Friendly Neighborhood Superheroes IC

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Pahn, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. OOC thread here.


    Friday October 16th, 2020

    Voltapolis, WA, U.S.A.

    This year’s October had warm days, cool nights. The Voltapolitans could be seen enjoying the mid-fall sun in the city parks, university students all too keen to study in them as well until sunset. The trees were a beautiful mix of orange, yellow, and red. It was the last weekend before the midterms at the Voltapolis University, so students could be seen flooding all the downtown cafes when they weren’t taking in some sun while studying on a blanket throughout the parks. It would be truly a peaceful and busy time of the year. Except it wasn’t…

    The latest troubles caused by the Dragon’s Tail coven in Chinatown was beginning to seep across the city. Like an epidemic, hard drugs like heroine and even opium were finding their way in the calm and clean streets of the supernatural metropolis. More than a third of Voltapolis was now of supernatural or superhuman origin, and despite the city’s strict but fair policies, times were changing. Otherworldly evil and mischief could not be fought against fair and square by regular forces – and so the Mayor Rin Maki took direct action.

    “Ms. Mayor, are you sure this is the right course of action? This directly promotes vigilantism!” The police chief grumbled unhappily at Rin’s proposal. In the background, an old timey song was playing on his radio. The man might even have been around long enough when this song was new. He scratched his short and curly salt-and-pepper hair and sighed. “Ma’am, I understand this is a sensiti—“

    “Please.” Rin Maki turned around from the window she was staring out of, her voice assertive and a light frown plastered on her face. “This is not about me, Mackenzie, and you know it. I am not young and foolish like some of my council members.” The mayor brought a perfectly manicured hand to her face, rubbing her temples and letting out an annoyed sigh. “We have been quite… heftily sponsored to do this. Voltapolis needs this kind of force, even if they are not like you and I. This has left us without other options. And really, Mackenzie, who else would go up against Longwei and his gang?”

    They would never agree, so Chief Arnold Mackenzie turned back towards his computer screen and selected the Print icon. Moments later, a folder with CLASSIFIED stamped on the front was handed roughly into the mayor’s outreached hands. Shaking her head at the police chief’s stubbornness, Rin Maki bowed politely out of habit and headed out of Old Mac’s office, her high heels clacking the marble floor. Her city car was waiting outside the Police Office, her chauffeur smoking a sweet smelling cigarette. Once they were in the car, she directed him to another location where she had a less pleasant appointment. Compared to what was to come, her short meeting with Mackenzie would feel like a breeze of fresh air.

    «Breaking news! Ms. Mayor Rin Maki has made the official announcement that the new vigilante force will be named Volt Patrol! She insists it will be peaceful and lethal force not to be used. The online community “Superheroes Daily” is buzzing with commentary about the mayor’s decision. Who is financing them? Who is this team going to be? Their anonymity may be protected now, but there is no way of knowing if online hackers such as Black Blossom herself will force the city council’s hand for more transparency. More information, at your local station later tonight, Volta Direct


    Black Blossom felt a smile spread across her face when she turned her TV off. She had been gaining notoriety in the past years, and now every time “hacking” was mentioned she would be cited. The news anchor had been right though – she already had the complete list of the aliases of those joining the Volt Patrol. She had already communicated, discreetly, with some of them, just to be sure she had some sort of influence from the comfort of her home.

    Black Blossom had sent her own application, and it was only yesterday that she got her confirmation of her acceptance. The mayor had decided to make it a public announcement a few weeks ago (perhaps late September?), but it was only today that it seemed to be making big waves. Since the laws against discrimination towards non-natural-humans had been passed almost a decade ago, Voltapolis had easily become the capital of freaks in America. All of this was bound to happen, and Black Blossom had felt such a current of possible futures forming long ago. In truth, she was relieved about the current situation – it was much better that actual thugs were causing the damage rather than restless citizens.

    Sitting with her laptop on her linen sofa, Black Blossom cracked her knuckles and began surfing online for the various responses she was waiting for, her mask already firmly tied around her face.

    Volunteering Citizens of Voltapolis,

    It is an honour for the city council to let you know you have been chosen to join the superhuman force, Volt Patrol. You have been selected for your unique powers, skills, reputation, or because we unanimously decided you were indispensable for this new team. For security purposes, we do ask that you do not tell your friends and family about this for the moment – with great responsibility also comes great danger.

    Enclosed is a badge that you must wear at all times when working for the Volt Patrol. You cannot wear it out of duty, ever. Such careless actions will be dealt with accordingly.

    Partial compensation can be found in the same envelope containing the badge.

    Instructions for First Meeting (Please follow):
    Meet your leader at 1010 Backer Street, at the edge of Chinatown, at 8 PM sharp. We will have a short meet and greet before heading out, in order to establish ground rules and confirm identities of allies. We ask you come prepared for your first mission. Full payment will be provided once the objectives have been fulfilled.

    Thank you for your commitment to Voltapolis’ safety. You are making the difference we need to see in the streets.


    Rin Maki, Voltapolis Mayor

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  2. A gentle humming danced through the air of the one-room, pale red geodesic dome that was Amberly Ross’s house. It was a small building, with barely enough space for a bed and a desk. But it was enough space for her to work in. Light was pouring in through the window, illuminating the dark, uncarpeted floor. It had little mess on it, as that was reserved for the large desk that spanned half of the wall space of the building. Various papers and files had been splayed out across the desk, and nestled among them were a chaotic mix of bullets (her own personal G.A.P.S., of course), grenades, guns, and half put-together weapons, all clamoring for her attention. A bulletin board had been hung on the wall above the desk, and pinned to it was even more clutter, papers and keys and all sorts of buttons.

    But Amberly was not paying attention to any of those things. All she was looking at was the open envelope in her hands, almost torn in half from the force that she had used to open it. Just moments before she had re-entered the house, she had been reading the words, over and over. A grin sliced its way across her face, growing wider and wider as she looked at the paper, then to the heavy, metal badge that was resting in her other hand, and then back again. By the time she had returned to her dome hut, she had nearly broken out into song. But the humming would do for now.

    Inside, she scattered papers to and fro, looking for a safe spot to put her acceptance letter. Nobody ever really came out here, so she was looking to display it, large and proud, right next to her other acceptance letters. It was the best one she had ever received. She’d probably get it framed later. Amberly looked again at the date and time given to her on the letter. It was tomorrow night. There was so much to prepare! She looked at all the clutter on her desk. There was still so much she hadn’t gone through, so much she hadn’t tested… She grabbed her office chair and sat, still grinning and still humming, her hands flying across the desk and grabbing unfinished components. There was still so much to do.

    The desk had been fully cleared by the next night. All that remained was a large, black duffle bag, and a neatly separated and organized layout of all the equipment she was taking tonight. She wasn’t quite sure that she had finished everything, but Amberly already was almost overloaded with gear, and being able to move was an essential part of her game plan to keep up with the meta humans. What she wouldn’t give for some increased strength right now. But then, she supposed that she wouldn’t even need all the guns and ammo.

    She picked up the clipboard and began running down the list again. This was probably the 50th time she had done this, but it helped her stay calm. Stoic. Like a hero should be. “Extendible G.A.P.S. Rifle, Mk. II, field test 1. Heavy G.A.P.S. Pistol Mk. IV, field test 1.” She kept muttering to herself, touching the item she listed on the table, and then tapping next to the item on the page before moving on. “G.A.P.S. Tranq round Mk. II, 50x, field test 3…” she trailed off. Would 50 be enough? Maybe she should grab 25 more. They were her primary source of ammunition, after all, and she didn’t know exactly what she’d be going up against. Amberly glanced at the locked metal storage cabinet against the back wall, then shook her head. She had already filled up 3 Rifle magazines and 2 pistol magazines, let alone the loose ammunition and the other G.A.P.S. rounds she was bringing with her. It would be fine. She continued, “Sleeping Grenade Mk. IX, field test 1…”

    A few more systems checks, and it was time to go. She’d be early. That was fine. It took over an hour to get there, and she’d have to get into costume once she had actually arrived. The bag would be good at holding all of her gear for now, and she’d have to find a good parking space for her van. Then she’d have to adjust everything, make sure it was all sitting correctly on her body - she had done an action test a few times now, practicing on the course in her backyard, and everything had felt right - but she was paranoid about these things.

    Neatly placing everything inside the bag, she slung it over her shoulder, humming the same tune she had been singing the night before. It was going to be a good night. She could feel it in her bones.

    The van slowed to a stop and finally, she shifted it into park. Amberly sighed and rested her head on the steering wheel. She was already so tired. Parallel parking took up almost 15 minutes of her time, and she was already panting. Parking here was terrible, and it was even harder to find an alleyway where she could change without being noticed. Still, she unbuckled and climbed into the open back of the van, where her gear lay in wait underneath a secret compartment.

    Amberly pulled out the duffle bag, awkwardly crouched so that she didn’t bump her head on the roof of the van, and unzipped it. The first thing she did was change eyepatches. Her classy, small one, for the large and intimidating patch that matched the rest of her outfit’s dull color scheme. Then her underclothes. Immediately she regretted not putting these on before she left, as she was far too tall, and there was no real place to sit and let her legs out in the back of this van. This was a feat of acrobatics for which she was not prepared. Still, through a clever rotation of sitting, laying down with her feet in the air, and crouching, she managed to get on her clothes and boots, with only the occasional curse.

    Gloves and kneepads came next. These, too, were somewhat difficult, but they got on quick enough. The jacket was another tough feat, but after having some time practicing, she had developed a good system for moving her arms without bumping any part of the van too many times. Over the jacket went the bandoleer, and finally, the gas mask. Amberly was pleased that all she had to do for this one was slip it over her mouth. She still managed to scrape her elbow against the roof, though. She grabbed her guns. She’d sling them outside, after she put some distance between her and the car. Finally, she pulled the small, stainless steel case from the bag. It was the last thing in there, carefully labeled with black, raised letters. 'L.R. Rounds'. Should she even bring these with her? She had documented their field test, but… She shook her head. Better to have them and not need them. She slipped the case into her breast pocket.

    With Red Riot’s outfit complete, she stowed what remained of her civilian clothes in the duffle, and placed it back into the secret compartment in the bed of the van. She glanced at her watch. 30 minutes, wasted. She would have to think about the most efficient way to do this in the future. Proudly, she pinned the badge she had been delivered to her chest, before waiting for the people outside to leave her field of view - and then she bolted. Locking the door behind her, she ran out of the ally, carrying her guns, and began to run, putting as much distance between herself and the car as possible. She didn’t want anyone to know where she had come from. If someone broke into her car… well, all they would find was civilian clothes at best, but still. She worried.

    A few minutes walk later, her rifle now slung over her shoulder and her pistol holstered, Red Riot arrived. Glancing down at her watch, her cybernetic eye vibrated slightly. Nearly imperceptible to the human ear, but she could still hear it, lodged in her skull, moving about. She was an hour early. She smiled beneath her gas mask. A few minutes late, but this was her first time. Idly, she leaned up against the building that was at the address that had been given to her, and she watchfully looked out into the crowd. Quite a few passers by stared back at her, but kept moving all the same. Would the others be in costume? Was it too much? She glanced down at herself. No, no, all of this had a purpose. If someone made fun of her or something, she’d just explain each and every component of her gear. That would definitely solve the problem. Should she stretch now? No, she had done a warmup back home, and it was still a while until the mission would start. She could warm up when it was closer to the start time. Still smiling, she relaxed a little, and waited.
    #2 Niiwa, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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  3. Ramona Baron / Q
    Interactions: NPCs, @Niiwa (Red Riot)

    "You know my son would just love you."

    "Oh, really?"

    "He really would. I mean, he's married but he's going to get a divorce any day now. I never liked that Debbie--that's Harold's wife. Harold's my son."


    "His paycheck is six figures and he's got a timeshare in Orlando, right next to Disneyland--Or is it Disney World, I can never reme--"

    "Your total is 43.07, cash or credit?" Ramona interrupted, startling the motor mouthed old lady into taking out her change purse. It was designed to look like a zipped up mouth with bright red lipstick. Ramona snorted at the irony and quickly counted out the change for the fifty dollars the woman handed her. "Your change is 6.93, have a nice day and remember lamps produced after 1942 are half off on Tuesdays" She droned, waving the woman out the door. "because that makes sense for some reason." She said under her breath as she waited for the next oversharing old lady to bring her items to the counter.

    "It makes complete sense!" Her mother chirped, effectively scaring the daylight's out of her. "Jeez, Ma! H-how long were you behind me? We should get you a bell..." She snarked, embarrassed that she had emitted such a 'dainty' squeak in front of complete strangers.

    "Sorry, I thought you would have noticed. Anyway, schoochie goochers, I want you to take a break before the bingo squad gets here." Her mom informed her, referring to the crowd of decrepit bingo playing prune people that came in everyday at precisely 5 o'clock to reminisce over furniture that used to be popular when they were young. Once the bingo squad had you in their wrinkled clutches, there was no escape.

    "Cool, I'll probably head to Chili Nili for tacos, you want anything?" As her mom rattled off her order, Ramona rummaged through the mail basket. Her eyes widened when she saw the sole letter addressed to her and quickly shoved it in her messenger bag. Her mom didn't know about her Volt Patrol application and would probably freak out if she told her, so Ramona had to make sure she didn't notice it.
    - -
    Chili Nili's was too crowded to eat in, so Ramona returned to the Baron apartment above the antique shop to devour her meal (and put her mother's in the fridge) and finally read her letter. She nearly dropped her burrito when she read the first sentence. "Oh my gawd." She murmured as she continued to read. "OhmygawdohmygawdohmyGAWDDD!!!" She shrieked depositing her burrito on the table and doing a little victory dance. She'd been accepted! That was awesome! So super freaking awesome! Grasping the badge and partial paycheck in her hand, she kissed the first and quickly hid the latter in her bedroom. As soon as she shoved the paper under her mattress it dawned on her that it was 4:45 and she had SO much to do!

    - -

    It took awhile, but Ramona had finally gotten all of her shit together and apologized ten fold for having to abandon her mom at a critical sales hour. Thanks to the Volt Patrol, Ramona now owed her mother three hours of the Quetzalcoatl Q&A show, but Ramona knew her new job would be worth it. If she ever got there that is.

    "Oh come on! Drive you idiot! THE LIGHT IS GREEN!" She screamed laying on the horn. The asshole in front of her had just slammed on the breaks and made everyone miss the light because he was a goddamn douche nugget. She really hoped he turned off soon because if she was going to be behind him all evening, she was definitely going to be late to the meeting. Ramona checked the time, 7:30 she still had a quite bit of time to make it but she'd wanted to be at least an hour early just to scope the place out.

    "Fucking finally." She muttered, as douche nugget finally began to move. She arrived on Backer Street, but parked at 1000 just in case 1010 was crowded, and also because she'd found a nice corner spot and that was rare in or near Chinatown, so she didn't want to pass up the opportunity.

    She exited her car with a back pack full of her costume and snacks (she didn't know how long the meeting was going to be) and her new badge pinned to her chest. When she arrived at the location in the letter, she was surprised to see a woman there in full...Gear and an eye patch. Ramona's first thought was that the woman looked super evil with the eye patch and guns, but when she saw the badge she visibly relaxed and approached the woman with an awkward smile. "Hey there! Uh...Nice outfit...and weapons...and eye patch..." She trailed off unsure of if she should introduce herself or just acknowledge the other woman and be silent. She chose the latter.
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  4. The soft sigh of the breeze through the over grown weeds and forest that surrounded the barn, could be heard over the low hiss of the old Coleman lantern. Only the dim glow of the sun reflecting off of the clouds remained of the daylight, visible through one of the holes in the roof. The silvered wood of the barn took on the warm tones of the lamplight, which hung from a bracket that was designed for the task. Amidst the clutter of rusted and webbed agricultural implements from the thirties, which obviously had never been touched in nearly a century, rested a pair of vehicles; the first was a dark forest green, 1976 Toyota Celica, showing its age. Rust bubbled through the paint at the lower edges of the quarter panels, though the paint did still have a deep gleam to it in the light. The other, was an old Mazda pickup, the clear coat missing in patches, revealing dull, faded red paintwork. The bed sides showed the history of tinworm infestation, even the stamped steel wheels were more orange-brown of rust, than black paint now.

    Sitting in the bed of the truck, looking over the rear of the Celica, rested a figure of surprising bulk. Dressed in baggy blue jeans and a plaid jacket with a grey hood, was John Patterson. His skin of dark brownish-red armour seemed to have more dimension in the dim light of the lantern, even if only his head and hands were visible. He sipped slowly from the small tumbler of whiskey, while gingerly holding a small, faded blue cookie tin with his left hand, in his lap. Laying on the bed to his left, was the acceptance letter from the Mayor. Setting the glass down, John took a deep breath, and looked up from the box to the rafters. "Joe, I know you must be gettin' real damn tired of this, but I'm hopin' you've forgiven me. I know I ain't no hero." A sigh escaped him, as he paused for words, "If'n I can do some good for these kids them not repeat the mistakes I've made. Perhaps then I will be be able to forgive myself." Taking the tin with his right hand, he pried the hinged lid open with his thumbs, the naked light of the lantern falling upon a folded scrap of white with blue dots, and a stain of red. "Lottie...." escaped him in a whisper as he glided his fingers across the fabric, ever so lightly. The memories flooded through his mind, and the lack of tactile feedback from the cloth amplified his sensations of being disconnected from the world. He swallowed hard, before closing the box, finishing the last of the whiskey, and levering himself onto his feet.

    He crossed the short distance to the Celica, twisting the key in the back of the hatch, and lifting it. He replaced the tin back in its hiding place, before closing the hatch with a careful touch. Carefully, he pulled the car cover from the slowly rotting horse stall, and threw it over the car, before setting in in place. Collecting the empty tumbler, with the letter in his left hand, he took the lantern with him in his right, as he left the barn, heading back to the small cabin near by. The structure was showing the signs of John's handiwork, the roof was all new, but the walls were still in a very rough state of repair. As he walked inside, his feet were greeted by the dirt floor, something he planned to work on soon enough. Hanging the lantern from re-purposed clothes hanger, screwed into a rafter, John moved to the counter, and poured himself another two fingers of whiskey.

