’ll keep my mouth shut. Standard contract rules.†He felt almost a little insulted. Almost. “So,†Ronin clapped his hands together. “What was all that about riches?â€Â

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>

The demon is silent a moment -- a moment in which the newcomer, Ronin, arrives -- then raises its taloned left hand, "I swear, 'pon the broken wings of Lucifer, that I shall tell not a living soul what transpires here this eve."

>

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Stepping out of thin air Exile appeared in the alley. "Ah, do please excuse my tardiness good folk. I got caught up in my studies and nearly forgot to check the time." The aged gent 'looked' over the group assembled in the alley, noting their spatial signatures. He recognised Bel, Ironhide and Ronin quite well, having had professional dealings with all three, the armour-wearer and the canine are new to him, and the cultist are both new and familiar to him. That is, as individuals they're new but they still fit nicely within the standard cultist template.

"As for an oath, I hereby swear upon my life that I will not speak of what transpires here this night." The word choice is deliberate, there are more ways than one to convey information after all. And given his effective immortality his oath expires when this particular life of his does.

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Trying to play it cool, Malice said "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mum's the word, get on with it." But on the inside, he was starting to get a little worried. With this many metas coming out of the wood work, something big was going to go down. Whoever has orchestrated this event was highly connected, or everyone showing up was desperate; Malice was not sure which alternative made the situation worse.

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The man in the center eyed the late comers as he pulled out his watch and checked the time. He closed it again and put it back into the folds of his robes.

“We may need your help, so we will over look the infraction. Please try to not let it happen again.†He said as he looked at Exile and Ronin through the red tint of his goggles.

He continued. “Good we all seem to be in agreement. Then I should introduce the men who will be accompanying you on the job, in case you have to refer to us individually. I am Razor and will be the liaison for the order, the guy on the end, with the knife, is Madman.â€Â

Madman waves his knife.

“The quiet one there is Mr. Big†Mr. Big grunts his greeting.

“and the last is Steinman.†Steinman gives an awkward greeting to the assembled party.

“But enough introductions, let’s get down to business.â€Â

Madman heads around to the end of the over turned rail car and opens the doors at the end; As Razor beckons the assembled party to enter. “The last thing we need is a random hero on patrol to encounter us.â€Â

Within the rail car a folding card table and a few folding chairs are set up with an electric lamp hanging from the “ceiling†by an extension cord. Razor takes up his spot on the other side of the card table and motions, for those who want to, to take a seat.

“Mr. Big, if you please.†Razor says. Big grunts his response as he pulls out a few maps and diagrams from a paper tube and unrolls them on the table. The diagrams seem to be of a large building with a vault.

Smiling, as if proud of himself, Razor straightens out the schematic on the table. The small electric light glinting off his red goggles, Razor addresses the assembled crowd. “Gentlemen. For your consideration, I suggest we knock over The Freedom City branch of the Federal Reserve.â€Â

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The demon clambered into the rail car, folding his wings about him like a cloak.

>

Once the 'plan' is presented, the demon lets out a booming laugh, "That's your plan? Rob a bank?! I think any one of us here could do that alone!

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Ironhide gives The Exile a friendly smile and a nod in greeting, before walking into the old rail-car.

He remains standing, partly out of good sense, and partly because even at his lightest he's a bit more than a normal folding chair can take.

Listening to thier target, he grin's widely in admiration "Well, you have high standards then.." He glances at Bel and give's a mirthless laugh "Yeahh..that'd be a big NO..The reserve is probably one of the largest banks in Freedom city, hoding all kinds of valubles..cash being the most obvious but im sure they have more interesting things as well..besides, it's security is exceptional from what i've heard, and that's not counting the "hero's" that have the worst timing on earth..but if you wanna go get mobbed by the do gooders, go ahead."

He turns back to the goggled man identified as Razor "Two questions, one-how'd you plan on cracking the egg so-to-speak, and second, how big of a cut are we in for, each?"

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“Correction, the security isn’t exceptional it’s nearly impregnable. The building was built back in 1902 as an above ground reservoir. This makes it quite an impressive structure. The foundations are built on solid bedrock, steel reinforced walls, with the outer walls reaching near 10 feet of thickness, in order to hold the water stored in the central tanks. This gives the building enough strength to survive a nuclear attack. After Freedom started to expand the reservoir soiled and was dropped from use. In 1927 the building was bought by the federal government and turned into a reserve. For those of you who don’t know…â€Â

Razor eyes Belphegor

“The reserve is the bank of banks. It holds the hard cash needed to insure all of the banks in Freedom, it used to be approximately 20%, but unfortunately in recent years an increase of digital banking has lessened the amount. But according to our calculations it should still be anywhere from 35 to 75million in hard cash, bonds, coin, and t-bills. Not to mention all the goodies and personal effects the Feds keep for private partners. But the real treasure is the 5000 metric tons of Gold bullion stored in the main vault, with a total value of $160 billion dollars… Roughly.â€Â

“As for security, most of the guards are ex-STARS, CIA, and federal agents caring a payload of pistols, Assault rifles, and shotguns. A mere 25 in total. The interior, except for the main hall, which is most of the building, is a maze of steal reinforced hallways. Individual sections of hallway can be cut off with barricades and reinforced from the inside. There is only one way in or out of the building, the front door, which in an emergency can be closed with heavy titanium alloy plating, virtually indestructible, and the windows can be covered with steel bars. The defensive capabilities usefulness to us is negligible, because it can be remotely operated from federal headquarters. Other than bankers, accountants, and the fed head himself, there are few other people of interest.â€Â

Razor takes a breath.

“But the real problem is the vault itself. We don’t know anything about it. Back in 1977 Daedalus himself designed a state of the art Vault, all records of which are kept in the Freedom league headquarters, and even we can’t reach that far… yet. All we do know is that it’s set on bed rock, surrounded by titanium alloy, reachable only through a freight elevator, guarded by 3 highly trained armed guards in a small room, and impregnable. Making opening the vault by ourselves, not an option.â€Â

Razor pauses for dramatic effect.

“Those of you who think this is beyond them should probably leave now. Those who stay can split 75 million in cash, not to mention what we haul away in gold, six ways. The choice is up to you.â€Â

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The demon looked to Razor, "if all it has is cash and gold, then it's still just a bank, and holds little interest to me. I can create as much of those as I could ever want -- 'money is the root of all evil,' and all that."

The demon held out one hand, and a small ball of unusually dark fire appeared in it. The ball almost immediately died away, and in his hand now were three stacks of $100 bills, which appeared completely and totally authentic. Those with any experience handling large amounts of cash knew a stack contained 50 bills, so each stack would be worth $5,000.

"Where I'm from, cash doesn't exactly exchange over into a useful currency. Now, if there is more to it, as he said," he points at Ironhide with his money stack, "more than just cash and gold, well, then that's another matter. Though you've still yet to explain how we're expected to do so much as get into the place -- did you call us here specifically, knowing of our capabilities, which you factored into some complex criminal plan, or did you just call every villain in the city and hope to get a decent combination of powers behind you?"

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"As the man said Bel..we don't knoe exactly what, or how much of it there is, but-and I quote

the goodies and personal effects the Feds keep for private partners. " Wich could be anything ranging from priceless paintings, sculptures-both magical and mundane if we're lucky, hell..they might even keep blueprints of other possible targets and advanced technology, but Razors right, it is a virtual fortress"

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