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    Titan in the Playground
     
    3SecondCultist's Avatar

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    Dec 2010
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    Default The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Prologue



    Yonge & Wellesley, Present Day

    "Aww, no fair," Jake whined as Kyle opened up the last booster pack to reveal a shiny card near the very back. His heart sunk as he recognized the name written in block at the top of the text. Judging from what he knew of the current block’s prices, the card would be worth at least a cool $60.

    Kyle only grinned at him. "Sorry," he said in a tone that conveyed no remorse whatsoever.

    "Well, at least I've got two copies of those Sanguine Wardens. In my new deck, they should work really well as a counter to your holy control. Can't wait to get a full set." The two boys had exited the card shop. Well, it wasn't a card shop really – more like a general games store. They had started coming here a few months back, introduced to the game by a mutual friend who had now graduated high school.

    Of course, being nerds, it wasn't like they had anyone else to talk to.

    The hobby had started innocuously enough, something to do with people who liked the same stuff. For Kyle, it had been a competition, a game where he could apply his intellect and sense of creativity to win.

    But for James, it had been more like bonding.

    He'd never met anyone who liked any of the same games he did. D&D, video games, LARPing… nobody else in his grade, let alone his school, shared those interests.

    So, every other night, the two boys had come down to the games store south of Bloor Street. Sometimes they played board games. But most of the time, they played Eldritch Reckoning, a collectible card game. The people that ran the store held draft nights and tournaments, and they’d gotten fairly good.

    But now, less than six months later, Jake's bank account was feeling the strain.

    "Well, I'm starved," Kyle said as he started turning to head down Yonge. "My mom won't be home for a while, and I really don't feel like making food. You up for some Chinese?"

    "Yeah, sure," Jake said after a moment’s hesitation. He was already doing the mental math in his head, and he doubted he could afford to get anything. But there was no way he was going to tell Kyle that. Theirs was a friendship that had grown out of genre interest alone - he very much doubted they could even hold a genuine conversation about anything real, like finances.

    So he decided to walk with his friend to the local Chinese place. They made it less than five minutes before hearing the sirens.

    "What do you -" Jake never got to finish his sentence, as a blurred shape came rushing up the sidewalk towards him. There was no room to maneuver. He was trapped.

    As an outstretched hand made contact with his shoulder, the boy froze. He saw the events of the street unfold – saw a huge convoy of trucks and vans marked 'PRT' on the side charge up the longest street in the world, the other civilians nervously parting to give them the right of way.

    He saw at least one more costumed hero in the driver's seat of one of the vehicles.

    And a pair of winged craft soared overhead, making the street shudder with the pressure of their engine exhaust.

    Through all that, Jake couldn't move.

    It took him a second to put the pieces together. The badge on my bag. His civics teacher had been telling people about the Civilian Acceleration Program, a chance for him to get some easy volunteer hours by signing up to be some cape's battery pack. Practically everyone signed up for it.

    But he didn't think he would ever actually be called on to serve like this.

    The seconds stretched by, like he was living in honey. Has any thirty second interval ever been this long before?

    That was usually the duration of Accelerate's touch, before he would be able to move again.

    Beside him, he could hear Kyle, although he couldn’t move his eyes, or even blink. "…the f*ck, man. That was her, wasn't it? Sh*t!"

    It was another few moments before Jake could suddenly move again. He jolted back into motion and caught his friend’s arm. "That felt... really weird," he heard himself say. "I'm definitely telling Mr. Ramirez about this."

    But as the two of them watched the last of the PRT convoy head uptown, Jake had to wonder.

    Just what had they even witnessed? What could have happened to earn this kind of public response?



    Casa Loma, Present Day

    A brief look at the tracking monitors on the screen was enough to tell him that the rest of his team was already down for the count.

    "Damn," the man who called himself Angelus muttered to himself. It was not a word he used lightly.

    But today of all days, he felt justified in doing so.

    He didn't need to hear the TV from the other side of the room, or even read the words along the bottom of the page to know what the newscaster was talking about. The whole plan. Everything. It's too soon.

    It's unraveling.


    No. Now was not the hour for surrender. He still had one more card left to play tonight.

    Striding across the room, Angelus checked the status of the energy coils on the bank of computers on the west wall. Most of the traps had been disarmed – but then again, he'd done that himself, diverting the power from the solar energy chambers to his central emergency failsafe downstairs.

    God, if this goes wrong, please forgive me for what I am about to do.

    The workshop around the tinker was well-lit and spacious, room for many of his inventions set up on various tables. Unlike the rest of the Nephilim headquarters, Angelus had made a point of stripping this place of any major ostentation.

    The truly righteous had no need for so many gilded things.

    Of course, to the public they were the golden angels of humanity. Their armor - his armor - had been a sight to behold, standing proud and tall over a city that adored them.

    If only he had known then that he was a fraud.

    If only somebody else had seen past the fancy plate and gold piping, if any of them had been able to see the rot at the heart of this city's institutions, then maybe his Confluence might have truly been realized.

    The Nephilim had been a means to an end for a long time. He needed to admit that to himself. His faith in God was still intact, of course. But the institutions that claimed to serve him?

    That was another matter entirely.

    This city had been so blind, so willing to accept the falsehoods that the Archdiocese, the federal government, and even the PRT had been dangling in front of them.

    Or at least it had, until last night.

    Until somebody had leaked his plans, long before they were ready for public scrutiny. He never found out who, but a man at an anonymous number had gotten in touch minutes before the story broke. He had simply said: "they know".

    It had been enough.

    The Protectorate Tinker - Dragon - had gotten her hands on one of his core reactors, despite Angelus' best efforts to keep its location hidden.

    Revealing the true colors of the church had all been a part of the plan, eventually. But not here, not like this. He thought he would be the one to expose the corruption. He was going to be the one who solved everything. Instead, they were casting him as the villain.

    And now they were all coming for him.

    By the looks of it, he was the only one left. He checked the monitors and GPS trackers attached to the life support systems in the suits of his team.

    Seraph, my right hand: staying too still to be anything but incapacitated.

    Eschaton and Réal: both dead.

    Sang: unknown. Probably dead too, but he had managed to shut down his suit's systems. It was possible that he had escaped, but he wouldn’t have gotten far under his own power.

    He had seconds, maybe minutes if he was lucky, before the Protectorate came bursting through the vault door he had in place to safeguard his inner sanctum.

    Checking the central power supply levels at the main monitor, Angelus nodded grimly.

    It might as well have been all the time in the world.



    Etobicoke, 9 Years Ago

    "I – I don't understand," Gabriel said. Tall and lanky, the young man had been a part of his congregation for years. He'd been an altar boy, part of the choir. Most recently, he'd taken over as their junior organist when their last member had fallen ill.

