Order And Chaos: A Superpower RP (Started, Closed)

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Marcus looked up at the skyscraper before him. It was huge, even by New York standards, dozens of stories tall and taking up most of the block. Clad in glass and sporting an S logo at the top, it certainly radiated style. He looked down at the business card in his hands. On one side, and address - 37 on 32nd East Street. On the other, the same logo as on the building: Two interlocking wings with an S emblazoned between them, with the word Seraphim printed in bold letters.

"Time to buckle down and swallow your pride, Faraday."

Seraphim had been in New York as long as he could remember. His dad used to tell him stories of the heroics they'd perform worldwide - stopping dictators, foiling supervillains... But Marcus, in all his wisdom, decided he was strong enough to protect New York City on his own.

'I'm an idiot. If I had their backup, that... incident the other day would likely have not happened as it did.'

Looking again to the skyscraper, he took in a deep breath and tried to steady his rising nerves. 'Full circle, I guess. I always dreamed I'd join Seraphim when I was a kid. Time to man up...'

Gathering up his courage, he strolled into the main foyer and approached the secretary manning the desk - a middleaged woman with brown hair and thick horn-rimmed glasses. "Er... hello. I'm Faraday. Jared Miles said..."

"Oh yes, he did mention that he got another recruit." She cut in, peering at Marcus, still typing away on her desktop. "I saw you on the news yesterday, you know." Marcus looked away, his face flushing in embarrassment. "You did? That's... nice, I guess."

"For what it's worth, I think you did the right thing, given the circumstances. It may not have been particularly glamorous, but I think you'll fit in just fine around here." She pressed a button and another woman appeared from a door behind her desk, this one in her early twenties.

"Follow Becky to the waiting room. Mister Adelbert will see you shortly."

Gathering his things, a suitcase and his wits, Marcus did as he was told, but not before the secretary cut in again, handing him a file.

"Enclosed, you'll find your room number, key, and all the other paperwork relevant to your membership." She cracked a small smile. "Welcome to Seraphim, mister Faraday."

"Subject is a negroid female, displaying classic characteristics of her kind. Like the last three, the Mark has thoroughly suffused this specimen - brown skin, curly black hair, a flattened nose, alterations to the facial skeletal structure. As with the others she has remained belligerent in spite of gentle care. More serious measures must be taken."

The man set his recorder down onto his desk and ran his hands over his face, a great weariness suffusing him. This labor of his had consumed his every thought - how to cure these people, how to make them right, make them like real Men instead of the subhuman savages they were, reveling in the Mark of their twisted ancestor.

The man - George Baltars by name - was a doctor of some respect. Up until a month ago he had worked in the emergency room of Mercy Hospital in Miami. Now he was resigned, his crusade calling to him. He chuckled to himself - what had he been thinking, spending all those years, all that time and stress and effort and to accomplish what? He'd only spared lives for a time, he hadn't made any difference. Those people would die no matter what he did, the only question was when. This, this was the real work.

At that thought, he turned his gaze to his inspiration, tracing his fingers along the cover of the book lying on his desk. "The way and the truth and the life..." He whispered to himself, feeling a pang of regret that he couldn't properly read this book. While he had been studying Latin, the written language still eluded him for the most part. A shame. Something about it inspired him though, and as he touched it he felt a fresh flash of inspiration. He flicked the recorder back on.

"I don't think drugs and therapy will work on these cases. I think I have to fix them manually." He reached into a drawer and withdrew a scalpel, then rose from his table, walking towards the steps into his basement.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arlana was not the biggest fan of the daytime. While it was simple enough to blend with the crowds in her Human shape, she wasn't much of a fan of doing -that- either, feeling horribly vulnerable in this weak, frail body. The alternative however was crowds of people in fear as they saw a being that to their eyes was clearly a horrific monster out of their ancient legends.

They were half right, anyway.

And so she walked down the street in the form of the human Alison, to all appearances a woman effectively interchangeable with the millions of others that walked the streets of this city, blending with the crowd.

Ostensibly, she was on patrol for Seraphim, but she considered her employment with Seraphim to be less of, well, an employment and more of an alliance. Their goals - their apparent goals, at any rate - aligned with hers, and so aiding them and in turn accepting their aid was only the intelligent thing to do. She did not feel beholden to them in any way, protecting the people of this world was simply her purpose. A Gargoyle's purpose is to protect.

On that note...

The sound of a crack came from a building on her left, a large bank with broad and wide glass doors, leading into a well decorated lobby. It was a familiar sound to Arlana, the sound of a gunshot. The crowd around her began to quickly scatter, a few going for their phones. She quickly took stock of the situation, noticing a nervous-looking man sitting in a car just in front of the bank. Through the glass doors she saw nothing, despite the fact that three tellers desks were in clear view of the door and the bank was ostensibly open.

Clearly, a situation.

She walked forward calmly towards the car where the getaway driver waited and put a vapid smile on her face as she tapped on the window. The man looked at her for a second, fidgeted, then rolled down the window.

"Can I help you, doll?" A quick glance in his mirrors showed he was gripping a pistol with his left hand, ready to shoot her if need be. Sufficient evidence.

"Yes, I believe you can." She shot a hand in, grabbed him by the collar, and smashed his face into the steering wheel. His nose compressed with a crunch and the man went down like a sack of potatoes, blood spurting out of his nose. He tried to raise the gun, only for her to grab him by the hand and smash it into his driver's side mirror, then again into the upper part of the car door. The gun dropped out of his hands and clattered onto the ground.

"I'd just like the area clear, please." A quick hook punch to the side of the head put him down onto the car seats, stunned. For a moment, Arlana rubbed her reddened knuckles, one of them split and bleeding. "Hate this body." She clenched inside, felt the stone, and let it out.

The change was nearly immediately apparent. Her skin went from pale to milk-white and her eyes from green irises to wholly green. She began to gain size, remaining of the same proportions but growing well over a foot, her outer clothes tearing and falling apart as she grew to her full height, leaving her clad only in a pair of stretchy gray pants that before had barely been staying on and now were tattered down the legs and tight along her midsection. Her upper half was likewise altered, her shirt now little more than a strip of cloth covering her breasts and shoulders. The back of it raised up a bit more, exposing her shoulders as massive bat wings erupted from her back, along with a long, broad tail. Her toes and heels twisted into blunt, raptor-like talons, while sharp, iron-like blades grew over her fingernails. Currently retracted enough to be safe, but that could quickly change.

Must remember to talk to Seraphim about getting some clothes that actually fit. Going naked would be more dignified, but apparently these people have some kind of problem with it.

She ignored the gaping stares of the few onlookers and reached down, proceeding to rip the bolts holding one of the car's hubcaps on, gripping the handful in one hand and a single one in her other hand. She took a quick glance at the car, gauging. At most five more. Most likely less.

Arlana stepped around the car and into the bank, walking towards the counter. Woodwork, sculpture, paintings. Well painted. A pair of elevator-machines were on the wall to her right, but Arlana could hear the scum on this floor. As she stepped up to the counter and peered over she grimaced at the sight. One man down. A security guard with a wound to his stomach. Still alive, but badly wounded.

"Who's watching the door!?"

"Thought Jerry was doing it..."

Two of the criminals - men dressed in black masks and dark clothing - stepped out from the back rooms. "No, it was you that was supposed to do it and what in the hell is that!" They came to a halt as they saw Arlana standing there. She didn't hesitate, quickly flinging one of the bolts, the small but heavy piece of metal striking the man in the belly. He fell to the ground, looking like he was about to vomit. The other man blanched and opened fire with the gun he was holding, a small, puny weapon. One of their pistols, and a small one at that.

Arlana leapt forward, ignoring the pinpricks of the bullets striking her and grabbed him, slamming him into the wall with brutal force, then a second time. She heard something pop in the man's side, and all the fight went out of him. She dumped him atop his nauseous and no doubt liver-bruised friend, and for good measure stomped on their weapons, reducing them to debris.

"Whoever's out there, you better not fucking come in here! I've got a hostage! If you come in here, I'll kill her!"

She stopped against the door, leaning back, contemplating how to do this. The guns were destroyed and she wasn't comfortable enough with them to try and shoot the man. Thrown bolts were a handy improvised weapon but hardly had any kind of precision. She could hit the woman and accidentally kill her, and that was unacceptable.

"Your partners have already been incapacitated. The police are on the way. Your getaway driver is out cold. You have no way out of this. Let the hostage go and I won't kill you."

"Who the...who the fuck are you!?"

"I work for Seraphim." She let that bombshell drop, then slammed into the door so hard she ripped through it, already lunging for the man. This one was dressed similarly to his two compatriots. He gripped a large pistol in his hands and had it wavering between the door and the fair-haired, terrified girl he gripped by the shoulders. Before he could finish sweeping it in either direction, she was upon him, slamming her fist into his jaw hard enough that she felt the bone crack under the force, lifting him up off the ground and depositing him on the ground with blood running from his nose and lips.

"Was that all of them?" Arlana asked the shaking girl. She just shook for a second, not responding in any way. "Was that all of them? Is anyone else in here in danger?"

"No, I mean, yes, that was all of them. We're safe now...I think? Who...what are you?"

The sound of sirens filled the bank as the police arrived. "Arlana Dehannsen. Once a Gargoyle-Knight of the Seelie Court."

The girl just stared at her. "What?" The other hostages seemed to be gleaning that the immediate danger was over, and Arlana took that as her cue to leave, heading for the elevator she had spotted on her way in. She stepped inside and pressed roof.

Two minutes later she emerged on the barren roof of the bank and took a running start before leaping off the edge, filling her wings with air and letting the joy of flight fill her heart, beginning to wind between skyscrapers in search of the next threat. A Knight's work was never done. A smile crossed her face, the warm satisfaction of evil defeated, of victory.

"Hmph... Looked more impressive in the ad..." Waldemar remarked as he looked up at the building in front of him, a towering skyscraper with a rather plain logo saying 'Seraphim' over the entrance to the lobby area. Still, impressive or not, there was little doubt that this was the place that he had wanted to go.

Waldemar turned back to the cab that he had arrived here in as the driver helped him out with his trolley case and his laptop bag. "Alright, and here, keep the change." He told the driver as he handed him two twenty dollar bills, he wasn't used to the whole 'tipping' culture they had here in America, the concept was a little bit alien to him truth be told. But the driver's nod of approval indicated that at least this transaction was more than satisfactory, as was the case for Waldemar himself actually, as a cab back home would have easily set him back twice what he had just payed.

"Safe travels." The driver remarked as he got back into his cab and drove off into the busy streets of New York once more, leaving Waldemar in front of the Seraphim headquarters with his luggage, looking once more at the logo over the doorway, like he was suddenly having second thoughts about all of this. He slung the strap of his bag over his left shoulder as he wondered what he should do if it turned out that he wasn't going to be much help here, he hardly had much of any 'super'-powers if you asked him, but still he had been spurred on to travel all the way here, and well... Only one way to figure out if this was a tremendous waste of time or not he guessed. Withdrawing the telescopic handle from his suitcase he walked towards the skyscraper, and before getting another chance at second guessing this choice he was inside the lobby area of the tremendous building.

"Hello there, sir. Welcome to the Seraphim HQ, how may I be of service?" A male receptionist asked him as he approached the front desk, even though Waldemar seemed a bit too busy looking at the area around him to immediately notice. To him this seemed a lot different from how he pictured it, he had thought it was going to be like the building of a large corporation, instead the atmosphere reminded him more of a hotel, or well, a bit more spartan than a usual hotel maybe. "Uhm... Sir? Is there something I can help you with?" The receptionist asked again as Waldemar finally noticed that he was talking to him. "Uhm, ja, I'm here to..." He wondered about his choice of words for a moment before settling on a sentence. "... Apply, yes. Apply for this so called 'superhero' thing you've been posting ads for." He remembered the content of his earlier e-mail to them and withdrew his phone, checking through the emails for the correspondence before finding it. "I'm supposed to have an appointment with a... Mr. Christopher Adelbert."

The receptionist nodded after a brief moment of silence, during which Waldemar felt a bit of a blush on his face, it made him feel completely ridiculous saying something like that, he might just as well have said 'I want to be a superhero, pretty please', or at least they sounded equally ridiculous in his mind. "Ah, sure, sir. Please take a seat in the lounge area and fill out this form here. We'll have one of our administrators come get you in a moment and lead you to Mister Adelbert's office." The receptionist replied as he handed him a clipboard and a pen and directed him towards what looked like a waiting area, one that seemed pretty devoid of people at the moment.

"Alright, just fill it out and wait?" Waldemar said rhetorically as he started wandering over to one of the vacant seats before receiving an answer from the receptionist. Once there he put his luggage next to his chair before sitting down and going over the papers in his hands.

"Hmm... Seems simple enough..." He mumbled to himself as he looked thorugh the papers and started filling them in. Name: Waldemar Abel. Gender: Male. Born: 11/07/1965. Citizenship: Norwegian. Etc. Etc. It felt like filling out a second curriculum vitae, which seemed a bit odd as the ad had specified that bringing one along was preferred by Seraphim. "What a pain... Bureaucracy, bureaucracy... Can't seem to get away from it no matter where in the world you are..." He remarked as he kept filling it in. Finally he got to the more unusual parts of the documents however, like 'Please describe your powers:', along with a pretty usual 'Why do you want to join Seraphim:'. Finishing filling out the forms he walked back to the desk to hand them in before sitting down and waiting for someone to come and get him. So far this whole 'apply for superhero status'-thing had seemed pretty mundane to him, even though the feeling of the earplugs in his ears reminded him that this was far from mundane despite what it looked like.

After sitting around for maybe ten minutes or so someone finally came and asked for a 'Doctor Abel', and it took two or three repeats of this before Waldemar actually responded, being so used to informal attitudes from back home that he hadn't given the fact that he actually had a title much thought. Following the person who had called for him he soon found himself in front of the office of this 'Mister Adelbert', after a quick elevator ride and a small maze of corridors. Straightening his dark grey suit, Waldemar hoped he looked somewhat presentable even with his lack of a tie as he knocked on the office door before entering to speak to whoever this Adelbert was, though he had a feeling that he was a pretty important person around here.

