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  1. Travis awoke to an unusual level of silence. The temple, with it's thick solid stone walls, hardly tended toward an excess of noise, but it seemed more still than usual. The space beside him was both empty and cold; May had been awake and away for some time it seemed. He sat up and worked his tongue around his mouth as he brought a glass and a pitcher of water to the bed. Such casual use of his powers was so ingrained in him now that it as as unconscious as flying across the room would be to another, or creating the drink from nothing was to Mary. He drank his fill washing away the thirst before stumbling out of bed and into the bathroom. Half an hour later, washed, dressed, and feeling hungry, he shoved aside the door to May's room, their room, and went looking for something to eat. ,, In the kitchen, such as it was, he found some fruits and some not entirely stale bread. Travis snatched up a little of each and set them orbiting him as he started on a banana, likely fresh from nearby. Floating through the halls he finally caught up with Sol in one of the larger gathering rooms. The kinetic suppressed a frown, "Hey, where is everybody? It's like a ghost town around here." He really had no idea what to think about Sol at this point. In two weeks he'd more or less gotten over the fact that the other man had been with May while he was frozen. After that he had found himself regarding Sol as one regards a figure of legend or history, but David quickly proved himself entirely more real than that. This was no towering God or Titan, he was just a man and a mutant, the same as Travis, and that meant that he really stood above Travis by way of power and position. Maybe they weren't equals, but this man was certainly not one to worship either. That left Travis unsure of their relationship, and the lack of communication between them had not helped to establish a course. ,, David looked up, "They're all on missions, or dealing with the needs of supplies and the like." He went back to reading the sheaf of paper in his hand. "Take the chance to enjoy the quiet," he added as an apparent afterthought. ,, Travis' frown deepened. "Why am I here then?" ,, "What?" David looked up and seemed to actually notice Travis for the first time. "Come again?" ,, "Why I am apparently left to loaf around, if everybody else is out on missions and stuff?" Travis was more than ready, willing, and able to kill humans, especially DEHA agents. ,, It was Sol's turn to frown. The expression slid into place like clouds crossing the sun before it melted away in similar fashion. "Because your talents weren't required this time out." ,, "Oh." Travis took a deep breath and chewed on a hunk of something that tasted like a pear. "Is this about the thing in Germany?" ,, Sol's frown made another cameo, "Kind of, but not entirely." The older man put the papers he was reading to the side, "Listen kid, honestly you weren't needed. A bunch of them were sent into a city to scout and secure some living space, another couple were sent on an infiltration, and I sent Fahrenheit and Grav out to deal with Silberman, mostly cause I didn't figure that Fahrenheit would rest until she did. That's her revenge to get and the two of them are more than enough to deal with him." ,, "And?" Travis asked around a mouthful. ,, "And, yeah, a little of it is because of Germany. Don't get me wrong, you probably did more to save everybody than not, but you also lost control and put the others at risk in the process. You crippled that kid, he might have joined us otherwise, and ..." ,, "And so now none of them trust me right? I'm just the psycho who lost control." TK dropped into a chair, "You know what happened to May and I. You know that that leech was there. It's no different than what Fahrenheit wanted to do to Silberman, I just-" ,, "You just put your fellows in harms way in the process." David shook his head, "I get it, I do, but they don't. These people are your people Travis, and I'm sure they'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but try and see it from their side. Heck, try to see it from my side. I, they, need to know that you won't cause as much mayhem to our own as you do to the DEHA. You've got amazing power and potential, but I can't make use of that if all I can do is drop you like a bomb into an area I need blasted into rubble. I need you to be a weapon, but not a WMD. OK?" ,, Travis sighed, frowning, and ripped a hunk of bread in half, stuffing a portion into his mouth. He nodded though. "Besides," Sol continued, "by keeping you behind, if the others get into trouble and need extraction, we have somebody ready to lend a hand, and for that you do seem more than capable. Your hatred of captivity, understandable as it is, makes you ideal to keeping our people, and yourself, out of DEHA hands." ,, "Ok." Travis left it at that. They sat in silence as he finished his meal. Finally the younger mutant broke the silence once more. "I have a question, and I don't think I can ask May." David looked up, surprise on his face. "What did the DEHA do to me while they had me?"
  2. The Daltonites in the guest lodge – those who had found sleep and were still in their rooms – were awoken by a sharp pounding on their doors. A male voice added, “Breakfast.” It was then that the guests of DoorHold smelled the heavenly aroma lingering in the air. It smelled a lot like fat and protein, made by someone with no understanding of good and bad cholesterol. Those who stumbled out into the kitchen found that the table was piled high with food. Outside of Sylvia and Ravi’s door were neatly folded clothing that fit well enough. It was all rough-spun linen, wool or leather, much like they’d seen the Chiderans wearing. In fact, once Sylvia had put them on, she looked like a less-buff member of the race. The breakfast was very hearty, full of meat and starches. The only drink was a milk; it tasted oddly meaty and was somewhat warm – fresh from the cow warm. It was also very filling. Ryan meanwhile, found his class with Becor being interrupted by a servant. Becor fell silent as the door opened. The man who entered looked fey, with baby-fine silver hair and wide blue eyes. “Your friends are being served breakfast in their lodge,” the man said, blinking. “Would you like to join them…. Or sit here by yourself some more?”
  3. The time at HeartStone had been refreshing for the Daltonites. With their status as heroes and allies, they found that Chideran hospitality was always more than enough to satisfy. Food, drinks, training and information was theirs for the asking. There were other kinds of hospitality, and for those Daltonites so inclined, company at night. Sean returned from his secret ritual as a full-blooded Chideran, whatever that meant. If nothing else, he seemed more comfortable in his skin – and with Swan. The kiss she’d given him on his return had made their status clear to everyone. Yithaja gave them one night to celebrate with Sean; early the next morning she roused them from bed and started back for DoorHold. The return trip was just as arduous and dangerous as the trip out, and everyone was relieved when the smoke of the city became clear. They were welcomed back again. It was made clear to them by the Pimszt that they were welcome to stay. It seemed that their choices were limited anyway; the door to Dalton would not open. It seemed that the kids might be in for an extended stay, but the Pimszt had an alternate suggestion; she had the Key to the Beast-Skinned Door. She was honor-bound to give it to only Ravi and Sylvia, but the two could bring others with them, if they wished. “Let me know what you’d like to do,” the Summer Shadow who led DoorHold told them, her hard body leaning casually against the wall of the longhall.
  4. May 7, 2012, 9:45 p.m. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center April Wolcott and Scott Harrison were getting married. It was a gala affair that was the buzz of the Washington D.C. social circuit. April Wolcott was the daughter of the British Ambassador to the United States, Marcella Wolcott. Scott Harrison was the son of U.S. Senator Richard Harrison, a hardcore warhawk Republican from Florida. The social and political implications of the evening were a minefield. The Democratic President, Jonathan Henshall, needed Harrison’s support for a Medical and tax bill that had been a key point of his campaign. Harrison’s support for this sort of thing was grudging at best, but the promise that Henshall would protect Harrison’s pet weapons project in exchange for support made this alliance a possibility. For now, Henshall had to play nice and attend the wedding and reception. The International Trade Center, or ITC for short, was the site of the wedding and reception. The lavish wedding was to be held in the Atrium; its 125 foot tall skylight, marble and granite floor and bold columns created the perfect place for a wedding of power and prestige. The reception would be held in the Atrium Hall, while there would be dancing in the Ballroom. The guest list numbered in the hundreds; anyone who was anyone in the U.S. Capital had been invited – and would probably come. The riff-raff were not invited, and it was here that Mirage, Rebekka and May found themselves. They were clothed appropriately for their roles – Mirage and Rebekka were in the most fashionable dresses Mary could create. May was dressed nicely as well, but she was going to work the crowds outside – and provide a distraction should it be needed. It was a trial by fire- '[i Yesterday...']May 6, 2012 Home David grinned at the two women who had entered the room. May was already there, lounging in her ‘base’ form, a woman with black hair and green-blue eyes. While similar to Raven’s image, this woman appeared to be far more innocent and younger than Raven had been. “Sorona, Rebekka, thanks for coming.” “Tyrone hinted that you had plans for us. Something about… the President?” Rebekka asked this with a coy tone, but David didn’t seem to take it personally. The powerful mutant’s smile didn’t change as he waved the two women to a seat. “I do have plans. We need, more than anything else, information. Specifically, military codes for satellites. If we have those codes, we can use the United States’ satellites to monitor the DEHA.” David smiled thinly. “Sorona, I’d like you to help Rebekka determine who she needs to sleep with to get those codes. Rebekka, I think you understand by now what we need from you. May’s faces are known to DEHA until she develops another, so she’ll have to remain outside for now. She’ll be there in case things go wrong.” “There’s one more catch.” May didn’t act like it was a problem as she said, “We don’t have invitations to the wedding reception. It’s the only place to have this kind of public access to the people in the highest positions of power but we don’t have the pull to get you into the party. You’ll have to find your own way in.” -but somehow, it seemed more fun this way.