    It was 7:48 when the battered old Mazda pickup rolled into the loading area of 1010 Backer St, he brought the small truck to a stop, setting the parking brake and shifting to reverse, before turning off the engine and removing the key. When he extricated himself from the truck, the suspension settled, rising about an inch, when his three hundred, eighty pound bulk left the driver's seat. Though he stood only five foot seven, his broad shoulders and barrel chest, inflated by the volume of his dark brown cargo pants, and the red and black plaid jacket, with grey hood covering his head. His hands were covered with worn wool gloves with leather palms. His feet were protected by a pair of aged and worn work boots, the light tan leather having been darkened with oil and grime. His scent was heavy with the industrial smells of oil, grease, hot steel, and the waft of ozone from welders. It was fitting, as he had just come from his work.

    He looked around, calmly surveying the area, noting the figure leaning up against the old shipping warehouse, and the other who had just walked into the fenced area. The concrete showing through some of the worn away dark blue paint that once was part of some company's colour scheme. He noted some of the street lights still burning sodium vapour bulbs, rather than having been converted to the brilliant white LEDs, which gave Backer St. a strange patchwork appearance of pale yellow and bright white at almost seemingly random intervals as the city replaced the lights as they died. He turned to Red Riot, and Q, offering a simple wave of greeting...hoping to make himself less potentially threatening. He really did not want to have another incident of having people misjudge him from his appearance. "Good Evening, I assume we are all here for this Volt Patrol...thing?" His voice was a deep baritone, fitting with his size and volume.
    #4 Goldmarble, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  5. Michael Alexander Graham - The Opening Shuffle
    (Also feat Vivienne, as played by @Pahn.)
    In the comfort of his personal-gym, Michael Alexander Graham watched the news report announcing the Volt Patrol. In the background, various old timey rock anthems had been playing as he’d been doing his rounds; jogging, stretching, and hefting weights in order to maintain his physique. He’d put in his application for the Volt Patrol pretty early on, and had been sure to keep an eye out for news of the team’s announcement for some time. Truth be told; he was excited by the prospect. He’d been somewhat out of touch recently: what with the chaos of his home life, and the non-success of his more academic and scholarly pursuits. He’d needed a change of some sort, and that’s what this little Hero group represented to him; a new start, and something new.

    During the news story, Michael heard the buzz of his phone vibrating on top of a nearby table. He reached out with the strange mental fingers that he associated with his powers, before he flicked the proverbial switch. The metal of the phone’s case, chosen specifically by him for this reason, was suddenly attracted to him by the Metalomancy he’d had available for years. The phone flew through the air and into Michael’s outstretched hand. He began to read the text and frowned. Never leaving the treadmill, he started to type in a reply. Before he could finish though, he heard the familiar sound of rubber on gravel; it was his wife’s car returning home, and Michael quickly changed the channel to MTV, just to be on the safe side. His wife barged into the house, one banging door at a time. Even over the music, he could hear the unceremonious clatter of heels on oak floor, and the natter of his wife on the phone. He rolled his eyes as he started to lower the speed on the treadmill. His thumb accidentally slid over the send button, and he swore under his breath as the half-finished message was sent.

    He emerged from the personal gym a few minutes later, a towel wrapped around his shoulders as he approached his wife; who was sitting on the large leather sofa with her mobile still glued to her ear. Michael sipped the bottled water again, as he waited for his wife to finish what was either an important business meeting, or a meeting with her boyto-

    ...No, Mikey. No toxic thoughts. This is your wife. You still love her.” His internal conflict ended just in time to see his wife put her phone away and turn to him. He offered her a smile, and moved forward, leaning in to kiss her. “Hello honey. How’s work going so far? Is the deal going well?” He said.

    Vivienne looked up from her phone and quickly kissed the corner of his offering lips. "We're this close to closing it. I'm having another meeting tonight." She exhales in a tired voice, knocking her designer high heels off. The woman wrinkles her nose and looks up again at her husband. "You should shower." She noticed the light film of sweat on his skin, and for a moment she almost smiles. She was just glad Michael was keeping in shape -- they both had to keep looking like the young, dashing couple they always were. "What's for dinner?"

    Michael frowned slightly at the half-hearted kiss, but hides it behind the normal layer of pretend smiles. He'd gotten good at pretend smiles recently. "Glad to hear it...and the shower is in the cards; I'm nearly finished in there." He said, standing up straight and stretching his rapidly stiffening arms. Today was cardio, but he didn't mind the look of himself when he was in his peak-performance mode. He'd slimmed down just before everything went to shit six months ago, and ever since the idea to play Hustle had come along, he'd made sure to increase the rigor of his work out. "Dinner's going to be a grilled chicken salad. I didn't think you'd be home for long, so I didn't go all out." He said, knowing full well that six nights out of seven she wouldn't be home for long.

    He walked over to the kitchen, opening the fridge to put his bottle of water away when he quickly added. "I might not be home when you get back from your meeting. Some old friends from University have invited me out for drinks. I'll probably leave at about...Seven-ish. Just thought I'd let you know. "

    "Mmmm... That sounds delicious, Michael." Vivienne got up and followed him to the kitchen, her phone still in her hand. She opened the wine cabinet and pulled out one of the usual bottles. She had been drinking a lot more wine lately, even outside of meals. She never really drank to get drunk but she would rarely go to bed now without the soft hum of inebriety. She pulled a clean glass from the dishwasher and poured herself a generous serving. Her lipstick was worn off from the lack of keeping it maintained throughout the day, but it still left a light mark on the rim of her glass when she took a long sip. At the mention of his evening plans, she offered a rare grin as she sat on a chair. "Really? Anyone I know? I haven't seen George the dentist in a long time..." she scoffed, as though the profession of a dentist was truly something worth mocking.

    Michael watches his wife pouring her glass of wine with a raised eyebrow. He’d noticed the increased consumption, but he’d thought she’d driven home. Did she not intend to drive back tonight? Maybe sh-“He turned to face her, ignoring the little natter of self-doubt as he carried on carrying on. “Hey now, be nice. We can’t all be CEOs or arm Candy.” He said, with a light chastisement in his tone. There was a hint of his jokey nature in the minor self-deprecation, however. “But no, I’ll be heading out with Francis and Arnold…Old friends from my course.

    Vivienne rolled her eyes, bringing the cup back to her lip to take another tasteful gulp. She ran her tongue along her teeth and smacked her lips as she looked down on her phone again. The notification light was blinking, a new text message was waiting for her. Once a swift reply was sent, she took another swallow of wine before standing back up. "I'll go take a shower, since you'll be preparing our dinner." She unties her bun, letting her hair drop on her shoulders, and hurries nonchalantly to their bedroom to undress.

    Her shower was impressively quick, less than five minutes, and before long she was back in the kitchen in a satin soiree dress. It was one of her "little black dresses", with which she paired a long, thin gold chain with a golden, metallic pendant of a dove. Her wrists were bearing gold bangles and a discreet gold watch on her left write. Her make-up wasn't done yet, nor was her hair, but one could say she looked absolutely gorgeous... and rich. Her wedding band was still on her finger as well, and when she sat back down at the table and resumed her drink, she raised the dove pendant. "Remember this? We got this for our five-year wedding anniversary. For an arm candy husband, you always had remarkable taste." Vivienne pursed her lips and offered Michael a knowing smile.

    Michael watched as his wife replied to a text; seemingly full of annoyance. In a way, he was glad to see her annoyed; it made it more likely she was focusing on the deal, and not on someone else. He nodded when she mentioned hopping in the shower, and he turned to start cooking. Just before he started, he watched her slink off to the bedroom; hips swaying and hair dropping down between her shoulder blades…Any thoughts of annoyance seemed a bit more distant, all of a sudden.

    With the door closed though, Michael quickly went to work, pulling a knife from the block with his power, and grabbing a couple peppers and some spring onion from the fridge. Cooking was a pretty exciting release for him, as he enjoyed the rhythm and the timing of it all.

    By the time five minutes was up, Michael had diced the salad and was grilling the finishing with the chicken when his wife re-entered the room, looking as stunning as ever. He felt himself smiling at the sight of her, dressed up in her beautiful dress and wearing the pendent he’d once gotten for her. Back then, it had always been so easy to guess what she wanted, or what she’d like. When she complimented his taste, he couldn’t help but laugh. The juxtaposition between him, dressed in a loose white t-shirt and a pair of baggy shorts; and her, dressed in a dress that he already wanted to see on the floor and more gold than most people made in a year, was stark. “I mean, if I didn’t have good taste; I wouldn’t have such an amazing wife, would I?” He said, moving a few steps closer and wrapping an arm around her shoulders; his forehead pressing gently against hers. “Y’know, I could always run us a bath. I’ll blow off the guys, tell them that something came up…It’ll be fine.” He said, suddenly thinking about how little weight the badge hidden in his duffel bag, with the costume, actually had.

    The businesswoman chuckled at her husband's compliment, a satisfied smug look crawling on her face. The smell of the cooking food and freshness of the vegetables covered the smell of the man's sweat. In truth, she did not dislike seeing him like this -- on the contrary, she still felt a strong twinge of pride whenever she looked at Michael. "And you make the most fine of husbands, Michael." She noticed how he looked at her, and as he got closer, she reached for her glass of wine and took more than one swallow, causing her cheeks to colour a soft pink.

    When he made his change of plans offer, Vivienne closed her eyes and let out a tired sigh. "Don't hurt him, play nice Viv, play nice..." She ran her hand up his chest, her red-painted nails standing out against his white t-shirt. Gently, she cupped his cheek, her head shaking. "I'm sorry my dear Michael, but I... I have this meeting tonight... To close the deal. Finally." She bit her lip and retracted her hand, moving back ever so slightly. He would be able to tell she was torn, that truly, lust was one way of getting to her -- but ultimately, she could not accept his advances tonight. Feeling the sexual tension in the air around them, the woman cleared her throat and sniffed loudly. "I think the chicken is ready, Michael."

    Michael felt a little something deflate in the back of his mind as he heard his wife’s dismissal. In fairness, he probably should have expected this. The deal was important, and Vivienne was nothing if not dedicated to her job. He didn’t say anything until she sniffed at the air and commented on the chicken. He quickly plastered on a shallow smile before turning to the kitchen, sniffing at the air with an exaggerated effort. “You’re right. I think it’s done.” He stepped into the kitchen and grabbed a pair of bowels; serving up the salad before dicing the chicken and spreading it on top. Finally, a dash of dressing and… done. He rapidly moved over to the table, placing a bowl on opposite sides of the table. He scratched his chin as he looked down at the meal; it was Spartan in its simplicity, but the smell was divine at least. He sat down and waited for Vivienne to sit down before he started eating.

    After a few minutes, and only a few mouthfuls, Michael frowned before pushing the plate away a few inches. He looked up for half a second and smiled at his wife again. “I’m, uh…I’m gonna go have that shower now. I’ll probably take a while in there, so if you need to head off, just leave the dishes; I’ll deal with them later.” He said, before pushing his chair back with a light, low squeal. He didn’t wait for Vivienne to answer before he walked towards the shower, wrenching the shirt off of his back before he’d even gotten through the bathroom doorway. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Viv.” And with that, he pushed through the doorway and closed it; before sighing heavily.

    Vivienne let out a shaky breath, unaware until now that she had been holding it, when Michael turned his attention back to the kitchen. She felt a pang of guilt but she quickly drowned it by emptying the rest of her wine in her glass and indulging herself with a large swallow. Her cheek were a pretty rose by now, so the food was a welcomed damper on the alcohol level quickly accumulating in her body. Once Michael set her bowl down, she sat at the opposite side of him and began eating silently. "Mmmm... myes, bewy goo'." She comment with her mouth full.

    The businesswoman flashed a quick smile of acknowledgement at her husband as his statement, barely noticing that he wasn't finishing his meal. Unscrupulously, she watched him walk away and was gratified with a show of his muscular back. Memories and nostalgic excitement washed through her, thoughts and questions popping in her mind. When was the last time they had been intimate? What had happened to their attraction? Where had her love gone…? Vivienne reached for her wine glass and gulped in some more, until she was done. Her phone found its way in her palms again, and she quickly thumbed in a message for her chauffeur to come and get her in a few minutes.

    Once the bowl and wine glass were rinsed and placed in the sink, Vivienne made her way to her private bathroom to wash her face and apply her makeup. She opted for a daring dark red lipstick, and went light with the eyeshadow. Her long eyelashes were quickly taken care of, and deciding to keep her hair down for the night, the woman twisted a few strands with a hairclip and sprayed them into submission. She took a selfie, and proceeded to text it to Michael with the note, “Good night Michael, say hi to Francis and Arnold for me!~ Don’t stay out too late.” Vivienne thumbed in the Send button and hurried outside with her Christian Louboutin shoes in her hands.

    Michael stepped out of the shower, the water still dripping off his form as he looked over to his phone. He saw the flashing blue light that warned him of a message, and he suspected it would be a confused response to his half-finished text. Instead, it was his wife. “Damn it all, if she doesn’t look good in...everything.” He said, before beginning to towel himself off.

    With Vivienne gone once again, Michael went into the cupboard of his gym to retrieve the rucksack full of goodies he’d been preparing. For the past few weeks, he’d been toying with the idea of how he’d made his costume work. The key was making himself a persona, as well as just a mask. It’d be no good if Michael Alexander Graham was running around with some tights and a cape on. He needed something that obfuscated who he was. Something that was so outlandish, that you’d never link it to the boring author-turned-househusband.

    It had taken him a while to come up with the gimmick. He’d toyed with various magnetism or electricity based ideas; when something else hit him. When he was a kid, he’d mostly used his powers for sleight of hand tricks; and as an adult he’d recently found himself getting back into the world of Poker. What if he could combine the two ideas? What if he could be something more than just the hit-em-over-the-head obvious Magnetic man, but if he was a trickster, a gambler, a Hustler.

    It didn’t take long for him to get dressed. The trousers, shirt, and waist coat were all tailored to his size. It was easy enough to hide his intent with those; he just ordered a few suits and added that little order on to the side; the suits he could wear in public, or at soirees, after all. When he was done, he looked the part of a Casino dealer of some sort. That is, until he put on the finishing touches to his ensemble: a Domino mask he’d had to painstakingly make himself, and a cowboy hat. Nothing screamed Casino like a cowboy, and it’d suit his persona perfectly. A mysterious outlaw, who played fast with everything and fought with coins, of all things. It was, at least in his geeky mind, genius.

    When all was said and done; Michael looked in the mirror at the figure opposite. It was pretty hard to tell who was hidden underneath all the pomp of the costume. His hair was hidden behind the hat, and he’d even put in contact lenses to fool people, changing his normally brown eyes blue. All in all, he just saw the muscular man in the silly get up. The Heroic Hustler. The Casino-Cowboy.

    Having finished dressing, and having quickly gotten his weapons of choice ready: A couple of metal batons and a dispenser of nickel coins, something he’d gotten made by a bored craftsman for a couple hundred bucks, Michael looked to his wrist watch to check the time. The golden watch, a present from Vivienne, told him he had about Forty-five minutes to make it into the city for the first meeting with the others in the Volt Patrol. He moved to push out of his Gym when he realised something; the watch was custom made. If Viv saw that on a masked vigilante hero’s wrist, the jig would instantly be up. He slung the watch off and threw it into the bag, which got tossed back into the cupboard with everything else. Michael finally swallowed down the last big lump of nerves as he stepped out of the gym and then out of the house proper.

    Standing outside of the back garden, Michael summoned up his Metalomancy as he reached down to his hip; ejecting one of the coins from his pouch with a little pull of his magnetic powers. Forcing himself to grin, he looked towards the ground he’d selected as his firing point, and set off into a jog. He hadn’t tried this trick since University, so he was a little nervous about it all, but still; no time like the present. He jumped into the air as he dropped the coin behind him; and then he violently shunted the coin away from him and into the ground. When the solid ground had nothing left to give to the coin, the ground pushed back against the coin, and then against Michael. With a sudden explosive propulsion, Michael was pushed away by his own magnetic powers; launching him into the air with a violent spring. He soared high above the tree line as he yanked the coin up from the ground with his magnetic pull; gripping it in his hand as he shot out a second coin, using it as an anchor point before launching himself into the air again; and towards Voltapolis proper. In the city, he wouldn’t need to play fancy with his coins; as everything was made of metal. Until then though, he got to show off his little Coin-shooting show.

    About fifteen minutes later, Michael had reached the main city centre and had started to use skyscrapers to travel. Each was lined with enough metal beams to make his job easy enough, and he was well practiced enough to push through the city with ease; pulling himself in and then pushing himself away before he hurt himself. Within another ten minutes, Michael had manoeuvred himself to Backer Street.

    The sound of a coin hitting the pavement would be the first precursor to his arrival, clinging against the floor just a few meters from the slowly gathering Volt Patrollers. A few moments later; a figure would fall through the sky towards the coin. Michael had one hand on his head, holding the Cowboy hat in place as he had his other hand outstretched, pushing against the coin to slow down what would otherwise be a fatal fall. For a few moments, the man’s descent slowed to a crawl; and then a stop. Finally, he seemed to rise half an inch in the air, before he suddenly dropped to the ground, landing with a soft grunt. He looked up at the three gathered figures; two women, one looking like a pretty dark skinned Amazonian woman, and the other looking like she’d recently gone to war with a bear, and achieved a very narrow victory; and a man who looked like a cross between a Crocodile and a Boulder. A couple were wearing their badges; while his was still stashed in his pocket. He tipped his hat to the trio. “Uh…Howdy.” He said, smiling at the trio from underneath the hat. He couldn’t help but smile at the sound of his own voice, and the forced accent. “Is this all of us, or are we the early bird special?
    #5 LimeyPanda, Sep 22, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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    LOCATION: Holy GroundsVolt PatrolMOOD: "This shit, man."OUTFIT: Costume de la Superhero COMPANY: Char, Anna, and Others

    Char watched as Fred Halcomb, the owner of Holy Grounds, exit the store with his pencil mustache and surprisingly bangable wife. Char waited until they entered the BMW equivalent of a station wagon to grab his phone. There weren’t any customers that needed help. So, Char slid behind the counter to the lair of deformed cups, leaky lids, and a suffocating-ly large bag of straws. He pulled up his twitter, looked left and right, and dialed in Glitter Bomb’s account information. He rechecked the message he got and sighed. The things he did to make that sweet, sweet bank. He started to type a reply—

    “What’re you doing?” a voice erupted in his ear.
    The phone shot out of Char’s hand and he grasped at air until he latched onto it and pulled it tight to his chest. Anna Grace squatted next him. A huge smile plastered on her pixie face. Her hair was purple and black today. Oh no, that was never good. Anna Grace had a super power. It was that her hair changed colors to suit her mood. Char had figured out most of them. Red and green meant to grab a human meat shield because she would start spewing verbal fire. Soft blond and mocha meant that she was in a wistful and loving mood. Purple and black meant that she was overly interested in your life and nothing would stop her.