Mommy, my head hurts

Ianthe smoothed Mneme's hair. Her daughter didn't have the energy to stay in her Leviathan form, but she kept her in the small pool anyway. The last doctor she had kidnapped was cowering in the corner. He didn't seem to understand them either, no matter how Ianthe tried to mimic his language.

Don't worry, you'll be well soon. We'll go back to the ocean soon. she promised. I'll go out and get you something to eat. Food will make you feel better.

She nuzzled the girl's cheek before turning a hostile glance at the human. Ianthe dove smoothly into the dark water, easily going into her Leviathan form. Sharp scales enveloped her face and neck, and her legs fused together into a familiar tail. With a powerful stroke she propelled herself out of the tunnel and into open water.

The moonlight had made everything silver. Silver fish swam over silver sand, and through silver seaweed. Even Ianthe's dark scales glinted brightly. Despite having no more to fear from sunlight, she was still used to travelling at night. There were less people around, and it was dark. Either way, the shore was not her destination. She continued to make her way out to the ocean, relieved as her body slowly grew in response to the presence of Pleione. Leagues and leagues under, she could feel it. She missed it. But Mneme couldn't survive here yet. She was too young. Too small to hunt.

Ahead, Ianthe saw their meal. A whale shark, 25 feet long, swam ahead. It was a lovely specimen, with light spots. It was half Ianthe's size, oblivious as she stalked it from below. She sped up, slowly rising up until, in a final burst of speed, she sunk her teeth into its stomach. Blood darkened the water as it thrashed, eerily silent underwater. Ianthe circled, her arms slowly getting into position. The sharp ends glinted for a second, and then she drove them into the shark's body, impaling it from all directions. She brought the carcass up to her mouth, tearing a chunk out of its face. The smell of blood would surely bring some of the more fierce sharks around, more than Ianthe cared to deal with. She finished most of it, then took the back third in her mouth and swam back to the cave.

The smell was probably overwhelming to the human, who vomited when she brought the mangled corpse out of the water and dumped it on the ground. Mneme, eat. Her voice, a sort of roar in the Leviathan form, made the walls and ceiling rumble. However Mneme, quite used to the sound, responded with small chirps and whistles. I'm not hungry. My stomach hurts. Ianthe changed back to her human form, a single candle casting shadows as her bones moved under her skin.

"You. Eat." She commanded the human, pointing to the mound of fish.
"W-wha? You can't expect me to eat that! I need cooked food, please, just let me g-"
Ianthe roared, turning and backhanding the doctor, throwing him into the wall. "You shall not leave until she is well!"
"Please, my family..."
"They are fine."
"But-"
"THEY ARE FINE"
She looked like she was going to strike him again, but she controlled herself. She needed him, and if she kept hitting him, he would break. Instead, she retreated back to her daughter's side. She had watched their exchange with some interest, knowing less than her mother about what was going on.

Is he going to make me better?
...Yes, Mneme, he will.
She slipped into the water next to her, putting an arm around the girl until she fell asleep.
It will all be better soon.

"Your request for improved gear has been submitted, Mr. Isherwood. Given your specifications, it shouldn't be any more than three days."

"Three days?" Kurt sighed with resignation. "Well, I guess I'll make do with what I have now. Thank you, Miss..."

"Call," the secretary finished, holding up the I.D. badge that hung from the lanyard around her neck. Printed beneath the rather unflattering photo was the name 'Natalie Call.'

Kurt hadn't noticed the badge. "Right. Thanks again, Miss Call."

"You're welcome, Mr. Isherwood. Seraphim R&D will let you know when your gear is ready."

"Good. Keep me posted," Kurt replied with a friendly nod before leaving the office. Now that his request was submitted, he could head back to the training area, which happened to be on the same floor. He liked the convenience; just about everything he needed was within a few floors of each other. Seraphim didn't slack at all when it came to providing for him, or any of its resident heroes.

It was only a short walk to Seraphim's in-house training facility. Two armed guards stood by the entrance. After a quick security check, the thick steel doors were opened and Kurt entered. The interior looked like a cross between an indoor shooting range and a massive gymnasium. Multiple target ranges, a firearms rental booth, exercise equipment stations, courts for tennis and basketball, and several sparring arenas.

In the initial tour around Seraphim, he was told that the facility was made specifically for use by metahumans and other supers. The walls were lined with cutting-edge sound cancelling insulation and the windows were made of special one-way glass to ensure privacy. All of the facility's equipment had settings and modes for use by individuals with above-human strength, speed, and endurance. Even the people who staffed the sparring arenas were themselves metahuman. They were there for the heroes to test their combat skills against opponents with equal or greater strength.

Today, however, Kurt was here for the target ranges. He figured a little target practice could never hurt. After talking to the man that ran the ranges, he set up an exercise roughly equal to a shooting test for a handgun. He took up his spot, right palm out, and watched as a ballistics gelatin human-form target appeared at the five yard mark.

Purple smoke began to emanate from Kurt's open palm, quickly coalescing into a bright beam of similarly colored ectoplasmic energy before launching towards the target. The blast struck its mark, leaving a patch of melted gel in its center of mass. A second target rose up, this time at the ten yard mark. It met the same fate as its predecessor, with a quick blast from Kurt's left palm. At fifteen yards, his aim was slightly off, hitting a little below center mass. Twenty yards, Kurt's next shot slammed into the target's gut. The target at 25 yards earned a scorched patch near its left shoulder.

The purple smoke around Kurt's hands dissipated as the targets were pulled in for him to examine. He regarded the somewhat gruesome injuries the ballistics gel received. He remembered from a TV show he used to watch that it was the closest analogue to human flesh one could humanely obtain. Accurate when testing ballistic weapons, not so much when testing energy-based ones. Since the gel best mimicked human flesh at a chilled temperature, the heat generated by his ectoplasm blasts fudged the results more than a little bit.

Regardless, Kurt's aim was getting better. There was still room for improvement, though. He approached the range operator again and set up for another test, this time with the targets appearing in random order. "Careful not to burn through all the gel targets," the operator told him. "They do take a while to make, after all."

"Don't worry about that," Kurt replied, heading back to his spot. Once there, he assumed his stance, waiting for the first target to appear.

Felix Youngblood walked through the crowded streets, or rather, Morph walked the crowded streets, assuming the form of its creator even now, as a macabre form of remembrance. It would find itself doing the same thing it did every day, oscillating between two points in the city. These points being the Seraphim building that loomed over the streets, giant logo glowing, symbolising justice and all that Morph wasn't and the BioCorp tower, unofficially the place it was born, well where the idea in Dr. Youngblood's mind was born . He watched, under the guise of a slouching twentysomething, the comings and goings through those doors. Something inside it told it that this was where those who would deem themselves predators of Morph resided. In the dawn of superheroes and supervillains, this was the recruiting agency for those who wanted to be on the so-called heroic side. Morph knew that in spite of its lack of a concept of morality, men and women would oppose it in the struggle to control the city. It was simply on the other side of the line to them. But that didn't mean that Morph wouldn't relish the opportunity of absorb those in a twisted lesson that it was the top predator here.

The BioCorp tower would have to wait. This was a good spot to do a little surveillance, sure Morph couldn't tell who had which power but he could tell the formally-clothed management staff from the casually-clothed recruits. It simply wanted numbers. How many challengers for the top spot in the food chain would determine how much biomass Morph would plan to absorb. Always helps to be bigger than the combined mass of your enemy, after all. It hated that weakness, it meant that Morph had to bide its time before asserting its superiority over those who would challenge it. Especially if it was one of those with a high mass or ability to increase their mass. Time went by as people walked in and out of the Seraphim building, Morph was getting bored and the hunger called it to consume and devour, soon. The lanky man disappeared into the alleyways of the city, the refuge of the poor and the prowling grounds of predators such as it. The lanky man appeared to dissolve into a fleshy mass of mess which then sulked into the dark corners. Bums, muggers and their victims, stray dogs and other street vermin would do for now. As with sports such as pro-wrestling and pro-boxing, it was simply a case of bulking up enough to overcome the competition. After all, Morph had already the brains, courtesy of his creator.

In its hiding place in the alley, it could hear some muffled sounds. It spoke of violence and easy prey, maybe this was the chance to pounce? No, no, no, Morph would have the pleasure of hearing the last words of his prey, before they saw the monstrosity. It listens and waited...

"Hey lady! Nice purse you have there, care to show me?" A rough man's voice said. Morph could make out the shiiiiing of a knife being drawn.

"Get away from me!" A worried woman's voice shouted.

"No fair! I let you look at my knife, lemme look at your purse!"

The woman screeched and there was the sound of footsteps on cobbles as she tried to make a break for it.

For some strange reason, Morph enjoyed listening the banter of prey, whether it was a BioCorp guard or a crazed bum taking to himself. Maybe it was a habit from Felix? This worried Morph as even would its numerous absorbing spree, it hoped to keep its identity, and fall to simple human whims. It mentally shook itself and pounced. The man looked in horror at the tendrils of flesh and the rows upon rows of teeth was the wave of Morph crashed onto him, consuming, devouring, processing. Blood splatted the walls of the alley and all was left of the mugger was that splatter of blood and torn clothes. Morph's body bulged as it absorbed the biomass of the mugger, crawling after the running woman, no rather like a swell crashing. Morph was gaining on her. What was that fairy tail where the golden-haired female ran and didn't look back? Ah, yes Goldilocks. Well, Goldilocks was suddenly mauled to death and eaten by Daddy Bear in a heartbeat, to say the least...

Morph retreated to the shadows of the alley as the absorbing process when on as it cursed the Square-cube law. It had to be just the right size, no more, no less. As they said in the fairy tale, just right. With its mass gradually increasing at an exponential rate, Morph thanked the fact that most of the mass of its prey would be digested for energy. Morph hoped that no one would notice a bubbling mass in the cracks of the pavement reconfigure itself into the shape of a lanky man as it moved back into the city...

Sheesh... Why does it seem like I always get stuck with the
strange cases. Ah yes, I remember now. Seraphim dubbed me as an excellent choice for excentric
personalities. Why'd I feel like I'd been back handed and complimented at the same. Of all the cases to get though I'm glad it was him.

The man tossed a thick portfolio into the passenger side of his dark blue Escalade deciding it was better to stay focused on the road than split his attention. I'd hate to wreck out here, he fidgeted, awful place to get stranded.. Death Valley. It must be 110 degrees outside! A quick glance to the rear view mirror temperature display revealed that his estimate had been rather conservative. Ha! 115 degrees?!? Ridiculous! Who in there right minds would ever live out here? Well this guy I guess. The man sighed and drove the next few minutes in silence, watching the mirror like pools in the dips of the road disappear as he approached. He'd been on the dirt road from some time, heading north off of I-15. He'd been traveling for close to an hour and a half His Escalade announcing its presence to the entire desert as it kicked up a huge plume of dirt. The man clenched his steering wheel. They better have the right address if I find out this is some silly prank...Oooh lets send James out into the dessert on a wild goose... er desert fox chase ha ha ha that'd be so funny.

Wait a second, he proclaimed to himself in a sudden burst of excitement, that just might be the place". The man quickly approached what appeared to be a small one room wooden building off the side of the road. He parked the car. "Well, here goes nothing", he wished himself luck as he straightened his tie in the rear view stepping outside, and being immediately engulfed in heat.

The Seraphim recruiting agent hesitantly approached the shack,suddenly unsure if he wanted
the man he was looking for to be inside this building.

"Bah, to late to back out isn't it" He said to himself in a vain attempt to make himself feel better. James knocked on the door with three firm wraps of his hand. "Hello in there! is there anyone home?" He waited in hot silence and tried again. "Sweet Christ it's hot out here" James mumbled under his breathe, "Hellooooo?". He pushed the on the door with no handle and it offered him no resistance. James let himself in, pushing the door fully inward revealing the anti-climatic mysteries of the shack. Before him was a meager display of furniture, not that he'd been expecting to be wowed by the contents of such a shoddy shack, but still he felt, let down. In the far left corner was a cot, plain and boring offering a single blanket and a sadly flat looking pillow. In the back right corner was a bookshelf with four shelves standing at the height of a normal mans waist. It had on shelf only a quarter of the way full with books. James squinted to see if he could recognize or read anything on the binding but found himself unable to do so. On the ceiling there was a wooden fan that apparently was either broke or not working. James wondered how this place could even have electricity. There wasn't a power line in sight, and hadn't been for a long time. In the middle of the room sat a once again, plain wooden square table. Behind that table sat a man, sprawled out in his padded chair, the only thing that looked even half descent in whole room. The mans legs sprayed outwards, his harms spilling over each side of the chair, completely limp, his head dangling backwards, he could see the man taking deep breathes and hear his loud snores. He looked like hell. James was surprised he couldn't smell him. He studied the man for a moment before speaking.

"Excuse me Sir? My name is... Sir?" He spoke louder,"Sir?! Man this guy is really out of it."
James took a step to the side and found that he had not found sure footing, the floor board snapped between his weight and his foot went through it. He stumbled falling only a few inches before he contacted with the soft sand below. It was a loud crash that sent vibrations through the whole shotily constructed place. The stranger snorted and woke up in a sudden jerk shaking his head slowly and wiping the drool from the corner of his mouth as he zeroed in on James sliding his hand under the table. The stranger took a moment to study James. James recognized his face, well sort of, the mans face had definitely seen better days. He'd found Atticus.

"I don't often get visitors out here. Are you lost? I've got some water you can help yourself to then you can kindly help yourself out" Atticus's voice was gruff as he spoke slowly.

"Hello Sir, my name is James Sunderland and no I'm not lost, believe it or not I've actually come to get in contact with you Mr. Ravenwood I had some things...

Atticus's posture stiffened and he leaned forward when he spoke "What exactly is it that you want Mr... Sunderland is it?"

