Victoria smirked at him. "Victoria Velour. Veil when I'm on the job, and I do hope you have a better supername. Wait, Justin Case isn't it, right?" She turned to face Kurt, adjusting Justin so that she was holding him by the waist, tucked under one arm. "Someone has to think through the situation, I guess."
UPDATING SERAPHIM DATABASE...100%
BATTLE DATA SORTED AND STORED...100%
INTEGRATING NEW SPEECH PATTERNS...89%
DATA ON SILVESTRIS LIMBS UPLOADING...0%
KAMI brushed out her hair without the aid of a mirror. It was all tangled up and messy. She could have just switched it out for a new wig, and leave this one for the guys at the lab to brush out, but that seemed wasteful. Why would she do that if she was perfectly capable of doing it herself? That's when she noticed a length discrepancy. That dragon must have singed more than she originally calculated. An average of 1.93 inches were missing around the back of her hair. It looked like she would need that replacement after all. KAMI returned to her lab. It was considered to be her room, since she did not require living quarters so much as a mechanic's area.
The lights turned on as she entered the room. There were no Seraphim members here for assistance. They were probably sleeping, or working on the restoration of the building. Normally, there was a female human here, Christina, who had appointed herself KAMI's "makeup artist". She was responsible for KAMI's physical appearance and maintenance. That wouldn't be a problem right now, as KAMI had access and knowledge of all the tools she left behind. KAMI unlocked the room that held all her spare parts, removing what looked like a black wig from a case. It was shorter than her current hairstyle, and curly.
With a small, barely noticable click, a small line formed across KAMI's forehead. She grabbed her hair and gently pulled off her scalp. It was soon replaced by this new piece, and a similar click indicated that it was sealed into place. She gently massaged the fissure line across her skin until it had disappeared.
DATA ON SILVESTRIS LIMBS UPLOADED...100%
KAMI hopped onto the counter and removed her legs, replacing them with her optimized ones. They were molded in proportion with the rest of her body, with no outstanding physical features either way.
Satisfied with her alterations, KAMI logged into the Seraphim database to peruse the available jobs.
"Wait, Justin Case isn't it, right?" Victoria asked. "Nope. Kinda sounds like it should though, doesn't it? My mom just thought she was being clever when she named me. Though, at least I could use it in some sort of clever flirt, like," He lowered his eyes, almost squinting, and licked his lips, in attempts to put on his best flirty face. "Hey. Name's Justin Case. Lemme give you my digits, y'know, just in case we take things to the next level." He ended with a wink. "Or something like that."
Victoria adjusted him under her arm and chuckled. "Well, if the superhero and part time gigolo work dries up I'm sure you could make some money in standup."
"Gigolo, huh? Shit, I never even thought of that. Might hafta put that on the ol' bucket list..." He paused, giving thought to his superhero alias, and if he wanted to just causally tell the girl the full moniker. He would figure she would've heard it at least once on the news, but then again, she didn't seem like the type to have a need to keep up with current events. "My supername(? S'first time I've heard our aliases referred to as "supernames")...is, uh...is Brainstorm." He sighed and crossed his arms. "Retarded, I know, but...I didn't pick it myself, it was just, kinda sorta bestowed on me by the general public."
"Brainstorm, huh." She pursed her lips and furrowed her brow. "That's not half..." She abruptly cracked up laughing. "Hahahahaha, oh, I almost made it, I'm literally dead and I couldn't get that out with a straight face."
"Fuckin', I know, right? It's dumb as fuck! And i'm practically stuck with it, too! Like, trying to change it would be just as bad a having the damn name in the first place! Everyone's already used to Brainstorm, and if I try to introduce a new alias, people'll still call me Brainstorm, either out of habit, or purposely!" He huffed in frustration. He huffed, then he sighed. "This is the type of shit I have to put up with on a daily basis, Vicky. Plain, ol', bullshit."
"That would be most excellent. Making our Legion stronger would most certainly help us. We would appreciate what help you can give us."
"Then fare thee well for now. I shall withdraw a few items from my pool of resources and send them thy way posthaste."
Looking at first virus then the other man talking he watch's the latter walk out after a nice little flourish. Sitting still for a few seconds watching the door Marcus turns in his seat to look at Virus head on.
"Truly all very interesting, but i don't know half of this group. I am all for bringing those hero's down and giving us some breathing room to conduct our own business."
Standing and stretching slowly he pulls a cigarette from his pocket and lights it, drawing in a large lungful of smoke before slowly blowing it out towards the ceiling. Looking back down at Virus he waves the hand holding the cigarette in front of him across his body.
"First things first. What was that man talking about with items, both his way of talking and manner are weird. Secondly, how many of us have you called for this?"
Standing there looking at Virus in the eyes Marcus lifts his cigarette and take another draw on it, his eyes flicking to the standing flickering hologram to the side.
Trying to set a fire in a office building went about a great as you'd expect for ol' Richard. Following the sprinklers went the alarms. Following the alarms went the security. A group of standard armed guards pile out of an elevator, stopping the freshly dressed dragonmorph in his tracks. "Freeze!" went the guard leading the pack, guns drawn and aimed at the man. Richard took a second to ponder on the occurrence of these guards. Where did they come from? How did they know he was here? Despite his ever-expanding list of questions, he had no intentions on being frozen today.
"Burn!" He replied with a growl, flame pouring from his mouth. Those unprepared for the attack were instantly subdued by the fire. Those who struggled to stay alive were instantly put down by the Whiteraze. "Hmp. Insolent fools." Even so, he felt he lingered in the building for far too long. A change of scenery would be appreciated.
Going back the way he came, Richard found himself back on the building's roof. Ready to takeoff, he began to conjure his wings. Only, the shirt and blazer he wore got in the way. "Agh! Accursed confinements!" He shed the pieces of clothing, stuffing him into the belt of his pants the best he could. He huffed in annoyance before his draconian wings sprung from his very human back. Another batch of security guards bust out onto the rooftop, just in time to see the man cast himself from it. He took to the skies, and from higher point could once again see all of New York in its expanse glory. Absolutely crawling with souls. How would he complete his mission at this rate?
Alice has enough of moving things around, and was ready to go into the Seraphim building. Maybe she could help put things back together inside. She let out a small sigh for no reason seeing a wreck that was once the main lobby, or she believed it to be. She has enough of lifting things for the day.
"Alice, might I recommend you head to the apartment Seraphim set up for you. Might want to start setting up the teleport to your workshop. With how smart you are I figured you'd of made some kind of pocket teleport. Seems I overestimated you."
Alice could swear she felt a blood vessel pop, and snapped back at Fox. "Well then I guess I'm too dumb to keep you active then Fox. Maybe while I do your maintenance tonight I'll fuck up, and kill you. How does that sound?"
"We both know you won't do that Alice. Besides, where else can you get your amusement from? It's not like you do anything other then work."
"Fox, just shut the fuck up, and give me a map to the damn apartments from here. Nothing more, or I will fry your hard drive."
Alice took a deep breath when Fox gave her a map on her screen, and followed the path he laid out. She looked around as she walked getting to know the area flashing her badge here, and there. Everything was rightfully in a bit of a panic. I woman was clinging on to her leg asking for medic help when she just had a gut on her hand, a minor one at that. She calmed the woman down as she reached an elevator. Pushing the up button with almost too much force she heard a ding a few floors above her.
"Finally I can get some damn peace. I'll set my apartment up how I like it even though Seraphim had moved everything from my old apartment to here I still want it to my liking.
Alice quickly stepped into the elevator, and leaned on the wall as the door closed. Quite. She pushed the number Fox indicated, and waited. When the elevator came to a stop Alice readjusted her stance, and walked out when the door opened. She almost ran into someone when she noticed a group of people blocking the way. Great..
Alice pushed her way through was some force grunting an apology here, and there until she ran into a hero Fox feed her the ID for earlier, Justin. The kid that blinded himself.
"Oh shit sorry. Hey Sparky umm I think your name is Justin. Mind moving for a bit? I have a few things I would like to do before I rest for the night. " She sighed.