  5. [Continued from 1.3] The yawning black hole opened before the rag-tag group flying over Germany, exactly as planned. Travis felt relief as he angled the flying disk through the hole. After the fuck-up that this fight had been, he just wanted to hole up with May and bitch to her about the sheer amount of crazy in their growing group. They burst through into the morning light of highlands of Tibet. Tyrone and Jack both frowned, while Ty-ty squealed with delight. “You found her!” the child cried happily. “And you rescued others!” “Damnit! I hope we have enough spray for everyone. Get that boy over here, before they bounce the signal to detonate his collar off a satellite.” Jack was already digging in a bag for the bottle of freezing chemical. “Maybe Jeremy can make more if needed.” Tyrone had already hefted the sensor. “Let’s see how many microchips they have hidden in these poor guys.” He shook his head. “Man, they gave them a beating for trying to escape, didn’t they?”
  6. May 7, 2012 Umatilla Military Correctional Facility Umatilla was something of a legend among conspiracy nuts. It was labeled as a military prison, but there didn’t seem to be many prisoners listed there. As just one example, there was a Tiffany Schmit listed among the prisoners. She’d been convicted of treason and the records were sealed. Her family had been trying to get her released for eight years, to no avail. It was cases like this – where people were imprisoned under secretive reasons, where the government was telling people, ‘Trust us, really’ – that made Umatilla so notorious. What made the conspiracy people drool was the fact that an inordinate amount of resources, men and space was dedicated to imprison less than twenty people. Of course, those were just the official prisoners. Located in the dry mountains of Eastern Oregon, it was highly inaccessible. It was off of Up Middle Fork Rd, but vehicles without at least of foot of clearance were not making it up the narrow path. Most people and supplies were flown in by helicopter, which was the most reliable way in and out. Walking or horseback might get you close, but unless you had a way over the Constantia-wire fences, you probably weren’t getting into the facility. Of course, the four people now approaching didn’t need horses. Between their own skills and the skills of their companions, the fences were not a big deal. They crossed the ‘Border Zone’ – the area between the fences and the facility proper – in no time. Now the prison, a squat brown building, was just in front of them. All of the attackers knew the facility. They’d all see the map recently. They may not have to even enter. The goal was get one of their own out, and he was planning on meeting them halfway. Yesterday... May 6, 2012 Home Grav – at least one of her personalities – Gold, Jeremy and Matt were all in the planning room when David entered. “Now that we’re all here,” Jack started, “I’d like to go over the plan. Then we’ll be asking if you’ll go along, help us out.” “It is completely voluntary.” David’s interjection was probably unnecessary, but he made it anyway. “All we’re asking of you to stay here is help with provisions, but this is above that. This is war and I’m not conscripting any mutant into the conflict. Go on, Jack. Sorry to interrupt.” “Not a problem. We have an operative named Randall who is currently imprisoned in the Umatilla Military Correctional Facility. It’s a prison for mutants and humans alike. Most of the humans there have been convicted of collaboration or treason regarding mutants. We have little idea as to the internal layout but we know that there are three wings: Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Alpha is high security and that’s where Russell has been kept. His mission is to retrieve another mutant codenamed Foresight and files of her precognitive predictions.” “She can actually see the future?” Jeremy looked intrigued. “According to DEHA files yes. Her abilities were fairly minor to start and affected only large scale events. But they are getting more and more precise, and it’s just a matter of time before she forecasts something about us.” David looked grim. “She’s a program baby, and we’re going to try to get her out of there and show her the world. Give her a wakeup call like we did Mary.” “She’s in Beta Wing, and Russell’s going to break out and head for her. His signal is that you guys will start blowing things up.” Jack picked up the details of the plan again. “He’s also going to get the recordings of her prognostications, if he can. But that’s secondary to getting her.” “Are we ready?” Matt looked at the three of them. “Just give the word and we’ll get this party started.”
  7. May 7, 2012 Staging Site in rural Tibet “Shit. Shit!” Jack’s cultured British voice wasn’t used often for profanity, but when it was, it had an impact. “What’s going on?” Tyrone asked, looking up from his surveillance of the phones. He was waiting for the calls for evacuation. “A mutant escaped yesterday from a German facility.” Jack looked up from the communication hub he was monitoring. At some point, DEHA was going to figure out that the mutants could peek into this emergency channel and they’d alter the protocols. Until then, it was a resource for them. “They’re setting a trap to catch her today. It looks like it might work –they’re using a nullifier to take her down.” “We already have missions going on.” Tyrone’s statement was delivered reluctantly. He was quiet, then scooped up the phone. “I’m going to go back really quickly and round up everyone who can help. Then I’ll be back.” Jack hesitated; there were few things he liked more than altering a plan, particularly if that could result in the possible failure of the plan. But the whole idea, the entire purpose to what they were doing was to save their people. And one of them needed saving. “All right. Make it fast and be sure they have a phone for extraction.” * * * DEHA facility in Southern Germany Seeker had been loaded on a plane yesterday and flown somewhere. All he knew is that he’d crossed the Atlantic in the night and was somewhere over Germany. This had the feel of another mutant hunt, and the young man stared moodily out the plane window. When they off-loaded him, he was hustled into a building. It was a standard military complex, one of dozens that Seeker had seen in his time with DEHA. He was marched into a room where a couple of other men were already seated. There was a short, dark-haired man whose face brought to mind yard gnomes; Seeker had worked with him before. If Cancel was here, this was definitely a mutant hunt. The other man was probably the muscle: he was slim and blond with an intense gaze that seemed to take in all the details of a room. Like Seeker, they were in AMP collars. The door opened one more time and a group entered. One of the members was a boy in his early teens; he took the open seat between Seeker and the blond without a word to anyone. The other men were clearly DEHA and they opened the briefing immediately. “This is Farhenheit.” An image of a woman made of flame appeared on the screen behind the man giving the briefing. “She’s exceptionally dangerous and completely crazy. Yesterday, she escaped from German custody so it falls to all of you to get her back. We’ve arranged for a capture outside of Passau, Germany. Her tracking chip shows she’s in the region and we have someone she really wants to kill. We’ve leaked where he’ll be for her to come and find him.” A satellite image replaced the woman behind the military man briefing them. It showed a wooded area, remote and perfect for staging a balls-out mutant fight. “I’m going over what everyone’s roles will be in this operation. Seeker, you’re our hound, as normal. Assist where you can. Cancel, take out her powers as fast as you can, before she kills someone. In particular, the doctor we’re using as bait is to be protected. Strike-” The young boy looked up at that. “-you’re going to protect Dr. Silverstein from damage, taking attacks for him if necessary. Hopefully she’ll think twice about attacking you. Prime, you’re to take her on in the air. Seeker and Cancel, this is Strike and Prime’s first mutant hunt, so feel free to share your wisdom with them. We’re all in this together.” * * * After gathering up everyone at Home who was willing to go, Tyrone jumped them all back to the staging ground in Tibet. “Everyone, here’s what we know. Fahrenheit is a flame-based mutant who escaped from the facility holding her in Germany. She’s now in Southern Germany. DEHA is setting a trap for her south of Passau, Germany in a wooded area. They’re using her former doctor to draw her out. We’d like you guys to go get her, keep her free and get her home.” “Easy enough, right? Let’s get this baby rolling.” Tyrone turned from them and began to open up a warp, making the way for them. “Does she look like a flame controller?” Fenris asked. “Oh, you can’t miss her.” Jack nodded firmly. “She’s quite distinctive.”
