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 City of Gold IC Act II

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Maxx
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PostSubject: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:45 am

City of Gold



Sunday, April 30th, 2025. 12:30 AM/i]

A Detatched Narrator




It is a fair day, 75 degrees and partially cloudy, but there's enough sun to tan. It just so happens that Smithton manor's skies are extra sunny and devoid of clouds, as well as about five degrees above the rest of the city. Sitting in a beach chair by the in-ground pool behind Smithton manor, tanning in the sun, is Katrina Johnson. She is wearing a black bikini top and a pair of short shorts, in order to make the most of her sunlight, and holds a tanning board out at waist level. Most of the members of SAM are hanging out today, as there's no school and training isn't done on Sundays. Many are relaxing by the pool and soaking up the rays. Shaun and Raphael are sitting in the garden in metal outdoor chairs bordering the brick center containing the fire pit. Both are clutching beers in their hands and are debating about something scientific. Shaun is wearing a white polo with the letters "AU" on it in gold on the right breast and a pair of tan slacks. Raphael is wearing an Avenged Sevenfold concert tee with gym shorts. Everything seems right and perfect for the time being, something what will not be so for a while after this. A very calm wind blows through the garden, causing the grass blades to move like an emerald fluid and the leaves of the fruit trees to sway in the wind. Walk off the Earth plays on a radio by the pool. The inground pool is built into a stone patio, on which many beach chairs and tables sit under umbrellas. The smell of something good and spicy cooking can be smelled across the pool area. The weight room, which has a massive bay window showing the pool deck outside, is open, but currently empty.

---




On the other side of the city, in West Rail, the Skulls are hanging out as they usually would. Most of them are at Skully's, chilling by the bar or taking a smoke outside (smoking is strictly forbidden inside of Skully's unless you are a Big Five. Three of the members of the Big Five, Nex, Grease, and Skeleton, sit by the bar. Skeleton has a beer in his hand and is watching Sportscenter on the bar TV. Nex is chatting with a few members, a cigar hanging out of the left corner of his mouth and a glass of wine hanging from his right hand. Outside, the roar of motorcycles can be heard. Nex watches as two Harleys burn rubber down the road from the bar (the front of Skully's is open-air). He wonders who those two bikers are (they could be anyone). Archer is driving down an adjacent street with Amira in the passenger side of his 1970 Mustang. They are cruising extremely slowly, slow enough for someone to walk over and make conversation. A cigarette is in his left hand, which is resting on the side of the car (the windows and top are down). They seem to be idly chatting about something. It is partially cloudy and warm, but it looks like there are storm clouds to the south. Archer muses about getting that weather girl from the Sammies to make it blow away.

____________________________________
"How strange it is to be anything at all." -In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel



Last edited by Maxx on Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:38 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:13 am

It was an ideal day for a certain Skull named Kylie. She preferred it when the weather was warm, and the sky was free of bullets and clouds. Her attire was only a slight variation of what it normally was, cut up shorts instead of pants and a tank instead of a shirt with sleeves. At least her jacket stayed constant, she never left home without it. Kylie was sitting at the bar with a couple of the other Bigs, some of her only and closest friends, with her feet up in the counter. She rummaged through the pockets on her jacket, fiddling with the laces on her shoes with her free hand, until she pulled out the objects of her desire. It was some of the things she found herself always carrying. A small, pocket sized, mirror, a metallic comb and a tin of some of the nicest hair grease the town had for her to steal. She literally stockpiled the stuff, it was a signature part of her look. It was also obviously how she got her nickname, Grease.

She took the spent cigarette that was still hanging from the corner of her lips and snuffed it out on the bar counter. That was one of the great things about being one of the head honchos of the Skulls. She got respect, and she could smoke indoors. That was really all the girl wanted. She glanced over the bar, at the array of drinks available to the Skulls. She bit her lip in a moment of weakness. She had told herself she was going to start cutting back, she needed to if she was ever going to kick her nasty habits. Kylie shook her head with a soft sigh, her cocky smile returning as she sent a quick grin to the friends sitting near her. She could drink some other time.

Leaning the mirror up against her foot, Kylie got back to the more important matters at hand. Her hair was getting flat. She flicked open the tin with a satisfying clink, globing a generous amount onto the teeth of her comb and brushing it through her unnaturally colored hair, being mindful of her earrings. After a couple passes through, her hair was back into it's bumped in pompadour, and damn did it look good. With a content grin, Kylie moved the remaining grease back into the tin, not wanting to waste, and then retuned the three objects back into her pockets. Now that her hair emergency was fixed, she took out a fresh cigarette and lit it. She leaned back into her seat, watching the motorcycles race past. She could easily recognize one of the bikes, it belonged to her almost adopted brother, Matthew. Kylie leaned forward a bit, cupping her hands around her mouth. "If you hurt yourself, Matt, I swear to Christ I'll throw that bike into the Sammie's pool!" She learned back into her seat with a grin. Damn, it was a nice day.

____________________________________


Last edited by Dragonbud on Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:15 am

Leila Caulay

Someone was following Leila.

Leila slipped into a side alley, which is typically a very poor thing for small, physically unimposing women walking alone to do, but thankfully for this story, Leila is atypical. The black duffel bag, considerable large and visibly heavy (the small girl carried it with ease, however) shifted slightly as she swung so rapidly down the alley; all of Leila's body movements were that of prey, panicked and jerky, but her mind was anything but a victim. She felt no fear for the man (so blatantly) following her, but rather a very vague, detached sense of pity.

Leila walked further down the dead end, spotting a decrepit metal trash can overflowing with garbage. She placed her duffel bag down next to it and whipped out a cell phone, pretending to call someone. She ran a hand through her short-cut hair and feigned terror, her voice high-pitched, her cries of help to the nonexistent person on the other end quite believable. She had her back turned to the mugger, her eyes closed in focus.

"Yeah, John, I really need some help, I think I'm being-"

There was the scrape of a foot against a discarded trash can. Leila felt her whole body begin to tense, subconsciously, her mind grew clear as it underwent the usual mantra.

"Again."

"Leila, if you make me do this again, metahuman or no, I'm gonna kick your ass."

Leila shook her head, staring at the gas mask in front of her. The messy war-room of an apartment around her didn't matter as much, it was more...abstract. The gas mask was solid. The gas mask was tangible. The gas mask, during these training sessions, reminded Leila of what was at stake. She couldn't allow herself to fail. Not with this on the line.

"Again, Delly."

Cordelia crept forward, moving as silently and slowly as possible. It took a good five or six minutes before she'd moved three or four feet across the room, Leila's face scrunched up in silent concentration the whole time. Cordelia took one more step, her well-trained feet landing smoothly and silently, and Leila sprung into action, whipping around and


Leila grabbed the mugger by the sides of the head, the useless phone slipping out of her hands, and gave him a kiss. The mugger, needless to say, was completely off-guard, and entirely stunned for a moment. Maybe two. Leila didn't let up, shoving her tongue into his mouth with a kind of...feral...passion.

She pulled away, wiping her lips off with her sleeve. The man convulsed for a moment or two and crumpled to the ground, rather dead. Leila knelt, pressing the back of her hand to his throat. Yes. Dead. She rose up, grabbing the duffel bag and withdrawing a can of spray paint. She shook it for a moment, then, with practiced ease, blasted her insignia against the alley wall; a crude, albeit accurate, rendering of the mark of the Golden Horde.

Leila tucked the spray paint back into the duffel bag, slung it over her shoulder, and walked out of the alleyway.

She was not seen or discovered, the corpse itself not stumbled upon until long after the paint had dried over the previous graffiti before it. And that was rather how Leila liked to operate, both in terms of her fighting and her social impact. Where before, there had been years and years of confusion and ignorance and petty gang affiliations sprawled on that section of the alleyway wall, now there was merely her sigil. Her sigil and a corpse.

Genghis would've been proud.

She walked down the sidewalk of West Rail, her previous body language and mannerisms of "prey" long since disposed with. Leila walked until she found a suitable location: an abandoned boxcar, cast off from the side of the tracks and surrounded by overrun weeds. Leila slipped inside, briefly checking the interior for any vagabonds or spiders or similar pests. Leila moved into the shadows and commenced changing-all of this, of course, after numerous surreptitious glances-behind and scouts-around to ensure she was not tracked, tailed, or being observed in any means whatsoever. Not many people were capable of tracking someone a half mile out from the city, with nothing to hide behind, without being noticed at all.

Miss Khan left the duffel bag behind. The gas mask was tight and comforting against her face, like slipping into one's favorite pair of jeans or feeling the presence of an old friend in a dangerous situation. Her boots crushed the weeds beneath them as her eyes (hidden behind the opaque lenses of the gas mask) surveyed West Rail.

They used to sign peace treaties in boxcars. It says something I use them as a dressing room.

Double checking her gear, her armor, and most importantly, that her shoes were double knotted, Miss Khan took off walking, sticking to back roads and off-the-beaten-trail. She preferred to go about the city at night. Attracted less attention, and it was easier to carve one's reputation from the shadows, anyhow.

____________________________________
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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:23 am

Anthony Marks slowly approached a corner of the Smithton manor's pool as he ended his exercise. Though he had just finished several laps of freestyle, the normally rigorous and exhausting exercise barely provoked heavy breathing for him. Anthony was a very skilled endurance swimmer, and this clearly showed with his deliberate pacing and technique as he traveled about the water. He took his Speedo goggles off rather hastily, disrupting the formation of his hair that the water had caused, and placing them on the ground near the edge of the pool. Grabbing an unmarked plastic bottle nearby, he gulped down some water that wasn't tainted with cleansing chlorine created by the salt content (though that's not to say he hadn't accidentally swallowed some of the pool's water while going about his exercise). He set the container aside and, placing both hands on the wall, jumped out of the pool and sat on the edge. This motion was very quick, and he performed it as if it were instinctual. In truth, swimming in this very pool was a daily activity for Anthony - He felt that the water rushing around him from his own motion, the sound of it even, to be very soothing. It allowed him to get away from reality for a bit. While swimming, he always had a slight grin upon his face, which is somewhat difficult due to the nature of the activity, and while he should be relieved that a tiring exercise regiment was finished, his face held a slight frown. The weather was nearly ideal for the activity, though he usually preferred warmer weather for swims, having grown up in southern California.

For a little while, Anthony sat there, taking in the bright sunlight and briefly observing the others before standing on his feet and grabbing a clean, white towel. Anthony wore only his swimming trunks, which he uses to train in due to the drag it creates in the water, adding to his weight, and his rough rope bracelet. Quickly, Anthony dried himself off in a methodical manner, the towel brushing over his skin and absorbing the water molecules. He then grabbed his gray Black Keys t-shirt from the ground where he had placed it when diving into the water, and put it on, placing his arms through the sleeves first before his head. He adjusted his hair slightly with his left hand as he walked to an empty chair, setting himself down it in calmly, blinking in the bright light of the sun. Anthony drew in several deep breaths, an attempt at relaxation, as he did nothing in particular but sit.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:24 am

"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." -Eleanor Roosevelt



The motorcycle roar was always a semi-calming feeling to him. Few would agree with that, considering the roar of the mighty 2014 Breakout below him was ear splitting. How that could be anything but pain inducing was beyond some's comprehension. That and coupled with the roar of the cyclist's Superlow 1200T beside him made the sound even louder.

Then again, some weren't smart enough to use ear buds.

The idea of safety for Harley-Davidson motorcycles were after all, to be as loud as possible so cars heard you before they could see you.

The cyclist beside him, Valjean, another Skull the Desert Scorpion as others called him was a very large man. Well over six feet tall and over two hundred pounds. He himself wasnt nearly that big. While not a small man, he wasnt much over average. Matthew, as his name was, was six feet tall and weighed just below two hundred pounds. He was very muscular and built like a runner. He was after all that way competitively. He secretly wished someone would one day challenge him to a contest of agility just so he could show off his skills to a more personal audience. Maybe then his sister would think he's cool. Matthew, as luck would have it, was the adopted brother of Kylie. Better known as Grease who was part of the Big Five founders of the Skulls. Sometimes he wondered if they knew the Skulls was already the name of a college fraternity that's infamous for having the Uniter States Presidents as past members.

