American Paragons Redux

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by BrattyCommissar, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. 'Give us strength, and give us time. And for what you've put us through today, it's the absolute least you could do for us right now..' - prayers unanswered

    Baltor’s Gate
    Rook Island

    Her eyes were hollow from crying. Salted streaks stained her cheeks and deep in her chest was an unseen pit because for the life of her she could not shake that it was her fault. If she drove better… faster… something… maybe he’d be…

    But Parasyte did not have time to grieve, to mourn. Her skills were invaluable in finding information on Baltor to begin with, and it was only through her efforts that they learned of the warehouse that may hold further valuable information. The Ironwoman’s head may had been mostly caved in, but it still held the address.

    Now it holds nothing.

    More survivors were brought to her, men and women who had nary a clue what they were about to get into, and how bad things could suddenly turn. She looked up at them, from her seat beside the unmarked police van, a single lower ranked officer standing at the door of the van, and Lt. Prescott standing to their left. The officer was an older man, perhaps in his 50s, and looked somewhat Irish. Lt. Prescott still looked tired, dark bags on his fair skin, and his badge still shined despite the rest of his uniform showing the wear of the battle from earlier.

    “Alright, you may be wondering the specifics of the mission today. I know you all have recently undergone a horrible, horrible tragedy, and you may be able to hold claim with it being worse than what we’re going through,” he spoke, with his best attempt at an understanding voice, “But we’re in this together. More than the blast today, there was an Ironman attack on the White Queen Bridge. Due to the actions of An-- Parasyte, we have ascertained the potential location of where the bombs may have been manufactured, or some other part of the attack planned. We,” he looked down to her, meeting her miserable gaze, “We don’t… know for sure. We can’t right now afford to send officers over there in any proper number, so… we’re sending you, and Parasyte. Her skills will be invaluable there; keep her safe.”

    The gathered survivors standing before him in various states of disrepair and confusion and understanding would of course have questions, but Prescott didn’t let them voice them; time was of the essence and he needed them briefed and on the road, now.

    “Get in the van, Officer Inver will drive you to the location,” he said, stepping away from the van as Officer Inver opened the van up so they could easily file in, the first of which being Parasyte to the front passenger seat. “In the back of the van are ballistic vests, and side arms. I know you don’t likely have the trigger discipline that we’d like, but you’re not going up against a damn evil wall, so we trust you to not fire upon each other or innocent civilians,” he grimaced at that notion, his lips curling up as he referred to earlier problems.

    “If you are not comfortable with a weapon, or think your powers, whatever they may be, will suffice, you are not obligated to take a gun anyway,” he continued, “Lastly, there are radios to let each of you talk amongst each other, and with us if you need help or extraction.”

    Lt. Prescott almost walked away at that, to attend his other duties, “Speaking of extraction, we can’t keep Inver in the area after you’re dropped off, he’s needed to help oversee the White Queen Bridge… we need to reestablish ground connection to Ground Zero. So if you have to call for police help for extraction, it’ll take maybe five minutes at most before help can arrive. Account for it.”

    Abandoned Warehouse
    North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    The van arrived at the north east side of Rook Island, not too far away from the bridges that connected to the Blue Moon District. The warehouse loomed over the lower wharf lands, the entire area fairly empty save vital security moving around; possible aid if things get out of hand at the warehouse but what help they could give may be negligible against a berserking Ironman, and ideally the group wasn’t going to send out ripples to alert others of their being there or why.

    So Inver drove them discretely to a back alley behind the warehouse, dropping them all off out of sight of everyone, and then driving away after they loaded up as they wished. Parasyte took both armour and gun, before she said the first words she had said since the team of would-be heroes met her.

    “If you see them start drinking an orange vial… shoot then or drop the gun, it’ll be useless otherwise.”

    So she looked over at the back entrance into the warehouse, a simple locked door, mirroring the locked door of the warehouse behind them.

    The alley was filled with random pieces of trash, a few dumpsters, and waste bins. Off to one side, against the opposite warehouse, were a series of cages and boxes; empty cages, but one couldn’t tell with the boxes without testing them.

    There were no windows on the warehouse at ground level, but there were whereabouts a second floor would be, quite a ways off the ground. It appeared that there was also another door up there as well, but there was nothing for it to step off onto; judging by the opposite warehouse there used to be a fire escape there, but it was gone now.

    The very walls of the warehouse didn’t look too sturdy from the outside, and if they had brought some rather simple tools, it’d have looked like even normal people could have broken in with only little effort.

    So all that was left, was deciding how to do this, and Parasyte was in no position to take charge.
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  2. Avidan "Shrike" Wright
    Abandoned Warehouse Alleyway, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    Wright looked a bit pale stepping into the alleyway.

    It wasn't the anxiety of infiltrating a shady drug ring's bomb factory. Sure, there were a few hundred butterflies, but he'd more or less learned to keep a cool head in stressful situations. The pistol at his side comforted him, even if he wasn't incredibly experienced with it, and the thick padding of the vest tricked his torso into thinking it was reasonably safe from rampaging Ironmen. Shadows loomed in around him. That wasn't it, either, though he knew all manner of steroids-on-steroids could be having a grand old time in the crates nearby.

    It wasn't the... gah, what did Inver call it in the van? Blast Occurrence? Even though Avi'd been burned, bruised, and severely battered, his physical body was still mostly intact from the initial detonation. Mental shock was a different story. He'd be wise to save whatever therapy was needed until after the police were through with him.