  8. (Time and date indeterminable - sometime in the not so distant past.) Days turn blue to gray… Sascha stared out of the tiny window in her cell. Clouds gathered and darkened the sky and she felt today was a special day. She turned around and her gaze fell on the high-security door just across the room… or cube, as she referred to it. For the last 4 years it was the only space she knew besides the “walks” she had to take in the asylums park. It was a beautiful park for sure if it wasn’t for her being literally imprisoned there. Her daily dosage of sedatives and medications had been already administered to her but somehow the full effect didn’t deploy today. Instead she felt her just underneath her skin… waiting patiently to be unleashed. It was a long time she felt her… it was a long time she heard from her… it was a long time she felt the urge… The red light in her cell turned on and almost as if it was a automated process she turned around to face the wall and put her hands on her back. Then she slowly slided into a crouching position with her knees balancing her against the wall. As her head brow settled on the cold wall she spoke out monotonously “Ready when you are, Dr. Silberman” The door opened with a heavy clacking sound and in stepped two guards and an elderly man in a Doctors apron. He nodded to the guards who proceeded to lay Sascha in chains, making sure that both her hands and her feet didn’t give much space but for little steps to walk. One guard behind her and one guard to her left she started to walk outside of her cell and turned to the left down the hallway which led to the asylums Park. “No, Ms. Kindler… the other way, please” objected Dr. Silberman and took the lead down the hallway to the right which led to a simple white door – Dr. Silbermans office. Sascha wasn’t sure if yet another year had passed and she was due for her psychological exam but she turned nonetheless and followed Dr. Silberman. “Take your seat, Ms. Kindler.”, said Dr. Silberman, pronouncing the last syllable as he sat down himself. “You know the procedure, so lets get this started.” He took a small sip of his glass of water and opened a file folder containing Saschas medical history. “Do you still believe that there is an entity in your subconscious mind, waiting to be released in a blaze of fire?” his voice sounding mockingly. Sascha knew the procedure all too well and she knew no matter what she said, she could never convince Dr. Silberman of her mental stability. Today it didn’t seem to matter, though. She knew the truth, she felt it. Fade out... Fade in... The constant dripping of water on cold stone echoed through Sascha’s mind. Her body ached all over, even breathing felt painful and exhaustive. The cell was dimly lit and she could hear the squeals of rats scurrying around. She felt an odd itching pain on the back of her head and reached with her hand to feel for it and realised that she was shaved bald. She tried to stand up but the pain in her legs was unbearable. Gritting her teeth she managed to pull herself across the floor to her bed tears running down her cheeks both of frustration and pain. Obviously she was thrown forcefully into the cell and not taken care for where she landed. Bloodstains gave the floor an eerie sense of doom… as if she would never make it out of there alive. Almost screaming from the pain she managed to drag herself on the bed before she lost consciousness and oblivion darkened her mind. Visions of flame and fire coursed through her subconscious mind. Fire was virtually everywhere – in space, on the streets and in the darkest corners of her soul. Encircled by lashing flames Sascha tried not to be burned and to her surprise the fire didn’t harm her. The dancing flames slowly formed a face vaguely resembling hers and spoke just one word. "Burn" Fade out... Fade in... Maybe she was getting crazy. Sascha remained on the floor and looked at the ceiling. She barely felt the cold stone floor or the bruises of her encounter with the ‘caretaker’. Though her body ached all over she couldn’t remove the smile on her face. Her breaths got interrupted by uncontrollable fits of chuckling and laughter. It felt like an out-of-body experience. The same thing people who lay in a coma described. Sascha registered the world around her through an odd haze of dreamy fog. Her movement strangely delayed from the decision to the actually motion. From the distance she could hear the alarm and the clacking of boots. Something has happened… something that had spared her from getting raped. She wondered if all this was making sense. If the dream she had was connected to this. Her mouth was dry and she bled from her nose but she didn’t cared. The rhythmic sounds around her carried her thoughts away and she remembered a song she heard years ago. She's not a girl who misses much. Do do do do do do, oh yeah She's well acquainted with the touch of the velvet hand Like a lizard on a window pane. The man in the crowd with the multicolored mirrors On his hobnail boots Lying with his eyes while his hands are busy Working overtime A soap impression of his wife which he ate And donated to the National Trust. I need a fix 'cause I'm going down. Down to the bits that I left uptown. I need a fix 'cause I'm going down. Mother Superior jump the gun Mother Superior jump the gun Mother Superior jump the gun Mother Superior jump the gun. Happiness is a warm gun (bang, bang, shoot shoot) Happiness is a warm gun When I hold you in my arms And I feel my finger on your trigger I know nobody can do me no harm Because happiness is a warm gun. Yes it is Humming its melody she smiled to herself "Yes it is..." (OOC:Lyrics taken from Tori Amos - Happiness is a warm gun) Fade out... Fade in... The disjointed feeling did not go away. She didn't know how long she sat there, humming and interrupting herself with laughter, but it felt like a cleansing eternity. She rocked back and forth, and hugged her secrets tight. The vision came to her again. Not suddenly, like usual...it just sort of drifted up. Her other self, wreathed in fire, walked toward her. The air pressure in the room seemed to change when Sascha saw her. The finger pointed. The woman spoke as always, said the only thing Sascha had ever heard her say. "Burn!" Sascha thought about it for a moment. While she thought, the door clanged and began to open. Her attacker had returned. ***** The orderly grinned at the sight of the new girl cowering in the corner. She might have thought he forgot, or was scared. He didn't get scared. Once he saw that the staff was watching the news, all about some satellite, he knew for sure no one would come down here anytime soon. His lust had cooled, but he felt himself getting hot all over again. He stepped forward. "Where were we?" She just looked up at him, a blank expression on her face. He frowned a bit. That wasn't right. She was gonna react to him. He took off his belt, and wrapped the end around his fist. The buckle dangled. He moved closer to her. ***** Permission, she decided. That is what her other was giving her. Relief flooded her body, and she saw the man standing over her. Over his shoulder, her other self whispered to her. "burn." Sascha grinned. She spoke aloud. "Okay." Fade out... Fade in... Again she felt droplets of water on her skin. It felt alien and her skin didn’t get wet. Instead the droplets which were heralding the rain they’ve been birthed from evaporated the moment they touched her. Reaching for her head images of an inferno and the bright light of the sun flashed through her mind. Sascha tried to focus on her surroundings but only managed to smell something akin to tar. The images kept disorienting her, as if she was assaulted by flashlights. Eachtime an image burnt into her eyes, the caretaker’s face distorted in agony, melting metal bars and strangely deformed plastic tables. The images seemed to come directly out of a Salvador Dali painting. Sascha didn’t know how she came to her feet and she stumbled around trying to reach out for something to hold on to when she suddenly stopped sobered up by surprise… or was it shock? She stared at her hands which were a crimson red but the color was slowly fading away until it resembled her normal rather pale complexion. Looking around she had difficulties to process what she saw… a huge crater of molten concrete – and she was standing right in the middle of it. “Oh my god…”, the images flashed again through her mind and as if that wasn’t frightening enough she started to hear voices or screams to be more precise, deathscreams. “It was…”, she couldn’t finish the sentence but the truth dawned on her. She relinquished to the voice in her head and what she saw now was the consequence of it… of losing control. Terrified by the damage she had caused Sascha started to run unaware that her clothes had been burned off her body, too. Fade out... Fade in... Falkenberg? FALKENBERG?!? They’ve actually sent her to the “Karl Bonhoeffer Klinikum” or “Bonnies Ranch” for those who knew what transpired within once you got transferred to it. Sascha felt a strange satisfaction as she looked back at the devastation. She knew she must’ve killed dozens of people – IF it was her doing - but she didn’t feel any remorse. A car passed by and honked at her and she heard a male voice yelling at her as one of the passengers obviously saw her nakedness. She wasn’t sure if she really understood what he said and decided to don’t bother about it. The ground felt warm and malleable. The asphalt must’ve melted a bit from the intense heat behind her. Knowing that she would be in great trouble if someone found her near the Asylum she ran towards Falkenberg keeping a lookout for any buildings on the road. Sascha ran like she never ran before. She felt her legs cramping and the pain almost paralysed her but she managed to stay on her feet – then she ran some more. In the distance she could make out a small building and she immediately headed towards it. Her legs were killing her and her lungs almost rattled from the exertion yet instead of collapsing from the strain her body kept her going providing her with enough endorphins and adrenaline. As she got closer she recognised the building – it was a rest stop, a bit off the road and there were two cars and a truck parked just behind it. Through the windows she could see people sitting at tables and having their coffee or a small snack before they went on with their trip. Deciding against going into the building and causing some major uproar she walked around the building and approached it from the parking lots hiding at the truck and waiting for its driver to come back. Fade out... Fade in... While she was waiting, she heard the sound of a helicoptor. Mentally she subtracted the sound, until she felt the wind whipping her bare skin. The copter landed in the field to the south of the rest stop, at the edge of the parking area. As Sascha watched, two women jumped out of the copter and approached her. One carried a bundle under her arm "Ms. Kindler?" The one without the bundle shouted above the noise of the helicopter. Sascha was too dumbfounded to do anything but nod. The woman with the bundle unfurled it to reveal a tee shirt, jeans, and sandals. She gave them to Sascha, who quickly pulled on the clothing. She looked around. People at the rest stop were starting to come towards the copter. "We want to take you away from here!" the first woman shouted, "Some place safe!" Her German was heavily accented. "Please," the second one yelled, "won't you come with us? We can help answer your questions!" Her German was similarly flawed. Fade out... Dr. Silberman’s office The elderly man shook his head and closed the file. He was dealing with her since the early 90s and she had managed to escape again and again. Each time the DEHA managed to recapture her before more damage was done. And each time he had to explain he had things under control – that it was part of her therapy and he had to revaluate her dosage of Kytone. The latter was getting exceedingly difficult. Sascha responded less and less predictable under the influence of Kytone. While it still had the desired effect and Dr. Silberman could exclude a building resistance to the drug Sascha’s behaviour certainly... adapted. Dr. Silberman added another report to her file and started to speak. “Sascha is showing an unusual reaction to the general treatment. While we managed to condition her and get her to do what we want I’m still not certain if we can move on to the next stage and take advantage of her more destructive abilities under controlled conditions. The risks are still too high.”, there was a short sigh followed by this statement. “If I could only find a way to reach to her core personality. Creating Sascha took us roughly one year until we got a stage to work with but progress has been... stagnating ever since. There are days I feel like we’re making good progress and then she suddenly slips away. Her disorientation increases and putting more pressure on her makes my work near impossible. Maybe my assumptions were wrong but I’ve never encounter anyone like her before. Her adaptability is... amazing. If I could get her under full control she’d be an invaluable asset for the Department.” Finish recording.
