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Mutants & Masterminds: Future Imperfect - An Eye for an Eye


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The streets were illuminated with the fires caused by the skirmishes between the police and the mutants who were fighting for their survival. It was difficult to determine when and especially why everything had gone so out of control. Remus was used unexpected twists and turns but this was somewhere beyond the realm of imaginable although deep down most mutants feared that something like this could happen. It supposedly already happened in Germany, if the rumors were right.

But here in the U.S. of A? If someone had told him he was in Beirut now, he wouldn’t have questioned it. Now that night has come those who had been in hiding started to crawl out of their holes and take advantage of the general situation. Even though the military had virtually sealed the city there were ways for the Mutant Underground to move freely through the street. Raze, a tall, handsome man with greyish lines running through his normally black hair was the leader of the MU Faction Remus got ‘recruited’. Under different circumstances he might have tried to avoid dealing with them but since he was trying to dodge several other unpleasant ‘organisations’ it seemed a good idea having ‘friends’... just in case.

As long his duties were not requiring him to do things he morally was opposed to he had no problems with the MU, but now that war has been declared Raze seemed too eager to retaliate... fully.

The Fraternity were a rather aggressive faction of the MU and Raze always argued that they should take action and strike first. What happened in LV gave him enough support, even from those who always opposed him or tried to argue that his path was wrong and not desirable for the MU as a whole.

But Raze didn’t care. He had his war now and he would take it back to those who started it.

Remus – you are with a group of 12 other Mutants assigned to hunt for police patrols and the such. Don’t get yourselves into a fight you cannot win is the only order Raze has given. Make them pay...

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Remus looked around at the dozen or so mutants that he found himself accompanying, wondering for perhaps the thousandth time (probably thousand and one) how he'd let things come to this. "Make them pay," Raze had said. Sure. Right. How? With credit? Was there some financing arrangement for justice or whatever the hell the MU was after?

He wasn't a soldier. He wasn't a killer. He was an auto mechanic. When he'd joined up with the Fraternity (hey dad funny thing I didn't go to college but I still got to join a frat weird eh), it had nothing to do with desiring "justice" or "equal rights" or "dignity for our mutant brethren" and everything to do with "not getting shot in the face". Once again, he found himself under the thumb of someone who only saw others as a means to an end.

How had things come to this? one thousand two ah why am I counting

Okay, okay, enough introspective bullshit. Forget making "them" pay. I wanna survive. I can throw a punch and choke someone out and probably pop some joints and break some bones. And if we're facing swat or navy seals with machine guns, trying to go MMA will get me shot. In the face. Exactly what I was trying to avoid.

Scanning the street for dangers, Remus scowled as he reached the obvious conclusion.

Which means I'll have to either start torching things.... or let these jokers do the fighting.

He turned a dubious eye once again to the Fraternity squad.

Okay, they're mostly full of piss and vinegar and righteous-viva-la-revolucion anger, but how many of these clowns have any sort of actual combat experience? Ex cops or military or michigan fucking militia or something?

As he pondered the situation, another, even less pleasant thought occurred to him.

So we haven't gotten any sorta militia or paramilitary training, but he sent us out here anyway. "Make them pay", but "Don't get into any battles you can't win". And he sent us out here to fight swat cops with military hardware and special forces and fucking powered armor?

In the warm Las Vegas air, a chill slithered down his spine.

Holy shit... we're a diversion.

"So," he spoke up, forcing as much nonchalance into his voice as possible, "Who's got a bright idea on getting through the night?"

Please someone speak up cuz I got nothin'

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  • 3 weeks later...

While he was analyising the situation his team had already split up into two groups of 6 each. He was left with 2 female mutants going by the names Riptide and Andi. The former was a stunning beauty with turquoise colored hair, a voluptous built and the ability to control/summon water, the later could change her size which she most of the time used to grow larger. Aside from that she was rather plain looking but seemed to have some combat experience.