Heh, probably not.

His thoughts returned to the competition at hand. It was friendly, as he and Valjean were heading to the same place and nothing like a little bit of friendly competition on bikes going ninety miles an hour on a straightaway got the adrenaline flowing fast. He knew his sister of sorts would be there, and being the younger brother he thought that winning the little competition would make him cool enough to speak a few sentences to her in public without embarrassing her in front of her other big four friends. He heard her voice just whispers into his ears through the roar and earbuds. He had no idea what she had said, only that she was speaking. He felt happy that she was speaking to him at least. After all as a little brother he looked up to her more than she realized and rooting for him, if that's what she was doing, he couldnt tell after all.

The weather was cool and the day was pretty. It was April 30, not too hot and not too cold. All he needed was a light jacket if that to be perfectly comfortable. He twisted the gas on the handlebars of his bike to pick up more speed. He would win this as to not make an idiot of himself in front of his sister's friends. Or he would, but that's okay, it wouldnt be the first time. And it wasnt like he couldnt do a few backflips off the roof to get some form of impression here and there.

It was the niceness of the weather egging his optimism on, and he was perfectly okay with that.

____________________________________
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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:27 am

Nikki Biyung, & Amanda Daisy Blackmore.


A swarm was immediately called to her.

It was usual business, Nikki had told herself. She was standing on top of the university that she had called home, looking down upon the pool and the many people enjoying the day like it was nothing. The swarm had gathered itself around Nikki, being smaller creatures, it took much longer for them to amass on Nikki than it would, say, a human. They quickly engulfed her, covering her body from head to toe, closing her eyes, and focusing. It didn't bother her anymore, it was natural as breathing air. If someone was unaware of Nikki, and her powerful ability, they could quickly suggest that the swarm was attacking her. She had sensed every individual insect and arachnid on her very being. Almost like she was getting a mental map of herself. After every arthropod in the university had found it's way to her, she closed her eyes, and let them crawl on her. She knew as long as she was conscious, they wouldn't attack her. Nikki took this time to reflect... Wonder where her life had changed, and how the hell she got herself engrossed in the war with the Skulls, and the Humans.

"Heya, Cousin!" A voice shouted, very familiar, but the sound of the swarm all over her body had made it rather difficult for her to hear it clearly. Nikki immediately sent the swarm away, the crawling insects were sent back to where Nikki found them, and the flying insects took position in various locations. Because of her power, she had an advanced scouting ability. The second the swarm disappeared, it revealed Nikki's outfit. A black fabric hoodie, matching sweat shorts, white running shoes, and gloves, which was unfortunately coated with the bits and pieces of the swarm she had amassed on herself. Nikki turned, to see a very familiar face.

Amanda. Cousin to Nikki, and the person whom Nikki had recruited into SAM. Purely out of giving the faction some much needed firepower. Amanda had activated her power, creating a phantasm clone of herself with the power of telekinesis, lifting herself off the groundfloor and to Nikki's level. After touching the roof, she had dispelled her ghost, preferring to walk the rest of the way. Amanda was wearing her usual leather get-up, a leather jacket, with a white T-shirt underneath, and black jeans and boots. Looking like something out of a Mad Max movie. She approached Nikki, swaying her hips left and right the whole way. "Yoyoyo," Amanda greeted, obviously having something else to say, "You hangin' up here, again? Ha. That's just like you," She said, leaning on one hip, "Always playing the role of the loner."

A hinge of irritation was growing inside of Nikki. Not this conversation again. "I am fine with being alone up here. And you should know that." She snarled.

"You heard Shaun. Today is a day of relaxation!" Amanda spread her arms out in the air in a glorious pose, "Go down there and talk to someone... That isn't a bug." Amanda had narrowed her eyes, pointing at a cockroach that was still scurrying away.

Do I have to? Nikki thought to herself. She figured that maybe. Despite her own insecurities, and lack of social skills, maybe she could talk to someone. Nikki generally stayed out of everyone's way, only talking to Shaun, Samson, Hector, and Amanda. Either way, she sighed, "... Fine." Before she climbed down the building. Wondering how she got up here in the first place!

Amanda summoned the same ghost copy of herself with telekinesis, and found her way to the nearest lounging chair. Slamming down on it, crossing her legs, and keeping an eye on Nikki.

Find someone to talk to, find someone to talk to... The mantra continued in Nikki's head as she walked around the pool. Trying her best to resist the thoughts of just heading to her room, or finding somewhere private. She walked by an older member of SAM, Anthony, she think his name was called, climbing out of the pool. Well, she was the first person she crossed. So why not start with him? Nikki approached, noticing that he was built like a swimmer. "Um... Hi, I'm Nikki." She greeted, quite awkwardly. She was wondering where the hell she wanted to go from here. God dammit... Come on, come up with SOMETHING! At this point, she was hoping that he'd have somewhere to go from here. Subconsciously, she was attracting a swarm to her location. Bees and other flying insects started making circles around them. But never attacking no matter what Anthony or Nikki did to them.


Samson & Hector Jeross.


A man in his prime needs to stay in his prime. Plain and simple. There is no room for weakness, or getting sloppy. To avert this, you need to train.

That's why Samson and Hector were in the gym of the university, in the middle of an intense sparring match, both assumed poses from various martial arts. They were exchanging blows. But this is where they mixed it up a bit. Most of the opponents that they'd be dealing with would be packing powers. Naturally they started using powers of their own. Samson had selectively transformed his right leg into the powerful talon of his phoenix form, and appeared to be about to deliver a roundkick. Hector quickly surrounded the right side of his body in his energy crystals to absorb the force of the attack, and if Samson hit it hard enough, it would hurt like hell. However, this was just what Samson wanted, he masterfully changed stances to deliver a front kick, hitting the nice unexposed areas of Hector's armor. Knocking his brother onto his back, and the crystal parts of his body made a nice loud slam as he hit the ground.

"Heh," Samson stood over Hector, scowl on his face, offering his hand, "Next time, cover your entire body, buddo. You just left yourself a bit open there." He said, dead serious.

Hector felt a bit stupid, and knew that if this was a real fight, Samson could have put a bullet through his head. His face contorted into a frown, while he accepted Samson's hand. "Yeah, yeah..." His eyes were somewhere else, "I'll be careful next time." He sighed.

"You know there won't be a next time if ya' slip up like that again," Samson snarled at him, "The Skulls will take every chance they get to tear your head off."

"Yeah... Yeah... Are we done here?" Hector retorted, the least bit interested in hearing Samson talk down to him.

Samson pushed him off, "Yeah, kid. Just... Go relax. I heard everyone's getting together at the pool. I'll be there in a second."

The two split up from here. Samson just walked up to the pool. Hector went back to his room for a few moments, to vent, before he came to the pool himself.

The second Samson came to the edge of the pool, he gave the place a good hard glance, looking for someone he knew. There was Nikki, awkwardly talking to some guy. Samson almost felt like stepping in, just to be the girl's wingman. Then there was Raphael, hm, he had little interest in talking to him. Amanda... Nah, same reason. The person that he settled with talking to was Katrina. Tanning in the sun like a supermodel. Samson knew that she would be entertaining to talk to while he waits for Hector to show up. Samson approached her, stating, "Oh, hey, Katrina." He greeted, sounding friendly, "Enjoying this great day I see? Heh, I'd jump in the pool, but I don't think anyone would like it boiled."


Valjean Vaseal.


"Hahaha, kid! You better put on a helmet, and knee pads so you don't catch a bo-bo. While you're at it, slap on some stickers." Valjean loudly taunted Matthew. There was so much at stake here, at least in Valjean's eyes. He wasn't going to lose to some bottomfeeder kid that thinks he's a big badass because he's in the Skulls. It's time for Valjean to win. One eye was peered towards Kylie, one of the big five, a cute girl. Obviously out of his league, all because he's a grunt, and she's an alpha. But hell. That wouldn't stop him from trying. The second he got the green light, Valjean slammed his foot on the pedal, darting off.


Greta Kayla Faust.


Faust set up shop fast. Nex, her superior, had brought her along from one dirty backwater bar to another. But given the skills that they had, that Faust didn't, she would always choose to be with the Big Five than be left alone with their less controlled underlings. It was always a simple deal. Faust loans her talents to the Skulls, they prevent the police from tearing her limb from limb. Still, she always found herself hating the ideals of the Skulls, saying that they are no different from lawless savages. Though, Faust was hypocritical in that regard, she needed enough lawlessness to conduct her experiments. That out of the way, Faust had found herself a table in the bar, away from everyone else, and was really hoping it'd stay that way. She had orderly set up every last potion, and serum she brought with her neatly on the table. Some of these were simple healing potions for the Skulls, should they require quick patchwork. Others were poisons strong enough to kill forty elephants, or a potion that'd cause someone's insides to melt.

Neatly set up in front of her were five vials with water, and other liquids. Simple enough to work with. Faust was ready to try something. She worked her fingers into the vials and they started glowing. The water quickly started bubbling as they kept glowing, until they changed colors. One turned green, another yellow, and the rest were purple. The best of the best. She grabbed the yellow serum, and looked at it. She was certain that this serum turned the drinker into a blood-thristy monster! Wouldn't be the first (or last) time it happened. Well, there was only one way to check. Time for a little trip. There should be a few homeless people running amok out here, maybe act like a good Samaritan and feed them. Haha! Feed. What an amusing euphemism.

Not wasting a second of her time, Faust grabbed what she needed, and quickly put a sheet over the rest of her potions, as a nice way of saying 'Don't touch this.' Which even the dumbest Skull could abide by, given her reputation of putting the deathly poisons next to the penis enlargement. Oh, how funny was it when some fool decided to give her potions a try and ended up a deformed blob for the rest of his life? Fortunately, someone put that fool out of his misery and everyone moved on.

She quickly put the potions in her backpack, then quickly jogged her way outside. Naturally, since Faust only (wants to) answers to the Big Five, it was only proper etiquette to find the nearest Big Five, then run out and find the nearest homeless schmuck, give them the potion, then hightail to some safe viewing distance. Faust saw Archer, in his ride, talking to some girl presumably. She could care less about interrupting Archer, because it might do the world some good if he doesn't procreate and put even more savages on this earth. Faust walked up to the car, politely knocked on it to get Archer's attention, then kindly spoke to him,

"Archer, I hope I am not interrupting anything," Faust spoke almost sarcastically, "But I am heading out to run some tests. The usual. Would you mind not killing it if it chases me back here, yes? And I left some healing potions for you if anyone gets blown in half again. It's the purple ones, and strictly the purple ones."

____________________________________


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Maxx
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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:32 pm

Detached Narrator

So a quick backstory. Archer and Amira have been dating for about a month and a half. Nothing big or spectacular. They did all the things young gangsters do but with no emotion behind it; only lust. Then the cops got Amira, and when she fell, her Robbie was the only one there to catch her. She said that she loved him that night. Maybe she did, but more likely it was simply a trauma-induced survival mechanism to cling to the nearest hunk of meat. Archer, out of courtesy (or was it foolishness), said he loved her too, and despite his generally unruly demeanor and hard outer shell, Robin Daniels is a man who keeps a promise. Afterall, that's what love is -a promise. So he tries to make it work. He doesn't know if he actually loves Amira, and in his mind he doesn't have to. What he does for her is keeping a promise, and nothing more. He treats her as well as he can, and hopes something good will come out of it. Who knows? Maybe the old one-eyed lightning god wasn't such a bad guy afterall  

Archer, Amira, Skeleton, and Nex

The fair weather and smoothly-running engine had enticed Archer to go cruising in his old mustang convertible. It was an ancient car, over fifty years old, and constantly needed new parts. But the ol' girl was worth every penny. Robin drove with one hand on the top of the wheel and another around the shoulders of the blonde gem Amira Wesson. She was a girl who did not look like she belonged in a gang at all, with curly blonde hair, rosy red cheeks, and a floral tanktop. Normally she wore a Skulls jacket to please Archer, but today it laid discarded in the back seat. She leaned over slightly and rested her head on his right bicep.