    It wasn't even the loss of his voice. It was still a bit of a surprise, brushing up against the fresh scar on his neck like he was doing now, but there were ways around the disability. His newfound power helped, for one, which was exciting enough on its own. And, if all else failed, he had a small pen and paper tucked away in his back pocket. The doctors had told him the muteness was beyond permanent, but... Hey, miracles happen. Sometimes. He still dreamed of recovery, of finding his sweet voice hidden somewhere inside him, even if it defied all logic and reason. I mean, come on now. They were in Kuakilla. Sanity wasn't exactly their main export.

    No, it was none of that. Not the drug lords. Not the loss of that wonderful voice, his most prized asset for the majority of his life. Not even the unholy cataclysm he'd been caught up in, along with everyone he knew and cared for in this god-forsaken town. You know what drained the blood from his face in that dim, dirty alleyway?

    His damn bird had been chattering for half the ride.

    He hadn't meant to do that, of course; it just slipped right on the hell out. The small mockingbird perched on his shoulder was his most effective (and only) method of verbal communication, albeit in a high-pitched bastardized version of his original voice, but it was still somewhat difficult to control. It wasn't like normal speech, where you opened your mouth and formed the word and sent it out with your voice like everyone had learned since they were a child. No, it was more like... a stream of consciousness, maybe. That son of a puffin wanted to vocalize every aspect of every thought that went through Wright's head, and had to be constantly suppressed with a bit of concentration. It wasn't incredibly difficult, under the usual circumstances, but when he was distracted or nervous or something (like now!) it got a little too honest with those around it. Avi hadn't even realized it was happening; He'd been trying to relax, letting his thoughts wander, sizing up whatever kind of "squad" he'd been roped into, the whole first-impressions shtick. Apparently his rambling hadn't stopped at the skull.

    Now he stood trying desperately to retrace his train of thought. The door was heavy, he'd had some trouble with the seatbelt, Inver was really driving like a madman, Jim could really use a shower... Oh, god. How much of that had squawked out? If B-

    "-uckley had heard the one about his hygiene, he'd be all over my case. Well, I mean, it wasn't a lie. That guy stinks like no oth-"


    He straightened his tie with a silent groan. Nice and simple, now, here we go. Take it easy. "Door's locked. Anyone want to try their luck? Especially you, Jim, maybe you can stench it ope-"

    Avidan raised his pistol to eye level. Maybe, just maybe, if he shot the bird now...

    #2 Stopwatched, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2015
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  3. Jim Buckley

    Jim had been pretty quiet throughout the ride. Mostly because that bird kept talking. His aunt had a parrot when he'd been in high school, but it only knew the words he and his cousin had taught it. So it's vocabulary had consisted of "Hi", "Feed me", and "Douchebag". The bird in the van was vomiting a steady stream of commentary. It even called him smelly, but he'd been a little too weirded out to say anything. The shoulder it was perched on belonged to some guy that looked like he wished the bird would shut up about as much as anyone else. Still, being called smelly made Jim somewhat self-conscious in front of these strangers. At the very least, he looked at his clothes. He'd gone out to run last night and left to work early with no time to shower, so yeah, he kind of smelled. He still didn't say anything though; he didn't know what else the bird could do.

    Jim's clothes were laughably out of place. He'd been on his way to work when the blast happened. He worked in a sales office at a furniture store, although office was just a word they used. It was more of a store counter than an office. He was one of the guys that did "sales" which meant his job was to try and convince all the newly wedded couples that they should buy that new TV with all the crazy settings or replace their refrigerator with this new, gimmicky model that dispenses ice. His white work shirt was dirty from the blast, and in the hours after it, he'd been pulling his tie looser and looser until it just hung around his neck like a blue noose with kittens on it. Today was crazy tie day, but he didn't get to show off the tie at work. His black slacks were torn here and there, and he'd lost one of his shoes. The doctors had given him a pair of bright white slip-ons in case he needed them, so he wore them. The little name tag on his chest sagged and seemed to hang its head, although anyone who cared enough to look could still read it.

    Hello! My name is:
    Jim Buckley
    Have a question? Ask me!
    When they offered him a gun and a vest, he took them. He's spent the ride trying piece things together; but now that he was being given a weapon and armor, he had to admit, he worried a little bit. He'd never fired a gun, but as far as he knew it was just point and shoot. How hard could it be? The vest was heavier than it looked and he felt a little more secure with it as well as a little less mobile. Actually, now that he thought about it, he didn't know what kind of super powers he had. They told him he'd have something, but he wasn't getting anything. He looked at his hands, calloused and sort of rough. Maybe he could fly, or something. He'd have to try to figure it out soon. To be honest, despite the concern he felt over everything that happened, he was kind of excited. He was probably just repressing the shock of today, but he had that feeling you get when you're in high school and something out of the ordinary happens that gives a scheduled, normal day a twist and you can't help but feel excited because something happened no matter how stupid or small it is. Someone gets in a fight, the fire alarm is pulled, an explosion wipes out a chunk of a district. Yep. Definitely repressing the shock. It would hit him later, but that was Future Jim's problem.

    He had to agree with the bird now that he thought about this too, he smelled terrible. Then again, this whole van smelled like dirt and sweat.

    The alley smelled a little worse, actually. Jim covered his nose with his sleeve. The smell of garbage here was strong enough to sizzle eyebrows. Jim didn't know why no one else seemed to care. He looked at the others. Nope, no reaction from the smell. Then the bird told him to open the door with his stench. Very funny.

