CLOSED SIGNUPS Alias: A New Era

TheQueensGuard

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New Angeles
Thursday, October 4th
A year after the Furor attack....

The night air was crisp and cool, and seemed like any other night. Most people were either out living it up in the city or at home asleep. Tomorrow would be a somber day, as the citizens of the city would remember the carnage that happened a year ago. The news would play clips of the attack, a rally was to be held downtown to show remembrance for the lives lost protecting the city. Nearly six hundred deaths had happened just on that day of the sudden attack on the city, with even more sub coming to wounds or illnesses in the following days.

The Arcadia Division and Peacekeepers were out on patrol for the night, many either on direct missions to track down certain criminals that would be deemed a threat or just patrolling for trouble makers. Both groups had informants all over the city feeding them information on leads and the whereabouts of criminals- be it vigilante, gangster or terrorist, though they weren't necessarily working together. While the two had worked together during the Furor attack, and some months after, that peace was starting to break away. To many people were stepping on to many toes, and it was starting to interfere with both groups motives.

In the criminal world, rumor had it the Hounds of Wrath were looking for any skilled meta-human they could find; be it by volunteer or kidnapping they were looking to increase their ranks for whatever reason. Shade was making moves in the city too, though their motives were still unclear.
The Hashimoto Clan, while the most mundane of the three major crime groups, was making the most profit. They knew the most about the city and the people in it, so they could turn it for a heavy profit.​

New Angeles
Arcadia HQ, Top Floor
12:00 AM

Supervisor Gray
ChrisClark13 ChrisClark13
The pen clicked in a rhyme as the older man paced back and forth in front of the window. He was about to brief an agent via-transmitter on an important mission. "Alright Drake, it's paramount we get this right. Our informant said the Hashimoto Clan will be meeting with the Hounds in roughly twenty minutes to do a trade. What we are looking for is a piece of paper, on it the location of an extra-normal." The clicked paused for a moment as the supervisor went to his desk, a file on the girl in question. He set his transmitter on the table and leaned onto the desk. "Maxine Saunders. She's young girl, with incredible strong powers. She nearly leveled a portion of the city when Furor made a move on her a year ago and the last thing this city needs is another explosion." The clicking began again as Gray took a seat. "Once you have the file, check back in. We have to be careful when approaching Max, and sending a giant lizard to her might not be the wisest move." The clicking paused again. "Sorry. Sending a dragon to her might scare her."

New Angeles
Construction Site, the Slums
12:23 AM
Aster Neon Honor


The night had started relatively quiet. A few crimes were being reported downtown, though the Peacekeepers seemed to have them handled. Aster was nearly ready to call it a night and head back to her apartment when she had spotted a pair of unmarked vans driving into a construction site. A group of soldiers got out from the vans, and they clearly weren't Arcadia. After following them from the safety of the rooftops, she decided to get a closer look. Now she was ducked behind some crates as the men began setting up for a meeting. Construction spot-lights illuminated the area in what looked like what was going to be a parking garage.

"Oh sure Neon, just get a closer look. You're totally sneaky enough."

She whispered to herself through gritted teeth. The ventilation mask around her face further muffled her voice, though the volume of her voice wouldn't matter if she was found.
The soldiers were spreading out to cover the area as two luxury cars and a truck drove up to meet them. The guard closest to her was standing beside the stacked crates she was behind and kept inching closer to them. To her luck, someone called out "Red, get over here and help unload the goods." Aster relaxed some as the guard near her answered in response, heading away from her to go unload what seemed to be weapon crates from the van. Slipping her phone from her pocket, she snapped a quick picture of the back of the vans before moving to the other side to see who was getting out of the luxury cars.

Sharp dressed, but clearly criminal in nature, Neon assumed they were members of the Hashimoto Clan. "Do you have the guns?" The leader of the gangsters called out, an envelope in hand. "If you've got the money and the girl." Neon raised an eyebrow, looking over the Clan members. Girl? She thought quietly to herself as the man with the envelope raised it into the air. "We have the location of the girl." He motioned with the envelope to a goon, who brought up two briefcases of cash. "To scared to get her yourself?" The mercenary remarked, before nodding towards two other soldiers who started bringing the guns to the truck. "You do know if she's not there, we know where to find you. Right?"

Aster ducked back below the crates and took a deep breath. Could it be kidnapping? A target for an assassination? She needed that envelope if she was going to help whatever 'girl' they were talking about.

