OOC Thread JUNE 27, 2016 YOKOTA AIR BASE NEAR TOKYO, JAPAN Warning klaxons and red lights blared throughout the US Air Force base. Personnel scrambled to action stations, only to soon wail in agony and terror. Black shadows flooded rooms and corridors. Lights blinked out on their own. Screams from stalwart soldiers were instantly silenced as the blackness wreathed over them like a soft fog. At the mouth of one hallway, a squadron of six guards leveled their rifles at the roiling black mist creeping toward them. Sweat beaded down their faces. Fingers itched toward triggers. The mist slowly crawled toward them, seemingly unconcerned by the deadly weapons borne against it. Finally, the guards opened fire. The mists twirled slightly as each bullet dug into the swirling morass of darkness. If the shots struck anything, it did not make a sound. In fact, the mist seemed to absorb all sound, permitting not a whisper to pass. Then, suddenly, like biting snakes, the tendrils came. Whips of smoky darkness lanced forth from the black cloud. They ensnared gun barrels, arms, legs, and bodies. All were pulled toward the silent cloud. Each man let out a cry of panic, which was instantly silenced once they entered the blackness. The mists coiled down the hallway. In its wake, the six guards - or more precisely, their corpses - were left behind, limbs and visages twisted in absolute horror and their eyes blank with lifelessness. They literally died of fright. --- JUNE 27, 2016 HUSHCOBB, KA "...Another attack, sir." The enigmatic Crossfire was one of the most experienced and deadliest agents within the Hushcobb organization, yet his tone was one of careful trepidation. And with good reason. Director Ferrara looked up from the computer screen on his desk. The limited security footage playing on the monitor showed everything. The black cloud, the dead soldiers, the carnage left in the wake of yet another raid by this mysterious creature. Hushcobb had dealt with a multitude of supernatural creatures and other bumps in the night during its long, secretive existence...but this avatar of fear was a new one. On the screen were several other videos and reports, all showing the same thing. A black mist striking at US bases and military installations all across the world. There were also reports of attacks by the same mist on the streets of major cities, always against criminals, gangs, and other ilk. No one was sure what this strange mist wanted, how it came to be, or how to stop it. Guns, explosives, even tanks...nothing could hurt it or disperse it. And in a scarce few seconds of a scarce few videos...the director could make out a ghoulish, armored figure inside the mist, with glowing red eyes the color of old blood. Ferrara paused one such video to study those eyes. There was so much hate and rage in them. People who survived the attacks had given that figure a name: The Devilman. He frowned darkly and let out a grim rumble from his throat. "Agent Crossfre," Ferrara said in a deep, gravelly baritone, "get our local agents out there. We're stepping in." --- JUNE 29, 2016 RESEARCH WING HUSHCOBB, KA "Bring up the production speed by oh-point-oh-five," a firm, cool female voice commanded. "Yes, Doctor. Oh-point-oh-five in." The reply was from a younger, mousier woman. She read off the readings on a nearby monitor hanging from the operating room ceiling. "Patient's vitals are holding steady." The blonde doctor scrubbed into the surgical suite ran her delicate hands across the control sticks of a surgical robot interface stationed next to the operating table. Sterile wrappings sheathed the mechanical arms jutting from the base of the robot, moving at the female surgeon's precise commands. At the tips of the arm were various probes. At the tip of one arm in particular was a dart launcher housed in front of a whirring box - within that box was a micro-factory factory, rapidly producing a dart-like projectile filled with ectoplasm. Ectoplasm drawn from, of all things, a literal ghost boy. It was the breakthrough Engel needed to make her technology finally work. For years, the challenge had been finding a suitable, adaptable medium to manipulate the natural healing rate of the human body. It wasn't until Engel joined Hushcobb that she finally found that medium. "What's the time to finished production, May?" the surgeon asked. The mousy woman, May, looked up at the hanging ceiling monitors. "Projectile completed...now, Dr. Engel. You can fire when ready." The surgeon nodded. "All right. Begin recording. ANGEL delivery system test forty-two." She spoke in clipped, dry tones, speaking solely for the sake of the recorders hooked up within the operating room rather than for either her patient or her assistant, May. "Test subject is a volunteer who suffered an IED-related injury to his spine. The patient is paralyzed from