The men were less ‘flashy’ in their abilities and appearance. One guy was armed with semi-automatic pistols and could jump like a frog and cling to walls – Remus wasn’t sure if he caught his name correctly but he quickly had to acknowledge that calling him ‘Froggy’ was a bad idea unless you wanted to add some lead to your next meal.

The other three guys were a good match of his general perception of the situation. They were a diversion – bullies at best but no match against trained police men or special forces with superior equipment. Only the women seemed to have a chance of survival and were probably Class IIIs or seriously overestimating their own abilities.

The group was slowly advancing with Andi taking point and guiding the others towards the next cover which usually was a turned over car or some other large enough object to provide some kind of cover.

Riptide had stopped at an electronics outlet glaring at the screens on display and the information that had just been broadcast.

(...) but the world now knew that the Virus was created artificially by the government, that it was created to only attack mutant DNA. That it had been tested on mutants in development, all who died.

The goal had been to be able to attack other country's mutants so that 'our' own would be the only ones. But someone 'sabotaged' the strategically placed facilities around the world, releasing the Virus prematurely. The research was incomplete, there wasn't a vaccine yet to protect the mutants they wanted alive and so it rampaged.

The Virus was designed to work in three stages. Stage one was the exposure phase which killed the majority of the most powerful mutants (Class IVs and Vs). This phase lasted roughly for 1 year.

Stage two came after, which is near its end. The second stage was the slow permeation to all mutants ensuring a worldwide infection with the strain. Many have died but if you kept a low profile you had at least a chance to exist in a twisted relationship with it.

Stage three should start by December 2012, if it hasn't already. All remaining Mutants who haven't received an antidote will die.

“What the F***!!!”, she yelled smashing in the windows. “Guys! You’ve got to see this!”

It was official – they were screwed and war has been declared. Raze would raise an army and they would all die if someone didn’t find a way to reign him in...

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He couldn't be sure, but he was distantly aware that there was a great deal of noise and cursing. A slight chill began to creep into Remus' joints, the sensation borne of the Virus slowly, insidiously assaulting his nerves.

They made the virus.

Throughout his life, he'd always known that, as he heated up, the viral chill crashed down. By the time he was fifteen he'd built up an almost total immunity to over-the-counter cough and fever suppressants. The noise from nearby began to peter out.

They made the virus.

Old Valentino had once told him a story about fighting off a drug-crazed attacker in Myanmar while suffering from walking pneumonia and a flu. Over the years, he'd told Remus to embrace the feeling, to treat it the same way as the pain that would come from getting socked in the jaw. It was only years later that Remus had stopped to wonder what made the old man return to that particular story. The noise had returned and changed in pitch.

They made the virus. They set it loose.

Images of pain and misery, of illness and cold stormed into his mind, unbidden from memory. Of places he'd been unable to go to because he was heaving his guts over a toilet. Of people he couldn't get close to because of chills robbing his muscles of strength. Of fights he couldn't win because his bones ached and every touch was agony. All because he'd overextended his gifts and brought the virus raging through his body.

He was abruptly aware that the other had started to retreat from his presence. Shimmering waves of heat were radiating from the air around him. A few bubbling patches of asphalt traced his footsteps leading from the street to the store window.

They did this to me.

He was content to let the shimmering waves of heat build and intensify. Acrid tendrils of smoke rose from nearby piles of paper as a few scraps within began to smoulder. Glass began to warp and deform and the scorched scent of furnace air began to fill the dry Las Vegas night. Electronics from the store sparked and popped as their fragile components were heated past capacity as Remus stared at the information on the monitor within, trying to find a word that would encompass the unmitigated rage that was surging in his breast.

"Those... assholes."

At last the chills began to invade even through the heat of his anger. Slowly, he sucked in his breath, using the motion to also draw the heat from the air. Gradually, the air began to cool to its pre-revelation temperature. The mutants gathered around once again, muttering in anger and outrage at the news.

"Andi, take point," he growled, "Riptide, you'n'me are second-row. We meet resistance, we'll make a steam veil for cover."

The two women blinked at each other at the abrupt shift in attitude.