    He looked around the alley. If they were supposed to get in they could always try the door, but who knows what's in there. There were some windows higher up on the wall and a door as well. He might be able to reach a window. Emphasis on might. It was pretty far up, just out of reach even with trying to get a small run up on the wall; but he could always try anyway.

    "Hey, I think I might be able to get a look through one of the windows. I don't know, maybe get a look at what we're walking into, you know?"
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  4. Adrian Hughes "SuppComm"
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    The weight in his hands was both reassuring and damning at the same time, and Adrian sighed for the umpteenth time as he tried to gather his thoughts. Not that it was an easy task given the constant stream of words that flowed from the bird’s mouth. Oddness aside, the avian didn’t seem to filter what came out of its mouth either and so Avidan’s thoughts had been made, partially, clear to all. Yeah, unlike the others that had been “drafted” for this mission, the suited man was actually recognizable to Adrian and probably anyone who’d bothered to keep up with the news in Kuakilla.

    Whatever opinion he had of the man, which admittedly wasn’t much, didn’t really matter now that they were all stuck on the same “team”. The endless stream of what Adrian guess was the man’s thoughts might have soured his opinion somewhat, but all he could feel was pity that Avidan had to actively focus or his thoughts would be spoken aloud for all to hear. At least that was his assumption given how often the bird had been cut off and the death glare it received from the former politician.

    If it weren’t for the bird the trip in the van would have passed in near silence, though he wasn’t sure if that would have been preferable. Avidan aside, the rest of them looked like common folk from all walks of life. While the Blast event felt more like a disaster he’d merely been caught up in, given the sheer scale of what happened, who knew what sort of losses the others had to deal with. Instead, he’d spent the ride to their destination examining the weapon he’d been handed and occasionally looking up when the bird decided to speak some more of “its” mind.

    He hadn’t managed to don the protective vest when they’d been issued, so that proved to be his first order of business when he climbed out. The sound of tearing velcro was drowned out by the van’s engine as the vehicle pulled away and he dropped it on overhead with a slight grimace. The weight wasn’t substantial, but it was more of the vest’s presence that gripped his heart. With a shaky sigh he fished out a magazine, slapped it into the handgun, racked the action, then put the firearm on safe. The motion brought a slight sense of calm, one that was only heightened when he reached into his pocket and clutched the softly humming and warm sphere inside.

    He didn’t know what it was or its purpose and all Adrian really knew was that the high-tech looking piece was the result of his power. Apparently it was tied to his “Leader” archetype, but beyond that he didn’t really have any idea of how it functioned. So he’d kept it as a sort of “good luck charm”. It was reassuring to feel it solid in his hands for one reason or another, and he’d take anything he could get at the moment. Not so distracted that he missed Parasyte’s warning he nodded and muttered, “Got it,” before he took a moment to actually take in the group’s surroundings.

    “If you won’t break your neck go ahead,” Adrian muttered as he finished his quick glance around. He imagined Avidan would have taken control of the group, after all he’d once stood at the top of Kuakilla, but it seemed the bird was making such things difficult. Parasyte had been an equal possibility given she had apparently found the clues that led to this mission, but from what he gathered she’d also been a victim of today’s events and was probably more burnt out then any of them. “Someone follow and watch my back please,” he said as he moved towards the alley with a small grimace; the smell was unpleasant, but Adrian had never been squeamish. The empty cages and boxes off to the side were of interest to him. What had been held inside and had they been set loose or broken free? Would they be possible dangers? The firearm was raised and safety flicked off as he took slow steps forward, eyes watchful for movement.
    #4 Zombehs, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
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  5. Oksana
    Baltor's Gate


    She held her pistol casually in her left hand as she readjusted the protective vest for better comfort and followed blondie. Though it had been years since her days at the firing range as a young cadet—and the weapon of choice then rifles, not side-arms—Oksana felt confident of her ability to shoot things. Overconfident, perhaps.

    After the initial shockwave, she had been as awestruck and fearful as anyone. Amidst the devastation, she had been cast across the street and almost crushed beneath a car that pinned her to the sidewalk. Perhaps miraculously, she had survived with only a dozen or so stitches and a lot of bruises.

    Even more miraculously, however, she had come out of the wreckage stronger than when she had gone in.

    The alleyway seemed almost a waste of time, just an assortment of trash. Though getting the "stinky" guy—Jim, she reminded herself from reading his nametag on their way over—up to get a look inside would be helpful, she had half a mind to just go barging into the warehouse straight away.

    "Oksana, by the way," she muttered, "I know you were just itching to ask."

    As her companion took to scanning for danger—doubtful though its presence might be—she rested the palm of her right hand on the top of one the boxes. Concentrating on the surface underneath her fingers, she willed her being to extend to the wood, and then tugged it upwards. Not with her hand, but with her mind.
  6. Morgan "Gravitron" Pate
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    Despite the air of complete seriousness and what should have been a traumatic experience, Morgan couldn't help but grin and occasionally snicker at that loud-mouthed bird the whole way over. She tried to hide it, keeping her head down and biting her lip before she could laugh too hard at a particularly amusing insult, but that had about the same effect as wearing a pair of Groucho glasses to get a second fistful of free samples unrecognized. Not that she didn't understand the situation of course, it just proved to be difficult to ignore anything that went to work on her funny-bone.