"Uh yes.. Well" expert in eccentric cases they said... "First I'd very much appreciate you taking relaxing off of that hand cannon you have strapped to the underside of that table if you don't mind that is. I assure I'm not here to harm you I just have a proposition for you that's all. After which I'll be more than happy to leave you in peace. It's far to hot for my liking anyways. I'm not quite sure how you do it" James responded as he fidgeted nervously.

Atticus's hand moved out from underneath the table. "A proposition huh?" Atticus said flatly as his hands moved over his face to massage it and rub the sleep out of his eyes. "If you are a fan, I'm quite impressed that you tracked me down" he spoke through his hands as they slightly distorted his voice, "However I don't play anymore I'm sorry you've wasted your time".

"Ah no I'm sorry I'm not hear because I'm a fan" James continued to speak as Atticus continued to rub his face, " I'm here on behalf of an organization that goes by..." suddenly Atticus dropped his hands and started at James with a odd expression on his face.

"Ah I'm sorry I couldn't hear you" Atticus broke out in to a strange wheezing laugh as he made a joke that James apparently wasn't quite aware of. "Could you say that again a little louder maybe?" He laughed even harder at his inside joke.

This man is mad!
That's when James caught first noticed the shot glass on the table.
Or drunk... Or a Drunken Madman! How could Seraphim possibly use him

"Right well, as I was saying..." James began again. Atticus raised his empty shot glass to him and then proceeded to try to drink from it. Obviously distressed when his thirst was not sated. Atticus then interrupted him for the second time.

"Ah What an ungracious host I've been!" he spoke as he waved the empty shot glass around in the air, "Please sit down would you like a drink Mr. Slumberland?"

James sighed as he sat down. "It's Sunderland, and yes sure why not"
Oh boy... Here we go

Atticus looked at the tiny shot glass and apparently decided he was no longer amused at the sight of it, carelessly tossing it over his shoulder causing it to shatter against the wall. "We'll..." he started as I wagged his finger or more like wobbled his finger at James apparently oblivious to the fact he just mispronounced his name, "Get the big boy cups! We have guests and guests get the big boy cups!"

James was unsure who else he was referring to when he said "we have guests" but chalked it up to a drunken mind. Atticus quickly produced two whiskey glasses from underneath the table. James heard the chunky sound of someone diving their hand into ice filled water. Atticus's wet hand coming up and producing two ice cubes for each glass.

"Drink it quick before the ice melts! Watered down whiskey... Bleh!" Atticus said as he produced the container of whiskey and poured each of them a glass almost to the rim. "What
shall we toast to Mr. Sunderlamb?"

James sighed under his breath.
Don't let him get to you, He's just drunk...
James raised the glass, "To solidarity." He stated plainly.

"Ah to that's quite the toast isn't it." Atticus raised his glass. "May we drink this booze in solidation then!" he sniggered and took a gulp, setting his glass down in front of him. "Alright what can I do for you today sir?" his voice filled with sudden fake enthusiasm.

Wondering if he would be interrupted for a third time James warily began his speech again for the third time. Crossing his fingers in his head that he'd be able to get through it this time.

"I represent an organization named Seraphim. Seraphim is a group, some might call it a company, where people with special powers join forces in an effort to work together in order to fight injustice and evil where ever it may rear is ugly head." James took a deep breath in happy to finally be back on track.

"I think you've had more to drink than I have!" Atticus reached over and retrieved James glass double fisting both of them as he alternated sips from each one. "I hate to break it to you but I'm not the guy for you, I've..."

James cut him off this time "We know what happened to you in the city. We know it wasn't your fault, Seraphim would like to help you, get you back on track."

Atticus calmly set both glasses down and leaned in, his eyes narrowing on James. "Now that's the sort of thing to say that makes me wish I hadn't of taken my hand off that revolver"

James raised his hands in a submissive posture. "Listen everything you need to know is in this file here." James tossed the thick portfolio on the table. "Seraphim would like to help, We've done it before. Just give it a read, if you aren't interested don't worry you won't hear from us again...

"I doubt that" Atticus retorted.

"It's true, just give it a read. That's all I'm asking. Make your own decision from there." James got up slowly and headed for the door and turned back just before exiting. "You know I took my daughter to one of your concerts a long time ago. She was actually infatuated with you. Begged me for violin lessons relentlessly. She's been playing ever sense. You used to make a difference in peoples lives. A good difference. You brought your gift into the world. You can make a difference again." And with that James turn and left.

Atticus chewed on the inside of his mouth as he thought. He pulled the portfolio closer to him. Reached under the table and unholstered the revolver he had placed there. Poping the chamber open to examine the lone bullet he kept inside. He span it, feeling strangely comforted by the noise, quickly snapping it back into place. He gently set it down just right of the portfolio. "Lets not forget about you of course" He reached down into the bucket of ice water and pulled out the bottle of whiskey setting it behind the two other items. Atticus sat in silence for a while, chewing on the inside of his mouth. Anna always got onto him when he did that. His heart sank as he spoke her name in his mind. He leaned back his chair, the wood straining and squeaking as he did so. Grabbing the portfolio he flipped through it, quickly at first, then slowly the second time, reading more details. He sat it back down, looking over each of the items before him then staring off into the distance. He sat there for many hours inwardly reflecting. The sun started to bleed through the western window as it was setting. Snapping Atticus out of his meditation. He looked back down at the table. "Well..." he said wit ha reluctance in his voice, "I suppose it's about time". He reached for the revolver and cocked it.

It was a sunset like any other sunset in the Mojave Desert. The kind of sunset people see in their dreams. A gorgeous pink and purple hue filled the sky as the stars started to light up one by one. The moon finding the perfect spot admist all the beauty. This particular place was called Death Valley. And to the untrained eye it looked like exactly that. But this was not true, there was life everywhere you bothered to look. Creatures here fought for survival on a day to day basis and couldn't afford to take anything for granted. As the desert began to stir a single gun shot rang out and echoed through the valley, stirring a elf owl from it's perch sending it off a bit early on it's hunt for food.

Lina Hartwell, alone in her room, nearly asleep on the bed she had found within her couch. Her eyes were glazed over and she was trying hard to stay awake, but it was one of those times where you THINK you can get in bed, lay down, and watch Tv , but your brain is like "Nooooo, go to bed you little stubborn asshole.". She wanted to remain awake for the delicious dinner she had coming later on. Her stomach growled loudly with the pangs of hunger three days old and her face changed to fit. She looked to be in a little bit of pain, but then again, when you haven't eaten for three days, I think your stomach sends you some strong messages. She rubbed her stomach through her open cut coat and sighed. "Aw man... I really need that pig's head... To be honest, i think I'd just about eat anything by this point."

There was a knock at the door, and a knock on her brain as well. Lina snapped back up, fully aware and fully awake once more. She slowly crawled out of the bed and adjusted her green glasses. "I hope it's food..." She said, softly to herself. Mustering up the strength to stand upright and answer the door, which she proceeded to do. Almost immediately, she was run over by a dinner table being carted in by the same old young man from before. She fell backwards with little grace, falling flat on her nose, glasses flying to the other end of the room, legs bent in every which way.

"A-Aaaow... Christ..." She picked herself back up with shaking arms and rubbed her eyes.

"Damnit, I'll have to find those again...". Without her glasses, she was a bat without echolocation. Everything was blurry as hell and she was reminded of a TV show about a mystery solving dog.

"Who's there?" said, Lina, as she couldn't verify the face of the man or woman in front of her. It was the same young man from before, who was clearly annoyed, but she couldn't tell. In a composed voice, he said to her, "It's me, madame... From earlier. I've brought your food, as you requested.". He couldn't well speak to her though as she was pawing the floor for her glasses and she merely gave him an affirmative "Mhm!" to let him know she heard. Grimacing, he opened his mouth to speak again, "Would yo like some help, madame?".

"Yes, thank you! they're green, and... They're... Glasses... And... they have... a nosepiece." Said, Lina, flustered with hunger and blindness. Young-man-crab-in-pants sighed again and, with a pretentious attitude and uninterested face, set off to find Lina's glasses. Lina was carefully inspecting every single area near the food cart. Her glasses, however, were underneath an arabesque glass and metal table adorned with gold filigree. Cranky Man, the superhero of being a little asshole had spotted them beneath the table and retrieved them post-haste. With a few very unspectacular and bored movements, he handed Lina her glasses back. "Here you go, Madame... I assume you no longer need me, so I'll take my leave..." Lifting his back into an upright position once more, he walked to the doorway and down the hallway, closing the door behind him as he did. Lina stood herself up and scratched her head.

"Weird guy... He didn't even let me give him a tip.". That's when it hit her. The smell on the dinner table was like a beautiful symphony of scents. She looked down at the beautifully cooked pork head on a fine dish in front of her. Mouth watering, she wasted no time in carrying the tray to her kitchen table, which was only built for two, but large enough to fit the pig head and a plate on which to eat it. Diving in without hesitation, Lina practically ripped the face apart for the meats, cleaving the cheeks with her knife, cutting the tongue quickly and devouring it. The tastes were so well done that even at the speed that Lina was eating the head of pork, she could taste it. She put a note in her head to get this again, as she never thought she'd like something like this, but life's funny that way.

With the speed of an Olympian and the hunger of some dude currently in the middle east, she had scarfed down that pig's head like only the insane could comprehend. there were no scraps left, and Lina, using Indian logic, had made sure no part was left unused. Well, except for one. Though not throbbing in pain anymore, Lina still had some room left for something more. She scanned the pig's head for anything she might have missed and was saddened to find that there was nothing. She sat up and put her cheek and chin into one of her hands and gave a mock pout down at the skull of the pig, as if her disappointment would make it grow more meat on it's bones.

Then she finally realized it. The most meaty piece of all to be found in the skull of any mammalian being; sweet gray matter. She'd never tried brain in the first place, let alone pig brain, and she doubt that they'd even leave such an organ intact, after all, the eyes were removed. Deciding, with a shrug of her shoulders and a smile on her face, to try it anyway, she took her knife and began carefully cutting through the skull of the little piggy she had just devoured like the Big Bad Wolf after a home invasion. First through the outer bone, then the softer cartilage within, and then, once again, through hard bone, Lina slowly carved a circle through that Porker's cranium. To her surprise, there it was. Succulent cortex mixed with Medulla Oblongata. Sweet pig gravy and brain fluid making a thick sauce in which the organ sat. It seemed very soft in texture and looked as though you could scoop bits out like butter. Upon closer inspection, however, using a knife as a surgical instrument, she found that it still had the consistency of very very soft meat, and less like butter or a bean sauce.

With a bit of a grimace, she tried a bit, and, to her surprise, it was actually very tasty. The brain itself was a tad bland, but the stew formed from the brain, it's fluids, and the "pork gravy" and blood was succulent. A robust yet slightly tangy flavor. There was plenty in the skull for her to save for later and use as a sauce. She chuckled to herself and happily ate the pig's most vital organ, making zombie noises between each bite to amuse herself. At the end of the meal, and after she had put the Pig's Sweet and Sour, as she called it, in a container and placed it in the fridge, she stretched her arms, legs, and back. Her back gave a few pops before she sighed upon releasing them. In a good mood and in high spirits, she told herself out loud. "This is gonna be great."

Ryan wiped the sleep from his eyes, and pressed his temples to try and relieve his massive headache. His mouth tasted sourly of vomit and shitty tequila, and now felt as if someone had stuffed a cotton plantation inside of it. He checked the alarm clock to see what the time was, all he was able to deduced was that at 3:00 AM, the clock had offended him enough to warrant being shot through the faceplate. He swiped the useless hunk of plastic off the night stand as he got up out of bed, Marilyn, where is Marilyn. Stark naked he began searching around the loft. He found what he was looking for on the table of his makeshift kitchen.

"There's you are you big beautiful sexy thing, get over here." He cooed warmly as he stretch out his arm.

On top of a welding table, next to a pair of hot-plates sat Marilyn Bong-roe. Four feet of colored glass with a pink bowl and golden neck. He grasped it around the neck and brought it close, taking it over to the coffee machine. He grabbed a tin of coffee grounds and loaded the machine, as that brewed he opened a different tin and packed the green flowering bud into Marilyn's bowl. Nearby was also the alleged handle of tequila from last night, though now it was simply a bottle of air. He took Marilyn over to his computer and took a seat, as his laptop booted up he lit the bowl; at first he inhaled slowly, until it was filled with smoke, then he removed the bowl and inhaled quickly, taking all of the smoke into his lungs. As he held his breath he typed in his password, and logged on, then booted up Furnace, his content aggregator. Finally he exhaled, letting out a long plume of smoke over his screen, and slowly he began to feel a warmness creep over his body and mind. In Furnace, he was studiously reading through data-feeds and updates.

Furnace was originally an organization tool for top ranking business men and CEO's, but Ryan now used it to manage his various criminal interests. It took data feeds from various back-doors he had discovered, made, or paid for, and displayed them all on one page, allowing him to know what his favorite R&D companies were up too. He could also track news reports, messages from contacts and their locations, camera feeds including his SPD's, and browse the internet. Ryan grabbed a fresh cup of coffee and then began seeing how the R&D projects he had flagged were coming. Endless Horizon Aeronautics was circulating an internal memo about the success of their prototype volatile-state nitroglycerin engine, also about the necessary precautions that needed to be taken around it. Next was BioCorp, an correspondence between the CTO and one of his managers showed everything seemed be running smoothly, to Ryan Biocorp was more of a curiosity really, bio-engineering wasn't really his thing. Finally a there was a press release from Shiga Advanced Robotics, confirming that they would be coming to New York to demo their newest models for investors. Satisfied, he took one more hit, then got up and grabbed some pants from a large duffle bag, and exhaled as he got dressed. First pants, then red shirt, jacket, duster, helmet and gloves. He found his equipment, his Glock was sitting on the table outside of it's holster with the safety off. Widowmaker was safely tucked away in it's case. Armed and dressed, he descended from his loft.