  9. The warp opened into a tree canopy. It was dark enough that reading would have been difficult. There was almost no growth; the thin soil had only scrawny plants growing in it. It was hot and humid; the air was thick with moisture. It smelled like the wilderness, and the scent of water hung in the air. Animals were screaming in alarm at their sudden appearance. Ahead of them, a hesitation in the density of trees revealed an old temple. The stone rose in stairs and blocks, though some of it was crumbling. Matt grinned and stepped backward, waving them away from the temple. “The under-canopy entrance is back here.” Now his smile was proud as he explained, “I added this entrance so we wouldn’t risk being seen coming and going by spy satellites.” “Where are we?” Rebekka asked softly. “We’re in Guatemala.” Jack was being picked up by David; clearly he found this undignified but he continued to share his information as he was carried like a child. “Almost in Mexico. This is an old Mayan temple, refurnished courtesy of our earthmover.” Matt bowed, smiling. Their rescuers seemed more relaxed now that they were here and the warp was closed. The under-canopy entrance appeared to be little-more than a hole in the ground; once inside, there were handholds in the stone. The tunnel under the ground was straight and smooth; electrical cords appeared to be trapped in blocks of stone along the ceiling. Matt had gone first, showing people where to grab, then he was the one leading the tour. They were walked back toward the temple, rooms opening up quickly. At first they were storage areas; next they were empty rooms. There were more rooms than people, even after the increase in numbers with the escapees. Lights came from lanterns that were plugged into the cords or by chemical glow sticks. “The power comes from generators, back in a cavern that way. We have to steal gas or propane for them.” David smiled. “Pick a room, make it home. We have blankets and basic bedding in all the rooms, but let me know if you need anything. Or want. We can’t guanatee anything, but I’ll do what I can to make this feel like home to you.”
  10. Mole National Park, Central Ghana Savannah stretched before the black hole, which marred the natural beauty of late-afternoon Ghana. The animals in the area were keeping their distance from the strange humans there. The smells coming from them made the wildlife nervous. John’s arm itched but he didn’t move to scratch it. His focus was on that black hole, waiting for their brethren to arrive. Who would be first? Mary, the reluctant escapee? Travis, the furious kinetic? Maybe Gold with his physical prowess would be first. In his heart though, he wanted it to be Lamia. He was dreading seeing her; she was one of his regrets. Ty-ty was next to him, using the table as a shield and holding the extra clips on the gun. Tyrone’s youngest sister had been training with him for a while for this task and had proven herself to him. It was her job to reload or cock it or do anything he might have done with his left hand. She was young but had her older brother’s reliability and intelligence. The flat plane of the warp rippled a little, signaling incoming. John exhaled and blanked all thoughts from his mind, preparing to shoot. But when the slight girl emerged, he stayed his hand. It was Mary, or looked like her. “Get behind me! Hurry up!” The girl skittered to the side and said, “Th… there’s more people coming. Don’t use that on them? Please?” “I will not shoot any people,” he assured her, remembering that she was soft on humans and electing not to mention that humans were not people. “Now clear the way.” She nodded and scurried behind him. “And don’t bother Tyrone. He’s the gentleman providing the ride.” There was another ripple, larger this time. Do not be a tank, he thought. Instead a floating slab of concrete pushed through, holding the other escapees. “Come on, David.” The woman on the slab looked at him, frowned and said, “John of Howsted?” John smiled awkwardly. “Hello, Lamia.” The cell phone on the ground started to ring; Ty-ty looked down at it and said, “It’s Matt.” “Shit. Come on, David.” It seemed to take forever before the flaming form darted through the warp. Tyrone released it with sigh and the warp collapsed. “Matt called,” John reported. “I’m working on getting him out,” Tyrone reported, his eyes closing in concentration. David turned to the four mutants he had rescued. “Welcome to freedom,” he said to them, smiling. “We can celebrate in a moment, but we have to get the tracking chips out of you before we go home.” He picked up a case, opened it and set it on a second table. “Who’s first?” Behind him, another black hole started to form. It took roughly thirty seconds for it to solidy into a black disc of nothingness.
  11. Transcript from Interview with Grav Transcript from Interview with Hard Light/Dog Transcript from Interview with Fenris May 5, 2012, 3:47 am CCT Foduxiang, East China Sea Foduxiang appeared to be just another island in the East China Sea, but it was an open secret that the Chinese government had a private resort there. The once-volcanic island was now dormant and completely dead, but the two small peaks that had once created the tropical island were still there. The rich soils supported a wide variety of life, including a few species transported to the island for big-game hunting. Tigers now hunted lands that had never been theirs, and Cape Buffalo wallowed in the wetlands and glowered at trespassers. At two miles wide by two miles tall, there was actually enough room to stretch out a bit. The only official way onto the island was to via a dock on the Western edge of the island. A single building stood there, a mixture of security checkpoint and a garage for the jeeps and the boats. From there, a single path wove deeper into the island, paved only because the wet season turned much of the island into a mudpit. There were a total of four buildings clustered inside a small walled enclosure. The biggest was the guest facilities, where most of the rooms were, along with a rec room and a kitchen. A barracks for the soldiers was the next largest building, followed by the staff residence. Finally, a small building served as a storage facility. There was also a driving range, a tennis court and a swimming pool. If the grounds inside the walls had been utterly dominated, then the ground outside were still wild. It was here that Fenris worked. His orders were to watch for interlopers and stop them. If he couldn’t stop them, then he was to alert the compound and made sure the Russian staff got out. Mr. Misha Ivanov and his two assistants were the primary concern of this mission; Ivanov was a friend of President Putin’s and had his blessing to negotiate this deal with China regarding oil. As such, he was given limited freedom to do his business as he saw fit, in a green paradise. It wasn’t so bad, as missions went. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- The plane was running below the radar but over the waves – in theory. The turbulence from flying this low was bouncing them up and down. Grav rode silently, ignoring the mutant shivering next to her. They’d called him Dog, and he’d seemed terrified of the Canadian major who was giving him orders. She shifted a little, getting more comfortable against her safety restraints. It was a little silly; if the plane went down, she wasn’t going down with it. “Remember your mission,” Grav’s handler said to her quietly. “You just need to take out Ivanov, disrupt the talks and get the hell out. There is a Russian mutie there, but we’re not sure which. You have your maps and everything you need.” The red light flashed and a buzz rang out; Dog flinched but Grav merely unbuckled. At the back of the plane, the cargo doors opened, granting the mutants freedom to the skies. “Good luck,” Grav’s handler told her with a smile. “Don’t fuck it up,” the major growled to Dog. Then it was time to jump out of the plane and fly to the island.
  12. Transcript from Interview with Travis Kincaid Transcript from Interview with Mary Transcript from Interview with Lamia Transcript from Interview with Gold May 5, 2012, 9:44 a.m. MST Sletten Lake, North Dakota The Sletten Lake Containment Facility sits in rural North Dakota, far from any major settlements. It is clearly a military complex, but unlike other military complexes, it doesn’t feed the local economy. Trucks come and go all the time, but they are military transports, and they don’t stop at the local Kum & Go. The locals have dozens of rumors about the place, all of them far less fantastic than the truth. The center of Sletten is the Main Building, sometimes called Mutant central. This squat, single story concrete box houses the facility’s mutants, all four of them. Sometimes, it’s inconceivable to the soldiers and scientists here that so much exists solely to study and contain these four, but at other times, it was all too easy to understand why all the security existed for them. They were some of the most dangerous or valuable mutants housed in the United States. The Main Building is divided into five sections by incredibly thick walls, one for each of their mutants and a fifth area that houses, the supply room, computer room, cafeteria, one of three armories and some offices. One section houses Mary, along with labs and offices to support the scientists who study her. She also has a compliment of guards; men she’s never seen who have orders specifying under what conditions they can put a bullet in her head. Lamia has another section; like Mary, she has a bevy of guards and scientists, thought their functions and orders are very different. Each woman’s suite contains several rooms, each of them designed to provide her with everything she needs so she’ll never have to be removed from the secure area. The third area houses Project Ice, a government funded research project to determine the viability of long-term cyrostatis. Their mutant test subject is housed there, along with all the labs and equipment that are required by the program. The fourth section contains the imprisoned mutant Gold as well as the Colonel who oversees the training general preparedness of Weapon Gold. Today was sunny and bright; a few clouds scuttled overhead. Outside the Main Building, the unit permanently dispatched here went about their duties, which mostly involved finding new ways to remain alert on this fairly dull day. The sun overhead made the air warmer than was usual for early May in North Dakota, and a couple of the harder working soldiers were already sweating. No one really looked up, so no one noticed that there wasn’t one sun in the sky, but two. The glowing form got in the first strike before anyone realized he was there. The communications tower was briefly outlined in gold as the sun itself seemed to strike it; then the concrete slagged under the intense heat. Men didn’t have time to notice they were dying before the fact, save a few luckless souls who were far enough away to survive the initial blast only to be seared to ash seconds later. The shed housing the tanks and vehicles was next. In nearby Battleview, population 389, the residents stared to the south, where the horizon glowed with a second sunrise. The first of the anti-aircraft weapons fired at the glowing form, only to explode against a glowing shield yards away from the form. Another shell entered the fray; this one struck the form. The explosion couldn’t obscure the form’s brilliance, and the form seemed relatively unhurt. But the defenses were gearing up, and the form dropped rapidly to hover just above the building. Another blast of heat and light from his hands punched a brutal hole into the roof, and the DEHA’s worst nightmare came true: a mutant had penetrated Project Ice. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Travis was dreaming again. He was flying and free, with nothing to stop him save his own limits. The platform of debris under his feet carried him high into the sky and he grinned at the unparalleled feeling of freedom. Then he remembered – he couldn’t dream while he was in cyro-sleep. That thought brought a surge of adrenaline, as he realized he was being woken up again. He came awake with a shout, ready to fight. An alarm whooped in the building, and there was a hole in the ceiling of the lab. There was only another man in the room and Travis wasn’t strapped to a gurney. The other person was thin, not too tall, and older in his mid-to-late forties. His hair was brown and eyes gray; his close-cropped facial hair added his age. But more important that all that: the man glowed with a golden light. He was another mutant. “Ready to leave?” the man asked. “Fuck yes!” Travis said, bounding off the bed. He was dressed in hospital pants and nothing else, but he didn’t care. It was time to GTFO. “Great. There’s three more mutants held here,” the man told him. “Gold’s prison is that way.” He pointed due south. “You spring him – I’m going to make sure the other two are ready to go. I have a way out, so don’t worry about getting away. Just get Gold out. Got it?” -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Gold sighed as he worked his sore muscles. The workout today had taxed even him; the latest trainings had a deliberate feel, and the mutant resigned himself to another upcoming mission. Maybe he’d get to kill some humans and no mutants. That’d be nice. A distant roar rang through the building, like it’d been struck with a hammer. The mutant was on his feet before the vibrations had stopped and the alarm started. Outside his cell, he could hear soldiers scrambling, but he couldn’t see anything. All he knew was that something big was happening. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Lamia stared at the Sudoku puzzle. It was the last one in the book, and she debated whether she should complete it or wait. She’d angered one of the doctors accidently last week, so there was no telling when her next book would come. She ran her fingers over the squares, trying to decide if she should save it, or if she was bored enough to do it now. Perhaps she would only work on it five minutes- A distant roar rang through the building, like it’d been struck with a hammer. Lamia looked around in alarm – alarm mixed with hope. How many sweet dreams had started just this way? How often had she hoped for something like this to herald her escape? Was her chance here? -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Mary was asleep; she wasn’t normally allowed to sleep this late but it was a Saturday, and she’d done very well on her test yesterday. Normally, she’d be filled with a sense of satisfaction over that, but Dr. LaCroix’s visit had tainted everything since that point. A distant roar rang through the building, like it’d been struck with a hammer. Mary woke up and was half out of bed before she really thought about what she was doing. Her thoughts flew to Dr. LaCroix, and what she’d said.
