Jump to content

April/May Vignettes - Atlantean Invasions and Space-Borne Elections

Recommended Posts

April-May Vignette (Terrans): What Did You Do In The War? 


In February 2017, Atlanteans invaded the surface world - besieging Freedom City and Emerald City, even raiding Wisconsin and Europe for their magical treasures, and causing considerably more trouble than the usually-peaceful people of the Lands Below usually cause. Eventually the war was won, the last great stand of the Captain Thunder-era Freedom League raided the Atlantean capital city and defeated the Deep One mystics who had mind-controlled the Atlantean royal family with sinister intent, but it was still a moment that truly united the heroes of Earth. 


Where when you when the Kraken and its spawn rose in the waters off Freedom City? Where were you when the Great Wave washed towards the shores of the Emeralds? Where were you when the Atlantean raiders struck Bedlam and London and across the world?


What did you do? 


April-May Vignette (Space): Your Right To Vote 


It's election season in the Lor Republic - the demise of the traditional political parties with Lor-Van has made this first post-Incursion election for Imperator a critically important moment in the history of the battered Republic. There are two major candidates in the running for office (which lasts until the end of one's unaugmented biological life). 


The first is Senator-turned-Ambassador Diena Th'emme, a hero of the Republic and mother of another hero, Diena Th'emme's leadership has kept Coalition Station together since the Incursion, just as it helped keep the Senate together in the years before Incursion. Diplomat and peacemaker, her strongest base of support is with Lor citizens who are not from genetic Lor stock themselves. Under Imperiatrix Th'emme, no Lor will go to bed hungry again. 


 The second is Grand Nauarchus Bucklin Frankan - a Lor's Lor and the commanding officer of the Star Navy, "Grandmother Frankan"'s campaign promises to make the Lor strong again - to give them the discipline and order to resist the challenges of the frightening new galaxy where they've found themselves. Warrior and engineer, her primary base of support lies in the military and military-supply worlds. Under Imperiatrix Frankan, no Lor will go to bed afraid again. 


All veterans of the Lor military, those born on Lor-settled worlds, member worlds of the Lor Republic, or in Lor-claimed starspace, and permanent residents are eligible to vote. 



Whichever vignette you choose to write (and yes, you can write both), please post it to this thread by May 30. Your vignette should be about a page of typed text long at a minimum. 

Link to comment

Don't call it a comeback


Baffin Island, Canada
As Dancia jogged along the beach enjoying the brisk air blowing off the sea. The fact that she didn't now feel the cold and that at a jog she could now outpace a car meant that soon she'd be ready to return to Freedom City. She'd been camping out on the mountain, though she'd been using the Sanctums medical gear, submitting her blogs posts in this stark beautiful landscape. Thanks to the Sanctum she had a tent with wi-fi access!

The time alone had been good for her allowing Dancia to sort out everything she'd learned about her own Earth and the connection to this world greatest hero who also came from that Earth. She'd been spending some time thinking of a way that she could honor the connection, beyond just being the hero that she'd already been.
Whilst lost in her thoughts she paused as she'd caught a sound off the coastal water, it was a bit of a surprise as she'd been so used to controlling her sense she'd never thought if they'd come back so soon. Coming out of the water was what appeared to be a group of heavily armed Atlantians and unless they had suddenly become Canadians she guessed they were up to no good. And even though she still wasn't fully recovered Danica didn't even pretend that she wouldn't get involved. Though she also had no costume to hand, so she'd have to improvise. Though she really doubted that the Atlantians had heard of Dancia Devons intrepid reporter. She slowed right down as if she was just casually jogging through the vast Canadian wilderness.


The Atlantean warriors that came out of the surf seemed a little bulkier than the one she'd normally see, though she was no expert on the species, and equipped to expect trouble. She idly thought about the fact that she wasn't sure if she was bulletproof right now, but she didn't have time to worry about such things. With all the equipment they were carrying, and the fact that they were here at all, was rather telling that what they were after. The Sanctum that sat on the Mountain that sat behind her.

The Atlantians were surprised to see her as they came up from the water, they obviously expected the area to be deserted and pointed their weapons at her when they finally saw her. Playing along, for now, she raised her hands


"What are you doing here?" the apparent leader barked at Dancia


"Well I could ask the same thing?"  she replied with a smirk


They obviously weren't in the mood as one of them struck her with the butt of their rifle, she went down but just from rolling from the attack.  But there was no blood, in fact, she was completely unharmed by the blow. Not the best way to find out if she was invulnerable, but it was better than the alternative.


"I see so that's what you have in mind. You get one warning to leave now before I use force to remove you from this island."


"This land is now claimed for Atlantis for the crimes of the surface world against our kind!" she couldn't tell if it was just rhetoric or if they really believe the line


"I think Justin Trudeau would have something to say about that." she looked up and smiled at them, no expecting then to know what she was talking about "Finally warning turn around or I'll have to stop you."


The leader of this little squad, obviously overconfident against a single squishy female, gave a little laugh.


"And what exactly could you do against us?"


Dancia didn't answer directly, instead, she floated up into the air, a picture of determined calm.


The actual fight was a pretty quick affair, they knew that they were outcast especially considering where they were right now. Really it was a rout when they figured they were fighting a metahuman. Though she spent some time just floating there watching the ocean least they returned in forced.


They with the sun setting she took one final look, for now, at the beauty of the island before taking off for home. It was time for her to get back into action.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...




"Hello, everyone. My name is Sharl Tulink - I'm a citizen of the Lor Republic." He is a familiar figure, sitting behind the table of what looks like a military vessel's cafeteria - not the most famous hero of the Incursion, certainly not its greatest champion, but someone everyone recognizes from the coverage of the short, horrific war against the Communion even if they can't quite remember the specifics. "I don't normally get involved in politics. Even though I'm a born citizen of the Republic, the world I live on is technically not even a member - not yet, anyway." He grinned and it was, by all accounts, a perfect grin, if you were the kind of sapient who was into that kind of thing. He ran his hands through his black hair, growing spikier than usual out here among the Lor, before going on. 


"But as you all know, the decision the people of the Republic make in the next few weeks is going to reshape the destiny of the Galaxy. Imperial elections are always important - and this is maybe the most important imperial election since the foundation of the Republic. This is a time when we need to stand together as a people, to put aside our differences, and unite as one behind a common goal - restoring what we lost and rebuilding the greatest civilization in Galactic history. That's why I'm asking you, whoever you are and wherever you live, to cast your vote for Grand Nauarchus Bucklin Frankan. A vote for Frankan means a vote for unity, for strength, and for change. We can't fall back on our neighbors now, not when everyone's been hurt. We need to stand together as one - and the best candidate for that job is the Grand Nauarchus. Thank you for your time." 



"Thank you again, Citizen," said the Grand Nauarchus, shaking Sharl's hand with a grip firm despite her age. Of course a century isn't so old among the Lor, not the way it is on Terra. "I appreciate the role you played in repelling the Incursion - and in fighting for our civilization. Are you sure I can't convince you to stay here?" 


"No ma'am," said Sharl, sparing a glance around the shipyard's computer center. He's projected in here, a feeling that's grown almost unfamiliar after a year with the android body back in Emerald CIty. "I'd love to stay and defend the Republic," he told her sincerely, "but however I was born, Terra's my home now and I need to protect it. I just wish I could do more for the Galaxy as a whole." 

"Oh, you are," Frankan reassured the young man. "Just as you have from the moment you left Lor-Van with news of the Incursion." They'd met earlier, by remote, in the days of the Incursion - the Grand Nauarchus, then desperately organizing fallback positions for the Lor military, had wanted to spend a few moments speaking to the last sapient being to leave the surface of Lor-Van - the last sapient being to see her husband alive. She hadn't mentioned Rex on this visit at all, however. "You've shown the Galaxy that all of us, whether isolate, hearthworld, or alien, can stand together in the name of Lor civilization against the people who want to tear us apart." 


"You know," said Sharl thoughtfully,pushing a point he'd been debating with friends back home for months, "I'm not the only Terran who'd like to see us take a stronger position in the Galactic community. The old government classified us as too primitive for contact - but there are Terran scientists doing work ahead of almost anything I've seen in the Galaxy."


"Citizen Tulink, once we've dealt with the, ah, distinguished competition, I'll do everything within my power to make sure Terra enjoys the benefits of Lor civilization - just as I'll do for every world that could use our help." She gestured to a galactic map hovering in the middle of her office, the somewhat blobby shape of the Lor Republic and its allies right in the middle of it thanks to some 3-D zooming. "Our opponents may think we're weak - but we'll show the Galaxy that we're stronger than ever." 




A holo-image flickers somewhere - like many things on most Lor worlds these days, it could probably use some new parts and tender loving care - but it works all the same. A Lor woman on the far side of middle age stands in the center in a Star Navy uniform, ramrod straight despite her age, and smiling maternally for the camera. She's flanked on one side by a sober-looking cyborg with pale peach skin and obvious cranial and ocular implants along one side of her face - on the other is a dark-faced Lor man in a mentant's tactical uniform, smiling as he holds a small infant in his arms. 




When you turn your head and look at the image another way, it shifts, showing the continuing story - a fleet of Lor starships in orbit around hundreds of worlds, smiling faces below, as uniformed sapients bring food, medicine, and heavy ground-to-space artillery installations, for iron-using octopi, for coal-smelting Lor-analogues, for creatures stranger even than that. 








Link to comment

Guns And Ships...

Hyperactive and Waco Warriors


There were few events that brought all the Waco Warriors together. Yet here they were. Hyperactive had been both first and last to the beach. He and Emily had seen pretty quickly that they weren't needed in Freedom. But they were needed in Texas. 

When Hyperactive had returned from his look around the rest of the Warriors had arrived in Galveston. The quiet before the storm as he looked over his peers. He embraced Druid and nodded at the bored Dr. Orion. He gripped Alan Alchemy's arm.

"Did you get to see family?"

"I did." The young man replied as he looked over his chemicals. "Worth fighting for." Alan replied. Hyperactive shook Mystery Master's hand and hugged the two Angels. 

"Vagabond and Black Hornet." He said with a nod. The young woman with the camouflage gave a slight nod and the man in black armor kept looking over his machine guns. 

"Well Hyperactive?" Druid asked. "This is strategy. This is your domain." 

"My parents are helping the Barnstormers in Bedlam, the heroes of Freedom are holding the line as are those in the Emerald Cities." Hyperactive responded. "We're the only line of defense here on the Gulf. We'll close up the landing zone so we can keep our strength from being split." 

"And your plan to do that?" Asks Orion. Emily just snickers at him. 

"We'll change the weather." She says. "Between the Druid, Mystery Master, Myself, and the cute speedster we can force them to land where we want." 

"Exactly." Hyperactive replied. "So we pick our place and force them to face all of us at once. Mystery Master you make the north as unattractive as possible. Druid you make the southern side impossible. Triple Threat."

"Give them a target up the middle." Emily masters laughed raising her armored fist. 

"And You?" Orion asked. 

"I'm going to keep them from straying too far out. If they choose not to take the bait I'll leave a tornado where they're headed."

"And when they land?" Asked Black Hornet.

"You don't think we can take thirty Atlantans and a ship?" Hyperactive responded stepping up to his peer. The two had never seen eye to eye, and not just literally. "We just have to make them turn, if we don't they'll take this as a weak point. They'll return in force and slam the Gulf and Texas. Turn this into an invasion point. This is them jabbing at us. Stand your ground."

"Got it." Hornet responded. Druid clapped Hyperactive on the shoulder, pulling him away from the conversation. Druid and Mystery Master held their hands up. The sky began to turn black and lightning began to  arc across the sky. The waves rose and fell dozens of feet high as Hyperactive watched the two huge storm fronts. Emily Masters held her hand up and the two storm systems left a brilliant blue stripe in the sky. 

"They aren't taking the bait." Sighed Alan Alchemy. He pointed out along the coast at a point where they would land.

"They don't want the Carrot?" Hyperactive locked his face shield in place. "I'll give them a stick." With a burst of speed Hyperactive ran to where his peer had pointed. He began to sprint in a circle the wind and sand sweeping up all around him. He sent the tornado seaward before dashing back to his team. 

"Back on course. Landfall in thirty seconds." Alchemy stowed his goggles and began to draw his chemical grenades. The Angels took to the sky and Orion hovered in front of the trio of mages, eliciting a glare from Emily. Hyperactive grinned behind the face shield.


The battle was swift. The Warriors were hardly the Barnstormers or the Freedom League. But they were competent Warriors in their own right. The few minutes of the battle proved their assessment had been recon by fire. They had tested this landing point and found it too well guarded. The bluff had worked. The wounded atlanteans that they had captured were handed over to the national guard. 

Emily and Tyson were the last two on the beach. The sun was going down behind them as they watched the waves of the gulf lap at the beach. 