    Morgan slipped into one of the vests provided as the van came to a halt, reaching behind her as she climbed out to tuck the firearm under her waistband. The decision to take up the arms offered was a quick one for her with the expectancy of danger and confidence in handling from experience in paintball fights and screwing around with AirSoft pistols. This pistol was a little heavier, but it had to be pretty much the same beyond lethality, she figured. "I'm with you then, sm-", she cleared her throat, as if she'd caught something in it, "Jim. I could uh, help you get to the window, I think." Following that, she moved to follow at his side.. With just a little space apart. "I have an idea of what I can do, I'm just not exactly sure how it works..", she reported, looking up toward the windows and rubbing around some gauze on her forearm as resistance to scratch under it began faltering, "But if I try enough different things, I'm sure I'll figure it out."

    "I'm Morgan", she added, braving Buckley's aforementioned odor to get close enough to offer a handshake.
    #6 LVL1337N00B, Apr 6, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
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  7. Jacquelyn "Cherry Bomb" Durant
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    It was hard to believe that only a few hours ago she had been hanging out with Teresa and Sophie at a park in White Fence. The day had been nice; Clear skies, and the perfect weather. Jackie had felt no ill feelings that day, given it had been the day she finally decided to skip school and grow some balls. Everything had been perfect, and then suddenly, it wasn't. It had happened so fast, and while it was hard for Jackie to wrap her head around, the bruises and burns that coated her arms were enough to bring her back to reality. The blast had happened, and her friends were really gone. It made her sick to her stomach, and left an almost constant knot in her throat, but Jackie was far too numb to complain or refuse orders. The faster they got the job done, the faster they'd be able home, she told herself.

    Upon arriving at the warehouse, Jackie had been indecisive when it came to being armed. She had never handled a gun a before, and the thought of shooting someone was too terrifying to even consider. It was probably necessary for the current situation but Jackie wasn't going to have any part in killing someone. Instead she would rely on her new powers, and the ballistic vest.

    She was a "Blaster", a mid to long range fighter. Whatever that meant. So while could protect herself, Jackie wasn't entirely sure how. Previous attempts with the Enforcers she had encountered earlier left Jackie with a headache and further frustration, which eventually lead her to give up trying. Still, she couldn't help but wonder if everyone else already knew how to use their power. The idea of being a liability in such a dangerous mission made her uneasy, but if push came to shove she could only hope that her powers would kick in.

    As everyone quickly dispersed and tried to look for a way in, Jackie found herself alone with Parasyte. "I'll stay with you." She said, giving a small nod to the red head. While figuring out how to get inside the warehouse was the main objective, Parasytes life was also an important component. "My name's Jaquelyn, but you can call me Jackie."
    #7 Valhalla, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  8. Eli Rivers - "Marionette"
    Well, this was a situation, alright.

    Stuck in a van full of strangers, strapped in a protective vest, and on the way to potentially tussle with some of the biggest freaks in the freak show that was Kuakilla. These heroes were fine and all, Enforcers and whatnot, but where the hell were they? Was it seriously smart to take a bunch of freshly scarred victims and tell 'em to go on a raid mission? Eli folded his hands in his lap, blocking out the noise of Mr. Wright's little avian companion with his CD player. Of course, all it was playing was skipping and garbled words, seeing as it was damaged in the blast, but they felt more comforting than the little birdie's seemingly unintended gossip session.

    Pat would kill him if he saw Eli's sorry state of dress. Holes in his jeans, half a sleeve missing on his hoodie, and his usually soft brown hair all dirty and sad looking. "Babe...are you really okay going out like that?" He'd ask.

    Oh, he had to be worried sick. Plastered to that old hand-me-down TV that he got from his parents for graduation, praying Elliot Rivers wasn't among the dead. As soon as he survived this little fiasco, he was gonna take Pat out for dinner.

    Like that's gonna help anything, idiot. You know "taking him out for dinner" never works.

    Yeah. He'd rather just talk. It was a shame that "just talking" wasn't Eli's strong suit.

    They had pulled up to the warehouse now, and it reeked to the highest reaches of heaven. Eli had opted out of a weapon, deciding that everyone else had plenty of firepower. And who knew, maybe he'd have some cool power...there was this strange sense of yearning that he couldn't shake, and the doctors couldn't tell what it was exactly he had goin' on.

    He hung back with Parasyte and Jackie, deciding that there were enough people on busting-in duty. That, and the fact that he really didn't want to get closer to the building. "Name's Eli. Mind if I hang back with you two?" He offered, hoping to at least make use of himself keeping Parasyte kicking.
  9. "I have an idea of what I can do, I'm just not exactly sure how it works..", she reported, looking up toward the windows and rubbing around some gauze on her forearm as resistance to scratch under it began faltering, "But if I try enough different things, I'm sure I'll figure it out." - Morgan Pate

    Baltor’s Gate
    Alley behind Abandoned Warehouse

    Jim put his hand against the wall, rubbing it from higher to lower, getting a feel of the material. And then when Morgan approached him for help with getting up there, he had already taken his steps back. With a burst of speed, he threw himself up and at the wall, foot hitting into it and digging in as he made a lunge further up, climbing the wall with his feet. He brought his hand up and just missed the small ledge of the door frame. Morgan, looking up with her hand outstretched, rushed over and gave him a place to put his slipping foot on.

    Suddenly, as if his entire weight shifted, his strength was more than enough. He took another sprinting jump off Morgan’s hands and managed to not only get to the ledge, but get his hand on the handle to the second floor door itself, his feet locking against the frame as he held himself there, more than a little surprised, as was Morgan, at what he just did.

