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Of Mutants and Men

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the captain stood atop a roof in center - city freedom. He had been waiting for a while. Ever since he placed that call to Malice. The wind was blowing hard all the way up here. But the captain did not mind. His hair looked good with the windswept look. In fact, his hair always looked good.

After a few more moments, the captain began to hear some noises coming from the alleyway behind the building. Oh good. He is right on time. the captain thought. then there was a dull roar, and a few seconds later, The jet-boosters of Malice's armor propelled him above the edge of the rooftop.

Glad you could show up, Malice. It's been far too long The captain said with a glowing smile. *SHEEN*

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Malice was conflicted. The Captain had the drive and outlook that made him potentially a great ally for Malice's cause, but on the other hand, he was really, really dense. Even though Malice mentioned the Captain's mental faculties, or extreme lack there of, at every available opprotunity, Malice had yet to do them justice. The man was an idiot.

And yet here I am encouraging him. Malice had hoped for one of two things at this meeting. He had hoped that the Captian's antics were just exaggerated because he was playing off the crowd, and he had hoped that any excess recklessness could eventually be worn down over time. Malice's first hope was crushed with the Captain's sheen. Great, it's not an act, he's really like that. What on earth am I getting myself into?

Setting down on the roof, Malice took a moment to observe his surroundings out of habit before turning to the Captain answering "It sure has." unfortunately doesn't travel well though the helm of battle suit "Well you called this meeting, what's this all about?"

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This city has a problem, Malice. the captain began, And i am the solution he thought, though he did not say it. And i can't fix it alone.

The captain turned to gaze out over the city. He loved this place, and it loved him back. Both in and out of his super-suit. The problem was, that like any misbehaving child, the city was making mistakes, and it thought those mistakes were actually the right path. Everywhere i look there are freaks, left and right on every street. and whats worse is they are like sheep! you can't kill them!

The captain turned back to face his friend. Something needs to be done, Malice, and you and I are the men for the job! The captain raised a clenched fist to show his emphasis. What do you say? You ready for a little spring cleaning?

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Okay, maybe it's not soooo bad to be encouraging him. Malice looked back at the Captain as if he were seeing him in a new light. Striding towards the Captain Malice said "Spring cleaning huh? I'm not going to lie, I like the sound of that. But if it were so easy to do, I would have done so by now. So my question is, what exactly are you proposing?"

Malice walks over to the edge of the roof top, and motions at all the buildings with one of his arms "The part about this particular enemy, is that they can be anyone. Furthermore, anyone who uses their abilities publically is confident enough in them to put their life on the line on a daily basis, and their confidence tends to be well placed. Our choices are to either fight the swine or the gods; which do you propose?"

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All the captain had to do was smile before Malice realized what he had done. Malice, i am surprised at you. For one with an intelligence such as yourself, you really should keep in mind who exactly it is you are talking to. Do you really think that i would fight anything less than the gods? *SHEEN*

What exactly am i proposing you ask? the captain folded his wonderfully rippling muscular arms. Simple. We take out whoever we can. We start with those that make themselves readily apparent. The ones most active in this little community of ours. We catch them when they are by themselves, and unawares. We take them by force, and we beat them solidly. And boot them from town, if somehow possible.

The captain looked at Malice with a satisfied look on his face. He had spent some time thinking this one through. He was sure Malice would be impressed. I think you will find that if there is one thing that i know, it is fighting.

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And just like that, Malice's opinion of the Captain once again sank. "Let me get this straight, your brilliant plan is to simply beat people up until you get your way? Really, that's the best you got?" Hanging his head with a sigh, Malice paused a moment. "Okay let me explain something about how this world works. You see all those villains with their doomsday weapon, trying to defeat all their foes in a single master stroke? They're actually doing it right.

You see if I went around beating seemingly random people up every day, people would really grow to hate me. But even worse, they would no longer sympathize with me. To them I would just be an unthinking, unfeeling force of destruction. If I were ever to be caught or stopped, then any authority figure wouldn't bat an eyelash at throwing the book at me. Furthermore, the general populace would distrust and despise me. I could exist without the adoration of the masses, but could you?" Malice pauses a moment making sure that the full implications of the Captain's plan became apparent.

"But let's say for a moment that this plan of yours is largely successful. Let's assume that you go around day after day beating the living snot out of all the big names. For argument's sake, we'll also ignore the enourmous strain this would put on your body, and how your overall heath would decline in this period. Now if you continue on this path, with no other apparent motive other than the destruction of all metas, what you have done is make yourself a clear and present danger, while backing your opposition into a corner.