New Angeles
Downtown, the Hub
12:30

Vector Arachnid Anderson
Quake Quake

Vector hadn't been in the city in several months, but it felt good to be back home. He spent the first few days sight-seeing. He visited some friends in the Hashimoto Clan, stopped by the Peacekeeper Precinct to reminisce and grabbed some noodles at his favorite ramen shop. It had been a good couple of days, but now it was time to get down to business. "What number was it?" Vector mumbled to himself, looking down at his wrist as the monitor flashed the number for him."Crow just had to send me to grab this guy." Vector whistled slightly as he looked at the various room numbers, only stopping to complain. "Couldn't have been Riley, nope it just had to be me!" Down the hallway one of his drones beeped in front of a door. Vector smiled clicking a button to call the small metallic orb back to him. "There he is!" He grabbed the orb and stuffed it into the pocket of his jacket, patting it some as he strode down to the door.

"Hey 'Tex, open up!" He called, knocking on the door in the cliche 'knocking code' he had seen in several movies.

 

Quake

Playing Dead.
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New Angeles
Downtown, the Hub
12:35
Jason Vertex Wilde

Vertex’s apartment door creaked open. Leaned up in the doorway, an exhausted man in a wife-beater and dark blue jeans eyed his latest guest, cigarette in one hand and pistol in another. The room was dimly lit in comparison to the apartment hallway, but the occupant’s tattoos, nose ring, and large gauges were a dead giveaway. He was without a doubt the Gold Shadow known as Vertex. Upon recognizing his fellow Shade member, Vertex tucked his weapon back into his pants and motioned for his guest to enter.

“Spidey boy. Haven’t seen you in awhile...” Vertex’s voice was a mixture of rough sandpaper and gravel. He motioned to a raggedy armchair that once upon a time was a clean cream color, offering his guest a seat. “Drink?” The man asked, taking out a pair of glasses and a bottle of Jameson.

“You’ll have to ignore the mess. I’ve been stuck on a job in Israel for the past two months. Rich oil tycoons and all that. Just got back a couple hours ago. Haven’t exactly had the time to ...redecorate.” Vertex set Arachnid’s drink on the coffee table.. “‘Fridge don’t work neither..so no ice.”

Falling back onto the old couch, the tattooed man took a sip of his drink, eyeing his fellow Shadow.

“So, my good man...what the hell do you want?”

TheQueensGuard TheQueensGuard

New Angeles
Downtown
12:35
AIRES MK II

Seated high atop one of the many large office buildings in New Angeles, AIRES scanned the city below, watching the people below. It had not moved for the past three days, intently studying the city below. There were so many of these humans, all going about their daily lives. What was their purpose? the AI wondered. What kept them from tearing each other apart? Was it law? Some sense of purpose? In its two years, it had learned one important thing. Humans were fragile. Weak. The general population couldn’t defend themselves from an extranormal threat without help from Arcadia, Peacekeepers or other extranormal “heroes.” What a sad species, AIRES thought. Fighting against natural selection with such ferocity. Rising up to a standing position, the AIRES bot stepped off the roof, falling and landing on a rooftop parking garage 30 stories down. Slipping off the edge of the establishment and down to the city street, AIRES walked calmly through the crowds, studying the environment and its inhabitants in silence.
 

ChrisClark13

Edgebabby
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Arcadia HQ, Drake's Rooms
11:50 PM
Drake

Drake was busying himself with looking over the results of the gaggle of neural networks he had set to creating a melee combat AI. The results were promising, at least compared to yesterday's. The main problem was making sure that it didn't decide to attempt to corkscrew his spine or his limbs, the other main problem was trying to bring the AI up to being able to process sensor data in real-time. All of which was exasperated by a lack of good training data- he simply couldn't keep feeding it dummies in various threatening poses. He cringed as he paged through the most egregious "raw" results of the AI that hadn't passed the physics simulation checks. Ugh, the adversarial networks still needed more training, that or a complete do-over. Honestly, right now it was leaning towards complete do-over of most of it- this time building the limitations of the joints directly into the first layer.

He closed the program and booted up the AI he had created to automatically create after-action reports based on his recordings, well to get help him get started rather. It probably wouldn't be good enough to write the entire thing for him for another year or so, but this project was a slow-burning one.

Of course, now that he had gotten settled in- he had a call from his boss. Joy.