    So when Reverend Roberts had asked him to stay behind after practice, there was no way he could have anticipated this.

    "I'm so sorry, Gabriel. We've had a few complaints. Well, more than a few. You know I would keep you if I could, but it's having an effect on our turnouts."

    "Your - your turnouts?" He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

    A man he had known for years – a mentor, a father – was turning his talents aside. He held his mouth open in slight shock, and found for a moment that he had nothing to say. The moment passed quickly enough.

    "All due respect, Reverend, but don't you think that loyalty should be rewarded? I've been with the church for years."

    "Of course you have, Gabriel, and nobody here is doubting your faith, or your work ethic. You will of course still be welcome to attend mass, just like anyone else." Roberts' face was kindly, and he laid a hand gently on the teenager's shoulder. Gabriel just shook it off.

    "Just like anyone else. You mean I can't even re-join the choir now?"

    "The choir is for high school students, Gabriel, you know that. We need to give some other voices a chance."

    "But… I only ever wanted to play…" He let the words drop. The priest had clearly already made up his mind. This wasn't going to be a debate he could win.

    "I know, son. But there are other things in life. Your mother says that you got into all three of your top choice schools stateside, again. Are you planning to defer this time, at least?"

    To be honest, Gabriel didn't know the answer to that. The application costs alone had all but drained his savings, and his mother's checks could only go so far. He couldn't afford to go to university. If he was being entirely honest with himself, part of the reason he’d gotten so involved with the church was because of how generous they were.

    Inwardly, he felt ashamed for even thinking it. He turned his gaze away from Reverend Roberts slightly, who he realized was still looking at him expectantly.

    "I don't know, Reverend."

    "Well, talk to your mother. She worries about you, you know. And of course, if you ever need somebody else to talk -"

    "Right." Gabriel let the word serve as his goodbye. He didn't have the energy for anything else right now.

    Three weeks later, that sentiment proved to be woefully inaccurate.

    Gabriel lay out on the recital bench, bits and pieces of broken organ around him where he had been trying to modify the valves. Or maybe he had thrown them in a fit of rage. Honestly, he couldn't remember. And it didn't matter now.

    Because he had found the solution.

    The sun streamed through the stained glass. It was morning now. He had been here all night – one of many in a row – but this was the first time he risked getting caught by staying past daybreak. Somehow, that didn't matter to him.

    Instead, as Gabriel watched the course of the golden light break through the colored surface, his mind exploded with possibilities. He could build a new organ, one that would play sounds previously thought beyond the comprehension of man.

    He just needed to harness the sun first.

    A simple enough task, really. People had been doing it for years, setting up solar panels on rooftops and over street corners.

    So limited. They had missed the true potential of heaven.

    He would have to show them.



    Casa Loma, Present Day

    The power levels had reached as far as they were going to get. Angelus was out of time.

    Advanced solar arrays all over the complex had been set up on tracks to maximize their angles of efficiency, catching every last drop of energy over the past two days. The reactors had done the rest.

    Ever since the call, he'd been preparing for this.

    Turning to the cameras set up around the periphery compound, Angelus got his first glimpse of the heroes. A squad of Dragon's Teeth soldiers outfitted in what the PRT called 'power armor' had moved into the area. He thought he could spot the red and blue mask of the boy hero Harmony. That would probably explain why most of his employees were surrendering rather than fighting back.

    An occasional blur of motion on the screen indicated Accelerate's presence as well. They truly had brought their best tonight.

    And all around the castle, there were now stationary force fields. Their leader was here in person.

    It would certainly explain the torn and savage ruin of at least one of his own creations. There, Seraph's silver armor lay painted in blood. Angelus sighed slightly and turned off the cameras.

    He knew where they would be headed next.

    Walking to the far end of the workshop, Angelus stopped at the stone seal engraved in the floor seven feet across: St. George and the Dragon. It had been the only concession to aesthetics he had made when designing this place. When he'd first commissioned it, he had seen himself in the face of the man.

    Now, he perhaps wondered if he was not the serpent.

    No! The Confluence would have fixed this world. They turned on you, not the other way around. Never forget that. Kneeling down, the tinker found the hidden latch and pulled. With a grinding noise, the seal split open, and his masterpiece began to rise into view.

    Easily twelve feet tall, the armor towered over all of the equipment in the room: a set of burnished golden plate, with darker segmented sub-sections for full-body protection. The inner workings operated on an advanced set of pneumatic pistons for mobility support. Each plate was carefully engraved with filigreed text, mostly passages from scripture. Angelus could recite them all.

    And there, right beneath the breastplate, the solar chamber.

    A harness of wires was even now redirecting all of its power directly into the reservoir. From what Angelus even understood of his power, each of his inventions were powered from the same sun.

    In this case, it just happened to be receiving a more concentrated dose than usual.

    Tapping the keyboard at the databank to start the activation process. With a series of clanks and hisses, the suit began to open to allow its pilot inside. That was such a trite word, not enough to describe between man and machine. He had built his aegis from scratch, toiled for countless hours and suffered endless failures.

    No, it was more like… a partnership. This suit was a representation of his connection with the divine. For years, it had given him purpose. And there was no way that the authorities were going to take it away from him. Not when he’d given so much of himself to the cause.

    Clambering into the chest cavity, Angelus stretched his arms and legs as the suit began its initialization process. The mechanical clamps closed over his limbs, the various mechanisms tightening so as to increase the synchronicity between his movements and those of the outer frame.

    When the process was nearing completion, Angelus twitched his left ring finger. It was the command to shut the breast plate. As he was sealed into the chamber, the HUD came online. Suddenly, his view of the workshop reappeared on the screen in front of him. A scrolling list gave him an indication of the suit’s current operating functions.

    Weapons System A: [Open Energy Weapons Menu]
    Weapons System B: [Open Kinetic Projectiles Menu]
    Energy Shielding (Running Self-Repairing Diagnostic...)
    Jump Computer: [Coordinate Vectors]
    Auxiliary Life Su -


    He clicked on the fourth option and took a look at the top left bar, an indication of the suit's internal power supply. It would give him a gauge of how far the jump would take him. He would jury-rig all of the excess energy into a blast that would destroy any evidence of his work. Find a new base, new followers. Start again.

    257%.

    That will have to be enough.


    It was at that precise moment that the vault door was sheared open from the outside. Scintillating rainbow forcefields ripped through the metal reinforcements as though they were paper, and the door fell into the workshop with a crash.



    The Archdiocese of Toronto, 5 Years Ago

    The PRT representative slammed her hand on the table. "That's not good enough! Like I told your representative months ago, we need full transparency when it comes to expense lists and billable hours. Religious exemption from public scrutiny doesn’t mean you’re not accountable to us."