"Must bring back memories." Tyson whispered as they watched the sunset. Emily let him lean into her armor. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah it does. I'll be ok. I have you." Emily replied. "We never really won any battles against the Terminus. Winning feels different. It feels really good."

"Then maybe we should celebrate." Hyperactive responded looking out over the sea.

"Maybe we should." Emily turned and kissed her lover as the sunset behind them.

Edited by Kolohehonu
Link to comment


Streaming Live


January 31st 2017


Yo, check it dude, got chosen to be the guy to cover the big opening tomorrow


Big opening?


Embassy for the Atlanteans. It’s been all over the news this week, man, are you not reading any or what?


Sorry, been a bit busy job-hunting to read all the news : p


Look, my offer still stands, I can see if I can’t get them to hire you. We can always use more photographers, and you’ve got some experience


I’ll consider it, still not sure about that


Your loss.


Do you actually own a TV? If not, go get your ass to a TV store or something, won’t be seeing me onscreen all that often after tomorrow probably


Unless you do a really good job, right?


True. The big reason I’m on this is cuz the guy that was planned to do it quit. So yea, maybe


Well, good luck man. If ya need anything, gimme a ring, and I’ll see what I can help with


Nothing? JK, but c’mon man : p


You too, bud.


Cassidy Bauer was pretty happy to hear that. Eric was one of his best friends here in FC, and him getting the chance to do something big was quite cool. The two had met back during Cass’ short stint at FreeSA. Erik was a journalism student, and the two of them just gelled and got along great when they met in the café close by. They still kept up a fair amount of contact and met up every once in a while, even if Cass had to pretend to be busy somehow. Sure, he trusted Erik, but Erik also was a journalist, and those didn’t need to know any secret identities unless it was necessary.


By now, Eric had a cushy job with one of the city’s newspapers, while Cass was still struggling through the limbo that was unemployment (or so he claimed). He didn’t own a TV, that much was right. But he knew some places that did. Some places that would also be showing the Embassy’s opening. Cass had, in fact, done his research. It was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, events of the month, and there’d been enough chit-chat about it on the ‘net. Enough to be concerned, as some people claimed the entire thing could go south. Trolls and Doomsayers, hopefully.


February 1st 2017

5:20 PM


All voices inside the café went quiet one moment to the next. The reporters had just set foot off the boat (and yes, Eric was amongst them, Cass had in fact spotted him in the back), and then, all the predictions Cass had read came true. So, it hadn’t been a bunch of conspiracies. So, there was something bad about to go down. So, one of his best friends was currently stuck right at the epicentre of it all. One of his best, unpowered, friends, even.


Nobody really knew what to say when the King’s message came through. And nobody wanted to be the first person to break the silence. That was, until Cassidy Bauer got up in a hurry, knocking over the chair he’d been sitting on. He turned towards the register, smacked a ten-dollar bill onto the table, and ran to the door. He was acting on instinct, just running. Running to some place he could easily change, a place he could drop his current equipment and store it.


And even then, what was he supposed to do? It all was happening outside the city, out on the ocean. He had no way of making it there quickly. And even if he did, he still was Bonfire. Bonfire, whose big weakness was water. Still, there had to be something he could do. Anything, really, and it if just was … something. He didn’t know. He continued to run down the streets, trying to find a suitable place to change, and really not getting lucky. He was carrying too much equipment on him to just abandon it. His phones, his laptop …


That thought created a spark in his brain. Perhaps he was in no position to help at the scene, but there was something he could do. After all, he was Bonfire. Freedom’s HOTTEST. The Burning Blogger. (He’d not chosen that one, but it wasn’t bad). The man who could reach thousands. It was time to try that one feature HeroHouse had added a few weeks ago. He ducked into an alley, and Bonfire reappeared on the other side, phone in hand.

Three clicks later, and he was streaming life. If everything went well, all his accounts would redirect to this stream. And that was what he needed right now. To reach as many people as possible. The first ones appeared after just a few seconds.


“Hey everyone. No time for the proper greeting. I’m sure you’ve all seen it. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I know what I have to do. I can’t go out to Lonely Point, and I won’t. Not because I don’t want to, no. Some good friends of mine are out there right now, and I’m really worried about them. No, I’m not gonna go because I would only make myself a liability. “


“This is Freedom City. Atlantis knows who they picked a fight with. They know that any second, people will come to stop them. But, not all of us can do that. I trust my colleagues – my friends, that they can handle whatever is going down off the coast. But that doesn’t mean it’ll all be fine. We, the people who can’t fight them, are the ones who have the hardest part in this all. We can’t make ourselves liabilities. I need all of you that live close to the coast here in FC to get out, to evacuate. Help those who can’t do it on their own, then get out. “


“Stay safe everyone. If you know people in the area, call them. Make sure everybody gets out. We don’t know what comes next. And should they attempt to come into the city, I will be there, on the frontlines. You make sure everybody gets out, and I’ll cover the retreat. He said it. This is war. And if they bring war to my city, to all of you, I will be there. I’ll only be a bump in the road to them. But if that’s what it takes to slow them down enough for everybody to evacuate, then so be it. I’ll make sure it’s one hell of a bump. “


“Keep safe everyone, no matter where on the planet you are. And remember:

Stay Hot, Bonfire out!”


That stopped the stream. It was a short one. But it would be accessible from the archives. And it sent an alert to everybody. Hopefully that’d be enough. It was the easy part. The hard part came now. It was time to be one hell of a speed bump…

Link to comment

Sea Devil


February 2017 

An oil rig off the coast of Freedom City 


On the roof, Tarva excused herself from the others with a murmured apology to Kimber before vanishing into a nearby shadow. The battle against the Deep One warriors had been fierce - the handpicked guards of the shaman Ihulateg-nata had given and accepted no quarter in their defense of the being they saw as an avatar of their god. Other Deep Ones, however, disagreed. In the wrecked central chamber where they'd left the Deep One sorcerer, she found the creature, still in his shadowy bonds, and an armored figure cutting him free with glowing green tridents. Hmm. "Aquaria," she finally ventured, "they'll catch you if you free him. Even if Blue Fox doesn't, the others will - and Singularity will be disappointed.


"I am not freeing him," croaked Sea Devil in return, a menacing mechanical bellow from inside her battered armor. Sea Devil had hung back in the fight until Singularity had entered it - then had fought alongside the others with great and silent ferocity. She pulled the shadowy tentacles away from the Deep One's face, the male looking around for a moment with wide eyes before bearing his impressive fangs as he focused them not on Tarva (who had helped Kimber match his magic and silence his summonings) but on his sister Deep One. 


"You," Ihulateg-nata croaked, staring at Aquaria with undisguised loathing. "Have you come to kill me because I dared spill Surfacer blood? It's a wonder those marks on your body don't burn your way through your skin." Aquaria's tattoos were visible now as she'd climbed out of her armor, blue and green testimony to her faith, to what was menarche for Deep Ones, to hunting, to egg-laying, to adventure - and all the rest. "You miserable-ACH!" He had made a noise as if he was being choked - and so he was, because Aquaria had just chopped him in the gills with force enough to snap a Surfacer's neck - then punched him in the throat as he took a breath with lungs. It was good to remember, Tarva mused, that Aquaria had strength enough to kill in those gangly long limbs that were sometimes awkward on dry land. 


Mindful of her compatriot's ambitions, Tarva stepped back, interposing herself between the two Deep Ones and the partially-digested door, where a quick spell could fool any prying eyes. To her surprise, despite Aquaria's impressively bared teeth, the female Deep One didn't do the obvious thing of simply ripping out the other Deep One's throat. "You egg-eating wretch," croaked Aquaria, her voice an impressive amphibious growl that Tarva didn't think she'd ever heard before. "Do you know what you've done?" She spat something green and foul in Ihulateg-nata's face - the shaman looked disgusted but unafraid. 


"Lost? Misborn witch, do you think you can shame me for what I've done? Our enemies have bled each other and turned the water red - our children have sunk their teeth deep into the hides of both Surface and Atlantis. They will not catch us all - and we'll be ready for the next war. Even now, my circle sings the songs of what we've done. Who will sing your song, podless one?


"You fool," Aquaria hissed in return. "You had them. You had the Atlantean royals in your teeth and what did you do? You sent them against Surfacers like some perverted dolphin playing with a corpse!" She grabbed the other Deep One by the face, keeping her wrists clear from his teeth. The only sounds were the drip-drip-drip of water in the walls, the crash of the surf, and the hissing of the two amphibians. "You could have done anything! You could have made them surrender! You could have made them give us back our seas! You could have made them give us their treasures! But now...now every time someone sings of Atlantean treachery, of Atlantean cruelty, all the Surfacers will say 'Oh, well, those are just more lies from the treacherous Deep Ones!'" She bit him suddenly on the cheek, not at all gently, and just when Tarva was sure she knew where this was going, Aquaria pulled back, blood in her mouth. "Cities will fall. Young ones will starve to death. You and your circle are monsters.


"...so kill me then, and be done with it." Tarva did think that would be the prudent thing to do here, especially with what she had heard about the Deep One capacity for grudges, but said nothing as the shaman went on. "Run back to your Surfacer cow, and whisper to her of your deeds by night.


"No. No, you are a worse enemy to our people than even an Atlantean so I'll do worse than kill you." Aquaria lit her trident and pointed it at the shaman's face. "I will make sure that you are tried for your crimes in a Surfacer court - and sent to a Surfacer jail for what you have done." That made the shaman twitch in a way that Tarva couldn't but help smile at - she hardly ever had this kind of fun watching Aquaria among Surfacers! "You will rot in a cold, dry cell, where water comes from a hose and you can only immerse yourself when they allow it. Buried alive, beneath Surfacer eyes" She pressed the trident against the shaman's neck, close enough that flesh must have been searing at least a little. "And one day, when you die in that place, from the thousand things that can kill us on the Surface, and you pass into the voidings of Dagon and Hydra - REMEMBER ME.She suddenly struck the shaman across the face, knocking him out, and stood there, massive chest heaving, over the still-bound shaman. "I'm finished now, Tarva." She made a sound, deep in her massive throat. ""The worst of all is knowing that if I had killed him, the Surface would have praised the deed. He was only a Deep One."


The shadow-priestess had the grace to be abashed. "To be an unperson is a difficult thing. But that was an impressive display - you are a mighty huntress." I had no idea you knew how to make other beings suffer so - or that you could so strategize! She steepled her fingers as Aquaria's helm slid back down over her face. "Shall we go upstairs and see the others? Singularity has been on the phone with the Liberty League and will surely be glad to see you.


"Yes. Yes, I'd like to see Jessie too..."

Link to comment



A Terrific Start


Just another February morning in Freedom City.  Lincoln, to be precise. The results of a good day’s work lay scattered around Terrifica in moaning heaps. The police were, as usual, less than perfectly grateful for her assistance. However, these thugs had had super tech that would have likely killed a few of the officers before SWAT or better could have intervened. So Terrifica had stepped in, and wounded the pride of a few of Freedom’s Finest in the process. There was no help for it. Certain people either had fragile egos or entirely too much confidence in their abilities. Fortunately, they did know when they were outmatched. The police radio crackled. The dispatcher’s report was ludicrous, but sadly likely quite close to the truth. The Kraken and assorted minions were pouring out of the sea. Atlanteans were in the mix as well. Why here instead of, say, Savannah? The answer was simple. This was Freedom City, home of the majority of ludicrous happenings. Now, today’s work wasn’t quite finished yet. She ran to the Terrifi-cycle. Mounting, starting it up, and roaring away took only seconds.


She’d barely entered Bayview before signs of invasion began to appear. Terrifica, for once, gave in to impatience and, with a quick adjustment to weaken the Terrifi-Cannon’s power, began shooting on the run at various kinds of monsters menacing civilians. Her shots weren’t always on target, but they did succeed in giving the civilians a chance to get away. And when that didn’t work, there was always a driving by whacking. Her goal was Bayview Mall. She knew she couldn’t do very much on her own against a seafaring threat. So, gather civilians into a defensible structure. Claremont could be argued to need assistance as well, however the students and faculty were capable of taking care of themselves and everyone else there. The mall, on the other hand, was much more vulnerable. Decidedly fewer students, and it was doubtful any faculty would be there at this hour. Additionally, many people would see it as a bastion compared to anywhere short of the Academy itself. So off she rode, pulling to a stop in the mall’s parking lot. She’d shattered the speed limit to get there. The parking lot was infested. She had a lot of work ahead. And of course, no element of surprise. Motorcycles, especially when suddenly slowing down from high speeds, tended to make an extremely noticeable amount of noise. And she thought the tech’ed out thugs were the hardest thing she’d have to deal with today.