Through the thick mist of conversation, some negative-Nancy-sort-of-girl interrupted the lively rabble-rouse with a question. "Hey Sparky, umm, I think your name is Justin. Mind moving for a bit?" It was the girl from outside, the one that got all up in Marcus' grill. "The cripple." Justin thought with venom. He put up a bit of a faux-smirk as he conjured up a rebuttal. "Well y'see Alex (or maybe you can't?), I would totally move for you, and let you get to your apartment (as one would assume it's the reason you're here, on this particular floor, talking to us), but uh..." He paused, taking a beat or two to look around himself in a very exaggerated manner, glancing at his dangling feet, the arm still securely wrapped around his waist, and at the face of the equally bewildered lich holding him up, before glancing back at Alice. "I'm not touching the ground. Make of that as you will." He turned his attention back to Veil.
"And speaking of absolutely stupid questions," He eyed the mechanic in that moment, just in case the expression would be lost on the girl. "Victoria, if we're gonna make this thing official, then it's only right if I show you the Research and Development floor. You can keep carrying me, if you like." He suggested in a fiercely dismissive tone, eager to cease being in the same air as the girl who seemed more robotic than the actual android.
"By all means." Something about the other girl was off. Veil's own condition left her rather sensitive to such things, and there was a sense of mortality around her, like the morbidity she sensed in hospitals. Strange, but not her business. She moved Justin aside, hoisting him to lie across her shoulder. "R&D, huh. You think they know anything about Magic?"
"Hell if I know. I just go there to use their resources (like seriously though, these people have like, bottomless reservoirs of cash, you can order just about whatever you want, and they'll front the bill, it's the best) and work on my Awe. You're free to see for yourself, though." He replied, the two quickly approaching the elevator.
"Your awe? I hope that isn't a euphemism, because it is not very good." She nodded to the others as the doors slid closed. "One moment, going to send Manny to my apartment." She closed her eyes, and took direct control of her skeleton. Vision like this was strange, sensing through the dark energies animating the body, the faint shining shapes of Mark and Kurt, the brilliant light of Talsper and the dark, dim mark of Alice, with the space around them lit by the faint flow of energy.
Manny's progress wasn't exactly graceful, but he eventually made it. She opened her eyes and shook her head. "Ugh. Puppeteering him is not fun."
"Oh, so you control the skeleton? Okay, that makes it a lot less spooky. Oh, and uh," He shook his gauntlet-dressed hand in front of her face. "This the Awe. (Uh, mind the burnt circuitry smell,) My homemade weapon-of-choice. Currently the fifth generation of it's kind." He addressed quite matter-of-factly. "It doesn't look like much on the surface, but that's because i'm not totally focused on making it look finished and professional until I decide on what features the final product will have." He put his arm down. "What, did you think I was talking about my member? You naughty girl."
"Lightning hand, like in Avatar, uh, I mean like a tazer, or is it a little more than that?" She tilted her head. "Final product...you planning to mass produce it?"
"(...You watch Avatar? Huh. Don't know why i'm surprised, but I am) Uhh, yeah, basically. It's exactly like that, currently. It is a tazer glove capable of releasing variable volts of electricity. And that's cool n' all, but ever since I made the first one back in 9th grade, I've been wondering how I could make improvements on the model, y'know? When you have a mind like mine, a whole world of opportunity opens up for whatever project you set your sights on." He sighed.
"I could do so much shit with this one thing I decided to sit down and tinker with...with every new idea that flows into my head daily...it's equal parts amazing and fucking overwhelming." He chuckled, eyeing the ground as he ran the gauntlet through (what was left of) his hair.
"Have you considered building a laser into it? I remember reading about electrolasers once - a laser ionizes air into plasma, which is then used to conduct electricity into the target." The elevator dinged and let them out. "I'm a little afraid to experiment with my own abilities. The stuff in my book is pretty damn evil."
"Electrolasers? I've had thoughts of those sorts of attacks...Welp, I know what's going on the next order sheet!" "That's a damn good idea, Vicky, thanks. Definitely gonna have to look into that. As for your abilities, i'm sure it'll be fine. Just a cool little light show here, some soul sucking there, nothing too drastic. Just as long as you don't suck out my soul, i'm sure everything would be peachy-shit-gravy. What, you like, raise the dead and stuff, right?"
"That I can do without spells. I can...it's hard to put into words. It's like trying to explain the feeling of an emotion. Basically I can draw on necromantic energies to reanimate dead tissue. I can also use that energy in rawer forms. My book contains spells that...well, one of them I don't know for sure what it does, but the spell requires a salt circle six hundred sixty six feet in diameter, must be performed in a place of great holiness - like Mount Sinai, or the Temple Mount, and requires the caster to murder his or her brother."
"Well that's hilariously over-the-top. I mean, what if you don't even have a brother? I know I wouldn't be able to do it 'cuz I'm a only child. I'm just saying, it sounds a little counter-productive." They approached the two glass doors leading into the labs. Justin slid down from his perch, using his ID to grant him access into the place. "Welp, this is my mainstay: the R&D laboratories. A scientist's/engineer's/biologist's/necromancer's(?) wet dream. Whatever component you could want for your work, they'll have. And if they don't, they'll find a way to get it here." He looked about the area. "Huh. There's usually a android roaming these labs...Faraday uses her for his fetish-y nocturnal emissions."
"That's how magic seems to work. Connections, feelings, emotions all seem to be potential parts of a spell. There often seems to be little rhyme or reason to it. If science is plain speech magic is metaphor, simile, irony." She took a look around, occasionally touching or examining an instrument. "Not sure if i'll have a lot of use down here, but I imagine there's a good amount of pig carcasses I can practice on."
"Oh, well yeah. The pig carcasses are in the freezer over to the left." Justin replied quaintly.
Alice tried to ignore Justin's cutting words. She will admit she didn't notice that he wasn't standing, but the bluntness of his response was uncalled for, she was just asking to get to her apartment. If he was going to start something, she was going to end it. She was a doctor for fuck sake. Alice kept rolling this interaction in her head over, and over until Fox spoke up.
Alice, while I have made fun of you for your social skills, that was uncalled for on his part. Would you like me to start formulating a revenge plot? I was thinking we could fill his apartment with whipped cream. I'm up for suggestions though. Don't let him get to you. You have the PhDs, weapons designs, a power suit, me and well I can go on, and on. He just has that crappy glorified ove glove.
Fox, for as much of a pain in the ass as he was, he had a knack for making her feel better. He was right, and she still didn't want to just roll over, and take his shit. She was going to head to R&D after she changed into her street clothes, and took another dose of her serum. She just sighed in response to Fox, and looked at her door. They had installed the lock she requested. It was of her design and had the same system as her tool belt, but built into a high security lock made of steel. Pressing her thumb to the plate, and saying her pass phrase the door clicked letting her know it was open. Opening the door she was surprised to see that her apartment was identical to her old one. Everything was where she left it right down to the screws on her desk. Impressive.
"Damn, Seraphim does go all out for us heroes. Fox, transfer to your droid dock."
"Right away Alice."
Alice walked to her bedroom as Fox hovered over the bed her clothes ready to go. The same blue cover alls, and black tank top as all ways. He lab coat waiting on a chair for her with her boots under the chair. Right where she left them this morning. She took off bits of the battle suit placing them in their corresponding drawers in a steel cabinet, then it closed with a slight hiss when she put her boots away.
She sat on the edge of the bed examining her self, some of her muscle was already growing weak.
"Fox, I need my serum please hurry. I can already feel my limbs unwilling to work."
Fox hovered over to her releasing a sliver pen looking device as Alice reached up for it. She twisted the top and pressed one end of it to her thigh feeling the needle go into her muscles. She gasped in pain as her muscles started to go back to normal. She waited too long between uses. When the pain almost made her throw up it subsided.
"I'll start to work on a stronger does Alice. I'll warn you, I can't make it too much stronger though, if I go past that limit one does could have negative effects.I know you hate hearing this but at this rate you have two years to live and dropping."
Fox was right, she didn't want to hear it, but knew she had to. Two years, two short years is all she had left to try and cure herself, and she's hit a dead end. She got dressed contemplating this fact; what had she missed, what could she do? She knew one thing, she had to go to R&D. Maybe there would be an answer there. She threw on her tool belt and sighed unhappy at the turn of events.
"Fox, let's got to R&D. I'll need directions please."