    Char cleared his throat and stood. He was a head taller than her and probably two of her in size. She was a small, petite thing that was more terrifying than any skinhead bouncer at a dive bar. “Just checking my email,” he said nonchalantly.
    “Under the counter?” She peered at him, narrowing her eyes. “Really?”
    “What? Hitler’s Awkward Cousin just left. You know how he feels about us using cellphones.”
    “Yeah,” she said, scoffing. “That’s what the bathroom is for. But, this looked a lot more intense than you reading Buzzfeed and taking a shit.”
    “I don’t shit at work. I mean this place serves coffee. That is natures laxative. It would be like trying to find peace in a field full of mustard gas.”
    “Don’t derail the subject.”
    Char slid his phone into his back pocket. “Whoa, calm down Whorelock Holmes. You’re the one that said it.”
    Whorelock? I should report you for sexual harassment.”
    “Sure, go ahead. I’ll just report you for the sheer amount of times you’ve pinched my butt and honked my chest.” And while she did it, he didn’t mind. They had no attraction. It wasn’t at all meant to be a form of “ownership” or “degradation.” It was just the stupid way that Anna Grace communicated.
    “But, it’s like they’re small boobs made of muscle. I just can’t not.”
    Char sighed. “They’re pectorals. Never refer to my chest again as boobs. You’ll give me a complex.”
    Anna Grace made a noise, letting her lips flutter for a moment. “Another one? Jeez. How many does that make?”
    She pointed upwards with her thumb.

    Char rolled his eyes and grabbed a rag from the sink behind him. He started to wipe down the already clean counters. Holy Grounds was a Christian Hipster Coffee Shop that served your daily dose of caffeine with a daily dose of “eternal damnation awaits if you don’t repent.” It was a forced sort of rustic that appealed to the basic masses. The paneling for the ordering counter and the creamer and sugar counter was all natural, recycled wood. The floors were a grooved and stained concrete. The tables were homemade with odd knickknacks cemented into the top with so much clear lacquer, it had to have murdered someone’s brain cells. The chairs were mismatched. Somewhere, a bunch of grandmothers that lived through the seventies were missing a dining-room chair or two. And finally there was random Christian memorabilia hanging on the walls and from the ceiling.

    Everyday Char tried not to look at the picture of Jesus over the latte machine. He considered defaming it. He also considered what it would be like to be homeless and fight crack addicts for half-eaten dumpster sandwiches. Jesus remained Jesus-y.

    Anna Grace hadn’t left his proximity. “Char,” she said, her tone becoming serious. “It’s like your two different people.”
    Char cracked a smile. “You caught me. I am two different people. I absorbed my twin brother in utero.”
    “You know what I mean, and you are never allowed to conjure that imagery in my head again.” She placed her hands on her hips. “You give this image like you’re some ex-jock that made some bad college decisions and is now paying out his loans by working at a trendy coffee shop. You like to show pretty girls, and that one really hot guy, your muscles, and say things like ‘Whorelock.’ And yet, I catch you underneath counters obsessively checking on superhero news.”
    “What? I like superheroes.” He shrugged. “When my dad left, I was pretty much raised by the television and the television had superheroes. It feels like yesterday that I inserted Captain Stone as my dad.”
    “Yeah, but it wasn’t yesterday. That was years ago.”
    “Actually, it was. I had nachos before bed and had this weird dream I was a grown ass man being taken to the ball park by Captain Stone. It was odd. Never touching jalapeños before bed.”
    Anna Grace snatched the rag from Char’s hand. He hadn’t realized he’d been twisting it tighter and tighter during their conversation. “It's things like this,” she said, waving it at him. “And the fact that that one time you literally pulled the gun from the hand of a robber.”
    “He had limp wrists, and he had the safety on.” He crossed his arms. “I grew up in a bad neighborhood.”
    “Well, what about you being so damn flexible that I saw you put your leg behind your head.”
    “Yeah, I really regret getting drunk and showing you that.”
    “Managed to suck your own dick, yet?”
    “You can suck my dick.”
    Anna winked. “Sorry buddy, full time lesbian.”
    “I know, and why is it that I love your girlfriend much more than you?” He asked. “How’s Libby doing?”
    “Libby-tastic.” Anna Grace paused and exhaled. “And that's what I'm trying to say. You seem like this sexist muscle-loaf, but you’re a real good person. You've covered for me for Fred. Told him I had a boyfriend, and you even got one of your friends to pretend to be him. Even though I didn't understand the need for the British accent. You've covered for Steve and John, both who have come to work super high. Hell, you babysat Libby one time because I had to come to work, or Fred would fire me."
    "Look, I wasn't going to let him fire the one person I like. And that thing with Keith. Well, he's an 'aspiring' actor. Everything is weird accents with him."
    Anna Grace sighed. "You're a good person Char. And the world needs more good people. So, don't go strapping on spandex and trying to save it. You'll get yourself killed."
    "Are you implying I should deny the world this ass in spandex?"
    She glared at him.

    Char exhaled. He didn't think he'd actually feel bad about all of this. This was his choice. He needed the fame, the recognition, and the money. He couldn't keep working here. He couldn't keep living in his apartment that was over a bar and a liquor store—that was robbed all the time due to the clientele at the bar. He'd sworn to use his power for good. Good for himself, and maybe good for others.

    "Don't worry, Anna. I won't." He rubbed his head. "I've got far more important things to do with my time. And besides, I'm too broke to even begin to afford what comes with being a superhero. Costume. Weapons. A car that doesn't look like the seventies and the living embodiment of rust had a baby."
    Anna Grace nodded. "Good." Her voice was low and soft. She then leaned forward, placed her hands on his chest, and looked him dead in the eyes. “Honk!” she said, squeezing at the same time.

    ❂ ❂ ❂

    To say that Char felt guilty about his promise to Anna Grace would be an understatement. He closed up the coffee shop at seven. Fred didn't like it to remain open at night, something about being afraid to fuel drug dealers' and murderers' caffeine addictions. Char closed every night. Occasionally, he'd stay open a little longer to give some of the remaining coffee to the bums that wandered in there. They needed something to cut their cheap whiskey.

    After that, he went to his car, grabbed a locked case, and carried it back into the coffee shop. Fred had only three cameras. One on the safe, which Char had already deposited the daily earnings into, one over the front door, and one by the register. He didn't have one in the employee area or backdoor. It was odd. Fred believed that God would protect their shop just like God led him to hire his employees. Char figured he must have been misinterpreting God because Fred had hired a narcissistic atheist, a lesbian, two pot heads, and Glen—Satan's spawn on Earth that only worked morning shift. Still, Holy Grounds had never been robbed before. At least not successfully. Anna Grace had overaggrandized that entire thing. It was easy to tell the guy had no idea what he was doing. He was just scared and broke. The gun didn't have any bullets in it, anyway. What Char had done was a simple self-defense move, nothing more. He was no great hero. Not yet, anyway.

    He changed into his suit in the breakroom. It was actually well tailored for what it was. His sister was a design major. She'd sewn it together for him. Of course, he'd had to tell her about what he was doing. She didn't seem to mind. If anything, Vi had round-about asked to be his sidekick. She was the only one in the family that got it, and he appreciated that. Lary, his younger brother, failed to understand.

    Char slid his two billy clubs into their holster on his belt and then grabbed his plain brown jacket and pulled it on. He wasn't going to drive through Voltapolis cowl up and obviously super-heroing. There was one last thing he had to do. He had two small portable camera lenses that he slid into his suit, and then he neatly tucked the wire back and into his cellphone. He already had grafted a microphone into his cowl. This was what he had spent the most money on. It had put him back, but it had also helped his popularity. To be able to make this work, he'd need to record his mission. He turned the camera on and did a quick check with his cellphone. It worked. He tucked the phone into a secure shock-poof case and then slid into a pocket on his back. He exited the coffee shop, locking up behind him.

    ❂ ❂ ❂

    He parked a few blocks away, walking casually with his jacket on and his cowl down. Once he got a few thousand feet from the rendezvous point, he slid his cowl on, tucking his hair into it, and pulled his jacket off. He hoped it wouldn't get stolen, but this was the shit part of Voltapolis. What could he expect?

    Excitement bubbled in his chest. He didn't know how many times he'd read the letter. Honestly, he was a little surprised he'd made it in. While he'd garnered some fame and press, it wasn't excessive. While his powers seemed like a bit of a joke, they were useful. And he was a skilled fighter. He had things to offer them, and they had things to offer him. Mostly publicity. Maybe some of the "actually doing good" bits.

    He didn't pull up his goggles as he passed the gate and approached the group. It was a little dark for them, and since he wasn't using his powers he'd be a little blind. The Volt Patrol Pin was on his chest, throwing off the flow of his outfit. Whatever. It was an ugly thing of pride.

    Char sighed at the people before him. This couldn’t be it. Could it? How—underwhelming. Still, he decided to make the best of it. “Alright, everyone. Obvious YA dystopian heroine,” he said pointing at the woman with the gasmask and glowing eye. “Possibly lost college kid,” at the woman wearing normal clothes and a backpack over her shoulder. “Man-Thing-Guy?” he offered to the man whose mutation was very much on the outside and not the inside. “And, oh, Midnight Cowboy. That’s my favorite kind of prostitute.”

    “I’m Glitter Bomb,”
    he said, smiling through what was bound to be some heckling. “I know. I had started out as Flash Bang, but reporter Maria Alvarez, with her beauty and wonderful ass-ets, decided to call me this. Fine. I’ve owned it ‘hashtag glitter bomb.’ Whatever. I’m here to get our name and exploits out here, and if you want to help, I would love your support. Otherwise, by being here you’ve already signed a consent form to be on whatever media I promote on the internet. Don’t worry, I’ll make us look good.” He winked afterwards.
    #6 Tyrannosaurus Rekt, Sep 22, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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  7. [​IMG]
    Ariana Clever || Molecular Manipulation || 25 || #5599bb
    Location: Work → Studio Apartment → Work → "Vait, vat sie hell?!"
    Interactions: General
    Mentions: General​


    Waitressing wasn't the hardest job out there by no means, but it still never failed to instill a bone deep weariness that was more on a mental level than physical. Rude notes scribbled across receipts and lack of tips were just apart of the job, but when they correlated? That's what really got Ariana. Just today someone didn't leave her tip and instead made a jab at how she talked. Granted German could make a cookie recipe sound like an intense, angry, speech with it's intense vocalizations, but she had made a conscious effort to dial back her accent so it didn't sound so heavy. W's, v's, and th sounds were still difficult for her, however, and it was just more natural to say "vat", "fery", and "sie" instead of "what", "very", and "the". Apparently that grounded on the customer's nerves.

    If that wasn't bad enough, by the time she got back to her studio apartment is was past six pm. Her shift ended over an hour ago. Traffic that day was terrible, and all because some asshole decide to blow a red light and ram themselves straight into passing traffic. Thus an hour spent on a bus inching along among a throng of other displeased drivers.

    Sometimes Ariana stopped on her way home to grab a bite to eat from one of the many fast food joints in the area, but that required more time spent smelling like cheeseburgers and hotdogs and buses so instead she went straight home, barely glancing at the mail she dug out of her mail box on the way into her building. She barely got mail that wasn't bills so threw the envelops dismissively onto the kitchen table before stripping her way into the bathroom for a warm shower (mostly because the bathroom was too small for a tub to bathe in). Her night ended with her reheating the Chinese takeout she had for dinner last night and staring at some sic com to lighten her mood.

    The mail didn't catch her attention again until she realized she over slept and had ten minutes to be out the door and at the bus stop. She could only glance back at the few envelopes there were as they fell to the floor in the wake of her snatching her purse off the kitchen table. She didn't have the time to right them and instead clipped her wispy blonde hair in place and rushed out of her apartment, thanking the Gods of Bus Stop Placement hers was only around the corner and across the street from her place of residency.


    Ariana stumbled into her small apartment in not nearly as bad of a mood as the day before and carrying in some delicious smelling pizza. "Bon appétit," she announced to the otherwise empty apartment, plopping it on her small kitchen table. She didn't bother with a plate, simply popping up the card board top and digging into the loaded Meat Lovers, a slice already in her mouth before she bent over to gather the fallen envelopes from that morning. She didn't have any intentions of shifting through them just yet, not least until she enjoyed her pizza, but an envelope did stick out against the others and caught her eye.

    She waited to finish her slice first to open it up. She had half an idea of what it could possibly but at the same time, didn't want to get her hopes up too far least it be a courtesy letter informing her she didn't make the cut. Ariana could think of multiple reasons for her not to be applicable. Those reasons promptly went out the window when the letter said the exact opposite. Her first instinct was to celebrate, and she did, until she realized the letter was mixed in with yesterday's mail. A wave of panic quickly washed away all of her excitement and she quickly read over the information again.

    Okay, she had two and half hours to prepare. She could work with that. Wolfing down another slice, she shoved the rest of the pizza, box and all, into the fridge and grabbed her "costume" (mostly just stuff she got for cheap off the internet and had second hand stores) and stuffed it into her duffle bag. She could have easily walked out of her apartment wearing the get up with a rave as an excuse but that would just lead to an easy game of Connect the Dots later and she didn't want that. Everyone who knew Ariana knew she was a waitress at the local diner, where she lived and her favorite fast food joints to hit after a shift, and knew she lived alone. But no one knew Morphix, not yet at least, and it would the perfect time to change all that. To keep them guessing.

    She giggled and ran through some stretches and exercises, testing the weight of her staff in her hands as she maneuvered it through the air, and took a shower. She killed an hour doing that. Ariana worried her lip between her teeth before finally shrugging and opted to start her walk.


    "...I would love your support. Otherwise, by being here you’ve already signed a consent form to be on whatever media I promote on the internet. Don’t worry, I’ll make us look good.” Ariana approached the speaker from behind with a normally-fair-but-now-black-with-cosmetics eyebrow quirked. She had the chance to change into Morphix on her little walk and even had the time to swing by a twenty-four hour place that sold coffee drinks among other things and no one walked by a twenty-four hour place that sold coffee drinks without purchasing said coffee drink, so here she was approaching the group of misfits with a mostly finished caramel latte and a snicker; all dolled up in all her cybergoth glory.

    There were three others besides the speaker. A tall woman looking like she already saw the wrong side of battle and came back for more, and appearing to be the most prepared for the situation, made Ariana wonder - not for the first time - if a staff was enough, if she really should have waited until she got her hands on leather that could actually withstand combat instead of looking to invest whatever payment she gained into better equipment. Ariana also couldn't help but wander if that cybernetic eye was real, or if she too was a fan of the underground street style, but that also begged the question: why the eyepatch? Was that aesthetics too? Ariana bit the inside of her cheek at the familiar buzz of curiosity, knowing there was a story of some kind there but she wasn't completely without shame. She just really wanted to know.

    Between her and a man dressed as a... cowboy card dealer...? Stood a dark skinned female looking oddly out of place in civilian clothes with the only thing that suggested she hadn't accidentally stumbled across their gathering being her clearly displayed pin, the same pin Ariana had attached to the holster housing her retracted staff across her lower back. Nothing really stood out to Ariana, but everyone had a story. What exactly made her so confident she felt she could stroll up to place like this without concern? Could she be shapeshifter? What if she could change her appearance and the lack of costume was actually her costume?! Ariana quickly went from biting the inside of her cheek to sucking on the inside of her cheek.

    But the cowboy card dealer... What was his deal? Was he a casino employee who thought to spicen up his night? No too obvious. Maybe an aspiring casino card dealer? Or perhaps he was torn between being a card dealer and a cowboy and decided this was the perfect chance to be a card dealing cowboy? Did he fight with cards? Was that his special power? Making cards come to life and dish put paper cuts to all he saw deserving?

    Ariana bit back a chuckle and decided to move on to the next guy: a man with a literal thick skin. She didn't want to be caught staring, even if she had opening analyzed each and every person already in attendance, and decided to keep her once-over brief - short enough to not be considered overly rude but long enough to show interest without displaying negativity. He had a rough, rugged appearance and a look in his eye Ariana couldn't place. Even from her distance he smelled faintly like what she'd imagine a mechanics shop to smell like: metallic and oily, but there were other scents too. Interesting, the girl may have looked battle harden but this guy was battle hardened. Her cheek was finally relieved of the biting and sucking it had been subjected too and she politely averted her gaze, sliding it over the one other guy there.

    He probably looked like the most traditional superhero there. He even had a cowl on and if pushed came to shove, his costume looked like it could take some damage. Much like her own pair of goggles, his rested on top of his head, but she had an inkling suspicion they actually served a purpose other than to look cool. Again, Ariana was made to second guess her own gear but quickly dismissed her thoughts. She was already here and this was also could scrap up. If she wanted a Kavler vest, she should have joined the police academy. She quickly plastered on a grin and decided to finally step forward and not lurk around like a snickering creep.

    "Vell, zat's a relief," she quipped at the man. "I started feeling a little ofer dressed but standing next to you?" Morphix tipped her head back as she finished the caramel latte and licked her lips, glad her lipstick was of a better quality than what she would normally think to buy. "But voo am I to say anysing?" She took the top off her cup and within seconds the two disintegrated into sand. She shrugged it off, hoping it came of more like "yeah, that's what I can do" more than "look what I can do!". "Strange knows strange, right?"