Terrifica didn’t hesitate for an instant. She shot the nearest one immediately. She managed long range combat for a little while before they were on her. So instead she hit them with her staff. She didn’t hit as hard as some, this was true. However, she could put dents in steel when she had a mind to. Today, she had a mind to. There were some mangled people in the parking lot. Those who could run, ran into the mall. Those who could carry people, carried those who couldn’t run. This was all well and good, but fangs hurt. As did flailing tentacles and…was that acid spit? Dear god. Terrifica kept herself detached, purely logical. Going from step to step. Kick to staff strike to Cannon shot to Freonic Ray blast and back to unarmed strikes. She was flowing beautifully. Her sensei would be proud. She had to remain detached. Otherwise, fear, pain and anger would overwhelm her, and she would die here. Actually, that was looking more likely by the second. No serious injuries yet, but it was a matter of time. Their numbers were simply too much. But, of course, this was Freedom City. Bayview Mall, to be precise. A Southwest Asian girl in a Claremont uniform walked out and started shooting what looked like…vibrations and picking off the ones around Terrifica. Not that wasn’t grateful for the help, but her accuracy could just a touch of work. The girl didn’t actually hit Terrifica, but she could feel the impacts in her teeth. Still, opportunity was opportunity. She’d spotted a few weaknesses in their tactics, namely that the bigger and uglier one of them was, the more likely it was going to be used as a rallying point. So when she picked up some breathing room via the girl, she proceeded to violently remove said rallying points from the battle. The sooner this was finished, the better. She’d likely have bruises for a week, and that was a week longer than Terrifica wanted to go without her husband’s touch. Well, touch and…other things.

Link to comment



Second Wave


This was not how Naomi thought her day would go. She just wanted to go to the mall for a while. That’s all. Have a milkshake. A burger. Some fries. Work on that project that was due at the end of the month that her partner (the lazy bum) kept bailing out on. She did know that working with her had its difficulties, but come on already. Two sessions in and he starts being “busy”. Fine. Okay. Whatever. She was unbothered. Totally, completely, unbothered. Except for the part where she wanted to nauseate him until he threw up. Other than, she was as cool as the other side of the pillow. Yup. And it went just as planned…right up until people started screaming, terrified. Naomi couldn’t officially know that, as she had her face buried in her laptop and some of the employees were familiar with her by now. So she kept working (with shaking fingers) until some kind soul tapped her on the shoulder. It was the burger shop manager. He signed the situation, limited by his knowledge of it and terror, and tried to pull her away. A nice man, but she pulled away and started packing. It took less than a minute, but the manager stayed. He was braver than she thought. She signed that she’d be just fine, thanks, and with permission he at last ran. In her backpack, between the packed laptop and a few textbooks, was her hero uniform. Well, the second one. She didn’t like to think about what happened to the first one. She ducked into the food court bathroom and found it full of people. Next stop, one of the shops. The staff was gone, so she changed behind the counter. Her bag…no, she’d keep it with her. Better if her laptop got smashed because she was sloppy in a fight than stolen. Her project was in there, after all.


Waverider peered through the mall’s doors. It…was bad out there. Not as bad as…that time, but pretty bad, yeah. She couldn’t understand why none of those monsters had tried to break in yet. Then one went flying into a bunch of other ones, and she understood. It was a woman. Dark blue longcoat and bodysuit. Neon orange T on her forehead. Staff-no, wait, she just blasted one of them with it so techy staff. Only human, though. She needed help. There were too many of them for one person to handle, no matter how graceful she was. As Waverider watched she spun out of a vicious blow and slammed her staff into some tentacled monster. Naomi steeled herself. This wasn’t going to go that way. No if she had anything to say about it. She opened the door and stepped out. It was time for some blasting. Her force field flicked on with less than a thought, and she fired away. The goal was to give the older heroine some room to breathe. But she took the extra room and turned it into a rout. It was…kind of impressive, the level of tactical skill she was showing. Waverider was certainly impressed by it. She couldn’t pull something like that off in a million years. The two of them went from outnumbered and in some trouble to polishing off the group before the young heroine knew what was happening. The monsters didn’t get within striking distance of her, though she did have to sidestep…was that acid spit? So gross. Completely disgusting.


This was the point when the blonde woman fell out of the sky. She was coated in a translucent silver field, which would explain why she staggered to her feet instead of lying down and being very dead. “Dang it, that one hurt.”


“Would that be the long fall, or being shot out of the sky?” The T woman had half limped up. She was a bit injured after all. Waverider was pleased she’d lent a hand. She’d probably saved the T woman’s life. “Thank you, young lady. That had gotten quite out of hand.” Waverider nodded, not wanting to explain her communication issues right this second. And with another thud, the blonde woman’s pursuer showed up. A nice big robot.


The blonde sighed and rubbed her shoulder as if it hurt. “Y’all mind lending a girl a hand? These things are pesky as all get out.”


The T woman flipped her staff into fighting position. “Not at all. I could use the exercise.” Waverider just nodded again and set herself for combat.

Link to comment



Third Course


Maybelle McQueen’s day started wonderfully, as usual. The breakfast rush was a sight to behold, but she liked it that way. Before lunch, things started to go south. She had to fire a waitress. It wasn’t any fun, but it wasn’t a rare thing. Aside from her core five waitstaff, turnover was a bit high. A super battle had damaged one of her suppliers and they were out of commission for a while. She could make do, but a few things were now off the menu until she could find a new supplier that met her standards. And that wasn’t always easy. And then, the everlovin’ Kraken rose in the harbor. She closed the Southern Queen for business (but not for refugees), and took to the air. Atlanteans, various monsters, and…flying mecha? Okay, those had to go. Like, right now. They were too well armed to be allowed to hammer the city. But first, civilians on the ground needed rescuing.


Again and again Queenie ferried people to the Queen or elsewhere until there was nobody visible on the street. Now the mecha had nearly reached downtown. She was off like a shot. Unlike the monsters in the street (though she’d thinned them out some rescuing people) who couldn’t actually penetrate her force field, the first shot from the mecha rattled her teeth. So, she’d have to actually dodge, then. Good to know. The five of them engaged in a running dogfight above Freedom. Queenie caught a glimpse of other heroes fighting here and there, but she was fully engaged right here. She shot one down at last, and then an impact nearly swatted her from the sky. Finishing off the second cost her another painful impact. The remaining two had gotten wise to her tactics and noted her injuries. She was bluffing, not half as injured as she pretended and this was how she took down the third. Just in time for the fourth’s beam to smash her to the pavement of Bayview Mall’s parking lot. Right in front of an Indian girl in Claremont colors and a woman in dark blue with…was that a neon orange T on her forehead? Shoot, there were reasons Queenie didn’t wear a costume and that goofy thing was one of them. Still, now she didn’t have to bluff to seem injured, so she asked for help. The T woman was a bit snide and the girl only nodded like her voice wasn’t working right now. Not that Queenie blamed her. She was just a kid, after all.


The fight, three on one as it was, didn’t last nearly as long as the aerial dogfight did. “Well, that takes care of that.” Queenie sat down, and the girl did too.


The orange T woman, however, glanced at the mall behind them. “We should check inside, make sure everyone’s all right. It’s a little too quiet in there.” This thought seemed to bother the Claremont girl, and she stood up rapidly, nodding in agreement.


Queenie shrugged. “All right. Looks like a hero’s work is never done.”


The neon orange T woman smirked. “It rarely is. Shall we?”


Queenie pulled herself upright again. She was going to be really sore tomorrow, but that appeared to be true of both the adults in this parking lot. “Let’s save some folks.” She led the way into the mall, with the goofy neon orange T woman behind and the Claremont girl bringing up the rear. Inside, two teenage heroes (a average sized boy and a tiny girl) stood above a few busted up soldier types that had to be Atlantean.


The girl was suddenly in front of them.“Took you long enough. C’mon, there’s more in the other wings. I put the civvies downstairs. There’s this vault thing.”


The boy sighed. “Pacer, we only just finished here. The rest of the strike team went for that vault.”


Pacer shrugged. “So let’s go already.” Queenie glanced at the two with her, and off they went.

Link to comment

Pacer & Stalwart


All Four Speeds


Mona almost slept through the entire invasion. She had finally crashed after a week of “no sleep world spanning awesome hero stuff”, as she put it. The truth was closer to “visit random places around the world, dine and dash for every meal, and oh right, do some hero stuff so mean ol’ conscience doesn’t complain too loud”. She’d been out for 12 straight hours when her twin brother Mickey shook her awake. “Mona. The news says the Kraken just rose out of the harbor, and it’s far from alone.”


Mona yawned loudly, and then suddenly Pacer stood in front of her brother. “’Kay.” She yawned again. “Race…you…”


Mickey smiled gently, and then borrowed some speed from his sister. In a flash, Stalwart was ready for action. They blurred out of Claremont, ready to save the day. Well, ready-ish. Pacer was more than half asleep, and remained so for half a dozen rescues. It was the seventh when the young speedster slipped into the groove, fully awake. “Awake now, sis?” Stalwart asked, watching as a mother carried her young daughter away, thanking them profusely.


Pacer shook herself like a dog, fast enough that vibration caused an audible sound. “Yeah, think I’m good. Let me scout a bit.” She grinned confidently, and vanished. She was back seconds later. “Mall’s swarmed, must be something they want there. C’mon, might be able to stop this ourselves.” She was just kind enough not to outrun her brother. Even borrowing from her he was significantly slower than she was. Still, they arrived fairly quickly, not knowing that on the other side of the mall a woman in dark blue and a fellow Claremont student were engaged in battle. “All right, let me clear this group out. Grab any stragglers?” Her brother smiled and nodded, and the two went to work. A blizzard of tiny fists knocked down creature after creature and anyone who though to take advantage of their owner’s inattention were knocked into cars, light poles, and on one occasion, clear to the mall itself. With the parking lot cleared, the two young heroes ventured inside. Right into a group of armored soldier types, definitely nonhuman. They went down barely slower than the monsters, though that was because most of them took off as the fighting started.


Pacer started to go after them, but felt Stalwart’s hand on her shoulder. “The people, Pacer.” Now that she looked, there people everywhere. Cowering. Injured. Terrified. “I’ll go after them. Find them somewhere safe.”


Pacer nodded. “And get them there. Stay safe, bro.” She was gone, scouting. Stalwart ran after the soldiers at normal speed. They’d both need all of their powers now. He managed to catch up to a few. The battle was fierce, but with his strength he made short work of two. Then the third fell to a barrage of tiny fists.


Stalwart had questions. The last one had answers. He became willing to provide them after Stalwart pulled off the soldier’s wrist armor and crushed it. One handed. Stalwart flung him into a nearby fountain to finish him off, and then three other heroes walked in looking a bit worse for wear. He shot a glance at his sister. Sometimes they didn’t need to speak to know what each other was thinking. Team up time.

Link to comment

Atlantian Noir

Dr. Thorne, Bedlam City


If one thing that Bedlam did well was the mob and despite the problem of the Atlantian invasion being over for almost a day they still wander the streets, ostensibly to deal with the invaders but mostly to settle the common score between groups. It was like a much more violent and petty example of '38 mass Hysteria of War of the Worlds. At least a good portion of the mob was women, which was the closest that Bedlam came to equal opportunities. We knew this because in some small we'd been involved in sorting out the invasion, but it was quite useful in allowing us to hunt a different prey. For several days we'd been tracking down a spirit I'd dubbed Red Jack, after some cheesy Sci-fi character, because naming it gave you some degree of power and most spirit's names had too many consonants and not enough vowels. Besides a spirit that sounded like Winnie the Pooh was much less intimidating than one that sounded like the Exorcist. The mob would be the perfect opportunity to draw out the violent little spirit, it feeding on the most negative of emotions. Making Bedlam an all you could eat buffet even on one of it's best days let along the charged atmosphere now.


Liam had the build for such things having the look of someone mob worthy so he was currently in control, wandering the streets until we came across the worst thing we could find, an actual Atlantian separated from his fellows. He had held himself with a noble bearing with a haughty attitude of someone better than everyone else, a brave move when surrounded by a mob. But worse of all he fitted Liam's type a damsel in distress. Thinking with his libido at this point wasn't necessary the best idea, he was stubborn enough to try and take on the entire mod single handed, so I quickly assumed control. Doing so carried its own risk, some here might dislike "my kind" more than the Atlantian but it was for the best as I dodged through the crowd nearer the Atlantian, for I could sense the telltale feel of the inhabiting spirit. And indeed behind the Atlantian stood the tiny figure of a woman holding a knife and a grin that suggested they'd be dining on fish very soon. And she did indeed sound a little like Winnie the Pooh as she spoke of the terrors that they should inflict on the captive, Sympathetic magic could be very powerful when used correctly.