Fox displayed a map in front of them showing where she needed to go. She locked her apartment, and headed to the elevator. After spending some time walking they made it to the glass doors and she used her ID card and walked in then she saw Justin. Great, he's still here. Maybe he won't know it's her when she out of her suit. Fox looked around scanning all of the equipment they had in there for future reference then returned to Alice.
Alice looked around finding some equipment she's used before, and some new toys to play with. She saw her lab was moved from her workshop to here. She was not happy about that, but at least it was in it's own room that only she could get into, and it wasn't all of her workshop, just the main equipment and weapons lockers.
"Well, this is a surprise finding the lab here."
Alice looked over at Justin hoping he didn't hear Fox and nodded quickly using her ID card to get into her new lab. Just like the apartment, everything was just where she left it. She sat at her work bench pulling out her books on ALS, as well as her own case notes. Maybe something was in here.
As Victoria meandered off to her own devices, Justin decided it was time for him to get back to work. The lab table he worked at before the dragon attack was left untouched. "Cool." He cleared a space for his schematics and turned on the soldering iron he left nearby. He was like a blur of fluid movement, locating all the tools and materials needed to go into the gauntlet-making progress. He fell into his swivel chair lastly, a hand planted firmly at his chin. "Lastly I need a power supply..." He looked about the expansive laboratory.
"Ah! That'll do." He spotted one of the lab's many computers, vacant and currently offline. He approached it in great strides, ripping it from the little station is sat at. Bringing the tower back to his workstation, it took him no time at all to locate and extract the blocky power supply neatly nestled within the computer. "1200 watts maximum power..." He removed the tower from his workspace, and isolated attention onto the box of potentially untapped voltage. "Most likely putting out a frequency of 60Hz at the most...i'm gonna need a little more than that..." Slipping in a pair of headphones, he turned on some music, set the power supply down, and got to tinkering.
Alice was already elbow deep in books sending Fox to go run tests while she worked. He was taking blood samples and testing them to compare to past results. Fox was zooming around the lab when he bumped into Justin. "Fuck-!" Justin went, trying to shake off the ringing that bounced through his ears. "Oh, terribly sorry sir. If I caused any damage I would like to help if you'd allow it." Music blaring, Justin couldn't make out the words it was saying. He glared at the silent floating chrome dock for a bit. Then he looked around the room.
"Who does this belong to?" He silently mouthed, a bewildered look stretching over his face. Fox, getting no response from Justin, went back to Alice who's lab was just a few feet away. "Dammit Fox watch where you're going." Alice yelled at Fox. Alice walked out of her lab hoping that maybe Justin didn't know her outside of her suit.
"I'm really sorry about him, I didn't make him with people skills, just snark." she said trying to be nice when all she wanted to do what hit him, but no need for that, yet. "So what are you working on?" Alice looked over at his work, his ove-glove as Fox called it. Justin (now actively being approached and pulled from his work) paused his music, swiveling around to face the mechanic addressing him.
"Y'know Allison, I was just joking about you being farsighted earlier, but now i'm actually thinking you might need to look into a prescription. Some bifocals or contacts, or something." He muttered as he spun back around. "I'm working on re-purposing this power supply." Alice could almost feel the blood vessel pop again.
"Look, I don't like learning what people are doing by watching, I ask. I know about your "Awe", I still like to ask the inventor. Also, you can use a better source of power then that, it's rather simple really. Now who needs the bifocals." Alice smirked knowing she had the upperhand in this, but played the comment off as a joke. An eye for an eye. "Yea, the power pack I use doesn't have the issues you'd face with that power supply, like it dying on you. That seems to be a bit of an issue I'd think."
"Yeah, okay, that's nice pumpkin." Justin spewed back already too encompassed in his work to truly take note of the advice. "Not my fault if your Ove-gloves fries. But hey, what do I know? I only have a PhD in physics, mechanical engineering, chemistry, and electrical engineering. I'm just trying to help a team mate out, and not treat them like shit for being tired, and just wanting to go to her apartment." Alice didn't want to play with him anymore, he clearly wasn't going to hear her out so what was the point?
"Call me when you really want to make the Awe something amazing." she said turning away. "Alice, what did I tell you about making friends? This isn't the best way to do that." Fox stopped her right as she was about to leave, and made her stay. "Dammit Fox, you can see it won't work. If he doesn't want my help then I might as well get back to work. It won't be held responsible when shit happens."
"Well, maybe if you weren't being such a prissy bitch about your "holier-than-thou" help, then maybe i'd fucking ask for it." Justin shot back through gritted teeth. "Well, maybe if you didn't start shit with me this wouldn't of happened! It's not like you're known for asking for help anyway. Hell, no matter how I offered it to you, you'd just say no. Let me tell you something, I have awards for this shit for a reason. It's a simple fix anyway, but hey new girl doesn't know anything." Alice spat back then took a deep breath centering her self. Justin kept silent, and his expression plain.
"Fine, I'm sorry, I should of offered my help in another way, but damn you can be a dick." Alice was ready to break down for some reason, she didn't know why, but fuck if she was going to go to a shrink for it. "Yeah. I know." Justin replied, crossing his arms. "I do it purposely. Defense mechanisms and whatnot." He pursed his lips, and raised an eyebrow. "You're a PhD, Doctor Sallian. Learn how take one on the chin." He used her actual name for once. "And you can come down off your pedestal, no one's gonna mind."
"What pedestal? Yes I have what I have, but I worked hard for it. I learn things and I remember them. As for "taking one of the chin" I had to learn how to fight to protect myself. Being picked on for being so young in high school, and college, yea I fought a lot, and I lost a lot. Just because I'm a doctor doesn't mean I can't take a hit." Justin chuckled and sighed and facepalmed. "Not an actual hit on the chin, Alexis. You know "taking one on the chin" is an expression, right?" He explained.
Alice blinked, confused. "I have never heard that expression before. Also my name isn't Alexis..... that's my water user aunt, well her name is Alex but still. I think she married an Iron Man type guy. She kind of vanished for a bit." Alice was caught off guard by that, and didn't know how to react. "I'm saying you should learn how to not take yourself so damn seriously. You can take a joke, Alicia, I'm sure you can. The fact that you brought up a passing phrase from moments ago (that, I don't even remember what it was I even said) says a whole bunch about you." Justin replied through another chuckle. "Geez, I thought you were a genius, not autistic."
"You can be intelligent and still have jokes go over your head. My nose was in a book so expressions like that never have come up, also I'm just going to ignore your cutting words. After all, defense mechanisms, and all that stuff." Alice was starting to feel her ALS kick in some from the energy arguing took from her. Her legs felt a bit weak so she grabbed a chair and sat down. Justin put his hands up. "Hey, we all have our own special ways of coping." He replied matter-of-factly, reclining in his seat. "You can joke back if you like, won't be no skin off my bones. If you're even capable of making jokes."
"I once heard a joke about a chicken and a road. Wasn't that good though. I think it ended with it passing a KFC when they were out of chicken." Alice said trying to think of a joke. "Pffft!" Justin pfft-ed. "Wow. That was great. 10 outta 10. Add "comedienne" to the long-ass list of shit you can do." Then, he leaned in close, and put a hand up to his mouth "I'll let you in on a little trade secret: that was sarcasm." He whispered loudly.
"I know sarcasm, Sparknotes." Seemed she was developing her own nickname for the boy. "Anyway, I better get back to work. I also did hear one about Gandhi out of nowhere." Alice got up with Fox making sure she was okay. Justin didn't quite get the reference.
"Riiiiiight." He paused. "...I don't actually have a problem with help, surprisingly. I usually have Marcus in here, looking over my shoulder from time to time. Even though i'm the smartest guy in all of my classes, I am fully aware that there are individuals in this building, way smarter than I am. So, by all means, if you wanna provide advice, i'm all ears. Just...expect me to be snappy. Cuz...I do that. I'm that guy. I'm snappy. You just gotta deal with it." He spun back around to his workspace. "But, even you have a better idea for a power supply, i'm still gonna take this one apart." He put his music back on, and turned back his tinkering. Alice, smirking at the tiny sliver of progress made, hobbled back over to her lab with Fox in tow.