New Angeles
Arcadia HQ, Top Floor
12:00 AM

Supervisor Gray
ChrisClark13 ChrisClark13
The pen clicked in a rhyme as the older man paced back and forth in front of the window. He was about to brief an agent via-transmitter on an important mission. "Alright Drake, it's paramount we get this right. Our informant said the Hashimoto Clan will be meeting with the Hounds in roughly twenty minutes to do a trade. What we are looking for is a piece of paper, on it the location of an extra-normal." The clicked paused for a moment as the supervisor went to his desk, a file on the girl in question. He set his transmitter on the table and leaned onto the desk. "Maxine Saunders. She's young girl, with incredible strong powers. She nearly leveled a portion of the city when Furor made a move on her a year ago and the last thing this city needs is another explosion." The clicking began again as Gray took a seat. "Once you have the file, check back in. We have to be careful when approaching Max, and sending a giant lizard to her might not be the wisest move." The clicking paused again. "Sorry. Sending a dragon to her might scare her."
Drake grumbled as he rose to his feet and stretched, "That dead horse of a joke is rotating in its grave you know, just call me what you will." Seriously, it seemed half the people here would never let him live it down that when he first got here some dumbass part of his brain had insisted on correcting people that he was a dragon, not a lizard. By now he'd just gotten used to it, sort of. He had changed tactics to telling people to actually use his name if they were going to talk to him or about instead of trying to make them use the word "dragon", it seemed to have a better effect.

Anyhow, as the files showed up on his eye implant he frowned, "Would've been nice if I had gotten this intel earlier, I'm going to have to cut it pretty close but I should- I'll make it out there in twenty." Ten to get ready, and another ten to get there he mentally tallied. "Any preference on how I approach the situation?", he commented as he padded off towards his workshop. An important question, knowing how his boss wanted him to go about things was important- particularly if the PR department was itching for some good news to put out. Though he had a feeling that a more discreet approach would be preferable- meaning that the news shouldn't get wind of what was happening.

He was already mentally sending the commands necessary to boot up his exosuit and pull up the necessary equipment. Hounds would mean military-grade equipment- meaning that he needed something to deal with that so he skipped straight past this preferred weapon for dealing with criminals, the electro-gun, and went straight to a heavy machine gun. He would look like a fool if he came in under-equipped... but two such weapons would probably be overkill. For the rest of the loadout, hmm... grenade launcher loaded with flashbangs and EMP grenades on the other 'wing', communications jammer on his right flank, and then a bag with extra ammo and grenades on the other. For his limb ports, three stealth surveillance drones and a riot drone should do it. No, swap one of those surveillance drones with an exploding one- he would probably need to disable a vehicle at some point. For his tail, the electro baton should do- perhaps the chance for a less-than-lethal takedown might arise.

Plans going his mind, he quickly attached his loadout to the exosuit. Thankfully it had been designed for 'plug-and-play', just a simple matter sliding and plugging things together before screwing in the bolts. He climbed into his exosuit as it was finishing up its boot sequence and with a series of clicks the armor closed around him. Then he was off into the high-speed elevator, "I'll be on the scene in approximately ten minutes. Drake out." As he rode down into the garage level, he sent off a request for a driver and an unmarked van to be made ready for him.

Construction Site
12:21 AM

A few blocks away from his destination, Drake strolled out of the van to make the rest of his way on foot. Mentally he grumbled that a more stealth-oriented armor would be preferable for this or even one with extra 'arms' for really bringing down the pain. Mentally he kicked himself as he realized that he could've at least loaded extra drones into the van though. Whatever, if his boss was only going to give him a scant few minutes to get ready than whatever happened tonight would be the result of that. He toyed with the thought that with some luck and more planning he could make it look like the deal had "gone bad", some more tension between the criminal elements could be helpful.

With a mental command, he sent the stealth drones forward to surveil the site. He had one of them set down on a spot that overlooked the yard and had the other fly way up to get a more overall view of things while remaining hard to spot itself in the night sky. A basic AI quickly picked out the unmarked vans and heavily armored troops... as well as Neon. Well, shit. This night was already looking like it was going to go sideways, though admittedly 'recruiting' the vigilante was a much lesser priority than reclaiming an already... pliable, yet dangerous, asset. With a command, the drone turned on its long-range microphone.

Drake meanwhile had been continuing his approach, sticking to the shadows best he could to minimize the light bouncing off his armor from the streetlamps. He approached the site from behind a mound of dirt and some parked construction vehicles as he watched things play out through his HUD. It looked like this was also an arms deal, with the Hashimotos being the ones trading away the intel he needed. Letting it get destroyed or having Neon get her hands on it would unduly complicate things. He commanded the explosive drone to fly up high over the Hound's likely escape route in preparation for what was coming next as he waited for Neon to make the first move. He would simply intercept the intel on the way out instead of getting the attention of two gangs at once. Besides, seeing Neon in action would help the next time he (or another Arcadia agent) had to cross paths with her.
 