I'm sure that Liam with his Irish and Norse ancestry would like to tell tales of the epic battle we fought to drive the spirit away from the body, all the while keeping the mob away and freeing the handsome Atlantian as we did, probably with a romantic kiss before he disappeared into the depths. But whilst the creature babbled away about its tortures I simply performed the correct rituals to cast the spirit out of the unfortunate woman's body, so caught up in the feast of anger and hate, the Atlantian stubbornly refused to show any fear if he felt any, that she was oblivious, or chose to ignore, the arcane forces that I gathered for the ritual. Causing the spirit to be cast out in an impressive array of swirling mists and colors that scattered even the jaded Bedlam crowd. I did allow Liam the honor of breaking free the Atlantian warrior so he could flee back to the ocean of whatever, with the few with enough sense to see it happening being easy enough for him to vanquish. He was an old romantic at heart really.


And no one knew that twice in twenty-four hours we'd saved Bedlam from two potential threats, no hero parades of medals, not even a cash reward, just the satisfaction of a job well done and a good night sleep free after the eventful few days.


And in Bedlam that was the closest you ever got to a win really.

Link to comment

Tales of the Black Flag – the Venetian Arsenal


The Filthy Hag was not quite of this world. To the rest of the world, it was a crumbling abandoned port warehouse in one of the less affluent Caribbean islands. Rotten and empty, with a faded “Fil…ag....” sign hanging off it. Nobody ventured there. It was said to be haunted.


In fact, it was a thriving bar that had somehow slipped away from the world in the seventeenth or eighteenth century, nobody quite new. It stood at the crossroads of worlds. The light was always dusk, the stars and moon large, ember and gibbous. A faint smell of smoke and mist wafted outside.


The Filthy Hag served ghosts, ghouls, faerie, and even some mortal men and women, sorcerers and witches. Old “Crusty” had been slumped in his corner so long it was said that he had planted roots in his chair. It was said, because it was true. It was now hard to tell who was more wooden; his chair or his bones.


The Black Flag, which traversed many eldritch seas, was no stranger to the Filthy Hag, or its owner, Verity Crow. The short, stumpy woman was said to be a formidable witch and had her tongue cut out centuries ago to stop her spellcraft. It had little effect, for the blackboard behind the bar wrote out whatever she wanted to say, and her eyes were full of sorcery. Captain Flintlock had a tab at the Filthy Hag, but even the formidable swashbuckling sorcerer herself would not dare cross Verity Crow.


The world had been besieged by Atlantis and the seas had blazed with battle. Earthly cannons and arcane horror had fired across the waves. The Black Flag had tried to broker peace but even Flintlocks famed silver tongue could not soothe the winds of war. Perhaps Atlantis was still sore after that little problem with the silver lagoon and the octuplet octopi from the 19th Century.


But the battle had worn out, and the lands of men still stood. The Black Flag had played its part, fighting in the Mediterranean. The fiercest and strangest had been Venice, with the strange privateer floating through the waterways, with Atlantean warriors and warlocks crawling starboard and port.


What stories had the Skeleton Crew?


Handsome Jack


It was ein battle like none I’d ever seen, living or dead. Sturmwutt! they were fierce, those men from Atlantis Ja!, and the madchen even fiercer!. Good with blade and musket, fearless und bold. Not the best place to fight, either, the roads of Venice. Got the Black Flag trapped and bottled. But we had to go in, Ja, nothing else we could do….


Ich habe crossed swords plenty of times. Never say Jack was without the spine, Nein. I was a soldier before I was a pirate, and if it wasn’t for my officer blaming his mistakes on me, I probably would still be. Had to fall in with you lot of rogues, curse mien luck. Curse it zwei for ending up dead!...but dead or alive, we gave those fish-men merry hell! Ja, I hold mien head high, walking into any fight with you devils!


One Eyed Pete

They were strong. Stronger than us, with sharp blades and sharp teeth. But not so cunning, not so quick….”


I had two of them, pressing me hard. I thought my sword would snap in two, so powerfully they smote. Thought I would lose my one good eye….


But they got cocky, sure of themselves. They had me pinned in one of those tall buildings, condemned for going rotten and unsafe. And I was leading them up the stairs, one step at a time. Not so easy to fight two against one going up stairs. Not so easy at all. But I let them have the better of me. And I could feel the stairs creak with every step I took…


Now, you know I’m no coward, but you also know I ain’t in the habit of fighting fair, neither. Not when you can win by fighting dirty, anyhow. So, top of the stairs, I get a little spring in my step. Hop, hop! Up I go, leave them floundering a bit. Then, I take a swipe. Not at them, no. Instead, I shove my cutlass right across the rotting stairs with every bit of strength I had in me. Truth was, even dead, I was scared white. I hadn’t in me to fight them both. Maybe not even one of the blighters. But, as I said, other ways to fight. They were meant for the sea, not the land. So with a spinterin’ of wood, and a cracking of beam, down they go, tumblin’ four stories. I didn’t go check the bodies, but I could hear a big wet thud that didn’t sound so healthy…



Ginger Rose


Mister Beaky was flapping about on deck, so he was. I was trying to calm the bird, but twasn’t no use. A fish man had clambered about whilst the rest of you were off fightin and galavantin and getting drunk ‘n up to no good, I bet!


He was taller than the others, four arms, and a sword in each hand. Seven, no eight feet tall. Maybe nine! I swear on my mothers grave. And ‘me own, so I do. And each sword was as tall as I was. And he breathed fire!


Brave Mister Beaky sped through the air, swift as a sparrow, it’s the truth, even if he is a parrot. Swift as a sparrow, I swear! Swifter, even! Like an arrow, he was.


Off he goes, and pecks out the fish man’s eye! Well, one of them, anyway. Did I tell you he had seven!? Well he did. God’s honest truth. And two heads, now I think about it.


Anyway, I sees me chance, and off I go. Stab him once, straight in the heart. He keeps on going, roaring like a dragon. Stabs him twice, in his second heart. Still keeps on going. Bleeding all over the deck. Had acid for blood, so he did. And don’t forget he breathed fire too.


So with one mighty swing, I chop off his head. I mean head’s. That’s right, clean off it came, I mean they came. Two heads, one swing.


And that’s the truth about how me and Mr Beaky saved the day. Strike me down if a word of it’s a lie.



Thin Lucy

Me, I be rallyin ‘ dem troops. Some o’ the local boys and girls, ‘dey had got together armed wit’ whate’er dey could fin’ anytin’ from guns to knives. ‘Ting was, dey got cornered inside a shop. Ey had nice ‘tings dere, all fancy clothes and fine hats. Helped meself to a nice feathered one meself, well, it suited me!


Now, dey was scared bloodless, like devil ‘imself had em by the hair and was pullin. Screaming and cryin’, all in mess. So, I come along, now, and make sure I look all presentable an’ bootiful, not like ‘em zombie. Now den, I say, yous got two choices. Scream and cry and wailin’ and get eaten, or being brave and having ha’ chance, I says.


Now, you know song? “Stab em in de heart merrily”? I fingurin’ dat jolly song be them cheering! So I be getting out my violin, I be mine stompin feet, and getting em all in de mood for some murderin and slaughterin and stabbing. Soon, wit’ some laughter and hootin and hollerin, dey be ready for fightin. Good ‘ting too, for fishmen be coming and not laughing nor hootin neither. I be smackin’ first one round lughole wit’ me violin. Be smashin’ it to bits, shame. But it be givin’ courage and fire to us all, and before we be knowin it, we smackin’ em all round head and be dancin’ victory!



Spike the Monkey

Arrr! I was the first to see them! Up on my lonesome, on the crows nest. An Atlantean Warship! All guns and fins and spikes. Came ramming right up the backside of the Blag Flag. Thought we would be holed, but seems our ship be made of sterner stuff.


All of a sudden, they were upon us. Now, you were all busy with your black powder and clashing cutlasses on deck. Did you look skyward? Well, did you?


If you had, well you would have seen old Spike swinging around like a trapeze artist, from port to starboard and back again. And I wasn’t alone, me ‘earties! No! Some crazy Atlantean had climbed to face me, bubbling away with his gills, frothing he was. Knife between his clenched teeth, ready to disembowel me and gut me like a fish.


The rigging had come loose, cut by some scoundrel. Maybe one of you lot, the way you were swinging and chopping every which way. So I jumped from one rope to the next, spinning and rolling, dizzy with it all. I couldn’t reach me foe, what with all the lolling this way, the lolling that. Didn’t rightly know if I was coming or going. Had me foot wrapped round something, tied up I was.


Now, that would have been the end of ‘ol Spike. Well, if you can end me or any of us, on accounting of us being dead an all. But I wasn’t going to find out what would happened if I happened to swallow the business end of an Atlantean knife. So I clambered up, right to the top of the ship, and with another heroic swing, chopped down all the rigging, and grabbed on to the top of the mast like my life depended on it. Or my unlife. Well, Spike lived, or unlived, to tell the tale here, and meanwhile I left me would – be killer all in a tangle, trussed up like a turkey, hanging from the mast. Right silly, he looked!



Gaston “Gutboy”


Zut Alors! I have never seen a thing like it! Zey smell like rotten fish! Like ze barbarians of Iceland make!

Our rations were running low. Well, I know, I know. We are zombies. We don’t need to eat. Maybe ze odd steak. Maybe ze odd brain. I joke, like you Englishmen, oui?


Just because we don’t need to eat, doesn’t mean we don’t like to. Gutboy, he makes ze ship march, oui? With ze wine, with ze food….mainly with ze rum, though.


Alons Ze! Gutboy, he spies his chance! Ze Atlantean submersible, all green flesh and strange metal. Ze warriors had flooded out of it, and now, it was empty!


Well, nearly empty. Gutboy squeezed himself inside. Oui, oui, I am not so fat, I just have heavy bones. And a big gut. So Gutboy squeezes himself in, shred a few pieces of dead flesh from his middle, and lands in ze ship.


Ah, what strange smells, what strange meats. Like nothing Gutboy has seen before. Shark and Squid, and creatures that have never seen the light of the sun. Strange and ugly behemoths carved into delicacies. I could not resist! Bladder of Octo-eel, Spleen of Megaladon. Glowing bulbs from a giant angler fish.

You rogues know that Gutboy did his part, Oui! I cut and thrust my way though the Atlantean Hordes. Got a spear through my back and an axe in my head. Took Gutboy a week before he could dress himself whilst his brain grew back.


But Gutboys greatest victory was restocking the Black Flag with delicate preserved feasts! Oui! Gutboy prepared the strangest and most exotic victory feast you have ever eaten! Magnifique!


Who knew a Zombie could be so ill afterwards?



Billy the Fish


They are Atlanteans. Fish-men. Fightin’ them on the streets of Venice? On the decks of ships? You all forgot didn’t you? Who checked beneath the waves? Billy the Fish, that’s who!


Whilst you were all crossin’ sabres and knives. And don’t think me didn’t see Sweet Jennie bit that fishmans ear off…me dove underwater, down down, were me am at me best. Me always loved the sea, only freedom me had when was being a slave, down there, floatin’, diving for pearls or spearing fish. Now me dead and all that, me can be staying down there all day, on accounting of not breathing. Har har. Life if for losers!

Anyways, Me had felt something Jar. The Anchor! Must be! It’s a fine anchor too, shaped like a hammerhead shark. Suits the Black Flag. Maybe it had gotten all tangled up in something. But me worries it was being something more than that!


So me dove in. Splash, like an arrow. Sped down, under the Black Flag. Darkness and shadows, but that don’t be bothering us dead folk no mores, now does it?


So me does spies, with me big brown eyes, two fish mem trying to drill into the Black Flag from below. Aiii! If it sunks again, Cap’n Flintlock would never let us be hearing the last of it! No Rums rations for a week, maybe two! Arrr, she be a harsh captain. Harsh, but fair.


So me swim to em, Knife in hand, and gets to doing the works one does with knife. Stabbing here, thrusting there. Now, me don’t be liking killing or guttin’, me got me principles, I swear. Yes, it’s true, not like Razor. But when one of them is trying to chew of yer hand, and the other is trying to poke out yer eyes, well, stabbing comes more naturally. Soon de water is dark with blood, and seein its not mine, as me don’t bleed, me knows me did me part. Saw them swim off, tails between them legs, off to be nursing their wounds, me reckons.



Razor Renzo


A silent blade cuts best!


You all make noise! Shouting, screaming. Thin Lucy trying to sing, sounding like a strangled cat. Now, if you want to fight fair, then on your own head be it. Or maybe, your head will be spinning through the air, chopped off by Atlantean sword! Muahaha!


Not for Razor.


Us pirates, we can hold our own on sea, or in land. Strong and true, yes, Razor knows. But in the air, arrrr! Then it not so Bella! And one of the Captains of the sea-men, he was wearing that shiny shell on his back. Jets of steam! Pfff! Pfff! Off he flies, through the air, shooting at us. Good thing we are already dead, or we would have died!