    "Ms. Worthington, I understand you're upset." Cardinal Andrew Findlay, a kindly smile on his face, reached over to pick up the folder that the PRT man had tossed on the mahogany desk only minutes ago. He began to flip through the report, eyebrows furrowed as though seeing it for the first time.

    Angelus knew better.

    "It's not about me!" Ms. Worthington was still saying. "As an organization operating with parahumans in your inner circle, the Archdiocese has a certain degree of responsibility to the people of the Greater Toronto Area. The budget lists for your pet tinker here -" she paused to look at Angelus, apparently unafraid of the bulky 6'3 man wearing a priest’s robe and featureless golden mask.

    "- were astronomical, well into the eight figure range. And we haven't seen any projects listed on your books with anywhere near that level of required funding. So where is the money going?"

    The cardinal paused, letting out a theatrical sigh. "It's… it was… well. A large-scale project, out near Midland. I suppose there's no harm in showing you the details now."

    Reaching inside his desk drawer, Findlay pulled out his own folder, this one emblazoned with the Archdiocese's coat of arms. The red and white shield, the tassels and key.

    Angelus could remember the first time he had seen that crest. It had spoken of righteous authority. Now it just looked like another lie.

    "It was an outreach program, building a self-sustaining solar reactor large enough to supply an entire region for years. We called it the Confluence. I invited Angelus here because this was his project from the outset: the entire array rested upon his genius."

    Ms. Worthington crossed her arms. "And I'm guessing this project was a failure?"

    "I'm afraid so. A containment malfunction during our second test run. There was… significant fallout. We have offered the local powers what we deemed to be a reasonable settlement, rather than bring the matters to public attention.

    After all, we wouldn't want the city's media getting a hold of this. We, like the PRT, have an image to maintain.
    "

    The PRT lapdog looked at him then, as though completely reassessing him. Without a word, she sat back down on the other side of the desk. Inwardly, Angelus fumed: she didn't know the half of it. But he couldn't make a scene, not right now.

    The cardinal continued. "If you look, you will find an expenses list that begins on page 57. I hope you will find it to be quite comprehensive. Please feel free to double check any and all receipts enclosed. I can also arrange to have electronic copies sent over to your headquarters."

    "Yes," Worthington murmured as she started to read, "this will do."

    Cardinal Findlay waited until Ms. Worthington had left, and for a minute afterwards. Instead of speaking, he looked out the window and sighed again as Angelus pulled the hood back and took off the mask.

    "May I speak frankly, Your Eminence?"

    "Of course, Gabriel. You know there are no secrets between us." Then why do I get the sense you're lying to me right this second?

    "Why didn't you just tell her the truth? About what really happened out in Midland? The project worked. We got it online."

    "Yes… for less than two days before we saw signs of containment failure. You were there, Gabriel. You saw what happened after the core systems started to go down."

    "It can work, though! I've spent hours going over the designs, and I think I've come up with the solution. I can show you the blueprints, explain all of the schema. We wouldn't even have to rebuild from scratch! Andrew – Your Eminence, you obviously agree, or you wouldn't have taken the time to oversee the project's debriefing! Why else keep all that money, if not to start up future tests?"

    The Cardinal turned to him then, affixing him with one of the measured, but steely glares that had first earned Angelus' respect when signing onto the Nephilim.

    "Deum Adora. You know what that means?"

    "Worship God," Angelus said quietly.

    "Precisely. It is God who claims our adoration and loyalty, in worship and in action. St. Thomas More expressed this when in his last words before martyrdom he said: 'I die the king's good servant, but God's first.' Our priorities in life must be clear and determined by our adoration of the Lord."

    Angelus paused. "So you're keeping the rest of the money, but you're not funding the Confluence. Instead, you're keeping it for the church! You had Réal doctor that document, add in false testimonies and make the disaster seem worse than it was. You've just gone and given all of that over to the PRT, put your entire congregation at risk, all for a little pocket change?"

    Cardinal Findlay chuckled at that, but the laughter didn't reach his eyes. "I wouldn't call 15 million dollars pocket change, Gabriel. Think of all the good we can do with that money. We can help our charitable outreach programs, we -"

    "You're afraid." Angelus couldn't help but shake his head in disappointment. Cardinal Findlay looked as though the man had openly slapped him.

    "You saw the potential that my project had, and now you're afraid to use it. You're just a scared old man, content to live in his rut and ignore the big picture. The Confluence can change the world. Don't you get that?"

    The priest slowly stood up, and any traces of geniality were now gone. "This meeting is over, Gabriel. Perhaps I've been too indulgent with you of late - you need to see that this story doesn't belong to you. Come back when you've taken some time to think about your real place in God's plan."

    Angelus was not as considerate leaving the Cardinal's office. He slammed the doors open, shoving his mask and hood back on as he started down the corridor that would take him out of this place.

    "Damn them," he cursed as he strode back out into the day.

    Damn the Archdiocese, for not seeing why they needed his insights. Damn Findlay, for taking money from a project that was rightfully his and lining his own pockets. And damn the PRT, for being so stingy with their resources in the first place.

    He could prove them all wrong. He didn't need their money. All he needed was time, to rebuild the Confluence himself.



    Casa Loma, Present Day

    "Angelus!" Narwhal’s voice cut through the sounds of the settling rubble.

    She was already stepping through the gap, a striking seven foot tall figure covered in her forcefield armor. He had already turned on his own energy shields around the armor he wore.

    But they'd never been tested against her before.

    "Stand down!" she said. "We don't need this to get any messier than it already is."

    "Messy? You want to talk about messy? You, who just cut through my entire team just to get to me. You killed Seraph!"

    Narwhal shook her head. "She's alive, but in critical condition. Our paramedics are already on their way, they're going to do the best they can to treat her."

    Inwardly, Angelus froze. She's still alive. That means… he would need to stall, at least until he could be reasonably sure that she would be out of any potential blast radius if things went wrong.

    "What about the rest of them?"

    "Eschaton opened fire on us first, operating at full strength. She took out two vehicles and killed six men before I was able to intervene. I'm sorry, I know she was your friend, but… there was no way of taking her out non-lethally, not while she was in the armor you designed."

    "So it's my fault, then? How 'heroic' of you, to twist the situation so that the blame lands at somebody else's feet."

    As Narwhal moved further into the workshop, more forcefields began to pop up around the space. Blocking corridors, closing off escape routes. She thought he was going to try and run. Well, she wasn't wrong, not entirely.

    But he had more than one way of running.

    "I protect people. That's my job. So when it hits the news that one of the city's greatest heroes has gone rogue and stolen city money for a dangerous energy project to take over Toronto -"

    "That's what they told you?!" He couldn't help himself: deep bellied laughter reverberated through the armor, out of the miniature microphones tucked at the base of the suit's neck. He realized belatedly that he was probably not helping his case.