"Nice day, ain't it Robbie?" she said to him, looking up at the sunny sky.

"Every day's a nice day when I'm with you." he replied. She smiled and stroked his arm with her left hand affectionately. She had one of those rare, fleeting smiles that one catches while flipping through the pages of an idle magazine and never finds again. It's sweet, kind, and elusive.

"Aw...You're so sweet." She swooned, her eyes locked on his. The car at this point was moving ridiculously slow. Luckily nobody was stupid enough to drive behind Robin Daniels (and if they did, they'd definitely not honk at him). For the third time that car ride, she said "I love you."

"I lo-" he was cut off by Faust. Why, that great overweight witch! Archer looked up at her abruptly, his face frozen in half-shock and half disbelief that someone would dare to interrupt Robin Daniels, sniper of the Big Five, during a moment! It was a hard-and-fast rule in the Skulls that nobody ever interrupted one of the big five. People died like that.

"The fu-" then he remembered who this was; Nex's pet "Uh, yeah, sure, whatever. Do what you want, don't have to ask me." He seemed extremely flustered as he drove off as quick as he could. Both hands were firmly on the wheel now as Archer's face slowly flushed red.

"Robbie, calm down." Amira said "Now where were we?"

"Gonna have to take a rain check on that, babe." he replied "I have to have a little talk with Cruor about keeping his pets on a stronger leash." Archer nearly crashed into the racing motorcycles, and honked loudly to move several fans out of his way. One turned around to say something, but was abruptly shut up by Archer's beet red face. Archer pulled over in a parking space on the side of the road and threw the door open. He walked into Skully's and right up to Nex.

"Good afternoon, Robin." Nex said with a sarcastic smile on his face "How's it going? You look particularly lovely today. Did you do something with your eyepatch?"

"Save the sweet talk for someone else, Cruor!" Robin snapped "I got a little problem with your pet."

"My pet?" Cruor retorted "Alex, did you know I had a pet?" Skeleton made no remark, and simply watched Archer from out of the corner of his eye, beer in hand. He pretended to still be watching the ESPN top plays.

"That overweight soccer mom you call a chemist, Cruor! She keeps butting her fat, round head in and interrupting me! She shows us no respect! None of us, god dammit! And I've had enough of it."

"Look, Rob, let's calm down and think about this a sec." Skeleton piped up in a rough, hardly human voice "This is nothing to freak about. Why don't you take a seat at the bar and grab a beer? Hell, let the chick sit in Sal's seat. Not like he ever uses it."

"Fine...." Archer seethed under his breath "But if that fat witch disrespects me again, I'm gonna put enough volts in her to light up all of West f*cking Rail! Got it?"

"And then we'll use her as the christmas star for next year's town hall Christmas Tree." Cruor quipped "Yeah whatever. Bring whatsherface over here with you." Archer sighed loudly, and muttered something to the effect of "she has a f*cking name, you know" as he walked away. "Christ, what's gotten into him?"

"He claims it is love." Skeleton replied "Let's give it a month until love clears his wallet out and he dumps it on the street corner."

"Heh. Like that dumbass knows what love is. Speaking of dumbasses, where is Sal? I haven't seen that fat amphibian in days."

"He's in the f*cking sewers again." Skeleton replied "Claims it's wetter down there."

"Hm. Remind me why we let a slimy reptile with gills become one of the leaders of our gang?" Cruor asked after taking a small sip of his wine.

"Since he flipped over a cop car and splattered two officers' collective guts all over King Street."

"Oh please. Any of us could do that." Archer returned now, with Amira holding his hand. She wore the Skulls jacket now, giving her a slightly-less-girly edge.

"This is Amira, guys." Archer said as they approached "My girlfriend." Cruor looked flabbergasted, and lowered his sunglasses.

"She actually exists!?" he cried out "By god, Rob! I thought you were joking when you found someone who wanted to go out with you!" He shook her hand "Ignatius Cruor! Call me Nex! Nice to meet'cha. Now tell me, are you on any hallucinogens or date rape drugs? Are you in your right mind?"

"Stop being a douchebag, Cruor." Skeleton said, elbowing him roughly once he saw Archer's face returning to a dark pink "I'm Skeleton. Nice to meet you."

Katrina

"How's the water feelin, Anthony?" Katrina called out to him "I've got half a mind of jumping in there myself!" She was going to say something like "A day this beautiful is rare", but with her around, it wasn't. She knew she could make this weather happen without exerting much effort any day of the week, whether it was May 1st or December 31st. Still, though, it was nice being out today. Soon, Samson approached her. She liked the guy; he had a heart of gold and a fiery resolve matching his powers.

"Hey Sam." she said to him kindly as he sat down next to her "Yep. Just taking a bit to soak up the sun! I'm waitin' for y'all to turn your back so I can take my top off for a bit and get some sun under there!" This was part of Katrina's strange, raunchy humor that she found hilarious but the rest of the world met with heavily-mixed results. She giggled quickly as if to signify that it was a joke (and that she was not a pervert), and then laid her head back, still talking to Sam. "Then I suppose you're not one for the hot tub then? I've been wanting to get in all day but it's boring as Deadliest Catch in their alone and my Ralphy's being a stick in the mud. Off discussing politics with Shaun, probably. Ah well, can't blame him. We've got to give Shaun something to do so he doesn't retreat to a wheelchair and turn into Steven Hawking!" She smirked at this, and continued on.

"So how are you, sweetie?" she asked "You look kinda sweaty. Have you and your brother been fighting again?"

Shaun and Raphael

On days like this, the two best friends, the lawyer and the scientist, loved to sit around and discuss topics that the complexity of which would make the uneducated human head spin in circles like a top. Some days they talked about politics, and others about quantum physics or new scientific discoveries. If a scientist came up with a theory, the two would debate its plausibility, and if a new technology came about, they would talk about its relevance in society and its probability of catching on.

This was not one of those discussions. Today, the topic was lunch.

"The taste of sushi bears no comparison to the taste of pulled pork, Shaun!" Raphael said.

"But sushi is so much healthier!" Shaun replied "You could in theory eat more sushi than pulled pork and not have as many ill health effects."

"But sushi isn't good!" Raphael retorted "Why do I want to eat uncooked fish wrapped in seaweed?"

"Why do I want to eat a pork sandwich with enough fat to lubricate a Skull's motorcycle?" Shain snapped back.

"Because it tastes good! And pulled pork is not as bad for you as you say it is! If it were, you and I both know I wouldn't eat it." Shaun sighed and laid his head back in the chair. Raphael took this moment to take another drink of beer. As he drank, he stared over at Katrina over by the pool. As usual, she looked absolutely stunning. He wondered what she was talking about with Samson. Probably nothing serious. Raphael trusted her, unlike many men did with their spouses, and knew that the conversation was probably innocent. And if not, then he'd break Samson's skull in half and curbstomp his brain.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:44 pm

Anthony looked up at Nikki and let forth a smile, showcasing his near flawless teeth, clearly carefully maintains, aside from one tooth jutting from his bottom jaw that was slightly crooked sideways. Glancing around quickly, he noted the insects circling around the area, deducing that this girl whom had approached him had something to do with it. Anthony was fairly good at figuring things out, a knack that he put to use in repairing computer hardware. Nonetheless he also noted Nikki's shy and awkward demeanor - He had seen her around the manor before and knew her name, but had never obtained the chance to speak with her. Briefly he considered doing something, anything with his abilities to impress her, but quickly dismissed this idea. Anthony never enjoyed showing off and being arrogant, and he often found that those who had were usually foolish. Anthony sat up in his chair from his relaxed position. "I'm Anthony," he greeted Nikki. "It's nice to meet you."

He was about to speak again when he heard Katrina asking him about the water. Turning to her, he let a grin float to his lips, trying not to stare, knowing what Raphael could do to him despite his attitude towards others speaking with Katrina. He also wanted to continue to speak with Nikki, and decided that anything less than an acknowledgement might not be courteous. "The water's fairly nice," He called out. "Days like this are perfect for swimming."

He turned back to Nikki, not entirely sure of what to say, and knew that she likely felt the same. "So..." He trailed off, considering his options. "How are you?"

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:23 pm

Matthew furrowed his brow as the bike beside him darted off.

He had seen that Valjean had been talking, but he didnt know what he had been saying through his earbuds. Although based upon his facial expressions it was something snipe. Typical of the Skulls, as being assholes were their specialty. He wasnt fond of it, but to each their own.

The desert scorpion zoomed off, and Matthew frowned. No, he couldnt have that at all. He twisted the knob on the handle bars and released the brakes. The motorcycle skidded on it's rear wheel for a minute before finally getting grip and launched Matthew and itself forward. Matthew kept a strong grip on the bike, he knew his motorcycle well. He pushed the engine hard, reaching second gear in only a few seconds. Accelerating past Valjean and moving to third gear. His Harley has rather high gear limits, the first gear tapping out at about 45mph and the second at 54. He picked up speed very fast. He was glad this was a straightaway. The bike's ability to turn was limited because it was heavier than other bikes. It's momentum kept it moving for a slightly more extended period of time. He briefly wondered what Kylie or the others thought about this. He knew them by name. Not really personally, but he knew them, and he hoped they knew of his existence. They probably didnt think much of him though if they did know about him.

He wondered what the race meant to Valjean, he was no telepathic meta, at least not to his knowledge, so he couldnt just magically know. He wondered if it was more to him than just a race. He also wondered if what the outcome would be if he lost. He knew that most Skulls had foul tempers and low self control. He hoped that Valjean had some sense in him compared to others he had seen. He didnt want to have to defend himself from a giant scorpion, as he didnt want to have to give everyone second hand lung cancer. He briefly thought about throwing the race just to negate the chance of a fight.

He hoped that whatever happened, it would be for the best. He didnt want to start a pride war and cause someone or himself unnecessary pain.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:40 pm

Kylie took another drag of the cigarette hanging from her mouth, retuning her lighter to her pocket, watching the motorcycle race begin. The two racers had begun with the whirl of tires, filling the warm air with the comforting scent of burned rubber. Kylie inhaled deeply, a grin spreading across her lips. Matthew had done a little wheelie, most likely not planned but still an endearing touch. Kylie then turned towards the other Bigs sitting near her, but still watched the race out of the corner of her eye. As if watching the race would ensure the two racers would remain safe. Even though she was as unforgiving and brutal as the other Skulls, she didn't like seeing wasted blood.

Archer had just showed up, a girl practically attached to his hip. Kylie whistled, all in good fun, as the two approached, but didn't say anything else. She tapped the loose ashes on the end of her cigarette into a tray as the other Bigs talked amongst each other, letting out a short laugh when Skeleton mentioned Archer being in love with the girl, who's name Kylie still didn't know. "Man, if it's love already the sex must have been amazing." Kylie directed towards Archer with a wink. She loved to tease the poor guy, he was one of the Bigs she was able to relate to the most. Must be their shared love in hair product.  

Then the boys brought up Sal, one of the bigs of their little gang. Kylie let out a slightly irritated puff of smoke. She didn't personally have anything against Sal, he was a bit mysterious to Kylie in a weird 'only lives in the sewers' kinda way. He was a more recent addition to the Skulls, almost acting more like a hungry wall of meat then anything, not that Kylie minded. He couple take out armored cops in quicker time then most of the other Skulls. The two of them had a bit of an odd dynamic together, Kylie would often push any cops she shot into the sewers, as if Sal was receiving a treat for all of his murdering.

And then Archer returned. And Kylie couldn't help but laugh at Crurors teasing. It was brutally true, no one expected Archer to get a girlfriend without having to pay someone or drug someone. With a nickname like 'heartbreaker' he tended to live up to the name, so it was weird to see him getting close to just one girl. Kylie had to admit, she was pretty good looking. Maybe once Archer broke her heart into pieces Kylie would swoop in. Still leaning and reaching over Skeleton Kylie addressed her. "Name's Kylie, but you're free to call me Grease."