Into the streets of Venice Razor went, the sky captain hissing behind me. Razor dodges this way, dodges that way. Goading him, taunting him. And then, Razor goes silent as a graveyard at night. Into the shadows, unseen, and unheard.


We can’t be having some one shooting at us from the skies. Not fair. Now, you all know we don’t fight fair, true, and Razor fights least fair of all. Keeps us alive. Well, keeps us half alive. So Razor had to even the odds for us. Razor is thinking – its that shell on his back that’s the problem. Not the man, or fish, wearing it.

So when he is hovering, Razor is climbing. Up, silent, in the shadows. Those Venetian buildings are dark and tall, Perfect for Razor. And then, Razor heroically leaps on foolish fish man! Slam! Razor Scares him so much, fish man puffs out his black ink!


And then Razor gets to work. A cut, a second cut. A mighty hissing! The shell goes out of control, spinning the fish man into the air. Razor quick as a flash, he jumps off, sees the fish man fly through the air with a trail of steam. Phlllsh! He goes, hitting the ocean a few miles out!





Every war brings out the best in a man, every war brings out the worst. I was a slave for seven years, I saw the best, I saw the worst. I have a web of scars on my back to show for it.


I I became a thief, a pirate, a scoundrel, some would say. But at least on a pirate ship I was a man and judged no less or worse than any other man. A pirates’ life for me.


Despite, or mayhap because, of the civilization of this day, when it comes to wars, and fighting…when it comes to fear and rage and blood, you see the best and worst again. People start going crazy, become the animals that live in all of us. I lived through the worst of humanity, and I got no patience for it.


So we were fighting. We were warring. Protecting, saving, whatever you want to call it. And I did my part. I wrestled with Atlantis. I punched and kicked and stabbed and cut at the warriors and the things from beneath the sea.


I also fought the scum of humanity who thought they would take advantage of the misery of war. Couple of guys, young. Thought they would help themselves to some coin of the scared and the old and the weak. Thought they would do it by getting violent, by hurting, by whipping. And laughing about it too.


Maybe they were too young to young to know better. Maybe they were too scared to do better. Philosophers and fools can spend time and drink wine discussing that. Lash has a book of scars on his back that tell more truth. Lash doesn’t make excuses for scum.


I fought the Atlanteans like of all you. But I also gave a couple of evil men a lesson. Brutality breeds brutality. And they won’t forget me, I will swear to that….



Sweet Jennie


All you idiots, with your swords and your fists, your leaping around, your singing, and tall tales. “Oh, I was so heroic” “Oh I was so manly” “Oh I was so dashing”…well, you are all idiots. Dead, rotting idiots. I’ve eaten rotting fish with more brains than you. Drunken fools!


Pass the rum, I have a tale to tell...


It was as we were sailing into Venice. Horrible town, all high n mighty and full of art and culture and all that. I wouldn’t spit my own spit on it.


Anyways and anyhow, the Black Flag was beset by a Atlantean warship. Fast we are, but so was it, we were abreast of each other. Atlantis was firing all types of strange at us…blasts of freezing cold blue, bolts of copper lightning. Everyone running around on deck telling everybody else what to do, and nobody actually doing anything but flappin and panicking. Sorry lot of Pirates, I hate the lot of you. Idiot alcoholics!


Pass the rum…


Except Sweet Jennie. She knew what was to be doing. And she knew, on accounting of you all be feeble minded, she was the one that had to be doing it. Because of my lovely kind-hearted personality.


Made from shell, was the ship from Atlantis. Now, I remembered when the Black Flag faced off against the giant lobster from Leng. All purple and green, horrible thing. Still looked better than you lot.


We used those enchanted cannonballs, all spikes and strange oils, burned the prettiest purple you ever so, like some strange rose. We still had a pair of them left over after that skirmish. So I load up the cannons, no help from you dung heads singing your sea shanties on deck. No no, Sweet Jennie always down below, looking after the cannons, on her own. Talk about doing all the heavy lifting.


So I am handling the balls…stop smirking, Spike… I am handling the balls and hoping they don’t go off too soon…Quit your laughing, Lucy…take some skill and love. You have to grip the cannon just right…


…Shut up, the lot of you! I am trying to tell my tale, here!


So I load it up, light the fuse, timed just right. And then…FIRE! Two shots, bang! Bang! Off they flew, over the waves, bending towards the Atlantis ship. Clunk! Clunk! They hit, sticking right into the shell of the ship and burning so pretty. The shell starts to crack, then splinter, and then, all o’ a sudden, falls apart like dust!

And without Sweet Jennie down below deck, none of you would have made it to Venice in the first place.


Thank you, Sweet Jennie!

Edited by Supercape
Link to comment


Ditra Fifty-Five, CoVic Station


The alarm in Ditra's berth woke her promptly at the sixth hour, powering her shell up from rest cycle. She lay flat on her back on the soft sleep pad for several moments, eyes closed as she ran a full set of diagnostics, every systems' current functioning displayed in the cool black space behind her eyelids. Across the bottom of her field of vision, the daily news feed scrolled from left to right; she highlighted a few items that looked interesting for later perusal before shoving all the data away and out of sight. A quick stretch, half affected and half diagnostic, and then she grabbed the handles on either side of her berth portal and slid out into the hallway. The young councilor joined the queue for the sanitation station to freshen up, then returned to her berth to get dressed; a zip-up jumpsuit in dove gray and a pair of comfortable charcoal boots were all she needed, as makeup, comm units and the many other humanoid trappings were for Lor, not the Nameless.


The Diplo unit rode the lift up to the Market; normally, she would take in a light breakfast with friends at Nemo's, but she wasn't in the mood for conversation today. Today she had her civic duty to do, to vote in an election that may or may not improve the lot of her race. Frankan was on the record as disliking the Nameless, which shouldn't come as a surprise; all she could see was a horde of cyborg infiltrators who'd have overthrown the Republic years ago if they'd actually managed to agree on how to run it. Ambassador Th'emme publicly stated her appreciation of Ditra's people, but could they ever really trust a Lor politician after all they'd done to the Republic over the years?


Though it was said the Bugtown Market never slept, this wasn't entirely true; at half past the sixth hour, most of it was still asleep, the twisted maze of streets and signs in lurid biostrip dark and lifeless. Ditra wanted to miss the crowds at the polling place today, and getting to it right as it opened seemed the best option. The green-skinned beauty stood at the turnabout, waiting for the tram to the Main Plaza to arrive; once it did, she climbed aboard, along with a burly maintenance Tac and an Astro unit so thin it was doubtful he could lift two kilos without snapping a limb. They rode the rattling tram in silence, each alone in their thoughts or in wordless communion with one of the station's many wireless networks.


Once at the plaza, the councilor's features became more animated, her pace more energetic as she entered into the social milieu for which she'd trained for five years prior to getting her own unique shell, graduating out of the featureless Gray shell of childhood. She returned smiles when she saw them and nodded at acquaintances, joining the eternal dance of the individualistic races. By the time she got in line at her designated polling place, there was a twinkle in her eye and a bounce in her step that the Lor found appealing, arguably the greatest asset to her work among them. After half an hour of waiting, she stood in front of the uniformed poll warden, fished her Republic ID out of a hidden pocket and presented it to him with a breathless smile.


"Good morning!"


The warden grunted something unintelligible as he took her ID and swiped into his datapad, which produced the double beep Ditra was all too familiar with these days. His gloved thumb ran over the embossed 'RA' on the lower right-hand corner, which marked Ditra as a 'Registered Agent', a compliant member of the Nameless race. His eyes flicked from the ID down to her smiling face, and he scowled.


"Is there a problem, sir?" Who could say no to that face?


"I need a biosample."


"Excuse me?"


"A biosample." He indicated his mouth. "Saliva."


"But I don't...that is, our shells don't work that way; my saliva is a synthetic digestive compound."


"You're registered, right? That means your genetic material's on file."


"Yes, but that belongs to my pilot, who's-" She waved her hand over her stomach area. "Down here."


"I'm sorry, ma'am, but without the genetic match, I'm not allowed to let you into the polling place."


The Lor behind her, a heavyset man dressed in a food technician's smock, rolled his eyes and groaned, "Look, why don't you just get out of here, bug? Let the actual people vote?"


Ditra felt color flowing into her cheeks as she became more and more upset. "I am a person and I get one vote, just like any other citizen of the Republic." She turned back to the warden, his arms crossed and eyebrows raised. "Just...give me a moment..." The Diplo unit doubled over and winced, as she forced some of her pilot's digestive juices up her synthetic digestive tract and into her mouth. She quickly waved for the warden to give her a testing strip, which she held under her tongue for a few seconds before handing it back to him. Once he put it into the side of his datapad, a single note chimed, the key to the kingdom.


"Thank you, ma'am," he said with a rehearsed smile as he handed her back her ID and waved her into the polling place. "Have a nice day."


The young councilor mutely nodded as she stepped inside, arms protectively around her belly; she felt violated and exposed as she walked over to the polling booth. None of the other voters in line where required to produce a biosample. She pulled the privacy screen closed behind her, and the touchscreen ballot lit up her face as it sprung to life.


It was the easiest decision she'd ever had to make.

Edited by Heritage
Link to comment

Miss Americana and Harrier 

Day in The Life 


Siren, Nereid, and Glamazon had all presented themselves to the Surface as princesses of Atlantis - which was true. It was also true that up until the last two generations, Atlantean monarchs had been vigorous practitioners of polygamy of various sorts - and even though the main royal family typically followed the Surfacer customs imported by the Queen Mother seventy-five years earlier, the rest of the extended lineage did not. What all that meant in practice was that there were many, many Atlantean princes and princesses - many of whom had the powers that ran in the family line.


As the Battle of Hanover Institute of Technology raged around Miss Americana, these thoughts passed through Gina Evans’ mind in an eyeblink. “Red-white-and-blue bitch!” spat Princess Ondine as she whipped a tentacle of razor-thin water at the robot’s face, keeping pace with her in the air with other tentacles that gripped the walls and ceilings of the Institute’s buildings, others that reached down to the ground. With the princess herself in the middle of a central ‘bubble’, the overall effect was like fighting a large spider made of water. “Your country is the one poisoning our waters! When the soldiers of Atlantis destroy all your precious technology, we’ll see how mighty you are then!”


That’s what was happening below - the Atlantean soldiers staging the raid on the Institute weren’t targeting the civilians who hadn’t evacuated in time, or even the cops who’d assumed a perimeter - they were targeting HIT’s technology, and not giving a damn about how important the research was or who got in the way.


“You idiots are trying to destroy technology that’s going to save your precious waters,” Miss A countered, deftly dodging another plume of water. “The only thing that’s going to unring the bell on oceanic pollution is super-science, and lord knows there’s not much of that going on under the sea.” She managed to tap a few commands into her tablet between exchanges, and suddenly the fans in the room were whirring at top speed, wicking away water as quickly as they could dislodge it from the central mass.


The fans (souped-up by energy that Miss Americana had redirected from the small reactor on campus) drove Ondine out of the computer core that Miss Americana had been protecting, freeing Miss Americana herself to take to the sky and properly rejoin the battle. Of course, this also opened her up to more attacks - the water ‘tentacles’ were harder out here with more mass to draw on and fewer ways of immediately dispersing them. Of course, out in the air, she had far fewer worries about collateral damage.


Telling herself that it was nice to get stress-testing of the waterproofing features every once in awhile, Miss A devoted a substantial percentage of her attention to the battle while still keeping an eye on the events unfolding around the city. Ondine was a canny fighter, but not entirely used to landlocked battles, and she didn’t seem to be able to produce limitless amounts of water on her own. Every time a tentacle struck the ground, the thirsty soil lapped up some of the water and contaminated a little more, making it harder to work with. This resulted in an entire segment of the fight when Miss A was skimming along barely a foot above the grass at better than sixty miles per hour, but bizarre or not, it worked.


After nearly ten full minutes of fighting, two eternities by the metrics of superhero battles, Miss A finally managed to smack a power restraint cuff onto the wrist of the recalcitrant princess. Regular supercuffs took care of the other flailing limbs, till the young woman was down on the damp ground, waiting with ill grace for the police to pick her up. “Just for the record,” Miss A informed her sweetly, “I’m not a red-white-and-blue bitch, sweetie. I’m _the_ red-white-and-blue bitch.” With that she took to the sky, looking for other trouble spots.


Taking Ondine out seemed to be a major victory in the local ‘front’ of the invasion - absent their commanding officer, the Atlantean raiders were in the process of retreating with their loot or simply retreating altogether. Whether out of cowardice or simply not carrying weapons capable of harming a superheroine, the few groups she encountered didn’t seem inclined to make an extended fight of it, one way or another.