    "Don't be so naïve. You can't honestly believe that's what's going on here. They're railroading you, giving you one version of the truth!"

    "Oh, is that right? Then what's your version, Angelus?" She was stalling too, and she knew he knew it. What’s more, she was probably aware he was doing the same thing.

    The question was: what was she waiting for?

    It didn't matter. He could still play along, at least for another minute or so.

    "The Confluence was never about taking over anything. I built a large scale reactor, self-sustaining. For widespread commercial use. Do you understand? I could have stopped the energy crisis. I could have restarted the space race! Changed the world!"

    "All by yourself? That sounds a lot like pride, Angelus." A new voice had joined the conversation. Female, but strange, distorted. Angelus knew it immediately.

    "Dragon." She wore a new model of the same power armor he'd seen her wear at the press conference condemning his work. Of course Narwhal had been waiting for her. If there was anyone in the city who could effectively deactivate his safeguards, it was Dragon.

    Her arrival also meant that he was out of time. Inside the suit, he gave the control to start the initialization process for the jump. I'm so sorry, Seraph.

    "Do you know what you've done, Angelus? What you've really done?" Dragon's voice echoed through her own suit, and not for the first time, he thought he could pick up some sort of accent. Newfoundland, maybe? "Is this what your god would want for you? To go out fighting, to die alone down here before you can prove your truth?"

    "I…" the offer was tempting, more tempting than he had cared to admit before now. He might never get as far on the Confluence as he had here. But then again, he had no intention of dying.

    "I'm afraid I'll have to pass. Goodbye Narwhal, Dragon." He would need to time it right. The jump calculator wasn't precise, and he had never tried it underground before. Hit the completion button too soon, and it would manually override the instructions he had in place. Hit the button too late and… well. There was a reason he didn't hand out his suits to just anybody.

    Already, the forcefields were starting to rise around him. But they weren't fast enough.

    Then one grew right into the armor, shearing through Angelus' midsection.

    For a long few seconds, all he felt was nothing. The suit was still keeping him together, but he could feel the blood rushing down his legs where the razor sharp edges of Narwhal's power had gutted him. But the pain came later. Did he scream? He must have screamed, because he could hear the raw echo of his voice in the metal chamber. Looking down, he could see the hole in the suit.

    Somewhere in the back of his mind, Angelus was aware that he had probably waited too long. But when he flipped the switch on the energy conversion, all he could think about was he probably could have taken the time at some point during the past few years to design an additional failsafe into the jump system.

    The explosion started more quickly than he could have imagined. In less than a second, the energy from his reactor erupted outwards in all directions. Well, not all directions. Narwhal's forcefields had effectively contained the blast from spreading outwards into the workshop.

    But she hadn't put any forcefields on the floor, or on the ceiling.

    The last thing Angelus saw before slipping into darkness was a column of light shearing through up through the castle's floors and into the sky, with him at its heart. The energy then tore through the hole that Narwhal's forcefield had made. He couldn't help but smile. All along, all he'd wanted was to bring light into the world.

    Now, at long last, he was fulfilling his dream.
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2017-12-19 at 12:08 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
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    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC




    Beneath Yonge & Dundas

    Just like the letter promised, the entrances to the abandoned station are surprisingly easy to break into.

    The first is a conveniently loose grate off of a maintenance hallway in Dundas Station, on the lower level beneath the tracks. The second is an off-shoot of a sewer drain from the street. And a third - for those of you with a more adventurous spirit - is an old unlocked access tunnel right on the main tracks.

    Regardless of how you've made it here, your watch, phone, or otherwise reliable method of telling time is telling you that it's just a few minutes to midnight.

    Right on time. Even a little early, perhaps.

    One of the first things you notice on your descent is a little note indicating you to take the stairs to the northbound platform.

    Those of you who received a handwritten letter recognize the writing. It is elegant and scripted, definitely not something most men would be able to demonstrate in their calligraphy.

    The station itself isn't much to write home about: a section of rusted tracks run away into emptiness in two directions. No doubt they've been bricked off. A series of sturdy pillars splits the two platforms, but you have a clear enough view to see that both north and southbound are full of dust and bits of debris.

    Every two minutes or so, the earth literally shakes around you. The Toronto subway is probably less than a story above you, full of unsuspecting commuters. A few pieces of plaster tumble from the ceiling to join their fellows on the ground.

    This place is falling apart. A few more years, maybe, and enough of the ceiling could collapse that it would become a problem to those in the surface world.

    But for now, it's the perfect meeting place for those who would keep to the shadows.

    And wouldn't you know it, but you find that you aren't the only one down here. There are others who are no doubt replying to the same missive, following the same instructions. It could be that one of these strangers is the person who summoned you. So far, nobody's claimed that privilege yet.

    That leaves you with the opportunity to speak.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Okay, so the stage has been more or less set for you all to introduce yourselves! Right now, you are the only ones here. This should give you all the chance to introduce your characters: what they look like in costume, what their general demeanor is, how they would have approached this situation and how they arrive.

    For the sake of simplicity, I am going to assume that the characters arrive in the order you post in, unless you specifically say otherwise in the post (I'd rather that people post and say they're the last one than actually wait to be the last one).
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2017-12-04 at 09:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
    Currently Running:
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    - Skull & Shackles

    Winner of Total War: Rise of Kingdoms (Ironfang Republic)


    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Sanguine arrives early, the access tunnel was easy enough to get into. Her anonymous "benefactor," to use the term as loosely as possible, has yet to show, giving her time to survey the scene first. She walks to the corner of the room, leaning against the wall. Half a dozen of her creatures follow her in, each one dressed in the same costume she was. Costume, hah. It was really just a black hoodie, black jeans, black ski mask, and reflective sunglasses to hide her eyes. There was no skin visible, not even on her hands; they aren't gloved, but the hoodie is over-large, with sleeves hanging down over her hands. The heavy utility knife at her belt is the only weapon she carries.

    Sanguine has always been fond of black. And it doesn't show the blood. Much.

    Once she's leaned against the wall, with her hands tucked into her pockets and her constructs arranged around her, she waits. Whoever sent that message will show up soon enough.
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Fashionably late is something of an artform for Alana, if done right it allows a suitably dramatic entrance, but before anybody actually waiting for her would get annoyed at her tardiness. She had been perfecting the timing for as long as she could remember, and she was very good at it.

    Today, however, Dissemble was early. With the note's unspoken threat still rattling around in her mind she slunk into the very dusty chamber. It occured to her after she had tried to keep hidden in the shadows for the first few steps that whoever was down here knew she'd be down here, so hiding was just stupid. With a mental theatrical sigh and a not so mental self-depricating shrug (also quite theatrical) she walked into the area openly.