For the past week he had been inhabiting an abandoned textile-factory just outside of Jersey City. It was a convenient place to set up base. No neighbors, to hear any sounds he might make, and with a few precautions he was able to keep out the children who might want to explore places like it. It was large enough to house everything he needed and keep it hidden, so even if someone did get inside they might not even realize he was there. It was still connected to the power-grid, with a bit of work, he was able to discretely draw energy from the local power plant. Finally, it was free and expendable, if he had to he could torch the whole place and be gone in less than an hour. Hidden in one of the factories loading bays was his motor-cycle, a red BMW S 1000 R. He hopped on and left the drive-way, speeding off for the Holland Tunnel flanked by an SPD on either side. Today he felt the need for some grand-standing, and if you're going to put on an act in New York City, you might as well do it on Broadway.

As Waldemar entered the office, Christopher turned around and walked over to him with a smile. "Waldemar Abel, I presume? I've been waiting for you." He stuck out his hand to shake Waldemar's.

Waldemar was admittedly a little taken aback at Christopher's friendliness, having assumed that he would be a bit stiffer and more formal as most Americans he had met up until now, he was glad that was not the case though. Nodding back politely, Waldemar shook his outstretched hand as he replied. "Yes, though Waldemar's fine, and you must be Mister Adelbert."

"Indeed I am. Please, have a seat." Christopher walked over to his desk and sat down onto his chair behind it.

Waldemar followed his motion and seated himself in front of Christopher's desk, noting the papers on it being the same forms he had filled out down in the lobby area a few minutes ago, not surprising really.

"I've heard about what you've been doing in the past. It's a good job that you've been doing, and a lot more of it that you'll be doing here." Christopher leaned a bit forward onto the desk, his hands with their fingers locked together. "You may be wondering what good you can do here if I suspect right."

Waldemar nodded in confirmation at Christopher's question, though it had seemed almost rhetoric in nature to him. "Yes, well..." He thought for a moment as he chose his words, he was adept at English, but sometimes he just needed a little bit of a pause to find the words he wanted. "I'm admittedly having some trouble imagining how I can help, I'm not some grizzled veteran or street fighter after all, and the so called 'super'-powers I bring to the table, if they can be called that, well..." He leaned back in the chair as he spoke. "I don't really see them saving the day anytime soon is all I'm saying."

Christopher chuckled a little. "One does not need to be a veteran or incredibly strong to save the day, Waldemar. And aside from your powers, you seem to be an able doctor. We can never have enough of those, and plus, you could be sent out on the field in order to help aid anyone who doesn't have regeneration. Every little bit counts. Remember that well." His aged face gave Waldemar a smile. "As for your powers, I haven't seen many, if any, with what you can do. I read over the file I was given about you and I was intrigued. Able to master any weapon you come in touch with, although with the downside of unlearning everything as soon as your touch leaves it. It can be very handy, that much I'll tell you."

Waldemar listened to Christopher, finding himself agreeing with his logic, he was after all a doctor first and foremost in his mind despite his powers, it was just that the prospect of being surrounded by meta humans had taken his mind away from such 'mundane' skills. Well, Christopher's remarks certainly made him feel a bit foolish now, but with good reason. Upon his powers being mentioned he shifted in his chair, folding his arms as he still eyed Christopher. "Yes, it's far from useless in the right hands I'm sure, so far it has had few applications for me, but I see your point."

"I'm glad that you do. You seem like a nice man. A man that Seraphim can trust in. Since you have come to us, I do assume that you would like to join us. Do you have any questions?" Christopher asked Waldemar in a more relaxed tone.

Waldemar smirked a little at Christopher's comment, not sure if he found himself completely agreeing with the first part of it. "Heh, not sure if I'd use 'nice' to describe myself in any given situation, but yeah..." He cleared his throat and proceeded to wipe the slight smirk of his face before continuing. "I am here to join, yes, if possible. As for questions... Not many except for lodging and how to apply for an extension of my working visa when the time comes. Though..." He had now managed to tear his mind away from the regular day to day worries and hit upon a stray thought regarding this superhero thing. "What should I do for Seraphim if I get accepted? How does all of this work?"

"It's simple, really. First off, you will be given a small apartment, not too small, it's big enough to house one or two people in it along with all the potential things they might possess. Secondly, I give the heroes missions. I get sent word of possible missions for someone to be sent out to do and I look over who could work best against this or that situation. Should I choose you to go out on a mission, I will call for you. When you are given an apartment to live in, you'll also be given a cell phone which doesn't need to be answered for me or anyone else to tell you that I have a mission for you. If you don't have a mission, you can do whatever you want, within or outside of the Seraphim building. I don't restrict anyone who comes here to only being inside the building, so long as they keep their Seraphim cells on them." Christopher cleared his throat and had a sip of water he kept in a glass on his desk.

"I see..." It seemed simple enough, lodgings were provided and jobs were passed along by a 'company' cellphone, other than that people were free to do what they wanted. "I believe that answers most of it, but what should I do about equipment? I'll probably need something other than a suit and a first aid kit to actually be of any help."

"Fear not. Our staff is at your beck and call. If you need anything, you need only talk to the right people. In your apartment there is also a remote control with many buttons for our various staff. The only ones not there being people like our scientists or engineers who need their work environment in order to be of help. You'll have to make sure you have the right equipment, though. I can't unfortunately keep track of every single hero's equipment, as much as I'd love to, so I trust in that you can take care of that yourself." Christopher chuckled again, he always liked the joke about keeping track of every hero's equipment.

Waldemar nodded as he listened, despite his plugged ears he could hear Christopher perfectly fine, and it just got distracting otherwise. As for the joke, Waldemar initially didn't get it, but as he went over the words in his head he smirked, at least it seemed like his new boss had a sense of humor. "Well then, I believe that was all my questions Mister Adelbert, and this all seems a lot easier than I imagined it would be."

"I'm pleased to hear that. If you don't have any further questions, I'll send someone along to lead you to your new apartment." Christopher said as he stood up and walked around his desk.

Following his lead, Waldemar also rose from his chair and turned to face Christopher. "As I said, I believe you've answered all of them, and that sounds good to me. Also..." He held out his hand for another handshake. "I'm glad to be part of this organization." 'Now I've only to hope that I can make a difference here.'

Christopher shook Waldemar's hand with a smile. "Glad to have you as part of it. Enjoy your stay here." He followed Waldemar to the door, then closed it and went back to his desk. He buzzed to his secretary as he had done earlier. "Have one of the girls show Mister Abel to his room. And send in the next one." Will do, sir. A moment of peace for Christopher. It was always nice to interview the heroes and get them to join. He hoped that Waldemar's stay would be a pleasant one.


Virus continued his calm walk towards New York City, taking in the destruction before him. Such a sad sight. Best to rid the world of it than let it consume and destroy the world. People started to look in his general direction as he walked towards the city. He certainly wasn't someone you'd see every day. "A fine day to you all. A fine day indeed, for some destruction." Without a change in emotion, he raised a hand towards the nearest person and grabbed onto their face, quickly spreading a skin disease which slowly ate them from the inside out. And he made it so that it could be spread with touch, so every time that person touched someone as they ran away in horror and anguish, the new person would be infected. "Excellent. Most excellent. Fine specimen indeed. The fun is only beginning..." He had to hold off a sadistic smirk as he calmly walked further into the city, spreading fear into people's hearts as he walked.

"Right this way, mister Faraday."

Becky led Marcus to a large lobby several floors above the main foyer. It was very slick and modern in presentation, with rounded edges and bright lights illuminating it. She gestured to a row of seats to her side, and Marcus took this cue to sit.

"Is there anything I can get for you? Mister Adelbert is meeting with somebody at the moment."

"A newspaper, please. The Times, if you have it."

"Right away, sir!" She walked off and returned a short time later with a newspaper in hand. Giving it over, she asked, "Will that be all?"

"Yes, thank you." She gave a polite curtsy and strolled off, leaving Faraday to his thoughts. He grimaced as he read the headline:

TIDE TWINS STILL AT LARGE AFTER STANDOFF

'Damn it. I was hoping to put that embarrassment behind me.'

..............

"Nicely done, Wave! Let's book it before any of those heroes show up."

"With haste, Crest." Two women, identical in every way from their black hair to their blue robes, emerged from the bank. In their hands, duffel bags full of cash.

At flash of blue light, however, Crest dropped her bags, shrieking in pain. Wave whirled around looking for the assailant, and found her answer at the opposite end of the street - a man with messy brown hair, wearing goggles and donning an overcoat. Lightning arced from his hands. "That was a warning shot, ladies. Surrender peacefully and this won't have to turn violent."

"You think you can zap my sister and demand our surrender in the same breath? Fuck you!" Wave had recovered from the shock and stood upright, calmly brushing her robes. "Ah, the human light socket. To make the decision to fight us would entail either bravery or stupidity."

"The name's Faraday."

"I don't really care. Shall we crush him, sister?"

"Lets." With a wicked grin, Wave raised her arms. The street below them started to tremble, and it ruptured with a rush, water pouring through a massive seam. "There's a water main below this street, electric man! Let's see how well you fare when you're tossed about by the tide!" With a push forward, the water moved as a single mass towards Faraday, slamming into him and tossing him clean off his feet. When the rush abated, he scrambled to his feet, but his HUD relayed a piece of monumentally bad news. SELF-CONTACT ESTABLISHED. DO NOT ATTEMPT CAPACITANCE.

Taking a brief stock of his situation, he found he was soaked head to toe. 'That's not good. That's REALLY not good. I can't use any of my stored power without cooking myself alive. But, even like this, there's still something I can do...'

"Done already, sparky?" The twins motioned to gather their bags, but hesitated when Faraday let off a chuckle.

"Heh. We're on 12th Street, you know."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

Faraday allowed himself to indulge in a smirk. "Water mains aren't the only utilities running under that road." He placed his palms in the pool of water below him, and not a second later the street erupted in a flash of light. Wave and Crest let off a scream and crumpled to the ground, electricity arcing from the water at their feet.

Faraday let off a sigh of relief. 'It's a good thing we're fighting near this power main. I'd be screwed if I couldn't make contact with...'

That thought was interrupted by an explosion a few dozen meters down the street, tossing a car on its side. 'What!? Oh SHIT. There must be a gas main here too! When did the city put that in!?' He looked along the street in horror. 'If I keep this up, I could reduce half this block to a crater! But if I stop...'

Another explosion tore a hole in the road, this one dangerously close to an apartment building. 'No. I CAN'T risk innocent people.' He pulled his hands from the pool, the current abating. Wave and Crest rose to their feet, shaken but furious.

"You dare assault us!?" Crest raised her arms, and another torrent of water knocked Faraday off his feet. This time, though, he didn't have time to steady himself before being swept up in another wave, and another, and another... when it finally abated, Faraday had dropped to his knees, coughing up water and gasping for breath.

"You'll pay for your insolence with your life!"

He looked up, his vision blurry. 'Is this really how it ends? Killed by a couple of thieves?'

In the distance, he heard the wail of sirens. "Shit! They must be investigating those explosions."

"Leave the bags. We'll never outrun them if we take them."

"Feh. Consider yourself lucky, electric man."

.............

'If I had Seraphim's help in that fight, any at all, I could have captured them. I might have even avoided ruining the power grid down there...'

Marcus looked up from his newspaper and tossed it to the side. He didn't feel much like reading after all.

He was roused from his stupor when the intercom crackled to life. "Mister Faraday, Mister Adelbert will see you now."

"Fuck."

A boy sprung from his bed, seemingly thinking he's overslept. He rushed to the nearest window (well, the only window) of his averagely sized room. He pulled back the blinds, and realized that the sun was high enough in the sky to almost blind him. "Double fuck!" It looked like it was at least high noon, probably even later.

"Oh yeah, no, just schedule an interview the day you have a night class, it's not like you use this day to sleep in or anything. Good going fucktard." He rambled to himself, disappointed in his own incompetence. He looked back out his window. Despite living on his building's top floor, the view of a three-story brownstone was nothing spectacular. Couldn't even see the Manhattan skyline as far as he was concerned. With intent on finding directions to his interview, he took hold of his cell phone. Thoughts of attire spammed through his mind as he pressed fingers against the phone's wide touchscreen.

"Shit, what am I supposed to wear to this thing? Business? Casual? Business casual? The place is for fucking superheroes, am I supposed to turn up in a costume? Maybe they won't mind if I just turn up in a t-shirt and jeans, I really don't feel like dressing up toda-OH MOTHERFUCKER!" His train of thought was instantly derailed the minute his phone's map app completed loading several ways of getting to Seraphim Tower. And from his position, every possibility would at least take him an half hour to reach his destination. And by 'every possibility', one would be referring to the rich, complex transit system that New York City had to offer. He cursed again before peering from beyond his bedroom door. From a path that led to the living room, the house was adorned with a deafening silence. The TV out front wasn't on, a sole sign that his father had already left for work. "So I can't get a ride from him..." He cursed once more, louder this time.

"Jesus-tippy-toe-tapdancing-Christ. The closest thing to me is the #2 train...and that long ass ride drops me off on 34th Street...and even then, I still have to fucking walk to East 32nd!" He evaluated, his home of 120 West 127th Street was just about on the opposite side of Manhattan when compared to the Seraphim Organization's address. He then realized how much time was being wasted by him just pacing the room in an agitated stupor. With a sharply uttered "Fuck it!", he threw on a plain gray t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. He reached his backpack, and quickly made a mental check of its contents as he rummaged through it.