But the mountain sometimes came to Muhammad. When she detected a sonic vibration in the air, Miss Americana paused and took out her sensors, trying to determine exactly what she was sensing - until Gina realized that the sonic vibrations she was feeling, hard enough to rattle her teeth, were happening not to the robot but to her somnolent body inside her basement laboratory!


Miss A immediately changed course, flying at top speed for her own home. It would’ve been the work of an instant to end the gestalt and be back in her body, but what good would that have been? As Miss Americana, she was strong and fast, with weapons and the ability to fly. As Cyberknife, she was the scourge of evildoers online, respected and feared in equal measure. As Gina Evans, she was a squishy, all-too-human technopath with little ability to defend even herself. That wouldn’t do at all. On her way, she called Caradoc via their communications implants. “Are you near Base One?” she asked tersely. “Something’s going down there. I’m en route.”


There was a moment’s pause - it had taken Gina a while to convince Steve that he should actually speak to her during emergencies rather than simply arriving at full speed. “En route.” Faster in the air than Steve, Miss Americana arrived in her own neighborhood first - there was no battle going on here, which was why it hadn’t come up on the radar of other superheroes, but there was certainly something going on.


A squadron of Atlanteans, heavily armored elite troops, were escorting something as big as a tank down the street in front of Gina’s block - it looked like a cross between an artillery piece and a conch shell, moving along on the heavy treads that the Atlanteans used for vehicles so heavy they had to travel along the ocean bottom. The rumbling got louder as she flew overhead, almost deafeningly so, and for a moment her connection to the robot bobbled, a high-pitched whine like electro-static interference that seemed to be coming directly from the still-inert heavy artillery of the Atlanteans.


There were no civilians out on the streets; Freedom City residents tended to be experienced enough to get out of the way when superbattles were being waged, but Miss A suspected that her neighbors were sitting in their own basements, feeling the vibrations and hoping that this wouldn’t be the one that didn’t eventually wind up in a comic book. She debated the wisdom of closing immediately with the squadron, but decided to hold off for a few moments. Caradoc was on his way, so a hesitation would provide backup as well as a chance to gather some intel on the conch-tank. Though if they parked it in front of her house, all bets would immediately be off. She waited behind the roofline, close enough to intervene in seconds if it seemed necessary.


The Atlantean squadron wound up setting up shop not in front of Gina’s house but perilously close - parking their vehicle in the middle of the nearest cross-street. Once there, obviously carrying out some sort of drilled command, the Atlantean soldiers began a rapid series of movements around their craft, leaping and jumping with the speed and agility that being out of the water typically gave the deep-adapted humanoids. They seemed to be setting up their device for deployment, throwing levers and beginning to open the brassy, slightly abstract ‘cannon’ that they were accompanying.


The shriek of a jet engine, the effects of a holographic disguise that partially masked the unmistakeable sound of an Omegadrone in flight, caught her attention - Caradoc could turn himself invisible but there was nothing that could be done about the noise he made in the air. The Atlanteans caught the sound too, and began handing out the brassy-looking swords they preferred to use in melee combat when they lacked innate powers themselves. “Engage?” came Caradoc’s transmission by radio - evidently they weren’t yet putting out enough to block the implanted tech Gina had put in. He was never one for extensive conversation at a time like this - and was close enough that he could see what she’d been calling him to.


“Yeah, let’s go for it,” she agreed. “Don’t hit that big thing unless you have to, we don’t know what it does or how it reacts to energy. Take out the Atlanteans and hope we can render it inert that way.” Suiting actions to words, she closed in on the group like a sleek bullet, sending a barrage of laser blasts at the highest-ranked Atlantean. He probably wasn’t the actual technician operating the thing, but he would likely be giving the orders. “Surrender now!” she called out, her voice automatically amplifying itself. “Put down your weapons and lay on the ground or you will be subdued!”


The Atlantean officer drew his sword and pointed it at her - shouting something about “Destruction to the Surfacers and their technology!” It was at that moment that Caradoc entered the battle, having sorted out the situation quickly, by the expedient of landing directly on top of the Atlantean officer and smashing him to the ground with enough force to crack the asphalt beneath the two of them. Caradoc’s armor bore the marks of fighting, scratches and dings that would have to come out later, but he looked little the worse for wear. Gina couldn’t see his face - but she could imagine it well enough. “Come, thou varlets! You face the lady of America and a knight of old!”


Miss A laughed, she couldn’t help it, but lost no time in picking off more of the Atlantean soldiers, incapacitating them neatly with blows or energy bolts until none of them remained standing. When the immediate threat seemed dispatched, she took a closer look at the large piece of questionably technological armament they’d been hauling. “Thanks for the assist,” she called down to Caradoc. “Any idea what this thing might be? I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”


“You had them in hand.” With the Atlanteans dropped, Harrier dropped the Caradoc persona - though not the holographic disguise. “Let us see what the shell disguises.” There was a lot he wanted to do - smile up at Gina with his own eyes, head to a nearby basement and embrace her, but there was much to do that day.


He used his pike to pry open the shell of orichalcum around the weapon, revealing an interior that was still alien to Miss Americana’s sense of technology but was understandable when Gina gave it a close enough inspection. The curly bits that looked like shrimp cast out of brass were the power source, and the part that looked like a whale’s skeleton on the inside of the outer shell was the antenna - transmitting whatever energies the internal ‘heart’ were producing. When the shell off, the radio interference was strong, and getting stronger, - enough that Gina had to concentrate to maintain control of the robot.


“Right, let’s get this bad boy shut down before it brings down a commuter plane or something.” Biting her lower lip in concentration, tasting the ghost of blood from far away, she reached into the weapon and began disabling it, disconnecting the power cells one by one with great care. It wasn’t exactly finicky work, the Atlanteans were great architects and sculptors but only average engineers, but the doubling vision and shaky hands made it considerably more difficult. “If I check out here, you know what to do, right?” she asked Steve, her voice a bit distant in her own ears.


Slay the King of-oh! “Miss Americana will return home safely,” Steve promised her, resisting the urge to pat the robot’s shoulder. Whatever they were like in private, neither of them were the sort to be bogged down with sentiment now - plus, if he disturbed her work, who knew what might happen? He could see the robot stuttering slightly, the electromagnetic radiation from the machine interfering with his own systems as well, and knew Miss Americana needed her back protected. But the Atlanteans were in retreat or unconscious, and with his blade in hand they were safe while he worked. “And this day will end with our victory. Perhaps tonight I will cook some fish...”


“Ugh, no, the whole city already smells like fish.” As more of the little power cells came uncoupled, Miss A seemed to be having an easier time functioning. “I want chicken nuggets and french fries. Real ones, in the Fry Daddy, not the lame oven-baked ones.” She staggered slightly as the last power cell gave way, the sudden restoration of full function nearly as disorienting as the interference had been. Steve’s hand was right there, of course, catching her before she could so much as stumble. “Okay, it’s inert. Do your thing,” she invited, gesturing expansively towards the body of the weapon.


If they’d been somewhere other than a suburban street, Caradoc would have gone for something spectacular - overloading the inert machine with enough energy to make it explode, perhaps. But instead he went about this surgically - striking again and again with his pike, driving blows deep into the guts of the machine, until strange fluids were leaking away onto the pavement to boil away in the low pressure of the sea level atmosphere, chunks of steel and brass and other things littering the pavement, and the Atlantean anti-tech device was as dead as the whale carcass it now vaguely resembled. Miss Americana could make out satisfaction in Steve’s posture as he stood by her side. This time he did put his arm around her shoulders, albeit briefly. There was an invasion happening, after all. “You did magnificent work. We should take our prisoners to Freedom Hall.”

“Yeah, no sense leaving them to stink up the neighborhood,” Miss A agreed uncharitably. Maybe it was the interference field, or the proximity to her home turf, or just a very long day, but she sounded more like Gina than Miss Americana for a moment. Some of the Atlanteans were already starting to come around by the time they were scooped up for transport, but midair and weaponless, they didn’t provide a lot of trouble. Even though the city was still littered with pockets of fighting and trouble, for now this neighborhood in Hanover was safe and quiet.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...



What It Liked Was Destruction


It was a chilly but normal February day right up until several roars from things that were not only not normal near Freedom College, but no normal on the surface world at all, split the air. The students milling about started to panic, and then the screaming started as several large monsters turned down the nearby street and started heading for the (largely decorative) wall and gate assembly. The creatures had a vaguely humanoid torso and arms, but some of the larger ones (about 15 feet tall-ish) had four arms instead of two. All of their heads were inhuman, sporting various iterations of “beady eyes and lots of sharp, pointy teeth”. And all of them sported a lower body that resembled some sort of nightmare hell-octopus, huge sinuous limbs bearing “small” claws and toothed suckers, tearing up the asphalt of the streets and crushing cars and motorcycles left along the road. People ran screaming from their grasping, clawed hands as they raced forward, chasing and snapping in the air. They resembled nothing so much as the most stereotypical image of hunting dogs, crossed with octopi, a couple dozen reptiles, and possibly Hell.


Probably not demons’, thought Gabriel to himself as he took a moment to take stock of the situation, his very presence floating there in the air giving some of the people below hope. After all, he wasn’t just any hero, he was their hero, having long protected the areas of Freedom around the College. Plus, he was on the League! No way things would get too bad with him there!


The beasts, Kraken-spawn going by the reports flowing through his communicator, spotted him and roared a challenge. Gabriel just smirked and raised his hands.


“Hark! Hark! Deep sounds, and deeper still!”

A blast of sound knocked two of the creatures back.

“Are howling on a mountain’s bosom! There’s not a breath of wind upon the hill!”

Four more are at least slowed by further blasts, and the rest are bunching up.

“Yet quivers every leaf, and drops each blossom! Earth groans, as if beneath a heavy load!”

Suddenly, the entire group roars in pain as one by one they are blasted with sound waves that make their skin and muscle feel like it’s falling apart. Gabriel is still sky-bound, leaving them grasping for ways to make it stop already.


Suddenly, the initial blasts returned, even fiercer. One of the beasts was blasted so fiercly it just fell down, the life leaving its body.

“The thunder!”

Three of the kraken-spawn, the smallest ones, suddenly began waving their limbs about in a frenzied, fearful rage, turning on themselves and quickly leaving none of them active.

“That deep and dreadful pipe-organ pronounced the name of Prospero!”

Two more of the small ones turned on a big one, which survived but with a couple of missing tentacle-legs, spitting blood and worse. The street clean-up would be a nightmare, but there would be people to clean it up.

“It did bass my trespass!”

A near-constant stream of sound swept over the remaining beasts, and left only two whole and the wounded one, which limped down the street away from the fight. Gabriel paid it no mind, instead choosing to summon his shining spear.


“I arise today, through the strength of heaven!”

The spear flashed, driving the first kraken-spawn back in caution, before scoring a wound on the other.

“Light of sun!”

A parry of a tentacle, a quick hit placed just so.

“Brilliance of moon!”

A stab, one that left an arm hanging limply.

“Splendor of fire!”

A battering assault with the butt of the spear, leaving the other spawn blind for precious moments.

“Speed of lightning!”

Sound blasted the lamed one back, letting him focus on the blinded one that was thrashing about.

“Swiftness of wind!”

He took to the air, rising up and pointing his spear down at the beast.

“Depth of sea!”

A veritable wall of sound ensured the creature would never menace another college student again.

“Stability of earth!”

He fell like lightning from the sky, his spear-point striking true on the angry, lamed beast of the depths, its limbs tensing for a moment before flopping down limply to the ground, never to move again.

“Firmness of ro-urk!”


He was suddenly wrapped in three separate tentacles, his spear mere inches away from him, inches that might as well have been miles. The last kraken-spawn had snuck up on him, and was now bringing him closer and closer to its mashing jaws even as its clawed paws tried to find purchase on his blessed armor. Gabriel narrowed his eyes. Slowly, he drew in a breath, bringing in more and more air, his lungs expanding until near-bursting.


Then he let it all out at once in a shout that cracked windows for two blocks, and left him floating in front of a slowly-collapsing headless carcass. He regarded the animal’s remains with indifference, part of him sad it came to such force, but most of him glad no students had suffered. And hey, he hadn’t even gotten seriously maimed, Stesha would be so proud of him. Hm. Probably time to make a call.


“This is Gabriel to the Lighthouse, what’s the overall situation….”

Link to comment

Eclipse and Rock/Nae-Dae


Civil Discourse

Coalition Victory Station - Inqué’s Bar


“Look, no. I’m just saying. I’m just saying,” Talisyn insisted, slung sideways in her chair. She was gesturing with a bottle, halfway along its lonely journey toward joining its empty brethren on the table.


She wasn’t drunk yet, her Alarian immune system fighting her every inch of the way, but she was trying.


“I’ve seen people like this before. It doesn’t end well. It’s all well and good and sounds great but someone ends up under someone else’s boots, and history studies get holo-inserts with words like ‘tragic’ and ‘misguided’.”