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:39 am

Something beneath Miss Khan's feet shook.

Leila looked down, seeing her black boots against the cracked, poorly maintained asphalt, and very briefly considered a small earthquake was going on before she considered the far more likely alternative. Moving quickly yet calmly, she backed herself to the mouth of an alleyway, ready to retreat further back if Sal proved to be in an irritable mood. Leila's breathing was barely audible, given just a bit of noise by the gas mask. Despite the heat and humidity, the lenses stayed clear-a testament to the mask's construction.

"What do you think?"

Leila rolled the mask over a couple times. "Trying to make me look like Darth Vader?"

Lynn shrugged, masking the sting to her pride. "Hey, you don't want it, I'll take it."

"No, no, I'm teasing you. I love it." Leila slipped it on over her face, securing the straps. "Aw, sh*t!"

"What? You okay?"

"Yeah, just tore at my hair." Leila fastened it and looked at Lynn, then shook her head vigorously. The mask stayed on, barely moving-and yet wasn't painfully tight, either. Snug. A good fit.

Leila returned her head to its normal position in time to see Lynn blast her with a second or two of pepper spray, prompting initial panic from Leila before she realized she wasn't feeling anything at all. "One of these days, Cordelia Lynn..."

Lynn grinned, wiping the mask off and returning the pepper spray to its sheath. "I'll make it up to you. Take the mask off and read what's inside."


The manhole to the sewers burst open, flying up five or six feet before it came down on its side, denting the concrete, falling over, and rolling to the side. A few nearby hounds that had been barking and generally being a nuisance stopped, and the few pedestrians (who cast strange or fearful glances at Miss Khan's unusual get-up) who remained on the street quickly found shelter elsewhere. Mottled orange-brown hands reached up out of the manhole, a creature seemingly too large to fit through a manhole slipping out with ease. Sal blinked and hissed as the sunlight stabbed at his eyes, and the meta wasted no time in rising up and sniffing the air, his hands clenching to fists at his sides.

"Looking for the police, Salazar?"

Sal's head whipped around-far faster than one would expect from such a bulky creature-and stared at Leila. She returned his gaze confidently, despite the fact she was easily three and a half feet shorter than the Big Five's most recognizable member. "Police? You...where are the police?"

"Not here. East. Fort Braxton."

Sal merely stared at her, giving Leila a moment's hesitation. She was sure she could handle the beast-he would be easy to put down-but no one on earth stares at eight hundred pounds of anything living without a bit of apprehension.

"Fort Braxton," she repeated, enunciating clearly through the mask's voice-scrambler. "Where they've blocked up your sewers."

"Sewers? You want to come...to the sewers?" Sal spoke eagerly, as if Leila were playing right into a clever scheme of his.

"No Salazar. We can't go in the sewers. Because of the police."

"Police? Here?"

"No. But I know some people who are going to kill the police."

"Where?"

"There's a bar three blocks that-" Leila stopped, able to see how lost her words were on the beast. "Smell that?"

Sal sniffed the air hungrily, deeply inhaling the motorcycle fumes, carried by the breeze and picked up on by Sal's keener senses. "Gasoline."

Sweet Christ, that was three syllables. "Yes. Follow it. Skully's."

"Skulls?"

"Yes. Archer. Skeleton. Nex. Grea-?"

"They kill police?"

"Yes they do, Salazar. Go." Sal looked around a moment more, recoiled as a cloud moved and let a particularly bright wave of sunlight wash over him, and then dropped to all fours and began heading down the street towards the bar. What little traffic was on the road pulled the f*ck over.

Leila stood and watched him go, curious as to how this would progress. She figured there was an equal chance of the lizard remembering the Big Five. Perhaps she should've told him they were the police. Instead, Leila was merely thankful the beast hadn't mistaken her gear for that of the police's riot forces (whom Sal was normally pitted against) and continued walking down the street. Someone was taking a picture of Sal on their cell phone, uploading it somewhere. Leila watched them curiously for a moment before the amateur photographer-a teenage girl-became aware of being watched. Upon seeing a woman in all black with a gas mask, she was understandably startled.

"Skully's."

"Wh-what?"

"When you post the picture. Say that you saw it right next to Skully's."

"Why?"

Leila stared at the girl for a moment, who very quickly decided the why's of what she was doing were unimportant. She uploaded the picture to Twitter, Miss Khan staring straight at her the entire time, and then very meekly asked if she could go. Miss Khan nodded and she went.

And then, slowly and meticulously, she made her way to Skully's, giving Sal plenty of breathing room before she followed.
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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:52 am

Greta Kayla Faust.


Apparently, Faust had struck a nerve in Archer, going off how he angrily stormed off, probably to complain. About what, is anybody's guess. Faust didn't care, long as she doesn't get killed, everything will be just peachy. Now, onto her business, she quickly cleared the area. Getting far away from these Skulls as possible, hoping that eventually, she'd blend into the environment, and appear as a harmless bystander. Except carrying a backpack full of some of the most dangerous things ever. Fortunately for Faust, she didn't have to worry too much about muggers, as she didn't have anything to lose, unless someone is suicidal enough to grab her potions. Before long, Faust had found herself in prime 'hunting grounds'. The back alleys and neighborhoods that are high in homeless people. She would target the soup kitchens, but the last time that happened, Faust nearly got caught, and they should at least be wary of someone like her running around... Then again, she shouldn't be running experiments this early in the day, but now that she thought about it; night was when everyone was on guard.

Walking into a nice abandoned alleyway, there was a homeless man. Your generic veteran of some war (perhaps desert storm?) with a long beard, wearing raggy clothes, and was quite dirty. Before Faust did anything, she had to make herself look convincing. The strategy that never needed changing was to pose as a good Samaritan offering a fellow down on his luck some free food. Most of these people are desperate to get crumbs now that the Skulls, the SAMs and the ACPD are tearing this city a new one. That said, Faust quickly grabbed her backpack, placed it on the ground, and got everything ready. She had a sandwich inside a bag, and a empty bottle of soda. She quickly poured the monster making potion into the empty soda bottle, and zipped up the bag. She doesn't need to carry it around, especially since she might damage it if she trips while high tailing it. With everything set up, Faust quickly made her way over to the homeless man, a warm, false, smile on her face. "Excuse me, sir," Just drink the stupid bottle and become a nice little pet monster, will you? "I am with the local charity, and as a special event today, I have been sent out to feed the homeless." She then presented him with the sandwich and the 'soda' filled with vile potions. This can either go two ways, he eats the sandwich and drinks the potion, or just eats the sandwich (Faust has made the sandwich really salty to encourage him to drink up).

The homeless man looked up at Faust for a few moments, before happily taking her offer, "Thank you, Ma'am, you're a blessing." She almost felt bad here, but it's all in the name of science!

The very second the homeless grabbed the potion, a metaphorical timer started in her head. She has some set amount of time to get lost before he kills her. "Alright, I have to help someone else!" She said as she departed. Faust made it around the corner fast as she could, grabbed her backpack, had it around her shoulders, and was peaking around in astonishing time. So far the man was eating the sandwich, once he reached for what he thought was an ordinary drink; well that was when Faust started getting giddy.

It was so exciting watching him open the potion, the very process of him putting it to his lips was like the countdown to the grand finale.

The second that he finished drinking it, there was a calm time, like the calm before the storm. The effects would kick in any moment now. That's when he dropped it and started shaking uncontrollably. Before his flesh started turning into a liquid-like mesh, growing new mass, and growing disgusting fleshy orbs. He dropped to the ground, and by the time he hit the ground, well, he had already turned into a blob of flesh. In less than seconds, he was a massive mound of bubbly flesh, and several tendrils had stretched outward, causing a disgusting 'web' to attach both sides of the alleyway. This had left him immobile, and strangely silent. Probably because he didn't have a mouth, but if he did, he'd be screaming like a maniac.

"Wow," Faust said, "That was different."

The homeless man would be back to normal in a few hours, if the ACPD doesn't kill him, that is - He'd probably have some psychological problems too. Faust didn't waste any time in leaving the area. She needed to head back to Skully's.


Samson Isiah Jeross.


Samson had found himself laughing at Katrina's joke about taking her top off. He also had his own little retort to it, "You better be careful, someone might have the power to see all." He gave her a grin. He liked Katrina, she was a good girl to be around. Though, he didn't have any intentions of pursuing a relationship, since she's already in one with Raphael, and Samson didn't want any infighting. "Nah, water and me don't mix. Period." Samson responded at the comment about the hot tub. When asked about his sparring match with Hector, he knew that was more of a subject he could talk about. "Yeah, I was just in the middle of training Hector. Kids gonna be good, but he's rough around the edges. Hopefully I can keep him alive long enough."


Nikki Biyung.



Thank god. Anthony had a better idea as to where to take the conversation than Nikki could ever. So maybe this wouldn't go so bad. She had noticed that she had been subconsciously drawing insects to her current position, and once again sent out the order for them to disperse. "Uh, yeah, I'm fine." She said, almost feeling embarrassed that she hadn't exercised enough control over her power. "I was..." Nikki peered over to Amanda, who had been watching from the distance, and gave Nikki the thumbs up when she looked. Eh, to hell with it, just tell Anthony about her little challenge. It's not like this conversation can get anymore awkward. "... Challenged by my cousin to go talk to someone. And I came up to you." Genius. The confidence levels were rising within Nikki. She felt a bit more open, enough to at least talk about herself, let someone in. "Swimming is cool, but I'm not that much of a swimmer. I've just done gymnastics and martial arts more than I ever did swimming."

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:42 am

Archer, Skeleton, and Nex

"Oh f*ck you, asshole!" Archer yelped at Grease with half a smile on his face. His words said to f*ck off, but his eyes and body language said "hell yes it was". His right hand slipping down to her waist for a moment, Archer showed Amira to a comfy bar seat next to his, and the two sat down, Archer to the right of Skeleton and Amira to the left of Kylie. They still loosely held hands, with Amira's thumb, forefinger, and middle finger around Archer's middle three fingers.

"It's nice to meet you, Kylie." Amira said "I feel weird hearing people call you anything other than Grease, to be honest." She laughed nervously, not entirely trusting of the girl next to her. She had heard some nasty things from the ranks of the Skulls that she had done.

"Yo, Billy!" Archer called to the bartender "Grab me two Yuenglings!" The bartender poured them each a glass of beer, and, clinking glasses, they drank. Nex huffed sarcastically and rolled his eyes, still turned around facing the rest of the crowd. He watched as the motorcycles booked down the street and out of sight. It looked like Jean and Matt, from the bike designs. Jean was an interesting fellow; the Desert Scorpion. He would go great places if he weren't so goddamned arrogant. One arrogant asshole (ie Archer) was enough for the Big Five.

"That your brother, Ky?" he said down the table. He was about to start a conversation when everyone's favorite dinosaur showed up. Sal was lumbering down King Street, a confused look on his face. Nex put on his best smile and got up. "Well speak of the f*cking devil." he whispered in Skeleton's ear before walking towards Sal.

"Heeeey, looks like everyone's favorite amphibian is here!" he said with his trademark half-sarcastic grin "How are you, big guy? Haven't seen you in days! How've the sewers been treating you?"

Katrina

"Well hey!" Katrina replied to Samson, a devious smile on her face "At least they've got something worth seeing under here!" She giggled for a moment, and looked over at the hot tub longingly "Oh well, guess I'll have to ask someone else. Don't worry about Hector, sugar. He'll be fine. Shaun sees a ton of potential in him. Those energy crystals will really come in handy someday. It's a strong defensive power. Just what we need." She shifted up a bit, and tilted her tanning board so the light wouldn't shine in her eyes (even though she was wearing sunglasses). She moved to grab her martini glass from the table next to her to find that it was unfortunately empty. Oh well; no more mimosa for her, then. It was probably in her own best interest, as she was starting to get a little tipsy anyways. Katrina was energetic enough without three glasses of mimosa in her.

Shaun and Raphael

"Fine, whatever." Shaun finally broke, and Raphael smiled triumphantly "I guess grab me a barbecue turkey sandwich with green beans and corn. Tell them to go light on the butter." Raphael pulled his phone out and typed the order in his notes.