"Frogman, jump up to the roof and get us some information. We're gonna head for the Strip and take the enemy out."

"Fuck you, redneck. You're not in charge," the other mutant snarled in response. "We've got our orders and now-"

Before anyone was aware, Remus and the Frogman were tumbling down to the ground. A few seconds of flailing limbs saw Remus crouched over Frogman's prone form, one knee pressing into the shoulder while both hands held the attached arm taut in a painful lock.

"Jump. To. The. Roof." The temperature began to rise again.

A combination of confused, angry, conciliatory, and shouting voices filled the air as the other mutants tried to talk Remus down, shout him off, egg him on, or seize control of the situation themselves, but after a few seconds the loudest was a shrill cry of "All right! All right!"

Remus slowly rose to his feet, letting Frogman's arm slap to the ground. Immediately, the other mutant curled over the damaged limb and glared hatefully at Remus.

"Save your breath. Move." Funny how I hated it when Old Valentino told me the same thing when I had to do a hundred pushups.

With a final, hateful glance, Frogman turned and leaped to the second story of the building, gripping to the walls with suddenly-expanded hands and feet and hopping between buildings.

He turned his attention to the other mutants, his eyes burning with anger. Andi had enough experience to know the look of a man who would not be dissuaded and nodded to the others, silently throwing her support for Remus' coup. Seeming to forget his previous orders that she lead, he moved past her and she fell into line in military fashion, speaking of prior experience, and motioned the others to do the same.

Raze, you started the night with a conscript. Now you've got a recruit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The formerly ragtag team of individual Mutants started to work as a team and advanced through the streets systematically dismantling any attacker who was careless enough to get within range.

Whenever they needed cover the combination of Riptide’s and Remus’ control over the elements gave them the necessary edge to remain out of sight in still in movement. They exerted control of their chosen field of battle and soon reached the epicenter of the original strike.

For a moment there was silence. Remus was vaguely aware that they were killing people but the bodycount was... calcuable. What he saw at the MIC simply astonished him and obviously his companions, too.

It was difficult to tell who was mutant and who was police, there were too many bodies to make any reasonable guess or estimation. He had seen documentaries of mass graves in the second World War and the scenery which just unveiled to him looked very much like it.

“There’s no one within a mile, Boss.”, Frogman told him as he jumped back from one of the buildings to him. Either he was oblivious to the scenery or he simply decided to ignore it and keep himself busy with the task he was assigned.

“What the fuck happened here?”, Riptide asked as she stepped over a bunch of corpses.

“This... this can’t be happening. They’re trying to kill us. Raze was right!”, the achingly beautiful woman was caught between despair and anger. She simply couldn’t believe the extend of this mass murder.

“What are we supposed to do?”, everyone was looking at Remus for an answer.

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Ho. Lee. Shit. They mean business.

Now that the rage was starting to abate, Remus was thinking rather more clearly. He was somewhat surprised to find that his thoughts on the matter didn't change as his anger came under control.

They started it. Yeah. "They". I'm different. No sense pretending otherwise.

"Okay, not much we can do here. If you find some usable weapons, go ahead and grab 'em, but only if you fucking well know how to use em. Somebody drops a gun and it goes off, I'm gonna be pissed."

Listen to me. Barking orders. So what Did put me in charge?

"Okay, we're here to do some damage, but right now, we're all dressed up with no place to go."

Circumstances. That's what.

Surveying the damage, he rose his voice. "Where are they most likely to hit us?"

Andi piped up almost immediately, further confirming in Remus' mind that this was hardly her first rodeo, so to speak. "Safehouses. Gathering places. Any places where they think that mutants will be in abundance."

Remus nodded. "We have no way of knowing which places that they know about. And I'm still fairly new to the area, so I hope that you can point the way to another safehouse or bolthole. Combine numbers. If it's us or them, I think we've got a better chance of making it them if we join forces with other cells."

He tilted his head as the sound of another distant explosion reached his ears.

"Check that. We're following the fighting."

Without waiting for confirmation, he started jogging further toward danger.

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