  13. Transcript from Interview with Mirage Transcript from Interview with Noctis Transcript from Interview with The Archive May 5, 2012, 6:45 p.m. SAST Spicenkop Research Facility, South Africa The Spicenkop Research Facility was normally a rather quiet place; located in northwest South Africa, it sits in the side of a mountain. Hollowed out of the stone itself, the facility normally didn’t host mutants at all. Instead, their scientists typically worked on research, both mechanical and scientific, derived from mutants. As such, the Facility didn’t normally host EBS-geared RRs, or any of the R-94 Supertanks. But for the last twenty-four hours, the place had featured both. The normal soldiers stared at the RRs in their exo-suits, trying to not feel like they were on the set of a science-fiction movie. They’d all heard about the Trains, and what they looked like when fully loaded, but it was still a sight worth staring at. It was also a constant reminder that they had strange mutants inside the facility – foreign and home-town guests, so to speak. Spicenkop has two areas; the first is the garage where the mechanical R&D was done. There are several offices and workshops and labs in this area, and grants the entire facility has a slight smell of grease. Deeper in the mountain is the chemical lab, which has been getting a lot more attention these days. The scientists think they have found something to help them in the on-going war for mutant control. The evening’s focus is on this lab. “Seven o’clock on a Saturday evening. Fuckers,” one of the guest soldiers muttered, glancing at his watch. “How long will this take?” The man had been excited to learn he was going on a mission to South Africa; he’d never been there, and he wanted to see exotic Africa – and exotic African women. Then he’d learned that he was in the middle of nowhere in the northwest part of the country, hours from a large city. Worse, there were no donne nere, here; the South African government would never trust their black population in a position of power. He had seen a pride of lions on his way in, so that was something, but they hadn’t stopped and he hadn’t gotten a picture. This was a terrible mission. The Italian soldier was doing his best to ignore the three mutants in the room, each fitted with an AMP collar and restrained to examination chairs. They all seemed rather calm and complacent; he knew that their Noctis was cooperative. Too cooperative, given some of the stories he’d heard about the mutant being open to being fucked for favors. He’d also been told that even when forced into sex that the mutant had seemed smug about it. The soldier mentally shook his head. That was just all messed up. The French were more observant. Mirage was a little more concerning to them. She was mostly cooperative, but if she were to become less so in this setting, they’d have a hell of a time restraining her. There was always the collar, but that was a measure of final recourse. Many of them even liked her; she was largely non-offensive. But none of them could trust her, not completely. Her green hair was a constant reminder of why trust was impossible. The South Africans were much more casual about their charge. The beautiful Rebekka was dragged into the room, shivering from the final throes of the feeding they’d just given her. When she was dropped roughly into the chair, she moaned in delight; her expression, as they secured her, said that the experience wasn’t unpleasant. The Italians and Germans watched uneasily, filled with a mixture of disgust and envy as the South African men took their time lashing her down, none too careful where they put their hands. Finally they stepped back and the scientists moved in, preparing IVs and saline bags. A line was attached to the saline drip, which led to a small remote designed to slowly administer an unknown drug. That done, the scientist heading the experiment said, “We need to clear the room, please. We don’t know what reactions the chemicals will induce.” That wasn’t comforting at all to the restrained mutants. “It will not kill them, will it?” the Capitaine in charge of the French contingent asked. Mirage was France’s best mutant; he was loathe to allow her to be destroyed at DEHA whim. “No, kytone doesn’t kill, and neither should dyxelkytone,” the lead researcher assured him. “Clearing the room is merely a precaution.” Nervously, the soldiers withdrew, casting final looks over their shoulders at the mutants. A low rumble shifted through the complex; screams rang through the corridors from the mechanical R&D area. “What is happening?” one of the Italians asked, moving automatically to cover the door to the room the mutants were in, just in case. “I… I don’t know!” one of the scientists babbled nervously, his eyes wide. “God help us.” The whisper was strangely loud in the room. The woman who’d spoken was staring at the screens that monitored the room; wish a shaking finger, she pointed at the fourth mutant who was now in the room. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- The three mutants were only alone a few seconds when the tiled floor writhed and buckled. The stone underneath bubbled upward, stretching over six feet tall before parting to reveal a man in blue jeans and a collared shirt, open over a gray t-shirt. He had pale brown hair, gray eyes and the kind of face you would buy a used car from. “I’m here to getcha y’all out,” he announced to the three in American English. “Anyone not wanna leave?”
  14. Sunday morning, 5:45 a.m. Frida’s mural was still on the wall, offering a haunting reminder to anyone who cared to see that something unusual was going on here. It was a well-done mural, at the least. That wasn’t why Isaac Rotterdown was in the room examining it. His interest was in the supernatural. He’d heard the stories about the painting and had come to see for himself. He’d meant to wait until later today to see it, but he couldn’t sleep. Figuring that he’d take a walk, he decided to swing by the building. To his surprise, it was unlocked and he took advantage of the lapse in security. Slipping into the room, he left off the lights and used his small LED light on the keychain to illuminate the mural in six-inch circles. More than once, he thought about turning on the light but knew that would draw security. Instead, he forced patience and hoped his light would be sufficient. The mural was everything he’d been told it was, and Isaac didn’t have a clue about what half of it meant. There was a whisper of sound behind him; the man turned to see a man with gray skin and wrong eyes – white pupils and irises, black sclera – standing there. He was lean but gave off an aura of power that went beyond the physical. He wore finely-made clothing straight from a Ren-Faire. “This is most unfortunate,” he said, tilting his head. “I believe the current Daltonites say ‘awkward’?” “Uh,” Isaac said, not sure if he was going to demand that to know what he was doing here or compliment him on the outstanding makeup and contacts. Then something touched the crown of his head and the urge to sleep was overwhelming. He dropped into slumber as a female voice spoke softly: “He’s one of them, too. This is-” He had some very odd dreams. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Brihn and Brahn were both waiting for the students and teacher to arrive the next morning. The two looked different today; perhaps they were merely tired. Being early was certainly a contrast to their usual habits of lurking in a dark shadow and then stepping out to scare the crap out of everyone, or at least out of Ryan. One of the students, Isaac Rotterdown, lay sprawled on one of the tables. “We were not sure what to do with him,” Brihn said apologetically. “He had already seen me,” Brahn said, his mouth twitching. Click to reveal.. You arrive in order of posting, please – no posting and saying “But I’m the last there.” If you want to be first-first or last, please say so in the OOC thread and we’ll work it out. The special guest stars will be along soon. Oh, and say hi to Collider! He’ll be joining us.