"Tree hugger." he muttered as he typed "no butter".

"Carnivore." Shaun taunted back. Raphael laughed and moved towards the pool area where most of the metas were hanging.

"Hey guys!" he called out "I'm heading down to Preacher's [a popular barbecue restaurant near the school, often eaten at by the SAM] to grab us all some lunch. I need somebody to come with me! If you don't wanna come with, tell me what you want and I'll grab it for you. Already know what you want, baby."

"Thanks, sugar." Katrina said from the other side of the pool as Raphael typed her usual into his notes, a turkey sandwich with a side of collard greens.

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"How strange it is to be anything at all." -In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:18 pm

Samson Isiah Jeross.


Samson had gave Katrina a warm smile. Yeah, Hector did have potential, he just needed to stay alive long enough to reach it. Which shouldn't be a problem with Samson on the team, making sure that everyone makes it out alive. Though, he had other questions. Like what did Katrina think of the rest of the SAMs? "So, what do you think of the rest of our lineup, then? Not really asking what you think of me, but yeah." He spoke, crossing his arms, looking at Katrina. Raphael walked up and asked everyone what they wanted for lunch, Samson broke contact with Katrina to tell him, "Yo! Can you get me a ribs platter? Nothing else."


Amanda Daisy Blackmore.


Watching Nikki was fine on it's own, but Amanda was starting to get bored, rather easily. Her cousin should be able to survive on her own, long as the awkwardness doesn't cause her to spazz out and say something stupid. Amanda was looking around for something to do. Raphael came in, cute boy, super strong, and at the apex of all physical abilities. Someone that Amanda would love to get with, but he's taken... But there aren't any rules that say that he can't be taken twice. "Getting food? I'm in!" She loudly says, with a grin ear to ear. Hoping to see what good times they can have on the way to getting food.


Valjean Vaseal.


When Matthew started the race, Valjean quickly slammed his boot on the pedal, and darted off fast as he could. Matt was ahead a bit, but that was the point. Valjean never loses. He was just letting him get ahead, so once they see the finish line, Valjean could pass him at the very last second and see that look of disappointment on his face.


((Jean is free to lose))

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:02 pm

At Nikki's remark about Amanda and her challenge, Anthony simply smiled. He really didn't mind, and was always glad to have someone to talk to. Besides, he enjoyed making and having friends, despite the fact that he tended to ignore them at times to pursue his own goals. He decided not to give a light-hearted laugh after the statement due to Nikki's very apparent awkwardness. Instead, he stated, "It's fine," keeping his smile.

After Nikki's last remarks, Anthony held up his right index finger, gesturing for her to wait for a bit. He then turned his head to Raphael, and called out, "Get me their signature pulled pork sandwich with the Southwestern Mac' and cheese." Looking back to Nikki, he continued the conversation. "Sorry," He apologized, glancing at Raphael out of the corner of his eye. "Swimmers need a lot of calories, and I'm not sure when the next time we'd all get food would be." He paused before speaking again. "I've never been one for gymnastics, I don't have the flexibility for it. I do enjoy martial arts, though - I've taken a couple types, though my favorite is Nindokai. It was made in Germany in the '90s, and it was made for systematic and methodical self defense rather than exercise. What about you? Did you take any types of martial arts that you really enjoyed or specialize in?"

((Just give me the go-ahead, Maxx, and I'll do my part in starting the next part of this.))

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:30 am

Matthew saw the monster of a person lumber through the road and turned to avoid that creature, sharply skidding to a halt to avoid running into the creature to avoid hurting or killing it. It was Sal, he knew this because his sister was a big five, so he knew better than to run into it. He could very easily take the monster in a fight, this he knew. With a combination of concrete, smoke, or neon he would have a decent shot as long as the monster wasnt able to get a good grip on him... But still, he didnt want to be known as that one kid who ran over Sal with a motorcycle and then shortly after was ripped in half by the giant salamander.

In slowing down he threw the race, but didnt think much of it. Valjean zoomed past him just after the amphibian man crossed the road safely and wandered over to the others. He was glad he stopped in time. He looked down the road to where Valjean was, and shook his head, and took his sunglasses off. He had lost, but it was no big deal to him. Hopefully the other big five would respect him not running over their largest member. And he had a big more a foothold in the ranking than Valjean did anyways with his relations. Maybe Valjean would make more use of his loss than he would of a win.

He turned the motorcycle around and went back down the road, turning into the Skully's bar where everyone else was hanging out. He parked his bike outside the building and popped the earbuds out of his ears, allowing the flurry of sounds to flood his conscious. He winced at first, but soon got used to it. He took one last look at the road, scanning for Valjean, and slid off his bike. He did not however, go inside. His reason for this was the little ball of smoke in his hand that he was now tossing back and fourth between his palms.

"No smoking allowed indoors," he said to himself. "...unless a B5."

He smirked to himself before tossing the ball on the ground where is poof-ed against the concrete and then dissipated into the air harmlessly. He would wait for Valjean to return, if he wanted to and let him flaunt his victory. His sister would probably have something to say to him anyhow about how dangerous the little stunt he just pulled was. Skidding like that so sharp was a great way to be barrel rolled and crushed if not done correctly, after all.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:44 am

Kylie couldn't help but laugh at Archer's response. The two of them had been friends since they were young, so she could tell what he was saying without hearing him say it. He was an asshole, but practically everyone in the Skulls, especially the Big Five, was an asshole to some degree. Except for Skeleton, Kylie swore she once saw a mosquito land on his arm and he didn't slap it. He just let it drink until it flew away. He was a good guy, or at least the best of the Skulls. Kylie's thoughts about her comrades where interrupted by the girl that Archer was dragging along. Kylie couldn't even remember if the chick had told her her name, but she was talking to her.

She gave a flirty wink to Amira. "Hey, for you babe you can call me whatever you like. Hearing my name from your lips is incredibly sweet." Oh course, all of this flirting was extremely overdone, as if to make sure Archer knew she was just kidding. Amira wasn't really her type anyway.

Suddenly Kylie's attention was snapped away, back to the race between the two motorcycles. She heard the sound of tires screeching, and immediately assumed the worse. Her heartbeat was like drums in her ears and her heart felt like it was going to fly out of her chest. She was about to give up, but her eyes caught up with her. No one had crashed, no one had died. Everything was okay. Kylie slumped back in her chair, tempted to order a drink. She spoke to Cruor, turning her head towards him causally. "Yeah, kinda. Close as I can get to one." It was a rather complicated story, less Matt knew the better.

And then there was Sal. Kylie let out a deep breath, one she did not know she was holding, smoke pouring out of her nostrils. She had seen him coming, he was the reason for the mixup with the bike race, but she hadn't told the others. She was a bit too busy silently panicking. In the end she didn't really care who won or lost, but she might have to rub the results in Matt's face to keep his ego in check. There was danger in being cocky in the Skulls, especially when you're an underling of the Big Five.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:38 pm

Raphael

"Alright cool." Raphael said as he typed the last order down. Hopefully he'd have enough money for all of this. He decided to take Amanda with him, though he'd be watching her carefully. She seemed rather flirty, and the last thing he needed a month and a half before his wedding was to have another girl all over him. He nodded and muttered "Alright cool. I'm gonna head out now." With that, Raphael and Amanda walked through the garden and threw open the heavy wooden fence gate. Raphael's car roared down University Lane a minute or two later.

---Five minutes Later---

Spoiler:
 


"CONDOR, this is ALBATROSS. Come in, over!" The rough voice of a Midwestern former SEAL said over the comms. Static followed, and the reply of an African man with a deep voice:

"ALBATROSS, this is CONDOR. What is our status? Over!" ALBATROSS, also known as Colonel Zachary Swift, looked out of the window of his Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk stealth helicopter for a moment, as if to take in the view. The computer screen on his lap told him the exact location of what he was looking for, but he was never a man to trust machines. There it was; the most powerful Mustang in Aurum, driven by one of the most dangerous people in Aurum. It was a shame that Raphael was metahuman scum; that was a nice car.

"ALBATROSS?" Swift shook his head and looked back down at the screen.

"Convoy ARCHANGEL has left the nest. Agent HOATZIN is in position as well Southwest of the area. You are free to engage. Over!"

"Roger that, ALBATROSS. Engaging. Over!"

"Good. Attention all units; fly, kingfishers, fly!" A black, unmarked Dodge Challenger pulled out of a parking garage south of Aurum University, its windows tinted. It looked built for maximum stealth. It turned down Goldwater street towards Aurum University, drifting smoothly along the ground like a phantom. Inside were two people; a man and a woman, both wearing identical black suits with black sunglasses. On the left lapel of both their jackets was a pin shaped roughly like a bird in flight. Driving was Agent CONDOR, and in the passenger seat was Agent NIGHTHAWK. CONDOR gripped the steering wheel loosely and stared down at the road, a blank expression on his face. On the touchscreen computer built into the center console (roughly where the radio should be) was a touchscreen computer showing GPS directions to the manor. Like CONDOR needed it. He'd been there enough times.

Raphael looked down and felt his pocket. Cursing quietly, he made a u-turn at the next light, saying to Amanda "I forgot my wallet". A buzz filled ALBATROSS' ear as the computer informed him "Convoy ARCHANGEL is heading towards the nest."

"Dammit." ALBATROSS said into his earpiece "Convoy is turning back around. We'll have to issue Protocol One." CONDOR sighed as the gold-painted gates of Aurum University came into sight. Poor Raphael; it was a shame. A campus police officer at a kiosk behind the gate watched as the car drove through. It was them again. He hit a button under his desk and the other officers were notified.

Meanwhile, ALBATROSS hit a button on the touchscreen keyboard. "Initiating Protocol One." he said. Down an alley on goldwater street, a rusted-out pickup truck whirred to life. Its cracked headlights shone a dull yellow and the windshield was badly cracked. Atop the vehicle was a new-looking silver rig with a self-driving mechanism on it. As ALBATROSS spoke, the location of Raphael's car was sent to the device. It took off down the narrow alley, quickly reaching sixty and then eighty miles per hour. Everything that it hit from trash cans to cats flew over the windshield or under the tires and out of mind. Reaching top speed at ninety mph, the truck exited an alley just as Raphael was approaching. It tore across the street and just as the light changed bolted forth from the alley. Raphael caught it at the last second, but was too late. There was a deafening "CRASH!" as the two cars collided. The front of the pickup exploded, sending an extra punch. Raphael's car skidded sideways and began to flip. It smashed through the storefront of an Allstate office, taking out several chairs and sending an insurance agent diving for cover. Raphael was sent airborne by the crash, his pain suppression not picking up before he blacked out from the impact. The blast broke off his chair from the floor and sent him crashing towards Amanda. His legs smacked into the center console, the force breaking both his kneecaps and fracturing his femur. He whacked his head on the sun roof and was shoved towards the back of the car as it hit the building. He found himself laying against the shattered back window of the car, half of him in and half of him laying on the carpet of the building. Half of the bones in his body were broken, and the skin on his left cheek was gone. His neck broke, as did half of his ribs and several spine vertebrae. Every bone in his left arm broke, and there was a crack on his pelvis. Several wounds leaked blood from glass cuts. Most of the skin on his left side broke, and his jaw was popped out. His right kidney had ruptured, and there was an enormous bruise. Legally, he was dead.

There was a knock at the front door of Smithton manor. Lucy, a small, meek, fourteen-year-old redheaded girl who was a resident of the house, opened the door and gasped as she met CONDOR's face.

"ACPD." he said "We're not here to hurt you. We just wish to talk to Mr.Smithton for a few moments." Lucy was visibly trembling. She pointed in the direction of the patio and seemed to shrink down as the two agents began to walk towards it. They opened the sliding glass doors and walked out.

"Good afternoon Lieutenant Branson, Agent Lynn." he said, looking out towards the pool "Can I offer you two a cool drink?" Katrina caught sight of them from the hot tub (she eventually got in by herself), and began to climb out. The air pressure seemed to drop dramatically, as if a storm were coming.