    She chuckled and added after a glance around, "Vell I'm guessing ve're here to meet up vith sie mayor and seeing as none of you are sie Asian women I see on T.V. I'm guessing ve're not all she's expecting, or she's just running late to her own get togezer." Her eyes paused on the larger man present with interest. "But I vonder voo else comes." After all, a man with his own self grown armor could only be the beginning of the possibilities.
    #7 Noctis the Devious, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  8. [​IMG]

    Thankfully Ramona wasn't alone with Eye patch woman for long, as more people started to pop up with the first being a talking rock. Well obviously not a rock, but you know what? She could control the wind and eye patch woman wasn't being harassed for openly carrying a gun. Talking rocks could be a thing. "Hee-eeyyy there." She responded to his greeting, unable to think of anything else.

    As more and more people arrived Ramona suddenly realized that she was totally under dressed. Like supremely. And even if she did get dressed, she would still look out of place. These guys looked like pros. Kind of. But the costume in her back pack made her look like Her Royal Highness, the Queen. Ramona felt a twinge of guilt for being ashamed of the outfit her mother had painstakingly made for her, but...She didn't want to look weird! Plus she thought there would be changing rooms. A sudden revelation occurred to her. What if the organizer for all this deemed her unfit for the hero thing and redacted her membership because she hadn't followed the complete instructions in the letter?! That spurred her into action and she awkwardly mumbled, "I'm gonna...I forgot something in my car." She half mumbled half stuttered and high tailed it to her beat up mini cooper. The car had been a gift from her parents as a sort of congratulations for...Well Ramona wasn't quite sure. It wasn't as though she had gone to college and they'd given her the car as a reward. In fact she'd never even set foot in a college before, it just had never seemed like somewhere she'd liked to go. Speaking of college and not going, how dare that Bath Bomb asshole label her a lost college kid! She CLEARLY had the same badge that everyone else had. When she finished changing she was going to give him a piece of her damn mind! Who was he to judge her when he looked like a--a--Okay there was nothing she could say about his costume cause he looked awesome but his personality was shit and that was all that mattered!

    When Ramona returned to the group, she was wearing her full outfit, earrings and all. She strode back to the group with an air of confidence just in time to hear the newcomer, a woman with a German accent snark at Glitter Douche and display her power. Seeing an opportunity to forge some connections, Ramona all but ran up to the woman, a huge grin spreading across her face. "Ist das Ihre Leistung? Es ist toll!" (Is that your power? It's awesome!) She gushed, hoping her German wasn't too rusty. She practiced with her parents every now and then but it wasn't really the same as actually being in the country and conversing with the people. She was so excited that she might have something in common with somebody, she completely forgot about chewing up Flash Dance.

    Interactions: All present, specifically; @Noctis the Devious and @Goldmarble
    Mentions: Everyone present
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  9. Amberly Ross /\||/\ !RED RIOT!
    location : Volt Patrol - mood : Excited - with : Q, Parsha, Hustle, Glitter Bomb, Morphix

    Upon the arrival of a tall, dark-skinned girl, Red Riot smiled. Someone else was here! She gave a small wave, expression of happiness nearly imperceptible behind her multiple face coverings. “Oh, thank you! I was hoping that they weren’t too much.” Her voice shot out from a pair of miniature speakers on the exterior of her gas mask, hooked up to a microphone next to her mouth inside. It was not the most elegant of solutions, and it sounded like she was coming in through a radio from the 50s, but it was better than muffled and nearly indiscernible communication. “I’m sorry, do you… Not have a costume? Do you think you might need one? What’s your name? I’m-”

    Red Riot tried to continue, but was interrupted by the arrival of another person. Unlike the uncostumed girl, this man certainly looked like a meta-human - and definitely more of what she expected. He had quite the intimidating stature, but Red Riot was nothing if not delighted by another hero’s arrival. “Yes, I think this is where we are supposed to be meeting! Wow, you’re very big. She glanced around her. “There should be more coming, I hope. Anyway, I’m-”

    She was interrupted from introducing herself again by the arrival of a man… from the sky! “Oh, my gosh! You can fly?” Red Riot exclaims as the man in a strange hat and mask hit the ground. Still, she probably wasn’t one to talk about strange outfits. “I think there are more to come, but we seem to be the first arrivers. What is that accent? Where are you-” She cut herself off. “I’m sorry, all these questions are rude, I shouldn’t be asking people-”

    A set of quips interrupts her apology as a man in a bright costume made himself known, making a crack about her appearance. “Dystopian? I-” Before she could refute it, however, he introduced himself as Glitter Bomb, and started rambling off about posting things on the internet. “Oh, is that ok? I would prefer not to be… I mean I’m sure you would do a good job but I would prefer to not be online if possible, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to cause trouble but I do not consent to that, and I don’t believe that you can force consent on m-”

    A strangely-dressed girl with a German accent suddenly appeared as Red Riot was trying to un-consent herself from Glitter Bomb’s 'internet media'. As she spoke, the cup she was holding disintegrated in her hand, and Red Riot’s eyes widened. Another power, revealed! However, the first girl to arrive returned, in costume, and started talking to the German girl. Red Riot hadn't even noticed her leave, so fascinated she had been about the others' arrival. The costume was certainly much more impressive than her street clothes, and Red Riot wanted to make a comment, but she had forced herself into silence.

    She was talking too much, she suddenly realized. Everyone was still arriving, and she could barely get a word in before a new, fascinating person showed up. She needed to calm down. She didn’t want to give these people a bad impression of her - not if they were going to be working together! She shuffled awkwardly, before deciding to stretch out her limbs, hoping that the action would clear her mind of chatter.
    #9 Niiwa, Sep 24, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  10. Corey George aka The Exo-Titan
    Mood: "OMG I AM GOING TO BE A SUPERHERO!" and/or "Did I eat one cake or two, yesterday?"

    "Oh wow, I actually got it. I got it. in. I AM GOING TO BE A SUPERHERO! I have special skills maybe!" This was the point that the young man decided it was time to do a victory dance. Of course being over 300 pounds and things might start to wobble. Such as a nice picture of your family that was on the wall, that is now on the ground. The glass was cracked and Corey knew it was his fault. "Man." He quickly grabbed a broom and made amends with the floor and the picture frame. Sighing and going back over to the letter, he continues his happy dance, but with a lot more control. He picked up the badge and his eyes widened as did the smile. This was going to be so awesome. Finally, he would be with people like him. Well, maybe not like him. But other misfits and outcasts that society pushed aside despite actually being more useful than your average person in one way or another. Not to say they are better, of course.

    He looked back into the arriving envelope. There is a badge. "Awesome!" Taking it out, it was heavily examined for memorization of detail and being committed to memory. "Oh man, what pants am I going to wear?" He rushes off for only what can bee described as a teenager fashion montages for pants. It was all he generally wore. If people didn't have such an issue with social norms he could go naked and still not be giving anyone the full monty. This wasn't counting his job though, since there are work regulations and policy bullshit to content with. There he has a full uniform that makes him feel like a raging douchenozzle. Still, it was nice money after...negotiations were made. He essentially had the dock all to himself and the only time he had to talk with anyone else was if someone came back to check on him or to offer help if it was a large truck.

    But now it was fashion week in the George loft and the perfect one had to be worn. First impressions were important as hell. Sweatpants were too laid back. Shorts were too eager. The skir--wait where the hell did the skirt from? He stared at his window to see it was open. seems as though he had a visitor who thinks they know how to accent his hips. Bullshit. Even if he wore women's clothes, he was far too bulky for a skirt of this size. Dickheads and pervs they were.

    Fabric shenanigans aside, Corey went back to the closet. After finally finding something suitable in the form of some charcoal pinstripe pants, he knew this was what he needed. Tomorrow and the day after were off days so their was plenty of time to get a handle on this whole patrol thing. Hopefully, they were going to get paid handsomely. With the money they already gave him, he would say that it would be more than worth it. With the outfit picked out, he figured he would keep the badge in his pocket when he got to wearing them. Of course, he might need to display it when on duty. Fishing line would work, for now. After testing the tie, he put it beside the pants in his room.

    Tomorrow was going to be awesome.

    -Awesome Tomorrow-

    The chitin man hopped out of bed all kinds of excited. Getting all of his errands done with only a couple of people giving him looks of disgust and/or horror. Good day indeed.

    Chinatown wasn't exactly close to his loft so it would probably serve him best to fly at least some of the way. Unfortunately, the cab drivers were not kind today and Corey had to use his wings to rush to get there. Not something he was good at doing. When he couldn't fly anymore the wings went limp and he feel only a few feet from the ground. Which wasn't an issue since he at least missed the car and hit pavement. "Ow." He whispered.

    Footing it the rest of the way, it seems quite a few people ended up making it here before him. Corey wanted to go up and greet them all, but there was just one problem. He didn't have a clue who the fuck these people were. Not to mention a bulky blue beetle monster might cause just as many double takes. Would they accept him?

    He just ended up standing just outside the group that had formed, looking awkward as hell. The nerves hit him a little bit and his excitement turned into caution as the talkers talk and listeners listened. Fuck it, he was going in.

    "Hey there guys!" He said waving and trying to get into the group that almost everyone looked like everyone else, excluding one. At least someone might understand what it's like to looked fucked up. "I see I am token monster fugly guy on the team." He said with a sincere laugh, hoping his self deprecation would make him more approachable.
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  11. Alice Shockley, Super Hero

    The late morning sun slipped through the closed blinds of a window, revealing the single bedroom of a small downtown apartment. A single beam found itself assaulting the eye of a certain blue haired super hero, who lay in bed cursing the sun. With grim determination, Alice pulled her comforter over her eyes, but she would find her struggle to be in vain. With a rude screeching, her phone's alarm gave her a cruel reminder of the day's duties. With righteous fury and terrible anger, Alice kicked her comforter off of her and onto the floor where it added to the field of dirty laundry that had permeated throughout the brownstone. She then crawled out of the bed, and stretched. A bolt of blue shot off the top of her head as if someone had ran a wet hand across the top of her head.

    Stumbling her way along, Alice trudged towards her stereo system. She smashed the power button and a song began to blare over the speakers. She cranked the volume and made her way to the shower, shedding the over sized t-shirt she was wearing along the way. Washing herself in the shower, Alice had begun to shake the fog of sleep from her mind. The steam from the hot shower fogged the mirror, and coated the walls with a fine mist. She shut off the water, and stepped out of the shower onto the cold linoleum floor. She quickly dried herself before walking over to the sink. There she grabbed a blackened butter knife that was sitting on the sink, next to her toothbrush. Without fear, Alice shoved the knife into the nearby socket. The plastic socket melted slightly and a few sparks shot out. Her hair sizzled and cracked as the water left in it evaporated. With all the moisture gone, her hair stood ever so slightly on end, as if it was full of static electricity. Alice pulled the knife from the wall and dropped it on the counter before finishing her morning routine.

    She went back into her room and got dressed. A black tank top and jeans would only be appropriate for what she had planned later today. This was when her stomach made its needs known with a great roar of hunger, and last night's pizza returned the call from the fridge. A few steps and tripping over a pair of her favorite boots later, Alice was in the kitchen sating the beast with a couple slices of cold pizza. With Mission: Breakfast complete, Alice plopped herself in front of her computer.

    Pulling a pair of black nitrile gloves from a box, she booted up her computer. She took care not to touch any of the computer without a layer of rubber to insulate. She then took to the internet, fingers furiously clacking away at her keyboard. She spent a solid two hours tending to her social media accounts. Reading to and responding to comments on her various Youtube channels, reading top tier shit posts, and seeing what other super heroes were up to on Twitter.

    With her limited internet fame safe and secure for another day, she turned her attention to the letter she had received in the mail a couple days prior. She had serious doubts that anyone actually sent letters anymore, but maybe it had something to do with the government being a few years behind the times, and the fact that you can't exactly email someone a pin. Alice had been ecstatic when she received the letter however. It wasn't every day that the city officially recognized a vigilante as a member of a new sort of police unit. Having read the letter several times, Alice was ready to finally get out and kick some ass. She wasted the rest of the day browsing the internet.

    When it finally came time to leave for the meeting, Alice went and found her Battle Bootstm. They were the best you compromise of fashion and practicality she could find in a rubber boot. Thank God for fetishists. On her way out the door, she grabbed her bag containing her film equipment, her leather jacket, and her motorcycle helmet and threw them all on.

    She rushed down the three stories of stairs to the ground floor where she exited the building and mounted her bike, a BMW 800 gs, and flicked the ignition. The motorcycle roared to life, and she set off racing down the roads towards the meeting place. She aggressively wove between cars, and sped down tight alleys on her way to her destination, a wide mouthed grin on her face.

    With her use of shortcuts, and her complete disregard of traffic laws, she found herself in front of the abandoned warehouse rather quickly. Thankfully she wasn't the first one here. It was always awkward standing around with one or two others waiting for more people to show up. Alice pulled her motorcycle right up to the group and cut the engine. She kicked out the stand and jumped off.

    "Hey ya guys!" She jovially shouted at the group with a waive and a removal of her helmet. She gave her head a shake and her helmet head went away, her hair regaining its natural upright look. "So, my name is Alice, but please feel free to call me Fuse while I'm filming." She noticed Glitter Bomb and his camera, "Oh, or while any of us are filming I suppose. Hey, do you mind if I could get that footage from you at the end of the night? I would really love to edit it together with what I capture. I'll do the same for you, of course!" Her smile stretched nearly from ear to ear.

    Black gloves still on, she pulled her gear from her bag and set up the camera in its chest rig. As she did so, she continued to address the group. "So, I see we have quite the cast of characters here, and all these costumes! I love it!" Alice took the time to carefully examine each of the assembled group. She did her best to hide her surprise to see the seemingly scab covered man, the chitinous beetle man, or the scarred woman, but she found herself slipping. "Oh my. What a group! What a group indeed!" She perked up and smiled even larger to try and mask her discomfort.

    With her observations of the group came a startling revelation. "Oh! I almost forgot!" She pulled the pin from her pocket and set it on her camera's harness. "There we go!" She internally cringed as the realization that she was coming across as a grade A ditz set in. These people probably thought she was a moron.
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  12. [​IMG]
    Ariana Clever || Molecular Manipulation || 25 || #5599bb
    Location: 1010 Backer Street
    Interactions: Ramona Baron (Q) - @Mundane Monster || Corey George (Exo-Titan) - @Cerulean || Alice Shockley (Fuse) - @Potatocat
    Mentions: Char Beckett (Glitter Bomb) - @Tyrannosaurus Rekt || John Paterson (Parsha) - @Goldmarble


    Seemingly as quick as she disappeared, the dark skinned woman reappeared in costume - well, there goes her shifter theory - but she couldn't take in more than the shiny jewelry before the woman made a sudden beeline toward her and addressed her in German. "Ist das Ihre Leistung? Es ist toll!" She blinked in minor confusion. Preformance? Granted it must be awkward trying to find a German word for their purposes, and so quickly recovered with a grin and went to continue their conversation since it was nice to actually have some one else who understood the language, but was cut off when an enthusiastic greeting sounded from behind her.

    She blinked. She blinked again. There was a giant, talking beetle behind them. His exoskeleton reflected what light there was as he approached them, looking friendly enough despite his mutation. Well, if there was a guy with them who bore a resemblance to a crocodile, why not one who looked like a giant beetle? Ariana went for a welcoming grin, but fell into a frown at the self discriminating remark. Poor guy must get that a lot. She quickly changed tactics and this time succeeded at grinning. "Vait, let me guess, Beetle-Dude," she teased, trying make him feel at least a little bit more relaxed. Of course, Ariana never really had a typical way of doing things and she may have just as well offended him...

    The next member of their party didn't give her time to consider this, however, arriving soon after Beetleman on a motorcycle and with a camera in tow. "So, my name is Alice, but please feel free to call me Fuse while I'm filming." Once again, Ariana was baffled. Filming? Filming what exactly? She couldn't be reminded of the last bit of what the fully costumed dude was saying and her frown deepened. Ariana didn't remember signing anything, she'd definitely remember something like that, and definitely wouldn't have done this is she knew she would be filmed! "So, I see we have quite the cast of characters here, and all these costumes! I love it!" the woman continued on saying. She was making this sound like some kind of production...

    The German woman went beet red; was this not an actual vigilante force she thought she had signed up for? Was that what the dark skinned woman meant went she asked if her power was her performance? What the hell did she get herself into?! She tried to remember everything the flyer had mentioned. Maybe there was some small print she may have missed? If there was something on T.V. about it she wouldn't have known, the news didn't interest her! This was quickly turning out to be an over used beginning of a cliché anime: cute girl makes a mistake obvious to the audience, finally realizes her mistake too late and other cute members of the cast laugh at her, and before she knows it she's swept up in a whole mess of trouble. She personally found such situations unrealistic but here she was living it! Somewhere, an anime writer was snickering to himself. Karma's a bitch!

    She cleared her throat, trying to will away her blush and hoping the foundation she used masked at least a little of it, and replied, "I sink zere's been some sort of mistake. I didn't signed up to be filmed." She schooled her features and planted her hands on hips, waiting the inevitable stunned silence and laughter that would no doubt follow if this really wasn't what she had signed up for.
    #12 Noctis the Devious, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  13. Cassie sat on her couch with her leather jacket in one hand and a badge in the other. The letter that had come with the badge was laying on the coffee table a couple feet away, but it was the badge that held her attention now. It just wouldn't do. She would have to pin the thing to her jacket to be visible while she was out and working with the Volt Patrol, but she was loathe to damage the leather with an invasive pin. Repeatedly putting on and removing the badge would end up leaving tons of tiny holes in the material, which could end up making the thing look shabby. Cassie wasn't one to obsess over looking her best at all times, but she adored the jacket and had spent far too much on it to be happy with damaging it. She supposed she could just leave the badge in it permanently, but that would mean keeping the jacket off whenever she wasn't on a job for the Volt Patrol, and that would be irritating. She could think of only one perfect solution, and that required a shopping expedition.