    She stood about 1 meter 60 tall and was wearing a skintight black bodysuit which covered her from throat to hands and feet. A belt with a lot of small pouches circled her waist, inside where a myriad of tools which she might need for her costumed actibities, and like the suit, it's colour matched her loosely hanging, shoulder length hair perfectly and helped show off her unmistakably athletic feminine figure of to perfection. It was obvious a lot of money had been spent on the costume and a lot of thought had gone into it.
    To keep her identity hidden, or at least pretend it did, Dissemble wore a bone-white mask which covered temples to cheekbones to eyebrows around her startlingly green eyes. A lightly tanned caucasian skin without a blemish and full red lips over perfectly straight pearly teeth rounded out her costume.

    When she noticed the cluster of people near the wall, she hesitated a fraction of a second before marching over there. She stopped a few meters away from the group and stood for a moment trying to look anoyed, and not so nervous, before she opened her mouth.

    "So I'm here. Are you the ones who sent the letter? Who are you and what do you want?" She rattled off in her easily detectable U.S. West Coast accent. Her tone would have sounded confronting or even hostile coming from anybody else, but from her, with her power affecting everything she said, she knew it probably sounded inquisitive and helpfull.

    She was trustworthy, and her words were always taken in the best possible way. Even when she was annoyed and trying to be threatening.
    Sometimes she hated her powers...

    Spoiler: Quick note
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    Taking her words in the best possible way is a character specific thing. Alana herself is basically friendly and somewhat helpfull, so that's what she references. Bitch for example would take the words in a completely different way. How your character reacts to her power is completely up to you to decide what the 'best possible way' is.
    Last edited by Chivy; 2017-12-04 at 04:07 AM.
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Winxue traced a slender finger over the book spines, stopping for a moment on her favorite. The 100,000 Light Year Iron Curtain was a classic in the theoretical. More would do well to read it, if there were any copies extant. Winxue conservatively smiled at the characters on the spine before her face returned to one of annoyance. The letter was in her other hand. She sighed and read it once over again.

    The offer was…tempting. She couldn’t imagine allying herself with the Tong of Bay Crash. There would be Ff =μN there. Ff =μN would regress progress. Unacceptable. It had been a comforting solo route to this point. But if Winxue was being honest with herself (and she usually was), advancement of the project demanded more funding that solo efforts could produce. The conclusion was, invariably, obvious. No matter how much she disliked the thought, she would need to align herself with others.

    Winxue looked way from the letter, having now read it for a second time. She then looked to the stack of papers that needed marking on her desk. Half now. Half after. Maybe an hour both ways. Then she could re-read The Light Year Iron Curtain.




    Yīnlízi stalked through the old access tunnel to the meeting location. Her ΔT/X and ΔV/X were steady. Upon reaching the meeting location she remained leaning against a wall looking at her shoes. It had been a good idea to wear them. Both of her arms were crossed, with one hand resting on a black fanny pack full of throwing weapons and mace. It had been a good idea to bring those as well, by the looks of things. Otherwise she had her domino mask with reflective lenses, a black Chinese suit with a gold hydrogen diagram sewn into the back and a cellphone in her fanny pack.

    When the woman questioned them she said nothing in reply. There was one less variable to consider. If Winxue was being honest she wanted the woman to go away. But that did not seem an appropriate thing to say. She looked to the figures in black and considered who amongst them was in charge before going back to looking at her feet.
    “Have no fear, you will find your way. It's in your bones. It's in your soul.”- Mark Z. Danieleweski, House of Leaves

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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Sanguine frowns slightly as the others come in. More people than just her had gotten a letter, it seemed. That changes things - it adds variables that she doesn't like.

    "It appears that we have all been set up," she says. All of the figures' mouths move, more seen as a stirring of the mask than anything, but only one voice is heard. "We wonder to what purpose."
    Last edited by ylvathrall; 2017-12-04 at 12:02 PM.
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    "What do you mean set up?"
    "Set up by who?"
    "Wait, 'we wonder'?"
    "Who is 'we'?"

    Dissemble rattled off question after question, feeling more than a bit agitated. She then realised that she wasn't giving the mass of hoodied people or the woman examining her feet any chance to answer, so she slowed down and tried again.
    "Alright. Let's take this one slow. I go by Dissemble. Who are you? And why are you here?"
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    "We are called Sanguine," Sanguine replies calmly. "We received a note informing us of a...business opportunity here."
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Winxue looked up from her feet and calmly took in the conversation. She uncrossed her arms and let them hang at her sides. Letting F = G*((m sub 1*m sub 2)/r^2) tug at the tips of her fingers. She looked over to the collective of blackclad people then back to the woman who’d introduced herself as Dissembled. Probably here for the same reason as everyone else, asking questions like that. Her voice was moderately accented “Yīnlízi. The same purpose.”

    Truthfully, it was a business opportunity. Business had been bad lately. It could stand to grow and fund things of value. Winxue re-crossed her arms, now finding herself strangely frustrated with gravity’s limits. The lack of answers thus far had proven itself to be annoying. Hopefully someone would arrive soon. She still had papers to mark.
    “Have no fear, you will find your way. It's in your bones. It's in your soul.”- Mark Z. Danieleweski, House of Leaves

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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Well, it seemed that this station was less abandoned than the letter had advertised, but then again Arthur had had his own suspicions regarding the nature of this meeting. Although he had his talents and quite a bit of firepower if suitably pushed, it was unlikely that someone would go through this sort of trouble to set up a clandestine meeting only for him and them to attend. Meeting few other capes at the location had always been a fairly safe bet, and as such he had come prepared for the occasion... Well, or as prepared as someone of his reasonably modest means could at any rate.

    Recharging his reserves up to about three quarters of his maximum firepower and bringing along some useful combustibles in form of molotov cocktails might not have been most elaborate preparations of all time, but in his case they were regardless rather effective.

    Making his way through the abandoned tunnel as subway rumbled the ceiling once again, Sirocco dusted some of the falling plaster off his shoulder. He was attired in his usual cape attire, a nondescript dark gray shirt and pants mostly covered by long, flowing mantle of khaki cloth wrapped around his shoulders. His head was likewise hidden by turban and scarf of same color, his face covered by featureless black mask, over which a curling wind symbol had been carefully painted in dark orange. It was utilitarian look, but it held its advantages: hiding one's limbs and body mostly from view allowed for plenty of surprises, he had more material to burn in a pinch, he could carry around his molotov cocktails without arising immediate alarm from everyone...

    And besides, rocking a cape was something he had always wanted to do. Sometimes a man was allowed a little vanity, surely.