Archer

At Grease's flirt, Archer busted into laughter, sending his beer careening over sideways and spilling across the bar. He cursed and quickly grabbed the bottle to prevent any more spillage. Skeleton jumped minutely, as if it were a quiet snort of laughter, but besides that he made no other noise as ESPN jumped to a baseball game between the Rays and the Red Sox. He remembered when Aurum used to have a baseball team; the Aurum City Prospectors. Those were the days.

"Yo Grease!" Archer yelled through his laughter "If you're gonna hit on my girlfriend, at least do it f*cking right! That was by far the worst flirt I have ever heard! This is how you do it!" Archer flipped his hair masterfully and looked down at Amira, who was shaking with laughter.

"Oh don't worry about it, baby." he said in an imitation hunky voice "You can say my name as much as you'd like!" He raised his eyebrows seductively, and Amira giggled, a devious spark in her eyes. Skeleton, who had been watching out of the corner of his eye, turned towards them, beer in hand.

"That flirting is weak." he said, a slight edge of ever-present anger in his voice (this was a natural tone in his speech, and most people got used to it) "You don't need to string a bunch of seductive words together to impress a woman."

"Yeah, because you know so much about dating, skullface!" Archer pushed Skeleton roughly on the shoulder, and flashed him a smile to show he was joking.


---Two Minutes Later---

Across the city, a phone rang at the ACPD's West Rail station. The operator picked it up, and a few minutes later lights began to blare. An infamous metahuman by the name of Hellbender had been spotted in West Rail at the hideout of the Skulls: King Street. This area was well-known to be the one place the police never went, but today would be different. Sal was to be killed on sight. Lieutenant Cain, a squad commander well-known for his fighting skills, was sent to lead the attack. Eight squad cars and three armored vehicles, hulking black armored humvees with minigun turrets atop them, were sent to deal with the issue and neutralize the threat.



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"How strange it is to be anything at all." -In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel



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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:18 am

The ACPD convoy exited the West Rail station, sirens howling loudly as they surged through the streets like a rampaging herd of bulls. However, the group of vehicles was not chaotic and disorganized, taking on an orderly structure. At the front, there were three patrol cars and two armored vehicles. At the center sat a single patrol car, while behind this there was one more armored Humvee and four more regular patrol vehicles. In total, there were 16 officers within this formation. In the first patrol car were Officers Robert Stone and Eli Jones, followed by Officer Sarah Abernathy in the second, and Officers Jacob Ruiz and Emily Goldstein in the third. The Humvees each seated one soldier in the driver’s seat and one at the top manning the minigun turret – The first of these heavily armored vehicles held Officers Kotaro Sasake driving and Michelle Young at the turret, whereas the second held Officers Arthur Brown and Dennis Shcherbakov at the wheel and the gun, respectively. Behind the center patrol car, in the last of the Humvees were Officers Morgan Walker and Lucian Escobar, again taking the aforementioned positions within the car in that order. The last four patrol cars held a total of five officers. In the first car was Officer Jian Shao, followed by Jan Poulsen and Mark Lettiere in the second, Sebastian Richardson in the third, and William Smith in the fourth, backmost car. However, it was the center patrol car that was most important.

Iron Man - Black Sabbath:
 

Black Sabbath’s Iron Man played loudly on the car’s stereo system as the convoy rushed down the street, drowning out the sounds of the sirens for the man inside. He tapped one of his pale fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of Bill Ward’s drumming, a simple rhythm. Briefly, he removed his hands from this to light a cigarette, using a stainless steel lighter that appeared to be free of any imperfections. The man drew in a breath of the smoke emitted from the now burning cylinder of tobacco and paper, allowing the gas to snake throughout his throat and lungs, a warm, tingling sensation, as he placed both hands back on the wheel. Lieutenant Jonathan Cain rarely smoked, but a mission like this was an exception. He rolled down the window to his left and lightly tossed the cigarette out into the street, ridding himself of the remnants, though the pack remained in his pocket. Cain listened carefully to the words of the song, finding that Ozzy’s lyrics strangely fit the situation he was in.

“Has he lost his mind? Can he see, or is he blind? Can he walk at all? Or if he moves, will he fall?” By commanding a police force heading into the heart of Skull’s territory, King Street, Cain might seem to be insane or completely ignorant to the dangers present. In truth, a number of factors went into his visitation of this infamous locale – for one, orders were orders. Cain dared not defy his superiors in the ACPD, as he knew that, by working with them, he was helping to protect humanity as a whole. The metahumans could and would abuse their abilities to the detriment of mankind, and for this, Jon was willing to go to any length. As the next words sounded out, Cain glanced at the touchscreen monitor built into the patrol car, staring at the image of the Hellbender.

“Is he alive or dead? Has he thoughts within his head? We’ll just pass him there, why should we even care?” Observing the image, Cain took note of several features of Sal. This creature was barely recognizable as a human, and the Lieutenant had to remind himself that he was looking at a metahuman and not some freakish, primal beast that had crawled out of the sewers. The former man was a sight to behold in terms of muscularity, clearly possessing pure, brute strength. Cain figured that this, combined with the monster’s enormous physical size, would make it difficult to take down. The Lieutenant didn’t really think of Sal as either a man or an animal – Only a target that needed to be eliminated.

Cain turned the volume of the heavy metal music down and turned on the radio transmitter in his car, the signal tuned to the other vehicles in the group. “Okay, we’ll be at King Street soon,” Cain started, smirking slightly. “This sonuvabitch is going to be difficult to take down, and we can’t take any chances.  Officers Stone, Jones, Abernathy, Ruiz, Sasake, Young, and Shcherbakov, you will be taking on the Hellbender head on. Young, Shcherbakov, you’re occupying the minigun turrets – use them. The rest of you will be defending our position from any other hostiles while we are trying to bring down that beast. I will be assisting both groups. Any questions?” When he was met with silence, Cain chuckled. “Good,” He responded, grinning. “Let’s kill us a monster.”

Soon, the ACPD convoy came to a screeching halt outside the bar where Sal stood, the cars surrounding both the mutant and the restaurant. The officers rushed out hastily, a couple visibly nervous but most determined to get the job done. Each officer wore an ACPD mechanical exoskeleton, and most used standard issue ACPD weaponry – Most held a P90 submachine gun, loaded with cosmic radiation rounds, as well as a Sig Sauer P226 Elite at their sides. Three officers – Richardson, Smith, and Shao – held XM-25 grenade launchers, and were equipped with both explosive and teargas rounds, though they were currently loaded with teargas. The exceptions to these were the turret pilots and Cain. The Lieutenant carried his prized H&K G36K, highly customized and modded, which he aptly titled Cerberus. He carried with him numerous attachments for the rifle as well as a modified P226 Elite. Each officer got into position before enacting the plan. Several cops as ordered by Cain began to fire upon Sal from the cover of their cars and the tops of the Humvees with the turrets, while the others stood behind tactical cover and waited. Those with grenade launchers targeted the bar next to Hellbender should there be any metahumans in there, launching a couple initial rounds of teargas into the area. Cain knelt behind the hood of the car, setting his rifle to automatic. Like a predator stalking his prey, he waited for a chance to attack.

_____________________

Upon the arrival of CONDOR and the rest of the KINGFISHER unit, Anthony sat up in his chair, blinking a couple times in disbelief. Visits such as these were, of course, rare, and it was surprising to see that these ACPD officers wanted to peacefully speak with Shaun instead of just kill every single one of them. Anthony did not display his abilities out of anger as Katrina had, fearing this could be taken as a sign of aggression. Instead, his simply closed his fist and stared at the officers. He could activate his powers on a whim, should it be deemed necessary, but for the moment it could be detrimental to him and his peers.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:20 pm

Old, rough, plastic bristles sopped with foaming mint toothpaste, guided back and forth by a hand through a row of white, scratched teeth. Teeth, in which the enamel was nearly scrubbed off by the vigor of the stained bristles. They found their way between the crevices and the nooks and the crannies, between the first molar and second molar, and the first molar and the canine, and then the lateral and central incisors. Moving on to the other half of the mouth, the process of repeated. But it was less a process so much as it was a cycle, for a process has an end in sight. As opposed to stopping and rinsing, the brush never stopped moving. It insisted, repeating each portion of the mouth over and over. Her hand didn't wear. It continued to move in the same, loose, rhythmic pattern and did not deter, guiding the brush. With each passing movement, the bristles would brush up against the pink, irritated gums. Each pass, each notion, it brought the gums to a bleed. As the red substance found it's way down and dripped upon the woman's tongue, the brushing stopped. It stopped, but remained dormant in her mouth – that is to say, the brush. Only after a few moments was it removed and rinsed under a leaky faucet. It was followed by a pair of hands, feeling for the cold stream of water, and cupping the hands when it was found. The water was lifted and sucked up by her mouth, swished around, and spat out.

Mia would never find out what the disgusting mixture of water and toothpaste and blood looked like. She might not actually want to, but she long sought relief from the black veil. Be it a blood stained glob of toothpaste foam or the face of a law enforcement officer or a bouquet of flowers, she didn't care. It's been a long six months. The longest six months she has ever had, and she felt herself forgetting what it was like to see. She dared not pity herself though. She brought it upon herself, so she had to live with the consequences. But it sure must be wonderful seeing the world as it was meant to be... or at least outside of West Rail. She had faint memories of this part of this city, none far too pretty. If West Rail looked anything like how it smelled, perhaps being blind wasn't such a bad thing after all. Mia cupped her hands under the tap once more and splashed the cool water against her sticky face, and dried it with a warm hand towel, then promptly discarded it in the plastic bin below the counter.

So it was that day. A Monday, right? Keeping track of days was harder than it used to be, not being able to look at paper or digital calendars. Anything beyond keeping track of the days in her mind or asking pedestrians was out of her reach, and she wasn't prone to talking to others. No, she'd rather go about her daily life by herself with no one around to bug her. To give her time to pan out what to do with herself and her life. She did, to some extent. A rash decision, really, she knew that. The ACPD was a military power at this point, and was sanctioned by the government itself, but they crossed so many lines. This was the day that she intended to officially set herself against them, even if that meant her eventual death. She was blind in a city full of meta-humans and an extremist police force. Death was a foregone conclusion, so to her, it was more a matter of knowing where your allegiances lie. But that thought troubled her. There was no allegiance to be had with anybody. She wasn't devoted to the Skulls, she  wasn't invested in SAM as good as their efforts were, her only allegiance was to herself – and that should be enough. But a meta-human or not, a blind woman can't get anything done by herself.

The ACPD – damn dogs – they had to pay for their crimes against her! That was for certain. SAM wouldn't be able to help her do that, being preoccupied in research first and foremost. The Skulls were their primary enemy, but hanging about a bunch of layabouts of psychopathic meta-humans put her in almost as much risk as walking into a police station. Their scanners were getting better, she soon wouldn't be able to blame the radiation levels on her failed organs. The idiocy of the Skulls' members aside, she could at least find the strength to tolerate them and keep them out of her way while utilizing their resources to hit the ACPD hard. The only problem she could see – an ironic phrase in Mia's circumstance – was their willingness to let a blind woman in. Sure, she could punch her way in, but they still might see her as a liability. She can't have that. She isn't a liability! But who would listen to a desperate blind woman?

She made a rueful sigh as she slowly and carefully stepped down the staircase, her hand firmly on the rail. She felt a jagged edge and then a gap with no railing. Oh, this. Something should be done about this. She inched her way towards the wall on her left and use that to lean and feel against as she went down. There was a time that she lost her foot at the edge of one of the steps. Being the woman with super strength, the railing didn't really keep her from falling. More like it was ripped from where it was built and fell with Mia. She was lucky that no harm was done – except for the railing. It still sat outside near the door, probably damaged by termites or waterlogged or something. At reaching the bottom, she felt for her cane, which was near the door. She didn't bother to eat breakfast. Her appetite has never really been the same since Roy's death.