“Rock,” Rock noted with a certain philosophical rumble. The metal cylinder on the table in front of him didn’t contain alcohol but whatever it was interacted with the stoney titan’s molten core such that a distinct plume of smoke was rising from the left side of his head.


Talisyn’s bottles rattled as Nae-Dae drummed on the table with two of her hands while a third held what would have been a shot glass for a larger sentient. “You would say that, gravel brains,” the Irreran chittered irritably. “We know ya met the other one. We met the big shot admiral-or-whatever lady too only she actually paid us, yeh?”


“She did! She did pay us,” Talisyn confirmed, dropping her now-empty bottle to perilously wobble next to the others. She could have sworn she had another to follow it, but she couldn’t quite figure out where it had gone - that was good. That was progress. “She paid us as a general. Or...admiral, I guess. They’re basically space generals. And, y’know what, that’s fine. She was a jerk, and I didn’t like that job, but we gotta get paid and we got paid.”


The gray-skinned alien let the admission hang in the air a moment, her metal tail curling around out of her cloak to surrender the missing drink - she gave it a polite nod, as if she somehow didn’t control the thing. It nodded back. “Military needs people like her. I don’t like it, and someone’s gotta yank on their leash sometimes, but they get stuff done. But as Imperator? Nuh uh. Too much. Plus,” she added, popping the top off her bottle - it smelled foul, and she grinned, her extra set of canines gleaming, “if they go too military, where’re we gonna get work? If they dig too deep into the special ops stuff, they won’t need our brand of...troubleshooting.”


Somewhere behind her, a few too many eyes had started to watch the conversation - a few too many conversations had started to mirror their own. She didn’t seem to notice.


Nae-Dae made a dismissive sound while she leaned back in her seat and continued her drumming using her lowest pair of limbs. “So if they wanna collapse all the best tunnels that just means more work smuggling or whatever.” Most Irreran idioms had something to do with tunnels one way or another; from context this one had something to do with restrictive laws.


The mechanic tapped one long finger against the side of her head knowingly, the implication of cleverness somewhat undercut by a hiccup. “Besides, if the Lor go all touchy-feely, nobody left behind you think they’re gonna wanna sign off on the other stuff? Phaw, right, yeh. The blonde one wins, first thing is the loser an’ all her pals in the fleet gotta ‘retire’ early, guaran-flarkin’-tee it.”


Rock shook his head and made a sweeping gesture with his free hand that a passing server narrowly managed to avoid. “Rrrrock,” he reiterated before raising one finger at a time to count off his points. “Rock. Rooock? Rock.”


Talisyn slumped her head a little bit, mulling that one over. “I mean, yeah,” she said, gesturing helplessly, “but how’m I supposed to argue against that? Frankan’s bad, but Nae-Dae’s not without a point, the peacemakers risk going too-”


“She isn’t!”


Talisyn blinked, electric purple irises turning toward the high-pitched noise. There was a little alien standing on a table, and it still barely came up to eye-level, but was trying never the less to glare at her with all its tiny might. Dimitan? She frowned, as if trying to remembering something important about them. “That’s what I said. She isn’t without a point.”


“No!” it shouted, stomping its foot - the table, mostly circled by native Lor, wobbled dangerously. “She isn’t bad! Frankan’s going to save us! You know what happened out there! We need strong hands, for a strong Republic!”


There was cheering, from the table, and scattered throughout - mostly drowned out by the angry noises on the other side of the room.


Rock looked between the patrons weighing in on the subject with heated shouts, the plume of smoke rising from his head sputtering as he worked his jaw back and forth in deliberation. Coming to a decision he raised his broad hands placatingly toward the Dimitan and suggested, “Rrrooock?”


The argumentative barfly looked uncertainly at the hulking pile of stone squeezed into his chair before turning to the other members of the Horizon’s crew. “...what’d he say?”


“He said yer ma has to duck under doorways!” Nae-Dae shouted back with a guffaw, her puckish nature evidently winning out over her desire to win the discussion of politics.


Rock opened his mouth to protest but the Dimitan had already launched himself from his perch with an almighty roar of indignation, tackling the bigger sentient square in the midsection. Talisyn finally recalled the most notable trait shared by natives of the high gravity world of Dimitos as her crewmate was sent flying backward several meters with improbable force.


With his equivalent of ears ringing enough to drown out the string of choice curses being hurled by his attacker, Rock rose unsteadily to his feet, leaving an indent in the table her gripped for support. He blearily attempted to focus on the knee high figure before the shot to the gut forced him to turn and heave a sizable stream of red hot magma onto the closest entree.


It was chaos and noise, after. Tensions had run high in recent times - high enough that anyone who hadn’t immediately left the bar seemed more happy to resolve political differences with punching than with talking.


Talisyn managed to remain seated, trusting Nae-Dae to be more than capable of escaping her own karma, until someone tried to brain her with a mug...at which point they found out that she was about half as drunk as she seemed, and her tail about twice as sharp. She did at least manage to maneuver her way over to her crewmate on that distraction, partly through luck and agility and partly through being hurled bodily over two tables when she tried to snag another drink off someone’s still-standing table.


A bruise or two were already visibly healing as she sat up in Rock’s lap, trying for all the world to look like she’s meant to do that. “I think the atmosphere’s gone kind of sour, Rock,” the captain noted, eyeing the room with dull caution. One of her arms snapped out with cybernetic speed, grabbing a bottle before it could smash into Rock’s face or shower her with sharp glass. “....so’s the beer, maybe,” she noted, lips pulling back as she sniffed at it. “Figure we try another one? Place, not beer. Although!”


Predictably unscathed, Nae-Dae appeared from somewhere behind the bar with an unopened bottle of something that looked expensive and jumped up onto Rock’s shoulder. “So anyway! What was I sayin’?”


With one hand over his midsection Rock wiped a dribble of magma from the corner of his mouth and shook the mangled remains of a cybernetic hand out of the crevices between the stones of his right arm. Ever the political moderate he shook his head at the wreckage and dryly summed up, “Rock.”

Link to comment


Cobalt Templar

Honor Thy Father And Mother


In the cold of February, the forest was dark, and instead of greens and browns and most any colors, was mostly dark, dull, and white or grey. The Atlantean scouts had scoffed at the strange plant-life of the surfacers, opining about cutting this down for a temple to Poseidon or some such. They hadn’t expected a human even larger than them to suddenly jump out from behind a tree, rendering all four of them unconscious within moments. Cobalt Templar, currently “dressed” in what looked more like military combat fatigues than his typical armor, dusted his hands off as bonds manifested around the scouts.


Need to check with Nick if the wards are getting frayed, thought hostiles weren’t supposed to pick up the magic…


Suddenly, a phone buzzed, and with a curious quirk of his eyebrow, Templar pulled a phone in a patented Archetech case from a pocket, looking at the name with a frown before answering.

Mom, what’s-

“Corbin, you have to come now!”

Mom, what do-

“Oh my god they just stabbed your father! They’re here, Corbin! We were-the cafe across the street from my work, lots of people, they’re right-”

“You there, drop that communicator!”

“Wait, no, stop, please-”

And then the call ended with what sounded like an energy blast.

For several long moments, Cobalt Templar just stood there, the only sound one could hear being the wind in the trees, and the creaking of his reinforced phone case. Then, in a blur of motion, he gathered the unconscious and bound Atlanteans, two to a hand, and streaked off into the sky, the snow below him flashed to steam at the touch of the flames his body was barely containing.


5 Minutes Ago


Albert and Sarah Hughes were enjoying a light lunch in a cafe across the street from Pyramid Plaza, Albert having caught an Uber over there (it was his turn to travel and pay, according to their system), and the game of footsie they were playing might well have led to them taking the rest of the day off. If the glass in the front of the cafe hadn’t suddenly broken inwards with the blows of Atlanteaon blast-spears, the bronze-armored soldiers marching in like they owned the place, yelling orders for the “stupid surfacers” to start moving outside. One of th soldiers looked a little scummier than the rest, and gave Sarah a leering grin that Albert broke with his own body.


Which was when he took a spear blade to the gut for his troubles. Sarah barely suppressed a scream as she tried to hide behind the counter, frantically dialing her son. She barely got a few sentences out before another soldier noticed her and raised his blast-spear. Barely managing to pull the phone from her head, it was blasted into ash and plastic chunks from her left hand, leaving her with severe burns on that limb. Now crying due to fear and pain, yet glaring at the soldiers, she rushed over to her husband. The leering one just laughed, while the imperious-looking commander walked toward them, a blast-sword sheathed at his side, hands clasped behind his back. He regarded them for a moment, before nodding.

“Make them examples.”

Others screamed as the Hughes were dragged outside, Albert barely conscious with the pain and blood loss, Sarah reaching for him from the grasp of the soldier holding her. They were dumped on the pavement outside, the other civilians herded by the Atlanteans for prisoners, or who knew what else. Slowly, with pomp and circumstance, the commander of this large group of soldiers drew his own weapon, the sword gleaming with strange, arcane light glowing from sigils that seemed to surge with even more light.

“Filthy surfacer scum, this is what you get for resisting us!”


But before he could fire, four large, padded packages dropped on top of several of his troops. The blue wrapping dissolved to show unconscious Atlanteans, alive but battered (much like the men they’d landed on). Sarah, who was trying to apply pressure to Albert’s wound, suddenly smiled viciously at the commander.

“Why are you smiling, surfacer wo-”


And then a meteor of blue fire slammed into the back of one of the three crab-like tanks standing nearby, treating the barely-visible shields like tissue paper and tearing the glowing engine block and and radiators from its many-legged body. A blue-flame-clad arm reached out and casually tore a leg from the body, metal shrieking in protest as it was treated like so much paper. That detached leg slammed into the vehicle, pinning it to the ground, where the owner of the arm stepped up on the wrecked body, next to the oddly-modern-looking turret. The huge figure wrapped in blue fire reached down and tore the gun turret from the tank, shaking it to dislodge the vehicle’s gunner-commander, and leaving the driver blinking up stupidly at him. The blue figure, whose flames slowly were compacting, reached down and threw the pilot out by the collar to impact his crewmate, rendering them both largely insensate.


The figure stood there, the flames coalescing from the feet upward along his body to form shining blue plate armor, a dark red cape flapping behind him in the breeze, his arms crossed over his chest, and his eyes twin points of blue flame within his gleaming helmet. It was Cobalt Templar, the Sapphire Champion of Freedom! The people brightened, and Sarah Hughes smiled in pride. The Atlantean commander snarled and pointed his sword.


Your mistake.


The blue-clad fire-slinging paragon blurred into motion, bowling over most of the troops as he slammed bodily into the next tank, the impact bending the gun barrel and tearing half the legs off, and leaving the crew senseless. This allowed CT to pick the entire tank up and throw it at the final war machine, breaking two legs on that vehicle and sending it stumbling back. Before the crew could try to re-orient, he was tearing the gun barrel from the front of the tank before punching it so hard to crashed to the ground in a tangle of broken legs. When he turned to the foot troops who were still standing, they all looked at each other, before throwing their blast-spears to the ground and running.


A couple of subtle nods from his mother saw Templar singling out the soldier who stabbed his father and blasted his mother, and the one who had manhandled her and leered at her. He caught them almost simultaneously by their collars, flying back to the area with the wrecked tanks. Each of them quailed in fear at the look upon his face, and each was buried a few inches into the street surface by his chokeslams. There they lay, breathing shallowly and completely unconscious.


“Look out!”

Even as one of the other bystanders cried out, Cobalt Templar was plastered with a large energy blast, sending him flying face-first into one of the wrecked tanks. At which point he simply peeled himself off of the tank and turned around, a snarl on his face, to see the commander sealing himself inside an armored suit that looked like a 12-foot-tall bronze statue of Poseidon, complete with a trident spewing cracking energy from its tips.

“Die you pitiful ‘hero’, die!”

Cobalt Templar simply swatted the next blast into the sky where it dissipated. He continued to glare at the Atlantean even as his body was enveloped in blue fire that left him wearing an ornate set of “powered” armor that let him match the size of the undersea warrior’s own equipment. At which point he sped through the air and grabbed the suit’s weapon, cracking it over his knee. The commander tried to flee.

I’m not finished with you!

Cobalt Templar almost roared this out before grabbing the bronze mini-mech’s arms and pulling. For a few moments, they just stood there, before the magitech suit simply shredded around the commander, who fell to the ground and started scrambling away. He didn’t make it far, Templar’s over-sized hand wrapping around his head, muffling his scream of terror as he was slammed against a tank a couple of times before being slam-punched into the ground hard enough to leave a crater.


The deeds done, Cobalt Templar turned to the civilians.

Everyone get to shelter, I’ll get the wounded out of here, try to keep your heads down.