  15. Click to reveal.. This is directly taken from SalmonMax's fiction Hanging by a hair "Today marks a new sad end of an era as the last member of the famous New-York self proclaimed vigilante-group known as “The Supremacy” died..." "Hey guys, knock it off for a second, I wanna hear this." Habeeb and Feelies looked around from the old pinball machine they were trying to bang back into shape. Spread out over a good half of a previously abandoned sofa they'd reclaimed was Juno. Habeeb, who's real name was Rashid Hadim, shrugged at Marcus 'Feelies' Polk and put his screwdriver down. The two boys, both fifteen, turned from their interrupted work and watched their boss watch the news report. Juno wasn't some street nickname. It was on her birth certificate and everything. She was the daughter of Hector Reyes, and was visibly Hispanic despite her mixed heritage. Her mom had been white as Wonder bread. Juno was good looking...but it was hard to say 'pretty.' Pretty was too effeminate, somehow. Even at seventeen she was beautiful, even gorgeous at her best, but never seemed particularly girly. Her physique was best described as 'sleek,' perhaps...muscles under just enough fat to give her some curves and not much to spare. She dressed casually, as often as not in a t-shirt or even tank top, jeans and either flipflops or steel-toed boots, depending on if she was looking for trouble that day. And yeah, sometimes the jeans were tight or low riding...and sometimes the tank top was a bit tight, but no one put the moves on Juno. There was a distance between her and the others. A difference. No one talked about it, but it was always there. So when the news talked about a famous mutant dying of the 'Mutant Virus,' the other two kids in the room were quiet and uncomfortable as if Juno had been watching the wake of her grandmother. When Six came sauntering in and gave Habeeb and Feelies a glare, the two quickly found other places to be. Six was the second in command of their little gang...though in truth, the 48th St Regulars were more like an anti-gang. Juno'd assembled them and led them to do what the cops were unable or unwilling to do; keep order in this little 2 block neighborhood deep in the low-rent slums of Las Vegas. "Hey boss," was Six's greeting. He didn't sit down though. Always on the move, Six. "Check this out," Juno replied without looking away from the fuzzy image of the newscast on the thirdhand (at best) 14" TV screen. Broadcast, no less. Even getting power to this address had been a pain. Cable would be ridiculous. "That guy from the superhero team died." Six shrugged. "Sucks. You know him?" Now Juno glanced over at him. Her eyes were dark brown, nearly black, deep and mysterious. Her expression was unreadable, but she leaned over and turned the TV off. "No," was her answer. "What's up?" Now Six sat down. He was a black kid, sixteen, tall and slim and wiry; built for speed. His hair was an unruly shock of curls teased out into something that was probably supposed to be dreadlocks, but didn't quite make it. He wore a baggy knit cap most of the time. He had long fingers, pianist hands, and was crazily good with his hands. "So what's the deal with the new kids?" he asked without preamble. Juno turned to lean back against the sofa's armrest and half shifted her legs up onto the couch. From that position she could watch Six easily, and did so with a cagey smile. "New kids? You mean Adrian and Becca? They're older than me, man." Six shrugged, not wanting to split hairs. "Whatever. How long's he staying?" "Why? He's working for his..." "I know! I just..." Six scowled when Juno spread her arms in a shrug. "Me and some of the guys...we just think he's trouble." Now Juno frowned. "Why? Has he done anything? Said anything?" "No! But come on...some guy and a girl, all by themselves out in this part of town, moving around? You ask me, he's on the run. And as long as he's here, he's bringing whatever that is down on us." Juno looked back at the TV for a moment. The thought had occurred to her too, but... "Look...I'm not saying there's no risk, but...alright, look at it this way. How long's it been since we sent the Westsiders packing? Six months? Seven?" Six shrugged. "Yeah, something like that." "Let me tell you something about them. They've got something like two hundred people, and control pretty much everything from Fiftieth Street on down to the power plant. They've got cars...guns...and people. The only reason we're pulling this off is because they've also got the warehouses, and the Brotherhood wants them...so there's a war going on and they can't spare anyone to come get us when they stand to lose turf they actually care about. All right? With me?" Six nodded, a touch sullenly. He liked to think the eviction of the Westsiders from the neighborhood had been a real David and Goliath thing. But he was too smart to really believe it. "We've got maybe a year or two," Juno pressed, "before that war is over. And whoever wins it...either one...is going to take a few months to lick their wounds and finish the other one off...and then they will come for us." She tapped the seam on the inside of her thigh. "We have to be ready. And part of getting ready is getting more people." Six got back up, off the couch, full of nervous energy. "Yeah, okay, but what if he's from the MIC? What if he's got the bug and gives it..." He caught himself and looked around before finishing more quietly, "gives it to you." Juno hesitated, and he rushed into the gap by pointing at the TV and asking, "You want to wind up like captain superhero on the news there?" "If he's from the MIC," Juno said quietly, "Then he's exactly the kind we need. Bug or no bug." "But..." "I've already GOT it," she flared abruptly. "Okay? I don't have it bad yet, but...sometimes after I change, I feel...bad. It clears up. Most of the time I'm fine. And it doesn't even happen every time." Six took a startled step back from Juno at that news. He even swayed for a second. It was like hearing she had AIDS. Or seeing her with a noose around her neck. "H...how long?" he whispered. Juno was quiet for a moment. "I don't know," she finally said. "If I ask anyone official, they'll wonder why I'm asking...dad goes to jail for not registering me, and you can visit me at the Mutant Internment Center whenever you want." "Shit, Juno." "I know. So you see...we've gotta start getting more people, more shit...getting you guys ready to fight. Even if it's without me." Six swallowed, but his throat was dry. Realizing how hard he'd been hit, Juno gave him a smile and got to her feet to deliver a hug. "Relax man. It's not bad. You'll have to deal with me for awhile yet, okay?" His return hug was fierce, but brief. Once he disengaged he skipped back a step and asked, "So we're recruiting this Adrian guy?" Juno shrugged. "We'll give him a place to rest and get food and water for him and his sister...a place to protect...and see what he does. In fact...where is he?" Six shook his head. "Think he was outside." "That narrows it down," Juno replies sarcastically, but with a smile. "Thanks." Her lieutenant gave her a little bow. "Live to serve." Juno brushed past him, intentionally bumping against his shoulder as she passed and muttering, good naturedly, "Asshole." Six watched her go, grinning. The grin faded when he looked back at the TV and heard again in his head what he'd heard before Juno had turned it off... Humanity has lost its last ‘true’ hero in a fight that seems to be futile. To this day science has failed to find anything that could stop the disease from spreading and eventually killing anyone with the mutant-gene. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Juno stared at the TV for a moment before she decided to switch it off but somehow she missed the button on the remote and instead she just changed the channel. Another Report was showing footage from the local MIC and it immediately caught her attention. The Police has come in great numbers and obviously with reinforcements called in from neighbouring counties. A sizeable number of Mutants were pitted in what seemed to be a prelude to a riot against the Police forces. Big trucks with Waterguns were pushing away the masses while Policemen armed with Tonfas and Shields trying to bottleneck the Mutants into the MIC. A Helicopter was circling above the area and Juno could recognise the telltale signs of an impeding breakout. The masses were on the verge of turning into a stampeding Riot and since they weren’t far away from the MIC things could get really nasty in the neighborhood. Juno glanced outside evaluating her options. They could watch the news and hope that things wouldn’t get from bad to worse or she could do something about it...
  16. The holidays always meant work for most teachers but today Annalise decided to continue her papers after the holidays and take a nice warm bath. It had been weeks when she had the time to really relax and recharge her batteries. The bath was already steaming and smelling good from the fragrance she added to the water when she heard the doorbell. For a short moment she waged if she should answer the door or simply ignore it. Sighing she tightened the knot of her bathrobe and went to the door, opening it just slightly. “Excuse me, you are Ms. Gravinsky?”, a tall man with short blonde hair in a military flat cut wearing a standard Policemen uniform was holding his badge up. It read Captain Mark Ward, behind him she could see at least 4 other Policemen, all wearing helmets and fullbody armors. They seemed pretty edgy to her. Annalise just nodded at Capt. Ward but didn’t open the door. “What is going on?”, she asked hoping the officer would realize she wasn’t really able to have a conversation right now. “We are looking for two young kids, a boy and a girl.”, he reached for his breast pocket and produced a photograph of a young boy and a girl. Both looked ragged almost like homeless kids. “Have you seen or heard of them?”, even though Capt. Ward was smiling politely there was an uneasy edge to the entire situation. The armored policemen behind her were waiting impatiently, almost as if they were ready to charge in any moment. “I’m sorry, Captain… Ward?”, Annalise tried to ease the tension by modulating her voice hoping it had some effect on the man. Shaking her head she added, “I’ve never seen them, may I ask why you are looking for them? They’re not one of my students.” “Aha”, nodded the Captain looking back at his men. “I’m sorry Ms. Gravinsky, based on federal law art 215 I have to ask you to open the door and let us look for ourselves.”, he let his hand slide down to his sidearm and unhooked the security pin on his holster.