She took her hand and combed it through her short hair. It was black, the last she recalled. It had to have been. Most African Americans had black hair. Her hair was silky though, provided by Egyptian and Arabian genes. She had a pretty curious lineage. Mia once had grandparents. They told stories about their grandparents' grandparents – obviously a pretty old story – and how they were nomadic. From Arabia, to Egypt, and to Sudan, where the lineage stagnated a little bit before being captured by white colonials. A lot of people this generation, whom were the children of those during the third-wave social rights movement were taught things such as so and so did this to that person for generations! Treat them as they did us! But Mia never did pay it much mind then, figuring it happened generations ago. The unequal treatment of individuals so many years ago did not justify revenge against the demographic of today. Just as Germany today isn't responsible for the actions of Nazi Germany nine decades ago. But these sort of political ideologies didn't concern Mia so much anymore. As active as she was in her ideologies years ago, or even seven months ago, her interest in such things diminished. There was inequality everywhere, she thought. And inequality is indiscriminate in the form of fortune to some and misfortune to others. It's only discriminate when deliberately perpetuated by men and women through action.

It was about time that Mia took action herself. No more waiting around. No more crying. She was alone. That had to be accepted. She was strong. That had to be believed. She had the conviction to fight back, it was just the matter of summoning the strength to follow through. Her ears perk at the faintest sound of a high-pitched squeal. It was approaching West Rail, but not towards her house. They were sirens. Lots of them. A semblance of a smile plastered her face. So, the Skulls and ACPD was going at it again – and in West Rail, too. The coppers were getting brave. It must be quite a surprise to those Skull folk, having people barge down their front door like that. How offset must they be? How afraid are their members what with the department being more involved in their hijinks? The Skulls have to make a stand, she knew they know this. They're going to need brave family members. Brave family members or fools, or anyone desperate enough to get by or throw a punch at an officer. So it's settled. Mia had a plan. Drop in after their firefight and offer herself while they're surrounded by casualties. After all, they need every brave body they can get their sweaty mitts on, and perhaps their fallen comrades will remind them that...

Mia sat down in an old recliner and clumsily felt around beside her for the buttons to the aged stereo. Find the proper one and pressing, a lively metal music and punk music play list started rolling. She leaned back and pulled open the recliner and stretched her legs out, relaxing to the sound of loud music and police sirens.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:16 pm

Valjean Vaseal.


Like Valjean predicted, he won the race against the kid, and jumped off his bike, throwing two fingers up into the air, with a grin on his face. His celebration was unfortunately cut short when the ACPD showed up and opened fire on Sal, and the rest of the Skulls. Just who the hell do they think they are? A bunch of f*cking losers, that's what. Either way, Valjean grit his teeth as he activated his transformation. A tan, desert-colored carapace covered his body from head to toe, at this point. His face was no longer human, it took the appearance of a scorpion, merged with a man, eight, black, insectoid eyes had grown on his face. A massive scorpion stinger had grown on his back, with a menacing stinger, while he didn't have the most potent venom, stabbing someone's eye out gets the job. He didn't have pinchers on his hands, still were fingers, instead, his hands were covered in tough exoskeleton, ready to give some rough punches. Finally, four legs had sprouted from his back.

With that preparation out of the way, it's time that he shows these scrubs why he's called the 'Desert Scorpion'. The sun above them just got a lot hot. Hot rays of light bombarded the area, gradually raising the temperature, until it became unbearable, along with the area dehydrating. Sand had quickly carpeted the scene, going outwards from Valjean. Dry, dusty winds blew the sand around. It'll be awhile until this makes a serious difference, but the longer the fight went on, the worst the area will get. Which means that Valjean will have to hope that the Skulls can fight the ACPD long enough for him to make a difference.



Amanda Daisy Blackmore.


"F*cking, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck!" A flurry of swears came from Amanda's lips, as - Well, she didn't have a single clue what the hell was going on at the moment. First she was driving with Raphael, loudly singing along with the song - Then boom! A f*cking truck comes out of no where and they crash into it, then it explodes. Amanda was more than capable of moving the truck aside... But it all just happened so fast, she didn't have time to think about all the ways she could save her ass, but instead acted on a mixture of reflex, and instinct. She created one of her spirits, the one with telekinesis, making a telekinetic bubble around herself to stop her from getting blown to bits, and to keep her from getting thrown around. The shield absorbed the impact of the explosion, the crash, and prevented her from getting sent flying like Raphael was... Speaking of which, he was in a pretty sh*tty state. His body was broken and mangled, and unconscious. If he was an ordinary human, he'd be twenty different kinds of dead right now. Fortunately, he and Amanda were still in one piece. "Raphael!" She screamed, before running to help him.

The first thing that Amanda did was get out of the car, her spirit tearing the door open with telekinesis, and pulling her out. She then pulled Rapheal all the way out of the car. Sh*t. He wasn't in a good condition at all, even if he was regenerating. She needed to save him... Actually, get him back to the mansion. Shaun, or somebody would be able to help him.


Nikki Biyung.


The conversation was going well, but went dark when two members of the ACPD just casually walked into the Mansion. This was noticed by Nikki because of the network of insects that she had set up throughout the mansion - Sensing what they sense... While they couldn't see as well as humans can, Nikki had enough information to discern them. Just by looking at them, she knew who they were. Nikki commanded a lonesome fly to keep . Some of the people by the pool was getting angry. Katrina made the air pressure dropped, and flames had dripped down from Samson's arm. She was praying that nobody does anyone stupid... Nikki didn't have any reason to hate the ACPD, they were doing their job, and so was she. Nikki turned to Anthony, "Um... I have to go." But, she needed to keep track of them for herself. Certain insects have the ability to hear, the only problem was that this was more of a way of sensing vibrations instead of hearing like humans do. Which can be problematic, since Nikki wanted to know what they wanted. So Nikki started following them, keeping far enough away that she can stay out of sight... Because of the fly that was trailing them, she didn't need to worry about losing them.


Samson Isiah Jeross.


The conversation with Katrina was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of the ACPD. They angered him, greatly. They treated all Meta-humans like monsters, and it's because of them that the Skulls, and hell, even the SAM, was started. Because of their ruthless brutality! He didn't realize it yet, but drips of hot fire was starting to fall down from his hand. He rolled his eyes and deactivated his power. He loudly spoke to the ground, "Ugh... Everyone chill. We don't need to start a fight with them..." They could always start that fight for us!

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Thu May 01, 2014 12:16 am

Sal

Sal paused for a moment before responding, his head tilted to the side for a moment. Confusion was evident, even on his amphibious features, and he spoke slowly and with a bit of a slur. Perhaps someone had been pouring liquor down into the sewers.

"Huh? Good. Sewers. Sewers are....sewers are good." Sal paused for a moment; he seemed out of it in general, not entirely sure of where he was, or even who he was talking to. "Police here? Told...there would be...cops..." he inhaled deeply, taking in the rich scent Skully's exuded. There was enough motorcycle exhaust to suffocate a man and enough liquor to make him forget all about it afterwards. Combined with the sweat and body odor a hot summer's day tended to produce, and Sal's own, unmistakable aroma of the sewers made for a lovely scent cocktail. "Fight. Too long since...since a fight."

....no. No. Police were HERE. He could see black trucks pull up and men with guns and armor come out. They smelled like fear, a pungent, delicious aroma noticeable even amidst the thousands of other odors in the street. Sal became totally numb to the scorching heat, instead full of...rage. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what emotion it was, because it was something more than regular fury. It consumed Sal totally-which rage is oft to do-but it was beyond that. It was like Sal's memory came back, just a bit, when the ACPD showed up, and it felt like if he could just grab one more, just feel another Aurum pig inbetween his jaws, he could bring it back. It was on the tip of his tongue, the very edge of his perception. The sound of tires screeching and guns being racked and the ringing in Sal's ears as the cold-blooded man went fever-pitch.

Sal drew backwards, hearing the pneumatic thump-thumps of grenades being fired, the subsequent hisses of teargeas bleeding out of the fired grenades burning at Sal's exposed skin. But he didn't seem entirely cognizant-they were bee stings to a grizzly bear.

Retreating into the darkness of Skully's, Sal didn't even seem aware of the tables and stools he knocked over as he moved back into the bar. Sewers. Sal was going underground. Then Sal was coming back up. And he was going to suck the marrow clean from every officer's skull.

Miss Khan

Hm. The Beast was approaching his masters with some degree of tranquility. Perhaps the summer sun would get his blood boiling. He was certainly noticeable; she'd watched several people gaze at the monstrous...thing...that was Salazar and phone their friends, maybe the police. More than likely, their friends. When you were in trouble in West Rail, you called your friends, not the ACPD.

But for me, they're one and the same.

Still, if Sal was here-and drawing this much attention-that would mean that the police would be inbound shortly, which would mean Miss Khan would need to act equally quickly. Not much to gain from an open confrontation with the police, not today. Leila's strengths lay elsewhere-and the police would be armed for bear if the most vilified of the Big Five was roaming Aurum's streets. They didn't have much of a chance at getting him belowground. Of course, she wouldn't want to be too far away-if there was a chance of one of the Big Five being slain, Leila didn't want to be far from the action. Darting into a nearby apartment building (shanty, run-down, and full of people casting second glances or looks of appraisal at Leila), Leila quickly made her way up to the top floor. Not surprisingly, one of the rooms was empty, save for a squatter or two. It only took a moment of observation to figure out the easiest solution to this predicament. One was curled up under a blanket, shivering in the middle of the afternoon, and the other staring at the wall blankly.

Sal neutralized all of his conflicts with brute force. Miss Khan felt brute force was a wonderful tool for achieving one's goals, but not always the neatest.

She pulled out a hundred dollar bill from a small pouch on her belt and simply said, "Yours if you clear out. The ACPD are coming, anyways."

The room was hers shortly thereafter.

Leila closed the door, not bothering to lock it. She didn't intend to stay put for very long, and kept her hand near the Taurus Judge that hung from her belt just to be safe. It wouldn't be practical if the police attempted to engage her, but she wasn't looking to engage the police. In the close, confined quarters of the West Rail projects, Leila's gear and capabilities would give her the edge. Staying back from the window to avoid sniper fire, Leila watched and waited for Aurum's Finest to come rolling in.

Cordelia Lynn

"A drink? Nah. I had a few on the way here. Made driving fun." Lynn was, perhaps unnervingly so, relaxed. She was standing in the center of a mansion, one that housed the majority of the city's most powerful metahumans; and, not only were they powerful, they were organized. Had a hierarchy, budget, logistical matters, so on and so forth. A street gang, perhaps, but an organized one.

And Mr. Smithton, she heard, was a mind-reader. Come tiptoeing around in my head, Shaun, you may not like what you find. Lynn, given her...affiliations...with a certain gas-masked member of the Skulls, was admittedly a tad bit apprehensive about going to meet the city's renowned telepath.

"You entirely sure this is a good idea?" Lynn tousled her hair with a towel, not really feeling like doing much with it. She didn't feel like doing a whole lot with it most days. Leila was beside her, brushing her teeth, and Lynn felt a smile dance at the edge of her lips. She ran a hand over Leila's pixie cut, suppressing a laugh. "Wish you'd left it long. You had the whole blonde bombshell look going for you before."

Leila snorted, making toothpaste splatter on the mirror. "Marilyn'll roll over in her grave the day I'm a bombshell, Delly. No, your meeting with Shaun will be alright. If he looks into your mind, sees this? He'll just see the truth. He can't act on it-and even if he does, it doesn't end well for him."

"Yeah, I'm not looking forward to getting called in because I'm sleeping with Miss Khan, and also, MIGHT've misappropriated a little bit of ACPD property."

"He won't. Besides, they wouldn't believe a mutant anyways. If they did, just...deny. What proof does he have?"

"And if he comes here? With the SAMs?"

"We kill him, rough each other up a bit, and you file it as a hate crime."

Lynn raised an eyebrow, an act unnoticed by Leila, who was slipping into her gear for the day. "Yeah, because everything works out that well for us."