Now the saying "never back an animal into a corner" exists because it is sound advice. Any animal will rather fight than surrender its life willingly. Furthermore, when you make yourself an inescapable danger like this, stopping you becomes progressively a higher and higher priority. As such, people will begin to band together to oppose you in increasingly larger and larger numbers, including people who would have never thought of standing up to you or stopping you, and this could include the general masses that you have also alienated at this point.

But you can avoid all of this with a carefully crafted modus operandi. These villains create these "needlessly" elaborate death traps for a reason. It allows them to plot the destruction of their enemies without cornering them, it allows them to connect on at least some base level to the general populace, and because the danger is not noticable until the final switch is thrown, the likelyhood of facing off against insurmountable odds is significantly diminished."

You may know how to fight, but if that was all that mattered, the war would have been over long ago."

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I... Wow... The captain just looked at Malice dumbfounded. You really don't get it do you? I was being sarcastic. Malice, You're the genius here. I invited you because frankly, i was counting on you to come up with the plan. I may like to beat people up but i don't even begin to consider that a solid plan.

The captain shook his head Malice, i may act like an idiot, but don't think for a second that i am one. It's just part of the act. The captain gave malice a smile, and surprisingly, this time it did not sheen.

So tell me, friend, what do YOU have in mind?

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"I- ju-- you --- an - shee--ah-- GAAAAHHH!" Malice loses all ability to properly formulate a sentence as his brain desperately tries to not give itself an aneurysm. He holds up his hands in front of him like he can't decide whether he wants to throttle you, or to see how many layers of flesh he can claw off his own face.

Malice then does an abrupt about face, as it seems that the presence of the Captain is causing him far too much anguish. He puts his hands on his hips and draws a few deep long, breaths in an attempt to calm himself down.

In the likely event that the Captain says or does anything in the span of time to draw attention to himself, Malice cuts him off with a raised hand that can't seem to make up its mind on what form to make so it alternates between an open palm, a pointing finger, the "one minute" finger, among others. "AH-jjjhh! No. Just no. Stop. No talking. NO!"

After a moment of more calming breath, a little bit of talking to himself and a few hand motions meant to suppress the rage, Malice has calmed down. Malice then very calmly walks back to the Captain. He then very calmly holds out his hands as if he is about to say something. He then thinks better of it, and very calmly places his hands on the Captain chest.

Malice then proceeds to grab a fist full of the Captain's costume, lift the Captain up into the air and shake him while shouting "WHAT THE **** MAN!!!??? He then lets go of the Captain with no real harm done. "Seriously."

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Hahahaha! The captain just laughed as he was being shaken. It was the type of laugh produced by someone without a care in the world. they type of laugh you hear after someone has just heard the funniest thing in their entire life. It was a great laugh.

After he was put down, the captain composed himself. Well, frankly, if i am going to seriously work with you, i had to let you know that i am not really an idiot. This seemed like one of the best ways. The captain turned away to face his wonderful view of the streets below for a second. If we are going to make an effective team anywhere other than an arena, you should be able to be confident in the fact that when you tell me what to do, i really do understand your reasons and methods, and i am not just taking orders. You have to know that i know whats going on. You have to know that sometimes I have good ideas too. We have to respect each other. I am easy to please. I respect power, which you've got. You seem like the type of guy that respects only those with both power and intelligence. Which, as you now know, I've got.

The captain turned back to face Malice. You ARE a genius, so ill just go ahead and assume you understand me. I'm not that cryptic after all...I think we need to work together to clean this city up. I think this because i know that i cannot do it myself. I also think this because (and i mean no offense by this) you have been around a while longer than i have, and it still has not been done, though i am sure you are trying... I myself can attest to how difficult this task will be. So here is what i think we should do. Pool our resources. Make some plans. Maybe hurt a few people here and there... And eventually we should get to where we are going. Dunno how you got the suit, but you'd have to be pretty wealthy to afford the parts. Even an idiot can see that. I myself have a nest egg squirreled away. We can tap into that if we need... etc. you know. My problem is, for the life of me, i can't come up with a good place to start. And that is why i REALLY need you.

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Malice folds him arms over his chest and taps his foot for a moment before simply saying "Well shit... Malice was a bit surprised at this turn of events (not that anyone had noticed that already). Here was a great opprotunity to try some of Malice's more outlandish schemes. "Well in our vendetta, the best place to start is at home, meaning we get the public on our side. If we do that, then the government is soon to follow. Once that happens, some supers will start leaving the "scene" of their own accord. So we have simultaneously gotten more allies while decreasing our enemy's numbers."