"Might as well bring my books with me...I don't know how long this interview/presentation/whatever-the-fuck will be, and the school's a lot closer to Seraphim than it is to my house...what else is in here...there's the battery, the cable, the cable retraction system, the AC adapter for the battery...and..." He paused he found the one item that these items couldn't work without. Found at the end of the cable's length, a black box housed two fairly simple metal switches and an indicator light. He flipped the first one on before proceeding to pull out what was found at the opposite end of the box. A insulated navy blue glove was brandished, strands of copper wire seemingly sewn in and out of the fingers...He began to realize he was getting too engrossed in his project, and hastily shoved it all back it the bag. He rushed towards a closet towards the back of his room, and threw the doors open. Amidst all the clothes and items that inhabited the junky area, Justin reached towards a leather jacket strewn along the closet's floor. Finding a spare duffel bag, the boy stuffed the jacket into it. Basically hidden under said jacket, was the pair of boots he thought of adding to his get-up. He tossed the two into his bag and made strides for the door. He stopped himself as a stray thought of his sounded increasingly justifiable.

"Wait, gotta secure the secret identity. I don't need fuckers trying to come after my dad or anything." He declared with a snap of his fingers. A quick approach towards his nearest dresser, the young man came across a pair of goggles and a distressed length of black cloth, something that could've been considered as a bandana at one time. The articles were dumped into the duffel, and Justin made a hasty retreat. His stomach began to make suggestive noises as he fled, but he tried his hardest to tune the symphony of hunger pains out. Opening, closing, and locking a few more doors, Justin found himself outside, the sun still fairly high up. For a second, he experienced a rare glint of optimism, and thought maybe he wouldn't be as tardy as he'd expect.

It was five minutes to two. If anything, his interview would've been a few hours prior to the present time. As Justin noticed this, and his simple trot broke out into a full blown sprint. The subway station was a good block away from his house, and he hadn't even made it to Malcolm X Blvd yet. A plethora of expletives buzzed through his mind as he ran, with a few variations of "I need to get my ass in shape" thrown in for good measure. In due time, he reached the station, sweaty and panting. Once he begun to descend to underground depths, even over the endless chatter of the pedestrians that surrounded him, he knew he could hear the iconic sounds of a train preparing to depart. He began sailing down those stairs, clearing the last five in a single bound (and almost falling flat on his face in the process). He made sure to swipe his MetroCard in order to pay his fare before advancing, thanking his lucky stars that he was able to get through with only one try. He caught sight of the #2, getting ready to close its doors. He bound for the train, disregarding his safety as he stuck a hand in between the steadily receding gap of the subway's doors. He slid into the car as the doors reopened, and fell onto the nearest bench, happy to drop the duffel bag at his feet. He reached for his cellphone to check the time.

"2:11. I'm already late...but I hope I won't be too late." He said quietly and in between breaths, his composure still not entirely there.

15 Minutes of Panting and Subway Riding later...

Justin reached 34th, and groaned as he stepped off the train. This station was about as busy as 42nd Street, and contained just as many tourists. "But, it shouldn't be too hard to reach East 32nd from here." From that deduction, he began a jog as he reached ground level. Said jog was a whole fifty percent harder when the streets were crowded with ignorant New Yorkers and equally ignorant non-New Yorkers. Despite these follies, through a ten minute jog, Justin reached his destination, hungry, tired, and perpetually out of breath. He gave no time to give admiration to the building's logo, and trudged his way inside, finding the nearest piece of furniture that resembled a receptionist's desk. He managed to keep himself upright by leaning on the desk, and realized no one was present. "Shit, I hope I'm not too late..." As the thought processed, a middle-aged lady returned from wherever she was, and caught sight of the heavily panting boy that struggled to stand at her desk. Justin attempted to speak his demands before she could sit down.

"Ah'm...I'm here...to see Chris...Christopher...Adelbert." He announced to the best of his ability. She looked on, saying something about someone called Becky being "out to lunch". She then motioned for Justin to follow her into the waiting room. As she sat him down, she handed him a series of papers attached to a clipboard, papers that looked like an application. Justin complained that he "already filled one out online", but the receptionist was already gone. He looked back down at the papers, and begrudgingly began filling out his personal information...again.

Waldemar had just been able to grab his luggage from outside Christopher's office when one of Seraphim's female employees had approached him. "Hello, Doctor Abel. I'm here to show you to your room." She told him with a smile as she gestured behind her at the corridor outside the secretary's office.

"Ah well..." Waldemar had half expected to just be given a key and room number, but seeing how huge the building was he was glad that was not the case, finding the room would be a lot quicker this way. "Go ahead then, I'll follow." He told her as he started walking after her with his luggage well in hand. The trip then went back to the elevators and stopped on what appeared to be one of the residential floors, as there were a lot more people going to and fro here, seemingly cleaning and serving personnel by the looks of their uniforms.

"And here we are, sir." The female employee told him as she walked forward and unlocked a door leading into one of the apartments that were all over this floor, proceeding to open the door and flip the light switch before retreating out of the way to allow Waldemar access to what would soon be his home here in New York city. "We hope that you find the accommodations to your liking, and you will find the remote to call for the services of our staff on the table in the main living area." Waldemar nodded in response and took a look inside the apartment, seemed good enough, better then most hotels he had stayed at from the looks of it. "Here is your key, sir. We hope you enjoy your stay." She told him as she handed Waldemar the key to his room and bowed slightly before leaving him to get settled in.

Entering the apartment and closing the door behind him, Waldemar was pleasantly surprised at how it looked, it might have been a little bit on the small side, but it certainly had all you needed, a small kitchen corner, a bathroom complete with a shower, a main living area, and a bedroom with a double bed, small dresser and a wardrobe in it. Thinking that he might as well get everything out of his trolley case Waldemar set about unpacking and putting his things where they belonged, though since he didn't have too much luggage with him it didn't take him long to get everything ready and stash away the trolley case at the back of the wardrobe where it would be out of the way. "Hmph... Guess I'll have to buy some more clothes and such later, shouldn't be a problem." He mumbled to himself as he opened the orange case he had left on his bed after unpacking, it was filled with a diverse amount of first aid equipment, though nothing too extraordinary as it was only Waldemar's travel kit. Figuring that it was at least enough in there for any conceivable scenario in normal everyday living, and possibly more, he stashed it away under the sink in the bathroom so that he had it available.

Now officially settled in Waldemar decided that he might as well do the next thing on his to-do list, getting something in order for his inevitable first mission. Sitting down in the couch next to the living room table with a note block and a pen he had found in a drawer earlier he started to write down notes as to what he could need in this endeavor. When he was finally finished he was left with a list that contained a myriad of lightweight medical supplies, a handy backpack for them and a belt pouch for emergency supplies, as well as some of the other things he reckoned he might need, like body armor and some fatigues for ease of movement. "It's quite a list isn't it?" Waldemar muttered to himself as he looked it over, he still hadn't chosen a weapon, he would have to get something there too. Come to think of it, he thought he had seen 'Shooting range' written on one of the floors in the elevator earlier, that would be worth a visit.

First however he would deal with getting the things he had already listed, and a quick phone call down to one of the staff later he had relayed his order, and again it was a lot... Simpler than he had dared hope. It was simply the case of saying what you wanted and having it delivered, he guessed it would be coming out of his first paycheck with Seraphim, but that didn't particularly bother him, money wasn't his biggest concern, having worked as a doctor and all.

Stretching and rolling his arms a bit, Waldemar thought that was enough sitting around, he might as well check out the rest of this building, starting with either the shops he had noticed on his way to Christopher's office, or the shooting range. Exiting his apartment and locking it up Waldemar wandered off down the hallway towards the elevators as he gave more thought to were he was going first, ultimately settling for the shooting range as he entered the elevator and pressed the button for the corresponding floor.

Marcus walked into a large, opulent office. On the other side, a man in his sixties sat in his chair behind his desk. "I was told you wanted to see me."

Christopher stood up from his chair with the same kind of genuine smile he'd given Waldemar. "You were told correctly." He walked up to him and offered his hand for a handshake. "Faraday. Or would you rather I call you by your real name, Marcus Travers?"

"Either is fine." Marcus said as he returned the handshake.

"Fair enough. Please, have a seat." Christopher didn't sit down this time. He felt he'd stand this time. He had enough of sitting as is.

Marcus did as he was offered and sat down, his posture straight and confident. "So, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Oh, the pleasure is all ours. We're glad that you reconsidered our offer. If you feel that you can help Seraphim to rid the world of villains and crime, that's great news to us." Christopher walked a little in the office. "I would still like to ask why you reconsidered."

"I take it you keep up on the news." Marcus said to Christopher.

"Indeed we do. An unfortunate accident, but it can happen to the best of people, you know." Christopher sighed a bit as he was reminded of what had happened with Faraday. "I'm not one to turn down a hero who wants to join us. What happened, happened. You only wanted to keep the city safe."

"...It goes deeper than that. I was wrong. I thought I was strong enough to protect my hometown on my own. But if that brush with death taught me anything, it's that I'm not. Never was, and I likely never will. But if I can be of use, even in some small capacity... It's worth my wounded pride." Marcus was not fond of what had happened, but he was ready to leave his pride at home if it meant keeping his home safe.

"Well, you wouldn't be the first hero to have too big of an ego to join us. I won't deny that the whole mess could have been handled better if you had been a part of us and had someone to help you, but it's done. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not one to turn down someone who's willing to join us. I'm certain that you can be of help. Do you think you have any questions?" Christopher walked over to his desk, though not sitting down still.

"I do. How will I get paid, exactly? I'm not in this for the money, but maintaining and upgrading my equipment isn't cheap." Marcus wondered.

"Either of two ways, whichever one you prefer. You can get paid in cash and keep it in your apartment here, or you can have it sent to your bank account if you have one. As for maintaining and upgrading your equipment, you can ask our staff to handle that for you if you'd like. If you prefer to do it yourself, our engineers would be glad to help you if you would like that as well." He gave him a reassuring smile. "While you are a part of Seraphim, don't think of us as a company or an organization. We are here to help the world first and foremost."

"Then I only have one other question." Marcus said. "When do I start?" He rose with a smile and let off a spark from his hands, clearly eager to get to work.

"Patience, my boy. You can start right away if you so desire, but I will be the one to give you the missions. There's a cell phone in your apartment for you to keep on yourself at all times. You will use it to recieve missions, whether inside or outside the Seraphim building. There's also a remote control in your room for you to call upon our staff if you need something, unless you need to contact scientists or engineers. You'll have to go to them yourself. If there isn't anything else, then I welcome you aboard, Faraday." Christopher offered his hand again for a handshake. "Once you leave the office, you'll be shown to your apartment by one of our staff members."

Marcus accepted the handshake (careful to discharge his hand first - he'd made that mistake in the past) and left, in higher spirits then when he arrived.

Christopher did as he had done with Waldemar, buzzing his secretary to have one of their staff members follow Marcus to his apartment. Not long after that, he got a report from one of the people he'd sent out on patrol that there was a villain around south part of New York making people around him get some kind of skin eating disease. Taken a bit back by these sudden news, he'd have to send out someone before he could interview his next applicant, Justin Case. He picked up his phone and dialed a few numbers at once in order to get the right heroes to take care of his villain.

"I have a mission for you all." he said to the heroes in question. "Get to the south of New York and take care of the menace there. We don't want him terrorizing the city, or causing any more trouble than he already is." Once he hung up, he dialed another number. "Medical staff, I need you to go to the south part of New York for a decontamination. There's a villain using diseases to attack, and one of them seems to be a skin eating one. There is no time to lose. Hurry!" After he'd done that, he sat back down in his chair for a moment before he buzzed his secretary again. "Have the next one come in now."


Enjoying the chaos he was spreading, he was taken aback when he got hit in the stomach by something fast. He was thrown back into one of the buildings, leaving a shape in it shaped like him and fell to the ground, though he managed to land on his feet and not his face. "Who dares to attack us? We are here to clean up this city." Virus said in his monotone voice as he looked for the cause of the attack. However, as agile as he was, he wasn't able to evade another punch, this time to his face. He was thrown down onto his knees with one of his hands on the ground. He rubbed his cheek and stood up, starting to be more than a little annoyed.

Several heroes had appeared on the spot. Not suddenly, but they were there. The fast one, a red haired girl in plain clothes, stopped for a moment to observe him better. "Damn, and here I thought this one would be a challenge." she said with a hint of mockery. The two others with her, another woman and a man, started their work. "Clean this city? You're messing it up. Now leave us be, or Quick here will give you another one." Virus was less than impressed by them. "We don't take orders from humans. Begone, foul mammals."

He showed his agility by quickly shortening the distance between him and the three heroes. Not as fast as this Quick chick, but quick enough to take the other two by surprise. The woman started by shooting some kind of freeze rays onto him. He managed to dodge a couple of the shots, but then one of them hit him. His upper body was now frozen, save for his head. "Release us. You will pay for this." He was getting very angry now while trying not to show much emotion, though he wasn't without ideas. One of the things he'd assimilated in the lab was a heat ray, a weak one, but it was enough to cause the ice to melt. He lightly chuckled as he stood straight and looked them all in the eyes. "Is that all you've got?" he asked them.

Sure enough, though, that wasn't the case, as the man showed his own power by spraying water on him, the beam of water large enough for Virus to not be able to evade that like the punches earlier. Virus soon found out that water was his enemy, as he had trouble standing up. "Wh-What diiiiiiiiiiid you d-d-d-d-do to ussssssss?" His speech became similar to that of a broken computer.

He had to retreat. There was no other option. He quickly sprinted in the other direction, towards the lab which held his charge station. the heroes weren't about to let him, though, as they gave chase, the ice woman and water man trying to combine their attacks to him Virus. He dodged them, but didn't think much about Quick who managed to land yet another punch on him, sending him flying to the side. He didn't see much option for anything else and activated another device he'd managed assimilate, a noise blaster. His own ears were protected from the noise, but the heroes got down to their knees and held their hands over their ears.

This gave Virus plenty of time to head over to his charge station and lock himself inside it. He'd need to be more prepared from now on. The lab was safe since the only entrance was sealed with traps and the walls were reinforced. He went over to a part of the lab which was once used to heat up chemicals and other such things before. He went to get himself dry, which would take some time. He was pissed off that he'd gotten beaten like that.