Lynn's body language during the meeting was curious. She had a wide grin on her face, one that reflected in her sparkling eyes. This kind of high-intensity, almost suicidally dangerous stuff? It was what Lynn lived for. This was a better adrenaline high than rock climbing or mountain biking, almost better than a shoot-out. Cordelia Lynn might've been a bit of a daredevil, but only because she was good at it. And yet the rest of her-crossed arms, close to her shoulder rigs, legs evenly balanced and ready to strike; it conveyed an equal apprehension alongside the glee. "No, I'm afraid getting wasted and trying to talk business wouldn't end up so well. That's how they got me into the force, actually." Lynn shifted her weight, overhearing a comment made by a younger looking black kid. Fire. Samson? She kept herself pretty familiar with the ACPD's files on most of the known metahumans-and thanks to their widespread surveillance and total disregard for civil liberties, said files were extensive. What she didn't read over for her job, she was poring over to help Leila. "Right you are, Sammy boy. None of us want a fight, mostly, because that is a lot of paperwork, and, honestly, between eating babies and beating up the homeless, I just don't have the time anymore."

Lynn was a somewhat unorthodox member of the ACPD, but official protocols were pretty much done with by this point in the police force's life cycle.

"Ah, I'm off-topic again. Lieutenant Branson, shall we discuss our business in front of the kids or are we taking Mr. Smithton somewhere privately?"


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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Fri May 02, 2014 1:12 am

Matthew absorbed his concrete power through his feet as soon as he heard the sirens. He built up power, now ready to erect a thick concrete shield to protect himself. However, he turned, around at the sound of buzzing. He saw the flickering of a neon light that said "OPEN", who's E was on it's last leg. He raised his hand and absorbed the neon sign's energy signature. He fuzzed for a moment as the electric energy coursed through his body.

He raised his hands and watched the pink energy dance from fingertip to fingertip. He smiled and looked back up to the ACDP.

Those bullets didnt look fun. They would be hard to out power, so he would out run them.

He couldn't run as fast as a bullet for long, but he could change direction very fast. He could use that. Oooh he could use that.

But what of the others? They couldnt turn everything into a new power. They were limited to one or two abilities. He had been lucky. Others like Sal were not blessed with the ability to become a shiny superhero like he could with enough effort. He was turned into an eight foot tall worm. He had to stay and help them. He wouldnt be able to run or fight them like he normally could without someone getting injured or killed. What if he distracted the soldiers? Maybe that would work? No. It wouldnt.

He switched one again back to concrete and as soon as the ACPD pulled up he launched into action, the concrete beneath his feet rising up at an alarming rate. He launched into the air and the concrete rose to meet him, and he propelled himself forwards with his power down the length of the bar, the concrete just under his feet, creating a thick barrier of asphalt to shield the bar and the skulls from bullet based damage. He tried to raise a second layer, but was caught in the arm by a bullet.

"CENSORED!" he yelled, jumping down from his wall and behind it to shield himself from more damage. His healing temporarily stopped, and with his one good arm he raised sheets of concrete around himself in a protective cocoon. He used his good arm to get a small shard of concrete from the ground, and dug it into the penetrated area of his arm, hissing as he did so, and fished the bullet out of his limb. Once the cosmic radiated led was removed, his healing ability immediately went to work to fix the damage done. He dropped the cocoon around himself, and moved it up against the barrier he had made as a makeshift second layer, and then scrambled inside, dodging shard of concrete as they flew off the wall he had made as bullets contacted it.

He had bought the Skulls some time, but only a few minutes before they broke out the explosives. Concrete was strong, but it wouldn't hold out forever unless they were using pea shooters.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Mon May 05, 2014 11:42 pm

There was a loud, genuine, laugh from Kylie as she snuffed her cigarette out in the ash tray on the bar. She and her friends had a sick sense of humor and she loved it. She moved to take another cigarette out of her pocket, but found herself hesitating. She had already smoked so many today. She finally caved, pulling out a fresh one and lighting it with a great precision as she had many times before and would likely do until her lungs gave out. She turned to Archer, tapping her cigarette on the side of her barstool. "I was going to say something like, I like the way you say my name, I can't wait to hear you moan it. But I didn't want to scare the poor girl."

Kylie hadn't initially planned on getting involved in the fight. She wasn't too surprised that people had showed up and started shooting, most likely a bunch of human cops, but she didn't have a great view of them from inside the bar. She was rather used to the violence by now, being a leader of the biggest and most feared gang within the city lead to her often being targeted by violence and the outcries of random citizens, even grocery shopping was an adventure of sorts. Who would shoot at her next? She waved a hand through her hair, the grease and oils moving with her hand to reshape her hair.

But then she heard a rather familiar voice curse. It was like a switch was flicked on in Kylie's mind. She dove out of the way of Sal, who had come barreling through the bar at an impressive speed for one so large, knocking over her favorite barstool. Her world slowed down as she ran outside. She had never been one to be concerned about her own safety, so the idea of being shot at didn't even cross her mind. All around her, she could feel it, was the amazing and dangerous oil. It was everywhere, in the cars and buildings and even a thin layer on the tar. And it was all for her use. Her feet screeched to a fault, halfway between the bar and Matt's little safely concrete barrier. She moved quickly, almost impossibly quickly, her hands slowly raising and her fingers spread apart.

The oil deep within one of the vehicles of the attackers began to shift and move as her fingers and hands moved through the air. Kylie could not remember how many times she had done this, her precise movements showing how expert she was. Within seconds something within the mechanics of the car collided with the oil being manipulated by Kylie, leading to a decent sized explosion occurring. Pieces and shards of car went flying, but Kylie wasn't doing this to cause damage. The explosion was enough to distract her attackers as some of them moved to dodge the debris. This gave Kylie a wide opening to hurry the rest of the way to behind Matt's concrete barrier. She crouched down next to him, trying not to show concern that he had just been shot. "You better keep on your toes. I'll kick your ass if you get killed by some sh-tty human cops." She spat her words as she glanced around, readying her next attack and advance. She offered her hand to Matt. "Ready to kick some *ss?" She said with a trademark grin.

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PostSubject: Re: City of Gold IC Act II   Sat May 10, 2014 6:39 pm

Nex, Archer, and Skeleton

There was no good conversation to be had with a giant salamander. Being unschooled in the social graces of amphibians, Nex did not know what to talk about with Sal. Perhaps he should mention the stock split that Terraphile, an animal care company, recently underwent, making fruit flies less expensive, or perhaps he should talk about the artificial gill technology being researched at the Naval Academy. Unfortunately, Nex was unable to talk about any of these, for before he could open his mouth, the blare of sirens filled his ears. Skeleton looked up at the same time as Archer.

"Oh good. I was getting bored." Nex quipped as he dove out of the way of a flurry of bullets. Three struck him on the chest, and he crashed into a brick pillar supporting the front of Skully's. Several people noticed the blood leaking through his white shirt, but none of them panicked. The moment Nex got out of sight of the turrets, his body glowed green and the wounds healed. The blood was even cleaned from his shirt, making it white again. As Sal slipped into the sewers (Nex was sure the amphibian had something up its oversized sleeve), Archer, realizing that the bar was going to flood with teargas, began to arc electricity between his hands.

"Grease!" he yelled "Kill that gas! I'll protect the bar!" Archer's eyes glowed purple, and the studs on his jacket lit up like tinfoil in a microwave. Electricity arced around his body and then at the front of the bar, stopping before it hit the ACPD as if held back by a shield. The electricity heated the oxygen and water in the air into a superhot plasma, which would function as a shield against the bullets. Archer payed attention to the others in the bar, and raised part of the shield whenever he saw one run out.

"Dammit!" He yelled as Kylie ran out of the bar "Nex, can you do something about this gas?" Archer's eyes began to sting as he realized his fatal mistake. The shield was great and all, but now the gas shells were trapped inside. He could destroy them with a lightning blast, but that would lower the shield. His eyes were beginning to water, and a raspy cough escaped his lips. Damned cigarettes.

"On it!" Nex's right hand began to glow a harsh neon green, and he pointed at the shells. A blinding flash of green pulsed through the room, sending tables flying and cracking several bottles behind the bar. The glass rack above the bar came crashing down, everything shattering. The shells were gone without a trace. "Somebody text Claire and tell her to get the f*ck over here now!" Nex yelled out at the few people still in the bar.

Skeleton was already outside, standing directly in the line of fire of a turret. The bullets bounced off of him harmlessly, causing a few stings of pain as the radiation burned his skin, but not much more damage could be done to Skeleton's skin, so it didn't bother him much. Slowly he walked up to one of the squad cars, still in the line of fire, and lifted it in the air. He spun around and chucked it at one of the trucks with incredible speed.

---

"I believe that is Mr.Smithton's decision, Agent NIGHTHAWK." Branson replied.

Shaun, of course, instantly began to read Lynn's mind, and oh the things he found. If the ACPD knew half of what was in this girl's head, they'd lynch her. He thought-spoke a quick message to her, saying: "oh you bad, bad girl. Don't worry. I won't tell anyone your secret". If she attacked, well, he was essentially standing in an army barracks. He then turned to Charles, and did the same. Almost immediately he forced himself out. There was some awful stuff in that head. Shaun looked away, his face paling as Branson's thoughts moved through his head. Charles' left fist clenched tightly, and his right hand began to instinctively move towards his gun. It would be a very bad idea to pull a gun out here, but if he had to...

It was best not to think about that. Branson sighed and clasped his hands behind his back. He wasn't wearing armor, and even with HOATZIN in a sniping position, he wouldn't last long in a fight against these metas. Not without assistance, at least. He looked over at Lynn through his sunglasses. He really was not a big fan of her. Her attractiveness was one thing, but she had little work ethic and no sense of professionality. But there was something else -something deeper than that- in her that plagued Branson's mind. Something just seemed...off.

"So..." Shaun said after a brief moment turned away from Branson "Shall we go inside? Or would you prefer to stay out here?" From across the deck, Katrina saw that Shaun looked sickly.

"We have important business to discuss that is best left behind closed doors." Branson replied "Perhaps in the study?"

"What? So your sniper can have their crosshairs centered on my forehead the entire time?" Shaun quipped, a wry smile on his face "No. I think that we should go to the meeting room in the basement. You can have Jane get out of the tree and take off the ridiculous outfit." Shaun looked over to the tree and winked, color returning to his face. Branson frowned and shrugged his shoulders.

"Very well." he said "Lead the way." Shaun began to walk towards the sliding doors to go inside when he stopped and wheeled around, looking over at the pool.

"Samson!" he called "Would you mind meeting me and these officers down in the meeting room?"

"That won't be necessary, Mr.Smithton." Branson replied "I assure you-"

"You assure nothing, Mr.Branson." Shaun snapped back "Only a fool would trust an Aurum police officer, especially an armed one." Branson was going to protest, but Albatross spoke in his ear.

"Just do what he says, CONDOR. HOATZIN, you've been found out. Stay where you are, incase a fight breaks out. Be careful KINGFISHERs. I don't trust this guy at all."

"As you shouldn't, Mr.ALBATROSS." Shaun said as he opened the door.

"I hate telepaths." ALBATROSS growled in the comms.

"Love you too, ALBATROSS." Shaun said as he opened the door for Branson and Lynn.

---

As soon as Amanda pulled Raphael from the wreckage, he began to morph. Sickening creaks and groans echoed from his body as shattered bones and torn cartilage sewed themselves back together. His neck cracked audibly as it shifted back into place, and his jaw realigned itself. The massive gash on the right side of his face, completely replacing his cheek, began to slowly grow back. Strings of skin cells and collagen began to bridge the gap, slowly knitting the skin back into one cohesive sheet. Cracked teeth healed and his legs realigned themselves. Raphael let out a sickening groan as he began to breathe again. Slowly his eyelids opened a fraction, and he was showered with blinding light and overwhelming pain. He was still unable to move, a side effect of extreme bodily damage, and tried to nod back off so as to dull the burning pain. The blare of sirens could be heard in the distance. The police were coming to the scene. This was no rescue mission, though. Not a single ambulance was en route. No; this was ALBATROSS' work. These cops were being sent confirm the kill, and neutralize both metas if need be.

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