"Now there are two things that can get the public on your side, showing them a pretty face, and showing them the impact on their wallet. You obviously can fill the first role, and have already been doing so with your useful, albeit annoying, billboards. Use them to start spreading anti-meta propaganda. Don't go on a direct attack yet though, ease into it, there is less likely of a public back lash this way."

Next we need to focus on the wallets. The easiest way to get attention is through a tax hike, and we are namely concerned with property taxes. The average meta brawl costs the city about $20k, but can easily escalate into the hundreds of thousands depending on who is involved. For example, when I fought Captain Wonder a while back, I cost the city $1500 in property damage, and $320.26 in medical expenses. Captain Wonder on the other hand caused $68,296.73 in property damage when he threw me through a building, and then threw a flat bed truck on top of me.

How can the supers get away with this wanton destruction, and still be considered heroes? The answer is one man, Dr. Metropolis. It is through his abilities that most of the damage to the city gets repaired. If he were to be removed from the picture then the property taxes around Freedom would increase by a factor of 4 by my estimates. As I am unfamiliar with his abilities simply killing him might not do anything, it would not surprise me if he could come back from the grave, because I am fairly certain that it was never human. So what we have to do is try and find a way of containing him for a few months, while property taxes soar. The enraged general populace will try to find something or someone to blame, and you will be there to direct their hatred to where it should have always gone. The main problem with this plan is of course the Freedom League itself. They won't take kindly to one of their own members going AWOL. But dealing with the League is, quite the challenge to say the least.

This is just about my hardest plan to pull off, but practically guaranteed to work."

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Malice folds him arms over his chest and taps his foot for a moment before simply saying "Well shit... Malice was a bit surprised at this turn of events (not that anyone had noticed that already). Here was a great opprotunity to try some of Malice's more outlandish schemes. "Well in our vendetta, the best place to start is at home, meaning we get the public on our side. If we do that, then the government is soon to follow. Once that happens, some supers will start leaving the "scene" of their own accord. So we have simultaneously gotten more allies while decreasing our enemy's numbers."

The captain nods I like where this is going already...

"Now there are two things that can get the public on your side, showing them a pretty face, and showing them the impact on their wallet. You obviously can fill the first role, and have already been doing so with your useful, albeit annoying, billboards. Use them to start spreading anti-meta propaganda. Don't go on a direct attack yet though, ease into it, there is less likely of a public back lash this way."

Nodding again the captain said I can do that. I'll call some people...

Next we need to focus on the wallets. The easiest way to get attention is through a tax hike, and we are namely concerned with property taxes. The average meta brawl costs the city about $20k, but can easily escalate into the hundreds of thousands depending on who is involved. For example, when I fought Captain Wonder a while back, I cost the city $1500 in property damage, and $320.26 in medical expenses. Captain Wonder on the other hand caused $68,296.73 in property damage when he threw me through a building, and then threw a flat bed truck on top of me.

The captain gave a long whistle at the large figures Hot damn, okay.

How can the supers get away with this wanton destruction, and still be considered heroes? The answer is one man, Dr. Metropolis. It is through his abilities that most of the damage to the city gets repaired. If he were to be removed from the picture then the property taxes around Freedom would increase by a factor of 4 by my estimates. As I am unfamiliar with his abilities simply killing him might not do anything, it would not surprise me if he could come back from the grave, because I am fairly certain that it was never human. So what we have to do is try and find a way of containing him for a few months, while property taxes soar. The enraged general populace will try to find something or someone to blame, and you will be there to direct their hatred to where it should have always gone. The main problem with this plan is of course the Freedom League itself. They won't take kindly to one of their own members going AWOL. But dealing with the League is, quite the challenge to say the least.

This is just about my hardest plan to pull off, but practically guaranteed to work."

Come on now, Malice. You should know that nothing is too hard for me! The captain said, putting on his big goofy smile.

Tell you what, ill get to work on those build boards, and you do some more research on what we can do about dr. overly-big-city or whatever the hell his name is. We will meet back here in two days. Sound good? The captain waited for an agreement from his friend before he shoved off.

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Malice simply shakes his head in exasperated fashion. "Believe me, this plan will not work over night. This is us slowly getting the public on our side over the course of months, and us under going training in preparation for the 2nd phase. Furthermore, should we even succeed in capturing the golem, it is unlikely, even after our training, that we will be able to take on the entire League. A lot of things will have to go right for this to work, but with high risk comes high reward. I'll let you know if I can come up with a way to contain Dr. Metropolis. See you then."

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Sounds good. ill work on putting up those build boards like i said. if you need me in the meantime, you can reach me at any time on my comm link with this frequency The captain provided malice with a series of numbers that was his frequency. I will try to reach you using that frequency as well if i run into any problems in our ongoing fight against the Metas.

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