    Hearing voices further on from the abandoned station, he made his way over carefully, his eyes flitting between the capes assembled so far. "Well...popular spot for abandoned station. I assume you have all received letters as well, hm?" he guessed, not in much mood for playing around regarding the topic. The situation seemed somewhat tense, but he could only hope that no powers would start flying before some explanations could be provided.

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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    "Business opportunity... yes, that's one way of putting it."
    "I'm used to being approached in a different way myself. Less... dank and dusty at least."

    Dissemble took the time during the talk to get a good read on both the other capes, seeing if either of them felt like they were going to get violent soon, or had been recently. She started pacing a little back and forth while she did it, as if bored with the wait.

    She was about to start to ask the others if they had any idea how long they would have to wait, which was a useless question anyway, so she wasn't much bothered when a fourth cape walked in and gave her something else to occupy her.
    "Yes. We were just discussing the invitation and wondering who sent them." she answered the male cape.
    "Dissemble." She then said pointing her thumb at herself, then waited expectantly while she tried to get a read on the new cape.
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Natalie grunts as she heaves herself up off the tracks onto the main area, she unfortunately had not been run over walking down the tracks of the access tunnel so she was gonna have to go over through with this letters blackmail plan. She had been pretty stunned to find the letter on her bed and more stunned to read what it said, she didn't know how they had found out and she was doubtful footage had survived the incident and they had it but definitely not doubtful enough to ignore the letter. As she walks down the platform she heads the direction the note directed before she hears several voices in conversation and then spots what seem to be costumed individuals, 'Well this'll be interesting at least if nothing else.'

    She takes a second to straighten her costume out, dusting off the dust that had fallen on her jacket and head and straightening her jacket. She was in full costume with the slight addition of a backpack to store the civilian clothes she had walked here in before changing in the tunnel, it always payed to look good for first meetings. She plucks her delta flask off her belt and takes a quick swig before putting it back on and steeling her nerves.

    She strolls into the meeting hands on her hips acting for all the world as if she wasn't the late one to this meeting, she walks up to the group and waves her folded letter "Well hello everyone. Before anything else is anyone here responsible for this dirty little bugger?"

    She waits slightly for anyone to answer before she mutters "Well you can all call me Daemones I guess."
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    The former stage-magician's assistant looked up when a fifth cape joined the steadily growing group of parahumans. If they were actually all parahuman and not just people pulling on costumes. Some of which were barely worth being called a costume.

    Like the others she tried to get a feel for how much of a threat the new one was going to be as soon as she entered the area. The others weren't spiking anything significant, the man obviously being the one most prone to get violent, but that wasn't unusual for men. Knowing that violence wasn't likely for at least a fee hours made her feel less edgy about the three she had already observed.

    Dissemble locked her eyes momentarily on the piece of paper waved around by the newest arrival then shook her head in reply to the question.
    "No, but I think we all got the same thinly-veiled threat."
    She looked around at the others to see if there was any dissent, then turned back when Deamoness introduced herself.
    "Dissemble." she said making a half-curtsey, her hands lifting an imaginary dress slightly.
    "So, how many capes do you think were 'invited'?" she asked no-one in particular.
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    "Not to worry, it's just the five of you," replies a deep female voice from the tracks. As you turn to look, you can see a figure emerge from the northern darkness. The speaker is a tall woman - probably at least 5'9 - with fair skin and dark hair that falls just below shoulder length. She wears a long tailored wool coat over a dress shirt, a pair of black leather gloves, and a pair of high heeled boots. This woman looks more like she's going to an office meeting than she does a clandestine get together. She even carries a black leather briefcase!

    The only concession towards the cape world is a simple black cloth mask, which covers her whole face and leaves only a pair of startling eyes to stare back at you. What strikes you about them right away is their different colors: one is a bright blue, with the other a verdant green.

    That she is carrying no visible weapons on her does not mean she isn't dangerous, and as she surveys each of you in turn, you get the distinct sense that she's measuring you up somehow.

    With an agility that belies her appearance, the woman hops up from the tracks onto the platform, before brushing away a little bit of dust from her coat lapel. "Now, that's better," she says as she composes herself. "Very nice to meet you all, welcome and thank you for being so prompt. You can call me 'Harper' - I am the one that brought you all down here to meet. I represent an interested party, one who has been keeping an eye on the cape scene in Toronto for some time, and they have asked me to intercede on their behalf. In fact, they would like to offer all of you a job."

    Spoiler: Lana
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    Your danger sense isn't telling you anything particularly damning about this woman. She doesn't seem to have committed any violence in the past, and unless something drastic happens here, isn't about to get involved in any in the immediate future.
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Winxue kept her body the same, head pointed down, but looked up at the woman behind her lenses. She posited whether it was congenital or abnormal Heterochromia. Either one could yield answers. Congenital could be a good genetic marker. And she doubted there were many individuals involved as brokers in the parahuman community with abnormal Heterochromia. That would be the result of a very specific injury. Possibly K.E. = 1/2 m v2 related. A full face mask would allow for disguising of such an injury. All of that could be left for later, however, for it was only a passing curiosity. Winxue was here for business. Further identification could wait until after her question.

    Winxue looked up from her feet. She gave them a little wriggle inside her shoes and silently cursed wearing the shoes for the second time tonight. The sensation of sweating made her tense up with feelings of enclosure. She preferred bare feet for just such a reason. Bigger LxW. "What party?"
    Last edited by n0ble; 2017-12-05 at 12:55 PM.
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Natalie's head snaps towards this new women, Harper, as she appears on the scene and as she mentions her reason for being there Natalie took a slight step in her direction, opening and closing her hands into fists hard enough to pop her knuckles and cause the leather of her light gloves to creak. "So 'Harper' you wanna explain the blackmail? I'm a little hesitant to accept a job offer from someone holding blackmail material over my head, if saying no even is an option cause you know the blackmail."

    She glances around at the other capes around her, if something went down what would their reactions end up being? 'I don't know any of these people. For all I know they could stop me in a second.' She takes a reluctant step back to where she was before though she keeps clenching her hands, even more tightly then before if that was possible.
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Sanguine looks the new arrival up and down. She looks...more or less how Sanguine had imagined, actually, which is amusing. And Harper was an interesting name. Could be either a cape pseudonym or an actual name, which made it a clever choice for someone who apparently wanted to straddle the line between the two. "We, for one, are interested," she says. "If you're capable of finding out that much information about us, then this job offer might be worth something. And we are tired of sleeping in alleyways."
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Glancing at the newest arrival sharply as she made her annoyingly casual appearance, Sirocco attempted to take measure of the woman...and he had to admit that he was failing in the endeavor. Although she said she represented someone else, it was fully possible that she was in fact the one to call them all together: keeping all information close to the chest like that would not surprise him, especially considering whoever brought them all together apparently went through the trouble of gently blackmailing at least five capes.