Meanwhile, the three heroes, Quick, Blizzard and H2O, were trying to find where he'd gone, since they had been amongst buildings and Virus had been able to sneak in between those buildings to get to his charge station. They were disappointed that they'd have to report failure to Christopher. The medical team had arrived and the three heroes helped with containing everyone who'd been infected, all three of them wearing full body suits in order to not touch the people directly. It would take time to heal all those people, but it could be done.

Lina was bored, satisfied, and not at all tired. She was wired up for something to happen, and her room was proving quite boring and stuffy at the moment. Deciding against remaining bored out of her brains, she leaped out of her bed and walked to the door. "Might as well walk around a bit.", she told herself. A turn of the handle, a click of the mechanism inside the door, and she was out of her room and in the Seraphim hallway. good timing for her, as she saw a new face coming up the stairs with a suitcase, being led by a woman who was obviously Seraphim staff. remembering her situation just three days ago, she guessed he was new. A smile crossing her face, Lina approached the newcomer, Faraway, with a hand raised in a welcoming motion. "Hello there! Are you new? Do you need me to carry that for you?"

Becky showed Marcus to the apartment block, but left soon thereafter, saying that she had been paged by the secretary in the lobby.

"Let's see... Room 21." He looked down the hallway, the number of each apartment stamped on the doors in turn. He saw his at the end of the line, and motioned to approach, but he stopped when he heard a voice call out in his direction.

"Hello there! Are you new? Do you need me to carry that for you?" Marcus turned to find the source, and found a girl with... green hair? Huh, don't see that every day. 'She doesn't look like one of Adelbert's staff. Must be a member of Seraphim.'

He returned her smile. 'Time to make a good impression. The more allies, the better!'

"Yea, just joined up today. My bag isn't too heavy, but thanks for asking." Looking her over, Marcus couldn't see anything that would indicate her powers offhand. Couldn't hurt to ask, right? "So, what can you do?"

Lina gave a friendly smile. So far so good. I wonder what he can do, though. Oh, crap, he's asking me a question.. Lina napped back into reality just in time to catch the gist of Marcus' question. In a joking tone, she said to him,"Who, me? Well, I can lift your entire room up.". Lina chuckled a bit and flexed her right arm. "I'm super strong! That, and i can do this thing with my sword that would make your socks fly off!" Lina was very proud of that last sentence that she didn't even realize the sexual innuendo she just made.

The training facility that the shooting range was a part of was a lot bigger than what Waldemar had imagined, and he certainly hadn't expected the security checkpoint at the entrance, not that it didn't make sense he just didn't think there would be too much normal security in a building filled with superheroes. Anyway, despite the large training area located here, Waldemar was mostly interested in the shooting ranges at the far end of the area, where it seemed like a few supers were already busy practicing their skills, some with firearms, some with devices of their own make, and a few seemed to be using innate abilities.

Walking past the range towards what seemed like a rental booth for weapons, Waldemar presented his room key and his passport as identification. "Hello there, I'd like to borrow a weapon for some training." He told the employee behind the counter, a middle aged man clad in a Seraphim staff uniform.

"Certainly, sir. Any particular one you had in mind?" The clerk replied as he looked over his passport and key before looking him up on a computer behind the counter to make sure that he was authorized. "Not really. In fact, I was hoping you would be able to help me a little when it came to selecting a firearm." Waldemar told him as he got his passport and key back, apparently there were no problems with his clearance. "Well, I'd recommend a familiar firearm, sir. Or one that is close to one you are familiar with."

Waldemar thought for a moment, before he had acquired his ability he didn't really have much of an interest in weapons, but there were two firearms that he did have some experience with, even if that had been well over twenty years ago now. "That would be a AG3 and a Glock 17 then." He started out, but added. "But I think I'd much rather like a long-range rifle instead of the AG3."

The clerk, not immediately recognizing the name of the first weapon, checked his computer again, but it didn't take long for him to nod in acknowledgment. "So a Heckler and Koch G3? Yeah, that's kinda aged now, might not do you much good, sir. But let's see..." He kept on typing at this keyboard for another couple of seconds before speaking again. "You could give the new Heckler and Koch a try, sir. The HK417 marksman variant is a similar, but much newer automatic rifle, it has the same cartridge size, so its feel should be somewhat similar."

Waldemar nodded, he hadn't even heard of this rifle before so it would be a good test of his abilities. "That sounds good." The clerk nodded back and walked through a door at the back of the booth, most likely a storage room for all the weapons Seraphim had available for use here at the range. Moments later he was back and placed the requested weapons on the counter, the rifle seemed a lot more sleek than the old one that Waldemar had used years and years ago, but the pistol looked just as he remembered. "Here you go, sir. Remember to take the weapons back here once you're done with them. And will that be all?"

"Yes, that will be all." Waldemar replied as he picked up the weapons. "Good, there's a button you can use to ask for ammunition over at the range, have a pleasant day." The clerk finished and got back to his duties, typing on the computer as Waldemar headed back over to the range.

Picking out an unoccupied range, Waldemar put down the weapons on the small counter in front of him and donned the ear protection provided before he pressed the button for more ammunition, which was soon delivered by another Seraphim employee. Figuring that he'd first see how badly he'd do without his powers, he picked up the rifle, slotted in a magazine, turned it from safe to single, cocked the bolt back, took aim, and fired. After having fired the first five shots he noticed that he was a quite shoddy marksman, seemed like he'd have to wait for the power to take hold anyway. As such he removed the magazine, unloaded the chambered bullet, and turned the weapon back to safe as he leaned against the counter, holding the rifle and waiting for his power to take effect.

In no time at all, Justin completed his application. Filling out a personal info sheet isn't all that hard if you have to do it consecutively, something Justin groaned about. He eventually got over the act of repetitiveness as he waited for someone to call for him. He soon remembered his last bout with obtaining an occupation, and realized just how grueling the waiting process could be. It was suspenseful, tiring, boring, and it easily waned on one's patience. A certain patience that Justin wasn't known for having. He sighed, groaned, tapped his feet, made several back-and-forth glances to his cellphone, and tried to read something. He watched as employees walked in-and-out of the area, his heart accelerating every time somebody would glance in his direction.

Eventually, one employee did actually come for him. Apparently Becky was back from lunch, something Justin took note of as she asked him to follow her towards one of the executive elevators. One ride later, the young worker brought the employee-to-be to a stop at a really important looking door. She opened it, led him inside, and closed it after him. As he made a remark about the office's swanky design, he brought his attention to the only other inhabitant in the room. An aged man with graying features insisted Justin come to his desk. He did so and sat in one of the chairs, placing both of his bags in the other. The elderly gentleman preferred to stand and held a hand outstretched as he introduced himself.

"Ah, so you're Mr. Adelbert." He replied in confirmation, giving the man's hand a hearty shake.

"Indeed I am. And you must be Mister Case. Justin Case. A peculiar name, I must say. Parents had a sense of humor?" Christopher chuckled before he sat down himself after the handshake.

Justin let out a bit of a chuckle at Adelbert's quip. It wasn't the first time somebody's made that connection with his name. And considering the fact he'd be working with a new group of people by the end of the day, it wasn't gonna be the last. Justin's chuckle ended with a sigh of slight irritation.
"Yeah, I guess you could say that." He replied, trying to keep a smile on for his employer.

A sly smirk came across Christopher's face. "Heh, don't worry about it. Right here, you can prefer to get called by your alias if you prefer to do so." Watching Justin, Christopher got the impression that he was playing it safe as if he was afraid of offending him. "Kid, just be yourself. I've seen many like you before who think that just because I'm the head of Seraphim you need to be polite and not say anything wrong."

Justin let another sigh at Christopher's sayings. He silently remarked on how "being himself" usually got him fired. But, at least now he wouldn't have any trouble speaking his mind.
"Well if that's the case...then I imagined you'd be a little younger. I mean, not too young, just...none of the gray hair and whatnot." He replied shortly.

Christopher gave another small chuckle. "I've heard that one before. I've been in this business ever since my father passed it onto me. You might say the years are getting to me, but I'm by no means someone who is to be taken lightly. This is my organization, and I'm responsible for all the heroes that come to apply here." He cleared his throat a little. "Now, I'm sure that you have questions for me, so if you'd like to ask, go right ahead."

As Christopher talked, Justin couldn't help but let off small nods, showing that he was, indeed, paying attention and showing interest in the man's words. It was that feeling of authority that emitted from Christopher, that held Justin from saying something stupid. As he finished his spiel, Justin spoke up, the one thing in concerns with this job stuck out in his mind.

"What's your pay rate? Is like a weekly paycheck, or a monthly salary? I'm not trying to sound like a merc, I do plan on riding this out the whole way through, and I'm just curious." He asked. Money was the whole reason he applied for this position, and he wasn't afraid to let his employer know. That, and he really was curious.

"Don't worry about it. We have some mercenary type heroes here. So long as you help us, we help you." Christopher emphasized his words by pointing from Justin to himself, and then back from him to Justin. "And pay you. It's also more of how well your missions go. I'm not saying you wouldn't get payed if the mission wasn't a success. But you would get payed less. As for when you get payed, it's on a weekly paycheck. Anything you need from our staff is free, whether you need something repaired, room service or other kinds of service. However, it still falls onto you to pay for anything outside of our reach, such as anything you would buy outside of the building, for example." He stopped for the moment, allowing Justin to take in what he'd said.

Justin took in the man's words. A "weekly paycheck" was just the words he were looking for, but then the other perks grabbed his attention even further. He grinned once repairs were mentioned (it led him to think that he could work on his project without even leaving the workplace), but the grin formed into a grimace once Christopher mentioned 'room service'.

"Wait...people live here? You got some sort of apartment running here too?" He asked quizzically, not thinking that place like this would have living accommodations.

Christopher gave a chuckle to Justin's enthusiasm. "Yes, this is a safe haven for heroes who would prefer to live here. It's better for everyone, really. Makes it so I can contact everyone easily. Once we're done here, I'll have one of our staff members follow you to a small apartment that'll be ready for you to move in and rearrange however you want. Aside from how the rooms themselves are arranged." He gave another chuckle before he continued.

"There'll be a cellphone in the apartment for you to use, specifically for Seraphim business. You don't need to answer it to receive missions, but I ask that you keep it near yourself at all times. Should you be away for something like a shower, or sleep, it'll flash and give beeps every half minute. There's also a remote where you can call upon our staff to help you, aside from our scientists and engineers, which you'll have to go to yourself to ask for their help, if you so desire."

"Whoa...I had no idea. From the outside, you wouldn't think people stayed here." Justin said in wonder, grinning to himself as he realized he'd had a second cellphone for business purposes. But he also thought about the living. He had no plans on staying here all day, with his classes coming up in a few hours, and he was quite sure his father was expecting him to come home. He put a hand to his chin in thought.

"This is pretty cool. Unexpected...but cool. I wonder how far NYIT is from this place..." He began to pull out his phone, but decided against it. The sun hadn't set completely yet, so he knew there was still some time left before he had to leave. He looked back up to Christopher, giving him his regained attention.

"So, when do I get to see my room?" He asked, trying to stay cool, but his excitedness showing nonetheless.

"As soon as you step out from the office, one of our staff members will show you to the apartment. You'll then be handed a key to it. I can see that you need to think about this for a moment. From the info I got, you seem to live with your father, and you're in school. Don't worry about that, we'll take care of it for you. Or you can. Your call. The apartment is yours, though, if you want it. If you need to discuss things with your father, I can understand that." It was nice to be able to talk to such an enthusiastic young man, Christopher thought.

Christopher's words gave indication to Justin that the interview was ending. He did remark on talking things over with his father, but the option of a second home made him feel important. He rose to his feet, giving the elder another handshake. If this was going to be a full time job, the thought of rearranging his classes stuck out in his mind, even giving the thought of dropping some classes.

"I think I'll be fine as long as I don't drop the good ones." He thought as he shook. "If anything, I'd probably have to discuss more with my grade and financial advisors than I would with my dad. Shaping my schedule is no easy task." He said with a short chuckle.

"Go ahead and do that. Make sure to pick up the cell phone first before you do. If you need to attend school, we don't mind that. You'd just need to make sure you don't get a mission during the middle of class." Christopher chuckled before he followed Justin to the door. "I hope you will enjoy your stay in Seraphim. Welcome aboard." The young man exited the office, and Christopher was left alone again. "So busy, so busy. Well, I'd better take care of these next applicants."

As he approached the main roads, Red Coyote activated his SPD's. At first, light began to shine all around him, an aura of all colors dances around him as the drones ran a test-pattern. A second later the aura turned completely white, as they finally finished compensating for background noise, and then began their projection. All around him the white light transformed, it blocked his view of the world around him except for a few large windows left for him inside of the newly created hologram. From the outside, anyone looking at him would see a New York Fire-truck, roaring along the road and blasting it's siren's and lights. Looking close of course one could notice obvious flaws, for instance, it was completely hollow, anyone looking inside the windows would see the great big empty space inside for him to ride around in, and how when the siren loops, about a minute in, some asshole mutters somethings into the mic.

But this was not a disguise meant to withstand close scrutiny, it was meant to be seen out the corner of someones rear-window or heard from far away. Because this disguise was not merely a disguise, it was a magical geasse, ingrained in the minds of all proper thinking men and women, it's power was magical and transcendent, it's power was to do that which mortal's thought impossible: Get New Yorkers to move the out of his way. And it did it's job, as he entered the main street, drivers began slowing down and pulling over to make more than enough space for him. He glided through the streets and some drivers who got a close look realized the farce, but a second later Red was already too far away. The point wasn't to truly be covert, he just didn't want to deal with traffic today, and besides today he was looking for trouble. So with the way cleared for the foreseeable future, Red turned his thoughts to trying to piece last night together.