Victoria really had no idea what she was doing down here. She was no pushover intellectually, but the stuff they were doing here was so far over her head she couldn't even begin to figure them out. She was about to head for the elevator when she noticed a small room set off to the side, half open. The sign beside it read "Paranormal Department." That had promise.
She stepped toward the door, hearing the sound of arguing. "No! The star has to be a hexagram or octagram! We've been over this. Diamonds and Nonagrams are too far in either direction for proper containment and pentagrams and septagrams are inherently unstable!"
"The rigid mathematical ritual system is getting really old, Greg."
"It's effective! We've maintained a stable Devil's Trap-"
"Can we not use terminology you got off TV?"
"Oh, shut up, Doc. If you had your way you'd call it an N-dimensional ley containment unit interacting with non-euclidean geometry. You want to call it that when we present it to Adelbert?"
"An L-Matrix is perfectly acceptable!"
"Why not just call it a Ritual Circle?"
"Oh my God..."
"Oh, shut up, Janet."
She opened the door and the group continued arguing with no stop - two old men, one dark-skinned in a tailored suit wearing a yarmulke, the other gray-haired and pale-skinned in a black suit with a priest's collars. The others were three woman, an older Hispanic woman with a blindfold on and too many necklaces, a forty-ish White woman in jeans and a t-shirt, and a similar aged Indian woman in a business suit, currently rubbing her eyes.
The white woman spoke with a definite Russian accent. "We all agreed when we formed this department that we would keep theology out of it." She twisted in her chair. "And we have a guest. Can we help you?"
"Uh." Victoria paused. "Hi, my name's Victoria Velour, I'm a new recruit."
"Oh God, another goth intern." The Indian woman put her head in her hands.
"She's no intern." The blindfolded woman stared at Victoria as though she could see fine. "I sense powerful magic. Dark magic."
"Sorry about that. I'm a new Hero. Codename Veil."
There was a brief, hushed conversation between the two men, then the Priest spoke. "Veil? And dark magic. You wouldn't happen to be a necromancer, would you?"
"Ha!" He turned to the other man. "Pay up, Zeke."
Zeke pulled out a twenty and handed it to him with a scowl. The casually dressed woman just stared at them. "Are you two done? Why are you this casual about a necromancer just strolling in?"
"You're new to Seraphim, Natalia. Back in the seventies when I was a field agent I worked with all sorts, including a straight up devil worshipper. Hilarious guy, total asshole, but decent enough. Fired these beams of, no joke, hate energy out of his eyes. I was able to work with him, I can work with a little corpse desecration."
"What devil worshipper? I was around in the seventies." The blindfolded woman said.
"You were still working a psychic hotline."
"Can we act like adults? For five minutes? At least until we introduce ourselves?" The Indian woman said. "I'm Dr. Jaya Malik, hard science liaison."
The priest spoke next. "Gregory MacTavish, on attachment from the Vatican. Exorcist, I do demons and ghosts."
The other man snickered, then spoke. "Heh. Ezekiel Stane, I'm a Rabbi and Kabbalist, and the only actual magic user in this group."
"When was the last time you made a Golem?"
"One, that's racist. Kabbalah isn't just making golems. Two, never. I activated one during the Yom Kippur war, though."
"Moving on..." Raya said.
"I'm Janet Vega, you may know me already."
"What." She shook her head. "I sold those film rights years ago."
"Ended up just being shown on SyFy." Ezekiel said. Janet trembled, her lips quivering with rage. "I have the DVD."
"No. Never." She sighed. "I'm the group's psychic and expert on psi, ESP, and new age teachings."
"And lastly me. I'm Natalia Vladistova, I used to teach Russian literature at NYU. Now I'm the group's expert on ancient paganism and occultism."
"Before I leave here something for you all," Coyote announced as he clicked a button behind the scenes. " I just sent a Virus a file containing several confidential about the future movements and actions of several banks, labs, medical facilities, business's, and government facilities that I've collected. You should be able to use this information to pull of your future crimes." While it wasn't like him to simply give out information, this time he had an agenda. All the information he was sharing had been taken from organizations that use the same network security software. These heists would be a scandal for the company, allowing him to move on to his next step.
"Virus, remember sharing is caring, toodle-doo." With that Coyote's image vanished, and his drone floated over the heads of the other villains and out of the room.
Back in his lair, Red Coyote stepped down from the rudimentary stage and deactivated the the three SPD's that were recording him. "So BoB how's the progress on finding me a 'date'?" He inquired as he pulled of his helmet and grabbed a beer from the cooler.
"After evaluating 832,040 potential address's and phone numbers, I have tracked down the correct phone that will allow us to contact the person known as 'Keller'." Responded his AI.
"Damn, that's a lot, well that's good, she wouldn't be of any use to me if she wasn't easy to get a hold of." He said as he popped the cap off, " Well what are you waiting for? Get he on the line." Without further delay BoB dialed the number, which was connected to a payphone in Chicago. Ringing emanated from the speakers as Coyote waited for the call to be picked up.
"She'd better pick up, I'm not leaving a voice mail." He muttered to his beer as he waited.
KAMI identified two bodies enter the labs nearby.
MALE 5'9''. MECHANICAL SKILLS.
ANALYZING VOICE RECORDING
Cuz...I do that. I'm that guy. I'm snappy. You just gotta deal with it."
VOICE ANALYSIS COMPLETED. 100% MATCH JUSTIN CASE.
FEMALE 5'8''. MECHANICAL SKILLS.
VOICE ANALYSIS COMPLETED. 75% MATCH DR ALICE SALLIAN.
DR ALICE SALLIAN CONFIRMED.
KAMI made her way out of her room and into the general labs. From the tone and diction of the conversation, she assumed they were having an argument. Everything had already resolved itself by the time she had arrived, though.
"Hello? Sorry to just drop in, I Wanted to Assess The Situation. It sounded like You Had An Escalating Argument."
Samael was watching as the dragon caused havoc smirking, and enjoying the show. The chaos that was around him was almost orgasmic to him. Right when it was starting to get really good some punk ass with a glove ruined it for him.
"Damn heroes always have to ruin my fun. They don't seem to get it, the more chaos around me the happier I am, and when I'm happy I kill less people. Hell, they should be letting shit like this happen for my own amusement. Oh well, I'll just have to torch that kid later." Samael got up and dusted off his pants trying to think of someway to pass the time. He already got his rocks off today with two hookers that once where business women(the transformation is all thanks to him), and they was a burning body of a cop that thought he could take Samael down. What a delusional man.
A few hours later Samael decided he would walk around the city causing random fires with his lighter and he hummed Hellfire, no point in making it clear it was him after all. Besides, if he used hellfire there would be less city to burn later, that did not spell for a good time in his book.
"I just love the sound of screams in the afternoon. It's music to my ears." Samael stopped when he noticed a dog was following him, and wagging it's tail. "The fuck do you want dog? I don't have food for you, besides I have bigger dogs then you. Go away." Samael snapped his fingers, and some hellfire light up near the dogs front paws. The dog ran away before the fire could touch it, and Samael laughed some. "Dumb dog." He turned on his heels, and went to find another form of amusement.
After walking around the city for a bit longer he couldn't find anything to do. The panic of the fires behind him as he stopped thinking. "Maybe I should go see what the Virus guy is all about. Could give some amusement." He followed the address he was given for the hideout and saw that it was locked tight. "Damn, I guess he takes his privacy seriously." He rang the bell, and waited.
Alice looked up seeing that KAMI had joined them in the lab.
"I wouldn't call it an argument as much as I would a slightly heated discussion.
Alice smirked some reading a book on ALS trying to find a clue when something seem to catch her eye. "So I'd need to gain an insane regeneration ability... Great, this is going no where fast." Alice sighed putting down the book then walked outside of her lab to join KAMI.
"I agree with Fox. It kind of was an argument for a bit, and then it just stopped. Hey how are you functioning now KAMI? Is all well?"
"Is this Keller?"
The signal from Coyote bounced across a bewildering array of repeaters and relays before stopping in a lime green laptop looked over by a pale face. "Hello there...incoming, Kay." She pressed a button and the signal made one last jump into the earpiece of Lily Keller's headgear.
An image splashed across her HUD, and she nodded, pressing a small switch with her tongue. "If that's an attempt at comedy you're reaching." She affected a husky Eastern European accent, and made herself sound amused. "Either you're Chinese Intelligence or the Red Coyote, I think."