the waist down. The ANGEL System can theoretically repair any damaged tissues. Previous tests have shown exemplary effects on soft tissue injury and more modest, but significant, effects on bone healing. This is the first test done on neurological injury. Activating ANGEL delivery system...now." The surgeon pulled a trigger at the controls. The dart launcher fired a small projectile at the patient on the table. Both Dr. Engel and May waited with bated breath. Engel smiled behind her surgical mask. "Readings are beginning to show modest neurological activity in the previously paralyzed nerves. Not enough to restore mobility or sensation, but its a start." She turned to May. "Time until ectoplasm clearance?" May replied, "Thirty-five seconds." Finally, the timer ran out. The two women continued to study the nerve readings. A minute passed. Then two. Then five. May happily announced, "Full ectoplasm clearance achieved. Neurological responses persisting. Congratulations, Dr. Engel. It seems there is a lasting effect from the dart." "Not much. But its a start," Engel replied. She disrobed from her surgical attire and made her way into the locker room. She passed by a full-sized mirror, only cursorily glancing at her appearance. Though clad in unflattering scrubs, no one with eyes could forget her. Dr. Annabelle Engel was nothing short of gorgeous. At five-foot-seven, she was tall for a woman with a lithe frame and a full bust. A comely face with high cheekbones was framed with long golden hair, currently pulled into a tight bun. Even in the scrubs she was wearing, it was impossible not to notice the roll of her shapely hips. She didn't notice how her assistant, May Seavers, was enraptured by those hips. A shorter woman with boyishly short brown hair, she was a few years Engel's junior. She joined Engel in the locker room and opened a locker to switch out of her scrubs. May used the opportunity to covertly sneak several peeks at Engel as the surgeon disrobed. "May?" The mousy woman let out an eep and hurriedly changed in order to hide her sudden blush. Engel didn't seem to notice as she went on, "Thanks for your help today. We've made some big breakthroughs in the last six months, but today's an ever bigger one...no matter how small the results." Engel's cool tone began to warm as she spoke further about the day's test. "Think of it! The ability to quickly regenerate actual nerve tissue! We just need to find a way to amplify the effect...." May blushingly opined, "I'm sure you can do it, Dr. Engel. You're amazing! And you're super smart! If anyone can do it, it'll be you, I know it." Engel let out a smile. "Glad to know I have your belief in me, May." Engel finished buttoning the shirt on her uniform. Last came the jacket of her service uniform, the proud ranking of a Hushcobb agent glittering upon it. The ring of her cellphone cut the air of the locker room. Curious, the surgeon answered. "Engel. Director Ferrara, good morning." The cool tone was back. "No, I just finished the test for today...er...." She trailed off, her brows furrowing. May watched her crush with concern. Finally, Engel said, "I'll be there shortly, Director. Yes, sir." She snapped the phone closed and looked to May. "Get the ANGEL packed. It seems we're going to have a lot of wounded coming in." --- JUNE 29, 2016 MEDICAL WING HUSHCOBB, KA "What the hell happened to these men?" Dr. Engel quietly asked, emerging from the medical ward and hanging her stethescope around her neck. The tail of a white lab coat swished against her legs with each step. "Preliminary tests show nothing physically wrong with them. There's not even any supernatural causes that I can detect. Its as if they simply decided to die." Director Ferrara's expression was grim as he filled her in. "Twenty-four hours ago, we sent a team of agents to Japan take down a supernatural creature called the Devilman. They ended up like this. Even our best efforts yielded only defeat. Local hospitals in Japan couldn't help them, so we had them transported here." "I already have the ANGEL System getting prepped up in the operating suite," Engel said. "Conventional treatment isn't going to cut it. Maybe the ANGEL will. They only look dead. There is still some minimal brainwave activity occurring." She cupped her fingers around her chin and muttered to herself, "Perhaps something's blocking signals from the brain to the rest of the body? Or signal interruption downstream...?" Ferrara cut her musings short. "Get it done, Doctor. I leave it to you." As he began to walk away, Engel asked, "Director. About this Devilman. Did our agents manage to get any samples of him? Or have any extra information that I can use?" "...They were able to record something the creature said; its the first words anyone's ever heard from him," Ferrara said heavily. "'I am justice; I am coming.'"