    A dangerous thing to do, much less over simply inviting together people of...likely less than shining moral fiber to talk about job offer. Whoever their would-be employer was, it was quite clear they knew disturbingly much. And although he would have dearly wished them to know quite a bit less, he'd just have to play with the cards he had been given.

    "Sirocco", he introduced himself curtly, man of few words as he tended to portray himself as in costume. "I will hear your job proposition. But I expect to be paid. I do not do freebies" the Blaster noted, his cloak rustling slightly as he moved to the side, going on to lean against the wall of the abandoned station. Perhaps this would be one of the offers that one could not refuse, but were it so, he imagined their would-be employer would not bother sending an asset out to tell them the details instead of simple demanding them to do something.

    Still, this could be dangerous...and perhaps more overtly villanous than he had done quite yet. But he was willing to at least hear out the proposition.

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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    The Changer tensed when the tall woman first spoke, but visibly relaxed after a few moments. None of this would turn violent. That was something at least. The others were already asking the questions she wanted to have answered, so she decided to wait for the answers to those questions.

    The wary agitation or anger in the others might cause some problems during the talks though, luckily it was something she could help with a bit.
    "Don't worry. Nobody here will be involved in anything violent in the next few hours, so this conversation and the trip away from it will stay friendly enough at least. If a refusal would result in anything violent, everybody will have a few hours to get out in front of it."

    Spoiler: Dissemble's thinker power
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    So 3SC confirmed that barring other thinkers interfering with the power and the unforseen player actions, there's a good chance that it is correct in predicting future and past violence in a few hours timeframe.
    Basically that tells us that it's about as reliable as the dutch railroads. .
    So don't feel pressured into following her predictions. If you know your character is about to get violent, just give the bossman a head's up and he'll decide if Lana's power picks up on it.

    In Lana's case, she has a little over a year of experience with her powers, so I've decided she hasn't come across anything that went against her violence sense and hasn't learned enough about thinker powers to realise that they might interfere with each other. So she'll believe what it tells her.
    Last edited by Chivy; 2017-12-05 at 01:17 PM.
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Harper nods slowly as you ask your questions, as though she has anticipated them. For all you know, she probably has. You can't exactly see her smile beneath her mask when Dissemble remarks on the danger, but the way the cloth shifts slightly is almost unmistakable. But she doesn't even look at the shapeshifter. Her green eye rests on Daemones, while her blue pupil simultaneously watches Yīnlízi. And yet somehow, whenever any of you look at her, she only appears to be looking at one of them at once despite what you already know.

    "My employer - or employers, I'm not quite sure which - deal in secrets. To prove that they know some of yours was simply an overture, a demonstration that they are serious about their vocation. Trust me when I say that they have absolutely no intent on doing anything with any information they might have on you. As for me, I am simply a messenger. I've never actually met anyone in person. Like you, I received cryptic letters and instructions from parties unknown. But I am paid well for my services, as you are about to be."

    The woman in the coat then turns her gaze over to Sirocco and the others. When Harper speaks, her voice comes out in a smooth sounding baritone, not unlike that of a singer at a jazz club. It doesn't seem to fit her body or the way she moves at all: it's far too languid and relaxed for all that. "I imagine you all know about the Angelfall Incident, as it is now being called? Well, the loss of the Nephilim has left a huge power vacuum in this city, one that my employer would like filled as soon as possible. We - you - have a chance to prove yourselves. Your job is to become the city's next crime lords - and my employer is willing to sponsor you. At the end of the month, for every dollar you have earned, they will match it. By that time, they expect to see that you've carved out a foothold and made a name for yourselves. I have a few folders with me, detailing some of the street level gangs you may be encountering, and some neighborhoods that might be good places to start. There are also some preliminary scouting locations for bases, although they completely understand if you would rather come up with a place on your own initiative."

    Harper meets every one of your eyes in turn, her green and blue pupils brimming with ambition. "Now, I expect you have some questions, and I will do my best to answer them."
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2017-12-06 at 12:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    Sanguine taps her finger on her sleeve, thoughts turning through her mind wildly. It's the kind of offer she never really expected to receive. Her talents were....okay, so they were considerable, but they didn't seem like the sort of thing that merited this treatment. And it wasn't like she'd ever really done much for herself. Even since she got her power, she hadn't done anything more impressive than petty theft, barring one incident she carefully didn't think about just in case someone here could read minds. Bad enough that this mysterious benefactor knew about that.

    The notion of doing it, actually becoming a crime lord, is unthinkable. And yet Sanguine finds herself thinking about it. Even beyond the implicit threat forcing her into it, she's thinking of it. She is very tired of being small, of being stepped on.

    It would be nice to do the stepping for once.

    "Question," she says, once Harper has said her piece. "Your employer's facility with secrets. Would they be employing this to our gain, as well? Because I don't know about the others here, but I for one would certainly appreciate access to that kind of information if we're going to be doing this."
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    Default Re: The Long Bright Dark - IC

    "Crime lords?" Dissemble shook her head in disbelief
    "I think your employers screwed the pooch on this one. Look I'm a larcenist. You need something, you hire me and I get it for you. Simple and lucrative. But this... Crime lording...?"
    She shrugged slightly and looked at the others around her before asking of nobody in particular
    "What do Crime Lords even do apart from being godparents and making offers people cannot refuse?"
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    Winxue did not need to prove herself to anyone. The last person she felt the need to prove herself had been deceased for six months. She superimposed a grid between herself and Harper. Then she charted a function, mapping satisfaction over time spent here. It was readily, and perhaps expectantly, declining. It was to be expected if the blackmail was any indication. She'd have to make a list of people who'd go to such lengths.

    Otherwise Winxue stayed silent and kept listening for something that might hold her attention. She banished the function from her imagination and stared ahead at Harper.
    Last edited by n0ble; 2017-12-06 at 12:01 PM.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Natalies mouth quirks up a bit in a small smile at the other women's thoughts on crime lords. "I hear they like to implement extremely complicated plans to try and trap their mortal enemies."

    She turns back to Harper after that "Well aren't you little miss ambitious? No big deal or anything we'll just start working on the same level as groups like the Tong, the Danforth Titans, or the GODDAMN PRT. How hard could it be?" Even as she complains Natalie starts mulling it over, the complaints and snark was just a snap response since she was still a little upset over the situation in general. 'Well this would give me the chance to actually join the cape scene. Could be a fun experience; good fights, good money, more interaction with other capes... hmmmm.'