    A few minutes after she'd reached her decision, Cassie was pedaling her bike out of her apartment complex and into the bike lane of the road out front. It was a mountain bike rather than one intended for use in a city, with a heavy frame painted dark green and tires with knobby treads meant to dig into dirt, but it worked just fine on the street too. Cassie had owned many bikes over the years, using them as her primary means of transportation rather than dangerous and environmentally damaging cars, and mountain biked had quickly become her favorite for their adaptability. Though she'd never intended it when purchasing her first one, she actually did make off-road use of it on some weekend trips away from the city. Biking to get from place to place also came with the bonus of more or less eliminating the need for additional exercising to keep in shape. Cassie had extolled the virtues of bicycles to her friends and coworkers many times (to the point of annoyance in some instances), but none had cared to take the advice when the convenience of cars, buses, and the subway system existed.

    The store she finally stopped in front of, The Urban Stash, was an odd place. It had started out as just a local arts and crafts store run by a family headed by an old woman who'd never quite gotten her head out of the 1970s. As time went on and they expanded, taking up more and more space in the strip mall by annexing neighboring stores that went out of business, it eventually became a sprawling gargantuan that drew everyone from aspiring artists to elderly ladies seeking knitting supplies to school kids that had been assigned crafty projects. It had adapted to modern wants and needs over time, with some nods to the legacy of the founder, and now it carried a rather eclectic variety of supplies and contained a cafe and a recreational marijuana dispensary. Cassie didn't partake of the latter amenity, but the cafe made some fantastic soups that were usually worth the fifteen minute bike ride even if she was only going for the food. This time she skipped the food and went hunting through the aisles for what she wanted. It was right where she expected, off in the same section as the sewing machines, and she even found one on a good sale.

    One return trip later, this time a twenty minute ride due to a detour mandated by a car accident blocking a road, Cassie brought her new toy back to the spare room in her apartment. Others might have called it a craft room, and it more or less was a craft room, but the term made her feel far too grandmotherly so it was always just the spare room in her mind. One side of the room was taken up by a homemade clothes rack, just a simple framework of PVC pipes, that held various completed and in progress items of clothing. Few such creations had ever left this room, mainly because she was not very confident in her work, but it was something to do to pass the time when she wasn't bogged down with work for her slow online schooling efforts to pursue her PhD in Veterinary Medicine and couldn't find anything worth watching on TV. She pulled the new gadget out of her backpack and found a place to set it up on the table taken up by a sewing machine, loose bits of fabric, flimsy paper pieces of clothing patterns, and a random scattering of buttons and pins and spools of thread.

    The grommet press was a neat little tool she'd considered buying a couple years ago when she needed a new shower curtain, but the supply of waterproof fabrics at The Urban Stash hadn't appealed to her at the time. It was more or less a huge hole puncher, though rather than just cutting a hole in the fabric it would insert a ring of metal that would make the hole nice and secure. Cassie rifled through her pile of fabrics and found a thick piece of denim from her failed attempt to make a jacked out of the material and tested the grommet press on it. It took more upper body strength than she'd expected to press the lever down hard enough to get through the denim, but it was manageable and the leather would be easier. After handful of additional test runs, she tossed the fabric back into the pile with its new metal-rimmed holes and went to retrieve the leather jacket and badge from where she'd left them. By then she was a deft hand with the tool and was able to punch two tiny grommets into the jacket, on the upper left of the chest, and use the badge's pin to poke out the tiny discs of leather left within. The new holes with their steel rims were small enough that they wouldn't be distractingly visible when she wasn't wearing the badge, nor would they allow in much water in case of rain. The pin slid cleanly through the holes and was easy to slip into its secured position.

    Cassie admired the work with a sense of pride and a slight smile on her face for a few seconds, then checked the time. 6:58 PM. Well, there was nothing for it but to get ready for the first meeting of the Volt Patrol, then. She grabbed her special bag off of a pile of wood in one corner of the room, a relic of her first attempt at building a clothing rack before deciding carpentry was not her forte, and hauled it over to the sewing table. She kicked off her sneakers and replaced them with heavy steel-toed boots from the bag; not exactly comfortable to wear, but they'd hurt like hell if she had need to kick someone. The dark blue jeans and plain red t-shirt she was wearing were good enough for her purposes, so she pulled on the leather jacket; the badge came off and went into a pocket for now, to be replaced when she arrived on the job. Next came the belt, a fine piece of work that she'd gotten made by an acquaintance met at The Urban Stash, specially crafted to hold her tranquilizer gun on her right hip and the box of darts on the left. All the darts were fresh, filled with their mix of water and her own special ingredient earlier that day. With everything in place she walked over to the full length mirror tucked in a corner by the table, gave herself a quick once over, pulled a hair tie out of her supply bag, got her hair up in a simple ponytail, looked herself over again, then nodded to her reflection. She looked determined, but inside it was more a mix of determination and nerves. Cassie took a deep breath, gave herself another nod, and headed out the door.


    A few minutes before 8 PM, Cassie rolled to a stop before the designated meeting place. It was clearly the right place, given the motley assortment of people hanging about out front, so she wheeled her bike over to the stop sign at a nearby corner. She unlooped her long chain lock from the bike frame, then through tires and frame and around the sign to secure it well enough that she hoped no thieves would try their luck. This wasn't the greatest part of town, but the chain was thick enough to withstand all but the most determined of thieves, so she figured her odds were good to find her bike still in place when she returned. That done, she fished the badge out of her jacket pocket, put it on using the fancy new grommet holes (and felt another little surge of pride over the work), checked her watch to see she was down to the last minute, then hurried on over to the crowd of people near the building.

    Rather than trying to socialize with the disparate lot, Cassie simply hovered near the edge of the group and gave anyone who looked at her the expression she liked to think of as her friendly business smile. It consisted of just enough upward curvature of the lips to appear pleased to meet someone, plus eyebrows raised slightly to imply interest in whatever they had to say. She hoped nobody could see how nervous she actually was, but it was far too late to worry about something like that. Cassie stuck her hands in her jacket pockets to keep from fiddling with something as she usually did when nerves got to her, but it sort of failed because that meant her left hand had access to the folded up Volt Patrol acceptance letter that she'd brought with her in case someone asked for further proof than the badge. With nothing else to do but toy with the paper, she looked over the others as she waited, wondering what sort of abilities they all had and what sort of job they'd be assigned first.
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  14. "Did you hear David applied? David. Could you imagine if he got famous after all this time?" A pretty blonde began cackling loudly, almost spilling the mug of coffee in her hand. Her redheaded sister, curled in a plush armchair opposite, chuckled in agreement. The David they were talking about so happened to be a younger sibling of theirs, a meta-human with an ability to summon and communicate with cats. This power was all well and good, until one realised that cats rarely follow orders or pose much of a threat to anything that isn't a piece of furniture. His teenage years had consisted mostly of trying to use this ability to try and get laid, with less than spectacular results.

    You never know, it's probably going to wind up to be some kind of PR thing the mayor's office has got going. Kids would love a guy like him." Alexandra Alfson, the redhead, sipped at her coffee with a smirk. She too had applied in response to the flyer, and like her brother, she hadn't really expected to join the programme. She was known as Althea, a recent and fairly unknown addition to the vigilantes on the streets of Voltapolis. No fancy costume for her yet; just some borrowed and modified gear that seemed to do a satisfactory job of obscuring her true ability - for now. She was hardly a living weapon, but she took down her considerable share of thugs. Unlike her brother, she'd received notice of her acceptance the day before - the proof of which weighed surprisingly heavily in her cardigan pocket.

    "So, did you apply Alex?" The blonde, Maggie, raised an eyebrow and shot her younger sibling that look. Alex's stomach twisted slightly. Her sister had a way of knowing things that she felt a manager at a medium sized clothing company had no business knowing. She paused, shrugged and shook her head.
    "Nah, I'm managing okay on my own as it is, right?"
    "You could at least use the backup, stop yourself getting roughed up so much."
    "Are you aware of my particular skill set?"
    "Being able to heal from getting the living shit getting kicked out of you doesn't make getting the shit kicked out of you any better."
    There was an edge to Maggie's voice now, and the two sisters glowered at each other over the coffee table. Alex's jaw tensed, her grip on her coffee cup tightening. Her new found life as a vigilante wasn't sitting well with her sibling, and it was fast becoming a bone of contention in an once peaceful household. There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence between the two sisters, broken by the elder. "I should be going anyway. I'm going to miss my train."
    "Yeah. Give my love to Mom and Dad, and anyone else who's home."
    "Remind me why you can't come again?"
    "I have other plans,"
    "Yeah, right."

    Alex didn't notice the cracks spreading across her mug until it shattered in her grasp, moments after Maggie left. She swore as she stripped off her wet clothes, throwing them into a basket before she dealt with the shards of ceramic. She didn't even notice the rapidly healing gash on her hand until she spotted the blood stains. Great, what a fantastic start to her weekend.
    Alexandra set to work, stretching and warming up. She might need her ability to work on more important places than micro tears in her muscles later. She pulled out her sister's old riding gear from a compartment under her bed, the already reinforced clothing now modified with enhancements of her own. She liked the look it gave her - solid, yet relatively inconspicuous. Applying a solid layer of dark eyeshadow around her eyes to sit under her mask, Alex debated using the scarf to obscure the lower half of her face. By the time she'd finished braiding and pinning up her hair, she had decided against it. She wanted to make a good impression and stopping to fix a scarf every couple of minutes might ruin it for her.

    Suited up and ready for action, Althea eased herself out of her bedroom window, landing quietly on the fire escape outside. Mrs Sanders next door had a nasty habit of spying on the hallway, and she had no intention of trying to explain herself... again. She descended quickly downwards, letting herself into the garage and fetching her helmet and hopping onto her bike. No cameras around to catch her here. She patted her bike for good luck, took a deep breath, and headed out towards the rendezvous point.

    Alex ended up parking her bike and helmet in a friend's garage, conveniently located about ten minutes away from the meet-up location. He wouldn't even know they were there, and if he did stumble across them, knew better than to ask too many questions. She pinned on her badge to her chest as she walked down Backer Street. The group of assembled recruits was hard to miss, even from this distance. She studied each one in view as she grew closer, none of them terribly familiar, although the one insectoid man caught her eye. He bore something of a resemblance to her Aunt Nicky, and she found herself wondering if they might be related. Stranger things had happened, especially in her family tree.

    Some of the group seemed to already be chatting, although she only heard the last sentence spoken in a heavy accent. Althea balked slightly, her face reddening. Manners seemed to slip her mind for a moment, as she scrambled to remember the exact contents of the letter addressed to her. "Filming? The letter didn't say anything about being filmed." She spluttered, obviously flustered by this revelation. The girl with the accent seemed to be as clueless as she was, so maybe she hadn't read the letter wrong. "I'm not taking part in some weird live stream or documentary or whatever the hell it is you're up to,"
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  15. [​IMG]


    Location: 1010 Backer St, Chinatown, Voltapolis
    Weather: Overcast, windy, possibility of rain
    Featuring: Rin Maki (Mayor); Black Blossom; Volt Patrol members

    Ms. Mayor Rin Maki sat in her limo for another five minutes, purposely waiting a little bit past eight o’clock before making her way to meet the Volt Patrol. Her chauffeur was leaned against the car outside, smoking one of his delicious aromatic cigarettes. Rin had changed into darker clothes, opting for tight-fitting pants and a white tanktop under a black vest while her feet were clad in high leather boots. Despite the comfortable heel, she wasn’t very tall – her attitude would have to make up for it. Her car still smelled of sex and apples, the memories of her previous encounter covering every inch of the car seats; a smile of satisfaction crept on her face as she took one last, deep breath before knocking on the window for Carl to open the door for her.

    The building before her was an old warehouse that had been somewhat renovated in the previous years by a high-end corporation, which had bought the building but had never used it. Being so close to the Chinatown district, it was probably an old factory before it was abandoned and transformed into a storage warehouse for the past decade or so. It was five stories high, with a basement that should be condemned, and an access to the roof. It was of comparable height to the other buildings in the area, so the view on the roof did not offer anything particularly special. The brick wall had obviously been painted at some point, but slowly the natural red of the bricks was resurfacing while the windowsills kept their dark colours. Surprisingly enough, none of the windows were broken, and no trace of vandalism could be seen – one might have thought the building was under some kind of protection spell.

    Without really acknowledging the group of freaks waiting right outside the door, Rin pulled out a key from her coat pocket and unlocked the door, pulling it wide open with loud sounds of protest from the hinges. ”Please follow me.” She cast a look at the group, her voice commanding and not very friendly. She flicked on the entrance light and headed down a short hallway, past a narrow metallic staircase, her heels clacking loudly on the concrete floor.

    The mayor pushed open a pair of adjacent doors, triggering the light switches in the next room, and what was next was probably far from what anyone expected. What used to be a large storage room was now more like a makeshift office: desks, chairs, pinning boards, and even what looked like a coffee area were scattered around in a strange orderly fashion. It looked like your everyday office, with lamps and other desk appropriate furniture here and there. She led them to the middle of the vast, echoing room where more than a dozen chairs were placed.

    The mayor sat on the one facing the door, outside of which Carl her chauffeur and accomplice was standing, in case someone arrived late. The group sat down on one at a time, and they earned an approving head nod from her. Good, most of them were on time. She had been made aware of those who would show up late or not at all for this first meeting. It wasn’t the best of situations, but at least she still a controlling grasp on the situation. Once they were all seated, she stood up to make her small but necessary introduction speech.

    ”Good evening, everyone. As most of you know, my name is Rin Maki, and I am the mayor of Voltapolis.” Her eyes surveyed every single one of them as she spoke, her voice strong and unfaltering in front of all the freakiness of the group. ”Welcome to the Volt Patrol. You have all been selected based on personality traits and unique powers which some of you possess, or extraordinary qualities that are near impossible to find in… regular human beings. We will begin with introductions, before we can move on to the details of your first job.” The mayor walked to the closest table holding a variety of items and papers. She took a clipboard and came back to her seat. She remained standing.

    The mayor cleared her throat and directed her hand towards the first member of the Volt Patrol, Glitter Bomb. She managed to refrain from blushing at his tight costume despite the burning memory of their moments together.

    Char rubbed his wrists as the mayor pointed towards him, and tugged at the end of his sleeves. "Hello, my name is Glitter Bomb. You may have heard of me. Of course, the entire naming incident happened via the local news and not at my own discretion. Seriously. Why would I call myself that?" He placed his hands on his hips. "My ability is creating very bright and very hot plasma that can explode upon command. The reason I bring this up, is that I would hate to blind any of you, because then you'll miss how amazing this ass is in this outfit." He chuckled softly. "I'm just kidding. Not really. Glad to be working with you, yadda yadda. I'm sure you guys are all very competent." The expression on his face said otherwise.

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the second member of the Volt Patrol, Fuse. She thought the girl looked pretty young, and upon a quick verification on her clipboard, she was reminded that indeed, Fuse was their youngest member.

    Alice waved to the group and introduced herself with a smile, "Hello guys! As I said before, my name is Alice, but please call me Fuse while we are out on patrol. As I said," She pointed the the camera on her chest, "I will be filming our missions from our point of view and uploading them to my Youtube channel. Don't worry, I'll make sure to try and edit everything to be as flattering as possible." She shot a quick wink to Cassie. She paused as if she were done before she jumped slightly as if something startled her. "Oh!"

    She took the glove off her right and and made a finger gun at a nearby telephone pole. When she dropped her thumb down like the hammer of a gun, an arc of lightning leapt from her index finger and struck the pole. A loud crack and the smell of burnt atmosphere filled the air.

    "So, that's me!" She smiled as she replaced the glove.

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the third member of the Volt Patrol, Red Riot. Rin caught herself mid-frown at the strange woman's gas mask and cybernetic eye. She had to be ready to see some weird shit...

    Red Riot had been bubbling in anticipation throughout the other two's introductions - her discipline managed to keep the excitement from showing too much in her movements, but she was quickly tapping her foot to try and let the energy out in a less obvious way. As the mayor nodded towards her, she perked up, and smiled broadly - not that it could be easily seen behind the large black gas mask. "Well, I, hello!" Her voice crackled from the speakers installed on the outside of her mask. Not the best start. "I am Red Riot, and I am just very excited to be here!" She clapped her hands to emphasize her excitement.

    She bit her lip. How in-depth should she go? She reached for her rifle, slung over her back, and presented it for the group. She supposed she couldn't go too in-depth, but they'd definitely like to know her capabilities. "I invented this, along with most of the other things I have on me -" she gestured to the rest of her equipment, "- Or at least, I manufactured it. I mean, I made the design for the gun but I didn't make guns, that would be silly!" She nervously looked around at her teammates before continuing. "The barrel extends, allowing for an effective range of anywhere between a hundred and a thousand meters. More if the conditions are right!" She quickly re-slung her rifle and pulled out her pistol, spinning it gracefully around her index finger. "I use this one for close encounters. I have a lot of different rounds, but I can fire any of them from these guns. None of them lethal, of course - Most of the ones I have are tranq darts, but I also have some tracing rounds, local anesthetic, muscle paralytics, pain relievers, stick 'n' shock..." She trailed off for a minute. Was she talking too much, again? "Well, I've got a lot." She looked down sheepishly.

    "Anyway. I've also got a couple of these grenades, but none of them explode. Just some sleeping gas and regular smoke grenades. It's all nonlethal, of course! Plus, I don't like to brag, but I can probably handle myself in a fight all right." Red Riot lifted her head back up and re-holstered her pistol. She hoped that she had gotten her point across. She, of course, had not mentioned the very real and very lethal bullets she was carrying with her. They didn't need to know about that, yet. "That's what I'm bringing to the table!" Her eye widened. "Oh, right, my eye! I forgot!" She pointed eagerly at her electronic eyeball, which glinted as it flicked into infrared mode. It moved as she examined her teammates' heat signatures. "It can zoom and see in infrared. Not the most useful thing but it could come in handy." She let out a deep breath into the mask. "So, uh, that's it." She nodded confidently and looked back at the mayor, and the next member of the team.

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the fourth member of the Volt Patrol, Exo-Titan. She knew they've have their token monster-looking person, and she preferred to have a beetle-looking man than some kind of croco--- her eyes fell on another member, and she halted her thoughts.

    A wide smile cracked his face, when he was gestured to. It was now his turn after a few others had done their own little introduction to the others. He wanted to do a good job...if there even was a way to do that with this.