"Good you recognized me, you have no idea how hard branding is in this business. I'm calling because I need assistance in a heist, and the way I see it you're ghost which is exactly what I need for this. What I need is someone to help me infiltrate a compound, and given this places connections and location Seraphim's involvement will be certain so I need someone who can handle both the espionage and the combat. The reward won't just be lucrative but also quit interesting in other ways, but I can't tell you more until I know you are in. Are you interested?" Coyote asked.
"I recommend the urban legend approach. Hide in plain sight. Constant publicity, constant disinformation." She curled her legs, pulling herself onto a beam. "In the middle of some business right now, so I may get momentarily distracted. But yes, quite interested."
"Good, are you familiar with a company called Pinnacle Armament Solutions?" Coyote asked, the next sound to come over was of a sparking lighter and bubbling water, then his next sentenced sounded as if he was being choked, " They've been developing a new system for the rapid creation of fire-arms meant for specific purposes," he paused to exhale, "That uses three dimensional printing and computer numerical controlled machining to create guns for the black ops missions. So far it's been kept under the tightest of secrecy."
"Plastic firearms designed for the mission. Invisible to most security measures, cheaper, and nearly as effective." She'd never heard of this before, but it made sense. She would have killed for that kind of tool in MI6. Hell, she still might. "It sounds like an assassin or terrorist's favorite toy. So you want to steal the printer and schematics?"
" Not just plastic, this thing will print in metal just as easily. And exactly black ops has always been about precision, and for precision you need the right tools but until this those tools required weeks to make. This thing would cut that time down to hours, you get a job and you're out the door the next day with the perfect tool for the job. One of a kind and therefore totally untraceable. As for our job, the schematic yes, the printer, no. I haven't seen it but if it's anything like similar machines then it's the size of a small car, the schematics are all we need. We get those, sabotage the original machine, and upload a worm to purge the schematics from their files. Then we sell the plans to a buyer who I already have line up and boom suddenly the private assassination industry takes a quantum leap, and we split the reward 70/30 should come out to atleast five figures for you." Red realize 30 percent was a low ball for this kind of mission, especially if Seraphim was involved but he wanted room to negotiate.
"Seventy sounds reasonable. Uncharacteristically generous, even." He meant seventy in his favor, she knew, but she wanted to hear his reaction. "Shame stealing it isn't an option, I could use something like that."
"You're right, it is extremely uncharacteristic, that's why I'm offering you 30. I don't know how things are done in the Peoples Republic of Commistan, but normally when someone does the majority of the work they expect a majority of the compensation." Coyote quiped back in a tone that would have been exasperated if not for the warm feeling filling his head and body.
"You have an interesting concept of most, Coyote. I break in, I destroy the device, I steal the designs, you fence it...you did most of the work? I have my own connections, I do not need you."
" First of all let's get one thing straight, if this operation could be done by one man, we wouldn't be talking. I will be there working alongside you. And no, you couldn't possibly do this with out me, you have a name and a target, that is all, and do you think I'd give either of those to you if there was even the slightest chance of you hanging up and stealing my prize from under my nose? Honestly Keller I'm fucking insulted. Even if everything I've heard about you is true and then some it will be at least a month before you had the intel and kit you needed to pull this off, by which I time I would have gone with my plan B and the prize would be long gone. Does that clarify things?"
"A few things you appear to not understand, Coyote. One, a name and a target is all I need. I do so hate to boast, but I have a long history of managing far more with far less. And two, if you had confidence in your plan B you would not be contacting me. I'll agree to sixty-forty, my favor."
Coyote grunted uncomfortably, followed by a tense moment of contemplation, grudgingly he responded, "Deal, I'll contact you with more when I'm ready, until then happy hunting." With that's Coyote terminated the connection. With the call over Coyote cracked a wide grin. Not only had he got Keller on board, he did if for a bargain, he would have have accepted less than half what he got, given what he hoped to gain it would have been a drop in the bucket. To congratulate himself he reached over to Marilyn Bongroe, and started to actually pack her bowl for the first time.
By this point, Richard found himself riding within the hollowed insides of a screeching, metallic beast. Or a "subway train" as he overheard someone said. "The savages! They use the carcasses of massive beasts for means of transportation! And then defecate within them! Disgusting!" He turned his nose up at the stench wafting through the near vacant car. He thought of just destroying the train, to watch the people of this time turn to ash in the cleansing flame of the Whiteraze. But, he thought against it. He went through quite a bit to obtain the suit he wore, and he didn't want to burn it up just yet.
While sitting in the humid, rank train, Richard decided to go through the things that he realized were in the pockets of the suit's previous owner. Some sort of leather casing housing numerous cards of plastic and green paper that Richard could only interpret as the currency of the present world. He made note of the currency, as there was a lot of it, practically bulging the walls of the wallet. Enough to get the attention of a group of ne'er-do-wells conversing at the opposite end of the car, most of them sporting leather attire with snake emblems emblazoned one each one...
Richard then turned his attention to what came out of the right pocket. Much lighter then the wallet, it was some sort of thin, white rectangle. He examined it further. He saw words engraved into it. "Sammmmsunnng...? I know not of this "Samsung." Mayhaps it was the name of the individual who once owned the clothing...perhaps it was his title..." There were protrusions sticking out of the edges. He pressed the one on top of the phone, and once dropped it after watching the screen come to life. "Slide to unlock..." He read on the screen, words hovering over an icon that resembled a lock. "Is this some sort of chest? What further earnings await beyond the unlocking?" He murmured almost gleefully as he used his free hand to poke and prod at the screen.
"HEY!" A trio of imposing figures broke Richard out of his amusing exploration session. There were tattoos of snakes, vests with snakes, jackets with snakes, and Richard could almost swear that one fellow was carrying a python over his shoulders. It seemed all of the other people in the car had gravitated towards the unfortunate dragonmorph, and wanted a piece of whatever cake he was cutting. "You're a weird looking fucker, ain't 'cha? Out here shirtless and wavin' all this money in our faces." The one front and center, the one talking, brandished a knife. "Relinquish the dosh and the phone, and maybe you won't get ya neck slicurk!-" Richard didn't appreciate the man's abnormal form of hospitality. He was upon the fellow within a instant, a white, leathery claw crushing into the man's trachea. "Be it my time or yours, I shan't be bested by a thief." The rest of the troupe produced weapons of their own. "Murk 'im!" One of the gang members yelled, and they attacked.
Or, at least tried. It was a mostly futile attempt. This is the Black Sun we're talking about here. A group of stereotypically dressed gangbangers weren't gonna do him in. Most of their knife slashes were missed. Most of their jabs and swings were dodged. One guy got the Whiteraze driven straight through him as he was flung into a far wall. And another dude basically got his face bitten off. "This motherfucker's craaay-zy-!" One of the ne'er-do-wells screamed through a high pitched scream before his life was cut short. Not even the python was spared from the dragonmorph's onslaught. It went silent as the last man went down. As the massive halberd retreated back to Richard's grasp, he began started to loot through the corpses, wondering if he find anything else that could give him insight to the world he currently inhabited.
In one of the gangbanger's jacket pockets, were a pack of cigarettes. Richard produced one of the sticks, and smelled at it. "Smells of the leaves I've seen mystics burn..." And just like that, he had an idea. Lighting the cancer stick, he brought it to his lips, and took a long drag. Exhaling a long exhale, murky black smoke bellowed from his nostrils and from beyond his lips. The smell of a gasoline filled the air of the small car as Richard took more pulls from the burning tobacco. As the air became thick with the smoke, the train pulled into the 14th Street station. Pedestrians looked on in confusion and horror as a singular man stepped out of the smoke filled car. There were murmurs all around him, everyone wondering what could've happened. "Was there a fire?" A guy behind him asked. As the doors began to close, Richard flicked what remained of the cigarette into the smoke. "Not yet, worm." He replied, a slick grin forming from his thin lips.
Intet was referring to magical artifacts which he could provide for us." Virus responded to Hellhound before pointing towards Oracle, who still had the pendant around his neck that Intet had thrown towards him. He showed Hellhound what the pendant was capable off, shooting a fireball at the same wall he had earlier. "
They could greatly aid us in our mission to take down Seraphim. And we have called a few other villains who have not yet arrived here, most likely busy elsewhere."