    Natalie shrugs "Well there are worse things to be doing I guess. I assume we would be starting nowhere near the bigger gangs? I'm also OK to let you give us a starting base or whatever you had in mind, seems easier for us."
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Unsurprised by the hesitance showed by the would-be team, Sirocco listened as they all leveled their complaints at Harper one after another. It was indeed somewhat tall order to try and pull together a team to simply immediately leap into the deep end of cape business, even if there was promise of pay and prestige on the table. Although all those present had likely been scouted out because they had been deemed suitably powerful, there were still things such as team cohesion, personal baggage and simply survivability in insanely cape-saturated city to worry about.

    Not that any of that was going to stop him from at least tentatively wishing to learn more. Although keeping out of PRT's crosshairs had been a worthy goal so far, as low profile cape work could still pay the bills for nearly no effort, he did have to admit to himself that possibility of becoming one of the city's bigger powers sounded tempting. It was risky, but he was not about to live the rest of his life in small apartment and work a crappy job when he could melt apartment blocks.

    "It does seem...dangerous" he opinioned calmly, his eyes circling through the would-be crimelords before focusing back to Harper. "I assume none of us truly have experience for the job quite yet. So how do you intend to allow us to survive until we get more team cohesion in, were we all to accept? I don't imagine the pre-existing factions would stand for another bunch of new contenders arriving to their potential territory without responding to the challenge."

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Harper's earlier appraisal of you seems to continue as she hears all of you out. She seems to nod slowly at some of your objections, but says nothing until she is sure that all of you have spoken your piece. When that's done, the woman simply starts to walk towards one of the benches along the edge of the platform. Laying down her briefcase, she snaps the clasps open and produces a plain looking folder.

    "Oh, this is absolutely a dangerous job. But my employer does everything for a reason, so they must think you are all up to the task. They will be willing to provide assistance on a number of fronts at the outset: scouting out a base for you is one. Picking out a few prospective jobs is another. Rest assured, they understand the difficulties of simply starting a new gang right in the middle of Toronto. You will have enemies on all sides, and will earn the enmity of the law. But you won't be expected to operate at the scale of any of the larger cape teams, at least not at first. Much of the territory formerly held by the Nephilim is currently contested between factions." Reaching into the folder, Harper shows you a map of Toronto, divided up roughly by neighborhood. Many of the areas have been shaded or penciled in various patterns, representing different criminal interests. The Danforth Titans. The Zhīzhū Tong. But a large swathe right down the middle is currently blank.

    "You see here? This is where you ought to strike. At the moment, the only parties operating in these areas are relatively small time. The High Rollers: a group of drug dealers and street thugs. The Wreckers: a small crew of GTA specialists looking to increase their reach. Both of these organizations are trying to carve out a foothold in the city. We have a list of likely targets and suppliers, ranked in order of estimated risk to reward ratios." The woman smiles once again. "And from what I understand, the PRT is rather busy dealing with the fallout from the whole Angelfall ordeal. If you can muscle your way in, present yourselves as the lesser of two evils, you may even earn yourselves a reprieve from the heroes."
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Sanguine nods, ignoring the slight feeling of hesitation she feels. Is that what a conscience feels like? she wonders. Out loud, though, what she says is, "It should be simple enough. Small time drug dealers won't put up that much of a fight, and I for one wouldn't mind interfering with their business. But we'll have to move fast if we want to take advantage of this gap. It won't take long for this opportunity to disappear." Despite herself, she's starting to get into the idea, working out how to go about it.
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    Dissemble followed Harper and watched as she pulled out the file and started laying out options. Her mind was racing. She licked her lips and looked around at the others. Most, like her, seemed to be skeptical or at least cautious. Which anybody would be in a situation like this. Sanguine however, seemed to be going in for all this. Well, she had said she was sick of sleeping in the streets, so that was enough of an incentive to make anybody take a few risks.

    Lana took a moment to think things through. She had only had these powers for little more than a year and she was already getting a lot better using them, especially after she had figured the quirks out a little better. She had been having a lot of fun with them. Working with other capes?
    "Ok. I admit this sounds like it could be a whole lot of fun. But,"
    She said holding up her indexfinger
    "I'm still not sold. I'm all for growing a twirly mustache and mwhuahaha-ing, but that's the extent of my knowledge about crimelording."
    "Is that a word? Heh, never mind."
    "If we were to do this, we'd need some-sort of plan."
    "How is attacking a random group of criminals supposed to make us crime-lords?"

    Dissemble shrugged
    "Unless we are to take over their operation after we take them down?"
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    Winxue watched what she assumed was meant to be a reassuring gesture. Given the option it was a simple choice. John sincere was an unknown who worked within a framework. Clearly the obvious choice for an alliance, even if the High Roller s struck her as the harder of the two to excise from the city.

    The appearance of such information made Winxue pay attention to the woman. She'd need to be conscious of an organization keeping tabs on such factions. No doubt any pre-selected locations would come with surveillance that would have to be removed. Winxue did want to take a look at their dealers and suppliers. It would have be a tempting target to leak to the PRT if her research did not require their gains as funding. Then there was also the problem of actually joining. It was never in doubt. She simply needed to prepare herself mentally for working with others and that had been done on the way here. That and being aware of the potential footfalls of joining a group while maintaining her projects. Such things would need to be minded. It was the only way that she could foresee.

    Yīnlízi maintained her current s(t) = –16t2 + v0t + h0. She posited a question to the woman, "And the leftover tinker technology formerly possessed by Angelus?" Planners of that level would have possessed several stockpiles offsite. Especially a tinker with such a readily available energy source. Someone had to know where those safe houses or storage units full of solar powered technology were. The figurehead for a new organization that was recruiting unknown assets was the obvious place to begin.
    Last edited by n0ble; 2017-12-06 at 10:15 PM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Although Dissemble's ramblings added some comedy to the situation, Sirocco remained stoic enough...well, apart from snorting somewhat at the woman's peculiar wording. Although he himself had some of the same concerns regarding plunging headfirst into cape crime, he was always the sort to try his luck without as much planning and forethought as most, and the points raised by their contact did support going all in one the matter...

    Well, them and the ability of their employer to likely have all of them in PRT lockdown by the end of the day if they would not play ball, that was. Still, he chose to momentarily suspend his paranoia regarding that.

    "Hmm, yes...If we strike the small-timers rapidly and enough to establish ourselves, we may be able to make ourselves enough of a thorn in one's side to make our opposition at the very least somewhat cautious. New group with new powers will have them on their toes if they are smart at all" he admitted, leaning over the map to study it. "As long as we avoid drawing too much of the ire of PRT or the Guild, we should be able to shore up defenses up to the point we will be too much of a bother for anyone to focus their efforts against, least their rivals would fall upon them in turn in their moment of weakness. I assume we would start today?"

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