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Pupperr

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New Angeles
Granny’s House
1:00AM

Maxine Saunders

///
The sound of the car was drowned out by the ‘oldies’ playing on the radio and the karaoke of Maxine’s parents. Bellies were full from a birthday dinner followed by mandatory dessert and there was an unspoken agreement that everyone was looking forward to getting home and into bed. The car trudged on. The radio played. The family sang.

The sun was beginning to set, painting the sky with a watercolour collage of reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows, but in the distance, dark clouds were beginning to roll in and cover the sky. Small water droplets appeared on the front windshield as the sky began to spit. There was no sound. No warning. There was only the sound of glass shattering. The car swerved into oncoming traffic. Horns blazed. The family screamed. And then, then there was blackness.

The rear passenger door was thrown open. Maxine fell out of the seat, her forehead running with blood; she had hit it on the window. Maxine’s mother was yelling at her to move and then she rushed to the driver’s side where her father was stumbling out of the car while clutching his shoulder. His hand was soaked in blood. The car was upside down on the busy road, it had flipped a couple times after swerving into the other lanes and there was a distinct small round shaped hole in the windshield with spider like cracks sprawling away from it.

Maxine managed to pull herself out of the car and stood staring at the car and her parents hunched over behind it. The two of them were speaking rapidly. Kenna. Safety. Compromised. Maxine rubbed her head, completely disoriented and paralyzed by the event that she didn’t notice the beast of a man approaching them. Maxine’s mother was crouched over her father, applying pressure to his shoulder when a gunshot sounded. Maxine’s mother collapsed in her father’s lap, spraying brain matter and blood all over him.

Fear. Panic. Terror.
And then the city was swallowed by fire.
///
Maxine sprung up into a sitting position from her bed rolled on the floor in a cold sweat, breathing heavily and frantically scanning the room. An older woman rushed to her side and placed a soothing hand on her shoulder. She shushed Maxine as if she was a crying baby and told her that everything was OK. Maxine looked at the older woman, whose lips were moving but she couldn’t hear what the woman was saying. All she could hear was the gunshot in her head; over, and over, and over. The older woman stepped away and crossed the small, musty room, to a kitchen designed for one person. She opened a cupboard that creaked from rusty hinges and pulled out a glass, filling it with room temperature water and returning to Maxine’s side. “Drink, child. It’s OK, you had a nightmare.”

”Yeah… something like that.” Maxine took the glass and sipped on it. The old woman gave her a questioning look. It wasn’t the first nightmare the old woman had witnessed but she never asked Maxine what it was she was having nightmares about. The old woman only gave her questioning, or sometimes worrying, looks. Maxine never indulged her, it was safer for her that way. ”Ahh.. I’m sorry that I woke you, I didn’t mean to.”

Maxine had been running and hiding since the incident, never staying too long in one place and taking many ‘temporary’ homes. There had been a few people she trusted enough to take shelter with, those people usually aligned themselves with the oppression against Arcadia. Vigilantes was another word that had been used for them. But she learned the hard way, in the beginning, not to share with her respite caregivers. It always went one of two ways; she put them in danger and they were killed, or they attempted to ‘bring her in’ and they were killed. It was easier to keep quiet.

Three large knocks, border lining bangs, came at the door. The intensity of the knock sounded as though it came from an official of some kind. It was strange that you can often tell who was on the other side of the door by how they knocked; this person knocked with authority. The old woman turned to look toward the door, confused as to who could be at her house at such an ungodly hour. She looked back to the now wide-eyed Maxine who was clutching the blankets. It was only seconds before the child started to frantically collect her things. Maxine learned to keep her belongings in her pack, only taking out what was necessary, in the event she had to grab it and go. There had been occasions where she had just missed Arcadian search and seizures, but she had never been this close to one. ”What’s going on, child? Are you in trouble?”

”Do not, whatever you do, DO NOT tell them that I was here. You don’t know me, you never saw me.. Do you understand?” Maxine looked at the old woman with a pale and frightened face. The child only waited a second for the woman to answer before grabbing her by the arms and squeezing them. ”Do you understand, Granny? I was never here!"

Maxine jumped up from her bed, pulling her black and green flannel on and slinging her ragged maroon pack over her shoulders. She secured her pack by tightening the shoulder straps, knowing that she would likely have to sprint, and quickly went toward the back door. Three more knocks, louder this time, came at the front door with a deep voice booming on the other side announcing that they were Arcadian Soldiers and wanted to ask her a few questions. The older woman followed Maxine to the back door and gave her another worried and questioning look. Maxine solemnly smiled at her, ”Thank you. Remember, I was never here..”

”Your secret is safe here, child.. Now, go. Go quickly.” It was if the old woman, in one simple announcement that the men behind her door were Arcadia, suddenly knew the situation without ever having to ask. ”Be strong.”