Virus received the file that Coyote had sent him. He checked it in a computer inside himself, and sure enough, the file contained just what Coyote had told them it contained. "
Most interesting." He procured a projector out of his chest, using it to project onto one of the walls the file Coyote had sent. "
With this, our planning can start proper."
He was interrupted when the door alarm sounded off again, and he checked his screens again, this time seeing that Samael had joined them. With the push of a button, the traps were disabled and the door was open long enough for Samael to enter before Virus would close it again and enable the traps again.
"Intet was referring to magical artifacts which he could provide for us. They could greatly aid us in our mission to take down Seraphim. And we have called a few other villains who have not yet arrived here, most likely busy elsewhere."
After watching someone else throw off a fire ball into the scorch mark from before Marcus narrows his eyes. Taking another deep pull of his cigarette and holding it for a second he turns towards the wall now doubly scorched and blows it out. Super heating it and directing it against the wall it slags part of the wall and makes it slowly drop down. Letting it get halfway to the floor he stops super heating the smoke and looks back at Virus.
"Looks like its without training its not super useful, unless its someone weak to fire. Though, giving one to someone with no fire power and the first time its used would be a surprise to those superzeros"
"Most interesting. With this, our planning can start proper."
Looking over at the projection coming from Virus Marcus raises and eyebrow and turns more towards it and starts going over some of the information. Pointing at one line about a government facility he says to the rest of those assembled.
"This one may change, i hit the police station 2 streets over from that and several piggies were killed. Although, i stashed a S.W.A.T van in a warehouse and we may be able to use that for something."
"I'm good. No Need For Worry. I'm Well doctor. 100%." KAMI's speech was spastic, less mechanical, but more strange as she patched every spoken word from her colleagues into her linguistic program.
Ianthe stood outside of Stanten Island physicians office. It was down the street from a University hospital, and full of doctors. Well, not at this hour. It was dark and rainy, the best time to wander unnoticed in the streets. In her hand she held a piece of explosive metal, a gun, they called it. The humans were scared of it. She had thrown it up after devouring a great white, which had apparently consumed the thing itself. It didn't have any bullets: she didn't need it for protection, only show.
Most of the humans had gone home. Counting the machines in the parking lot, there were maybe 5 people left in the building. She tried to open the door, but it was locked. No problem. Glass shattered as she kicked the door in, off its hinges, breaking the lock. A series of screams gave her the locations of her targets. 2 women and 2 men. Ianthe herded them into a room. The doctor was easily identified: they all wore the same things, and were all generally even the same in terms of appearance. An older woman, glasses, white coat. Ianthe grabbed her by the arm.
"Come with me" she commanded in a flat voice. She left the other humans cowering in their concrete building. None of them challenged her.
Mneme took a small swim in the cold water. She couldn't go very far, but it felt good to splash around in the fresh saltwater.
It wasn't fair that she had to be stuck in the cave all day. It was nice when she could go out on the beach.
Kurt quietly slipped away from the conversation at hand, living up to his codename as he moved down the halls of Seraphim HQ. He hated to be rude, but there was a more pressing matter he had to attend to. His destination was Seraphim's medical wing, where his comrade Arlana was still under quarantine. Kurt made a point to visit her on a regular basis; he supposed it was his way of thanking her for saving his life during his first day on the job.
The receptionist at the desk offered Kurt a well-rehearsed smile as she checked him in.
"Name of the patient you're visiting?" she asked. She knew exactly who Kurt was visiting; she'd checked him in a handful of times before. But of course, formalities were formalities.
"Arlana Dehannsen," Kurt replied.
"And your name?"
With a deft series of keyboard taps, the receptionist entered the information and handed Kurt a visitor's badge. "You're set, Mr. Isherwood. You know where to go."
Kurt nodded. "Thank you," he replied simply before making his way to Arlana's room.
Two armed guards stood at the door. Kurt flashed them his badge when requested, and they allowed him inside. He was faced with a transparent wall of reinforced glass that separated him from the room proper. Arlana lay on her hospital bed in her true Gargoyle form, still clearly showing signs of distress. With the the blessing of the technicians present, Kurt approached the speaker that would allow him to communicate. He tapped playfully on the glass and cleared his throat.
"Hey there. We had a little bit of a bumpy ride earlier. Pretty sure you felt it. How're you holding up?"
Arlana rolled upright, then slid off the bed to her feet, her face momentarily going tight with pain before she mastered her face and brought a tight smile to her face as she walked to the glass, adjusting the thin green backless shirtlike object covering her. "Kurt." She rasped, her voice cracked and hoarse. "I..." She swallowed and grimaced. "It's good to see you. I heard you paid a few visits while I was asleep."
"I did feel it. What happened? We were alright in here, but the Doctors seemed rather concerned. Should have been out there helping you, but the Doctors say I may be carrying a plague." Anget and shame twisted her face for a heartbeat. "But it appears you had yhe attack in hand."
It was good to see Arlana moving again, even though it appeared to be taxing on her. He could help but offer a smile of his own.
"A fire-breathing dragon exploded into existence in the lobby and completely trashed the place." Kurt replied, remaining serious despite the sheer absurdity of his statement. "Honestly, I'm just not weirded out by these things anymore," he added with a shrug.
"I missed the whole thing. By the time I got down to the lobby, it was long gone. Spent a while helping to cleaning up the rubble."
He caught Arlana's expression of disappointment. "And don't be so hard on yourself. We need you at 100%, and the only way to do that is to rest. There's no shame in that."
"A Dragon!" Arlana didn't seem to really notice anything else he said, her eyes bright and excited. "And it just appeared?" She mumbled to herself, a string of gaelic-sounding words. "According to Gargoyle legend when my people departed this world a number of other beings left with us - among them the Goblins, Dwarves, and some of the Dragons. If it just appeared there might be an open rift to Faerie now, perhaps somewhere close at hand." She started to pace, winced, and instead just sat on the floor.
She was silent for a while.
"Kurt." She spoke after a minute. "Rest does nothing for my illness. The Doctors say I lapsed into stonesleep as normal during my coma and it did nothing to halt my disease. The plague continues to grow worse. They say they've tried everything your physicians can devise, even attempted magic to reverse it to no effect."
She reached to her smock and pulled it down to show a small spot of dull gray on her chest, where Virus had first wounded her. "When a Gargoyle dies their bodies turn into stone...and it is not all at once."
Stepping away from the lightboard Marcus turns back to Virus and waves at the board on the wall.
"So, whats the plan with these?"
Looking over as someone else walks in Marcus ignores them for the second in favor of finding out what is planned.
"Twas an exhilarating display!" Richard grinned as he mulled over his previous act of terrorism, having taken to the skies in the meantime. Surprisingly, his suit survived the blast, leaving dirt and ash and debris covering his bare skin. "I s'pose I should find a place to cleanse myself..." By this point, he was clearing Manhattan as he flew further south. He had no idea where he was going, but he was definitely going there. Soon, he came up to the coast. "Ah! Water." He dove into the ocean with haste. When he resurfaced, he found himself walking onto warm sand and scantily clad individuals taking in the sun. A nearby sign read South Beach. "Hmp, such scandalous clothings. Have these people no shame?" Then, a growling emitted from his stomach. "Hungerrrr..." He lunged into another flight, soaring over the water with a hankering for fish.
As he felt he got out far enough, he dove back down into the water. He made a descent, using his wings to propel. There were remains of aquatic wildlife about, fish bones and entrails. Seemed like a natural occurrence, but he noticed the bones of bigger organisms the further he dove. "Tis a mysterious happening...Could there be something big in the area?" From the corner of his eye, something big sped away. "Aha!" He began after it, but then stopped with a better idea. With the Whiteraze in hand, he sent it towards the massive blue being. It was definitely a chase, but it found its target eventually. The halberd swam back towards its master, a blue marlin impaled on its blade. "This impressive fish shall make for a bountiful meal!" Satisfied with his results, Richard began for the surface.