  17. December 17, 2010, Ronnie’s apartment, Las Vegas Ronnie walked into her apartment. She closed the door, the click loud in the room. For a long moment, she wasn’t sure what to do. Nothing was different in here; the place was just as she’d left it. Her apartment was still the same neutral-toned room as before. Her pool table even had the same balls on it, the leftovers of the last game. But the silence was oppressive and the room pushed in on her. Ronnie walked into her dining area, dropping her keys on the table. The bottle of Midleton Very Rare, an Irish whiskey so pretentious it told you why it cost $110 in the name, vibrated as the keys bounced off it. Ronnie stared at the bottle before her eyes slid to the gift bag and tissue paper behind it. Travis’s Christmas gift. As predictable as he was. He was dead. Something slipped through her lips; maybe a sob, maybe the start of a wail. Whatever it was, Ronnie clamped down on it. “I’m not doing this,” she growled. Her plane left for Goa tomorrow. Thanks to India’s tolerant attitude toward mutants, the Goa beaches were the place for mutants to go on vacation. Tyler had a secret beach house down there, but Ronnie wasn’t going there. She was getting a vacation on UNISON’s dime. Or maybe just on Raven’s. Her handler hadn’t been clear on that. The only thing she had been clear on was that Ronnie didn’t have a choice. Mandatory vacation. What a joke. I was supposed to be getting laid. She was supposed to be telling Travis right now, “Sure, come on vacation with me. I’ll wear a bikini.” And when he made a lewd comment, she was going to look him in the eye and say, “Sure. Let’s do it.” And then she’d find out if his claims and boasts over the years had been real or bullshit. Ronnie snarled and shook away the daydream. “Fuck this!” she snapped and marched over to the table. Before she could rethink her plan, she snatched up the bottle and ripped the seal way. The cap came off with a few twists and Ronnie put the 750 ml of golden liquid to her lips. Three strong gulps lowered the milliliters appreciably and Ronnie stopped before she choked. Normally she could have chugged this without effort, but her throat was raw and tight. The alcohol was burning into her gut as she wandered over to her pool table. The balls were where they’d left them, after their last game. Ronnie leaned against the table, staring at the solids that Travis had left on the felt. Suddenly, she was angry. “God damnit, why did you tell me to go! We were partners! We should have both gotten out!” She picked up the 6 and threw it, watching it disappear into the wall and rattle back and forth between the studs. Ronnie threw a few more balls, not caring about the mess she was making. It felt good to destroy something, even if it was her apartment. An hour later, her couches were turned over, her bed pulled apart and her countertops had been cleaned with sweeps of her arm. Only her pool table, her beautiful slate pool table, was left unmolested. She was out of Midleton but that didn’t matter, because it had done the job. Ronnie was leaning against her twisted couch, her face buried in her arms, weeping like a baby.
  18. It really sucked that no one wanted to come with him, Ryan reflected as he eased around the corner of the Admin Building. He really could have used some backup or a lookout guy; maybe put Ravi's eyes to good use for something other than getting into trouble with the girls. Outside the building, Ryan paused to consider his options. There were four entrances, three of which were on the 'ground' level and one on the first floor. The Admin building had been built on a slope, like most of the buildings in this region, and it's lowest level was accessible only from the sides and the back. The ground level held the small game room - a pool table and a couple of ancient video games - as well as a tiny snack bar. The school sold candy and pre-packaged snacks there as well as fountain sodas - just a place to grab a bit between meals and give the school a little more of Mom and Dad's money. A small TV lounge and quiet room completed the 'rec area' with the rest of the floor being taken up with a larger classroom and the Student Services Center. SSC was the place to find information about extra-curricular activities as well as the student counselors. Most of the students were familiar with the ground floor. The first floor was largely administrative offices – the places where the secretaries did their work. Some of the faculty had offices here as well – mostly those who weren’t dorm mothers or fathers and lived off-campus. There was also the teacher’s lounge on this floor. Second floor was where he wanted to be. All of the high-ranking administrative staff were up there. He hadn’t been up there before; few students saw those hallowed halls unless in serious trouble. Ryan’s antics hadn’t garnered him that kind of attention yet; that was reserved for fighting between students or dealing with ‘nine-month problems’. He grinned as he wondered if Ravi would get called up there for eating a security guard or knocking a girl up – at this point, either was possible. Getting up there wouldn’t be an issue; there were elevators and stairs in the building. He could probably scale the outside, but he wasn’t sure which was hers, either. He needed a plan.
  19. The library was quiet. It was early in the semester and a Saturday morning; even the single librarian looked like he was trying to find work to do. The magazine room was off to the left as one entered, while the stairs to the upper level – and all the books – were to the right. The librarian’s desk was a massive square that occupied most of the first floor. The restricted books were in a locked room behind the desk. The librarian waved absently at the kids as they walked in; Swan slipped to the far side of Sean and tried to blend with the others. Marcos didn’t seem to notice her because he was looking at Mari. “Hey, Mari,” he said, giving her a smile. He was older and balding, but in decent shape for his age. He also loved showing off pictures of his grandkids to anyone who’d pay attention and one of those people was Mari. “We got a new book in about female saints. It has a great chapter on Saint Barbara. I held it back for you, if you’re interested.” Somehow, it wasn’t surprising that Mari knew everyone.
  20. Lucia followed Yasu, who took the lead once they were in the woods. The thin being of indeterminate gender seemed to know where he or she was going, blazing down one of the riding trails. The double image was still clear to Lucia, so she stopped watching him directly and watched where she was walking. A rustle to the side caught her attention and Lucia glanced to see a flicker of movement. She wasn’t sure it was Ahvia, but it could have been. She didn’t want to draw attention to it in case she was, but the thought cheered her more than a little. Yasu stalked into a clearing, peering around before turning to face the two young women. “First,” he or she said in that odd voice, “we must craft the contract.” Rosa straightened up a little, facing him fully. “What is your full name, child?” “Rosalie Maria Guerra,” Rosa replied without hesitation. “Then, here are the terms, Rosalie Maria Guerra,” Yasu replied. “You will speak of this to no one of this world who does not already know of the secret. If you speak to others, you will be struck dumb and unable to tell another of any secrets you possess.” The strange person extended a hand and said, “Agreed?” Rosa took it and nodded. “Agre-re-red…” Lucia frowned as her roomie stuttered and looked a little dazed. “Wow, that… what was that?”
  21. There are parts of Las Vegas that no one really ever gets to see. Parts that even mutants who were trying to hide avoided. Simon and Savannah didn't really know about that, they were just seeking shelter and some time to gather some food and then see how to move on. So far Las Vegas has been kind to them. The local homeless shelter served warm food every tuesday and friday and had warm blankets and even some shoes for those in demand. The two young mutants had found an old abandoned warehouse where they already managed to make themselves comfortable. It looked like this years Christmas would be a merry one for a change. Simon was about to fetch something downstairs, a present he had ceremoniously planned to get for his sister. It was tough thinking something up without letting her know. They shared almost every thought, knew what they dreamt and feared. For most of the time they were like one. Simon's plan seemed to be adding up though and as far as he knew his sister had no idea. When Berta, the local "good spirit" showed up with a package he kindly asked her to stow it somewhere on the main floor of the warehouse without him knowing where. He wanted his surprise to be perfect. Berta was about to leave when she reached out for Simon's hand. "I know about you two, I know you're mutants but don't worry. There were some men asking for a boy and a girl just a day ago. Creepy men, you know. They were dressed like hudlums but no one had seen them before. I thought you might want to know... I didn't tell them anything but... but I don't know how might have.", she gave him an apolegetic smile before she left the warehouse.
  22. Click to reveal.. The first part is from Kevin's original Prologue Post Major-General Kevin Bridges (ret) Well, Kevin had only planned on staying in Las Vegas for around two weeks, but here it had been a little over three and he was still here. This was boardering on the longest that he had ever stayed in one location since he'd started this 'walkabout', but he couldn't help it. There were so many people, especially this time of year, who needed his help. Plus, he'd encountered at least one Mutant who, since he wasn't locked away, wasn't registered. He'd even heard a whisper or two of other unregistered mutants in the area. Nothing specific, nothing confirmed, and possibly just idle chatter, but maybe not. Kevin had to find out. If there were unregistered mutants out there, they'd probably need his help. He'd already had one come in with the symptoms of the virus, and if there were others, they might need his help to. They would definately need his help if they were to try and reverse the steady slide into chaos that the loss of most of the Mutants in the world had caused. Of course, until he found them, he had duties at the clinic that he had to attend to. He might not be a regular employee, but there was a certian ammount of work that needed to be done for him to still have a place to stay when he got back. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= They had a small TV installed in the main Lobby which was somehow hardwired to the local news channel. Kevin watched with growing unease how the local Police forces were trying to contain the masses of Mutants that were forced into the new local MIC. „What a shame“, Miriam commented somewhat unaware what the consequences of an outbrake could mean for the free clinic. Her reaction was almost typical for the rather indifferent human. She pitied the Mutants but since she didn’t have any relatives or other real connections to the mutant community watching them suffer felt like watching some disaster in Africa – it was far away. „This is Las Vegas, Miriam“, Kevin mentioned hoping that Miriam would slowly grasp the meaning of this. „Really? I thought?“, the young woman’s words somehow dried out her throat suddenly. Embarrassed by her lack of awareness she quickly picked up a medical report and double checked it. Kevin remained in the Lobby and couldn’t pry his eyes off the screen...