Alright, just finished moving into the new lair. Wanted to relax, went into the city, had a few drinks, invited some people over. So at some point it was about 40 random people partying inside of an abandoned textile factory. Then he invited a few up to the loft, where they all downed several shots of tequila. Then I went to bed with that blonde 9 out of ten from out of town, no wait she was with her boy-friend, and her friend went home early, and the firecrotch was a complete ice-bitch. I banged someone last night, I found a thong under my desk. Could that have been mine? No. Mine has lace. So who's left? The Shore Girl. So I screwed a girl, from the Jersey shore, who was willing to do a complete stranger in the loft of an abandoned and condemned textile factory.

Oh dear god.

As he came out of the tunnel her veered wildly into the side-streets, "BOB bring the Drones back from Broadway, find me an STD clinic!" A woman screamed as she saw the truck barreling towards her. Only to pass right through it, as Red Coyote drived by her. Farther into the city he disabled the hologram and pulled into an alleyway just a few blocks away fro the Fulton Avenue clinic. Parking the bike, he grabbed his gun's and ascended up a nearby fire-escape to get a better view.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jerry was running late and the line inside the STD clinic was now at a stand still. He was supposed to be at work an hour ago but he really needed to see these test results. If it wasn't for his wife at home he would've just had them mailed but he was too scared of her finding the letter in the mail before he got it. Christ, my wife confronting me about getting the clap over breakfast with the kids, forget about explaining too her how I got it. He just wanted to see the test results, and if he was positive, grab his meds, and be done with this whole business. But someone at the front of the line was making a commotion. They were screaming their head off about not wanting make an appointment, Jerry wondered why he hadn't been thrown out yet. He craned out to investigate and then he saw, the man had a gun, and a mask, he was holding the clinic up!

A red-helmeted gunman with some sort of jolly roger on his back leveled his pistol at the window and was screaming, "Look just grab all pills for every kind of crotch-rot and unmentionable infection you've got, put them in a bag, and have someone bring them out, NOW! Or bodies are going to drop you vapid eyed lard tub of woman!"

Jerry panicked, he was about to turn and run out the exit when heard a gun-shot. Ear's still ringing, he turned to see gun-man yelling at the crowd inside the clinic, " STAY!" another gunshot "That's right! None of you get to go anywhere 'til Red get his meds! If any of you go for the door so help me I will kill each any every one of you. And if any of even THINK! of calling 911! Or Seraphim! I would much appreciate it if you tell them to send some eye-candy."

After interviewing another hero who wished to join them, Christopher got word from one of his scanners that there was trouble in one of the clinics west of New York. Supposedly, someone was in need of some pills and couldn't get them. "Thanks for that. I'll contact a few of the heroes we have and send them towards this idiot."

He picked up his phone, dialing the numbers for Arlana, Spectre and Waldemar. The phones, or ear-piece in Arlana's case, were automatically answered. "I've got a mission for you three, Arlana, Spectre and Waldemar. West of the city in the Bronx there's a man causing trouble in one of the clinics. I want you three to go and take care of him without any casualties, including him." He hung up for Arlana, then continued talking to Spectre and Waldemar. "A car will be provided so that you two, Spectre and Waldemar, can get there since you don't have any powers of transportation. The driver will know the location." With that, he hung up, the mission given to them all.

Waldemar had just finished his little training session over at the range, getting a better feel for when his ability started to take effect, for now it seemed like it worked gradually within the scope of half an hour before peaking. Having just entered the elevator again after handing his borrowed weapons back to the booth clerk, his Seraphim cellphone suddenly flared to life. 'Huh... That was quick, haven't even been here a day yet...' Waldemar thought as he withdrew the phone from his pocket just as a message from Christopher started playing.

"I've got a mission for you three, Arlana, Spectre and Waldemar. West of the city in the Bronx there's a man causing trouble in one of the clinics. I want you three to go and take care of him without any casualties, including him. A car will be provided so that you two, Spectre and Waldemar, can get there since you don't have any powers of transportation."

Waldemar pocketed the phone again as the message stopped playing and hit the button leading to the floor where his apartment was located, he hoped that the people he had phoned earlier had gotten together the gear he had asked for, or this would be a really tough first mission.


A few moments later Waldemar had changed into his new gear, the olive green fatigues and balaclava made him feel like he was back at basic training again for a moment, but it would do its job he reckoned, and the bullet resistant armor on top seemed to fit him like a glove as well. Tossing on the equipment harness he noticed that the magazine pouches were still empty however, and realized that he had yet to ask for a weapon to be issued to him. Grabbing the apartments phone he called down to the Seraphim receptionist and issued another order for weapons and ammunition to be delivered to the car that he and this 'Specter' fellow would be riding. Shortly thereafter he slung the backpack with his medical supplies over his shoulder and hurried over to the express elevator leading down into the buildings ground floor, he just hoped that he hadn't used too much time.


Waldemar was astonished that there was already a Seraphim employee waiting for him when he reached the car outside the building, it hadn't take him more than five, maybe ten minutes tops, since he called for the weapons to be delivered and yet they had beaten him to it. "Here are the weapons you requested, Doctor Abel." The female employee said as she gestured to the open metal suitcase next to her, containing both of the weapons he had used up at the range earlier. A 20 inch marksman variant of the HK417, a simple Glock 17 pistol, and enough ammunition to fill his pouches, with some to spare.

"Thanks." Waldemar uttered as he stocked up and grabbed the guns, he'd keep the rifle in his hands until the situation was over, he didn't know what to expect and he most certainly didn't want his power to cut off in the middle of an encounter. Feeling how much more weighty his harness had now become, Waldemar stood next to the car as he waited for the other team member to arrive, this 'Specter'. He wondered what kind of person he was to warrant such an alias? Well, he would probably find out soon enough.

Arlana's earpiece buzzed mid-flight as she flew between the towers of steel and concrete, momentarily causing her to lose focus and drop a good hundred feet in altitude. "Bale's bones!" She clapped her hands over her ears to drown out the sound of wind whistling so she could listen.

"I am on my way. Should I engage upon arrival or wait until the other two arrive?" She was a good ways away, probably further from it than the Seraphim base, but she didn't have to deal with traffic or with winding roads, a straight line path was sufficient.

"Hold back when you get there, Arlana. Keep an eye on the situation and do not intervene until you have backup unless you deem it necessary to preserve lives."

"I understand." She adjusted the earpiece, switching to a support frequency. "I need directions to this clinic."

"Yes, Ms. Dehannsen." The person on the other end seemed to know what she was talking about without needing to provide details. "Continue at your present vector and speed for twenty-one minutes. From atop the Rolendas Company's building you should be able to see the clinic."

"Thank you." She began beating her wings, gaining speed. Twenty-one minutes was far too long, no telling what could happen in that time.

Werewolf was rushing through the city, swinging along on a line from his left arm. Within a second, the tendril's grip was loosened from the building it was latched onto, small pieces of rubble chipped off from the building's side as the tendril receded back into Werewolf's arm. For a moment, Werewolf was flying through the air without support.

As he came closer and closer to a nearby building, he pulled his right arm back and extended his arm blade. When the building was within his reach he thrust his blade into the solid structure and started sliding down the building's side. His rate of descent kept slowing as the line the blade cut through grew in length. Eventually Werewolf stopped and was left hanging some twenty stories above the ground. He pressed his other hand and feet against the side of the building and looked around at the skyline before him.

He looked upward and shot a tendril up to the roof of the skyscraper. From the higher vantage point, Werewolf was able to get a better sense of where he was; somewhere in the South Bronx he figured. Positioning himself towards his destination in Manhattan, Werewolf leapt from the building and started swinging.

He found himself swinging close to the street level, passing by the Fulton Avenue clinic; his mind was only half focused on his swinging, the other half concerned itself with HEART.

They've always stayed out of the city; what the hell's changed? Were they able to get a base up right under Seraphim's watch? Shit; maybe they cut a deal with Seraphim... would they do that just to get me, do I pose that much of a threat?

He thought to himself as he landed with an audible 'THUP' onto a nearby rooftop.

Nah, that can't be it. Even the self righteous bastards at Seraphim wouldn't work with HEART. There must be something else going...

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of screams and gunfire.
"That's right! None of you get to go anywhere 'til Red get his meds!"

Werewolf crept over to the edge of the building and crouched down to get a better view of the situation across the street.

"I'm super strong! That, and I can do this thing with my sword that would make your socks fly off!"

Marcus, against his better judgment, let himself chuckle that. 'Heh, she doesn't seem to have noticed. That's adorable! Working with her is going to be... interesting.' She shot him a look of confusion at his reaction, so he decided to change the subject.

"Well, I'm Faraday. Or Marcus, whichever you like better." He lowered his goggles over his eyes and extended his hand. "I prefer to demonstrate my power. You might want to stand back." He balled his hand up into a fist, then quickly unclenched it, sparks discharging as he did so. Lightning arced between his fingers, crackling and humming. "I suppose you could say I'm a walking battery, but that's just touching on the surface of my powers."

After a few more tries at the range, Kurt had decided to retreat to his apartment to take a shower and relax for the rest of today. He made it to the elevator when his Seraphim-issued phone rang. Quickly fishing the device out of his pocket, he held it up to his ear. It was a message from Christopher Adelbert, head of Seraphim and Kurt's new boss.

"I've got a mission for you three, Arlana, Spectre and Waldemar. West of the city in the Bronx there's a man causing trouble in one of the clinics..."

Kurt frowned as he returned the phone to his pocket. Couldn't it have waited until after he got the new gear? It wouldn't hurt to know who exactly he was teamed up with either. In any case, a mission was a mission. If he managed to work for six years with his current getup, he could use it for just a little longer. With no time to spare, he entered the elevator and headed up. When the doors opened, he sprinted down the hallway, entered his apartment, and suited up.

First was the grey t-shirt. Next was the kevlar vest. It was battered and worn from years of use, but it never let him down before. Then was the black leather jacket, which was somewhat of a trademark. Finally, the tactical gloves and plain black neoprene face mask. By his own admission, he looked more ready to play paintball than fight crime, but his current gear was all he could afford on a vigilante's salary.

With his gear on, Kurt ran back to the elevator and headed down to the floor level. He raced past office workers, who didn't seem to be bothered too much by someone nearly bumping into them. Given who they worked for, it probably wasn't all that uncommon. He headed out the front door, where he saw what he was sure was the car. A Seraphim employee and a man dressed in military fatigues stood by the vehicle. Presumably, they were the driver and Waldemar.

"I guess this is the ride?" he asked as he approached them.

Waldemar had just enough time to wonder about who this 'Specter' he was going to be working with was before who he guessed was the man in question also arrived at the scene.

"I guess this is the ride?" A man clad in what looked like well used paintball gear asked him, not exactly inspiring confidence by the way he looked. However, even though he might be new to Seraphim Waldemar had already ingrained one thing into his mind, that almost everyone else that worked for Seraphim was a meta human as well, so looks could be very, very deceiving.

"That it is." Waldemar replied as he opened one of the doors and got inside the vehicle, holding his rifle firmly in his right hand all the while, he really didn't need to 'reset' his mastery over the weapon now, as he didn't know how long it would take them to arrive where the villain was at. "I'm Waldemar, by the way. But Abel or doctor or any variation between them is fine by me, just be consistent." He told Specter before closing the door shut and waiting for him to get into the car so that they could get going.

Once Specter had entered the car as well he figured that he might as well ask him what kind of abilities he had, knowing your team and all that. "So what kind of powers are you bringing with you, Specter?"

Atticus stared down at the smoking barrel aimed at the freshly shattered bottle of whiskey. Feeling a sudden pang of sadness and a dryness in his throat as he watched his best friends blood of the last few years pool up and slowly drain through the cracks between the shoddily constructed table. A depressing rain of alcohol dribbled to the floor. Soaking up in dirt and wood till there was nothing left.

He smelled the fresh scent of gunpowder in the air and found that it disgusted him and made him sick to his stomach. He slowly set the revolver down on the table and sighed to himself. Atticus took a moment before he looked back over the empty revolver, the shattered bottle, then the folder from Seraphim.

"Well that simplifies things doesn't it?" He said dryly to himself.

Atticus managed to glance over to the dark corner of the room. There it was... propped against the wall, a monster of flame and masochism contained inside a modest and uninteresting violin case. Even the dust seemed to have to good sense to stay away from it, looking as untouched now as the moment he set it down. His head hurt to look at it and he found himself quickly averting his gaze.

"I can do this" he tried to reaffirm himself unaware his hand was shaking.

With that he grabbed a pen and paper and began writing a note. The note was for Kelsey. A woman he had met in Vegas. The only gamble Atticus made in Vegas was on her, and he had been lucky he made the right call. Atticus was looking for someone to hire to run him supplies to support his life of solitude. It never really occurred to Atticus that Las Vegas of all places might not be the best place to look for a responsible and trustworthy person however Atticus never had much of a reason to mistrust people in general.

When he met Kelsey she immediately struck him as a kind hearted and hard working woman. He was right. He'd come to look forward to her bi-monthly visits. It was a nice to have a conversation with someone every once and a while. Over the course of the last few years he'd gotten to hear her story. She was a stripper by night on the weekends and worked the black jack tables at a casino during the week, supported her eight year old son by herself, and had lived a generally tough life. Yet somehow maintained a cheery disposition. Atticus admired her relentlessness. She fought for her son and didn't let the world or her situation break her. Frankly she inspired him.

He finished over the last bit of note and reread it
I hope this helps you catch your dreams. You've been a good friend. Thank You. Your Friend, Atticus He was never any good with goodbyes.

And with that he opened the old rusted safe under his bed and took out it's meager contents within. Taking out what he needed to get by and leaving the rest of his savings on the table for Kelsey. Roughly 40,000 dollars in cash.

He hesitated when he reached for the case, taking one last moment to consider what he was about to do. It only took him a few moments before he grabbed the case by the strap he made for it special, and threw it over his back on top of his camelback. He walked outside into the crisp coolness of the night and took the tarp off of the mountain bike he'd been using to explore the nearby area.

If I keep a good pace I'll make it to Interstate 15 by morning

Atticus watched an elf owl he'd spotted in the night flying gracefully in the night air as it flew between himself and the moon, perfectly profiling itself. He wondered how amazing it must feel to be that free. Suddenly the weight of the case on his back seemed to pull him out of his day dream and drag his spirits back down to where he was accustomed to.