    Taking a small forward, he waved and smiled to the people that had gathered. "Hey there, my ninjas. Uh, I'm Corey George. Exo-Titan for those who don't find that suitable. Exo for short. Tit if you feel like getting defenestrated. I look forward to getting to know you guys and, um, I guess lets kick some ass." He said, jovially.

    Feeling satisfied, he steps back and waits for the next person.

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the fifth member of the Volt Patrol, Hustle. She wouldn't recognize him because of his mask, but she couldn't help but mentally comment on his very attractive physique. Her eyes darted back to Glitter Bomb and she shrugged.

    Hustle leaned back on his chair, flicking a coin into the air off of his thumb. He had the tip of his hat draped over his eyes as he continued to flip the coin up; only to expertly drop it back onto his thumb. Of course, the trick was that he was using his magnetism, but no one needed to know that now, did they?

    With Exo-Titan done introducing himself, Michael leaned forward and caught the coin; nodding towards the mayor. “ Well, I ain’t as impressive as this big fella; but I go by the name Hustle. ” He said, letting the words and his faux-Texan accent settle in the air. “ I got a few tricks up my sleeve, but my main gimmick is I’m a Metallomancer – I manipulate magnetism.” As if to prove a point, he reached a finger out, pointing at the zipper on the Mayor’s vest and tugging on it a little, pulling it down a few inches. He winked at the woman, before leaning back again. “ S’all you need to know ‘bout me. I’m a simple sorta fella. I work hard, I play hard. 'S bout it. ” He said, lowering his hat over his eyes again, hiding the mild nervousness that might flicker across his eyes. He wasn’t used to the character he was playing, but he knew that Hustle would flirt and tease; especially with a pretty, powerful figure like the mayor.

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the sixth member of the Volt Patrol, Snooze. Rin mildly recognized the girl from those commercials a few years ago. A small smile crept on her lips and she waited to hear the woman's introduction

    Cassie shoved her hands into her jacket pockets, feeling decidedly out of place amongst the eclectic company. "I'm Cassandra Richter, but call me Cassie. I don't really do the, uh, secret identity thing. I had to pick an alias on the application form though, so I went with Snooze, because that's what some friends nicknamed me. I put things to sleep. I make this g--" She cut herself off, then shrugged. "Details. If I can touch them or shoot them, they're probably going to sleep. I've got some other tricks too. Uh, nice to meet you all?" Cassie shrugged again and looked back to the mayor, smiling nervously at the woman.

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the seventh member of the Volt Patrol, Parsha. The man had crocodile-like skin, he was huge -- but ultimately, he looked human. The mayor was furious with herself for her previous assumption, and she distracted herself by scratching her chin as she listened to him.

    John nodded slightly, accepting his turn to speak, "I am John Patterson, though, to prevent the media from calling me something...distasteful, please use Parsha as a nickname or something." He took a moment to roll up his left sleeve a little, to show how extensive his mutation ran, "Yes, I am like this everywhere. No, I cannot change my skin. I also regenerate when harmed." He casually motioned to carry on with the introductions, as he settled his sleeve back in place.

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the eighth member of the Volt Patrol, Q. The woman looked even younger than Fuse, yet her age on her file stated otherwise. The mayor frowned and made a mental note to ask perhaps for a proof of age from this young lady.

    Q was busy marveling at all the cool people who were her new team mates. Even the great glittering douche was cool and eye patch lady-- Red Riot, was surprisingly friendly despite her imposing and post apocalyptic appearance.Q could already tell who she was going to become fast friends with; Red Riot, Fuse, maybe the giant bug when his appearance didn't make her gag, definitely Parsha. Q could feel her cheeks heating up as she wondered whether relations between team members would be allowed, glancing at the mayor, Q didn't think it would be wise to broach the subject-- aaand, said woman was gesturing at her. It took Q a few moments to get herself together before she launched into her introduction and demonstration. "Hi I'm Q and I'm an alcoholic--Heh. Just kidding. Um, I'm Q and I am the vessel of Quetzalcoatl-- the Aztec god of wind and knowledge-- and I can control wind!" With a flashy spin on her heel, which wasn't at all necessary, Q made everyone's hair whip around their heads as if they were on a runway. "Yup, so that's me! Nice to meet you all!"

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the ninth member of the Volt Patrol, Morphix. The woman had a look which reminded Rin of underground... subcultures... things from mostly Europe or even Japan, where cybergoth styles were more popular.

    Ariana hummed in thought and crossed her arms. "Feel free to call me Morphix, as in morph, as in my ability to morph small objects into sand. It's almost like disintegrating zings but, you know, not nearly as impressive." She offered a rare sheepish smile and shrugged. "I mainly use a staff to fight. It's quick and gets the job done. I vouldn't consider myself a heavy hitter, more like a hitter vho hits and hopes she doesn't get hit back. Ozer san zat, I sink zat's all you really need to know about me." She didn't feel the need to make this personal, but at least letting them know her strengths and weaknesses in fight was better than nothing.

    The mayor nodded and directed her hand towards the tenth member of the Volt Patrol, Althea. She had almost arrived late, a little after eight PM, just seconds before the mayor herself. This did not please the mayor, but she didn't mention anything. She went to note something on her file, but changed her mind and simply smiled at the young woman.

    Alex nodded as the others introduced themselves, an odd fluttering growing in her stomach as she realised that she was close to last. She distracted herself by trying to focus on the others, although that seemed to do little to ease the tension in her stomach. She shifted from one foot to another as she waited for her turn, blinking in surprise when the mayor indicated she was up next. She cleared her throat before speaking, trying to sound a little more confident that she felt.

    "I'm Althea. To put it simply, my body heals injuries super-fast and I'm stronger than average too."

    The mayor checked her phone for the time and sighed. The latecomers would have to be dealt with separately. ”One of our members will be working with us from a distance. She is known as Black Blossom, you may have heard of her. She has precognition abilities that are bit wonky and I have yet to see any of it be useful, but she has an incredible ability to access any network in Voltapolis.”

    Rin went back to the same table as earlier and took a plastic container in her hands. She made handed everyone sitting in the circle a simple version of a smartphone. ”These phone are prepaid, without any particular expiration dates. They are programmed to be able to only call the numbers in the contacts – which means every single phone in this box, the police chief, and myself. Any other calls or text messages will not go through. If we catch anyone trying to hack them to add more numbers, it will be confiscated. Make sure you don’t lose it, break it, or damage it.”

    The mayor sat back on her chair and looked through the notes on her clipboard again. She explained to them that they would be divided in pairs, and that they were to tackle different entrances in different stores and such. They would have to make their way in the basement of the place they were assigned at, and go through the underground Chinatown tunnels. Longwei was known to keep his important papers (fabricated licences, forged certificates, and even his spellbooks) in the same underground cell. It was sure to be guarded, and there was no way of knowing which entrance would be the most efficient, or if they would all get there at the same time. Needless to stay, they needed to be smart about this, and avoid attracting the attention to themselves. Thankfully, Chinatown was home to some of the freakiest freaks, so masks and suits were definitely not out of place – they would actually blend well and hide their Caucasian heritage if that was the case.

    ”One last thing. You are not criminals or vigilantes. You represent the city of Voltapolis, you are there to stop the lunatic that is Longwei Yu. Any serious injuries or worse caused to civilians or even Longwei’s goons will reflect very badly on us. I cannot promise you a safe place in the Volt Patrol if you kill someone. I hope I make myself clear.”

    Getting up once again, Rin walks in the middle of the circle and starts pointing the pairs.

    ”Glitter Bomb and Parsha. Red Riot and Morphix. Snooze and Exo-Titan. Q and Fuse. Hustle and Althea.” Once she was done pairing them, Rin reached into the plastic bin again, taking out small folders and handing them to each pair. ”Group 1: Canton Bazaar. Group 2: Walk the Wok. Group 3: Black Dragon Tearoom. Group 4: Mr. Fa’s Antiques. Group 5: The Bubbling Bath House. These establishments are situated close to each other – and since we will be working from tunnels, the phones you were handed have been modified to have a continuous signal despite being surrounded by concrete. Don’t question it… Magic. Right, keys…” Rin rubbed her temples and exhaled heavily. Keys to the entrance of the warehouse were handed out with the specific instructions that this place was reserved for Volt Patrol work and nothing else; but they would still have the leisure of coming in any time to work on a case or meet with the group.

    This was a lot of information for them to take in, and they would have about an hour or so to prepare and coordinate – it was only 8:30 PM.

    ”Any questions?" The mayor was sitting back on her chair, pulling out a coffee can drink from her bag and swiftly gulping it down.

    At eight o’clock sharp, Black Blossom had texted the few Volt Patrol members who would be doing her bidding. She was sitting at her kitchen table with a warm sake bottle, a cigarette smoldering in a recently emptied ashtray. The mayor had mailed her a special phone as well, along with her own key to the warehouse. She didn’t think she’d ever have to use it, but she kept it always in eyesight.

    A quick Internet search revealed the plans of the specific establishments mentioned by the mayor, and it didn’t take long for her to find a bunch of urban stories about the “secret” underground tunnels that went all over Chinatown.

    ”This will be an interesting evening… Operation Exiled Dragon, begin.” Black Blossom smiled under her oni mask, tilting it slightly to take a nice swallow of her sake. She immediately sent a text message to all the members of the Volt Patrol.

    Text Message
    Good evening,

    Black Blossom reporting in. Let me know if you require any additional information about your assigned establishment.

    Good luck, play safe.

    -Black Blossom
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  16. With a ruffling of papers, Gideon Thorne packed away a stack of essays into his satchel and snapped the buckle shut with a soft click. A glance up at the clock on the classroom wall told him that he had just shy of two hours before he needed to be at the meeting place; it was more than enough time to get there, get changed, and perhaps even grab a cup of coffee or tea before the meeting began. He was beyond excited to have the opportunity to be working with other individuals like himself. Ever since he'd moved to Voltapolis, he'd felt more and more that he'd made the correct choice in relocating, and being accepted into an aspiring group of superheroes seemed almost too good to be true. The fact that the city treated people with abilities not as freaks, but as valued members of society was a wonderful new concept to him, and he was loving his new home more and more every day.

    As he pulled on his blazer and dug his keys out of the pocket, he again found his mind wandering to the letter that was stowed neatly in the glove compartment of his hatchback and he smiled. He had opted to drive today instead of biking, as he wanted to be sure he would have ample time to reach the meeting place, and it wasn't wholly unusual for his lab classes to run a bit over. He was particularly bad about forcing students out when they had questions, but today had gone smoothly and it was looking as though he would've had time to run home and grab his things after all. Just in case, he'd already gathered up his costume, which sat packed neatly into a bag in the hatch of his car.

    It had been a bit of a challenge to keep himself focused on lecture today, and he was glad to have finished up the day with a lab that was continuing a germination experiment. It was a three hundred level course, and the students were mostly self-sufficient as well as (at least mildly) interested in the subject of plant physiology. The lab was two hours long and had allowed him time to finish most of the grading before midterms-- which was going to take him at least three nights to finish all of the grading for his intro courses. He loved teaching at Voltapolis University, but he had well over 300 students in his one hundred level classes alone. Given, he was only doing minimal research this semester, but those exams began to add up.

    Pulling his satchel strap over his shoulder and heading toward the door, Gideon switched off the light to the lab. The fading evening light shown through the many windows along the hallway of the Vaughn Science building, casting grayish patches of light along the tiled floors. It was starting to look as though it might rain. Gideon pulled the door closed and started down the hall, his mind wandering to the others he would meet tonight and what was in store for them. Some kind of training, perhaps? Or did "first mission" mean they would be diving right in? Did superheroes receive paid training?

    Gideon had just reached the main doors when hurried footsteps approached, accompanied by a frantic shouting.

    "Dr. Thorne! Hey, Dr. Thorne, wait up!"


    Gideon groaned inwardly and suppressed the urge to hurry out of the building and into the parking lot. Instead, he turned and fixed a patient smile on his sharp features.

    "Hello, Kevin."

    "Hey! Oh, man, I'm glad I caught you before you left. I have some questions about that water circle we were going over today."

    "Water cycle," Gideon corrected. He was usually happy to answer questions, and Kevin was a nice kid, but he had a penchant for zoning out during class and then hounding him with questions after the fact. And, somehow, the conversation was always, without fail, guided to the topic of aliens and government conspiracy.

    "Yeah, that," Kevin replied, slinging his bag off his shoulder and pulling out a notebook. "I totally missed what you said about acid rain."

    "Judging by these notes," Gideon murmured, paging through the notebook, "it looks like you missed quite a bit."

    "I'm sorry. I'm just real bad at taking notes and I gotta pass this class."

    Gideon gave a tempered sigh and glanced down at his watch. "Do you have your textbook with you?"


    The silver hatchback zipped into a miraculously empty spot two blocks away from appointed meeting place, and Gideon nearly fell over himself getting out of the vehicle. Despite all of his efforts to make a quick escape from the campus, Kevin had managed to consume nearly forty minutes of his time, leaving Gideon with an hour to get across the city. Normally, it wouldn't have been too much of a feat, but it seemed that there had been an accident at an intersection, and traffic had jammed up for nearly four blocks. He had been ready to park and walk when the flow of traffic was finally restored. As such, he'd pulled into the parking spot at 7:57 pm, and he still needed to change. Hopefully there would be somewhere to do that once inside? Unsure, he grabbed the well-worn travel bag that was packed with his costume and jogged the two blocks to 1010 Backer St.

    By the time he caught sight of the building in question, the group that had been presumably gathered out front were disappearing through the doors.

    Cursing quietly to himself, Gideon darted across the road and followed them inside. He greatly disliked being late-- even more so when it was the first impression he would be making. Of course, he had texted the number that had been provided "in case issues arose," letting them know that he'd been held over at the university, but it hardly made him feel better about his belated arrival.

    He was just late enough to miss where the group had gone once they entered the warehouse. Quietly, he pushed the doors closed behind himself and peered around. There was a metal staircase off to one side and Gideon stared up at it curiously. He heard no footsteps on it, however, and decided to proceed forward instead. As he progressed down the hall, he caught sight of a man standing just outside a set of doors. Gideon gave a silent nod as he approached, and the man mirrored the gesture-- as if to inform him that he had indeed come to the right place.

    Instead of opening the doors, the man gestured to the bag over Gideon's shoulder and looked at him questioningly. "Wildwood?" he asked quietly.

    "Yes," Gideon replied, giving another nod. "Sorry about the time."

    "We got your message. You can change in there." The man gestured to a darkened side room.

    "Thank you," Gideon said with a grateful smile, then hastily vanished into the room where he changed as quickly as possible.

    Part of him was curious about how the others would be dressed. He'd only caught a brief glimpse from the street, but there looked to be a wide variety of people present, all with a variety of costumes. All things considered, his own costume was simple-- but it was practical and fit the bill well enough. He stripped away his outer clothes and tugged a thin neoprene brace onto his right knee, then pulled on the heavy pants and shirt, followed by the vest. It was partially water resistant, which might come in handy if the gathering clouds had been indication of the weather to come. He pulled on his boots, tucked his pants into them, and quickly tightened the laces. He decided it would be most appropriate to leave his hood down for now, and he stowed his mask away into the curve of the fabric. The gloves were also left off, stuffed into his pant pockets until they were needed.

    Packing his street clothes and shoes back into the bag, Gideon slung it over his shoulder and returned to the doors. The man standing guard spared him a sidelong glance, but said nothing more.

    Gideon waited silently for what must've been twenty minutes, listening to distorted snippets of conversation, before the man pushed open the doors and motioned him through.
    #16 DinoFeather, Oct 12, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
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  17. [​IMG]
    Location: Bar --> Home --> 1010 Backer St.
    Mentioned: NPCs, Gideon ( @DinoFeather )
    Interactions: Steven (NPC), Gaurd (NPC)
    Character Sheet: HERE
    Outfit: HERE --> Super Suit
    Color Ref: d12a00
    Super Suit: Suit + Mask


    Biting her lip, Xena's blue eyes swept from the crowd entering the bar to the clock hanging on the wall. It was only six and people were already piling in, the whole place growing exponentially more rowdy with every person who came in. Xena found herself cursing under her breath, wishing that the first meeting for Volt Patrol had been on a Tuesday instead of a Friday. During the week Xena would have been able to get to the meeting on time no problem, but as she watched another group of people come into the bar she knew she wouldn't be leaving at six thirty like she had wanted.

    She had received the letter the night prior, and had in fact almost gone to bed without reading the mail. Luckily, he acceptance letter for the Volt Patrol had caught her attention, and instead of going to sleep she spent the rest of the night putting finishing touches on her super suit. It had been an ongoing project for a while now, and she hadn't felt any rush to finish it until she read her letter. Xena figured that she was going to be playing with the big leagues now, so she might as well look the part.

    It was already five in the morning when Xena stowed away her sewing machine, holding up her skirt to admire her work. The blonde pinned her Volt Patrol pin to the fabric covering her right breastplate, neatly folded up her masterpiece, and crawled into bed. At one in the afternoon she woke up, stretched, and went for a run. Xena didn't usually go for a run on Fridays, but she was ecstatic for her first meeting, and going for a run was sure to calm her down enough for work.

    "Hey, bartender," a gruff voice pulled Xena out of her thoughts, snapping her back to reality. A heavy man with balding hair held up his glass to her, saying, "Can I get a refill over here?"

    The only good thing about a packed bar was that time flew by. Xena was only able to focus on work, rather than worry about being late. Before she knew it, her fitbit was vibrating on her wrist, telling her that it was six thirty. She hastily tried to clock out before one of her coworkers caught her, and just as she thought she was in the clear:

    "Hey Xen, where are you going?"

    "Dammit," Xena cursed under her breath, slowly turning to face Steven, one of her coworkers. He was also a bartender. "We talked about this when I came in," she replied, inching towards the backroom. "I have an appointment and have to leave early, remember?"

    "But Daniella isn't here yet," Steven replied as he poured some more drinks. "I can't bartend by myself on a Friday night."


    "You wouldn't leave me all alone in this mad house, would you?"

    Heaving a sigh, Xena begrudgingly made her way back behind the counter. "Fifteen minutes," she said to Steven, her voice stern. "If Dani isn't here by then, you're shit outta luck."