Maxine opened the back door slowly, peering from side to side down the dark alleyway before stepping out into the lane way. She shut the door behind her quietly and pulled her black hood over her head. Maxine quietly, but quickly, began to walk down the lane way and made it approximately 10 feet before a light shone in her direction, revealing her. She turned to look at the soldier on the other side of the flashlight who was yelling at her to ‘stop right there’. Like hell. Maxine took off running. Luckily for her, she was en-route to go to the international track and field meet before the incident and with her numbers, she was going to take first. The Arcadian Soldiers in their heavy gear couldn’t keep up with her and she always managed to shake them, sometimes others came to her help, sometimes… something bad happened. But all Maxine could focus on was her breathing, her stride, and losing the Arcadian Soldiers.

Be safe, Granny…
 
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SoleStride

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New Angeles
Kemi's Apartment
11:00 PM

Kemi Marks

"I can make it on time! Shit, shit, shit!"


Kemi rolled to her feet, leaving the comfy recliner she'd been curled up in for the past two hours, and blazed down the hall to her bedroom. She was easily regretting taking the time to relax and watch a movie before she was due to be back at HQ. She had plenty of time for the movie, but had made the mistake of getting too cozy in her recliner, under her soft blanket, and had fallen asleep halfway through the movie. Now that she'd woken up - an hour after she'd planned to have finished the movie - she was running a little short on time. The cold wood flooring made her previously warm skin feel chilled instantly, but she had to deal with it until she could get dressed. In her room, the woman pulled on a pair of black cargo pants and a black long-sleeved shirt before dropping to sit on her bed and fit her feet with socks and a pair of black boots. Her gear would be on location when she got there - or at least, one set would be. The other was safely stored away just in case. One never knew when they might need a bulletproof vest now-a-days.

No time to waste. The Peacekeeper grabbed her keys and jacket, locking the door behind her and flying down the hall, putting on said jacket on the way. It was three flights of stairs down, her feet moving faster than her brain at this point, until she could make it out the front door. Tonight's mission involved hopefully capturing a potential survivor of the Furor group. As far as leads went, he had likely been pretty low level last year during the attack, but with most the group gone now, even low level believers were trying their hardest to continue on the legacy. Even so, this one was clearly too dumb to make it anywhere up the previous chain of command. The Peacekeepers had found his information so easily and there were signs pointing to him planning another attack tomorrow. Some sort of revenge for the conjoined take-down of the once powerful criminal syndicate? Likely. Maybe. Either way, he was planning to make a statement tomorrow and that had to be stopped.

As she arrived on location, several blocks away from the actual target's location, someone from her strike team spotted her and tossed a vest her way. She caught it and started prepping. "Alright, team one, make sure you knock politely." A gaggle of 'sure' and 'of course' murmured through team one which was comprised of the the soldiers who would be breaking down the door and barging in. "Team two to follow. Marks, I want you there. The rest of you, you know where you are." The captain pointed up, simply reminding the woman that she would be on sniper duty across from the building they were charging into. She already knew and wasn't too happy about it. As far as Kemi was concerned, the up close and personal stuff was the best, but her skills in that area were already superb. She was still a good sniper, but her skills were most lacking in that area, this was how her commanding officer felt it best to help her improve. It was a move made in order to better her skill set, which she appreciated. But she was still going to complain about it internally.

She did so the whole way up to the rooftop after reaching the target location, and when she got there she signaled as ready and waited for the show to begin.

_____

New Angeles
Some street
1:11 AM


On the way back home, Kemi couldn't help but keep her gaze down on the ground. The toe of her boot nudged a little forcefully with each couple of steps. It was frustrating. Yeah, the whole mission had gone off well, but she hadn't really done much the whole time and it had turned out way more boring than she had hoped. The guy had given up, seemingly too easily. But what else could you do when faced with that many high--tech assault rifles? It stills seemed too easy and it made her uneasy because of it. Neither of the snipers had even had to fire their weapons and now she was on her way home early. It was kind of disappointing. Hands in her jacket pockets, she kept up her pouting trudge. This night sucked.

Kemi hooked a sharp left to continue her walk back, slowing to a stop at the sight of young girl in a black hoodie booking it down the side street at full speed. Ah. She was so damn fast. And already too close. Kemi was off her game tonight, they were going to collide. She put her hands out, as if trying to ward off the nearing figure from hitting her, sliding to the side a little to see if they'd miss each other. But someone running that hard wasn't really a good sign. Was it a criminal?

"Whoa, whoa! Slow down!"