    While the theatrics were held in the hands of Jim and Morgan, Oksana and Adrian were checking out the boxes and cages. The cages were empty, save for a plastic bottom at each with each seeming to hold a little bit of some sort of liquid. It smelled sour and bitter both at once, like a concoction of piss and chemicals. Like someone failed to clean up some cat pee out of them, although Adrian would be loathe to say these cages were meant for cats.

    Maybe large dogs.

    On the other hand, Oksana was able to find what may have been the cocktail of chemicals that produced the smell. Inside of the box she opened were an assortment of empty plastic and metal containers. Whatever labels they used to have on them were scoured off if they ever had a brand name or proper label to begin with. Instead the blank containers had a strip of duct tape on the each of them, and on each strip was a name. But that didn’t help with her identifying the contents at all, the names weren’t written in English, at least English she could recognize. The symbols were almost runic, sharp contrasting lines, very angular, the shapes one would carve into stone.

    Parasyte was still fairly solemn, when Jackie and Eli approached her. She offered them a smile, turning the corners of her mouth up, but they didn’t remain there. As she gave a look at the politician and his companion, she shook her head, before turning back to the others, specifically to Jackie who introduced herself first. “Hi, Jacquelyn, I’m… Parasyte,” she said. Even she wasn’t using her actual name. There was distance in her voice, “What’s your… have you picked your other name? You’ll need it.”

    To Eli, “You can hang back, just be ready for anything that may walk in on us, El--” she cut herself off, as she saw two figures, confused expressions on their faces, walking in towards them; they must have heard all their talking. They were dressed in simple dark jackets with neon reflective strips on them, and denim pants and also they didn’t look like they were metal berserkers, which was a nice touch.

    “Hey, Phil,” said one of them. He was bald, with a scraggly beard, and a bit of a belly that betrayed what looked like some rather muscular arms that pointed off towards Avidan. His look would have been almost stereotypical if it weren’t for his round glasses on, “Is that them scumbag who sold out them trust for the ironbroke?”

    “Look like it with me, Hank,” said the other. His hair was in a mullet, of all things, with a hard hat on his head unlike the Hank. Phil was more scraggly in general, looking almost scrawny, “Let’s take with a picture of him what with the gun-bird.” He reached and pulled out his phone, holding it up to take the picture. But there was something even more troubling; at that point Jackie alone noticed that Phil had a gun on him, and so did Hank. But they were already right there next to them, Eli was within arm’s length from Hank! And with people rummaging, and a talking bird, and this having been meant to be stealth… she couldn’t just tell everyone about the guns without risking them being drawn!

    There was, however, a saving grace. It was very clear by where they were looking that they hadn’t noticed all of them; while there were Parasyte, Jackie, and most threateningly Eli near them, they were mostly looking at Avidian. While they may have some notice of the others, they hadn’t even looked up to ask anything about Jim; they hadn’t noticed him up there.

    If nothing else, he could get the drop on them.
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  10. Avidan "Shrike" Wright
    Abandoned Warehouse Alleyway

    Okay, think it through. By shooting the bird, he'd render himself mute for who-knows-how-long, but... The bird. That stupid, honest, yappy little bird. Sure, the gunshot might attract every drug addict in a three mile radius, endangering his personal well-being, the lives of his team members, and the overall success of the mission, but... the bird, man. Was it worth it? Maybe if he strangled it. Quietly. Very quietly.

    "Hey, Phil."

    Avi looked up from his musings. Two men stood in the alley's entrance, staring straight at him.

    “Is that them scumbag who sold out them trust for the ironbroke?”

    What. Who? He looked behind him; No scumbags in his blind spot. Uh oh. This... could be bad. Very bad, if Phil's friend had a passion for local politics.

    “Look like it with me, Hank.”

    Hank! Phil and Hank? Oh, god, he'd been cornered by the most generic duo west of Queen River. They must've left Ted and Steve at the water cooler.

    As long as they didn't pull anything, he'd probably be fine. He had his whole team! What were they going to do, shoot him?

    “Let’s take with a picture of him what with the gun-bird.”

    Shit, man. They were actually going to shoot him.

    Wright wasn't camera-shy or anything silly- Public office had a way of weeding that out of you. But here? In a dark alleyway behind a possible drug factory, with two strangers backing him up to a wall? That picture could be going anywhere. Ironmen? Murderers? Thieves? Phil could CC freakin' Morpheus in, for all he knew.

    The camera reached eye level.

    No time to hide. Think. What did they know about him? Both Phil and Hank seemed to recognize his face, meaning that they had at least a vague understanding of his past and who he was. They wouldn't be the only ones here soon. What didn't they know? Well, the bane of his existence bird was new. As was his voice. Or, uh, lack of it. He'd hide what he could.

    Hank's finger twitched.

    Avidan raised his left arm in greeting, directly between the camera and his avian buddy. Did the load on his shoulder just get lighter? No time; Must be his imagination. What should he do with his other hand? Thumbs up? Middle finger? There were only so many ways to pose on such short notic- It was holding the pistol shit. Was it too late to get it out of frame? Maybe? No, Hank's pudgy thumb had already reached the screen. There was only time to look professional.

    He smiled, doing his best to reload with one free hand. Somehow the entire clip dropped at his feet.



    "Phil! Hank! It's been too long!"