With that Atticus sped off into the night, nothing left behind him except the quickly settling dust flung up from his bike.

Morph strolled the streets of New York, still in the shape of his creator. As time went by and human emotions rose up from the depths of cold instinct, it could not help but feel a fondness for this form. It was a sort of macabre memorial its creator, not to mention discreet and with the retinas and fingers required to pass BioCorp's biometric scanners. He may have been from the corporation's service, but BioCorp saw it as just a leave of absence, Felix was too valuable an asset just to be simply discarded. Regardless of that little matter, Morph could easily sneak into the building by moulding itself in a form that could flow through the air vents, a weakness in security shared by many other buildings. Nevertheless, the laboratories beneath the skyscraper were another matter entirely; tightly climate-controlled with a sophisticated closed circuit air conditioning system. The little pipes criss-crossing the walls of the labs had no exit or entrance point, as the air was provided, at great expensive via giant gas cylinders for the perfect sterile conditions. But then again Morph wondered even why it was drawn to BioCorp so much, wondering if it was some assimilated fancy of its creator or that the corporation had tucked away in those private labs creatures like it. Creatures created from the stolen scraps of research the BioCorp could get their hands on; creatures with certain assets Morph could make its own...

As it continued to walk through the crowded streets, a vague sense of direction guiding it to the BioCorp building, Morph came across a bank with a line of people waiting to use the ATM built into its walls. This caused a thought to emerge in Morph's mind, one about humans. It went a bit like this: the mugger and his victim Morph had recently devoured were part of a giant food chain, though the resource they were competing over wasn't food, it was money. There was one giant pyramid with the CEOs at the top, the ordinary citizen like the woman in the middle and street trash like the mugger on the bottom. Morph realised that in order to compete with its opposition, it needed this resource, this money and made future plans to track down a bank clerk or whoever had access to the vaults, track them down, devour them, and use their appearance to make a withdrawal. This wouldn't be robbery, this would be a curious case of embezzlement where the employee would disappear without a trace soon after. Morph felt a twinge of satisfaction with the plan, but that was for another time. Still, it thought some more on the plan, with a successful result, Morph could afford to purchase some shelter. With all the night it had spent resting in the open, no amount of shapeshifting could remove the buildup of dirt on its being and frankly people regarded him with a wide berth, like Morph was just another wandering bum. Not the ideal appearance for a shapeshifting terror.

It turned when it reached the end of the block, the daily commotion of New York in plain sight. Gridlock, drivers filled with road rage, pedestrians clinging to the pavements lest the rush hour traffic run them down on the roads. Through all this, Morph just walked on by, cursing its lack of transportation other than its own two foot. Maybe after the bank raid it would also purchase a car. The temptation of reverting back to its original form to carry itself with swiftness on its tendrils through the street, consuming all that would block its path was getting to Morph; so was the hunger for more and more flesh. Knowing two measly humans wouldn't satisfy it this time, Morph gave into that temptation. Being killed by Seraphim's goons were one thing, dying of starvation was another. Besides, this would be an isolated incident, a terror of tendrils from nowhere devours an entire streets worth of people only to disappear and never be seen again. Morph walked on, onto the street, the form of Felix Youngblood dissolving into a creator from the realm of nightmares. Some didn't see it coming, other did and made a run for their lives. No matter, Morph globbed them up all the same. As the mass of flesh ripped through the street, tendrils grabbed any person with the silly belief that they would survive. Its mouth processed these people like a meat grinder with circular rows of teeth spinning back and forth independently, only stopping to crush and chew.

The only remains of those people was the blood splattered on the pavement and even on the buildings. Empty husks of cars and taxis filled the street. The only eyewitnesses left were those in the safety of the buildings that lined the street, looking in horror through bloodstained windows at this dreadful occurrence. Morph quickly disappeared through a drain on the pavement, quickly making its way away from the scene of the crime to safe place for its bulging body to finish digesting its feast...

"So what kind of powers are you bringing with you, Specter?"

"Well, it'd take a little while to explain in detail, so think of ghosts. I can mimic some of their properties by channeling energy from the place they call home. Levitation, cloaking, ectoplasm and whatnot. Then there's purple energy beams. Not sure how that fits in with the 'ghost' package, but I can shoot 'em. Oh, and you can call me Kurt. When we're not out in public, at least."

Kurt regarded his counterpart. There had to be more to Waldemar than just being a military man, unless he was really, really good at what he did. Or perhaps he just liked dressing as one. "So I figure I might as well ask the same question. What is it that you do, Waldemar?"

Waldemar nodded at Kurt's explanation as the car set of towards their destination, speeding through the streets of New York on it's way to the Bronx, passing high-rises and glass clad skyscrapers on its way. 'So he can no doubt handle himself then... Probably better than me anyway.' He thought as he straightened out one of the creases around the edge of the balaclava, he found it slightly uncomfortable, but it would be better than his true identity being broadcast everywhere he figured, then who could say if he'd be safe out on the streets again?

"So I figure I might as well ask the same question. What is it that you do, Waldemar?"

"Me? Well, more mundanely I'm a doctor, an anesthesiologist if you want to get technical, emergency medicine and the like. When it comes to powers... I guess I've got better reflexes than a human, barely, and my sight and hearing are better as well." Waldemar began explaining as he looked over the weapon he was holding, knowledge about it and its use slowly seeping into his mind and his grip shifting slightly like he was subconsciously getting used to the way it felt in his hand. "But my most useful offensive power is my ability to master a weapon through contact, which is why I'm holding on to this rifle right now, it's... How should I put it... Being in contact with it makes me understand how to use it and how it is best utilized, if that makes any sense. It... Can be useful, but it does take a while to set in, about 30 minutes or so by my estimates."

As Waldemar finished talking he looked out the window of their vehicle as it continued on its way, he hoped it wouldn't just drop them off in the thick of it, since he didn't have any proper defensive powers he doubted he'd last long in such a situation. Better that they be dropped off a little ways off so that they could approach at their leisure and get an advantage, and he kinda guessed that was the plan too, sounded reasonable to assume it anyway.

Atticus was in the dark, playing the violin as he had many times before. Dancing in the darkness slowly. Weaving a song through the air with hand and bow, threading the notes into a sorrowful song that blackened the soul and saddened the heart.

Suddenly the tempo changed... everything quickened. The notes became angry, enraged, filled with fury! His whole body tensed up, he pressed the bow hard against the strings, with all his might, but still managed to play with an uncompromising dexterity. Suddenly his arms ignited. Consumed in flames as he continued to play as if possessed. A lighthouse of madness dancing through the endless pitch black nothingness.

The melody continued to play as the rest of Atticus ignited and he fell to his hands and knees wracked with pain. The violin continued to float as if some mysterious force still held it and
was circling around him like a predator. Atticus looked at his hands as the flesh melted off them and screamed an agonizing scream that would make the dead shudder. The vomit inducing stench filling the air as he watched the tips of his fingers peel away to the bone.

Terror filled Atticus tore at his face tearing off chunks of flaming flesh and letting them slosh to the ground, like beads of flaming wax splashing off a candle they bubbled and popped until nothing remained. He felt his eyes melt and suddenly pop, the vitrius fluid running down what was left of his cheeks in what looked like some twisted form of tears, leaving nothing but hollowed out sockets. Somehow, though his nerves should of burn off long ago he felt everything and screamed out into the darkness as his very soul burned within him

BURN!

Atticus bolted up from the back seat of his rental car panting deeply as if he'd just run a marathon. He slowly looked over his body and noticed he was drenched in sweat. Still breathing heavily he reached back and unrolled the window letting to cool breeze into the car to comfort him. He took a moment to think, the vivid dream still seared into his mind.

Atticus got out of the car grabbing the strap on the violin case as he exited, taking it with him. He made his way down to a nearby slowly flowing shallow river off the road. Sitting the case down behind him he made his way onto a large smooth rock that protruded into the river. It was a peaceful scene. The moon was full and the light it gave off was magical as it glistened over the water and reflected the whole tree line. Enjoying the scene for a moment he quickly leaned down and splashed his face with water, refreshing himself taking a deep breath as he came back up.

AAAaaatTTTttiCusssSSSSS

He froze. Completely paralyzed with fear as he heard the voice that sounded like the wind itself speak against his ear in the softest of whispers. His hackles rised as he felt it's breathe wash down the back of his neck. It sounded vaguely like Anna and it made his skin crawl. He smelled the burnt flesh and could feel it coming around on him. Seeing it in his perihelia vision. Something that looked a feminine charred corpse.

Suddenly Atticus turned to meet it and found nothing was there. As His vision focused he found himself staring directly at... It... By some means the violin was now outside of it's case reflecting the moonlight off its perfectly polished black and white finish. He gulped slowly feeling that familiar dryness in his throat suddenly return. His hand began to shake steadily.

BURN

It was much louder this time.

"I've waited to long this time" he said slowly to himself. "I don't have much time."

Atticus quickly returned to his car and sped off. Swerving as he took off. He wouldn't be getting any more sleep that night anyways.

Justin found some solace and a sense of gaping awe in the room he was introduced to. So much awe in fact, that he managed to close the door in the face of the employee that introduced him to the living quarters. The modern look of the place was accentuated by the long window that took up a majority of the main area's (the living room, Justin assumed) southern wall, a window that looked out into the city, and offered front row seats to the Manhattan skyline as the setting sun accentuated against adjacent buildings.

"Holy geez, I feel like a fucking bachelor!" He exclaimed, too giddy for his own good. He managed to dance his way towards the center of the establishment, seating himself on the couch placed there. There was a TV and coffee table ahead of the couch, with a few items adorning the table. Justin reached for the one that resembled a modern day smartphone. He couldn't help but grin as he turned it on. Justin's always showed an affinity for technology, and this time was no different.

He pulled out his cellphone from an opposite pocket, and made bit of comparison between the two. His eyes then perked in surprise as he saw the time on both phones. He hopped to his feet.

"Shit, I don't want to be late for class." He said, grabbing his backpack. He took a look towards the duffel bag, contemplating on taking it with him. "...S'not like i'll need it in class...I'll come back for it." He departed, phones in hand. He beeped in directions to the institute. To his surprise, the location was much closer to Seraphim Tower than it was to his own home. The benefits of this organization was beginning to become staggering.

"Oh, i'll be back. For sure." He said with a smirk as he began towards his destination.

So that explained why Waldemar was clinging to that rifle. "Well, I hope you've been holding onto that for at least a little while," Kurt said. "We could use the fire support."

It was a few more minutes until the car came to a stop along the curb. "The clinic is just down the street," the driver told them. Kurt looked out the window and spotted their destination. The clinic was a relatively small shop that blended inconspicuously into the neighboring buildings along the avenue. No police presence and no outward sign of any activity. That was discouraging.

"The police probably don't know what's going down yet," Kurt muttered as he thought of a battle plan. If there was anyone still inside, then they were probably dealing with a robbery, or even worse, a hostage situation. There was no way to tell what it looked like in there, so if they barged in, they'd be going in blind. And if they went in blind, innocents could be harmed. Unless...

"Alright, we're gonna need that fire support, Waldemar. If you can take up a position across the street to cover me, I can infiltrate the clinic and try to figure out what's going on in there. Sound good?"

"What's taking so long!" Red screamed, as he fired another shot into the ceiling. Behind the desk, the receptionist flinched again, and looked nervously down the hall, " I- I- I-," She repeated to herself, to nervous to actually finish her sentence. She didn't have to, as the desk assistant Mark came back with a small box which he put on the counter. Red Coyote stormed up to the desk and pointed at it with his gun at the box. " What is this?" He demanded.

" It's all the medicine we have left," Said Mark, who trying desperately not to look nervous or break out into a cold sweat.

"You are a clinic, hundreds of people come here everyday, and you are trying to tell me that! is all you have?" Coyote's voice dropped into a low monotone, "Sir, do you want to die today?"

Mark jumped, he started looking for a way out but it was too late, Coyote already had his gun trained on Mark's chest. " I know, normally we have a lot more but I don't know why, today we're almost out, I went in the back, that's all we have! Please believe me I don't want to die." He whimpered as a sheen of moisture began appearing on his fore-head. Coyote played the sound of a growling wolf out of the SPD's speakers, a bit of theatrics to get his displeasure across. "Alright," He said, " I'm feeling merciful today, and frankly who needs that much medication, the only reason someone would steal that much is to be a complete jerk. So here's what we're gonna do instead," Lowing his gun, he motioned Mark to walk over to the other side of the desk.

" You are going to pick up the box, and walk out that door with me, do anything odd, and I'll shoot you." Coyote said, letting the violent edge disappear from his voice. " Odd being anything that isn't what the man in the Coyote head tells you to do." Slowly but surely Mark picked up the medicine, and walked out the door, with Red Coyote just two steps behind him.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Inside the medicine storage locker Ryan was trying to figure out how he was going to get fifty thousand dollars worth of STD medication out of New York and back an abandoned textile factory in New Jersey. While his hologram kept everyone's attention out front he snuck in the back entrance, then with the use of some more holograms, made it seems like the clinics medicine supplies were bare so that he could have time to plan his next move. In retrospect he was beginning to see how poor his planning had been.

There's no way I can do this in one trip, even then I don't even have a get away driver. Shit there's no way I can take all this with me on my bike.

This was beginning to turn into a matter of credibility for him. He was only just starting as an honest villain, he needed the entire stache to maintain his burgeoning reputation. He'd treat himself and sell the rest to mob doctors and prostitutes for an exorbitant price.. He couldn't merely steal a small portion of it, not only would that be practically worthless, he'd lose face. He had picked out the most expensive medicines and piled them onto a gurney secured them with a blanket. From outside he could begin to hear sirens, he could pick out the NYPD and an ambulance from the sound. He checked the feed from the SPD out front, his hologram was moving out of the building. Shit, looks like I'm playing this next part by ear.

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