Wanting to eat in peace, Richard opted out of flying back to the beach. Instead he flew along the coastline, to search for a less populated area. He eventually came across what looked to be a fairly sized cave a way's away from the beach. The ocean's water lead right into the cave. He landed at the entrance, a dim one even against the setting sun. The sounds of splashing echoed from deeper inside the cave. But this sounded purposeful, not like the sound of waves flowing into the opening. Curious, he stepped further into the cove. As the splashing got louder, he realized he was coming up to a pool, with a peculiar little girl splashing about in it. Purple-greyish skin, slick blue hair, black eyes. Richard didn't know what to make of it. "A young water elemental...?" He mumbled as he approached.
Mneme splashed about in the shallow end of her pool, in the above water portion of the cave. Her mother was still out somewhere, leaving the young leviathan to her own amusings. In this case, it meant chasing the small crabs and fish in the water, occasionally eating one as a snack.
She noticed Richard as soon as he had come near the place. She was not afraid. Humans didn't have the power to kill them, her mother said. Also, they were usually scared when they saw her, or her mother's toothy jaws. Mneme watched the human curiously, her head the only visible portion of her in the seawater.
Richard had no need to show caution, for he was no normal human. Instead, strangely, he showed concern. The wings on his back flapped dry and melted into his back. "Greetings, young one." He greeted, laying the halberd beside the pool as he knelt. "Why art thou alone in this cave? Doth thou have an elder or guardian to look after?" He would'e asked more, but the mighty marlin spiked on the Whiteraze still had some fight in it, and began to thrash a bit, genuinely surprising the Black Sun. With a scowl and a growl he hopped to his feet, stomping on the wooden staff to hold it in place.
"Rarh!" He spit fire upon the fish, burning both its skin and volition with extreme prejudice. Naturally, the fish ceased its thrashing. Its skin was blackened, charred. He removed it from the dormant weapon before blowing another tuft of flame down its throat. Holding it by the sword it had for a nose, Richard presented the massive fish to the blue little girl.
"Hungry?" He asked simply. "What is thou name, little one?" It was the first time his voice didn't show any sort of hostility.
Ooooh hot Mneme liked the orange color of the fire. She shook her head at the burnt fish. After things were burned, they tasted kind of bland and dry. She liked it better when the blood squirt out. This guy talked funny, not like all the people she heard around. She popped a little further out of the water, gurgling out "Mneme" before flashing a sharp grin. "Mom's getting me someone to help me feel better. I'm not little. You're little." She added as an after thought, swimming a little closer. She hadn't seen any human that could spit fire yet. "Ianthe doesn't like it when people come in here."
"Mneme? Tis a beautiful name." Richard perked up, showing off razor sharp teeth in a returning grin. "Mom's getting me someone to help me feel better." He sat down again. "Better? What's wrong?" He wondered, ripping into the underbelly of the burned fish. "I'm not little. You're little." "Mmm! Hmhmhm." With his mouth full, Richard had a chuckle at that comment. Seemed like a big boast for a child. Even if Mneme was no normal child. Judging by Richard's previous attacks, and his current train of "thought", he was right at home with the extremely abnormal.
"Ianthe doesn't like it when people come in here." Richard paused, raising an eyebrow. "Is that your mother? Ianthe?" He wondered if the parent resembled the child. He took another vicious rip of meat from his catch as he mulled over the thought. "Well, Mneme, I shan't be here long. I will eat, then I will be on my way. Just I...had no qualms with eating within the sight of...the commoners. These...people. They're peculiar. Evil. They stare at whatever they don't find normal. And I find them fiercely aggravating. Surely you or your mother can relate." He explained, swallowing his mouth full before taking another bite.
The Kel Serapis screamed as she made her last ever jump, a hideous shriek that ran through the very fabric of the ship like a child's scream mingled with the sound of tearing metal. A klaxon went off, an alert going up on the main screen.
Staggering from station to station was the last surviving crewmember, stepping over the twisted bodies of her fallen fellow crew. She stared at the alert for a second - a developing fault in the Hyperdrive that if allowed to progress would result in...
She had no idea what any of those sentences meant. She just moved, slapping the emergency cutoff switch. The blue blur of Jump faded away to show stars as the ship bled excess kinetic energy into a massive blast of cherenkov radiation that turned a rover on Mars into so much scrap metal and likely would have sterilized that planet if there was anything there to sterilize.
"At least the inertial dampener is still working...somehow." If it weren't she would be a smear of molecules and the ship would be a spray of debris. Now slowed from a physics-breaking many thousands of times the speed of light to a mere 3000 kilometers per second, the hideous squealing sound stopped with one last burst of grinding and finally a screech like a train grinding to a halt on the body of a housecat that wouldn't die.
Asira let out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding as the ship finally stabilized. She took a seat and checked the damage reports - FTL was dead and nevet coming back, life support was frelled, subluminal engines were barely functioning at all, sensors were frakked, communications were a molten puddle of slag, and shockingly, shielding and weapons systems were fully functional.
Naturally. She moved to the helm and began trying to coax a little maneuverability out of it. They had surveyed this system previously, there was one habitable planet, the third one out. She aimed for a pale blue dot.
Two hundred thousand miles away, a lot of yuppies became very upset as important phone calls abruptly dropped and GPS trackers began directing them to go four thousand miles and take a right to arrive at the IHOP. For a brief moment all global communications, every satellite and radio and TV became so much garbled data and static as the now dispersed burst of radiation reached Earth, not much more than a fizzle in the atmosphere now.
Most people notes the annoyance and moved on. A few places investigate the strange event, and in an hour they have something.
General Jacoby was the commander in chief of NORAD, and he was the first person to hear about it, staring with a slack jaw at what the telescope had captured - a craft, shaped like a rounded off spade, with a visible thruster bank spitting a stream of blue fire. The image was blurry, but he could make out that much.
"Is there any chance of this not being what it looks like?"
The weedy man making the report shook his head. "Not really, General. It's traveling at an estimated two thousand miles per second, heading straight for us."
Jacoby paused, then nodded. "It looks like I have some calls to make." He picked up the red phone on his left. "Get me the President."
That conversation was short and to the point. As soon as he finished he turned to his other phone, one he thought he'd never actually use. "This is General Jacoby, I need to speak to Adelbert. Tell him that we have a Visitor."
There was little that could be done for the next twenty six hours, until the incoming ship abruptly began rapidly decelerating and plunged into the atmosphere, a wreath of fire enveloping the ship, and a minute later it splashed down into the Gulf of Mexico.
Alice had long since left the lab, a day in fact, and she was in bed taking a nap when Fox awoke her with news. She rolled over opening her eyes ready to kill Fox he began to speak.
"I hate to wake you, but I just noticed a day or so ago that all of the world's communications dropped for a brief moment. It took me a while to figure out what caused it, but it seems that a burst of radiation from an object that had entered our atmosphere. It has to be something technical, and someone could be inside, with new technology."
Alice woke up with s start when Fox reported that it could be new tech, tech that might be able to help her. She grabbed the injector pen she had on the night stand, and sat up yawning and stretching out her joins. It seems her body was more willing to move then she thought so she decided to put the pen down for now.
"Fox I want you to lock on to location of that object, and send the information to the plane. We're taking a trip. Also, send Seraphim a message letting them know where I'm going should anything happen. I want to be ready to leave in a hour. Has the news reported anything on the object?"
"Right away Alice. I hope they have peanuts this time. As far as I can tell no news network has reported on the crash, but I do think we should hurry.
After her body finished waking up from it sleep Alice stood up, and walked over to her steel cabinet, pressed her thumb a scanner, and spoke the password. It opened with the hiss reveling her battle suit. She looked over it thinking.
"What am I going to do when I can't move again? When I have to stop putting my suit on, and just let my body kill its self. Maybe... what I said before was the way out. A healing factor, and not just any healing factor. One on level with Dead Pool. That object has to have to have something in there for me. Oh god I hope it does.
Alice was lost in thought looking at her helmet when Fox nudged the side of her head.
"Are you ok Alice? Do you need anything?
Alice jolted out of her trance, and shook her head.
"No I was just thinking. Maybe there is hope for me. I'll just need to get a new power."
Alice put on her suit starting with her feet, and working her way up. After a bit all the was left was he helmet, but before she put it on the walked back over to her night stand, and took the pen twisting the top, and injected herself. As always it hurt, and she went down on one knee. After some time it wore off, and she got back up putting on her helmet.