    Blinking spots from his eyes, Avidan moved his lips with the lie. With any luck- any luck at all- they wouldn't question why the mockingbird on his shoulder was doing it too. Or why this complete stranger knew them by name.

    He needed something specific. Where could he, hypothetically, have met these two? Their clothes were too nondescript to figure anything much, except for the somewhat out-of-place neon strips contrasting with their dark getups. Barber? Only if he wanted a dropkick from Curly. Maybe... Uh, Hank was pretty muscular. Gym? He probably went to the gym. Maybe? Sure! He could play it off as a mistake if he was wrong. Or he'd get punched in the face.

    "Hank! Haven't seen you for a while! Used to pass you all the time... lifting, remember?"

    Punch in the face. Definitely punch in the face.

    He did his best to fake a cough.

    "Anyway, man, it's been a while. Want to catch up with your old scumbag?" He offered a broad grin. It was broken by a violent shiver.

    Wright rubbed his hands, puffing on them for warmth. "Sorry, guys, I'm used to the warmer weather. The chill outside here's brutal."
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  11. Oksana
    Baltor's Gate

    Surreptitiously tucking the pistol—with the safety on, of course—into the butt of her pants, Oksana glanced at the two men now approaching her "comrades". Not my business.

    Turning back into the alley, she addressed blondie again. "We have company, try not to be an idiot." Making particular attention not to look in the direction of their wall-climber and aide, she instead made a show of searching the boxes, though already knowing the contents. Stripping a couple of the duct-tape labels off their containers, she instead pulled up her sleeve and attached them to her upper arm before covering them again. For good measure, she also took one of the still-labelled metal containers and held it by the weight of her arm against her hip, before striding over to follow the guy who'd led her into this alleyway in the first place.

    "I uh, didn't catch your name?" she offered, somewhat hesitantly. Oksana had no idea whether or not any of these guys really had any intention of making acquaintances, but hell if she wouldn't try. There was no way of knowing how long they'd be stuck together on this so-called mission.
  12. Adrian Hughes "SuppComm"
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    A closer look revealed that the cages were quite large; easily capable of holding larger dogs and what not. The liquid present told him that it hadn’t been too long since the creatures had been let loose or escaped. Somewhat worrying, but there wasn’t anything he could do other than keep it in mind and warn the others.

    He glanced backwards at the sound of unfamiliar and his partner’s, Oksana, voice. A pair of individuals seemed to have approached those that chose to stay at the front of the alley. “I always try,” he replied as he looked away from the five and back at his "partner", hoping they’d be able to handle themselves. If not, Jim seemed to have gone completely unnoticed and was in a much better position to help than himself.

    “Adrian. Sorry, that was impolite of me,” he remarked as he bowed his head, scratching at the back of it. He took a moment to eye the container she’d picked up, but ultimately dismissed it as not his concern. Personally he'd have left it alone, but then again maybe she knew what was inside and deemed it’d be useful to have along. “So, do you want to join our “friends” or see if we can find anything else?” The question was punctuated by a nod away from the others and further into the alley. It’d be useful to get an idea of exactly what was around the warehouse.
  13. Morgan Pate
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    As Jim reached the door now almost directly above her, Morgan's eyes went wide and her mouth fell open. The corners of her mouth soon turned upward, stretching into an open grin, but just as quickly pursed as she wondered if she might give herself the same lightness she'd bestowed upon the free-runner. She'd lift one leg to touch her foot, then switch to the other before backing up and running toward the wall.. Only to stop just short of hitting it with the realization that she had no idea what she was supposed to do next. Jim had made it look super easy to run up the wall, but the angling wasn't something she could wrap her head around. Well, not yet at least.

    To be honest, she didn't really feel much different after grabbing her feet one after the other either. She figured she'd have to feel lighter, or more energized, or.. Something. She pondered that bit for just a moment before she caught her first glimpse of the duo that appeared to be chatting it up with the bird guy. Nothing seemed particularly threatening about them from where she was standing and it shouldn't seem too odd for there to be other people around this neck of the woods. Part of her was compelled to investigate though, while another part seemed to think asking for a hand up might be the better idea.

    "Hey, do you uh..", Morgan trailed off, staring into the direction of Avidan and his present company. Almost too eager to find out what was up with these two guys, she strode briskly toward them. "You know these guys, birdy?", she asked, sidling up next to Shrike.
    #13 LVL1337N00B, Apr 17, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
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  14. Jacquelyn "Cherry Bomb" Durant
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    Hi, Jacquelyn, I’m… Parasyte,” As forced as her smile may have been, Jackie felt a huge amount of anxiety lift from her chest upon the woman's reply. A friendly face in this swamp of angst, and tension was all she really needed to motivate her. “What’s your… have you picked your other name? You’ll need it.” Another name, huh? She hadn't put much thought into it, and still unable to conjure up her powers, Jackie wasn't all to sure she was ready to settle on a name. Before she could consider any aliases or nicknames, two strangers caught her attention from down the lane as they steadily made their way towards the group.

    Uneasy, and growing uncomfortable as they began to point and talk about Wright and his chittering bird, a faint glimmer from an object just above their belts caught Jackie's attention. As her gaze shifted, and her eyes widened, the brunette finally realized what she was looking at. 'Holy shit, they both have guns!' Looking away so the duo wouldn't catch her gaze, Jackie swallowed hard as a cold chill ran down her back. 'Stay calm. Just stay calm.' The whole situation escalated from a 1 to a 10, and it was clear nobody but her seemed to be aware of the danger the two posed to the group.