    Fifteen minutes turned into thirty, which then turned into forty five. Finally, Daniella came barging through the door, shouting an apology for being so late. It's a mystery how she still has a job, Xena thought bitterly. She quickly clocked out and escaped out the back door before Steven could get her to stay any longer, without saying goodbye to anyone.

    Thankfully, traffic on the way home wasn't too bad, though it certainly wouldn't make up for the forty five minutes of preparation she was cheated of. Once home, she quickly sent a message to number that had been provided in the letter in case she had a problem, informing them that she would be a few minutes late. In hindsight, she probably should have kept her super suit in her car, so she could go straight to 1010 Backer St. right after work. Xena had even considered it last night, but she couldn't risk her super suit... what if someone broke into her car? Or stole it?

    After bursting through the door of her apartment, Xena zipped to the bedroom to get dressed. She applied some more make up, and took her hair down from the ponytail she had been wearing it in. Despite already being late, Xena took the time curl some of the strands that fallen flat during her shift. If she was going to be late anyways she might as well look good.

    The young girl only paused for a moment once she reached the kitchen. Her hands were on her keys, bottom lip between her teeth. Her gaze shifted to the clock on her stove, and she heaved a sigh. If I drive I'll be even more late, she told herself, taking her apartment key from the key ring and leaving the rest behind. As she swiftly made her down the staircase, praying that she wasn't spotted by a neighbor, she tucked the key into a pocket she had hidden on the inside of her breastplate, pulling the zipper shut to make sure it wasn't lost while she was out and about.

    She again took the back way out, and after making sure the coast was clear she released her wings from their flesh cage. A sharp pain ran down her spine as the skin on her back tore, and she grit her teeth to keep from making any noise. By the time the metal wings stretched out the skin on her back was already healing, but she didn't waste time waiting for it to completely heal. In a second she was in the air.

    Her phone displayed google maps as she soared over the city, instructing her of where to go. Of course, she arrived before the estimated arrival time provided by the app, but that way only because she didn't have to abide by traffic laws in the sky. As she made her decent down to the building, she noticed a male with blond hair rushing in. A teammate? She wondered, though he didn't really look like a superhero.

    Then again, she probably didn't either just a hour ago. Who was she to judge?

    Xena landed in the parking lot, her wings folding in so that they rested behind her back. She considered tucking them beneath the skin for a second, but decided against it. She might need them again once she was inside, so what was the point? Xena quickly stowed her phone away in the other pocket on the inside of her breastplate, feeling very thankful she had thought to add the inside pockets. They were really coming in handy. She then sprinted to the door, raising an eyebrow when she saw it had been closed. Makes sense, she realized, pulling it open and stepping into a hallway. Don't want civilians wandering in.

    She walked down the hallway, soon seeing a male standing beside a set of doors. As she neared him, Xena took hold of the Volt Patrol pin on her costume, making sure he saw it. He nodded in acknowledgement, confirming she was int he right place. Only when she was standing before him did he speak, "Metallic Angel I presume?"

    "That's me," Xena replied with a nod. "I'm sorry I'm so late."

    "It'll just be a few minutes," he simply told her, and Xena gave another nod. Silence fell over them, and Xena could hear muffled voices through the door. She silently cursed herself for staying so long at work and missing whatever it was they were doing in there. At some point the blonde she had seen come in before her joined them, now suited up.

    She thought about introducing herself, but instead just leaned against the wall and waited patiently. After what felt like ages, the doors were pulled open and the two were motioned in. Xena waited for the blond male to pass her, and then she slid in behind him.
  18. Ms. Mayor Rin felt her phone vibrate in her pocket as soon as she finished pairing the group. The message was from Carl, mentioning two of their late arrivals were waiting on the other side of the doors. Perfect timing. She looked at the new superheroes as they were let in. She gestured them to join the broken circle.

    Rin gave the man an approving nod with a tight smile. Clearing her throat to get everyone’s attention, Rin gestured towards the newcomer.

    ”Everyone, we have two other members. They will present themselves.” She nodded towards the blond man and ushered him to be the first one.

    Ushered into the room with little decorum, Gideon found himself facing a small group of about ten people, one of whom was an attractive woman he recognized as the city's Mayor. The woman in question was nodding at him and motioning him forward with a brief introduction before passing him the proverbial mic.

    Smiling wide enough to crinkle the corners of his eyes, Gideon moved closer to the group and gave an amiable wave. "Sorry I'm a bit late," he said, his smile still wide, "got a little held up. Something I'll try to avoid in the future. Anyway," he glanced around the group, taking in each of his new teammates with an expression of excitement, "hello! I'm Gideon Thorne and I'm delighted to meet you all. You can call me 'Gideon' or 'Ian,' if you prefer something shorter." He spoke in a soft baritone that that was tinged with what might've once been an accent of some sort, though it was now faded to little more than a slight lilt. "Let's see, uhm... I'm a doctor of botany and I teach classes at Voltapolis U. I'm relatively new to Voltapolis and moved here cross-country just under two years ago."

    As he spoke, he moved to one side to allow the other newcomer to move into the group. He had wanted to introduce himself in the hallway, but it had seemed as though silence was more appropriate at the time. Now, he gave the winged woman a nod of acknowledgement and a smile. "While I'm in costume, or uniform, or however you'd like to refer to it," he gestured at his attire, "please call me 'Wildwood.'" He smiled once again and gazed around the group a second time. There really were all sorts here."Oh-- I suppose you'd like to know my abilities! I am able to channel and control energy down to a molecular level. I can draw energy from one living being and transfer it to another, which allows me to heal others' wounds and manipulate plants. I've a theory of how it works, but I'm not going to bore you all with it now." Giving a soft laugh, he motioned to Xena. "I believe she has more interesting powers than I do, so I'll turn the floor over to her."

    The mayor verified her clipboard as the second newcomer appeared from behind the door. Ahh, yes -- she was aware of the woman's tardiness, so she did not note anything negative about her lateness. After the man had introduced himself, she smiled at the woman and gestured her to present herself to her new colleagues.

    Xena's blue eyes peered though the holes of her mask, taking in all the people around her. A smile graced her lips, everyone looked so unique. She was excited to get to know them, to be around people like her. She lifted one of her hands, giving a small wave. "I'm Metallic Angel, but I'll also just respond to Angel," she said, suddenly feeling unsure. First impressions were everything, and she had probably already set a bad one for herself by being so late.

    "I'm... really looking forward to kicking some ass with all of you," Xena said, deciding to keep things short. She didn't want to ramble on and end up boring them all.

    Rin smiled matter-of-factly at the two new members. ”Thank you.” She noted a few things again on her clipboard and flipped through the sheets, as though she was wondering where to put them. Some pairs seemed to be ready to leave already, so she would not team those up.

    ”Your teammates– This is Glitter Bomb and Parsha.” She was reading off a list but she was pointing towards the two. ”Q and Fuse.” This time she eyed the two young girls and she pursed her lips. ”Hustle and Althea.” Another hand wave. ”Exo-Titan and Snooze.” Rin gave a small smile towards the pair. ”Red Riot and Morphix.”

    Rin Maki cleared her throat again and turned around to her chair, fishing two other phones from the bin. She walked towards Wildwood and Metallic Angel, handing them one each. ”As I mentioned earlier, those phones are prepaid without any specific expiration date. They are restricted to the contact list – everyone in this room, myself included, the police chief, and Black Blossom.” The rest of her instructions concerning the usage of the phones, who Black Blossom was, and her whole speech about “being representatives of Voltapolis” and she issued a last warning about lethally harming anyone – Dragon’s Tail goons and civilians alike.

    ”Wildwood – with Q and Fuse at Mr. Fa’s antiques. Metallic Angel – with Hustle and Althea at the Bubbling Bath House.” Once the two got their phones and joined their respective groups, they would see the same message Black Blossom had sent everyone a few minutes ago.

    The mayor balled her fists on her hips and looked at everyone. She felt a tinge of pride. ”You can leave when you’re ready. Remember, the goal here is stealth – and getting to the cell where you can find the falsified contracts that allows Longwei to smuggle in all that shit he needs for his rituals. If you see any ritualistic nonsense – don’t touch it. Please. Unless you are well versed in black magic, you could unknowingly be setting off fireworks throughout the entire tunnels. I hope I make myself clear. Your safety and everyone’s safety is the most important thing – you aren’t good to the Volt Patrol dead, so I hope I don’t see anyone pulling off any self-sacrificing crap.” Her tone almost suggested that some of those surrounded here were that type – but she truly hoped none of them would be foolish enough for that.
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  19. [​IMG]
    Amberly Ross /\||/\ !RED RIOT!
    Location: 1010 Backer Street
    Interactions: Red Riot (Amberly Rose) - @Niiwa || Morphix (Ariana Clever) - @Noctis the Devious || Black Blossom - @Pahn


    As the Mayor started separating the members of the Patrol into their groups, Red Riot glanced around for Morphix. She wasn't too hard to spot, with her wild outfit and goggles. Red Riot stood and grinned, waving over at the other girl before making her way across the room to speaking distance. So many interesting people! But Red Riot supposed that it was good to be in pairs, even if she expected to meet and socialize with everyone at once, this made it a lot more manageable. Red Riot extended a hand to Morphix, once again grinning happily under her mask.

    "Hi! So you're Morphix, right? I'm Red Riot, it's an absolute pleasure to meet you!" Red Riot put her hands on her hips and gave Morphix a once-over. She looked capable enough. And Red Riot had already seen an interesting demonstration of her power - She wanted to press for more information about the ability (Was it molecular manipulation? Was the sand the byproduct of an extreme heat? So many theories were running through her head!), but maybe that would come at another time. She had likely said all she wanted to in her introduction, and Red Riot didn't want to intrude on her privacy. "I really like your outfit! And staff fighting... I've always been interested in that but never had the time." Red Riot glanced at the phone that she had just received. "So... I guess we should make a plan? See how our skills synergize? I mean the mayor must have put us together for a reason..." She pauses for a moment and thinks about their mission. "I wonder if this Black Blossom character can get blueprints for the building... I don't really come into the city that much so I only know what I memorized on the map - and most of that's streets and alleys and stuff."

    Morphix grinned when she was approached by the gunsmith and greeted so warmly, shaking hands with her politely. "I really like your outfit! And staff fighting... I've always been interested in that but never had the time." The remark came after a little once over at that had the little German girl straightening up, realizing then just how much taller the other was to her. "So... I guess we should make a plan? See how our skills synergize? I mean the mayor must have put us together for a reason..."

    "Could it be because you seem to be a long range fighter and I'm more suited for close quarters combat?" she mused. Having someone like Red Riot watch her back while she's working her enemies over with her staff was actually a welcomed thought. She was never one to shy away from a partnership.

    "I wonder if this Black Blossom character can get blueprints for the building... I don't really come into the city that much so I only know what I memorized on the map - and most of that's streets and alleys and stuff."

    "Yeah?" So the other lived outside the city it seemed. "I mostly just know vere to grab a good bite to eat," she snickered. "Valk sei Vok... sounds like a restaurant I vent to as a kid. Eizer zey're hiding dope in sie fortune cookies or vee probably should contact siz Black Blossom." She giggled to herself and was already sending a message to the mysterious person on the other end of the phone.

    Text Message Valk sie Vok, vat do you know about it?
    Text Message Hello Morphix, nice to meet you too.

    Walk the Wok is a counter and take-out Chinese restaurant. Fridays are their busiest night. Tonight they have a group party organized up until 10 PM, it should give you ample time to sneak in the basement. It is situated on 344 Weitsu street, right in front of the Black Dragon Tearoom.

    Do you require more information? I could send the blueprints if needed.

    Always a pleasure,

    Black Blossom
    Morphix wasn't expecting a reply so soon but was pleased when it was almost instantaneous. She also did a double take when she saw her moniker before quickly realizing she probably had all their superhero names and phone numbers. That was weird thought. She shrugged it off and relayed the message, "Alright so I may hafe been correct. Remind me to nefer eat zeir fortune cookies, and it seems ve'fe lucked out; zey'll be entertaining a group until ten. Perfect chance to sneak in srough sei basement." She glanced up at Red Riot with a quizzical eyebrow quirked. "Still vant zose blue prints?"

    "Could it be because you seem to be a long range fighter and I'm more suited for close quarters combat?" Red Riot grinned. This girl seemed to have a good grasp of the situation - not that Red Riot was worried, but it was nice to have indicators of skill.

    "Certainly seems likely..." Red Riot grinned behind her mask. "Still, given this is an infiltration mission... I doubt I'll be able to play as well to my skills." She gestured to her pistol, "These things are loud." She idly thumbed the collapsible shock baton on her belt. Perhaps the Mk. II would get some use after all - but it still certainly had some kinks still left in it.

    She chuckled at Morphix's mentions of food. Red Riot would have to spend some more time in the city. Before she could respond, however, the text message arrived. Red Riot nodded slowly, decrypting the message through Morphix's accent - it wasn't as though she couldn't understand the German girl, there was just a small delay between hearing the words and comprehending them. Something that may not be a boon on this mission - Red Riot hoped she knew hand signals.

    "Sneaking sounds like a good plan - we don't want any more trouble than we can handle." Red Riot shrugged. "I mean I wouldn't mind them, but they're not a requirement. I can memorize things quickly, but probably not well enough in an hour for a mission like this..." She attempted to scratch her nose, but was met with only metal and rubber - this gas mask was a bit more annoying than she had expected.

    "So! Plan! Let's come up with one!" Red Riot gave Morphix a thumbs up. "Presumably there's a back door. It would likely be locked, but can you... melt locks and things like that? Or morph, as it were?" Red Riot wasn't sure how appropriate it was to discuss the extent of Morphix's powers, but she supposed she had to have some information. "Also, do you know close range engagement hand signals at all? It's completely fine if you don't, that would be helpful for keeping quiet during infiltration."

    Text Message Hello Red Riot.

    I am contact you directly to provide you with the blue prints. Morphix has not replied to my inquiry, but I figured I should ask the other partner too.

    Remember, the group leaves at 10 PM, which means you must be in the basement by that time. Good luck.

    Always a pleasure,

    Black Blossom

    Media File Transfer


    Remember, there are some of DRAGON'S TAIL goons on standby! Be careful.
    "Certainly seems likely... Still, given this is an infiltration mission... I doubt I'll be able to play as well to my skills. These things are loud."

    "You don't hafe one of zose..." Morphix trailed off, curling her hand and moving it up and down as she racked her brain for the word. "Silencer singies?" Granted even she doubted any on the current market could suppress the type of weaponry Red Riot apparently made for herself, but if she make the guns it stood to reason - for her - that she could also make "silencer singies" for them too. "Vell, if push comes to shofe, just bop them ofer sie head. zough, I'm not entirely prepared for zis eiser. If I knew our first mission vas a stealz mission, I vould hafe vore less colorful clozing." And lighter boots, she mentally added with a grimace.

    She snickered when she watched Riot try to scratch her nose only to fail miserably when she was blocked by her own mask. It made Morphix thankful she forwent anything facially obscuring. Masks only made people more curious as to who was behind them, and by wearing them one was unwittingly putting themselves in the middle of a mystery people would be glad to solve. She, on the other hand, people would only assume she could easily be spotted in the middle of the street and thus wouldn't fall under the same kind of scrutiny. Hiding in plain sight, if you will, among those far more interesting than her. Besides, if they were to meet her secret identity they wouldn't see a hero but a tired waitress trying to get through the week with nothing more to look forward to than a diet of take out (she inwardly grimaced at that; she never knew until now how much she actually needed to get a life).

    "So! Plan! Let's come up with one!" Red Riot exclaimed. She was seeming more and more like one of those puppies that shook their tail so hard their entire body shook with it. a sharp contrast to her outward persona, and it nothing less than endearing. "Presumably there's a back door. It would likely be locked, but can you... melt locks and things like that? Or morph, as it were?"

    Morphix nodded. "I'm not a scientist or vatefer, so I don't know sie technicalities behind it, but yes; as long as I'm not trying to break into a military grade fault or anyzing super-ridiculously zick, I should be able to disintegrate it." She couldn't help but smile to herself a bit pridefully. Oh how easily she could have resorted to a life of crime. Luckily she was too busy worrying over trying (and affording) all the take out places in her area and then some (her hunt for a quick bite to eat had lead her some interesting places, but that was as much adventure as she dared to dream of).

    "Also, do you know close range engagement hand signals at all? It's completely fine if you don't, that would be helpful for keeping quiet during infiltration."

    "Er..." she thought back on all the action and espionage movies she had ever seen. She then pressed two fingers together and pointed them at Riot and then in a random direction. "Zis one means you should go first," she held up her hand and clenched it into a tight fist, "zis one means to hold," she then held up her hand and made an upward circular motion, "Zis one means to search or spread out," she once again held up hand up at eye level before flicking it forward a couple of times, "zis one means to move forward," her eyebrows knitted together, wondering if that was all there was until she added with a impish, "and zis one means I'm vatching you," and she proceeded to point two spread fingers at her eyes before pointing them at Riot. "Of course, I'fe only seen them in mofies and vee all know Hollyvood vould nefer lie to us." She snickered at her own claim.

    Of course, that wasn't in the way of a plan and she quickly changed tracks. Her fingers hovered over the keypad of her issued phone remembering she never answered Black Blossom's text when Red Riot's own phone went off. "Are zose the blue prints?" she inquired, sidling up next to her tall companion and peeking over her shoulder. Indeed they were. She leaned in closer for a better view, any ideals she had about personal space no longer at the forefront of her mind, and quickly scanned it. "You know, I didn't zink much of it ven sey said ve vere infiltrating srough tunnels, but now? Zis feels like some Double 7-0 shit." Morphix practically vibrated with excitement as she imagined herself sneaking out the tunnels, knocking out people with a well placed karate chop and taking on hordes of people with just her staff. Her reputation would be godly!