"Fox, transfer over to the suit. It's time to go. Is the plane ready to go?"
"It's waiting for us at the workshop ready to go. The teleporter is also ready Alice.
Alice walked out of her room, and stepped into the teleporter. It flash lights all around her as parts of it started to spin around her going faster, and faster. Then was a large flash, and she was teleported to her workshop. Stepping out of the teleporter it powered down. She walked to the other side of the shop, and unlocked a door leading to her hanger, and run way. There her plane was ready to go. It wasn't a normal plane. This was a plane she made designed for herself. It was able to fly, hover, and land on water. She was inspired by comic book planes, and designed it after the X-Men Blackbird.
She boarded the plane right before the door suit behind her, and took a seat.
There was no crew like always; it ran off of a similar AI as Fox, Sal as she called it.
"Welcome adored doctor. It looks like we're heading to the Gulf of Mexico we'll be taking off in just a few minutes. Can I get you anything to drink?
"No thank you Sal, this is for business, maybe on the way back, but thank you."
Within minutes of her boarding the jet took off. During the flight Alice looked out the window, and was working on the on bored computer seeing if the government knew anything about the crash. So far it seemed that they only knew it crash, and nothing more. She planned to keep it that was for now if she could.
After a few hours she was flying over the Gulf of Mexico as Sal was scanning the area for the object, after some time she found it.
"I have found the craft ma'am. Shall I land a few yards away?
"Yes please Sal. Fox, I want you with me to scan the ship to see if there's life inside. We're going to treat any life as a treat until you deem them safe."
When the plane landed Alice opened the door, and saw the ruined craft a few yards a head. Alice released a small rescue raft using a panel on the wall. It was a small raft, just big enough to hold two people, and a small motor. She boarded the raft, and stared the motor heading to the ship. The closer she got the more damage she could see. She was starting to doubt there was anything alive inside, but she still had to look.
When she got to the craft Fox started scanning it, and found one life form on bored.
"Alice, I have found someone inside, they seem to be alive in the cockpit a few feet away."
Alice moved over to where Fox indicated the cock pit was, and found a door. She forced it open with her gantlets, and carefully walked inside. It was like she walked into another world. The bodies around her where not human, but looked human like. She pulled out her side arm, and headed to the cock pit where she found the life form.
"I mean you no harm if you can understand me. Are you hurt in anyway? I can help you."
Samael walked in with a smirk, and looked around at the others in the room; nothing too impressive to him save for one which he assumed was Virus.
"Well well, it this isn't a cheery place. I like the menacing feeling, very fitting for this place. There is a lack of fire though I will admit. So, what fun do you guys have planned? I'm always up for some fun unless I have to go out a make some for myself."
He lead on a nearby wall playing with some fire in his hand waiting for Virus to address him.
"Dai un vasak us Kal nakust Shaxhan." She snapped her rifle up to point at Asira. "Gal Shaxhan nakust!" This was rapidly shaping up to not be Asira's favorite day. Impact had been at a cool 2700 miles per hour, peanuts compared to this ship's drive power but fast enough that the hull had buckled and the inertial dampener had momentarily faltered, resulting in her being picked up and flung across the cabin ny physics, smashing against the helm console hard enough to dent it. Her armor had taken the impact like a champ, but she could feel blood running out of her nose and mouth.
Her armor told her of the other damage - rib cracked, shoulder and wrist sprained, bruising to most of her thorax. Still combat capable, even if she wouldn't be happy about it.
She turned her attention to the new arrival. Indigenous. Primitive combat suit. Uncertain combat capabilities, tech ahead of planetary norms. Nonthreatening.
Asira lowered her weapon. A moment later she heard a distant thudding sound and looked out the viewport - helicopters approaching this position. All black, some laden with weapons and others bulky to hold troops. This badly outnumbered combat was completely useless. She slid her rifle into its holster on her back and raised her hands, the more or less universal signal for surrender.
Alice lowered her weapon, and looked out the window seeing Seraphim air crafts putting her gun back to her side.
"I was worried for a moment."
Alice turned to the alien, and also raised her hands showing she meant no harm and pointed to her self.
"Alice. I'm called Alice. Everything is going to be ok. They're with me."
She walked over to her new "friend" and smiled trying to making it clear it was alright.
"Fox, patch me into to communications of the choppers. I might as well let them know I'm here, and the all is clear."
"Already done Alice."
"This is Seraphim agent Dr. Alice Sallian. The craft is secure, and I have found only one survivor. They mean no harm. I repeat they mean no harm."
Exactly what we have been discussing, or were you somehow asleep during that discussion?" Virus asked Hellhound. "
We rob these establishments, starting slow and going bigger and bigger after that, in order to draw out Seraphim, and eventually take them out. That is the extent of our plans. The finer details can be discussed at a later time. For now, it is enough if you go now to take on some of the smaller establishments. Do so in any way you see fit. Just make sure that you are not captured." Virus addressed more than just Hellhound with the last parts of what he said. Once he was done speaking, he looked towards Samael.
Good to see that you could make it, Samael. We trust that you caught what we were saying just as you came in. Our goal is the takedown of Seraphim." The files were still up for show on the wall, and with an open palm, Virus pointed towards them for Samael to see. "
For those that have not been in this lair before can take a look around if you so wish. There are rooms where you can sleep, others where you can eat, yet others where you can wash yourself and still others for other purposes. If you have any questions we will be glad to answer. This lair is your home if you so wish for it to be so. If there isn't anything else, then we would want you to head out to start work on our plan." A lot of the villains headed out after discussing which places to rob, and some stayed in order to check out the place for themselves.
"Exactly what we have been discussing, or were you somehow asleep during that discussion? We rob these establishments, starting slow and going bigger and bigger after that, in order to draw out Seraphim, and eventually take them out. That is the extent of our plans. The finer details can be discussed at a later time. For now, it is enough if you go now to take on some of the smaller establishments. Do so in any way you see fit. Just make sure that you are not captured."
Looking at Virus for a second Marcus nods and pulls on his gloves and makes sure they are tight as Virus talks to a new comer. Taking a deep draw on his cigarette and dropping it to grind it out with the heel of his boot as he pulls his helmet up and over his head. Shaking his head to make sure its on tight he starts towards the outside door, Waving back at Virus as he stops his talk and most of the people start walking out. Ignoring the traps he knows is surroundings him as he walks out and opening the door at the end of the hall, stepping out without looking behind him. Walking over to his bike, more stomping than walking, and when he gets over straddles his bike. Sitting it straight and firing it up he spins it around leaving a semi-circle of burnt rubber on the concrete before racing out of the parking structure and down the street.
Weaving in between cars on the road as he races down it, almost clipping a few of them and leaving a trail of honking behind him. Taking a tight corner into a side alley and going along it he slows and stops at the end on the side street just before going out into another street. Stopping there and letting his bike idle he pulls up his phone to look at the different web apps he has. Whistling softly at the most up to date news.
Shaking his head and putting his phone away and zipping the pocket closed he revs the engine again and pulls back out into traffic, ignoring the people who have to swerve and stomp on their brakes. Turning away from flashing lights and emergency vehicles he speeds down the road.
A while later Marcus pulls into a parking building, this one right in front of a large bank and right down the street a nice jewelry store with quite a bit. Driving all the way to the roof and parking it close to the edge he turns it off and walks over to sit against the side of the rail and look down at the bank. Pulling his helmet off and setting it down he pulls his phone out and brings up the information about money movements and guard scheduled. Keeping one eye on the phone and one eye on the bank he smiles slowly as the shift change for the security and... half an hour later the armored car rolls into the side and parks to start unloading the cash into the bank. Looking over the edge at the armored car he sighs at not being able to take the money now. Hopping off the rail and back over to his motorcycle he pulls out a sawed off shotgun and loads a specialty round.
Lifting and aiming at the building across the street he plays over the front doors for a second before lifting and firing it at the roof, the sound eaten up by the cars and other sounds around. The specialty round flying over and landing hard against the side of a air conditioning unit on the top, not enough to disable or break it but enough to penetrate and stay there waiting for him to activate it. Putting the sawed off back in the bag and straddling the bike again he backs up and drives down the parking building and away down the street towards his hide out.