Everyone there nodded and ran off, while the blue giant shrank to his normal size, before carefully collecting Albert and Sarah up, constructing special harnesses for them to fly with him, and covering over Albert’s wounds.

Hang on, this will be windy.

In a blur, they were at a hospital, and Corbin had to fight to keep himself from showing more emotion as they were taken in by over-worked medical personnel. Even as his construct-armor automatically cleaned itself of his father’s blood. He turned, taking to the sky again.


The war wasn’t over.

Link to comment

Dol-Druth the Speaker




The Lighthouse, Terres orbit, Sol System

Before the decision


One micron. That was all the manymind had, free of the mentats' watchful third eyes, to decide their votes. 


It had taken some doing to convince Vani...


Was that right? Should he really put all the Lor-Van loneminds under one head? Their homeworld was no longer, a void in space that led to and from this pitiable little star and its poorly-arrayed worlds. 

The pile of pallid flesh stirred as he pondered anew. Below him, so far he had never walked in all his life the steps it would take to reach it, but seeming close enough to touch, the continent of South America shone like a green-brown dagger of life. He had been talking with some of the League (by electronic messages, they had trouble enough without seeing him in person) about visiting that part of the world after his stay on Earth had been extended. So far they had been most anxious that he should not.


'As if we do not know how its resources are drained for use abroad. A sign of the future.'


'Not so! They merely wish us to see what they can do with plenty and peace!'


'What does a terrestrian know of peace?'


'Enough to know they want it.'


'They want what they're told they wa-'


"Quiet!" Dol-Druth's voice surprised himself. The mountain of hairless, antennae'd alien froze and stared into space with its eyes of pure black. For a moment he was sick with shame. A personal display, at a time like this, when so much needed Dotrae's attention and its Speaker's focus.


The black eyes were covered by corpse-white lids. 'I beg your forgiveness, but we must hurry. Coordinating'


Reaching out, Dol-Druth picked up a small red ball, part of a game Pseudo had taught him. A concentration tool the Grue had used long ago to help learn to follow his own train of thought. He raised it, counted, and let it fall...

With a rush and flurry that would have put the carrier pigeons to shame, the minds of Dotrae assembled in their dizzying ranks, each feeling each others' presence and hearing their voice as if hundreds of billions had come together into the same room. To anyone not versed in a lifetime of psychic discipline, it would have been a hellish maelstrom of mental power. To Dol-Druth, squaring his imaginary shoulders as he looked over the meeting's agenda for the three hundred and third time, it was as natural as breathing to naviagate the astral landscape. The trick was to follow your own thread and to observe, not join in, the countless lives that touched his own.

The hundreds part of those billions were a matter of some pride. Dotrae had been fertile and the pods had been sound. Children would soon be taught to join the manymind, to link their thoughts, experiences, their very being to the greatest and freest network of intellects the universe had yet seen. But their fate was uncertain and every heart felt the twist of the tide.


Condensing what followed into a dialogue would both be staggeringly unwieldy and obscure the salient points.


First came the stream of memories of all that Dotrae under Grand Nauarchus Frankan had experienced. Most of Dotrae had tasted the horrors of the last wars. There were incredulous laughs and spluttered fury at the sight of the new ships being built at the old imperial shipyards. Dotrae remembered quite clearly every other time that the government on Lor-Van had replaced their fleet with designs whose power and scale dwarfed that of its predecessors. Along with every time that had spectacularly failed to solve the next deadly threat to the Vani and their allies. The laughs died quickly at the shared words and sights of Frankan consolidating an officer bloc centered on loyalty to the old charger. A lonemind blithely repeating the mistakes of the past was funny, but something like this was more than merely making new coffins for Dotrae to live and inevitably die in. This had the air of a quiet rebellion. Most distressing was how Frankan had gently excluded Dotrae officers from this inner circle. A warning sign in and of itself.


The rest of the Grand Nauarchus' work was examined in a thoroughly sober light. All of it hit every warning bell Dotrae had accrued over the centuries, from her fears regarding the trashed empires outside the borders to retaining the seat of the Star Navy in the thick of her new fleets. Dotrae could not argue that she was not brave, capable and would be an excellent leader, but where she would lead the Republic was even less palatable than usual. Even more a centralized cult of personality based on one godlike lonemind.


As one, Dotrae agreed that voting for Bucklin Frankan would be wholly irresponsible.


Next was Ambassador Th'emme. Slightly more of Dotrae had directly been affected by her policies. None of them had any complaints. Several million had worked with her in the civilian government before and after the Incursion War. No complaints. Her conduct during the war? Dotrae would have done differently, but her ideas had worked out and weren't tainted by pursuing personal glory. Her history in the Senate and philanthropic work was spotless and without fault. All her enemies were of the penny-pinching or war-mongering  or isolationist kind Dotrae wasn't fond of. 


Dotrae paused, confused. 


How could this be when she was the scion of the old noble lines, the mentats who had woven all below them and the Imperator into a pattern of obedience and silence? The people who had hunted the Cholaxans for sport and tried to stop the last imperatrix from destroying the ancient imperial palace? As they pored over the records, another question raised itself.


How had Ambassador Th'emme managed to rise so high without any record or sign of a lapse in principle or judgement? How could anyone, let alone a lonemind without others to correct and guide them outside clumsy advice or shaky example, leave no embarrassing mistakes or shameful secrets?


Dotrae could come to no agreement. Some suggested mental or evidence tampering, though that contrasted with all observation. Others stressed possible favouritism. That was strenuously denied. It was even pondered if Dotrae's own method of surveiling the candidates had some flaw or blindspot that prevented them seeing what should by all reason exist. At last the matter was tabled, Dol-Druth volunteering to go to Magna-Lor and investigate.


So, as usual, the time then came to determine which lonemind to entrust with the fate of 105,270,699,438 lives.


Th'emme was chosen almost instantly. The Ambassador's spotless record, while suspicious, was welcome. At the least she was the candidate who wanted open minds and softer borders. After the Incursion War, both would be necessary to survive and rebuild.


There was silence as Dotrae waited for everyone to depart.


They did not.


They had begun remembering every other time they had come together, over and over again, to decide which one or other Vani would place a gentler foot on their back. It was distasteful, Dol-Druth admitted, but surely necessary? It wasn't as if Dotrae could be voted in as Praetrix, and Dotrae would always find some fault with anyone given the office simply because of generations of hindsight.


There was a much longer silence.


Then a common thought: if that was so, why stay? 


Dol-Druth demanded, peevishly, where in the dusted universe they would go.


Almost as one, Dotrae thought of Earth. Of the vast expanses in its neighbours gravitational fields. Of a people who might appreciate the example of cooperation and common good Dotrae had embodied for hundreds of those little golden orbits.


Dol-Druth asked, aghast, if they had forgotten the Ambassador. The one who had fought in that Terrestrian war a little while ago, had been found out, had been hauled before Dotrae for judgement.

As one of their own. As a Silent. 

This will be for the Vani, and the Kailur, and the Pisceans, and the Sk'ree, the Shoon, the Ruluans and the Jereid, what Silence is for us, the Speaker warned Dotrae.

We know, said Dotrae, but can you think of a better way to get what we have wanted all this time?


Dol-Druth could not. They could not hope to bargain for better terms, no matter who won. Things were too tight, the wounds too fresh, the galaxy once again a dark and friendless place outside the light of Civilization. They would need both Th'emme's victory and Dotrae's limitless patience to leave and join Terres. 


Dol-Druth, reluctantly, agreed to scout out the best way to secession. It would be hazardous in the extreme and impossible to hide for long, but he would do it. 


The meeting was over. With a soft sigh, the minds retreated back into their fragile shells. Dol-Druth had never known what it was like to be truly alone. He wondered if this was-

With a rubbery thud, the ball bounced off of the desk. Eyes jerking open, Dol-Druth massaged his thoughts to make sure the unanimous endorsement of Th'emme was at the fore. The mentats never looked deeper, as a rule, but just in case. Under Frankan, it was doubtful they would be so lax.


Avec, Imperatrix Th'emme, Dol-Druth thought drily 'You have your work cut out. And I mine'. 

Link to comment


Not So Happy Hunting


It was dark, the hours of the morning of the day the Atlanteans would launch their attack against the surface world. However, about twenty of their finest had donned dark uniforms that covered all but their faces, goggles helping them use their natural vision (which could easily see in the “dark” of most cities) without random lights blinding them for precious moments. They crept through alleyways and over rooftops, slowly drawing nearer to their target.


The King himself had given this assignment, saying that if they were successful, it could serve to cripple morale, and possibly keep several of the Surfacer “heroes” from entering the field of battle at all. Their goal was to capture and contain, nothing more; everyone on this team had been chosen for being able to stay calm no matter what, and not act rashly, not lash out in anger. Some of them had strong-willed children themselves, so dealing with a school filled with powered Surfacer children wouldn’t be totally outside their wheelhouse.


Just five blocks from the Claremont campus, the platoon leader raised a fist and gave a set of hand signals to call for a stop and team huddle.

“Sir, why are we stopping? We’re close enough we should be splitting up to execute the plan.”

“Because. We’re being hunted.”

As one, the group looked around. One of them spoke.

“Uh...guys? Where are Fathom-Six and Fathom-Eleven?”

Now the tension was palpable on everyone but the group leader.

“I just told you, we’re being hunted.We need to stay calm, and stay together. Nobody separates from the main group in anything less than groups of three. We have extra time, we need to be careful.”


With that, the group moved on, splitting now into three large-ish groups, one taking a straight path, the other two pincering around. For the next few minutes, everything was quiet, until suddenly the radio came alive with shouts of surprise and terror from the eastern team.

What the-”

“From the shado-”

“Moves like a squid!”

After less than two minutes, the radios went silent. Slowly, the platoon leader attempted to raise that group.

“Fathom-Three, this is Fathom-Lead. Please confirm status.”

Silence. Then, suddenly, the line went live.

You breathe too loudly.

The line dropped. The leader cursed, then raised the other group.

“Fathom-Two, this is Fathom-Lead. Regroup. Hostile took out Fathom-Three’s group.”

“Roger that, Fathom-Lead, this is Fathom-Two, moving in. Wait, what’s that so-”

Static, for several moments.

“Everyone, that rooftop, now!”


The remaining Atlanteans moved to a nearby rooftop that had ample cover and good sightlines around it. It wasn’t the tallest building, but it was near enough for Fathom-Lead. He hated losing time, but better to catch this hunter and stop him now, than lose the rest of his troops to whatever this was. For the next 30 minutes, the troops anxiously stood and crouched in their positions, occasionally moving between designated points, as much to keep blood flowing as anything. Fathom-Lead roamed around the central area of the roof, trying to keep an eye on everyone, not often succeeding. After one of these circuits, he stopped and looked at a particular spot.

“Where’s Fathom-Six?”

Everyone froze and turned to where the commando should have been; all that was there was his abandoned weapon. A weapon cracked in the middle, rendered useless. Fathom-Lead’s spine went cold; these were specially-made weapons not unlike Surfacer firearms, silent but powerful, and built to be fired like guns or crossbows. To simply break one like that…


Everyone turned to see another commando being swept over the edge, the only sign of their foe’s presence the very trailing edge of a cape of some kind. A few of them fired shots at the empty space, burning the masonry but doing nothing else.


Another man was dragged screaming by his feet into the shadows of a nearby rooftop, where his cries of fear simply ceased. Their radios cracked.

And then there were four.

Fathom-Lead grit his teeth in anger, his grip on his weapon tightening ever-so-slightly. He signaled for his troops to huddle up, but before they could, three small spheres landed among them. Within moments, thick, choking smoke was erupting out, lingering in the air and making it impossible to see anything more than shadows a couple feet away. The veteran soldier could hear just fine, though, which is why he knew that his last three compatriots were quickly taken down in close-quarters combat. Coughing, he ran to the edge of the roof and looked back.


He saw a dark silohette, barely even humanoid, and fired, but by the time his finger pulled the trigger, it was gone. Just a step or two away from being a nervous wreck, he slowly tried to circle the rooftop, seeking an escape path furthest from the smoke and shadows. When he stumbled across the unconscious form of one of his men, he tentatively looked down to check on the man. When he looked up, green eyes were staring him right in the face, and a strange blinking device was already attached to his weapon. Giving a weak smile, Fathom-Lead said the only thing that came to his mind.

Clever boy.”

Then all he knew was pain and darkness.


Nevermore sighed and dusted off his hands, surveying the bound and piled Atlanteans. His boss/mentor/teacher/third mother was apparently not accepting any comms at this hour. He wasn’t sure how to report this, especially in light of the summit in just a few hours. He glanced down at the leader of the group, the one still thoroughly in dreamland.




With that, he leapt from the rooftop down to a waiting motorcycle, revving the engine and quickly rolling on, resuming his patrol while occasionally trying to ping the Raven for her attention….

Link to comment
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...