    Trying to keep her cool while keeping the missions top priorities in mind, Jackie casually placed herself behind Eli, and in front of Parasyte. Desperately attempting to conceal her actions by facing away from the two men, Jackie's right hand sat rigid against her hip as she closed her hand and pointed her index finger and thumb to emphasize a gun. 'Please get the message, please--please understand what I'm trying to tell you.'

    Eyebrows furrowed in concern, Jackie shot her gaze down to her trembling fist and back up at the woman. It was unsettling hearing Wright and Morgan chit-chat with the two behind her, both oblivious to the firearm they kept tucked at their sides. If she could've screamed at them to not go any closer she would've, but it was too late now, and she needed to get someone to notice her signals.

    Shifting her gaze to Oksana and the blond male she followed down the alley, Jackie adjusted herself just enough so the two could see her hand. 'They've got guns! They've got fucking guns--please understand this!' Of all the abilities the group could have possessed, why couldn't one of them have been mindreading?
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  15. Oksana
    Baltor's Gate

    As Oksana turned to join Adrian in a further scan of the alleyway, she just barely caught sight of one of her companions' frantic gestures. Rolling her eyes, she paused for a moment, shrugged her shoulder's, and lifted the back of her shirt to reveal the handgun stashed in her pants. I'm armed, we're fine.

    "I'm sure they have things under control, looks like a couple of workers passing by." She designated the alleyway ahead. " 'Sides, I'd like to get in there as soon as we can. Who knows if those Ironmen'll be back to cover their tracks."

    To punctuate that decision, she took off towards the back of the warehouse, trotting her way between the crates and cages that littered the ground, container at her hip. Though she walked casually, she was careful not to step on anything that would create enough noise to draw undue attention their way.
  16. Adrian Hughes "SuppComm"
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    Given her reaction his eyes were invariably drawn to what had captured Oskana’s attention. It wasn’t hard to notice the warning, but aside from being nice to know Adrian’s desire to intervene dropped rather dramatically. He had experience dealing with rowdy individuals, but he wasn’t exactly keen on getting closer to the two if they were armed. With a small shrug, Adrian raised his arm so the handgun rested against his shoulder before he turned his attention away. Maybe the two would notice and bugger off; they hadn’t seemed to see him, so he didn’t think they’d take his gesture as a threat.

    “True that,” he agreed with a nod before he gripped the handgun with both hands and followed after her. Parasyte’s comment aside, Adrian had seen enough footage of souped up Ironmen on rampages to know that their firearms would be essentially useless if they ran into any drugged members. Putting the uncontrollable factor out of mind though Adrian instead focused on their surroundings, relying on Oskana to guide his path through the cluttered alley.
  17. "We were never here" - Jim and Eli

    Baltor’s Gate
    Alley behind Abandoned Warehouse

    Edward stood at the ledge, able to peer down, finally catching on as some of the others began to, that the two men were armed. Not exactly great luck, but a great find. Best to know that the men were armed than to not know it, after all.

    It would be Jeremiah who found himself gone from inopportune to completely opportune. As Wright distracted them with song and dance, their bodies went in motion. Parasyte, and Jeremiah found themselves behind the two now, and with Jackie’s intent gestures they were able to both notice the guns. Parasyte clenched her hand closer to her own gun, but didn’t pull it out just yet.

    A look of sheer dumbfoundment found itself spread across Phil and Hank’s faces. Did… did they know him more than just from the news? Hank looked at Phil, mouth hanging open, brow furrowed, mind clicking away at that thought. He did go to the gym a lot. Maybe he had talked with the politician there before. Also what was with the bird? Morgan drew attention to it, maybe it was some new political gimmick, but Hank couldn’t figure it out.

    Phil, however, seemed to reach the truth faster than Hank. He would have known if he knew Avidan. He began to shake his head and try to tell Hank otherwise, when a sudden loud crash and bang. Oksana had been so careful to not step on something and cause a commotion, but the ground had looked good enough for her to stand there. It wasn’t. A slippery substance had been on the ground, causing her to trip and fall. Adrian was fast enough to catch Oksana so she didn’t hurt herself, but her slipped foot went out and kicked one of the stacks of cages, boxes, and debris, causing it to collapse with quite the ruckus.

    Phil’s hand went for his gun, as clear as everyone but Morgan, Avidan, Oksana, and Adrian could see, but Hank stopped him. He lightly tapped his hand, making a curt gesture of ‘no’, before he spoke up to the politician in response, “Yeah, with the gym. What you doing with here, Mister Wright Choice?”

    Phil gave an apprehensive look, before turning around and looking at Parasyte who hadn’t moved her hand from her gun. Their eyes locked, Jeremiah could see the two stare each other down, and his breath caught in his chest. For all of Jackie’s hidden attempts to convey things, she couldn’t respond subtly enough to keep this from blowing.

    Parasyte pulled her gun out, levying it against Phil, who quickly drew his own in reply. “Drop the gun!” they shouted at each other, almost in unison. Hank’s body reacted quickly at that, his attempt at a friendly demeanor dropped immediately as a meaty fist decked Avidan in the jaw, sending him to the ground, and hunched up against the warehouse; hurt but not out.

    Oksana and Adrian had gotten most of the way back up at this point, but found that Hank glaring at them, “Stay down, hands what where I can sees them,” his gun was pointed at Morgan at an uncomfortably close range, “And you with the getting down too.”