    She just barely caught herself before she began drooling and quickly refocused. "Er... right plan." She cleared her throat and began a more thorough examination of the map. "Vait, if zis is sie tunnels and zis is sie basement, does zis mean zere's a door under sie stairs here?" she asked, tracing the line separating the basement and tunnel with her finger. Instead of anything suggesting there might have been a door, there were two stair symbols. She knitted her darkened eyebrows together until she realized there were darker boxes inside the lighter boxes. "Oh, nefer mind, looks like zere maybe two vays to enter." She fought back a flush of embarrassment and continued on. "Of course sei kitchen may as well be sie better choice. Perhaps vee could disguise ourselfes as dishvashers or some ozer ofer looked sap and infiltrate zat vay?"

    She bit her lip and checked the time. "I don't sink sie mayor vould send us on a particularly difficult mission on our first time out but vatefer ve're doing, ve should decide fast," she added, already heading out. As an afterthought, "Voo knows, maybe ve'll get our fery own spy moment and it'd be as simple as vaiting for someone to come along just asking us to take zeir uniform."

    "You don't hafe one of zose... Silencer singies?"

    Red Riot looked down, a bit embarrassed. "Well, I... don't, no. The GAPS system doesn't play nice with barrels to begin with, and adding a suppressor to the end of the ones I've already put together just kills the momentum available for the round to get out there and strike its target, because..." Red Riot trailed off for a moment, realizing she was talking too much. "I just haven't cracked it yet," she ended the rant, a bit flushed.

    "Vell, if push comes to shofe, just bop them ofer sie head. zough, I'm not entirely prepared for zis eiser. If I knew our first mission vas a stealz mission, I vould hafe vore less colorful clozing."

    Red Riot shrugged, and looked down at her own outfit. As intimidating as it was, it certainly wasn't too colorful - most of the hues were desaturated and dark, and would likely blend in to an industrial background for the most part - if not for the glowing blue of her mask and eye - if someone was looking hard enough then they could probably pick the light out of a dark space. The things she gave up for the ability to see heat, she supposed. "I wouldn't worry about it too much, all right? There can't be too many goons in there. And to be honest... I haven't been in much real combat. I could use the experience." The girl raised her fists and gave a couple of punches at the air, before turning her gaze back to Morphix. "Besides, I think you look nice."

    It was true, Morphix stood out from her surroundings - the bright colors and neon green certainly were not the best camouflage, but Red Riot knew that that wasn't the only sort of outfit there was - the colors, the heavy boots, all seemed to indicate a personality of outgoing fun and it set her a bit at ease. The girl could have been intimidating, nearly evil-looking if she wanted in that getup, but with her playful nature shining through, Red Riot felt no dread from looking at her. The outfit was a comfort to friends and an intimidation to enemies, Red Riot would guess - and that was impressive.

    Red Riot was a bit behind in translating Morphix's accent when she began to show off the hand signals she had learned from the movies. The gasmasked girl stifled a bit of a laugh as she finished off with a silly show of the 'I'm watching you' gesture, and grinned through her mask at Morphix. "Well, Hollywood isn't always that accurate, but it's not a bad showing nonetheless." She pointed at Morphix with a single finger, then moved her open palm in a sweeping motion along her side, "That's actually a combination of two - saying 'you' and 'move up'." She gestured upwards in a fist, before opening her palm, "This one, with the palm open, means 'freeze'," she moved her hand out behind her, with her palm still open, "While this one means stop - the difference being that you should be able to still position while stopped." She does a couple of quick hand motions, shoving her arm out perpendicular to her body, waving it behind her, and making something that appeared to be sort of bunny ears and rocking them back and forth - "There are a few formation ones, but you probably don't need to know those, there's only two of us!" Red Riot stopped for a moment. She wasn't sure how much into detail she should go, again. "For now, here are the basics for what might come up-" She quickly went over how to gesture a specific number with one hand, how to signal 'I see' and 'I hear', and the signals for enemy and hostage - she wasn't sure if there would be any hostages, but it was a good catch-all for non-combatants

    She gave a light smile to Morphix, hoping she wasn't asking too much of her - the hand signals were easy, and they would be useful, for sure - keeping quiet on a stealth mission could absolutely give them an edge. On the other hand, however, Red Riot didn't want to overwhelm Morphix with information. "I mean, this is all if we can get by stealthily - it's possible that we'll be forced into a fight eventually, then all bets are off." By the time she had finished her crash course in hand signals, she noticed a buzz from her phone - she had forgotten to ask for the blueprints!

    However, Black Blossom must have been psychic - because the information that she was about to ask for was already on her phone! As Morphix slid up to her, Red Riot noticed how close the other girl got. She certainly didn't mind it, but she noted how easily the girl broke Red Riot's personal space. That was probably a good thing, as it showed quite a bit of confidence from Red Riot's partner. Red Riot made an effort not to move, although she adjusted the phone's screen so it would be easier for both of them to read.

    "You know, I didn't zink much of it ven sey said ve vere infiltrating srough tunnels, but now? Zis feels like some Double 7-0 shit."

    Red Riot chuckled, and could feel Morphix buzzing with excitement. Red Riot was excited too. All the drills, all the training, everything was leading up to this. She could feel her muscles ache in anticipation, and she just wanted to go outside and dash to their location right now. She finally had a reason to go outside, and she was already getting to know so many interesting people. It was fantastic. But first they needed to come up with a plan - Red Riot couldn't forget the very real danger they would be in.

    As Morphix explained what she thought the best course of action was, Red Riot nodded. "Of course sei kitchen may as well be sie better choice. Perhaps vee could disguise ourselfes as dishvashers or some ozer ofer looked sap and infiltrate zat vay?"

    "I agree, the Kitchen looks like the best option - and disguising ourselves as someone is a good way to get around the fact that it looks like the kitchen area could still be in view from the entrance. But..." Red Riot trailed off. She knew what she had to say, but she wasn't sure exactly how to put it. She supposed that showing would be the best telling. "Well. This..." She carefully removed her gas mask and hood, revealing her heavily scarred visage to Morphix, smiling slightly, "Is not the most conducive to a good disguise." Her voice rang clean into the air, and it sounded much lighter than her digitally-altered voice that came through the gas mask's speakers. She re-donned the mask and hood swiftly, wondering if she had done the right thing. But as she looked around, it appeared that only Morphix had seen her real face - and it's not like she came into the city often enough to get ogled by whoever Morphix's alter ego was, anyway. "Oh," she said, smacking herself lightly in the forehead, "And the guns. Of course. I couldn't just carry my guns in there in uniform..." She could have just said that from the beginning instead of showing Morphix her actual face. She felt like an idiot, but shook her head.

    To keep from embarrassing herself further, Red Riot decided to flip through the dossier she had been handed earlier - maybe something interesting could be found in there. Her eyes rapidly scanned the pages, picking up bits of information that might be construed as useful, but there wasn't much to go on for any of the actual Dragon Tail's goons. She supposed that meant that they were mostly mundane, as opposed to the fire and the flames that Longwei would be throwing at them. There may be a few magic-using goons in there, but there was no guarantee of that either way - all the file said was that the coven had grown.

    "I have an idea - let's split the difference. We can do some recon once we get there - if we're lucky, the walls won't be too thick for my thermal to see through -" Red Riot tapped the side of her face, next to her cybernetic eye, "- and we can determine exactly how many are in there. If it's just a few, we can go in together, undisguised. We can take them out without sounding an alarm. If it's too many, we can lure one of them outside, grab them, and steal a uniform for you to infiltrate - we don't want to be late to the meeting in the tunnels, so I don't think waiting to pick someone off would be the best option."

    She idly thumbed her holstered pistol, as she began to move out the door after Morphix, still thinking and talking out loud. "Of course, if an alarm does get raised, all bets are off - I can at least open fire, then. But we can try our best not to. It looks like we won't even have to touch the dining room or go anywhere other than the kitchen to get to the basement. With your skills, we can easily sneak through any locked doors, and get down to the tunnels. As for how many people we can take out silently... I can probably do one, maybe two if I'm lucky without others noticing. What about you?" Red Riot was smiling as she started running through scenarios in her head, taking in the possibilities. This would be a fantastic start to her hero-ing career, no matter what went down.
    #19 Noctis the Devious, Oct 24, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
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  20. Snooze, Exo-Titan, Black Blossom, and Ms. Maki
    A Collab with: @Cerulean and @Pahn

    After a slew of introductions, some of which made him blink in surprize. A vessel for who? Deciding to ignore that, it seemed that the Mayor had a lot more information to give them. They were paired up and had a designated place to go to. Looking at his phone, he didn't know how safe it would be in his pocket. Corey looked over to his assigned partner Snooze, and decided to walk over to her.

    Really, at this point, he could have been paired with anyone but hopefully, this one won't run away.

    "Hey there, friend. You ever been to Chinatown?" He said, with a smile.

    Cassie looked up from the spot on the floor she'd been idly examining, a very faint stain of some unknown origin that looked sort of like a dog's head. Her eyes slowly grew wider as they traveled upward, though she managed to keep from staring like a complete idiot. She blinked rapidly a few times after taking in the friendly smile and managed to get her face back in order.

    "Hi there. Um, I've been in the area a lot, but I don't know it that well. Most of the time I was with friends heading to a specific place. I've eaten at Walk the Wok a few times before, and I might've passed by the Black Dragon Tearoom, but I doubt I have any useful info." As Cassie spoke she grew a little more relaxed. She figured she dealt with huge beasts like rhinos and elephants regularly, so a man with a less than human appearance shouldn't be a problem. That didn't shake the discomfort away, but it was enough for her to shove it out of the way and communicate like a normal person at least, and that was a good place to start.

    "How about you? Do you know the area or are we going to have to pester this Black Blossom for some information?"

    It seemed she had a better reaction than some, at least. She noticed him, but had the wherewithal to at least give a legitimate response.

    Unfortunately, that didn't necessarily equal mission success. What's more was that he didn't have a single clue where to find this place. Shaking his head to Snooze, he pulled out his phone. "Pestering it is."

    As he began to text, he wondered if Black Blossom already knew he was going to text her.

    Hey there, BB. (That's a nickname btw, not odd slang. If you prefer me to call you Black Blossom, lemme know.)

    How do you get to the tea place? I don't even know how to navigate Chinadown.

    Thanks you, in advance, my ninja!


    Text Message Hello E.T. (two can play this game!)

    I will be sending you the geo coordinates. I can extract the blueprints of the building, you will want to get access to the basement. They receive their tea shipment between 9 PM and 10 PM -- you will have a one hour window to sneak in.

    If you get there early, you should try their Oolong tea. Totes delish.

    Always a pleasure,

    Black Blossom

    Media File Transfer


    Remember, there are some of DRAGON'S TAIL goons on standby! Be careful.

    Exo looked over the building, committing the layout to his memory the best he could. Smiling at the text he sent a reply.

    I might have to, since there is no way my ass is going to be able to sneak in. Thanks, BB. ;D


    Nodding, he turned the phone to give to Snooze the information. "I don't think I am going to be able to sneak in, unless I try and MAYBE stowaway. Otherwise, I could just serve as a distraction and you could get in and cause a sleep over. What do you think?"

    Corey smiled, trying to put her at ease.

    Cassie read through the texts and examined the blueprints and thought it through, idly tapping the fingers of her right hand against her leg as she did so. When she was done she looked up and only needed about half a second of staring this time before she managed to behave like a normal person and get her face in order and return the smile. "Maybe you're right, but we won't know for sure until we get there. They might leave some places unguarded when they're dealing with the tea shipment. We could slip in and get to those tunnels without being seen. We'll have to decide on a plan once we get there and see what the situation is really like."

    She shrugged and glanced over at the other pairs of people talking, then back to Exo. "Seems like we've got plenty of time to kill. I wouldn't mind showing up early and having some tea, but I suppose we ought to get to know one another a bit. What do you do when you're not, uh, superheroing?"

    Curiously, he watched her read over the text and studied her mannerisms. The woman tapped, perhaps a clue that there is a love for music on the inside? That would be a cool middle ground for them to get to know each other better. They were going to be partners this evening after all. In any case: She was right, they didn't know how they would be positioned until the pair actually got there. Exo was just getting ahead of himself and did perhaps place a lot of stock in being a stocky blue human insect.

    When a suggestion for tea had come up, he blinked at the idea. Chinatown and tea were not things he normally had. Granted, he tried tea before but it was hit and miss. Maybe this place can revive his opinion.

    Then the question registered in his head. His blue eyes moved left in a thinking side eye expression. Is being reverse robbed a hobby? But putting his gaze softly back onto the woman, Exo got back on topic. "I have a job actually. I work stock at a store and I...haven't ever been out doing something like this before. Uh, I like to watch sports and I devel in different arts from time to time. What about you? Ever been out for justice, and come home to watch tv?"

    The idea of Exo stocking a store almost made Cassie laugh, but she managed to keep her face in order. She was picturing him going to put things on shelves and knocking things over every time he turned around, though likely he didn't have that problem otherwise he wouldn't remain employed. Perhaps he worked in a back area rather than out in the shelves? It wasn't important, so she decided not to ask for specifics.

    Exo's question brought a hint of color to her cheeks. Cassie coughed and glanced away for a moment before answering. "Uh, I've done it a bit. Nothing major. Mostly I stopped shoplifters and purse snatchers. Muggers a couple times, but one of those was..." She shook her head and grimaced. "Anyway, nothing big, just a walk around the city once or twice a month that usually don't end up with any bad guys dealt with. I do a lot more TV watching than playing vigilante. Other than that I've got my job at the zoo, and I'm taking a couple online classes. Pretty boring normal stuff, really."

    Cassie looked around at the other people in the room and shrugged a shoulder, mouth drooping into a slight frown. "I'm almost thinking I made a bad choice signing up for this, honestly. I don't think I'm really cut out to be a superhero. I see all these people who are excited to be here, and I'm just... I dunno, it just seems like I don't belong here." She shrugged again, this time with both shoulders. "That's probably not what you want to hear from the person you're about to go on a dangerous mission with. Sorry."
    He smiled at her redness, as it seemed like she wasn't asked about her life very often by someone who was actually curious. It was honestly rather adorable watching someone who seemed anxious talk about their life. "Sounds rather busy and exciting, to me." He tried to slip in, before she started going into her doubt of her place.

    Exo shook his head and tried to wave the notion off. "I'm sorry if this is a little too out there, but I call bullshit. Not on you, but on whether you should be here. Not only have you done this before, but you have already shown to yourself that you want to make a positive impact in the world. It's a choice we all have made here, which means you have just as much a place here as anyone else. Don't forget that."

    He reached out and gently touched her shoulder, trying to be supportive. "Ok?" Exo put his hand away, hoping the touch didn't gross her out. "And I want you to stick around, because now we are partners...and I want to know about who you are. You seem like a genuine person. This team will need someone like that."

    Cassie stared at him in silence for a few seconds, mouth hanging slightly open, before she sighed and shook her head. "You're probably right. I was sure of myself and of joining the Volt Patrol before I got here, and after getting here I just felt too..." She trailed off and pursed her lips as she thought for a moment, seeking a better word but letting out another quick sigh when she failed to find one. "Normal, I guess. No offense intended. It's not just you, it's also the people in the elaborate costumes, and then there are the powers and such. Shooting lightning is pretty badass, and I just make people take naps. It almost feels like I should be the team's moral support rather than a real member of it." She rolled her eyes at her own self-deprecating joke.

    "Anyway, sorry for unloading my random insecurity on you there. I'll tell you what, to make up for the awkwardness let's head out early and try some of that tea, and we can chat over that instead of hanging out in the superhero lair slash office space. I'm buying, and I'll give you a freebie weird or impolite question answered honestly without any judging or getting offended or anything. It's a little game I play with friends, and it's a fun way to get to know someone. If nothing else, it'll be a good way to kill some time and scout the place out without seeming like we're there for nefarious purposes."

    He gave a dismissive wave. "Nonsense, my friend. All members should be there to support each other. Using your abilities is fine, but you can't tell me that a heavy sadness is less hindering than any amount of capability. Besides, putting people to sleep has tons of advantages. Eh, we can't talk more about that later hm?"

    Exo gave another smile, feeling like this gal and him would be good friends by the end of the night. I already made a friend. SWEET! "Tea sounds great. I'll think of a good question for when we get over there. Any chance you got a car? Granted, I can fly but I am...pretty clunky in that aspect. We should probably park a block or two away. And maybe I can fly up to a building and we can scout a bit and such?"

    By this point he was walking and talking to Snooze, and was heading to the door. "Catch ya later, boss." He said, giving a casual frat boy like salute, to the mayer.

    Cassie just nodded in reply to the comment of talking about her powers later, letting him continue on uninterrupted. She followed Exo as he headed for the door and was surprised by his extremely casual attitude toward the mayor. With an expression that was a mix between a grimace and a smile she mouthed the word "sorry" to the mayor behind his back, then waved in departure and spoke aloud. "We're off for some early scouting. Thank you for the opportunity, ma'am."

    Hurrying her steps to keep up with Exo, Cassie answered his other questions. "Ah, no, no car. I ride a bike everywhere I can't just walk to. It's better for the environment, and-" She cleared her throat, cutting herself off before she started in on a rant about the merits of bicycles. "I think it's not too terribly far away actually, less than half an hour on foot for sure. If you'd rather fly I can go by bike and we can meet up there, whatever works. Scouting from above sounds like a great idea though. Whatever we can figure out before we really go to start the mission will be helpful, I'm sure."

    The mayor raised an eyebrow at the beetle man as he left, pursing her lips in slight amusement. She offered a warmer smile at Snooze. "Be safe, message Black Blossom if you need help." She brushed a strand of hair behind her ear and turned back to look at the remaining members in the room, sighing after taking a deep breath.

    "Sounds fine to me. I'll follow you then." He said, heading back outside. Once there, he took a quick look around before turning to Snooze. "This is going to be great! After I get down scouting, I'll meet you in the teashop okay?"

    With that, his wings slid out from under some of his plates and it began to whiz quickly before the young man began to be lifted into the air.

    Cassie nodded. "Sounds like a good place to start. See you there." She started walking off toward her bike, but seeking Exo's wings popping out from under the plates caught her eye. He didn't look anywhere near aerodynamic enough to fly, but then neither did actual beetles. Seeing this sort of thing would take some getting used to. Cassie chuckled under her breath at her own silliness and headed for her bike, ready for the short ride to the tearoom.
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