  23. The sun was at its noon-time peak when Felicienne deigned to consider getting out of bed, making a small mew at being alone. It wasn't the intimacy she wanted, but a warm body to curl up to would have been pleasant. It's just, few were willing to keep it at that and no further, one specific convenient blond in particular. Tossing the blankets off, Felicienne sprawled out on her front on her large, plush bed, looking over her luxurious, two-story villa at the Wynn from the high perch of her loft bedroom. La vie est merveilleuse, she thought idly as she lazily batted at the univeral remote on the floor, turning on the Plasma TV in the living room below her and filling her home with the soft strains of classical music. A glance at her alarm clock - the alarm never having been turned on - revealed that her only class today was in twenty minutes. Possible, but hardly worth the effort. Besides, on the TV, a local personality was talking about the upcoming events coming to the strip and a Chinese Cultural Exhibit at the Bellagio caught her eye. Or more specifically, the seventh century, Tang Dynasty jade sculpture of a dragon did. With a purring smile, Felicienne slinked out of bed, grasped the glass and steel railing and leapt over it to the floor below with flawless grace and a soundless tread. The jade dragon reminded of the Sung Dynasty silver dragon she and her father had purloined from the Musée Guimet and she decided she wanted this one. She had just the place for it in her private gallery. Hmm, I am not being sure if my current blueprints for the Bellagio, they are being accurate. Their security, it is quite tight. An excitement built within her breast that never rose for something as mundane as college. She'd need to contact Orphan... ==.==.==.==.==.==.==.==.==.==.==Dressed in figure-hugging, dark Lululemon athletic clothing, head covered in a silk balaclava, Felcienne crawled through the narrow air ducts like a silent shadow. Her nose wrinkled at the smell of smut smearing on her clothes. Despite best efforts, some places just couldn't be cleaned to any decent degree. But sometimes, sacrifices had to be made in the name of idle desires. A rented penthouse had given her private access to an elevator and more importantly, an elevator shaft, almost an exclusive highway to the bowels of the Bellagio, if one knew how to navigate it. And she most certainly did. It may been a touch... cinematic, but people would be surprised how often it worked. The larger the complex, the larger and more extensive the air ducts were needed to provide proper ventilation and heating/air conditioning, depending on location. Las Vegas had great need for air conditioning. She crawled through the seemingly endless miles of air duct until she was able to reach a point where she could reach the necessary electrical junction box and tamper with the video cameras in the Fine Art Gallery so she could get a full hour in there without being seen. Skill and mutated genetics were able to make her for all practical purposes, invisible, but the consequences of her actions weren't. She just needed a window of opportunity and now she had it. Getting to the air vent in the soaring ceiling of the Fine Art Gallery at the Bellagio took her longer than she wanted, but she told herself she still had plenty of time. Her heart was beating rapidly, but she was still calm, as she listened and inhaled, determining if the main show-room was still empty. Las Vegas may have been a city that never slept, but parts of it still did. Positive the room was empty - and glad for the reliance on electronics more than manpower, she carefully removed the grating on the air vent, her movements sure and smooth. With a fluid stillness that either made her blend in with environment or simply made her eerily easy to overlook - she still wasn't sure how it worked, just knew she possessed a feline's ability to prowl taken to an impossible level - Felicienne poked her head out of the air duct and looked down the thirty feet to the gallery floor, getting a visual appraisal of the place. Still empty of any living soul but her. She reached into the small pack on her back, pulling out an unmarked aerosol can and released a precisely measured spritz of its contents, and then another. Red beams of light turned visible under the infinitesimal, barely visible particles, Felicienne carefully noting their locations, seeing how far she could get to her goal by crawling along the ceiling and walls. About half-way, it seemed. With subtly clawed hands and feet, intensely trained skill and a superhuman muscle control, Felicienne made her way across the curved ceiling and down the wall, until she reached the ground behind the display of a terracotta warrior, about forty feet away from the central display with the Tang Dynasty Jade Dragon. Now, it was simply a matter of spritzing for the beams again and flowing through them. Daunting for someone regulated to human limits, but not for her. She chuckled soundlessly to herself - with the thirty foot ceiling and infra-red beams rarely reaching higher than fifteen feet, she was even able to spring over the majority of them. She made to the side of the large, reinforced glass display, with slightly more difficult than she was expecting, if she was being honest. One of her landings had been a near thing. But she was in the clear, though she might need to find a roundabout route to make it back to her escape route with the Jade Dragon in her pack. She'd worry about that once she had the Jade Dragon in her hands. Crouching next to the display, still and invisible, Felicienne began working on disabling the integrated alarm system, not rushing, though she knew her window with the spoofed cameras was closing. Allez, allez, juste deux minutes de plus... Her head snapped up as her keen hearing heard a soft beep come from a side employee door, only long practice stopping her from setting off the alarm. Still and unnoticed, her head beginning to throb from forcing herself to remain unseen and unheard, Felicienne's large, green eyes widened as she saw a red beam of light still glittering under the last of the particles drifting down suddenly disappear. Her eyes narrowed to emerald slivers as she turned her head and watched the door open and someone stepped through...
  24. Serene led the way to the Great Hall of Dorian Manor while Aina continued to explain what she wanted to do. "I will need your help for this ritual in order to manipulate the fabric of reality in order to restore the planet to it's former condition. You may consider it a healing spell, if you want. If we want to succeed we need to focus on mending the severed parts. Don't worry about the seeming physical impossible aspects of this feat since we're not going to apply the rules of physics to be successful. The more you are willing and ready to give the higher our chance for success shall be. If you really want to save your home you should be willing to sacrifice yourselves for the lives of others." The Dragon Queen's words echoed through the corridor they passed weighing heavily on the young heroes shoulders. The fate of Earth was in their hands. In the meantime Tessa led the other heroes to the Legacy HQ assembling an emergency unit on the fly should the ritual go wrong. It was clear that they needed to be fast and powerful - both attributes they had plenty at their disposal but yet they never did anything remotely comparible to this and if they failed... no, failure was not an option. --- Aina seemed to take measure of the Great Hall and then nodded in satisfaction, "This place should be large enough. I want you to take positions at the ends of the Pentagramm.", as she spoke the words there was a smell of burnt wood and cloth while a burning pentagramm inside a circle appeared on the floor. The Dragon Queen assumed a position at the top of the circle and gestured for Djane and the Celestial Centurion to take the positions right next to her left and right. Serene was left with the choice to either join Djane or the Centurion. "I want you to clear your mind of any encumbering thoughts. You need to be at peace and focused for this task. Try to breath calm and steady and don't let yourself be distracted by anything. Once I start weaving the spell we mustn't be interrupted - do you understand?"
  25. September 30, 2011, 10:00 p.m. The lights of Vegas gleamed overhead as the tall mutant pulled her beat-up Land Rover into the queue for valet parking. The tan vehicle wasn’t one of those pussified modern Rovers that were designed to make yuppies squeal because they could drive through a ditch; this was the real deal, shipped to the US in the eighties from the Gaza Strip when its owner had come to the US. Ronnie wasn’t sure where it had been before that; the widow she’d bought it from said her husband had bought it in England from a dealer before driving it home. Ronnie wasn’t sure she believed that, but she did like having a car that had history. The Luxor. Why’d it have to be the Luxor? Ronnie thought sourly as she stared out the window at the gaudy faux pyramid front. Tonight, it was to see “Fantasy”, one of the hotel’s shows. It was, by all accounts, pretty steamy and it didn’t take a rocket genius to figure out why her date had chosen it. Someone was trying to get lucky. It would have never been her choice; this place had been a favorite of Travis’s and even with her attempts to move on, she wouldn’t have come here on her first real date. And a blind date at that. “A date,” she muttered, glancing at the mirror. Her purple hair was done in nice curls and her makeup was impeccable – not that she was responsible for it. She’d paid way too much money for someone else to do this, just as she’d paid too much money for the black dress. That was harder to complain about, because it was damned cute, even on her – not that she’d ever admit it. Finally it was her turn, and Ronnie exited the Rover. On a shorter woman, the movement would have been obscene; Ronnie’s long legs gave her enough height to merely step out of the vehicle. The valet’s eyes widened, first at her hair and then at her height. He backed away, shaking his head. Ronnie rolled her eyes and looked to the next guy, who was more than happy to take her keys and the tip she gave him. Despite her height – or perhaps in spite of it – Ronnie had worn the only pair of heels she owned. She towered over other women and most of the men; anyone 6’2”and under was currently shorter than her. Eyes were on her as she stalked into the hotel’s bar, sidling up to the counter and tapping it with her knuckles. The bartender turned, quirking an eyebrow in silent inquiry. “Scotch, neat,” Ronnie ordered, getting a nod. So I’m in the Luxor on a Friday night, dressed to the nines and waiting for a mutant named ‘Doug’. This is the last time I take a dare from Lena, Ronnie sighed to herself as she fished a cigar out of her purse and lit up, adding her smoke to the haze already permeating the room. It wasn’t truthfully a dare, but Lena and Tyler had goaded her into it by insisting she was still hung up on Travis. She’d finally signed up for a mutant dating service and got a date just to shut them up. Of course, they’d just find something else to tease her about, probably, but Ronnie didn’t care. She didn’t take teasing about Travis well. She admitted to herself that was probably proof that they were right about her feelings, but fuck if she’d tell them. Her drink came and Ronnie paid for it, nodding at the bartender in thanks. Sighing through her nose, she took her first taste of the Scotch and nodded, feeling the fine liquor burn its way home. Who the fuck names their kid ‘Doug’? Bet he’s an accountant. A mutant super-accountant. Half-hoping she’d be stood up, Ronnie leaned against the bar and waited.
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