    “You drop your guns,” Parasyte shouted in response, waving her gun at the two men, “More of us with guns than you, you don't want to do this.” It appeared that this situation had gotten a bit out of hand.
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  18. Ed Cartwright "Mire"
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    "Christ, you gotta be kiddin' me..."

    Ed pressed his back to the door, crouching down and intending to minimize the possibility of the two thugs noticing him. Not even two seconds into this mission, and the shit was already hitting the fan. Must be some kinda record, he thought to himself, glancing at the firearm grasped firmly in his hands, a weapon he wasn't entirely familiar with. Well, they use them all the time in cop movies and shit, how hard could it be? He shook his head, realizing how stupid that thought was.

    Gaze rolling over his comrades, he tried to gauge how they were going to react, but with Parasyte and mullet guy pointing guns at eachother, he wasn't being given much time to think. His mind went to work formulating potential scenarios, but critical thinking had never exactly been his forte.

    Maybe I could shoot the one in the hand, make him drop his? Fuck no, never shot a gun in my life, probably end up capping him in the head, or hitting someone else... Uh... let's see... Could I land on one of them? Don't be stupid man, you'd probably just break your damn legs...

    He grit his teeth, frustrated at his own lacking tactical mindset. The best thing that came to mind was for him to cause a diversion, maybe give the others time to do something. With a sigh, he rose to his feet once again, the hold on his gun tightening just that much more as he aimed the weapon down towards the two ruffians in the alleyway.

    "Do what she said, or you two motherfuckers will be eating lead for dinner!" He shouted, immediately realizing he should've thought of a better one-liner after the words came out of his mouth. Still, even if they didn't back down, the distraction would hopefully give the others the window of opportunity they'd need.
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  19. Adrian and Oksana
    Collab between Zombehs, Holmishire, and Elendra

    Turning to face the source of their current predicament—as well as her companion on the roof—Oksana delicately lifted her arms to shoulder height, held out before her with her palms facing the ground and her fingers extended. Suddenly taking into account the severity of their situation, she felt herself shaking as she glanced at Adrian.

    Thankfully he’d managed to catch hold of her with only one hand, meaning that the handgun was still in his other hand. As he helped Oksana back to her feet, his eyes managed to catch a metallic glint as the sphere rolled free of his pocket. He bit back a curse as it bounced several times and rolled up to the warehouse wall, but there was little he could do. His back was towards the worker so he imagined the firearm was still out of sight, but a slight glance showed that the other man had taken a hostage. ‘Shit...’ His eyes travelled from the firearm to his ‘partner’ as if asking for her opinion.

    “I don’t want anyone hurt,” she muttered. “But if he moves, I’m ready to fight.”

    While he couldn’t stand given the other man’s orders, he was able to train the weapon on Hank from under his other shoulder. Not the best firing position, but from this range it wouldn’t be impossible to hit the other man. His finger was off the trigger, but the warning and intent were clear. “Not sure why you two went out of your way,” he began slowly, trying to gauge the other man’s reaction.

    Unnoticed by Adrian, the dropped core had come to life. A soft blue light glowed in its center and the metal wall had begun to slowly melt around it like a sludge, pooling around the core.

    “What you be doing with the lights, tinkerbells,” Hank called over to Adrian and Oksana, ”Don’t be looking like you’re behav--” he cut himself off, bringing his left wrist up to his mouth and wiping away some leftovers as he stifled a belch, ”Like you’re behaving there. Be wise to stop what you’re doing.”

    Trying in vain to calm herself with slowed breathing, Oksana took a cautious step forward, arms still extended. “L-look, can you please put away the gun? Nobody needs to get hurt here.”

    Adrian on the other hand, glanced to his side at Hank’s prompt and finally noticed the core’s actions. It seemed to be breaking down the metal, but from how much it had done it didn’t seem like it’d be fast enough. Given he didn’t even know how or why it’d started, the best he could do was hope for it to stop. Which, surprisingly, caused the core to do just that. The light dimmed and the warehouse wall stopped melting away into the pool of metallic sludge gathered around the sphere.
    #19 Holmishire, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  20. Morgan Pate
    Abandoned Warehouse Alley, North Eastern Rook Island Coast

    Of all the bad situations Morgan's curiosity had ever gotten her into, this one had to be the worst. Her head swiveled when came a crash, then snapped back when one of those two guys and the parasite lady both started yelling. The two of them had eachother at gunpoint. The other suddenly much more thuggish-looking man sprung into action as well, knocking the taste out of Avidan's mouth and whipping out his own firearm. It's aim was set on Morgan now, whose eyes had gone wide and whose body had frozen.

    However panicked, she knew she had to act as well. If she allowed herself to be made a hostage on her very first mission, she might well be a liability from then on. Just when Morgan began to reach a shaky hand behind her back, there came yet more yelling. This time it had been Edward who raised his voice, his pistol drawn as well. With all these guns waving about, there were bound to be some serious injuries. Maybe she could..

    Morgan swallowed hard, then willed herself into motion. Hoping the commotion from above and behind would be enough of a distraction to get the drop on them, the young woman would attempt to smack Hank's wrist and tackle him at the same time. Normally this wouldn't be the best plan of attack by someone of her size to someone of his, but with a little luck her earlier used power would kick in and.. Do something.

    She'd probably just killed herself, she thought as she tackled the thug, eyes closed and screaming on the inside. Oh, wait. Maybe not on the inside. How embarrassing.
    #20 LVL1337N00B, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
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